I was suspicious, to say the least. I knew Clarie was up to something, that much was obvious, but it was the what that I was unsure of. I'd hardly seen the blond for that past week and when I did it was for only short moments. Clarie grinned from ear to ear when I did see her, which made me want to believe that what what ever was going on was good since it clearly had something to do with me.
I was busy filling out insurance forms form the latest downtown brawl the Avengers had taken part in when I heard a heavy knock on her office door. I looked up in time to see Director Fury open it and come inside. There was an odd glint in his eye, like he was suppressing a smile as he looked at me and it set me on edge. Something was up, question was if it was good or bad.
“Coulson, I need you to do something for me.” Here we go.
“What is it?” I responded in my normal, all business tone.
He held out a folder and I stood, reaching across my desk to grab it. I was about to open it when he stopped me. “Don't look just yet. Hill will be joining as well. He is already waiting with the car and then you may go over this with him.”
“Of course, sir.” I answered, agreeing to his terms, despite my suspicion. He turned an left after that and I could have sworn I heard him snicker as he did.
I set the folder down on my crowded desk, before organizing the papers I had been working on. I chugged the last of my now cold coffee and shuddered. It was gross, but I had a feeling I was going to need it. At last I shrugged on my jacket, grabbed the folder and headed out, locking the door behind me out of habit.
Like Fury had said, Michael was waiting in the car and he grinned at me when I settled in beside him. “Do you have the details?”
“I do,” I answered smoothly before open up the folder.
My brows knit together when I stared at the single paper inside. The words “See Stark” were the only things written and they made my blood run cold. What could Toni have to do with this? Whatever it was Michael seemed to understand and he sped off down the road, his smile even wider.
When we arrived at Stark Towers Mr. Potts was waiting for us at the entrance and took my hand the moment I was out of the car. “Follow me, Patricia,” he said with a friendly smile, “Miss Stark has a room ready for you.”
I almost groaned, but I instead managed to give him a small, confused smile, allowing him to pull my inside, Michael trailing behind us. I was lead into a large room which was connected with a smaller one which I was was shoved into. A large bag was shoved into my arms right before the door was slammed shut.
“Let us know if you need anything,” Michael called through the door and I made a mental note to immobilize him the next time we sparred.
I scoffed then sighed to myself and look down at the bag in my arms. Whatever it was it was probably expensive. Great. I grabbed onto the hanger that was sticking out of it and carefully opened it, confirming my suspicions. Inside was a long black gown with a single shoulder strap on the left side. I was much for clothing, but I had to admit it was beautiful. It was made to accentuate the natural curves of the wearers body while still maintaining elegance. There was no way Stark picked it out.
I rested it on one of the chairs that was in the room before slipping out of my jacket. I laid it on the other one and it was soon joined by the rest of my suit. Just as I was about to get into the dress I noticed a problem. Dress, one strap, my bra, two. I may not care much for fashion, but I wasn't clueless.
Knitting my brows together I called for Michael and Pepper. “My bra won't work with this dress.” I informed them. I blushed slightly when I heard Michael choke on air. It probably wasn't something I shouldn't be yelling at guys, especially in Stark Towers, but they were all I had at the moment.
“I thought that might be the case,” Pepper replied, like this was normal, which it most likely was.
The door opened within a few minutes of our exchange the door cracked open and a small Victoria Secret bag was handed in. I didn't want to know how they knew my size, though I did have a few theories that involved a certain blond archer. I took it quickly and felt my face flush even more when I pulled out the lacy purple strapless bra with matching underwear. I was right.
I tried not to think to much about any of that though and changed into the dress without further day. Once it was on I paused to look at myself in the full length mirror. While I wasn't beautiful or anything like that, I looked decent. The strap covered up the scar on my chest from Loki and the back was high enough that it covered the majority of the scars that crisscrossed my back so all in all I was pleased.
When I stepped out of the room Pepper and Michael grinned at me. I smiled back slightly, it might have been more, or less, if I actually knew what was going on. I felt like I should know, but I just couldn't put my finger on it. They both inspected my dress and after a bit of tugging her and there I was made to sit in a chair in the middle of the room.
In minutes I was surrounded by people. They messed with my hair and my face and put jewelery on me. It was a blur of scolding and compliments. One would yet at me about the fact that I kept my hair slicked back and another would tell me they loved the shape of my eyes. I wasn't sure what to do, so I went into my default work back and just sat back and waited for the madness to end.
When it was my bangs were down and styled across my face and my make-up was the kind of flawless only magazines can pull off. I was also wearing shoes. They were stilettos, much to my unamusement. It wasn't that I had a problem walking in them or anything, its just that I find them impractical, but they matched the dress.
Once that was all done and finished with, Pepper lead me out, leaving Michael behind. I was lead into another car that took off the moment we were both inside.
“Patricia, once we get out of the car I need you to close your eyes,” he instructed and I gave him a skeptical look, one eyebrow arching up. “Please,” Pepper insisted, “If I blindfold you it will smear all that make-up and I'm under strict orders not to let you see until the right moment.”
I gave him a blank stare, mulling it over in my head before nodding my acceptance. I would rather just close my eyes than be blindfolded. I had issues with that for a very good reason and the last thing I wanted to do was start flinching at every sound.
So when we arrived I shut my eyes and let Pepper guide me. There were lots of doors and an elevator then more doors until we finally made it where ever we were going.
“Count to five then open yours,” I was instructed as Pepper slipped away and a door shut marking his exit or someones entrance.
I heard the door again.
There was a soft gasp.
Heavy booted footsteps.
Something being lit with a lighter.
I opened my eyes and found Clarie standing in front of me with a glowing smile on her face and all I could think was that she was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. She was wearing soft, cottonlike white dress that went to her knees with her favorite boots. Her tan, freckle covered skin was glowing along with her bright blue eyes and she beamed at me.
“Happy Anniversary, Patricia,”