“Focus up, ladies. Good evening, and welcome to the birthing suit. I’m pleased to announce the imminent arrival of your bouncing, badass, baby brother.”
Welcome to his temple. This is where he prostrates himself before the majesty of bleeding edge science and technology, where humanity on the whole takes another tiny step forward. He stands steadfast on the dais, arms outstretched. His audience is his bots, his symphony provided by equally expensive and advanced Stark-ware. And he, the crafty maestro.
“Start tight and go wide, stamp in time. Mark 42 autonomous prehensile propulsion suit test. Initialise sequence.”
“Buzzkill, J. Come on, send ‘em all.”
“Sir, I must bring to your attention Captain Rogers’ arrival on the premise.”
With a flick of his wrist, the dull hum of machineries dies down, and he steps off the dais. “Steve’s here?”
“Shall I open the door?”
“No, set the House Party Protocol on his ass – of course you open the door! How long have you made him stand outside, Jesus!”
The workshop automated door won’t open fast enough, so he turns his body sideway to slip through it, and then he bounds two steps at once all the way up to the foyer –
“Hey,” Steve begins to drop two gigantic duffel bags onto the floor.
“Hey.” Must’ve been quite a mission, whatever it is that Fury sics on Captain America two weeks ago. Though his helmet hair and crumpled sweater doesn’t take away the overall… wholesome, handsome, youthful machoism from Steve Rogers, Tony still notes the slight edge in his voice, and agitation in his movement that translates to, “Let me guess, mission was major suckage?”
“I’ll use a different word, but –”
“Semantics. Everyone all right?”
“Yeah. No casualties.”
“Are you all right?”
Steve smiles wider, and the lines of fatigue miraculously ebbs away. Tony wants to take all the credit for that. “I’m fine. How’s your week?”
“Funny you would ask. Check this out!”
He tumbles down the stairs again, not even checking if Steve is following him – of course he would. He holds the door open, and Steve cocks his chin, wondering what in the world Anthony Edward Stark could possibly host in his basement workshop. Which really means, anything and everything. He walks past Tony and goes all the way to the dais, and Tony stops short of joining him there.
He tosses something at Steve’s head. “Put that on.”
Steve unfolds his fingers and studies what he just caught – a slim, nondescript metal bracelet that’s cold to the touch. Must’ve been left in the open for some time. “What’s this?”
“Put it on your wrist. There’s no catch, just slap it on.”
“What are you planning?”
“Just stand there! Wait for it…” This is going to be nothing short of awesome. Steve watches him goof around with a holographic control panel, his hands bracing his waist, feet tapping to the tune Tony’s humming. “JARVIS, re-initialise sequence. Let’s switch things up a bit. Target to B2.”
JARVIS does not reply, and nothing else makes a peep for the matter, until something suddenly whizzes past Tony’s ear – even nicked him on the outer shell –
Steve has leapt off the dais and is expertly punching and kicking at metal projectiles that for some reasons, are homing onto him. And they keep coming back, no matter how hard he fights.
“Tony!” He roundhouses something that looks like a boot, and it curves sharply right before it smashes into the pillar. “Shut them down!”
“Don’t fight them!”
In Steve’s defence, it is quite insane not to fight back when being whaled on by a pair of reactor-charged titanium gold gauntlets and boots. Wait until Steve sees the codpiece.
“They’re pieces of Iron Man! I made it modular, so the suit latches on to you no matter what you’re doing at the time!”
Steve knuckles collide with Iron Man’s, and it cartwheels into the ceiling. “Great. Did you programme them to be this bloodthirsty? Because I can’t tell!”
“Yeah, that needs some recalibration. Uh,” Steve just backslaps the boot into his red Audi, “mind the property, honey.”
“Just shut it down!”
“JARVIS, cool it, will you?”
The collective hum settles down accordingly, and like sleepy bees, they hover contently mid-air. Steve heaves a sigh of relief. “Thank you.”
“Call them to you.”
“How do I do that?”
“Right arm out.”
Without any sense of self-preservation – or maybe he just trusts Tony a lot – Steve sticks his right arm out, and the right gauntlet floats over before it, opens up like a sandwich maker and closes again around Steve’s hand. The match is somewhat clunky, there are spots that feel too loose, and his ring finger feels pinched. Steve laughs a little as he admires his mechanical palm, and proceed to summoning the rest of the limbs to him.
“This can sure come in handy,” he eventually concurs. A compliment from Captain America? That’s worth a couple of honorary medals at least. “What model of the suit is it again?”
“Mark 42. You like it?”
“Love it. It’s supposed to fit you, isn’t it?”
“Yeah. The armour techs are guarded by biometrics, so they only respond to me.”
“… Then, how is the armour on me?” Steve flexes his fingers again, making sure they’re really obeying his movements. “They’re responding to me.”
And Tony smirks, “Because I say so. I can also do… this!”
He flicks his own right hand – it now sports two rings around his middle and ring fingers, and a matching bracelet, all of which are decorated with red filigree instead of Steve’s blue – and the boots and gauntlets shoot away in opposite directions.
The boots roar into activity and hover higher in the air, until Steve is completely lifted off the ground. He’s stretched to a human “X”, and is obviously struggling to regain command of his limbs.
“Don’t bother, they really answer to me.”
“Not funny, Tony. Let me go.”
The boots hover higher and higher, until Steve’s crotch is at his eye level. He figures after two long weeks away and how frustrating it must’ve been for Steve – mission being a major suckage, as it usually goes – Tony thinks it’s only polite for him to do something nice for the good Captain.
“Tell me to stop, and I will. But if you don’t…” he undoes Steve’s belt buckle and pulls it free from his jeans. “I intend to go to town.”