Titles don't matter
Word count: 8726
Summary: First, Happy was dating some mysterious woman. Then his new nephew turned out to be superhero. And now Tony somehow gained a kid.
Warnings: kidnapping, gunshot wounds, unnamed bad guy's death
A/N: Reposted from AO3, third fic in a series
A big reveal of Spider-Man’s identity and by consequence Happy’s mysterious girlfriend, who was a vigilante’s Aunt, brought a lot of yelling and long conversations in med bay. Said vigilante was a teenager and hid the fact that he fights criminals in his pajamas for more than a year, which made his Aunt mix of angry, guilty and terrified. When the situation calmed down, a couple of days after Peter Parker woke up from the surgery and had a chance to defend his actions, Tony made a proposition to May and Happy. Peter could train in the Tower with the Avengers and also would make a super suit with Tony. A suit that would contain a lot of safety protocols and a way to control young hero’s actions by adults.
That’s how Tony ended up giving a tour of his workshop. He observed the awestruck teenager in front of him. Peter looked around, lips slightly parted and eyes wide open. Tower’s lab was definitely an update from dumpsters and school workshops. It occupied two whole floors, one of them belonged to Tony, one to Bruce. Sleek holotables and expensive materials were enough to make every nerdy teenager’s knees weak. There was still some clutter in the corner, but Tony had cleaned up a bit, to impress Peter more.
“Come on, kid, that’s your workstation.” Tony showed a big, empty oval table, to a lingering in a threshold kid. Peter’s eyes widened even more, something that Tony didn’t think was possible.
“Yeah. And those are Dum-E and U.” Tony didn’t even have to motion at the two robots, as both of them were currently surrounding Peter, trying to get to know the newcomer. Kid petted both of them, laughing and they seemed satisfied. He was seriously endearing. Couple of minutes spent with him and Tony could already tell why he wormed his way to Happy’s heart in no time. He was still shy with Tony and other Avengers, but around May and Happy he acted like a rambling ball of sunshine. He was too polite for his own sake and looking at his school records, Tony could tell, he was brilliant and right now he wanted to test that.
“So, introductions are done, time for fun!” Tony clapped his hands. “You can use everything in here-”
“Oh my god, this is like the best day of my life, Ned, you know, my friend, won’t believe me!”
“-but there are gonna be rules,” Tony continued. Mention of the rules brought all of Peter’s attention to him.
“First of all, FRIDAY won’t let you in the lab without me or Bruce present. You can experiment with whatever you want, but you have to run your ideas by me or Bruce or FRIDAY first. If you set something on fire, Dum-E has a fire extinguisher. Don’t eat or drink anything bots give you, they mix food with motor oil.
“Okay, so for the first project, we’ll do your spider suit together and you will learn along the way what FRIDAY can do, where are the tools and so on.” Tony sat down next to Peter, motioned for holograms to appear. “So, let’s get started.”
Tony never liked having company in the workshop. Other people were loud and nagging him to do stuff like eating or sleeping. But then came Bruce, who was quiet, could keep up with him and stand his moods. And then Peter appeared. The kid that understood arc reactor technology and Bruce’s papers. Even when something posed a problem to him, explaining was a pleasure, not a hindrance. He actually wanted to teach him all that he could and he already made several notes of what to do with the kid after they finished the suit. Peter’s ramblings replaced his workshop playlist and soon Tony knew all about his friends and teachers, his stories from patrols, as well as his favorite dishes and ice cream flavors. So he enjoyed working with Peter. His teammates might have also noticed that.
“Keep this up young spider and you will beat me in sparring,” Natasha praised him after the training. Peter, red faced from exertion, smiled and thanked. Then, he quickly grabbed a bottle that Steve threw at him from behind. He opened it and took a sip.
“Wow, I’m so hungry right now,” he stated.
“We have a lunch in an hour, think you will survive ‘til then?”
“Uhh, I don’t know, who’s cooking?”
“Well, it doesn’t matter, because there’s your favorite pizza waiting for you in the lab.” Another voice butted in. The owner of this voice appeared a moment after. “Spiderling! Come on, we’re burning sunlight!”
“But Mr. Stark, it’s not even noon and we don’t need sunlight in the lab!”
“Yeah, but Happy picks you up at 5, come on, come on, we have a lot to do.”
“Stark, stop making excuses to hog the kid just for yourself,” Natasha joked.
“Yeah, it’s been a month and he spent that mostly with you in the lab,” Bucky backed her up.
“Well, maybe because he knows who is best. Kiddo, who’s your favorite Avenger?” Tony shot them all a smile and clapped Peter on the shoulder.
“Well, I don’t know, but Bruce Banner is pretty cool? You know the most renowned scientist of his generation, his work on gamma rad-“
“You ungrateful child. I build a multimillion dollar super suit with you and that’s how you repay me?” Tony mocked outrage and started dragging Peter out of the gym. “We’re going. But maybe take a shower first.”
“Parker, you’re cheating!” Sam shouted when Peter threw at him another blue shell and won the race.
“I’m not cheating!”
“That’s not fair!”
“Rules allow that!”
“Then the rules are wrong!” Sam threw his hands up in the air. “God, I can’t believe that I lost to a teenager.”
Clint, who came the last, said, laying face first on the carpet, “You never win with kids in those things. Seriously, I have three of them, I know it.”
“Kid? Where are you? You said you are going to eat. Did the fridge eat you?” Tony came shouting.
“I’m sorry Mr. Stark, but Mr. Barton and Mr. Wilson invited me to play Mario Kart with them,” Peter answered beaming.
“And how did you do?”
“I won!” Peter gestured at the screen with the results and two defeated men.
“That’s great. Hey, when you come to the lab, I’ll let you mess with Iron Man repulsors.”
“Oh my god, yes!” Peter’s eyes lit up and he hurried after Tony.
“Wow, Tony stole Happy’s kid,” Sam said incredulously, when they both left.
“Do you think he will hide and lock him in his lab forever?” Clint lifted himself from the carpet.
“Dunno. Wanna go another round?”
So when the summer break ended, Spider-Man’s suit tested and ready to use, the atmosphere in the workshop changed. Kid started spending mornings at school and afternoons alternating between patrols and spending time in the lab. But the amount of time spent together was significantly smaller and emptiness started annoying Tony. It did wonders to his responsibilities to SI and Avengers Initiative as he was less inclined to lock himself up in the workshop.
“Tony, did something blow up here?” Bruce entered his workshop and stopped in his tracks, shell-shocked and looking around. He hadn’t been in Tony’s workshop for a long time as he worked mostly in his or small med bay’s lab and it was Tony, who would pay friendly visits to other labs (or come to bother Bruce). Currently, on Peter’s workstation were piling papers and textbooks. Every other surface was covered in post-it notes with Spanish vocabulary.
“I’m helping Peter with Spanish.”
“Tony, do you even know Spanish?” Bruce asked with raised eyebrows.
“I do now.”
“So… You are learning Spanish. For Peter,” Bruce stated.
“I’m learning for myself. It’s just a side effect that I can help him.”
“And it has nothing to do with Nat and Bucky teaching him Russian?”
“Sure. Now, do you have a UV lamp? Mine had broken down.”
“Oh, yeah, it’s there.”
“Soo, Mr. Stark, I have a question, you don’t have to say yes, of course…” Kid said, playing with a zipper.
“Just spit it out.”
“Cannedcometotheworkshopplease?” Peter let out a question in one breath with unbelievable speed.
“Say that again, but slower?”
“Can Ned come to the workshop, please? We have a robotics project for school, an-“
“Jesus, of course you can invite your friend over, you don’t need to stress so much.”
“Thank you Mr. Stark!”
And that’s how Tony ended up giving a lab tour to another teenager, this time a chubby, Asian kid, that gave the gaping fish impression at the first sight of the workshop.
“So, kiddos, what do you need to do for your little project?”
The project ended up with a very angry May Parker yelling at him.
“Stark! Why the fuck school called me to tell me that Peter’s last project was to dangerous to show in class?” Her lips were pressed into a thin line and she crossed her arms.
“Wha- It wasn’t anything that would blow up?” Tony said hesitantly as he didn’t exactly remember what he came up with.
“There were lasers, Tony.”
“Not very dangerous, if you ask me, just for a show.” He was sure that he didn’t let kids put anything that would destroy school in their project.
“Lasers that apparently cut a school desk and a whiteboard in half.” Or maybe he did. “He was given a 3 day suspension for bringing dangerous objects to school!”
“Oh, wow, I mean, that’s bad…” Tony was literally unable to act guilty, because that meant Peter would be out of school, and that meant…
“He’s not going to spend that time with you.” May Parker’s sharp voice cut off his train of thoughts.
He spent those three days redecorating and personalizing the guest room, where Peter had stayed a couple of times. His actions brought some half-hidden smiles from his teammates and Pepper, but he shrugged it off.
“Pepper, why did you take my intern?”
“I didn’t take anyone, Tony.” Pepper leveled him with a stare. “Peter came to me, asking for help with English essay for school.”
“Why didn’t he ask me?”
“Because you said that English classes are useless and he should ditch them.”
“What? No! I didn’t! Why would I?” Tony sputtered.
“FRIDAY, pull up the footage, please,” Pepper said with an exhale.
“Okay, FRIDAY, don’t, I did, but I shouldn’t. Kid, don’t ditch school, your education is important.”
“Well, I can always become a full time Avenger.”
“Wha- no! No, you can’t, I forbid, you are going to finish high school, then go to MIT and then work in SI, and you are not going to be a full time Avenger. Over my dead body!” Tony’s speech made both Pepper and Peter laugh.
“I was just joking.” Peter scrunched his eyebrows as some thought just came to him. “Have you already planned my life for me?”
“Oookay,” he replied, dragging the o. “Anyway, I just thought, that Pepper has more experience in humanities that you,” said Peter
“So when you are done with English, head down to the lab, because I have some upgrade ideas to discuss with you.”
Tony shot a glare at Pepper and she glared back. Tony decided to do a tactical retreat and leave the room.
“Tony, wait!” Happy called after him. “Look, I just wanted to talk about Peter.” That grabbed Tony’s attention.
“Is he okay? I didn’t get any-“
“No, no, he’s fine, I just wanted to talk about him. And you.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, I talked with May and she noticed that as well and he spends a lot of time with you.”
“If you want me to stop h-“
“I don’t want you to stop, there’s just a building full of people who also want to spend time with him.” Happy’s words were rushed and he seemed out of breath.
“So what do you want me to do, throw him out of the workshop?”
“Tony, just don’t go around complaining that he’s currently doing something with someone else.” Happy made a placating gesture and continued, “Look, I know you love him, I do too , but you can’t monopolize all his time.”
Tony opened his mouth, but no sound came out. He thought about his interactions with Peter for the past couple of months. Yeah, he liked the kid, liked teaching and helping him, a lot of his Spider-Man’s adventures had raised his heart rate and had given him a few gray hairs, but love? Nope, he didn’t need it and the kid didn’t need it.
He finally found his voice, “I don’t l-“
“God, you are an emotionally stunted idiot.” Happy shook his head. “Everyone sees that. Talk with Pepper.”
“Oh-okay,” Tony replied in confusion.
Pepper and Tony were laying in bed, the former reading a book, the latter looking at some blueprints.
“Happy said that I love Peter,” Tony dropped suddenly. The woman closed a book and turned on her side to look at him.
“And you don’t agree with that,” she stated.
“Well, it’s not like I don’t agree with it, but…”
“Tony, you literally started learning a new language to help him. And you also do your paperwork, while he does his homework, because you want to set a good example. You also started sleeping and eating regularly, for the same reason.”
“I just want to be a good example.”
“I also know something else.”
“Oh.” Tony had, in fact, updated his will a month before and made Peter his sole heir. Peter wasn’t aware of this fact as Tony waited for him to be eighteen. May, as a legal guardian, and Happy, by extension, were the only ones informed about it. “But you know, he’s clever.”
“Would you do that to every clever kid?”
“…no.” Pepper smiled and picked up her book. Tony stared at the ceiling, thinking. After a minute he said, “He also said that I spend too much time with him.”
“Happy said that?”
“Tony… He just means that you are fairly annoying, when Peter spends time with the team and you come dragging him to the workshop.”
“I don’t drag him anywhere.”
“You know what I mean,” Pepper responded disapprovingly.
“Okay, okay, I know.”
After the beat of silence Tony spoke again, “You know, we could make our own kids.”
“You already have one.”
“He’s Happy’s and May’s, I just borrowed him.”
“And after we make our own, you are going to give him back?”
“Ehh, no, he grew on me.” Tony blinked, realizing something. “Wait you said after? Does that mean-“
“Good night, Tony.” Pepper turned off the lights.
“But you don’t dismiss the idea…”
He did make it weird. They were five minutes into their usual lab time and Tony couldn’t stop staring at the kid and recalling conversations with Happy and Pepper. Peter , currently unaware of the turmoil inside Tony , was sitting at his workstation, chewing on a pencil and focusing on calculus homework. Tony sitting with his own pile of papers moved his eyes to the sheet of paper before him. ‘ Article 5c…' What the fuck am I reading? He looked on the desk, where read pieces of paper were laying. Apparently it was a contract. He didn’t recall its content at all. He looked at Peter again. Still chewing on a pencil.
“Hey, don’t chew on that!”
“You’ll destroy your teeth by chewing on pencils.”
Peter scrunched his eyebrows.
“Seriously?” He looked at the pencil and at Tony. “Why are you so weird today?”
“I’m not weird.”
“You are looking at me.”
“Maybe I like watching you.” As soon as those words left his mouth, Tony winced internally at them. Great, now he is a creepy, rich guy, who likes watching teenagers. “Or maybe not.” Peter’s eyebrows raised in question. “But I still like you.”
“You are being really weird,” Peter said, unsure of what he should do.
“Do you like being here?”
“Sure, why wouldn’t I?”
“You are not feeling obligated to do so? You wouldn’t prefer to spend time with Steve right now?”
“I don’t understand…”
“It’s a simple question, Pete.”
“Yeah, but I don’t understand why you are asking me that.”
“Just answer it, kid.”
“No , I don’t feel obligated to spend time here. I wouldn’t prefer to spend time with Steve right now” Peter replied, confusion and nervousness clearly visible, with how he started playing with the pencil.
“Yeah, yeah, that’s good, good talk, go back to your homework.” Peter looked at him quizzically for a moment, then he shrugged and went back to calculus. Tony started going through the contract. Except after five lines he lost his focus again and started thinking about Peter again. Emotions were always confusing for him and it didn’t help that everything about a situation was complicated. He couldn’t exactly Google ‘my bodyguard is dating a woman with a kid and I think I kind of love that kid, but I’m not sure what to do.’ Happy and Pepper both said that it’s okay and their only complaint was he tries to keep Peter to himself too much. And he was willing to admit that they were in fact right. But that was followed by the doubts if Peter actually wants to spend time in the workshop or if he just a pressured poor kid, who didn’t feel like he could refuse. Even if he wanted to spend time with him, where would he draw the line ? He had May and Happy as, well, parental figures. So what did it make Tony?
“Why are you staring at me again, Tony ? ” Peter’s voice startled him. He didn’t even notice when he moved his gaze from paperwork before him to kid again.
“Yeah, you are.”
Tony moved his eyes to the ceiling and sighted.
“Okay, I am. But I want to talk to you about something and I don’t know how.” Talking about feelings. Apparently a mature thing to do.
“Oh. Did I do something wrong? Because-“
“No, no, no, you didn’t do anything wrong.” Tony quickly denied. “Wait. Why did you think that you did something wrong? Did you?” He stared intensely at Peter.
“No, I just, you know…”
“Okay, never mind, we’ll talk about this later.” Tony took a big breath and started, “I talked with Happy. And Pepper. They both thi-“ A ping from his phone interrupted him, he looked at it and swore. “Okay, looks like we need to postpone our conversation.”
“What’s going on? Is that a mission? Should I-“
“Not a mission, stay there and do your homework, I’m going to be back soon or I’ll send Pepper.” Tony quickly left the workshop and once he was out of hearing range, he said, “FRIDAY, what’s going on?”
“There was a shooting at Central Park. Happy Hogan and May Parker were involved.”
“Are they okay?”
“911 reports say that Mr. Hogan was injured.”
“Send location to the suit, I’m going there. Divert the ambulance with Happy to the Tower, inform Cho and Pepper of the situation.”
“What should I tell Mr. Parker?”
“Don’t tell him anything yet.”
May and Happy had a date tonight, they should’ve been safe. But something happened and Tony had to do damage control quickly.
There was already the police and an ambulance departing the scene. Tony couldn’t see neither Happy nor May anywhere. He hoped that they were both in the ambulance that he saw leaving. He landed and immediately saw the crowd turn to him. He didn’t have time for fans and questions, ignoring them, he confidently strode towards NYPD officers, the crowd parting like the Red Sea.
“What’s going on, where’s May Parker and Happy Hogan?”
“Excuse me Mr. Stark, but you have to stand behind that tape.” one of the officers pointed with a finger.
“Mr. Hogan is my employee and has close ties to the Avengers and as such, that case falls under our jurisdiction,” he quickly replied, leveling the cop with a stare. It was a young looking man in uniform. His eyes widened and he opened his mouth in shock.
“Okay, I know that you are here to just keep the crowd away. Just bring me to someone, who is in charge here,” Tony quickly added more calmly. This worked, because he quickly found himself in the company of Detective Morrison and Detective Slater. Both of them were tall, unimpressed looking men.
“I understand Mr. Stark that you are nervous, but we are currently questioning the witnesses.” Morrison crossed his arms over the chest. Tony looked at his phone. Steve was trying to get that case handed over to them, but there’s only so much that can be done in five minutes and without any proof that it was an Avengers-level threat. Happy was admitted in the Tower’s med bay, unconscious and with a bullet hole. May Parker wasn’t with him and Tony was currently trying to locate her.
“You don’t understand. I just need to talk to a woman. May Parker. This high, brown hair, wears glasses. She was with Happy Hogan and probably will know what happened here.”
“I’m sorry, but there was no woman matching your description among people on scene when we arrived.” Finally Tony got confirmation of what he suspected all along and could act on that. He unblocked his phone and chose the number.
“Rogers, shooting in Central Park, May Parker wasn’t on scene when authorities had arrived, she’s possibly missing.” Then he turned to the Detectives, “We’ll need the witness statements that you’ve gathered.” He handed them a business card.
Back at the Tower Tony immediately rushed to the workshop. Peter was still there, having finished homework, he was preparing a web fluid.
“Hey, kid,” Tony started. Peter jumped in surprise and spilled the chemicals. He moved to clean it, but Tony stopped him
“Leave this. We need to talk.”
“Uhh, yeah, you'd said that before you left.”
“About something else, actually.” He placed his hands on the kid's shoulders and pushed him gently in the direction of a lab stool. “Sit down.” Peter complied and turned his attention to him.
“I left, because FRIDAY informed me of… shooting in Central Park. Happy and May were involved in it. Happy is currently in surgery and we don’t know where May is.” Tony decided to be short. As he watched Peter’s expression morph from neutral to disbelief and then pure shock and fear, he thought that maybe being more gentle and less direct was a better idea.
“What? No! That’s not… Please…” Peter’s breath quickened and started coming in short pants. He swayed on the unstable lab stool. Tony caught him by his shoulders.
“You need to breathe, kid or you’re gonna pass out.”
Fortunately Peter was able to get his breathing under control on his own and didn’t work himself into a full-blown panic attack. After a short silence filled only with the sound of his inhales and exhales, he feebly said, “I want to help.”
“Absolutely not,” Tony answered sternly and moved back.
“That is exactly why you won’t be doing anything!”
“You don’t understand!”
“Yes, I do! You won’t be able to keep your cool and you will be a liability not help! We can’t afford that!”
“Well, you can’t stop me!”
“Oh, yes I can. FRIDAY, Peter is not allowed to leave the Tower or access any files on the case.” Tony gave his orders to AI and looked at Peter. The teenager was fuming.
“You have no right!”
“If you think I’m the bad guy here, you can talk to Steve, he’s going to tell you the same thing.”
“I hate you!” Peter pushed him and stormed out of the workshop.
“FRIDAY, tell him that he should go to med bay to keep Happy company,” Tony barked out and then sighted, sat down by the desk and put his head in his arms. Somehow he managed to destroy everything in two minutes. Well, at least he knew where he stood. He rubbed his face and got up. Team was waiting for him in one of the conference rooms.
Avengers got permission to handle the case with the NYPD. So along with the team, there were two disgruntled detectives that Tony had met before. Steve led the meeting. After an hour of talking that had led them exactly to nothing he summed up, “For now, we have first responders and witnesses reports, none of them actually saw what happened, most of them heard the gunshot and saw only the result. Nobody recalls seeing May. FRI (DAY?) is running facial recognition, but to no avail. She’s also reviewing all of the footage from the nearest cameras to the scene and flagging anything unusual.”
At that moment Bruce entered the room.
“I have an update on Happy,” he started. ”GSW to the stomach, although nothing vital was hit. Cho’s using her regeneration cradle, so he should be able to tell us what happened when the anesthesia wears off.”
The team nodded at that.
“How’s Peter, Tony?” Natasha turned to him.
“He said that he hates me, because I didn’t let him help us,” Tony said dryly.
“He doesn’t really hate you, Tony,” Clint reassured him. “He’s just frightened that he’s going to lose the closest thing he has to a mother.”
“You need to talk to him,” Natasha stated.
“Yeah, I need to check on him anyway. FRI, where is he?”
“I am unable to determine Mr. Parker’s location.” Blood in Tony’s veins froze in an instant. The whole room went quiet, you could hear the pin drop.
“What… What do you mean?”
“Mr. Parker left the Tower approximately 30 minutes ago.”
“What?! I told you not to let him out! Track him!”
“The protocol has been overridden. Current protocol prohibits me from tracking him.”
“I believe that the current protocol was created by Ned Leeds.”
“Fuck.” Wow, letting the kid’s friend in the lab bit him in the ass for the second time.
“Tony, what’s going on? Who’s-“
“Peter and his friend hacked FRIDAY to sneak out and they added coding that makes it impossible to track him. I’m going to fix that.”
It was a long night. Tony spent hours fixing FRIDAY’s programming. At the end he was seriously considering whether it’s better to kill or hire Ned. Unfortunately after removal of the offending code it was too late to find Peter. He disappeared into thin air. His spider suit and phone were left at the Tower. He had changed his clothes in a back alley nearby and he wasn’t caught by any cameras, so they didn’t have anything to go on. At 4 AM it started sounding a bit surreal. Man gets shot and a woman goes missing in a public place in broad daylight. Teenager runs away and doesn't leave any trace. Everything in the span of two hours. Now they were just waiting for something. Clint and Sam played cards quietly. Steve and Natasha were going through everything they’ve managed to gather for an umpteenth time. Bruce went back to med bay to help Cho. Bucky just fell asleep on the table. The two detectives had left. Tony just stared at the screen no longer understanding what he was seeing, his mind exploring horrifying scenario number 78, where they find two mutilated bodies in a river and Happy dies because Cho missed something.
“Mr. Parker was registered by a street camera near the Tower, five minutes ago.” FRIDAY’S voice cut the silence. “He seems to be heading here.”
“What? Where’s he now?” Tony jumped to his feet.
“Mr. Parker just entered the Tower,” FRIDAY announced. “He’s going to the penthouse level.”
Tony for the past few hours imagined the lecture that he was going to give Peter when he saw him again. Something that would make the kid regret the day he was born. But when he saw him standing by the elevator, all of the anger had left him and immense relief washed over him. Peter was pale and shaking like leaf, but according to FRIDAY was unharmed
“Thank god!” That was all Tony said before pulling him into a hug. Peter, stiff at first, melted into him and started crying. His legs gave out and they both crumbled to the floor.
“I don’t hate you, I don’t hate you, I don’t-“
“Sh, sh, I know, it’s okay, I know, kiddo, I know,” Tony instinctively shushed him and started rocking them back and forth. He looked up and saw Pepper in pajamas, who was woken up and drawn there by the noise and he shook his head a little. She quickly understood and left for their bedroom.
Tony didn’t know how long they sat there but his legs went numb. Eventually Peter calmed down and said, “I thought you would chew me out for running.”
“I thought too. I’m still going to, after you get some sleep.”
They sat like that in silence for some more time. Finally Tony moved and helped Peter up.
“Come on, you still need to sleep.”
Peter looked better after the shower. Not so pale. Tony pushed him into bed, turned off the light and was about to leave, when the small voice called, “Can you stay?” Tony turned towards the owner of this voice. In the darkness he could only distinguish the lump on the bed and curls peeking out from beneath the covers. He moved closer and sat on bed next to Peter, leaning against the headboard.
“Only until you fall asleep,” he said softly. He didn’t exactly know what he’s doing, comforting someone was completely uncharted territory for him. He remembered something that Jarvis used to do for him, when he was little. He put his hand on Peter's head and started running fingers through the soft curls. Peter sighted and leaned closer.
“I’m sorry for running away,” he mumbled.
“You should be.”
“I just wanted to do something…”
“And what did you do?”
“I just wandered around. I didn’t have any plan and I realized that I won’t help. I was scared that you would be mad, so I didn’t come back immediately.”
“I was mad, I still am, but I was mostly afraid, kid. You can’t do things like that.”
“I know, I’m sorry.”
Peter finally closed his eyes and relaxed a little. Tony thought that he was asleep.
“Do you think you’re gonna find May?” Peter asked quietly, startling Tony, who looked down and saw wide eyes staring at him. ‘ He’s just frightened’, he remembered Clint’s words.
“I don’t know. I hope so.” Peter closed his eyes again and pressed his cheek against Tony’s thigh. Tony kept playing with his hair until his breaths evened out and face and shoulders relaxed completely. He stayed like that for a moment before standing up. He stopped in the doorway, looked at sleeping form and whispered, “Sleep tight, kiddo.”
After that Tony went to the kitchen, where Pepper waited for him.
“How is he?”
“Physically? Good. Mentally? As well as he could be in that situation.” He moved towards a coffee machine.
“I handled CPS. He can stay here, for now.”
“That’s good, good.”
“What are you going to do?”
“Coffee. And then go to the team and see if there’s some progress. Find May eventually. You?”
“I’m going to make sure that nothing burns in the process.” she smiled at him softly.
“FRIDAY will let me know when he wakes up, but can you keep an eye on him?” he looked at her.
“I’ve already cleared my schedule.”
“What would I do without you?”
When he entered the conference room everyone was a bit agitated.
“A witness came forward, she saw a van and some men in ski masks near the scene,” Natasha started explaining. “One of the traffic cameras caught a vehicle matching the description. We have a license plate.”
It turned out that their excitement was short-lived. Sam and Bucky found the van in an alley a couple blocks away. Police forensics examined it. They would have to wait for the full results, but for now it seemed that it was cleaned. The only noteworthy thing they discovered were traces of blood, presumably May’s. All of the nearby cameras recorded many other cars at the interesting period of time and it was impossible to tell which one belonged to kidnappers. The owner was a kind old man, named Stan, who reported the van's theft a week before. The investigation on that also hit a dead end. They were in process of reviewing the material gathered by the police and made FRIDAY find footage from the night of the van’s theft, but it didn’t seem to go anywhere. They also found May’s phone, or rather what was left of it. They were working on two theories, first one that someone noticed that she spends lots of time with Happy and kidnapped her for information, second one that she was kidnapped for a ransom. They had thought that maybe Happy would say something groundbreaking, but his story didn’t tell them anything that they already knew or suspected.
“There were three men in ski masks and non-descript clothes, with guns. They tried to grab us, one of them shot me. I think they got scared and took only May. I don’t remember much more.”
That left them to wait and look into the enemies' of Avengers, SI and Spider-Man recent activity. Honestly with the amount of material they had, they should have made some progress.
24 hours have passed and they managed to hit a dead end. No one saw anything, no camera registered anything. Tony looked at the clock in the conference room accusingly. First 48 hours were the time when most of the missing people were found. After that chances started to diminish. They’d already used half of that time. Tony should probably go find and comfort Peter instead of sitting and not doing anything, but he couldn’t make himself leave the room in case something happened. Besides, finding May would be probably the most comforting thing they could do.
His train of thoughts was interrupted by an email notification. He looked at the new message and felt his heart drop immediately.
Everyone in the conference room sat in silence as the video was playing. This time apart from two detectives, there were ransom specialists joining the team. Video featured the kidnappers beating up May and making demands. It looked really bad, with two men punching and kicking her without even looking where. She already had some bruises and what looked like a broken nose. Hits were leaving red marks that would soon turn into bruises. What raised the biggest concern was that May barely reacted. She probably already had a concussion or was drugged.
“Mr. Hogan, we have your girlfriend. In exchange for her, we want 5 million dollars. We are sure that you can get that amount easily from your boss. We give you 48 hours, or we will have fun with her.”
Tony immediately took his phone to organize the demanded amount of money in cash.
“Tony, what are you doing?” Steve asked him.
“Getting them what they want, what do you think I’m doing?”
“I think we should make a plan first,” Bucky joined calmly.
“What plan? They said, what they want, we give them that, we get May back!”
“Excuse me sir, but you shouldn’t do that,” one of the K&R specialists interrupted. “This video doesn’t count as proof of life, so we don’t know if that woman is still alive. A phone call would be preferable. Also, in ransom negotiations the first offer generally should be declined.”
“Am I the only person in this room that actually watched this video? You didn’t hear what they wanted to do? Didn’t see what they were doing?”
“It is not in the kidnappers interest to kill her quickly if they want ransom. They just want to show the power they have over you.”
“Besides, the more we communicate with them, the more we have to track them,” Natasha added. “Also you shouldn’t negotiate. When they get to talk with the billionaire Tony Stark, they are immediately going to raise their demands.”
“It’s also going to be a press nightmare if the media get a sniff on this.”
“Fine!” Tony threw his arms over the head. “Do whatever you want.” He left the room slamming the door.
Tony went to med bay to inform Happy about the recent development. Peter and Pepper also were there. They sat on plastic chairs, Pepper hugging Peter. Happy laid in bed. He woke up, when Tony entered the room. Tony sat down heavily on the chair in the corner.
“Anything has changed?” Pepper asked. Tony sighted and gave them an extremely watered down description of the video content.
“Those specialists tell me that paying immediately is a mistake and the team says that I shouldn’t get involved.”
“They’re specialists for a reason,” Pepper reasoned.
“I want to see that video,” Happy said.
“Trust me on this, you don’t want to.”
“You focus on getting better, Hap,” Tony cut him off and turned to Peter. “Have you eaten?”
“A sandwich a couple of hours ago,” supplied Pepper.
“You have to eat more with your metabolism, kiddo,” Tony said seriously. “Come on. We’re going to the kitchen and then there’s bedtime for Spider-babies.”
“I’m neither hungry nor tired.”
“Yeah, I’m not explaining to your Aunt, why are you starved and sleep deprived.”
“If you will have someone to explain to,” Peter mumbled under a breath.
“Yeah, you're not talking like that. We’ll get her back and you are going to eat.” Tony put his arms under Peter’s armpits and pulled him up. “If you don’t cooperate, I’ll use a suit to drag you to the kitchen.”
Tony managed to coax Peter into the kitchen, without dragging and made him blueberry pancakes. (“Pancakes? But that’s breakfast food.” “Yeah, and you are going to eat them at 10 PM.”) They repeated the routine from yesterday. It also calmed down Tony and he started accepting that specialists and the team might be right. He came back to the conference room, where everyone was except for Clint and Natasha.
“FRIDAY tracked the kidnappers, they didn’t cover their tracks well.” Steve’s voice greeted him. “Clint and Nat are doing reconnaissance right now.”
Clint’s and Nat’s intel helped them develop a plan. There were four kidnappers, holding May in a suburban house. They were armed, but definitely weren’t professionals. This didn’t work in the team’s favor, because their lack of experience made them unpredictable. With the hostage present they really couldn’t afford a fight, even though they outnumbered the opponents. So they formed a plan, when they would try to take the criminals one by one.
It was just an ordinary house at the outskirts. The whole neighborhood was peaceful and unaware of horrors currently happening in one of the houses. Well maintained, clean area, small streets and wide sidewalks, a playground nearby. With a shining sun and birds singing cheerfully it looked like a suburban dream. It was really weird, that nobody had heard anything, but on the other hand it was the kind of neighborhood where the residents would leave their homes in the morning for work and come back in the evening.
“It just really creeps me out, this place,” Tony started wondering. “It looks perfect and beautiful, but no one has any idea what neighbors are doing.”
“Do you know what our neighbors are doing, Tony?”
“I have FRIDAY monitoring for any suspicious activity in the nearby buildings.”
“You're a stalker.”
Tony chuckled as he watched people getting to their cars and leaving. They had been observing the house since wee hours of morning waiting for the best moments to strike. Right now any action was out of the question. There were too many people on the street and any Avengers action would attract a lot of gawkers.
“One of the kidnappers went out for a smoke, he’s at the back. I think we could take him out without attracting any attention.” Natasha’s voice carried through the comms.
“Do not engage. Neighbors haven’t already left, we can’t risk being seen,” Steve ordered. “Tony, how’s the front of the house looking?”
“The guy with a nose from the house on the left is having a polite conversation with the fat guy from the house in front,” Tony relayed what he could see from his car.
“Guy with a nose?”
“It’s seriously big, trust me.”
“Seriously, you would think that people at 7:30 in the morning would hurry to work and not engage in conversations with neighbors,” Clint complained. Three yelling children came out from one of the houses.
“Oh and now the guy with a nose is packing his children to the car and the fat guy looks like he’s about to go,” Tony updated and relaxed into a seat. He took a sip of a coffee and choked, when someone suddenly knocked on his window.
“Yeah?” He asked, rolling down the window.
“You can’t park your car here!” a middle aged blonde woman started yelling at him. Peter called those ‘Karens’ as he recalled.
“It’s not a no-parking zone,” he replied.
“You cast a shadow on my flowers.” Tony looked at the sad excuses for plants and immediately thought that they need water more than sunlight. Before he could share his idea, comms cracked and he heard Steve saying, “Tony, do not argue with her, we can’t afford her to recognize you. Just drive around the block, maybe she’ll leave.”
Crazy plant lady didn’t leave and Tony was forced to find another observation spot.
Finally, the neighborhood emptied and quietened.
“That guy is smoking in the back again.”
“Okay, the neighbors have left, you can take him out now.”
Tony looked at the stream from the camera Clint had on himself. Natasha and Bucky moved in complete silence. She stepped behind the kidnapper, and with surgical precision pressed a spot on his neck. Bucky immediately caught the man, before he could fall and make a noise. They dragged him into bushes and hid there.
“One out, three to go.”
“Okay, now we wait.”
Couple of minutes later another criminal appeared.
An arrow soundlessly flew through the air and hit him in the shoulder. Bucky appeared and again caught and dragged the guy into bushes, where Natasha was keeping an eye on the first one.
“He’s out. Two more to go.”
“Attention guys, the remaining two kidnappers moved from the basement to the kitchen.”
“Uh-uh, people on the street,” Tony warned. “Someone with a kid, I think. I can’t see clearly.”
Two NYPD officers in civilian clothes appeared and herded the newcomers to where they came from.
“Okay, all clear now.”
“Good. Nat and Bucky, you are guarding the back door and kitchen window, Tony and me from the front. Clint stays watching those two taken out guys, Sam, survey the area from the air. Bruce, move the ambulance here.”
Tony got out of the car and went to the front door, where he met Steve. He activated the nano gauntlet and leaned on the door. Steve looked around while the lasers from the gauntlet were destroying the lock.
“Okay, the door is unlocked, we’re going in.”
“Copy that.” i
Tony pushed the door and let Steve in first. He activated his whole suit and immediately followed the man. They were in a hallway that opened at the end to the living room, connected to the kitchen. On the right there were the stairs. They moved quietly toward s the living room. Tony gestured to Steve that he wants to enter first and stun both remaining criminals with his gauntlets. Steve nodded. Tony smoothly went to the room and fired at the unsuspecting kidnappers. He hit one of them, standing by the counter, but instead of the other he hit the cupboard full of tableware. The cupboard like in slow motion fell on a criminal, emitting an ear-splitting noise of breaking glass. Cracking and clanking reverberated through the room for what I seemed like an eternity. It made both men stop and just watch in shock what was happening. Steve regained his bearings quicker and ran towards the man buried under the glass and porcelain.
“Yeah, his brain is on the floor.”
Tony didn’t wait for more. He retracted the suit and ran towards the basement.
“May, May?! Oh, shit…”
May was slumped in the chair, which she was tied to. Her face was covered in dried blood and bruises.
“Hey, May, wake up,” Tony said while looking for a pulse. He jabbed his fingers to her neck and prayed quietly. Fortunately, he felt slow beats.
“Get a medic here ASAP, she has a pulse, but it looks really bad!” he shouted at the comms. “Hey, wake up, Peter’s waiting for you.”
This seemed to do the trick.
“Pet’r?” she slurred.
“Yeah, he really misses you. And Happy’s okay.”
After that everything went rapidly . Suddenly the place was swarmed by medics and NYPD officers. Tony was pushed back as they put a collar around May’s neck and an oxygen mask on her face. She was placed on a stretcher and pushed into an ambulance that left soon.
“Jesus.” Tony slumped against a car and slid down, so he was sitting on asphalt. After the stress of the past few days left him, he felt exhausted. “I need a coffee.”
“You need a sleep.” Steve materialized from nowhere.
“Everyone needs that. I need to talk to Peter, Happy and Cho.”
“ The NYPD wants us to stay here. But… Maybe nobody will notice your absence.”
“Steve Rogers, goody two shoes, encouraging me not to cooperate with law enforcement? How can I refuse?”
“Drive safe, Tony.”
Tony got into a car and started the engine. He drank the rest of the now cold coffee and started driving in direction of the Tower. There were still a lot of things to do.
Couple of days later Happy was allowed to leave med bay on condition that he will have plenty of rest. May was cleared by Cho the day before that as the biggest issue was concussion. Steve and Bucky were preparing a big dinner since everyone finally could participate and even Rhodey managed to leave DC and was joining them. They were very secretive about the chosen dishes and had forbidden everyone from even getting near the kitchen. Tony honestly just hoped that they wouldn’t set the building on fire. He holed up in the workshop.
The elevator ding announced somebody’s arrival. Tony turned and saw Peter lingering on a doorstep.
“Hey, what are you doing there? Come here.”
Peter looked at the floor, shuffled towards the workbench and stood there awkwardly. Tony got up and approached him.
“Did you forget that you usually sit here?”
Peter sat down and started playing with the hem of his shirt.
“Okay, what’s going on?”
“Before… Before all this, you said that you need to talk to me.”
Honestly Tony hoped that Peter forgot his attempt at the serious conversation.
“You were weird that day and then, you know what happened, and you were nice, but not there, and then again weird.”
Tony cleared his throat and said slowly, “I’m sorry that you felt that way. I spent most of the time with the team, because I thought that finding May was what you needed the most.”
“I mean, it was. I just felt lonely. Happy was on strong pain meds and Pepper is nice, but…”
“Yeah, I get it, I’m really sorry. And for being weird. Happy told me that I spend a lot of time with you and butt in your time with others and I started questioning how you are feeling about this.”
Peter suddenly moved and wrapped his arms around Tony and with a muffled voice said, “I don’t mind, seriously.”
“I know now.” After a moment he added, “You know, I just don’t want to replace anyone.”
“You’re not. You are just Tony, not Happy, or May, or...”
“Just Tony, huh?” Wow, where did the hero worship go?
“Titles don't matter, only that you care.”
I care so much , he wanted to say. I want you to be safe, I want to see you grow and learn. Instead he just said, “I do.” Peter didn’t respond. Tony broke the silence, “You know I’m not good at emotions. Happy called me an emotionally stunted idiot.”
“You little shit. You were supposed to say, ‘You handled this very well, you are great!'” Tony broke a hug and ruffled his hair. Peter beamed at him
“Miss Potts asks if Peter got lost in the workshop and if she has to come and get you to the dinner,” FRIDAY interrupted them.
“Wait, you were supposed to tell me the dinner is ready?”
“Maybe.” Peter smiled sheepishly.
“You really are a little shit. Come on. I’m starving.”
When they got to the kitchen everyone was waiting for them. Pepper, with crossed arms, scolded Tony, “What did you do in that workshop of yours? Everyone was waiting for you and it’s extremely disrespectful to Steve and Bucky!”
“I’m really sorry, Pep, but we needed to have a conversation. And someone-” he looked sternly at Peter- “didn’t tell me that dinner was ready.”
“I’m sorry, really, it just happened,” Peter frantically started explaining himself. Something in Pepper’s face softened.
“I guess it’s fine, you two really needed it, but next time maybe find a better moment, okay?”
They finally sat down at the table. Steve and Bucky really put a lot of effort into the meal. The main course was salmon with asparagus. They also prepared garlic bread and a salad as side dishes. They even chose the right wine for a fish, but Tony suspected Natasha’s or Pepper’s help here. Conversation flew freely and they made their way to the dessert, in an amiable atmosphere. Pepper started conversing with May, which brought his attention.
“You know, maybe you could move to the Tower.”
“I don’t know really…”
“Peter and Happy spend most of their time here anyway and you too were here a lot, even before.”
“Plus, you know, Happy already has an assigned private floor, so it’s mostly a question of packing and moving stuff from your apartment,” Tony joined them. “And you would have the help of superhumans and Pepper Potts to plan everything.”
“Oh, the last thing makes the best argument. How’s wedding planning going anyway?”
“Well, it would go better if Tony listened to me. We have a cake tasting scheduled next week.”
“You know, we could just take Peter, feed him cakes and ask him which one he likes best. It would be faster. I swear his stomach has no bottom.”
“What?” Peter turned towards them at the sound of his name.
“Only if you are dealing with his sugar high, Tony,” May chuckled
“Hey, guys, I can hear you!”
Before they could continue they heard Steve clearing his throat. He got up and looked like he was about to give a speech.
“Last week was very hard for all of us,” he started. “We are very pleased that everyone important is able to be here. Me and Bucky have some important news to share and we are glad that you are the first to hear that. Without further ado, we decided to get married.”
Cheers and questions erupted immediately. Everyone congratulated and the toasts started.
Tony looked at the large table. Maybe titles didn’t matter. But the only thing that he could think was that after all these years, they became a family somewhere along the way. Big, loud and unconventional, a patchwork family, that wouldn’t make sense to a stranger. There were still a lot of issues that needed to be solved in the long run, but at that moment they were the happiest people on Earth.
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Oh, Baby | Chapter Two | P.P
disclaimer: this chapter discusses sexual innuendos/commentary, teenage pregnancy, and inappropriate language.
enjoy an early chapter! i’ll try to post thursday or friday again.
The following morning, I was awoken with the urge to puke.
A pair of hands helped pull my hair up and away from my face, calmly rubbing my back. Tears blinded my eyes as I tried to get everything out of my system. I felt lightheaded from just having my head bowed.
When I was done emptying my stomach and brushing my teeth, I tiredly leaned into the wall.
“Thanks, MJ.” I whispered as I wiped at my face.
She smiled weakly and sat next to me.
We were silent for many moments. It was almost scary how quiet she was being. I was waiting for her to scold me or even yell at me, but she didn’t say a word.
When I called her over last night, she helped occupy my parents. She told them I was feeling ill from the school’s lunch that day and that it would pass just as it did for the other students at school.
I was eternally grateful for my best friend.
What I really was doing, of course, was taking the pregnancy test she bought in a rush on her way over here.
It told me exactly what I already knew.
“What do I do now?”
MJ cleared her throat as she pondered this question. “We have to take you to a doctor.”
I shook my head. “My parents are just going to find out from the insurance bill.”
"We can go to a clinic. They're private and usually free."
"If they're not free?"
"Then we tell your parents. I'll do it with you if you need me to. We just have to let them know!"
My hand clamped over her mouth quickly, my eyes wide with fear. “Sh! They’ll hear!” I hissed lowly.
She rolled her eyes, pushing my hand off of her. “The sooner they know, the sooner we have more options. Don’t you want those options?”
I felt a pang in my head, my brain practically throbbing against my skull. “I can’t tell them, MJ.”
Her eyes widened at my ludicrous statement. “So, are you going to . . . get rid of it?”
“I—I don’t know. I just know I can’t fathom the idea of disappointing them. My mom will just—just die. This could kill her. Oh. Oh my, God! My dad will kill Peter. He’s going to kill him, MJ, and this baby will be fatherless! Oh—”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa! Breathe, Y/N.”
Her hands held my arms down as I shook from fear. She did her best to soothe me as I cried again. My head was resting in the crook of her neck by the time I was done violently sobbing.
I sniffled as she played with my hair. “What do I tell Peter?”
She sighed. “You know he’ll support you in any way he can, Y/N. Whatever you want to do, he’ll do it, too.”
That I truly believed.
He’s a great guy. The best, really. In a weird way, I was actually thankful that this was happening with someone like him. In whatever way he could, he’d make sure I was okay and I was comfortable. Peter loves me enough to fix anything if I asked him, too.
“We should get ready for school,” she murmured.
I removed myself off of her and pushed myself up to stand. I didn’t say anything as I made my way out of the small room to get into mine.
The two of us got dressed quickly and quietly. It must have seemed strange, because there was a gentle knock on the door.
I dragged my feet over to get it open.
“Are you two okay? Do you still feel sick? I thought I heard you two in the bathroom again earlier.” My mother held a steaming mug and a box of what seemed to be crackers.
I tried to smile as I put down her offerings. “It’s okay, just an upset stomach again.”
“Wanna stay home? I don’t think anyone would mind too much.”
“I can’t, Mom. It’s our first day of lessons, I need to be there.”
MJ peeped up from behind me. “I could pick up notes from Peter and Ned. We all share some classes with you.”
My mom smiled brightly at the girl. “See? Our MJ has your back.”
As much as I wanted to stay in bed and somehow crawl away from the impending doom waiting for me outside, I couldn’t. I needed to speak with Peter as soon as possible. He would know exactly what to say and how to fix this.
“It’s okay, Mom. Besides, I have my internship after school. I’m just lucky they were willing to work around my school schedule.”
She chuckled and pulled me into her arms. “They’d be idiots if they had said no.”
When she held me for a while longer, I felt myself yearning to fall apart. I wanted to cry and beg my mommy to help me. She would take care of this and me better than my boyfriend, despite his sweet personality and thoughtfulness. She was practically a hero without the suit. This woman was the sole reason for my own ambition and bravery.
But I couldn’t go to her. Not anymore.
“I love you, Mom.” My voice was hoarse, but she didn’t comment on it.
She squeezed me once before holding me at arms length. “I love you, too, Bunny.”
MJ and I did our best to hurry out of the building as fast as possible after that. My heart was nearly pounding out of my chest, begging to burst and implode from the amount of stress I was enduring.
When the two of us made it outside, I was surprised to find Peter not there. I even waited about five minutes, but the only one who showed up was Ned.
“Hey!” I called to him as he crossed the street. “Have you seen Peter?”
“No, I waited for him by my building, but figured he had come here instead.”
I sighed, but pulled out my phone that I hardly seemed to use since the summer. When I found his contact under one of his many pet names, I dialed his number.
It rang for a long while before I was sent to voicemail. I gave it another shot, but accepted defeat when it was to no prevail.
“That’s great,” MJ huffed. “Of all fucking days, Parker can’t pick up his phone.”
“It’s fine, M—”
“No, it’s not! You have to talk to him now.”
Ned rose his arms in question. “Whoa, what’s going on?”
My eyes widened. “I . . . I just have to talk to him about something.”
He frowned. “You can tell me if something happened. I won’t tell anyone, you know that. Besides, you look like you’re ready to collapse.”
God, I couldn’t even think about saying it out loud. The way my stomach lurched at the idea made me clamp my mouth shut, afraid I’d vomit all over his shoes. I gave MJ a hopeless look to which she sighed at.
“Once she tells him, she’ll tell you.”
I watched his face filter through his thoughts and when his eyes widened, I turned away in embarrassment. I could feel his eyes staring at me intensely to which I had no words for.
It seemed to not have taken long for him to filter through the options.
“Let’s go,” I mumbled, looking down as I walked past him.
The three of us were quiet the rest of the way. It was odd to feel so glum when the city looked so beautiful so early this morning. Despite the whir of the cars and train just above, I could hear the birds. They sang softly, but I appreciated it.
When I stared up at the clouds, I placed a hesitant hand on my stomach. I nearly shivered from the idea of something growing inside me faster than I could possibly fathom.
“You okay?” MJ whispered.
I only shrugged.
We finally arrived to school about ten minutes before the bell rang. I tried to rush into the crowd, but I was held back by MJ’s surprisingly strong grip. I sent her a scowl, but she only rolled her eyes.
“You’re going to get dizzy if you try it.”
I wanted to prove her wrong. I could do it and act as if nothing was happening. I could behave the way my other peers were. I would be normal again and completely ignorant to the situation.
But then I looked back into the crowd and swallowed the lump in my throat.
I was in no condition to be in such a fast paced environment when I was so easily sick. I got a headache just watching them zoom by.
Ned waited for the traffic to calm down with us, still incredibly silent from earlier. He wouldn’t look up from his shoes which only made me nervous. He was never one to keep his opinions to himself, especially when this particular thing revolved around a life changing topic. But there he was. I was almost afraid he was going to scold me, too. And then I remembered he was Ned. He’d do his best to make sure I was okay before giving me advice that would ease my restless heart.
Just as we were about to disperse and get to class, our attention was caught by the squeaking of sneakers against the tiled floors. The three of us shared confused looks until a flustered boy with floppy hair came to view.
I sighed in relief. “Oh, Pete!”
He smiled glamorously before trying to flatten his now puffy curls. “Hey, honey! I’m so sorry, but there was this crazy robbery at like two in morning and by the time I was done, I was obviously exhausted and I went home to try to get some sleep, but I ended up sleeping in! Go figure.”
Seeing his carefree features quite nearly crushed me. He wasn’t stressed about anything besides his Spider-man issues, because he had finally been able to somehow balance his separate lives. I couldn’t spring something so life altering onto him right now. Especially not when he must have been so exhausted still.
MJ cleared her throat. “Ned and I have to get to homeroom. See ya.”
And with that, she was dragging Ned with her who didn’t bother saying anything.
“Why don’t you go home to rest?” I murmured, leaning my hand against his face to caress his cheekbone with my thumb.
He almost immediately leaned into my touch and draped his hand over mine. “Isn’t that a bit irresponsible of me considering it’s the second day?”
We both chuckled together. He seemed to think about my suggestion, but he shrugged a moment later.
“If you come with me, I’ll consider it.”
I sent him a look to which he sighed at.
“Please? We’ll just cuddle and sleep all day! Maybe some other stuff later, but for now—”
My face flushed profusely at his boldness. Despite our sex life being quite regular considering the amount of times he was left alone, it was still new in our relationship. In a comfortable environment, we were able to talk about our sexual relations easily, but being in the out and open in the school hallway was a bit embarrassing.
When he noticed this, he smiled shyly.
“That was pretty forward of me, I’m sorry.”
“No, no, it’s not that. I just. . . Actually, let’s go.”
His eyes widened. “Really?”
I nodded. “I haven’t been feeling the best.”
“What? What’s wrong? We can go get some medicine at the corner store? Some soup, too?”
My heart fluttered at his caring nature. I ended up wrapping an arm around his torso to which he maneuvered his arm over my shoulders. I rested my head onto his chest, holding him closely.
“I love you, Peter.”
He relaxed. “I love you, too. C’mon, let’s head out before someone catches us.”
We somehow made it past the security officer whom was too indulged in his comics to find us interesting.
By the time we made it to the corner store, we were conversing about his time spent at the Avenger’s Tower. He was gushing over all the equipment Tony Stark had. I thought it was cute how excited he got over his first interaction with vibranium. I was also intrigued with the information he was giving me, considering I helped Peter with the engineering on his suit before. He went on about his web shooters now having these amazing new features.
"I cannot wait for you to visit the tower one of these days! Mr. Stark says you're more than welcome considering he looked into your grades and the work you’ve done for the newspaper as well as your internship so he was very impressed.”
Great. I’m going to be letting down a complete stranger now, too.
I forced a smile though and shook my head to feign some sort of disbelief. “Wow, what a big stalker.”
Peter laughed easily, too engrossed into his story. “Totally. I’m sure he has your social down, too. And your parents’ and Miles’.”
He continued on and on about the brilliant Tony Stark as we made it back to his apartment, hand in hand as usual. I would’ve held at least of one of the two bags, but he was adamant enough to hold them both with his one free hand. I guess it wasn’t much of a hassle for him considering he could lift a bus with the same one.
Eventually, we made it inside where I almost immediately felt a wave of nausea slam into me. I stood at the doorway nervously as I eyed the kitchen around me.
Something smelled fishy. Literally.
“Peter?” I whispered, interrupting his small rant about the argument he got into with Tony discussing the realistic properties of the quantum theory. “Did Aunt May make fish? Tapia, specifically?”
He pursed his lips before nodding. “Yeah, last night. We threw it out, I don’t think she cooked it right. Why?”
I kept my mouth shut and my eyes closed as I tried to ease the pain. After inhaling deeply, I spoke slowly. “I need you to take out the trash, please.”
Peter froze, his eyes locking on the garbage can that sat about two to three feet from me. Hesitantly, he made his way over to close the bag before pulling it out. When he excused himself, I tried to breathe slowly through my nose. It worked a bit, but I could still smell the rotting meal.
When he came, his hand rested against my forehead. “You seem warm.”
I swallowed the lump in my throat, clearing it as I shook my head. “I’m just—I’m okay.”
“Y/N, you’re clearly not fine. Let’s go have you lay down.”
Before I could protest, I was already being swept away. Not literally, thankfully, because I think Peter was smart enough to know I’d probably end up throwing up all over the place. When we entered his bedroom, he helped me get out of my school clothes almost immediately. His cool fingers grazed against my heated skin and I was internally grateful.
When he pulled his shirt over my head, he helped me get under the covers. I nuzzled my head into my favorite pillow he owned and he massaged my scalp as I got comfortable.
“I’ll go make that soup. I want you to try to eat just a bit before you fall asleep.”
He held up his hand, his face twisted in confusion. I stayed quiet as his eyes darted around the room. He even went to stand, ready to swing open the door.
“I think May is here.”
“What? No, she would’ve said something when we came in.”
“Then who do I hear?” He frowned.
I was about to ask what he meant, but that thought quickly vanished as I felt my stomach ache. My hands almost immediately began to shake as I pulled myself up to sit.
God, I wanted to just pretend a while longer. If he hadn’t had those special senses of his, I’d get my way. What else did he sense that he didn’t speak up of?
“Peter, sit down.”
He did so easily, sitting at the foot of his bed. “What’s wrong?”
I breathed in deeply, thinking of what to say next. Instead of finding the words, though, I took his hand in mine. As I did this, I watched his expression filter through his emotions. He was definitely anxious, most likely thinking of the worst case scenario. Little did he know, our reality was probably by far the worst one.
I maneuvered his hand and hesitantly placed it over my stomach while simultaneously biting down on my lower lip. My teeth had practically ripped the skin to shreds at this point. Yet, he was still watching me with an unsure look.
“What do you hear in this room, Peter?”
He blinked before glancing around. “Besides the noise outside, I hear our heartbeats and breaths.”
“How many heartbeats do you hear?” My voice had wavered.
His eyes snapped over to me then. He furrowed his thick brows together before looking down at where his hand was placed. He even parted his lips to speak, but was quiet as he continued the contemplate my words.
“You might have to really try to listen. I’m sure it’s not strong right now.”
Peter inhaled sharply, his other hand clenching the bed beneath us. “You . . . You’re—You’re pregnant.”
The words I have yet to even say aloud myself caused me to wince. “Yes.”
I couldn’t hear him breathe after that. My hands shook his shoulders, trying to get him to look up at me. When he did, I noticed the tears welling up in his eyes.
“I am so, so sorry, Peter!” I whimpered, tears of my own already falling down my face. I had been too afraid to even speak any more at this point. He was so still, I was sure he was thinking of every way he could get me out. “I-I never meant for any of this to happen.”
His shoulders tensed as he slowly took my hand in his again. “Well, of course not. You’re only fifteen.”
I was confused. “Aren’t you mad?”
“Mad? No. Surprised? Of course. Did you think I would really try to blame you? Y/N, it’s not like you forced me into anything here. We decided to become intimate, because we love one another. Should we have been more careful? Absolutely, but there’s only so much to do about that now.”
With his words circulating into my brain, I felt the uneasiness in my stomach start to subside.
“Why are you so calm?” I asked softly.
He sighed before pursing his lips. “Maybe because it all makes sense now. I felt something off about you for weeks. Now I know why.”
“What was off? I only just started getting sick.”
“Yeah, but it started off with your smell. You always had such a distinctive scent to me and then it went completely off balance. Not in a bad way or anything, I swear! It was just noticeable.” His fingers intertwined themselves with my own. He let his thumb caress my hand before kissing my knuckles gingerly. “Oh! And your heart rate has increased. I noticed it when you sleep.”
My mouth felt dry. “Okay, anything else?”
“Well, usually I know when you’re on your period. You weren’t on schedule this month, despite your irregularities.”
That one caused my face to noticeably burn with embarrassment. He had mentioned something like that to me before, but I made him swear to not bring it up anymore. Not that it wasn’t natural and I was uncomfortable with it, I just wished I had some sense of privacy. He understood, just like he always did.
“Is that all?”
He shook his head before sheepishly adding on more. “Your hormones were a bit off, too. You’d get in the mood at the most random times or change between each emotion in a matter of seconds.”
“That’s not as obvious as the others.”
“No, considering I knew you had to be getting your period at some point and we are in our adolescent stage.”
I only nodded.
“Oh, and yesterday when you smelled the meat from the kitchen? You usually don’t get nauseous when smelling something you don’t enjoy.”
That was pretty clear, too. But to be fair, I didn’t take this symptom into consideration. I was sure it was just trauma from the last time they served that food in the cafeteria. After my mother explained her own symptoms, though, it kind of all just clicked.
All the pieces were falling together in the palms of our hands now.
“Peter,” I murmured. “What do we do?”
He took another deep breath, his eyes squeezing shut. One of his palms rubbed his forehand as he began to visibly stress out. I let him ponder for a moment, his lean figure now pacing back and forth throughout the small room. He was even pulling at his hair.
After a few moments, he exhaled loudly. “Okay, okay. We’re fifteen and sixteen years old. We’re also only in high school with no paying jobs. We’re a bit busy figuring out what we want to do for the rest of our lives, considering you’re involved in an internship and I’m Spider-man.”
I sat quietly, picking at the skin around my finger nails while listening to him ramble.
“We have three options as of now. I’m assuming you’re only about four weeks, so that’s not too bad if we’re looking at terminating the pregnancy. Do—” He looked at me with wide eyes, his body coming to a halt in front of me. I was sure he was listening to the heartbeat again by the look on his face. He slowly got down to his knees, his eyes now strained on my stomach. It was like watching a car crash as his lower lip began to quiver. “We made a small being, Y/N.”
“I know, they’re kinda of making me nauseous all the time.” I tried to fight off the smile forming on my face.
He gave me one of marvelous smiles as he pulled me into a bone crushing hug. I squeaked, patting his back gently.
“Pete?” I choked.
A gasp left his lips as he released me. “I’m so sorry!”
I only smiled, brushing my thumb against his cheek. “It’s okay, love.”
He sighed again, leaning his forehead into mine. I inhaled deeply as he allowed me to share his warmth.
“I never want to pressure you into doing something you don’t want to do, but I will share my thoughts on this if you’ll let me.”
I nodded gently, no words able to leave me.
His hands pulled my own to his chest, keeping them there against his heart. His eyes bored into mine as he tried to find the right words, I could quite literally feel how nervous he was.
“I love you. I’ll love you for the rest of my life and the eternity afterwards. You’re it for me. I could feel it. So, even though we might be too young for this, I want it. I’m all in and I’ll do whatever you need me to if you’re in, too.”
As I processed those words, I felt my eyes well up with tears. I pressed both of my hands to his face and pulled him down to meet my lips. He kissed me back with a force I never felt before, I was sure I was seeing all of the stars and galaxies above.
But I had to pull away to give him a sad smile.
“I know you’re it for me, too. And if you do truly feel this way, you’ll understand that I need some time to think this through. I’m sorry.”
t a g l i s t :
@lharrietg @peterbenjiparker @groovymoviesatpositivity @zendayasfwb @awesomebooklover17 @lowkeylightwood @chaotic-littledevil @mj1300 @angie1djonasgg
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