Title: By Value if At All

Rating: T
Spoilers: general

Characters: Tony Stark

Summary: 'Without the Iron Man suit? Why, I do believe if I took that away I would be naked. Stark naked.' Steve hurt him worse than he supposed, but Tony was never one to miss an opportunity at snarking.

Disclaimer: disclaimed

He is a bad man. A selfish man. Egoist, Narcissist, without a single decent bone in his body. He doesn't have it in him to be a hero, not like Steve does. He's a scientist, and he's a CEO and a successful businessman, and yeah, he's a good guy, but he's a good guy who doesn't have a single redeemable quality on his person.

Does that, essentially, make him a bad man?

Steve Rogers, with his blue judging eyes, Tony wants to shove him in a freezer, and keep him there for the rest of forever, and hey, Thor, when you and your psycho brother leave, can you take him with you, and never bring him back please?

Like, look at me now, Dad, like are you proud of me now, Dad, like why isn't this enough for you, Dad, like, why am I not good enough for you Dad?

And he's pathetic, because he spent his entire life trying to prove himself to a dead man. He spent his entire life trying, wishing, hoping desperately to find out, what is it that makes a man a valuable man, because you're a failure, Anthony, and, you're not good enough, Anthony, and, DO YOU HAVE AT LEAST ONE GOOD THING ABOUT YOU, ANTHONY?

No, dad. Sorry dad. I'll try harder, dad.

And later:

Fine, dad, I wish I cared, Dad, and THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH ME DAD!

And still now

Look at me now, dad, and fuck you dad, and I don't need you anymore dad, I never did.

But Steve Rogers is there, boy-next-door charm, Christian morals and Hollywood smile, and he looks at Tony like Howard looked at Tony, and disapproves silently all the same, and yeah, hey, we all hate Loki, but won't it be great if he accidentally happened to blast Steve here through a fucking wall, and kill him with the glowy stick?

Because he thought he'd finally managed to scramble away from that all encompassing shadow of the great Howard Stark, and right when he did, it came back in the form of a man who looks nothing like Howard, but looks just like him, all

Why, Tony? Why?

Because, Tony wants to snap, because fuck you, that's why, and because I'm a grown man, and I am a genius in my own right, and I have everything I need and I don't require your approval, I never required your approval, so you can go and get rid of your seventy year old virginity, and hey, I hope you catch an STD on your first time.

But he doesn't say anything like that. His coffee brown eyes harden, and he smiles, charmingly, handsomely, the smile that gets women everywhere practically throwing themselves at him.

'Without the Iron Man suit?' He asks softly. 'Why, I do believe if I took that away I would be naked. Stark naked. Would you like to see, some time?'

Because, he thinks, pointing out the fact that I'm a genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist, would be too self-centered, and I would hate to get accused of being self-worshipping.