Disclaimer: Characters and situations owned by Marvel.
Spoilers: For all MCU movies released so far.
Time Line: Non-linear; the first and the last sections are set during Avengers: Infinity War, the three in between near the end of and after Spider-man: Homecoming.
Author's note: Peter Parker being the child in the Iron Man mask from Iron Man 2 is semi-canon, i.e. word of producers and actor.
„This is a one way trip," Mr. Stark had said. Between the adrenaline of the fight and the high of seeing his plan - his plan – carried out, getting rid of the alien who was torturing Dr. Strange, Peter had to admit it hadn't sunk in yet. But now there was nothing to do but wait till the ship arrived at wherever their destination was, and it occured to Peter if they really didn't come back, May would never know what had happened. Nor would Ned, or MJ. They'd only know he'd rushed off when the giant donut appeared over New York. They'd probably figure out he'd gone with Mr. Stark, sure, to save the world, but they wouldn't know.
He remembered sitting in the hospital with May, waiting for the doctors to tell them about Ben. They'd already guessed, sure, because of all the blood, much of it on Peter's hands, and the bullet wounds, but not known. Not really. Not until the words were said out loud. That had been the worst, the waiting.
Now May would wait again, but alone. And forever.
He batted the idea away. It wouldn't happen. They'd defeat this Thanos guy, save the world, no, the universe, and surely, there'd be another space ship taking them back to Earth. Okay, so maybe they'd be stranded for a while. Lost in Space, like the Robinsons in the new show. But there was no technology Mr. Stark couldn't master. He'd built an arc reactor in a cave, and the first Iron Man suit. If necessary, he'd built a space ship from scraps. And Peter would help him.
The idea of building a space ship with Tony Stark was so cool that it vanquished the rest of Peter's worries.
„Hey, Mr. Stark," Peter said, „could we, like, check out the engines of this ship? You know. Could be useful later."
Mr. Stark, who'd been busy exchanging sarcasms with the wizard, turned towards Peter. He looked the way he'd done in Berlin, tense, with his eyes like dark mirrors, letting nothing in. Back then, Peter had just assumed this was how Iron Man looked before a fight, but now he had a basis of comparison, and knew it wasn't. This was Mr. Stark getting ready for something which he didn't expect to have a good outcome, just a less and a more bad one.
Then, to his surprise, Mr. Stark smiled. It didn't reach his eyes, but he smiled. „Knock yourself out, kid," he said. „I expect a full report."
And sure, Peter wanted to see the engines, for real. They were on an alien spaceship. Even if it did belong to some genocidal maniac out to kill half the universe. Still: spaceship. Where no humans had gone before, and all that. But aside from wanting to see the engines for himself, he wanted Mr. Stark to see them. Not just because this would help him to reverse engineer them, once they'd saved the world, well, worlds. As they would. As they most definitely would. But also because he wanted – he needed Mr. Stark to know there'd be a later to hope and work for. He needed Mr. Stark to believe. Not in a less bad outcome, but a really good one.
„You should see them, too" Peter insisted. „Come on, Mr. Stark. It's a space ship. A real, working, flying space ship. Flying through space. Let's go to the engine room together. It'll be great."
He was babbling now, he knew that. But he meant it. Put Tony Stark near anything mechanical, whether it was the latest version of the Quinjet, which had a stealth mode, or May's microwave oven which he'd fixed as a part of his long term and so far unsuccesful campaign to get back into her good graces, and he was at his best. It cheered him up, made him simultanously at ease and focused, not Berlin-Leipzig-focused with that sense of doom hanging over him but happy-focused.
Mr. Stark looked at him. The skin around his eyes crinkled, and at last, he was smiling with them as well.
„Okay," he said. „Okay."
Operation Stark Whisperer complete, Peter thought as they were off searching for the engines. It wasn't that he himself was in denial about how serious the situation was, that they were heading into Mordor right now. With the ring in the form of a green gem stone handing around the wizard's neck. Which was awesome; Ned would never let him hear the end of it once Peter told him the tale. Which he would. He would see Ned again, would see MJ again, would see May again. That was the most important thing to remember about trips to Mordor: in the end, once the ring was destroyed, you got to leave again. To return home. And he'd just reminded Mr. Stark that there were eagles to carry them there.
Given Happy Hogan's eternal grumpiness at least when he'd been in Peter's presence, Peter had assumed his nickname was some kind of a joke, probably on Mr. Stark's part. But after Happy's declaration of owing Peter now, he used the time during the long drive upstate to the compound to ask all those questions Happy wouldn't answer before. Never let it be said Peter Parker didn't know how to use leverage.
„So how long have you known Mr. Stark?"
Which is how he learned the tale of Happy the nightclub bouncer, who started out as Happy Hogan the youthful boxing champion until he got into a private fight when drunk and accidentally killed someone with a blow to his head, went to prison for a few years because it was deemed he should have known better as a professional, and after his release ended up as a bouncer because those were the only jobs available. „So one night there's Tony, high as a kite, laying into the booze, not much older than you and with a fake ID. My boss had me kick him out because that week we really were on the cops' radar. That's when I saw he was there by car on his own, and I thought, no way."
This tale resolved itself by Happy confiscating the car key, young-high-as-a-kite Tony Stark refusing to tell the taxi driver Happy-the-bouncer called where to take him, Happy ending up taking him to „my shithole" to sleep and sober up because „I didn't want another dead kid on my conscience", Happy finding out the next morning via assault team storming in that he was suspected of having kidnapped the Heir Of Howard Stark, Happy getting arrested and after all was cleared up getting fired by the nightclub anyway, and Tony insisting on hiring him as a driver-slash-bodyguard thereafter.
Happy ending, Peter supposed, heroically restraining himself from making the pun out loud. Because he didvget this was a serious story, with a lot of sadness buried underneath all the comic misunderstandings. When the ferry nearly broke apart and he knew his strength wasn't enough, that people would be drowning, those were some of the worst moments of his life.
If someone had died, that would be a different story", he heard Mr. Stark say. „And if you'd died, that would be on me.
Happy knew what it was like to kill someone and go to prison for it. Had to live with it ever since. Sure, he's had a great job since then, well, jobs plural, but – that man he punched was still dead.
It would have been a different story.
Being strong enough to stop a bus was great, but one reason why Peter had developed the webshots very early on was that he knew if you punched people with that kind of strength, and they weren't protected and not the same kind of strong, you could kill them. That was why he'd never punched Flash, as much as he often wanted to.
Something else occured to Peter, unwelcome but undeniable; if his dream after Germany had come true, if Mr. Stark had taken him on more missions and made him an Avenger, then it could very well be that he, Peter, would have killed someone by now. Maybe not by punching. But when they weren't fighting each other, the Avengers fought bad guys who wanted to destroy the planet, and Peter was aware that you couldn't have, say, stopped the Chitauri by webbing them up.
„Hey, Happy," Peter said, „if you had superpowers, do you think you'd be an Avenger, too?"
Happy shook his head. „Nah. I think the whole thing is nuts, don't tell Tony that I said that. But I liked it better the way it was before. Don't get me wrong, you do your thing, and like I said, I owe you, big time. You're a good kid. But back when Tony was just inventing stuff and partying, we didn't have to worry about people exploding in our face or aliens or… anyway. It's not for me."
Despite missing out the final rounds, Peter had participated in enough staged debates in school to immediately spot the flaws in Happy's logic. Mr. Stark getting kidnapped and nearly killed in Afghanistan in the first place had been due to who he was in that life „before" Happy had just said he preferred. So it wasn't like that had been a safe life. And, well, it got other people killed as well. Peter didn't agree with Michelle who kept giving him a hard time about „slaving away as part of the military industrial complex" when she thought he'd had the Stark internship. But he had maybe watched the famous press conference Mr. Stark gave after his return from Afghanistan a dozen times or so. It was on YouTube.
A system of zero accountability.
They arrived at the compound, and Mr. Stark tested him with the Avenger offer, or not, because one of the frustrating things about Tony Stark for Peter was that in 99% of all cases, you could never quite tell when he was serious or not. And for a second or so, Peter could have sworn he saw something like a flinch when he rejected Mr. Stark's proposal. But he probably imagined it. It was just a test, and Peter passed, because he did mean it; if nothing else, the recent weeks had made it clear to him that what he wanted right now wasn't to be an Avenger, but his own kind of hero, looking after the neighborhood.
Behind Mr. Stark, Happy looked surprised but also impressed, and Peter recalled what Happy had said in the car. Later, on their drive back, Happy was downright elated, in high spirits, which was such a weird look on him.
„Are you glad because you don't have to monitor me anymore?" Peter asked, only half kidding and trying to decide whether he'd feel insulted if the answer was yes.
„No such luck", Happy said cheerfully. „What, you think just because you're staying freelance Tony won't keep taps on you anymore? No, I'm in a great mood because he finally did what I told him to do eight years ago and proposed to Pepper."
Okay, so that was somewhat out of nowhere, because Peter hadn't even known Ms. Potts and Mr. Stark were back together again; he might or might not have checked up on various accounts of Mr. Stark's social life when not hearing anything from him directly for two months after Germany.
„Let that be a lesson to you, kid," Happy says, and now it's impossible to tell whether he's joking or serious as well. „If Tony Stark gets attached to you, it might take him a while to show it, but he gets there, in the end."
At first, Peter assumed Karen was a user-friendly interface like Siri or Alexa, only far more sophisticated. Awesome, in fact, along with the rest of what the suit could do, the incredible insulting names of some of ist functions aside. (Baby Monitor, seriously, Mr. Stark?) But then she started to do stuff like telling him to kiss Liz, complimenting and encouraging him, and responded to his jokes with some good lines of her own. And he began wondering.
„Did Mr. Stark program you to be nice to me, Karen?"
In her warm, cheerful voice, she told him she was designed to learn from him, Peter. The more often he talked to her while using the suit, the more data she gathered to base her interactions with him on. Which, okay, made sense, but still, he kept wondering.
At school, they were debating artificial intelligence and the question of sentience. As far as the public knew, there were two human-created mechanical entities who achieved sentience, Ultron and Vision. Peter, talking to Karen, felt oddly impolite but nerved himself to ask: „Do you share a base code with Ultron and Vision, Karen?"
„My base code was created by Tony Stark who co-created Ultron and Vision", she replied, which was and wasn't an answer, and that she could avoid a direct question already proved she was more than a simple call and response based algorithm. She added that this base code was first used for Jarvis, the original intelligent system Mr. Stark developed to run his lab, his household and eventually his armor.
Now, because Mr. Stark had called him directly just when the disaster with the ferry was about to go down, Peter did in fact possess his mobile phone number. Well, one of them at any rate. But because of what followed, he hadn't used it, and after he got the suit back, May found out, which was a disaster of its own. So some more weeks passed before all was calm enough for him to type: „Mr. Stark, could Karen become Skynet?" and press „send".
Mr. Stark typed back: „Okay, Sarah Connor, that means lunch", which was how Peter ended up at the Compound again, in Tony Stark's lab. There was also pizza involved. All in all, it came close to being a perfect day, dire topics of conversation included.
„It's just," Peter said, „I've been wondering. Everyone thinks Ultron was the first AI, and that Vision is now the only one. But what makes them different from Jarvis, or Friday, or, well, Karen?"
It wasn't that he was scared, though maybe he should have been; he did watch the footage from Sokovia, or rather the part of it they kept showing on tv. But what he felt was mostly burning curiosity. What was it, what was that final step from intelligent software to sentient entity? How did Mr. Stark pull that off? And what went wrong with Ultron?
„Too little Bruce, too much of me," Mr. Stark says, deadpan, when Peter adds the last question out loud.
„I'm serious, Mr. Stark."
„Oh, me, too, Mr. Parker. Dr. Banner provided a lot to Ultron, but the personality was based on mine. Now, Jarvis, Jarvis was – he was himself, he kept learning and evolving all the time, but when I first started out with him, I based the voice and just about everything else on the nicest guy I knew when growing up. Ultron was supposed to protect Earth, so nice didn't come into it, and I used what I had at hand. Should have figured he'd want to kill his old man and ruin everyone else, I suppose, but that's hindsight for you."
It was all delivered in Mr. Stark's flippant offhand patter, while he was drinking coffee and Peter demolished the pizza, but he had that expression again, the one from when he had wanted the suit back, only this time Peter knew it wasn't him Mr. Stark was upset about.
„But they're all unique, aren't they," Peter said carefully. „Your creations. Siri is the same on every computer. But, like, Karen told me there's just one of her. And that she keeps learning. Like you said about Jarvis."
Mr. Stark nodded, watching Peter silently.
„So they're like the cyber versions of twins," Peter continued, working his way to realisation as he talked, which was how he operated most of the time. „Regarding their base code and original behavior patterns. Same genetics, sure, but their development then makes them individuals."
„Careful, kid", Mr. Stark said. „You're letting me off the hook because you like me. Not that I blame you, being the wonder of sophistication and charm sitting in front of you right now, but there is such a thing as cause and effect. Don't lose sight of that. Which, by the way, also answers your question about Karen becoming Skynet. She won't. She's based on you."
„Like" didn't really come into it. There had been times when Peter had wanted nothing more than to impress Mr. Stark, and times when he'd felt incredibly dissappointed by and angry with him. And then there were times like now. He wasn't sure, but that was probably the greatest compliment he'd ever received. Though it did make future interaction with Karen a bit weird. Maybe. Then again, like he said: Karen was her own self now. And he'd always wanted to have a sister.
Meanwhile, something felt like it was shifting in his relationship with Mr. Stark. Who could create great things and terrible things, and knew details like Peter quitting band practice while simultanously pretending to ignore him, and wore his sarcasm like a shield, only sometimes, like right now, it got lowered, and there was something behind it like Peter's own memory of Ben getting shot right in front of him because Peter had let it happen, and there was never going to be enough saved people in the world to make up for that.
„Hey, I have supervillain potential", Peter said, playing at indignation, because Mr. Stark was human now, could be teased. Which was one way to say „thank you, and I understand" that wouldn't make him shut down again and put on his armor. The not literal one. „I could so take over the world. One web at a time. Just wait and see."
Peter was painfully aware that even if Liz' father hadn't turned out to be a murderous supervillain, any chances he'd have had with her ended when he turned out to be the worst Homecoming date ever. He didn't want to become a long distance stalker, either. But the thought of her alone in Oregon, waiting for news about her father's trial and trying to cope with the idea that her dad, well, killed people, that thought gnawed at him. At least Luke Skywalker had had R2-D2 for company in the aftermath of finding out about Darth Vader.
Peter did have her email address, unless she's changed it, but he didn't know what to write, given he couldn't explain about the whole Spider-man thing, plus there was no good way to say „sorry your Dad is in prison" when you also thought that was where the man had to be and had personally done your best to put him there, and any variation of „sorry your Dad did what he did" sounded just patronizing and awful. Every time he thought he should just let it he the imagined how he'd feel if instead of Ben dying it would have turned out that Ben was shooting people in his spare time, and then knew he had to do something to help her.
Clearly, he needed advice. Normally, he'd have asked May, but May still didn't know the extent of how things had gone down between Spider-man and the Vulture, namely, the part where Mr. Toomes had done his level best to kill Peter, or the part where he knew Peter's real identity and home address. Including these details in the grand general confession that had ensued after she caught him in costume would have ruined any attempt to make being Spider-man sound safe, so he hadn't. Consequently, Peter tried to explain the whole dilemma to Mr. Stark over the phone instead but led with the wrong part, namely, ditching Liz at Homecoming.
„Are you asking me for dating pointers?" Mr. Stark interrupted suspiciously. „Let me stop you right then and there. Kid, the fact that I didn't have a long term romantic relationship until I was in my late thirties means I'm utterly unqualified to play agony aunt . And if you want advice on sex, use the internet."
„That's not what this is about!" Peter yelled in frustration before his brain caught up with him and he lowered his voice. He wasn't at home, but yelling on a rooftop at Mr. Stark who sounded like he was in a car again was getting the pigeons mad at him again, and those birds were vile. Peter took a breath before continuing. „Her dad turned out to be evil but not to her, so he's still her dad and she loves him and she's all alone with that, that's the point! But she's not even in the same state anymore, so I can't be there for her, and also she probably doesn't want me to be because why would she, so how do you deal with someone who got their life ruined because of you?"
His need to breathe caught up with him again at this point, so Peter paused. There was an odd moment of silence on the other end. Then Mr. Stark said: „Ah. Now I can see why I'm your expert of choice today."
„What? No, Mr. Stark, I didn't mean…"
Though now that he thought about it, he had, maybe. A little. Because Mr. Stark did know about that. Miriam Sharpe Spencer had been on tv again the other day, asked whether she felt that the Sokovian Accords would prevent further tragedies like her son's death. She'd said that she hoped so, but that it shouldn't have taken her confronting Tony Stark to get the Avengers to support them. The reporter then had asked her whether she'd forgiven Mr. Stark, and she'd replied: „No. But I respect that he's drawn consequences from what he'd done. Which is more than you could say about Captain America."
„First of all", Mr. Stark said, „You didn't ruin her life. Whatever state she's in is her father's fault, not yours. Secondly, let's talk practicalities. Does her father have a decent lawyer? What about her mother?"
Peter had to confess he had no idea. The Toomes' house had been grand, but presumably all that wealth had been illegally gained, and might be confiscated by the state now or frozen or whatever happened in such cases; lawyer shows were more May's thing than his.
„Okay. I'll look into that. She's a bright girl, right?"
„Yes!" Peter said. „She was captain of our Decathlon team." The memory of letting Liz down in Washington would have burned if worse things hadn't happened since.
„There are scholarships and grants that could come in handy", Mr. Stark said. „Considering I sponsor a lot of those, we're not talking theoretical possibilities here. So, you know. No worries about college for Ms Toomes."
That wasn't what Peter had been worried about, though he should have been; with hindsight, it really was questionable whether Liz as daughter of a convict would have the same chances as Liz, daughter of well-to-do Adrian Toomes. A part of Peter did feel a bit better, and the idea of Mr. Stark looking out for Liz and her mother was good, even though he was sure that Mr. Toomes would hate it, given all the Vulture had said about Mr. Stark.
Yet none of this solved his core problem, and the part of Peter that kept imagining Liz in Luke-at-the-end-of-Empire-Strikes-Back-mode said: „But that doesn't make her less alone in Oregon right now."
There was another brief silence on Mr. Stark's end. Then he said: „No, it doesn't. But you never know. People make friends in unexpected places. There's this guy I've met, whose life fell apart three months ago. Girlfriend gone, best friend with a broken spine thanks to helping him in a fight, and some really vicious breakups at the work place. I think that's what they call ‚rock bottom'. All the same, he also picked up some real life Simba the not-yet-Lion-King, and as it turns out cubs really make everything better. So. You never know."
At first, Peter actually thought this was advice to get Liz a kitten. Then his mind indignantly harrumphed in MJ's voice and made him connect a few dots. His cheeks burned; he was pretty sure he was blushing, which made it a good thing only evil pigeons could see him right then.
„I guess," he said quietly. „I guess so."
The first time Peter met Tony Stark in person was in his aunt's living room in Queens. The first time he met Iron Man, on the other hand, was years earlier. He'd talked Ben and May into visiting the Stark Expo with him. Peter had always liked the stories about Captain America, but had been sad that there hadn't been any more superheroes after Cap. At least that was what the adults claimed. He'd always suspected they might be wrong, as adults sometimes were, and then, when Mr. Stark had told the world he was Iron Man on national tv, he'd known this was the case. The next year had seen Peter aquiring an Iron Man costume, imagining himself able to fly and in general not shutting up about wanting to know how the arc reactor worked until his aunt and uncle bribed him with the promise of buying a year long visiting ticket to the Stark Expo if he promised in return some peace and quiet at home.
They'd all been visiting the Expo that night, the night the Hammer drones attacked. Peter had gotten separated from May and Ben in the general panic, and then, suddenly, he'd found himself in direct line of view of a drone descending, aiming at him.
He'd been eight years, sweating under his plastic mask, biting his lips. At first, everyone had thought this was some kind of show for the visitors, but by now, it was clear this wasn't the case. This was happening for real. The drones were shooting at people, hurting people. This one was about to shoot at Peter, and then it would go after May and Ben, wherever they were.
He'd raised his arm with the plastic gauntlet. He'd rigged the gauntlet so the LED-lamps shone a bit brighter, looked more propulsion-like. But he knew they wouldn't help him now. All the same, Peter raised his arm and aimed at the drone. Which was when Iron Man came down from the sky, landing behind Peter, blasting the drone away, all in less time than it took Peter to draw another breath.
„Nice work, kid," Iron Man told him and flew away, after the next drone.
By the time he was reunited with May and Ben, Peter had forgotten about having been afraid. He told them that he'd fought at Iron Man's side against one of the Hammer drones, and they'd laughed and cried and of course had assumed it was another fantasy, like wearing the costume to begin with. Well. He'd been eight. As the years went on, Peter had sometimes wondered whether it did happen, or whether it had, in fact, been a fantasy; a lot oft he games he'd played as a child had been incredibly real to him. It wasn't until he'd heard Tony Stark's voice filtered through the Iron Man mask, that exact same voice, that he knew for sure it had happened.
He had never told Mr. Stark about it. Not until they were standing on an alien planet with a bunch of odd but fascinating strangers, waiting for a mad titan to arrive. Peter was a bit embarrassed that he'd freaked out about Mantis; MJ would have his head if he told her about the whole „don't lay your eggs in me" thing, saying something withering about male assumptions and demonizing aliens. To make up for his initial reaction, he tried to be extra friendly.
„So, like, you can really alter feelings?" he asked, because that had come up as part of the still argued about plan to stop Thanos.
„I feel the feelings of people when I touch them," she replied. „Altering them only works for a short while. When someone is sad, I can make them content. Or docile. Or go asleep." Her antennae drooped. „But it never lasts."
It sounded like a cool power to have, though also somewhat creepy. Feelings should be someone's personal business. Except, well, right now it sounded like it would be invaluable against Thanos.
„And it works on everyone?"
„Even on Celestials," she declared. Peter had no idea what a Celestial was, but it sounded impressive. She asked him about his own powers, and he found himself telling her about the spider bite and what that had resulted in.
„Then your father does not share your powers?"
„Oh, Mr. Stark is not… we're not related", Peter said, involuntarily checking whether or not Mr. Stark had heard, but luckily he seemed to be busy hatching out details of the plan with the guy from Missouri who was called either Lord or Quill.
Mantis looked him. Her black eyes were really huge.
„I did not say you were."
„Yes, you did, you just said – never mind. Anyway, Mr. Stark doesn't have physical powers, but he's, like, super-smart. He built that armor he wears. Also the one I'm wearing."
„He's afraid," Mantis stated. Peter's first impulse was to protest that this wasn't true, because Mr. Stark was a hero, but one thing being Spider-man for more than two years now had taught him was that you often were afraid before a fight against someone with overwhelming power. You just did it anyway. And this time, the universe was at stake.
„I think we all are," Peter said quietly. Mantis nodded, and added: „But he's the only one who feels guilty."
Peter had a pretty good idea why that was, and it made him a bit embarassed and also the slightest bit angry. As soon Quill-or-Lord stopped talking, he drew Mr. Stark aside, towards where Dr. Strange was sitting on a rock and meditating in his wizardy way.
„I chose to be here, you know," Peter said. „You did your best to stop me. And I didn't come because of you. It's like I told you. No Earth, no neighborhood. It's about saving everyone. Stop thinking it's all about you."
Mr. Stark actually laughed. „If I had a dollar for every time someone had told me that," he said, sounding genuinely amused.
„Well, then you should listen," Peter retorted, then hastily added, „Mr. Stark."
„Lifetime habits are hard to break, Pete. I know you came here for everyone, but the fact of the matter is that if it weren't for me, you'd be busy being there for everyone in your onesies in Queens right now, not on Titan in a Stark-made suit."
This was true, but also besides the point Peter was trying to make. So he tried for a different approach, and at last brought up their first encounter at the Stark Expo.
„I'd have died years ago if it weren't for you," he said, and explained. „Then there'd never been a Spider-man. Here or in Queens."
Tony Stark stretched his hand out as if to touch Peter's face, then put it down again.
„Debatable," he said, „since you also wouldn't have been at the Expo to begin with if it weren't for me. But never mind that. Spider-man came from you, kid. You'd have made that choice if I had never left Afghanistan alive. Whereas…"
Peter interrupted, because his rethorical trap had just worked, and he had to close it before Mr. Stark could ruin it. „So you admit it," he said triumphantly. „That I'm here because of who I am. Not because of you. Case closed, Mr. Stark."
His mentor raised his hands in surrender, and Peter felt as relieved and thrilled as he had been that evening when he'd stood among the remains of the drone and known he was alive, not dead, and Iron Man told him „nice work, kid".
„Besides," he added, grinning, „the plan wouldn't work without me, right? Let's face it, Mr. Stark. You need me."
For once, there was no irony in Mr. Stark's voice, either directed at Peter or at himself, no sarcasm or understatement, neither anger nor approval, no teasing or comic exaggaration.
There was nothing but sincerity when he said: „I do."