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Big Boys Don't Cry

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“This… story started with me...”

 

He sucked his breath in, getting ready to hit another one of the horrid looking aliens right in the face. He clenched his teeth and swung his hand right to the forehead of the monster, ready for the harsh impact. Yet his hand jerked back as something loud reached his ears, it seemed to push back the alien as well. 

Peter closed his eyes as the ringing stopped, shaking his head as he prepared himself to take a hit. He knew his guard was down for too long already, the monster could have another chance to knock him back into the pile with others. He felt the presence of the alien near him, and he braced his muscles ready for the impact…

 

The hand crumbled in his touch.

He gasped and whirled around, noticing the creature was dusting away into nothing. He looked around to see many of his other teammates, looking just as shocked as he did. A smile came onto his face, they won…

 

They won!

 

“It slowly grew, into a group…” 

 

He let out a cheer in the immense war zone, making Shuri who was right next to him yell out the same. They both smiles and high fived each other, yet once they made contact it was as if Peter’s senses went wild. He huffed and looked around him, there wasn’t any danger he could spot…

 

“Into a family, I could call my own…” 

 

He felt something slice through his chest, and he raised his metal hand to touch where his heart was, yet there was no blood…

 

“But… not all families stay together forever…”

 

Something is wrong… very wrong.

 

He gulped and looked around frantically at the others, making mental notes of who was around him.

“Spider… kid… are you ok?” Shuri asked, making a worried gesture at him. The teen promptly ignored her and started running through the debris, taking his breath in as he leaped through the air. His lenses blinked as they spotted many of the hero survivers, others hugging each other and some taking a rest. He spotted Tony, who looked just as tired as everyone, yet…

 

“I became alone… was it my fault? I can’t tell.”

 

Wasn’t that the glove Thanos?...

 

Oh no…

“Mr. Stark!?” He yelled out, quickly taking off his mask as he stumbled onto the ground. He crawled slightly on the floor, picking himself up to kneel where the man was. His body suddenly became very heavy.

 

“What I do know is that one person formed a new family for me again…”

 

The elder had his whole right side cracked, dark and dead. His eyes looked bloodshot as he kneeled and settled himself against the debris, looking very lost.

“Mr. Stark- It’s Peter… Hey… We won… Mr. Stark.”

 

“He did so much for me… So much he sadly didn’t notice…

It was just his nature to act so… so pure.”

 

He hated how his senses started buzzing frantically in his chest, it was something he never felt before, and it hurt. His voice came out shaky and worried, cracked all together. He gulped and sent a soft smile to the man again, who seemed as if he didn’t know who was talking. 

“We won Mr. Stark.” 

 

“He stuck with me no matter what. And now… I don’t feel shame for calling him, my son. I never did.”

 

He took a deep breath in, trying to calm himself as he pursed his lips softly, forcing himself to keep showing the smile.

“We won sir- we did it, sir.” 

 

His voice cracked even more as he saw his head tipped to the side slightly. Peter took his hand and settled it on his bicep, giving it a soft shake so that he can make eye contact.

The man looked tired and worn out, and the teen could tell he was struggling just to breathe and blink. He took another heavy gulp, forcing his body to edge closer to him.

 

“This story…”

 

“I-I’m sorry…”

 

“This story isn’t just about me anymore…”

 

His eyes widened slightly and he felt tears starting to burn at the edges. He took a shaky breath in, “Don’t… Tony ..”

 

Don’t go...

He couldn’t force himself to say it. He started feeling so selfish at that plead. The man looked tired, he looked worn out and was almost dead. And he was begging for him to stay?

 

“Dad?…”

 

“I honestly hate acting so emotional- but how else am I supposed to say this…”

 

He took and shaky breath in and looked down, tears started spilling as his heart started pounding in his ears. His arms grew heavy as he just wanted to have one more hug, a serious one, just one more time…

Peter visibly shook once he felt a hand on his shoulder, tugging him back up again. His throat started closing in, no don’t take him, please 

He let out some more tears as he felt his body started to get pulled up. He sucked in his pleads and forced his body to cooperate, to back away from the man’s body, letting whoever was helping him up to give him a tight squeeze on the shoulder. He raised his hand to his mouth, as his lips started parting from the tightness in his mouth. Peter wanted to let out some sort of pained noise but… He just couldn’t. He had to stay strong, he had to…

 

His chest started closing in on him, and he felt as if he could no longer breath. Through his blurry eyes, he saw Pepper starting to wipe sweat from his brow, one of her metal hands pressing against her stomach, looking in pain. She repeatedly started telling him it was ok, he can go… He can finally rest…

He wanted to scream at her, wanting her to stop saying those things to him. Yet he couldn’t.

 

The man honestly looked so… dead and pale… and so so tired . He couldn’t have the heart to beg for him to stay longer. He didn’t feel as if it was right. His eyes closed in pain as he forced himself to stop seeing his weary eyes, and his ears blurred everything else around him…

 

The only thing he caught was the small click of his arc reactor.

 

That did it.

 

He fell to his knees as started letting out silent cries, so quiet he knew only people near him could hear. He heaved in heavy and quiet breaths as tears slipped past him. His eyelids slid open, facing the ground as he postured himself kneeling. His mouth was opening and closing, letting his body gain the oxygen he needs. He knew he looked childish, but he couldn’t care any less. He left another metallic hand on him, and he forced himself to finally look up. He saw Tony’s best friend looking at him sadly, whispering something so soft, only his ears could reach.

 

“This story is about… how a kid, literally saved my life. Thanks to him I didn’t waste it.”

 

“Tony will be ok…”

 

He shook his head tiredly as he let out a silent whimper, gulping down his cries. But what about me?! He wanted to yell at him. His hands formed into fists as he felt Rhodes' arms wrap around him tightly…

They stayed there in silence as Peter and Pepper both wept, War Machine staying strong for both of them. Others started to surround the scene, some started crying, others walked away to have their own moment of grief.

He felt the armored man moved himself to Pepper, comforting her. Peter stayed there kneeling in both utter depression and shock as his mind kept repeating his head face in his head. He hugged himself as he finally fully broke down, head crashing against the hard dirt and rock.

 

He sniffed as another tremor shook his body, heart starting to slow down due to him being so still. Another pang of his senses went through him, making him wince in pain. He fluttered his eyes open as dirt stuck to his eyelashes...

 

Click...Click…

 

He sniffed again before raising his head up sluggishly. His hand wiped his dripping nose, look lost at everyone. He pursed his lips as his arms fell against his side, starting to feel a bitter cold rise in his heart. His senses panged again, making him blink harshly, dirt falling in his eyes.

 

“Though- I didn’t really express feelings back, which I regret. I did! But... I wish I could have done more...”

 

Click… …. Click…

 

He made a soft groaning noise as his senses panged harder. He bit his lip and finally looked at Tony, the one who made him Spider-man. The one who trained him- the one who he looked up to. The one who literally saved him all those years ago.

 

 His Idol… His mentor… His fathe-

 

Click, Click .

 

His narrowed his eyes as he saw the sluggish blob of Tony. He made an effort of wiping his eyes for once, looking and Tony’s burnt and pale body. His senses rang in his chest again, causing him to not look away from the elder.

 

Click…

 

He blinked. He made a quiet questioning noise that escaped his mouth. His heavy eyes saw a...light?

 

Click…

 

“So… I kept his promise instead.” 

 

He blinked again, it was gone? This time he forced himself to stare right at Tony, no matter how painful it was. He ignored Pepper’s cries and others quiet and somber whispers. He focused… He-

 

Click!

His arc reactor was on. The light was so faint you could barely tell it was on. But…

His eyes widened, his ears… He... h-he-

 

Click…

 

“Mrs. Potts?...

 

“His promise?... To stay with him, to be there for him when he truly asks for it.”

 

Mrs. Potts! Mrs. Potts! T-Tony- H-he…”

 

Click… 

 

“It was a hard promise, not good with- er, feelings… but…promises I can do, so I kept it.”

A hum of an arc reactor filled the chilling void.

 

“And I still haven’t broken it…”

 

◤━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━◥

1999 DEC. 31st

 

Stark smiled as guests continued to crowd around him. People mentioned his speech, congratulating him about how great it was. But if the man was being honest with himself, he didn’t remember anything of what he said. He guided the lady Hansen through the crowd as they talked, the woman obviously was trying to avoid topics about being in a room, but Tony kept persisting nonchalantly. 

"Mr. Stark!"

The man turned around, tipping his party hat upright like a man with glasses appeared in front of him. He nodded briefly before he raised his hand towards him. Tony shook it briefly before he nodded towards him, repeating the action. 

 

“My name is Ho Yinsen-”

Tony looked at him in surprise before a smile broke, chuckling, “Finally- I could say I met a man named Ho.” He said in a jovial matter, yet the man with glasses didn’t seem to be amused.

Yinsen was about to direct the billionaire to the doctor he wanted to introduce to him, yet a scream broke both of their gazes off of each other. 

A man wearing a green cloak with long black hair ran through the crowd, pushing past people. He shoved against Stark, who nearly dropped to the ground at the momentum. The man only had a second to see what he was carrying, some sort of aqua colored glowing cube, a power source?

 

He didn’t get an answer, as the man looked back and made eye contact with him before he muttered something, yet it wasn’t comprehensible due to the mouth lock he was wearing. The man held the cube with his two hands together before he warped again, letting the crowd stare in wonder.

 

Tony immediately sensed the tension in the air, and he hated it. He clasped his hands together loudly, letting everyone look at him, “My personal bodyguard will look onto it! But it’s almost New Year everyone, please, no need to worry about it!” He said in a proud voice, which seemed to put everyone at ease. He smiled, brushing off the strange man out of his mind, not really caring.

 

Happy directed him away from the others, whispering close, “You want me to deal with this how?” He asked suspiciously. Tony stared before he waved his hand, “If anything it isn’t our problem. He didn’t hurt anyone- nor did he take anything, he just disrupted the event. And I say!-”

He clapped his hands once more, “Everyone gets a drink! On me!” He smiled, feeling waves of the public suddenly become lighter. Happy only rolled his eyes.

 

The three steered away from Yinsen, both of the men completely forgetting the conversation they were having, leaving the heart doctor alone.

Hansen was about to start talking about her findings once more, yet one person interrupted them. 

It was a woman, short bright red-haired. She had bangs and light brown eyes, which showed a lot of emotion. 

 

The woman started fretting apologetically, ranting about how she didn’t see where she was very sorry for accidentally spilling her drink on him

He looked down, not realizing the liquid dripping down on his suit. He flashed a proud smile, “It’s alright! Just repay me by- y’know-” he wiggled his eyebrows.

 

“Tony.” A stern voice drew his attention away. He looked up at Happy, who was giving him a stare. He chuckled, before lowering his voice, “What do you do?” He asked her.

 

The female blinked before responding, “I do data analysis- I help with any scientific procedures that need- recalculating or reforming. As well as-”

 

“Tony come on let’s go,” Hansen said, drawing his attention away briefly. He smiled at her and quickly whipped out his card, handing it to the female, “Work for me- I’ll give you the best job you can get-”

 

Happy saw what was happening and quickly steered him towards the elevators. The redhead only stared before smiling softly, walking away. Tony blinked, realizing her hair slightly formed into a darker brown-red now that he took a closer look, he was still high, wasn’t he?

 

“Ah ah! Mr. Stark!” 

 

The billionaire turned around, seeing a blond man with a cane holding two cards, with a shirt with the letters A.I.M. on it. He rolled his eyes, shuffling into the elevator and tuning his voice off.           

Damn it… He didn’t catch the woman’s name…

 

Oh well, he’ll probably get it once he drags her to the bed... 

◤━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━◥

2016 Sept 21st

 

Loki warped away from the scene, finally settling inside an unknown apartment home. He rested his head against a cabinet, hearing someone shuffle inside a bathroom. He breathed deeply, memories flooding into what happened before he warped away. He was settling on what to do with the tesseract, considering he already changed something in this timeline… or earth.

 

He lifted his hand and squeezed the metal grit, feeling the metal somewhat twist before he started pulling against his mouth. Yet before could rip it off, he heard shuffling at the door. The god quickly shuffled into the corner of the room, pressing his back against the wall as he saw a teenage boy come in, looking somewhat angry. 

The boy sighed and walked off to the hallway, “May I’m home! Is dinner ready!?” He shouted out, tossing something with a thump. 

 

Loki took this as his chance and quickly pulled against the metal casing, which he successfully pulled off. He sighed in relief and tossed it against the cabinet, not carrying if the items crashed onto the floor.

 

The god stared at the tesseract, realizing he had finally obtained the power source once more. A small smile formed on his lips, maybe this whole world-time warping wouldn’t be too bad, maybe… enjoyable?

 

“What the fuck ?!” 

Loki turned around to see a woman with long chestnut hair gaping at him, some sort of confusion and anger flashing in her eyes. He smiled softly, bowing slightly, “Sorry for the- disturbance.” He nonchalantly said to her, before raising the cube once more warping away.

Yet unknown to them, Loki just saved Peter from a grave mistake. As May was dealing with trying to figure out if she saw the troublesome god  in her apartment (As well as cleaning the mess he created), the teen quickly jumped out the window, swinging away with the suit Stark gave back to him