A Family Now (March-April 1991)

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Post by Conleth on Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:01 am

Mary had visited them every few days. Having a new addition to the family, having a baby in the tower had been a delight. Isabella had lots of help and no one balked at a chance to hold Serena so Isabella could make a meal or use the bathroom. When she was hungry though everyone knew that fairly quickly. Serena had little patience it seemed for being hungry. Otherwise she was a good baby. She slept for hours at a time but seemed to like it when Tony held her. He had a way of moving when he held her that seemed to calm Serena right down. He spoke softly to her, sang to her and held her often and he didn’t spend much time in the lab these days as he used to.

The morning and night time feedings were what was the most difficult. Isabella was exhausted with only getting a few hours of sleep at a time...if she were lucky. And Serena did have a healthy pair of lungs on her so when she was hungry she let everyone know it.

The going without sex thing was not easy for Tony though there was little they could do about that. And they were told it would be months before they could get up to anything. To make it worse seeing Isabella care for their daughter or feeding her made him want sex often. To help Isabella get a little exercise he built a special treadmill for her. One that was long enough and wide enough so that she could walk or run with Serena in the tall wheeled sports stroller he designed. It worked pretty well and Serena seemed to like the sensation of movement while they were on it.

There had been one incident that The Avengers had to tackle in this time. Ivan Antonovich Vanko built an arc reactor like Tony had and called himself Whiplash. He tried to kill Tony with the help of a group of unmanned drones. He might have succeeded if the others hadn’t been there to aid him. Even so he sustained a terrible electrical burn to his side do to one of Whiplashes electrified whips. Because of that he had to spend a couple hours daily in the biobed for treatment and it took Isabella practically having to sit on him to get him to remain there for that long. He was a horrible patient and the near miss had affected her a great deal.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:18 am

Isabella had been worried that once the baby actually came and caused some changes in the Tower that it would upset Steve and Bruce and cause them to leave. However, that didn't happen. The two men accepted the changes in stride and seemed to love Serena. They doted on her as much as Tony and herself did and Steve took his role as godfather very seriously. He had grown protective of her and loved to hold her and make her laugh. Bruce was a little more reluctant to hold her due to the risk of something bringing out the Hulk, but holding Serena actually seemed to calm Bruce down when he was starting to get agitated. Serena became the center of everyone's universe at the Tower and outside the Tower everyone seemed to want to get pictures of the newest addition. Serena was a very beautiful baby and photographers itched to get photos of her to slap on the front of various magazines. Already, Tony and Isabella had been contacted by several baby companies wanting Serena to be the new face of their company. Tony and Isabella turned down each offer. Serena belonged to them and they wanted to keep it that way.

Isabella was exhausted most of the time, but she had all the help she needed there in the Tower. When she was too tired to cook one of the guys would take their best shot, or food would be delivered. They also had a freezer full of frozen casseroles that they could easily pull out and pop into the oven. Isabella was anxious to get rid of the baby weight she had gained and so she was thrilled when Tony built a special treadmill for her that she could even take Serena's stroller onto. She began to workout more regularly again, which was great for her both physically and mentally.

Tony's encounter with Whiplash though was causing her stress. Tony did not want to stay in the biobed, which was causing some issues, but she forced him to remain down there. She was currently sitting down there with Serena in a carrier. She was asleep for the moment, but Isabella knew it was close to feeding time for her.

"Tony, I still don't understand why you didn't wait for the others to join you before attacking Whiplash. You know you could have been killed, right?"

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Post by Conleth on Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:46 am

It was very likely that Tony was going to be scarred but he wasn’t thinking about that. Once again his father’s legacy was in question. He knew the story about Anton Vanko and how he had worked with his father on developing the arc reactor. He knew that Anton wanted to sell it to the highest bidder but most of those stories were very one-sided. He didn’t know if Howard Stark just took what Anton had designed and perfected it...The problem was he really didn’t know. Maybe Anton had a right to sell his invention. But the question was if he was the inventor. SHIELD had discovered blueprints of the original designs in Russia, in his and his son Ivan’s apartment but that didn’t really prove anything. His father had them as well. Not every collaboration worked out well. Harley Davidson, Edison and Tesla. So many others but more and more he began to feel as if his father was an opportunist. And that did not sit well with him. More and more Howard’s integrity was put into question and this began to tear at Tony. he wanted to kill Ivan and he knew if Steve and Bruce were there they’d have stopped them. They actually had and they both knew it. They knew it and kept that fact from Isabella.

His side HURT! Isabella’s question irritated him though he didn’t know why really. A combination of lack of sleep from the baby. A combination in his diminishing faith in his father. That and Ivan was just hurting people like the Mandarin did to get to him. How many men, women and children were dead because of Tony Stark’s ego and success? Far too many. Far more than he was worth he knew.

“He was hurting people and anyway, you weren’t there so you didn’t know what was happening. I don’t think you should be second guessing me all the time Isabella. I know what I am doing,” he snapped. His words were cutting and though Isabella didn’t deserve them, she was the one that got the brunt of his frustration right then. The pain he felt right then didn’t help either though.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:15 am

Isabella knew that Tony’s sharp response was mostly due to lack of sleep, but it still angered her. She was one of the few people to continuously stand by and support him and he needed to keep her in his good graces because of that fact.

“Well, I’m sorry that I want to keep my husband and father of my child alive Tony. And I had a good reason for not being there and you know the moment I can go back out into the field I will.”

She sighed and was quiet a moment before looking at him again. “This isn’t your fault Tony.”

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Post by Conleth on Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:27 am

“Well whether or not you are going back is another discussion,” Tony said and he neglected to see the dangerous look in his wife’s eyes. “And it is my fault...all of it is. It started with my father and now its all on me Isabella. I developed the weapons, I wanted the publicity. I wanted to get rich and you know as well as I do that I haven’t always done it honorably. The more and more I learn about my father...what he’s done,” He began than she saw that his face looked pale, defeated...sick. “He’s not the man I thought he was babe,” He said as he fought back the urge to cry and laid back his head and looked up at the biobed light. It was very bright.

“God I wanted to kill that man!” Tony said softly but his tone had a lethal bite to it.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:53 am

Isabella opened her mouth to argue with Tony about her not going back into the field, because she was, whether he liked it or not. She sighed though when she heard what else he had to say. She carefully got into the bed next to him and put her arms gently around him.

“Tony, you are not your father. Yes, you made some mistakes in your life but you admit to those mistakes now and are working to correct them. But you need to remember that we have a team for a reason. It’s to watch each other’s backs and help each other.”

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Post by Conleth on Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:00 pm

He knew what she was doing but he wasn't certain he would stop her even if he could. Her arms around him felt...nice. He sighed a long, soothing sigh. Why did je even try to argue with her? He didn't know that either.

“Isabella, its his name up there just as much as it is ours. And Serena will be judged by it as well. Don't you see that?” He asked. “You were there when they tried to take my suit away from me...from us,” he corrected quickly. “And now this Russian built his own reactor and tried to take me down,” Tony said. “Ivan, the Mandarin...who's going to be next?” He said. Serena cooed just then and he lifted his head to see into her cradle. She was still asleep. “If they killed women and children that meant nothing to them, what do you think they’d do to you and Serena who mean everything to me?” He said as he looked at her.”My sins and the sins of my father are my fault, my responsibility. Not yours, not Steve’s...mine,” Tony said. “Losing anyone because of what I did would ruin me Isabella,” he said softly as he looked into her eyes. Dark, gorgeous eyes that had the look of deep concern for him.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:50 pm

Isabella sighed and was quiet for a while before looking at Tony. “Tony, I love you. You are my husband, partner, and best friend. I will support and follow you no matter what you decide to do. Just let me know what you want to do and we’ll do it.”

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Post by Conleth on Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:25 pm

Tony just looked at her. Sometimes Isabella was like talking to a titanium wall. And just as immovable. He would not win with her on this no matter what he said so he just decided to drop it altogether. Except, when she was like this his desire for her went off the charts. That and he hadn’t been able to have sex. Well, intercourse anyway. He turned and leaned into her. His lips touched hers and then the warmth of his lips on hers began to grow. His side felt like 100 bee stings at once but right then all he wanted was to feel Isabella’s lips on his. More if she let him have more. He smelled the sweet smell of breast milk. Then Serena decided it was time to eat. Tony couldn’t help but groan as Isabella looked at him then smiled as she got up out of the biobed.

The next morning everyone was up and having coffee and getting something to eat. Bruce had bought bagels, cream cheese, cold smoked fish and capers. Not difficult to find in New York but he knew a place that made really good bagels. They were enjoying them together when Jarvis alerted them to a special new report.

‘Ivan Vanko was killed late last night as an explosion rocked the cell block that he was being held. 6 inmates were killed and 14 were wounded in the blast.’ The reporter said. Tony looked away from the screen and over at Isabella and frowned at her. Steve looked at Tony as well. “So the only physicist smart enough to build an arc reactor and he was killed? Well that seems pretty convenient,” Steve said not believing the story at all. Isabella’s phone went off and she saw it was Phil Coulson.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:50 pm

Isabella managed to get a few hours of sleep that night and got a workout in before breakfast. She was desperately trying to get her body back into shape. She knew that Tony didn't care if she got back into the same shape she was before having Serena, but it mattered to her. By the time she was through with the workout and feeding Serena again, she was hungry and thus was grateful when Bruce brought some bagels for breakfast. She prepared a bagel and then got herself a small cup of coffee. She took a seat next to Tony but was surprised when Jarvis alerted them to a special news report. As she listened to the report she knew Frank had been the one to kill Ivan Vanko. She held her tongue as she was afraid of speaking the truth. She and Frank had a complex history and she wasn't sure what to do. However, a moment later her phone rang. She stood up and stepped away from the table to answer it.

"Hello Phil."


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Post by Conleth on Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:56 pm

“Hello Mrs. Stark. I know you and Frank...Romano have history but SHIELD is on to him now. I’m calling you as a friend. Frank has to stop or SHIELD will be forced to stop him. I am not ‘displeased’ with the drop of gang violence in New York but murdering those young men was wrong. There’s no room for vigilante’s here,” Phil said.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:02 pm

Isabella sighed as she listened to what Phil said. She knew he was right. He needed to stop, but getting him to stop was going to be the problem. She needed to find him and talk to him.

"Of course you are right Phil. Please, just give me time to locate him and talk to him. He's not a bad guy."

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Post by Conleth on Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:08 pm

“Good or bad is a matter of perception. But murder is murder and in his case, the ends do not justify the means,” he said. “On another note, congratulations on the birth of your daughter. I’m certain she is healthy but you might want to check her blood. Why though I am not at liberty to say Mrs. Stark,” Phil said. SHIELD had taken a small sample of Isabella’s blood and DNA though Nick had done that covertly. Isabella had visited SHIELD HQ to see James and thats when they were able to get the sampling though Phil didn’t go into that over the phone.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:30 pm

Isabella blinked when Phil told her that she might want to get Serena's blood checked. She wasn't sure why she needed to, besides perhaps because of the radiation exposure (which SHIELD was aware of). She was quiet a moment as she considered what he had said, but she knew she wasn't going to know what to look for if she did test Serena's blood.

"Can you at least tell me what I'm looking for?"

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Post by Conleth on Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:41 pm

She heard Phil pause and someone spoke to him in the background. It was muffled as she thought he must have put his phone against his chest. The sounds changed again when he put the phone back up to his ear.

“There is a school...in New York...Its a good school for...special children like Serena,” Phil said cryptically. He would not say more and he didn’t need to. Isabella knew about Xavier’s school. Everyone in the CIA did but she had never been there. “Good luck Mrs. Stark,” Phil said and hung up.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:49 pm

Isabella held her breath as she waited for an answer from Phil. She could hear someone else start to talk to him in the background, but everything was muffled and she couldn't understand what was being said. Finally, Phil came back on and mentioned the school for gifted children...mutants. She knew about the school. It was run by Professor Charles Xavier, but she had never been there, nor met Professor Xavier. What startled her was that Phil suggested Serena was 'gifted'. Isabella couldn't understand how Phil would know something like this. She opened her mouth to question him about it, but before she could he had hung up. She sighed and stood there a moment as she tried to process everything that she had just learned.

She put on a smile as she walked back into the dining room. "That was Phil. He just called to congratulate me on Serena's birth," she said. She technically wasn't lying. Phil HAD congratulated her. She took another bite of her bagel, but she wasn't really hungry anymore.

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Post by Conleth on Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:33 pm

Tony watched as Isabella came back into the room. While he believed that Phil had called he didn’t believe that he only congratulated her for Serena. Tony didn’t say anything about that though until it was time for her to put Serena down for her first nap. He was due for another skin treatment and Isabella knew that as he came into their room. Isabella set up the baby monitor and turned to find him looking at her.

“So are you going to tell me what Phil said? I figured you would when you were ready. By your expression he said something that is bothering you,” Tony said as he waited there and watched her face closely.’What could they know?’ He wondered.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:39 pm

Isabella helped to clean up and then went to put Serena down for a nap. Tony followed her into their room. She was planning on taking the baby monitor down to the medical suite with her so she could remain with Tony while he received his treatment. She tested the baby monitor and then became aware that Tony was standing behind her looking at her. She turned around and looked at him. She was quiet a moment after he spoke as she tried to figure out what to say. At first, she considered lying to him, but it just wasn't in her heart to do that. She hated lying to Tony. This was their daughter they were talking about and she couldn't keep something this important from him.

"Phil suggested that we test Serena's blood," she said gently. "I think for some reason he has a reason to believe that Serena might have a genetic mutation."

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Post by Conleth on Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:48 pm

The flood of further questions came into Tony’s head. ‘How did Phil know...SHIELD know rather? Mutation? They were humans!’ But he only moved up to Serena’s crib and looked at her. Serena had a bit more hair now, it was still dark and she was so innocent and adorable. Just looking at her brought him waves of love and joy.

“I don’t understand...we’re both humans…” Tony said and then he looked at Isabella accusingly. For a moment and then that thought fled his mind. But then another thought popped into his head. Something far darker than that and he moved up to her and grabbed her arms. His face was a mask of angry desperation. “Did they...did they do something to our baby?!” He said and though his voice was hushed it seethed with a hateful fury. He didn’t realize he was hurting her until she jerked out of his grip and rubbed her forearm. “What aren’t you telling me!?” he said dangerously and a bit accusingly as well. He always got like that when it came to anything that involved Nick Fury and SHIELD. All of the men she lived with did...now. And could she really blame them?

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Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:58 pm

Isabella was at a loss for what to tell Tony. She could see his mind was thinking, but then he looked over at her with accusation in his eyes. Isabella's mouth dropped open in absolute shock that he would even think something like that! She was already angry, but when he grabbed her forearms her anger started to bubble over. She jerked her arms out of his grasp and her eyes narrowed at him.

"I know nothing Tony! All I know is what I just fucking told you! And how dare you think that I cheated on you. I have been nothing but loyal to you! I have stood by you through everything and that's the thanks I get?"

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Post by Conleth on Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:06 pm

Tony’s neck snapped back in shock and awe. “Cheat on me? Damnit Isabella I wasn’t thinking that!” he said angrily. And he had not. If he wasn’t enough for her than he didn’t know how any other man would be. “Is someone in your family a...a mutant!?” Tony asked. “We talked about this before and you said no,” Tony said. He knew his family were not mutants but now he wondered if there was someone in her family. “I asked you and you said you were certain,” Tony said. They both had wanted Serena to be human. They had spoken about that in length in fact how important that was that she had a normal life. As normal as it could be their daughter. Now that was shattered and clearly Tony was very upset. Mainly by what he didn’t understand and he didn’t understand how she could be a mutant.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:11 pm

Isabella didn't want to wake Serena and so she had Tony move with her into another room and she closed the door. "No, no one in my family is a mutant. I didn't lie to you about that." She rubbed her face as she began to pace, but then a sudden and horrifying thought came to her and she stopped walking.

"Oh my God...the radiation. Serena was still developing when I was exposed and you said that I should have died, but I didn't because it was absorbed into my body somehow."

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Post by Conleth on Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:19 pm

Tony shook his head. He was a scientist and that just couldn’t happen. “We did a spectrograph, we didn’t detect any radiation Isabella. And radiation by itself couldn’t cause that,” he said as his mind began to work. “There were the isotopes...the radiation...and the metals. And you and the baby detected clean…” he said half in thought and shook his head. He could not believe that that could happen. And if somehow it did...it was HIS fault. Again, it seemed it was always his fault. His face had lost the confidence it once had on the subject and worry came over him. ‘Will she die from some terrible side effect?’ ‘Why did Phil Coulson say anything?’ He wondered. ‘Oh god, what have I done!’ He thought. He hadn’t realized he was gripping his head and his hands were shaking until Isabella pulled his hands down and cupped his face into her hands. “I did it...didn’t I?” He asked.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:39 pm

Isabella looked deeply into Tony's weary and worried eyes. Her heart broke knowing that he placed blame for this on his shoulders. She shook her head. "No, Tony...you didn't. If it was the radiation then it was an accident. If it wasn't then it just happened naturally. But it ultimately doesn't matter. She is our daughter and she is beautiful and will grow up being unconditionally loved. Besides, who wants to be 'normal' anyway? Is there anything about our lives that is normal by society standards? No. She's actually going to fit right in beautifully," she said with a little smile.

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Post by Conleth on Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:43 pm

Tony listened to Isabella but he felt the guilt of it all too if not as strongly. “We don’t know what her mutation is? And we might not for years,” Tony said as he looked at her. He wanted to pick her up and hold Serena but she was sleeping so soundly he didn’t want to disturb her. He put his arm around Isabella and wiped his eyes with his other arm. Everything happens for a reason...or most things. “So if she absorbed the radiation, she already ‘had’ the mutation,” He thought aloud. “Do mutations just appear? Randomly?” He asked. He really didn’t know and that bothered him too. “But it saved your life either way,” Tony said.

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