Tabitha, Ramil and Ashley traveled to Malibu, California to Tony Stark’s home; a massive, rounded home that hung on a cliff looking below the Pacific Ocean. Tabitha looked around the circular driveway and put her attention back to the home.
“Umm… are you sure the coordinates were right…?” she knew better than to question J’onn’s judgment; however, as she stood in awe, she couldn’t believe that they were at the right location. It wasn’t as large as Bruce’s manor but it ranked high on Tabitha’s list.
“This… is pretty fucking impressive…” even Ramil was astounded by the sight.
“Yes; the coordinates were correct. I take that it is impressive…?” J’onn’s voice entered Tabitha’s ear.
“An understatement at least! Okay; let’s put out tongues back in our mouths: we got work to do.” she cleared her throat as they approached the door. Before anyone could locate the doorbell, the door swung open and the three were greeted by a slim, leggy woman. Her straight copper blonde hair was pulled back in a ponytail with bangs sweeping her forehead. The light grey business suit fit her well as she smiled at the three; as always, Tabitha felt underdressed, wearing a simple blue t-shirt and jeans with her once signature t-shirt head wrap.
“Miss Lyght, Mr. and Mrs. Jones; come in.” she simply announced, letting the three in.
“Oh… Mr. Stark must’ve told you…”
“That… and you’re also being scanned…” the idea made Tabitha stop walking. She looked around for some type of sensors in the large foyer area, “The best security known to man. Pepper Potts…” she finally introduced herself. Tabitha reluctantly shook her hand.
“…Pepper…?” she mused. The leggy woman kept her smile however pointed to the various freckles on her face, “Oh! Tabitha, Ashley and Ramil, then.”
The three were guided towards the living room area, which had a panoramic view of the ocean.
“Your home is really nice…”
“This is Mr. Stark’s home. I’m just CEO of his company.” Pepper corrected Ashley. As she approached the middle of the living room, the floor started to give way, transforming into a circular staircase.
“Holy shit…” Ramil couldn’t help himself. The three were about to follow Pepper down to what they could only think was a basement until she turned and looked at Tabitha.
“What do you know about Tony Stark?”
“… So far, he’s a filthy rich genius engineer superhero who may have too much money or time… or both on his hands!” she smiled. Pepper smiled back but shook her head.
“Seems as though you know very little! Just a warning; he considers himself a ladies’ man…”
“Wait… why didn’t she get the warning…?” Tabitha pointed to Ashley.
“Well… don’t worry; I’m taken…”
“… You are…?” Ramil looked at Tabitha.
“… Yeah… you don’t remember the twin brother incident…?” she eyed the husband and wife. They gave each other a slight look.
“Wait… what?! You and J’onn…” Ashley trailed off. Tabitha sighed.
“C-Can we just keep that between us, please? Anyway… thanks for the warning… but I’m pretty sure I can handle him…” Tabitha smiled at Pepper. She didn’t know what all Peter had told about her; she actually found herself looking forward to Stark “misbehaving”.
When the three followed Pepper down into the basement, they were absolutely amazed at what laid in front of them.
“Jesus… it’s like another house down here!” Ramil’s eyes widened. The “basement” was complete with a training area, a garage and most noted, lab areas. On the far wall, Tabitha noticed the display of armors that she knew she would be working on; roughly six. In the middle of the room was where the group found Tony Stark. His short, black hair laid in a slightly cropped mess on top of his head as he made modifications to a piece of red metal. His black tank top revealed toned and defined arms. The man’s arms weren’t what stuck out to her; the light blue circular glow in the middle of his chest did.
“Sir, you have guests…” a voice came from nowhere, partly computerized. Yet again, Tabitha found herself trying to find the source but failed. Tony reluctantly removed his goggles and slightly glared at the group. Even as he didn’t hide the fact that they were probably not welcomed, Tabitha couldn’t help but to agree that the professor was right; he was indeed handsome. When his eyes landed on her, they softened a bit as a smile played on his lips. She cleared her throat and approached the workstation, sticking her hand out.
“Tabitha Lyght. Heard you needed some help with your suits.” she introduced herself. He simply stared at her, not even bothering to shake her hand.
“Hmm; southern?” he bluntly asked.
“Born and raised!” she was about to retract her hand until he finally shook it, “This is Ramil and Ashley; I hope you don’t mind…”
“I do, actually. But, since you’re already here, we might as well get to work. So… how do you know Peter…?” he asked casually as he stood and went over to his wall of prototypes.
“Um… I was his sidekick… but I’m pretty sure he told you everything about me…”
“He did; I just wanted to hear it from the source.”
“Oh… okay… what you want to know about…?”
“Your alien boyfriend.”
“Martian; what about him?”
“You two have sex?” his question made Ashley and Ramil snicker. Tabitha widened her eyes at his audacity.
“I mean, you would think that it would be incompatible if not impossible. I’m just intrigued about the whole thing. Is he built like a human man or is the sex a mind thing…?”
“Oh… my, God…” Ashley laughed.
“No need for formalities, here; call me Tony.”
“No… I can’t do that. Anyway… it’s none of your business if w…”
“What? Why can’t you? We’re working together, right? Is it a southern thing? You know; hospitality or something like that?”
“It’s… something I don’t wanna get into right now… and that also includes my sex life… which everyone’s got a sudden interest in…” the thought made her slightly blush; she could imagine her best friend doing her lewd dance at that moment, “Look; if you ain’t gonna take this seriously, we can leave.”
“Calm down, southern belle… so, what can you do to these suits?” he waved his arm over to the wall. She joined him and examined the suits from afar.
“… Well… I could make ‘em indestructible but I’d have to take ‘em apart and assemble ‘em all over again…”
“You can do that?” she finally saw a look of surprise on his face and smiled slightly.
“I mean, they’d probably get dinged a little bit but… yeah. Nothing would destroy ‘em…”
“If you can do all that… what the hell do you need us for?” Ramil asked. Her smile grew.
“To make things go by faster! We’re gonna have to dismantle and reassemble. You got blueprints…?” she looked at Tony. He nodded and tapped at his temple, making her lose her smile, “Great…”
For the remainder of the day, the four worked on improving the Iron Man suits. They figured on a method of disassembling all of the suits first, letting Tabitha work her ability on the metal pieces and then reassembling. However, Tony insisted on a trial run and reassembled the Mark II armor first. When he stepped into the suit, it was then that Tabitha realized that whatever was glowing in the middle of Tony’s chest powered up the suit.
“Let’s see what you’ve improved…” he said before putting on his face helmet. The slits that served as eyes lit the same light blue as the orb in the middle of his chest plate. After a few moments going through a checklist, he nodded and motioned for the three, “Give me everything you got.” he challenged. The husband and wife duo looked at Tabitha and she shrugged.
“Okay…” she nodded towards the two. Ramil immediately took a fighting stance briefly before releasing a large stream of fire towards Tony. When it came into proximity, he flicked his wrists, making the stream engulf Tony in an upward spiral. Out of habit, he attempted to shield himself from the fire. Tabitha held her breath, looking on to see if there was any damage. When the fire dissipated and there were no visible signs of any damage, she let out a slight sigh of relief. Without hesitation, Ashley opened up her canteen that she carried on her hip and guided the water out of it. Expanding it, she threw the water towards Tony as hard as she could, encasing him in a bubble. With a quick clench of her fist, the pressure inside the bubble crashed onto him, sending him to his knees. Tabitha didn’t wait for him to get up, she charged up with all of her might and sent various streaks of lightning towards the suit, knocking him back a few feet. She had hoped that the combination of her lightning and Ashley’s water didn’t short circuit the suit as the three approached him. She smiled as the lights in his eye slits and chest plate were still glowing; he gave the three a thumbs up as he immediately removed his head plate.
“That was… amazing! ‘Dawling’, do you know what you just did?”
“Your lightning… charged up my suit…”
“Whoa…” Ramil blinked at the two.
“Well, I should’ve known it would but not beyond max capacity! One final test…” he looked at Ashley, “You can work with water; can you form ice?” he asked. She gave him a quick nod, “Freeze me…” he ordered, getting up. Ashley looked at Tabitha for some sort of approval.
“Hold that thought; what the hell is a ‘dawling’?”
“He’s mocking your accent…” Ashley pointed out. She narrowed her eyes at Tony as he slightly rolled his.
“Anyway; something about ice you don’t like?”
“High altitudes causes the suit to ice over and shut down. It just survived flames and built up water pressure so I’m curious. Now… freeze me…” he put his helmet back on. Tabitha nodded towards Ashley, who pulled out more water from her canteen and made it wrap around various parts of the armor. A slight movement of her hands made it ice over and the three waited for some sort of reaction. Seconds later, cracking was heard as Tony freed himself from the ice patches, hovering a couple of feet in the air.
“Nice…” even Tabitha had to show her amusement. He landed back on the ground, removed his helmet and gave the lightning woman a slight smile.
“Is there any way that I can hire you…?”