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Pretend You're In Love

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Tony Stark was a man of discipline.

Finish what you start, make the next better than the one just finished, make no mistake. There was no times for mistakes in the world of Tony Stark. Not when those mistakes could cost you the life of someone you love. He wouldn’t – couldn’t – risk any of his team mates lives.

Tonight, he found himself staring at the dismantled Iron Man suit in front of him. He tore it apart the previous night, doubting his own abilities, believing there to be something wrong with the machine that would cost him blood on his hands. He was determined to make sure that the suit was perfect, not a single flaw was allowed to happen.

All this most likely stemmed from the past few weeks of nightmares he had been having when he attempted to sleep. It was always in a fight, never the same fight, never a fight that he has actually fought in the real world with the other Avengers. But that didn’t make it feel any less real. The fight was going, intense. Everything seemed to be going good, they seemed to be winning, but then, things would go wrong. One night, it was Steve being thrown off the top of a building and he was supposed to catch the falling soldier, but his suit misjudged the distance by just a few inches, which caused Steve to fall toward his end and Tony to wake up in a breathy panic, sweat dripping down his forehead, unable to breathe or go back to sleep. It wasn’t always Steve that he failed to save. At some point, it was one of the other Avengers, and it was always some very minor flaw in the design of his suit that had caused him to fail to save his friends.

Most nights, though, it was Natasha Romanoff.