Disclaimer: I don't Avengers, Iron Man, or Harry Potter. They belong to Marvel and JK Rowling. I also don't own the Royal Air Force.
AN: I have no actual knowledge of the rescue planes, helicopters, or anything related to the Royal Air Force. I wrote this at midnight and hoped for the best. It's most than likely that I'm using the wrong transport and that they don't practice maneuvers over abandoned places... but I'm calling on my creative license for the parts that don't make sense. If curious to get the updates to this first, I suggest you go to AO3 (Archive of Our Own) and look me up under Sofiel.
Tony didn't expect much when he decided that he was going to fix the thrusters on the War Machine. He was in the UK for a meeting with a company that wanted to merge with Stark Industries, possibly for phone production or a new better tablet, and all that talking had bored him. Rhodey had been in RAF Northolt showing some of the squadrons flight maneuvers with the War Machine.
The minute that Tony figured out where exactly Rhodey was he quickly told his presentation of what he wanted from the company and what the company was going to be like and just as quickly said his goodbyes and made Happy drive him to Northolt. This time he made sure that the Mark V was with him instead of with Happy—just in case there was another psychopath trying to kill him… again. The thought of being able to tinker with something mechanical, after a week of meetings and bigwigs trying to get him to sign contracts, was more exciting at the time than the thought of possible psychos out to kill him.
A call to the base ten minutes from reaching them quickly got Tony inside. He would have just used the suit except that he'd probably need Happy to pick him up from wherever he stopped—or crash-landed at. Rhodey met him at the gates; scowl in place and with his arms crossed. Tony grinned and embraced his best friend while leading him towards where he could see the War Machine on a table, wires and guns peeping out of corners.
"Looks like you need a little help with your—" Tony pointed awkwardly towards the table then over to Rhodey. He already had a screwdriver in one hand, the Mark V swinging back and forth in his other. "Looks like you could do with a little boost in speed," he mumbled as he poked around wires and made sure that everything was where it was supposed to be. After the whole Justin Hammer retouching the Mark II with ridiculously subpar weaponry he was just a little iffy about letting the US air force have anything else of his. Even if it was just faster thrusters.
There were people around him, pilots by the looks of their jumpsuits, and Rhodey would occasionally make a noise when the War Machine sparked. His best friend mostly ignored him, used to Tony getting into his headspace when it came to robots and electronics.
"Mr. Stark, are you coming along with Col. Rhodes in the flight maneuvers?" a kid, probably no older than twenty, asked while Tony tried to link two wires that would finally trigger the extra boost for the thrusters.
"Yes," Tony repeated again as he pushed Rhodey aside. "You have open air space?"
"There's this abandoned borough we go to in Surrey so that we don't disturb anyone during flight maneuvers. It was abandoned like thirteen years ago during the terrorists attack that were going on," the kid said, looking like he was going to start talking about the most amazing thing ever. "No one ever moved back in once it was evacuated and everyone that tried always said that the entire place was haunted so they never went back. We've checked the entire place top to bottom but no one's ever been found."
"If it's abandoned why would there be people there?" Tony asked with a raised brow. "Did you check for Casper and friends while you were there?"
"Tony, you're not going," Rhodey nearly growled and the kid quickly stood at attention and quickly moved away from them. "This a serious flight maneuver not a—a," he tried to find a word that could clearly describe what Tony would probably make of the flight maneuvers once they were out in the air. Knowing Tony he'd start fireworks or knowing him, actually manage to find a person in the abandoned site and end up getting himself blown up.
"Ready to go, Rhodes?" Tony asked, slapping Rhodey's shoulder and jogging over to the Mark V locked to a support pillar and a D-ring. He opened up the suitcase and quickly jammed on the gauntlets. The suit was already folding around his legs and the helmet was just about to close down over Tony's face before Rhodey could get another word in.
The pilots and airmen around the base seemed to appear out of the cracks as soon as the helmet managed to cover Tony's face. There were some whispered exclamations from the assembled people but no one actually came any closer.
"The Mark V is not made for flight," Tony's slightly robotic voice said to Rhodey. "But it should get me to where you're going."
Rhodey rolled his eyes and made his way to the War Machine. Outside choppers were being initiated and the airmen were rushing out of the room to get into choppers and be part of the flight maneuvers.
They were in the air for an hour when Rhodey called up Tony to tell him that they were going to be making a loop around to go back to the base.
"Tony, we'll be making another flythrough and then going back to the base," Rhodey said through their communicator.
Tony stared at his HUD and the display showing him where the four Westland Gazelles were flying around him and Rhodey, occasionally reporting to Tony and Rhodey where to go and what to do. The HUD flickered and Tony frowned.
"JARVIS, is there magnetic or electrical interference?" Tony asked. The HUD flickered again and JARVIS' voice garbled for a second before Tony felt freefall. "JARVIS? I'm falling," Tony said casually as he tried to get the HUD to light up again but his suit wasn't responding to him. He barely heard Rhodey's muffled scream from above him before his metal clad body crashed through wood, plaster, and cement.
He didn't manage to arrest his fall at all bar it hitting his body on what looked like a railing and then falling down a flight of stairs. The suit provided enough cushioning that his bones weren't broken in any way and that his arms and leg didn't end up in odd angles. Most importantly it kept his head safe and from possible brain damage, there was a big possibility that he'd get a concussion from that far a fall as well as from his trip down the stairs.
"Owww," he moaned once he reached the bottom of the stairs and tried to get up in his unresponsive suit. "Rhodey, you there?"
He got no response from his radio.
Tony's head swiveled around to stare at where the sound was coming from. His arms hurt as he brought them up to the sides of his neck and manually tried to unlatch the faceplate. The faceplate clicked in protest when Tony wrenched at it and finally managed to get the faceplate to move forward and then up.
Tony stared at his legs dangling over the lower two steps and then over to his left where he could barely see a small door open under the stairs. A shadow was moving to the left and then the right of the door and Tony frowned as he sat up and clanked his metal boots to the floor.
The shout that time had been enough to turn Tony around so that his arc reactor shined over the shadows by the door under the stairs. There was a toddler by the door of what looked like a closet. A toddler that was smiling brightly and pointing in delight at Tony.
"Yes, it's blue," Tony managed to reply as he sat up and just stared into a pale face lit up by the blue of his arc reactor. "Who are you?"
"A-wee," the toddler said and stepped forward on unsteady chubby legs. "Oo boo?"
"I'm Tony," Tony said and looked up at the ceiling and the hole he'd made when he crashed landed into the house. "Where are your parents, kid?"
The toddler ignored Tony's question and stepped forward again, his eyes trained on the arc reactor and its glow.
The boy stepped forwards again, the light from the arc reactor shining over his plump baby cheeks. The blue of the arc reactor tinted his eyes but they were a light color that could be anything from hazel to blue. He stumbled as he took another stepped forward and fell on all fours in front of Tony. As he sat up and sat in front of Tony he sneezed, curly, messy hair flying every which way.
The arc reactor's light flared through the small hallway as Tony moved away from what could be a disease waiting to happen. The light passed over the toddler again and lit up on a lightning shaped scar on the boy's forehead.
"You're not contagious are you? I just got over Pepper's cold I don't want to get another one?" The toddler waved at the light and cooed at it. "Where are your parents? I thought this entire place was abandoned. Goes to show what the military knows around here."
"Boo-oo," the toddler cooed again and clapped before scooting forward towards Tony.
Rhodey came through the hole in the ceiling just when Tony was beginning to scoot back away from the toddler. It wasn't like the boy seemed to be any kind of danger at all but ever since he had the arc reactor ripped out he wasn't going to take any chances with anyone touching it.
"Tony, are you okay?"
"Yeah. I thought your air force buddies said this place was abandoned," Tony said and then pointed at the toddler. The boy's eyes were big and staring up at War Machine with his mouth hanging open. "There's someone occupying this house. My suit's fried, any other life signs that you can find around here? Someone should be missing their kid, right?"
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