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The Imaginary Friend

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When Morgan was 2 she began to babble about an imaginary friend. She was telling someone about the house, and at first Tony freaked, locked Morgan in her room, and searched the entire house for signs of invaders or worse, paparazzi. However, he never found signs of intruder or evidence of tampering in the security cameras placed all over the house. Pepper laughed when she discovered his initial anxiety and told Tony that everything was perfectly fine. Children, especially only children, often created imaginary friends to keep them company.

Still, Tony searched the entire house another 10 times, and would have gone for an eleventh if he hadn’t discovered a clip of Morgan talking to air as if another person sat beside her and could understand her every thought. Occasionally Morgan would nod at nothing and work through conversations as if there really was another person there. Only hearing half a conversation without signs of a phone freaked Tony out, and he wondered if that’s how others felt when they heard him talk to FRIDAY.

Finally, Tony allowed Morgan to once again roam the house unhindered, and show her ‘friend’ around the house. Amused, Tony followed his daughter around as she introduced her ‘friend’ to the kitchen where apparently mom made the best ‘pancakes’ and dad always had a stash of fruit pops, and then she introduced the ‘friend’ to the bathroom and the living room, and her bedroom, and took the time to introduce her ‘friend’ to all her favourite toys. The entire process took the entire afternoon and most of the evening before bed.

Morgan even introduced her ‘friend’ to Tony and Pepper with the preface that they were the most best parents ever and that she loved them to 3000. However, after saying this, her adorable face pinched into a frown that Tony instantly wanted to remedy, and she told the ‘friend’ that she loved him to 3000 too.

Tony was only a little worried that her ‘friend’ was a boy. Shouldn’t Morgan be creating female friends? And was this an indication to what sorts of friends she was going to make in school? Tony was reluctant to let other girls Morgan’s age around his angel, and he definitely didn’t want boys around her. (He would have made an exception for Peter, but it hurt too much to think about.)

Typically, an imaginary friend was a display of imagination, but Morgan’s ‘friend’ also showcased her intellect. The first time Tony saw it happen, he couldn’t believe it. Morgan had been sitting at the table drawing a picture when she began to try spelling her name. The surprising thing: she managed it on her first try. Tony was sure that neither he nor Pepper had even shown Morgan how to spell her name, but he called Pepper just in case. Of course the answer was a sound no. However, the name was too perfect. Not a single line out of place, and every letter was legible.

When Tony asked Morgan how she knew to spell her name, she giggled and told Tony that her ‘friend’ had shown her in a dream.

That wasn’t the only time Morgan’s ‘friend’ helped her with something spectacular. A few days later, Tony overheard Morgan talking to her ‘friend’ in the kitchen, but this time she seemed to be counting, or at least that’s what Tony thought at first. When he enter the kitchen, he found Morgan surrounded by 4 boxes of popsicles, all sealed closed. Tony watched, amazed as Morgan began talking, “We ‘ave 4 boxes, and each had 12 popicles.”

Then she stopped her conversation as if she was listening to someone before continuing, “So 4 times 12 is 48 and we ‘ave 48 popicles.”

Once again she paused her speech and Tony’s jaw dropped, his daughter was doing multiplication. They hadn’t even began looking at times tables, and he had no idea where she was exposed to those ideas. Just like him, Morgan was a genius, learning how to multiply on her own despite Tony and Pepper intentionally not showing her any advanced mathematics or any other subject.

And then she continued, “Jus’ enuf for another 4 moths”

And Tony knew what she was talking about. The family had popsicles together every Sunday after they visited the memorial stones. Somehow his 2 year old daughter had done 3 quick multiplications in her head without paper, or a single mistake.

Tony approached his genius daughter and lifted her from her chair and placed the squirming girl onto his lap as he settled down into her chair. Once she was secure in his lap, Tony asked his daughter, “What are you doing, butterfly?”

Morgan turned her head up to look at Tony and smiled her toothy grin that made Tony melt, “I’m checking the number of popsicles. Don’t want to run out!”

Tony couldn’t help but chuckle. To Morgan, popsicles were a currency that could dry up, but both Tony and Pepper knew that there’d never be a shortage of popsicles for their Sunday popsicles. But he couldn’t help but ask, “Butterfly, how did you figure out the your math? I’m pretty sure neither mommy nor I taught you.”

If it was possible, Morgan smiled even greater. Her little legs swang in delight and rhythmically tapped Tony’s shins. And her eyes were practically closed with how high up her cheeks rose. In her most chipper voice, and with all the innocence of a 2 year old, informed Tony that, “Peter taught me!”

And that name coupled with Morgan’s sweet babyish voice pierced a poorly scabbed wound. Suddenly all Tony could think was ‘peter, Peter, PETER’. Tony’s hands felt dusty, but he couldn’t make himself wipe them off on his pants. Instead, he clutched Morgan tightly and mourned the pseudo son he lost.

Feeling strong arms wrapped around her, Morgan tried to squirm away, but Tony didn’t react how he normally did to a wiggling Morgan. Instead he just wrapped his arms tighter. Somehow sensing the seriousness of the moment, Morgan cautiously whispered, “Daddy, waz wrong? Yer hurin me!”

Morgan’s words snapped Tony out of his worry. Tony would protect his children from anything and anyone. Even himself. With a calming breath Tony released his strangling hold on Morgan and finally voiced the burning question, “Who’s Peter?”

As far as Tony knew, Morgan didn’t know any Peters. The only people she’d met in her short life had been Tony, Pepper, Happy, Rhoday and a few of the other avengers in passing. Morgan knew everyone’s name, so there was no probability that she’d mistaken the person teaching her. There were no Peters to teach Morgan anything.

And that hurt more than any torture imaginable.

What Tony wouldn’t give to have Peter around teaching Morgan mathematics in secret to surprise her parents. Tony had no doubt that Peter would have loved Morgan and been her older brother. The two together would drive Tony crazy, but in a way that turned his hair gray with worry and brought a fond smile to his mouth. Instead the idea drove Tony to the insanity kind of crazy. He craved them both and while he made do with Morgan, he’d never forget Peter. The boy who died too young.

Morgan, however, didn’t noticed Tony’s worry and smiled once more. She began to babble about ‘Peter’, “Peter’s always here. He tells me storeries and helps me wih problems. He teaches me things. When I sleep he plays with me and gives the bestest hugs. Even better than daddy’s!”

And that’s when it hit Tony. Peter was the name of Morgan’s imaginary friend. But where had she heard that name? Tony forbade everyone from saying that name when they visited, and Tony never bought any books that had characters named Peter. Perhaps he’d misheard her. Peter sounded a lot like Teter, or Litre, or, or Heater. Maybe she meant one of those. Or perhaps he’d only heard the P, so perhaps Percy or Pierce, or or or.

“Butterfly,” Tony whispered, “What’s your friends name? Was it Peter?”

“Yeah,” Morgan cheered, “Peter!”

And that was that. Somehow Morgan had created an imaginary friend named after her dead, and unknown brother.

The next day, Tony and Pepper brought Morgan to a psychologist to discuss Morgan’s display of intelligence. According to the psychologist, Morgan was naturally a genius, but she displayed this intellect as information she learned from her imaginary friend.

From the day she was born, maybe even before that, Morgan dreamed about a boy. Compared to her daddy he was short, but in her dreams (and as the first person she ever saw with her eyes) he was tall, or at least a lot taller than her. He was in every way an ordinary white boy with brown hair and similar brown eyes. However, his eyes always sparkled when he saw her and his voice was friendly, soothing. Sometimes he dressed in weird t-shirts with science/math jokes pasted on the front. Other times he wore a red and blue suit with a spider webbing design etched into the fabric. However, when he wore his spider-suit, his mask always opened to reveal his bright smile.

His name was Peter.

In her dreams they’d play together. Peter was a master at conjuring toys for them to play with, like the lego bricks they used to create a model of her house, or the blankets and chairs they used to create a Morgan and Peter fort. (The next day, Morgan attempted to recreate the fort in her living room, but she failed without Peter to clamp the blankets on the top of the kitchen chairs. She could have asked daddy or mommy for help, but this was a no parent fort.)

Other times, Peter would tell Morgan stories that she’d never heard before. Some were about people he knew like his wonderful aunt who took him in after his parents died, and his best friend, Ned, who was a wiz at coding. Other stories were more fanatical, like the saga about Luke Skywalker and his fight against the Emperor, or the tale of Ash Ketchum, who lived in a world of fantasy beings called Pokemon. Morgan loved these stories, especially since Peter could create moving pictures to accompany his tales.

For the longest time, from birth to 2 years of age, Morgan believed that she had two lives. In one life she was the daughter of Tony and Pepper Stark who adored reading her stories that all involved still images. And her life with Peter, where it was always just the two of them and they could do whatever they wanted. While Morgan loved being with her parents (they were just the best, expect for Peter), Morgan couldn’t wait until nap time or bedtime when should could return to Peter.

However, a few days after turning 2, Peter appeared in her parents house.

He blurred a little around the edges, but Morgan didn’t care (or really notice at first. She was 2!). With a squeal, Morgan leaped at Peter, only to go right through him. That had never happened before. In all her dreams, Peter always caught her. Morgan picked herself up off the ground to see Peter still standing there, only this time with an apologetic smile.

“Why can’t I touch you?” Morgan asked as she walked up to Peter and tried to grab his hand. Every time her hand went through his and all she felt was air.

Peter’s smile wavered slightly as he answered her, “I’m not actually here. This is an astral projection of myself that only those bonded to my soul can see.”

When Morgan tilted her head in confusion, Peter explained in words that she could understand, “I’m like Obi Wan Kenobi after A New Hope. I appear as a ghost, but just to you.”

“Oh,” Morgan understood, and then excitedly announced, “Well I’ll show you around! You’ve never visited mommy and daddy’s house before.”

Even though Morgan couldn’t touch Peter, and he couldn’t play with her, Morgan was still ecstatic. She’d always wanted Peter to be able to visit her during the day. Now they could always be together.

Without delay, Morgan spent the rest of the day exploring the house with Peter. She tried her very best to inform Peter about all the important things like popsicle Sundays and movie nights on Fridays and how you shouldn’t stand on the dining room chairs, but the kitchen chairs were okay. Peter smiled at all of Morgan’s stories and filled her with confidence. The only time his smile ever lessened was when Morgan talked about daddy, but Peter said that it was because he loved daddy too.

Soon, Morgan spent every moment of her life with Peter. He was there during her dreams to play with her, and during the day he’d talk with her and watch her play. He’d scold her when she tried something dangerous, and he’s teach her things that she didn’t understand. He helped her write her name on all of her drawings, creating a path for her to follow with his fingers. Mommy and daddy had been so happy when they saw her write her name for the first time that they cried. (or at least that’s what daddy told her, when she asked why they were crying.)

Peter was her best friend and when she started school, he followed her and helped her with all the teachers question. He made sure she payed attention to the teacher and that she understood what the teacher said. He helped her read her books and explained math to her in an way that made sense. Everyone said that Morgan was super smart (even Peter), but Morgan knew it was just because she had Peter to help her.

Peter loved being around Morgan and helping her out, but he adored the library too. Often, Peter would find a book with lots of words that Morgan didn’t understand, and ask Morgan to pick the book up. The two would then spend hours reading together with Morgan flipping Peter’s page whenever he asked. Teacher would always look at Morgan strange when they saw her flipping Peter’s book and the librarian would always question the books she checked out for Peter.

Since Peter loved reading, Morgan did too.

For a while, everything seemed just fine and life turned like clockwork. Then Morgan was almost 5 and strange people showed up at her house as she was playing with daddy. They wanted to talk with daddy, and daddy shooed her into the house to find mommy. Luckily, Peter stayed behind and was able to tell Morgan everything. The people who showed up were old friends of her daddy and wanted him to help them with time travel.

That evening daddy was really quiet and even Peter seemed somber. When Morgan asked what was wrong, Peter waved her concern away. When Morgan fell asleep, Peter wasn’t there and Morgan jerked awake. Peter had never not been there in her dreams. From the moment she could sleep, Peter had always been there waiting for her, and now he was gone.

Not wanting to try again, Morgan crept down the stairs to find Peter standing beside daddy. Neither were talking, and, in fact, Peter seemed to be staring over daddy’s shoulder at one of daddy’s dusty pictures that she wasn’t allowed to look at. Morgan wanted to say something, but Peter didn’t even notice her and he looked so sad. Morgan has never seen Peter sad before and she didn’t like it. It made her heart hurt.

However, daddy noticed her after a few moments and so did Peter (Of course, it was when she couldn’t help but repeat a word her daddy said). When Peter turned to see Morgan he gasped and a few tears leaked down his face. Morgan wanted to wipe them away, but she couldn’t since in the real world she couldn’t touch Peter. Daddy, bribed Morgan with fruit pops and then tucked her into bed again.

When she fell into sleep again, Peter was there. Morgan leapt up and hugged Peter as tightly as possible. She asked, “Are you okay?” just like her mommy always did when Morgan cried.

Peter smiled, but his eyes cried. “I’m okay,” Peter told her, “I just wish I could actually be there.”

“Why can’t you?” Morgan asked, “After all, you’re just projecting yourself from dream world to the real world, right? Why not just come visit?”

“It’s not that simple,” Peter explain, “An evil man cursed me to never be able to return to the real world again. The only reason I can is because I’m not really there.”

Morgan’s eyes widened in surprise, “Just like a Rapunzel!”

“Rapunzel?” Peter questioned.

“Yeah,” Morgan rambled, “Like an evil witch captured you in a tower and the only communication you have with the outside world is the prince who climbs up your hair.”

Peter hummed, and now a faint smile lit up his face. Morgan was pleased that she’d managed to cheer him up. He then looked at her with amusement in his eyes, “Does that make you my prince?”

“Yes!” Morgan cheered, “When I grow bigger, I’ll find the evil man and make him undo the curse then find you and bring you back!”

“But not for a long time,” Peter corrected, “I can wait in my tower for quite a few more years. You’re not allowed to save me until you’re taller than me.”

Morgan giggled, “That won’t take long since you’re so short.”

“Excuse me?” Peter gasped, “You take that back!”

And then the two spent the rest of the night running around. That dream was filled with laughter and happiness. But Morgan didn’t forget what Peter said. She would save Peter one day. She’d be his knight in shining armour, just like in all those fairytales that mommy would read her.

The next day, daddy kissed Morgan’s forehead and left the house. A few days later a frantic phone call came in and mommy had to leave in a hurry, leaving Morgan with uncle Happy and Peter.

A few minutes later as Morgan sat at the coffee table drawing, Peter began to buzz. His image blurred and he phased in and out of view. Sometimes Peter was there and then all Morgan could see was the TV behind him. A frown crossed his face, but he waved in away. He shook his head repeatedly and tried to prevent the flickering. Morgan was concerned. Something was wrong with Peter.

Morgan reached out in concern, “What’s wrong?”

“The curse has been broken,” Peter told her, “It’s trying to pull me back to my old body.”

“Then why are you still here?” Morgan asked, “Go get your body back and then meet up with me in real life.”

Peter frowned. He shook his head, “In a little bit, for now you need me.”

And Morgan accepted that. If Peter wanted to spend a little more time with her before leaving, then Morgan would allow that.

However, not even an hour later, Peter frowned. He closed his eyes for a few minutes before letting out a distressed whine. His eyes opened and frantically found hers.

“You’re daddy’s hurt.” Peter exclaimed, “He’s really badly hurt.”

“What!” Morgan exclaimed, “How hurt?”

“Like Leia when she fell into space.” Peter replied, “Unless we do something, he’s going to die.”

“What can we do?” Morgan screamed. Uncle Happy looked at Morgan weirdly, but Morgan didn’t care. She didn’t want daddy to die. Death was like Boromir who was killed by orcs, or Han Solo who was killed by Kylo Ren. Daddy couldn’t die. Morgan wanted him to come home and play with her again, and praise her for her and Peter’s work. Daddy couldn’t die.

“Let me go,” Peter told her, “I can save him, but this will hurt you.”

“I don’t care!” Morgan nodded furiously, “Save him, Peter!”

Peter nodded, a determined countenance on his face, as he disappeared. Morgan felt glad that he’d help daddy. And then the pain started. Peter had been right. The pain was worse than when she skinned her knee when she was 2, or when she broke her arm last year. She screamed and screamed. Uncle Happy ran over to her, concerned, but there was nothing he could do.

Uncle Happy carried her convulsing body to his car and as he drove, called the hospital. When they arrived, she was placed on a white bed with wheels, but she still convulsed. Doctors came over to her and injected something into her arm. Almost immediately her eyes grew tired and she passed out. But in her sleep, Peter wasn’t there.

When she woke up, both mommy and daddy were sitting at her bedside, and the pain was gone. Morgan searched the room, and smiled when she found Peter hovering to the left of her father. He smiled sadly, but gave her a thumbs up.

“I saved him,” Peter told her, and Morgan turned to her daddy. He was slumped over in his chair, but Morgan could see his chest rise up and down. Alive.

“Daddy,” Morgan whispered and daddy’s left eye cracked open and blinked tiredly before realising what he was seeing.

In a rush, daddy sat up and woke mommy up. The two were quick to shower her in love and reassurances. Peter smiled in the background before disappearing to leave Morgan with her parents.

Later, Morgan overheard the doctors telling her parents that her seizure was probably a one off thing. She was completely healthy and even they didn’t know why she experienced the seizure. Morgan knew, but when she told the doctors that it was because Peter had to save daddy, they smiled in that fake smile that told Morgan they didn’t believe her.

However, that night, when Morgan went to sleep, Peter wasn’t there. He wasn’t there the next night, or the one after. He didn’t even visit during the day. Peter was gone.

A week after uncle Happy drove her to the hospital, she was allowed to return home. Daddy and mommy really wanted to spend more time with her, but apparently lots and lots of people had been trapped by the same curse as Peter, and now mommy and daddy had to help them. But it was fine. Mommy and daddy were both safe and alive, and while Morgan hadn’t seen Peter in a since the day she woke up, Morgan knew that Peter had returned to his real body. She expected him to visit her soon.

And then, three days after returning home, Morgan found mommy comforting daddy as he cried.

“Daddy, what’s wrong.” Morgan exclaimed as she curled into daddy’s lap and wrapped her arms around his neck.

But daddy didn’t answer. He just kept crying, and Morgan noticed that he clutched a photo in his hands. Morgan recognised the frame as the one he held that night before he left. No matter what Morgan said, daddy kept crying and tightening his grip on the photo. Morgan didn’t know what to do, and Peter wasn’t there to give her advice. 

Eventually, after an eternity (really only a few minutes) mommy answered Morgan, “Darling, remember how all those people came back?”

Morgan nodded. She remembered. Peter was one of the ones who came back to the real world.

“Well,” Mommy continued, “Daddy’s son, your brother, was one of the people who disappeared, but he didn’t come back.”

“Oh,” Morgan said. She didn’t know she had a brother.

They didn’t say anything else for a long time. That night the three of them sat on their couch and mourned a boy Morgan never met, but loved regardless. She loved him because mommy and daddy did.

The next day, mommy sent Morgan and daddy to bed. After only a few hours, Morgan woke up. Ever since Peter disappeared, Morgan had had trouble sleeping. But it wasn’t Peter’s fault. Morgan wanted Peter to come back to life, even if that meant he couldn’t visit her in her dreams.

Restless, Morgan wandered downstairs and found the picture of her brother face down on the coffee table. Morgan didn’t know what her brother looked like since daddy hadn’t let go of the photo all night, and Morgan had to go to sleep before daddy. So she was curious. She wanted to know what her brother looked like, especially since she already loved him.

Morgan slid over to the coffee table and lifted the picture. What she saw, surprised her. In the photo, standing beside her daddy with the brightest smile Morgan had ever seen was Peter. Peter, her best friend was her brother. All these years that daddy mourned him, Peter had been with Morgan. Suddenly it made sense why Peter always seemed so sad around daddy, but still wanted to be around him.

Peter wanted to be around daddy because daddy was his daddy too.

And then Morgan remembered what mommy had told her yesterday. Peter hadn’t come back to life, and he wasn’t with her. Where was Peter? Was he gone for real this time?

Morgan couldn’t handle the loss of her brother and best friend. She curled up on the couch and cried once more. This time she cried for her daddy who never knew that Peter was in their house the whole time, and she also cried for Peter who never got to talk with his daddy even though he was right there, but mostly she cried for herself who’d never get to see Peter again or play with him, or listen to his stories, or learn from him, or…

Just when Morgan’s thoughts began to spiral a voice called out, “What’s wrong, Morgan?”

Morgan knew that voice. Her head jerked up to find Peter standing right before her. A smile painted across his face like always. Morgan tried to hug him, but she slid right through him.

“Peter,” Morgan warbled, “Why didn’t you come back?”

“Oh,” Peter said, “Well, I used all my strength keeping your daddy alive, and then I had to rest a little while, but I’m back now, and we can-”

“No,” Morgan interjected, “The curse was broken. You’re supposed to come home and be my brother. Why didn’t you? Mommy and daddy are sad.”

“Morgan,” Peter’s voice cracked and Morgan could see tears slipping down his face, “I wanted to come back so badly, but when I saved your daddy, I made the choice to never return to the real world. I gave your daddy my life force.”

“Why?” Morgan sobbed, “Daddy’s so sad, and you’re here, but he can never see you, or talk to you.”

“I’m sorry,” Peter told Morgan as his fingers fiddled around each other, “I never wanted to hurt him. I just wanted to save him.”

“Will you be there when I sleep?” Morgan asked.

“Of course,” Peter responded.

And with that, Morgan returned to her bed and promptly passed out. Sleep was easy when she knew that Peter was going to be there.

The first thing Morgan did when she saw Peter in her dreams was to hug him like a snake strangling their prey. Peter returned her hug, and the two spent quite a few moments wrapped around each other.

Peter then pulled away slightly from Morgan and told her, “I’ve been doing some thinking, and I think that maybe your daddy could see me again.”

“How?” Morgan asked, her voice breathless.

“If we could create a device that projects images from your mind into reality, then you could project me before your daddy and mommy.” Peter explained before going into more detail about how the mind works and how they could use existing technology, including her daddy’s own invention, B.A.R.F.

The next year, all Morgan did was research with Peter about neurology and coding, and holographs. Daddy and mommy looked at her weird, but allowed her new obsession with exasperation, and many comments about how she was her daddy’s daughter. (But they didn’t know yet, Morgan would think. Soon they’ll see Peter again.) Sometimes Morgan would ask daddy about some technology or another and he’d always explain it in detail that didn’t all make sense to Morgan, but Peter understood.

Morgan got her hands on a version of her daddy’s B.A.R.F and with Peter’s guidance, she tweaked the coding and the wiring. She only zapped herself 5 times. (Mommy almost banned her from her work, but even she couldn’t do anything about Morgan’s determination.) Morgan was persistent, however. Even when something wouldn’t work, she and Peter would just troubleshoot and try again.

Finally, 13 months after they started, Morgan was now turning 6, they completed the invention. FRIDAY could see Peter. After swearing FRIDAY to secrecy, Morgan and Peter planned to reveal their invention at Morgan’s 6th birthday party.

They wrapped the pair of glasses and had FRIDAY replicate Peter’s handwriting. During her party, Morgan slipped the present onto the mountain of presents without her parents noticing. So many people were at their house today. Not only were mommy and daddy here, but so were uncle Rhodey, and uncle Happy, as well as all the surviving avengers, and a woman Peter introduced to Morgan as aunt May (the same one from his stories).

Morgan really enjoyed playing with Mr. Barton’s children as they ran through the house while the adults talked, but the entire time she waited in anticipation for present time. Peter hovered beside the presents the entire time. She wasn’t the only one excited.

Finally, after cake, daddy declared that it was time for her to open her presents.

“Can I choose the first one?” Morgan pleaded with her daddy and the rest of the people invited.

Of course her daddy responded, “Sure, butterfly. Choose a good one. Those ones are of course from mommy and me.”

Morgan wandered over to the presents. She immediately identified the ones from mommy and daddy, but she ignored them in search for Peter’s present. With a smile, Peter pointed it out. The small box had moved from where she initially placed it from the additional presents. Morgan grabbed the present with a declaration, “I choose this one!”

Daddy frowned, “Well, that doesn’t look like a best one, but I guess we’ll save the best for last.”

Mommy slapped daddy for that comment, but Morgan wasn’t paying attention. She handed the present to mommy for her to read out the card like she always did for presents. Mommy graciously took the card and opened it. With a careful voice, mommy read Peter’s note, “Dear Morgan, this will be the best birthday yet. From, your brother Peter.”

And the entire room froze, or at least all the adults did. But Morgan wasn’t watching them. With determination, she ripped the box open and pulled out the glasses. No one reacted as Peter moved over beside her and she lifted the glasses to her face. Everyone was arguing over who got the present.

“FRIDAY,” Daddy yelled, “Run a diagnostic. Whose handwriting is that?”

“Match found,” FRIDAY’s voice answered, “The handwriting belongs to one Peter Parker.”

“No way,” Daddy gasped before turning his furry on the other adults, “Alright, who thought this was funny. I’ll kill you.”

And then the glasses were on her face and Peter materialised.

He quickly cried out, “Mr. Stark, that was me. I’m sorry you didn’t like it.”

And for the first time since Peter appeared to Morgan, everyone else could see and hear him.

“Peter?” Daddy asked, disbelief evident in his voice. Many other adults, were staring at Peter like he was a miracle. Aunt May was one of those, but tears also flowed down her face as she repeated Peter’s name to herself.

“Yeah, it’s me,” Peter nodded, “I’m really sorry this took so long. Morgan and I’ve been working on it for a while.”

“But, how?” Daddy asked, “Where have you been?”

And then aunt May tried to hug Peter, and everyone but Morgan cried out when she went right through him.

“I’m sorry aunt May,” Peter cried as he moved towards the woman, “I’m not really here. I mean I am here, but not physically. I guess I don’t have a physical body anymore, but spiritually I’m here. Just like Obi Wan. Isn’t that cool. But I mean, I can’t get hugs anymore, so that sucks. I really want to hug you. I-”

“Parker,” Daddy called out and Peter shut up, “How are you here?”

“Uh, right,” Peter said sheepishly, “So, when Thanos snapped his fingers and we turned to dust, and 10/10 would not do again, I didn’t want to go, so I attached my soul to Morgan. I managed to find her amongst all the other souls. So I guess my soul’s attached to hers. She’s always been able to see me, but no one else has. And then when the snap was reversed I was gonna come back, but you were dying, so I gave you my return ticket, and just kept hanging out with Morgan’s soul. We then repurposed one of your B.A.R.F glasses, and by the way you really need to rename those, so that you could see me.”

By the end of Peter’s explanation, daddy and mommy and aunt May and all the other adults were crying. They never did open the rest of Morgan's presents. Despite her daddy's initial belief that he and mommy had the best presents, they all agreed that Peter was the best present ever. 

After that day, Morgan got used to wearing her glasses in the house, and Peter was always there talking to daddy and mommy and playing with Morgan. Aunt May moved in with them, and would spend every Tuesday with just Peter. While Peter would never age again, he was back, and everyone was grateful for just that.

On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays Peter would spend all evening with daddy as the two worked through different inventions. Daddy was never as happy as he was after those sessions, and the two managed to invent things in record time. And daddy was always happy to flip Peter’s science books, and even created a program that allowed Peter to flip pages by vocal commands.

Movie nights on Friday were even better than ever. Peter managed to get daddy to play many movies that Morgan had only heard of from Peter. And she loved to see the original Star Wars trilogy in its ancient special effects glory. Daddy would complain about the effects, but Peter would defend them to death.

With Peter back, everyone was just so happy. The future looked bright. It turns out that Morgan’s imaginary friend wasn’t quite to imaginary. After all, he turned out to be her brother, Peter.