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Influenza

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Steve and Bucky had gotten used to some things about this new time. The technology, the music, LGBT, movies, even some of the fashion but they hadn’t stopped to think about one thing.

“Peter has the flu.” Tony sighed as he sat down at the table on the common floor. Steve dropped his spatula.

“He has what?” Steve looked so anxious and he glanced over at Bucky who sat stone still, face pale at the table.

“The flu. They think it’s the A strain but it’s looking like both.” The supersoldiers both shared a look. Natasha and Clint filed into the common area.

“Goodmorning. Where’s Peter?” Natasha said, seating herself next to Clint. Peter usually stopped by on the weekends to work on his suit and he was always there for breakfast. Cap made some pretty awesome pancakes.

“Kid has the flu. He won’t make it this weekend.” Bucky stood and embraced Steve. He’d gotten close to Peter.

“What’s with you two? You look like someone’s dying.” Tony quipped as Bruce and Thor shuffled in.

“I smelled something burning… What’s up?” Bruce took in the scene. Bucky and Steve were close to tears in each other’s arms, there was smoke rising from a pan on the stove, Clint and Natasha looked as confused as he felt and Tony just looked tired.

“Capsicle and Snow Queen are being weird. FRIDAY, turn off the stove please, and air out the room.” Tony stood and threw away the blackened contents of the pan.

“On it Boss. You have an incoming call from Peter Parker. Would you like to answer it?” Tony waved his hand and a hologram of Peter’s face showed in the middle of the room.

“Hey Mister Stark.” The kid sounded hoarse and his nose was red.

“Hey, Underoos. How are you feeling?” Tony seemed to soften a little at the glassy eyed teen.

“A lot better actually. Who knew I could still get sick? I guess the super healing is just for physical wounds.” Peter smiled a bit. “Ned’s sick too. I think I’m going to stay with him until this blows over.” Peter blew his nose and made a face.

“If you need anything let me know. You can come stay here if you need to. I know May works late these next couple of weeks- Oh don’t give me that face, she sends me her schedule so I can look out for you.” Peter huffed.

“I mean, it would be really cool to stay at the tower but I don’t want to impose, Mister Stark.” Steve and Bucky had been watching the whole encounter from the dining area and Steve felt the need to speak up.

“Anything to make you more comfortable, Son. Just say the words and we’re there. You’re being very brave.” His voice broke on the last sentence.

“Thanks, Uncle Steve. Mister Stark, I think I would like to come to the tower.” Peter smiled and his mentor grinned back.

“Cool. I’ll send Happy. Make sure you wear one of those masks. Can’t have my forehead of security getting sick.” Peter huffed.

“Fine.” He smiled again, “Uncle Steve, tell Uncle Bucky I said hi and that I’ll be there. I want to take a look at his arm and see how it’s going after that last tune up.” Peter smiled as Steve agreed and then the teenager hung up.

“You’re taking this really well, Tony.” Steve said, looking at Tony like a kicked puppy.

“Taking what well? That the kid calls you and Terminator Uncle? Don’t sweat it. He just calls me Mister Stark around everyone else. I make him call me Tony in the lab.” Tony shrugged and left, calling over his shoulder that he was going to sick-proof the guest bedroom on his floor.

“Steve…” Bucky laced his fingers with the other man’s.

“I know Buck. I know.” Steve went back to making pancakes. He saved the rest of the batter for when Peter got there and added some chocolate chips. He didn’t usually approve of that much sugar in the morning but Peter was sick.

When Peter finally made it, he shuffled out of the elevator with a duffel bag of clothes and his backpack, a surgical mask covering the bottom half of his face. “Hey Uncle Steve, Uncle Buck.” The kid said, voice muffled behind the mask.

“Hey, ребенок” (Kid/Child) Bucky said, crossing the room to stand next to Steve.

“Hey, Pete.”

“So I think I’m going to put my stuff up and then I’ll take a look at that arm.” Peter’s eyes twinkled and his cheeks moved the mask as he smiled.

Later that week, after Steve and Bucky had given him pitying looks the whole time, Peter asked them about it.

“Hey Uncle Bucky?” Peter asked, adjusting his mask and closing the textbook he had been working from. The pair were sat on the couch, Peter on one end and Bucky on the other, and a movie was playing on the screen.

“What do you need? Water? More tissues? A blanket?” Bucky was quick to fuss over Peter, a helpless look on his face.

“What? No. I just wanted to know why you and Uncle Steve have been so sad?” Peter looked at him with doe eyes. Bucky couldn’t take it anymore.

“You’re dyin’, Peter!” The man shouted. “You’ve got the friggin’ flu! Hell, that’s as good as a death sentence!” Bucky threw his hands in the air. Peter looked thoroughly confused.

“Um… Uncle Bucky? I’m not dying. It’s just the flu. I’m actually almost better. My super healing must be kicking in.” Peter said. He laid a tentative hand on Bucky’s flesh arm.

“What?” It was Bucky’s turn to be confused.

“Oh shit that’s right!” Peter ignored Bucky’s quiet admonition of ‘language’ and pushed on. “You ‘died’ in the 40’s right?” Bucky nodded, still unsure of what was going on. “The flu was one of the leading causes of death back then. We learned about it in History. I completely forgot! Uncle Bucky, we’ve got medicine that cures the flu! It’s just a minor inconvenience. I mean sure, people still die from it if it goes untreated but that can be said of nearly every disease. I’ll be fine in a couple of days!” Peter lowered his mask. “I’m not even contagious anymore, they just want to be 100% sure before they let me go back to school. I’ve been wearing this stupid mask because it makes people uncomfortable when I don’t wear it.” Peter smiled. “I’m fine.” Bucky nearly collapsed from relief as Steve rounded the corner.

“Buck!” He rushed across the room and hurriedly covered Peter’s mouth with the mask, “Buck, are you okay? Do ya feel sick?” His Brooklyn accent was shining through and that only happened when he was really scared or upset.

“Punk, the kid’s okay. He’s okay! They’ve cured the damn flu!” Bucky shouted at Steve, grining. Steve stopped in his tracks and whirled to Peter.

“Is it true? You aren’t dying?” He looked hopeful.

“Yeah, I’m fine. I’m almost completely healthy.” Peter smiled, pulling the mask back down.

“Oh thank god.” Peter was engulfed in two sets of super strong arms as the men breathed sighs of relief into his curls.

“What the actual fuck is going on in here?” Tony asked incredulously as he stepped out of the elevator to find Peter in a group hug with Cap and Bucky.

“Mister Stark!” Peter yelled, voice muffled by the giant bicep in his face. He pushed the soldiers away. “The influenza outbreak in the 40’s! They thought I was dying!” Tony’s eyes widened a fraction before he began laughing.

“You really thought-“ Tony wheezed.

“Hey it isn’t a laughing matter. We had a friend growing up, Bobby Wilson, who died of the flu. We were really worried about the kid.” Steve proclaimed, arms crossed.

“Sorry cap it’s just too funny.” Tony wiped nonexistent tears from his face. “Anyway, Cho wants to check on the kid and make sure everything’s alright before he goes back to school tomorrow.” Tony held up a hand at Peter’s protest “I don’t care if tomorrow is Friday, you’re going.” He smirked. “At least you’re not dying.”