A/N: Howard Stark was remembered as a hero, but he was not a good man. Steve did not expect his friend's dark turn. He would never have believed it if it weren't for Tony's animosity, the certificate tucked into a forgotten drawer, and the photo of a baby with blonde hair and curious brown eyes.
WARNING: Possible(doubtful) Steve/Tony, Human Experimentation-Based Male Pregnancy
Tony winced as another needle was removed from his arm, the tube full of blood, and he sent a fierce glare at the person holding it. Howard was not phased by it, ignoring his son's gaze as he placed the vial of blood onto the medical table, next to a matching one, taking care to keep it away from the bloody instruments that also were present. Then he offered Tony a small smile, ignoring the following growl from the Stark heir, as he pulled off his latex gloves.
"There we go, Anthony," he spoke cheerfully, pushing the rolling table of instruments towards the door. "I'll just go run a few tests to make sure that the baby's fine and didn't inherit any of your defects." He glanced down at the vials again, one from Tony and the other from the newborn baby, before exiting the room.
Tony stared at the door for a long moment before turning his gaze to the infant bed a few feet away from his own one. He narrowed his eyes at the child within, the little boy's arms splayed out and his eyes closed. Tony felt a surge of anger and hatred rise up in him at the sight.
As a child he had always craved his father's love, for the man to see him as something other than an accessory or business investment. By the age of thirteen those delusions had passed and Tony had realized that Howard would never love him, evidenced by him shipping Tony off to boarding school and then college as soon as he could. Sometimes Tony wondered why Howard hadn't abandoned him or cut him off, though he never questioned it.
Now he wished that Howard had. What that bastard had done to Tony, experimenting on him, forcing him to become pregnant with the baby of a long-dead friend of his father's… it was sickening and violating in the most extreme ways. All to create the little brat sleeping near Tony without a care in the world. Howard had named him Steven Stark, with Howard as his middle name, no doubt to prevent the kid from getting attached to Tony. Tony had no doubt that the kid would grow up getting everything that Tony had not; attention, benefits, and a twisted, obsessive form of love.
Tony didn't want to be a parent. After having a father like Howard he never had, originally for fear of turning out like Howard but now because Tony couldn't stand the thought. If, for some reason, he ever fathered a child, he would find a way to keep them out of his life.
It was that thought that spawned an idea in Tony's mind. He didn't want this kid, but at the same time he wouldn't kill an innocent. But Howard cared for the boy, and nothing would hurt him more than losing his prize. There might be a way for Tony to win after all…
He reached over to the side table, biting his lips at the pain caused by his stitches pulling. By the time Tony had grabbed his phone he thought they were going to burst, though luckily they held. Howard had left the phone, confident that Tony would not be able to do anything; nobody would believe him. However, Tony had no intention of calling for help.
He pressed zero and waited for a moment. "Hello operator?" he said, casting a quick glance at the door. "Can you tell me the names of the adoption agencies in the New York area?"
Fifteen minutes later Steven woke up and began crying loudly. Howard arrived faster than Tony thought possible and was quick to soothe the newborn with warm formula, picking the boy up and carrying him out to the hallway. He didn't look at Tony even once.
Tony walked into the gleaming office building, his rain-soaked sneakers squeaking slightly on the marble with each step. He ignored the many looks of businessmen, all no doubt confused about the intent of a ratty teen in jeans and a T-Shirt. What attracted even more stares was the two-month-old baby that lay in a small car seat he was carrying with him. Tony strode to the elevator, happy to see that the first one to open was empty. He was tired of judging stares.
He placed the carrier down as he pressed the button for the fifteenth floor and leaned against one of the mirrored walls. Tony tried to keep his eyes on the slowly rising numbers (too slowly-they needed better elevators), but his dark eyes were quickly directed at the infant. Steven wasn't Tony's son; if anything, he was Howard's. Sure Tony had contributed half the DNA and had been the one to get pregnant, but not by choice. Howard was the instigator. Howard was the parent. Tony was a forced surrogate. Steven was his blood, nothing else.
Steven's brown eyes, so like Tony's own, were wide, darting around as he tried to take in all the different colors and shapes that were distorted in the metal walls. Tony knew that the boy couldn't possibly comprehend anything around him but wondered if Steven would one day be as smart as his… as Tony. Tony rather hoped not, if only because genii had a worrisome habit of finding each other.
Then the elevator dinged, telling him that they had reached the fifteenth floor. He bent down to pick up the baby, ignoring the recognition dawning in Steven's eyes when the baby saw him, and walked out.
Tony only took a few steps before pausing and looking around with one eyebrow raised. This… was not what he expected from an adoption center. He wasn't sure why but he had expected more babies, like an orphanage or something. Instead it was mostly glass and steel with mirrors lining the walls. The mirrors irked him-he felt like they were trying to make him feel guilty or something.
Truthfully Tony didn't feel guilty. He didn't feel sad, either. He didn't want this baby and he was not obligated to raise him. This would be the best chance the kid would have, along with the benefit of pissing Howard off.
"Mr. Star?" spoke a female voice from the desk, getting his attention. He stepped up to the desk and nodded.
'Star' was the pseudonym he had registered under, for his own safety. The adoption lawyer he had spoken to knew who he was but was under a verbal contract to keep silent.
The black-haired woman looked him up and down and Tony could nearly feel her judging him. A teenager, probably not even an adult yet, irresponsible, and careless enough to father a child out of wedlock. It made Tony's blood boil that people would judge him even when they knew nothing about him.
"I'm here to see Mr. Burns," he said, his face showing none of the emotion he felt. The woman at least attempted to be professional and directed him to the correct hallway.
As it turned out the man he was looking for was as far from the desk as it was probably possible to be on this floor. Steven started to whimper, Tony assumed from tiredness, so the teenager dropped a blanket over the top of the carrier to keep out the light. If Steven started crying then Tony really had no clue what to do, but this was a building full of baby lovers so someone would probably know what to do.
He stopped outside a door, the one he was looking for if the nameplate was correct. "Well then," he muttered to himself, placing a hand on the doorknob. "Here goes everything."
Tony opened the door.
It took two weeks.
Two weeks of paper signing, personal and legal verification, and hiding his intentions from Howard before Tony was allowed to give up the kid. He could have done it sooner but then the kid would have ended up with a foster family, and Howard might have been able to track Steven down. This way Steven would not only be out of his reach, but even out of the country, all because Tony had taken the time to grease the way.
Tony watched as the little blonde boy sat in the arms of the woman coming to take him away, his little fist halfway into his mouth as he patted the woman's face with his other hand. She was smiling as she gently pushed his hand down and made it wave to Tony. Steven followed the direction of his arm, dark eyes locking on Tony. Tony could see the kid's eyebrows scrunch together as he recognized Tony. The genius took that as his cue to leave.
He dropped into the driver's seat of his car, turning it on and listening to the soft purring of the engine for a moment before looking out the window. The woman was still standing right outside the glass doors, Steven in her arms. But right now the baby was bawling his eyes out, reaching out towards Tony's car. The poor woman was doing her best to hold the boy steady.
For just a second Tony wondered if he was doing the right thing, leaving the kid to the chaos of the adoption system. However, that thought was ruthlessly crushed as he remembered the circumstances leading to the creation of Steven. He was not Tony's problem.
So, with that, Tony pressed the gas and drove away.
Tony felt Obi's hand on his shoulder as the older man came up behind him, his shoes squelching slightly on the damp grass. They were the only two left at the cemetery, everyone else having gone home after paying their respects. Tony had stayed for a while longer. He was sure that everyone else thought it was from sadness, but it was the exact opposite.
He was happy. No, strike that, happiness did not accurately describe the extent of his joy. Tony was ecstatic, and in fact was barely able to keep a straight face when his father's coffin was lowered into the ground. It was a good thing that Howard's body was too grotesquely mangled to be displayed to the public, because Tony would have burst out laughing had he seen it.
Tony had won. After all his grandstanding, money making, speeches, and domineering, Howard had been killed in a car crash of all things. It was perfection. The man who believed himself a god died like a pathetic mortal-full of rage and alcohol, on his way to murder Tony. The fact that Maria had died as well barely made a blip on Tony's emotional radar; she was a weak, greedy woman, who married Howard only to get money and make a name for herself.
Tony had called Howard an hour after dropping the kid off, which was all the time needed to get the kid on a plane to Europe. Howard had been in a business dinner but was more than happy to answer the phone when Tony called about "baby business". To say that the millionaire was angry was an understatement. Howard had been absolutely livid, storming out of the meeting with Maria in tow and rushing to his car. He hadn't paid any attention to his surroundings as he sped towards the house.
That was his downfall. Speeding through an intersection, Howard didn't notice an oncoming truck until it was nearly too late. He had swerved to avoid it and his tire hit the corner curb, sending them rolling. Both he and Maria were crushed, the open-topped sports car not offering any protection.
And Tony had been free. When he got the call he'd been cooped up in his house with Howard's gun, expecting his father to walk in and planning to blow the man's head off when he did, damn the consequences. But instead Howard had been killed by his own stupidity, not only freeing Tony from the tyrant but also from legal punishment.
It was for this reason that Tony had such a hard time at the funeral. For all his threats and grandstanding Howard had lost to his own son. Even better, by right of birth and thanks to Obadiah Tony had inherited all of his father's possessions, including shares to the company! The only downside to the entire event was that Howard would be remembered as a hero, not the scum he was.
"Ready to go, kid?" Obadiah asked softly, squeezing Tony's shoulder. "It's getting late."
Tony took a deep breath as he watched the rain seep into the freshly laid dirt on Howard and Maria's graves. They were his parents, but they were his past, and he could leave them behind now. Now, well, it was time for the world to prepare itself for a new dawn. The dawn of Tony Stark.
Diana Warbeck made another slash on her list as she walked through the Children's Wing of the hospital, her wand subtly tucked into her pocket. Yet another orphaned child was non-magical, like she expected.
Diana's unofficial job, one she had invented for herself, was as a magical Adoption Agent. It was something she had wanted to be ever since she was a little girl and she learned that she and her fraternal twin sister, singing sensation Celestina, were adopted, and lucky enough to be magical just like their adoptive parents. Diana wanted to give other children the same chance that she had gotten.
As she stepped into another room where an orphan was being checked over, her wand began to buzz in her pocket. Diana quickly reached into her pocket to cease the buzzing, though she remained focused on the little boy being checked over by a doctor. He was really quite adorable; big brown eyes, a surprisingly thick head of ash-blonde hair, and features that would clearly make him a heartbreaker when he got older.
The nurse looked over to her, smiling in recognition. "Diana, hi!" he greeted with a grin, his cheeks reddening slightly. "Making your rounds as usual?" It was well-known that Diana's job was to take patient inventory every day.
She smiled in return as she took a few steps closer. "Yep, same as always." The little boy heard her and looked up, dark eyes intelligent and curious. "And who's this little angel?"
The nurse, Graham, glanced over at his sheet. "Uh… Steven. Steven Stark." He laughed when Steven fussed at the cold stethoscope being placed against his stomach. "He's a feisty one. Funny, he has the same last name as that famous guy from America. What was his name again?"
Diana shrugged, only half-listening, as she made a check by Steven's name. "I can't remember, Edward I think it was?" She tucked the clipboard under her arm again. "Now if you'll excuse me Graham, I've got to go now. Lots to do!"
She barely waited for his farewell before hurrying out of there, committing the boy's name to memory. Then she pulled out her phone and dialed the number that had called her every day for the past month. It was picked up on the second ring. "Hello?" came the breathless woman's voice.
Diana smiled triumphantly. "Lily Potter? I've found one."
She could hear the shocked intake of breath and the shout of 'James!' on the other end of the phone. Within seconds another voice spoke. "You found one? You're sure?" exclaimed James Potter in excitement.
Even if no one could see her, Diana nodded. "A boy, he's almost three months old."
There was a moment of stunned silence before Lily spoke again. "And you're sure he's magical?"
Diana snorted. "I've done this lots of times, more than you'd think. I know what I'm doing. But yes. His name is Steven, he has blonde hair and brown eyes, and he needs a brand new mummy and daddy." She smirked to herself. "You up for the task?"
James and Lily sat in the waiting room of the small office, their hands clasped together. Their quiet murmuring ceased when the very woman they'd been waiting for, Diana Warbeck, walked in. She was carrying a muggle car seat, which immediately drew the attention of the couple.
"Thanks for waiting," Diana greeted with a soft smile. "He was asleep and fussed a little at being moved. But here he is!" She took a few steps closer and placed the carrier on one of the chairs in front of them. "This is Steven."
Bright green and hazel eyes fixed on the small child within. Steven was tiny, smaller than they had pictured, his little arms flailing around as he stared back at them. His eyes were a rich brown, wide and curious, and he had a tuft of dusty blonde hair that poofed up. He squealed a bit and kicked the fuzzie blue blanket, as if excited by something.
Diana grinned, even if her clients couldn't see, as they were too focused on the boy. "I think he likes you. That'd be good because he hasn't done much but cry and whimper since the agency got him." A touch of sadness colored her tone. "I think he is missing his daddy."
That got their attention, James and Lily both looking up at her. Steven made cooing sounds but they (reluctantly) ignored him. "His daddy?" James asked with a frown. "What do you mean? Did something happen to him?"
The adoption agent sighed and ran a finger through her short brown hair. "It's… not really my place to say," she admitted. "But Steven here wasn't exactly an… accident baby, like most that we see."
The Potters exchanged glances. "Then why was he given up?" asked Lily indignantly. "Did his parents decide that they just didn't want a kid?"
"Not exactly. To be honest, Steven was intended, but not wanted." She sighed again at their frowns. "Rape, Mrs. Potter. Rape with the intention of a child."
Lily sucked in a breath, horror evident in her expression. "His father-"
"Not him," Diana interrupted. "The mother, from what the agency was told. Apparently his father was forced to consummate with her by his own father, something to do with an important family connection. Not too unlike the pureblood mentality. She died in childbirth but Steven's grandfather took over care, forcing his son to participate. The father contacted us as a way to pass of the child as well as keeping him out of the grandfather's hands. Even luckier that the boy turned out to be a muggleborn, which makes him very well-hidden."
The Potters' gazed slowly returned to the little boy, who had developed a fascination with his feet and was attempting to eat his toes. He paused as he sucked on one, looking up at them with an expression that screamed "What?".
"The circumstances of his birth don't matter," James spoke firmly. "He's not at fault here. And while I can't say that I agree with what his father did, I can understand why he did it." The dark-haired man reached over to pull the fuzzy blanket back over Steven. "But now he's our son, and we won't let anything happen to him."
A/N: I haven't posted many stories recently and I am only just now getting back into it. My main focus is my X-Men/Harry Potter story, so this one probably won't get any attention for a while.