I just want to let you guys know that even though updates are often months apart, there is no plan to cancelling the story! I still have no idea where this is going to go, and again I apologize for not updating frequently! I also just want to say how appreciative I am of all the feedback - I never expected many people to read this, so thanks!
Chapter Four: Yellow
"I realize, for the first time, how very lonely I've been in the arena. How comforting the presence of another human being can be."
- Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games
"I'm sorry, who are your parents?!"
Gwen stopped abruptly in the middle of the hallway, causing irritated students to push past us roughly. One student in particular pushed her arm, forcing her books to the floor with a loud smack.
I sighed, picked up her books, and looked around nervously before escorting Gwen outside the school. Not wanting anyone to overhear just in case, I started walking in the direction of her apartment, bobbing blonde ponytail soon coming up to walk next to me. She looked at me expectantly.
"They're uh, well, they're Tony Stark and... um, Steve Rogers," I mumbled, awkwardly scratching the back of my neck. Gwen stumbled.
"Do they know?"
My head shot up to look at her, surprised. I was anticipating some sort of excitement, maybe even just plain shock at the fact that two of the world's most famous heroes were gay. It hadn't occurred to me yet what having two superheroes as my legal guardians would mean for my own heroic career.
I shook my head. Gwen looked relieved. Her thin eyebrows then knit together in confusion, bright green eyes questioning. "Well, are you going to tell them?"
The amount of thought and consideration I had already put into this decision so far was enough to fill an entire ocean with anxiety. I had learned my lesson about keeping secrets; it hurt my loved ones. A part of me wanted to tell them, these men deserved to know, but a part of me was afraid. Dreadful. I barely knew Tony and Steve. Maybe I just needed to get to know them properly before doing so.
I summarized this all to Gwen in the most intelligent way I possibly could: "Maybe."
She rolled her eyes at me. "Care to expand upon that?"
Biting my lip, I said, "I will when I need to."
Before Gwen could get a chance to scoff at me in annoyance, we had arrived at the entrance to her building. I pulled her close and touched my forehead to hers, kissing her lightly.
"I'll keep you updated."
By the time I had finished another perimeter patrol and returned to Stark Towers (before the designated dinner time, of course), Tony and Steve were already home, back from exactly whatever it is that they do during the day.
Walking through the door, I am greeted with a "Good evening, Mr. Parker" by Jarvis - something I still have to get used to - and am rewarded with the sight of seeing America's "Man with a Plan" in a spangly-themed apron and being pushed against the counter, blushing, lips occupied by a Mr. Tony Stark.
I expressed such emotions by quickly shielding my eyes and hurrying past the open kitchen and yelling, "Get a room!" on my way by.
A muffled crash soon shoots through the quiet air, no doubt with what had been tonight's meal, and is soon joined with curses by a certain billionaire.
After a moment of silence, I hear Steve call out weakly, "Is pizza okay?"
Rolling my eyes and shouting an affirmation in reply, I unpack my books and start my homework. If I get through this shit quickly, I'll have time to go back out again later this evening.
After about an hour or so of work, I heard my name being called for dinner, so with a dreadful sigh, I got up and walked towards the kitchen. It's not that I didn't like Tony or Steve - everything was still pretty awkward and uncomfortable. I'm an awkward person. It's going to take some getting used to.
I sit down at the table and help myself to a piece of pizza, Tony already scarfing down on his. Steve gave him a disapproving look, causing the other man to put his slice down and wipe his mouth with a napkin.
"So, Peter, how was school today?"
Shifting uncomfortably, I simply said, "Okay." I took another bite of pizza, eyeing my new guardians - it was still weird for me to think of them as my parents - while they gave each other that look.
Steve turned to me, expression worried. "Peter, I know that we barely know each other, but I do want you to know that if you want us, we will always be here for you." Tony nodded, telling me without words that he was too. I realized that he and Tony really wanted to be here for me, even if I'm only staying here for ten months. It felt... nice.
Grinning, I looked back and forth between the two of them as their expressions changed to match mine. "Thanks," I said quietly. Staring directly at Tony, I added, "Dad." Then to Steve: "Pops."
I excused myself from the table as the couple gazed at each other, eyes twinkling and smiles wide.
I was only back in my room for ten minutes before I hear Tony shout for me, asking if I wanted to watch a movie with them. I gazed at the unfinished work on my desk with a frown. Folding my glasses up and stepping into the hallway, a feeling of warmth floods through me, my lips involuntarily turning up into a wide smile.
"I'll get the popcorn!"