A/N: Written by me; beta'ed by LoveIsMyMiddleName, because she is a saint. Also, R and R! Also, also, remember, this is BL. Do not read if you do not like the MxM pairing of Steve Rogers / Tony Stark.
Shameless Self Promotion: Follow me and LoveIsMyMiddleName on our tumblr! You can read up on the updates we put up in regards to our writing stuffs and also give us prompts and such to fill because we love them! - infinite-w0nders dot tumblr dot come
A/N2: This was actually a prompt fill for stunning-weightless-freefall, on Tumblr. THANK YOU, DEAR! That being said, feel free to come and toss prompts at us there too!
When it happens, it's one of those things where neither Tony nor Steve can figure out exactly what's going on, because it's just that unprecedented.
Their son is a good boy, dammit. It makes no sense at all that he's been suspended and that they've been called in for a fucking parent-teacher conference; at least, that's what Tony had yelled when he'd called the school's secretary to ask for an explanation, only to get stone-walled in a particularly irritating way.
There may have been some threats involving her entire family's credit score being in shambles, and possibly of said family members themselves mysteriously disappearing. This may or may not have made the woman cry a little. But that's doesn't really matter in the end because really, the harpy had steadfastly refused to give in no matter what sort of threat Tony spewed.
Steve had not been particularly happy with him for that, which okay, Tony can sort of understand. Still, this is Peter, their six-year-old saint of a son, and Tony isn't going to let some snot-nosed, private school dub him a hooligan without a screaming match. Hell, a screaming war if it comes down to that. Oh and lawyers. Tony will involve those too.
On a bit of a side-note, Steve's argument that they don't actually know what's going on is invalid. Tony can't even bring himself to pretend to care.
It doesn't help at all that Peter's been so close mouthed about this either. They've been trying everything to get him to talk, to give them a hint about what had happened. But Peter always ends up looking like he's going to cry at the end of one of those chats and Tony's a complete, total, sucker when it comes to his little boy, so he doesn't really push much.
As it is, Steve— the good parent between the two of them— really isn't that much better on that front either; so they suck it up and decide to wait out the three days before they have to show up for the meeting.
Tony's still fully prepared to ruin the school if need be though. If they do anything to make Peter upset, he will destroy them. And Steve, well, Steve won't do anything to stop him because Steve will probably be in the same mindset by that point.
Despite everything, Tony can't stop himself from worrying about it—what if his life is ruined because of this? He's only in first grade. Jesus, what did he do? Did he even do anything?— which in turn turns him into a workaholic. Really, it's no surprise at all that by the time Tony goes to sleep that night, it's already something like 4am.
He's bone tired— exhausted even— and he just wants to sleep. So when he's woken up just an hour after he'd managed to crawl into bed, it's safe to say that he's not happy.
But when he opens his eyes, ready to snap, and sees Peter standing there— clutching at his blanket in one hand and tugging on Tony's sleeve with the other and looking so damned adorable— he very quickly changes his mind about any potential beheadings.
"Heeey, bud," he coos out, in a whisper because Steve is still sleeping. He leans over to pull Peter up and into a warm, blanketed hug even as he speaks. "What're you doing up so late?" he asks gently, watching with immeasurable fondness as his son immediately snuffles and stuffs his face right near Tony's arc reactor, reveling in the soft blue glow in the same damned way he's been doing since he was just a new born.
In the few moments of ensuing silence, Tony finds himself wondering how long he'll be allowed to have this, how long it will be before Peter becomes too old to want to just cuddle up to his old man, before a hug and a kiss to the nose won't be enough to solve all his problems anymore.
Never, he thinks desperately, clutching Peter just a little closer and feeling the edges of a temper tantrum sneaking up on him at the very thought because Peter will always be their baby.
Thankfully, Peter chooses that moment to speak, his endearing lisp shining through even when he's whispering.
"Dada?" he asks before trailing his hand clutching onto Tony's shirt in a way that would seem almost desperate on an adult. Tony is utterly charmed and so completely wrapped around this little boy's pinky that it's not even funny.
"Hm?" he hums in encouragement, rubbing soothing circles onto Peter's back, "What's up, baby?"
Peter sniffles, like he's about to burst into tears and suddenly, Tony's less languid and more alert. "Peter?" he asks, voice tinged with concern and a slight amount of panic. "What's wrong? Was it a nightmare? Does something hurt?"
Peter's just shakes his head, trying to bury himself even further into Tony's chest which, alright, is very cute. But it doesn't make Tony feel better right now.
"Mm, what's going on?" Steve's sleep raspy voice comes like a god-send, and Tony's never felt more grateful for it than he does now because Steve is better at this than he is at making people feel better.
"Peter's upset," he says as an aside to his husband, before going back to rocking the boy gently. "Come on, son. Tell Dada and Papa what's going on."
Steve is awake so fast after that, that Tony has to smile despite the situation.
"Peter?" Steve calls out gently, scooting closer so he can see properly, his hand landing on Tony's as they both try to soothe their child. "What's wrong, little guy?"
And Peter, the poor kid, just cracks under the concerned mother-henning of both his dads.
"You guys love me, right?" he manages to whimper out before bursting into tears in a manner befitting a child of Tony's - loudly and spectacularly.
It's Steve who manages to respond first, pulling Peter and, by extension, Tony, closer and wrapping his arms around both of them. Tony is actually grateful because he needs a goddamned hug too because why the hell would Peter think that they didn't? Have they been doing something wrong?
"Of course we do," Steve says in the meantime, his voice pitched soft and soothing and still cutting through Peter's heart-breaking sobs. And because he is the best damned husband ever and knows how to read Tony's mind like a pro, he also asks, "Is there even any question about that?"
"Yeah. Peter," Tony adds on, kissing the boy's forehead, then his cheeks, before nuzzling at him comfortingly. "Come on now, don't cry. You know we love you more than anything else. What's brought all this on, exactly?"
Peter doesn't even manage to answer in the end. He just cries and eventually falls into a slightly fitful sleep.
Tony gives Steve a look as he settles their son between them, a look that begs him to fix this because if it's left up to Tony, he'll end up going on a rampage.
Steve just looks back, eyes assuring him that yes, they will be doing something about it so please go to sleep now. And Tony loves this man, really, more than he can ever say because Steve understands him.
"Night, Steve," he whispers out, wrapping himself around Peter, feeling Steve do the same from the other side.
The next day isn't much better, like, at all.
Peter's taken to being clingy which, normally, Tony would find completely sweet; except, he won't even let them go off and do their Avenger duties without crying or throwing insane temper-tantrums now.
And as though that weren't bad enough, he's also randomly burst into tears about three times already which concerns Tony and Steve because Peter's never done this before. Even as a baby, the kid had always been cheerful, bubbly even. He generally never cried unless something was really wrong. To see him in this state now -tired, slightly gaunt, and so, so sad and silent- is more than either he or Steve can take.
Peter won't answer any of their questions, no matter how many times they ask and they can't do anything if they have nothing to work with. So they just hold him close, comforting him as best as they can and try to soothe his worries, whatever they may be.
That night, as Tony settles Peter between them again, he gives Steve a determined look. "I don't even care, Steve," he says, his jaws clenched even as he gently brushed away stray strands of hair from their son's forehead. "We're getting him to talk tomorrow."
Steve looks back with a determined look on his face, nodding minutely before folding himself around Peter as though that would be enough to keep the demons away. "He's going to get sick at this rate," he whispers, sounding so worried that it gets Tony like a punch to the throat. "He's not eating right, he's barely managing to sleep..."
Tony climbs into bed too, a vicious scowl on his face that contradicts fully with the tenderness with which he pulls himself close to his little family.
"We have to make him talk," he says.
For his part, Steve just nods, once, before leaning over and brushing his lips to Tony's, offering and taking comfort in equal parts.
Tomorrow is not going to be pleasant.
As expected, it's a complete struggle the next day too. It's made even worse by the fact that Tony has had it up to here with the whole thing. It's only noon, barely at that, and Peter's already cried twice. It's breaking his heart more than he can say, and Steve's not around to be good parent right now because he's out being Captain America, so Tony is a little bit more stretched out than he would like.
He feels like the world's crappiest father ever right now, which in turn makes him really cranky, which actually sort of explains why he does what he does next. Tony picks Peter up, consequences be damned, and seats him on the kitchen counter before crossing his arms and leveling him with a profoundly unimpressed look.
"Look Peter," he says, managing to sound calm and in control despite it all. "Something happened, something that got you in a lot of trouble with school, obviously. More importantly, it's been making you miserable in general, and me and Papa don't like it when you're sad. So you, young man, are going to tell me, what happened, right now, so we can fix this. Do you understand?"
He tries to project the ever authoritative, 'I am your parent and therefore you will listen,' tone in his voice, but that's normally Steve's gig, so it doesn't come out even a quarter as strong as it needs to.
Still though, it's enough so that Peter face crumples, big, fat tears leaking out of his eyes as he whimpers miserably.
And Tony, well, he's just not strong enough to deal with that; he just can't stop himself from gathering his little boy up, cradling him close and making little shushing noises in an effort to offer even the littlest bit of comfort.
"Come on, Pete," he says softly, his own heart-ache apparent in every word, "Shh...come on, baby. It's alright. Dada didn't mean to sound so mean. Shh...I just want to help, okay?"
"I just...I just love you so much, you know," he whispers. "Papa too. It hurts us to see you like this..."
Peter snuffles at him in response, clutching at Tony's shirt, right above his favorite spot by the arc reactor, and Tony can't help but find that encouraging.
"Tell you what," he says, continuing to talk because his voice is apparently a comfort for Peter who, incidentally, begins to sniffle less and giggle a little bit more as Tony starts to really lay the nonsense on.
"We can go to the zoo," he says, landing on the first random thing he can think of, before pretending to change his mind. "No wait - we'll buy you a zoo, and you can ride the hippos and eat all the ice-cream you want because you'll own the place. Hey, we can name it Peter's Zoo and you can bring your friend, that Osborn boy. What's his name? Harry? Yeah, you can bring him around as much as-"
He doesn't even get to finish that sentence before the children's equivalent of hell breaks loose.
Tony can honestly say that he's never seen his normally angelic son so furious before. Although really, most of the effect is lost between the chubby cheeks and the enormous eyes but, to be fair, Peter's shrill, high-pitched screeching more than gets the point across.
"No!" His son shrieks out right in his ear, voice hitting decibels that Tony hadn't thought boys could even reach. "NO HARRY! I HATE HIM"
Which, ok, this honestly sort of astonishes Tony because the last he'd checked, the two had been inseparable, joined at the hip and loving every second of it. So what the hell had changed? And because Tony's always been a fast thinker, he manages to put together the pieces relatively quickly. Granted, it's not the full picture, but Harry is definitely involved, and also probably has a hand in a lot of the recent events, which immediately puts Tony on high alert.
"Peter," he says, cautiously because he doesn't need to step on any mines here if he ends up being wrong. "What are you talking about?"
This, of course, is when his son finally gives him the entire story, from start to finish.
Tony would feel a little bitter because really, three days of pleading and finding out a grand total of nothing, and all they'd had to do was to drop the right name in the end? But, he's a little too pissed to focus on things like that right now.
To his credit, Tony manages to remain very, very calm as Peter tells him everything. He cuddles his son close, dutifully makes the appropriate noises where needed, tells Peter he loves him, and wipes his face clean when the tears and snot make yet another appearance. He even manages to send his clingy son off to bug his Uncles and Aunt so that he's not caught in the crossfire.
He manages to hold it together for something like a half an hour in the process, which, considering his impulse control issues, is actually rather impressive.
As it is, it's when he calls Steve, that he finally lets himself lose it. Poor Steve, his beloved Steve, who barely has the chance to say 'hello' before Tony is ranting.
"That sonuvabitch Osborn's kid," Tony says through clenched teeth, trying to breathe through his nose in an effort to not scream, "has been telling our son that we do not love him, Steven. That little shit, has been telling Peter that we are going to throw him away once we get bored because apparently, adopting a baby is like buying a toy."
He takes a deep breath, "So of course, Peter isn't going to take that lying down, now is he? So he hits the damned kid, who hits back, and it escalates because they are kids and are therefore prone to such things. And then do you know what happens?"
Thankfully, Steve is smart enough not to answer that question because he knows, from experience, that Tony will bite his head off if he doesn't get to finish his rant.
"The school decides that Peter is the one at fault here, somehow. They decide that since Peter threw the first punch, that they are going suspend only him and let Harry go free. And of course, this has nothing at all to do with the fact that Norman Osborn owns the fucking school and signs off on all their paychecks."
Tony stops again to take a deep, calming breath, but it does no good this time. He continues anyway. "So, because they only punish Peter, and because Peter is a naive, impressionable little kid, he somehow gets it into his head that Harry was right when he said those things. Because why else would Harry not be punished, right? And lo and behold, three days of our son being miserable and depressed."
For a minute, there's nothing but dead silence on the other line, and then-
"What? " Steve asks, his voice as cold as the ice he'd been found in, and Tony's never been more glad to have married this man because there is a veritable wealth of meaning infused into that one word.
It means that Steve is pissed too; it means that Steve isn't going to stop him when he rains fire and brimstone down on those bastards.
It means that Tony has the green light to do whatever he thinks needs to be done, that someone is going to pay.
No one messes with his family and lives to tell the tale.
Suffice to say, it doesn't take him more than an hour to ruin that school, because he is Tony fucking Stark-Rogers and he's got more influence in his pinky nail than that school will gather in a lifetime.
Unfortunately, Tony fucking Rogers-Stark isn't all that useful when it comes to convincing his child that no, they aren't ever going to get rid of them. That responsibility falls solely Peter's Dada, who isn't as frighteningly competent, who doesn't know exactly what to do and say to get the desired results, whose skill-set isn't as suited for his role as "father" in the way Tony Rogers-Stark's is suited for destroying lives.
Luckily for him, he's got a great husband who knows all of his goddamned pitfalls and knows how to compensate; and between the two of them, they more than have things covered.
It takes a bit more convincing than he would have liked to assure Peter of his place in their lives. When they go to bed that night, Pet still insists on sleeping with them, just in case. But Tony can't really get himself to mind in the end because everything works out; things are mostly back to normal.
"So, Peter," he says when everything is said and done, watching fondly as the little one sleepily nuzzles into the spot between him and Steve, trying his best to grab both their arms and failing miserably because he's infinitely smaller than either one of them. "What did we learn today?"
"That I'm the most important person to you and Papa," comes the happy, if drowsy, answer, followed by a yawn that Tony will swear in court to be the most adorable in the universe.
"Mmhmm," Steve says softly, carding his fingers through soft, baby hair, "and what'll happen if you ever forget that?"
"I will be grounded... till the end of time... and then some." Peter just barely manages to dutifully recite, wrinkling his nose in distaste at the thought of that. And then he's completely out, cuddled safely in his fathers' arms.
"Mmhmm," Tony hums in satisfaction, leaning over to kiss his little one's forehead, before moving over to place another on Steve's lips.
"We did good, hm?" he says more than asks, and Steve's little smile more than enough as an answer.
It's like I can't write something short to save my life. This piece in particular was supposed to be like, a thousand words of fluff. Someone should stop me.
Anyway, hope you liked! Please R and R, and do not flame, ok?