Peter was dreaming. That's the only explanation for what's happening. Mr. Stark wouldn't leave him, he knew that. He was distant and a little bit cold, but why recruit him and act like he cares so much to just... leave? He wouldn't; Mr. Stark wasn't like that. He wasn't he wasn't he wasn't he wasn't. He was too careful for that, he always had a plan. Nothing could take down Iron Man. Suddenly Happy was at his side, a hand on his arm, holding him back. Peter struggled to get out of his grasp, to go to Mr. Stark, to see his face, check his pulse, just be near him.
"Come on kid, we gotta go let everyone at the tower know." No no no no no. Telling the Avengers meant that this was real. It wasn't real, it wasn't. Peter was just dreaming.
"No, no this is just a dream. I need to wake up. This isn't real." Peter still struggled but Happy's grip wasn't loosening. Pressure built up in his chest and came out as a sob. No matter how hard Peter tried to stop them, they just kept coming. The chest of his suit was damp against his skin from the tears pouring down his cheeks. No no no no no no no no no no. Panic was building inside of Peter so fast he couldn't control it; he was shaking, crying, this throat hurt so he assumed he was screaming. The world was muted, nothing made a sound, nothing could distract him from this pain.
The car ride back to the tower was silent. Mostly, anyways. Happy tried talking to Peter, to make him say something, /anything/, but he wouldn't budge. He couldn't; if he opened his mouth he'd start to cry again and his eyes were so sore. The car stopped but Peter barely registered it. He didn't think he registered it at all. The door he was leaning on opened and he fell a little. Happy caught him.
"Come on kid, unbuckle. We gotta go inside." Peter numbly followed his instructions. Head bowed and shoulders slumped, Peter followed Happy inside the tower. An emergency meeting was called. Everyone was in the office in minutes, worry laced on all of their faces. Every single Avenger showed, Rhodey and Bucky included. Peter's heart ached at the sight of all of them together for the first time since that fateful day in Siberia. Mr. Stark hadn't talked about it much but from what he did say, it was still tearing him apart inside. Peter slumped down onto the floor in a corner, curling in on himself and wrapping his arms tightly around his legs.
"Happy, what happened?" Natasha.
"Happy...Where's Stark?" Cap.
"Happy where the hell is Tony?" Rhodey. Peter screwed his eyes closed. The image of Mr. Stark falling from the sky, half of the suit blown to bits, the rest of it sparking and twitching. Crimson and gold streaked through the sky at impossible speeds. Peter didn't notice until it was too late. Metal crunched and screeched, sparks flying against the asphalt. Blood everywhere. Peter could've sworn that he saw bone.
"Mr. Hogan, where is Stark?" Thor.
"HE'S DEAD MR. STARK IS DEAD HE DIED SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!!!" Peter screamed. The room echoed with his voice. When the echo stopped, the room was silent. Minutes passed before the next person spoke.
"Happy?" It was Clint. "What happened to Tony?" Peter got up and walked out of the room, slamming the door closed behind him.
Three weeks passed before the funeral. It was a private event, inner circle only. Cap, Bucky, Rhodey, Clint, Natasha, Thor, Bruce, Vision, Wanda, Pepper, and Peter. The press hadn't been informed of the death yet. Everyone spoke in Tony's honor. Everyone cried many, many times. When it was Peter's turn to speak, his entire body shook. He stood behind the podium silently for what felt like forever.
"Mr. Stark was... one of the best people I have ever known. He trained me in a way I could never have expected." His voice became thick and tears stung his eyes. "He... He was a father to me. I've never loved anyone as much as... as much as I love Mr. Stark." Deep breaths, Peter, deep breaths. "I will always love him. Thank you, dad, for giving me all that you have given me. I miss you. You'll live on as a legend in all of our hearts. I promise And you're right. I'm nothing without your suit."
Chapter 2: Epilogue
Years pass and Peter is grown up. He's finally ready to end his grieving.
I felt too bad leaving it the way it was, plus I had an idea to make it better! Hope y'all like it <3
It took Peter two years to be able to think about the lab without crying. It took him a year after that to read Tony's letter that he wrote to him the day that he died. It was like he KNEW he wasn't going to make it out alive. Peter sat on his bed in the new Avengers tower with the letter in his lap, name scrawled in perfect penmanship on the front. Figures that Stark would show off, even from six feet under. Peter moved it just a few weeks ago with Aunt May figuring it was finally time to move on. He donned his red and blue suit once more and joined the Avengers on their mission to destroy those who had destroyed Tony Stark. Peter crossed his legs and leaned his elbows on his knees, carefully opening the envelope. His hands were shaking and he could feel tears pricking his eyes once more.
'Dear Underoos, By the time you're reading this, I'll most likely already be dead. And that's okay. It was bound to happen eventually, being an Avenger and all. I hope you don't miss me too much seeing how great I am. I was. Wow being dead is a really strange feeling. Anyways, I just wanted to give you some gifts that I'd been working on. Use them wisely, and use them well. Be better than I was, Peter. Little gray area. I'm proud of you son.
Keep breaking the cycle.
Peter took a deep breath through his nose and let it out of his mouth, preparing for the tears to fall. But to his surprise, none did. Only a dull ache formed in his heart, followed by a flare of admiration. Peter's promise at Tony's funeral still reigned true to this day. He still loved him. A soft humming noise filled the room. Peter glanced up to find Vision entering his room through the wall. He smiled and set the letter beside his bed.
"Hey, Vision! What's up?"
"Hello Peter. Director Fury has called a mandatory meeting. I was sent to fetch you."
"Okay, yeah, sure." Peter got up from the bed and took a step towards his closet to get his suit.
"I'm afraid you won't be needing that. Come along now, Fury is an impatient man." Confused, Peter changed direction and headed out the door behind Vision.
A considerable time later, Peter was standing in front of a full length mirror, admiring himself with awe. The suit was snug but not too snug, he could breathe and see just fine. And most importantly, it was always battler ready. Gold bolts held together the blue and red slates and accented the different curves. Peter clenched and unclenched his fist, watching with a smile. A whistle sounded at the doorway and Peter jumped, turning to find Happy grinning widely.
"Don't let your ego get as big as his now or I'll take it away. Now come on, Iron Spider. You've got a mission." Peter glanced once more in the mirror at his suit. His infamous blue and red turned into a full body armor to mimic Iron Man's. With one last look, Peter fired up the jets in his boots and flew out of the tower.
"Little gray area."