Tony Stark: Christmas Hero

December 21, 2017:

If you need a medical dose of vice and escapism, you do not dabble with amateurs. On escapism and vice, there's no greater expert than Tony Stark.

Stark Tower


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Normally, she'd ask for an invitation. She might even wait for one. She'd make an appointment, perhaps.

Tonight, Emma does none of those things.

Obadiah has given her some access to things, and all should fear that.

'Tony,' she texts as she enters the building. 'I'm in your building. Touching your things.'

Dressed to the nines, she's wrapped in a white rabbit fur stole and a long-sleeved, off the shoulder mini-dress that might as well have been painted on. Her hair falls in luxurious curls, and her nails sparkle with red glitter.

'Whatever will you do about it?'

Nevermind the fact that she hasn't even left the lobby.

But, there's a point to be made, and so one red-lacquered nail reaches out to set itself defiantly down on whatever furniture happens to be closest to the doors.

The lobby is fairly quiet, not quite deserted. Most people have been given the week off. Back to visit family and friends, all except for a few holdouts. One of these people would be the man himself.

A little bing of his text message comes from a corner of a screen near him and he glances up in suprise. A quick read. "JARVIS? Show her up would you?"

Down the lobby a voice would sound quite close to Emma, even though there isn't really anyone standing around.

"Miss Frost?" The voice english, refined, increadibily polite and deferential. "I am JARVIS, please. Mister Stark asked me to show you up." And near to where she stands an elevator slides open smoothly, the little box waiting paitently for her to enter.

When she does? The ride is smooth and without a stop up to the upper reaches of the Tower of Stark.

When the door slides open to reveal what looks like a workshop. No suits lying around though. Beyond the pair of them behind glass in the back wall. Dozens of gadgets and doodads lie scattered across a myriad of workbenches.

And leaning against one of them is Tony Stark.

Sleeveless t-shirt and blue jeans, he is a far cry from her impeccable taste. A bit of grease spread across his cheek, more covering hands that he is in the process of cleaning off with a cloth. He still comes across as entirely comfortable in what he's wearing as he was when touring her yacht.

"So I've been trying to think of an response that wouldn't get me slapped while you rode up." He drawls with a smirk on his face. "But I can't think of any, so I'll just say I like it when you touch my things."

Tony's building is far more gadgety than her own, and JARVIS gets a sharp look. Or… well. He would if he weren't a disembodied voice. But Emma can follow instructions.

When she wants to, anyway.

And so it is, with her kitten heels clacking against the tile floor, that one CEO enters the elevator belonging to another to start the ascent up. "Thank you, JARVIS," she says to the AI, with only a little bit of a self-conscious note, even as she tucks her phone away into her purse and then tucks her purse up under her arm.

When the doors open, she's out of them with a sway, an uneven smile, and a teasing bite of her lower lip. "Tsk, tsk," she reprimands mildly. "Even if you did find something else to say, you'd probably still be thinking it." Her eyes sparkle with amusement, despite the chastisement.

Her purse is set… Well, if there is a clean surface somewhere, it'll go there. "You're working late," she notes a moment later, as though Stark wasn't aware. "Does that mean that I can't lure you out of your cave tonight?"

Oh there are a few clean spaces, though Tony Stark is prolific in his work. Maddeningly prolific, some would say. The inventor laughs though as he shakes his head. "Can't fool you can I, Emma?" He says with bright eyes and a easy smile. "I totally would be. Especially when you're dressed like that. You're like living distraction."

He flashes her a grin as he tosses down his towel and lets his head cant to one side. "You want my company? This close to Christmas? You must either hate yourself or be desperate." He returns with a laugh before he shakes his head. "But I'm always working."

He glances back over his assortment of gadgets. "If I don't who will, eh?"

A shrug again, this time to roll away from any possible meaning behind those words to grin easily at her. "But consider myself lured. What did you have in mind?"

"Is it nearly Christmas?" Emma asks, playing dumb as her eyes slip upwards towards the ceiling. "How did I miss that? I'll have to talk to my assistant about that."

Moving a little closer, Frost lets one long-fingered hand float ethereally beside her. "Well, I suppose it's too late to pretend that I knew that," she very much did, "so I will have to just move forward, bravely, in this reality."

A fur-wrapped shoulder shrugs as she tucks her chin and offers more seriously: "Maybe we go somewhere that we can pretend it's not and just amuse ourselves until it's all over? There must be somewhere in the world that we can go that isn't desperately poor, unbearably hot, or obnoxiously cold. Then I can pretend that I wasn't so calloused as to forget it was nearly Christmas."

"Uh huh," Tony isn't dumb. And Tony knows that Emma isn't dumb either. So why she's playing dumb to the question is something that has him curious. A quirked eyebrow is arced towards her, the question in his eyes for right now remains unsaid.

Though it is thought of course. He can't help it. Just somewhere in the unending stream of Stark's mind wondering just whats caused that reaction.

"Man, you don't ask for the easy things do ya?" Is what he says though with a laugh. "Those search paramaters are pretty specific. I wouldn't call it calloused, maybe distracted though. Which is different from distracting. Which you are that as well."

A few taps of a finger on the desk.

"Maui? Up in the moutains somewhere? Though that might take a bit of time to get to, at least an hour or two."

At that look from Tony, there is an unspoken something right back at him. A pause. A heartbeat's pause.

And then she's right back to the act. "A couple of hours?" Her dark lips quirk in disgust. "As in, hiking? Or can we… find a chopper to take us up?"

The woman moves closer, making sure not to get so close as to get whatever machine filth might be around on her pristine clothes. "But I can get behind being hours away from everyone. From everything. Come down just long enough to eat and shop, and then…" Skittering fingers walk up an invisible incline, like the Yellow Pages on a tilt. "It seems like a fine plan to me." A beat, and then her lips twist up in a puckish pull to one side. "So… we leave tonight? Tomorrow. As long as we're in the air no later than Saturday, we should be able to avoid the whole bloody affair."

"Seriously?" Tony was more than half joking and the suprise is more than half joking. A quirked eyebrow. "What the old bald guy and the rest of the kids over there put on too loud of a Christmas play or something?" The man asks with a flash of a grin towards her before he shrugs slightly.

"JARVIS? Do I have anything planned?" A glance back at Emma. "AI. Gotta love em."

"No, sir." Comes the reply. "Miss Potts and Mister Rhodes will both be with their famlies as far as I know. I believe everyone else has the day off." A slight shrug then from the inventor.

"We can leave whenever. And come on Emma," A smirk. "Chopper? This is me. Do you think I don't have a jet that can land like a chopper?"

Tony Stark's problem solving is usually fling money at it till it works.

A glance down at himself. "I should change. And shower first I think." He adds with a smirk, looking at her over the rims of his glasses. "Care to join me?"

Then he's turning away, full of energy. Offer delivered and either getting a smirk or a slap he doens't care which. "And then you can tell me whats actually bothering you. Cause I know you know that I'm smart enough to figure out when something is bothering you."

Seriously? Yes, the lift of Emma's eyebrows tells Tony, very much seriously.

At the risk of encouraging him, Stark earns not just a smirk but a chuckle for his shower comment. She does, however, pick up that towel with two fingers and lightly hurl in his direction. There, declination made.

But then he's onwards further still, as Tony so often is, with his thoughts and his observations. And Emma is about to continue on in her favorite lies. Her lips part, and one is ready to emerge atop her serpent's tongue. "I know," she offers instead a moment later, wrapping her arms around her own waist. "It's stupid, and not worth mentioning. …But it's definitely worth going to Maui over, so don't try to renegotiate."

Stark needs no encouragement. Really. He is a font of his own encouragement.

He does catch the tower though with a laugh as he dissipears into a back room. His voice though still attacks her, just without the backup of her smarmy face as the sound of running water is in the background.

"Oh, no renegotiation. I know better than that with you. I'll lose every time." Comes his voice with amusement to it. "But…you know. Still. If its not that big a thing then its not that hard to mention. Thats just logical now isn't it?" He probes. "I mean, not that I'm the touchy feely sort but I know a lot about escapism."

Now that he can't actually see her, the smile on Emma's lips fades and she looks down for a moment. Looks down, and then starts looking around the room. Milling here and there to peer at things for something else to think about.

It's a sound logic he levels at her from the comfort of his hot shower, and it leaves her without an immediate retort. If it isn't a big thing… Except that it feels that way. "Oh, you know," she drawls, distracted as she looks at the bit of work he'd just been fiddling with. "Little peons saying stupid little peon things. Sounding like idiots. Blah blah blah."

There are dozens of distractions around the lab. No suits. Maybe this wasn't one of the majorly restricted labs. Who knows. What he was working on though is an intricate little thing. No bigger than a wristwatch or a broach. Full of electronics, miniturised on a scale that boggles the mind. Even the table that she pokes at is mostly a hologram, a larger blow-up of a the intricate inner workings of the object.

Which does resemble a sapphire brooch.

"Huh," A beatpause from the voice, obviously moving around from the distortion of the features. "Well if they sounded like idiots they likely are idiots. Or at least asshats. Thats a great word you know, very visual." The inventor replies with a smirk that she can hear if not see.

As she pokes it though, the little brooch unfolds. Blossoming with light and sound into a flitting fairy which shifts into a hummingbird then back again. All do ne in brilliant holographic imagery. A tune goes with it, old and sprightly all at once. Like a musicbox given life as it dances around Emma trailing blue-white afterimages along the way.

Crap! Crap, crap, crap, crap, it's doing things, and he's going to know she was touching his things without permission. There's a momentary panic which overrides some of the due wonder, and there's a sound of Emma fumbling and trying to find a shut off button. Off, off, off!

"Yes, well," she continues with a tight voice, a little more loudly to try to cover the sound of her turned back and her frantic efforts. "The problem with idiots is that they don't know when to keep their mouths shut."

"Well, no, they don't," Comes the reply as Emma desperately fiddles with the brooch to get it to shut off. "Hence them being idiots. I'm gonna go out of a limb though and say this wasn't just any idiot and they said something more than just the typical idiocy. Since. You know. You actually listened to it. And you don't strike me as the kind of person to always listen to idiots."

A beatpause as he goes silent a moment before the door slides open and Stark remerges, clean, slightly damp, and wearing things that are not so grease stained. A sharp looking buisness suit, pinstripes of one notices those things.

He smirks just slightly.

"Second to the left facet." He says easily enough before moving right along.

"Music box." He adds after a moment, and by way of explination of what she was poking at.

Also he still isn't wearing shoes.

He wiggles his toes and smirks slightly towards her. "You know," He adds after a moment of thought. "You do have carte blanche to tell me to go to hell and mind my own business."

Emma's eyes close tightly as she's discovered, and then she taps lightly at the specified facet so that it once again sits silently. Then she turns, smiling the smile of the caught and guilty. "Would you stop being insightful? It's more than a little unnerving when you do that."

It's a caustic quip. But it's toxicity is perhaps a touch reduced by the uncomfortable turn of her lips that say he's a little closer to home than she'd like. She tilts her hand in the air, setting it at an angle demonstratively. "The whole world just feels off-balance now."

"If I left you feeling nerved all the time you'd get bored of me." Tony points out. "And then all sorts of horrible things might happen." A pause. "Nerved? Would that be the opposite of unnerved? Normal I guess? Though everything is far from normal around here."

The inventor just shrugs slightly. "Well like I said. You can tell me to go to hell any time you like. Maui is still in the cards even if you do. I'm used to people telling me to go to hell. I'm an asshole after all."

He grin at that. Always insulting himself. Making fun of himself. Almost as much as he toots his own horn. Everyone is a little bit unbalanced.

He tilts his head slightly towards her. "Well then, what would make it balance out again?"

This is the advantage of being friends with Tony Stark. …Aside from the ability to say 'let's go to Maui' and away they go.

Because they are a partnership of horrible, indulging the worst places in each other in all of the best ways.

Emma closes the distance between them, the scent of her perfume mingling with all of the fragrance from his shower, her smile coming back as she lifts her hands to run them along the lapel of his jacket with its fine pin stripes. "I don't know," she tells him, and there's more honesty in those three words than she could ever adequately explain. "You don't have an invention for that yet?"

Vices are something that Tony Stark understands. Vices and escapism. The desperate desire to not have to deal with strange fuzzy things known as emotions. He knows the signs. He knows what to look for. Mostly because he can see them all in the mirror.

That doesn't mean though that he judges or hates or dispises those who have them. That just means he knows he can't rightly cast stones.

And he knows he is weak to them. But that doesn't mean that he dislikes them. It just means he understands.

"No not yet," He replies with a raised eyebrow as he slips an arm around her waist. "But if you give me till morning I might can figure something out. It'll require a lot of testing though. If you're up for it."

Feelings are complicated. They give power to the wrong things. To the wrong people.

And then at all the wrong times, emotions will inevitably beat you up like a two-bit carjacker on the wrong side of town. So it's refreshing to find someone who understands it, and just lets her… Be herself. She veils, and he knows, and she knows that he knows and that he cared enough to ask. And that is more than enough. He doesn't push, doesn't insist. It's an understanding.

As that arm settles around her trim waist, a wicked curve turns Emma's mouth upwards. "For this noble endeavor, darling, I shall find a way to persevere."

Then, taking that small gesture as permission, her lips come racing up to crush against his, desperate and wanting, as she pulls upon his lapels.

Because vices and escapism are just what the doctor ordered.

That gesture was indeed permission. And she would find the kiss reciprocated in kind. Warm and still with the faint smell of something machined about him after the shower he comes up for air for only a moment.

"JARVIS, get the plane fueled and ready for tomarrow. And cancel my meetings would you? I'll be in Maui if something serious comes up. Like the end of the world."

A pause as he glances back towards Emma and a wicked smirk.

"In fact, I'm pretty sure even then just tell them to leave a voicemail."

He might be being used. He might be a font of bad ideas and vices. But that doesn't mean he isn't going to enjoy it.

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