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Time Is Just the Memories We Make

Chapter Text

Changing the future is dangerous. Anyone who has seen a time-traveling/sci-fi movie can tell you that. As someone who can actually see the future I can confirm this. Since I was ten years old I have been able to see the future. Well, not the entire picture with every intricate, tiny detail just a basic picture, but you get the point. I knew that President Obama would win the election. I knew the ending of the Hunger Games books before they were in stores. Just like I knew when my whole family had died days before the dreaded phone call.

I didn’t know at that time that I wasn’t really just seeing my family die, but really just the plane crash. As it would later turn out, I cannot ‘see’ my own future or the future of those closest to me. As they would, in some way or another, effect my life. It was just a sheer dumb luck that I was able to see that particular plane crash at that particular time. ‘Go me.’ I would later think.

When it happened, I was staying at my Aunt Nancy’s house. The vision took over my entire body, making me feel nothing as I watched the horrible scene, almost like watching a movie clip. Disconnected and empty. My Aunt would later tell me that I had frozen in the middle of a conversation with her and that my eyes had glazed over to a sheer white color. I was not aware of any of this as I watched the plane go down in a ball of fire. No one survived. And I could do nothing.

I ran away from what little family I had left after the funeral. A funeral for eight people can really have that effect on a person. It broke me and I couldn’t face any of them. So, I went to Professor Xavier’s school for gifted children so that I could learn to control my curse, my gift. I was twenty-nine when I saw the birth of Iron Man. I saw all of the suffering he would go through. All that betrayal. And all that pain. It was in that moment that I made the decision to change it. Even if it was just an inkling of that future I would try. If I couldn’t stop the death of my parents and my six brothers and sisters or the deaths of millions of other peoples’ loved ones then I could at least change a small part of one man’s future.

And, oddly enough, it would start with stopping a reporter named Christine Everheart from sleeping with Tony Stark.

Chapter Text

 

The casino itself wasn’t hard to get into, as long as you were a guest which I, luckily, was. However, I had no way of getting into the award ceremony without an invite, security was too tight. So, I resolved to wait on the casino floor for Christine to make her move. Despite my control over my abilities, future seeing is unpredictable. My vision didn’t exactly give me the whole play by play of how this evening would go.

I spotted Tony Stark after an hour of drifting around the slot machines. I’m not sure why I didn’t see him before, he had a huge crowd of women and men alike surrounding him. And the sounds of his winning at the dice game, I think it was called craps, echoed across the entire room. I watched curiously at his interactions with one of his body guards, they seemed to be friends from my point of view.  

I also watched as he flirted with some chick that was pawing at him until Coronal Rhodes appeared at his side. To which he immediately turned his attention to his friend. The Coronal was holding an award in his hand and even from across the room I could tell that he was upset with Tony. Probably missed the ceremony but Tony didn’t seem fazed by it.

I watched as the Coronal was able to pull Tony away from the game by making him lose at it and walk him towards the front. I slowly followed behind them as they made their way out with a small army body guards. This would not be easy. I watched in amusement as Tony handed over his award to a Caesar actor posing for a picture.

As they stepped outside the guards dispersed leaving just Happy and Tony to walk over to their car. I spotted Christine making her way over to them once they were ‘alone’. I moved without thinking. Before she could even get three feet away from them, I bulldozed her onto the ground.

“Oh my gosh, I am so sorry!” I apologized making no move to help her up. “I didn’t see you there.” I kept moving forward.

“Hey! Hey you!” Christine yelled angrily as she got off of the ground.

I turned to face her. “What!? I said I was sorry.” I stated in confusion. I did not anticipate a show down from her over just being tripped.

“You tripped me!” She spat, her face turning an ugly shade of red. Apparently that’s what I was going to get.

“Yes, I was present when that occurred.” I said dryly, vaguely I heard a snort echo behind me. “But I do believe I apologized. So, if you would excuse me I have somewhere else to be, that is not here.”

I turned to leave, but she grabbed my arm digging her nails into the muscle.

“Hey! You can’t just…”

“Get your hand off of me!” I hissed glaring at her.

She didn’t budge.

“You can’t do anything!” She scoffed.

“Do you really want to test that?” I asked continuing to glare at her, hard.

She faltered. I took advantage of it. Jerking my arm out of her hand, I used her stumbling to grab her arm and twist it behind her back.

“I warned you.” I reminded her as she groaned in pain

“Alright, alright! I give! I give!” Christine screeched as I twisted her arm a little tighter.

“Get out of here!” I spat letting her go.

She ran off as soon as I did. I brushed my hands together, smirking as I watched her run, feeling quite pleased with myself.

The sound of clapping made me turn around wildly. Tony Stark stood across from me smirking widely as he held his hands together.

“Quite a show, I got to say.” He praised coming closer to me. “Don’t you think Happy?” He asked his driver. Somehow, he got only an inch away within a few seconds.

“Very impressive.” Happy replied.

Tony nodded. “I only have one question.” He said holding up a finger.

I raised my eyebrow at him, he needed no further invitation.

“What was the big deal?” He asked gesturing with his hand in the direction that Christine had ran.

“She kinda pissed me off. I hope she didn’t leave a bruise.” I muttered rolling up my sleeve revealing one of my many tattoos.

“Oooh, a tattoo” Tony said ogling the Star Wars Rebel symbol with the classic Yoda phrase ‘Do or do not, there is no try’ underneath it. “Ah a Star Wars fan then. Nerd!” Tony teased after getting an eye full of my tat.

“Hey,” I said in mock offence. “I’ll have you know that I got it for my brother. He was too chicken to get one himself.”

“Sure, I believe you.” Tony assured me, clearly not believing me. I just smirked at him. “So, do you have any other tattoos?”

From anyone else’s lips that question would be an innocent one, but from Tony Stark and I knew it wasn’t.

“Maybe I do. Maybe I don’t.” I replied vaguely, continuing to smirk at him.

“That’s a very vague answer.” He said bluntly, making me smirk wider. “One I will not accept, come on.” He said pulling me by the hand to his car.

“Where are you taking me?” I asked as we slid in.

“My place.” Was all he said before telling Happy to drive. “So, what brought you to the casino, you’re obviously not dressed for it.” He said pointing to my jeans, long sleeve shirt, and converse.

“Yeah, well it was kinda last minute. I had some money to blow so I decided to try my luck there, I lost it all though.” I said shrugging. This was actually true, it just wasn’t this night.

“You poor soul.” Tony teased.

“Poor yes, but I’m afraid I have no soul, Mr. Stark.” I deadpanned.

“Please call me Tony,” He said chuckling. “Mr. Stark is too formal.”

“Elynea.”

“Well, Elynea,” Tony said rolling my name with his tongue. “Got any more tattoos you want to share?”

“Depends on how hard you’re going to work for it.” I responded slyly.

“I’ll take that as a challenge.”


 

 

When we arrived at Tony’s mansion I was surprised by how huge it was. It was basically on an island of its own. Tony escorted me through the front door and led me into the kitchen.

“I’ll get us something to drink.” He said opening his alcohol cupboard. “What’s your poison?”

“Scotch.” I answered walking over to the piano in the corner. I sat down at the bench and lifted up the key cover.

“Do you play?” Tony asked setting down my drink on the piano lid in front of my face.

“I dabble.” I said vaguely, testing one of the keys. “You?”

“Me? Nah, a friend of mine does. I didn’t really have the patience for it.” He explained taking a sip of the amber liquid in his glass. “Go ahead and dabble if you will.” Tony encouraged as I continued to play with the keys.

“Alright, you asked for it.” I teased taking a sip of my drink giving me a bit of liquid courage. As soon as my fingers hit the keys music flowed through-out the house. My hands never faltered as I played the sweet melody. The walls in Tony’s house were so bare that every note bounced off surrounding us in a blanket of music.

“That was quite impressive!” Tony complemented as I finished the last note. “I was not expecting that.”

“Thank you.” I smiled proudly. “It sounds better on this than on my electric keyboard at home.” I said running my hands across the keys.

“I’d give it to you but I don’t think you could carry it home.” Tony teased, making me laugh aloud.

“No, of all my skills I, unfortunately, can’t pick a two-ton piano!”

“Well, Miss Elynea what other skills do you possess, may I ask?” Tony asked leaning his arm against the piano top, eyes never leaving my face.

I continued to play with the keys as I answered him. “I can hold my breath for over a minute. I can recite the whole Back in Black AC/DC album. And I can hold down all my liquor.” I said proudly taking a sip of my scotch.

“No way! I don’t believe you!” Tony mocked throwing his arms up in the air. There was a smile on his face as he teased me.

“It’s true!” I insisted, my face never breaking from my smile. “All of it! Does this like the face of a person who would lie to you Tony Stark?” I asked circling to my face with my finger.

“Prove it!” He dared leaning closer to my face, nearly nose to nose with me.

“Which one?”

“Hold your breath for one whole minute!” He answered without hesitation.

And that’s how we found ourselves sitting on the floor with a stop watch and the bottle of scotch between us. Both of us laughing hysterically as I tried to hold my breath. 

“See I told you! You can’t do it!” Tony boasted when I failed to hold my breath for the fifth time.

“Alright! Alright! You caught me.” I surrendered in mock fashion.

“HA! I knew it!” Tony cheered throwing his hands in the air. “I deserve a prize for such a victory.” He demanded when he was done cheering.

“What do you want than, oh great and wise lie detector?” I mocked still giggling at his theatrics.

“Hmm, what do I want? What do I want?” Tony muttered to himself as he took a gulp straight from the scotch bottle. Then he snapped his fingers. “I’ve got it.” He announced proudly.

“What?” I asked looking at him in question.

“I want to see another one of your tattoos.” He declared.

“Which one? I’ve got quite a lot.” I informed him as he scooted closer to me.

“How many?” He asked, eyes roaming over my clothed body.

“I have eight, including the one you’ve already seen.”

“Really eight?” Tony said disbelievingly. “On that tiny body. Completely covered?”

I smacked his arm. “Ow!” He yelped.

“I’m not that tiny.” I muttered.

“Alright! Alight!” He conceded. “Where are the most at?” He asked getting back on point.

“My back.” I answered snagging the bottle from his hand and taking a sip.

“Alright pretty girl, turn around so I can see.” Tony ordered spinning his finger in a circular motion.

I obeyed, slowly shifting my body to have my back face him. I made no other movements.

“Am I going to have to do all the work?” Tony asked sounding annoyed but I could hear the smile in his voice.

“Yes, I told you that you would have to work for it. Didn’t I?” I teased. “And you said that you were up for the challenge.”

I could hear Tony roll his eyes at me before reaching for my shirt. My skin burst out in goosebumps as it made contact with the cool air.

“No bra, I see.” Tony commented as he continued to lift my shirt until it reached my neck, I could hear his smirk in his voice.

“I find them restricting.” I admitted. My spine shivering has Tony ran his warm, calloused hands over the five tattoos that were spread across my entire back.

“Interesting choices.” He breathed. “Do they have meaning to them?” He asked leaning his head over my shoulder.

I turned my head to answer him but his lips interrupted what I was going to say.

We had long forgotten that question as we moved onto other activates that didn’t require much talking at all. Not that either of us were complaining.

Chapter Text

I awoke in Tony’s bed alone. I didn’t expect anything less.

“Good morning Miss.” J.A.R.V.I.S. greeted opening the blinds as I sat up. “It's 7:00 a.m. The weather in Malibu is 72 degrees with scattered clouds. The surf conditions are fair with waist-to-shoulder high lines. High tide will be at 10:52 a.m.” He reported as I grabbed Tony’s discarded button up shirt and pulled it over my body.

“Morning,” I greeted putting my panties on. “J.A.R.V.I.S. right?” I clarified. Damn visions and their non-clarity.

“Yes ma’am, is there anything you require?” He asked politely.

“Am I allowed to go out onto the balcony?” I asked hesitantly.

“Sir has no restrictions to that area of the residence.” J.A.R.V.I.S. answered, not really giving me a yes or no.

“Great! Where’s the door?” I asked looking around the room.

“If you would look your left, you will see the door to the main balcony. It has a magnificent view of the Pacific Ocean.” J.A.R.V.I.S. replied.

“Thank you, J.A.R.V.I.S.” I said heading for the door as directed.

“Your welcome, ma’am.” He replied.

As I stepped out through the glass door the salty air hit mw with a pleasant gust of wind that blew my hair out of my face. I breathed in deep as I leaned over the banister and closed my eyes in contentment. After several moments of just enjoying the wind on my face, I moved to sit on the floor. Once in the lotus position I began to do my breathing exercises. Before long I felt my mind go into a peaceful state and my body begin hover above the ground. This is a recent development with my powers that I had discovered during my time with Professor Xavier.

In this calm state, I am able to focus my abilities on a specific person or event. To some extent. My powers, of course, have their limitations. I cannot see my own future or the future of those that are closely knit into my life. And of-course I cannot see every detail of anyone’s life.

I started searching through Tony’s future to see if I had made any impact. So far, none. I hadn’t really expected that I would but it was disappointing that I hadn’t made any impact at all.

As I let my body descend down to the ground I pondered over what I should do next. I didn’t want to intrude into Tony’s life, unwanted and nosy, but I also didn’t want to just up and leave his life completely without knowing that his future would be at least be a little bit brighter than before. However, before I could think on this further my stomach rumbled. Food. I need food before making any more life altering decisions.   

Somehow, I was able to sneak into the kitchen without Ms. Potts seeing me as she went down to Tony’s workshop and again when she left a few moments later. As soon as the sound of a door closing and the sound of car tires was beyond ear reach, I moved to make myself a cup of coffee. And snag a bagel.

I was in the middle of playing another song on the piano when Tony came up from his workshop. A steaming cup of coffee sat on top of the lid. And what was left of the snagged bagel was in my mouth.

Music streamed throughout the house as my fingers flowed over the keys.

“I didn’t know you were still here.” Tony spoke up once the song had ended. His voice conveying his surprise.

I spun around, looking a bit sheepish, on the bench to face him. “No one really came to kicked me out, so I just got myself some coffee.” Holding up the mug. “And stole your last bagel.”

“How did Ms. Potts not see you?” He asked, still shocked. “J.A.R.V.I.S.?”

“Miss Elynea was on the main balcony when Miss Potts made her usual rounds. And Miss Potts did not see Miss Elynea in the kitchen when she left, sir.” J.A.R.V.I.S. answered.

“I kinda hid until she was gone, she looked waaayyy too scary to deal with at ten in the morning.” I said nonchalantly as I took a sip of my coffee. More like a gulp, it was some really good coffee, but details.  

“Well, as fun as this whole experience has been. I think I should be going. I’ll just go grab my pants and be out of your hair.” With that I set the now empty mug in the kitchen sink and made my way back to Tony’s bedroom. In less fun way, unfortunately.  

I had my pants and shoes on when I spotted Tony standing in the doorway.

“Is this some sort of stunt?” He asked. His eyes narrowing in suspicion.

“What?” I asked laughing nervously.  

“Most women aren’t this cool with just walking out of here and they defiantly don’t find a way of avoiding my PA. So, who are you? Reporter? Hippie? Crazy Fan?” Tony barked coming closer to me with every word.

“Okay whoa there buddy, one more step and you’ll end up like Christine. And I was being gentle with her.” I informed him placing my hand against his chest to stop him from coming any closer. “First of all, I’m not like any of the other women that you bring home, and I’m defiantly not any of those so called ‘people’ that you mentioned, and a few you didn’t. And second… well I don’t really have a good second point but…”

“Okay, okay I get it.” Tony interrupted a sincere smile creeping up onto his face. “I can tell that you aren’t one of those crazy, crack pots that I usually bring here. I should probably stop that.” he added as a side thought. “So, who are you? Really?”

“Elynea Brown, I’m your Racehorse Jockey.”

“My what!” Tony blurted.

I smirked. “I ride your race horse.”  

Tony cocked his brow at me. “Really?”

“Yep.”

“Wow, really.” Still in disbelief.

I couldn’t help but laugh at him. “How else do you think I got into Caesars Palace? You don’t just walk into a place like that, especially how I was dressed. I was a guest.”  

Tony laughed with me. “So, that big win you were celebrating last night. It wasn’t one of mine, was it? It’s not our racing season yet.”

“No, I race for some other people on the side.” I confirmed. “I won a particularly big one last week. So, I thought why not be stupid for a night.”

“That sounds reckless.” Pause. “I like it.” Tony said smiling. “I’ve got to get to the airport, in about an hour, big presentation to do. Would you like to catch a ride?”

“You don’t seem like the type to just give a joy ride to a one night stand.” I accused, teasing him.

“Usually I’m not.” He replied. “But you don’t seem like the type to turn one down.”

He was right, I wasn’t.

“Fine, I’d love a ride,” I relented. “But I’m not getting onto the plane, am I?”

Tony just laughed as he led me down to his garage and into one of his many sport cars.

Chapter Text

Tony was more shell-shocked than anything when he got back to his house in Malibu. It was empty and quiet as usual. Even with J.A.R.V.I.S.’s warm-ish greeting.

‘Don’t waste your life’ were Yinsen’s last, dying words. Tony planned not to. So far, he thought he was on the right track by shutting down the weapons manufactory. Even though it was going to make a lot of people angry, especially his stock holders. Tony shivered involuntarily, he did not want to be at that meeting. Never-the-less Tony felt like it was the right thing to do.

He pondered over this as he made his way over to the fridge. Even after eating those cheeseburgers at the press conference he was still hungry, three months in captivity seemed to do that to a person.

As he opened the door he spied a sticky note with feminine handwriting on it. He took it off and used the fridge light to read what it said.

 

If you’re ever in need of someone to talk to,

Call me.

XX Elynea Brown XX

Underneath her name was a phone number. Tony remembered her from the night before he was he had gotten onto that plane. It seemed like a life time ago when that had happened. If he had seen this before Afghanistan he would have chucked it in the trash bin. But now he held it like a lifeline, a connection to a simpler, easier time. She had been fun and pleasant to talk to but he needed more than a phone call right now. Especially after the talk with Obadiah. As he closed the fridge door he noticed another note. This one said:

If you’re in need of something more

my door is always open

An address. Tony was out of the door before he could think twice.

 


 

I was shocked to find Tony to be the one standing behind the door. Especially so soon after Afghanistan, he had just gotten back this morning. I guess I had made more of an impact then I originally thought.

“Tony. Are you okay?” I asked looking him up and down. His arm wasn’t in a sling like at the conference.

“I’m sorry, is this a bad time?” Tony asked, a bit hesitant as he shifted his weight from one foot to another.

“No, no, of course not. Come on in.” I insisted pulling him in by the hand. “I just have my godson sleeping in the other room, so we have to be quiet.”

“Your godson?” Tony asked looking around the tiny apartment.

“Yeah, his parents are out of town for the week.” I said guiding him into the living room and onto the couch.

“They take off often?” Tony asked sitting down next me, rubbing his hands together nervously.

“It has been more often recently, yeah.” I admitted, Peter barley saw his parents nowadays.

“He doesn’t have anyone else he can stay with?” Tony asked his brow scrunching up in confusion.

“He has an Aunt and Uncle but they are away as well. Second honeymoon or something. I was the last resort.” I said indulging him. Talking about anything but what had had happened seemed to be what Tony needed at the moment. “But the kid likes me more, so it’s no trouble.”

“How can you tell that he likes you more?” He asked genuinely curious.

“I think it’s because I dote on him the most.” I admitted making Tony chuckle.

“What the kid’s name?” Tony asked, no longer rubbing his hands together as he relaxed against the coach cushions.  

“Peter, he’s seven now.” I said pulling my feet up onto the coach and placing my chin in my hand as I leant against the cushions.  

“Peter, cute name.”

“He’s a cute kid. He loves super heroes. Batman is his favorite right now. And he loves science. Gets all A’s on his projects, you know, and he won last year’s science fair. He’s a genius. I think the kid is going to be one of the world’s top scientists someday.” I gushed.

“You must really love him.” Tony said smiling softly. A smile I had never seen of his face before.

“Yeah, I really do. Sweetest kid I’ll ever meet.” I admitted.

“Bet you’ll have a lot of them then.” Tony said.

I hesitated a moment before admitting, “I can’t have kids.”

Tony gapped incoherently for a moment before stuttering, “Oh Elynea, I’m so sorry.”

“It’s alright, not your fault.” I dismissed with wave of my hand. “I’m dealing with it. The doctors say that it’s because of a nasty fall I had about a year ago. Too much damage, they said, to carry. Too… too dangerous.” My voice cracking a bit as I spoke.

Tony started to pull me to his chest as my voice drifted off. But the moment was broken when my head hit a metal device on his chest.

“Ow. What’s that?” I asked rubbing my head as I pointed to it.

“Oh sorry. It’s a mini Arc Reactor, it’s what is keeping me alive, at the moment.” Tony apologized showing me the reactor imbedded onto his chest. “I’m probably going to update soon. This is becoming an antique.”  

“Ouch, that looks painful.” I commented softly as I brushed my fingers across the torn flesh around the frame.

“Only when they first put it in. I don’t feel any pain now.” Tony assure me. Vaguely I knew that he was lying but I didn’t push him.

Tony pulled me back against his chest, this time being careful of the reactor. We held each other tight until sleep over took us. The warmth of Tony’s arms and the faint glow of the reactor where the last things I was aware of as I drifted.


 

I was awoken to someone pocking my face with their finger.

“Ellie!” Poke. “Ellie!” Poke. “Wake up!” Poke. “There’s a strange man in the house and you’re sleeping on him.” A soft voice whispered frantically.

I opened my eyes to see Peter standing right up against my face with wide, frantic eyes.

“It’s alright Petey, he’s a friend. He just need someone to talk to and we fell asleep.” I assured him getting off Tony as gently as possible. “Have you had you breakfast yet?” I asked picking him up and taking him to the kitchen. Despite being seven, Peter is still light and small having not reached his growth spurt yet.

“No, the cereal is too high for me to get. But I got the milk, and a spoon, and my bowel.” Peter informed me.

“Good job, buddy.” I praised holding out my hand for a high five, which he gave gladly. “Alright, what cereal would you like?” I asked setting him down on the stool and opening up the cupboard.

“Cinnamon Crunch, please.” Was Peter’s immediate answer.

“I’ll have a bowl of that.” A groggy voice pipped up.

Peter and I turned to see Tony get up from the couch and walk over to the counter. His hair sticking up in all directions and his eyes slightly glazed over with sleep.

“You’re Tony Stark. I’ve read all your papers in the science magazines. You’re really smart.” Peter burst out excitedly as Tony sat down in the stool next to him.

“Have you now, and which was your favorite?” Tony asked, interested but clearly not believing that the seven-year-old kid in front of him had read all his papers.

“The one about the Arc Reactor that powers your factory. I remember that you said that it can proved clean energy by using fusion energy. My school went to see it. It was huge. And loud.” Peter answered before digging into his cereal that I put in front of him.

Tony stared at Peter with wide eyes.

“I told you, the kid was smart.” I pipped in as I set a bowl in front of him, then went on to make my own.  

“Yeah, but that’s something most par… guar… family members exaggerate because they love their kid so much. Not that the kid is actually smart enough to read from the science magazines and understand it.” Tony blurted.

“I don’t exaggerate Tony, not with him.” I told him pointing my spoon at him.

“Alright I believe you. Don’t skewer me with a spoon.” Tony said raising his arms in defeat. Peter and I chuckled at him.

We ate our cereal in relative silence until it was time for Peter to get ready for school.   

“Is Mr. Stark going to be here when I get back? I want to ask him some more questions about his robots.” Peter asked as we waited down by the bus. He had asked Tony question after question while getting ready. Tony was surprisingly more than happy to quench his thirst for knowledge, even if it was just for a couple of minutes.

“I’m not sure. We’ll see okay, Tony is a very busy man remember.” I told him.

Peter nodded thoughtfully before getting on the bus. He waved goodbye to me as they drove off.  

“Good kid, I like him.” Tony commented when I came back up to the apartment. “Smart too.”

“I guess it’s not every day the great Tony Stark approves of a seven-year-old boy.” I teased.

“No, it isn’t, you should be documenting this. This is a once in a life time event.” Tony agreed.

“I’ll go get my camera.” I teased laughing at him.  

“Thank you.” Tony said looking at me earnestly.

“For what?”

“For just… being a friend when I needed one… so just… thanks.” He stuttered.  

“Anytime.” I replied still smiling at him.

“I mean it Tony, anytime.” I added when he didn’t look convinced.

We smiled at each other for a moment before Tony got up.

“Guess I should be going.” He said fiddling with his keys as he made his way to the door. His hand hovered over the door knob before he turned back to me.

“Hey, here’s a crazy idea. How about you come back to my place and hang-out for a bit.”

I was about to protest, but when I saw the desperate look in Tony’s eyes, I stopped myself.

“Sure, I’d love to.” Tony’s face split into a huge smile. “We just have to remember to get Peter after school.”

“It’ll be done.” Tony assured me. And just like that we were off.

Chapter Text

I watched in amazement as Tony built himself a new Arc Reactor. But I soon turned apprehensive as I stood next the stretcher as he prepared to put it into his chest.

“Ah, that’s a bit of a snag.” He commented as he pulled out his old Arc Reactor and set it down on the table next to him.

“What is it?” I asked coming closer to him.

“A copper wire is touching the circuit wall, and it needs to be pulled out.” He breathed as he tried to pull the wire out himself but gave up when he couldn’t fit his fingers through. “This isn’t working. How big are your hands?” Tony asked looking at me.

I showed him my hands a bit hesitantly.

“Ah very dainty, very petite. Perfect. I need you to reach in and pull out the copper wire without touching the circuit wall.” He instructed.

“Alright, I’ll give it a go.” I answered without hesitation, despite my inner turmoil. Tony needed my help so I would give it to him.

Slowly I reached my hand down into the metal tube. “It’s a little slimy in here.” I commented as I felt around for the wire.

“It’s inorganic plasmic discharge from the device, not from my body.” He assured me.

“It stinks a bit.” I said wrinkling my nose.

“Yeah, it does.” Tony replied taking a deep breath.

“I’ve got it! I’ve got the wire.” I cried as my fingers gripped the slimy wire. “What do I do now?”

“Now just pull it out without touching the sides.”

I slowly lifted the wire making sure that it didn’t make contact with the sides, until it was sticking out of his chest.

“It’s attached to something.” I muttered as I gave it slight tug but not enough to pull it out. Not wanting to pull whatever it was attached to out if I wasn’t supposed to.

“It’s a magnet, don’t pull it out, just get the wire out.” Tony instructed breathing heavily.  

After giving it a few light tugs I knew that the wire wasn’t going to be coming out by itself.

“I can’t get the wire out without the magnet.” I told him. Still not making and movements to pull is out.

“Alright we’ll just have to pull it out, just be ready to put the new reactor in.” Tony wheezed.

With that ‘go ahead’ I pulled the magnet out and set it down next to the old reactor. I ignored the heart monitor’s beeping and Tony’s frantic voice telling me to hurry up as I took the new reactor from his hand.

“Alright just attach the cord to the base plate.” He said as I moved the reactor down into his chest, cord first.

“Alright, I got it! I got it!” I cheered as I attached the cord to the base.

“Oh yeah, that’s the ticket. Much better.” Tony burst out as the reactor was attached. “That wasn’t so hard. Fun, right?” He said laughing hysterically.  

“Like operation.” I smirked as the reactor was pushed into place and I began to wipe off my hands.

“My thoughts exactly.” Tony said hopping off the table.

“What do you want to do with that?” I asked pointing to his old reactor.

“That?” Tony said looking down at it. “Destroy it. Incinerate it.”

“I’m surprised you don’t want to keep it.” I said picking it up. It was warm as it laid in the palm of my hands.

“Elynea, I've been called many things. "Nostalgic" is not one of them.” Tony dismissed. I just cocked my eye brow at him before moving across the room.

While Tony bossed around one of his bots to clean up his desk I went over to one of his shelves and hid the old arc reactor. It might come in handy sometime. Maybe more than either of us would know.

I looked up at the clock to see that it was 1:30 already. “Tony, we’ve got to pick up Peter. I called the principle earlier and said that I was going to pick him up, so that he wouldn’t get on the bus.”

“Then let’s go.” Tony replied pulling on a shirt as he headed for a sport car. To which I firmly told him that Peter would not fight in the back of, no matter how small he was. So, we took the silver Audi R8, his only car that did actually have a backseat to it.

 


 

We arrived at Peter’s school just as they were being released. Peter was the first to run out of the doors and straight into my arms.

“Hey Petey, how was your day?” I asked lifting him up as I stood and walked him over to the car.

“It was great! We learned about the Civil War. And in science we learned about the solar system, but I was the only one who knew all the answers.” Peter burst out proudly.

“That’s great Peter. I’m so proud of you!” I praised giving him a sloppy kiss on the cheek.

“Ellie! No stop it! Ellie!” Peter giggled as I continued to cover him in kisses.

“Alright, alright. That’s enough of the love fest. Let’s get this show on the road.” Tony teased as we slid into the car.

“Hey Mr. Stark.” Peter greeted as I buckled him into the backseat.

“Hey kid, call me Tony.” He insisted. “Do you mind if we made a quick stop before heading back?” He asked turning to me.

“Not all, why?” I asked as he started up the car.

“Just gotta talk to a friend real quick.” With that we were off down the highway towards the air base.

“I’ll just be a moment.” Tony said as we parked.

“Take your time.” I told him, he nodded before stepping out of the car and heading for the hanger.

It couldn’t have been more than ten minutes before Tony appeared again from around the corner and slipped back into the car.

He looked grim. “Hey, you okay?” I asked laying my hand on his shoulder before he could start the car up.

“Yeah, yeah I’m fine.” He tried to dismiss but after looking at my face he explained. “I was just going to talk to Rhodey, wanted him to be a part of the project I have in mind. He dismissed me. Wouldn’t even hear what I had to say.” He bit out.

I rubbed his neck to comfort him while he talked. I had no words for him but it seemed that listening and being there was enough for him. He took a deep breath before starting up the car and driving out of the air base.

 


 

“What are we doing back at your place Tony?” I asked as we pulled into his driveway.

“Would it be alright for you guys have dinner with me? I’ll order in.” Tony asked. By his hesitant tone I knew that he didn’t want to be alone, so I didn’t hesitate.  

“Sure, how about you Peter?” I said turning to the kid in the back.

“Yeah!” Peter cheered holding up two thumbs-up.

“That’s a yes from both of us Tony.” I smirked.

“Good.” Tony replied with a wide smile on his face as we stepped out of the car and into through the front door. “I’ll go and order, you guys make yourself comfortable. What do you want?”

“Chinese!” Peter chirped as we entered the kitchen.

“Chinese it is. I know the best place.” Tony assured us as he pulled out his phone and began to order.

“Alright Peter, let’s sit down. What homework do you have?” I asked putting him onto one of the stools and pulling out his books from his backpack.

“I got most of it done at lunch. But I still have some English and Math to do.” Peter said moving those books in front of him.

“Food is on its way. What are you working on there?” Tony asked coming over to us and sat down on the other side of Peter.

“English.” Peter replied not looking up from his book.

“Well, it wasn’t my best subject but I’ll give it a go.”  Together, Tony and I helped Peter get all of his homework done before the food arrived.

“So, Peter what kind of secrets is your godmother hiding?” Tony teasingly asked as we set aside Peter’s books and began to eat.

“She can sing really well!” Peter replied chewing on his rice. “And she can hover off the ground and see the future too. Not all of it she told me but she sees a lot of dead people, I know because sometimes she cries and mutters names of people we don’t know.” He added taking a bite of his orange chicken.

My heart and my body froze in shock when he said that. This would not go over well.

“She cannot!” Tony said in disbelief. It was pretty farfetched when you thought about it.

“Can too.” Peter argued.

“Can’t!”

“Can!”

“Can’t!”

“Can!”

“Cannot!”

“Can too!”

“Alright, alright you two. That’s enough now.” I said stopping their childish argument. “Peter eat your rice.”

“But Ellie, you can really do those things. I’ve seen you.” Peter insisted.

“I’m not contradicting you Peter, we’ll talk some more after dinner, okay.” Peter nodded in agreement and turned back to his food. I looked over his shoulder to see Tony’s confused face.

“I’ll explain later.” I whispered to him. He nodded and we ate in silence.

After dinner was finished Peter dragged me over to the living room and onto the floor.

“Come Ellie, let’s to the floaty thing!” Peter begged as he climbed onto my lap, face first.

“Alright Peter I’ll do it.” I agreed taking a deep breath. I repositioned Peter to sit with his back to my chest. Closing my eyes, I ignored Tony has he stood across from us leaning against the wall with his arms crossed. It took me longer to calm my mind with my emotions and thoughts going a hundred miles an hour but eventually after taking several deep breaths I felt my body lift off the ground.

“Holy s$*t!” Tony burst out.

“Told you she could do it.” Peter boasted crossing his arms proudly.

“Yeah, yeah I believe you kid.” Tony breathed coming closer to us. “How are you doing this?”

I opened my eyes to stare into his warm brown ones. “I don’t really have a good answer for that, other than I just can.” I admitted.

Tony just nodded dumbly as I slowly descended back to the ground.

“What? How?” Tony stuttered as he stared down at me.

“I think it’s time for Peter to go to bed now.” I interrupted giving him a pointed look. Tony nodded in understanding.

“Aw but Ellie!” Peter whined.

“No buts Petey,” I said firmly. “Is there a room his can stay in?”

“Yeah, I’ve got plenty of guest rooms. Come on Peter I’ll show the biggest one.” Tony said taking Peter by the hand and lead him down the hall.

Watched them go my heart fluttering in my chest, Tony was really good with Peter. I just hoped that what I was about to tell him wouldn’t affect that bound they were developing.

I looked up to see Tony came back into the room.

“Kid went out like a light as soon as his head hit the pillow.” He reported.

“Good, it’s been a long, exciting day for him.” I said pulling myself up onto the couch.  

“Can you really see the future?” Tony asked sitting down next to me.

“Yes.” I answered plainly. I couldn’t hide this from him, there was no point after what he had seen.

“Specific futures of certain people or everything. And isn’t the future constantly changing?” Tony asked trying to rationalize it.

“Mostly specific ones so far.” I admitted. “As far as it seems I’ve only been able to see things that actually come to pass and can’t be changed. I’ve mostly seen death, actually. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve had a vision that wasn’t about death. So, I guess I can’t really call it future seeing when it really seems to be just death seeing.”

“How long have you been able to do this? And how did you get it?”

“It’s not a disease Tony, it’s a mutant gene. At least that’s what Professor Xavier told me. And I’ve been like this since I was ten years old.”

“That sounds horrible.” Tony said bluntly. “So, whatever you’ve see. You couldn’t stop or change?”

“So far, but I never really tried. The visions don’t give me a lot of detail apart from what is happening to them. No names, or addresses. The only vision I’ve had that gave me the clearest view, was yours.” I admitted searching his face as I told him.

“You’ve seen my future?!” He gasped rearing back a bit.

“Yes.” I whispered. “But it’s harder now to see it.”  He looked at me in question. “I can’t see the future of those close to me or my own.”

“You’re not going to tell me what you saw, are you?” Tony realized after a moment.

“I don’t think that would be a good idea Tony.” I started. “And before you argue with me. Answer me this. Do you really want to know what will happen? Do you really?” I asked looking him in the eye.

He hesitated. So, I pressed on. “I can’t promise you a perfect future Tony but I can tell you that it has changed from what I saw at first. I may not know what is about to happen in your life or how different it is. But I can tell you that you’re going to rock the world.”

“You mean my suit, right? You know about my suit. Do I really make a difference?” Asking me earnestly.

“Yes.” I said firmly smiling at him.

“How is it?” He asked slightly worried.

“Awesome and badass.” I declared making him laugh.

“Awesome.” Tony said quite pleased with himself as he leaned back against the couch with his hands behind his head. “So, you really can’t tell me anything? Anything at all?” He asked peering over at me.

“No, I’m sorry Tony. I don’t want to say something and it not happen. It would be too risky.” I said shaking my head.

“Weak argument,” He pointed out making me wilt a bit. “But…” He added taking my hand in his. “I understand. Must be tough to face that every day.”  

“You have no idea.”

“Yeah, not pleasant at all is it.” Tony said sympathetically pulling me down to his chest.

I just shook my head as I buried myself into his chest once again. His comfort and understanding was all I needed at the moment, and Tony gave it readily.

Chapter Text

The next Day 

“Okay, let's do this right. Start mark, half a meter, and back and center.” Tony announced as he stepped onto the grid laid out on the floor of the workshop.

“You kinda look like a spaceman in those boots.” I commented.

“How on earth do I look like a spaceman in these?” Tony asked incredulously pointing to his bare boned Iron Man boots that were strapped to his feet. I just shrugged in reply.   

“Dum-E, look alive. You're on standby for fire safety.” Tony said getting back on point, ordering the robot. “U, roll it.” The camera bot followed Tony’s every move as he prepared himself for the test.

“Okay. Activate hand controls.” He turned on the handheld devices to turn on the boots. “We're gonna start off nice and easy. We're gonna see if 10% thrust capacity achieves lift.” He took deep breaths as the boots came to life.

“And three,” Jiggling around a bit as he counted off. “Two, one.”

He took off straight up, rolled over, feet up, in the air, crashed against the wall behind him, and landed onto the floor with a loud crash. Then Dum-E sprayed him with the fire-extinguisher.  

“Tony are you okay.” I asked running over to his side and kneeling down next to him.

“Yep, I’m fine. I’m fine.” He groaned rolling on his side. “Gonna need something to stabilize flight.” He muttered sitting up.

“I’ll go get you some ice.” I said moving to the small kitchen in the workshop. It didn’t have much but it did have ice.

“Thanks.” Tony said as he sat at his desk taking off his boots and placing the ice pack on his head.

I was unable to reply as a vision suddenly over took all of my senses.  

I saw a plane. Why was it always planes!? My sight narrows through one of the windows till I’m face to face with Mary and Richard Parker, Peter’s parents. They were talking to each other, I can’t hear what’s being said. They look excited to be going home. Then all of a sudden, my vision shifts and I’m looking at the outside of the plane once again, only to see it begin to shake violently. The plane is out of control and begins to plummet rapidly to the ground. Within moments it hits the side of a mountain and bursts into flames. Everything goes black.

The vision ended to find me face to face with Tony and tears streaming down my face. I tried to speak but no words came out, Tony seemed to understand and pulled me to his chest without hesitation.

“What did you see?” He asked gently rocking me back and forth.

“Oh Tony, it… was h…horrible…” I cried, my tears seemed to be a never-ending river at this point. “I saw them die! I saw all… of them die.” I hiccupped.

“Shush, it’ll be alright. It’s okay now, it’s over.” Tony soothed rubbing his hands over my back.

“Peter’s parents… Tony, they’re… they’re… dead.” I gasped. I felt Tony go ridged against me. “They’re gone! Gone!” I sobbed.

“It’ll be alright Elynea, we’ll get through this, don’t worry.” Tony soothed.

Tony held me until I had no more tears to shed and simply hiccupped against him.

“Why don’t we go upstairs? Get some coffee, we can talk about this.” Tony suggested, pulling me to my feet. I could only nod in response.

We slowly made our way back upstairs and into the kitchen.

“What am I going to do?” I muttered as I sat down at counter. Tony moved to get us some mugs and fill them with hot coffee.

“Doesn’t he have an Aunt and Uncle who could take him in?” Tony asked as he set a cup down in front of me.

“Yes, but they are away remember?” I reminded him.

“Yeah, right you told me.” Tony muttered suddenly remembering.

“They won’t be back for a while, plus they have no experience in raising a kid. They barley spent any time with them when he was growing up.” I ranted in frustration, throwing my hands in the air.   

“So, what are you going to do?” Tony asked as he sat in the stool next to me.

“I’ll become Peter’s legal guardian.” I resolved. “I’ll have to quit my job, do something less dangerous. Maybe I should move. My apartment might be too small a seven-year-old kid to live in indefinitely.” I thought aloud, these were going to be some real-life changes for me. But Peter was worth it.

“Doesn’t your job pay well enough? I mean I know that horse racing is more of a gambling game but you’re working for me here, and it’s not like I’m not swimming in dough.” Tony asked.

“No, it’s not the money that’s the problem. I’m probably getting more money out of it than any other job I’d get.” I sighed heavily leaning my head against my hands. “But it is a risk. Horse racing is not a safe sport by any means. But I will miss it.”

“Then don’t give it up.” Tony insisted.

“But Tony…”

“No,” He interrupted. “I’ve heard all your points, and I find them to be valid points, but just hear me out on this.”

I nodded silently, so he continued.

“You don’t have to move out of your apartment, that place is big enough for just the two of you. And you don’t have to set aside racing forever, sooner or later Peter is going to be old enough to take care of himself but until then, yeah, you should take a break from the actual racing but that doesn’t mean you get a completely different job.” He paused. “How long have you been in the horse business?” He asked.

“Fifteen years.” I answered automatically.

“Fifteen years is a lot of experience, for anyone really, and you can use that to train someone else or horses if you’d like. And I can guarantee you a position on my team.” Tony insisted taking my hands in his.

“If I didn’t know you any better I’d say that you were trying to get me to stay near you.” I said slyly.

“That neither here nor there.” He dismissed. “Do you or do you not accept my offer? Please say yes.” He practically begged.

“Alright, alright you convinced me.” As he started to pout at me. “But I better be paid double.” I warned pointing my finger in his face.

“Done.” He said with an ear-splitting grin on his face before pulling me in for a deep kiss.

I could get used to this.


 

“Can your reactor really power everything?” I asked as he screwed the braces around his arm. We moved back down to the workshop after finishing our coffee.

“Of course it can.” Tony scoffed.

“I’ve been buzzing didn’t you hear the intercom?” Pepper asked coming into the workshop. “Who are you!?” She asked suddenly taking notice of me sitting across from Tony.

“Turned it off, it was annoying us, this is Elynea.” Tony greeted finishing screwing up the gauntlet. “What do you want?”

“Obadiah is upstairs.” Pepper answered eyeing me up and down.

“Great!” Tony answered sarcastically as he aimed it at the other end of the room.

“Aim a little higher Tony, you might hit Dum-E.” I warned.

“Might do him some good.” Tony grunted.

“I thought you were done making weapons.” Pepper butt in.

“I am.” “He is.” We both said.

“This is a flight stabilizer.” Tony explained ignoring Pepper’s look of astonishment at our one mindedness. “It’s completely harmless.” He assured us pressing a button before firing it. It sent him flying back against the wall with a loud bang.

“I didn’t expect that.” Tony said in a small, surprised voice as he lay on the floor.

“I did.” I admitted helping him up.

“Why didn’t you warn me?” He asked looking scandalized.

“Thought it would be funny, and it was.”

“Tell Obie that I’ll be up there in a minute.” Tony told Pepper when he noticed her still standing in the lab looking at us in astonishment.

“Alright.” She answered before going back upstairs, still eyeing me in suspicion.

“Looks like Peter fell asleep on your couch.” I pointed out once Pepper disappeared up the stairs. “I’m surprised the blast didn’t wake him up.”

Happy had dropped him off at the mansion after school and Peter had been ecstatic to help Tony with his Iron Man suit. And had been more than willing to sit on the couch and fiddle with one of the broken boots. Said boot was currently laying on the floor next to his outstretched hand.

“He’s wearing some earplugs I gave him.” Tony grunted as he sat in the stool once more, this time to remove the flight stabilizer. “Told him it could get loud in here.” He explained with I looked at him in question.

“Thank you, Tony.”

“It was no problem.” He dismissed. “I’ll be right back, got to face the warden.” He teased before dashing up the stairs.

I was covering Peter with a blanket when Tony came back down in a bit of a huff. He sat down at his desk, throwing the slices of pizza in his hand to the side, and began to work on the designs for Mark II.

“What happened?” I asked slipping my arms around his neck as I came up behind him. He relaxed ever so slightly under my touch.

“My board of directors are filling for an injunction, they want to lock me out of my own damn company!” Tony spat, now no longer fiddling with his schematics. “Claiming post-traumatic stress, my ass.” He hissed under his breath.

“They are all idiots. And they only care about money.” I reassured him running my hand through his hair.

Tony just scoffed.

“Hey, listen to me.” Spinning him around to face me. “You did a good thing when you shut down the weapons factory. Listen you did,” I said placing my hands on either side of his face when he started to protest, “you knew that your weapons were getting into the wrong hands and you stopped it. You did the right thing Tony, and don’t let anyone tell you different.” Looking him dead in the eye.

We stared at each other for a moment before Tony blinked.

“Yeah, you’re right, you’re right. I did it for a reason and I’m sticking to it.” He resolved taking a deep breath. “Thank you for believing in me.”

“I’ll always support you, no matter what.” I promised kissing his forehead.

“I’ll hold you to that.” Tony response latching onto me.

‘I’ll hold me to that too.’ I thought to myself in a silent promise.

Chapter Text

“What happened to the piano? And why is there a whole in the roof?” I asked as I came down to the workshop the next evening. “What I can’t leave you alone for one day?”

“I was testing out the suit and miss jud.. what are you wearing?” Tony asked as he spun around to face me.

“Your Firefighters Family Fund party is tonight, I was invited.” I explained smoothing down my black, halter top, floor length dress. “Is it too much?” I asked spinning around to show him the shear back.

“No, not at all.” Tony choked out.

I smirked at him.

He cleared his throat. “J.A.R.V.I.S. did we get an invite to that?”

“I have no record of an invitation, sir.” J.A.R.V.I.S. answered.

“Well, that sucks. Not being invited to your own party.” I said as I came over to his work space. “How is it going?” Leaning purposely to peer at the screens.

“Great.” Tony squawked eyeing my cleavage.

“The render is complete.” J.A.R.V.I.S. butt in.

Tony, reluctantly, turned his attention to the screens once more. “A little ostentatious, don't you think?” He said as he eyed the solid, gold colored Iron Man suit.

“What was I thinking? You’re usually so discreet.” J.A.R.V.I.S. snarked making me snort.

“Tell you what.” Tony said eyeing his hot-red Roadster. “Throw a little hot-red in there.”

“Yes, that’ll help you keep a low profile.”

“J.A.R.V.I.S. is getting really sarcastic lately.” I commented grinning widely.

“I wonder where he gets it from? Must be Peter.” He mused.  

“Sure, from Peter, I hope that helps you sleep at night.” I teased, making him grin.

“Render is complete.” J.A.R.V.I.S. stated. We both looked at the screen as the hot-red and gold suit shown on the screen.

“Hey, I like it. What do you think?” Tony asked as I analyzed it.

“Awesome and badass.” I stated smirking.

“Fabricate it. Paint it.” He ordered checking his watch.

“Commencing automated assembly. Estimated completion time is five hours.” J.A.R.V.I.S. stated.

“Don’t wait up for us, honey.” Tony said as we made our way out of the workshop and up to the main floor. “The car still parked up front?”

“Yep. I’ll wait for you.” I said sitting down on the couch as Tony dashed upstairs.

He was back down in record time dressed in a smart black tux and his hair slicked back.

“You clean up nice.” I complemented as I slipped my hand into his elbow.

“I know, and, if I didn’t mention it before, you look absolutely ravishing in that dress.” Tony replied opening the door to STARK2 for me.

“I know.” I replied, he chuckled as shut he the door. Then slid into the driver’s seat. With the purr of the engine we set off down the interstate.

“Who do you have watching Peter tonight?” Tony asked as we turned on to our exit.

“Happy.” I answered.

“Happy, are you sure? Is he really the right person to watch a seven-year-old kid?” He asked a bit nervous.

“Happy will do fine, Peter is a very well-behaved boy.” I reassured him.

“I’m not worried about that, but... I mean.” Tony stuttered as we pulled up to the party.

“Hey Tony,” I said laying my hand on his arm making him face me. “Peter will be fine, he’s safe. Trust me.”

“Alright I trust your judgement. Okay, let’s do this.” Tony said firmly before stepping out of the car. He handed the keys to one of the valets before helping me out.

With my hand once again in the crock of his arm, we made our way through the paparazzi and to the front steps to where Obadiah was standing, talking to a reporter.

“What's the world coming to when a guy got to crash his own party?” Tony greeted as we came up beside him.

“Look at you. Hey, what a surprise.” Obadiah greeted in a very surprised tone as he faced Tony, taking no notice of me.

“I'll see you inside.” We started to move up the stairs but Obadiah leaned in close to Tony before we could get any further.

“Hey. Listen, take it slow, all right? I think I got the board right where we want them.” He whispered quietly, but I still heard him.

“You got it. Just cabin fever. We’ll just be a minute.” Tony reassured him and walked away before he could say anything more.

I could feel Obadiah’s eyes on me as we made our way into the building. But resisted the urge to glance back as we stepped through the doors.

“You want a drink?” Tony asked as we entered the ballroom, the party already in full swing.

“We can have one drink, you still have to drive us home.” I said letting him guide me to the bar.

“Alright only one.” He agreed. “Scotch?”

“Of course.”

“Two scotches please.” Tony said to the bartender. “And make it fast.” He barked when he noticed the guy eyeing me up.

“Right away, sir.” The bartender said turning away from Tony’s stick eye.

I was about to tease him about it when someone spoke up interrupting what I was about to say.

“Mr. Stark?” The man said standing a foot away from us.

“Yeah?” Tony answered moving me slightly away from the impassive man.

“Agent Coulson.” The man greeted.

“Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. The guy from the...” Tony said suddenly recognizing him. Our drinks were set on the table and Tony was quick to hand me mine before the bartender could.

“Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division.” Agent Coulson filled in.

“God, you need a new name for that.” Tony muttered taking a sip from his drink.

“Yeah, we get that a lot. Listen, I know this must be a trying time for you, but we need to debrief you.” Agent Coulson said getting right to the point. “There's still a lot of unanswered questions, and time can be a factor with these things. Let's just put something on the books. How about the 24th at 7:00 p.m. at Stark Industries?”

Tony glanced over to me as he spoke in a silent question of ‘how do we ditch this guy?’. I took a sip of my drink as I moved my eyes over to where Pepper was standing amongst some coworkers. I saw Tony slightly nod in affirmative just as the Agent finished speaking.

“Tell you what. You got it. You're absolutely right.” He said taking the Agent’s hand to shake. “Well, we’ll going to go to my assistant, and we'll make a date.” Tony continued not waiting for a response, setting down our drinks he led me to where Pepper was standing.

“You look fantastic! I didn't recognize you.” Tony greeted pleasantly as we came up to her, never releasing my arm.

“What are you doing here?” Pepper asked in astonishment.

“Just avoiding government agents.” I responded slyly making Tony chuckle.

“And you are?” Pepper asked in a forcibly polite tone as she noticed me on Tony’s arm.

“Elynea Brown, former Jockey and current Racehorse Trainer for Tony.” I replied, meeting her head on. “We meet earlier this week.”

“Yes, I remember.” Pepper bit out.

“Well, that’s enough chit-chat. Come on sweetheart, let’s go dance.” Tony said interrupting the eye match between Pepper and me.

“It was nice to meet you, officially, Miss Potts.”

I barley heard her reply of ‘likewise’ before Tony dragged me onto the dance floor.

“So, you and Miss Potts seem to get along well.” Tony commented sarcastically as he held me close and began to sway to the music.

“She’s just jealous that I got you first.” I replied swaying along with him, sliding my hand across his shoulder, letting my trigger finger slide up and down his neck. While my other hand grasped his firmly.

“Didn’t think she was interested in me in that way. Huh, well I’ll be damned.” Tony muttered as he glanced back to where Pepper was still standing, watching us. “Do you think it would’ve worked?” He asked looking back at me, tightening his grip on my waist.

“In another world, under different circumstances. Yes, I believe you two would.” I replied honestly.

“Glad I’m in this one then.” He hummed in response leaning his head against mine. I closed my eyes in contentment as we continued to sway to the music. We only parted once the song changed to a faster tempo.

“Wanna go and finish that drink then the blow this popsicle stand.”

I snorted letting him lead me to the bar once again. “God, you’re such a dork.”

“Hey, I resent that.” He teased.

“Wow. Tony Stark.” A voice greeted as we came up to the bar. We both turned to face Christine Everheart.

“Yeah, I get that a lot, can I help you? I’m kinda in the middle of something.” Tony said trying to dismiss her.

“Christine Everheart with Vanity Fair magazine. You have a lot of nerve showing up here tonight. Can I at least get a reaction from you?” She said bluntly, completely ignoring me.

“At the moment confusion, I would say.” Tony replied narrowing his eyes at her in said confusion. I didn’t say a word as I sipped my drink, letting Tony take complete control over this.

“I was referring to your company's involvement in this latest atrocity.” She spat.

“Yeah. They just put my name on the invitation. I don't know what to tell you.” Tony joked, still trying to get her to leave. She wasn’t having it.

“You know, I actually almost bought it, hook, line and sinker.” She sneered.

“I was out of town for a couple months, in case you didn't hear.” Tony said starting to get defensive.

“Is this what you call accountability?” She asked shoving a couple of pictures into his chest. “It's a town called Gulmira. Heard of it?”

Tony frozen when he heard the town’s name. He looked over the photos in silent horror. “When were these taken?”

“Yesterday.”

“I didn't approve any shipment.” Tony insisted shaking his head slightly, I rubbed his arm gently in comfort.

“Well, your company did.” Christine continued not noticing Tony silent rage and horror.

“Well, I'm not my company.” He spat before marching out the door.

“Are you sure you know what you’re getting into?” Christine asked turning to me.

Smack!

The whole room turned to face the origin of the sound, to find a shocked Christine Everheart clutching her cheek and me seething at her in anger.

“I know exactly what I’m getting into.” I spat before marching towards the door before anyone could stop me. Damn that felt good.

Stepping back outside, I found Tony staring at Obadiah as he marched to his car, throwing his scarf on and dismissing a reporter. Tony’s hand was clutching the pictures tightly at his side.

“Let’s go.” He was able to mutter to me once I came beside him. Not a word was spoken as we got into the car and zoomed across the highway. 


 

Tony didn’t say one word as we parked and went straight down into the workshop.

I gave him his space. I went up to Tony’s bed room and took off the tight dress and pinchy shoes in favor for one of his AC/DC t-shirts and a pair of boxers.

I called Happy to let him know that I wouldn’t be back at the apartment tonight. It wasn’t a school night so he agreed to stay in the apartment and bring Peter over to the house the next day.

Once that was settled I made my way to the workshop. I found Tony out of his suit and in one of his tank tops, sitting on the couch with a red gauntlet on his hand. He was glaring at the TV that was broad casting the news about the terrorists that were attacking the small town that Christine had mentioned. Gulmira.

I sat down at Tony’s desk across the room and watched as he tossed the screwdriver into the sink and blasted the wall next to the TV. And then blasted all the glass panes off the door that led to the stairs.

“Do you feel better now that you’ve blasted all of the glass in the workshop?” I asked, eyeing the glass that now littered the floor.

“No.” Tony spat, barley containing his anger.

“Then what would?” I asked looking up at his tense back.

“Basting all of those sons of b*ches to kingdom come!” He growled.

“Well, get to it then.” I ordered.

That seemed to move him out of his funk a bit.

“Shouldn’t you be trying to convince me not to go?” He asked coming over to stand in front of me, his voice finally gentle again.

“What kind of friend would I be if I didn’t let you go blow off some steam. And save a bunch of innocent people from a gang of terrorists in the process. If anything, I’m doing you a favor by encouraging you to go.” I reasoned.

Tony snorted and chuckled as he laid his gauntlet hand and bare hand on my shoulders. “I don’t deserve you.” He muttered running his hands up my neck to cup my checks and lean his head against mine.

“Yes, you do. And you always will.” I assured him placing my hands onto his wrists.

Before he could saw another word I pulled him forward and kissed him thoroughly until we were both breathless.

“Go give’m hell.” I whispered hoarsely when we parted.

He stole one last kiss before changing into the skin-tight suit he designed to wear underneath the armor.

It was quite an impressive sight to watch as the Iron Man suit encompassed around Tony and as he blasted off, through the whole in the roof, to save the day.

Chapter Text

Happy brought Peter over the mansion the next morning. Tony was still on his flight to Gulmira.

“Thank you for watching him Happy.” I greeted as I opened the door.

“It was my pleasure.” Happy responded nodding to me. “He’s a good kid.”

I smiled as Peter and I waved goodbye to Happy as he drove down the driveway.

“Where is Tony, Ellie?” Peter asked as we stepped into the house and made our way down to the workshop.

“Tony had to step out for a bit, but he’ll be back soon.” I promised, trying not to give him a definitive answer.

“Has he become Iron Man yet?” Peter asked, he could be really perceptive at times.

“Yes, he’s on his first mission and we are going to watch.” I told him pulling him onto my lap as I sat down at Tony’s desk. “Do you have a feed for us J.A.R.V.I.S.?”

“Yes, ma’am but no audio is available. I’m afraid sir did not take into account an audience for his missions.” J.A.R.V.I.S. replied. In an instant the screens popped up, each of them showing a different vantage point of Tony flying over the dessert.

“That’s alright J.A.R.V.I.S. this will be enough.” I said looking at the screens.

We watched silently as Tony flew down into the town and killed the Ten Rings terrorists, I covered Peter’s eyes during that part.  

Peter jumped a bit in shock when the tank missile knocked Tony out of the sky, and watched in worry as he plummeted to the ground. But was soon cheering when Tony blasted, said tank, to smithereens.

The ringing of a phone pierced the silent hum of Tony flying over the dessert once again. It was coming from across the room. I placed Peter in the chair as I vacated it to go pick it up.

“Hello.” I answered.

“Miss Brown?” A man replied.

“Yes, how can I help you?” I sensed something was wrong by the tone of the stranger’s voice.

“My name is Tom Haverford, I’m with the NTSB. I’m sorry to inform you that Richard and Mary Parker were passengers in a recent plane crash.” He paused. “There were no survivors.”

I had been expecting this for the past few days since the vision, but there was nothing like hearing it from someone else. It becomes real then. Nothing can prepare you for that.

“I see.” My voice was hoarse and breathless. “I see. Okay. Okay. Umm, what... I mean why are you calling me about this?”

“Mr. and Mrs. Parker’s closest relatives could not be reached and you were their next of kin.” He informed me. “We are also aware that they had a seven-year-old son, Peter Parker, but he was not aboard the aircraft. Do you know his whereabouts, ma’am?”

“Yes, yes. He has been staying with me since his parents have been out of town.” I answered.

“Are you also aware that, as of now, you are the current guardian of Peter Parker?” He asked.

“Yes, I am aware of that.” I answered, my voice becoming firm and strong.

“There is some paperwork you will need to fill out for all of this to be legal. You will need to come into my office so we can get this all together.” Mr. Haverford said.

“Of course, I’ll come as soon as I can.” I agreed, spending only a few more moments on the phone setting up the appointment.

After hanging up I moved back over to where Peter was sitting. His attention was hooked onto the screens as he watched Tony continue to fly.

“Tony made an airplane crash.” I flinched, but Peter, luckily, didn’t notice as he continued to talk. “And he saved the pilot.” He informed me as I moved him back onto my lap.

“Really, how far is he from home now?” I asked as I watched the screens. He was flying too high to see the ground.

“I don’t know.” Peter replied scrunching up his brow.

“Sir is only forty minutes away from ‘home’, ma’am.” J.A.R.V.I.S. pipped in.

“Thank you J. Come on Petey, let’s go and get some lunch while we wait.” I suggested.

“I want to stay here until Tony gets back.” Peter declared. “Please can we stay until then.”

“Of course buddy, we’ll wait.” I promised settling back against the chair.

Before long Tony was soaring into the garage and onto the platform.

“Tony!” Peter cried as soon as he landed and lifted up his face plate. Jumping off of my lap he went running to where Tony was.

“Hey buddy, don’t come any closer please. These machines are going to help me get out of my suit and they might hurt you so stand back.” Tony warned when Peter came too close to the machines. “Hey baby.” He greeted catching my eye.

“Hey Tony, you kick some ass?” I asked standing behind Peter to hold him back from running to Tony.

“Oh yeah, defiantly.” He replied as the helmet came completely off of his head. “Ouch, hey.” He yelped as the mechanical arms began to try and take the armor off of his body.

“It is a tight fit, sir.” J.A.R.V.I.S. informed him. “Sir, the more you struggle, the more this is going to hurt.” He scolded as Tony wriggled against the bots.

“Be gentle. This is my first time.” Tony panted, making Peter and I snicker at him.

“I designed this to come off, so... Hey.” He grunted.

“Maybe if you stopped moving it would.” I pointed out, making him glare half heartily at me.

“I really should be able to...” He started then grunted in pain again.

“Please, try not to move, sir.” J.A.R.V.I.S. practically begged.

“What's going on here?” A voice squawked. We all turned to see Pepper standing in the broken doorway.

“Let's face it. This is not the worst thing you've caught me doing.” Tony said after a moment of silence.

“That’s not really comforting Tony.” I scolded, he just stuck out his tongue at me. “Real mature.”

“Are those bullet holes?” Pepper gasped.

“Your gonna' need to fix that.” I informed him as I took a closer look at the holes in his suit.

“Really, I hadn’t thought of that.” Tony deadpanned finally coming free of the suit and jumping down from the platform. “You enjoy the action, buddy?” He asked Peter as he picked him up and placed him on his hip.

“Yeah, it was awesome! That tank is nothing but rubble now.” Peter exclaimed enthusiastically.

“That’s right buddy.” Tony replied holding his fist out for Peter to bump. Peter bumped his fist against his, happily.

I smiled at their interaction.

“What, Tony? What’s going on?” Pepper asked completely flabbergasted. 

“You’re going to have to be more specific than that.” I snarked. “There is a lot going on.”

“Well, how about who are you and what are you doing around Tony all the time? And who is he?” Pepper demanded pointing to me and Peter respectively.

“This is Peter, Elynea’s godson and my protégé. And she is my girlfriend.” Tony said simply.

“Girlfriend!?” Pepper chocked.

“It’s a recent development.” He admitted carrying Peter over to his desk.

“Looks like I’ve been promoted Peter. Girlfriend sounds way better than sometimes lover/new best friend.” I pipped in, coming over beside Tony to lean against his desk as we looked over at Pepper’s shocked face.

With nothing else to say she simply gapped at us for a few more minutes before going back upstairs without a word.

“So, girlfriend huh?” I asked looking over at Tony, who looked damn near bashful.

“Like I said it’s a new development.” He brushed off.

“Tony, we’ve only known each other for maybe two months…” I started.

“And it might as well be a lifetime.” Tony interrupted looking at me earnestly. “Elynea you were there for me when no-one else was. From the beginning, you’ve supported me and just been the friend that I needed. You and Peter,” He added looking down at the boy in his lap. “You have become the most important thing in my life.”

I was speechless, so I just moved forward to wrapped them both in a tight hug.

“You’re the most important thing to us too.” I whispered and Peter nodded against our chests in agreement. And for a moment we just sat there in each other’s arms never wanting to let go.

When we did, Peter and Tony moved to work on the Iron Man suit and I went to rest for a bit on the couch. It had been a long day. I only moved when Peter came to work on one of the gauntlets on the couch instead of the hard chair, until he fell asleep.

“You should take him up to the guest room.” Tony suggested looking down where Peter had crashed. He still had a gauntlet cradled in his hands. “The one he slept in before, he really liked that one.”

“I got a phone call.” I said hoarsely, not able to answer his suggestion.

“Who was it?” He asked turning his full attention to me when my voice cracked.

“It was… it was…” I took a deep breath, tears gathering in my eyes. “Some government… company… thing. They… they told me ab… about Peter’s par… parents… and… and the… pl…”

Tony didn’t let me finish as he gathered me into his arms.

“Shush, shush. It’s okay baby. Just let it out.” He soothed as I cried on his chest.

“I saw it. I know I saw it. But… that just ma…made it real. Oh Tony, how am I going to tell him?” I asked desperately trying to calm down as searched his eyes.

“When the time is right, you’ll know how to tell him.” He whispered kissing my forehead.

“That is some really sage advice, Tony.” I said chuckling dryly. Tony just chuckled with me in response leaning his head against mine.

Chapter Text

Pepper was still in the mansion when I came up with Peter in my arms.

“Will you be needing a ride home?” She asked when I came into view.

“No thank you, I’m just going to set him in one of the guest rooms.” I told her not faltering my movements past her and towards them.

“I don’t think Mr. Stark…” She started.

“Tony told me to do it, said that a bed would be much more comfortable then the couch.” I cut in as I stepped into the room, laying Peter down in the bed and tucking him in.

I didn’t say another word to Pepper as I went over to the kitchen to fix another cup of coffee for Tony and myself. I could tell that tonight was going to be a long one.

“Mr. Stark doesn’t have girlfriends, only flings and one night stands.” Pepper stated matter-of-factly. “So, who are you really? Is that Tony’s son? Are you blackmailing him, somehow? Because if you are I can assure you that…”

“Let me stop you right there.” I interrupted, holding up my hand. “First, there is always an exception to the rule. I was a so called ‘fling’, then I became his friend. And now his girlfriend. Second, I am exactly who I said I am the night of the firefighter’s party. You sent me an invite yourself.” I added. “And finally, no I am not blackmailing Tony. Nor is Peter his, or my, son. He is my godson, who has, as I recently learned, just lost his parents in a plane crash. So, I’m in mood to argue over how I am supposedly ‘corrupting’ or ‘taking advantage’ of Tony Stark because right now he is the most stable thing in my life.”

I was breathing hard by the end of my speech.

“So, if you will excuse me Miss Potts I have a boyfriend to get back to.” I huffed picking up the two mugs of coffee and made my way down to the workshop without looking back.

“You took your time.” Tony commented as I set his cup in front of him.

“Yeah well, time seems to fly when your defending yourself against a defensive PA.” I said pulling myself up to sit on the desk.

“What did she say?” He asked looking up at me from his mug.

“She said I’m trying to blackmail you.”

He choked on his coffee. “What!?”

“Yep, apparently Peter is your long-lost son and I’m the whore using you for the money.” I deadpanned as Tony sat there gapping like a fish. “Close your mouth dear, oil might drip down from your hair.” Tapping his chin.

“I can’t believe that.” He said in disbelief shutting his mouth. “That just seems pretty farfetched.”

“Eh, that’s what you get when you leave people to their imagination, little information, and a bad reputation.” I shrugged. “Hey, that rhymed.”

“Good for you, you should be a poet.” Tony scoffed. “I’ll have to talk to her about that.”

“It’s alright Tony, I think I got my message across pretty clear.” I told him patting his shoulder lightly.

He just huffed and turned his attention back on the screens.


 

Tony was still working on his suit when Pepper walked back into the workshop a couple of hours later.

“Hey. You busy? You mind if I send you on an errand?” Tony greeted when he caught sight of her. “I’d send Elynea but she doesn’t have clearance. I need you to go to my office. You're going to hack into the mainframe and you're going to retrieve all the recent shipping manifests. This is a lock chip.” He explained holding up the flash drive. “This'll get you in. It's probably under Executive Files. If not, they put it on a ghost drive, in which case you need to look for the lowest numeric heading.”

“And what do you plan to do with this information if I bring it back here?” Pepper asked suspiciously.

“Same drill.” Tony replied simply turning away from her. “They've been dealing under the table, and I'm going to stop them. I'm going to find my weapons and destroy them.” His voice was strong and determined. I smiled encouragingly at him.

“Tony, you know that I would help you with anything, but I cannot help you if you're going to start all of this again…” Pepper started to say. fingering the flash drive.

“There is nothing except this. There's no art opening. There is no benefit. There is nothing to sign. There is the next mission and nothing else.” Tony resolved staring Pepper in the eye. Then glancing in my direction, he added. “And Elynea and Peter. I’m doing this for them.”

“Is that so?” Pepper whispered. “Well, then, I quit.” She said placing the flash drive down and began to walk out before Tony spoke up again.

“You stood by my side all these years while I reaped the benefits of destruction. And now that I'm trying to protect the people that I put in harm's way, you're going to walk out?” He asked staring at her in disbelief. “And all for what, some petty jealousy?”

“You're going to kill yourself, Tony. And if she,” Pepper said pointing at me, “isn’t going to stop you then I'm not going to be a part of it.”

“I shouldn't be alive, unless it was for a reason. I'm not crazy, Pepper. I just finally know what I have to do. And I know in my heart that it's right.” Tony pleaded.

“Tony is doing the right thing Pepper.” I added. “You may not like me or trust me. But when it comes to Tony, you have to know that I care about him. Enough that I wouldn’t let him do anything that I knew he couldn’t do.”

Pepper stared at us both for a moment before picking up the drive once more. “Fine, I’ll do it.” And with that she left.

“Think she’s still gonna quit?” Tony asked as she disappeared up the stairs.

“No idea, but if she’s smart she won’t.” I said shrugging. “And we are so going to talk about your guilt complex later on.”

Tony eyed me skeptically before turning back to his work.  

Chapter Text

“I’m gonna go and try to get some sleep.” I announced after two hours of watching Tony work on his suit. I got up off the couch and stretched before walking over to Tony. “Come and join me when you ready. I’ll be in the guest room with Peter.” I kissed his forehead before heading up the stairs.

I heard him mutter a ‘goodnight’ halfway up the stairs. Peter was dead asleep when I entered the guest room and slipped into the bed next to him.

I couldn’t have been asleep long before the sound of voices echoing through the empty halls awoke me. Slowly, as to not disturb Peter, I slipped out of the bed and tip toed into the hall in the direction of the voices.

“When I ordered the hit on you.” Was the first thing I was able to hear clearly as I came closer to the living room. Peaking around the corner I was able to see Obadiah Stane standing over an immobile Tony.

“I worried that I was killing the golden goose.” Stane continued to say as he moved a case onto the coffee table. “But, you see, it was just fate that you survived that. You had one last golden egg to give.” He said pulling out some weird claw contraption from a small suit case.

“Do you really think that just because you have an idea, it belongs to you? Your father, he helped give us the atomic bomb. Now, what kind of world would it be today if he was as selfish as you?” He ranted, boy this guy could talk, before pulling out Tony’s arc reactor forcibly with the claw. I placed a hand to my mouth to cover my gasp, but Stane was too busy staring at the reactor to care about anything else.

“Oh, it's beautiful. Tony, this is your Ninth Symphony. What a masterpiece. Look at that. This is your legacy.” He praised sitting next to Tony as he gazed at the arc reactor throwing his arm around him. Get your creepy paws off of him. I thought angrily as I watched. “A new generation of weapons with this at its heart. Weapons that will help steer the world back on course, put the balance of power in our hands. The right hands.” He placed the reactor into his case along with the claw. “I wish you could've seen my prototype. It's not as... Well, not as conservative as yours. Too bad you had to involve Pepper in this. I would have preferred that she lived.” With that he left, not even noticing me as I slipped out of my hiding place to run to Tony’s side.

“Tony!” I gasped coming to his side. “Oh my gosh!” Taking in his whole condition, he needed his arc reactor right away. “You need a reactor!” I yelped before running down to the workshop.

It only took me a few moments to pull out the old reactor out of its hiding spot and dash back up the stairs.

“Thought this might come in handy someday.” I commented as I positioned the reactor back into his chest.

Tony took a deep, gasping breath as he clutched my arms. “Did you know?” He asked hoarsely.

I looked at him in confusion before understanding what he meant. Did I know about that Stane was coming tonight.

“I didn’t know when it would happen. Then it was too late. I was going to tell you Tony, I swear but it just never seemed like the right time and I really didn’t have any proof…” I ranted desperately  

“I would have believed you.” He said his voice becoming stronger.

“Not then.”

He looked at me as my eyes pleaded with him to believe what I was saying. “Maybe not then, but I do now. Please don’t hide anything from me.” He pleaded, brown eyes echoing that plead.

“I’m not trying to, but you have to trust that I’ll never hide anything from you that isn’t necessary. I can’t change the big things but I can change the small ones.” I tried to make him understand.

He stared at me for a bit before sighing and leaning his forehead against mine. “We need to communicate more.”

I chuckled a bit. “That we do.” I agreed.

“Tony! Tony!”

We both turned to see Coronal James Rhodes run through the front door in a mad dash.

“Ton… oh.” He stopped once he caught view of Tony and I sitting on the couch, practically on top of each other, staring at him. “Pepper told me that there was a problem, with Stane or something.” He muttered.

“There was. You missed it.” Tony said getting on his feet, a bit unsteady. “I swear you and Pepper and your timing.”

I chuckled as I helped him make his way down to the workshop.

“Tony hey, where are you going? You look like you need to go to a hospital.” Rhodey cautioned as followed us down the stairs.

“No time, gotta stop Stane.” Tony replied moving away from me as we stepped over the glass shards in the doorway.

“We really need to take care of this glass Tony.” I commented, he hummed in response as he made his way over to the Iron Man armor. “I’m serious, Peter could come down here, bare feet, not thinking and just run into…”

“Yeah, yeah I hear you. I’ll have Butterfingers and Dum-E take care of it.” Tony promised as the suit encased him.

“You better.” I warned pointing at him. He gave me two thumbs up in response.

“That's the coolest thing I've ever seen.” Rhodey breathed as he looked at Tony in his armor.

“Not bad, huh? Let's do it.” Tony responded getting into position to blast off through the, yet to fixed, hole in the roof.

“You need me to do anything else?” Rhodey yelled as Tony charged his repulsers.

“Keep the skies clear.” Tony responded closing the face plate. “I’ll see you later, baby.” With that he took off through the roof.

“Damn!” Rhodey whistled as he watched Tony take off.

“I really have to get him to fix that.” I commented eyeing the hole.

“Who are you, exactly?” Rhodey asked, turning his attention on me.

“Elynea Brown, Tony’s girlfriend.” I responded holding my hand out for him to shake.

He took it a little gob-smacked. “Really?”

“Yep.” I answered cheerfully. “If you would excuse me, I’ve got a seven-year-old boy to check on. Dum-E, you heard the boss, start sweeping.” I ordered making my way back up the stairs.

Dum-E beeped in response as he went to get the broom.

“What? Oh! Next time, baby.” I heard Rhodey mutter as I reached the top of the stairs. He must have seen Tony’s first suit, the silver one.

Checking on Peter I found him somehow still sound asleep. He must have been absolutely exhausted to sleep through all that racket. Leaving him to rest I made my way back to the kitchen. This long night would require coffee, a lot of coffee.

As the pot brewed the Coronal came bounding up the stairs.

“I’d love to stay and chat, but I’ve got to make sure that the Air Force doesn’t blow Tony out of the sky. Rein check?” He burst out.

“Of course Coronal Rhodes.”

“Call me Rhodey.” He insisted.

“Rhodey,” He paused on his way to the door. “Go keep our boy safe.”

“Will do, ma’am.” He saluted before making a break for the door. The sound of screeching tires followed the sound of the door slamming.

Chapter Text

“You've all received the official statement of what occurred at Stark Industries last night.” Rhodey voice echoed through the TV screen as Pepper covered Tony’s scratched face. Peter in his lap reading the newspaper with him, while I watched them both in fondness. “There have been unconfirmed reports that a robotic prototype malfunctioned and caused damage to the arc reactor.” Rhodey continued. “Fortunately, a member of Tony Stark's personal security staff...”

“‘Iron Man.’ That's kind of catchy. It's got a nice ring to it. What do you think Petey?” Tony asked as he skimmed over the paper.

“I like it but it's not iron. It’s gold-titanium alloy.” Peter commented staring intently at the paper.

“That’s right!” Tony praised. “But it's kind of evocative, the imagery, anyway.”

I chuckled at the pair.

“Here's your alibi.” Agent Coulson cut in handing Tony some post it cards.

“Okay.” Tony answered, taking them and looking through.

“You were on your yacht.” Agent Coulson continued.

“Yeah. I see that.” Tony hummed still thumbing through them.

“We have port papers that put you in Avalon all night, and sworn statements from 50 of your guests.”

“Wow, you guys really can cover all of your bases.” I whistled.

“See, I was thinking maybe we should say it was just Elynea and me. Alone. On the island.” Tony said slyly, smirking at me.

“And me!” Peter pipped in not wanting to be left out, making us chuckle at him.

“That's what happened.” Agent Coulson said firmly. “Just read it, word for word.”

“There's nothing about Stane here.” Tony noted, having finished with the cue cards.

“That's being handled.” Coulson assured him. “He's on vacation. Small aircraft have such a poor safety record.”

“But what about the whole cover story that it's a bodyguard?” Tony objected. “He's my... I mean, is that... That's kind of flimsy, don't you think?”

“This isn't my first rodeo, Mr. Stark.” He assured him. “Just stick to the official statement, and soon, this will all be behind you. You've got,” He looked down at his watch, “90 seconds.”

Tony shrugged. “Alright.”

“Agent Coulson?” I stopped him before he could walk out of the door with Pepper, who had finished with Tony’s face moments ago. “I just wanted to say thank you very much for all of your help.”

“That's what we do. You'll be hearing from us.” He said smiling ever so slightly.

“From the Strategic Homeland...” I teased.

“Just call us S.H.I.E.L.D.” He interjected.

“Right.” I smiled as they left. “Let's get this show on the road.”

Tony stood up placing Peter on the ground next to him. I came over with his suit jacket in hand.

“You know, it's actually not that bad. Even I don't think I'm Iron Man.” He commented.

“To the public you're not Iron Man.” I remained him holding the jacket up for him to slip into.

“But I am.” He muttered with the cue cards in his mouth as I pulled the jacket onto his shoulders and smoothed out the non-existent crinkles.

I just chuckled at him as he turned to face me.

“You know, if I were Iron Man,” Tony mussed as I buttoned up his jacket. “I'd have this girlfriend who knew my true identity. She'd be a wreck, 'cause she'd always be worrying that I was going to die, yet so proud of the man I'd become. She'd be wildly conflicted, which would only make her even more crazy about me.”

“I thought you already had one.” I teased smoothing down his shirt and tie, even though he didn’t need me to. It was a good excuse to keep my hands on him. “But I don’t think she’d be a wreck because she would know that you could handle yourself. And she would always be proud of you, no matter what you did.” I told his sincerely.

Taking my hands into his, he smiled warmly before kissing me gently and sweetly.

“I don’t deserve you.” He whispered as we parted.

“Yes, you do.” I responded firmly, caressing his check and running my thumb across his beard. “And I’ll spend the rest of my life convincing you of that if I have to.”

He chuckled breathlessly, kissing me again. “I’ll hold you to that.”

I smiled. “Go get’em, tiger.” I said pushing him out the door.

“And now, Mr. Stark has prepared a statement.” Rhodey announced gesturing to Tony to come onto the podium. “He will not be taking any questions. Thank you.”

“Been a while since I was in front of you. I figure I'll stick to the cards this time.” Tony said getting a chuckle out of the crowd. “There's been speculation that I was involved in the events that occurred on the freeway and the rooftop...”

“I'm sorry, Mr. Stark,” Christine interrupted, “but do you honestly expect us to believe that that was a bodyguard in a suit that conveniently appeared, despite the fact that you...”

“I know that it's confusing.” Tony butt in. “It is one thing to question the official story, and another thing entirely to make wild accusations, or insinuate that I'm a superhero.”

“I never said you were a superhero.” Christine said squinting her eyes at him in confusion.

“Didn't?” She shook her head. “Well, good, because that would be outlandish and fantastic.” Tony muttered to himself looking down at the cards in his hands. “I'm just not the hero type. Clearly. With this laundry list of character defects, all the mistakes I've made, largely public.”

“Just stick to the cards, man.” Rhodey whispered cutting off Tony’s rambling.

“Yeah, okay. Yeah.” Tony said nodding pulling the cards up to in front of his face. “The truth is…” He looked up and caught my eye. I smiled widely and nodded to him. Peter, positioned on my hip, gave him a thumbs up. Resolved he stated, “I am Iron Man.”

The crowd erupted. Tony and I just smirked at each other from across the room.

Chapter Text

When the craziness had died down a bit, and Tony turned to answer the press’ many questions, I took Peter aside. I had to tell him, any other time would be too late.

“Peter, I have something I have to tell you.” I started kneeling down in front of him, placing my hands onto his shoulders. “It’s about your parents.”

“They’re not coming back, are they?” He asked, his eyes falling down in sadness. Sometimes I really hated his perceptiveness.

“I’m so sorry sweetie.” I squeezed his shoulders. “There was a plane crash. They were… on it.” No other words came to mind for me to say.

“Where am I going to stay?” He asked. Still not looking up at me.

“You’re going to stay with me.”

“Until Aunt May and Uncle Ben get back.” He assumed, fidgeting with his hands.

“Not if you don’t want to. You can stay with me all long as you want.” I said.

“Then I want to stay with you forever. Can I do that?” Peter asked softly, peering up at me hesitantly.

“Of course you can Peter.” I said hoarsely. “You can stay with me forever.” I pulled him into a hug. He held tight.

“Good.” He choked up, tears beginning to run down his face.

“It’s okay Peter, I’ve got you. I’ve got you.” I soothed rocking him back and forth.

Just him and me now. And maybe Tony, if he chose to stay with our little family. At least I hoped so. Ironically, who knew what the future held. 


 

“Welcome home, Sir, Ma’am, and Young Sir. You have a visitor.” J.A.R.V.I.S. greeted as we walked into the mansion.

I had warned Tony beforehand so that S.H.I.E.L.D. couldn’t disable J.A.R.V.I.S., my memory maybe sketchy over what Tony’s future was but I certainly remembered this bit.

“‘I am Iron Man.’ You think you're the only superhero in the world?” Fury said his back turned to us. He didn’t seem fazed by not being able to shut down J.A.R.V.I.S. “Mr. Stark, you've become part of a bigger universe. You just don't know it yet.”

“Who the hell are you?” Tony barked pushed Peter and I behind him protectively. He must have temporarily forgotten what I had told him, being surprised by Fury’s unwelcomed entry to the house.

“Nick Fury, Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. I'm here to talk to you about the Avenger Initiative.” He announced, dramatically turning to face us.

“Oh yeah, I remember Elynea telling me about you.” Tony said relaxing his defensive pose.

“Elynea Brown, The Oracle, Charles Xavier has told me a lot about you.” Fury said, turning his attention on me.

“And I’ve seen a lot about you Nicholas Joseph Fury. You are about to become knee deep in trouble.” I warned vaguely before picking up Peter. “I’ll let you two talk.”

With that I left the room.


 

Tony

“Quite the girl you’ve got there Stark.” Fury remarked as soon as Elynea was out of ear reach.

“Yeah I know.” Tony replied smugly, and all his too. It made him giddy just thinking about it. “Remind me why you’re here again.” He asked focusing back on Fury.

“The Avengers.” Fury said simply, crossing his hands behind his back.

“And they are…?”

“Didn’t your girlfriend tell you? She’s not keeping secrets from you, is she?” Fury accused.

“Elynea’s visions aren’t that clear cut.” Tony defended. “Get to your point, what do you want?”

“The Avengers Initiative is a program within S.H.I.E.L.D. to bring together a group of extraordinary people together when the world is in need of them.” Fury stated. “I’m here to offer you a position on that team.”

“So, like a super-secret boy band? Yeah, pass.” Tony dismissed. “I work better on my own.”

Fury paused. “You’ll be hearing from me again.” He promised before walking out.

Tony hoped for good, but he wouldn’t put money on it. Taking a deep breath, he turned to go find where his girlfriend and favorite kid went off to.


 

Elynea

“Do you think I did the right thing, telling everyone I mean?” Tony asked as we tucked Peter into his claimed guest room.  

“Eh,” I shrugged pulling the covers over Peter’s shoulders. “You couldn’t keep it a secret if you tried.” I teased.

“I could too.” Tony argued as we stepped out of the bedroom.

“No, you couldn’t because I wouldn’t let you.” I told him firmly.

“Oh, and why it that my sugarplum.” He asked, pulling me onto his lap as we sat down on the couch.

“You are Iron man and Iron Man is you. You shouldn’t hide a part of yourself.” I told him honestly running my hands through his hair.

“Kinda hard to argue when you put it like that.” Tony said a bit dazed making me chuckle at him.

No more words were spoken as he pulled me in for a deep kiss.

Life was good and the world was safe, at least for tonight. And tonight was all we needed.  

The End For Now

Chapter Text

That same day. Elynea

I awoke that morning to an awful headache and a queasy stomach. I groaned as I heard shuffling in the kitchen, Peter didn’t need help getting breakfast anymore but he did need me to take him down to the bus stop. I mustered all the energy and will power I had to get out of bed.  

Once Peter had left for school I called the track to let them know I wasn’t coming in for work. Then proceeded to empty contents of my stomach into the toilet.

This wasn’t normal for me, I didn’t get sick that often and even when I did I didn’t throw up! This couldn't  just be a normal flu or cold.

Something was itching at the back of my mind to go and check my calendar. Following my, now empty, gut I went over to my desk and looked over the past couple months.

Oh fickle sticks!

I missed my period. And I was never late. I didn’t even notice because of the resent circumstances. But I needed to be sure.

I ran as fast as my legs could take me down to the drug store across the street. And bought as many different pregnancy tests and apple juice bottles as they had.

Back in my bathroom I started down at the many pregnancy tests I had taken, surrounded by empty bottles and torn boxes.

Positive. They all came back as positive. Ten different little sticks confirming my fear and my joy.

I was pregnant. And it was Tony’s. Who else could it be, I hadn’t been active with anyone before, or even after, him.

I was a jumble of emotions all rolled into one. Fear. Joy. Apprehension. Excitement.

All with one question buzzing in my head. How was I going to tell Tony?