IM3: I HAVE BEHELD IT. Initial, and less than coherent, reactions under the cut!
Tony was so good with the kid, I have to really emphasize that, because Tony is so much better at kids than he would tell you he is. He doesn’t really treat them like kids at all, he just treats them like shortish humans with very small pools of experience from which to draw. He condescends to them exactly the way he condescends to everyone else and he gets annoyed with them exactly the way he gets annoyed with adults who do dumb things or get in his way. I love it. And the kid himself, the brilliant manipulative little mercenary, I could cry at how perfectly matched they are. I want all the fic ever of Tony adopting this kid as his apprentice and they skip off into the sunset while mocking each other mercilessly.