Colonel Nicholas “Nick” Joseph Fury was the spy to end all spies. It was said that his secrets had secrets. He stood staring out window of one of S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier’s pondering the past.
It wasn’t always this way, at the very start of his career he was an officer of the US Army and then later an espionage veteran of the CIA during the Cold War. During the war he caught the attention of S.H.I.E.L.D., a covert international peacekeeping organization which operated as humanity’s first line of defence against Earth’s most dangerous enemies and was recruited by them. He quickly impressed S.H.I.E.L.D.’s higher-ups, and was promoted to the position of Director, becoming the leader of S.H.I.E.L.D.
He soon earned the distinction of, the spy to end all spies.
And now at the height of his career he stood waiting for someone in particular, an agent he had requested - one of the best, though he only worked with the best, to meet with him for her briefing.
The word ‘stunning’ didn’t even come into it.
She was drop dead gorgeous.
While he was tall, dark skinned, powerfully built and bald, an imposing figure for sure, with a forever damaged eye, scars all over it and an eye patch covering it - as testament to his misplaced trust in his friends, she, was the complete opposite.
Hearing the repetitive clatter of heeled boots on metal boards, Fury smirked: Waiting patiently for his agent to arrive, he only spoke when her reflection appeared in the glass before him.
The transparent woman looked to be in her twenties - standing at 5ft 3in tall and weighing in at 125 pounds with green eyes and long luscious curly red hair. The agent was gorgeous, truly stunning, a natural beauty that didn’t require make-up or perfume to make people fall for her. The way she moved was strong and confident, her every move, every gesture smooth and precise and her green eyes keenly intelligent.
Without turning to her, he said: “Agent Romanoff.”
“Director,” she stood to attention, her hands behind her back, tight blue uniform stretching while leaving little to the imagination; indeed she had seen a few junior agents doing double takes as she walked by.
“I need you to infiltrate Stark Industries.”
“Sir?” she asked curtly.
“Stark is ill,” Fury explained. “We need to find out what his condition is.”
She didn’t bother asking Fury how he knew this, Fury was the Spy, a shade of grey that wasn’t even in the spectrum.
“Do you need me to hack his system?”
“No, but find out everything you can about the Stark, his condition and anything relating to it, be discreet, subtle even.”
She inclined her head.
“What are my mission parameters?” Natasha asked intently.
“For the moment observation,” he responded. The Director still had not turned to her and Natasha didn’t expect him to: In their time working together the redhead had learnt what that meant before he implied further. “Get as close to the company as you can, without being too obvious.”
No more instructions came, Agent Romanoff would not need any. Instead he listened as the sound of footsteps faded away: The Black Widow had been activated.
As she left, Fury remembered a conversation he had had with Agent Hill.
“Why her sir?”
“She’s the best at what she does Maria, she can get in and that’s what we need.”
“But why her?”
“Maria, you look like an agent, she doesn’t and you’re not comfortable with some of the things I might need you to do...” the Director asserted patiently. Fury continued: “Romanoff is comfortable with everything. That in itself is useful in infiltration. Things are changing, the world is getting bigger; there are different shades of grey out there now and we need to catch up ASAP.”
“It may be too late for that,” the brunette responded coldly, before strutting away.
“I agree...” Nick murmured quietly.
‘ ... You’ve got to keep your eye on the game.’
He thought idly to himself as he watched the brunette leave.
Pepper Potts called down for the Notary and soon enough she came up, she smiled and shook hands with her. Natasha Romanoff was under the guise of Natalie Rushman, they had even created a fake online profile for her.
Pepper walked into the room to chaos, Tony Stark had created a boxing ring in the middle of his office, just one of the many different things he had done over the last couple of weeks.
“The notary’s here! Can you please come sign the transfer paperwork?”
Tony sighed, wiping sweat off his forehead.
“I’m on happy time.” Tony hit happy in the face with his elbow and Happy staggered back. “Sorry.”
“What the hell was that?”
“It’s called mixed martial arts.” Tony shrugged, “It’s been around for three weeks.”
“It’s called dirty boxing, there’s nothing new about it”
Natasha had been called up to the main office to act as a notary; she did actually have the training for it, having studied for it in her down time. Nick had approved and now here she was, she walked over to the door and opened it and stepped through into what looked like chaos and frowned. She had heard of Tony Starks eccentricities, had even been warned about them by several sources but seeing it and hearing about it were two entirely different things.
She paused and stared.
Both men turned and stared at her, and she at them, she frowned and went over to Pepper, the soon to be CEO nodded at her and turned to Tony and sighed in exasperation. “I promise this is the only time I will ask you to sign over your company.”
Natasha held the clipboard to Pepper Potts: “I need you to initial each box.”
Happy tapped Tony on the shoulder with a light punch, “Lesson One, never take your eye off the...”
Tony growled and kicked him in the stomach and Happy fell backwards against the ring with an oomph a look of shock on his face.
“That’s it. I’m done.” Tony took off his helmet and gloves and went over to the ropes, “What’s your name lady?”
“Rushman. Natalie Rushman.”
He lifted up the ropes and pointed at her, “Front and centre. Come into the church.”
Pepper blanched, “No. You’re seriously not gonna ask...”
“If it pleases the court,” Tony said cutting her off, “which it does.”
Natasha nodded at Pepper, “it’s no problem.”
Pepper sighed and nodded, “I’m sorry, he’s very eccentric.”
Natasha entered ring and as she did the two paused while Tony swigged down some green liquid out of a bottle he turned to Happy as he got out, “Can you give her a lesson?
He stepped out of the ring, “Pepper.”
“Who is she?”
“She is from legal. And she is potentially a very expensive sexual harassment lawsuit if you keep ogling her like that.”
He snorted, “I need a new assistant, boss.”
“Yes,” Pepper nodded, “and I’ve got three excellent potential candidates. They’re lined up and ready to meet you.”
“I don’t have time to meet. I need someone now. I feel like it’s her.”
“No it’s not.”
Happy smiled and nodded, “You ever boxed before?”
“I have, yes.
“What, like, the Tae Bo? Booty Boot Camp? Crunch? Something like that?” She scowled at him.
“How do I spell your name, Natalie?”
Tony sat down and pressed a finger on his computer, it activated and he typed in her name with a grin, Pepper saw this and scowled.
“What, are you gonna google her now?”
“I thought I was ogling her.” He saw her profile online and found a modelling picture of her and zoomed in, yup her CV checked out, he snorted. “Wow. Very, very impressive individual.”
“You’re so predictable, you know that?”
“She’s fluent in French, Italian, Russian and Latin.” He turned to Pepper, “Who speaks Latin?”
“No one speaks Latin.”
“No one speaks Latin,” He echoed her.
Pepper shrugged, “It’s a dead language. You can read Latin or you can write Latin, but you can’t speak Latin.”
“Did you model in Tokyo? ‘Cause she modelled in Tokyo.”
“I need her. She’s got everything that I need.” Natasha didn’t pay Happy any mind, not worried in the slightest, she watched Tony, trying to figure out what he and the CEO were talking about.
“Rule number one, never take your eyes off your opponent.”
He went to tap her on the shoulder but her hand lashed out, she grabbed him and flipped over, her legs attaching to his head and bringing him down. She held him there.
Pepper saw this and shouted, “Oh, my God! Happy.”
“That’s what I’m talking about,” Tony grinned and walked over, Happy was released and he staggered to his feet and coughed, clearly embarrassed.
“I just slipped.”
“You did?” Tony smirked.
“Looks like a TKO to me,” Tony said and walked over and rang the bell.
Tony and Natasha met again and she sighed. “Just ... I need your impression.”
He fell quiet for a moment and studied her, “You have a quiet reserve. I don’t know - you have an old soul.”
“I meant your fingerprint.”
“So, how are we doing?”
“Great. Just wrapping up here. Hey. You’re the boss.”
.... There is more of this story ...