Actions

Work Header

More than a Little Secret (Tumblr Prompt Collection)

Chapter Text

If there was any side effect Tony hated the most, it was what he called the “bursts”.

He hated the light sensitivity, the high-low metabolism shifts, the occasional glowing of his eyes, but he’d learned to hide those expertly. The “bursts”, however… not so much.

Sometimes, when he was stressed, tired, angry and everything was wrong, his muscles would tense, and he’d usually break whatever he was holding- no matter how unbreakable the object usually was.

He’d broken some of his best wrenches, phones, and, once, an iron man helmet, while under those stresses.

He was smart enough to never hold anything too dangerous when he was mad. Usually pens, or papers, or even books. He never worked when he was truly upset and stressed. The most he ever did was work with the holograms - can’t break holograms

But every now and then, it couldn’t be helped

Ross had managed to get right under his skin for the millionth time that afternoon. He didn’t even remember exactly what it was about. Was he threatening to send a team to look for Spider-man? Or attempting to reassign Rhodes to the other side of the globe? Who cared. He was tense and angry and his enhanced metabolism was on a high- begging to be fed junk food and then destroy a punch- dummy in the gym.

But no, it’d have to wait - on the punching thing, anyway. Because he was having a guest.

Peter.

Why, of all days, was that boy going to be in his lab? The man didn’t bother thinking further on that, putting on a pleasant smile (that honestly wasn’t completely forced) and getting the kid over to the engine they’d be working on. His reasoning being that Underoos seriously needed some practical experience on heavy machinery - especially since his 17th birthday present would be a shiny new (May approved) car that Tony would absolutely refuse to take to a repair shop.

About an hour into everything, Tony is handling a lug wrench with absolute precision. Peter’s conversation and eventual companionable silence had calmed him like few things could (Pepper cuddles were up there, along with riffing on bad movies with Rhodes, and driving with Happy) and he’d found a peaceful rhythm

But then the calls started

After the third call, FRIDAY let it through, and the grumble of the old man’s voice almost immediately set on a migraine.

“Stark, where are you?”

Tony glanced at Peter, and raised his free hand to bring his index finger to his mouth - motioning for the boy to keep his mouth shut.

“Uhh my lab? FRIDAY, did I have any appointments?”

“None, boss”

“Okay then, I don’t see why you’re pissed”

“Save it. You didn’t check in after the meeting like I told you too. You were supposed to give me further details on that Spider-Man”

Peter had completely frozen at that point, staring up at the ceiling were the speakers released the general’s voice.

“And I told you when I had shit, I’d tell you, but I don’t” Tony answered “Get off my back, Ross”

“Stop covering for that damn vigilante” Ross borderline threatened

“Can’t cover for someone you barely know, Ross”

There was an annoyed sigh before Tony waved his hand, the call hanging up.

The bastard had the audacity to call back 3 more times to issue more empty threats, each time Peter clammed right up and looked almost scared at the voice on the other end of the call.

That was probably what peeved Tony off the most.

After the last call, he had FRIDAY reroute further Ross calls directly to his voicemail.

He hadn’t even noticed the fully bent lug wrench in his hand.

But Peter had.

Tony saw the boy’s wide eyes staring at his hand, and followed the gaze to the bent wrench.

They made eye contact and the teen smartly looked away and went back to examining the engine.

Well, the jig was up at this point, he took in a deep breath.

“FRIDAY, engage private mode”

He heard the whirring of the privacy screens going down the glass, and saw Peter look around before looking back to him, nothing but curiosity and concern in his eyes.

How on earth do you explain this to a damn kid?

He had no idea, but it didn’t mean he wouldn’t try.

Chapter Text

It had been two weeks since Mr. Stark had told Peter about his… situation. And to be completely honest Peter was still wrapping his mind around the whole thing. He’d obviously been supportive, of course! And when Mr.Stark admitted that he would understand if Peter was freaked out, the poor teen nearly choked on air. The teen had taken great lengths to assure Mr Stark that “No!! You’re not a freak. If you’re a freak, then i’m a super freak so, I mean, we’re on the same page!”

The sincerely amused and relieved smile on Tony’s face had made that ridiculous sentence completely worth it.

But that wasn’t at the forefront of his thoughts this morning. What was at the forefront, was the fact that he was currently on a bus, headed to the tower for a field trip he’d completely forgotten about. He was sunk into his seat, half listening to Ned, as he contemplated whether or not to tell Stark he was coming or not.

“-eter!”

Peter jumped “Huh, yeah wha?” He muttered, looking up from his phone

“Aren’t you excited to see Mister Stark?” Ned asked

“I dunno man, he might not even be there” Peter shrugged, hoping that he didn’t seem as nervous as he felt. He was grateful that Flash was at the front of the bus and he was at the back. He didn’t need Flash’s crap right now.

The de-boarding of the bus and entering of the tower itself was uneventful, and Peter even managed to stay away from Flash as the tour guide assigned to them greeted the group. But then, of course

“Hey, does Peter Parker work here??”

Thank you, Flash. Peter dragged his hand across his face.

“Peter Parker?” The tour guide furrowed his brow “The name is familiar…”

Peter leaned out of his hiding stop “Hi Delia”

“Oh!! Your last name is Parker? Huh” She chuckled “He does do personal interning with Mister Stark. We don’t see him much, since he works in the private labs”

Peter wanted to disappear as his classmates stared. Why couldn’t he have shrinking powers like that guy in Germany?

Delia clapped loudly “Okay enough of that, follow me, it’s time for the tour!”

The tour itself was pretty dull for Peter, but he at least pretended to listen and be interested. They went through the R&D department (at least, the public face of it) and got a QnA with Doctor Fastsa- the head of the department. She also pointed Peter out and further embarrassed him.

Another hour in, they were all wandering around a mini avengers museum before suddenly

“Peter?”

Peter suddenly looked up “FRIDAY? You’re installed down here?”

“I am installed everywhere in this tower Peter. That’s not the point” FRIDAY Quipped “You are required in the Penthouse. Boss needs you.”

Peter furrowed his brow “What?”

“Now” The AI pressed, startling the teen

“Uh, okay, okay!” Peter just answered back, not even paying any attention to the teachers or his classmates staring as he made a beeline for the elevator. The door shut abnormally quickly before anyone could say anything, and shot up (They were on the 24th floor)

“Uh, FRIDAY, what’s wrong?”

“Boss is catastrophizing and has started down an anxious spiral. I have been unable to talk him out of it and no one else is here. He needs someone” FRIDAY explained

Oh.

Peter nervously fiddled his hands “.. How can I help?”

“Just be yourself, Peter. I’m serious about that” FRIDAY answered him as they got to the topmost floor.

Peter took a breath before exiting the elevator into the penthouse.

His eyes scanned the initial entrance, but his sensitive ears picked up heavy breathing down the hall. Heading down, and turning a corner before finding Tony on his knees, staring at his hands and muttering what seemed like nonsense.

Peter walked slowly and cautiously, kneeling in front of Tony. He could tell the man wasn’t completely there.

“... Mister Stark?”

Tony looked up, staring almost passed the boy.

“... It’s Peter? Peter Parker”

Tony stares back at him, very suddenly shaking himself out of the stupor, clearing his throat “What.. What are you doing here?”

“Uh, well, FRIDAY called me up. She said you needed someone” He answered.

Tony sighed deeply “'Course” he grumbled, starting to stand up. Peter nearly stumbled as he stood up too. “What are you even doing here? At the tower.” He asked, though there was nothing accusatory in his tone as he went over to his dresser, grabbing a towel and wiping his face. Peter could see the sweat on his brow.

“... Field trip” Peter answered

Tony scoffed “If you’d told me i’d’ve just pulled you out of school. Waste of your time” He put the towel down and shoved his hands in his pockets. Peter's super-hearing was still picking up his racing heart rate

“Well yeah but I mean, sometimes I like turning my brain off.. Or at least trying” Peter awkwardly chuckling.

Tony seemed to tune him out at that point, walking past him and out of the room. Peter stumbled along after him “Are-are you okay, Mister Stark?”

“.... I’m fine, kid” Tony answered “You should probably be getting back with your class. Education is important, yadda yadda”

"But, Mister Sta-" Peters phone suddenly vibrated in his pocket, and he quickly checked it

From: FRIDAY
He is not.

“Uh, Mister Stark, sir? FRIDAY says your not”

Tony turned around and quirked an eyebrow “What, is Friday a telepath now?”

“No she uh, she texted me, mister Stark”

The man paused “going behind my back, FRI?”

“I only have your best interests at heart, boss” The AI voiced

"Listen, Mister Stark" Peter started "it's okay if you're like, not feeling okay, you know? Everyone feels that way sometimes. Specially since you told me you wanted to like, tell the other Avengers about your... thing? That'd stress anyone out" He rambled out "Maybe you just, you know, need a distraction?" Peter shrugged out the suggestion.

Tony let out a beleaguered sigh “You know what, kid? Never mind”

“What?”

“FRIDAY, tell his class that Peter was called for a science emergency or something. Make something up.”

“Of course, Boss”

“Huh , what?”

“Come on, kid. I need your genius. We’re gonna do some science”

Tony turned back around, headed toward the elevator. Peter allowed himself a little smile, and followed along behind.

Chapter Text

The plan was absolutely, positively foolproof.

Which meant that it was a complete disaster when they put it into motion.

Natasha just barely won the bet, with a very, very well placed cheat she’d put into play as a contingency.

Tony sighed in defeat “Okay then. I’m your ‘slave’ for the week. Kinky”

“Don’t be gross, Tones” Clint slung an arm around Tony “As your new master for the week, my first decree…. You’re going to bed. Now. Its like midnight”

“... What?” Tony raised his brow “Is that allowed?”

“You bet your ass it is. Friday?”

“You authorized for temporary Alpha status be given to the over Avengers if you lost, boss. I will be locking the lab down as of now”

“This is going to be the worst week of my life, I can feel it.”

And so the billionaire was sent off to bed, the other avengers grinning like the cat that caught the canary.

The first day was Natasha and Clint’s, and it mostly consisted of being ordered around to take them out and pay for all of their antics.

The Second day was spent with Wanda and Vision, who let him do what he wanted- but forced him to take breaks and even made him take a goddamn nap. A nap, like he was a toddler.

“Seriously?” He moaned in annoyance

“Sleep is important, Tony” Vision had chided, sounding so much like Jarvis it nearly gave the man a flashback to his childhood that he didn’t want. Wanda, for her part, didn’t do much but watch him work, which he didn’t even know she’d been interested in until now. Learn something new every day and all that.

The day after that was him with Scott Lang and his daughter, Cassie. And Scott deferred to Cassie. And, so as she desired, Tony was instructed to take her out to Coney Island and ride every. Single. Ride with her. Literally all of them. The man fell asleep the minute he got to his bed.

Day four was spent with Rhodes, who let him do what he needed, but again- with the damn breaks and a nap. He felt like a damn child. What kind of weird ass “slave” thing was this?

Day 5 was a complete change of pace - It was just him and Natasha, training in hand to hand combat.

“Stark I know you’re stronger than that” She’d criticized halfway through the session, stopping for lunch

“.. Control is important, Romanoff”

“Repression isn’t healthy” She replied, sipping on some Gatorade.

Day 6 was… well that was spent with Steve. And All Steve really wanted with him was to talk, so they drive into the city, and sat down along the waterside, looking out at the ships passing through.

“.... Tony, I wanna say something” Steve started “and you can’t interrupt me until I’m finished.”

Tony rolled his eyes.

“Okay then”

“I’m sorry, Tony” Steve started “When I first met you, I kept bringing up… Howard”

Tony visibly tensed

“I told you how I knew him, and dismissed all of your claims, thinking it was just some complicated relationship you had with him.. But…’ Steve looked at him “I could have never known what a bastard he was... If i’d known for even a moment that he was capable of that… “ Steve ran his hand over his face in frustration.

“Steve-”

“I’m not done” Steve held up his other hand. “I know we’ve had a lot of issues.. But I want you to know that I sincerely appreciate you telling us about this.. And that just.. Looking at me must be a serious jab in the chest” he put the hand over his chest. “I’m what your father as trying to do. He was.. “ Steve’s face twisted in a form of disgust “trying to make you into me.. You have been and will never be me. You’re you, Tony Stark.. Earth’s best defender.”

Tony stared at him, silence coming over them like a damn blanket

“... I’m done”

Tony continued staring at him, before letting out a breath

“Well…. Uh…. hm“

The silence continued to stretch

“.. Okay, we can go” Steve got up “Natasha is making Baklava and wants us all there to try it” He passed off “Come on”

The conversation just sort of ended there.

The last day of Tony’s “servitude” came to him with a micron of relief. He’d be free soon, thank god. Who even knew what they’d make him do today.

“Morning, Mister Stark!” A bright voice graced his ears as he wandered into the kitchen

Even in his slightly sleepy state, he couldn’t help but smile.

Chapter Text

He was gone for almost 12 hours.

This was getting ridiculous.

He’d been doing this hiding thing for over a year, and Steve had assumed - after Tony came clean about his.. Issue.. That the disappearances had to do with hiding his secret. But he didn’t have to do that anymore

So why was he still disappearing?

He tried asking all of the most important people in his life. But Happy, Rhodey, Pepper and Peter all claimed to not know what he was talking about.

It was starting to drive him nuts. So, he decided to just… wait.

Tony didn’t come home until 3 in the morning… though a very very familiar portal.

Steve tried to affect a disinterested expression as he spoke out “Is there a reason you’re with the Wizard till 3 am?”

“Gh! Jesus Christ Rogers, warn a man”

“Tony, why are you just coming- what is that?”

He spotted a ring on the man’s finger. A golden band on his left hand

Tony froze in place.

The dots Steve connected made his jaw drop.

“.... Tony. . . Tell me I’m seeing things”

“I’m a hallucination” the billionaire quipped

“Tony”

“Steve I’m not talking to you about this. Why are you even awake?”

“I was waiting for you! I wanted to ask why you keep going out so late at night. You get bad enough sleep as it is” Steve aggressed “Then I see you come through a portal obviously made by doctor strange, wearing a *wedding band*-”

“SHHHHH” Tony shoved his hand over the Captain’s mouth “You want the whole goddamn compound to hear you??”

“Explanation, *now*” Steve almost hissed through the millionaires mouth.

“Okay but you have to swear not to tell anyone only Pep, Rhodey, and Pete know”

“You know I can keep secrets, Tony”

Tony glared

“Trust me, Cap. I know”

Steve bit his lip, realizing his mistake

“I-”

“Don’t, we’re past it”

Steve huffed “Okay… Okay just, tell me what is going on”

“.... I’m married”

“I inferred that”

“.... To Strange”

There was another moment of silence.

“.. When?”

“... Uh, well tonight was our one year anniversary” He shrugged

“... A year. You’ve been married… for a year… to Stephen”

“.... Yup” Tony clasps his hands together “We’re not really ready to tell anyone”

Steve sighed “This is…. Big, Tony. Why are you two keeping it a secret?”

“Like I said, we’re not ready”

“We didn’t even know you guys were dating!”

“We didn’t want you to know” Tony aggressed, his eyes taking on an almost pale glow “Stop pushing it!”

“Tony, I thought we were past secrets”

“YOU don’t get to lecture me about secret keeping, Rogers” Tony hissed, and Steve stopped.

Steve’s hands - which were animated while he spoke, limply fell to his sides “... Yeah.. Yeah that’s pretty hypocritical of me, huh?” Me mused after a moment of silence.

There was another stretch of silence. This one somehow so much worse

“... Tell us when you’re ready, Tony. I won’t tell anyone. You have my word” Steve muttered “I’m headed to bed”

The soldier left before Tony even had a change to respond.

All was quiet in the tower, now.

Chapter Text

Clint was going absolutely bonkers.

Apparently Steve and Tony had argued at some point, and now the whole damn tower was on edge. No one was talking and without any disasters or missions, there was nothing really to do.

He had to get out for a while.

“Yo, Stark, what do you want from the store?”

Tony looked over from his spot on the couch, raising an eyebrow “You’re actually going to a store? Why on earth would you do that when I can have FRIDAY speed order whatever you want and have it delivered in an hour?”

Clint returned his eyebrow raise “Uh… Cause shopping can be fun and we’re all dying of boredom here?”

“...”

Clint stared back at him, suddenly realizing “ Wait… Have you never…?” He settled his mind “We’re going right now, get your shoes on”

“Excuse me?”

“We’re going shopping asshole, come on. You could use the air” Clint offered. Tony contemplated, before getting up - already in his shoes.

“Alright, I’ll humor you”

“Sweet. Come on, there’s a Whole Foods down the road. You’re paying”

Tony rolled his eyes, but there was a hint of a smile and Clint took it as a victory.

The walk was brief, for the most part, and they got to the two story Whole Foods with no fuss.

“So, what are you getting?”

“Snacks and quality time with my favorite metal man”

“Hurting Vision's feelings, are you?”

“Hey, you ain’t my kids, I’m allowed to have a favorite” the man said as he passed by the coffee, taking a deep sniff of the french brew.

“And your favorite is me? Wait till I tell Natasha”

“Don’t be rude.” Clint glared playfully

Tony just rolled his eyes - but he was smiling, so Clint kept up the quips.

“Ever had ramen noodles?”

“Yes, I’ve had ramen noodles. I went to college”

"Okay but did you buy them yourself?”

There was a moment of silence.

“... You had your butler buy it didn’t you?”

“I... didn’t have him do it. I never asked that of him” Tony’s voice when uncharacteristically quiet “He did it because he wanted to”

There was a pause “Sorry man, didn’t mean to offend”

“No, no sorry. Jarvis was… important to me” Tony reasoned.

“I can tell” Clint pointed out as he gazed at the wide array of Honey types the Whole Foods provided. “So uh…. Change of topic. What the hell happened with you and Cap?”

Tony didn’t answer right away, but grabbed a squeeze bottle of Orange Blossom honey. It took him another minute “... He confronted me about something I didn’t want to talk about yet. We both overreacted and I don’t have the gumption to say sorry yet.”

“... Yikes. Sure you two aren’t married?”

“As if. Bucky might snipe me where I stand”

Clint snorted before grabbing “spicy” honey.

“I’m guessing that thing he talked to you about isn’t something I’m privy to?”

“Not yet, no. We’re working on it”

“We?”

Tony paused “.... Okay that was a slip up. You’re not getting more out of me” Clint rolled his eyes

The men grabbed a few more items before going up to the counter.

“Shopping is so mundane. Why did I let you convince me to do this again?”

“Hell if I know, i’m just happy I found these cookies. Laura’s bringing the kids up and these are Cooper’s favorite” The hawkeye’s tone went slightly soft as he talked about his family.

“Headed home with them after?”

“Hah, if they let me”

“I”ll put in a good word” Tony mentioned as he paid for the food.

“Thanks, man” Clint smiled. Tony just smiled back and grabbed one of the three bags

“Come on, Peter’s coming over with his geek friends and I need to embarrass him within 30 minutes or I owe Rhodey 50 dollars”

Clint let out a laugh “We gotta hurry then. I’m not missing that”

Tony managed a chuckle, and Clint couldn’t help but grin.

Mission accomplished.

Chapter Text

Harley Keener didn’t get to visit as often as he wanted. What with school, his sister and his mom taking up his time, getting to see Tony was relegated to maybe a 5 day weekend every other month.

Which totally sucked because not only was Tony in New York, but Peter was in New York.

Peter B Parker, otherwise known as the only other person close to his age who he could stand.

Oh, and could fight

Harley has started work on his own, distinct suit- trying to use the Skeleton of iron man to make his own distinct style

And no one wanted to help him test it other than Tony and Pete.

So that’s how he ended up in a headlock on a Sunday morning, Peter barely exerting his strength and Harley futility struggling

“Say uncle, Keener!”

“Ugh, never, Parker!” He laughed out, Peter seemed to not even be trying to hold him down. Damned super strength.

“Come on, Harley, I can literally do this all day.”

“Then perish, you jerk”

Peter rolled his eyes “Snack break?”

Harley sighed. Thank god for “always giving an out” Peter Parker. “Yeah, snack break.”

Peter let go, and the two of them made quick work of the pantry in the tower kitchen, devouring most of the snacks in said cabinet between the two of them. They were still eating when Steve, Tony and Strange made their way into the room.

“Eating me out of house and home, boys?” Tony started, a fond, amused grin on him.

“Always, Tony” Harley answered

“You told us we could eat what we want” Peter shrugged “and hi Mister Rogers, Hi Doctor d-Strange”

There was a brief pause before Strange answered

“Good to see you, Peter. What were you two up to?”

“We were testing out Harley’s joint reinforcements for his suit. They uh, didn’t last too long” Peter winced, recalling how they’d bent under his touch.

“They lasted perfectly fine before you started playing dirty, Parker!” Harley tossed a cheerio at Peter’s forehead.

Peter gasped “I don’t play dirty! Take that back!”

“Fight me.” Harley grinned

“Bring it, bro.” Peter raised his hands up

“Boys, what did I tell you about fighting in the Tower?”

There was a pause from the boys

“Uh… as long as we don’t use dangerous weapons it’s okay?” Harley recited..?

The man shrugged. “Close enough. Carry on.”

“You’re the best, Mr. Stark!” Peter shouted at him as Harley dragged him from the kitchen

“Yeah, yeah, I know, Kid.” He waved him off, but his smile was evident.

“... You’re enabling them” Stephen warned, wrapping an arm around the man’s waist.

“Eh, better here than in the streets of Manhattan, hm?” He reasoned “So, Cap, what were you saying?”

The star spangled man with a plan coughed into his hand “I uh, I said I think now that you two are official, there should be some kind of celebration, you know?” he suggested “Maybe Bucky and I can host it? Just a little something”

Tony stared back at Steve for a moment. The two still weren’t 100 percent okay (would they ever be…?) but that offer was definitely one more step in the right direction.

“I’d be up for it” he answered almost nonchalantly. “You, honey?”

“So long as its small, and I can invite some of my students” Strange complied.

“Of course” Steve smiled, warm and relieved.

There was a moment of quiet, before there was a crashing noise off in the distance.

“Uh…. Mister Stark?” Peter shouted “How much was that fancy vase with the black and gold flowers?”

“Just curious!” Harley added.

Tony couldn’t help the chuckle “Kids”

He kisses the sorcerer's cheek before headed out to the hall to assess the damage

There was a lull before Strange spoke

“Thank you, Rogers”

“Hm?”

“I am not repeating myself” Stephen raised an eyebrow “But I do appreciate your effort”

“Oh… well uh, thank you and your welcome” Rogers nodded.

“Peter, Harley, what the fuck!” They heard from down the hall.

Stephen let out a sigh “i am needed, it seems”

“Oh, no problem, go ahead. Let FRIDAY know if you guys need… extra assistance” Steve slightly emphasized, causing Stephen to chuckle

“I will”

And with that the doctor left.

Steve felt just a spark of hope that maybe, just maybe, things could get just a little bit better.

Chapter Text

Peter had told Tony about Flash Thompson - the “all talk no bite” type of bully who Peter was mostly able to brush off.

Peter never told him about the other bullies.

The “all bite, no talk” types.

Probably because he never expected Tony to ever see it

But the assholes had decided that after school was the perfect time to take Peter out back and take out their aggression on him.

There was jealousy involved with it, probably. But there was also just how easy Peter was to push around. The boy portrayed himself as a doormat, and the fact that he never even told the teachers what was going on was more fuel to the fire.

And that particular day, he’d done one more small, little thing to piss them off.

He’d gotten them detention

He didn’t even mean to get them detention. A teacher just caught them verbally harassing Peter- mocking his thin frame and using a few rather rude slurs that do not need repeating

They’d take any reason to beat on Peter Parker, but that incident put the three guys right over the edge.

Peter just clenched his fists, grit his teeth and took it. Held with his arms restrained, the bigger one - Don? His name was Don- wailed on him, not even bothering with mockery.

Could Peter escape? Of course he could. But Spider-man did that sort of thing to bad guys. Peter Parker? He just withstood it. Took every punch with barely a flinch.

Puny Parker never did anything else

His kid was late

His kid was never late

When Peter knew that A: it was “tower day” and B: Tony was picking him up, he was always one of the first kids bursting through the door like it was Christmas morning and Tony’s Audi was a shiny new game console.

And he wasn’t out yet.

Bucky and Sam were in the car with him, ready to go out to Coney Island for the evening for “Team bonding night” - which was supposed to be a surprise for Peter.

“What’s takin’ the kid?” Sam asked

Tony huffed “I dunno. Come on, lets go hunt him down. I wanna embarrass him like I didn’t get to during that field trip of his a few months ago”

“You’re such a Dad” Sam commented

“I resent that” Tony quipped

“You shouldn’t” Bucky resounded just as fast. The three men walked into the school, Tony following the “ping” of Peters Starkphone to the back of the school.

They could hear the fight before they saw it.

“Awww, has Puny Parker had enough?” The taller one taunted

Peter looked like a colorful punching bag, coated in what was only starting to look like ugly, dark bruises

Peter panted, hard. Was he in pain? What hurt? “... You’re a sick fuck” he weakly retorted

“Yeah, like I give a shit what you call me, Parker. You think you’re hot shit cause of your “internship?” You’re Tony Stark's personal latte boy”

“.... Is that what this ones about?” He asked,

The shorter one holding him down beat the tall one to it “Partially. But mostly it’s just fun to beat the shit out of you” he shrugged “I mean, what was that thing we learned in history today? About the Athenians when they were on that island?”

“The strong do what they can, and the weak suffer what they must” the taller boy repeated “We’re the strong, Parker. And watching you suffer is pretty damn-“

There was a sudden crunching sound, and the boys all sharply turned to face the source of the sound. What they found was an aghast Tony Stark

Whose phone was in pieces, crushed in his fist.

Peter ended up hitting the ground at how abruptly he’d been let go when the boys made a run for it.

“Get them” was all Tony said before Sam and Bucky were on their tail- as if they’d outrun Avengers

Peter was already pushing himself up when Tony knelt down to assist

Peter could hear his racing heart as he was propped up- perhaps a bit harshly - to sit

Tony was looking over every bruise on his face, his split lip, the scabbing on his forehead

“.... You’re early” was all Peter said

“.... You were late” Tony retorted,his eyes scanning over Peter repeatedly. “How often does this happen?”

Peter didn’t meet his eyes

“... Not a lot”

God, his kid was the worst liar he knew.

“This conversation isn’t over, but I just want you in the car and on the way to MedBay” Tony grumbled out “Can you stand?”

Peter nodded, though he took a minute to breath before standing.

The bruises were already in harsh contrast on his skin. Tony could hardly look at it without his blood boiling.

“Uh.. Mister Stark? Your phone was…”

“Yeah, kid. Don’t worry about it” the man replied, carefully putting an arm around the boy and nudging him in the direction of the front of the school.

He ushered Peter into the car and stood waiting outside for his buddies. After about 10 minutes, they returned empty handed.

Before Tony could get angry, Bucky raised his hand to stop him.

“We turned them over to the school and told them what we all saw.” Bucky explained

“I’ll be following up” Sam replied “Not letting them get away with a slap on the wrist” the former counselor assured. “Still going uh, out?”

Tony looked back at the kid in his car, curled up in the front seat

“Don’t think so. You two still want to go?” Tony asked “I can get you a ride”

Sam and Bucky shared a look.

Sam looked back at him “I think we have a spider-kid that needs some treatment”

“And cheering up” Bucky shrugged

Tony managed a grateful smile

“Back of the car, then”

The two men fit themselves in the back, and Tony got in to drive then back to the tower.

At some point he used one hand to reach over and hold Peter’s, who quietly, but gratefully, accepted.

Tony knew that he’d be alright.

He also knew that he would never, ever let that happen again.

God help those idiot boys for picking on his kid.

Chapter Text

Strange wondered why he’d married a moron

“I keep telling you to take the lactaid pills, but do you listen? No” He scolded. “And now you are suffering” The wizard huffs, a book floating before him as he read at the counter.

“Shut up, it was totally worth it” Tony rebutted, groaning a bit as he lay recumbent on the couch

“Totally..” Replied a voice from the floor.

Stephen sighed. He’d nearly forgotten that Peter was also there

That meant that his son was an idiot too. What a day.

“Eating 3 large tubs of Spider-Man-Go Sorbet and Stark- Raving Hazelnut ice cream gets you no sympathy from me, you lactose intolerant heathens”

“But- the deliciousness. It couldn’t wait!” Peter reasoned from the floor

“It couldn’t wait 15 minutes for a pill to activate so you can safely eat ice cream?”

“Nope” Tony answered for him.

“You two will perish in a cloud of your own foolish, milk-induced hubris” Stephen scolded, though all Peter did was giggle

“Hehe, worth it. Also, i’m totally adding that phrase to my “wild shit Doctor Dad has said” list” The boy commented as he started tapping away at his phone.

Stephen just heaved a long suffering sigh. “I married an idiot, and together we pseudo-adopted an idiot of similar caliber. What luck I have”

“Hey, we are not that bad” Tony argued “You could’ve married an anti vaxxer or something”

“As if I would ever even date someone that dumb”

“See? Not that bad”

Stephen sighed, grabbing some ginger ale.

It was going to be a long afternoon.

Chapter Text

Tony wasn’t sure why he’d touched the damn bracelet.

But how it was attached to his wrist

And he

Couldn’t

Get it

off

He came bursting into the living room of his apartment, where Strange was reading some old spell book

“Hey uh, babe? I think I have an issue that I need your help with”

Stephen blinked and stood up from the couch “What did you do?”

“What? I didn’t do anything! I got a package, opened it up, and-”

“Didn’t bother to see if it was something dangerous?” The man asked.

“..Yes” the older man answered bluntly. Stephen raised his brow and looked over the bracelet that his husband was now sporting. A quick glance over and Stephen already knew what it was

“Ah… its an old relic. The brace of 100 truths, I believe”

“The what?”

“Bracelet of 100 truths. Name sounds better in Sumerian” Strange commented “Basically, until you have told 100 truths, you will be compelled to be honest. It’s a great technique for questioning prisoners”

“This is really stupid”

“I know, but color me interested in seeing what happens. No spell can undo this. You’re just going to have to truth it off” Strange almost smirked in amusement.

“I would literally rather burn alive”

“Then this is going to be an interesting day. Do you want me to tell the team?” He asked, a serious question.

Tony’ s brow furrowed, contemplating

“.. Nah. I’d rather they not try anything”

"... I personally think that this is a horrible idea, but I can’t stop you” was all Stephen replied before kissing his husband’s cheek.

--

So far, things weren’t that bad. All of the questions they asked seemed harmless and he would have answered them honestly anyway. He already felt the band on his arm loosen with every truth he told, and the sweater he was wearing (a gift from Pepper) hid it perfectly.

But then Peter came.

And the teasing started.

Peter seemed to bring that out in everyone, including Stephen - who mostly kept the teasing light and sparse.

Some of the other avengers, however… were less subtle.

“Stark-son!” Thor grinned. “Good to see you!”

Peter, for his part, just rolled his eyes “Hey, uh, you know i’m not actually Tony’s son, right?”

“Oh, yes but teasing him is always fun” Thor reasoned with a grin “After all Tony, don’t you love this boy?”

Tony twitched before he was compelled to answer “I’d kill everyone in this room if any of you laid a hand on him, yeah”

Peter - appropriately - sputtered and nervously laughed “hah, hah hah, yeah uh, hah. Funny”

… Okay, that kinda hurt Tony’s feelings a little

Tony’s face twisted into a frown “Kid, you’re here for lab time, right?”

“Oh, uh yeah! Yeah, Mister Stark, Lab time”

He put an arm around the kid and led him to the elevator. And in the silence of the elevator, Tony found his words.

“... You thought I was joking back there, kid?” Tony voiced, arms crossed, finger tapping on his bicep.

“Huh? Oh, well uh, I mean, you said you’d kill everyone? That’s a bit extreme, right?” Peter coughed nervously.

“... I wish I’d been hyperbolic, kid” Tony admitted, arm grabbing at the band on his forearm.

That admission didn’t seem to make Peter feel better “What? Come on, Mister Stark. You wouldn’t do that” Peter tried to awkwardly chuckle again. “I mean, i’m not that important, am I?”

Tony knew he meant that rhetorically. He knew that Peter was attempting a little self deprecating humor and was expecting it back. But that just wasn’t in the cards this time around.

“Barring Stephen, you are the most important person in my life” He answered, the weight of his truth on his shoulders. He wished he could be embarrassed by the admission, but of all the people he’d been honest to today, Peter deserved it the most.

Peter- for his part- couldn’t think of a response. He opened and shut his mouth, seeming to bite the inside of his cheek. The elevator dinged at their arrival in the lab.

“... Wow” Was all Peter could muster before Tony let out a sigh.

“Friday, tell Stephen to come down here. I’m gonna have to tell Underoos about the bracelet”

“Bracelet? What bracelet?”

Chapter Text

Shuri and Peter got along like gangbusters… which was absolutely hellish for all who knew them. Unlike Harley and Peter, the two didn’t spend their time play fighting and building increasingly incredulous machines, Shuri and Peter… well, they just liked to screw around.

And their most recent bit of screwy antics the two had gotten into was making Youtube videos. The two never showed their faces and rarely spoke, but their videos on the Avengers got millions of views.

The channel was called “Avengers Spy Vlogs”

It had 6 million subscribers within the first month.

And the number one request was “Tony”

“Where’s Iron Man??”

“Im sick of seeing Captain America please give me Iron Man”

Shuri chuckled as she read through the comments “They all want Iron Man, Little Stark”

Peter raised his eyebrow. He’d long given up on getting her to stop calling him “Little Stark” at this point in their friendship. “Well, filming him is going to require some serious sneaking on our part”

“I think we can manage. We just have to do it before I leave with my brother at the end of the week”

“5 days?” Peter chuckled “We got this."

-

They did not “got this”

The man was like a ninja, and it didn’t help that FRIDAY kept helping him out. Turning away from the cameras, avoiding the rooms, giving Peter a slight smirk when the boy was clearly baiting him.

“Ugh, we’re gonna have to take drastic measures” Peter huffed.

“What kind of drastic measures?” Shuri raised an eyebrow

“... We need to fake something” Peter confirmed

The brainstorming session that the two indulged in would become legend - 6 straight hours on nothing but coffee and twizzlers and two notebooks chocked full of ideas.

And it all turned out to be completely useless.

It had just been such a regular day at the tower, with Shuri readying the camera to catch the magical experience of Barton attempting to cook without his wife’s oversight.

Then Friday spoke

“Spiderman is in the common room balcony, Injuries detected. Immediate assistance requested”

And Tony just, zoomed passed the camera like the goddamn flash.

Turned out that Spider-man wasn’t even all that hurt, just one bad, bleeding cut on his thigh.

Shuri went back to the camera, and the image of Tony Stark just, flashing across the screen was, hands down, the funniest thing she had ever seen.

She posted it with the caption: “CRYPTID”

It got 10 million views in just 2 days.

Peter and Shuri were absolutely thrilled.

Tony wasn’t

Obviously

“Ugh, i spend all my effort not being on your dumb channel and one glance at me causes the web to go nuts?”

Shuri shrugged “The masses want what they want, stark. Plebeians, all of them”

The man just groaned, and Peter laughed at him.

Shuri couldn’t stop grinning

Chapter Text

Tony Stark was a pretty level headed man.

Always had been, really. Even when he was an emotional wreck, he could at least pretend he was fine. It was practically his personal superpower, on top of other things

But now?

Oh, now, the fury that consumed him was radiating through his bones. He’d been bursting periodically, breaking anything getting close to his hands out of sheer, blind anger.

Legally dead.

His husband, the love of his life, had been legally dead for 3 minutes before his heart was restarted. Cardiac arrest, caused by a beast gnawing at his chest and shocking him with an aggressive magic.

He was in recovery now. He’d be fine. Tony just needed to remind himself of that, to breathe, that everything was fine -

“.. Mister Stark?”

Tony started out of his attempt to calm and stood up from his seat at Stephen’s bedside, looking to the door.

Though all that did was fuel his rage further.

Peter had, for his part, also nearly died. his face caught in the claws of one of those beasts, Half of his face was bandaged to the point where one eye was functionally useless. His arm was in a sling, though he complained that it barely hurt. Hell, the doctors said that he was healing so fast it wouldn’t even scar.

Well, most of it, anyway.

Tony couldn’t see it, but he’d seen it happen. The beast that bit down so hard into Peter’s side that anyone with reliable hearing could hear the crunch of broken Ribs. Those puncture marks… Well, Pete would be lucky if they only scarred him lightly.

Tony swallowed all of his anger and fear “Hey, hey kid. How’s the arm?” He asked, tentatively.

“Doesn’t even ache, but they want it in the sling” The boy answered, his tone lacking any of his usual personality “How uh, how’s doc-.. How is he?”

Tony walked over to Peter, a hand on his shoulder “Recovering. Doctors say he’ll be waking up on his own sometime soon”

“... How soon is soon?” Peter asked, his eyes looking past Tony and onto the sorcerer laying in the hospital bed

“... I don’t know, kid” Tony admitted.

Peter’s one good eye was misty at that, and Tony’s hand moved from his shoulder to the back of the boys head, leaning him into a hug

“He’s going to be okay, okay?”

He heard the boy sniff, more weight on his shoulder.

“... Its okay, Pete”

“No it’s not” The boy replied, his voice hoarse “Its not cause you’re upset and doc is almost dead and May’s arm is broken and I only have one useful eye and-”

“Enough”

The two standing heroes looked sharply to the bed, where, miraculously, Strange was awake.

“I’m not dead yet”

Peter was the first one to react, rushing over, his sobs stifled but evident. “D-doc, hi”

Stephen’s eyes went soft as he looked at Peter, his eyes grazing over the bandages on his face “.... You didn’t make it out very well, did you?”

“Says the guy who died” Peter squeaked out.

Stephen managed to raise a hand, and pulled Peter’s head to his shoulder. “I’m here. It’s fine”

Tony walked over “Hey, wicked witch”

“Hey yourself” The wizard smiled a tad “Are you alright?”

“... Been better” Tony admitted “But you’re alive. So that’s pretty great”

Peter muttered a “I agree” into Stephen’s shoulder.

“... You look upset, Tony” Stephen’s brow was furrowed. Tony couldn’t help but huff.

“Of course I’m upset. Peter nearly died. You did” Tony pressed “I want to rip out that bastard’s heart and shove it down his throat”

“Maybe don’t be so bloodthirsty” The wizard argued.

“Maybe don’t be so nice”

“Maybe both of you should nap” Peter voiced, turning his head so that he could be heard clearly. He didn’t leave Stephen’s shoulder, however.

You nap” Tony argued

“... All of us then?” Stephen reasoned.

“In this tiny bed?” Tony argued.

“Tiny? This is queen size” Peter argued.

“You heard what I said”

“Tony, please… You could use the rest”

Tony didn’t move, but did watch as Stephen encouraged Peter to lie down next to him, his face still shoved protectively in Stephen’s neck. The tense look about Stephen’s features were all the evidence Tony needed in how much he also cared for Peter.

.. Perhaps he needed that nap.

He sat down, and laid himself on Stephen’s other side. His arm found its way across the two others, and he watched them quietly, Peter already asleep - god, he must have been tired.

Stephen’s trembling hand was in the boy’s hair.

“.... He’s okay?” Stephen asked.

“... He will be” Tony assured.

That seemed to be a good enough for the sorcerer, and his head leaned into Tony’s shoulder, eyes fluttering shut.

Tony couldn’t find it in him to relax. Not completely. So, he rested his head on his arm, and watched the two most important people in his life sleep, the first respite either of them had in nearly 2 days.

He’d let out his anger, his rage, his despondence… another time. For now, his family needed him.

And there he’d remain, until either of them awoke.