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An Inevitability

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The suit is incredibly intuitive.

It’s one of the first things Peter noticed about it. It almost knows his next move before he does. He’d even told Mr. Stark five years ago   earlier. So maybe he can’t be entirely blamed for the way he climbs back away from Captain Marvel on thin, metal legs. The suit carries him back and lifts him up high enough to take in the chaos around him. Marvel furrows her brows and takes a quick look around.

“You got something for me, kid?” She asks. Peter blinks wide eyes at her and takes a second to just breathe .

“I, um...” he glances down at the gauntlet in his hands. It’s huge. Peter could probably fit his whole head in there if he wanted. “Maybe?”

“You’re not sure?” She wonders, incredulous. Before he can answer, he eyes widen, and he’s being thrown up into the air with the gauntlet still in in his gasp. He’s grabbed at and pulled away and he just wants to sleep . He feels exhaustion deep in his bones, and he don’t know why, because wasn’t he supposed to be dead? He closes his eyes, only for a moment, and suddenly he’s being thrown hard against the ground. It hard him, and the impact hurts .

He opens his eyes in time to see Tony and Thanos grappling with the gauntlet. He sees it fall only a foot away from his outstretched hand.

Peter reaches out.

He thinks about a lot of things, in that moment. Aunt May, who he doesn’t know if she was dusted, or if she had to spend five years alone. Who he doesn’t know if she’s even still alive. He thinks about the people who have fallen already, and won’t get up again no matter the outcome of this fight. And the thinks about Tony. Tony, who looked at him like he was the sun when they hugged, in awe and wonder. Who hugged him so hard when they saw each other. Who deserves a happy ending, for once. Peter doesn’t know if he got one, these last few years. He couldn’t tell, too caught up in how much older Tony looked, all the grey in his once rich dark hair.

The suit is so intuitive.

He only means to grab it. But his shaky hand rests against the rim of the glove, and all he can think is that he wants this to end.

He wants his family safe.

Something in his armor shifts.

Thanos doesn’t notice the the boy next to the gauntlet, and he doesn’t care - he has it now. He slips the glove on and takes a breath in anticipation, all of which goes unnoticed by Peter. He flips his hand, watching the stones shine and shift from his palm around his wrist, creeping toward his knuckles.

“I am inevitable .” Thanos booms.

He snaps.

And Peter feels it .

He vaguely remembers the pain of being dusted. He remembers watching the others fade away, limbs tingling just enough to be painful, nausea and unease rolling in his stomach. He remembers the way he started to coke undone, and the look in Tony’s eyes when he collapsed, joins wobbly and weak. He remembers saying something - an apology? A plea? That seems accurate. This...this is a thousand times worse than that feeling. He chokes on a scream, knees digging into the rocky ground. He stares at his arm in disbelief, watching colourful cracks open across his arm like veins, breaking the suit and crawling up and in, towards his neck and over his chest. He feels lightening in his veins, a galaxy expanding and erupting in his chest, so much power coursing through him he doesn’t know how to handle it. His hand shakes, his whole body along with it. He feels Tony eye’s on him, but he can’t look at him.

“H-hey, Inevitable.” Peter gasps. He can’t breathe. He’s going to explode . “M’Spider-Man.”

And he brings trembling fingers together and snaps.

 

 


 

 

 

Tony wishes it had been like the movies.

That he’d been thrown back with the force of a powerful explosion, blinded by bright light. That he was laying on the ground right now, too disoriented to process anything. But it doesn’t happen like that.

It’s calm and quiet, for the first time since this whole thing started, when Peter snaps his fingers. There is some bright light - his arm glows, and he screams, and there’s a ripple of soft light and wind that spreads over the field and beyond. But it’s not enough to knock him back. It’s not enough to turn him away. The truth is, Tony has a perfect view of the way Peter’s agonized screams cut off with a wet choke, and he drops to the ground like a puppet with cut strings, still and small in the rubble. The dust of their enemies swirls around them, and Thanos crumbles along with them, but Tony couldn’t give a single fuck.

He did it all for Peter. His kid.

And he’s dying .

Peter !” Tony screams, dropping down to his knees beside him.

The kid groans weakly, chest stuttering as he takes uneven breaths. Tony gently turns him over and props him up against the ruins, taking in the shared black of right side, the cracks in his cheek and armor. Peter looks deathly pale under the dirt and grime and burnt black, bruises under his eyes and hair plastered to his forehead with sweat. His eye lids droop, gaze distant.

“Kid. Hey, hey, you...you did it.” Tony croaks. His eyes sting.

“M’s’r stark?” Peter mumbles. He coughs, and blood dribbles down his chin. Tony sobs.

“Yeah, kiddo. It’s me. You did so good.” He gets out.

Faintly, he registers pepper and Rhodey touch down behind him. Out of the corner of his eyes, he sees Cap, frozen. Everyone is watching.

“Petey, I’m so sorry. It wasn’t supposed to be you. But you - you saved everyone, kid. I’m so, so proud of you.” He sucks in a shaky breath. “Fri, is Karen online?”

“I can’t reach her, Boss.”

“Okay, scan vitals. What’s the damage?” He pats Peter’s good cheek gently, trying to get his attention, keep him alert. It’s not really working.

 

“Multiple organ failure, Boss. He has several cracked ribs, a collapsed lung, and hemorrhaging in multiple places. Bp 60/40 and dropping. His healing factor doesn’t seem to be kicking in...I’m sorry.” Friday sounds as apologetic as an AI can while she says it. Tony shakes his head.

“No, no, he can’t - ETA on med-evac?”

“20 minutes out.” It’s pepper than responds this time. She leans over his shoulder, eyes shining and tears dripping down her cheeks. “Peter, honey? Can you hear me?” She asks.

Peter stares at them both, mouth working and nothing but choked whines and breathy exhales making their way past his lips.

“I love you, Pete.” Tony croaks. He lets out a breath that’s too close to a sob. “I love you so much. You’re - god, you’re the reason I wanted kids. You’re like a son to me, kiddo. You are  my son, and you’re so good. You’re amazing.” Peter looks at him, out of it and fading fast. He opens his mouth and horrible gasping noises come out.

“D...” he barely picks it up, but it’s undeniably Peter. “D-d...”

“You’re going to be okay.” Tony whispers. “You have to be.”

“D-dad...” Peter breathes. Tony freezes. “I...I...” He tries to get something out, but he can’t. His good hand trembles in Tony’s grip

“I got you, Pete.”

“You can rest now, sweetie.” Pepper says softly. She runs a metal hands through his sweaty curls. “It’s over. It’s okay.”

“God.” Tony chokes. He can’t breathe. This can’t be happening .

Peter gazes at him, brows furrowed and looking so, so young. And he breathes. His eyes close

He goes limp.

“Peter?” Tony breathes. He shakes the kid’s shoulder and doesn’t get a response. “Pete...fuck!” He shouts.

“Tony.” Pepper presses close.

“It was supposed to be me.” He whispers.

He pulls Peter closer and the kid’s body falls into him like a limo rag doll, and he cries . He doesn’t care who sees or hears. He doesn’t care that his careful calm  front is broken. His son is dead. His son is dead .

“I’m still detecting a heartbeat, Boss.” FRIDAY says suddenly. “Peter is still alive.”

“What?” Tony blinks rapidly, clearing the tears away. “What’s the ETA on the med-evac again?”

“Currently 17 minutes out. He won’t make it if you wait for them.” She pauses. “Dr. Steven Strange is qualified to preform any surgery required to save his life. I recommend carrying him to the safe house, Boss. It was left undamaged by Thanos, and contains a fully equipped operating room and medical suite.”

He springs into action.

“Tony?” Rhodey calls, voice wrecked.

“Strange!” Tony calls out. The wizard in question takes one look at him and nods, like he knows everything Tony wants to say. A sparking ring of orange opens in front of him, and his tips his head toward it.

“We’re going to save him.” Tony says firmly. The others watch, unsure. Pepper nods at him.

Peter Parker is not dying today.

 

Tony’s going to make sure of it.