Rifts and Rooftops

November 25, 2018:

Natasha and She-Hulk find Tony on the roof of the Avenger's mansion.

Avenger's Mansion (exterior)


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

There was damage at the Avengers Mansion during the demonic invasion, but the demons had been dispelled and sent away… far away to harm some other place, or just themselves. You see, demons are like that, cold and awful, mean and cruel, leaving behind wreckage and misery wherever they go. But in their wake, rebuilding must take place, people must move forward to reclaim the life and peace that almost everyone seeks.

Natasha is over seeing the Avengers Mansion being repair, she's hired workers to come in and case the joint… Tony approved workers of course, the kind he generally uses to help fix and repair stuff when its broken. He probably owns the company in fact, she doesn't know, she didn't look that deeply into it.

It was also only the western side of the building that was damaged, along with the lawn outside and one of the exterior walls. Its quiet now, the evening, the work crews are gone and Natasha is walking through one of the hallways, she shuts a couple of doors and puts her hands into her black leather jacket pockets as she walks, near silently toward the main foyer where the stairs to the other levels are.

There's a slamming sound overhead on the roof, and then some long scraping sounds. Some roof tiles were knocked loose, and go sliding and then fall past the window, crashing loudly: one into a drainage pipe, the other into a bush, and a third flipping off the drainpipe to land in a crash on part of a walkway.

Somebody's arrived on the roof, and it's something of a harrowing arrival. Tony set his feet onto the lower drainage of the roof edge and rests for the moment on his back, both arms loose to sides, taking in a deep breath. He draws the sunglasses out of the front of his shirt and sets them on his face, to block some of the cutting late-day sun out. He rests his head back. And breathes.

Another piece of roofing falls away with a clatter, but he just shifts his footing a little bit. This is not his first time on a roof, though usually a suit of some kind is involved!

Ever since the demons went back to whatever hellish realm they had emerged from, Shulkie had been working on checking in and seeing where she might be of help. The law office was still closed, so she found herself bored out of her mind. Not a good state.

She'd already helped SHIELD with some of their heavy lifting for repairs. So she opted to see if the Avengers might be able to use her particular skill set. Not likely with all those little bots belonging to Tony Stark but one never knew until one asked.

The knock at the front door announced they had a visitor although the security system probably had already done so before she got that close.

As it so happens Natasha is walking past a large window on the side of the house that the 'thing' just slams into the bush of outside. She stops when she hears the thudding on the roof above, and outside and her green eyes pan upward. She stares skyward for a few seconds before she mutters. "Too early for Santa…"

Then the doorbell rings and an A.I. voice announces who it is outside that just rang it. "Hmmm…" Natasha's eyes lower again and she passes into the foyer and to the front door. "Clear it." She tells the A.I. who deactivates security and opens the door.

On the other side of the door she sees the esteemed lawyer and she nods once toward her. "You didn't just happen to arrive here via a… sleigh of some make or design did you?" She asks She-Hulk then.

No less than four robot drones have come up to check out Tony on the roof, and each taking turns doing various scans of his head in a thorough manner. "Yes I'm me. Really," Tony comments to the robots without really looking at them, rubbing a hand up from his forehead into his hair. Some bits of glass and debris fall out, and he brushes off his shoulder and shirt tiredly. Three of the robots buy that he is who he is, but the last one persists, coming in for another close scan. "What do you want, a urine sample?" Tony says irritably, waving it away. The 'bot seems to accept the voice print as Tony, and gets out of his face.

The security system below updates that the intruder above is not an intruder, and any alarms end just as they had gotten started.

"Well, hold /on,/ come back here," Tony relents, and the little drone cruises back over.

"No, left my sleigh at home and opted to just hoof it over here," Shulkie responds, looking a little surprised at the question but rolling with everything despite that fact. Whatever would a sleigh have to do with anything?

"I just came by to see if you guys needed help with clean-up?" she asks/offers in the same sentence.

Natasha sloooowly upnods to She-hulk, then a quick downward nod. "Absolutely we need help." She tells the power house of a lawyer. "If I had to describe the leve of how much this place needs help, versus how much it doesn't need help… it'd be at least a ten versus a zero. At least."

When the panel beside the doorway beeps with a security update, Natasha looks over at it and she sees the live footage of Tony on the roof being previously scanned and annoyed by the robots, she can hear what he says to them in the video as well.

"It was Santa after all." She quietly mutters before she steps outside and walks past She-hulk. "Glad to have you here, in fact, because well… Yeah, we really need a lot of help." Once outside and several steps away, Natasha turns and looks up at the roof. "Tony!?" She shouts upward into the sky. "Stark!" She shouts again. "Don't use the chimney! It doesn't work like that in real life!" She could run all the way up to see him, but he seemed fairly okay in the video she'd just seen of him.

"Really? Then the rest of my day is ruined, and Pym is going to win a bet," Tony calls back down in a cheeky tone, then sits up a little more to look at the other person with Natasha. "Hi," Tony raises his voice to greet She-Hulk, with a wave of hand. He confers a little more with the robot: in terms of that he had opened the side of it to give himself a control panel, and sends it away by rapping on it twice on the 'face'. The drone buzzes off, panel still open.

Seeing as Tony has been missing for a while, this is something of an unusual situation. Or he's drunk, which is not at all an unusual situation.

"We should repair this roof next," Tony suggests, starting to look around his feet more, as if to decide the best route for not being up there. Not that he'd be anything other than casual about the situation.

Santa?! Shulkie follows Natasha back away from the building and looks toward the roof in hopes of spying the elusive elf. Instead, it's a not so elusive genius billionaire philantrophist playboy. Or something like that.

As one who is not part of the team, she wasn't aware he was missing. Nor that he didn't get up there on his own through normal means. "Not much of a roofer but I'm good at holding stuff in place while it's fixed," she says loud enough for him to hear way up there. She glances at Natasha. "Does he normally do the inspections himself?" She sounds almost impressed.

Natasha was already on it… She's walking westward through the yard toward some of the supplies left over by the repairmen who were working on the garage's roof. She's moving toward a large silver and blue extendable ladder and she's gathering it up and walking back toward the direction of the yard that is in correspondence with where Stark is up top.

"Did you see that movie, Christmas Vacation?" Natasha says up to the roof. "Use this ladder, but don't fall." As she steadies it and extends it high enough that its up where he is, she looks over to She-Hulk.

"See?" She says, gently shaking her head right to left. "We need a lot of help around here. We have Stark's stuck on roofs. Clint's probably in the backyard trying to find arrows lost in the yard after someone said they could shoot his bow just as good as he can." That was her, she did that, she was wrong. "And just the other night, Spider-man was here… for some reason."

Nat looks back up to the top of the ladder. "I'll hold onto it, its safe." And she does! She's not mean, holding onto a ladder is serious business.

"You are a gem. Remind me to upgrade you, though: somehow you've gotten out of date," Tony says as the drone returns with small hand-panel that looks a great deal like some kind of personal mobile device or tablet. Tony has a lot of those. He passes his thumb over it, quickly doing a combination of keys.

From the east wing, two suit-builder drones come buzzing out, with knee and feet sections of one of the newer prototype Iron Man armor sets. They arrange them into bright red and silver space looking boots around Tony's feet. Two more come not long after with palm panels, and he calmly catches them and loops them onto his hands. With complete confidence now that his tech is at hand (literally), he pushes to stand up and does actually look at the damage, as if just taking it in.

"Don't take this as me distrusting your ladder," Tony assures Natasha. "Take it as that I've been falling out of some kind of teleportation portals and if it happens again, I'd like to control my fall into a more stylish version."

"Also, it's my ladder, so." Naturally he trusts it. "There's an anchoring mechanism on the side, if you push it," he describes, pointing to the left side of the ladder near Natasha's hand, while climbing down to start to use the ladder. There's some forced agility, he's banged up, but no sense in showing it.

Not that she's needed but Shulkie goes to the opposite side of the ladder and puts her hand on the side to help hold it in place. "Why was he stuck…" Before she can finish asking Natasha that question, Tony is explaining how he got there.

"Those rift things people are seeing? I've been lucky enough to avoid them so far. You went through one? What was on the other side? Or you just got ported to the roof?"

Natasha looks up to see Stark has some of his gear on again to help him out just in case there's more falling to be had. "I don't consider it an insult what so ever." She says up to the man then before she glances at She-Hulk, her left hand then triggers the anchoring mechanism to lock the ladder in place in the ground. "Hmmm.." She steps back then to let the wild inventor and new found portal traveling expert come down to the ground and join them.

"Its just good to have you back, a lot of people are still missing." She glances to the lawyer again then. "They seem to be popping up randomly and disappearing again after grabbing someone up. We're not sure whats causing it yet. A lot of high profile people have been taken, but a lot of regular… low profile people have as well. Could just be a tactic to throw us off the trail so to speak."

She slides her hands into her leather jacket pockets then and looks to Stark. "A couple of Justice Leaguers were here the other night also, with that Gotham kid who's apparently on our team. And apparently has one of your suits specially designed for her? I'm still waiting for mine." She says that last part in a very dry sort've way to show just how offended she is she doesn't have her own suit.

"WHAT DAY IS IT?" Tony asks dramatically, in mock shock. He's kidding, and shows it quickly: "I kid. Sort of. I've been in and out of them." He checks the device the robot brought him. "Two … no, over two week now. Ouch, that sure adds up. Well, I amplified a 'rift' to do some tests and it's been informative," Tony replies, brushing it off as fine, but he does rub along one side of his jaw and cheek with his fingers. His shaving is not so immaculate: he's lost time somewhere away from proper grooming tools.

"Reality has some tears in it. Try not to spread that around, though, I'm not sure other people will react well," Tony says more quietly as he dismounts the ladder and looks from Natasha up to She-Hulk. He gives her a closer, harder look. "You are green, right? I don't know if I need to add more symptoms to my list of rift-travel pleasure," Tony questions. Natasha's information gets a puzzled side-eye. "Someone with a suit? Doesn't sound like one of mine. Probably something-something-Gotham. We'll find out, I guess," Tony replies with a thoughtful little stare, and then a shrug. He's not worried. Or he's tired.

"You amplified one?" See what Shulkie caught in all that? "That sounds like something that's a little crazy to do when we don't know what or why they are. Well, you know the what. Which gets you one fifth of the way to your lead sentence for journalism but not much else."

She does give a bit of a grin though. "Yeah, I'm green the last time I checked. Goes with that whole gamma radiation thing."

"I'm not sure I'm going to react well to that." Natasha quips about the concept of reality having tears in it. She looks to She-Hulk and then back to Stark as they exchange words. "She's here to help us, and I've heard of some of her work, she's a reliable source of help. Sorta like Banner, but… more together, more predictable, no… more reliable?" She sighs. "There's really no way to describe it and not sound mean."

Natasha steps back onto the sidewalk and off of the mansion's grassy yard. "You need to contact Pepper, its been two weeks… she's, struggling, Tony." The redhead tells him. "Give her a phone call, go see her, whatever you need to do. Refresh yourself and we can tackle whats going on with a rejuvenated vigor, yeah?"

"Some of my best friends are green; it can't be easy. But welcome," Tony offers smoothly to She-Hulk, rousing energy out of somewhere to flash one of his patented, slightly smoking charismatic smiles to her. "Particularly if I heard right about repairs. I will happily delegate all sorts of repairs, while I work on the rest of my 'lead sentence.'"

The comment about Pepper does draw some grounded sense to Tony's gaze, and he nods once, smooth, to Natasha. "She's the best, she'll be fine," he assures her. "But of course I'll check in. I have a shower in my future, first. Possibly being unconscious for a few days, but I'll rein it in, seeing as it's the fabric of reality at stake," he says, flippant, but there's a focused awareness. "If, ha ha, I disappear again, assume I'm saving reality." He smiles aside to She-Hulk with a wink, and starts to head inside.

Shulkie laughs. Only it starts like a real laugh only to turn into that sort of sarcastic mocking laugh. "Yeah, never heard that one before." Then she's smirking again. "I would've though you'd come up with something better than Kermit references. Must be the two weeks in the Land of the Rifts."

She does give Natasha a reassuring smile. "It's okay, you can say it. My cousin has some serious issues and thankfully, mine are completely different. Seems the gamma sort of enhances the areas we tended to repress before our changes."

Natasha doesn't like to pry into other people's relationships and to be honest, she tried her best to relay Pepper's concern, its up to Tony now to follow through, all the same she has a bemused expression on her face as she moves to follow after him into his old family's home that was now the avengers main base of operations. "Do you want me to order you some fast food?" She asks him though. "Have it sent up to your room inside one of those silver domed platters, because taking that dome off of a selection of Taco Bell's finest eats is such a 'stark' contrast in classiness versus… fast food."

On the way inside she looks to She-Hulk. "Well, I can tell right now that I prefer your issues over his. I'm sorry if thats offensive, considering I've no idea what yours are. Always willing to help with yours though, if I'm able." She's tried to help Banner too, when he's reached out to her in the past, but he was sort've in his own place now, dealing with his problems on his own terms and she wanted him to have his space.

"If you want to spend two weeks reappearing in various places you don't want to be in, I /can/ arrange it," Tony replies teasingly, easygoing, over his shoulder as he starts to walk, smiling. He never minds being razzed. "Though it can't be easy to be friends with /me/, not the green part," Tony parries.

"I've heard things. They're probably mostly true." Shameless as ever, Tony seems to really consider Natasha's offer. "Order pizza. If we graduate to fanciness, it will be using plates, not directly out of the box," he decides. "If I'm awake, I'll come down and have some. Otherwise, get what you two would like," Tony finishes: generous, in his own way.

"If you're inviting me to that meal, better make it two pizzas," Shulkie says. "I'm a growin' gal so…" She leaves it at that. Basically, one pizza would be for her and they could split the other one. "You can work out the cost of it when I'm helping with the repairs."

She considers a moment then shrugs. "Not sure I need help with my issues though. I mean, my alter ego is meek and mild mannered. I'm the opposite. That whole inhibitions thing sort of went out the window. I did the angry thing for a while but that was because I wasn't happy about the circumstances surrounding my change. Got over it obviously since I went from Savage to Sensational in the title!" What title? Better not to ask.

Natasha pauses at the intersection that is the main foyer and she looks to Tony as he refines the concept of a near future meal for all of them. "Pizza, got it. Lazarios it is then." Which is a little place not far from here, there's a Dominos nearby, but Nat only goes there for the soda fountain that lets you design your own soda, those things are just phenomenal… nevermind Clint hassling her for drinking soda at all. "Two pizzas." She shows a small smirk at She-hulk then and leans against the edge of the staircase's bannister.

"Meek and mild mannered?" The redhead quietly 'tsks' and shakes her head once from right to left. "I'm going to have to take your alter ego to the gun range. I'll get the meek and mild manneredness right out of her with a weapon capable of knocking a world war two tank over onto its side." She shows her a lopsided grin then before she pushes off of the bannister and slaps a hand down onto its wooden surface with a audible 'slap' sound. "Okay, I'm going into the kitchen to place the orders. I'll get whatever special they got going on. Their stuff is the best, no matter what it is."

Tony snaps his fingers and points evenly at Natasha. He's on a mission, so he's already cleared a lot of the stairs. "Three, it's fine. Somehow I'll find a spot in my budget to afford it," Tony says, amused, but he isn't poking fun about money. He generally doesn't do that, or think of his money in terms of putting others down about it. He just doesn't think of money as an obstacle when it comes to small things like pizza.

"And we'll work it out of you," Tony adds, before some exhaustion breaches his smile and he disappears upstairs to sort himself out with feeling better. And some headache medicine, and a phone call, and a pile of other things he didn't mention. There's so much to do….

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