The Avenging of Natalie Frost
Let me start by saying this: everything you are about to read is classified as hell. If Fury caught me with this thing, I would be `dead. Do you get that? Eyepatch man would kill me. End of story, end of me. And probably end of you, too. So, if you want to take that risk, on your own head be it.
Ok, just said that to make him happy. Let me tell you, he does not approve of this. He wants me to focus more on writing my daily reports, training, and the welfare of the Avengers. That is, after all, their justification for not killing me last year.
Let me explain. It all started with my job; pizza delivery. I was eighteen, but not quite out of the house yet, trying to scrape together some money to help get me to a decent apartment. I went to a college nearby, and did what every college student to get by. I had a decent life.
And then I was called to deliver pizza to 'Stark Tower'.
That was when everything went to hell.
Let me first point out that everyone knew about Tony Stark's little 'alter ego', Iron Man. You would think that everyone would be fighting tooth and nail to get to the tower, to deliver pizza to one of the most famous men on earth, a guy who could probably tip more than you'd earn in a month, a guy who went around in a badass super-hero suit and saved the day from bad guys. You'd be wrong.
Turns out, everyone else was a lot smarter than I was. They had all backed away, shuffled on their feet, looked down when the boss called for someone to take it there. And I, being the adventure-lover that I am (sarcasm, I can assure you) had accepted. Why not? A little extra money was always a good thing. I was a college student; I was not going to pass this opportunity up.
I took the pizzas, strapped them to my bike, and started towards Stark Tower. I couldn't miss it; the building had his name plastered all over it, for crying out loud. I started towards it and was there before long; a big, imposing place that gave me my first clue as to why everyone avoided it like the plague.
My second clue was the person who answered the door.
I won't deny, Tony Stark was a looker. But I'd seen him on TV before and was less than impressed. He was arrogant. He was bossy. He was, in polite terms, a bit of a jerk. Still, he was a rich jerk, and a jerk with superpowers. That was bound to win some women over.
Some women. Not this kid. I held out the pizza box, a little breathless from the trip here. "Twenty dollars, seven cents," I informed him, swallowing back the dry, polluted air of New York. Ugh, I had to get out of this place.
He grinned at me and took the pizzas, pulling twenty-one dollars out of a wallet in his hands. "Thanking you kindly," he said, his hand already on the door. He was about to close it in my face, but I stopped him.
"Your change?" I said, a little harshly. I don't know why he irritated me. He'd said thank you, he'd paid faster than most customers, he hadn't yelled at me or anything. He'd even taken the time to smile at me. But he was closing the door in my face, rushing me, trying to get me to move faster.
"Keep it," he said, and slammed the door.
That was my first encounter with Tony Stark.
But everyone orders pizza from time to time, and a party animal like Stark is bound to order more eventually. Soon, it became established that I was supposed to go over there whenever there was a call from his place; and I quickly realized why everyone else avoided the job. His parties were loud and full of drunk people; including Stark himself. On those occasions, it was harder to get him to actually take and pay for the pizza, as he would sling his arm around my shoulders and start talking about something that happened with an old fling of his. His party guests were the strangest people, too; on a few occasions, I would see a man in a trench coat, standing stoically in the corner, wearing an eye patch. He stood out only because of his complete lack of interest in the party; but there were others who stood out for far stranger reasons. Particularly one man with long blonde hair, thick muscles, and what looked suspiciously like medieval armor.
But that was not as bad as the many, many times in which Tony crash-landed in his Iron Man suit, occasionally coming so close that I would have gone splat if I hadn't run away as fast as I did. He would laugh it off, say something about technical glitches, then pay for the pizza and be off again.
In fact, the first time he really talked to me was about a year after I had been delivering to his house; by which point I was nineteen, still with big dreams, still going to college in state, and still living with my mother. Not the greatest place for me to be, if you know what I'm saying. To top it off, my mother and I had been in a fight that day, so I was a little testy as I rang the doorbell.
He opened the door a few moments later- while I wondered why he didn't just hire a butler and get it over with, so that I never had to see his smarmy face again- and he looked me in the eye, frowning. "Do I know you?" He asked after a moment.
I fought a scowl, shoving the pizzas towards him. "Pizza delivery. Twenty bucks, seven cents."
He didn't seem to notice my mood as he pulled the money from a brand-new black wallet (then again, it always seemed brand new). He handed it over. "You've delivered here before, haven't you?"
"Every day for the past year," I answered, trying not to sound as irritable as I felt and failing miserably. I pulled his change out of the little pack I kept and handed it to him.
"Really?" he looked me up and down. "Well, that explains it then."
I stood and plastered on my best, biggest, brightest smile. "Anything else, sir?"
He seemed to notice how fake and plastic I looked; he actually laughed aloud. "No, you're good." He smiled back, genuinely. "But can I know your name, since I've never asked it before?"
I shrugged, not really caring. "Natalie. Natalie Frost."
He grinned again. "Nice to meet you, Natalie Frost. I'm Tony Stark." He held out a hand.
"I know," I answered, my irritation finally getting the better of me. "Trust me, everyone knows."
And eyebrow lifted. "You've noticed that, huh?"
I rolled my eyes. "You plastered your name on a building," I pointed out, probably going to get fired, given my rudeness to a customer. But at this point I didn't care so much.
Instead, he laughed again. "Fair point." He handed me back the change, as well as a few green bills. "Here's a tip. Try and get a better job, yeah?"
I scowled. The benign look in his face suggested that he wasn't trying to be rude, but that just made it worse. I held out the money, handing it back to him. "No, thanks. Delivering pizza is my life."
He seemed to notice the sarcasm without really seeming to identify (or wanting to identify) why I was being sarcastic. He laughed a final time. "If you're sure about that," he said, fanning out the bills in his hand so that I could see the amounts on all of them. Twenties. Every single one of them. I felt my face go hot with… what? Embarrassment? Anger? One of the two. But I forced my head up high.
"Positive," I affirmed. He smirked at me and put the money away. Looking back, I should've taken the cash and run for my life. Maybe then I wouldn't be caught up in all this mess.
"Well, it's still nice to meet you, Ms. Frost," he said courteously, then slammed the door in my face, narrowly missing my nose. I backed away quickly, hissing out a few choice swears, the glaring at the door and mumbling under my breath.
That was when I realized that, of the three pizzas he'd ordered, I'd only given him two.
I swore again, a lot louder this time. I glanced to the door. How bad of a person would I be if I just took the food and ran? Stashed it at my place and had dinner for free that night? It wasn't like Tony Stark couldn't afford to buy another pizza; and I was a starving college student, after all. I looked from the box on my bike, to the door, and back again.
I then proceeded to throw a hissy fit, stamping my foot and grumbling about alien abductions, strapping people to rockets, and something about a tree. I finally tucked the box under my arm, not caring that I was jostling the pizza and probably squishing it against the cardboard, then knocked on his door with a tight fist. It only took a moment, but then Stark was there again, looking just a bit too smug.
"Back again?" He asked civilly. I jabbed the pizza box towards him, trying to hit him in the gut but missing by about an inch.
"I forgot to give this one to you," I said through clenched teeth. I still didn't know why he was rubbing me the wrong way, but there was just so much about him that I didn't like.
He took it, smiling a brilliantly white smile, like the ones you might see in toothpaste commercials. "Thank you, Ms. Frost."
"Yeah," I growled, turning away and walking to my bike again. Just as I was seated and pulling my helmet straps around my chin, he called, "You know the front porch is under surveillance, right? That everything you just did was caught on camera?"
Crap. My eyes immediately darted around, trying to catch sight of a camera lens, but if it was there, it was hidden. I suspected- and hoped- that it wasn't there, but that was dashed when he added, "My favorite part was the alien abductions."
I ground my teeth together, clasped my helmet onto my head, then turned to him, looked him full in the face, and flipped him off.
He was still laughing as I rode away.
A/N: I do not plan to do any OC/Tony or OC/Any other Avenger romance in this fic. Whether or not things will work out the way I plan is another matter entirely.