(2017-02-05) Superbowl Party People
Superbowl Party People
Summary: Tony throws a surprise superbowl party. Or, well, a surprise to Pepper. Hope attends and a plan is made.
Date: 2017-02-05
Related: None
NPCs: None
Scene Runner: NA
Social/Plot: Social

Sure, sure, this is New York, and it doesn't have a dog in the race as it were in terms of the Superbowl, but everyone is doing it. 'It' being 'having a Superbowl Party', because let's face it. Really. It's not much more than an excuse to drink, eat little buffalo wings until one either pukes or poops fire, and tell lots of 'no shit there I was' stories about the local sports teams. It's not a 'dress up' occasion, even for Stark Towers. No tuxedos here, no fine, floor length gowns. All that is required is that one wears something vaguely resembling football. A jersey would do. Even painting a face would get through 'security'. (JARVIS is watching and carding!)

Off by the elevator, Tony is dressed down, wearing an Eagles shirt, grey sweats and bunny slippers and is talking with the delivery guy who just brought up 50 pizzas. His wallet is out, and he's giving the kid cash for the order, in hundred dollar increments; with a $50 for tip. "There you go.. and thanks." So far, the room is beginning to fill up; kick off was a little while ago, and the drinking has begun. Pizza is Stage 3, after the wings and the salsa dip and chips. And beer.

It was the carding the was the hardest for Hope. She had a pair of worn cargo pants and she managed to find herself an inexpensive jersey from one of the ubiquitous street vendors - never mind that the colors don't actually match the team, and the font is completely off. It's jersey-shaped. But getting past getting carded was a little bit trickier, since she doesn't actually have ID. They just don't issue them when you turn sixteen on post-apocalyptic spaceships.

Luckily, getting past guards was definitely covered in Hope's childhood, so with a little bit of luck and a lot more skill, she slips in with a group already headed up the elevator, just in time to help bring in some of the boxes of pizza. "Hey, Mister Stark. So where're you putting these things?"

The one new security guard who, somehow, didn't recognize Pepper was her first clue something was wrong. There were more guards on tonight and someone asked her if she was here for the party. What party. And then she's storming through to the elevator, "JARVIS, get me up there. Now." She commands to the AI, in the voice that says she's SO not joking and the AI is going to be in as much trouble as Tony if he doesn't high-speed express this elevator. Pepper has been working all day, catching up on a few books and things for the new month, even though it's Sunday. She'd forgotten the Superbowl was tonight, in truth.

The elevator opens up to the crowded pent house, smell of pizza, wings, and beer. Pepper is in her 'Sunday casual', which means a pair of designer jeans, knee high gray suede boots and a comfortable gray cashmere sweater. All comfort clothing, but also all elegant items incase someone had come to the office. There is absolutely not a single piece of football anywhere on her. She steps past the elevator door, mutely sputtering for a few moments as she looks around the place… FInally, all she manages out is an aghast: "….TONY!"

Oh no, little Hope. JARVIS saw you. He whispered in Tony's ear all about you, or all about your potential anomalies, and Tony is looking forward to meeting you, talking with you!

Tony turns from the elevator and takes a couple of steps, waving his hand in a general direction out by a table that is bedecked in 'ex-food', that is, a set-up that already has seen a plague of locusts and may very well experience yet another bit of pestilence before the evening is done. "Over there is fine."

Breaking off from the general meander towards the kitchen, Tony heads towards the bar in order to pour himself (another) scotch, stoppering up the bottle once his tumbler is properly filled. In the next moment, in mid-swallow, brown eyes lift for some reason before they alight upon the private elevator. He's moving quickly towards that same elevator, ready to head any real anger off at the pass. At the exclamation, of course, there are more than a few people who are turning to look in the direction, including some rather pretty women who quite probably are (were) trying to get the billionaire's attention. "Oh, hey.. Pepper."

"Hey, Miss Potts!" Hope raises a hand and waves once she's set the boxes down, either oblivious to the danger of an enraged Pepper, or else proof against it. Whatever the case, she doesn't waste the chance to grab herself a slice of pizza, folding it in half and taking a bite as she moves toward the elevator. Because at the very least, this is going to be worth watching.

"…What…in the WORLD…is going ON HERE?!" Pepper huffs out, her pale eyes going even wider as she looks across the room, the few disappointed faces (two of which look like they are ONLY weairng a Jersey and nothing beneath!!), Hope's chipper words, the rest of the drunken guests, the amount of pizza. "…This is… going to be hell to clean up tomorrow." Pepper breathes out, her question clearly answered even as she asked it. It was rather obvious, but it's what came out of her mouth instead of screaming at him.

Hope is given a flicker of a smile as she remembers the young woman's face, "…Hope… yes? It.. it's good to see you in one piece. I'd ask how you got an invitaiton here but… Tony isn't all that picky when it comes to invites. Or telling his partner that we're having a party." She gives her boss and sometimes boyfriend a rather firm glare.

"Welcome home," Tony begins. "I figured I'd have a few people over, seeing as it's the Superbowl and everything. Kinda snuck up on me, or I'm pretty sure I'd have mentioned it…" Beat. He's watching Pepper's face and his brows rise, "I didn't, did I?" Oops. He draws a hissed breath in and steps closer, reaching to put his arm around her arm, her waist, any chance that he can bring her further into the room, into the party. People are waving at her, a couple even taking out their cellphones to take pictures of 'the power couple'. "Nah, won't be too bad. Bring in the housekeepers, we should only be out for, oh… a few, six hours? We'll find something to do." All this in rapidfire speech!

Hope? "One piece? You know her?" Tony looks at Hope, back to Pepper. "Well, welcome, Hope. Pizza is.. yeah, you found it, good." Of course she did… she helped carry it in!

"Invitation might be a strong word for it," Hope admits, taking another bite of pizza before giving a chipmunk-cheeked grin to the pair. "It's sort of more that I heard there was going to be a party, and I figured I'd come and check the place out. We met a while back," she nods to Tony. "Miss Potts and I, that is. We met a longer while back, when there was a big disagreement about whether or not I was going to destroy the world, but apparently not everyone's on the same page on that front here. Which is fine with me as long as we don't have to do it again."

"Yes, and her somewhat handsome but clearly up to no good… Uncle, was it? Remy? Anyway, I am still glad to see you in one piece… I was worried after that conversation." Leave it to Pepper to start worrying about some random young woman she met in a bar attached to a handsome trouble maker. The strawberry blonde allows Tony to hook that arm around her waist as she's brought deeper into the room. She looks back to him, the expression on her face debating between being mad or just giving into it. But he seemed happy. Excited. No one around was being awful. And Pepper was trying harder not to nag…

So, she takes a deep breath and turns her head, pressing a clear, gentle, but permissive kiss against the side of his mouth. (Possibly also a subtle marking of her territory…) "No, you didn't tell me. It… it's alright. I was just… surprised. But pizza can cure a lot if ills. Bring one of those boxes over her for all of us, Hope." She's also inviting the young woman to partake with them, it seems. Better to have a friend around than a whole ton of total strangers.

And look! Tony's not even leering at the girls that look as if they're not wearing much else -other- than the jerseys! Or playing with them. Encouraging them. Or… see? He looks momentarily concerned, and sure, it's about Pepper's comment, but more about the fact he didn't get that information from JARVIS earlier. "Buddy, you're killin' me here," is murmured. "Right. Well, let's not destroy the world, okay? Apparently people get a little uptight about it." Like him. Definitely him. "Again."

Tony knows that look; he's learned it. He's learning a lot about Pepper, she who is turning out to be 'his' Pepper now. As she relents and gives him the kiss, his gaze lingers and his head dips a little in a silent, 'You sure?' expression before he turns away, his free hand set forth, "Pi-" A shout rises up, and is echoed in both male and female voices regarding some play that comes across the Stark interior version of a Jumbotron. (A really, really big HQ screen!) "Pizza," is attempted again, "cures all ills. Come on, let's find a spot." In his own, in their own Penthouse!

"Don't worry, I didn't," Hope says blithely around a mouthful of pizza while she goes and retrieves a box to bring back to the pair. "But, for the record, I could have not destroyed the world a lot earlier, and with a lot less complications, if the parties involved had just, you know. Talked to me instead of trying to make all the decisions themselves. Just in case something similar comes up again."

She takes a seat on the arm of a couch, opening up the pizza box for Pepper and Tony and giving it a pensive look. "It's weird, not really knowing if it could come up again."

The scent of pizza actually makes Pepper's stomach audibly growl. She probably hasn't eaten in hours, if she remembered to do so at all today. She steps over to a side couch, putting her BUSINESS FACE Back on and glaring at the partiers there, two of which are already clearly drunk. "This is my penthouse and my couch. Find somewhere else to sit before I decide this whole party is a bad idea." Pepper huffs out, but she's got that command behind her voice that is JUST enough that the people don't really protest, picking up their own beers to go find somewhere to keep getting drunk.

Pepper lets go of Tony so she can pick up a crumpled napkin off the couch and wrinkles her nose, "…we're so going to have to get a… deep clean team in here. But… Sit. Relax. All of us. Food." SHe plops down, content she's made room for Tony and Hope to actually have a BIT of a business conversation, "…and you know, Hope… We could… try organizing some sort of… discussion… group. Or team again. Something more… inclusive than everyone independently running at every problem on their own."

"Yeah, well.. I heard stories," Tony begins, and he raises his glass in a light 'toast' before swallowing some, up until now, ignored scotch. "Everyone's gotta learn to stand down. We only got one shot left on this, and no amount of whining at Richards is gonna change that."

As they head to a side couch, Tony's voice rises, "You heard the lady. There's plenty of space on the floor by the TV." He doesn't particularly care about the napkin on the couch; it could be much, much worse, given the reputation of Tony's parties. He still hasn't made a spectacle of himself yet, ad that is essentially what everyone is waiting for. He settles down on his couch, and nods, "It'll be okay, Pep. Honest. And if it doesn't come out, we get a new couch." When business, or something sounding like business begins, Tony takes another swallow of his drink, listening for the moment as the 'girls' begin to orchestrate.

"Discussion group?" Hope echoes, a flicker of a smile tugging at one corner of her lips as she looks to Pepper. "You mean like a book club, or you mean like Avengers? Because there's a big difference." Her first piece of pizza already gone, she reaches for another. "I heard things are…kind of different at the school right now. In some really weird ways that I'm gonna be honest, I'm not ready to deal with for a while." Like Scott Summers. And apparently Jean Gray. "But I'm not much for sitting around and not doing anything either."

Once they are sitting, though, Pepper does something that might be a bit more relaxing than she'd ever let herself do back home — she drapes her legs cross Tony's lap and actually steals a whole slice of pizza for herself. Relaxing. She can learn how to relax. She takes a good bite and listens to the banter between them, though it's Hope's question that gets a slight chuckle from her. "…Ah… more like the.. Avengers. Just trying not to scream it too loud around abunch of drunks. Not that anyone seems to be paying attention. But Tony, whether he likes to admit it or not…" Her free hand tickles against his ribs for just a moment, "Works best with a team. And it's clear the world isn't suddenly going to fall into peace and rainbows over night."

"Well, I know there've been a few people who would like to see the band get back together, but Pep's right. It's gotta be bigger and better for checks and balances, too. We can't have what happened before happen again." When Wanda and Vision went off the rails and went more than a little nuts. "I'm not gonna keep rebuilding New York City." He looks over towards Pepper as she settles her legs onto his lap, and leans into the couch. When she tickles his ribs, he reaches out to grab her hand a moment, just to hold it, before setting it free. "Yeah, yeah.. teamwork and all that. I work better alone. Then no one can get in the way when I invariably have to save their as— Hey, ask them over there if they've got some left," Tony is interrupted mid-speak by an obvious co-ed looking for, well, he's not entirely sure what, but someone should have something, somewhere. The girl may not have known what either, given her particular state of inebriation. "Right. What I was saying. She was saying," and Tony points to Pepper again. "She's the brains of the outfit, I'm just the one that looks good in suits." Uh huh."

"Well, if you want, I'm in," Hope offers, shrugging. "It might be a little…I mean, it kind of depends on who's on the team, as to just what kind of useful I am, but even if there's nothing else, I know how to fight, and how to shoot, and tactics, and…You know, everything Nathan could teach me." Another bite of pizza, but she's looking between the pair. "Get some other mutants on the team and there'll be a whole lot more else I can do."

As another girl comes up, and there is a big WOOOOO across the room and suddenly a group chanting Tony's name, Pepper can practically feel him vibrating beneath her to get out there and actually partying. She leans over to kiss Tony one last time, "Go…go enjoy your party. I know you want to. I'll talk to the lady. Go." The pair actually seem to be getting along almost too well. Maybe these changes have been good for them. She shoos him away and then fully looks back to Hope, giving a slightly apologetic, but honest smile as they are left alone on the couch. Pepper also attacks another bite of pizza. "Uh…wait… mutants? What are mutants? And, from what records I've read, you are more than competent. We just need to figure out who else to invite to the team."

Hope pauses mid-bite, features falling as the color fades from her features to leave her white as a sheet. It's a moment of sheer dread and panic, like her worst nightmare, before she remembers that she just said the school still existed, that there were mutants there. She slides down into the couch seat with a deep sigh of relief when it catches up to her, head falling back against the cushions.

"Right. Sorry. Not here. I just had a- Wow. Okay." She lowers the slice of pizza in her hand, thinking it through. "I don't know about where you come from, but mutants are…kind of everywhere. Or they were. The next stage in human evolution. People born with an x gene that granted them some sort of power. Usually manifests at puberty. That's the short answer. The long answer…that's a lot more complicated."

"Oh… Huh. Strange. And…" Pepper blinks as she realizes she COMPLETELY just gave herself away to Hope, even if HOpe probably already suspected. Pepper's voice drops a bit more, pale eyes flickering around the room to be certain that no one is actually watching them. When she seems content they are alone in their attentions, she looks back to Hope, "…don't… tell anyone? That I'm not… her. Everyone thinks I am. It's better for the company. Tony knows, of course, but… No one else. And… interesting. X… Gene? I'll have to read up on it."

"It's been a thing for a while," Hope nods. "Starting around the sixties, I think. Kept getting more and more until…Well. Like anything else, people fought. Things got weird. And then Wanda used her powers, and she said no more mutants, and all of a sudden…Where there'd been thousands, maybe even tens of thousands of mutants, suddenly there were only a hundred, and no more were being born."

She takes another bite of her pizza, pensive as she looks out over the crowd. "And then there was me. And there were people who thought I was supposed to be the mutant messiah, and there were people who thought I was the antichrist. So they sent me and Nathan into the future so he could raise me where it was safer. And the rest of that is way more than you need to know about. But we got back eventually. Mutants started appearing again, but I had to stabilize them. Then there was the whole thing with the Phoenix force. But after, things were…I mean, it looked like they were getting back to normal. But I don't know what's happened since then. Here, at least."

Pepper gets that information download with slightly too wide eyes, her jaw partially dropping. That… was not all the story she had gotten from ANYONE else. She opens her mouth to say something, but then just shuts it again. What does she say to that? A few stammered breaths and Pepper finally breaths out quietly, "You… are a most remarkable, and strong, young woman. I think I said it before but… if you need anything, including somewhere to just go… Vent… you still have my number, right?"

Hope smiles faintly, taking another bite of pizza. "Yeah, I have it," she nods. "And thanks. But honestly, this…club you're talking about sounds like it'd mean more to me than just about anything else. I spent my whole life fighting and training to show up and make a difference, you know? To be this…this messiah that they wanted. And suddenly not having a purpose? That's weird."

A slight nod comes to Pepper, especially as Hope mentions the importance of the 'club'. Pepper looks across the crowded room, "It is.. strange… being here without any Avengers, or anyone on a team. Tony has more space in this building than he knows what to do with. We… we could devote an entire floor. Get some proper gear. No need to be beholden to any country or government. Just… do good work, you know?" Pepper offers thoughtfully, the gears clearly turning behind her eyes. "…Is there anyone else you'd recommend?"

"Not that I can reach," Hope grimaces, finishing her pizza and brushing her hands off on her pants. "Or that I know is who I think they are. I mean, if I can find Nathan, Nathan's the best soldier in history. You could definitely do worse. But I don't know who's here, or why. And apparently Thor's a lady now? And so is the Black Panther. So, yay gender equality?" But she still looks more confused than otherwise.

"…I've met this Shuri… she seems… Quite capable. Perhaps she'd be a good choice? I have yet to meet Thor. But… a lady?" Pepper seems a bit surprised about that, not quite having kept up with all the news. She then gives a slightly deeper smirk, "…Tony is going to be surrounded by a team of women. I'll never get him to settle down." Pepper is only half joking there.

"To be fair," Hope smirks, "He's not really known for settling down anyhow." She leans over, getting a look at where the genius is working the room. "He seems…young," she says quietly. "I mean, not just in age, but like…Like he's got a whole lot fewer miles on his soul than the Tony Stark I knew."

The look in Pepper's eyes, for just a few moments, is a thousand miles and a few realities away. Where as this Tony seems a lot younger, there is something about Pepper that is a lot older. Tired, beaten by life. A lot more wise but a lot more jaded too. "… I guess not. Not…really…" Pepper confesses, with that distant tone, about Tony settling down. Then she tries to shake it off a bit, looking to Hope. "…He is young here. Not… nearly so… damaged. Part of me wants to try to keep him that way. Part of me suspects it's…not possible."

"You don't protect people by saving them from making mistakes." There it is. Hope is definitely Cable's daughter, whether or not they share any genetic material. "People have to make mistakes to learn and grow and get better. To have the motivation to bother. Also, Tony Stark who hasn't learned any of the really crappy life lessons to help him remember to put on the brakes is terrifying," she points out.

A slightly deeper smirk crosses Pepper's lips. "Terrifying? I…I don't know. Tony… here… Now? He… he's thoughtful. Sure, he still does some crazy things…" Pepper motions to the party that is still carrying on loudly around them, "But… it's not constant. I don't feel like Tony is doing this because he's *trying* to fuck up or self destruct. I feel like he's doing it because… he's having fun. He likes… life. Likes living. I…" Pepper sets down her slice of pizza, that appetite she did have suddenly fading, "… I can't remember the last time I saw that in Tony's eyes. Before all this."

"Well, maybe he came from the one universe or future or past or whatever where Tony Stark doesn't have major daddy issues," Hope muses, shrugging. "Which, I mean. Good for his emotional well-being, but that's really hard to wrap my mind around." She eyes the various drinks moving around, but at least she doesn't make a move toward any of the alcoholic ones herself. "I spent my whole life dropping from one weird version of the world to another. There's always an adjustment period."

"…I don't know. Maybe. But…" Pepper breathes out, shaking her head quietly, a bit of a crackled laugh escaping her lips, "I just don't want to ruin the second chance. Before I came here… I hadn't spoken to Tony in six months. Then we're here and… it's like… the universe gave us a do-over on so many things. I know I should be upset. I should want to go back home… they need me there, but… I don't know. This… it's nice. For once. I have hope… Hope." Pepper echoes the girl's name a moment later, bittersweet, tired smile in place. This Pepper is so tired. "…But you… how do you handle it? Going from place to place? How do you not get attached?"

Hope smiles faintly at the wordplay. "I do get attached," she answers honestly, shrugging. "Every time. To someone. To something. When nothing's home, then you learn how to make everything home. One friend, one act of kindness. Just because you lose something doesn't mean it doesn't have value while it's yours, you know?"

"…You are wiser than your age, you know that?" Pepper murmurs softly, that ache still behind her quite words. She then remembers the pizza, scooping it up for another quiet bite. She takes another bite as she mulls over all the possibilities. "…Well, did you end up finding somewhere proper to stay? If not, we could put you up here. Start… organizing a floor… for this Club."

"There was a lot of stuff that happened in the parts of the story I skipped over," Hope smiles ruefully, hands clasped as she leans forward. "And I've…I mean, I've sort of got a place, but I'm pretty sure even a spare closet here would be in better shape, if you're offering. Besides, being here would mean I'd be somewhere I could actually hear about stuff happening, right? So I could get back to actually doing something."

The moment Pepper hears about the shape of the girl's apartment, she chuffs and stands, "Yes! Of course. Come… I… I'm done with this. This place smells like beer. Unless you are quite attached to the game, let's go downstairs and I'll get you into one of the open Condos. Tony won't even notice, I'm sure." The rent in this building was too damn high for it constantly to be at full occupancy, an often issue in New York. But it works for them now, as Pepper leads the way towards the lift like some sort of tornado.

"Yeah, I have no idea what this game even is," Hope admits, amusement flickering across her features. "Football doesn't make it through the apocalypse, in case you were wondering. Then again, neither do TVs, so it's kind of a wash." She pushes up from the couch, pausing long enough to grab a can of coke - no doubt meant for mixing - on her way to the elevator.

"…Is it bad that, for one moment, I thought that makes an apocalypse sound very peaceful?" Pepper asks with a bit of a wince, as a ridiculously loud cheer goes up behind them. SHe nods in approval to the coke and just mashes a few buttons on the elevator fast. Come on, JARVIS. Soon enough, the lift opens and Pepper hits the level for 41, bringing them down to one of the more quiet condo floors. "JARVIS? Hope is going to be joining us in residence for a while. Can you take her retinal scan and put it on condo 41-D? Or thumb print? I forget which locks are on those doors." And, soon enough, the AI is instructing Hope to stand still for scanning.

Hope doesn't actually seem to find the scanning or the AI strange - more of the fun of being raised in the future. In fact, whenever she runs into more of the high tech devices, she gives them a look that Pepper is almost certain to recognize from Tony. It's the look of 'I wonder what I would find if I took that apart, and I bet I could make something else out of it.' She keeps those thoughts to herself, though. "There's- Or, I mean, there was a lot of empty history. When most of the human race gets killed off, there's not enough left to make things not peaceful."

"Well…we're here, now. Both of us. This world hasn't been destroyed, but it needs protections. So… we start working on that." And Pepper will be the consumate secretary to keep this team together, after all, it's what she's good at. The scanning finishes and they approach the condo door, where Hope puts in her biomarker to ensure it's working and then door slides open into a neutral, mostly bare, sparsely furnished New York high tech condo. "…Here. Home sweet home. There should be sheets on the bed."

Hope has definitely led a life. Because the first thing she does when she walks into the room is essentially a soldier's scan of the place. She checks the entrances, the exits, the closet, under the bed, in the bathroom. She takes inventory of everything that could be used as a weapon, and even sweeps the common places for bugs. And she does it all in under thirty seconds. "Thank you," she says when she's done, looking around with a small smile. "It's…really great."

Pepper lets the woman do what she needs, all too familiar with paranoia herself. This isn't the young, eager, bright eyed Pepper of this world previous. She gives a gentle nod, "Of course… but you will work for it. I expect help organizing everyone because Tony certainly won't be. But tonight? Get some sleep. I'll have some basic toiletries sent up in the morning. If you need anything, just ask JARVIS. Saying his name will wake him up in these rooms." So, there is probably SOME bug, or listening computer, if the building's AI could be interacted with here. But to Pepper, that's just life.

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