Here's a story! YAY!
Anyways, this was a challenge, that has turned into a multi-chapter fic...enjoy.
Tony Stark made a Circuit Board at age four.
Logically, no child could ever make something that complex work at that age, yet again, Tony Stark was not normal.
Tony built a Circuit Board, made an entire shell…and it just worked.
Nobody questioned how it did, they just accepted the fact it did, and shrugged it off. Nobody asked questions, and nobody pointed fingers. Tony knew, a few years later when looking at the husk he had created.
This shouldn't work, it logically couldn't. The desired pieces weren't hooked up, or if they were, it was in the entirely wrong spot.
But it just did.
So he didn't question it.
When Tony was 6, he built his first engine.
He built it right the first time. Quadruple checking everything to make sure that it would work, and he heard the engine purr aloud.
Then, while it was purring, he walked over and with full intentions, and disconnected the pistons.
The engine continued running.
Tony Stark knew that was impossible, and yet he hid it. He did not want his father finding out, and even though his mother probably wouldn't care and love him still, it wasn't worth the risk.
So Tony kept it to himself.
In grade 6 (He was about 7 at the time) There was a power outage at the private school he had been sent to. His instructor raced out (apparently afraid of the dark) and left Tony alone, blinking away the darkness.
He didn't think it was that bad, being in the dark, but as he fumbled along the walls, searching for the door, his hands brushed over the light switch.
And suddenly the room was alit with light.
Tony frowned, looking at the working lights in the entire school, and blinked.
He wanted it dar-
The light went out.
Tony stared at the switch, pulling his hands away and flicking it up and down, not a single spark of light. Then he placed his hand on it again, and wanted it to be b- just as before, the bulb lit up and swathed the room in a cheery glow.
He blinked and pulled his hand back, instantly he felt as if he had gone running a mile, he felt tired and his legs shook and he wanted to just slee-
The light went out.
Tony leaned against a desk, panting in exhaustion and excitement. He could turn on and off lights? That was easy to do, but without touching them?
He grinned, reaching out with a shaking arm to the light.
It stayed off.
He frowned and a wave of dizziness overtook him, he sat quickly on a desk and blinked in the darkness.
He didn't try again for a long time.
He was at MIT when he really tried using his 'gift' again.
He had long since researched what he was. A defect in his genetic code- an X-gene. A gene that had appeared from birth- he was advancing beyond the normal human, he wasn't a Homo sapien.
He felt odd at that discovery, wondering what exactly he was. He had concluded, that he was the next step in the genetic chain, that he was dominant over the other pe- Homo sapiens.
He didn't like that, so he hid it.
Tony knew he was different, he knew that he could turn a light switch on without touching it, or make an engine work without all the pieces.
But after a while, Tony actually felt something.
It was like little butterflies everywhere. Moving so slightly and softly that whatever he touched he could just brush his fingers over them. He felt it with batteries, with plants and even with other people.
Never with rock, and never with air.
After a while, he grew used to the feeling, finding it comforting how computers gave out a swarm of little butterflies, and how little plants felt like a warm breath on his hand.
One day, when he was tired and working so hard on a project for the following night, he had reached out for coffee in his tiredness. He had overshot, hand accidently touching the searing liquid, and he hissed, recoiling in alarm while he felt the burn.
And the little butterflies.
He blinked, feeling them in the little drops, and very slowly, they faded away on his fingers, and he looked at the cup, hesitantly dipping his pointer finger in and wincing at the burn before the butterflies seemed to flow into him.
He withdrew his finger, looking at the congealed icy coffee, and the sudden rush of awareness he felt. He felt as if he had just drunk the thing.
Then, he tried with batteries.
It was the same effect, the absorption of…energy (How awful he felt to say it) gave him a boost, a simple 9 volt keeping him more aware then a 12 hour energy.
He kept getting bigger, eventually hooking himself up to a set of jumper cables connected to a car- it was enough of a jolt that he nearly passed out, but the moment after, he felt as if he could run a marathon.
It was when he tried to give energy back when everything went downhill.
He tried lighting up a light bulb, and the light bulb shattered with the amount of power he thrust into it too quickly. He tried again, and this time he strained himself so hard, he actually passed out.
He woke up not long after, and instantly shied away from any strenuous task with his new found electric problem, and ignored the tingles, pushed past the butterflies and ignored the energy that could sustain him for so long.
It late into his year at MIT when his first major problem occurred.
In retrospect, it wasn't his fault. For a mech. Until each student had to create some sort of machine. Of course, Tony decided to work on his longtime project, a helper robot with a single long claw and an artificial intelligence that never seemed to match with its programmed IQ.
Tony named him Dummy.
Dummy, was perfect, rolling around with enthusiastic chirps as it looked at the other projects, taking keen interest in an automatic fire extinguisher (Who came up with that?) while Tony vanished momentarily to retrieve a bottle of water.
He knew something was wrong when he came back and heard Dummy's distressed beeps, thrashing with his one claw while several jealous classmates had pounced on him, taking screwdrivers and hammers to his prototype frame, one had a portable saw and was nearly cutting off Dummy's eye scope.
Tony didn't even notice what he did, one moment he was watching in horror as his only robotic friend was being attacked, and the next minute the saw had turned on itself, buzzing in frenzy and nearly slicing the student's leg. The kid yelped, yanking out the battery pack, but that didn't stop it. The saw turned, revving up as the lights started to flux, flashing on and off before metallic contraptions spun into effect, a fan powered by chemical reactions went into overdrive, a laser pointer became strong enough to burn wood.
Tony barely even noticed when one of the boys had a lighter in the back pocket of his blue jeans.
Tony snapped out of it when the fire alarms finally went off, spraying the room with raining white foam (Thank god he waterproofed Dummy) while the one boy was on the ground, screaming and crying as his friends tried to awkwardly pat the flames out in their panic.
Tony blinked, pulling away and running, barely having a grasp on the butterflies, breaking light bulbs and causing doors to swing open and close whenever he passed in his frantic running.
He locked himself in his room, eyes not looking at anything as he heard the load roar of the ambulance pull in- somebody was thinking clearly enough to call 911.
Or maybe it was the fire department, the sprinklers did go off.
It was the next day when Tony managed to sneak back into the lab, Dummy was still working, a slight limp in one of his rollers where the boys and been tugging on one of his sensors- doing irreparable damage unless he wanted to take his first AI all the way down to his wheels and scrap nuts and bolts.
No- Dummy could stay the way he was.
The end of the term was in sights, and he was looking forward to it with every passing second. It seemed that with his recent…problem, that the butterflies seemed more hyperactive than ever before. Every moment he had to strain himself not to burst every light bulb when his hand touched the switch. He had to make sure every cell phone his hands brushed against wouldn't spontaneously break or stop him from draining the device until it took days of charging before turning back on.
And don't get Tony started with plugs.
It had taken Tony a week of persistent asking of the principal to take the final exam early to gain his degree- he needed some time alone before he'd get a handle on…his mutant power.
Finally he took the test, nearly three months before the end of the year he got his degree, and walked out.
Tony had no idea where to go- normally he'd go back home, but with his parents busy, he didn't want to be at that end of the insane shouting and drunken slurs- or worse, the cold look and the icy dismissal.
That, was the worst.
He grabbed his stuff, rolling a large black hard-shell suitcase down the stone steps as he approached his car, a slim little thing he had gotten from his mother after not seeing her for nearly four weeks, it wasn't that he minded, he never saw her anyways.
He approached, throwing open the trunk and loading the suitcase in just as another car pulled up, the butterflies being the only warning as it stopped right next to him.
He hesitated briefly before reaching down and loading a recently deactivated Dummy in the back, having him online while trying to drive may prove hazardous if anything.
Tony Stark wasn't a fool when it came to cars. He was actually very good at anything mechanical, lacking in the area of biology, but that's where knowing how metals and elements reacted with one another fit in better. He knew when he saw a car if it was a pricey one- and this one definitely was.
It was a beautiful Mazda, a bright shade of blue with white markings on the grills. A man, young at that, was driving it. He wore a set of red shades while the man next to him, looked humorously out of place.
He was bald, maybe a little younger than one should be for having a near reflective head, but the piercing eyes made up for that.
"Nice car." Tony nodded, not making a look to his (More impressive) silver Maybach.
The driver snorted, showing that he was barely older than Tony, maybe 20. (Tony was 17) But then why wouldn't the man be driving?
"Scott, leave us." The old man stated, the kid with the shades nodded, hopping over the edge of his car before trotting away, apparently on a walk.
Tony blinked staring at the old man who smiled from his seat.
"Hello, young Anthony. It's a pleasure to meet you." He nodded, closing the trunk before moving around the side towards his car door.
"My name is Charles Xavier. I run a school, for gifted students." Xavier stated and Tony froze.
Xavier. That was a name he had come across often in his research to find out…what, he was. Xavier was the one who found the X-gene, the genetic categories and how the mutant gene affected each and every one…at age 20.
If Xavier was here, then that meant that he wanted Tony. Tony hadn't done anything to attract attention recently, so the only option as to why said man would be here was if he was with the-
"I'm not with the government, nor am I here to discuss something about your father. I am here to talk to you, young Anthony, and to ask you if you would like to attend my school." Xavier stated, and Tony frowned, a slight smirk turning on his lips as he opened the door to his car.
"Sorry, but I just got my degree. I'm not looking into another-"
"No, no. You misunderstand me." Xavier stated with a slight smile as Tony frowned, looking over his shoulders.
"What is there to understand?" He asked with a snort, and Xavier locked eyes with Tony.
Tony recoiled sharply, hip colliding hard against the side of his car, breathing accelerated slightly as he stared at Xavier who blinked calmly.
"You- but what just-" Tony stumbled and Xavier let out a light laugh.
"Yes. I did, I am a telepath, I assume you understand what I mean, when I invite you to my school?" he asked, and Tony blinked in surprise, wheeling back slightly.
'What? An entire school of mutants? How are there so man-'
"There aren't at the moment. I intend to expand outwards once we meet more and invite them. You met Scott, he is my longest pupil. There is also Warren, who is away for the meantime, as well as Jean."
Xavier smiled while Tony hesitated, hand on his car door.
"…If I do go- not saying that I will." Tony started while Xavier smiled.
"I'll be able to leave at any time, right? I don't have to stay there for years or anything." Tony asked.
"Of course not. Students are free to leave at any point of time- unless you feel that you'd prefer not going at all." Xavier added, knowing full well what Tony's choice would be.
'Damn Mind Reader.' He mentally grumbled, frowning as Xavier chuckled.
"…Give me a moment." Tony nodded, drawing out his phone and ignoring the butterfly feeling s as he moved to the opposite side of the car, dialing a familiar number and waiting.
"Obbie- hey is dad around?" Tony asked, looking around the outdoor complex as he listened.
"No, the big man's gone to a board meeting, why? Did you get in trouble at MIT?" Obbie asked on the other end and Tony bit his lip.
Either he could wait and tell his dad later, or he could ask Obbie…Obbie wouldn't have too big of an opinion change, right?
"Hey- can… can I ask you a question?" Tony asked, his voice oddly quiet and out of character, Obadiah was instantly on alert.
"What is it? What happened Tony?"
"It's just-" Tony winced, he shouldn't use himself as an example, "There was a kid in one of my classes. He- he turned out to be a mutant, and-"
"A mutant? You're okay, right? Give me the name of that kid- I'll expel him! What was the school thinking, enrolling a thing like that!"
Tony flinched, asking quietly. "What's wrong with a mutant?"
"What's wrong? What's WRONG? They're freaks Tony! They aren't normal- they shouldn't exist!"
"So you're saying they should just be dead?" Tony asked quietly, and Obadiah sighed on the other side.
"Just…distance yourself, okay? I'm scanning that school, if I see a single thing that gives away that mutant, he's gone. Got it Tony?"
"It doesn't matter- took my exams early. I'm going with a few friends for a while, okay?" Tony asked, looking back at the car which had Xavier, the driver still hadn't returned yet.
"A few friends? Sure, keep your phone on you in case you need to call us or something. See ya' Tony."
"you too, Obbie." Tony mumbled, hanging up with click while he breathed, staring at the phone with his hands trembling ever so slightly.
He wouldn't tell anyone. Ever.
"I'm not going by the name Tony Stark." Tony deadpanned the moment he returned to Xavier who lifted an eyebrow as he probably skimmed Tony's thoughts.
"It is normal for students to take a nickname when they develop their mutant abilities." Xavier added and Tony shrugged.
"Whatever- call me…Ashton, Tony can be short for it, and my last name…" Tony frowned- it wasn't often you had to change your entire existence.
"Carter. You seem rather fond of Mrs. Carter." Xavier added and Tony sent him a dry look.
"Keep your head out of my thoughts, and I won't mess with your stuff." Tony sniffed while the other man smiled, pupils narrowing a second before Tony turned, the driver from before walking towards Tony, red glasses still in place.
"Scott, this is Ashton Carter."
"Call me Tony." Tony winced- he was so going to forget his name.
Xavier was helpful, surprisingly. Tony expected him to be in the dark with his, apparently, energy conversion mutation.
"Try and light it up." Scott offered, sitting in one of the many bunkers under the building, most of the mutants practiced dangerous or odd mutations down there to minimize harm or damage to the rest of the building, or population.
"I can't hold it long if I'm not connected to its circuit." Tony stressed, but Scott scoffed, rolling his eyes behind the shades and pointed up at the light with an expectant face.
"Fine- fine." Tony rolled his eyes, taking a deep breath and looking at the light.
He could feel the faint butterflies, ever so slightly tickling his mental walls, and he tugged, trying to get them closer. He managed to brush one, just enough that the bulb lit up momentarily before Tony gasped, leaning against his legs in a pant.
"I can't- I can't reach it." Tony gasped and Scott frowned, looking at the single light that was off.
"Is it too far away?" Scott asked with a frown, and Tony shoot his head finally gaining his breath back.
"No it's- it's not connected. I run on connections, points and a long path to get to one thing. Air…Gasses aren't the best conductor." Tony groaned, flopping onto his back and stretching out.
"…You're on the ground, aren't you?" Scott asked, Tony flashing his eyes open as he froze, seeing Scotts grin.
Tony had always been reaching for wires, circuits and electric means to activate things he wanted to…Could he use anything?
"Give it a shot." Scott nodded to the light, and Tony locked his jaw.
The butterflies were just out of reach again, but maybe…closer? Tony pressed further, and grasped them, tugging them back to him through the stone and along the walls- making a complete feed loop with him as the battery source.
The light flickered, turning on and staying bright as Tony stared, gently feeding the light, enough to keep it bright, but not too much to break it.
Scott looked at him and gave him a nod.
Tony couldn't help but laugh.
Jean was nice- she was still learning to control her telepathic and telekinesis power.
Amazingly enough- Tony felt intrusions.
It was like static, unlike the original comforting buzzing and fluttering feeling of butterflies, this was more like a disrupted current, which was actually what it was. (He thought) He could feel the intrusions,
He had looked into it (Dummy being surprisingly good at searching the web) and he found a conclusion, Psionic Energy.
It was the energy and ability to use mental energy, the mental version of his talent. This caused him to be slightly more intrusive on the web, seeing if he was the only one who could…absorb energy.
"I met a man, a long time ago, who could absorb kinetic energy, just as you." Professor Xavier stated, rolling out on his wheelchair, causing Tony to spin in alarm from where he sat on the couch, nearest the small TV (He was going to buy a better one).
"What?" Tony asked in alarm, blinking in surprise as Professor X smiled instead.
"His name was Shaw. He could absorb Kinetic Energy, and manipulate it to increase his Strength, Stamina, and Speed." Tony smiled- if he could do that…
No, he didn't want that, he enjoyed working with machines, and that was good enough for him.
"What happened to him?" Tony asked quietly, and Professor X sighed.
"He meddled with the affairs and childhood of one of my old friends. He did not survive when they confronted." He spoke quietly, and Tony didn't press the issue.
"What is more important to know, is that your body can only hold so much energy, if you exceed that limit, you may fall into a coma, or even result in death. Do you understand, Anthony?" Professor Xavier stated, completely serious- the use of his full name was something in itself. He hadn't been called Anthony by anyone since he arrived here, four months ago.
"Yes Sir." Tony nodded, and Xavier smiled, nodding before returning to his room, presumably to work.
Tony had Dummy look up anything on said man- a mutant called 'Shaw'
When nothing showed up, in Tony's desperation, he tried doing something he had never done before.
"Okay Dummy- hook up those sensors, and tell me if they're trying to get back in." Tony nodded towards the two laptops on his right, and the robot wheeled over, watching the screens intently.
Tony cracks his fingers, taking a deep breath as he began to type on the computer in front of him, he was going to hack.
He was going to Hack into the Government.
He had asked on the first day if he could have the room the furthest away, Xavier understood that he didn't want to be recognized by any visitors, so he obliged.
That and the 20 year old Redhead known as Jean would probably kill him if she found out.
"Okay, first firewall is down." Tony muttered, his robot twisting his head as he watched the screens that documented his trail, sending it to several different countries before eventually to a satellite.
Tony frowned at the new firewall, typing in a code that should create a doorway through, and slipped past with ease and a released breath.
"Okay, we're in…Shaw….Shaw- check under the mutant registration…and….There. Sebastian Shaw, deceased. Killed by….Magneto? Professor X was friends with Magneto?" Tony blinked, recoiling as he shook his head, noticing the date and snorting.
"Okay, that was a while ago- wow…Okay, Government used team of mutants to counteract the 'Hellfire Club?' Okay, Evil Mutants, and leader of the group was…Charles Xavi-" Tony bit his lip not to laugh; Professor X had hair, brown hair and was documented with several other mutants, real names and codenames.
Dummy snapped his claw in alarm as Tony was halfway through reading someone named 'Banshee's' profile before snapping his head and looking- someone was on his trail, and gaining fast.
"Crap- reroute it to Mexico, then send it to all the countries in the Middle East." Tony fire off, quickly trying to alter his path and remove the gateways used to sneak into the fire.
Dummy clicked again, and the tracer was right on him.
"There's got to be more than one of them on me." Tony cursed, and in a desperate attempt, pressed his fingers into the keys roughly.
He felt the butterflies, and just as he was about to shut down the com, he felt something…Not bad, but not warm. Like a warm draft of air that wasn't really needed.
"Dummy…I think I'm in the internet." Tony spoke low, tracing the warm draft before feeling the tingle, and grabbing it roughly, making sure not a single bug escaped as the draft seemed to break, splitting and vanishing suddenly as he left no power on the other side.
He turned, looking at the computer and sighed with relief- they were off his trail.
"Thanks bud." Tony grinned, high five-ing the robot.
Xavier wasn't happy when he found out. Rather upset with how Tony went behind his back (Tony didn't know that he was disobeying anything.) to find out about Shawn.
Professor X never shouted at him, and that was better than his own father.
Exactly 1 year after joining Professor X, more students finally showed up.
There was a lady named Ororo, blonde hair and dark skin. She was their one day, just long enough for Tony to take one look, and feel butterflies fluttering around her to a degree, that if he took all her energy, he'd never have to sleep for years.
He distanced himself, and they never met afterwards.
Scott was busier with Xavier, working with the Cerebro thing. (Some sort of device that made it so Xavier could find all of the mutants, or something like that.) And that Warren guy was gone again. Tony hadn't even seen the supposed wings he apparently had.
Jean was nice, she was growing on him ever so slightly, as an older sister. She wasn't that much older, she was 22 and he was (now) 18. Only a 4 year gap.
What was worse was in that year, he never got a single call from his parents.
Dummy had been upgraded to a finer degree, the AI perfected until Dummy actually gained a personality of his own (Albeit odd one). Tony didn't want the other students or visitors to see him, so Dummy entertained himself staying locked up in Tony's room, full of odd inventions or insane ideas he had thought up.
What the others didn't like, were the weapon plans.
Tony knew that one day; he'd have to take over the business. (Xavier knew at least. To everybody else, he was little Ashton Carter. A taciturn little guy who hid in the corner). He was designing missiles already, fixing weapons and faxing them over to Obadiah, who didn't care how he was, as long as they got the plans.
For Christmas, Tony upgraded Xavier's wheelchair into one that could run on its own, and didn't require hand pushing. For Scott, he had fixed those red sunglasses into a sort of sideways visor, a dial on the side so he could use his laser vision whenever he'd please to.
For Jean (Who didn't have another name) he got her a necklace. Gold, studded with large rubies in a clump in the centre. She didn't outright love it, but she didn't deny it. She had been suspecting his illegal activates, (She had found one of his computers partially hacked into the CIA after he made an automatic system to hack in on its own)
For Warren, he got a silly little angel statue, just a gag gift since he never actually saw the guy.
Ororo…she was different. Tony didn't have a clue as for what to give her. So instead, he passed her an IOU card, and just gave a small grin for her confused look, mouthing 'I'll give you a great gift later'
She rolled her eyes and vanished, not overly caring or paying attention to him.
Two years after him joining, he got a call on his cell. The first call in a long time.
It was his parent's private doctor team, stating that they had….that they had passed away in a car accident.
Tony left that night.
The others went out looking. However, they went looking for 'Ashton Carter.' Not Tony Stark, who was currently living it large on some odd resort in the middle of Cuba.
He had traveled, taking Dummy and storing him at his dad- his house until further notice.
Nearly a two years after his parent's death, two years since he left the school, he stopped by.
He was surprised by the insane amount of students that had apparently appeared out of the blue from his disappearance. Nearly two to a room where he used to have one all to himself. Classes were now taught on a schedule, teachers set up for each person.
Tony walked in, looking completely different with a Goatee (Of all things) and a mustache that changed his entire face.
"Can I help you?" Jean asked, noticing him standing in the doorway, but not completely recognizing him at first.
"Yes, I wish to speak with Charles Xavier." Tony nodded and Jean vanished, red hair flying behind her as she moved on, some eight year olds rushing past her to get to a history lesson.
Times had definitely changed.
Charles recognized him at once, (Or maybe his mind) and he offered to go for a walk around the perimeter, and Tony followed, not one to say no to such an act of kindness, and privacy.
"Anthony, how have your travels suited you?" Charles asked, striking up a conversation.
"Well. India's rather nice this time of year." Tony noted and Xavier chuckled ever so slightly.
They walked in silence, after a while, Xavier striking up a conversation again.
"I assume you returned for a reason? Not just for a pleasant visit. Hopefully, your abilities have not been acting up." Xavier smiled, and Tony sighed with a grim smile.
'No…I'm here to say goodbye. I'm taking control of Stark Industries in a few days, and probably won't be seeing you again for a long time, if I ever do." Tony sighed, and Xavier sighed.
"It seems this must be. Very well, I wish you well, Anthony. Perhaps, we shall meet again." Xavier smiled, and Tony did also, hesitating ever so slightly.
"Hey- how do you get mutants from faraway places?" Tony asked, already schematics forming in his head.
"Really, it's not necessary." Xavier quickly added, seeing what Tony was thinking of.
"No- its fine. Least I can do to repay you all. Besides, all cool schools need a private jet- what about the name 'Blackbird'?"
Xavier made a sound of protest Tony completely ignored.
"Eh, doesn't really matter because I'm building it anyways. " Tony shrugged and stood turning while Xavier rotated, calling one last thing.
"If you ever wish for anything, I am always willing to listen." Xavier stated. And Tony hesitated, not sure on what to do.
"True, but I don't think I'll be willing to talk."
Then, Tony Stark walked out of Greymalkin Lane.
He jumped into a car he had, had for a long time, his Maybach, and drove away.
He didn't look back.
There! Hope you like it. I did alot of reaserch to find the ages and everything. If you think they're wrong, take it up with Marvel, not me.