I'm sorry it took so long to have a chapter up for this. But here it is! Enjoy :D
"I don't think so, buddy," Tony growled and hoisted Harry higher on his arms. "You don't just go about saying babies are 'assets' while in the same breath you're putting down mutants."
Rhodey made a motion behind Appelstein. It was probably a motion to stop Tony in his tracks and to keep him from talking any more. There were already some SFs gathering at the doors more than likely ready to eject Tony from the base at the word of the Vice-Marshall. It was probably a good idea to stop him from talking but it seemed the damage had already been done as Tony was already taking out his phone.
"I'm getting in touch with the UN and having a talk with them about how the Royal Air Force is using babies as assets," Tony said as he brandished his phone and clutched at Harry tighter. "I'm sure they'd love to hear what your plans are for someone that can't even say his own name. I don't give a rat's ass if you don't like mutants or anything like that but when you go around saying that a child is an asset there's obviously something wrong with you."
"Look here, Stark," Appelstein shouted over Tony as he took a menacing step forward. "I don't care who you're talking to on the other end of that phone. The boy is to go to RAF custody."
"I'm going to tell everyone that you experiment on babies," Tony hissed and moved to the side of the enraged man. "You can't make your own weapons or can't get someone to make the weapons for you so you experiment on babies and leave them in the middle of an abandoned town in the winter. I'm sure the reporters would love that. RAF Experiments On Babies. It'll be all over the news. You'll be known all over the world as something beneath dirt for what you've done and the queen is going to be pissed at you for besmirching her air force."
The hold that Harry had on the back of Tony's hair intensified when Appelstein took another step forward and Tony brandished his phone to show that he was already dialing. Harry made a disgruntled noise and hid his face in Tony's neck.
"The boy is a citizen of the United Kingdom, Stark. You can't take him anywhere," the man hissed and stood his ground. "You have no say in what happens to him. The RAF could chop him up into tiny little pieces and you wouldn't have a say in it because this is none of your business."
"I'm sorry what was that?" Tony asked as he flicked at his phone and showed the screen back to the shocked crew around him. He flicked one more button and Appelstein's voice echoed around all the speakers in the room.
The boy is a citizen of the United Kingdom, Stark. The RAF could chop him up into tiny little pieces and you wouldn't have a say in it because this is none of your business.
The technicians stared between Tony and Appelstein and several took steps back from their computers. The SFs by the door were shifting around, their hands itching towards the nightsticks by their sides. The proclamation from their Vice-Marshal startled some of them and they were looking around trying to figure out what would be the best course of action to take for something like this.
"You're saying he's a UK citizen but you don't know that. He could be the kid of a tourist for all you know," Tony said and glared. "He was found in an abandoned town in the middle of winter obviously left to die because I'm pretty sure not even and adult could live through this weather. Their chances of survival drops significantly when there is no food or water for them to drink in the first place."
"You don't have the full story, Stark," Appelstein tried to reason, but he did not move from where he was standing. The man's face had already gone several shades of white and red and was fast moving towards the purples and blues. "There is a reason why the child cannot go with you. You would not be able to meet his needs as he grows. There are just some things that even you, the so-called 'harbinger of peace', cannot safely take care of. The boy is part of something so much bigger than you or me, Stark, and I cannot allow you to take him anywhere with you."
Tony looked at Harry and then over to Appelstein. "What exactly are you talking about? 'Something bigger' can be a lot of things. The kid could be the incubator for some new disease, which by the way, shame on you if that's what it is. He could be a clone of that older guy up there. Maybe an agent of yours that you need to ask questions to. He could be the cure for cancer and the scion of world peace, Appelstein, but that does not excuse you turning a baby into an asset for any military. I'll be taking Harry with me if it's the last thing I do. If any of you try to stop me there will be dire consequences, not only from me but from a lot of other people as well."
As Tony passed Rhodey he gave him a smile and a nod and stood in front of the shifty SFs with a raised brow. "Shoo," he said while waiving his hand from side to side to make them move from their position. "I don't like repeating myself."
The SFs looked at each other and then behind Tony for some type of confirmation from their commanding officer.
"Let him go."
Tony smirked at the men as he walked by them.
"Bye bye!" Harry shrieked as he waived behind him to Rhodey and the technicians in the room.
Tony stared at the woman in front of him and then over to Happy and the car and frowned.
"A car seat?"
"Yes," the woman said with a roll of her eyes as she crossed her arms over her ample chest and kept him from moving towards his car. "I can't, on good conscience, let you leave with the boy without a car seat, Mr. Stark."
Harry was playing with the zipper of his newly acquired parka with a fur trim on the hood. Dr. Todd had stopped Tony and his new charge as they were leaving and handed over the parka with a stern look and told the younger man to keep Harry warm. The nurse, Jane, maybe Janet, or quite possibly Joanne, Tony didn't rightfully remember what she introduced herself as, had come out of nowhere and demanded where the car seat was for travel.
"Look, I'm going to buy one the second I get to a store," Tony said and tried to keep the fur of the coat out of his face. "Obviously I didn't bring one with me since he wasn't with me. Talk to the doctor if you have some issue."
With that said, Tony swirled around her and made his way to the passenger side of the car with a waiving Harry on his arm. The nurse made spluttering noises and was about to follow after him but thought better of it and just watched them get in the car.
"Do you think there are kids' stores open up at this hour, Hap? I need to get a car seat," Tony said in greeting as Happy opened the passenger side door.
"We can see," Happy said as he got in and started the car, making sure the heating was hitting Tony's side of the car. "Boss, you know I have nothing negative to say about you or what you do, but…"
"You think Pepper is gonna be pissed that I got into a fight with the Royal Air Force?" Tony interrupted as he rummaged for something to eat inside the dashboard. He managed to find two granola bars and opened one up quickly and gave it to Harry while he took a bite out of the other bar. "And that I have Harry?"
"Where did you get Harry from?"
"I found him," Tony answered around a mouthful. "The RAF tried to keep him because he's an asset," his lips curled at the word and gave Happy a look. "Have you ever heard of a 17 month old baby as an 'asset' to any military facility, Happy? Are these people completely insane? I don't care how high up in the ladder these nutjobs are I don't think it's ethical to have a baby be an asset to an organization that goes out in the world to blow up other people."
Happy raised a brow and was about to open his mouth when Tony gave him a look and swiped at the crumbs collecting on Harry's parka collar.
"I only blow up the people that deserve it," Tony said and then gave Happy another look when the man was about to open his mouth again. "And I don't think babies are assets to be used on the whim of the military."
"What are you going to do with him?" Happy asked as he eyed the green eyes staring at him and Harry's dimples as he grinned toothily up at him.
"How hard can it be to take care of a baby?"
Tony barely got into the hotel room before Pepper was up and coming towards him like the wrath of hell.
"Rhodey called me to tell me that you got into a fight with a royal air force vice-marshal," she said as she crossed her arms and tapped her foot impatiently in front of the man.
Harry had fallen asleep halfway to the hotel and was contentedly drooling all over Tony's shoulder so he probably wasn't even aware of Pepper's ire. Lucky guy.
"That snitch," Tony hissed and made his way over to the couch. "Yeah, I got into a fight with the man about the air force's policy on using babies as assets and I won. This is Harry, by the way."
"You took a baby from the air force? Are you insane? No, don't answer that. You've obviously lost your mind and you're taking me down with you," she said loud enough that Tony knew she was angry but not so loud that it woke Harry. "I don't know how you can make these decisions and not think about the consequences, Tony."
"He was cute and small and Appelstein made me angry," Tony shrugged and nearly woke Harry with his jostling. "I recorded what he said to show you that I'm not doing this just to do it. Appelstein is insane and he had some plans for Harry that didn't involve growing up to be a lawyer or whatever."
"Tony, you don't even know how to take care of a child," Pepper said with a deep sigh. "I'll talk to as many people as possible to make sure that you don't turn this into an international incident and get us all arrested."
"It can't be that difficult to take care of a kid," Tony said and lowered Harry to the couch to take his parka off. "If I get stuck I can always Google it and I can hire professionals, Pepper."
"You should know that babies wet the bed unless you train them to use the bathroom," Pepper commented as she took out her phone and left the room without a backwards glance. "I'm going to try to diffuse this as much as possible and we'll talk in the morning about Harry."
Tony took out his phone and quickly dialed Happy to see about getting diapers for Harry. There was no way he was going to have to deal with a wet baby. In the morning he'll deal with clothes and everything else babies needed. There was no way that Tony was going to leave Harry to the evil clutches of the RAF or to anyone else for that matter. Tony found Harry all alone in an abandoned house so he gets to keep him fair and square.
Feel free to tell me what you thought about the chapter and what the next step Tony should take and what Tony should find out the hard way about how 'easy' it is to take care of babies.