A/N: It's done! Thanks again to my beta, Emrys Is Merlin.
Disclaimer: Otnay inemay.
The Supreme Court building was full of camera flashes and reporters. Everyone had heard who would be there today, and no one wanted to miss it.
As the meeting started up, Tony sat next to Pepper with the other 'witnesses' and tried to calm her down. He had refused to rehearse his speech with her, which made her understandably nervous, and now he was sending texts and making quick phone calls with an unusually serious expression on his face.
They called him up in short order, and he turned to Pepper.
"Just so you know, I did my research," he said quickly in an undertone. "There won't be any legal problems, my birth certificate checks out, and only an idiot would try to get me for misrepresentation. So don't worry, ok?" He flashed her a brief smile, but its effect was somewhat dimmed by the panic his words had sent racing through her thoughts.
Then he got up, and everything went silent except for the flashing cameras.
"Ladies and gentlemen," Tony said, looking out over the crowd, "you all know why I'm here. You know why all of us are here, in fact: to determine whether or not cloning should be banned." He paused. "I'm here to tell you that this is the wrong question. Cloning is an issue of ethics, but even once we've considered whether or not clones have the right to exist—" he somehow says this with a straight face—"we have to decide what will be done with them.
"If cloning is legalized, who is allowed to make clones? What limits are put on their treatment? Where does their DNA come from, and who is licensed to harvest it? And if cloning is banned, what will be done with the clones that are made anyway? Because make no mistake, there are clones out there right now."
Tony looked directly at the justices. "It's been pointed out that Biology isn't my specialty. However, I consider myself uniquely qualified to answer these questions. No, I've never cloned anyone before, and Stark Industries has no research into that area as far as I'm aware. But all the same, this is an issue that has had a huge effect on my life, in more ways than one."
He hesitated, wondering how to phrase the next part. "You see, forty-three years ago, Howard and Maria Stark had a son. They named him Anthony, and of course he was a genius like his father, and he had the personality of his mother. And people called him Tony, and naturally he grew into the most adorable five-year-old ever."
The way Tony said it, people laughed, thinking he was talking about himself. He grinned at them, a shark's smile that was all teeth and dark humor. He continued.
"And then that little five-year-old died."
The courthouse went silent. Cameras stopped flashing and people stopped whispering as everyone tried to figure out if he had really just said that.
Tony's smile grew wider. "But, of course, that was no problem for Howard, right? They'd lost a Stark boy, but it just so happened that he had a spare Stark lying around. All it took was a drive to his private lab, a bit of paperwork, and, hey! Presto! 'Maria, stop crying, I found us a new son!'" Tony imitated. "'None of your genes, unfortunately, but at least we know he'll grow up to be handsome!'"
He'd been waving his arms animatedly, and he paused to catch his breath.
One of the justices spoke. "Mr. Stark, are you saying that you are a…" He trailed off.
"Clone?" Tony finished for him. "That's exactly what I'm saying. My genetic makeup is identical to Howard's, and I grew up in a lab."
He folded his arms and leaned against the wooden railing. "Your Honors, my name is Antony Edward Stark, and maybe biology isn't my specialty, but I can guarantee that you won't find anyone who's thought more about the issues of cloning than I have."
He talked for a long time after that. There were questions, and demands, and accusations, and he had to respond to them all. Tony never let his trademark smile falter, ever-conscious of the cameras broadcasting his every move across the world.
It was hours later when he drove home with Pepper and Happy. There were tears on Pepper's part and many explanations on his, and Happy listened to it all with an exasperated look on his face.
It was much later when Pepper leaned against him on the couch in the Tower. "You know this is going to change everything, right?" she asked, looking up at him.
Tony smiled down at her. "Hey, I'm Tony Stark! What's the worst that could happen?"
They didn't stop laughing for a long time.
A/N: What do you think? I might write more in this universe, if anybody's interested-I have lots of ideas :). Not right now, though; I just started a Harry Potter story (Salazar Slytherin!centric, eventually might be Harry-is-Salazar if anybody's interested) and I'll probably be working on that for a while.
Have fun, and don't forget to review!