This one time in like 7th grade my friend liked this dude and he was on my brothers baseball team and so one night I was all texting her saying I was at their game and she was all omg take a picture of him for me and so I tried to be all sneaky but I freaking forgot my phone made a quak sound every time you took a picture and I just froze and wanted to die but this fucker who was talking with a friend goes oh should I pose and then started posing
Anyways, AU where Tony and Maria get the fuck away from Howard and move into a nice little suburban house and Tony lives a happy and fulfilling life where he gets a part time job as a mechanic to pay for MIT and Maria is a semi-well known pianist/small business owner (she owns a music store and teaches lil babs music lessons when she’s not performing at fancy galas).
Also Tony meets Rhodey at MIT still and they’re best friends, Tony gets research grants and builds himself his own company by pursuing clean energy. I’m imagining Afghanistan still happening in some way or another, because Tony establishes a name for himself, and he still becomes Iron Man.
He’s with the team who pulls Cap out of the ocean and it’s not long before his childhood hero, Captain America, becomes just Steve. He gets to be in the Avengers who are like a family to him, he gets to move Maria into her dream home (a beautiful house in the countryside, also Tony pulled a bunch of strings and FINALLY got her old piano back from Howard… bc we all know Howard would be a dick during the divorce and realistically he would have a better legal team than Maria).
Tony lives in the tower with the team, who are also his best friends, and he gets to spend his days working for a company that was born out of his own ideas and innovations, a company he believes in. He remembers every employee he meets by name. He fights bad guys and keeps the world safe because he has friends who love him, he loves what he does, and he has his mom.