Hello lovelies! I hope you all really like this and if you do then you can thank the wonderful, talented, zombie Avengerlicious. Go check her out when you get the chance, she is an amazing writer. Also, go read madscientistavenger's work. They're both talented as heck and I want to prove that to them.
Natasha Stark watched, smirking, as her brother gambled. He looked dressed to impress in a red dress shirt, dark pants, and designer sunglasses he insisted were acceptable to wear indoors. Natasha thought they were ridiculous, especially with his hair sleeked like that in what was definitely not his usual style, but she didn't exactly have room to talk. She sometimes wore accessories that didn't really fit the outfit and had, unfortunately, done her hair up in extravagant ways that probably should never have been done.
Tony shot his sister a grin before turning to a pretty brunette and launching into a charming flirting session with her. Another brunette grabbed her brother though and turned him away, claiming him for herself. Natasha very nearly snorted at that 'til she heard Rhodey's voice clear as a bell above the casino's noise. "You two are unbelievable." He said, sounding annoyed.
"Time to use the old Stark charm." Natasha thought before putting on a charming smile. "Rhodey, babe, when did you get here?!" She said cheerfully, walking over so she could throw an arm around their friend.
"I've been here for hours." Rhodey said. Oh yeah, he was definitely annoyed.
Tony broke away from the brunette and turned to Rhodey and his sister. "Oh no. Did they rope you into this?" He asked, staring up at his friend. His eyes were masked behind his sunglasses but Natasha had a feeling there was at least a bit of amusement in his eyes. It was probably a good thing he was wearing those ridiculous glasses then, Rhodey would get ticked if he saw Tony's eyes light up in silent laughter.
"Nobody roped me into anything." Rhodey said, frowning.
"We're so sorry." Tony said immediately.
Rhodey ignored Tony, something he usually did when the genius annoyed him. He couldn't do that with Natasha of course, she was too insistent. Tony Stark may demand attention and get it but Natasha was the one that could maintain it for as long as she wanted. "But they did tell me that if I presented you two with an award you would be deeply honored." Rhodey said, placing himself between Tony and the brunette.
Natasha easily switched from hanging onto their friend to leaning casually against her brother and smiling up at Rhodey. "Of course we'd be honored, Rhodey." She said sweetly.
"And it's you, that's great!" Tony added, as if Natasha hadn't just said that. "So when do we do it?" Tony asked, sounding ready to receive the award the second Rhodey told him when it was. Of course he knew the time to get it had already passed but he didn't let Rhodey know that. Natasha didn't either, she had wanted to go up in front of everyone and receive the award just as much as he had. Which was to say not at all.
"It's right here. Here you go." Rhodey said, handing the award over. Tony and Natasha both took it, something they'd done ever since they were kids. If one got handed something the other just had to get their paws on it. Neither one minded though, the Stark siblings shared nearly everything with each other.
"That was easy." Tony mumbled, staring at the award with boredom. Natasha smiled a bit, just enough for him to notice but not enough for Rhodey to see. "We are sorry." Tony added, looking back up at Rhodey.
Rhodey stared down at them for a beat, taking in their carefully practiced apologetic looks. "It's okay." He said, giving in like he always did.
Tony turned away instantly, forgetting the matter now that he was forgiven. "Wow, would you look at that? That's something else." He said, staring at the award as he handed it off to the brunette beside him. Natasha recognized his tone easily, he didn't actually care about the stupid thing. Neither of them did. It was just another piece of junk. Just another reminder of their many accomplishments. "We don't have any of those floating around." Tony said sarcastically, voicing Natasha's thoughts.
Natasha waited until her brother was gambling again before turning to Rhodey. "We really are sorry, Rhodey. You know how we are though." She said, not giving a reasonable excuse for their absence but pouring on enough charm to make that not matter. Rhodey watched her for a moment but finally sighed.
"Yeah, I know. Still, you guys managed yet again to embarrass me." Rhodey told her.
"Oh I'm sure we can make it up to you." Natasha said, waving her hand dismissively. She smiled up at their friend and wrapped her arms around his neck, leaning in as she did. "Am I forgiven Rhodey? You know I hate being on your bad side." She told him. Not exactly a lie but not exactly the truth either. She didn't mind being on Rhodey's bad side since he always forgave her eventually but they would have to travel with him via plane for hours tomorrow and she didn't really feel like not talking to him the whole flight. "You don't have to forgive Tony, you know. You could just forgive me." Natasha told him.
Rhodey chuckled. "Forgiving one Stark isn't possible. You two do practically everything together, if I forgive you I've got to forgive Tony too." He told her.
"Technically you already forgave Tony." Natasha pointed out.
"True." Rhodey said, smiling just slightly. "Alright Nat, you're forgiven." He told her.
Natasha smiled brilliantly up at Rhodey before finally releasing him and taking her place beside her brother. Normally if someone called her Nat she'd retaliate with a snarky remark and a vague threat but this was Rhodey. He was one of the three people allowed to call her that, the other two being her brother (of course) and Pepper. Obadiah wasn't allowed to call her Nat, it just sounded too weird coming from him.
"Give me a hand will ya? Give me a little something-something." Tony said, holding the dice in his hands up to the brunette beside him. Natasha rolled her eyes at the girl who immediately blew onto the dice but smiled when Tony offered them to Rhodey. "Come on, you two." He told their friend.
"I don't blow on a man's dice." Rhodey said, causing Natasha to let out a very unladylike snort.
"Come on, honey bear." Tony said jokingly but insistently. Rhodey shook his head and hit the dice out of Tony's hands. Tony immediately spun around to watch them roll, all the while exclaiming "There it is! Lieutenant Colonel Rhodes rolls! And...!"
Natasha winced, two craps. Definitely not the best roll Tony's ever made. Rhodey seemed a little pleased with himself and said "That's what happens." Natasha shook her head a bit but smiled especially when her brother didn't seem to care in the slightest.
"Worse things have happened." Tony stated, shooting a sly smile Natasha's way. She smiled wickedly back at him, remembering a few unforgettable times when the two of them had gotten into trouble. "I think we're gonna be fine. Color me up William." He said quickly.
"Oh wait so we're actually going home tonight?" Natasha asked jokingly, smiling stunningly when she heard Rhodey chuckle.
"Yep." Tony said, gathering up his chips. He pressed half of them into Natasha's hand before shoving them into his pocket. "There, for all the trauma I've caused you." He said jokingly.
Natasha grinned, slipping the chips into the stupid little purse she was carrying around. She didn't like carrying around the dumb things but they were useful for carrying chips and holding her car keys when she was in a dress. "Is that all I get?" She asked jokingly, slipping his jacket off of a nearby floozy. The woman nearly protested but one sharp look from Natasha was enough to silence her. Natasha passed the jacket to her brother who immediately put it on. "I think I deserve a little bit more than just this. You ruined my childhood, Tony." She said, grinning.
Tony shrugged but smirked a bit. "That's all I got. Call back in a week and we'll see." He told her. Natasha smiled, snatched their award from the brunette, and started walking.
Not surprisingly, Tony and Rhodey followed her immediately. Tony had never been really inclined to leave Natasha alone for too long and Rhodey still had more to tell them. He always did. That was the thing about Rhodey, he always had something important on his mind. Also not surprisingly, their little group of bodyguards and Happy followed behind them, doing their jobs with dedication. Natasha was dead certain no one would be able to attack them ever, especially not with Happy there. The guy was mildly terrifying when he wanted to be.
Rhodey and Tony chatted about what had happened at the awards ceremony while they walked, Natasha barely paying attention while they did. The award ceremonies meant nothing to the younger Stark genius and she let the world know it. "This is where I exit." Rhodey said when they neared the great big fountain near the dressed up Caesar. He held out his hand and Tony shook it. "Tomorrow, don't be late." Rhodey reminded Tony, not releasing his hand.
"Yeah, you can count on it." Tony said.
"I'm serious!" Rhodey said. Tony just waved him off and finally Rhodey turned to Natasha. "See ya Nat. Try to make it on time, will you?" He told her.
Natasha hugged Rhodey like she always did, pulling away with a mischievous smile on her face. "No promises, Rhodey." She told him. Before he could say anything though she re-joined her brother and they started walking quickly away, both of them eager to get back home and back to their workshop. "Here, I don't want it." Natasha said, handing the award over to her brother.
Tony looked at it like a disease in his hand. "I don't want it either." He said childishly. He looked around for a place to deposit it and spotted the wannabe Caesar. As they walked by the man Tony pressed the award into his hand. "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's. There you go." He said grandly.
Natasha chuckled as they walked away. "You're lucky Rhodey didn't see that. He's already mad at us for skipping the ceremony." She told her brother.
Tony shrugged a little. "He'll get over it, he always does. Especially with you flashing him smiles all the time." He said, smiling a bit.
Natasha smiled at that, giving her brother an actual real smile filled with affection and sisterly devotion. "Oh, was I smiling at him? I didn't notice." She said innocently, batting her eyelashes once like that would convince her brother of her innocence.
"Very funny, Nat." Tony said, rolling his eyes. He smiled though, like he was amused. Natasha's smile brightened a bit and she elbowed him playfully.
The Stark siblings had been best friends since the day Natasha was born. It had been an inevitable thing, especially with Tony's desperate want to protect his little sister from the sad childhood he'd gone, was going, through. He'd only been five back then and yet he'd already known just how messed up his family life was. So he tried to protect her. It didn't work but in the process, Tony became the one person Natasha could always rely on and vice versa. It was sad and it was something neither of them would ever acknowledge but it was there, floating in the back of their minds along with all their other repressed memories.
Their cars were waiting for them out front. Tony's, a shiny classic black car, and Natasha's, a sleek new sports car she just loved to speed in. Tony wouldn't be driving his, he'd be taking the jet back to their place in Malibu, but there was no way Natasha was going to miss a chance to drive her newest baby, even if the drive would be for four hours. Natasha nudged Tony as they approached their vehicles. "Look big brother, I've got men stalking me now." Natasha said with joking pride, nodding towards the highly attractive man standing beside her car.
Tony chuckled a bit. "Have fun little sister. Don't do anything 'til you get back to the house." He told her. That was his one rule, Natasha wasn't allowed to stop off at a motel or a hotel for a night with a guy. She had to get back home where she'd be safe. Or as safe as a Stark can get.
"Alright, see you in roughly five hours." Natasha told him before heading for her car. As she neared her car she smiled stunningly at the man, swaying her hips just the right amount as she walked. "Hey there, handsome. What can I do for you?" Natasha said pleasantly, flicking a lock of her long dark hair off her shoulder in the classic "hot female" way.
"Miss Stark, I'm Jack Hemingway from Vanity Fair. I was wondering if I could get an interview with you." The man said, smiling down at her. Natasha hated being shorter than average but she didn't let it show. Her explosive personality and confident ways made her seem larger than life.
"Don't you have a partner?" Natasha asked, remembering a few articles she'd read in the magazine that Jack and someone else had written.
Jack nodded and pointed over at her brother. "That's my partner there. She thought it would be a good idea to interview you two alone. You know, to make the interviews more personal." He told her. Natasha eyed the blonde talking to her brother, remembering a few not so kind words regarding her brother written by that woman. Tony caught her eye and winked, making Natasha smile. "So what do you say? Can I get an interview?" Jack asked.
Natasha turned back around, flipping her hair again. She took a step closer and placed her hands on him, one on his chest and the other on his shoulder. "Oh I'd love a private interview with you, Jack baby." She said smoothly, smiling charmingly up at him. She ran her hand over his chest, silently appreciating the nicely toned muscles beneath his shirt. "But, you see, I've got a four hour drive ahead of me and don't have time to sit down for an interview. So why don't you and me take a road trip back to my place? You can ask any questions you want in the way there." Natasha said slyly. Jack smiled at her and he looked very close to saying yes to her. Natasha grinned and stood on tiptoes, placing both hands on his chest. She leaned into him a bit, placing her face not far from his. "Come on Jack baby, it'll be fun. I can make private interviews very interesting." She said.
Natasha saw Jack's choice in his eyes before he even said it. "I suppose that'd be alright." He said, a slightly hungry look in his eyes as he stared down at her.
Stepping back, Natasha smiled while biting her lip. She let her eyes slowly roam over him and she could see his face flush slightly, more than likely with pleasure. "Come on." She told him, walking around to her side of her precious car. She had just gotten nestled into the driver's seat when she saw a head of blonde hair disappear into her brother's car. Huh. Apparently both of them were going to have a bit of fun tonight.