also on ao3
If someone had asked Tony how he thought he would die, he would not have said a car crash. A suit crash, maybe; going out in a fight as Iron Man seemed par for the course. Maybe if he was really lucky, he’d get old and grey and die peacefully in his sleep.
He would definitely not have said that teaching Peter to drive would be the death of him.
“Brakes, Pete!” Tony shouted, clutching the oh, shit handle with white knuckles. “That’s a stop sign!”
“I knew that,” Peter said quickly. He slammed the brakes and halted the car jerkily. “See, we’re stopped.”
Tony breathed out shakily. “Turn on your signal, go right,” he reminded Peter. Peter turned it on. “No, your other right.”
“Maybe I wanted to go left,” Peter said, taking the turn very slowly. “You don’t know me. You don’t know my life.”
“Finish your turn,” Tony grumbled. “You’re allowed to go faster than two miles an hour, you know. The speed limit is- not that fast! ”
Peter slammed his foot on the gas by accident, shooting them forward wildly until he could get the car under control again. “Sorry,” he said sheepishly. “My bad. I forgot which pedal was which.”
“Oh my god,” Tony had never been religious, but he was considering praying at that moment. “Please don’t hit that mailbox that you’re rapidly approaching. The brake is on the left.”
“Thanks, Mr. Stark,” said Peter. He steered them away from the mailbox, sharp enough that he changed lanes. Tony spared a moment to be glad that the streets were empty. “Wait, which side of the road am I supposed to be on?”
“The right side,” Tony said incredulously. “Peter, you’ve been in a car before.”
Peter drifted into the right lane. “I knew that,” he said. “Of course I knew that.”
“I’m going to die,” Tony said calmly. “This is the end of Iron Man. This is where I die.”
“The passenger’s seat is the most dangerous place to be in case of a crash,” Peter agreed. “You’ll go right through the windshield.”
“Not reassuring, Pete.”
“At least you’re wearing a seatbelt, right?” Peter laughed, jerking the wheel by accident. “Oops.”
“You just blew a stop sign,” Tony pointed out, utterly resigned. “Are you color blind or something? That’s the second one.” Peter turned to look at him. “Eyes on the road!”
“I have super reflexes, Mr. Stark,” said Peter defensively. He kept his eyes on the road, though. “It’s not like we’re actually going to crash.”
“Famous last words,” Tony said darkly. “Remind me again why I’m here?”
“You lost a bet,” Peter answered. He rounded another turn very slowly, foot hovering over the break.
Tony would never tell Peter, but he had asked May to let him teach the kid how to drive. She had agreed, mostly because she was a terrible driver herself and hadn’t been looking forward to teaching Peter. Happy had lobbied for the job, too, but Tony had claimed boss rights and driven Peter to the back streets around the Compound. Far away from the city, Peter had less of a chance of crashing into an unsuspecting pedestrian. Tony was glad for that bit of foresight; Peter had already crashed into three mailboxes and taken several years off of Tony’s life.
“It was me or Happy,” Tony countered. “Who would you prefer?”
“Well, Happy drives for a living, and you don’t,” Peter pointed out. “So, I mean…”
Tony gasped in offense. “The sass!” he said. “Respect your elders, Underoos. I’ll have you know that I’m a better driver than Happy.”
Peter shrugged delicately. “If you say so, Mr. Stark.” He slowed down, turning carefully into the driveway of the Compound.
“Watch the- you drove over the lawn,” Tony was already calculating the amount of damage from Peter’s first foray into driving.
“In my defense, the driveway is small.”
“No, it’s not,” Tony laughed. “You’re just a bad driver.”
“I’m not that bad!” Peter tried. The car jerked forward when he missed the brake and hit the gas instead, coming within inches of hitting the Compound building.
Tony raised an eyebrow. “Well, it can’t get much worse,” he said dryly.
“Maybe I need some more practice,” admitted Peter, putting the car in park.
“Just a little,” Tony smiled and ruffled Peter’s hair. “You did good, kid.”
“Thanks, Dad- uh, I mean, Mr. Stark,” Peter stuttered out. He practically ran out of the car, mumbling something about projects and training and walking home.
Tony chuckled to himself, taking off his seatbelt and stepping out of the car. He’d have to take Peter out again soon; after all, someone had to teach the kid to drive. It might as well be him.
(Tony wasn’t fooling anyone, least of all himself. He’d had more fun that afternoon than he had in awhile, and all he did was fear for his life with his kid at the wheel.)
“Boys,” Pepper said slowly. She inspected the car. “How did the car get so scratched up?”
Tony had a flash of Peter driving into a thornbush. Multiple times. “AIM attack,” he said gravely. “Pete and I had to fight them off. The car was an unfortunate casualty.”
“We did our best, Miss Potts,” Peter said sincerely. “There were just too many of them.”
Pepper sighed. “Tony, you’re getting it repainted,” she said tiredly. “Now, come on. It’s movie night and I will start without you.”
Peter and Tony exchanged grins and followed Pepper out of the garage.