I was lying on the living room couch, my head on my Dad’s lap and my laptop on my knees, holding it up with my hands by the bottom corners. I scrolled through Facebook, reading about what my friends were up to while my brother and I were stuck in the Hellicarrier over China. My parents had run a mission earlier, but now they were home, and we were waiting for the clean-up crew to do their thing before we could move on to the next place.
All and all, it was pretty normal (for us), until I came across a headline from the New York Times.
“Tony Stark’s Son Unveils Plans to Follow in Father’s Footsteps”
The headline was intriguing, seeing as I knew ‘Tony Stark’s son’ very well, and he hadn’t told me anything about big life changes. So, I clicked on the article, and was greeted with a large ‘header-image’ of Uncle Tony with a hand on Ethan’s shoulder, the two of them standing in front of a large billboard that read, “Introducing: Iron Lad!” With a large image of an black and white Ironman Suit I didn’t recognize.
It took me a second, but as soon as It dawned on me what that meant, I accidentally dropped my laptop right on my face.
“Whoa there Babygirl!” My dad said, lifting the computer off of me, “You alright there?”
“Yeah Dad.” I said dismissively, grabbing my laptop from him and running off to my room, “I gotta make a phone call!”
Once I was in my room I quickly closed the door and pushed a chair under the knob. I knew it wouldn’t stop my parents if they really wanted to get in, but it would stop my brother, so that must count for something.
I grabbed my cellphone and quickly dialed Ethan’s number, and then waited rather impatiently as it rang.
“What the hell is going on?”
“Nice to hear from you too Artemis. I’ve been good, the family’s good.” Ethan mocked, “and yours? They’re good too? That’s great.”
“Ethan James Stark, I am not joking around with you.” I yelled, “I saw the billboard, what the hell is going on?”
“Oh that! Yeah, I’m a superhero now! Isn’t that great?”
“Great?” I said, in shock, “Do you know what being a superhero means? Do you know what could happen?”
“Aw Artie, don’t worry. I’ll only go out with Dad.” He said, “Besides, aren’t you and Apollo nearly done with your S.H.I.E.L.D training?”
“Well yeah, but that’s different Ethan!” I said, exasperated, “We’ve been training our whole lives! And we’ll have secret identities! And we’re not going to fight crazy supervillains or anything!”
“Look Artemis, I’m going to be Iron Lad, whether you like it or not. So you can either get behind it, or leave me alone.”
“Fine!” I cried, the tears beginning to form in my eyes, “Go put your life on the line and see if I care!”
“I will!” he shouted back.
“Fine!” he screamed, before hanging up. Once the line was dead, I hung up too, throwing my phone against the wall and dropping face-first onto the bed, letting my blanket absorb the tears.