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You gotta work for it

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"Petey, wake up, it's time for breakfast!" Morgan yelled as she jumped on Peter's bed.

"Five more minutes, Mo," Peter groaned as he pulled the duvet over his head and tried to fall asleep once again.

"FRIDAY, activate 'Spider-baby's alarm clock protocol," a voice from the hall said and Peter heard FRIDAY hum mischievously.

"FRIDAY, don't you dare," the boy muttered, slowly untangling himself from his bed and sitting up.

Peter was met with the face of a very impatient Morgan Stark sitting at the foot of his bed. He pulled the little girl onto his lap and gave her a hug. Then, still holding her, he stood up and went downstairs.

"What's the time, Tony?" the teen asked, rubbing his eyes with his free hand.

"It's eleven already, you sleepyhead." Tony turned around and threw Peter an amused glance, "Ah, so that's where the shirt went."

Peter looked at his chest and realized he was wearing Tony's old MIT shirt. He placed Morgan down onto her chair and toyed with the hem of the shirt.

"I can give it back."

"No, keep it," Tony said with a playful tone, "You can give it back when you get your own in a few years time."

"How can you be so sure?"

"Come on, kid. Don't put yourself down. You're smart and you know it."

Peter shrugged and sat down. He watched Tony turn off the stove and put the eggs and toast on three plates.

"Where's Pepper?" asked Peter.

"She left for a meeting an hour ago. She should be back by three," Tony replied as he sat down.


"So what do you kiddies want to do today?" Tony asked from behind the wheel.

"Let's go to the park near Peter's home!" Morgan replied from the backseat.

"Okay, monkey."

Normally, Happy would've been the one to drive, but he and May were on a two-week vacation to Paris. That left Peter home alone, so he was staying with the Starks for the time being. The fact that Happy and May were an item still sat weird with Peter, but he was trying to get used to it. The spiderling was thankful that he had yet to see any grossly intimate moments between the couple. But he suspected it wouldn't stay like that for too long, if he took account of his 'Parker luck'.

The drive from the Starks' new house to New York was forty minutes long. Their original cabin had been located over three hours away, but after Tony realized that it would be very inconvenient for Peter when he came to visit on the weekends, the family decided to move closer to New York.

The Starks' new home was a cozy, two-story wooden house with four bedrooms: a guest room, Pepper and Tony's room, Morgan's room and Peter's. He had been reluctant to own a room in the beginning, but after the first few weeks, he gave up and put Star Wars posters on the walls and started leaving some clothes in the closet instead of bringing them with him every time he travelled between his two homes.

The house also had a basement which housed Tony's lab. It wasn't even half as advanced as the one in the Avengers Tower, but it was sufficient for small projects and repairing either Peter or Tony's suit. Two months after the move, the bots had been transported to the lab, and after that, it really started to feel like home.

After defeating Thanos, Tony had decided to retire from being Iron Man and promised Pepper that he would only put on the suit when his family or friends were in danger.

Steve had moved to Wakanda with Bucky, where they couldn't wait to finally get some peace and quiet for themselves. Before the couple left, Steve had given his shield to Sam, which marked the start of his retirement. Even Bucky, widely known for not showing his emotions, had shed a few tears and gave Steve a passionate kiss. Both men hugged Sam before stepping on the plane where Shuri was waiting for them. Thus, the mantle of Captain America had been officially given to Sam Wilson.

Natasha and Wanda had taken off to Europe to get the vacation they so desperately needed, Clint and Scott went back to their families, and Bruce joined Bucky and Steve in Wakanda, where he worked with the Wakandian scientists.

At the start, Peter couldn’t believe how lucky they had been. They hadn’t lost a single member of their weird, huge family. As the months passed, he gradually stopped thinking about it and tried to get used to everything again.

Peter was pulled out of his thoughts when the car stopped.

“We’re here, Pete,” Tony said gently, as he shook the teenager from his thoughts, “You okay?”


“Quit stalling, we gotta go!” Morgan said from the backseat, tugging Peter’s sleeve impatiently.

“Yes, Morgan, just a moment,” Tony sighed fondly as he opened the door and helped the little girl out of the car.

Peter fell into step with Tony and watched how Morgan ran ahead to get to the swings.

“Be careful, peanut,” her father yelled after her, “I swear, it was like yesterday when she was a tiny baby in Pepper’s hands and I first saw her. Look at her now, she’s an endless ball of energy.”

The duo watched as Morgan walked up to a girl who was also swinging and started talking to her animatedly. Peter couldn’t catch their whole conversation, only some words and occasional phrases. But when the words ‘my big brother Peter’ came out of Morgan’s mouth, he froze.

“What’s wrong, underoos?” Tony gave the teen a worried glance.

“Morgan just told the girl I’m her brother,” Peter whispered and sat down on the bench, stunned.

“Pete, for someone so smart, you can be incredibly dense,” the engineer chuckled, putting his hand on the back of the bench as he sat down, “Morgan grew up with stories of your adventures. She always wanted to know more about you, both as Spider-Man and Peter. Hell, I could say for sure that you’re her favourite superhero, which I am very wounded about.

“We also have a lot of pictures of you in the house, even when we were living at the old house and that grape was still alive. When we managed to get you and the others back, Morgan was overjoyed that she’d finally get to see her big brother. To be completely honest, I’m surprised she hasn’t called you her big brother in your presence yet.”

When Tony finished, he couldn’t help but notice that Peter had tears in his eyes. He patted the kid’s shoulder and extended his arms, inviting him in for a hug. As Peter hid his teary face in his mentor’s sweater, Tony couldn’t help but think of how lucky he was to have acquired a family like this.


After Tony and his kids had finished at the park, they drove to Manhattan to pick up Pepper from the tower. Peter had moved to the backseat and was excitedly talking to Morgan about LEGOs. When Pepper entered the car and exchanged a brief kiss with Tony, both children made a disgusted face.

“Oh stop it, you two,” Pepper exclaimed and buckled in her seatbelt.

Morgan, who had quickly forgotten about the encounter, asked if they could go to the store to get her some juice pops because they had run out. Tony, being the perfect father he is, of course agreed.


“I’m going to go upstairs and put Morgan to bed,” Pepper announced quietly. She picked up the sleeping girl and carried her up the stairs.

“Hey, kiddo, are you conscious?” Tony poked Peter’s cheek, “Or do I have to carry you to bed like Pep did with Mo?”

“Stop it, dad,” mumbled Peter, burying his face in Tony’s shoulder.

Peter, upon realizing what he had just said, froze like a deer in headlights. He quickly extracted himself from the blankets and was ready to go hide in his bedroom until the end of the century, when Tony grabbed his wrist, successfully pulling him back on the couch.

“I’m so sorry-” Tony put his finger on Peter’s mouth and shook his head, smiling.

You don’t have to apologise.” He carefully added, “Did you really mean what you said?”

Peter stared at Tony, his huge brown eyes boring into Tony’s, and nodded hesitantly. Tony beamed at him and pulled the confused teen into a firm embrace.

“Do you know what motivated me to invent the machinery to reverse time?” asked Tony.


Tony stood up, motioning Pete to stay put, and went to the kitchen. He grabbed the picture of himself and Peter, of the day the kid’s internship was made official. The engineer made his way back to the living room and sat down again.

“I was washing up after dinner when suddenly I saw this picture. I remember thinking to myself: ‘I have Morgan and Pepper, but my family is incomplete.’ Believe me, I thought about it for a few hours, considering the pros and cons of accepting Steve’s offer. But in the end, the deciding factor was you. I wanted to hug you again. And I’m so glad I made this decision.”

Peter sniffled quietly and gripped Tony tighter.

“One last question,” Tony whispered, “Do you really think of me as your dad?”

“Yeah, I do,” Peter replied, nuzzling further into Tony’s chest.

“Love you, Pete.”

“Love you 2000, dad.”

“Wait, only two thousand?” Tony asked, affronted, and Peter gave a wet laugh.

“You gotta work for it, dad.”

“You little shit,” Tony grinned and kissed his son’s head.