Peter- Age 9
Who knew such a normal, household sound could cause so much pain?
Peter knew something was wrong when he saw Steve's eyes double in size upon answering the phone. The hysterical yelling and screaming at whoever was on the other end told Peter something was very wrong. It was a pretty normal evening; Peter was quietly finishing his math homework in the living room, Steve was reading through the day's newspaper, and all was good. Earlier Tony had said he was going to get home late from a meeting that night, but who would consider it odd to be late every now and again?
Steve ran off to his room, still yelling into the phone. Peter caught a glimpse of a small tear make its way down his cheekbone and fall off his chin. He quietly made his way over to the wall, placed his hands on the wall, and pulled himself up towards the ceiling. He held his breath as he quickly climbed up the wall, praying his dad couldn't hear him. Transferring himself from the wall to the ceiling was the tricky part, but he managed to do it. Quietly, slowly he made his way across the room and flattened himself against the ceiling, right above the door to his dads' room. Steve's frantic voice was nearly impossible to miss.
"What do you mean by 'I can't answer that?' I need to know what happened…don't give me that bullshit! I don't give a damn if visiting hours are over, I'm coming over right now!" Hearing Steve curse with rage was almost unheard of.
Steve stormed out of his bedroom and tugged on his shoes, muttering to himself. Peter silently crawled down the wall and back onto the floor, following his dad as he pulled out his cell phone to make another call and a maelstrom of questions formed inside his skull
"Dad, what happened?" Peter demanded as Steve threw on his jacket.
"I'll explain later," He replied quickly, putting his phone back into his pocket and kissed Peter on the forehead. "Uncle Thor will be here in a couple minutes, thank god he's in the area. Be a good boy, okay?"
"Okay, but is-" Steve was out the door before he could finish his sentence.
Minus JARVIS, Peter was all alone. Any normal kid his age would've run wild and wrecked havoc around the entire tower, but there was no way he could even move now. There were too many questions in his head and no one to answer any of them. Something was wrong with Tony, he knew that much, but he didn't what. Did something happen at the meeting? Did something attack him? Was he going to be okay? Peter clutched their family portrait in his hands, trying not to cry. He needed someone, anyone, to tell him things were going to be okay for the family…and Tony.
His ears perked up at the sound of footsteps on the outside deck. He ran up the stairs and a sense of comfort lifted his spirits a little bit as he saw the outline of Thor's massive frame, dressed in casual Midgardian clothes as opposed to his normal garb. Peter pushed open the door and ran into the cool night, towards his uncle.
"Uncle Thor!" Peter cried and threw his arms around the Asgardian, tears in his eyes.
Thor simply hugged him back, but it wasn't even his famous bone-crushing embrace rather it was lighter as if all the joy had drained from him. He took Peter's hand and the pair wordlessly walked back into the living room. Peter took a seat on the couch and Thor kneeled in front of him, so the two were now eye-level. He drew in a deep breath and placed a hand on his nephew's shoulder.
"Peter…your father, Tony, was in an accident." He said slowly and watched Peter's eyes grow wide with fear. "Steve isn't even sure what happened and Tony…he is not well. He is very badly injured and is in the room of emergencies in the hospital." He explained gently.
The poor kid's heart began to crack. "Is…is daddy…"
Thor shook his head. "Neither Steve nor I know of what will happen to Tony, his life is in the hands of the doctors at the hospital."
He broke down right then and there. Thor immediately wrapped his arms around Peter again and let him sob quietly into his shoulder. Peter's head was spinning and his heart was a pile of broken shards. Tony couldn't die, he just couldn't. He's Iron Man! He promised he'd always be there! Suddenly if he was gone, everything in his world would fall apart. Steve would be heartbroken, Peter would have to grow up with only one dad (like a boring normal kid), and…there would be a permanent gash left behind by Tony that would never heal; a scar wouldn't even be able to form.
As much as he wanted to believe it was just a minor wound, he knew it was far from it; he had seen how distressed and angry Steve was when he left less than an hour ago. That was saying something; Steve only curse when something was REALLY wrong. Peter drew in deep breaths to calm himself, but failed and more tears came out. Thor continued to let the kid cry, even though the sleeve of his shirt was nearly soaked with tears. He was just as worried about Tony as Steve and Peter were but he didn't show it; rather, he wasn't going to allow himself to show it. Someone has to stay strong for the superfamily, right?
Seconds took their time moving. Minutes ticked away slowly. Hours crawled by at a snail's pace. Steve hurried off at about 8:10, now it was nearly 11:00. Peter was dozing in and out of consciousness as he and Thor both absent-mindedly watched Sherlock Holmes, one of Tony's favorite movies. The point of watching was to distract the two of them, but it clearly wasn't working. Peter had seen the movie dozens of times and it ALWAYS made him smile, but not even Sherlock's witty remarks cheered him up. He grabbed a blanket from the other end of the couch and pulled it over his body. Thor let him lay his head across his lap as he felt himself beginning to doze off as well. Three hours of anxiously waiting for a word from Steve was exhausting even for a God. Thor could only imagine how Peter felt…
Ring. Ring. Ring.
Peter's eyes shot open as Thor's ears perked up; the sound they had been waiting for had finally rung. Thor jumped up from the couch, nearly knocking Peter off, and grabbed the phone on Tony's desk. Peter threw off the blanket and joined Thor's side, watching the array of emotions flicker across his big Norse face.
"But…he will be okay? Do you want us to come? Oh…how long? Okay," Thor's sympathetic eyes met Peter's. "Your father wishes he speak with you."
Peter eagerly took the phone from Thor, shaking. "D-Dad?"
"Hi Pete," Steve greeted, his voice covered with a thick layer of exhaustion. "Listen, there was a head-collision at a stoplight and Tony took a really bad hit and he's been in the ER for the past few hours. He's in a lot of pain but the doctors gave him something to sleep and to ease the pain. I'm staying at the hospital overnight to make sure he's okay."
"How come I can't stay with you?" Peter asked, his voice flat.
Steve almost cried at the lack of emotion in his son's voice. "They don't want young kids staying, even with an adult. If they did, I would've been on my way to pick you up now. Here's what's going to happen: Uncle Thor is going to stay with you overnight while I'm at the hospital and I'll come pick you up in the morning. We'll go get breakfast and pick out a card for daddy and then we'll visit him. Does that sound good?"
Peter sniffled. "Yeah."
"And don't worry about school tomorrow, I already took care of it. Oh, and before the doctors made Tony sleep he wanted me to tell you he loves you, and so do I." A quiet sob was heard from Steve's end of the line. "I'll see you in the morning, okay?"
"Okay dad, I love you." Peter rubbed his eyes.
"I love you, too. Be good for me and be good for Tony. Goodnight Spidey." Click.
Peter handed the phone back to Thor with reluctance pulled on his pajamas, brushed his teeth, and did his whole nighttime ritual. He took a step towards his room, but paused. His eyes flickered towards his dads' empty room and he darted into it without a second thought. As he laid his head against the pillows, he picked up the faint, lingering scent of Tony's cologne still attached to the bed. Peter could almost feel him laying next to him, but he was laying in a different bed tonight. The kid rubbed his eyes, stopping the tears before they started again and closed his eyes. As he felt Thor pull the covers over him, he let himself into a dreamless slumber.
It's been a long time since Tony's been in this much pain. Burning, searing, horrible pain. He couldn't seem to get enough oxygen into his lungs and even the act of breathing hurt. People were frantically moving about him, jamming needles into his body and pumping all sorts of medicine into it as well. He resisted a cry of pain and someone dabbed at his sweaty forehead with a cool cloth. His eyes wouldn't open and his lungs still didn't have enough oxygen. Was he still withering in pain? His body was now too numb to feel anything.
The shouting became even louder now as something was placed over his nose and mouth. A couple bites of pain broke through his shell of numbness and a tiny squeak came from his lips. Something warm encased his hand as he felt himself drifting into sleep. It was saying something, something he couldn't hear. Everything was fading away into inky blackness, away from the world. The person holding his hand squeezed a little harder.
"I'm here Tony, don't worry. I'm here."
Everything went black.
Throb. Throb. Throb.
Every last muscle in his body had dull ache and his head was filled with rocks, lots of jagged rocks. It was like an elephant had stomped on his chest and paralyzed him. He drew in a tiny breath, careful not to disturb his aching chest. The weird taste in his mouth and the ringing in his ears only added to his list of discomforts. Gentle fingers brushed the hair from his face as he forced his eyes open. Blinding light flooded his vision; he turned his head to the side so his cheek was now resting on a…pillow? His eyes shot open as the overwhelming scent of cleaning supplies smacked his nose. Now he felt sick on top of everything else.
"Oh God…where…am I?" He moaned.
"You're okay Tony, take it easy. We're here, you're okay." Steve's familiar voice reached his ears.
He turned his head only to meet Steve's crystal-colored eyes; eyes he had never been happier to see. Peter stood beside him, both hands behind his back and smiling. Tony's eyes wandered around the room and noticed the IV tube attached to the back of his hand, the immaculate white walls surrounding him, and the layers of pale blue sheets covering his body; he was in the hospital. How did he get-oh, right the accident. He drew in another breath, sighing with relief.
"How long?" Tony asked in his dry voice.
"About twelve hours or so; you were only sleeping, you weren't in a coma." Steve replied. "I spent the night here to make sure you were okay."
"You and Peter?" Tony's heart light up a little.
"The hospital doesn't allow little kids to stay overnight; Thor was in the area and he watched him while I was here." Steve took a seat on the bed. "We were both worried sick."
Peter climbed onto the other side of the bed and threw his arms around Tony, mindful of the numerous tubes hooked up to him. The inventor felt his eyes water as guilt trickled into him; his accident had made his husband and his son worry about him and maybe even gave Peter the thought of having to grow up without him. Tony tightly hugged Peter back in apology and Steve draped his arm around his shoulders.
"I'm sorry for making you both worry." He said simply and rubbed Peter's back.
"It's not your fault, dad. You're okay and that's what counts, right?" Peter smiled.
"Right." Tony nodded back.
Peter gently pulled himself out of his dad's arm and handed him a card. It was a small, simple card that read Get Well Soon on the front and a poem on the inside. However, it was scribbled out and replaced with Steve's neat handwriting:
You took a nasty hit but I know you'll be okay
You've always pulled through anything bad
Don't worry about the business; Pepper and I got it all covered
Take your time to get well, and Peter and I will be SURE to visit daily
Steve and Peter
"Thanks a lot guys, thanks." Tony gently ruffled Peter's hair as he and his husband exchanged a quick kiss. "But do you know what would've made your visit ten times better?"
"What?" Steve rolled his eyes, smiling.
"Shawarma, I hear hospital food is crap."
I changed this chapter about three times before I settled on this one, I've been feeling really evil lately :D
And what's a story without a little angst?
I'm gonna take a break from this story for a while to work on my other fics that have been gathering dust on my writing shelf for a while. I also have school to focus on (taking honors classes really sucks up your free time) and other stuff in my life, like putting together my Halloween costume (female Thor, oh yeah!), catching up on Doctor Who, and sorting out friend issues.
Oh, and the reason why I chose Sherlock Holmes for the movie is because Robert Downey Jr. plays Sherlock in the movie for those who didn't know or didn't get it. If you haven't seen it, go watch it. It's a pretty freaking awesome movie along with Game of Shadows. That man is amazing and talented to the point where it's scary. And while you're at it, watch Ultimate Spider-man and Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heros on Disney XD. They're a couple of the few good cartoon out nowadays (and I'm kinda in love with their Tony Stark in the Avengers cartoon, I never thought I would consider a cartoon character in a children's show sexy, lol). And Troy Baker, one of my favorite voice actors, does the voice of Loki in Spider-man. It's not exactly like the Hiddleston Loki, but it's a pretty good Loki.
And the 'big Norse face thing' is something Joss Whedon likes to say about Thor. Chris Hemsworth even said in an interview that the script said 'Hulk punches Thor in his big Norse face' during the part where The Hulk punches him. Joss Whedon is currently my favorite human being on the planet. Just listen to the audio commentary while watching the movie, you'll understand why.
My ramble ends here, enjoy!