|What: Tony & Steve have an Excellent Adventure.|
They debriefed him. For a few hours, in fact. Close to half a day. In the end, Steve did get his military pension and his back pay. Unlike everything else having to do with the US Army, it went through quickly and without a hitch. There's been no official announcement that Captain America is back, though, and as far as Steve is concerned that is, for the moment, just as well.
He secured a nice place in Brooklyn. The neighborhood isn't too far from where he lived as a young man and the crime rate is pretty decent. The air still smells of food of a half-dozen ethnicities, though some of the ethnicities have changed. There wasn't as much curry, for a start, in thirties Brooklyn.
The apartment is empty of much except a few sticks of furniture. A bed, a table and a couple of chairs, a dresser, the necessaries for the kitchen. A shiny new microwave sits unused on the counter, its manual sitting atop it. Steve Rogers, skinny kid from Brooklyn, is sitting on the porch steps. He has a tennis ball and is bouncing it occasionally on the pavement, never failing to catch it or to bounce it where he wants it to go.
Stark 7. Ferrari. Limited Edition. (It Flies.)
Not at the moment, though. At the moment, the Stark 7 is speeding around the corner and onto the block that now belongs to Captain America. Behind the wheel of the stylish speedster vehicle is none other than Tony Stark himself. He's got his designer shades on and he's wearing the biggest smile that he could possibly be wearing right now. Could have a lot to do with the fact that he loves driving around New York and right now he's off to see the latest thawed out project of S.H.I.E.L.D. without S.H.I.E.L.D.'s permission. This should go well.
Tires come to a screeching halt as Tony speeds past the Captain and only realizes it a moment later. He shifts into reverse and squeals his tires again as he finally comes to a stop right in the middle of the street, but right where the Captain can see him. "Well, there he is! Captain Sulkypants." Stark is up on his seat and hopping over the door, grabbing a thick folder on his way out.
"Brought you a little something." Stark's approach in his jeans and I Arc Reactor Iron Man shirt is coupled with the tossing of the heavy folder at the steps next to Steve. It's labeled Steve Rogers/Captain America. The car that screeches by definitely gets Steve's attention. It was designed for that very effect: to be eye-catching, attention-getting, noticeable. Obviously. It's for Stark. So Steve straightens, catching his tennis ball and peering at the vehicle as it zooms past, screeches, and slams into reverse. Even without seeing the guy behind the wheel, there really is only one person it could be.
Steve leans back, raising an eyebrow at Tony and giving him a faint frown. "Stark," he says, letting out a breath. "You know what they say about apples and trees?" He does take the folder, though, frowning and looking it over. "You know that whole 'living here incognito' thing is not going to last if you keep doing that, right?" he inquires, blindly tossing the tennis ball. It flies across the street, ricochets off a doorway, a windowsill, a streetlamp, a railing, and back into Steve's hand as he rises to his feet. Hefting the folder, he inquires: "Whose is this? I mean, I know it's mine. Who was keeping this, I mean?"
"You're Captain America. Who the hell needs incognito?" Tony Stark doesn't seem to be too worried about lowering his voice or even not making a spectacle out of everything. "You're the closest thing America's got to a living, breathing, mascot and you want to be incognito? You really are old school." Tony doesn't really need to respond to any quick quips about his resemblance to his father but with it being Tony, how could he not? "And for the record, not even Dad had this much style." Finally, Tony pulls off his shades and cracks a smile, hanging them on the collar of his shirt. "Oh that? That's from S.H.I.E.L.D. and that's pretty much everything they were never going to tell you, about, y'know, you. I know, I know. I've done you a great service in keeping you in the loop and I know you want to thank me. But hold your horses, because you can thank me on the way." Beam.
"I want," Steve says, "to have the occasional quiet ten minutes where I'm not being asked for an autograph. Besides, S.H.I.E.L.D. and the US government haven't actually announced that I'm awake yet. Not," he adds, sighing a little, "that it would actually upset you if you irritated them, would it?"
He flips open the folder then, adding: "You didn't know Howard like I did, believe me. He was almost all style. Almost all." But his eyes flicker up from the folder again and he asks the obvious question. "On the way where?"
"Seriously? You've been in carbonite freeze for like a million hours, you're finally free and alive and super soldierly well and you haven't the slightest urge to..." And this is where Tony is somewhat distracted by some fine ladies walking by on the other side of the street. He offers a grin to them and even a wave. "... see the sights?" It takes a moment of long distance flirting before Tony's turning his attention back to the Captain.
"So. Head inside, stash that folder wherever you hide your red, white and blues... change..." Apparently, Tony does not care for whatever outfit Steve is wearing at this moment. "... and we'll go tear up the town while you tell me all about your wack misadventures with Dad." Ulterior Motive? Bingo.
What Steve is wearing is pretty predictable. Khaki slacks. White T-shirt with a plaid button-up over it. Hiking boots and a brown bomber jacket. He stares at Tony, glancing between him and the folder. "What are you talking about?" he says at last, finally looking in the direction Tony is. Oh, brother. He smiles somewhat nervously at the women, one of whom catches his eye, grins, and blows him a kiss. That's more or less when he nearly drops the folder. Waving briefly, he looks back down to Tony. Then down at himself a little worriedly. "Is there something wrong with how I'm dressed? It's not like I dug this stuff out from an old footlocker. It's brand new. What are you really after?"
"At least lose the jacket." Tony will just have to use the Captain's muscles to get him some babes. Whatever works. "I just brought you a copy of a top secret file that a government sanctioned organization has been keeping on you since you went popsicle. I think I've earned some Wingman Points, here." Stark is not about to let out the real reason he wants to hang out with Steve Rogers. There is certainly no reason for him to pick Steve's brain about his father in any capacity or for any reasons at all. Nope. It's strictly to help Steve and get some women. Tony smiles and holds up his keys on one finger. "Now do you want to have some fun or not?" Uh oh. Stark Scheme Smirk.
"I've read about you, you know," Steve replies with a faint smile. "You're Tony Stark. You really don't need my help in picking up women and I wouldn't be of any help anyway. I'm interested in this, I admit. I appreciate it. It's going to get soem serious reading. Look..." He glances back at the apartment, then back at Tony. What on Earth is the man up to? Whatever it is, Steve's not going to find out by just standing there. Besides, he can take the opportunity to get to know the real world a little better. It's research. Honestly. "Five minutes," he says wearily. "I'll be right back."
He jogs inside and up the stairs, and it's barely even that five minutes before he returns. The folder is gone. The jacket is gone. The khakis have been replaced with blue jeans -- regrettably clean and neat, but what can you do? The result is a Steve Rogers that looks... well, no less clean-cut than he did before, but possibly slightly more part of this century.
In those five minutes that Steve Rogers is upstairs, Tony Stark is hard at work. Those two women from before are already in whatever passes for a back seat of the Ferrari and Tony's back against the passenger door, arms crossed and looking ever so patiently at... Steve Rogers: Captain Clean Cut II. There's only a slight roll of Tony's eyes as he pushes away from the car to go and meet his wingman of justice. "Today, we party. Tomorrow? We shop." That's right, Tony Stark is taking a special interest in making sure that Steve Rogers gets the makeover of the century. And then some. He tosses an arm around Cap and holds out his keys. "So. Can you drive anything other than a tank?" Grin.
If he wanted to dress up, there is absolutely a pair of rather high-waisted trousers, a pair of suspenders, and a white dress shirt up there. Tony ought to reflect that it could be worse. Looking at the women with a degree of dismay, Steve whispers to Tony: "Do you have any idea who these girls are?" But as he's offered those keys... well, it might actually be Tony's best plan for endearing himself to Steve so far. The file was good. The car... "I guess we'll have to see," he says, snagging the keys and moving over to slide into the driver's seat. "You ladies hang on tight," he says. Holding up the ignition key, he adds to Tony: "This goes here, right?" Key inserted, he starts the car, revs the engine, and grips the wheel with obvious appreciation. "All right. Where to?"
Wait. Why is the passenger seat empty?
Because Tony Stark is in the back and sprawled over the laps of the girls he's scooped up just by being Tony F'n Stark. "You're the driver. Take us to infinity and beyond." Tony is having way too much fun in the back to be actually worried about anything that Steve should be doing up front. Besides, there's no way J.A.R.V.I.S. will let him smash up the Stark 7, right? Pay no attention to all this physical flirtatiousness going on in the back.
"Just don't hit the red button next to the radio!"
Ah. Yes. This is a lot more familiar. It might as well be Bucky back there canoodling with the girls. Heck: it really might as well be Howard Stark. He was in just this situation once as he recalls, except it was France. And it was a Jeep. This... this is assuredly not a Jeep.
The car suddenly leaps into motion, and it's all Steve can do to prevent it from going careening out of control. Well: all Steve and J.A.R.V.I.S. can do. Damn the man, though: he's actually obeying the speed limit. He's ambling comfortably enough through the neighborhood as he half-glances back:
"Why? What's it do?" And because there is the tiniest bit of mischief in Steve Rogers, his fingers stroke the button ever so gently.
Stark is somehow managing to kiss both girls at the same time when the question is asked. He's much too busy with the females to actually be worried about Steve and his mischief. But then again, maybe he's wanting to see just how much of a brat the Captain of America can be. He's already rolled his eyes at the lack of speed, but there's girls in his presence and they have to be attended to in the most Starkish of fashions.
"No idea!" is spilled from Stark's lips as he decides it is finally time to come up for a little bit of air. Just a little bit.
It's all on Steve...
Well. He's the Star Spangled Man and all. He can't speed, he can't get drunk and hit on girls, he can't do any of the things Tony Stark's so famous for. Not that he's inclined. But even if he were. And it does take a small amount of driving to get out of the little side lanes and back streets, but as the street opens up into a few more lanes and the cars thin out, the Man With The Plan decides to go for broke.
He pushes the bright red candylike button.
J.A.R.V.I.S. intones, "Flight Mode. Activated."
Perhaps that's a warning for Tony Stark to get from the back and to the front seat with the quickness, because seatbelts slide on and around all four of them in that next instant, locking into place for what is likely going to prove to be a bumpy ride. While the car is slowing itself down and prepping the engines, lifting as the wheels fold underneath and repulse against the ground, Tony looks over at Steve and smiles. "I knew you had it in you. Let's fly, Stevie." He pulls his shades back on his face and reaches down to flip on some music.
"Hold onto your hats, ladies..."
Steve Rogers never really was a pilot. Oh, it's not all that hard: the craft, especially in this case, does most of the work for him. He's observed pilots at work and he's even been behind the controls of an aircraft, but his forte was usually with boots on the ground.
Nevertheless... his hands grip the steering wheel lovingly as he glances to Tony. "When I saw the first prototype for this," he says, "it didn't stay in the air very long. I'm sure you've improved on the technology, right?"
Apparently he's going to put it to the test. No more puttering around at 35 miles an hour. Not for Steve Rogers. The pedal's to the metal as they lift off, and as he starts gaining on the car in front of him he begins pulling back on the steering wheel. Higher. Higher. Buzzing the Brooklyn Bridge and soaring into the sky, and as Steve Rogers looks into the sunset there's a big happy grin on his face.
"Got a spare pair?" he inquires, glancing briefly at Tony.
"Told you I needed a wingman." And with that, Tony Stark is opening up the glove compartment and comes out with a pristine pair of mirrored Aviators that are perfect for someone like Steve. He's not ready to step it up to the more stylish Ray Banz. But: Soon.
The girls in the back are already in a gigglefit mess, clearly enjoying themselves to the highest order as if they were at an amusement park or something similar. Hell, that's pretty much any day with Tony Stark. But wait, this is the part where he has to look at Steve with a slightly more serious face. Just a bit. "My Dad built a flying car too?" Not shocked. Not upset. Just very curious. It would seem that Tony Stark is muy interested in some of his father's more futurist designs.
Slipping the sunglasses on, Steve starts ambling around the perimeter of the island of Manhattan. "You'd better have this cleared with the FAA and the police," he muses. "Somehow I think an unidentified aircraft zooming around New York City is going to attract a little attention." Of course, once they see it's Stark, the authorities would probably grudgingly back off. Especially since he isn't driving and the guy behind the wheel, therefore, is likely to be sober.
"He did," Steve admits, looking back to Tony in some surprise. "He had some kind of technology; these big rounded fender-looking things. It was at the World's Fair. You never saw it? It hovered perfectly for about twenty seconds before something went wrong, but he didn't miss a beat. I have to admit, the car was a beaut."
"Huh." Tony's missed so much in random drunken stupors, which is normally when he decides to check out his father's stuff, that he probably missed it. Or just didn't pay too much attention. Or whatever. It's really complicated being Tony Stark. "Well, don't you worry. We're in no danger of going down. Did you know my cars don't even run on gas?" Tony's almost forgotten about the women in the back, as he's much too busy enjoying the flight capabilities of his Flyarri and Steve being at the wheel. "So. I gotta' ask. What's it like being frozen? Did it hurt? What's it feel like to not be a popsicle anymore?" And there's the scientist coming out in him. So curious!
Steve himself is really enjoying this -- "It flies like a dream," he says, obviously appreciative. He begins wending his way over the city, calling back: "Be careful looking down, ladies! It's a long way..." The question, though, makes him almost laugh. "I don't know. I wasn't really conscious for most of it. I remember being freezing cold, and then I remember feeling suddenly warm and comfortable. Like my body just got used to the cold for a minute, and then... nothing. I might've dreamed. I don't know. And now?" Shrugging, he looks down over the city with a sigh. "The world's changed. It's gone on without me. A long way on without me. I don't know why you woke me up, to be honest. Plenty of other people took up the responsibility of protecting the underdog. I'm a relic."
As he takes the car on another turn, though, a little smile reaches his lips: "Right now, though, I feel pretty good."
"I'm pretty sure S.H.I.E.L.D. has something in store for you. Which can never ever be good." Tony's got no problem with being up front and honest about everything. "I'm just along for the ride. I mean, not everybody gets to meet Captain America, right?" Tony's looking off to the ground himself, not even feeling the slightest bit of anything. Not after flying around in Iron Man armor on a regular basis. He just watches the city beneath them for a moment. "Maybe it's not that you're a relic. Maybe it's because you're an Icon. And sometimes, what we need the most, is an Icon." Not that there's really anything wrong with the city. Nope. Tony's not going to be the one to tell him.
For a moment Steve is silent, gazing over the city -- so beautiful from this high. So blameless. And for a moment he might be accepting it, but -- "No," he says softly. "The only reason they'd want an Icon is if something's very, very wrong. There's plenty of icons around here: you for a start, Superman, all kinds of others. Why me? Why now? I've been on ice for decades and now's the time they decide to thaw me out? Something's up. Maybe it's in that file you gave me. Did you read over it?" He glances over at Tony: "You're a Stark. Of course you did."
Tony continues to play the innocent role in all of this, if only because it's always safer to deny everything. Which is what he's doing. He even raises his hands up to prove that he's not the one that should be being asked about things and unfreezing. "Hey, I'm just the messenger. But..." And it may have been some ploy or something, but there's a reason why that Flyarri is headed in a particular direction. "Maybe we should ask them, huh?" And Tony thumbs over his shoulder towards the Helicarrier.
Steve glances that way, swallowing and pressing his lips together. He's about to say more, about to start asking Tony just what he's talking about, just what he actually knows. But he looks back over his shoulder at the two women with a slight smile, adding: "I don't think we need to start giving tours of the carrier. How about we take the ladies wherever they'd like to be this evening and consider that question a little later?"
Tony almost completely forgot about the fact that there were some females in the back. He actually turns himself around to look at them and then focuses his attention on the females for a few moments. "Yeah, we're about to hit some top secret stuff. So I guess we'll have to drop you off somewhere... expensive? How does that sound?" Yeah, Tony's trying to smooth things over at this point, since they did start talking business.
"First round's on Steve!"