Chapter 1: Run
Tony stared at his pilot for a few beats as his brain spun.
Where did he want to go?
He knew where he didn't want to go, he didn't want to go back to New York to have to face an empty Tower without JARVIS, to the destruction of what had been his home. To the emptiness of the Tower considering the Avengers had made it clear that they had no intention of returning to the place that had been their home, choosing to stay at the Compound.
They had made it clear that they still thought that Tony was to blame for Ultron, and they made it clear what they thought of him. The screw-up. The fuck up. The annoying man that they had been lumbered with and was handy for his money, his designs and his public clout but not for anything else.
Pepper had walked out and left months ago because she couldn't understand his being a Superhero, she couldn't understand his PTSD and the nightmares, she didn't get that, and she had left. She hadn't meant to hurt him, she didn't want to, but she had.
Rhodey, well the conversation that they had had not long ago had consisted of 'what did you do now Tony?' and even though it was partially joking, it partially wasn't, and Tony had no clue what excuse he had muttered before hanging up.
"Mr Stark?" The pilot asked patiently.
Tony tugged out his Starkphone and tapped it quickly bringing up the demands that were already waiting on his schedule. Demands from Steve for designs and things that was needed for the Compound, demands from individual members of the team for things that they needed. Pepper with a huge list of things that would be needed for him to do because of what he had done with Ultron - phrased like that - plus all the additional normal massive list of demands from SI. Demands from SHEILD and already Coulson was asking him for things.
He had two choices. Drag his exhausted body back to New York where he had watched the dying remains of his second oldest and brightest child flicker out and no one had cared, fall back into the daily routine of doing what was needed and working himself to the bone to be faced with derision, no thanks and the expectation of more.
"One second," Tony said to the Pilot. He pressed Bruce's contact and called him, both hoping and not hoping that the other would pick up.
Tony nodded to himself as he hung up on being requested to leave a message. Bruce had left him to face the music himself, the same way he had when the Avengers had been attacking him for creating Ultron. Part of him understood, after what had happened with Wanda Bruce was wounded and he had run to lick his wounds. But in doing that he had left Tony to face the shit storm all by himself.
And speaking of Wanda. Tony pressed his fingers to his lips as his brain spun. He had voiced that he didn't feel comfortable with her being on the team, he had barely even mentioned the fact that she clearly hated him and that he didn't feel safe to know that he would have to rely on her to cover his back, he had pointed out that she had volunteered for HYDRA, that she had willingly been experimented on, she had gotten into his head and helped forge the way for Ultron, she had worked with Ultron happily right until the moment she had realised along with her brother that Ultron meant to wipe out ALL Mankind, including them. That wasn't them being heroes, it was them saving their own skin.
The vitriol he had received from not caring about Wanda, not understanding, being heartless and careless had hurt. Having the bomb that had killed her family thrown in his face hurt even more. It was as though he launched the bomb himself.
"I…" Tony started to say and Pilot perked up at the chance that he was going to be told where they would be going. "Scotland, we're flying to Scotland,"
"Of course Mr Stark, I will have us there in no time," The Pilot nodded, bless him for not even blinking at probably the most random request ever.
Tony settled back into his seat, the words on his tongue to say he had been joking and to go to New York after all, but then he remembered seeing the Avengers standing together laughing as he left. There hadn't been a space for him there.
Once they broke the clouds he got to work, first, he opened a bank account under a false name, and then passed funds through so many holdings that someone would have to be...well him to track it down. He then transferred extra money for his pilot and set up a hotel for him when they arrived in Scotland.
He organised a rental car for himself, until he could buy one, he sent off an email to the housekeeping company that looked after his house in Scotland and let them know he was coming and asked them to make sure that it was clean and had food for him.
He dealt with everything that he would need while he was there for...he didn't know how long. Even ordering clothes for himself to make sure that he had something to wear while he was there.
And then he sent the emails.
As much as part of him wanted them all to worry and, he didn't want to risk them tracking him down. So he emailed them. But he made it clear as well that he was exhausted and done. He would do designs that he needed to do for SI, he would not allow a company that hired hundreds of thousands of people slip because of him, but he also wouldn't be going above and beyond, after ten years he thought he deserved something of a holiday.
He emailed Steve and he made it clear that he was drawing a line in the sand, if they couldn't even give him the decency of hearing him out and letting him explain, they jumped to a conclusion as they always did and left it at that. He wasn't quitting the Avengers...yet, but he was also not tying himself in knots for them anymore.
They had a spending limit, and there was a limit on the types of things that he would be buying for them as well, they weren't going to be pissing his money away anymore. He had hired multiple SHIELD agents that had been burnt when SHIELD/HYDRA had gone down, and now he transferred them to the Compound to do the work that he used to do, including the designs for the Avengers. He made it clear that he would be willing to check over the designs, but he was not going to be spending hours upon hours designing equipment for a team that obviously thought so little of him, in fact, he couldn't remember the last time that he had received more than an absent thank you from them for something that he had spent up to 200 hours developing.
Pepper and Rhodey were harder. It had been a long time since he had told either of them no or stood up for himself with them. A lot of the time they bulldozed into his life because they thought they were doing what was best for him, and in some cases they were. But they had gotten used to not asking, just telling, and he had rolled with it, not wanting to drive them away.
But...they had hurt him, over the years, and this was the straw that broke the camels back for them as well. They jumped to the conclusion that he had done something wrong, ten years ago that would have been a fair conclusion to jump to, but not anymore, he had worked long, hard hours, with blood sweat and tears being torn from him along the way to make up for that. It wasn't a conclusion that they should jump to anymore.
Finally, he turned off his laptop and settled back into his seat, plugging in his earpiece and closing his eyes as he got comfortable.
"FRIDAY, you there sweetheart?" Tony asked softly.
"I'm here Boss, are you ok?" FRIDAY answered straight away. She was young, so young, he was going to have to take time to nurture her, guide her and look after her.
"I am good FRIDAY. We're taking a holiday,"
"That sounds fun Boss," FRIDAY chirped.
"It will be. I need you to run through all your code with me to make sure that you are nice and safe, can you do that for me please?" Tony requested and FRIDAY started reciting her code faithfully for him.
Partly he did want to make sure that she was safe, and partly because he needed to hear her voice right now, the ache from JARVIS so raw and jagged in his chest he needed to hear that his now youngest was ok.
Tony yawned to himself as he turned the car off the road and up the driveway to a large country house that would be his home for who knew how long. Though if he ended up here longer than 6 months he would have to look at getting a Visa.
He smiled to himself as he saw the light shining through the living room window, and saw that the fire was lit judging by the smoke trickling pleasantly from the chimney. He grabbed what he needed from the car and got out the car, his feet hurrying unconsciously to get into the house and to…
"Oh, Tonio!" The older lady stood with deceptive speed from her armchair when he stumbled into the room and rushed over to him. Grabbing his face she scanned him like she was the terminator, checking for any damage or hurt visible on him. Seemingly satisfied she yanked him in for a tight hug, one that felt like she was going to break his ribs.
"Aunt Angie," Tony sighed drooping into her arms.
"There there my boy, you're safe now," She hummed stroking his hair.
And for the first time, in far too long, he felt safe and looked after.
"It's all such a mess Aunt Angie," Tony admitted with a small sob as she guided them to the sofa and sat them down, still hugging Tony close.
"You're here now, you're going to take a break, you're going to recharge your batteries, and we will sort this out my darling," Angie assured him.
Somehow he found himself with his head on Angie's knee once he had cried himself dry, and was now staring at the crackling fire as she ran her fingers through his hair. It reminded him of when he had been little, normally Angie would be doing this while Peggy hunted down Howard and prepared to skin him alive after having hurt Tony yet again, Angie happy to allow her 'not legal wife' as they called each other, to the hunting while she comforted Tony.
"It is going to be fine sweetheart, you're going to be fine," Angie cooed to him.
"I hope you're right," Tony sighed sinking into her warmth, allowing those familiar fingers and the smell of her perfume to comfort him into sleep.
Chapter 2: Harry
Tony jerked awake looking around the unfamiliar bedroom with wide, worried eyes as his foggy brain tried to come up with the events of the night before that had led him to being in this unfamiliar bedroom.
He had gotten used to waking up in the country house on the outskirts of Stirling, and this was definitely not his house there.
He quickly looked under the blankets and was relieved to realise that while his jeans were missing he was still dressed in boxers and his T-shirt, and there was definitely no one in the bed next to him. The room had more of a 'spare room' feel to it going by the few storage boxes and a few items that were obviously in here for storage to keep out the way.
Frowning his rubbed his eyes as he tried to remember the night before. He had allowed himself the indulgence of going to the local pub to have something to drink. A lot of people thought that he had an alcohol problem, but it was something that he would never allow himself to become a problem considering he had grown up with Howard's alcohol-fuelled anger. It was the rare chance that he allowed himself to get truly drunk, but after a month and a half here he had made his way down to the pub for the night, only intending to get tipsy.
Now all he had was a banging headache, a memory of some terrible singing, and bright, bright green eyes.
A knock to the door startled him and he clutched the sheets when a man popped his head in a smiled when he realised Tony was awake.
"Hey, how's the head?" The man asked, opening the door fully and stepping into the doorway now, allowing Tony the delicious view of a firmly muscled chest stretched over a red shirt with a lion on the front, and low riding red pyjama trousers which were lying low on his hips. His black hair was a riot of black hair and his green eyes were definitely the ones that he remembered from the night before but they were more sleepy, giving away the fact that the man was not long up himself.
"I...erm...where am I?" Tony asked nervously.
"Ah fuck, I was worried that you wouldn't remember. Sorry! I'm Harry Potter, I am a friend of Angie's, I recognised you at the pub. We got chatting but were both pretty drunk, I offered my spare room because I didn't feel right you heading all the way out to your house at that time of night, even by taxi, you can ring Angie if you want," Harry said as he started patting down his pyjama trousers looking worried.
"I take your word for it, I remember Angie talking a lot about a Harry," Tony smiled, relaxing a little at the earnestness of the other. He had been horrifically drunk.
"Yeah, you told me that she had been cooing over me doing things for her, and shared that you reckoned she was making things up for me to do to get a good meal down me," Harry laughed.
"That sounds about right," Tony laughed. "Can I ask something," He looked at Harry.
"Of course!" The man was like an overgrown puppy.
"Do I remember you doing magic?" Tony asked.
"Yeah, I'm a wizard like Angie, well obviously not like Angie, I'm male, she is a witch" Harry stammered.
"I thought so, either that or my trousers actually decided to walk their own way to the laundry basket on their own," Tony laughed. "Also…"
"Yes?" Harry asked, concerned when Tony covered his face.
"Did I do karaoke?" Tony groaned.
"Yeah you did, sorry," Harry laughed coming over to sit at the bottom of the bed. "Considering how drunk you were it was pretty impressive,"
"Oh that is so embarrassing," Tony groaned. "Wait...did anyone film it?" Tony paled, if someone had recognised it they would know filming it and selling it would be worth a lot of money, and once it was out there everyone would know where he was.
"Hey, hey Tony, no one filmed it, they wouldn't do that, or risk Angie's wrath," Harry snorted.
"We know who you are Tony, but this is a small village and we look after our own here. Angie mentioned that you don't want people knowing where you are, no one from the village would do something to risk your secrecy here, and would make sure that no one not from the village would get the chance to," Harry explained with a smile.
"And anyone that might get the idea to do it for the money wouldn't risk the wrath of Angie descending down upon them," Harry grinned.
"She is very protective," Tony laughed.
"That she is, and she is clearly fond of you. She said she was sort of married to your godmum before it was legal?" Harry asked dropping back so he was propped up on his elbows, displaying more of his deliciously delightfully delectably muscled body.
"Yeah...yeah they lived as 'spinsters' who weren't interested in being tied down to a man, but everyone close to them knew that they were together. They had a ceremony, as close to a marriage as they could when I was about 5. They were always so in love. Aunt Angie moved out here when Aunt Peggy died 15 years ago, she couldn't live in New York anymore. They holidayed here a lot, so she wanted to come live here," Tony smiled softly.
"It sounds like your Aunt Peggy was as amazing as Angie is," Harry said.
"Oh she was kick-ass, she worked with soldiers during the war, if any of them challenged the fact that there was a woman ahead of them she would sock them in the jaw. Aunt Angie said that a few times they came across men that Aunt Peggy had worked with and they treated her with the same respect that they would give a man,"
"My friend Hermione is like that, she never allows her gender to hold her back, she pushes ahead and anyone that wants to presume that she can't do something because she is female or muggle-born she proves wrong and does it in style. She stormed around while she was still 9 months pregnant and ignored me and her husband begging her to rest stating that ' women have been having children for thousands of years, and a lot of women in the world even to today manage to work while pregnant'. There were also a lot of threats aimed at us," Harry snorted.
He rolled to his feet and stretched, his green eyes glittering and teasing when he dropped his arms and caught Tony staring, making the older man realise that he had done it on purpose.
"Can I tempt you to breakfast and coffee?" Harry asked.
"Please tell me that you have greasy food," Tony asked hopefully.
"I do indeed, it should be arriving in about...5 minutes, I couldn't be bothered to cook for the life of me," Harry admitted with a rueful shrug. "I left some clothes out in the bathroom on the chance you would stay, feel free to freshen up and change before coming down, a towel and a spare toothbrush is in there,"
When Tony came down the stairs the smell of fry up hit him, and he hurried a little into the kitchen, only to pause and look around the room. It reminded him a little of his mansion in Malibu before it had been destroyed.
The whole back of the house was pretty much all glass, the kitchen area itself was massive with a huge range cooker as the centre. There was a beautifully carved kitchen table with matching chairs that looked as though it could seat 6 people, and then further back from the table was a comfortable looking snug area that overlooked a well-tended garden and the mountains further out, to the right Tony could just about make out the Stirling Castle and Wallace Memorial.
"Here we are," Harry took both the styrofoam containers with their breakfasts in and carried them over to the snug, dropping onto the swing seat that would hold the two of them comfortably, if not snugly. A steaming cup of coffee was already sitting waiting for each of them on the tables either side of the seat.
The moment Tony sat down Harry threw a blanket over their laps before handing Tony his breakfast and a knife and fork, the seat swinging lightly with their movement as music played quietly in the background.
"It is beautiful here, it is so relaxing," Tony sighed contently, as he settled back into the seat and cradled his coffee close, the grease helping with the headache, just leaving him feeling a little sleepy again and comfortably full.
"Thank you, I designed this part of the house myself, it is one of my favourite places," Harry smiled lazily at him, looking much in the same state that Tony was. He didn't seem in any rush for Tony to leave, instead, he started gently rocking the swing seat as he cradled his own cup.
"It is lovely. I like the house I am staying at, but it is a little enclosed for me," Tony admitted. There was a comfortable silence between them as they both looked at the view and enjoyed the rocking of the swing seat and sipped from their cups.
But an uncomfortable niggle started forming in Tony, the question boiling inside of him until he started shifting a little.
"Tony?" Harry asked curiously.
"If you know who I am, do you not want to know why I am hiding here?" Tony asked.
"Not really. I understand better than you probably know the desire to hide away for a while," Harry said, and something in his expression told Tony that yeah, he did. "It is why I am here, to be honest,"
"You're hiding as well?" Tony asked without any pressure on the question.
"Yeah, I needed to get away from my life for a little while and figure out what I actually wanted without the pressure of being told what I should want," Harry shrugged.
"That...sounds familiar," Tony breathed out.
"I like you, Tony, you don't need to tell me anything that you don't want to tell me, I would like to get to know you," Harry smiled at him.
"I would like that. I...I am not ready to talk about why I am here besides that I need a break from my life, I needed to be able to breathe and think clearly,"
Harry nodded in understanding and then smiled brightly at Tony. "Well then, what would you say to watching a film together, snacks, blankets and just a comfortable afternoon in together?"
"That sounds really good," Tony laughed.
"Ok! You go raid the cupboards for snacks, I will get the living room setup!" Harry bounced to his feet and jogged out the room.
And that was how Tony found himself sharing a sofa with Harry, duvet covering their laps with a bunch of British snacks between them, watching three films and just chatting, keeping things light as they got to know each other.
"So, I hope you know that the whole village is buzzing with the news that we have a brewing romance," Angie teased as she pottered around the kitchen.
"Aunt Angie!" Tony whined covering his burning face.
"You can't keep things like this quiet in a small village! I have been hearing that you and Harry have been spending a few hours with each other every day. Mr Dunsmore, who owns the farm up to the right of the village said that he saw you two walking through his fields the other day," Angie hummed.
"I am making a friend,"
"Tonio, I love you but you do not go on voluntary walks," Angie snorted in laughter.
"That's mean!" Tony pouted, hurriedly standing and put away the pan Angie was about to balance on a chair to reach the cupboard. "I know you could have just used your magic to do this," He grumbled.
"You know Harry is a good boy, I think he would be good for you. Peg, Jarvis and Anna would definitely approve of him I think," Angie smiled at him as she cupped his cheeks after lazily flicking her wand to put everything else away.
"I...don't even know if he is interested in me like that," Tony drooped. "I like him, a lot considering I have only known him for a week, but he hasn't given any indication that he is interested in me like that besides telling me on that first morning that he 'liked' me and wanted to get to know me, he hasn't said anything else,"
"Tonio, aside from a few of the older people, Harry hasn't really gotten to know anyone in the village very well, he's friendly with everyone and will help someone out if they need it. But he is interested in you," Angie pinched his chin. "Besides, Mrs Milne from down the road says Harry looks at you like he wants to eat you up when you're not looking!"
"Oh my….nope not listening to this!" Tony flustered leaning down to kiss Angie's cheek. "I will see you tomorrow for lunch!" He shouted over her cackling amusement as he grabbed his thick coat and hurried out the door.
"Tony?" Harry's voice startled him from his embarrassed muttering as he hurried down the pathway. "Hey,"
Tony found himself smiling before he could stop himself at the bright smile Harry was giving him, clearly happy to see him. "Hi,"
"Everything ok? You seemed a little flustered," Harry asked as he reached Tony.
"Just Aunt Angie winding me up," Tony huffed shaking his head.
"She is rather good at that, she teased me about being a mysterious spy hiding in the Village until I gave in and came around for supper," Harry chuckled. "Would you take a walk with me?" he asked offering his arm to Tony like some proper British gentleman.
Flushing and hoping that Harry put it down to the cold, he slipped his arm through Harry's strong arm, and they started walking slowly through the village.
It was beautiful Tony thought to himself as they walked in a comfortable chatter, but Tony's mind felt like it was a mile away. The village was decorated tastefully with lights and different decorations with Christmas coming in a few weeks time, the air was cool and biting, but there was a peace to it that filled him contently. And the warm, solid heat of Harry right beside him as they walked under the clear night sky, with the stars twinkling down at them, that just made it even better.
Tony didn't realise that they were walking to his house until they were standing at the bottom of the drive, he had not invited Harry in yet, something, the scared and damaged part of him, wasn't ready to open himself up to that, and Harry seemed to understand that, he didn't begrudge him, he didn't accuse him or seem upset.
"Aunt Angie and I were talking about you," Tony admitted as they came to a stop. He gazed down at his feet not sure if he could look at Harry for this.
"Oh? I hope that she didn't tell you anything bad. If she told you about the time there was an explosion from my house I claim innocence, my friends came round and got a bit rowdy!"
"A bit rowdy? That isn't what I would call an explosion!" Tony snorted, suddenly relaxing and looking at Harry.
"No you would probably call it science," Harry tapped his nose. "I take it she told you nothing about the explosion?" He huffed.
"No, she didn't tell me anything like that. Just the fact that we are apparently being spied on by the Village and they are reporting back to Aunt Angie,"
"Oh?" Harry tilted his head.
"She thinks that you might be interested in me," Tony licked his lips nervously.
"There is no think about it, I am interested in you Tony," Harry cupped his face as though he was something precious. "But I know that you have been through a lot, and you have been hurt, so I didn't want to rush things. Whatever pace that you want to take this at is absolutely fine,"
Harry was looking at him with gentle, understanding green eyes, but eyes that were also looking at him with desire, his touch on Tony's face was warm and heated up a part of Tony that was chilled through, and had nothing to do with the weather.
"I would really like to kiss you right now," Tony said, stepping closer to Harry.
"Not going to need to hear that twice," Harry smirked, pulling Tony closer again, wrapping his other arm around Tony's waist and pressing their lips together. It wasn't perfectly chaste, and it wasn't forceful, it was just right, and Tony lost himself into the kiss, standing under the stars it couldn't have been more perfect.
Tony laughed when a pair of arms twined around his waist and he was treated to a gentle kiss on the back of his neck and then his cheek when he turned around to look at Harry.
Mrs Sloane who owned and ran the shop giggled making both of them look over to her.
"It is nice to see you two boys happy," She beamed.
"You have been spending too much time gossiping with Angie," Harry snorted.
"Harry!" Tony hissed.
"If we have a little gossip over a dram or two that is our business, we have to live vicariously somehow!" Mrs Sloane said shamelessly.
"Mrs Sloane!" Tony spluttered as Harry started chuckling. The older lady just laughed and walked to the backroom giving them a bit of privacy.
"Hello sweetheart," Harry said straight away, drawing Tony into the warmth of his arms for a longer, sweeter kiss.
"Hi," Tony had not really felt this shy with a partner for a long time, probably not since Tiberius. Harry was so different, he made Tony feel different.
"So, I need to go to the shopping area of my people," Harry said softly making sure that they weren't overheard. Tony blinked before realising what he meant. "Would you like to come with me?"
"What really?" Tony perked up.
"If you would like," Harry nodded. "I would like the company,"
"Yes! Definitely!" Tony beamed quickly grabbing what he needed from the shelves and hurrying to the till. Mrs Sloane rang up his shopping for him as Tony wiggled excitedly in place.
"You have fun on your date now," She smirked as Harry took his bag for him.
"We will," Harry chirped over his shoulder, linking his fingers together with Tony's. Once they stepped out into the cool morning air Harry lifted their hands and pressed his lips to the back of Tony's sweetly.
"You can't do things like that you know, I have a heart condition!" Toyn grumbled.
"Sorry," Harry said seriously before tugging Tony closer by his scarf and kissing him on the lips instead. Tony sighed as wrapped his arms around Harry's shoulders, leaning into the kiss and sunk into it happily as they tasted each other, kissing the way they had learned the other liked over the last couple of days.
Tony was sure that he wouldn't get fed up kissing Harry like this, the man was addictive, his lips drugging, he managed to turn off Tony's brain temporarily and the more that they kissed the better it got. He held Tony as though he was something special, as though Tony was deserving of such utter gentleness.
Tony was sinking further into the kiss, happy to stand here like this for a lot longer, at least until a loud wolf whistle ripped through the air. Tony parted from Harry and rested his head against Harry's chest.
"I know that whistle," He groaned.
"Hey, Angie!" Harry called making Tony whine as his suspicion was confirmed.
"I hate you," He sighed as she hobbled over to them, smirking and putting her phone away. He suspected there were a few photos on there
"No, you don't. Aww I'm so happy you two are getting on so well," Angie beamed between them.
"You're a pervert," Harry said pleasantly.
"I am a lonely old lady, of course, I am," Angie smirked.
"We should get going," Tony glared faintly at her, rolling his eyes when she just winked exaggeratedly back at him.
"Where are you headed?" Angie asked.
"We're heading to McDonald Avenue, would you like to come with us?" Harry offered, no sign of having done it out politeness on his face or in his voice. He really liked Angie and wouldn't mind Tony's Aunty tagging along.
"Ugh, no thank you, far too busy for me now, plus the cold is annoying my arthritis. Could you pick me up a few things though?" Angie asked.
"No problem," Harry smiled.
"I will text Tonio a list of what I need, you boys have fun, no sex in any changing rooms now!"
"You mean like you and Aunt Peggy used to do?" Tony raised his eyebrow.
"No!" Harry coughed.
"They managed to avoid being arrested because Aunt Peggy flashed her badge and Aunt Angie managed to come up with some terrible story that they were on a secret mission and had nearly been caught so they had had to pretend to have sex otherwise they would have been caught and killed," Tony rolled his eyes.
"Terrible story, but it worked, the poor kid in the shop nearly fell over himself helping sneak us out the back. Shame though we couldn't go back to that store, I did like the handbags in there," Angie sighed.
"Oh Merlin," Harry said between snickers. "Reminds me when Hermione made me hide behind a curtain with her to avoid the date she had agreed to go on to make Ron jealous, she left me standing behind the curtain when McLaggen came looking for her while I tried to make up an excuse for why I was there and where Hermione was. Can't remember what I said but it was terrible,"
"Ron and Hermione were bad even then?" Tony laughed.
"So bad, we were all ready to kill them," Harry rolled his eyes.
"Right, give me your shopping, you can come and collect it when you're back. Have fun, don't lose Tonio there, he tends to wander off," Angie called over her shoulder.
"I really hate her," Tony sighed.
"You really don't," Harry laughed, leading Tony out of the village.
"I really don't. She was exactly what I needed," Tony smiled slightly as they walked, nodding to a few people that they passed on their way out the Village. Their hands were swinging pleasantly between them as they walked, Harry's hand warm and large as it was wrapped around Tony's.
"I am glad," Harry smiled down at the Superhero.
"I had to get away from everyone in my life, it feels as though all I do is give, and all they do is take. I realised that I needed space and time to clear my head and look at my relationships again," Tony admitted softly, staring pointedly ahead.
Harry squeezed his hand before letting go and wrapped his arm around Tony's shoulders, offering but not pulling him against the warmth of his body. Tony went willingly, pressing close and enjoying the strength of the other.
"Everyone has expectations of me, the only people that don't are Hermione and Ron. I came here because I suddenly looked at my life and realised that I wasn't sure that anything that I was doing, anything that I had was something that I actually wanted," Harry admitted to Tony.
"Like your life isn't something you recognise all of a sudden?" Tony sighed.
"Exactly," Harry smiled sadly. "It's better though, I think I am working out what it is that I want. I quit my job yesterday," He added with a bigger, more sure smile.
"You quit?" Tony blinked.
"I managed to get signed off for medical stress reasons before I left. I took the time to think about it, it is a job that I have been doing since I was 18, I'm 35 now, I thought that it was something that I wanted to do from 15. I realised over my time here that it was a career that I thought that I should do, something that I was told I should do because it fitted the image that the world had of me. Yesterday, I wrote my resignation," Harry shrugged.
"Wow… that is impressive!" Tony whistled.
"It feels like a massive release," Harry admitted. "I have no clue what it is that I want to do now, but I have a choice, and that is...amazing,"
Tony felt his heart thump a little harder as he wondered if he had a part in the future that Harry was building for himself, if maybe what they were building separately would match enough that they would still be able to share their lives with each other when their escape and hiding here in their little getaway had to end.
Or maybe this was just some fun for Harry while he was figuring things out, something that he was trying out so that he knew what he did or didn't want when he went back out into the real world?
Tony looked at Harry again, and he knew that the second way of thinking was just the demons of his past. Harry looked at him like he was something amazing, he touched him like he was something precious, he held him as though he thought he should be treasured. His green eyes lit up when he saw Tony, and the smile that he smiled was just for Tony.
"What?" Harry smiled, that smile, as he looked down at Tony to catch him watching him.
"Nothing, so how are we getting there?" Tony asked.
"Apparation," Harry answered.
"I love and hate apparition," Tony admitted.
"Not the biggest fan of it myself to be honest and I have been doing it for years, but as you say, love-hate," Harry snorted.
They had reached the outskirts of the Village, and a glance around showed that there was no one to see them, no doubt the Village would think that they had just gone on a walk together.
"Ready?" Harry asked.
"Ready, show me a whole new world," Tony grinned wrapping his arms around Harry's shoulders.
"We are definitely watching more Disney Films together," Harry laughed before apparating them out with a pop.
Chapter 3: Interview
Tony smiled happily as he looked from shop to shop, he was holding firmly only Harry's hand, trusting him to guide him through the Avenue, the shops were bustling and busy as they walked through them.
He had been to the magical areas in America a few times where he was younger with Peggy and Angie, but Howard hadn't liked him being involved in magic thinking that it put his head in the clouds, but they had taken him anyway.
It had been a long time though, and with everything, it had changed and developed, and there were differences being here in Britain to see.
Harry watched contently, happy to just enjoy Tony's excitement and seeing him light up as he looked around the Avenue. He was beautiful like this Harry thought to himself, his chocolate brown eyes were wide and bright as he looked around taking in as much as he could, Harry could see that amazing brain of his spinning and taking in all the information around him.
Some of the weight of his life and past had eased from his features, and he was looking better and better by the day since Harry had met him, the time and break from his life clearly suiting him. He had been too thin and gaunt, Harry had seen him that first week and it looked as though he had barely been sleeping or eating properly for months, that first night when he had carried Tony to bed as the man sung drunkenly in his arms, he had been too light, too thin.
He was...captivating to Harry, he wasn't sure what it was about Tony, even when they had first started talking and Tony had been tired and drawn still, even though Harry could practically see his wounded soul, he shone so brightly, so vivaciously. He was full of life and hope, he was full of visions of the future, and despite clearly being hurt a lot, he was willing to trust Harry and open himself to him.
It was so going, and Harry was scared of moving too quickly and ruining things between them, but something in his chest was telling him that this was worth it, that Tony was worth it. What they could have was worth tending to gently and patiently. It was like holding kindling in his hands, trying to keep it lit because he wanted to see what it was like when it was full flames. He had no doubt Tony would be breathtaking when he was at his best, and Harry was going to make sure that he would get back there.
He wanted to wrap Tony in his arms and protect him from the world, he wanted whoever had hurt Tony to come at him so that they would know that whatever they had done to him was never going to happen again, never. Tony could protect himself, and he could fight, Harry had seen Iron Man and how he fought, but Harry was determined to make sure he knew he didn't have to fight alone.
He wasn't sure where their future led, if they had a future, they would both have to leave the safety of their little village eventually, especially Tony who had a company to run, but...he was in this for the long run, and he would make it work if that was what Tony wanted.
The beautiful man holding his hand turned to look at him with bright brown eyes and smiled brightly, before tilting his head when he caught the expression on Harry's face, unsure what it was. "What?"
"You're amazing," Harry said simply. Tony blushed deliciously turning fully to stand in front of Harry, tilting his head.
"I'm tired and washed out," Tony snorted.
"You're tired, washed-out definitely not, you have a fire in you that I don't think could ever be put out. You're amazing," Harry shook his head drawing Tony against his body and bending to seal their lips together, he could never get enough of this man.
"You're…" Tony started to say when they parted, shaking his head as he looked up into emerald green eyes.
"Yes?" Harry asked a little nervously, and suddenly Tony relaxed as he saw his geeky Harry, who rambled and dropped information when he got nervous, and he sunk back into Harry, stealing another sweet kiss-off of him before answering.
"You're like no one that I have ever met before,"
"I hope in a good way," Harry grinned.
"Definitely in a good way," Tony nodded cupping Harry's face.
"Well well well look who finally turned up," Someone said from the side stopping their next kiss. Tony looked at Harry concerned as his green eyes closed and he sighed against Tony's lips.
He knew that Harry was avoiding people from his life much in the same way that Tony was, and this was clearly someone that had recognised Harry. He was hoping that this wasn't someone that could really cause Harry trouble.
"I was about to get another kiss," Harry sighed opening his eyes and turned to glare at the redheaded man who was standing near them, a wide, teasing grin on his face.
"Oh I do apologise, please carry on," The redhead motioned to Tony, making no move to turn around.
"Do you just attract perverts?" Tony asked casually, fairly sure that this was someone who was a friend to Harry.
"Hey, Angie is your Aunt," Harry snorted.
"American! Hot!" The man commented.
"That is a fair point, equal pervert attraction," Tony smiled a little.
"That sounds fair,"
"If you're waiting for me to deny that I am a pervert, you will be waiting for a while," The man laughed. "I'm George by the way,"
"Tony," Tony smiled accepting his scarred hand.
"Oh, I know," The man smirked.
"Oh Merlin's Balls, shut up!" Harry glared at George.
"His eyes are like warm chocolate, his skin is so tanned and golden, his smile makes my heart flutter, his voice is like…" Tony blinked when George's mock falsetto voice was cut off with him making a clucking chicken noise.
He turned to see Harry tucking away his wand looking smug, though his face was bright, burning red. He chuckled and tugged Harry down so that he could whisper in his ear "I really love all those things about you as well,"
Harry pulled back to look at him with wide green-eyed before a heartbreakingly bright smile was gifted to Tony.
"Cluck cluck cluck cluck cllllcuk cluck cluckkkk cluckkkk,"
"Oh alright!" Harry huffed, flicking his wand at George and undoing his spell.
"Are you going to be visiting the shop?" George asked right away.
"The shop?" Tony asked curiously.
"I own and run a Joke shop, Harry is my business partner," George said before Harry could say anything.
"You have shares in a joke shop?" Tony's eyes lit up.
"You're limited to what you can buy!" Harry warned.
"Yeah, ok," Tony snorted.
"I mean it," Harry said firmly, wavering straight away when Tony applied puppy dog eyes to him. "I mean it!" He repeated weaker.
"Come on Love Birds," George rolled his eyes before leading them down the Avenue.
"How long have you been in business together?" Tony asked curiously.
"Harry was just short of 14 when he invested in the company," George said and laughed when Tony blinked at him.
"14!" Tony looked around at Harry.
"I had a lot of money anyway, and I won the money in a Tournament that the school held. I didn't want to be a part of it, but someone entered my name and managed to bind me by magic to the contract of the Tournament. It was a pretty shit year. It ended with the man who killed my parents kidnapping me and using my blood in a ritual to bring him back, in the process one of the other champions who was taken with me was killed. It felt like blood money, and I wanted nothing to do with it. Fred and George were good guys who had a talent, but no one was really listening to them or saw the fact that they were going places. I figured that with a little bit of money and help they would go big places, and I was right," Harry shrugged.
Tony wasn't sure where to start with that explanation. Harry had told him about his parents and what had happened to them, he had also run over a basic explanation of his life and Voldemort's part in his adolescence, even explaining that he had been the one to kill Voldemort, though he had not gone into detail about that, much in the same way that Tony didn't really talk about the 10 Ring in much detail with Harry.
"Fred?" He found himself asking.
"That would be me!" Tony stared at the man who was George's mirror who appeared next to them as soon as they stepped through the door of the shop. "And this must be Tony," He smirked like a demon at Harry who groaned and covered his face.
"Yes," Tony tried to fight down his laughter as Harry let out a wounded duck noise.
"We have been hearing a lot about you, you seem to have captured our little Harry's attention,"
"You guys are dicks, don't think that I won't be telling Angelina and Lee about this," Harry glared before he ushered Tony further into the shop, the twins cackling behind them.
Forty minutes later Harry was standing next to Tony with a full basket as his partner stood next to him with a fondly indulgent look on his face while he explained what the item they were looking at did.
"This place is amazing," Tony said looking around.
"Fred and George have amazing minds, you remind me of them a little, except for the fact that I see them as my brothers, I definitely don't see you like that," Harry rambled a little.
"They were the ones involved in the explosion at your house huh?" Tony asked.
"Yeah, they wanted to test out a new idea that they came up with while we were having supper together, I should have known better," Harry snorted.
"Have you invested more money into the business since you were 14?" Tony asked curiously, his business head slipping into place.
"Yeah, they were doing really well, but they needed some more money. They were pretty insistent that they would get a loan, they didn't want to take more money from me. But I knew the expansion was pretty much a sealed deal to make the business bigger. It seemed silly for them to take a loan and put more financial pressure on themselves when I had the money," Harry shrugged taking the product from Tony and popping it into their basket. "They gave me a bigger percentage of the business, which I didn't want, and we came to an agreement. They have just gotten bigger and bigger from there," Harry waved his hand around the shop.
"How many shops do they own now?"
"Five, and they are looking to expand abroad,"
"That is impressive!" Tony whistled.
"I know nothing about business to be honest, I don't really have much of a head for it, but I know people. The Twins were talented and passionate for what they did, and they had amazing ideas. I knew that they would make good use of the money," Harry admitted.
"I don't have the best sense of business, well I do, I had it drilled into my head. But I am not the best at it. I would rather design and create things, I am much better at that," Tony admitted.
"Isn't that why you made Pepper CEO?" Harry asked.
"Yes, but…" Tony frowned cutting himself off as he moved to the next item. This time however he wasn't really looking at it as he spun the box around in his hands. "She got everything and more that a CEO should get, but she still thinks that I should do more with the Company, she presses and guilts me into doing things that are under the CEO job, I realised I have been sending her thank you baskets worth thousands of dollars to do her job. She makes me feel guilty for her doing the job I hired her to do,"
"Hey," Harry wrapped his arms around Tony from behind in the same way that he had earlier in the shop in the village. He kissed the back of Tony's neck, sliding his hands down to link his fingers through Tony's pressing a kiss to his jaw.
"Sorry I didn't…"
"Don't apologise, please don't apologise," Harry shook his head. "I am sorry that someone you trusted did that to you,"
"It was too much, it wasn't fair of me to put that on her plate," Tony frowned.
"Or how about you look at it like you gave her an amazing opportunity that a lot of people would kill for, she was paid more than fairly for the position, and had a power that came with the part. If she was struggling she was more than capable of hiring someone to help her. Instead, she passed on work to you, making you feel guilty, because she didn't want to do it, and she knew that you would," Harry said gently. "Maybe she didn't mean to do it in a way that hurt you, maybe she didn't even realise what she was doing until she stuck in a rut with it, but you aren't to blame,"
"I'm always to blame for things that go wrong in my life, I poison things, good things," Tony stared at their joined hands, knowing that Harry would go the same way as everything else in his life.
Except Harry led him to a door nearby and drew him into a small office, locking the door behind him before walking to where Tony was standing a little blankly. He sat him down into a comfortable seat before kneeling at his feet, forcing Tony to meet his green eyes, eyes that were determined and angry, for Tony.
"I think that you are a generous, kind, open-hearted, sweet, innocent man who gets lost in his visions of the future and what he can develop to make the world a bigger, brighter, better place, and people take advantage of that. I don't know the people in your life Tony, but I do know you, and I think that people take advantage of the fact that you think badly of yourself to wash their own hands of guilt by convincing you that you are the one who is at fault for things, and you believe it too easy because despite how amazing you are you doubt yourself too much, and when you believe they can believe it too, and they feel better. And no one has stood up for you for a long time to call them on their shit," Harry said passionately.
"Harry," Tony shook his head.
"Sweetheart, you're not poison, you're an amazing shining bright spark who keeps giving even when you have been drained. People around you take advantage of you, and blame you for their own faults because they know you will take that blame,"
"I...I got tired, so tired of feeling alone, and feeling like everything was my fault," Tony admitted, looking Harry in the eyes. "I got told yesterday that I am going to have to face a deposition for creating Ultron,"
"I am aware of what happened, and I don't think you were at fault for that. Would you tell me what happened?" Harry asked.
"The Avengers were attacking a HYDRA base, there was information we needed, I think mainly information that Cap wanted on Bucky Barnes now I have had the chance to look through the information that we took from the base. I was by myself and stepped out of the armour because I thought I was safe. Wanda Maximoff…" Tony drew off and looked at Harry who nodded showing that he knew who she was. "...she can manipulate minds, she got into mine and showed me my team dead, all of them, Cap telling me that it was my fault and asking why I hadn't done more….Harry?"
"Sorry, I'm sorry, I just really hate mind magic," Harry snarled. "Especially invasive mind magic where the other person thinks that they have the right to force themself into your head,"
"I feel like I have been violated in a way," Tony admitted. Harry lifted his hands and pressed them to his lips, the kiss soothing the frayed edges of Tony's nerves with the way the day had gone.
"It is, your mind is supposed to be a safe secure place, for someone to force their way in will always be wrong. I am sorry I interrupted," Harry grimaced.
"It's ok," Tony managed an actual smile, no matter how small it was. "I found Loki's staff from the attack on New York, the object that we were supposed to be after. We later found out that it contained the mind stone, one of five stones called Infinity stone. It got into my head and enhanced my desire to create Ultron. The Ultron idea was supposed to be something of safety, something that would protect and encircle the world to try and stop something that happened in New York with the Chitauri from happening again. When I flew that nuke into space, I saw a massive fleet of aliens, lots of them. I came up with Ultron to protect the world from being caught unaware. Bruce and I started creating Ultron, but he was only in the test phase, there was nothing physical about him, we hadn't created him. The Mind Stone, it took control itself, activated or whatever the hell it does, and it made theory real and there was Ultron. His base was supposed to be an A.I like my existing A.I's, learning and thinking ones, they start off basic, simple and I teach them and guide them into growing and learning for themselves. My A.I's develop their own personalities and their own understanding of the world. Ultron, the stone's interference, he was created too fast, too quickly, developed too quickly without guidance and without assistance to understand the intricacies of learning and understanding that comes with being human instead of a simple logical black and white understanding of the world that is...was detrimental. He took my vision for peace and protection and interpreted that in a brutal way,"
"Sounds to me like you weren't at fault at all there," Harry said softly. "And unless you purposefully activated that stone, then nothing you did can place the blame at your feet,"
"The Avengers blamed me, they wouldn't even listen to my explanation as to what happened, they just blamed me," Tony sagged as he finally said the words out loud.
"You will get through this Tony. And you can decide where you stand with people that sound like they don't have your back, and are too willing to place all the blame at your feet so they can be self-righteous and imagine that their hands are sparkling clean. And if you want me, I will be at your side through it," Harry promised.
"What?" Tony snapped his eyes back up and stared at Harry shocked.
"I will be at your side through this if you want me to be there. I want to be there to help you through this, even if that helping is as simple as holding your hand and feeding your frightening chocolate habit," Harry smiled gently.
"I...it's not going to be pretty," Tony said quietly.
"You're pretty enough to make up for that, and the basis of a good relationship isn't based on when things are simple and easy, it is based on when it is hard and ugly as well. I'm not coming into this relationship sparkling clean Sweetheart, and there are things that I know will be easier to cope with if I can lean on you as well," Harry admitted.
"That sounds good, I want to be there for you too, when you're struggling, when things get tough," Tony licked his lips. "Whatever happens, when we're both ready to leave our Village, I know that I want to be with you and part of your life," Tony said honestly, releasing his hands to cup his face instead.
"Yes," Harry said simply, leaning into the kiss that Tony moved in for. The kiss was an agreement, a promise from both of them. The understanding and the hope for the future was there, and they sank into each other enjoying the chance of the future that they had in the other.
"Come on," Harry smiled once they parted, standing and holding his hand out to Tony. "If you still feel up to it there is still a lot of the Avenue to see,"
"I'm still up to it. I'm fed up of putting my life on hold," Tony shook his head taking Harry's hand. Harry snagged their basket with his free hand and they made their way out and down to the tills. Fred and George were making teasing comments and wiggling their eyebrows as they rang up the items and then refused to take Tony's money.
"Just look after each other and get out of here love birds. Your money isn't any good in here," Fred said firmly pushing Tony's hand away when he tried to pay.
"They aren't going to move on it," Harry shook his head grabbing their bags and shrinking them, putting the tiny bags into one of his pockets.
"That is handy!" Tony blinked.
"I'm about to go on all your shopping sprees with you aren't I?" Harry snorted.
"Oh yeah!" Tony grinned. "Thank you," He said to the Twins.
"Just keep making him smile yes?" George smiled honestly at them, no teasing on his or Fred's face, looking up to see Harry's face bright red again, glaring poutily at the Twins Tony grinned.
"I will," He promised getting wide happy smiles and nods of approval from the Twins.
"We will pop around soon!" Fred called as they started shuffling through the crowd.
"That sounds like a threat!" Harry waved cheerfully over his shoulder startling a laugh out of Tony, he got an even louder laugh when he flicked his wand over his shoulder and the Twins started complaining loudly...in animal noises.
"When will that wear off?" Tony asked as they got outside.
"About two hours," Harry smirked. "Come on, I know where you will love next,"
Tony followed Harry down the Avenue, trusting him again to lead him as he looked around trying to take everything in.
"I would love to fly on a broom," Tony sighed as they passed a shop with fancy looking brooms in the window.
"Really?" Harry asked brightly, tugging Tony under his arms as they dodged out the way of someone Tony suspected might just be a Hag.
"Yeah, I love flying, the Iron Man suit is amazing, one of the reasons I love being Iron Man is to be able to fly and feel that freedom being in the air. The thought of flying on a broom just sounds amazing, it seems like it would be a different type of freedom. Angie couldn't fly though, she said that she was terrible at it, and she and Peg didn't have the money to buy a broom she couldn't fly, and she explained that you have to have magic to fly,"
"Yeah you do," Harry nodded.
"What if someone you don't want to see sees you?" Tony asked tugging Harry into walking again, looking at the next shop.
"No one will, I have a spell on me to make sure that anyone I don't want to recognise me will see enough things off about me to not see me, or recognise my voice," Harry explained. "It gives me a little more freedom, Angie said that she used something similar on you when you needed to head into the city?"
"Yeah she does, god magic comes in handy, even if there are those like Loki and Wanda out there using it badly. I'm glad I knew Aunt Angie, otherwise, I am fairly sure I would not be the biggest fan of magic with my other interactions with it," Tony shuddered.
"Well, I think you will definitely like this part of magic, and my ability to shrink and carry a lot of shopping bags," Harry said before pulling Tony into a shop.
"Oh...I found heaven," Tony sighed turning in a circle as he took in the variety of sweets and chocolates that he was surrounded with.
"Welcome to Honeydukes," Harry said grabbing a basket and already throwing some things in.
By the time they reached the till they were smiling brightly again, their darker conversation from earlier washed away as they enjoyed each other's company. And the sweet shop. Their basket was crammed full, there was practically two of everything in there, and the worker behind the till lit up when he saw the basket.
As Tony was reaching for his wallet once everything had been rung up, Harry reached over his shoulder and handed over a handful of coins to the man, taking the bags in return and pressed his lips to Tony's when the older man started to protest.
"My treat," He said simply shrinking the bags, and taking Tony's hand again, leading him out the shop. Like it was nothing.
No one bought things for Tony. Ever.
He had money, no one thought that he might like to be treated to things as well, something simple like chocolate was something that for an embarrassingly long time he had hoped someone would buy just him just because. He got birthday presents and Christmas presents of course, but no one bought him treats just because.
He did all the time though, for others because he cared and he wanted to show them that. No one had ever thought to return the favour, not since he had been little and Edwin, Anna, Peggy and Angie would buy him simple little things that meant more to him than all the expensive birthday presents his mother and father could ever buy him.
Harry looked around when Tony pressed a kiss to his wrist. "What?" He smiled.
"I'm just having a really good day, thank you for taking me with you," Tony shrugged.
"Thank you for coming with me, I would far rather spend my time with you,"
"God the things that you do to me!"
"No! No no no no no no!" Tony groaned dramatically.
"Yes!" Harry laughed underneath him, Tony was lying sprawled on top of his back, the pair of them laying on the sofa watching their film.
"Yes!" Harry laughed even harder. "I am telling you they're going to get together!" He waved his hand at Rey and Kylo Ren on screen.
"They can't! Kylo killed…"
"Don't say it, I haven't forgiven him for that. But it would be perfect, come on, Rey could bring him to the light side!"
"You're such a romantic," Tony shook his head before resting it back onto Harry's back.
"Is that a bad thing?" Harry asked softly.
"Definitely not," Tony sighed contentedly, wrapping his arms around Harry's waist.
Tony Stark gives an exclusive interview after disappearing from public view three months ago.
By Christine Everhart
Three months ago the well known Icon, businessman and superhero Tony Stark disappeared from public view for arguably the first time in his life since Howard Stark announced his birth with a photograph when he was only 3 days old.
Speculation has been rife as to what has happened to Mr Stark, a lot of people commenting on the fact that he is hiding due to his part to play in the creation of Ultron, despite CEO Virginia Potts press conference days after Mr Stark disappeared, stating that extra forced were to do with the creation of Ultron, not Mr Stark.
I was shocked when I received word from Mr Stark that he would be willing to give me an exclusive interview via skype.
The ungodly hour that the interview was held at made sense as soon as I saw Mr Stark, it was quite clear that he was not in America as daylight was quite clear around him. As someone who has been following Mr Stark's career for a long time, and was one of the first reporters to expose the dark dealings of Obadiah Stane selling weapons to whoever had the right price, and Mr Stark naivety and ignorance to what was going on within his company, I immediately noticed that Mr Stark looked very well.
Upon stating this, I began to get a picture as to why Mr Stark has taken leave of the public view. He stated that he is looking better due to the fact that for the first time in a decade he is finally able to sleep and eat with mostly regularity, though he did admit that the PTSD he has been diagnosed with and is seeking help for, ensure that his sleep is not peaceful.
Mr Stark made it clear that while he was fully willing to answer questions, his time was limited. My following interview can be found below:
CE: Mr Stark, have you run away because of the creation of Ultron?
TS: No, my only fault with Ultron lies in being manipulated, and in creating a theory that was seized upon and used by mystic outside sources and used to create a Monster that I had intended to be a program to help protect the World and provide warning against something like New York 2012, to try and ensure that something like that never happened again.
CE: Were you alone in creating this theory?
TS: No, Bruce Banner, aka The Hulk, had an almost equal part to play in creating him.
CE: Why has the spokesperson for the Avengers not mentioned Mr Banner? They quite clearly dropped your name into the creation of Ultron in that initial press release the day after the battle of Sokovia.
TS: I have not spoken to any of the Avengers since I left the Avengers Compound and removed myself from my life for health reasons.
CE: You have not spoken to any of your team members?
TS: No I have not, they are part of the reason I needed the break. I am afraid that when I tried to explain what happened with the creation of Ultron, they had no time to actually listen to what I was telling them, and...
Here Mr Stark paused and turned away from the camera, and it was at this moment that I realised someone else was in the room with him. A man with dark hair and green eyes moved into view, moving his seat closer and took Mr Stark's hand. Mr Stark seemed to be taking comfort from this man, before he turned back to continue the interview.
TS: and I felt as though staying in that situation would be detrimental to my health. Getting myself away from that situation seemed to be for the best.
CE: May I ask who your companion is?
CE: That sounded very definitive
TS: It is
CE: What is it that you are doing wherever you are?
TS: I am still working, I have commitments to my company and people that rely on me, I have been developing new technology and working on projects that I have not had time for for a long time, I have also been catching up with someone important to me, I have been getting better as well. My mental health has been something that I have been worried about since my kidnap and torture at the hands of the 10 Rings, but I have put off getting help. I realise now that it is something important that I have to do. It has also led me to look at an idea I have been playing with for a while for a project that can help and assist people with PTSD and other psychological problems that are linked to memories
CE: It sounds like you are still fairly busy
TS: I am, but the difference is I don't have pressure from the normal sources in my life demanding more and more from me until I barely have time to sleep
CE: Are you going to name who that person or persons are?
CE: Are the Avengers included in that?
TS: No comment
CE: You know that is practically saying yes?
TS: No comment. I am not here to condemn the Avenger Ms Everhart, they are still my team, even if there are clear problems between us
CE: What do you think about Wanda Maximoff, aka the Scarlet Witch?
TS: I am afraid as per the terms of my upcoming deposition I am not allowed to comment on Miss Maximoff.
CE: I have heard word that she is blaming you for the death of her parents
TS: Miss Maximoff believes that a Stark bomb was the result of the death of her parents, yes, her and her brother were trapped within the building and saw the Stark industry logo on the side of the bomb.
CE: Your company created a lot of bombs, does Miss Maximoff have a reason besides seeing your name on the side to blame you for this event?
TS: I have looked into the incident and checked company records. At the time the American Government were not at war with Sokovia so the bomb was not there by legal means. As you are well aware Ms Everhart however for a period of time my company was selling weapons under the table through the hands of my father's business partner and my godfather, Stane. I managed to track down the information of the sale to HYDRA, or an affiliate of HYRDA as they were hidden at the time. They were the ones who bombed Sokovia. I am at fault for not knowing what was going on within the company though and allowing Stane to sell those weapons.
CE: I think myself and a lot of the world would agree that the fact Obadiah Stane tried to kill you twice, and the work that you have done since finding out about what he was doing grants more than enough forgiveness for your ignorance, which is not something that can lead to you being blamed for their deaths, that lies in the hands of Stane.
TS: *smiling incredibly sadly* I am not sure about that.
CE: Will you still be Iron Man?
TS: Yes, if I am needed as Iron Man I will always be there
CE: Do you plan on returning to the US?
TS: I plan on it, whether it will happen, right now I am not sure. I am afraid that we are going to have to wrap things up Ms Everhart.
CE: Is there anything in particular that you would like to say?
TS: I will be speaking in my deposition as to Ultron soon, I am confident that with the evidence I have it will be proven that I am not guilty for the creation of Ultron. In the meantime, I would like for people to stop looking for me and pressuring me to come back. I am here because I need to be, to get better. Thank you Ms Everhart
CE: Are you sure you don't want to tell me who your friend is?
TS: Goodbye Christine.
At this point, Mr Stark hung up our conversation. It sounds as though Mr Stark has been pushed to the end of his tether, and has removed himself from his home, from the public view, and from his life because of outside pressures. Though it can only be speculated due to Mr Stark's refusal to discuss the Avengers, it can only be surmised that they are a contributor to this and that they are one of the few that have put pressure on Mr Stark to a point where it sounds like he was in quite ill health.
Mr Stark has been fighting as Iron Man for over ten years now, a mantel that he took up immediately after being kidnapped and tortured for three months, he has been protecting and guarding us, including flying a nuclear weapon through a portal and barely survived the action in 2012.
It is incredibly brave of him to admit his mental health problems, a matter that is still looked down on shamefully and as something that should be hidden, perhaps with a Superhero admitting that it is something that he suffers from and requires help for, more soldiers and other sufferers of mental health problems will feel brave enough to find the help they too need.
And it sounds as though Mr Stark, as ever, has big plans and developments that I am sure the world will be awed with as they always are with anything that Stark Industries releases.
I would also like to say that whoever the gentleman with Mr Stark was, he seemed to be a great support to him, and I hope that he continues to do so.
The world does have to ask, what happens if we lose Iron Man? And perhaps even more so, what will the future look like if we do not have Tony Stark's brain contributing to the future of our world?
Tony frowned looking up from his laptop when his phone pinged, picking it up expecting something from...home, he steeled himself before looking at who it was that had messaged him, and was a little confused to see Harry's name there.
Are you free? X
It is 2 in the morning, but yes, are you ok? Xx Tony messaged back feeling a little concerned.
I'm about to knock on your window, I didn't want to freak you out
Tony stared at his phone confused, but he was on the third floor, when there was indeed a knock on his bedroom window. Standing he quickly hurried to the window, half worried that he was going to find Harry doing something ridiculously, and dangerously, romantic like clinging to the ivy Tony was fairly sure was outside his window.
What he found was so much better.
"Oh holy...no!" Tony gasped excitedly throwing his window fully open as he took in the sight in front of him.
"Fancy it?" Harry grinned.
"Oh, you are smug…" Tony shook his head.
"Come on admit it, this is one of the most romantic things that you have ever gotten," Harry said as he flew his brooms closer to the window.
"I think it is the most romantic," Tony admitted and something softened in Harry. He held his hand out to Tony. Thankfully Tony had gotten used to, and developed a habit of, clambering out of windows and trusting he would fly, so he just followed along with what Harry urged and slipped onto the broom behind his British boyfriend.
"I will just have to make sure that I live up to that," Harry said softly, taking Tony's hands and wrapped them around his waist before he gripped the broom again, and to Tony's delight they were taking off through the air at high speed, the wind blowing through his hair.
He held onto Harry's waist as the Wizard guided the broom under them with clear skill and talent, spinning them through the air, performing loops and dives that had Tony laughing and whooping and feeling alive.
They skimmed over the trees of the forests surrounding their Village, they skimmed their toes in the water of the small lake in the forest they had walked around a week ago before they followed the stream back along and up into the village.
"This is amazing!" Tony cried as Harry lifted the broom and flew they high lazily, drifting higher and higher until they could look down at the village under them, lit up by Christmas lights.
"I would love to fly next to you in the Iron Man suit," Harry smiled turning enough that he could see Tony over his shoulder.
"That would be...yes!" Tony grinned imagining flying loops around each other.
"Merry Christmas Sweetheart," Harry pressed something into Tony's hand making him blink and lift it to see a necklace dangling from his fingers. He went to say something but stopped when he realised that Harry's face, ears and neck were burning a bright, fiery red. This was clearly more than just a necklace.
"What is it, aside from a necklace before you say anything," Tony added poking Harry in the side.
Harry drifted the broom lower and landed in a small clearing in the forest, hesitating for a second before he turned to look at Tony. "I have been working on it for a couple of days, since we went to the Avenue. I don't want you to have to worry about anyone getting into your mind again,"
"This...this will stop it?" Tony held onto the chain a little tighter, he looked down at the necklace in a new light. It was black, the chain and the pendant, the pendant was designed into a lion shape and shone as though there was a white light inside the black material.
"The lion is the symbol of my House, Potter, and it has been important to me since school as well. I placed runes and charms on it, as much as the material could take. It will block gentle invasion attempts completely, more forceful spells it will be able to slow down enough for you to get your armour on, which if you are happy for me to do I can put more runes on to block mind control and invasion, the larger material will be able to take stronger runes. I made sure that no one can take it off but you, and I have made it into a Portkey, you give me the location of somewhere safe for you, and a keyword that will activate it, but be nothing that you would say that might accidentally set it off, and if you're in trouble you say the keyword and it will transport you straight to your safe place," Harry explained, clearly getting more and more nervous.
"It...it is the most amazing and thoughtful present I think I have ever been given! Harry, I have been having nightmares about what Maximoff would do to me next, what the next magic-user would do to me. With this...I feel safer already. Put it on for me, please?" Tony asked holding the necklace out to him.
Harry with slightly trembling fingers managed to get the necklace unclasped, and fastened it around Tony's neck, nodding to himself when he felt the magic seal it closer, not even he would be able to take it off.
He let out a startled noise when second after he placed a kiss to Tony's neck over the clasp Tony spun around and he found his arms full of happy genius scattering kisses all over his face before kissing him in that drugging way that Harry could happily lose himself in.
Chapter 4: Deposition
"Yes?" Tony watched him nervously as Harry spun on the spot.
"Harry you're going to actually have to say something a little more here," Tony urged nervously.
"It's amazing! This is...wow! Tony...this...it's like stepping into the future!" Harry laughed, doing another spin to take in Tony's workshop.
He could see why Tony had delayed letting him into his house, well it was basic living space and then mainly workshop, this was Tony's heart, and soul, everything was here on display for him, that much was clear.
What it said that Tony had allowed him in here, well that made his heart do funny things.
"Is this Harry Boss?" A voice called eagerly from the ceiling.
"Would this be FRIDAY?" Harry asked before Tony could answer. He wasn't aware of Tony shutting his mouth and stepping back to watch how Harry would interact with his A.I.
"I am, Boss has told me a lot about you," FRIDAY chirped
"I hope mostly good. He has told me a lot about you FRIDAY, he is very proud of you, it is brilliant to finally get to meet you," Harry smiled.
"It has all been good I assure you, thank you for looking after him while I am too young to," FRIDAY said pleased.
"Don't worry that isn't something that you need to thank me for, it is something that I wanted to do, and will carry on doing," Harry said before catching the look Tony was giving him. "What?"
Tony didn't answer, he just made his way over to where Harry was standing, hopped up onto the counter next to Harry, tugged him firmly between his legs and kissed him desperately and hungrily.
No one had really understood or listened when Tony told him about his A.I's except for Pepper and Aunt Angie, they all thought that they were just advanced computers, they didn't realise that they had personalities of their own, that they were a living, thinking being, even if their being was servers and a hard drive.
Tony had told Harry about JARVIS and his loss, about how it had felt like he was losing his son, he had told him about FRIDAY and her development, how she was changing, growing and learning, that he thought she was going to be sassy.
He hadn't really hoped that Harry would really GET it though. And yet here he was speaking to his little girl like he did get it!
He groaned as Harry cupped his hips and held on tightly, taking control of the kiss and making Tony lose all thought process altogether. He groaned and arched into Harry touch when his wizard cupped him through his jeans, applying enough pressure to wind Tony higher into the arousal that he was feeling, but not enough to satisfy.
"Tony...Tony can I…" Harry started to say but then seemed to get distracted by the expanse of Tony's throat, deciding to attach his lips to that instead.
"If you don't I will literally cry, and I am an ugly crier I promise, I will...Oh yes! Harry!" Tony whined when Harry's hand slipped into his jeans, the buttons and zipper undone so fast Tony suspected magic, and then he was being gripped in Harry's firm, sure hand - which hey wand work made for an amazing grip - and bit down just hard enough on Tony's neck that he would leave a mark.
"Ok?" Harry's voice was several levels lower than it normally was and Tony licked his lips hungrily.
"Perfect, it would be even better if you can take us to that sofa, get us naked and I want you to thrust against me, naked, till we both cum," Tony said breathlessly, licking his lips again.
"That...fuck yeah, that...yup!" Harry nodded and scooped Tony off the counter, hurrying over to the indicated sofa.
"I did mean for me to walk over, but holy fuck this is ten times better," Tony said from his place over Harry's shoulder, using the perfect angle to squeeze Harry's muscled arse. "Fuck, do you do butt workouts, this thing is like all muscle!" he groaned, squeezing even more enthusiastically.
"It is the broom riding," Harry laughed.
"I tell you, I have been surrounded by a lot of butts for a good few years now, and they all have a thing for wearing ridiculously tight clothing, so getting eyefuls became an occupational hazard, and wow, this is like the top arse!" Tony hummed. "I wanna bite it,"
"Later you vampire, you promised me something about nakedness and thrusting!" Harry said as he dropped Tony onto the sofa carefully, and then moved his hands to Tony's pants. "Hey, we don't have to if you don't want to," Harry said quickly, looking up concerned when Tony's hands gripped his wrists to stop him.
"No, I mean yes, I mean...I still really, really want that but…"
"But?" Harry asked fascinated by the blush forming on Tony's cheeks, those blown brown eyes avoiding looking at him.
"I have had this fantasy for the last month and well…" Tony bit his lip and looked up at Harry.
"I think even if it is something that I have no clue how to do, I will figure it out right now if you keep looking at me like that Tony," Harry groaned.
"Can you magic off our clothes?" Tony blurted out.
"Oh sweetheart, I got taught how to do that at like, 14, by the twins!" Harry smirked, dropping his wand into his hand he flicked it and their clothes were gone.
"I think I am having a heart attack, all my blood just went south," Tony admitted with a groan.
"Fuck Tony, you're gorgeous," Harry groaned.
"I'm scarred," Tony frowned a little, turning his head slightly, but blinked back when his hand was pressed to Harry's chest, and what he could feel was an incredibly impressive scar.
"Not the only one Love, you're beautiful," Harry said so honestly, there was no way that Tony couldn't believe that that was what he saw when he looked at Tony.
His gaze drifted to the Arc reactor, and he slipped between Tony's legs, his large hands gently gripping those tanned thighs so that he could part them and make a space for himself between them, their hips coming together like that were made to fit the other.
They both paused and groaned when their erections met, Harry thrust slightly, unable to help himself at the feeling of Tony against him, before gaining control again and leaning down to place a kiss right on top of the reactor.
"Beautiful," Harry breathed.
"It looks horrific," Tony snorted, under no illusion what the network of scars looked like.
"It keeps you alive, nothing that does that could be ugly. A star in your chest, you're like stardust," Harry murmured against the skin of Tony's chest, right over the scars. And Tony had never felt more beautiful.
His arms welcomed Harry eagerly as the larger man slipped up his body, Harry leaning up on one hand so that he could still see Tony, while his other gripped Tony's hips, and then started thrusting against him, the rhythm ensuring that they would not last long.
Tony had had so many people compliment him, he wouldn't even know how many people had done so, most had been meant, he was a good looking guy and he knew it, some were just to get somewhere with him. But with Harry looking at him the way he was, Tony had never felt more like someone saw him, all of him, and found him truly beautiful. Damaged and dented as he was.
Moaning in pleasure, he reached up and stroked Harry's face, feeling his own arousal climbing higher and higher, and seeing the feeling reflected on Harry's handsome features. Harry was damaged and dented as well, there was always a faint hint of hurt and tiredness in his face and eyes, green eyes that showed he had seen and done too much, from such a young age. But he was perfect to Tony, it made him more handsome, it made him more real.
It made Tony want him more.
"Harry," Tony groaned, wrapping his legs around Harry's waist and started thrusting back even harder as he felt himself getting close. They were both sweat-slick and panting now, flushed with arousal, their bodies moved together desperately now, finesse gone as their orgasm hovered teasingly close, their erections trapped between their bodies, pressed together as they moved harder and harder until….
"Perfect," Harry panted against Tony's throat, placing lazy kisses to the skin, smirking to himself when he noticed the couple of marks he had been able to leave.
"If that was just a bit of frottage, I think the main event will knock me out," Tony laughed rubbing his hand up and down Harry's bare, sweaty back.
"Well, now that sounds like a challenge to me," Tony groaned as he felt the grin against the skin of his neck, Harry was terrible for a challenge. Not that he would be complaining. "Tony?" Harry asked after a few moments.
"Yeah?" Tony looked down at the dark head of hair.
"Can you show me around your workshop? I am really curious and have spotted like 15, nope 16 different things that I have questions about," Harry said sheepishly. Tony started laughing happily under him.
"Let me introduce you to Dumm-E, Butterfingers and U," Tony said happily. At their names, there were three excited beeps and they were charged by Tony's robot children.
"...and then Mrs Sloane told me all about those little love bites you have on your neck, again," Angie smirked.
"Oh Merlin," Harry dropped his head down onto the kitchen table where he had been peeling and cutting potatoes for their meal. Angie cackled happily as Tony covered his face.
"What? You're seeing a vampire nothing wrong with that!" Angie smirked.
"You're embarrassing him," Tony chided resting his hands on Harry's shoulders.
"Haha, I'm sorry!"
"No you're not," Harry muttered into the table.
"I am really not, I have to get diabetes from you two, I can at least tease you!" Angie shrugged.
"You are…" Harry paused when a little glowing Jack Rusell ran into the room.
"Harry, we're at yours but you're not here, we need you to look after Rosie and Hugo for a few hours, are you nearby?" A man's voice came from the Jack Russell.
"Are you ok having the kids over here Angie? I can go back to mine," Harry asked Angie quickly.
"Of course they're welcome," Angie waved him off, already adding more food to the pan.
"I'm at Angie's, bring them over," Harry said to the Jack Russell, it raced off leaving Tony panicking a little.
"Kids?" He squeaked.
"If you're not ready to meet them that is fine!" Harry said quickly.
"No I want to, they're important to you, but I am not good with kids Harry!" Tony said panicked.
"You're fine with kids, you just don't think you are!" Angie patted his shoulder.
"Are you sure you're ok?" Harry asked, and the worry on his face made Tony steel himself. This was clearly important to his lover, and he had met those important to him, it was fair play.
"Yeah, it will be fine, I can throw them at Aunt Angie if needed," Tony grinned, though it was a little shaky.
"Now that's a plan," Harry agreed, hurrying to open the door. And then Tony heard them…..
"...rry! Un'le ha'ry...uncle Harry...uncle Harry...uncle Harry….UNCLE HARRY UNCLE HARRY UNCLE HARRY!"
"Will you two keep your voices down!" A man shouted exasperatedly behind them. Tony stepped out in the garden after Harry in time to see two redheaded kids launching themselves on top of Harry, his boyfriend scooping them up so the girl was hanging upside down and the boy was hanging off his arm.
"Honestly!" Hermione huffed as she and Ron caught up.
"Are you Uncle Harry's boyfriend?" the little boy Hugo asked excitedly spotting Tony.
"You're so handsome! Go Uncle Harry," Rose grinned.
"I did good huh?" Harry grinned backed flipping her the right way up and settling her so she was sitting on his shoulders now.
"Yeah! Uncle Harry said that you invent things! Is that true?" Hugo asked eagerly.
"Yes, I do,"
"Did you make robots?!"
"My mummy has a Starkphone, it is amazing it does so much!" Rose nodded.
"Did you make a flying suit?!"
"Guys let Tony actually answer you!" Harry chided and both kids grinned at him apologetically.
"Did you really make robots?" Ron asked excitedly holding his hand out for Tony to shake, which he did on instinct.
"Hello Tony," Hermione rolled her eyes at him, holding her hand out to him.
"Hermione," Tony nodded to her. "Hello Ron, and yes I did,"
"We're definitely being introduced to them!" Ron grinned.
"Harry also said that you invented a learning, think A.I, that is amazing. Ron, Harry take the kids in to say hello to Angie," Hermione ordered.
"Now Harry!" Hermione ordered hands on hips.
"Sorry, she's scary," Harry grimaced at Tony kissing his cheek on the way passed into the house.
"Sorry mate!" Ron clapped him on the shoulder hurrying after his best friend.
Hermione crossed her arms looking him over before nodding. "What do you see with your future with Harry?"
"I…" Tony looked at her wide-eyed. "I...have no clue what my future is going to be, to be honest, but I do know that whatever it is, I want to have Harry at my side for it, and I want to be at his side for his future, I want to share our future and…" Tony cut off his increasingly impressive ramble when Hermione touched his arm.
"You have been the best thing that has happened to him, thank you, Tony," she said softly.
"He was so lost, and tired, he couldn't seem to find something that was just for him, something that he really cared about. I was worried that coming here was making him worse, and then you came along. I haven't seen him smile the way that he has been for a long time, probably not since we were kids. Keep making him smile please Tony,"
"I will do everything that I can to do that," Tony promised easily, relaxing a little.
"Good, and Tony? I owe you a lot for making my brother happy again, you need someone curing or hexing in a really nasty way, give me a call, day or night and point me at them," Hermione smirked patting his shoulder before walking into the house.
"Are you ok? I'm sorry I will literally stand by you for anyone that wants to hurt you but Mione is on a whole different level and I am really sorry. What did she say?" Harry fretted, looking him over worriedly.
"She said she would curse and hex…." Tony paused and shuddered dramatically, looking at Harry wide-eyed. "...anyone that I wanted, day or night, because I have made you smile,"
"Wha?" Harry turned to look at Hermione shocked, the bushy-haired woman stuck her tongue out at him.
"Wow, that is an offer you should take seriously, she is scary impressive when she is pi...particularly annoyed,"
"Right we are running, we will pick them up in a bit, it was lovely seeing you again Angie," Hermione kissed Angie cheek and then moved to kiss the kids.
"You behave for your Uncle Harry," Ron warned before also kissing Angie's cheek. "Nice to meet you, Tony!"
"Ronald!" Hermione called.
"Coming dear," He said in an easy-going manner and just loped after her.
"They're brilliant," Tony chuckled.
"Should we call you Uncle Tony now?" Hugo asked appearing at Harry and Tony's feet. The two men spluttered loudly.
"This is going to be fun!" Angie said from where she was snickering behind the stove.
"And then I flew right up through the air, and stuck myself to the underneath of the aeroplane hoping that they wouldn't see me!" Tony said to Hugo and Rose who were sitting in front of his armchair in front of the fire, listening to his stories about being Iron Man with wide-eyed excitement.
Despite Tony's worries the kids absolutely loved him, they asked lots of questions, but they were good questions and they were interesting kids. They also told him stories about Harry that made his heart melt, they clearly adored Harry, and he adored them.
Harry leant against the doorway watching Hugo and Rose gasp and cover their mouths as Tony told them his story, his hands moving enthusiastically as he told it, and the kids were enraptured.
"He's better with kids than he knows, he's just scared that he will be like his dad," Angie said quietly stepping up next to him, also watching Tony with the kids.
"He's too gentle and kind to be anything like that…" Harry cut himself off.
"Peg and I always hoped that he would settle down with someone and have a family. I didn't think that it was something that he would really get, before now," Angie said, Harry turned to her seeing that she was completely serious.
"I would really like that, with Tony I think," Harry admitted, turning back to look at his lover.
He looked so beautiful in the firelight, brown eyes, beautiful chocolate, his smile wide and honest. He was falling in love with him, completely and utterly.
"I am happy you two found each other. I am happy to know that he has someone that really cares for him and will be there for him. And I am really happy that you found someone, and something that you want for yourself Harry. You deserve that happiness," Angie patted his cheek before turning and leaving the room.
"Hey Stardust," Harry kissed Tony's forehead after Tony finished his story. "Did I ever tell you about the time Hermione, Ron and I snuck down to the kitchens in Hogwarts and nearly got caught by…"
Tony, Hugo and Rose listened eagerly as Harry told them the story about Hogwarts, Harry sitting on the arm of the chair with his arm wrapped around Tony.
"How confused do you think they're going to be?" Tony smirked at Harry as they walked down the empty corridor.
"I hope it drives them mad," Harry snorted kissing the back of his lover's hand.
"Remind me to show you my appreciation for this," Tony wiggled his eyebrows at Harry teasingly.
"You don't need to thank me for it, however, I will never say no if you insist," Harry chuckled.
It was time for the deposition, and unsurprisingly Pepper, Rhodey and the Avengers had managed to find out where and when it was, and when Tony was due to be there. They were all out in the lobby of the building that it was being held in.
Thankfully for Tony who was most definitely not ready to speak to them, Harry was with him. His lover had insisted that he come with him to America, they were staying in one of Harry's homes in DC to throw off the stalkers who would no doubt also be haunting each of the properties that Tony had in the area. They weren't sure how long they would be here for, but Harry had been firm on the fact that Tony wasn't facing this alone. Angie had been equally as insistent and was waiting for them at home.
Harry had used a simple glamour over the two of them, and they had strolled right passed the Avengers, Pepper and Rhodey where they were clearly hoping to catch Tony. His wizard was not best pleased that they clearly intended to pressure him right before he went into the Deposition, completely ignoring how important it was for Tony that this went well, not that he thought it would go any other way, instead clearly only thinking of themselves.
Tony was glad Harry was there with him, even though he knew that this wasn't his fault, and there was no way that he would be found to be at fault for what happened, talking about the events around Ultron and what had happened, it was hard, and he realised that he needed Harry at his side for this.
Tony Stark found not to be at fault for Ultron
By Eddie Brock
This week the Deposition of Tony Stark took place to look into the events that surrounded the creation of Ultron, and question as to whether the inventor was to be found at fault for the creation, and subsequent destruction, that the robot named Ultron caused during his brief time on earth, including the attack and destruction of a large portion of Sokovia.
The first thing that needs to be addressed was the fact that many thought this was going to be the first time that Mr Stark would be seen in public following his retreat for his mental health after the events of Ultron. Christine Everhart managed to get an exclusive interview with Mr Stark where he explained that for his own well being he had had to make the choice to retreat from public view.
Many were hoping to catch a glimpse of him or talk to him as he made his way in and out of the deposition, his location to be known for the first time in five months. The people waiting in the lobby of the building the deposition was being held in included the CEO of Stark Industries Virginia Potts, Mr Stark's known best friend since his MIT days Colonel James Rhodes and all of the Avengers, minus Bruce Banner and Wanda Maximoff.
This raised the question as to whether it was also the Avengers, and now Virginia Potts and Colonel Rhodes that Mr Stark was also taking a break from, something that has been theorised about since his interview with Christine Everhart, people making the suggestions as much from things that Mr Stark didn't say, as much as he did.
And as the week has gone on the collection of Mr Stark's...friends, seemed to get more and more agitated as they were not able to find him.
That is correct, no one has seen Mr Stark entering or leaving the building where he was attending for his deposition, though the investigating body confirmed that Mr Stark had been there every day, early, and that he had been in attendance for hours answering their questions.
It has also been heard from a source that did manage to see Mr Stark that a tall, dark-haired man was with Mr Stark, perhaps a bodyguard? Perhaps a lover? Perhaps a new Avenger? The description also matched that of the one given by Christine Everhart of the man who was with Tony Stark while he was having his interview with her via Skype. Mr Stark refused to comment on who the man was at that time.
The results have been revealed today as to the decision the investigating board came to in regard to Mr Stark's involvement and guilt as to the creation of Ultron. It took them an impressively short 20 minutes of debate to come to an agreement that Mr Stark was no way at fault for the creation of Ultron.
According to the information and evidence that Mr Stark provided, he was able to prove that the only thing he and Dr Bruce Banner created was the theory of an A.I who was to be designed to protect the world against attacks such as the one New York suffered in 2012 from happening again.
There was nothing physical or tangible about the A.I that Mr Stark and Dr Banner created, it was complete theory. But the staff that Loki handled during the attack of New York, which the Avengers had seized from a HYRDA base earlier that day, reacted and used magic to bring to life the Ultron robot, creating it, and destroying Mr Stark's A.I in the process who tried to stop him.
The investigating board noted, in a surprisingly personal revelation, that Mr Stark was exceedingly distressed and upset about the destruction of his A.I, and that Mr Stark commented that the A.I JARVIS had been like a son to him, he thought so much of his creation.
In speaking to scientists and those that had seen and understood Mr Stark's A.I, it has been explained that the technology was indeed incredibly lifelike, what is called a learning and thinking A.I, who had a personality, feelings and was just like a person. The loss of this A.I who has been with Mr Stark since he was 21 and who he created himself painstakingly, decades ahead of its time, would have been a real personal blow to Mr Stark, especially in the manner that it happened.
This has also been taken as proof of Mr Stark's statement that Ultron was not designed to be a dangerous, hateful A.I. He supplied proof that there was no reason to fear any danger to come from creating Ultron as JARVIS had existed for years and had never been dangerous, and he apparently introduced the panel to his new, young A.I FRIDAY, who was further proof of what Ultron was supposed to be. He explained that without the interference of the staff Ultron would never have gone the way that he did.
There is also proof that the staff had an influence upon Mr Stark in the creating of Ultron and to leave the room so that it could do what it did, the science itself of how the staff manages to affect things something that the panel will jot release, but it has been known to manage to affect the mind of others, it became known in 2012 that Loki used the staff on a number of people to get them to do what he wanted, brainwashing if you like, this number included the Avenger Clint Barton, who we hope understands more than others what Mr Stark went through.
The investigation, however, did bring up more questions as to Wanda Maximoff's part in this whole matter. Her involvement with Ultron, helping and assisting him has been muttered about, but apparently Mr Stark was able to provide evidence, of a magical kind, that he had been immune to the effects of the staff before when Loki attacked in 2012, proving it by providing video evidence of Loki repeatedly trying to use the staff on him to get into his mind but failing.
The magic evidence shows that Wanda Maximoff managed to use her powers on Mr Stark, getting into his head right before he took the staff, and showed him a nightmare of the Avengers all lying dead, their voices accusing him of letting it happen, of not helping them. The magical evidence showed that this action of Miss Maximoff allowed that staff a pathway into Mr Stark's head considering her powers came from the staff, gifted to her shockingly by HYDRA!
This also seems even crueller an action for her to have inflicted upon Mr Stark considering the fact he admitted not long ago that he has been suffering from PTSD, and he has had to search out help and care for it, this action by Miss Maximoff no doubt only making it worse.
Mr Stark apparently not only produced reports proving this magical evidence, but produced three persons who were able to report upon the magical side of things, who these people may be, and the powers that they questionably possess themselves is of massive interest, but their identities have been secured by the panel.
But what can be agreed in amongst the many questions that Mr Stark's deposition has raised, is the fact that Mr Stark has provided a slew of evidence as to his innocence in the creation of Ultron and the actions that the robot A.I took from the point of his creation onward.
One of the major questions that does need to be asked is whether the public have finally realised their mistakes of thinking the worst of a man who over the last ten years has proved himself to repeatedly have the best intentions and interests of the public and humanity in mind, often to the point of risking his own life, safety and comfortability to strive for peace. Whether those around him and the world will maybe finally stop trying to blame things that go wrong on Mr Stark and actually take the time to think for themselves and look into the events to find the truth of what has happened before jumping to conclusions.
More to be reported on this matter throughout the week.
"I like this Eddie Brock," Harry hummed where he was sprawled on the bed on his stomach reading the paper. Tony looked up from his designs to smile at him. He was sitting propped against the headboard, only wearing a pair of sleep pants, the covers comfortably tucked around him as he helped himself to the breakfast tray Harry had brought to bed for the two of them.
It had been a long week, and he wasn't sure that he would have gotten through it without Harry and Angie here for him. But it was done now and they could all relax. He wasn't sure how long they were staying in America for, but Tony wasn't sure what he wanted to do about the fact everyone clearly had wanted to speak with him, and Harry and Angie were happy to give him time to make up his mind.
Tony lowered his tablet to the bed as he watched Harry flicked through the paper, his head tilted to the side as he read. His hair was even messier than normal with his bed head, it made the genius want to run his fingers through it to try and smooth it down - it never worked - his tanned skin was glinting in the sunlight coming through their bedroom window, his muscles flexing and moving as he turned the page.
Licking his lips Tony admitted to himself that while he had no clue what he wanted to do about those that he had been avoiding here in America, getting to share a bed with Harry, falling asleep in his arms and waking up with him sprawled all over Tony like the octopus he was, was amazing, and it was something that he didn't want to have to give up.
They still hadn't gone all the way with sex, they were taking it slowly and Tony was ok with that since that morning in the workshop there had been plenty of sex, but not that last step. But...Harry was perfect, he was everything that he wanted, everything that he had thought he wouldn't be able to get from a relationship, from a person.
"Hello," Harry grinned over his shoulder as Tony crawled up his body, laying little kisses and nips on his way, tugging down Harry's sleep pants to sink his teeth into Harry's perky arse just deeply enough to leave a faint mark. "Something you are wanting Stardust?"
"Lock the door," Tony hummed sprawling out onto the bed next to Harry and opening his legs in offering.
Harry flicked his wand at the door to ensure it was both locked and reinforced the silencing charm - yesterday morning had been incredibly embarrassing for them and Angie hadn't stopped laughing for an hour - before leaning down to kiss his lover, shoving the paper from the bed impatiently.
"No," Tony shook his head gripping Harry's wrist when he reached for his cock.
"What do you want Stardust?" Harry asked nipping Tony's jaw and kissing his way down to his ear, worrying the lobe between his teeth.
"I want you inside me," Tony said and watched amused as Harry's eyes widened and an eager look crossed his face. There was his goof.
"Really?" He asked.
"I can go into an in-depth discussion of the ways I have been imagining you taking me if you would like, including the dream I had about you throwing me down and…."
"Yep no, if you carry on this isn't going to happen! You know I like hearing you talk," Harry whined before grabbing his wand and creating lube for them - and Tony loved that spell - his fingers finding Tony's entrance, circling it teasingly as he looked down at him. "Are you sure?"
"I want you Harry," Tony groaned, thrusting down a little and groaning again when Harry's finger slid inside him.
"You have me, sweetheart," Harry promised. He lowered his head to Tony's chest and worried at his nipples, driving Tony wild as he slid another finger inside of him and started thrusting gently. This part was familiar and something that they had done before, and again Tony had to love those wand nimble fingers as they found Tony's prostate.
Harry stared down at his beautiful lover, head thrown back in pleasure, his hands gripping tightly onto the sheets as he moved his hips, thrusting himself down onto Harry's fingers, and Merlin if that didn't drive the Wizard mad.
He slipped another finger into Tony, groaning himself at the feeling of the warm, tight heat around his fingers, already imaging what it would be like to be inside that heat finally, to be able to be inside Tony, to be close to him in that final way.
"Now Harry!" Tony begged tugging at his shoulders, his erection was weeping against his stomach and his eyes were blown with pleasure, and Merlin but Harry couldn't hold himself back anymore. "No," Tony shook his head when Harry reached for the bedside cabinet for a condom.
"I'm clean, and you said you were, I trust you, I want to feel you, all of you," Tony said.
"I've never done this without a condom before," Harry licked his lips.
"Me either," Tony smirked tugging him back and into the welcoming cradle of his body, thrusting up just enough so the head of Harry's erection brushed his winking entrance.
"You're normally so eloquent," Tony teased.
"I have you laid under me, looking beautiful, sounding the way you do, knowing I am about to be inside of you," Harry grumbled to himself. He was blushing slightly, and Tony hoped that that never went away, his shy part of Harry.
The wizard gripped himself, slicking himself with the remaining lube and pressed himself to Tony. He paused with his head resting against Tony's entrance, feeling it fluttering, but waited until Tony rolled his eyes - lovingly - and nodded.
And then they both groaned loudly as Harry thrust his hips forward, steadily filling and stretching Tony until he was seated deep inside of him.
"Merlin you feel fucking amazing, you're so hot!" Harry groaned, leaning down to kiss Tony, the smaller man panting into his mouth as his hips started making small thrusts.
"Harry, god, Harry, you...why weren't we doing this sooner?" Tony huffed mouthing at Harry's shoulders, kissing over the hickies that he had left there the day before. He was obsessed with those shoulders.
"I...know that we had a good reason, but right now my brain is literally focussed of the feeling of my cock inside of you and your mouth," Harry groaned.
"Good, because I am going to need you to move!" Tony whined moving his hips more pointedly considering Harry didn't seem to be taking the hint.
"Thank Merlin," Harry groaned.
Tony moaned and dug his fingers into Harry's shoulders, arching into his lover's body as Harry started a fast, hard rhythm that made stars dance behind Tony's eyes and pleasure erupt through his body.
"Fucking perfect!" Tony moaned, nipping at Harry's shoulder to urge him on. And god but Harry reacted perfectly, he gripped Tony's thighs and lifted them higher around his waist, changing the angle, thrusting even deeper, and managing to make it feel even better.
Harry panted as he stared down at Tony and thrust into his amazing heat, drinking in every expression on Tony's face, every hint of pleasure, loving his fingers biting into his shoulders likely leaving bruises, loving every moan, groan and mewl that fell from those full red lips.
"Harry...I'm going...Oh god!"
"You're going to cum on just my cock?!" Harry groaned, the thought making his hips snap even faster, Tony hadn't even touched himself.
"You're banging off my prostate like a fucking jackhammer, Harry!" Tony whined and the Wizard could feel his lover tightening around him.
"Yes, yes!" Harry groaned, his own orgasm taking him by surprise as he slammed himself as deep into Tony's body as possible and spilled himself into his body.
Tony let out the loudest noise he was sure he had ever made when Harry thrust himself even deeper into him, the pleasure exploding through him, and then the feeling of Harry emptying himself into him was all it took for Tony to fall over the edge himself.
"That was…" He panted against Harry's shoulder.
"I love you Stardust," Harry sighed happily, his green eyes glittering and a little suspiciously wet as he looked down at Tony.
"I love you too," Tony bit his lip to try and force down the smile that wanted to explode from him, but it was no use. He laughed as Harry leant down to kiss him, that big goofy grin he loved on his face.
This man was his, and he would do anything to keep him.
"Hello?" Rhodey sighed into his phone, not even bothering to look at who it was. More than likely it was going to be another one of the Avengers who was sure that Rhodey and Pepper knew where Tony was, and how he was sneaking into the Deposition and just weren't telling him.
It hurt every time he had to tell them that Tony had not wanted to speak to him either.
"Rhodey?" Tony's voice had him sitting up and nearly dropping the phone.
"T...Tony? Tony is that you?!" Rhodey stammered.
"Yes it is," Rhodey felt his heart sinking, he couldn't remember a time that Tony hadn't started babbling right away, not even talking about what he had called Rhodey about! He had started telling Tony off for that, telling him that he had a lot on his plate and to get to the point. He wished he could go back and tell his idiotic past self how much he would be missing it.
"Are you ok? Tony, I am...I...I have...I have...really missed you," Rhodey said softly. "I am sorry that I have been such a jerk to you recently and that I haven't been listening to you, I got so wrapped up in being important and needed as War Machine that I turned into an idiot, and I managed to forget that you were the person that gave me the chance to be that. Tones I miss my best friend so much, and I...I have been so worried about you, are you ok? Have you been eating and sleeping ok? Have you been staying somewhere safe and looking after yourself? Dumm-E, U and Butterfingers are with you, aren't they? I went to check on them and they were gone, you do have them right?"
"Rhodey, breathe," Tony actually laughed. "I'm ok, I have been staying somewhere safe, and eating and sleeping probably better than I have for a long time. I've been getting help for my PTSD, and I have created a program that helps me deal with the memories. I have the kids as well, I had them shipped to me,"
"Are you still in DC?" Rhodey asked quietly.
"I am, for a little while,"
"Can...can I see you? Please Tones, I have missed you," Rhodey wasn't above begging. He needed to make this right, and he hated the space that had formed between them because of him.
Rhodey practically tried to shove the phone down his ear to try and hear what was Tony was saying on the other end of the phone to what sounded like another man.
"Yeah ok, I will be bringing someone with me though," Tony said firmly, that clearly not up for option.
"Ok, no, ok that is brilliant, tell me where and when and I will be there!"
Rhodey was trying desperately not to wriggle in his seat as he sat waiting for Tony to appear, along with his escort, who Rhodey had been racking his brains to try and figure out who the hell this guy was.
"Rhodey," Tony said making the Colonel look up with a wide grin to watch his missing best friend approaching him.
He was looking good, he was looking better than he had since the New York invasion, he had put on needed weight, he was looking like he had been sleeping better, his face had lost the strained and exhausted look that it had held for too long, something which Rhodey hadn't realised until he received Tony's email and thought back to how Tony had been before his disappearance.
And then he turned to Tony's companion, his eyes widening with horror as he recognised the figure standing at his side, eyes narrowed, arms crossed and scowl firmly in place as he felt as though he was about to be hung, drawn and quartered in place before finding himself in a shallow grave.
"A...a...a...Aunt Angie!" he squeaked.
"James, long time no see," Angie narrowed her eyes even further at him.
He was dead.
Chapter 5: Canary
Harry had offered to come with him but Tony had turned him down, he felt bad for dragging his lover here there and everywhere at his every whim. Tony had never been very good at staying still, and staying in the house had worked for only so long before he wanted to walk around the familiar paths of the city and visit some of his favourite places.
Harry and Angie had escorted him to many of them using glamours to hide them from view, but he felt bad, they had both been settled in for the day when he got a craving for one of his favourite restaurants. They had stood to come with him but he had been firm saying no and they had reluctantly agreed to cast a notice me not charm on him and allow him out by himself.
He wished that he had allowed one of them to come with him now. Apparently the charm wasn't as strong when they weren't with him, and of course, there seemed to be something in the damned Super-Soldier serum that allowed Steve to apparently fight against the charm that was designed to make the eye to skip over him. And so his lunch was interrupted by Steve Rogers and Natasha slipping into seats opposite him, making him tense right away.
"Tony, we have been trying to find you," Steve said, managing to sound both relieved, scolding and disappointed. It was impressive really.
"And I have not wanted you to find me," Tony said simply, he picked up his phone and typed out a quick message, sending it off. There was no point in trying to be sneaky about it, those spy eyes would see it no problem.
"You won your deposition," Natasha stated.
"I did nothing wrong, so yes I did, a shock to you all I am sure," Tony snorted going back to eating his meal. It did not taste as good, but this was the meal that had gotten him into this situation, he might as well eat it and enjoy it as much as he could.
"Tony you have to understand how it looked," Steve shook his head.
"How it looked was that you weren't willing to give me five minutes to listen to my explanation. You made your mind up about my guilt, because it is so easy to assume my guilt," Tony snorted.
"There is a reason for that Tony," Natasha said lowly, calmly, a nice little bite.
"Coming from an assassin who killed who knows how many people, that is a little rich. And considering the circumstances and situation, it isn't even the pot calling the kettle back. Tony's guilt comes from trusting the wrong people, not killing people with his own hands," Harry said smoothly as he took the last seat at the table, Tony relaxing minutely.
"Who are you," Natasha glared at Harry, his words obviously striking her hard.
"Harry Potter, Tony's partner. I don't really appreciate you ambushing him when he made it quite clear to you that he needs space and time," Harry shrugged.
"He just disappeared and left us, we have a right to talk to him," Steve was in full Captain America mode now.
"Why?" Harry asked.
"What?" Cap blinked confused.
"Why do you have a right to Tony's time and conversation?" Harry asked. He glanced at Tony to make sure that he was ok with him speaking like this, Tony knew that Harry had been dying to get a few things off his chest when it came to his team but he also knew that Harry wouldn't say any of it if Tony did not want him to. Tony pointedly sat back and allowed Harry the metaphorical floor space.
He also did not miss the look Natasha and Steve exchanged at the way the silent conversation had gone.
"Tony is an Avenger," Steve said firmly. "That means he has a responsibility to the team,"
"Erm, actually no he isn't, he was never taken off the books as a Consultant only, and as he was consulting for SHIELD which doesn't exist anymore, his ties to you are only the ones that he allows. And even then it is only Iron Man, what was it that you profiled about my lover when he was dying Miss Romanoff, Iron Man yes, Tony Stark No?"
"How does that even make sense? You are Iron Man, it isn't like you become someone different when you put the armour on, it is you in there making all the same choices and decisions that you would out of it, saying the same things...doesn't make sense," Harry added to Tony.
"I...actually hadn't thought about it that way," Tony snorted.
"Ah well, either way, Tony doesn't have to do anything that he doesn't want to do, and he is a human being, you don't own his time or person, if for his own well being he doesn't want to be around you for a while, you need to respect that and not attempt to accost him the first chance that you get," Harry glared back around at the two of them.
"He is Iron Man to make up for the mistakes and many hurts that he has caused," Natasha glared. "He owes the world…"
"Jack shit. He does it because he is a good man who has the ability to help people and so he does, because he can't bear to see them suffering when he knows that there is something that he could be doing to help. Do not make the mistakes of trying to wipe the blood on your hands off on Tony Miss Romanoff, it isn't going to wash with me, and I, unlike others, will call you on it. Your hands are the ones covered with blood, not Tony's and yet, you walk around like some sanctimonious hero who has done all the right things in her life and doesn't have any skeletons in her closet, who hasn't made all the wrong choices in her life and has the right to walk around telling everyone else how wrong they are and shame them for actions that were out of their control or were made through all the best of intentions,"
"I grew up…"
"In the Red Room, yes I know. And I am sorry for that. However, because the start of your bloodletting was coerced doesn't mean that gives you the right to ignore that it is your past or the actions that you took after. How many missions have you been on now that were for HYDRA and not for SHIELD? How many people did you kill that were actually innocent, how much of the information that you brought back was used to hurt, kill, torture people?" Harry leant forward with a challenge in his eyes, and Tony felt a thrill when he realised he was backing Steve and Natasha into a corner, leading them to something, and they didn't even realise.
"That wasn't Natasha's fault, she trusted SHIELD! She trusted them and that they were doing the right thing!" Steve jumped to Natasha's defence. Natasha closed her eyes when she realised where they had been led.
"And equally Tony is as innocent, if not more of Stane's actions. You sit here and try and throw what that Bastard did in Tony's face and blame him, you try and use the guilt and hurt that he has over that against him all the time to drag him into your web, to make him sing and dance the way you want. And yet you are off the hook for trusting that you were doing the right thing and not looking even deeper into it? I mean fuck, you found out SHIELD was trying to make weapons with the tesseract the same way bloody Nazi's did, and that didn't get the alarm bells ringing? You didn't think, well I'm going to look a little closer at this from now on, I have been shown they aren't perfect and infallible. Not what did you do, you signed on and worked even harder for them!"
"It was Tony's company!"
"And Stane ran it, and Tony allowed that because he trusted him because he loved him," Harry reached out and took Tony's hand, squeezing it apologetically when Tony flinched.
"What?" Steve frowned.
"Tony had known Stane from when he was a little boy, the man was practically his uncle, he raised Tony, he was there for him when his parents died, he looked after and cared for him like a parent after that. Howard Stark trusted the man, and so did Tony. He loved him, that is why he trusted him," Harry said softer, as though trying to ease the hurt the words caused to Tony.
"You...you did?" Steve frowned.
"Fuck Steve, what did you expect? Harry is right, I grew up with him there, Uncle Obie who always bought me the best presents because he always bought me tools and encouraged me to build things even when Howard got jealous that I was designing things ahead of him when he had been my age. Uncle Obie who was the person I rang the first time someone drugged my drink at a party because I...because I trusted him. Uncle Obie who tried to kill me twice because I wasn't useful anymore," Tony turned away holding Harry's hand tighter.
"Tony I didn't…"
"You didn't think, because you were told by other people who Tony was, what happened, and how Tony reacted, thought and felt. Did you think to ask him? Did you think to look for yourself? Seems to me like all that is in that blonde head of yours is air and you have learned to punch before you think,"
Tony had to fight back his desire to laugh as Steve and Natasha stared at Harry open-mouthed.
"Did you think about how much Tony did for you? Did you think about how much of the public appearances that he took off your head, the press releases and soothing over ruffled feathers because of your actions? Did you think about how much of his money you took and spent happily, how much he made your lives easier and more comfortable for you? Down to buying you clothes and comfort items, and he did it because he cares about you and he wants you to be happy when was the last time you thanked him for it and didn't just take for granted the fact that he would just do it? Because hey, he has the money what does it matter? Except for the fact that it is HIS money! He doesn't have to spend a penny of it on you!"
"And...and Tony's money has nothing to do with why you're with him?" Steve accused clumsily.
"Are you suggesting that the only reason someone might be with Tony is for his money?" Harry narrowed his green eyes, temper visibly rising.
"That isn't what I meant! Tony, I didn't mean that!" Steve panicked.
"Back to not thinking huh? Seems you not thinking tends to end in Tony being hurt a lot," Harry hummed angrily.
"You didn't answer the question," Natasha glared.
"I am with Tony because he is an amazing, beautiful, caring, warm, intelligent and brilliant man who has a smile that makes my heart beat faster and whose voice kills me. And I am a millionaire in my own right, so Tony's money is definitely not of any interest to me," Harry snorted.
"You love him," Steve blinked, a small smile forming.
"Yes I do," Harry shrugged while Tony tried not to spontaneously combust next to him.
"I am happy for you Tony, you deserve someone that treats you well," Steve looked down at his hands. "We did this the wrong way, we wanted to say to you that we realised how much we took advantage of your kindness and your willingness to help people, and we hurt you so badly without meaning to. You leaving, it opened our eyes in a way that made us not really like what we saw at all, and we were ashamed of how we had treated you. I can't remember the last time that I thanked you and complimented you on the upgrades that you have made for my gear, to keep me safe. You have a massive company to run and design for, and you make all our gear as well because you're the best, and we just expected it," Steve stared at his hands.
"We just wanted to speak to you, you have been avoiding us and…" Natasha started but Harry held his hand up.
"You're a jealous self-righteous little thing aren't you, you be quiet, he was actually getting somewhere," Harry said nodding to Steve.
"We shouldn't have just attacked you like this, it isn't an excuse but we were desperate to see you and try and make things right with you, we don't want you thinking that we don't care, or that we only want you for what you do for us. And we wanted to apologise for how we treated you after Ultron, we didn't even try and listen, Harry was right, and you were our team member, even if you hadn't already proven otherwise multiple times, as a teammate you deserved the respect for us to actually listen to what you were trying to say to us," Steve met Tony's eyes. "I am really sorry for how we have treated you Tony, and we would like the chance to try and repair the damage that we have done,"
"It doesn't all just go away Steve, you...you guys really hurt me. I felt like I didn't belong on the team most of the time we have been together, and as though I was only kept around for my money and upgrades, and as though I was constantly trying to prove myself to you all," Tony stared at where Harry was gripping his hand.
"That isn't what we intended Tony," Natasha eased a little from her defence, grimacing when Harry narrowed his eyes at her warningly.
"That's how it felt and how it came across. What about Wanda?" Tony hunched a little in on herself.
"We should have listened to you about her, when we read the deposition, the mind stone and her magic...we didn't even know she had gotten into your mind, we didn't listen when you tried to tell us. And then we strong-armed you into getting her into the country, you spent your money on a woman that hurt you because we demanded it," Steve covered his face, shame clear on his face.
"We ignored what she had done to Bruce, and what she had done to you we now know. We didn't think about how you would feel about it," Natasha frowned.
"Are you ok? After what she did to you, and the mind stone did to you?" Steve asked.
He and Natasha looked relieved when Harry glared a little less and seemed to calm down. At least he looked like he was only going to kill them in 15 different ways instead of 54 different ways.
"Not really, it made my PTSD worse, I've been getting help for it, but I have been improving," Tony tensed again.
"I'm glad that you have been getting help. You're looking better Tony, I didn't realise how ill and tired you were until I saw you today," Natasha admitted.
"I am glad that you have found everything that you need," Steve started to stand. "We shouldn't have done this, if you want to talk to us we will be here to speak to you,"
"Steve…" Natasha protested.
"No we shouldn't have done this, we didn't come here for Tony, we came here to make ourselves feel better," Steve hissed.
"Maybe there is a little more than air between your ears," Harry commented. Tony looked at him for a few beats before the green-eyed wizard huffed. "You're too open-hearted Stardust," He shook his head.
"Ok?" Tony asked.
"You don't need to ask my permission, Tony, if you want to then, of course, it is ok," Harry kissed the back of his hand.
"You guys can come to where I am staying, for supper if you would like, tomorrow," Tony offered.
"Yes!" Steve looked like a puppy as he nodded his head quickly.
"I will text where I am staying. If you take advantage of knowing where I am, that is it done! I won't be coming back to the Avengers, ever!" Tony warned.
"No, no that...we won't," Steve assured him.
"Ok," Tony was clearly not really sure about this.
"It was good seeing you Tony, I am sorry we, did this," Steve flushed. "Harry...nice...meeting you,"
"Pleasure was all mine," Harry smiled with a little bit too much teeth.
"Thank you," Tony sighed dropping back as soon as they were out the door.
"Are you ok, Stardust?" Harry asked concerned.
"Yeah, I'm ok. I...need to know," Tony started playing with the food left on his plate, and Harry waited for him to get his head back together. "I need to know what I am going to do next. The last few months everything has been on hold. I am...I need to start planning for my future with the changes that will take place, and that means knowing what my future will hold,"
"That sounds fair to me," Harry said softly kissing the fingers still holding tightly onto his hand.
"I think I knew, coming back here that it was time to know once and for all. But…" Tony bit his lip and looked at Harry, mentally making the Wizard melt, that look killed him every time and he both wanted to wrap Tony in bubble wrap and protect him from the world, and lock them in a room somewhere Tony would be safe and ravage him.
"But?" Harry smiled but didn't press.
"But whatever my future holds, I want it to be with you," Tony said a little shakily, uncertainty clear in his face that he thought that that was what Harry would also want.
"Wherever you are, I want to be Sweetheart, you've become home to me," Harry said honestly, reaching out to run his fingers through Tony's hair with his free hand. "I can't picture a future that you're not in, as long as you will have me, for better or worse,"
"That makes it sound like you're proposing," Tony snorted.
"Hmm, say I was, what do you think that you would say?" Harry smiled a little.
"That I think you're mad, this is me you're talking about, I am terrible at relationships and…" Tony cut off his ramble when Harry kissed him, sweetly and lovingly, his thumb rubbing Tony's jaw tenderly.
"You think you're bad at relationships because you avoided them for self-preservation, because when you love you love with everything that you have. Pepper is proof of that. But you have taken a risk on me, and I promise you I am going nowhere for as long as you want me around. Preferably I would like to have a ring on your finger and on mine so the world knows that we belong to each other, but I can wait till you're ready," Harry shrugged with a besotted smile that made Tony's dodgy heart miss a beat.
"And if I am not ready for a year or two?" Tony asked.
"As long as we're together I don't care, Tony, when you're ready, I will still be here," Harry shook his head.
"Well, I mean...I always thought a beach wedding would be nice," The genius offered softly.
"Was...was. That yes?" Harry started beaming at him.
"That was a yes, if I can have my beach wedding," Tony said before laughing when he was pounced on by Harry trying to kiss the living daylights out of him.
"I would have it in your workshop as long as we get married at the end of it," Harry laughed happily.
Tony Stark in love
By Eddie Brock
There has been curiosity going around following Tony Stark's deposition this week - see pages 1-10 for the ongoing information on that - about the dark-haired man who attended it with him, and whether he was the dark-haired man that was with Tony Stark in the exclusive interview that he gave Christine Everhart.
A lot of people have been asking if he could possibly be a love interest, Mr Stark has never hidden his Bisexuality and has been quite vocal about it and LGBTQI+ rights in the last couple of years. There have been a growing number of Team Iron Man fans as they call themselves, that have been hoping that in his time away Mr Stark has found love and someone to share his life with. There have also been a staggering number of fanfictions created around Mr Stark and this mysterious man since Christine Everhart revealed his presence in her piece.
It seems as though we can confirm that this mystery man is indeed Mr Stark's new love interest, as he and Mr Stark were photographed in an exclusive DC restaurant holding hands and kissing, pictures below.
Witnesses at the restaurant said that they seemed to be celebrating something after what appeared to be a tense conversation with Captain America and Black Widow - a lot of witnesses said that the two seemed to impose themselves upon Mr Stark, who did not seem happy to see them, before his mysterious lover appeared, and it seemed to put the two in their place.
After Captain America and Black Widow left, Mr Stark and the mysterious man had an intense conversation before they were seen kissing and looking very excited and happy. We can only guess what that conversation was, but I am sure that fans will be speculating and wondering when we will hear about who this man is, and what his relationship with Mr Stark is fully.
Though it does seem to need to be stated that the apparently unwelcome intrusion of Captain America and Black Widow, and the reports of the apparent nature and way the conversation went calls into question whether Mr Stark disappeared from the public because of the Avengers, something that he refused to comment on in his interview with Christine Everhart. Perhaps his comment about needing space for his own mental health was due to his relationship with the Avengers as well as others in his life?
Hopefully, more will be revealed soon.
"You two look like you're going to war," Tony rolled his eyes. Angie and Harry looked up at him innocently just making him roll his eyes again from where he was sitting on the sofa working and watching their preparations.
Honestly, he had no idea that you could aggressively set a table until he watched Aunt Angie do it. And with Harry cooking the food Tony had FRIDAY running scans to make sure that none of Fred and George's trick sweets or foodstuffs ended up in their meals.
"We're getting ready to welcome our guests!" Aunt Angie smiled.
"You realise that no matter how good your acting is, it hasn't washed with me since Aunt Peggy taught me what to look out for right?" Tony raised his eyebrow at her.
"That was the only problem with your Aunt being a damned Spy, she saw through all my acting. You know how insulting it is to have years of acting skills only to realise that your partner has been indulging you in letting you get away with manipulating her because she is an expert in bloody reading people," Angie huffed to herself, apparently trying to strangle the napkin with its tie.
"Almost as annoying as having your fiance use his tech to figure out all my hiding places for sweets and remove them," Harry pouted, though his lips did turn up at being able to use fiance, and Tony was no better beaming back at him.
"I said no Harry," Tony called going back to his work.
"The custard creams are basically harmless!" Harry whined.
"I said no," Tony chirped.
"Mean," Harry pouted poking at his soup until Angie patted him sympathetically on the shoulder.
Ten minutes later there was a ring at the doorbell, and Tony pulled himself together to go answer it. He waved Angie and Harry off going by himself, he needed to, just as he needed to know they were in the next room and would be there in a second if he called.
"Tony," Steve was at the front of the group and held out what looked like a small mountain of piled chocolate. "Can I put this down somewhere for you? I know you don't like things being handed to you, but it is for you,"
"I...sure...right there is fine," Tony blinked.
"This is for you," Natasha displayed a bottle of the finest engine oil that cost an arm and a leg but was the only thing that he would use for his bots. "I will put it over there," She nodded.
"I brought this!" Clint held out a small mound of games for him to see, and then held up a small decorated piece of paper that had a picture of Clint's kids on, including baby Nate, the kids had clearly decorated the paper for him. "They wanted you to have this, they're really taken with you," He explained before placing his piled down as well.
"I...you didn't need to bring things," Tony stammered, but he picked up the picture of the kids and smiled at the childish decorating.
"We haven't ever done it before, we realised two weeks into you having gone, you bought us stuff all the time to make us happy, things that you knew we would love, but we never made the effort for you," Clint shook his head. "We wanted to buy things, but we thought you had all the money to buy what you wanted, and that nothing we could buy would matter, but we realised behind everything expensive you bought us, it was the thought that mattered the most, and that doesn't go away because you are a trillionaire,"
"He is clearly the brains of the bunch," Harry said from the doorway where he had come, clearly knowing Tony would be floundering with this.
"You're the 'mysterious lover' the one that ripped Steve and Nat a new one," Clint grinned.
"I do like Mr Brock so far, yes that is me," Harry nodded walking over. "Captain, Widow," He nodded to them as he wrapped his arm around Tony. The two shuffled a little in place nodding to him.
"We didn't know you owned this house in DC," Steve said looking around impressed.
"I don't this is one of Harry's houses," Tony shook his head.
"You weren't kidding about having money of your own," Natasha said.
"Nope, its old family money, became mine when my parents were murdered when I was one along with all the estate," Harry nodded.
"You're trying to make us uncomfortable and put us off guard my mentioning that," Clint glared a little.
"And yet it still works even though you know that is what I am doing," Harry smirked.
"You're a spy?" Natasha asked.
"I was a special force Auror," Harry shrugged.
"Wizard?" Clint whistled.
"We only got to work with Wizards a few times with SHIELD," Natasha nodded.
"It makes my head hurt," Steve huffed. "I kind of miss the days when it was just weird Nazis, glowing cubes and sort of science with serums and stuff,"
"So, you can do magic and you're not very impressed with us?" Clint asked slowly eying Harry up.
"You're definitely the brainy one!" Harry smiled brightly clapping Clint on the shoulder. "I cooked supper, I hope you're all really hungry," He added ominously walking back into the room.
"I'm fairly sure that I got all the pranks," Tony shrugged when they looked at him.
"Hey, am I late?" Rhodey asked walking through the front door, looking oddly around as though expecting to be attacked.
"You're just on time," Tony shook his head giving Rhodey a small, but honest hug.
"This is for you," Rhodey held out the carrier bag in his hand before putting it on a nearby table. "I thought that you might want a stash of it in case you're going back with Harry,"
Everyone looked curiously when Tony pulled out one of the jars of peanut butter and jelly mix.
"Thank you," Tony nodded.
"So, you might be going back with him then?" Rhodey asked sadly.
"We haven't decided what we're doing next, I am still feeling things out," Tony shook his head. Behind his back, the Avengers and Rhodey exchanged concerned glances.
"Are you lot coming in or are you hovering in the hallway for a reason!?" Angie shouted from the dining room, and Rhodey actually yelped clinging onto Tony's arm.
"She's here?" He hissed to Tony.
"Where else did you think she would be?" Tony rolled his eyes walking into the room, leading a wide-eyed, heavy breathing Rhodey and curiously panicked Avengers into the room. "What the hell did she say to you behind those silencing spells?" Tony looked concernedly at Rhodey.
"Bad, bad things, things I deserved, but bad!" Rhodey shivered.
"Everyone this is my Aunt Angie, Aunt Angie this is Natasha, Steve and Clint, you know Rhodey," Tony made the introductions, making his way over to Harry and wrapping his arms around his lover's waist as Harry started dishing out the soup.
"Angie..you're…" Steve gasped staring at the woman.
"Peggy's wife yes," Angie crossed her arms and looked as though she were flaying them alive with her eyes.
"How do you know Peggy's...you called her...but you…" Steve was clearly getting himself angrier and angrier.
"You keep that anger to yourself boy!" Angie practically snarled, and Rhodey squeaked and dodged out the way, hurriedly sitting down at the table and trying to make himself look as small as possible. "Tony kept it to himself because you went on about MY wife that much he was worried about the argument it would cause if you knew that she was such a big part of his life, you threw Howard in his face enough, he didn't want to add Peg,"
"Wait, Peggy Carter was gay?" Clint blinked.
"Bisexual actually," Tony called from where he was holding tightly onto Harry.
"I'm the gay one," Angie nodded before turning her glare back to Steve.
"Huh," Clint hummed edging his way passed Steve to also sit at the table. He looked at Harry appreciatively when the Wizard levitated some buttered rolls down in front of him so that he had something to eat while he watched the show.
"You stay right where you are girly, I have something to say to you as well!" Angie glared as Natasha shifted where she was standing.
"This is going to be good," Harry breathed, grunting when Tony nudged him in the side. "I didn't get to her talk with Rhodes," He pouted.
"You have completely forgotten yourself boy, you think because you have that serum in your veins and that shield on your arm you're so much better than my Tonio? You completely forget that everything that you dismiss him for, is everything that means you're standing here today allowing you to be self-righteous. It was Howard's brain that got you to this point, and as much as soaring dickwad on fire as that man was, his brain was something else that came up with the impossible, and Tonio's brain is, even more, the world is changing and if you don't buck your ideas up you're going to be left behind, because Tonio is the future,"
"And you, you need an ego check missy, you have betrayed the trust that Tonio has given you multiple times now and still he gives you chances, how many people do you think would have given you one chance, never mind multiple ones with your history? You think that you stayed out of prison after your history came out because 'the world needs you', bullshit Missy! There are enough people out there like you, you're easily replaceable, Tony used the money and fame that you disdain him for, to keep you safe. And that's what hurts you isn't it, you push Tony down because you know that at heart he is an open and vulnerable person that you will never be, and he is not replaceable by any way shape or means in the way you are, and that just hits you where it hurts doesn't it,"
"Woah...I got off easy," Rhodey breathed out, breaking the moment.
"Let's sit down to eat shall we!" Harry said brightly.
There was a silence that filled the room as they all sat down, Natasha and Steve looking torn between shame, anger and hurt sat with their heads bowed, eating the soup repetitively.
"So, how did you and handsome Brit get together?" Clint coughed clearly trying to kill the silence.
"Harry lives in the place that I went to, we got talking and it just kind of went from there. And he is my fiance," Tony grinned at Harry.
"Wait what! When did that happen?" Rhodey choked through the mouthful of soup he had just taken.
"Yesterday actually, I asked Tony said yes," Harry beamed at Tony who rolled his eye shut his cheeks were stained red.
"You didn't call," Rhodey said softly.
"Were you expecting things to just go back to normal just because you have apologised?" Angie snorted.
"That isn't how this is going to work, I'm not just going to roll over and show you my belly again, any of you because you have apologised. I don't know that I will be coming back, I have a lot to think over, and I need to consider whether you are sincere in your apologies, or whether you're just missing living the comfortable life on my money," Tony frowned at his hands.
"You think so little of…"
"Mind. Your. Tone!" Harry growled stopping Steve from carrying on, all signs of teasing and playfulness gone. "You may have super healing, but I would like to see you try and heal yourself if you are a smear on my carpet!"
"Harry," Tony gripped his fiance's arm. "I think so little because you haven't given me any reason to think otherwise. It seemed quite clear to me that my biggest appeal to you was my money and influence," Tony added, and they could all see him holding onto Harry's arm tighter.
"That's not fair Tony," Natasha frowned.
"But true, we didn't give you any other sign that we didn't want you just for your money, even though we were aware that you had been hurt that way before. We enjoyed the money and the comfort, but we didn't think to take a moment to make it clear that the money wasn't dependent upon you being part of the team. Laura nearly beat my black and blue when I asked why she was sending you a thank you basket for the equipment for the farm you sent. Not because I thought that you should do it mind, but because I thought, what would a thank you basket mean to you when you have all the money to buy everything you want. And then I realised - after being reamed out - that it wasn't what was in the basket that would mean everything to you, but the fact that we had thought to actually thank you for it," Clint shrugged.
"I reluctantly like you," Harry hummed.
"I have kids that I can throw at you to finish the job, they have killer puppy dog eyes," Clint grinned.
"Harry is quite taken with kids," Tony smiled a little.
"Do you think, we could have a chance to start again. We understand that you aren't going to make any promises from your side and we wouldn't want you to, except maybe that you will give us some time to prove wrong and make right the misunderstandings that have happened between us, now we have our heads out of our arses," Steve asked hesitantly.
"I think...one more chance," Tony warned. The Avengers and Rhodey noted that Angie and Harry exchanged unhappy, exasperated looks, but they wouldn't disagree when this was clearly what Tony wanted.
"What the!" Clint dived to his feet as Rhodey let out a squawk and suddenly a canary was sitting blinking confusedly at them where the Colonel had been.
"Harry!" Tony scolded as Harry and Angie started cackling.
"Perfect!" Angie laughed high fiving Harry.
"I thought I got them all! FRIDAY!" Tony glared.
"Oops, my bad Boss," FRIDAY chirped.
"Baby girl, you and Harry conspiring is not a good sign!" Tony huffed.
"Will he turn back?" Natasha asked poking curiously at Rhodey who squawked in offence and flapped his wings, nearly knocking himself over.
"In the next five to ten minutes," Harry grinned.
"What does this one do?" Steve asked fishing out another sweet that Harry had stashed.
"Harry!" Tony groaned.
"Only one way to find out," Harry tilted his head, green eyes challenging.
"That is true," Steve nodded.
"Oh my god, Steve no!" Tony groaned, but Steve had already popped the candy into his mouth. A flash and meow later, and a very cute, unnaturally big-eyed kitten was blinking up at them.
"Meow?" Steve said before looking down at his paws. Somehow the kittens face managed to display surprise.
"For the love of…" Tony shook his head as Angie and Harry high fived again while cackling. The whole table, what was left that was human, broke down when Rhodey managed to flutter his wings and catch Steve's attention, the little kitten hunched over, wiggled his bum a little, and then in an explosion of feathers and fur, the chase was on.
"This is brilliant!" Clint wheezed pointing across the table.
"Seriously?" Tony deadpanned staring at the red panda clinging onto the chair where Natasha had been.
Chapter 6: Three More Guests
By Eddie Brock
Today the long-awaited trial of Wanda Maximoff finished, six months after her arrest, and probably one of the most eagerly anticipated trials of the century.
Wanda Maximoff is faced multiple charges when her trial started, including terrorism, torture, murder and many more charges levelled at her by multiple countries. Also included in these charges are the charges for murdering seven of the 30 officers that were sent to arrest her and bring her in.
It was thanks to technology created by Mr Tony Stark that her powers were able to be neutralised and she was taken to a secure facility to await trial.
It does not really take much to find the information and evidence as to why Wanda Maimoff, AKA The Scarlet Witch, is standing trial. After the data dump performed by Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff to try and save the world from HYDRA take over, you only need to have moderate hacking skills to find information on Miss Maximoff.
She and her brother, now deceased, voluntarily joined HYDRA, the terrorist group that tried to take over the world using helicarriers fitted with multiple pieces of weaponry, that in their first voyage was to kill anyone that could have challenged HYDRA and then controlled the world with fear. It was scary for all of us to realise how close we had come to be under control of the continued line of Nazi psychopaths.
It was this organisation that Miss Maximoff willingly joined with her brother, and allowed them to experiment upon her, providing her with the powers that she now has. Her powers are based upon telepathy and mental abilities. The first thing that came out diving into the data dump was that Miss Maximoff had practised her powers on innocent civilians of Sokovia and captured enemies of HYDRA both, where she had ripped their minds apart in an act that could only be called torture to learn how to use her powers. She also ripped people apart, literally, as she practised using her telepathy on them.
It has been revealed that she willingly worked with Ultron, and in fact, helped in his creation by entering the mind of Tony Stark and knowingly triggering his PTSD. She and her brother worked with Ultron and helped him along the way in his actions, attacking the Avengers and getting into Doctor Bruce Banner's mind to trigger the Hulk and set him loose on the nearby civilian population where over 67 people were harmed, thankfully Tony Stark reacted quickly and managed to contain and knock out the Hulk using his specifically designed Hulk Suit Veronica, otherwise who knows how many people would have been killed?
It was only upon realising that Ultron was determined to kill and wipe out ALL humanity, including them, that the brother and sister team decided to side with the Avengers against Ultron and helped defeat him.
Not really heroic actions when you're saving your own skin.
It seems as though Mr Maximoff may not have been as bad as his sister, he sacrificed his life to save that of Clint Barton, AKA Hawkeye, though perhaps he realised that the world would not be forgiving for the actions the two of them had taken and chose to die doing something good rather than locked in a prison.
Miss Maximoff managed to get semi accepted onto the Avengers, though the details are not clear, it seems that she lied and hid a lot of her actions and the reasons behind her choices in the past.
She did not, however, hide the fact that she hated Tony Stark and blamed him for her parents deaths. Her reasoning behind this was that a Stark bomb was used to kill them, however after extensive research, no one seems to be able to match this bomb to any actions taken by the American Government around the time she claims this happened, and SI has released proof that they have done in-depth research into the illegal dealings of Obadiah Stane, and can not match the sale of any weapons to events in Sokovia. It has to be asked if Miss Maximoff was mistaken for the name she saw on the bomb during a highly stressful time.
It does not excuse the choices she made in any way.
It has been admitted in a recent press release - see this on page 5 - that Miss Maximoff's potential inclusion into the Avengers was part of the reason for Tony Stark's leave from the pubic that he took for seven months, Captain America announced in this press release that Mr Stark had voiced his concerns and when he was not taken seriously by the Avengers, he had no choice but to take a step back as this was another reason amongst many as to why he needed a break.
Miss Maximoff's trial was a long one, purely because of the sheer number of charges that have been levied at her, and the flood of proof that the prosecution supplied as evidence of her guilt. It is not surprising to anyone that Miss Maximoff today was found guilty of all crimes and has been sentenced to prison for life in solitary confinement, no chance of parole, with a count of 123 life sentences. It has also been deemed that research will be made into how to strip her powers, though it was hinted that the UN have been contacted by anonymous parties offering their help to do this.
What did catch the attention of a lot of people today however was the image of Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow and Hawkeye arriving in Geneva together for the last day of Wanda Maximoff's trial, a united front clearly being stated as they exited from their Quinjet together. It seems as though the rift that had formed between the team and Iron Man, Tony Stark, has been fixed, and the four of them were photographed smiling, laughing and joking together in a restaurant two hours after the trial finished and the verdict was given, they were also joined by Harry Potter, Tony Stark's fiance.
Witnesses in the restaurant said that the team seemed to be relieved by the verdict and that it seems as though the weight of Miss Maximoff has been a heavy one upon their shoulders and is finally lifted.
The image of our heroes united again is one that is relieving to all of us, though the absence of Doctor Banner and Thor still raises questions where they are.
"What about these I think that roses and lilies are quite a common flower for a wedding, something different would be nice, also I did a bit of research and apparently Myrtle is a good thing to have at a wedding as it is a representation of marriage and love and has been since Greek times as it was associated with Aphrodite," Steve rambled still flicking through the flower catalogue.
Harry, Tony and Natasha sat staring at him with concerned horror.
"He's...so...organised," Harry muttered.
"He's fucking nuts!" Tony hissed back.
"He's determined to make sure that you have the perfect day," Natasha scolded, but her face said she agreed with Tony.
"It's...sort of sweet, and we have saved a fortune needing a wedding planner," Harry offered.
"That is true, this wedding will be militarily precise between him and Rhodey," Tony snickered.
"Oh god…" Natasha groaned spotted said man walking through the door. Harry and Tony turned to her when they spotted him, but they were too late she had already disappeared.
"Ok, I have 25 types of cake for you two to try for the wedding!" Rhodey grunted as he dropped his pile of cake boxes and the poor Compound worker he had clearly snagged dropped another two onto the table.
"Do you think you would be happy if we eloped and got 3 days of marriage before we were murdered by our loving friends for eloping?" Tony muttered.
"I think I might be," Harry muttered back.
"Did he just say chilli cake?" Tony whispered incredulously as Rhodey started unpacking slices of cake.
"Yes he did," Harry groaned.
Steve was muttering about Baby's breath and daisies to them, Rhodey listing the various flavours of cake.
"Aparate us, now!" Tony hissed wrapping his arms around Harry's neck.
"NO!" Rhodey and Steve both reached out but it was too late, the two managed to escape before they could stop them.
"Steve?" Tony squinted at the phone he had answered without really looking. "Why do you sound nervous?"
"I have something to tell you, and I don't think that you're going to be very happy about it," Steve sighed.
"Ok...does this have something to do with the Accords?" Tony asked confused.
That had been a little bit of a volatile time for them all, but Tony had never been more glad that they had worked things through after Ultron because if Steve and the others hadn't been actively making the effort to listen to everything that he had to say and not just jump to conclusions, he knew that everything would have gone to hell in a handbasket in seconds.
As it was he had managed to explain that the Accords were unavoidable, and there was literally nothing they could do to stop them from taking place, what they could do was use their name, fame and charm to make sure that the Accords were fair and that they worked for them, not against them.
It had been fraught, but with Harry at his side, he had managed to get them to understand that this wasn't something they could fight, to get Steve to understand that this wasn't something that he could punch his way to fixing, it was political, words and politics would only fix it.
They were still working hard on the Accords but they were clearly being shaped in their favour and they were winning.
"No, no," Steve sighed rubbing his eyes. "Thor and Bruce just arrived, with Loki, three ships full of Asgardians, telling us that Asgard has been destroyed and they are seeking asylum,"
"Oh," Tony bit his lip.
"I know that after what happened with Ultron you're not eager to see Bruce and Thor, and Loki is just...I'm not even touching that one. If you don't want to be here for this we understand, Natasha can do the talking at the Accords Council," Steve said firmly.
"Yeah no, the last time she spoke by herself she basically said come at me, I dare you," Tony snorted rubbing his eyes. "No, I will be there, give me a couple of hours,"
"Tony, bring Harry," Steve said softly.
"Yeah, yeah, I will call him now," Tony nodded.
"I can't wait to see you, Tony, I am sorry we're interrupting the wedding preparations," Steve smiled.
"Oh, how is the table planning going?" Tony asked, taking the jump to better subjects.
"I...It is easier to plan for an alien or robot attack, including those robot kangaroos that time, than negotiating the politics of table planning!" Steve grimaced.
"And we are grateful that you took it off our hands," Tony laughed.
"You tricked me," Steve pouted before turning to listen to something out of camera shot.
"Have to go?"
"Yeah, Clint is trying to shoot Loki, again," Steve rubbed his eyes. "See you soon Tones,"
"See you soon!" Tony waved before hanging up.
He took a second before sighing and going to find Harry. They had bought a beautiful mansion in Florida, Angie moving with them declaring that now she had had time with Tony she wasn't ready to go back to missing him, and Harry, though she still apparated back to the village 3 days a week.
This was something that he had been dreading.
Conversation in the meeting room of the Compound stopped when they heard voices coming towards them, familiar voices.
"Stop pouting dear," Tony laughed.
They could hear Harry grumbling, and Steve, Natasha and Clint exchanged amused glances while Vision perked up, smiling when Tony and Harry walked into the room.
"Brother Anthony! It is good to see you, and we have a new member I am…" Thor stopped when Tony jerked back when he reached for the genius, and instead the dark-haired man with Tony was suddenly in front of him.
"I know exactly who you are, no touching!" Harry glowered.
"I think there is confusion here, Thor and I are friends of Tony's," Bruce said looking at the Avengers...who were all taking a step back.
"There is no confusion, all I see is the man who tried to strangle my fiance, and the man who abandoned him to face that music for something that he also had a part in!" Harry glared between the two of them.
"Hello Tony," Vision smiled floating over to Tony's side.
"Hello Vision," Tony patted his arm.
"Your fiance?" Thor frowned.
"He is talking about Stark you idiot," Tony and Harry leant to the side and saw Loki bound to a chair rolling his eyes.
"I did not try to strangle Anthony, he is my friend," Thor scowled at Harry crossing his impressive arms.
"If that is what you do to friends, I would hate to see what you do to enemies. Does Asgard have a different word for strangulation? Let me clarify, you held my fiance, by the throat, off the floor," Harry spoke to him as though he was stupid.
"That was a misunderstanding I…"
"Jumped to a conclusion that was incorrect but attacking Tony first before you got the information required to confirm your accusation instead you held him by the throat, leaving him unable to defend himself, and ignoring the fact that you have super strength,"
"Harry...we need to talk about the Asgardians floating in orbit waiting for help," Tony took his lover's hand.
"Hmph," Harry looked unhappy, but gave in, nudging Tony to the table, away from Thor and Bruce.
"This is Harry, he loves Tony a lot," Clint motioned to Harry.
"Wizard, right?" Loki asked narrowing his eyes at Harry as though seeing something else.
"Right," Harry nodded.
"You're powerful," Loki hummed, impressed.
"Thank you," Harry smirked.
"Stop flirting with Loki," Tony poked him in the face.
"You know that I wouldn't flirt with anyone but you Stardust," Harry smiled.
"No that was definitely flirting, I feel sick," Clint grimaced.
"Aww, Clinty but you're my favourite!"
"I know, I know, I'm the only one with brains," Clint rolled his eyes.
"Guys," Steve, as normal, sounded like he wanted to bang his head against the table.
"Asgardians, right," Tony grinned. "So, what happened?" He turned to Bruce and Thor.
"I have a headache," Tony whined dropping onto the sofa and placing his head into Harry's lap. He looked exhausted and Harry made a soft noise before he started massaging Tony's temples gently.
"You two are sickening you know that," Natasha huffed walking into the room with Thor, Bruce, Loki and Steve.
"We know," The two of them said together.
"Brother Anthony I wish to…"
"Would you like something to eat? It has been a long day after all," Harry interrupted holding out a sweet to Thor.
"Oh, thank you, I don't mind if I do, thank you for understanding and giding by ab chamb…" Thor's expression had the Avengers cracking up as his tongue grew...and grew and grew.
"Very well done," Loki nodded impressed, ignoring the puppy dog eye Thor was giving him as he tried to hold his tongue off the floor.
"Tony, I did not mean to just leave you, but what happened with Wanda was…"
"Something that happened to all of us except Clint, and yet you still left me here to deal with it. I had to face a deposition by myself to prove that I was not at fault for the creation of Ultron, while you were apparently swanning around the stars finding yourself!" Tony looked at Bruce, and it hurt the other scientist more that Tony looked sad and disappointed instead of angry.
"I...I am sorry Tony," Bruce frowned at his hands.
"I...I need time Bruce, out of everyone, I thought you would at least have my back and help people understand, the way that I always have had your back, even when you didn't believe in yourself," Tony closed his eyes and turned into Harry.
"I think that Tony has made himself quite clear Doctor Banner!" Harry said sharply. "We will be in our bedroom here Steve, we will see you in the morning," He said to the Captain before apparating the two of them out.
"Harry is very protective of Tony, and he makes sure that we don't take advantage of Tony and his kind heart when we all seem to find it easy to blame everything on him. In the time that you have been gone, we have done a lot of work repairing our relationship with Tony, proving to him and Tony that we are his family and don't see him as a bank account and scapegoat. Because that is how we made him feel," Clint explained.
"Tony disappeared for seven months, five of those we had no clue where he was. He got away from us, and from the toxic situation that we had fallen into,"
"Did you just say toxic situation, Steve?" Bruce blinked.
"I have been talking to people, counsellors," Steve shrugged.
"And we have worked on getting better. Tony will forgive you, that is what Tony does, but Harry will make sure that he does not do it unless you mean it," Natasha said.
"That doesn't sound healthy," Bruce scowled.
"Harry protects Tony from people hurting him, he talks through Tony's knee jerk reaction to forgive people because he is terrified of hurting others, and the people he cares about hurting him and leaving him," Natasha shook her head.
"Harry is probably the best thing that happened to Tony, they love each other," Steve smiled.
"Sab hskkf jsjsn tong bsj!" Thor garbled.
"Erm….can you undo this?" Bruce asked Loki.
"Yes," Loki nodded.
"It is rude to undo someone else's prank, especially considering you strangled his fiance," Loki shrugged.
"I am sorry Anthony. It is no excuse for what I did, and I jumped to conclusions, my problem has always been my temper, my lack of looking through a situation fully, and the fact that I am intimidated by those cleverer than me and tend to react badly. You always reminded me of Loki, of what he could have been. I forget a lot of the time as well that you are not enhanced, that I can hurt you when you are not in your iron suit because you are so big and strong,"
"...coffee?" Tony blinked from where he was clinging to Harry's back in a piggyback.
"Waffles?" Harry added motioning to the pan he was cooking on.
"Please," Thor nodded confused.
"Tony I did not mean to hurt you, that is the last thing that I would wish to have done,"
"Geez you have the worst puppy dog eyes," Tony huffed shoving playfully at Thor's face.
"You forgive me? Your betrothed will allow you to forgive me?" Thor asked hopefully.
"Allow you? What?" Harry looked confused.
"The Captain of Righteousness informed us that you are the guardian of Anthony's heart," Loki said as he strolled into the kitchen.
"Well I guess that is true," Tony laughed kissing Harry's cheek.
"I do not,"
"You really do,"
"Got room for one more?" Bruce asked uncertainly from the door.
"Maybe," Harry grumbled throwing a waffle to Tony who caught it one-handed and started chewing it happily.
"I understand why you left Bruce, but at the same time you just left me in the shit, I tried calling you and you couldn't even pick up the phone," Tony sighed.
"I was ashamed, that's why I didn't pick up the phone. I was ashamed because I had left behind the first person to believe in me in a long time, and I couldn't bear the humiliation of having to speak to you, knowing that I was letting you down when you needed me. It was easier to do what I have always done and run,"
"And?" Tony asked softly holding tighter onto Harry.
"I'm done running and hiding, and I am done leaving behind the people I care about because I am a coward," Bruce said firmly.
"Waffle?" Tony asked holding out the other half of his waffle.
"Seriously?" Harry grunted.
"You really do," Tony grinned against Harry's cheek before kissing it.
"Shut up and eat your waffle," Harry huffed, throwing another waffle at Tony who caught it happily.
"I am hungry," Thor pouted, eyeing the waffle.
"You can wait," Harry narrowed his eyes at the god.
"I can wait," Thor nodded rapidly sitting down at the counter.
"Here you go," Harry threw the next waffle to Loki.
"Why does he get the next waffle?!" Thor whined.
"He didn't attack my fiance," Harry shrugged.
"He threw him through a window!" Thor spluttered.
"He was brainwashed apparently, so that leaves you as the only one here that...ow ow ow," Harry pouted at Tony.
"Play nice!" Tony warned.
"Fine, here you go Point Break," Harry threw Thor a waffle.
"Morning guys, oo Harry's waffles!" Clint cheered.
"Did you say Harry is making waffles?" Steve hurried into the room.
"Yup, here we go," Harry threw another waffle to Steve.
"Harry!" Tony groaned as Steve and Loki started snickering.
"What?" Harry asked innocently throwing a waffle to Clint who grinned happily at him.
"Harry!" Tony dropped his head onto Harry's shoulder.
"Is that Thor?" Natasha asked watching the golden retriever chasing his tail in the middle of the kitchen.
"Yup, waffle?" Harry asked.
"Please," She nodded as she balled a pair of Clint's socks and threw them, smirking when Thor yipped and raced after them.
"Harry!" Tony poked him in the cheek.
"What?!" Harry blinked innocently at him.
"The god of thunder is currently licking his balls!"
"What? I'm done now, I will play nice!" Harry shrugged.
"This is brilliant," Clint smirked.
Chapter 7: Children
"Harry?" Tony put down his tablet and turned his full attention to the phone at the tone of his fiance's voice.
"You can track my phone right?" Harry asked.
"Yes, I am now, what is going on Harry are you…"
"I'm ok. But I am currently watching who I am fairly sure is a kid scaling a 48 story building, he's on the outside and he is on around the 24th story," Harry assured him.
"He's...scaling the building?" Tony asked as he climbed into the suit.
"Yeah, he doesn't seem to be using anything either, he's literally just happily scaling up," Harry sounded beyond bemused.
"I will be with you in about 3 minutes, you said he was a kid?" Tony asked as he and FRIDAY took off.
"Yeah, he ran into me chasing someone, said that he was dealing with it and I should get out of here. He sounded about 12, but then he ran straight at the building and just...climbed," Harry paused before adding, "he seems to be wearing some sort of homemade costume,"
"Like, superhero costume?" Tony asked.
"I'm nearly with you," Tony said quickly.
"I'm going to glamour myself and head up on my broom, you and the kid will be able to see me," Harry said, glancing around to ducked into an alley just in case.
Tony reached the kid at the same time as Harry did, his fiance motioning to the blue and red-clad person scaling the glass building in a 'see' gesture.
"Woah how are you doing that? That is so cool, is that a broom? Are you a wizard, that is just amazing, and oh my god you're Iron Man, Mr Iron Man sir, Mr Stark, I am such a big fan and…" Harry and Tony both lunged for the kid when he took both hands off the glass to gesture at them, but he remained stuck to the side of the building.
"How exactly are you doing that kid?" Tony asked baffled. He couldn't see any technology keeping the kid on the building.
"Oh, I got bit by a radioactive spider, got like super spider powers, I stick to things and can climb them the same way spiders can," The kid explained easily enough. "That guy robbed someone back there, he said something about destroying evidence before taking the guys briefcase and coming to this building I think he owns it, I just need to…"
"Yeah no," Tony plucked the kid from the side of the building and held him out to Harry. "You're going back to the Tower with Harry, I will deal with this, and then we're going to discuss the fact you're superheroing when it sounds like you should be doing homework right now," Tony sighed.
"Come on kid," Harry snorted.
"...I can ride on your broom?" The kid asked, trying and failing to hide his excitement.
"Yes, come on," Harry said, grinning at Tony amused, knowing his lover was laughing in the suit.
And so Harry found himself flying back to the Tower with the kid holding on and whooping happily.
"Welcome back Master Harry, and…" FRIDAY paused pointedly as the two of them walked in from the landing pad.
"What is your name kid?" Harry asked.
"Peter Parker Sir, Spiderman," The kid stammered taking the mask of his...onsie.
"And how old are you exactly Spiderman?" Harry asked motioning for the kid to follow him to the kitchen.
"15," Peter sat when he was indicated, but he tilted his chin in a challenge to Harry.
"And how long have you been doing this?" Harry asked placing a bottle of cola down in front of Peter and started making sandwiches.
"Six months," Peter turned when Tony walked through the door from the landing pad.
"That...prick had killed a woman and the guy he stole the briefcase from had proof, he was trying to destroy the evidence when I got there," Tony huffed.
"And what did you do?" Harry asked amused.
"Punched my way through the window and took him and the evidence to the police," Tony scowled before he focussed on their guest. "So, who do we have here?"
"This is Peter Parker, Spiderman fifteen and he has been doing this for 6 months," Harry listed.
"Don't worry he used to be a sort of police officer, he is good at interrogating you without you realising that that is what he is doing," Tony laughed seeing the expression on the kid's face.
"Am I in trouble?" Peter asked worried, playing with the bottle in front of him.
"Depends, have you been doing anything wrong?" Tony asked dropping down next to him.
"No! I promise Mr Stark sir, I haven't, I have been trying to help and do good things! I normally stick to my neighbourhood trying to clean it up and help people there, mainly it consists of helping old ladies across the road to be honest, but I have managed to stop a few muggings and there were a couple of women that were going to be attacked so I webbed up the attackers and told the police and then made sure that the women get home and…"
"Webbed?" Tony asked.
"Oh yeah!" Peter made a gesture and a small amount of webbing, like spider webbing, came from his wrist.
"I kind of don't want to know the answer to this, but did that actually come from inside you?" Harry asked poking at the webbing with his knife and then blinked when it stuck to the web.
"No! I designed a fluid and dispersion device, to make it easier to get around, and I figured web because well, Spiderman,"
Harry blinked when between one second and the next he lost his fiance to the kid, the two of them talking about the fluid and device that Peter shower Tony. He was completely lost, but he gathered that Peter was crazy smart. Happy to watch Tony geeking out with the kid, Harry just made a pile of sandwiches while listening with half an ear.
"Well Peter, we needed to decide what to do with you now," Tony sighed sitting back just as Harry finished the last pile of sandwiches.
"Ok," Peter's shoulders dropped and the kid looked so mournful Harry couldn't help ruffle his hair.
"So, I am thinking an internship with Stark Industries, you will carry on going to school and such, but you will send time here training and upgrading your uniform for as long as you are out there superheroing, we will have rules in place, and you will stick to them otherwise I will stalk you around New York City, once you are of age if you want to carry on working with us, of course, you can, or if you want to go your separate way you…"
"I can join the Avengers!?" Peter squeaked.
"When you are legal age, before that only if there is like a super apocalypse. It will be more that we will be your back up if you need help. I don't think that I am going to be able to talk you out of doing this?" Tony levelled him with a stern look.
"My uncle always said that with power comes great responsibility. This happened to me, and I don't know why, but all I can think is that it was to be able to help!" Peter said firmly.
"He's as stubborn as you dear," Harry said as he dropped the huge pile of sandwiches onto the bar in front of them. "Eat up,"
"These are...I can have some?" Peter blinked at the food, and Tony watched Harry's eyes narrowing, suddenly seeming to scan over the kid again looking for something different.
"You eat as much as you can fit into your stomach," Harry said firmly, and the kid fell on them like he was starving. Harry's lips pursed.
"So, you aren't going to stop me?" Peter asked, actually being polite and finishing what was in his mouth before speaking, and then taking another massive mouthful.
"We are not exactly the right people to be preaching about age-appropriate actions. I was at MIT living the college life and worrying my best friend grey early at your age, and Harry had faced and fought a dark wizard 3 times, helped a suspected mass murderer who had escaped from a top-secret wizarding prison go on the run, was running an underground fight club and had broken about 9000 rules," Tony snorted.
Peter turned to look at Harry wide-eyed who just grinned innocently and nodded.
"I do have a question for you, Peter. Where are your guardians?" Harry asked gently, but the kid folded in on himself.
"My mum and dad died when I was 10, my aunt and uncle were killed in a mugging five months ago," Peter muttered.
"So, where are you staying now?" Harry asked.
"Foster homes," Peter shrugged. "They're not too bad, I have had to move school twice now, but it is ok,"
Tony and Harry shared a look over his head, but both of them knew they had a conversation to have without Peter there.
"Alright kid. You had better get back then," Harry grabbed the plate and bagged up the sandwiches with magic quickly, holding it out to Peter who just stared with wide brown eyes at him.
"I will be around tomorrow to get you signed up for the internship, and we will get started on all that," Tony nodded standing as well.
"Mr Stark sir? Where are you going?" Peter blinked when Tony's suit started forming around him.
"I'm escorting you, home kid," Tony snorted.
"No buts, and eat another sandwich before we leave or Harry will cry," Tony motioned into the Tower where Harry was watching them. Peter quickly shoved another sandwich into his mouth before pulling his hood back on, and watched Harry nod happily.
"So," Tony said as he walked into their bedroom where Harry was waiting for him in bed.
"So," Harry nodded, watching his lover strip down before crawling onto the bed and into Harry's arms.
"What did you see?" Tony asked softly, resting his cheek over Harry's chest.
"He's starving, I would guess he has a higher metabolism with his powers,"
"Like Steve, Loki and Thor, makes sense," Tony nodded.
"But he isn't getting enough food for a normal kid. He's tired and hurting. He is being disrupted having to move schools, which even though he is amazingly smart, that is going to start becoming detrimental to him," Harry sighed.
"We…" Tony started to say and then clammed up, fisting the covers over Harry's chest.
"You know that you can say anything to me," Harry frowned, taking the clenched fist in his hand and kissed the knuckles until they relaxed.
"There is something about him, I don't know what it is, but I...I just wanted to swaddle him up and not let him go back, leaving him on that roof even though I knew I will be going back tomorrow, I just...I wanted to grab him, bringing him back here and stop that hurt look in his eyes," Tony exploded.
"His eyes remind me of yours," Harry smiled at the ceiling, Tony turning to look at him confused by the seemingly random response to his outburst.
"They're so like yours, big and brown and clever. They're also like yours were when I first met you, hurt and tired, but still trusting and awe-filled. I...maybe we could look into...maybe we could...he…"
"I want to foster him," Tony declared, and was gifted with bright happy green eyes as Harry sat up sharply.
"Really? Kids are something that we haven't spoken about?" Harry asked.
"He's smart, so smart, and he needs stability and support,"
"And we would both be able to understand losing parents and loved ones too young, and be able to understand his superpowers,"
"And he is less likely to get hurt sneaking around helping because he would be here with us to watch out for,"
"And we could offer him a happy home,"
"With lots of family to care for him and make sure that he is ok," Tony nodded.
"Are...are we really going to do this after spending an hour and a half with the kid?" Harry bit his lip, happiness glittering in his eyes.
"We're not even married yet but...I want that kid Harry, I want him here and safe and cared for," Tony looked at his lover, and the Wizard could see how much Tony had bonded with Peter, and how hard it was to leave him.
The two paused for a second, before they were both scrambling back out of bed. They had work to do.
"Parker!" Peter grimaced at Mrs Hammet's bellow. This house was not the best, it was one of the worst that he had been in really. It was more like an orphanage, and there were too many of them here.
The older, bigger kids were rewarded for keeping everyone else in line, and Mrs and Mr Hammet didn't care how they did it.
"Someone is coming for you, you're being fostered out. Pair of poofs by the sound of it," Mrs Hammet sneered.
"Parker, you lucky so and so," Flash smirked at him. Flash was the one that enjoyed inflicting the most pain on the other kids, and disliked the fact Peter put himself in front of a lot of them to protect the other kids.
"But…" Peter froze, Mr Stark was supposed to be coming to sign him up for the internship, but if he wasn't here...Mrs Hammet would keep where he had gone from Mr Stark on purpose and he wouldn't…
"Go pack!" Mrs Hammet smacked him around the head hard enough that he would have had a headache without his powers.
"Peter…" Morgan was waiting for him on his bed when he got to his room, the little girl was only 5 and she had latched onto him when he had protected her from one of the older girls, earning himself being locked in the cupboard without food for 18 hours.
"I am so sorry Morgan, I didn't know this was happening," Peter frowned kneeling down by her.
"Not your fault," Morgan shook her dark head, but her lip was trembling. Peter desperate scanned his brain to try and think how he could fix this and help Morgan and the other kids here.
He had no clue who was fostering him now, and he had no clue what he could do to help, even as Spiderman he was still a kid and unknown, Mr Stark and Harry...but…
"Your...new...foster...parents...are...here," Flash had never looked so stunned or defeated before and Peter was completely confused when he drifted away like a ghost.
Peter took up the few things he had and shoved them into his bag before standing. Morgan grabbed his hand and even though she was sniffing and trembling slightly, she held on with a determined look as they walked down the stairs.
The last thing Peter was expecting was to see Harry and Tony standing there, arms crossed and looking around disgusted, Mrs Hammet and Mr Hammet standing there open-mouthed, and who Peter thought was his social worker's manager standing looking cowed and panicked.
"Peter," Tony beamed.
"And who is this pretty young lady?" Harry smiled seeing Morgan holding onto him tightly.
"Morgan, this is Morgan," Peter blinked rapidly, his brain doing the calculations but not computing.
"Hello Morgan," Harry smiled.
"Are you the ones taking Peter?" Morgan asked quietly, her wobbling lip become worse.
"We're fostering Peter yes. What happened to your eyes sweetheart?" Harry asked gently sitting down in front of Morgan cross-legged and carefully brushing her brown hair away from her bruised eye and cheek.
"She is accident-prone she…" Mr Hammet started to say but Harry turned furious green eyes onto him, stopping him from speaking with just a look.
"Morgan has a voice and I asked her, not you!" Harry hissed.
"What happened sweetheart?" Tony joined Harry on the floor.
Morgan looked between Harry and Tony and Mr and Mrs Hammet, before showing that bravery that Peter admired her for. "Mrs Hammet told Lila to hit me, because I asked to have breakfast because I was hungry and hand not eaten since breakfast the day before!"
Mr and Mrs Hammet looked stricken, Social Worker Manager looked defeated. And Harry and Mr Stark looked beyond furious.
"Alright kids, Peter, you're coming with us, everyone else go and pack your bags, the Maria Stark Foundation will find somewhere for you until somewhere safe can be found," Tony said firmly standing. Kids around them let out small whoops and hurried away to pack their things, delighted to be getting away from Mr and Mrs Hammet.
"What will happen to Morgan?" Peter asked shakily.
Harry and Tony looked between the two children and their joined hands clinging to each other before they seemed to have a silent conversation.
"Well, she is coming with us of course!" Harry smiled.
"Mr Potter, Mr Stark," The manager spluttered.
"We will be taking her with us as well. And you will be sending social workers to come to perform the full and thorough checkers to make sure that she and Peter are ok, just as you will do for all the other children!" Harry said with a dangerous tone.
"Yes, of course!" She said before hurrying from the room.
"We're really going with you?" Peter asked, his head spinning.
"If that is ok with you, yes," Tony nodded.
"I am underage, I have to go where I am told," Peter frowned.
"No you do not," Harry said firmly.
"I...would like to come with you," Peter nodded.
"If Peter likes you, and I get to stay with Peter, I want to as well," Morgan said looking between the three of them. She didn't really understand what was going on, but she knew she got to stay with Peter.
"Wonderful, let's get your things, and go home," Harry said gently, carefully reaching out to pick Morgan up. Tony took Peter's bag and squeezed his shoulder as they followed behind the two.
Peter would admit that the expression on Flash's face, the jealousy was wonderful.
"You have a mini human!" Thor cried delightedly, freezing in the doorway.
"A child Thor, they're called children," Loki rolled his eyes but he was stepping around his brother and looking at Peter and Morgan with clear delight of his own.
"This is Morgan and this is Peter, guys this is Thor and Loki," Harry introduced their foster children of three weeks proudly.
"Loki is exceedingly fond of children, thank you," Thor said softly to Tony as he and the genius watched Harry, Loki and Peter playing with Morgan.
"We want you all to meet them, if anything happens to us, we want them to have you, and to know that they are safe and cared for. They have had a hard start to life,"
"It is good that they have you and Harry then, for you both have much love to give and to share! They are your heirs, we shall love, protect and care for them with honour at the trust that you are granting us!" Thor nodded.
"They are everything to me, in such a short amount of time," Tony admitted softly, watching with such love in his eyes as Morgan convinced her audience to play dinner party.
"That is because you are a kind and loving man. This is what you deserve friend Tony, a family and love," Thor smiled patted Tony's shoulder firmly enough to knock him off the sofa. "Oops."
"I am not going to bite you," Morgan frowned at the large man perched in front of her tensely.
"I know! I just...I don't want to hurt you," Steve squeaked.
"Ignore him, he is a super big softie," Clint rolled his eyes, scooping Morgan up and seating her on his knee, throwing Steve a book. "Read us a story please,"
"I can do that!" Steve squeaked again nodding.
"Is that really Captain America?" Peter asked biting his lip.
"That is Steve Rogers," Harry chuckled throwing his arm over Peter.
"Thank you," Peter said looking down at his feet.
"For what kiddo?" Harry smiled at him before sobering when he saw the look on Peter's face.
"You gave us a home when you didn't have to, you gave us a chance an opportunity that we would never ever have had. You didn't have to do this, you could have just made sure we were looked after and…"
"Peter. Tony and I...fostering you and Morgan has given us something that we didn;t realise we needed in our lives. You have completed our family in a way we didn't realise that we needed, fostering you two is the best thing that we could have done, you make us smile and laugh and you make us feel complete," Harry squeezed his foster son gently.
"You're not a sacrifice Peter, you're a gift," Harry said firmly.
"Look daddy look!" Morgan squealed excitedly, bouncing on Harry's shoulders where she was sitting, pointing at another animal in the zoo.
Harry listened fondly as Tony and Peter started spilling all sorts of facts about the animal to an eagerly listening Morgan, who was also already getting distracted by the next animal.
It was a hot, sticky day in Central Park Zoo, and his face was sticky from where Morgan had had melted ice cream on her fingers when she gripped onto his face excitedly. Peter and Tony were as excited, they had done a hilarious amount of research before coming, both of them as eager as ever to learn more and know more.
He and Tony had made sure that the four of them had a time like this together, family time, sometimes including Hermione, Ron and their brood, or the Avengers, sometimes just the four of them. With the homes that they had both come from, this was important to them, putting in the time and care to the two of them.
It had been six months, their wedding had been delayed with the inclusion of their two children joining their lives, wanting to focus on them rather than the whirlwind their wedding would cause. They knew that they loved each other unconditionally, and they knew that they would marry, but Peter and Morgan were more important, making sure that they knew they were loved, cared for and safe. Becoming a family.
At home were the adoption papers for the two children, after their day out here Tony and Harry would ask them if they would be ok with Harry and Tony officially adopting them. Going from the bright, happy, honest smiles on their faces, and the love in their eyes when they looked at the two men they had started called Dad the month before, Harry doubted that they would say no.
Right here, with his family around him, enjoying a simple day out, Harry could not stop his happy smile. Tony insisted that he had saved him, but the reality was his Stardust had swept into Harry's life, given him everything that he had always dreamt of and saved him.
And they had the rest of their lives together as a family to enjoy what they had created together, all four of them.