Grand Central PottsOffice

Summary:
July 23, 2014: Some days, Pepper's office feels like Grand Central Station. Of the weird variety. Cats and wolves and wizards, oh my!

Stark Tower


Characters

NPCs

  • JARVIS
  • Becca, Stark Tower Security

Mood Music:


If there is one thing that will gnaw and gnaw away at any feline, it is sheer curiosity and the torture of not knowing what happens next. Yesterday's events at the 'Mystery Manor' had been enough to disrupt Keith's orderly disorderly routine, and he decided he was not going to be kept out. No, siree.

The tricky part, however, was getting in to see Ms. Potts.

Looking at the building from outside, the young redhead muses to himself, trying to formulate a strategy. Changing and becoming invisible might be an option— except that he was dead certain that the security of the building would also account for unseen infiltrators… but who could be detected through body heat.

"Hmmm… maybe I could impersonate an employee…" he mutters to himself, looking at the people exiting the building. Someone there had to look important enough for him to impersonate.

-

Completely unaware of Keith's conundrum outside of the Tower, Pepper works busily in her office. She wishes she knew why today was such a horrid day. Horrid to the point that she nearly asked for a full slice of cheesecake to go with her lunch. But she asserted her will power and asked for a fruit salad instead… after making sure it had no strawberries in it.

-

Finally, Keith decides to simply try a more creative approach. Finding a safe place in which to change (it takes him over ten minutes), several minutes later a young man walks into the lobby of the building.

He must be in his mid twenties with dark, slicked-back hair and clean complexion. His suit is crisp and elegant- nothing ostentatious, but the elegance lies in the simplicity of the design. He approaches the reception with a cool smile. "Excuse me, I am looking for Miss Potts…"

-

The front desk security — a small handful of men and women to handle the number of people passing through at any given moment — are the very model of efficiency. One young-looking woman smiles at Keith when he approaches. "Hello. Do you have an appointment to see Miss Potts, Mr….?"

In her office, Pepper finishes a phone call and finds herself looking at the bottle of brandy she left on her tea bar, then shakes her head and goes to refill her tea cup. Maybe a martini after work would be okay…

-

"I do not, as it were," Keith smiles. Or rather, the face Keith is wearing smiles— as memory serves him, it is an almost exact copy of Constantine's face. "But she is aware that I would pay her a visit on account of an item of interest that she acquired. If it would not be too much of a bother, perhaps you could tell her that I am here concerning the 'Vices'… and, of course, if she doesn't want to see me, I will just be on my way."

~This is a risky move. What if he's come by already for the book?~

~That's when we just run, right?~

The receptionist is clearly good at her job. She has no idea what the man is talking about, but it doesn't show. She reaches to pick up a phone at the same time as asking, "May I have your name please, sir?"

-

Returning to her desk, Pepper sips at her tea and tries to concentrate on her work again.

-

Of course, Constantine had not said his name. Instead he had gone off on a rant about being a myth-maker and fixer and…

Myths.

"Campbell. John Campbell."

~Oh gods. Did you really?~

~…shaddup~

-

Unable to hear Keith's internal dialogue, the receptionist nods politely and places the call.

"Hey, Becca, what's going on?"

"Miss Potts, there's a John Campbell here asking to speak with you. He doesn't have an appointment."

"I don't know anyone by that name, Becca. Sorry."

"Okay, Miss Potts. Just making sure." Rebecca, as her name tag says, looks up at Keith apologetically. "I'm sorry, Mr. Campbell, Miss Potts is about to go into a meeting. If you'd like, I can schedule an appointment for you."

-

"My dear young lady, you did not relay my message." The man adds. "I asked you to relay the message about the Vices. It is a -very- important subject of which only she and I have knowledge. Merely the mention of it to her will clear everything, if you would." The man looks at Rebecca. "It is a matter of some importance."

~Okay… what next? This plan is going pear-shaped~

~I'm thinking. I'm thinking.~

-

Rebecca maintains a polite expression on her face as she repeats herself. "I'm sorry, Mr. Campbell, but Miss Potts will be in that meeting by now and she can't be disturbed. But, as I just said, I will be happy to schedule an appointment for you." As she's saying this, two other of the front desk guards are now paying attention as well. Two men who look like they could be SHIELD field agents.

-

Keith sighs. So much for subterfuge and not drawing attention.

He -hated- attention.

No, that wasn't true. He loved attention. When it was on his terms.

He leans forward on the desk and rests his chin on his hand, the illusion dissolving like gossamer in moonlight and leaving behind… well, Vorpal.

"I wanted this to be rather on the subtle side of things, but I guess that's out the window along with the baby and Sir John Falstaff. Be a dear and tell her that the Cheshire cat is here and wants to see her concerning matters of Superheroic Importance, with the Safety of Civilization and The Good Of All and possibly The American Way thrown in for good measure, if you will." He eyes the two guards. "Hold it there, fellows, I'm one of the good guys.

-

Telling the fellows to hold it does not stop them from getting all kinds of riled up at the person abruptly changing appearance. They were clearly not expecting to see a purple cat standing there all of a sudden.

"Miss Potts," JARVIS speaks up in Pepper's office. "There is a situation in the lobby. A visitor has just changed to resemble a giant feline. With purple fur."

Pepper's head snaps up from her computer at that. "What?" She waves a hand impatiently to stop the AI from repeating himself (the weisenheimer), then reaches for her phone.

While everyone else is being all tense and freaky and stuff about Vorpal, Rebecca reaches for her phone again and answers it without actually saying anything.

"Becca, what is his name again?"

Rebecca looks at the purple cat. "May I ask your name again, please?"

-

Well, I cant -give- it to you, my dear. Secret identities and all. But I go by 'Vorpal'. It isn't my name per se as much as it is my moniker. Or my trademark. I'm not entirely sure what the proper terminology is, but you get my gist. Whatever "Superman" is, Vorpal is for me."

He looks at the agents with a lazy expression, very feline. "Please, gentlemen. I do realize it is not everyday that you see an upright Cheshire cat lounging casually. And although I admit I am one hell of a dapper dresser, I must point out that I realized how much my appearance would upset you, and that I tried to slip inside in the least upsetting of ways. So much for that, though. I blame the paparazzi."

-

One LOOK from Rebecca gets the other lobby guards to back off. Apparently it wasn't his purple catness that they have problems with, just the surprise of his abruptly changing appearance. Rebecca dutifully relays Vorpal's name to the phone, then after a moment concludes the call and offers the feline a Visitor's badge. "Take the last elevator on the left, Miss Potts is waiting for you." Next time don't try the trickery. It's all but written on the woman's face.

-

"Last elevator on the left, and straight on 'til morning." Vorpal says with a grin (he's good at those) and waves, heading for the elevator…

-

Pepper Potts hangs up her phone from talking to Becca in the lobby and looks around her office. Looks the same as always… wait. She skitters over to her tea credenza and scoops up the bottle of brandy. She stares at it for a solid three seconds before shaking her head at herself and starting to push stuff around in one of the bottom cupboards of the credenza to stash the bottle all the way at the back where it's the LEAST convenient to get. Then she shoves everything haphazardly back into place and closes the cupboard door… and opens the one next to it and reaches for the package of cookies she stuffed in there earlier in the day. She doesn't even know why she bought them from the vending machine. She doesn't like shortbread cookies normally.

-

Vorpal grins at anyone he encounters— because, if the cat is out of the bag (so to speak), then he might as wall traipse there with bells on. By the time he manages to get to Pepper's office, he creates an old-fashioned cane and raps on the door politely with it.

Because let it not be said that cats do not know how to behave themselves.

They simply choose not to. Most of the time.

"Miss Potts?"

-

The door… sort of… shoulders open and inside a big mass of black fur and Persian woman come in. The wolf is limping a bit, still, but his wounds are mostly closed. Even the scars are starting to fade. "Pepper… is everything okay? I felt someth-… you."

He eyes Vorpal. The cat-thing had seemed okay back at the house but… what's he doing here?

-

Inara has a hand resting on the large wolf when she enters. She strokes the lush fur, keeping an eye on those wounds. She's not happy with not having sewed them up herself and though they are healing just fine on their own, the vet in her just wants to make sure. She sees the rainbow hued walking cat and seems dumbfounded. Looking to Fenris, she looks apologetic. "Another of your family?"

-

A door creaks open. "Having a nice day, are we?" Constantine's head pops around the door, a beaming smile on the Brit's face. The door is rather unexceptional, except that it hadn't been there an eyeblink ago. And it is three feet from the nearest wall. "Hello, hi, greetings, hello there," Constantine says, walking around the room and shaking hands. "It's been a while, hasn't it?" he asks, blowing little faux-French cheek kisses into the air around people. It's terribly awkward. "That's a thing we do here, right?" Constantine asks Fenris with a frown.

-

Vorpal and Inara get the same treatment and then Constantine siiiiidles up to Pepper. "Miss Potts," he says with a whimsical smile, cigarette bobbling. "The inestimable Pepper Potts. What a wonderful name," he tells the crowd. "Pepper. Potts," he says, putting emphasis on the consonants. He puts the back of his palm to Pepper's forehead. "Feeling ok? No chills, fevers, thoughts of megalomaniacal destruction?" he asks the redhead, peering into her eyes for a few moments.

-

Pepper Potts looks over as Vorpal and then Fenris and Inara arrive followed by shortly thereafter by a very odd entrance from Constantine. When the latter reaches to out a hand to her forehead she recoils, then almost literally glowers before snapping a hand up to take the Brit's cigarette away. "This is a no-smoking place of business," she snaps at him and if she managed to capture the smoldering tobacco item, she'll promptly drop it into her now-cold cup of tea. Yeah, for those that are at least vaguely familiar with Pepper, they'll notice easily that she is very … irritable at the moment.

-

Vorpal's mouth snaps shut and he takes a few step back in order to be outside of the blast radius. Should there be one. He does shoot the enormous wolf a rather curious glance, but he's not going to speak right now unless given permission.

-

Fenris eyes Vorpal another minute longer and takes a few more steps into the room. "No. He's not." Is all he says. Thank goodness to. A creature like that with Loki's upbringing would be… well. Bad. Hilarious, perhaps, but bad.

"Miss Potts?" The big black beast rumbles quietly as Pepper snaps uncharacteristically at Constantine. He sniffs the air. There's… a whiff of the arcane about and it's not any of the beings present. "What is that I scent?"

-

Inara looks at the room, confused. She frowns, seeming to channel her mother in giving the men in the room disapproving looks that will get them to all shamefully do what they should. Not that it ever really worked for her mother, but she can try. The Persian woman looks over to the cat and nods her head, closing her eyes to see if she can feel his presence or if he just looks like a cat. But it's Pepper that has most of her attention. "Miss Potts? Are you alright?"

-

Constantine watches Pepper douse his cigarette, looking rather nonplussed. "Cigarettes are cool," he says finally, adjusting his slackly-drawn tie.

"Ah, Old Wolf! Nose is as sharp as ever, I see," he says, tapping the side of his own nose and pointing at Fenris. He produces a Yahtzee cup from nowhere and rattles it, then slams it down on the table. Three sixes and two ones. "Hmm, not good, not good," Constantine mutters, sweeping the dice into his pocket and making the cup disappear as well.

"No megalomania, but…" He walks over to the tea service, sniffing and poking, drums his fingertips on the platter. He draws his finger along the edge of the tray, licks it, then turns and faces Pepper, reaching down to pull open the bottom credenza drawer without bothering to look into it.

"V.S.O.P.?" he guesses. "Do you usually drink, Miss Potts, or was it a special occasion?" he inquires, eyeing the woman curiously. "Are you finding yourself drinking alone more often than usual?"

-

Pepper Potts takes a deep breath. She does NOT have the patience to deal with this man today. Taking advantage of Constantine's frenetic moving about, she forces herself to focus on Vorpal and then Fenris and Ianra, gestures for them to step into the office proper and have a seat. There are plenty of seating areas to choose from in the room.

And then Constantine mentions the brandy. "Excuse me?" Explosion is quite possibly imminent again.

-

Vorpal is staring at Constantine with the same expression people probably used when they said to Saint George "You've killed a WHAT?"

At the invitation, he does step inside and takes a seat- but cunning observers might notice that he's choosing the farthest seat possible.

~Did I stumble into an episode of 'Intervention' and didn't know?~

-

Fenris takes a few steps forward, not toward the seating area but toward Pepper. One big paw comes up and rests on her shoulder as he attempts to discern if she's been affected or somehow tampered with. "Miss Potts?" He repeats in a deeper, slower voice.

While Fenris heads over to Pepper, Inara makes her way over to Constantine. "Back home," says the Persian woman, her accent thick, "It would be a disgrace to ones own honor to insult ones host in such a way. I didn't realize that things had changed in England to such and extent as to allow for such bad manners."

-

"Well, that's me, bad manners all over," Constantine says with an affable smile at Inara. "That's what I do!" he declares, walking in a short circle. "I show up, make a mess, ask about the dishes in the sink and why there are dirty pots uncleaned and," he adds, with a declarative wag of a finger, "provoke the reputedly unflappable Miss Potts into nearly assaulting me, then, the really, crucially important question," he says, turning to face the group dramatically…

There's a long, silent pause, and Constantine stands with a finger to his lips. The hush lingers, and his finger curls to his chin. "…the question being, why, if we're all being quiet, … who is whispering?" he asks, his voice terribly soft. His eyes slip down, down, sideways, to Pepper's office desk. To the bottom most drawer.

-

Pepper Potts turns her head to look at Fenris when he puts a paw the size of her entire head on her shoulder. "… sorry, sorry. I've just been out of sorts all day." She's still got the vending machine package of shortbread cookies in her hands, and after looking down at the package for a moment, she holds it up as if offering it to Vorpal. Then Constantine says something about whispering and her brows furrow a bit. "If that were the case, I think …" she stops herself from mentioning JARVIS. Too many people in here she doesn't know would be able to keep a potential secret hush-hush. (ahemConstantineahem) For her own part, she'd long since blocked the whispering out but now that it's been pointed out she can't unhear it anymore, and tries to back away from her desk. Even a wolf the size of a Clydesdale is preferable to that damned book.

-

"er… Thank you for the offer, Miss Potts, but I can't taste sweets."

Fun Facts: Cats can't taste sweets! Well, there must be *some* price paid for perfection.

"Whispering?… you don't mean that.. that -thing- she got is whispering somewhere?" The Cheshire frowns at Constantine. "And you still haven't told me your bloody name, you know."

-

His name is Constantine." Fenris says softly, drawing Pepper back with a huge paw away from the desk and toward Inara. The desk is getting a death glare.

"I hope, Constantine, that you have come to retrieve your book? It seems to have brought some unwelcome guests with it." As the great wolf growls out that last sentence, several shadows suddenly appear on the wall - too fast for real identification - and slip under the door, fleeing the room. Not that this abates the whispers. Just lessens them.

-

Inara turns to the desk, trying to hear the whisperings. It's not animal in nature, or she'd be able to tell. She goes to Inara as Fenris gently pushes the redhead towards her. She put herself between the desk and Pepper, Fenris' heroics seemingly rubbing off on her. "This is probably a bad time, but when possible, I would like to talk to you about Stark Industries funding a zoo outreach program."

-

"That depends entirely on Miss Potts," Constantine replies to Fenris, looking at the redheaded woman with a penetrating stare.

"The book isn't just a collection of pages, you know," he explains to the group. "It has a will and a life all its own. It /wants/ to be read. It wants to be analyzed, studied. It is the lesser brother of a darker tome. These shadows can hear the whispers, but they lack the soul- the spirit- to read the book and follow the instructions inside of it."

"For whatever reason, Miss Potts," Constantine says, drawing nearer to the woman, hands clasped behind his back, "my House called to you. And it tossed the book in your hands. Now, the Book seeks out people with the strength of will to read it and make the greater text it references manifest- but my House wouldn't have handed it over to anyone willingly. In fact I wasn't sure she'd give it to /me/. The book is full of a great deal of temptation for those who either have very little power, and crave more, or have great power, and desire it increased."

"You, Miss Pepper Potts, might be one of the only people in the world who can be safely entrusted with the Book," Constantine informs the woman. "I don't know how, or why, but there it is. For what it's worth, I would spare you the burden of being cast as Frodo…" he trails off, absently reaching for a cigarette without lighting it, "but if you agree to take this burden up, you'll have your own personal Gandalf next to you."

-

Pepper Potts nods absently to Inara, though she WILL remember and seek the Persian woman out another time to talk to her about working with the Maria Stark Foundation. But for now, she's been pulled back by Fenris and is apparently being protected by Inara, and she is actually okay with leaning back a bit against the giant wolf while staring at Constantine with wide eyes. "I… I have enough to deal with. I don't need another thing to demand time out of my day." Not to mention, what would happen with Queen Maeve were to find out that she's got this insane book? Or worse, Dana and her mother? "It's just… It's too much." That must be what's been making her entire day a living nightmare.

-

"What exactly are your plans for this book, Constantine?" Vorpal asks, head tilted to acknowledge the wolf for giving him the name. "More importantly, why is it allowed to exist? it sound like something that should have been destroyed long ago."


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