(2016-12-31) An Avengers New Year
An Avengers New Year
Summary: Princess Shuri of Wakanda runs into Tony Stark (not from this world) and Pepper Potts at an exclusive gala in New York City on New Years Eve 2016.
Date: 2016-12-31
Related: None
NPCs: None
Scene Runner: NA
Social/Plot: Social

New Years Eve is a night full of special gatherings, parties and galas. It is the end of a year, marking the beginning of another, so it really could not be any other way. Even still, some parties stand a cut above others. This particular gala event stands a cut above even those.

The evening begins with a private showing of the sold-out Broadway smash hit Hamilton, with exclusive box seating only for those invited to this event, and the rest of the theater completely empty. Private service is available throughout the show as requested, bringing drinks and snacks and almost anything else anyone could ask for. Afterwards, the halls of the theater have been reserved for an incredibly exclusive after-party that will last until the wee hours of the morning.

Those that are arriving are doing so in a variety of the shiniest, most expensive vehicles in the modern world. When they present themselves and their tickets for entry, they do so with the assured arrogance that only the most upscale persons can imagine, let alone execute. But even so, few can truly match the sudden appearance of a de-cloaking oversized sleek stealth fighter jet, as its plank opens and descends to the sidewalk, and a tall, regally proud African woman in a purple wrap-style dress with golden jewelry accents, her hair almost but not quite shaven bald comes down the plank. With an imperious gesture, she dismisses the jet, its plank receding back into the aircraft, which then cloaks once more and lifts off, its interference in the city's traffic patterns at an end.

The young woman does not even glance around, but walks confidently towards the entrance to the theater, extracting her ticket from her purse at her side. Upon it, though none but those guards can see it, is the inscription: Royal Family of Wakanda. Some might notice she includes a passport with the ticket, proof of her identity as if the impossible tech aircraft of her arrival were not proof enough. Then she takes back ticket and passport, puts them away and strides into the event as if she owns the place.

She might. But probably not. What would Wakanda want with a Broadway theater?

There are few dignitaries that could rival such an entrance by such an illustrious personnage in the form of the Princess of Wakanda; even her entrance is a stuff of imaginations. But, there are even fewer people that could possibly match the all-out arrogance and conspicuous consumption of one Anthony Stark. To the world?


He's stepped out of his black stretch limo, dressed impeccably in tuxedo, white shirt, bow-tie set perfectly. Brown hair properly messy, the lines upon his jaw clean and his thin beard lined perfectly. Reporters from all around are running over as he pauses at the door to the car, his arm out for one more to emerge, flashbulbs going off. At this point in the man's career, he has no real need to 'show' anything.

Been there, done that.

From across the distance, however, Tony catches the glimpse of the younger Wakandan royalty, and he leans over to his date, the lovely, talented Pepper Potts, and murmurs, "Fill me in," before he straightens again and offers a wave and a sound-byte, "Okay, okay.. one more before you see you're wasting your camera storage on me."

While Pepper generally isn't one for chunky jewelry, the hidden, small StarkPad screen in the HUGE gold bracelet around her right wrist was going to prove necessary probably the entire night. It already was necessary, it seems, the woman across the way not someone Pepper recognizes but it's clear that she SHOULD. So, the elegant, somewhat tall strawberry haired woman takes her sweet time getting out of the limo, almost looking like her high heels are a bit to handle going from sitting to standing. But, in truth, it's giving her time to take a brief photo of Shuri and bring up what file JARVIS can on her bracelet.

"…Princess Shuri of Wakanda… A small nation in Africa, often thought of as the most technologically advanced society in the world. But the last files JARVIS has on her is that she was assumed dead. She's not supposed to be in the US, so this is a… surprise. That's all JARVIS has, but… it's a start." Pepper mutters beneath her breath, leaning over to Tony like she was trying to give the paparazzi something to photograph, or flirting with her boss, not giving him important networking information. Still, they do make a fine looking couple. Pepper is in a deep blue dress, completely backless, that clings to her form like a second skin. Her normally severely restrained hair is down around her features in soft waves.

Poor Pepper, poor Tony. What they need are smart lenses - contacts or glasses - hooked up to a Shazam-like app for IDing people rather than songs.

Y'know, like what Shuri might use if she were in costume. Tonight, she's making due using a camera disguises within the broad gold pectoral around her neck and upper chest. But she does not need it to identify the redhead and the brunette male approaching behind her. Once into the outer lobby of the theater she pauses, gathering a glass of champagne from the passing waitstaff, and nods noncomittally to this and that stranger as they walk by, acknowledging the regally proud and powerful young woman, most without a great idea of who she is, other than that she must be invited, so that must make her important somehow. Right?

As Tony does enter with Pepper on his arm, Shuri turns to look at them quite openly, her nod of acknowledgement for them much deeper, more real and demonstrative than for anyone else. These are people she knows, and respects at least after a fashion. But she does not crowd them or approach. She is an island of royal privilege in the milling sea of humanity in the lobby.

Nothing 'poor' about Tony, or Pepper. They've got at their beck and call one of the most intelligent artificial awarenesses ever created; a 'being' that can access most anything within a tenth of a nano-second and report back not only the information but the ramifications and every possible permutation of how it would either benefit or cause concern for Stark Industries within the year, five years, or ten.

As a result, once Pepper's on his arm properly, the door is closed behind her and the limo crawls off to be parked. "Dead… well, she's looking absolutely amazing for being dead," is given dryly. "Shall we?"

Tony doesn't believe in islands. The man is a veritable typhoon, and as he approaches, he's also heading in so they're away from the prying eyes of the public. "Princess Shuri," is offered lightly, "You're looking very…" and he pauses before that tilted smile rises, brown eyes gleaming, "vibrant. One might say 'full of life'." A gesture is given towards Pepper, adding, "You remember Ms Potts…"

Pepper's warm smile, lips painted with a deep crimson lipstick that looks perfectly festive, turns a bit more encouraging as they move towards Princess Shuri. She's trying to be comforting, welcoming, look like they might be old friends. Pep simply wasn't certain these days, but she was doing her very damndest to play off like she was the Pepper who has always been in this world, and that meant being open and welcoming to almost any possibility. She keeps on Tony's arm, not scared to look like they are together, even while in the spotlight. Possibly the pair have finally gotten over their commitment issues. Christmas can make miracles.

"…Princess, it is… a relief to see you. We heard some awful rumors you… weren't with us any more." Pepper confesses, putting some honest worry behind her voice as they are all ushered in side to a more private and far less crowded area.

Shuri continues to watch the pair as they approach, rather inwardly amused by how often they confound social proprieties. She is fine with being approached; she did acknowledge them, after all. And Tony's usual fun-loving self-deprecation in mocking conversation is to be expected. But Pepper's words somehow seem to touch her differently, a tilt to her head as she looks at the woman and then the man and back with more unveiled curiosity. Given Tony's connections with her brother, surely he knows?

"I did fall while protecting Wakanda from Thanos' incursion. But my brother is not a man to take lightly, as surely you would know. He found the means to bring me back." Shuri answers, rather short on details, but heavy on truth in advertising. Chances are it must be some curious Wakandan blend of super-technology and mysticism. But exactly what, it may well be even she does not know. She wasn't exactly around until after it was over, after all.

"Nevertheless, I thought with my brother restored to the throne I could take time to see the rest of the world, for a bit." Shuri offers, extending the hand not holding her drink, first to Tony - he is the first to have greeted her - and then to Pepper. It's not the warmest of receptions, but then again they weren't close personal friends; they knew one another, fought beside one another, and are connected. That alone is more than the rest of the world can generally say where Shuri of Wakanda is concerned.

And this is why Pepper is never to leave his side. Ever. Never.

This, right here.

"You did. And it was a 'thud' heard 'round the world. I figure that monuments would go up on the spot." Thud heard 'round the world? Tony looks to the side, raises his hand, and from across the room, the bartender nods. Scotch. Neat. "Good that the news of your death were exaggerated. One more good-guy means it just pisses off the other side that much more."

Not the warmest of receptions, but others are looking on with more than a little envy. Of course they are! But envious of whom? The Princess? Pepper? Or Tony, who is now in the company of not just one, but two lovely ladies.

"How is your brother?"

The redhead waits her turn with a patient, still warm smile. She listens to Shuri's explanation, the worry behind her green eyes deepening just a bit more. If Pepper did anything well, it was worry. She accepts the woman's hand for a brief squeeze and shake, that sort of thing that women do where they lean in for a half hug. This close, Pepper smells like Chanel No. 5, classic as the style she is wearing. "…Bring you back. That… sound less than… Comfortable. I'm relieved, but if you ever want to talk about it to people who won't judge, well… You should come for dinner some time." Pepper offers gently, her words not meant to be intrusive, but a genuine offer of concern and support.

Then there is TONY. And the *thud*. She flickers a look towards him, smirking a bit more. No chiding words, but she gives his arm one of *those* squeezes which says he's being just a bit insensitive. Maybe he'll catch on. Probably not. The question of Shuri's brother let's Pepper relax a bit more. That should be safe conversation, at least.

Shuri … is a professional diplomat. She is not the best at it in the world, because she can be quite the uppity, arrogant bitch. But her face generally says what she tells it to say, and nothing more. Which is why her face remains neutral and impassive as Tony goes on about the 'thud heard 'round the world'. Because honestly? Not good. She's both disgusted and a little insulted, feeling like he's making fun of her self-sacrifice. Unhappy panther. But she lets no sign of that show, except perhaps a glint behind those dark eyes.

Shuri accepts the half-hug from Pepper, because the other woman seems genuine to her, and because it is expected unless she intends to offer insult. If it were Tony, she would resist. But it is not, so she does not. Shuri herself smells of some exotic blend of floral sub-scents that would be nigh-impossible to identify, because most of them are virtually unknown outside of Wakanda. But it is sparing, light, just a hint. "I thank you for the kind offer, Miss Potts." Chances are, Shuri would be more likely to confer with the likes of Ororo Munroe, former Queen of Wakanda. But the offer is appreciated for what it is, at least.

"My brother is busy, of course. He has resumed the throne of Wakanda, which has left me free to find my own path once more, at least for now. Our people are much recovered from the incursions, and we are doing well." Shuri answers Tony's question. "The resumption of stability within our people is a rather welcome change, given all that was suffered beforehand. A new year is a blessing to be celebrated." Hence tonight's party.

There hasn't been a day in Tony's life where he's felt the least bit of contrition, and this evening is certainly not the moment when it begins. The squeeze to his arm gains the lovely red-head a mouthed 'what?' before the scotch arrives, seemingly magically appearing in his hand. Such is his reach. Wish. Command. That whole thing.

Pepper and Shuri hugging does allow Tony to take a half-step back, leaning back slightly to watch the other pathetically unpowerful power couples walking around, circling as if stuck in orbit and knocking around each other in their own Kuiper Belt. It's not so much a nod and a smile that greets the others but rather an acknowledgment in the form of a swallow of scotch in their direction, which seems to satisfy most in their immediate area. "Huh? Oh, absolutely. We'll get some advice from your chef, and do it up."

Now, though, with the answer, Tony's attention is back to the Princess and Pepper fully, his head canting, and he nods slowly. "Yeah.. sorry about all that, by the way. We, ah.. had a few difficulties, but from the looks of it, there are people who are actually looking to bring the ol' band back together. If you know what I mean. So, your brother might be getting a phone call in the next month or two, depending on whether or not people can get their collected heads out of their asses and actually call." Was that too blunt? Tony looks at Pepper, a silent look. Too much?

If Shuri's ears are at all enchanced, she'll hear Pepper whisper against Tony's cheek, "Thud? I know you said it in your weird form of praise but… Most people might take that as rude. Besides, it's not nice to talk about someone almost dying. Keep it to more pleasant subjects, alright?" Pepper's whisper, however, really is only meant for him. She just has no clue how enhanced Shuri might be, through gifts or technology. Pepper finishes off her words, however, with a gentle kiss to the corner of Tony's mouth. If the press doubted at all they were together, they aren't hiding it this evening.

"It is a blessing, Princess. And I hope you plan on staying in the states a bit longer? If you wanted any sort of tour, or company, I can certain recommend places in New York. It's great to see the world but is often not fun to do it alone, yes? Enjoy your freedom but… Properly enjoy it. I know that's hard for people who work as hard as you. Both of you, really." Pepper stares between Tony and Shuri, a smirk deepning on her red lips. But her implication was also an attempt to show some common ground between the pair.

The too-blunt look he gives her just gets a slight shake of her head. No. That was good. Common ground was good. "…Or yourself, Princess. If… you felt like perhaps taking up such… activities." Pepper talks about superheroing like someone might pick up ballroom dancing classes.

Shuri eyes Tony slightly askance, but nods. Yes, she can infer his meaning. So, someone wants to reassemble the Avengers? Not terribly surprising. After all, eventually all the evil will get itself sorted out and start trying to screw over the world again. They'll create another Day Unlike Any Other. And that will herald the rebirth of the Avengers, whatever name they may take. History repeats itself, again and again.

"I intend to see many places, before I might return home." Shuri assures Tony and Pepper. "Of course, if I am needed I will return promptly. But otherwise, there is much I want to see and experience." She doesn't explain what she wants to see, but she seems to acknowledge Pepper's point of not seeing it all alone, a deep and soulful look of eyes meeting, and a nod to punctuate it all.

"When that time comes, when that force is needed, if I am closer, perhaps I will come rather than my brother. It is easier for a mere princess to take such a role, than for a sitting King, after all." Shuri answers. Interestingly, there's no bitterness in that tone, despite her history with T'Challa.

Tony sets a light hand at the small of Pepper's back as she curls in on him to give him that moment of 'sideline coaching' as only she can (and others dream of!). Oh look, as some of those who might have thought they had a chance at gaining the attentions of a billionaire 'playboy' have their hopes dashed by the single gesture by Tony and the returned light, easy affection of 'that woman'. Brows rise at the whispers, and there is that gleam in brown eyes that seems ever present when he's out 'in public'. That expression that anything might happen and while the night is young, it could very well… much to both the fears AND hopes and prayers of others in attendance.

"Well then. I can have them ditch your brother's number for yours. Though, I don't think I have it—" and Tony's voice trails off before it comes back, his 'free hand' now the one holding his drink. A swallow is taken of his scotch and he waves it in gesture, "No matter. I can get it. Let me know if you're serious about that offer and we can do that little.. thing." Another swallow is taken, and Tony takes the route now of a gallant, "If you're looking for company, I could part with Pepper for an hour or so." Beat. "Maybe an afternoon. If I don't have any meetings. But nothing longer. She's gotta be home by 6. Ish."

The slightly soulful look in Shuri's eyes is enough to secure Pepper's loyalty and worry all at the same time. Decision made — she was NOT letting this woman walk around New York alone. Pepper understood loneliness, a momentary, odd sympathy in her eyes as she tries to catch Shuri's gaze. She has been there. And, for a moment, it looks very different than the young, bright, achingly innocent Pepper that Shuri met a few times before. There's a decade of exhaustion and loneliness behind this Pepper's eyes. But she tucks it back away with a smile a heartbeat later and immediately unlaces her arm from Tony's gaze so she can reach into her little clutch.

"Don't listen to him. I make my own schedule. Any time you want to go, I'll rearrange things. Here. This is my card, personal number included. If you need *anything*… anything, you call me. Alright? No one should be wondering this city alone… it's too big. You'll drown, no matter how strong you are." And then Pepper's arm does, rather possesively, settle back into Tony's grasp. She gives a look towards a few of those other women.

Shuri doesn't offer a number to Tony. She listens, without committing to anything, just like a professional diplomat should. But when Pepper offers her card, Shuri reaches out to take it, sliding it into a clutch where there's a soft 'ding'. She doesn't pass it back, but somewhere in Pepper's clutch, her Starkphone will ping or buzz or whatever with a message, as suddenly contact info has been SMSed to her number for one 'Shuri of Wakanda'. Because there's a Kimoyo card in that clutch, and the rest is history. "We will be in touch, I am sure." Shuri offers the redhead with a smile, moving a bit out of the way so that glare of Pepper's can reach all of her intended targets in one single sweep. Shuri is most definitely not in the market for a Stark, thanks.

Scene was left incomplete and two of the players have since been rostered

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