It's a bit early but I finished it and am having cuteness overload. I hope you all enjoy! The next chapter may take a little longer since I became obsessed with another story idea but it's a different thing completely and I am still continuing this one so don't worry.
Hope you enjoy!
Chapter 28 – Members of a Broken Family
It took Harry's insistence that Bruce stay for breakfast as Tony had woken the man and pretty much dragged him from the tower to see Harry. Even with the insistence, Bruce did not feel at ease in the company of the small family. Although it did strike him as odd that the thought of Tony fitting into the family before him did not seem as outrageous as it had previously.
The air of unease did not leave Bruce completely, despite the unconscious relaxing atmosphere that seemed present in the house. It was easy for Bruce to mentally step back and observe those around him. Tony seemed to fit into the morning dynamic without a problem, entertaining a still tired child as Harry busied himself several steps away cooking bacon.
Bruce found himself watching Teddy the most. The child was animated in his speech, despite the clear signs of exhaustion still clinging to him in the early morning. He had no filter as he spoke to Tony about his dreams of animals running through a forest, about how the small rat was happy to hide as the bigger of its friends chased it.
"And then – and then – and then –" Teddy said, his eagerness showing as he struggled to get the words out quickly enough.
"Take a breath," Harry said fondly. "Your mind is running a bit too fast again."
"Oh!" Teddy gasped. He did as asked, taking a moment to hold the deep breath before releasing it. "And then my real daddy found him and they all went back to the house and fell asleep," he finished his tale with an enormous smile.
"That sounds like a really interesting dream kid," Tony said, he then opened his mouth as if to ask a question before he looked towards Bruce. "Ah –"
Bruce gave his friend a confused look, almost wanting to question the reaction that occurred.
"Uncle George!" Teddy's lough voice cut Bruce's thoughts off. Sparing a glance towards to man he had briefly met before, he was once again shocked as Teddy's black hair changed to a vivid red, matching the other mans.
"Oof," George exhaled, without even a second thought, the man and bent down and scooped the child up into his arms.
"Tony brought a friend round," the kid cried happily.
"I can see that," George said cheekily as he set Teddy on the edge of the table.
"No bottoms on the table please," Harry playfully scolded as he waved a spatula around, causing Teddy to giggle and George to give a deep forced sigh.
"You heard the man," he said regretfully, he gently lifted the child up once more and with a teasing smirk he had dropped him onto Bruce's lap, much to the man's horror.
Tony froze momentarily, aware of how little Bruce trusted himself as well as being aware of the current look of horror on Bruce's face as the child turned to look at him. George gave Tony a look, his teasing mask still in place with a raised eyebrow. Bruce could tell that Harry was fully aware of what was happening behind him from the slight tense of his stance.
"Aunt Hermione says it's not nice to intro – introduce yourself," Teddy said thoughtfully. "My name is Teddy," he then said with a smile. "Tony says you're very nice, and that you work with him although you don't make robots but that's ok because not everyone can make robots and it takes a really smart person to do that –" Teddy cut himself off quickly with a frown. "It's not nice to call people stupid," he said as if he was reminding himself. He then added an honest, "I'm sorry. Tony says you're very smart and you helped my daddy so thank you. He also said you're an a – a – aven –"
"Avenger," Tony offered with a smile, his brief moment of panic completely gone as Bruce's horrified look turned to a bemused one.
"That's it," Teddy agreed with an over exaggerated nod. "An Avenger, which is a superhero! So it's ok if you can't make robots because you help keep people safe!"
Bruce opened his mouth. Then closed it. He shot a helpless look towards Tony, unsure of what to do.
"Yes?" Bruce said, unable to stop himself smiling as Teddy's face lit up once again. "I'm Bruce, but I think you know that," he said softly.
Teddy nodded, "Aunt 'Mione –"
"Doesn't like to be called that," George interrupted, knowing the conversation would turn circular if Teddy continued. "You know she was happy when you learnt how to say her name," George added gently. "Speaking of which," George said turning to Harry. "She wanted to know if the offer of bed and breakfast was still available if she visited. She was eager to see how different it was here and how Teddy's education was going," he finished, ruffling the bright red hair on the child.
"She knows it is," Harry sighed with a fond smile. "You weren't the only one that I offered a room to. I expected her before now, you know she has a hard time stopping herself finding out new things."
"Ah, but Harry, my dear boy, that was before she settled and started the new job," George teased.
Harry rolled his eyes, a slight pang of loneliness in his chest as he thought of his friends. "I guess," he said as he finished plating up the breakfast.
Breakfast passed pleasantly. Teddy was content to move to his own chair, the one that was 'only his and no one else's' as he had seriously told Bruce. The adults were left to maintain the light level of conversation. George, Harry and Tony talked among each other without a single worry, a fact that made Bruce somewhat envious. Harry and George were happy to try and include Bruce in the conversation, asking about where he had travelled and other little things.
In the end, Tony declared himself and Harry as the cleaners and pushed a confused Bruce in the direction that George and Teddy had gone.
"I guess that he doesn't act like that," George said gently as he gestured for Bruce to follow him upstairs.
"No, not at all," he responded softly. "I never expected his to be so domestic."
George snorted, "domestic is one way to put it."
"How would you describe that," Bruce said, waving a hand down the stairs.
"He's leaving you with us so you can get used to us," George pointed out, raising an eyebrow as if asking Bruce to contradict him.
"You are probably right," Bruce sighed.
"Uncle George!" Teddy's voice called from a room on the right.
"Let's go subject ourselves to the joy of imagination," George said with a wink before he walked into the room.
Bruce hesitated for a moment, sending a quick longing glance down the stairs towards the door.
Bruce couldn't help the smile as he entered the room, seeing Teddy happily giggling as he pulled out blocks and action men as well as some other dolls. The child seriously told each of the adults that they had to pick two toys to help build the city and they needed to finish it before the dragon came and ate them all.
That is how the rest of the morning passed, George and Bruce listening to the child's whims and creating buildings and castle walls out of anything they could find in the room, books, blocks, and even pencils were used in order to create the best houses.
It was after, what felt like, hours of hard work that Teddy sorrowfully informed the two men that the dragons were coming. The child had grasped a pillow to his chest and had told the adults to do the same as they prepared for the attack.
"Get ready!" George had shouted as Teddy screamed.
Then Bruce watched in amusement as both of the people in front of him began to use their pillows as weapons to destroy the town that they had spent so long creating. With Teddy's encouragement, Bruce joined in, unable to stop the smile or the laughter that came with the roars Teddy was making.