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Adoption

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Tony couldn't stop pacing, desperate for Steve to return home so he could open this stupid letter that held the answer to their future. They had returned from their honeymoon having already put in an application to one of the adoption agencies they found online, they had responded eagerly and by the second week of being at home they had their preliminary interview where they had their fingerprints taken so they could run background checks on them both and they were asked a lot of questions and where they also had a chance to ask a lot of questions for the ones they couldn't find the answers to online and now, four months later the letter with the agencies response. Only, he couldn't answer it without Steve present and it was driving him mad.
He was still pacing hour later, letter clenched tightly in his hands, he was getting close to calling Steve and creating a false emergency to get him home when his husband barged through the front door, stopping in the living room; eyes wide and hands shaking slightly.
"Have you..." Steve paused, sounding uneasy.
"Opened it?" Tony asked, turning to face him, letter in hand.
"Yeah..."
"No, I've been waiting for you," Tony said, "Didn't want to do this alone." Steve stepped a little closer, dropping his coat and bag onto the floor.
"Are you going to open it?" Tony glanced at the envelope, nodding his head as he brought his shaking fingers to the seal and tore it open. He pulled the letter out and let the envelope fall to the floor, he looked up at Steve and took a deep breath before unfolding the letter, "What... what does it say, babe?"
"Dear Mr and Mr Stark-Rogers..." Tony began reading it out loud, eyes quickly skimming the words on the paper, "I am writing on behalf of... We are... We are..."
"Tones?" Steve walked closer as Tony's eyes filled with tears, "What is it?"
"We are delighted to inform you that your application was successful, we'll be in touch within two weeks with further details..." Tony couldn't stop smiling, the tears spilling over, "Steve... We're going to be dads..."
"What?" Tony handed him the letter, letting his husband read it for himself, "Oh shit... we're actually going to be parents."
"We're starting a family, Steve, we're having a child." Tony didn't know whether to laugh or cry when Steve picked him up and spun him around.
"I can't believe it," Steve said as Tony wrapped his legs around his waist, "I've been so nervous."
"Me too, I was so scared something would go against us with the whole gay thing and celebrity status," Tony said, "But in two weeks we are going to be another step further into the rest of our lives."
"When should we start telling everyone?"
"I don't know, I'm scared that if we tell them now then everything will fall through," Tony worried his bottom lip between his teeth, "But then, say everything does fall through then we're going to need the support because I don't know about you but it'd break my heart."
"It would break mine too... I think we should start telling people, I think we're pretty safe now and if not, then it's like you said, we'd have all their support."
"It won't fall through... right?"
"I don't see why it would at all, I know we still have a long way to go," Steve kissed Tony, "But we've made it this far already."
"You're right, I can't afford to think like that... I think I'm just scared," Tony confessed, "I'm terrified that they'll find something that deems us unfit or think because I go on a lot of business trips that it means I won't be home enough to care for them or... or..."
"Baby, shh..." Steve started rocking gently and Tony loosened the grip he didn't even realise he had on Steve's shoulders, "I know you're scared, I am too and that's okay, but we can't afford to think this way because we don't know when they'll introduce us to a child, it's going to be an even longer process than we thought but we will be parents by the end of it and any child that we have will be lucky to have you as a father."
"You're right, we have to think positively," Tony smiled and kissed Steve, "I love you."
"I love you too, now come on, we have to make a call," Steve said, "How are we going to do this?" Tony smirked.
"Who can say no to a party?"

-

Tony couldn't stop smiling as he lowered the music and stood on the platform where the live musicians would be if he hired some, "Can I please have everyone's attention?" he rose his voice to be heard over the chatter and laughter of his friends and family, "Everyone, shut up," he shouted again, laughing when everyone turned to face him and the room fell silent, his eyes focused in on his husband, "Thank you, okay, Steve can you join me up here please?" Steve pushed his way through the crowd and pulled himself upon the stage.
"We doing it now?" He asked, smiling widely.
"Well, I'm not stood up here shouting at our family for the good of my health."
"What's going on?" Bucky shouted, "Getting us all to be quiet only to talk amongst yourselves, what's all that about?" Tony laughed again, taking Steve's hand in his as they turned to face the crowd that had gathered around them.
"Okay, so, this is a party with a purpose," Tony said, "Steve brought something up to my attention before we got married and before we returned from our honeymoon we started putting this next plan into action and... well," Tony looked up at Steve, "We've just been given some incredible news."
"We put in an application for adoption and we got a letter back saying we had been successful," Steve let go of Tony's hand to wrap his arm around his waist, "We're going to have a kid, we're going to be dads." the silence only stretched on for a few seconds as their family started to get over the shock.
"Wait... seriously?" Sarah asked, pushing her way to the very front of the crowd, "You're serious?"
"Yeah mom, we're serious." Steve said.
"Making you a grandma," Tony said, looking down at his mother-in-law, watching the way her face lit up at the word, "And where's Jarvis? Jarvis and Anna? The other soon-to-be grandparents?" Tony asked, looking around the crowd of their friends before landing on the shocked face of his caretaker.
"Grandparents? But..."
"Stop right there," Tony said, cutting off Jarvis before he could continue, "You have been more a father to me than my real dad, it's only right you and Anna get to wear the titles also." Tony didn't get to hear his response before he was being pulled into the crowd below him, a high-pitched scream escaping him at Steve lost his grip and Tony fell into the arms of Clint, "Jesus christ guys!"
"We're so happy for you," Clint said, "Making me an uncle, I can't believe it."
"Hey, you won't be the only one," Bucky said, "I'll just be the better one."
"Not a chance Barnes, not when compared to Uncle Sam," Sam said, crossing his arms and smiling smugly, "I'll be the fun uncle."
"Shut up guys, I'll be the better uncle..." Tony slowly managed to back away from his friends as they began to fight over uncle status, Natasha hugging him quickly and saying how happy she was for them before trying to grab her boyfriend before he started a fistfight over it.
Tony could stop smiling for the rest of the night, not even after all his friends and family had started going home; the boys finally being overruled by Rhodey who declared he was to be the coolest uncle and his second in demand depends on his mood of the day, Pepper cried before introducing them both to her new boyfriend, Happy Hogan, who was nearly as excited for them as Peps was. Sarah and Jarvis stayed the longest, both of them telling Steve and Tony how proud Maria and Joseph would be of them if they were still here today. Both Steve and Tony had cried like babies at that point.
"I feel good having told them." Steve said, climbing into bed next to Tony.
"Me too, it's nice to be able to share out excitement with them," Tony said, snuggling as close to Steve as he physically could, "Everyone seemed so happy tonight, even though I thought we'd lose a few of our friends in a fight to the death over the uncle ranks."
"Rhodey seemed to take good control over that."
"He's a military man, guess you gotta learn how to keep people in line."
"True," Steve kissed his forehead, "That Happy seemed nice."
"Yeah, Peps seems really, for a lack of a better word, happy with him," Tony smiled even wider despite the exhaustion slowly pulling at him, "Still have to get to know him more, just to double check he's okay for her."
"Do you think Pepper would really let a man mistreat her? She's a strong woman."
"Oh trust me, I know, I've been at the end of her wrath way too many times... her and Nat are unstoppable, but still... I love her."'
"I know... mom was really emotional."
"She just found out her only son is having a kid, of course she would be," Tony said, "I'd be surprised if anyone ever expected us to have kid."
"Really?"
"Yeah, I mean, with both our businesses thriving we've been pretty busy, then the fact we're gay and my major daddy issues and all that, I just think people weren't expecting it," Tony laughed, "The media will have a field day over this."
"We'll come to that when we bother to make it public, go to sleep and enjoy it while we still can."
"Oh god, I've just given up my already limited sleep schedule... haven't I?"
"Yeah, I think you have," Steve laughed and kissed the top of his head before reaching over to turn off the lamp, "Now sleep, we're going to have a busy time preparing for our little newbie."
"I love you so much."
"I love you too."

Chapter Text

Flicking through another file on his desk, Tony sighed and let his head hit the table in despair. He loved his job and taking over the company had been one of the best opportunities he had been given, it was the only good thing to ever come from his father, but although he loved his job on a whole, he mainly loved the part where he got to design, where he got to make things and change the world and make a difference. What he didn't enjoy was desk work, going through agreements and plans that Pepper needed his input on too which is why he's currently on hour six sat behind his desk, surrounded by mountains of paperwork he needs to get through by the end of the day instead of spending it down in his lab or tinkering with sometime in his house. He was bored, he was so bored and all he wanted to do was to go back to his husband who would probably be painting in his studio right now; the evening sun hitting him so that the warm tones would make his hair glow and his eyes sparkle like the sea, there would be paint on his clothes and smudged onto his face, music will be softly playing in the background and maybe Steve would be humming along, a smile on his lips more beautiful than Tony could describe.
Tony sighed, he missed his husband and resented his job for making him be so far away from him. His phone rang on his desk and he reached out blindly to answer it, knocking a couple things onto the floor as he did so. He didn't even bother lifting his head as he put the phone to his ear; "You've reached Tony Stark-Rogers."
"Hello, this is Lily, is this a good time to talk?"
"Sorry, who is this?"
"Lily, from the adoption agency?" Tony's head snapped up so fast he got a little dizzy, "I'm ever so sorry it's been so long since I last called."
"No need to apologise, I'm sorry for not recognising you, it's been a long day at work."
"I can imagine, I hope I'm not being an inconvenience," She said, "I tried to call both your mobile and your husbands, I even tried your landline but nobody was answering, in the end I had to look up the number for Stark Industries and pray you were working." Her laugh was sweet and Tony found himself smiling.
"Not an inconvenience at all, if anything we sound like the inconvenience," Tony said, feeling a little guilty at the trouble he put Lily through, "I turn my phone off to try and get work done and I think my husband will be in his studio, he gets a little lost in there sometimes and won't realise his phone or the landline is ringing."
"Oh it's no problem, I reached you in the end," She said, "I'm just calling in regards of your adoption, we have a Mrs. Parker who we'd like to introduce you to and arrange a meeting with."
"What is this about?"
"She is currently in care of a young child who we think would be a suitable match for your family, due to personal reasons Mrs. Parker is no longer able to care for the her," Tony didn't know what to say, "Mr Stark-Rogers?"
"I... I'm sorry, you've caught me a little off guard."
"I can understand, it must be a lot to take in."
"It's only been six months, I thought it would take much longer."
"Circumstances change and sometimes the process can take a long time and other times it can take a few months, since you chose to go private we are often able to speed up the process," Lily explained, "Would you like to hear more about the child?"
"Please."
"Her name is Penny Parker and she's just turned five, her parents passed when she was four and she's been with her Aunt ever since, due to personal reasons, that Mrs. Parker said she would rather explain to you in person, Mrs. Parker has found herself unable to care for her young niece," Tony's heart was racing, "Penny is a small child, she's only just three foot three but I've already met with her several times and she's so full of life Mr Stark-Rogers, she's a lively young girl who just thrives to learn, I think she'd be very good with you and your husband and if you sound interested would you like to set up a meeting?"
"Honestly, I would love to set one up right here, right now but I think this is something I should talk with my husband about."
"Certainly, take your time to talk things through and give me a call on the number I gave you and you can tell me your answer and we can take the correct course of action dependent upon your answer."
"Thank you so much."
"No problem, I look forward to hearing from you soon, have a good evening Mr Stark-Rogers."
"Please, just call me Tony."
"Okay, in that case, have a good evening Tony."
"You too Lily." Tony hung up and placed his phone back on the charging station. Looking at the work in front of him, he tried to think how he could possibly continue with paperwork when he has a husband at home who is completely clueless about the fact they might possibly have a child? He tapped his fingers on the desk, next to the file he was looking through and he knew he wasn't going to complete it, instead he grabbed as many as he could carry and ran out of his office; he needed to get to Steve.


Opening the door with arms full of paperwork was a task and a half but Tony managed to do it and kick it closed behind him, he ran through different rooms until he realised that Steve must still be in his studio. Tony ran down the hall and pushed open the door that was left ajar causing Steve to jump and turn to face him, hand over his chest, "Tony?" Steve's face was confused, "I thought you were supposed to still be at work?"
"I am." Tony said, dumping his paperwork on a clean surface.
"Then what are you doing home?"
"More pressing matters."
"What's happened?" Steve stood up from his chair and walked over to Tony, taking his hands in his own, "What's wrong?"
"Nothing is wrong, the complete opposite actually," Tony said, "I had a phone call from Lily today."
"As in Lily from the agency?"
"The very same, she told me she thinks she might have found us a suitable child."
"What."
"My words exactly, there's a woman, Mrs. Parker, who has a five year old niece who she can no longer care for, apparently she's lovely and smart and Lily thinks she would be perfect with us," Tony felt the tears in his eyes, saying it outloud really made it feel all the more real, "Mrs. Parker would like to arrange a meeting so we can understand the circumstance and get to know them."
"And what did you say?"
"That I would talk it through with you, this will impact us both and I can't make these sort of decisions by myself." Steve just nodded, he let go of Tony's hand and started pacing.
"So, you get a phone call at work?"
"I did."
"And it was Lily telling you we may possibly have a child?"
"If the meeting goes well."
"A little girl..." Steve whispered, hand running over his face, "Did Lily tell you a name?"
"Penny Parker."
"And she's five?"
"She is."
"How do you feel about this?"
"I'd feel better if you stopped pacing and just faced me," Steve stopped and looked at Tony, "Thank you, I think we should go for it though."
"Me too."
"Really?"
"If we don't we'd spend the rest of our lives wondering 'what if' and I don't want that, I want to meet her." Tony smiled widely and hugged Steve tightly; his husband pressing his lips to the top of his head.
"Let's go call her back and set up this meeting."

 

Chapter Text

Lily was already waiting for them when they arrived at the address she gave them, she was smiling widely and came to greet them as Tony and Steve got out of the car; "Good morning." She said brightly, shaking both of their hands. 

"Morning Lily," Tony said, "How you doing?"

"I'm doing just fine, most importantly, how are you two doing? How we feeling?"

"Nervous," Steve admitted, putting his hand around Tony's waist, "Almost like I can't believe this is happening."

"It's a huge step, but you're ready for this," Lily smiled, "So, I'm going to take you to Mrs Parker's flat but before we meet little Penny she's requested a talk with just to two of you to explain what the situation is, is that okay with you two?"

"Of course."

"Excellent, let's go then." Lily turned around and led them to the apartment block, she pressed the buzzer and requested for Mrs Parker and as they were walking up the stairs it suddenly hit Tony how real this was. He could be meeting his future child right now, if this goes well he will be a dad and he didn't know whether to scream from fear or from excitement but he didn't have time to figure out because they were stopping in front of an apartment and Lily was knocking on the door. A woman around their own age opened the door, her smile was warm but she looked nervous.

"Hello, Mrs Parker," Lily stretched out her hand, "I spoke to you on the phone, my colleague was here the other day?"

"Yes, Henry, he was here, please come in," She opened the door wider and stepped aside to allow them all to walk through, "Sorry for the mess, Pens just loves to play with everything all at once."

"Sounds a lot like me," Tony said, "A million things to do all at once." Mrs Parker laughed at him, Tony felt more at ease.

"Mrs Parker, this is Steve and his husband Tony, we've all agreed to discuss everything before allowing them to meet Penny."

"Please, call me May," She said, shaking Steve and Tony's hands, "It's a pleasure to meet you." 

"It's nice to meet you too." Steve said, May took a step back and ran her fingers through her hair. 

"Oh wow, this is strange, it's not every day you get to say you've had the Stark-Rogers in your home." Her laughter was nervous and her hands were shaking and Tony could sympathise with her, he was terrified and he could only imagine that her fear was ten times worse.

"How about you guys go chat with each other and I can keep Penny entertained? You can come and get me once you've said all that needs to be said and I can come back to talk things through further?" Lily said, her voice was bright and cheery and Tony had to wonder whether she was always like that.

"Yeah, okay, uh... Pens is in their room, you can't miss it... Actually I'll show you," May seemed flustered, "Tony, Steve, um, if you wanna take a seat in the sitting room, I'll come back in, like, five minutes?"

"Of course, take you're time, don't stress, okay?" Steve put a hand on her shoulder and smiled, Tony could almost see some of the tension leave her body; Steve was always good at calming people down. May nodded, her smile small, as she guided Lily out of the room.

Steve and Tony walked over to the couch and sat down, Tony couldn't help but let his eyes look around as they moved from one family photo to another, the little girl was always present and she seemed so bubbly and happy and Tony couldn't be she may be their child. May walked in only a few minutes later and sat in the arm chair besides them, it was quiet for a few moments before she spoke.

"I bet you're wondering why I'm giving Pens up," She said, looking into her lap, "I love her, I do, I really love her."

"From the photos and the way you've spoken about her, we can tell." Tony said, May looked up and smiled but her eyes were full of tears.

"If it was up to me I wouldn't do this, I really wouldn't but she was so young when her parents died and I had help... I had a husband," May wiped her eyes, "He was amazing was Ben, he doted on Pens as if she was our own child but... He was murdered, a year ago."

"I'm so sorry," Steve leant over and rubbed her arm, she held his hand and squeezed it, "I can't begin to imagine how hard that must be."

"It's hard, it's even harder with a child and I can't cope, I want her in my life but I can't be the parent she needs, not right now and I need someone who can be."

"Are you thinking of short term parents and then taking her back because..." Tony was cut off before he could finish talking.

"No, nothing like that, the home she goes to will be the home she stays with... I just want to be Aunt May, she's all I got left but I know if I try and raise her I'm going to screw up, I can't be who she needs me to be."

"I understand, this must have been a difficult choice."

"It was, I've thought about it a lot but I knew I couldn't continue to be who she needs, she needs someone who has time to understand her because I know she's young but she's smart and sure of herself."

"Will you tell us more about her?"

"Of course, she's a bundle off energy and wants to know what everyone is doing, she absorbs knowledge like a sponge," May laughed, squeezing Steve's hand again, "She can light up any room and she's five years old, her birthday is in the summer and she loves being outside, she likes animals and... But, she hates being called Penny."

"What does she prefer?"

"I call her Pens, she keeps mentioning the name... Peter." Tony's eyes widened.

"Oh... Has she spoken about why she likes the name Peter?" He asked.

"She... She doesn't like being a girl, referring to Pens as 'her' is a little weird, I do my best to avoid the things that make her feel more like a girl, they've never outright said they want to be a boy but we've never spoken about it, they've only told me they don't like being a girl in the past six months since my husband died... It's... It's another thing I don't know how to deal with," May said, "I didn't contact the agency wanting to put her up for adoption because of this, Pens is the most important person in my life and if they choose to go down the same route as you Tony then that won't change my opinion on them or my love for them or anything, I just want them to be happy and I can't do that by myself."

"Okay," Tony nodded, "Okay, I understand, it's hard and I understand where you're coming from and I can see how much you love and support them and if we chose to go ahead with this adoption, you'd like it to be open? Right?" May nodded, "Okay."

"Tones?" Tony met Steve's eyes, his smile was nervous but Tony smile widely, "That smile seems promising."

"Do you need time to think?" May asked.

"Do we?" Tony moved closer to Steve, his husband shook his head.

"I think I'd like to meet them, make sure they're okay with us before we decide on anything final but..." Steve shrug, his smile wider and much more sure than before.

"Would you like me to bring Pens in?" May asked, her smile seemed brighter and she seemed happier than when they first started talking.

"Please." Tony said, May nodded and got up and walked out and although Tony felt nervous he was so excited that he was meeting their potential future child.

When Pens bounded down the hall and into the room Tony understood what May meant by the fact they could light up the room. Their smile was bright and they had this excited vibe that made Tony feel excited, there was nothing shy about this first meeting even when Pens got on the sofa and started climbing over Tony and Steve asking so many questions about anything and everything.

Tony realised that Pens must have understood why they were there, they kept asking about their friends and family and what their home looked like. Tony knew that they were making sure that Tony and Steve seemed like good people despite already knowing who they were.

As Tony laid in bed that night he could imagine how their home would feel having a child like Pens running around, but the more he thought the more he realised he didn't want a child like Pens, he wanted them. He wanted to learn everything about them, he wanted to know who they were and who they wanted to be. He wanted to be the dad that his father never was, Tony rolled over to face his sleeping husband, and he wanted all that with Steve.