“Dad?” Peter walked into his dad’s home office long after he should be in bed.
Tony glanced up from a pile of paperwork in front of him, “11pm is a bit late to still be awake on a school night. Isn’t it?”
“I know. It is. I just don’t feel good. Can you get me some of my super strength Tylenol?” Peter sat down on the chair in front of him.
Tony frowned coming around the desk, “Fri? Fever?”
“I do not detect a fever, boss.” Friday reassured.
“It’s just some sinus pressure. My allergies.” Peter sighed.
“Alright, Bubba. Let’s go take a trip to the MedBay to get something for it.” Tony put an arm around his son when he stood up, “How long has the headache been there?”
“Since this morning. I thought it would get better on it’s own.” Peter leaned into his dad’s support. He was exhausted but couldn’t sleep. He should have asked for help a lot sooner.
Tony went searching for the medication he was looking for. He pulled out what he needed and passed two pills to Peter with a bottle of water, “This morning is a long time to wait for a headache to go away.”
“You were busy and Papa wasn’t home.” Peter mumbled after he swallowed the medication.
“House rules—Right now.” Tony raised a brow.
“With a headache?” Peter groaned.
“Fine. Just house rules number three and four.” Tony relented.
“Rule three is take care of basic needs and if you can’t ask for help. Family is not a burden to other family. Four is don’t play hero.” Peter leaned his head against his dad’s chest where they stood, “Can we go call Papa?”
“Of course, but what can he do that I can’t?” Tony teased.
“I just want him to come home.” Peter didn’t move from where he was resting against his dad who now had his arms around him in a hug.
“Friday. Call Steve.” Tony told the AI.
“Tony? What’s wrong? It’s late.” Steve said quietly. Tony knew he was with the team somewhere on a mission so he was probably trying to be respectful of the little bit of sleep people got on a mission.
“Papa? Come home. Dad knows I have a headache and is making me repeat house rules.” Peter mumbled against Tony’s chest.
“Tony, give the kid a break.” Steve teased gently knowing he was missing part of the story.
“Tattle tale.” Tony ruffed Peter’s hair.
“Papa. Can you come home?” Peter asked.
Tony heard the silence on the other end. He knew Steve was at war with himself. He didn’t want to abandon his teammates but he also didn’t want to deny his son this request either.
“You know I’m on a mission, Pete. I can come home. You know I’ll figure it out if you really need me. The team really needs me too though so if you and dad have it under control there then do you think I can promise to be home in a couple of days?” Steve asked.
“We’re okay, right Bubba?” Tony encouraged knowing Steve was in a tough spot.
“Yeah.” Peter finally responded.
Peter was allowed to stay home from school the next day because he had been up so late and his headache was still giving him trouble. He was laying on the couch half watching a movie, and half waiting for his Papa to text him back.
Peter, “I’m still not feeling the best. Dad doesn’t make tea like you do. :(“
“Peter, staring at your phone won’t make Papa text you back quicker.” Tony reminded, “How about some lunch?”
“I’m not hungry.” Peter laid down against the pillow, “I think I’ll take a nap.”
Tony frowned. He was going to have to use rule #1. He had never asked Steve to abandon the team for their family. Tony sent a text, “Come home ASAP. Pete needs you. Rule #1”
Steve walked into the tower at 3am. It had taken some time for him to be able to, “Drop Everything” like Tony had requested based on rule #1. He went to his and Tony’s room and showered. He wasn’t surprised Tony was awake somewhere—Probably the lab. He put on sweat pants before heading down there. He was surprised to find Peter still awake even though he looked like a zombie with his head on the table and a blanket wrapped around his shoulders.
“Peter. I’m sorry that Papa isn’t home yet, but you need to go back to bed. He’ll come see you in the morning. I promise—“ Tony was saying.
Steve cleared his throat, “I got here as quick as I could.”
“PAPA!” Peter lifted his head, “Please help! My head is all stuffed up from my sinuses and dad keeps giving me Tylenol but it isn’t working.”
“Did you take your allergy medication?” Steve wrapped Peter in a one arm hug and kissed the spot just above his ear.
“No. Dad didn’t offer that.”
“He has allergy medication?” Tony raised a brow, “Since when?”
“Since he started getting sinus headaches.” Steve reminded.
“Was I home for this development?”
“I told you a couple of weeks ago after you got back from that mission with Nat when you were half asleep…” Steve tried to jog his memory.
“ATTENTION PARENTS—DYING SUPER CHILD HERE.” Peter groaned.
“Medbay we go!” Steve told Peter.
Tony heard the two talk as they walked away.
“Don’t be too hard on Dad. He did good. He just doesn’t make tea as good as you and he forgot to ask me how much water I drank today.” Peter was telling Steve.
“So did you get any fluids today?” Steve asked.
“I drank some coffee this morning. I could hardly keep my eyes open.”
Tony tried not to laugh. Steve would be giving him a lecture and it wouldn’t be funny later. People didn’t understand how much work parenting was. They had adopted Peter a few months ago and Tony was learning daily what he needed.
Steve had taken to being a parent a lot better than he had and quicker but Tony felt like he was holding his own. There wasn’t a manual for how to keep a teenager alive yet. Tony decided he might need to write that. He’d make billions.
“Tony!” Steve yelled, “YOU CANNOT LET A SICK CHILD HAVE FRIENDS OVER!”
“BUT HE ASKED REALLY NICELY IF NED COULD COME OVER TOMORROW.” Tony yelled back walking up the stairs to find them in the living room now cuddling on the couch.
“Ned could get sick if this isn’t allergies.” Steve explained.
“Oh. I mean wouldn’t Ned go into this knowing that?” Tony shrugged.
“Kids don’t think like that.”
“I thought it was a good idea.” Peter said from where he laid against Steve’s chest.
“The answer is no.” Steve shook his head.
“Isn’t it a certain Spider’s bedtime?” Tony asked sitting down on Steve’s other side.
“Past. I have no idea who let him stay up this late to begin with.” Steve teased before getting serious, “Besides, what’s a few more minutes when it’s past 3am and I haven’t seen my favorite guys in days?”
“We did miss you. Peter doesn’t even start the coffee in the morning.” Tony teased.
“Dad doesn’t make pancakes like you do.” Peter teased right back.
“Peter doesn’t give the best hugs.” Tony teased.
Peter sat up, “You take that back. We all know I give the best hugs in the whole world.”
“Prove it.” Tony raised a brow and opened his arms and the teenager was more than willing to prove his hugging skills.
“Hmm. I suppose I stand corrected.” Tony smiled at his kid. Maybe he didn’t know everything about parenting. He had a lot to learn but one thing no one had to teach him was how to love this teenager in his arms. He had that 100% covered.