|File That Under C for Could Have Gone Better|
|What: Tony and Alison are out being fabulous in public when they find themselves at the dangerous intersection of one fangirl (Anya), one furious woman (Bethany) (not at Tony) (not at first), and one megalomaniac multi-billionaire (Shaw).|
It's Wednesday Night - Hump Day is the /perfect opportunity/ for the recently linked Billionaire Playboy Philanthropist and Formerly Disenfranchised Mutant Pop Star POWER COUPLE to be out on the town stirring shit up.
It's clearly a staged thing, because why the hell not? They're good looking, they seem into each other, and papparazi seem to be generally inclined to follow them around when they happen to be alerted to wherever it is they are at the time.
For now, they're cruising through Rockefeller Center. Sharing a late-summer ice cream here, drinking from the same soda there, some honest-to-bob public smoochery. Ali is dolled up in fashionably chic-yet-comfortable clothes for the weather and carrying the next 'IT' purse for fall, and her hair has been done and her makeup looks good and she is just... genuinely enjoying all of the attention, and literally sparkling here and there - little multicolored holographic diamonds fluttering about.
Thank you, Twitter. Anya had missed her chance to say hi to Alison back in Gotham -- damn her priorities -- but now, now she had a second chance. She was even in the area already! ...granted, she was in the area to deal with a mugging a few blocks over, but this is why she keeps her backpack close at hand with a change of clothes. So she can say hello to famous people. Right.
With the buttons from the Gotham show proudly stuck into her trusty backpack, Anya makes her way through Rockefeller with her phone in one hand, occasionally checking it for signs of where her quarry is currently lurking. Thankfully, Tony Stark is on her list, and not always so good with the subtle. She will find them. Oh yes. She will find them and /say hello/. This is her cunning plan.
Tony Stark is out and about with Alison Blaire to make sure that everything is going according to plan. His fame mixed with her former fame should be enough to get her back to relevant fame and all will be well. Right? Right. While he's clearly working with her on every single moment of shared couple bliss, there are more than a few times that his head is turned to look at other women and there's even a few times he's been caught talking to others while Alison was off grabbing ice cream or soda. It's truly an interesting relationship between these two, now isn't it?
For all of his own purposes, Tony is dressed somewhat down today. He's got jeans and a t-shirt that screams the Bill Nye theme song lyrics all over it. And over that he's wearing a black blazer just to be a little more stylish. He's also got on some sunglasses that You've Never Heard Of (because you are poor and Tony Stark is not).
While Dazzler is getting her sparkle on, Tony is off to the side signing a couple of autographs and making sure that he's posing for a couple more pictures with people and their personal camera phones. All the while making sure to give a good show to the paparazzi that he totally didn't have someone call to 'leak' where they would be. Nope.
Bethany is coming from, well, wherever it was, there was a party going on, of some sort. She's walking very quickly, head up, and drawing her own share of stares. The impression is all ivory skin and curves with the inconvenience of some shimmer hiding anything too scandalous. The gold lace cocktail dress she's wearing is barely decent but she wears it very well, along with the very high-heeled sandals. She might have had a wrap at some point but it's missing at the moment.
There's no chance she's carrying a weapon dressed like that. Unless you count, well... all of her. Even so, she looks a little bit dangerous at the moment. Anyone who knew her well would know that under her smooth expression, behind the warmth in her cheeks, she's furious about something.
Tony's flirting and posturing is -- actually not registering on Alison's radar at all. Mostly because she's doing it, too! Of course, the two guys she's currently sandwiched between in a big hug for a photo-op came /together/, so, hey! Whatever! She knows who her fans are! Autographs, autographs, fan pictures, lots of love and ease for the whooole shebang today.
As Anya nears, Alison gets this weird little look of familiarity -- 'I KNOW you from somewhere, don't I?' -- but is pretty much just in the moment with fans and onlookers as she needs to be. Of course, after several minutes of 'separate', Ali puts the 'butt' in 'but equal' and turns briefly to give Tony a /pinch/ so he knows she's still paying attention!
AHA. There they are! Anya pumps a fist in victory and quickly pockets her phone as she heads towards the Dynamic Duo, and when she recognizes the look on Alison's face, she can't help but crack a knowing grin. She gets it a lot and a part of her always gets a kick out of it. Secret identities had their drawbacks, but man, sometimes they were a /lot/ of fun.
Even seeing Tony Stark get his butt pinched won't stop Anya from wandering on up /this/ time. No sir. She is on a /mission/. A mission that is not so vital that she can't wait her turn before aiming a beaming smile at the pop star. "I'd apologize for coming up to you like this, but I get the feeling neither of you actually mind," she muses innocently. No judgment. "Your Gotham show was amazing."
Stark is peeling himself out of the ranks of random girls, just in time to get the pinch. Which has him spinning back around to plant a quick kiss on Alison's cheek, "Be right back, babe." is said loud enough for anyone listening or recording devices to pick up on. A quick smile is tossed towards Anya, before the Stark is heading off to do something he probably shouldn't be doing at this exact moment in time.
He's crossing the path of the hottingly dressed Bethany Cabe.
He practically slides into her path and cracks a smile, reaching up to pull down his shades for just a moment. "Please tell me this is a Walk of Shame moment. I really need this to be one of those. So I can immortalize this moment forever on the Internet." He's already reaching for his S-Phone.
Bethany sees him coming and her expression shifts into something that should scare even people who don't know her. That's her 'I'm gonna eat your soul' look.
"Oh Mr. Stark. I'm not ashamed of anything." She stops and puts her hands on her hips. No clutch, either. Dress like that, the shimmery-gauzy long gloves, the elaborate hair with the gold and pearl pins, a woman should be carrying at ridiculously expensive clutch. Her stare is hard and blue, but her smile is the soft curve drawn by a very good actress. "Go ahead. Make my day."
There's probably a very slight possibility that there may be Consequences for Mr. Stark if he posts that picture to the internet--especially depending on his caption. Maybe not from Bethany, of course. But... there are others.
Ali just gives a laugh and winks as Tony stalks off, and is MORE than happy to meet with Anya right in front of cameras and everyone else. "Not at all! We're out today to mix and mingle it up, after all," she confides.
When Anya voices her comment about the Gotham show, Ali claps her hands together cheerfully, "I KNEW you looked familiar! You were practically in the front row, weren't you? Thank you for saying so, it really went well beyond my expectations! Raised a /giant/ chunk of change for the Thompkins Clinic and the Wayne Foundation, too."
"Front row center for most of it," Anya confirms cheerfully, swinging her backpack around long enough to show off the buttons. See what a good, supportive fan she is, and how she is not at all a costumed vigilante that may or may not have fought some crime with Dazzler before. No wayyyyy. Just a fan. "I wish I hadn't missed the after party. I had to take a friend home before she jumped your new boyfriend," she notes in a low, conspiratorial voice, grinning impishly as she turns to peer after Tony.
...that's Bethany Cabe. Anya blinks in surprise and gives her a quick looking over from afar, unconsciously edging slightly closer to Alison as the extent of the CABE RAGE registers on her radar.
The amount of pictures taken on the S-Phone is probably way too many to be counted at the exact moment. The camera on that phone is amazing and it's practically like he's got Beth living on the screen of his phone or something the way the pictures look in comparison to the real thing. The real(ly delicious) thing, that is. Stark is all about Bethany right now. Perhaps, this is an attempt to just make the Alison jealous. It's what couples do, y'know.
"I'm actually more interested in making your night. But we can work our way down. That's okay with me." Stark flashes a grin as he looks Beth over and over and over once again, snapping a few more pictures and then taking to typing on the S-Phone, whilst uploading one of the more cleavage-centric pictures up onto Instagram, baby.
Caption: Today's Special: Bethany Cabe. Yum. #Starkagram
"Oh, Tony." Bethany reaches for the phone and takes. It. Away. Thank you. "If you want to get any further down, you'll need a shovel, not a phone." She puts the phone behind her back and keeps walking, right into Tony's space as she herds him toward Alison. "You should be paying attention to your beautiful girlfriend right now. Not me and my breasts. Which are dressed this way for the benefit of my husband." Who can burn in hell for all she cares right now. Bethany switches the phone to her other hand and offers it over to Alison with a smile. "Lovely to see you, Miss Blaire."
Right now, Bethany really misses being in a place where people will give her actual legal reasons to shoot them. She'd feel so much better.
Anya moving a bit behind her makes Ali take a guarding stance -- Bethany should be able to deduce it's a fairly competent one, instinctive and subtle. Taking the phone from her, Alison gives Bethany a raised-eyebrow-but-smiling "Thanks..." and then promptly starts looking at all the pictures Tony took. She even makes a silly mock-shocked face with the fingertips of her free hand over her lips for the benefit of a few photographers.
Then, of course, she makes the bold and showy move of putting the phone in her bra via her t-shirt collar, while giving Tony a sly look. ALSO for benefit of cameras, because Hell why NOT have fun with this!
Okay. Anya is not used to having people shield /her/ from stuff anymore. It's actually kind of disorienting. Not so disorienting that she doesn't notice a few things about the inbound redhead, though, and suddenly, she's back to hating having a secret identity. There are /questions/ that she wants to be asking her /right now/, but she can't, because Bethany has never met Anya. Only Spider-Girl.
Of course, then Alison does... /that/, and Anya eyes her sideways. Does she need an adult? She might need an adult.
Poor Tony Stark. Whilst he ends up forever herded back to Alison, he's taking it upon himself to look as though he's quite reverse-shocked at the antics of both Bethany and Alison. "You can't... I need my phone." is uttered, as if he was in dire need of assisting with some business calls or something. But then Alison is tucking it away and that only has Stark tossing up an even more interested smirk. "I'm not above going in after it." is said to her.
Pause. Belated pause. And a glance back towards Bethany. "... When did you get married?" Oh Tony. Try reading the background material thrown on your desk by Potts, next time.
Alison's antics make Beth laugh, which startles her out of her mood a little. "I'll get it back for you if you need it, Tony." She offers Alison her hand and leans in to give her a very European kiss on the cheek. "I'm Bethany, Tony's security consultant. You're far too good for him, Alison."
When she catches Tony's question, she gives him an arch glance. "When I was seventeen, Tony. Really."
Alison doesn't flinch away from the kiss on the cheek - Hell, she even gives Bethany a mirror one at the same time; When in Rome, right? "Oh, I'm sure one of these days I'll come to my senses," she confides in jovial tones, relaxing a bit at the introduction.
"And of course you aren't, Tony -- counting on it later, in fact." There's a sort of noise and Ali makes a weird face, then grins. "I think you just got a Tweet. I may have to keep your phone, I'm sorry."
Yes. Anya definitely needs an adult. Too bad there are none here. She can't entirely help but give Bethany a slightly startled look at her response to Tony, as if she's just gotten a glimpse of a horrible, terrifying alternate universe. "I'm seventeen," she says oh-so-intelligently, blinking at her. "Seriously?" She is torn. Torn between THAT'S TOO YOUNG and I AM NOT A KID. Ack. Awkward.
"Oh. It's about time for a divorce then." Clearly, Tony is not stupid enough to try and guess Bethany's age out loud or anything. He's just of the belief that if one is going to get married that they shouldn't stay married because that's commitment and commitment is scary. "Be careful with it in there. My tweets are important. It's how I keep up with all of my adoring fans." Stark is even moving to plant an arm around Alison at this point, as if to just make this entire thing go even smoother than silk.
Bethany's about to say something to Anya--she'd forgotten how -young- seventeen looks--until Tony speaks. Ouch. Bethany is a good actress but she wasn't expecting that kind of comment... well, she's used to it, just not from people who don't know she's married much less what her marriage is like. The shock shows on her face for a moment, then it's gone and the smile is back and the light tone.
"I realize that you specialize in some disposable products, Tony, but some things aren't so easy to discard." Bethany gives Alison a glance, then turns her attention back to Tony. "Especially people and time. Ten years is a long time to throw away."
"Charming as ever, Anthony," a resonant, cultured voice notes as Sebastian Shaw hoves into view. How a man as large as he is can sneak up on anything is beyond all sane reckoning, but there you have it. He gives a little nod around in the sort of manner that is purely out of politeness, and eyes Bethany thoughtfully. "You look awful, my dear. Positively rampaging. I hope you haven't left a mess of whoever it was for housekeeping to tidy."
"Tony doesn't think people are disposable, Bethany," Alison says - dander almost visibly raised. "The omnivorous womanizing party animal thing, while still mostly true, I think," she DOES give him a bit of an eyeing there before continuing, "doesn't come at the expense of people who demand and deserve to be treated with respect."
And the dander stays up when Shaw arrives, mostly just because of his sudden presence and Tone. Ali gives HIM a bit of a glare too, then says without hesitation, "If that's awful, I'd hate to see the other guy."
Well, /this/ is awkward. Anya is mercifully distracted from said awkwardness by the new voice coming from behind her, which unfortunately means she startles visibly, complete with a little squeak. It's adorable and she will uppercut anybody who says so. She half-turns to see who it is, and then blinks, and looks up. And up. And up.
"Nice cravat," Anya says lamely. Oh, yes. She is just a /little bit/ out of place.
The eyes of Tony Stark are immediately rolling the moment that Sneaky Shaw makes his arrival. "Shaw." is uttered quite routinely and without any of the jovialness that the others have been privy too. Perhaps that's just what rich billionaires do. They snide at each other in the most civil ways possible. Or something.
"All I'm saying is that nobody should be tied down for that long. Vows or no vows. Contract or no contract. Change can be good." Stark attempts to explain himself, but definitely would be doing better if he had his phone.
"I understand that you hold that opinion, Tony, but that's not the mindset I had when I got married. I intended to spend my life at it." Mind you, Bethany's not wearing her wedding ring set at the moment--they're hard to miss when she is. "It's not always about convenience, it's about love and making a life together and helping each other through the hard times. Even when it's all hard times, that's not always a reason to give up. It would take a great deal to get me to that point."
"It's good to see you, Sebastian. And... thank you for the... compliment, I suppose." She gives him a brief smile. "I'm afraid housekeeping is going to have to clean up. At least it's not my blood this time, right? That always means it's good day. You wouldn't happen to be going my way, would you? I seem to have lost my ride."
Stark's reaction gets the amused half-smirk of... yes, the sniping billionaire, Sebastian Shaw. They are a fickle and mercurial lot. His gaze falls down on Anya from a great height, both figuratively and literally. He spends a moment gauging her in a penetrating sort of way, categorizes her one(1) standard citizen, young, female, dubious level of interesting. "Thank you, miss," he replies smoothly on the way back to landing his attention on Bethany. "For you, my dear lady, direction is mutable. I assume you are not, in fact, in the mood for further inquiry, so I shan't ask why." Was someone glaring at him? Couldn't have been anything all that important.
OOOOOhhh, Alison's eyes /actually/ glow red for a second there. Which makes a great photo-op for anyone still paying attention. It's like... WWE Smacktalking on display - larger than life personalities, circling, metaphorical peeing of circles. GREAT tabloid stuff. Pictures worth thousands.
Frankly, though, Ali's starting to feel like it's time to 'Move to Separate Corners.' Pulling Tony's phone from her bra, she just offers it to him without a word, drawing closer in the circle of his protective arm. Looking over their prospective shoulders, she looks back at Anya, "Did you want an autograph or a picture or anything?"
"Noooo, thank you. Just saying hi." Did Anya even remember to say hi? Well, whatever, she just did. That means MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. Go team! If she wasn't currently feeling like she was approximately the size, age, and relative power level of a gnat, she might even give herself a high five. Instead, her hands get stuffed into her pockets and she flashes an uneasy smile before she starts iiiiiinching away. Rich people be crazy.
Tony has his phone back! This is a victory for all of Stark-Kind at this particular moment. It's not every day that a Stark actually manages to get their objects back. And this time he's managed to do just that. "Darling. I do believe we have a few more appearances to make." is said to Alison, as if that's enough of a cue for her to wrap this stuff up so that they can get with the going. Apparently, Shaw's arrival is like turning the lights on during a Roach Party. Scatter!
"Have a good evening, Tony, Alison." Bethany slides her arm through Shaw's. It's a marker of the day that Sebastian Shaw is Bethany's rescuer. She gives Anya an apologetic smile and a wave as Anya skitters away. Wow, seventeen is so young. It wasn't that young when she was seventeen.
"I think the Embassy, if you don't mind, Sebastian," Bethany says quietly. "I'm sure Alex is wondering where I am by now."
As everyone scatters, Ali and Tony wrap up their little impromptu sleazebag press tour - though neither of them easily regain the earlier gaiety. Frankly, it only lasts a few more minutes before they just decide to call it a day and make for the limo.
Shaw's perfectly happy to let them go-- he wandered over because he saw someone he knows-- Bethany-- looking irritated. Not to indulge in a pleasant snark-fest with Tony. That could wait for a charity event. "Until later, Tony," he says smoothly. Alison might have gotten a polite word, if she wasn't set on glaring at him. Alas. "The Embassy, then. I rather think Demetri will be relieved he won't have to park the car after all."