Heart Wrenching

TITLE: Heart Wrenching
AUTHOR: Quicksilvermad
SUMMARY: (Movie-verse) Tony’s disquieted thoughts as Obadiah Stane betrays him. ONESHOT
GENRE: Angst
RATING: PG13
DISCLAIMER: Iron Man etc. belong to Marvel Comics et. al.

AN: Written to fill a request for greedyslayer

He dropped onto his sofa and answered the ringing telephone—fully expecting Pepper to tell him what she found and anxious to apologize for yelling at her.

“Tony?”

All sound was flooded by the high-pitched hum of a device he’d invented years ago and still hated.

“Tony, are you there?” he vaguely heard Pepper’s concerned voice.

Tony lost control in his extremities and a deep pressure made his head throb in ways it never had before—he involuntarily stiffened like a board and felt the pads of fingers against his hand. The phone was taken away from him and either Pepper was hung up on or she had never really called in the first place…

He recognized those hands… They gently tilted his head back against the sofa

“Breathe,” Tony knew the voice as well.

“Easy, easy.”

Jesus Christ! He hurt all over and had to fight to get any air.

That device he hated so much popped up in his warbling field of vision and he heard Obadiah Stane speak again. “You remember this one, right?” he clicked it shut and the sound ended—the horrific loss of total body control, unfortunately, did not end. “It’s a shame the government didn’t approve it,” Stane continued.

“There’s so many applications regarding short-term paralysis.”

Tony’s breathing quickened as Stane rounded the corner of the sofa and grabbed his cheeks with one hand—forcing him to look at this man he no longer recognized.

“Ah, Tony… When I, uh, ordered the hit on you…”

The pit of Tony’s stomach dropped and he stared at Obadiah as he pocketed the ear plugs he’d been using.

This isn’t happening… I fell asleep in the garage while waiting to hear back from Pepper and this is not happening.

Tony’s world had suddenly shifted ass over teakettle and he felt a prickling sensation at the back of his eyes.

Obadiah bent at the waist and picked up something else Tony recognized. The clawed base and heat rings were normally used to remove chunks of metal from other objects.

He clicked the handle and retracted the claws. “I worried that I was killing the golden goose.”

He brought it closer to Tony’s arc reactor and the panic that had been surging through the younger man’s veins grew into something beyond panic. This was a man he’d known since he was a child—a man who helped raise him.

“But, you see,” Stane pressed the hook against Tony’s lifeline and burned away a perfect circle on his grease-stained shirt, “it was just…”

Tony heard a click and felt a part of himself disconnect from the rest. It hurt incredibly and he felt the need to scream in pain but all that came out was a feeble gasp.

“…fate that you survived that…” he twisted clockwise and withdrew the reactor far enough so Tony could see it in the clutches of the tool without disconnecting it from the base plate.

Tony fight or flight instinct suddenly switched on and “fight” was the strongest. Fate, nothing, he thought frantically. I used my own two hands to get out of there… I had Yinsen to help me! Fuck fate!

“Leaving one last golden egg to give,” Obadiah actually grinned at Tony—who finally found the courage to meet his eyes.

“You really think that just because you have an idea, it belongs to you?”

The muscles in his jaw clenched and released as Tony mentally shouted at Obadiah.

Why?! Why are you doing this?

“Your father, he helped give us the atomic bomb. Now what kind of world would it be today if he was as selfish as you?”

He yanked hard with his right hand and unplugged the arc reactor.

Tony went blank and gasped again—blinking for what felt like the first time since he’d lost control.

Stane remained above him, looming and unrecognizable. Where was the man who taught him how to tie a bowtie? Where was the man who worked with him to run Stark Industries after his father died?

Obadiah removed the arc reactor from the tool and smiled once again. For a brief moment he broke eye contact. “Oh, it’s beautiful…” he said, turning the small reactor in his hand.

“Oh, Tony… This is your ninth symphony,” he nodded and sat beside Tony.

Oh, fuck you, old man.

“Oh, what a masterpiece. Look at that,” Obadiah draped one arm behind Tony’s head across the back of the sofa.

Tony stared at the reactor longingly and took shallow breaths. More pain was coming with each struggling throb of his heart and he morbidly started calculating how long he could last…

How long he could make it without that piece of technology he had created.

He got a deep sensation of finality—one he remembered well. This is what dying felt like. The edge of Tony’s field of vision started to darken and he absently wondered if he ran out of second chances.

“This is your legacy. A new generation of weapons,” Obadiah turned his head slightly and shook the reactor for emphasis he spoke directly into Tony’s ear, “with this at its heart. Weapons that will help steer the world back on course. Put the balance of power in our hands… The right hands.”

Tony took a quick breath and closed his eyes briefly against the pain. As Obadiah slowly lowered the reactor and backed away from his face an image sprang to mind.

Proof That Tony Stark Has A Heart… How much time had passed since Pepper first called? Fifteen minutes was the maximum amount of time one man could be paralyzed with the sonic device.

Obadiah moved his arm and turned and grabbed a briefcase. “I wish you could see my prototype,” he said, gently placing the arc reactor inside. Tony watched and wished this… stranger… would get the hell out so he could try and get downstairs.

“It’s not as, uh… Well, not as ‘conservative’ as yours,” he closed the briefcase.

“Too bad you had to involve Pepper in this. I would have preferred that she lived.”

Tony Stark saw red. No one threatened Pepper. No one. His jaw clenched again and his mind railed at his limbs for not moving—for not reaching out and beating the ever-loving shit out of Obadiah Stane—traitor… liar…

Obadiah Stane who was walking calmly out of Tony’s own front door with the air of such undeserved success… Tony’s throat literally ached with the need to scream and curse at this man.

A man Tony once believed in—trusted even.

A man he would now have to kill.

Tony focused on this feeling of hatred and betrayal and forced his right hand to flex.

He’d crawl on his belly if he had to.

END

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