You would not believe how many responses I got were amazing. So, here it is. The story of Tony and Peter Stark, and how they live their lives. Like I said, I will rename this story to "Peter Stark," and will also change the summary. Also, it may have been confusing on the author's note, but when I said I post the chapters out of order, I meant that I write them out of order. When I post them, I will organize them so that they appear in order, but after I've posted what I have written, it will be random in the time line.
Tony was shocked, to say the least. The woman in front of him was familiar, of course, but he hadn't seen her since that charity event two years ago-
Oh. And there it was.
The carrier was big, probably bigger than necessary, and a giant, blue bag was strapped to her shoulder.
"Mary," Tony greeted, trying to keep his gaze off the carrier.
"You remembered," the woman smiled, but it didn't quite reach her eyes. "Can we talk?"
Tony really wanted to say no. It was three in the morning (not that he was sleeping anyway), and he had a huge business meeting tomorrow (not that he was planning on attending). But the brunette in front of him looked dead on her feet, and Tony honestly feared that if Mary Lucas didn't sit down soon, she would collapse on his doorstep.
Slowly, hesitantly, Tony opened the door wide enough for her to pass through, and motioned her in. He led her to the main room, turning on lights as he went. With a flip of a switch, the fireplace roared to life, and Tony motioned for his guest to take a seat before offering a drink.
"Coffee," she said, without blinking. "Black, please."
Tony spared another glance at the carrier before nodding and leaving to prepare the beverage.
He wanted to pop open some alcohol, erase his memory of what was about to happen. He didn't want to face what he knew waited for him. But even he knew that was a bad idea, something that he couldn't bring himself to do.
He came back with two steaming cups, and handed one to Mary.
"I think you can guess why I'm here, so I'll skip the pleasantries," she said, not looking at him. She was focused on the carrier, her eyes sparkling and a sad smile gracing her lips. "His name is Peter. He's nine months old, and the only father he's ever known is my new husband, Richard."
Tony listened intently, wondering what she was leading to.
"Richard has business to attend to over seas. We would leave him with Richard's brother, but... It's dangerous. Ben and May have only seen Peter once or twice." She turned to Tony, and held him in her gaze. "But they aren't his family, and I can't ask them to put their lives on hold for him. You're his father, Tony, whether you knew it or not. This is something you have to do for your son."
Tony blinked. "You want me to babysit?" Tony asked. "That's all?"
Mary winced. "It's more than that. Like I said, it's dangerous. If something happens to us, I will trust you with my - our son."
She looked sadly at the baby next to her, and Tony wondered if she truly believed in the words she said, or if it was a practiced speech.
"Me?" he asked, raising an eyebrow. "Really?"
"I didn't put your name down on the birth certificate. Not even Richard knows you're the father," she told him. "I didn't want word to get out. Can you imagine? Petey would be watched constantly. He'd never know what a normal childhood felt like."
"And you think dropping him off with me would be a normal childhood?" Tony scoffed. "I'm a drunk, a genius. I have my own multi-billion dollar company. You really want him to be raised like that?"
Mary sighed. "I know it probably doesn't make much sense. But Tony, you have to understand; I'm leaving the fate of my child to you." Her eyes trailed back to the baby, who still hadn't made a sound. Tony realized he must have been sleeping. "If something goes wrong, if Richard and I don't come back... Just promise me he'll have a future. Promise me he will be loved."
Tony downed his coffee and stood from his seat. "Just how dangerous is this thing? And why do you have to go?"
May didn't answer.
"This aunt and uncle of his, why can't they take care of him?"
"They've only met Peter once or twice," she explained. "I can't put that financial strain on them."
"I could pay child support," he offered.
"They're not even his real family," Mary said, giving him a quick glare. "If everything goes right, we'll be back within a month. If not... Promise he will be loved. Promise me he will be happy."
Tony didn't have a clue on how he was supposed to do that, but he nodded. "Sure. I'll do my best."
Mary smiled, and tears formed in her eyes. "Thank you," she whispered, and pressed her lips too the baby's forehead. "Now, there's enough diapers and baby food to last a week. His favorite toy is the hippo, and he likes to lose his pacifier, so you'll have to keep an eyes on that. Oh, and his bedtime is 7:30, and he's an early riser. I wrote a list of everything I could think of, but I probably forgot some things, but you'll find the internet really is magical." The tears were spilling over now, and it looked like it took everything she had to not break down then and there.
"Wait, I don't even have a crib," Tony protested. "You meant now? What am I-?"
"Tony, please," she chuckled. "You're a genius billionaire inventor. I'm sure you can come up with something." She was standing, staring between the door and the baby. "I have to go," she whispered, "it's for his safety."
Then she ran, only doing long enough to reach for the doorknob.
She stopped, the door wide open and faced away.
"You said his name was Peter," Tony started, still frozen in his place. "But you said you were married, so I doubt it's Peter Lucas. Unless-"
"He has your name," she told him. "Peter Stark. But, yes, Lucas no longer applies. It's Parker now."
The closed softly behind her, and the baby - Peter - , as if sending his mothers disappearance, began to whine.
"Oh no," Tony groaned, and walked over to take Peter out of the carrier. It was awkward, and if anything, it made Peter fuss any more, but Tony did his best to bounce and walk around.
He found his phone laying on the coffee table, where his and Mary's empty cups still sat, and dialed the most important number in his contacts.
It rang three times before a groggy and annoyed voice answered.
"It's four in the morning, Tony," Pepper groaned. "I'll see you in three hours. Just make your own coffee."
"Pep, this is important," Tony stressed.
In his arms, Peter squealed as he hit Tony's cheek with his tiny hands.
"Pepper, please get here now." Tony was begging, and the realization of what he had just agreed to was settling in. "And if you don't mind, could you pick up a crib?"