"A part of me died inside that shell"

-Iron Man 182 #3-

~

And he’s right. It was no accident. The Iron Man armor is just a physical manifestation. An organic progression from the armor that Tony had been building around his heart, his soul since he was a child as a way to keep himself safe. Safe from the physical and emotional pain his father inflicted upon him. Safe from the ever present scrutiny of an unforgiving press. Safe from everyone who ever wanted anything from him unaltruistically be it his money, his fame, his body. And yet, as he says himself, the toll that takes on him is incalculable.

Tony was born and raised to give. Give to the company. To the military. To the public. To the Avengers even.  He learned at a very tender age that his wants and needs do not count and so the shell he created to keep that still small boy inside him from getting hurt, simply squeezes tighter until the man he became can no longer breathe.

**

Notes

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