does tony think of peter as a son?
probably not consciously. he treats him kind of like a son sometimes, but that’s not very unusual for tony. tony has to be watched closely or he adopts stray genius children everywhere he goes.
mostly it’s pretty long distance–he emails and videocalls them, sets up scholarships, funds research, talks them through school problems, introduces them to employers… i know for a fact that at least half of the starkphone beta testers are sleep-deprived students across the country who tony has run into at some convention or facility tour and decided to keep. some of them come to work at Stark Industries eventually, but a fair number go into other fields.
he has a strange ability to pinpoint exactly which kid in any given cluster is an untapped well of talent looking for mentoring. we have a number of bets running on if he’s doing it consciously or not.
either way, he does it a lot.
he’s not very cuddly or touchy-feely with them, and he gets hilariously defensive if you poke him about it, but he’s actually a really good mentor, and he does really care. i mean, sometimes he uses the ‘do the exact opposite of what i would do’ method of role modelling, but…