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Displays of Affection

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Right. See. You gotta understand, Tony was, by nature, a very affectionate person. No, really, he totally was. Ask Pepper. Or Rhodey.

Actually, no, wait. Don’t ask Rhodey. If you asked Rhodey, Rhodey would start talking about Cuba, ‘98, or Columbia, ‘89, or that rather disastrous road-trip in ‘02, and that … Right. No. Definitely no asking Rhodey. Especially if there was alcohol involved (which there so, so often was). Definitely not going there.

But. Anyway. He was totally affectionate, at least once he knew you, and you weren’t, you know, in the process of backstabbing him so hard it nearly mobiused into frontstabbing him. So. People like Pep. And Rhodey. And JARVIS, JARVIS got air-kisses, and sarcasm, and all the declarations of undying adoration an AI could ever want (which, he would have you know, were all totally genuine, sarcasm did not always also mean lying, so there).

And Dummy … Dummy got sarcasm, too (hey, Tony snarked because he cared, alright?), and cheerful abuse, and a place by Tony’s side no matter how many times he threatened otherwise, and a casual hip-bump every so often, or a pat on the head, because Dummy? Had been with him through a lot. Barring Rhodey, Dummy was his oldest friend in the world, at least the only one that stuck around, and didn’t try to kill him. Dummy was special, and not just in the occasional ‘special needs robot’ way Tony liked to pretend was the case (because Dummy was fucking smart, okay, he was a genius by 80s standards, could he help it that anyone in a room with JARVIS was going to look like the drooling second cousin in a 60s soap opera? No, no he could not, so mind your mouth, alright?).

And if Tony occasionally, when he was feeling down, or nostalgic, or excited, when he’d had a really bad day, or a really, really good one … If he sometimes grabbed hold of Dummy’s great big arm/claw/head/thing, and tugged it into his chest, and planted a little bit of a kiss on top of it …

It was because he was an affectionate person, okay? And Dummy was special. And they’d been through a lot together. And he just felt like it, okay, screw you. Robots needed love too.

… He leaned over, hearing Dummy click and whir curiously against the arc reactor, nudging gently back against him, and pressed his lips to that spot on Dummy’s head, behind the claws.

Shit. Robots needed love too.