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Monday, July 6th, 2009 04:08 pm
Title: Lethewards: Prologue
Rating: R
Fandom: Marvel - 616
Pairings: Primarily pre-slash Steve/Tony, but with several platonic relationships, as well as references to past relationships and a few minor relationships
Part word count: 527
Genre: Drama, angst, hurt/comfort, character study
Warnings: These are warnings just this part, seeing as they may change from part to part. Please see this post for overall fic warnings Talk of mental illness and attempted suicide, at this point, character canon deaths stand.
Disclaimer: I own none of these characters and make no profit from them
General Summary: The guilt of his choices is weighing heavily on Tony and when the Extremis reemerges, it drives him to the point of madness. He struggles to come to terms with his guilt and rebuild his life.
Thanks: My beta [personal profile] autolobotomysuicide and being absolutely fantastic. [personal profile] jazzypom and [ profile] pandanoai for their adivce and beta work, as well as cheer leading. And last but not least, [ profile] oddwildflowers for being an amazing cheerleader.
Author's note: Please, please, please see this post for a list of overall fic warnings and for background information/changes from canon.



Peter turned on the TV and flopped onto the couch with a puff. He flipped through the channels as he took a bite of reheated rice and chicken and put his feet up on the coffee table. Sure, Captain America's apartment was nice -- really nice -- but it didn't really compare to Stark Tower. At least here he felt like he could touch everything, though. At the Tower, he has always felt like he had been living in some kind of modern art museum with pictures of old Avengers teams everywhere. Peter took a moment to consider the contradiction in that thought, but then realized he didn't care.

He choked on his chicken as he passed one of those 24-hour news networks. There was a picture of Tony Stark on the screen, which wasn't really that unusual, seeing as he had been the talk of the town ever since the Starktech and S.H.I.E.L.D. failures during the invasion. What had caught Peter's eye was the headline:


He turned up the volume as Logan and Clint walked in, returning from patrol.

"Hey, you hear about this?" he called over his shoulder to the men.

"Hear about what?" Clint pulled off his mask, running a hand through his hair, as he walked up behind the couch.

"Stark's in the hospital," Peter made a gesture toward the screen.

"So?" Logan grunted.

"Once again, breaking news into us at this hour," the reporter was saying, "Tony Stark, former Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Avenger Iron Man, has been hospitalized. There has not been an official statement released on what has happened or what his condition may be, but inside sources are saying that it appears to have been some kind of suicide attempt. Stark is currently under investigation for..."

Peter stopped listening. He blinked, thinking about what the reporter had just said. Suicide attempt?

"Whoa," was all he could manage to say.

"I don't buy it," Logan snorted, opening the fridge and beginning to rummage through.

"What?" Peter's brow furrowed as he finally looked away from the screen to watch the mutant drink from a milk carton, "Why not? I mean, I know it sounds bad, but Tony's got his issues. Plus with everything that's happened..."

"Ego's too big," Logan wiped his mouth on the back of his hand. "He thinks he's so important the world can't run without him."

Peter fell silent, considering Logan's logic. It seemed like a sound theory -- certainly there was something to be said about the ego of a man who decided to put his name on every satellite, cellphone, and electric toothbrush in the country, and of the self-importance of someone who decided to take a job like being Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. when he wasn't exactly qualified -- but Peter liked to think that under that armor there was still a human being. He didn't want to think that his one time friend had actually tried to kill himself, but he had to admit that it didn't completely surprise him.

Peter's stomach twisted. He got up, set his half-eaten lunch by the sink, and pulled on his mask, deciding to go on patrol.


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