Ladies and gentleman, I'm starting over.
I liked the plot to my old story. I really did.
But I didn't.
So I'm re-creating this story.
This new story, 'If There's a Future, We Want It Now', will loosely follow the same plot, only a lot of things will be different.
So, I'm sorry if you liked the old story, but I think you'll enjoy this one a lot more.
Thanks for putting up with my shit.
Anthony Edward Stark, the Iron Man, is dead.
Well, not entirely.
It had all happened so fast, and little Rebeca Rae Stark was only five years old, too young to comprehend the situation. All Rebeca remembers on that fateful day is sitting in her weeping mother's lap as they both watched the news. Rebeca was laughing and smiling on the pretty colors- red, yellow, and orange- on the television screen as her mother picked up her cellphone for what seemed about the hundredth time and viciously dialed a number. She screamed Tony's name and told him to pick up the phone, ended the call, and dialed again.
Rebeca couldn't blame her.
She didn't want her daddy to miss the fireworks, either.
Rebeca remembered her father coming in very, very late that night, way past her bedtime. His clothes were shredded and singed, his face bloody and bruised, and a red and yellow suit hanging off of his worn body by wires and hot metal. Pepper was beating his chest, the clang of fists hitting iron echoing through the living room. She was telling him that he was supposed to be dead, that she saw him die on national television.
Little Rebeca simply tugged her thumb out of her mouth, and, dragging her stuffed bear across the floor, ran over to her dad, wrapping her arms around his armor-covered calf. He pulled Rebeca up off of the floor and held her, and Rebeca sighed as she felt a drip of water fall onto her neck.
Pepper coughed from behind them and Tony carried Rebeca over to the table, setting her down on the top. He took a deep breath, put his hands on his hips, and started talking.
It was one o'clock in the morning when little Rebeca Rae Stark went to sleep knowing three new things.
One: her father was Iron Man.
Two: everyone thought he was dead, and they intended to keep it that way.
Three: her older brother by ten years, Dylan Taylor Stark, was dead, his lifeless body rotting away in a prison cell in the Middle East after he had been taken and used to create weapons of mass destruction.
Rebeca stuck her thumb in her mouth for what she decided was the last time, remembering her brother's last words to her.
"Don't be afraid of anything, kid," he had said, raising her chin up to make Rebeca look at him. She pouted.
"Why? Snakes are scary. And so are spiders. And men with long hair," Rebeca retorted, crossing her arms. Dylan laughed merrily.
"You can't be afraid of anything, Beca," he continued. "Because then, you won't be able to stand up for yourself, or what you believe in."
"What does that mean?"
"Look. I'm… going to be gone for a while, okay? I need to… do some things. I have to do them because if I don't, you and mommy and daddy will get hurt, okay? And I don't want that to happen. So I need you to stay strong for me. For all of us. I'm depending on you."
"Because, Beca," he said, leaning down to her height and putting a hand on her shoulder, "if there's a future, we have to fight for it. If there's a future, we want it now."
With that, Dylan Stark kissed his baby sister's head, grabbed his backpack, and walked out of the front door. The only sounds in the house were Rebeca sniffling and the echo of helicopter propellers coming from outside.
"Girl's a genius. Wonder where she gets it from," Nick Fury remarks, watching nineteen-year-old Rebeca Stark twist a wrench from under the car that she was in the process of creating.
"Ha-ha, Fury. Can we just get back to the question at hand, please?" Tony pleads, crossing his arms as his daughter pushes out from under the car. Fury nods.
"Fine. Here, Stark," he says, shoving a file into his hands. "This is everything you and Rebeca-"
"Beca," the young Stark corrects, her name coming out as a hasty hiss. Fury sighs- he could hardly put up one, but now two of them? Hell no.
"Right. This is everything you and Beca need to know about Barden." Tony raises his eyebrows.
"I don't like to be handed things."
"God damn it, Stark!" Fury yells, clenching his fists. "Just take the file! I'm going. I expect a reply no later than Wednesday." With that, Nick Fury strides out the door, huffing up the stairs.
"Damn," Beca drawls, breaking the silence. "Someone had a bowl of 'Fuck You Flakes' for breakfast this morning."
"With a glass of 'Oh Hell No' orange juice," Tony quips back. Beca smiles.
"With a side of 'Bitch Please' bacon," she retorts. Tony bursts out into laughter.
To say that the Starks got along well was an understatement. Tony and Beca almost spent every day together, unless Beca had to go out on some crazy rescue mission (who in their right mind decides to climb up a cliff without any gear? This isn't Twilight). They spend hours together in the armory, building and burning and spray-painting armor and cars and other machines to technological perfection.
The car Beca is working on is simply a side project.
With all of her armor done, she has her mind set for one thing: molecular de and reconstruction.
She finds the concept simple, really. A device to take apart your molecules and transport them to somewhere else. People do it with cellphone calls and texting and radio- why can't it be done on solid objects?
But Tony's convinced that it can't be done. He even attempted it himself. Once. He told Beca, "If I can't do it, you can't do it either." But if he can build a deep-space armor that's capable of travelling to Jupiter in a few days, then she thinks that she can teleport things a few feet at a time.
"So," Tony starts again, clearing his throat, "this college thing seems… interesting. I mean," he clarifies, clapping his firm hands together, "you'll surely pass all of the classes, because… you know. Super genius." Beca smiles at this as she wipes the oil off of her hands.
"Anyways," Tony continues, "the others are going to be there. Benji, Luke, Jesse, Aubrey and Chloe."
A slight tickle irks Beca's ribcage at the mention of her redheaded friend of whom she hasn't seen in years (she could do fine without Aubrey and the others, but she still missed them, minus Aubrey). "Yeah?" Beca asks, but it comes out thick and hoarse.
"Uh, yup. That's where they're going to start training. Fury talked to the headmaster of the school, and without much persuasion, he reserved an entire building at the back of the school for you guys. No others, no distractions, just you," Tony informs, taking a step closer. "I think you should go."
"Wait," Beca commands, harsh and loud. "I see what this is. I see what you're doing."
Tony's eyebrows twitch. "And what exactly am I doing, Beca?"
"Dylan was supposed to go to Barden. You just want me to go because you wanted him to go. Well, guess what, Tony-Baloney?" Tony visibly cringes at the awful nickname that Rhodey had given him a few years back. "I'm not going. I'm going to stay here and build more armor and protect New York City. That's what I'm going to do. That's what I'm supposed to do."
Hearing this, Tony walks over to Beca and puts a firm hand on her small shoulder. "Listen, Becs," he says softly. "Dylan chose his own destiny, even if that meant dying at a young age to protect his entire family. It was a brave thing to do. But now, it's your turn. Your turn to chose your own fate. You get to decide what you want to do, not just because Dylan did it. He was a brave young man. He'll always be right here." Tony reaches over to the gap between Beca's collarbone and breasts and taps it twice, very gently.
Beca gets the memo, but she scoffs. "In my Arc?" she sasses, pulling down her black T-Shirt to reveal her glowing blue orb of a life source.
"No, in your heart."
"You mean what's left of my heart."
"Beca, c'mon. You know I'm not good at this sentimental crap."
"Well, that makes two of us." Beca puts a hand on her hip and cocks her head to the side. What would be so bad about going to Barden University? She'll see her teammates (although they're not officially the Avengers yet), actually get some human interaction besides her parents and the paparazzi stalking her whenever she goes to Wal-Mart to pick up the eggs (there were ups and downs of being toe only remaining Stark genius), talk to someone about her feelings (psh, no), and escape the confinement of Tony and Pepper.
Not that she doesn't love them, because she loves her parents dearly, but seriously, she thought about putting a restraining order on her mother when she broke her leg once because she would not stop babying her. And Tony was a lot worse. His favorite game to play was 'How Many Times Can I Poke Beca's Broken Leg Without Annoying Her?'.
"I'll go," she hears herself say, and Tony puts on a facial expression that makes him look like he's just seen Beca grow a second head.
"Are you sure?" he presses, leaning forward. "Because I'm not trying to pressure you into anything, I mean, you don't have to-"
"No. I want to go. I want to do this. It'd be good for my training. For the team's training," she insists, nodding at her father. He grins.
"Awesome. Remember, it's your team. It's your responsibility. I'll call Fury and tell him. When I'm done, you wanna see who can fly around the city and back first?" he offers, a sly grin tugging at his lips. Beca smirks.
"You're on, old man," she teases, and then she and Tony are racing towards where the armors are stored, all thoughts of Dylan and old friends and terrorists and new schools being abandoned and wiped away like the oil puddle under Beca's car.