I do not own any of the characters (other than Lena and Nina). The rest belong to Marvel! Review! I'd love to hear your opinion! :)
Wincing, I opened the door, praying for a silent entrance.
"Dear god, please don't let anybody be home." Whispering, I walked in the foyer. Kicking off my shoes, I began to pad around the front room. Nothing had changed, I mean nothing.
"Welcome home, Ms. Stark."
"Hello, Jarvis." I smiled genuinely, before making my way out in to the living room. "Is anybody else home?" I peered around the living room once more before walking in to the kitchen.
"Jarvis? Does my father still keep an emergency dose of my medicine down in the lab?"
"Yes, Ms. Stark."
"Thanks Jarvis, that's all." Snagging a banana and a bottle of water, I made a beeline for the lab. I quickly took the steps two at a time, before I finally reached the door. "Oh Jesus, what's my password? Jarvis has anybody changed my password?"
"Shit," Mumbling, I took a bite of my banana, racking my brain for the code. I finally fumbled in 1941 and got the green light. "Like a boss." I whispered before entering and stopping dead in my tracks. There was a man sleeping with his head resting on his arms. Taking yet another bite of nana, I put my brave face on and padded over towards the sleeping stranger.
"Um, excuse me. You're sleeping in my lab. Can you move? Bewegen? Κίνηση? Movimiento? Move?" He finally stirred, glasses askew. He jumped, and checked his watch. "Hi." I waved awkwardly.
"Who are you?" The dark haired stranger asked. Shrugging, I laughed.
"Hi, I'm Lena, Lena Stark." I extended my non banana holding hand to the doctor.
"Bruce Banner." He quickly took my hand in his and gave it an awkward squeeze.
"Bruce Banner? Your research on Huntington's disease was well ahead of its time. That research helped Stark Industries to make the drug Styphlym, which suppresses most of the symptoms. Because of you we are one step closer to a cure." Shock was written all over his face.
"Those were classified documents. You couldn't get a hold of those." Smiling I got up and patted him on the shoulder as I walked by.
"I did get a hold of those actually. When your sister is twenty years old and already in her residency, your father is a genius billionaire and your mother was one of Huntington's victims; I've read it all." Smiling at him, I walked over to my dad's desk and opened the bottom drawer.
"Score," I pulled out a small bottle with my prescription. I quickly pocketed the medication before he could question me and began to look around the lab for the medical supplies.
"Bruce? I really love how you've changed the place; but can you point me in the direction of the test tubes, fresh needles and the elastic tourniquets?" He sat down at the microscope I had found him napping at. Opening the top drawer he handed me the supplies.
"What are you doing?" I quickly wrapped the tourniquet around my left arm struggling slightly, my hand wouldn't stop twitching.
"This would be me drawing my own blood." Turning on my heel, I walked over and washed my hands thoroughly.
"Here," Bruce nudged me to the side and my hands out from under the water flow. "Go sit down, I'll take your blood for you." Nodding I walked over to the impromptu lab and sat down. Bruce quickly finished and pulled up a stool next to me.
"So is there a reason I'm taking your blood?" He questioned, pushing up his glasses with his forearm, in an attempt to not contaminate his hands.
"I'm just feeling a tad under the weather and I need Jarvis to run some tests on it for me." I could tell he wanted to question me further, but held back. Without a second's hesitation he quickly inserted the needle and began to draw the blood.
"Does anybody know that you're home?" Bruce peered at me, with a calculating gaze. "Nina never mentioned that you were coming home." He had finished filling the first tube and moved to the second.
"You know Nina? How is she?" He turned away from me quickly with the second tube now full.
"Yes, Nina has been rather helpful." Confused did not even begin to describe my feelings. I've been gone a year and everything goes to hell.
"Helpful, what the hell does that mean?" Not even answering, he went over and started testing the blood samples.
"Are we supposed to be looking for anything in particular in the test results?" Changing subjects, he quickly walked over to the computer and began looking at the screen and checking the levels.
"I promise you, you'll see what you're looking for." I bent my arm; the dull throb of an oncoming bruise had already started. "Anyways, I need to get going." I turned and made my way over to a small bookcase next to my father's desk.
"What do you mean you have to get going?" Bruce tore himself away from the screen and gave me a stunned look. Ignoring the question, I cleared a small spot on the top of the bookcase and climbed upon it. "Jarvis? How much longer till the test results are done?"
"Thank Jarvis, how's it looking?" I quickly lifted up the large photograph that hung on the wall. Setting it down lightly on the floor, I turned back to the now revealed safe.
"You now have seven minutes. Wait and see for yourself." Shaking my head I entered yet another combination into the safe. With a soft pop it opened.
"Thank you Jarvis." Digging in I quickly passed the money and the birth certificates, then I saw it, a plain manila folder. "Thank god you're still here." Whispering I snatched it quickly, before I closed the safe lightly.
"Can you hand me the painting please." Bruce nodded and before handing me the painting. I straightened it once before jumping off the wooden shelf.
"It was nice meeting you Bruce," Smiling I walked back over to the exit. "Also, whatever those results say, do not tell anyone, email me." I quickly jotted down my email on a scrap piece of paper I had found. "Keep this to yourself. We will see each other soon." He nodded once before I threw open the glass door and began taking the stairs two at a time.
I parked my car in the large familiar lot at Stark Industries. It looked exactly the same as when I had left it. Opening the car door I straightened out my fresh clothes. After stopping at my old apartment and having a few hours to myself I decided it was time to face the music.
"I must be fucking insane for coming back here. Nina is going to kill me." I once again straightened my black pencil skirt and dress blouse, looking at my sky high stilettos, I made my way in to the front building of my family's business.
"Welcome to Stark Industries, how can I help you?" The petite blonde looked up at me with her big sapphire eyes.
"Yes, I need to see Tony Stark." She giggled lightly, feigning politeness.
"Mr. Stark is a busy man; he can't see you right now." Rolling my eyes, I shook my shoulder lengthy curls out of my face and looked at her, trying to muster up all the authority I could.
"Well, then I need to see Pepper, now." Every word was spoken with the perfect tone. I spoke like a Stark, back straight, chin up and with one hell of an attitude.
"Ms. Pott's is also busy." She spoke defiantly, standing up behind the chic cherry desk. "Make an appointment." I caught a flash of sleek auburn hair out of the corner of my eye. I quickly turned and saw Pepper making her way down the hall, in the opposite direction.
"PEPPER!" Stopping dead in her tracks she turned around swiftly. She dropped everything in her hands and began running (well as fast as she could in stilettos). Trying to move to meet her wasn't an option. I was glued to the floor, tears welling up in my eyes.
"Oh my god, Lena?" She threw both of her arms around me and squeezed. I wrapped my arms around her in return. "Janice, tell Tony I need to see him pronto and I'll meet him in his office. NOW." She squeezed me again and pulled away looking at me from head to toe.
"You've lost weight." Pepper gave me a wary look and shook her head.
"I know I have, I've been all over the world Pepper. I'm trying to do everything now."
"Lena, we are not talking about that right now. I'm so happy you're home. We missed you so much." She quickly began pulling me towards my father's office, before I stopped her.
"One minute Pep," I turned to look at Janice. "Next time, let me see Tony. I'm Lena Stark." Her eyes grew to the size of golf balls before she started to attempt to apologize. I turned back to Pepper, grabbing her hand, with an accidental jerk. "Sorry, I didn't mean to be that rough." She smoothed my hair and began leading me back to my father's office.
She held my hand the entire way, telling me how much they all missed me and loved me. We stopped in front of two large black doors. Without knocking she threw them open. I quickly stepped behind her and she stopped, waiting for Tony and the group of people to acknowledge her.
"Tony, I need to talk to you now." Pepper pleaded, I laid my head against her back, too scared to look at my father and the assembled group.
"Uh, Pepper, I'm a little busy." I froze on the spot; Pepper slipped her hand behind her back and grabbed mine in an attempt to comfort me. Pepper scoffed and was about to speak when somebody cut her off.
"Ms. Potts, it's been too long." Fighting the urge to peak around a take a gander at who was talking to her was over whelming.
"Yes it has. How are you Mr. Fury?" Pepper was the epitome of polite, still holding tightly to my hand. "I could feel her step forward, slightly, and shake his hand. He stepped closer, and leaned in to whisper.
"Grow an extra pair of legs?" Sighing I stepped around Pepper and Mr. Fury and walked forward a few feet. Now I could see the occupants of the table.
"Who are you? There shouldn't be civilians allowed in here." A bear of a man with long blonde hair was on his feet pointing. I waved shyly at Bruce before finally catching my father's attention.
"Oh my god, Lena." He was out of his chair and over to me before I could even respond. He looked at me and then pulled me in to a tight hug. "When did you get home?"
"This morning, I went to the house, but nobody was there." He pulled back looking me over again.
"You got skinny."
"Maybe you just got fat." Lifting an eyebrow, he shot me a sly smile.
"Does Nina know you're home yet?"
"Uh, no." He laughed loudly, shaking his head.
"Good luck with that one." I could feel everyone staring at us.
"Well it's a good thing I have my last will and testament drawn up."
"Lena, inappropriate," Pepper hissed at me, my father just gave me a disapproving look. I simply just raised my hands in response before turning toward the table.
"Hey Bruce, do you happen to have the paperwork from this morning?" He nodded, and reached down in to his bag. With manila folder in hand, he got up and handed it to me.
"We need to talk about this, now." Bruce was holding it out of my reach, he obviously meant business.
"No we really don't." I glanced over at the other occupants of the table and smiled. "Hi, I'm Lena Stark." I extended my hand to the nearest person, which happened to be the long blonde haired man.
"Thor." Was all he said, snuffing my handshake with a nod of disapproval.
"You're the one that caused the mayhem in New Mexico." Mr. Fury quickly stepped up and was about to go off the handle when I stopped him.
"I read the newspaper. Even when I'm traveling." He gave me yet another wary glance before stepping back towards my dad, who I could tell was thoroughly enjoying himself.
"And you are?" I extended my hand to a slim, gorgeous, woman.
"Natasha Romanoff," She gave me a half smile and shook my hand lightly.
"Clint Barton" He gave me a cocky grin and a sat back in his chair. I turned to the last one and saw that he was already standing.
"Steve, Steve Rodgers." He was cute, a nice build and genuine smile.
"Lena Stark," We both smiled and shook each other's hand warmly. "Lovely to meet you," He smiled genuinely and squeezed my hand. We both just letting go when the door opened, again.
"Pepper? Padre? I need you to review these files for me before I submit them." My eyes went wide, my arm slack. Steve looked at me alarmed at my reaction. I simply mustered all of my courage and winked at him before turning around to face my twin sister Nina.
"Hey," Was all I could say. She simply looked me up and down before shoving the folders in my dad's arms and rounding on me.
"All you can say is 'hey'? After almost a year of not seeing you and not knowing where you were half the time? Lena, you're sick, you shouldn't have been gallivanting all over hell's half acre!" She was fuming. I knew that she was spewing off things she didn't mean.
"You knew exactly where I was. Don't feed me that line of Bullshit Nina. Remember that you are the younger sister. And you knew I was staying in Germany because they had the biggest breakthrough after Styphlym. So remember your place before you choose to judge me." Grabbing the folder out of Bruce's hand and I turned and smiled, putting on my poker face. "It was lovely meeting you all," I smiled again when I caught Steve's eye. Ignoring my family completely, I turned with folder in hand and walked out of the chaos.
I was already in my car by the time my dad had caught up with me.
"Lena, get out of the car. Let's talk about this." Shaking my head I turned the key in the ignition and heard my car roar to life.
"This is why I didn't come back; this is why I was gone so long." I went to roll up my window but my dad caught my hand.
"Lena, we're so close to finding a cure, I can feel it. We will make this right. You will be okay." Shaking my head, I looked away from him.
"Dad, the only reason I came home is because it's gotten worse; it's beginning to move at a more rapid pace. What took three years to do to my body is taking three months. I came home to die." His hand gripped mine tighter.
"Lena, get out of the car, we're going to go run tests now. You're not dying." He shook his head, fighting tears.
"Dad, you can't cry. Tony Stark is a cold-hearted, douchebag, billionaire. I didn't even think you had tear ducts. I'll be fine. I already did the scans." I handed him the envelope that Bruce gave me. "I haven't looked at them yet, but from the way Bruce reacted, it wasn't good." He was shaking his head again, before he took the envelope. "Please, just don't open with me here. I don't want to know." He nodded, trying to reign in his emotions.
"Go home, sleep. Bruce, Nina and I are going to look at these and then discuss how to make it better."I laughed, and tried to wipe the tears off my face.
"Good luck with that Dad." He laughed and kissed my forehead before making me turn off the car and have Hogan drive me home. "I promise you we will figure something out. It will be alright."
"Thanks." With that being said, Dad snatched my keys and I wobbled over to where Hogan was holding the door open for me.
"Welcome home, darling."
"Thanks Hoge," I gave him a watery smile before he closed the door and I broke down.
Yawning, I sat up in the pitch black room; I must have been sleeping for hours. Adjusting my Wolfsburg shirt, I crawled slowly out of bed, still not fully awake.
"Jarvis, what time is it?" I yawned out.
"It's 10:38PM." Groaning I stretched one more time and pulled the blanket off my bed, draped it around my shoulders, and made my way to the kitchen. Wrapping my cape like blanket tighter around my shoulders I opened the fridge, praying to any god that would listen, for donuts to be on the shelf.
"PRAISE JESUS," my hand flew the box filled with a dozen of my favorite pastries. "Hoge, you've out done yourself, my friend." Muttering, I snagged one out of the box and proceeded to scamper around looking for real food.
After ten minutes of searching, nothing but green tea, something that I think was once jam, smart water and Diet Coke were found.
"Shit," cracking a Diet Coke I skulked my way to the wrap around deck to watch the waves crash against the cliff. Before walking out, I walked over to the fire place and grabbed the wrought iron poker. After the two years my family has had, I take zero chances. Yet before I could step outside, the phone rang. Poker still in hand and my cape (also, know as my down comforter) still secure I made my way over to the phone. I clicked the speaker button.
"You throwing a raging party?"
"Yes dad, huge party. Naked men are everywhere, models doing coke off the toilet seat, and from what I've heard there's a massive orgy going down in the master suite. You know, the usual Stark party." I heard several different cackles in the background. "Am I on speaker phone?" My dad just kept laughing and sighed.
"That would be correct. How many men are after you?" My dad questioned, completely going along with my wild fantasy.
"Well at least three, I've already had one major proposal and an offer to make babies. I had to politely decline, I can't pollute the Stark bloodline. I refuse to reproduce unless you have a 150 IQ or higher."
"I trained you well." He laughed, genuinely. I heard Nina make a Star Wars reference in the background.
"On to larger matters at hand; why in the hell is there no food in this house? I mean the donuts were a fabulous touch, but I need more then donuts and Diet Coke to last me. I'll just go for a drive and grab some In N' Out, if you're not going to be home for awhile."
"We'll probably be here for a while, but I sent Rodgers over with food for you." I heard a door close as he walked away from the obvious group of people working in there. For me. "How are you feeling, love?" I could tell he was being serious now.
"Fine, just exhausted and depressed. It's just side effects from the medication, you know. Also, can Steve drive?" My dad laughed, lightly, at my attempt at lightening the mood.
"Let's hope so. He's getting In N Out for you."
"Thanks dad, I think I'm going to sleep until he gets here. He has the pass code right?" I questioned laying the fire poker next to the couch as I snuggled down.
"Yeah, call me if you have any problems. Anything from numbness, to an anger outburst, we need to know everything Lena." I nodded, even though I knew he couldn't see me.
"I know Dad. I know. I'm going to get some sleep till he gets here. Love you."
"I love you too. I need to get back to make sure Bruce hasn't hulked out and thrown Thor through a wall." I gave him a half laugh, before hanging up the phone and curling up to take another quick snooze.