Expect the Unexpected
The three of them were there; in the middle of the night and watching from the rooftop of an old building as suspects unloaded merchandise out of an innocuous location into armored trucks. These criminals passed themselves off as service men for a consignment store but their apparel and weaponry indicated a different career. Since when did consignment stores require long-ranged and high-caliber weapons to transport furniture?
“I think this is it, guys. Now’s your time to strike,” came Natasha’s voice over the transmitter.
“Let them finish loading the truck, Nat. We need to know where they’re taking the goods,” a masculine voice responded.
“I’ll take care of that, Cap.” From another building parallel to the armored trucks, an arrow shot out, hitting its target just below the front bumper, attaching a small device to the vehicle. Barton smirked, clearly pleased with his work. “Tracker is set.”
“They’ve finished loading,” Natasha remarked, appearing out of her hiding place to see four men clamber into the armored truck. “We need to follow them.”
Suddenly, the transmitting signal became staticky, interfering with an unpleasant beeping noise and preventing anyone over that connection to be heard or hear one another.
“Cap?” Came Clint’s staticky voice, as he tapped his earpiece as if that would suddenly resolve the issue. “Hello? Can anyone hear me? The noise is hellish. I think someone’s messing with signal!” Clint examined his surroundings, searching for the culprit responsible for the interference.
“Good evening, Mr. Rogers,” said a familiar voice over the transmission, the static clearing almost immediately. The three Avengers remain silent, waiting for the voice to continue. They knew very well who it was.
“Jarvis?” Captain America arched his brow in confused astonishment. “Did something happen in the tower?”
“You’ve got to be more specific, Steve,” Natasha admonished. “We need to know what Tony wants.”
“Sir, the package is going to be delivered today,” Jarvis responded.
“Package?” Clint questioned over the transmission, listening intently on the conversation between the Captain and Jarvis.
“THE PACKAGE!” Captain America exclaimed; voice full of terror.
“It seems silly that Tony talks that way when he’s trying to be serious, Cap. Wouldn’t it have been better to wait until the mission is finished before—
“Go home, Steve, we’ll cover for you,” Natasha interrupted Clint over the radio connection.
“Why is Cap in a hurry? Ohh, that’s right,” Clint stated when realization dawned on him. “Good luck with that package, Cap!”
Captain America hurriedly said his goodbyes before rushing toward the Avengers Tower. The captain figured the mission wasn’t so complex that his two companions could finish their mission without him. If he was truly needed, there were other reinforcements on standby. Given the current situation he was in, Captain America couldn’t delay his return any longer.
En route to the tower, Steve tried calling Tony multiple times. He was grateful the two had a personal line used for specific events and sole emergencies. He tried to contact Jarvis, but the artificial intelligence was unresponsive as well. Steve hated that technology seemed to make more barriers instead of eliminating them.
It took Steve less than an hour to reach the tower, leaving his motorcycle parked haphazardly across the freshly mowed lawn and headed straight for one of the elevators toward the residential section of the Avengers Tower.
“Tony!” Steve called out, finding the residential area nearly pitch black save for the blaring EXIT signs in neon lighting. “Jarvis, let me in.”
“Good evening, Mr. Rogers,” Jarvis spoke through a small speaker next to the secured doors. “Access is denied until your identity is verified.”
“Damnit, Jarvis, I don’t have time for games,” Steve snapped. “You know perfectly well who I am! Please open the doors!” The captain pressed his hands against the glass doors as if that would hurry his allowance.
“Mr. Stark requires confirmation of identity wishing to enter the residential area.”
Steve furrowed his brows. “Tony couldn’t have done that. I left this place less than five hours ago and there wasn’t any extra security protocol. Tony doesn’t need me to verify my identity.”
“If you want access into the area, you must have the security question, Mr. Rogers.”
For the love of God, Steve thought to himself. “Question?” Steve sighed. “Alright, a question. Tell me the question.”
“What is the name assigned to the package that will be delivered today?”
“Christ, he’s still trying to convince me with the name,” Steve mumbled to himself as he put his hands up in surrender. “Alright, Tony, you win. The answer is Peter.”
“Access granted. Welcome home, Mr. Rogers.”
Only Tony would be this difficult. “Thank you.”
Steve left his helmet, shield, and gloves near the sofa and went in search for Tony. Most of the lighting was dimmed and Steve wondered if that was Tony’s doing. The only light Captain America could see flooded from a room down the long corridor. Their bedroom. Mr. Rogers hurried down the hallway and found Tony with his back to him, head tilted upward and hands resting on his lower back as he rocked back and forth.
“Tony…” Steve murmured, approaching the man but stopped in his tracks when Iron Man let a low growl slip out.
“Sir, a contraction is coming,” Jarvis responded.
“Contraction?” Captain America questioned, his brows furrowed. He didn’t know Tony’s personal butler of a computer could input and detect data like that.
“Why are you still standing there?” The millionaire asked, glancing over his shoulder at the man still hovered by the doorway. “Come and hug me.”
Despite the confusion still emanating with in the Captain, Steve finally moved forward, pulling Tony into his arms, a million questions flitting through his mind that he wanted to ask the pregnant man. He refrained from bombarding Tony with questions, holding Iron Man from behind as his hands traveled tenderly to Tony’s waist and gently massaging his hips and belly just as they had practiced during Lamaze classes that the millionaire insisted they watch on YouTube. Both men remained silent during that long, agonizing minute until the contraction finally subsided.
“I revamped Jarvis to become an obstetric interface. He will be an excellent assistant for doctors. I still have to make some adjustments, but for now he works perfectly.” Tony beamed with proudness.
“Is this really happened, Tony?” Steve asked doubtfully. “It’s not a false alarm like a few weeks ago?”
“Sir, Mr. Stark has been in labor for almost six hours. Each contraction has been between five and seven minutes apart,” Jarvis answered for Tony.
“See, Jarvis has all the information in seconds,” Mr. Stark chimed in, smiling so triumphantly that Steve couldn’t help but roll his eyes. It was the type of grin that clearly expressed how much of a genius Tony Stark truly was.
“And when are we going to the hospital?” Steve asked.
“Yes, Tony,” Steve sighed. “The hospital. The baby’s coming. We need to go.”
Tony moved with difficulty out of the arms of Steve and waddled to the floor length window overlooking the lit-up city. It was beautiful this time of night. It was a prime reason Tony chose this area for their bedroom.
“Do you like the press, Steve? The paparazzi and gossipers?” Tony asked, face grave as he stared out the window. “Would you like us both to be on the front page tomorrow revealing our relationship to the world? If so, then let’s go to the hospital and throw it everyone’s faces that their two favorite heroes couldn’t deny their irrevocable love for each other and now they’re having a baby.”
Captain America sighed and pursed his lips. He didn’t want to upset his boyfriend any further. “We already talked about this, Tony. I respect that you don’t want to advertise your pregnancy. We have kept it between us and the rest of team, but you can’t stay here. The baby’s coming!”
“Really, Steve? I had no idea,” Tony remarked sardonically, caressing his prominent bump. “Jarvis will take care of everything.”
“Jarvis is a voice.”
“Nonsense! In this particular moment, Jarvis is the best obstetrician you can get in the entire country. He doesn’t make mistakes, he won’t talk about random bullshit, he doesn’t sleep, and he won’t have to check me for dilation every hour. To me, he’s perfect,” Tony explained, hoping his statement would be reasonable enough to Steve to get them to stay in the tower.
And with that, Tony exited the room, ego big and bold as ever. Steve stared after him in silence, mouth slightly agape as he analyzed the compendium of reasons provided by his lover. They were small albeit logical and the truth of it all suddenly exploded in Steve’s face like a grenade.
“IT’S JUST YOU AND ME!” Captain America yelled as he chased Tony into the large living room. For someone in labor and heavily pregnant, he was able to move rather quickly.
“ONLY US, TONY!”
“You’re very observant, Captain Obvious.”
“I’m not so sure about this, Tony.”
“Mr. Rogers, I am trained to guide you through the entire labor, delivery, and postpartum process.”
“See, he’s going to handle everything,” Tony remarked, pointing to the ceiling.
“IT’S A MACHINE!”
“Oh come on, Steve,” Tony pouted. “You’ll hurt Jarvis’ feelings.”
“You’re always making decisions without consulting me, Tony. He’s my son, too, Tony, and I care about the health for you both. Steve lowered his eyes helplessly, stroking the bridge of his nose in a vain attempt to control his courage of the situation.
While Steve was still irritated with said situation, Tony stopped in front of the captain, throwing his arms around his neck and taking him off guard with a loving kiss, ceasing all of Steve’s complaints. Tony took control of the embrace, moving his lip gently, pushing his tongue along the captain’s lips to gain entry and savoring the other completely. The warmth and tenderness of the embrace had heat flowing to his nether regions and both men had to stop things there. The two wouldn’t be able to have sex in Tony’s current condition. There would be time after their son was born to finish what they started.
“Steve, I do all this because I fully trust you,” Tony explained. “If by some impossible, improbable, and almost non-existent possibility Jarvis does not work, I would still stay here with you. You are the most reliable man I know.” Tony stroked Captain America’s cheek lovingly. “I love you, old man.”
“I don’t know how you get me to agree to your crazy ideas,” Steve teased, placing his hand over Tony’s resting on his cheek.
“I’m good at kissing.”
“Wasn’t complaining nor denying that,” Steve laughed.
“And now we get to venture into this great odyssey of pain, sweat, blood, and lack of sleep.”
“I think it’s too late to return the package,” Captain America teased.
“But I like this package.” Tony narrowed his eyes to his protruding belly, rubbing it affectionately. “I’m going to miss the privileges in bed.”
“You won’t lose any privileges. Let’s just say that they’ll be on pause until we order another package.”
“Another?” Tony quirked a brow. “Oh, Mr. Rogers, behave.”
They both laughed at Tony’s comment as their little subliminal messages and comments always humored the other. Although Steve will never fully understand how he’s managed to deal with the whirlwind that is Tony Stark with all his ideas, inventions, and hyperactivity, he is certain that he expects their son to be more leisurely, more like the captain. For the time being, Steve needed to focus on his lover. They were alone and with the new exotic invention equipped in Jarvis in order to avoid a public scandal.
Within the next three hours, Steve had discovered just how well put together Tony had everything. The supposed idea of using Jarvis must have been perfectly orchestrated in Stark’s head months in advance. He was amazingly calm for being in labor for nearly nine hours. His wittiness, jokes, and pedantry didn’t diminish at all and Steve was able to catch a glimpse on how Tony would be as a father once their son was born. Tony was going to be the type of parent that calculated everything before a decision was made—everything done meticulously. The captain was certain that Tony sought to be what his hidden subconscious sought him to be; just like his deceased father. Tony would be a man, despite his burden of responsibility would be there for their son no matter the money and limits. Though Tony was handling labor with Jarvis’ calculations and familiar environment, the millionaire was forging from the bases of sweeter paternity; something paranoid with control. He was still a first-time father and that was not altered by the inevitable and uncontrollable future.
The pain had become uncomfortable and unsettling to the point that Steve figured they could pass the time by watching a bunch of old films chosen by Tony. His claim was that Steve still needed some education on movies he had missed in his past. It wasn’t funny to make jokes or comparisons that went over the captain’s head. They settled in their huge bed, accompanied with popcorn and soda. Steve had Tony stretched out in bed while he kneaded his back, hips, and stiff belly. The movies had become a welcomed distraction for a few hours until the pain became too much to even focus on the gentle massages from the captain and the characters on the television.
Tony had gotten out of bed to use the restroom, waddling into the bathroom. Steve got worried when Tony took a while to return and paused the movie, climbing out of the bed. “Tony?”
“I’m in the tub,” he whispered tiredly. “Do you want to join the party?”
“You told me you were going to go pee.”
“Yeah, well I figured relaxing in the water was better than peeing.”
Steve rolled his eyes and approached the tub, grabbing the stainless-steel stool from its corner and sitting next to the tub. He rolled up his sleeves and tested the water, realizing it was borderline scalding. It seemed to satisfy the millionaire so the captain didn’t comment on it. He encouraged Tony to lean forward so he could massage his hips and lower back.
The Iron Man purred in satisfaction, giving Steve a few pats on the forearm as a reward for his amazing work until Jarvis announced Tony’s next contraction. Tony’s hands shot out to cling to the edges of the tub and let out a snort through his nose while he clenched his teeth, his toes curling from the overwhelming pain.
“Relax, Tony, just let it happen,” Steve encouraged, pressing a chaste kiss against the top of his head as he continued to knead his back.
“Jarvis… I need… a scan,” Tony panted between breaths, letting out a shuttered breath when the contraction gave way.
“Performing scan,” Jarvis responded before he went silent for a moment while he processed the scan. “Scan completed.”
“Give me the report, Jarvis,” Tony demanded, removing the towel from his face and glancing up at Steve who seemed a bit confused.
“Everything is in order, sir,” Jarvis responded. “Both heartrates are stable and there is no fetal distress. The contractions are regular and strong with a duration of four minutes between each one. Your dilation is at six centimeters and there is no rupture of the amniotic sac. Would you like further information, Mr. Stark?”
“No, Jarvis, thank you. Just attach the reports with the final report after delivery.”
The captain stared intriguingly at his lover. “And everything Jarvis said meant…”
“…that the baby is getting closer. This contraction hurt more than the previous ones,” Tony explained as he struggled to get out of the tub, Steve jumping at the chance to help his boyfriend out of the tub. “Let’s go for a walk before the pain becomes so severe that I want to rip off your balls.”
“I’ll try to keep them away from you,” Steve remarked sardonically.
“That’s exactly why we’re here now. You couldn’t keep them far away from me.”
Both men eventually moved out of the bedroom and into the living room. The lights were dimmed per Tony’s request, seemingly becoming too sensitive to them. The darkness welcomed them wholeheartedly as he waddled lazily through their home in nothing but a pair of flannel pajama pants. Steve followed him like a lost puppy, more so for his own security as he didn’t want to be elsewhere if Tony suddenly needed him. With each contraction, some were able to be handled with humor on Tony’s part and others were not. Their son was moving quickly. He’d be here in no time.
While Captain America and Iron Man waited patiently—maybe impatiently, depending on how one would look at the situation—for their arrival of their new son, Steve reminisced on how he had fallen for the egocentric millionaire. For a long while, it was an oddity. They snuck around, keeping their relationship in the dark and away from prying eyes until their battle mates started putting two and two together and figured out Captain America and Iron Man were more than battle mates and friends. Natasha was the first to find out. Some way or another, the Russian was able to deduce the first time he had sex with Tony. Since then, Romanoff was his confidante and cover whenever he and Tony needed to get away for a bit. She was possibly going to be the god mother of the baby if Steve had control over it.
“Steve…” Tony called him a couple of times, the captains seemingly lost in his own thoughts, magazine in hand.
“Yes!” Steve practically leaped out of his chair and rushed over to his lover.
“The sun is rising,” Tony commented, waddling over to the exit structure that overlooked the entire city. Hues of pinks and oranges blanketed the city.
“It’s very pretty,” Steve hummed, wrapping his arms around Tony from behind as he tried to remember if they ever stopped to admire a sunrise.
“Peter’s will be born today and everything’s going to be different, Steve…”
The captain noticed Tony trembling in his arms as he gave them a firm squeeze. They were truly going to be parents soon and in a few short hours, they would be three instead of two.
“I know, Tony, and it’s a scare thought, but you want to know something?” Steve paused to press his lips along the shell of the millionaire’s ear so he could whisper. “You are more than prepared for the arrival of our son. Just look at everything you’ve done with Jarvis; with yourself. You have dedicated and sacrificed a lot to make sure our son made it to full term. Think about it, babe. You’ve changed your habits and it’s all because of how much you love our baby. We’re going to love him unconditionally just as we love each other and I think this sunrise is the most beautiful one because I get to share it with you.”
Steve punctuated his affirmation with a peck to Tony’s lips; the embrace so tender and comforting that Tony felt more confident about the situation at hand. “Wow, Steve. Being alive for more than 100 years and saying that this the best sunrise you’ve seen because its with me makes me feel exclusive,” Tony said with a coquettish smile, pecking his captain’s lips for good measure. “I love you.”
“And I love you, Tony.”
“Hold me tighter, Steve. I can feel another one coming,” Tony suddenly, gripping his boyfriend’s arms tighter. “Let’s enjoy this sunrise while I writhe in pain.”
The day had finally broken into 7 am with bright and clear skies. Steve was in the kitchen preparing coffee to keep himself alert. He had been awake nearly twenty-four hours now and the exhaustion was slowly consuming him. He wouldn’t dare comment on his fatigue, especially when his boyfriend had been in labor so long. Next to him, said boyfriend was squatting in the entry way, the contraction having him practically doubled over as he trembled with pain.
The Iron Man had explained that the last hour was the worst of them all. The time between each contraction had minimalized signaling Peter’s slowly but surely proximity into the world. Trying to breathe from the Lamaze videos, he realized just how grateful he was to be able to breathe and relax for the three minutes in between each contraction.
“Rogers, get rid of that shit!” Tony snapped from his spot, the pain finally causing him to drop to the floor.
“It’s just coffee, Tony,” Steve commented. “I’ve also boiled some what to prepare some tea. You need to drink something before you dehydrate.” Steve tried to be empathetic but Tony had become more hypersensitive to the aromas, noises, and the natural light shining through the windows.
“I can’t drink coffee, but… I WANT COFFEE! NO TEA! I’M NOT A DAMN BRIT!” Tony whimpered, settling on the floor and resting his head against one of the cabinet doors, He was already tired of all this. He had been in labor too long for comfort. “Jarvis…”
“Sir, I highly recommend you organize everything necessary for the transition phase. You have reached eight centimeters in dilation. At this time, the baby has reached the birth canal and the contractions will become stronger in intensity with shorter intervals.”
“Oh, God,” Steve gasped, nearly dropping his mug as he crouched down next to his lover.
“You understand that we’ve made it to the finish line,” Tony whispered, eyes closed as he tried to control the terror that was seizing him. The update from Jarvis had him unsettled and anxious. “Help me to the room, Steve.”
Steve helped his partner off the floor as they started their slow trek back to the bedroom. Tony had clearly felt their son find his way into his pelvis and with the weight at the bottom of his hips and the unrelenting pressure with the ability of not being able to close his legs had him anxious. The thought of the contractions becoming more intense made the situation ten times worse.
“I need…” Tony paused to breathe. “…to get these clothes off.” The Iron Man tried to rid himself of his pajama pants but with the baby settling so low in his pelvis and the dull ache in body made the task arduous.
“Hey, hey, calm down, I’m right here. Let me help,” Steve murmured as he pressed a kiss to the base of Tony’s neck and gently peeled the fabric down and off his legs.
“Hey, now, let’s be clear you’re only taking my clothes off because our son wants to be born,” Tony tried to joke but the pain was coming in waves and it was harder to be the snarky man that he usually was.
“Just wanted to give you something nice to think about while I did it,” was Steve’s response as he crouched down to help him step out of the pant legs and noticed his lover’s legs tremble. “Tony?”
“C-Contraction,” he moaned.
Steve was quick to kneel behind Tony and massage his hips, Tony growling as he did and mumbling incoherent words. The contraction seemed to last longer than the previous ones based on the duration and Steve admired his lover’s rounded buttocks and strong thighs until he saw clear liquid trailing down Tony’s thighs and into a puddle in his pajama pants.
“Tony, I think…”
“Sir, the amniotic sac has broken.”
“Arrrgh,” Tony moaned, hands flailing for purchase, looking for Steve.
“Breathe, Tony, it’s almost over. The pain will be over soon,” Steve tried soothe as he moved around so he was facing the Iron Man and offered his hands so Tony could cling to them.
As soon as the pain passed and the surprise of his water breaking wasn’t so much a shock, Steve helped Tony into bed. The millionaire panted, trying to recover from the most recent contraction while the captain disappeared into the bathroom and returned with a towel. “I’m going to clean you up.”
Tony didn’t say anything, just simply nodded and moved to lie on his side and spread his legs. He felt the pressure give way some resting like this and let the blond man clean him up before getting rid of the stained clothes and damp towel. Steve sat on the edge of the bed and realized just how much the Iron Man’s behavior had changed since their son had descended further into the birth canal. He was no longer jubilant and joking and it worried him a bit to the point that he was starting to doubt that Tony could handle delivery.
“Stop thinking so much, Rogers,” Tony piped up, staring at his boyfriend tiredly. Steve’s expressions were an open book. Tony could read him so easily.
“You’re exhausted,” Steve sighed. “You’ve been in labor since yesterday. I’m worried about your health.”
Tony gave a resigned sigh. “Jarvis, I need a scan so the captain can calm down.”
“Yes, Mr. Stark,” Jarvis responded, going silent for a moment. “Scan completed.”
“Ohhhh, shit!” Tony suddenly gasped and double over, holding his tensing belly as a wave of pain shot through him.
“Sir, according to the scan, you have entered the transition phase. Your heartrate is somewhat accelerated but there is not fetal distress. You have dilated eight centim—
“Jarvis, ENOUGH!” Tony screeched, trying to stop the information coming from the speaker in the ceiling, the pain so unbearable, his legs were starting to give.
“Jarvis, thank you for the information,” Steve responded in an apologetic tone. Steve stretched further on the bed to massage Tony’s hips, figuring it would be more useful than having his partner listen to Jarvis’ technical reports.
Tony remained silent after that last contraction, trying to get used to the new and strange feeling between is legs. The desire to push seem to grow more imminent but something still wasn’t right; as if it wasn’t quite time for the baby to make his grand entrance.
“Tony, my love, I’ll bring you some blankets,” Steve spoke, pressing a kiss to his sweaty forehead before climbing off the bed.
“As long as you don’t boil water, that’s only in the movies,” Tony tried to joke through the pain. “Talk to c—Jarvis.”
“Okay,” Steve nodded, appeasing the pregnant man before he rushed out of the room, feeling like he was racing against time. Tony could never do something cordial. The more drama, the better.
Steve found himself in the baby’s nursery, realization hitting him like a brick wall. Everything would change by tomorrow. This room would be occupied with a little infant. They were going to be parents.
“God, this is a lot to take in,” Steve sighed as he rubbed the back of his neck, glancing around the nursery.
“Did something happen with Tony?”
“No, sir. I just wanted to inform you about the next steps to take with Mr. Stark. He has asked me to activate the Lazarillo protocol to guide him during delivery and postpartum.”
“Lazarillo?” Steve chuckled, shaking his head. “Tony and his clever names.”
Steve continued to glance around the room, finding the crib off to the side clad in bright red and yellow sheets. He always admired Tony for his sense of décor. Steve’s gaze drifted to a dark mahogany changing table, almost black with a clear plastic box. Within it, contained everything necessary for medical situations. As far as Steve gathered, Tony had arranged the supplies in such a way that they wouldn’t need anything last minute.
“Thank you, Jarvis. I hope you’re the wonderful help that Tony said you are.”
“That is what I am programmed for, Mr. Rogers.”
“Okay,” Steve said, letting out a deep sigh and shaking out his nerves. “Let’s do it.”
Steve grabbed the medical box and blankets and returned to their bedroom. He found tony in bed on his hands and knees with a pillow tucked beneath him. He was rocking side to side, eyes closed as he seemed to be focusing on his breathing. The captain set the box and blankets near Tony’s feet and carefully climbed into the bed.
“I’m here, Tony,” Steve murmured, “Are you…are you pushing?”
“You’re very observant, Captain Obvious,” Tony panted, his body contracting on its own as if trying to expel the baby beyond Tony’s control.
Steve’s eyes widened. “You can’t do that! JARVIS! TELL HIM HE CAN’T PUSH!”
“I am sorry, Mr. Rogers, but I cannot agree with your opinion. Mr. Stark had dilated fully and the baby is beginning his descent through the birth canal. The protocol indicates that the expulsion phase must begin. He is doing very well, Mr. Rogers.”
“Oh, God.” Steve paled at the knowledge, his head feeling like it had begun to spin.
“Mr. Rogers, I recommend you sit down and breathe slowly. You are hyperventilating and could faint thus complicating the situation with Mr. Stark.”
“Rogers, DON’T YOU DARE PASS OUT ON ME!” Tony threatened though the tone was less menacing due to the pain. “I’m having your son. You have seen more than enough blood!”
“It’s okay, I’m fine,” Steve assured, though his body language indicated anything but. His hands were trembly and his breathing was still rapid.
It was one thing to see organs and blood, but it was another to have the weight of his partner’s life and son’s in his hands, no matter how much help Jarvis was. Steve felt he was entering a range where making mistakes could be fatal to his way of life. The captain tries to push away the wayward thoughts, finally breathing again and fixing his gaze back on Tony. The millionaire’s face was screwed up in pain and Steve had never seen the man with such a degree of suffering accentuated in his muscles and practically sopping in sweat. Despite it all, the Iron Man was determined.
“Steve, I can’t put a stop to this,” Tony informed, his hand searching out Steve’s hand and gripping his wrist as peered up into his eyes with an expression of security laden with fear. The captain knew there was no way out. It was as if the two had this silent connection; one where the pregnant man trusted Captain America—that it was good to fear but to never give up.
“Jarvis, what do I do?” He asked, pressing a gentle kiss to Tony’s hand as if silently thanking the man for trusting him.
Jarvis gave him instructions on how to disinfect his hands so he could use the supplies in the container. Steve lay everything out on the bed, surprised at the few things needed for childbirth; a pair of scissors, tweezers, gauze, and a scalpel. Steve didn’t want to know what in the world a scalpel would be used for during childbirth and tried to block off the images. Steve noticed a rubber bulb and remembered watching movies were doctors would use the item to suction the mucus out of the baby’s lungs. With each item that Steve removed from the container, Jarvis explained their purpose as he grabbed a pair of latex gloves and secured them over his hands.
“Are you okay in that position, Tony?” Steve asked worriedly, noticing his lover still had his face buried in the pillow and standing on all fours.
“Yes, well, fuck, I don’t know,” Tony cried hoarsely. “The shit hurts regardless. And don’t you dare scold me on the use of language either!” Tony suddenly cried out, face splitting into this expression that could only indicate that something big was happening.
Steve swallowed a smile, not wanting to contradict his lover. Stark was known for cursing like a sailor and he figured the millionaire deserved a pass given his current situation. Little by little, the had of their son began to emerge, adorned with a wet mica of brown hair. Steve didn’t know how to express what he was feeling and experiencing; just rose onto his knees, exalted, and moved his gloved hands to Tony’s thighs, not knowing what to do exactly. He wasn’t sure if he should touch him, not touch him, assist with the baby’s crowning, something. Steve was becoming more anxious with his inner turmoil and his throat felt like it had a huge knot in it.
“He’s coming, Tony, I can see him, he’s coming!” The captain exclaimed excitedly, finally able to catch his breath at the amazing sight.
“Mr. Rogers, I recommend you gently press the surrounding area with a towel to avoid Mr. Stark from tearing.”
“Understood,” Steve answered and obeyed Jarvis’ orders, gently placing the towel against Tony’s entrance.
“His head,” Tony cried, unable to wait, the pain overwhelming him more than the curious and unhealthy need to put feel his son be born.
“Keep pushing, baby, his head’s almost out,” Steve murmured, wiping the baby’s face gently the more it emerged.
“Oh, God, Steve… you never told me…” Tony groaned, giving a big push and gasping as he felt the head fully efface, the hardest part finally over and the burning starting to simmer.
“We’ll discuss it, later, Tony, give me your hand,” Steve commanded, taking his lover’s hand and placing it between his thighs, knowing how desperate Tony was to feel their newborn son. Tony held his breath when Steve guided his hand between his legs and his trembly fingers brushed over his baby’s face.
“Yes, Tony. That’s Peter.”
“Jarvis, scan and report,” Tony said, interrupting his momentary trance. Though he wanted to revel in feeling his son for the first time, safety was top priority. He needed to make sure he could continue to deliver his son without emergency services intervening. Childbirth always came with unforeseen events.
“Yes, Mr. Stark.”
Hearing his lover request a report from Jarvis raised red flags in his mind and he did his best not to panic. “Tony, is something happening? Do you feel something abnormal?” Steve questioned, looking expectantly at his son who was a third way into the world.
“Scan completed. Everything is in order, sir. There is not a considerable loss of blood and the baby is in good, physical condition.”
Tony simply nodded, face screwing up in pain when he felt the next wave of pain. He bore down and pushed again, his efforts rewarded when he felt the burn again as the baby’s shoulders started to force their way out, the left first followed by the right. Steve grabbed another towel and placed it beneath the boy’s shoulders, watching in amazement as their son rushed out of Tony in a rush of fluids, the last ruthless push from the Iron Man serving its purpose.
The moment their son left his body, Tony collapsed into the bed, panting heavily. He was exhausted beyond a level he couldn’t comprehend. He felt lightheaded and his eyes were sore from the sweat that constantly dripped into them. Surely, he was going to pass out but a different alarm was ringing in his head when he listened for that telltale cry that never came.
“Peter… he’s not crying,” Tony panicked, turning on his back with a bit of a struggle as he tried to catch a glimpse at his son and boyfriend. “Is he…”
The huge smile donning the captain’s face seemed to ease Tony’s worry as he cradled the infant he just delivered. Steve was ecstatic at the amazing sight before him. The little baby was perfectly content; deciding to enter the world without a big uproar. He gurgled, eyes wide open and watching the world curiously. It was a moment Steve would cherish forever; holding his brand-new son who was content being cradled with his inaudible gurgles. That was, until Tony was on the verge of panicking as he kept asking Captain America why their son wasn’t crying.
“Can the exhausted mommy hold his baby before he passes out?” Tony chuckled tiredly.
Steve smiled wider, wrapping the towel tighter around the squirmy newborn to retain his body heat.
Their son finally voiced his complaints when he was passed from one father to the other, Steve resting the newborn on Tony’s bare chest. Their son’s eyes widened more seemingly trying to discover the new voice.
“Hi Peter. What a way to get here, huh? I thought you’d make a big fuss,” Tony murmured to their son, stroking the little strands out of hair. “You are the most perfect thing that I could create with your father.”
“It’s true, Cap’,” Tony chuckled. “Look at what we made. And so eager to get to the world.”
“Mr. Rogers, you must cut the umbilical cord in addition to keeping the baby from losing heat. He can lose body temperate quite rapidly.”
“You cut the cord and I’ll take care of keeping him warm,” Tony dictated, removing the wet towel and cradling their son close against his bare chest. Steve was about to protest, thinking Tony was going to get up and get the baby his clothes but immediately settled when he realized just how important skin to skin contact was for a newborn.
“Hurry up and cut the cord, we need wrap him in a clean towel.” Steve nodded and cut the cord with Jarvis’ voiced assistance. He grabbed a larger towel and covered Tony and their son, rubbing the baby’s back for a moment.
“I think I need to sleep for a whole month at least,” Tony whispered, eyes heavy lidded. He cradled little Peter closer enjoying the first contact between mom and baby. “Oh…”
“Tony?” Steve asked wearily, startled at the sight of his lover suddenly writhing in pain.
“Relax, Rogers, it’s not another baby.” Tony felt the need to push again but with less urgency. “Jarvis, what’s happening?”
“Your body is trying to expel the placenta. Push with less force, sir. I will assess it once its been delivered.”
It wasn’t a particular good feeling to expel what looked like a large blood clot with a cord attached to it, but it was what kept Peter alive inside Tony for the last nine months. It was the last physical connection that remained between them.
Everything had gone too perfect for the new parents’ satisfaction. After cleaning up the placenta among other fluids in the bed, Captain America and Iron Man dedicated themselves completely to the new being that would demand their total attention for many ears. Oh, the joys of parenthood.
“We’re officially parents,” Tony whispered, watching their son sleep peacefully in his lap after being bathed and dressed by his other father.
“I think so,” Steve chuckled, stroking the baby’s little cheek. Peter grimaced from t he touch, his little nose wrinkling up. “He’s really calm. I’ve always pictured an energetic and dramatic baby.”
“Jarvis, I need you to locate the best pediatrician in the country,” Tony ordered. “Once you’ve found them, arrange for travel and bring them here.”
“Right away, sir.”
“Do you think something’s wrong with Peter?” The captain suddenly asked.
“Hey, relax, babe. It’s just routine for a pediatrician to check on the baby after they’ve been born. Peter is perfect, just tired. Imagine if someone put you inside a narrow, dark tube and after many hours, they forced you out of it. You’d be tired and disoriented, too.”
Steve sighed. “Tony, you know that bringing someone here means explaining to them what happened and how Peter exactly got here.”
“I’ll buy their silence,” Tony said with a malicious smirk.
“It’s better to just tell the truth. We’re not the only ones who’ve gone through this, Tony. There’s others out there who are not so common or known, but it happens.”
“Steve, do you think I hid all this because of the changes to my figure or the fact that they’d talk about an Iron Man mom?” Tony asked incredulously. “I’ve thought a lot about this—about the multitude of enemies who are capable of hurting of us if they knew that we possessed something valuable—something incalculable that could put us both on our knees in a heartbeat. Having Peter means having a vulnerable side; an Achilles heel where every enemy could tear us apart in a second.” Tony shifted the infant in his arm so that he was cradling him closer. “During my entire pregnancy, those thoughts have plagued me. Now, he’s finally here and it’s terrifying, Steve. I can’t imagine a life without him, now. I don’t see myself allowing anyone to lay a finger on him or kill him without mercy.”
For the first time in a long time, Steve saw tears spring to Tony’s eyes. Perhaps it was the raging hormones coursing through his body from the after effects of childbirth, but the captain new it extended beyond that. The Iron Man was choked by sheer terror of losing what he held protectively in his arms. These thoughts had plagued the millionaire for months and though Tony never voiced his fears, Steve was on the same wavelength. He, too, had his dubious fears but didn’t want to worry his partner with his own turmoil.
It wasn’t until today, when Steve watched his son enter the world that his whole purpose of living changed. It wasn’t for himself or for Tony any longer, it was for the innocent and helpless infant sound asleep in his lover’s arms. This baby would be cared for and protected. The world was not yet safe enough to allow the new parents to be truly happy. They’d live in a world with a target on their backs. They’d have to teach Peter to grow up and defend himself—to be aware of the fact that he came from two unique and equally special beings. His life would never be simple or easy. He would always carry the burden of being the son of two heroes.
Steve pursed his lips and wrapped an arm around Tony, holding his boyfriend close with tenderness and affection. “You’re right, Tony. We’ll keep it between us and the rest of the team will help us. We’re not alone and we’ll figure out how to keep the pediatrician silent without resorting to gangster or barbaric ways.”
Tony nodded, trying to dry the tears on his cheeks but Steve was quick to thumb them away. He thumbed his cheeks before dropping his hands to either side of his neck and pulled him in for a tender kiss; a way of giving thanks.
“I love you, Tony.”
“You’ve also won a huge battle, Steve. I love you, too, Captain.”
“Sir,” Jarvis interrupted their tender moment.
“Did you find a pediatrician?”
“Not yet, sir. You have an incoming call from Agent Romanoff. Did you want to accept?”
“Of course, answer the call,” Tony answered, adjusting the baby again so he was resting on his chest, little Peter stirring lazily in the blankets. “Hello, agent, good morning.”
“It’s after three in the afternoon, Tony, I think we lost track of time,” Steve corrected. The millionaire must have not realized how much time had passed amidst the labor and delivery.
“Oh, you both sound very happy,” Natasha remarked.
“Extremely happy. Especially the millionaire.”
“And…am I already an aunt?” the Black Widow asked hopefully.
“You were officially two hours ago,” Tony answered with a smile, glancing down at their newborn.
“Two hours ago?”
“Uh huh,” Steve nodded. “Little Peter took his sweet time. Why don’t you come to the tower and meet your nephew?” The captain watched as his son gave a big yawn before his little bow lips trembled and he released a loud and shrill wail, surprising the new parents.
“And what good lungs he has. Reminds me of you, Tony,” the agent joked, listening to her nephew wail.
“Peter, I was just about to tell your aunt that you were the quietist kid in the world,” tony teased. “These children of today always make one look bad.” Tony faux-pouted as he started rocking his son, but the more he rocked Peter, the angrier the baby became. “Alright, Nat, we’ve got a crying mess here and I’m not sure what’s wrong. We’ll talk more when you get here.”
“See you in a while. Good luck to you both and congratulations on your new bundle of joy.” Natasha ended the call leaving the two parents to deal with their wailing infant.
Steve gently scooped up Peter and climbed off the bed, pacing the bedroom as he bounced him lightly. No amount of movement seemed to appease the angry child and Tony swore his cries could be heard from the ground floor of the Avengers Tower.
“Do you think something’s hurting him? I don’t like the way he’s crying,” Steve asked, voice laden with worry. He glanced over at Tony who seemed to be dealing with his own internal dilemma. “Tony?”
“Oh, God, I’m the damn source!” Tony exclaimed. “I’ve turned into the Milky Way!” The millionaire stared down at his chest in horror as he peeled back his robe and noticed the milky substance dripping from his nipples.
Realization dawned on the captain. “That’s it.” He smirked at the sheer terror on his lover’s face as he remained petrified from the pearly liquid dribbling down his chest and staining the edges of the robe.
Tony didn’t even get to finish his complaint before the captain was peeling the robe off Tony’s shoulders and setting Peter on his chest. The millionaire’s hands shot up to hold the baby so he wouldn’t roll of him. Steve guided the infant to his chest, the cries silencing almost immediately as he latched on to his father’s nipple with the clumsy assistance from Tony, the millionaire still shocked from the event.
“This is too much for me,” Tony commented, staring sideways at little Peter who looked relaxed with his plump cheeks, sucking so hard it made Tony’s skin prickle with the strange sensation.
“He looks so happy.” Steve smiled and pecked Tony’s forehead as a consolation prize for new discovery. “He’s a happy baby.”
“You’d be happy, too, if you were in his position,” Tony mocked, rolling his eyes and trying to shield his embarrassment.
“That’s not a good joke.”
“You didn’t tell me you were going to do that,” Tony complained. “I’m overwhelmed.”
“Peter was hungry and you had his food ready. There wasn’t really an explanation needed. We knew this would happen. Don’t be such a drama queen, Tony.”
“I’ll have to get used to this and figure out a way where this won’t drive me crazy.” With his free hand, Tony grabbed the edge of his robe and examined the wet stains. “Will breast milk stain clothes?”
“Sir, I have located the best pediatrician in the country. He is only one hour from here.”
“Send Happy. Give him the details of the situation and keep it discreet. He’ll know how to handle everything,” Tony ordered. “Let me know when they’ve arrived.”
“Leave it to me to convince the pediatrician not to comment on Peter’s existence,” Steve chimed in, relaxing next to Tony and tossing an arm around him so his lover could lean against him.
“You’re very old. I’m sure you’ll convince him with your diplomatic speeches and such,” Tony teased with a yawn, resting his head against the captain’s shoulder.
The millionaire was truly exhausted, struggling to stay awake long enough to finish his maternal work. He noticed Steve staring at him with one of those looks much of a puppy who was excited to get adopted. The old man was more sentimental than him but Tony couldn’t help but wonder how much pride was hidden in that look. It was intriguing to know his place in Steve’s heart alongside little Peter stuck to his chest; the perfect combo.
The captain sensed his partner’s breathing becoming slower and deeper, little Peter still held protectively in Tony’s arms. Both were sound asleep, one from exhaustion and the other from a full stomach. Steve figured he’d let Tony sleep a bit before the pediatrician arrived. He gently scooped up the baby and left the room with little Peter on his shoulder, patting him on the back to get him to burp, mentally reminding himself to tell Tony just how useful the videos were in the end.
“You’re a good boy, little one. Let’s let mom rest,” Steve cooed to his son, kissing his forehead tenderly and nestling the baby in his big arms. The captain walked with Peter into the living room and stopped by the floor length window were Tony had been only hours ago. He sighed audibly, glancing down at his son happily asleep. The captain wondered if he could be any happier and more fortunate than he was in this current lifetime.
“You have no idea just how scared we were when we found out about you,” Steve murmured to a sleeping Peter. “Finding out wasn’t easy. I think your mommy was more terrified than me for obvious reason. He was the one who dealt with the hardest part of having you today. But here we are. We did it, you’re here. I can’t promise that we’ll be perfect because no one’s perfect, but you’re here for a reason. It was meant to be; for you to be born to the best parents.” Steve knew the baby probably didn’t understand a single word he was saying but Steve was overcome with the sudden urge to explain all this to his son. “You’ll figure out all the work we do and you’ll realize your mother is very intelligent, handsome, and somewhat dramatic, but he loves you nonetheless. Just like me.”
“Thanks for all those compliments, babe.”
Steve whipped around at Tony’s sudden voice, finding the man in question standing rather close to them. He didn’t even hear him walk up. “Tony? You shouldn’t be up.”
“I didn’t feel the little weight of Peter on my chest and it woke me up,” Tony explained, limping closer to them and observing his son in his lover’s arms. “You can’t hoard him like that, let alone give him a great speech about me. It’s not fair. I have words for him, too…”
Tony placed his hands beneath Steve’s so they were both cradling their son. “You see, Peter, this man right here is the most polite, chivalrous, and sexy being you will ever find. He’s got a way about him that’s a bit…ancient but that’s how I like it. So much, that you’re here today.” Tony winked at Steve who had the audacity to blush. “As your father said, we may not be perfect, but we’ll try a thousand times to be. We love you, little boy. It won’t be so bad to have two men like us to raise and guide you to be the best man you can be. Just remember, I’ll be the one with the good vibes. And don’t you ever forget it.”
By the time Tony finished his little speech, he didn’t have a chance to react before Steve caught him in a searing kiss, expressing his gratitude and agreeance to his affirmation. That’s how they were; simply perfect.