Disclaimer: Me no own, you no sue.
AN: Thank you for all your support. Nano is going well and I have gotten up to chapter 22 written now. Yay! I'll be writing the final part of 22 and chapter 23 tomorrow, and should have up through chapter 30 done by next Sunday. I may go ahead and move it to a once a week update schedule now that I have a ton of this done. What do you all think? Should I? I already know thena-dite's answer... :-D Love and cookies for you all!
As good as you're looking right now
Girl, I bet you're thinkin' I'm crazy
There's a side of you that I wanna see
That never ceases to amaze me
- Gimme That Girl - J. Nichols
X Unusual X
Second Squad this is Dispatch issuing an Amber Alert. Be on the lookout for a missing male teenager. Approximate age is seventeen. Blue t-shirt, blue jeans, with brown hair and eyes, answers to the name of Peter Parker.
X Unusual X
Two days after Tony had found himself thrown into Jason's restaurant, the detective found himself sitting in a meeting room in the lower levels of Stark Tower, with his lawyer to his right and Natasha and Pepper sitting across from them. He hadn't figured that he would need a lawyer, but Mister Murdock was well known in New York for taking cases that others wouldn't. Of course the fact that he had shown up at the Precinct and volunteered had kind of settled it for Jason. Matt had explained that even if he didn't feel that he needed a lawyer, as a police officer, specifically a detective, it really would be better for him to have one in order to protect his rights and property. Turns out that he was glad that the blind man had volunteered to help him out with all of the legal paper work and jargon involved in getting Tony to pay for what he broke. All he had had to do for this meeting was show up with the police report and insurance estimates.
Natasha, or rather Natalie as she had introduced herself to Matt as, was leaning forward over the table staring at the blind lawyer as if daring him to blink and look away. It was rather amusing actually.
"I understand that Detective Walsh needs to have his building repaired, but on what basis are you claiming that Mister Stark should be the one paying for it?"
Looking for all the world as if he were actually meeting the femme fatale's eyes, the other man leaned forward as well. "On the basis that Mister Stark, AKA Iron Man, was the one to go through my client, Detective Walsh's front window and crashed into his property, thereby causing it damage."
Pepper caught Jason's eyes and promptly rolled hers. He could tell that she was getting as bored and fed up with the hostility between the two, as he was. The difference being that he could relax, knowing that his handler would make sure that her boy toy… friend… would pay for it all regardless of what the two argued. He just wanted to get out of the meeting and on his way to JFK airport to pick up Darcy. She was due to arrive in just over three hours and Tasha and Matt had been arguing for the last two and a half.
"Guys, can we wrap this up I got to get going soon. I've got to get to the airport."
Matt turned his head to look towards Jason, carefully making sure that he didn't look the detective head on. After everything that had happened a few years earlier with Bull's Eye and Kingpin, he was still wary around most cops. "If you need more time Detective Walsh, we can schedule another meeting for Monday."
Catching a nod from Pepper out of the corner of his eye, he just shook his head. "No. I know that Pepper will take care of Mister Stark. I'm mostly concerned that it all gets put in writing so that he can't back out of it."
"Don't worry Mister Murdock, I'll make sure Tony pays for everything of Jason's that he broke. I'll have Miss Rushman send the papers over by courier on Monday morning, if that's convenient for you?"
The blind man was now officially confused. He hadn't known that Jason and Miss Potts knew each other on a first name basis. It seemed a bit unusual that a NYPD detective would personally know the head of a corporation as large as Stark Industries. "Monday morning will be fine. If I'm not in my partner can sign for them."
"Of course. Natalie."
Looking distinctly uncomfortable, the Russian assassin gathered together her notes and various papers and quietly left the room without a farewell to the others in the room.
"If you don't mind my asking Miss Potts how do you and Detective Walsh know each other?"
Pepper smiled brightly as she made a motion for Jason to get going. "It's not that exciting a story."
"I'd still like to hear it."
Rising from his seat, Jason nodded his farewell to Pepper. "I'll see you Monday Mister Murdock."
"Of course, eleven in the morning. Have a good trip to the airport."
"So, I met Jason here in New York actually…"
Shaking his head the detective quietly closed the door behind himself. Checking his watch, he grimaced. If he wanted to get there on time he would really have to hustle. Only problem as far as he could see it was that when he looked up Natasha was standing directly in front of him, sans notes and paperwork. "Tasha?"
"Can we talk?"
Seeing that she was being sincere in her desire to talk and not fight with him, he nodded and motioned towards the elevator. "It'll have to be on the way out. I'm supposed to be heading for the airport to pick someone up."
"The mysterious girlfriend that Stark keeps going on about? The one that Banner won't say anything about?"
He smiled. It figured that she would be the one to figure it out. Pepper he had had to tell of course, but it wasn't like she was going to tell anyone if he asked her not to. He had trusted her to be his handler for a reason. The only thing that really surprised him about this conversation with Nat was that it had taken this long for her to come to him to talk. "Why haven't you talked to me in all this time? I can understand a few days, but not over a month. I know you haven't been on any other missions except this one. Pepper would have told me if that were the case."
"I just needed time. It's one thing to be told that your friend was undercover with a new identity for a few days or even a few months, but you have to understand that not only do you have a completely new identity, but it's not the one I thought it was. I thought that you really were Clint Barton."
Stepping into the elevator he turned to look straight at his friend. "I am Clint Barton." Pushing the button for the lobby he settled back against the side wall. "I just also happen to be Jason Walsh."
"Since I was seventeen."
Stunned Natasha leaned back against the wall opposite Jason. It was hard to comprehend that someone could have two fully formed identities for that long without anyone finding out about it. "How? Who helped you?"
His smile was sad as he answered her. "Phil. He recruited me, trained me, and assigned me to the mission where I became Jason Walsh. When it was over he gave me the choice to go back or keep this life. I chose to stay Jason Walsh. Phil gave me a normal life. If he hadn't, I think I would have died long before now. Being able to have this has kept me sane. At least that's what Phil said the last time we talked about it in New Mexico, before all of the bullshit with Loki happened."
They stayed silent until after the elevator had stopped and they had walked to the front door. With a soft hand on her friends arm, Natasha stopped Jason. "Can I come with you to meet her?"
With a great sense of relief Jason grinned and nodded. "I'd like that. Darcy has been wanting to meet you ever since I told her that my best friend was a 'super-secret ninja assassin.'"
"You called me what?" Her voice was filled with disbelief.
Laughing he flagged for a cab. "Her words for it not mine. I just said that you were a very talented agent. Fortunately for me she has the sort of clearance that lets her find things out like that." Opening the passenger door of the empty taxi that stopped for them he let Tasha in first before settling himself beside her. "JFK please."
Turning back to his friend who was now staring at him with narrowed eyes and pursed lips he smiled sheepishly and choose his words carefully. "She's not exactly working for the same agency as us, but she is on payroll. So is her boss, actually. You probably have heard of her though. Works on the bridge project and is Donald's girlfriend."
"Jane and Darcy is the one who…"
"Yup. Tasered him." He grinned again, proud of his girls' spunky attitude. "And darn proud of it too. Jane may have hit him with a car twice, but Darcy was the one who landed him in the ER."
A tiny giggle escaped Natasha as she finally smiled at him. "Only you could find that even remotely attractive."
"What can I say? I'm a glutton for punishment."
Not wanting to answer that, she settled back for the long ride to the airport.
X Unusual X