Let the Flames Begin
A few days had passed since Silver's arrival to New York, and she was still trying to adjust to everything happening around her. One day she was working at a café in Chicago, the next she was flying off to Manhattan to work for the Tony Stark.
Let's repeat that once more.
Silver sighed as she stood on the 105th floor of the tower, enjoying her second cup of coffee of the afternoon. She had most of her things unpacked and organized, but there were a few miscellaneous boxes she needed to pick up—though she was dreading the cab drive there. She tilted her head to the side and pushed the thought aside; she was more curious about Tony's whereabouts.
"Yes, Ms. Livingston?" Silver was still trying to adjust to having an embodied voice pop up every morning as her alarm, but she had time to get used to him.
"Master Stark is residing in the lab."
"I believe he's been in the lab for a week and four days," JARVIS stated evenly as Silver frowned. She turned and set her mug on the counter as she began to stare off aimlessly.
He's been in the lab for that long? She shook her head at the thought. I wonder if he's even slept at all...or showered.
"Good afternoon, Dr. Banner."
Since Silver had arrived at the tower, she had yet to run into any of the Avengers. Thor was still back in Asgard ruling his homeland, Blackwidow and Hawkeye were coincidentally sent on a mission together—which was, of course, confidential. As for Steve, he had been working with Fury in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s actual HQ so his days were long. Bruce was in and out since he had decided to finally go face his past and see a face he hadn't forgotten in Harlem; things had clearly gone right, and since then he had spent a few less hours in the lab.
But, still, all dogs find their way home.
Tony's new assistant stiffened as she looked down and quickly straightened her t-shirt out, smoothing her jeans over and running her hands through her hair to make sure no knots existed. She felt her heart slam uncontrollably against her chest as she listened to the footsteps tap against the marble floor.
Relax! Silver thought while she smiled nervously. Bruce Banner's just like everyone else…except he's a genius and has the potential strength to level the city… Silver was officially panicking.
The honey blonde gracefully span around on her heels, letting out a surprised yelp when she abruptly faced the gamma radiation specialist. He looked up from his notes and blinked, surprised anyone had been in the kitchen. He thought for a short second before he looked up to the ceiling as if he were talking to someone, which in some aspect, he was. "JARVIS? What day is it?"
"It's Thursday, the 14th. 4:37 pm. sir." The A.I. was efficient as always.
"Thanks, buddy," Bruce said as he turned his full attention to Silver and smiled, holding his hand out to the young woman.
"Bruce Banner. It's—It's nice to meet you, Silver." Said woman wasn't surprised he had known who she was, after all, he was a genius and he was an Avenger. She was positive all of the Avengers had been informed of her arrival. She was just more relieved due to the fact that the man seemed as antsy as her; she could tell by the way he shifted his weight from one foot to the other and the way his smile seemed to disconnect from the anxious gleam in his eyes.
"The pleasure is really all mine, Dr. Banner," Silver stated with an even tone in her voice; she was surprised she could pull that off. The scientist smiled as he shook his head and chuckled.
"I'm nothing special, really. Bruce is just fine."
"I wouldn't say that, I mean, you did save Manhattan," Silver said with a smirk as Banner blinked before releasing a laugh.
"Well, when you put it that way." He rubbed the back of his head bashfully and took a seat at the island counter, Silver immediately looking around and grabbing a mug for him. He took it and watched as the blonde poured him a cup of coffee.
"Thanks," he said as Silver shook her head.
"Not a problem. Seeing as I'm really just a freeloader here, making coffee and food should be something I do without trouble."
"Just wait till you start working."
"I said when do you start working?" Bruce would let her discover the trouble with Tony on her own.
"Well, I'm not really sure when I officially start. I'm guessing I have until the end of this week and then I'll be on my way," the 30-year-old stated as Banner nodded.
"And you're all settled in?" he asked; he felt slightly guilty for forgetting the newest addition to the tower was arriving. Silver shook her head as she turned and set her cup in the dishwasher.
"I just have a few boxes I have to pick up from storage and then I have to unpack those. That should be the last of it though," the former Chicagoan explained as Bruce thought for a moment.
"…Need a ride?"
Silver tried to contain her excitement as she sat in the passenger seat of the navy blue corvette she was seated in beside Bruce. She stole glances at the genius ever so often, questioning her sanity. A part of her was sure she was delirious and seeing things, but the purr of the car and the wind whipping through the opened window was more than enough proof that she was truly sitting beside Bruce Banner in one of Tony Stark's cars.
She half-listened as the man talked about the other Avengers, stating that she'd probably see more of Steve and little of Clint, though Natasha was a bit harder to crack. "I think you'll end up fitting right in with all of us," Banner said reassuringly, which made Silver feel a bit better about her new lifestyle. She sighed and stared out the window for a moment before a question appeared in her head.
"…This might be a little personal…at least for Tony—"
"I was waiting for this question, actually." Silver blinked with a shocked expression on her face.
Guess Bruce was smarter than she thought.
"I was just wondering…what exactly happened between Pepper and Tony?" Bruce thought for a moment, trying to find the right words to say. He frowned a bit as he turned right at a stoplight. A sigh then slipped past his lips.
"To be honest, even I'm not really sure what happened," he answered honestly. "They seemed like they were great for each other, at first," he explained as Silver listened carefully. "But, it's Tony, and I'd say that you should hear this all from him." If only he'd ever actually talk to people.
The rest of the car ride was left in a comfortable silence, Silver pondering about Tony's past relationship. Her eyes softened as she remembered both expressions of the exes as they separated the day she had arrived. It was as if Pepper had just heard the worst news of her life—then again, a breakup can be the worst news to someone. And Tony, Silver didn't even know the man on a personal level, but she was sure that he could have never looked as demolished as he did the day Pepper had left in the elevator. It was as if he was letting a piece of himself go, the most important piece.
"Here we go." Silver looked up and smiled as they pulled up to the storage warehouse where her things had been dropped off when they had been shipped from Chicago. "I might not be the other guy right now, and I'm definitely no Cap or Thor, but I think I can help with a few boxes," Banner stated lightheartedly as Silver chuckled and nodded.
"No problem," Bruce said. "Now, let's get to work."
After carrying the rest of her boxes on to her floor, Silver was officially all moved in to the tower. She smiled to herself, happy that she had everything basically in place; she could worry about the little details later. The copper blonde sighed and made her way to the elevator, deciding to make her way back to the shared floor of the tower. She hummed softly to herself as she rode the car down five more floors. Finally, it stopped, the doors sliding open and allowing Silver to make her way to the kitchen.
"Yes, Ms. Livingston?"
"What am I allowed to use to make dinner?"
"Anything can be used to your disposal, ma'am."
"Thanks." Having the random voice appear at anyone's will was becoming rather convenient for Silver. She smiled to herself and nodded as she opened the pantry cabinet and glanced around. Then, a thought quickly struck her.
"Sorry, JARVIS. One more thing."
"Not a problem, at all."
"Master Stark is located in the lab. He has yet to leave," the A.I. stated as a large frown appeared on Silver's lips. She crossed her arms, her hip slightly jutted out to the left. She shook her head as she reached out and began grabbing materials for a sandwich.
"I guess I start now."
She took a few minutes to make a sandwich for herself before she began making another sandwich. She quickly finished putting it together before she devoured hers with little trouble; she was starving after her long day. After she grabbed a cup, she filled it with orange juice and made her way to the elevator. She waited anxiously in the car, her foot tapping lightly against the floor. She closed her eyes and shook her head as she took a deep breath and nodded to herself.
Tony was hard at work, riding off of five hours of sleep total and three cups of coffee, seven glasses of whiskey and a granola bar. He wasn't sure how he was able to push past the usual limits of a human being but then he remembered; he was Tony Stark. He could make it through just about anything.
Finishing off his latest modification to his Mark VII suit, Tony set the blowtorch down and sighed, not noticing the sound of light footsteps echoing against the floor. It wasn't until a jabbing feeling appeared in his gut—the feeling that he was no longer alone in his sanctuary. He set down his blow torch and turned, blinking with surprise as he watched Silver stare at the glass cases with his previous suits in them. He quickly noticed the curiosity gleaming in the blonde's eyes as she stared up at them wondrously, almost like she was stuck in a trance.
"Is there something I can do for you, Ms. Livingston?" he finally asked as the blonde jumped and gave him a nervous smile.
"Well, you've been in the lab for a while and I thought you might get hungry," Silver explained as she nodded towards the food in her hands. She quickly set the plate down on the counter as she smiled. "I figured I would bring you something to eat. Don't want my boss dying before the job even starts," she joked awkwardly, and had Tony known her longer he might have chuckled a bit.
As Tony opened his mouth to reply with a short thanks, a sudden idea popped into his mind. He blinked a few times before a cunning smirk appeared across his lips, though it went unnoticed by Silver. "This was really nice of you."
"It's no problem at all!"
"But I can't eat this." The confused blonde blinked as she slowly raised a brow at her boss.
"I'm a vegetarian."
A long moment of silence passed between the two as Silver stared incredulously at Tony, who was trying his best to keep a straight face. She cleared her throat as she shook her head and finally spoke up, saying, "…Y—You're a vegetarian?"
"Yeah, I was surprised too," Tony explained as he turned and released his held back smirk. "But I realized that it's my job to protect everyone, animals and all."
"…Wow…" Silver was genuinely lost for words.
"I'm a superhero of the world, the whole world," Tony stated dramatically, causing Silver to feel more flustered than she would have ever imagined.
"I…I'm sorry. I'll just go fix you something else to eat then."
"That would be great," Tony stated with a cheeky smile. Silver hesitated before she nodded and grabbed the plate, making her way back to the elevator.
"Oh and, uh, Livingston?" Said woman stopped as she looked back at the billionaire, who held up the cup of orange juice to her. "Scotch will be just fine." She quickly nodded, grabbing the cup and turning to make her way to the elevator.
Tony watched her go, and as she disappeared, he shook his head and smirked to himself. He turned back to his work and scoffed. "Vegetarian? That's a new one, Stark," he said to himself as he began to work once again.
He wanted to see how far this new assistant was willing to go. He wanted to see just how many buttons he could push—how many nerves he could tear until he found the blonde's core. He was going to push Silver until she couldn't bend. He would break her and show her just how difficult he could be. He wanted her to see exactly who he was and why everyone always left him.
He was doing her a favor.
"Vegetarian? Really?" Silver shook her head as she glanced through the fridge, looking for something more suitable for a vegetarian meal. She frowned to herself as she ran her fingers through her silk-like hair. "I would have never imagined—"
"Welcome back, Captain Rogers." Silver span around, and her eyes widened as she watched a tall and built man walk into the kitchen, pulling off a brown leather jacket that was slightly outdated, yet still fashionable. She felt a light blush come across her cheeks as the rather handsome stranger stopped dead in his tracks, his blue eyes bearing into her green ones. He blinked, confusion coming across his face before realization hit him. He put on his award-winning smile and approached Silver with all the confidence in the world as he nodded.
"You must be Stark's new assistant." Silver cleared her throat, gathering her composure, as she nodded and smiled.
"Silver Livingston," she successfully stated as the man known as Captain America nodded.
"Steven Rogers, ma'am."
"Silver's just fine," the blonde stated, causing a sheepish smile to appear across Steve's face.
"Right. And you can call me Steve."
"Nice to meet you, Steve." It really was. It wasn't every day you met a war hero from the second World War, not to mention a man who had just saved with world with the rest of the Avengers.
Silver was never going to get used to this.
"Were you just looking for something to make for dinner?" Steve asked curiously as he made his way around the counter and to the fridge. "Everything's looking a little bare in here, sorry about that," he stated with a sigh; he was going to have to go grocery shopping soon.
"It's not for me," Silver explained as she smiled weakly. "It's for Tony."
"Oh, anything should be fine then."
"That's what I thought," the young woman mumbled under her breath as she rolled her eyes.
"Hmm, did you try making him a sandwich?" the American symbol asked as Silver blinked.
"Yep. He's a little picky about his lunch meats but he loves chicken breast, so that should be fine." Silver stared at Steve for a long moment as she let his statement sink in, fully. The blond himself looked over at the silent woman before he raised a brow, wondering if he had said something strange; he was still trying to adjust to the new lingo.
"Sorry! Um, thanks. I'll keep that in mind next time," she stated with a smile as Steve nodded his head. He let his jaw fall open to say something when JARVIS cut in.
"Captain Rogers, Agent Sitwell is on channel two for you," the A.I. said, a more serious expression falling over Steve's face.
"Well, duty calls," he said as Silver smiled widely and nodded. She watched as Steve made his way to the elevator, the man disappearing behind sliding doors. The smile on the blonde's face immediately dropped as she stared at the untouched sandwich she had made for Tony. She placed her hands on her hips and glared as she shook her head.
"Vegetarian, my ass!" Silver was beginning to question her career choice.