"Hey Pepper," Sam's voice called from the library as the woman passed. "Got a minute?"
"Sorry, I don't. Do you want me to send someone else?" She stopped, thinking nothing of it when the man started walking towards her but jerked when she heard the gasp come from her palms.
"The Falcon?!" Peter yelled, eyes wide, then slapped his hands over his mouth. Sam tensed and looked down at Pepper's hands, his eyes narrowing.
"Is that Scott?" he snapped, already reaching for the small figure, figuring to give him a piece of his mind, grabbing the body before the woman could pull away, glaring.
"Scott, I thought you were in hiding with Hank....and you're not Scott.
" He got a look at the frightened face of the teenage boy that he just realized was too large to be Scott, even if he was still small, hanging in front of him. "Who is this?"
The woman glared at the man, holding her hand out under the boy. "First, let him go," she demanded, staring the man down until he did as he was told.
"Second, Tony just brought him from his mission." She turned from the man, feeling the small body shaking all over again. "It's okay, shh." She closed her cupped hands over the scared boy.
"We need to be alone for a minute, so if you need help, get Thor or someone." With that she stalked away from the man, radiating anger at the way he treated the small teen.
Peter's body stopped shaking by the time he and Mrs. Stark reached the communal kitchen. He watched her fingers start to lower, and she brought her hands to the white marble counter.
Reluctantly Peter climbed down and shivered as his bare feet touched the marble. "Is tea okay, sweetie?"
Pepper turned towards the boy with a slight smile. Now that she had gotten somewhat used to the strange teen Tony brought home, she had to admit that he was very adorable.
Especially when he blushed, like now.
"Um, do you have coffee?" Peter asked, having a craving for the caffeine he'd been missing. Suddenly the counter started vibrating and Bruce walked in.
"Hey Pepper, where's Tony? I was expecting him to bring...oh, there you are." He walked to the counter. "I want to take some blood, so I'll need you down in my la-"
"He won't be going to your lab," Pepper broke in as she rounded on the man. "He told me he just came from a lab, and now you want to take him into another one? I don't think so.
" She placed a mug of coffee on the counter, then paused. How was he going to drink it?
"I understand Peter's fright, but I only need a little blood to see what they did to him. That's all," Banner argued, picking up the coffee, which he thought was for him and taking a sip.
Peter watched as the large hand lifted the mug away from him, but he didn't care. It wasn't him, so he wasn't bothered.
He spotted Pepper stepping closer to the counter and took a few steps towards her until he could feel the woman's body heat.
"So, if you need blood, you can draw it here." She placed her hands on either side of the boy-Peter, she assumed. She felt silly for not asking his name, but she had been in shock.
"I can't do that, Pep. I need to use some of Tony's bots to get the blood sample since he's so small."
The woman sighed. "Peter," she called gently, waiting for Peter to look at her. The boy shook, knowing what was coming, but he knew of one way to be able to do it.
"I-I know this is a-asking a lot...but...can you come? Please?" He needed the woman's comfort if he was going to do this, and even though they had literally just met, he wanted her by his side.
Pepper smiled softly. "Yes, I can. Come on," she held out her hand to the boy, shivering when he hurried up and sat. "Okay, Bruce, you win. Let's go.
" The man nodded and walked out, sipping his coffee, not catching the way Peter glared at him for taking his drink.
"I'll get you some coffee when we're done," Pepper said softly to the boy.
She never thought she'd feel this protective of another child after Morgan, but she guessed once one became a mother, seeing a child in need, your instincts kick in.
"I'm sure Morgan has a cup you can use." The brunette simply nodded, too scared to speak. He really didn't want to go into another lab, but this time he had a support system.
Like Sean was for him when he was taken by Hydra. Peter was brought out of his thoughts by the wind of the doors opening hitting his small form, causing him to shiver.
"Are you cold?" Pepper asked, cupping her warm hands around him.
"I've found I'm always cold, now. The scientists didn't take into account that my heart wouldn't be able to pump as fast as a smaller creature in order to regulate my temperature.
If they had done the calculations, I never heard it anyway.
" He shrugged and wiggled a bit to sit by Pepper's fingers, each one a body-length heater, but also for comfort, seeing all the beakers and lab equipment which brought back bad memories.
"Well, I'll try and fix that," Bruce said as he started setting things up on a table. He laid out a thick, fluffy towel. "Just put him here. It'll be warmer than him sitting on the cold metal.
And more comfortable." Peter didn't want to leave Pepper's hands, but he had to get this over with.
Peter stepped from the woman's hand and on to the towel, surprised to find it very warm, warmer than a towel should be.
"I have a towel warmer in here," Bruce could see the surprise on the boy's face. "I have terrible allergies and that's the only way to get rid of them sometimes.
" Peter had managed to laugh at the absurdity of the Hulk having allergies. He couldn't picture it and told the doctor in a shaky voice, calming when the man smiled down at him.
"Yeah, it's a little silly, huh?" Bruce chuckled and brought Tony's bots over, frowning when he saw the boy's size compared to the robot arm. "This could be difficult," he breathed.
"Peter, I'll need you to stand here, okay?" He pointed to the middle of the towel. "I'll need to observe this very closely and make sure you're okay."
The boy shook and stayed where he was, shaking his head. He wasn't leaving the woman's side. The doctor sighed. "Okay, I understand. Then, I'll bring the machine over to you.
Don't move, and this will be over in a second, okay?" He brought the magnifying machine over to the boy, placing it over him.
He got a good look at Peter and the minute he did, he knew he couldn't ever hurt this boy.
Big brown puppy dog eyes stared up at him with fear, from under a head full of curls that fell over thin eyebrows. He had a straight nose that fit perfectly in between his boy/man's face.
From what Bruce could tell, Peter was well built, but it was hard to tell under the blue and red romper-like outfit. It almost looked like a prison outfit.
He'd have to ask Tony to make the kid a new outfit, especially when he spotted the silver Hydra sign on the back. "Okay, here we go."
Peter watched as the fingers came at him with a cotton pad that hurt the boy's nose and eyes.
He yelped at the temperature of it when the doctor swiped it over his arm, the alcohol stinging his skin.
"Hold on," Bruce said and turned up the magnifying power. "Does your healing work this fast? It's only been twenty minutes since the last I saw you on the Quinjet."
Peter nodded shakily. "Y-yeah...for bruises, anyway. Larger cuts take longer to heal." He stared up at Bruce's eye, made larger by the lens.
"I'm sorry, but that's incredible," the doctor responded in awe. "Okay. I have to make another wound, but this will hopefully be the last time for a long while.
" He programmed the bot with the needle. Peter couldn't stop shaking as he watched the large, thin needle come closer and closed his eyes.
He'd never stop being afraid of needles, especially when they were the length of his arm. He felt a pinch and whimpered, but then felt warmth around him. He opened one of his eyes and saw Mrs.
Stark had laid her hand around him, her thumb in front of him, which he gladly gripped with the hand not being used.
"Okay, got a vein. We just need...that's it." Bruce had the bot pull away and wiped the boy's arm with the alcohol swab, hearing him hiss. "Sorry. But, we're done.
You can go, okay? And, you did really good."
Peter sighed as the man pulled the magnifying lens away, practically collapsing on Mrs. Stark's thumb. "I hate needles, " he said, earning a chuckle from the adults.
"I understand that one," Dr. Banner laughed. "I'll just analyze this and let Tony know what I found. See you later, Peter." Peter was lifted by Mrs.
Stark, and for the second time that day, he felt safe when someone lifted him off the table.
He grabbed the woman's thumb and held on when she tilted her palm to carry the boy that way in one hand, and she grabbed the now empty coffee cup from Bruce in the other.
It was time she had a talk with her husband.