So here's the prologue! Hope you like it!
Pepper Potts read over the paper one more time. "Tony being a whore has finally come back to bite him in the ass." She mutters to herself before briskly walking to the door of Tony's office. She knocks on the door.
"Not a good time!" Tony Stark calls from the other side of the door. Pepper also hears a female giggle come from inside the room.
She rolls her eyes. "This is urgent."
"Then leave it urgently." Tony calls back followed once again by a female giggle.
Some days Pepper questions why she continues to deal with this brilliant idiot on a daily basis and today is definitely one of those days. "Tony if you don't open the damn door in 30 seconds I'm coming in whether you're fully clothed or not.
Suddenly she hears the rustling of clothes and seconds later a pretty young blonde walks out of the office, doing up the buttons on her blouse. She smiles at Pepper and Pepper shoots her an acerbic smile before entering Tony's office where he's currently sitting at his desk, shirt undone and hair ruffled. "Do you ever actually work or do you just professionally sleep with barely legal blondes?"
"That was just my lunch break. Although it does sound as if you might be jealous Miss Potts." Tony says with a huge grin on his face.
Pepper glares. "In your dreams Tony."
"Always." Tony winks causing Pepper to roll her eyes which she feels as if she's substantially more often since taking this job.
Tony kicks his feet up on the desk. "Wasn't there something you said was..." He waves his hand around pretending to forget the word. "Urgent."
Pepper throws the papers down on his desk. "You might want to take a look at these. They were faxed over by the NYPD."
Tony starts shuffling through the papers. A few seconds later his eyebrows shoot up. "There was obviously a typo. They're obviously looking for my long lost cousin Branthony Stark. I do believe he currently lives..."
"Tony..." Pepper quietly cuts him off. For once this really isn't a joking matter. "Please just read the rest of the file.
Tony looks back down and quickly scans the last few papers and feels his heart sink before meeting Pepper's eyes. "JARVIS please ask Happy to bring the car around."
Tony walks into the police office and whips off his glasses. "Mr. Stark."
Tony turns towards the person. "That's my name don't wear it out."
"Sorry sir." The officer snorts before producing a stack of papers. "We're going to need you to look these over and sign some documents before we get started here." He tries to hand them over.
"I don't like to be handed things." He turns to Pepper. "Take care of this."
Pepper glares at him out of the corner of her eyes before turning to the officer. "I'll take those."
"This way Miss Potts." Another officer leads her down a hallway.
"Would you like to see her now Mr. Stark?"
Tony shrugs. "Sure why not. Especially because of the whole long lost daughter thing and all."
They both start to walk towards the back of the building. "I'm not sure how much they informed you of but she's in pretty bad shape… Mentally I mean. Physically she's fine but anyone who went through that would at least a little f-ed up."
"It said in the file that she had been abused. Is that what you're referring to?"
"Abused would be an understatement."
They walk into what Tony can only assume to be part of an interrogation room. It's the side of the mirror where you can look through and see the criminal inside only this one holds his daughter. There's a nervousness in his gut. 'What if i'm as bad of a father as he was?' Thoughts like these have been constantly running through his head for the last hour. Tony doesn't feel prepared for this.
The officer flips a switch and Tony can see her. She's just sitting there in an interrogation chair with her legs drawn up to her chest and her head resting on her knees. Messy long black hair cascades down her legs which are covered in scratches, bruises, and dirt.
"Why is she in an interrogation room?" Tony asks, suddenly feeling angry that she's sitting in there alone with nothing but a cold metal table and chair that's bolted to the floor.
The officer sighs. "She asked to be alone, and this is the most alone you can get in here."
The girl lifts her head to rub her eyes before looking into the mirror. For Tony it feels as if she's looking right at him. Staring right into his soul.
Tony holds her stare even though she wouldn't know it. "Tell me about her." He asks.
"Her name is Autumn and she's twelve years old. Her mother was Cynthia Clarke who beat her as a child and then turned her over to a group of scientists, one of which she was romantically involved with. The scientists then proceeded to do illegal human experimentation, attempting to turn her into a superhuman."
"Cynthia Clarke…" Tony mutters, attempting to remember the woman. He should really keep better track of who he sleeps with. Have them fill out a form or something. "I don't remember her."
"You'd think a man would remember all of the crazy bitches he slept with." The officer says with a grin.
"Ha Ha yeah good luck with that." Tony glares. "Can I see her now Officer Smartypants?"
"Sure, just through that door."
Tony steps forward, hand resting on the door knob. He takes a deep breath and then turns the handle. As he steps into the room she turns her head to look at him. Piercing blue eyes meet brown and she mutters. "Hi."
"Hello, tiny human." Tony says not moving any closer yet.
"I'm not tiny."
Tony snorts. "Yeah you are."
"Well you're short."
"Don't call me short."
"Don't call me tiny."
Tony lets out a small laugh with little humor. If there was any doubt in his mind that she was his daughter there isn't now.
He finally moves to the chair next to hers and sits down with his arms crossed. "Do you know who I am?"
Autumn lays her head back down on her knees and looks him up and down. "I've never seen you before."
"Well my name is Tony... Tony Stark."
Her eyes widen a little. "Oh..." She visibly swallows. "You're my dad." Tony nods an tries to gauge her reaction but her face is oddly difficult to read. "My mom used to complain about you a lot."
Tony laughs. "You haven't heard complaining about me until you've met my assistant. I'm sure one day you'll join in too."
They sit there in silence for a moment. Tony leans forward to rest his head in his hand on the metal table.
"What's going to happen to me?" Autumn asks quietly.
"Well you're going to come live with me, and nobody's ever going to hurt you again." She gulps again and then goes to wipe her eyes that have filled with moisture. "I'll get you anything you want, just name it."
She hardly even has to think. "I'd really like to sleep in a bed for once." She says. Tony feels anger grow exponentially. Of all the thing a twelve year old girl should have to ask for a bed isn't one of them.
"How bought we go shopping today. You can pick one out for yourself. Or, if you're too tired we can do that tomorrow and I'll take the couch." She just nods, and the barest hint of a smile finally crosses her face. "Look, I'm not going to pretend I have any idea what I'm doing here, which is not something I say a lot. I've never had a kid before, and I hardly had a dad."
"Well I've never had a dad before either."
"I guess we'll just have to figure it out. Together." She nods and he holds his arms out wide. "C'mon, give your old man a hug." When she just looks at him like he's crazy he says. "I'm a hugger so you're just going to have to get used to it." Autumn relents and lightly leans over to wrap her tiny arms around him.
A few seconds later Tony pulls back. "Have you ever had pizza?" She shakes her head. "That's definitely our first stop then..."
On the other side of the glass Pepper and the police had watched the exchange with mild curiosity. "She would barely talk to me earlier." The officer says.
"Where Tony lacks normal people skills, he's great with kids." Pepper replies. "Maybe it's because he is a child."
The officer snorts out a laugh. "Well maybe that's exactly what she needs."
It's been months since that fateful day that changed Tony Stark's life forever. Autumn has finally settled into her new life despite the frequent nightmares. Tony has hired a team of top notch therapists to help, as well as private educators to help her with all the schooling she missed. There are still problems but they're working out the kinks and things seem to be going well until one night.
It was late and Tony had been working in his lab, tinkering with a design for some new holographic equipment he was planning on installing in the tower. Then the lights flickered. Tony thought nothing of it and continued on with his tinkering until a few moments later he hears. "DAD!" Yelled from the bathroom.
Tony drops the device on the table with a thud and goes running. He finds Autumn curled up in a ball on the floor of her personal bathroom. She's crying and he goes to comfortingly touch her arm when she pulls away with a loud "Don't touch me!" That echoes throughout the bathroom.
"Okay!" He yells back suddenly stepping back. "What's wrong?" At this point his heart is pounding so hard he feels like it might just come out of his chest, and his nerves are completely shot.
Autumn points towards the sink. "I... I don't know... I'm sorry." All the while tears are streaming down her face.
Tony walks over to the sink where smoke is pouring from an electrical socket. "Did you stick something in it?" He asks.
She shakes her head. "I just went to set my toothbrush down and..." She holds her hand out for him to see and Tony can see what appears to be blue electricity running through the spaces between her fingers. He's never seen anything like it. He wants to panic and maybe scream a little but he holds it together for once. He's been doing that a lot lately and is quite proud of himself.
"Okay maybe if you just go to bed it'll be gone in the morning." The more he thinks about it though the more he doubts that's even in the realm of possibility.
They both walk through the doorway and into her bedroom. "Hang on." Tony runs back to his lab and comes back with a thick pair of electrical gloves. "Put these one. Can't have you catching the bed on fire now can we?"
Autumn nods before pulling them on and crawling into bed. Tony pulls the covers up to her shoulders. "I'll come check on you in the morning okay?" She nods and turns the lights off before walking back to the lab. He pushes the holographs to the side. He has more pressing matters to attend to.
The next morning Tony wakes up to the sound of his lab door opening. He sits up, first noticing the awful crick in his neck, and then there's the pool of his own drool currently sitting on his arm. After wiping that on his jeans he turns his attention the doorway where his daughter is standing in her pajamas, with a severe case of bedhead, and still wearing the electrical gloves.
"Morning kiddo." He says sleepily rubbing his eyes. "C'mere let's have a look at those hands."
Autumn obeys and walks over, pulling the gloves off. Unfortunately, the electricity is still there, sitting like a spiderweb in her fingers just as Tony had expected it would be.
Tony sees Autumn visibly deflate. "Hey, don't be down kid. I made you something." He reaches onto his work-desk and produces a metal bracelet he had spent the night working on. "Try this on for size."
"Okay..." Autumn says, obviously not understanding why. She grabs it and fits it onto her wrist anyway.
"Now just press that button and..." She does and suddenly the electricity is gone, trapped in the bracelet. "Aren't you glad your Dad's a genius?"
She gives a smile, rolling her eyes. She's been spending way too much time with Pepper in Tony's opinion. She goes to give him a hug, and he places a kiss on the top of her head. "I love you, Dad."
This takes Tony by surprise as she's never said it before, but he shakes it off and replies "Love you too kid." After she pulls away he says. "I'm kind of sad I won't get to call you sparky though."
"Oh my god, Dad."