Disclaimer: I own neither the characters in the story or do I make any suggestion that I have actually been to any of the Disney theme parks. This is simply what I imagine visiting Disney World would be like.
Two years ago, Tony Stark could never have dreamed that he would be visiting Disney World. Well actually, he could. He was, after all, a genius billionaire playboy philanthropist—making an irrational decision like taking his private jet to Florida just to ride the Harry Potter ride at Universal Orlando was a part of the job description. But that was beside the point. The point was that Tony was here on vacation with his family. That's right—family.
One morning, Steve and Tony had been watching yet another episode of "Phineas and Ferb" as Peter sat on the floor drawing another picture of what Tony could only assume was a mutated dog (though Steve had said it was supposed to be their cat, Leo), looking up occasionally at the TV, laughing at every little joke. Tony couldn't exactly say anything to the boy. He was only six, after all. At that age, everything was funny. But that didn't explain why Steve was doing the exact same thing.
When they had adopted Peter, Tony had a hard time finding his role as a 'father'. After all, Tony hadn't had the most normal childhood himself, nor was Howard Stark a great example for him to live up to. The first few months were comprised of Tony making stupid mistakes, like the time he had forgotten Peter's favorite blanket when they visited Malibu, or the time that he'd bought Peter a stuffed lion at the toy store, when Peter was terrified of them. Even though Steve kept telling him that he was doing fine, Tony didn't feel like he was doing anything right.
This was why Tony knew that he had to take Peter to Disney World.
Between the kid asking Steve what color to draw the "cat's" fur and laughing at yet another amazing summer project, the Disney World commercial came on. Peter watched the television, completely in awe. His eyes were wide, his mouth agape. Tony knew that Peter had watched "Toy Story 3" a thousand times—at least he was 73% positive it was "Toy Story 3" and not that frilly princess movie "Tangled"—and after all, what kid didn't dream about going to Disney World? He'd brought up the idea to Steve one night, after Peter had fallen asleep in the middle of a re-run of "Aladdin". Steve had thought it was a great idea, and Tony remembered thinking that the idea had probably excited Steve just as much as it would Peter.
They'd originally decided to keep it a secret and take Peter there for his birthday, but then his birthday turned into Christmas, and Christmas turned into New Years, and then New Years turned into "the next Saturday that Loki didn't decide that Washington D.C. was his own personal playground".
Neither Steve nor Tony had thought it would be this difficult, balancing their personal lives with their work as superheroes. They were in an on-call rotation with the Avengers when they moved to their apartment outside of the Avengers Tower, after adopting Peter. When they both absolutely had to be on duty, Agent Coulson had directly volunteered to babysit, though his exact words were along the lines of, "I'm already babysitting six heroes, what's a little kid?"
It had finally come down to Steve and Tony going to Fury's office at S.H.I.E.L.D., ultimately pleading for a vacation—so that they could spend more than a few days together with Peter. Fury was reluctant, but even the stern director of S.H.I.E.L.D. admitted that they had been owed a break for a long time. It wasn't even six hours later that they'd loaded up Stark's private jet and flown to Florida.
As Peter slept next to Steve, curled up in a certain blue blanket—he should really get a medal or something for remembering it this time—Tony couldn't help but smile.
"You think he'll like it?" Tony asked Steve, using his Stark-enhanced tablet to look up particular rides and attractions that a six year old might enjoy.
Steve smiled, adjusting Peter so that he could look at Tony. "You know he will," he assured. Tony couldn't bring himself to meet Steve's smile. Steve apparently noticed. "Hey, this is a great idea. What's wrong?"
"I just—I don't know… I can't seem to do it right," he admitted, looking down at Peter. "I forget things. Basic things, like he loves strawberries. You'd think I'd already assume he loves strawberries considering how many times I saw him keep trying to give them to Pepper. And when I'm not messing up stupid stuff like that, I'm either in the lab or out on some mission. Maybe I'm just not cut out for this."
"Well, it's a little late to back out now," Steve said with a smile. It was only a joke, of course, but it made Tony feel even worse. "You're doing fine. It's only been two years. Most parents have had six to get to where we are now."
"Yet look at who he decides to curl up with," he remarked bitterly, painfully aware of how childish he was being. He looked out the window to avoid Steve's hurt gaze. "I know, I know. It's just, you know. He never comes to me when he wants someone to draw with him, he goes to you. Whenever we go to the park with him, he ends up pulling you around. I know it shouldn't bother me, but it does."
Tony didn't have to look to see the expression Steve was would make. The way his eyes would soften at this small weakness Tony was showing him. The way his eyebrows would furrow, as if contemplating the best way to take away the pain; protect Tony from his own worries. As much as he loved the fact that Steve loved him and wanted to protect him, it pissed Tony off sometimes. He knew it was his fault Steve had to feel that way.
"…Peter loves you. You don't see the way he looks at you because you're too busy beating yourself up because of small things like that."
After that, Tony stayed silent for the rest of the flight. Steve decided to leave it alone. Instead, he took Tony's tablet and looked at Tony's ideas of where they should visit. He sounded excited for a lot of them. After all, in this situation, Steve was just as much of a kid as Peter was.
When they finally arrived at the gates of Disney World, Peter's eyes widened with realization. He practically screamed with excitement. Steve couldn't hide the excited smile on his face, either, which made Tony roll his eyes, allowing himself a grin of his own. And he was supposed to be a dad.
As they walked through the gates, Peter was so star-struck that he was paralyzed with excitement. With such a wide-eyed, open-mouthed look plastered on his face, Tony couldn't help but chuckle.
Peter was turning, evidently about to thank Steve, but the man just smiled. "Don't look at me. It was your Daddy's idea."
Tony couldn't help but smile back. "What can I say? I always wanted to see Mickey Mouse," he jested, making Peter grin that big toothy grin Tony had always loved, but had only ever seen directed at Steve.
"Come on, Daddy!" Before Tony knew it, Peter was pulling him by the hand through the crowd. Despite his age, young Peter had quite a grip and was quite efficiently dragging him around.
"Woah! Slow down, Peter!" Tony demanded the first time that their height-difference the little boy's speed caused him to trip. Peter just laughed and kept pulling him. Tony looked back at Steve, following behind, that same reassuring smile aimed straight at Tony. Without thinking, Tony smiled right back.
As they arrived at the rollercoaster, Steve bent down to look at Peter. "Are you sure you want to ride this?" he asked one last time, uncertain that the six-year old could handle it. Peter nodded hesitantly.
Tony had tried to sit somewhere in the middle, but Peter was determined to sit in the front row. If nothing else, Peter was a brave little kid, although as they climbed that first, most important hill, he clung to Steve's muscular arms. Tony and Steve looked at each other over Peter's little head. Of course they had no fear; they'd ridden in the Quinjet when Thor had decided to learn how to pilot it.
Though they still let out the fun little screams as they zipped down that first hill and the turns gently jolted them. After their initial flight, Peter realized that he hadn't crashed into the ground, and of course he immediately jumped from terror into the kind of pure adrenaline that could only be seen from a boy so small on a ride like this.
Steve managed to get Peter to hold his arms up, a daring feat for a boy his size. Somewhere along the ride, he began to scream. "This is so much fuuuun!" Tony egged him on, screaming as loud as he could, right along with him.
Steve was convinced that it would not be the 'Disney World Experience' if Peter did not ride the spinning teacups. Tony rolled his eyes. To think that this serum-enhanced supersoldier, a being honed to a perfect machine of combat, had chosen this as his mission.
He had also insisted on spinning it.
In hindsight, Tony really should have realized that this was a bad idea. "Serum-enhanced supersoldier" wasn't just a title. With Steve spinning them, their cup swirled excessively fast. From their up, the outside world was nothing but a blur, color meant almost nothing. Tony was glad that Peter was not in between them as the force of Steve's turns made him slide hard into the side, making Tony the inevitable buffer between the two of them. Tony instinctively held on to Peter, almost afraid that Steve would spin the poor boy out of the cup.
And again, needless to say, afterwards Tony regretted eating that hotdog beforehand. It hadn't tasted as great the second time around. Surprisingly, though he too was extremely dizzy, Peter had been able to hang onto the contents of his stomach. Sickened though he was, Tony managed to make Steve promise to never again touch any ride controlled by the parent.
Steve didn't tell them he had only been using half of his strength.
Then, all of a sudden, Peter had started having a seizure. Well, it might not have actually been a seizure, but whatever it had been, it most definitely had both his fathers freaking out. Between his stifled squeals of excitement and bouncing energy, Steve was finally able to realize why their son almost literally, could not stay in his own skin.
Off to the side of the street, was Buzz Lightyear, talking to another little kid. The little kid was laughing, but he wasn't anywhere near as excited as Peter, who was now literally bouncing and begging—no, pleading—for them to go talk to him. Tony gave himself kudos for remembering Toy Story 3. "Alright, alright," he finally relented, hoping to quiet the kid down, but he was instead rewarded with a squeal of pure joy.
When the other had kid left, they made their way to the giant toy. While Buzz did his best to make jokes and chat with Peter, the little boy was too busy excitedly narrating Buzz's adventures to him to listen to a word he was saying. After a picture, they finally convinced Peter to leave his idol and see the rest of the theme park.
Finally regaining his stomach, Tony suggested that they find some food. Naturally, Steve was starving, his superhuman metabolism gnawing at his stomach. Finding them a seat in the food court, Tony ran off to find some food. When he returned with a tray of giant food (eight corndogs, three hamburgers, four orders of fries and lemonades), he paused. Steve was leaning in, talking to Peter hesitantly.
"Peter, why don't you play with your Daddy?" he asked, Tony's rant in the airplane obviously bothering him. Peter looked at him with innocent confusion.
"I've played with Daddy all day."
Steve smiled sadly. "Not just today, kiddo. When we're at home, you always ask me to draw with you and play board games," he explained gently, bending down to Peter's level, almost as if he thought he could find the answer in his son's eyes.
Peter looked down at his hands, avoiding Steve's gaze. "Because Daddy needs to work. He makes amazing things that help people. I don't want to make him stop working because what he does is special."
Tony's heart stopped. He said needs. Not "Daddy is always working,", not "Daddy wants to work,", needs. It wasn't that Peter thought he was neglecting him, Tony realized. It was because Peter was proud of what he did—even if he didn't know the superhero part of Tony's life. While Tony had resented everything about his father, Peter loved him. Loved him enough to let Tony work, without needing him to worry about Peter, even though he always ended up worrying in any case.
He noticed Steve's smile of relief. "Well, you know Daddy wants to play with you too. He really misses playing with you."
"Of course. Daddy wants to play with you just as much as I do." Peter seemed to light up with excitement. He no longer had to hold back! He could play with his dad as much as he wanted!
Tony decided it was finally okay to break up the moment. Hiding the fact he had heard their little conversation, he hastily brought back their food. Distributing it out (Peter: 1 corndog and fries, Steve: 6 corndogs, 2 hamburgers, and 2 servings of fries), he asked what it was that Peter wanted to do next, which was, of course to go and see Stitch.
"Daddy," Peter asked in between his bites, "do you want to watch Toy Story when we get home?"
Tony and Steve looked at each other, sharing a knowing glance.
"Of course. Anything you want, Peter."
As they entered the Epcot Park, Tony felt a sheepish tug on his shirt.
"…Can we go there?" Steve asked quietly, glancing over to the Finding Nemo exhibit.
Tony stared at him. "You want to go see Nemo and Dory?"
"It was cute, okay!"
As every little kid does, Peter soon got tired of walking. Steve put him up on his shoulders and carried him through the park. As they passed the Haunted House (which Peter had been too scared to go into), Steve and Tony noticed a certain booth.
"Oh my god," Tony whispered under his breath, his face melting into his palm.
They had known Disney was looking into making an 'Avengers' movie. S.H.I.E.L.D. loved the idea of free PR (even more so since they were getting paid to do it), and they had agreed, on the condition that the Avengers themselves did not partake in the movie. Within weeks of production, 'The Amazing Avengers' merchandise was on the streets. Tony and Steve had known about the deal, but ironically, neither of them had actually witnessed any of the products until now.
They had originally worried that going on vacation, someone would recognize them. Luckily, the workers and visitors of the park hadn't noticed that they were the famous Avengers, and had paid them little heed. Either that or they gave the superhero couple the same respect they would have wanted—to enjoy their family vacation.
"It's Captain America!" Peter exclaimed excitedly, pointing at the booth. And naturally, they had to go look at it. The pair had never informed Peter of their official identities as Iron Man and Captain America. They had thought it better that he stay ignorant for now, only thinking they left on business trips every once and a while, for a few days.
Of course, Tony's ego made him ask Peter who was his favorite Avenger.
"I like Captain America best! He's so brave. I wanna be just like him!" Peter exclaimed in awe. This made Steve blush, and he was lucky that the little boy was on his shoulders, unable to see. But this didn't help Tony's deep need to know how Peter felt about him.
"What about Iron Man?" he innocently asked his son. He shook with anticipation waiting for a reply.
Peter stopped momentarily. "He's mean. He's not a bad guy, but he's not nice to his friends. Especially Hawkeye; Hawkeye is really cool!"
Steve immediately burst into laughter. Tony shot his husband a quick glare. He was supposed to support him and defend his honor!
"Maybe he's just really smart and thinks Hawkeye's jokes aren't funny."
Peter shook his head, defensively saying, "But he's really really cool!" And of course, Steve laughed again as Tony began to sulk.
"He seems really busy," Tony commented quickly, trying to weasel his way out of Peter's demands.
"But you wanted to see him!"
Steve shot him a humorous smile. "You did say so this morning," he argued in defense of the little boy.
As they exited another gift shop, Peter had finally spotted Mickey Mouse. He had apparently been looking for him all day and Tony was now regretting ever saying anything about wanting to meet the symbol of all things Disney. He hadn't meant it, although he could never tell Peter. That would be the same as lying to him and Tony couldn't admit it, or else he'd set a bad example.
"What's a hug?" Steve said, slowly herding him towards the mouse. It wasn't fair. Even his husband was dead set against humiliating him.
Tony tried to dig his feet into the ground. Peter was, albeit poorly, pushing him. "Are you trying to humiliate me?" he hissed at Steve, but his husband took it in stride.
"Just do it for Peter," he responded, using the trump card of all their family-related arguments.
"I hate you." A lie, of course.
Needless to say, Tony got to hug Mickey Mouse.
The Oasis exhibit was beautiful. Peter was in awe of all of the animals; they hadn't gotten a chance to take him to a zoo since they'd adopted him. After all, they'd had a hard enough time trying to take him to Disney World. So everything he saw, from the kangaroo to the lemur, was completely foreign to him. Needless to say, they had a hard enough time keeping him next to them.
"Can I go see the birds?" he asked, his eyes pleading. Tony could see the exhibit just up ahead. He would be in clear sight and the area was relatively empty.
He nodded to Steve who sighed in exasperation. "Alright, just stay where you can see us. And don't go in yet. Just look from outside. "
Peter didn't need to be told twice before he ran off. And for the first time since they had begun their Disney adventure, Steve and Tony were alone together.
"I think you did a good job today, Daddy," Steve said, taking Tony's hand as they slowly followed behind. Tony chuckled lightly.
"You think so?"
Steve just laughed. "Just look at him," he responded, watching Peter with that soft expression that was reserved only for the two of them. Tony smiled.
"You know, for missing four years of his life, it seems we actually make pretty decent parents."
Tony felt his hand squeezed gently. Steve realized the weight those words held. "I told you."
Their conversation was interrupted as Peter ran back to them, growing impatient that he couldn't enter the bird garden. They just smiled at each other before following Peter back to the exhibit.
"Did you have fun?" Steve asked Peter, taking off the iconic mouse-hat that he had worn with Peter. The six year old nodded sleepily, obviously exhausted from his grand adventure. In the course of the day, he had earned a balloon, a stuffed Goofy, a few toys that Tony hadn't been able to resist buying him, and the stupid Mickey Mouse hat. Today, Tony considered everything Mickey Mouse stupid.
As they sat in the jet on the flight home, Peter let out a rather large yawn for a boy so small. As soon as he crawled into his seat, he was practically already asleep. After they had taken off, Steve joined Tony on the couch.
"I see he's found himself a pillow," he commented, pulling a blanket on the sleeping child. Peter had managed to curl himself up under Tony's arm, now sound asleep. Tony just pulled him closer. "So, have you changed your mind?"
"About what?" Steve just rolled his eyes. "Okay, okay. I admit it. I am the best father in the world."
Steve had to laugh at that one. "Somehow you went from being the worst to the best? In one day?"
"How would you feel if your Dad took you to Disney World?"
"Fair enough," he conceded, wrapping his arm around Tony.
Both exhausted and content with Steve holding him close as they both unraveled from an exciting day, Tony felt completely at peace. And Peter decided to curl up with him.
A/N: 8 hours of writing, 2 days of editing later, and my first prompt of superfamily. I had asked for a prompt to work on my fluff and this is what developed. Yet, I couldn't help but add that slight twinge of angst in there. But alas, I think it is adorable.