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Bleeding Red & Cheap Thrills

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Four-inch heels clicked on the floor, a body from a different era walked in and she owned the whole damn room. Lips painted red that promised sin - she killed everyone in there leaving only one witness.

It took one look from her and bang bang, Tony Stark was dead.



Pepper’s voice ringed out in his ears but he couldn’t open his eyes, her voice was strong and so close to pulling him from his nightmare… but then it changed.



Tony’s hazel eyes finally snapped open to see the woman he loved pinned down by his own creation and then his body was on autopilot. His arms moved forward in a command to power down the suit and dismantle it within seconds.

He scanned the room, the threat was eliminated and finally, he looked down at his hands trying to figure out how to breathe again while fumbling for words.

“I must have called it in my sleep. That's not supposed to happen. I'll recalibrate the sensors. Can we just...just let me...just let me catch my breath, okay?”

All he heard was her footsteps moving away from him and when he looked up for confirmation it was like the doors were closing shut on his heart.

“Don't go, alright? Pepper?” It was a plea for something, from her, for her to just give him something to hold onto while he tried to not fall apart.

“I'm going to sleep downstairs. Tinker with that.”



Tony for a second time in his life, didn’t want to be Tony Stark. The first time was when he was held captive in a cave with a car battery strapped to his chest to keep him alive. Tonight, it was because it would mean admitting that his life was breaking apart and everyone in it that mattered was crumbling around him.

Some of it was his fault but if the team, Rhodes and more importantly Pepper, could see what he had seen, felt it … lived through during the battle of New York, then maybe they would understand why he doesn’t want to sleep. Why it’s painful to dream of dying, falling and then waking up to knowing it wasn’t a bad dream but an actual memory.

So tonight, he is no one but a guy at a shady bar that his younger 20’s would have loved. Seated in the back booth by himself with a bottle and single glass.

Halfway through the bottle, he looks up to the sound of someone whistling and locks eyes on something that makes every part of him ache in the best way possible. It’s a feeling he hasn’t felt for anyone besides Pepper in the last few years.

It’s wrong but fitting for a seedy bar.

A body from another era all wrapped up in cheap silk that was stretched too tight in some places, the material sheering out from it. Four-inch heels that clicked hard on the floor, her walk isn’t graceful but dominant. Plush lips painted up red that promised sin, the color that made you wonder how it would look on your skin after her mouth was done with you.

All eyes are on her as she makes her way to him, her hourglass body falling next to him in the booth.

“This isn’t chance you being here and walking right up to me? Who are you working for?” the words fly out of his mouth quickly with his fingers already wrapping around her bare forearm. Another Black Widow, maybe?

“I don’t work for anyone, so let go of my arm.” she snaps back with all teeth and sharp pointed blue eyes smoked out with shades of gray.

“I’m going to ask you one more time, what’s the name of your organization?” Tony questions her again, looking for any sign on her face that screamed: “she’s lying!”.

“Let go of my arm before I stabbed you with my shoe,” and that threat is real, a very evident sharp point of her heel pressing into his lower leg now, “I thought Tony Stark was supposed to be better than this with women.”

His fingers let go of her arm, “Sorry … occupational hazard.”

“Whatever… this was a stupid mistake.” she hisses at him, body moving to get away from him.

“Wait.. .stay..look, I’m sorry.” the words just fall out his mouth even though the smart thing is, to let her walk away. But the thing is, he is tired of people walking away from him. At least for tonight.

“Buy me a drink and I’ll think about it.”

“How about I buy you a bottle and you agree to not say my name too loud in here and we just talk about what shit reason brought us to this … establishment…” he offers her.

“Still not as smooth as the magazine articles lead people to believe.” her mouth honest to God curls up into a smirk that is not smooth at all but fucking sexy as hell.

“In my defense, I’ve been out of the game last few years.” he banters back and her eyes go soft and face blushes red. Definitely not another Black Widow.



Her name is Darcy and nothing about her is soft but her curves. She is sass, curiosity and a filthy mouth all wrapped up into this singular person sitting next to him.

When she got up to find the restroom Tony let his own curiosity motivate him to try and find something on her because even “unsober” (he hates the word drunk) Tony still doesn’t believe she isn’t here without a motive rather her’s or someone else's. Either way, at least she is a fun company and hasn’t tried to kill him yet. So he takes that, as a win for the night.

She mentioned Culver, New Mexico and that her ex-boss was a female with her head always in the sky in their conversation as to what planted her in this bar tonight. So he takes that info and her first name and has Jarvis run a search on his phone because old habits die hard and Tony will always have a need to know everything about the person sitting next to him.

“Well, I found two numbers on the bathroom stall door to call for a good time. I think there is high hope of me ending the night with a bang.” Darcy’s voice pulls his eyes from his phone and just in time for him to see her actual smile with teeth showing and she has a slight gap in the front that he thinks is somehow sexy as hell on her.

“That’s a horrible joke and I think you hurt my feelings.”

“Ha! Well, I think your not so secret girlfriend might be glad of that.”

Tony watches her full smile start to fade to a small one with heavy lids that come from a night of drinking as she takes her place back in the booth next to him.

“What if I told you tonight I wasn’t Tony Stark.” it’s a dangerous thing to say and he knows it, he should be ashamed and guilty for even thinking about. Pepper’s face does flash in his mind, her beautiful elegant face, soft features, and brilliant smile but also her walking away from him and so many other things.

“I think we are both angry right now at people in our lives and what you're saying you don’t really mean,” Darcy says back softly.

He moves in closer to her, flushes against her side, “What about you and the things you’ve said, all true or false?”

“I came in from a stupid tweet I saw about a possible sighting of ‘Tony Stark’ in a bar near my place, so yeah, true I came in with a plan to make myself feel good for once because lately life has sucked. I wasn’t looking for sex though, just wanted to see if I could make you buy me a drink.”

“Got you a bottle.” he smirks back at her and there is that flush again on her face.

“Yep.” she pops the last letter in the word and before either of them can make the next move Tony feels his phone vibrate with an alert.

He pulls it out and looks at the info on the screen, it’s almost nothing, and for Jarvis to find next to nothing on her from the last five years, that should say something about her.

However, there was a full name, Darcy Elizabeth Lewis and one grainy screenshot of what looks like Thor smiling with an infamous Facebook blue thumbs up icon below it.

“So, should I call you Agent Lewis? Or is it a coincidence that you posted a picture of Thor smiling directly at you when he landed in Mexico?” he takes a stab in the dark, to see if he could get a reaction from her because if she was Shield, well, this was a new low for them.

Darcy looks at him with heat and anger, pointed eyes and lips drawn tight. She looks like a lion boxed in, ready to charge and strike.

“Shield? You think I’m Shield? You’re an idiot for someone who declares himself a genius on regular basis. So.. thanks for the bottle, but I hope I never see you again.”

“Seeing as you know their name, how involved are you with everything? It’s not like they advertise their network. And the word “Agent” could have been for any organization yet that’s the name you dropped without hesitation.”

“You don’t get to ask me those questions.”

“Gag orders? Non-disclosures? It’s not like I’m not classified to know or can’t steal the info to find out either way. So just cut the crap and tell me why you came in here and sat down next to me.” Tony tries to pry more information from her, that carefree attitude out the window.

“Fuck you Stark.” her voice is low but it still rings loud in his ears.

Tony watches her push away from the booth and walks out the bar.