Drama Llama, Thy Name is Stark

Summary:
AUgust 7, 2014: Immediately after the Gala fiasco, Tony arrives home only to be confronted by Pepper.

Stark Tower


Characters

NPCs

  • JARVIS

Mood Music:
none


It was a few minutes after the Gala that Tony came back to the Tower, not in the very expensive Tuxedo, but the Iron Man suit. A little over an hours ago, JARVIS likely informed Pepper that Stark and a few other heroes were engaging a what appeared to be a dinosaur, which is now frozen in Central Parks reservoir thanks to one of the nitrogen tanks Tony took from his workshop.

Now, with the armor removed and returned to it's hub in the garage beneath the penthouse, Tony is at the kitchens little island counter pouring himself a rather tall glass from a rather expensive bottle of scotch. Sans ice. His tuxedo jacket is draped over the back of a chair, the tie is hanging untied around his neck, and his shirt and vest are unbuttoned.

The holographic monitors are showing the news broadcast where he, heroically if he says so himself, dropped the nitrogen tank down into the reservoir. "JARVIS, where's Pepper?" Because he would never ever consider just calling her, right?

-

"Miss Potts is…"

"I'm waiting to hear today's excuse." Pepper stands from where had been sitting and waiting for Tony to return from "Dinosaurs? Really?" She's still in her work clothes though her shoes are over by the elevator doors and her hair isn't in it's usual businesslike updo anymore.

-

Tony turns towards the sound of Pepper's voice a little ways down the hall and offers her his biggest, most disarming, and probably useless of smiles. She's always been particularly resistant to his charms, though. "No excuses, I really did go to the Gala." He assures her, pointing at the monitors with the same hand holding his glass of scotch.

"This thing started stomping up the avenue towards us… couldn't just let it smash all those fine pieces of art, now could I?" She's mad, probably still mad from the night before with the riot. Tony takes a drink and leans against the counter, shoulders slumping a little.

-

Pepper Potts is definitely still mad from the riot the day before. Today's minor fiasco almost doesn't register in comparison. "No, no. You're correct there. But did you /really/ have to leave the Gala that way? The entire PR department is already on the verge of quitting en masse, and I have a feeling I would /never/ be able to find anyone to replace them." She takes a few steps closer, her tablet in hand.

-

"Pepper.." Tony closes his eyes and dips his head forward. He hasn't had a chance to shower after the fight so his hair is slick and just now drying from the sweat, "I've already wired a very large donation to the Museum.. AND the city of New York for the damage to the streets." His eyes open on the glass of scotch sitting in his right hand against the counter.

"I'm sorry about last night. That was stupid.. people got hurt. I was.." Flicking his hand in a wave, "God, you know I've gotten close to six hundred messages telling me what a horrible person I am?"

"Six hundred and twenty one, sir." JARVIS corrects. Tony pointing upwards.

"But I'm working on something to make it better… let me show you. Can I show you?"

-

Pepper Potts looks at Tony for a bit longer, then nods. "Please." She visibly calms, clearly putting aside her annoyances due to the very obvious fact that Tony is showing genuine guilt at what happened yesterday. "Oh, and Inara called me earlier to invite over for dinner, as a sort of housewarming."

-

Tony lifts his head, drains his scotch, and claps his hands together. "JARVIS, bring up project Arch Tower." The data stream can be pretty much transmitted to anywhere in the tower, so it is of no surprise a tall that the digital wire framed blue data stream appears directly in front of him. It's a digitized representation of Stark Tower. "I was working on something else and couldn't figure out how to provide enough power to actually run it… Not with out sub stations and constant ports around the city."

He plucks another image from the submenus and throws it over near to Pepper. It quickly spread out into an energy blue topographic map of NYC with a monorail running through the buildings like a snake. "Repulsor technology." He says, pointing to the terminal like ports, "But the application was all wrong… it would cost a fortune to actually run it, so I got the idea…"

Two fingers spin the tower and he systematically take pieces off the tower until he's dissolved the building down to the lowest basement. "I've been working on how to convert fusion technology to my own arch reactor system…" He flicks it across the room towards her.

"I think I can do it. I think I can sustained months worth of clean, renewable energy at a fraction of the price." Pointing, he pours himself another glass of scotch. "Enough energy to run the tram free to all citizens of New York. Enough energy that we could provide secure, stable, absolutely renewable power to half the city for free… for months."

-

JARVIS, "Sir, there is a Vorpal to see you down at the lobby." Tony perks a brow and looks at Pepper, "Let him up JARVIS." To Pepper, "You met this guy? He's a purple cat. Mouthy, but…" Shrugging, "I kind of like that."

-

Pepper Potts looks at the holo images and then at Tony through them, clearly intrigued. This, this could be a really good thing. Then JARVIS speaks up about Vorpal, and she ohs! Yes, she knows the purple cat. "I have met him, yes. Nice enough young man, though I hope he's not trying to sneak past security this time. Becca might try to use a taser on him."

-

Fortunately, Tony's authorization means that Becca won't get to use that taser today.

Though Vorp suspects that she's been itching to. Today has been a long day, so Vorpal exits the elevator without the same spring in his step that he had this morning. Arriving at Tony's office, he knocks on the door and tries to suppress a jaw-wounding yawn. Damn, he's tired.

-

Technically, they're in Tony's penthouse apartment, but that is sort of like his office right? It's where the booze are, it's where the workshop is, it's where he's at currently. So… yes, that works.

Tony grins through the image at Pepper, motioning at it with his eyebrows raised, "Admit it, you're a little impressed… come on. I did this for you, Pepper." Moving around the wall he collapses the image of the tower into his palm and throws it at a data trashcan where it effectively disappears. The blue topography of New York remains, as does the glass of scotch in his other hand.

"You know, I can't do any of this without you right? I'd be lost… a puppy. Which would be really weird, since…" Pointing at the doors as they open to reveal the purple cat come to visit them. "He's a cat.. he also said some really mean things to me earlier."

"I deserved it." Drinking some of his scotch, Tony drops into one of the couches. He's still wearing his white tux shirt, unbuttoned, with the tie hanging untied around his neck.

"Oh and I hired you a personal body guard." He speed talks into that and turns to Vorpal, "Vorpal! Hey buddy, how you feelin'?"

-

As luck would have it, it was exactly at that moment that a rather unhappy Lucky pulled up to the front of Stark Tower in a very low cost used car. It had taken him quiet a while to recover from his little run in with the decorations of the NNHM, and even longer to get the last few bits of rubble out of his skin. He'd lost track of how many times he'd died just since breakfast and it wasn't doing any good for his morale. He made his way to the front entrance of the tower in what had been a very nice suit, and was now decidedly a much less nice suit.

-

Pepper Potts smiles a hello to Vorpal when he arrives, then goes to retrieve her shoes from the floor next to the elevator and heads for her office for a bit.

-

"Like a military academy- bits of me keep passing on. But at least I didn't end up covered in primordial snot." Vorpal answers "Have you gotten hounded yet by the media to answer why the reservoir is frozen with a crackerjack prize inside?" he smiles to Pepper and waves at her as she makes her way to the office.

-

Tony lays his head back on the couch cushion and sinks in nice and comfortably with his scotch balanced on one leg. "No, but I'm sure I will. Then they'll blame me and tell me that I should pay to have it moved because I put it there." His shoulders bounce, his glass comes up for a drink, Tony just keeps smiling. Eyes closed, the image of NYC with a repulsor powered monorail running through the buildings like a parasitic kidney worm spread out in the apartment before them.

See, he's pleased. This is what Tony does. The little things bother him, sure, but his work? That's important. Say what they want about him, sometimes it's even true, but Tony is trying to make the world a better place in the only way he really knows how.

-

"I can always ask Flash to give a statement. He wasn't there, but I was, and since I'm a Titan, that might count for something. But what the hell are we all going to do with that thing there? I don't know. Maybe if you had a shrink ray you could donate it to a zoo…" Vorpal shrugs.

-

Lucky had to spend a moment patting himself down before finally grabbing the small security badge he'd been given earlier by the department. The badge unlike the rest of his clothing was in almost perfect condition, the old soldier having left it in the back seat of his car. Lucky was still regretting going to that little meet and greet type event even as he went through the check in process.

-

"Nah, I'll handle it." Tony doesn't mind talking to the press, he's just come to accept that they're going to paint him as having been responsible somehow. "I'm going to work on a aquatic habitat for it. Something a couple thousand miles off the coast and several thousand league below it." Waving his hand in a flicking, finger wavey, gesture towards 'over there'.

His glass comes up, as does the security monitor when someone swipes their badge. JARVIS letting him know that someone is entering at this late hour. Seeing who it is, Tony shrugs and lays his head back down.

"You did pretty good." Ice clinking around behind his teeth so that his words are a little distorted around it. "Nice trick with the wall. I didn't get to tell you that."

-

"You could always put Sea World out of business with that," Vorpal chuckles. "Don't mention that- it collapsed way too quickly. I don't think I can stretch that far." He's never really had the chance to find out. "Not without boosting in one way or another."

-

"Honestly, I don't think putting that thing where anyone ever sees it is a particularly good idea." Tony, being responsible? He must be tired. Clearly he's tired. His eyes blink open and he takes another long drink of scotch. "Maybe I'll buy an island somewhere in the Pacific and surround it with some kind of energy shield…" The gears, they are already turning. "Give it access to a small portion of the ocean for whatever aquatic needs it has. Big enough for small creatures to get in for it to eat, small enough that it can't? PETA…" Pointing, emphatically, "They're going to eat me alive if they find out about it… tell me I should let it rampage because that's its natural habitat."

-

Lucky makes his way over to the lift, riding the elevator up in hopes of getting to the security level so that he can at least change clothing into something less hole ridden. He quietly hums to himself along with the music as he rides his way up to the security level.

-

"PETA is a bunch of overdramatic llamas. If they try to rake you over the coals for anything, Tony, I'll slap them back with their own contradictory rhetoric so fast they won't know what hit them."

Pepper's back. And she's carrying a small armload of files along with her tablet, purse, and phone. "Now, you probably snacked at the Gala, but I haven't had anything since lunch. JARVIS, could you please order in some Bun Bo Hue from Tan My?" She looks at Tony then at Vorpal to see if they're going to request anything also.

-

"I agree with the man. PETA can kiss my fuzzy butt… but if they want to roar on, they can always talk to me." He grins. "I'd like to see them trying to get away -with- a walking, talking animal." He looks up at Pepper's interjection. "… I, er, I'll eat anything, really." He only had that one solitary canape.

Which tasted pretty good, to be honest.

-

The young man bolts for it at a quick march, when he hits the security level headed for the changing room. He does the quick card slide to get his way in through one door, and then the next, working fast to get himself situated into good clothing.

-

"OH hey, no. I didn't get to have any food… It smelled good, alligator." Tony quirks his mouth to one side and points at the monitor where images of the huge creature, with a little zipping Iron Man flying around it by the way, is still being broadcast on the news. "Mo bi vien. Uhhh…banh chung, two of them." Holding up two fingers.

"Vorpal?" Motioning as if JARVIS were somewhere, right around the corner, just waiting for him to give his order.

His scotch is brought up for another long drink and then he's leaning back on the couch and kicking his bare feet up to cross on the edge of the table. "So, did I mention I hired you a personal body guard?" He repeats this, to Pepper, with a weak smile. "He wanted me to hire him to… like.. blow up or something. He's here." Pointing at the security terminal, "You're going to love this guy. Real…"

Snapping a few times, "Weird."

"But fun weird."

-

Pepper Potts looks at Tony oddly. "You did. Who is it?" She remembers the last time Tony hired a bodyguard for her. That did not work out well.

-

"I'd call it useful. Eh…. anything you'd recommend," Vorpal says to Pepper. "I'll eat anything. I'm not really well-versed exotic cuisine.

-

"It isn't exotic, Vorpal.. it's Vietnamese." Tony shakes his head, "Get some culture huh?" Teasing the cat as he pushes up from the couch to refill his glass, "Anyone else want a nightcap?" Wiggling the ice so that they clink together. "JARVIS, Pho for the kitty.. and some Cha ca."

He crosses over to the little island where the bottle of scotch sits waiting for him and pops the crystal stopper to give himself a refill. "That Lucky guy from the night before. Who swore he could come back from the dead?" He sucks a bit of alcohol from his thumb and index finger.

"Figured that even if he wasn't very good as a body guard you could just pull him into harms way and he'd be fine… plus there's all sorts of FCC regulations surrounding experimenting on humans." Flipping his hand around distractedly.

-

Pepper Potts looks at Vorpal consideringly, then adds, "And an order of Hu Tieu Tom Thit please, JARVIS. Thank you." She always remembers to say please and thank you to the AI. She watches Tony refill that glass, her eyes narrowing a bit. She's keeping count of those beverages. "Wait, the young man who said he'd worked with your father?" Him? Why?

-

"It -is- exotic. For me. I grew up on a strict diet of 'We're too poor to eat out', and I'm still surviving mostly on it, if you don't count the cheap sandwich places." Vorpal points out, and then looks at the exchange between Tony and Pepper.

-

After a few moments Lucky makes his way out from the changing rooms on the security floor with a fresh set of form fitting clothing that accentuates his well kept body. He starts to make his way back to the front desk, so he can sign the books to say he's been through. Only then does he realize almost everything here is digital, the thought slipping his mind for a bit

-

Tony clinks the newly filled glass in his hand with a little wiggle and bobs his head back and forth from one side to the other. Then he takes a drink and looks to the security monitors, "As Vorpal pointed out, so very politely I might add, Stark Industries owed him." Swallowing another gulp of scotch, "Turns out his story is true.. at least the part where he worked for my father, anyways. No idea what that crazy old bastard did to him, but this condition of his?" Pointing at the video feed of Lucky moving out of the changing room.

"The one where he comes back from the dead, every time he dies? That could be my dads fault. That makes it Stark Industries fault." Glancing across the island at Pepper, one hand laying flat on the counter, expression not the playboy, but the one of a man who turned this company into a multi-billion dollar corporation. "We owed him. He wanted me to use him like a crash test dummy…" Chuckling quietly, head shaking as the warmth of a nice old scotch runs down his throat. "Morally wrong, plus that insinuates that my designs aren't perfect.." Or highly tested digitally before they're ever put into prototype.

"And you need a bodyguard. This guy is trained and, unless he's crazy as a junebug, which I'm not completely ruling out… can't die."

-

Comes back from the dead every time? Pepper's eyebrows go up at that. "That's … not really a good thing, Tony." She studies the security image, her expression extremely skeptical. She's hasn't flat out refused Lucky as a bodyguard, though, so that's a good thing, right? "You ordered enough, right?"

-

"It's probably a better job than what he'd get. Look how young he looks— this is a man whose ID and birth certificate indicate that he is old enough to have worked with Mr. Stark's father." Vorpal points at the screen. "Do you really think he can get a job right now with his official credentials? He'd be suspected of identity theft… and that's not even going into the part where he claims he can't die. He'd be shooed off under suspicion of insanity. It's one thing to claim that when you're a tall purple cat and people go 'Okay, he's THIS strange already, so there's a chance.' Looking normal like that? Not very likely."

-

Lucky mentions something to the on duty guard behind the desk, the two just having a nice chat for the time being laughing it up a bit when everything's in the graveyard shift.

-

"Yeah." Tony agrees, canting his head a little. The last swallow drains his glass and he's already reaching for the bottle to refill it. He's sucking at his teeth from the smooth burn, eyes staring at the image. This.. this look. This is a look only a handful of people get to see. This is the one Pepper sees only when there's enough alcohol in his system that Tony starts thinking about his father.

When the man that everyone knows as Howard Stark contrasts pretty pointedly with the memories Tony has of the real thing. "Doesn't surprise me any…" Spite dripping from every word, "Howard Stark makes a mess and his son has to clean it up for him." The ice touches his teeth after Tony drains the liquor from around it. His tongue draws across his lips, eyes staring down at the counter with a palm laid against to support his leaning weight. "Whatever. He needed a job. Least I can do for my ''dads'' good sense. No telling what kind of crazy shit they did to that man." Pointing to the image.

-

Pepper Potts sees that expression on Tony's face and stands immediately, stepping over and taking the decanter of scotch away from him. "Then I'm glad you gave him a job. I promise to not make his life too difficult." Like Tony does to her is implied, but not truly meant. "And really, he couldn't possibly be any worse than having Agent Coulson following me around everywhere."

-

Whoa. Daddy issues. Vorpal suddenly becomes interested in the stripes on his right arm's fur. He wasn't entirely familiar with that brand of Daddy Issues- his own father having disappeared when he was very little. "I'm sure he'll be fine," which is a rather lame comment to add, but there you go. Cheshires are at their best when engaging in humor and mockery. Delicate situations? As sure-footed as a one-legged goat on a bouncy castle.

-

On the bright side, at least Lucky seems to be having a good time of it, he and the guard behind the desk still just chatting away. Lucky even seems to have possibly made a drinking buddy.

-

Tony tilts his empty glass and looks up to the stolen decanter with a sigh, but he just nods to her and offers no argument to his needing more. Even if he really wants it. He's already several full glasses deep, seven if anyone's been keeping score, so he's a little wobbly. Not 'wake up in another zip code with a strange woman' drunk, but certainly drunk.

"Yeah, he's a big step up from Coulson." Agreeing with a nod, depositing his glass and laying his hand down flat on the counter. Suddenly he's tearing at his tie and pulling it from around his neck so it can be tossed at the range behind him and sinks down to the floor with his back against the counter. Tony sits licking his lips, head resting back against the cabinets.

The fingers of his left hand rub at the glowing arc reactor set into his chest… feeling the cool vibranium-titanium alloy set with the slight warm of the power source that keeps him alive. It isn't entirely Howard's fault that Tony wound up in that cave, but it was a legacy he adopted that lead to it. Weapons, weapons his father built.. Weapons his father and Obadiah had him develop.. His birth right.

-
Pepper Potts watches Tony go all maudlin and knows that he wouldn't appreciate her trying to force him back out of it. So she just puts the decanter back in its proper place then walks over to sit next to Vorpal. "You haven't seen that House again, have you?" She asked because she /has/, but she's hesitant to admit as much in front of Tony.

-

"No…" Vorpal says quietly, looking at Pepper. "… any news on that… book?" That Evil Book of Evil, he means. But he doesn't want to say much out loud just in case it summons them to the house, or something of that sort. He's not feeling up for it.

-

Lucky on the monitor can be seen checking a small radio, before heading over to the elevator. For whatever reason he looks to be moving at a fairly good clip, offering a wave goodbye to his friend behind the counter.

-

Tony stays down on the kitchen floor. One leg crossed beneath the other that's up with right arm wrapped around his knee. His head rests back on the cabinets, eyes closed, sweat rolling down his forehead. His left hand runs his fingers across the edges of his chest where metal meets man, feels the grooved connection and awkward transition.

His breathing is slow, patterned, calming. His thoughts, however, are chaotic. Raging. Thankfully that he's not Banner because he would definitely be tearing this penthouse apart right now. Suddenly his eyes pop open and he springs up from the ground. He turns for the stairs leading down into the workshop and walks at a double clip, disappearing down into his workshop without so much as a farewell. "JARVIS, open new file Mark VII. Transfer schematics from Mark VI."

"Of course, sir."

"Have my food brought down here. I'm going to be up late." Pulling off his white dress shirt, a thousand dollar fitted affair, and tosses it onto the dirty floor like it's no more important to him than a fly. It's quickly replaced by a Lynyrd Skynyrd t-shirt pulled over his chest with his eyes suddenly sharp and focused on the image digitally laid out in front of him.

His fingers grab small bits of armor and toss them aside. "We talked about double magnetically sealed titanium, how close to prototype are we on that?"

"I believe we could fabricate tonight, sir. At least for initial testing."

"Good, start work on triple fiber weaves. Someone showed me mono edged carbon fiber alloys the other day. Bring up everything my dad had on that."

"Right away, sir."

-

Pepper Potts shakes her head no to Vorpal. "Nothing since… well, you know." She blinks and watches Tony do an almost expected bolt toward his workshop, putting one hand on Vorpal's arm to keep him from trying to follow Tony or even saying anything to the inventor. "I'll check on him in a bit," she tells the feline quietly.

-

"I should probably head out after the food arrives. I need to get home and fix this anyways." He looks over his shoulder at, well, the huge tear in his jacket that covers most of the back. "Turns out hugging a tree at high speed isn't good for you." He smirks.

-

Lucky working at a fairly quick pace is already back in the lift headed to the group, with bags filled with food held in each hand."Sorry we got off on the wrong foot" He says rather abruptly before shaking his head "No, no, that wouldn't work" The elevator whirling along at a good clip "I've got it" He says to himself, putting on a rather friendly face as the elevator finally reaches the proper floor, and the doors swing open "Chc ngon mie^.ng" He says rather confidentially the moment he steps out into the room.

-

Tony takes the schematically engineered double weave armor platings and starts replacing the smaller plates along the chest and shoulders. Two fingers flip the arms up of the digital suit up so he's standing like the vitruvian man. "Can the repulsors still sustain flight with the added weight of the new armor?" Spinning the image so the back side is facing him, quickly tearing away pieces and replacing them. The image itself is far bulkier, but still with the same sleek lines.

"With a point seven five percent drop in thruster power, sir." JARVIS is as much a part of the work, providing the number crunching that Tony would have to take his mind off the design to calculate. It's a teamwork, down in the lab.

"Huh… Doubling the thruster boost would put a severe drain on the arc reactor. How far are we on a strong model?" Turning to grab another data file to open up in an unadorn place near the digital representation of his yet undeveloped armor. The arc reactor is a little bigger, not noticeable unless it's being looked at by the closest observing eye.

"Thirty percent increase in power output, but there are still concerns of core stability when the power drops below forty five percent, sir. Tests confirm an increase of dangerously high amounts of radiation below thirty percent power with a seven point nine increase in core temperature."

Tony rubs a finger beneath his nose, rubbing his pink along his jaw. "Alright. I know we ruled out carbon fiber for the armor weave, but how would it in the reactor? Off set the instability at increased power output from the reactor core. No, carbon-beryllium."

-

And when Lucky comes in, that's his cue. "Call me if you find anything more about… that house, Miss Potts. I'll leave you be to keep an eye on-" head tilt. Vorpal stands up and walks past Lucky, getting his food in the process. "Have a good night, Mister Lucky." Little does he know that it was his rabbit hole that caused one of Lucky's deaths today.

He takes the elevator out. Fortunately for Lucky.

-

Pepper Potts looks over as the elevator arrives and with a smile to Vorpal stands and approaches as Lucky steps out of the elevator with the food. She doesn't speak Vietnamese and doesn't understand what he says, but smiles anyway. "Thank you so much. Please, come in." She gestures toward where Vorpal is seated. "I'm Pepper Potts, I don't know if I got to say a proper hello yesterday."

-

Lucky makes his way into the room, sitting the food down. "I don't think we have Ms. Potts" He offers out a single badly scarred hand, the cameras not really doing justice to just how overly scarred this mans face is. Old burn scares, stitched up bullet-holes, and a number of tattoos peeking out on his wrist and what little exposed area there is to his neck. "Jason Lucky former Lieutenant colonel, medal of honor recipient and your new bodyguard by the sounds", his voice sounding a bit gravely from a lot of shouting, but friendly, as he tries to assure Potts that she'll be in the best of hands.

-

"Tactile strength of core stability increased by seven degrees." JARVIS informs Tony as the inventor spins his new creation in a long circle with the flick of his fingers through the digital image. Those fingers tug at his bottom lip, trying to figure out the portion he's not seeing yet. How to stabilize the arc reactor to increased power output without… well.. killing himself with radiation poisoning.

"That works for prototyping.. begin tests on replacement tellurium core." Said while looking over the bulky armor display. Thick armor plating, heavy armaments, "Add a second set of mini jerrichos to the shoulder weapon port." Putting them in place on his model to see how it actually looks.

"Begin prefabrication." Tongue dragging across his teeth as he flops down into his roller chair and drops his forehead into the upturned palm of his hand.

"Seven hours for prefabrication, sir."

-

Pepper Potts shakes Lucky's hand without hesitation, apparently either not bothered by all of his visible scars or at least good enough to not let any discomfort show. "Please, call me Pepper." She moves to start unpacking the various dishes. "I'm made sure that we ordered more than enough. Help yourself to anything you like, I'm going to take a plate down to Tony before he gets too deeply engrossed in his work." She pulls dishes and silverware from the bar to bring back to where Lucky is, then piles Tony's selections onto a plate and carries it with a beverage. "I'll return as quick as I can and then we can chat," she tells the man with a smile before heading toward the stairs that lead to the workshop.

-

Lucky makes his way over towards the bartop looking about at the sheer opulence of this penthouse suite. Everything about stark tower just seems different then what he'd remembered, maybe it was just renovations, the passage of time, but it was something gnawing at the back of Lucky's mind enough for him to pop a few more pills from his little orange bottle.

-

Tony is there, spinning in circles by way of his rolling chair, while the machinery beneath the workshop busily work at fabricating the next generation of his armor. His head remains propped up in his palm, one foot shoving him across the floor until he hits a loading arm where he turns and pushes in the other direction towards his digital displays.

His fingers bring up the image of NYC with the tram snake running amongst the buildings. Quietly he goes about changing the reactor strength generated by Stark Towers fusion-arc reactor, just to see the output capabilities. A twirl of his finger has the digital image running the tram through the city on repulsors not terribly unlike those used in the Iron Man armor.

Without needing to also power the weaponry, calculations are showing… with Arc Tower… the tram could run indefinitely with almost no need for recharge or zero fuel consumption.

His head drops back, eyes turned to the side after grabbing a small stress ball from his desk so that he can watch his digital model train run the entire length of NYC.

-

Pepper Potts knocks lightly on the doorframe into the workshop before stepping through even though it's not at all necessary. She steps carefully through the usual detritus of Tony's brain in action and skirts around Dummy, who's already trying to clean up, and sets the plate down on the closest surface with room to support it. "I'll have the city proposals drafted up for that train by Monday," she offers quietly. "Though I suspect that the metro transportation commission will still want to charge at least something for the train. I'm going to go back and talk with Mr. Lucky. Don't stay up too late, all right?"

-

Figuring it won't hurt too much, Lucky pours himself a small glass of water to help wash down the pills, coughing slightly due to their general size and shape. "Just got to stick with it Jason, been through worse" He mutters to himself taking another drink of water before finally making his way back over towards the hot and ready Vietnamese food that looks strangely different then the food he actually used to get served during his stay, or even during his time in the PoW camp.

-

Tony stops his random spinning with a toe touching the concrete of his work space so that he's facing Pepper. His head is still lulled over, "Strongly encourage them that if they charge anything more than the absolute bare possible minimum, I'll yank Stark Industries funding from every city project in the metropolitan area." His eyes dance up to look in Pepper's face. That look is still there, but at least he has something to distract him in the form of his work in the lab.

"Pepper." His lips press together, eyes rolling over toward his project, quiet permeating a little longer than is conversational. "Thank you for sticking with me…" It's emotional, but he hides it behind a smile and push off the work table towards the surface where his food was set out for him.

This is why she does all the business things. She's got a better mind for telling people what they need to hear to do what Tony wants them to.. or what he really needs them too. "He's weird." Pointing upstairs with his fork point straight towards the ceiling, "But I like him."

"I wont, a few hours, promise."

-

"A few hours. I'm going to hold you to that. And JARVIS will too, won't you?"

"Of course, Miss Potts."

Pepper then offers Tony a smile. "Will that be all, Mr. Stark?"

-

Lucky makes his way over towards the window of the penthouse, looking out over the skyline of the New York for the first time in who knows how long. He places a single hand to the side of his head, for just a moment something flickering across his vision. He wipes his eyes with the back of his hand muttering again "Not working like it used to,"

-

"Yes ma'am." Tony says with a grin around a mouthful of noodles which he very classily slurps up between his lips, "Oh, discuss pay with him, I don't think I mentioned that… and he doesn't get life insurance." Waving his fork back and forth, head shaking in turn. "Too much of a loophole with that dying, coming back thing."

"Good night Pepper…" Said with his eyes glassing a little and distantly looking back over his shoulder, lost in thought about some random idea that sprung up into his mind in the span of a few seconds. That's the way it works. Lucid, then he's back at work, food almost completely forgotten but for the small bits he nibbles on while scooting back over towards his work station with the bowl in his hand so that he can slurp at those rice noodles like a heathen.

-

"Good night," Pepper says softly, not expecting any more response from Tony. She leaves the workshop with one last little pat to Dummy's robotic arm, and returns to where Lucky is waiting just in time to see him wipe at his face. "Are you all right?"

-

"Ye-yeah, just getting a good look of the skyline," He lies offering a bit of a friendly laugh as for a single moment he gets a flash of memory, the whirring of a circular saw, and a white room. "Been quiet a while since I was up this high" another flash of memory a splatter of blood, and a blurred face. "I'll be fine though,"

-

Pepper Potts nods a bit, though she suspects the man isn't being entirely truthful with her. "Well, let's start eating before the food gets cold. Tony told me he didn't discuss compensation with you." She steps back and toward the table where the food waits, hoping the younger-looking man will follow.

-

Lucky lets out another friendly laugh, making his way over towards a free chair by the food. "No he didn't, then again he only gave me about five minutes before his fake phone call," the man offering a bit of a toothy grin, as he grabs a small plate of food from the table. "Was pretty sure he was going to have me thrown out for speaking crazy," His own words reverberating in his head for a while, as he grabs one of the prepackaged forks that came with the meal.

-

Pepper Potts looks at the plastic forks and simply slides over one of the high end silver-plated forks she brought out with some plates and bowls and spoons and the like. And chopsticks. "I'm sorry, but the day Tony thinks he can get away with tossing someone out for 'talking crazy' is the day I remind him that he's the captain of the looney ship." She starts preparing a bowl of noodle soup for herself, not even coming close to denting the amount of food arrayed before them.

-

"Well I'm glad to be aboard." Lucky offers his smile falling to a more comfortable resting face, as he takes hold of the chopsticks. He gets a handle on them right away and goes right to eating, something about the days activities keeping him very much in a hungry mood. "Even if I might not qualify for medical coverage."

-

Pepper Potts scoffs faintly while starting in on her own meal. "Of course you qualify for medical. It's the life insurance that likely wouldn't fly. Or the accidental death or dismemberment. But that's incidental. What sort of salary were you considering?"

-

Lucky has a small portion of rice making sure to swallow fully before speaking. "Well I've got the training to keep you save and the 'will power' not to stay dead" Trying to think of just the right words to say in that gravely natural authoritative voice of his. "I think we both know what's reasonable," He offers with that smile of his sitting down the plate of food.


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