Opportunity Chapter 3
Okay it’s been a while since I’ve last posted this story and I do want to apologize since work got in the way. But I am here to bring you the next chapter and as a quick reminder, this story came from a chat that I had with @starkravingspiders where we talked back and forth about this story. But anyways enjoy!
“I-I died?”, Peter asked.
He was shocked. He had died. Saving a different universe. Saving Tony’s universe.
Tony’s eyes were filled with sorrow, almost welling with tears whilst never looking away from Peters. He knew that it was stupid to blame himself for the pain that was etched into the mans face, but he couldn’t help it.
Peter didn’t know what to say. It’s not everyday that your crush from another universe tells you that you died, saving an entire universe.
Tony gently caressed his cheek whilst giving a pained smile. “After you died, I was so damn lost. I knew that you had to otherwise we all would’ve died. But I couldn’t and still can’t stop from thinking on how I could’ve prevented that.” His voice started to waver, and some tears fell from Tony’s eyes, breaking Peter’s heart.
Before Peter could lean in to comfort him, Tony pulled away and got up from the couch. Peter watched as Tony paced, looking out of the window, doing anything to seemingly get his mind off of what he had just told Peter.
Peter could also feel himself becoming cold again, making himself to subconsciously zipping up his hoodie and hugging himself to keep warm, but he still felt cold.
Finally Tony turned around, looking at Peter before walking around the small apartment.
“Okay, okay. Now I just need to know who to go to and know whose asses to kick.” Tony’s eyes were filled with fury and fire. Peter was taken aback by said comment. He didn’t think Tony would do anything about this, since he thought that the priority was getting Tony back to his time.
Tony must’ve seen Peter looking confused, cause his eyes softened and sighed lightly.
“Did you really think I wasn’t going to stick around long enough for me to kick some ass and try to set some things right?”, Tony said with a slight smile.
Peter was kind of baffled and coughed before replying. “Well, to be honest, I really wasn’t. I mean, you probably have something more important to do in your universe like a fight is going on or you were about to help someone or-“, Peter got cut off by Tony.
“Ohhhhh no no no. Stop right there. Firstly, you are important and I will tell you that over and over again. And secondly, this is important. Someone who is important to me has been abandoned by the very people who I trust with my life. Sure they aren’t from my universe, but I will still raise hell.”
Tony looked determined and Peter felt, for the first time in a long time, safe with someone else fully. Sure, he had already felt safe being with Tony prior, but hearing him assuring him that he would defend him and care for him. Well, that made him feel safe and cared for.
God, he couldn’t even remember the last time someone fully cared for him like this.
Whilst Peter was lost in thought, Tony pulled out a circular device and set it on the ground in the middle of the living room. A light came out of it and loaded up a list of Avengers and other superheroes.
Peter finally pulled his mind out of his thoughts when he saw the only light source illuminating the room besides the full moon that was beaming through the window. Peter looked in awe at the machine and the list. Some of the heroes he knew, but looked a bit different and their outfits were also different. And then there were other heroes who he didn’t recognize.
Tony clapped his hands together before rubbing them. “Okay Petey, I’m gonna need to know who is in this universe and who isn’t and to than know how to get back and most importantly who to tell off. Hmmm, okay so let’s start with groups.” Tony pulls up files of different hero group names that Peter didn’t know. Peter looked at confusion at Tony, but the man gave him a reassuring smile. “So let us start with the Avengers. Are they still around and who are it’s members?” Tony showed Peter a massive list of photos of members from Tony’s universe. Peter’s jaw dropped at the sight of so many members, which made Tony laugh.
“Don’t worry, not all of them are full time members or even live in the Tower. Some are Avengers as part time either due to being a part of other groups or they don’t want to be a part of our loving boy band.”, the older man commented teasingly, making the young man giggle.
Peter than focused on the list and tries to remember who was a part of the Avengers at the moment. Peter than started to select those he knew for certain who were a part of it. Tony watched and couldn’t help but be surprised by the few members there were. But than again, from what he has learned so far the Avengers are already a hot mess.
“Okay, whelp the only one who seems to know how to get me out of here is Doctor Strange. We could go to him tomorrow, if you have time of course. And don’t give me that look, I want you there with me, I don’t want you to be alone right now.”, the billionaire stated with slight worry in his eyes, looking at the college student. Tony hated how despite trying to hide it, he could clearly see how tired Peter looked.
Peter smiled lightly at Tony and shakes his head. “Well tomorrow I don’t have to go to any of my jobs and only planned on catching up with my papers. But I could skip that to be with you and talk to Stephen. God, it has been a while since we both had talked to one another.”
More thoughts and questions went through Tony’s brain. How many jobs did Peter work at? How much time does he have to properly focus on schooling? Does he at least have solace in Doctor Strange? Tony had to push these thoughts aside for now and focus on what he needed to know next. Who has harmed Peter?
Tony looks back at the screen and resets the listing and turns back to looking at Peter. “Peter, could you show me who has harmed you? Like you mentioned before with Steve. And even if you think it’s minor or unimportant, please do list them and from there we could go through the list and rank them in severity. Just know Peter, that whilst I’m here, you aren’t alone and that I am going to make sure you are cared for at the very least, okay?” Tony’s voice had a firm but soft tone to it that fully assured Peter and he nodded. Of course despite the assurance that Tony was there to care for him, he still felt hesitant to show his crush just how many people had harmed him. He took a deep breath and began selecting each person on screen, trying to ignore just how many people had harmed him.
The billionaire, out of shock, had to sit down as he looked at how many people had harmed the young man in front of him. The very young man who in his universe was adored and loved by everyone he had met. All of the Avengers had practically adopted him when Tony had recruited him, originally only to help Peter with learning how to fight, but he ended up stumbling his way into the groups hearts. Tony remembers the time Peter had first met Steve and stumbling over his words and asking him a lot of questions and Steve laughing lightly and inviting him on a run with him and Sam, who was also charmed by Peter. Or when Peter would spend time in the lab with Bruce and together they would theorize about whatever came first to mind for them. Or him trying to lift Thor’s hammer and the man laughing at how red Peter’s face was turning. Or when Nat would try to teach Peter ballet when he shyly admitted that he had interest in it and surprisingly was learning quickly. Or when Peter had come back from a harsh day at school and Clint had snuck him into his air vent hiding spot, where they shared cookies and watched movies together, that Tony had set up for the man after finding how how it would comfort the archer. Or when - No. he had to stop himself from thinking any further. He would only end up breaking down in tears, and Peter needed him. He once more pushed his thoughts to the side and focused on Peter, who was now done and looking off to the side, away from the list and Tony’s gaze. Looking ashamed, even though he shouldn’t be.
Tony got up and hugged Peter tightly. After a moment frozen, Peter hugged back and hiding his face into Tony’s shoulder. The older man could feel tears getting onto his shirt and rubbed Peter’s back as he leaned down to Peter’s ear and whispered to him assurances, “Hey you did so great. I am so proud of you for showing me and for opening up like that. You are by far the bravest and most wonderful person to have gone through all that you have been through, which you can tell me at any given time if you want to. And god damn I am again so sorry for not having cared for you, well me in this universe, like I had always planned in case anything were to happen to me. Listen, how about we head to bed and further talk about this in the morning cause I can tell how tired you are.”, Tony fussed over him as he picked him up and had to hold back his voice from gasping at how light Peter was. He really needed to take care for him properly. If only he had more than ten bucks on hand, he would buy Peter at least enough groceries to properly feed him.
The bedroom itself was plain, with the exception of the mattress on the ground and the stacks of books all over, mostly against the moldy walls. The closet was open and Tony tried to find any spare shirts for the both of them to sleep in, which he did and found his shirt from this universe as well. Remembering what Peter had said, he held it gently and gave it to Peter, who tiredly hugged it to his person. Tony tried to find a spare blanket and pillow for him to use to sleep on the couch with. Peter noticed how long the man was looking through his closet and asked tiredly, “What are you looking for Mr. Stark?”
Tony tried to hold off the shudder of Peter having referred to him like that with that tone of voice, but he still lightly shuddered. He readjusts his hold on Peter and tried to continue his search when he explains, “Just trying to look for a spare blanket for the couch.”
Peter moved his head to look at Tony’s face, having felt the shudder. With that answer and being curious of his prior reaction, Peter decides on his answer. “Actually Mr. Stark, we could share my bed together. I don’t have a spare blanket for you to use and if I can be honest, I don’t want to be alone right now. But if you don’t want to, I could sleep on the couch and you can sleep in the bed. I don’t want to ma-.” Tony stopped him from rambling by pulling his hand on Peter’s mouth and looking at him softly. “I don’t mind Peter, I can do whatever you would feel the most comfortable with.”, he assured the young man as he moved them both to the mattress on the floor. He sat Peter down and quickly changed into the shirt he had found. He saw Peter slightly blushing at the sight of Tony’s bare upper body, which Tony couldn’t help but smile at.
Peter tiredly got his clothes off and put on Tony’s shirt, well him from Peter’s universe anyways. He would only ever dare to wear it when he was desperate for any comfort. Some days were better than others and today had been one of those harsh days. He moved to the side of the bed and pulled up the blanket and slid in. It wasn’t the thickest blanket, but if he wore his winter coat in bed during the winter season, it would surprisingly warm him up well. He felt Tony sliding in next to him and layed on his side and looked at Peter. Shyly, Peter moved closer slowly until Tony reaches over and hugs him closely. Peter tenses up, until he relaxes quickly and sighs happily, breathing in his scent. Peter felt like this was all a dream, but knew that this was real.
He started to drift off to sleep, but not before hearing his crush saying, “Good night darling, sleep well and I will take care of everything tomorrow so don’t worry.”