2011-04-16: At The Races


Joan_icon.jpg Tony_icon.jpg

Summary: Out to race bikes Joan runs into Tony at the track.

Date: PG

Log Title: At the Races

Rating: PG


It's not a big track, and it certainly isn't a famous one, but the people who race here like it that way. Tucked away between some industrial buildings, the full sized track has only a small seating area, and no glitz at all. This doesn't stop the teams of people here from gathering to race. It's like the place to race and practice without having to worry about the audience.
Joan's been here for years. In fact she doesn't race in competitions normally, and just enjoys such small time events. Racing against friends, or friends of friends, and enjoying the feel of it all. Her racing leathers are green and yellow, a snug fit that none the less does nothing other than show she's got a figure. Even her helmet has a mirrored pane, hiding her face. There she waits at the starting line, watching Tony move up to join her. Now she wonders if he knows who she is, for there's a perverse humor in hoping that he doesn't.
A nod to Tony, a salute, and the woman readies herself at the signal. When the green is offered she's off like a shot. And the race is close. It's also good. The woman Tony races against has no fear, races with practiced skill, and yet does absolutely nothing to cheat even if it's obvious towards the end that she's going to lose. This merely spurs her on to try harder, but in the end Tony wins because, well.. he's Tony Stark.
When the two manage to regather, the woman motions. Two out of three?

The weather has been nice for once so the local bikers have poured out of their homes to head towards a track that sees frequent races. It is not something the public is made aware of though there are members of the police department and emergency staff on hand in case there are accidents on the track. There hasn't been an incident in a number of years which is a testament to those that race here.
Though not often a visitor to this particular track Tony has been known to show up from time to time to either watch someone or to participate himself. On a beautiful cloudless day he is actually here with his Ducati in the hopes of getting into a race or two. He's in it for the adrenaline kick as well as an escape from the stresses of the week. Walking the bike to the line clad in black from next to feet the only sign of color is upon the helmet itself which is a solid black with a red and gold airbrushed design. As he waits at the starting line pulling on his gloves he notices the racer to his right then
to his left. Not anyone he's familiar with.
With helmet pulled on Tony catches the nod accompanied by the salute from the nearby woman in green and yellow and offers a nod of his own before eyes face front awaiting the signal. The race itself is hard fought and far more entertaining than it has been in awhile. Keeping the woman from overtaking him is quite a challenge and he's impressed with her abilities. Back at the finish line people are chatting amongst themselves post race though Stark has caught sight of the woman rolling up beside him. Two out of three she signals. He peers down at the track for a moment then turns back to nod acceptance. In this the second race the mystery woman ends up nudging out the victory and Tony shrugs playfully when the bikes come to a stop again.

For all she asked for two out of three it's more because she was enjoying herself than she wanted to beat Tony. Hadn't had to work that much in a long time! So when the two stop after the second Joan can't not push up her faceplate and grin at the man. Her weight rests on the cycle, but she's leaning to one side, only one foot on the ground. Her cycle murmurs as she leaves it idle. Hey, look, it's that woman from the art event. "I wouldn't have expected you to be any good at this." Rich boy wants to go out and play. There's no bad winner here. She's frankly just amazed that the man is as good as he is.
(Someone pointed Tony out to her, which is how she knew. Give Joan time, she'll remember that face before too long.) "So, want to make that third go at it?" Doesn't pull off her helmet, for there's no point in doing that just to put it back on again. This isn't the only race she's done, so she really should get her bike looked at, but who cares. This has been fun!

Flipping the face plate up dark brown eyes dart over to see a familiar face. Tony can't quite place her which is of no real big surprise given how many people he runs into on a daily basis but this doesn't stop him from idling his bike to be able to speak with her. "That is sort of a compliment." Laughing he pushes the face plate down then removes his helmet. "I've been racing bikes since I was sixteen. Mind you not legally and mostly on the street to start with but I eventually moved to a track and much faster rides." He's a bit of a speed addict.
Heart racing from the race, and breaths coming quicker than normal he offers her a smile. "Perhaps after a few races? It'll give the bike's a break not to mention the poor driver." One glove is pulled off then another with the pair being shoved into his helmet for safe keeping as a friend of his comes over to take the lot from him. "May I buy you a drink?"

It's okay if Tony doesn't place her. Alls fair after all. "It was meant as a compliment." Joan assures as she nods about letting some other people race. Means she clears the space to allow others, and lets her cycle fall into the hands of her mechanic. Yes, she really has one of her own. This is where she pulls off her helmet to show that raspberry colored hair. "Have you been here before? Mostly because I've not heard people talking about it, and I would have expected that." She holds to her own helmet, looking to her mechanic, who is eyeing something. Bike is more important than Tony Stark! A finger is held up, and she steps over to ask. Not that she goes far.
Assured that it's nothing major and a tweak will settle things, she finds Tony handing off that helmet. There's a almost wary look for that. "Now that depends on whether or not you think I'm something to play with like you did at the gala." The green and yellow gloves are slowly pulled off and she finger combs her hair back to artful disarray. This is why she has that haircut. Too much helmet wearing for anything else.

"I have been a handful of times but not enough to really make much of an impact." Which is of course how Tony wanted it to be. What would be the point of people knowing he was here? The place would be flooded by people, and press let alone the off chance that someone with a grudge came to wreck the place just to get at him. Has he been put on pause mode? An eyebrow lifts at this but as she's turned away he takes the time to have the same person who dealt with his helmet to take the Ducati off the track.
As Tony pulls the zipper at his neck down several inches he's aware of being taken off pause though now he comes to realize why she was familiar to him. "Ahh, Ms. Gala. Are we not playing now? Or have been?" What would you call this? Still the offer is out there and he's already made way to go towards the truck that has been driven in to provide refreshments.

That explains it! Joan doesn't quite live at the track, so she could have easily missed someone who wasn't around often. And yes, she actually paused Tony Stark. The bike means more to her. Not that it takes long. When she's back there's a shake of the head. "I at least remembered your name. I was kind of hoping that we wouldn't play games of that sort. I don't like to play with people like that." Which leads to, "I'll buy my own drink, thank you, but do appreciate the race. I haven't had a challenge in some time. That felt amazing." Sadly she can't afford a bike as nice as Tony has. Can buy herself a huge bottle of water though.

As much as Stark would like to go back to the days where he gambled, and lived life on the edge with whomever who wanted to tag along he got more satisfaction out of being Iron Man. This meant less time racing bikes unfortunately which is something that he's been doing since he was sixteen and hasn't given it up. "No, that was a one time thing." Assuring Joan that he is not always behaving in such a manner though he does quite often. "Suit yourself. It was more of a way to continue the conversation which by the way you're a very skilled racer. Have you done it professionally or a rather gifted amateur?" Stepping up to the cart to get a bottle of water for himself then exchanging the money. The change is dropped into a big plastic jug marked tips and the bills are hidden back in a zippered pocket of his jacket.

Conversation doesn't have to end because she bought her own water, and she shows that by actually sticking around and answering. Would ask the same thing of Tony, but there's that whole Iron Man thing. That answer is an obvious one. Really.. race cycles or be Iron Man? "I can't race professionally." Which is said with honest sadness and a look back to her bike. She brightens to smile at her mechanic, who's moving the bike somewhere. "For a number of reasons." Said as she looks back. "So I'll have to stay a gifted amateur. ..But I really do have to ask. Isn't your, um.. I just realized I had no idea what to call it. Suit? Being Iron Man. Isn't that like a thousand times cooler than riding around a track? Can't you break the sound barrier in it?" A cycle seems so lame in comparison.

Tony gestures to a place across the way that is out of the moving traffic and far enough away that the roar of the races doesn't entirely drown out the conversation. "More fun just to enjoy racing rather than to be held accountable for winning." Unscrewing the cap from his water he drains a quarter of the bottle in one go then seeks to answer her question. "Yes, I can go over Mach eight and a half which is quite a lot of fun though it is not the same. I've always enjoyed motorcycles, and my father was into race cars."

"To be honest I'd love to compete, but that won't be happening." A shrug and nothing is explained. She thinks about the reply on the armor, watching Tony as he answers. "Can't quite feel the wind in your face, huh?" Hmm. Joan decides that the armor must be a topic to avoid since there wasn't even a glimmer of apparent interest. Mach eight something. And most people merely dream of flying. Here's a man who made a dream reality with his own two hands. "I was using it more of a reference. Kind of like riding one of these, then going to play bumper cars. It's just not the same. ..And you're clearly a thousand different directions than here. Sorry to take up your time, Mr Stark." There's a smile for that though.

Tony recaps the bottle. "Do you like the competition?" Tip of the head, "Riding with the top down at that speed isn't advisable." Chuckles then seems to be at a loss for the turn in the conversation. "I'm not sure I follow. Have I some how offended you in some way that makes you think that I'm looking for a way to dash off?"

Joan nods, "Entirely." Like the competition. "Knowing that I'm doing my best, win or lose, appeals to me." There's a bit of a grin for the top down, "That is rather what I was thinking of." Not quite something one wants at mach 8. Then there's that look of loss and she motions to her head. "It's like I'm not the only one talking to you here. You answer my questions, but there's no investment in the conversation. I'm not upset. You haven't offended. I'm just a girl who rides motorcycles that you've met twice and will probably never see again. So I give you the option to get away." Helmet against hip she drinks some of her own water, downing some heavy swallows. Gets sweaty in that getup.

"That's a rather interesting perspective," Tony says rather puzzled by Joan. "See, you ask questions and I answer them and vice versa. I thought it was going rather well. Investment? I don't get that." Really doesn't understand but he's still standing there uncapping his water again. "You thought you'd never see me again the other night and here I am. Already proving your theory wrong."

"And yet now I have you thinking." Not smug, for that isn't what she's feeling. There may be hope for this conversation yet! "You don't ask many questions, Mr Stark." Joan tells you patiently. "Being invested in the conversation means asking questions in return that have some weight. Or giving answers that lend themselves to more questions. You haven't offered me much to work off of here. You're a little distant, and I can see the cogs turning in your head." She smiles for that. "You do have me there." Points at Tony for that she's seen him twice now. "How could I assume otherwise? You're an Avenger and I'm just the girl next door. I don't rate."

Tony shakes his head before taking a sip from his water. "You're rather odd. Not that I mind this in the slightest it's just leaving me a bit off kilter at the moment. I'm not very forthcoming to tell the truth. I'd rather just see where things lead. Besides your turn about the track, and your brother all I know about you is that you are an art dealer. Asking some inane question like: Is green and yellow your favorite colors? Not going to happen. Though it reminds me of Banshee." Water bottle to chest a rather serious gaze falls upon her. "You don't rate? Can you not simply enjoy speaking to someone rather than pulling in the rest of it? No titles, no organizations. I'm just Anthony or if you prefer Tony."

Joan's laughs a little for that. "I am." Rather odd. There's a warm delight to it though. "That's the whole point of talking. To learn." As she doesn't know about Banshee, that leaves her looking at you baffled, but she assumes it must be a super. "I wasn't asking for a detailed description of the your being Iron Man. I asked what it was like to fly in it compared to the bike. Maybe I wasn't clear, and for that I'm sorry." She does move away, letting other people near the drink stand. Oops. Didn't want to be come a fixture there. "There are a lot of things we could talk about that aren't inane. And I would much prefer Anthony. You didn't even introduce yourself last time, so I defaulted to being polite. Do you prefer Anthony or Tony?" That question has her tilting her head. Now as for not rating, she shrugs. "You have come off as rather distant. That implies things."

Even though this woman is quite strange the rather odd conversation is at least keeping his attention. "Ahh, you wanted to know the difference and I explained something different. It's a hell of a lot faster and more free'ing in many aspects. There are however times when being grounded, enjoying the ride, is better than flying in corkscrews." Having stepped aside he takes a few more side steps to make sure that he's not in the way of passerby's. "I prefer Tony. Very few people call me Anthony. As for the other," sighs. "I'm tangled up in some rather nasty business at the moment and have been seeking ways to remove myself from the situation to hopefully gain some perspective. A break as well. This?" Looks out over the track, "My second resort as the first option failed." Settles a slightly apologetic gaze upon Joan. "I haven't intended to imply anything at all. I'm rather bad company at the moment for which I can apologize for." Changes gears, "Did you come out here on your own?"

"That must be amazing." The flying. "All the more so since you know it's your own accomplishment. You built it with your own hands." There's a wistful kind of sigh as she perches on something and unzippers that jacket of hers. A pale shirt of blue is beneath. "I never had any gift with machinery, so I have to sit on the sidelines and be jealous." There's that smile again. A firm nod for using Tony, and she really listens that you have trouble. "May I know what your first option was?" Curious mostly because this is Joan's favorite thing, racing. "I'm curious about your trouble, if you care to relate that. If you even can. I've been hearing a lot of bad things in the city lately." Curious as to which one, if any, it is. A puzzled look over if she came here on her own. "Yes. I have a street legal cycle. Don't own a car. The bikes are costly enough to house." For all she's amused with this.

Tony sets his water down next to where Joan has taken up a seat before unzipping his own jacket. The t-shirt may amuse her as it is a grey Tokidoki T-shirt of Cap riding a skateboard delivering a fast food meal that has faces on the actual food. It's very cartoonish. "I love to fly though I do not often get to goof around in the air. You're interested in building things? Or repairing?" Not a bad idea given that she had a rather expensive bike she could work on herself if she knew how.
With the roar of a race going on in the background Tony steps a bit closer to be able to continue the conversation without having to speak too loudly. "My first option? Meditation actually. Completely the opposite end of the spectrum. My troubles?" There are far too many to even bother speaking of though she is on to something. "I appreciate the offer to listen. You already know most of it if you've been following the news about the rise in drug related deaths, disappearances and pretty much everything else. I'm not at liberty to say much but that is what is at the top of my list at the moment."

"You meditate?" What a strange idea! Not something that's ever really come up in her life, but she does have a hand to assure that it's no trouble for not telling. "I understand." Really, she understands about not being able to talk about things. The woman has her helmet in her lap and that water bottle resting inside. "I do wish you good luck then." Honest that, and there's certainly no follow up offer for help. Not a super hero! "Glad you got a moment to blow off some steam today at least. Racing always helps me clear my head."

Tony nods that he does indeed meditate. "I know meditation is not for everyone but it helps me from time to time. Have you ever tried it?" The last race has ended and there is quite a lot of chatter amongst the racers around the area and those that just enjoy being a part of the community. "Thank you on both counts. Do you come out here often to race then? For me it is simply enjoying something that I like."

"More of something I've no experience with and have never considered." Joan has nothing against it, for she knows almost nothing of it. So, no, never tried it. Her attention too shifts with the chatter and she lifts a hand to wave to someone who catches her eye. That person beams back at her. He won! Joan gives him a bit grin and a sign of approval. "Every chance I get." In looking back to Tony. "This is my hobby. Some people accuse me my only two loves are the stock market and racing. I'm afraid they might be right." But that laughter lingers.

"There's nothing wrong with that at all. At least you've found something you enjoy passionately. A great many people never find that." Tony happens to spot his friend coming over to hand him a hat and a pair of sunglasses. With thanks the man takes off again leaving Joan stuck speaking with Tony. The hat is a modified fedora, a much smaller one that seems to be the style of today, then the glasses are put on. "Seems we've missed quite a few races. You want to take a rain check on that last one?"

Joan totally agrees that she's lucky in having found something she enjoys, and there's a nod. Sadly that friend doesn't much look like a friend to Joan, and she eyes him in a speculative manner as he moves away. The hat and glasses, well, she's a polite one mostly. "Don't worry about it." The other race. "I just wanted to race a second time. Didn't matter if I won or lost." There's a smile as she rises to her feet. "It was nice talking to you, Tony. Ron over there is getting impatient so I'm going to have to go." Ron being the mechanic. "Don't work too hard, okay? We all need to stop and remember how to breath from time to time." She's a warm smile this one.

Tony grins as people pass by to head to the refreshment truck. "Glad I ran into you. Rather enjoyed the races and hopefully we'll bump into each other again." Reaching for his water bottle Tony takes a step backward allowing her to have a clear path to walk towards this Ron. "I'll try. Have a great afternoon, Joan." With a million dollar smile he takes a sip of his water before taking a look about the area picking a random direction to go in before heading out towards the parking lot where his street legal bike is sitting.

Now if only she were amused by that smile. Joan doesn't react to it all that much however. Not in way of expression anyway. "I hope you can too." Keeps that smile of her own and goes jogging off towards Ron. "What was that about?" Ron asks, eying the departing Tony. Joan can only shrug, "No idea." She admits rather honestly. "Now, what's wrong?" Is her baby hurt?!

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