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Just a Bit of Vigilance

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When Peter cries, he’s careful not to show it. He’s a teenage boy, and tears are the equivalent of weakness and as a superhero, weakness is not acceptable. So he opts for silence, short nods and lack of eye contact until he can get to his room and let the hot tears spill from his eyes in private.

But he can’t help it this time; it just hurts too much. The moment he’s in the door, dropping his tattered backpack on the floor, he feels the pressure burning at his eyes become too much. He raises his wrist over his eye as he tries to breathe, even though he’s already sniffling, and slides back against the door.

He will not cry (except it’s already too late for that).

“Peter. Peter, what’s wrong?”

He sees a blurry flash of blonde behind his squinting eyes, and he knows that Pop is wrapping him in a hug—his go to fix-it since Peter was little. Even with Steve rubbing his back—‘shh Peter what happened, what’s wrong?’—he still feels his chest tearing and ripping with emotions that he wishes he could stuff back down. Heroes don’t cry.

After a few moments of hard sobbing into his father’s shoulder, Peter bites his lip and finally mumbles, “Harry broke up with me.”

“What?”

Peter looks away as Steve pulls back, brows furrowed. “We had a fight. He’s been…standoffish lately…and I told him, and he said I was too clingy and…a-and he just…said he doesn’t want this anymore.”

The flash of anger across Steve’s eyes is almost tangible. Just wait until Tony heard this.

.

.

‘Come outside’

Peter groans and stares at the screen, blinking to adjust to the light and try to determine if the text is really what his mind is registering it as. It’s been two days since he’s seen that familiar name lit up on his phone, and for it to be reappearing at 1 am is skeptical. He’s dreaming, he thinks to himself, shaking his head and running a hand through his tousled hair.

‘seriously. come on’

Not a dream then, he frowns and texts a quick, ‘okay’. Being the child of Tony Stark has never made it easy to sneak out (he still remembers the first time trying to Spidey out his window only to be yelled at with a booming ‘SECURITY BREACH’ and Tony laughing to get his ass back inside). But then again, he’s fucking Spiderman and this is merely a challenge as he sneaks his way out of his house-tower through an elaborate scheme of avoiding sensors and the wrong windows.

Fifteen minutes later, he’s outside and praying that his parents are actually asleep this time, when he sees his boyfriend—ex-boyfriend, standing in front of him, hands shoved into his pockets. With a very purple eye.

“Your dad is a dick,” Harry comments once he’s only a few feet away from him, and Peter wants to apologize but all of his words are stuck in his throat because maybe he’s not ready to see Harry this soon, Jesus he’s shy enough.

“Yea,” he manages uneasily, “Please…tell me he didn’t do that?”

Harry grins a bit, and it’s sheepish and boyish, and even with the bruised eye it makes Peter melt in ways that he shouldn’t. “Cap throws a damn hard punch, that’s for sure.”

Peter blanches, “Pop did that to you? Dad I could see, but…but…no, Pop?” The sensible, controlled, and lovable father of the two?

Harry nods, although he doesn’t seem upset, and he’s stepping a bit closer. In fact, he reaches towards him and his eyes are softer than usual, “And I was a dick too. I heard you cried. Fuck. Peter,” he rubs the back of his neck and pauses, “My dad has been getting on me lately, and it’s just…really stressful you know? So I took it out on you, and I shouldn’t have because that’s like kicking a puppy.”

Peter isn’t sure if he should be relieved or offended.

“So. I’m sorry. And your dads are scary as fuck, but they’re right. And I should have listened to Tony when he said if I hurt you I die, because I deserved that.”

“Are we…” Peter doesn’t know how to articulate the feelings bubbling in his throat, and he’s shaking with the anticipation because he’s partially terrified to ask and be shot down.

“I love you,” Harry doesn’t hesitate; he’s blunt and confident, and Peter nearly swoons at the sheer solidity of the phrase and the way that Harry pulls him close. He feels dizzy but he knows that he’s whispering the words back before they’re kissing. And this is okay, this is good, he thinks. They can get over things, fights happen. As long as Harry recognizes that, which he did, they can do this.

.

.

“You can call off Clint,” Tony says into his phone, and across from the window he sees Hawkeye wave from his perch in the tree before heading off. He looks up at Steve, one arm wound lazily around his waist as they watch their son from their window. Ha. Like Peter thinks he actually snuck out, that’s adorable. He’ll learn one day.

“He learned his lesson, I’d say,” Steve comments and promptly looks away, turning a pleasant shade of pink when his son starts to wrap his arms around Harry’s neck because he really would like to pretend that Peter isn’t making out and probably heading towards other things.

Tony laughs and tugs him towards the bed, “Jarvis, unlock the door for him would you?”

“Yes sir, and will Harry be joining us this evening?”

“Like hell he will,” Tony nuzzles into Steve’s neck, letting his husband rub circles down his back as they settle under the covers.