Tony was generally doing okay with the whole dying thing.

Well, not okay okay, but okay considering, yeah, dying.

Because sure, he was a self destructive mess, but he'd done the important things, signing the company over to Pepper, making sure Rhodey got a suit, that sort of thing.

Except he hadn't figured out a way to keep from dying yet.

But then his new PA stabbed him in the neck, and she was so fired, and ninja assassin pirate assigned him a babysitter, who was currently standing in front of him. Because apparently they thought he could still do it.

Right, because he hadn't come up with anything yet, but sending Coulson to watch over him would certainly do wonders for productivity. Tony told him as much, in a roundabout way.

Coulson was having none of it. "If you attempt to leave, or play any games, I will taze you and watch Supernanny while you drool into the carpet. Okay?"

Tony's heart nearly stopped at that. What would Coulson do? Would he really just leave him on the floor, semi-conscious and helpless, or would he take it a step further? Maybe SHIELD was the sort of place that used incentives to get work done, incentives that included torture.

Tony did not want to be tazed. Because electricity had the unfortunate effects of temporary muscle paralysis, and the last time Tony had been paralyzed...

Well, the last time anything like that had happened, it had been in this very home, where one of the only men he'd trusted had paralyzed him and taken his heart out of his chest. And did he trust Coulson? Did he?

Pepper seemed to, and he had sort of saved her life, and his in a roundabout way, but that meant absolutely nothing when it came down to it, because so had Obie, and look how that turned out.

Coulson had to know what happened. So was he using it to encourage Tony to work? Was it a threat that Tony intimately knew the consequences of? And maybe he was overreacting, maybe it was just meant as a joke, but from where Tony was standing, in front of this Agent who had no doubt read his file and knew about what had happened, it sure as hell didn't sound like a joke. It sounded more like a threat.

Tony didn't deal well with being threatened in that manner.

But what was he supposed to do? He was hardly in a state to fight this man, and even if he looked non-threatening, Tony was fairly certain all SHIELD agents knew hand to hand skills. He couldn't call a suit, because he hadn't finished that mark yet (which would be super cool when it was done, just you wait), and right, there was the whole tazer thing.

Tony was essentially a hostage, and while he did not do well with hostage situations, he knew how to survive them.

Agree, and then do whatever the hell you need to do to get out.

And he would. He didn't want to die in this house, or nearly die yet again, so if he had to comply with the man holding the tazer, he could do it. Because he was Tony fucking Stark, and he was not going to go out like that again. He would live free or die his own way.

But he couldn't think about that right now, because if he didn't do this, he would die.

So he plastered on his trademark Stark face, and attempted a smile that didn't happen, and told Coulson "I think I got it, yeah."