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Christmas is all around

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'Are you ready?' Steve asked as he stepped out of the bathroom and looked into the bedroom, where Tony was standing in front of the mirror, frowning as he adjusted his suit. The blond man smiled in amusement at his expression and started toward him.

"Hmm, probably," he murmured back, turning to his husband. Steve immediately began adjusting his shirt collar, and Tony just rolled his eyes at it.

"I know what this is about," he said omnisciently, looking into his brown eyes. "You don't want to leave Peter."

Tony threw up his hands. “He wasn´t without us yet! Even when one of us was far away, the other always stayed with him . . ." Steve held out his arms, and the dark-haired man curled up gratefully in it. “How is it possible that you all handle it better than me? When did I become so sensitive?' he complained into his chest, and his fingers went into Steve's hair.

"Probably since you became a father," Steve replied with a smile, and Tony grumbled. “Don´t worry, Peter will be okay. You'll see we'll be home before he starts to miss us. And Nat will take care of him."

'Well, I sincerely hope when we get back we don't find our son posing, shooting a gun, and climbing walls or something,' Tony said, hoping aloud, and Steve had to laugh.

"Come on, let's get there in time. By the way," the blond man turned to him as he took his hand and led him out of the bedroom, "you look stunning today," he whispered, kissing his cheek.

Tony raised an eyebrow at him, and his eyes sparkled. "I don't know why you don't tell me this every day. I look stunning all the time."

Steve gave an ostensibly bitter sigh. "You egotist."

Downstairs in the living room, Peter had by now stacked all his favorite board games on the floor, choosing very carefully which one he and Natasha would play. When he heard someone coming down the stairs, he turned and then beamed when he saw Steve and Tony heading toward him hand in hand. He eagerly ran to meet them and jumped into Steve's arms.

"Hey, buddy," he said, smiling at him and lifting him into his arms for a cuddle. Peter was immediately taken by his bow tie. "Listen, you know your dad and I have to go somewhere now, right?" Their son nodded in agreement, raising his brown eyes to him. "So you're going to be here with Aunt Nat for a while until we get back tonight, okay? You´ll be a good boy, right?"

Peter thought, then grinned. "Maybe," he told him quietly, and Steve chuckled. Then he put Peter back down so he could go say goodbye to Tony.

"You don't look happy, Tones," Natasha said, eyebrows raised, as she came out of the kitchen with a bowl of gummy bears.

"Well, I was just wondering if we might find Peter throwing knives or something when we get back," he replied, giving her a warning look.

Natasha grinned at him. "Can he shoot a gun?"


'Daddy, Daddy,' Peter tugged at the hem of Tony's jacket, and the dark-haired man bent over him, thinking the boy wanted to hug him goodbye. Instead, he said quite seriously, "I want Auntie Nat to teach me how to shoot a gun."

Steve put his hand over his mouth and tried to muffle his laughter, while Natasha smiled proudly and ruffled Peter's hair. “That's Aunt Nat's good boy,” she winked at him, then registered Tony's warning look. “But do you know I'm shooting a water pistol?”

Peter frowned as he thought about her words. "But I thought you were a spy. And spies need real guns, don't they?"

"Well, that depends on what kind of spy you are, you know? And I'm lucky enough to shoot a water pistol. That's a lot of fun!" she tried to convince him enthusiastically, then quickly changed the subject: "So, have you decided what game to play yet?"

"Not yet."

"Let's have a good time while the dads are away," she said, smiling at him and going to sit on the sofa, placing the bowl on the table.

Tony gave his son a brief hug, then looked at him solemnly. “You´ll be fine with Auntie Nat?“

"Sure," he grinned at him. "And if our house gets raided, Nat's got a water pistol and she's going to take out all the bad guys!"

The dark-haired man sighed, and Natasha shrugged innocently. "It's just in the kid's blood. I would be surprised if he doesn´t want to be a superhero when his family is all superheroes.” Then she gave Tony an encouraging wink. “Don´t worry, Tones, we can make it. And when you come, Steve will tell us a story about the birth of Jesus.”

Tony looked up at his husband, barely holding back a laugh. “Oh, I almost forgot. Oh boy, it must have been amazing to know how was the first Christmas."

Peter turned to the blond man eagerly. “Really, dad?“

Steve shook his head in disbelief. “How old do you think I am?” When everyone was eloquently silent, he just sighed and decided not to comment further. Tony affectionately ruffled Peter's hair, and then the two of them said goodbye to him, leaving for the foyer to get dressed. Tony took one last anxious glance into the living room before they left the house, but to his relief, Peter seemed content and eager to explain the rules of his favorite game to Natasha.

'You'd think Peter would be more dependent on you, not that you'd be dependent on him,' Steve said, amused but affectionate, as they walked arm in arm towards the restaurant.

Tony elbowed him in the ribs. "Hey, knock it off, old man," he warned but smiled. Then he looked up at Steve. “You and Peter… you are everything to me. You're my second chance, and I'm not going to waste it."

Steve smiled gently and put his arm around his shoulders, pulling him closer to him. "You're everything to us, too, Tony," he replied, and the other man stopped him, took hold of his cheeks, and stood on tiptoes for a kiss. Steve kissed back enthusiastically and ran his fingers through his hair. “I always wanted a family. Some things are a little different than I imagined years ago, but that doesn't matter, because this," he looked deeply into his eyes, "this is perfect," he assured him.