Blug... I'm sorry this is so late...I've been super busy. I had some college visits and a convention and lots of other general mayhem.

I'll be updating To Thaw a Frozen Heart in the next day or two as well. Gotta get back into writing.

There were several things that Tony Stark really enjoyed about himself. One, of course, was his intellect; his ability to woo almost anyone he wanted was definitely a plus as well. However, now that he thought about it, his ability to function for days on end with very little sustenance and no sleep was probably the highest on his list. That is, until people; or in this case, a sassy AI; started bugging him to take care of himself.

"Jarvis, pull up the specs for-"

"Not until you get some dinner, sir, and clean up your tissues and mucus deposits."

Tony glanced around at the hundreds of tissues littering his workshop and scoffed. "I programmed you, dammit, you have to listen-"

"We've been over this before, sir. I'm programmed, first and foremost, to regulate your well being, and you are currently sick and malnourished."

"I'm not sick, that stupid cold has been gone for like a whole day." Scowling darkly, Tony violently stabbed at the tablet on his lap with a grimy finger. He knew that Jarvis was right, as per usual, but he didn't want to admit it, and certainly wasn't going to listen to the AI. No, there was absolutely no way in hell-

"I've ordered pizza, sir. The delivery boy is at the front desk currently, and the food should be brought up momentarily."

"What kind?"

"Two supremes from Lombardi's, sir."

A brief pause followed this exchange as a number of emotions flashed over Tony's features, finally settling on immensely irritated. "Damn you, Jarvis. Damn you."

Chucking the tablet unceremoniously onto the nearest table, the genius stalked out of his workshop and into the lounge, ignoring his decidedly ragged reflection as he flopped down to wait for his supper. Of course the AI knew his weaknesses; there was nothing Tony enjoyed more than stuffing his face full of pizza after surviving on nothing but coffee and some stale PopTarts for three days. Nevertheless, he was determined not to give Jarvis the satisfaction of always being right. There had to be some balance…

The doorbell (or Tony's equivalent, which happened to be an alarm loud enough to be heard through the whole floor) rang a moment later, jarring the man out of his thoughts. Ignoring Jarvis's commands to 'be nice to the poor man', Tony hitched his most evil-looking scowl onto his face as he snatched the pizzas out of a terrified intern's hands and slammed the door in his face; hopefully the kid would have some kind of breakdown later, just so Tony could say he accomplished something that day.

"You know, you could try to be grateful for once, sir."

"Don't need yer shit, Jarvis. 'M effin' tired." Tony collapsed onto the nearest couch, balancing one of the pizzas on his stomach. "Music please. Thank- Green Day? What is this shit? AC/DC, Jarv, get your shit together."

"Do we have a new favorite word, sir?" the AI asked dryly.

"Shuddup." Tony would have offered a more intelligent answer, naturally, but his mouth was otherwise occupied. Lombardi's was the best pizza in New York, he had better things to do than talk.


Seven slices of pizza and several AC/DC albums later, Tony dragged himself up from his spot on the couch and stretched, yawning widely.

"Jarv, get the bathtub started, please. No showers for Mr. Start today."

"Have you decided to be sweetly reasonable, sir?"

"Lord, Jarvis, you're so…backtalk-y. Yes, I feel less bad." Grammar be damned, he was Tony-fucking-Stark.

Shoving the remaining pizza into the fridge, Tony grabbed a cup of tap-water and made his way to the bathroom. The room was pleasantly warm when he entered; it did not take long for water to warm up wherever Tony was involved. Cold showers were definitely not his thing. After brushing his teeth to rid his mouth what he was sure was dead badger and downing his lukewarm water, he stripped down and eased into the oversized tub, sighing contentedly.

"Please try not to drown, sir."

Tony snorted and pushed some water over his chest and stomach, which weren't yet completely submerged. "I'm not gonna fall asleep in the tub. You would think that the guy I've been designing something for for three days would be more grateful about all the work I've put in…" He raised an eyebrow at the ceiling. "All the hard, hard work…"

Jarvis took the hint; though he was already entirely aware of what Tony had done over the past few days, he knew his inventor loved talking about his projects, and was willing to indulge him.

"Go on then, sir. I'm listening."

Tony grinned widely and began outlining whatever happened to be going on in his mind, slinging water around the room as he waved his hands animatedly.

Almost half an hour later, when Tony had talked himself into a stupor, Jarvis chimed in.

"Sir, I hate to interrupt, but you have a call."


"It's Captain Rogers, sir. Shall I tell him you are indisposed?"

Tony groaned and rolled onto his side like a pouting child. "No, lemme hear him."

Steve's voice echoed through the bathroom as Tony flipped back onto his back.

"Tony? You there?"

"Yeah, I'm here, Capsicle. What do you want, I'm wet and naked." Tony smiled with satisfaction; he could just see the horrified look on the conservative Captain's face.

"Erm, well… I was just making sure you were alive and, umm, Fury wanted to-"

"I don't care what Fury wants, I'm in the middle of a project. Unless aliens are attacking, I told him to leave me alone."

"Yeah, well, I was also kind of-"

"Is this important, Cap, 'cause like I said-"

"Yes, yes, I heard what you said-"

"And I was in the middle of a conversation-"

"Is someone there with you?" The good Captain sounded even more mortified than before, and it took every ounce of Tony's self-control to hold back the wicked cackle threatening to slip through his lips.

"Maybe, maybe not. Hey, I haven't slept in like three days, so how 'bout I call you back later, yeah?"

Steve sighed on the other end of the line. "Alright, Tony. Get some sleep. Fury will probably kill someone if you accidently die."

Tony scoffed. "I would hope he'd kill all of you, you're nothing without me."

"Sure, whatever you say. Bye Tony." Steve hung up before Tony could respond.

"Huh. Well that was weird."

"Perhaps if you had stopped interrupting, it would have been more fruitful," Jarvis responded.

"I have the distinct sense that you are rolling your eyes, Jarv." Tony finally began washing himself, using a little brush to scrape the grime from under his fingernails.

"You're probably correct, sir."


It took another twenty minutes or so for Tony to get acceptably clean and dry. Choosing to forgo pajamas, the exhausted inventor all but crawled from the bathroom to the bed, the past few days finally catching up to him.

"Lights, Jarvis…" The lights turned off obediently. "Don't let anyone interrupt my beauty sleep."

"Of course, sir."

"Okay, I've been letting it slide, but I really think I'm gonna take the word 'sir' out of your vocabulary somehow."

"Go to sleep, Anthony."

"Tony, dammit."

"I prefer Anthony. It's more elegant."

"Eleg-" Tony blinked owlishly at the darkness around him, eventually cracking a smile. "If you say so, Jarv."

Yey, all done. I hope I didn't forget any loose ends...

More Cap later, I think. And Brucie-bear eventually. Who knows, I need to plan these chapters better.

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