Written for the following AvengersKink prompt:

"Tony betrayed, Team Angst, Attempted suicide - A while back I read a fic for another fandom in which the main character is imprisoned for his own safety.

So what I want is: A telepathic villain makes threats against the Avengers, specifically Tony. SHIELD and the Avengers decide that Tony is safer not knowing about the threat, because he'd go off on his own and try to fight the villain. SHIELD comes up with the idea to place Tony into a room with protected walls against telepathic attacks, essentially isolation. SHIELD agents do a in-the-middle-of-the-night kidnap thing and Tony doesn't know why this is happening to him. The rest of the Avengers are reluctant but ultimately agree. It won't be anything like Afghanistan, Tony will be getting three meals a day and no one will be hurting him. He'll be fine right?

Tony needs interaction, he needs to ramble and to tinker and to create. He's not only isolated, he doesn't know why he's there and he thinks his team is going to come and get him. But they never show and he starts losing it. So, the only logical thing to do is to hurt himself, so he can get some medical attention, and if he happens to die in the attempt, well, that works too.

He's elated to see the Avengers in the hospital. Until he discovers that they knew. What happens next? Does Tony ever forgive them?

Lots of angst and guilt, happy ending is OPTIONAL!"

Time is very fluid in this story, with multiple flashbacks, time skips, half-truths and skewed perspectives.

Tony wonders what he must look like. It isn't too hard to imagine, as all the eyes on him are full of pity and regret and oh, fuck it all. He doesn't need this shit.

No, what he needs, what he really, really needs is an actual vacation. Maybe he'll go to Italy. Australia is nice this time of year too, and Japan has always been a favorite.

His attention to the others comes crashing back when Steve steps closer, no doubt intending to put a hand on his shoulder.

He moves away clumsily, his usual, strutting grace lost, run off with the majority of his muscle mass and his appetite.

"Hands to yourself, Rogers. I don't need your coddling. Shoo. Be gone. Skitter off to your peanut gallery over there, they're missing you already. Just look at Barton's face. Classic separation anxiety. Romanov will tell you all about it."

Their faces are pinched. He knows his tone is acerbic at best.


"Actually, I'm digging Mr. Stark right now, Dr. Banner."

He knows his pose, what it has been reduced to anyway, is downright hostile but he can't bring himself to care. God, this little meeting has got to be one of his worst ideas. But it was this or no magic signature from Dr. Samson so he stands there, grits his teeth and just smiles like its his fucking job.

"You have to understand–"

And he blows. Like a damn volcano because Captain America did not just say that, the fucking bastard.

"Oh, I understand. I understand perfectly. I'm a fucking genius remember? You did what you had to. I get it."

"Brother Stark, we're attempting to apologize. We took too long in the capture of your foe."

Clearly Thor is as oblivious as everyone else, because it's not about the damn villain.

"You know what? I don't need your apologies. In fact, I'm sorry. I'm sorry that I'm such a reckless little shit that you thought you had to 'contain' me. I'm sorry that you find me so unreliable and I'm sorry that I'm such a loose cannon that you didn't have any other choice."

He's trembling with rage and when the hell did that happen? Christ on a fucking crutch he needs a drink because this clusterfuck of a situation doesn't merit sobriety.

"And I'm so, so fucking sorry that I misconstrued everything we were. Everything we were supposed to be. Because you know what? I though we were coming together just fine, making our own little fucked up family, but I was obviously wrong and I'm sorry that you couldn't measure up to my delusions. So, forgive me and fuck you."

He walks out then because he has nothing left to say. Because if he stayed in there they might see how far he's fallen, how the jagged edges of him fit together worse than before.

He shoulders past Coulson, uncaring. The same attitude he's adopted with Pepper and Rhodey. Because none of them did anything and he doesn't know if he can forgive them for that.

Official Transcript of Post-Op. Evaluation: EXCERPT 001

Patient: Stark, Anthony E.

Psychiatrist: Dr. Samson, Leonard


Samson: Mr. Stark, do you know why you were contained?
Stark: …to keep me safe, I take it.
Samson: Do you remember how long you spent in containment?
Stark: [pause] 3 months, 2 weeks, and 5 days.
Samson: You're aware that your sense of time may be…skewed?
Stark: I'm aware. But I have a great internal clock, despite what others may think.
Samson: Mr. Stark…you hurt yourself while in containment. And yet you claim to be healthy. Are you or are you not a danger to yourself and to others?
Stark: [laugh] Seriously? You get straight to the point, don't you? Well, I can appreciate some honesty at this point [silence]. I didn't get any demands, any threats. I needed an out and I thought, well why the hell not? All other ideas fell apart pretty easily. Plus, you know, I was feverish. I got sick. I just expedited my visit to medical is all.
Samson: You gave yourself a serious concussion and head trauma. You had to be put under for a week to allow the swelling in your brain to go down. Mr. Stark, you smashed your head against a wall. Repeatedly.
Stark: It was logical. It made sense. I'm out now. Necessity satisfied. Besides, you know my history don't you? I've always been a danger to myself and to others [laugh]. And to property. Especially to property.

Arriving at home doesn't have the effect he thought it would. The Tower had been too oppressive, and now the feeling has leaked to his Malibu mansion. It's a feeling that crawls across his skin, a thousand tiny prickles that dig into his flesh. It's familiar from his stint in Afghanistan.


"Yes sir?"

"I need a vacation. A very discrete vacation."

"Of course sir."

"Are the suits in the safe location?"

"Yes. Per specifications, they've been locked down until further notice."

The plan in his head is about to be placed into action but he pauses.

"You know I'll upload you again when I return, right?"

"Sir, I will be traveling with you. Your StarkPhone is well-equipped to handle my data."

"Yeah, but this isn't fair to you. This is your home too you know. And Dum-E and Butterfingers and U…it won't be fair to them either…"

"They will understand, sir."

Tony just nods, taking one last look around his lab. He glances at his watch.

In a few minutes, a remote virus will be uploaded to SHIELD databases. Fury will launch an alert to the Avengers.

And him?

In all the commotion, no one will have time to notice that Tony Stark has disappeared.

Official Transcript of Post-Op. Evaluation: EXCERPT 015

Patient: Stark, Anthony E.

Psychiatrist: Dr. Samson, Leonard

Stark: Well, I got a nice vacation out of it I guess. And I learned important life lessons.
Samson: You believe that the experience has had positive consequences?
Stark: Oh sure. Loads. Heaps.
Samson: Would you care to elaborate?
Stark: Not particularly but I'm guessing that if I don't, you're going to tell on me to Fury, huh?[pause] I had time to think about who I was. Planned out a whole new batch of upgrades to the suit too. So it wasn't wasted time. I also had some sort of reconciliation with my dad, with how he was.
Samson: Your father? Do you believe you saw him?
Stark: It was probably when I got sick. Fevers will fuck up your thoughts. Worst trip ever to be honest. I realized that what he used to tell me was true. I realized that I'd gotten complacent, gotten too tied up…you want to know what the most important thing I learned was?
Samson: Mr. Stark–
Stark: I was fooling myself. Some fucking genius huh?

It's Coulson's idea to watch the tapes taken while Tony was in containment.

The videos are spread out, non-linear at best, but Coulson assures them that they haven't been edited or otherwise tampered with.

Clint chooses a conference room well separated from the usual hustle and bustle of the Helicarrier, and so they sit down as a team, or, more accurately, what's left of it.

The time that Tony was away was…brutal to say the least. They missed him, they all honest to God missed him and they'd caught the son of a bitch and Fury had told them that there was a decompression period where Tony would slowly be processed out and receive a clean bill of mental and physical health.

It had been one day, just one more day…

They'd gotten the call in the middle of the night.

Tony had been moved to the intensive care unit.

So now they sit there, as Coulson inputs his password and the video begins, trying to figure out where everything went wrong.

Official Transcript of Post-Op. Evaluation: EXCERPT 006

Patient: Stark, Anthony E.

Psychiatrist: Dr. Samson, Leonard

Samson: Mr. Stark… do you believe that your team acted according to what was necessary?
Stark: [long pause] I do, actually. They did what was needed.
Samson: Would you have acted in the same manner?
Stark: I'm not following, doc. You're going to have to explain yourself.
Samson: Would you, Mr. Stark, have taken the same actions? Had one of your teammates been threatened, would you have approved their containment?
Stark: [pause] yeah…I guess [pause]…no. I wouldn't have. I couldn't have. I just…I don't know if you're new to the rodeo, but me and authority aren't exactly best friends. Friends even. Or passing acquaintances. I…wouldn't have been able to follow through I think…Wouldn't have been strong enough.

Honestly, this was one of the most challenging fills I have taken crack at in a while as the prompt required that the team, as in-character as possible, commit an out-of-character act and betray one of their own. In essence, this is the journey of the team trying to repair the damage they inflicted on one of their own and the subsequent damage they inflicted upon themselves.