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Interdimensional dilemna

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He concentrated on the invention in front of him. He had been working on it for some time, trying to create a device that would immmediately summon his armour by just his thoughts.

Yeah, he knew. It sounded very far fetched but that certainly wasn’t going to be enough to stop him.

Red wire to left side. Blue wire to third clip. Final bolt to the front?

He loved every minute of it.The instructions floated through his mind as quickly as his fingers worked deftly on the prototype. It was soothing, almost like invisible music gently simmering in the air. It made him feel calm.

He focused on that single point in front of him, filling his thoughts on machines and inventing. Why? It made him feel happy.

He needed that peace. Especially now, especially after.

After Captain bloody American attacked him, turned Tony’s own teammates against him, nearly killed him then left him in Siberia. All alone, freezing, in a broken suit. It was honestly a miracle that he survived.

His body automatically tensed. Tony squeezed his eyes shut. He tried to fight against that awful onslaught of memories, but to no avail.

Gunshot. The crack of glass.

No.

A blur of metal falling, falling, hurtling out of the sky. The terrifying thump of body against ground.

Stop it.

Red and blue smashing into his face.

His heart clenched.

“I could do this all day.”

But I couldn’t.

He stood up abruptly, tools falling to the ground with a clatter. His head hurt. It didn’t help that he was all too aware of that single, stupid tear sliding down his face.

It tasted salty.

Memory after goddamn memory flashed through his mind, of happier times of BEFORE.

He practically fled from the lab, head down and body hunched together, trembling…

For once, F.R.I.D.A.Y. didn’t call after him.

Coward.

———- ———-

The next week passed relatively quickly. He still felt like crap, between doing Iron Man work (half his team was missing) and going to government discussions. As the ‘leader’ of the remaining avengers, he was basically the unlucky guy who had to sit through the official meetings while listening to argument after argument.

Of course, the main topic was about what to do with the former avengers that went ‘rouge’.

So far, arrest for acts of terrorism was the favoured suggestion. Unbelievably, one psycho government man - Tony couldn’t remember the man’s name - had actually suggested a shoot-on-sight order.

Like hell was he gonna allow that to happen.

After a lot of yelling (on his part) and arguing (government’s part) , that stupid idea was thankfully dissolved.

Honestly, he could kinda see where the ‘rouge avengers’ had been coming from. Government was like that, see. The logic was simple: if you were powerful and they couldn’t control you, it automatically meant that you were dangerous enough to be arrested.

That didn’t mean that the betrayal didn’t hurt. Even though it had been a month, it still hurt like hell to remember how fast the people he had once called friends were willing to turn against him. And attack him.

After all, Cap had left him with several bruised ribs after their squabble in Siberia and Bucky… well, the dude had nearly killed Tony.

There was another thing that he regretted. He felt guilty about dragging poor Peter into this mess. Tony had been so naive, so stupid. At the airport, he had thought they wouldn’t fight. He had once believed that they could never draw weapons on each other.

Yet… they had and Rhodey was permanently paralysed as a result of his failings.

They had been society’s misfits, yet they had spilt blood together, fought together and saved each other. They had practically been family. Tony had once thought that a bond like that could never be broken.

“Look how wrong I was,” he thought bitterly, feeling his chest tighten.

He hated Cap and the rest of them. He just felt so hurt that they had thrown away their bond like it was nothing. He was so… so angry at them. He never wanted to see them ever again.

Never.

Never ever ever ever ever-

He missed them so much, damnit!

Pain from Afghanistan had been nothing compared to this.

——- ——-

He had been in the lab(as usual) when it happened.

One minute, he had been bent over a piece of machinery, tongue sticking out in concentration as he added a few tweaks…

...and the next, he found himself being picked up by what felt like an invisible hand and tossed straight across the room where he hit the wall with a thump before sliding to the ground.

He was back onto his feet in a split-second, having already summoned his trusty armour. The red metal wrapped itself around his body, the comforting weight already helping him to relax slightly.

He scanned the room, yelping in shock as he spotted the root of the problem. There was something on his ceiling. It was black and colourful, it looked like bubbles and it was moving.

What the hell?

He stood there, frozen. Alien tech? Definitely. The question was, what would it do?

Please not drag me space. Not space. Not space. No space. Space is bad.

Then, his tools started floating in the air. He felt himself being tugged upwards but before he defied gravity for the second time, he had already grabbed the nearby metal table. He figured that the thing was at least several hundred pounds, so it would hold his weight.

Plus, it was bolted to the floor.

Distantly, he felt himself wondering whether that thing was a black hole. He sincerely hoped not. It would seriously wreck his week and his tower.

Here lies Tony Stark, turned into atomic spaghetti because the universe decided that it bloody hated his guts.

Not cool at all.

To make things worse, the black goo suddenly seemed to glow…

...and two figures came hurtling through the thing, crashing onto the ground into a tangled pile of limbs.

Tony’s mind temporarily short circuited. One part of his mind was going ‘ Ahh, a portal’. The other part was going ‘What the hell?’

At least it wasn’t his fault this time?

It was official. He hated Mondays.