Who: Stark family What: Surprise! When: morning of the time bump Rating: Green
All was quiet at the upstate cabin that Tony and Pepper were staying in for their honeymoon. It was a happy circumstance that it was the same cabin they had spent five years in, in another universe. Five very good years. And from the first time Tony stepped into the place, it felt like home. Like the first time they'd crossed the threshold with Morgan in her mother's arms in a different place and time.
It had the strangest effect of soothing him on contact. And Tony blurted out that he was going to buy the place as their get away, and that garage was his.
Everything since then had been quiet and perfect. There was only minor tinkering (before dinner, not after), and even the baby seemed to be calm enough at bedtime that Tony felt like he was sleeping for the equivalent of a week, by the time the clock hit seven in the morning and the pitter patter of little feet could be heard drawing near.
Tony groaned at Pepper, wanting to say that it's her turn to let the dog out, or whatever it was making that noise. Bears? Lions? He hadn't the foggiest clue, and his brain was still foggy when he rolled over and put an arm over her. It was the only mode of protection he could think of, when he could barely think.
The pitter pattering grew louder and there was a brief second of silence before a giggle and a small warm body landed on them both.
"AHH!" Tony yelled, nearly flailing but opening his eyes to be met with the mini version of himself, only a girl with long wisps of brown hair around a face that was way too familiar.
"AHH!" Tony said approximately 2 seconds after the first AHH, because the shock set in.
"Ahh!" Morgan said back with a smile, since of course she was wired for sarcasm from birth.
Pepper wasn’t sure how Tony had found this cabin, let alone want to spend any amount of time in it. She would have swore he was a big city guy who felt that the great outdoors should remain outdoors. And yet, here they were. Breathing fresh air with only the sound of crickets at night. She had been afraid that without the noise of the city she wouldn’t be able to sleep, but there was something about the air, the crickets and the gentle sound of the water against the dock that put her right out.
She was dead to the world when Tony shifted in bed. The arm put over her hadn’t made her stir, but the small body landing on them brought her right out of her deep slumber. “WHAT?! WHAT?!”
Pepper scrabbled into a sitting position with eyes gone wide from shock. “Oh my god who-?!” Then she got a good look at the little girl with the sweet smile. “Holy shit!”
There was a giggle and then a light and airy, "Howy shit."
"Oh god, oh god, oh god," Tony said, forced to let go when Pep sat up, and he needed something to hug onto, so he hugged onto their baby when he sat up. Only their baby was a kid, and-and-and...
"...and this time it's your fault," he told Pepper.
Morgan smiled at them both, but there was a small squint like she wasn't getting in trouble for this. She was here for one thing and one thing only.
"Mommy, I'm hungry," she said, in an obvious hint that someone else can't cook anything past popsicles.
Pepper blinked. Her lips were still parted in open astonishment, but then Tony said that. Her lips tightened together as she swatted Tony’s arm with the back of her hand with half the effort she normally would.
“M-Morgan?” She would not panic. She would not panic. She would not panic.
Tony barely flinched, likely due to being in shock still. Or having built up a tolerance to being swatted. At least this time, it wasn't with a clipboard. And he wasn't telling her to wait until he turned around and to aim lower.
But that was a Tony of long ago, before he ever kissed her on a rooftop. When he was young and dumb and full of....
Tony started to fuss with errant strands of brown hair around a face that could rival a cherub for its sweetness.
"Mm?" the child said, putting up with dad's fussing for only so long before she patted a hand on his shoulder for him to stop. It was a mini version of the thwack, likely learned from mom. Along with the word 'shit' which was going to stick. Like shit hitting a fan, which apparently it had.
She reached out to her mom with both hands, leaning forward out of her dad's arms. Soon enough, she was hugging onto Pepper with both little arms around her neck and a cheek pressed to her shoulder.
"I want crunch berries," she said, along with an audible gurgle from a hungry tummy.
Meanwhile, Tony was mouthing the words holy shit at her, but his breath was making it barely audible since he was nearing paper bag levels of anxiety happening.
Pepper had no choice but to catch onto the little girl, but that was all it took for her mother instincts to kick in. She put her arms around uh...Morgan...then slid out of bed.
“Crunch berries? Your dad probably has a box hidden away somewhere.” Oh yes. She knew about Tony’s stash. It just wasn’t that big a deal. “C’mon, daddy.”
There was a teeny tiny dad-like 'yay!' that came out of Morgan's mouth while she used her mom's shoulder to rub her eyes. The growth spurt obviously tuckered the kid out, and she looked ready to take a nap.
"Those were my..." His mouth clamped shut. "Fine, whatever. Crunch berries. You already know I'll roll out of bed for crunch berries."
His eyes met Pepper and he was grabbing his phone before he even got out of bed, following them to the kitchen.
Pepper locked eyes with Tony back and mouthed what looked like All Even Age Ow followed by the audible. “Dig the box out, will you? I’ll get the coffee going. Yep. Lots of coffee.” But then she pulled back to look at her daughter who looked all together too much like her daddy. A lovingly tender smile graced Pepper’s lips.
“No coffee for you.” When they reached the kitchen she plunked down to sit on the counter. “You want milk? Orange juice?”
"Coffee. Yup. Sure can use a hot cup of edginess right about now." Now standing in the kitchen, Tony checked his phone and fumbled holding it with both hands before setting it down on the counter. The screen was still lit up so she could take a look at it, while he looked at her like he was a deer and she was the headlights of an incoming semi truck.
He pointed at it in a mute hint to look at the date on the screen. Particularly the fact that it was June, the day was right, but the year was definitely 2023.
Meanwhile, someone else had an agenda, and that included sweet and sour breakfast.
"Juice," Morgan said, blissfully unaware of anything odd having happened. "In the bowl peese?"
Tony was dropping everything while trying to grind coffee. Including the beans. Which went everywhere. He applied the coffee bean bag to his mouth and breathed in slowly.
Pepper looked at the screen as bid but she didn’t buy it. She gave Tony a look that screamed I know how easy it would be for you to change that! Then she went back to fussing around. Hey, he had his tinkering. She had her kitchen.
“No. Cereal goes in a bowl. OJ goes in a glass.” Said bowl and glass were placed on the counter. As she turned for the fridge, Tony got a POINTED look and more mouthing. This time enunciated. Or something. Get the cereal and call. Steven. Strange!
Tony gestured at the phone, then he gestured at Morgan. It wouldn't make sense to change the phone when their child was an older child and now there was no more need for the baby monitors. He threw up both hands like a frustrated New York cab driver, got the cereal out and picked up the phone to call Strange.
"Ok, what the fu---" Tony started to say, before he was instantly cut off. "Uh huh." A pause. "Uh huh." Another pause. "Uh huh." A much, much longer pause. "Huh." There was a shorter pause and then Tony looked down at his phone, hung up, and put it down on the counter-top again.
"Yeah, the Time Stone borked out," Tony told Pepper. "It's legit."
"What the foo--" Morgan started to say, but Tony reached over quickly and put his hand over her mouth.
"Nope! Don't even try finishing. You're not going anywhere near that phrase until you're eighteen," he told her. "Bare minimum."
Morgan's eyebrows drew together as she comically scowled up at her dad and then looked over at mom for a little help here.
"I'll make the coffee, cos we're gonna needs tons," he told Pep, and removed his hand so he could point back at Morgan. "You. Munchkin. No lip."
Despite what she was told, Morgan stuck her lower lip out at them both.