Post by ANTHONY STARK on Sept 7, 2016 5:02:24 GMT -5
After 'Decisions, Decisions'
Stark Mansion, Outside New York, 1991...
A younger Tony Stark, in his very early twenties, clean shaven but with longish hair, laid on a couch and watched his favorite 90s TV Show while Howard and Maria Stark get ready to go out. There was a massive Christmas tree on the corner of the massive living room of the equally massive mansion. It has been a weird winter, with very little snow to which Tony – always curious, even back then – concluded that it had something to do with the 'El Nino' weather phenomena. He was planning to run some simulations once his parents left, maybe test a new computer system he was building in the garage of the luxurious mansion. It had a lot of promise... a fully integrated system that could run the whole house and that he was planning to name it either Friday – in honor of Robinson Crusoe's sidekick in the book, which was one of Tony's favorite – Veronica – in honor of the first woman who broke his heart – or Jarvis, after their longtime butler. He needed to figure out a cool acronym for it, though. Friday or Veronica would be hard to find one, Jarvis... actually... it was not that hard. Just A Really Very Intelligent System. Hmm. It almost rolled out of the tongue, didn't it?
He wore what would become in the future his trademark attire: a heavy metal band shirt, ripped jeans and very cheap tennis shoes. He pretended not to listen to what Howard, his father, was saying but in reality he did listen to it. He always listened to Howard, even when most of the time he didn't want to or cared about what his dad had to say. What was the point? Howard was more like a taskmaster than a father to Tony, who grew up being raised basically by their butler Edwin Jarvis and his mom. The all high and mighty Howard Stark never had time to spend with his son, so busy with his inventions, his company, and his worship of Captain America to even notice Tony. His mom, on the other hand, was a different story. Tony idolized Maria Stark. She has always been there for him through the good times and the bad times as he grew up. Every birthday, every achievement he had, she was always there, encouraging him. Her and Edwin Jarvis, who basically took the mantle of father figure for Tony. In fact, it was Maria who spoke to him first:
“Are you sure you don't want to come with us, Tony? It would do you some good.”
“Nah, mum. I just got here and I plan to veggie out the whole holiday.” Tony answered.
“If all you were going to do is stay here and waste your life, you might as well have stayed in M.I.T.” His father said, with that always stern voice of his.
“Waste my life? Sure dad, because that is all I do in M.I.T. Let's forget that I'm the youngest student that ever attempted that University or the fact that in four years I already have two Bachelors degrees, a Masters and going for a PhD.”
“Academic achievements mean nothing if you don't plan to do anything with them. And arrogance without merit is foolishness.”
“No, mum. It's fine. Not all of us can be the Founder of our own little secret police or wield a Vibranium shield or care more about a dead man than about our families... right dad? That's your idea of 'merit'.”
“That 'dead man' did more in a few years that you'd probably accomplish in a whole lifetime, so show respect.”
“Oh, you mean by juicing up and being given an unfair advantage? Yeah, good role model. 'Look kids, use steroids and you will accomplish great things.' ”
“Always the smartass...”
“Stop it, both of you. Come and give me a kiss before I go, Tony.”
Tony stood up and hugged his mother, kissing her on the cheek. It was then that Maria whispered into his ear. “You know this is going to be the last time you will see us alive. Say something...”
“I'll say it to you... I cannot say it to him... I love you, mum.”
“I love you too... and he does as well, Tony. In his own way...”
The dream changed, showing Howard and Maria, covered in blood at the side of a road. A silhouette standing beside them. JAMES 'BUCKY' BARNES, the Winter Soldier, with a sniper rifle in his hand. But when he turns around and removes his glasses and half-mask, Tony did not see Barnes' face but rather his own face, staring at him...
He woke up, startled and panting. It was always the same nightmare, over and over and over. Shaking his head, to clear it, he gazed at the holographic clock at one of the walls of his bedroom. 6:14 PM. They have been in bed the whole day since their talk that morning! Well, it stood to reason because... yeah. Hill was true to her word and had not been gentle with him at all. He had to smile about that and leaned over to her, sleeping beside him, with her naked back uncovered. He kissed the back of her neck and then her back before whispering to her. “Agent Hill... wakey wakey. It's six in the afternoon. We need to get up and get ready if we are going to the Hellfire Club.” He said and then got of the bed and walked to the bathroom. Stark Tower was fully automated, so the lights flickered on as he entered and looked himself in the mirror. Even though he managed to get a few hours of sleep, he still looked like shit and was starting to have a headache from all the booze he had consumed in the morning and the rest of the day. But that was easily solved: two of his experimental 'no-hangover' pills would do it.
After taking the pills, he entered the shower, which automatically poured water at the right temperature over him. He stood there, the water falling on him and thinking to himself that he really needed this night out... he needed to get his mind off Ultron, the Avengers, the WSC and everything that has been going on. That said, this was not all fun and drinking. He wanted to take a closer look at how the Hellfire Club operated. It might be neutral ground, but that did not mean he could not do a bit of recognizance, right?