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Poison in My Veins

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The moment the little spy injected Tony with the unknown liquid, JARVIS began scanning the genius through the suit.

The results of their sheer stupidity didn’t take long to show. The SHIELD Director and smug little redhead were only partway through their explanation when Tony’s breathing grew laboured and he hunched over.

“What the fuck did you inject me with?” he demanded, hand clutching uselessly at the chest of the armour.

“Don’t be so dramatic,” Romanoff rolled her eyes.

She was cut off from saying anything else as Tony’s eyes rolled back and he went into a seizure.

Fury stood up and barked out for someone to get a med team and JARVIS decided enough was enough, taking control of the armour.

“You have done enough Director Fury,” he informed the man coldly, holding a repulsor out towards the now deemed hostiles. “Keep a distance from Sir or I will be forced to attack.”

He replaced the helmet, Tony having fallen unconscious now and his vitals growing erratic.

“I am certain you will be hearing from Sir’s lawyers very soon,” the AI promised darkly before shooting out of the building and taking his creator directly to the nearest hospital. Almost absently, JARVIS sent a recording of the incident to Rhodes and Potts but he didn’t call them, unhappy with their behaviour in recent weeks.

He wasn’t happy with Sir’s either but he had the excuse of heavy metal poisoning. His friends did not.

He landed at the hospital doors as a doctor was leaving. The man sported a goatee very similar to Sir’s and a quick search revealed him to be Dr. Stephen Strange, neurosurgeon.

“Making an entrance Stark?” the doctor drawled but frowned when JARVIS’ voice came from the suit’s speakers.

“Mr. Stark was attacked and injected with an unknown chemical. He is currently unconscious and his vitals are dropping.”

JARVIS was impressed when the man only blinked blankly for a couple of seconds before spinning around and yelling at someone named ‘Christine’ to get an OR ready for an emergency.

The doctors swarmed around them as JARVIS stepped in and information was spread between them all.

“We need Stark out of the armour,” Strange prompted as a gurney was wheeled up.

JARVIS hesitated, reluctant to give up the relative safety that the suit provided Sir, but Strange was right.

He opened the armour and a couple of doctors caught the unconscious billionaire as he fell out, hurriedly placing him on the gurney. His state had deteriorated drastically in the last ten minutes. He was past pale and to the point his skin was almost grey. His seizure had ended relatively quickly but he was shaking violently and was drenched in sweat.

As JARVIS followed them in the suit, he answered their questions.

“I am JARVIS, Sir’s AI. It is my primary protocol to protect Sir.”

“He was attacked by people who seem to believe they were helping him. They injected him with an unknown liquid.”

“He is suffering from palladium poisoning from the arc reactor. Do not touch it. I will be forced to protect Sir if you threaten his life.”

Only Strange seemed to be unimpressed with the threat and just continued asking questions. JARVIS had the stray thought that Sir would like him.

Everyone was thrown into a flurry of activity when Tony started to seize again and they rushed to the OR. No medication could be administered since they didn’t know what triggered this reaction. JARVIS gave them the list of medication the genius was on to fight the palladium poisoning and Strange seemed reluctantly impressed that he’d figured that out on his own without a doctor’s help.

“The morons probably injected him without thinking that he might already be taking something,” he scoffed under his breath.

They drew blood but as time was in short supply, JARVIS hacked into SHIELD to get the answers he needed. He wasn’t as gentle as he usually was when doing it before. He was angry and didn’t care how much damage he did to their systems as he ripped the information out of the servers, taking anything and everything about Tony Stark with him.

When Strange heard the name of the chemical SHIELD used, he swore loudly and colourfully as did several other doctors. They threw themselves into getting Tony hooked up to something to counter the effects.

It seemed that too much time had elapsed though since his health was getting worse and they were forced to open him up on the operating table to fix both a collapsed lung and his struggling heart. JARVIS didn’t move from the genius’ side and was again impressed when Strange didn’t falter at the looming presence of an Iron Man suit.

JARVIS had been ignoring any calls from Miss Potts and Colonel Rhodes, too focused on Sir and keeping an eye out for SHIELD. He didn’t relax when Tony’s vitals stabilised or when they closed him up again. He followed when they placed the inventor in the ICU, standing guard and taking out three SHIELD agents that tried to infiltrate his room. Strange stared for a moment when he found the unconscious and injured agents but didn’t intervene when the police JARVIS called arrested them.

It wasn’t long before the hospital was flooded with FBI and police officers. JARVIS hadn’t been shy in sharing the video of SHIELD’s attack. The organisation was under heavy fire and apparently Miss Potts had already filed a lawsuit over Romanoff’s infiltration of SI.

Still, JARVIS remained at his creator’s bedside, refusing to leave and answering any questions they might have. The officers and FBI agents were a bit unnerved by the entire experience but they handled it relatively well.

When Colonel Rhodes arrived JARVIS bluntly asked if he was here for Tony or to steal another suit.

The AI wouldn’t deny the vicious curl of satisfaction in his code at the soldier’s stricken expression. The moment Miss Potts tried to raise her voice over Tony hiding the poisoning, JARVIS removed her from the room. He found a surprising ally in Dr. Strange who would not stand for trouble being made in his patient’s hospital room. He had an abysmal bedside manner but he handled annoying people quite well. And he seemed to have adapted to speaking to an AI surprisingly well too.

When Tony first woke, groggy from the pain meds, he panicked over the tube down his throat. JARVIS was quickly able to calm him though, reciting his usual statistics and assuring the inventor that he was safe. He was only conscious for a brief moment but it was enough for the AI to be sure that he was going to pull through. Tony Stark was too stubborn not to.

In two days he was moved from the ICU to a more comfortable room, the armour still trailing behind him.

JARVIS was there when the little spider tried to sneak into the room, pinning her to the floor by her throat with the full weight of the armour.

“You will not harm Sir again,” the AI told her coldly, holding her long enough for the FBI to take her into custody for what was assumed to be another attempt on Tony’s life considering she had a syringe on her.

No one believed her when she said they were just trying to save the billionaire’s life.

The doctors had been working hard to find a cure or at least a way to slow down the poisoning so when Tony next woke up he was more clear-headed than he had been in weeks.

“J?” he rasped, throat still sore from the intubation he’d gone through. “You here?”

“For you Sir, always,” the AI responded immediately and Tony gave him a weak smile.

“I believe I found something you may want to look at,” he informed the genius, holding out a tablet that lit up with the information he’d found on SHIELD’s servers.

They had far too much of Howard Stark’s research to be comfortable.

Tony spent a long time staring at a virtual model of the original expo design before jolting upright.

“I need to get to my lab!”

“You most certainly do not!” Strange said as he strode into the room, pushing Tony down on the bed firmly.

Tony blinked up at him. “J got me a really hot doctor huh?”

This was why he tended to avoid pain medications. Dr. Strange didn’t blink though.

“You just went through surgery and are currently being poisoned. Stay in bed,” he ordered.

“Nope. Cause I think I just figured out how to stop the poisoning,” Tony chirped.

Strange stared at him in disbelief. Tony took the opportunity to lean up, steal a brief kiss from the startled doctor before scrambling off the bed and into the armour.

JARVIS ignored the doctor’s spluttering and protests as he flew out of the window with his doped up but manically determined creator.

 

Strange showed up at the mansion a few hours later, positively livid and JARVIS politely let him in. He found the genius passed out in his mess of a lab, new arc reactor shining in his chest.

“Did he do it?” Strange asked in exasperation.

“He did,” JARVIS answered. “Sir has created a new element that is safe to use in the arc reactor.”

“A new element!?” Strange slowly shook his head. “This man is something else.”

He stared down at the sleeping billionaire, still in his hospital gown.

“He should be at the hospital.”

“Sir has an aversion to hospitals,” JARVIS explained.

Strange sighed but, with a lot of grumbling, he pulled Tony up and dragged him to his bedroom with JARVIS’ direction.

“He’s insane,” Strange sighed after getting him situated on the bed and checking that he hadn’t pulled any stitches.

“Sometimes,’ JARVIS agreed.

“Why is he alone?” Strange asked after a moment of silence.

JARVIS hesitated. “I do not know if those close to Sir can be trusted at the moment. Their behaviour has been… less than stellar.”

Strange rubbed a hand over his face.

“Besides, Sir is not alone. He has me, and the bots,” the AI added a little defensively.

“I will admit, he is quite lucky to have you,” Strange admitted. He glanced back at the unconscious man. “He should at least be checked out when he wakes up.”

“There is a guestroom down the hall.”

Strange threw his arms up in defeat and just followed the AI’s directions.

JARVIS watched smugly for a moment, quite determined to get Dr. Strange into Sir’s inner circle of friends. After a moment he turned his attention to what was happening outside the mansion.

SHIELD was struggling to put out the fires JARVIS had rather gleefully lit and their entire computer system was in shambles. The FBI and CIA were vicious in their pursuit of the shady agency.

Romanoff was still in custody and the liquid in the syringe was confirmed to have been something that would have made Sir’s condition worse, not better.

Miss Potts was hitting them with multiple lawsuits and had even threatened the military and Rhodes to return the suit that was stolen. He was pleased that she seemed to have had some sense shocked back into her, along with Rhodes who was in the process of returning the technology.

The FBI had formed a perimeter around the mansion to protect Sir from more attempts from SHIELD and they’d easily taken down Ivan Vanko when he tried to sneak in. Hammer had been arrested for tampering with Stark intellectual property.

What had SHIELD been thinking? If it had been an assassination attempt, doing it in public was foolish. If they had been trying to ‘help’ then he questioned their intelligence as why would Sir not be on medication for the symptoms of the poisoning? They knew none of his medical history since it was only on JARVIS’ servers and they couldn’t hack that ever since Sir installed new firewalls.

It didn’t matter in the end.

Their actions put Sir’s life at risk and that was something JARVIS would never tolerate. He lowered the blinds over the window, sending the room into a soft darkness.

He would not allow anyone to harm his father. Not again.