A/N~ Okay Guys Don't Hate Me PLEASE! I Didn't Mean To Make You Wait That Long! Like Literally An Hour Before I Was Going To Post This My Power Went Out. Which Means The Internet Went Out As Well. & When It Came Back On The Internet Was A Screwy & Wouldn't Let Me Upload ANYTHING! I Couldn't Even Change My Profile Or I Would Have Put Something There As An Explanation. & Then My Computer Charger Broke & My Computer Died For A Week. So When My Internet Was Fixed I Couldn't Get It Updated! I'm Really Sorry Guys. Please Don't HATE ME! PLEASE! T-T.
Well Enough About Why You Should All Hate Me, Here's That Final Chapter! I'm Writing Another Avenger's Fic. But It's Literally 100% Different Than This One… Okay 99% Since It's Tony Centric Too. But I'll Be Waiting A While Before I Post That One. Well Anyway, ENJOY! XD
Warning~ Serious Tony Talking About Killing & Family(It's Kinda Weird To Be Honest)… Oh & At The End … Scary Natasha.
Disclaimer~ I Don't Own Anything Besides Jim Douglas. I Just Made Him Up For Fun. I Also Made Up Betty's Son & His Name… Though I Feel Like If She Has A Son She'd Name Him After Bruce. XD
Explanations Are A Pain
They filed out of the room, leaving the door open a crack so as to hear it the man woke up. Tony leaned against the wall opposite the door, his team making a small semicircle around him, all watching him like a hawk. Tony laughed in his mind, it was funny since one of them was named Hawkeye.
"Okay shoot." Tony said with a half smile.
"What the hell happened upstairs?" Clint demanded.
"Well, Ross came in to take Bruce, I stopped him and now he's out of our hair for good." Tony smiled. "No harm done."
"No harm? You had a woman's house attack her and you shot a man in the chest!" Steve exclaimed incredulously. "How is that no harm?"
"Oh right!" Tony snapped his fingers. "Thank you for reminding me. JARVIS, call up Miss Ross would you?"
JARVIS didn't answer but soon there was the sound of a phone ringing.
"Miss Ross?" Tony called out.
"Oh Tony!" Betty called in reply, sounding completely fine and as if nothing had happened. "How'd it go? Was I convincing enough?"
"Oh you were more than convincing." Tony's smile seeped into his gleeful tone. "I really liked how you dropped the phone and cut off in the middle. Nice touches."
"Thank you, thank you." She sounded like she was receiving an award, she was probably doing a mock bow on the other end as well. "Well, I learned from the best. Though I wasn't sure on the background noises. Was it sufficient?"
"Oh more than enough, I could hear the blender and the garbage disposal very clearly." Tony said in praise. "Are you sure you're a scientist and not a scene stager?"
"Oh shush Tony." Betty said, it was obvious she was blushing.
"B-Betty?" Bruce stuttered out.
"Bruce? Is that you?" Betty asked.
"Yep that's Bruce!" Tony answered for his tongue tied friend. "Brucie, Angry, Big Green. Here in the flesh... Well, for you voice. Unless you wanted to come out and make it in the flesh, I could so do that for you."
"Bruce I am so sorry about this." Betty apologized. "I thought he had finally given up on chasing you, but it only turns out that he'd lost your trail. But then he saw the footage of the attack in New York, he flipped. I tried to get him to drop it and convince him you were a hero, but you know how he is. Once he has an opinion he doesn't change it unless it fits his agenda. I hope none of you or your friends were hurt."
"No none of us were hurt. I thought you were the one who had gotten hurt." Bruce said with a relieved sigh.
"Oh right. I guess Tony hasn't told you yet." Betty said thoughtfully. "Well, I'm fine, nothing even happened to me. I just turned on a few electronics and put on an act."
"One hell of an act."
"Well, I'm going to let Tony explain what happened since you're probably really confused on what went on. I can only imagine what Tony did. I wouldn't be surprised if he threw someone out of a window or something." You could hear the laughter in her voice. "I'll talk to you later Bruce. I've got a lot to catch you up on."
"You and me both." Bruce said. "Good bye."
There was the sound of a phone hanging up and the hall became quiet. Bruce actually knew some of what Betty was talking about. He knew there wasn't anymore 'them,' as she had gotten married a year ago and now had a baby. He didn't know the details: who the father was, or what the babies gender or name was, but he was happy for her. She had found love and had a family now, and he wasn't alone, and he had a family too.
After a moment of silence Clint coughed. "So I'm going to ask again. What the Hell happened upstairs? And don't give us that shortened crap Tony. We want answers."
"Well, I answered that. If you want details on specific things just ask." Tony huffed, he didn't really want to explain everything that had gone on up stairs. He had gotten a little carried away with the act and had let a bit of the old him slip through. He hadn't wanted the truth about him being a killer to be exposed: he'd taken extra care to make sure not even SHIELD had records of that. But if his team asked, he wouldn't lie to them.
"Fine." Clint huffed in return. "What was with shooting that guy?" Clint jabbed his thumb over his shoulder at the slightly opened door. "And who is he?"
"That," Tony pointed to the door, "is Jim Douglas. He's an actor friend of mine who's worked in nearly every field imaginable on earth. He's also been in almost every part of the military. He's been a Marine, an Air Force pilot, a Navy Seal, a Corporal in the Army, and he was even a Petty Officer 2nd Class in the Coast Guard." Tony shrugged. "He's also a four star chef, an artist with some pretty famous paintings, he's won horse races, race car races, dozens of competitions in just as many fields, he was also in several block buster movies and he's directed many award winning films."
"Okay, then why is he here?" Steve asked.
"I asked if he could help me with this." Tony shrugged again. "Once Betty called me telling me Ross was on the hunt again I asked for his help. He loves going undercover, and he's got the training to do it too."
"How do you know Betty?" Bruce asked, confused.
"I met her through Ross." Tony grimaced. "When I made weapons we often saw each other at meetings. Never liked the guy, even before..." He tapped his chest, indicating his Arc Reactor. "She seemed nice enough though, one of the only women who actually got my sense of humor, and she told me a lot about Brucie. When I said I was a big fan, I wasn't joking."
Bruce blushed a light pink. He was saved by Thor.
"That up there," Thor pointed to the ceiling, "was all an act?"
"Not all of it." Tony said, "But most of it."
"Can you elaborate on what was and wasn't an act?" Clint asked. "Because all of it seemed pretty real."
"Well, the whole 'gun' thing was fake. I've had those guns rigged to shoot knockout darts since I heard Ross was loose." Tony answered. "Which means the whole 'I killed a guy' thing was fake too. And obviously the whole 'hurt Betty to get to Ross' was planned. She's a good little actress herself."
"So, what about all the threats of decapitation?" Natasha asked, her voice flat and demanding.
Everyone became quiet as Tony thought his answer through.
"That was all true." Tony replied honestly. "If you guys hadn't been there and I wasn't able to get him to back off Bruce, they probably would have all died... well except Jimmy of course."
"And that stuff about killing more people than Ross in five minutes than he did in a tour?" She asked, her tone cold as ice.
"Again true." Tony hesitated, not wanting to go into detail on his murder spree/rampage, but he knew they weren't going to rest peacefully until he explained. He took a deep breath and continued. "When I escaped from the cave, I killed probably 30 to 40 people. Either shooting them or burning them or blowing them up when I blew up all the Stark Weapons. I'm not sure, but after I got back from Afghanistan, I found out my company was dealing under the table, and that someone I thought was a trusted family friend was actually an enemy trying to take the company from me. He was actually dealing to the people who had kidnapped me, I found out later that he was the one who paid them to kill me."
Tony took more deep breaths to try and stay calm. It was obvious to everyone that he was digging up very emotionally painful memories.
"Anyway, I had just finished the Mark II, and I saw on the news that the Terrorists group The Ten Rings, the bastards who took me, were taking over a village using my weapons. I was so pissed off that suited up and flew out there. I took out every single one of those damn terrorists without a single moment of hesitation. Not even paying attention to the lives I was saving. I probably killed 2 to 300 people JARVIS probably knows the exact number from both instances. Before I left, I found one of the bastard leaders who was in the cave with me and I left him for the villagers. He's more than dead now."
Tony sighed when he finished, closing his eyes to hide the emotion in them. He was expecting some type of lash out. Maybe a speech on how disappointing he was from Steve, how he could have handled the situation differently.
A disgusted look from Clint, finding out his joking and pranking partner is a cold blooded killer.
A scared look from Bruce, if he was capable of killing like that, then maybe he shouldn't make him angry: It would be ironic really.
Pity from Thor, or surprise. He wasn't 100% in tune with the God's reactions, having know him for only a few months, but he'd rather have the surprise than the pity.
Anger from Natasha, he knew she would be angry that she didn't know about it, that was the only reaction he was expecting and didn't hate. She was a killer too, so if anything, maybe she would know what he was going through.
He stood there with his head down and his eyes closed for nearly an entire minute before he looked up. There had been no out break of emotion, not anger, no speech, no running away from the big bad billionaire, playboy(Not nearly as much since the invasion), philanthropist(A lot more since the invasion), genius... and now murderer. He was sorely disappointed that he was so far off in his guesses... well he got one right.
When he opened his eyes he was surprised to see understanding in everyones eyes. Natasha was obviously irritated at the fact she didn't know, she hated to be out of the loop, but when Tony Stark doesn't want something to be known, it isn't. Whatever it is, is buried deep underground and guarded like the gates of hell: All those who try to pass will parish! And eventually it is forgotten.
He was prepared for the anger, but the understanding threw him for a loop. He was so surprised he couldn't help the dumbfound look that took up residence on his face. Bruce was the first to notice Tonys dumbstruck look and couldn't help but chuckle.
"What's with that look Tony?" Bruce asked. "You look shocked."
"I kinda am." Tony admitted, he was being very honest today, too honest, and it was very unlike him. "I expected anger, yelling, and disappointment, not..." Tony waved his hands at the group of superhero's, not really able to put into words the looks on their faces.
"Well, I'm angry." Natasha deadpanned.
"And I expected you to be." Tony said. "But you're all... I don't know, you all look understanding. It's freaking me out."
Bruce laughed again. "It's because we are understanding Tony." Bruce smiled at Tony's confusion; it wasn't everyday you confused a genius. "We understand Tony. Why you did it, what you were feeling. We understand. Heck, most of us have probably even done something like it. Killed a person out of revenge rather than the safety of someone else."
"Okay, now that we've established that we understand," Natasha began. "Can you explain why I didn't know this? Why I went undercover at your company without knowing you had the ability to kill?"
"I hacked SHIELD and deleted all records of it." Tony's face relaxed as he paused for a second. "Not that there was much anyway. All it said was that I saved a village from the terrorist group. Didn't even know which one. SHIELD thought I was just going to destroy my weapons. They didn't really have very good intelligence collectors back then."
"Was that not but a few years ago?" Thor asked.
"Yeah, about 2 and half years." Tony said. "Ever sense I became a consultant after the whole 'I am Iron Man' thing, their tech and information network has tripled, if not quadrupled."
"Tony?" Bruce said, his voice serious and void of the laughter from a minute ago. "Why would you go though all this trouble just for me? You barely knew me."
"It didn't matter. I liked you. You were a friend. I protect my friends." Tony paused, about to break his 'no emotional dumps in the presence of anyone besides Rhodey or Pepper' rule. "I'd protect all of you. You're more than just friends, you're family."
There was a pause as Tony's words sunk in. Tony didn't speak much of family, after all, all his blood family was dead, and when you thought about it, so was everyone else's, save Thor, but his was in a different universe, on a different planet. None of them had any blood family.
"Sir Dr. Finnegan has just arrived." JARVIS's soft British tone filled the hallway. "I have instructed him to come up immediately. He is currently moving towards the elevator. He shall reach your floor in approximately 1 minute."
"Thank you JARVIS." Tony said, pushing past the group to head towards the elevator to wait for Dr. Finnegan to arrive. "Guys we'll have to hold off on this convo. until Jimmy is set up and the Doc. is gone. Alright?"
Tony didn't need to turn around to see the strange looks his team was giving him: a fond, worried, and hopeful look. Fond in that they felt that he was their family too, worried in that the incident upstairs hadn't changed anything between them, and hopeful in that they were hoping to get more information out of him, willingly. They really didn't need to force it out of him. Of course they could always turn to tickling him, that seemed to do the trick in the past.
~ Avengers ~
It had been nearly a week since 'The Ross Incident' as everyone called it. The team had all promised that they wouldn't tell Fury, Natasha had been surprisingly pliant in this regard, saying that 'it's about time I knew something Fury didn't.' The group had waited for a time when they could bring up the rest of their questions: They waited for Tony to be ready to answer them. However, after a week, they were tired of waiting for Tony to bring it up, so they trapped him in his bedroom after they had finally gotten him to sleep the night before. The instant he opened his door he was being pushed back in and mauled by his team.
"What the?" Tony exclaimed as he was pushed onto the bed.
"You're not going anywhere." Clint told him. "We have a few more question about the 'Ross Incident.'" Clint used air quotes.
"Oh, my god. Clint if you don't stop naming everything, I will rig your arrows to shoot pink glittery dust in your face." Tony threatened.
"I don't name everything." Clint defended.
"When Bruce lost his glasses yesterday you named it the 'Bifocal Blunder.' You even made a small banner for it and hung it up until he found them." Tony said with a raised eyebrow. "They were on the kitchen counter."
"..." Clint seemed speechless. "Point taken. But in my defense, It was a clever name!"
"I fear we're getting off the main focus of this meeting." Thor said.
"I agree." Steve said. "We just have a few more questions about what happened with Ross."
"Okay, shoot." Tony said easily, but became more serious. "I'll tell you guys whatever you want to know."
"How did you get Betty to agree to that hoax?" Bruce asked.
"It was quite easy actually. We talked it out on the phone. We've known each other for a few years," Tony explained. "She knows my flair for the dramatics: it wasn't that hard to get her to help make a plan."
"Who's idea was it to fake kill someone in order to scared Ross?" Natasha asked.
"That was actually Betty. She even came up with the idea for her to be involved." Tony answered. "She knew her father still kept tabs on her since she had her son, and she knew that he would be swayed a lot if it seemed like she was in danger."
"Son?" Bruce asked.
"Yeah her son," Tony smiled, figuring Bruce didn't know much about it. "little Bruce Ross."
Bruce's eyes went wide in surprise. She'd named her son after him? Before Bruce could ask, he was interrupted by Thor.
"How did Jim Douglas get involved with this scheme?" Thor asked.
They had gotten to know him a little the two days he stayed in the tower as he recovered the little damage he had received from the impact of the dart and also while he visited with Tony. He had become quick friends with the team, but had to leave to go direct some Superhero movie that was sure to be the next best movie in the world.
"Well we needed someone on the inside just incase things got to bad." Tony said with a shrug. "Unfortunately Ross didn't tell them much, so when he came here he wasn't able to give me a heads up."
"So you planted a mole in your enemy's team?" Natasha asked, sounding slightly approving at the tactic.
"So the whole thing was set up?" Clint asked. "Even the things JARVIS said? Like when he said that he didn't think it was a good idea or when he was second guessing you?"
"Yeah, kinda, I left it up to him to make it realistic." Tony said with a smile and looked up at the ceiling. "You're a good actor Buddy."
"Thank you sir." JARVIS said. "I was programed by the best."
"Oh, that reminds me!" Bruce spoke up. "What did Betty mean when she said that she was taught by the best?"
"Oh Jimmy went out there and taught her a little acting. He did a great job if I do say so myself." Tony grinned. "I wouldn't be surprised if we saw her in some up and coming movies."
"I doubt it." Bruce murmured.
"Did you mean what you said when you called us family?" Steve asked.
Tony paused for a second to blink: he hadn't expected that to be brought up, it wasn't really part of the Ross Incident, and Damn it Clint! It's becoming catchy!
"Of course I meant it." Tony said with no hesitation. "I don't joke about that kind of stuff."
"Just had to make sure." Steve said with a small smile.
"Yeah, I was telling the truth when I said that I'd protect you all." Tony said seriously. "You're my family."
Suddenly Tony was engulfed in large biceps. It wasn't something he was expecting so he stood there in slight shock as the rest of the team joined in on the impromptu group hug.
"Tony we would all protect you from anything too. Just know that we've got your back. We're not just a team, we are a family."
Tony smiled as he felt the love of the group hug seep into him. "I would protect you guys too."
The group hug tightened and Tony felt something soft but firm with his hand and gulped when he realized what he was gripping.
"Okay, who just coped a feel?" Natasha growled and instantaneously the family-love moment ended and hug disappeared as everyone broke off and stepped back.
"Uh... It was an accident!" Tony said, hoping the spy would see reason. "I swear!"
"Stark?" Was that fire he saw behind her? "You have 3 seconds to run for your life."
"But I swear! It was an accident!" Tony yelled hopelessly as he began to back away towards to door.
"1" Tony turned around and ran out the door, "HELP! GUYS?"
"2" Boy did she sound like controlled fury, Tony only hoped that he was far enough away when it burst.
"You're on your own Tony!" Clint yelled as he quickly disappeared into an air duct.
"WHAT!? BUT YOU JUST SAID YOU'D HAVE MY BACK!" Tony yelled as he ran down the hall towards the elevator: he needed to get to his lab. He'd have a 'semblance of safety from the pissed off spy there.
"3." And oh yeah, he wasn't far enough away: he realized that he'd need to be on another continent... or better yet, another planet. He wondered if Thor would take him to Asgard for a few days... years?
"Sorry Tony! We're not suicidal!" Steve yelled behind him as he ducked into Tony's bathroom for cover, along with Bruce and Thor.
"BUT GUYS!" Tony had just reached the elevator when he heard the scariest thing he'd ever heard in his life.
"STARK! YOU'RE A DEAD MAN!"
Okay, So What Did You Think? I Wanted To End It On A Funny Note Since It Was All Serious In The Earlier Chapters. Hope You Guys Liked It. I'll Be Posting The First Chapter To My New Avenger Fic 'Secrets of a Girl In Hiding' Maybe Next Week Since This If Finals Week For Me. Please Review & Tell Me What You Think!
Oh & This Is Also My First Completed Chapter Story! I'm So Excited! XD