“And so I said, “This bitch empty. YEET!”, and I threw him right back into his friends!” Peter regaled, to a chorus of laughter from the team. Shuri and Wanda were laughing especially hard, as it had been Shuri to hurl the alien towards Peter in the first place.
“Ahh yes, little spider, you have showed great strength today! Have an ale to celebrate!” Thor gestured towards the counter of alcohol, to which Tony frantically made a slashing motion across his throat and harried shaking of his head.
“Oh,” Thor said, looking disappointed. “Apparently you may not have a tankard.”
“Yeah, that’s a hard no, ” said Tony, relieved that Thor had understood his facial cues for once.
Shuri and Wanda giggled once again as Peter’s face both gained and loss hope in a matter of seconds, his eyes having taken on a sheen of brightness that was quickly doused by Tony’s dad-ness.
“But shall we play a game instead?” Thor suggested, waggling his eyebrows.
Rhodey groaned. “Oh, hell no. If this is the “who is worthy” thing again, I’m out. We did this gag once before.”
Steve laughed quietly, saying, “Seriously, Thor. No one could lift it but you, we get it now. No need to rub it in our faces yet again.”
“But Nat never got to try,” Clint quickly put in. Peter, Shuri, and Wanda immediately started catcalling and ooohing her, egging her on.
“Nuh-uh, I’m not touching that. I don’t have anything to prove,” Natasha defended herself.
“And, well, I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t want the green guy to wreck this fun little party, so I’m out too,” put in Bruce.
Sam looked at Steve, who gestured at the hammer. Tony did the same thing, and Thor nodded.
“Alright, I’ll go,” Sam said, “but when I’m suddenly the king of Asgard or whatever, my first order as king will be to whup all your asses into some hard labor with KP. I frickin hate washing the dishes.”
“Less talk, more action, my winged friend!” Thor shouted.
Sam stood up, wiping his hands on his jeans. He walked up, gripped the hammer… and nothing. Nothing happened. He strained for awhile, but it didn’t even budge.
Sighing, he sat back down.
“Who’s the king again?” called Wanda.
Peter laughed, adding, “Oh, he’s the king alright - the king of LOSERS!”
Shuri high-fived him and the three of them sat on their couch, in hysterics at the events that had transpired.
“Aw, if you’re so great, then why don’t you try, little man?” Sam challenged.
Peter looked at Thor, and then Tony, apprehensive that one of them would say no. But after Thor looked at Tony, who he was pretty sure was the boy’s father, for confirmation and Tony gave the smallest of nods, Thor broke out into a big smile and gestured at the hammer.
“Yes! Give it a try, oh arachnid!” said Thor.
In the same motions as Sam, Peter stood up, wiped his hands on his jeans, and walked up to the hammer. Standing there, he didn’t know whether to start lifting or not.
“Would you like a count, oh meme-lord of mine?” Shuri asked, to the relief of Peter.
“YES!” he shouted, a bit to loud. “I mean, yes, that would be appreciated.”
The rest of the Avengers joined in, “two…
And Peter lifted the hammer with so much force that not only did it come off the table where it had been resting, but it also hit him in the face, making him fall to the ground with a massive THUD and knocking him out.
“Peter! What the hell!” screeched Tony and Shuri at the same time.
Thor stood up, completely dumbfounded, the look on his face akin to a fish out of water. How had a sixteen-year-old kid just lifted up his hammer?
Bucky and Sam looked at each other, looked at Steve sitting in the chair across from them, looked at Natasha and Clint by the bar where they were refilling their drinks, and then burst out laughing. Because of course this little idiot, this tiny little boy, with undying loyalty to Tony Stark, to the mission, to helping the little guy no matter what, of course he would be able to lift the hammer.
Tony kneeled down next to Peter, slapping his cheek lightly, as blood dripped down into his hair from the side of his head. “Peter,” he called, “wake up, buddy! You have to see Thor’s face.”
Peter didn’t respond, out cold.
“Peter,” Tony said, more insistent now, “you gotta wake up, kid. Party’s not over yet, come on.”
And then, slightly concerned, and lacking anything better, he took Thor’s ¾ full tankard and splashed it in Peter’s face, to which he immediately woke up, sputtering.
“Ms’r S’ark!” said Peter, coughing, slurring, bleeding, “I thogh’... I thogh’’ yoo said nooooooo alco.. alco… al-co-ma-hall for me?”
Shuri face-palmed, muttering to Wanda, “Only that boy could get a concussion from wielding Mjolnir.”
Wanda giggled, replying, “Did you expect anything less?”
Tony sighed. “Alright, I need you to -“ he reached for a pen on the table “- focus on the pen for a sec, okay? We gotta do concussion protocol… Peter? Are- are you listening to me?”
Peter wasn’t listening to Tony; in fact, he wasn’t listening to anyone, because someone had just walked in the room.
Peter stood up, to the chagrin of Tony, and shuffled across the whole room, bumping into furniture and Avengers alike as he made his way over to the doorway, where his hero was standing - Uncle Ben.
“Ben?” he said in a wondering voice, to the gasp of those nearest to him, who, concussion-free as they were, saw no such figure. “What are you doing here? I thought…”
“Ahh, it doesn’t matter what you thought kid, I’m here now,” said Ben. “I wanted to see you and your friends. How’re things working out with the whole Spider-Man thing?”
“Oh, um, yeah, it’s- it’s great, Ben. Look!” he shouted, suddenly slur-free as he skipped and jumped his way back to his original couch. “This is Shuri, she’s a princess and super smart. This is Wanda, she’s really nice and does magicky stuff. This is…” and the spider kept running around, introducing everyone to the figment of his imagination, while everyone else, most of all Tony, sat there with looks of pain on their faces, wanting to help Peter but not hurt him.
Until Peter brought Ben to Tony.
“Oh, Uncle Ben, this is Mr. Stark! You know how you were basically my dad until you… until you… umm, left? Well, Mr. Stark has been doing that for you and he’s been doing a great job, and yeah you would really like him… he’s smart just like you were- er, are- and he really cares about me, well I think, and he’s a great fa…” Peter trailed off, noticing for the the first time the tears forming in Tony’s eyes and running down his face.
Peter sat down next to Tony, all the other Avengers leaning in around him, as he asked, “What’s wrong, Dad? Do you not like Ben? Because how could you not when the two of you have bas… basically… raised… me…?” Peter petered out, slumping against Tony’s shoulder, his concussion getting in the way of more activity, the blood from the cut on his head slowly staining the white suit jacket Tony had been wearing, his eyes closing in sudden sleepiness.
“Tony?” Steve asked. “You good?”
Tony looked up at him, terrified.
“Steve,” he said quietly. “Steve, he saw his uncle and he thought I was his dad.”
“Nah, bro,” Sam shot in. “He definitely still thinks you’re his dad. Haven’t you seen the way the kid looks at you? Your his frickin idol, he has nothing but admiration for you.”
“Yeah, and besides that,” added Clint, “ there are worse ways he could have gotten a concussion. I mean, he lifted Thor’s freaky hammer. And of course he lifted it too hard, the little shit, and slapped himself in the head with it.” He chuckled, and then so did Natasha, and then Wanda, and then Shuri, until eventually the whole team was laughing.
Except Peter, of course. Still happily resting on his mentor’s shoulder.
Thor stood up and walked over to the window, looking out. The young Man of Spiders had held Mjolnir through the entire time he had been seeing this “Ben,” and had been gesturing with it. Thor smiled, looking at the stars. The hammer was still in the child’s grasp, and it reminded Thor that even the youngest among them were great, if only they were given a chance to prove it.