2010-06-29: Southern Comfort


Alessia_icon.jpg Tony_icon.jpg

Summary: Alessia seeks out Tony in his lab where the duo uncross some wires to get a clearer picture of the other.

Date: June 29. 2010

Log Title Southern Comfort

Rating: PG-13

NYC- Stark Towers- Basement Labs

Otherwise known as the garage, this is Tony's private Lab. There are tables loaded down with parts, schematics and tools. To one corner of the room there is a large circular desk where a computer with a trio of monitors resides. Within a large locked case there is an older Iron Man suit that is no longer in use.

It was around nine pm on Monday. Stark Towers had long shut down for the night save for the janitorial staff and the sporadic security officers tasked with the graveyard shift. Below ground is a heavily secured private lab. Much like any of Starks other labs spread about the world this one houses several working computers, various devices, parts and a spare Iron Man suit that was no longer in use. Not many had access to this level and as such had never seen that Stark spends a considerable amount of time there. Off to one side was actually a couch that was a pull out bed and the lab had its own bathroom. There was a fridge also hidden amongt the organized chaos of papers, wires and discarded blueprints.

Right now, Tony was sitting behind the desk overlooking what information he could find to go along with what Jono had presented him. Each monitor about him was filled with various reports from several different sources and seemed to be scrolling on their own without direct input from the end user.

And yet, here came his intrepid new security girl, to make sure everything was as it should be. Admitted with her code, she walks in slowly to take it all in. The fact her hands are filled with a couple containers that are clouded with steam from hot food, surely has nothing to do with her arrival. "Evenin', Tony." She keeps catching herself wanting to call him Mister Stark, and having to use his first name. "Ah figured no one had thought to make sure ya were fed today, so Ah took it upon myself."

Tony glances up from the computer monitors before him to notice Alessia entering the lab burdened with something. "I thought you would have gone home by now." Of course, part of her job was to make sure that no one got to him while he was at the tower which reminded him to point out something. "You know, if I'm down here you don't have to stick around. I appreciate that you thought of me, however." He pushes back from his desk to walk over to her. "I don't really have anywhere to eat down here but if you're staying, I do have a couch over there."

"So would anyone else, which means now is when they'd try to sneak on in here and do somethin' less than good." Alessia says with a half of a smile. "Someone has to stay an' make sure ya actually /eat/, Tony." The containers handed over, along with a fork. "Chicken an' biscuits, with mashed potatoes an' gravy, with some green beans on the side."

Tony isn't quite sure what he's thinking at the moment. On the one hand he's thankful that Al has taken it upon herself to make sure he eats something other than junk food. On the other hand he feels as if he's taking advantage of her hospitality and good nature. There may also be a kernel of remorse in regards to his overly flirtatious behavior.

Alessia watches him a moment, left eyebrow lifting. "Out with it, Tony. You're feelin' a little conflicted, so ya might as well tell me why."

Tony evades the question for now. He gestures towards the couch that's hidden up against a wall by the height of some of his lab tables. "You know you have me at a considerable disadvantage." He seats himself into one corner of the couch then balances his container on his lap. "You can pick up on my feelings fairly well, and I have to guess at yours.”

Alessia moves to go take a seat, blue eyes watching Tony like a hawk. "Bull. That's always how it is with men and women, isn't it? We always know more than you men want us to, but ya can't quite figure us out." There's a teasing grin there, a hand through her hair. "That doesn't answer me, however."

Tony rolls the fork back and forth across the top of the Tupperware container of food. "I've been acting completely unprofessional. You're well within your rites to call me on the table for it." He lifts his gaze from watching the fork spin to Al's eyes. "I appreciate that you have my best interests in mind on many fronts. Best way to express my confliction may be that I'm normally very good with accepting and judging boundaries but with you I've flown over them at Mach 8."

"Unprofessional perhaps, but it is hardly as if this is an office nine to five, Tony. Nor have ya done anythin' to make me want to brain ya over the head with somethin' heavy, or kick ya where every man teaches his little girl a man is vulnerable. So if that's your worry, ya can rest your mind on that." Al sits back, both brows arching. "Tony, most people don't know anythin' about me. You know more about me than anyone else alive. Ya do somethin' that crosses a line, Ah'll push ya back from it."

Tony pops the lid off the Tupperware to stir some of the food around. The smell was divine, and it seemed to lull him out of his self imposed emo. "I am normally not that open as a person in general. I may outright refuse to tell you things occasionally. Not because I do not trust you. Not that I don't appreciate the concern. Its just how I am."

"No, but when your mood suddenly changes because of me, ya know Ah'm gonna ask. if it's none of my business, that's fine. But if Ah'd done somethin' wrong, or somethin' to make ya feel not at ease with me, Ah'd damn well rather know it."

Tony drops his hold of the fork causing it to land sideways into the container. "You've done nothing wrong. If anyone had done anything wrong in the last 48 hours, it was all me." He picks the fork back up using it to spear a green bean. He regards the vegetable as if its some unknown foreign object. "I might think you're trying to get me back for flirting with you by making me eat my vegetables. That's a dirty game, that is."

"What in the name of gawd have ya done wrong to me in the last two days?" Al arches an eyebrow, before she's laughing. "No, Ah just made green beans with it, because /Ah/ like them."

"Oh never mind subjecting you to myself," Tony points out with an exagerated flick of his green beaned fork. "I thought you might not have wanted to go to the cafe earlier today for one. I didn't extend the invite as a boss."

"Tony, we're hardly a usual boss and subordinate. You have a life to live, an' it is part of my job to make sure you are kept living it. Nor have you subjected me to anything less than a good time." Al pauses. "Wait, you didn't invite me just to be nice and to let me see how things work?"

Tony sinks back into the couch. His head actually thuds into the wall leaving an audible 'thunk' sound. "My normal eloquence is failing me at the moment," he sighs. Turning his head he gazes over at Al across the expanse of couch. "Is it not obvious?"

Alessia flinches at the thunk sound. "You.. what? Ah mean ya flirt with me, but…ya flirt with everyone, dontcha?" She moves to take that container from him and shift it to safety. "Ah don't mind the flirtin', Tony. Ah…well hell, Ah like it. Ah flirt back, don't Ah?"

An eyebrow rises imperiously, "I can't fault your logic. It does however pose quite a problem if you've noticed." Tony gestures at the space between them, "I know I've had a few wires crossed. I honestly thought you might not be interested. I can suffer a blow to my reputation with women, however, I would never tread where my attention isn't wanted. No matter how much I may try to turn that around initially to my favor."

"Ah.. Ah thought ya were kiddin', in the elevator. Ah…you're used to women who know how to play an' be gorgeous an' seductive an' all." Alessia closes that space some, a hand out to his arm. "Tony, don't be silly. Ya know you're good lookin', an' gawd knows ya know it." A hint of a grin peeking out. "Ah didn't want ya feelin' uncomfortable with /me/."

"I think you're thinking about it in the wrong way," Tony suggests. He reaches across his body to cover the hand she's placed on his arm. "My amazingly good looks aside, you realize that the women that aggro toward me like a locust swarm are all superficial." He offers up a half smile as he's not quite capable of being actually amused by that. "I don't know why you would think I would be uncomfortable with you. You didn't invade my space and maul me or overpower me with three bottles of perfume."

Alessia scoots a little closer, blue eyes on his face "Ah…well, Ah probably /could/ be superficial. For like…a day. Hard to be, when you're able to see past the masks, ya know?" She shrugs a little, eyes dropping to his hand covering hers. "Because Ah was afraid Ah'd be clumsy, or flirt too far, or at the wrong time." A low laugh, shaking her head. "Ah tend to be pretty aware of a person's space, never mauled someone in my life, an' Ah don't really wear perfume. Just the body spray stuff that matches my lotion, sometimes."

Tony chuckles softly. He honestly doesn't believe that Al could pull off superficial if she tried. "You may have noticed I flirt a lot. I doubt you could have flirted too much with me. Wrong time, maybe." Now that she's brought up the body spray and lotion he's trying to casually sniff to see if he can pick up the scent. Kaji always smells like he's run through the woods and Hogan like a Brute factory. "You may not be aware of it, Kaji could probably fill you in, I don't like people getting too close to me. There are exceptions to that." Tony casually picks up the hand that had been covering Al's. His arm ends up around her shoulders so that she can choose to settle against him or flee.

"An' then ya have me smellin' like vanilla or or somethin' of the like. Must give ya a headache." She speaks softly, aware of their proximity to each other. "He doesn't have to fill me in. Ah've kinda noticed, an' a lot of times Ah prefer people not bein' too close to me, either." She falls silent, a second's hesitation that might make it seem like she's going to rabbit, before she's sliding in to lean against his side.

Tony relaxes back into the couch. A silence descends between them as the only sounds in the room are the AC unit and the occasional beeps from several of the computers. "The vanilla is very subtle," he says softly. The food has all ready been forgotten about, pretty typical in his world. "Comfortable where you are?" He asks as he brings his other arm across his chest so that his hand covers where the reactor used to reside.

"Well, Ah never wanna be that woman people /smell/ comin'." Al murmurs, eyes shifting to look up at him. "Ah'm all right, but are ya?" Truth is, he can probably feel a hint of tension in the small redhead, for all she seems relaxed enough.

"I fly around in a metal coffin for hours on end. I'm fine as I am." Tony does however kick his feet up onto the small toolbox that's in front of the couch. Even reclined as he is he figures that things are not enitrely comfortable down here in the lab. He could crash out down here but the smell of grease and burnt metal is an acquired taste. "Is it too cold in here for you? I can turn the AC off before this place turns into an icebox."

Alessia shifts, moving to tuck her head to his shoulder, her hand slipping out a little bit to rest against his thigh. "Ah'm fine, Tony. Ah'm from L'siana, spent half the year tryin' to get the AC to freeze me to death."

It may not be easily noticed but Tony clearly sucked in a breath at the contact. Not in a bad way, more that he wasn't expecting the touch. "I will have to work through my insomnia at some point tonight," he announces. "I will be terrible company at that point but for now, I'm content to be here." He lifts the hand resting on his chest to take up the hand Al had resting against his thigh. "You know we've probably got cold chicken." He smiles as he settles their hands down atop his chest.

Perhaps not by most, but Tony has to have noticed by now Alessia is at least observant to some degree. But before she can bring the words up to ask him if anything is wrong, he's simply moving her hand. "You're an insomniac too?" Whispering, almost as if afraid to shatter some fragile shell that makes this moment be. She starts at the mention of chicken. "Oh gawd. Ah forgot to make ya eat!"

"See, I've all ready corrupted you. Your good intentions have been thwarted by my ability to derail everything." Tony smiles, and isn't too concerned about eating. He does however ask if she needs to finish her dinner. He even offers to try and reheat it with a pocket torch. "Don't think the plastic would survive the experience." Tony has an alert pop up on one of the computer stations in the lab, he quickly redirects information so the system is happy again. All of this takes place with a few stray thoughts. "I should probably let you go home," he speaks softly. He lifts her hand that he's still holding off his chest to press a brief kiss to her fingers. "Thank you for bringing me dinner. I promise I'll reheat it upstairs."

"You should eat. Ah can take it upstairs an' warm it up again for you." Alessia's voice is quiet, a chuckle. "Ah already ate, Tony. That was for you." Fingers curl after he kisses them, as though to hold onto that sensation. "Do you want me to go, then? Ah don't wanna keep ya from anythin' important."

Tony gently squeezes Al's fingers. He hasn't yet released her hand back to her. "You don't have to go if you don't want to. The more you're around me you'll notice that people rotate around me doing their own thing until I knock them off course for a few minutes." His go-t would feel soft in comparison to the stubble that is forming on his cheeks. "I'm always working on something. Even when I don't appear to be. Don't be alarmed if I have to disappear on short notice."

Indeed, one fingertip seems unable to stop itself from stroking over his goatee, feeling the soft facial hairs. "Sun to everyone's planet, until ya unleash a solar flare." Murmured from his shoulder, blue eyes sliding shut. "Ah was told to expect ya to disappear sometimes. Seems you're semi-famous for it."

Tony clears his throat. "That about my many conquests or my secondary profession?"

"Neither, seems ya just vanish from time ta time, an' no one is /really/ sure why. Rumors, of course." There's a half-hearted shrug of her shoulders with that.

Tony pulls Al closer to his side with the arm that is still laying loosely about her shoulders. "I never stay still for long. I'm never gone for long," he admits in a hushed tone. Tony is struggling to keep from nodding off as the back and forth of her caressing his jaw leaves him in a trance.

The redhead snuggles into his side, legs curling a bit as her face shifts to press against the curve of his throat. It seems she finds that touching, so soft, so slight, relaxing as well.

Tony swears that he will not nod off. In a little while he will offer to take Al back to her place or at least have a driver do so. Tony is reluctant to break this tableau. Especially due to the fact that he's enjoying the soft breaths ghosting over his skin. He can work on tracking down mutant hunters, and keep an eye on the world news from where he is. An affection starved Stark will not be moved unless there is an international disaster and even then he may take time to consider it.

Alessia so rarely is allowed to show affection, let alone allows herself to be shown affection, or that closeness. Soon those breaths even out, get slower and deeper, as the small redhead does nod off, apparently feeling safe and content enough in the circle of his arm to do so.

Tony felt the shift in the womans body almost immediately. A tension seemed to have been released and the breaths puffing lightly against his throat are much softer. Its a strange feeling for him to experience. The last time he had actually stuck around to fall asleep near another woman had been ages ago, he had forgotten how it felt. He released his hold of her hand in favor of lightly stroking his fingertips along her forearm from wrist to elbow. For now he would be selfish, later he would wake her so she could go back to her place. His thoughts drifted away from the outside world and focused on the red head sleeping in the circle of his embrace.

Alessia would likely never be able to bring herself to tell Tony that it was the first time she had fallen asleep curled up to a man in her adult life. Still, she sleeps on, shifting slightly now and again, until she's woken and sent home.

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