In this double-sized epilogue to the fanfiction “Armored Underworld,” Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man finishes his debrief with Fury. Thanks to his assistant Pepper Potts, he also gets a call from Bruce Wayne.
Meanwhile, in Gotham, Batman and Batgirl wrap loose ends.
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“You’ll be happy tp know KGBeast is going into a hole for a long time,” General Fury said to a bedridden Tony Stark.
An electronic chime sounded. Both men looked to the door to the overly-audacious hospital room.
Pepper Potts cautiously entered. She was Stark’s living, breathing girl Friday. Listed as an executive assistant, Pepper actually controlled the day-to-day of Stark Enterprises and, on occasion, Stark’s heart.
“Am I interrupting?” Pepper asked.
Fury shook his head and walked toward Pepper. “Not at all, Ms. Potts,” He said. “Just catching up with Tony, but we’re done here.”
Fury turned back to Stark. “The world thanks you again four your efforts, Stark.”
“Stay away from my tech,” Stark said.
Fury chuckled and headed out.
Pepper moved to Tony’s side. He studied her as she moved. Normally he’d undress a woman with his eyes. Tony was never able to do that with Pepper.
Maybe it was due to their professional relationship which, to Tony, was more of an overlord and minion thing. He fully understood that he was the minion and Pepper the overlord.
She’d cone to Stark soon after the debacle with Obadiah Stane and his hostile takeover attempt. Tony realized Stane got as far as he did because Tony wasn’t paying attention to business.
Pepper came on board and plugged the holes Stane had used to get his fingers into Stark International. She also looked damned good doing it.
Stopping at Stark’s bedside, Pepper handed him a computer tablet. She had instinctively handed it to his right side. Catching herself, she shifted it to Stark’s left.
He took it with his remaining hand and looked over the screen. It displayed a video conferencing app.
“Who’s calling?” Stark asked.
“Just tap the green button,” Pepper said.
Stark realized that, without a second hand, he’d have to set the tablet down to hit the button. He tried but nearly dropped the tablet. He looked awkwardly at Pepper. She reached around and hit the button for him.
Bruce Wayne’s face appeared on the tablet’s screen. He sat in his parlor at Wayne Manor.
“Tony!” Wayne said. “Good to see you awake.”
“Not that good,” Stark said. “Doctor Pepper here won’t let me hit the booze.”
“That isn’t the worst thing,” Wayne said.
Stark frowned. He turned the tablet away and looked at Pepper. “I thought we were gonna keep the hand thing a secret,” he said.
Pepper shrugged. “I didn’t say anything! These doctors are from SHIELD and we’ve kept the usual paparazzi at bay.”
Stark shook his head and then turned his attention back to the tablet.
“The billionaire circle is a small one, Tony,” Wayne said. “If you’re going to play hero, we’re going to hear things. Not all of them good.”
“Maybe someone should stop playing hero before they get themselves killed,” Pepper said under her breath.
Tony caught it, ignored it.
“Just means Iron Man needs some upgrades,” Stark said. Looking at his missing hand, he added, “Hell, I’m going to get an upgrade!”
“Hate to hit you when you’re down, buddy,” Wayne said, “but I’m hearing after that mess at the convention center the mayor’s not going for the Iron Legionanaires.
“He thinks it’s bad enough with the costumed criminals they have. No point in bringing on terrorists after their tech.”
“Sounds more like Gordon than the mayor,” Stark said. “It was a longshot anyway.” Then he had a thought. “WayneTech isn’t in the drone business, are they?”
Wayne thought for a moment. “I’d have to check with Lucious, but I don’t think so. I wouldn’t openly compete with you anyway. Gentlemen’s agreement and all.”
“Appreciated. Appreciate the call too. But I have some design work to get on and I’m sure Pepper’s got some company updates for me.”
“I need to get going myself,” Wayne said. “Big night planned.”
“What’s her name?”
Wayne smiled. “Get well, Tony.”
“One other thing, Bruce,” Stark said just before Wayne signed off. “If you happen to run into your old bat in Gotham’s belfry, tell him thanks.
“Turns out he’s not so scary after all.” Tony thought for a moment. “No, he is that scary, but I can se why Gordon believes in him.”
Wayne smiled. “I hear from Jim that Batman isn’t one for compliments, but I’ll pass it along.”
Wayne signed off. Tony handed the tablet to Pepper.
“Seriously. No Martinis?” Stark asked.
“Only if you want to lose the other hand,” Pepper said. She turned before she could see Stark’s frown.
“I’ve got a meeting with the people from the Baxter Building,” Pepper said on the way to the door. “Call Happy if you need anything.”
Pepper exited. Stark looked at his stump. “Friday?”
Stark looked across the room to a suitcase on a table. Its latches clicked and it opened. A pair of his Iron Man gauntlets propelled themselves out of the case.
The gauntlets pulled a bottle of vodka, a bottle of vermouth, and a shaker out of the case. They set to work on mixing a martini. The task complete, one of the gauntlets floated the drink over to Stark.
“I’m not proud aiding and abetting your compulsions, Mr. Stark,” Friday said.
Stark took the drink. “It’ll be our secret, Friday.”
Two weeks after teaming with Iron Man, Batgirl swung through the streets of downtown Gotham. She eventually landed on the rooftop of Burton Tower and surveyed the area before her.
Batman had benched her due to her injury at the hands of the Black Widow’s clone. This was her first time back out.
“How’s the leg?” Dick Grayson asked over her cowl’s commlink.
“Good enough to beat you in a swing line race,” Batgirl said. “How’s the Calculus?”
“About as much fun as getting beat on by Penguin’s umbrella. About as humiliating too.”
Batgirl smiled. “Keep your notes. I’ll need them when I enroll in Gotham U in the fall.”
“Giving up crimefighting?”
“No. But working on dual library and IT degrees will give me something to do in the daytime.”
“I have something for you to do tonight,” Batman said over the line.
“Evening, Bruce,” the former Robin said to his mentor.
“Dick,” Batman replied. Keeping to business, he said, “Batgirl. The leader of the Heavy Playas went to jail for attempting to buy stolen SHIELD tech. His old gang, the Heavy Playas, have regrouped under a new leader.”
“Anyone we know?” Batgirl asked.
“A man named Ammo. Out of town player. He’s ambitious, looking to move into the Chechen’s territory.”
“Gamble going to be a factor?” Batgirl asked.
A year ago, the Chechen and Gamble nearly got into a gang war due to meddling from out-of-town drug lord China White.
Batgirl got unexpected aid from Black Canary and Sonya Blade, a vigilante and a Seattle cop on China’s trail. They stopped the war but bad blood still floated between the gangs.
“This Ammo character could upset the balance,” Batman said.
Batgirl puleld out her grapple gun. “Send me his coordinates and I’ll check him out.”
“Already uploaded to your HUD. I’m following up on a call from Dent. You’re to observe only for now. Batman out.”
“I see Bruce is as agreeable as always,” Dick said.
“When the cowl’s on it’s all business,” Batgirl said in agreement. “And it’s not like we hang out socially or anything.”
“Actually, I don’t think he ever is not all business,” Dick said. “Except when he’s pulling his goofy bachelor billionaire routine. And that’s totally fake.”
Batgirl aimed her grappling gun. “Well, Dick, sounds like momma’s gotta get to work.”
“Stay safe, Babs.”
“Always try,” Batgirl said.
She fired her grapple gun. After testing to ensure the line was secure, she leaped from the building. In a ruffle of her cape, she was gone.
In addition to fanfiction, I write original content! Dive into an action-packed world of vampires, werewolves, and sorcerers in my Shadowdance urban fantasy saga!
If you want more fanfiction in comic book worlds, I’ve got that too!
DC Adventures, Copyright 2011, Green Ronin Publishing; Author Steve Kenson. It’s now Mutants and Masterminds, 3rd Edition
Advanced Player’s Manual, Copyright 2005, Green Ronin Publishing: Author Skip Williams.
The characters Iron Man, Tony Stark, Pepper Potts, Vanko, Black Widow and Nick Fury are Copyright Marvel Comics
The characters Batman/ Bruce Wayne, Batgirl/ Barbara Gordon, Black Mask, the Penguin/ Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot, Renee Montoya, Commissioner Gordon, Alfred Pennyworth, Robin/ Dick Grayson, KGBeast and Bane are Copyright DC Comics
The character Juri Han is Copyright Capcom
None of the characters belong to me as this is fanfiction, done for fun, and as a creative exercise.