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Behind These Eyes

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Everything is too bright, too loud.

Tony!

There's something wet on his face, burning.

Tony can you hear me?

God! His eyes. The searing pain is increasing with every second as his hands flutter over his face. Strong hands grip his wrists, wrenching them away from his face. His armor! Where was his armor?

Tony! You're okay, you're safe. Hey hey hey, breathe Tony! The medics are here. They're going to help you ok, you have to let them help you.

Steve? He couldn't see. Hot tears flowed unbiddengly as he writhed in agony. Suddenly a bright light was being shone in his eyes and he flinched.

We have to flush out his eyes, the contacts have to be removed.

No! Nononono! His struggles renewed fueled by panic. He couldn't let him see. Couldn't let Steve see.

Contacts? He doesn't...w-hatever you have to do. Just help him!

Steve don't let them! He wanted to scream but only a pained whimper escaped past a clenched jaw. A warm hand settled across his forehead keeping him still as his eyes were pried open one by one. Contacts removed and discarded.

Are those...? Tony?

He knows... The pain suddenly increased, a pounding drumbeat behind his eyes. He gasped, screwing his eyes shut against the pain.

What's wrong with him? Tony? What's happening to him damn it!

We're doing the best we can Captain, please we....

The words faded, his body going slack. The he was gone.

Chapter Text

The chemical agent that had been sprayed on Tony's face by thought defeated doombot was non lethal, fortunately. It's sole purpose to cause excruciating pain and incapacitate the individual. Bruce was almost beside himself with worry when Tony was rushed into SHEILD Medical three days prior.

But after three days of patented 'Stark bitching' it was clear that Tony Stark was going to be just fine. Now the only thing Bruce was concerned about was Tony's absolute refusal to remove the bandages that were wound around his head and obscuring his eyes. Tony was not one to show vulnerability, the fact that he remained in Medical for this long was enough to worry him.

"Bruce?" The curly haired scientist moved from where he stood in the doorway to stand next to his friend.

"How'd you know it was me?"

Tony turned to face him, smirk in place. "Please, I could feel that nervous energy from a mile away."

"Fair enough."

"So", Tony carefully eased himself up ,"what brings you to my humble hospital room, not that I don't enjoy your company." Bruce regarded his friend silently for a moment, choosing to forgo the battle of words and get right to the point.

"What are you hiding Tony? Your doctor said the bandages could have been removed yesterday, and you and I both know that in any case you would have checked yourself out of here AMA. Yet here you are. So I ask again, what are you hiding?" The hospitalized man suddenly stilled and several seconds of silence passed but Bruce knew that in those several seconds the genius was running through numerous scenarios in his head.

With a sigh, Tony's shoulders slumped slightly but he remained silent.

Ok.

So he would have to use a different tactic then. Lowering himself into the seat next to the bed, he lowered his voice, being sure to let some of the worry that he normally kept under wraps seap into his voice. "We're worried Tony, I'm worried..." The speed in which Tony reached out to blindly to grab his wrist, scarily accurate with his lack of sight, made him feel a bit guilty but it was a necessary small deception. Despite his apathetic attitude, Bruce knew that the genius did care for his chosen family.

"I didn't mean for-its not that easy, Bruce. I just don't know what to do..." The scientist knew how much it cost him to admit that and it pained him to see the indecision on his friends face.

"Just trust us, Tony. Whatever it is we'll treat you no different." The grimace that followed his comment proved that the genius had experienced otherwise.

"Just... just don't freak out ok." With that said, Tony leaned away gesturing at the bandages wrapped around his eyes. Bruce took it as permission and he stood, touching Tony's shoulder before reaching around and slowly unwinding the bandages. Once they fell away he took a moment to look over the slightly reddened and irritated skin around Tony's eyes. Long, dark eyelashes quivered as eyes roamed restlessly underneath the lids.

"Tony open your eyes."

"Just...remember you promised not to freak out ok."

He opened his eyes.

Chapter Text

Clint was staring at him again, he could feel it from his hunched position over the stove. And once again he regretted letting Bruce and Steve convince him to walk around without his shades. Ever since his return back to the tower he could feel the telltale prickle of ever watching eyes. And because of his eye specialist's orders he couldn't put in any contacts for a couple weeks. Hooray.

"Staring at my ass again Barton? At first I was flattered but now you're headed towards creep territory."

The only answer he got in return was a loud smack as Natasha's hand connected with the back of Clint's, he turned just in time to see Clint bat at Nat's hand.

"It's rude to stare Идиот." After an uneffective glare thrown towards his fellow assassin, Clint turned to continue openly staring at him while directing his answer to the redhead.

"First of all, I don't know what that meant but since it's you I'm guessing it's nothing nice you meanie. Secondly, I can't help it. Tony's eyes are just so..."

And there it was. Bruce meant well with his promises but he knew that it was inevitable. He turned around, effectively cutting off eye contact with the archer.

"My eyes are what, Barton? Unsettling? Creepy? Nothing I haven't heard before. I've heard someone call them unatural once, that was special-" Small but strong hands gripped his shoulders, cutting off his rambling and spinning him around to face the peeved redhead.

"We don't think any of those things, Идио."

"Now you're being mean to me t-" Hands cupped his face none too gently, cutting him off again.

"Shut up Tony, no deflecting. None of us think those things of you. Understand?"

He nodded meekly, trying not to blush at their close proximity.

"Tones, man I didn't mean it like that. This might sound like a come-on but you have the prettiest eyes I've ever seen. Like some Disney princess level shit. I thought eyes only glimmered in cheap romance novels but apparently not cause...ok I'm basically wooing you right now. Anyways, your eyes are pretty so I stare like a creep. Sorry."

The blush he had been fighting back took full effect, painting his ears a bright red.

"Ok, ok. I get it. Sheesh, are you trying to make me swoon over here?" Glancing over his shoulder he sighed before continuing. "Who's in the mood for burnt bacon?"

Chapter Text

Anthony Edward Stark had the universe is his eyes.

Their captain had blue eyes, their archer as well.

He had blue eyes.

What Tony had could not merely be described as blue.

Cerulean orbs that pierced into one's very soul. Their effect drastically changing with the many moods of Anthony Stark. When angry, they sharpened, striking fear into the hearts of those who dared anger him. Shining brightly even in darkness. When withdrawn and morose, they overflowed with sorrow, leaving all who witnessed to instinctively draw nearer despite his instinctive reaction to push away. And when joyful, he knew this was his and his teamates favorite, they glistened with uncontained mirth that was undeniably catching.

Tony had the universe in his eyes yet he hid them behind an artificial lens for a majority of his life.

Told from a young age that his eyes were not something to be admired but secreted away because they unsettled a few who could not appreciate their uniqueness.

Tony continues to wear his artificial lenses or shaded eyeglasses when out in public but in the privacy of their home he remained unguarded.

He had the universe in his eyes and day by day he and the others were honored to be let in.