Office Visit

July 21, 2014:

Pepper returns to her office after her visit to the mystery house… to find she has an unusual guest

Pepper Pott's Office

Nice, refined, cozy. Generally kind of the antithesis of Pepper's boss.

Characters

NPCs: JARVIS

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

When Fenris comes to he's… crushed up against a window. A very nice window, it must be said, behind a desk. A very nice desk. In a very nice office. With very nice furniture and a very nice tea set collection. The only thing that's not very nice is he has absolutely no idea where he is. He's still bleeding in several places, though that's normal. What is somewhat inconvenient is the fact that he takes up most of the space between the desk and the window, and wounded and weakened as he is, he can't shrink himself down. So there he lays for he's not sure how long pondering how to move without knocking everything over and how to get out of the building without access to any of his magic. Fitting through the door probably won't happen just at the moment and sneaking down the halls of whatever building this is? Forget it.

The big problem, really, is the fact that at the moment he's an eight foot long, massive black wolf. And, because he's regenerating… he can't change back.

*

Pepper Potts returns to her office after having gone to talk with Natalie in Accounting about some document or other, and is talking on the phone when she returns. It's late enough in the afternoon that people are leaving, so she has no qualms about leaving her shoes by the door, nudging her office door closed, and moving to fix a fresh pot of tea for herself while finishing the phone call.

"Miss Potts, I apologize for interrupting your phone call." JARVIS starts.

Pepper ignores the AI for the moment, honestly struggling to make sense of the heavily accented voice on the other end of her line. "No, no, it's fine. Yes. Yes, I'll let … Yes. Again, I will let To…" She manages to repress the urge to sigh.

"Miss Potts, I must insist…" Pepper cuts the AI off again by holding up one hand. "Mr. Parminder, I will tell you this once only," she says distinctly and a bit forcefully, "Mr. Stark will be informed, and should he deem it necessary, he will call you back. When he has time. No, sir. No. Have a good day, sir." She hangs up the phone and not for the first time today wishes phones still handsets to be SLAMMED onto cradles. That was always such a satisfying feeling.

"All right, JARVIS, now. What was so important?" she asks as she walks around to her desk chair.

"There is a…"

Pepper isn't the screaming type. But that kind of surprise DOES elicit a squeak.

And Pepper's phone hits her desk's surface with a plasticky clatter.

*

It takes a special kind attention to detail to walk into an office and miss the eight foot wolf reclining on his side, wedged between the desk and the window. Fenris is giving her one of those quirked dog eyes that makes canines seem so human in expression. Except in this case there really is a human-like intelligence behind those amber eyes. He doesn't say anything. Not yet. He's really curious to see if she's going to faint or bolt. At the moment, he's betting on bolt. Few are the people that deal well with this kind of surprise, especially with his predatory aura at full force.

But then, Fenris doesn't yet know Pepper that well.

*

It takes Pepper a second or two to truly react, and then she does seemingly turn and flee. Though only as far as the adjoining washroom where she can be heard running water and rummaging about in a cupboard there. "JARVIS, lock my door and don't let anyone in." She rushes across the room again, this time to credenza where she pulls a bowl then starts to dig through yet another cupboard, clearly reaching to the very back. Tony will forgive her. Hopefully.

Rushing back to the washroom, the sounds of the bowl being washed out and filled with water ensue, and then she's approaching her desk again with her arms loaded down: towels, thinner linen tea towels, a red plastic box that looks like a lunch box with latches and a handle, the ceramic bowl containing gently-steaming water, and a bottle of some manner of amber liquor tucked under one arm.

Watching the giant lupine cautious and hoping that those eyes are conveying as much intelligence as she hopes they are, she starts setting everything down on the small conference table between her desk and the door. Once her arms are free again, she steps over to her desk and pulls on the thing. It takes her several tries and a few minutes, but she manages to pull the thing a foot or two further from the window, hopefully giving the wolf a bit more breathing room.

"Miss Potts, are you sure this is wise?" JARVIS is clearly concerned.

"No, JARVIS, I'm not. But I have to try." All of the first aid accoutrement is relocated again, and then, finally, Pepper looks at the giant creature and takes a breath while keeping her hands visible and taking a step into that now only slightly less cramped space between her desk and the window.

*

"Aren't you a bold one?" A rumbling voice says in an amused fashion, albeit a voice that may be familiar to her. "Are you planning to do with those what I think you are, Miss Potts?" There are deep gashes on the beast's flank, shoulder neck and one of his rear legs, all of them looking ragged and painful. Indeed the great black creature's breathing seems a bit labored though the voice does not convey especial distress beyond pain.

"Most would have run or retreated to the oblivion of sleep by now. I was rather expecting the former of you. Seems I underestimated you."

*

Pepper Potts startles as a once again familiar voice comes from the huge furry creature then breathes a sigh of relief.

"Well, you've just proven me right in taking this risk. And Mr. Wolfson," wow does it feel weird using that name to address a giant WOLF, "did you perhaps forget who my boss is? And what his reputation happens to be?" In other words, it's very possible that she has actually dealt with stranger things in her past.

Finding a spot up against her desk chair where she can kneel without having to lean on her unexpected visitor, she carefully pulls down the bowl of water, the towels, and the first aid kit. The liquor is a last resort only thing. And only partly because that's a $900 bottle. "Do I need to avoid things like aspirin? Chocolate?" she asks in an attempt to joke while dumping the first tea towel into the bowl of water. "JARVIS, please schedule to have my office's carpet cleaned first thing tomorrow. And if anyone asks, I spilled my lunch in here."

The AI actually sounds, if possible, resigned. "Of course, Miss Potts."

*

"I doubt you have a Gleipnir in here, so I think we should be fine otherwise," Fenris observes dryly as Pepper begins to wash those large, ragged wounds on his flank. "I do apologise for dropping in on you like this… and bleeding all over your very nice carpet." His blood looks rather like blood, but is somewhat thicker. The bodies of deities are odd things. "And anyone so bold as to approach me like this can call me by my right name." Which he doesn't mention, yet, because he's wondering if Pepper's managed to piece it together.

The water stings a bit and Fenris' flank jumps as Pepper makes contact but doesn't otherwise move.

*

Pepper Potts tries to keep her mind on what Wolfson is saying, so she doesn't think too much on what she's doing. "What is a Glipe-near? It sounds… Norweigan or something. And please. Don't fret. It's just carpet. It can be cleaned or even replaced. I always thought carpeting this pale was a bad idea anyway." She sets the thicker towels out to catch as much water and blood as possible, and at one point gets up to dump out and refill the water bowl. Upon returning, she opens the first aid kit and frowns at the adhesive bandages. Bad idea around fur. She pulls the little tube of antiseptic cream and holds it up for the wolf to see. "This okay? And I'm guessing that Mr. Wolfson isn't your name." Now that she says it, it DOES sound fake enough to be completely hokey.

*

"No. I am the Fenris Wolf. Or just Fenris, if you prefer. The Gleipnir is a… chain. A binding. Made of impossible things to accomplish the impossible. I'm not over fond of it. And yes, the cream should be fine."

He sighs and lays his head down. The warm water and antiseptic cream soothe the ache a bit. He's glad that Pepper is taking this so well because he's got no other options right now. Weak as he is, running would be his best bet and that would be… rather obvious.

"I'm not… entirely sure how long I'm going to be stuck like this, by the by."

*

Pepper Potts dabs the cream as gently as she can, and without being able to use adhesive bandages, every last one of her linen tea towels gets pressed into use. "Fenris? It's good to finally meet you. My proper name is Virginia, though please continue calling me Pepper." She sets the bowl back up on her desk and pulls the soiled plush towels clear.

"Do you think you can stand? If you can, you're welcome to relax on the couch over here until the rest of the building is empty, and then I can take you upstairs to one of the guest rooms there. And you'll be able to stay as long as you need." Ahh, the perks of Stark Tower.

"Miss Potts?" The AI speaks up again.

"It's all right, JARVIS. I'll explain later."

*

"Stand, yes, though I had not been entirely sure how to do so without ruining your lovely collection of tea sets." The great wolf levers himself to his feet and limps over to the couch, his left rear leg clearly out of action for any strenuous activities. As he settles on the large couch - it's a bit of a crunch but he manages - he eyes Pepper carefully.

"It's something of a curiosity that I should appear, of all places, in your office…" He muses, half to himself before Jarvis speaks up again. "Who is your spirit-servant, now?" With the spark of magic on her, and fae magic to boot, he'd not be at all surprised that she has one.

*

Pepper Potts starts cleaning up, carrying the towels and bowl back to the washroom and replying as she bustles about. "I'm sorry, a what? Spirit-servant? I… think there might be some brownies around here, but I can't verify that. And I would never presume to expect anything of them." Well, she can sort of verify the presence of something, because that saucer of sour milk that she changes out every other day or so… so it doesn't get truly rank has indeed shown some activity. Though that pearl earring she knows she dropped in here somewhere never did come back.

*

"The…" Fenris pauses, looking around as if trying to locate the source of JARVIS' voice. "Bound spirit that keeps making disapproving noises about my presence." Fenris is aware of computers of course, but JARVIS is cutting edge AI and largely secret. Plus Pepper has magic. Two plus two equals wolf. That's just how these things go.

"Would you mind leaving a message on my house phone, actually. Inara and Cora will be worried when I don't return tonight." ANd he won't. He'll never make it unnoticed, particularly not to the house on Prospect. That would just be all kinds of bad.

"My magic takes me to a safe place whenever I am grievously wounded…" He half explains, back on his original line of thought. "For some reason it believed…" The wolf trails off eyeing Pepper once more. She's probably not related to… nah. That was centuries ago.

*

Pepper Potts returns to sit on the coffee table in front of the couch. "Oh, you mean JARVIS?" She actually appears to be amused. "He's not a spirit at all, he's a very advanced computer system. Artifical Intelligence. JARVIS, Fenris Wolf is going to be staying with us for a few days. Could you please make sure there is a guest room ready?"

"A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Mr. Wolf," The AI's voice says politely enough. "The north most guest room is prepared, Miss Potts. Shall I also arrange for the kitchen to be stocked?"

"No, it's all right, JARVIS. I'll take care of that part." Pepper smiles at Fenris. "JARVIS isn't really common knowledge yet, so best not to go yelling about him on the streets, okay?" She stands again and retrieves her phone from her desk, as well as the still waiting teapot and a matching cup. "Oh. Are you thirsty or anything? I have a pretty good variety of beverages…"

*

"Ah. So mankind has gotten around to creating their own daemons. That does save the trouble of a summoning I suppose." Fenris muses. "There were long centuries when the being you so casually converse with, Miss Potts, would have been itself hailed as a god." Now there's something for Jarvis to think upon. "And I could use… something. Perhaps something stiff. I do not ordinarily indulge in anything stronger than wine but… I was just chewed on by a bunch of oversized bugs in a haunted house."

*

Pepper Potts ohs! and stands again, getting the bottle of amber liquor from her desk and a clear glass tumbler which she carried over and THEN realizes the glass might not work out so well. "Ah…I have another clean bowl if that would be easier for you." She promptly heads for the credenza to retrieve said bowl, a mate to the one she'd used earlier for the water.

*

"My thanks." The wolf murmurs as he lowers his head to lap from the bowl. "Aaaah. You've a taste for fine things, Miss Potts. And yet…" The wolf scrutinzes her once more. "And yet you do not seemed consumed by the need to have them. It is an unusual trait for one in your position. Perhaps that is why my magic believed it safe to come here. I must say I'm quite indebted to you for your hospitality and kindness."

*

Pepper Potts smiles, perhaps a bit sheepishly. "That's not my brandy, it's Tony's. I can't stand the stuff. Martinis are about as strong as I can normally tolerate." She pours a cup of tea for herself as she talks, then takes a sip of the thankfully still warm beverage.

"I have to admit, when I first started working directly for Tony, the sheer amount of /stuff/ and the price tags on everything was actually rather intimidating. But, I've had more than enough time to get used to it. And I know better than to ever get greedy about anything, because as quickly as I got this job I can lose it again."

Setting the teacup down again, she picks up her phone. "Do you want to leave the message for Inara and Cora? I can dial the number for you." Honestly, they could just use JARVIS's systems to place the call, but she knows that most people still prefer that tangible reminder of the phone call.

*

Fenris inclines his head slightly. "If convenient, but Inara knows your voice. I'm sure if you explained I was here she would accept it." He pauses. "And if she and Cora might be permitted to come, as I am sure they will wish to, I would be very obliged. Inara will worry otherwise, I expect."

He lets out a very canine sigh. "That is a very sanguine way to view your situation. It does you credit, as does your humility. I am familiar with the talk of business around Stark Industries and I do not doubt that it would be… foolish of your employer to replace you."

*

Pepper Potts smiles a bit bashfully again, then instead of accepting and responding to the compliments from Fenris, she glances toward the ceiling. "JARVIS, could you find Inara's phone number for me? Bahrami is her last name, I think. Oh, and please inform the front desk that she and her adopted daughter Cora will likely be coming by to stay with Fenris while he stays with us."

"The front desk has been notified, Miss Potts, and the number has been added to your phone's contacts list." Really, how in the world did Pepper get by before Tony created JARVIS?

Checking her phone, she dials the number on her for Inara that JARVIS just put there, then sets her phone to speaker mode. "Now we can both speak with her if need be."

*

Bound spirit servants - whether ghostly or digital - are indeed handy. There's a reason they've been a feature of wizard's towers since time immemorial. And Tony Stark is nothing if not a wizard. "Inara, it's me, Fenris. The was a magical incident today and I'm stuck in my wolf form and unable to leave it. I'm presently enjoying the hospitality of Miss Potts and she has kindly arranged for lodging here at Stark Tower until I can recover. Give my love to Cora and please, do come by. Miss Potts has already made arrangements for you."
The Great Wolf nods. That should do. Oh wait. "Love you and hope to see you soon."
There. He nods to Pepper indicating that if she has anything to say…

*

Pepper Potts speaks up at this point. "Inara, hello. It's Pepper. The front desk will be waiting for your arrival, and if you need a car, call me back and I'll have one go pick you up." She ends the call and unless Fenris needs anything else she gets her tablet and settles at the little conference table to keep working until the rest of the building is clear enough to move the injured wolf up to the guest room.

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