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Del Rion [userpic]


Story Info

Title: Gewgaw

Author: Del Rion (delrion.mail (at) gmail.com)

Fandom: Iron Man (MCU)

Genre: Family, fluff

Rating: K / FRC

Characters: J.A.R.V.I.S., Tony Stark (Iron Man), Tony’s bots (DUM-E and U)

Summary: Tony’s been busy as Iron Man ever since he revealed his superhero identity. The bots have missed him – and come up with a crafty new way to show their affection.
Complete. Part of “Genius, AI & Bots” series.

Written for: My card on Cotton Candy Bingo’s round 2 (square: “weird affectionate gesture”)

Warnings: None.

Disclaimer: Iron Man and Marvel Cinematic Universe, including characters and everything else, belong to Marvel, Marvel Studios, Jon Favreau and Paramount Pictures. In short: I own nothing; this is pure fiction created to entertain likeminded fans for no profit whatsoever.

Beta: Mythra (mythras_fire)

About Gewgaw: I love this word, ‘gewgaw’.

Also, imagine the complexity of making friendship bracelets without fingers – overnight, with no prior experience and no proper tutelage. (I am yet to try my luck with standard friendship bracelets but I do know it takes a certain amount of time and dexterous appendages to get the hang of making knots.)

Story and status: Below you see the writing process of the story. If there is no text after the title, then it is finished and checked. Possible updates shall be marked after the title.


~ ~ ~


In between becoming a self-made superhero and promoting his new cause for world peace, Tony could admit he had become quite busy. Iron Man was the prime rib that everyone wanted to take a bite out of and he had to carefully schedule each day to distribute his attention even somewhat fairly. Or, Pepper did that for him, but the end result was the same: he had been on the go for weeks and once he finally got a moment to stay at home and sit still, he noticed his time away came with a price.

The bots had missed him.

While the two did not directly experience anxiety over a sense of abandonment, they were more than happy to welcome Tony back to the house, causing some surface damage to the elevator as they refused to stay down at the shop until Tony was there as well, trying to get some work done while he still could.

As much fun as being in the suit was, there were some kinks Tony needed to work out before he got in it again – or finished Mark IV, which was high on his list of priorities.

He really didn’t need the bots causing havoc around him just so that he would pay attention to them – a tactic that worked to a degree and was glaring enough in its transparency that Tony didn’t suspect the bots needed an upgrade to their precision sensors.

Then the bracelets happened.

It was his second day back and he had slept for eleven hours straight before waking up to a full bladder and a hunger that demanded his immediate attention. Once his body was no longer on the verge of collapse, he dragged his ass back to the shop – only to have the bots rush him like two particularly enthusiastic offensive tackles on a football field.

“What’s up?” Tony had time to ask before something was being dangled in his face by one of the bots. He snatched it up, tugging it free from the bot’s claw, then looked at it in puzzlement.

It wasn’t that he didn’t recognize the design – a rather poorly made friendship bracelet – but he had no idea what the bots were doing with it.

“Good morning, sir,” J.A.R.V.I.S. greeted; the AI had been quiet all morning, seeing as Tony’s head had been throbbing from the inability to catch up on weeks of limited rest in one night.

“What is this?” Tony asked, peering at the bracelet some more. The bots were still hovering in front of him, almost vibrating with what Tony hoped was excitement and not an approaching malfunction.

“A friendship bracelet, sir. The bots have been making them all night.”

“Them?” Tony repeated even though he knew how dumb it sounded.

The bots whirled around, You crashing into a table and almost toppling it over, the sound making Tony cringe, while Dummy managed to navigate back to one of the relatively uncluttered workstations. Or, it had been uncluttered when Tony went up to bed: now it was covered in tangled threads, cutting equipment, several glue guns which the bots had apparently learned to master after several failed attempts, and a myriad of small pieces of this and that which in Tony’s opinion had nothing to do with the braiding process.

As Tony moved closer he noticed there were three more bracelets laid out amongst the mess. Two of them were significantly larger than the one he was holding, making him wonder if they were some kind of prototype; while the craftsmanship on the bracelet he had in his grasp was pretty awful in places, he had to give the bots credit because handling such small strings with claws meant for something far less precise? It was a feat worthy of the history books – at least in this household.

Dummy picked up one of the larger bands, fidgeting with it for a moment before awkwardly placing it on top of You’s arm. That was when Tony realized the bigger bands were not a mistake but carefully measured products meant for the bots themselves.

Tony sighed and grabbed the bracelet from You’s arm before it could slide off and fall to the floor. “We are not going to do this, guys.”

The bots looked at him and let out disappointed beeps, hanging their arms.

“First of all, they’ll get in the way,” he said, sliding the two bands through his fingers. “Secondly, they are a fire hazard. Thirdly, J.A.R.V.I.S. will get upset he can’t join in.” The last reason was a little silly but seeing as the bots already got stuck every now and then and Tony started most of the fires, the first two were not completely applicable either.

“That is why the fourth bracelet was measured to be worn by you, sir – in my stead,” the AI noted, completely ruining Tony’s attempt to escape from the situation.

The bots looked up at him hopefully and Tony’s willpower crumbled. He reasoned that if he did this for the bots, they might all be able to get back to their usual routine without the separation anxiety issues the bots seemed determined to keep up.

He placed the bracelet meant for him between his teeth while he unknotted the one meant for You. The knots were surprisingly delicate instead of the Gordian Knot he kept expecting. Once he had the thing open, he carefully placed it around You’s arm and knotted it again, watching it slip down a bit before settling into place. It still looked pretty bad but You was ecstatic, executing a twirl that almost gave Tony a set of broken toes and a bloody nose.

“Enough,” he snapped from around his own bracelet and reached for the other large band, tying it around Dummy’s arm. The other bot contained his joy – at least until he was in front of one of the walls that reflected his image just enough to see. The bot settled there, gawking at himself happily, turning this way and that to see the band even better.

Tony shook his head and slowly worked the remaining two bracelets open, then knotted them around his left wrist with some difficulty. You hovered, opening and closing his claw, clearly eager to help, but Tony finished the knots, not wanting to take his chances with the bot’s knotting skills even though he seemed to be unexpectedly good at it.

“Are you happy now?” he asked his bots and AI collectively.

The bots chirped and J.A.R.V.I.S. gave him the newest results on the overnight tests on Mark IV’s increased repulsor output.

Tony kept picking at the bracelets, pretending they were itchy, but when he got caught on film wearing them in an event half a week later he supposed he might just as well roll with it and focus on the important stuff. After all, he wasn’t going to save the world by handing the bad guys assorted gewgaws.

The End