When Tony cried, he cried. For a long time, loud, making puddles from his eyes. Usually it was only because of something like he’s dropped his teddy bear. He was pretty easy to calm down. A bottle calmed him. Or a pacifier. Picking up the teddy and playing would calm him. Lots of things calmed him. But on some days, Tony was awkward. And Tony was being awkward today.
He’d dropped his teddy in a puddle on the way home from the park and as a result it was in the wash. For a few moments, the washing machine entertained Tony because it span around. But then it started to get boring and he missed his teddy.
Steve picked the little up and smiled.
“Hey… Don’t cry little one. I’ll tell you what. For being a big boy, daddy will buy you an ice cream.” He said.
“Ice cweam” Tony mumbled. He put his thumb in his mouth. Steve didn’t like Tony doing that, and so he got him a pacifier. Tony opened his mouth wide and Steve placed it in his mouth. He started to suck on it. Steve smiled watching the little blue plastic bit bob in and out of his mouth.
Steve bought Tony his favourite ice cream. As a little, he loved the taste of vanilla- but he liked it to be bright colours. And so Steve had his food colouring vile ready. He asked the man at the ice cream truck for a vanilla ice cream and then poured blue and red food colouring over the top. Tony saw it and his jaw dropped. His pacifier falling from his mouth onto the floor. He didn’t care though, he had an ice cream.
Tony licked away at his ice cream contently, but Steve had to pick up the pacifier. He sighed and put Tony down to pick it up. The ice cream truck left, leaving the two people alone. Tony was enjoying the ice cream but then he dropped it. He looked at it on the floor. Tears filled his eyes. Steve was out of options. He picked Tony up and carried him inside.
“I’ll find your backup pacifier” he said and put Tony down on his bed. Tony curled up and began to scream. He screamed his lungs out and Steve was rushing around trying to find the pacifier.
“Guys! Has anyone seen Tony’s spare pacifier?” He asked frantically.
“It’s in the wash” Clint said. Steve’s widened. He gave Clint some money “Please go buy him a new one quickly.” He said. Clint groaned because he had his own stuff to do but his agreed. Steve went back to the crying Tony.
“Shhh. It’s okay baby. Daddy is here.” Steve said. Nothing was going right for the man. He rubbed his back and started to sing a lullaby- hoping Tony would stop crying and listen. It worked. Tony looked at Steve and giggled a little. He started to suck on his thumb, watching him. Steve was scared to stop singing. He didn’t know that many lullabies- in fact he knew 1 maybe 2. But Tony wouldn’t let him repeat songs. He ended up just singing old time war songs- hoping Tony wouldn’t know what they were on about. It worked for a while- until Tony got bored of listening to Steve’s singing voice. He sucked on his thumb more and his eyes teared up. Steve hated to see Tony cry- he also disliked watching him suck his thumb.
It was at that moment that Clint ran in.
“I got the new one.” He said. He tried to pull it out of the packaging, but the box was being awkward. “I’ll be right back.” He said and went to the kitchen to get a pair of scissors. He was gone a further 10 minutes as he struggled to open the box. And then he spent another 20 minutes talking to Natasha and completely forgetting that he had Tony’s pacifier.
Tony wasn’t screaming his head off because of his thumb sucking, but his cheeks were stained with tears. His eyes red and puffy. It didn’t help that he had cried himself into a headache.
When Clint finally walked back in, Steve was angry.
“Where have you been?”
“I couldn’t open it.” He said sheepishly.
“Sure. It takes half an hour to open packaging.” He said and took the pacifier off him. He took Tony’s thumb out of his mouth and replaced it with the pacifier then went to the bathroom to get some tissue. He wiped down the little’s thumb and then picked him up. “Bedtime, Tony.” He said. Tony buried his head into Steve and closed his eyes. He was tired from all of the crying. He agreed that it was bedtime.