A Helping Hand 1.6Mature

She was upset with both men however, she felt that Tony at least deserved to know what his supposedly friend had done. When she went by his home, she realized that either he was wealthier than she expected or what happened the night before was commonplace; there were no signs of the fight between the two. An apologetic yet frustrated Pepper found his coordinates for Tabitha and she found him at a local donut shop… still in his Iron Man suit. She sighed as she approached him and noticed that he wasn’t alone. Sitting across from him was Natalie and a dark brown man. When Tony’s attention went to Tabitha, the two turned to look at her.

“Dawling!” his teasing made her jaw slightly twitch. She gave him a quick narrow stare and put her attention towards his company. Looking at the older man, she knew how others felt when they stared at her snow-white hair; the man was wearing an eye patch. She couldn’t help but to wonder what he had gone through to have to wear it however she kept her thoughts to herself as she gave them a dry smile; she was still sore from the ordeal she had gone through.

“Natalie…” she nodded.

“Natasha.”

“… no, it’s Tabitha…” she gave her a confused look. It was enough to make Tony snort and the other man give her a smirk.

“Natasha is Natalie’s real name. Apparently, she’s a spy; a Russian one at that…” Tony’s words made Tabitha’s eyes widen.

“What the fuck did I miss…”

“Miss Tabitha Lyght. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you in person…” the older man continued to smirk at her.

“And, you are…?”

“Nick Fury, director of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

“Never heard of ‘em…”

“Short for Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division.”

“That did… nothing to make me understand… but I’m flattered that I’m popular with you guys. Sorry but I was recently put through a concrete wall so I’m a little slow right now…” she finally put her attention towards Tony, “I wanna talk to you… in private.”

“It may have to wait; we’d like to talk to you as well. Please, have a seat.” Nick announced. Tabitha looked at him with a confused look and then looked back at Tony.

“They’re forming a superhero boy band…”[1] he commented while sipping his coffee. He patted the spot beside him, “Come on; they have good coffee here and I know you love coffee…” he coaxed. She reluctantly sat but looked at the older man.

“Mr. Fury, I already belong to a group of…”

“I know; the Justice League. We have no jurisdiction where Watchtower is so I was unable to talk to you there.” he surprised her. She shot a look over at Tony who shrugged.

“That wasn’t my doing; he knows a lot of things that he shouldn’t know…” he explained. Tabitha slowly nodded as a waitress appeared at their table, “She’ll have a coffee. Cream, sugar?” he asked Tabitha. She looked at the waitress and gave the Japanese woman a polite smile.

“Two creamers, please…” she said and took notice of the woman’s nametag: Hino Rei. Where had she heard that name before? The waitress smiled back at Tabitha, refilled everyone else’s beverages and left the table. Tabitha racked her brain as to why the woman’s name looked familiar. She sat straight up and quickly looked at the waitress once she realized, who was towards the kitchen area.

J’onn! What are you doing here?!

… How did you figure it out…?

The Lindseys are anime fanatics; I learned a little something while I was there! Hino Rei, Rei Hino… Sailor Mars…” she smiled to herself; she was actually elated that she had guessed right. She looked over and warmed up at the returning smile.

I was worried when I tried to contact you and received no response; I sensed that you were injured…

Hmm… a dollar past and a day short you are, hon…

… I believe the saying is a day late and a dollar short…

“Are you… flirting with the waitress? Dawling, I didn’t know you swung that way!” Tony’s voice startled her. Blushing, she looked at the three and shook her head.

“N-No! She’s… not who you think she is… a-anyway; you said you wanted to talk to me. I ain’t joining your group, just to make things clear…” she warned.

“You may have no other choice, once you hear what I have to tell you…” he retaliated. She gave him a look.

Do you know what he’s talking about?

I just now found out. For what it’s worth, I apologize…

“Operation: Recharge was an S.H.I.E.L.D. beta project, an old one. We were attempting to copy the success of the ‘Super Soldier Serum’; our version would be able to give elemental super abilities to test subjects along with super strength, accelerated healing and super speed. You are familiar with Steve Rogers…?” Nick tried. Tabitha slightly nodded.

“Captain America; he helped us out against the Germans in World War II. Wait… I’m like Captain America?!” she widened her eyes.

“Yes and no. The project had dangerous side effects and was eventually shelved; put away until technology would catch up to improve it. We found out too late that a scientist had stolen the beta formula.” he finished explaining. It was enough for Tabitha to slowly sit back and shake her head.

“You mean to tell me that the son-of-a-bitch wasn’t even a real general…” she slowly began to fume.

Remember your breathing…

“Gary First was an extraordinary scientist… but he had mental issues. The one thing that was agreed on was that the serum wouldn’t be used on every single person; just a small select few. He wanted to turn every single military personnel into a ‘Super Soldier’ variant.” Nick said. Tabitha sat there, arms folded across her chest, shaking her head.

“What do you want from me?”

“Two things, actually. Mr. Stark knows about the ‘Avengers Initiative’…”

“Superhero boy band…” Tony mumbled.

“We would like for you to consider it, both of you. And, seeing that you’re the sole survivor of the beta program… we would like a sample of your DNA…” his last words made her glare at the two.

“What?! No! Hell no!! I ain’t gonna be responsible for another plague of fucking white-haired kids! Fuck that; I don’t care what government agency you’re from!”

“You are a valuable asset to your country, now Miss Lyght.” Nick tried. She rose from her seat but shook her head.

“No… I’m just another test subject to you; I’m a valuable asset to the Justice League, now!” she mentioned and turned to leave. She was stopped by J’onn who was still shape shifted as the waitress. He gently grabbed her hand.

“Trust me; no one is taking you anywhere… if I have anything to say about it…” he threatened, looking dead at Nick.

“Um… a little too much testosterone in your diet, miss…?” Tony tried. It was enough to make Tabitha slightly smirk.

“J’onn J’onzz; Tony Stark, Natal… Natasha, Nick Fury.” she introduced.

“J’onn J’onzz? As in…”

“Shape shifting, alien boyfriend J’onn J’onzz…” Tony finished for Nick.

“Martian…” both Tabitha and J’onn corrected; he continued to look at Nick, “As far as attempting to make her join… that conversation is now over…” he clarified. Nick uneasily cleared his throat and looked Natasha’s way.

“Fine. But, I guarantee that we’ll see each other soon, Miss Lyght.”

“No, we won’t. If I see anyone who even looks like a S.H.I.E.L.D. employee or agent or whatever… I’m shocking ‘em to high hell!”

“Tabitha…” J’onn warned.

“I will… you two included…”

“You think you would get away with attacking us…?” Natasha asked with a slight smirk.

“Honey, all the spy techniques in the world won’t stop you from getting electrocuted! You really wanna see how fast I can do it?”

“She’s really fast…” Tony nodded in agreement. Natasha pursed her lips and narrowed her eyes at Tabitha. Nick nodded politely as the two got up and left. J’onn shook his head.

“Why do you insist on taunting people?”

“It’s the only way to get the point across…” she sighed.

“You know; it’s a bit unnerving to look at you and hear you speak…”

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[1] Paraphrased from Iron Man 2 motion picture. Stark actually says that he doesn’t want to join his superhero boy band.

The End

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