“It would be so easy to just give up”
And yet he doesn’t. Ever.
He pushes through heartbreak. Through chronic pain. Through bereavement. Through alcoholism. He breathes deep and swallows the hurt. He buries his parents and moves on. Strangers take him from all that is familiar to him. All he knows and loves and hold him hostage for three months of his life. Torture him and leave him with a glowing reminder that reminds him daily of the pain inflicted upon him. He takes a deep breath, pulls it all in and moves forward. He gives his heart, loses his love and buries Rumiko. He sacrifices his most cherished gift, his mind and yet he still puts one foot in front of the other. He builds a family, only to watch them splinter and leave. He forges a lasting bond with a man he loves as a brother. He watches that bond shatter under the cold banner of war. A shard of ice piercing his heart when Steve is gunned down and yet still, he curls his tears into a small, hard ball of desolation and buries it deep.
No matter how heavy the cloak of depression or sharp the blades of grief he never gives up. He simply doesn’t know how. Tony Stark is many, many things. A brother. A businessman. A team mate. A lover. And the sum of those shadowed parts create the flesh and blood of his whole.
No matter his own grief. His own pain. His own loss. He will never, ever give up. That’s what heroes do. And at his very core. At the center of his soul. Tony Stark is, and always will be, a hero.