"You don't think, Tony! What if something happened to you? You have to be more careful--"
"I am being careful, Steve!"
"No, you're not! You haven't changed at all! We've got to think of Peter now!"
"And, what, I was just supposed to let Clint get smeared by that robot?"
"Thor was right there, Bruce, too. You've got to trust--"
"Don't you dare say I don't trust the team. That's not been a problem since the beginning and you know it!"
"Dammit, Tony, stop putting words in my mouth. I--"
"Sirs?" JARVIS interrupts, sounding subdued, and they freeze. JARVIS doesn't break into their arguments unless it's absolutely important, so--
A thin wail carries down the hallway to the kitchen where they're practically yelling at each other. It stutters off into a series of heartbreaking sobs and a look of horror overtakes Tony's face, his eyes going dark and haunted as his cheeks pale.
"Peter," they say together and Steve's lightheaded for the first time in years as they race down the hall to their son's room.
Peter's sobbing when they hit the door, face wet and hot and fever-flushed with agitation, and Steve feels his heart break at the way he's clinging to his Captain America and Iron Man plushies.
"Pete," Tony says desperately, lunging for the crib, and Peter immediately releases his toys and raises his arms to be held. He sobs once, twice, and subsides into sniffles, hand curled tight against the arc reactor as Tony cups the back of his head. "Sh-shh, baby, shh. It's okay," he murmurs into Peter's brown curls, his eyes wide and tormented as he sways around to face Steve.
"Do--" Steve stops when his voice cracks, clears his throat and starts again. "Do you think he heard us?" he asks, gut aching at the thought that Peter must have.
"I don't see how he didn't," Tony says and there's a wealth of pain in his voice.
"Your voices were quite audible," JARVIS murmurs, sounding ashamed to mention it.
An aborted moan bubbles out of Tony's throat, abruptly cut off when Peter snuffles again, and Steve steps forward to wrap his arms around his family. One hand spread across Peter's back and an arm around Tony's shoulders, he buries his face in Tony's neck, pulling in deep lungfuls of their scents -- Peter's milk-sweet and Tony's familiar musk and motor oil.
"Shh, baby," Tony sighs, as Peter stutters a breath against his chest and they sway together.
"I won't apologize," Steve says later, when they're in bed, curled like parentheses around their son. "It's got to be said sometimes."
Tony presses closer, hand gentle on Peter's back as he leans to kiss Steve. "I know. You're right."
Peter sighs between them, lips smacking together as he dreams, and Steve feels tears prick his eyes. "I love you," he says against Tony's lips, hand coming up to fist in Tony's collar, keeping him close. "Don't ever make me do this alone," he pleads, eyes squeezed shut to keep the moisture at bay. "We need you too much, Tony."
"I know, Steve, honey, I know." His teeth set into Steve's lip, making the kiss a promise they both hope can be kept. "Just... We can't do this again. God, Steve, he was a wreck just because he could hear us." Tony's eyes are wild with painful memories, things Steve can only guess at and hate the more for not knowing. "I can't do that to him again."
"Okay," Steve soothes, thumbing at the corners of his eyes before reaching out to card a hand through Tony's hair. "Okay."
He kisses Tony again, then settles them forehead to forehead, sharing one pillow with their baby between them.
"We'll figure this out," Steve says and Tony nods, lacing their fingers together over Peter's back as they watch him sleep.