Spa Day

June 21, 2014:

Partisan forces Jericho to a spa for a massage when who should they run into but Pepper Potts

Sergio's Day Spa

A standard sort of affair in the business district replete with mud baths, massage tables and steam rooms. All your relaxation and beautification needs met in one convenient location.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Jericho has been - amped up is the best way to describe it - ever since he returned to the safe house last night with the news that the canister he'd raided from that underworld medical clinic in Gotham was actually a mutant targeting WMD that may have been either made by Hydra or the Federal Government (the damn thing had a National Stock Number) or possibly both. He hadn't slept well, digging urgently in dark corners of the net to run down anything he could on the stuff. It was, in addition to the other things he'd been working on, notably affecting him. By lunch time Partisan had enough and in no uncertain terms told him to disconnect, knowing that she was the only one he might actually listen to on that one. The she hauled has butt out to the car and told him to sit down, shut up and buckle up. And no, she wasn't going to tell him where they were going.

That is how, half an hour later, Jericho is laying on stomach without either shirt or shoes being attended by a professional looking (male) masseuse while his feet are… uh, he really doesn't know what the lady who looks like a younger version of his mother is doing to them beyond clucking to herself disapprovingly as she expertly wields a pumice stone.

*

Despite what many may think, you don't get to be a hundred and twenty year old terrorist by neglecting yourself. A proper steam room, like the ones she grew up with this isn't but well an electric heater is a fair enough approximation. Pity she can't smoke, but that's a minor thing really. Reclined back with a towel draped over her face, pondering the important things. Should she get a mohawk, should she not get a mohawk. Deep thoughts here, her gaze lifting, as the towel comes away only long enough to snag a beer one of the staff offers her. Surprising what you can score with a hundred dollar tip in the right place right, even if you’re not supposed to drink and steam at the same time. She hardly seems game to complain.

*

It's a Sunday. Pepper has TOTALLY some relaxation time, and she had booked the reservation to this particular spa a few weeks back. She's earned it. She didn't splurge and go for the whole tub of mud treatment, but as she follows one of the spa employees across to the steam room, her hair hidden underneath one of those towel turban things and the plush bathrobe she'd been wearing hung on a hook just outside the door. As she settles in to relax a bit, her eyebrows quirk at another customer actually accepting a beer. In the steam room. Seriously?
*

"Hey!" Comes a familiar voice just outside the steam room. "What the hell are you doing to my… eep… oooooh… okay… objection retracted." Go for a while without getting the knots worked out of your back, especially when life really is life and death a surprising amount of the time, and it will quickly become apparent just where all the stress is carried and how much there is. Jericho is fairly certain he couldn't get up quickly at all if his life depended on it. Well… maybe if his life depended on it, but whatever is being done to his feet (pedicure, he thinks the word is) it really isn't worth arguing over. Especially since this is actually starting to feel pretty nice. Loose. Like he's not been in, oh, fourteen months or so.

*

Slowly, she rolls foreward. Lifting that freshly tattooed arm up to slip that towel from her face, and well she isn't quite so alone anymore. "Well, Fancy meeting you here Miss Potts." Part grins, wolfishly you might say but she hardly seems eager to so much as get up. Easing back with a little sigh, before wrenching that bottle cap free with bare fingers.

"Relax, everyone needs a day off right?"

Waving a hand dismissively, before taking a pull of her beer. "Sorry by the way, about that whole gunpoint thing. You'll be happy to know my compatriot made a full recovery."

*

The entirety of Pepper's reaction upon realizing the beer-wielding woman is the same woman from that mining property is a quirk of her eyebrows. "Good afternoon, Miss…" If she caught Partisan's name, it has actually slipped her mind. Noteworthy moment. "Sorry. What was your name again?"

*

The massage magic completed Jericho is lead to a steam room. No not the same steam room the women are in. This one is right next to it and quite empty… and, as they hear him sigh in relaxed relief, one with apparently quite thin walls. He seems as yet unaware of this fact.

*

Partisan clears her throat. "I gave up my name, about a hundred so odd years ago. So I'll bypass the unpleasantry of giving you a false name, but people call me The Partisan. You've no need to address me so kindly Miss Potts, I was hardly kind to you. Even by my measure, that's sufficient grounds to hold some degree of animosity over your treatment."

Pausing to take another hit after her beer. "Also, the bullet sponge can hear us."

*

Pepper Potts raises her eyebrows at both of Partisan's statements. "Well, then perhaps it would be easiest on my brain to think of you in the same category as Cher, or Sting, or Prince." And, it has the added benefit of sparing her from feeling like she's being rude by not addressing the woman properly.

"The bullet… sponge?" She's always thought sponges made for VERY inadequate target material. "Oh, you mean Aspect. Hello," she calls out, though isn't sure exactly where the younger man would be hiding that he could hear them in this steam room.

*

Thump That would be the sound of a head hitting the walls as Pepper's voice broke in. Parti's he'd expected once he realized the two steam rooms were next to each other. But Pepper's?

"Uh. Miss Potts?" In the room with Partisan? Well… he doesn't hear fighting so that sounds under control at least.

"Ow…. what are you doing here?"

*

"We're knitting you a fine wool sweater, dumbass."

Part easing her gaze towards Pepper with a sly grin. "I was born to a noble name, a name with weight and meaning and a social standing. I had a boy I was to wed when we came of age, I had schooling I was to attend, the family lineage to uphold. When the world decided my destiny was to do something else with my life, I renounced my name. I'm not a person, I'm an idea now. It's somewhat more convenient really, much harder to kill an idea."

*

Pepper Potts flinches at that thump, but then smiles as Aspect's voice sounds more confused than pained. The comment about the wool sweater draws a sharp look at Partisan, but it's retracted equally quickly as she realizes the phrase was meant as a euphemism. "Oh, you know, Aspect, a mani-pedi, getting my hair washed and trimmed, the usual. You?"

She then nods to Partisan. "That is true, but you're a person, not an idea. Being nameless sounds … lonely."

*

"Nursing a bump on my head after a massage and wondering why it'd never occurred to me to use this as a way to de-stress before." Jericho doesn't mention that Partisan dragged him here because he went into overdrive. Some things are best left… oh gods she's gonna tell Pepper, isn't she? An almost predictive sigh escapes the hacker, clearly audible in the next room.

*

Partisan nods "oh it is, but it's worth it. I know it's hard for modern people to see what I'm doing and understand my motivations, I know I scare people and some hate me.

"Shrugging casually. "Maybe the woman I was born couldn't take it, but The Partisan can."

Waving a beer bottle towards the loud wall. "What the fuck are you flipping out over now?"

*

Nodding to Partisan, she then smirks and calls out to Aspect in a suddenly much more chipper voice. "You got a massage? Was it Alexander? Now I'm going to kick myself for not scheduling a full day if Alexander's here." She keeps her eyes squarely on Partisan as she speaks, clearly trying to put the man in the adjacent steam room at ease.

*

"Nothing, nothing." He gets himself wound up again and Parti's liable to dump him in that mudbath, give him a straw and then submerge him until she judges him to be properly relaxed. "Uh, yeah, I think his name was Alexander. Guy knows how to work knots, I'll give him that." Though those first few moments huurrrrrrrrt if you're as wound tight as he was. "I'm kinda glad you stopped by though. Parti's been wanting to say hi."

*

Partisan mmmms softly. "I haven't seen a noblewoman in years, and I went and put a gun in your face. I do, genuinely feel bad about that. I'll say though, for a civilian you've got sand. You at least seemed cool and calm, I don't know many soldiers who could say the same in your position. "

Nodding, before she leans across to offer her hand and a look in the eye. "So sincerely, I am sorry for the entire tangle. For compensation, I'll sell you the mine and you're not allowed to tell me no. How does a hundred thousand sound, for the entire mine and mineral rights and whatever else." Which, considering it's worth millions?

*

Noblewoman? What? Pepper's expression makes it clear that she's surprised by that explanation. Especially considering someone else told her basically the same thing. She leans forward to shake Partisan's hand, and looks about to accept the apology when the mining property is mentioned and now she looks honestly floored. "Ah… I'm not the one that makes that decision. I'll take it to my boss, though. He'd be fool to refuse your offer, and I will have no qualms about telling him so to his face." Wait. Do either of these people know who she works for?

*

"You do," Comes Jeri's voice. "Have all the characteristics of an old world noblewoman. And all the necessary poise." Yeah, he saw how she handled having a gun put in her face. Poise. That's the word for that. Well, the nice word, anyway.

"I'm sure Mister Stark will take your advice. I hope he does anyway." Pepper's reputation is really among business circles but Stark's? His rep is all over the internet. Yeah, Jeri hopes Stark listens to her. All the time.

*

"I don't give a fuck what Stark thinks of the property, I'm not selling shit to him. I'm selling it to you, for a hundred thousand. If Your boss wants the property, he can buy it from you at fair market value or deal with it."Part settles back with an audible -pop- of her back. "Don't give me that look either, I'm of noble blood. Nobles are like sharks miss Potts, for all of our other traits we can always recognize another shark."

*

Pepper Potts blinks quickly several times, mentally reviewing her personal finances. If she cashed in all of her stock options, emptied her savings account… She focuses on Partisan again. "I'll need someone to maintain the property. And, well, I won't be able to afford any sort of compensation for a while." Oh, seriously, Pepper. What on earth are you going to do with a MINE?

*

Jericho can already hear where this is going. "Mmmm. That's a compliment by the way, Miss Potts. The Shark thing. I'm fairly sure she'd turn into one if the look weren't insufficiently badass for her essence." Yeah. That was a joke. And he's for once out of retaliatory range. Well… at the moment he is anyway.

*

Partisan waves a hand dismissively. "Would fifty be a more easily swallowed sum? I'm not doing this for the money I just need a token. I'm the one getting the most out of this deal, because I'm -not- what the news says I am. I'm no anarchist, and I'm not some random pissed off bitch with a gun. I'm the mother fucking partisan. What I'm buying from you, is a reckoning here. I'm giving you something, and in return I'm asking forgiveness. The property is a concrete representation of intent, as is the money you offer in return. See people have cheapened the whole "I'm sorry" bullshit out so much, that let's be honest just saying it is a cop out. I put a gun to you, threatened your life and deprived you of liberty. I did so for good reasons, but it was still a transgression I am uncomfortable with."

Glaring after the wall for a moment. "Hey, jackass. Why don't you do something productive with yourself before I cut your throat and pull that tongue out through your neck eh? Get'cher phone, and transfer the property to Miss Potts if you'd be ever so kind? She can pay me at her convenience, presuming she grants me about a week to clear out some of my stockpiles there? Unless of course, she has some particular interest in aircraft and armaments."

*

Pepper Potts takes in Partisan's words for a moment, then nods slowly. "Then I accept your offer, and we'll figure out the rest as we happen across it. One hundred thousand, though, and take as much time as you need to handle whatever relocations you need. Though, if it's easier for you, staying there would benefit me as well. I think." And she can't help but glance away in clear amusement when the embodiment of an idea starts bossing Aspect around.

*
"Sure thing, Parti Girl." Aspect laughs from the other steam room as he fires up his cyberware again. There's a rather distinct yelp, something that sounds like a screaming goat and another thud of Jericho's head hitting the wall. Pepper and Parti can quite clearly hear him mutter something unflattering about someone named Jarvis for several seconds.

"There. All done. You're now the proud owner of a mine, Miss Potts."

*

Partisan smirks. "Oh, you have an interest possessing chemical weapons, and aircraft in violation of both the FAA and the FTA's ITAR regulations? I think they put people in jail for life, for that sort of thing over here. I wouldn't be terribly turned off by the idea of a sale, but I'm most assuredly beyond curious as to what you want with arms and aircraft."

Peering after the wall. "Call me that again, jackass and I'm gonna fucking hurt your fucking feelings."

*

Pepper Potts raises her eyebrows again at that, wondering exactly what Aspect did that caused JARVIS to react harshly enough to make the man yelp. Also, how he did whatever he did so ridiculously quickly. And then Partisan explains what all is on that property and she really should have suspected. It's concerning, but unsurprising.

But then, before she can ask either of them anything, one of the employees arrives to escort Partisan away to the next part of her spa treatment.

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