Summary: What if only good things happened to Peter Parker?
A fix-it fic where nobody dies, Peter has friends and family who support and love him, and we finish it off with a classic field trip.
Author’s Note: Oh no, shit, what’s this, another WIP, ugh, for why????
OK, so I didn’t mean to do this I swear, but sometimes the heart does what it wants and I can’t help myself.
This one IS already mostly written though I swear, there is just the last chapter (the field trip) that needs to be finished and I already know exactly what is supposed to happen! I’m going to be posting once a week on Sundays (EDT) so hopefully by the time that it is time to post that one it will be done.
After the fiasco with trying to move Peter into the compound and make him into an Avenger — which in retrospect was not one of Tony’s best plans — he had to come up with another way to manage taking care of the teenager who Tony had now realized was, for better or worse, his responsibility. Tony could not go on ignoring Peter and pushing off the responsibility of managing him to Happy. He needed to take an active role in the boy’s life, or Peter would simply keep getting himself into dangerous situations like the one with the Vulture.
Besides, after the way that May had shouted at him once she saw Peter in his suit and deduced that Tony had been enabling Peter’s activities as Spider-Man, he had extra incentive to keep the boy safe. In consideration of all of these factors, he decided that he would make Peter’s fake internship into a reality. Officially, Avengers Tower had been rebranded back to Stark Tower and all Avengers activity had been moved upstate. Unofficially, the top twenty floors of the building were still composed of the Avengers gym, Tony’s personal lab, and residential areas.
Tony still lived part-time in those residential areas. As the CEO of Stark Industries, the Penthouse was the most convenient place for Pepper to live, and Tony went where Pepper went, though they often found themselves at the compound upstate as well. Nevertheless, he always made sure that he was in Manhattan on Peter’s internship days, which were Tuesdays and Thursdays. May had insisted that if Peter was going to fight crime on a nightly basis then he should at least have some training, and so Peter agreed to go to the Tower twice a week to learn advanced self-defense from Tony and Happy.
Peter was smart, though, and so Tony also invited him to the lab, initially to work on improvements to the Spider-Man suit, but then suddenly they were working on all kinds of projects. Peter started to stop by on days other than lab days, and more than once they lost track of time long enough that he ended up staying for dinner with Tony and Pepper. They had gotten increasingly close, so maybe the request from May should not have surprised him, but it did.
“Hey Tony, I hope this isn’t a bad time!” May’s voice was cheerful, but it sounded slightly forced and also hesitant.
“I would not have answered the phone if it was! What’s going on?” Tony asked, fiddling with a wrench. “Is something going on with Peter?” May and Tony were not exactly friends, so an out of the blue social call was… odd to say the least.
“Well, it’s just, I wanted to reach out and ask… you see Peter and I are really the only family each other has. My husband Ben,” May’s breath hitched. “Died last year, just a few weeks from today, on December 16th. This will be our first Thanksgiving without him. I was, um. I do not want to impose, but I was wondering what your Thanksgiving plans are? And whether you might want to celebrate with us? It’s just. I know you and Pete have gotten really close and I thought, if he had others to share the holidays with it might help him. I don’t know, I’m sorry if it’s a silly—”
May was starting to babble, and Tony, who had only ever known her as composed, shook himself out of the frozen state he had fallen into.
“I’ll have to ask Pepper, but I think it should be okay.”
“Really?” May’s tone was bright with relief.
“Yeah.” Tony hoped that his voice didn’t sound as awkward as he felt. “My folks are gone and so are Pepper’s. I think we were probably just going to have a quiet night in.” Not true, he typically went to Rhodey’s but he was sure they would understand. “You and Pete can come over to the tower. We can even set up the guest rooms in the penthouse for you so you can stay the night and avoid traffic.” The more Tony thought about it, the more he was really starting to like the idea.
“Oh I couldn’t possibly—”
“No, really, I insist. It will be a nice get together. I haven’t had a proper excuse to cook for ages.”
“You cook?” May asked, surprised.
“Uh, yeah.” Tony scratched the back of his head, unused to feeling insecure. “You would think a rich guy like me would have always had a chef but my mom and nonna insisted I learn.”
“Oh, I didn’t realize you were also Italian! You know I’ve been trying to teach Pete for ages? He knows a little bit, but he chose to take Spanish in school instead.” May sniffed in feigned annoyance.
“Maybe we should talk in Italian in front of him and see if that annoys him into learning more?” Tony asked with a sly smile that May couldn’t see but she could definitely hear.
“Oh that would be perfect!” May laughed. “You know he would absolutely be so irritated. He’s definitely the type of person to learn a language out of spite.”
They sketched out potential plans with slightly more depth and Tony promised to consult with Pepper before hanging up. As he left the lab to go find his fiancee Tony reflected on the fact that despite having lost the Avengers, he did still have friends.
HoneyBunch: Hey Tones, are you and Pep coming to Thanksgiving this year?
MrPotts: No, we’ve got plans
HoneyBunch: I’m not going to begrudge you a night in but also you always come, you know Mama will be disappointed
MrPotts: It’s the first Thanksgiving for the kid since his uncle died and May asked if me and Pep would spend it with them
HoneyBunch: You know what I’m gonna say
MrPotts: Don’t say it
HoneyBunch: This is Dad behavior
MrPotts: I’m hanging up on you
HoneyBunch: This is literally a text conversation Tony you can’t hang up
Peter and May came over early on Thursday to help with the cooking. Despite the fact that there were only four of them, Peter’s metabolism meant that he could eat enough for four people, and the entire point of Thanksgiving dinner was to have leftovers. Tony and May ended up doing most of the cooking — they were truly a dream team, and Peter and Pepper decided that they were just getting in the way so the two of them decided to settle in on the couch. It was too early to put the game on so they decided to just chat.
“How has school been Pete? Is that kid Flash still giving you trouble?” Pepper asked curiously.
Peter groaned. “He is so frustrating. He still doesn’t believe me about my internship, and I’m so sick of it. None of the teachers notice, or maybe they just don’t care. And it isn’t as though he is really saying anything particularly hurtful, so it’s easy to shrug off. He’s just lashing out because I am smarter than him and his parents don’t give him enough attention.” Peter grumbled.
“Peter, you should not have to deal with this. I honestly have half a mind to go down to the school myself and—”
“No, no, no Ms. Potts you don’t have to do that! I swear he’s really not that bad. It’s better that he insults me than anyone else. Like, yeah I find him annoying but ultimately I don’t care what he thinks about me. I don’t value his opinion. But what if he started bullying some other kid who didn’t have friends and didn’t have family who cared about them? That kid wouldn’t be able to take it.” Peter’s tone was incredibly earnest and Pepper could see the way that the boy was both fiercely protective and wore his heart on his sleeve. She was overcome with an impulse to pull him into a hug… so she did.
“Oh, wow, this is nice. You give really good hugs Ms. Potts!” Peter said from where he was tucked into her shoulder.
Pepper pulled away and placed both of her hands firmly on his shoulders, staring him seriously in the eyes. “Peter, you are an amazing person. You do so much good, and you bring so much value into the world. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise, okay?” She smiled as he visibly swallowed at her serious tone. “Also, I told you to call me Pepper.”
“Right, sorry Ms— I mean, Pepper.” Peter nodded.
“Great, now the smells from the kitchen are making me really hungry, what do you say we try to sneak a bite of something?”
Spending Thanksgiving together broke down a wall that none of them knew was there. Pepper and May had hit it off immediately, and soon exchanged numbers. Neither woman had many friends, and soon the two of them became each other’s closest confidant. May was often invited to spend time with Pepper on her days off, and it got to the point where both she and Peter were invited to have dinner with Tony and Pepper, and would often stay the night in the guest rooms that had become their rooms. They soon had rooms at the compound as well, and by the time that Christmas came around a month later, it was not even a question as to whether they would be spending it together.
Peter, being in high school, got the entire week between Christmas and New Year’s off. May, on the other hand, worked in the emergency department of a hospital, and this was one of the busiest times of the year. She had been able to get the 25th and the 26th off work, but she had shifts on the surrounding days. Given the time of year, it would not be surprising if May got inadvertently pulled into overtime, so they decided that they would spend Peter’s entire vacation at the tower so that he would always have adults with him.
May ended up working a double on Christmas Eve, which was unfortunate, but it was the trade off she had made to have Christmas Day itself free. It was almost Midnight when Pepper came to pick her up.
“You did not have to come get me!” May told the other woman as she slipped into the car, shivering from the December cold. “I could have taken the subway.”
“Are you really saying you would prefer to use public transportation to go from Queens to Manhattan in the middle of the night at the height of winter?” Pepper asked with a raised eyebrow as he pulled out of the hospital parking lot.
“Well, no actually.” May smiled. “Thank you for coming to pick me up.”
“It was my pleasure, truly. None of us wanted you to be out this late by yourself without your car. You know—”
“I’m not letting you buy me a new car.” May replied firmly. She narrowed her eyes when she saw Pepper’s eye twitch. “ Pepper . Please tell me you did not—”
“ I did not do anything. No one bought you a car. But you know that we would happily chip in for one. This is not just about you having a vehicle, it’s also about keeping both you and Peter safe. We—” Pepper let out a frustrated sigh. “Neither Tony nor I could bear it if anything happened to either of you. And I— it’s bad enough that Tony and Peter fly and swing around being superheroes. The least we could do is share a small fraction of our wealth and make sure that you have a car with decent safety features that won’t break down every few months and will be safe for Peter to use while learning to drive.”
May swallowed and stared at Pepper’s profile in the dark car as the other woman drove them through the city. “I— thank you. I’ll think about it.”
“That’s all I ask.” Pepper breathed out. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to make things so tense. It’s Christmas.”
“Yeah.” May’s voice hitched as she looked out the window. They were driving past a corner store. The corner store. Pepper probably did not realize; the streets were dark and she was using a GPS. But May would never forget the place where her husband had died. Where she had never gotten to say goodbye. Where Peter, her brilliant nephew, had held his uncle’s hand as he died, only fourteen as he watched the life leave the eyes of the only father he had known up to that point. This was going to be their first Christmas without Ben.
The store was gone quickly, Pepper having no reason to stop, but it was forever burned into May’s memory. Peter had been doing surprisingly well this past week, but the boy had always been strong. And she knew that his relationship with Tony and Pepper was helping as well. Tony was like a father to Peter, different from how Ben had been, May knew. The three of them were co-parenting Peter, had been for a while. Which is why she knew she had to bring this up with them.
“Pepper,” May began hesitantly. They had been sitting in comfortable silence for a while, though there were still over 10 minutes left on their ETA. Pepper liked to leave the GPS on even when she knew the streets well so that FRIDAY could relay where they were to Tony.
“Losing Ben… it was an accident. I mean, it could have been anyone who got shot. He wasn’t a superhero. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
“May…” Pepper began softly.
“It’s just… we can’t be certain, right? Any of us. We can’t know when we might go. And you and Tony are both so good with Peter. I want to make you both additional guardians. In case something happens. To me, I mean.” May breathed out in a rush.
“May… are you sure?” Pepper asked quietly. They were turning onto the main road that hosted Stark Tower.
“Yes. I know that we haven’t known each other for long but… we’re family, right? You’re family to me. To Peter. And I want to know that if anything happens to me like it happened to Ben, that he’s okay. And Tony, he’s a superhero. He gets into so many dangerous situations. And I know you love Pete too. So it has to be you. Both of you.”
Pepper was silent as she pulled into the Stark Tower Parking Garage and into her spot. After putting the car in park she sat silently for a moment before turning to May.
“ Nothing is going to happen to you, okay? Nothing . You are going to stay safe. You are going to be okay. You are our friend, you are family and we are going to protect you. But yes , of course I will take up additional guardianship of Peter. I love him, I love both of you.” Pepper pulled May into a hug, and while her heart was still heavy with grief, May felt lighter than she had in a long time.
Peter loved staying at the Tower. After Christmas and Tony and Pepper officially becoming his guardians in addition to May (which was a revelation that blew his mind and warmed his heart) they had officially moved in full-time. What had once been a guest room was now his room, and it was way nicer than his bedroom in their apartment in Queens. While that room had a nostalgia to it that he would always love, this room was quite frankly massive.
It had a king sized bed, ensuite bathroom, a huge L-shaped desk with a dock station for his laptop with two monitors, a separate section for him to do his written homework, and more space to work on projects. He had his own flat screen TV with an xbox and a playstation, and there was even a couch that was long enough to lie down on and take a nap. His window was easy to swing in and out of, and he had multiple bookshelves for all of his books and lego figures. He also put up several of his favorite posters on the walls.
The first time he had Ned over to hang out he thought that the other boy was going to pass out from over-excitement. MJ, on the other hand, simply looked around once, nodded, and asked if he had any snacks.
Having MJ as a close friend was new. Not new in a bad way. Just new. Part of him still had a minor crush on her, but she had informed him that she was a lesbian and he had accepted with all the grace that he could that nothing would ever happen between them, and instead elected to introduce her to Shuri at the next opportunity.
Because that was another new development. Last October’s King T’Challa had rocked the world by announcing the truth about Wakanda and letting everyone know what the country was really like. As part of that announcement, he created outreach centers around the globe for Wakandans to interact with other countries and share their advanced knowledge. Naturally one of those places was New York. This led to Peter walking out of his room one January morning to grab breakfast only to find himself greeting the King of Wakanda and his younger sister, Princess Shuri, in Hello Kitty pajama pants.
“Good morning Underoos! You look like you could use some coffee,” Tony said cheerfully, eyes full of mirth.
Peter, who was exhausted from the previous night’s patrol had yet to notice their guests, who, as non-threats, did not set off his spidey senses. He simply made grabby motions at the mug in Tony’s hands, which Tony held out of Peter’s reach, instead giving him a different mug with a Spider-Man motif.
“Thanks dad,” Peter mumbled absentmindedly as he sipped on the coffee.
“Did you just call Tony Stark dad?”
Peter froze, both at the question, and at hearing the unknown voice. He looked up from his coffee with wide eyes to look at Shuri, who had spoken, and T’Challa.
“Um, what, no, I, Mr. Stark, what is the Wakanda royal family doing in our kitchen?” Peter hissed at Tony somewhat accusingly, his face getting increasingly red.
Tony, who was trying not to laugh, put his hand on Peter’s shoulder and pulled him to the side, their backs turned to T’Challa and Shuri, which Peter throught was probably rude. Oh he was being so rude!
“Pete, I thought I told you that we would be meeting with T’Challa and Shuri about the new Wakanda outreach center in New York? And about collaborating with Wakanda on Stark Tech?”
“Yes, but not at 8am in the kitchen!” Peter turned around and smiled brightly.
“I’m so sorry for my rudeness and surprise, please forgive me your Majesty, your Royal Highness.” Peter gave a short bow towards Shuri and T’Challa, who thankfully only looked amused.
“It’s fine, white boy.” Shuri’s eyes sparkled.
“You’re Peter, aren’t you? Tony’s son? He’s talked a lot about you,” T’Challa stepped forward to shake Peter’s hand, and Peter wondered if Tony had told the man that the two of them had already met before.
“Yes, I’m Peter, but I’m not—”
“Well, from what I’ve heard you and Shuri will get along well, and/or the penthouse will get set on fire.” T’Challa smirked and Peter’s eyebrows raised. He was not sure what to say to that.
“Get dressed white boy. I want to see your lab. Stark industries is supposed to be the best of what America has to offer and so far everything I have seen is pitiful compared to Wakanda.” Shuri teased and Peter stood up a little straighter. He downed his coffee in one gulp before dashing to his room.
“I will be right back.”
Once he returned they went straight to the lab and a beautiful friendship was born. Shuri had to leave after only a few days, and the time difference was annoying, but she was soon one of his closest friends along with Ned and MJ.
So it was only natural that they made arrangements for Shuri to visit during April break and come meet MJ and Ned in person. This was not only because he wanted to play matchmaker with MJ and Shuri, but also because he wanted his friends to get along and get to know each other. Sure enough, Shuri was quickly added to their group chat, and while she had to go back to Wakanda and they had to go back to school, the four of them were committed to staying close friends.
Peter was amazed at how different the end of his sophomore year felt to the previous. At the end of last year he was fresh off of his adventure to Germany, and no one knew he was Spider-Man. He was deep in his grief for Ben, Ned was his only friend, and his only family was May. Now, he was fully comfortable in his role as Spider-Man and plenty of people who knew and supported him. He still grieved Ben, but he had his aunt May, and he had Tony and Pepper, who he occasionally would slip up and call “dad” and “mom”, something that always led to brilliant smiles. He now counted MJ and Shuri as close friends in addition to Ned, who was his guy in the chair, and closer to him than ever. Life was good for Peter Parker.
Author’s Note 2: Yes I know Harley isn’t here yet, I’m sorry! His name is literally the first word of Chapter Two, does that make you feel better? Tune in next week!