*One Month Later*
"That's a lot of people" Erika breathed as she peaked from behind the stage curtain.
"It's not like it's your first concert," another violin player, Victoria, said while tuning her instrument.
Erika swallowed. "Yeah, but they've never been quite this big."
Victoria shrugged. "They're mostly here for you, I would imagine."
Erika turned and gave her a questioning look. "Why d'you say that?"
Another girl, Chelsea, gave her a 'Duh' look. "Your dad just outed himself as Iron man—you guys are, like, the most famous people in the world right now." She held up her viola. "Isn't that kinda the point of our opening number?"
Erika swallowed again and nodded.
The conductor gave them a five minute warning.
Erika breathed in and out, trying to calm herself. Victoria was right—this wasn't her first concert, and it wouldn't be her last. If anything, her dad's recent stunt had given her an idea for the orchestra's opening music selection.
She owed everyone big time for going along with this.
Everyone was told to take their places, and as the curtains rose Erika was greeted with the sound of applause as she walked up to the microphone she'd asked for. "Thank you all so much for coming," she opened. "We're going to get started here in a minute, but first . . ." She hesitated. This hadn't been planned, but it felt like the right thing to say. "First, I'd like to say something." A quick breath, then "My Dad and I never really got along; he never got why I'd sooner play the violin than build an engine. There for a while, things were pretty bad. Recently, though, things have changed for the better. I don't even know if he's here tonight, but if he is, I want him to know that I love him, and I'm proud of him." She gave the audience a big smile, and then went back to her seat. She picked up her instrument and waited for the conductor's signal to begin.
As Erika drew out the opening notes, her eyes scanned the audience.
'He didn't come,' she concluded, not seeing Tony anywhere among the sea of faces.
There! In the back, by the door. There stood Tony Stark, sunglasses and all. He smiled and gave her thumbs up.
The recognizable part of the song came up and Erika played the chorus of Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" with a smile slowling spreading across her face. After a few more parts, the song switched to a section of Ozzy Osborne's "Crazy Train," followed by Black Sabbath's "Paranoid."
The orchestra's Tribute to Rock ("Respect the Classics, Man!" as Erika had dubbed it) ended and the concert's original program began. Throughout the entire thing, all Erika could thing about was how amazing it felt to see Tony in the audience for once.
She never stopped smiling.
A/N: Okay, I lied—this is the last chapter. I was inspired by Rachel Barton Pine's performance of the mentioned songs, so if you're curious about how the Tribute to Rock sounds, go to youtube and search for 'Rachel Barton Pine plays Heavy Metal.'