The Forge

BY : Indigo_Miko
Category: Marvel Verse Movies > Iron Man (all) > Iron Man (all)
Dragon prints: 562
Disclaimer: I do not own Iron Man, X-Men, Avengers, or any other Marvel verse property. I also don't make any money from writing this. All I do is wile away my free time kicking things around inside my head. It's a mess up there.

Prologue

The first time Forge met the Iron Man she was bending reinforced steel beams into the path of the Hammer Tech drones chasing him. It was a fraction of a second. The red-gold flash, followed by the silver of War Machine, flew overhead as she flexed her fingers, and the building in front of her sprouted metaphorical claws. When she ducked back out from behind the truck with the little girl she’d grabbed, three drones were down. There were more though. So Forge was too busy to wonder over how the stumbling wreck of a drunk she’d found in a back alley of the expo a month before, could manage all those G forces without throwing up his toenails. Repeatedly. 

The first time Georgia Maddix met Tony Stark, however, it had been a perfectly normal work day. Although, in retrospect, both days had gone to shit at about the same rate.

Chapter 1: The Drunken Billionaire

“Gold on the ceiling. I ain’t blind just a matter of time before you steal it. It’s alright ain’t no guard in my house.” Gold on the Ceiling by The Black Keys

2010 Stark Expo Construction Site, T-Minus 28 days to Open.

Forge had a headache. It was nearly half passed nine in the morning and she’d been stuck inside the safety briefing slash ass chewing for over two hours. They were in a glorified shipping container. The room smelled like expensive cologne and pit sweat, and at this point she was considering if crushing the tin can they were sitting in would be considered a mercy killing, or justifiable homicide. She glanced across the despondent faces of the other crew leaders and then back to the stuffed suit tribunal. Both. Definitely both.

It wasn’t even her crew that had screwed up, but safety meetings were always held like this. So far, it had taken the whole morning to explain that the crew responsible for the KoleTech Demonstration Center had missed a Lego, and now the main entryway arch for it was a possible danger to expo-goers. Whatever. Idiot Zero’s crew couldn’t tell the difference in bolt sizes, and He-of-construction-shame didn’t inspect his crew’s work, so now Forge’s morning was gone. Also, the headache.

She aimed a glare at the side of Idiot Zero’s head until he sensed it and turned her way. “Yes,” her glare said as she narrowed her eyes. “This is your fault.” He hastily looked away. Clyde, who still had a name because he could do his damn job, reached from his seat next to her and patted her hand. Forge went back to her fantasies of can crushing and murder.

It was another forty five minutes with the corporate dementors before they were dismissed with reminders that all of their worksites would have building inspectors popping up in the next two weeks. Forge waved to a few of the guys she knew over her shoulder as she escaped out the door. 

Air. Sweet and blessed, horrid-cologne-free, air met her. The guys would be on a mass lunch break about now, but before she could snag a sandwich, Forge needed pain relief. 

She hustled down the isle and took a swift left. Medical was in the back isle closest to the main stage with the rest of the office boxes. It was also willing to give out Tylenol like candy. She could hit it and be back to her crew in five minutes. Unfortunately her neat plan was destroyed when another guy in a stupid, stupid suit pin balled out of a cross alley just in front of her. 

She managed to avoid the collision. The little bits of metal she could sense on him gave her a heads up. The strange concentration of it in his chest confused her, but her thoughts were shoved to the side when she smelled him. Wow, she could probably light a match and the man would fireball, the alcohol fumes were so dense. The man unfortunately had the coordination to match the smell and did a header into the dividing wall without even bringing up his arms in front of his face. Ouch. Upside, medical was super close. 

Her patience was so worn she actually hesitated over whether to make sure the man was still alive or just go eat lunch. She didn’t have a lot of tolerance for people that blazed on her good days. In the end she rolled her eyes to the sky, thought of her Uncle and Judy, and bent down to roll the dude onto his back. 

“Still alive?”

Captain Hot Mess blinked at her and muttered something about vultures. 

“Alright,” Forge drawled. “Let’s get you up. Do not. Barf on me.” 

In the second it took her to reach down for his arm her brain connected the man’s face to her memories. A little despairing groan squeaked out of her throat. Captain Hot Mess was Tony Stark, and Tony Stark was currently playing rubber legged Gumby hanging off her shoulder and making little hissing noises with his mouth. Seriously? Fuck you Universe. Fuck you. 

Her first instinct was to drop him. Everything she‘d ever heard about the man screamed high profile trouble, and she wanted zero of it. He probably wouldn’t even remember it, but self preservation reminded her that this man was her boss. Sort of. He was her boss in the same way Bill Gates was the boss to Microsoft software monkeys everywhere.  Also, she couldn‘t get Judy‘s voice out of her head. 

“Let’s get you to medical.” Her tone was resigned. She was mostly carrying the man. Their height differences weren’t much and it seemed all he could do was put a single foot down for every three of her steps. Apparently a dozen steps in though, hers not his, what she’d said sunk into his brain. 

He wrenched his body back off her shouting a loud, “No!” Forge was impressed by how much he sounded exactly like an angry toddler.

Between her grip on his arm and his freakish fit of drunken strength he gained his footing, and then promptly vomited on the ground between them. It was green. It spattered her work boots. They both stared at the sick, then slowly back up at each other. Forge could feel her teeth clenched together. “You owe me boots,” she demanded.

Tony Stark chose that moment to pass out, and even though she really wanted to, Forge didn’t drop him. It felt like a bad omen. 

……………………………….................................................................

Convincing medical to let her go with electrolyte pouches was harder than just getting the Tylenol. They wanted to actually doctor her for something like dehydration. When she asked for two doses of Tylenol for seemingly one person she had to take drastic measures. So much for candy. 

She drug a nurse aside to explain she’d been a bit free with partying the night before (someone certainly had, but not her), been in a closed off box with smelly construction men, (certainly smelly, but surprisingly it was the suits that stunk), and she really needed to get back to work because she’d seen Tony Stark wandering the premises (true, so, so true). The woman was so excited about the possibility of seeing the Tony Stark she pushed Forge out the door.

Juggling her ill gotten gains, Forge made her way a fair few stalls down to the back of a souvenir shack. Forge remembered that Clyde’s crew had put this up, which meant that not only did it have all the Lego’s, the pipe crew had been by to turn on the water. Stark was where she left him, laying on his side, head propped on a plastic wrapped stack of expo t-shirts. If he puked on them he could replace them. She was sure he was good for it. 

She ran the water for a bit just to double check the pipes were clear, then topped up her ever present water bottle. She would probably have to throw it away after sharing it with him, she thought mournfully. Possible diseases. Yuck. There was not enough bleach in all the land. 

Wake him up? Not wake him up? Forge contemplated her plan of attack. He needed water. Wake him up it was. A twitch of her wrist and some water splashed on his face. He sputtered and tried to sit up. So she was being intentionally shitty first. She wasn’t a saint. 

“You need to sit up and drink some water, please.” Forge didn’t use his name on purpose. She was going to pretend she had no clue who the hell he was. Plausible deniability.

He was still sputtering when she shoved her arm under his shoulders and manhandled him upright. The water bottle was likewise shoved into his face. Surprisingly he sipped from it without question. Forge had a sad sinking feeling enough other people in his life had run this rodeo before. 

When she thought he had enough she pulled back, capped the bottle, and slowly eased off the pressure on his back. He managed to remain sitting upright. She didn’t give him the electrolyte pouch yet though. She herself had run this particular rodeo enough to know there was bound to be another round of bucking. 

Tony Stark, most eligible bachelor, People magazine‘s sexiest man alive 2009, smacked his lips like he’d eaten ten day old shit. He looked like he’d been on a train to Hell, tried to escape, and been run over. Twice. “Who?” he muttered. 

“Not important.” Forge tried to hand the water bottle to him but he wouldn‘t take it. She tossed it in his lap, which apparently was ok with him, because he picked it up. He seemed more with it. Sure. Why not?

He fumbled with the cap and took another gulp. “Where?”

“Ah, more important. Stark Expo.”

The man the expo was named after blinked confusedly. “Is it opening night already?”

Forge couldn’t stop herself this time. “Jesus Captain Hot Mess, how many consecutive days have you been drunk?” It wasn’t night out! You couldn’t go blind from alcohol could you? Wait. Hadn‘t Judy said something about moonshine that one time? “Have you been drinking white lightning?”

Stark made the face of a man who had to poop. She was a mechanic moonlighting as a construction worker. She knew that face. Forge was not dealing that with that shit, literally. Stark managed a raspy “no” before doubling over to the side for the second round of vomiting. At least this time it went in a trash can and not on her boots.

“I’m going to have to upgrade your nickname. This is above and beyond hot mess.” She propped herself against the wall watching Stark’s back heave. When he finished wiping his mouth she looked him straight in the eyes. “You are henceforth dubbed Captain Catastrophe.”

His lip twitched a bit. “Sounds bad ass.”

“Yeah,” Forge drawled, “But it’s not.”

………………………………...............................................................

Forge ended up calling her second to let him know she was hung up and probably wouldn’t make it back to the site. Ah, the perks of being middle management. While she was on the phone Stark puked twice more. In between the fourth and fifth time she filled her water bottle, tossed it back into the billionaire’s lap (he was being weird about it), told him the actual date, and then played angry birds. 

When a half hour had passed without upchuck, and he seemed a shade more human Forge went Foraging. Some poor worker setting up an isle over sacrificed his peanut butter crackers, unknowingly of course. Whatever, this was a situation Dumbledore. 

When she made it back from her second trip involving ill gains within a handful of hours that omen feeling Forge had earlier grew from a vague blob to a more humanoid shape. It was suspiciously Stark shaped. When she handed the actual Stark the purloined crackers and noticed the way he was looking at her, Forge realized that omen shape even had his crazy drunk hair. 

“So,” Stark munched a cracker with far too much confidence for a man who’d had his morning. Oh no. He was feeling better. “I owe you a pair of boots?”

Forge groaned. Of course. Of course he was one of those drunks. Why couldn’t his brain cells die like a normal persons? The only way out of this without further oddness was to give up the debt. She didn’t want to see his eyes in the bad mojo cloud coming toward her. “Forget about it, man.” No really, do.

“Nah. I feel like we’ve bonded.”

“We haven’t.”

“I puked on your boots.”

“That you did.”

Stark paused to suck on the electrolyte pouch. There was a sparkle in his eye. Forge didn’t like it. “You need a nickname.”

Huh? So he was going to let it go? Something about the situation smelled wrong. Rumors about Tony Stark made him sound far more tenacious. Maybe this was one of those details he let drop through the cracks as unimportant? 

“Yeah,” Stark dropped the empty pouch in the trash. “I’m thinking.”

Forge knew what he was looking at now. She was wearing her work shirt, which did nothing to hide her wider shoulders. Paired with her regulation steel toes, calloused hands, height, and no nonsense bun she was expecting a name like Bertha, or maybe he’d be ironic and call her Porcelain. In the end she gave him too much credit, and not enough.

“You’re Four.” He sounded like he tried to announce it flippantly, but his voice went breathy at the end. What was it with people sticking For in her name? First her Uncle dubs her Forge, upon seeing what she could do, now Stark?

Her wariness totally showed on her face. She knew it did. Her face said things. “What the hell is Four?”

“You are.” Whatever weird was going on with him passed quick. He struggled to his feet and then turned to splash water on his face. Stupid billionaire even finger combed it through his drunk hair and somehow made it look all better. In a dizzying turn he straightened, tossed a flip “It’s been fun,” over his shoulder and strutted out of the souvenir stand.

Forge sat on the rubber mat near a bucket of Tony Stark’s vile green puke, blinking at the abrupt. “Well, this has got to be the weirdest day working here.”

She didn’t even remember to take her Tylenol. 



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