Hey guys! I watched Spider-Man FFH, which I adored, and it inspired me to start this. It's only a quick start, but please let me know whether you want me to continue it! Happy reading :)
After the Snap, Peter Parker would never be the same.
He would never forget the feeling of return. After five years of near darkness, forever wondering where he was, whom he was with and why, oh why, he could not feelanything, he would never forget the moment his body had begun to hum with a new-born energy. It had begun in his fingertips, only slight to begin with, like the prick of a needle. But then the feel spread throughout him like wildfire, bringing him to life. But, in the moment he could hear his own heart begin to beat again, he realised he was not alone anymore.
"Come on, Peter! Tony needs us, we have togo!" It was the strange doctor, no, Dr Strange. He was right in front of him, and his eyes were urgent and pleading. And then the world began to fade in around him, like he was trapped in a dome. The world rushed beyond, going so fast, too many colours and movements to comprehend. It was like he was in space again, and for the briefest of moments; fear hit him like a smack in the face.
"Come on, kid. Trust me." Dr Strange told him, and Peter did trust him. Tony needed them, and damn it he was not going to let him down again.
In the moment he joined the fight back on Earth, it was a relief to breathe fresh air again. It felt incredible to swing through the air once more, to finally feel at the mercy of gravity yet defy it all at the same time. He felt free again. And when he joined the others, one by one, he could never help but gaze in awe at the scene unfolding around him. Everyone was here, now, together after far too long. And they were going to fight like they had never fought before. And when he saw Tony Stark's awed expression, Peter was determined to do him proud – no apologies, only victory.
He joined the fight like he was born for it. He flew nimbly through the air, aided those when needed and thanked those who aided him. They worked together, all racing for the same goal, all of them determined for the same outcome. He was fighting for his Aunt May, Ned, MJ, and hell, even Flash. He was fighting for his home, his family, his life. And when he saw Tony struggling against the biggest brute Peter had ever seen, he knew he was fighting for the Avengers, too, and not just with them.
Yet he couldn't help himself as he rambled to Tony, helping him to his feet. He barely noticed the bizarre look on the older man's face: it was one of confusion, which then morphed into relief, and… were those tears?
"Hold me, kid, hold me…" Peter barely caught the words as Tony stumbled towards him.
"What are you doing?" he asked, stunned. But he didn't get a response. Instead, Tony had him in the tightest embrace imaginable. It wasn't an accident, or a joke, but real. He heard Tony's breath shake in his ear as he held him tighter, clapping him affectionately on the back once, and then twice.
This was nice – though he said that out loud. He didn't care. He clung to Tony like no tomorrow, burying his face in his shoulder. He never wanted it to end, for this was the one sign of approval he had always wanted from Tony. But they were in the middle of a war, and he knew that he could catch up with Tony once they won, because they would win.
"Mr Stark, I think that we…" he stuttered, and Tony released him, clashing the side of his neck and looking him dead in the eyes. Tony's gaze was focused, determined, and Peter was sure that his expression matched his.
"Knock em' dead, kid." Tony told him, and then he was gone.
"With pleasure," Peter replied, mostly to himself, and grinned as his webs allowed him to take flight once more.
When Peter found Tony later, slumped against the wall, his right side burned, he could barely contain himself. Thanos was gone, but no one was celebrating. Tony gazed at him, but his eyes were unseeing, and Peter felt his own heart ripping apart inside him. He grabbed his shoulder, willing him to stay with him, but suddenly a hand pulled gently on his own shoulder.
"No, no, no, no…" he sobbed, but allowed the person to carefully guide him away – it was Pepper Potts. She looked beside herself, and yet she held it together all at the same time as she knelt before her loved one, touching his cheek as she whispered to him. Peter was on his knees, sobbing, shaking, and refusing to believe that this was happening. It couldn't be. They had won. Why was this happening?
"Someone, help him, now!" Pepper shouted. "Get him up, carefully, and get him to a hospital!"
"Pepper, he-" someone said, maybe Captain America, Peter didn't know.
"F.R.I.D.A.Y. thinks he stands a chance, now go!"
Peter couldn't comprehend what was happening. People were moving, flying, shouting and screaming, but he couldn't move. He felt hands touch him, words urge him to get up, but he just couldn't do it. Maybe it was the shock and the exhaustion, but someone, somewhere guided him to his feet and made him walk, murmuring useless things of comfort in his ear. He tried to listen, but his mind only told him one think.
Tony Stark was dying.
The time at the hospital was agonizing. He sat in the private room, where Mr Stark was lay in the bed under white blankets, with wires and tubes connecting with the rhythmic beeps echoing in the room. He was unconscious, and had been for about 3 days now. Nothing had changed. People came and went, and doctors tried to shoo Peter out, too, but Pepper and Happy wouldn't allow it.
So the hours went by, and Pepper would be in and out all day and all night. When she slept, which was often leaning over his bed at his feet, Peter watched over Tony. And when he slept, Pepper watched over Tony and him. They hardly spoke, but nothing needed to be said. Happy was there all throughout the days, bringing food, coffee, and more coffee. Aunt May soothed Peter whenever she could be allowed in, which was again courtesy of Pepper. May struggled to be happy to have Peter back, because he nephew was a ghost of himself.
The days turned into weeks, and nothing changed. Pepper, by this point, forced Peter to go home. He needed a proper meal, a hot shower, and a good sleep in a comfy bed. And boy did he sleep, so full of exhaustion that his body didn't even have the strength to dream. And when his body roused him into a shaking sobbing mess, May was there to comfort him without question.
Upon return to the hospital, about four weeks after the second Snap, Peter looked almost like a human being. Walking down the corridors of the hospital, turning this way and that evening passing Happy as at café on the way, he wondered the same route he had now come to memorise on the way to Tony's room.
Once there, Pepper also looked refreshed. She wore a smart grey suit with a white blouse and comfy flats, and she was adjusting the flowers beside Tony's bedside. He continued to sleep, and his heart rate remained the same – steady, stable. In his slumber, his face was healing, and it was slowing becoming hard to believe he had been in the war for Earth.
"Hey, Miss Potts," Peter greeted politely.
She smiled warmly at him. "Happy is getting the coffee, though I must say you look far more alive than I have ever seen you."
"I don't feel it," he murmured, looking at his feet. Pepper hummed quietly.
"It will take time, Pete, but he will get there." She raised her gaze to meet his and smiled, her smile warming him to the bone. He tried to return it, and half managed it. But then her gaze moved beyond him, towards something behind him, and she went from smiling to beaming. "Actually, Peter, there was someone I wanted you to meet. I feel like now is as good a time as any."
Peter turned, confused, and at first he only saw Happy. Happy winked, handing over a cup of warm, appealing coffee. Peter took it just as something caught his eye behind Happy, moving shyly behind his legs. Big brown eyes met his own, beaming with curiosity, and a little face full of mischief, just like Tony, drank him in. Peter stared, his heart pounding, and the reality of being gone for five years finally hit him all at once.
"Peter, I want you to meet our daughter, Morgan." Pepper murmured, and he could hear the smile in her voice. "She's heard all about you."
Peter knelt down, and for the first time, the beeping of the machines keeping Tony alive finally melted away. Morgan Stark had thick, shiny brown hair, and the curiosity in her eyes reminded him so much of what he was like at her age. She must have been five years old, and her face and demeanour made her seem like she had the whole world figured out and ready to deduce at her fingertips.
"Hi, I'm Peter." He told her, smiling. She smiled back, a toothy smile.
"I'm Morgan." She replied. "Daddy says you're Spider-Man." She broke out into a grin. "He's the second coolest Avenger."
"Oh yeah?" Peter said, grinning back. "Then who's the coolest?"
"Oh," she said, touching her finger to her chin as if in deep thought. "Well, Daddy, of course."
"Of course," Peter murmured, but Morgan was already walking past him. She strolled over to her mother, who kissed the crown of her head fondly, before she then clambered onto the bed of her unconscious father. She perched herself there, crossing her legs as she went, and grabbed a book that had been on the bedside. She began to read, mostly to Tony, but she had the attention of the entire room, including the two nurses that came in to check over her father.
And in that moment, as the daughter of Tony Stark held the complete attention of her audience with next to no effort, there was no doubt that she was his daughter. And suddenly, Peter felt his heart beat that little bit stronger again. Hope really did exist.