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Aunt Melinda May

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“I don’t have an Aunt May,” Peter said hollowly to the lawyer. It had been a couple days since his parent’s funeral and he was just numb. He sat in the office in a suit that was both too big and too small and wondered what was going to happen. He didn’t really care. All he could think of what that he and his dad would never finish building that rocket.

“She is your godmother,” the lawyer said gently. “And your parent’s wills were very specific that if anything happened to them she would become your guardian. We’ve contacted her and she is out of the country right now. She’s changing her business plans and will be here the day after tomorrow. You’ve been staying with a friend, correct?” Peter nodded. “Well I would imagine a couple more days would be fine then?” Peter shrugged. “Good.” The lawyer droned on and Peter didn’t listen.

Ned’s mom was waiting for him and took him back to their place. Ned tried to get him to play video games, they tried to get him to eat and he barely responded. Numb was starting to feel good.

Three days later there was a knock on the door. Ned’s mother lead the woman into the living room. “Peter this is -” she began.

“I’m May,” May said.

“I don’t know you,” Peter said looking at her. He didn’t recognize her at all. She looked of an age with his parents, but there were just no memories of her. She opened the purse that she had been carrying awkwardly and handed him a photo. It was a christening and she was holding him with a man behind her beaming. Peter looked at May, she didn’t seem the sort to ever smile. “Who’s he?”

“My ex-husband,” she said. “It will be just you and me.”

“I don’t like it.” Peter said. He tried to sound angry and not broken. Ned’s mother went to hug him and he hated all the hugs.

May just shrugged. “You aren’t supposed to like pain, you just learn to endure it.”

“Have you?”

“I have.”

Peter didn’t know why that relaxed him but it did. “Can we move? I don’t want to stay in the same apartment.”

“We can move.”

*************************************************

“What the hell, Aunt May?” Peter shouted. “I go away to summer camp and come home and find out a guy moved in?” This was the worst. Sure the worst was actually getting bit by a spider at camp and now being able to do all sorts of freaky stuff, but this was pretty bad too. He stared at the guy who was standing a little behind Aunt May. He looked...well he looked like any of the dads he had seen of other kids.

Aunt May at least always had this air about her. Calm, with a hint of danger even though she just worked in HR for some boring company.  And this guy didn’t look like anything. Old jeans and a ripped t-shirt, boxes at his feet. Glasses, thinning hair. Awkward smile. No way was he good enough for Aunt May.

“Hi, Peter, I’m Phil Coulson,” the guy said and held out his hand. A glare from Aunt May had him shaking it.

“How did this happen? And so fast?” Peter looked to his aunt. She never rushed anything. She made lists and lists of lists. She spent most of her time telling him not to rush into stuff so fast, to plot out his course of action carefully.

“We worked together years ago,” Aunt May explained. “And we reconnected due to...circumstances at the beginning of summer. We remembered how much we enjoyed each other’s company and things just snowballed.”

“Peter,” Phil sounded so earnest, which ugh. “I know you and May are a team. I’m not going to interfere with that. I just hope you’ll give me a chance.”

“If you try to throw a football with me -” Peter said.

“No, footballs never been my speed,” Phil said. “I can do comic books though.”

“Yeah right, whatever.” Peter rolled his eyes.

“Peter,” Aunt May warned.

“It’s fine, this is a lot to take in,” Phil said. “I’m sure we’ll be friends.”

“Yay,” Peter replied and went to his room. He stayed in there for a couple days except for bathroom breaks. He practiced climbing his walls and making a mask.

“Peter, dinner?” Aunt May asked. “Phil is making burgers.”

“Not hungry,” he called out.

“Can I come in?”

Peter looked at the mess. “NO!”

“Okay,” she said and walked away. Peter felt like crap, Aunt May sounded sad. But she kept Phil a secret, so him having a couple was not so bad. He put on the mask and went out his window. Time to see what he could do.

**************************************

Phil was driving him to school. The silence was painful. Peter had been ignoring him as much as possible the last couple weeks and was relieved school was starting again. Only Phil drove into the teacher’s parking lot.

“You drop off in the front. They are super picky about that,” Peter said. Phil pulled into a spot and turned off the car. “Really picky, Phil.”

“Yeah about that,” Phil winced a bit. “We kept trying to tell you but you were avoiding us. Understandable, I totally get it. Change is rough.”

“What do you know about rough?” Peter muttered.

“I know enough,” Phil replied.

“Whatever, Phil,” Peter said and started to get out of the car. Only Phil did too. “What the hell?”

“May doesn’t like you cussing,” Phil said. “And on school grounds, it would be great if you called me Vice Principal Coulson.”

“You are shitting me!” Peter shouted. A couple teachers turned and looked at him.

“We tried,” Phil said.

“No. You didn’t.” Peter stormed off to find Ned.

Later when they were headed to lunch they could see through the glass windows Phil hanging a Captain America WW2 propaganda poster. Peter groaned.

“Wow,” Ned said. There was a bunch of other Captain America stuff that could be seen. “New VP is a nerd.”

“You have no idea?”

“Why?” Ned looked at him. “You already talked to him?”

“Sorta. He’s the dorky step uncle, Aunt May dropped on me when I got home from camp.”

“You live with the VP?” Ned began to laugh at him. Peter ignored the wave Phil gave him and kept walking.

He stopped an honest to god criminal that night. A real live criminal. His hands shook for a few hours after he was in bed.

*********************************************

Peter listened carefully at the door.

“May, I don’t know about this,” Phil said. Of course he didn’t, the jerk, but Aunt May would have his back. “Stark is...he’s dangerous.”

“I know, but we can’t tell Peter about…” May’s voice got quieter and he couldn’t hear it. “If we don’t let him do this it might cause more problems.”

“Because this won’t cause some? What if Stark just drops by?” Phil asked. “May, this isn’t good.”

“I know,” she agreed and Peter tried to make Phil blow up with his mind. “But it might not be bad, and we don’t have a way around it without a whole mess of other problems.” Yes, Aunt May!

“I don’t want him hurt,” Phil said and Peter frowned. The guy didn’t care about him, not really. Not like Aunt May who never hugged but was always there.

“We can’t stop that.”

“We can try.”

Peter didn’t like Phil sounding like he cared. He put on his gear and went out the window.

When he had Captain America’s shield in his hands all he could think was god Phil would be so jealous. But he couldn’t tell Phil.

Stark dropped him off back and home after and when he pushed the door open he froze.

“Sir?” Peter asked.

“Nothing, for a second I saw a ghost.” Stark gave a giant fake smile. “Go on, Happy will be in touch.”

**********************************************

“Hey Pete, can we talk?” Phil asked.

“Did you pull me out of class to talk about your chore wheel?” Peter asked.

“No, this is purely professional. Although it wouldn’t kill you to remember to scrape your plates better before you put them in the sink.” Phil smiled a bit and Peter ignored it. “I’m concerned. You’ve quit a lot of school groups and now you’re blowing off the academic decathlon? May said you had loved that.”

“No one loves it,” Peter said.

“I did when I was your age.”

“Explains the principal thing.”

“Vice Principal. I’m the one with the nice page of detention slips.” Phil winced a little and rubbed his wrist.

“You okay Phil?” Peter asked. He had seen him do that a bunch, he realized but never had asked about it.

“Coulson, remember?” Phil gave him a serious look. “And it’s fine, the join is sensitive today.” He rubbed the wrist, no his forearm again. Phil sighed. “Just going to be easier to take it off.” He pressed and twisted and removed his hand.

“What the heck?” Peter shouted.

“A prosthetic, Peter,” Phil said calmly. “I mentioned it to you.”

“No, you didn’t,” Peter replied. He stared at the hand sitting there on the table.

“I did, you just tend to tune me out unless May gives you death glare number 4,” Phil seemed sad but accepting. “I’m not your enemy, Peter.”

“Sure, sure,” Peter wasn’t paying attention. He kept staring at the hand. “That is really good tech,” he said. “That looks almost as good as something Stark Industries could come up with.”

Phil laughed. “That hack? This is way better.”

“Did you just call Tony Stark, freaking Iron Man, a hack?” Peter stared at him in shock. “Who’s better than Tony Stark?”

“The people who made that hand, for one,” Phil replied. “No decathlon?”

“It’s nothing sir, just not into it anymore.” Peter stood up. “I need to go to Spanish class.”

“Of course, a late slip,” Phil quickly wrote it out. “Chinese for dinner?”

“Whatever,” Peter said and made his way to class.

***********************************

“Phil you cannot drop us off right in front of the party,” Peter begged. “You can’t.”

“He’s right, it will ruin all the cool my hat brings,” Ned added.

“The hat does bring a lot of cool,” Phil agreed. “And I was planning to walk you to the door, talk to the parents, make sure that everything is a okay.”

Ned and Peter exchanged looks of horror. “Sir? Mr. Aunt May?” Ned begged.

“I’m joking,” Phil promised and pulled over a block away from the party. “What time do you need a pick up?”

“We’ll call,” Peter said quickly and got out of the car.

“Thanks for the ride,” Ned gave a wave and they walked. “You know he isn’t really that bad. For having to live with the V.P.”

“He’s the worst,” Peter said. “Just the worst, and May likes him. I don’t get it. May is all chill and he...he has zero chill. He has dad jokes, and fake caring, and just...he’s the worst.”

“Pete, I don’t think he’s faking the caring,” Ned offered.

“We are not talking about Coulson when going to a party,” Peter said as they made it to the front door.

Hours later he walked into the apartment and saw May still up reading on the couch. “I’m sorry I’m late,” Peter said, still shivering from being dropped in the water. He saw Phil asleep, his head in May’s lap and her stroking his hair. “Why are you up?”

“He had a nightmare,” May said. “He wouldn’t drink the tea I made him.” She looked down at Phil with this affection that made Peter hurt and he couldn’t explain why. Maybe because it was the look she gave him when she thought he couldn’t see. It was May’s you are my dumbass and I’m going to take care of you look. “He never drank the tea I made him.”

“You two really known each other that long?”

“Long enough,” May said. She gave Peter a proper look. “Good party?”

“I don’t think I’m the party sort,” he said.

“Parties are overrated,” May agreed. “Get some rest.”

“What does he have nightmares of?” Peter asked, curious. “Detention slips? Kids running in the hall?”

“The Battle of New York,” May answered. “He...he…” she shook her head. “But he’s here now.”

“I’m sorry,” Peter said. He thought maybe he could be a little nicer to Phil. For May. He said the port for the hand got sensitive, maybe he could ask Tony for help with that, when Tony calmed down. He went to bed and fell asleep quickly, exhausted.

***********************************

“Sorry about the last minute,” Peter said and got on the bus for the decathlon.

“And sorry for the last minute, last minute,” Phil said running up behind him. “Had to convince the principal he didn’t need me. I love the decathlon.”

Peter cursed inside his head and glared at Phil. “Sir, I’m sure you are needed here. A weekend alone with May has to be more fun than the decalathlon right?” Take the hint and spend a weekend boning May and leave me alone he thought and then was horrified he thought of Aunt May and sex in the same sentence.

“May has a conference meeting, she’ll be busy,” Phil said and clapped Peter on the shoulder. “This will be fun!”

Peter sat in his seat, distinctly  not having fun as Phil lead the team in some quizzing and had the other kids laughing at his jokes, which were not funny. Why did Phil always show up?

When Peter was stuck in the warehouse he rambled to Karen about Phil and how annoying he was.

“Mr. Stark has files on someone named Phil Coulson,” Karen said. “Would you like to see them?”

“Ugh, of course Mr. Stark researched Aunt May’s boyfriend,” Peter said. He was quiet. “Tell me there is something good in those files.”

“The files have not been updated in four years,” Karen said. “And are locked.”

“Probably a different guy then,” Peter said and they talked about different things until the doors opened. He had to give Phil a little credit for the way he stayed completely calm in the elevator and was trying to keep the students calm and was the last one out. When the elevator began to drop again, he didn’t even curse or nothing, just closed his eyes. Peter had him though, and got him out. “You okay there?” Peter asked and hoped his voice sounded different enough.

Phil stared at him. “Okay enough,” he said.

Peter didn’t like the stare, like Phil could see him in the suit. He ran and tried to forget that stare.

***************************************

Peter sat at their tiny kitchen table. May and Phil were there and May came close. He shook his head. “May…”

“What is it honey? We’ll fix it,” she promised.

“I lost my Stark internship,” Peter said. He began to cry a bit. And May hugged him. She never really hugged but she was hugging him now, letting him just rest his head against her stomach and stroking his hair. It felt so good and he leaned in just a little more.

Phil sat across from him and just waited. When Peter looked at him, Phil was giving him this calm look. He looked different than he was used to. The bumbling and dad joke Phil seemed like a skin that had been shed, and whatever was in front of him just radiated danger. “Do you want me to talk to Stark and fix this?” Phil asked calmly. And somehow Peter thought he’d actually be able to do it.

“What you’ll just walk into Stark Industries, find Mr. Stark and yell at him until he gives me the internship back?” Peter tried to joke.

“No, I’d call Pepper Potts and have her yell at him,” Phil said.

“Phil,” May said. “You can’t.”

“It’s sorta nice though, that you’d try,” Peter said.

“Peter,” Phil began, and had to stop. “I just want you safe and happy and not forgetting to be a kid.”

“Kind of hard to forget how old I am,” Peter replied.

“You’d think that, but you seem to forget almost every night,” Phil replied.

Peter was worried. “Sir?”

“Don’t worry about it,” Phil replied. “I’ll order in some pizza. You can eat in your room tonight.”

“Thanks,” Peter said and went to his room.

He thought about it for two seconds and then sent a listening device under his door.

“Pizza ordered,” Phil said, “And don’t give me that look.”

“What look?” May replied.

“The you are so crap at keeping a cover going look,” Phil said. “Stark is fucking your boy over and I won’t let it happen.”

“There have to be reasons,” she replied. “And you can’t do anything about it.”

“There is lots I can do about it and you know it,” Phil snapped. “I hate it, I hate it all, but I know I can’t stop it. So I’m gonna make him as safe as possible.”

“You love him,” May said softly.

Peter frowned. Phil did not love him. That was weird.

“Of course I do, he’s your kid and I -” Phil cut himself off. “I want to go yell at Stark.”

“Years, Phil. Years, you think you can act like things didn’t change?”

“I know they did,” Phil replied. “Parenting sucks. He is hurting and I can’t stop it.”

“We are used to that feeling, Phil.”

“With adults, coworkers, May. Not a fifteen year old.”

Peter figured he heard enough and called the device back. A whole bunch in there did not make sense, and he wished Karen had gone through those files after all. When May knocked on his door and told him pizza was there, he told her he wasn’t hungry.

***********************

“Now a tie, is something I can absolutely help with,” Phil said, smiling at Peter. “I’m glad you are going to the dance, having a little fun.” He went to the closet and picked a few different options from the rack. He held them up to Peter and then picked a plain black one. “I used to have a coworker, bought me ties, so many ties. It was a joke I never quite got.” He put it around Peter’s neck. “May will help you with dancing, she always was a great dancer.”

“Aunt May dances?” Peter could not picture that at all. Like there was no way his brain could form that image.

“Hmm, really well,” Phil agreed. “Now a tie is really simple. Just over under around and through.” He made the simple knot and adjusted it. “There you go.” Phil looked at him. “Very adult.”

“Thanks, Phil,” Peter said.

“Don’t thank me yet, remember May and I are chaperoning the dance,” Phil said.

“May too?” Peter almost squeaked. “Why?”

“Couple teachers are sick, back up was required. Always trust May at my back more than anyone on the planet.” Phil smiled a bit like there was a big joke on that sentence. “Now go, get dancing lessons.”

Peter went out and furniture had been moved back a bit and sure enough May showed him how to bop a little and then to his horror how to slow dance a bit. Phil came in and asked May to dance and they showed off some decent moves. “Please don’t do that at the dance,” he begged.

Phil spun May out and brought her back and her leg went up against his thigh. They stopped and stared at each other and it was so intense, it grossed Peter out and he hurried to his room.

Phil had already left for the school so May dropped Peter off at Liz’s house. “I promise, Phil won’t embarrass you at the dance,” she said.

“I know you will keep him chill,” Peter said and kissed her cheek and went up to knock on the door and had a heart attack when the guy he had been fighting answered it.

They drove to the school in terror and Peter had to thank him for not killing him and in that moment Peter understood a whole bunch of what Stark had been trying to get him to understand. He walked with Liz into the gym and saw Phil and May watching everyone from the corner their backs to the wall.

Liz was so pretty and nice.

And he had to stop her dad.

He ran out of the gym and grabbed the last bit of equipment and old costume from under the lockers and out in the parking lot that asshole just slammed him into a school bus. He had gotten used to the extras on the suit Stark made, but he could do this. Only the guy wasn’t alone there were three others and they all had those weapons.

One blasted Peter and he went flying. He closed his eyes waiting for a second blast to kill him only there was a noise and no pain. Peter opened his eyes and Phil was leaning over him, with his prosthetic hand having some sort of glowing shield. What the hell?

“May!” Phil roared and Peter lost his breath when he saw May come running in her nice clothes.

“They’re going to kill her. Phil!” Peter shouted but Phil wouldn’t move from where he was providing cover for Peter. He did pull out a strange looking gun though.

“See what was funny earlier was that I always back her up, not the other way around.” Phil didn’t even look as he shot one of the men with Icer bullets. Phil kept the shield up. “Peter you need to stand, can you stand?”

Peter nodded and let Phil help him up. He watched as the giant guy just got a face full of May who was just destroying him. “May?” Peter gulped.

“She’s a little mad, Peter, that she hasn’t been able to keep you safe. She has some aggression to work out. This will be good for her.” Phil looked over and saw a man trying to move around the back of Melinda. “Oh no you don’t,” he said and ran. “Peter, we got this. Go do what you have to.” Peter was standing in shock, at May, his quiet Aunt May leveling guys with insane tech with her bare hands. “Go!” Peter stayed another minute watching Phil and May move in sync and just kick fucking ass. He then remembered to run.

He was hurting so much. It just, was excruciating, and over. He tied up the Vulture and somehow made his way back to the apartment. He went in through his window and Phil was waiting in his room. Peter couldn’t stay up anymore. “I’ve got you,” Phil promised and caught him.

“They teach you how to fight like that at Principal school?” Peter asked and passed out.

He woke up on the couch, down to his boxers and May was dressing all his wounds. “Aunt May?”

“You scare me. Every night you go out, you scare me that you won’t come back,” she said. “And I let you go, because I get it. I get it,” she repeated.

“Are you in the army?” Peter asked. “Are you a superhero too?”

“No,” she said.

“Agent May is absolutely a superhero,” Phil said, coming from the kitchen with bags of ice that he lay carefully over Peter. “Thought she was one from the first time we sparred during training.”

“Who are you, Phil?” Peter asked.

“Phil Coulson, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” he said.

“Former director,” May corrected.

“After the hand, and a few...personal choices, I made, a new director was brought in, I was supposed to be given a desk job, but May called in about you. It was decided extra monitoring was needed and since I technically have a history degree, S.H.I.E.L.D decided to put me in as your V.P., to keep an eye on you.” Phil smiled ruefully. “May and I figured the best way to watch over you and whatever insanity Stark pulled you into was to have me close, so we faked falling in love and moved me in.”

“That’s not fake,” Peter said. “You two are idiots for each other.”

“Years of professional work,” May said. “We are accustomed to each other.”

“Come on, he makes your tea right. No one makes your tea right. And Phil stares at you like you hung the moon,” Peter replied. “You two are so gross. No way that is acting.”

“However I’ve always felt about May, I would never -”

“Always felt?” May’s head snapped and looked at him. “You have not always felt.”

“You preferred civilians,” Phil said. “So I let it go.”

“You mean a lot to me,” May replied. “A lot. Okay?”

“That’s how Aunt May says she loves someone,” Peter replied. He looked between them. “I’m going to close my eyes so you can kiss.” He closed his eyes and counted to 100. He opened them and they were still just staring at each other. Peter closed his eyes and counted to 200 this time and when he opened them they were smiling at each other and sitting a lot closer.

“Wait,” Peter said. “S.H.I.E.L.D? I thought they were evil.”

“Parts were evil, they were weeded out,” Phil said. “Been operating in the shadows mostly, cleaning up a lot of the messes the Avengers leave in their wake, among other things.”

“The Avengers are great!” Peter protested. “Karen said Mr. Stark had a file on Phil Coulson that was sealed. Is that you?”

“He is the reason the Avengers exist,” May explained. “He is the one who brought them together.”

“Weee, my death made them work like a team,” Phil joked.

“You’re dead?”

“Long story,” Phil said. He wrapped a bandage around Peter’s forearm. “Now that my cover is blown, the question is, what do you want?”

“I don’t understand,” Peter said.

“S.H.I.E.L.D is going to want someone to keep an eye on you, they are trying to monitor all the young people of exceptional skill. Someone new can be assigned to your case. We don’t want to interfere, just…”

“Be a shield?” Peter asked.

“You are 15, you don’t need to be facing saving the neighbourhood alone,” Phil said.

“You don’t have to do it at all if you don’t want,” May said.

“I have to try,” Peter replied. “And I don’t want anyone new, I’m used to you, Phil.” He looked at his hand. “I actually have a couple ideas about your hand.”

“I’ll introduce you to the scientists that made it. You’ll love FitzSimmons,” Phil promised.

“You need to rest,” May said. “Science can wait until tomorrow.” She smoothed Peter’s hair. “And tomorrow I teach you how to fight hand to hand better. It has been killing me knowing you are relying on acrobatics and your web slinging. You need to throw a decent punch.”

“That sounds good,” Peter agreed and hugged her tight. “You two are really scary. And cool.”

“Phil has never been cool.”

“You thought I was cool when I met Thor,” Phil protested.

“Any cred you got from that was ruined by your meeting with Captain America,” May replied.

Peter looked at Phil. “Oh my god, you would have been such a dork.”

“I have the video,” May said. “It is amazing.”

“Shut up,” Phil said and pulled her in for a kiss. It was as gross as Peter thought it would be.

************************************

Peter stared at Happy in the bathroom who was saying he had to come along. “Not without permission from the VP.”

“When do you care about the rules like that?” Happy asked.

“It’s a recent development,” Peter replied and pulled out his phone and sent a quick text. “We can wait, it will just take a second.”

They stood in the bathroom and Peter rocked on his heels and waited. He wondered if Happy had known Phil. When Phil walked in, he guessed the answer was yes with the way Happy flailed.

They sat in the car and everytime Happy reached for his phone, Phil stopped him. “You have to let me make an entrance,” Phil said. “He’ll appreciate the drama.”

“He’s going to kill you.”

“Like I haven’t been dead before,” Phil replied. “It tends not to take.”

“Wait...that sort of implies more than once, Phil,” Peter said.

“Only two or three times,” Phil replied and waved it off. “The one Tony knows about, that’s the one that stuck the longest.”

Happy looked at Phil like he was insane. “You were stabbed with Loki’s scepter!”

“Like I said, stuck the longest.” Phil’s gaze was shuttered. “Don’t like to talk about it.”

“Tony will want answers,” Happy pointed out.

“That’s classified,” Phil answered. Peter thought that sounded kind of baddass.

The new Avengers location was gorgeous, Peter thought as they drove up. They walked in and Phil was hiding behind Happy a little and Tony barely noticed him, so focused on Peter. Peter was a little distracted, worried how it would all play out and Tony showed him the Iron Spider suit and when he said Peter could move there and be a full time Avengers, Peter looked at Phil.

Phil just held his hands up, it was Peter’s decision.

Being an Avenger was all he wanted, but if he moved here, no more stupid board games, or May checking on him in the middle of the night. No more Phil doing dad jokes. He wouldn’t get to be 15.

“Phil? What do you think?” Peter asked.

Phil stepped from behind Happy and Tony stared at him. “I think that Tony is a good man, and there is a lot of opportunity here. But, S.H.I.E.L.D has your back if you want to stay home.”

Tony kept staring at Phil. He tried not to react. “Agent,” he said. He blinked. He was a complete loss for words.

“I missed you too, Stark,” Phil replied and found himself being strangled by a hug. “Okay, didn’t expect that.”

“He’s been trying to tap into his feelings more,” Peter explained.

“That is terrifying,” Phil managed to choke out the hug was that tight. “Tony, jesus not in front of my kid. It’s embarrassing.”

Peter flushed a little at being called Phil’s kid. “Not as embarrassing as you mooning over Aunt May during training.”

“Pep’s going to murder you for being alive,” Tony said to Phil.

“I know,” Phil replied.

Tony let go and composed himself. “Kid, the Avengers are waaaay better than S.H.I.E.L.D.”

“Are they better than Phil?” Peter asked.

Tony was quiet. “Go home, kid,” he said finally. “Happy get him his normal suit and take them home.”

“You got it boss.”

Peter hugged Tony. “Thank you, Mr. Stark.”

“Yeah, yeah, go on then.” Tony waved him off and Peter followed Happy out.

Phil and Tony looked at each other. “If you had been around things might have turned out different. You would have gotten people to listen.”

Phil looked sad, “Or they would have gone wrong in a different way. You never can tell.”

“But you are around now,” Tony said.

“I am. For him,” Phil replied. “He comes before anyone else. Even the end of the world. And you will keep him safe out there. Or else -”

“You have taser that you aren’t afraid to use,” Tony filled in.

“Damn right,” Phil said and smiled. “Take care, Tony.”

“Pepper’s still going to murder you,” Tony said and Phil left.

*************************************

Peter finished a tour of the neighbourhood and came home. “Hey, I’m back,” he shouted.

“Dinner is in twenty,” Phil shouted back.

Peter stripped out of his spidey suit and put on sweats. He went to the table and sat down. “I met someone today,” he said.

“Oh?” Phil asked.

“She called herself Quake, and asked if I was looking after you,” Peter said. “How’d she know me and you?”

Phil grinned. “Quake is around?”

“Yeah, she’s umm…” Peter blushed a bit.

“I’ll get her to come to dinner,” Phil said. “It will be good for you to chat with a non-Avenger superhero. She’s really my favourite.”

“Captain America is your favourite,” Peter said.

“Nah, he’s great, but he’s got nothing on Quake,” Phil replied. He ate some green beans. “You’ll see.”

“Aunt May? You know her?” Peter asked.

“I do,” May said. “Eat your vegetables. Superheroing needs vegetables.”

“Yes, Aunt May,” Peter said and ate a carrot. They then played Pandemic and he did his homework. It was so normal.

He had made the right call choosing them over being Avenger. Even if they were super gross with the kissing all the time now.