A No Good, Very Bad Day
He wished he never got out of bed that morning. He should have gone right back to bed when he accidently gripped his glass of orange juice too hard and shattered the cup, cutting his hand. Tony cleaned the mess while Stephen tended to the teen’s hand, and then Peter left for school without a word.
It only got worse.
He missed the subway, so he had to take the next one which made him late for school, and when he got to his locker he realized he forgot his book report at home. That was at least easy to fix. He could call Stephen and ask the man to portal it to him.
Ned was absent so getting through the day would be harder without his distraction, and he even managed to fall off the rope in gym glass. Very Spiderman like. He still wasn’t sure how it happened.
He would have been able to brush all of that aside, but then Flash happened. Peter tried to leave as fast as possible as soon as the final bell rung, but he must have been waiting for him because he tripped Peter as he was walking around the corner to the main doors. Flash laughs when he swan dives to the floor and his next words shatter Peter’s heart.
“Hey Penis! I’m surprised Tony Stark is still alive considering your curse.” Peter pushes himself to his feet. “It’s only a matter of time until you kill him too. Then you’ll have no one. You’re just a charity case Parker.”
Tears spring to his eyes but he blinks them away. He wouldn’t give Flash the satisfaction. It would only spur the other teen on and he didn’t want to hear any more insults. So he rushes off and through the main doors and blindly climbs into the familiar Audi in silence. Peter ignores the concerned look Happy gives him through the rearview mirror and elects to look out his window to avoid conversation.
You’re just a charity case.
That wasn’t true was it? Tony and Stephen seemed to genuinely care about him…but maybe it really was for the public. Tony Stark taking in and caring for an orphan from Queens? It would definitely give a positive impression.
Or maybe it was because he was Spiderman. Maybe Tony wanted to keep him close in case he need his powers.
Even if all of that wasn’t true, something else bothered Peter.
The teen was inclined to agree with Flash in that regard. Peter had two sets of parents already and they all died. He was legitimately terrified of losing Tony and Stephen. They were the only parental figures he had left and if something happened to them…
Peter chokes on a sob as he jumps out of the car when Happy pulls up to the tower, and hangs his head when he steps into the elevator. He needed to push down his emotions and lock them away. It wouldn’t do to worry Tony and Stephen anymore.
“Are you alright Peter? You seemed distressed.” FRIDAY asks.
The AI says nothing as the elevator doors open on the family floor and a trembling hand immediately grabs his chin as soon as he steps off. Stephen tilts Peter’s chin up and to the side, and frowns.
“Did someone hit you?”
Peter pushed the sorcerer away. “I fell. I’m fine.”
“I said I’m fine!” The teen shouts. “I’m just a charity case anyway!”
Stephen narrows his eyes. “Charity case?! You are anything but! Where did that even come from?”
“So I’m here because of Spiderman?! Is that why Tony took me in?!”
“Spiderling what is going on? Do I need to get your father?” Stephen reaches out but Peter flinches away.
“He’s not my dad…and neither are you.” The sorcerer recoils and the teen looks away from the elder man’s hurt expression. “Just leave me alone.”
Peter rushes into his room before Stephen collects himself to react and he slumps against the wall after slamming the door. The hurt he saw in the sorcerer’s eyes hurt him too but he decided pushing them away was the best decision. He’d rather they hate him and be alive than be dead because Peter cared about them. He couldn’t lose another set of parents.
With another choked sob, he fumbles to take his watch off and he throws it, his phone, and his Spiderman suit into the closet. He was going to leave and didn’t want his parents to track him. No. Not his parents anymore. He didn’t deserve them. He wasn’t going to take anything except the clothes on his back and whatever money he had, and maybe his web shooters. Peter wasn’t about to risk another confrontation with Stephen or Tony, so his exit was going to have to be his bedroom window.
He would climb his way down.
Tony whistles as he strolls into the living room and he pauses when he finds Stephen sitting on the couch with his head in his hands. Scarred hands were very obviously shaking and that told the billionaire that his boyfriend was anxious, so he rushes to sit next to the sorcerer and rubs his back.
“You alright? Did you have a nightmare or something?”
Stephen laughs half-heartedly. “If only. I’m still waiting to wake up.”
Ok. Now Tony was really worried. “Where’s Peter?!”
“He’s okay. Physically at least. He’s in his room.”
“What do you mean physically?”
Stephen takes a shuddering breath and lowers his hands into his lap. “Peter came home looking upset. I saw a bruise and asked him about it, and he told me that he just fell and he was fine. I was going to ask him if he wanted an ice pack…and he went off about being a charity case.”
“Where the hell did he get that idea?”
“He didn’t say. I asked if he wanted me to get you and…he said…” Strange swallows. “That you weren’t his father…and neither was I.”
Tony curses. “I bet you everything that Flash kid said something. Just give Peter some time to calm down. I’m sure he didn’t mean it.”
Stephen nods and Tony gets up after pressing a kiss to his temple and makes his way into the kitchen. Peter must have had a terrible day if said something as hurtful as he did, and to Stephen no less. It made him wonder if there was more than what was said because his son was too nice for this world to say something so heartbreaking without a reason. Peter was hurting more than he let on and that also meant the kid was thinking too much. Tony didn’t know what about though.
A few hours pass as the engineer plans and makes dinner, and when their meal is finished, Tony asks Stephen to get their son. The sorcerer does with some hesitation, before racing into the kitchen in a panic.
“Tony, Peter’s gone.”
Tony freezes. “What? Are you sure?”
Stephen holds up the Spiderman suit, cellphone, and watch, causing Tony to blanch. “When did Peter leave FRIDAY?”
“Shortly after his argument with the doctor. He told me he was getting some fresh air. Shall I check neighborhood surveillance?”
The billionaire swipes a hand through his hair. “Its too dark for that. Stephen did you check for hair?”
“He thought of that too.”
“Okay…we’ll just have to look the good old fashioned way. He won’t be getting very far at this hour.”
“I’ll check bus stations and…alleys.”
Tony nods. “I’ll call Ned and look around Queens.”
It was nearly two o'clock in the morning when a thought came to Stephen. Tony had called to let him know that Peter wasn’t at his friend’s and that he was going to check his usual haunts, and Stephen had checked bus stations, subways, and any other place of transportation with no luck. When he recalled his rather one-sided argument with Peter he remembered the teen renouncing he and Tony as his parents.
Wasn’t his family buried?
With that in mind, Stephen opens a portal to the graveyard they went to for May’s funeral and immediately begins his search for Peter or specific graves. He found his parents graves first. Ben and May were right next to them but Peter was nowhere to be seen. Perhaps this was the last place Peter would want to go. It was, after all, a reminder that he was the last remaining Parker, and he probably thought he was alone if Stephen knew him well enough.
A sneeze from behind Richard’s grave startles Stephen from his thoughts, and he steps around the large stone marker to find Peter huddled against it. The sorcerer falls to his knees in front of him and reaches out to brush away brown curls, waking the dozing boy.
“You’re freezing.” Levi moves from his shoulders and wraps around Peter’s shivering form.
“What are you doing here?” Peter whispers.
Stephen grabs the boy’s face and forces him to meet his gaze. “I’m here to take you home. You had us worried.”
Peter pushes his hands away. “I don’t want to be a charity case.”
“I already told you, you are anything but. The moment you called us when May…” Stephen sighs at the younger’s flinch. “Tony called his lawyers about adopting you. He…we…didn’t want you to go anywhere else. You are important to us and even if we aren’t your parents, you are our son. That will never change.”
A tear falls down Peter’s face and the sorcerer gently wipes it away. “I don’t want anyone else to die because of me.”
Stephen pulls the boy into his chest and gently strokes trembling fingers through his curls. The cold was starting to affect the pain in his hands but he would ignore it for now.
“Peter…no one died because of you. They were all terrible accidents.”
Peter sobs. “You and Tony are all I have left. What if something happens?”
“You still have the rest of the Avengers, Happy, and even Pepper. But,” Stephen pushes Peter away just enough to look at him. “Tony and I don’t plan on dying anytime soon. At least Tony isn’t. I’ve died thousands of times already.”
Peter looks at him incredulously. “What?”
Stephen chuckles. “I annoyed an other-worldly being with a time loop.” Peter actually laughed at that. “Now please, let me take you home.”
Peter nods after a moment and the two move to their feet, but before Stephen can start opening a portal, strong arms wrap around his waist and the teen buries his face into the sorcerer’s shoulder.
“I’m sorry Mom.”
Strange sighs with relief at the familiar term as he returns the hug, and then adjusts Levi around Peter’s shoulders when he finally pulls away. He turns and opens a portal, leading the teen through, and Peter sits at the table while Stephen heats up their dinner. It was halfway through their meal and the sorcerer was drinking his tea mid-sip when he remembered an important detail and spews his tea.
“I forgot about your father!”