So this has been percolating in my brain for a while, so I thought I would finally actually write it down.
This will be a two-shot, the first chapter will be more humorous, the second will be HIGHLY angsty and will feature an Abusive!Howard.
I just wanted this to happen so badly.
I had to make this a thing.
No one liked seeing Tony Stark in a bad mood. He was a typically congenial man, always full of energy, bouncing around from idea to idea, always entertaining, and very loud. But when he was in a bad mood, he turned sulky and indignant, quite like a two year old in the middle of a tantrum.
That was the mood in which Tony spent the whole of the plane ride to Malibu.
He loved Malibu, and he loved his Malibu home, but he wanted to be in Avengers Tower. And he was very upset that none of the Avengers were going to be able to live there for three whole weeks!
The whole team, minus Thor since he was flying by himself with a hammer, was being affected by Tony's grouchy attitude. He slumped in his captain's chair, spinning it around and furiously pecking at his Stark Pad. The tension in the plane could be cut with a knife.
Natasha had had enough of it.
"Alright, Stark. Stop acting like a child. We're not going to Siberia, for God's sake." She shot Clint a glare when he snorted and muttered something that sounded remarkably like You would know. "I've been to your house in Malibu, Tony, it's great, an-"
"But I had things to do in the Tower!" Tony cried. "Repairs on two of the suits, my new design was this close to fabrication, and Banner and Barton had to go and-"
"Hey!" cried Clint, "How the hell is this my fault?"
"And besides, I only suggested this project, and it's not Clint's fault at all." Bruce replied calmly.
"Oh please," Tony rolled his eyes and spun the chair like he was a two year old at a barber shop. "You were the one that told me to make the birdie some new arrows, so it's your fault."
Steve looked up over his newspaper. "And you're trying to tell me that the great Tony Stark can't make a few explosive arrowheads without creating an explosion so big it causes significant damage to the frame of the building? No, Tony, it's your fault for somehow setting off all the C4 in the whole lab! You're just luck that you had the chance to run and shut the blast doors. So no more whining."
Two hours later, the Avengers all staggered through the doors of the lavish mansion, bags in tow. Tony immediately perked up and dropped his designer luggage, then snapped his fingers sharply, and stated, "Lights up, everybody, Daddy's home."
"Welcome home, Sir," the cool British tone of JARVIS intoned over the speakers.
"Is that the same JARVIS?" asked Steve.
Tony rolled his eyes at Steve. "Of course it is. He's in all of my houses, my suits, my cellphones, and I think a few of my shoes…"
The whole team rolled their eyes right back.
It only took a day or two for them to all settle into a rhythm. Tony still had his projects, Bruce still had his reading, Steve still had his punching bags, Thor had plenty of beach to share with Jane, and Natasha…she was finding ways to keep herself amused. But Clint felt antsy.
He didn't know this house, he didn't know the quick exits, and he didn't know his way around in the ceiling.
He had to do something about this.
It's not snooping.
It's being a good spy.
Soon after he began his 'not snooping,' Clint found himself in the surprisingly uncluttered attic. Well, that's something about Tony. Not nostalgic. He promptly dropped into a sitting position on the floor and started to rifle through the scant boxes that were stashed up in this forgotten corner, covered in dust. Mostly old projects, unimportant blueprints, and the occasional furniture piece filled the space.
Clint's eyes lit up as he found a white cardboard box with Tony's impatient scrawl—Kid Stuff. As he pulled off the tape and tossed the lid aside, a slow, evil smile spread across his face.
Steve and Bruce were having light conversation when Clint dropped out of the ceiling.
The captain jumped a mile, and Bruce flinched and crushed his mug full of tea. "Sorry, guys, but I have some classified information that needs to be shared amongst the team."
The other two men shared a worried look before launching into action. "Thor's out for today, he's not going to be able to be back for a few hours-"
"I'll get Nat and To-"
"No!" shouted Clint. At the looks he was getting he changed tactics quickly. "Uh, just Natasha. Tony doesn't need to hear this."
Bruce's eyebrows drew together "Ohhkayyy… I'll go get Natasha."
A few moments later, they were in an unused living room, complete with a VCR player. Clint had no idea why Tony kept such outdated equipment around, but JARVIS said it was the only one in the building.
Bruce, Steve, and Natasha were all on edge, waiting for the important material that Clint had to share. With a flourish, he dropped the box with a thump onto the coffee table in the middle of the small room. "This, my comrades, is the childhood of one Tony Stark."
A collective groan rose from his teammates. "Clint, did you go snooping again?"
Clint shifted uneasily under her glare. "Well, maybe, but you need to see this!" He reached in a pulled out a VCR and a small stack of pictures from inside the box. With quick motions, he popped the movie into the box, pressed play, hit the lights and was settled on the couch next to Natasha.
The picture showed woman, mid to late thirties, who was fussing with the camera, trying to get it to work properly.
"Is that Maria?" Steve asked. He never got to meet Howard's wife, but she seemed kind natured and beautiful, a perfect match for his old friend.
She settled it on her hand, and panned around the lavish kitchen, the décor of which matched the time stamp in the bottom right corner. 10:32 AM 10-26-79.
Bruce did some quick math in his head, "Tony must have been, what, eight?"
The camera picture bounced a little as she made her way through the hall, calling "Tony! Tony, sweetie, where are you?"
She turned into a garage/ workshop space, where a small brown head poked around the guts of a robot that he was currently elbows deep into. "Tony," she admonished gently, "Remember, I told you not to work on your robots today. We've got that project? Remember?"
With a gasp, the little boy whipped his head around, and said, "Sorry, mama, I'm coming, I'm coming, don't start without me!"
Natasha's eyes grew wide as she took in the face of Tiny Tony. Messy brown hair, huge brown eyes that dominated his face, and cute, pouting lips make the child look- "Absolutely adorable…" Natasha whispered. Clint shot her a look. It wasn't every day that Natasha acted girly.
Tony gently extracted his hands from the machinery, and grabbed a relatively advanced looking circuit board, and began to fit it in place.
"Did you make that, or did Daddy help you?"
"Made it all by myself and it's gonna be great! Look, mama, watch!" The child flipped the bot onto its wheels, attached a mechanical arm with a few deft movements, and flicked it on. The robot whirred to life, and started to roll about the room.
"He was eight?" asked Steve incredulously, "And he made that?!"
Clint shrugged. "Kids a genius. I guess he started young, and never really stopped."
Maria Stark crowed her approval, "Oh that's lovely, Tony! Does it have a name, like the rest of them?"
"So this isn't the first one he had made…" Bruce mused
The little boy lay down on his stomach and propped his head on his grease stained hands to watch his creation go. "Dunno. Not yet, anyway." The bot drew closer to Tony, who stuck out a hand to pat it. "He's got to get a name that's perfect for him," Tony rested his hand on the ground. "and I don't know what would- OUCH!" he cried indignantly, as his robot promptly squashed Tony's hand. "Watch where you're going, you big dummy!"
Natasha said, "I guess that's Dum-E Mach I."
"Well, turn him off, and wash up, we've only got a few days and we still haven't even decided what we want yet."
"Yes we have!" The eight-year old looked at his mother like she had lost her mind, "I'm going to do what I did last year, except this time it's going to be AMAZING!" and the happy child jumped up and started to rush around the room, cleaning up enough to mollify his mother.
"If I could bottle that energy!" Bruce sighed.
The scene changed. The timestamp on the bottom now read 6:02 PM 10-31-79. Maria's voice came from behind the camera again, as she tapped on a door labeled "TONY'S ROOM."
"Are you ready yet, Tony?" she asked. "We were supposed to leave already. Trick-or-Treating has already started, and you're going to miss the good candy!"
"I'm coming, mama, just hold on!" came Tony's voice, muffled from behind the door. "OK, you can come in now!"
Maria pushed open the door.
Steve's jaw dropped.
"My god," Natasha breathed.
Bruce looked dumbfounded, "No way."
Clint let out a self-satisfied smirk. "Mmm-hmm. Told ya you'd want to see this!"
The room was large, and completely covered in red, white, and blue. There were flags on the ceiling, stars on every surface, and life size murals of Captain America painted on each wall. Tony was nowhere to be seen, amongst all the Captain America paraphernalia, so Maria called out again, "Where are you, Tony?"
And Tony came running in from the bathroom.
In a completely accurate, handmade, Captain America suit.
Again, Steve looked like he had been hit with a 2x4 in the back of the head.
The kid jumped up onto the bed, grabbed a replica shield just his size and began to jump, singing "Who's strong and brave, here to save the American Way? Who vows to fight like a man for what's right night and day?"
"Oh, god," Steve groaned, "he knows that stupid song…"
"Anthony Edward, get off of that bed!" Maria cried.
"Who will campaign door-to-door for America, Carry the flag shore to shore for America, From Hoboken to Spokane, The Star Spangled Man with a Plan!"
Bruce, Clint, and Natasha snorted at Steve's blazing cheeks.
"Would Captain America act like that?"
Apparently these were the magic words, because behind the cowl obscuring half of Tony's face, his eyes when wide with horror, and he immediately hopped off the bed, looking severely admonished. "No, ma'am."
"I was his role model?"
"That's right," and here Maria handed Tony a paper bag. "So what do we do now?"
The little boy brightened again, "I'm gonna go sock ol' Adolf in the jaw!" but as he made to run out of the room, he turned and added, "And I'm gonna get some candy!"
The screen panned around to follow little Tony prancing about the hall headed to go out for Halloween, just like any other kid.
This shall have another chapter on the end of it, and there will be angst
Okay ladies and gents. According to the interwebs, Tony Stark is 42. That means, that for this video, he was eight, and it was filmed in 1979. Wikipedia tells me that they came out with the videocassette form of home film in 1975, so this is historically accurate. I think.
Any divergence from Classic Marvel cannon is purely unintentional. I just watched the Iron Man movies, and I have headcannons.
If you're reading this, Paige Turner, thanks for the review on 'Proof' and for the recommendations for IM3. Also, GET AN ACCOUNT YOU LURKING FOOL. I WOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO JUST PM THIS TO YOU INSTEAD. For the rest of you who are lost, Paige Turner is my only IRL Fanfiction buddy. I ate a banana in her honor today.
Reviews are love! The best review gets a sneak peek into the next chapter! So make them good!
You Know You Wanna Be Kate!