1 - welcome to the jungle

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her grip on the gun tightens. she can feel the sweat on her hands, but she stays planted.


the force of the handgun jerks her back slightly, but that doesn't stop her.


she can hear nothing but the sound of the bullets leaving the barrel of the gun, and her own thoughts that flood her head.

then, she cocks the gun once more, takes special aim, and shoots the remaining bullet. bullseye.

she slowly lowers the gun, keeping her eyes on the target in front of her. nothing remains except ten, perfect bullet holes in a thick cardboard target and the smell of gunpowder. after a deep breath, she takes off her protection glasses and sets them on the table in front of her.

the shooting range has always been her favorite place to go when she needs to think. firing a gun can always blast out the unwanted thoughts that she continuously pushes away.

"one hell of an aim you got there, graham," a man says from the doorway, calling her by her last name. she sighs and turns toward the familiar voice.

"how long have you been there?" she asks the man.

tony stark leans against the doorway, crossing his arms. "long enough to know i'd never like to get on your bad side," he says.

matti graham rolls her eyes, then approaches tony. "don't act like you didn't already know that," she adds, swiftly walking past him and out of the door. tony watches her for a second, then quickly follows.

"i made grilled cheese," he says, coming up beside her. "i came to get you before they got cold."

"thanks, anthony," matti smiles, then presses the elevator button. she watches as the numbers above the doorway count down from 90. "is there a reason you're being oddly nice?" she adds, a little confused as to why tony rode down 40 floors just to tell her he made food.

"what? i can't be nice around here anymore?" he asks, acting offended.

"tony," she says unconvincingly, turning to him. she gives him a look.

he sighs. "fury called an avengers meeting in 20 minutes. on the main floor," tony explains with dread in his voice.

"a meeting? here?" matti asks in disbelief. since when does fury come to us?

the number above the elevator reaches 50, and the door opens. the two of them walk in, and the doors close behind them.

tony just shrugs in response to matti's question. fury never calls meetings in stark tower, because that involves him actually having to come to everyone else instead of vise versa.

the silence in the elevator is enough to hear a pin drop. matti almost wonders if tony can hear her thoughts. it's too quiet.

tony practically reads her mind. he says, "friday, play my elevator music."

"of course, sir," the female AI says.

the sound of heavy electric guitars fills the elevator. matti gives tony an odd look, but he just stands there. unbothered. he has that natural, 'tony poker face' (as rhodey would call it) that he puts on all the time.

the music gets louder and louder, and matti turns to him. "tony what the hell is this?" she asks. this isn't how she imagined elevator music.

he turns to her, in disbelief. "guns n' roses," he says blankly. matti doesn't blink.

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