Your Jet or Mine?

April 08, 2017:

After a piece of Stark intel ends up on a server at the Hellfire Club, Mr. Stark himself comes to say something about it.

Frost International

Characters

NPCs: Emma's Poor Assistant

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Wednesday afternoon. 3pm.

Will this day ever end?

In the sprawling layout of her office, Emma Frost is presently tucked away in a—for lack of a better descriptor—nook at the bottom of a few steps. In the recessed part of the floor, a sitting area of two arm chairs and a couch has been arranged, overlooking the bustling Manhattan street below from behind a wall of glass.

The woman, wrapped in a skirt so tight as to nearly be painted on and a lacy high-necked and sleeveless shirt so thin as to nearly be transparent, is presently reviewing a number of reports prepared by her army of accountants. Performance reviews and projections and all of the glorious headache they bring… as well as the recommendations of a pair of particularly opinionated vice presidents.

On the low coffee table, all modern curves of chrome and glass, a bottle of Perrier sits—half-poured into a water goblet—beside a half-eaten plate of chocolate-dipped fruit. She distractedly chews on an apple slice as she reads, stilettos kicked off in a thoughtless pile on the floor beside her and stockinged feet pulled up onto the couch.

—-

A perfect moment. A moment or rest and relaxation. A moment no man or would would ever have the thoughtlessness to intrude. Right?

…Well. …About that…

There is movement outside the office door. A voice or two talking. Not unusual, but what is unusual is the fact that the door is suddenly moving.

Swinging open.

This would reveal a figure that…well physically he doesn't seem that imposing. Custom cut and tailored suit that likely cost more than most cars. Dark sunglasses of the latest designer style. Watch gleaming brightly on one wrist. He looks like a million bucks, and is worth way more than that. But its not the height, or the clothes that set Tony Stark apart.

It's the personality.

Her poor secretary outside looks entirely flabbergasted as the inventor strides right though the door. A razored grin on his face.

"Emma!" That overload of personality bubbling out in his fast paced words. "How do you do it? You always look good enough to eat. I told your secretary I had an appointment. But I really don't."

Said secretary pales.

"So don't blame her, but…we need to have a chat. You got some time now? I'm really hoping you do."

—-

"Tony," Emma purrs as her visitor expertly goes straight for the ego, setting down her food and her feet already moving to hide the seams of her stockings by shoving themselves back into those stiff leather pumps. The telepath feels the intrusion moments before it comes and is thus spared what might have been a start of surprise. Instead, she is practically languid as she rises up to her feet. As soon as she's close enough, intruding on his personal space without apology, she extends a delicate hand towards him.

A glance is shot in her assistant’s direction, dismissing her wordlessly over the man's shoulder. There's something in Frost's gaze that sends her typically collected secretary practically skittering for the door.

But, as her fellow businessman inquired, does Emma have time? She smiles conspiratorially. "For you, darling? Always."

—-

Tony's grin hitches up a notch as she extends a hand. He takes it, of course. It's expected and let's face it. Tony has always liked women. It's an obvious character flaw, one of many, and he is entirely shameless when it comes to it.

The offered hand is taken. Pulled up to his lips to kiss lightly the knuckles. Then covered with his own hand for a moment as bright eyes gleam from behind his shades.

"Careful what you wish for," He drawls before he notes the secretary go skittering away. "Don't eat too much of her soul. It wasn't like she could have stopped me anyway." He adds with a wink as he flashes her a careless smirk.

"But anyway! I know you're busy. You know I'm busy." His mind moves at a speed beyond most people's, so he's already thinking about twelve things that might happen three days from now. "But…this little club of yours. Seems that someone is getting a little free with their extracurricular activities."

—-

Emma holds her guest's gaze for as long as it's offered, and she effortlessly follows the turn in conversation as she reclaims her hand and drapes it just under the bunch of gathered featherlight lace at her throat. Her other hand is set on her hip as it pushes to one side. "Now, two points, Tony. First, it's not some school group. Could you make it sound a little less like we need permission slips? And secondly, you must know that I had less than nothing to do with that."

"But if we must do this…" A hand gestures towards the couch. "Can we please sit down? It's been a very long day already. I've been up since 10, at least."

—-

"Ten this morning, or ten last night?" Tony asks curiously before waving her towards the couch. "Of course, of course, let's sit and chat. I mean, we are friends, that's what friends do. Sit and talk. Which is why I'm here and not at home filling that server with a few hundred terabytes of bad cat pictures."

Would he do that? Of course he would.

He lets her sit first, of course, waiting till she's settled herself before joining on the sofa. "And I know we're all adults here, and you likely had no idea that someone was going to be this stupid. But…someone was that stupid…and now I'm here, talking."

—-

"Which I desperately appreciate, Tony," Emma replies, once she's sunk back down into the generous seat of her couch and made some show of the crossing of her legs for her fellow tycoon’s benefit. "And I can certainly understand you being a little upset about the whole thing. Honestly, if you had destroyed the server, you would have been entirely justified. Good grief, do it now, if it makes you feel better. I really don't care. Our relationship is much more important to me." The really good stuff’s stored elsewhere, anyway.

Pulling a drawer open on the table tucked beside her seat, fingers blindly wrap themselves around a goblet that matches her own so she can set it down on the table. She leans forward after that, and begins the task of refilling her own cup and then measuring a bit of the sparkling water into the added stemware. "And I know that this hasn't passed beneath the notice of your colleague, Mister Stane, who has also felt inclined to comment on the indiscretion. Although, he seemed to be of the mind to—wisely—leave most of that particular heavy lifting to you."

Plucking up the extra glass she's poured, the White Queen doesn't keep her distance from Tony as she hands it to him. Instead, her suspended foot hovers playfully near his knee. “I can talk to the upstart if you like, because it's you, but you know how I loathe being dragged into the middle of other people's fights.” When they don’t benefit her. “I don't want your colleague to think that I am about to start policing the general membership. There are appearances to be kept, my dear, and you must know that some men in the Club just get so uppity about them.”

—-

It’s a very nice foot.

Tony can be distracted by nice things. Those legs are most definitely nice things. His eyes go down the length of her leg and then back up towards her eyes before he smirks slightly towards her. He does reach out for the drink and shake his head. “Well you’re lucky. Obadiah usually hits harder than I do. And he doesn’t take kindly to people sticking fingers into our servers.” The inventor leans back on the sofa as he looks towards her. “Anyway, I don’t blame you for this mess of course. And I’m not trying to drag you into any fight. But…”

A smirk crosses his face. “…this guy just started one. Really though, it’s not me you have to worry about. See the servers at Stark hold some things other people kinda get protective of. So…they are the ones you gotta worry about. I mean S.H.I.E.L.D. is like the king of oversight, and you really don’t want to upset them do ya? They kinda ruin all the fun times.”

He takes a sip of the offered drink. “But no, I can deal with it. I just wanted to give you a heads up on that front. I mean like you said. I don’t want you to get trouble for someone else being an idiot.”

—-

There are things to be said for pleasant distractions, and flirting with Tony is one that the blonde indulges in happily. Why not? Rich and good looking with a taste for truly fine things, clearly, as he appreciates her. “Thank you, but I’m not concerned about one fight overly much if it means that you and I stay on good terms. I certainly understand feeling a little territorial about the whole thing. Betwixt us, I was horrified. And a little amazed.”

Emma takes a long, deep breath, and her blue eyes close as she lets her head loll back and stretch a little. When her gaze returns, her smile is a deceptively soft one. “Tell you what. I’ll take the little idiot aside and Auntie Em will give him a proper talking-to in private, to be certain that he knows the gravity of the infraction and ensure that it won’t happen again. Then I’ll talk to the men running the security team and make certain they’ve removed the traces of whatever was taken from the club’s servers that were accessible to him and let yours check them if you like—you can do that, yes? I’m certain you’ve put plenty of security measures to let you track the information. Not much that I can do retroactively, of course, but I can do that.”

“All for a downright paltry price: prove that we’re still friends and promise you’ll skip over to London for dinner in a few weeks when I’m there scoping out a possible acquisition. It’ll give me something to look forward to in an otherwise bleak and boring agenda. You might even be saving my life. Imagine how terrible a thing it would be to read an epitaph: a life well lived, ended by one P&L too many.”

—-

“What a horrible way to go,” Tony replies. “Sure sure, I haven't been to London in awhile. As long as no one is trying to kill the city when the party starts I’ll be there. Besides, being invited by you is sure to piss someone off. And I do love pissing people off. It's sort of a hobby of mine. My friends try to break me of the habit but it is just so…” A flash of a razor sharp grin. “…fun.”

A pause to whet his throat, eyes still dancing as they remain fairly well fixed on her. He’s not shy, but no one ever accused Tony Stark of that sin. “The rest of it is fine by me, I mean really. I figured you didn’t have anything to do with it, but it's on your servers so…” A slight shrug. “…now, Pepper is a bit more upset about it all than I am. And likely she’s called Phil. Do you know Phil? I mean he’s like a walking, talking, cardboard cutout. But for a cardboard cutout he’s not that bad I guess. Don’t tell him I said that.”

“Seriously though, this is fine by me. I didn’t want to raise too much of a fuss. Which is why I didn’t dress up.” He adds with a smirk. “Somehow full suit just seemed overdressed for a friendly chat. Wouldn’t you say?”

—-

Oh, she knows Phil. There’s a tiny gap in Emma’s response, and a certain light that sparks to life in her pale blue eyes that speaks of a deep displeasure. Her tone, however, is monitored for perfect neutrality. Cordiality, even. “Oh, Agent Coulson. Yes, I have had the… opportunity to make his acquaintance. Charming fellow.”

Sipping from her cup, she then allows the cup to hover near her lips as she speaks over it. “As for your Ms. Potts… You will, of course, explain to her what we’ve discussed, won’t you?” The inquiry is put to her guest in the most melodic of cadences, cajoling. The water goblet drops a degree as Emma even throws a theatrical, coquettish batting of the eyelashes onto the request. “Help me smooth this over. I’ll even send a lovely fruit basket to her attention if you think it’ll make a difference. Ask her to keep the attack dogs at bay.”

—-

“Oh I’ll explain,” Tony replies with a smirk. “But she has a mind of her own, so I make no promises.” If he was honest, and Emma might be able to pick up on it. That the fact that he was here is less he’s annoyed about the servers, and more than he’s annoyed someone scared Pepper. Tony Stark has few friends, and he is fairly protective of the ones he does have. Much to the sorrow of the people who might do things to them.

Like scare them by trying to shut down parts of Stark Tower.

“But that said, I could never resist a beautiful woman. So I’ll do my best to deal with it before she escalates things. And I’ll scrub the servers of Stark information, so that's settled. And…yes. I’ll be at your little party. With bells on. Unless that's frowned on wherever it is. Is that frowned on? Where are we going anyway?”

—-

As the handsome Stark promises to be her knight in shining armor against the dreaded awoken dragon that is Pepper Potts, Emma exudes warmth, if well within the confines of decorum. She mouths the words ‘Thank you’ over her cup’s rim, but never gives them voice. She sips instead as he talks.

He thinks his protectiveness loudly enough that it’s hard for the telepath to miss, but the sentiment is endearing enough that she doesn’t really mind. She simply continues to smile blithely.

When she answers his inquiry, however, her lips turn towards a curve both amused and downright wicked. “Darling, if I cared overmuch about the frowns that inevitably follow another’s happiness, I would have been doomed to misery a very long time ago.” Haters gonna hate, after all. “But I’ve heard that there is a phenomenal French chef at the Dorchester. And while I’m certain I could find someone to pass a few wining and dining hours with, I’m not at all certain I care to. Just dinner. Nothing elaborate.” Except for the dinner, naturally. “Is that still alright? We could even just do the two of us, and you can wear as many bells as you like of whatever size and volume you prefer. Because you really deserve more than just a fruit basket.”

—-

Tony has very specific buttons. One of them is his friends. Threatening them is pretty much a sure way to call an Iron Man suit from heaven. Which is why most intelligent folks don’t try to do that. He figures that one of the most powerful telepaths in the world can pick up on that, so it's not one of the many things that he tries to hide under the shifting sands of his thoughts. There are quite a few more important secrets to hide.

The offer though draws a smile out of him. “Emma, you really want the society rags to start up a rumor mill don’t you? Sure though. Doesn’t bother me any. I mean I’ve had worse written about me. But…” A smirk as he leans back on the couch. “…you know how it is. People are gonna talk. But yes, it's still alright with me. I mean it's not like I don’t deserve a vacation now and then. And the company…well…I’m pretty sure the company will be divine.”

—-

The mention of the rumour mill just draws another smile as the blonde lifts one dainty hand and shrugs theatrically. “What can I say?” she inquires with false angelic tones. “I like to make certain that they continue to have employment. And enjoyment for the masses is just one more service that I can offer. …Once in a while, anyway.”

Then Emma leans in as she whispers conspiratorially, features downright puckish as she peers from behind her curled tresses and taps lightly at his bicep. “Come on. Admit it. It’s one of the best parts.”


“Of course it is, it’s the best part.” Stark replies with a smirk. “I mean, really, if they are gonna do it anyway, might as well have fun with 'em while they do it. I like to be blamed for things I actually do. It’s more enjoyable that way.” The glass it tilted back to deliver the last of his drink before he gives a satisfied smile and reaches over to set the glass back against the table.

“I think this has been a very productive little meeting, Emma. I hope it won’t be the last.” He offers with a grin. “I’ll take care of that server problem and we can do dinner. Shall we take my jet or yours?” A smirk at that. It’s not often he gets to offer that question, and it be an actual question. He can savor that novelty for a bit.

—-

Leaning back against her side of the couch, Frost pulls her hand back to play lightly with the bunch of lace at her throat. “Mm,” she considers audibly. “Separate jets, I think,” she offers back at last. “Don’t want you to feel trapped should my business need a few extra days.”

And, after a few bobs of her suspended foot, she adds a little more, “Besides. That should really keep the rabble scrambling.”

Her own cup is likewise set down, and she indicates the exit behind her with a backwards lean of her head. “But yes, thank you for the courtesy visit. A pleasure as always, and everything will be done as we’ve agreed today.” For how easily she breezes past the details, one would think that they’d only settled on turns for a hopscotch game. “Since you saw fit to see yourself in, I trust that you won’t think me rude if I…?”

Her hand indicates the work left ignored and abandoned in the wake of her guest’s appearance.

—-

“Separate jets? That's disappointing. Here I was hoping we could entertain each other on the trip over. Ah well, I guess I’ll survive with a broken heart and missed opportunity.” Stark shoots back as he smirks slightly towards her and starts to raise. He’s smiling though, this little session didn’t go too badly. It was fun. Enjoyable. And got him dinner.

More importantly, it would piss off so many paparazzi. That's the part he was really looking forward too.

“You’re right, I can find my own way out. Wouldn’t want to interrupt your day any more than I already have.” He adds with a wave. “And I promise to knock out only the minimum number of your guards on the way. Scouts honor.”

He was never a Scout.

“Looking forwards to that dinner though,” He adds as he starts to turn towards the door. “So take care of yourself, Miss Frost.”

And with that the irrepressible inventor will make his exit.

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