"Big man in a suit of armor. Take that away, what are you?"
Obadiah puts a hand on Tony's shoulder; it's a comfort and a signal to let the older man take this one. "Well, to start, he's the boy who built a circuit board by himself at the age of four. He's the seventeen-year-old who took over as Head of Research and Development for the primary weapons manufacturer of the United States. He's the twenty-one-year-old who took over as CEO of that company, who took it from a multi-million dollar domestic company to a multi-billion dollar one. He's the man who, while being villified by the press, still put effort into creating intelli-crops to help those suffering from famine. He's the man who stopped making weapons as soon as he learned they were being used against our troops, despite how much money he lost. He's the man who single-handedly hunted down every illegal cache of Stark Industries weapons and destroyed them.
"But before that, before he stopped the weapons manufacturing, he made that suit.
"Despite his extensive dealings with the U.S. military, Tony Stark is and always has been a civilian. And he, as a civilian, suffered torture for three months, but he never gave in. Under the watch of his captors, he built first that glowing bit in his chest. Do you know what it is?
"It's an ARC Reactor. It's a little nuclear reactor. His dad built one the size of a house, and Tony's fits in his hand. Do you why he needed it?
"His chest is full of shrapnel. And as bad as a gaping whole in his chest and a metal piece that keeps his lungs compressed by about 40%, it's still better than keeping a car battery connected to his chest. As dangerous as it is, it's still safer, especially when undergoing constant water boarding.
"And you want to know how the kid built that suit? He built it out of scrap metal under the scrutiny of his captors.
"So, you take away the suit, and he builds another one out of junk and probably finds a way to save the world too, like he did with the ARC Reactor."
Rogers puffs up his chest and pulls himself up to his full height in an attempt at intimidation. It's unimpressive, serving only to make him look like a varsity jock finding out the head cheerleader preferred to date the chess team captain. He barks, "Stark!" But Tony and the good Dr. Banner are currently attaching a set of clamps to the staff.
"He's busy, you idiot!"
"Do you fight all of his battles for him?"
"I handle the trash when needed. There's no reason for Tony to dirty his hands."
Rogers clenches his jaw, blue eyes hardened into steel. "I know men who are worth ten of you."
"Of me? No doubt," Obadiah says. "I'm just an iron monger and a shark. But Tony? Rogers, Tony Stark has done more good for the world in the past month alone than most people do in their lifetimes."
The clamps slide into place, and most of the room seems to calm. It's like a veil of anger has been lifted. All said, it doesn't effect Obadiah's mood much. This lab rat has insulted his little goose, and he won't be forgiven easily.
"Stark! Put on the suit! Let's go a few rounds!"
And, oh, that won't do. Obadiah steps into the super soldier's space, "Threaten my godson again, and I'll put you in a box permanently."
Everyone is staring at Obadiah and Rogers now.
"Obie-" Tony starts.
Obadiah turns to face Tony. "No, my boy. You're all I've got left. I stood by and watched my best friend, your dad, waste his life looking for this over-grown brat. Maria, the Jarvises, and I raised you while Howard went gallavanting off looking for him. So, no, I'm not going to stand here and let him degrade you." He spins to face Rogers again, "What's so special about you, anyway, Rogers? You didn't make that serum. You didn't even make the tech to activate it. Hell, I doubt you even know how it works.
"So you tell me, wannabe jock with the good steroids, take the serum away and what are you?
"Well, if you were even alive, which is unlikely, you'd still be nothing more than an over indulged, spoiled man-child who doesn't understand how to take no for an answer. You'd be known as nothing more than selfish scum who refused to do his part in the war effort because he thought collecting scrap metal was beneath him. You'd be known as someone who put who-knows-how-many at risk by not disclosing that you had exposure to tuberculosis.
"You didn't create that serum, Rogers, and without it, you have no claim to being any sort of hero."
They don't get to hear Rogers' reply because suddenly the hellicarrier is full of gunfire. With any luck, Rogers will be caught by it.