There's a pause before an elevator dings and the doors open. A millisecond later, Pepper Potts storms out of them, her eyes frantically searching the penthouse as she grips the straps of her briefcase tightly. She opens her mouth to speak, but she halts her words as her attention is grabbed. “Oh my god…” she whispers, her eyes taking in the sight in front of her. The Avenger’s main common room floor was not how she left it a week ago.
It’s a mess! Pillows litter the ground, food stains and holes adorn the walls and glass and the furniture is turned upside down. Hesitantly she walks into the room, being cautious of things around her and stepping around the objects littering the floor. The mess in the room only doubles her amount of worry. “Tony!” she calls worriedly. “Tony where are you!? JARVIS where is-”
Tony rushes out of the hallway, hair disheveled and eyes dilated in fear. "No!" Running up to Pepper, he presses a hand to her mouth and takes a deep breath in anticipation, waiting for something to happen. Minutes ago by and nothing happens. When nothing does and Clint walks out of the second door to the left with thumbs up Tony relaxes, removing his hand from his girlfriend's mouth. "Thank God!... I need a drink." He adds as an after thought. Walking away from Pepper, Tony takes his time preparing and pouring a glass of scotch while Clint gladly joins him. After putting one of the couches upright, both men take a seat and engage in a conversation, unaware of the confused woman behind them. From the lack of attention or explanation as to why she had to come back to the tower, Pepper starts getting angry.
“Tony.” She calls, tapping her foot impatiently. The inventor glances back at her, gives her a tiny wave, before closing his eyes and laying his head back with a thud. Groaning loudly she looks over at the archer who is currently nurturing his drink. “Clint?” He doesn’t respond. “Guys? Hello.” They don't pay attention to her and soon snoring can be heard from Tony.
Fed up with being ignored, Pepper storms over to them and snatches the scotch out of his hands before slapping them both upside the head efficiently waking Tony up and putting Clint out of his trance. "What the hell is going on!" She screams, angry.
Both boys eyes widen for the slightest second and just before they tell her to be quiet, a loud wail erupts from the hallway. Tony falls off the couch, landing on his knees and Clint groans loudly jumping off the couch and grudgingly walks back down the hallway. "Tony what is that noise? Is that a baby?" Pepper asks the distraught inventor as he buries the heels of his hands in his eyes, trying to get rid of his massive migraine.
"God this is even worse than a hangover." Tony comments as he stands.
"Tony what is the world is going on here? Explain to me why I had to be called from an important meeting with the president’s representatives just to watch you and Clint drink your asses off." Pepper demands when Tony grabs her hand and pulls her along towards the hallway.
"Long story, it's better to show you then to tell you. You'll figure it out once you lay eyes on him."
"Show me? Show me what? Him? Is there a baby in the tower? Tony!" Tony merely just shakes his head and puts a finger to his lips tugging on her arm. “Tony why aren’t you answer my questions?” Pepper insists. The crying gets louder the closer they get to the source of the sound. Steve's bedroom. Pepper looks a the door confused, and an eyebrow raised at Tony."What are we doing here? Were you snooping through Steve’s things again? I told you to respect his privacy.”
“No I wasn’t snooping through his things again.” Tony replies rubbing his eyes roughly, the crying almost making him want to cry.
“Then why are we here and why is there a baby in Steve's room? In fact, why the hell is there even a baby in the tower?" Pepper asks absolutely and utterly confused, her anxiety making her entire body shake.
"No questions." Tony says tiredly stopping right in front of the super soldier's room turning to face her. "Please, just keep an open mind when you see. And don't ask questions, at least not until he calms down. He's been crying for days and wont stop."
"He who?" Pepper insists and her only response to the question is a finger pressed to his lips. Sighing Pepper nods and waits for Tony to open the door, rubbing a hand across her forehead. Tony closes his eyes for a moment before taking a deep breath and opening the closed door.
Pepper's eyes immediately land on the three figures around the large king sized bed where a small figure lays on top, the tiny body thrashing around as the other three try to calm him down. "What the..." at the sound of her voice the three large figures turn to face her. Thor and Bruce look just as exhausted as Clint and Tony, and Bruce is looking a little stressed. Only Pepper's attention is grabbed by the tiny toddler on the bed. Looking back behind her at Tony, he nods his head and gives her a gentle push in the bed’s direction.
“Please… try to calm him down. We’re exhausted. We don’t know how to make him shut up. We’ve tried everything and he wont be quiet.” The look on Tony’s face almost breaks her heart. The dark rings around Tony’s eyes confirm what he said about exhaustion and the desperation that fills his eyes is what makes Pepper start walking forward. Walking hesitantly to the bed, the CEO places her briefcase on the ground near the edge of the bed before taking Bruce's previous position at the head of the bed while scientist goes to stand next to Tony. Clint and Thor back away as well watching intently as Pepper insects the baby, her eyes roaming over the tiny body. Pepper raises an eyebrow at the shirt that’s wrapped around the baby’s butt shaped in the form of a diaper. Looking up at the others they shrug innocently, giving her stupid grins. Shaking her head she looks down and finds the baby’s tiny body draped in one of Steve’s large T-shirt.
Upon finding nothing out of the ordinary except the red, tired face, she looks back at the others confused. Tony said she’d understand it when she looked at the small babe and right now the only thing she understands is that there is a baby in the tower. She opens her mouth to speak, but Clint beats her to it. "Look at his eyes." Clint says hoping Pepper will recognize the super soldier, the baby blue eyes clicking something in her brain. Looking down at the child again she sits at the edge of the bed catching the baby's attention.
The toddler's blue, tear filled eyes looks up at the woman, his face red and flushed and breathing rapid. He reaches his arms out, wincing, at the woman giving him attention. He definitely wanted to be picked up, something the guys didn’t want to do.
The boys watch as Pepper reaches her arms out and scoops the child in her arms, rocking him back and forth. The feeling of arms around him, once again, calms him down to the point where he can breathe properly. Pepper smiles down at him, bouncing him up and down, cooing softly at him. Steve's crying lessens at the sight of Pepper smiling at him until it's completely gone and only hiccups and winces come out of him. The boys hold their breath waiting for her to figure it out, hoping she does so they don't explain it.
A sudden gasp is heard from the bed and Pepper's body straighten instantly, her rocking movements coming to a halt. The boys wait with baited breath, for some sign of recognization.
It’s a while before she speaks again.
"... Steve?" She whispers to the child.
At the sound of his name, his eyes shoot up to look at her, a questioning look in his eyes. She gasps, tightening her old on him as she feels him start to slip through her arms. The sudden shock of seeing Steve respond to his name makes her thoughts run wild.
Pepper and Steve spend a couple minutes examining each other, sizing each other up. Pepper looking at everything; his size, his weight, the clothes he's wearing, but mostly she looks at his face seeing the similarities that baby Steve has that the adult Steve had. Steve didn’t lose a single feature from his baby years. He definitely lost his baby fat, but everything else stayed the same. His cheek bones, hair, skin tone, jaw line, lips are all the same. The thing that gets her attention the most is the blue eyes that stare up at her. "Oh my God… What happened to you?" She asks. Steve looks up at her with confusion written all over his face. Raising a hand, he places it against Pepper's cheeks his bottom lip wavering. "Don't be scared, it's okay sweetie.” Glancing up at the boys, she shifts Steve to lay flush against her chest. "Can he talk?"
Bruce shrugs, "He's never said anything, so we dont-"
Pepper's hand snaps down to the baby in her arms as Steve gazes back unwavering. His voice shakes; scared and timid. Pepper caresses his small face as a mean of comfort and offers him a small smile.
"You can understand me?" Steve's eyes glance over to the other four men in the room worriedly before looking back at Pepper, his nonverbal communication speaking loud and clear for her. "They aren't going to hurt you. They're nice people." Steve looks unsure, but doesn't question the men’s kindness. “My name is Pepper. What’s yours?”
"... S-Stewen Wogers.” He told her with an adorable Brooklyn accent and all the men in the room shifted nervously.
“How old are you?” Pepper asked the toddler. The toddler looked up at her, his face contorted in concentration. He was thinking really hard, trying to remember how old he was. A small smile spreads across his face and he holds up two fingers.
“Who do you live with Steve? And where?” Pepper asks continuing to question him.
“Mama.” Steve replies. And as if suddenly remembering something, the young child looks expectantly up at Pepper, "Where my mama?" He asks quietly, his small voice seeming to get even smaller. "Where is I?"
Biting her bottom lip she glances back at the boys, unsure of how to answer Steve. They seem just as confused and unsure as Pepper so when Bruce shakes his head, Pepper decides to revert the conversation somewhere else.
"Steve, do you remember anything? What happened before you woke up here?" Pepper asks indicating the tower. At first she's afraid that Steve will say yes, but she sighs in relief when the young boy shakes his head. "What's the last thing you remember?" Pepper presses before Steve has a chance to ask about his mom again. Steve thinks long and hard about the question, his little face scrunched up and mouth pressed in a firm line. He shakes his head.
“Mama.” He says longingly. Biting her bottom lip Pepper sighs and looks nervously at the men then back at Steve.
“Steve, your mom is not here.” Pepper admits. “She’s going to be away for a while.”
“No mama.” He asks frowning slightly and looking like he’s about to cry. Pepper is quick to tighten her arms around him and rock him back and forth. “Mama no want me.”
“No, no sweetie. No she does want you, she’s just not here right now. But it’s okay. Your gonna stay with us for a little bit. We’ll look after you and we will protect you to make sure nothing bad happens, okay?”
“… Otay.” Steve replies. Pepper hugs him to her chest and shushes him softly, standing up to rock him. Steve wraps his legs around her waist and digs his fingers into the fabric of her shirt. Turning his head he buries his face into the crook of her neck and yawns.
“Sleep.” Pepper orders, sitting back down on the bed after noticing the exhausted child. She lays him down on the bed, but Steve shakes his head in dissatisfaction.
“Uppy?” He asks, his arms reached up towards her.
“No, when you sleep, you sleep on a bed.” Steve frowns and makes grabbing gestures in the air,
“With me?” Looking up at the men they all take a step back from the bed and Clint’s hand hovers slightly above the door knob. Pepper opens her mouth to object, but a lone tear runs down Steve’s face making her stop. Sighing sadly she nods her head and lays down on the bed, Steve instantly going to curl into herself. Pepper’s arms wrap around him instantly to pull him closer and once he’s burrowed into her side, she runs her head continuously through his head. Steve would’ve been asleep immediately if his gaze hasn’t been caught by the four men still standing by the door. He stare at them, uncomfortable with them staring at him. He points the men out to Pepper before burying his face in her hair and wincing slightly.
“Guys, why don’t you wait outside? I’ll be with you in a moment.” The boys were more than happy to oblige to the CEO’s orders and left the room as fast as they can. “It’s okay now, they’re gone. Go to sleep.”
It wasn’t long before the CEO walks out of Steve’s room and into the common room with her arms crossed and an eyebrow raised. “Explain.” She orders the four men.