1964-03-08 - Gummy Cures and Classified Documents
Summary: Bobbi comes to try to help Pepper out with her Vigor problem.. again.
Related: Pepper logs with Bobbi
Theme Song: None
bobbi pepper 

The woman had a mandate — get off the Vigor. Not necessarily a timeline, and she was already working on it, but now the best job offer of her life relied upon this. Besides, she couldn't get any more supply anyway. She tried. And now she's feeling it. Having accepted the position, put her notice in at work, done her best to get through the last few days there and organizing files for Bruce at night, it's been a crazy few days. But concentration is getting harder, the shakes far worse, and finally she put a call into Bobbi. The words were short, 'I need help, please… I ran out.' And the time she'd be home. Maybe Bobbi had good news.

It's now well into the evening and Pepper is spread out in her little apartment, a whole series of files on her coffee table, all marked Wayne Enterprises. She's trying to work, coffee at her side, a pen and a calculator in her lap, but it's hard to calculate while shaking. She's ashen pale, the edges of withdrawal having heavily set in, but fortunately not so bad that she's puking in bed or feels like death. The previous cocktail is helping. Just not *enough*. When Bobbi knocks, she raspingly calls to the door, "It's open…" While finishing one last calculation for the budget file she's studying.


Bobbi had been aware of the diminished, and then finally, cut off supplies. She'd nosed around the lines where she'd known Coulson had worked through, and found frustratingly little. So, back to the lab again, the Shield agent had gone. A frustratingly long week with little progress passed before Bobbi had something new to present the ailing Pepper Potts.

She had just finished the possible concoction, sleep deprived and over worked as she was, when Pepper's call had come in.

A trip across town and on her motorcycle and Bobbi was up the stairs and knocking in short order. A bag slung over one shoulder and helmet under the other she came in at the rasping voice. "You should keep that thing locked, Pepper." She muttered, moving quickly over to the other woman and taking note of her pale, sickly skin.

"Oh hell. You look terrible."


"I've been worse." Pepper murmurs, trying not to sound like she's been sick at least twice, but Bobbi's a doctor. The rasping isn't from a headcold, no doubt. Pepper tries at an ashen-lipped smile and leans over, setting down one more final calculation in the file before she closes the folder and rests the calculator on top. She doesn't mind Bobbi seeing the logo on the folder, she probably shouldn't show off all of Bruce's budgetary figures. She takes a deeper, shaky breath.

"And I knew you were coming. Didn't want to break my train of thought so… so just left it open the last time I got a cup of coffee. Besides, this is a decent area. It's fine." She gently unfolds from the couch, standing to greet her friend with the slightly slow motions of someone who doesn't trust the room not to spin, but is doing her very best to be strong and professional. "I took a dose of the… stuff you gave me this morning. Been trying to space it out. Really don't care to be hooked on something else. But… I still need the stuff. ANd it's… Gone. I can't find any more supply at all."


"The serum I made has the benefit of not being intrinsically addictive. It's meant to block those reactions in your brain down to the chemical level. It won't work for anything else besides Vigor, but it's meant to be like.. well think of it like a pain-killer. It blocks those receptors in your brain." She shrugged off her jacket, setting her things down as she rolled up the sleeves of her button up shirt.

"I just came from the lab, so go ahead and sit down. I need to get your vitals and then I've got something new for you." A pause, "I didn't have time to run trials, in the lab beyond the first tests yesterday. So, I have no idea if this stuff will work in the long run. Temporarily it seems to have some merit."

A glance was spared for the folder's header, and she arched a brow upwards. "Well, I guess if you've worked for one rich guy…" She mused.


Sit. Pepper can do that. Her knees can definitely do that. She sinks back down to the couch and tries not to automatically curl into the corner, despite every wish of her body. She's completely miserable. The only thing keeping her functional is work, but then that's what has always worked for Pepper Potts. "I'll take anything right now. Whatever works, we… we'll figure it out. I'm supposed to start on Monday and… god, I don't want Mr. Wayne to see me like this. Even if he knew. He… *somehow* knew." Pepper's brows furrow, still trying to figure out that mystery.

The offhand comment about working for one rich guy gets a weak smile from the pale woman. Nervous but proud, it's a strange mix of emotions on her features. "I… I guess he heard some things. He… offered me CFO. He wants me to help clean house, get the ship moving in the right direction. I'm… terrified. But it's… amazing. I'll be the highest paid female executive *in the world*… it's amazing.." And terrifying. She offers her arm to Bobbi, so the woman can get what readings she needs. Pepper's vitals are a testament to just how strong she is, considering her pulse is a thready, uneven mess and her skin is even more clammy to the touch than she looks. Most people would be laid up in bed like this, but she's powering through.


In a no-nonsense fashion as always, Bobbi takes Pepper's pulse, and other vitals as needed, making a few 'hums' under her breath. She doesn't write anything down this time, merely turns to her shoulder bag and draws out a black case with locks on it and the Shield emblem on top.

"No driving for eight to ten hours after this. No operating heavy machinery. No drinking. No taking other medications and no partying. Got all of that?" She arched a brow, smiling as she popped open the case and the sounds of sealed containers being opened clicked.

Then in the palm of Bobbi's hand was a rather crude looking, hand rolled looking.. gummy? Definitely more benign looking than the shot.

"Here." She reached forward to take Pepper's hand and set it there with care.

"I'll stay and take note what happens. And in theory you should be okay by Monday." A purse of her lips.


The prohibitions on driving and the like get a slightly arched brow, "I am supposed to go into work tomorrow morning at the Department… I'm finishing out the week there. It's only polite. Fortunately, that's killed all my party plans." Pepper half deadpans, but jokes are often used to cover up nerves. So, she's joking. She then blinks down, staring at the … Gummy? What in the world?

She reaches over, picking it up between her fingers and giving it an experimental sniff. "Just…one? I…take it every day? What does it…Do?" She asks, still a hint skeptical, but in full trust of Bobbi (and a bit of desperation) she pops the entire thing past her lips and begins to chew. Hopefully the taste is palatable, her stomach isn't exactly steady right now and who knew how many of these Bobbi had to spare. Probably none.


"Just the first dose I'd say no driving. Take the bus, get a taxi. I'm hoping that you won't need this beyond what it takes for your body to get through the withdrawl symptoms. This—" She gestured to the gummy. "Isn't a cure. You don't need that anymore. Not with the lack of Vigor in your system making it crash. Think of this as a metabolic steroid, of a sort, that will amp up your body's natural need to fight off the need for Vigor. You'll likely be hungry, a lot. Which I expect. Drink lots of fluids.." She mused.

"You'll need one a day for.." Her eyes shift to the side in thought, "At least a week. Perhaps more. I am unsure exactly how long it will take to clear your system entirely. Given that you were forced into long term use, and there are no studies of the drug's effects? It might be as long as a month." A cautious glance was made down at the box which she clicked shut.

"That's if this gummy variant works in humans. You're the first human trial. So I can't be sure." A sigh dragged from her lips and she shook her head. The gummy at least was.. flavorless? It tasted like chewing unflavored gelatin, with a hint of something bitter in the center.


While Pepper's nose slightly wrinkles at the gummi, it's not disgusting, just weird. She chews hard, managing to get it all down without her body rebelling. That was a good sign, right? She gives a slightly understanding nod in Bobbi's direction about the lack of information on all of this, but there is more hope in her eyes than worry. "You've been my best chance so far. I'm sure this will… it'll work. It has to, right, you made it?" Pepper offers with just a bit of hero-worship in her gaze. Bobbi might be quickly earning that title in her mind. "…does coffee count as fluids?" She jokes after a few more minutes.


Bobbi sat down herself finally, with an exhale brief and exhausted. The blonde looked more apt to go to sleep right there in Pepper's apartment than anything else. "Remember, I'm no Howard Stark. I'm just the closest to get to cracking his work on the super soldier serum. Which, honestly should never have been called a serum as those are milk based products and the proteins used in the.." She trailed off, glancing back at Pepper and cracking a smile.

"Well, you don't want to hear me bitch about technical terms over how stupid the name was, do you? Coffee? No it's a diuretic. I want you to drink some water, orange juice, something that won't make you go to the bathroom repeatedly. The point is to help retain nutrients. Eat something salty." She added after a minute.

"So. Tell me how you'd get hired in with Wayne? The man's another playboy, isn't he?"


The fact that Pepper finally, maybe has a 'cure' in her is enough to make her half relax. Hope and placebo effect does tons for one's health, really! So, despite the fact it hasn't much taken effect yet, Pepper does actually calm down enough to take a good, long look at Bobbi, her brows creasing with concern. "…I'm not the only one who looks rough around the edges. Shit, Bobbi, are… are you alright? When did you last sleep?" She asks, genuinely a hint surprised. She's never seen Bobbi look ragged. The woman was half perfect!

And then there is the question about Bruce and Pepper gives a little laugh, half shrugging, "I…I don't know, really. I met him a few times at some charity functions. I guess he asked around about me… Heard I wasn't with Stark any more but knew what I'd done to turn that company's stock around AND manage that playboy so… he thought I could do the same for him. It…it almost doesn't seem real."


A rise of her eyebrows is what Pepper gets in response. "I have been worse off before. I'm just tired. Lab work takes more effort than actual spy work, such as it is. Do you know how much physical effort it takes to run ops on a politician? It's easy. Park your butt and watch. Being bored is the worst of it. Lab work? Staring down a microscope for hours and dealing with those hellish lights.." She grumbled, rubbing her eyes.

"I went to sleep.." A pause, "Okay, it was long enough." She waved a hand and sighed. "It's not like I'm on assignment currently. So after this checks out I get some shut eye, okay?" She wrinkled her nose.

"Huh, so Wayne wants to hire a lady to run his things. Interesting. Thought he was worse than Stark when it came to dating ditzy ladies and dumping them. Guess he'll be up for the challenge of facing you at your best soon enough."


A concerned, levelled gaze comes from Pepper with a slightly deeper smirk, "Bobbi, you'd lecture the heck out of me if I wasn't sleeping. Why not stay here tonight? You can crash out in my bed, I'll pass out anywhere, and double check on things in the morning before you go? Then I won't worry so much about the bags under your eyes. Especially not on my account." Pepper seems rather serious about that, the stern older sister tone coming out in her voice.

Then they are back to Wayne and Pepper gives a small shrug, still looking a bit surprised by it. "It's… not about dating, really. Less than it was with Tony. He wants someone good who'll shock everyone. I guess I am that person. Now I just have to handle all the mud slinging that's going to come from it and *actually* help turn the company in the right direction. I…think I can do it. I told him I could."


A shrug, and Bobbi folded her arms. "You need to rest if you can manage it. I'll stay but I'm not sleeping," She held up a finger in Pepper's direction. "I need to see the effects on your body and make sure it was the right dosage for what we need. Regardless, you're the first human trial. There's always unexpected results to anything on the first test. I need to be able to make note so as to tweak the next dosage."

Blue eyes were firm and unmovable as she eyed Pepper Potts. The redhead was no Director, and Bobbi could be known as stubborn to downright pigheaded.

As the conversation shift she inhaled and stifled a yawn. "So not just his secretary. Huh. Interesting. Has he mishandled his company so badly that he's willing to put up with the bad press and drama that will happen?" A tilt of her head, "or is he counting on it to drive up his businesses?"


Redhead vs redhead! The issue is that Bobbi actually knows what she's doing and Pepper's just being stubborn, so while Pepper narrows her eyes and pouts, just a bit, she seems like Bobbi is winning this argument. "Stay. Sleep if you can. I *promise* I'll wake you up if I get sick or feel anything wrong. Is that a deal?" Pepper offers her last attempt at a compromise, but Bobbi really had all the chips in this bet.

The question of running the company makes Pepper shrug, "He's not really managing it at all right now, is the issue. The board is trying to take control from him and let him be a playboy. He doesn't want that. And… the upswing in business will help, some. But he needs new blood and, somehow, he thinks I've got the brain for it. I guess we'll see." Pepper actually smiles a bit more, "…I think I do too, for what it's worth."


Bobbi shot Pepper a look, and did not move otherwise from her seat, slumped as she was. "I'll check your vitals every hour or so. And take a blood sample in three." She offered up instead. "And if everything looks good in four, I'll consider your offer of the couch." She grinned and rolled her shoulders back.

A thoughtful look crossing her features as Pepper shares with her the woes of the Wayne businesses. "Huh." A shrug and she stretched her arms back over her head. "So basically he wants to set up shop and take over from this board that has run his company. He wants people that are loyal to him, and haven't had a chance to be bought out by those in charge." She arched a brow, "Am I close? It's similar power play as what you see in some of the more nasty changes of power in agencies and countries.."


"…Yeah, pretty much. Though, I suddenly feel like maybe I'm… giving away company secrets I shouldn't be, or something. But you're my friend, right? We…we're friends too. This isn't just professional?" Pepper asks with the tone of someone who doesn't actually HAVE that many friends, much less female friends, and is a little hopeful that maybe she could have one here. For as competent as Pepper is in business, sometimes she's totally hopeless personally. She gives a little huff at the question of the couch, but finally nods. "…Whatever you say, Dr. Bobbi."


A laugh at that, "I never got my PhD. Pepper, dropped out of that program to work at Shield. Though I'm sure I've earned the near equal for it after all the crap I've had to slug through in the last five years at least." She grinned and folded her arms behind her back.

"If you want to risk being my friend, sure I guess. But remember my job and all. Miss Potts. I might very well up and vanish one day and you will never know why. I might go away and return over years and be unable to tell you anything beyond 'hey'." A pause, "It's why it's hard for me to have 'friends', or really relations with anyone outside of work. You know?" A pause and she rolled her eyes at the thought of company secrets.

"I work for the government. As if we don't already have tabs on most major corporations out there. If I wanted I could find out details easily enough."


"…This is true. And… I think you're worth the risk, Bobbi. I might be a pretty face but I am actually smarter than I look. I know going into a friendship like this has it's risks. I'm willing to take them. For you. You… you've been better to me than most friends, never judged, never… questioned. Hell, you've kept me sane the last few months. I think it'd hurt if you just… disappeared… after all this is fixed." Pepper still has full confidence it will be fixed, but there is something raw as well, as she admits the hurt of losing Bobbi. The fact she needs the woman in her life beyond steriods right now.

"And…yes. You could. I won't ever bring up anything that's on a NDA or contracted but… generalities, we can talk. Hell, you understand. You have to do the same damn thing and it's a lot less public than what I'll be doing." Pepper looks back down at the files, frowning thoughtfully, "But yes, the first few weeks are going to be a shit show."


A shrug, "I'm talking about if I get pulled into a mission, Pepper, it might be years. I could be given orders to go on the other side of the world, into enemy territory and you wouldn't hear anything from me. I could die on said mission and you'd never know. There'd be nothing to tell you on that." She gestured toward the redhead and sighed.

"It's why it's better to not have any family to worry about. People in my line of work don't get company parties." She mused, dragging a hand through her hair and leaning her weight against her fore arms that rested against her thighs.

"Hell I dunno what I'm doing after I make sure the stop-cap on this is solved. I've got standing orders.. but they're a bit.. unreliable at best for judging what I'm doing on a given day."


There is a line of sadness through Pepper's pale eyes at the dying in the field commentary, but she just gives a slow nod. "I know, Bobbi. I…understand. I hate it, it's god awful, but… I understand. I still think you're worth it. If you don't mind hanging around nerdy little old me between missions." SHe half smiles, but there is still a sadness behind her eyes. Perhaps she's catching onto some of the actual loneliness Bobbi might be feeling as well. Or just starting to understand it.

"…What… are your standing orders right now? Can you tell me that much? And it's okay. I'll be here… when you are free. Well. Here, or Wayne industries…or whatever new apartment I get. I want to get something closer to the Wayne building…"


A head shake, "That I can't tell you either. Sorry, Pepper. Just suffice to say they're a bit of a messy business." She smiled, but it was more of a grimace. Then she forced a laugh, and stood.

"Got any yogurt? I'm starving, if you want me to come and visit between missions then you have start having a supply of that. Good for you, yogurt." She grinned and this time it was better portioned on her features.

Better to not tell Pepper about the mission to hunt down the Winter Soldier.. who had broken into her apartment and threatened her life and told her to fix Pepper..

That likely would not go over well with anyone. She was already treading a thin, thin line.


It's like Pepper can read minds, or just it's the line of their conversation, but the redhead arches a brow to her friend, "I really am still curious as what made you reach out that first time. It seemed… so out of the blue. I mean, I'm thankful, but… It was a surprise." SHe studies Bobbi curiously for a heartbeat or two. But then the fact that the woman actually asked her for something she can DO! That makes her smile.

"Of course I have yogurt. Girl's best diet friend!" Not that Pepper needed to diet. She stands up from the couch, not quite as dizzy as before, and moves for the kitchen. A few more minutes she's returning with yogurt AND a cup of coffee just the way Bobbi likes it. She remembers. It's low fat strawberry yogurt, but it's something!


That Pepper cut so close to the root of all her problems was hardly a shock to the blonde, or at least, it didn't appear to be. But then again, Bobbi's job was part acting, wasn't it? As the redhead goes into the kitchen Bobbi sighed, dragging a hand over her face and massaging her temples. Yet she perked up as Pepper returned with coffee and yogurt in hand.

"Mmm, I swear my fridge is either entirely beers and yogurt ot it's empty." It was true. A sad state of affairs but Bobbi had never learned to cook. Much less have much in terms of 'taste' when it came to food. Government work will do that to a person though.

"Classified documents fell into my hands in regards to the drug. I remembered you from before. The reports weren't moving fast enough for me so I took it on. Like I said, not a whole lot I was doing." Skrulls had mostly been taken care of in-house, so it was mostly true at least.


"…Fell into your hands. How do classified documents *fall* into your hands?" Yep, Pepper really was that sharp, and that's the closest thing she's EVER caught to a hole in Bobbi's story. Pepper folds herself back down into the couch, curling her legs up beneath her, but all work has stopped now. She's more so focusing on her friend and the mystery in front of her.


Bobbi sat back down, yogurt in hand, mug off to the side as she peeled back the lid and dug in. A few seconds followed before she responded. "That's classified. Can't tell you how, the circumstances, or anything." She shrugged, lifting blue eyes toward Pepper in direct challenge.

"And fall is perhaps the wrong word. More of I happened across your file among others." She had, it was true, though she hadn't felt some urge or need to swoop in and do anything about till there'd been a gun pointed at her face. Motivation was hard earned in Bobbi's life and weapons tended to get shit done.


There is a slight narrowing to Pepper's eyes. The sense that she's getting a feeling this is so not the whole of the matter. But she breathes quietly through her nose and watches, patient, waiting for Bobbi to crack. This is a game Pepper will lose. And does lose like 30 seconds later. She's made for the board room, not agent games. "…CLassified. Fine. Alright…well… I'm glad, whatever happened, happened. You've changed my life." And with that, Pepper sinks into more casual, girl-talk type conversation. She'll keep Bobbi up about another hour before sinking to rest herself, it desperately needed and her body finally calmed enough she can do it.

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