1964-06-01 - A sad ending because of new beginnings
Summary: Tony begins to distance himself and 'breaks up' with Carol with the reason that he has finally 'found direction'. Amicable, as far as could be, anyway.
Related: 'None'
Theme Song: Gene Pitney - I'm Gonna Be Strong
carol-danvers tony 

The nice thing about a fixer-upper mansion? It's still way roomier than a shoebox apartment. Carol has been moving some of her belongings (and her cat) into one of the spare bedrooms, since she's officially "In" anyway. Of course, she still hasn't quite worked out how SHIELD is going to feel about her higher visibility and everything else. But, well, her mail is going to a PO Box already, so it isn't like the physical address is going to be a trace to anything…

Of course, hopefully the other Avengers aren't allergic to cats, as Ace just sits on the bed, meowing a bit as Carol unpacks boxes. The bedroom is pretty modest, but honestly, it still beats her old apartment /and/ barracks life, so she'll take it. Right now, she's setting up her "I Love Me" wall. Pictures of her previous work with the Air Force, test pilot stuff mostly, as she stands with her RIOs or her flight crews. Though there's a rather good picture of her by the flag in Uniform, when she got her Colonel rank…

Tony's here at Carol's behest; one more bag, one more box, and the multi-millionaire playboy genius is actually acting as pack mule. As he moves through the halls, he's turned just so such that he's not touching the walls with his clothes. It's a shame it's not winter or he'd never take off his leather kid gloves. Once he's got her things on the bed (avoiding the cat), he looks very much like he's now ready to leave.

"This is," and Tony looks up, creases his brow at the corners where ceiling meets wall at the cornices, and scowls, "like a disaster waiting to happen." He looks back down at Carol and sets both hands into his pockets, "You sure about this?" One hand is removed and he thumbs back and over his shoulder, "Your place was just fine. I mean, in retrospect. At least it didn't look as if it was going to come down around your ears."

Carol smiles wryly, "Well, gee Tony, you could always pay a bit for some refurbishings…" She grins, "This is a commitment, and an investment. Figured since SHIELD is still feeling political pressure with the whole Bucky fiasco, that refurbishing things here will keep my mind off of things there."

Carol then grabs the box from Tony, kissing him on the cheek as she turns with a bit of a flourish, "Though, you didn't have to carry these… it's not like I don't have super-strength." She sounds a bit amused, but also seems to find it actually kind of sweet. It's always the little things, as she continues, "But I'm pretty sure about this."

Meanwhile, Ace, the sneaky tortoiseshell that she is, sees Tony avoiding her. We can't have /that/, the feline thinks, as she stretches and pads her way over towards Tony. Because she likes Tony! Even if (or especially if) the feeling isn't mutual.

"Nothing says 'commitment' like moving in." Tony still has his own 'space' at his Penthouse; no commitment there! "Investment, I'm not so sure. This place?" He shakes his head as he drops his hand back into his pocket, and takes the moment to look around again. "You have to actually have something to work with in order to work with it."

That 'SHIELD fiasco'… he'd heard of it, from a different angle, of course. From Pepper's PoV. (Don't ever let it be said that he didn't notice, that he didn't actually watch it all come falling down. What could he say?) "It'll keep you busy, that's for sure."

Tony takes out a hand, gives the cat a single stare, ducking his head in 'silent' communication before, "You stay on your side, I'll stay on mine," before he runs a hand over a spot on the bed before sitting down. He smiles at the peck on the cheek, and holds his hand out for something a little more than that peck. Quick still, but something. "You might have super strength, but you don't have more than two arms." Tony says that with the word 'yet' settling in the silence. "But, if you're sure. Don't you want the one closer to the landing deck or something?" Balcony. "Just in case you come in hot?" He says that with almost a suggestion in his tones. Teasing.

Carol laughs softly, "Well, some of us /aren't/ millionaires Tony…" She takes his hand, giving it a light squeeze, "Of course, with my speed and strength, having a bit of funds to upgrade things could make this place pretty livable." She then sits down on Tony's lap, grinning at him with a wry expression, "Though, I think I'll let that Spider-Kid get extra arms, I believe I'm just find with two… and coming in hot? Why, Tony, what kind of girl do you think I am?" She keeps her tone somewhat coy, but hey, she is grinning at him at least. Even as the cat flees the room for safer pastures.

"Yeah, but right now? I've got production running for these guys," and Tony nods in order to include this house of Avengers as 'these guys'. "I won't do everything for them. Besides, other people are willing to shell out. That's fine. I don't like being a landlord anyway."

As Carol sits on his lap, Tony's arms go 'round about her loosely. "All the funds in the world won't make this place livable. Just a hint that America's Sweetheart should have remembered: 'As is' is never good."

Brows rise, however, at the mention of a 'Spider kid'. "There's really one of those? Seriously? I thought it was just the newspapers being … well, themselves." He bounces his leg, giving Carol a little lift, "I'm still working out what kind of girl you are. I mean, I have an idea," and he's looking at her, his head canted. There's a pause before, "One that probably deserves a whole lot better than what she's got."

Carol chuckles, sliding up against Tony as she sits on his lap, her own arms easing around him as she grins, "I think Steve still does his real estate shopping as if it were 1942. Though between him and I, we can fix this place up in a surprising amount of time." She hmms, "As far as the Spider-Kid goes, I keep seeing it in the gossip sections of the Bugle, but I'm pretty sure that he's real, whoever he is. Haven't seen him myself, though."

Carol then catches the slight change in tone with Tony, and looks at him with a bit of a curious expression, "Is this about me moving into the mansion… or something else?" Her eyes lock onto Tony's like a heat-seeking missile, her head tilting just a bit as she regards him.

"In '42, they still had 'fixer upper' in the ads. Or 'needs work'." Tony shrugs, dismissing the idea, however, content to move on. Spider-kid is left well enough alone for the time being, and when he does begin again, dark eyes look into Carol's lighter ones. "I'm talking about me. You. Me. Us." He falls silent for a moment before, "I'm headed back into research. Production. Inventing. Doing… all that stuff that takes time. Time from everything else. I've got good help to run the day to day for the company, and now?" Tony exhales and reaches to set Carol gently aside on the bed in order to rise. "I have direction again. For… for some time, it was like I was floundering, trying to find my way. Like… I was dependent on someone. Pepper. You… whoever. But I'm not. It took a little time to remember who I was, who I am…. and what I want to be. Who I want to be. And right now? I don't have the time you deserve. I guess I'm making up for lost time."

Carol blinks, looking a bit surprised. She looks like she wants to be angry, but she really can't be. Much as she would like to be. "Well… um…" She looks more confused than anything else, "I didn't think I was taking up that much of your time, Tony, but… well, if this is what you want, I mean, I know I get pretty busy between SHIELD and now this and everything, too." She shakes her head, then looks at Tony, "You're sure about this? About us? Because… I gotta be honest, the fact that you have a purpose is something I've been wanting to see." Her lips quirk in a wry expression, as if she's saying to herself, Figures!

Tony is on his feet and he's shoving his hands deep into his pockets, looking up now, away, his expression… conflicted. He's not really happy about the conclusions he's drawing, but he's also fairly certain that something good will come out of this; for him, for her. He lifts a shoulder before he looks back at Carol, obviously feeling something about this, "With you and SHIELD and Avengers and all that, whatever time we might have had will be gone. You come back, I'm in the labs. I need to finish something, and when I emerge a week later to eat, you're gone half-way around the world. That… that's not fair to either of us." He shakes his head, and chuckles, the sound a soft chuff, "I may not be an expert in relationships, but even I know something is off about that."

Carol has been told by a lot of her girlfriends that this was a mistake. But she's been patient, waiting for Tony to get his wheels under him. And he did, and she was never happier, even though he did have the drinking going… but still, it's been pretty good…

Which is why this is getting hard, for her. She gives Tony a wry expression, "I don't think it's /that/ hard, myself, but then again, I can still outrace any suit of armor you can make." Okay, there's a bit of anger there, though he is making sense, "I… you know, if this is how you feel about it, I don't know what I'm going to say to get you to change your mind." She looks over at Tony, "Don't worry… I promise not to turn your cars into ashtrays." A bit of a joke, though it's definitely more of a 'ha ha' than any serious attempt at humor.

Tony does indeed have the drinking going, and he'll continue it undoubtedly. There are just some things that go along with Anthony Edward Stark, and drinking is one of them. But, with it, he's found his snark, his sarcasm, cynicism, and his genius. Carol has known Tony enough, or spent enough time with him to know that his posture, his manner and mien all scream that it's not a decision that is being taken lightly on his side. He's got as much to lose from this as, well… him.

Tony gestures for Carol to stand up so he can give her a hug. A small token, at the very least, of his affection. Does he love her? Probably as much as he could love anything, but then that begs the question 'Does he actually love anything? Can he?' "That's a good thing, because in a way I still hope you come out with me on some nights. Never know when I'll need a pretty, smart and capable woman on my arm."

Carol takes the hug, but shakes her head, "Maybe. We'll see about that." Which is probably going to end up being a no, since… well, that's who she is too. But she doesn't exactly say it, as she hugs Tony pretty tight for a few moments then sighs and lets him go, "I should… probably take care of stuff in here. And I'm sure you've got stuff to do, right?" It's pretty much a dismissal, as she looks about anywhere except right at Tony at this point.

The hug is held for a few heartbeats, the hard of the arc reactor in the middle of his chest presses against her. Tony chuckles softly, and kisses the top of her head. "I'll take that as a 'no'. Won't stop my asking, though. Give you the chance to say 'no' rather than assume." His own hold is tight, and when they do let go, he takes a step back and smiles tightly. He bounces his head in a nod, "Yeah. I have a production facility to finish building. We've got the bigger pieces coming in from the midwest. Then, there's basically recreating the Bunker there for me and my team. Mind, I have no idea who that 'team' will be, but I'm sure I'll figure it out."

Turning now, Tony walks from the room, passing the other doorways quickly and quietly.

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