The little boy sat there kicking his legs back and forth. At six; his feet didn’t quite touch the ground from where he was perched in the hospital’s waiting chair. He and his baby sitter’s parents had been there for so long already. They had woken him up out of bed and gotten him dressed to take to the hospital.
His mommy and step-daddy had been in a car accident.
His daddy had been called and was already on a plane from New York. It was a superfast plane so it would land soon. It had already been four hours.
He had been sitting here for four hours.
Where was his mommy? Was his baby brother okay?
The little boy looked up at his father came running towards him. He held up his arms and felt his daddy scoop him up.
“I got you now. Everything is going to be okay.”
Tony Stark had never wanted to be a father. Between the partying and the odd hours he kept at work; he just wouldn’t make a good father. But he had met a beautiful woman and nine months later he had discovered that he was a father.
He had fallen in love the moment he saw his son’s blue eyes.
Still, he knew he couldn’t be a good father. So when the boy’s mother fell in love with another man and wanted to move away to California and marry him; he hadn’t tried to get custody. Alex would be better off without him in a full parent role. He would just have to settle for the cool uncle role instead.
But now the boy’s mother and step father had been in a horrible car accident and had been expecting a child on top of it.
Tony looked up to see a very tired looking man and woman. “Our daughter babysits Alex. We came with him when she got the news.”
Tony nodded. “Thank you so much for watching over my son. You and your husband should go home and get some sleep.”
The woman nodded and rested a comforting hand on Alex’s shoulder before walking away towards the exit of the hospital.
Tony sat down with Alex in his lap. The little boy rested his head against his daddy’s chest and closed his eyes. He didn’t want to fall asleep; but it was way past his bed time. His eyes snapped open though when he heard someone addressing his daddy again.
“Are you Mr. Stark?”
Tony stood and shook the doctor’s hand. “I am. Is there any news?”
The doctor sighed softly. “I’m afraid they were both DOA.”
Alex wanted to know what DOA meant, but he kept silent and looked up at his daddy.
“And the baby?” Alex’s mother had been nearly nine months’ pregnant. He knew the statistics. If the child had been born that day; he had a good chance of survival. With the car accident factored in…he wasn’t so sure.
The doctor shook his head slowly. “I’m so sorry.”
Alex frowned and looked between the doctor and his father. “Daddy? What does DOA mean? What happened to Mikey?”
Tony sat down heavily and buried his head in his son’s chest.
“I’m so sorry. Mommy and Uncle Tommy and Mikey are in heaven.”
The little boy’s bottom lip quivered and hot tears began pouring down his face.
Tony’s first thought was to wonder how he could possibly take care of a six year old kid…but the thought was gone almost faster than it came as he began brushing away his son’s tears.
“It’s going to be okay Alex. Daddy’s going to take care of you.”
Tony looked up briefly as a man and woman dressed in expensive clothes came running towards the nurse’s station in front of them.
“Mr. and Mrs. Whittemore?” The man nodded. The two seemed too excited to really say anything. “Right this way.”
The Whittemores were led down the halls towards the nursery where only one baby resided. He had bright blue eyes and a shock of white blonde hair on the top of his head. There was a bruise on his chest but the baby would be fine.
The doctor who had just delivered the news of the infant’s death smiled at the Whittemores before silently holding out his hand. Mr. Whittemore pulled out a slip of paper and placed it into the doctor’s hand.
“Very good. Come meet your new son.”
Sixteen Years Later
Beacon Hills, California
He was free. For the first time in so long his mind was his own. There wasn’t that presence in the back of it; controlling him. He wasn’t being forced to transform into a monster to kill people. He was free.
Sure, a teenager had died for his freedom; but Matt had really had it coming. The kid was insane.
Now he was free! Or rather, not totally free. The Kanima still resided inside of him and it still needed a master. Somehow; Stiles Stilinski had ended up in that role. Stilinski.
Jackson groaned as the connection formed at the very back of his head. It wasn’t as intrusive as Matt’s presence had been. Jackson was still in complete control of his own mind and body; but now he would have to deal with the hyperactive teen’s emotions flitting around the back of his mind like so many obnoxiously bright butterflies.
Still, better to have Stiles’ emotions than the dark ones that had filled Matt.
“Is this really necessary? Couldn’t we have…I don’t know…bound me to Danny or something? Or what about you Derek? I mean, when you bit me you said I was ‘with you’. Shouldn’t you have become my master?”
Derek simply glowered at Jackson before turning to Stiles when the teen let out a snort.
“Out of everyone here, I’m the least likely to send you off on a killing spree.”
That was partly because Scott and Boyd were currently absent. Erica would probably accidently send Jackson out after whoever had posted the video of her having a seizure on YouTube and Isaac was a bit of an unknown at the moment. While he had more control of his wolf than Erica or Boyd, that didn’t mean that he was as emotionally stable at the moment.
And Derek…well Derek was practically a rage monster. It was possible that he would send Jackson out to kill the Argent’s in his sleep.
So, the job had fallen to Stiles who didn’t really want anyone dead.
Jackson watched as his new master walked over to him and slung an arm over his shoulder.
“Guess you’re stuck with me.”
Jackson looked up at the sky; silently begging whatever higher power that might exist to strike him down.
Whatever higher power existed simply laughed in Jackson’s face.
Manhattan, New York City, New York
“Good Morning, Alex. It’s time to start the day.”
Alex groaned and turned over in his bed. He pulled his pillow over his head and attempted to go back to sleep.
“I’m afraid I can’t allow you to return to sleep. Your father has given me explicit instructions to ensure you are ready for the meeting and to give your first presentation.”
The AI actually laughed. “I’m afraid that won’t work today. You’re father has overridden your ability to mute me until after the presentation.”
Alex groaned and jumped up at the sound of an air horn filling his room.
Alex sat in bed for a moment, rubbing his face before heading into the bathroom. He went about showering and shaving before simply looking at himself in the mirror.
Alex Stark didn’t look much like his father. He had the same dark hair and the same nose; but other than that you couldn’t really tell that he was a stark. For one, his skin was pail and smooth with a small amount of light freckles across his face. His eyes were a stunning sky blue gray that his mother had and his lips were full and a light pink just as hers had been.
There were so many days when he would catch his father looking at him and knew that the man was thinking about how much he looked like his mother.
Though; for all he looked like his mother; he was undoubtedly male. He had a slim athletic build filled with lean muscle and a six pack. He stood at a respectable five foot eleven and never stopped smirking whenever his father had to look up at him.
He felt a sudden twinge in his heart as the image of his mother flashed before him. It had been happening a lot recently. He was about to give his first presentation to the leaders of Stark Industries on a new invention. His mother would have been so proud. He wished that she could have been here with him now.
He shook his head and walked out of the bathroom with only a towel wrapped around his waist only to jump at the sight of a beautiful red head in his bedroom.
The spy smiled at him as she set out his suit on his bed.
“What the hell are you doing here?”
“Your father is worried that you might start acting as irresponsible as he is now that you’re about to give your first presentation for the company. He asked me to work as your assistant today. You’re notes are in your briefcase, along with a sample of the product. Breakfast is waiting for you in the kitchen along with that coconut coffee that you insist on drinking.”
Alex smirked. “America runs on Dunkin’s”
Natasha rolled her eyes. “Anyway, it’s a spinach and Swiss omelet with dark rye toast and a fruit salad. Luckily you live in the same building as the presentation so traffic won’t be a problem. Now, get dressed; because your father said I could inflict bodily harm if you’re not prompt.”
He watched as the Black Widow walked out of his room.
“I love you too Natasha!”
It was a short time later that he was slipping into the kitchen and devouring his food. A copy of his notes had been set beside him so that he could review before giving the big presentation. His body tingled. He couldn’t explain it. Ever since he was little; his body would tingle before something big would happen. It had tingled the day he had lost his mother, Tom, and Michael.
“Are you okay?”
Alex hadn’t even noticed that he had stood and that Natasha was fixing his tie.
“It’s probably just jitters. I used to hate giving oral presentations in school and this one has so much more weight to it than the pros and cons Stark Industries no longer making weapons.”
“You really did a paper on that?”
“It was more than a paper. I brought in a holographic projector and turned it into an experience.”
Natasha smiled softly. “You’ll do fine Alex. Just remember to breathe.”
Alex was pretty sure that the guy sitting next to his father was the Mayor of New York City; and that the guy beside him was the police chief. He had thought that this presentation would only be in front of members of the company. It was supposed to be like a dry run. He had not been expecting this. He gulped and fixed his tie before pressing a button on the holo-projector to help start his presentation.
“The Nemean Lion. It’s a fierce monster in Greek mythology that hailed from Nemea. Mortal weapons could not harm it as its fur and skin were impervious to attack and its claws were said to be like sharp swords that could cut through any armor.”
The images floating in the air were of various depictions of the lion.
“In the end, only the strength of Hercules could stop the beast. This got me thinking. What if there was a fabric that had the same strength as the fur and skin of the Nemean Lion?”
The images changed to video of Alex working in his lab.
“It would be an amazing asset to the armed forces and law enforcement. Imagine uniforms that looked and felt just like normal cloth; but had the strength to withstand bullets and knives. Well, now that dream has been made reality.”
The video showed him creating a long stretch of cloth and having it held at the four corners. The cloth was shot at with various calibers of guns without taking any damage. From there it was tested with various sharp knives, swords, and even chain saws and round saws. Nothing was able to penetrate or harm the fabric.
“Through my tests, I discovered that the only way to actually cause the fabric any harm; was to use a powerful laser to cut it and put holes in it for the purpose of sowing. The fabric remains easy to dye so that it can take on any color that normal cloth can. It’s light weight and breathes; though it’s thin; so it would be best to be worn under warmer clothes during the colder months. But everything I threw at it…it resisted. I happen to have a few samples here.”
Alex opened his briefcase and pulled out two versions of the cloth. The first was like cotton and the second was like denim.
The cloth went around the table and someone even tried cutting it with scissors but to no avail. His father even pulled out a pocket knife and tried it against the fabric. It was his first time seeing his son’s first big invention.
“It sure is damn strong. But how do we know that it will protect against bullets?”
Alex cleared his throat before looking across the room at Natasha who pulled out a gun. She pointed it at Alex and began shooting. She went through an entire clip but there wasn’t as much as a mark on Alex. She came around the table with a sharp knife and went for Alex’s gut but the knife came back bent and useless.
“Did I mention that the fabric can be used in a corporate setting as well? My entire suit is made from the fabric; even my tie. It can be made to feel and look like any fabric; even silk. Any questions?”
People were up and out of their seats in an instant; hands running over Alex’s suit. One person even asked him to pull up his shirt to see the damage that may have been caused beneath. Alex’s body was completely unharmed. He didn’t even have a single bruise forming.
He looked over at his father and couldn’t help but smile at the shit eating grin that graced his father’s face.
Alex was exhausted by the time he got back to his floor at Stark Tower. After the presentation; his father had wanted to go out and celebrate. It had started off as simply going to a restaurant for lunch; but had ended up with paparazzi and hot women following them around everywhere.
Of course, they had been out so long that they had then gone to eat dinner and have drinks…now it was after midnight and Alex just wanted to sleep.
“Alex…I think you’ll want to see the news segment I taped for you.”
Alex had just let himself drop onto the couch when Jarvis spoke up.
“Can’t it wait until tomorrow?”
“No, I don’t believe it can.”
Alex groaned. “Play it.”
The wall opened up to reveal a large TV. The TV turned on and the segment began.
“Doctor David Maxwell was arrested today for one of the most disturbing forms of human trafficking. Maxwell is convicted of telling parents and families alike that their newborns have died before selling the newborns to couples who are looking to adopt. Maxwell is suspected of stealing children from the following hospitals where he worked.”
Alex’s eyes grew wide when he saw ‘Beacon Hills 1992 – 1996’
He knew the name of Doctor David Maxwell.
“Jarvis…does this mean…that Mikey…”
“Yes, there is a chance that your brother may still be alive.”
“Send this video to my father along with a message from me. Tell him I’m going back to Beacon Hills to look into the chance that Mikey is still alive. Also; I need you to send word to have the plane readied.”
“Are you sure that you don’t want to sleep first?”
“I’ve spent sixteen years believing that he’s dead. If there is even the slightest chance that he’s alive…”
“Very well. The notification has been sent to your father and the plane should be ready in an hour. I’ll have the car brought around for you.”
“What is family for?”
“I would hug you if you had a body.”
Alex felt newly energized as he jumped to his feet and began packing his bags. It wasn’t until he was done that he remembered that he would need to book a hotel.
“Conformation has just come in from the Blackberry Inn that you will be staying with them. It’s the best hotel in Beacon Hills and has five star ratings from everyone that has stayed there. Now, do try to get some sleep on the plane.”
“I can’t make any promises.”
The truth was that he probably wouldn’t get any sleep on the plane. He would be too busy looking for any trace that Mikey may still be alive.
He had to be alive.
He felt it in his gut and his skin hadn’t stopped tingling all day.