Story Info

Title: Unrest

Author: Del Rion

Fandom: Iron Man (MCU)

Timeline: Iron Man 3 (right after the nightmare & Tony calling the armor in his sleep)

Genre: Drama

Rating: K+ / FRC

Characters: Tony Stark (Iron Man). Mentioned: J.A.R.V.I.S., Pepper Potts

Pairings: implied Pepper/Tony

Summary: Tony suspects calling Mark 42 in his sleep could be a sign of a deeper connection to the suit than the implants beneath his skin are capable of offering. That shouldn't be possible.
Complete. Part of "Genius, AI & Bots" series.

Written for: My card on Trope Bingo's Round 2 (square: telepathy / mindmeld)

Warnings: Implied anxiety attack, dark thoughts.

Disclaimer: Iron Man, Avengers and Marvel Cinematic Universe, including characters and everything else, belong to Marvel, Marvel Studios, Jon Favreau, Shane Black, Paramount Pictures and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. In short: I own nothing; this is pure fiction created to entertain likeminded fans for no profit whatsoever.

Beta: Mythra

Feedback: Very welcome.

About Unrest: Because Tony called the suit in his sleep without any major gestures and Mark 42 was looking at him before Tony ordered it to shut down. It begs the question…

Story and status: Below you see the writing process of the story. If there is no text after the title, then it is finished and checked. Possible updates shall be marked after the title.


. . .

Written for my card on Trope Bingo's round 2 (square: "telepathy / mindmeld")


Tony knew it wasn't just the micro-repeater implants beneath his skin, or the motions connected to control the arrival of the Mark 42 suit; he called it in his sleep, and there was no excuse for that.

Just to be sure, he had checked the security feed, and there hadn't been any noticeable flailing while he was caught in his most recent nightmare.

The signals of distress that the suit responded to had to have come from somewhere else, and the only place Tony couldn't properly chart was his brain. His designs for the autonomous prehensile propulsion suit hadn't reached that far, and Mark 42 was just the first prototype, but somewhere deep beneath Tony's skin, they were connected.

For the first time, Tony was faced with the possibility that he was telepathically connected to one of his armors – which was ridiculous, obviously. Such a thing couldn't be done yet, or he would have tested it and utilized it.

'I must have called it in my sleep.'

Tony sat on the bed and stared down at the pile of metal that had, only a little while ago, been a suit of armor, acting on its own – acting seemingly on its own; Tony keenly remembered the moment of waking up and realizing Mark 42 was in their bedroom, leaning over Pepper, pressing her into the bed; her panicked breaths in his ears as Tony rolled over and for a fraction of a second stared Mark 42 in the eyes.

The armor hadn't been looking at what it must have perceived as a threat – Pepper – but at him, all the way until Tony commanded it to power down and struck it, making it fall apart.

He looked at it, the familiar pieces on the bedroom floor, scattered and lifeless.

Tony closed his eyes and forced himself to be still – to kill even the small tremors that lingered after the dream.

Something rattled faintly and he opened his eyes, just in time to see one of the armor pieces falling still again. He wasn't certain whether he was imagining it, or if it was some latent charge making it move. Maybe he had twitched the wrong way without noticing.

Maybe recalibrating the sensors would fix this. J.A.R.V.I.S. had seemed to think that was a good idea.

None of that was going to bring Pepper back to bed – not this bed, anyway – and Tony had lost his taste for sleeping. Not that he'd had much to begin with, knowing how it would go. For weeks it had been like this, over and over. Just, not with a suit, because that was new.

He looked at the pile of metal again, wondering that if he could telepathically connect with the suit… which, again, wasn't likely to happen for many years to come or without some rather revolutionized combination of biology and technology… that idea actually wasn't too far from what Tony was trying to achieve with the implants. Just… a lot smarter.

Of course, such a connection would be nigh impossible to turn off for sure, and accidents like this would become a daily nuisance. He might hurt someone unintentionally – someone like Pepper who was supposed to be safe with him and not endangered even further.

Tony leaned his head back sharply, banging it against the wall. He clenched his jaw, trying to breathe through the wave of guilt and horror that something might have happened to her just now, and he would have been too caught up in his dream to know. If she hadn't been able to make a noise… If Mark 42 had fired instead of just holding her down…

He didn't want to think about it. Not when his heartbeat sped up almost painfully and his chest felt like it was being compressed from all sides, his fingers curling helplessly. Tony needed to establish control over his life and soon. These… attacks needed to end.

Slowly, he forced his breathing to even out again.

He ignored the faint sound of several armor pieces settling back down onto the floor.

The End