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Family is Everything

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“Good morning sir,” FRIDAY announced through the speakers in Tony’s room. “Morning Friday,” Tony replied, eyes still closed and unconsciously reached out to the other side of his bed. Of course there was no one there, another morning of waking up alone. He somehow always forgot that Steve Rogers wasn’t his husband anymore and it had been a year since the divorce was finalized. Three years since he last had sex. Three years since someone else pleasured him, he thought, finally opening his eyes and reaching into his bedside table drawer for his vibrator. He pulled down his pajama pants and started massaging himself and an inch away from inserting the vibrator when Friday spoke again.

“Sir, Peter and Morgan are approaching your room.”

Tony sighed, removing the vibrator and placing it in the drawer where it belonged. He then sat up and awaited his kids’ arrival. Peter came in first, still in his pajamas, tray of food in hand and his sister close behind. They were almost identical. Peter’s hair was just a bit lighter and Morgan had Steve’s eyes but everything else from the way they smiled to the bridge of their nose was all the same. Harley, on the other hand, his first born son, was all Steve with his hair so light he almost looked blonde.

They did this most mornings. Tony wasn’t the best cook. He wasn’t any type of cook really. Even when Steve was still living with them, Tony left all the cooking to Steve. He was happy though, that his kids inherited this trait and could fend for themselves.

Peter sat on his bed first as Tony got into a sitting position. Peter placed the tray of food on the bed side table and hugged his mother before he ruffled his light brown hair. “Good morning, mom.”

Tony embraced him back and placed a small kiss to his forehead. He would never admit it put he had favorites when it came to his kids. They pulled apart and Morgan was there to hug him next.”'Morning mom,” she began. He was just missing one kid; Harley, who was following in his footsteps, off at MIT and studying engineering.

“So we got scrambled eggs, bacon and waffles,” Morgan continued. “Peter & I are about to head off to school. Are you going in to work, today?”

Tony thought for a second, “Yeah. I promised your Aunt Pepper I’d be there to present a new project with her.” Pepper Potts, was co-CEO of Stark Industries. She had been one of Tony’s two best friends since before his MIT days. He had asked her to help him run his company about 5 years ago when he was going through another hard time in his relationship with Steve. She agreed, of course and made S.I. ten times more efficient that it had ever been before. Tony thinks Howard would be happy to know his company isn’t crashing and burning to the ground, if he was alive today.

“That’s awesome,” Peter added, getting up to leave. “And don’t forget we’re staying at Dad’s this weekend.” That’s right. It was Steve’s weekend with the kids. Since the divorce, every second and fourth weekend of the month was appointed for the kids’ time with Steve and he was able to see them any other time that was convenient to everyone. Tony wanted the divorce to be as mess-free as possible and so he never went to court for any custody hearings regarding the kids and Steve didn’t fight it either.

“We love you mom,” Morgan chimed in, rising off Tony’s bed as well.

He let out a small smile. “Love you both,” he kissed his fingertips and extended his hand towards Peter and Morgan.

-

At school, Morgan met up with her friends, Torunn and Amelia. Torunn was the crowned princess and heir of Asgard. She was as beautiful as her mother and as blonde as her father. Thor, against Sif’s wishes, allowed her to attend school in New York so she could experience all the things and long-lasting friendships he forged. He believed it was essentially for the future Queen’s betterment. Tony welcomed her with open arms as she stayed at the Stark Mansion with the Stark-Rogers family.

Amelia was Pepper’s daughter. Morgan was as close to her as Pepper was and still is to Tony, best friends since birth. She and her brother Calvin were family, like the cousins the Stark-Roger kids never had. Amelia was almost the spitting image of her mother with even brighter red hair and her mother’s calm and collected personality.

The three girls chattered by the lockers in the hall as Nathan, Bruce Banner’s son and Morgan’s boyfriend for the past 6 months, approached them. “Hey” Nathan greeted them, adjusting his glasses before wrapping his arms around Morgan and planting a brief kiss on her cheek.

Amelia cooed at the couple, “You guys are so cute. Makes me miss Jacob,” she stated, before Torunn smiled at her and rubbed her arm soothingly. The long distance of the relationship was always the hardest part.

“He’s coming down with Harley for my mom’s Christmas party though, right?” Morgan questioned.

“Yeah but that’s two months away.” Amelia half-whined but she looked forward to it anyway. The group soon made their way to their respective classes.

-

Tony adjusted his suit jacket as he and Pepper walked out of their 3 hour meeting. They had successfully launched their new project idea and if things went smoothly, it would be effective within 6 months. He greeted his workers as he and Pepper made it to his office. He smiled thinking of what Stark Industries had become. It was better and he was happy to know that his and Pepper’s kids would up hold the new reputation of the company long after they were gone. Well, Morgan more than the others. Peter, Harley, Amelia and Calvin weren’t that interesting in running the company. Not as much as Morgan wanted to.

“Thanks Pep,” Tony began pouring them both a drink when they reached his office. The room was all glass and Tony stood at one of his windows admiring the view of New York City, below.

“What for?” Pepper asked, taking the glass from Tony and having a sip after sitting in one of the chairs facing his desk.

“This. That. Everything. You and Rhodey.” Pepper and Rhodey had been there for him since before he met Steve, before they fell in love, before they started a family & eventually fell apart. They were the only two people that kept Tony grounded and pulled him through all the messes in his life whether he created them or not and Tony was forever grateful. He sat across from Pepper, before she spoke again.

“You know we’ll always be here for you Tony. Always. You deserve happiness,” she punctuated her last sentence by resting a hand on Tony’s. Tony seemed conflicted with himself and Pepper noticed. “How are you Tony?”

Tony placed one leg over the other and leaned back in his seat, arms folded behind his head. “Never better.”

“Tony, when is the last time you went out?”

“Last week.” He answered way too quickly. “I took the kids to go see my mom. We all helped her out with her garden and -” Tony rambled on until, she interrupted.

“I mean. Like, out-out. With a guy. Like a date?”

“Oh,” and Tony realized he really hadn’t been on a date since Steve and that was years ago. “I’m too busy to date right now. We have this new project now. And the kids. I have 3 kids to take care of, Pep. And I happen to be a single parent and -”

“Tony. You’re rambling again.” Pepper stopped him. “We’re doing this project together like every other project. Your kids are 16, 17 and 19. Your baby-days are long gone and you have Steve and me and everyone else. We’re always here to help.”

“I just don’t think I know how to date anymore.” Tony confessed.

“That’s fine.” She paused for only a second. “You remember Christine from Leah’s baby shower?” Pepper inquired. Tony nods wondering where all this is going. “She has a friend, a Dr. Stephen Strange who happens to be single.”

He finally caught on. “Pep. I don’t do doctors.”

“You don’t have to do anyone. Just go on one date with him. From what Christine’s told me, I think you guys would make a good match.”

And Tony actually gave it some thought before agreeing. One date wouldn’t hurt.

-

“Winter, please stop running” Bucky pleaded at his daughter as he ran after her.

The caramel–colored-skin girl grinned, her dark curly hair in two little puffs as her father caught up with her, “How about you go play in your room with your dolls, while papa and daddy talk with Uncle Steve, okay?” as he brushed a little fuzz of her hair out of her face.

“Okay papa,” and the 8-year old ran off, being caught briefly by her dad before making it to her room. “Bye Uncle Steve.”

“Bye Winter,” Steve responded while sitting at the kitchen island. “Gosh. She’s gotten so big.”

“Yeah. I wish she could stay little forever.” Sam responded.

Bucky was making lunch and Sam briefly hugged him from behind. Steve smiled at his best friends and thought about how far they had come. They despised each other in the beginning until that hatred turned into sexual tension. The eventual sex gave them Winter and their beautiful little girl made their marriage of 4 years an obvious choice.

“So what’s on your mind?” Bucky finally spoke, cutting the sandwiches he was making into 4s and Sam got drinking glasses from the cupboard above their kitchen sink.

“Tony.” Sam answered for him. “Probably Tony.” He paused. “Always Tony.” And Bucky couldn’t help but let out a little laugh at Sam teasing Steve.

“You guys are so mean to me. Why am I even friends with you two?” Steve finally got to speak for himself.

“Cause we’re family. And we don’t get to choose our family.” Bucky added, passing a plate to Steve and setting one on either side of him for himself and Sam.

“So you’re stuck with us,” Sam explained and Steve couldn’t agree more.

“It’s about Sharon,” Steve insisted. That was a first. Bucky listened intently from there on after when he sat down and Sam rolled his eyes. “She’s just gotten so clingy lately.”

“Lately?” Sam asked, sarcastically. Steve turned his attention to him “Steve, you knew what she was like before you started this thing. Buck and I told you.”

“She was never like this.” Steve glanced at Bucky and then Sam before carrying on again. “I told her it was just gonna be sex but I think she wants it to be more than that.”

“I really don’t understand why you were sleeping with her in the first place.” Sam took a bite into his sandwich. “And, I don’t know if you forgot Steve but you’re gay. Super gay.” He said the last two words slowly, like he was speaking to a child.

Steve turned to Bucky to hear what he had to say but he got the same thing from him. “Super gay,” he put in.

Steve didn’t know why he even bothered. They were like the same person now after years of being together. That use to be him and Tony. “I know.” He acknowledged. “I just couldn’t bring myself to sleep with another man that wasn’t Tony.” It was a good notion but it still didn’t change the fact that he was sleeping with someone that wasn’t Tony, even if it wasn’t a man.

“We get that Steve but you really shouldn’t be using her like that.” Bucky was right. He always was. Sharon didn’t deserve that. She was clearly into him for more than just the sex and he didn’t want what she did.

“You need to drop her like a bad habit,” Were Sam’s finally thoughts on the matter before they started talking about their kids again and Bucky revealed that he and Sam were trying for another baby. Winter was a miracle after years of trying and failing to conceive so they were hoping to get lucky again.

-

Peter swung by on a building before landing on the roof another. He was on three-way call with Ned and Michelle. He was out patrolling. The city had been safe for the past few months thanks to him, or rather, Spiderman. He sat on the ledge of the building watching the busy streets of New York. “Homecoming dance is next week. Who are you taking?” Ned spoke up.

“I don’t know. Not many gay guys at school,” Peter reminded him. It made him think sometimes that he’d be single forever because everyone else was dating, even his sister and brother.

“I think they’re just all still in the closet,” Michelle piped in. That made Peter laugh.

“Will you go with me Mj? As friends of course.” Peter asked. He didn’t mind going with one of his best friends. He liked guys. Everyone knew that and his mom and dad knew that long before he realized it. So he never really came out, like everyone else. It was just an unspoken thing. There weren’t really any guys at his school that he liked anyways.

“Sure,” Michelle stated, nonchalantly. She didn’t see Peter as anything else but a friend. She had eyes for someone else but she was too afraid of rejection to pursue it.

“So Pete, catch any bad guys tonight,” Ned wondered aloud.

“No. It’s really quiet tonight –” Peter began before his spider senses went off and he felt a presence behind him. He turned around and came face to face or rather; face to crouch - with some guy in a red and black suit. “Well, hello to you too but my eyes are up here” the guy sang, looking down at Peter.

Peter stood up quickly. He noticed he had katana swords holstered behind him in the formation of an X. He was definitely taller and more buff than Peter and he had to admit his suit fit him really well.

Ned and Michelle heard it though and started asking about whose voice they had heard. Peter ignored them.

“I’m deadpool.” The guy continued and since Peter couldn’t see his face he had to guess that he was probably grinning under his mask.

“Spiderman.” He was terribly close to him and he could somehow feel this guy’s eyes staring into his through their masks.

“So you’re some kind of superhero?” the guy, Deadpool inquired, circling Peter at this point like a shark.

Peter hesitated for a second. “I am. What about you? I’ve never seen you around here before.” Deadpool stopped circling him and stood behind him. He was closer than he was before and Peter didn’t think that was possible. This guy really didn’t know personal space and Peter couldn’t bring himself to take a step or two back.

“New in town. And no, not a hero. Just a killer,” he whispered and Peter finally took those much needed steps away from this guy, facing him now.

“Relax. I’m not going to hurt you,” Deadpool explained. “I like you. See you around, Spidey.” And he hopped off the building, landing somewhere below. Peter rushed to see where he had landed but he was nowhere in sight.

“Peter, what was that?” Ned finally spoke up after listening in on the conversation.

“The better question is, ‘who was that?’ because it sounds like he’s totally into you.” Michelle remarked.

“Guys, I think I’m going to head home now before my dad realizes I’m not in my room and calls my mom.” Peter responded, swinging off to his father’s house. Ned and Michelle said their goodbyes and Peter hang up. On his way home he spoke to Karen. She was now built into his suit all thanks to himself and he asked her to get all the information there was on Deadpool.