A/N: This is possibly the most depressing thing I have ever written, but it wouldn't leave me alone so . . .

This is Tony as a teenager after his parent's deaths. According to Wikipedia, he's 15 and in college at the time. If you happen to know better please say so, but I don't think it'll matter much in this instance. I dunno where it came from, maybe that awesome kid in Iron Man 3 inspired it, but I just want to apologize for making anyone cry.

Disclaimer: Don't depress me more by making me say it.


The funeral was over.

Obie had brought him home early, not making him stay for the small talk after the burial.

Thank God, because Tony was pretty sure the visitation before hand was about all he could handle of pitying looks and false assurances.

He sat alone now, on his parents' leather couch, in the sitting room looking out at the garden through large glass double doors. He was still in his black suit and only bothered to loosen the tie before he collapsed. His mom loved this room. This is where she'd sit and read while Howard pretty much pretended there was no world outside his office.

Stop it. He didn't want to think about that right now. Tony thought he did well throughout the funeral, keeping everything in check. He went for his mother after all. He felt oddly numb about Howard. He really didn't want to think about what that said about him.

Obadiah had walked out to take a call. Tony could hear the muffled sound of his voice, but not his words. Probably a reporter. Obie had done his best to keep the paparazzi away from Tony so far, and the teenager was grateful. The large grandfather clock ticked, but was otherwise the only other sound in the quiet room.

Tony blew out a shaky breath and stared out the glass doors to his mother's garden. The roses were the prize of the garden, because a rich family had to be snobby that way. But Maria had always loved the daffodils best, planting them randomly where she saw fit. She always said they reminded her of some old poem Tony never bothered to remember.

Tony felt his breath hitch and his eyes sting. Great.

Well, at least if he was gonna have a breakdown he could have it alone. He bent with his elbows on his knees and buried his face in his hands. He sat there like that and just let tears roll down his face while he waited for the worst of it. That's how it usually worked anyway. It started with a few tears then some heavy breathing and finally sobbing into his mother's lap.

Except she wasn't here for that part anymore.

Tony hadn't cried like that since he was twelve and still in a school system that forced him to associated with people who would never accept him or sometimes even acknowledge him, but he figured now was as good a time as any to feel sorry for himself.

So he sat with his face hidden listening to the clock tick and Obie arguing in the next room, feeling the uncomfortable wetness settle between his hands and cheeks.

Until he saw an unnatural flash of light from between the cracks in his fingers.

Tony's head shot up at the intrusion, immediately looking for the source. He was startled by the figure of a man standing outside the glass doors. A man holding a camera to his face.

The bulb flashed again and Tony flinched, unable to move otherwise for the moment.

He just stared as the reporter adjusted his camera, the stranger not realizing he was crushing a cluster of yellow flowers under his shoes as he stood there. When the man looked up again he saw Tony blinking in confusion.

The reporter, whoever he was, just smiled and shrugged. Then snapped another picture of Tony's wet face.

Maybe Tony should have called Obie, or security to get rid of the man. Maybe he should have been outraged and shouted at him. Maybe he should have thrown that crystal ashtray at the glass door and hoped to hit the intruder. He probably should have made a scene.

But he didn't do any of that.

That's what they wanted, after all, to see him break.

Instead, slowly, without wiping his face or acknowledging the man at all, he reached over to the side table and picked up the remote that would close the curtains with a push of the button (one of Howard's little improvements). He pressed the button and the curtains slid closed.

Before they hid him completely the reporter's camera flashed one more time.

The curtains closed finally and it was dark in the room.

Obie chose that moment to walk back in and carefully say, "Hey buddy, you okay?"

Tony didn't turn so Obadiah could see his face, which he was sure still had signs of his little fit.

"Yeah," he said too quietly, then louder, "Yeah fine. What's up?" If his voice was wrong, Obie didn't say anything.

Obie sighed, "Well, I hate to do this kid, but we gotta go up to your dad's lawyer. Business and all. Your parents' will has to be seen to. You understand, don't you, Tony?" The last bit sounded more like a fact than a question.

Tony, discreetly as he could, reached up to wipe his face and merely nodded.

"Great," Obie said and took a deep breath, "I'll get the car," and walked out.

Tony waited a few minutes to follow, letting himself calm down. He remembered to fix his tie and check his face one more time in the reflection of the closed glass door. He didn't have any more time to cry now. It wouldn't do to have Howard's associates see his only son look like he was mourning.

That thought settled somewhere in his stomach with the memory of the reporter probably still lurking in his mother's garden and made him feel sick.

He heard Obie calling for him down the hall.

The grandfather clock suddenly chimed.

His time was up.


A/N: Not sure how I feel about the ending. Little too cliché, but what can you do? Btw the poem mentioned is "Daffodils" by William Wordsworth if you couldn't tell and it inspired the title.

Anyway, why didn't Tony totally freak on the reporter? My theory is Tony was a little more well-behaved at some point in his youth and then one day he just got completely fed up with the world and just said screw it all.

Also, this may have a second chapter just so I can cheer myself up, I just don't know what it will be yet. Ideas? They are welcome.

Thanks for reading and since this is the first truly angsty thing I've written I would love reviews.