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To Become a Pack

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"Pepper, there's a toddler in front of the bakery," Tony said into the phone, not taking his eye off the mop of wet brown hair. The kid couldn't be older than 3, a small little thing wet from the rain that was pouring. He was facing the street, back turned, but Tony could see he was trembling. He didn't wait for the woman to reply, already stepping out to lean down and gently taking the toddler's hand in his own "Hi buddy, what's your name? I'm Tony!"
"Peet..." the kids teeth chattered as she shook, taking the man's offered hand.
Tony smiled softly, even if he was shivering from the rain. "Pete? Cool name! Where are mommy and daddy though, honey? Did you get lost?"

"Lost daddy..." Peter mumbled, tears in his eyes.
"Oh sweetheart, do you want to go into the bakery and wait for him to pick you up? Do you know his phone number?"
Peter nodded, sniffling and attempting to wipe the rain from his face, but just ending up more soaked.
Tony winced "I know. Come here, honey, " He said, picking up the toddler and taking him into the warm bakery, where the smell of pastries immediately filled his nose. He placed Peter on a chair and wrapped a blanket around his tiny frame and drying his hair with a towel. "There. Better now? You want something to eat?"
Peter nodded, cheering up a lot at the idea of some warm food. "Yes, pease!"

Tony smiled, pinching his cheeks. "What do you wanna eat buddy?"
"Soming warm!" Peter joked, smiling though he still shivered.
"One apple pie for the drenched gentleman in the first row, coming right up! " Tony chuckled and wondered off to go get some of his fresh food.
Peter giggled, hugging the towel to himself.
Placing the pie in front of the kid. Watching the kid dig into the pie, Tony had a frown on his face as he said; "Dang Pete, you've got some really sharp teeth buddy. Anyone told you that before?"

Peter nodded, smiling with a mouth full of pie. He swallowed. "My daddy said dey came in super duper ealy!"
"Yeah! They're super awesome, Pete!" Tony marvelled, inspecting the sharp, fang-like teeth. Every child had dental problems at some point, he guessed. He ruffled Peter's head with a grin. "bet no one picks on you during recess, huh? Those must leave a nasty bite."
"Nobody like me, they don't come near me," Peter shrugged. "They're mean..."
Tony frowned in worry, kneeling beside the toddler "Honey, are people picking on you at school?"
"No... A little..." He shrugged again, eating some more pie. "Daddy says not to listen. He says they jelows!"

"They are," Tony agreed. "When people see that you have something special about you, they start to feel bad about themselves, so they take it out on you. But don't listen to them, 'k, Pete? You're a star, kiddo."
Peter nodded with a huge grin. "My daddy's probably worried..."
"I bet," Tony nodded "you have his number?"
Peter handed him a small piece of paper that he had tucked under his bracelet. "Daddy says he want me to have it aaaaalll the time."
"That's smart," Tony nodded, as he dialled the number, waiting for the father to pick up.

"Hello?" A tired sounding voice came from the other end, though it was only mid-afternoon. The darkness of the sky was all due to the rain.
"Um, hello, " Tony said, more cheerfully. "Peter gave me this number, I was hoping to talk with his parents. I found him in the rain, half an hour ago. He's at the bakery on Downey Street? Can they can come pick him up? I can keep it open until they arrive."
"That's me, is he OK?" there was shuffling on the other side of the line. "It's pouring it down! I'll be there soon, thank you." at that the man hung up the phone.
"Alright, we'll be waiting you. Have a safe trip!'' Tony said out loud, mostly just to assure Peter that his dad was on the way, closing his phone. When he turned around, he noticed that the pie was all gone, only an empty plate with bits of crumbs on top of it. Still, Peter's stomach grumbled, which brought a grin on Tony's face. "Room for more, champ?"

Peter nodded excitedly "My daddy says I eat too much."
Tony smiled, placing another piece of pie in front of him. "Daddy isn't here yet, right?"
Peter shook his head, happily tucking into the new pie. He just giggled until the door opened. "DADDY!"
Steve walked in and over. "God, Pete, what have I told you about running off!" He turned to Tony. "Thank you, so much."
Peter smiled brightly, happily pointing to Tony. "He's Tony! He's a hero daddy! He helped me and gave me pie and a blanky," the kid gushed, showing the fluffy blanket to Steve. It looked handmade, big and fuzzy in his hands. "It's really warm and fluffy, can I take it home? Please?" He asked, lower lip sticking out and big brown puppy eyes on full display.

Tony chuckled, though a dark blush appeared on his face, lighting his cheeks on fire. He ruffled Peter's hair as he looked up at Steve, shrugging. "He can take it, if he wants. I-I knitted it, I've got a dozen more in the back, so it's not a problem. I gave him something to eat too, hope that's okay."
Steve smiled. "Of course, Peetee did you say thank you to the nice man?"
Peter paused before turning to Tony. "Thank you, Tony!"
Steve smiled. "Good, now let's get going." He turned to Tony. "Thank you, Mr?"
Tony gave the man a friendly smile, extending his shaky hand, and even now he wondering why was he acting like that "I-I'm Tony. I'm mean, you already know that, um..." he cleared his throat, wanting for nothing more than the floor to swallow him alive. "What I mean is, my name is Tony. Tony Stark. Nice to meet you."

Steve smiled, unable not to when the other man was blabbering on like that. "Well, Mr. Stark, I'm Steve Rogers. Thank you for finding my son. Is there some way I can return the favour?"
"Of course." Came the soft reply from Tony, as he tucked Peter better in the blanket "No need for thanks, I just did what everyone would've done. Do you want me to pack some pie and some food for him to have? I cooked too much...Maybe you guys can have dinner here? It's still raining outside. I'm sorry if it's too forward, you, um, you can go, if you want! But only if you want!"
Steve chuckled "if you're sure you can handle us." He winked, ruffling Peters hair.
"I think I'll do okay,'' Tony smiled.
"Pie!" Peter shouted happily.
"Don't got any more pie, buddy, but some steak and roast potatoes are still on the table if you want them?" Tony smiled apologetically, he heading into the kitchen, taking out the mouthwatering good food from the oven, settling it down on a table. He sent Steve a wink, as he sat down, Peter quickly following him, hurrying up to fill his plate with as much food as he could "Dig in, big guy!"

Steve thanked tony and put a little more than a normal sized meal onto his plate, seemed hunger ran in the family. As they ate, Steve was trying to place where he knew Tony's name from, then it clicked. "Don't you do some tech work for SHIELD?" He asked, curious. He worked freelance for SHIELD every so often and knew Fury quite well.
Tony blinked a bit before responding "Um, yeah, sometimes! My godfather brings me a project that his people can't solve, and I help when I can." he shrugged, putting some more food in Peter's plate, ruffling his hair a bit.

"Godfather?" Steve asked, making conversation and taking a sip of water. "Don't eat too much Peetee, you'll be sick..."
"He ate two big slices of pie before you arrived here." Tony laughed, pinching the toddler's cheek. "I don't know how he's still hungry, but he is. Let the kid eat," Tony and Peter fist bumped under the table, winking at each other before Peter went back to his food. "And yeah, my godfather, Nick Fury? Maybe you know him."
"Fury's your godfather? Wow, didn't even know he had a godchild." Steve chuckled. "Definitely know him, yeah. I do some field work for them from time to time. I bet you know a lot of the people I work with." He had finished his own food, but looked like he wasn't getting more purely out of politeness.
When the grumbling sound coming from Steve's stomach echoed in the bakery, Tony gave him a small smile and offered him some more meat. "More?" He asked softly, shrugging a bit.

"With both of us here we'll eat you out of a business." Steve smirked, but accepted. "Thank you..."
"What a way to go down, " Tony chuckled, resting his head into his palm, but his face suddenly turned nervous, as did his mood. "Is it good? I hope you don't mind, I kept the meat a bit raw. I heard it's supposed to taste better that way, more succulent, or something."
"It's perfect, I usually have blue steaks anyway, you know how they're cooked?" Steve asked.
Tony was about to confirm it when Peter chimed in the conversation "Daddy loves raw meat! I do too! We catch it every weekend with the pack!" Tony's heart melted, bopping Peter's nose affectionately as he looked at Steve. "The pack? Is that how he calls you guys?"

Steve sent a stern look Peter's way, he had reminded the kid a few times not to tell the mortals. "Yes, we hunt in the nearby forests. Don't worry, we use every part of the animal, so it's not like we kill them for no reason." He explained to the baker.
Tony shrugged "I'm not all for hunting, but to each their own I guess." He looked to Peter. "He really likes wolves." Tony's smile was full of fondness as he looked at Peter basically inhaling the food. In the short time he knew the boy, he already got attached to him. The thought of not seeing him again saddened him majorly, but he tried not to let his disappointment show. "Reminds me of me at his age. I was crazy about robots. You guys play Wolf at home a lot?"

"We do, Peetee loves it." Steve smiled. "I've never been to this part of town before, what sort of stuff do you sell? Baked goods?" He asked, subtly changing the subject.
Tony nodded, ignoring the change of subject. "Yeah, pretty much! Muffins, cakes, pies, you name it!" He blushed, looking down at his shoes. "But I'm a pretty alright cook, so if you ever get hungry and don't feel like making dinner, I'm your guy. You know where to come."
Steve smiled. "I appreciate that, Mr. Stark. But for now, the rain's stopped and I told the other's we'd be back soon. Eat up Peter, we have to leave in a moment." He shot Tony an apologetic look, but pulled on his jacket.

"Tony's fine." He smiled, taking the dishes and placing them in then sink before coming back to wrap a sleepy Peter in his blanket, gently handing him to Steve "Have a safe night. I, uh, I had a nice dinner. I hope you did too, despite everything."
"I did, thank you. I'll have to take you up on that offer of dinner again. In fact I could bring some of the meat that we hunt and I can help you cook?" He asked, readjusting the small boy in his arms. "Come on Peter, let's get you home." He smiled and thanked Tony again before leaving.
"I-I, yeah, I'd love that, that sounds awesome." Tony called after him, waved for a few moments, lost in the daze that Steve left him in. As soon as he was alone, he groaned, then just processed what just happened. The events from the bakery playing in his head all the way to his house. He was still flushed as he changed into his hoodie - really, it was Rhodey's hoodie which he stole the last time the soldier stayed over - and practically sprinted into his bedroom, where he immediately face-planted into the bed. He needed to tell his friends about this, right?

He needed advice. Boys advise, as childish as that sounded. Already foreseeing the teasing he was going to get, he entered the group chat Natasha insisted on making. He suspected they just needed somewhere to make fun of him collectively.
'Code red, I'm in trouble.' Tony said out loud as he wrote the message, a sigh escaping his lips.

Thor - What is happening, man of iron?
Loki - perhaps he burnt his pies.
Nat- whats up stark?

Rhodey, who was only now getting out of the shower, was smiling as he looked at the text displayed on his phone. He shook his head fondly, throwing himself on the couch, not bothering to put on clothes since Carol was coming soon anyway. He texted back;

Rhodey - Who's the lucky guy? When's the wedding? I can give you away right?

Tony groaned, screaming in his pillow for a good minute before replying.

Tony - You guys are the worst. And his name is Steve.

Loki - As I said, he is burning his pies.

Barton - How is THAT an innuendo?

Loki - You reeeealy have to look for it.

Tal - Steve who?

Tony - A father whose kid I found in the rain. We had dinner and he offered to hunt for me as a thank you for not letting his son soak, basically...

Loki - Charming...

Tony - I also made a fool out of myself in front of him so that's that

Tal - I'm sure its not as bad as you think if he offered to hang out again...?

Nat - Sounds fine to me. One more date and then I expect to meet him, stark. Gotta size him up.

Barton - Did you do that thing when you stutter and blush a lot around hot people?

Tony - NO! ... Maybe... Yes...

Rhodey - Aw Tones, it's not that bad!

Tony- I'm actually scared to have Steve meet Natasha because I don't need another Stone incident

Rhodey - lmao he deserved it tho

Nat - I'll never hurt anyone who's good for you ;)

Loki - Can I scare him?

Thor - No brother, we must allow stark his access to men!

Loki - You are an oaf.

Tony - guys, help me. I'll take any advice. Even from Thor!

Thor - I take offence.

Loki - Just use that overflowing charm of yours~

Tal - He offered to hang out again right...? Just do that and then ask if he wants to see you again after that...

Nat - lmao WHAT charm??

Tony - You're my friend, aren't you?

Banner - we're all your friends, Tony. Just be yourself.

Tony - be myself?! Have you met me?!

Barton - Yeah, have you?

Tony - how long did it take for you guys to like me?

Thor - A couple of weeks!

Natasha - Six months.

Loki - Jury's still out

Tony - See Bruce?? 'Be myself' what kind of advice is that?

Bruce - He wouldn't have asked you out again if he didn't like you...

Tony - The guy's just being nice cause I helped his kid, wouldn't you do the same thing?

Loki - I am bored, Tal is introducing me to Mario kart, goodbye.

Tal - Don't mind him, he's bored... Seriously though Stark, seems like he liked you, and if his kid does as well that's all the more reason... Plus if he didn't say anything about a wife or husband then... he might be single. Just bring it up CASUALLY next time and see what happens... Now I have a bored god to entertain.

Tony- I beg of you to blueshell Loki

Tal - Haha, what else would I do? :P Good luck, Stark~

*Tal is offline*

*Loki is offline*

Nat - I still want to meet him, please tell me you got his number?

Tony - I actually did! He said he'd call me later. which could mean now? Which means I'm having a craze.

Nat - well, just see what he says and talk back. It's not exactly difficult...

Barton - You ARE trained in the art of talking, Tasha...

Nat - True. Stark, bottom line like Tal said, try and get a third date.

Tony - Ok but before I leave one more question: red heels or blue heels for the date?

Nat - Defo red~

Barton - agreed. Though if you're cooking make sure to sit down every so often so you don't hurt your feet...

Nat - trust the two of us, Fury hasn't given us anything to do for a while, do you want us to give you a makeover? We can come round?

Bruce - this isn't my field... good look Tony

*Bruce is offline*

Tony - you guys can if he accepts~

*Tony is offline*