“Peter remember, Papa’s taking you home from school today!” Tony shouted up the stairs. He was spreading peanut butter on bread and putting it into the lunch sack. His twelve year old ran down the stairs, one shoe on. Tony was just about to yell at him to not fall down the stairs again, but he caught his fall.
“Ooh, are you going on a date with Pepper tonight?” Peter asked in a sing-songy voice. He began to pack his bookbag.
“Peter it’s a Friday, you always go to Papa’s house on Fridays. And if you’re asking, yes I do have a date with Pepper tonight.” Peter made kissy sounds as his dad groaned. Why are kids like this, he thought.
“Tell her that I said hi. And that I think her hair is pretty.” He sat at the island counter, right in front of his Dad.
“Peter I need to talk to you.”
“Papa’s going to have someone with him today when he picks you up,” Tony said. His voice was sad. Peter didn’t know why.
“His name is James, he’s your Papa’s friend. He’s not dangerous, but he can be a little scary.”
“Is he Papa’s friend like Pepper is your friend.” Tony nodded. Peter started eating his cereal.
“That’s fine.” Peter didn’t really care about it. He was going to Papa’s house and Papa has a Wii and PlayStation. He didn’t really care if there was another guy in the car. “As long as they don’t kiss! Ew!” Peter made vomiting sounds that made his dad laugh.
It was times like this that Tony was glad that they moved out of the Tower before they adopted him. Tony and Steve wanted their kid to be raised like a normal kid and not in a tower with all the other avengers. They bought a regular house, but they weren’t a regular family. Well, they split up a few years ago, so they got even less normal then. Peter didn’t really understand at the time. His Dad just told him that Dad and Papa were going to live in different houses. He wasn’t really fazed until a year earlier when he was eleven. He was staying at his Dad’s house when Tony called him down to meet someone. There was a redhead lady that he had met before. He didn’t’ remember where though. After a little bit, he realized that she was the nice lady that Dad was dancing with at the Christmas party. That was after his Papa had moved out.
Tony said that her name was Pepper and she and Dad were spending a lot of time together. He had to ask if she was his girlfriend. She blushed and said yes. Peter hugged her for a little too long.
“Did you remember to do all your homework?” Tony asked, finishing the lunches. Peter nodded. He got his school ID off the table and clipped it to his pants. STARK-ROGERS, PETER P, the ID read. Next to it was an awkward picture of him that was taken so quickly he barely smiled. Tony opened a sharpie with his teeth and wrote names on the bags. He handed Peter his. The kid looked inside.
“Dad, when will you stop putting notes in my lunch?” He whined. Tony just laughed and put his hands on his boy’s shoulders.
“As long as you are my son, you will have little notes in your lunch.” He kissed Peter’s cheek lovingly and put his own shoes on, ready to leave the house. “Put your shoes on, we’re leaving in five minutes.” Peter jumped off of the stool, straightened his glasses, and slipped his shoes on. He grabbed his book bag and lunch sack.
“I’m ready!” Peter said. Tony nodded, rubbed his curly hair and grabbed the keys to the car. He got in the driver’s seat and Peter in the passengers. It was 7:30 and they were leaving for school.
“So what’s on the agenda today?” Peter asked.
“Well, I’m working with uncle Bruce in the prosthetics department and then teaching a class at Columbia. It’s a new thing I’m doing. It’s about engineering and philanthropy and stuff.
“Sounds super cool to me. I wish I could do science with you and uncle Bruce instead of going to school.”
“Hey kid, now school is important. I went to high school and got a college degree. I may have taken it for granted back then, but I’m very thankful that I could go to college at MIT. And you need to go to college too.” Peter rolled his eyes. For being twelve years old, he sure got a lot of ‘get an education’ speeches from his dad.
“I know Dad, I’ll go to college as long as you aren’t my professor.” Tony laughed. A couple of moments later they arrived at Peter’s middle school.
“I’ll see you on Sunday. Love you.” Peter smiled and left the car. He slung his backpack around his shoulder and waved goodbye. Tony took off. He drove to the Avengers compound. Once he arrived he went straight to one of his and Bruce’s labs. They were working on their prosthetics project. They were ready to roll out some simple stuff, fingers, and toes, but not entire limbs yet. He took his jacket off and opened the door.
James Barnes was sitting on a chair with his left arm outstretched. Bruce was poking at it and learning about how it worked.
“Morning Tony,” Bruce said, the first to greet him. Tony replied with the same.
“I told Peter that someone would be with his Pops when he picks him up,” Tony said, flicking Barnes. “He’s not worried. He met Pepper a whole year ago. I bet if it weren’t for him to be so nervous he would start calling her Mom.”
“I don’t want to scare him, Tony.” Bucky was very worried, the kid has never seen anyone with a metal arm before.
“You won’t scare him, and I’m sure Steve’s told you about how great he is. Smart kid, really smart kid.” Steve nodded. They both had his report cards on their fridges. Tony pulled up a chair and a hologram and continued working on the bionic arm project.
Peter was officially bored. He was sitting in his history class, barely listening. They were talking about World War Two, which he knew all about from his weekends at Papa’s house. The teacher began to speak.
“Does anyone know what the name of the scientist who invented the super-soldier serum’s name was?” Peter rolled his eyes and raised his hand. Another girl also raised her hand. The teacher called her name.
“Howard Stark?” Peter’s grandfather. He obviously never met him, but even he knew that Howard didn’t invent the serum.
“Not quite, would you like to help her out Peter?”
“Doctor Abraham Erskine,” he said in a monotone voice. The teacher smiled.
“That’s right, I wonder how you got that one, Peter. Doctor Erskine invented the serum…” As everyone’s heads turned, Peter covered his nametag. Not everyone in his school knew who his second dad was. Not that he was embarrassed, but he didn’t need everyone to know. He spent the rest of the class in Peter-land, not giving a care in the world. The bell rang and he left class, keeping his head down.
“Hey, Peter!” His friend Ned ambushed him. They did their handshake. “How was history, I was already there. I can feel your embarrassment.”
“Oh, it sucked. I just hope that no one sees him pick me up today. Dad can’t take me to Pop’s house, so he’s picking me up himself.”
“Awesome! I mean, not awesome if everyone sees.” Peter shrugged.
“You want to hang out sometime this weekend? We could watch Star Wars at my Pop’s house! He has all the DVDs.”
“That sounds cool, I’ll tell my mom,” Ned said. They walked to their next class. Science, Peter’s favorite. They sat in their regular seats, right next to each other.
“Hello, class. I have some great news about this year’s field trip! The results are in and this year our seventh-grade science classes will be going to New York Science Center! We will be seeing many of the projects that the scientists are working on. If you would just get a parent or guardian to sign this permission slip, we will be going in one week”
“Awesome! I can’t wait. That’s what I voted for!” Peter said. The same phrase is heard around the classroom. The teacher passed around the permission slips. Peter immediately put it in his backpack. He made a mental note to look up the projects in the labs when he got home. “This field trip is going to be so much better than our fifth-grade class trip to the zoo,” Peter said to his friend. Ned agreed.
“That really sucked. Especially the part where we got lost and they had to send out the zoo police and they called your dad. That sucked,” Ned said in the most monotone voice possible. Peter rolled his eyes, but on the inside, he remembered that terrible field trip.
The rest of the day was ordinary. Listen to the teacher, get homework, do homework, and be bored. He was almost relieved when the bell rang at 2:45. He grabbed his bag and ran out to the car pick up line. There were his Pop and a guy with long hair in the front seat. He opened the door to the back seat and climbed in.
“Hey Pete, your dad told you that Bucky was going to be with us?” Peter nodded. He looked forward to the man in the front seat.
“Hi, I’m Peter.”
“I know who you are. I’m James, but you can call me Bucky,” he said. “Your Pops tells me a lot about you, how smart you are, and how much you like science. Just like your dad, and your grandfather.”
“You knew Grandpa Howard?” Peter was shocked. He only heard about his Grandpa from his parents. He could see Bucky frowning.
“Yeah, I knew your Grandpa. He was a pretty cool guy. Was just like your Dad,” Steve put his hand over Bucky’s hand comfortingly. He mouthed something that Peter didn’t see. Peter looked out the window, watching the passing trees. They went further into suburban New York, towards Steve’s house.
“Hey, I have this permission slip for our class field trip. I need you to sign it.”
“Where are you going?”
“New York Science Laboratories. Pretty cool right?” Peter said. His Dad rolled his eyes.
“You know that your Dad works in a lab every day right? Your other Dad, and well this one. But mainly that one,” Bucky said awkwardly.
“I know, but the New York Labs are like, huge, and I’ve never been there. Where I go to the Avengers HQ all the time.
“Good point,” Steve said. Just a couple seconds later they pulled into the driveway. Peter grabbed his backpack and kicked over the cinderblock, grabbing the key and unlocking the door. Peter ran to throw his backpack on his bed.
“Hi, Alpine!” Peter said to the cat who had situated herself on Peter’s bed. He picked her up, carrying her back to the kitchen. He put her on the kitchen counter. She stretched her body out and crawled into Bucky’s arms. “How long has she been living here?”
“While I was at the Tower she stayed with me. But now that I’m here, she came with.” He pets her, the cat wiggling around in his arms. Peter slid his Dad the permission slip. He signed it S. Rogers.
“Hey Pete, you gonna join the academic decathlon team? You’re old enough now,” Steve said.
“I don’t know, it’s a lot.”
“You’re like, super smart. I see your report card every morning when I get milk. You are amazing. You join that academic whatever and win,” Bucky said.
“Thank you, Mr. Bucky.” Peter reached for an apple on the table, but his vision got all fuzzy. He took his glasses off and cleaned them. He didn’t realize that he was blinking profusely.
“You okay bud?” His Dad asked.
“Yeah. Why wouldn’t I be fine?” His voice faded out and his eyes rolled to the back of his head. His body went limp and flopped to the ground. Steve ran to his side and propped his head up.
“Bucky, go to the medicine cabinet and grab his pouch, it has his name on it,” Steve yelled. Steve put his hand on Peter’s shoulder to stop him from convulsing. Bucky came back with the pouch “Shit, give me his medicine.” Bucky handed him a vial and syringe. Steve rubbed Peter’s cheek while filling it up. He put the medicine in through his stomach.
“Is he okay?”
“Yeah, just help me get him in bed. He has epilepsy Sometimes he has seizures. We have to give him some medicine to stop the nerve pain and sedate him, but he’ll be out for a while.” Steve put the covers over his son’s limp body. He put his hand on Peter’s cheek. “We need to call Tony.” Bucky nodded, grabbed Steve’s phone, and dialed the number.
“Yeah everything is fine, but Peter had a seizure.”
“What! Did you give him the medicine? Is he breathing? Do I need to call an ambulance-”
“He’s fine. I gave him the medicine and he’s in bed. He’s fine. I just wanted to let you know, have fun with Pepper!” He hung up. He was still sitting by Peter. He sighed and ran his hand through the kid’s little curls. Steve didn’t notice Bucky standing in the doorway.
“I’m sorry Steve, I didn’t know that he had problems.”
“That’s the worst part. Everything else has fewer surprises. His ADHD just makes him distracted and full of energy all the time. Epilepsy is more unpredictable. But he’s fine other than that, he just has some seizures, not too severe. He’s only been in the hospital a couple of times.” Steve sighed and got into the bed next to him. Peter had a queen bed, and his Dad and now his Dad’s boyfriend were laying in it with him.
“I know how much you love him. He’s your kid.” Bucky kissed Steve’s cheek. “If you don’t mind me asking… What was it like when you adopted him?”
“Well we were looking for a while, and nothing was happening. Even with all of the connections we have, but then the plane crashed. Almost everyone died, because of the mysterious circumstances of the crash, it was in the hands of SHIELD. We got a call in the middle of the night. Two of the people who died had a two-month-old baby. We came right into the triskelion and saw this tiny baby, an orphan. We obviously fell in love with me, or else we wouldn’t be here.” Steve put his hand in Peter’s hair again.
“Didn’t he have a family?”
“Yeah, but not much. The only person who wasn’t on that plane was an aunt. But she was deemed ‘unfit to raise’. She lived in a tenement in Queens. The courts wouldn’t give him to her. She signed the papers for the adoption. She hasn’t reached out to us.”
“He’s got a family, but I have to ask. Was it the other guy that shot down the plane?”
“We don’t think so, SHIELD closed the case. It was HYDRA, but no, it wasn’t him.” Bucky sighed in relief. He was already filled with guilt about Howard and Maria, and he couldn’t take making another person an orphan. They got out of the bed to give Peter some space.
“Dad?” Steve ran to Peter’s bedroom, kneeling at his side.
“What’s wrong? Are you okay?”
“When did I go to sleep? I don’t remember going to bed.
“Honey you collapsed. You had a seizure, you’re okay now.” Peter put his head in Steve’s shoulder.
“I’m sorry, did you tell Dad?” Steve nodded and hugged him. Peter was back to his regular self now.
“Where did Mr. Bucky go?”
“He’s in the living room. Maybe we can play Mario Kart together?” Peter got out of bed, but not too fast. Steve grabbed his hand to keep him slow. He helped him sit down in the living room. Bucky turned on the switch and they started playing. Of course, Peter won almost every time.
“Why are you so good at this Peter?”
“Because I’ve been playing this since I was a kid, you guys are like old.”
“I don’t know if you mean that because I spent seventy years on ice or that I’m your dad.”
“A bit of both,” Peter laughed. “Hey, can Ned come over this weekend to watch Star Wars?”
“Absolutely! I love those movies. I will watch them with you,” Bucky said. Peter laughed.
“Ned will freak out if another Avenger is at my house.”
“I’m an Avenger?”
“Yeah. I mean, you lived at the compound for a whole year and you work with my dads. You’re an Avenger, right Dad?”
“Of course you’re an Avenger.” Steve tipped his head down and kissed Bucky’s cheek.
“Ew!” Peter shrieked. The guys just laughed. Peter grabbed his phone and texted Ned.
Told Dad it’s on, and someone’s going to be watching with us!!!
Kewl. I’ll be there
The next day Peter was getting out all of the popcorn in the house. Meanwhile, he and Bucky were getting to know each other quite well.
“So why do you have a metal arm?”
“These bad guys took me after I fell from really high up. They put a metal arm on me and kept me. Have you heard of the Winter Soldier? That was me, well not really. They messed up my head and made me do bad stuff. I tried to run away from them and your Pops over there found me. I was squatting somewhere near our old place in Brooklyn when he found me asleep on the ground. He brought me in and blah blah blah we are here.”
“Did you have to go to jail? Like for the bad stuff that the bad people made you do.” Bucky shook his head.
“I went to court and they found me not guilty. But that didn’t mean I didn’t do the bad stuff. I still did, but I was something called exonerated. They put me on house arrest for my own safety. They wanted to make sure that I was okay. And now I’m here.”
“Did Alpine stay with you?” Peter said in a little kid voice, holding up the cat. She wiggled herself free from Peter’s grasp. The cat jumped across the table to Bucky and wiggled into his grasp instead.
“Obviously.” He pets the cat’s head, earning a nice little purr from the feline. He put her down, kissing her on the head. Steve walked in, carrying a set of DVDs and blankets.
“When is he coming?”
“A couple of minutes and he might be bringing Michelle with him.”
“Who’s Michelle?” Steve said. Bucky was behind him making ‘oooh’ noises.
“Michelle’s our new friend from school. We call her MJ. She likes Star Wars.”
“That’s fine, as long as you two don’t get up to anything,” Steve said with a wink. Bucky, on the other hand, was sweating bullets. What if one of the kids knew about the Winter Soldier. What if Bucky hurt one of their parents, or something worse.
“Bucky, it’s okay. I know what you are thinking right now and it will be fine. They are just going to watch Star Wars. If anything, I have the most to worry about, I mean does Michelle know who your dad is?”
“No,” Peter said. Now Peter was worried. He hated seeing people’s reactions to his little ‘secret.’
“Are you okay with your friend finding out?” Steve said. He knew first hand how anxious Peter can get about people knowing.
“Yeah, I guess. She’s pretty cool. She’ll act like she doesn’t care.” Bucky smiled and patted Peter’s back. Steve threw the blankets and pillows onto the couch, making a comfy area for the kids.
“Which order are you going to watch them in?” Bucky asked.
“We’re just going to watch the originals, no prequels for us today!” Steve made a woop noise.
“Trust me they are better, Bucky have you seen Star Wars? I’m sure I’ve watched it with you at some point.” Bucky shook his head.
“I don’t think I have watched them.” Peter made a shocking sound that was mostly a joke. Mostly. The doorbell rang. Steve went to answer it and saw Ned standing at the doorstep.
Ned and Peter went to Elementary School together which made his transition to Midtown much easier. Ned was the only person he knew, and the only person who really knew him. During the day he preferred to be called by his middle name. No one called him Peter Stark, Peter Rogers, or Peter Stark-Rogers. Everyone called him by his first and second names. At school, he was Peter Parker.
“Hey, Ned!” Steve said. Ned gave him a high five. Ned hadn’t met Bucky before though.
“Who’s this.” Ned pointed to Bucky.
“This is Bucky, Dad’s boyfriend. He’s an Avenger too.”
“Cool! I’m Ned.” Bucky shook his hand. Ned stared down at the metal arm in shock.
“It’s fine, he just lost his arm to bad guys.”
“Cool. Michelle is coming. She doesn’t know, does she?” Peter shook his head. The microwave beeped, signally the end of the popcorn bag. Bucky grabbed it out of the microwave, using his metal arm to good use. Right on cue, the doorbell rang.
“Can I answer it?” Steve asked. Peter nodded. He may hate when people find out, but Michelle is different. Steve opened the door, Peter was a couple of feet away. He waved.
“Are you?” Michelle was lost for words.
“Peter’s Dad? Then yes. If you are asking if I am Captain America, the answer is also yes.”
“I didn’t know that your dad was… You just told me you were adopted when you were a baby. You didn’t tell me you were adopted by Captain freakin America!” Peter was laughing now. Most people would laugh at him. Michelle was just shocked.
“Okay, the secret’s out. This is my Dad. My last name isn’t Parker, my last name is Stark-Rogers.”
“Stark? Your mom...Dad. Oh my god, your dad is Tony Stark!” Peter laughed and nodded. “That’s cool. Let’s watch Star Wars.” Michelle took her shoes off and placed them next to the rest of them. In her mind, all she could think was oh my god those are Captain America’s shoes, and those are the Winter Soldier’s shoes!
The kids ran to the living room and started eating the popcorn before they even put the DVD in. Bucky sat down on the couch with the kids while Steve put the disc in.
“Do you ever put magnets on your arm?” Michelle said suddenly.
“What?” Bucky had never heard anyone ask this before.
“Like do you ever put your to-do list on there.”
“I guess, sometimes Steve writes the grocery list on it.” Steve blushed. He did not expect Bucky to tell practically a stranger about such a quirk. The kids started laughing. Steve shushed them because the movie was starting.
About halfway through A New Hope, Bucky spoke, “I can see why you like these movies.” Steve laughed. He remembered watching them with Natasha. He got all weepy because ‘Luke looks like Bucky.’ It took Nat a hot second to calm him back down after that.
It felt like moments, but in fact, it was hours until the movies were over. The final credits played and Bucky found himself lying across the couch, his feet on Steve’s lap.
“Those were pretty good,” Bucky said as he finished off the rest of the popcorn.
“You guys can hang out in Peter’s room for a while if you want,” Steve said. The kids got up and ran to the back of the house. Of course, Ned knew where he was going, but Michelle was following behind.
“MJ, this is the Peter cave. This is my Nintendo and this is my bookshelf, pretty much it. Oh and these are some of my Legos. Some of them are at my Dad’s house though.” Michelle observed the giant sets of Legos, two tables. As Ned explained one table was for playing, The Lego City and the other was the art gallery, fancy stuff.
“We’re working on a Star Destroyer right now.” Peter pointed to the bare bones of a Star Destroyer Lego Set.
“Cool. I like the Eiffel Tower.” That one took Ned and Peter a month and a half.
“Thanks, we’re proud of it. Steve didn’t even help us with that one.” He didn’t, they had to tell him so many times that they didn’t need help. Ned flopped onto Peter’s bed. Peter remembered the events of the day before, the last thing he remembered was getting a snack and then he woke up in his bed.
“Ned, I had a seizure yesterday. Again.” Ned looked sad, he was there when Peter had his first seizure at school. It scared the hell out of the guy. That was before Peter got emergency medication. He was in a lot of pain from that, he couldn’t go to school the whole week. He wasn’t even discharged from the hospital for three days.
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I slept a lot. The medicine makes it a lot easier.” Net put his hand around Peter’s shoulder and hugged him. He heard a scream from the other end of the house, it was Steve.