As The World Falls Down @rainbowhairedgirl
Chapter 1

Authoress Note: Welcome to Chapter 1 of As the World Falls Down. Thank you to those who have left reviews for this story. It really does mean a lot to me that you guys liked the prologue. I will be trying my best to update this story about as often as I can. I do apologize for taking so long in updating this story. I hope that this first chapter will make up for not updating this fic in so long. Without further ado Chapter 1.

Chapter 1

Alexia sat next to Obadiah in the large hall that people had gathered to celebrate her older brother Tony. Her eyes slowly looked around trying to find her brother, but couldn't spot him and let out a soft breath causing Obadiah to look over at her.

"Is something wrong, Lexia?" Obadiah questioned looking at the young woman who had just just started her third year of college being now 21 years old and legal to drink alcohol just not that long ago.

"Tony, isn't here." She said softly to Obadiah.

Obadiah let out a breath and shook his head lightly. He slowly looked up at the screen as the video began.

"December 7, 1941: the day the world changed forever. President Roosevelt declares the United States will build fifty thousand planes to fight the armies of Hirohito and Hitler- S.S. Officers goose-step through Paris. Although no such capacity to build existed… Howard Stark, founder of the fledgling Stark Industries, answers his call to duty - And builds not fifty, but a hundred thousand planes. Later, Stark's work on the Manhattan project makes the end of the war possible. Stark Industries would go on to contribute to every major weapons system through the Cold War -But Howard Stark's greatest achievement would come in 1973- early on, it was clear that Tony Stark had a unique gift- At seventeen he graduated summa cum laude from MIT. Four years later, tragedy would pass the Stark mantle from father to son-The loss of a titan. But Tony did not let personal grief distract him from his duty - At twenty-one, he became the youngest-ever CEO of a Fortune 500 company. And with it came a new mandate - Smarter weapons, fewer casualties. A dedication to preserving life. A visual crescendo of America's modern military might. Today Tony Stark's ingenuity continues to protect freedom and American interest around the globe." Rhodey said as he talked about his friend.

Alexia bit her lip softly as she watched Rhodey knowing that he would be upset that Tony wasn't there to accept the award from him.

"As Program Manager and Liaison to Stark Industries, I've had the honor of serving with a real patriot, a man whose life has been dedicated to protecting our troops on the front lines. He's a friend. And a great mentor. A man who has always been there for his friends and his country. Ladies and gentlemen, this year's ARES Award winner - Mr. Tony Stark."

Alexia winced as there was a loud applause for a man who wasn't there.

A spotlight went to Tony's empty seat that was next to Alexia.

Obadiah looked over to the empty chair before slowly getting up to his feet. He offered his arm to Alexia and she slowly took it.

Alexia bit her lip as she walked with Obadiah to the stage. The walk up to the stage was awkward and nerve racking. She was going to have to give Tony a piece of her mind once this was over because he shouldn't have missed out on this honor that he was receiving.

Obadiah made it to the podium looking out at the crowd before clearing his throat a little bit patting Alexia's arm softly with his hand. "Thank you...I, uhhh, I'm not Tony Stark, but if I were Tony, I'd tell you how honored I am and...what a joy it is to receive this award. The best thing about Tony is also the worst thing - he's always working."

Alexia bit her lip knowing that Obadiah was lying about that bit. Being in Vegas, he was probably working the craps table trying to make money or gamble their fortune away. She looked over at Rhodey and saw the look on his face knowing that he wasn't happy with the idea of Tony not being there either.

IMIMIM

Rhodey and Alexia slowly walked up to the table that Tony was at. The two of them were rather irritated with him.

Tony looked up at the two of them seeing the look of frustration on their faces. "My God, what are you, they roped you into this thing too?" Tony said looking at Rhodey knowing that he wasn't there when he had arrived earlier.

Alexia let out scoff as she looked at her older brother with a sour look on her face.

"Yeah. They said you'd be deeply honored if I presented." Rhodey said, looking at his friend.

"Okay, let's do it."

Rhodey plopped the ARES statue down on the felt in front of him.

"That was quick. Thought there'd be more of, you know, a ceremony. Maybe a highlight reel -" Tony shook karma into the dice and rolled again, crapping out. "Colore me up." He turned to the others. "My chaperone has just arrived with my -" He picked up the ARES trophy. "Degenerate of the Year Award. Judging from his look, I may have just peed in the kiddie pool."

The Boxman racked up Tony's chips.

"I must now take my ease, along with the House's funds." He is handed racks of chips and then tipped the table operators and headed off with Rhodey and Alexia. Two security guards fell behind them following them.

"A lot of people would kill to have their name on that award." Rhodey pointed as they walked as people snapped photos on their cell phones.

"It belongs to my old man. They should have given it to him."

"Tony." Alexia warned, knowing that there was no way to give the trophy to their dead father. After all, Tony took over the company and made it even better than what their father had done.

"What's wrong with you? A thousand people came here tonight to honor you, and you leave them with egg on their face. This award means something, Tony, it's bigger than you -"

"Hold that thought a sec." Tony said as he stopped at the roulette wheel. He put his chips down and nodded to the wheel operator.

Alexia let out a breath pinching the bridge of her nose. Of course Tony wanted to gamble some more and it wasn't fair to her or Rhodey for how he was acting.

"Put it all on black. Don't worry - it's approved."

The Wheel operator spinned it and it settled on red. The dealer scooped away Tony's chips.

"...you just blew three million."

Alexia groaned and shook her head. "Of course he did."

"Yeah. Don't know what was more exciting - winning it...or the fact that I don't care I just lost it."

"Everything's funny to you. " Rhodey said, shaking his head.

"No. You're not funny."

"We've got a hell of a day tomorrow. Can we get out of here now?"

"One more stop."

Alexia let out a breath as they followed Tony. She should've known that her big brother wasn't going to take this seriously enough to get out of there and catch his flight with Rhodey to go overseas to the troops.

Tony went into the bathroom and Rhodey followed him inside of it.

Alexia let out a breath and shook her head lightly as she crossed her arms waiting outside of the bathroom, but she could clearly hear their conversation with one another.

"Of course I respect your opinion." Tony told his friend, causing Alexia to roll her eyes. He didn't respect anyone's opinion.

"This is no joke. You're going into a hot zone. We should be doing this test here in Nevada." Rhodey told Tony, causing Alexia's heart to race knowing that her brother and Rhodey were going into a red hot zone and she wasn't allowed to go due to her brother's orders of staying here and helping run the company with Obadiah.

"This system has to be demonstrated in true field conditions."

Pepper came up to Alexia seeing that the young woman was rather upset. "He's in there isn't he?"

Alexia nodded her head and Pepper went into the bathroom.

"Tony, it's the President. Wants to congratulate you personally. Heads up."

Alexia let out a breath as they came out of the bathroom talking more than usual. She knew that whatever Pepper needed it was important for Tony to deal with it before he left.

"You're leaving the country for a week. I need five minutes -" Pepper said as they walked towards the exit.

"Okay - shoot." Tony said as he headed towards his limo that he would be riding with Alexia in.

Pepper checked her PC tablet. "The Board meeting is on the eleventh. Should I tell them to expect an appearance-?"

"Mr. Stark!" A woman's voice ran out causing Tony to turn and spot a hot young reporter holding a recorder. Security kept her at bay. "Christine Everhart, Vanity Fair Magazine. Can I ask you a few questions?"

Tony's brows raised slightly as he looked at her. "Can I ask a few back?"

She gave him a disarming smile.

Tony waved at Security to let her through.

Pepper shook her head lightly and took a call.

Alexia crossed her arms in irritation letting out a breath knowing that this probably wasn't going to end well.

"You've been described as a Da Vinci for our times. What do you say to that?"

"Ridiculous. I don't paint."

"And what do you say to your other nickname: "The Merchant of Death?""

"That's not bad - "

Her gaze suddenly went cold.

"Let me guess. Berkeley?"

"Brown."

"Well Miss Brown, it's an imperfect world and I assure you, the day weapons are no longer needed to keep the peace, I'll start manufacturing bricks and beams to make baby hospitals."

"Rehearse that much, Mr. Stark?"

"Every night in front of the mirror. Call me Tony."

"I'm sorry, "Tony", I was hoping for a serious answer."

"Here's serious: my old man had a philosophy: peace means having a bigger stick than the other guy."

"Good line, coming from the guy selling the sticks."

"My father helped defeat Hitler. He was on the Manhattan Project. A lot of people - including your professors at Brown - might call that being a hero."

"Others might call it war profiteering."

Tony smiled, this girl was relentless.

Alexia rolled her eyes, shaking her head lightly.

"Tell me: do you plan to report on the millions we've saved by advancing medical technology? Or kept from starving with our intellicrops? All were breakthroughs spawned from, that's right,

military funding."

"Wow. You ever lose an hour of sleep your whole life?"

He regarded her in earnest, then off her drop dead looks he decided right away what he wanted to do. "I'm prepared to lose a few moments with you."

Alexia shook her head and moved to where Pepper was as Tony and Christine got into the limo.

Pepper looked up and saw the young woman looking rather irritated. "He went with the reporter."

"Yeah." Alexia said, shaking her head. "He can never think right when there is a pretty woman." She let out a soft breath pinching her nose. "Can you give me a ride back to my apartment?"

Pepper nodded her head slowly knowing that she was rather upset and she didn't blame her for being upset. "No, of course not, I don't mind." Pepper said, offering the young woman a small smile.

Alexia gave Pepper a look of thanks. She knew that later she was going to have to give Tony what for, for what he had done. She was family to him and he didn't need to go screwing around like he had been.

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This is the end of Chapter 1. I hope that you all enjoyed it. I hope this made up for the time of me not updating this story. I hope to have more updates for this story out as quickly as I can without overdoing it. I have many fics that I am working on at this time. Please leave a review and let me know what you think. Reviews keep me going and I'm excited to see what you all think. I haven't quite picked out a pairing for my OC yet, but who do you think she should go with. Until next time.

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