This part took a bit of time due to a number of factors, the biggest of which was, "there's something missing, and I'm not certain what it is.' As such, the original six revisions of this chapter are now cooling their heels waiting at least one, maybe two chapters from now, and you're getting this. Iron Man 3 was impressive in the fact that Tony was now three years into being Iron Man, and now understood just how far from the shallows he actually was. Avengers put him in over his head. Iron Man 3 dropped him to the bottom of the pond with a house on his back, literally. This is the house beginning to fall.
Trey Miller, author
Spoiler: Clark Kent is Superman
I suppose it was only a matter of time before the reality of my situation finally sunk in- almost two weeks, to be exact. I was walking about outside looking over my property and figuring out a new set of blueprints to take into the account centuries of erosion when it felt like a huge vice-grip was squeezing my chest. My vision was going dim, and I could barely hear anything through the pounding in my ears. I hit the ground.
"JARVIS, what's happening to me?!" Even though I wasn't wearing the suit, I was still linked to JARVIS by headset.
JARVIS' voice sounded concerned and so far away, "I'm sorry sir, I can't tell without any sensors on you. Would you like me to contact SHIELD?"
No, I didn't want SHIELD nosing around and annoying me. But between them doing that and me dying from whatever the hell…
"Yes! Call them!" Oh god, I was hyperventilating. What was it, poison? Did I get bit by something?
I didn't register the lights and sounds of the Federation transporter. I dimly felt hands rolling me onto my side and the cool press of something to my neck.
And then it was over.
I blinked repeatedly as I realized I was lying on my side, breathing fast. There was someone sitting behind me, holding something close to me, oh, one of their medical tricorders.
It was a guy, speaking to me, but my hearing wasn't quite kicking in.
"-ark, can you hear me? Mr. Stark?" I blinked and nodded. He sighed, "That's good. I'm Doctor Kilpatrick, Victor. You've just suffered from a moderately strong anxiety attack."
A panic attack? Me?
"Yes, a panic attack. Have you been under a great deal of stress recently?" Shit, I said that out loud.
Victor helped me sit up. "You're a member of SHIELD, right? They should have briefed you on me," I said.
Victor ran his sensor rod over me again, eyeing the tricorder. "While I am a member, I am first and foremost a member of Starfleet Medical. I was merely the doctor on duty when the higher-ups called. As for you, all I was told was you're to be given the Captain's treatment."
I seriously hope my brain kicks into gear soon, because I must look like an absolute idiot staring at him.
He stared at me over the tricorder. "It means," he said levelly, "I have the power and authority to confine you to bed rest for an extended period of time, and if you resist, I'm authorized to knock you out and take you back to San Francisco, strap you to a bed, and force you to rest."
I snorted. "You can take that second option off the table," I said. I stood up slowly, the good doctor keeping a hand on my arm, just in case. "JARVIS, the door, please."
The six-inch thick blast door retracted and I walked to the stairs. "Come on in, doc. We can talk in here."
"Do it have to do with why you were suffering the anxiety attack?"
I laughed. "That and then some." He followed.
JARVIS' voice truly was relieved, "I'm glad to see you on your feet, sir."
I waved between the two, "JARVIS, meet Doctor Victor Kilpatrick. Victor, JARVIS."
Victor actually looked surprised. "A working AI? Fascinating."
I shrugged. "I threw JARVIS together while running on coffee and hard liquor over three days and nights." I sat down on a stool and pointed to another, "Feel free to sit."
Victor did. He asked, "How does that pertain to anything?"
"I did that back in the mid 90's, 1990's."
He stared at me for a solid fourteen seconds quietly before nodding once and standing up, "Right. I suppose temporary insanity might be the best defense."
"For killing me?" That might actually be amusing to watch.
"While tempting, no. I'm referring to your obvious delusion." Victor pulled out a hypospray and fiddled with it. "Just sit still and we'll get you back to Starfleet Medical, and have a psychologist assigned to you."
I shook my head and sighed, "I'm not crazy."
"Never said you were. I said you were experiencing temporary insanity, probably brought on by your anxiety attack."
"I'm not suffering from- you know what, screw it. JARVIS, set it up." I stood up, walked over to the raised dais and stepped up. "Just watch."
The following fifteen seconds proved to me that Victor Kilpatrick was probably the most visually unemotional men on the face of Earth. He stared at me as I stomped down in the Mark VI's red and gold and sat back down on the stool. He put the hypospray away and sat back down also. I popped open the faceplate.
"So you're Iron Man," he finally said.
I nodded, "The one, the only. I got tossed through time and wound up here near the end of the battle for New York against the Chitauri invaders."
Victor nodded. "My maternal line is from New York. Several family members of that time filmed the events, and were saved by the works of your team."
"Nice to be appreciated." I stood and walked back over to the dais and let JARVIS remove the suit. My point had been made.
"So considering all of this, I would presume that your anxiety attack came from not having reached a resolution from all of the changes," said Victor.
I shrugged. I honestly wasn't sure. It's not as if I had anyone close to me still alive. Sure, SHIELD was requesting that I work with them to protect the planet but… shit, I guess I haven't exactly had the opportunity to get my mind in order.
"Well, as I said, I'm a medical doctor, not a psychiatrist or a counselor. That said, there are several counselors in SHIELD-."
"I'd prefer, if I do speak with a shrink, that they're not a member of the Men in Black," I interrupted.
Victor paused and then nodded, "Give me a day and I'll have a list of both Starfleet sanctioned counselors, as well as civilian counselors, if you would like."
"Sure, just beam down outside tomorrow whenever and we can talk."
He held out the hypospray. "I'm certain you will be careful and only use this if you have another anxiety attack."
"Not a problem." I take it from him and slip it into my pants.
"Just apply it directly to any patch of skin, although the neck is generally the preferred location- it delivers it faster," he said and stood up. "Eat something, and then bed rest. You can read, you can write, but do not do anything physically vigorous."
He glanced around, "I suppose you can keep him from disobeying, JARVIS?"
"That is highly unlikely; although, I shall endeavor to keep him at rest," said JARVIS. Right, he really is beginning to show an actual personality. I may have actually created a monster.
Victor nodded, "Fair enough. Mr. Stark, it has been…interesting, to say the least." He pulled out a communicator and opened it to the familiar chirping, "Kilpatrick to Starfleet Medical, one for transport, non emergency, San Francisco Medical."
A young female voice responded, "Acknowledged, Doctor Kilpatrick. Transporting now." A heartbeat and the doctor faded away in a dissolving stream of energy.
I stood and made my way toward the bedroom, grabbing a tablet on the way. "JARVIS, send whatever we've got on current transporter technology to this tablet. I think I'll take the good doctor up on his order, for once."
If I can build a transporter, oh, the things I can do...