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To Be Young Again

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"Ho! Ho! Ho!" Clint shouts as he walks into the kitchen where Bucky was sitting at the table helping kid Tony eat his breakfast, Steve was making himself a cup of coffee and Natasha was pouring herself a bowl of cereal.

"Finally admitting what you are?" Natasha asks him with a raised eyebrow and a tiny smirk and Bucky snorts in amusement while Steve ignores them in favor of adding sugar to his coffee.

"Nat, not in front of the Hobbit," Clint jokes back, referring to kid Tony, as he grabs the Cocoa Puffs from Nat and starts to eat them straight from the box.

"You're weird," Tony tells the archer with his cute little button nose scrunched up.

"Look who's talking, short stack."

"So Clint," Steve says quickly, interrupting any possible argument between Tony and Clint that had been brewing, "we're thinking about getting the Christmas tree up today since everyone is here for once. You in?"

"Definitely," Clint replies through a mouthful of cereal.

Tony was about to make a comment when Bucky said, "Finish your breakfast, little punk, so we can get up the Christmas things."

Tony nods and opens his mouth to accept another spoonful of cereal. He can feed himself, but he always makes a big mess and takes forever eating so sometimes Bucky or Steve have to help him eat even though he likes to remind them that he's not a baby and can do it himself.

"Is Peter coming today?" Tony asks curiously as he shakes his head at the next spoonful of cereal Bucky was offering him.

"I don't know, kiddo. He's in school right now, but maybe later when he's done," Steve tells the kid who pouts but nods in understanding. "We can call him later and ask if he can drop by, sounds good?"

Tony nodded even though he was still a little sad he wasn't going to see his favorite crime fighting spider until later. Sometimes when Peter couldn't visit, he'd video call Tony and the two would spend awhile talking and making plans about what to do the next time they hung out together. It was amazing for the team to see that no matter what age he was, Tony would always adore Peter.

After breakfast, the whole team meets on the communal floor where boxes labeled "Christmas Crap" in adult Tony's familiar messy handwriting, were placed on the living room floor and a large Christmas tree stood by the large floor to ceiling windows. Little Tony ran up to the tree and stared at it in awe.

"Is so big!" Tony exclaimed as he turned to face the team who were all smiling fondly at him.

"It is! And you're going to help us put the star on the very top of the tree," Natasha tells Tony as she taps his nose lightly before putting a child's sized Santa hat on his head.

"But how? I'm only this small and the tree is bigger than even Steve and Bucky!"

Bucky chuckled and walked over to pick up the four year old, pressing a loud kiss to his chubby cheek before saying, "Silly, you forget that Vision can fly. He can help you put the star up there."

"You're silly," Tony tells him, wiggling around in Bucky's arms until he's set down.

"Alright ladies and gents, and hobbit, lets get this show started!" Clint exclaims as he claps his hands and ignores the glare Tony sends him. "FRIDAY, crank up some Christmas tunes, will ya?"

A second later "All I Want For Christmas Is You" starts to play through the speakers and Wanda and Nat busy themselves with grabbing the ornaments out of the boxes, Sam with untangling the lights, Clint just went around bothering everyone and the two super soldiers helped Vision unpack the rest of the boxes. Tony meanwhile, ran from one person to the next, chattering excitedly and wrapping himself up in the garland that they always place on the fireplace mantle.

"Alright little one," Wanda says as she hands Tony a gold colored sphere, "let's start putting these on the tree. Just on the places you can reach, alright?"

"Got it!" Tony exclaims as he places the gold ornament on a bottom branch of the tree while everyone else took the higher up branches.

Pretty soon their tree was covered in gold and silver ornaments and Christmas lights and the team were getting Tony ready to put the star on the very top.

"Alright Hobbit," Clint says, grabbing the toddler's attention right away with the nickname and earning a scowl that only made him laugh and coo at Tony.

"Remember, be careful and we'll tell you if it's straight or not," Bucky tells the kid as he hands him the star.

"You're not," Sam mumbles and Clint snickers beside him while Bucky simply glares at them.

Vision picks up Tony and then floats his way upwards until the kid could reach and place the star in its spot. Tony steadied it a few times as the star wanted to fall and Bucky could only watch with a soft smile as the child wanted it to look perfect.

"All done!" Tony declared and the team cheered and clapped with the child who looked at all of them with a timid yet adoring look on his face.

The whole communal floor was now decked out in Christmas decorations. There were lights everywhere, the couch had Christmas themed pillows and snowmen figures were placed here and there. In all, the floor now looked like a Christmas shop. And there was so much glitter from the glitter covered snowflakes that hung from the ceiling.

"Peter is on his way up," FRIDAY informed the team and Tony gasped excitedly, rushing over to stand in front of the elevators and Bucky shook his head fondly.

"I'll order dinner. Any preferences?" Natasha asked as she stood up from the couch and stretched.

"I'm really craving Italian food from that little restaurant we went to a few weeks ago," Wanda told her a little shyly and they all agreed, giving Nat their orders before she went off to place them.

The elevator doors opened and out walked Peter with his backpack slung over his shoulder and face breaking out into a large grin when he spotted the child waiting for him.

"Peter! Hi!" Tony greeted him as he ran the short distance and giggled loudly when the teenager picked him up and spun him around.

"Hey, little spider! Whoa, you're covered in glitter. Did the glitter monster throw up on you?" Peter asked as he tried to wipe away some of the silver glitter on the child's chubby cheeks with the sleeve of his hoodie.

"No! Silly Peter." Tony shook his head in between giggles. "Look! It's Christmas!"

"Almost, Hobbit!" Clint corrected from the living room and Tony scowled again at the nickname.

Peter giggled and walked into the living room where he looked around the room with wide eyes.

"A little overboard, huh?" Steve asked the teenager.

"A tiny bit, yeah. But it's really cool though! Like, really really cool. Didn't uh realize Mr Stark had a lot of uh Christmas stuff," Peter comments, the child in his arms not even participating in the conversation as he's too busy fiddling with a loose thread on Peter's hoodie.

Clint rolled his eyes fondly and he settled back on pillows with Santa and reindeer on one of the couches as he kicks his feet up on the coffee table. Wanda and Vision had left the room, probably to do whatever it is they do during their free time and Natasha was still taking care of dinner.

"Staying over tonight, kid?" Bucky asks Peter as he eyes the bag on the kid's shoulders.

"Ah yeah! May's working the night shift and apparently there's a high chance classes might get cancelled tomorrow so I thought I'd come by and spend some time with my favorite spider kid!" Peter explains to the few heroes left in the living room, jostling Tony from side to side to make him laugh.

"You're staying!?" Tony asked as his eyes twinkle with excitement and face breaks out into a large smile.

Peter nods just as excited as the curly haired child before heading off with him towards the elevator to drop his overnight bag off in Tony's room which is also the one where Peter sleeps in when he stays over. The first time he'd slept over, Peter had taken the extra guest room in Bucky and Steve's floor, but in the morning he'd woken up with Tony curled up next to him so he thought it'd be easier to just sleep with the kid. His bed was pretty big anyways.

- - -

"Look at the little Hobbit. He always looks like an angel when he's sleeping," Clint speaks quietly as he and Natasha stand a few feet away from the couch where Peter and Tony are fast asleep long after dinner and after a long afternoon of running around. Peter's laying on his back with the kid on his chest and a blanket draped over the two who sleep on unaware that they were being watched.

"You're having way too much fun with that nickname. Once Tony gets back to his regular self, he's going to kick your ass and I won't stop him," Natasha tells her partner with a smirk on her face while Clint opens and closes his mouth various times unable to come up with a proper response.

"So it's okay for him to call me Katniss or Legolas, but I can't call him Hobbit? Unbelievable."

Clint heads off muttering about rights and Hobbits while Bucky, who's heard the entire exchange, laughs from the kitchen.