1964-07-22 - Scoping Out HQ
Summary: Tony comes to check out Avengers Mansion and Lamont shows him around.
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lamont tony 

They don't really have vetted cleaning staff, as yet. So it's up to individual Avengers….and Lamont is not in the least above cleaning the kitchen. He's wiping down the counters idly, humming to himself, in a white dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up and old jeans. Very casual. There's tea brewing, of course, and the scent of it is bright in the kitchen's air….that and whatever lemony scented cleaner he's using.

Tony steps in to get a look around the place. His footsteps sound on the foyer floor. "Hello?" he calls. Hmm, it's either feast or famine in this place. Good, the lack of a train wreck will let him do what he means to do: look around to see what needs installed. Like a cleaning staff. His exploration takes him into the kitchen, and he pauses. "Do you live here? Staff, squatter? I'm looking for Rogers."

He turns from his work on the counter to meet Tony's gaze coolly, wiping his hands on a linen towel. There's that little suggestion of a smile. "I do not. And Avenger. I fear I don't know where Captain Rogers might be, at the moment." Setting the towel aside, he comes forward, offering a long hand. "Lamont Cranston. Mr. Stark, I think we've met before."

"You're an Avenger?" Tony looks Lamont over a little skeptically, but when the hand is offered, he shakes firmly and says, "Cranston, I think so, yeah." During a blackout, but never mind that. It counts. "That's fair, I don't need to see him. I'm mostly interested in the house, and you're the moneybags who ponied up, right? Nice job, by the way, this place will do."

The smile's sketched a hair wider. "I owe Captain Rogers my life. The very least I could do was help him out with this particular project. The house is still very much a work in progress, so if there are any changes you'd see, please do let me know." Not physically impressive, compared to specimens like Rogers. But then….who knows what kind of powers he's hiding, beyond an immense bank balance.

"I'm not surprised, he's a lifesaving kind of guy." Tony claps Lamont on the shoulder and says, "Why don't you put down the Spic 'n Span and show me around? I was just having a looksee at what-all you folks need here to get with the modern age. Some place to tinker with toys would be nice if we have a lower level. We do have a lower level, don't we?"

Monty grins at that, and nods. "Yes," he agrees, doing just that. "Come down and look. There's at least one basement sublevel and it's fairly spacious considering the footprint." Then he's turning for the stairs.

Tony gives Lamont's shoulder a few good pats, like they're old friends. "Great. And what I need from you guys is a laundry list of things you want. You and I will try to cram as much as we can into the space. I assume Cap's going to want a place to practice avenging?" He walks alongside Lamont, letting him set the direction and pace.

"There's physical practice space upstairs,' Lamont notes, as he leads the way down the stairs. No mere raw, unfinished basement - mostly open space with concrete and tile, save for the elevator's physical plant and the central heating stuff.


"Now this is what I'm talking about," Tony says as they step into the basement. "Oh, this is pretty. Don't we have a few other scientists? I don't suppose we've got dossiers, do we? Seems like something we ought to have." He walks around the space, and there are cogs turning behind those dark eyes, ideas springing to life. "I can have this filled with state of the art R&D equipment by the end of next week," he says. "Let me know what kinds of toys the eggheads want and we'll be in business."

Lamont regards Tony with that sphinxish look. This one's a cool customer. "I'm honestly not sure," he says. "And….it may be up to you to suggest. You might want to go through each of us in turn, find out what abilities we have - strengths you can augment, weaknesses you can counter."

Tony waves a hand vaguely as he says, "If I suggest it, no one will do it." He doesn't seem disturbed by this, merely that it's a logistical complication. "Seriously, though? You can't toss me a name or two? Never mind, I've probably met them already. Next time we have a little get together on the lawn I'll ask around as long as Cap's not getting shot down." He grimaces. "That was rough."

He arches a brow. "I wasn't there. What happened?" Lamont's voice remains mild, even. Curious bastard. "And no. I….should learn more about my team mates. I'm mostly the money," he says, with a self-deprecating smile. The lying bastard.

"Oh, he was asking some hot little number out and it turns out she was otherwise occupied. I think her boyfriend was there, too. I wasn't trying too hard to read the vibes. You just hate to see a nice guy like Cap execute an ace maneuver only to trip the landing. Then this guy I swear was in pictures with my dad walks up, younger than I am. Then everyone went after him, and I left." Tony rattles off the words as he walks around the space, measuring things in his mind, calculating who knows what.

"….someone from the war?" Lamont's tone has taken on a curious lilt. "What did he look like? I was privileged to assisst the Captain and the commandos a few times then," he notes, sounding almost wistful. "The Captain rescued me when I was shot down." A beat, and he adds, "….in that case, literally."

"Brown hair too long, blue eyes, odd stride, like his center of gravity wasn't where it ought to be, wearing clothing too hot for the weather." Again Tony rattles off the words, like such specific pinpoints of notice were incidental. "He seemed to know Cap. At least Cap was sure bent out of shape at the idea of Barton shooting him."

"Interesting," he says, but he's clearly considering it. "An old companion, I'd imagine. Those all sound like signs of previous injuries." He's trailing after Tony, looking thoughtful. "Barton wanted to shoot him?"

"Oh, right, important detail: he's that assassin who shot at Cap at the World Fair." Tony takes a notepad out of his pocket and jots down a few things. Work benches, tools, shorthand only he understands. "They were probably bent out of shape about that. Cap seems fine with him though."

Lamont's reserve is what it always is - damn near impenetrable. But Tony's clearly startled him. "Sergeant Barnes," he says, all but blurting it. "I remember him. One hears so many stories, it's hard to know…"

Tony snapguns at Lamont and says, "Bingo, that rings a bell. Popular guy. Not sure what happened to him after I left, but I saw his insides weren't spread outside the manor, so hope springs eternal. Anyway, I think I can work with this." He gestures around the space.

The Shadow pulls a face. "Interest. Well." He shakes his head. "I understand the Captain cleared him of the bombings, if not the shooting."

"Yeah, that whole vacation to Latveria cleared him if I'm not wrong." Tony flits a glance to Lamont, toe to tip. "He seemed awfully forgiving about the shooting. He's a nice guy but I don't think he's that nice unless the guy means something to him. Like you said, friend from the war." He shrugs a shoulder.

"So," Lamont asks, after a beat. "What project are you most proud of?" He's still trailing along after Iron Man. "I've heard so much about you, but it's hard to know what's rumor and what's not."

"It's all true," Tony says, "especially the rumors." He goes back to jotting a few notes. Then he looks for a fuse box. "What kind of electrical setup have you got here? Does it need to be souped up or replaced?" More notes. "My proudest? That's like asking someone who their favorite child is. The suit's pretty cool."

"As far as I know, modern standard. It was an awful mess from the Twenties until a few weeks ago, but no one's done anything to reinforce it or anything beyond. There I'd be very grateful for your advice." Watching Tony with a speculatie look. He grins at the mention of the suit….and it lights up his face. "It does fly?"

"Yeah, that's going to all be redone then," Tony says. "Don't sweat it, I'll set you up with something nice. He grins as he says, "Yeah, it flies. Once you get a handle on the repulsors you can maneuver on a dime. The down side is the learning curve."

And now that facade slips, and there's just raw envy there. "Amazing," he says. "AT the risk of being importunate, I'd love to see it. I'm a pilot myself, but…never of anything like that. It must be like being Icarus."

Tony claps Lamont on the shoulder and tells him, "We'll get you back in the sky. The redhead who was there last night, I didn't get her name, she gave me some ideas for a compact aircraft I'll be working on. We'll need more than our fliers to be fast and airborne." He smiles, just briefly, a flash of white teeth.

"I've got one," he notes, idly. "An old autogyro. But….that's vastly out of date. I've a more modern turboprop, nothing beyond what the average civilian is permitted." Lamont sounds almost mournful about it. There are parts of the war he misses.

"You should talk to Clint Barton," Tony says. "He's a flyboy. You two would probably have a lot to talk about. If we can get a place to store and land aircraft, you two might get a couple cool toys this Christmas. I'm still working out the kinks on how to get quick vertical lift without backdraft. The technology doesn't exist. Yet."

That kind of arrogance might usually nettle Lamont. But this time, he just grins a lopsided, almost sharkish grin. "I'd be terribly appreciative," he allows.

Tony smiles wryly. "Just save the world and we'll call it even," he says. "What else can you do? The more I find out about you fine folks, the better I can design your goodies." He makes a beckoning gesture. "Come on, pony up the details."

"Already done more than once," Lamont retorts. "Me? More or less an ordinary human. I'm good at infiltration, blade and gun."

Tony nods to himself as he takes it in. Of course he doesn't believe that's all Lamont does, but he takes it at face value. "Handy," he says. "We'll see what we can do with that. I haven't had anyone to try out my favorite espionage toys on yet, the ones that don't go on to R&D at the plant."

Lamont bows, theatrically. "I volunteer myself," he says, without hesitation. The thought makes his eyes gleam. "I'm sure you surpass your father on that front. I had the benefit of his expertise during the war."

Tony inclines his head and says, "I learned a lot from the old man. I'm sure with today's tech he could've done some interesting things." Interesting, but as good or better? Not that Tony will ever admit. "I'll bring some prototypes by once this place is set up and show you what I've got."

There's a distinct glitter in Lamont's eyes for just a moment. Not all of what you've got, Mr. Stark. "I look forward to it," he says, lightly. No flirting with the straight man, Monty.

Tony's brow ticks upward. "Oh, you should," he says, and for a man who smiles a lot, he's damnably inscrutable. "So you got anything else for me? I don't want to come in half-cocked when I start hauling things in."

"Not at the moment, I fear," he says, withdrawing a little. There's a faint hint of color in his cheeks, some of that somberness returning. Too easy to make a fool of himself in a very fatal way - he should know better.

It seems like no harm done. If Tony picked up on the undercurrent at all, he has either rationalized it away or isn't perturbed. "So dish. What kind of people are we working with these days. There's you the spy, Cap the boy scout who packs a punch, my ex who packs a bigger punch." He grimaces a bit at that. "The flyboy with the bow and arrow, I seem to recall a couple tech heads not from around here…"

"A young woman who can fly under her own power…." And then some of that sinks in. "Your ex?" he asks, taken aback.

"Long story," Tony says. "There's a reason I don't go out drinking with the team." He pauses, then adds, "and a reason I don't date anymore. No one else? Really? I really need to get those dossiers."

"Not that I know of. But I'm far from the most central member, and I may not know of more recent additions," Lamont notes, sounding more apologetic.

Tony waves a hand. "Doesn't matter. I'll suggest the dossiers to Cap, that way people might actually do them. If he can get a copy to the genius squad in the basement, we'll be in business." He offers his hand to shake. "Cranston. Good to meet a member of the team who's on speaking terms with me."

He arches a brow. "Well, we haven't dated, so I've no reason to hold a grudge so far," he deadpans. But Lamont does not hesitate, shaking the offered hand firmly. Gunman's calluses - he wasn't kidding on that front.

Tony laughs. "Yeah, well. Truer words," he says. "I'm just going to tear apart your circuit box real quick, then get started on putting together an upgrade. You might lose power for a bit, but it'll be back on before you know it."

"I'll let the others know," Lamont says, no wise dismayed.

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