2011-05-08: Cafeteria Conversation


Tabitha_icon.jpg Tony_icon.jpg

Summary: Tabitha and Tony have a chat about what happened in Union Square.

Date: May 8, 2011

Log Title: Cafeteria Conversation

Rating: PG

NYC- Stark Towers Cafeteria

//The cafeteria doors slide open allowing people to enter the spacious well lit room. There is a section for those that would like to relax on comfortable chairs while accessing their wi-fi connections immediately to the right upon entering the cafeteria. A small zen garden is located in the center of the room, and is surrounded by square dining tables. At each table there are four comfortable chairs, and in the center of the table a bonsai plant. The food itself is prepared away from the seating in a made to order fashion or premade food can be found in large refrigerators that are up against one wall of the food preparation area. //

The lobby of the Towers is empty save for the two guards stationed at the main security desk as it is the weekend so there is not much foot traffic to enter the building save for employees seeking to get some extra work done. Off to the right are the double doors leading into the cafeteria which is closed at this time. Anyone close enough to the doors may hear movement inside the room. Of course anyone entering the building would have to check with security before going anywhere.

Someone does, eventually, make their way up to the Stark building. It's Tabitha, probably easily recognized by the guards by now; and she's quite accustomed to being checked over for weapons. "No, boys, no guns this time either," she comments cheerfully as she goes through the metal detector. "Haven't been silly enough to go out and buy any." Eventually, she's let through, and told to wait in the lobby while Tony Stark is alerted that she's there. So, wait she does, idly wandering around and looking at things.

There's no metal detector to speak of as there are devices about the lobby that scan for various things that could cause problems such as weapons, mutants and or super powered individuals, and various devices. The Towers gets attacked on a frequent basis so there's quite a bit lurking around in these walls inside and out. Speaking of lurking the doors to the closed cafeteria open up revealing a casually clad Stark standing just inside the opened door. "Tabitha." Attempting to catch her attention from a distance.

The rat girl's ears perk up, and she turns around to face the owner of the tower. She's clad in a Barnes Academy uniform; a dress uniform, no less, with an appropriate cap held under her arm. "Mr. Stark!" She crosses the distance in quick strides, and her shoes, polished to a mirror shine, echo across the floor. "I'm told you called, so I came right away." She pauses, and blushes softly. "Err… am I in trouble? Usually I'm in trouble, so I guess it wouldn't surprise me much."

Certainly is strange to see the young lady clad in Barnes regalia. Once she's come across the lobby towards the cafeteria doors Tony steps aside allowing her to enter the room. A quick wave is sent towards the security desk before the doors close behind him. "Have a seat. I was merely raiding a rather large kitchen." The efforts of his search can be seen resting on a table near one of the windows. Nothing special just a massive hoagie that could probably feed at least four or five people or one really hungry inventor. "Are you in trouble?" Remembering her question from a moment ago. "Not in so much as I want to discuss something with you."

Tabitha nods, "Okay." She follows Tony into the cafeteria, and finds herself a seat — which she very discretely examines before she sits, probably to make sure there are no crumbles, juice, globs of meat, spittle, or other contaminants that might mar the fabric of her pants. She taps her fingertips lightly on the table in front of her, and her lips quirk upwards momentarily. "Well, alright, at least I'm not about to be grounded. …What's up?"

Tony holds up a finger to ask for a moment then vanishes back towards the area where there are coolers set along a wall. A door is slid open and he pulls a rather large bottle of water from there then comes back to the table to take up his seat. "Obviously this is about what transpired in Union Square the other day." Doesn't seem to overly concerned about the topic as he's dragged over the massive plate and begins by picking up a piece of the hoagie that had been cut in sections to make it easy to pick up. "Two things." Flashes a peace sign as he takes a bite of said sandwich.

Tabitha watches, and waits, quite patiently by her standards. And then the reveal of what this is about. "I figured," she replies. "I didn't actually mean to get in the middle of it, I just wanted to help that dude who got chucked into the fruit stand. It just… kinda… went on from there." She reaches up to scratch her head, ultimately leaving her impeccable hair… less than impeccable. "But, anyway. Sorry, I don't mean to interrupt."

"It's fine," Tony mentions as he waves with the piece of sandwich in his hand. This is not another of those conversations about how Tabitha seems to find trouble when she should be heading in the opposite direction. This impromptu meeting was to clear up a few matters that have been on the billionaire's mind since the incident. "In general I had hoped to stay out of a great many things at the square that day. I clearly did not want to get in between yourself and Joan at the time." Several bites of sandwich are taken before he sets the remainder onto the plate. When he can speak again, "For your own safety you should honestly not blurt out that you're aware of other mutants in the area. Most do not want to be outed and some may take more offense than others. Fortunately in this case it was just ruffled feathers. See where this is going?"

Tabitha sighs softly, and after a moments pause, nods her head. "Yeah, I know," she mumbles, as she stares at the middle of the table. "I wasn't trying to be rude. I was actually thinking of *her* safety at the time." She shrugs her shoulders lightly. "I guess my feet must taste really nice, since I keep shovin' them straight into my mouth, just about every other time I open it. If I see Joan again, I'll tell her I'm sorry, of course."

"See, that's what I don't get." Tony's brow furrows bringing his eyebrows inward to where he looks perplexed. "You're standing next to a fellow student, an Avenger and an adult yet you were inquiring for her safety? That makes no sense." Picks up his sandwich again, rescuing a piece of loose meat to pop into his mouth. "I think you were curious as to what she was capable of that you might copy and play about with or am I wrong?"

Tabitha sighs heavily, and reaches up to mussy up her hair even further. "No, you're not wrong," she admits. "Of course I was curious, but I'm not looking to just play about with everything I can find wily-nily. If playing around had been the only thing on my mind I wouldn't have asked… I mean like… I was talking to her for a bit before anything happened." She pauses, and blushes even further. "I figured if something went on, you'd probably go for the heart of it — which you did — and Mike and I would be there basically looking after Star and Joan. Except that Joan didn't need looking after, as it turns out."

Tony bites off a chunk of sandwich and nods as Tabitha speaks. "Here's the thing," shifting over the last piece of bread in his mouth to one side with his tongue. "If something happened you should have left the scene. Why? Because you're not responsible for what happens to everyone and their grandmother. I am. The police department is. Your job is to keep you in one piece and see to it that your friends or whatever…" chews on that bite of food then picks up his water with his free hand. "are out of danger. Going about things as you did is incredibly invasive, short stuff. You still copied her abilities without knowing what they were. I sound like a broken record about this. I'm honestly trying to keep you from cutting your life span in half or worse."

The rat girl sighs heavily, as she rests her elbows on the table and plops her face down into her hands. "You don't sound like a broken record, though you do sound kinda like my Mom," she replies. "Just… deeper voice, hairier armpits, stuff like that. But seriously, I… I know what you're saying. And I know you're right. But I just… I just… I don't know how to walk away. What if someone gets hurt? What if they get hurt because I wimped out? How do I live with that?" She pauses, and looks up slowly, rubbing her fingers against her cheek as she does. "I think I'm beginning to understand the burden that Mr. Maximoff was talking about the other day."

Tony cringes as he holds up a piece of sandwich in front of his mouth. Compared to someones mother? Eesh. "It's not about wimping out. It's about doing the smart thing which sometimes means you need to leave things be. If you must stay out of the fight and do what you can for those that have been caught in the crossfire. If it gets to hairy? Bail. What wise piece of information did Pietro offer up?" That first piece of sandwich is now gone and he's casually sipping at his bottle of water. The rest of what he had to speak of would all tie together so now was not the right moment to bring it up. That and he's curious as to what his friend told her.

"That you carry the weight of the world on your shoulders," she blurts out. "That every time you hear about some poor lost soul that needs help…" She trails off, and sighs, "Like… me, then you do your damnedest to help them, no matter how much it takes out of you. I think he's worried you're gonna burn out or something." She pauses, and shakes her head. "And… and I am, too. And you've done a bunch for me, and I just… I don't want you to have to carry it *all*. I mean… I'm not specifically going around looking for fights to get into. But eventually, when I'm graduated from Barnes and all that, with the top honors I'm planning on earning, I want to do *something* to help."

What has been told to him is not what Tony had expected. He expected something along the lines of keep your head down amongst other ideas he could rattle off the top of his head. "I've no idea why he brought…no I know why he said it…" There's a exasperated sigh as the bottle of water is sat back down onto the table nearby his plate of half eaten food. "I'm not about to burn out contrary to popular belief. As for the other? Focus on your life. If you find that you want to help /people/ in the future then that's what you'll do. Don't think you need to excel to come save me." To him the need for help in handling his affairs is preposterous. "I might as well bring this up now, given I know what you may think of doing in the future, you need to watch how you handle yourself in a hostile situation. I may not have seen everything but I did see you wailing on an unconscious man. It was unnecessary. If I can't talk you out of your plans to hero up in a fashion I can at least point out things you need to work on."

Tabitha sits up straight, and her eyes snap wide open. "Wait, what?" She looks thoroughly taken aback, and pushes herself back from the table, the chair scraping across the floor as she does. "Smacked around an unconscious guy? When did I do that?" She scratches at the back of her head. "I mean… the guy with the ice kept swinging at me, the two guys with guns I just disarmed, though I know I broke the one guy's finger… but I thought that was fair, he was trying to *kill* me, and he'll recover. I know I bruised a bunch of them plenty, but… I mean I stopped when they weren't a threat anymore."

Tony leans back in his chair holding his hands up hopefully to send a sort of calming gesture towards the agitated young woman. Perhaps she hadn't realized? "Do you recall Davy Jones? Well, sans the barnacles and the peg leg…him." Must stop before he continues to babble which would not help Tabitha calm down. "It may have been a misunderstanding on my part. Octy was unconscious from a blast that I hit him with for you were in a rather nasty spot. You may not have realized it considering his tentacles were flailing about still slurping and sliming at you. Fortunately for you he was a relatively weak in the sense that he didn't have any nasty toxin. Disgusting for certain."

Tabitha relaxes, slowly. "Oh… you mean, after you blasted him. No, I thought he was still awake. His eyes were still open, anyway, and his tentacles were all over me, and it was gross, and yeah, even though I was sucking up ice and fire and bullets and none of it was hurting me, he scared the crap out of me." She pauses, and coughs. "I won't be having any calamari for a while. Anyway, I didn't mean to beat up someone who was out, I just didn't realize. He seemed like he was still fighting to me, and… stuff." She taps her lips lightly with one finger. "He might've had toxins, actually. But I appear to be invincible right now. Or at least pretty close."

"Hence needing to clear that up. Had you been aware of his unconscious flubbering about and pummeled him regardless it's an entire different matter." With that settled Tony picks up the remainder of the sandwich and waves back to the chair that Tabitha vacated. "There were a few mutants around you that you could have copied. I would say fortunately you managed to copy Joan though I can't quite make myself say it. Invulnerability has its limits and it tends to make people reckless."

Tabitha glances down, not even realizing she'd stood up. She pulls the chair back and plops into it. "Well, knowing I can eat bullets and it won't hurt is pretty… liberating," she agrees. "But I'm not planning on jumping off the Statue of Liberty just for the thrill of it or anything… and I'll be back to normal in a week." She crosses her arms over her lap, and adopts a wry look. "Err, well… normal-ish, anyway. As normal as I ever get."

Shake of the head and Tony continues to eat what's left of his enormous sandwich as he is ravenous having not eaten in some time. The only reason he's downstairs raiding the cafeteria is due in part to the cabinets and fridge up in his apartment are bare since the employee tasked with grocery shopping came down with the virus that is making the rounds about the city. "Mmm hmm, liberating. Just don't get too cocky. Otherwise the next report I get will be that they're scraping you off some building somewhere."

Tabitha blushes softly. "Yeah, well… I'm… trying to make sure that doesn't happen," she mumbles. "The instructors at Barnes tell me I have to practice my powers. But that's a little tough when every time I use it, I have to wait a full day at least before I can use it again." She scratches the back of her head lightly. "It's usually a pretty interesting day, though." The rat girl pauses, and brightens up a little. "Did you see me take those guns apart? That must've been the right idea, right?"

"Give or take the getting shot at quite a bit before you disarmed them. Understandable given you're not used to that but now you know how it feels to get a few clips unloaded upon you." Tony's teasing somewhat given how they met each other. "The general idea is if you're going to be involved then minimize the damage you and innocent people are exposed to. Getting yourself or them killed means you've failed and it's a lot worse than an F in your permanent record."

Tabitha nods her head quickly. "Yeah, I… I gathered that. I guess I need a lot more training than I thought… I guess there's more that goes into it than just a whole bunch of super powers and martial arts." She trails off, and taps the fingertips of her right hand against the knuckles on her left. "On the other hand, I've always meant to try skydiving… and I might try that while I'm still invincible." She picks up an impish grin while she's saying this last bit, and her eye adopts that mischievous twinkle she has when she's being at least partly serious.

Tony sighs, kids. "Well, I suppose you should be off to paste yourself upon the landscape somewhere scaring some poor cow to death. Then again it'd probably keeping eating grass even though there's a new crater nearby." Polishing off his sandwich he drains half the bottle of water in one go then sees to cleaning up the mess he's made making himself lunch. "I should drop by Barnes when I've got a moment. There are quite a few people over there that I haven't seen in some time. Course, they tend to frown upon that sort of things as I tend to disrupt their orderly environment by my mere presence."

Tabitha snorts, though she's still grinning as she shakes her head. "The point of sky diving is to use a parachute," she points out. "So that way you just kinda float down to Earth without all the pain and unhappiness that comes from landing at a hundred miles an hour." She pauses. "Or whatever speed someone falls at. …But, hey, sure you should visit Barnes. Though I don't think they'll let you into the girl's dorms, so you can't see my room. You'll just have to take my word when I say it's tidy."

The doors slide open again as Tony is close enough to trigger the mechanism. "There's such a thing as chute failure. Just pointing this out." Clearly Tony's stricken by not being able to visit the girls dorm rooms. "I'm sure you're keeping everything squared away. After all Barnes does have standards. I'll just have to live with the fact that I'm banned from a particular section of the school." Stepping out into the lobby to see Tabitha over to the front doors to the building.

Tabitha walks alongside Tony towards the front door. "There's also such a thing as worrying too much," she points out. "More people get killed every year by cars than parachutes, and nobody has ever told me to stop riding my motorcycle and… well, stop leaving my home entirely." She shrugs emphatically. "I'm seriously not planning on an early funeral. You don't have to worry about me all the time."

Tony snorts, "Several have actually. Though you'll probably roll your eyes about that." At least the motorcycle part of the equation has been mentioned before. Not to mention Tony pretty much told her not to leave the Towers for several weeks but semantics! At the doors Tony opens one of the manual doors for her. "I don't worry about you all of the time." Holding the door open by pressing his bent forearm up against the edge. "I'll see you around. Hopefully not near any fist fights or open gunfire."

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