Maria hadn’t seen her husband in two days. It wasn’t unusual for Howard to disappear inside his workshop for days but usually he left it once or twice a day in order to grab something to eat, that’s why after two days without a sign of Howard Stark, Maria decided it was time to break some rules and get herself in her husband’s workshop.
She was about to go downstairs when a shy tug on her dress got her attention. She looked down to the origin of the tug to find her small son pouting, one hand had a hard hold on her dress and the other one was clutching his Captain America’s action figure tightly on his chest. The small toddler was dressed in some trousers held by a suspender and a white shirt, hair nicely combed in place, it seemed like Jarvis had just bathed him.
“Hey, baby boy.” She kneeled in front of her son and patted his hair. The toddler pointed with his free hand’s index finger downstairs and then he extended his arms to her.
“Dada.” He frowned when Maria didn’t pick him up, pretty much in the same manner Howard did when he disliked something, and his pout intensified, his lower lip starting to quiver.
Maria sighed in resignation and picked up the boy, he was going to be a menace if he had already mastered the kicked puppy’s face at thirteen months old.
The little boy rested his head on his mother’s shoulder and put his free hand’s thumb on his mouth, happily sucking at it, Maria frowned at that and tried to pull the thumb away from her son’s mouth, which only won her a squeal and a small kick from the boy.
“Stubborn as your father I see.” She shook her head and left the boy with his thumb, no use on forcing him if the result was going to be the little one wailing, and then she started her descend into the workshop. “No touching, all right baby boy?”
When she arrived at the cold metal door, she inputted the code into the bypass and the door opened for her. She peeked inside the room and caught sight of her husband on the far end of the room, a smile tugged on her lips as she walked toward him. He was working on the Arc Reactor, working goggles on place as the pale blue light coming from the artifact illuminated his face.
“Hey darling.” He looked up from his work, looking rather surprised even though the goggles concealed part of the expression.
“Maria?!” He stood from his place and walked toward her, cleaning his hand with a small towel all the way. “What are you doing down here?”
“I know you don’t like me coming here, but it has been two days since I last heard of you.” Howard opened his mouth in surprise that didn’t reach any other part of his face.
“Has it been that long?” He muttered, more for himself than for Maria, it was a statement that didn’t hold regret or any kind of surprise. Then he noticed the child on Maria’s arms. “Why did you bring the child?”
The brunette woman looked down to the toddler, who was still sucking at his thumb, looking curiously at the Arc reactor.
“He wanted to see you.” Howard arched an eyebrow at that and took a step forward, closing the distance between them.
“Really?” He ruffled the boy’s black hair and leaned his head on his wife’s free shoulder, putting light kisses on the skin of her neck.
“Howard…” It was a halfhearted threat but the man ignored her as he started biting her neck, sliding a hand through the hem of her dress in order to caress her thighs. “Howard you smell, let’s go upstairs so you can bath and we can do this in a proper place.”
“This is proper enough and we can take a shower together, later.” His other hand slid to the fly of her dress and Maria put her son on the floor, using her now free hands to push her husband lightly.
“Howard the kid is here.” He frowned in the same manner his son did some minutes before and then rested his head on her shoulder once more, starting to put butterfly kisses between her neck and collarbone.
“He won’t remember it later.” He put both hands on her hip and lifting her from the floor and putting her on the table, coming face to face with her. “Hmm, better.”
“I’m not having sex with you in front of our son!” She said firmly and hit his head lightly; still there was a playful smile on her lips as she said this.
“I can think of many other fun things we can do apart from sex.” Any complain Maria was about to say died as Howard claimed her mouth on a hot and dirty kiss.
The brunette woman moaned into the kiss and Howard smirked in victory, running a hand through his wife’s inner thigh. He broke the kiss and nuzzled his face in her neck, biting and kissing every inch of skin his mouth passed by. Slowly Maria’s hand found their way to his nape and she started playing with his hair.
Howard was about to unzip the fly of her dress when a loud explosion and a shriek startled them. They stood frozen for less than second, both set of eyes wide as the crying of their son started to fill the room. Both parents ran to the other side of the table to find their young son crying his heart out as the Arc Reactor lay in flames some foot away.
“Maria, tell me that’s not my two million dollars prototype lying on the floor on flames.” Howard’s mouth was hanging open, his eyes a mixture of surprise and horror.
Maria chuckled nervously as she picked up her son from the floor, checking him over for injuries, she felt relieved when she found none.
“Hush baby boy, is alright.” She rocked the toddler slightly but his crying didn’t cease at all.
“Cappan!” said the boy between hiccups as his arm reached for the artifact in flames. Maria looked around for the toy but it was nowhere to be found and she bit her lips trying to discern the toy’s frame from inside the flame.
It didn’t take long for Howard to appear with an extinguisher to put a stop to the fire. He kneeled in front of the now burned Arc Reactor and groaned in annoyance.
“There goes a month of work.” He muttered and turned his head to look at his wife. “Just so you know, you two are permanently banned from my workshop.”
“Figures.” She looked down to her son, who was still crying with his arm extended. “Howard, can you see if his Captain America’s toy is there?”
The engineer picked up the burned artifact and put it to his side, lying in the floor was the frame of a burned Captain America’s toy. The boy shrieked in horror and trashed on his mother’s arms, trying to get to the burned toy.
“Oh god, he loved that toy.” She strengthened her hold around the toddler as he tried to get loose.
“He’ll get over it.” Howard was sulking, even if he would deny it to the end of times, and Maria shook her head at her husband antics.
“Eventually, but we will have one hell of a night today.” She left Howard to his work after that knowing well that he wasn’t going to leave the workshop anytime soon.
They tried all day to sooth the toddler to no avail, Jarvis had cooked him his favorite dessert, Maria had tried to get him play with his others toys, Jarvis had played football with him, Maria had given him one of Howard’s old projects, in the end he fell asleep after tiring himself from crying and the brunette mother tucked him in his small bed, kissing him good night with a sad smile.
When she closed the door behind her, she spotted her husband coming down the hall while drying his hair with a towel. She smiled at him, her expression not happier than before and Howard grimaced at her.
“I assume he is not taking it well.” She shook her head and the engineer sighed, resting his head on her hair.
“I’ll get him a new one tomorrow.” He took a step back and tugged her dress, with a playful smile. “Now come to bed, you still owe me one.”
Howard took her hand and guided her through the hall, yet Maria’s gaze remained fixed on their son’s bedroom’s door all the way to their room. She was sure that the problem wouldn’t be solved by getting the boy a new toy every time he felt sad and she wondered how long it would take until they wouldn’t be able to fix him by buying him what he wanted, and more importantly, she wondered if they would be able to fix their mistakes when it came the day where they could no longer fix him.