Well, since my "Found...But Still Searching" plotbunny has all the others cowering in a corner right now, I guess I'll be working on that for my MayNoWriMo. So last night I thought I'd have some fun with it and took a look at some of those character questionnaires out there. This is how it's gone so far. (I figured Tony would avoid answering truthfully so I dragged Rhodey along for this.)

Why don't each of you describe yourself in two or three words.

Two or three? I don't think that's possible. Uh, let's see--

How bout know-it-all.

Technically that's one word, at least according to those word count things.

Okay, smart-ass then.

Same problem.

Maybe, but it does prove that you can be described in three words or less.

Okay then, how about you describe each other?

(Tony laughs) Go for it.

Hey, I already did.

So you think I'm a smart-ass?

I think you're a pain in the ass but that's four words so...

Well, thanks a lot.

Hey, it's not like I haven't called you that before,. Tony. Tony, sit down. Look, Tony, you are the most brilliant, complex man I've ever met. You are also a complete and utter asshole at times. At least... you used to be. You have changed but, you know...

It's gonna take time to prove that.


So, how would you describe Colonel Rhodes?

My best friend. That's three words, right?

Yes, it is. Do either of you have nicknames?

Asshole. (laughter)

Well, Rhodey is one, I got that in grade school. Tolkien's my call sign--


Yeah. My initials are J. R. R. so someone tacked Tolkien on the end and it stuck.

That, and whenever you had a free moment, you were reading The Two Towers. I can't believe it took you three years to read that one.

You gave me that a month before I left for Kuwait. I was a little busy then.

What is your full name?

Might as well tell her, it's not like she can't look it up on the net.

(Rhodes sighs) James Rupert Rhodes.

And yours?

Anthony Edward Stark.

And do you have any nicknames?

Outside of asshole, just Tony. All the others are just labels people gave me.

That's what most nicknames are, Tony.

Fine-- Merchant of Death, the DaVinci of our time--

How does it make you feel when people refer to you that way?

You a therapist now?

No, but I know from previous interviews-- at least the ones from before you were kidnapped-- those labels, as you put it, didn't seem to bother you. From the tone of your voice, I'm guessing they do now. Why? Or maybe a better question is why didn't they bother you then?

Why did I agree to this interview again?

Probably because she was the only female reporter out there.

Probably. (Tony takes a deep breath.) Okay, uh, mostly because I didn't have a reason for it to bother me.

But you have a reason now​?

Yeah. (Long pause.)

What was it like growing up as the son of Howard and Maria Stark?

Great. Why wouldn't it be? I mean, most kids had toy cars to play with, I got to build them. What more could a kid want?



Did you have something to add?


Yes you do. What? Come on, spill. What were you going to say?

Nothing. Wasn't going to say anything.

Did you ever meet Tony's parents?


When was the first time?

Uh, a week before Christmas our first year at MIT.

What was that like?


How so?

Well, you have to understand; in my family the holidays are a huge family thing. I mean, just getting the tree is a big event.

We had a tree.

That got delivered a week before Christmas and your parents had someone come in to decorate it. I still remember the look on your face when mom roped you into helping me and Jeanette decorate the tree the first time you came over for Thanksgiving. It was like decorating a tree was an incomprehensible thing to you. You know, I don't think you ever had a real childhood, Tony.

What makes you say that Colonel?

Well, it's... I don't know. I don't think Tony's parents knew what to do with him. I mean, nothing against your parents, Tony, but they didn't really connect with you at all. My parents always had time for me--

They spent time with me.

But they weren't there for you, Tony. I mean, there were times your dad didn't even acknowledge you were in the same room as him.

That didn't bother me. He was usually working on something, that's just the way he was. I do that too.

I know, but it should have bothered you. And it did too, you just won't acknowledge it. You were always doing things that you hoped would get your dad to notice you. You even imitated things he did even though they bothered you.

Like what?

Just little things.

The drinking you mean.

Yeah, the drinking.

Did your father drink a lot, Tony?

No more than someone of his generation did.

Yes he did.

No he didn't.

He was an alcoholic, Tony.

And are you insinuating I am too?

Not yet, but you're not that far off either.

Why do you think he drank?

It was a social thing mostly. And maybe he drank for the same reason I do at times, just to get a break from all the ideas running through his head.

Is that where your playboy persona comes from? It's your way of taking a break?

Yes. What?

I think you're avoiding issues you don't want to deal with when you drink.

I'll see if they have anything else to tell me when I get home from work.
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