He laughs; it’s a dark, bitter, twisted sound that passes his lips. It barely passes for a laugh as it is, there’s no mirth behind it. He takes a long pull from the bottle and it burns more than he remembers.
Sober for almost a year. He can’t even do that. Worthless. He tosses back a couple pills on that thought, washing it down with the hot burn of whiskey and shame.
He wonders, briefly, what they’ll do when they find him. If-God, if it’s Pepper who finds him-
No. He reminds himself, he’s planned it out. She’s in Malibu, he’s in New York. It won’t be her.
Perhaps it’ll be Bruce, coming up to ask about his latest experiment. The poor guy would probably Hulk out and-that would be bad. He gets up and manually locks the door, laughing at that. An odd little eccentricity, keeping the bedroom doors out of the loop. He’s glad of it now. They’ll have to break the door down to get to him. Bruce can’t break down doors in his…normal form. He’ll be okay. His friends-teammates, nothing more, he corrects-will be okay.
Everyone will be okay but him.
The public will be devastated. He snorts at that thought. Poor Tony Stark, they’ll say. No idea why he did it, they’ll say. He was a hero! They’ll exclaim. He had so much to live for! They’ll lament.
Others will scorn him, call him a coward.
Tony knows they’re right, in his mind. He’s not hero, he was never a hero. He wishes he could apologize to Yinsen, but there’s no way they’ll end up in the same place. He’ll be up high in the clouds and Tony will burn with the worst of them.
I’m not a hero
He throws back the last of the whiskey with a few more pills and breaks the bottle. He might not be a hero, he might be a worthless coward, but he isn’t stupid. He knows his odds. Carefully calculated numbers, to make sure he doesn’t wake up.
He doesn’t know what he would do if he woke up. He isn’t planning to.
He brings the shattered remains down on his arms, slicing easily through the flesh, and lays back.
He doesn’t cry
His world goes dark.