Festivus For The Rest Of Us

December 27, 2015:

It's that time of year when people celebrate … Stark Industries hosts Festivus and there is choco-pudding wrestling

Stark Industries - New York

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

The Stark Industries Holiday Party is officially underway. The entire lobby of the Tower has been decorated accordingly, strings of glittering white lights and red-and-gold ribbons and decorations everywhere. Instead of a giant ostentatious tree in the center of the open space, there is a shiny gold metal framework consisting of a tall, straight pole with a spiralling conical track of small lights with nine metallic candle shapes scattered along the height of the abstract 'tree', and topped with a five-point star.

Music is playing from the speakers scattered throughout the lobby, quiet enough to allow for comfortable conversation and still upbeat enough to encourage dancing. There are caterers minding a rather impressive buffet as well as an impressively stocked wet bar (though that should surprise exactly no one.

At the far end of the lobby, between the rest of the space and the elevators, a small stage and podium have been set up, though there is no clear indication as to why.

Walking amongst the party-goers already gathered, Pepper stops to greet and chat with everyone she passes while at the same time listening to the catering and security updates from a small bluetooth earpiece.


Brian Braddock is actually serving in a dual-role. Not only is the well-dressed Briton a proper represenative for Her Majesty's government - as Betsy likes to point out quite often, but as Captain Britain's mantle-holder, he is also fufilling a JLA obligation. As he takes in the holiday festivities and decor, the young man makes his way through the crowd, heading over to the bar to get himself a tonic water for now. Leaning against the bar, he's observing for the most part, though he maintains some small talk with those that are also getting drinks.


It was rare for Lillith to actually put on a nice little black dress, heels, diamonds and whatever else she could wear that looked just right to go to a party at the famous Stark Tower. Her fingers clutching her purse as she looks around, her velvet gloved hands reaching up to rub slightly at the back of her neck as her shoulders remain raised from how bare she was. The workers already took her coat, and now lips purse tightly as she views all in attendance. Surely.. nothing bad would happen, but it still would have made her feel a lot better if she had her kevlar and her gun.

A little hint of a smile is given towards a server as she quickly draws a glass of wine from the tray, finally moving in to where the people were, light smiles and nods here and there as her false diamond encrusted clutch was tucked underneath her arm.


X-Red have a relationship with Stark Industries, and Pepper is one of Brins friends - so of course she'd be there. Currently circulating with Pepper, the brunette has allowed the redheaded CIO to recommend a dress and the results are … something that Brin wouldn't usually achieve.

The dress falls to just above her knees, a red underlay with a balck sheer lace overlay and spaghetti string straps … teamed with a pair of red high sandals… On the lapel is a small pin, with a stylised 'X' on it.

With Brian and Lillith there, she smiles and asides to Pepper "Will you come and meet Mr Braddock and Detective Crowley, Miss Potts?"


Having planned to skip any sort of holiday celebrations this year, she's still mourning, her kids are too little to notice and Dusty is visiting his family Jes has found herself feeling a bit more festive after recent events. She has no idea what is appropriate for this sort of thing but is pretty sure Pepper would frown upon her bringing her weapons.

So she's wearing a nice little black evening dress and soft black suade sandals. Her long black hair trails down her back past her rear like a shiny silk curtain. Her pendulum necklace adorns her chest and a single silver dragon hoop earring with black gems for eyes pierces her left ear. She has a handmade wooden box with a silver ribbon and bow adorning the top clutched at one hip. A gift for Lady Pepper.

Warm brown eyes move about the room as Jes watches the people and takes in the decorations with a delighted smile. Those eyes widen as she spots the bar and then tries frantically to remember if Pepper knows her real age or not. Then her lips quirk and she shrugs. The scent of food is already making her mouth water.


Formalities were something a diplomat had come to live with in their lives.
This is no exception for rulers, kings, monarchs, dictators…they all knew appearances were everything. In this case, it was being humored simply for the reason of intimidation.
An iconic pair of metal gauntlets are slowly placed into two suitcases, closed and shut tight with a pale thumbprint. The reason behind this was lost on most, and the one who was doing it was not telling why. Within the Quinjet, the good Doctor placed both of the cases on a shelf within it with an amused chuckle as he reads how close they are coming to Stark's own dwelling. This was very amusing to the Monarch of Latveria, as he always wondered how these 'rich' men and women live with such low standards of life.
As the Quinjet came around and began to come in for approach, Doom would simply stand towards the rear, arms crossed. He wasn't looking backwards or to the side, he already know the assigned whelp would be there by now. A new face each time.


Because the only way to show up fashionably is late, Betsy strolls in some minutes after the appointed hour, after folks have begun to mingle and the steady flow of newcomers to the party has somewhat ebbed. She pauses only long enough at the door to divest herself of a knee-length London Fog trenchcoat in camelhair tan, turning to let the porter relieve her of it.

She sweeps into the room as regal as a queen, hair elabourately coiffed up atop her head into a Greco-inspired bun, and then trailing down in carefully arranged bundles to her shoulders.

Her dress is a glorious Noel red, sleeveless, close-necked, and fitted to her like a second skin, crimped close around her knees and the hem flaring into wide crenellations that barely skirt the floor. She stands out in the brilliant primary color, and she knows it, moving through the crowd with chin held high and eyes fixed on the bar, matching clutch curled into her left hand.

She reaches the bar and puts her fingertips on the wood, eyeing the drinks available, then focuses on the bartender— who promptly abandons his current customer and walks straight towards Betsy.

"Vodka stinger, whiskey back," Betsy tells him in a no-nonsense tone.


Already at the bar, Brian watches Betsy's entrance. While most men have jaws on the floor and tongues wagging at the Jessica Rabbitesque dress, Brian only offers the long-suffering sigh that is only afforded to scene-stealing sisters. Even worse since her change from a leggy Brit to a voluptuous Asian. Lifting his tonic water to take a sip from it, he cuts his eyes towards her as she places her order.

"Hullo, sis." he greets congenially. It comes with a chagrined smirk, before he glances towards her.

With that, he lowers the facade and offers his twin a hug in greetings finally. "Happy Christmas. I have your gift back at the Consulate, but you are a rather hard woman to track down when you don't want to be found."


Pepper Potts finishes saying hello to one of the Stark employees currently here and nods to Brinley. "Sure." She follows the brunette to greet… Mr Braddock.

In contrast to all of the red and gold adnorning the building lobby, Pepper has chosen to wear a white, cap-sleeved, floor length dress with an asymmetrical neckline, her hair pulled sleekly back.

"Should I know him?" she asks her friend quietly as they approach.


Sometimes, Junior Agents get the worse assignments. Other times, they get an expense account and orders to 'find an appropriate dress to wear to escourt an important person to the Stark Christmas Party'. Darcy loves playing dress up some days. Especially when it gets her a half day on Friday in order to go shopping. That the intel she got from her SO, the Ninja Nanny Agent May put this VIP as having a small country of his own AND a known supernasty, really didn't deter Darcy all that much. Well, except to know that she needed to keep the taser in easy reach in case he got any ideas on trying to enslave the American people.. or you know, humanity in general.

So Darcy picked green. Because… it works with her eyes, or something.

Rather conservate as far as Darcy goes, the dress is high necked with opaque beaded lace work at the throat and along the shoulders into short cap sleeves. Sheer dark dage green lace with soft rose motifs sits over her skin and the rest of the dress to the floor. The under dress, of the same sage green color, has a slight sheen to it, so that under the lace, in the right angle of light is glints silvery-grey. It has a plunging sweetheart neckline and a draping a-line skirt. Darcy's wearing black platform heels with it, so that she's a nice statuesque 5'11".

Her unruly brown curls are pinned up into a loose and sloppy bun on the top of her head so that the random curl spills free to wisp at her temples and brush her shoulders. She's left hte glasses at home in favor of no color contact lenses, and unlike normal, her lips aren't a bright searing red. Rather, they are a rich burgandy color that complements the rich but subtle hue of green to her gown. The clutch in her hand, attached by a loop to her left wrist, is the same color as the gown.

Darcy sweeps in at Von Doom's side, smiling where he is straight-faced and unamused, having linked her arm with his. She glances up at him, grin lopsided.

"You know. You are, like, crazy tall, right? I mean. I tried, but da—ahdude. I'm glad I didn't go with flats or I'd look even more shorty," she quips up at Doom, who despite the six inch platform heels Darcy is wearing, is still half a foot taller than she is.


Jesana stands near the bar and looks around for Pepper. She displays none of the intent interest she normally would when surrounded by so many well dressed men and very beautiful women. Her relationship with Dusty is new but steady and she's not even tempted to flirt. Then Pepper and Brinley are approaching and Jes grins. As she moves towards them she catches Brian's scent and gives him a quick look over. Didn't she catch tis guy when he fell from the sky awhile ago? Maybe? Jes shrugs and turns her attention back to Brin and Pepper. "Lady Pepper! This is for you." She smiles and holds out the cherry wood carved box. It's filled with handmade soaps and lotions this time, crafted to subtly enhance Pepper's natural scent with slight floral and spice aromas. "Hi Brin. How are you?"


Lillith's brows raise as the slew of royalty makes their way in. She doesn't know any of them really, not from a can of paint but.. Betsy was recognizable, even if she has met her for only one time. The man next to her? Not.

A little gloved finger-wave is given to Brinley as she begins to mingle, stopping only once as her phone rings which was soon shuffled from her clutch and answered.

"What?" She murmurs quietly, moving towards the corner of the room, hopefully far from where all of the lovely guests couldn't hear. "You have got to be fucking kidding me! That was my only fucking lead! Well you find whoever this.. a pic.. hold on." She looks at her phone, then wrinkles her nose. ".. oh god, that.. is that a real person?" She looks a little stressed, hand reaching up to press against her forehead.

"I tell you what.. you find that crazy looking nappy-headed mutherfucker or I'll shove my boot so far up your ass you'll be shitting payless for a week you sad sack of sorry piece of mutherfucking shit!" The end of her words were nearly clipped as she storms out from her hiding space, attempting to slow the aggressive walk as to not alarm or upset anyone with a reach for the glass of wine from a passing tray which was soon drunk without a breath and placed upon another passing tray filled with hor d'oeuvres.


"Bonjour, frere mienne," Betsy says in urbane French, flashing a rare and beaming smile at Brian. She returns the hug in a willing embrace, pecking Brian on the cheek— particularly with her hair done 'up', she's easily on a height with the towering fellow. "Yuletide's greetings, Brian. You look very handsome," she assures him, giving his attire a critical look and flicking a few invisible specks of dust away, then brushing off her kidskin opera gloves, the black material matching embroidered ivy that climbs down from shoulder to hip. "Is Kitty here tonight?" she inquires, amethyst eyes flickering sideways as the cocktail shows up. She downs the whiskey in one smooth cast and plucks the stinger up into her fingertips, held at roughly shoulder level. "I was hoping we could go a-wassalin', actually. It's been ages, you know."


"I'm not sure." Brin approaches Brian and now Betsy. Smiling as she does "Miss Potts, this is Betsy Braddock and her brother, Brian." Seeing Lilliths approach, she beckons the woman over "And this is Detective Crowley."

Gathering Jesana with a look, she encourages the young woman to join the group. "Merry Christmas…" the rest of her greeting cut off as Doom and Darcy enter. She doesn't know them.

Some may note the brunette limping slightly. The wound from the other day is healing, but it still pulls. At least the bandages have been replaced with dressing, and not ruining the line of her dress.


Pepper Potts steps up to greet the Braddock siblings and smiles warmly as she offers each of them — and Lillith a handshake. "Welcome, thank you for joining us." She picks up on Lillith's ire almost immediately even if she missed most of that phone conversation, and offers a bit concernedly, "Is there anything I can do help, Detective?"


"A proper attachment usually doesn't speak to Doom unless spoken to."
Doom's words come cold, and she doesn't even garner a look her way, and if he had not disengaged his suit's security by removing his gauntlets she would have been incinerated by the electro-shock countermeasure and resulting force field. By sheer luck, that's one avoided death tonight. The second avoided death is that he hadn't simply crushed her for touching him. Appearances would be everything for this farce. The proud dictator leads the way off of the landing area and soon they both arrive at where this gathering is going on. Doom stops short of the door, looking down to his hands a moment before another slight chuckle escapes through the mask. The cold numbness from the air was something that reminded him for an instant about the human he never was.
Doom steps the final step forward, causing the doors to open and the pair to enter without warning.


"Well, glad to know I'm not permenantly attached, or this would be a horrible night," Darcy quips in reply, still grinning because she can. She pauses when he does, glancing up at him again, before stepping forward with him when he does, her eyes sweeping around the set up. She gives a faint low whistle at the richness of the decorations before her eyes spot the gold-tinted aluminum rod it he center of the very big and very grand spiral modern art take on a Christmas tree in the center of everything.

"Holy shit. They have a Festivus rod. I am SO airing greivances tonight," Darcy blurts out, mostly to herself, partly to her 'date, but mostly to herself because she didn't mind Language. Steve would be very sad. No one tell him that she potty-mouthed, okay? Okay!


Lillith switches the glass hand, reaching forward to lightly take Pepper's in her own. She was thankful for the concern, really.. only caused a smile that was as soft as ever. Thankfully, Pepper didn't hear the slew of curse words that came from her mouth. "Ms. Myers, Ms. Potts.." The question, it gives her pause for a moment, she didn't want to bring work to a Stark party. "Perhaps I'll take you up on that a little bit later?" Ms. Potts -may- have something that could help her with this quick little sidecase of locating a scruffy dude who murdered a dozen people..

Brinley does get glanced at, a little frown given, but she doesn't ask. It'll probably turn into her scolding Brinley for no good reason at all.


There's a slight frown as Betsy so eloquently mentions 'wrassling'. He checks her eyes to make sure that she's not already hoisted a few sheets to the wind already before he shakes his head. "No, Kitty went to visit with her parents in Illinois. Neither of us thought it would be proper to meet the parents just yet?" he suggests with a slight lift of his head as he checks himself after Betsy tends to him.

He lowers his voice, "However, yes, I will come visit soon and you can try to throw me about the yard, as it were." he says with a smirk.

Then he speaks back up again. "I had hoped to see Mister Stark.. Howard that is." he admits with a little frown. "Dad used to speak so fondly of him and his inventions, and if the rumors are true, it really is a miracle how he is here now." he admits. He recognizes Lillith, but cannot address her - after all, that was done as Britain, before he smiles disarmingly at his sister. "Will you do me a favor and introduce me around." For the second time for some of them.


Jes's head tilts in Lillith's direction as her keen hearing picks up on the distress in the woman's voice when she moves off for a phone call. The native american seems impressed by the string of curses and threats and more than a little curious but she is *so* not looking for trouble tonight. Besides.. Detective? Nope. Not a woman whose attention she wants focused on her. A close look at Jesana's right shoulder would reveal that she's used makeup to cover a wicked burn. It's well on its way to being healed but she hadn't wanted awkward questions.
Her eyes narrow as she notices Brin's movements. So many of her friends have been hurt of late and the fact that she hasn't been able to do anything about it is not helping the coyote woman's dicey self control. She bites down on her tongue to keep from asking who did this to Brin or asking if she would like Jes to go and kill them. Preferably very slowly. Brin would probably not like that anyway.
Jes grabs a drink from a tray on the bar without looking. Her eyes are immediately pulled to Doom as he enters and the hair on the back of her neck rises. She hastily swallows a large sip of what turns out to be some sort of whiskey and almost chokes. She's certain she's never seen this guy before and utterly baffled by the sudden and very strong urge to jump in front of Pepper and Brin and the others and rip out his throat. What the hell..? She resists the urge but does place herself between the strange man and her friends and companions. She doesn't even notice Darcy at first, too intent on what her animal instincts are telling her. Danger. Predator.


There's a slight frown as Betsy so eloquently mentions 'wassling'. He checks her eyes to make sure that she's not already hoisted a few sheets to the wind already before he shakes his head. "No, Kitty went to visit with her parents in Illinois. Neither of us thought it would be proper to meet the parents just yet?" he suggests with a slight lift of his head as he checks himself after Betsy tends to him.

He lowers his voice, "However, I really do not want to go out to sing tonight." Despite the company of his sister, he is a little homesick.

Then he speaks back up again. "I had hoped to see Mister Stark.. Howard that is." he admits with a little frown. "Dad used to speak so fondly of him and his inventions, and if the rumors are true, it really is a miracle how he is here now." he admits. He recognizes Lillith, but cannot address her - after all, that was done as Britain, before he smiles disarmingly at his sister. "Will you do me a favor and introduce me around." For the second time for some of them.


"It's Brin, Detective Crowley." Brin smiles at the woman. Finding out why she's limping would be easy for Lillith - there'll be a report about the Toyman and mechanical reindeer - one of which gored the brunette X-Red. She takes a moment to observe the woman, "I'll echo that sentiment too, Detective. If you need help …"

Jes look gets a smile "How are you, Jes?" but the brunettes eyes are on Doom and Darce…

Now all she needs is for Illyana to turn up …


Betsy pats Brian's arm. "I'm sorry, dear, I really am, but I'm a touch-and-go, unfortunately. I wanted to stop by and say hullo to you and Brin— why, there's the lady in question," Betsy says, beaming at Brinley. "Hullo dear, Merry Christmas," she says, stooping and pressing a cheek against Brinley's as she offers a chaste but friendly hug. "And it's Miss Potts, I think we've met once before, but I've not had the pleasure in person," Betsy says, the height of urbanity. She's fully in her element, offering Peooper a gentle clutch of fingers and a socialite's airbrush of cheeks. "So kind of you to have us here," she thanks the redhead.

She perks up, spotting someone waving at her. "Oh my goodness, that's Julie Henderson," she exclaims, sounding surprised. "I thought she was still abroad— you'll have to excuse me, she's a dear friend and I must say hello," she apologizes roundly. She smiles and ducks her head and with surprising agility for someone her height in heels, she slips around the little ground towards a small group of fashionistas, heralded by 'ees!' of excitement and a lot of hugging.


Doom would simply survey the room himself. That was when the facade does sink in as his arm hooks a bit better with Darcy's. Doom would ignore her, of course, as she speaks. He would instead begin stepping forward and all but stepping through the crowd to simply reach where a tray of champagne was being carried, taking one for himself. He knew they would move, and it didn't take technology or mystics to know that there were eyes already on him. This was amusing, very amusing.

"Your American customs have no meaning to me. But the charity is needed"
Did he just respond to her?


Pepper Potts nods to Brinley slightly after gretting Brian and Betsy and Lillith, and steps away to let them talk while she moves to put a hand on Jesana's non-burned shoulder. "Relax, Jesana. Everything will be fine," she tells the coyote-woman softly before moving on past her to greet von Doom and his companion.

"Good evening, and welcome. I'm Virginia Potts of Stark Industries." She bows slightly to the rather extremely tall man instead of offering a handshake.


Arm hooked more securely, Darcy walks with Von Doom. She's clearly not as comfortable as he with just plowing his way through a room, but since she's on his arm and he's leadng she's not going to be drug along behind him. She too reaches for champagne.

"You mean the Christmas spirit of giving? Yeah. I guess. But, to be honest, that really should be like an all year thing. Unfortunately, most people are assholes, and they try to excuse their asshattery with a week of being all super charitable and nice and junk," Darcy replies, sipping her champagne lightly as she talks with Doom, frowning lightly. "And yet… lots of good stuff gets done here too… I mean, take the Toys for Tots. Too many kids in shitty ass homes or broken homes or no homes to get new stuff ever. Having a new toy or something that's all theirs, even once, can make someone feel amazing, you know? So, yes. Charity is totally needed.

"And the Airing of Grievances. The question is, is Mr. Stark going to allow Festivus to end tonight? And is he going to cheat by wearing The Suit to make it harder for him to be pinned to end the festivals."


Jesana calms at Pepper's touch and soft words. She's on her second whiskey and not showing any signs of it. It's not that easy for her to get even tipsy lately. She blinks a bit at Darcy. Her words are a strange contrast to the man she's walking beside. Jes is also surprised by the show of respect Pepper gives him. She would cheerfully slit her own throat before making a gesture of respect to someone she didn't believe deserved it. "What's a Festivus?" Jes murmurs at Brin. Her family hadn't actually celebrated Christmas but Jes at least knows what it is.


Darcy gets no answer this time. Von Doom was focused on what he knew was coming his way, and when Potts introduces herself he lifts his chin slightly. It was him accepting the humble gesture of the bow, as Doom would not bow to her. He doesn't need to, she already presented her respect.
"Doctor Doom greets you, and is thankful for your gesture of goodwill in such a display. Your facilities here are quite humble, it is interesting to see."
Doom's eyes shift to the side a moment towards Darcy. Dare she mention that? The annoyance Scarlet Witch provided during that situation still rings in the back of his head. Doom listens to her speak this time though, and the mention of Stark's inferior prosthetic comes to the subject once more. This causes the Monarch to simply close his eyes and take a sip of the champagne through some unknown means of the mask he wears. Doom's patience is truly astonishing in this moment.
"Pardon her. She knows nothing of manners, Miss Potts."


"Excuse me. I know exactly how Festivus works. Party doesn't end util the host is wrestled and pinned by a party goer," Darcy says, peering up at Doom and mock-pouting. "Not that I'd try to wrestle anyone in this get up." Really, her restraint is astonishing because the look on her face is clear that she would LOVE to add something highly inappropriate but prevents herself from talking by taking a sip of bubbly. Darcy is being a good girl. Someone bring her a cookie!


Darcy turns then to Pepper and smiles brightly. "Hi, Miss Potts. Pleased to meet you. Agent Lewis, but everyone just calls me Darcy. Bombin' place you've got, and I love the rod up the tree. I'm Airing Greivouses tonight. Don't worry. I got nothing on Stark Industries, so no worries there. Your phones are the best."


Pepper Potts smiles at Darcy in a more friendly manner. "Thank you. And, well, at this point I'm not sure that Tony will be showing up at all." She keeps herself from glancing toward the elevators. "But. If it comes down to it, I'll stand in as the host of the party."


"I'm not entirely sure, Jes" Brin murmurs to the Coyote, still watching Doom and Darce. Stepping up next to Pepper, she holds out a hand "Doctor Doom, a pleasure. Brinley Myers from X-Red." Clearly, his air of self-importance hasn't dented her confidence. "Agent Lewis, a pleasure as well." Darce has just sort of explained Festivus, so hopefully that answers Jes' question.

Pepper gets a smile "Given all the work you've done to get it together, I think that's appropriate."


Jesana had assumed she'd feel out of place here but a chance to see Lady Pepper and be around other adults had still sounded great. She's more than a little surprised to discover she isn't the weirdest person here. She blinks at Darcy again. Agent? For real? "Hi. I'm Jesana." She smiles at Darcy, ignoring Doom aside from an unreadable look when Brin greets him as Doctor. She frowns a little and looks back to Pepper. "Its really beautiful Lady Pepper. He should show up just to tell you that." She lowers her voice. "If you ever want me to bite him for you, I will."


As the two banter, and Brin introduces herself, Doom would look at her in response. His chin would lift again at her offered handshake, a low hum would come from his mask as if his mouth was open but no sound had emerged yet. When he responds, it is a rather quick one.
"The honor is yours, Victor von Doom."
Doom does not take the handshake, as his bare hands were not something any of them were worthy enough to touch. He does humor her though, with the slightest of nods of his hooded head. He would slant his head a moment later, taking in what she mentioned about X-Red.
"And just what is X-Red?"
Did Doom ignore Potts and her comment about Stark not coming down? No, it was because Stark was not present that drew his ire. He lets it pass a moment though, his eyes moving among those gathering around him. Soon, his eyes go to Jesana for a moment and then narrow.


Darcy looks over at Jes and Brin as they walk forward. She smiles brightly, and gives a much less regal nod of her head. Can't offer to shake. Arm looped with a Super Villain. Please try again later. Brin's suggestion has Darce lifting her champagne glass high and declaring: "Dibs on wrestling the host. Also, I demand there be chocolate pudding."

Darcy, in her head, honestly means to eat afterwards, but given how most people's minds work when chocolate pudding, wrestling, and two girls are mentioned in the same breath, it's highly amusing for Darcy to sit and watch people's reactions to comments like this. It's like she says things like this On Purpose. As her arm lowers to a sip, her green eyes slide to Jesana and her lips pull into a warm smile.

"Hi. Darcy. Or Darce. Or Hey, You!" she replies to Jesana, tone warm and friendly and just as bubbly as the drink in her hand. …only with a heavy helping of sass mixed in. "Biting? What? Who? When? Tickets?"


Pepper Potts chuckles softly and looks at everyone even as she's putting her hand on Jesana's shoulder again to hopefully calm the young woman. "Chocolate pudding can be arranged." Yes, she just said that to Darcy with a completely straight face. "But for now, I might be ignoring other guests. If you'll excuse me?" She moves to step away and greet another group of people. And if Jesana tags along with her, that's totally okay. She does glance over toward Lillith briefly as if checking on the detective.


Darcy would feel Doom's grip loosen. It was a hidden gesture, because he was very close to his last nerve with the young agent. Next time, he will actually request from SHIELD a guard without a tongue. The champagne in his hand finishes, and he calmly sets it on a tray. This time, he aquires a glass of red wine as the customary side of things was over in his eyes. As the conversation seems to bore the Monarch, he would still keep a long stare over at Jesana. He does remember her too. Back from the days of the Cabal. He would lift his chin in a slight chuckle before looking to the rest.
"If you would be so kind, the view is something I am curious about. Normally, I only fly past this building."
With that, Doom doesn't wait for an answer as he moves towards one of the windows in silence.


Considering that one and only time Jes met Tony Stark, he was complaining to Pepper about how his date with twin supermodels had been interuppted, Jes finds Darcy's comment hilarious. The grin and laughter that follow are honest and enthusastic and the rest of her ruffled nerves settle just like that. Pepper's touch probably helped too. Enough so that it would be noticable and one might even be put in mind of a person soothing a dog. That image is one that a person had best keep to themselves though because Jes hates being compared to a dog. She is so much better than one of those tame pansy ass inbred little monsters. "I've only met him once but I sometimes think Mr. Stark doesn't realize just how lucky he is to have found Lady Pepper." Jes smiles at their hostess.


"Bad ass," Darcy commends Pepper's agreement with a broad smile and a sip of her champagne. It's as if she were saying: Imma wrestle Pepper Potts with chocolate pudding. At feeling Doom's arm loosen about hers, Darcy's smile fades into a softer expression. She turns her gaze up to study the man at her side. There's an intelligent and steady hold to her now calm gaze. The champange is brought to her lips as she very smoothly loosens her arm so his slides from hers. And at the exact moment his arm leaves contact with hers, Darcy Lewis, the Sass Master, Agent Mouthy-pants, drops into what can only be a very pracitced and very elegant, full court curtsey. Both hands daintly collect her skirt and sweep it out on both sides of her while she sets her left leg two full steps behind herself. And there she bends her legs down into a low deep curtsey while bowing her head fully. And there Darcy stays until Von Doom has stepped away from her fully, moving to collect the red wine on his way to the window. She rises smoothly, smiling at whomever is still near her while keeping Doom in the corner of her gaze.


The entire lobby of the Tower has been decorated with strings of glittering white lights and red-and-gold ribbons and decorations everywhere. Instead of a giant ostentatious tree in the center of the open space, there is a shiny gold metal framework consisting of a tall, straight pole with a spiralling conical track of small lights with nine metallic candle shapes scattered along the height of the abstract 'tree', and topped with a five-point star.

Music is playing from the speakers scattered throughout the lobby, quiet enough to allow for comfortable conversation and still upbeat enough to encourage dancing. There are caterers minding a rather impressive buffet as well as an impressively stocked wet bar (though that should surprise exactly no one.

Pepper is currently circulating with guests. Brinley, Darcy and Jes are talking quietly. Doom is being Doom and sort of sulking because Tony isn't there.

Brin was just about to answer Dooms question about X-Red as the man turns and walks away. Shaking her head, she reaches for a glass of champagne and takes a sip. "Chocolate pudding sounds just divine."


There is fashionably late, then there is Oliver Queen late. Although to be fair; he isn't 5 years late like he was for a couple of other events in his life. The man arrives at Stark Tower without much fanfare, perhaps doing it to avoid any of the potential photography that might accompany such a party at the front doors. At his arm is the ever present, ever lovely, stag date. Also known as being by himself, since it is the only person he could find that didn't have plans tonight. Still, arriving when he does, the man carries himself with a smile towards the first person he comes across, beginning the process of making his way through the filler of people; shaking hands, exchanging pleasantries. The skill of pretending to know and recognize people as he walks being demonstrated since most of the time he couldn't pick them out of a line up of one.


Jes loves most food but for some reason seems a bit unenthusiastic with the chocolate pudding talk. She also boggles a bit as she walks with Pepper and sees Darcy's curtsy from the corner of her eye. Before she can ask what is up with everyone treating him like a king or something she notices someone else. "Aw fu-uudge. Is that fudge?" Jes covers as she looks at server with a tray going by. She really doesn't want to kill Oliver anymore but there is a rather large difference between 'not wanting to kill' and 'being happy to see'. It wouldn't be so bad if she weren't here alone too but Dusty is off in Arizona. She sighs. Where'd that whisky go?


Pepper Potts is doing rounds of the lobby, greeting people and chatting briefly and still somehow managing to remain alert to newcomers. And thus she notices Oliver Queen pretty much immediately, and when she can break off from the group she's been talking with, she looks at Jesana. "Fudge? Possibly. But, speaking of, could you go to the buffet table and ask for Jocelyn there? Let her know that I'll be needing about four ounces of chocolate pudding prepared and ready for the end of the evening." No, she doesn't ask why Jesana is reacting this way, but she's good enough to not ask and instead just gives her something to do that'll take her away for a few momnets. And then she moves to intercept Oliver and say hello. "Mr. Queen. So glad you could join us."


Sipping the champagne in her hand, Brin looks at Jes … the peak in her emotions unmistakeable even for the normally carefully empath. But Pepper's on it and the brunette nods to the Coyote "I think that sounds like an excellent idea." she murmurs.

Watching Pepper greet Oliver, the quiet mutant smiles slightly, she's aware of who he is … well, who Oliver Queen is "Tell me a little about yourself, Darcy." she asks the ShIELD agent with her.


Jesana nods and seems grateful for the chance if not a bit pale. Before her kids were locked into human form she'd made the unfortunate and very gross discovery that chocolate and coyotes are not a good mix. The three of them had been so sick. A sudden grin crosses her face and she snickers to herself. Her children have her blood so.. holy shits. Literally. She's smiling and her good mood returns as she finds Jocelyn and relays Pepper's request. When she turns back around moves towards them again she even has a smile for Oliver.


When Pepper approaches him, Oliver dips his head gracefully and extends a hand to shake Pepper's, looking rather relieved to be able to see someone he actually knows. "Miss Potts. Thank you for the invitation. Sorry for arriving late, I didn't realize tonight was the night of the party until it was almost underway and I had to scramble." He smiles at the woman while looking around. "Quite an interesting mix of folks here. Everything been good and festive so far I trust?"


Darcy has NO IDEA who Oliver Queen is, but she appreciates a husbands man when she sees one. So, she lingers her gaze a bit before looking back at Brin with a grin.

"Well, I'm a Scorpio. I don't like sand in delicate places so long walks on the beach are a no go…" Darcy starts with a smirk and a chuckle, half an eye still on Doom by the window. "What do you want to know?"


Pepper Potts shakes Oliver's hand. "Not a problem at all, Oliver, truly. And truth be told, you still beat Tony here. And yes, we always have a widely varied turnout." She turns to look at everyone minging, and the small group of people dancing in a small area set aside for that purpose. "Also, I've been told that there will be airing of grievances later, and then wrestling with the host including chocolate pudding to end the festivities."

.——

Oliver looks blankly at Pepper as she makes references to the airing of grievances and then the wrestling with the host. He casts a look around, an observant fellow that he is and notices Jes looking at him and smiling. No, he certainly didn't just shiver some. "The Airing of Grievances might be a good time for me to make an escape. I think a far greater number of those would be directed at me than msot around here would like to hear."


Lillith was still there somewhere, mostly off by herself, drinking the rest of her champagne and enjoying the idle chatter from the stand-bys. This wasn't really her scene, but she had to admit, getting dressed up and coming to a party such as this was a welcome christmas treat for herself. With all of the newcomers and those making fuss and eyes at them, she manages to steal a few glances before moving along to mingle in with the crowd.


"I was making small talk, Darcy. And it's good to know that you don't like long walks on the beach." beat "Shall we go meet the latest arrival?"

Moving over to Pepper, Brin holds out her hand "Mr Queen, a pleasure to meet you again. Brinley Myers." she prompts the man. She doesn't expect him to remember her.


Darcy nods to Brin, though she gives Doom an unobtrusive glance as she moves with Brin to greet Oliver QUeen. WHen it's her turn, she holds out a hand. "Darcy Lewis. Never seen you before, but hi. Welcome! I've called dibs on wrestling the hostess, but I'm willing to entertain arguments for someone else," she states.


Jes seems to think about that for a moment. Her eyes narrow but not at Oliver, instead she looks over the crowd until she seems to come to some sort of decision and nods. "No. They won't be, if they know what's good for them." A little of that predatory aura surfaces, the one that sends mundanes scurrying out of her path. If she's moved past what happened between the two of them then its time she acted like it. If someone has a problem with Oliver Queen they are fast going to find they have a problem with a certain quick to anger native american demigod. Then she blinks a little. What? Wrestling Lady Pepper? Jes looks at Pepper. Then again for the whisky. Women and wrestling and chocolate.. no. Her mind is not going there. She snags a glass of whateveris on the tray passing her and drinks it one go.


Oliver finds himself having to greet a few people in succession, starting first with Darcy, shaking her hand. "How are you, Oliver Queen." He smiles to the woman before turning towards Brinley, "How could I forget you miss? Was the rest of the meal fantastic at that lunch? If not, let me know and I'll arrange for the chef to be replaced." When Jes approaches however, he doesn't speak, just offers a polite nod and a very embarrassed looking smile.


Betsy escapes the gaggle of New York socialites and models to drift bqck towards the bar. She doesn't have to wait long to place her order- the bartender rather quickly seems to notice her and steps over to take her order. "Vodka martini, measure of Gordon's— shake it over ice for thirty seconds while staring at an un-opened bottle of vermouth," she instructs him. Resplendently modest in her full length gown and opera gloves, she stands out in the sea of beautiful people for her regal poise as much as her gloriously crimson gown.


"The meal was just wonderful, thank you Mr Queen." Brin responds, colouring just a little, as she answers his question. "Call me Brin." Gesturing to one of the circulating waiters, she puts her now empty glass down, "Would you care for a glass of wine?"

Darcy's comments about wrestling the hostess has Brin snickering, just a little. She doesn't intend wrestling anyone …


Pepper's eyes flick from Oliver to Jesana and back. Oh, there is CLEARLY something there, but she's not about to mention it aloud. Instead she moves to check with the caterers, starting with the bartender. As she goes, she smiles and nods to Betsy. She waits politely as the bartender prepares Betsy's drink, then requests her own. "Virgil's over ice, please." The beverage that's poured for her looks like a dark stout beer.


With no one arguing against her Rights to wrestle, Darcy nods sagely and sips her champagne to hide the glance at Doom by the window. She turns her attention back to Oliver and Jes. Where Pepper won't, Darcy will: "So… history?"


Jes grins a bit to herself when Brin blushes. That's kind of cute. It's nice to see her friend relaxed for a change. Usually they run into each other amidst some sort of battle. She noticed the direction of Pepper's gaze but is very grateful not to have to explain right now. Normally she'd be gleefuly happy to detail her exploits but this one.. not so much. Then she catches Darcy's question and mentally facepalms. "Everyone's got history don't they?" Smooth Jes. Real smooth. Her ears twitch. She's pretty sure she's the only one hearing her Father's amused laughter just now. "Glad to be the entertainment." She mutters in her native language along with a graphicly detailed and likely physically impossible suggestion of what he can go do with himself. "Uhm. Excuse me. I uh.. i need another drink." Jes realizes she's cursing some one that only she knows is there, in a language that no one here is likely to know or even heard of and they all probably think she's nuts. She heads to the bar in a pace faster than a person ought to be able to manage.


Oliver, feeling himself pinned down and surrounded by women who seem to be sharing the same look has nowhere to escape. He swallows a bit and looks to Brin first, smiling at her, "No thank you on the wine. Been trying to cut back." When Darcy asks her question, the one lingering in the air, he exhales slowly and speaks. "Your usual story. Boy meets girl, girl meets boy. Boy meets girl out, girl accepts. Girl is too good for Boy and Boy is too immature to know how to cope, so Boy runs away without saying anything to Girl." The words are spoken softly, wistfully, and with a tone of sadness from Oliver before he straightens some and puts a smile back on his face that doesn't quite touch the eyes.


"Not a drinker, Miss Potts?" Betsy inquires in a pleasant conversational tone. She plucks the martini up in kidskin gloves and takes a delicate, looooong sip. It's difficult to drink quickly without looking like a lush, but Betsy fakes it well enough with a graceful mien. She sets her clutch atop the bartop behind her and turns to regard the party, resting the small of her back against the bar railing.


Darcy watches the interplay, how Jes switches language seems upset, and takes off… how Oliver grows wistful at the end of his Boy meets Girl story.

"Well, hopefully Boy can go fess up to having been immature, thereby showing Girl that Boy has gained maturity… while Boy buys Girl a drink so they can air out bad stuff amiably near the Rod of Festivus. But, like a fairytale, Boy only has until the stroke of Hostess gets Pinned by Party-Goer. Or else, Boy will turn back into a pumpkin and Girl will never talk to him again, Ever. Because who the hell talks to Pumpkins. That's just fucking weird, man."

Because all of this makes sense in Darcy Land. No passports required.


"Ah, I see. Mr Queen, may I introduce you to Ms Braddock, another of my friends?" The colour slowly fading, at least Brin seems composed. And the story… it's a familiar one. If Oliver agrees, she'll guide him to where Betsy is sitting, in a slightly different direction to where Jes is.

Darcy's interpretation has Brin looking at her and shaking her head, she's not even sure if she followed that.


Pepper Potts smiles at Betsy as she accepts her beverage. "Not really, no. And especially not when I'm technically supposed to be working." Because, well, she IS working. She's doing all of the host duties. And speaking of, her eyes seem to focus elsewhere as she takes a sip of her root beer. "Speaking of, duty calls." She sets her glass back on the bar and nods to the bartender before stepping toward the stage and podium near the elevators. Basically, it's time for speechifying, and for giveaways.


Ollie looks at Darcy for a few long moments, his brow furrowing with each passing tick until he shakes his head and widens his eyes. "Alright, you had me at the beginning but now I'm completely lost." He says it politely though, still managing to smile before looking at Brin and nodding his head. "I am certain that any friend of yours is delightful." Proper decorum has Ollie extending an arm towards Brin and one as well towards Darcy. "Please, lead the way."


Jes is looking a little rattled as she approaches the bar. For once she's not happy about her great hearing because she had of course caught every word of Ollie's explanation. She's surprised by the honesty in his voice and this is all a little more than she wants to deal with at the moment. Obviously she also doesn't care about looking like a lush because she's downed four more whiskeys before she even notices Pepper and Betsy standing at the other end of the bar or the bartender watching her with open mouthed horror. Oops. "That lady has less of a filter than I do." Jes offers in explanation and sighs. Nope, still not feeling anything. Maybe if she had two more.. but that is really not going to look right. This may not be the place to advertise she isn't exactly human. Pepper chooses that moment to move towards the stage and Jes turns to watch her. Very grateful for the timing and something else to focus on.


"Of course," Betsy says, inclining her head graciously to Pepper. She watches Jes down four shots in a row and gives her a pointed uptick of one eyebrow, then turns her attention towards Brinley as if having heard her name mentioned across the room. She shifts her weight slightly in an unconscious motion, giving her athletic frame a subtly alluring poise.


Darcy snickers as she lost both Brin and Oliver. She rolls a shoulder, lips in a grin, and sips her drink. Oliver's offered arm has Darcy shaking her head and gracefully sweeping back a half step.

"My apologies, Mr. Queen. The lady is been escourted by another and so must politely refuse. I'll walk with ya tho'," Darcy says, going from highly former and proper to slangy and pure American drawl. Darcy turns elegantly to walk at Oliver's side, opposite Brin. She sips at her champagne again, nursing the bubbly like a pro. Only drink tonight, and her glass still seems full.


Accepting Ollies arm, Brin tries not to laugh as she realises Darce lost him too. As they get close to Betsy, she smiles again "Ms Braddock, this is Mr Queen and Agent Lewis." she doesn't forget Darce!

Seeing Pepper head to the stage, she raises her chin. "Looks like our hostess is about to do something…"


"Yes, Mr. Queen. I believe we've had the pleasure, " Betsy says, offering a gloved hand to Ollie, palm down. "Lady Elizabeth Braddock," she says, head bobbing in a picture perfect curtsset

Betsy looks to Darcy and offers a less formalized handshake to the agent. "A pleasure, Agent. How do you do?"


"I do, much ado, how about you?" Darcy rhymes, shaking Betsy's ahdn before her eyes go to Pepper on the stage. Another sip, hardy wetting her lips with the bubbly, and Darcy flicks a glance toward a Von Doom by the window. She needs to get back. Especially before hostess speaks. Rude to move while she's talking. Rude to not be near in case he's called. Darcy knows her place. She waits for Betsy's reply before giving everyone near her a brief nod for departure.

"Excuse me. There's a Latvarian noble to stand by and try not to piss off into thinkig he can start the next world war," she quips, giving a wink to Ollie. "Seriously. Boy, talk to Girl. Before I pin Pepper in a wrestling match and thus ending this grand holiday of Festivus," she adds to the billionaire, not that she KNOWS he's a billionaire, and she's off, making her way through the throng to stand quietly near Von Doom. She waits for him to consider noticing her presence before curtseying fully again and then standing near him to listen to Pepper's proclamation.


Pepper Potts steps up to the small stage and podium and waits for the music to fade out and the lights to focus on where she's standing.

"Thank you, everyone, for being here. From all of us at Stark Industries, happy holidays." She gives the gathered partygoers a few moments to applaud or whatever, then continues.

"Now. I"m not going to bore everyone with one of those business buzz word speeches about how well we've done financially this year or anything of that sort. I'll just leave it at this: For the fiscal year two thousand and fifteeen, Stark Industries in conjunction with the Maria Stark Foundation and just about everyone here tonight has helped to create and fill six thousand new jobs with two thousand of those here in New York City alone. We've helped repair and rebuild one point two billion dollars' worth of homes and local businesses. We've added science, math, art, and music programs to over fifty local elementary and secondary schools in the five boroughs area, and our community centers are seeing record numbers of visitors. That's all due to your hard work, your generous donations, and most of all your commitment to making New York the best city it can be. Thank you."


If anyone is going to be fashionably late for their own holiday soiree, it's going to be Tony. However, he's enterting rather ostensibly through the elevators from the penthouse than from some flashy mode of arrival. That however, is made up in spades by his tux: The pants traditional black, shoes - patent leather, natch. The tie? Black as well. The part is all up top as he sports a red tux jacket - bespoke, of course, with black lapels and collar, and under that, to match the night's color scheme, a goldenrod colored silk shirt, setting off metallic tones. The arc reactor, however, isn't visible, so it must be a custom job as well. With Pepper acting as MC, he feels no need to be seen directly yet, and instead goes for a glass of champagne that he pops back like a shot, and a second to sip on.


As Brinley introduces Oliver to Betsy, the man pauses for a moment and graciously reaches out to take Betsy's hand, giving it a polite acknowledgement before smiling at the Braddock. "Indeed. Although I believe it was at a different venue and circumstance." The vague acknowledgement is given but before more could be stated, Pepper begins her speech to which Queen listens. When it finishes, he glances at Brinley and smiles softly to the woman. "I am so glad I didn't follow my initial insticts and wear my tacky sweater."


Jes claps for Pepper and wants to whistle but refrains. Her eyes widen as Pepper lists the good things they've done. Wow. She reaches over her shoulder for another drink and slowly sips it as she listens. It suddenly occurrs to her that she doesn't really know much about Stark Industries or even Pepper's job and she's been here several times now. It would probably be a good idea to learn more. She's also reminded that she just her quit her latest job and really needs to do something about that but that isn't a worry for tonight and Jes sets it aside and leans back to watch what happens next.


"So am I, Mr Queen." Brin smiles back as she claps for Peppers speech. With a nod in Peppers direction "Pepper is one of X-Red's friends" she'd say greatest, but the team has a few! "and one of my closest. We work closely with her and the Maria Stark Foundation, particularly in M-Town … it's needed it lately."

Tony slipping in, goes unnoticed … his emotions blocked the shields Brin has raised, like she does in most public events.


Pepper Potts gives everyone gathered more time to applaud and all, and honestly, she's clapping as well. After all, it's everyone else that did all the hard work, she just made sure the resources were available. And, though Tony made a point of NOT arriving with all the fanfare, her Tony-sense seems to pick up on his presence. She looks over to the side, spots him almost instantly, and smiles before turning back to the podium and the rest of the room.

"So. Now that we've all patted ourselves and each other on the back, it's time for some rewards. First off, all Stark Industries employees already know this: We're going to be closed for the entire week of New Years as well, so people have plenty of time with friends and family. But please, celebrate safely."


Oliver nods his head towards Brinley's words as he listens, clapping as well at the correct time. "I was recently introduced to Miss Potts through a common friend. I'm hoping to bring Queen Consolidated's rebuilding and economic expansion projects alongside the Maria Stark Foundation. They already have the infrastructure to do it and capabilities. Hell, the only thing I can do well when it comes to business is run them into the ground." He adds the last part with a smile.


Tony also seems to be appearing at the event single, as there aren't at least one or more cover model type women in tow as he works the back of the room first. Shaking hands, posing for pictures, shooting that gigajoule grin of his. He seems to be a little more relaxed than he might normally be - but not obnoxiously so. It might be that home turf has its advantages, or it could just be the season's magic working on him as well. He gladhands a few more recognizeable folks there - other company heads, the accidentally invited politician, etc. He mingles with the charisma and social grace that he's known for, being comfortable as recognized as being at his own party - which in some cases, is rare.


Jes presses up against the bar to cover the movement while she recovers her cellphone from the garterbelt pocket she'd fashioned earlier. Take that pockletess dress! It won't stay in place if she shifts but then neither will the dress and its just a cheap burner phone and not the expensive fancy one that Gar bought for her. She pauses as she realizes it might be frowned upon to take pictures. She'll wait and ask Pepper. She's done such a wonderful job with the decorations and everyone looks so lovely. Jes wants to share this with Frederick and Dusty when he returns. When she spots Tony Jes moves back to where she'd been standing. Outwardly she seems relaxed, but she's placed herself so she can see Tony and Doom at the same time. She had noticed his apparent annoyance earlier and now that Tony is here.. she's watching the Doctor just in case.


Betsy joins the general applause at Pepper's speech, and joins the handful of people toasting Tony's arrival at the soiree. Unlike most of the other socialites, she's not giving the playboy a predatory examination— but after Oliver confirms she's met him before, she gives him a more speculative consideration in light of his membership in the elite social strata of New York's billionaires, socialites, and philanthropists.


Standing near enough to the dour looking Von Doom, Darcy Lewis applauds lightly as well. Her green eyes sweep across the gathered, spotting Tony. By the faint smile, she knows the man's face, if not met him in person. Shifting her weight from one foot to the other, she too makes sure that Doom is in her sight on one side while Tony remains in sight on her other side. Ah, peripherial vision. How I love thee!


Looking up at Oliver, Brin smiles widely "That's wonderful, Mr Queen. Miss Potts has a number of great projects." His comments about his business management skills, get a snort… running a business is something she's not bad at.

"Oh look, there's Tony…" the brunette's eyes widen at the suit and she gives the playboy a wave.


Pepper Potts is now subtly watching Tony meet and greet his way through the room, but that doesn't stop her from continuing. "Now for the best part. I know that anyone who's been to our holiday parties before is waiting for this." She gestures to one side, and a veritable army of asistants start bringing boxes and crates of what look like Stark retail products like the cell phones and tablets. "Shall we begin?"


Betsy descends on Darcy a few moments later. With Doom occupied by… Doom-Related things, the purple-haired model spots a woman who's stuck on gladhandling duty instead of being able to enjoy the party.

"Hullo, Agent… Lewis, yes?" Betsy asks, in cultured British tonals. "Apologies, I never quite got your first name. Or do they issue you one of those?" she asks, with a playfully minute uptick of one eyebrow that belies the serious expression on her haughty features.

"Ooh, cell phones. I wonder if the new model is out," Betsy says, making a high-end 'Hero' class sPhone appear from nowhere. Where was she /hiding/ it?


Oliver turns, about to say something then blinks as he realizes he's been left standing there with just Brinley and a small shrug lifts his shoulders. "If I escape out the back, will you cover for me?" He asks it towards the woman, the smile on his lips matching his eyes.


Tony Stark is making his way more towards where most of the people are. Doom gets a casual pat on the shoulder and a passing, "Great to see ya, Charlie. Love your tuna." as he brushes by and when Brin waves, look - reason to move on! He makes his towards the brunette with a smile, "Great to see you here, of course." he says when he gets within conversational range.


Poor Oliver, left alone with Brin. Whatever will he do! With a small smirk, as Tony makes his way towards them "Too late, you've been spotted!"

"Hello Tony." Brin holds out a hand, casting a conspiratorial glance at her companion "Have you met, Tony Stark, Oliver?"


Darcy's not complaining. If gladhandling means she gets the chance to taze his ass if he gets uppity, Darcy is okay with this! But she does turn a very bright smile to Betsy as the other woman nears.

"Yeah. But you can call me Darce, if you like. Or Darcy. Or Hey Tits. Ya know. Whatev's. Because I takes what I wants, rar," Darcy quips in reply to the not being issued a first name. The junior agent looks over as phones are being distributed, lips kicking up in a brighter smile.

"Oh, hell yes. Mine is a four year old model…" Her word trail off as Tony brushes by Doom. The agent seems to snap into 'work mode'. Her green eyes are sharp and protective.. of Doom. He is her charge tonight, after all. Plus, if Tony sets Doom off, SHIELD'll go ape-shit. That will not happen. Not on her watch, anyway. She inclines her chin in a 'yeah, that's right. Keep walking.' motion as Tony glides right past her toward Brin and Oliver. "…and I really could use an upgrade." Like nothing interrupted her train of thought.


Jes doesn't hear what Tony says as he passes Doom but she can ready body language and tone well enough. Her lips quirk. Finally, someone treating that guy in a proper manner. Coyote approves. She also inches closer and after getting a look at Oliver starts considering what kind of distraction she might make so he can make a run for it. The irony isn't lost on her and she figures its a good and also healthy sign that she wants to help him rather than stand back and laugh.


Betsy eyes Tony balefully as he almost sets off an international incident. Thankfully, Doom's towering broodiness seems to overcome any sense of personal affront— and at least Tony doesn't get a few hundred thousand volts for his trouble, from Doom, or Darcy.

"'Hey, Tits?'" Betsy quips, giving the agent a sidelong look. Something that sounds like a giggle slips from her lips, but the first hints of a smile (god forbid) are hidden behind her martini glass.

"I'll go with Darcy then, if for no other reason than to satisfy propriety. I…" she glances sidelong at Doom. "I /assume/ you're on duty, so to speak? I can hardly imagine his Excellency bringing a field agent as a date to such a soiree."


Brin gets a sidelong look from Oliver, a quirk of his eyebrow along with an amused smirk before Queen turns his attention towards Tony. "No, I don't believe so. I tend to not make it out to these functions very often." A hand is extended towards Stark. "Oliver Queen."


Tony Stark grips the hand firmly and gives a nod, "Tony Stark. Glad to meet you, finally. I've heard of some of the stuff you've got going on in your organization, lots of good things happening over there." he grins good naturedly to Brin, "Don't let this one get you in trouble, she's notorious for it." - whether or not she is exactly isn't the point as it is more of an icebreaker. He does casually glance about here and there between sips of champagne. The purple haired one definitely gets a second longer than usual glanceover, but for the most part, he's pretty present.


Pepper Potts starts directing the army of gift-bearers to start handing out the phone as she explains how this neweset top-tier model of StarkPhone has all the cool features that other smart phones will figure out about five years down the road, including the newest generation of voice response system dubbed JARVIS. For those that have actually spoken with the AI before, this system is still just a Siri-like assistant and not the full AI that is so much a part of the building.


"I've always been told to lead with my best feature," Darcy replies to Betsy's quip, with a slight side-bobble to her head and the tiniest of smirks. Did I just say that? Yes. Yes, I did. The quirk of a brow, and the Darcy follows Betsy's glance toward Doom. She gives him a very elegant and respectful nod of her head before smiling at Betsy.

"Sometimes, work is awesome. Tonight is even more awesome, even though I'm struggling to think of the perfect Grivance for the Rod. It'll be okay. Even if my Grivance is lame, I am best at Chocolate Pudding Wrestling." Darcy gives a very sage nod of her head… while sipping daintly at her champagne.


"Clearly, you've never done a photoshoot in Barcelona," Betsy mutters into her martini. "There's a reason I'm still not speaking with Adriana Lima."

She inhales her martini in a polite gulp and sets it atop a passing waiter's treet, before softly clapping her gloved hands together to join the applause for the announcement. "A life without too many grievances sounds like a life well lived," Betsy says, returning her attention to the (much) shorter woman next to her. "I'm not sure I have too much to complain about this year, myself, aside from perennial issues with my ex and the occasional row with my brother," she amends, glancing at the door through which Brian had departed some time ago.


"Only the best sort of trouble, Tony." Brin grins back, hand touching her side where the wound is. Accepting the phone from an assistant, she holds it in her hand. "You know with all the things happening in the city, I do get a choice of what to do … Don't worry, Oliver, I won't get you into too much trouble."

Glancing to Pepper, Brin wonders if the woman is going to take a break soon.


Jes stares at the phone she's handed and then up at Pepper. This thing has to cost more than her home. She rarely takes her Gar phone out with her for fear of it getting lost or broken, this one is never gonna leave her boat. The mention of Jarvis has her holding it in an even more delicate manner. She had listened to him or it going on about the herbs they were gathering for Pepper in a forest. It had honestly creeped her out. How can a machine be so alive? Or at the very least, mimic it so aptly. She has seen stranger things but not many. Jes grins. She's probably the only person here who thinks so, but then she'd been raised in the Montana wilderness on the edge of the Res and when she'd left the only phone they had was still an old honest to gods landline with a circle dialing apparatus. She has not seen a single once since leaving there.


Returning the shake firmly, Oliver nods his head, "Yes, Miss Potts has been excellent to work with on some joint charity work." At the warning about Brin, Oliver looks at the woman next to him and smiles with a sly look in his eyes, one of future schemes. "I'll make sure to stay on my toes with her. I'm sure you have circulation to make Mr. Stark. Until the next time our paths cross?" He adds as an aside to Brin, "My friends call me Ollie. Oliver is… well it makes me feel ridiculously old and like I should be twirling a moustache."


Tony Stark chuckles, "I feel the same way, My dad is Anthony or Mr. Stark - I'm just Tony. But yeah, our paths will cross sgain, I'm sure. Miss Potts holds my schedule and I'm sure we'll be doing something soon." he smiles to Brin, "Enjoy your evening, and if you need any help with anything -" he motions to the phone, "My number's already programmed in." he says, and makes his way further into the party, possibly getting closer to Darcy and Betsy as he does his thing.


"Yeah, no. Never done a photoshoot in Barcelona," Darcy agrees, nodding her head. Then a mischevious grin takes over just as dude with Starkphone arrives. She takes it with one hand and leaving the champagne on a passing waiter's tray.

"Though, you've given me an idea for Grivance, so thanks. Fuuck, this phone is so hella sexy. I want to go home and play with the vibration settings." Yeah. Darcy lacks brain mouth filter most days.


"Ahh…" Betsy blinks at that, eyeing Darcy sidelong, and very strongly considering abandoning her manners to go rooting around in Darcy's brain. "…dare I ask, is that entendre, or are you just that excited about the ways to make your phone buzz?" Betsy says.

The /polite/ thing to do would be to laugh and change topic, but Betsy abandons propriety in favor of examining the filter-less Agent. She glances back and over her shoulder with uncanny alertness, as if having heard Tony making an approach towards her despite the roomful of people and background noise.


Darcy replies in one word: "Yes."


As the last of the phones are handed out, Pepper gets everyone's attention by saying five words: "Okay. Who wants a tablet?" And the veritable army starts filtering through again, this time with the StarkTabs. And not the entry level ones, either.


Tony Stark manages to catch just the tail end of the conversation to helpfully add, "You can specific morse-code style patterns that spell things. Hi, have we met? Tony Stark." he says, grinning and taking a healthy drink of the bubbly.


Jes has inched close enough by this point to hear Darcy and she turns her head and just stares. Holy Fenris. That's a little too much information even for her. She's been wondering if the woman is actually an agent and not you know, an escaped patient from somewhere. She's got enough mixed signals going on Jes thinks it could be both. Jes turns back towards Pepper. Not her problem! She is not the crazy lady whisperer, dammit. Unless it's Wanda. Or maybe Misfit. Or Lunair.. who isn't crazy so much as .. strange. Jes frowns. That's a lot of crazy lady actually. She turns around again in time to be handed a tablet and her attention is taken up with trying to figure out how it works. Kinda like Zee's laptop? That thing had been really handy. Oh this has to cost a fortune. Jes would be worried about it being stolen if she didn't have a veteren and retired security guard for a babysitter and a ghostwolfdad watching over her home. Not to mention the Chinese mob bosses mark painted on her hull. Any thieves showing up at her place are just going to end up wishing they'd never been born.


"My oh my, they're fairly doubling down this year," Betsy murmurs, flashing Darcy a sidelong look at the 'Yes'. When the servers arrive, Betsy accepts the tablet in both hands and eyes the container lasciviously. "Ooh, the screen's an inch bigger, and it supports dual windows…? Finally, comparison shopping-friendly technology," she murmurs, passing her fingernails over the glossy surface.

At Tony's words, she looks back at the billionaire, flashing a quick model's smile at the man. "The host of the hour— Mister Stark, isn't it?" she says politely. It's not like there isn't a giant painted testament to Tony's ego hanging right inside the lobby, after all.

(there totally is).


Brin glances up at the man as he looks at her slyly. "Don't go getting any idea, Ollie." she laughs, using the sobriquet "I'm quite good enough at getting myself into trouble. Christmas day was mechanical reindeers."

Sensing the mans keeness to leave, she accepts the tablet from the assistance and smiles up at him again. "Although, staying on your toes generally means dancing…" she's teasing totally. She'll cover his exit, if he needs to leave.


"A rain check." Oliver responds to Brin, smiling as he looks across the party. "Busy day for me tomorrow and some shut eye is in place." He turns to look at the RedX'er on his way to depart. "And your feet better be able to keep pace with dancing rain checks. Those always get cashed." A small smile and he turns to depart.


Darcy looks up from the phone to look at Tony. "No, Mr. Stark. We haven't. I official y love your phones more, and might love them better later. Darcy Lewis," she says to introduce herself, holding out a hand. As Betsy says Tony's the host, Darcy shakes her head vigorously.

"Nonono. Hostess is Miss Potts and I'm choco-pudding wrestling her. She said so," Darcy contends, all too handy to accept the tablet now. She licks her lips as if she were drooling before looking back at Tony.

"Seriously, though. Your tech? Sexy. A.F."


Tony Stark shakes his head holding up a hand politely, "Oh no - My father was Mister Stark. I'm just Tony. But yeah, host of the hour and all that - though I have to say, Pepper's doing an impeccable job with that." and he cocks an eyebrow when Darcy speaks, "Well, Miss Lewis if Pepper chickens out I will officialy volunteer for the task. But thank you - we try to go for sexy as hell and overgunned to boot. Seems to be the design curve around here any way."


Betsy eyes Darcy sidelong. "Yes, it's… very impressive," the urbane Brit tells Tony, her ash-shadowed eyes sliding from Darcy back to the engineer. "I was an early adopter of your Hero class sPhone," she tells Tony. "I lost two to saltwater, one to a taxicab, and one … /unfortunate/ incident with a hacker," she says, lip curling into a moue of distaste. "After that, I started looking for anything with good security and multiple account management. They're useful for vanilla celebrities as well as vigilantes."


"All right, last thing. For anyone who isn't familiar with StarkTabs and phones or would like help with setting up your new devices on existing phone accounts, there is a card you can take to any phone carrier's store to cover any changeover costs. That's it, everyone. Have a wonderful Christmas!" She waves and moves to step off of the stage as any remaining devices are carried off again and the music starts back up.

Possibly it's time now for the Airing of Grievances?


Jes finally remembers she was going to help Ollie…escape. She looks around. Oops. Well, good for him. Mentally scrolling back a bit Jes frowns and looks at Brinley. "Mechanical Reindeer?" Why is that even a thing? That should not be a thing. Her midn jumps to actual deer and then the fresh venison she'd had in the forest the other night with her God and his friend and she has to work hard at not drooling. What had they been talking about again? She's about to ask when her phone vibrates in her hand. Jes frowns at it and shakes her head. "Crap. I gotta go." She moves to carefully hug Brin and then Pepper. "Thank you. So much, these have to cost a fortune! This little computer is gonna help my studying so much though!" Going to the library is a pain and not something she has much time for. "My babies are being really fussy and I need to get home. Thanks for having me, Pepper."


"Miss Potts chickens out, and she looses all nerd cred," Darcy threatens as she tucks the new sPhone into her clutch with her four year old sPhone and tazer, before hanging on to the tablet like a clipboard. Her eyes track over to Pepper as she wishes everyone a wonderful Christmass. Her lips kick up as she glances at Doom, who's being quiet and still over there.

"Grivance time. Betsy. Tony. Excuse me," she quips and strides purposefully toward the big tree thing. Hiking up her skirts a bit, she steps into the middle of the sculpture thing and grabs Pepper's Rod with her free hand.

"All right, Peeps! In the tradition of the grand celebration of Festivus, I have come before you to Air a Grivance. Know that in this most splendid of locations, any grivance can be aired, but out of respect to all gathered, anyone who grieves against any person physically present here can go do it outside where the rest of us can't hear you.

And so, I have a Grievance…. against Torrid. You are supposed to be cool, fun, edgy, hip, punky, nerdy attire for the full figured woman. Bullshit! Top size: 3X. Bust size: 44 inches." Darcy points to herself… at chest level, "This is 60 inches, Thank you very much! Carry stuff in my size that isn't a super baggy, make me look a million miles wide, or like a over weight trucker and I'll shop at your store." She nods a moment, then steps away from the Rod.

Next?


"Rain check then" Brin smiles at Ollie "and you bet that I'll be able to keep up." Then Jes asks the question and she smirks, just a little "Yes, Mechanical Reindeer" she confirms as she returns the hug. Moving to stand beside Pepper and give the woman a hug "The gifts are wonderful, thank you. Do you need help delivering things t— " and then Darcy's at it.

Brin melds quietly into the background for the moment.


Tony Stark looks to Betsy as Darcy goes to start airing grievances, "Well, she certainly is a handful. And I can speak as both a celebrity and a bit of vigilante, that there's an upgrade available if you want one..it's the same model I happen to carry with me all the time - that is, if you're interested?"


Betsy blinks at Darcy. "/Wow/," the socialite comments. "That's… well."

She coughs and looks to Tony. "Hmm? Oh— yes, that would be extremely welcomed," she assures Stark. She makes her sPhone appear in her hand— indeed, it's the latest commercial model. "I think I'm running… what it is, 6.3?" she says, glancing at the title screen. "Yes. So it's a little out of date. There's been such a spate of security concerns, particulary in the modelling community, that I'm a bit more wary than some of my peers."


Pepper Potts returns Jesana's hug with a smile. "Thank you for being here, Jesana. Give those kids a hug for me." She lets the coyote woman go as Darcy begins with the official airing of grievances. All she can do at the moment is chuckle and shake her head. Once Darcy is done airing her grievance, and no one else steps forward, she does so, ducking under the 'bottom' of the stylized tree to grasp the center support pole of the structure.

"Okay, here's my grievance. Bedlington Tea in Bristol, you suck. How in the heck am I supposed to find a replacement to the most perfect Earl Grey I'd ever found?"


Tony Stark nods, and inclines his head in Betsy's direction, "Of course, if you're interested in possibly a late dinner tonight or a lunch this week, I could present you with an 8JC with a Hulkcase?" he says, casually swapping an empty flute for a double scotch, neat.


When she gets to the door Jes stops and turns back to watch Darcy. Her expression is a mixture amusement and the kind of abject horror of someone watching a disaster unfold and being unable to look away. Her lips quirk further when Pepper goes along with it. Earl Grey? Jes grins. She'll find it, or one just as good or better, before the next time she sees her friend. Jes waves at Tony and Brin and nods at Betsy before turning and heading out and home.


Betsy nods cordially at the retreating wolfen, catching the nod her way, and turns back to Tony. With a remarkable degree of dexterity, she plucks the scotch from his hand and slams it back in a smooth gulp, wrist curling around the glass around shoulder level.

"Are you this polite to all your guests, Mister Stark, or are you trying to buy a dinner date?" she asks him with a knowing smile, smoke-shadowed eyes lidding speculatively at the billionaire.


Tony Stark chuckles, "Well, I wouldn't say buying a dinner date, but let's say in lieu of candy and flowers I bring impressive tech, but I will say that if you treat your scotch like that you are SO not getting near any of the forty year I've gotten stashed about." and he signals for another scotch. In fact, two.


Darcy watches people coming up to air grievances, everything from taxi drivers to teh subway system to the McDonald's worker who refuses to understand that Mocha IS a flavor and that it's really stupid to demand to know the flavor of Mocha that is being requested.

When at last all the Grievances are Aired, Darcy once again takes the floor, becasue she can, and she levels a finger at Pepper.

"And, again as is tradition, toninght does not end until I have completed wrestling our hostess. Miss Potts, consider yourself challenged. You better have the chocolate pudding I have demanded for this most honorable and traditional of battles!"


Betsy is about to respond to Tony when Darcy calls Pepper out. She blinks, glancing around as if verifying she's not hearing things, then looks to Tony.

"Hearkening back to your old party ways?" Betsy asks Tony, eyebrows rising minutely. "I thought the days of Stark Industry bacchanals were long over."

She glances over at Pepper and Darcy, listening to the stunned/expectant silence.

"Winner!" Betsy says, her clear alto cutting across the room. The leggy Brit stands out across the room, and a sussurance of chuckles and laughter follows her confident announcement and rise of her hand.

"Tuesday, then?" she says, looking back to Tony.


Tony Stark shakes his head, "Look, if Pepper ends up doing that, I'm having JARVIS run chem analysis to find out who the hell spiked her earl grey..but yeah, Tuesday would work. Lunch, Dinner, both?"


Pepper Potts steps away from the airing of grievances to go stand next to Brin. "You okay? You're doing that wallflower thing." And then Darcy calls for the chocolate pudding wrestling, and Pepper can only sigh amusedly. "Oh boy. Here we go. Care to referee, Ms. Myers?"


Darcy …. hadn't been joking. Brin rolls her eyes and sighs and wonders how Pepper will take that… just as the woman stands beside her.

"Fine, Miss Potts." It's been a long couple of days for Brin and the strain is taking it's toll. "Sure, I'll referee… uh… what are the rules? Are you … chocolate pudding wrestling?" oh dear.


Darcy waits, as the murmur cuts through the crowd and phones are busted out. The junir agent sweeps her gaze about the gathering, waiting with a hand on her hip still pointing at Pepper. When the red-head draws near, Darcy turns her hand over to finger beckon the very influential Pepper Potts into the middle of everything… for choco-pudding wrestling.


"Lunch, Tuesday," Betsy promises Tony. She taps on her cell phone and sets an appointment reminder, then flashes the calender (a full one) at Tony. "It's official," she tells him.

The leggy Brit peers at the party. "I… hmm. Do you even have pudding on hand? Because I think that even if Miss Potts is in good humor, I get the sense our erstwhile Agent friend is in deadly earnest."


Tony Stark leans in, "This is Stark Industries..we have everything. Including chocolate pudding. I'm thinking what..three to two odds on Pepper? I know we can sell spoons for charity following the match.."


Pepper Potts just smiles almost serenely at Darcy as she and Brin approach Darcy. "All right then." She looks off toward the caterers and waits as a small table, two chairs, and two martini glasses of chocolate mousse (VERY freshly made) are brought out. She moves to sit in one of the chairs and looks to Darcy. "To the pain."


"Oooh-ooh! It's on, like Donkey Kong," Darcy crows and she settles into the chair opposite Pepper. As people start to chatter, laughing as it's clear they are not goign to strip down and roll around in pudding, Darcy leans in and murmurs to Pepper: "So.. arm.. thumb… tongue would be awkward, no?"


Tony Stark looks disappointed most of all, and sips his scotch, "Well, damn."


The look of relief on Brins face is evident as she takes up position at the table. "Thumbs." she rules as she looks at Darce and Pepper … "and trust me I'll know if you're cheating."

"We'll give everyone a few minutes to place bets and I'll donate a months earning to one of Maria Starks Foundation if Miss Potts win." the brunette intones. Pepper had better not let her down!

After waiting for all bets to be placed … Brin holds up her hands "Take your positions. …. and wrestle…."


"Hey hey hey hey! Now wait. Festivus doesn't end until Pepper gets pinned…" Darcy starts even as she stretches her arm on the table to take Pepper's hand with her own. The other hand takes the martini glass of pudding.


"Ah. C'est la vie," Betsy says, in polished French. She exhales mournfully and snatches the scotch from the returning waiter and downing it in one smooth motion. "Ooof. …one more," she tells the attendant, passing him back the glass with the inattentiveness of the born aristocrat.

"For whom should I be rooting, then?" she asks Tony, eyes on the 'fight'.


Tony Stark shakes his head, "I don't know..Pepper does a lot of Yoga, but Darcy doesn't look like she messes around either, but still..I'd lay money on Pepper." - Tony, ever the cheerleader.


Pepper Potts sets her arm on the table and picks up the mousse martini glass with her free hand. "Who's going to try and shut this party down once Darcy loses?" She again just smiles at the young woman seated across from her, and then starts the thumb wrestling the moment Brin calls it. And she almost daintly samples the martini glass's mousse at the same time.


Glancing up and meeting Betsy's eyes, Brin smiles slowly "I think I can handle Darcy, should she loose." the tiny brunette might be lean and fit, but really … does she look like she could take on /anything/?


"Oohh-ooh," Darcy cackles as she too brings her chocopuddingtini to her lips to slurp at lightly as she begins to thumb wrestle against Pepper. Neither ladies are looking at their thumbs, but rather each other. It's like… a chocolate pudding eating, thumb wretling, staring match. …in evening wear.

And the match gets under way, the waiters come back out with their trays, and shot glasses… filled with chocolate pudding. Each one is topped with a shaved curl of white and dark chocolate.


"Caaaaaaaaaaarbs," Betsy breathes, as if people were sampling deadly poison. She shudders and looks away, searching for the waiter with her drink, damnit!

"Brin, darling, consider your thighs," she begs the X-red member. "I'd be punishing myself with lunges for a week for indulging just one of those concoctions."


Pepper Potts starts laughing, and that's her downfall. Darcy is victorious in the choco-pudding evening gown thumb wrestling finale to this holiday party. And, Pepper has pudidng on her nose.


Tony Stark facepalms.


With the dress that Brin is wearing, it's pretty clear that she doesn't have to worry about carbs. But then again, with all the exercise she gets she can afford to indulge a little. Taking a shot glass of choco-pudding, she downs it herself, wiping the corners of her mouth with a napkin.

"I guess Miss Lewis is the winner!" she calls it "I'll still donate a months salary to Maria Stark Foundation." And she hands a napkin to Pepper "Uh, you might want to wipe the tip of your nose…."


Darcy cheers, arms going over her head in the rcok star pose of victory. She bows then to Pepper, with some chocolate on her own chin.

"Pep, that was awesome Thank you for the first Festivus I've been to in a very very long time. Anytime you wanna hang out, call me, kay?" Darcy rambles as she sets her glass down and collects her tablet. She waves to everyone, then makes her ways back toward Doom, pausing briefly to get a napkin to wipe up on before walking with him back to the Quinjet. Fun had, now back to work.


Betsy joins in the applause, shaking her head and unable to suppress a small smile. "I'm off as well. The Diors are having a party, and I should make a token appearance. Brin, goodnight, luv," she says, stooping and pressing her cheek against Brin's affectionately.

"Mister Stark, I'll see you Tuesday," she says, with a mischevious glint in her eyes. Betsy picks up her clutch and heads for the door, dress gathered carefull in her left hand as she heads to the exit.


Pepper Potts laughs again and swaps the martini glass for a napkin as Darcy takes her leave. "I'm glad you had fun, Darcy. Take care." She wipes her nose clean then heads over toward Tony. "Mr. Stark."


Snugged by Betsy, Brin returns the hug. "Have fun, Betsy." The brunette follows Pepper to Tony. "Good night, Darcy. Take care of your charge." and stops just shy of Pepper and Tony, with a smile on her face.


Tony Stark can't help but smirk as he says, "You let the home tesm doen tonight, Miss Potts - I don't know if our sterling reputation will /ever/ recover."


Pepper Potts just chuckles at that. "I clearly need to practice my pudding nd thumb wrestling skills. I started laughing, and that's what got me." She takes a step to one side so Brin isn't hiding behind her. "Have you met Ms. Myers yet, Tony?"


Tony Stark nods, "We have, as a matter of fact. You brought her by Halloween to clean up after some PETA activist or anti Halloween cult spilt goo on the both of you, if memory serves."


"That we did." Brin affirms as she steps up next to Pepper. "We spoke about X-Red and what we were facing." No need to mention the troubles by name, not today. "Miss Potts very kindly gave me an early Christmas present, so armour to test. I must confess that I haven't yet, but I will the very next time I'm called out."


Tony Stark nods, "That works. If you want to do some practical tests, I'd be glad to help with that. See what needs improved and the like. It's a hobby."


Pepper Potts can only smile at that. "Accept at your own risk, Brin. Last I heard, Tony wanted to try making a testing room that could withstand explosions." She looks at Tony then, though it's clear she's only joking, and says, "And my answer to that is still no."


Tony Stark sighs, "You never let me have any fun. If I ever become a super villain, you're my origin story, Miss Potts."

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