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Uncle Nick

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Tony sleeps on Nick's lap.

Bruce won't admit he's scared, when he can't find the small boy in what used to be their room. He goes to the workshop, and then runs to the rooftop.

JARVIS stops him, and guides him to Tony's huge TV room.

 

Nick is wearing civilian clothes, a blue jumper and black jeans, he looks almost... Not safe, no. Men like Nick Fury were too dangerous to even inspire safety in people.

But right there, a hand on top of the little boy's head, watching a documentary about dolphins, he looks almost peaceful.

 

"Hey, kid. Look who's here to see you." he sounds almost kind when he puts Tony on his hip, and takes him to Bruce's arms. "Be nice for me, okay ?"

"'kay." Tony naps on Bruce's shoulder, clutching at his CapBear.

 

"Don't put salmon on his plate." Fury takes Tony's plate and puts things on it carefully. Potatoes, spinach, and a piece of chicken he finds in the fridge. "Kid hates it with passion. He threw up all over his father's shoes one day. Said he didn't like the texture. Can't remember what made me laugh harder, Howard's look, or a five year old using the word texture with puke on his face."

Bruce eyes the greens in a silent question.

"He loves everything green and leafy. Ever noticed these disgusting green juice the man chugs ?"

 

Tony eats sitting on Bruce's lap. He finishes his plate, and steals pieces of lettuce from Bruce's.

Nick smiles at him, and asks him a few questions about his bear, and his toys. Tony smiles and anwers, looking at ease and happy.

 

"You used to take care of Tony, boss ?"

Clint never misses. He empties his cup of coffee, and sits on the floor next to a napping Tony. It tooks him less than a minute to create a sort of nest for them both, using pillows and a few plaids.

"I've known Stark for a very long time, even if the brat doesn't remember most of it." Clint smiles and gets comfortable on the floor. Tony reaches for him and snuggles close, letting a happy sigh escape.

"I'm glad you were there for him."

 

Bruce watches them from the kitchen door. It's a whole conversation in just two sentences, and both men said more than he ever expected to learn from them.

 

"Is Uncle Nick coming back ?" Steve folds himself in half, low enough to catch Tony's eyes. Tony is still a little afraid at Captain America, still unsure that Captain America is his friend, and it's okay for them to play together.

"I am not sure, Tony. You want to call him ?"

"It's alright." Tony shakes his head, and accepts the hand Steve holds out to him. "But we have to bring him a souvenir from the park. He always brings me souvenirs."

 

When Tony finally falls asleep, clutching his bear close to his chest, tears stuck on his eyelashes, Nick is there, hands on his tiny back, running up and down his spine.

"You need to keep your voice down, Rogers." He's the one who breaks the silence after Tony's meltdown at Steve's shouts. Steve looks mortified, and opens his mouth to answer, probably to apologize, but the older man doesn't let go easily. "I don't fucking care what was going on, I don't care about you guys fighting over everything and everyone. This boy is terrified, and he needs to feel safe."

Steve closes his mouth so abrumptly they can all hear his teeth clack together. All his military focus is in the nod he gives.

"Doctor Banner ?" Bruce waits for his turn. It doesn't come. "Please stay with the boy. He'll probably wake up in a few hours."

 

Bruce watches Tony sleep. It's still very odd, to think of this tiny boy, and to picture the man sharing his life. He isn't sure he's ready to completely let go of the idea of Tony, his Tony coming back to him. But this small Tony has secrets he doesn't know about. Friends he had no idea he could count on.

"Bruce." Tony opens his eyes, and his bottom lip is shaking.

"I love you, Tony. Come here."

 

Tony sleeps against his chest, safe.