Chapter 2: Walking with Ewoks
When Pepper came into the house she heard the tell tale sound of Star Wars playing throughout the house, there seemed to be piles of packages everywhere and she assumed that some of Tony's orders had come in. It had been two days since she had met Harry and she had been too caught up trying to find nannies to come visit again. In the mean time she had been looking into the paperwork Tony had on Harry and had decided to come confront him on it today.
Tony had been the last man she had thought would be eager to be a father; he was just so reckless and childish for her to imagine it. However, in the year she had been working for him Pepper had actually come to expect something like this to happen, true she had thought it would be one of his trashier one night stands coming to 'cash in' as it were. It was incredible sad that Harry's mother had been killed of course, but it was also very fortunate legally for Tony.
When she came into the living room ready to confront Tony on his less than legal paperwork on Harry, she stopped dead and had to cover her mouth to keep from laughing. Tony was passed out on the couch Harry in his arms…and they both were in Ewok styled pajamas! Harry had a penciled in goatee on his face that was exactly like Tony's in what Pepper could only assume was permanent marker. Harry was passed out on Tony's stomach and both were cuddle together snoring softly.
They looked like a pair of teddy bears and Pepper took out her phone snapping a few pictures before she moved to wake Tony. He grumbled groggily at her and cuddled Harry more before reluctantly opening his eyes. "What?" Tony yawned.
Pepper narrowed her eyes at him, "Tell me you didn't hack into England's system to put your paperwork through and forged Harry's birth certificate among other important things!" She hissed whispering for Harry's sake.
Tony blinked, "Well I won't tell you then," He grumbled moving to go back to his nap.
"Tony! You don't know how serious this is! You can't just pick up a seventeen month baby and take him home like some stray puppy! There are channels you need to go through, legalities to be considered! What if someone looks into it and tries to take Harry from you!" Pepper whispered furiously.
Tony looked at her from the corner of his eye and huffed, "I know Pepper, I was careful, I did everything in the proper way at least it will appear to anyone looking into it that way. What I did was just speed up the process, I filed everything exactly as they would have, and no one will be able to tell besides it would have taken too long to do it the normal way. Christmas is coming up at the end of the month and I plan to spend it spoiling my son." Tony said seriously as he tucked Harry under his chin.
Pepper resisted the urge to laugh suddenly, only Tony could talk so seriously while wearing ewok pajamas as if it were nothing. "I managed to track down some candidates for the nanny positions, I'm having Jarvis run a full background check now and we have some referrals from Rhodey too." Pepper said distractedly as she paced the room.
"Great now let me sleep woman, Harry kept waking up in the middle of the night, he's a night owl like his daddy," Tony said sounding smug and cross at the same time.
Pepper huffed, "Well I have the child proofing crew coming in later today try to be awake to let them in. Get anything sensitive out of your room I don't need to deal with a tech leak right now. I have Glenda coming in tomorrow to decorate Harry's room; she is a highly sought after home décor stylist, please try not to insult her. Getting her in this soon and this close to Christmas is nearly impossible and I don't want to have to do damage control should you offend her." Pepper said typing furiously into her phone.
"What are your plans for Christmas? Should I have a tree delivered?" Pepper said absentmindedly.
"Yeah a huge one, with ornaments!" Tony grumbled.
"Okay, I'll see if I can get them in here by the end of the week. I've cleared your schedule until mid January, so you can spend time bonding with Harry but after that you had better come back. I can hold down the fort for a while, do your job and mine, but you're the company's face Tony. You need to be seen!" Pepper said seriously.
"Okay, okay!" Tony whined.
"Now you're sure you want to keep Harry's existence out of the press?" Pepper asked suddenly.
"Hell yeah! If they don't know he exists then the bad guys won't know he is kidnappable!" Tony growled.
"Alright then, I am going to commandeer Jarvis main system tomorrow, I have black mail for most of the editors on the west coast but the east is a bit spotty. And if you plan to take him overseas I'll need to get those publishing houses too. I expect it'll take a full twenty four hours, maybe thirty five." Pepper said.
"Okay but try not to overwork Jarvis I'm still dealing with glitches from last time you had him dabbling in foreign servers." Tony grumbled.
"Noted, but I make no promises, threats will need to be delivered ASAP before anything about Harry is leaked. You're too high profile they are always digging, I had to hire a better security company after that paparazzi got that picture of you with that blonde model. A glass house, really Tony," Pepper said looking at the walls as she rolled her eyes.
"Hey! I installed the dimming system after that didn't I?" Tony said.
"Yes, yes, but just leave Jarvis to me starting tomorrow. I'll let you know as soon as I'm done," Pepper said as she bustled around picking up some of the mess. She eyed a fort made out of boxes with some amusement; Tony was having way to much fun playing with his son it would seem.
"I'll tell the cleaning service to stop by early today so that most of this is cleared out before the child proofing service gets here," Pepper said. Tony just grunted in acknowledgement.
Harry went running squealing happily away from his hands and Tony laughed at him. "I'm gonna get you!" Tony said in his best monster voice as he grabbed at Harry. Harry squealed laughing before he pulled himself onto the couch for some height he brandished his play sword and grabbed a pillow as a shield.
"No Dadee!" Harry cried as he waved his toy sword at Tony wildly, "I'm dee hero! Bad guys can't ween!" he said seriously as he poked at Tony's belly with surprising strength.
Tony groaned dramatically, "You've got me, Captain America," he groaned and grunted as he lay out on the ground in his dying scene. Harry laughed at him and jumped from the couch to his stomach brandishing his pillow shield proudly. Tony really groaned this time but he endured as the smile on Harry's face was worth it.
"What do you want to play now Mini-me?" Tony asked from his place on the floor. Harry sat on his chest and began to play with Tony's goatee again laughing at the tickling feeling of the hair against his hands. "I know buddy! How about we put that engine back into that chopper I'm working on!" Tony said as he got up swinging Harry to tuck him under his arm.
Harry giggled, "Fly Dadee! Fly!" he said flapping his arms. Tony grinned and boasted Harry up into the air making air plane sounds as he walked towards the garage. The next two hours were a trial of patience and keeping a hawk eye on Harry since every so often he was tempted to stick something into his mouth. Harry had a blast getting Tony wrenches and tools.
Tony was beginning to realize just how smart his little boy really was, Harry already knew how to read a bit, sure he struggled but it was still impressive. Harry could talk, mostly, but he was getting better every day. He knew his colors, and recognized numbers well enough. Tony was contemplating getting him tutors since Harry was so freaking smart. Harry could probably get his elementary and high school credits out of the way if they did home schooling.
It was certainly an option. Not that Tony was very eager to take the play out of Harry's life but the little guy seemed so happy to learn things Tony doubted he would mind. Harry was just one of those kids that to him, learning was play, hell when Tony had started to show him how to play the piano Harry had not wanted to stop. Tony had been stuck trying to remember half forgotten lessons his father had forced on him and combining the pieces of songs he remembered how to play.
Harry had enjoyed it though so Tony thought he would look into a nice music teacher for him. Tony certainly wouldn't stick Harry with an ancient grumpy hag that rapped his knuckles every time he messed up like Tony's father had. Harry's tutors/teacher would have to be screened carefully so that Tony knew they would be sweet, nice, and patient with Harry.
Tony remembered all too well what it was like being forced to learn from miserable old people that sneered and were nasty to him. His father had been older than the norm when Tony had come into his life and had very little patience for Tony. So he had fausted raising Tony off onto various tutors and nannies while his parents ran around the world. His mother had been a very cold woman, more interested in what she wanted to do next than what Tony was doing.
He remembered trying so damn hard to get their attention, and it never worked out well for him. Tony had made a silent promise to himself years ago that his children would know without a doubt that he loved them and would make time for them. Harry had been a surprise but not a bad one. It was Tony's chance to prove to himself that he could be better than his father in this one thing, being a dad.
Still that didn't mean Tony wasn't all for giving Harry a head up in life, tutors, private lessons, and such things. It wasn't the knowledge Tony resented from his childhood, it was the hostility of the teachers he had that he hadn't liked. Harry was a lot like him, always asking questions, in the two weeks they had been together Tony had lost count how many time Harry had stopped him to ask him questions. Not silly questions either, Harry wanted to know things like what made a car move and how birds flew.
Tony was childishly excited about Christmas, he had bought Harry a lot of course but he was also making up some things for him too. Harry grinned up at him; Tony took in the Ac/Dc shirt, the designer jeans and the converse sneakers fighting back giggles. It was an exact mirror of what Tony was wearing and he was actually quite enjoying having his own mini-me. It made him feel like a super villain and any moment Tony felt the urge to tap his fingers together saying, 'excellent' in a very Mr. Burns way.
Later while Harry was munching on pizza as they watched Winnie the pooh on Tony's big screen Tony thought that his life had taken a sudden upswing. Before Harry Tony was always coming home to a cold empty house and had been admittedly very lonely. Tony noted the need to hire a personal chief soon to make home cooked healthy meals for Harry and him. Last thing Tony wanted was Harry turning out to be a little chubby rich kid.
Tony texted Pepper telling her to keep an eye out for a chief and she messaged back an affirmative. Pepper was a god send, without her Tony was very sure he would be completely lost. Tony freely admitted it had gotten to the point where he couldn't make a decision on anything without running it by Pepper first; in fact picking up Harry had been the first time in two years he had made a choice without Pepper's opinion. The woman had completely ruined him, Tony made a note to give her another raise again soon before the other sharks starting sniffing around her trying to steal her with a better wage.
Pepper was a smart woman though, every time some other CEO offered her more cash to come over to 'the dark side' Pepper just told Tony the rate offered and he immediately gave her twice it. It kept both of them happy, she was highly paid for her invaluable work and he didn't have to think about running the day to day of the company. Almost absentmindedly Tony remember that he hadn't introduced Obadiah to Harry yet…ahh he'd get around to it eventually.
A.N.: So I've made some adjustments, these events are still taking place roughly thirteen years before the events of the first Iron Man movie. I have adjusted Tony's age though, he is in his early twenties…I'd say 24…so yeah. Nothing big. Hoped you liked it! Read & Review