Sometimes I just think about the incredible amount of pain Tony Stark must go through every day; the pain of just being alive because he has an arc reactor wired into his chest, taking up the space where his thymus and upper right atrium if his heart should be, as well as his sternum, which is meant to protect those very organs. Imagine if someone hugs him too tight? Or, if something hits him in the chest and his arc reactor just rips through his body, crushing his vena cava, the branches of his aorta, his thymus, his trachea, his bronchi, his esophagus, his spine, his heart for god’s sake? He has a metal nuclear generator wired into his ribcage…how does his skin heal around it? How tightly does it hold? What is the pain like? Is that why he drinks, to numb the pain? Is that why he drives himself to exhaustion? Because he’s living a chronic pain nightmare every day. The suit and him are one, because when he’s using the suit, the arc reactor is keeping alive more than it is killing him. Tony is Iron Man, because if he weren’t made of stronger stuff, he would be dead.
I think this every time I see the movies or read a fic with Tony. Can we talk about the fact that he has a foreign metal object in his flesh? His body is going to try to reject that for certain. It’s always talk about “The reactor is accepting/rejecting the core.” but absolutely no talk about how his body is accepting the reactor. While this is a comic universe and we can assume his body is accepting it just fine to help us sleep at night, there are such technical things (like the comments above) that should be considered as well. Like chronic pain. Like hugging. What about sex? The heaving of the chest will certainly cause discomfort. Hell, everything he does would be uncomfortable. This is a heavy burden. And I agree, Tony Stark has to be a strong man in order to deal with this sort of pain.
And my Tony feels quota of the day has been fulfilled.