Sleight of Hand @babykitsune_9
Chapter 3

Dinner ended shortly after that. Though they stayed seated at the table, talking well into the evening about everything that was expected of her while she was present at the compound. And she wouldn't lie, their expectations of her were overwhelming.

However for someone who had literally fought in wars against people of great and insurmountable power ever since she had become a Soul Reaper- then despite how overwhelmed she currently felt- she was far from daunted.

She'd risen to every challenge ever thrown at her. And this would be no different.

It had been explained that she would have to go before the media and they would have to address the people of the public about Tony's disappearance. And the fact that she had blood ties to him. Though she was adamant about withholding specific information about how exactly she was blood kin to Mr. Stark as well as a few other things.

Like her military career and her education.

All of which the three adults reluctantly agreed to after having her explain her reasons why.

And her reasoning was fairly simple, she wanted people to underestimate her. Especially since it would make things easier to weed out good people from the bad.

Pepper for one looked strangely excited and downright blood thirsty at the prospect. Probably because she was hoping that that asshole General Ross would take one look at Ichigo and grossly underestimate her and suffer for it.

Rhodey supposed that he couldn't blame the woman any.

Ross had been a frigging pain in the ass ever since the whole 'Civil War' thing had happened between Tony and the Rogues. He'd also dropped by a few times to map out the stuff that he was hoping that he could get the government to seize from them while Tony was gone.

Wouldn't he be bummed when the kid handed him his generous fat ass. Rhodey mused, feeling more than a little bit hopeful that he could be present when the girl tore into the man.

He also told her that she would be taking over Tony's position as the new leader of the Avenger's, and his position at SI. Though her job title at Stark Industries would be an unofficial title for a time. Depending solely on whether or not Tony could be found alive.

If he wasn't, then she would inherit everything as per Tony's instructions in his will.

His wealth, his company, his stocks and bonds, his homes and properties, the Iron Man suits, ect.

And of course, she would be taking Tony's place dealing with the Accords Council. However she wouldn't be doing it alone given her age. She'd agreed with him on that point.

And then muttered that they would need to set up some stuff that they could destroy, and tape a few pics of some people's faces to the items. That way the could pretend to destroy someone if they came home after dealing with the accords and vent before the stress gave them both a stroke.

Rhodey wasn't sure if he should approve of something like that or not, but Pepper was totally on board with the idea and asked if she could use a rocket launcher on a thingy with Ross's face attached to it.

Ichigo merely smiled at her and nodded. So Rhodey decided that it should be okay as long as he or Happy was around to supervise the two. Just to make sure that they didn't get too trigger happy and accidentally damage the compound or something.

It was nearly nine thirty at night before they managed to get around to everything. And during that time, Pepper had already scheduled and told Ichigo about an upcoming press conference within the next day or so, and what they would need to do before she could show her face at it.

As well as mentioned another soon-to-be another 'visit' from Ross and what she should expect from that. And by the time she was done informing the girl of what would need to be done, Ichigo was ready for some sleep.

Rhodey could empathize. Really he could.

Jet lag could be a bitch sometimes. Especially if you were used to one specific time zone.

The girl had done well to stay focused, and totally alert for as long as she had. Excusing herself from the table, Ichigo decided that it was probably a good enough time to go to bed and took a moment to thank all of them for talking with her. Not long after that, she and Pepper were disappearing from the room since she still hadn't been shown her bedroom yet.

Leaving Rhodey and Happy alone with the files and enough curiosity to decide to start going through them. Rhodey handed Happy the girl's psych file and her health file and then started to go through her 'military' file.

He wasn't sure what exactly he was expecting, but he'd hoped against hope that he wouldn't be looking at an honest to god military file. And had his hopes completely dashed as her honest-to-god-actually real military career was laid out before him.

Scanning the pages, he had to bite the inside of his cheek to prevent a sting of foul oaths from leaving his mouth at what he was seeing. Happy however found a reason to swear up a blue streak, loudly, and then some in her medical file.

"What have you found?" Rhodey asked warily as he looked away from the open file in front of him for a moment.

"She was tortured!" Happy growled. His lips were peeled back from his teeth in a vicious snarl as he re read the same sentence again. "These fuckers tortured a twelve year old girl worse that Tony was when he was in Afghanistan, and they lied and told her that it was part of her 'training'!"

Rhodey sighed, not knowing how else to react to this information. But he couldn't help the nearly overwhelming sense of rage that he felt on her behalf. He couldn't imagine how terrified she must have been at the time. And he found that thinking about her 'training' pissed him off.

If he ever got the names of the people involved in 'training' her, he'd make damned sure that they died screaming for what they had done. And he'd make doubly sure that Pepper and Happy were there to make sure that the damned job got done.

"Do I want to know what they did to her?"

Happy spat, "Fuck no."

"The file have pictures?" Rhodey asked tentatively. Happy made a weird sound in the back of his throat and then nodded curtly. "Don't let Pepper see them, okay." Happy nodded again as he clenched his teeth and went back to the file in front of him as Rhodey did the same.

"And this is your room," Pepper said as she stepped aside and let Ichigo enter said room. The girl slipped by her quietly and looked around. "Each room in the compound was specifically designed to appear a lot like an large and ritzy apartment would. They have a completely furnished living room, a nice spacious bedroom, a small kitchen that you can stock up with any personal favorites for those days when you don't feel like socializing..."

"I have days like that off and on, depending on what's up." Ichigo said as she set her things down on the couch across the room and then started to explore her new room a little bit. Making sure to stay within Pepper's sight at all times out of habit.

Pepper noticed this too. Though she didn't understand the reason for it as she watched her move around curiously.

"Do you like it?" She asked hesitantly as she watched Ichigo slowly move to check out the kitchen. The girl paused for a moment with a cabinet partially open, and then turned her head and nodded.

"Yeah. It's fine."

"Do you really like it or are you just saying that?"

"I'm a minimalist, Ma'am. You could put me in the smallest closet in the place and I'd be just fine with it." Ichigo said honestly as she noted that the cabinets weren't as bare as she had initially believed them to be. There were some basic food stuffs. Spaghetti, and alfredo sauces and various types of noodles, some chicken flavored ramen, some random cans of soup. Closing the cabinet she moved to check out the fridge, noting that there were basic stuff in there too.

Milk, some veggies and different types of salad dressings, some fruits, and some sandwich stuff. And the freezer...well it had some vanilla, and chocolate flavored ice cream, some random flavored frozen pizzas, and some different meats.

If she needed or wanted anything else she'd likely have to get it herself. And that was fine. She'd have to purchase some stuff anyways so adding some groceries to her list wouldn't be terrible.

"Okay, so- the only thing that I have left to tell you before I leave you to settle in for the night is that if you need to buy anything, you can request Friday-" Ichigo turned her head to look at her as she closed the freezer. Her expression expectant. "Sorry, um, Friday is the AI that runs the compound and stuff. Tony, created her. She's part of the security system, and monitors the people living here for distress, threats, health and so on. If you need to request anything from any stores, she'll do it for you. All you have to do is tell her what you need." Pepper explained.

Ichigo nodded her head in understanding and then asked, "How?"

"Do you need something?" Pepper asked.

"I was going to make a few purchases. Clothing, some shoes, a computer, some-" She jerked a thumb over her shoulder at the fridge. "Extra food, and maybe some odds and ends for the bathroom."

"Oh, okay. Alright...uh, do you need a card to pay for-" Pepper started to pull her touch pad out so that she could make a request for a bank card in Ichigo's name when the girl's hand appeared out of nowhere and lightly pushed her hands, and her touch pad, down.

"I was very well compensated for my former job, ma'am. There's no need for you to trouble yourself as far as money goes." She said gently. Pepper looked at her for a moment and then nodded before saying.

"That's good to know. But as Tony's girl you do have access to his money. Within reason, of course. His will specified that you should have about fifty thousand dollars to shop, decorate, and play with monthly."

Ichigo cringed a little bit. "Fifty thousand is a bit excessive for someone my age."

"Well, he has missed sixteen years worth of birthdays." Pepper said lamely. Ichigo snorted and shook her head.

"It's alright. You can invest the first few monthly allowances in some stock at SI for me."

"Really?" Pepper asked in an incredulous tone.

"Sure. I think it would be a good investment for the future. Don't you?"

Pepper gave her a dazzling smile as she replied. "Definitely."

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