2011-04-26: So You Wanna Be An Avenger


Taskmaster_icon.jpg Pietro_icon.jpg Tony_icon.jpg

Summary: There's a merc in your parlor! Oh, and he wants to be a good guy! Que the laughter.

Date: April 26, 2011

Log Title: So You wanna be an Avenger

Rating: PG

Avenger Mansion

The parlor of the mansion has been turned into more of a game room than anything else. There's a big screen TV on one wall, a couch in front of it as well as a few matching chairs, and shelves on either side holding movies of various genres, displaying the… diverse tastes of those within. (As a bonus, MJ's first movie 'The Amazing Lobsterman!' can be found among the DVDs there. Peter's doing, no doubt.) There is also a pool table set up behind the couch, a rack of pool cues hanging on the back wall.

Things, clearly, aren't eventful enough as it is for the Avengers. Their lives must be terribly boring. Why else would they have a PS3 hoooked up to the large television in the parlor with a large library of combat-oriented games there. Right now, sitting on the couch, is Taskmaster, fully decked out in cape, cowel, skeleton mask, and arsenal, with his feet propped up on the coffee table and a controller in his hands. He's currently playing Capcom vs. Image, where Capcom's greatest characters can fight against Image's greatest comic book titles. Right now he's got Spawn fighting against Mega Man and is beating the ever living crap out of it. One of the good things about having photographic reflexes is that it makes learning these games super easy.

It is rather quite around the Avenger Mansion which usually means that no one is home or that those present are awaiting a disaster to pop up on the front lawn. Anyone remember Speedball bouncing into the pool? Or the robot that trampled the front garden? As such one of those individuals is the ever busy Tony Stark who is dressed casually as he's spending time between the lab here and the training room. Currently he's walking past the parlor sipping at a mug of coffee, something catches his eye as he walks past, then he is out of view but a moment. In the next breath he slowly backs up to stand in the middle of the open doors to peer over lifting an eyebrow as he is clearly not seeing things. Note to self: The security needs on overhaul, AGAIN.

As rare as it may be, Pietro too is wearing casual attire as he spots Tony peering in through that doorway. He's come up from the sublevels and is limping slightly. Might totally be missed as he frowns and looks over Tony's shoulder. Oooookay. "Hmmm." Said quietly as he watches Taskmaster play video games. "At least he isn't shooting up the living room?" Noted in a sour tone. The man pulls on the jacket he had over an arm, shrugging it to settle it across his shoulders. Then the scarf is pulled out of a pocket and loosely wound around his neck. Yeah, clearly he's getting ready for a fight. Not.

If Taskmaster notices the presence of the two heroes he's doing a pretty good job of ignoring them, as he keeps climbing the levels of the game, nearly getting a perfect every single time. During the downtime between stages he makes a show of pulling back the cuff of a glove to reveal a witch to look at the time and sigh impatiently.

Tony peers over at Pietro who is pulling on a coat and scarf. "Are you going out? Were going out?" Sipping at his coffee as Taskmaster plays on then checks the time. "Now that we're here I'm sure that Damage Control will be given a call later. I might as well get the ball rolling as it were." Draining the rest of his coffee he extends his hand out to the side and a passing staff member takes the coffee mug then flees down a long hall to safety. Clearing his throat, "Tasky! If you wanted to come over for a tournament you really should have called ahead."

"I was down stairs." As if that explains everything. Pietro then sighs in that Tony seems to want to start a fight. "Why does it always have to be a fire fight? Couldn't we hold a contest with madlibs or something for the novelty once?" He watches as that staff member runs off, shaking his head. Not that he blames them. "Let's not get me put back in the infirmary. I have to work in the morning." Said more under his breath than anything else. Tony is already striding into danger, and there's no one near him. Arms fold and he leans a shoulder against the doorframe.

"Took you guys long enough," comes the sarcastic reply from Taskmaster, not bothering to hide his Brooklyn drawl. "I've been here long enough to beat the game twice already." He puts the game on pause to turn towards the two men, "So. Where is everybody?"

"If you had knocked properly, or with a missile launcher, we would have been a bit quicker." Tony jests as he comes to stand a few feet away from the snarking somewhat villain. "What're you doing here anyway?" A clearly puzzled yet slightly unamused expression accompanies a quick wave of his hand in front of himself. "I'm not likely to tell you who is present and who is not. Especially if you've come over to riddle me with bullets." In the next breath, "Otherwise,Tea? I'm sure we can get you a straw to fit into the mask somewhere."

Pietro says nothing to start and pushes from the door frame to move into the room. Without superspeed. It's only as he sinks down into a chair, stretches his legs out before him, that he notes, "I appreciate not using the missile launcher." Which is novel in and of itself. Since Tony is asking good questions, he keeps the majority of the snark to himself.

"Hey," says Taskmaster defensively, "If I wanted ta riddle you with bullets, I wouldn't be sittin' here in yer living room, waitin' fer you… fer /anybody/ ta get home." He idly tosses the controller onto the couch and stand up. "'Cause have I got a deal fer you."

Tony rolls his eyes then folds his arms across his chest more out of defiance than defensive. "Sure. I also pull on a corset, do up my makeup and go dance down at the local bar every weekend." Still he seems receptive to at least listening while casting a quick glance over at his friend who's taken up a seat across the room and is strangely restrained today.

Of course there's an immediate, "And here I thought you gave that up." Pietro loves giving Tony a hard time. Even when there are mask wearing, gun toting, 'gentlemen' on the couch. Gentlemen a loose term there of course. Tony looks his way and the speedster motions to Taskmaster. "Well? You are here, you have our attention.. deals aren't something we wait around forever for." Knowing how such deals often are. He doesn't seem to much believe that there's going to be any such things.

Taskmaster lays all his cards on the table, metaphorically speaking. There's no snark is his tone. No sarcasm. All serious. "I've come ta join the avengers."

"The bots ruined the last one," meaning the corset. Tony offers a tight smile to those gathered as this is a rather tense situation on everyone's part save for Taskmaster who could probably care less, such is the mans way. "What?" That shocked expression comes across rather well. A pin could drop in the room and be heard even though the flooring is a rather nice carpeting. "Come again? You…" unfolding an arm to point a lone finger at Taskmaster. "Want to be an Avenger?" Forgive Tony for covering his mouth as laughter spills out.

As the 'deal' is explained, Pietro snorts heavily. And as Tony starts to laugh he runs a hand over his pale hair. Yeah, that's going to go over well. Sure that the fight is going to start any moment, the speedster merely props his elbow on the arm of his chair and then a cheek in hand. "Oh yes, that will do us so well." Exasperated in tone, and a less than thrilled expression. Then again that's how he normally looks.

The reaction really isn't anything less that what Taskmaster expected. "Oh, yes, laugh it off. But you're one of the smartest guys on the planet. I woulda thought you would have figured out that you /need/ me on yer team." He finally gets up off the couch to face Tony. "Where's Captain America/ Hawkeye? Thor? Mockingbird? The rest of yer crew? Hell, I was half expecting to have ta put at least three of ya down before I ever got a chance to explain myself, but all I got was yer butler."

One of? Glaring won't help the situation though Task is leveled with one anyways. "I fail to see how we need you. I'm waiting for you to woo me, Tasky. Pietro and I have been handling things fairly well and we do have several others about that have been handling any issue that arises." Pushing away from the wall he's leaned up against Tony crosses to stand near a window where he can see Task in the reflection while also peering out onto the back lawn. "Has the mercenary business and the dojo bored you to tears? I'm attempting to take you seriously but given your history with everyone? Pfft, forgive me for not whipping out the welcome banner and the gourmet cupcakes."

"Hopefully you left the butler alone." While he doesn't make that a threat, it is none the less one. Can you imagine how people will react if they hear someone hurt Jarvis? That won't go over well. And yes Pietro is more concerned over the butler than Taskmaster joining. Mainly because how many one time villains have joined? Oh right, he is one. "Are you hiding from something?" Asked out of curiosity.

Taskmaster waves a hand to dismiss any fears about the butler. "Yeah, yeah, yeah. He's fine. All that happened was that he offered me some tea." He starts to pace about the room as he explains himself to Tony. "You need me because if I wasn't lookin' to turn over a new leaf, I coulda walked in here, handed yer asses to you and walked out within a half hour." Thankfully turning over a new leaf doesn't mean that one has to check in one's ego at the door. "And, yeah, The two of you are handling things all right. But it's been a quiet year. You know it. I know it. Nothin' major has gone down." He stops his pacing to face Tony directly, standing only a few meters in front of him. "But I /know/ yer worried fer when shit hits the fan. Sooner or later somebody like Kang is gonna show up, and it's gonna take a lot more than the two of you to take care of somebody of his caliber."

In with the explanation which still leaves Tony fairly detached from it all. Everyone in the room was aware of what Taskmaster was capable of, and the man had made several good points however there were certain matters that could not be overlooked. "Firstly, you couldn't hand everyone their asses, particularly mine." If this turns into an ego clash the parlor may not survive the testosterone outpouring. There's also no chance that Tony will admit to having concerns about the future. As things stand the Avengers are pretty fractured at the moment with four off doing their own thing in the city, and several of the major players are MIA. "Let's just say I bother considering this. You're a loose cannon, Task. This won't be easy for you. You'll have to put up with the hate-on, the tests, the penance(whatever that may be), and even then you may find yourself on the outs." Points over at his friend. "He can tell you just how bad it can be."

If turning a new leaf required setting ones ego aside Pietro wouldn't have even made it across the lawn, much less in the door. Pietro doesn't actually say anything, not even as it's claimed he would get his ass handed to him. Really, he's in no mood to find out. So he rests there in that chair slouches badly. As Tony points him out, the speedster snorts with amusement. "I was ever on the in?" Brows arch at that. Oh, he knows he is, it's just been rough on occasion. The yoyo Avenger. "Honestly, Tony, is it going to do any harm? Letting him learn first hand what this place is really like may do your work for you. That and letting him have his way may forestall that missile through the front door that you mentioned earlier." Vivid blue eyes shift from the inventor. "Could you handle not taking other jobs? Not being a mercenary, and doing the right thing? There are rules here."

Taskmaster laughs heartily at Pietro's questions. "I only took up tha mercenary business because you guys shut down my training facilities. I had a pretty sweet deal. Get paid lots of cash to train up chumps fer you to beat on. I never had ta get my feet wet." He shrugs. This was years, and years, and years ago and is ancient history. "Life never ends up how you expect it ta be. I got plenty o' money stashed away, and I'm sure you guys will keep me busy so I ain't gonna get bored. 'Sides. At least with you guys I don't have to worry about some megalomaniac in the organization decidin' that I'm too much of a loose cannon and stabbin' me in the back."
There's a twitch at the corner of Tony's lips. The poor man just can't keep a straight face nor can he offer up a response for the costumed man. "I'm beginning to think that Pietro is right more and more. Give you a week to go through some training amongst other things and you'll find that this place is not what you think it is." How many have the Avengers have turned upon their teammates at some point. "Not saying that we're Hydra or AIM but you're going to come across a lot ….not to mention you can't go running around lighting people up like a Christmas tree."

This is in fact where Pietro starts laughing. It's not loud, or mocking, but he just can't keep from doing it anymore. Clearly Taskmaster really doesn't know what being on this team is really like. He looks off, no where in particular, and sniggers about all this as he leans there in his chair. Can't light people up like a Christmas tree? "No matter how much you want to." Muttered with a sigh. Okay, trying to be serious here. Which isn't going to help a bit. "You going to be able to live with the large target plastered on your back?" Says back, because Bullseye already stupidly runs around with one on his forehead.

"Like that's anything different from having you guys breathe down my neck?" Taskmaster shrugs. "I'm used ta it. You don't get to be where I am without makin' a few people angry. I can take care of myself."

Tony shakes his head from side to side then turns his gaze onto Taskmaster. "I am not denying that you have quite the skill set, and can wipe the floor with pretty much anyone you come across. There are however standards that have to be upheld…" What in the world is he doing? Everyone knows that he doesn't follow the handbook as it is nor do some of the others. "I'll give you the handbook and we'll run you through a few tests. Everyone must suffer through them…" Pietro ought to get a laugh out of that as he knows what Tony is referring too. "And then we'll see where we are."

The constant assurances that this all can be handled has Pietro doing that quiet laughter again. Okay, this guy truly has no idea. Doesn't admit that he didn't know there was a handbook. Maybe that's just for people without morals. Hey, Pietro has morals. Really. "Well, I do suppose we aren't quite as inclined towards stabbing first. I think we demonstrated that." Started talking and there hasn't been any shooting yet. With that thought he straightens and looks to Tony. "This must be a first. We haven't broken anything yet. Excepting for perhaps an unspoken record about one time villains being in the mansion and needing to make repairs.”

Taskmaster snorts at the mention of the tests. "Tests. This should be a laugh. You wanna get them over with now, or do you want some time to warn the rest of the guys not to try to kill me on sight?"

Tony makes a show of rubbing his go-t with three fingers repeatedly. "Partially that the others need to be aware of your presence and not to shoot on sight. The other?" Tony shrugs walking over to stand next to the seat where Pietro is slouched, a hand resting atop the chair as he gestures outward with the other, "It is more than a physical test of skills. Give us a few days to round up a few of the others and we'll see what we can do."

Bright eyes are on the inventor as he continues smirking. The best Pietro can do not to be laughing himself silly. It's the situation he's laughing at, not Task. "You really believe he's serious?" Asked of Tony, and without regard for Task being right there. "Or is this another of those attempts at infiltration? If it is, this is one of the most original I've personally witnessed."

Taskmaster snorts at Pietro. "Hell. If I wanted ta infiltrate ya, I just would have disguised myself as Captain America. Again." He chuckles himself, "Oldest trick in the book, but you guys fall for it every single time."

"I have to take everyone seriously to a certain degree." Tony lifts up finger and thumb to show a very little space for which he will allow. This does rate as one of the strangest conversations he's had in a long while. "You've not got the build to really pull Cap off anymore. Though there is this German that could pull that off quite well." Teasing Pietro because he can and does at very inopportune times. "Well, if we're done snickering about all of this in general I will call when the team is ready to see you prove yourself, Task."

"In our defense, he kind of has no personality. What's to tell?" Pietro spreads his hands. Then he's fixing Tony with a look. Yes, teasing very well, Tony. There's a snort, but no arguments about the proving oneself part. That's always been there. Arms fold over chest as he mulls something. Doesn't speak of it though. "If he doesn't prove another Kaji and play video games all day."

Taskmaster's mask stretches to a hideous grin that mimics his own. "Yeah. Can't wait, Tony. You know where to find me." With that, he begins to walk out the door. At the mention of video games he pauses. "Yeah, well, it doesn't take me long to master them like I do everything else. By the way. I unlocked The Violator for you. You're welcome." And then he's gone.

Tony facepalms, "That's all we need." Since several men around these parts are addicted to online gaming and console games alike. Tony is in fact one that spends a considerable amount of time defeating bad guys in the form of a gnomish warrior. "Sadly, he unlocked someone that's quite close to his appearance and personality." Pokes Pietro in the shoulder once Taskmaster has left the building. Jarvis comes in inquiring about tea now that the threat of danger is over and done with. "No, thank you Jarvis. I believe after I spam out a message to the others that I will drag Pietro off for lunch." Jarvis bows slightly, "Very well, sirs. I shall see you later, Tony."

Pietro throws up his hands, "I don't even know what that means." Of the unlocking Violator. "I don't play video games." Jarvis comes in and the speedster hauls himself to his feet. "No thank you, Jarvis." After that he adds, "Abelard would be amazing as the Captain." There's a bit of a grin for that as the two head off.

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