She blinked wide eyes after her mother finished sharing with her a certain little fact. The man she had thought was her father, was in fact her stepfather. Her's was actually alive and kicking. And that wasn't even the best part.
Oh no, nothing was ever simple if you were one, Kagome Higurashi. Especially since her 15th birthday.
Her mind was still turning the name of her real father around in her head, over and over again. How could she not? Everybody knew it! She was just left wondering, how her mother met the man to begin with.
15 hours later, Kagome was finally in New York. All she had to do now was find Tony Stark. Shouldn't be a problem. Getting to see him personally, was a whole thing entirely.
News of Stark Tower was all over the place, so she figured it would be best to start there. Would they allow her in there was another matter. Glancing back at her rolling luggage and shifting her only carry on.
How was she to do this? 'Hi, I'm Kagome Higurashi. Actually it's Kagome Stark, I happen to be your daughter!'?
That would go over so smoothly. Yup.
Pursing her lips, she tried to bite back on speaking her mind to the woman behind the desk. She was on the ground floor of Stark Tower, and the woman behind the expensive desk was being rather... bitchy. She was acting like she was here to see the man for money, sex, or worse, both.
The idea hadn't been appealing before, and now that she knew her relation to the man, it made her nauseous.
“I need see Stark-san!” it probably didn't help that her English sucked. She was mentally cursing her dog-eared friend, for ruining her study time.
The lady behind the desk looked at her curiously. Most likely thinking she was some sort of freak or disturbed person.
How she really wished she could speak proper English. It had been one of the classes she had excelled at. Before she met Inuyasha.
“Damn it Inuyasha this is all your fault!” she muttered under her breath, holding back the urge to bang her head against the desk before her.
“Miss, are you alright?”
She merely whimpered in return.
“No. Not really.” her English may have sucked badly, but that she could answer without a hitch.
The receptionist had started to panic when she had begun to cry. Went so far as actually leaving her post to rush around to the front and consult her.
It got to the point where the receptionist wasn't the only one.
The lady had moved her to where some chairs had been placed and a few concerned people were gathering.
"I don't know. She came in asking to see Mr. Stark, but when I told her it needed an appointment she broke down."
Soon enough, a red headed woman was steadily making her way towards them.
At this point, Kagome simply wanted to get this done and over with. Worst thing that could happen, he sent her packing back to Tokyo with a restraining order.
So when the tall red headed woman finally reached them, Kagome dug through her bag and noticed a folder with a note clipped to it. Blinking her tears away, she pulled it and read the note.
Seemed her mother had thought of everything. She may not be here, but she put everything to help prove her claim at being Stark's daughter together. The picture and a note to Stark as well.
So with shaking hands, she handed the note and folder over to the woman. She had seemed far closer to Stark then the others around her, so she hoped she could trust the woman with it's contents.
Pepper raised a brow as she took the piece of paper and folder from the girl. Reading it, she blinked her eyes at the neatly written note on the piece of paper. But what caught her breath was the contents.
Lowering her hands and taking the girl in, she felt slightly... numb. And seeing the girl now, she could actually see the resemblance.
There were subtle differences, more feminine roundness and delicateness to the girls features, but there were definite hints of Tony there.
And if what the note said was true, then this girl had just found out about her parentage as well. Folding the note and pocketing it she let out a sigh. There was a decision to make here, and Tony had showed his interest when the commotion had made it's way to them.
If she just had the poor girl leave, Tony would be sure to question her. This was a tough decision but it needed to be done.
Letting out a sigh, and trying to ignore the feeling that was tightening her stomach, she ushered the girl to stand and follow her.
She knew what Tony was like, hadn't believed them when she first started working for him, but she quickly learned. And it seemed his past was catching up with him, and she was not about to take it out on the girl herself. One couldn't help who their parents were.
So she led the girl to her's and Tony's private elevator. This was a meeting that had been put off for far too long for sure.
The girl was nervously twisting the tissue she had been using earlier, and Pepper couldn't blame her. The note said that the girl, Kagome, just found out her father was the Tony Stark. A result of a wild one night stand. And apparently, after falling into a sort of depression, the woman sent Kagome here to meet the man.
That was a lot to take in for a 16 year old girl. Heck, she was having trouble swallowing it.
"Ms. Potts, may I ask who is with you?"
Pepper sighed as Kagome jumped slightly. This was going to get interesting.
"Someone very important JARVIS."
"Then shall I inform Mr. Stark of the visit?"
"...Please do." her hold on the file tightened slightly. She was having a hard time keeping neutral.
Kagome was now twitching slightly, seemed her nerves were finally fraying. If it were at all possible, Pepper was sure the girl would bolt.
They finally came to a stop and she was once again leading the girl towards the man that was her father. She was at war with herself to leave them to be or be present when it finally happened.
She still wasn't sure.
"Follow me please. You can leave your belongings here."
The girl hesitated before placing her things against the wall, being extra careful that they were out of the way and wouldn't fall over. Well, she could honestly say, as twisted as the situation was, the girl was winning her over.
It was still odd to see and female-asian version of Tony. She was secretly hoping that she didn't inherit any of Tony's personality traits. There was only so much she could handle, and the world wasn't big enough for two of him.
Let alone a female version of him.
As they made their way to where Tony was, she could hear the man working on something or other. Her stomach once again bottomed out on her. It was then she realized that she had yet to introduce herself to the skittered looking girl.
"I'm sorry. My name is Pepper Potts."
"Hig-, ah um, Kagome Higurashi." the girl bowed slightly, to which she returned. She had done enough business with partners from Japan to know their customs. She smiled lightly when the girl stuck her hand out to shake with her own.
She was a contrast to Tony.
Tony had his back to them as he tinkered with his latest Iron Man suit. JARVIS announced them, though Tony didn't turn to face them.
Typical Tony. Once he got involved in something, he really ran with it.
"Tony, I think you should meet... her."
"Her?" Tony finally turned around, and eyed Kagome with a raised brow.
"What is this? An early birthday present?"
Kagome paled, apparently she understood English well enough, to catch the innuendo there. Pepper sighed lightly.
"In a sense. You need to read these." handing the file to Tony with baited breath.
Tony took the file, along with a note Pepper had tucked away safely. He went through the file first, taking in the copied documents with a raised brow.
Birth and medical certificates?
There was also a photo, of him and a very hot looking Japanese woman that he vaguely remembered. Flipping it over he could make out his hand writing.
Oh. Now he remembered. Tokyo had been quite the trip. Nodoka was her name, and he had practically had her with him his entire stay in Tokyo. Best international convention he had ever been too.
And there had been many.
Putting the file down, it's contents of no importance to him. What did the girl mean to him personally?
He reached for his glass as he opened the folded piece of paper and began to read what was written. He choked on his drink after reading the first line.
-Tony, the girl before you is Kagome. Your daughter.-
Whipping his head up quickly enough to cause whiplash he took the nervous girl in. Reaching behind him, he grabbed the photo and held it up so it and the girl were aligned. Seeing the actual resemblances between himself and the girl.
Placing the picture down, he read the rest of the note. Somewhat upset that he was only finding out about his daughter now.
Pausing, he blinked when he realized his last thought.
He was a father. He had a daughter.
Pouting slightly, the first thought that followed that, was she was going to 'cramp his style'. He was Tony Stark! Genius-Billionaire-Playboy-Philanthropist! Having a child could ruin his image!
"Paternity test! I want a paternity test done!"
"No! We're doing a paternity test! I want solid scientific verification! These could be fake, she could be lying! Now!"
Pepper rolled her eyes as she took a small sample of Tony's blood, he was pouting and complaining. Not just about the sudden appearance of his daughter, but the test required his own blood needing to be drawn.
Put him in a metal suit, he would face tanks. Draw up a small bit of blood, and he would revert to an age before double digits.
She turned to Kagome, held up a sleeve, understanding the situation far too clearly.
But, she smiled and drew a small sample of her blood, who didn't even flinch when the needle pierced her skin.
Tony kept a watchful eye on the girl as she sat on his sofa drinking some water as they waited for JARVIS to complete the test.
She was taking his apartment in, what she could see at the moment at least, with slightly veiled curiosity. She favored her mother, more than she did him. But then he remembered that he had checked her out as she had stood next to Pepper.
Blanching, he turned his head away. Despite whatever the test results would be, he now felt like an actual pervert. And not the fun lovable kind he usually was!
He hadn't said anything since the test had first started. Instead he went over what was written in the note.
She kept their daughter a secret to protect him? Didn't want to seem like she was hassling for his money? Didn't want to tie him down?
Sure he had a reputation, but having a kid wouldn't change that. He had plenty of money, the little bit to help support her and Kagome wouldn't have been missed. As for tying him down... They could've worked something out.
But it was the reason that Kagome was sent to him that bugged him.
"Sir, I've completed the tests."
"Tests prove, that she is your daughter."
He had a feeling that that would have been the result, but he was a man of science. He needed the concrete proof that a few slips of paper couldn't hold.
Leaning back in his seat, he took in his daughter once again. She was calm now, too calm really. But he was trying to think things through. Things were different now, now that he was a father.
Question was, what to do now? His own father wasn't the best example at the moment.
"What are you going to do now?"
"Well, I can't exactly send her back. She -is- my daughter after all."
They both turned to Kagome when she let out a tired yawn. It had been a rather tiring couple of hours, but the girl most likely had a couple of exhausting days.
"Set up the guest room as her own. We'll talk figure things out in the morning."
"Kagome." the girl perked up at hearing her name, tiredly blinking her eyes in his direction.
"Come, I'll show you to your new room."
She simply smiled.
Kagome took in her new room. It was large, larger than the one she had back home on the shrine. And it had a wonderful view of New York city.
The colors were muted, if she had to go by anything, rather bland. Then again, it was a guest room before it became hers. The furniture itself was very modern looking. Her belongings were already there, just waiting for her to unpack.
"Well, this is your room. After you settle and we've talked about everything, you can do with it what you want."
It became awkwardly silent.
With neither really knowing what to say, Kagome took ... Tony... her father, in.
He wasn't at all like in the photos that were always being taken. At the moment at least. He seemed drawn in on himself, guarded. Hands stuffed into his pants pockets, his body turned to face the door better, his stance slightly on defensive.
Biting her lower lip she let out a sigh. It was beyond awkward for both of them.
"Goodnight, Stark-san." she wasn't sure what else to call him really.
He turned towards her, and muttered a quiet return before leaving the room.
Kagome had changed and was now in her new bed. As comfy as it was, she had sworn she near purred at the feel of the sheets, she had tossed and turned for a few hours now.
Was it that it was a new bed in a new place? Was it, the she was so exhausted that she couldn't sleep? Or was it that she had met a man that was her father, and that said man was a couple of feet from her?
She had a feeling it was all of them rolled into one big ball of stress.
Sighing, Kagome got out of bed and began doing some yoga moves. It was just one of the things she had taken up since she traveled to the past, not only did it make meditation for her easier, but it was also good for her physically.
It was about 1 in the morning, an hour after she had started, that she was finally feeling tired. So, she crawled back into bed. Before she fell asleep though, she knew she'd be up a few short hours later. Waking up at dawn was nothing new to her.
It was all Inuyasha's fault.
As predicted, she was up a few hours later at dawn. It seemed it didn't matter what part of the world she was in, as soon as the sun was up, so was she.
After doing her morning rituals; which consisted of an hour of yoga and meditation, she changed into a set of casual clothing. Leaving her room, she thought it best to better acquaint herself with her father's home. Who knew how long she would be staying.
She happened upon the kitchen, blushing lightly when her stomach growled. Guess it was time to eat. But, was it alright?
Looking out the window, the sun had just finished climbing over the horizon, but she hadn't seen either Ms. Potts, or her father. Could she simply go through the kitchen to look for something to eat?
She felt like she was a guest more, than living with her father.
When her stomach growled a third time, a voice spoke up.
"Do you need any aid, Ms. Kagome?"
Jumping and spinning, thinking she had been caught about to pilfer the kitchen, Kagome blinked wide eyes when she met with no one.
She'd lost it, but the voice spoke up again.
Taking in the room, and not seeing anyone, she turned and sat on a stool at the bar. "This place is possessed."
And here, her mother had gone through all the trouble to try and get her into a normal setting. Well as normal as it could get with Tony Stark being her father. But, normal, as in away from magic and danger.
"I happen to be an AI Ms. Kagome, and not a spirit. There is a difference."
Kagome leaned forward and pressed her forehead against the cool bar top. "Great. I'm in a sarcastic smart house."
Her stomach rumbled again, and all Kagome could do was prop her chin to sit on the bar top instead.
"Is there something wrong Ms. Kagome?"
The lights in the kitchen were turned on at her reply, causing Kagome to blink.
"You are more than welcome to the kitchen. If you need anything, feel free to ask."
"Is it, alright that I just use the kitchen? I did just arrive yesterday." despite the question, Kagome was up and moving.
"You are Mr. Stark's daughter."
As if that answer explained and allowed everything possible.
Biting her lip, Kagome contemplated the answer she got. 'Till she finally decided to make everyone breakfast, this way she wouldn't feel like... a thief.
"Ah... what's your name?" she questioned before she asked what both her father and Ms. Potts liked for breakfast. AI or not, it was rather rude on her part, she could thank her mother for that, that she had yet to get the AI's name.
"Well, Jarvis, what do Ms. Potts and... my father usually eat for breakfast?"
It felt odd to speak with a... being, without a face to make eye contact with. But she listened to some of the menus Jarvis listed. Afterwards, she set to work.
Kagome hummed as she flipped a pancake, the radio on low, and quickly checked on the bacon.
It had taken Jarvis to direct her to where everything was, the ingredients and the tools she needed. Everything electrical, he pretty worked. In her mind, male voice meant she would call the AI by male titles. But, back to breakfast. The eggs were finished and coffee was brewing.
It was to this scene that Pepper walked in on. She was actually shocked that someone else was up before her, and it wasn't Tony working on something or other like he often did.
"Good morning, Kagome."
The girl in question quickly whipped her head about, seemingly caught off guard, and blushed before turning back to her work, but not without offering a quiet 'good morning' in return.
Pepper could only blink, as she watched the girl hustle about the kitchen to put some slices of bread in the toaster. She had honestly expected the girl to sleep in rather late. Not only had she suspected that the last few days had been rough, but she had flown from Tokyo to New York.
Personally, she herself never really slept during flights.
Unless there was some form of female entertainment.
When Kagome quickly served up a mug of coffee, Pepper took the girl in.
The girl seemed in her element, in the kitchen, already placing the food on serving plates and washing after herself.
"What time did you wake up at?" she couldn't help but ask.
Kagome paused in her work, turning to her to answer, before frowning slightly and then shrugged her shoulders.
"Don't know." the answer was slightly thick with an accent, but it came across clearly.
Pepper watched as the girl returned to her cleaning, blinking widely. All she could do was sip from her coffee. They then moved breakfast to the table to eat.
It was quiet between the two of them, not really awkwardly so, just quite. What did one say to the newly found daughter to the man you were currently in a relationship with?
"This is very good."
Kagome looked up from her plate, blinked twice before smiling and returning to her own plate. It was then that Pepper realized something. Either Kagome was a rather quiet girl, or her English needed improving.
It was easy to see that she understood. But speaking and understanding were two different concepts. She would wait until Tony was awake before broaching the subject. She sighed, it might take a while before that happened. Once Tony was asleep, it took a while before he would wake up.
Thinking over things, if it was language, then Tony would have to be the one that made the final decision. She was -his- daughter.
Speaking of which, it left her wondering if she had made any sort of contact with her mother.
"Kagome?" when said girl turned to her completely, she continued. "Did you call your mother?"
It took a moment, but Pepper got her answer from the look on the girls face. Seemed Kagome forgot, if the rapid fire of Japanese and her sprinting off were any indication to go by.
Pepper chuckled lightly under her breath.
It didn't matter if it was hectic, energized, stressful, happy, etcetera. It was a gut feeling that Pepper felt, that Kagome would make their lives simply, more.
It was during the girl's absence that Tony walked in, eying the made breakfast laid out on the table.
"When did you start cooking?" although he was already serving himself a plate.
"I didn't. Kagome did." Pepper calmly took another sip of coffee to hide her smirk.
Tony almost tripped, seemed Kagome wasn't the only forgetful one that morning. But he quickly composed himself and took a seat at the table.
It was a few minutes later that Kagome returned, pausing momentarily when she spotted Tony sitting at the table as well. She continued to her spot, offering a 'good morning' to which Tony grunted his return.
Pepper watched the proceedings between the two. It seemed like an everyday breakfast, only, there was no talking at all between them. So she decided to take matters into her own hands. For now.
"Did you get in touch with your mother?"
"Ah, yes. She is... happy, that I... safe." Kagome furrowed her brows, struggling with her words.
The opening Pepper needed.
"Tony, I think we should get Kagome a tutor."
The man himself looked up from his plate, looking at her before turning to Kagome, who was also paying attention to the turn in conversation.
"A tutor? For what?"
As much as she loved the man, he could be clueless in rare moments. Like now.
"It's apparent that Kagome is struggling with English. Understanding is different that speaking or writing."
"Hmmm. We'll buy Rosetta Stone and get JARVIS to tutor her."
Pepper paused and blinked. And blinked again, then one final time. "Rosetta Stone?"
"We're not going to sit her in front of a computer all day or have a faceless voice tutor her! No offense JARVIS."
"None taken Ms. Potts."
"It's how everyone is doing it these days it appears." Tony shrugged his shoulders, honestly not seeing the problem.
"A tutor will be able to know where she is level wise, with her English."
"So can a computer."
"Now your just being lazy Tony."
"No, computers are far more accurate than a person. Simple fact."
"Then why not let JARVIS run Stark Industries? He's your AI."
Kagome watched her father and Ms. Potts bicker back and forth. And all about methods on how to improve her English?
She had understood the suggestion for a tutor, and something about Jarvis. The rest was lost to her, but she understood 'Rosetta Stone'. Whatever that was.
So instead, she cleared away the table, as they all seemed to be done with breakfast, and washed the dishes. She hoped they'd be done by the time she was.
Sadly, they weren't.
They were still at it when she returned to the table. She'd wait another minute or so before jumping in.
"Jarvis, could you translate what I'm about to say, please?"
"Sir? Ms. Kagome has something she would like me to translate for her."
"Go ahead then." both turned to the girl as she spoke, JARVIS translating it word for word.
"As I'm sure you can provide the best of computer programs to use and study from, as well as Jarvis, I prefer using hands on methods while learning. A face to speak to and with when learning."
It was at 'hands on' that Tony narrowed his eyes. Signs of fatherly instincts over Kagome, rearing it's head.
It was already later that week, when Tony and Pepper began interviewing various tutors for her.
She had accompanied every interview, and there had been a lot.
The first few, had gone crazy when they learned she was to be the student, and not her father. Why they had thought it was her father that needed a tutor never made any sense to her. A few had looked at her the 'wrong way' which promptly had her father tossing them out. And lastly, many were just trying to weasel as much money as possible.
At this rate, it would take a saint that would offer to tutor her for free to gain Tony's approval.
Like that was gonna happen.
They had finally settled on a young tutor, a few years younger than herself actually. It had Kagome mentally rolling her eyes.
Despite the awkwardness between them, Tony sure was stepping into the protective father roll rather easily. Perhaps, a little -too- easily. In fact, if it weren't so aggravating at certain points, she would admit that it was rather cute.
As it was, he was constantly checking up on her during her tutoring sessions. At first it left her tutor, Ken, rather confused to the interruptions, then he got annoyed at them.
Kagome had learned long ago to ignore all distractions while trying to study.
She subconsciously had a list of all the types of interruptions Tony did during her sessions.
The first time was actually an accident, but his continuing of walking through the room wasn't. Next was him actually offering refreshments, when they already had a small platter of drinks and snacks. Third was an interrogation when Ken had gotten too close to her, for Tony's comfort.
Now he sat in on all sessions.
To say Ken was fed up would be an understatement. So he finally forced Tony to participate on the lessons. Otherwise Pepper would have to come in and drag him away.
Pepper hid a smirk as she watched the scene before her.
Tony Stark, CEO of Stark Industries, Iron Man and newly appointed father, was being reprimanded by a 12 year old.
It had been almost three months since Kagome arrived, and while things were still awkward, they were actually falling into place. And seeing Tony acting all fatherly, it was actually sweet to see that side of him. Even if he sometimes went overboard and left Kagome and herself exasperated.
Like now for instance, Kagome was correcting a mistake he had made, leaving Tony huffing that the brat had cheated.
Another thing that had surprised her, was how fast Kagome was actually learning. Soon enough the sessions with Ken were becoming shorter and shorter, as well as fewer and fewer.
Tony bragged that it was his genius flowing through Kagome.
That was somewhat hindered when they asked her how she was doing in her education, only to learn that she was failing a few classes. Pretty much the ones Tony himself took pride on.
Maths and sciences.
When asked, all Kagome said was that she missed a year of school due to personal issues. Reminding Tony why Kagome was there. Or his lack of knowledge of why she was there.
"So, why did you miss a years worth of school?"
"Something came up that needed my attention." Kagome shrugged her shoulders, not looking her father in the eye.
Narrowing his own at the vague answer, Tony contemplated on what to do. Pepper had told him, that while they were getting along, she still might have trust issues with him. That she didn't know him well enough to share all her secrets with him at this point.
It left him feeling somewhat at odds. He understood that, but a small part of him desperately wanted her to trust him.
They were once again meeting with tutors to help Kagome with her other subjects. Not only that, while summer was quickly approaching, Kagome would be enrolled start September. As such, Tony would be sending her to where she would get the best of the best, despite what Kagome said.
So Pepper had drawn up school applications for various schools the city had to offer along with the core curriculum.
Her new tutor was a girl that was actually Kagome's age. Ken still had sessions with her twice a week, but Kagome was now focused on her new studies. Tony included.
It was the weekend, no tutoring sessions, so Tony thought it would be a rather wonderful idea to take Kagome with him to see the western division of Stark Industries. She had asked how, only to receive a smirk from her father and led to a private air strip where a private jet was sitting.
"...is this really necessary?"
"It is if we want to go to California and back. In a day." he chuckled and threw an arm around her shoulders before dragging her towards the jet.
"Does Pepper know about this?"
"Yes she does."
Pursing her lips, based on the tone he used, Kagome had a feeling, that Pepper only knew half of what Tony was up too. She was pretty sure, that having her tag along, was probably the part that Tony left out.
The inside was... spacious, much more than the one she flew on to get to New York. Taking it in, she gingerly sat down in one of the seats, far too uncomfortable. She had grown far to used to relying on beings that could fly naturally that offered her a ride to man made machines. She did almost have a near panic attack on the flight from Tokyo to New York.
"Afraid of flying."
Kagome replied, not realizing what she was saying or that it was confusing her father."Not really, I just don't like planes."
"Isn't that the same thing?"
It took a second before Kagome realized that she had goofed, so to say. She had been distracted from the big screen TV that she had spotted at the back of the cabin. Wondering why he would need one to begin with while on a plane.
"Isn't fear of flying and fear of planes the same thing?"
Blinking rapidly, she slowly shook her head. In all reality, they weren't the same thing. For all he knew, she could prefer to hand glide, rather than travel by plane. For example, even though she had never been hand gliding before.
"Not really. Aviophobia is a fear of flying, Pteromerhanophobia is a fear of being on an airplane. Two different things."
Tony blinked, surprised that after three months, not only was his daughter's English vastly improved, but only had the slightest of accents now when she spoke. He was also thrown into a loop when she tossed those two words out, without having any real problems.
He grabbed the hand that was waving in front of his face, turning his attention back to his... daughter, it was still a little hard to admit that he was a father even if it was to himself, he took in her curious blue eyes. Eyes that were nothing like his own, or her mother, as far as he could remember.
Tony had more than one reason for taking Kagome with him to California, while he did want to show her who he was and what he did, he would also use the time to get to know his estranged daughter more than he had during the three months that she had been living in his home.
Problem was, he really didn't know where to start.
Had she been someone else, of age, not his daughter -and he wasn't with Pepper-, he most likely would have started off with how he wanted her in his bed. But seeing as she wasn't of age, was his daughter, and he was with Pepper, the usual wouldn't work.
"If you have questions, go ahead and ask."
He once again blinked into reality at the sound of his daughter's voice, not at all surprised how she was able to continue to do so, surprising him that is.
"You have this look, like you want to know something, but don't know how to go about getting the answer. You wear it sometimes while you're working on your new suit."
He raised a brow at that. Turns out, she was learning more about him than he was about her. Seems he had to pick things up, and rather quickly.
Leaning back into his seat, he took the young woman that sat across from him in.
She really favored her mother, but even he could see hints of himself. Her eye color for instance, he had been skeptic in believing that she was his daughter because of her eye color, but then he remembered his own mother had such blue eyes.
His ears, though slightly smaller, Kagome definitely had his ears. Her eyes were more rounder, though still very much almond shaped, a rather perfect blend of his own and her mother's if he did say so himself. But that was about it
"Did you always know?"
"That you were my father? No. I found out, literally a few days before I showed up on your doorstep." her lips twitched up into a half smile.
"Tell me about yourself."
"What's there to tell? Or better said, what do you want to know?"
"Let's start with your family."
Kagome narrowed her eyes the smallest amount, before smiling and leaning forward on the table between them. "Why? I'm sure you did a background check and know pretty much all there is to know about me."
His own lips twisted slightly. Crossing his arms over his chest he let out a grumble as his daughter snickered under her breath. She wasn't wrong about that.
Kagome's snickers soon died down, but the smile on her face didn't. Watching the man across from her, it was interesting to see that he was actually pouting!
"Well, to answer your question, I have a younger brother... Well, half brother..." she looked off to the side, wondering what Inuyasha would say to that. "My grandfather, and my mother, whom I'm sure you remember."
Oh did he ever. But he highly doubted that Kagome wanted to hear anything about that.
"And your, step father?"
"He died when I was eight. A year after Souta was born. Car accident." her face dropped to something unreadable. "I feel actually pretty guilty about that."
"Why? You were a kid, how could you feel guilty about something you had no control over?"
"I got to know that man as if he were my own father. Do things with him, have memories of him. But Souta... he never got that. So, I told him stories of what he was like when he was alive, get him to experience our... his father through those stories. But, now I have a father all over again, Souta... still doesn't have one though."
Tony was once again shocked, if not a little awed. To think, Kagome thought so deeply for one her age, cared so deeply about others, when most people in this day and age, would rather use each other to climb to the top.
Feeling the heaviness that had settled over Kagome, Tony tried to think of a way to try and disperse it.
"How are your tutoring sessions coming along? Any trouble?"
He watched her raise a brow at the question, her face looking rather deadpan. "You should know. You sit in on them as often as you can."
He coughed into his hand. It was weird how a look from her could make him feel like a disobedient child. Wasn't he the parent in this relationship? He was pretty sure he was, last time he checked.
"Yes, well, it doesn't hurt to ask."
"Well then, they're going along fine I guess. Basically review from my last year of school. And the new material is not that hard to understand." she shrugged her shoulders, there really wasn't much to say.
"That's good to hear." nodding his head, Tony found himself quickly running out of ideas of what to talk about with his daughter.
It made him feel like a lousy father. Something he swore he wouldn't follow in his own father's footsteps, if he ever became a one himself. Not that he had planned it, but now he really didn't have much of a choice. And he wasn't saying that he didn't want Kagome around, he did, it was just adjusting to the situation.
Something Kagome seemed to be excelling at over him, and far too easily.
"So what do you want to do, after your done school I mean." this was something he was truly interested in, and something he fully planned to be a part of. Her future.
"Not really sure. Maybe a doctor." she smiled, and it only widened after a few moments. "Yeah, that sounds like something I'd like to do. Or maybe a teacher. Something that helps others."
"Oh? Just a question, but do you already have any experience?"
Kagome was sure, that if she had been eating or drinking anything when he had asked that question, she would have most likely have choked on it. Why did he feel the need to ask that question?!
"Oh... um... some first aid courses." it wasn't like she could come out and say that she helped patch up friends 500 years in the past after battles she herself took part in.
Or helped Kaede with the medicinal herbs, various tasks in the village. Which had included mending broken bones, treating cold, or helping with a few births. Yeah, that wasn't exactly first aid course material.
"I see. What are your thoughts on taking up a position at Stark Industries?"
Kagome couldn't help but blink at the question. "Eh?"
Shaking her head, realizing that hadn't been a rather intelligent answer, she tried again, when the question really sunk in.
"What do you mean, exactly?"
"Well, I don't really have anyone to inherit or take it up after me. Never really thought about it till you showed up, but I would like to name you my successor."
"Ummm..." Kagome was completely blown out of the water with that one. "Are... are you sure? I mean... I don't even know what it is you do..."
She couldn't help but blush at that. Other than the Arc Reactor and the Iron Man suit, she really didn't know much about Stark Industries. Well, save whatever Souta told her after her father first became Iron Man.
Stark Industries was once a weapons manufacturer, but after being a prisoner of war himself, Tony stopped all weapons production. So, she really didn't have a clue.
"Well, that's why I planned this trip. To show you what it is exactly, that I do."
"O-oh. And this... successor thing..."
"You don't have to answer now, but I would like for you to keep it as an option. In fact I don't see why you can't become a doctor and run Stark Industries at the same time."
Kagome felt a bead of sweat trickled down her temple. Oh, he wasn't building the pressure at all.
"That would be a lot of work and responsibility. To be both a doctor and run Stark Industries. I don't think I'd be able to handle that." Kagome grimaced lightly as she rubbed at the back of her neck. She didn't even want to imagine just how much responsibility that would be.
"I can understand that. Being Iron Man and running the family company is no picnic."
"Then why do it? Why do both and not just one or the other?" she was truly curious.
"Because... I saw a side of war, that I don't want others to see. And now that I have a kid, I don't want you to see it either."
Biting the inside of her cheek, she squashed down the sudden feeling of guilt. He was her father, and had no idea, of what she lived through in the year between her 15th and 16th birthdays. Her mother knew, but he didn't.
They were more alike though, both fighting for a better world. And despite their best efforts, there were still those that sought to... hurt and demean all their hard efforts. But they still fought on. She would tell him one day, but right now, was far too soon.
"Thanks. That... that means a lot."
"Hey, every kid needs a hero. But not every kid can say their parent is a hero. You got bragging rights now."
Snorting to try and stop herself from suddenly laughing, Kagome merely shook her head.
"You know, if you keep that up, your ego will swell your head to such proportions, I don't think that helmet will fit anymore."
"And ruin my good looks?! I don't think so."
Kagome giggled, finally feeling more at ease around her father. Despite that, she had a feeling it would still be a while before she could call him that in any form.
Tony himself smirked as he watched her, this was more like it. Not only that, Kagome was the type that should always be smiling. Call him sappy, but she literally brightened the room with a smile.
"Ah, I just remembered. Here's a few pictures, if you want to take a look." Kagome instantly pulled out her wallet and began to fish for these photos.
She placed five, worn pictures onto the table and pushed them towards him. He first took notice of how worn they were. Fold lines, small tears, a missing corner, and all from more than simply following a wallet fold. These had been handled, and quite often.
Flipping them over, he saw the names of those in the picture, along with the dates they had been taken. Turning them back over, he took them in one by one.
The first was of Kagome herself with a younger boy, obviously her younger brother. The boy was dressed in a sports uniform, dirty, disheveled but the biggest smile on his face. Kagome had her arms wrapped around his shoulders, also smiling towards the camera and both displaying victory hand signs while standing in front of a large trophy and soccer ball.
The second was of Nodoka herself. Her hair was cut short, much shorter than it had been when he had met with her. She wore a simple outfit of a dress and blouse underneath an apron. She wasn't looking towards the camera, but obviously laughing at something that had just recently happened. If he had a way to describe the her in the picture, it would be the perfect house wife.
An old man was in the next one, along with Kagome and her younger brother. It appeared the man was talking about something or other, looking rather serious about it as well. But Kagome seemed more interested in a rather obese cat, and her younger brother had fallen asleep on the table.
Three girls were sitting with Kagome, the scene was them outside beneath a shady tree, apparently having lunch while at school.
But it was the last one that stirred something in him, but he wasn't sure what.
The picture was the most worn, the corners could no longer be called as such, the were curled or no longer there to begin with. The white frame was stained a light yellow, and the Polaroid was literally falling apart.
The contents of the picture left him feeling like a true outside on Kagome's life.
The Kagome in the picture was that of a child, probably no older than five. Her hair was done up in pigtails, she wore a pink jumper dress, a small fist holding onto a balloon. She sat atop a man's shoulders and wore a bright smile as she looked down at him.
The man himself tilted his head back slightly, smiling at whatever was being said between the two. It was obvious who Souta took after, if the man in the picture was anything to go by. The only difference, was this man wore glasses.
His hands were wrapped around Kagome's ankles, keeping her stable, and it was easy to see that the man obviously adored the little girl, and that the girl returned the feelings, if not tenfold.
So this was the man that had raised Kagome for the first part of her life.
"Kenji Higurashi... I still love and miss him."
Looking up, Tony felt an actual pang of jealousy for the man. But also set himself a goal. He would be there, from now on, for the rest of Kagome's life.
"What... what was he like?"
"He, treated me as if I were his own flesh and blood. I didn't know the difference, but, I've had a few friends where their own step parents didn't treat them any better than... a... product really. But he, said I was his princess."
Looking down at the pictures once again, Tony could only nod his head. He may have inadvertently followed his own father's example of not being the best parent, but he was going to change that. He felt like he had some awesome shoes to fill.
He didn't realize he had said any of his thoughts out loud until Kagome spoke up.
"Why would you think that?"
"My own father wasn't exactly what you would call, fatherly. It was because of that, that I swore to myself, if I ever had children, which I didn't plan on having really, I wouldn't follow his example. But I did exactly that with you."
"Perhaps. But you're doing something a lot wouldn't do."
"Trying to make up for that. Otherwise, you would have sent me packing as soon as you found out." she smiled lightly at him. "I'm almost an adult, most would simply leave me to mom and not see a reason, want or need to be a part of my life. But you do."
His own lips quirked, he couldn't help but see the logic in her reasoning.
"A fresh start."
Nodding her head, Kagome agreed. "A fresh start. So, what exactly what are we going to do... once we get to California?"
"I'm going to show you around, explain a bit what it is I do, answer your questions."
Raising a brow, Kagome smirked as he shrugged his shoulders. "You make it sound like it's some sort of tour guide. All you need now is one of those nifty little hats."
She couldn't help but snicker at the deadpan look he tossed her, appreciating the lighter mood. Soon they were talking about other things, sort of, every day things while Kagome put her most treasured pictures back into her wallet.
"I still don't understand, how you don't mind flying, but hate planes."
"I'll... explain that one later." she just didn't say when that later would be. But he seemed to have accepted her answer.
"So... have you thought about my offer?"
"About joining Stark Industries."
"What!? It's only been half an hour since you asked me that!"
"Did you need longer to think about it?"
Kagome face palmed. She should have known by now, but apparently she didn't. Her father didn't like to leave things that mattered to him alone for too long. He had the patients of a five year old it seemed.
Kagome took in the sights with a smile, the warm weather of California also a mood lifter. It was warm, sunny, and large fluffy white clouds sporadically floated by.
The main building of Stark Industries was well kept, not that that should be surprising, her father could afford the best of the best. And the first thing he brought her to, was the arc reactor, the inspiration that not only powered the Iron Man suit, but kept him alive as well.
"I was wondering..."
When Tony turned towards her, showing that she had his attention, Kagome paused before continuing on with her thoughts.
"If the arc reactor that's..." she waved to the one in his chest to indicate which one she was talking about. "...is what you use to keep shrapnel away from your heart... why don't you have an operation to get them out?"
"Pepper also asked that. So we had the best surgeons in the world take a look. It would be far too risky, even with this baby keeping me alive."
Nibbling on her lower lip, Kagome nodded her head before returning to taking the large arc reactor in. Tipping her head to the side slightly, she realized something.
"This one is nothing compared to what powers your Iron Man suit."
Tony could only blink wide eyes from behind his sunglasses at her realization. Besides Pepper, no one knew that fact. And she had figured it out within only a few minutes of being here.
"How do you figure that?"
"Hmmm, call it a hunch." even she herself couldn't explain it.
It wasn't like she could actually sense anything from it, it was more like a static discharge. The one Tony had on him personally, felt like she would be near getting a static shock, this one... nothing.
"Do you base a lot on such, hunches?"
"Nope. Mostly instinct. Hasn't left me wrong in a long time. I've learned the head can lead to indecision."
Tony raised a brow at her answer, as she continued to take the reactor before her in. He was about to comment on that, when a secretary made her way towards them.
Her momentary glance towards Kagome was not lost on him, but her attention was back on him, and she wasn't looking... healthy.
"Mr. Stark, Mr. Nishikawa has requested that a meeting be set up between the two of you."
Ah, no wonder the woman looked the way she did. That man was ruthless, a real cut throat in the business world. In fact, Tony was pretty sure, in all his dealings with the man, he had never smiled once.
The man was easily annoyed when women tried to throw themselves at him, tried to keep public relations to a minimum. At first he thought the man a stiff prude, or gay, but since he and Pepper got together, he sort of understood. That didn't stop him from appreciating what the women that still threw themselves at him had. But he realized that was changing too, now that he had Kagome in his life as well.
"Right." nodding his head, he chanced a look at Kagome over his shoulder, surprised that she easily fell into step just behind him but quickly made it to his side.
"Mr. Stark, about your... guest?"
Glancing at the woman over the rim of his sunglasses, he saw how she was taking Kagome in. It was easy to see that the secretary was wary, as well as disgusted with her. Probably thought Kagome was trying to weasel her way into his bed and pocket.
A slight shiver of disgust ran down his spine at the mere thought.
Throwing his arm around Kagome's shoulders, ignoring her questioning look, he merely strode past the woman, forcing Kagome with him. "My -daughter- is more than welcome."
The woman sputtered, not sure heard him correctly. Daughter?! Since when did Tony Stark have a daughter, a teenage one at that?! Shaking her head, she quickly caught up to her boss and started retelling the details of the meeting Mr. Nishikawa wanted to have. She still threw subtle glances at the girl, young woman really, that was still sporting Stark's arm around her shoulders.
Oh she couldn't wait to tell the others what she had just learned during her break. She just hoped it didn't cost her her job.
Like the rest of the place, his office was huge. With a large window facing the world behind his desk.
Sunny skies, great weather and with how things were running here in California, it made her wonder.
"Why did you move to New York?"
Tony looked up at the sudden question. He had been reading over some of the reports on how things were running, all in the numbers he had calculated they would be in, and turned to take in Kagome.
"Wanted to expand."
"Isn't that usually done with a representative?"
His lips twitched, she was smart, and quick. If how quickly she had learned English, and caught up with her lessons were anything to go by, though he was still puzzled by her lack of interest in math and science when she easily grasped the material.
"Pepper and I nearly... lost our lives here." her eyes widened and she moved closer, taking one of the seats across from him. "We already had plans on starting a eastern division in New York, after that, we decided to start it up ourselves."
"I'm glad the two of you made it out safely then. Whatever it was that endangered your lives I mean."
Nodding his head, he came up short when he realized something. It was because of that, that everyone knew he was Iron Man, the news had gone global in a viral way. So how was it that Kagome didn't know?
"How is it you don't know?"
There was no way she could have been playing, her eyes were wide and her face held true curiosity. When he didn't answer her, her brows furrowed slightly and she tilted her head to the side ever so.
"About... all of that. It was at the Stark Expo. About Hammer and his 'Hammer-droids' the near destruction of the expo center."
Sudden nervousness took her over, her eyes darting away from him had his own narrow slightly. She fidgeted in her seat, her eyes darting to meet his own momentarily before just as quickly darting off else where.
"I wasn't really involved with the world around us at that time."
Pursing his lips, he took in her answer. He had a feeling, that was one of the main reasons she was with him now, this reason that had her involved with something that didn't allow her to pay attention to the world around them. He just couldn't figure out what.
"Will I hear about that, reason?"
"No! I mean-!" she let out a sigh, her head dropping forward. "I mean yes, and hopefully soon. I'm just not sure on how soon."
Nodding his head, he allowed her that, and would allow her time. But if he didn't learn of the reasons soon... he'd be going straight to her mother for answers.
Office behind them, as well as a newly set meeting with Mr. Nishikawa, Tony took his daughter on a tour of the grounds, explaining what it was he now did.
"So, you used to develop weapons... but now your researching the arc reactor, and what it could be applied to. I don't see how that can be all of it."
Smirking, he once again threw an arm around her shoulders, steering them down a different direction. "You're right, it's not. Our research is now in the direction of how to improve living standards. From medical and medicine sciences, technology, and our latest project, clean energy. Just to name a few."
Kagome hummed, it really was the total opposite direction of what the company once did. And she could tell from the sound of his voice, he was actually very proud of the turn about. But the last one caught her attention the most.
"Clean energy? I take it you mean more than solar, wind or water power."
Smirk growing, Tony raised his free hand and tapped at the arc reactor that sat in the center of his chest. Watching how Kagome seemed to become more and more fascinated with what he was sharing with her. Hopefully, sharing his world with her would prove that she could share more of her own.
"We're researching it at the moment, updating the materials used to make up the arc reactor."
"The previous model proved to have undesired... effects."
"Poisoning you mean."
Blinking wide eyes at her, he was mentally asking himself if he would ever hear something from her that wouldn't catch him off guard. Shaking it off, but he couldn't help but ask how she came across that.
"Well, it could only be the main reason for updating the materials used to create the arc reactor. If you want to create clean energy, any sort of poisoning as a resulting by product would mean something needed to be changed." she shrugged her shoulders, seeing that only logical explanation.
Using his arm around her shoulders, he brought his daughter all that much closer to him. It was something anyone with common sense would know, but most already thought that the arc reactor was already a form of clean energy.
And it was, just not when it applied to powering a human.
But he wasn't about to say that to her. Well not yet at least or unless she didn't ask him specifically. Like she needed some time before she opened up to him completely, he didn't want her to worry over him when it had already been dealt with.
Although, he would admit, it was rather nice to have her attention and affection on him. Different than the form Pepper bestowed upon him, but he enjoyed it nonetheless.
The tour continued, Tony practically preening under the attention that Kagome was bestowing him with, as well as pride at the wonder he could easily read on her face with how she took in what he had to say. It was not as ecstatic as he would have thought, but the wonder was still there.
They were now leaning against the glass railing simply enjoying the peace. When Tony turned to take her in, he was about to say something, but the sound of someone else's voice ringing in the air drew both their attention to the floor below.
Kagome felt her brow lift as she watched a preppy tour guide lead an awe filled group across the main foyer just below them, only to turn her head towards her father. "You actually have guided tours of your company?"
Tony simply raised a brow in reply, opened his mouth to say something in his defense, why he felt it was in his defense, he didn't know. But the tour guide beat him to the punch.
"And that's the conclusion of our tour. If you'd like, various souvenirs await you in our gift shop. Our latest product, Iron Man bobble heads!"
"Souvenir shop with Iron Man bobble heads? Really?"
"What?!" he smirked when Kagome tried to hide her amusement, seemed she could only shake her head.
It had been a month since that visit in California, and Pepper had seen that Tony and Kagome had bonded rather well since that day. She would admit, should anyone ask, that she had been rather upset that Tony had just up and left for California, dragging Kagome with him. But the results of that day were obvious.
Kagome still had yet to share the exact reason why her mother thought it best to send the girl here. All they got were vague answers whenever they asked. The they could tell she wasn't exactly lying, but the words were far too carefully chosen.
Such as friends she could no longer see, places no longer reachable. Having a hard time fitting in with her old classmates and social life back in Tokyo, that it was awkward and uncomfortable for her at school.
Of course Tony had jumped the gun on that last one, thinking that Kagome had been dealing with loose boys and they're perverted ways.
When Pepper called him out on this, he said he knew what he was talking about. He had been one of those boys, once upon a time.
Pepper had rolled her eyes while Kagome tried to clear up the misunderstanding that Tony was obviously seeing. Tony himself had really taken on the roll of protective father, demanding the names of all the boys that had dared to even think such thoughts of Kagome.
Talk about irony.
Kagome rolled her eyes as she leaned over to whisper to Pepper. "Why exactly is he doing this? I already told him, that wasn't the reason why Mama sent me here."
"He gets this way sometimes. Best let him run out of fuel on this little pet project of his. It'll take a few days, at the most."
"Like that one project, that Iron Man project of his? And it's already been three days."
Pepper could only nod her head, Tony was constantly improving the Iron Man suit. And he had been searching up every boy that Kagome went to school with for the past three days. From Kindergarten to now. And that was a lot of names.
"Who's this... Akitoki, Hojo character? Says here a restraining order was filed, against him?"
Both were now paying Kagome their undivided attention. Her eyes were wide, obviously shocked with the news. The young woman darted forward and snatched the paper from Tony's hands and feverishly read through the printed lines.
She let out a sudden noise, one that could be called a growl and stormed off to her room, the piece of paper clutched in her hands. She muttered Japanese under her breath the entire time.
Pepper turned to Tony, a brow raised. Said man looked a little too comfortable and turned to her, blink twice before raising his own brow in return. Narrowing her eyes on him slightly, he shrugged, looking far too innocent in her eyes.
"Don't look at me, I don't know anything about that."
Rolling her eyes, Pepper started towards Kagome's room, Tony quick on her heels, both far too curious as to Kagome's change in mood.
Kagome was pacing as she was talking face paced into her cell shaking the piece of paper in front of her face. Pausing, she tossed the paper aside only to comb her hand through her hair.
After a few moments, her shoulders slumped. With a few tired words, she hung up her cell and then allowing herself to fall backwards on her bed.
"Care to share?"
"Hojo is... was, most definitely was, an old classmate of mine. He had it in his head that we would make the perfect couple." she had raised her hands to sign quotation marks at perfect couple.
Pepper hid a snicker at Tony's tight voice, the tables were finally turning. She mentally wondered if it was wrong of her to want to see how he reacted once Kagome started school here. For him to get a taste of his own medicine now that he was a father. To a teenage girl.
"Apparently, he had this whole future of 'us' planned." Kagome pushed herself so she was resting her upper body on her hands. Her face was scrunched up in a mix of disgust and horror. "He had been harassing Souta and some of my friends for my whereabouts. Mama... had enough."
Tony's mind was already running in all and any direction it could and would go from the news Kagome had just shared with him due to what her mother had said over the phone. Sometimes, being the genius that he was didn't help him. If this Hojo boy was anything to go by, he was already calculating what was going to happen once his daughter started school.
It was not going to help, the fact that she was his daughter. She was going to be the target for rich playboys. He should know, he had been one not to long ago.
"Pepper, I want you to have Kagome moved to an all girls school."
"What?! You're moving me to an all girls school why?"
"If this Hojo is anything to go on by, I don't want you anywhere near the opposite sex."
Kagome raised a brow as she took her father in. "Really? That's the reason? Why not have me join a nunnery while you're at it?!"
He blinked a few times before turning towards Pepper. "Can we?"
"No you can't! I would very much like to go to a normal school! How did Hojo bring this one anyways?" she was honestly lost in his way of thinking.
Kagome glanced between Pepper and her father, wondering what she was missing at the moment. When she got no answer she threw her hands up into the air and let out a harsh frustrated breath.
"Listen, if this has anything to do with Hojo, you don't have to worry. I never really was interested in the guy. Was kinda... busy since I turned 15 to have any real interest in any guy." there it was again, that fidgeting and vague reply.
"Busy doing what?" while he may have been busy going over possible scenarios that involved Kagome and any future lawsuits against any male student, his mind had been piqued at her unclear explanation.
"Traveling. Did a lot of traveling."
"Uh, in Japan. Pretty much traveled all over Japan. And a short stint in China."
He was finally getting something from her, not just vague replies or answers that was far too open for interpretation. "Doing what?"
"It was a sort of..." she furrowed her brows and muttered to herself in Japanese and English, obviously trying to find the word. "...training?"
He could only raise his brows at that one. Training? What on earth would a 15 year old girl need training for?
Taking a seat in one of the chairs that had been set up in her room he got more comfortable as he was finally learning more about his daughter, and she was being honest in answering his questions.
"What sort of training? Why would you need training to begin with?"
"Oh, I grew up on a shrine back in Tokyo. As you already know." she gave him a sly smile that he could only return and started to scoot the chair closer to where she was sitting. "Well, after my 15th birthday, I got interested in the duties that are required as an acting miko for the shrine."
Pepper smiled at the scene, father and daughter. Kagome was finally opening up and sharing with her what she had been doing, the reason why she had missed so much school in Jr. High. She could only chuckle at Tony's next question.
"What's with all the so called illnesses?"
Kagome groaned and buried her face into a pillow she had grabbed and placed into her lap. "That was Jii-chan. For some reason he got it into his head, that for when I was away he would call in saying I was sick with some ridiculous illnesses."
She smiled a fond smile though as she plucked at a corner of the pillow. "Mostly, I think it was because Hojo would hand him free products from his family's pharmacy. Jii-chan would tell him my 'symptoms' and Hojo would bring some things over, for free. It was a nice gesture, but was probably his attempt at winning me over. Jii-chan used everything Hojo handed him."
Tony watched his daughter. "And we're back to this Hojo character."
"Yeah." she looked at him with a grimace.
"What is with the guy?"
"Well, when I first started Jr. High he was the cutest guy and I..." she looked off to the side with slightly furrowed brows. "I guess I just fell into the stereotype of crushing on him. Nothing didn't happen till second year. Three of my friends encouraged our would be relationship, three dates later though, it died."
"Oh please, those were harmless, and very, very boring." she once again threw him a sly smirk. "Which is more than I can say what you did in the past."
He opened his mouth as if to put up a good face, but at a pointed look from Kagome he closed his mouth with a snap.
"Hey, it's not like I'm complaining! You got me out of it." she smiled at him, one that was full of life and made her all the more beautiful.
"That I did." he smiled softly, in a way that Pepper hadn't seen him smile before. "But let's get back to this training thing. What exactly did you do?"
Kagome continued to smile and waved Pepper in, who gladly took the invitation and pulled a desk chair to sit next to Tony.
"Well, first off, I needed another miko to teach me. Grandma Kaede was the one who taught me everything I know. Which was herbs and their medicinal purposes, basic first aid, archery, meditation and certain basic prayer and rituals."
Pepper and Tony continued to listen to what Kagome had learned under the tutelage of this aged miko Kagome had met at the very beginning of her travels.
They were shocked to hear that basic survival in nature was a part of that. Hunting, fishing, foraging, tracking... they weren't quite sure how that pertained to miko training, especially since she lived on a shrine in the middle of Tokyo.
She then went on how she became interested in learning from a monk friend she had met. Staff fighting? Martial arts?
The more she shared with them, the harder it was to put the big picture together. But then she got to the reason why her mother thought it best that she move here. After her training was done, she lost all contact with her friends and had grown into a depression.
"Didn't you try getting back in contact with them at all after all that?" Pepper's voice was layered with concern.
"Almost every day without any results."
Of course, she wasn't about to tell them that each and every of those days had her attempting to jump down into a time traveling well that nearly broke her ankles. Or at the least sprained or fractured them.
She knew it would take a while before she could openly admit to -that- part of her past to her father and Pepper. But, at least she was telling the basic truth at the moment. It did leave her feeling somewhat guilty that she wasn't telling him the whole truth, but she promised herself that she would. She just needed a way of saying it that didn't make her sound crazy.
"But, I'm glad that I moved here and am getting to live with you and Pepper."
"And we're glad to have you with us, Kagome. And I'm sure your friends would want you to try and live as happily as you can." Pepper placed a comforting hand over Kagome's. "I'm not saying give up on trying to find them, but don't work yourself into the ground going about it."
"Yeah, no worries there. We've seen what that does to this guy over here, and it ain't pretty."
"Of course it isn't pretty. I'm a man, I prefer to be called handsome, sexy, arous-!" his little speech was killed when Kagome threw her pillow into his face.
"Are you sure this is a good idea?" Pepper asked as Tony got ready for his meeting with a potential business partner. "I mean, bringing Kagome along."
"After everything she just shared with us, with me, I feel like it's my turn to share with her. And perhaps this will get her interested in becoming my heir." Tony shrugged on the business suit jacket, tugging he sleeve cuffs so the shoulders would fit properly.
"I understand, but won't this hinder or bring the wrong message across to this Mr. Nishikawa?"
"And what sort of message would I be sending across?" slipping on a watch, Tony glanced at Pepper through the mirror he stood in front of.
"Are you seriously asking that with your past record?" she fixed the hold she had on her tablet to give Tony her complete attention.
"Oh come on, you gotta give him points due to recent events." both turned to Kagome, who stood in their bedroom doorway leaning against the frame.
"Look at you." Pepper smiled at the more mature outfit that Kagome was wearing.
Gray tweed skirt, cream ruffled blouse, with a matching tweed jacket and black heels. Her bangs were pulled back freeing her face and she wore a simple earrings and light makeup.
"What can I say, looking good is in my genes." Kagome gave them teasing smile.