Who: Darcy, Tony, Natasha What: Busted! Nat tips Tony off that Darcy's snooping some secret SHIELD files pre-Chitauri attack, and how it links back to Thanos. When: Monday morning (8/13) Rating: Green
"Want an island in the Bahamas?" Tony was asking Natasha Romanoff, in that typical random fire-at-will way he had about him.
Nat was used to Tony’s random banter. After coming to S.I to discuss her spear and how to advance it, it seems their conversation, courtesy of Tony had taken a sudden turn to his usual banter. A light smile formed at the edges of her mouth as she crossed her arms and shrugged at Tony’s comment about getting her and Cint an Island.
"Are you two......you and him....You and Clint. I mean, we had a betting pool that was hands down saying you two were a thing." Tony was making hand motions to indicate a 'thing' going on. "At some point."
There it was, her brow arching at Tony. For being so self centered Tony was very good at being aware of others around him. Despite not saying a work on the matter, Nat gave him a slight side smirk.
“Ya know there’s this thing, called privacy Tony. You should give it a try.” That smirk still over her features as she rolled her eyes at Tony.
Tony blinked profusely at that.
"That's overrated because I need them deets," he replied, followed by a charming megawatt smile.
Nat knew the perfect way to not only distract Tony from her and Clint’s private relationship but also how to point out something he had managed to overlook.
“You are aware that Lewis is looking into SHIELD files, right?” But judging by his expression, he had no idea of what was going on under his nose.
".......uh, what?" That made him do a double-take. "I gave her some clearance so she could compile info but....she used the clearance as a workaround. Sonnuvabitch."
He should have realized it, since Darcy hacked SHIELD's files before. They bragged about it as a joke, months ago. Now it wasn't too funny.
Nat didn’t trust people she didn’t know. She’d heard the stories about Lewis. Sweet girl, funny, always made people smile. Almost like a trickster. So, when rumors caught her eat about her and Loki potentially being a thing, her suspensions just grew, so she took matters into her own hands as usual and kept track of this girl, that no one really knew anything about. “Here’s a report on what she’s been looking into.”
Tony took the report while looking at Nat warily.
"Ok, so what is this anyway. So weirded out now."
When asked what Lewis had been looking into, Nat crossed her arms for the moment. “Loki’s alien invasion on Earth” Is all she said as she stood her ground.
Tony frowned. "Well? She's supposed to be helping out aliens so....he's stuck under Thor's protection. Maybe that's why she's looking into it. Is there something specific she's been looking at the most?"
“The videos that stand out the most are these two” Shows Loki’s first arrival in SHIELD lab and the museum scene that was caught on security cameras. “She’s looked at these two videos over twenty times, within the past two weeks.” Emerald eyes coming to glance in Tony’s direction for the moment.
"...ok, I like deets, but seriously, I draw the line at infringing on other people's porn habits while they're at work. I have this thing, there's these swedish twins...."
Lucky for everyone, he stopped short before elaborating any further. "What do you think she's doing?" He was honestly asking her opinion because he knew Nat always got a good read on people.
She thought for a moment, as she crossed her arms. “My guess? If the person I was in love with did something horrific like Loki did, I’d want to look into it. See if it was really his doing, or if someone else was pulling the strings. It’s common sense.”
"Like with Clint."
When he mentioned like Clint all Nat could do was exhale slowly and give him a fim nod of her head. “Lewis is a clever girl...too clever if you ask me.”
"Shit. You think it's possible?" Tony watched the clip for a moment. He puffed out an exasperated exhale, and a lot of that was aimed at himself. "Yeah. I noticed that. She also hacked this stuff, without permission. I should fire her ass."
When Tony mentioned firing Lewis, Nat just smirked. “But you won’t because she reminds you too much of yourself. And she’s an important chess piece between our diplomats and the Asgardians. We can’t afford to ruin that tie.” Nat was always more level-headed out her family members. Which as never a good thing.
"Bingo. And you've won the lotto too. Lucky you!"
Although his tone was lighthearted, there was a sarcastic smirk. Nat was spot on as usual, and a lot of the banter with Lewis had been because their personalities were similar in the way they used sarcasm for deflection and like a suit of armor.
If anyone knew anything about Nat, is she needed to know things, at all times. So after meeting Lewis a few weeks ago she bugged her phone. It was easy really, all she needed to do was get close enough to her to frequent a tracking jammer on her phone. Thor’s party was the perfect moment before she went off upstairs. Which also caught the assassin's attention on how Lewis seemed to be able to roam freely in the Asgardian home. “I bugged her phone.” She finally said to Tony.
"Find anything on it?" He was grim-faced, swiping his fingers toward the vid screen to scroll through the video files.
A heavy sigh escaped her lips. “She mentions Thanos name a few times…. And from what I can gather, she knows how to speak Asgardian… Fluently, at that.” Which was weird to her. How did a small thing like Lewis know about Thanos, let alone know how to speak the language of the Asgards so soon? Either way, none of it was settling right with her.
"We haven't been throwing his name out there much. And how the hell did she learn to speak Asgardian fluently? She's only been here like...what...three weeks? A month?"
Another shrug was given.” Whatever is going on in that home, no one seems to know anything. No one except those two.” She said about Loki and Darcy.
"Her and Loki? Fan-freakin'-tastic." Tony looked and sounded frustrated. "Did you get his end of the convo or only what she typed out?"
“Kinda hard to bug a phone that disappears in thin air.” Was all she said about trying to track Loki’s phone.
A roll of her eyes was soon seen. “Did you really expect anything less?... Have you seen the snake she carries with her now?” It was something Nat noticed rather quickly. What looked like a bracelet was an actual snake with scales that shimmered a gold sheen over all the green.
"Yeah, that thing freaked me out on day one. What the hell, who gives their girlfriend a snake? Obvious penis reference there." He paused, taking two-point-five seconds for a joke. "Ha ha, I said penis. Human resources would be on my ass like glue if they heard me saying that in the workplace. That I own."
“Tony focus, obviously the snake is from Loki.” She said having to bring Tony back to their conversation since he always seemed to trail off when things started getting a little too intense for his liking.
"....the snake is Loki?" Tony asked, almost wondering if he was taking a leap too far with that logic.
“That’s what I think. Plus it’s weird she suddenly knows how to speaks Asgardian and knows Thanos when none of us have mentioned him too much publicly.” A deep sigh escaped her lips. So far whatever Lewis was doing wasn’t looking too good. Especially if she was involved with Loki.
"Yeah." He was more serious now while he looked at the videos and files that Lewis accessed. "She's kinda....not kinda, who am I joking? She's heavily involved with him. So part of it might be the whole in love with him thing and the other part might be....I dunno? Trying to see if he was a puppet on strings, like Clint was.
"Does Clint have any insights into that? Or....might not want to bother him with it right now," he amended quickly, answering his own question.
“I'll find out what Clint thinks. We have to go Hong Kong for Fury. Heavily involved or not if she knows anything we need to find out what” A sigh escaped her lips as she came to finally uncross her arms.
"I'll keep an eye on anything else she's pulling while you're gone." Tony was unsettled by this. "You're on the weapons thing with Fury, aren't you."
“She's a sweet kid Tony. Maybe it's time to not treat her like one and find out what's going in with her and Loki.” When he mentioned the weapons she nodded her head.”Yea weapons.”
"Fucking leak from inside Hammer Industries. Did you hear that some of those weapons were found in a Harlem gang war? I'm surprised a stockpile didn't end up on Easter Island." He knew that Fury and SHIELD were on the experimental weapons leak and he was monitoring along in case he needed to talk to Steve about helping out. That was a concern, yes, as was the fact that he didn't want to think about Lewis becoming the equivilent of a problem child for anyone of them. "She is a sweet kid. She's like...Hufflepuff, and she's hooked up with a guy from Slytherin. You just don't do that. Those houses don't mix."
“Well she did and rather fast at that.” She said about Loki and Lewi. That thought alone didn’t settle right with her either.”You notice anything strange about her since she got here?”
"Nope. She's just....Lewis." He shook his head. "Did he coerce her? Or force her to?"
“Yeah and how well do you know Lewis?” How well did anyone know anything about Darcy Lewis. The girl was a puzzle and Nathated puzzles.
"Pretty much hung out for the past seven months every day at work. She's mouthy and she'd cover for him if she could. I know she would. But so far...everything he's done....it hasn't been....setting sail for fail. He fucked up a couple times but it was misguided bullshit about protecting Thor and her, blah blah blah."
Tony stopped when he noticed Natasha staring at him. "What?"
“Tony...That the other Lewis you're talking about... the one who disappeared. What do you know about this Lewis” Nat understood it was easy to get confused, but there still had to be things different about the two. Wasn’t there?
Tony shook his head as though clearing it, because it was easy to forget that. Once you met the same person in multiple incarnations, the impact of it became more...familiar...each time.
"She's pretty much identical but way more focused on work than other Darcy was." That familiarity worked against him, and Tony's irritation started to get the best of him. "I'm ten seconds away from a knee jerk reaction. Knee jerk means I fire her and we probably won't find out more, but our data will be safe. I kick ass at knee jerking."
“Don't fire her. Not yet anyways” Is all she said on that matter.
"Kinda want to!"
Tony sounded cheerful about the prospect, as he was wandering off to a nearby counter to get coffee
"Tempted!" he added, quickly.
“We’re all tempted to do things but right now isn't the time” She said persistaning Tony not fire the girl, because in the end she could be a viable asset to whatever was coming their way.
Tony turned on his heel to face her.
"Actually, it is the time. When you find out someone is hiding shit, and they've busted into shit, and they might be pulling shit with the guy that tried to lead an alien invasion on this city. And we're still living with the aftermath of that, because Hammer tech blackmarket weapons. And she's dick whipped by the guy responsible for it."
A low grumble of annoyance was soon heard. “Or you could just ask her.”
"Me? Heh! You think she'd tell me?"
“Yes.”It was the simplest answer Nat could give him.
"If she asked for the files? I would've given them to her. She didn't ask. She took."
Bitter about this, Tony made a scoffing noise and looked aside.
Nat soon gave Tony a faint smile. “She acts like you. That's why you're annoyed” She said trying to hold in her soft laugh. It was almost as if Lewis was Tony’s daughter with the way she behaved.
Tony turned to pour his coffee but there's a clipped 'maybe' that could be heard from his direction. This was followed by a 'probably.' And finally, "Ok, yes. She is. Do you ever get tired of being all freaky deaky right about stuff? I'm just wondering. That has got to be the most tiring thing ever. It's so Russian. All stoic and....vodka."
Tony began drinking his coffee while eyedarting over the top rim of the cup. Finally, when Natasha was silent and staring at him expectantly, he waved the hand that isn't clutching onto the cup and rolled his eyes.
"I'll call her in for a talk and ask what the hell's going on."
Nat smiled. “Love you too Tony.” When he mentioned calling her later, she simply grabbed the phone and held it out to him. “Call her now.” Nat didn’t like waiting for later. She wanted information now.
Tony eyed the phone and then took it, dialing her number and putting it on speaker so Nat could hear.
Darcy had left the house about thirty minutes ago to head into work early. As usual. Despite Loki trying to keep her in bed she’d managed to get away. So when she saw Tony was calling she smiled. Unaware of what the day was going to be like. “Hey Tony!” She said cheerfully as usual.
"Hey you. Busy?"
When asked if she was busy she shook her head, as if he could see her. “Nope, just pulling into the garage at S.I. What’s up?” She asked she came to put the car in par and grab her things from the sid seat.
Tony looked over at Nat. "You're here?"
Laughs slightly “Well yeah? It’s Monday, people typically come into work on Mondays.” She said jokingly. “Hey, if this is about the glitter, I swear it was just a joke.” She said snickering into her hand.
"....glitter. What glitter. Seriously? There's glitter?"
At the mention of glitter, Nat made the stratical move of backing out of Tony’s office slowly, so not to trigger this glitter that was clearly a surprise for Tony and Tony alone.
Tony was pointing at Nat like don't-you-daaaaare as he said, "Can you pop upstairs to my lab for a mo?"
By the time Tony pointed in her direction all he would see is her backside leaving the glitter-trap filled office of his….
”Sure thing, I’ll be there in twenty minutes with iced coffee, Boss man.” She said happily before ending her call and going to the cafe in S.I. As promised, twenty minutes go by before Darcy is barging into the lab.
“I am here!” She said overly cheerful. Why shouldn't she be? Loki was home. “What’s up Boss man?” Asking as she came next to Tony with her drink in hand.
Tony moved his hands so that multiple screens pop up with the vids running and the files she accessed.
"Yeaaaaaaah," he said, nose scrunching up. "I don't like wasting time."
Darcy was in the middle of a sip when she suddenly stopped as she came to look at those videos suddenly blown up in her face...A face that she was making at that moment.Fuck
Tony held out both arms and shrugged, mirthlessly smirking and his dark eyes were round and regretful.
"Busted, huh. How'd you do it? Backdoor exploit? Stolen password?"
And there it was. The millions questions on how little Darcy Lewis could do anything. She swallowed hard as she shifted her eyes away from Tony.
”...I... hacked your firewall system..” She said in a hushed whisper.
"How'd you get Friday to ignore you?" Tony asked. "You ran interference somehow."
Darcy was getting nervous. “I sent off an Easter egg to keep her distracted while I download the files” She said sheepishly since she knew she was in trouble.”..Tony, I can explain…”
Tony was already in motion, reaching for a nearby pouch after hopping up onto a lab chair and spinning it around for one full rotation.
"Quinoa chip? Have to offer. You know. Last meal. Because I am beyond tempted to just axe you." He rolled his eyes before honing his gaze right back on her. "Start. Explaining. ASAP. Like yesterday."
Tony popped a quinoa chip in his mouth and chewed slowly, so he could hear past the crunch.
All she could do at this point was just exhale as she held her head up. “I don’t think Loki was fully aware of what he was doing, when he was doing it.” It was her truth, she really believed Loki wasn’t in full control of himself, when he invaded.
"What's making you think that?" he asked.
She’d moved to the first video. Oh Loki arriving at the lab as she pointed. “What do you see, Tony?”
"Loony Toons shows up and mind jacks everyone he can. Followed by killing a whole lot of SHIELD agents doing their jobs. What're you seeing?" asked Tony as he ate another chip.
She sighed. “Tony look at his face. He's covered in sweat he has bags under his eyes he looks distraught. He looks like he's been tortured.” She says as she pulls up her phone pics to one of Loki’s face and blows his up “What so you see different in these two pictures?” Asking as she moved to the side to let Tony examine.
"He just got pushed out a hole through a cube. I'd expect he'd have some road rash." Tony was exasperated but looked at the photo. "What am I looking at here?"
He looked at the screen again and then at the picture, squinting.
“Tony Loki has green eyes... Not blue,” is all she says about Loki’s eyes.
"I swear that he was glaring at me at the Tavern on the Green in January and they weren't pure greenish then. They were like this weird pale...blue-green, watery death glare thing. His eyes are weird. I dunno. You gotta give me more than this, kid. The lighting in there is shitty and the Tesseract was electric blue...."
"You're gonna have to give me something more than this." Tony looked up the screen and called out, "Friday! Clean that up." Gimme something else.
"Yes, boss," the computerized voice said from all around them as it started to filter and brighten and adjust the video files into multiple versions.
Darcy was frustrated, trying a different approach. “...Tony...is Thanos purple?”
"That's another thing," he said. "I mean, I'm not gonna keep it a secret, because it's not. How do you know that with what color he is?"
“Loki told me, Thanos killed him.” She said closing her eyes thinking about the look Loki had when he told her about that.
"I mean, Thanos's name is on the network, buried in comments....and....eh?" Tony blinked and both eyebrows eeked upward.
She started to get angry with Tony’s expression. “I told you this the night I asked you to look into the cracks of the universe because of Loki’s dreams! I told you Thanos killed him and you replied with maybe he had it coming!” She said glaring at him. Even though she had no real right to do any glaring.
"Well, yeah, but...."
“But nothing!” She screamed out.
Tony glared at her. "Don't get pissed at me. I got the scientists on it. You stole fucking files from SHIELD, Lewis."
“This is his fault! All of this is Thanos fault!’ She said stomping her foot on the ground at Tony.
"And you're trying to tell me that Loki is innocent. So ok, smart ass," he said impatiently, while tossing the bag aside. "Has he confessed? Has he said, 'Hi, my name's Loki, and I was mind raped by Grimace'? Has he said it at all? ANYTHING that would lead you to believe he's innocent of doing it?"
She quieted down. ”....No.... But he gets fidgety when I try to talk about it.”
"Or shady because he's smart enough not to incriminate himself. Stop making excuses. If he hasn't told you then he probably did it himself."
Darcy was tight lipped for a second. “And if your wrong like you were wrong about trying to ignore the cracks I warned you about?”
"Didn't ignore it. Confirmed it. You don't get to point the blame finger at me, because you got caught with your pants down about this," he snarked, while pointing around at all the stolen info on displays around them. "What pisses me off, is that I trusted you....or past you, and NOPE! Bad idea. Hugely."
She tightened her fists. Again she was compared to her and it was starting to get under her skin. ”I'M NOT FUCKING HER!!”
"Really? NO JOKE! She wouldn't have BURNED me like this!" he yelled back at her.
“She also wouldn't be telling you this either!” She said screaming back at him once more.
Never shying away from conflict, Tony got up in her grill immediately, until they were nose to nose.
"Nope, she wouldn't. Because she lied for him before. And you lied again when you busted into my system and stole shit that didn't belong to you, instead of asking. Now PLEASE keep trying to cop attitude at me. I love it when people do that."
He glared at her for a long moment and then turned to grab his coffee as he grumbled, "If Pep finds out, shit will hit the fan."
“Monsters aren't born. They're created,” is all she said to Tony for that moment.
Tony's jaw tightened but he was otherwise quiet.
“So how badly does a God have to be tortured before breaking?” She asked as she finally looked up at Tony, with a curious expression on her features.
"I don't believe in gods or even a 'god.' They'e aliens, kiddo. Ale-eee-ins."
Tony began to suck down his coffee with earnest, swearing that his heart was going to explode any day now.
“Aesir. That's what they are. Question still stands how much does someone endure before broken and pieces back together in someone else image.”
"Ask Clint. He's got a good answer. Really insightful." Tony pointed up at at screen showing that very moment playing in a loop. "Look, there he is! Getting mind raped by your boyfriend. Seconds. It took seconds."
She sighed as she looked away from the video. She’d seen it a hundred times and it never got easy. “You don't believe me. Do you?”
"I want to," he said with a sigh of his own, clearly exasperated. "But without confirmation, without Loki saying 'Hey, this happened to me and it was shitty and here's all the info you ever want to know?' I can't believe it, because it's a theory."
Tony snatched up a nearby bottle of water and popped an aspirin, taking a big swig to wash it down.
“Would you admit it? If you were mind raped would you admit it...would your pride let you?” She asked wondering if he would understand that. That Loki’s pride was all consuming over him half the time. She stood up to toss her full iced coffee away in the trash.
"Yep! I would. I have PTSD and anxiety up the wazoo. I admit it. Panic attacks. Fun times!"
Darcy stood up and tossed her full iced coffee into the trash.
That's fine. Tony stood up too.
"Nope, not done with you yet. If he breathes a word about Thanos, I wanna know about it. I'm revoking your access and I'm going to have Friday monitor every KEYSTROKE that you push here or anywhere else to access the servers.
"You want a file? Ask for it," he said, snippishly. "Because I would've said yes. I would've given it to you."
“You know why I didn't ask!”
"Nope! Dying to find out," he shot back, staring at her pointedly.
“Because it's Loki. Because I'm the only person who thinks and believes be wasn't in control. I needed those files to make my argument to you. To him. To everyone that yeah Loki is evil he's psychotic but he's also a victim like the rest of us and whatever Thanos did because I'm sure it was him. Is still affecting him now.!”
"If you needed them," he said like he was speaking to a small child. "All you would've needed to do. Was ask me."
She lowered her head. ”I hear him in his sleep. He thinks I don't but I do” She said with such sadness in her voice in that moment.
"Look. I don't care how much I hate the guy. I believe in second chances," he offered, before quieting at that and drawing in a deep cleansing breath. "You've burned through one chance, Lewis. This round. Don't do it again. And get him to admit it."
He knew the sort of things Pepper had to wake up to, could see in her eyes the way it scared her, and in a way, Tony couldn't blame Darcy for wanting to find some answers. After a moment of quiet, he asked, "Is it bad? While he's sleeping?"
“He's terrified.... Wakes up in cold sweats and screaming sometimes.” She said with a heavy sigh. “He doesn’t know I know.”
"...yep, sounds bad." He had his back turned to Darcy at that point, making it look as though he was swishing his coffee around or fiddling with some tools, even though he was texting Nat with one hand. Distractions. Tony was good at talking as a means of distraction. "If you can prove it, I'll eat my words about the guy. Big fat if."
“Like I said I'm working on it but.. it's a lot he's dealing with.” It went beyond what Odin and Asgard did to him, it was a clusterfuck mix of then, the fall, Thanos and everything and everyone turning on him.
"More than just purple nurple problems?"
“Yes... he's constantly at war with himself...Loki can be the most sweetest person ever and then suddenly he's cruel and he doesn't know why.. so it's a lot of layers.” She said looking at Tony on his phone for the moment.
"That's not making me feel at ease," he said while texting that through to Nat too. And if all else failed? Friday was monitoring what was being said inside his personal lab at all times.
“I'm being honest.” She said defensively.
"I know," he grumbled, locking the phone screen and setting it aside, so he could fiddle with another tool for a few more idle seconds.
Looks at her ring finger and plays with the skin.
Tony turned in time to noticed that. "Shit. You are in it to win it with a wannabe dictator, aren't you. He didn't put a ring on it yet? Gee. Bummer."
She sighed heavily. ”....He can't”
"Why not? He pretty much does what he wants otherwise. And seems to get away with it."
“Despite what a lot of people think he doesn't want me to be linked to a war criminal..Its why outside you guys no one knows anything.” And she hated it, hated that she couldn’t go out in public with Loki, like everyone else did with the person the loved.
"Wow. Giving him credit where credit is due. If you two were out in the open, the tabloids would freakin' LOVE you two. Keep it that way. Take that word of advice. The amount of shit you would get flipped from people's families....or loved ones...or friends....of all those deceased people....would be epic."
For a few token seconds, Tony looked regretful. His dark eyes were large and round, almost soulful, the very thing he always said was annoying about the way Cap looked at them whenever he knew someone could be better than they were acting.
"I like you, Lewis. I don't like seeing people I like get hurt. But it happens. And I can't slap your hand and say no." He pointed around at the files, both words and video. "But if you do this again? I'm axing you."
She listened to what he was saying and nodded her head. There are sniffles since she wanted to cry but is holding herself together as much as possible.
Ohhhh noooo not the girl tears! Nope nope noping right out of there and...waitatick? This was his place. She can take those outta there pronto.
Tony walked by and patted a hand on Darcy's shoulder.
"Ask me. I mean it. Ask. That's all you have to do. Even if it's wild and crazy and off the wall. Now get to work. And keep your files. We know about them now. You stole 'em fair and square."
Takes her phone to take the picture down but Tony could see a lot of goofy smiling pictures of the two before down.
Wisely, for once, Tony said nothing about it. No mouth vomit. It was pure concern for people half his age doing crazier things with their lives than he was doing with his.
"Skedaddle." He made a shooing motion with his hand. "I can't believe you wasted that coffee."
“It’s not from Paris.” She said running off to her office for the day.
Tony watched her go and gets back to work, opening a drawer and is instantly showered in glitter of red and gold.
".......found it!" Tony exclaimed, holding his arms out like a messiah. "I feel pretty!"
“Love you!!” Darcy screamed as she forwarded the pix of Loki in purple glitter on his face and hair. ”Got his ass too”
"You do look pretty, boss," Friday commented, sounding amused.
"Ha! I know it." He checked his phone and spent a minute laughing about that pic. "Loki got glitter bombed. Deserved it."
Darcy petted Nagini, a magical construct it's not a pet! serpent that Loki gifted to her. “Go scare Tony.”
Nagini slithered off to find a way upstairs, and laid in wait until the funny loud man who talks too much comes out of the lab door. Nagini hissed mightily, followed by blowing a teeny bubble of green light made of retina burningness (maybe if it was dark). Take that, human!
In an instant, Tony tapdanced back into the lab and locked the door, pointing down at the snake through the glass.
"I have an Raiders of the Lost Ark policy when it comes to snakes!"
Nagini raised her head and swayed proudly, having followed her mistress' orders.
Nat hadn’t gone far from the lab, as she let the father/daughter duo work out their issues before finally coming back into the lab. Arms crossed once more. “Well Tony?”
Tony pointed at Darcy's pet snake - shudder - like it should stay out there and not come in. Lucky for him, the door slid shut and the snake stayed out. It did do a little snake dancing motion like a snake charmer was playing a flute at it.
"Got the messages?" he asked Nat.
“Bad dreams and bipolar moods” Is all she said about the text messages he had sent her while he was in his dispute with this Lewis girl.
"Yep. He's not admitting it though, other than Thanos killed him."
Nat balls her fist at the name again. Thanos was the source of all her anger lately.
Tony noticed that, looking at her fist before focusing back on her consistently neutral face. At least Natasha Romanoff wasn't going to have to use a lot of wrinkle cream way, way down the road of life.
"I let her off with a warning and let her keep the files. She'll have that cleaned up version in about five minutes."
“Do you believe her”? Nat asked with an arched brow. Her arms crossing over her chest once more as she waited to see what Tony had to say.
"It's a theory." Tony shrugged "Baseless unless he admits it. Doesn't sound like he's admitting shit."
“Or is she trying to make excuses for a monster she's in love with. She said coldly.
You sound like you don't believe her," he replied with a smirk.
“I DON'T trust Loki,” She said in one rushed voice. With everything Loki had done to Clint, it wasn’t easy for Nat to just forgive and forget. She held grudges. Unless proven wrong.
"I don't either. But if the guy got used like a tool for someone else, then...hey, I can't blame him as much as I can't blame Barnes for the stuff he did. Someone else pulling the strings. Blame the string pullers. Not the puppets on the end of 'em."
“Show me the strings and I’ll believe it than.” She said firmly as she kept her arms crossed under her breast for the moment. Tight-lipped at that.
"I'm leaving that up to Lewis. She's insightful, remember?"
“Tony you know if she's wrong and he did do this it's going to kill her, right?” Nat almost felt sorry for Darcy. Almost.
"Yeah, but...if you made your own bed, you have to lie down in it. And one more thing," he told Natasha. "We both got second chances to make up for stuff we did wrong before. Shitty as he is, I can't really fly the finger at someone else trying to get that, the same as we did."
“So you're giving Loki a second chance?” She asked with a raised brow suddenly.
"I may be pretty but I'm not that dumb, Nat. He's on my top ten list of suspects when shit goes wrong. If Lewis can prove me wrong? I'll eat my words and bump him down into the top fifty."
"I've been wondering."
"About?" he asked.
"If this is a duplicate of Earth and all that crap then where is his scepter."
"Easy. It got broken into and the mind stone is in Vision's forehead. Same as the original earth. And Vis is in Wakanda, where T'Challa and Shuri can watch over him. Safe spot."
"Yeah. Defenses seemed better there, or so I've heard."
“So she's not under any mind-control?” She asked having to make sure once more.
"Nope. Not that I can tell. She's acting like herself. Both selves. Fuck, this gets confusing," he shrugged and looked relieved to hear that he and Vision had made a good choice for once, to send the stone off to Wakanda.
“I still think anyone not avenger or alien should be sent to Wakanda” It made sense to her. “I’d like to keep the civilians safe this time around” Another firm nod was given as she uncrossed her arms.
"Probably not a bad idea. Maybe bring it up at the meeting. Expect everyone not an Avenger or an alien to pitch a bitch about it," he said. "We can't really make them go, you know. Pep's not gonna leave. I'm making her a suit. In case I'm not around again."
Hearing Tony say he was making Pepper a suit made her smile slightly. “Good idea” She said with a firm nod, that way she was protected.
"Sometimes I have those. Sometimes I don't. It's a crapshoot."
Tony pulled up the cleaned up video so they could watch it.
"She said his eyes are green. I've gotten some close looks in mid-threat and they're like a really pale blue green color." He paused it to get in close and squinted. "He does look like shit. Good!"
Tony stared at the eyes and the color of them for a long moment before he said anything further. There was too much to finish on his end to mess with this, and if there was someone already actively pursuing it? More power to 'em if they dredged up evidence.
".......yep. Letting Lewis follow these breadcrumbs. Sorry, Nat. I'm gonna give it the benefit of the doubt."
When the video was brought up, Nat moved to stare at it. The comment on him looking like shit didn’t really mean anything to her. But she did notice the color of his eyes for the moment. “I’ll talk to Cint once he wakes up….”
"Probably a good idea. I'm gonna go catch that catnap I didn't take last night. Or try to." He nodded but didn't look at her. He was too busy watching the screens. "Thanks. For tipping me off."
“No problem now come to the meeting and bring this up.” She said arching a brow and watching Tony closely for the moment. It was another reason Nat gave him the file. As a bait to get him to the meeting Steve was holding.
"With Thor there? Ouch. Isn't that a pull-the-guy-aside-and-tell-him moment?" Tony asked, with a wince. "You're better with bad news. I'm running on fumes, here."
Nat rolls eyes at Tony for the moment. “Fine I'll let him know what's going on” She said crossing her arms once more slightly annoyed.
"......once we know more," Tony warned, wanting firmer leads than this.
“And I’m pretty sure your kid hasn't told anyone what she's been doing.”She nodded agreeing to wait until they had more information.
"Nah, she's not gonna announce it. No knee jerking. That's Thor's brother and we know he's all weird about this subject. I think we need more proof before steamrolling into this."
“I could always interrogate him again.” She replied with a slight smirk coming across her lips for the moment.
"It's your favorite thing!" Tony chirped.
Shrugs her shoulders. “It passes the time between missions.”
Tony was grinning at her as he backed into his lab space's personal office.
"Nope. Never turning my back on you ever again, Agent Spooky."