1964-09-19 - Routine Maintenance
Summary: Bucky comes to Tony for routine maintenance.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
tony bucky 


Tony left a note for Bucky to come find him. It's not hard to do. When he's in the manor, he's usually in the lab. And so he is, working on some dodad that looks like it might eventually marry a grappling hook to a net. It's easy stuff, and he does it with the same easy distraction of someone knitting by rote while watching TV. It's not going to need genius til it comes to arranging the net and hooks.

There's Bucky, coming down the stairs in t-shirt and jeans and those battered boots. "Mister Stark," he says, offering the greeting tentatively, like Tony might be busy making tiny robot minions and not be interruptible. "Got your note. You free now?"

Tony glances up, and he tightens a screw before he sets the device aside. "Yeah, come here, sit down. I want to take another look at your arm. We need to know what the Ruskies know if we're going to keep you allegedly on the straight and narrow." He wipes a few scarce traces of oil from his hands with a towel and tosses it aside. His tie is loose, the top button of his shirt undone, and his sleeves a rolled up. He's ready to work.

"All right," Bucky says, affably. There's that nervous sort of reserve from him. He sits down, after taking his shirt off and setting it aside with that care. The kind of fussiness only seen in someone who grew up never having quite enough.

Tony arches a brow. His nice dress shirt has oil stains on it and he doesn't have a single damn to give. Normally he'd dress down, but he was on his way from somewhere where he had to look good. Even now there's something debonair about the way he carries himself. He drags a set of tools closer, then takes the arm in his hands, looking it over. "How has it been working? Tip top? Do you need maintenance?"

He looks down at it. "I don't know about maintenance. It feels a little gritty, though. I used to get care before and after a mission, and….haven't had that in a long time. Nothing's going wrong, as yet…."

"Yeah, it's that 'yet' that worries me." He slides off the panel he opens before and takes a look inside. "I'd rather you be getting regular maintenance here than get tempted to go back because they know how to fix you if you break." He studies the intricate tech that forms the arm inside. He whistles low. "This," he says, "is years ahead of us. For now." He makes mental notes. There's some reverse engineering in his future. "All right, let's get you cleaned up."

"Right. It's Soviet engineering - clever, but mostly brute force, you know?" he ventures, brushing hair out of his eyes with his other hand. "It's held up to a hell of a lot, but….I won't go back, and it'd be real blessing to have an engineer who has experience with it." He looks into the inner workings - cables, servos, delicate wiring that serves as the nerves, spreading into hair-fine branchings delicate as spidersilk, apparently the sensory net.

"They've done some fine work," Tony's forced to admit. "I can do better." He takes a delicate brush with fine bristles, perfect for dusting delicate equipment. "No wonder you're feeling grit. I take it you haven't had this done in awhile." The touch of the brush is feathery soft as it sweeps away the little particles that have managed to get their way into the works. It's far gentler than Bucky's probably used to.

Both physically and mentally. Tony, whatever his feelings, is treating Bucky like a human being, and not a cross between an animal and a piece of equipment. "No," he says. "I've got a lady I know who helps me with it, and she's real delicate, but….that's not the same as being an engineer."

Tony dusts the articulated panel, then slides it back into place. "Got to be careful there," he says. "if she ever gets mad at you…" He finds the catch on the panel of Bucky's forearm and slides it neatly open. He inspects the wiring here as well. Of course there are things he would've done differently, but this is still an amazing piece of technology. "At least you know I already think you're an ass."

Bucky snorts at that. "She knows me pretty well," he acknowledges, with a fond little smile. "And I know you do. But I thank you, anyhow." He ripples his fingers, demonstrating the complex array of cables and tiny pulleys that function as tendons.

"It means," Tony says as he begins to delicately dust the inner forearm, "that I'll treat you with care regardless. I plan on finding other ways to be mean and petty." But with the arm, he's all professional. "I'm going to work up some schematics for this," he says. "I might be able to tinker a bit and give you improved performance."

"I'd be grateful. And well, I can't stop you from being petty, I suppose," Bucky sounds resigned, not particularly angry. Tony being housebitch occasional room-mate is a small price to pay for the safety of dwelling amongst Avengers, like a clumsy Russian cuckoo in a nest of shrikes.

At least Tony will probably be housebitch to just about everyone here at one point or another. He's a mean girl wrapped up in a suave man's body. He continues the cleaning meticulously and unhurried. "I can get you some oil, too," he says. "We don't want these mechanisms grinding. It's that brute force workmanship. This could have been avoided with just a little elegance of design. I might be able to fix it."

He slants a look at Tony sidelong through his hair. "All right. IF you want to," he says, sounding shy about it. "In fact, maybe you could see about taking off that star, if it wouldn't hurt the durability."

Tony replaces the panel, and he examines the star. "Looks like deposition. It's pretty well integrated into the metal," he says. "I'll take a look at it. If I can't remove it, maybe I can add to it. Make it look more like Cap's shield than Rusky red." He moves his attention to Bucky's hand. "Now this is going to take some care," he surmises, talking mostly to himself. He examines the hand carefully, looking for its panels before putting any hard pressure on it. "This is the part that interests me the most," he says.

Buck nods. "I figured. It's damn near as sensitive as a real hand when it comes to pressure and temperature, though nothing like when it comes to pain," he explains. "I can do fine work with it, write, pick locks…."

Tony carefully removes the panel on the palm, and he whistles lowly. This. This is fascinating stuff. He studies the intricate workings of the hand, murmuring absently, "Move your fingers. Come on, flip me off, You know you want to." Still studying the hand, interested in how the mechanisms move when Bucky does.

Obligingly, he does, grinning despite himself. It's very much like an analogue of the human anatomical structures - metal "bones", wire and cable tendons, little gear arrangements to simulate muscles. As the finger contract, the very fine cables roll up lengths of the cable. The vinyl coated electrical wires divide: one color is clearly sensory, the other power.

"There you go, let it out," Tony says. Then, after he gets a good gander, he says, "You can stop now." He shoots Bucky a bland look. Then he goes back to memorizing the layout of the hand. "This is extraordinary," he says. "I mean I would've made some changes here." He prods with the brush on the palm, "and here." He taps the inside of a knuckle lightly. "But still, they've got someone smart over there. Probably a defector." Because it has to be an American. They're smarter, right?

"German," he says, and his voice is flat, almost expressionless. "He wasn't a defector. At least, the original design. I think the Russians dumbed it down some. THe original project was integrated prostheses for amputees," he explains as he lets the fingers uncurl, the hand going limp.

Tony gives a nod of allowance. All right, the krauts weren't dullards either. The War would've been easier if they had been. "And of course they weaponized it," Tony says. He dusts lightly, brushing over those sensory wires with a tickle, but he's getting the job done. "You got this thing gunked up," he says. "Not your fault, it's just a tradeoff for what you've got here."

It makes him shiver, as if Tony'd brushed a feather over bare skin. "YEah," he says. "It's really sturdy considering, but….right. Like I said, if it'd been purely done to the German's specs, it'd've been incredibly precise….and need maintenance twice a week."

Tony smiles crookedly. "I hear that. We'll do you better than that." He works on the fingers, handling them as if they were glass. "I still can't get over how fine some of these gears are. He inspects and dusts, eventually getting all the grit he can from the inner workings and the panels. "Hold tight, I'm going to get some oil for you." He gets up to go looking for where he put the stuff.

He's watching Tony, bemused. "Same here," he says. "IF it weren't attached to me, I'd be more impressed. I've gotten used to living with it. Familiarity breeds contempt, right?"

"Don't feel too badly about it," Tony says, "I wouldn't want to lose an arm, but if I did, this wouldn't be the worst prosthesis to get." He comes back with the highest grade machine oil money can buy, designed by Tony, it turns out. He oils the hand with expert precision. Not too much, not too little. "That catching feeling you're having won't be there anymore for awhile."

"It's functional," Buck says, slowly. "More so. I can do things with this that I never could with the real one." Many of them things he wishes like hell he never did nd could forget.

"I can imagine," Tony says. Probably not imagining very nice things, though. He closes up the hand and moves up Buck's arm, one panel at a time, until everything is nice and oiled. As he replaces the last panel, he leans back and examines his work. "You're going to have to buff and wax it yourself, pal, but how does it feel? Let me see you move it."

HE demonstrates by flexing and rolling it, from shoulder down to fingers. No grating or gritting, only the soft sound of the servos working in order. He snorts. "Will do," he adds. "Feels very good. You do quality work, Mr. Stark."

"That's what they tell me," Tony says. He puts the oil aside and wipes his hands off with the old towel again. "You're done, for now. Go forth and sin no more. I'm going to make some sketches then check back with you. Hopefully we'll mock up a decent schematic soon, and I'll see about manufacturing improved parts, and replacements. Things break down."

He retrieves his t-shirt, shrugs it back on. "Thanks," he says, almost shyly. Sin no more indeed. Hard to do when you work for Lucifer himself.

Tony lifts a hand in what might even be a wave instead of a gesture of dismissal. "Anything for the cause," he says. "I'll how you what I've got when I've got something." Because Bucky might as well know what's going on inside his own arm, and who better to show off to?

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