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LICKING WOUNDS


(Tony’s POV)

The missile connected, sending everything in its vicinity flying. Including myself, Pepper, and Maya. My immediate instinct was to call the Mark 42 into action, having the sectional armor wrap itself around Pepper as she rocketed back from the blast. It reacted instantly, wrapping itself around her before her back connected with the far wall of the house. I connected with my own wall, causing my back to crack as Maya connected with another, knocking her out. I couldn’t move, the pain in my spine to great for me to even try. My vision was blurred, and my ears were still ringing from the blast. The only thought running through my mind was ‘what had I done?’

As my vision cleared, the ceiling over my head began to crack, the cement foundation of the house failing. A large chunk fell clear, headed straight for my head. That’s when Pepper jumped on top of me, taking the ceiling chunk in the back. I had to admit, the suit fit well on her. The faceplate opened, revealing her manic face.

Pepper: “I got you.”

Tony: “I got you first.” My ears had finally stopped ringing, letting me think clearly. “Like I said, we can’t stay here.” I moved to get up, dragging Pepper along with me as I went to collect Maya from the floor and run out of the collapsing house. We didn’t make it far before another missle smashed through the window, the explosion rocketing me back once again. This time I was able to recover much more quickly then before. Standing to follow Pepper out as she rushed for the door. “Move! I’m Right behind you!” Several more explosions could be heard as the house rocked. The walls and ceiling cracking as they did. I rushed forward, only to be stopped as the floor beneath me cracked away, leaving a gaping maw into the basement. Pepper just stared at me with utter confusion, unsure what to do and how. I made the choice for her. “Get her, I’m gonna find a way around.” I pointed to Maya’s unconscious form, calling attention to the other person that needed to make it out. All the while Pepper just stared at me, frozen in place. “Stop stopping. Get her. Get outside.” She shot me one final look, obviously debating it it was better to listen to me or stay and help me. I didn’t have the time, nor did I want to risk her any further. “GO!” Finally she got moving, the faceplate closing again as she rushed to Mayas side. All the while I did everything I could to keep on a stable piece of floor. All the while, more and more missiles were fired upon my house.

The floor cracked even further, the half I was stuck on began to lurch, angling away from the front door and towards the open ocean below. I lost my footing, falling and sliding down the now angled floor towards the open windows. I barely caught myself on one of the still remaining support beams before I crashed out. My feet still connected with the window, smashing it open before I hoisted myself up.

JARVIS: “Sir, Ms. Potts is clear of the structure.” Finally. I extended my hands, calling the suit to myself now that Pepper was safe. It came in pieces as I climbed the floor, searching for somewhere I could stand solidly, machine gun fire raining down on me from every angle. As each piece latched itself to me, I ducked and rolled across the still falling floor as the missiles and gun fire continued to rain down. Finally, with the last of the armor on though, I could fight back. I stood, ready to fight against the three helicopters that were assaulting my home.

At least I would, if the floor wasn’t constantly falling out from under me. I continued to slide along with anything else that wasn’t bolted down. I needed to get in the air.

Tony: “JARVIS, where’s my flight power?”

JARVIS: “Working on it sir.” My display popped up with JARVIS’s progress, currently sitting at 24% and rising. “This IS a prototype.”

Tony: “Don’t remind me.” More machine gun fire as I was forced to my knees for stability. Trying desperately to find some kind of cover. I tried firing a missle of my own, wanting to at least take out one of the helicopters, but it was offline. I turned, finding my grand piano falling towards me. As It slid past, I used my repulsors to jettison it out the window. It flew, connecting with the blades of one of the choppers, bringing it down. “That’s one.” The other two started maneuvering, trying to keep themselves out of my range while still bringing down the house. One flew over, to which I tried to fire a missile, only to be told once again that it was offline.

JARVIS: “Sir, the suit is not combat ready.” Damnit. Ok, new game plan. As the second chopper came round, trying to shoot me down from the side, I ripped the missle from its casing in my gauntlet, deciding to just shot put the thing. I tossed it, sending it flying towards the chopper, then shot at it with a repulsor wave. THe wave connected, and the resulting explosion blasted the chopper out of the sky.

Tony: “That’s two.”  The Chopper started spinning out of control, falling right for… me. “Oh.” It crashed through the open window, and as it exploded, I as sent flying, once again falling on my face against one of the failing floors. Only this time, I was in the garage. I looked, finding everything, my car collection, my workshop, everything was destroyed or falling into the sea. DUM-U was trying to help up DUM-E, currently trapped under some rubble. Behind them, ,my original seven suits were being destroyed, breaking apart in fiery balls of destruction. That last chopper would just NOT let up. I tried to stand, only to be slammed back to the floor, trapped under a support beam. Another missle connected, and I felt it. The floor gave way, the entirety of the house tipped, and suddenly my vision was filled with ocean water rushing up to meet me.

I fell in with a splash, half the house weighing me down as we all sank. Further, further and further down into the crushing depths. I tried to free myself, but with every cable or bit of cement I cleared, three more took its place. The suit was filling with water. The pressure was getting to great. My air supply was running low. Before long, The bottom filled my view. I did my best to turn over, ensuring I was at least somewhat free from the debris of my own home. But somewhat free is still mostly trapped. I couldn't move, and I was starting to lose consciousness. Thankfully, I still had JARVIS.

JARVIS: “Sir, take a deep breath.” I did, as JARVIS released the gauntlet of the suit, sending it out to take my free hand, then pull me free from the debris that had fallen on top of me. It did, then reattached with the rest of the suit. I was losing consciousness, so just let JARVIS do his thing. The suit fired its repulsors at everything around me, clearing the way for the suit to swim out. Before long, a path could be seen towards the surface. “Flight power restored.” I could feel myself being lifted up, the pressure relieving as I was brought toward the surface. But it was to late, I was losing that battle to stay awake, and before long I was out. The last thing I could remember was a splash, and the sunlight filing my view before I passed out.

(Bruce’s POV)

Bruce: “Come on (Y/N), wake up buddy we need you.” I slapped his cheek a bit, hopping the jolt might wake him up… nothing. “Damnit.” I had moved him into the living room, laying him down on the couch and using my very, very limited medical knowledge to try and assess the damage the Holorooms overload may have done to his sensory system. There wasn’t much from what I could see, but without him awake there wasn’t much I could do. I sighed, instead deciding to just let him rest, laying a blanket across him then standing.

I looked around, everything was silent. Eerily silent. JARVIS had been prattling about turning on the TV but I was to preoccupied with (Y/N) to pay attention. Now though.. I was concerned about why.

JARVIS: “Would not be a good time to bring up the television again Dr. Banner?” Speak of devils.

Bruce: “Yeah.. go ahead JARVIS.” The large TV turned on, and i was immediately met with a news report, the topic was apparently a large cliff face. Unusual topic for JARVIS to be stressed over, until I realized that that cliff face used to house Tony’s Malibu home. “My God.”

CNN: “After the destructive standoff involving three unmarked helicopters and Tony Stark's ‘Iron Man’. This is what remains of what was, a very beautiful home. Two of the three choppers, believe at this time to be owned by the Terrorist known as the Mandarin, were destroyed my Tony Stark. However the third was able to escape. Now is is only an initial report as our own news chopper has been able to safely return to the scene of the attack, however, at this time it is believed that Tony Stark was killed by the onslaught.”

Bruce: “Have we been able to reinstate contact with the home server JARVIS?”

JARVIS: “Unfortunately no sir. The last report from the server was that the home was under attack by three unmarked and heavily armed helicopters. I had attempted to make contact with the onboard servers for the Marks 2-7 suits as well, but they were all destroyed in the attack.”

Bruce: “Any other servers we could try? What about the others in the vault?”

JARVIS: “The other models are still currently deactivated. However, the Mark 42 is currently unaccounted for.”

Bruce: “So it could be active?”

JARVIS: “It is possible.. And I am currently attempting to reach the Onboard JARVIS program within the Mark 42 to reconnect, as I am also attempting to remotely reboot the home servor.. However, at this time.. I cannot make any assumptions as to its, or Tony Starks whereabouts.” My hand found my eyes, my glasses lifting up to my eyebrows as I rubbed the bridge of my nose. I turned, staring at what could possibly be the last Stark. “I will be sure to update you and Mr. Stark should anything change.”

Bruce: “Thank you JARVIS.” I paused.. Even if things changed, I knew (Y/N). He was going to be out for blood after this… and frankly I couldn't blame him. Plus, short of letting big green of his leash I wouldn’t be able to stop him if I wanted to. I knew what I had to do. “JARVIS, how soon can we have the Holoroom repaired?”

JARVIS: “My day’s end. May I ask as to why?”

Bruce: “You could.” I walked over, scooping (Y/N) up again, making my way for the elevators. I’d need him somewhere without cameras if I was gonna pull this off. “But it’s probably best you don’t know just yet.”

(Tony’s POV)

My head felt heavy… my eyelids refused to open no matter how hard I tried. And there was this incessant beeping ringing in my ears.

JARVIS: “Sir?” It was faint, but I could hear someone calling me. “Sir!” The alarm grew louder, my eyes finally answering my needs and opening.

Tony: “Alright, kill the alarm. I got it.” My view was filled with blinking blue and red lights. Off and on, off and on.

JARVIS: “That’s the emergency alert triggered by the power dropping below 5%.”

Tony: “huh?” The alarm grew louder and faster as my eyes regained focus. Those blue and red lights took form as my heads up display, filled with all kinds of different warnings. While beyond that, there was a road, and a truck. That I was about to crash into. “Oh… Oh! SHIT!” I turned, commanding my suit to dodge the truck, barely. It, and I spun out of control, running into several pine trees before finally crash landing onto the ground face up. The faceplate released as I reached for it, popping it off and tossing it aside to let me breathe. “It’s snowing right?” Honestly with the amount of headbanging I had just gone through I couldn't be sure. “Where are we? Upstate?”

JARVIS: “We are five miles outside of Rose Hill, Tennessee.”

Tony: “....WHY? JARVIS. NOT my idea. What are we doing here? This is thousands of miles away! I got to get Pepper, I got to call (Y/N)! I gotta… I got to…”

JARVIS: “I prepared a flight plan. This was the location.”

Tony: “Who asked you!?”

JARVIS: “You did sir.” Something was wrong. JARVIS sounded off, weird. Like he had a loose wire somewhere.

Tony: “Call (Y/N).”

JARVIS: “I’m afraid I cannot sir. It seems that server communication was damaged during the attack. I am limited to the on board server for the moment.”

Tony: “Open the suit. Open it J.” He did, a bit sluggish but he managed it.

JARVIS: “I… I think I may be malfunctioning sir.” Something was definitely wrong. THe suit opened wide, allowing me to sit up in the night.

Tony: “Oh! Oh man that is brisk.” Probably a mistake on my part to have him open it up. “Maybe I’ll just cozy back up for a…”

JARVIS: “I actually think I need to sleep now sir.”

Tony: “JARVIS.” I could hear the suit powering down, the onboard JARVIS server going down with it. “JARVIS?” No answer. “Don’t leave me buddy. I need you. I need you.” What I needed to do, was calm down. I wasn’t gonna be any use to anyone like this. I stood up, collecting whatever had fallen off the suit, then pieced it loosely back together. Most of it was able to click back on, though some pieces I’d have to be a bit more delicate with. I dragged it along with me as best I could, throwing it over my shoulder and marching along the side of the road for what seemed like hours. Eventually I came across a small barn, where I found a few lengths of rope tossed along the side. It wouldn't keep me warm but it would help me drag the suit along.

I kept walking, until eventually I came across a gas station. Sitting out front, was a phone booth and a wooden indian statue with a wool poncho thrown over it. I took the poncho. The Reactor in my chest was nice for sure. But it hardly kept my whole body warm. After throwing it on myself I checked my pockets, my wallet was completely soaked through. Any money I had was gone. With JARVIS I never had a use for a regular phone so that was out. All I had was… a random quarter. Odd. But given the situation I wasn’t calling it into question.

I had one phone call to make.. Better make it count. I popped in the quarter and dialed the number. It rang.

STARK SERVER: “Stark Industries secure server line. Please input server code.” I punched it in. “Code accepted. Now transfering to all known receivers.” I hope they both got this message.

Tony: “Pepper, it’s me. I’ve got a lot of apologies to make and not a lot of time. So… First off, I’m so sorry I put you in harms way. That was selfish and stupid and it won’t happen again. Also, it’s christmas time and the Rabbit’s to big. Done. Sorry. (Y/N) was right.. As usual. And I’m sorry in advance because, I can’t come home yet. I need to find this guy. You gotta stay safe, that’s all I know. I just stole a poncho from a wooden indian. And I’m still cold.. And now I’m rambling when I only have a quarters worth of time so… I promise I will make it home for christmas.. And (Y/N). With everything going on I want you to know.. I’m ok. I’m alive. You haven’t lost me yet.” I didn’t really know how to close it out. So I just left it at that, hanging up the receiver before stepping out of the booth. I collected the suit before walking on again. Once again along the side of the darkened road. Eventually coming across another, larger farm house. The door was steel with a padlock on it. But, set to the side along with some piled firewood was a large axe. I used it to snap the lock, forcing the door open. The barn was set up pretty well. An old school chevy truck at the back wall, likely busted, a small work table with a handful of half decent tools. And an old couch sitting right next to it. It wasn’t much, but it was warm and would give me something to work with. It took some time, but eventually I was able to prop the suit up on the couch. Sitting it down upright. “Let’s get you comfy.” Some might call it crazy to talk to an inanimate suit… but I didn’t have a whole lot else right now. After setting it up nicely, I looked into its face. Dark and lifeless. “You happy now?” It just stared back, almost mockingly. I turned its head. Opting to ignore it for a little bit while I got to work.

Sitting down at the work table, I found a handful of pliers. Seems like when I landed some of the micro repeaters might have dislodged themselves. So I started working on getting them re-aligned. Not the easiest thing, even with needlenose. I was about to start when..

???: “Freeze!” I looked up, finding a small kid, maybe ten, eleven years old standing in the doorway I had left open, a potato gun in his hands, aimed right at me. “Don’t move.”

Tony: “You got me.” I raised my hands in surrender. “Nice potato gun. Barrel’s a little long.Between that and the wide gauge, it’s gonna diminish your  FPS.” He adjusted the gun, taking aim at a oil lamp hanging from the wall. He fired, and the potato not only fired much faster then i thought it would, but shattered the lamp…. I stand corrected. Kid even had the guts to cock his brow at me with a smug smirk…. Now where have I seen that before? “And now you’re out of ammo.”

???: “What’s that thing on your chest?” He gestured to my reactor with the end of his now empty gun. I looked down tapping it once.

Tony: “It’s an electromagnet.” I answered honestly. The kid seemed pretty smart, but I wanted to test just how smart. “You should know, you got a box of them right here.” I gestured to the small box of rings sitting at the edge of the table. The table I assumed was this kids.

???: “What does it power?” So far pretty smart. I sighed… kid wouldn’t believe me if I just TOLD him anyway. I took hold of the work table lamp, adjusting it while I turned so it shined on the suit behind me. Safe to say he was pretty astonished, even going so far as to drop his gun. “Oh, my god. That… That’s… is that Iron Man?” He turned to me, the question in his eyes. I just shrugged, I was pretty used to the suit being more popular then me.

Tony: “Technically I am.” He leaned down, picking up a rolled up newspaper as he walked past me to ogle the suit.

???: “Technically you’re dead.” I unfurled it. ‘MANDARIN ATTACK: STARK PRESUMED DEAD’ it read… (Y/N) was going to be furious if he sees these headlines before he gets me message.

Tony: “Valid Point.”

???: “What happened to him?” The kid was now on the couch, looking over the scratches  and dents on the suit.

Tony: “Life. I built him, I take care of him. I’ll fix him.” He was playing with the head, turning it from one direction to the other.

???: “Like a mechanic?”

Tony: “Yeah.”

???: “If I was building Iron Man and War Machine.”

Tony: “It’s ‘Iron Patriot’ Now.”

???: “That’s WAY cooler!”

Tony: “no it isn’t.”

???: “Anyway, I would have added in, the retro-...retro-..”

Tony: “Retro-reflective Panels?”

???: “To make him Stealth mode.” Smart kid after all.

Tony: “You want a stealth mode?”

???: “Cool right?”

Tony: “That’s actually a cool idea. Maybe I’ll build one. I know (Y/N) would really like it.”

???: “(Y/N)?” He turned to me, his head cocked in question.

Tony: “Yeah my baby brother. Well not ‘baby’ brother. He’s my younger brother. He has his own suit.”

???: “Oh!” He snapped his fingers. “He’s that red and black ninja one right? With the swords that goes…” He started cutting the air with his arms, mimicking movie ninja moves as best he could.

Tony: “Yeah that’s him. They call him the ‘Crimson Blade’.”

???: “That’s even cooler!” Kids, so easily amused. (Y/N) would be ecstatic to know he had a fan. As we talked, the kids hands had managed to wrap around one of the fingers on the gauntlets. One of the LOOSE fingers, he yanked a it hard and popped it right off. “Oops.”

Tony: “NOT a good idea.” Rather then hand it over though, he began to play with it. “What are you doing? You’re gonna break his finger? He’s in pain. He’s been injured. Leave him alone.”

???: “sorry..”

Tony: “Are you?” He looked at me, blue eyes wide in regret, shielded by a mop of blonde hair. I’d seen that look before. On a seven year old kid that had just lost his mom and dad. Who broke a scotch bottle in his brothers home office and cut his finger. And rather then check to see if he was ok, his brother passively aggressively berated him for even being in the office in the first place. “It’s ok…” I sighed. “I’ll fix it.” The kids eyes filled with relief, returning to playing with the red digit in his hands. “So, who’s home?”

???: “Well, my mom already left for the diner and Dad went to 7-11 to get scratchers. I guess he won because… that was six years ago.” Oh great… another kid with missing parents.. Like I didn’t have enough of that twenty years ago.

Tony: “Which.. Which happens. Dad’s leave.” I stumbled out. “There’s no need to be a pussy about it.” The kid’s head shot up at me.. Clearly he’d never heard the term before.. Wrong thing to say, definitely wrong. I could hear (Y/N) now. ‘Your a fucking idiot. Who talks to a kid like that?’ No… wait no that’s Pepper. No, (Y/N) would say. 'Your a fucking idiot’ and let me figure out why on my own. “Ok..” I clapped my hands, trying to change the subject. “Here’s what I need. A laptop, a digital watch, a cell phone, the pneumatic actuator from your bazooka over there, a map of town, a big spring, and a tuna fish sandwich.” The kid blinks a few times.. Maybe I overestimated the intelligence a bit.

???: “What’s in it for me?” Never mind.. Kids definitely smarter then he looks.

Tony: “Uh…” I took a quick look at the kid again, there was a scratch across his nose, one he keeps rubbing his fingers against. There was also a patch of hair that was uneven with the rest. Roughly cut.. Gum in the hair. “Salvation. What’s his name?”

???: “Who?”

Tony: “The kid that bullies you at school. What’s his name?”

???: “...How’d you know?” I just shrugged, dodging the question.

Tony: “I got just the thing.” I walked around to the shoulder of the suit, creaking open one of the ports and pulling out a small cylindrical object from its socket. After closing it back up I came to kneel before the kid. “This…” I presented it to him. “Is a Pinata for a cricket.” The kids lids dropped a bit, sarcasm dripping in droves. “I’m kidding. This is a very powerful weapon. Point it away from your face, press the button at the top, it discourages bullying.” He reached for it, but I pulled it away for the moment. “Non-lethal, just to cover one’s ass. Deal?” He grabbed for it again, but I pulled it away farther. “What do you say? Deal?”

???: “Deal.” I gave it to him, and like the finger, he started messing with it.

Tony: “What’s your name?”

Harley: “Harley. And you’re…?”

Tony: “The Mechanic.” Again he looked at me with that sarcasm. “Tony.” He smirked.. By god if this kid didn’t look exactly like (Y/N) did at that age. “You know what keeps going through my head?” He cocked his head in question. “Where’s my sandwich?”

(Your POV)

You: “Oh...fuck.” The missile came straight for me connecting with my stomach. I jumped back, expecting the damn thing to take me straight off my feet, but it didn't. Instead it flew right through me and my back connected with something hard, shattering it as my head slammed into a concrete wall. I could hear Bruce calling me.. ‘(Y/N). (Y/N). (Y/N).’

Bruce: “(Y/N)!” I jumped up, my (E/C) eyes wide in shock as I took a swing at whoever was in front of me. They caught it, and I realized it was Bruce. I was in my bed. And I was panting loudly. “Hey, hey, relax man. You’re alright. Look at me, right here.” He pointed at his own brown eyes. “You’re alright.” He took my face in his hands, twisting my head this way and that.

You: “What are you doing?”

Bruce: “Making sure you don’t have a concussion. You smacked your head pretty hard in the holoroom.” He released me, looking directly into my eyes, then slapped me across the face.

You: “OW! What the fuck man!?” He chuckled.

Bruce: “You’re ok.” He stood, and I stood after him.

You: “What happened?” He looked at me, his eyes sorrowful. “Bruce?” He sighed, his head falling to the floor.

Bruce: “Show him JARVIS.” My TV switched on, showing me the news coverage about the destruction of Tony’s Malibu home.

You: “I’m gonna kill him.” I marched for the door. But Bruce Stopped me. “Out of the way Bruce. You can’t stop me.” He put a hand over my mouth, gesturing with the other for me to shush. He leaned out of the doorway, looking at something I couldn’t see, then turned back to me.

Brue: “I’m not trying to stop you, I knew after this aired you’d be like this. But I knew you’d want to break out guns blazing.” He twisted me around, directing me back into my room. “But, maybe there’s a smarter way to go about it. One I already thought of.”

You: “Oh? And just what did you have in mind?” He smirked as he directed me towards my walk in closet.

Bruce: “ I’m thinking you slip into some old skin, and we sneak you out.” I cocked my brow in question, but he just pushed me through the door. I looked, and inside was a set of black, red and gray camo gear, along with a set of black kevlar weave chest and shoulder armor. A pair of red shoto blades, and a crimson red visor.

You: “Oh…” I smirked. “I got ya.”
We're going old school baby!
As Always let me know what you think in the comments below!
I don't own Marvel, the Avengers, the images used, or you.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconignoblefiend:
IgnobleFiend Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2018
Goin old school. ^_^
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:iconthe-authors-library:
The-Authors-Library Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2018
OH yeah. 
And I'm just as interested as you are to know what's gonna happen next.
Because at the moment even I have no clue hahaha
Reply
:iconignoblefiend:
IgnobleFiend Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2018
^_^
Reply
:iconxxxdeadshotxxx:
XxxDeadshotxxX Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2018
Bruce is a nice guy
Reply
:iconthe-authors-library:
The-Authors-Library Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2018
He really is
Reply
:iconignoblefiend:
IgnobleFiend Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2018
He's a bro. :)
Reply
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