Peter sighed heavily, blinking blearily into the darkness of his room. He was so tired that his bones were literally begging him to give rest but sleep was being stubborn to him. He tossed and turned, even recited his physics formulas but his eyeslids stayed wide open, refusing to let him surrender and call it a night. The clock beside his bed glowed an eerie shade of green, displaying the time rather coldly 3.47 AM
Suddenly the door opened and Peter was startled by the sound, revealing his mentor's titled head "Hey kid"
"Mr Stark? What are you doing up at this hour?" Peter asked getting up, covers sliding down his waist. He wasn't actually surprised to see the man awake because he knew Tony Stark barely slept at nights
Tony walked in pushing the door close behind "I should be asking you this question. Why aren't you sleeping?"
Peter pressed his lips and sighed "I want to sleep but can't"
"Why not?" Tony's eyes held concern and face scrunched in worry "Nightmare?"
A scoff escaped from Peter's mouth as he folded his arms and leaned back "For that I need to sleep"
"Wait. How did you know I was awake" Peter asked, tired eyes shinning with curiosity and Tony grinned "I've my ways"
"FRIDAY" Peter said and giggled on his success at wiping off the grin on Tony's face "Are you spying on me?"
"Let's rephrase it as 'looking out for you'
Peter yawned which Tony took his cue to take matters in his hand "Alright now. Move over kid"
Tony ushered the boy in the middle of the bed and pushed the covers so he could slid underneath them. Peter's face flushed pink because Tony had never before gotten into his bed "Mr Stark what are you doing?"
"Lay down c'mon"
Peter stared at Tony
"I'll tell you a bedtime story which will put you to sleep" Tony pushed the boy down by his shoulders and adjusted the covers around him
Peter blushed again but still laid down "Mr Stark... you don't need to.."
"Sshh...no talking" Tony hushed softly and smiled "It's a nice story. My mother always use to say it before bedtime. Close your eyes"
Peter pulled the cover up to his chin trying to hide the blush that kept getting darker "You know I'm not five anymore right"
"Who says only five year old are allowed to hear bedtime stories" Tony pointed out and began "So there was a prince who.."
"You forgot to begin with 'Once upon a time' " Peter spoke up, his eyes looking like upturned crescent moon, laughing lightly, as if was actually five year old. The teen didn't know why but it felt nice. Tony's presence reminded him of Ben who use to tell him bedtime stories every night. Right now he felt safe and secured. The boy then proceeded to snuggle further into his covers. He felt a warm hand running on his hair and blinked lazily
"Close your eyes kiddo" Tony gave a small tender smile and began "Once upon a time there was a prince. He was tall and handsome with spikey hair and fair skin to compliment his beauty. One day when the prince was strolling through the forest, he heard a voice. There was someone singing near the river. The voice belonged to a beautiful princess. The prince decided to follow the voice and...
Peter's eyes began to droop close, head slightly lolling to his side, mind drifting to the forest where the prince was going to meet the princess. As each limb bacame heavy and heart slowed down to more peaceful beats, Peter managed to mumble out "Thank you Mr Star..."
Tony smiled at the now sleeping boy and continued with his story, wanting to comfort the child even in his sleep. His hand was still on Peter's hair as he leaned back and closed his eyes. Not few minutes later, he heard the door creaked open and quickly hushed the newcomer "Ssshhh"
Pepper looked confusingly at Tony and whispered "What are you doin..?"
Tony placed a finger on his lip "Don't talk. The baby will wake up"
Pepper's eyes widened a little. A baby? She would have surely known if there was a baby in her house "What baby? Where's the baby?" she neared the bed and that's when Tony lifted the covers enough to reveal Peter's sleeping face "This baby"
Pepper shook her head fondly, smiling as she exited the room "Take good care of the baby"
Tony glanced down at Peter, placing a protective hand over his head "Always"
THE END :-)))