Peppering The Deal

April 26, 2015:

Babs and Pepper socialise and Jay turns up to talk about a deal

Stark Towers - New York

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

With spring officially warming up New York, Pepper has been taking advantage of the nicer weather to get out of the building more, including for lunch. She and Babs are just returning from lunch at a patio-style restaurant inside Central Park, Pepper carrying a container of her leftovers in one hand and gesturing with the other. "… so I'm standing there wobbling on one broken heel, with some kind of black grease on my new beige suit, and Tony's just babbling at eighty miles an hour while Dummy is trying to wipe the grease off with a shop rag that was, kid you not, way more grease than rag." She leads the way into her office, promptly moving to put her leftovers in the mini-fridge.


Babs laughs as she moves along beside Pepper and up to her office. "Oh, I think I would have loved to have seen that. So… what did you?" The younger redhead has some leftovers as well "Mind if I do the same? I'll collect them when I leave." She's guaranteed herself at least one solid meal for the rest of the week.


A toothpick of a woman has shown up at Stark Industries! A wild Jay has appeared!

Okay, perhaps not so wild, but Jay Donohue has shown up to the Tower of the Man with the Cool Shades that he totally loaned her to help with the headache induced by her inability to see the illusion that a certain wolf-god carries around with him most of the time. And that is how the infamous Tony Stark will always be remembered in her book.

Sporting said shades with a very snappy business suit with a tie, and a black do-rag over her head tied back, the cleaning woman approaches the front desk — because just flying to the windows and looking for the one with Pepper would just be rude.

"HI! I'mJayDonohueandI'mheretotalktermsofbusinesswithPepperPottsyourDealmaker!"

Okay, Security may be just a bit off-put by that.

Fifty-Fifty on whether they call local law enforcement or Pepper?


"Of course. There should be enough room in there." Pepper doesn't even consider offering to put the leftovers into the minifridge FOR Babs, and she moves to sit at her desk. "Oh, well, what could I do? The suit and the shoes were completely ruined, Tony was still babbling away about I don't even remember what now, and poor Dummy was getting more and more distressed when the grease smear on my suit was growing." She unlocks her computer just as Jay is greeting the lobby security people at her usual way too fast talking speed. "So I took my armload of files and …"

"Miss Potts," JARVIS interrupts. "My apologies, but there is a Jay Donohue in the lobby asking to speak with you. Her speech patterns are accelerated from accepted norms by at lest twenty percent. Shall I have security send her up, or send her away?"

Pepper mock-glares at the ceciling when JARVIS interrupts, but then ohs! "Babs, do you mind if I take care of this really quickly?"


It's one of the reason why Babs likes Pepper, she doesn't see the wheelchair. Straightening from putting her leftovers in the fridge, Babs gives Pepper a delighted smile. "Well… given I know a Jay Donohue who speaks rather quickly, I don't mind at all."

Closing the fridge and moving to position her chair out of the way but where she can still converse comfortably with Pepper, Babs folds her hands in her lap.


As the custodian waits, she starts cleaning the counter in front of her. It's a bit of a nervous habit, and it probably has weirded out a guard or two. Still, she hasn't used any chemicals and where she's been cleaning practically sparkles!

"Hmmm. YouhavegoodcleanershereI'mnotevengettingmyragdirty!" Despite her bubbly enthusiasm she doesn't seem dangerous, nor did that seem like a back-handed insult? And those shades DO look rather familiar and pricey. Is it some joke that Tony is playing on Pepper, maybe?


Pepper Potts sends a message down to Security to see Ms. Donohue up, then goes to fix a pot of tea. Remembering the unusual young woman from the other day, she suspects she'll need some liquid fortification before the 'negotiations' are over. "You do? Good. Does she always talk that fast? It's kind of… disconcerting."


Babs considers the question and nods slowly "Well yes, but I found if I asked her to slow down, she did." Babs had also had a good negotiation with the young woman "I liked her and we struck a good deal."


The toothpick woman walks like she owns the place. Okay, perhaps that's not quite the right term. After all, the Man with the Cool Shades what loaned them to her owns the place, right? So she moves with confidence and zeal that would be a bit off-putting for anyone that DIDN'T work with Tony Stark, and she has to fight to keep following the poor security person she's been assigned after being given a 'temporary visitor badge'. Because that stray speck of dust there, that slightly dirty corner? To her, they're glaring faults on an otherwise immaculate plateau of cleanliness. And this worries her, because why would PepperPotts want to have her come here to Deal if there was nothing for her to Deal for?


Pepper Potts sets the steeping teapot on the small conference table, then moves to sit on the same side of her desk as Babs to wait for Ms. Donohue to arrive. She just hopes that the task of tidying after Tony won't be too daunting and that they can reach an equitable agreement in terms of compensation.


"May I ask, Miss Potts" Babs smiles as Pepper sits by her "What you are speaking with Jay about. I can absolutely recommend her services, she's been a big help to me." Babs pauses a few moments "You are aware that Jay doesn't work for money? She prefers what she calls deals?"


With little fanfare the toothpick woman is at the door to Pepper's office, possibly even presaged by JARVIS' proper tones. Suffice to say, there is a polite pause at the door as she waits to be allowed into the office. In the meantime, she's already glancing at the poor secretary's desk for any signs of dust or dirt. NO ONE EXPECTS THE DUST INQUISITION!


"I kind of got that impre… oh! Come in, Ms. Donohue." Pepper stands and moves to greet Jay as she arrives at the office. "Please, have a seat. I take it you've met Barbara Gordon already? She was just telling me that you've been a big help for her."


Babs smiles as Jay enters and gives her a nod "Hello there Jay. Fancy meeting you here." Jays so good at what she does, Babs barely sees her when she cleans the Clocktower, but it's always clean. Holding out her hand, Babs angles her chair so Jay can shake it.


The custodian extraordinare sits in the offered seat and immediately begins wiping at the armrests for nearly imperceptible dander, dust, and the sort that one would almost need a microscope to detect. When Babs is mentioned and indicated, she kind of FREEZES, though. Because part of the Deal she made with Babs involves confidentiality… and this is sort of a grey zone. She turns her head to the wheelchair-borne clocktower denzien and tilts her head, dropping the sunglasses in an almost Starkian fashion as her slitted eyes regard Babs.

The handshake is taken even as Jay squints at Babs — can she acknowledge.. wait, she just said hello— "Oh, hello Miss Babs! I wasn't expecting to meet you here! Not that this is a bad thing are you coming to give Miss Potts pointers? That's technically cheating, you know, but I won't hold it against you because it's kind of smart when you think about it?"

That's probably taken the wind out of her sails a little bit. She can't talk about what she does for Babs, but at the same time she's RIGHT THERE. What a conundrum!


Babs smiles at Jay "No, not really. But if you and Miss Potts will allow, I would like to assist with the negotiation. Like I did for our mutual friends." Looking to Pepper, Babs shrugs "Jay keeps my accomodation clean and I'm very pleased with her work. As I said, I highly recommend her." That should make it easy for Jay to engage. We'll gloss over the where part.


Pepper Potts is totally okay with glossing over the exact location that Jay maintains for Babs. She knows better than to ask. "All right, then. Probably much like Barbara, there are certain parts of this tower that are not to be cleaned under any circumstances as well as information and items in this tower that must be kept confidential. Now, I don't expect to remember them all on your own, so if you happen across any of these places or items, either the badge we'll issue you won't allow you to enter the area, or JARVIS will give you a reminder. JARVIS, this is Ms. Donohue. I'm considering contracting her to help maintain the Tower."

"A pleasure, Ms. Donohue. I shall be glad to assist you as you request." … Did Pepper remember to mention JARVIS previously?


"I don't see a problem with that. They have been highly satisfied with my work performance as well." She gives Pepper an apologetic glance. "Unfortunately, I can't go into particulars… it's built into the Deal I made with them." She beams a little bit without smiling somehow as Babs offers her recommendation. Satisified parties on all sides of a Deal is a good thing.

"Even with the recommendation, Miss Potts, I haven't seen much that actually needs cleaning? Your custodial staff here does an amazing job and I was hard pressed to find even dust bunnies under your secretary's desk. It would hardly be fair Deal to you for my services —"

She does the sunglasses lowering thing again staring at Pepper's credenza momentarily, considering, weighing. "— I… see. So what exactly is the Dealing party seeking in this negotiation?"


"I maintain several confidential client files" Bab explains, that's not really a lie "and Jay here is very good at knowing what not to look at Miss Potts." Jays assertion regarding the fair deal, gets a small chuckle from the younger redhead "You were concerned about that with my deal, remember? And I've proven, that at times, I need the extra help. I have a feeling, it's similar for Miss Potts."


Pepper Potts chuckles as well. "You and Barbara are correct. Most of the office floors are more than adequately maintained. What I would like help with are the more private areas." She's referring to Tony's residence at the top of the tower, and likely also his office. She moves to stand, gesturing toward the door. "Would you like a tour to evaluate the workload before we start negotiating?"


"If the Dealing party would feel comfortable with this, it would be recommended. And they may rest assured that confidentiality is inherent in such negotiations, unless waived by the Dealing party."

Much like the negotiations with Babs and the other party, the wordiness of Jay's words belies the apparent simplicity of such arrangements. It's highly unlikely, though, that she'd go for a saucer of milk or a fifth of booze on the back doorstep.

"I would be eager to see what the tasks you have in mind are, so a fair price might be offered."


"Well I don't know about Jay, Miss Potts, but I would love to see what you're looking at, if that would be ok." Babs smiles "If you need me to sign a confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement, I would be more than happy to." Babs knows how these things work.

She'll follow Pepper as they leave.


Pepper Potts leads the way first to Tony's office. It's even more richly appointed than hers, but has the feeling of seeing far less use. "This is Tony's office. He doesn't use it terribly often, but when he does, it'll help to have it looking immaculate. Also, it's a fifty / fifty shot whether or not he'll notice if anything is so much as a milimeter out of place. He's fired entire cleaning crews before because something was set back facing the wrong direction. So better safe than sorry, it has to be perfect, every time."


The diminutive woman follows along, then peers at the room, squinting at the walls, the air, and the desk. As if to 'test the waters' she carefully pulls out a rag and gives a slight rubbing to the desktop, bringing out the shine in the desk with a few moments of work. She does not jostle anything on the desk in her test cleaning.

"This has potential and promise, yes. We can work with this. Please, continue!"

Most folks would quail before such a daunting task.

Jay, as has been noted previously, is not most folks.


Pepper Potts didn't think Tony's office would be considered daunting. Nit-picky, maybe, but not daunting. "Okay. Next, a short elevator ride." They travel up several floors, and arrive at the common room that links several 'guest' rooms that are frequently used as residences for various Avengers-type people. "This is the first of two residential floors, and the common room that they all share." As if to prove that, the common room has VERY vaulted ceilings and a staircase that links both floors of quarters to this one area.

"There's the kitchen, the dining area, and the lounge area which includes an outdoor patio balcony thing. This area can get out of hand really fast, as there are several people living here at any given time, with varying ideas of what is and is not considered clean. Maintaining the area would include dishes and keeping the refrigerator from growing science experiments."


Babs happily follows Pepper and Jay, looking very impressed. At Jays comments, she smiles faintly "The messier the better for Jay, Miss Potts."


After the challenge of the office, the living area for the guest rooms seems almost a let-down, though the volume of promised work tends to outweigh the negative effect of it not being as challenging. Jay nods briefly then considers, remembering something she'd discussed with Babs in the past.

"Do any of your guests currently have means to hide their appearance, and do they seek to keep that hidden? I see straight through things that folks use to hide what they look like. Alternate methods of approach could involve the security team notifying them that I am in the area and to stay clear, or for them to wear bells so I know they are coming and to remain focused on my work? Some of my clients express concern over private identities."

Well, at least she's honest.


Pepper Potts laughs softly. "Well, I'm not sure that many of the residents here are actively working to conceal their identities, if that's what you're referring to, but I"m sure JARVIS will be able to help as you go along. Oh, and this area includes all of the attached guest rooms, unless JARVIS tells you the resident has asked that you not clean their room."


"Just wanted to make that known, so that there was no recriminations later of failure to disclose." Jay nods sharply at the other comment. "Some of my clients operate under a similar restriction, preferring certain parties to handle certain matters of their own accord, so this is not an onerous selection. I'm already starting to get an idea of what this would take in terms of resources and a fair offer."


"Good. Because I've saved the best two areas for last." Pepper leads them all to the elevator again and they go up to the topmost floor. "This is Tony's private residence. I can already tell that you understand the delicacy that that entails."

Basically, it's a combination of Tony's office and the residence floors, being a living area but with Tony's potentially fickle and temperamental requirements tossed on top. Well, and the fact that Tony never learned to clean up after himself. As an example, there are dishes in the kitchen sink and on the dining table, and a trail of grimy clothing leading to the bedroom. "He won't be quite as reactive to things moving around in this space, as he's lived with cleaning services his entire life. But, if he's here, JARVIS won't let you in to clean unless Tony specifically grants you entrance. So don't take that personally."


Babs stifles a small chuckle. "Oh my, Miss Potts. It looks like a teenager lives here." Her green eyes sweep the space and she subsides back to silence "I think Jay will enjoy this very much."


There would be people who would give a limb to be in these spots at this moment. She heads over to the sink and sniffs a bit, then over to the clothes, poking at them to make sure they don't have occupants — what kind of clients DOES she have that makes that a thing? — then looks up at the ceiling.

"Ceiling could use some in - depth work. Clothing, dishes… nothing major there."

She holds out her left hand closed, then pops out her pinky finger.

"Stipulation One: I have other clients, they have requirements on my time, if I am with a client and I get a call I will be here as soon as reasonably possible."

She extends her ring finger. "Stipulation Two: I'm not a lab experiment or cheap entertainment. If folks are watching, they can be cleaning."

She extends her middle finger. "Stipulation Three: In the event of my abduction, you will bring resources to bear on my recovery.

The index finger goes next. "Stipulation Four: No clowns while I'm here. Some of them and their big guy shot me up three weeks ago and that hurt a lot." She seems rather serious about it!

She takes off the do-rag to reveal pointed ears, and folds the sunglasses into her pocket, a veritable wave of copper-gold hair falling over her shoulders.

"Stipulation Five: I am NOT an elf. Not even in joke or jest. I don't care what the ears look like, I'm not one, okay?"

These seeming set-in-stone points laid out, Jay nods and her demeanor changes to a lot more pleasant tone, less business-like. "I'll do it for you with those stipulations and one dinner for each shift I work of no less than twenty thousand calories, of a grade of food no less than four star preparation. Any other incentives can be offered by the Dealing party…"


Pepper Potts nods slowly at Jay as she lists her stipulations, then holds up her hand similarly. "Responses to your stipulations."

"One: Your visits here will need to be scheduled, and we will not expect you at any other times. If we're calling you, it's likely for something dire. I don't forsee that happening."

"Two: That is a given. If you notice someone gawking, you are perfectly within your rights to tell them to bug off or help you clean. If they do worse than gawk, please report them to Human Resources immediately. I will not abide intolerant behavior in my building." Wow, all of a sudden, Stark Tower is HER building.

"Three: Also a given. Do you have a cell phone with app capability? If so, would you permit JARVIS to actively monitor its location if you do get abducted?" She doesn't mention that JARVIS also has a tendency to like chit chatting with people randomly. Don't tell Cricket though, she might be the jealous sort.

"Four: Clowns? I'm not fond of them either." She looks at Babs at that, because she's read the new stories about that Joker person in Gotham. If he's ever in this building, there's a LOT more wrong than just making Jay unhappy.

"Five: I never thought you were. Your irises are distinctive. Would you be offended if I did ask? Not that I'd put that on your employment paperwork. The US Government is so narrow-minded."

Pepper then closes her hand again. "The dinner should be no problem at all, though, only one meal per shift? OSHA requirements include a fifteen minute break every two hours and one lunch break of no less than thirty minutes. Anyway, here are my negotiation points."

"One: As this is a place of business, I will need to hire you officially and pay you a fair monetary wage for your work and have all of the same benefits as every other employee in this building. What you do with the money is irrevelant to me. Do you have legal United States documentation?"

"Two: Please try to use the cleaning supplies provided. If there is an item that you prefer in particular, place a request and it will be provided for you."

"Three: This place of business has a dress code, though I have yet to see you wear anything that would be considered inappropriate. Just… If you're wearing something that seems more suited to swimming than cleaning, it might be inappropriate."

"Oh, and Four: I'm sorry, I wish I could actually promise it, but hugs are not a legal currency that I can report to the IRS."

While she's discussing the stipulations with Jay, she's leading the little mini tour to one last stop.


Babs has been listening to the discussion as it progresses. She nods as Pepper outlines her requirements. "Jay, Miss Potts has a requirement to pay legal tender. Perhaps you have a charity or cause you could donate it. I know Miss Potts is involved in the Maria Stark Foundation." The mention of Clowns has Babs wincing, she can imagine what caused that to be included.


"OSHA requirements can be waived on meals as long as the working environment is maintained in a safe and orderly fashion. Your building fits that criteria. I was just born different from other folks but I'm not a mutant I just have different eyes and ears and a much better work ethic than some folks. I put down 'Other' for my paperwork and they usually don't ask beyond that. I prefer Deals because it means not having to deal with the government. Favor for a Favor and all that? But at school they did say we might have to do that someday, so I do have a bank account you can route the money into.

The money is not the important thing, though. Money is easy. Money is cheap. Everyone these days is money money money… but when was the last time you ate money? When was the last time money sat on a park bench with you and just watched the clouds roll by? Odds are, probably not recently. Unless you're kind of weird. No offense.

And yes, I do have proper documentation! I'm a U.S. Citizen, after all! As far as cleaning supplies go, I've been trying to be a bit more enviromentally friendly of late, and using some pure grain alcohol in my compounds. It seems to work wonders. I'll be wearing the jumpsuit you saw more than likely. It's a good jumpsuit and it's gotten me through a lot of tough jobs. Not the greatest to look at, but it keeps on trucking!

As far as Deals… turn off the money mind. Just… you already addressed the money. It's done and done. But think about the other neat stuff, and hugs, or nice meals, or maybe even trips to spas?"

She considers Babs' words. "Oooh! Oooh! That would work! The Maria Stark Foundation helped fund our school initially before it went off the grid for safety reasons! So yeah, you can just take the money out of my account that you pay into it minus whatever taxes that have to be paid and donate it to the Foundation!"

So far, so good.

Jay follows along on the tour, curious to the last stop…


Pepper Potts smiles and nods as she stops in front of a set of glass doors, currently appearing to be completely frosted over. "This is Tony's workshop. Absolutely no one is allowed in there without his express permission. There may be occasion where you'll be asked to help clean in here, and it follows the same rules as his office. Nothing can be left out of place. Here, he is guaranteed to notice. But, I almost don't forsee you ever being asked to clean in here. I just wanted to prevent you from being surprised if Tony does request your services for his workshop at any point."

She gestures, and then leads everyone back toward her office. Let's see, non-monetary compensation. First off, if your phone is older technology and Tony sees it, he's almost guaranteed to insult your device and then promptly hand you a new StarkPhone. It's a thing he does. Though, I might beat him to it and just give you one when the employment paperwork is completed. Also, how about joining me for tea either before or after each of your work shifts? We could bug Babs on the phone so she can be there with us in spirit."


Babs looks at Tony's workshop with interest, peering through the glass doors, as she listens. Jays response to the Maria Stark Foundation has the younger redhead smiling, pleased with herself. Then Pepper suggests that Babs be there in spirit and the smile grows wider "I would like that, very much, Miss Potts."


Jay stares at the workshop for a few moments before starting to go cross-eyed and quickly slapping her borrowed sunglasses on. "Canwegobacktoyourofficenowplease?"

Whether she actually saw in, or the frosted glass is enough to dissuade her is anyone's guess, but the headache is a real and visible thing, as a vein on her forehead throbs a bit in almost comedic fashion. She'll eagerly head to the office!

When they get there she tilts her head. "Old technology is okay, too. Sometimes it is less prone to being hacked or stolen because it's not worth a lot of money." There's a bit of a shrug and then she considers. Shifts… appointments… "If you would have tea, I will bring scones. There's this shop over on 42nd that pays me in scones for his windows. Not a secret on that one. And if we have a voice conference that is okay, too. It will be kind of weird having a chat with someone when they're not physically present, though?" Another shrug, and then a nod as she offers her hand to Pepper. "Done. With the understanding that either party can either adjust or renegotiate terms as necessary and a minimum of fourteen working days provided by either party prior to termination of the Deal."


Pepper Potts smiles and shakes Jay's hand. "Done. JARVIS, could you please draft up the employment paperwork for Ms. Donohue? And if you like, we can share a celebratory pot of tea."


Jay nods quietly to Pepper and pulls out a keyfob. "This is the personal information you need for the money people. It's handy to keep around just in case someone wants to do a Deal." She rubs her chin. "Only if I get to clean out the kettle and cups after."

Oh, she's gonna be a riot.


Babs cants her head as Jay looks a little distressed, glances back into the workshop, and then to Jay again. The deal done, Babs nods to Pepper "Celebratory tea, would be wonderful."


Pepper Potts chuckles. "Sure. Just please don't scrub the patina out of the teapot. It's taken me years to get it seasoned just right." She pulls down a teapot and starts fixing the tea.

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