Green Eggs and Ham

March 05, 2019:

Pepper arrives early to get Tony ready for his book reading for the new orphanage they helped open. Daily things are discussed…just another day in paradise.

Stark Tower


NPCs: Happy Hogan



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

This time of day, Tony is usually still in bed or down in the Bunker working on… something. So it is probably to everyone, including his own, great surprise that he's sitting at the long glass table in the dining room with a Stark-tablet fanning out some light reading while enjoying breakfast. His hair is neatly combed, his goatee is freshly manicured, and he's wearing a suit.

There's still Pantara playing over the speakers set in the wall, but come on? The guy drug his butt out of bed on time for a change… AND made breakfast… or had breakfast made for him, but does that actually matter? No it does not matter.

Sipping his coffee with a furrowed brow as he reads, the page turns easily with the brush of his thumb against the top left corner.


The day is already off to a GREAT start by Pepper standards which means she is in overload mode. The click of her navy pumps heralds her arrival in the penthouse after the passcode is entered. Her expression is one of surprise for what she sees and her quick steps start to slow. "I see that I am not needed today. Which is a nice surprise." There is that sardonic smile that pulls at her painted lips before she walks over with her folders an paperwork, jacket on her arm so that beautiful white silk sleeveless blouse is shown off for a time.

"Don't you actually look like the Cee-Ee-Oh of a large profitable company. Who did you pay to help drag you out of bed because I did not have that honor this. morning." Not that she remembers but then when Pepper is moving she flies half the times on auto pilot. "So the car is ready, Happy is waiting for us downstairs so that we can get to the orphanage and take photos before the ribbon cutting and reading." She then pulls a fresh, glossy hardcover copy of Green Eggs and Ham on the counter beside him. "To familiarize yourself if you have not already. I have several copies so if you forget that one, worry not."


Tony keeps eating his toast with only a glance up when Pepper enters the apartment. He looks in her direction, but not directly at her, then goes back to looking down at the datapad without saying a word. Another page turns on his Stark-tablet as he reaches over for his coffee to take another drink.

"It's extraordinary isn't it?" Tony asks her from the doorway into his bedroom. Wearing a bathrobe, hair still wet, but his beard actually is manicured. "I installed them a few weeks ago.." Motioning around the room at… well technically nothing. Tony snaps his finger and the figure at the table flickers three times then disappears, "Holographic projection lenses.. you know the ones I use down in the Bunker to make three dimensional diagrams. Well…"

He heads over to the chair where his image was sitting and picks up a small disk, which he wiggles at her with a huge grin, "Now it's portable." Held out to her, "I was going to say you could put this in the chair at the Orphanage opening, but I feel like that would cross some line even I couldn't come back from.." Still, ".. it's pretty great right?"


As Tony continues to eat with no response immediately, Pepper begins to arch a brow and has another retort for his held tongue until he speaks. But he does not speak the real him speaks and startles her a moment as she looks up and stares at his undressed still wet form. Lips press together in a thin line as her voice lowers slightly into that -this is not funny we have things to do- tone with a hint of levity. "It seems to me you work harder at finding ways to be lazy."

She reaches down to grasp up the book and hand it to him as an exchange for the portable holoemitter - which gets slipped into the pocket of her skirt after a brief gander down at it. "I am going to keep this just in case you were of the mind to try it. The fact you had time to even replicate the -suit- I picked out for you is minorly disturbing." She draws a breath and turns hims about by the shoulders. "Go. Please get dressed we have to leave in ten minutes if we are to beat traffic. I have a few more things for you to look over on the ride there."

She sighs and turns a moment to look at the now empty chair. "Why do I get my hopes up."


"Hey! That's a prototype!" Tony puts up only the smallest bit of protest, since he's more or less done with the thing now anyways. It has served its purpose and can now retreat to Pepper's pocket, where prototype devices go to die. "I couldn't sleep…" As if this is a perfectly acceptable and understandable argument as to why he spent all night building the thing in the first place.

He does accept the book and even leafs through the pages as she turns him by the shoulder and angles him back towards his room. "Is it too late to higher an actor to stand in for me? How about Robert Downey Junior? That guy hasn't done much since Tropic Thunder.." Still reading Seus as he disappears into the bedroom to change. "You know, I could take the suit?" The Iron Man suit, that is. "Hit them with a three point landing… a little shock and awe show." Shouting so that she can hear him in the other room.

He goes about getting dressed while explaining his vision of events.


"And you can have it back when have done your good deed for the day," is Pepper's counter. She puts a hand on her hips and motions with her finger for him to, "Go." Watching him start off with the book, she tilts her head like some patient mother hen who is trying to get her kid to school and not time without gaining more grey hairs. She turns and reaches down for her phone and begins to dial Happy. Bringing the phone to her ear she glances up at Tony and shakes her head. "We want them to pay attention to the reading, not shock and awe them as Ironman."

He's at least getting dressed and when Happy picks up Pepper says simpler with a dip of her chin and an about face with a turn on her heel, "Yes. We will be right on time. No. Of course not. We will be down soon."

Pepper planned ahead and got up here with plenty of time to spare. That is if he does not decide they need to go to Thailand again. Tony Whims (tm). "You do remember how to put on a tie right?" This is called out to him as she hangs up on Happy.


"As if they don't know it in the back of their heads… Mark my words, halfway through Sam I am and they'll be shouting, I am Iron Man." Tony predicts as he begins to button his dark grey shirt at the mirror. The blue glow from the reactor in his chest draws his gaze, as it always does, and a bit of a pained expression strains his features for the briefest of seconds. Once it's gone, it's gone, but his usual banter follows with it and leaves him dreadfully quiet in the room as he continues to cloth himself like an adult.

When he finally steps back out into the apartment proper, he's sliding on the designer cut coat and buttoning the third button just below the two hanging halves of his tie. "Of course I do. I call Carter down in Financing and have him come do it for me… you know, that guy is a wizard with a checkbook, but he does a Winzor Knot like nobodies business."

To show he's only teasing, mostly, he begins to tie himself off with expert hands. Once he's tucked the knut up beneath his collar and pulled them both down into place, he whips out a pair of very expensive shades and slides them onto his face. Fingers comb back into his short hair and leave it in a backwards wild spike style. "Alright, let's go edu-tain some kids, huh?"


"They still get to see you," Pepper points out and is busy dealing with a few things. Her tablet is being employed and making itself in disposable as she reads through a few messages. "Is that so?" This is said distractedly as he talks about Windsor Knots. "Do you think he wants an internship as your personal assistant?" Its banter, really because no one can do what Pepper does like Pepper does it. Even if she is not a wizard at a Windsor Knot.

She lifts her eye once he starts to tie the silk himself and she sets down her pad. Setting down her own jacket from her arm the immaculate assistant reaches out slender manicured fingers to adjust where the tie sits and smooths it into place. Her eyes lift then to his hair and she arches a brow. "I can not argue with everything about you. I am going to pretend you said educate," she is already turning as she speaks to grab her jacket and pull it on, closing the buttons at her waist which are thankfully only two. Up into her arms go the other copies of Green Eggs and Ham along with folders and her tablet as she begins to lead the way out.

"You forgot your copy of the book already, didn't you?" This said as she holds the door and then heads for the elevator.


"You think he'd take the job if I offered?" Tony says contemplative… one hand rubbing his jaw while she's fixing his tie. It barely registers as odd that she does so, it barely registers at all honestly. He looks around the apartment when she mentions the book, pats both pockets and then heads back to the room where he knows he left it. When he returns it's hooked beneath his right arm, "There, see? Right where I left it…"

All grins, "Seriously, you know nobody could do this job right? I mean, they could.. but even if they could, I wouldn't want them to." He gives her a clipped nod and motions at the doorway, "Best not to leave Happy waiting. You know how his anxiety gets when he thinks he's being left out."


The door is held as he retrieves the one of three copies of the book she gave him, her pump slipping against the door to help keep it pried open. Pepper is patient, Pepper is also wise in the ways of one Tony Stark and anticipates what needs to be done. This is why no one else can do the job. "I see. Good thing you remembered."

Once out the door it is let loose and the elevator is called. She glances aside at him with her arms full while a rare, if genuine smile draws across Pepper's lips. "I know." She says to Han Solo him. She watches the light for the elevator as the doors pull open and she steps on. "Oh you should see what his anxiety is like when he is involved." She hits the button for them to descend and once he is on and before the doors close she reaches over to fix his lapel and pull a bit of lint off.


Tony has his hands in his pockets with his coat bundled up against his forearm. His gotee is cut into little zagging lines along his jawline to give him a sharper profile and his hair, once it dries, clearly had some kind of product inplace because it's sticking to the wild spikes he shuffled them into. "Did you just Han Solo me?" He asks with a mock frown as the doors to the elevator ding open.

This time he steps in first, "First floor, JARVIS." The indicator turns red and waits for Pepper to join him. "Yeah, I gave him a pretty simple task once.." Hands out of his pockets to pat at the air while shaking his head, "He damn near hyperventalated trying to find me a pen to sign an autograph…"


"What if I did?" Pepper asks him, a brow arching as she waits for the elevator to begin its descent. She taps her tablet a few times to pull up another new message and begins reading it only to turn her attention briefly to him. "Happy deserves a vacation a well, one where he is not constantly worrying he will mess up." She is already looking back at her work by the time she says this and then makes a thoughtful sound. "He does try." She means that in a good way.

"You just make impossible. I do believe you asked him for that pen while we were in…Egypt was it? In the middle of the desert near the pyramids. You gave him an impossible task and it was no wonder he nearly hyperventilated I think it was over a hundred that day. By the way why did we visit Egypt in the Summer?" She looks confused on that, brows furrowing as she gives a shake of her had.

"I am really looking forward to your reading." She says with a nod of her head and glance up at him before she is grinning a bit to herself.


"Hey, he was the one that wanted more responsibility… I was just trying to give him what he asked for." Tony holds his hands out in a helpless sort of gesture, shoulders rising ever so slightly to match. "I figured he had one on him. He prides himself on being ''always prepared''.." Teasing Happy is one of Tony's favorite pastimes. The two of them have been friends for.. well, at least as long as Tony can remember.

"You have to admit that it was ''kind of'' funny when he knocked over that newsstand trying to find a ballpoint. Besides, I bailed him out afterwards." Friendship goals.

"Well, I'm not. I haven't read out loud since first grade and I recorded someone else reading it the night before on a memory stick so I could just replay it in class."


"Tony just be nice to him," Pepper pleads faintly, as if sympathizing for Happy because the Lord knows they are sharing the same stew pot that is Stark's life. She is tap tap tapping away and somehow managing a full on conversation at the same time. "I do not think he will ever forget a pen again until you find him something new to fret over."

"Tony you did not." That has her pausing as she keeps her finger on the message before her as she gives him a look. "You can not lip sync to someone else reading the book." She tucks the items under her arm and then checks his pocket of his coat first that is over his arm to try to find this 'stick' to confiscate just like she did his little toy earlier. "It is you, Tony Stark that needs to be better prepared for your own life."


"I'm keeping him sharp." Tony counters, snapping a few times to a beat in his own head, "He's good, damn good, but with my help he'll be the best.." Grinning ever so slightly as they ride the elevator down, Tony has one hand in his pocket and the other fiddling with his Starkphone. He gets texts too! He just doesn't answer them.

"I promise that I didn't." He does, he just did, glancing sidelong at Pepper, "They're Orphans, Pepper.. Of course I'm going to read to them." He also has his moments of showing the good heart he keeps hidden beneath layers upon layers of hedonism. "I ''may'' have sprung for John Cena to make an appearance too, though.. So that I can slip out afterwards and get some Shawarma. There's a great place just around the corner from the orphanage… second to none."


"You do something to him, hopefully not a premature stroke," Pepper remarks as she realizes then that there is no recorded version of anyone or even Tony reading the book. But it's obvious she would not put it past him. There is that rare smile again for his little bit of silver lining showing through. It actually keeps her from her work as she considers him and then looks forward before she is again setting up the rest of Tony's life with copies.

"John Cena. If you managed that I might actually stay as well." There is a crooked little grin that pulls at Pepper's lips. "Shawarma could definitely wait for someone like John Cena." She points out with a nod of her head and then she is forwarding a message to him that he will be forced to look at now that he has his phone out. The elevator dings and off she steps and touches her ear. "Pull up, we are leaving the building." Happy is on the other end with the affirmative and out the front door she goes without even waiting for Tony and expecting he is following. Which at times can be her one downfall.


In this rare occasion, Tony is staying on task. For a multitude of reasons, this event is of a great deal of importance to him. That's why he arranged it in the first place and hasn't even tried to make a profit off of it: that and because he's not a piece of shit. As he walks, however, he's looking down at his phone and trusting that people will remove themselves from his path. This is his building, afterall. Certainly that has to count from something.

This also means that he gets the file she transferred and is forced by dent of already looking down to look at it. "Trickery." He says to Pepper's back, still reading, it isn't until they're in the back seat of the sedan that he closes his phone and glances over at her, "I could arrange for you to have a private dinner with him? He and I go way back." They do not. They have never met. This is like make a wish, but that doesn't mean he cant make good on it!

"Shawarma, however, waits for no man…"

Strapping herself in she smiles up at Happy with her tasks and items set to her lap. "Hello, Happy. You know where we are going." She says and then turns her head at the offer for dinner with John Cena. "You would do that for me?" Pepper looks bemused at best and then shakes her head. "You think I have time to have dinner with someone. That's endearing and also positively disheartening." She sighs and looks down at her work.

"If I had time for dates do you not think I would have gotten myself one already. You are kind, really but I am fine." She says waving it off with a great deal of sarcasm as she is pulling up the Shawarma place. "I will have the order ready for you however because after this event you have a board meeting we need to get back to." Oh she just dropped the bomb on him while he was in the car. Pepper is already putting in an order for a specific time and place, making certain they keep their schedule and he can have everything he wants even if others can not.

She finally looks over at him. "Next time you can wear Iron Man. We have a festival planned for the kids later in the year but right now I am glad you managed to get dressed and I am more than pleased."


Board meeting?

Tony exasperatedly melts in the seat like a boneless figure trying to sink down through the cracks and disappear, "Those self important windbags are going to tell me how to run my own company again." He straightens in his seat and sighs with his elbow resting up on the window seal so he can watch the street pass by beyond the tinted glass. "They realize that I work better if they just get onboard and let me do what I want, right? I don't see any of their ''brilliant'' ideas taking off." Mostly because he, MIGHT, sabotage them.

It would be underhanded if he hadn't told them he was going to.

"Wait, you haven't been on a date? How long? Was it Thailand?" Tony flutters his eyelashes behind his designer shades, "That was just lunch, Pepper.. it would be unprofessional." He teases and then bounces forward to slap both hands down on Happy's shoulders, "Push the lead, Happy, we've got kids waiting for us who've had enough disappointment in their life."


"Yes well then you need to promote someone else as Cee-Ee-Oh if you do not want to have to deal with such things. Which now that I say it, it is not a bad idea." Pepper considers the thought of someone else at the helm of Stark Tech and looks like she might find some relief in that situation if she doesn't have to chase Tony around to get him to do his boss like duties.

There is a short laugh as she glances over at him, "Right, no I have not been on a date since college. You think I have time for dates..let alone with you? Work is ever present." She. makes a motion with her hand as if the entire world is work and then she is tapping her stylus about some design for Stark Tech that is not technology. Some logo or some sort.

As he reaches for Happy she blinks and stares a moment watching Happy suddenly jerk forward with tension. "Right boss!"

"No, Happy, we have time. Do not speed." But Happy has instructions and he is beginning to weave in and out of traffic in such a way as Pepper's hand shoots up to help stabilize her in her seat. "Your enthusiasm is second to none sometimes."

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