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The Last Stark

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Andy looked around the room, absently petting the top of DUM-E’s claw, the distressed beeping was what pulled her out of her staring. She moved quietly towards the line up of cars, all of which had been modified by her and Tony, her favorite was the one nearest his computers it was hot rod red, but it was also the first car she learned to drive in, that was until Rhodey had found out and called his Mama outside for reinforcement and the two of them heckled Tony into delaying the Driver’s Ed until she was older.
She smiled at the memory of Tony looking completely out of his depth when Mama Rhodes had stormed up to the car and grabbed him by the ear shouting at how a man with such a high IQ could do something so reckless, at the same time Rhodey had grabbed her into a hug before admonishing her for trying to drive a car when she couldn’t even be in the front seat yet.

Her musing ended when the door to the lab opened and Tony called out, “Mad Si! You miss me?”
“Of course, why wouldn’t I miss my Mechanic,” engulfing in a hug, only to pull back when she could hear the whirling in his chest. “What is that?”
“What’s what?” trying to sound confused, and failing.
“The whirling sound in your chest.”
Sighing Tony unbuttoned his shirt for the second time that day, only this time he knew he could trust the person seeing the technology. What he wasn’t prepared for was his logic based sister to well up with tears, actual tears. “Hey, hey, no crying no one died,” and was rewarded with more tears. It took ten minutes for him to finally get her to stop by then his chest was soaked and he was closed to tears. “
“Where’s your other half?” And then the tears were back and all Tony could think was fuck.

It was four hours later that he finally figured out why he had an emotionally distraught sister sleeping on the old ragged couch that had been with him since Rhodey had brought it to their first apartment, a hand-me-down from his Mama, ignoring Tony’s protest that he could buy them a new couch, one that hadn’t been sitting in the Rhodes’ garage for the past two years. Yet about two decades later and a good half of them spent on that very couch, it was to the point that the springs had been so abused that it sunk in the middle, he couldn’t even think about buying a new one.
Looking at the articles he kept glancing at the sleeping form back to the memoir on the screen. Jace was dead. The love of his sister’s life the boy that had enough nerve to come to him and Rhodey at the same time to ask for his, theirs, sister’s hand, was dead, just days after he had been kidnapped.

With that thought in mind he made a call and then his mind took him to the quickest way to stave off any emotions he started the Mark II. He was working on the design of the repulsion system, when his sister started to move again; “so sleeping beauty is finally up?” he quipped as he watched her yawn and throw her hair into a messy bun on top of her head.
“Yeah well, seve-,” and she stopped there, he already figured it out. It didn’t take a genius to figure it out. “What you working on?”
“I need to fix my mistake.”
“What mistake?”
“Weapons.” Silence rained down on the two, Tony understood, it wasn’t hard not to, the Freedom Line was something both of them had a hand in, Andrea might not be known to many people and the world would be up in arms if they ever found out, but she had been helping him since she was ten, she had wanted to help, especially after Rhodey had come home that year all hurt and he kept mumbling about the war and everything, having lost half his squad in an ambush. She had gone into the lab and instead of working in her section of it, she decided to open up Tony’s designs for the next bomb for SI and started using her too smart for her own good head and designed something that was terrifyingly destructive.

When she had marched happily to him and Rhodey two weeks later with the schematics, they had no clue what to do, here was their baby sister with an expert level design and all they could think to say was ‘why don’t you see what Mama is doing.’ Rhodey had stayed still for so long that all Tony could think to say was “well at least it’s just a drawing.”
“Just a drawing Tony, shit, this - this is a bomb!” He had yelled in a hush, not wanting for his Mama to hear.
“At least she didn’t build one.” He had actually built a bomb at eleven trying to get his father’s attention.
“Tony this is dangerous more dangerous than that Drivers Ed stunt you pulled with her when she was six. This could potentially be extremely dangerous, she knows how to build. What happens next time if she decides she wants to build it and we don’t stop her in time. Cause she did this,” waving the schematics around as the paper wrinkled between his clenched fist.
“I get it, I’ll work with her, she’ll be headed back to school in a week, she can’t get the material easily and with a roommate it will be near impossible for her to do it there without someone finding out.”
Rhodey had just nodded his head before looking back at the designs, “you going to build it?”
“Hell yeah, its good, might tweak it a bit, but its good. Really good for never having designed one at least not to my knowledge, going to let her name it though.” She had named it Preventer.

 

--

 

Tony stood in the new house; it was all sleek lines, metal, and glass. Andrea smiled happily tugging him along inside the two-story home, it in the middle of nowhere so the windows went out to look at a canopy of trees; it was so different from his homes yet so similar. Deep reds and gunmetal silvers mixed with charcoal blacks and light creams. “So remind me again why you chose to set up shop here?”
“Asks the man with no neighbors either.”
“So you wanted a place where the explosions won’t bring the law on your ass.”
“Yeah, but the best part of this place is the underground bunker.”
“Please tell me it isn’t bat infested,” a smirk on his lips.
“No. No bats, just Curie, I had to wait for the construction people to finish today before bringing her topside.”
“Curie is?” he asks as they take the final steps into the bunker.
“That would be me, Anthony,” a voice speaks in Italian.
Tony looks around before stopping on nothing, and deciding just to speak, “It’s Tony.”
“Andrea has allowed me to choice what name to call people, I have yet to decide if I want to be formal like she said JARVIS is or if I want to be relaxed in how I speak.”
Tony turns to his sister, “you made an AI?”
“Couldn’t let you have all the fun, and I do live in the middle of a forest.”
“Well I was going to ask if you wanted JARVIS to be set up here, but…”
“He can be, I bet he would love talking to Curie,” she tells him before turning to one of the cameras, “Curie would you like to have JARVIS as company?”
“Yes,” the Italian AI speaks.

They sat at the kitchen bar eating Chinese when he asks, “so how long have you had Curie?” because the AI was obviously not new.
“I made her in ‘03 I been working out the kinks and giving her room to grow, she’s smart, she’s learning, but I didn’t want her out yet and with living with roommates I couldn’t in good conscience let them find out, Skynet is still what people talk about and I’m not going to diminish Curie’s abilities because people watched a movie.”