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It was supposed to be a lazy sunday. Clint and Tony slept late and when they got up they went to one of Tony’s favorite places to have brunch. It was a small cafe not far away from Central Park and they loved it. People there knew them and they didn’t get bothered by fans

“Come on,” Clint said when they left the cafe later. Happy waited for them beside one of Tony’s limousines and had already opened the door. “It’s a beautiful day. Let’s take a walk through the park.” 

“You want to walk in the park?” Tony asked, a brow raised and Clint nodded, a broad smile on his lips. 

“The sun is shining, it’s warm, we have nothing to do,” he said. “Come on, it’ll be nice.” 

Tony pursed his lips but then he nodded and went to Happy to tell him that they would walk. Happy sighed and just wanted to get into his car when they both heard screams and yells from the sidewalk behind. 

Tony whirled around, saw Clint look in his direction, his hands over his stomach… and slump down to the ground. 

“Clint!!” he yelled and ran to him. “Clint!” 

A man with a handbag and a bloody knife in his hand stared disbelievingly at the scene in front of him. And then he seemed to realize what just happened and tried to run away. It was Happy who stopped him with a fist in his face. 

Tony slithered down beside Clint. He tried to say something but blood bubbled out of his mouth. 

“Ambulance!” Tony screamed at the people around them. “Call an ambulance!” 

“T-tony,” Clint managed but it seemed to hurt a lot.

“Shh, baby,” Tony said and leaned down to him. He pressed his hand on the bleeding wound in Clint’s stomach. 

“Oh god,” a woman cried. “He… he tried to help me.” 

“What happened?” Tony snapped and looked at her. Happy had his phone pressed to his ear and called an ambulance already. 

“This guy tried to rob my purse but… but he stopped him and then…” she shook her head. “He had a knife…” 

“T-tony…” Clint whispered barely audibly. “I… I… l-love…” 

“Shh, Clint. Don’t try to speak,” Tony said. Clint was so pale and there was so much blood.

“I… I…” 

“No, Clint,” he said when he winced again and lost consciousness. “No, Clint! Stay with me! Please, stay with me!” 

Where was the ambulance? Why did it take so long for them to come? 

“Please, Clint, don’t do that to me, don’t leave me alone!” He knelt beside him, held his head in his lap and pressed his hand on his stomach. Blood seeped through Tony’s hands. 

“I love you, Clint,” he said. “Don’t leave me, do you hear me? Please, baby, stay with me!”

He had no idea how much time passed when he heard the siren of the ambulance. Two women shoved him aside, started to work while Tony always murmured that Clint should stay with him. 

And then one of the EMTs said the words Tony dreaded the most. Happy was beside him and held him. 

“I’m sorry, sir.”

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Chapter Five - Something Different

Masterlist

A/N: for a minute writing this chapter I really felt some golden-trio style convo going on lol, how nostalgic. This is the longest chapter yet, so have fun reading!

Warnings: unusual behavior, light violence and blood.

~~~~~

“Waft! Do not directly smell the solution!”

Peter and I are in chem, trying to finish up a lab. It’s been a few days since our pleasant movie night when he crashed at my house, and the cookout is coming up this weekend. Which also means our date is getting sooner by the day.

“Pass me the iodine?” He asks, bringing my thoughts back to the real world. I go to grab the beaker when I hear another student speak loudly from the corner of the room.

“Hey, Ms. Elliot. Why are all these test tubes locked up?” Sarah Hildersen stands next to a tall glass cabinet against the back wall. It strikes me as unusual that she’s bringing attention to herself for a question so out of place, as from what I know about her she’s a very shy and reserved girl.

“Miss Hildersen, those are the highly reactive chemicals we keep, purely for demonstration,” the older woman says, “Please continue with your lab.”

I turn to give Peter a look, but when I glance back his features are contorted. He’s sensing something.

All off a sudden there’s a crash of shattering glass from the back of the room, I jump in my seat, as I see that Sarah has thrust her bare fist through the glass case, grabbing the nearest test tube and uncorking it.

“Sarah Hildersen!” Ms. Elliot exclaims, standing promptly at her desk and moving quickly toward the girl.

I watch in bewilderment as Sarah, without hesitation, pours the entire contents of the tube into the solution of her beaker.

The entire class takes cover as a loud reaction takes place, singeing Sarah’s shirt sleeves and ultimately setting off the fire alarms.

“What the hell?” I say, mostly to myself as I stare at the blood dripping from Sarah’s knuckles. Our classmates begin to cough, and Peter lifts a sleeve over his mouth and nose while he ushers me into the flow of our classmates out the door. Since when has Sarah ever been one to exhibit such reckless, weird behavior? Since when has anyone at Midtown? I take a final glance back before we pass through the doorway only to witness Sarah’s glazed and confused stare, her hands held forth in front of her.

When Peter and I finally reach the fire-safe zone Ned catches our attention.

“Hey! People are saying something happened in the chem lab?” he asks, “Did you guys see it?”

“Yeah, Sarah H. got all weird all of a sudden and broke into the restricted chemical cabinet,” he looks around and ducks close to the both of us before continuing, “and I could have sworn I got a feeling about it. Like, a feeling feeling.”

Ned looks quizzical, “But Peter, doesn’t that only happen when there’s, like, a real threat? I mean, that’s crazy and all but I don’t think it could put you in all that much danger, it’s not like — “

The boys continue to ramble to each other about Peter’s spidey-sense, but my attention is drawn past them toward the frenzy of students and staff fleeing the building. Some of our fellow chem students are still wearing their goggles and aprons. Others are stuck in P.E. uniforms. The fire department arrives soon, and I observe as a few of the firefighters speak with the principal and another member of the staff — Ms. Elliot? She seems to explain something to the crew, and they run quickly into the building. Several minutes pass. Kids complain about having to leave, some joke about the building actually burning and getting out of school. I try to ignore their comments when I finally see the doors re-open, revealing the firefighter crew marching out of the building with a coughing and shaken Sarah in tow, covering her face with an oxygen mask. Her gait is robotic, her eyes startled but distant.

“Something’s wrong with her,” I state.

“No kidding, she practically tried to poison your whole class.”

I turn back to the boys, “No, Ned, look at her. Peter, did you see the look on her face in class? And how she looks now? It’s like she has no idea what happened. She’s confused.”

“Okay?” Peter says, “And that means… what?”

I sigh, annoyed but without an answer, “I don’t know, but that wasn’t like her. At all. She’s probably had a spotless record since kindergarten and now this?”

“It’s weird, right, but she asked Ms. Elliot what they were and then turned back and shoved her fist through the glass anyway, we both saw it.”

“Yeah, we both saw it Peter, normal people don’t just put their fist through a glass cabinet! I’m telling you, I don’t know what, but there’s something up with her.”

The three of us turn to watch as she’s sat in the back of an ambulance, legs dangling over the side. The police have arrived and currently look like they’re trying to ask her about what happened. She doesn’t seem to be answering — or even acknowledging — them. That moment, my shoulder is jostled by someone with lab goggles on their head, and I turn to see none other than Sarah’s lab partner.

“Hey, you were working with Sarah, right?” I ask, and the other girl nods, “Did she seem off before that stunt? That seemed really out of character.”

Obviously concerned for her friend, her gaze is past my shoulder where Sarah sits, still failing to answer questions. She answers nonetheless, “It was so strange. I mean, one minute we were just talking about the procedures and our English project, and the next thing I know she’s shut down. That’s when she stood up and asked Ms. Elliot about the test tubes.”

I want to ask her more, but my attention is torn when I hear a familiar voice.

“Hey, kids!” Peter and I spin to see Happy pulled up to the curb, shouting through the window of his car.

“Happy?” Peter says, “What are you doing here? They haven’t dismissed us yet.”

“Tony called the school, you and iron kid, hop in.” We say our goodbyes to Ned and join Happy in the car. I note that our belongings are still in the chem room, to which he responds, “They aren’t letting kids back in there ‘till the whole air system is filtered out. You’ll probably get your stuff back tomorrow. Gets you out of the homework at least, right?”

“Yeah. Good thing too, the calc packet was due tomorrow,” Peter turns to me, “Had you even started that yet?”

“What are you talking about?” I ask quizzically, “I finished it in study hall the day he assigned it.”

Peter gives me a bewildered look, severely confused by something, “What? You told me the other night you hadn’t started it yet.”

“When? There was no ‘night’ before I had it done?”

“At your house, after making cookies. When we fell asleep?”

“‘We’ fell asleep?” Happy butts in.

“Morgan was there!” I brush him off and return my attention back to Peter, “I don’t remember that at all. I was probably only half awake or something.”

“Right, yeah,” and with that Peter decides to leave it be.

We arrive back at the lake house soon enough and hang out for a while until my parents deem it time for dinner. The table is set for the five of us, and Morgan feigns not wanting to sit for a minute before my dad promises her a cookie for dessert behind Pepper’s back. I give her a thumbs up before Peter and I join my family at the table, and we all start to enjoy the meal.

“So there was a chemical spill at school?” Pepper asks.

“I wouldn’t really call it a spill,” I say, “Do you guys remember Sarah Hildersen? She’s been in my class since middle school?”

“Vaguely,” my dad answers, “Quiet kid, right?”

“Exactly. And today she just decided to break into the restricted chemical cabinet with her bare fists, and dump a random test tube into her solution.”

“What?”

“It was so strange, she didn’t seem like herself at all.”

Peter clears his throat, “I don’t know, maybe she’s just going through a thing?”

“Peter, even you said you felt it coming!” I exclaim frustratedly, “I really think there was something seriously off about her, it was just so… unusual. And you saw her face after, it was like she had no idea what was going on.”

“That is weird…” Tony agrees, “Even underoos had a sense about it?”

Peter nods, and I continue, “I’m telling you, it was seriously out of the ordinary.”

“Oh!” My dad drops the subject, “Speaking of, what the hell were you doing roaming around like a zombie last night? Morgan came to get me, nearly scared the shit out of her.”

“Tony!”

“Shit.”

“Don’t say that word!” He corrects the give year old before turning back to me, “But seriously, what was up with that?”

“I was walking around? I don’t even remember, could I have been sleepwalking?”

“I mean, maybe, but you never have before. Not even when you were little.”

I sigh, pushing my food around my plate in confusion. What’s with these strange stories I’m suddenly hearing about myself while I should be asleep? First Peter claims sleep talking, and now sleepwalking?

I decide to let it rest for now, and soon enough dinner is finished. I say goodbye to Peter before he’s driven back into the city to patrol for a few hours. Because of the whole school incident I don’t have any homework to do, so I head up to my room early, eventually drifting off to a hopefully restful sleep.

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Whumptober Day 16: Pinned Down

Tony was awoken by loud thudding noises. At first he thought it was an earthquake, until he sat up in bed and found that his room was shaking due to something coming from upstairs.


It’s moments like this that Tony regrets putting the tower’s gym right above his bedroom. But who would be in the gym at 5:30 in the morning? Tony climbed out of his bed, pausing on the edge to pet the sudden dizziness pass.


By the time he had slumped up the stairs and into the gym, he already a guess of who was sparring this early.


“Peter. What the hell are you doing up so early?” Tony asked, moving to sit on the edge of the weight machine.


Peter stood in the middle of the sparring mat, currently in a fight with Natasha.


“I couldn’t sleep, so Tasha’s helping me practice.” Tony decided not to comment on the fact that Peter was now calling the Black Widow ‘Tasha’. Instead, he grabbed a soda out of the ice chest.


She was clearly winning, seeing as Tony had never once seen her lose throughout all the years he’s known her. But it was also obvious that she was taking it easy on the kid.


Tony watched the two spar, occasionally handing Peter helpful tips, but for the most part he remained silent. He hadn’t known Peter was this good at fighting. Most of Peter’s superhero fights consist of shooting people with webs from a safe distance.


It was around 6:15 am when Natasha grabbed Peter’s left arm and flipped him over her shoulder. Peter was giggling as she sat on his lap, effectively trapping him.


“Try and get up.” Natasha smirked, clearly confident that Peter couldn’t pass this test.


“Tasha, there’s no way I can do that without hurting you. Let me up.” Peter said, feeling his body tense up.


“Peter, when someone is attacking you, you can’t be worried about hurting them. You have to put yourself first.” Natasha told him, failing to notice the way Peter’s breathing was speeding up.


Tony however, did notice. He also noticed the wide eyes of the teenager, and the way his fists were clenched.


“Natasha, let him go.” Natasha could heat that Tony was being serious, so she climbed off Peter’s lap. The young avenger remained on the floor, his breathing picking up faster and faster.


“Peter? Hey. Look at me.” Tony said, moving towards the teenager to place a comforting hand on his shoulder.


“Is he okay?” Natasha asked, sitting next to them on the floor.


“He has a claustrophobia problem. Give him a minute.” Tony told her, rubbing Peter’s shoulder. His eyes were clenched shut and he was covering them with his hands.


“маленький паук.” Natasha said, resting her hand on the kid’s forehead. Tony couldn’t help but notice the way Peter’s body immediately relaxed at the nickname, a sigh escaping his lips.


“It’s okay, Peter. You’re safe.” She assured him, pulling his hands away from his eyes. “Look around you. You’re safe.”


Peter sat up, nervously looking around the room, before finally his eyes settled on Natasha’s warm smile.


“See? Tony and I are here. It’s okay.” Tony scooted closer to Peter, wrapping an arm around his shoulders.


It took a few minutes, but Peter eventually managed to slow his breathing, allowing Tony and Natasha to assure him that he was safe and free to go whenever he wanted.


The two adults waited patiently, but Tony could practically smell the burning curiosity radiating from Natasha.


“Peter? Wanna tell me what that was about?” She asked, gently gripping Peter’s shoulder to get his attention.


It was then that Tony remembered that he was the only one Peter had told about his night with the Vulture. It hadn’t even occurred to either of them that they should tell Natasha or Steve.


Peter sighed, moving to sit on the couch in the living room, while Natasha and Tony followed.


“Did Mr. Stark ever tell you about the night that I fought the Vulture? The guy that was trying to hijack his plane?” Peter asked, wrapping his arms around his stomach.


“He told me the basic story. But I don’t know any of the details. What I do know, is that you were very brave. And that you saved Mr. Toomes’ life, and that plane.” She said, glancing at Tony.


“Well, before we got on the plane, I caught up to Mr. Toomes in an abandoned warehouse. He used his mechanical wing suit to break down the support beams of the building.” Peter paused, wiping a tear from his face. Natasha moved so that she was next to him on the couch, wrapping an arm around his side.


“I didn’t notice what he was doing at first. But then the building just collapsed. It just fell right down on top of me and knocked me out. I can’t be sure but I think I was only unconscious for a few seconds.” Tony could feel the muscles in his body tightening as he listened to this story for the second time.


“When I woke up I was on my stomach on top of a bunch of rocks. And there was something heavy on my back, pinning me down. And I couldn’t breathe. I was so scared, and I didn’t have my phone so I couldn’t call anyone. And I just remember thinking that no one was coming for me.” Peter sniffled, and Natasha handed him a box of tissues.


“I don’t know how I did it, but I managed to lift the rubble off of me and climb out. It feels stupid, but I get really panicky when I’m stuck. I just feel like I’m right back under that building, scared and alone.” Peter cried, curling into Natasha’s side.


“маленький паук, I want you to know that that is completely normal. It’s called Post Traumatic Stress. And y’know what? I have that problem sometimes too.” That got Peter’s attention. He looked up, tears in his eyes.


“Really?” He asks, seeming skeptical.


“Of course! And I’m sure Tony and Steve have it too. We’re still human. And so are you.” Natasha said, poking Peter’s nose. “I know you wish you could get over it because of how long it’s been, but you have to remember that everybody is different. It might take you some time, but one day you will move past this.”


Peter seemed comforted by her words, a small smile appearing in his face.


“Thanks, Tasha.” He said, resting his head on her shoulder.


“Next time I’m scaring you, you have to tell me okay?” She insisted, making sure to look him in the eye. He only nodded, relaxing against her side.


Tony smiled at the two, before deciding it was best to give them some space. He left, but not before receiving a deathly glare from Natasha that clearly said “you tell anyone about this and I’ll kill you”. He nodded, before backing out of the room with a grin.

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