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This is how love begins

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A/N: So I was reading ozhawk’s Soulmate Shorts (they’re totally awesome and you should definitely read them) and this idea came to me. This is an AU oneshot and I have no plans to continue it but the whole idea behind it is that Bella never met or got involved with the Cullen’s but she did still move to Forks and lived with Charlie until graduating from high school and then attended some unnamed college to pursue a degree in English. IN this world everyone has a soulmark and what that means is that the first words your soulmate says to you are written somewhere on your body. This is the first time I've written a oneshot so please let me know how I did.

Disclaimer: If you recognize it, I don’t own it.

Bella sighed heavily to herself as she finished packing her things and then looked around at the tiny room she had lived in for the last four years. There was a very small part of her that would miss the room that had been home for the last four years but the rest of her was damn glad to leave. Upon her graduation, Charlie had wanted her to live with him until she could find a job in her field, she had said no and when he asked her why, she said she was going to go stay with her godfather for a while. She had been silently amused when a scowl had formed on Charlie’s mustachioed face. He had never liked Renee’s choice to make her old friend Tony Stark her godfather because he had never liked Tony Stark and had entirely disapproved of all things Tony Stark, especially so after Tony Stark became Iron Man, never mind that Iron Man had helped save the world a couple of times. So even though Charlie didn't want her to go, he couldn't very well stop her. Not that Bella really cared, she hadn't seen Tony since Renee and Phil had gotten married a few years ago and she missed him so she was going to see him and she was aiming for it to be something of a surprise.

It took her a few trips to load up her rusty old pickup truck with her things from the room and after she was done, she turned her key in, got in her truck and started driving, It would take about three days to get to New York and hopefully her truck wouldn't break down on the way. As she put her foot down she absent mindedly ran her hand over her stomach where her soulmark rested.

Three Days Later

Bella had her windows rolled down, her long dark hair pulled back in a messy ponytail - never mind that random strands slapped her in the face as they were caught in the wind- and her black aviators on. As she continued driving with one hand the other hand hit the Tony’s speed dial. It rang three times and then was picked up.

“Hey Bella-boo!” Bella grinned and rolled her eyes and then responded, grin still on her face

“I hate that nickname and I rue the day Pepper said it in front of you.” She grinned a little wider when she heard his laughter through the line.

“Not that I’m not glad to be hearing from you Bells, but what’s up?”

“Well, I called because I’m actually in New York looking for a job and I was wondering if I could stay with you for a while.” She bit her lip and realized that maybe she should have called when she first decided she wanted to see Tony again. There was silence on the other end of the line for a few seconds and just when she started to really worry that he wouldn't actually let her stay, Tony finally responded.

“Yeah sure you can stay. Fair warning though, I've got a couple of traumatized World War Two soldiers who occasionally, a pair of master assassins, a part time VA counselor, a couple of mad scientists that aren't me, a Norse God slash Alien, and a smart ass former intern turned proper lab assistant which really just means she wrangles the scientists and makes sure we eat, sleep, clean, and stay hydrated. Most of the people I just mentioned also moonlight as superheroes alongside me, think you can handle all that?” Bella thought for a moment and then decided that yes she could handle all that.

“I’m good with that, Uncle Tony, so long as my being there isn't gonna set anyone off.”

“You won’t Bells, so no worries.”

“Great, I’ll be at the tower in around twenty minutes as long as my truck doesn't break down.”
“I’ll have Happy buzz you in.” There was a click as Tony hung up and Bella sighed and then cracked a smile before muttering to herself

“This is gonna be interesting.”

Twenty Minutes Later

Bella pulled up to the security gate that led into Tony’s private parking garage and smiled at Happy when he came to her door.

“Hi Bella, how was the drive?” Happy smiled back.

“Hey Happy, the drive was fine, I mean I’m hot, tired and I’m sure I look like hell but I’m damn glad I came.”

“So are me, Tony, and Pepper. Budge over and I’ll drive you in.”

“Okie dokie Happy.” She slid across the bench and into the passenger side as Happy slid into the driver’s seat and drove them into the garage before parking relatively close to the elevator. They climbed out and Bella stretched as Happy grabbed her suitcase and duffel bag before she could even begin reaching for them.

“You know I can carry those myself, Happy, don’t you?’ He grinned at her and said

“I know you can, but I’m not going to let you. I’ll take these to your room and then come back for the rest of it while you got to the common room and meet everyone else.” Bella sighed but didn't argue, instead she followed Happy into the elevator.

“JARVIS, will you take me to the 55th floor and Bella to the 60th?”

“Certainly.” A calm British voice replied and then the elevator began moving and Bella grinned to herself, she’d heard about JARVIS but had never actually met him.

“Hi JARVIS, I’m Bella, it’s nice to meet you.” She said cheerfully

“Hello Ms. Swan. It’s very nice to meet you as well. Sir has spoken of you often.” She grinned and looked at Happy.

“That is so cool.” She told him and Happy grinned and nodded in agreement. The elevator stopped then and Happy strode out of it and down the hall, the doors closed again before she could see where he stopped.

“Hey JARVIS, where exactly is my room on that floor?”

“You share that floor with Ms. Lewis, and Dr. Selvig. Your suite is the second door on the left and there is an empty suite across from you.” JARVIS replied.

“Cool, what are the suites like?” She asked

“Each suite has a bedroom, a bathroom with a separate tub and shower and a toilet, a small kitchen, an office and a living area.” JARVIS replied

“Wow, they sound more like apartments.” She said and before she could ask any more questions the elevator doors slid open and she stepped out and into a large living area with two loveseats, two sofas and an armchair. She looked around feeling just a touch nervous.

On the first loveseat sat an obnoxiously beautiful red haired woman, who made Bella feel inadequate just being in her presence, and a man with dirty blonde hair and ridiculously attractive biceps. On the sofa next to the loveseat sat a gorgeous curvy dark haired woman with red lips that made her self-esteem take another hit, an older gentleman in what she thought was a kilt, a ridiculously muscular man with long blonde hair and a beard with his arm around a slim and very lovely brunette. On the chair near that sofa sat an attractive dark skinned man (seriously was everyone in this tower attractive?) On the loveseat next to the chair was Tony and a curly dark haired man with glasses, and finally on the sofa in front of her she could see two mean, one with longish dark brown hair and the other with short cut blonde hair. That was about when Tony finally noticed her and promptly leapt up and bounded over to her with a big grin on his face. He grabbed her in a tight hug which she gladly returned.

“JARVIS! Why didn’t you tell me she was here?” Tony demanded.

“You instructed that I was not to interrupt your conversation with Dr. Banner for any reason barring a call for the Avengers to assemble. I was merely following your orders, sir.” Bella muffled her laughter in Tony’s shoulder while he pouted. Then he was dragging her over to the loveseat he’d been sitting in and introduced her to the man sitting there.

“Bells this is Dr. Bruce Banner, my best friend colleague. He occasionally turns into the Hulk. Brucie this is my goddaughter Bella Swan.” She smiled and shook Dr. Banner’s hand

“It’s really nice to meet you Dr. Banner.” He smiled a little shyly

“It’s nice to meet you too and call me Bruce.” She smiled widely

“Only if you call me Bella.” He chuckled and nodded in agreement. Tony dragged her over to the man in the chair

“Bella this is Sam Wilson, also known as the Falcon. Bird boy this is Bella.” She shook his hand with a smile

“It’s nice to meet you.”

“Likewise.” He returned with a grin and then Tony was dragging her to the sofa and saying with a big grin as he pointed at each of them

“This is Darcy Lewis, Dr. Erik Selvig, Thor, and Dr. Jane Foster. Guys this is Bella.” She smiles as she shook each of their hands and got smiles in return.

“It’s really nice to meet all of you.” She said.

“Right back at ya.” replied Darcy with a grin.

“Likewise.” Said Dr. Selvig with an absent smile.

“Indeed! We are well met!” Thor boomed with a wide grin.

“Same” Dr. Foster said with a small smile. Tony dragged her over to the loveseat and said

“Agent Romanoff, Legolas, this is Bella. Bella this is Agent Natasha Romanoff a.k.a The Black Widow and Agent Clint Barton a.k.a Hawkeye.” She shook their hands with a smile

“It’s nice to meet both of you.”

“Likewise” Agent Barton responded while Agent Romanoff just nodded. Finally Tony dragged her to the last sofa but before he could say anything the short haired blonde was standing and reaching out to shake her hand with a smile

“Steve Rogers ma’am, it’s a pleasure to meet you.” She returned the smile with one of her own and then turned to the dark brown haired man with her hand held out to him. He hesitated for a moment and then reached out to shake her hand with his metal hand that she hadn't noticed before and her eyes widened and then she blurted out without thinking

“Wow! That is so amazingly awesome!” The man made an odd sort of choking noise before he responded

“Thanks, not many think that.” This time she made the choking sound barely registering how his gorgeous blue eyes were intensely focusing on her because she knew those words. She’d known them since first she could read because they were scrawled across her lower tummy just beneath her naval in the prettiest, most elegant cursive she’d ever seen. She was so shocked to finally hear those words that she stopped breathing and only started breathing again when she heard someone behind her say

“Breath Bella, and you too Barnes.” And then she spoke again without thinking

“This is so incredible. You’re my soulmate, and I don’t even know your name.” She sounded dazed but happy and small smile formed on his lips and then he spoke

“Yes, I’m your soulmate and you’re mine. My name is James Buchanan Barnes but most everyone calls me Bucky.” She was coming out of her shock now and beamed at him

“My name is Isabella Marie Swan, people mostly call me Bella but I guess you already know that. I am so happy to finally meet you. May I see my words?” These words were so ridiculously hopeful and also ridiculously nervous and Bucky smiled a little bit wider.

‘If I can see my words on you.” She beamed again and pulled up her shirt just enough for him to see his words. He traced his metal finger over them and she couldn’t help but giggle a little which made him smile again. He stepped back and she let her shirt drop to cover his words again while he pulled his own shirt over his head. She got a little distracted by all his lovely muscles and by the way the metal of his arm looked where it connected with his shoulder and then her eyes finally focused on her words written in her familiar sloppy combination of cursive and print across his very nicely defined left pectoral muscle. Hesitantly she reached out and trace her fingers over the words and then withdrew her hand when he shivered as she felt her cheeks heat up with a blush. That was when she noticed that everyone had at some point cleared the room, leaving just her and Bucky. Bucky swallowed and then quietly said

“I’m not a good man Bella and I have a lot of shitty baggage. Are you sure I’m what you want?”

Bella smiled a wide sweet smile and said

“I don’t think you’re a bad man, I think you’re a good man who a lot of bad things have happened to. Yes Bucky, you are exactly what I want. I don’t care about your baggage, I’ll help you carry it or I’ll help you move past it, whatever you want and I promise that I will never willingly leave you.” Bucky stared at her, his blue eyes wide with shock and filled with hope and then suddenly he was hugging her tightly and she didn’t hesitate to hug him back as she could, and they stayed like that for a long time before they finally separated and after Bucky had put his shirt back on they sat on the sofa holding hands and started getting to know each other. Slowly, unknown to them, the invisible wounds Bucky had been carrying for so long finally began to heal.
The End.