Tony was only ten when it happened.
When he awoke one morning to the call of Jarvis, the Stark family butler, he had a uncomfortable feeling on his back, close to his shoulders.
Thinking nothing of it he groggily climbed out of bed and walked into his bathroom that joined on to his bedroom. Looking in the mirror he fixed his hair and stood there watching himself for a few minutes.
For a ten year old Tony looked fairly grown up. He was short for his age, but made up for his lack of height with his cockiness and attitude. His dark brown hair was stuck up in all directions, and his chocolate colored eyes glistened in the light of the bathroom window opposite the mirror.
At the moment he was only wearing his PJ bottoms, which were blue with the classic Captain America shield patterned across them. He was a proud Captain America fan, and his whole bedroom was filled with red, white and blue merchandise.
After brushing his teeth, he grinned into the mirror showing off his signature 'im Tony Stark' smile before turning around and walking back toward the door.
Looking one last time in the mirror Anthony Edward Stark was shocked. He quickly shoved the door shut and locked himself inside the bathroom, walking back over to the mirror and turning halfway around so he could see his back.
Producing from his shoulders were two strange bony bumps, one had a single small metallic red feather sprouting from it.
After that Tony had yelled so loud that he had awakened his mother and captured Jarvis' attention from father wasn't here this week as he was on a business trip.
Both adults raced up to Tony's room and hurried in, only to hear a few panicked sobs coming from the Bathroom. Maria Stark tried to open it but it was no use. It was locked.
"Anthony! Anthony are you ok?" Her sweet voice was laced with worry for her young son, who was sobbing behind the door.
Jarvis looked around until he found the spare key, and unlocked the door opening it slowly. Both adults rushed to the young Stark who was huddled in the corner, his head tucked between his knees.
Maria took her son into a hug but gasped as she saw the bony bumps producing from his back.
"Are you ok Anthony?"
"W-Whats w-wrong with m-me!?" He cried into her shoulder, hugging her tightly.
"Nothing is wrong Anthony. Your just different. And different is good." She told him stroking the top of his head in a calming gesture.
The small boy smiled at his mother, glad she didn't think he was a freak. His face fell as he though of something else, something worse.
"What about dad?"
Jarvis visibly winced at the question. Everyone in the household knew that Howard wasn't interested in his own son, but he hated mutants with a firey hatred and it would be devastating if he found out. He was about to answer when Maria had a idea.
"We'll find a way to hide them sweety."
So whilst Tony and his wings were growing Jarvis would wrap them in bandages every morning so that they were pulled flush to his body. Hardly anyone would notice apart from Jarvis and Maria, who knew the secret and could see it easily.
Luckily Howard never noticed. He was normally too drunk or too busy to care for his son anyway.
But as Tony grew taller and stronger, his wings consequently grew in length and width, and there came a time when the teen would wear a long trench coat in order to conceal their existence.
They now reached down past his knees, and the feathers covering them were a metallic red and the tips of his wings were covered in gold feathers that glinted in the light.
After Maria had found out Tony had wings, she asked Howard if Tony could be home schooled, so that she could keep an eye on her son. Howard agreed quickly, being more fussed over his work than his family's welfare.
So after that Tony was schooled by his mother and Jarvis, who knew just about anything when it came to the world. Tony himself would work out how to create invention and use the tools, which he was used to.
For exercise Maria, Jarvis and Tony would wait until Howard was on a business trip, and they had sent the staff home, before walking toward their private field, that was surrounded by empty land, and Tony would practice flying.
It was a amazing thing to see, the great wings caressing the air, glinting in the late afternoon sun.
It was even more amazing for the young Stark though.
He could feel the rush of air pass him as he swooped and swerved around the sky, yelling in joy and excitement.
When Tony was admitted to MIT he had whooped and hollered in happiness, even though he knew he wouldn't be able to even stretch his wings. Howard was somehow proud too, and had gave his son a hefty pat on the back, hitting his wings, though Howard never noticed Tony wince, and told him that he would have his own dorm so he wouldn't have to share with other, older kids.
For a time he was happy, learning things he mainly already knew and creating a AI for a 'simple' robot project (though his teacher had been amazed that whilst the others had made a small 'bot that was remote controlled, Tony had made a AI that he affectionately called Dum-E). That was until he was took home by his parents after graduation.
Both Maria and Howard(which was a surprise) were proud of their son, and were happily conversating with Tony, who was sat in the back of the expensive motor.
That was until some jerk decided to overtake the car in front of him and crash, head-on, into the Stark's car.
Tony was shoved forward, luckily surviving with only a few scrapes and bruises. His parents though were not so lucky.
Maria had died on impact, her neck snapping in two as it was flung into the airbag. Howard looked like he had hit his head and had probably died a few seconds after the impact.
The realization hit him that Tony was alone in the world. Jarvis had passed away two years ago when Tony was only fifteen and, Tony now felt his world crumble around him.
He was alone.
When he was twenty-one Tony took over the company from Obadiah Stane, Howard's old friend and business partner. The company was boring and he went through his PA's like he did coffee. And he drank a lot of coffee.
Then he met Pepper.
She had walked straight in the door, security following her as she stormed into the room. When one tried to grab her she reached into her bag and sprayed him in the face with pepper spray.
The guards backed off, though keeping a wary eye on the mad girl as she stormed up to Tony, who was sitting on a stool (his hidden wings wouldn't let him sit on anything with a back) trench coat on his shoulders and one eyebrow high in admiration.
"Sir, I think you made a miscalculation. And, even though your math is always right, and I have been fired because of trying to correct the great Tony Stark, but I know its wrong," She placed down the guilty sheet and pointed, "Here."
Looking at the paper where she was pointing, he saw she was right. He had somehow messed up and this woman had noticed.
"Whats your name?" He asked whilst correcting the numbers.
"Virginia Potts" She replied, looking for all the world happy that she was right.
"Well Pepper, how would you like to be my new PA?"
She frowned "Really? And my names n-"
"Of course. You start tomorrow. see you then!"