I haven't been on here in a while, but my muse struck.
Disclaimer: I do not own Ironman…or Tony Stark.
Rated T for mild descriptions of abuse and torture.
There's a lot of repetition in this.
The day Anthony Edward Stark was born, Howard was in a meeting in Beijing.
Maria Stark had clung onto the rails of her hospital bed, as she screamed in agony while the nurses tried to soothe her.
It was a long birth, and Maria was in labor for more than twenty four hours. And she watched as each couple came in together, and left together with a newborn baby.
She was the only one in the ward who did it alone.
Howard didn't come back until she was already released from the hospital.
He had looked at the baby, scoffed, and left the mansion.
Maria doesn't mind. She's used to it.
The day Anthony Edward Stark made his first circuit board, Howard dismissed it.
"Sloppily made, and it took you a whole day to make? I expected better," he had said. Tony's eyes had filled with tears, and he had fled the room.
Tony didn't come out of his room for a week.
Maria had long given up. Tony always craved his father's affection, never hers. She supposes it's because a son is supposed to look up to his father, and his father is supposed to be his hero.
But Howard finds that spending his time finding another hero was better than being one for his son.
She supposes it's okay.
The day Anthony Edward Stark graduated from high school, Howard was searching for Steve Rodgers.
Maria was there, but she might as well wasn't.
When Howard had returned from the search, Tony had finally snapped, and it resulted into a full-blown argument.
The tension that had built up over the years, had finally come to a close.
Maria stood there as father and son shot out profanities at each other, and in that moment, she knew that they could never be more different.
The moment that the first vase was thrown at the wall, Maria retreated into the dining hall a corridor away.
When the argument stopped, Maria walked back into the living to bring Howard to bed.
It was then that she saw Tony on the floor, clutching his jaw while Howard had his fists clenched at his side.
Maria had grabbed Howard by the arm, pulled him out of the room, and left Tony on the hardwood floor.
It was then that Maria knew that the final stiches had been sewn shut, and that Tony would be out of the mansion by dawn.
After that, 'dad' became 'Howard.'
The day Anthony Edward Stark graduated MIT, Howard, for the first time, expressed his pride in his son.
It was too bad that Howard and Maria never made it to the ceremony.
A car had hit them from the side, and they had skidded down the road, and flipped in a ditch.
They were dead on arrival.
Tony didn't know until he was called from the ceremony after he received his diploma.
He went to the Stark mansion that night, and for the first time, drowned his sorrows.
Howard and Maria watch him from above.
The day Anthony Edward Stark was kidnapped in Afghanistan, Howard Stark felt like he couldn't breathe.
He watched his only son get beat up by the Ten Rings, and watched him get submerged in water until he was practically begging for them to stop.
He watched his son make a suit made of iron, and watched him as he shed silent tears for his lost friend.
When Tony was found, Howard knew that they couldn't be more different.
The day Anthony Edward Stark announced that he was shutting down weapons manufacturing, Howard couldn't blame him.
He had watched his son cower in the helicopter on the way back to the U.S. military base in Afghanistan, and watched him slowly break.
Even from above, Howard Stark could see the broken look in Tony's eyes.
He supposes he's partly to blame.
The day Anthony Edward Stark showed Obadiah Stane that the arc reactor worked, Howard couldn't help but feel a little bit proud.
His son had managed to complete something that he never could.
Howard thinks that he knew Tony was better all along. In more ways than one.
The day Anthony Edward Stark was almost killed by Obidiah Stane, Howard felt betrayed.
That day, he and Maria watched as their son was blasted by their friend, beaten black and blue, and almost killed if it wasn't for a Pepper Potts.
Howard knows that if he was alive, he'd approve of Ms. Potts.
He knows that Tony must have felt betrayed, and that his trust issues would worsen. He supposes that's his fault, too.
But Howard couldn't help but feel more betrayed when Tony attended Obidiah's funeral when he didn't attend theirs.
The day Anthony Edward Stark announced to the world that he was Iron Man, Howard realizes that the real hero he should have been looking for was in front of him all along.
Maybe if he had known sooner, he'd be there with Tony.
And yet, maybe if he had known sooner, Tony wouldn't have found his way.
Howard can't help but feel fatherly pride whenever his son saves a civilian.
He knows the differences between Tony and him now – kindness and compassion.
The day Anthony Edward Stark found out he was dying, Howard couldn't help but feel a little disgusted with himself when he felt joy at the possibility of seeing his son again.
But he watched Tony drown his sorrows from above, and watched him accept his death just like he accepted Iron Man as a part of himself.
He watched as the fight left his son day after day.
Howard couldn't blame him when he threw that party.
He also couldn't blame James Rhodes and Pepper Potts for putting his son back in his place.
Yes, Howard decided, he likes Pepper Potts.
The day Anthony Edward Stark found the video, Howard couldn't help but feel scared.
He knew, in his heart, that he wanted to see his son's reaction, but more than that, he was scared to see it as well.
The day that video was made was a week after Tony made his first engine. Howard had been under stress at that time, with the Stark Expo and the deteriorating arc reactor project, Tony had been the last thing on his mind.
Until he remembered the engine.
That was when the left the video for Tony, just in case he wasn't able to make the breakthrough. It was hard to admit, and Howard had tried to suppress the memory of making the video, because remembering means that he considered failure.
Howard Stark doesn't fail.
The only thing that Howard Stark ever failed, was his son.
"He was cold, calculating, never told me he loved me, didn't even tell me that he liked me."
He watched Tony realize the gravity of his words, and watched his get straight to work.
He watched his son create a new element, and couldn't feel more proud.
Maybe he did something right.
The day Anthony Edward Stark was told by Steve Rodgers that he was nothing without his suit, Howard Stark knew he was wrong.
No, he knew Tony was more than that. From the day that his son got captured in Afghanistan to that moment, Howard knew that Tony was much more and much better than he and Maria could ever imagine. Everything he did since then proved that.
Tony was the one who shut down weapons manufacturing, not Iron Man.
Tony was the one who created a new element, not Iron Man.
Tony was the one made the arc reactor work, not Iron Man.
Tony was the one who changed for the better, not Iron Man.
No, Iron Man was merely the result of a good heart.
And Howard knows that Tony is worth more than ten of him.
The day that Anthony Edward Stark flew a nuke into a portal, Howard knew that his son was more than a genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist.
That day, Howard wished he could tell his son that he was made of more than iron, and stronger than Captain America's shield.
He wished he could tell his son how proud he was, and how sorry.
That day, Anthony Edward Stark became Tony.
That day, Howard knew that Tony was grew up to be the best man that he ever knew.
That day, he knew that the man made the suit.
And that day, Tony, not Iron Man, became Howard's hero.
Yeah, a lot of repetition. I sincerely hope it wasn't irritating! It was for effect.
I hope it was good. I've always wanted to know how Tony's father saw him as the hero he always was, despite his flaws.
Because really, flaws are what makes us.
Anyway, if you liked it, review and I'll write more Avenger one-shots :D
Reviews for the Angst Ridden Soul?