Steve and I had been married for two months when we decided we wanted a kid. We had been married for six months when we visited the first orphanage. We didn’t click with any of the kids so we moved on. Even though we were scared we didn’t let it show. We really wanted to start our own family, but we just couldn’t find the right kiddo.
Steve and I were about to give up, but then we decided to visit an orphanage in Queens. We held hands as we walked in through the door. We had been looking for one year now, still no luck, hopefully this place would be home to our kid.
“Hi, you must be the Starks” a lady said as she greeted us. “My names Theresa Smith, I’m the owner of this orphanage.” We shake hands, she can probably feel all the sweat on my hands. I don’t think I’ve ever been this nervous.
“It’s very nice to meet you” Steve says and I hum in agreement. “Oh the pleasure is mine, now come on we’ll go to my office” she says taking us into the room next door.
There aren’t really a lot of kids there, and also they don’t seem to care that we’re there. We walk through the living area to a closed door. She opens the door with a key and let’s us in. It’s not really a big office but I bet she doesn’t spend a lot of time here. She sits down behind her desk and we take the chairs infront of her.
“I understand you just wanted one kid, so I’m guessing siblings are of the table” the lady continues. We nod in agreement. “And we don’t want a toddler, nor a teenager” I say. Teenagers have already become their own persons and toddlers would be too much for our working schedules. The lady nods understandingly. “Okay, er, we have this really nice seven year old that I think would be a good fit for you. Moved in just one week ago. We are really trying our best, but I think he would have it better in a family” she starts. “Sounds good so far” Steve says to encourage her to continue. “He was abused in his old foster home and is, obviously still a bit skittish around people. Would you be able to work with that?” she asks. I wasn’t really expecting that and I have to think about it for a while. We are probably able to get him all the help he needs. “Yeah, I think we’re okay with that” I say and Steve takes my hand. “Yeah, me too” he says.
We walk up the stairs to the second floor where we run into a couple of girls playing dress up. We walk down the hall to a room on the left side. The door doesn’t have a sign like the others, most kids had written their names on them or messages like ‘go away’. Theresa knocks softly on the door. “Peter, can I come in?” she asks. Silence, I think, until someone opens the door from the inside. “Hey, I have this lovely couple that wants to talk to you” Theresa tells him and Steve and I stay back to give them privacy. “Okay” he mumbles, the door is in the way so I can’t see him. He sounds sweet though. The door opens further and now I can see the cutest little boy with brown unruly curly hair, milky white skin and big brown eyes with long eyelashes. He has a faint bruise on his cheekbone, I wonder if his foster parents did that. I smile at him and he smiles back, but it doesn’t quite reach his eyes. He invites us into his room and we’re happy to enter.
Steve and I sit down on his bed and he sits by his desk, he looks tense. “I see you’re a star wars fan” I say noticing the star wars poster hanging on his wall. “Yeah” he mumbles softly. “Oh I love those movies, which one’s your favorite?” Steve asks smiling warmly at the young boy. “I really like ‘Empire strikes back’” he answers he seems to be relaxing a bit. We both smile at him encouragingly. “What is your opinion on the prequels?” I ask, checking how huge of a nerd he is. “They’re fine, we didn’t really need them. But I get it, there is a lot of money in that franchise” Peter says now seeming fully relaxed. “Yeah, that’s about right” I chuckle a bit, it’s not really the answer I expected of a seven-year-old. “How do you feel about spending some time with us today?” I ask as a follow up question, my heart clenches when I see the boy tense up a bit again. Both me and Steve sit quietly as we wait for the boy to answer.
“If you don’t want to it’s okay, it’s your choice” I say. He looks at me a bit confused. “Can we talk a bit more first?” he asks shyly. Steve squeezes my hand as he smiles a bit wider. “Yeah that’s alright” I say and Peter smiles at me and this time it reaches his eyes.
We have talked for about 45 minutes when Theresa comes to check on us. As it turns out, Peter is a really smart, bright and dorky kid. He’s so nice in a way that almost hurts when you think about it. I look at Steve and by the way he smiles at me, I know that we found the right kid. Peter even asks about us. What we do for living, or more how our workday looks since he apparently recognizes us, where we live and what we do for fun. He clearly knows that we’re ironman and captain america, but he doesn’t seem to care about it too much.
I want to bring him home today, but sadly I’m faced with the reality that he might not want to come with us. “So you guys seem to have clicked, maybe you should go out together” Theresa suggests. As great as it sounds I know it won’t happen when I see Peter tense up once more. “Actually, I was thinking about that. Since we’re still technically strangers, maybe it would be better if you came with us” I say knowing I won’t get Peter to leave with just us. “Oh, yeah that would be great” Theresa beams and Peter relaxes again. “You okay with that Peter?” Steve asks and I almost cheer out loud when the boy nods.
We end up taking Peter out for ice cream and a walk in the park. Steve helps Peter choose ice cream flavour since the boy wasn’t sure what he liked. It hurt to think the boy probably hadn’t eaten that much ice cream in his days. We’ll have to fix that, I think as I pay for the four ice creams. Peter decided on chocolate, which I highly support since I ordered the same for myself.
After eating the ice cream we walked through the park. Theresa followed us loosely to give us some privacy. Peter seemed fine with it and therefore I didn’t mention it. We eventually had to stop walking since Peter got tired. So we sat down on an empty bench. We talked for a bit more but as time passed Peter’s eyelids got heavier and I realised that it was 9pm already. “Oh would you look at the time, we probably shouldn’t keep you here any longer. It’s a schoolnight after all” I say as I flash Peter a smile. Theresa agrees that it’s getting late and we start walking back to the car. “Hey, Peter, you seem a bit tired do you wanna sit on my shoulder instead?” Steve asks Peter. “No thank you” he answers a little harshly and I cringe at the thought of what has made him feel that way. Maybe he doesn’t want to be touched.
Once we’re back in the car Theresa joins me in the front seat leaving Peter with Steve in the back. I haven’t even driven for five minutes when Peter’s eyes shut. “Is he asleep?” I ask quietly and Theresa turns her head to look at him. “Yeah, I think so” Steve answers, smiling. “Oh that’s great, he hasn’t been sleeping well at the orphanage” Theresa says in a half whisper. “Poor thing” I coo, still not taking my eyes of the road. “So anyways, do you guys wanna spend more time with him?” Theresa asks. I meet Steve’s eyes in the mirror. “Yeah, I think he might actually be the one” Steve chuckles. “We’d take him home tonight if he’d let us” I tell her, knowing that Steve agrees. “That’s so great!” Theresa beams and I can see Peter shift through the rearview mirror. I got scared that he would wake up but instead he leans towards Steve who’s quick to put a securing arm around him.
After about thirty minutes we arrive at the orphanage. Peter is still sleeping and since we didn’t want to wake him up, Steve carries him inside. Theresa holds open the door for him and we get him to his bed without waking him. Steve carefully places Peter down in his bed after I’ve moved the sheets. I untie Peter’s shoes and then I carefully take them off. Steve pulls the covers up and tucks Peter in. He doesn’t even stir, he just lies there peacefully. “Good job guys” Theresa cheers in a low whisper. I place Peter’s shoes on the floor by the foot of Peter’s bed. “Could we schedule another meeting with him?” I ask Theresa after leaving Peter’s room. This is the kid we’re taking home, Steve and I both know it. “Yeah sure, what do you think about Thursday next week. Peter might want time to think things over” she says. “Do we have anything scheduled then” Steve asks me. “Yeah, we have a meeting with Peter” I say, smirking and Steve rolls his eyes at me. “Great, I’ll tell him tomorrow” Theresa says.
We leave the orphanage smiling widely. “This is the one” I say not taking my eyes of the road. “Yeah, he really is” Steve beams and when I glance at him I see tears forming in his eyes. “We found our kid” he whispers and now I feel tears forming in my own eyes. “We sure did” there are now tears of happiness rolling down my cheeks.
We decide to go to Avengers tower instead of flying back to Malibu. I wonder if Peter would want to move there with us, probably not. He grew up in New york and all of his friends live here. Well according to Peter he doesn’t really have that many friends, or rather he has one friend. Ned, I think his name is. “Steve, do you think we should move into the tower. Peter will probably be more comfortable staying here in New york” I say. “Yeah we should” Steve answers quickly he must have already thought about it. “Do you think it’s too early to fix up a room for him?” Steve asks with a slight chuckle. “Well, we can get a couple of things, I think” I answer, already excited to do some online shopping.
After parking the car in the garage we make our way up to our living room. We decide to go to our private floor since there are probably other avengers in the main living room. We plop down on the couch and I’m quick to place my feet in Steve’s lap. He doesn’t even say anything, just starts massaging them. “This is the one right, we’re not just saying that because he might be the last chance?” I ask. I just have to get it out there, I just need to know. “Tony, he’s far from the last option, we haven’t even started looking in other countries yet” Steve starts and he’s right. He always is. “We just happened to meet a really smart, bright, funny and amazing kid” he says letting out a wet chuckle. “He is perfect for us isn’t he?” I ask. “Yeah, he really is” Steve confirms. I sit up straight to lean forward and hug him.
This kid is perfect, hopefully Peter likes them to. Tony feels a sudden rush anxiety. “Do you think he likes us?” I ask, now a bit worried. It doesn’t really matter how much we love him, if he doesn’t want us it’s not happening. “Well, Theresa thought we did good with him, I mean he felt content enough to fall asleep in our car” Steve comforts me. “Yeah but, he’d only been at the orphanage for a week, does Theresa really know him?” I ask, now Steve doesn’t either look so sure. “And she said he hadn’t been able to sleep, maybe we just managed to tire him out to the point that he passed out” I’m getting frantic now.
Steve’s just about to answer when the elevator dings. The door open and Rhodey walks out. “Hey guys” he greets. “I thought you two were leaving for Malibu” he says walking towards us to take a seat in the other sofa. “Well, we found this really nice kid, Peter, and we’re meeting with him again next week” Steve says happily. “Do you think this might be the one?” Rhodey asks carefully. He knows that we’ve been having some struggle. “We’re not sure” I say and Steve sighs. “We really love him, but we’re just not sure if he wants us” Steve explains and Rhodey nods. “Well, you have to remember that he has only met you once. And, I’m not sure about his past, hell I don’t even know anything about him, but getting a new family is always a big thing” Rhodey says. “We’ll tell you about him” Steve says and as much as I want to get drunk and hide in my lab that’s not what dad does.
“He’s seven years old, turns eight in August I think it was” Steve turns to me for confirmation. “August tenth” I confirm and he takes my hand. “He’s very cute, brown hair, brown eyes, really pale skin and he’s a bit small for his age” Steve explains and I roll my eyes. “Curly, dark brown hair, not just small but a bit underweight. We’re gonna fix that by the way. And he has freckles. Why do you always leave out the details?” Steve just chuckles at me. “I didn’t care what he looked like I just wanted to get to know him” Steve explains. “Okay so anyway. He’s really nice, super smart, kinda dorky and, well, he’s awesome” Steve says and I couldn’t have said it better myself. “As for his past, his parents died when he was three. He has been moved around in different foster homes, and in the one he just left he was abused, he just got out of it, not even two weeks ago” Steve explains and Rhodey frowns a bit. And after that he chuckles to himself. “Are you guys serious?” Rhodey asks and I honestly have of idea of what he means. “This kid likes you, he even felt comfortable to open up to you, two complete strangers, after months of abuse” Rhodey exclaims. “Oh, I guess you’re right” Steve says. He has a point, Peter was really brave to go out with us. He trusts us, at least to some point. “That’s it, we’re renovating that room” I yell, already running to get my tablet from the kitchen counter.
Steve and I stay up late that night. We start with buying a new bed, we didn’t need to, but I want my kid to have a good bed. We take a queen sized one, he’s a small kid but I want it to be big enough for me or Steve to sit with him if he has nightmares or something. We also order some bed sheets, some with themes we think he likes and some with are just neutral colors and patterns. We also get some normal bedroom furniture. A bookshelf, nightstands, a desk, a chair and lamps. But also fun stuff like a beanbag, speakers, a couple of posters and some books. We also choose a room for him, it’s next to ours. It’s not as big as ours but still one of the bigger ones. It has its own bathroom attached to it, maybe not something a seven-year-old needs but he might like it when he’s older. God, I’m already preparing for a moody teenager.
“I’m thinking blue for the walls, dark blue” Steve says after walking around the room. A dark color would make the room appear smaller, but I think Peter would be more comfortable in a smaller room. “Yeah, we’ll have to look at shades. Oh maybe we should get some of those glow in the dark stars and stick them in the ceiling” I say already imagining how the room would look. I hear Steve yawn from behind me and decide to check the time. “Hey FRI, what time is it?” I ask even though I could just check my phone or my wristwatch. But hey, I have a cool AI. “3:48am” she answers. “What, why didn’t you tell us to go to bed, normally you force me out of the lab by 11:30pm” I’m not having another fight with her, I’m just questioning her. “Since this is in no way a self destructing tendency I felt no need to stop you” she answers. “Let’s head to bed” I tell Steve realising we’ve been doing this for hours.
We walk into our room, which is on the opposite side of the hall. We don’t even change into pyjamas, we just lie down and fall asleep. It’s honestly the best sleep I’ve had in years.
Friday wakes us up at 9:30am. Normally I would be fast to go back to bed but I like our plans for the day and I want to get a head start. Steve drags me into the kitchen for breakfast. I want to explain to him how breakfast is only a waste of time, but I know he won’t listen to me. “I’m making pancakes” Steve says after opening the fridge. “Okay, I’ll make coffee” I tell him. It counts as helping out, right? “You know we have to get used to actually cooking meals if we’re gonna have a kid” Steve mumbles with a milk carton in his hand. And yeah he’s right. “Yeah, yeah. Shit we have to start food shopping, don’t we?” I realise. Kids can’t live off of coffee and pizza. “Language! But yeah, we do. We also need to find out what kind of food he likes” Steve says already mixing some ingredients. My phone vibrates in my back pocket and I pull it out to check who’s calling. ‘Theresa Smith calling’, it says. “Shit, it’s Theresa” I say, catching Steve’s attention who puts down the bowl with almost ready pancake batter. I click accept and Steve stands next to me, I put on speaker phone so that we’ll both hear it. “Hey mr Stark, it’s Theresa Smith” she says. “‘Morning Theresa” I say. “Good morning, I’m calling to see if you might be able to reschedule the meet up with Peter. Turns out he already had plans for Thursday evening” she says sounding as giddy as she did yesterday. “Oh okay, yeah we can reschedule” I say. “Great, how do you guys feel about Tuesday instead?” she asks. I look at Steve, I think I might have a meeting then, but I can reschedule. “Yeah that would be great, it works for Peter I’m guessing” I tell her, it’s three days from now. “Yes, school ends at 2pm, would you guys be able to pick him up then, I’ll text you the address” she says. “Yeah that works for us” Steve says. “Okay great, it’s settled then, you guys have any questions” she cheers from the other side of the conversation. “No we’re good. Bye” I say ending the call. I put the phone down on the counter and Steve hugs me. “He wants to see us again” Steve mumbles. “This is the greatest day ever” I say, my voice is muffled since my face is pressed against Steve’s shoulder.
While Steve makes us pancakes I do some more online shopping. I start with buying a couple of books for me and Steve, both about adoption and books about caring for abused children. I read a couple of the titles out loud but in the end I just buy all the highly rated ones. “Do you think he’ll want to see a therapist?” Steve asks without taking his eyes of the pancake he’s currently cooking. “Maybe, we’ll have to ask him” I answer. It would probably be good for him but I don’t know if he’ll want to. A loud noise behind me catches both my and Steve’s attention. “What’s cooking?” Clint asks, the man having dropped down through the vent. “Sup Katniss” I greet him and he rolls his eyes at me. “I’m making pancakes” Steve answers. “Nice, got any orange juice?” Clint asks already opening the fridge. There’s no need to answer him as he has already grabbed it. “FRI, add orange juice to the shopping list” I say. “Oh, also, do I have a meeting Tuesday?” I ask, figuring I might as well reschedule it now. “No, I already sent a message to Pepper, informing here that you won’t be able to attend” Friday sounds.
The elevator dings and Nat, Sam and Rhodey all step out. “How come everytime I cook something all of you feel the need to eat it?” Steve asks with a chuckle. “The real question is, why are you only now starting to cook breakfast” Sam says sitting down in our couch and turning on the tv. “And also why are you guys still here, I thought you guys were just visiting for a couple of hours yesterday” Nat points out. Well we might as well tell all of them now. “Okay, chillax people” I say only to hear multiple groans. “First of all this is my building and I can do what I want in it” I say mostly for them to respect the ‘chillax’. “And, as you might now we have been wanting to adopt a kid for the past year and we think we might have found the right one” I say as if it was the most casual thing ever. That actually seemed to shut them up. “We’re gonna meet with him again next Tuesday and that’s why we haven’t left yet. And Steve’s cooking breakfast now, since we woke up half an hour ago, we got a little carried away yesterday with fixing a room for the kid and went to bed at like 4am” I explain. “Wait are you serious, you found a kid?” Clint asks. “Yeah, he’s amazing” I tell him. They all stand quiet for a solid minute, just smiling and looking at me expecting. “Well, tell us about him?” Sam pleads. “Yeah sure, but after breakfast and I think we should gather all avengers, no need to do this twice.”
Breakfast goes by as usual, Clint throws food at Sam. Steve scolds them, obviously. I wonder if we’ll be able to do this when Peter moves in. Or rather if he moves in, we don’t even know if he wants this yet. After eating, all of us head to the main floor where Bruce and Bucky are already waiting. “So I have gathered all of you here today to-”. “Oh shut up and get to it, tell us about the kid” Clint complains, completely ruining my awesome commentary. “Wait, what kid?” Bruce asks confused.
I sit down next to Steve in the couch and most other avengers also get seated. “So as you know we’re planning on adopting a kid and we think we found the right one here in New york” I start, immediately getting everyone’s attention. “His names Peter Parker, he’s seven years old, Queens born and raised” I state and knowing Steve would like to describe him I don’t go in on any details. “We met him yesterday, took him to the park and ate some ice cream, and well, we fell in love with him” I admit, because it’s true. “He’s really awesome. A really nice, smart and honestly just amazing kid” Steve chimes in. “And we really want this kid and hopefully he wants us to” I say taking Steve’s hand. “We’re kind of counting on him to let us adopt him and that’s why we’ve already ordered a bunch of furniture for his room” Steve continues. “Well why wouldn’t he want to live with you two, I mean you’re superheros. Isn’t that like every kid’s dream?” Clint asks chewing on what I think is beef jerky. Where the fuck did he find that. “Well he was abused in his old foster home, which he just got out of like one and a half week ago. We’re just worried he might not have it in him to fully trust anyone yet” I explain. “But, if that’s the case I think we’d be fine with waiting a bit longer” Steve continues and I can only nod.
All the avengers have their own way of congratulating us before we leave for our own floor. “Let’s pick the shade for the walls in Peter’s room” Steve says excitedly as we exit the elevator. “Yeah, if we choose it today, we can have someone come paint them tomorrow” I say already planning. “Honey, tomorrow's a Sunday” Steve reminds me. “Yeah, well I’m Tony Stark” I remind him but he just fondly rolls his eyes at me. We end up choosing a dark blue shade that we’ll think work nice in the room. I call in workers who in the end have nothing against painting today, with a rather expensive pay. I also call a couple of workers to move out the old furniture from the room.
While the workers, well, get to work, Steve and I decide to go out shopping. We’re thinking of inviting Peter to stay at the tower for a while on Tuesday and therefore we buy some food to stock up our fridge and cabinets. We buy some fresh fruits, pop-tarts and a bunch of other things we think he might want. We also buy some ordinary foods that are needed for cooking. After that we go by the toy section where we pick out a really cute teddy bear with a red scarf. We can’t really just buy a bunch of toys and expect Peter to like them, but a teddy bear might be nice.
The cashier recognises us and starts asking about our purchases, especially the teddy bear. I just lie and say that Hawkeye’s birthday is coming up. It makes her giggle and I think we averted the situation.
Steve carries most of the bags back to the car since he has his super strength. But I also help, or rather I carry one of the bags. We put the bags in the trunk of the car hurriedly since we’d rather get going before we get noticed by anyone else. We kind of don’t want people to know we’re adopting a kid. Knowing what it feels like to grow up in the spotlight, I’d really feel better knowing my kid won’t have to suffer through it. At least not yet, maybe when he gets older we could introduce him to the world.
Back at the tower the walls have been painted and the workers have all left. Steve and I walk into the room which now, already looks much more colorful than before. More kid friendly and calmer, sort of. It smells really strongly of the paint and I almost get a headache just from opening the door. But I had to see it for myself, see if it was as nice as we expected. And I think it’s good, I think Peter will like it. We leave the room, content with the result. We decide to go to bed early, call me old but I’m still tired after staying up so late the night before.