Tony sighed as he slipped out the back door of the mansion into the freezing night air. His father was in one of his moods again, and it was safest for the teen to keep as much distance as possible between them when this happened.

Tony's eyes wondered up to the sky and he stared at the stars, his thoughts wondering to his mother. She had died when he was 9, and while his father hadn't liked him much before then, after, he hated him. Tony was 16 now, and he'd learned to live with it. Jarvis had loved Tony, so had Maria though she never had the time to show it, but they were both killed in a car wreck picking him up from school. So since then, he's learned not to expect any kind of affection from anyone.

A few years ago he dreamt of going away and escaping his father, but then reality set in and he realized that with his destiny of inheriting Stark Industries, his father wouldn't ever let him get away. Even when he became an adult, his father would always be hanging over his head.

He was trapped.

Tony took a shuddering breath and watched the cold puff of air float away; wondering what would happen if he just stayed out here and froze to death. It was at least -15 out here, and if he hid well enough it would be awhile before anyone found him, Howard certainly wouldn't come looking for a while….

Suddenly Tony froze when he heard a noise from behind him, and slowly turned around to see something completely unexpected.

It was a group of beat up looking teens. The one in front, an older looking kid with a torn up blue T-shirt, short shaggy blond hair and big blue eyes was staring at him intently. With one arm the kid was supporting a scrappier looking boy, with brownish hair, weary brown eyes and a bloodstained purple T-shirt. On their right was a stunning older girl, Tony guessed one of the oldest of the group, a young woman with long flowing red hair, icy blue eyes and decked all in black. Behind her, looking at Tony over her shoulder was an obviously younger kid, curly brown hair and curious green eyes with a green and gray long sweater that had more holes than fabric. Then finally Tony noticed the two figures in the background of the group, a truly giant kid with the stature of a grown man and long flowing blonde hair, and a younger scrawnier kid with long black hair and spiteful green eyes that screamed he was just as dangerous as the older one, who Tony assumed was his brother.

It took him a minute to click the pieces in place, but when he did he actually raised an impressed eyebrow. "You guys are that group from the news right? The runaway kids everyone has been looking for?" The blonde one in front that Tony guesses is the leader glares hard at him, changing his posture in to a threatening one.

"You try and call the police, we will kill you." The kid growls and Tony is impressed. This guy struck him as kind of a Boy Scout type. Despite the threat though, Tony takes another look at the beat up band of misfits and stares right into the leaders eyes.

"I wouldn't tell the police anyway, you guys want to stay away from your families, who am I to judge? But it doesn't look like any of you are up to much killing right now anyway. You all look pretty beat up."

And only after he says it does Tony truly see how beat up they all look. They're hungry, he can tell, tired and cold. If they stay outside tonight, there's a good chance they'll be dead by morning, and he knows he can't let that happen. By all rights he should, he has way too many problems on his shoulders to for him to be even thinking about sticking his neck out for these strangers, but he knows he will. Because somewhere in his heart he knows he just can't let them die, or even just get sick tonight, no matter what his father will do to him if he finds out.

The leader kid looks like he's about to threaten him again when Tony takes a step towards him, hand extended. "I'm Tony. I can help you, if you'll let me." The kid stares at Tony with doubtful, hard eyes. "And why should I trust you?" He hisses, and Tony just looks pointedly at the bleeding brunette in the guy's arms before looking back into the leader's eyes. "Because you really don't have a lot of options do you?" The kid stares at Tony for a moment and sighs, defeated, reaching out to take Tony's hand.

"I'm Steve. Steve Rogers."

….

Tony sneaks the group in the backway through his house, and he can hear their muffled gasps of awe at the mansion's grandeur, and he winces as he leads them all into his bedroom. Well, more like apartment. He has quite a few rooms, Howard doesn't really want to have to see him, and if Tony has a stocked kitchen and a bathroom in his suite, he doesn't really have to. But anyways, if any of these kids steal anything he can't cover up, he's in for a real beating.

He closes the door behind him and turns, coming face to face with the redhead girl glaring at him. "You're Tony Stark. I've seen you on the news a few times before, but I wasn't sure it was you until now."

He just shrugs; they were bound to figure out who he was pretty soon anyway. "Yeah, that's me. Since you're all staying in my room tonight, think I could get some names?" The redhead studies him for a moment longer before nodding. "I'm Natasha, you already met Steve, the one he's holding is Clint, the big blonde one is Thor, the evil looking black haired one is Loki, and the one hiding in the corner is Bruce." She moves quickly back to Steve's side to help settle Clint down on the bed and Tony heads for the bathroom, grabbing his overly stocked first aid kit from the sink and rushing back to the bed.

Steve has already pulled off Clint's shirt, and Tony can see the poor guy has a nasty gash above his hip, and then a smaller one a little below that, both of which were bleeding profoundly. He moves to sit next to the kid and get a better look at his injury when a big hand grabbing his arm effectively stops him. He turns to see the leader, Steve, glaring at him questioningly.

"That cut is bad, he needs stitches, and I know how to do that. Do you want me to help your friend or not?" Steve bites his lip and nods, releasing Tony's arm. Tony turns back to Clint and starts to disinfect the wound, quickly sparing a glance at the rest of the group.

"This will probably take me a while; it's pretty good he passed out. Feel free to get comfortable, my dad never comes in here. You guys can stay as long as you need, but Clint here will have to stay put at least a few days so this can heal enough for him to travel. If any of the rest of you is hurt, you need to let me know now. I'll just be pissed if you wait." Tony says without getting distracted from his work. Even though a few stiches aren't really a big deal for him, he's done this thousands of times before, he doesn't want to hurt this kid so he tries to focus.

If he's gonna be stupid enough to help these kids, he's damn well gonna do it right.