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6:30 in the morning and you are already up. You didn’t really get much sleep, since you had stayed working extra hours at home. You made sure to remember to tell your boss to consider them for the next paycheck. The toasts loudly came out of the toaster and as you took a long sip from her mug, she took them out and placed them on a plate. Leaving the mug next to it, you headed towards the fridge to take out the new peanut butter jar you had bought a few days earlier, the jam and a banana. You were yearning for that peanut butter with all your heart and this was a great instance to give the first bite. It wasn’t the most nutritious thing you could have for breakfast, but at least you were having some, for a change.

You did your make up calmly in the bathroom and then headed out to get the bus. That day, your boss had not sent a car to pick you up. He did tell you to not get used to it, but it didn’t hurt to dream a little. You took out your daily reading and distracted yourself for about an hour.

You walked through the lobby, avoiding all kinds of contact with other beings because you were just not in the mood that morning; and it wasn’t until later, inside the elevator, that your mood changed. One of your colleagues—not a direct one, at least—walked inside and only with a gentle smile he changed your mood.

“Morning, (Y/N),” he bowed his head gently. “How’d you get here this morning? I didn’t hear from anyone being sent to your place.”

“By bus, like the normal human beings who aren’t Tony Stark do,” you chuckled. “You’re a lucky one, Happy,” you pouted. “You get to drive to work.”

“Only ‘cause I’m driving the boss and the lady boss,” he chuckled. “I could pick you up if you’d like,” he shrugged. “You’d save bus money and I would have someone to talk to instead of listening to them bickering or making up.”

“Oh god,” you laughed breathily. “I most certainly wouldn’t like to be there, sorry. I’d rather being on that stinky, sticky bus, but still away from those two,” you grinned. “It’s a sacrifice one of us has to make,” you said solemnly.

“And that one being me?”

“Couldn’t have said that better myself, Happy,” you smiled innocently, and got off the elevator. “See you later, I hope,” you waved him goodbye and walked to your desk. The phone was already ringing, unfortunately. “Yes, Mr. Stark’s office. How can I help you?” You faked your best and most helping voice. In 7 years of working with Mr. Stark, you had mastered the phone voice. “Yes, sir, the meeting has been rescheduled for tomorrow at the same time. 11 am at Conference Room A here at Stark Industries… Mr. Stark has scheduled your ride here as well; it’ll be waiting right outside your office, sir… Okay, no problem, bye.”

You logged into your computer and waited for the hours to go by. About half an hour later, amidst a sense of panic on the offices that surrounded your desk, the big boss made its way to his office.

“(Y/N),” he bowed his head lightly only to acknowledge your presence.

“Your schedule is already on your screen, Mr. Stark,” you smiled lightly.

“Always one step ahead of me,” he pointed a finger gun at you and stopped right before your desk. He lowered his glasses on the bridge of his nose and looked at you with a satisfied stare. “I hope you make a summary out of it to me. I do not expect to read all that.”

“It’s already summarized and color coded,” you propped your elbows on the glass surface and rested your head on your hands.

He looked at you with suspicious eyes and chuckled lightly. “You never cease to amaze me, (Y/N),” he admitted, almost reluctantly. “Thanks, I’ll call you if I need anything.”

“I’ll be here to pick up the call,” you smiled and turned on your chair just enough to focus on your computer screen for the rest of the day.

Tony Stark was a challenging boss, especially when you first arrived, 7 years ago. But in that time, you had learnt a great deal, which you wouldn’t have learned anywhere else. He was demanding, stressful, infuriating most of the time, but he was also very caring and open to smart-ass attitudes like yours earlier. You were lucky to have him, and in a way, you believed he was lucky to have you too.

But Tony Stark did not arrive into your life 7 years ago. You two went a long way back. Your mom used to work and live at the Stark household and you went to live with her since life with your father was not safe. At first, the Starks weren’t exactly happy about it, but since you were silent as a shadow and what they described as a girl with “very good character”, you were allowed to live there too—not like they had any other choice anyway.

That’s how you met Tony. At the tender age of 7 he wasn’t the exactly a tender little boy. He was extremely spoiled and craved for attention and validation. No wonder though, his father needed a book on healthy parenting and how to not fuck up your child all the way to his adulthood, but apparently there were out of those at the book shop that day… or the rest of the days.

You wondered if he could remember you, but he showed no sign whatsoever of recalling your childhood and adolescence together, so as soon as you thought about it, you shook the thoughts away. It didn’t matter; you had a job and he, being your boss, was just part of it.