Will Love Keep Us Together

Story 2: Some Men Dont Change

After Howard moved back in it didn't take much time for things do go back to the way they were. At first for a few weeks Howard spent all his time with Maria and Tony. He was helping out around the house. He was loving and caring, it truly seemed like he changed. Then he got himself invested in a new weapon he was creating to help the soldiers fighting in the Vietnam War. He began to ignore Maria and tony once again. He began drinking heavy because of all the stress as well as the guilt he felt for ignoring his family.

Tony ran down into Howard`s lab in the basement. Excited to tell his father about the science fair that he wanted to enter. He knew he wasn't allowed to enter his father's lab but he had thought his father would be so happy that his son wanted to follow in his footsteps that he wouldn't care. As he entered the lab Tony saw weapons he had never seen before on shelves. Some big some small. But all looked terrifying to young child like Tony. He saw test tubes and scraps of metal spread over different tables. On the ground were tons of empty beer bottles.

"Dad?" he called a little scaried.

Howard entered from a backroom, he was holding a bottle of beer in his hand.

"What-what are-are you doing here?!" He yelled as he drunkenly stuttered. "i-i-i- told you not to come down here!"

"I just wanted to tell you something." Tony told him.

"Get out of here now!" Howard yelled.

"But dad!"

"I came down here to be alone! Away from you away away from her!" he said as he struggled to walk toward his son. Tony backed away slowly. "I've been working on different weapons all day! I go upstairs and all your stupid mother can do is nag nag nag!"

He chugged the rest of the beer that was in his hand. Then threw the bottle to the floor.

"Dad?" Tony asked shakily. "Are you okay?"

"GET OUT OF HERE!" He yelled once more. Then he punched Tony in his face.

Tony looked at his father shocked at what he did. He ran up the stairs crying, afraid of what his father may do next. Jarvis was cleaning the living room when he saw Tony run up from down stairs.

"Master Tony are you alright?" he asked with concern, as he walked toward the young Stark.

"He hit me!" Tony cried out. "He never hit me before!"

Jarvis hugged Tony and brought him into the kitchen.

Tony sat at the kitchen table and waited for Jarvis to come back from refrigerator. Tony`s left cheek was all puffed up and he had a black eye. When Jarvis came back he had an ice pack in one hand and a Cherry Ice Pop in the other. He handed Tony both items.

"Put the ice pack over your eye it should help the swelling to go down." Jarvis told him.

"ok." Tony replied as he did what Jarvis told him. "But what's the ice pop for?"

"You've had a hard day, I think you deserve one." Jarvis smiled.

Tony smiled back weakly.

"Thanks, Jarvis."

"My pleasure sir. "

"Why does my dad have to be so mean? He's always mean to me. I just want him to be my friend, like how the other dads are with their kids."

Tony took a bite of his ice pop.

"I'm sure your father feels horrible for what he did, Master Tony. " Jarvis told Tony. "I`m sure he didn't intend on it happening."

"But why would he do it, if he didn't mean to?"

"Sometimes the mind can be dulled when one drinks beer as heavily as he does."

"Then why would he do it? I thought he was smart."

"Master Tony maybe we should go find your mother. I think this is something that you should talk to her about."

"She went shopping with Aunt Peggy." Tony told Jarvis.

"Your father is a good man. But sometimes he thinks too much." Jarvis told him. "It can be hard for him to deal with his emotions and feelings, so he tries to drink them away. Which is definatly a bad idea, but he doesn't care. It takes away the pain for a short time and that's enough for him."

"I wish I had a different dad." Tony told Jarvis.

Suddenly they heard the doorbell ring.

"I'll be right back." Jarvis told him.

Jarvis went toward the front door, as Tony continued to eat.

Jarvis opened the front door.

"Evening Mrs. Stark, Agent Carter. Did you have a nice time shopping?" Jarvis asked.

"Yes we did, Jarvis." Maria replied. "We got some beautiful outfits, and Peggy got a wonderful dress for her date with Daniel."

"It's not a date, were just going dancing." Peggy replied.

"Oh of course it's not." Maria replied sarcastically. She looked over to Jarvis. "Were is Tony?"

"He is in the kitchen but I must tell you there was incident-"Jarvis started.

"An incident? What happen?" Maria asked sounding panicked.

"well Master Tony had gone down into his father`s lab, Mr. Stark had been drinking I assume and he punched Tony in the face."

"He did what?!" Peggy replied in utter shock.

"That son of a bitch." Maria replied.

Maria and Peggy ran into the kitchen. Maria hugged Tony.

"Are you okay, sweetie?" Maria asked him.

Tony nodded yes.

"Can we see your eye, Tony?" Peggy asked him. "We want to make sure everything is okay. "

Tony took the ice pack off of his eye.

"Oh my poor baby!" Maria shouted. She hugged him again then kissed his cheek. "We are going to the toy store tomorrow and you can pick out any toy you want. How does that sound?"

Tony smiled.

"That sounds good."

"Wait your just gana buy him a toy and forget about it?" Peggy questioned. "Don't you think you should talk to him about what happened?"

"Peggy, he`s just a boy. He doesn't need to be burdened with stuff like this."

"But it's already affecting him, look what he has done to your poor child." Peggy told her. "I know it's not my place but I really feel like you should explain to Tony what happened, why his father acted this way, explain that it wasn't Tony`s fault in any way, that his father was wrong in his actions and he shouldn't have behaved that way. He needs to hear these things, Maria."

Maria paused for a brief moment.

"Your very wise, Peggy Carter." Maria said finally.

"Thank you." Peggy replied.

Maria took Tony`s hand in hers.

"Tony, sweetie, I need to talk to you." Maria told him.

"Okay, Mommy."

"Come on lets go in your room and we`ll talk."

Maria lifted Tony out of his chair and carried him into his room.

Peggy walked toward the basement door.

"Where are you going, miss Carter?" Jarvis asked.

"To talk some sense into Howard." Peggy replied.

Jarvis chuckled.

"Good luck with that. I've been trying to do that for years." Jarvis replied.

"What do mean?" Peggy asked.

"This isn't the first time Howard has hurt someone who loved. Mrs. Stark many times has been his personal punching bag. As for Tony, Mrs. Stark has tried her best to get Tony out of the way when Howard gets too drunk. But Tony has been exposed to Howard`s drunken rants and sadly has seen him hurt Maria."

"So why doesn't she leave and take Tony with her?"

"She has tried, but she always comes back. She loves him and he`s able to convince her that he`s sorry and will change."

"What is wrong with him? He never used to be like this."

"He's been drinking a bit more than usual. But before Maria he always lived alone only having me for a constant companion. He never had to care about anyone but himself. It seems to me now he`s been given all these responsivities and he can't handle it or maybe he doesn't know how."

"I'm gana talk to him." She replied. Then she walked downstairs into the basement.

As she entered his lab she saw Howard sitting at a table asleep. Peggy slapped Howard`s head.

"Wake up!" she told him, her voice filled with anger.

"Leave me alone, Maria!" he moaned still not lifting his head up from the table. "Your nagging is unwanted in my place of science!"

"It's not Maria, its Peggy, you idoit."

"Ugh! Even worse!" he groaned.

Peggy rolled her eyes.

"I`m gana talk to you and you better listen!"

"Go away!" Howard replied. "I'm hung over…..or maybe I'm drunk. I don't even know anymore…"

"Look at me!" Peggy shouted. Howard lifted his head and turned in his chair to face Peggy.

"Do you know what you did today?" Peggy asked.

"Drunken science?"

"You punched your son in the face!"

"Oh yeah! Because that annoying kid came into my lab. I told him not-not to come here! That stupid kid! He never never never listens! I tell him one thing and-and he-he just does another!"

"Howard! You're an alcoholic! You need to get help because this is not something you should be exposing to your child! Your son loves you but he thinks you don't love him because of the way you treat him when you get like this! You can't do this to them! You could have injured him worse than you did. You could have broken a nerve in the eye or something. You can't treat people like there worthless, Howard! Children listen and learn from what they see! Do you want your son to grow up to act like this!? And poor Maria she loves unconditionally and you just hurt her! You use her! She deserves better than you!"

"Don't you lecture me?" Howard yelled. "You don't know what it's like to be a parent or- or to be married! The closest thing you had to a love relationship was with Steve and we all know how that worked out. Not even a kiss or a dance and I'm sure you didn't have sex."

Peggy punched Howard in the face.

"Honestly I could care less about you anymore." Peggy told Howard. "We were friends once, but that friendship died a long time ago. But Maria is my friend and I care about her well-being and the well-being of her son. So I want you to get some help and act like a normal human being!"

"You're not the boss of me! I'll do what I want! When I want! Cause I can!"

"Then don't be surprised when you lose everything." She replied. Then she walked upstairs and left.

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