When he wakes, he doesn't bolt upright as usual, but his terrified shout is loud enough to make him thankful for sound-proof walls.
Gasping raggedly, sheets drenched in his sweat, Tony just lays there and stares wide-eyed at the ceiling,
fluid recollections of his nightmare eroding the already compromised shores of his composure.
"Jesus..." He breathes, one shaking hand coming up to wipe at stinging eyes. "That was a bad one."
And then his next breath comes with a hitch and a long groan as he realizes why such old memories had dragged themselves up with hooked claws from the pit he'd thrown them in.
The arc reactor isn't willing to play ball with him today, sitting heavily in the cavernous hole, the hole carved out of him against his will.
Lungs refuse to expand properly, ribs rubbed raw by his recent twisting and maneuvering in the suit, and painful internal swelling as his body attempts to reject the culpable implant.
What a terrible, terrible privilege.
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