this ended up being the length of a full prompt fill. what the hell is wrong with me?
Steve called Tony as he was driving to Peter’s kindergarten. The principal had called, saying that he needed to speak to the parents of Peter Stark, and Steve was the only one home. “Hi sweetheart.”
“Hey pumpkin. What’s up? You having dirty thoughts about me while I’m away at work?” Tony hummed into the phone.
“Um, no.” Steve stated firmly. “It’s about Peter.”
Tony’s voice went from teasingly seductive to panicked. “What happened, is he alright?”
“He’s fine. The school assured me he’s not hurt.”
“They called me and said they needed to speak to the parents of Peter Stark. I don’t know what it’s about.”
Steve heard Tony push his chair away from the desk. “I’m coming now. Meet you there as soon as I can.”
“Tony, it’s not a big deal. They said one of us would suffice.”
“Nope. They said ‘parents’ so I’m coming down. See you soon.” Tony hung up the phone and drove down to Peter’s school. They met up outside and walked in together. When they entered the office, they saw Peter sitting on the tiny chair, his legs crossed at the ankle, feet dangling above the ground. He was staring at his hands in his lap, tears running down his face.
“What’s wrong, baby?” Steve soothed, kneeling down to be at eye level with his son. Peter just shook his head. Tony tried to put a finger under Peter’s chin to lift his face, but Peter pulled away.
“Ah, you’re both here. Wonderful,” the principle—Mr. Hedly—said in place of a greeting. He waved them in. Steve kissed Peter’s temple and Tony ruffled his hair before they walked in and sat down on too small chairs. They squirmed uncomfortably for a bit before decided that the chairs were death traps and they shouldn’t even bother.
“What’s this all about?” Tony asked. “Our son is a fucking angel—”
“Tony,” Steve reprimanded.
“—and I want to know what he did wrong.”
“You son hit another student.”
“Peter would never—” Tony shouted, starting to stand, but Steve put his hand in front of Tony to stop him.
“Was there any reason behind it?” Steve asked, calmer than his husband.
“Because of this drawing,” Hedly explained, producing a picture from behind his back. On it stood the three of them—Steve, Tony, and Peter. Steve and Tony were holding hands, while Steve held Peter in his other arm. It was obviously drawn by a five year old, but it wasn’t horrible.
“It’s just a fucking picture of his fami—”
“Tony, please calm down,” Steve once again reprimanded. Then, he turned towards the principal. “What about this drawing?”
“Another student asked why there were two men in the drawing—”
“Oh no,” Steve whispered, preparing for the outburst that was about to come from Tony.
“—and Peter punched him in the face.”
“I’m sure there was more to it,” Steve insisted.
“Not from the way his teacher explains it.”
“Well then maybe that teacher should—” Tony spat.
“We’ll sit down and talk to him and tell him that hitting is never okay,” Steve said quickly, cutting Tony off before he could say the teacher should shove some metaphorical thing up some metaphorical location that Tony probably didn’t mean metaphorically.
The principal just rolled his eyes. “This lack of discipline for your child—”
“We’re going to take care of it, sir,” Steve assured before Tony had a chance to start yelling and/or swearing again.
“I should have expected you to raise your child to be an animal.” Hedly shook his head, then began muttering under his breath. “Growing up in a family of homos—”
“Um. What?” Steve asked, a bite in his tone that hadn’t been there before. Tony grabbed at his hand. Normally it was Tony who flew off the handle but Steve had a certain… issue with this particular topic. “What did you just say.”
“I said nothing.”
Steve stood up and kicked the chair back. He wound up and got ready to punch the principal in the face, but Tony took his arm down. “Not worth it,” Tony insisted. Steve was breathing heavy, staring at the cowering man behind the desk.
“Let’s go,” Steve snarled, not removing his gaze from Hedly.
They left the office and tugged Peter behind them. The sooner they got out, the better chance they had at holding on to some respect. It was clear that Hedly was giving a warped, homophobic view of the situation. Tony trusted Peter not to lie, so once they were out in the parking lot, he kneeled down to Peter’s level.
“Peter,” he asked. Peter still wouldn’t meet his eyes. “Peter why did you hit that other boy?”
“He said it wasn’t natural to have two dads,” he mumbled. “Said the only reason I had you was because my real mom and dad didn’t love me.” Tony and Steve were silent for a minute. Tony rubbed a hand over his face while Steve ran his fingers though his hair. Peter squirmed in the silence. “Am I in a lot of trouble?” he asked, finally.
“Hitting is never okay, Peter, you know that,” Steve said in place of a real answer.
“But more importantly, you have to know that what that other kid said isn’t true, alright? We are your real family. Your pop and I love you more than anything in this whole world. We can’t speak for your birth parents because we never knew them. But they aren’t your real family, okay? We are.”
“I know,” Peter repeated. “I wish everyone knew that, though.”
Steve bent down and picked Peter up. “We do, too, but some people are very closed minded and they don’t understand that there are all sorts of different families and this one loves you very much.”
“How about we go ride the spiny ride at the amusement park?” Tony asked.
“The one that made you throw up?” Peter asked, excitedly.
Tony frowned. “Yeah, that one.”
“But when we get home you’re grounded.”