Warning: This stony contains a boy x boy relationship, though it's pushed to the side for the most part, and some mature subject matter.
Howard strode down the hall briskly, nose buried in a schismatic for his next project. He was so focused that he only barley registered the high pitched shrieking coming from beyond one of the doors he passed. The man stared in the direction of the noise in confusion before realizing what the source was.
“Maria!” He called to his wife. “The baby's crying, deal with it!”
Tony hunched over his desk, brows knitted together in concentration as he ran over the numbers in his head again. He was so close to the solution, it was on the tip of his brain.
“What!?” The inventor snapped back in a don't-bother-me-now tone, eye's still glued to his schematic.
“My apologies but it seems that Peter had awoken from his nap.” As J.A.R.V.I.S. said this, he brought up live video feed of the baby's room where the tiny bundle was indeed squirming in his crib. Tony let out a frustrated groan as the answer began to drift from his mind. He's so close.
“Fine.” He said as he stood from his desk begrudgingly.
The inventor swiftly made his way to his sons room and wasn’t surprised to find the infant screaming.
“Shhhhh, Peter hunny, it alright.” Tony soothed as he lifted the younger from the crib and cradled him to his chest. The baby's crying almost instantly muffled into small sniffs and his wriggling ceased. The quiet didn't last long however as Peter again started to fidget and wine for food, a changing, or some other form of nurturing. “Jeez, calm down.” Tony humorously scolded. “Let's get you changed then get a bite to eat, okay?” He asked with a sigh and gentle smile. Looks like that answer would have to wait.
Howard sighed as the plane hit the ground with a harsh jolt. He may not have enjoyed being stuffed in a room with a bunch of big wigged foreigners who all though they where better then him and weren’t afraid to say it, but the silent nights where a god send, all be it a little lonely without his wife there to listen to his complaints about work. Thankfully that void would be filled soon as tonight he was going to drink himself stupid without worrying about how his hangover the next day would effect his meeting, and let out all his stress.
That dream hit a road block however when he stepped off the plane to find Maria standing on the air strip, a squirming baby held to her chest. Howard practically stormed over, leaving his bags for Jarvis. When he got within roughly ten feet, the baby took notice of him.
“Ahpa, ahpa.” The little one babbled, small hands reaching out to his father who barley spared him a glance.
“I thought you where going to meet me at the pub.”
“And what is he doing here?” Howard asked, a headache starting to resurface at the child’s shouting.
“Tony wanted to see you.” Maria answered as she shifted to better hold the squirming child. Howard sighed as he looked down at the infant who immediately cracked a smile when their eye's met.
“Take him home.” Howard ordered as he retreated to his car. “I'll see you at the pub.” The car pulled away the moment the inventor was in as Howard tried not to think about how his wife’s expression had fallen to one of heart brake.
Tony practically bounced his way off the plane. His first trip away since becoming a father had been horrible. Long, insulting, and utterly boring. But it was over, he was almost home, he just needed to maneuver though these people and he would be on the car ride back to his family.
The inventor was moving at a brisk speed though the crowd. Quick, but not quick enough to miss the tiny yet familiar voice in the crowd.
“Dada!” Tony wiped around and quickly spotted his son in the arms of his gorgeous husband. Peter stretched his arms out almost desperately to the inventor with big bright eye's while Steve held a calm, almost at peace smile at finally getting to see his husband again.
“Babies!” Tony cheered before racing over and scooping the brunette into his arms. Peter giggled as he was peppered with kisses.
“Dada, dada.” He chanted as his little hands found his fathers cheeks.
“That's right, dada's home.” Tony confirmed, letting the infant squish his cheeks around.
“We missed you.” Steve said, slipping an arm around his lovers waist and leaning down to give Tony a long, slow kiss.
“God I missed you guys too.” The black haired breathed once they pulled apart, Peter still chirping dada while his feet kicked excitedly.
“What, didn't like the quiet nights?” Steve asked jokingly, smile stuck on his face.
“Not really. It was cold and uncomfortable, and it didn't feel right waking up to an alarm clock instead of Peter.”
“Good, because your on baby duty for the next 8 nights.”
“Hey Tony.” Called a chipper young girl as she skipped her way to the young Stark. “My birthday party is today, you're coming right?” She asked for the fifth time that day. Tony opened his mouth but was interrupted before even making a sound.
“My apologize dear, but Anthony has lessons today.” Jarvis informed with a somewhat forced smile despite receiving pouts from both the children.
“I can skip a lesson or two.” Tony assured with a glare.
“This would be the sixth skip this month sir, and your father has put his foot down. Don't you recall him saying he would confiscate your tools if you continued to not attend lessons.” “And that I would loose my job if I didn't make you go.” The butler added to himself.
“It's okay Tony, I don't want you to get in trouble with your dad.” The girl said as she took a few steps back, looking utterly defeated. “Bye.” She said before scampering off.
A couple minutes later Tony was siting in the back seat, arms crossed and scowling down at his own feet.
“It's not fair.” He said despite knowing that his complaints where futile. “Why do I have to take all these stupid classes?”
“So you are prepared to inherit the company once Mr. Stark retires.”
“What if I don't want his stupid company? Why does he want me to have it anyway?”
“Well you are his only son.”
“So? Just because where family doesn’t mean I can run a company.” Then came silence as Jarvis was at a loss for words and Tony just stewed in his anger. “It's not fair!” Tony sudden shouted, kicking his feet against the floor of the vesicle.
“It isn’t is it?”
“Harry, you father's here!” Tony called down the hall and soon followed the sound of two young boys stampeding down the hall. The first was the aforementioned Harry Osborn, bounding around the corner while Peter shuffled behind, his usual shyness coming out at being around anyone that wasn’t Harry or his extensive family.
“Aww, Can't I stay a little longer dad?” Harry whined.
“No son, you know yo have your lessons.” Norman replied calmly, having dealt with his sons protesting for to many times to have it effect him.
“But I don't wanna take those stupid lessons, I don't get them.”
“You will in time, now go get your things.” Norman instructed and when he was met with a glare he returned it tenfold until the younger submitted.
“Fine. Come on Peter, ya gotta help me find those Nerf bullets you lost.” Harry ordered as he stomped back to his friends room, Peter close on his tail.
“I lost? You wouldn't let me touch the gun.” The two men watched the boys leave until their voices disappeared, that's when Tony couldn't help asking.
“Lessons, what kind of lessons?” He asked, though his honest queshtion was more like 'what kind of lessons are you forcing the poor kid to take that he hates so much?' It wasn’t that much of a secret that Tony and Norman didn't really see eye to eye, on a business stand point or a parenting one, but their kids, ironically, seemed to be the best of friends, so they attempted to tolerate each other.
“Business, stock holding, etiquette, thing's he will need to know for when I retire. Is Peter not being taught these things?” Norman asked, eye raised for once on confusion rather then mockery, at least for the most part.
“No, he's just a kid.” Tony said with a scoff, knowing and regretting the fact that he may be starting something.
“We'll how long do you expect to wait?” Norman asked with a slight aggression, tho he tried to pull it back in. “With one if not both of your professions being rather dangerous, I figured you would want to prepare your son for inheriting your company as soon as possible.
“Who said he was going to inherit the company?” Tony asked with a shrug. Norman's eye's bugged as he took a step back as if Tony had just spouted some racial faux pas.
“You're not handing down your company to your son?”
“Well if he wants it down the line then sure, but if he decides he wants to do something other then work at Stark Industries, what right do I have to say no?”
Tony happily hopped up on stage after his name had been announced. He almost smugly passed by the other glaring contestants who grumbled and muttered their displeasure at having a boy a fair few years younger win an award. Tony went to stand beside the first place winner who watched him with more confusion then disdain. He spun on his heal to face the older gentlemen that handed him his, rather heavy, silver trophy.
Tony looked out into the applauding crowd with a toothy grin before his eye's fell on his father. Howard didn't clap, not even smiled, only watched the younger with a disappointed and on the brink of shameful glare.
“There he is.” Tony said cheerfully as he weaved his way though the crowd of parents and children to reach Peter, Steve following behind at a much more relaxed pace. “There's my little genius.” Tony cooed as he knelt down and wrapped his arms around his son quickly, one hand raising to ruffle Peter's hickory brown locks.
“Daaad.” The boy said in that embarrassed tone that tried to hide his appreciation of the affection.
“I'm so proud of you. You did awesome and all by yourself no less.” Tony complimented, pulling away from the embrace, though he still held his sons upper arms.
“Dad, I was forth, I didn't even get a medal or anything.” Peter said dejectedly, head hung lower in slight shame as his gaze fell to his feet.
“Hey now, being forth is nothing to sneeze at. There are over 30 kids here, which means you beat at least 26 other people. That's amazing buddy.” Tony said with a light shake. Peter raised his eye's to look at his father with a hopefully and somewhat apologetic gaze. “Besides, I'm pretty sure that first place kid's parents made his.” Tony whispered jokingly which made the brunets eye's widen like he had just been told the city’s biggest secret.
“Hey now, let's not accuse anyone of anything.” Steve scolded, lightly taping his hand on his husbands shoulder. “But he's right Peter, you did a fantastic job.” The child smiled proudly up at the blond while Tony stood.
“Now what do you say we take our little winner out for ice cream?”
“So,” Starts a girl Tony could label as friend but was more of an aquaintance “Where's your dad? I was expecting a big entrance.”
*Pfft* Tony couldn't hold in his bitter chuckle.
“Please. Unless there's a news cast ready to talk about how great he is, he wont show up.” He said, one hand fiddling with the 6 medals around his neck and the other ungracefully holding onto his trophy.
“Sir.” Came a familiar and withered voice. The person turned with a fond smile to see Jarvis making his way over. “You've done a spectacular job this year. I've never seen such a feat from one student.” He complimented, giving Tony a little jolt of pride.
“Thanks. It was easy really.” The younger said with a shrug and an attempt at a smug grin.
“Wait, you aren’t Tony's dad are you?” The girl asked, grabbing Jarvis’s attention.
“No dear, I'm simply a butler “He explains, making sure not to chuckle at the confusion as he knew from past experience that it would hurt Tony's feelings, though the young man would try to hide that fact.
“Oh, okay, sorry.” The girl said, getting a little bashful as she tugged on the hem of her school uniform blazer “Where is Tony's dad anyway? You'd think he'd be here since Tony was getting awards.”
“Busy with his work unfortunately. Though I'm sure he would have loved to come if he had the time.” Tony scoffed at that, mood dropping into the slightly pissed to hide his hurt.
“Ya, like how he would have loved to come to my fist day of kindergarten, or put his work down long enough to hang out with us at Christmas, or pick up a phone and say happy birthday.”
“Daddy?” Tony spun on his heals at the sound of his sons voice, one hand still fiddling with his tie.
“Ya buddy?” He asked, leaning down a little.
“Where are you going?” The little boy asked, big doe eye's gazing up at his farther with a pan face expression.
“I got another out of town meeting, but don't worry, I'll be back before bed time.” He explained. Peter's expression instantly fell.
“B-but, today’s my play.” Shit.
“Oh gosh, is that today?” He asked but didn't get an answer, only a quivering lip that was the sign of approaching water works. “Shhhhhhhh, oot, I- um...” Tony stammered, trying not to look into the boy's pouting expression.
“You promised!” The boy suddenly wailed, bursting into tears.
“Oh, hunny, don't cry.” The inventor got down on his knees, quickly pulling his son into an embrace. Damn it, this is an important meeting. He was on the edge of an amazing company team up.
“You have to come daddy.” Peter whimper, clinging to his fathers suit as if he had the strength to hold him down.
“Tony?” Came the familiar call of Pepper, the one Peter knew as his father had work to do.
“Nooooooo!” The boy screamed, clinging to his parent while Pepper made her way in.
“Oh, I see.” She breathed a sigh of both relief and slight annoyance. “I'll go get Steve.”
“No no.” Tony protested, one hand reaching out to his assistant, the other holding his whimpering son. “It's alright.”
“But Tony, we should have left for the plane 20 minutes ago.”
“It's fine, just cancel it.”
“What!?” Pepper shouted, though her boss didn’t even spare her a glance, he just watched as Peter's big brown eye's lifted to look at him, expression confused with a signature pout. “Do you know how long it took to get this meeting.”
“There’ll be other meetings.” Tony shrugged then gave a wink to his son. “Besides, I have a promise to keep.”
A teen age Tony sat in the passenger seat of the family car, arms crossed, eye's puffy and red with tears still trickling as he watched the road go by. He had gone threw his title-wave of emotions and was now in a dull state, wishing he was alone but was sadly stuck with his father.
“I'm very disappointed in you.” Howard said, eye's glued to the road for both safety and an attempt to keep his temper down. “Leaving school without a word is not only reckless but also causes problems for everyone connected to you. Did you even consider how your mother and I would feel when we get a call from your principal saying you had just disappeared over night?”
“Jarvis is dead.” Tony stated plainly, voice hushed as it had been hurt from all the screaming and tears that had taken place prior. “So if it's wrong to want to say my good byes then go ahead, call me selfish and inconsiderate. I would have warned people I was leaving if someone bothered to tell me he had passed away.” He said bitterly.
To be fair, he wasn’t actually invited to the funeral, he just showed up and asked if he could pay his respects. Thankfully they had welcomed him with open arms, figuratively and literally. When he stood there, for how long he wasn't sure, gazing down at the man that had been to all his major moments, had contributed more good to his life then his own family, lying pale and cold in that coffin, Tony broke. And when he burst into tears, it took only a moment to feel two pars of warm arms wrap around him in comfort. That was about when Howard showed up, storming into the funeral hall and dragging his son out as he belittled him for making a scene with all his tears and screams.
“There was no reason to tell you.” Howard said after a long breath. “Jarvis was just a servant.” Tony would have fought that statement if it wasn’t for the way his fathers voice cracked. “There's no point in crying over a dead man, it won't bring him back.” Tony took his first good look at his father in months since he had left for school. He found that though his expression was cold and almost emotionless, Tony did notice the purple crescents under his fathers blood shot eye's.
Tony sighed as he ran his fingers through his sleeping husbands hair, thankful that he finally convinced the blond to rest after having been up for over 24 hours worrying.
“Sir.” Jarvis called quietly. “Peter had returned through his bedroom window and still resides there.”
“Oh now he shows up.” Tony thought with a roll of his eye's. After a bit of careful moving, the inventor stood and made his way to his sons room.
“Peter?” He calls after a knock. “Can I come in?” There was a quiet noise of acknowledgment, which Tony took as a yes, and entered. He took a long, thankful breath at seeing his son unharmed, or at least in the same physical condition as when he had last seen him.
The teen sat on the edge of his bed, head hung low, fisted hands against his forehead.
“Hey, where have you been the last couple nights? Steve went into a hairy panic, wanted to use all of S.H.I.E.L.D. to track you down. You should have seen his argument with Fury, we where all waiting for someone to throw a fist, it was crazy.” Tony said with a little chuckle, trying to uplift the dark mood but failing.
“Sorry.” Peter apologized with a lifeless voice, head still hung. “I was... thinking.”
“That's what I figured.” Tony admitted, stuffing his hands into his pants pockets. “That's why I told him to calm down. Finally got him to sleep, he's been up since the funeral, and I'm guessing you have to. “
“I'm sorry.” Peter repeated a lot more brokenly.
“To your dad or to Gwen?” Tony instantly regretted his own stupid mouth as the brunette curled further into himself, fists grabbing his hair and pulling.
“I'm so sorry.” Peter choked out, his fathers arms quickly surrounding him.
“It's alright hunny.”
“No it's not!” Peter shouted, pulling away from Tony. “I did it, I let her die!” Peter then began to rant, screaming his guilt to his father who simply listened. He didn't interrupt, didn't tell him to calm down, just let his son scream, get it all out, all the while watching him with sympathy but keeping his distance.
Eventually Peter calmed, sitting in the fetal position taking long shaky breaths that Tony knew meant he was trying to hold in tears. Slowly Tony slid over to sit beside his son. Cautiously he placed a hand on the brunette's shoulder who at first didn't react. After a still moment Peter leaned towards his father silently asking and receiving a comforting embrace. That's where he snapped, letting out a wail as the damn broke.
“It's aright sweetie, it'll get better.” Tony assured as he ran his fingers though the sobbing teens hickory brown locks. He sat there comforting his son until Peter passed out from exhaustion and was sure to be ready with open arms for when he woke next.
Tony stood in front of his father, both men staring the other down with something akin to glares, both waiting for the other to speak. The teen had already said his goodbye's to his mother and Jarvis, so his dad was the only thing standing between him and the MIT campus he'd be staying at for the next couple years. This was the last time they'd see each other for the few months till Christmas break, though Tony doubted Howard would be there. So, what's the last thing his father had to say to him?
“Don't go making a fool of yourself. You still have to represent the Stark family and Industry.”
“I'm off.” Peter announced as he slipped on his Spider-man mask.
“Hey!” Tony shouted from the kitchen, his husband barley flinching at the sudden holler. The vigilant hero turned to his parents to see Tony beckoning him over with a single finger and smile. The brunette sighed as he removed his mask and approached the table. The teen leaned down and received a kiss to either cheek from each of his parents.
“Be careful okay?” Steve said like he did every time he watched his son go on patrol.
“You show em what for.” Tony cheered with a wink as his son took a few steps back. “I love you.”
“Love you too.”