Hi everyone! This is my first time writing for the MCU so please be gentle with me. Trigger warning for this; torture, verbal/mental abuse, vivid nightmares and PTSD. This story is an ageplay story if that's not for you stop reading now.
I do not own anything, I'm only borrowing them for a bit!
"Sound the bugle now - Play it just for me. As the seasons change - Remember how I used to be. Now I can't go on - I can't even start. I've got nothing left - just an empty heart. I'm a soldier - wounded so I must give up the fight. There's nothing more for me - lead me away...Or leave me lying here. Sound the bugle now - Tell them I don't care. There's not a road I know - That leads to anywhere. Without a light, I fear that I will - Stumble in the dark. Lay right down - Decide not to go on. Then from on high - Somewhere in the distance. There's a voice that calls - Remember who you are. If you lose yourself - your courage soon will follow. So be strong tonight - Remember who you are. You're a soldier now - fighting in a battle. To be free once more - That's worth fighting for." - Bryan Adams
I can't see.
The air was thick with smoke and ash, that filled his lungs and left a bitter taste in his mouth. Tony slid out of the car and stumbled across the rocky debris as bullets flew around him and grenades sent explosions of sand and stones through the air. The members of his security team were yelling, but it was a distant background noise, that faded as they each jerked to the ground in spurts of red.
Tony dove for the biggest rock in sight, his hands skidding across the gravel. Shaking, he whipped out his phone to call for help. He had barely written out three words when a small missile landed not two feet away from him emitting a shrill hissing noise. Tony hazily registered the name STARK written on its side before it exploded in a blast of heat and shrapnel, sending him flying.
His back hit the ground with a thud, stars exploding across his eyes. His ears were ringing, all other sound merely a muted echo, and his face and hands burned with hundreds of cuts. Tony let out a whimper as a sharp, excruciating pain spread through his chest. Glancing down, he saw dark red pools of blood quickly seeping into his once pristine shirt. Pawing at the buttons, his fingers skid underneath his shirt feeling the once impenetrable bullet proof vest, now shredded and torn- along with his body underneath it.
His last thought was that there was no one with him as he died. He was alone. Always alone.
Tony nervously tugged at his shirt his, palms slightly damp. This would be the first time he saw his father since he had come home three weeks earlier. So far, despite living in the same house, their paths had not crossed, but Tony wasn't surprised. He knew why his father had been avoiding him.
Tony had gotten his classification exam results back and they were, in Howard's words 'an abomination'.
'Anything but a little would have been bearable!" he had spat, disgust showing plainly on his face before he stormed out, the letter crumpled on the floor.
The words had haunted him for days, constantly circling his every thought. Jarvis had told him not to worry, that being alittle didn't change who he was, but Tony knew better. Being a little changed everything.
He knocked on his father's office door. After a muffled bark of 'enter!' he slowly turned the knob.
Howard Stark sat at his desk, stacks of papers blanketing the surface. Tony glanced nervously at him, then ducked his head down quickly. His father's cold eyes bore into him like nails, his silence all encompassing. Even at the age of fifteen, he still had a way of making Tony feel about a foot tall.
Tony took a gulp of breath before starting, "D-dad I-"
"Quiet." Howard interrupted sharply."Do you know why I had you? So that a real man could take over Stark Industries, so that I could die knowing that a Stark would be there to fill my shoes, and look at the mess you've created now Tony. I can't have a child take over my company, much less a baby !" His voice rose to a yell by the end of it, as he stood to tower over Tony's slight frame. He had always been small for his age and now they knew why.
Tony flinched back, hunching his shoulders around his ears, his father's words feeling like a physical blow.
"Weren't you enough of a disappointment already?!" Howard went on, ignoring his sons signs of distress. "Answer me damn it!" His father banged his fist on his desk, grabbing Tony's chin roughly in one hand and forcing him to look up. His fingers dug into the skin with a pressure that was sure to leave bruises.
Tony's tongue felt like it was glued to the roof of his mouth. His throat closed too tight to speak.
"Useless. Utterly useless. Get out, Tony." his father waved a hand at him like he was a pesky fly, going back to filling out paperwork, at once dismissing his son from his office and his life.
Tony walked out on trembling legs, his mind numb. He didn't realize where he his feet were taking him until he entered his bedroom and fell onto the bed, curling in on himself. He fished under his pillow for his hidden comfort. He pulled out Samuel, a slightly worn, stuffed monkey whose red fur was slightly matted from years of fierce love. Burying his face into its soft stomach; Tony finally letting himself cry.
No matter what he would always be a disappointment.
That was all he could feel, it filled his every sense overwhelming him with its sharpness. A sack cloth was whipped from his head and Tony blinked furiously against the overwhelmingly bright glare of the ceiling lights. A camera was pointed towards him and someone was yelling in a language he could not understand.
Tony tried to scream, but instead the sound that came out choked and gargled. He could feel hands holding him, forcing him still as the pain worsened. The bag was yanked over his head again and he welcomed the darkness when it came.
The soles of his feet had gone numb hours ago, the skin burnt and blistered. His eyes were dry and searing, yet he forced himself to go on, just one more step. Just one more. Tony kept telling himself that as he sluggishly walked through the desert, desperate for any reprieve from the harsh sun.
He heard them before he saw them. A chopping sound and then two helicopters came into view minutes later, the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.
Tony screamed as loud as he could, waving his hands in the air before sinking to his knees in the sand, his hand raised in the universal peace sign, as the helicopters lowered themselves down to save him.
Tony forced himself still as Rhodey put a hand on his shoulder for comfort.
He hadn't said a word the entire trip, not through the helicopters or medical. He ignored the loud whispers of the nosey doctors around him about his lack of facial hair even though it had been weeks since he'd seen a razor. They didn't know he was a little. He let the nurses and doctors fix up his arms and legs, but stubbornly refused to let anyone touch his chest, especially near the arc reactor. One doctor was close to calling for backup to pin him down so they could examine him before Rhodey told them to back off and leave him be.
Tony relaxed his shoulders slightly, his body sinking just a bit more comfortably into the chair he was sitting on. Rhodey crouched down in front of him bringing himself to his eye level. "Let me help you." he said softly, hands reaching for Tonys shirt. "Somebody has got to look at this Tony."
Tony's heart raced, and his whole body froze with tension again. He shook his head as fast as he could. "No." His voice came out raw and hoarse. "Please. I'm fine." He wrapped his arms around himself, cradling his chest.
Rhodey sighed and looked at him sadly. He stood up and took a pile of clothing from one of nurses and handed it to Tony. "These are clean." he said before leaving, the door closing softly behind him.
Tony let out a shaky breath before slowly getting to his feet, the bandages around them thick enough to dull some of the pain when the clothes rubbed against his torso. He changed as fast as he could into the suit, his hands shaking so hard he almost wasn't able to do his tie.
Three months. That's how long he had been captured.
Three months of tearing himself apart, forcing himself to stay big, to stay strong. He could feel his control slipping, the edges of his mind numbing and curling in, and shoved them back down with an enormous effort of will. He could not give in. Obie, his father's best friend assigned as Tony's caregiver, had trained him better than that. He was a Stark, and Stark men did not give in, ever.
Tony tried to push the images of a bleeding and dying Yin Sen out of his mind. He hadn't been fast enough to save him. He hadn't been smart enough. He hadn't been enough. The words played over and over in his mind like a broken record, driving him close to the edge of restraint.
He desperately wanted comfort. Checking to make sure he was alone in the exam room, Tony hooked his ring finger around his nose and slipped his thumb into his mouth stifling a sob. Three months of hell and this is all he had wanted. He let himself curl up in a corner of the room leaning his head on his knees, thumb planted firmly in his mouth. He didn't know how long he sat there, taking small comfort in the rhythmic sucking motion, when he felt the plane start to descend. He wiped his thumb on his suit pants and stood up.
It was time to be Tony Stark again.
The sun was blinding as he stepped off the plane. The shoes they had given him were squeezing his feet and his sprained arm ached, but that was the least of his injuries. Everything else that had been broken couldn't be fixed with bandages.
He could see Pepper and Happy waiting for him by the car, a smile tugging at Pepper's lips. He had missed them so much, though he would never tell them so. Tony glanced at Happy, who looked like it was taking everything in him to just stand there and not react to Tony's obvious discomfort.
Happy was not, as most people believed, Tony's bodyguard, but secretly hired to keep little Tony in check when going out in public. But somewhere along the road Happy had grown to care about him, and Tony knew it had to be killing him to just stand there, caregiver instincts clawing at him to move.
Tony turned on the charm as he drew up to them, painfully aware of how many people were looking at him. Strolling (as well as he could) up to Pepper, he gave her a sardonic look.
"Your eyes are red. A few tears for your long-lost boss?" he asked, putting as much sass into his voice as he could and raising his chin a little.
He watched her face remain the same while her eyes said a hundred other things. "Tears of joy. I hate job hunting."
"Yeah, well, fun time's over." Tony tossed back as he walked over to the car.
Climbing in hurt more than he cared to admit, and he had to clench his teeth to keep his expression normal. The hospital grade diaper Rhodey had given him chafed against his raw and extremely sensitive skin. Before Afghanistan he had only needed a pull up when big but now he wasn't so sure so when Rhodey had handed him the crinkly material he hadn't fought him.
The drive out of the base was quiet, all of them at a loss for what to say. Tony bit his lip. Everything was the same, but also so very very different. He no longer knew where he stood.
"Happy, the hospital, please," Pepper said, breaking the silence.
Fear pumped through his veins hard and fast. "No," Tony said quickly looking at Happy through the mirror, "no hospital." He couldn't stand the thought of more people touching and poking him. What if they tried to touch the reactor?
Pepper cut him off exasperatedly. "Tony, you need-"
"I said no. I don't need anyone telling me what I need to do." he snapped. He turned away from her, regretting his tone instantly.
With his head against the window he missed the silent conversation between Happy and Pepper, both of them at a loss as to what to do. Rhodey had told them about Tony's flinching when being touched on the plane and his quietness on the ride there, two things that were very uncharacteristic for both the man and little they had all come to love.
There was quiet for a few minutes, the hum of the engine lulling Tony into slight daze.
"You hungry?" Happy asked, his voice tentative.
Tony shifted in his seat and nodded. "Yes please." he said quietly.
Happy grunted something to his GPS.
Tony beamed when he realized they were going to Burger King. He loved cheeseburgers. And sometimes when they went Pepper would let him keep the pretty crowns they gave out. His happiness was slightly squashed when he realized that he himself wouldn't be able to go in, but he quickly hid his disappointment, grateful to be getting something at all.
Happy parked outside and went in. A few minutes later he came back with not one, but two burgers for him. Happy was the best!
Tony wiggled happily in his seat, ignoring the twinges of pain as he devoured his first burger. He grumbled when Pepper reached over to try to clean the ketchup off his face. He managed to squirm free of her grip when her phone dinged and she was momentarily distracted.
Pepper swore softly under her breath as she typed furiously on her phone.
"Wha..?" he asked her, his mouth half full, anxiety creeping up his spine. Pepper swearing never meant anything good.
"Obadiah's called for a press conference- now."
When they pulled up to the newsroom Obie was standing in the crowd waiting for him. Dozens of reporters were clapping and crowding against the car window to get a look at him. Apparently, this conference was to show the world that Tony Stark was safe and better than ever, and Tony was expected to be big throughout the whole ordeal. His stomach twisted unpleasantly as he viewed the sea of faces, hating the way they all stared at him.
Obie stepped forward to open the door and pulled him out, none too gently. Before Tony could even get his balance his caregiver crushed him in an iron lock embrace, putting pressure on Tony's sore arm and chest. He gasped in pain, but hid it with a smile, and gave a small wave to the swarm of reporters watching them.
"Good job boy." Obie muttered quietly in his ear and pat him roughly on the back as he let go. So the 'hug' had been a test to see if he could pull this act off and, thankfully, Tony had passed. Sickened, he turned his face away slightly, hating the stench of cigars that Obie always emitted. The crowd cheered at this overt display of affection, and the noise made Tony's heart pound. He breathed deeply through his mouth and rubbed a hand over his collarbone an old habit he did when scared. Despite years of practice facing the flashing cameras, press conferences still gave him anxiety, a fact that he was sure Obie knew.
"Did you get me one of those?" Obie asked, nodding to the burger in Tony's hand jokingly, as he guided him through the doors with a firm hand. His smile remained fixed to his face, and anyone who didn't know him would think it was all from the joy of seeing Tony unharmed, but a glance at his cold eyes revealed the truth: It was all for the damn press. What Obie truly felt, Tony would find out later.
"Uh.. theres on-only one left and I need it." Tony replied, already having taken a bite. He got up on the podium and immediately sank down to the ground in front of it, too overwhelmed and tired to stand. He heard Obie stammer in the mic for a moment, not sure what to make of this behaviour, before his head popped into Tony's view. He crouched down next to him, crowding Tony's personal space, and opened his mouth to say something, but Tony beat him to it.
"Hey, um would it be alright if everyone sat down? You know cause then you can all see me and… its less formal… and a.." he took a large bite of his burger so he wouldn't have to continue talking.
The reporters sat, making the room feel both bigger and smaller at the same time. The hilarity of the scene made it easier for him to cope with the pressure. Tony was intensely aware of how many people were staring, their eyes flitting between him and Obie.
He knew it was crazy, but he had missed his caregiver too, even though he wasn't so nice to him sometimes. In a way, Obie was the closest thing Tony had ever had to a father, and probably always would be.
"It's good to see you." he murmured.
"Good to see you too," Obie responded, loud enough for the microphones to pick up. Tony swallowed trying not to show any…..unwelcome emotions, just as he had been taught.
Tony knew that Obie had called this conference to reassure the public that nothing had changed, that Tony Stark was still every bit the man his father was, but in truth Tony wasn't Howard, he was Tony. And as he sat there, looking at everyone's expectant faces, he knew that today he would be Tony, not Howard, not Obie.
"I never got a chance to ask my father questions I needed answers to before he died," he started. You could have heard a pin drop in the silence that followed. Every person in the room hung onto his every word.
"I wonder what he thought of the company, if he ever wished it turned out differently, or if he was every bit the man we all remember…" he paused and fought against the lump in his throat. "I saw young americans killed by the very weapons I had only ever created to protect them." Useless, not good enough, couldn't save them. Tony forced himself to stand up, locking his knees against exhaustion and the weight of his thoughts.
A reporter raised his hand and Tony nodded at him.
"What happened over there?" the young man asked, a pen and pad poised ready in his hands. Tony swallowed, his hand going to rub at his collarbone. This was it.
"I had my eyes opened." he announced to the room. "I realized that I can do more than just make things that blow up. And I will. Effective immediately I am shutting down the weapons manufacturing division of Stark International." The room exploded at this statement, everyone rising up and waving their hands and papers in the air, yelling out questions. Tony stumbled back at the onslaught, but he kept his stance resolute.
A thick arm snaked around him - Obie's- forcing him to lean against his caregiver's chest.,
"What Tony means is that-" Obie started.
"I mean what I said, no more weapons, not from me." Tony interrupted, knowing he would pay for it later. The arm around him tightened painfully, squeezing his sides and making it hard for him to breathe.
Obie laughed, leaning in so the mic projected his voice over the reporters. "What we should take from this is that…. Tony's back and he's healthier than ever. We're going to have a little internal…discussion and we'll get back to you with the follow-up." He ushered Tony off the stand, practically carrying him out of the room. Tony stayed silent, steeling himself for what was to come. Obie lead him through the building until they were in his office at SI. Tony hated this room, the only reason he was ever brought here was to be punished. It was the only floor in the entire campus that was fully soundproof and private.
Obie shoved Tony inside, slamming the door and locking it behind him and tucking the key into his pant pocket. Tony stumbled over his feet in his haste to get away from him.
"Well, that..went well don't you think?" Obie asked almost pleasantly, making his way to over to him. Tony had somehow backed himself into a corner.
"Shut up Tony." He was now standing in front of him towering and crowding the space. Tony hated when people did that, forcing him to look up at them. Obie's eyes flashed.
"What the hell were you thinking?" He growled down at him.
Tony's heart pounded, his mind desperately trying to put words together, anything to calm his caregiver down. "I-"
Obie cut him off as if he hadn't spoken."You weren't. You were in headspace weren't you? Why can't you ever leave things as they are! You just had to go and mess everything up-" he broke off with a snort of disgust.
Tony's hands balled into fists. He wasn't anymore little right now than Obie and he damn well knew that. "No I wasn't! I'm big and I was thinking I-"
Obie shoved him against the wall, his head smacking into hardwood. "I said. Shut. Up."
Tony let out a shaky breath, but stayed silent.
"We make weapons, that's what we do. What do you want us to do? You want us to make baby bottles? Hmm?" Obie cooed at him, his arms boxing Tony in. Tony shook his head, but frustration rose up inside him. He hated it when Obie threw his headspace at him, making fun of him.
Obie's eyes lowered to Tony's chest, and his eyes widened at the faint glow of the arc reactor that emitted through the buttons which had come undone during their conversation. He reached for the shirt, his cold eyes locked on the reactor in greed, causing Tony's breath to hitch. Tony gasped when he felt his bladder release without his consent.
"Wait! Please don't touch it I don't like when people touch it." Tony burst out, his entire frame trembling.
Obie made a tsking noise. "I won't hurt you boy, I just want to have a look." He peeled back the thick material covering the reactor, letting its glow flare across the room.
"It works." he breathed in awe. Tony swallowed, his brown eyes trained on the hand that held open his shirt, an irrational fear that the reactor would be yanked it out of his chest.
Obie gently closed his shirt back up, smoothing it down. He looked back at Tony's face, his mood completely changed, eyes almost warm. "Listen to me, Tony. We're a team. Do you understand? There's nothing we can't do if we stick together, like your father and I." He gripped Tony's head in his hands as he spoke, causing goosebumps to appear on his neck.
"But if I had…"
"Tony," Obies voice took on that warning tone again, "Tony, no more of this "ready, fire, aim" business. You understand me?" he gave him a stern look, as if he was a misbehaving child.
"That was Dad's line." Tony whispered.
Obie rolled his eyes, continuing. "You gotta let me handle this. We're gonna have to play a whole different kind of ball now. We're going to have to take a lot of heat. I want you to promise me that you're gonna lay low."
"I-I promise," Tony said, hoping he would be allowed to leave now. He desperately wanted to be home, in his own house and to sleep on an actual bed.
"Alright now get out of here buddy." Obie chuckled, ruffling his hair and walking to unlock the door.
Tony quickly left, relieved that Obie wasn't angry with him anymore, ignoring the now sodden diaper squishing unpleasantly between his legs.