Having seen Iron Man and Iron Man 2 recently, I absolutely fell in love with the story. That's my first Ironman fanfic, so please don't be too harsh.
I think that Tony is a rather complicated character, so I will try to develop that a bit in the story. However, I'll make sure that those who look for action won't be disappointed as well. So, without any unnecessary speeches, chapter 1, there you go!
Tony looked at his Hot Rod, full of pride. He finally managed to get the thing going, after weeks of hard work, calculations and changes. He never complained though, it was all fun. He got inside the car and turned on 'Highway to Hell' – he couldn't wait to speed down the motorway in his 'baby' and listen to his favourite band ever, on full volume. Could there be anything better than that?
His daydreaming was interrupted when Pepper entered the workshop, with a huge pile of papers in her hands. He could sense the storm coming.
'Look Tony, I'm not going to repeat myself for the 100th time, I need you to go through all that now and sign the papers from the folder here. You'd better get cracking, because in two hours' time, the Forbes people will be here, remember?' She was talking really quickly, and he could definitely tell she was stressed by the tone of her voice.
'No, I don't! Can you slow down please, cause I'm a bit…'
Apparently she couldn't. 'Then at 8.30 you're eating dinner with , regarding the deal about the…'
'PEPPER!' he interrupted.
'Exactly: what?' He had difficulties following what she way saying, seeing that for the last couple of hours he'd been locked inside his own littler universe and the music was blasting loudly in the background.
'Just read the papers for now, . Ok? I'll be down in about an hour, we need to get you ready for that interview.'
'What interview?' She gave him a disapproving look.
'Just joking…Miss Potts.'
'I'm glad Mr. Stark.' She was about to leave the workshop, but having reminded herself of one more thing, she stopped in her tracks. When she looked around, Tony didn't seem to be thinking of getting down to work, he was pouring himself a glass of Scotch and humming 'Back in Black'.
'There's one more thing. We got a call from Peter Stark, he said there was quite a pressing issue he needed to discuss with you. That's scheduled for tomorrow's lunch. You'll meet him here.' Then she left the room without another word. She was getting sick of how irresponsible her boss could be.
'What would that old bastard want?' Tony said out loud and sat down in front of the huge pile of deals, reports and bills.
Tony looked at himself for the one last time before going downstairs. A graphite suit with a navy button-up with no tie. Not too formal and not too casual either. He didn't feel like he needed to look particularly fancy for his uncle he saw once in his whole life. He didn't even know what the man might want from him.
Peter went to a boarding school in England and he never returned to America. Having graduated from Cambridge with a degree in engineering and getting another one in business, he settled down with his own company in Britain. Tony read a couple of articles about him, but he was nowhere near as well off as his elder brother Howard. The two brothers got on all right, but the thousands of kilometers dividing them and constant pursuit of money meant, that there wasn't much time for family reunions, not that they cared much. Tony met Peter only once, but that was ages ago. They never kept in touch later. If Tony's own father didn't care about him, why would his uncle?
Having swept the gloomy memories aside, Stark went down the stairs into the spacious living room. The elder man was already sitting on the couch, flickering through the paper.
'Morning,' said Tony, unsure of how to greet his uncle. He couldn't believe how similar to Howard he was. His hair has only already turned grey in some places, but apart from that, he seemed to be an exact copy of his brother. Weird, Tony though, knowing that Peter was a couple of years younger than Howard. He looked very professional and stiff with his shirt buttoned up to the very top and a black, silk tie.
'Tony, how good to see you!' Wow, he didn't expect that.
'How are you doing, all right? My PA said it was urgent, can I…um, help with anything?' the young Stark tried to strike a conversation, but also get the meeting over with as soon as possible. The other man's face darkened.
'Well, apart from the fact that your aunt died last month, I'm fine. I've seen you've been doing great Tony. Howard would be proud.'
'Yeah…I suppose…' Not really, he thought to himself. 'I'm really sorry about your loss.' It sounded very artificial. 'Is there anything I can do to help?'
The elder man sighed and led Tony to the couch. He seemed to have made himself at home.
'You see, I have a son. He's 17 and well…' Peter definitely had trouble with asking. He always had all he wanted, so having to beg for a favour from a young brat like Tony was humiliating. 'Ok, it's the summer holidays now, so he can't be boarding at school. But I can't take care of him, I've got too much work and the tabloids have already been all over me, being a bad parent and all that. I can't just let him wander around with no one to look after him. You're my only remaining family, do you think you could spare him a room here? Just for that one month. I really wouldn't ask if I didn't have to.' The man didn't take a single breath throughout his monologue.
Tony could swear his mouth was wide open when his uncle finished talking. He could be many things: a scientist, a businessman, even a superhero, but a nanny?
'Well…I think I'm not the best material for a…' Tony started but was interrupted by the other man.
'I promise, he won't interrupt you with work. He'll just sit quietly in his room with a book. He's applying to university next year, so he needs to read a lot. He understands.'
'All right.' Tony mumbled. He suddenly felt as if he had a massive hangover again. What he had just said didn't make much sense. But could he really refuse? He knew what the poor boy had to feel like all the time: boarding school, busy father, no idea of what family life looks like. Tony could definitely think of another guy he knew REALLY well who'd gone through that. He took a deep breath and got himself together. 'Sure. He can come whenever he wants to. I can send my jet to get him right now, if you want me to.'
'Thank you so much Anthony. I don't know what I would do, if you had said no. You must know what it feels like to have those journalists breathing down your neck.' Tony couldn't resist smiling at the way the man spoke. He articulated every single syllable carefully, making sure his grammar was flawless. The British accent was another thing Tony though to be quite funny.
'It's fine. Oh God, let's be more cheerful. Fancy lunch uncle?'
'Yes indeed Anthony. It would be much appreciated.'
They sat down at the table and remained silent for the rest of the meal. Peter got what he wanted and Tony had a lot to think about. He felt as if he was eating with his father again. The man wasn't only physically similar to Howard. He also had that intimidating feel about him and a radiating sense of authority. Tony suddenly felt like a little, lonely boy again. As much as he was unsure about the prospect of having to look after his teenage cousin, he promised to himself that he would make the guy's life fun. At least for that month.
'I am telling you this is not going to work anyway. I'll get another plane or a bus or I'll swim across the Atlantic in my trunks. There's just no way I'm staying in America. Especially not with this big headed buffoon!' James Stark yelled at his father, standing in the lounge of Heathrow Airport. He knew his dad wasn't particularly affectionate towards him, especially since his mother died, but he couldn't bring himself to believe that he would go as far as sending him off 13 hours on a plane to stay with someone he never met in his life. Boarding school was alright, many people were there with him, making it fun, but that?
'It's just a month. And you'd better behave yourself. You could learn something from Anthony, you know. You're going to study engineering, so…' Peter didn't have a chance to finish, because he was interrupted by his son.
'Just don't start on that again. I am not studying engineering, right? No one can force me to, especially not you. Actually, a month away from you and this stupid company will be a blessing. Bye, just remember not to call.' Having said that James marched off towards the gate. California, New York, he realized that the further away from his father he was, the better. For both of them.
Pepper was surprised to find Tony In the living room at 7 a.m. Something had to be wrong. Every morning he went straight to his workshop with a cup of coffee and took pleasure in waking everyone up, playing his music at max volume. Now he was quiet and he was pacing. As if he was…nervous? No, impossible, she thought. Tony Stark doesn't get nervous.
'Are you all right?' she asked, while entering the room.
'I'm pacing.' He replied, without even turning around to face her.
'I can see that, but I asked whether…' she didn't get to finish the sentence, because her boss cut her off halfway through it.
'Oh my God, Pepper. When people pace, they're not all right, isn't it obvious?' he sighed. That was weird. He was childish, irresponsible and eccentric, but he never spoke to her in such a harsh manner. He must have realized he went out of line, because he sat down and poured Pepper a glass of juice. 'Sorry, I just think I'm doing something stupid. And stupid I am definitely not.'
'Not stupid at all Tony, just very modest.' She smiled at him. 'He's not going to bite you, you know. It's just a teenager. You were 17 once as well, remember? You weren't so troublesome, were you?'
'Well…' Now that he thought about it, he got even more dubious. Two cars smashed as he was showing off in front of the girls at MIT, hundreds of dollars spent on alcohol, followed by days in bed, fighting the massive hangovers. Not mentioning having numerous fights with his parents after his friends ruined the living room after a party. This uncertainty made Pepper smile again.
'OK, Iron man is scared of a boy. I should call Vanity Fair, you'd make the front page again.' She knew his pride wouldn't let him have that.
'Pepper, the plane is landing in half an hour. Get Happy and let's do this baby.'
James was listening to 'Highway to Hell' with his eyes closed. And on a highway to hell he was indeed. He felt a sudden jerk, and realized it was the plane hitting the ground. He looked out of the window, unsure of himself, but was relieved that in a couple of minutes he would be out of this metal can again.
James didn't bother taking his headphones off at passport control, nor when he was collecting his luggage, nor when he finally got out to the lounge. He knew someone would collect him at the airport, but he had no idea whom to expect. He just stood there in the middle of the yard, when suddenly someone slapped him on the back so hard, he nearly doubled. A quiet 'what the hell?' escaped his mouth, but then he turned around and saw the man, he recognized so well from magazine covers.
'Hi…Mr….um…Stark?, he said. He wasn't sure how to address the man. Tony was actually his cousin, but he was about twice as old as James, they had never met and he was supposed to be someone important.
'Oh James don't be so formal, it's Tony, right? All right buddy?' Tony decided to be his usual self. He had no problems with speaking in public, giving interviews, so he wouldn't get intimidated by a kid.
'Yeah, I guess. Thanks… Tony.' In the meantime, a tall man in a dark suit picked his bags and started heading towards the exit. James run up to him immediately. 'Forget it, I'll carry them, I'm fine.' But the man ignored him.
'Oh, I see you've already made friends with Happy. He's my driver, go on, jump into the car.'
Tony was relieved, the 175 cm in red Chuck Taylors and a leather jacket didn't seem to be that scary at all. James was surprised as well. He expected a stiff businessman in a suit – a younger copy of his dad. Instead, he got a relatively normal guy, with quite a decent Rolls Royce as well. Maybe this wouldn't be as bad as they expected it to?
How was it? Did you enjoy it? Anything that you'd like me to change/improve? Don't just think, comment!
All the feedback will be greatly appreciated. I do get motivated if I know that you are out there enjoying my work, so please tell me what you think.
I know this chapter might not be particularly exciting, but it's just an introduction. I'm getting down to writing the next one straight away!
Hope to hear from you guys!