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T is for Teeth

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The sun was just in view over the mountains when cries shook the whole home awake. Steve and Nat jolted awake and dashed into the nursery to find Bruce kicking and screaming flat on his back in his crib, and Tony too was wailing, but Steve found his baby half way over the bars and stuck hanging right on top of the beam. Steve rushed over to pick Tony up and check for bruises, then Nat made her way over to ease her infants cries. She walked over to the window to let in a small slit of warm sunlight into the room that lit up the corners of the nursery, then she lowered the bars, took a seat on the bed, leaned agains the bars by the wall and eased him into a hug, which led to a slow rocking motion that soothed her boy's cries and sent him right back to sleep. Nat looked over to the changing table and saw that it was being occupied by Tony, so she opted for the diaper bag and slid the changing mat under her now limp child. Nat may have been slightly shorter than Bruce, but she was definitely much stronger than him(without the HULK). But when ti came to changing a dead-weight child she didn't have enough strength to do so, so she swopped to watch Tony while Steve changed Bruce. Once Bruce was changed and tucked in, Steve carried Tony into the living room followed by Natasha who offered to make Tony a bottle and Steve, coffee and a light breakfast for now.

"Tony my sweet boy, are you hurt or feeling alright? " Steve started with a simple question, knowing with Tony still groggy and sleepy, he'll take some time to process grownup words. Tony didn't answer, but instead whined and let his tears roll down his cheek. Tony was clearly upset, but instead of his usual loud cries, he whimpered. Steve was beginning to worry, as Tony didn't seem his usual self. Steve tried to push an answer out of Tony but received nothing. Aunty Nat sat beside Steve and slightly shook the baby bottle in Tony's view hoping to get his attention, which she did. Tony's sobs vanished as he dropped his jaw anticipating the bottle, but on his first attempt to suck, before he could swallow the milk, he choked, coughed, and spit the milk out and let out a loud painful squeal. Nat gave Steve a look of worry and decided to go upstairs to check on Bruce incase Tony's cry frightened him. Steve knew that Phil would have been awoken by the sudden cry, but to prevent waking Clint and Bruce, Steve grabbed the polyester baby blanket off the back of the couch, draped it over his boys shoulders and took him outside to the backyard. The morning was slightly cool, but comfortable. Steve stayed standing, trying all different kinds of motions to clam Tony, who by now had cries that were more pitiful and drained than anything. Steve never stopped humming, singing, and murmuring soothing words in Tony's ear, but none of which seemed to help, till the boy in his embrace fell asleep due to strain.

Turns out Steve was out on the deck for over an hour, because when he entered back into the living room, Clint was on the play-mat with his eyes glued to the television watching Sesame street and drinking his sip cup of milk. Phil and Nat were in the kitchen making breakfast, so Steve made his way towards his friends. "How's he doing?" Nat asked, with genuine concern and worry on her face.

"He hasn't spoken all morning, he just cried and eventually cried himself to sleep. I don't know what happened, and I was surprised he didn't take his bottle just now." Steve sighed

"Is he feeling alright? He doesn't feel hot. He shouldn't be sore form battle, with the suit protecting him." Phil was starting to worry too.

Steve shrugged. He went to take a seat at the dining table when Nat announced that breakfast would be ready in 10 minutes. Just as she was about to turn back to diving the oat meal, Bruce's cry for his mama failed through the baby monitor.

"Hey baby boy, what's gotten you so upset this morning?" Nat went to draw the curtains open and picked her baby up. She laid him down into the changing table and changed him in under two minutes and promptly placing Bruce back onto her hip.

-It turned out that with the Hulk gene pre-existing in Bruce's blood before he was born, he had a few baby teeth that never made it's way out and his adult teeth never fully complete, but when fury got them knocked out, Bruce didn't notice the discomfort till now.-

Making her way down the stairs and into the dining area, Bruce's cries softened, so Nat took this chance to swop out his in-and-out thumb for his paci, but the moment she pushed the pacifier between the lips, Bruce let out a bloody scream of murder. The pacifier dropped onto the ground by Steve's feet, so Steve reached for it and left it on Bruce's tray. Nat tried for other substitutes to sooth her child's cries, but none was lucky enough to be the chosen one, soon enough Nat decided to let him cry it off.

"Clint, time for breakfast. You can watch cookie monster later." Phil called.

With Tony asleep and Bruce drifting, Clint got all the attention he could ever imagine. Nat and Steve taking their time to enjoy their breakfast and enjoying the quiet of their babies sleep, but took the time to laugh every now and then when Clint was acting up. Clint was being fed by Phil on the booster seat, taking one bite at a time, Phil was feeding Clint his porridge, but Clint wasn't going to make it easy on his papa today. A the spoon entered his mouth, Clint clasped his bite onto the spoon and growled like a puppy. Phil, patient as ever was getting tired of tugging at the spoon, but Clint noticed Steve and Tash's amusement, so timed the perfect moment to let go, sending his papa slingshotted back on his chair. Despite earning a few laughed from his uncle and aunt, Clint was getting bored, so as Phil was feeding him his piece of toast, not paying enough attention and getting his fingers too close, Clint chomped down onto his papa's fingers and continued to suck and nibble on them. Phil yelped and retracted his hand right away, but Clint grinned with the most proud smile on his face. Cute or not, Phil sent Clint into time out to reflect on his actions.

Tony finally woke to the smell of a piece of bacon that Steve had dropped onto Tony's chest. He reached a hand up to pat his dada's face and licked his own lips. Steve chuckled at the adorable way Tony asked for a bite, and cut him a small piece. *RED ALERT RED ALERT RED ALEART* All hell broke loose, when Tony bit down into the savoury piece of meat. He quickly spat it out and once more, wailed for the 3rd time this morning. "No, no no baby boy, tell dada whats wrong. Please tell me, I can't fix it if you don't tell me. Can you show me? Baby, can you point to where it hurts?" Steve held tony's hand and guided him over his boy pointing at different places. "Is it here? Your head? Your tummy? Your chest? Do you have a boo-boo?" Steve was getting anxious and scared, wanting to help Tony right now. Tony grabbed Steve's finger and pointed to his cheek. "Is it your cheek baby boy? Your mouth?' Tony shook his head. "Teef dada! hurts" Tony tried to get through his sobs. "You're teeth Tony? Your teeth hurts? Oh my poor baby, you must be miserable. Dada's going to make an appointment for the dentist now, how about you stay here with Aunt Tasha and uncle Phil and go watch a movie with Clint while I make the call. I'll be right back. Good boy. My brave boy" Steve left with a kiss to his baby's forehead.

Steve went to phone the dentist at S.H.I.E.L.D. medical bay who also had a degree in psychology and specifically works with littles. "Thank you. That's perfect, I'll see you at 2 doctor. Bye." Steve returned to the room just in time for Bruce's turn to cry.

"Hey solnyshko(sunshine), are you hungry? We're having breakfast. How about we have something to eat or have a baba. It'll help you feel better baby." Nat retrieved a bottle of milk form the warmer and cradled Bruce in the arms on the couch behind where Tony and Clint were watching Finding Nemo. Bruce gave the teat a few sucks before turning away and raising the volume on his cries. He turned towards his mama's chest and gnawed on his fingers, finding his face in her breasts. But after a few moments to calm down, he was at it again. Searching for comfort. "It couldn't be his teeth bothering him too could it?" Steve kid.

"It could. Didn't he get all his baby teeth knocked out by Fury? They should be growing back by now, and I'm sure its more than discomfort. He might be teething or in pain." Phil suggested. "I'd go for baby food, or mushy peas and such, and I'd go for cold milk for now Nat, it should help sooth his gums." Phil added.

Natasha nodded and smiled at her friends, ever so caring. "Thanks guys. Phil, do you think you could get me some cold milk please? I think he wants to nurse and he needs that soothing feeling. I'll just let him nurse a bit and give him the bottle." Nat thanked Phil once more and turned to look down at the baby in her arms. Bruce was no longer gnawing his fingers, but gnawing his mama's breast through her shirts fabric, trying to self-soothe. Nat ran her fingers through his hair and sighed. With one hand, she unhooked and removed her bra and placed it on the arm rest beside her, then raised Bruce slightly higher and pulled him closer and lifted her shirt. She gently guided Bruce towards he nipple and helped him latch on. Once he realised the familiar and safe feeling, all tears stopped. He happily sucked and made small soft mewling noises like a kitten. Steve dropped a thin blanket over Nat's shoulders to block off the light from bruce, and to keep the toddlers out of disturbance. Finally, Bruce was tired enough to not notice that mama had exchanged her nipple for the teat of the bottle filled with cool milk. He sucked slowly but surely and 3/4 done with the bottle, he was fast asleep without a fuss.

-

It was 5:30 pm and Steve and Tony just arrived home from the dentist. Clint was building blocks and train tracks with a now much more happy Bruce. Phil had ended up giving Bruce medication for the pain which was a good call because Bruce was oblivious to any discomfort now. He had taken two bottles with meal replacements and a packet of saltine crackers the time Steve was gone. Tony entered the playroom eyes red-rimmed, but apart from his eyes, everything else screamed JOYOUS. Tony was skipping his way towards his cousins with stickers, a plastic '#1 Brave Boy' medal, and 3 toothbrushes. Tony was eager to show his rewards to his cousins. He skipped his way over and dropped his bum onto the mats and held out the medal for his cousins to admire. Then he presented 3 toothbrushes and began telling his cousins that they got to pick one each, as he still remembered to get a reward for his favourite boys. The three kids continued to babble while Steve plopped onto the couch and his eyes were open just long enough to see Phil and Nat laugh.

"How was it?" they asked simultaneously.

"God it was hell. He ended up with 2 fillings but before he got the fillings he kicked the dentist in the groin, kicked and screamed and flapped his arms so hard that he smacked the nurse and I ended up having to get into the damn chair and lay down with him on me. He was fine for the cleaning, but in the end we drugged him. Gave him gas and knocked him right out. I'm not one to complain or swear, but Fuck children are work." Steve rubbed his temples and Nat and Phil just continued to giggle.

"They're a handful, but they come with their perks and rewards." Phil said.

"Look at them, just chattering away. Like nothing happened... And I'm the one who's gotta be wiping snot all morning." Steve couldn't help but chuckle himself.

"At least you didn't get your tit's sucked on for hours. Plus I'll be stuck with him like this for a few days till his adult teeth come in. Now thats fucking hell." Nat grunted but she too laughed at her incident.

"At least none of you got bitten by your own child!" Phil practically shouted

"Yea yea you win" Steve and Nat burst out laughing.