Five Months Later
“Get a move on, Underoos!” Tony shouts, pounding a couple of times on the bathroom door. “We’re gonna be late, and I don’t want to be on the wrong end of one of Fury’s hissy fits.”
Peter just gurgles back at him in response. He’s got his head stuck under the tap of the bathroom sink, trying desperately to remove the sharp, chemical taste of un-aged web fluid from his mouth. His stomach is still churning.
He’d been going innocently about his morning, preparing a cup of coffee, grabbing a bottle of what he thought was milk from the fridge and adding it to the cup before taking a large sip. And that’s when his mouth had been flooded with a rancid taste, and he had to run, not walk, to the bathroom.
Ok, so maybe he should have noticed the viscosity was all wrong for milk, but they’d gotten up early so they could get to a mission briefing at the Avengers compound on time, and his brain wasn’t firing on all cylinders yet. Besides, who put unfinished web fluid in the refrigerator? In a milk bottle?
Only now that he’s thinking about it, this isn’t the 1950s, and he’s never actually bought milk in a bottle. So it’s plausible that it was, in fact, a beaker. Look, it was early, and he hadn’t had coffee yet. He really can’t be responsible for his choices under those conditions.
Tony’s been playing around with his web fluid formula recently in an attempt to create one that doesn’t require reloading his web shooters as often. They’d run into a situation a couple weeks back where Peter had completely run out of web fluid while fighting Dr. Doom. He’d run out of cartridges and had had to go on webless. The whole experience seems to have freaked Tony out.
Still, that’s no excuse for improper storage of experiments.
“Pete!” Tony calls again. “Shake a tail feather!”
“If we’re late it’s your fault!” Peter calls back to him. “You can’t leave experiments in the refrigerator. You’re not Sherlock Holmes. This isn’t charming.”
“I am always charming!” comes the reply, ruffled and indignant.
Peter rolls his eyes so hard that it’s painful, and tears open the medicine cabinet in search of some mouthwash. But his medicine cabinet has been overtaken by things that Peter swears he has never seen before.
There’s an ebony-handled straight razor and some sort of fancy marble bowl and brush set, five different varieties of shaving gels and creams, and an entire shelf of aftershaves and colognes. Seriously? Why any sane person would need even half this stuff is beyond Peter, and that doesn’t even touch on where Tony has secreted his mouthwash, and painkillers, and biofreeze, and Band-Aids. People actually need Band-Aids!
He’s staring at the frivolously stocked shelves and fuming. Tony’s stuff. It’s all Tony’s stuff. Peter would never … And then it hits him. It’s all Tony’s stuff. Peter’s brain stutters to an abrupt halt. He’s not sure when this happened, or why he’s just now noticing. The gears start to turn slowly.
Forgetting his original purpose, Peter throws open the bathroom door and wanders down the hallway in half a daze.
He pokes his head into the guest room first. The bed is covered with a quilt in a starburst pattern that Morgan picked out, toys scattered across the floor in a chaotic jumble. She’s taped Ms. Marvel and Squirrel Girl posters to the wall right next to the headboard.
Moving on to the master bedroom, Peter stands at the edge of the rug and surveys the whole in a way that he hasn’t taken the time to do previously. On the left side of the bed, Tony has a pile of engineering books, topped by his graph paper notebook and a pair of reading glasses. He’s got a series of design sketches tacked up on the wall behind the reading lamp so they won’t get lost in his generally chaotic movements.
When he peers into the closet, he finds a neat line of Tony’s designer sneakers and hangers filled with his clothes from casual loungewear to the most over-the-top suits imaginable. None of this is new, exactly. Peter opens this closet every morning. Bur for some reason the significance is just now hitting him.
Peter feels a grin stretching across his face. His fingers flutter to cover his mouth, still vaguely unbelieving. He drifts back down the hallway and into the kitchen, where Tony is leaning against the fridge with his arms crossed and scowl on his face.
“Seriously, kid, what is the hold up?” he asks. “Fury is going to have my ass.”
Peter ignores his general grumpiness, and sinks down into a crouch to rifle through the junk drawer beside the oven. There, jumbled in with the packing tape, extra scissors and expired coupons, he finds what he’s looking for – a set of keys attached to a little Iron Man Lego figure keychain.
When he rises to his feet, Tony’s got one eyebrow raised at him in curiosity. Peter walks over and gives him a lazy smile. Placing a soft kiss on quirked lips, he opens up one of Tony’s hands, places the keys in his palm, and then folds his fingers back over to enclose them. Then he meanders into the living room in search of his shoes.
He finds them sitting on top of the radiator, where he’d put them to dry after walking home in a rainstorm the other day. He’s crouched down tying them when he senses Tony hovering nearby.
“Are you fucking kidding me right now?”
“Hm?” Peter hums his inquiry, slowly raising his head, craning his neck up to look Tony in the face.
His expression is one of fond exasperation, so that’s ok then.
“You know,” Tony continues. “If you were gonna ask me to move in with you, you could have saved it to smooth over a bigger argument. Like the next time I catch you sniffing around Black Cat. Don’t waste it on something like making us late for a meeting.”
“First of all, you are already moved in,” Peter says, gesturing around the room as evidence to support his statement.
Peter’s Elvis painting has been joined by a pop art Iron Man painting on one side and a vintage Stark Expo poster on the other. There’s a Starkpad charging port set up next to the armchair that Tony favors in the evening for his convenience. The coffee table has been taken over by a complicated deep space battle schematic that Peter and Morgan have been dreaming up on a big piece of butcher paper. Tony Stark lives here.
“Second, I do not sniff around Felicia. I pursue her unto justice,” Peter finishes.
“Is that what you kids are calling it these days?” Tony asks.
Peter just rolls his eyes and sticks his tongue out at Tony.
“I wanna knock down the walls between this apartment and the one across the hall,” Tony says, speaking confrontationally, as though he’s expecting a fight. “I’m gonna put in a proper lab, and build a play room for Morgan and a guest suite. Maybe add a sauna.”
“If you have a proper lab, does that mean you’re gonna stop leaving experiments in the refrigerator?” Peter wheedles.
“Yes,” Tony says. “Probably. Maybe.”
“Yes to the lab and play room, no to the sauna,” Peter says. “You don’t want to look like a douchebag.”
“Ok, fine,” Tony agrees with a sharp nod. “But your timing on this is still horrible. We were already running behind. Now we’re going to be just atrociously and inconsiderately late.”
“We’re not,” Peter protests. He tugs the knot in his right shoe tight and stands. “I’m ready. We’ve still got time to make it. Especially with your lead foot.”
The smirk that Tony gives Peter is dark, and it tugs at Peter’s gut like he’s being reeled in on a fishing line.
“Yeah, really don’t think you’re getting my point here, kid,” he says, stalking toward Peter until their chests touch, their noses almost bump. His voice is a soft rumble. “We are going to be so late.”
Then he pulls Peter suddenly flush against him and plunders his mouth. Peter barely has time to respond, just moans into the kiss and then hops up to wrap his legs around Tony’s waist and loop his arms around his neck.
“So that’s a yes?” he pants against Tony’s shoulder when they finally break the kiss. “To moving in?”
“I’m already moved in,” Tony says with a smirk.
Peter kisses him again. It’s a sharp, possessive thing.
“Fuck, kid, we are going to christen every single surface of this place,” Tony growls. “But maybe just the bedroom first. Then we really gotta go.”
He moves toward the bedroom with Peter still clinging to him, pausing every dozen or so feet to press him up against a wall.
“Incidentally,” Tony asks during a pit stop to lick maddening figure eights onto Peter’s collar bone. “How long have you had that set of keys ready?”
“I don’t know,” Peter says, gasping slightly when tongue is replaced by teeth. “How long have I had the apartment?”
Tony chuckles into the skin of his neck, and then works his way back up to Peter’s lips.
When they finally reach the bedroom he tosses Peter onto the bed with a bounce and kicks the bedroom door closed to peals of Peter’s open, effervescent laughter.
They are very late. It’s more than an hour after the scheduled start time of the mission briefing that Peter and Tony finally slink into the meeting room, hoping to attract as little attention as possible.
Kate greets them with a dramatic slow clap, Nebula with a pleased but ominous smirk. Wade, who has been included in increasingly more missions of late, gives Peter a crisp high five and an exclamation of “Yeah, Spidey! Get that booty.”
Well, they did end up taking the Iron Man armor up to the compound instead of the car to save time, so Peter’s hair might still be a little disheveled.
Fury levels his good eye first at Peter, then at Tony and tells them “Sit your asses down already.”
They both get assigned to clean-up duty for the next mission. Fury shouts some more, and Peter leans back in his chair and squeezes Tony’s knee lightly. They share a furtive glance and a secret smile between them, and Peter realizes – as Fury calls him a punk-ass Daredevil wannabe – that he’s never been happier.