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Cyanide? In My Shawarma?

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“We’re eating dinner with the Avengers?!

He smothered a smile at the kid’s not-even-a-little contained enthusiasm. “Yes, we are.”

“The Avengers!” Peter spun to grab at Tony’s elbow, stumbling backwards as he kept pushing the kid down the Compound’s maze of corridors. “And Doctor Banner!”

He nodded, still working to swallow down his fond amusement. “You’ll love Bruce. I’ve already talked to him about you. He’s as excited to meet you as you are to meet him, I think.”

“You’re the best. You’re-I-I love you. Have I ever told you that before? I-I really, really, really love you. Oh my god, Mister Stark! The Avengers!”

He swallowed down the zing of joy at Peter’s babbling. He doesn’t mean it. He’s just excited. Calm down, Stark. “Yes, yes, yes. You’re living your dream. But how about we live our dream calmly, okay? Banner’s a little… jumpy. And things with Rogers still aren’t all sunshine and rainbows. That’s why you’re here.”

“Wait. There’s a reason I’m here?”

He winced, thinking back to the conversation he’d had with Pepper only a few days ago.

He dropped down face first onto their bed with an only slightly exaggerated groan. “Rogers and the rest are coming to dinner on Friday.”

Pepper raised her eyebrows slightly, rubbing a soothing circle between his shoulder blades. “Did Ross set that up?”

“Who else?” He rubbed a stressed hand over his eyes. “God, this is a terrible idea.”

She moved to lay beside him and dropped a light kiss to his cheek as he rolled onto his back. “Bring Peter.”

“I’m sorry, you want me to what now?”

“You know what I said.”

“And why in the world would I drag the kid into this?”

“Because tempers might get high-”

“Which is exactly why I need to keep him as far away from it as possible-”

“No, which is exactly why you need him with you.” Her touch was light on his wrist. “He’s your self-control.”

“He’s my-I, I have self-control, Pep.”

“Not with Steve. Not when it comes to Barnes.” She raised a hand as he opened his mouth to protest. “I know. I know what he did. But you can’t afford to fight him again. You two need to find a middle ground. And as long as Peter’s there, I know you won’t let yourself do anything you’d regret.”

He shook the memory away. The whole situation was leaving a bad taste in his mouth, and remembering that Peter was there to be his metaphorical leash wasn’t helping.

“Yep. You’re a gray area. Keep the peace, do your thing. You know.”

“I-I really don’t.”

He stopped just shy of the door and spun Peter until their eyes met. “All you have to do is stick close and be yourself. Just… maybe make it a lowkey version of yourself, yeah?” He grinned. “Not everyone can be lucky enough to get the uncensored Parker package.”

Peter grinned back, shy and sweet. “Yeah. You-you got it, Mister Stark. I’ve got this.”

“I know you do.” He dragged a breath in through his nose, held it, then pushed it out. Let’s just hope I’ve got this too. “Alright, Pete. C’mon. Everyone’s waiting.”

Twisting the door handle felt a little like sealing his fate, but he did it anyway.

“Tony.” Steve’s shoulders were tense, but his fists were unclenched and his expression seemed friendly enough. Despite it all, Tony’s entire body screamed danger. “I… didn’t know you’d be bringing a guest.”

Why? Were you hoping you could beat the shit out of me in private?

He felt shame rise in him at the cruelty of the thought but pushed it away in favor of guiding Peter forward. “Steve, this is Peter. Peter, this is Steve.”

A flash of amusement warred with a wave of protectiveness as he watched Steve step forward and shake Peter’s hand. The kid’s mouth hung open in shock.

Steve just fixed him with his trademark smile, every inch the figurehead they’d trained him to be. “It’s nice to meet you, Peter. Like Tony said, I’m Steve.”

“I-I know. I-I’m a big fan, sir.”

Natasha’s eyes narrowed. She took a half-step forward, surveying Peter in a way that made Tony’s hackles raise just slightly. “Your voice sounds familiar.”

Sam nodded. “I was thinking the same thing.”

“Voices are like that, I guess. Only so many pitches.” He snatched Peter’s shoulder and hauled him back to his side. “Anyway. Peter, the rest of the Avengers. The rest of the Avengers, Peter.”

“H-Hi.”

“Alright. Great. Nice. We’re all introduced.” He gestured to the table stacked full of takeout containers. “Shall we?”

Steve’s nod was cut short by Sam’s voice. “Wait a minute, Stark. Are you not gonna tell us how the hell you just acquired a teenager all of a sudden?”

“Well, a lot can happen in a year.”

“You’re telling me you adopted a teenager?”

“Not legally.” He pushed Peter into a chair and squeezed his shoulder. It’s alright. “He’s my intern.”

Clint wandered until he was standing across from them, eyebrows raised in disbelief. “You have interns now?”

“A couple.” He glanced at the kid. “Peter’s brilliant.”

Steve spoke slowly, face contemplative. “That’s high praise, coming from Tony.”

“Well, it’s true.” He fidgeted awkwardly for a second, then turned back to the room and made a beckoning motion. “I thought the idea of this little shindig was dinner. That usually involves eating. We still on?”

Steve offered him a tentative smile, shoulders relaxing and eyes finally pulling away from Peter’s face. Thank god. “We’re on.”

He let his fingertips rest on Peter’s back as he sat beside him. If he focused, he could feel him breathing. “Good.”

--

He’d had F.R.I.D.A.Y. order from the usual from their old favorite shawarma place. Sent a random intern to pick it up.

Everyone else was eating. Peter had already devoured his portion and had started picking at the edges of his meal’s container in an attempt to occupy his nerves. Tony had known that what he’d ordered for the kid wouldn’t be enough to satiate his super-sized appetite, but it would’ve brought too much attention to actually feed him. He’d told him they’d get midnight pizza later. As much as he wanted.

The atmosphere was a little lighter, with everyone fed and tentatively slipping back into their past rapports, but Tony still stared at his meal with a nervous nausea in his stomach. After his third failed attempt to bring the food to his lips, he shoved the wrapper over to Peter, who gave him a grateful look.

“So, Peter,” Steve caught the kid’s suddenly wide eyes with a coaxing smile, “you’re in high school, right?”

“Uh, y-yes, sir. I-I am.”

“It’s been a while since I was in school.” Steve ignored Clint’s cough of understatement. “What’re you learning?”

“Oh, uh, lots of-lots of stuff.”

Tony snorted at the vague answer. “Kid’s a little overwhelmed.” He poked one of his ribs. “Tell them about what you’re working on in the lab right now. The continuum robot project.”

“Oh.” There was the spark of life that Tony had grown to love. The kid relaxed as he focused on his research, an excited smiling growing as he spoke. “It’s… It’s actually a really cool concept. You know how a snake moves? Well, it’s actually really easy to replicate that motion in a robot, so-”

Tony snorted. “Correction: it’s really easy for Peter to replicate that in a robot. The equations took him an afternoon, tops. Even I was impressed.”

Peter blushed at the praise, taking another bite of his shawarma to delay having to respond. “Thanks, Mister Stark.”

He nudged his shoulder again. “Go on. Keep going.”

“Well, I think that it could have a lot of applications in medicine, or even on the space station. Robots could be more precise and less invasive than a surgeon alone during something super fragile like an endoscopy.” Peter shrugged, suddenly looking sheepish. “I mean, I’m just playing with it right now, but Mister Stark thinks I should patent my design and start presenting it at medical conferences.” Another blush. “He’s… He’s probably just being nice, though.”

“I’m definitely not.”

Steve gave the kid a warm smile. “I agree with Tony.” Oh? What a shock. “That sounds pretty impressive to me. Granted, I’m not sure I’m qualified to have an opinion.”

“That’s brilliant, Peter.” It was the first time Bruce had spoken since they’d started eating, and the look on his face told Tony that he was seeing the teenager in a whole new light. “That… that’s got some serious potential.”

The kid was blushing bright red, eyes trained studiously on his meal. “Th-Thank you, Doctor Banner, sir. I-I…”

Peter trailed off, blinking slowly. For a minute, Tony thought he’d just ran out of ways to express his admiration. Then, he swayed slightly in his seat and shook his head, as if to clear it.

“Pete?” He was hyper-aware of all eyes turning to look at them as he twisted in his seat so he could give the kid his full attention. “What’s up?”

“Just, uh,” another shake of his head, accompanied with a confused blink, “‘m dizzy.”

“Dizzy? Since when?”

“Since, uh, a minute ago?” One of the teenager’s hands fumbled weakly until his fingers latched onto the sleeve of Tony’s shirt. “Feel sick.”

He could hear his pulse thumping in his ears. Every single one of his Peter sensors were screaming. Somehow, he just knew. Something was wrong. Something was very, very wrong.

And all at once, stressing about being in the same room as Steve seemed so goddamn inconsequential.

“What do you mean?” He gently grabbed Peter’s wrists and tugged him around so that they were facing each other. “Talk to me, kid.”

“Sick. Stomach.” His face scrunched up in pain as his body slumped forward, forehead dropping onto Tony’s collarbone. “Head hurts.”

He could hear the clatter of silverware hitting plates as he rushed to support the sudden weight against his chest. “Hey, hey. Easy. You’re okay.”

“I-I don’t…” Peter jerked back suddenly. Wide, terrified eyes stared up at him. “Mister Stark. I can’t… can’t breathe.”

If he thought his heart was racing before, it was nothing compared to now. Everything around Peter’s face blurred. Sounds whited out. All he could hear were the desperate gasps coming from the kid’s mouth. “You’re alright.” He looked around desperately. “Bruce?!”

The scientist was kneeling beside Peter’s chair in an instant, face determined. “Does he have any allergies?”

“No.”

“Are you sure?”

“It’s-yes. He can’t.”

“He can’t?”

He tried to convey the message with his eyes. “Yes.”

“And why not?”

“I… I can’t tell you that.”

“Tony, damn it,” Bruce checked Peter’s pulse with steady fingers, “if I’m going to help him, I need to know everything you can tell me.”

A glance at Peter, face slick with sweat and pupils blown with fear, made the choice for him. “He’s got an enhanced immune system. Radioactive spider-bite mutated his DNA. All his allergies disappeared. Asthma too.”

“Anything else?”

“Enhanced metabolism, strength, and senses. Super healing.”

He felt Steve hovering over his shoulder, but the leap of panic paled in comparison to the horror of Peter tipping out of his seat. He jumped forward to catch him and ended up bruising his knees on the floor. He didn’t care, though. God, how could he care? Peter’s eyes were drooping shut and he couldn’t breathe.

“Pete? Buddy.” He twisted the kid until his back rested in his lap and caught his head as it lolled. “Hey, hey. Look at me. It’s okay. I’ve gotcha.”

“Mis-Mist’r-”

“I know. I hear you. Just breathe.” He turned to Bruce, who was muttering something to Steve. “What do I do?”

“Is the MedBay still stocked?”

“Of course it is.” I’ve got a teenage superhero under my watch now. We wouldn’t last a week without the MedBay. “What do I look like?”

Bruce nodded, hopping to his feet. “Someone, grab whatever he was eating. Steve, carry him.”

Tony scooped the kid up with practiced ease before anyone could move an inch. “It’s fine. I’ve got him.”

He followed Bruce to the elevator and tried to block out the sounds of Peter’s gasps. Natasha grabbed everything Peter ate and followed, along with the rest of the gang.

Perfect, Tony thought, this is just what we need: an audience.

“Bruce.” Peter was almost quiet in his arms now, eyes half-lidded and body limp. “What’s wrong with him?”

“I need you to stay calm.”

“I am calm.”

The scientist sighed as the elevator doors slid open. He rechecked Peter’s pulse briefly before ushering them into the MedBay. “I think he’s been poisoned.”

“He’s been-he’s been what?

“I’ll pull a blood sample when we get to the MedBay and check his food, but yes. It’s the only thing that explains the sudden onset of his symptoms.” Bruce hauled them into the first room and pointed at the bed. “Lay him down. We have to figure out what the hell is in his system.”

He settled Peter onto the plastic mattress and watched him heave. He felt like he was missing something. Something big. Something obvious. Something…

Oh.

Oh.

“Bruce?”

The scientist’s voice was terse as he rifled through the medical drawers. “Yes?”

“He said he couldn’t breathe.”

“Exactly.” He tossed an empty vial and a butterfly needle onto a metal tray. “Lots of poisons cause respiratory distress.”

“But he’s hyperventilating. He’s… he’s breathing fine.”

Bruce paused, turning to stare at Peter. Then, he slowly moved his gaze to the ceiling. “F.R.I.D.A.Y.? What are the symptoms of-”

He never got a chance to finish, because Peter’s body jerked hard enough to roll him off the bed. Tony barely managed to grab him before he could hit the ground, frantically wrapping an arm around the kid’s chest and lowering him to the floor as he convulsed.

“Shit.” Bruce slammed a metal drawer shut and rushed to a different cabinet. “Don’t let him hit his head. The last thing we need is brain trauma on top of the toxin.”

He bit back a snarky reply at Bruce for even suggesting that he was letting go of the kid anytime soon. “Is-Is he…?”

Bruce’s voice was grim. “It’s a seizure. F.R.I.D.A.Y., time it.”

Peter’s face was squeezed in a grimace, limbs locking painfully. His mouth opened and closed sporadically. He gurgled a little on his own saliva, and Tony felt tears spring up in his eyes.

“It’s okay.” He whispered, doing his best to keep the kid cradled gently in his lap even as he convulsed. “It’s okay, Peter. Everything’s gonna be okay.”

Bruce was darting around the room in a focused rush. “F.R.I.D.A.Y., run Peter’s condition next to symptoms of cyanide poisoning.”

Tony’s head snapped up. “Cyanide?”

“That’s my best guess. Explains why he said he couldn’t breathe even though his airways haven’t closed. Cyanide prevents cells from bonding with oxygen. It’s why-”

Peter let out a loud grunt, and red foam bubbled up through his rapidly bluing lips. Tony cut Bruce off mid-sentence, adrenaline spiking through his body.

“Bruce!”

“What’s wrong?”

“He… god, Bruce, he’s… he’s bleeding.”

“From his mouth?”

Yes.”

“It’s alright.” Tony couldn’t help but think that it was most certainly not alright. “He probably bit his tongue. Just keep holding him.”

Peter jerked in his grip again, more bloody froth spilling down his chin and lungs stalling. His lips were totally blue now, face hauntingly pale.

“Bruce,” this couldn’t be happening, this couldn’t be happening, this couldn’t be happening, “Bruce, he’s dying!”

Steve knelt beside him, hand outstretched as if to touch Peter. He snatched the kid closer to his chest, arms shaking.

“Don’t.”

“He’s choking.” Steve’s voice was surprisingly calm. “We need to roll him over. Let me help. I can keep him on his side, and you can cushion his head. Alright?”

“Right.” Focus, Stark. Focus. “Okay. It’s okay, Pete. Cap and I are gonna fix it for you.”

He let Steve help him guide Peter onto his side, carefully laying him out so that his head was cushioned across his thighs. Once he was settled (or, as settled as a teenager mid-Grand Mal seizure could be), he combed a trembling hand through the kid’s sweat-plastered curls.

“That’s it.” He ignored the way his voice broke, ignored the fact that the gaze of every Avenger in the room seemed to be fixated on him, ignored the ever-growing panic that was threatening to tear away his self-control. He ignored everything except the kid tucked against him. Nothing else mattered. “Just breathe, buddy. That’s all you’ve gotta worry about. Just… Just please breathe.”

Bruce dropped down beside them, face set in determination and syringe clutched in his right hand. “Steve, brace his arm.”

Steve obeyed immediately, and Bruce dragged an alcohol swab hastily over the crook of Peter’s elbow.

Tony stared at the clear contents of the syringe and felt a flash of protectiveness. “What is that?”

“It’s an anti-convulsant.” He tied off an elastic tourniquet around Peter’s bicep and tapped until he found vein. “We need to stop the seizure before we can treat the poisoning.”

He glanced away from the needle and fixed his eyes on Peter’s lax face and nearly purple lips. “It’s okay, buddy. Just a little pinch and you’ll-and you’ll feel a lot better.”

The next half-minute was spent with everyone holding their breaths as the kid’s jerking stuttered, and then slowed. Tony kept up a litany of what he assumed was incoherent but hoped was reassuring murmurs throughout the whole thing.

Once the seizure finally ended, he ran trembling fingers through the kid’s hair and wiped away some of the bloody froth that was starting to crust around his mouth with the back of his hand. “That’s it. You’re-You’re okay, buddy. I’m here. You’re gonna be just fine. Hold on. Hold-hold on. Please, Peter. Please hold on.”

He glanced up to see Steve staring at him with pity on every inch of his face. Before he could react, Bruce was lunging to his feet and throwing himself back into action.

“F.R.I.D.A.Y., do we have a cyanide antidote kit?”

“There is a CYANOKIT in supply closet 3, located just down the hall.”

Sam was bolting out the door before the AI could even finish her statement. When he came back a minute or two later, he all but threw the box into Bruce’s arms.

The scientist didn’t hesitate even a single second before dropping down beside Peter’s limp form and tearing into the kit. Everything he did blurred to Tony. All he could see were the ever-slowing gasps of Peter’s chest.

Suddenly, Bruce was shoving a mask towards Peter’s face. On instinct, he snatched him away before it could make contact.

“Tony,” Bruce’s voice was half patient, half frantic, “the antidote has three parts. This is just amyl nitrite, but if you don’t let me give it to him, he’s going to die. Do you understand?”

He nodded, mind sluggish.

“Here.” Bruce shoved the mask into his hand. “You can do it. Hold it tight against his face.”

He flexed his wrist to stop his hand from shaking as he pressed the nebulizer over the kid’s nose and mouth. A part of him wanted to cry when he met zero resistance.

“C’mon.” His voice sounded weak, even to him, but he didn’t stop talking. He couldn’t. Not when there was a chance that Peter might hear him. “Deep breaths, Pete. You can do it.”

He watched Bruce drag over an IV pole and set up a bag of clear fluid. “This is sodium nitrite. We’ll pump him full of this for about five minutes and do sodium thiosulfate until he stabilizes. Sam, can you grab a blood oxygen monitor?”

“On it.”

Bruce cleaned off the back of Peter’s hand, deftly inserted a catheter, and hooked him up to the sodium nitrite line. “Alright, Tony.” He pulled the first mask away and handed him another. “This is just oxygen. Can you hold it for me?”

Something in the back of his mind told Tony that making him hold the mask was entirely unnecessary, that Bruce could just strap it to the kid’s face if he wanted to, but he did it anyway.

Was it obviously a distraction technique to stop him from having a meltdown? Yes. Was he also fully aware that he was desperately in need of said distraction? Also yes.

Bruce placed a light hand on his elbow. “He should be alright now, Tony. You said he had advanced healing, right?”

“Yeah.” He brushed a reverent hand down the side of the kid’s still-flushed face. “Like… Like Cap.”

“Then he’s got an even better prognosis.” Bruce glanced over at one of the monitors that had somehow ended up with Peter on the ground. “His blood oxygen levels are already improving. The antidotes are doing their job. You can breathe.”

He nodded, feeling strangely numb as the adrenaline slowly deserted him. For the first time, he let himself actually think about everything that had just happened.

And… holy shit. Holy shit. Holy shit.

He’d just held his kid while he seized on the floor.

He’d thought Peter was dying.

Oh, god. He had been dying.

Steve’s voice made him jump. Jesus, he’d forgotten how close the soldier was sitting.

“Bruce thinks he’s stable enough to move him onto the bed. Do you mind if Sam and I help you?”

He shook his head. “Not yet. Just… just gimme a minute.”

He knew that he’d have to move eventually. He’d grudgingly accept Steve’s help and resist the urge to squirrel the kid away to a dark corner where no one else could find them. He’d step back just long enough for Bruce to set up whatever monitors he needed to before firmly gluing himself back to Peter’s side. He’d procrastinate calling May, lying to himself by saying that he was sparing her the worry until the kid was conscious enough to reassure her, while secretly admitting that he was really just sparing himself.

For now, though, he’d focus on steadying his hands and slowly watching the color return to Peter’s face.

And, frankly, anyone who tried to make him do otherwise could fuck off.

--

Peter woke up four hours later, finally moved onto the bed and covered with a thin sheet, in a room still packed with Avengers.

When he stirred, though, everyone slunk to the back of the room in some silent agreement that this moment belong to Tony, and Tony alone.

Despite lingering grudges, Tony couldn’t help but feel grateful for that.

“Peter?” He cupped the kid’s cheek and gave his hand a light squeeze. “C’mon, squirt. Let me know you’re alright.”

Peter groaned in response, hand fumbling blindly for the oxygen mask before he’d even mustered the strength to open his eyes.

Tony caught his wrist and shook his head slowly, despite the kid not being able to see the motion. “No, none of that. The mask stays, bud. Nice, deep breaths. Just relax.”

Finally, finally, Peter’s eyelashes fluttered up to reveal the life underneath. “Wha’...?”

“You’ll never guess.” He tucked a curl back from where the elastic band of the oxygen mask had scrunched it up. “Cyanide.”

Peter grinned, eyes half-lidded as he leaned greedily into Tony’s touch. “Anion.”

He snorted. He could see a few of the Avengers’ puzzled looks out of the corner of his eye. “That’s right, buddy. It’s an anion. Also happens to be a poison.”

“Cliché.”

He ran a thumb over his temple. “That too. Wasn’t a very creative assassin, huh?”

“No.” A few slow blinks. “How’d…?”

Bruce stepped away from the group and came to stand in Peter’s field of vision. “We tested the wrappers on the shawarma. Tony gave you his, remember?”

Tony felt his hands go cold with realization. “They poisoned my food.”

Bruce nodded. “You’re lucky you didn’t eat it. The dose would’ve killed you in less than a minute. Peter’s… enhancements are the only reason he’s alive.”

Peter, the little shit, had the audacity to look pleased with himself, humming with satisfaction. “Good.”

Good?” He felt like his head was going to explode. “No, not good, Peter. You almost died.”

“Didn’t.”

“Yeah, barely.”

“Easy, Tony.” Bruce seemed to be watching the interaction with the same look of fascination that the other Avengers kept fixing him with ever since he first introduced them to Peter. “He’s going to be fine. He’s already recovering at an incredible rate. He’ll be back to normal before you know it.”

“Not soon enough,” he grumbled.

Peter rolled his eyes and reached up to tug irritably at the oxygen mask. “C’n I ditch this yet?”

Tony swiped his hand away. “I already told you no, Peter.”

Bruce sighed. “He’s probably fine, Tony. His saturation has been holding stable for-”

No.”

“Alright.” The scientist raised his hands in surrender and shot Peter a sympathetic look. “It won’t hurt to leave it for a little longer.”

Peter’s exasperation seemed to have given way to his usual brand of frighteningly genuine empathy. “Sorry.”

He brushed his hand over the kid’s forehead. “For what?”

“Scared you.”

“You did, but it’s alright. Wasn’t your fault.”

A few wide-eyed blinks. “Bad?”

“Yeah, squirt. It was pretty bad.”

“Ew.”

He couldn’t help but laugh at the comment.

Ew? Really? Is that all you have to say for yourself?”

The kid just smiled up at him drowsily, already half-asleep again.

Tony was glad. After all, he imagined that fucking cyanide poisoning could take a lot out of a person. Peter needed all the rest he could get.

So of course Steve goddamn Rogers had to be all gallant and ruin it.

Steve stepped up beside Tony and caught the kid’s drooping gaze with a soft smile, practically dripping in charm.

“You feeling better now, son?”

And, yeah, being addressed by Captain America himself definitely woke the kid up. He blinked rapidly against the fatigue weighing down his eyelids, mouth gaping underneath the slightly foggy plastic of his oxygen mask.

 “Oh, god.” Peter looked over at Tony, eyes pleading. “Tell me I didn’t almost die in front of Captain America.”

He forced himself to keep a straight face. “Oh, and it’s not a concern that you almost died in front of me?”

Steve waved off the kid’s embarrassment. “Don’t sweat it, Peter. I’m just glad you’re alright.” He gestured back to where the rest of the gang was gathered. “We all are.”

If anything, Peter just looked more horrified as he took in the fact that the rest of the Avengers were all crowded in the far side of his hospital room.

“Mister Stark,” the kid’s voice was barely a squeak, words still muffled by the mask, “I can’t decide if this is the worst or the best day of my life.”

“Really?” He quirked up a sarcastic eyebrow. “I’m pretty firmly categorizing it as one of my worst, but maybe I’m biased.”

Peter turned back to stare up at him with an adoring look on his face. “Don’t worry, Mister Stark. You’re still my favorite Avenger.”

“I wasn’t worried.”

“Looked worried.”

“Maybe I was worried because of the fact that you were poisoned a few hours ago? Or did you forget that while you were drooling over Cap?”

“I wasn’t drooling-”

“It was drooling, Peter. And, wait, why am I even having this conversation with you?” He glared. “Sleep, now.”

“But ‘m not tired.”

“You’re only not tired because Cap and Co. got you all excited.” He made shooing motions to Steve. “Go, and take your merry cast of swashbucklers with you. The child needs rest.”

“Mister Stark-”

Steve cut Peter off, backing towards the door with a small grin playing on his lips. “It’s alright, son. Try to get some sleep. I’m sure I’ll see you later.”

He swallowed once, hard, before steeling his resolve. “Your rooms are still prepped if you’d rather get some sleep of your own before heading out. I assume it’s pretty late.”

There was an expression of genuine surprise on Steve’s face. “You sure?”

“Yeah, yeah. Go on.” He settled down on the side of Peter’s bed. “If anybody needs me, this is where I’ll be.”

Steve met his eyes with an intensity that made him immediately want to look away.

He didn’t.

“Thank you, Tony.”

He shrugged, trying to make the whole thing nonchalant, but he knew his emotion would bleed through anyway.

“Yeah, Steve. You too.”