(BtVS/Iron Man ) Son of Iron
Disclaimer: I'm poor. I own nothing
Notes: I made a challenge along the lines of this ficlet awhile back, after
watching the movie again I decided to answer it.
(BtVS/Iron Man )
Son of Iron
The impossible had just happened. Not only had Pepper Pots managed to usher her boss into Stark Industries on time for a board meeting, but she actually got him there early. Naturally she was a little irritated when the balding, heavyset, middle-aged man in the cheap suit intercepted them in the lobby.
“I’m sorry, but if you need to speak with Mr. Stark you’ll have to make an appointment.”
“I’ve been rescheduled three times already this week!” the man said, somehow managing to match their rapid pace backwards while neither tripping or bumping into anything. “It’s important!”
Pepper did feel for the man. When Tony got into a project he barely took time for little things like food or sleep, let alone keeping appointments. Still, she had barely managed to get him to go to the board meeting in the first place and it was important. The man would have to wait.
“I’m sorry, but we’re on out way to a board of directors meeting. You’ll have to reschedule with the office.”
Happy smoothly positioned himself between them and the man, allowing her and Tony to make it to the private elevator that led directly to Tony’s office. The doors had just slid open when the man all but yelled to them, “Jessica Megan Lavelle.”
Outwardly Pepper didn’t so much as raise an eyebrow. Inwardly she cursed. She’d had a pretty good idea who this man was: Andy Kendal, a small town lawyer who had been trying to get a hold of Tony for over a week now.
It was nothing new, there was always some lawyer trying to get a moment of Tony’s time. Usually about one tryst or another coming back to haunt, looking for money or her fifteen minutes. More often than not it was both.
Pepper didn’t recognize the name the name, but that didn’t’ mean anything. Tony went through women more often than most men changed socks. He didn’t always remember their names that night, let alone the morning after. As much as she tried to keep track of anything that could come back and bite Tony it wasn’t always realistic.
Given this, Pepper was surprised when Tony turned to the lawyer and gestured with his hands. “About yay tall, dark hair, big chest, mole on her left cheek?”
Andy looked at Tony puzzled as he came around Happy. “The rest fits, but I’ve never known her to have a mole on her face.”
“I wasn’t talking about her face.”
“I wouldn’t know, Sir.” Andy coughed uncomfortably and Pepper thought, welcome to my world.
“Ah Jessie,” Tony went on, apparently oblivious to any discomfort he may have caused. “Beautiful, wild, kinky Jessie. I haven’t seen her in twelve, thirteen years now. How’s she doing these days?”
“She’s dead,” the lawyer told them bluntly enough to bring even Tony up short. Pepper had a feeling this wasn’t going to be the usual ‘get rich quick’ lawyer visit.
“Oh, should I send flowers,” Tony said, but Pepper could tell the words came out automatically, before his brain had a chance to register. Then, quicker than most people would notice, Tony was back in control and asked the obvious question. “How did it happen?”
“Her husband, one Anthony Harris, had apparently been physically and emotionally abusing her for years. A week ago Jessica’s twelve years old son Alexander stepped between his stepfather and his mother. When Anthony took his anger out on the boy Jessica fought back. With an aluminium baseball bat.”
“Good for her,” Tony said.
Andy nodded. “Yes, but I’m afraid both Anthony and Jessica died from their injuries shortly thereafter.”
“And the boy?” Pepper asked, a sinking feeling in her gut on the direction this was going. “What about Alexander?”
“Alexander fell into a coma and is at Sunnydale General. The doctors are optimistic.”
“Sorry if this sounds crass,” Tony started and from the brief glimpse of something that flashed in his eyes Pepper could tell his mind was working in the same direction as hers even if he hid it well. “I haven’t spoken to Jessie, let alone seen her, in over a decade. What does this have to do with me?”
“It was Mrs. Harr—It was Jessica’s wish that if anything happened to her custody of your son would go to you.”
“My what?!” Tony still sounded shocked even though Pepper could tell he was expecting the answer.
For his part, Andy shifted uncomfortably and sent a genuinely apologetic look at her employer. “You didn’t know? I’m sorry you had to find out like this. I assume you’ll want to run the appropriate tests?”
Tony simply nodded but Pepper had seen the look on his face many times before. It was the same look he had when he was so heavily involved in one of his projects that his mind was too focused on its task to spare the time and energy for words.
“Here’s my card.” Andy held out the rectangular paper to Tony, but the man was still lost in his own head so Pepper took it for him. “Give me a call when you’re ready and I’ll arrange everything.”
With that the lawyer left, throwing one last apologetic glance over his shoulder before disappearing outside. Tony didn’t seem to notice him go, but Pepper knew that even preoccupied his mind took in every detail around him. Or, at least it did when he was working. This was a completely different situation so maybe he was just genuinely frozen in shock.
It was strange for her though, to see Tony like that. Just more proof that whoever this Jessica had been to him she most certainly wasn’t one of his usual trysts. It also wasn’t like one of the usual women coming back looking for a quick payday. If it was money she was after Jessica wouldn’t have waited twelve years, let alone until after her death, to contact Tony.
No, Pepper had the feeling that she already knew what the paternity test would say.
Then Tony was back in the real world and, without a word, headed away from the elevator at a clipped pace. He didn’t speak until they made it to the car and that was just to tell Happy to head for Sunnydale. When he finally turned to her his eyes were more serious than Pepper could remember seeing them.
“Pepper, make arrangements to get Alex transferred to a hospital out here as soon as we’re told it’s safe to. And have the maid prepare the guest room near mine for a visitor, just in case.”