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(I'm not a girl, I'm a boy. I mean--) I'm A Man

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I am a self-made man, born with my two hands

 

I been waiting for so long to finally stand

 

But I have no history, one day I just came to be  

 

I barely know who I am



--Coyote Grace: "Ghost Boy"

 


 

Peter swung towards the Tower, flipping and twirling as he did. He was giddy, he had had a great patrol-- stopped a jewelry store robbery, saved a group of teenagers from being mugged, broke up a drug trade, and stopped a drunk driver from crashing her car into the side of a city bus. All of this with practically no injuries! The only thing that may be considered to be an injury were some bruises that littered his torso, but those were normal and even to be expected. A lack of bruises meant he didn’t really accomplish anything, after all.  

 

Something that did sort of hurt, however, was his chest. He felt out of breath, like his lungs weren’t able to expand enough to get the air in, and his ribs ached. Peter knew the reason behind why that part of his torso ached, though, and knew how to resolve said pain. It was simple enough in theory, but well… there were a few other factors that made the teen not want to, whether it was healthy or not.  Still, it wasn’t like he could just leave it. It wasn’t serious now, but if he didn’t take care of it, it could be.

 

Peter landed on the wall of the Tower outside of his room, and after a moment, the window slid up and open for him to crawl on in.  He did so, taking off his mask as he did, and plopping down onto his bed as the window closed for him. Part of him really did just want to take the huge, insanely soft bed back to Queens, but he knew it wouldn’t fit in his room. Though, Peter wasn’t entirely sure that he’d be able to get out of that bed in the morning for school, so perhaps it was good it was a  weekend only thing. “Mister Stark, I’m back!” the teen shouted. Tony’s room was across the hall from him, so if he was there, he should be able to hear him. However, when Peter didn’t hear any response, he speaks again. “Hey FRIDAY, is Mister Stark in the lab or somethin’?”

 

“Yes, he is,” She answered. “Should I let him know you’re back?”

 

“Sure, thanks,” Peter yawned a little. “Can you let him know that I’m probably just gonna go to sleep now?”

 

“Of course,” There was a moment of silence. “He says to sleep well and he’ll see you in the morning.”


“Let him know that he needs to sleep too, and if he doesn’t, I’m telling Miss Potts.”

 

“Mister Stark says you and her are no longer allowed to hang out.”

 

To that, Peter just laughed a little. He felt like he could just fall asleep then and there, and he almost did until his phone started ringing. Who was trying to call him this late? It was almost midnight! If it was a telemarketer again, Peter thought he might just ram his head into a wall. Four telemarketers and scam artists had called him last night alone, and he was just going to give them his social security number so they’d just shut up and stop calling and waking him up already. With a groan, Peter sat up and removed his phone from the slim little pocket on the thigh of his suit he kept it in and saw his aunt’s face pop on up. May was in Seattle this weekend for a work conference, so it was only nine o’clock for her. She probably knew he was just getting back from patrol, given that midnight was his curfew on weekends, and called to check in on him.

 

With a little yawn, Peter answered the video call, holding the phone above him as far as his arm  went, and was greeted with his aunt’s smiling face. She looked pretty tired and like she was back in her hotel. “Hey, Aunt May. How’s Seattle?”

 

“Oh, it’s fine,” May answered. “Pretty boring so far, though. This was all the business stuff today, and I’m ninety percent sure I got that promotion in the bag. The fun starts tomorrow!”

 

“That’s great!” He smiled. “And what’s fun for a nurses’ convention?”

 

“Oh, you know, sharing weird stories from work. Last year, there was a segment where one woman stood on stage and delivered nonstop medical puns for a solid ten minutes. You would’ve loved it.”

 

“If that happens again tomorrow, you gotta video it for me.”

 

“I promise I will. Enough ‘bout me though, how are you and Tony doing?”

 

“We’re good, having fun. I had a really good patrol tonight, too.”

 

“That’s always nice to hear,” she smiled, and then tried to scan over her nephew’s body for any signs of injuries. She could see a decent amount of his torso, and it didn’t look like anything was broken or bleeding. Still, something seemed off. His breathing looked a little too shallow. “Not hurt or anything, right?”

 

“Not hurt, but maybe a little bruised and out of breath.”

 

“Well, we can’t be sure if those bruises are from Spider-Man or not.”

 

“True, true.”

 

Peter still seemed to be having difficulty catching his breath, which was concerning for May. She narrowed her eyes a little as she tried to figure it out. Obviously, the teen noticed this, and got a little worried himself. “Uh, May? Is everything okay?” He asked, sitting up slowly.

 

“Are… Are you binding right now?”

 

Shit. Shit.

 

“Huh? Um, what’d you say? The sound sorta, uh, cut out.” Peter asked nervously, and said nerves were confirmation enough for May.

 

“I asked if you were binding right now,” She repeated, voice stern. Oh, she was going to kill him. “Which you know, would not be good at all since you just back from Spider-Man-ing. Because you’re not supposed to wear it while exerting yourself. Because you’re not supposed to wear it for more than eight hours, and if you put it on as soon as you woke up like usual, it would be at least twelve hours. Right, Peter?”

 

“Y-yeah, yeah that wouldn’t be good…” He rubbed the back of his neck a little.

 

“So, you’re going to take that damn thing off and show me it so I can be sure now, right?”

 

Peter nodded, muttering a few quick ‘yeah yeah’s and ‘sorry’s as he dropped his phone on the bed and stepped off to the side. He could practically hear his aunt fuming as he scrambled to get out of his Spider-Man suit and, after a moment of hesitation, his binder. He absolutely hated it whenever he had to take it off for the day, but he knew if he didn’t, his aunt would probably reach through his phone and strangle him with it herself. Understandably so, of course. Still, Pete despised the little sigh that came from him once the tight material was off of him. It made him feel like he was saying that he felt better without it, which obviously was an illogical worry because the stressed tissue was merely getting a break, but Peter was still bothered by it.

 

After quickly slipping on a baggy sweatshirt, a grey MIT one he may or may not be permanently borrowing from Tony and simple blue sweatpants with a single red stripe going down the side of the legs, Peter sat back down on his bed and picked up his phone. He kept one arm firmly crossed over his no longer flattened chest to try and give the appearance that it was flat and propped his phone up on a pillow. The teen held up a nude binder just about the same tone as his skin and then tossed it off to the side. “Okay, it’s off. See?”

 

“Are you okay>?” May asked concern pushing through her anger. “Is there any bruising or particular pain?”

“No, I’m okay,” Peter reassured, subconsciously feeling over his ribs to be sure.

 

”Are you sure?”

 

“Mhm, I swear.”

 

“What the hell were you thinking?!” Anger returned to May’s tone and expression, though it stemmed from worry and frustration. “How the hell are you so smart, but end up pulling shit like this? Binding while patrolling? You do know what the fuck you can do to yourself by keeping that shit up, right?”

 

“I-I know, but--”

“No, no you need to let me finish,” May interrupted. “So, what? Have you just been doing that this whole fucking time?” Peter gave a quick nod after a moment of hesitation, to which she groaned at and ran a hand down her face. “Peter, you promised me. You promised you wouldn’t do that! How the hell am I supposed to trust you to go out there at night if I can’t even trust you to do this one thing? I’ve been trying to save up so you can get surgery, you know that, but you’re going to screw up your chance of even being eligible for it! You understand that, right?”

 

He did, and Peter felt awful for betraying his aunt’s trust. Truly, not just because he got caught. He tried once after May found out about Spider-Man, but just putting the suit on without binding sent a wave of dysphoria absolutely crashing into him. It had felt so overwhelming, and that was the last time he’d tried that.

 

“I-I’m sorry, Aunt May, really. I am, but…” Peter looked down sheepishly, picking at the skin on his fingertips some. “Well, you can’t exactly call yourself Spider- Man if you don’t even look like one.”

 

May’s eyes turned soft and her postured eased from its previous angry tension. “Oh, Peter…” She spoke softly now, and he just wanted to hug the boy. He looked so defeated, and it hurt to see him like that. “I know it’s hard baby, I’m sorry. You know that that doesn’t matter though, right?”

 

“I know, but it doesn’t feel like it,” Peter sounded frustrated now, looking back at the little screen his aunt’s face was. “You can say it doesn’t matter and what matters is that I know how I feel and all that crap, but imagine what people will say if I go out there like that. You know the kind of things people say.” The Daily Bugle would have a field day with transgender Spider-Man-- the slander would probably be insane. Most times, Peter could have a laugh at all of that stuff said about him, but he wasn’t sure he could deal with that well. “Subtle” comments at school by people who knew or suspected were more than enough for him.

 

May ran her thumb over Peter’s cheek through the screen, wishing she could be there and just make everything all better for him. There wasn’t much she could do though, as sad as it was, but make him as comfortable as possible until he was able to be in his own body. She was still very much frustrated that he put himself at risk like that, she didn’t know what either of them would do if he damaged his ribs to the point he couldn’t get surgery, but she could understand the why. After a moment of silence between them, May broke it, “Hey, baby?” she waited a second for Peter to acknowledge her. “I think… I think it might be time to tell Tony about this.”

 

Peter furrowed his brows, not sure if May was joking or not. She must’ve been serious though, because her expression and voice were so genuine, and this would be a really weird time to crack a joke. “Wait, what? Why? I thought we talked about this before, and I said I didn’t want to.”

 

It wasn’t that Peter didn’t trust Tony with that part of him, he trusted the man a hundred percent. Peter just… well, he wanted to be just that. He just wanted to be Peter , not the kid who’s now Peter or anything like that. He wasn’t ashamed, per se, but he did wish he could’ve been born cis or have the ability to erase the memories of his female self from the minds of everyone who ever knew him like that. It was nice to just be Peter, and the boy would be lying if he said he wasn’t at all afraid at what Tony’s reaction might be.

 

Logically, yeah, it was unlikely he’d just be rejected, but there was always the possibility… that terrified him.

 

“I know, I know,” May nodded. They’d talked about it before a couple times-- sometimes Peter brought it up, sometimes she did-- but the last time they did was when they’d also been talking about Tony becoming one of his guardians after the school gave them trouble when he tried picking Peter up at school when he had the flu.

 

Obviously, the ability to pick him up wasn’t the only reason, but it was the deciding push. Of course, the two Parker’s spoke when he had left the room, and Peter decided he wasn’t ready or wanting to tell Tony.

 

“Then why do I need to tell him?” Peter asked. If May already knew how he felt about it, why was she bringing it up again?

 

“Well, first, to make sure you’re not hurting yourself and trying to get away with things when I’m not around.” May reasoned.

 

“But--”

 

Second ,” she continued, despite her nephew’s attempt to interrupt her. He had to have known she would’ve used that. “We both know how reckless you are, especially if you’re on patrol. If you’re hurt, god forbid, and he needs to take care of you, he’s gonna find out. I know you wouldn’t like it if he found out by himself, right?”

“Right…”

 

“I also know how you’ve been modifying your T shots because of your metabolism,” Of course she knew, how could she not? “And I think you need to make sure those are safe, too. You don’t want to risk getting male-patterned baldness, right?” There were far worse risks-- sleep apnea, high blood pressure, producing too many red blood cells, etc-- but May thought it might be a good idea to try and lighten the mood some.

 

“I refuse to start going bald before Mister Stark does.” Peter said, a light smile playing on his lips.

 

“Your hair’s too soft to lose, too.”

 

“It would be a tragedy.”

 

“Exactly,” May smiled. She paused before deciding to add one last point to her argument. “Plus, Tony’s pretty smart, so there’s a chance he might be able to create a safer way of binding so you could while Spider-Man-ing. I’m not gonna force you to tell him or tell him myself if you don’t, but I think it’s a good idea, baby.”

 

So, May basically had the best argument there was, and Peter knew it. In fact, he completely agreed with her-- it wasn’t hard to from a logical standpoint. Still, from the emotional one, Peter was still struggling to agree. It wasn’t exactly the best way to deal with problems, sure, but the teen just wanted to ignore this all and pretend like it never happened. Pretend like the trans thing never happened. He was trying so hard to forget it himself, and having to talk about it didn’t exactly help his cause.

 

“You’re right,” Peter sighed in reluctant agreement. “It’s just…”

 

“Scary?”

 

“Yeah. Scary.” Terrifying was more like it, but “scary” worked, too.

 

“I know, baby. I know,” May hummed, offering a reassuring smile. “You’re strong though, and I know you can do it.”

 

“Thanks,Aunt  May.”

 

“Anytime. Now, it’s getting late for me, which means it’s very late for you. Get some sleep. M’kay?”

 

“I will,” Peter nodded, yawning as if on queue. “You do too. Sleep well.”

 

“You, too. Love you.”

 

“Love you too. Talk to you tomorrow?”

“Mhm, promise. Goodnight, Pete.”

 

“G’night.”

 

Peter laid back on the large, soft bed after hanging, doing a little motorboat with his lips. He was going to tell Tony. Actually tell him this time and not chicken out. Wow… how was he supposed to do that?

 

When he came out to May and Ben, he was just a frustrated little kid. Frustrated with being called that name and told how he was such a pretty girl . Frustrated with having to use the girls’ bathroom and stand on the girls’ side of the line in school. He didn’t belong there, he was a boy and that’s what he said. Not only was he frustrated, but… Peter had also been scared. What was wrong with him? He had thought. Why was his body so…. Wrong ?

 

It was more or less and release of years worth of pent up emotions than a coming out, but it worked. And they had been working through it since. Although he’d never explicitly talked about it with any of his classmates from back then about it, now they still saw the shift, and he still went to school with some of these people. Some people knew, but he didn’t say it. Some people figured it out when gym teachers would give him a hard time about using the boys’ locker room or when teacher’s-- mostly substitutes-- would deadname him before he and May got it legally changed.

 

MJ had figured it out when she saw how he would still occasionally look over when he heard his deadname, even though nine times out of ten, it was just a girl that happened to have that name. At first, it was just a theory, but then he made a pun about it and that was her confirmation.

 

Ned found out when his family offered to take him to the beach one summer and he saw the nude binder under his wet shirt. There were a few questions, quiet yes and no answers, and that was it.

 

So basically, Peter hadn’t had what one might call a “proper” coming out. He never had the typical “hey, can we sit down and talk?” or “hey, can I tell you something?” . That didn’t make him any less of who he was, sure, but that typical coming out thing was basically what he was going to have to do when he told Tony.

 

Maybe he would do that tomorrow? Peter thought. Just to get it over and done with. Yeah… yeah. He could do that.

 

Peter sat up, breaking himself out of his nervous train of thought, and plugged his in on the charger on the bed’s side table. He asked FRIDAY to turn the lights off as he crawled under the covers, and thanks only to how comfortable the bed was, he was asleep in fifteen minutes. If it hadn’t felt like he was laying on a cloud, it was likely Peter would’ve been up for a good couple of hours stressing himself out, but that was just another one of the amazing aspects of this bed.

 

The teen woke up around nine-thirty that morning, light shining through his blinds. It might’ve been annoying to some people, but Peter liked waking up to the natural sunlight. He laid in bed for a good twenty minutes or so while scrolling on his phone before finally getting up to start his morning routine. He brushed his teeth, showered because of how sweaty he got on patrol last night, and put his binder on again underneath his pajamas.This one was one of his older, more worn out, and looser ones, so while he was still flat, it wasn’t as much pressure on his chest. Peter didn’t bother trying to style his hair, just letting the messy mop of curls dry naturally, and made his way out to the kitchen and media room.

 

Tony wasn’t awake yet, he had asked FRIDAY and wasn’t going to dare to wake him when he was actually getting sleep, so Peter entertained himself. He made himself some toast, had a granola bar, and made a little bowl of strawberries and grapes to satisfy himself until the man woke up and they could have breakfast together. He also got a pot of coffee all ready, knowing Tony would be wanting some when he woke up, and the only thing needed would be to press start. Sure, FRIDAY could probably do most of what he did, but Peter was used to getting some ready for May on weekends. Besides, he liked helping out.

 

Plopping himself down on the couch in the media room, Peter put on old Phineas and Ferb reruns-- because why not? That show was hilarious-- and ate his food whilst pondering how the hell he was gonna be going about this whole thing.

 

First step: figuring out when a good time would be.

 

Well, Tony was most likely going to be asking him about how patrol went last night and now May was, as always, so that might work. He had to ease into it though, not be so blunt about it. This was delicate, but for himself. Truth be told, Peter didn’t exactly like saying “I’m transgender” flat out, because it made him feel… different.

 

He hated feeling different.

 

He was already different because he didn’t have his parents. He was already different because of his intellect. He was already different because of his powers.

 

Peter didn’t need any more feelings of being on the outside of everyone else.

 

Second step: figuring out how to phrase it.

 

Maybe, Peter thought, vaguely mention his binder? Did Tony know what a binder was? Would he understand what he was trying to say? God, there were so many variables to think about and try to account for. Alright, so he would hope that Tony would understand what he was trying to say-- that what Plan A. Plan B? Hm… maybe he would attempt to imply that naturally, his chest wasn’t flat, and so he did that. Not much different from Plan A, sure, but it might work. As May said last night, Tony was a smart guy. Plan C would be the last resort-- Plan C would be flat out and blunt.

 

Peter really, really didn’t like Plan C. Hopefully, it didn’t come to that.

 

Hopefully, he wouldn’t chicken out.

 

“‘Mornin’, kid,” A tired, gruff voice greeted. Tony walked over to where the boy sat on the sofa and ruffled the messy head of curls, then headed into the kitchen. Peter had been so caught up in his planning that he hadn’t even heard him walk in. “Sleep well?”

 

“Mhm,” Peter nodded, looking over his shoulder to look at his mentor-- father figure? Nope, stop thinking like that, Parker-- who truly did look like he just woke up. “How ‘bout you?” It seemed like FRIDAY had started up the coffee maker when Tony woke up, because the pot was already nearly full. Yet another thing he hadn’t noticed while lost in thought.

 

“Well enough, well enough,” Tony said with a yawn. He leaned on the counter besides where the coffee was being brewed, waiting for it to finish up. He had a simple Stark Industries mug already at the ready, which Peter found funny as he brought his empty plate of toast and equally empty bowl in to put in the dishwasher. He threw out the granola bar wrapper whilst in there, too. “What time did you get up? Hope I haven’t left ya by yourself too long.”

 

“‘Round nine-thirty,” Peter shrugged. It was a quarter after ten now, so not much time had passed.

 

“Aren’t teenagers s’pposed to sleep in until, like, noon? I should be up before you with breakfast ready.”

 

“Hey, that’s late for me,” Peter defended himself. Tony groaned. “You can ask May, I’ve been an early riser since I was little.”

 

“If you didn’t threaten me with Pepper, I could’ve been up before you.” Tony pointed out.

 

“That doesn’t count ‘cause you wouldn’t be waking up before me, you'd still be awake.”

 

“Hey, don’t call me out before I’ve had my coffee. I can throw you out of here down the elevator shaft.”

 

“You wouldn’t do that,” Peter smiled, playfully nudging Tony’s side. “Aunt May would personally… I don’t know, steal the tendons in your right arm or something in your sleep.”

 

Tony raised his brows, “Kid, that’s a horrifying thought. I don’t doubt the likelihood, but now I’m terrified to breathe in the wrong direction of your aunt.”

 

“So am I, honestly,” Peter nodded.

 

“You’ve at least got those awful puppy eyes to soften the blows,” The coffee maker dinged and Tony poured himself a cup. “I’ve got nothin’.”

 

“Keep me alive, and I’ll defend you.”

 

“Hm… we’ll see,” Tony smirked as he sipped his coffee. “Now, what do you want for breakfast, Underoos?”

 

The two boys worked together in the kitchen like they did in the lab-- with great rhythm. FRIDAY played some calm Italian music that Tony hummed along to, since rock was for the labs, as they cooked. They were making pancakes and omelettes, Peter working on the former and Tony the latter. The teen liked adding a bunch of chocolate chips in the batter, and since Tony never “added enough”, it was his job. Tony would’ve done the whole breakfast thing himself, because he was the adult, but making enough food to satisfy an enhanced spider-metabolism was a lot of work for two people, let alone just one.

 

Roughly twenty five minutes later, the two had acquired about twelve omelettes and ten pancakes. Two omelettes and one pancake were for Tony and the rest went to his favorite spider-kid. It was a lot, yes, but if his math was correct, this perfectly covered what his metabolism needed. The two sat at the kitchen island with their plates-- or in Peter’s case, mountain-- of food, Tony with his second cup of coffee and Peter with a glass of apple juice. They put on Family Feud, calling out what they think the answers are in between bites. It was their routine, and it was comfortably simple. Domestic.

 

Perfect.

 

“So, kid,” Tony sipped his drink after taking a bite of his omelette. “Didn’t get any alerts that Queens blew up over night. You do some good?”

 

Alright, here we go, Peter thought. Time to go with Plan A.

 

“Um,” he swallowed a mouthful of pancake. “Yeah, yeah it was good.”

 

“Kid, you got a little-- you know what..” Tony took a napkin to the corner of Peter’s mouth, who scrunched his nose and tried to pull away.

 

“Mister Stark!” Peter whined.

 

“You had a bunch of chocolate and syrup there. What was I supposed to do? Let you be messy?”

 

“I could easily wipe my own mouth. I’m sixteen, y’know.”

 

“It’s easier this way, because you would’ve either smeared it across your face or rub that napkin everywhere except the spot,” Tony pointed out. “Now, Spider-Man. What do you have to report?”

 

“Well, I stopped a jewelry store robbery,” Peter began. “Saved a group of kids that looked my age from being mugged. Oh, I also broke up a little drug trade, and stopped a drunk driver from crashing her car into the side of a city bus.”

 

“Bare hands?”

 

“Bare hands.”

 

“Atta boy,” Tony smiled, raising his hand for a high five. Peter did so, and even as they lowered their hands, the smile remained. Sure, part of him was always nervous about his kid-- the kid, not his kid-- being out there with people who wouldn’t hesitate to hurt him, but Pete was doing good out of the pureness of his heart, and Tony was really proud of him. “Not hurt worse than a scraped knee, right?”

 

“No, just bruised,” Peter reassured.

 

Tony gave him a look. “Hey FRI, mind confirming that?”

 

“Mister Parker is telling the truth, Boss.”

 

Tony turned back to Pete, “Well, sorry for doubting you. You understand why though, right?”

 

“Mhm, yeah. I get it, don’t worry,” Now’s the time, go! You’re going to miss your opportunity, Parker! “I, uh, I did almost get hurt though.”

 

“Oh?” Tony raised a brow. “And how’d that happen?”

 

“Well…” Peter took a deep breath, which only brought forth more concern to the older man’s expression. “So, you know how I’m an idiot and do stuff I shouldn’t a lot?”

 

“Mhm, all too well. What’d you do?”

Breathe. Breathing is important. You can’t come out if you pass out from like of oxygen flow to the brain, Peter thought.

 

“Okay, okay. So… there’s this thing I wear-- around my chest under shirts and stuff.” Peter fidgeted nervously, picking at the skin around his fingers-- a nervous tick Tony recognized well. He stayed quiet though, letting Peter continue. “Well, ‘m not really s’pposed to wear it for more than eight hours, right? Yesterday, I, uh… I kinda had it on for like seventeen hours. I also shouldn’t, um, do physically exerting stuff with it on, and I didn’t take it off for patrol. I-I know it’s bad, May already ripped me a new one ‘cause of it, but…” He paused, sighing quietly. “I just… I   need it.”

 

Tony stayed silent for a moment, very uncharastic of him, and his expression was unreadable. Even if it was less than thirty seconds, to Peter, it felt like hours. Waiting for the reaction-- that was the worst part. Peter had thought the worst part was getting the words out for a while, but oh how he was wrong. So very, very wrong.

 

Peter felt like his chest was about to pound right out of his chest and that the walls were closing in on him. This was a bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea, bad idea, bad idea--

 

“Kid, hey,” Tony placed a hand on Peter’s shoulder. “Breathe, okay? Don’t pass out on me, it’s alright. You’re alright.”

“Sorry, ‘m sorry,” Peter apologized, following Tony’s breathing patterns. “Just… yeah. That’s my story.”

 

“Does that thing around your chest happen to be… a binder?”

 

Peter nodded-- Plan A worked. Still, he couldn’t shake the feeling of panic and that rejection was just looming over him.

 

“And you’re freaking out because you think I’m going to freak out because you’re--”

 

“Mhm,” Peter cut him off. Tony was going to comment on it, but decided that wasn’t important right now. What was important was that Peter took a huge fucking risk that could’ve gotten him seriously hurt.

 

“Kid, Pete,” Tony squeezed his shoulder gently. “It’s okay, I don’t care about that. You’re still you, and you’re still my fucking stupid kid. Understand that?”

 

“Right,” Peter cleared his throat. “Right. Sorry.”


“Don’t be sorry, I get why you were nervous.” Tony paused. “I mean, I don’t completely understand since I haven’t had the experience and I don’t want to belittle your’s, but I understand the concept.”

 

Was the right thing to say? God, Tony hoped it was. He wasn’t exactly prepared for this, but that didn’t matter. What mattered was that Peter knew that nothing was different between them and that he accepted him. That was crucial. So, Tony turned and pulled the kid into a hug, gently massaging the back of his head.

 

“I’m not gonna lecture you about how stupid you are,” Tony said softly, relieved that Pete was returning the hug. “Because May covered that already. So help me though, if you break any of those binding rules again, it’ll be me you have to deal with. You don’t want that.” He paused again. “I’m glad you trusted me enough to tell me.”

 

Any nerves and tension melted from Peter’s muscles as he was hugged, nodding some. “‘Course I do, Mister Stark. I trust you as much as May. I, uh, was gonna tell you before, but I was nervous and… I didn’t want you to think any different of me.”

 

“I don’t, I promise.”  Never, not in a billion years, would Tony care for Peter any less because of something like this. Transgender or cisgender, this was still his Peter. His wonderful, crazy smart, crazy stupid, Peter.

 

“Thanks…”

 

“Of course, kiddo.”  Tony pulled back , though he kept his hands on his shoulders. “Alright, why don’t we finish up breakfast, get this all cleaned up, and head down to the lab, yeah? I’m thinking we make our own binder for you that’s safer. I’m already planning it in my head, so don’t try and stop me.”

 

Peter smiled, “Y’know, Aunt May said you would say that.”

 

“She did, huh?” He couldn’t help but smile back at the kid. “What else did she say?”

 

“Well, she thought maybe you could… help me with my hormone shots? I, um, take testosterone shots every week, but I’ve kinda screwed with the formula so that way stuff actually happens. Y’know, spider metabolism and all.”

 

“Yeah, we can do that,” Tony nodded. “I’m gonna need you to help me with some of this though, ‘kay, kid? I’m horribly uneducated on this stuff, but don’t worry, I’ll do my homework.”

 

Peter couldn’t help but smile more at that. He had nothing to worry about, like May had said. Everything was fine. “Mhm, ‘course. Just, thanks again for being so cool ‘bout everything.”

 

“Of course, kiddo.” Tony paused. Does he say it? Fuck it, he should say it. “I love you, hope you know that.”

 

“Love you too, Mister Stark.”