Peter slings in the window with a bullet wound in his side and his backpack webbed to his hip.
"Mr- Mr. Stark!" He gasps as he slides onto the floor, ripping his backpack off of his hip and sitting down on the floor, cross-legged, "I, um, need help."
Tony blinks from his spot on the couch watching Doctor Who with Rhodey and, exchanging glances with him, hurries over to Peter. "Yeah, I can tell, kid," he grunts, "Where'd you get that bullet wound, hm?"
"Mugger," Peter says, almost absentmindedly, as though it's an inconsequential question. (Honestly. Sometimes Tony can't make head over heels of what's up with this kid of his.) "But that doesn't matter! Mr. Stark, I need help with this math question..."
Math question? Rhodey mouths from his spot on the couch, looking endlessly amused. Tony shoves down the urge to strangle him.
Then he turns back to the kid, and has to fight not to strangle him. "Kid," Tony closed his eyes and wondered if there was a right way to go about calling your mentor-ee... ment-ee?... protege?... a complete idiot. "You have a bullet wound on the side of your stomach and you're prioritizing math homework?"
Peter huffed, looking deeply offended as he answered, "Well, when you say it like that it makes me sound like some sort of idiot who can't get his priorities straight."
"Because you can't?" Rhodey looked incredibly amused, which. Tony wasn't sure if it was safe to remain friends with this guy anymore. "Tony, where did you find a mini-you?"
"A mini-me?" Tony protested, "I'm not like this at all!"
"Remember that time with the green acid goop..."
Tony's face reddened, "I needed to finish the welding or I would've had to recreate the entire robot by hand all over again..."
"Or the time with the mercenary in pink..."
"I lose control of one limb and you act like I'm in danger of dying..."
"Or that time when..."
"Um, Mr. Stark?" Peter turned red when Rhodey and Tony both turned to glare at him, "That's, uh, really unhealthy. You should go to medical before doing anything else."
Tony stared at him incredulously. "Kid," he said slowly, "You realize that you just..."
"Well, yes," Peter coughed awkwardly, "But, uh, y'know, I have a healing factor. I already dug the bullet out..."
"With what?" Rhodey muttered.
"With my hands," Peter answered lightly, "So it should heal nicely in the next three hours or so."
Tony stared. "What."
Rhodey stared. "What."
Peter turned steadily redder. "What!?"
"I can't even... I'm not going to even..." Tony pinched the bridge of his nose between two fingers, closing his eyes and reminding himself to take deep breaths. Anger is irrational, Tony, he reminded himself, responding with anger is what a bad role model does and the kid does not need bad role models. One breath... two breaths... three breaths... calm, steady response... "Medical. Now." Shit. That was an angry response. Fix it! "I'm not mad at you, kid," he dropped his fingers to his sides and stared at Peter, eye contact is good? bad? I don't remember... "I just need you to stay safe, okay? And if you don't go to medical, I get worried. So assuage my fear and once you've been looked over, we can finish your homework, okay?"
Peter beamed, "Sounds perfect, Mr. Stark!"
He skips out of the door with a definite bounce in his step, ignoring Tony's calls of, "Calm the fu-loozles down, kid! You're going to aggravate your wound!"
"It's okay, Mr. Stark!" Peter calls from his spot in the hallway. "I have a healing factor!"
"No sh-unshine you have a healing factor!" Tony yells back, "Stop running!"
"You're too far away!" Peter calls very clearly from beyond the walls, "Can't hear you!"
"That kid..." Tony grouses as he falls down into a sitting position beside Rhodey on the couch, "He literally has super hearing!"
Rhodey pats Tony's shoulder sympathetically, "Must be awful, taking care of a kid like that."
"It is... wait, you say that like he's my kid or something. He isn't, you know."
"Oh," Rhodey starts whistling, "Of course not."
"What the fuck."
"I know, Mr. Stark, it must be very simple for you," Peter scratches the side of his cheek, looking embarassed. He's changed into a baggy sweatshirt, a disgusting shade of barf yellow with I Am Iron Men in sloppy magenta. It was a gag gift that Rhodey had gotten Tony for his birthday, and Tony had adored it because of how trashy it was, though he did immediately set about to patenting Iron Man products and trademarking everything (to prevent beautiful trash like this from marring my name). "But I can't figure it out."
"But... but..." Tony faltered, "How are you supposed to figure out the altitude? Isn't this supposed to be trig?"
"Yeah, but you can figure it out by putting x here, you see, and if you do the length of the side minus x, then that covers the length of line BD so you have to use the sine law..." Peter pointed at it, and then sighed, "But I can't figure out what you're supposed to do after that. It's very frustrating."
"Oh, that's..." Tony purses his lips together, "Then, logically, all you have to do is... let h be height... then if you do this..."
He finished the problem and presented it to Peter, beaming.
Peter squinted at it, and then shook his head with a sigh. "That's what I thought, too, but the answer key says that it's different."
"What?" Tony squawked.
"Yeah, I know," Peter slumped, "I just can't seem to get that answer, no matter what I try."
"Lemme see," Rhodey elbowed in between Tony and Peter, "Hm, maybe it's not the Sine Law? Maybe it's Cosine. No, that wouldn't make sense... I don't understand, what am I doing wrong? If I just..." He leaned over to scribble in the margins, pressing his thumb against his lips as he worked his way through the question. In the end, he, too, ended up with the same answer as Tony and Peter. "Sorry, kid, the answer key is wrong."
"No, I must have done it wrong, or..."
"Kid," Rhodey leaned back and tucked his hands behind his head, "I'm literally a rocket scientist. I went to MIT and got a PhD. Tony here is... well, Tony. Trust us a bit more, hm?"
"Oh, well," Peter gnawed on his thumb, "I have a test, tomorrow, s'all. If I get this wrong and don't figure it out before the test..."
"No sweat," Tony slapped Peter on the back, "It's just tenth grade, right? No biggie."
Rhodey frowned at Tony, "I don't think that's the right advice to give him."
"It's really not," Peter slumped over, sticking his face into his homework. "I'm going to fail and die in poverty, using drugs to keep alive some semblance of hope for myself and deluding myself into believing that life will be okay..."
"Okay, wow, escalation much?" Rhodey rolled his eyes, "Tony's crude, but right. It's just tenth grade. Come on. We have ice cream and Doctor Who. Forget math."
"Says the man with the PhD," Peter mumbled into his homework.
"Aw, don't be like that, kiddo," Tony ruffled Peter's hair. "C'mon, you know that I'm grooming you to be head of the Research and Development department."
"I'd rather get a job on my own merit," Peter sighed, "But thanks."
"Sourpuss," Tony pouted, "Doctor Who and ice cream and you're still grumpy?"
"You're right," Peter sat up and wheeled around, "Are you watching Classic Who?"
"Nah, we're watching from the tenth doctor," Rhodey shrugged.
Peter looked indignant, "Why?"
"Well, I heard that tenth was the best..."
"What?" Peter gasped, "Nine was fantastic!"
"Well, okay, but everyone..."
"Nine was awesome and everyone just slept on it!"
"We are watching Nine."
"Kid, I already said..."
They end up watching Nine, and Rhodey concedes that Nine is pretty great over a bowl of rainbow sherbet.
"Told you," Peter says smugly, and a week later, he comes to Tony and Rhodey with a proudly presented 100% on his unit test.
"Told you that I was right," Tony says, ruffling Peter's hair.
Peter laughs at him and turns to Rhodey, "Have you started watching the twelfth doctor yet?"
"Kid," Rhodey says, amused, "I haven't even started watching Eleven's run."
(They end up watching it together, gorging themselves on popcorn and chips, and it's very unhealthy, but it's perfect and lovely all the same.)