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Not Another Iron Man Fanfiction *revised*

Mom's the Word

My eyelids popped open rather suddenly. The first thing I noticed was the thin crack running along the ceiling of my bedroom. I blinked. Hadn’t I fallen asleep on the couch in the garage? And where was Tony? He must have brought me up here. Oh, how embarrassing. Good thing he hadn’t bothered to take my sneakers off.

I stretched and got out of bed, taking care not to step on the rubble, and crossed to my closet where I pulled out a change of clothes.

After I’d freshened up a little, I went downstairs. Coulson was viewing something on a tablet computer while other SHIELD agents milled about. He looked up when he saw me.

“Hello,” he said. “You’re up. Come and give this a look.”

Coulson tilted the screen toward me as I approached. “Where did Tony go?”

“He left for the Stark HQ, he’ll be back soon,” Coulson said. “Watch this.”

The screen was tuned to a news website and playing a video interview. I realized that the man onscreen was one of the guys I’d saved earlier this morning.

“—thought we were all doomed for sure. But then she just sort of happened and cleared a path for us out of the blaze! I thought it was Iron Man at first, I mean, red and gold, but it wasn’t. She took her helmet off after. And it was her, man, the niece, Isabella Stark. These two guys in big cars came up and took her away. But I dunno where Iron Man even was, man…”

“I made the news?” I said softly.

“You did,” said Coulson. “For the first and last time. Am I clear?”

I nodded. “Oh yeah, that’s the last you’ll see of me. I talked it out with Tony. No more superhero stuff until, like, never.”

“You seem to have reached a compromise,” Coulson noticed. “Or at least, started to get along better. He brought you up to your room after you fell asleep, you know.”

“Hm,” I said. “Figures.”

We were interrupted by the sound of wheels in the driveway and the roar of an engine going into the garage. It wasn’t long before Tony came up the stairs. He was carrying a number of large boards, as if from some kind of diorama, and was constantly bumping into walls with them. He noticed us watching.

"Oh hello," he said. "Just went down to pick up some personal effects."

"I thought you weren't allowed to leave the house," I said.

"Pepper called; I had to come," said Tony. "Besides, I kind of need this. What does this look like to you?”

I stared at the boards. “This is from your dad’s City of the Future thing, right?”

“It is.” Tony bent slightly so we were on eye level.“Remember when you said those videos might give us a clue? I took a hint.And I saw your big breakthrough this morning when that gas station blew up.”

“You did?”

“Yeah.” To my surprise, his expression was one of fascinated, even proud amusement. “So listen. I’ve been thinking about it, and while I’m still partially mad at you for ripping me off—“

“Thanks,” I snorted.

“—I gotta say, you did good today. Those people you saved? They’ll live to drive and screw up and get baked and do better again, because of what you did. You’re the reason why they got a second chance.”

I was surprised. This was unexpected. A few feet away, Coulson folded his hands and smiled.

I looked up at Tony. “Thanks. That means a lot coming from you.” I grinned. “But I think these people would rather have Iron Man back.”

“And they’re gonna get him,” said Tony. “Now excuse me while I try to figure out what my old man was trying to tell me. Oh, and in the meantime, Iz, place a call for pizza tonight. And don’t bother me.”

“Sure,” I said sarcastically as he disappeared into the garage.

I called for pizza (Agent Triplett promised not to shoot the delivery guy on sight) and returned to my room to tidy up the place as much as possible. Finally, I forced myself to open the closet door and confront the pieces of my suit that lay at the bottom.

I picked up the helmet and turned it in my hands. "Sorry, baby girl," I said, "but it looks like you're going back to meet your maker." I added it to the armor pieces in the steel crate and started dragging it downstairs.

Agent Coulson saw me come down. "Pizza's here. Don't worry, it's perfectly safe."

"I'm not worried." There were two boxes, both pepperoni*.

"Will you take one of these boxes down to your uncle? It's important that he eats."

I picked up one box. “Look, so Tony said SHIELD had a ton of Grand-Uncle Howard’s stuff. How did that happen?”

“Well, Howard Stark happens to be a founding member of SHIELD,” Coulson said.

My jaw dropped. “I didn’t know that. Why don’t I know that?”

Coulson smiled. “Well, you do now.”

I gestured to the box. “Help yourself. You and your SHIELD buddies can have this other box.”

“Why, thank you very much.”

A beep sounded from the FRANNIE, indicating that someone was attempting a video chat. I peered at the screen and was surprised to find my mom on the line.

Shoot. Had she seen the video...?

I pressed 'accept' and a window popped open. My mother's voice came on the speakers.

"...hi, Mom."

With her straight blonde hair and flawless skin, Mom looks more like a model than a scientist. Most people aren't even aware that she has a kid. The only thing I've inherited from her are her green eyes, and the rest is all dark Stark genes. She peered at me anxiously. The room behind her was unfamiliar to me. She must have already moved out, I thought.

"Oh, Bell, you're okay!" She exclaimed. "I just saw the news, I had to call to make sure. Are you all right? What did Tony say?"

"Mom, I'm fine!" I said. "I'm completely okay. You don't have to freak out!"

"I'm sorry," Mom apologized. "I was just worried..."

I couldn't help but grin. Mom was worried. About me.

"Did you...make that suit?"

I nodded.

"By yourself?"

"Yeah," I told her. "Tony had nothing to do with it. He didn't know I was working on it till this morning-- but we're cool now," I said, when Mom took a breath to start scolding me.

"Bell, I'm sorry, I should have checked up on you sooner," she said softly. "I know you must be upset about what happened to your father and me--"

"I'm sorry too," I replied. "But I wasn't acting up or doing it to make you guys mad, I really wasn't thinking. I kind of panicked, everything's been so crazy lately..."

"Bell, don't cry," Mom said uncertainly.

"I'm not...crying," I said, as a teardrop splashed onto the screen of the FRANNIE.

She smiled. "Are you getting along with your uncle?"

"Trying," I said with a grin. "But how are you, Mom? How's the whole, um, thing going?"

"Well our lawyers are telling us that right now, you're the most important asset we have to deal with," Mom said matter-of-factly. "And they're right, baby. I'm sorry I haven't been in touch, I was so busy moving out."

"Mom, it's fine."

"We're trying to arrange it so that you can live with either of us at different times of the year-- unless you'd rather stay with me?" She asked hopefully.

"Actually, it doesn't matter," I said. "I mean, I want to stay with both of you. I don't mind going back and forth."

"Now just because your father and I split up doesn't mean we love you any less," Mom added. "I hope you understand that we sent you to Tony's so things would be easier for you. Once everything's all settled here, we'll come get you."

I couldn't help but smile sadly. So this thing was for good after all. Given how meaningless their relationship had become, maybe this was really for the best.

"I have to go, Bell," Mom said, "but I'll call soon. Now I want you to keep out of trouble. Give the suit back and don't put it on again. I really am proud of what you did, but it's still extremely dangerous."

"That's what Tony said," I replied. "Don't worry about it, Mom."

"And tell Tony I would like a word with him," she added sternly. "He never bothered to tell us how you were doing or that he was undergoing court hearings. He should have at least let us know what was going on!"

"I'll tell him, then," I said with a chuckle. "Bye, Mom, I love you."

"I love you too, sweetie!"

As my mother signed off, I could distinctly feel like the last thread of our family ties had finally been unwoven. But in its place were two more loose ends that I could still tie to either one of my parents independently, starting with Mom. They may have left each other, but I realized that they never intended to leave me; no matter if it had felt like that in the first place.

*a reference to Tony and Pepper's ship name 'Pepperony'



I just read chapter 17 and if we're making Harry Potter referenes then all I have to say is.... FIFTY POINTS FOR GRIFENDOR!!!!

Natasha Barton Natasha Barton

YAY!!!! DRUCK TONY!!! Not that it's anything new! :)

Natasha Barton Natasha Barton

Whoa! This is so good! :)

Natasha Barton Natasha Barton

Keep writing!!!

Abbyfish Abbyfish

Good job, keep up the good work.

Alexdanger101 Alexdanger101