20150106-Attack on Stark Tower P1

Summary:
January 06, 2015: Evelyn comes at Tony with a vengeance for his press conference on Howard Stark.

Stark Industries - New York City

Rising high into the skyline with the name of it's Lord and Master for all to
see, the Stark Industries Tower is the most visible component of the Stark
Industries complex centered in Midtown Manhattan. Manufacturing, office
space, power generation and even some inventory is housed in the tower and
its associated subelevels. It also contains guest housing and, at the top,
the penthouse suite that is the domain of the Main Man himself, at least,
when he's not at his Malibu home.


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
None


Regular ol'tuesday night at Stark Industries is a little boring, at least on the lower levels. Nothing grand is going on, save the normal activities in the 'business' area dedicated to various resteraunts and coffee shops that dot the main plaza. One or two tours are going around showing some of the 'on display' wonders that the Stark Inventors have come up with, like repulsor technology and the precision screen glass.

Kids are playing various video games on a fully rendered three dimensional landscape.

On the upper levels, specifically in the penthouse, Tony Stark sits alone in the dark. If it weren't for the glow of the teleprompter it would be something out of silent hill, but even in that unusual blue glow, his expression is harsh and distant. Beside him a glass sits empty of ice and beverage, but there's a decanter nearby which he's not reaching for to refresh himself.


It takes a while for Evelyn to ascend. She's been acting a little weird, lately. Remote. Distant. She even worse a full on dress and heels the other night, but ended up leaving shortly thereafter and not returning till late. When she's usually hanging around, she's reading books, fiction and the like. It's official now, SHIELD's reinstated her to watch Tony as part of her duty. Her stay here was coincidental, but now it works to an advantage. It's not all that bad.

In honesty, Ev's been hiding away from Stark a lot to mope and cry. It's better now, happening with less frequency. And the past couple days have actually been really quite alright. Stepping out into the penthouse, Evelyn immediately notices the light levels. Her eyes are a bit more well-suited to light than natural human eyes, but not by much. It's certainly a technology that could use an upgrade. Blinking a couple times, she first glares at the teleprompter, then to the figure slumped infront of it.

In a most sincere voice, Evelyn calls out, "Tony?" A pause, she steps forward a bit, slowly approaching, "Could you come here for a second?"


In all truth, Tony noticed that Eve had been keeping her distance from him, but gave her space. Rather, he's been too busy to interrupt her space, which is to say he's just been doing more than he can rationally do and showing the signs in his darkened expression.

When the elevators open, JARVIS puts a small windowed screen showing an image of the individual come to the penthouse, so Tony isn't surprised when Evelyn calls him out. Instead he pushes up from his seat on the couch and walks with his hands shoved into the pockets of his slacks and pads barefoot to where she waits for him.

Between where he was sitting and where he meets her a smile has found its way onto his face. So easy is it for him to slip behind his masks that he barely even realizes he's done it.

"Hey there Eve."

He's glad to see her. One of the few people, one of the most unlikely of people, who he feels 'gets him'.


Evelyn's wearing some pretty casual apparel. A light gray t-shirt with an antlered woman, two arrows poking out from her back. She's wearing a few necklaces, some jeans, and an opened zippy sweater. Her hands are in her pockets. Yeah, she got Tony. They're friends, right? He's been there for her since the beginning, and she? She's always been the voice of reason and honesty, a rock to lean on when things get tough, even if she's a bit the emotional one.

So it's a complete and utter surprise that when she walks up to Tony, she pulls her fist out of her pocket. Her neutral expression twists into a scowl and she just throws a punch for the billionaire's face. Actually, that's insulting, he probably has more money than that.

"What the actual /FUCK/, Tony?!" Eve shouts, "He's my /property/ because he's a machine?! You LIAR."


How in the name of anything could he have expected that? Tony was not just happy to see her, but rather hoped that she would understand the small details of the things he has to say over what he genuinely feels. So it is by utter surprise that she catches him across the eye with her sucker punch.

Let it not be said that he's a tough man. He's no trained fighter, but he's been slapped, kicked, and worse by any number of individuals in his illustrious career as an asshole. Saying this he's still turned away from her by the punch and groaning instantly where she's knocked him nearly senseless.

His hand comes up to hold against his jaw bone, working his mouth in a way to make sure it isn't broken. "OUCH!" He shouts and glares up at her from where he's leaning over. "Are you fucking serious with me right now?"

Happiness is gone, now there's only the guarded expression of a man who realizes that 'nobody' reads between the lines. "What should I have said, exactly?" Standing up with his shoulders back, "Every single time I 'unveil' some grand new design produced at Stark Industries, someone has a carbon copy of it in another country." Flicking his right hand out towards the big windows, "Duplicates of my arc reactor are powering god knows how many abominations Hydra is producing…"

This time she's the one who gets the scorn, eyes narrowing, "Even you are a hammed together hodgepodge of my technology…" The scorn doesn't late. Instead he drops down into a chair and rubs his face, "Now my 'dad' is coming out telling everyone he's a damn android.. and I've got to worry about the sheer weight of individuals who would try and take him and tear him apart just to figure out how we integrated a fully aware consciousness into a machine body… the implications of which is enough to have me put infront of a god damn tribunal for humans rights activists… So… yeah, I said that."

Eyes turned to stare at her, "So that everybody knew, for a fact, that touching my dad would be legally and fundamentally unacceptable. And I hoped that people would realize that I wasn't really saying something ''I'' didn't build belonged to me.. I hoped, my friends, would read between the lines and remember how I treated 'them'."

"I hoped. And I really shouldn't have."


Evelyn hisses in pain and shakes her hand after landing the blow. Just because you thought she was a robot she wouldn't be able to feel that? She did. Gripping her knuckles she stares back, eyes narrowed and still furious. This isn't done, she just punched Tony Fucking Stark. He did indeed take it like a man.

"What the fuck do you care?" She snips back at him, nursing her hand. Her tone shifts a bit defensive, she's not blind to the shifts in his demeanour. There's at least a pang of regret on her expression. "I /suggested/ to Howard that he come out honestly. How were you going to reveal it, that he was your fucking son? Are you /delusional/?"

Shifting a bit and sort of circling around, she looks away for a moment before retraining her eyes on Tony in his seat. "How dare you. You were still tinkering with toy cars when I was made, you twat. What the fuck do you think you're doing? Do you think you have responsibility over Howard? You set any kind of progressive thinking that I might be considered a person /decades/. The press doesn't read between the lines, Tony. They don't." She's shaking a little bit in anger.

Her stare gets harder, "I can't fucking beli-.." Then something ticks. She stops talking, and just stares, face red and expression angry. It turns confused for a moment, faulted, and she turns around and just crosses her arms.


Tony's hand rubs at his jaw, already starting to bruise where she struck him, and he stares out the bay windows at the city of New York. There's no more light than before, so his darkened expression remains ever impassive, as does the uniqueness of what he says.

Nothing.

He takes the ranting belittling with poise and rather than rising to some unspoken challenge, eats it like he did the punch. Though what is said probably hurts a whole lot worse than the attack.

It is, in fact, a long time before he says anything at all. "I was drunk when I suggested that." It's abstract at best, but he clears it up for her, "Nobody would believe that I had a well adjusted son." A humourless chuckle follows.

"Every makes up their own minds, no matter what we say or do. In the end we either get comfortable with the truth of things or we stand waiting for someone's approval that may never come. I've spent the better part of two decades wishing that I could get my father's and I'm in a rare position where I could have actually gotten that." His lips press together into a fine line, "Instead I did what I thought I had to to protect him. Right or wrong. I. don't. care. what the press thinks. I know who he is… just like my father knew who I was. I guess I had to be in his shoes, massive as they are, and uncomfortably as I've worn them, to realize that he knew who I was too, he just didn't candy coat it and give me a lolly pop."

His shoulders jerk into a small shrug, "I treated you like a human. I've never suggested you were a machine… ever. Not in anything besides friendly banter. I did everything in my power to get Howard Stark-" Not father. "Away from SHIELD because I see how they use 'you'. Choice or not." His eyes flick around slowly, catching a falling star out of one corner, "So whatever, Evelyn. Be mad. You were the one person I thought for 'sure' would know better. And whether you care or not, whether it matters to you at all, you've lost that."


The silence falls between them easily. Ev doesn't budge from her spot, hands gripping at her arms as she tries to maintain focus on the stars outside. She did talk to Howard, she spoke to him about a lot of things. His demeanour was closed off, the man isn't used to being asked the difficult questions. It was a difficult time for him, he needed to think about what he was going to do. If there's anyone that would agree that Howard doesn't belong to SHIELD, it's Evelyn. She initially suggested that, but saw reason at Howard's explanations.

With her turned away, it's difficult to really gauge what Evelyn's expressing right now. That's the point. She's probably furious. Is that why she's turn away, to ignore Tony?

Full of unexpected surprises, instead her head points to the floor and she makes a pained sound not unlike a yelp, a small heaving breath, a sob. Is she crying?

It's difficult to articulate the emotions she's feeling right now. Furious, frozen in place. She's not make at just Tony, but herself. She misunderstood what he had meant, and in rashness, just punched a guy in the face that probably didn't deserve it. At least not right now. Ultimately, again, she just feels completely stupid. Ever have an argument where you want to keep arguing even though you know you're wrong? Now she doesn't know what to do.

She wants to apologize, but the damage is already done. Come on, Evelyn. You were going to be strong, stop crying so much. She holds her breath, just focusing on not making any more pathetic sounds aside from the first, but Tony's words and her continued effort to not cry just breaks her down into full on tears and chronic sobs, haphazardly made at irregular interviews where she just can't keep it contained. Her hands come up and just cover her face, still glued to her position. She feels like such a dumbass right now. Again.


There's a lot of accusations running around about who Tony Stark really is. Whether the womanising, cocky, superstar is the real man or whether it's the giving philanthropist who goes out of his way to make up for past transgressions, people are always in debate about him.

Nobody has ever suggested he was emotionally cruel.

For good reason, honestly. He's not. He's closed off and reserved for reasons that he keeps ever held close to his chest, but that doesn't' mean he is cruel. No more so than making a mistake makes Evelyn stupid.

Does that mean he jumps out of his seat to comfort her?

No it doesn't. He sits there staring out the window at the night sky with only a quiet rhythmic breathing to indicate he's even still there. His left eye watering where she struck him, but the other is hard and narrowed. At the same time his hand twirls something between his fingers. An idle motion to keep them occupied, perhaps.


And for good reason! Evelyn doesn't need comforted, her crying isn't a sign of attention or weakness. It's an expression of emotion, little more. There's something about it being viewed as shameful, especially in her line of work where every agent is supposed to be this infallible, unfeeling machine. That is not her. The most mechanical out of all of them and she can barely contain her feelings. A sensitive murderer.

This doesn't stop the hesitation, though. For a bit, Ev needs a minute or two just to recompose any semblance of functionality, her brain tumbling over itself. She sobs and cries during this time, of course, doing her best to hide it, but as it dies down a little bit, she wipes her face with her sleeve. Sweaters, now with absorbent technology.

Then she turns, and it seems like she might be walking to leave, but instead she makes a crescent turn to come by the side of Tony's seat. Getting on one knee in the dim light, she says in a small cracked voice, "Let me see it."

It would be a lie to say she's stopped crying entirely. A tear rolling down her cheek from the side of her face she just dried. It can't be helped.


There's no stopping the throbbing pain in his face at this point. Alcohol would do it, but in a weird turn, Tony hasn't even glanced in the direction of the decanter sitting well within reach. Instead he suffers through the pain and the swelling around his left eye. Maybe it's a funny joke that there's a tear rolling down his cheek too, for different reasons, but is it any less symbolic?

Then she's kneeling down infront of him and his right eye turns to look at her. The left is hard to see, but is probably turned that way as well. For a while he doesn't say anything or move but for the twirling of his fingers around whatever object is in his fingers.

Then he sets that aside on the table and unbuttons the front of his shirt, pulling either side away from the glowing reactor set in the center of his chest. Once exposed, his hands drop down on the arms of the chair, but his eyes remained focused on her. If he's judging her for crying, he's doing so behind a mask.


Evelyn leans up a little bit, glancing a look at the eye. Her expression waxes concerned, if only briefly. "Tony.." She intones carefully, wiping her cheek again with her sleeve. She stands up and moves forward, poising her knee on the edge of the chair so she's hovering a bit over. Some of the anger, at herself or at Stark just bleeds away slowly. She's such an idiot, or that's how it feels. That regret is painted on her face, even as she inclines her head to the side a little bit to get a better view of the eye.

The last time this happened, the results weren't so great. Evelyn.. Doesn't really touch people skin to skin all that often. But uniquely this time, her hand gently comes up to rest on Tony's cheek, thumb just lightly touching the area under the forming bruise. She's shaking a little bit, not at all unusual given just the sheer amount of emotion and stress that just happened.

Knee still on the edge of the chair, she leans down a little bit. Face hovering just a bit away from Tony's as she gets a really good look of his face. Yeah, regret is a significant part of her expression. So it's really quite sincere when she says softly, "..I'm sorry. I didn't mean.."


Tony's head cranes enough to keep his eye on Eve as she hovers down over top of him, but he flinches just a little from the touch on his cheek. It's still sore and while she hasn't looked cruel about it, he hadn't expected her to hit him at all. So he's a little on guard now, probably understandably.

When there's no strike forthcoming, he relaxes and takes in a slow breath. After a second his hand closes around her's and he nods once, "I know." Quietly, shaking his head. "I could save everyone a lot of headache if I would just be upfront with them…" Quietly, almost smirking but for the pain that causes to shoot up to his temple.

"Just not how I do things, I guess." His brow furrows a little, "I've just always rather act and have to apologize."


Ev's gentle as she normally is, perhaps more. She can't help but give a soft dishevelled sigh, her eyes momentarily glancing down at the arc reactor, and back up again. Unexpectedly, she doesn't move away, nor does she try to slip her hand away from Tony's like normal. No, this is gentle Ev.

"It's okay," Evelyn shakes her head a little bit, "..I. I'm just sorry I'm not a better person. I wouldn't have hurt you, that's .. not what I'm supposed to do.." As she blinks, it creates a couple more tears that run down her cheeks. "I'm wrong.."

Closing her hand a little bit, there's at least a moment of uncomfortable silence before she helpfully suggests, "We should put some ice on that."


"I have to be accountable." Tony says in a distant voice, "If not for my actions, then for how they are viewed." No matter how hard he tries, it is going to be impossible for anyone to see the forest for the trees if he keeps everyone at arms length. His hand remains there ontop of her's for a moment longer, then something odd comes over him and he lets it fall away.

There's a flash in his eyes too, but he covers it over by glancing away and nodding to her helpful suggestion. "That's probably a good idea." For more than one reason. Emotions are something they both guard entirely too carefully to let a mistake ruin it. A misread that could cost more than just a shiner on his cheek.


"We both have to be," Evelyn replies softly, leaning in just a bit closer. But they both do guard their emotions intensely. The odd shift pops right up on her radar and her face instantly blushes as she pulls away. Leaning back and stepping off the chair, she quickly takes a step of distance back. Clearing her throat, she tugs on the hem of her shirt and sweater, straightening them out nervously before rubbing her face.

She's not entirely sure what just happened, but there are indeed a lot of emotions right now. She wipes at her eyes again, before making a nervous expression and offering a hand to help Tony up. Oops.


That move, that one she just made. In any other circumstance Tony would immediately read that as a rejection because no matter how he pretends to be, he's got about as much social graces as the broad side of a barn. Only JARVIS really knows whether his 'exploits' are real or fabricated for the sake of some public image… and Tony certainly isn't telling.

With a glance he takes her hand and instead of coming to his feet, pulls her towards him instead. Unless she's keen on stopping him, the point of collision will be pretty precise. He's a mathematician after all. Geometry or whatever. The variable X times applied force Z equals 'kiss the girl'.

Or so says Sebastian.


Who said it wasn't? Like templars and mages, Evelyn's supposed to keep a somewhat distant relationship with her charge. She's /supposed/ to. But is there anything standard about Evelyn or SHIELD? She's socially anxious, a history of abuse. It's just a natural defensive measure for her. As she takes Tony's hand and clasps it, about ready to help him up, she yelps with surprise when suddenly she's pulled down. It's easily throws her off balance, yet still she gracefully lands on the chair, spare hand grasping the back for balance.

These moves don't typically work in anywhere but the movies. It's a good way to just smack heads if the other party isn't expecting it, and work if they aren't keen for it. Fortunately for Tony .. Even as she's semi braced against the chair, half in Tony's lap, she stops just short of inches infront of Tony. What to do? She's still surprised, still emotional. There's a moment of awkward pause, before she leans in the rest of the way and presses her lips to Tony's, eyes closed. Even if she tenses up a little bit at first, she gradually relaxes.


« End Part 1 »


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