Little Snip of a Little Man, I Know I’d Give My Life For You
y’all get bonus points if you know the song the title is a lyric from
guys it’s true i would absolutely die for @parkrstark but i haven’t written a fic without tony playing with peter’s curls in like three months and i think it’s her fault (or the best idea in the world i haven’t decided)
so here’s so shameless peter whump PLUS curls
i don’t know when this takes place, just bare with me.
[tw: there’s a lot of blood]
“Mr.Stark, I don’t think that’s a good idea-”
“Don’t you trust me, kid? We’re going in.” The chemical warehouse is dimly lit, and he can hear the last thug rummaging through shelves.
“No, no, I do, but it just feels wrong.” The kid sounds so damn sure, but he doesn’t change his mind.
The man comes out from the shelves, his rusty knife dripping in a green liquid that looks somewhat like a melted jolly-rancher, and Tony’s ready to blast him, but before he can, something shocks his body sharply. He’s vaguely aware of his suit going dead and Peter getting stabbed in the leg with that knife before giving in to the pain.
This wasn’t the kind of mission you could just mess up. So how in the fucking world did Tony manage to do just that? He should have listened to the kid. Maybe he wouldn’t be withering on the dimly lit cell floor, desperately clawing his ears and coughing up blood.
Now the kid’s poisoned, and he has no suit and no way of contact with the others.
Yeah, Tony fucked up big time.
The kid’s face is exposed as he cries, because that neat group of low grade thugs were actually not so low grade and decided to learn some stupid spider-kid’s identity. He’s gonna kill each and every one of them.
“Mr.Stark, it hurts so bad.” Peter bites back a scream. Tony had decided hours ago there was no way he was letting this kid die alone, so he gingerly hugged Peter close to his chest as he cried.
For the first time in awhile, he feels helpless.
The wound in Peter’s leg is tinted with the same green liquid as the knife, and while Tony had attempted to wrap it with his ripped jacket, there was no way of telling what would happen if he accidentally touched it.
Peter claws at his bleeding ears again, and there’s so much blood.
It stains the ground, Peter’s lips, Tony’s shirt and hands.
It leaks from his ears, nose, mouth, leg.
Tony wants to scream as much as Peter does.
“I know, I know, it’s okay, Petey, it’s okay.” He grits out in a tentative voice, trying hard to keep his voice from cracking or showing any signs of uneasiness. Something like a mantra repeats in his head as if to say Let him know you love him. You have to show him. Don’t let him die alone.
The other part of him keeps saying He’s not going to die, because I’ll kill him if he does.
He wipes the blood away from his face with his sleeve.
He can’t shout to get their attention in fear of Peter’s sensitive hearing, so when the metal door swings up with a creek, he’s almost relieved.
He still cradles Peter close, shielding his face from the sudden light. It’s a man with a tall build, a buzz-cut, and a thick beard. The look on his face is one of cruelty, yet there was a tight smirk on his face as he meets Tony’s eyes.
“The famous Iron Man, captured by my hand. It’s truly an honor, Mr.Stark.” His words are of praise, but his voice gives Tony goosebumps. He feels Peter stiffen in his arms.
“And who are you?” Tony growls. The man’s smirk becomes a creepy grin.
“Ah, the name’s John. John Kenton. You don’t know me, but my guys have been trailing you for years.” He takes a step closer, and instinctively Tony clutches Peter tighter. John pulls back and chuckles.
“And that’s why you’re here.” He pulls out Peter’s mask from one pocket.
“What?” Tony chirps.
“We like watching what makes the great Tony Stark tick. What he hates, what he knows, but most importantly, what he loves.” John pauses and pulls a wad of gauze from his other pocket. “And because you keep eyes on that pretty little fiancée of yours at all times, we went for second best. The public seems to adore your relationship.” He gestured towards Peter, who was desperately trying not to cry out in pain. He watched as John rolled the gauze in his hands a couple of times before tossing it to him. He caught it without thinking, but didn’t register its use.
“That was your plan? Lure me and the kid to you silly little warehouse and kidnap us?” Tony wiped more blood from Peter’s nose.
“Well, it worked, didn’t it?” John snapped his fingers, and the same goon that stabbed Peter came in holding a tray. On it was what looked like water, though it was slightly grey, and a bread-type food. He set it down in front of them without looking up.
“The gauze is for his leg. He hasn’t got long, but it’ll still be fun to watch him die without you being able to save him.”
Tony felt the anger build up inside, and it took every part of him not to fight.
“Then what? You kill me?” Tony asked sharply. John simply shook his head and chuckled.
“Too easy. You’ll see what we’ve got planned.”
The metal door closed loudly, and the scream Peter had been holding in came out in a loud coughing fit. Tony carefully wraps Peter’s leg, and once he’s done he runs a hand through sweaty curls. He slides the tray over with his feet and sits Peter up, bringing the “bread” to his lips.
“You gotta eat, bud. You’ve got a spider metabolism, remember?” It’s a lame attempt, but Peter manages to take a small bite before coughing even harsher, his nose gushing.
“W-What’s happening t-to me?” He bites out, tears flowing down his cheeks. “I c-can hear v-voices. Why are t-there voices?” His hands cling tightly to Tony’s shirt.
“It’s okay, little man, it’s just me.” Tony soothes, tucking his head under his chin. “Listen to my heart, okay? Block it all out.”
He should have just listened to his kid.
The next day somehow gets worse. He knows in the back of his mind that the kid is going to die, but God knows he’s not going to give in so quickly.
He’s a sickly green color underneath the blood, and the raging fever on top doesn’t help at all. Tony’s taken to using to dirty water to wet stripes of his jacket in order to cool him off, but it’s almost no use.
“Talk to me, kiddo. It’s boring without your chatter.”
Peter barely stirs at first, but he slowly opens an eye to look at Tony.
“Talk?” He croaks out. Tony nods.
“Tell me a story, any story.” He returns his hand to his head of hair while Peter pulls a thinking face.
“Did I have tell ya ‘bout the time Ben an’ me saw a moose?” Peter slurs, his head drooping into Tony’s chest. Ben. Peter doesn’t mention him often. Only on the bad days.
Tony guessed this counted as a bad day.
“No, kid, you haven’t. Do tell.”
Peter nods, but then winces and touches the blood from his nose.
“Um, he took me to Maine for a camping trip. We were walkin’ and it came outta nowhere. He walked across the trail and went back into the woods. It was like we ‘magined it or something…” Peter trailed off and his head tipped back dangerously, Tony stopping it before he could swallow any blood.
“Tony,” he began after a minute of coughing. “Tony, am I gonna die?”
He doesn’t call him Tony unless he means it.
Tony sighs, and the tears he had been holding in since they arrived came out in one breath. He shakes as his hugs his kid, his boy, as close as possible.
“I don’t know, kiddie, I don’t have the answer.”
But he did have that answer.
It’s day three that’s both the best and the worse.
The kid won’t stop bleeding. It’s like a murder scene from a crime drama and Tony wants to burst right into tears. His eyes are hazy and unfocused, his skin boiling so much that even Tony is sweating. Peter has barely eaten or drank anything for three days and it’s catching up to him.
“Tony, Tony, make it stop!” Peter screams, sobbing in Tony’s arms as he rocks him tightly.
“Shh, Peter, it’s okay, it’s okay.”
But it’s not fucking okay.
Peter wraps his bloodied arms around Tony’s. He’s so small and childlike that it hurts Tony greatly.
“I can’t stop hearing them. It hurts so bad.”
Peter calms down after a bit, but it’s different.
The look on his face is a clear indication that he was dying.
Tony gently cups the back of Peter’s neck, using his free hand to sooth him by untangling the knots in his greasy hair.
“Peter, hey, look at me.” He says softly. The boy whimpered and looked up. Tony wiped stray tears from his face, finding a new sense of parental love he didn’t really know he had.
“I’m scared.” Peter cries. And it breaks Tony’s heart. “I don’t want to– I don’t-”
He chokes on more blood before Tony can turn him over. Tony shushes him and cradles him and wishes it were him instead.
“Hey Peter? Kid?” Peter looks up again.
“I love you, you know that? I forgot to say it before.” The words come out before Tony even realizes, but he means them all the same.
Peter tries for a smile, but his features go kind of slack before he can.
Eyes half lidded, Tony takes a shaky breath and waits, trying to give every ounce of love he can in one hug before the kid leaves him for good.
He’s ready to hear the kid’s last breath, when suddenly to door swings open, and it’s not John or the knife guy, it’s Rhodey.
“Tony! Tony–” He freezes when he sees Peter. “Oh my God.”
He rushes to Peter’s side, laying a hand on his forehead.
“He hasn’t got long, reunions later.” Tony grits out, placing Peter in Rhodey’s arms. Rhodey gives a tight nod, and as they exit the cell, Tony grabs the mask from John’s unconscious body.
It takes three days for Helen Cho to find an antidote, and another four for it to work.
Pepper comes and goes, and while normally Tony would really need to be pushed to eat, he could eat half of Russia and still be hungry. So she brings him food and kisses his head and holds his hand and it’s nice.
But he doesn’t let himself feel at peace until Peter finally opens his eyes.
It’s slow and he doesn’t see him for a little bit, but when Peter finally looks at him without blood all over his face, he breathes.
“Tony?” His voice cracks.
“Hi, little man.” He doesn’t know where the nickname came from, but he decides to stick with it. Peter smiles with tears in his eyes, but this time they’re happy.
“I feel like my bones disappeared from my body.” Peter whines. Tony laughs slightly.
“That’s what happens when you get poisoned, kid.”
Peter smiles again, and lazily closes his eyes. Tony thinks he fell back to sleep, but then he speaks.
“I love you too, by the way.”