Pampering Pepper

May 07, 2015:

Pepper gets some pampering in Stark Industries and gets a surprise visit from Babs Gordon

Stark Industries

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Sitting in her office that is attached to Pepper's, but with a seperate entrance as well, Cricket looks out at the city from her window as she talks. "Mr. Jennings, Ms. Potts is a very busy woman. If I let everyone that wanted a meeting with her have one, she would get no sleep, no time to eat, and never leave the Tower. Your request to have your invention reviewed for purchase by the Stark Corporation can be dealt with by our R&D team." There is a pause and Cricket's voice grows stony cold, surprising from the usually rather polite and genial robot. "Mr. Jennings, I am not just a receptionist to take appointments. I am Ms. Potts personal assistant. And part of my responsibility is to ensure that Ms. Potts only sees the people that have gone through the proper procedures to do so. If R&D feels that your invention is worth our time, they will let me know and then, and only then, will you get to see Ms. Potts. Now, do I re-direct your call or simply hang up?" Cricket's attitude suddenly shifts, her smile returning. "A very wise decision, Mr. Jennings. I'll transfer your call now."


Last he saw Pepper he helped her home the previous night. Happy though is doing his usual rounds when coming in giving Cricket a silent wave to not interupt her phone calls. They never stop much around here but once in a while they slack off. Sitting in an open chair he pulls out his phone checking an app while he waits.


Being an android who is able to communicate with JARVIS in a way that some would consider telepathy means that Cricket is *never* one to slack off. Even when she seems to be taking some time away, she is multi-tasking on many levels. When Happy comes into her office, Cricket smiles and offers him a waggle of fingers in greeting. After transferring the gentleman on phone, Cricket Schodt's smile grows warm and welcoming.

"Good afternoon, Mr. Hogan. To what do I owe the pleasure of your company?"


Happy Hogan looks up as she addresses him, "That makes me feel like Hulk Hogan. Just call me Happy." he smirks tucking the phone away. "I thought maybe I'd come by and see how one of my favorite people is doing. As Pepper isn't here I am saying hey to you." he teases with a chuckle and wink.


Cricket rises to her feet and goes to pour a glass of water, offering one to Happy. "You look nothing like Terry Bollea, Mr. Hogan, but if you prefer me to use your sobriquet, I will do my best to do so." She goes to sit down on the more comfy seating arrangement by the window. While her office isn't as large as Pepper's, it's still a very large office. The door that attaches her office to Pepper's is slightly ajar.

When Happy says he came by to say helllo to his favourite person, Cricket starts to blush and is about to protest. Until Happy finishes the sentence and reveals that it was Pepper he was here to see. Awkward. But Cricket takes it all in stride with grace and decorum. "Ms. Potts is in a meeting at one of our suppliers. I'm sure she will be back in an hour or so. Everything is going well for security?"


Happy Hogan takes the glass, "I was kidding, Cricket. It was a joke. I'm here to see you." he sips at the water. "Thank you." Sitting back a little bit he nods, "Indeed it is.. Nothing out of the ordinary. Just another day here at Stark Industries. So how are you doing?"


Cricket bites at her lower lip. "Sorry. It has always been the one failing in my programming. My sense of humor is poor at the best of times." She sips at her water and her hazel eyes glimmer. "Another day at Stark Industries? So Mr. Stark is causing trouble, Ms. Potts is dealing with said trouble with an aplomb, and some madman wants us all dead. So, just another Thursday then?"

The petite asian turns in her seat to face Happy, holding her water on her knee delicately. "I'm well, thank you. JARVIS and I have been discussing some improvements to the suit, though naturally Mr. Stark gets the final say. There are some new materials that might be able to make the suit even lighter while maintaining it's durability."


Happy Hogan sips at his water some more, "Its alright. And according to Stark is was Pepper that got into trouble. Being a wild woman and spraining her ankle." he mirks a little at the thought even if he knows the true story. "That is always good making improvements to the suit and such. I still think you and JARVIS should play chess."


"Sadly, yes. Neither I nor Lucky were there at the time to prevent it. However, a scan of her ankle told me that it was minor. I'm keeping an eye on her to make certain she doesn't strain it any more then it already is. And I make her sit whenever I can. As to what Tony is telling you, Mr. Stark is prove of the adage 'don't believe everything you hear and only half of what you see'. Cricket waves a hand at the idea of playing chess with JARVIS. "We have had several matches. Sadly, they have all reached stalemate. It's rather boring, I'm afraid."


Happy Hogan nods his head, "I helped her home last night. She let me carry her downstairs but demanded to walk from there." his shoulders raise in a shrug. "He beats me all the time. Nit sure why I am a glutton for punishment. Though he teaches me a few tricks."


Cricket says, "Thank you for getting her home. I'm glad she was well taken care of." She sips at her water as she talks with the head of security. "Your gluttony for punishment is well documented. Why else would you have been a boxer to begin with?""


Happy Hogan runs a hand through his hair, "You are right there. And I surely wasn't a good boxer. "So you ever get out of the office? What do you do on your downtime?" is asked.


Standing again, Cricket places the now empty glass on the cabinet. She doesn't actually need to eat or drink, but it is part of her program to appear human. "I have my suite that I stay at and I go shopping at least once a week. And Sundays are my … spa day."


Happy Hogan cants his head, "Spa day. Can't say I've ever done one of those. Is that where you take baths in mud and stuff?" he asks rather curious, "They put that green stuff on your face with cucumbers on the eyes."


Cricket has to laugh. "I was being polite. It's the day I take of my skin and do maintanence on my body. But, yes, a spa day for most people does consist of masques and body scrubs and aromatherapy."


Happy Hogan nods his head, "Oh.. Sorry." he blushes a little bit. "So what kind of stuff do you like to shop for? I've taken Tony and Pepper both out shopping plenty of times but have never done much for myself."


Cricket is also blushing a bit at the topic of what she is under her skin. While she isn't ashamed of being an android, she doesn't like to be overtly reminded of it. The change of topic to shopping, her most ardent love (with perhaps the exception of JARVIS, with whom her crush is a workplace gossip favorite), Cricket beams a smile. "What don't I love to buy? Shoes, dresses, purses, make-up. If it has a designer label, I love to buy it. Perhaps someday I should drag you to Armani and have you fitted for a couple of suits."


Happy Hogan isn't the crush of anyone or at least he hasn't heard. Looking at himself now, "I guess I am due for some new suits. Armani is rather nice though." he stands up a moment spinning around to show himself off while in Cricket's office.


Of course Happy hasn't heard about the crush the woman in R&D has on him. Because the mousy brunette with the glasses and the computer screen tan has told no one. She simply pines away for the Head of Security, daydreaming about him someday scooping her up in his arms, whipping off her glasses and freeing her librarian bun and kissing her while fireworkds go off.

Cricket stands up and walks over to Happy, looking at him with a studious eye. "Yes, Armani *is* nice. Which is why you should have some. You are a department head, and seen next to Mr. Stark often. Besides, looking good will make you feel good and feeling good will make you look even better."


Happy Hogan stands still as she walks forward, "It doesn't matter what I wear. I'll never be a match for the boss. I could be butt naked and oiled up and he could be in a suit and still have the women all falling at his feet." he blushes brightly at his own words. "But. A new suit does sound nice."


At the mention of Happy being oiled up and naked, Cricket seems to go off into her own little world for a moment, smiling to herself. Or, more likely, it's the mention of the suit. Yes, even assassinbots seem to have a thing for the suit. Cricket comes out of her reverie. "Well then, it's a date. Tomorrow, we will take an extended lunch and I will take you to the Armani store to have some suits tailored for you. And don't try to argue with me, or I will simply scan you for your measurements and have them made for you anyway. This way, I get to go shopping for them, which is far more fun."


Happy Hogan sighs a little bit, "Alright. I will clear it with the boss. Long as you allow me to buy you lunch. I don't think I am needed tomorrow for anything special. I'll have my coms and JARVIS can give me updates."


The petite asian with the amber hair looks up at Happy, who towers over her even when she wears her heels. "Tell Mr. Stark you are taking me out for lunch and he's bound to say yes. He'll also tell you to make sure there is photographic evidence if you happen to get me naked." Cricket grins, proving that while androids might have poor senses of humor, they do indeed have one.


Happy Hogan blushes deeply at this, "Me get you naked? Uh.. " he moves his mouth but nothing else seems to be coming out. Drinking the water down he sets the empty glass aside. "I don't know. He just might be jealous. He'd likely be jealous if her heard I carried Pepper downstairs and saw her home lat night."


Realizing that her flippant comment has made Happy uncomfortable, Cricket blushes as she apologizes. "I just meant that that is something that Mr. Stark would say, not that… because while I was made with the … appropriate compatibility… I… well… Maybe we should just stop talking about this particular topic." She brushes her hair over her ear and then nods. "Don't let Mr. Stark know that you know how he feels about her. He's still in denial about it himself."


"Appropriate compatibility? You can…" no Happy won't finish that sentence and quickly shakes the thought away. "He knows that I know and knows I've told him to just say something. He is in denial about being in denial."


Cricket continues to blush now. "Mr. Hogan, my original design was to seduce and kill my targets at their time of most vunerability. Even the most well protected billionaire doesn't have his bodyguards with him in the bedroom. So…. yes. But don't tell Mr. Stark that. I have him under the impression that I'm not anotomically correct from the waist down and would like him to stay that way."


Happy Hogan chuckles deeply moving to pur himself more water. "I won't tell him." he takes a long drink half of it downed instantly. "So bad girl gone good then?"


Heading back to sit down, Cricket tilts her head to one side. "You don't know? I would have assumed that you being the head of security, that you would have read my file extensively, especially with me working so close with Pepper. My creator was Dr. Eli Schodt. He worked for AIM until they had a parting of the ways. I was originally designed to kill Howard, but considering the length of time it took to have me operational, my new target was Tony. Dr. Schodt died as he was installing my personality matrix, and for a while, I didn't know who I was other then my personality that he had given me. But the personality I was programmed with wouldn't hurt a fly, until my target is available. With no programmed target, I have no desire to kill."


Happy Hogan has to pull his mind from the gutter a moment. "Oh well. I know things but I try to get to know who others are now and not by their past." he tells her moving back to his own seat. "So what if there is some hidden code word?"


While Cricket's status as a robot is not a secret, she doesn't talk about it often. It would seem that Happy is highly enough regarded to have her open up to the Head of Security. "Once I learned what I was, I had Dr. Trent go in to erase any backdoors in my software that would cause me to resort to my previous objectives. Now, I'm just me. With the ability to fly, lift a tank, and tell that your heart is elevated at the thought of my compatability with the human form."


Happy Hogan is with Cricket in her office and they both are just talking. "Much better than myself. I'm just a lowly human among all these others that cna do marvelous things. Most I can do is make sure innocents don't get hurt or terrorized."


Pepper Potts returns from a meeting just in time to hear Happy's comment. "Not true, Happy. You also make sure eccentric genius inventors don't go without food and end up becoming supervillains out of sheer hunger-angriness." She's moving slowly, still favoring the sprained ankle.


Cricket frowns softly at this and reaches her hand out to touch his. "Mr. Hogan, don't ever consider yourself lowly for being human. For all my abilities, I would give them all up to be truly human. To feel love, to know that my emotions are not just a construct, to be able to dream. What you call lowly, I call the epitome of creation. You are a good man, Mr. Hogan. Kind and compassionate. You care for those that you hold dear. Those are traits to be admired and strived for." When Pepper arrives, Cricket smiles to her boss and gets up, letting Pepper take the seat. Now standing, Cricket heads to her cabinet to make tea for Ms. Potts. Yes, Pepper's office is right next door, with a door that opens straight into Cricket's, but why go all that way to make tea when she can make it right here?


Happy Hogan smiles to Cricket and gets to his feet as Pepper hobbles inside. He walks over to give her some help to the seat and to help her prop it up if need be. "Want some ice for that ankle?" he asks.


Pepper Potts ohs and nods to Happy. "Thank you." She doesn't argue with the man, even though she'd honestly rather settle on the couch in her office. At least if she's hiding in Cricket's office people are less likely to see her and demand things incessantly. "What's on the docket for the rest of the day, Cricket?"


As Cricket makes a cup of tea for Pepper, she starts listing off the itinerary. "You have a meeting with the legal team in an hour, your hairdresser is expecting you at 5:30, and after that, you have an appointment with your GP to see how your ankle is faring. JARVIS has instructed me that your workload is to be as light as possible until your ankle is better." She walks over to the lovely redhead and offers her the teacup.


Happy Hogan helps her get the foot propped onto some pillows. Then he gets an ice pack wrapping it in a towel laying it on it. "Can't the legal team meet tomorrow? And your hair looks fine. You should stay off this until your appointment. No need to risk making it worse. And why heels?"


Pepper Potts accepts the teacup from Cricket, then looks at Happy amusedly as he fusses. "Thank you, Cricket. Because I'm wearing the trousers to hide the ace bandage, Happy, and all of my trousers are hemmed for my heels." It's true. If she walks around barefoot in these slacks, she either has to roll them up or they completely engulf her feet. She does take his objections into consideration, though. "All right. See if you can reschedule my hair appointment for next week. The legal team is non-negotiable."


Babs has arranged transport to New York. It's not always clear which transport, but she certainly doesn't use taxi's. Entering the foyer of Stark Industries, the wheel chair bound redhead makes for the receptionist. "Babs Gordon to see Miss Potts please." she says with a smile.

On her lap is her data tablet, she's never far from it, and her bag hangs from an arm of her chair.


Cricket is also amused with the way that Happy fusses over Pepper. He's an adorable human, much like a puppy. No wonder she has decided to take him out shopping tomorrow. Okay, she doesn't actually need Happy as an excuse to go shopping, but it's more fun when one has an excuse. "Ms. Potts, considering how much you pay your hairdresser, I am certain he would be willing to come here to you. But I can reschedule if you prefer." Just then, Cricket's phone rings. It's the reception desk. Cricket smiles. "Yes, send her straight up, thank you. Ms. Potts is in my office, so please re-direct her?" Ms. Schodt then grins to Pepper. "You have a visitor, Ms. Potts. Barbara Gordon."


Happy Hogan takes off his suit jacket laying it over Pepper's lap for dignity sake. "Would you like me to step out?" he asks not wanting to interfere if this is a private meeting.


Pepper Potts looks from the jacket now across her lap like a blanket to its owner a bit confusedly. "No, I think we'll be fine, Happy. Besides, I think you'd get along with Ms. Gordon so I'm going to insist that you stay to say hello."


Cricket's phone rings yet again and the PA lets it go to directly into her head, rather then picking up the reciever. "Yes? I see. Of course. I'll be right down." Looking to Pepper, Cricket sheepishly shrugs. "That was human resources. There seems to be a mix up with Lucky's payroll, because he keeps dying. He's on the payroll six times at the moment. So, if you will excuse me?"


Babs is redirected to Crickets office and the wheel chair bound redhead exits the elevator and follows the directions she was given. Pausing at the door, she knocks and see's Pepper with her feet up and a jacket covering her knees. "What on earth happened, Miss Potts!" she exclaims and then looks to Cricket a little sheepishly herself "My apologies. Hello Cricket, nice to see you again."


Happy Hogan stays as requested but also remains silent giving Cricket a wave as she heads out.


Cricket smiles to Babs as she rolls into her office. "Sorry, Miss Gordon. I have some work to see to, but feel free to make yourself at home." She then looks over to Happy. "Don't forget lunch tomorrow, Mr. Hogan. We will have you dressed to the nines by the end of the day. Well, maybe the week. Tailored suits take a little time."


Pepper Potts smiles at Babs as she arrives. "It's not that bad, really. I sprained my ankle, that's all. But Happy's treating me like spun glass." She's not REALLY complaining, her tone of voice is one of amusement. "Happy, this is a good friend of mine, Barbara Gordon. Babs, Happy has been Tony's driver and voice of reason longer than I've been working for Stark Industries."


"Such a busy woman, Cricket." Babs moves her chair into the office and positions herself next to Pepper as she waves to the leaving Cricket. Holding her hand out to Happy, Babs offers a smile "Happy, a pleasure to meet you. As Miss Potts says, I'm Babs."

Regarding the other redhead, Babs frowns a little "And just how did you sprain your ankle?" She knows Pepper doesn't need special treatment, but it's good to see people looking after her.


Happy Hogan smiles nodding his head to her, "Its my fault really. I was driving the limo and she decided to stand up to look at something through the sunroof. I hit a bump and she fell back inside." its a lie but he doesn't mind taking the blame.


Pepper Potts looks up at Happy for a moment, then finally nods to Babs. "Something like that. And I broke the shoes I was wearing too. Not my finest moment. Oh, would you like some tea? I'm sure Cricket left a freshly brewed pot."


Babs sort of blinks at Happy's description "That, Miss Potts sounds like a scene from a movie." she chuckles slightly "Well, broken shoes can be replaced far more easily than a snapped ankle can be mended." Babs regards Happy for a few moments "Not really your fault your passenger wanted to re-enact a movie scene, hmmmm?"

At the offer tea, Babs sighs "Oh yes please, Miss Potts, that would be wonderful."


Happy Hogan doesn't want Pepper to make others worry so him taking the blame is his way of protection. "I'll get it." he walks over to where the tea is brewed and purs some into a cup. Putting it on a small tray he puts other things on it so she can fix it to her liking. He kind of feels like the butler as he carries it over.


Pepper Potts smiles at Happy. "How about we all relocate to my office so Happy doesn't have to fetch and carry non-stop?" It's her way of subtly and gently scolding him for playing butler. That's not his job.


Babs accepts the tea from Happy "Thank you, Happy and if you like Miss Potts, please, lead the way." Babs is, after all, the guest here.


Happy Hogan sets the tray down and moves to Pepper's side to help her up afte rhe takes his jacket from he lap. No he didn't miss the hidden scold but he doesn't say anything about it.


Pepper Potts accepts Happy's help, snagging the ice pack off of her ankle and carrying it in her free hand. She opts to settle at the small conference table, as she can claim a second of the chairs there to prop her feet on. And, claiming that chair makes room for Babs, too. Bonus. "So were you just in town and wanted to say hi, Babs?" She's always glad to see the other redhead, but she usually doesn't visit Manhattan withotu a good reason.


Settling at the table, Babs is obviously impressed by the care Happy exhibits for Pepper. "Something like that, Miss Potts." Babs flushes a little "I wanted to see you, after the Metropolis thing. Make sure you, yourself, were o.k." Babs isn't letting on that she knows about the powergrid issues… that may or may not come up.


Happy Hogan helps Pepper to get situated with the ice pack again. He then goes getting her tea bringing it to the table setting it down. Now he goes getitng his glass of water bringing it in and finally sits himself down nearby.


Pepper Potts watches Happy amusedly for a moment. "Oh, yes. I'm fine. It was kind of crazy for a bit there, but I'm supposed to head back in a few weeks to finalize the talks with the city's public works commission to have all of the generators we installed kept there permanently and purchased by the city, or removed and returned to SI. Personally, I hope they finally make up their minds and keep them. The installation was a nightmare. I don't even want to think about yanking them back out again."


"You were in Metropolis, Miss Potts?" Babs looks a little horrified. Of course, she was in Gotham when the power grid went down. "I'm glad you're o.k though." Happy gets a small nod of her head "were you there too, Happy?"

Babs takes a sip of the tea and sets the cup back on the table before considering Pepper "I can imagine the cost to uninstall the generators. Why wouldn't the city just keep them though? Don't they operate more efficiently and produce cleaner energy?"


Happy Hogan shakes his head, "I was here. Though if she goes back I might be going as security." though this is up to Tony and Pepper nowadays. "With your charm. I'm sure they will keep it." is told to Pepper.


Pepper Potts chuckles softly, sipping at her own tea. "If it were just one generator, or even a dozen, I don't think they'd complain overmuch. But all told, a little under two hundred and fifty generators were installed all over Metropolis. The public works commission doesn't want to have to deal with all of the ones placed to support private residences. That's our sticking point. The cheapskates." Yes, that last is said with a fair amount of disdain.


"That sounds like a good idea to me, Happy" Babs smiles warmly at the man and then chuckles a little "If you don't mind me asking, Miss Potts, and I know it's really none of my business, but who would foot the cost of the uninstall?" She has no idea of the numbers required to purchase the generators, but it certainly seems unfair that Stark Industries bears the whole cost of restoring power to Metropolis and then removing the equipment.


Happy Hogan drinks at his water now staying quiet just listening. Thoguh in his private opinion if they don't want the things then they should unistall it themselves.


"That's part of the argument. One of the commissioners is trying to insist that since we didn't go through proper channels — in other words, him — to install the generators, that we need to remove them again and leave everything the way it was before we arrived. I was this close to asking him if his city's residents mean so little to him when all of the chaos started. I'm hoping that this will have helped the commissioners to understand my side of the argument."


Babs picks her tea up and wraps her hands around the mug as she listens to Pepper. Shaking her head "Politicians and beaurocrats, the lot of them. The only good one I know is Janet Van Dorn. Surely Mr Stark went through some official channel to get the approval?" She really can't imagine the highly efficient and organised redheaded CEO allowing anything else.


Pepper Potts scoffs. "Of course we did. The emergency services group. And they about killed themselves helping us get all of those generators in place before any more people suffered from the cold. But the public works morons are trying to insist that they weren't consulted so they won't take on the burden of purchasing the things." She shakes her head and reaches for her own tea again. "Do you think they'll shut up and listen if I sic Tony on them?"


Babs reaches out to touch Peppers wrist in apology "I wouldn't have expected anything less, Miss Potts." she shakes her head again "Damn beaurocrats. I don't know about siccing Tony on them, but it would be rather amusing to watch."


Pepper Potts considers. "Do you think Ms. van Dorn would be willing to accompany me to the next meeting? I don't want to give them even a hint of a leg to stand on." Which, right now, anyway, irony. "I could always pull people from legal, but I feel like they're drowning enough already as it is."


It's Babs turn to be thoughtful, and the redhead thinks for a long moment. "You know I knew Janet before…" she stops, before the chair, before the accident "She worked with Dad, when he was Commissioner. I …. could ask her. I can't speak for her now." sipping her tea, she looks Pepper in the eye "She would be good there. You know, we were at the Roller Derby last night for a charity event, the Chancer crashed it and targetted me. Janet put herself between him and me, and stood her grown. That woman is as cool as a cucumber."


Pepper Potts nods. "She sounds like someone worth meeting. Would you ask her? Maybe the three of us can meet at some point before hand also." She needs to gauge for herself if she thinks that she and van Dorn would be enough to make the Metropolis public works commission to quit being such bastards.


Babs already has her tablet up and open, sending a message to Janet. "Already done, I'll let you know what she says." Babs is quite amused by the picture of Janet and Pepper teaming up. "Maybe you could come to Gotham and we'll do lunch together."


Pepper Potts says, "All right. Thank you, Babs. You are a great help, as always."

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