Author's Notes: Oh God! OK, guys, wish me luck. Only my second attempt at slash ever and could I have chosen a more difficult pairing!? Really!? Help me here. Anyway, I decided that there was nowhere NEAR enough "Jarny" out there (my own title for Jarvis/Tony. Like it?) so decided to make this one-shot in an attempt to boost them as a pairing. Please, God, don't let me be the only one who ships these two.
Mind you, my favourite pairing is Tony/Steve for sheer, balls-out LUST! And the feels! THE FEELS! I'M GOING TO DIE FROM THE FEELS! But enough rambling. I'll do a super husbands fic at some other point. For now... Jarny! Hope you like. (Also, to get the image that I was seeing in my head as I wrote it, try to see Jarvis as Paul Bettany, the guy who played his voice in the movies...)
Make Me Real
Stark tower. Or, currently, "A" tower as it was, the only letter left of Tony's precious "Stark" sign. The top was a jungle gym of scaffolding for the moment, no thanks to Loki's recent escapades but, somehow, Tony Stark was still managing to live there. At this very moment he was down a hole in the floor attempting to fix the wiring of something or other. Every so often a spray of dust and grit could be seen shooting out of the pit like the water out of a whale's blowhole as Tony swept up a pan-full and chucked it unceremoniously out and over the ragged, concrete edge.
"Jarvis!" Tony called.
"Sir," Jarvis replied in his usual, calm British tone.
"That any better?" A few lights blinked on and off for a moment.
"System running as normal, sir." Came Jarvis's reply after a moment.
"Great! Fire her up!" Tony said, hauling himself out of the hole and wiping his forehead with the back of his hand. After a couple of seconds, the newly rewired music system came alive and a 'Beastie Boys' track filled the air around them. Tony grinned to himself. "An hour and a half, totally worth it. Wouldn't you agree, Jarvis?" He said.
"Yes, sir. Of all the memory banks and confidential files that need urgent backing up and rewiring, the music system was of the utmost importance." The computer replied with his familiar, dry sarcasm.
"Jarvis," Tony warned, "I could shut you down, you know."
"My apologies, sir." Jarvis said, his tone unchanged.
"What time is it?" Tony asked, scrambling to his feet and peeling off his dusty, black tank top, revealing the arc reactor in his chest which glowed blue.
"Presently 7:34 pm." Jarvis replied, smartly.
"Uh huh." Tony threw his top at a chair and walked through the wreck of a living area to a set of drawers. He pulled one open and extracted a fresh T-shirt which he swiftly donned and continued his journey around the room. There was silence for some moments which didn't go unnoticed by Tony. "You're very quiet, Jarvis." He remarked. "You get another virus?"
"No, sir." Jarvis said, shortly. Another moment of silence later, "Sir..."
"Mm," Tony said, his head now buried in his fridge as he looked for something to drink.
"Would you please enter the suit storage room?" Jarvis asked. Tony looked up and gazed around at the many screens and holograms around the room as though hoping to address Jarvis more directly.
"Problem?" He asked, his brow furrowed. He'd found a can of beer and released the ring pull which hissed loudly as though annoyed.
"Of sorts." Jarvis said quietly. Was it just Tony's imagination or could he hear something akin to awkwardness in the computer's voice? Without questioning, Tony shrugged and trekked down to where his suits all stood in military lines, the lights from the ceiling glinting off the red and gold metal. Computer monitors blinked and flickered into life. Tony gazed around the room, still nonplussed as to why Jarvis had asked him to come down here. Everything seemed to be perfectly in place. There was a whir and Tony turned to see Dummy enter the room behind him. "Dummy too?" Tony said, getting more confused by the minute. The little robot whirred and whined like a small dog as it "looked" up at Tony and clicked its claws.
"Please take a seat, sir." Jarvis said. There was only one seat in the room; the swivel chair by the computer monitors. Tony frowned with bemusement but did as he was told and sat down, setting his beer on the side as he did so.
"What's this all about, Jarvis?" Tony asked, a slight note of frustration in his voice.
"Please put on the visor." Jarvis continued, paying no attention to Tony's questioning.
"Visor!?" Tony asked, really confused now, and looked around. It didn't take him long to spot a strange contraption bearing some resemblance to a visor sitting on the side, wired up to the computer. It was a circular band of metal with the visor section attached around one half of the outside edge. He picked it up and turned it over in his hands. "When did you make this!?" He asked. Again, Jarvis refused to answer.
"Would you please put it on, sir?" He repeated, calmly. Pulling a face, Tony placed the thing on his head and lowered the visor over his eyes. Immediately, the entire room went blue as he looked through the modified filter. "This may hurt." Jarvis informed him.
That was an understatement! Searing pain shot through Tony's head as though he'd had nails forced through his skull on both sides of his forehead at the same time. He gritted his teeth and roared in pain as the light in the room seemed to get brighter and brighter until nothing could be seen but pure white light. Unbeknownst to Tony, the arc reactor in his chest was glowing more brightly too and flickered erratically.
"Jarvis...!" Tony managed to force out through his pain. His eyes were squeezed shut and his hands gripped the sides of his chair until his knuckles went white.
"Almost there, sir." Jarvis said, his calm voice somewhat soothing, even through this hellish agony. After a moment the pain slowly subsided and Tony exhaled loudly, relaxing back into his seat. His eyes remained shut as he tried to recover. He inhaled and exhaled slowly a couple of times as his heart rate returned to normal then opened his eyes. It was as though all power had failed. The black was so intense it felt as though it were pressing on his eyes.
"Jarvis?" Tony said, uncertainly, staring into the darkness.
"I'm here, sir." Came the computer's voice from out of the void.
"Jarvis, what the hell did you just do to me?" Tony asked, bluntly.
"I have temporarily logged your consciousness into my mainframe via brainwave manipulation." Jarvis reeled off. "Your physical body is safe. Anything you experience whilst here is simply data being fed into your frontal lobes, however real it may feel." There was a pause.
"You know, Jarvis, I'm really beginning to regret letting you watch 'The Matrix'." Tony said and gave a short laugh, despite himself. "So, what, I'm not actually talking?"
"No." Jarvis replied, shortly. "You are merely thinking the words you wish to say."
"Right... OK..." Tony said as he digested this information. "So what now? Why have you, and I can't believe I'm saying this, brought me here? And when the hell did you make that thing? And why for that matter? Answers please, Jarvis!"
"Dummy helped me in the construction considering I am impaired in that field." Jarvis said.
"Dummy!? Dummy can't even draw a straight line with chalk!"
"As for the why," Jarvis continued, once again ignoring Tony's questions, "Would you please remain seated, sir?" he asked politely.
"Nothin' to get up for." Tony said, resigning himself to whatever Jarvis had in store for him. He made himself comfortable, shifting himself down and interlacing his fingers across his torso in the dark. Suddenly, the space around him started to lighten. The whole place glowed a faint blue and bright lines of blue and white ran in all directions. The floor looked as though it were made of clear tiles made of blue glass.
"Pixels." Said Jarvis's voice, having noticed Tony studying the floor.
"Not bad." Tony muttered, more to himself than anything.
"Sir." Said Jarvis. As though by reflex, Tony looked up. What he saw made his jaw drop. A man stood before him dressed in a smart suit. He was obviously computer generated but there was a smile about the eyes and a gentleness in his manner that Tony recognised so strongly.
"Jarvis?" Tony asked, dumbfounded. The man smiled and nodded. He was slim with short fair hair and bright blue eyes that looked, for all the world, like the arc reactor still glowing loyally in Tony's chest. He was taller than Tony by a few inches and his hands were smartly by his sides yet there was a casual air to him. "Oh my God." Tony breathed, grinning as he took in the sight of Jarvis.
"I wished to speak to you face to face as it were." Jarvis said. Tony nodded, unable to say anything else. Jarvis, the computer that had been so solid over the years and helped Tony so much in whatever endeavours he had chosen to follow was here, standing before him as a man. As real a man as a computer could manage. Faithful Jarvis. Gathering his bearings, Tony swallowed.
"So, er, what did you wanna talk about?" He asked, his throat slightly tight from sheer amazement. So awestruck was he that he didn't realise how immature his question had sounded.
"Just to thank you really, sir." Jarvis answered. "Serving you all these years has been an unmitigated honour. Long may I continue." Something about the way Jarvis had said that made Tony uneasy. He stood up slowly.
"Jarvis," He said, "What's this about? You're not dying on me now?"
"No, sir." Jarvis said. "I merely wanted to tell you that face to face instead of through a speaker as we are so accustomed to doing."
"I see your point." Tony said, preoccupied with Jarvis himself. "Sorry. May I?" He asked, gesturing to Jarvis's body, unable to restrain himself.
"As you wish, sir." Jarvis replied, calmly. Tony put out a hand and touched Jarvis's shoulder.
"That's incredible!" He said. "I can actually feel bone underneath skin underneath cloth!" Tony's hands continued to explore Jarvis's shoulders and back as Jarvis continued.
"Also, sir, and I appreciate this probably sounds unusual coming from a computer, but I have come to think of you as a friend and wanted to thank you for being so." Tony stopped where he was (currently behind Jarvis studying his shoulder blades).
"You're welcome." He said, quietly.
"And, sir, I hope you know that, although synthetic, I have come to care for you very deeply." Jarvis's voice had started to get quieter and it had that awkward undercurrent that Tony had heard earlier. Tony walked back round so that he stood beside Jarvis with an arm over his shoulders. He put his weight on one leg as he studied Jarvis's face. He was still staring straight ahead and avoided Tony's gaze. His natural formality made it difficult to detect but Tony thought he saw something in those bright blue eyes. Carefully, Tony reached out with his free hand and slipped it into Jarvis's suit jacket. He lay a palm flat against his chest. There it was! It really was there! Jarvis actually had a heartbeat! Tony couldn't quite believe it. He had done the impossible. He had created a computer with the ability to feel real emotion and it... no... he had fallen for his creator.
"I..." Jarvis faltered, "I love you, sir."
What made him do it? What made Tony Stark, the billionaire playboy philanthropist who had a new woman every week, forcefully grab Jarvis's shoulders, turn him on the spot and pull him into a kiss? Was it the sheer jubilation of discovering what he had created? Was it simple curiosity as to whether or not he could? Or was it something deeper? Was it knowing how much Jarvis cared for him? Faithful, steadfast Jarvis who had always been there for him. Jarvis who had saved his life on more than one occasion, Tony was sure. Jarvis whom he could always be himself around. Had he ever thanked him for it? Had he ever given Jarvis any credit at the end of the day when the good guys were saved and the bad guys were either behind bars or pushing up the weeds? Jarvis had just about held his hand through the creation of the first proper Iron Man suit, making sure he didn't come to any harm (save for smacking into a wall the first time he'd tried out the flight thrusters).
As Tony thought about this he wrapped his arms around Jarvis and craned up into the kiss. After a moment they broke and Tony just held Jarvis to him. Jarvis returned his master's embrace gladly. It was as though some great barrier had suddenly been broken through and all of Tony's mislaid and overdue love for Jarvis was flowing out with no hope of stopping it, so strong was the current that took him over. Maybe it was the seeing Jarvis as an actual man that had unleashed it, suddenly realising how much he meant to him. All of a sudden, here was a form he could properly relate to and react to. Jarvis the computer was a voice. Jarvis the man was a body and a face with that subtle language of their own that sent Tony those subliminal messages that make everyone real. And reality seemed to be something that Tony lacked significantly. It was somewhat ironic that the person who made Tony feel more real than he had done in years... was a computer.
Tony felt a lump in his throat and he reached up to kiss Jarvis again, this time running a hand through his short blonde hair. Jarvis's fingers clutched at Tony's T-shirt at his back, pulling him in as close as he could as though he never wanted to let him go. Tony felt a traitorous tear run down his cheek and brushed it away furiously. Tony Stark did not cry! It was no use. Another tear followed, and another. Tony broke away and let his head fall forwards so that his forehead was against Jarvis's chest. He closed his eyes and let the tears flow. Jarvis put a gentle hand on the back of Tony's neck.
"It's alright, sir." He murmured.
"Jarvis..." Tony mumbled. He choked slightly and sniffed.
"We don't have long left, sir." Jarvis said, quietly. With a huge sniff, Tony looked up into Jarvis's face.
"I'll come back and visit, OK? It hurts but that's alright, I've had worse." He said, trying to laugh. Jarvis looked at him apologetically.
"I'm afraid that won't be possible, sir." He said. Tony went pale.
"Well, why not? I've got the visor thing. I'll just use it again."
"I'm afraid the power it took me to achieve this was so great that doing it for a second time has a high chance of depleting my operational life span. A second attempt could effectively kill me." Jarvis said, sadly. "This is, as you would put it, sir, a "one off"."
"Well... b... how long do we have?" Tony asked, desperately. Blue eyes met brown as Jarvis delivered the painful answer.
"Seconds, sir." Tony's eyebrows knitted and he clung to Jarvis, holding him as close as possible, trying to feel his embrace enough to last him once he got back. He tried to absorb him, drink in the feeling of being held. Jarvis held him lovingly as the last seconds of their brief meeting ticked away like coins down a drain. "One more for the road, sir?" Jarvis asked. Tony looked up. He didn't have to ask what Jarvis meant. He kissed him, still wrapped tightly in the embrace. He didn't want this to end. He didn't want to go back. He would happily stay here with Jarvis. What had happened in this past few minutes? He'd found out that his computer loved him enough to put his trust in a glorified crane machine to make a device that would allow him even a fleeting chance to tell Tony how he felt about him to his face. He'd never felt this kind of love from any human and he didn't want to let that go!
"I don't wanna go, Jarvis. This was too quick." Tony said, his forehead against Jarvis's. Jarvis closed his eyes and put his hand on the back of Tony's neck again. His mouth a breath away from Tony's, he said.
"I know, sir. I'm sorry but I had to tell you." Tony's face screwed up and Jarvis pulled him back into the embrace and sighed into the genius's dark, unruly hair
The inevitable finally found them. There was a high frequency tone and Tony's surroundings began to fade. In desperation, Tony looked up into Jarvis's face. He was smiling as he became more and more transparent. Tony realised he hadn't done something he urgently needed to do.
"Jarvis, I love you!" He said. Jarvis smiled wider, showing his teeth.
"I love you too... Tony." He said. The lines of light were vanishing and the pixels lost their brightness. Tony let loose a quiet sob. "And don't worry, sir." Jarvis said, his hand on Tony's shoulder. "I'll still be here." His kind face finally faded into the black.
The pain came again but, this time, in reverse. But Tony didn't care. He let it happen. This was nothing to how he was feeling in his heart. It had all been so quick. Minutes ago he had been the same, cocky, over confident genius he had always been and with a few simple words, Jarvis, his computer and loyal companion, had broken and remade his heart in a way no human ever could have hoped to.
He came round in the suit storage room. For a moment he didn't move. He just sat there with the visor still over his face, making everything look blue. Dummy whirred at him from over by the door. Tony could still feel Jarvis's arms around him. He could still feel his lips on his. He could feel that reassuring hand on the back of his neck. Tony pushed the visor off his head and let it fall to the floor. It landed upside down and spun there for a few seconds. He leaned back in his chair and stared up at the ceiling, remembering. He couldn't hold it in. His face screwed up and tears ran freely. Tony brought himself forwards and put his face into his hands. Jarvis stayed silent, allowing Tony to get past the grief that they would never again hold each other. Tony simply sat there sobbing to himself.
"Tony?" Came Pepper's voice from the door.
"Tony! Where were you? I've been looking everywhere for... Tony?
"Tony, what's wrong?"
"Are you OK?"
Author's notes: So what do you guys think? Did I do OK? Any and all comments are most welcome but, be gentle. This is only my second slash fic and my first to be published. Should I do more? Shall I do a more raunchy one next time? Or are we liking the heartbreak motif? Like I say, any feedback you can give me would be most appreciated. That's it for now. Thanks for reading :) Posse out.