Rebecca didn't have to worry about her dad taking off in the suit and almost getting into another game of cat and mouse with the military all day due to Pepper's insistence that he sort through the folder she had brought along with her. Pepper knew Tony was in a cheery mood that morning after experiencing his cooking, and so she decided to take advantage of that.
"This whole thing? You actually read all of this?" Tony held up the folder horizontally, inspecting the width of the papers inside. He groaned like a child and threw himself back onto the couch. "Does this need to be done today?"
"No." Pepper shook her head as Tony went to sit back up. "It needed to be done yesterday, but you decided to take off god knows where."
Tony didn't press that issue any further, instead he just pulled an unimpressed face as Pepper sat the folder back onto his lap. By the look of it, it was going to take hours to even make progress on this thing, and Pepper made it clear she wasn't going to let me wander off without doing at least some of it.
This left time for Rebecca to head downstairs to the workshop, undetected by Tony, and find out what was needed from Stark Industries for confirmation. It was pretty obvious that the recent shipping files needed to be retrieved, along with the international exports file, but she needed to make sure.
"Jarvis, has there been any attempt at gaining access to the Stark Industries computer network in head offices?" she asked when she took a seat on at Tony's desk.
"Not that I am aware of Miss. Stark."
"Of course not." Rebecca rolled her eyes at the answer she had been expecting. Gaining access to Stark Industries was way too easy, especially for the man who owned it and created the security systems himself. The files needed to be taken from the office themselves, otherwise Tony would have them by now. There was nothing Rebecca could do while she was here, but she didn't intend on wasting her time. She needed to snoop, find out what was going on with the Ten Rings and what Christine Everhart had been telling her about, and she was certain Tony would have the information stored. "Jarvis, let me know if my father is approaching."
"In what range would you like me to inform you, Miss. Stark?"
"A range that gives me about thirty seconds warning."
It had been a few hours now with Rebecca still reading and searching the files involving the Ten Rings. It hadn't taken much effort to locate them since they had been recent accessed numerous times. It had the photos of the terrorists near large boxes with 'Stark Industries' written across the side, hard to miss. She assumed these were the photos he was told about, the same ones that Tony had confronted Obadiah with.
"Mr. Stark is approaching." Jarvis informed.
Rebecca immediately dismissed all of the files and deleted the recent activity, it wasn't as if Tony would be mad about her going through them, but she needed to keep her knowledge of them as basic as she could. She walked over to the remaining pieces of the suit on the bench and began inspecting them.
"How long have you been down here?" Tony's voice came from over at the door.
Rebecca shrugged her shoulders and turned to him. "A while." She picked up the layers of metal that surrounded the chest piece of the suit and looked at the thickness. "If you add any more layers to this it's gonna increase weight on the arc reactor."
Tony nodded in agreement and walked over. "I've been working on the different types of titanium I could use to enhance the resistance but keep the overall weight down."
"Just outline the metal with the titanium guard, less weight and harder to get through."
Rebecca set to work on separating the chest piece, making incisions to pull apart different layers of metal while Tony welded the new layers on the piece she gave him. Now that Rebecca knew what her dad was planning on using the suit for, however she didn't exactly like the idea of him almost being blown up, she now knew what the suit would need. Reinforced metal surroundings with titanium guards, enhanced backup power for the repulsers and flight stabilizers, and most of all, ammunition. The bullets that were already stored in the suit were powerful, but they needed some sort of reloading system so that a range of ammunition could be used instead of the same type. She set up different explosive bullets as well as miniaturized missiles that could be used in combat, similar to those that Tony had already set up in the suit which had helped him when coming face to face with the terrorists. These would be more powerful and have a detection function which enabled them to activate when in contact with the target.
"Where'd you get these ones?" Tony asked when he observed the miniaturized missiles.
"You made those," she gave him a confused look. "don't you recognize them?"
"Oh, right. I added a few things to them, not that there was anything wrong with them." she smirked.
"Yeah, right," Tony laughed and turned back to the metal he was working on welding.
Pepper walked downstairs when it got closer to the late afternoon, and she was met with a sight she had seen in the workshop for many years. On one side of the bench was Tony, working away intensely, staring at whatever was in front of him, and on the other side was Rebecca who mirrored exactly what her father was doing.
"There's food upstairs, just delivered." Pepper walked into the room and announced, but was met with silence. "Hello?" Pepper shook her head at the ignorance she was receiving, the one thing that annoyed her when they both were at work like this. "Am I invisible? Hey!" she raised her voice and enjoyed the look of shock on their faces when they turned around and noticed she was talking to them. "Food. Upstairs. Now."
Rebecca took a deep breath and sat down whatever was in her hand. "Yep, food, coming." She stood up and rushed over to the door, keen to eat real food since the mess that was served as breakfast.
Pepper looked over to Tony who was still working away. "Tony?"
"Yeah, I'll get some later, I'm too busy." he told her, not looking up from what he was working on.
Pepper sighed and walked over to the bench. "Tony, what are you doing?" she asked worriedly. "Please don't do anything reckless." Her eyes scanned around the broken glass walls.
Tony still didn't look away from what he was doing, too engaged. "I won't, and I'm not, you don't need to worry about me."
Pepper nodded and backed down from the issue, knowing she would get nowhere with him when his mind was somewhere else at the moment. Ever since she discovered the suit, she had taken it reasonably well until she became caught up in the possibilities of what he was planning to do with it. There had been many times that Tony had used his intelligence to create something not so intelligent, but this one worried her more than the others.
"Well, I can't guarantee there'll be any left later...or now actually." she though back to Rebecca running up the stairs.
"Yeah, figured as much." he finally turned and have Pepper a smile. "I'll be up later."
When Pepper made it to the kitchen, the Thai food that she had delivered was gone from the kitchen bench. She had learnt to order more food than usual when a teenager was involved. In the living room, Rebecca sat on the floor with her back against the couch, using the small coffee table in the middle as a dining table as she ate her food.
"Don't worry, I didn't eat all of it." Rebecca mumbled with a mouthful of food.
"Well, it wouldn't have surprised me." Pepper laughed as she took a seat across from the table.
"I needed to make up for breakfast."
"Bec," Pepper began, watching and Rebecca turned to look at her with another mouthful. "I don't want to know what it is that your dad is doing, but I need to know if he's okay."
Rebecca looked back down away from Pepper, taking an instant dislike to the conversation. "Why wouldn't he be okay?"
"I never get involved when it comes to this sort of thing, I know he knows what he's doing, but something's wrong and I know it." Pepper's voice held concern and worry, which only made Rebecca feel even worse about having to keep things from her. "I brought up the fact he had to meet with Obadiah soon to discuss the company stocks, and he just gave up on any more work and left."
"I think he just wants to be back in control again. Obadiah's been running the company for him for a while now, and it's probably really getting to him." Rebecca explained in a way that she wasn't forced to lie since that was in fact true.
Pepper picked up a plate and began filling it with Thai food, accepting Rebecca's explanation. She didn't like asking her for information, especially about her dad since Pepper knew if anything was going on she wouldn't say. Rebecca reached for the remote and switched on the television, trying to fix the uncomfortable silence they had fallen into.
"How did your day go yesterday, with Rhodey?" Pepper made conversation after the television offered no interest to either of them. "Wasn't there some sort of accident with a training exercise?"
Rebecca couldn't believe the fact that all of the topics of conversation all revolved around issues she didn't particularly want to talk about.
"Yeah," she nodded, turning. "I think there was, but Rhodey said it wasn't anything extreme." Rebecca shrugged her shoulders, trying to seem as if there was nothing else going on.
Another long silence took place between them as they sat in the living room eating, no other noise apart from the clinking of their forks on the plates. Usually between Pepper and Rebecca there was no uncomfortable silences, there were no uncomfortable times at all actually, but given the tension caused by all that was going on, this particular silence wasn't the most comfortable.
"So," Pepper put her fork down. "I forgot to mention to you that I was talking with one of the board members yesterday and they told me about your little event with Lucas the other night at the fundraiser."
Rebecca played it cool, trying to act casual. "Oh, yeah, he was just following me around that night. You don't have to worry though, I won't be talking to him again, I never actually liked the guy."
Pepper shook her head. "It's not that." Rebecca raised her eyebrow. "I'm talking about the fact you assaulted him I'm a very sensitive area for males."
"Oh, god, hear me out-" Rebecca's apology was cut off.
"I just wanted to say I'm proud of you." Pepper spoke confidently, a smile on her lips. "I can only imagine what he did that caused you to do that, but I have a feeling he deserved it." Pepper laughed when she saw Rebecca nodding her head quickly. "You're just lucky no one else seen, and by no one I mean your father, because I don't think Lucas would've got off so lightly."
Rebecca's expression turned worried as she looked up at Pepper. "You're not gonna tell him are you?"
"Of course not! The last thing he needs is an assault charge," Pepper shook her head. "...or a murder." she said under her breath. "I just wanted to say I'm proud that you stood up for yourself."
Rebecca smiled back at Pepper's genuine pride, feeling how lucky she was to have someone like her in her life. It was moments like this that Rebecca could reassure herself she didn't need her mother, that she had a woman here who took pride in everything she did and cared about her as if she was her own, and Rebecca knew she didn't need a mother to have the perfect family. She already had the greatest dad in the world, two of the most awesome uncles and a female figure she could look up to in life in so many ways.
"Oh, and also," Pepper interrupted Rebecca's zoning out. "I really, really hope you made him cry."
Rebecca thought the house was empty when she emerged from her room the next day considering how quiet it was. There were no loud noises of welding or clattering of metal downstairs, and Pepper was nowhere in sight. Rebecca had been awake for a while, showered and had been working on trying to find a way into the Stark Industries system in order to retrieve whatever was needed. So far, there was no way she could get into the system without Tony knowing. She could easily hack into the system and take whatever she needed without a trace, but she couldn't get past her dad, not when he had Jarvis monitoring every interaction with the company lately.
Rebecca walked down the stairs to the workshop In search of anyone who might be home, but instead realized she would be interrupting a conversation that managed to catch her attention. She knelt down on the stairs to listen in, now that there were no glass walls it would be an easy task to listen in.
"This will get you access, now..."she heard Tony say, and so she knelt down further so she could see, but stayed out of sight. He handed Pepper a small USB as she stated at him in confusion to what he was asking her to do. "...if not it will be on a ghost drive."
Tony was asking Pepper to get the files from Stark Industries using his authorized USB which gained access to any file on the systems, and Rebecca let out a frustrated sigh at the fact she didn't think of searching for that device.
"Tony, you know I'd do anything for you," Pepper spoke after a bird pause, causing Rebecca to look back up at the situation. "but I cannot help you if you are going to start all of this again."
"There is only this, Pepper."
Pepper lowered her gaze, giving off a look of disappointment before setting the USB back on the desk. "Well, then I can't help you."
Rebecca watched as the silence grew and she shared the uncomfortable feeling that took over the room, and then Pepper began walking toward the door, causing Rebecca to hurriedly make her way up the stairs. Her feet tripped on the top stair, resulting in her yelling out in pain as her knee went straight into the tiles.
"Shh- shh- shit!" Rebecca scrambled to her feet once again and ran into the living room to take a seat.
There were so many things Rebecca was thinking about after running up the stairs from the workshop, and she now had so much to consider. If Pepper couldn't get the files, Rebecca would, although she would just have to find a way to get that USB from her dad's desk. It would be easy enough, and now she knew exactly what to look for after listening in on Tony's instructions.
"Bec?" Pepper's voice came from beside her, startling her. "Sorry. I've just gotta go in to the company for a few hours, so if you need me just call."
"Oh, okay, yeah," Rebecca seemed surprised after thinking Pepper had declined the whole idea. "D-did you want me to come with you?"
Pepper shook her head casually. "No, no it's okay, I'm sure you've got things to do, the company's boring remember."
Rebecca have her a slight smile. "Yeah," she nodded her head slowly, thinking. "Yeah I've got a few things to do actually, might get out of the house."
"Good, this place while drive you insane." Pepper smiled. "Do you want Happy to drive you? 'Cause I can get a cab."
"No, no, no, I'll leave a little later." Rebecca told her, and then she noticed what was in Pepper's hand. The USB was clutched tightly in her palm as she gathered her things, and Rebecca thought of a quick plan. "Hold on, I'll be back in a sec okay?"
Pepper seemed to put her hands up to say no, she was in a hurry, but Rebecca was quick on her feet as she ran to her room. She searched her desk and bed for her cell phone, and frantically began dialing numbers before she connected it to her laptop. Once the call connected, she could hear Pepper's phone ringing in the kitchen as she set up a call for her to take. As Pepper answered the phone, Rebecca pulled one of her own USB's out of her desk drawer and began to make her way back to the living room.
"I've already emailed all of the information, sir." Pepper argued into the phone. "I can guarantee that." Rebecca watched closely as she sat her small handbag down and the USB right next to it, heading the to kitchen bench to scan through her folder for whatever information was in need.
Rebecca carefully walked over to Pepper's bag and slid her hand around the side to grab the USB, skillfully placing it in her pocket and replacing it with her own blank USB which was almost identical.
"Listen, the best I can do is stop by, I can't give this information over the phone." Pepper looked over to Rebecca with a frustrated look. "Yes, okay, goodbye."
"Everything okay?" Rebecca asked casually as she noticed Pepper's expression.
Pepper let out a long sigh. "Oh, just board members who are nowhere near patient. Now I have to stop by the board first and knowing them it will take twice as long to sort out something that has already been decided weeks ago and shouldn't need more than a few minutes."
Rebecca felt guilty about causing Pepper this sort of stress, she hadn't thought the whole plan all the way through since it was rather spontaneous, but she needed a distraction for Pepper. Rebecca didn't want Pepper to have to deal with the fallout if she got caught in Stark Industries going through their systems, it was her job within the company on the line since Tony had been shut out, and Rebecca knew she could get everything done quickly and easily, and wouldn't have anything to lose if she got caught.
"Okay, well I'll see you later." Rebecca farewelled Pepper as she walked toward the door.
"Have a good day." Pepper called back.
By doing this, Rebecca was straight out ignoring her father's request for her not to go back to Stark Industries, but she was the only one who could get this done completely incident free, fingerprint free and untraceable. All she needed to do now was prepare herself, dress the part for a business visit and do some serious snooping on the company systems.
Hope you enjoyed this chapter and things weren't too rushed or confusing. If you guys think I should focus on certain details in the next chapter, just let me know. I appreciate you all reviewing, I love hearing what you guys think of the story so far. Thanks!