1964-09-24 - Late Night Coffee
Summary: Pepper comes into a diner late night for a cup of much needed coffee. She meets Gary there and they have a brief, mostly friendly chat.
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Theme Song: None
pepper gary 


Its late at night. Later then any self-respecting anyone to be out on a school-night. Of course, New York never sleeps, so there's plenty of un-self-respecting folks about. There's a homeless person in a back booth, who happened to have scrounged up a quarter or two for a cup of coffee, and a reason to get out of the chill Autumn for a couple hours. A sparse few people mill about, otherwise.

A man with dark hair, wearing a workshirt and a pair of trousers much of the same purpose, sits at the counter, a cup of coffee and a place in front of him. Steak and eggs. Hey, they put it on the menu. He looks tired, annoyed, and guinenly glad to be aware from… whatever his normal routine was.


While Pepper has all the amenities she could want in her office, after staring at the third quarter ledgers for hours on end, her eyes were going cross. She needed a change of scenery and some coffee that wasn't from her own coffee pot. So, with the look of a woman who has been working one too many hours for one too many weeks in a row, her bespoke suit slightly off kilter, eyes bloodshot and hair a hint mussed, she steps into the room. Her high heels carry her in a quite click up to the counter. "Coffee…please? Just…keep it coming." She murmurs as she sets her briefcase on the chair next to her.


The sound of a couple bells, tied haphazardly to the handle of the glass door, signal the entry of a new hungry soul. One or two people look up, and that includes the waitress; The classical sour server in a pink dress and white apron approaches Pepper's part of the counter, from the other side, about to request what Pepper provides. There's a throating "Mmmm." as the waitress jots down a note on her pad. The mug in front of Pepper's spot on the counter is flipped over to actionable duty, and filled a nearly black liqued from a heavy glass decaunter. The waitress gives a glance to the other gentleman at the bar, who draws his eyes upward, and pushes his cup of coffee towards her for another refill.

For his part, Gary had given a parting glance to the woman, likley in the reflection of a clock or some other clock and dagger instinct. He does give her a bit of regard, her briefcase another, before getting his refill. Pulling the mug back, he glances to the left, "I think we might be living in a folk song." He says to no one in particular, his eyes surveying the room again.


Pepper half jumps at the sound of a voice down the bar from her. She blinks to him, not realizing he wasn't necessarily speaking at her, but after 12 hours of staring at books it's no surprise she's a little out of it. "…Pardon?" She asks, her voice husky with exhaustion but honestly curious as to what he meant. She doesn't quite grab open her briefcase yet, even if she did bring work with her. Instead, she reaches for that glorious cup of coffee and takes a long, much needed sip.


Gary doesn't quite jump the same way Pepper does, but he does seem drawn out of a minor reveree, tilting his head towards the woman's response. He takes anothe sip of his coffee before he's willing to put it down, shifting his torso in her directly, "I said I think we might be living in a folk song." He says, motioing to the diner, "Or some depressing painting." His eyes glance down to the brief case, "Boss need to write a late night letter?"


A smirk dances across her lips as he mentions the depressing paiting, "…I always liked that painting. But yes, maybe…" Pepper mutters off handedly, with a little touch of an over-tired laugh that almost might come out as a giggle. Then she looks to the briefcase and shakes her head, "No, no…is my own work. Wrapping up the third quarter ledgers and reports. I… should trust someone else to do this, all things considered but… I don't. So, I do it." If Gary watched the news at all, Pepper's face had been all over it several months ago when she took over as CFO of Wayne Enterprises.


Gary gives Pepper a set of raised eyebrows at her response. Give a woman a factory job, it wasn't too long until she moved to management, he supposed. Eyes drift down to the briefcase again, before glancing up to squint at the woman's face; There's a twinge of recognition, but bowling alley attendants might not find as much time or TV reception to keep an eye on the halls of high-finance. "Oh, sorry about that." He furrows his brow, glancing up at that clock again, "Yeah, maybe you should have someone else help. I never had much of a head for numbers, but this is too late to trying to tell a 2 from a 5. Deadlines?"


A slightly sly brow is arched as Pepper gets that long look from him. She knows that look — the doubting, the disagreement, that a woman like her could be an executive. Much less a woman at all, but Pepper was often considered far, far too pretty for her job. She just takes a good sip of her coffee instead, to cut off the temptation of any smart remark. Once the heat has melted down her throat, she continues a bit more kindly, "Perhaps. I've got a secretary and several clerks, but I still like going over the final reports myself before meeting with the rest of the board."


A mention of 'the board' tickles the part of Gary's brain reserved for addressing things unusual to society; At least this society, anyhow. "Oh? Well, I guess that makes sense." He says, turning back to his plate and resuming his knife and fork, cutting a bit off the steak and dipping it in the eggs, before taking a bite, still peering up, before turning to her, somewhat suddenly, "Sorry, its just, you looked a little familier and all, I was trying to place you."


"Oh…Probably from the papers, or something? When I got my current position, it was a bit of a… To-do. I'm Pepper, Pepper Potts. CFO of Wayne Enterprises. I… work just down the street, at the big Wayne building." Pepper offers with a proud sort of smile that has just a hint of challenge behind it, like she's daring him to give her crap about being a woman CEO. She's used to getting it. But, at the same moment, she does put down her coffee and offer her hand to him.


Gary's eyes do widen, a bit, in surprise, at that particularly revelation, the older man giving a bit of a sheepish laugh, scratching the back of his neck nerviously as he does his best to provide a smile that's cross between winning and apologetic, "Ah, that's… that's right, there was something in the papers a while ago." He tilts his head, craning it in the general direction of the Wayne building, as if he had any chance of spotting it from here, before he turns back to her, glancing down at her extended hand, before reaching out to accept it, "Miss Potts. I'm Gary. I uhh… I'm a bowling alley attendant at lane in Brooklyn."


A brief, strong shake is given to his palm. Pepper certainly shakes hands like a business man, but he's also treated with the same respect she would another business man. Not just a bowling alley attendant, or a strange man in a late night diner. She treats everyone with respect. "Gary. Good to meet you… and yes, the world was a bit up in arms at Mr. Wayne's decision, but our stock prices have well proven it a good one, so everyone has lost their ability to bitch about the matter." Pepper states with a wry smirk.


Gary gives a shrug, "Well, the kid's always been some kind of odd duck, right? Kid's parents get offed, I guess that might make a guy start thinking unconventionally, or something?" He gives a shrug a bit. Hard for a New Yorker to miss that bit of news, whenever it happened. "Glad to hear the stockholders were okay with it. Must be a smart accountant to get pouched like that." He says. He snorts, "Everyone? You don't read the editorial section of the Post, do ya?"


A slight chuckle escapes her lips at that last comment, smirk deepening a bit more, "I find I don't have much time for editorials, in truth… I need the news and that is it. And Mr. Wayne is a shockingly brilliant businessman, in truth… I enjoy working for him immensely. But… it is work. A company that size." And Pepper seems like she might be a bit of a control freak, if she's handling all their major ledgers herself as a CFO.


"Is he? I'm surprised those executives do anything at all." Gary says, shaking his head, "What, like the Stark's, right? Boozing men of power?" He snorts, "Sometimes literally. Could you imagine if /every/ billionaire built himself a bunch of gadgets to go fight aliens?" He tosses his hands a bit, "Well, good for him. We need good people at the top of the ladder; Hard enough to beat the red's if we hit a recession, right?" He gives a shrug, glancing outside, "So… what, your driver's just sitting out there?"


And with that, Pepper has finished her cup of coffee. She pulls out a fiver, sliding it across the counter to pay for it, waving off any change though that is a ridiculous tip. She doesn't seem to care. "Tony Stark is… working on doing better, I will say. It's all a little complicated. But yes, the world could use more good people like Bruce Wayne. Anyway…" She gives him a half smile as she scoops her briefcase up again, "Oh, I walked. It's not that far. The fresh air helps, sometimes. And the conversation. Thank you for helping me out of my own head… I think I should get back to the office, though. You have a lovely night, Gary." With that, she gives him a small tilt of her head and moves for the door.


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