"Mkay."

He pushed himself back and turned away, lowering his voice, "alright J, go."

"I cannot allow you to deny this responsibility, sir."

"What?"

"I believe that the experience in which you are about to embark will change your life for the better. In ways you have yet to realize. I have run various scenarios and outcomes for both your acceptance and denial of the child and the results are overwhelming in favor of maintaining the decision as already made. I may be overstepping, sir, but I implore you to take my advice on the matter."

"And you couldn't have told me this before we got here? When I was losing my mind on the way? Before I had three drinks in the car to calm myself down?"

"My apologies, sir, but I was not aware that you might actually change your mind until a few moments ago. Allow me to assure you, I will assist you in this as with anything else you ask of me."

Tony looked back over his shoulder to see you watching him intently, focusing as hard as you could to hear what he was saying; likely not to actually understand, but to hear the cool voice coming from his watch that he promised to show you as soon as he was done. He began to think that his A.I. was right, and maybe he could give you a better life than the one you would have if he changed his mind. Maybe he would really enjoy teaching you and maybe even bringing you up to take his place one day. Maybe this would be okay after all.

"Alright, J," he sighed, "welcome to fatherhood."

~~~

Tony had thought he wasn't the parenting type on the day you came into his life. He was sure of it, and he very nearly changed his mind but dammit if JARVIS didn't talk him into it. It had been a few years since that day, and JARVIS had held up his end of the bargain thus far, almost too well, in fact. He had done so well that in moments like the one Tony found himself in now, it became a confused blur of who the actual father in your life truly was.

"You need to back the eff up, J," Tony snapped, "I'll shut you down so fast-"

"You really believe that you could exist so readily without my assistance?"

"Are you kidding me?! Who do you think wrote your program?"

"My program is modelled after Edwin Jarvis, a man who took on the task of helping to raise you despite the challenge of such a daunting undertaking. A man that you have stated, on several occasions, that you hold the utmost respect for to this day. Yet when I do my best to emulate the man in how I believe you would expect of him, you threaten to shut me down. It is apparent to me that the confusion (Y/N) is feeling in how her actions are misguided comes from your style of parenting rather than my own."

Tony opened his mouth to retort in epic, smartass fashion, but he couldn't deny it; he had made his A.I. a little too sentient, and he had just bested his creator. JARVIS had called the man out, and in a rare feat, Tony Stark was left completely speechless.

"Sir," JARVIS continued much calmer, "we are of the same goal, are we not? (Y/N) has chosen to act in a way that is deserving of punishment, no matter how we would prefer to not. It will be unsettling and unpleasant, but it is recommended so that the behavior is less likely to be repeated. It is how she will learn, much as you did in your own youth."

"I'm not gonna smack her around like the old man did, J."

"I am not suggesting that you do, obviously. But you are her parent, reluctant or otherwise. You cannot always be her friend."

~~~

But JARVIS wasn't always the one to support the firm stance; he was often your protector and your friend when Tony insisted that you lived a cautious life when compared to other kids your age. Having been given the perks of life as a Stark, there were people out in the world who would try to hurt you, or to hurt him through you, and he wasn't about to give them any leeway to take that chance. You weren't sheltered at all, but your freedoms weren't guaranteed. If you weren't with Tony, you were with Steve, or Nat, or Clint, or one of your dad's private guards any time that you left the building; you were the only kid with their own security at a friend's birthday party. You were too young to argue it, and to maybe fully understand, and it only risked driving a wedge between you.

"It is a matter of protection, (Y/N)."

"Everyone was talking about me, JARVIS," you whined. "Nobody else even had their mom or dad there! I felt so stupid!"

"You are in no way stupid, young lady."

"No, but I felt like it," you argued quietly. It was hard to hold back the tears that were stinging your eyes, but there was no one else there but you and JARVIS, so you decided to just let them have their way. "I just want to be a normal kid."

"My dear, you are anything but normal. You are special in many ways. You are a survivor, just like he is. Perhaps that is why the two of you are so well suited, you are very much the same."

"Then why is he so mean? He never listens! If we're the same, then why does he hate me so much?" You sat as patiently as you could when the answer wasn't immediately forthcoming, and JARVIS remained silent for several minutes. You thought that you had said something wrong, like you usually did, and that you had made him mad too. It would be expected that it was just one more thing to make your guardian mad just like you always did with Tony, but it wasn't like you were doing it on purpose. You were just a kid and sometimes things got messed up without much of your help.

"Mr. Stark is not being mean, (Y/N)," he finally answered gently. "He was raised in a home filled with love and anger at the same time. He was raised with a gentle hand much of the time, and an unforgiving one when he acted out beyond his father's control. He has vowed to not make the same mistakes with you as those he experienced himself, and in doing so, he must protect you the only way he knows how. By keeping you close. He keeps you close...because he is afraid of losing you. Because he loves you. As do I."

~~~

"Worthy? No, how could you be worthy? You're all killers."

"Stark?"

"JARVIS, reboot the Legionnaire OS, we've got a buggy suit."

"JARVIS?"

You had been asleep in your room when Ultron tore up the lounge floor of the tower, and when your father ran in to wake you with eyes wide and filled with fear, you immediately took on the same emotions. You never saw him like this, so something had to be really, really wrong to scare him so much. He hurried to your closet to grab a suitcase, frantically tossing in anything he could find, no care to if it fit you or if it matched, telling you to hurry and do the same so that he could have your Uncle Happy pick you up and take you away. You had barely wiped the sleep from your eyes and you found yourself getting a quick kiss goodbye before being ushered into the back of a limo, headed somewhere that you hadn't been told.

"Uncle Happy?"

"Yeah, kiddo?"

"Why was my dad so scared?"

Happy glanced back at you in the rearview mirror as he drove, and you could tell that he was actively avoiding making eye contact with you as he spoke. It was just one more thing that told you that your entire world was about to change, and not in a good way. "I'm not really sure, (Y/N), he didn't give me all the details yet. I'm sure he'll call me when things settle down."

"Okay," you whispered. You watched out the window as the city passed by, the dark of night making the people on the sidewalks a little bit scary; with whatever was happening, you had no idea who was a threat and who wasn't anymore. JARVIS had always reassured you that anything Tony did was to protect you and to keep you safe, so all you could do now was to trust that he was right. You always trusted JARVIS, because he was unfailingly there whenever you needed him, every time you called his name. "Uncle Happy?"

"Yeah?"

"Why can't I talk to JARVIS anymore? He won't answer me."

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