AN: This is going to be marked complete but I may add a new chapter later of something similar.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything that makes money.
Claire smiled as she finished the memoirs she had taken straight from Stark's head. Finally she could pay him back for the second chance he had given her. With this she could make his comrades understand him more. Reading it she froze doubting if this was the right choice. Should she take away his privacy. Finally she decided that the teams behavior when she got there would make her decision.
She frowned as she saw Agent Hill try to order Stark to make Shield weapons. She nearly laughed at Stark's insult and Small Hulk's sarcastic comment. She smiled at the Archer's rolled eyes and Thor's yelled approval. She was just about to leave now certain that she didn't need to intercede on Stark's behalf when Captain America and the hostile girl made their feelings clear. Both disparaged Stark for not doing his job to keep the world safe. Though her anger lessened when she since no true ill will from the soldier; not that her goodwill lasted long with the woman's animosity.
Watching Stark stroll out of the room and Thor calling after; she forced the others in seats. Noticing Fury missing she pulled him to the tower and dropped him into a seat. Seeing them finally stop there incessant struggling; she dropped the manuscript on the archer's lap. Smiling she disappeared.
I don't really know how I got stuck to this chair. Unable to move it or get up. One moment I was rolling my eyes at Hill's overstepped behavior. I mean the guy stopped for a damn good reason and now she thinks she can snap her fingers and make him start back. Ridiculous. I felt like smacking Captain on the back of the head. The man had no clue Stark's reason and just chooses to think the worst of him. I expected it from Tasha. For some reason I can't explain she holds a grudge against him. I had just been about to tell them to shut up when Stark had left the room and here I was glued to a chair.
Feeling something on my leg I looked down to see a couple of papers on my leg with a sticky note on top. Hearing the shouts around me I whistled gathering everyone's attention. "Whatever is causing this I thinks wants us to read these papers guys. I say we give it a try a find what were up against."
"What if during our preschool reading time someone uses this time to attack the city?" Natasha spoke condescendingly.
"Stark, took care of this city fine without us before I think he can handle it. We've spent the last ten minutes trying to get out of here. I say we give it a shot," Fury replied. Hill snorted.
Steve nodded his head in agreement along with the others. Clearing his throat read the sticky note " Dear Captain America, Hulk-man, Archer, Hostile Girl, Agent Hill, and Director Fury. A few months ago Stark gave me a second chance by proving that I didn't intentionally hurt others with my powers and I was sent to Charles Xavier for training. One of Charles techniques was for me to write what I learned with my gift. I decided I would pay Stark back by making you learn more about him. - Claire Hemsdridge."
"Wait so all we're doing is learning about Stark," Steve stated failing to hide the slight interest in his eyes.
Fury looked at the papers with interest, "I don't know about you but I wouldn't mind knowing about him. I really know anything about him that he hasn't wanted me to know. Especially since it seems some of the information I did get was wrong." He was staring at Natasha at the last comment.
That seemed to shut up any other comments and Clint began.
Tony knew exactly what people thought of him even if majority of it wasn't as true as everyone thought.
"Please, don't think to highly of yourself. You are exactly as you appear to be. A self-important playboy genius waiting for the next kick you can get out of life-" Natasha muttered to lowly for anyone but Bruce to hear. Bruce gritted his teeth and refocused.
One of the biggest falsehoods was the supposedly charmed childhood he had had. Some of the biggest load of crock he had ever heard. Those buckets full of toys everyone felt so jealous of him for having. To be frank they didn't exist. According to Howard the only toys he needed were tools to build more gadgets with so to make the Stark name sound more impressive.
"Surely, that's an exaggeration. Howard was too good of a man to do that." Steve said incredulous.
Hill humphed, "That's Stark for you. A drama queen from the get go."
Fury glared at his subordinate, "He's might not be exaggerating. The machines that found Wonder Boy over there was made by Stark when he was a kid."
All those exciting visits to theme parks and exotic places that everyone complained about how unfair it was for him to get to go on. He had to admit that he felt the most jealous of all of them. It was truly unfair how much fun the Tony everyone thought he was got to have. Personally the only times he was allowed somewhere other than home and Stark industries was when Howard wanted to show him off for publicity.
"Damn, remind me to make sure the guy goes to Disney World or something." Clint muttered out.
Bruce glared, "So when did he get to be a kid?"
Really the only way to explain the truth about him was to start from the beginning. To start off the little drama he was an accident. His mother, Mary, was a Captain America fan-girl. She was a marine biologist who eventually helped Howard in trying to find the Captain. Apparently she had created this delusion that the Captain would be so grateful for her help that he would just sweep her off her feet. Notice the sarcasm. Anyways, a few decades after this unholy partnership the two had a drunken night together and they were finally graced with my presence. Of course, back then when you got a woman pregnant you married them. So was the start of the Stark's unhappy marriage.
"Why was Howard so obsessed with me? We weren't best friends or anything. Heck I saw the guy as a bit of a rival for Peggy's affections." Steve questioned.
Fury looked uncomfortable for a moment before he decided to bite the bullet, "I have suspicions that he wanted to make more super soldiers that answered to him."
Clint cleared his throat before they could go into a long discussion and continued.
The worse part of Howard's obsession is probably when he went into the re-creative phase. Soon after I was born my mother lost interest in the Captain and put her foot down against Howard's expeditions. Howard apparently didn't take being away from his fix so to speak and decided that he would recreate the super-serum and that I would be his guinea pig.
"He Did What!?" Bruce snarled, "Did he not understand how wrong that could have gone. He could have killed him or worse."
"How can he handle being around me?" Steve asked shaking his head back and forth.
Fury stared disbelieving into space, "How did I miss this?"
Natasha stared unfazed and muttered quietly,"Doesn't excuse him for what he did."
It would be ten years before Howard would finish and during that time I become famous in my own right. I created a circuit board at four and an engine at six. At eight I created my first robot. His name was Pup and he was my dog.
"I thought Dummy was his first robot?" Hill let out bewildered.
Of course when Howard found it he went ballistic and threatened to destroy it if I didn't make some that could go underwater to help with his search. In the end Pup was still destroyed when the robots didn't find any sign of the Captain in three months.
Steve had his head in his hands,"Jesus, why is he this obsessed? I first felt honored that he cared enough to try and find me. Now I almost feel guilty."
It's not your fault, Steve. He would have just found something else to obsess over and use against Tony," Bruce spoke comfortingly.
When I was ten my father grabbed me by the arm and took me to his private lab. He could be explained as nothing short of insane as he ranted about how he would have Steve again and that I would put to some good use.
"I don't know about you Fury but that sounds more like he is in love with Wonder Boy." Clint commented.
Steve just stared uncomprehendingly into space.
Apparently Howard had actually tested it on some homeless man right before this and it had looked to be a major success. That was until the man literally exploded a few minutes after he left. It was only luck that my mother came home early and answered the phone from the scientist who was apart of the little project. My mother had barreled into him as the needle was only a few inches from my restrained body. I watched as her head was thrown into the wall with a sickening crack. Her last words before she fell unconscious was how the serum was a failure and her pleading him to stop. He had watched as her eyes closed not to open for four year.'
"Shit! What kind of monster is he? How did no one notice?!" Steve shouted appalled.
Fury looked towards the ground, "I don't know. He never showed any type of imbalance. Well he was a bit eccentric."
That seemed to snap him out of his obsession with Captain America. Unfortunately Howard only changed his obsession to making weapon and inevitably that included me. Except now I had a terrible weakness. The life of my mother. First it wasn't so bad. Make a cellphone and mom gets three more days with life support. It got steadily worse over the next four years. I went from gadgets to improving a Kepler vest. Then I was making a gun shoot father till I was making weapons from scratch. Each product bought my mother an extra day an extra week. Until finally she woke up.
"He used his wife to force his kid to work for him? Why did he continue it when his father died?" Hill asked disgusted and confused.
Mom sent me to MIT to protect me, but I wish I hadn't gone. I wish I was noble enough to say that the reason was that I wanted to save my mom from the abuse, but I would be lying. I mean I wish I could have protected my mom, but my reason was more selfish. I wish I had stayed because if I had then my most humiliating moment wouldn't have been splashed on every tabloid. Hell it wouldn't have happened at all.
"What could be so humiliating about a place that help him take what wasn't his," Natasha sneered out.
The others stared at her questioningly but she refused to explain. They would lose all pity for the disgusting filth soon.
MIT was terrible. The teachers were confident that my genius was all hype and that I got in 'with daddy's money'. So they were constantly trying to prove I was cheating. Then there were the students. Apparently at fourteen I was an alcoholic that thought himself too good to invite them to my nonexistent parties.
"College is supposed to be about exploring yourself and your future career. It shouldn't be about you trying to prove you belong there," Bruce idly remarked.
Clint was frowning, "Did Tony have any friends?"
So if I wasn't being bullied I had someone trying to worm their way to the family money.
"I guess that answers my question. Did ever get a break. No wonder he so messed up and seems socially awkward at times."
Then 'it' happened. I remember how the police officer I went to sneered at me and punched me for daring to use such a traumatizing crime to get more attention. The next week pictures went along with the names I had given the officer and my gang-rape was front-page news and labeled an orgy.
"Wait he was the victim. Oh God she wasn't trying to tell me he attacked her. She was trying to tell me she attacked him." Natasha gasped out.
"Wait you've been taking out some grudge out on Tony for something he didn't even do." Bruce spoke staring at her disbelieving. Every one else was giving her a hard stare.
Steve suddenly frowned, "He was underage and nobody thought about statutory rape. Where's this cop now. I'd love to give the shit a piece of my mind."
All my 'conquests' started coming out of the woodwork then. Apparently when your rich and famous rape isn't considered a crime. Hell you don't even qualify for statutory. Only one person seemed to realize that I was underage and the three men and one woman were twice my age. He was the only one to care and the one that talked me down from committing suicide. That was the day Rhodey became my best friend.
"So that's how the met.I just assumed they met through the military" Hill mused.
It was the day of my graduation that it happened. I remember being so angry at mom for not showing up. I also remember the self-loathing that I felt when I heard that they crashed a mile away from the college.
"It happened on his graduation day? Damn this puts a whole new meaning to College hell years." Clint remarked running his hand down his face.
Obie was the one to tell me. He was also the one that forced me to drink five shots of whiskey; until I was drunk enough to voluntarily get more. When he had drunk enough to get alcohol poisoning. Obie had taken him to a hospital. It wasn't until the board showed up did I find out that it had been a ploy by Obie to put me on probation for four years.
"I guess that explains why he continued building weapons. It was either that or lose the company. I need to apologize to him later about demanding him to make more."
"He forced him to drink. I wonder if I should see if he had a hand in the crash to," Fury murmured thoughtfully.
I'm actually thankful that I had those four years to prepare. I spent most of my time preparing for the shutting down of our weapons sector. I started reintroducing regular everyday gadgets into company so that we weren't a complete weapons company.
"I had wondered why it went so smoothly." Bruce commented.
Dummy and You were my first intelligent robots. I made them to help me and to make the mansion feel less empty. Everyone believes I made JARVIS to control my security and that he became my friend later. The truth is I made JARVIS to be my friend since Rhodey was mostly gone. I added the rest to JARVIS later.
Fury rubbed his temple. "He made robots to have friends. He isn't coveting revolutionary technology. He is protecting his friends. Well that put a new light on things."
The day I had gone to Afghanistan was the day my probation was over and I was in control of my company. I guess that's why Obie made the hit on me. I remember the sickening horror when I realized that those people in the Humvee with me were killed with my weapons. It's when I realized that I had put myself in the 'no accountability' category. I still wake up some nights screaming as I remember the feeling of hands in my chest or water in my lungs.
Natasha seeing Steve's and Bruce's confusion explained.
"He was tortured? Why wasn't informed of this. Hell why wasn't I told about the hit?" Steve demanded. No one answered him.
What hurts the most is Yinsen probably showed more care for me than even Rhodey and Pepper. A man that probably has more of right than most to hate me, because it was my weapons that killed his family. He is the reason that I'm no longer suicidal, because I just don't want to disappoint him.
"Cared more for him that Pepper? She's in love with him," Steve was baffled.
Bruce smiled sadly, "She only fell in love with him after he changed. Before that she tolerated him and randomly liked him at times."
It pisses me off sometimes; when some people treat me like I'm stupid. It's like they think that everyone can make a miniaturized arc reactor and suit from a box of scraps in a cave.
"I think that was a jab towards me," Steve grimaced. He was the one to lash out at Tony first on the carrier.
"All of us have done one time or another," Natasha offered.
When I got back I was surprised at how real the flashbacks were. Just looking at a tub or a pool immediately sent me back to that cave and being held underwater. I could practically feel the electrical shocks from the car battery. The worst part was that I couldn't even talk to a psychologist, because I would have lost control of the company. I dread to think of how much more blood would have been on my hands if Obie had gotten his way.
"I'll talk to him. I have a doctorate in psychology and I used to double as a scientist and therapist at times." Bruce announced seeing Steve's worried look.
When Coulson had shown up I had recognized the agency even though I had acted like I didn't. How couldn't I? Howard had been apart of it and I had been forced to make some of their technology. Right after he had left I had hacked into their information base and given JARVIS access. It was how I had known about Natasha.
"Why did I think he wouldn't recognize us?" Fury chuckled shaking his head.
I wasn't all that surprised to be only considered consultant material in the end. No matter what I did the woman went out of her way to take anything I did as a terrible misdeed. If I was polite I must be hitting on her. If I was indifferent I was acting like a self-important bastard. So her report wasn't really all that surprising. Though I had been glad when she finally left. The rest of my employees hadn't liked the constant disrespect towards me and them and took every chance to make a complaint about her. I had really been running out of leeway and soon I would have been essentially insulting them to keep her on.
"You better be damn happy I don't dock you for unprofessional-ism," Fury snarled at Natasha.
Though I was glad for the bad report since I didn't trust Fury; even if in the end I still worked for him. Of course his constant attempts to have Jarvis hacked didn't improve my feelings.
"Not the smartest move on my part. I didn't think of the fact that he could have ruined Shield if he wanted." Fury remarked.
I was pissed when I found them not even bothering to help Captain Rodgers past a basic explanation. I spent a few tricky weeks sending a package full of 21st Century crash course and personal items. Including WW2 Until Now, So You've Been Living Under a Rock: Technology, Cultural Phrases:2000's, Do's and Don'ts, files on his past friends, sketches, and a small photo album.
"He's the one that did that? I thought it was from Shield." Steve spoke amazed.
Bruce looked at him smirking, "I guess that answers your thoughts about him hating you."
I was actually surprised when Fury contacted me for the invasion. I had been point blank informed that I barely qualified as a consultant. I was suspicious about the whole thing from go. What had SHIELD been doing with the Tesserect before it was stolen? Why was it stolen? How was it stolen? Why did the person who stole it come with them without a fight?
"I should have asked that with my experience. Hell I snarled at him for asking it" Steve said disappointed with himself.
It really is pathetic that no one noticed me inserting that drive.
Fury looked furious at himself and his agents, "So that's how he got the information."
That is until Bruce Banner saw it after he shook my hand. I was glad to know he didn't trust SHIELD's intentions either. It truly was a privilege to meet a man with his mind. When I had noticed how avoided the apprehensive and downright hostile stares; I immediately tried ease his attention in the best ways. Quite frankly I don't give a damn how much Natasha and the others glared at me for bluntly pointing out the green giant in the room. All that mattered was how after the first uncertain look Bruce relaxed and had a more confident posture.
"He really is a good friend," Bruce smiled.
I guess I shouldn't have been so surprised or disappointed about Cap's disgust towards me. Howard certainly didn't like me and it was pretty stupid of me to hope that a man he had been obsessed with would. Though it was comforting to know that despite his feelings for me; he could be trusted not to use it against me in a fight.
"I definitely didn't make the best first impression," Steve grimaced.
When the invasion was over I was surprised when Cap apologized. I was also secretly thankful that he had stalled on closing the portal instead of immediately closing it after I went through. Like I heard Agent Hill muttering to Fury about what she would have done. Though Fury's reprimand to her had probably surprised me more than anything. Even him telling me that I would be a full member and not just a consultant.
"It's sort of sad that kindness surprises him," Clint frowned.
Bruce snorted, "Being treated like everybody else is what surprises him."
The most difficult part of my new found membership was actually making the Avengers happen. First I made Bruce an offer he couldn't refuse. Access to his own lab had made him absolutely giddy. Then I made sure everyone of them had their own space. I had actually made Cap two spaces in case he wasn't comfortable in the one modeled after his time period. His and Banners sincere thanks really made it worth Natasha's grumblings.
"I really need to apologize to him," Natasha winced.
Securing Clint and Bruce's safety had worked better than he had hoped. I had to outmaneuver six prejudiced psychiatrists and General Ross. Though I had fun teaching Ross a lesson. Though taking care of the other officials had definitely been less satisfying.
"He did that." Bruce and Clint said in unison.