|What: Tony Stark gets sent to the wrong principal's office.|
Director Fury is NOT a happy man right now. Incident reports are piling up on his desk like towers of angry retribution for being part of a pseudo-military group tangled up with global politics. He can barely be seen behind the stack of requests for SHIELD assistance via UN peacekeeping laws, in cleanup and repairs from last night's meteor strikes all over the US. Worse, there's another stack right next to it of reports from the Times Square incident last night.
All that can be seen of him is the stream of cigar smoke wafting up from behind the paperwork. He really needs an LMD or six to do this crap for him. Stupid regulations. Stupid desk job.
So. This is it. This is the big time. Tony Stark's presence has been 'requested' by the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and for all intents and purposes, it's like he's headed to the principal's office. Which is not a good sign at all. But the fact that he just walks into the office, without knocking or anything, proves that he's ready to stand his ground and maybe just deal with whatever consequences may come from hiding an artifact from S.H.I.E.L.D. in the first place.
"Alright, so, let's get this slap on the wrist over with, right? I've got a two o'clock and I can see you've got your hands full with the whole paperwork orange here so... why don't we just pretend you chewed me out and I'll mosey on back to Stark Industries for my meeting?" Tony doesn't even close the door. He's hoping his fast talking attempt will get him out of sitting down and he can just go. In fact, he's already turning to walk right back out.
A weathered hand splits the towers of paper, sliding one stack right, then the other left, revealing an equally weathered, eyepatched face. Fury looks like his last name right now, but it's a cold sort, that only resides in his visible eye. His jaw is tightly clenched, his teeth clenched hard on his cigar, and he glares at Stark from the frame of red tape surrounding him.
"Stark. Is there some good reason, and by good I mean something more than 'I found it' or 'I was drunk at the time', that you were concealing a potentially devastating alien artifact in Times Square. Better yet, care to explain why it was so shoddily secured that the idiot brigade that is HYDRA was able to get their hands on it last night?" The words come out clipped, slightly dulled by the presence of the cigar.
"Thinking maybe I should sit, huh?" Tony takes this opportunity to pull himself down into a chair and gets about as comfortable as someone can get when they are in a staredown with Nick Fury. It just... it's not very comfortable at all. He runs a hand through his hair to try and prepare some sort of defense, but it's not going to go too well. And he can feel it. "I... didn't think it was dangerous?" is Stark's answer to the first part. "I found it. And I /was/ going to turn it over to you guys but... you guys get really stingy when it comes to things like that so I wanted to have first crack at it. Before all your procedures and paperwork made it so I'd never get to see it again." Stark tries to kick on a smile, since S.H.I.E.L.D. does shut people out of stuff. "I'm not really sure how HYDRA even found it but... I'm working on that now. And my secure facility was not shoddy. It was plain sight. Nobody ever looks for anything in plain sight."
"Stark, are you even living on the same damn planet as the rest of us? That only works in badly written movies and books. The /first/ place people find things is when they're in plain sight, because THEY'RE IN PLAIN SIGHT!" Fury booms. His hand on the desk curls into a fist. "Do you ever think of anyone but yourself? You have no idea what you might have just put into the hands of a global, expansive, well-funded criminal organization. Instead of consulting someone who could have identified or at the very least secured it, like the US military or STAR Labs, you parked it in a heavily populated civilian area, a world-wide tourist attraction, none the less, and let it fall into enemy hands."
The hand comes up to pinch the bridge of his nose before the Director looks at Tony again. "I need to know everything you know about the artifact, and you'd damn well better be prepared to get it back from HYDRA. Assemble a list of operatives you want from SHIELD to assist you, and anyone else you can con into fixing your mistake, and get it submitted to me YESTERDAY. Understood?" he growls. "Meanwhile I'll be trying to clean up your mess on this front.
Stark's eyes tell everything. Which is why he's quiet for a long moment. His eyes are already telling the tale of a man that knows he's messed up. A man that's sorry, but can't say it, for what he's done. A man that just simply wants to make everything right. If he had a time machine he'd go back to when he found the artifact and unfind it. Whatever. None of that can be helped now. All that he can really do is just stare at Fury and tell him all these things without saying a word. It's much easier to joke.
Stark gets up from his seat and plasters on a smirk. "Did you want that typed up? Double spaced? That whole college report deal?" Stark gets to the door and can just feel Fury's eye burning a hole through his skull. "Ah, y'know what, nevermind. I'll wing it. Yeah, so uh, gonna' go save the world now. Okay? Kay. See ya'." Tony makes with the exiting because, yeah, let's not get shot by Nick Fury.
Fury growls in his wake, then goes back to his damned Stark-caused paperwork. Tony owes him big for this. BIG. He could have tossed him into a containment cell for endangering the civilian population. Instead he gave him a chance to correct his mistake. He must like the guy. Deep down. VERY VERY DEEP DOWN.