Pt 48. A New Home?
[AVENGERS TOWER SECURITY FILES: 04042017 0900hrs]
Loc: AVENGERS TOWER, Broadway & W 58th St, New York, NY
Tony: < in the lounge area, sitting across the table from Peg, a small basket of muffins between them, relaxing, with coffee> So the renovations for the lower floors will be done in about a week, but your quarters are ready any time you are.
Peggy: I’m still not comfortable with the idea of leaving the safe house. What if I’m needed in an emergency?
Tony: <rises, motioning her to join him> Just lemme give you the grand tour at least. APRIL and I have both told you, if anything happens, you’re connected to everything through her. The safe house is just a few blocks away if you NEED to be there.
Peggy: <sets her coffee down on the table before following> I wouldn’t want to intrude on you and Pepper, this is your home.
Tony: Pepper and I WANT you to move in, and it’s not like you’ll be the only one. Besides, she’s usually so busy running the company, that I’m left rattling around this place by myself. <tilts his head, looking around with a bit of nostalgia> It used to be a lot noisier around here. <leads her down a set of stairs to the residential floor>
Peggy: You miss your friends.
Tony:<smiles wistfully> It was kinda almost like having a family. <frowns> But, nothing lasts forever.
Peggy: <looks down the hall> Yet you’ve kept their rooms, waiting for them to come home.
Tony: <shrugs, unconsciously rubbing his earlobe, blusters> I just haven’t decided if I want to turn this floor into an art gallery, another workshop, or an exotic petting zoo.
Peggy: <recognizing the gesture, unconvinced> Mhmm. <continues down the hall, a row of doors on either side, looking at the small nameplates above the palmprint lock beside each suite’s door, reading them off, trailing her fingers along the wall as she walks> R Rhodes. C Barton. N Romanov. B Banner. T Odinson. Vision. W Maximov. S Wilson. <she stops at the next to last door, it’s nameplate is dented& scratched, only the first two letters legible> S R?
Tony: <tugging at his earlobe again> Ah, Storage Room.
Peggy: <eyebrow raised> Oh. Of course. <tries handle, finds the door locked, a red light flashes on the palmpad beside the door> Quite the lock for a simple closet.
Tony: <opens his mouth, then closes it again, rubs the earlobe a third time, catches himself, folds his arms over his chest> Well, I, ah, it’s just a bunch of old antiques& junk left over from um, one of dad’s old experiments. I probably should just clean the whole space out.
Peggy: <cocks her head to the side, smirking> You know, you picked that tell up from Edwin.
Tony: <grins sheepishly, shakes his head> Every time he’d try to cover for dad, he’d rub his ear.
Peggy: <frowns, brows furrowed> Howard was still leaving him to make excuses after all those years?
Tony: <shrugs> He was always busy with work, but, I had a family. I had Mom, the Jarvis’s, and you. <smiles sadly> You kept me from drinking myself to death after Mom& Dad died.
Peggy: <puts a hand on his arm> You mentioned that before. I know I shouldn’t ask, but, how did they die?
Tony: <starts to reach for the ear one more time, runs his hand through his hair trying to cover the gesture> Car crash, tire blew out and they hit a tree. Totally out of the blue, nobody, <looks away> ah, nobody could have expected or prevented it. <takes a deep breath> That was a rough Christmas.
Peggy: <bites her lip, eyes watering, nods> I can only imagine.
Tony: <sniffs> Yeah. <waves a hand around> This area’s been unused for most of a year, I think the air filtration system needs to be checked. <sniffs again> Lotta dust in the air, messes with my allergies.
Peggy: <smiles softly, allowing him the lie> Yes, I noticed, quite dusty indeed.
Tony: I’ll have maintenance get right on that. Wouldn’t want you to go into sneezing fits while you’re trying to relax in your new rooms. <points to the door across from the ‘storage room’, the nameplate above the palm lock is blank> We’ll put your name on there &encode your palmprint once you decide you’re ready to move in. <opens the door, encouraging her to enter first>
Peggy: <steps inside the suite, looks around, eyes wide> Why, I could fit my old flat in here three times and still have room! What would I ever need so much space for? <looks around approvingly at the simple, but classic, furnishings> At least the couch looks more comfortable for sleeping than the one in my office.
Tony: <brightens, laughing> No! Aunt Peg, this is just your living room! These are entire apartments. <grabs her hand, leading her through> Kitchenette. <she grimaces, as he continues to laugh> Yes, I remember. There’s a microwave, coffeemaker, and on the fridge are the numbers for twenty different restaurant delivery services.
Peggy: <face squints in laughter, giggles sarcastically> ONLY twenty?
Tony: <smiles, still laughing, shrugs> That’s the quick reference list. I’ll have FRIDAY send APRIL a more comprehensive one with menus.
Peggy: <turns back around> Is there an office space for me to work from?
Tony: <still grinning, enjoying the chance to show off> Would you even think about moving in if there wasn’t? <doesn’t wait for an answer, leading her into another room, a marble top desk at the center, monitors covering the walls to the left and right, an expansive view of the city displayed by the glass wall behind the desk> You’ll be able to do everything here that you could do at the safe house, but with a better view. Fury and Coulson are just a vid conference away if you need to consult them.
Peggy: <sits down in the chair, swivels around to take in the view> It certainly is a magnificent sight! The city has grown so much! We’re so high up! I swear I can almost see Brooklyn!
Tony: Office is already set up for you and APRIL. I even made sure <opens a drawer of the desk> to fully stock everything you could possibly need. <pulls out a bag of potato chips, tosses them to her>
Peggy: <catches the bag, beaming and chuckling> Crisps! Oh you do know me so well! <considers opening the bag right away, then puts it back in the desk> I suppose I’ll just save these for later when I’m up working late.
Tony: <eyebrows raised in happiness> Sounds like you’ve already decided, and you haven’t even seen the whole place yet.
Peggy: Well, I suppose I should let you finish the tour before I agree to anything. <spins again> Though this chair IS rather comfy. <rises>
Tony: <leads her down the hall> You’ve got a full bathroom with jacuzzi tub, no sauna, but there’s one by the locker rooms off the gym upstairs. <Peggy shakes her head at the unfamiliar words, but lets him continue> And this is your bedroom.
Peggy: <taken aback by the large space, explores, opening the walk in closet, peeking into the bathroom, nodding in approval once more at the furnishings, sits down on the edge of the massive bed, giving it a light bounce> Oh good! I was afraid it would be one of those dreadful mattresses one sinks into. Like trying to sleep in quicksand or marshmallows. <looks to the glass wall on one side of the room> Please, please, tell me there are drapes that can be pulled across that! I’ve no wish to put on a show for any planes, helicopters, or enhanced peeping toms flying past!
Tony: Better, it’s two way adjustable glass. No one can see in, and APRIL will be able to adjust the level of light that comes through. So if you have one of those late work nights and don’t get to bed until five am, you can still have it pitch black in here if you like.
Peggy: Splendid! <shakes her head> I admit, I had already decided I was going to remain at the safe house, before I even arrived here today. <Tony’s mustache droops> However, after seeing how much thought and work you put into creating a space where I can be not only productive, but comfortable as well, I suppose I really can’t say no, now can I? <thinks to herself> Plus, you’ve given me another mystery or two to unravel.
Tony: <brightens immediately> Great! How about we move you in Saturday, and then you can wake up in your new place for your birthday?
Peggy: <smiles> You really are enjoying this way too much Anthony. I never really celebrate my birthday, there’s always work to be done. Some sort of emergency, or crisis.
Tony: <holds up a hand> Not this year, I swear, Aunt Peg. You’re gonna enjoy your birthday for once. NO WORK!
Peggy: Well, to be honest, there was one thing I had hoped for, <Tony’s ears perk up> but it doesn’t seem that will come to pass by then.
Tony: <reaching for his phone> Something I can help make happen?
Peggy: <sighs, shaking her head> No, Anthony, I was just hoping a friend I had made would make it home in time to celebrate with me.
Tony: <squirms slightly, rubbing the back of his neck> That, ah, Grant guy you’ve been talking to? The one who sends you music?
Peggy: <blushes> Yes, Grant. He promised to take me dancing. <looks downcast, shrugs> However it doesn’t seem he’ll make it back to New York before then after all.
Tony: <scowling> Let me guess, he’s a workaholic like you and can’t take the time away.
Peggy: <looks up at the ceiling, biting her lip, stretching her words out slowly> Nottt Exaaactlllly. You’re not going to like it. <Tony tilts his head to the side, eyebrows raised, waiting for her to explain, she answered hesitantly> He may, just slightly, technically, be, well, <pauses> a fugitive.
Tony: <eyes widen, stares at her for a minute before going off> Jezus Aunt Peg! What the hell are you thinking?
Peggy: <hackles up> I KNEW you’d be upset. Don’t even THINK you’re going to give me a lecture. I’m not some empty headed fluttering teenager making poor decisions. The only reason he’s a fugitive is those bloody damned Accords. He’s been waiting for them to be rescinded. Then he wants to come back to the States and join the Resistance fully. He already does as much as he can right now from wherever he’s hiding. Don’t bother asking, I have no idea where he is.
Tony: <puts his hands up defensively> Ok, ok. let’s not ruin a good day with an argument. From what you’ve told me before, he seems like a decent guy, but the Accords were put into place to protect people from the types of dangers enhanced individuals can cause. If he refused to sign, that makes him either stubborn, or dangerous, or most likely both. Do you know what powers or abilities he has that make him qualify for the Accords?
Peggy: <stops to think> We haven’t really discussed that. All I know is that he’s not that fireman, John Storm? I think his name was?
Tony: <nods> Johnny Storm and the rest of the Fantastic Four did sign, though I heard it was quite a family squabble over the decision. So you have NO idea who this guy is?
Peggy: None. I wouldn’t even recognize him if I saw him on the street. I don’t even know if Grant is his real name, I admit I didn’t give him mine.
Tony: <sighs> Just, just promise me you’ll be careful, Aunt Peg.
Peggy: I can handle myself Anthony. <her phone pings with alerts, she checks it, looks back at the kitchenette area and then to Tony quizzically> So, those microwave machines, can they actually be used to spy on someone?
Tony: <raises an eyebrow, shakes his head, trying not to laugh> NO. Do I even want to know what’s going on?
Peggy: <looks around the apartment> I have to get back to the office, can we discuss the details of moving day later?
Tony: Sure, I’ve got some things I’ve got to check out with FRIDAY, so you go take care of whatever mess that is and call me when you have time tonight. <walks her to the elevator>
Peggy: It may be late, apparently GOP Barbie is yammering away about some sort of wiretapping conspiracy. <steps inside>
Tony: I’d tell you to have fun, but <rolls his eyes, laughing>
<the elevator doors close, Tony hops and skips up the nearby stairs to the upper lever workshop/office>
FRIDAY: <lilting irish brogue fills the room> Yeah, Boss?
Tony: Got some detective work to do. I need a list of all known male enhanced individuals affected by the accords. Remove any that have signed, or been incarcerated.
FRIDAY: Do you want me to include those killed in anti-Inhuman terrorist attacks by the Watchdogs?
Tony: Ah, no, exclude them as well, strike any deceased from the list.
FRIDAY: Even with those parameters, this list is going to take a wee bit of time. I hope you didn’t have any other plans for me for a while.
Tony: This is your main focus right now. I need to know more about this guy, and make sure he’s not going to put Aunt Peg in danger.
FRIDAY: It seems your godmother is quite capable of both putting herself into and extracting herself from danger without any help, Boss.