Moth- Chapter 9 - The End
Tony was finally able to get back to work on a few new projects for Stark Industries. They weren't anything monumental, but they kept his mind busy. He'd been going a little crazy having to take it easy, even though he was still technically on paternity leave.
Tony was down in his lab, the feel of productivity finally behind his fingertips again. He looked over at his work and he grinned. Satisfied, he stretched his arms up over his head, his shirt coming up over the jut of his stomach. He pulled his shirt back down, and stared at himself with a less productive-feeling sigh.
Tony Stark looked over at his suit of armor. He looked down at his waistline.
Both were mocking him.
He'd tried to push it from his mind for months, but when he dreamt, it was always about flight. The g-forces and the feeling of defying gravity as he wore his suit, his suit. The one he'd been staring at for months.
How much longer?
Enough was enough... he just had to know.
Reaching out with Extremis, he called the suit over to him. For the first time in months, it flew gracefully toward him, no more energy being diverted from Tony's mastery over it. He spread his arms out at his sides.
Legs were fine, no problem there. Arms, perfect. Hips were a little tight. Okay, maybe more then a little, but it had closed! And... he sucked in his stomach as much as he could. He heard the pressure lock seal with a satisfying hiss as the chest plate lowered into place.
He almost smiled, until he tried to take in a breath. The suit didn't give at all, and he noticed himself feeling kind of stuck in the armor. Tony tried to laugh, which turned out to be a horrible idea, his fingers splayed along his sides. Maybe he should try this again in a few weeks. Extremis might be helpful in shedding the pounds, but apparently not this quickly.
"What's going on?" he heard Steve say from the other side of the lab. Steve appeared around the other side of a large shelf of spare parts, Ellie wrapped in his arms.
Tony twisted in his spot to face him. He tried to smile back.
"Hey! Look at you!" Steve smiled brightly, taking in the sight of Tony in the armor.
"Ugh," Tony managed in return.
Steve's eyes went over Tony again, trying to assess the situation in his own way, no doubt. Then an eyebrow went up.
"It's still too small." He was grinning.
He was amused.
"I'm still too big." Tony huffed.
"Didn't Rhodey fit into that? He's way bigger than you… are now." Steve stated, deftly avoiding mentioning just how big Tony had gotten.
Tony strained against the armor, taking in a breath deep enough to talk. "That was pre-Extremis. Once I figured out all of its systems, I made a custom suit better adapted to the neural uplink and…" Tony paused to take in another shallow breath. "designed it to fit me perfectly since no one else can wear the armor anyway."
Steve nodded at him like Tony was sounding completely reasonable. "You could make a new custom suit…"
Tony just stared at him, disbelieving that Captain America would suggest making a suit of armor that would fit anytime he got fat.
Steve laughed again, shaking his head slightly. "Well… you have to breathe again eventually, don't you?"
Tony looked at Steve, as if considering it for a moment - did he really need to breath? Maybe Extremis could compensate for it- and then looked down and paused to admire the view of himself in the suit. Now matter how tight it was at the moment, the armor would always feel like home.
But then he heard a little cooing cry and his face softened into a smile at the remembrance of his daughter. He let his armor noiselessly move from his body and back into the corner of his lab, as he walked over to the two of them.
He smiled at the baby serenely, holding out his arms for her. "You ruined my girlish-figure, Ellie," he said, gently, as Steve delicately handed her over.
She mouthed her entire hand, while grasping Tony's fingers with her other digits.
Tony couldn't help but smile. He looked back up at Steve.
Steve kissed his temple. "Come on, the Avengers are waiting," he told him, and Tony nodded, as the three headed up to the top of the Tower.
Tony and the baby girl had been released from the hospital wing weeks ago and allowed to go home, and Steve was making sure they were well taken care of. They'd been relaxing and taking it easy as a family, getting used to life with their daughter, and now it was time to share it all with the Avengers.
After mingling and cooing over the baby a while, Tony decided it was finally time to reveal Steve's super secret baby nursery to the group, since he'd tortured them enough with it when he hadn't been allowed to see it.
Peter was already arguing with Luke over whether or not the room would have inkwells and old fashioned ball in a cup type of toys. Tony bounced Ellie a little, trying to keep busy as he waited for Steve's permission to enter. Steve wasn't really one to showcase things, but he knew better than to argue with his team, with his family, when they wanted something. And they wanted to see the nursery.
Finally the door cracked open and Steve smirked, throwing it wide and letting everyone in. He'd just wanted something special to give to his child when she was born, just like Tony had helped designed the crib. This child was not only safe where she slept but the walls were adorned with the heroes of past and present, all those who could call themselves Avenger were painted upon her walls to look over her.
"Look!" Peter was the first to speak. "I got a spot on the ceiling! Right by the crib, too."
Janet smiled at her image in her first costume flying in shrunken size near the window pane with a large Hank painted crouching into the space of wall he was in.
"This is amazing, Steve," she said with some awe in her voice, taking in the whole room.
Tony just laughed, in his own sort of awe as he took Ellie inside of her nursery. It was beautiful. It was all a forest, like from a fairy tale, and there were seasons as you panned across the walls. Spring was where the crib was, the beginning of life, and with all of the New Avengers.
Tony smiled. "See?" Tony winked at Steve, before looking to the others. "I told you all it was worth the wait."
Steve smiled, looking maybe just a little proud, he leaned into Tony. Looking at the place on the the wall where he had painted himself and Tony, and Ellie in their arms, he smiled. He couldn't finish the room until he'd known what she looked like.
He watched as Tony moved from his side and looked around the room, trying to take it all in. The man had already said that he was going to see something new each time he came in. He walked back up to Steve and gave him a kiss through a grin.
"Very detail oriented, aren't you?" he asked.
Steve held Tony close, "Look who's talking about details, Mister 'the moment I learned I could go back to my lab, I was all over Hank and Reed for putting things in the wrong place.'"
Tony shook his head, "Lab details are different. They're important. How else am I supposed to know if someone riffled through my things while I was gone? Which, by the way, Beast did."
Steve opened his mouth, but closed it again, "I... would say you're just being paranoid, but I'm sure not good things have happened to you before, haven't they?" he asked as he smiled at the Avengers all trying to find themselves on the walls.
Tony nodded, looking serious. "Yes. It has. So, see, I'm glad you get me."
Steve simply shook his head. "I suppose someone has to," he said, kissing the man briefly and taking Ellie into his arms, just wanting to hold the girl as much as he could. The rest of the Avengers continued looking at the murals on the walls, ooing and awwing over both the paintings and Ellie.
The stream eventually turned into a trickle then and soon only Steve, Tony, and their daughter remained.
Steve rocked the girl a little, feeding her her bottle and getting ready for her to spend her first nappy time in her nursery, no matter how long Tony wanted her to just sleep in their bed with them. He placed her in her crib.
Tony made a face.
"She could sleep in my Iron Man helmet in between us. She'd fit perfectly."
Steve smirked despite himself, "She'd be cramped in there."
"What about your shield?" Tony said smoothly, ignoring Steve's refusals.
Steve shook his head again, heading towards the door and taking Tony with him, a final look to his daughter. "We need to start thinking about the wedding now, not how to turn various weapons into cribs."
Tony laughed. "Steven, the helmet is not a weapon." He followed after Steve as the man turned off the lights and closed the door, but not before grabbing the baby monitor.
The room was still for a moment, then the lights flickered and the monitor squawked before going silent again as their baby girl drifted off to sleep.
We just want to say thank you to all of the people who have read our story! It means so much to us and your reviews and encouragement are what kept us going :) To say thank you we want to offer you guys the chance to prompt us for a little drabble in the comments section if you'd like- or just PM us. The offer lasts until the end of 2010. So January 1st, 2011 no more prompts available. Again, thank you all so much!