Tony had always been a reserved man. It usually got worse after something stressful had happened. He’d shut himself off in the lab and not come out for anyone. Everyone assumed that he was just working, but he wasn’t. Well sometimes he did work but a lot of the time he didn’t. After Afghanistan he stayed in the lab for days, and Pepper struggled to override the doors to get in the room. By the time she got in, loud music with a lot of swearing in it would be blasting out loudly and Tony would be working on his beautiful 1932 Ford Flathead Roadster. She was non the wiser as to what had really been going on.
You see, Tony was an age regresser. It wasn’t really his choice but it really helped. The only person- well thing- to know about it was JARVIS and he had a good code. The door would be locked while Tony was small and it would take a while to override. As soon as JARVIS knew someone was coming he would blast out ‘big’ music so that Tony came through as a grown up rather than a 3 year old. It gave Tony enough time to hide all his equiptment needed to be little and get to work on his car.
After New York Tony spent less time with everyone. Less time sleeping. And more time alone in his lab being small. And after Ultron, he spent even more time as a little. He probably spent 10 hours a day little.
The only person who seemed to notice that Tony wasn’t with them as much was Steve. And he was the one who went to confront the male. He clicked on the keypad to get through, but it went red.
“Sorry Sir, Mr Stark is busy right now.” JARVIS spoke.
“Busy doing what?” He asked. He couldn’t see Tony through the glass. Normally, if Tony was working, he’d see him above the desk. But right now, Tony was out of view.
“That information is classified.”
“JARVIS. Let me in.” Steve said. He had a bit of a demanding tone. He saw Tony’s head on the floor and instantly started to think something was wrong. If JARVIS wasn’t going to let him in, he’d let himself in. And so he smashed the glass wall and entered through the frame of where the glass used to be. There was a bit of a scream when he did that. It sounded like a kid. He walked in and rushed to check on Tony, who was cowering in a ball. Tony had tears running from his eyes and there was a wet patch on the floor and on his pants. Steve looked at him confused. “Did you wet yourself?” He asked. Tony sheepishly nodded.
“Had accident…” he started to cry some more. Tony usually was pretty good at not peeing himself while he was little. But Steve had scared him by smashing his way through.
Steve looked very confused right now.
“JARVIS?” Steve asked. “What is going on?”
“Mr Stark is an age regresser, sir. He likes to be alone while he is in this headspace.” Steve felt kind of guilty for making the man wet himself. He didn’t understand what JARVIS meant by ‘age regresser’ but judging by how Tony was acting, he assumed it meant he went into the mindset of a child for whatever reason.
“Hey, Tony. How old are you?” He asked, sitting next to him (avoiding the small puddle).
“I-I’m thwee.” Tony said in a shy voice. Steve wanted answers, but he would wait for adult Tony to be back before he asked any questions.
“Shall we get you cleaned up?” Tony shook his head, but he was becoming uncomfortable in his soiled underwear and jeans. He started to wriggle. “Are you sure?” Steve asked. Tony shook his head as if to say ‘I’m not sure.’
“Clean.” He said. Steve picked up the smaller male and carried him to his room, trying to avoid everyone else. He was trying to avoid questions. He got Tony comfortable in a clean pair of underwear and some pyjama bottoms. He didn’t think that jeans were suitable for a child. Tony looked so innocent like this, and he certainly looked happy. The only time he looked this happy as an ‘adult’ was when he had made a breakthrough with his machines. Steve didn’t really understand Tony a lot of the time, and to him, this was probably the most normal thing he had seen the man do.
Tony fell asleep eventually, given that he was laid in a bed and Steve had retrieved his teddy bear from the lab and his pacifier and had given them to Tony. When he woke, he was big. That usually happened. Sometimes he would wake as a little again, but most of the time he’d be an adult. It depended on how long he slept for.
He looked around to see a sleeping Steve near him. Tony shook Steve awake and looked at him.
“I am guessing you want answers.” He said. Steve nodded. They had the awkward discussion and, surpisingly to Tony, Steve had completely accepted that this was what Tony had to do to cope. The pair also agreed that Steve would look after Tony when he was little-in case the little had another accident or anything like that. But Tony didn’t want the other Avengers to know about his age regression. Steve could accept that, but they would definitely find out eventually.
And within a week- everyone knew. Steve just made Tony laugh too loudly by tickling him and playing with him and Clint caught them. Of course, the Hawk couldn’t keep something like that a secret. But no one was judging. They were happy that Tony had found a way to be happy. They were also happy that Steve seemed happy to look after him, because no one else wanted to change the mans underwear when he wet himself- or worse.