The Man Who Has Everything

November 06, 2017:

Jessica Jones checks in with Tony Stark in the wake of the disastrous gala.

Stark Industries, NYC

Test 43 is a bust.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Quicksilver, The Scarlet Witch, Zatanna Zatara, Melinda May, Batman, Iron Monger, Pepper Potts


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

A day or so before Jessica Jones gets word that Jane Foster is being pursued and/or has been kidnapped by some sort of mystic bear

She drops by Stark Towers. Because Tony was pursued by some sort of mutant terrorists. Because Fat Iron Man appeared on the scene. Because she's trying to figure out how those bombs got past security. Take your pick.

Sure. She knows Homeland Security, SHIELD, Stark's own security forces and a dozen other agencies are already crawling all over this. She knows, in fact, that even MI6 has taken an interest. She does know all that. She knows that Fat Iron Man is probably way far away from being just "her" case anymore, if it ever truly was.

She also knows she's beholden to Tony and his company. She knows she doesn't do well, sitting around, doing nothing. She knows a whole lot of people she cared about were threatened at that gala.

And so she shows up, white t-shirt, leather jacket, jeans and all, looking as out of place in the Stark Towers surroundings as ever as she asks JARVIS for directions to wherever Tony is right now. She figures she should at least talk to him before she does her aggressive, perhaps unwanted, poke-her-nose-into-stuff…thing.

Tony Stark never sleeps.

At least thats how the story goes. The truth of it is very close to the story. Whenever he's awake he's always working on something, and most of that work consumes his time. Sleep becomes secondary and we come to moments like this.

Moments where he's living on caffine and pure drive to finish something.

JARVIS would have warned his guest, with that familiar sigh, of the inventors current mood. So it should be no suprise when Jess steps off the elevator the first thing she hears is…well…

"DAMMIT!" A beatpause. "…alright. Scrap this test frame. Design new. Mark test fourty three." The staccato sound of one Tony Stark doing…well…what he does best. Failing till he gets it right.

"Sir, your guest is here."

"What who? Do they have a sandwich?" Tony asks as he looks up towards the elevator and sees who it might be. "Oh." A beatpause. "No sandwich." Then a shrug. "Come on in then….find a seat…"

The lab is in its usual state, and what he seems to be working on is some kind of containment field. Who knows for what, but it looks powerful.

"I can have a sandwich, if you want one. As it happens I'm nearly always actually packing sandwiches."

Jessica pulls out her phone and from there produces a deli sandwich, which she holds out to Tony. If he's actually expressing an interest in eating then she'll go right ahead and feed him. "Roast beef from Sal's Deli."

Jessica looks around for a seat that is not, say, something robotic, or something destined to be part of the forty-fourth test. "What's the containment field for?" Because if he's on this train, it's a good idea to derail said train only very gently. She's learned this much about Tony Stark. She also pauses and withdraws a small wrapped package, something that's about a month overdue, but this she only sets beside herself. She tilts her head to one side, silently trying to decide if this is just typical Tony, or if this is a response to gala night.

"Pepper always sends me sandwiches when I'm in the lab too long. I'm pretty sure I've been in the lab too long. Not that I'm paying attention, or listening to my mother hen there." A glance up at the roof as he mock-glowers at JARVIS.

"I am only following your orders, sir. I can tell you how long you've been in the lab if you wish."

"No that'll just depress me," Tony replies as he reaches for the sandwich thats offered to idily start to open the wrapper. Its like he's on autopilot.

He's like that.

"Oh just in case someone tries to overload a ARC reactor in my face again. If I can get the energy screens to work right and the power conversion systems I'm trying to figure a way to turn ninty percent of the energy into light instead so it won't blow the windows out of half the city."

"Reasonable," Jessica says. It's no surprise that Tony would turn himself to solving this problem pretty much immediately.

She furrows her brow. "How'd they get all the explosives past your security? Does anyone know yet?" It was all over the news, in fact, a story told in fits, starts, and talking heads. Terrorists, blown arc reactors, people turning on one another at a gala, the kind of sensationalism that will fuel reports and follow-ups and opinion pieces for weeks to come. "And…do you want me to look in to any of this? I know zillions of others are, just…" She spreads her hands, grimacing a little bit. Well, now maybe it sounds a little dumber coming out of her mouth while she's sitting here, stacked up against the zillions of others who are probably examining every nook, cranny, and last bit of security footage.

"Far as I know? Speedster." Tony replies as he starts to tear into the sandwich. "He could get in there an dplace everything before the cameras and physical security could actually see him. The explosives themselves were military grade but nothing super advanced. No stealth grade or hidden systems."

He takes another bite, frowning in thought.

"And yes I want you to look into this. You do things that most people don't do. Have a better set of eyes than most and are entirely relentless when you go after something." A beatpause. "The two of them though…JARVIS."

He waves a hand and stills captured from the Gala flash into existance. "I'm guessing related. Mutants obviously, and ones with a massive grudge. Trying to find out more like that but its not like there is some registry or something I can go to in order to pick out who they are." A shake of his head. "I'll have to talk to some other Mutants or get the other Avengers in on this." A beatpause. "And I'm totally not asking Batman about it, because he'd just be insufferable if I did."

"Well, if you've got any kind of crime lab here you won't need him." Jessica smiles at Tony's endorsements of her skills, and she asks, "Did anyone leave any physical evidence I can look at? Is there footage left over? Can I walk the scene now or are they still gonna chase me out?"

But then she studies the stills, closely. "They don't match anyone in that list Melinda gave me either," she muses. "The Bad Meta Naughty List," she clarifies. She's still not 100% sure she should have that, but…she totally does. "Might have been their debut performance, I guess. Was Iron Monger allied with them or did he just show up to make a bad situation worse? And was the arc reactor supposed to explode at that point, or was that just…chaos making chaos worse?"

"Didn't identify as metas anyway, they specificly called out mutants. Wanted to spread the fear that mutants felt they said." Tony just shakes his head. "I told those idiots hunting them down wouldn't end well but no one listens to me. What do I know. I'm just the super smart inventor that thinks faster than most computers."

He's feeling snarky tonight.

"Anyway Fat Man showed up at random. Suprised the twins there as much as the rest of us. I think the overload was ment to kill or incapaciate me. The line about my dad righ tbefore it blew up sort of confirmed that one."

"What was the line?" Jessica asks, startled at that one. She's taken out a notebook by now, and she quickly scrawls down the facts. Mutant extremists, just like the news said, Iron Monger coming in (opportunism again), speedsters, siblings. Later she'll walk every inch of the gala site, review all the footage, dust for some prints of her own. Pull a guest list. She will definitely pull a guest list. There are multiple things that she needs to look at here.

"Did you get any pieces of the blown up suit? Was there a person in there or was it like when you set a bunch of your suits to guard Az?"

As for the commentary on it being stupid to hunt mutans down, she simply agrees. "Bigotry's always dumb as fuck, but people keep right on practicing it anyway. Einstien said you can't cure stupid—" that is not the real quote, but it's close enough, "and I tend to believe it."

She shakes her head and says, "I'm sorry they ruined a good thing. Will you still be able to help out all the causes that you were trying to help out? Or did the whole thing pretty much wipe out everything you'd already raised for them?"

He shakes his head. "No one inside it. I got pieces of it since the damn thing shut down. Had a spare suit run the reactor away far enough to blow without much damage but…" He shakes his head. "…the reactor was bigger than the ones I use. Less complex. The miniturisation at least three generations behind mine. Still it's pissing me off that its out there someone and some asshat has it that has a grudge against my familiy."

A beatpause.

"What is it with people having grudges about my family anyway? I mean those twins didn't much like me either and I have no idea who they are!" He rips into the sandwich some more, chewing with annoyance before he shakes his head.

"Naw, there is still enough to help. Pepper might balk a bit but I have enough to cover losses."

"I dunno," Jessica says, tilting her head to one side. "Didn't Stark Industries used to be some sort of a weapons thing? That could draw some ire. Also just…you're filthy rich and super successful. Some people don't like to see either thing. You have enemies because you have done so well, and that's probably pretty much the long and short of it."

She offers him the little wrapped package. "Anyway, cheer up, not everyone hates you. A present from Wakanda, just like I promised."

Should he open it, he'll find it's a piece of artwork as only the Wakandans can do it. It's a hologram sculpture, one that feels almost solid to the touch but which shifts and changes. It makes a sphere, which blooms into a complex geometric flower, which then builds on itself to become a dodecahedron, and onward and onward until it is this very complex multi-dimensional shape with hundreds of lines and connections, all glowing in a pale blue color. Then the cycle starts again. It goes slow; it's not eye-blinding or migraine inducing at all.

"I think," she says, "It's sort of about human advancement. Or maybe just building things…starting with something very simple, like a sheet of metal, and then you just…make it more and more complex until you get something like one of your suits, or a rocket, or a containment unit, or a flying car. Or it's just a bunch of pretty shapes." Jessica grins. "I'm not much of an art critic."

"Of course not everyone hates me, I'm Tony Stark. Most people love me!" The man replies with a smirk towards her as he grins for a moment. The sandwich is gone at this point. In fact he looks pretty damn energised.

He's good for a few more hours now.

…and that goes to a few more days when she pulls out the statue.

"Oh my…" He stares at the statue. Then at her. Then at the statue. Then at her. "You brought me back something from Wakanda."

And then he just kisses her. Right then and there.

…which could be awkward. And suprising. And something.

A beatpause. Hands on her shoulders as he pulls back and blinks. "…too much?"

But then he's turning again towards the statue. Poking it. Prodding it. "JARVIS scan this thing!" He calls out as he watches the thing going though its cycles. "You brought me something back from Wakanda!" He repeats. "Its Wakanda tech. Actual Wakanda tech! I can touch it and poke it and I didn't have to break any international laws to get it!"

All anger and annoyance is forgotten.

It does produce a moment of wide eyed wtf, this sudden kiss, but it's over before she can even begin to react to it, and he's asking if it's too much and exclaiming over it, and she just…lets it go. It's not something she expects will ever happen again, and she's far from feeling threatened by such things. Not here, not from Tony.

And since she doesn't take it as any sort of secret expression of deep feelings for her, something that might require her to address them given she is currently seeing someone, she just takes it for the excitement it actually was. She's not sure how technologically advanced something she found in a market is, but they were willing to sell it to her so she hopes, at least, it won't be too bad. She had brought Rizza along to make the actual purchase with her Kimoyo beads, but she'd made it clear to the seller it was for a friend back home. There's no vibranium in it at all, either.

"I'm glad you like it," she says in amusement. She hasn't bought a lot of presents before, but it's pleasing to see this one go over so well. She hadn't entirely been sure what to get, for the man that has everything.

Wakandan tech-art, apparently!

She slides off the crate she's made her temporary perch, adding, "I should probably get Pepper her stuff too. And meet her face to face."

Is he even hearing her at this point?

He's totally not listening to a word she's saying, is he?

"Yeah sure Pepper, do stuff." Tony says with a wave of his hand. "Just…stuff." A pause. "And things." The man replies with a shake of his head again.

Oh yeah. He's entirely distracted.

"Like it? I love it. I might take it apart. Can I take it apart? Would you be mad if I take it apart? Don't be mad if I take it apart…"

"Are you kidding?" Jessica says, with a smirk. "Tony Stark, I'm no idiot. I wouldn't have bought anything I didn't expect you to take apart."

Sure, it's art, but really, Tony can fix it, she's not particularly concerned about that. And it's true. She did look with an eye towards…'Tony needs something he can take apart.' The other criteria was, 'something relatively harmless so I don't cause an International incident and end up on trial.'

"Have fun," she says warmly. Seeing him happy is good. He's done a lot for her and her family, and that's not stuff she forgets.

In the meantime, she's got Pepper to see and a crime to deal with, so she ambles back out of the room, commenting to JARVIS, "At least he ate first."

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