In all respect, it wasn't Tony's fault.

Natasha simply said the wrong thing, at the wrong time, in mostly the wrong place.

"What? No! I'm not housing a group of mentally unstable toddlers!" Tony whined, crossing his arms and pouting while Nick glared at him across the table.

"You don't have a choice Stark. You're housing your team, Thor's going to Asgard." Fury smirked, crossing his arms as everyone knew that the battle had already won.

"No! Never! They are not setting foot in my tower!" Stark whined, and once again, Fury smirked, one eye glittering.

"Good thing that the Stark Tower was destroyed, they're going to your Malibu home."

And in response, Tony argued, and kicked, and whined…and insulted…

For the entire trip there.

The first few hours, Natasha had stolen all of Clint's arrows that were laced with tranquilizer darts.

For the last few hours, Clint was the one stealing Natasha's guns.

In the end, Tony had just admitted defeat and started ranting on and on, about how great his home was, and bragging about how he built it himself.

Even Steve wanted to hit him by then.

So, walking to the doors on a scenic cliff face overlooking beautiful blue with a wooden walkway spiraling down the cliff face to white sands below…it could have been worse.

"Welcome…To my Malibu home." Tony declared, smirking widely as he practically kicked the doors open, the others flooding in while they looked around.

It wasn't as…techy as the other homes Tony owned, the wide open windows added to the respect Steve gave him, It was different from his usual style, but in some way it was…Tony.

"Wow." Steve heard himself muttering, rolling his eyes once he noticed Tony's cocky face.

"I like the Remodeling, where did you hide the pipes?" Natasha casually spoke up, causing Tony to scowl at her.

"Under the ground, thanks for the help by the way." He glared, causing Clint to snort as he examined a shelf with oddities in the corner.

"A piano? Didn't know you played." Bruce smiled, gently tracing his fingers over the keys, causing Tony to look at the piano with a different look in his eyes.

"Tony?"

"What- I'm fine…Huh, the last one to sit in that seat was Obadiah…I like you there more, Brucey." Tony smirked, looking away before Natasha could look at him with that knowing look of hers.

"So…why do you have a piano in your house if you don't play?" Steve asked with a slight frown, finding the instrument out of place, and yet throwing the room with a peaceful look.

"Oh, it was my mothers." Tony shrugged, walking over and gently pressing a few keys, causing the loud musical trill to cause the room glow, Bruce lifting his eyebrows as a few seconds of Mozart filled the room before Tony stepped back with a small smile, turning to look out the windows.

"So! Avengers, meet Malibu home. The lab is off limits unless you turn green when mad, food cabinets are fully stocked except for my liquor stash, that's mine." He gave a pointed look at Natasha who merely twitched her lips.

"Use the beach whenever you feel like it, pools around back, and rooms are upstairs. You're lucky I have just enough for each so you don't have to share. So go- run my little monsters and find a room." He moved his hands in a scram way, collapsing onto the cream couch with the window just behind.

"Uh, why do you have so few rooms? You didn't waste any on the Tower." Bruce noted, playing a light trill on the piano that reminded Tony of a spring meadow for one rather odd reason.

"Oh- this is my oldest house. I didn't like big spaces at the time, and I don't feel like changing it." Tony shrugged, Clint lifting an eyebrow as he found a flaw.

"…You just remodeled."

Tony just scowled, looking out over the water at where he was sure a few fish just jumped.

"So…There's not much tech here…" Steve awkwardly stated, noticing the abundance of warm comforting wall colour and open wide windows.

"Oh, it's here, it's just under the ground and in the walls, Jarvis?"

"Yes Sir?"

"Can you give the rundown of this house?" Tony asked, at ease while he watched amused as Steve jumped, looking everywhere desperately. Clint looked up in interest and Bruce tried to hide a smile, Natasha had long since grown used to the AI.

"Of course, Sir. This house was built in1990 by Tony Stark. Tony Stark has created the original blueprints, location, requirements and has built several extensions such as the lab and garage tunnel. Tony Stark has personally watched the building of his home, overseeing the construction of numerous rooms and areas. On record, this is the oldest home of Tony Starks excluding the family manor, now abandoned."

"Oh…So this is your chill home?" Clint asked after a brief pause everyone took to understand what the AI was saying.

"Jarvis?" Tony asked, waving him on.

"The Malibu Home is the home of 78% of all technological inventions or discoveries found by Tony Stark including the creation of me, the large scale Arc Reactor: now destroyed, several military advancements: now destroyed, the element Starkanium, and the completed Iron Man suit."

Natasha lifted her eyebrows, looking at Tony with something akin to disgust.

"Starkanium?" She asked, almost in desperation, but Tony only grinned.

"Uh, I've never heard of Starkanium, and I have a feeling I don't want to." Bruce offered, looking suspiciously at the Billionaire.

Before Tony could answer, Clint cut to the chase, "It's a metal that Tony uses in his Arc Reactor since Palladium doesn't work." Clint shrugged, shifting Tony's glare to a new target.

"Nobody asked you, feathers!" Tony growled, turning to Bruce who had a frown.

"Palladium? But I remember that- wouldn't it be a safe element to use?" he asked, and Tony shook his head.

"Nah, it works fine for a while but the acidic compound kills you inside, it poisons your body though." Tony shrugged, ignoring Steve's alarmed face.

"Poison? Stark- you had poison in you?" Steve asked, nearly panicking but Tony sighed, rolling his eyes.

"It was a tiny thing-"

"Tiny?" Natasha snorted, looking out the window to disguise her snort, causing Bruce to frown.

"Jarvis, can you tell us the diagnostics that Tony was going through?"

"Jarvis! Don't you da-" Tony blurted, jumping upright in alarm.

"Override him Jarvis." Bruce calmly commanded, and Jarvis beeped once, Tony jumping to his feet to get to a white control panel, before yelping as Natasha pinned him to the floor with one leg and both arms.

"Do you wish for a overall database of injuries inflicted, or a weekly status report on the developmental qualities, Dr. Banner?"

"The week to week if you don't mind." Bruce smiled up, and another beep as Jarvis found the proper files.

"Of course…Week one: Slight irritation around reactor. Week Two: Skin around reactor slightly red while irritating itch along the cavity. Palladium inserts show slight corrosion. Week three: Coughing while inflammation around Reactor increases. Week four: Palladium inserts show signs of smoking."

"This doesn't seem bad." Steve frowned, and Bruce agreed.

"Hey Jarvis, can you speed up to where the symptoms got bad?" Bruce called, silencing Jarvis.

"Would you like the diagnostics to begin once the poisoning became at a critical, lethal, or warning level?"

"Lethal?" Steve asked, alarmed while Tony grunted on the ground.

"Just at the warning if you don't mind." Bruce piped up with a smile, Jarvis calculating before responding.

"Of course, Dr. Banner. Week 36: Mr. Stark is unable to stand after long moments without changing Palladium core. Black lines are beginning to spread from the Arc Reactor. Week 37: Entire Arc Reactor was rebuilt in an attempt to bring relief on a weeklong business trip in Russia. Mr. Stark collapsed inside a washroom, vomiting and fainting due to fever."

"Jarvis! That's enough!" Tony cried out, voice muffled from his face being pressing into the ground. Jarvis ignored him and continued.

"Week 38: Mr. Stark created multiple blood tests regarding his disease. He discovered the blood poisoning at a 73%"

"How did he not notice?" Bruce squeaked, baffled beyond words. Tony on the carpet said something impossible to understand, and in response, Jarvis answered.

"Mr. Stark's more visible effects did not come into play until later. By this point, the poising in his veins had turned them a noticeable black or dark purple. It had spread to his centre torso at this point."

"Continue?" Steve asked a hopeful tone that caused Tony to give a bark of laughter.

"Of course, Captain Rogers. Week 38: Tony Stark had immense crippling pain as his Palladium core melted inside his chest cavity, reacting with the metal lining the cavity causing pain similar to being branded. Tony Stark at this point carried spare cores at all times."

"What was the poisoning percentage at that time?" Clint asked from the wall, after being silent for a while.

"82%, Agent Barton"

"Yeah- what is that percentage based on?" Bruce frowned, and Jarvis kindly took it upon himself to answer.

"The percentage is biased upon the amount of blood inside Mr. Stark that has been polluted by the Palladium and is not longer classified as healthy blood."

"And the percentage of the Palladium core itself?" Clint asked, actually understanding what was going on at this point.

"From the recent weakening within the chamber walls the Palladium particles were able to escape into Mr. Stark's bloodstream. The particle percentage is at 4%"

"Oh…" Bruce whispered, Steve looking between Clint and Bruce in confusion.

"Uh- what does that mean?" He asked, but Bruce shook his head.

"You'll find out by the reports, Jarvis?"

"Week 39: All attempts for a substitute core are halted as all elements and chemical reactions have been used. Mr. Stark keeps a case of cores on him at all times, a limit amount of cores are selected and no more have been created since then. Mr. Stark is prone to seizures, fainting, vomiting, spontaneous pain, and electrocution from the Arc Reactor traveling through the Palladium as a conductor. The poison has spread to a complete 18%"

"In just one week?" Bruce gasped, and even Steve knew this was bad, just from the symptoms.

"Week 40: Mr. Stark has updates his will and appoints Mrs. Potts as his CEO. Mr. Stark engages with a fight with Ivan Vanko, increasing the poison flow. Mr. Stark then collapses once more due to the damaged core, requiring help now to exchange cores. Mr. Stark has resorted to drinking Chlorophyll as it halts the poison temporarily."

"Chlorophyll? Like the stuff in plants?" Steve asked, surprised, as he actually knew that one.

"Correct, Captain Rogers. Mr. Stark still requires dosages of Chlorophyll monthly."

"Continue?" Clint asked, and Jarvis obliged.

"Poison has now increased to 58%"

That caused Bruce to recoil in horror; Clint flinch and Natasha twitch slightly.

"Mr. Stark has his birthday party. Usage of the suit increases poison's increasing rate. Colonial Rhodes 'Rhodey' takes possession of an Iron Man suit."

"Took a suit? He just took a suit?" Steve asked, baffled, and Natasha snorted, rolling her eyes.

"There are security guidelines that need to be authorized before usage of a suit. He planned the entire thing out, wrecked his entire home while he did so- ruining his work." Natasha muffled softly, by this point, she had even let up on Tony, allowing him to lie there, head looking at the ceiling as he listened.

"Poison has increased to 82%"

"Shit Tony- you wouldn't live another week." Clint cursed, causing Steve to snap his head up, and look with wide eyes.

"What?"

"You don't know? Jarvis, can you give us the assumed diagnostics of someone who died of Palladium poisoning?" Clint asked, more beeps and Jarvis was heard.

"Continued symptoms would include fainting and breathing restrictions. As the palladium advances through the blood streams, the black layer in veins would have a white center. Once the poison reaches the face, there would be an inability to swallow or breathe followed by blindness, deafness, headaches, brain trauma before heart failure."

"…What would brain trauma entitle?" It was Natasha that asked this, surprising the males in the room.

"Brain Trauma would entitle loss of memory, loss of motor functions or paralysis, inability to form complete thoughts or give verbal communication, and the loss of ability to have a thinking process."

Steve swallowed, looking away from everyone and Jarvis automatically picked up where he had left off.

"Agent Romanoff injected Mr. Stark with Lithium Dioxide, reducing the poison to 70%, halting the poison temporarily."

"Lithium Dioxide?" Bruce asked, lifting one eyebrow as Natasha shrugged. "It was Fury." She offered, getting sighs in unison of understanding.

"Mr. Stark attempts to tell Miss. Potts about his current condition before being castaway. Sudden emotional spurs of depression advance the poison minuscule. Poison is at 72%"

"Does this have a happy ending at all?" Steve muttered under his breath.

"Mr. Stark updates his will once more before attempting to create a new element. After several days, the new element Starkanium is created by molecularly modifying Vanadium. Starkanium has the ability to neutralize all Palladium particles and increases energy output, saving and increasing Mr. Stark's life and the Iron Man suit's output."

"So…he almost died?" Clint tried to ask, not exactly sure what happened.

"By my records and understanding, Agent Barton. Without the dose of Lithium Dioxide, Mr. Stark would have died two days before the creation of Starkanium, five days before his last confrontation with Miss. Potts, and one day after editing his will."

"You knew you were dying. You completely knew and you never told her." Steve murmured, voice low but accusing, staring right at Tony, who forced himself upright while Clint, Bruce and Steve stared at him in horror, Natasha looking away from the scene.

"You never told her? She had a right to know!" Clint shouted, acting out of character over what he had learned.

"And I tried to tell her!" Tony shouted back, taking a breath in the gap of the stairs spiraling down towards his lab, he opened his mouth, about to say something before clicking it closed with a sound noise, turning to stomp away.

"You going to tell them about the boat?" Natasha casually called, causing Tony to freeze in the doorway, refusing to speak.

"No? Before Fury and I traced him at a donut shop we received intelligence about Mr. Stark buying a ship that was to set sail to Hawaii, that day actually." Natasha shrugged, and Tony still said nothing.

"You were going to make it look like you drowned." Bruce whispered, and Tony flinched slightly, before Steve got up, rounding on him in anger.

"No! The best thing you could have done was to tell her! Not to just run awa-"

"I left a note, Rogers. I left a note explaining everything; I didn't want her to find my body." Tony snapped, glaring with cold eyes before taking a few steps and freezing, as if weighing his options.

After a few seconds of consideration, he turned looking at the group and uttering a few words that made everything so clear to her and to everyone else.

"I spent months making sure that when I died everything would be taken care of. I didn't want Pepper finding me dead next to a glass of alcohol, or in my room all alone…it would be better that way."

Nobody bothered to chase after him as he descended down into the lab below.


This was a challenge requested from one of my readers, hope you enjoyed it, and i hope this is what you wanted...i wasn't exactly sure...

Review!

~Oceanbreeze7