The Rabbit Hole Chapter 3
Chapter 3: Spotlight
After learning that Phil wasn't who he said he was, Tony kept coming up blank. Which should have been impossible, but that just meant that someone smart enough could block Tony. It was frustrating, and Bella wasn't fairing any better. She basically let an imposter into her home who killed her mother. Thor on the other hand was divided. He was still very aware of his mission and hoped to convince Loki to drop this insane plan. Tony was starting to get a headache and decided that he needed some fresh air. There were no leads on these strange men, nor has Fury exactly located Loki and Clint.
Tony came from the garage, Bella's laugher carrying from above, Thor's booming voice following after. Tony knew he couldn't go all father on her, but it didn't erase his fatherly instincts. He couldn't help but smile though as he made his way into his living room of sorts. Bella actually had a truly genuine smile on her face as Thor was telling one his battle stories; while Tony would never admit it, it made his heart swell. At least one of them was having a good time. He cleared his throat softly, causing the two to look towards him. "Hey." She greeted, a small smile on her face. Tony sucked in a breath, unsure if he was even ready for what he was about to ask. Tony laid his blazer on the back of the couch, fiddling with it for just a second before running a hand through his hair. "Did you want to go get lunch? I'd love to get to know about you…you know, from you,"
Bella's brows shot up in surprise, and at first, she didn't say anything except stare at him. Tony taking her silence as too soon, grabbed his blazer, nodding in understanding. "It's okay if you don't want to. I know this is all sudden..." Bella fumbled her way off the couch causing Tony to snort. "I don't know where the hell you got that balance," Bella looked down at her feet snorting in laughter. "Me neither, but I'd love to! What about the cameras? Um, do you want people..to..?" She asked shyly. Tony laughed softly, looking to Thor. "Isn't she a hoot?" He turned his attention back to Bella, casually throwing an arm across her shoulders, leading her towards the elevator. "You're not camera-shy, are you? Besides, to hell with the reporters."
Tony decided to take Bella to a shawarma restaurant down the street, deciding that they would walk. He didn't really have the patience for a cluster of reporters and cameras. Happy was right behind them, his face blank of any and all emotion, standing close by if needed. Bella had to smile though, finding joy in watching fans ask for a picture, or little kids asking for an autograph. "They love you." She murmured, shooting him a smile. Tony nodded, ushering her into the small place, heading towards his favorite booth. "What's not to love?" He chuckled, sitting across from her. Happy sat as a table not too far away, his attention solely focused on the two of them.
Bella quietly thanked the waitress as she set down two menus before walking away. "What is this place exactly?" Bella asked, glancing at the food in question. Tony shrugged, pointing to a picture of one of his favorites. "Not sure, just food on a cone. I usually go for this one here. Tastes pretty good actually. Different." Bella stared at it in hesitance before agreeing to try whatever Tony liked. As they put in their order, Tony leaned back into the seat trying to figure out where to start. "Were you happy?" He asked, gesturing towards her. Bella immediately nodded. "Of course. It was a bit difficult though when they split, but I enjoyed my time with each of them when the opportunity arose, especially with Charlie." Tony smiled a little, crossing his arms. "You don't have to say his name on the account of me." Bella shook her head in disagreement, looking around for a moment before turning her attention back to Tony. "I never really said dad a lot really..." She admitted biting her lip in thought.
"Well, what's the rundown?" Tony asked, situating himself as he prepared to listen to Bella's life from the eyes of her own. He listened, knowing all of these details of course, but finding it entertaining as she expressed her delight in seeing Charlie in the summer, as well as her dislike of all the things Renee tried and failed. His interest was peaked when she started talking about high school, her friends, the lustful boys, and then there was Edward.
Tony could immediately tell that something drastic happened between the two. As she explained their relationship, Ton knew she was leaving something out. Bella was not a good liar to begin with, but Tony could tell by the look in her eyes and the way she seemed to cave in on herself that something was missing. He wasn't going to push her, but he would find out.
"What do you plan to do about school?" Tony asked, nodding in thanks as their food came. Bella stared it with apprehension, before looking to Tony. "Um, I actually forgot about it. Everything happened so fast. I could transfer?" She questioned. Tony was already looking into her school records, noticing she had high test scores, higher than any in the school, and her GPA was at a 4.0 already. "Actually, you don't have to." He stated, shooting her a smile as she bit into her food. "Wow! This is very good," She mumbled, digging in for more.
"Glad you like it. Did you know you're at the top of your class? You can test out if you wanted to." Bella's brows shot up at that, unaware that she was doing so well. When Edward came into her life, she thought she was slacking a bit, but apparently not. "Seriously?" She asked, wiping her mouth with a napkin. Tony nodded taking a sip of his water. "You're smart kid, and I can't even take the credit. They raised you well. What do you say? I can give you a job as a secretary or something until you find what you want to do." Bella hummed in thought at that looking to Tony curiously. "Well, what do you do, besides being Iron Man?" Tony raised a brow at this.
At his look, Bella cleared her throat. "Well, who knows, maybe I could learn what you do, help out. No offense but a desk job is boring," Tony had to smirk at that.
"Pepper Potts. CEO of Stark Industries," Bella smiled shaking Pepper's hand. "It's nice to uh officially meet you," She greeted. Pepper couldn't help herself as she brought Bella into a hug. "We're practically family," Bella welcomed the hug with ease, sighing. From there, Pepper showed Bella around, explaining a few of her daily duties. "How did you become CEO?" Bella curiously asked. Pepper stopped what she was doing, a frown on her face. "Well, technically, Tony was, um is, dying. He handed the position over to me. But this was only temporary. You see, while Tony never expected you to be in his life, he was going to have everything go to you. One day you would get a letter, or a phone call, I mean he wanted you to live life as you did, but he was unsure if you'd ever find out the truth. You would've been set for life,"
Bella frowned. Pepper's eyes widened slightly, hand going to her heart. "He didn't tell you yet, did he?" Bella shook her head, scrubbing a hand down her face. "No. I uh, can I take a look at what's keeping him alive?" Pepper paused before nodding. "Sure," She led Bella into Tony's office.
Bella gawked at the office, shaking her head for the moment. She looked around, following Pepper over to a desk. She pulled out a few folders, glancing at Bella. "These are all copies of the arc reactor. The big one, the small one, the other small one, it's a lot, but here. Tony has the original back at home. Do you think you'll find something he missed?" Bella glanced at Pepper, shrugging. "I don't know, but I don't want to lose my father after I just found him. I'll find something,"
Pepper cut on the tv, and Bella spread the files out. "What's this?" She pointed to what looked like a city. Pepper peered over, humming. "Not sure exactly, Tony would know," Bella nodded, grabbing all the folders. She noticed a covered piece of something but followed after Pepper. "Oh, hold on," Pepper went back into the room, grabbing the tv remote. Pepper's shriek made Bella pause. "Oh my god," Bella went back into the office, turning to the tv, her eyes widening. "Does he, does he normally do this?" Pepper shook her hand back and forth. "Just recently,"
Pepper turned off the tv, pulling out her cell phone. "Let's go Bella," Bella followed after the woman at a fast pace, the two heading out of the double doors. Lights flashed in her face, causing her to drop some of the folders. She bends down to pick them up, a hand helping her. She glanced up, looking at a red head. She nodded at her, and Happy ushered them into the car.
"Drop Bella off at the house, we're going to the racetrack," Pepper ordered, and Bella complied, as there would be no way to help Tony. Yet. Happy looked to her in the rearview, and Bella nodded. "She's right. There's nothing I can do here. I'm going to take a look at some of his files," The redhead raised a brow. "No one can understand Stark's work," At Bella's confused glance, the redhead stuck out her hand. "Natasha, secretary for your father," Bella hummed, shaking her hand. "Bella, um, Tony Stark's…daughter," Natasha nodded, "I know," The car descended into silence besides Pepper's frustrated calls to Tony's voicemail. Happy pulled up to Stark Tower, and Natasha led her out of the car. She leaned back in the window, "Do you need me?" Pepper bit her lip. "Is Thor here?" Furrowing her brow, Natasha looked around, peering through the glass doors. She spotted him sitting on the couch. "He's here, why is that exactly? Thought he was looking for Loki," Pepper leaned her head out of the window, glancing around as well. "He is, um stay here, I can handle Tony," With that, the car sped off down the street, and Bella watched as it disappeared around the corner.
"I'll be in the garage if anyone needs me," Natasha watched her head inside, following behind once Bella ventured downstairs. She looked around the home, glancing at Thor. "What happened to finding Loki?" Thor looked up from his staring, standing. "He's still a priority, but I've devoted some of my time to helping the man of Iron and his daughter. I saved her two nights ago from being murdered," She hummed. "So I've heard. Any idea on who they were?" Thor shook his head. "No, nothing at this moment. Where has she gone?"
Bella didn't know how to work a damn thing in the garage. "Um, JARVIS, can you pull up all of Tony's files on the arc reactor?" She asked, biting her lip. "Sure, turn your attention to the hologram," She did as instructed, awed by his technology. Why didn't everyone have this?
"You can move your hand, and swipe through the files," Bella tried it out, getting the hang of it in seconds. She swiped through the interesting 3-D map of what looked like a city. "JARVIS, what is this?" She turned it around, examining it. "That is a Three-Dimensional map of a city, designed by Howard Stark," Bella hummed. "Flip it over, and enlarge by 100%," She instructed, leaning closer. JARVIS did as told, and Bella gasped. "There's something here, can you run scans?" She asked, flipping through the files on the table. "I am able to do anything you ask. There seems to be an atomic structure hidden beneath the surface of the core." Bella glanced at it, and then down at the folders.
"Run a scan against the palladium core in his arc reactor," The hologram changed, and Bella leaned back from the table looking into more of his files. "Running. 5% complete," Bella let JARVIS do his thing, continuing with her observations.
"Miss Swan, I'd advise you to get down," Bella glanced at the hologram confused, finding that he was already on 45%. She looked past the hologram to see three men on the outside of Tony's garage with large guns in their hands. Bella quickly grabbed the folders ducking down behind the metal desk.
Her ears rang loudly as the bullets fired, and she scrunched herself against the desk screaming as the bullets whizzed past. One of the men landed not too far in front of her, groaning. He glanced at her and reached for his gun.
Bullets were still flying and she didn't know where to move. A hammer hit him in the gut, and Bella glanced up at Thor who reached his hand out, the hammer retracting back into his hand, his other jerking her up off the floor.
He pulled her to his side, tossing his hammer again, hitting the last man standing. Bella looked around at the destruction with a frown. "Are you alright?" He asked, his blue eyes dark with rage. Bella nodded, her hand going to arm. She winced, removing her hand. "Oh," She murmured, looking away from the blood. Thor looked down, reaching out to grab her arm. "You're hurt," He stated.
"I'll be fine. JARVIS, is that scan finished?" She asked, looking at the information it pulled up. "Yes. There seems to be an unknown element, that is much stronger than palladium. What is this for Ms. Swan?" Bella glanced at the element, suddenly finding her place in life. She didn't know how she knew what she knew, but science seemed to click somewhere in her brain.
"Something that may keep Tony alive," She answered, leaning against Thor. He led her out of the garage, and up the stairs, her eyes widening slightly at the men that laid on the floor, groaning in pain, or some knocked out cold.
"You too huh?" She asked looking around. Natasha nodded to her wound, "Exit wound?" Bella shrugged, shaking her head. "I don't think so," Natasha nodded, pulling out a phone. "Bruce, I need you at Stark's. Need your medical assistance," She hung up, looking at Bella. "Let's put some pressure on that," Bella nodded, following after her. Thor looked down at one of the men, lifting him up easily. "Who sent you?" He asked, glaring at him.
The man grunted out a response, wheezing. Thor shook the man hard, making his teeth rattle. "Shall I get the woman who beat you? She may be able to help you talk." The man's eyes widened and looked past Thor's shoulders. "I don't know, my boss sent us here," he replied, swallowing.
Thor raised a brow. "My question is still unanswered. Who is your boss?" The man shrugged, "We've never met him." Thor dropped him to the floor, leaving him there. He glanced up as Bruce walked through the door with a kit in his hand. "Well…Tony won't like this. Where's the girl?" Thor led him to the living room where Bella and Natasha were.
"Romanoff," He greeted, and Bella glanced between the two of them. "I thought your name was Natasha," She murmured, glancing at Bruce with a hesitant smile. "It is. Natasha Romanoff. This is Bruce, he somewhat of a doctor, he'll fix you up," Bruce took her place, opening the case, pulling out some equipment.
Bella looked away as he took out a pair of tweezers, focusing her attention on something else. She was worried, people were out to kill her, and her father was on a racecar track and dying as the days went on. "Blood aversion Bella?" Bruce asked. Bella nodded. "Yeah, so…you're all like superheroes?"
Bruce glanced at her, and Bella did the same, eyes narrowing as there was something different about him. "You can say that." Bella hummed. "So, Tony Stark, a…man in a robot suit, Thor, what was it? God? What are you?" She looked to Natasha and Bruce. "An agent of an organization called S.H.I.E.L.D. Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division. We keep track of any threats, human or otherwise to the world," She looked to Bruce next, glancing at him with scrutiny. "You don't look like a badass agent," She smiled, easing the tense smile off his face. "Sadly I'm not…uh, I'm not exactly what you call human. I have a uh, thing, an alter ego if we can call it that. Ever heard of the Hulk?"
Bella shook her head, opening her mouth to answer, but stopped as another voice rang out. "Probably hasn't, but I don't think she'd freak. What the hell happened to my house and who are these freaks?" Bella glanced around Bruce, glancing at Tony. "Hey. Had fun at the racetrack?" She frowned at the obvious wounds on his body.
"I guess not. What happened to you?" She asked, frowning at him. He moved towards herm finally able to see around Bruce. He stopped, looking her over. "What happened to me? Who the hell shot you? Who let you get shot?!" He gently grabbed her arm, looking at Bruce. "That's what I'm here for Tony. Romanoff called me, and considering what I know now, it's best she did. These men were here when I showed up," Tony turned his attention to Thor and Natasha, looking between them. "How the hell did they get in here?" Bruce went back to taking care of Bella's wound.
"Take it easy," Bruce warned, wrapping her arm in a sling. Bella nodded, and went to Tony. "I have something to show you," She said, tugging on his jacket. "I need top security in here," He muttered, following Bella down to the garage. "You're kidding me. Are these one of the bastards that shot you?" Bella nodded. "Yeah, don't know which one, but that's not it. Just a flesh wound. JARVIS, pull up the atomic structure I found. Tony, you won't believe what your father had hidden in these. I've tested it, or had JARVIS run a scan really, on what's in your arc reactor. Pepper let me take a look at your files and thought this was pretty interesting. Look,"
Bella had JARVIS pull up the scan. "It's some type of atomic structure, and this helps you construct it. I think this could fix your whole…dying situation. It doesn't look like anything I've ever seen. I know it counteracts the palladium, or could, if constructed properly… I don't really know, and I'm not a scientist or anything…." Bella continued to babble about her expertise in science and her own surprise, and Tony couldn't help but be proud. She really was just like him. "Could've fooled me kid. You're exactly right. I don't think it's ever been discovered. You found this jut looking through my files?" He asked, swiping through what she found. "How did I miss this?" He muttered to himself.
"So, can you do it? Can you make this?" She asks, coming to stand next to him. Tony nods. "It'll take some time, but yes. You could be a scientist. Bruce was one, more of a researcher now or whatever," He started moving things into folders, shaking his head as DUMMY suddenly shut on the fire extinguisher.
"What is Bruce? What is a HULK?" She asked, looking towards the garage stairs. "JARVIS, give me footage from 2008 of Hulk," JARVIS complied, and Bella looked at the holographic screen, tilting her head at the large green creature. "An accident in the lab changed his DNA, and there's one rule we all go by. Never make him angry. It's triggered by anger, and its like a large child in a sense. S.H.I.E.L.D wants him primarily to keep tabs, but the big guy is trying," Bella hummed in response. "So, what, you guys are like a team of superheroes? Are you the leader?"
Tony chuckled. "No. Well, I'm not sure. There's Loki, Thor's brother who is on the lose out here with an agent, and we need to find him. I guess we're a team. Maybe. I'm not the leader type. Cap is more suited in that department,"
"I'll explain it to you later. Why don't you have Thor escort you upstairs. Take it easy on the arm kid," Bella nodded, making her way out of the garage. Once she was away from sight, Tony sighed heavily. "J, I need you to show me how these guys got in, and I want to know everything you can find on Edward Cullen,"
AN: Hey! So as you know this story is taking place in Iron Man 2 and Avengers, I'm just combining them together, and Bella is the one who has discovered the element for Tony.