New York had not gotten a storm like this in forever, with the wind whipping unbelievably hard and lightning cracking and rain pouring.
What was just peachy about all of that was his apartment's power conked out, and he had absolutely no idea what to do. May was in Florida visiting her friend, so he couldn't even seek comfort from her through all this.
Peter had always been afraid of lightning ever since he was a little kid, so each strike of lightning outside made him jump a little in fear as he sat huddled in his blanket with his hands over his ears, rocking back and forth, the sounds too loud for his enhanced senses. He definitely couldn't go outside to walk to Ned's, and he couldn't drive anywhere since he didn't have his license, so he was practically on house arrest.
His heart was racing and it did not help that lightning kept striking every thirty seconds. Miraculously, the cell service was still functioning, so at least he had some way to contact someone if it became too much.
Peter forced himself to exit his room and grab a glass of water, but nearly punched a hole in the wall when he realized that no power meant no water.
Time to call someone.
He climbed back into bed, jumping at the sound of lightning and scrolled through his phone's contacts. He thought about calling Ned or MJ, but their power was probably out to. There was no reason to call May, and Peter was running out of options.
But then his eyes fell on Tony Stark's contact.
His thumb hovered over it and he was so caught up in contemplating calling him that he practically screamed when the loudest strike of lightning he ever heard in his life filled his ears, and the sensory overload started to come up and th bright light from the phone burning his eyes, causing them to fill with tears.
He was panicking, and didn't have control over his body when he tapped Tony's number and pressed the phone to his ear.
Peter almost sobbed in relief. "Hey, Mr. Stark."
"What's up?" Tony asked casually.
Peter suddenly felt like the biggest loser in the world. "Um, is it possible for you to maybe come pick me up?"
He was doing a good job of keeping his panic contained, if he did say so himself.
"Why? Are you okay? Is it about the storm?"
Peter scrubbed his eyes. There were tears beginning to build. "Uh, yeah. It's kind of a lot for me to take right now, and I'm kind of scared of lightning? Also there's no water?"
"I can come get you," Tony said and Peter breathed out a sigh of relief. "Give me twenty minutes."
"Thank you, Mr. Stark," Peter breathed and the line went dead. He shut off his phone and scrubbed at his eyes again.
Lightning struck and Peter jumped, the sound hurting his head. He pressed his palms against his ears as tight as possible and squeezed his eyes shut.
Peter didn't know how long he sat there, trying to fight the ongoing panic that didn't go away and only increased each time lighting made his temples pound.
He certainly didn't hear his door open, nor the footsteps of a certain billionaire coming towards him.
So he couldn't help a shriek when he felt hands touching him and his eyes opened, only to focus on the concerned face of one Tony Stark.
Tears of relief immediately filled his eyes. "Hi," he whispered.
"You okay, kid?" Tony asked gently, resting one hand on Peter's arm. "Jesus, you're shaking like a car."
Peter couldn't help but lean into the touch, embarrassment heating up his cheeks. "It's a sensory overload panic attack thing," Peter said quietly.
Tony frowned softly. "Oh."
Right then, lightning struck and Peter jumped and covered his ears, ripping himself away from the hand on his arm even though he needed the comfort.
"Hey, hey," Tony said softly and suddenly Peter's face was pressed against a shoulder and he couldn't help but sob as Tony's arms wrapped around his body, holding him tight. "You're okay, kiddo."
"It hurts," Peter whimpered.
"I know it does," Tony whispered, moving his hand up to run it through Peter's hair comfortingly.
Peter tightened his hold on Tony's shirt and tried to pull himself closer, Tony seemingly understanding and hugged Peter tighter.
A wet laugh left Peter's mouth. "I- I'm sorry, I don't know why I'm crying-"
"It's okay," Tony interrupted. "It's just me here. You can cry all you want."
Peter nodded and closed his eyes, relaxing in the hug and letting himself bask in the comfort and letting tears slide down his face slowly, unsure if they were from the pain, relief, or fear. Probably relief.
After about a minute, Tony said, "You ready to go now?"
"Sure," Peter said, pulling away.
Tony regarded the tears on his face and slipped his sleeve over his hand and raised it up to wipe Peter's cheeks dry with a paternal sensation that made Peter's heart warm. He found himself leaning into the touch again.
After a few seconds, Tony dropped his hands, Peter instantly missing the comfort.
Tony seemed to pick up on that right away. He wrapped one arm around Peter's shoulders and lead him down to the car.
Peter stopped walking right before they were about to go outside, watching the sky, waiting for lightning to come and scare the shit out of him again.
Tony looked down at him with a gentle smile. "It's okay, kid."
They made it to the car smoothly, and the ride to the compound was quick and easy. Tony muted what was going on outside so Peter didn't have to worry about the sensory overload resurfacing.
At the compound, they settled down on the couch to watch a movie.
Peter's eyes flicked to his mentor and he suddenly had a weird urge to want to cuddle. They had just shared their first hug, and Peter was wondering if maybe cuddling was going a little bit too quick.
Needless to say, he shuffled an inch closer every few seconds. His eyes flicked up to Tony again, and his breath caught in his throat when he realized Tony was watching him with an extremely amused expression.
"Hi," Peter squeaked.
Tony snorted. "Hi. What are you up to?"
"I uh . . . I was just . . . I was, um . . ."
Tony laughed. "You're hilarious." He lifted his arm, signaling for Peter to come closer. "Come here, kid."
Peter smiled sheepishly and scooted closer and snuggled against Tony's side.
"So you want to be cuddled?"
Peter blushed all the way up to his hairline.
Tony laughed again. "It's alright, kid. I don't mind."
Peter hesitantly snuggled closer, and Tony reciprocated. Tony gave good cuddles, and Peter started to wonder if Pepper bullied him into doing it right.
The joke slipped out before Peter could gain self control. "It's not a hug, I'm just grabbing the remote."
Tony barked a laugh and then sobered up. "We're there, Pete."
"What a relief. I like your hugs."
"Yeah?" Tony looked down at him with a smile.
Peter smiled back. "Yeah."