There where many words Tony could choose to describe Peter; optimistic, smart, kind, stupidly righteous, undoubtedly selfless, an idiot with when it came to his own safety, a kid. But the thing that stuck out a lot more than anyone would think was how annoyingly respectful he was. He'd never once heard Peter refer to him as Tony, always Mr. Stark. Same went for the others as well; Mr. Barton, Ms. Romanoff, Dr. Banner, Mr. Barnes, Mr. Captain sir, hell even Mr. Odinson. It was a habit Peter had that Tony had been attempting to break since their first meeting in the apartment. They'd known each other for two years now and Peter had gotten pretty close to everyone else and they had no problem telling him just to use their first names but there was always the prefix and last name.
Tony had tried several times to get Peter to slip up and accidentally use a first name. Sadly his attempts proved fruitless.
"Who are you?"
"Okay, now who am I?"
"You're Mr. Stark. Did you hit your head? Do I need to call Dr. Banner?"
Once he had asked why he never used their first names and Peter merely responded that it was just one of those respect your elders things and it felt odd to even consider being on a first name basis. While Tony didn't exactly agree, he dropped the subject though it didn't stop him from trying to make Peter slip up every once in a while.
He was glad he stopped physically trying to break the habit because it had become one he hated but was useful. He remembered the first time Peter uttered his name and it haunted him.
They had been on a recon mission- a simple get in, take down baddies, get necessary information, get out type of deal but it ended horribly. They'd been terribly misinformed about where the base was and how it was set up, the layout had been changed completely and the time slots for everything didn't add up at all. They had to wing it for the most part, and a part of the plan was they all needed to split up. It wasn't the best plan but they needed the information and couldn't afford to fail.
The whole thing had been good for the most part but when they received what they needed and attempted to retreat, a fail safe had activated and it just so happened that said fail safe consisted of blowing up the building.
It was over in a matter of moments and everyone had sounded off through their comms to signal they were all right, all except Peter.
"Come on kid, if this is for dramatic effect, it's a really stupid idea." Tony had called when Peter didn't respond.
"Maybe his comm's out." Clint said. "Or he's farther from any of us for the signal to get through."
If only. If his comm was out, that meant his suit was pretty heavily damaged and that didn't mean anything good for any of them.
"FRIDAY can you get a lock on his suit or talk to Karen?"
"No sir. It seems his suit is too damaged for me to get anything from it but the last signal I received was towards the back end of the building before it came down."
"Shit. Okay, scan to see if you can find any trace of him." He took off towards the assumed back of the building. "All of you get that?"
"We got it Stark. We won't leave until we find him." Steve responded.
FRIDAY had gotten a few blimps of forms of life but they'd all turned out to be the half dead agents of the compound. Another few minutes and FRIDAY had finally located Peter, and he wasn't a pretty sight.
There was rubble covering his legs and his left arm, his body spread out on a slab of concrete with a piece of rebar sticking out of his lower left torso. His mask was setting haphazardly to the side leaving his face for Tony to view in full. Peter's teeth were clenched in pain, his eyes shut tight but Tony could see a few tears sliding down his cheeks. His right arm had been clutching the metal sticking out of his torso and that's when Tony's mind pieces together that Peter had been impaled on the rebar.
"I got him." Tony spoke quickly into his comm. "He- he needs medical now."
"We're coming to you. Nat's gonna get the jet-"
Whatever Steve was saying was lost on Tony's ears. It was like he had suddenly gone deaf. He couldn't hear Steve speaking or the cracks of the bits of fire that had been burning around him. The whole world had gone silent, all because of Peter barely uttering a word.
The situation had gone from bad to absolutely terrifying.
Tony had remembered first bringing the whole first name basis conversation up out of pure curiosity. No one, no kid, in their right mind would ever dream of being able to call him Tony because he asked them to. Usually he would be telling them the opposite, Mr. Stark to you, but there Peter was, practically having Tony beg for him to use his first name.
"I guess it just one of my personal rules. I'm sure I'll slip up some day though, maybe before I die-"
No. That wasn't going to happen.
"I'm here kid. You're gonna be fine." Tony was at his side in an instant.
"I can't- I can't pull it out." Peter was practically sobbing. It broke Tony's heart to see how scared he was.
"You can't pull it out Peter. It's attached to the concrete you're laying on. Stop trying to get it."
"I- I tried to contact someone but- but Karen wouldn't respond and I couldn't think of what else to do… it hurts so much."
"I know." Tony could barely stand to look at him. He didn't want to see the anguish in his face or the blood ever so slowly seeping into his suit. The only good thing he could think of was that the hole in his torso was plugged and he wouldn't bleed out while waiting for the others. "It's gonna hurts for a little while but you're gonna be fine. Bruce is gonna fix you up and you're gonna be just fine."
"I'm scared Tony."
There it was again. His name was quickly becoming a thing he hated hearing. It just sound so- wrong coming out of Peter's mouth.
"I gotcha Pete. I'm not gonna go anywhere."
Tony had sat with him for the long agonizing minutes until the others arrived. He felt minor relief when they showed up though, he didn't have any idea of how to treat Peter without hurting him. The others didn't either. It was a horrible thing to watch; Steve had lifted Peter slightly so Tony could cut through the rebar underneath him, freeing him from the concrete. They'd all grimaced at Peter's muffled sobs and whimpers and it was horrible to watch him flinch at every movement. Steve had carried him onto the jet and did his best to keep his still and awake as they went back to the compound, but Peter passed out mere minutes into the flight which turned out to be more concerning than relieving. Peter was rushed into surgery immediately as they got there while the others, much to their displeasure, had gone to get debriefed.
It took a few weeks for Peter completely heal from the whole thing, he barely had a scar after it was all over, and he didn't seem to acknowledge, or remember, calling Tony by his first name.
The next time Tony had heard a name uttered from Peter's mouth wasn't his own but it still had the same effect of the whole thing.
It had been a late evening and Tony had been relaxing with Bruce in the lounge, the two of them talking about theories and experiments with National Geographic playing softly on the TV in the background. Tony had offered snacks and had gone to the kitchen to get the both of them something. Upon his return he was greeted with an opened window and Peter sitting on the floor, surprisingly not in his suit. That was the first thing that sent up a warning flag. When he heard the boy utter a barely tangible Bruce, he knew something was wrong.
The two men were by his side in an instant, trying to find any source of an injury but found none.
"What's the matter Pete?" Bruce's voice was soft but firm and was more so demanding an answer than asking a question.
"It hurts." Peter's Head was in his hands and he was hunched over on the floor. "Everything is making it hurt."
"Your head hurts?" Peter managed a nod. "What do you mean everything's making it hurt?"
"The sounds, lights, smells… I can taste things I shouldn't be able to. I can feel every vibration from everything and it feels like my head's gonna split."
"FRIDAY." At Tony's word, the TV was turned off and the lights dulled. "Give me two minutes." Tony quickly and carefully left the room.
"You're gonna be okay Pete." Bruce's voice was hushed to a whisper. "You're going into sensory overload. We just need to call you down a bit."
"I was just with Ned and when I left- everything just got so loud and the smells are making me feel sick…"
"It's okay. You don't need to talk. We can just sit and wait for Tony to get back."
That's what they did. The two of them sat on the floor in silence, only being interrupted as Tony reentered the room. He didn't say anything but motioned for the two of them to follow. Bruce had helped Peter from the floor and the all silently gone through the compound to one of the lower levels. The floor the stopped on had a long hallway leading to a singular room. The walls were a darker grey and it had only a bed, couch, and dresser in it.
"You can stay in here until you feel better." Tony nearly whispered. "It's designed to help with sorts of sensory overloads and anxiety."
"Thank you." Peter had gone and sat on the bed, his hands covering his ears.
"FRIDAY's here is you need anything." The door had shut soundlessly and the two men made their way back to the upper level.
It had been hours before Peter reemerged from the room. FRIDAY had been giving Bruce and Tony updates every half hour. He had curled up on the bed and pressed a pillow over his ears and stayed that way for most of the time, only in the last two hours did he remove it. FRIDAY had said he started knocking on various things in the room and opening the door a few times in an attempt to perhaps smell something. He was testing his senses out.
When he entered the upstairs lounge, he apologized for disturbing them and thanked them for helping him through the whole thing, a swift Thank you Dr. Banner, Mr. Stark before attempting to leave from the window he came through. Tony rolled his eyes and told him to stay there for the night because one, it was late, and two, they both wanted to make sure Peter really was all right and didn't want to take any chance of him possibly collapsing while swinging his way home.
The third time a name was said, they were in another battle and Tony's heart nearly stopped when he heard it.
It wasn't like the other times; he wasn't calling because something was wrong with him. It was a teammate that was in danger and Tony knew Peter would gladly sacrifice himself to save others. They were fighting aliens of some sort, the generic run of the mill lanky green guys that looked like they'd copied the movie Signs, which Peter had pointed out several times. Thank god they had some form of clothes or armor though.
No one has seen it coming, no one but Peter.
Clint had been perched on a rooftop, taking out aliens like it was just another Tuesday. He had even brought extra arrows so he wouldn't really have to move from where he was.
It was sudden. His name was yelled from somewhere in the air then something barreled into his chest knocking the wind out of him as he went tumbling back. It took a moment for him to regain his bearings and when he did he saw Peter lying face down on top of the roof. He rushed over to him to see a rather large burn mark encompassing nearly the whole of his back.
"Oh shit." Clint's hand immediately went to Peter's neck to find a pulse and was heavily relieved when he found one. "Kid's down; he got hit bad."
Tony was there in seconds. He heard Peter yell through the comm and knew nothing good was happening. Seeing Peter lying there face down on the roof with a slightly smoldering burn going clear through his suit and getting his skin- he wanted to vomit. The sight was absolutely horrible.
"He's alive Stark." Clint's voice pulled Tony out of of his horrified trance. "He needs medical now."
Tony merely nodded and attempted to somehow lift Peter but he didn't want to rush touching the burn. Clint has assisted him in carefully rolling Peter over so he could be picked up and both men expected some sort of reaction, a groan, yell of pain, hell even a whimper but Peter was completely still and silent. Tony nearly dropped to the ground to check Peter's pulse and see him breathing but FRIDAY had been giving him all his vitals and it wasn't looking good.
"Go Stark. I'll be damned if he dies for my sake." Tony could practically see the maliciousness flowing off the archer as he picked up his bow and arrows and went to the side of the roof. "Fuck these guys."
Tony took off towards the compound, the others taking care of aliens that were chasing him, Peter hanging limply in his arms. It was absolutely terrifying. It had occurred to him that Bruce was currently fighting as the Hulk and there would be no doctor that knew enough about Peter to actually heal him. He had FRIDAY call Helen, saying that he needed her ASAP. The only problem was, the roads probably weren't the best thing to use dying an alien invasion. He next took to calling Strange because he could literally portal himself to wherever he needed to be and Peter didn't have time to waste.
Needless to say Stephen wasn't all that happy when Tony called and a fair amount of co fused about how he had gotten his secret personal number. Whenever Tony got in contact with him, it usually meant something bad happened and from the shakiness in Tony's voice as he spoke told him it was far beyond that. Stephen was waiting from them when they arrived and immediately went to assess the damages done to the boy.
All in all, despite Tony severely doubting him, Stephen had said it wasn't all that bad. The burn was certainly a sight to see yes, but that was really all it was, given it was from some sort of weird alien ray gun or something. With Peter's healing, it would take less than two weeks to fully heal. The reason for his unconsciousness was a hit to the head when he tackled Clint out of the way and the reason for staying unconscious had something to do with the heat of the whole thing because Peter did appear to have a slight fever. Steven had wrapped Peter's back and told Tony he would most likely wake in a few hours. Tony couldn't thank him enough.
That was the last thing that had happened in a while, much to Tony's relief. Peter had healed and resumed his normal life as a high school student. The missions they'd gone on after that and the patrols Peter led had been boring for the most part; no super secret heists to stop, no robberies, no muggings, not even any old ladies to help out. It had given Tony a much needed breather. It was when he was away for business that the next name was called and it had been relayed to him.
"Peter called me Steve."
The file Tony had been looking at was cast aside. "What happened?"
"Not too sure, I think he was having a panic attack or a really bad PTSD episode. I found him sitting in the lounge in his suit staring off into nothing and when I asked if anything was wrong he called my name."
"Were you able to talk to him about what was happening?"
Steve nodded. "After a few minutes of sitting there. He kept apologizing for keeping me and making his problem my problem. He kept mentioning a Ben-? Is that someone from his school?"
Tony rubbed his eyes and internally cursed himself. "No, it was his uncle. He was killed a few years ago by a mugger around this time; kid held him while he died."
"Losing a family member is terrible but actually holding him while he died…"
"Did he tell you anything else?"
Steve shook his head. "He just asked if I could sit with him for a little while. He was trying hard not to show any emotion, but he started hyperventilating at one point. I sat with him for about an hour before he was able to calm down. He just kept thanking me and apologizing for taking my time."
It wasn't strange for Peter to get especially emotional around that time of year; quieter, more distant, overly worried about missions, he'd even eat less, but Tony had never seen him have an episode, let alone seek out some sort of comfort for it. He knew Peter was always home with May of the actual anniversary day so maybe that was when those types of things happened.
"FRIDAY pull up the footage from Peter's suit from last Thursday."
A screen flashed in front of the two men and after a moment they were watching the footage. It looked like the sun had just set. Peter was responding to a robbery at a nearby liquor store. He was perched on top of a building, the robber was running down the street and slammed into someone. Then there was a bang and Tony could swear he heard Peter gasp in the footage.
Peter had never told Tony the full story about what happened to his uncle, only that he was shot by an armed robber after accidentally bumping into them. The footage was nearly identical to what Peter had told him so Tony could only assume that it was the reason for it.
"Pretty sure his uncle died the same way." Tony muttered. "Seeing it again would have had to trigger something."
"Are you gonna talk to him about it?" Steve asked.
"Sounds like you did a decent job of it. Besides it's not my place to talk about it. No one likes it what you bring up painful memories."
After that, Tony began keeping track of when Peter used someone's first name. So far he'd only ever said any of their names once.
Tony… The Impalement.
Bruce- Sensory Overload.
Clint! Imminent Danger.
Steve. Bad flashback to his uncle's death.
Natasha-? He had been having vivid nightmares about killing someone.
Bucky…? He'd been shot in the chest during a mission.
Thor!? The god had been knocked unconscious by the enemy and was about to be killed.
Sam! Knocked out of the air and was underwater for almost three minutes before Peter could get to him.
Rhodey. They'd been captured and tortured and Peter didn't know how much longer he could hold on.
Tony hated it. The situations played in his head in a timely manner when he heard one from Peter's mouth. The thing was Peter never acknowledged it when it happened and Tony ultimately decided he was doing it subconsciously. It was a useful thing but Tony hated it. Their names just sounded so wrong coming from him in those situations.
He heard his name leave Peter's lips a second time but the whole thing was tremendously different from the first. They weren't in any sort of battle for one, the two of them were in the kitchen, Peter sitting at the table drinking some juice while tony was trying his hand at making pancakes. His mind was preoccupied with other things though; new mission they still all had to go over. Theories and plans had been playing in his head but it had gone blank when he heard Peter speak.
Said man whipped around looking for something. "What's wrong?"
Peter took another drink of his juice before responding. "The pancakes are burning."
Uuh, so I have this headcanon where Peter only calls everyone by their first name if something really bad happens and was in need of a story for it. I'm sure he'll grow out of it.
I'm thinking of doing a sort of fantasy/medieval story at some point so hopefully that'll be interesting for you guys to read. Don't worry, I'm still working on things for the school mini series but I'm running kinda dry with ideas for it so if you got any please tell me and I'll do my best to do them justice.
Please point out any grammatical or spelling mistakes i might have missed so i can fix them in the future! Leave a review! It's getting to the holiday season and reviews are the best gifts for writers!
Hope ya liked it. See ya later!