1965-02-19 - Sanwiches and Coke
Summary: A late night in the lab with Hope and Tony.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
tony hope 

Late night in the lab. The lab at Avengers Mansion is generally a fairly peaceful place, unless there's something urgently happening in the world. Which means it's a place where people who want to tinker can do so with minimum disruptions. Hope is a minimum disruption. And in this case, she brings sustenance! Or, well. Something resembling sustenance.

She has a tray of peanut butter and banana sandwiches on white bread, along with a six-pack of coca-cola in her hands as she comes down the stairs, her mouth full of a bite of one of the sandwiches already. "Knock knock!" she says, muffled by peanut butter.

Tony has his shirt sleeves rolled to the elbow and has ditched his jacket and tie. He's hardly presentable, but he's perched on a stool tinkering with a soldering iron and the metal frames of what look like glasses. "No one's home," he calls back, half-distracted. God knows when he's last slept or eaten real food. He looks like hell, but in a debonair, charming genius sort of way, because the bastard just pulls that off.

"I brought sandwiches," Hope announces, taking just long enough to make sure she's not putting the plate on anything conductive before she sets it down on the table next to him, pulling up a stool for herself. "In case no one wants them. Which would also be okay, because I could eat them all." She picks up the one she's started, taking another bite and leaning over to get a look at what he's working on. "Communications relay?"

"Thank God, I might not have you rendered into basic proteins after all." He sets his project aside to investigate the sandwich situation. He takes one and just devours it, snapping it down in a few bites. Once he's downed at least one, he slows down, helping himself to one of the Cokes. With a nod toward the eyewear, he says, "Communications relay. I want to get it smaller. Mark my words, miniaturization is the future. Wait, of course you know that."

"Yeah, Nathan's time machine fit in his arm," Hope nods, tapping at her own upper arm and twisting open a coke for herself. "That's cool, though. That's the biggest thing I miss, actually," she admits. "Communications that are small and reliable. We used to have earpieces for missions. Makes coordination a hell of a lot easier. Unless you have a telepath to make up the difference." Another bite as she eyes the pieces. "How long've you been down here?"

"You're killing me," Tony says. He wants to ask. To shake her by the arms and demand how do you do this!? But pride won't let him. He'll figure it out, damn it, and he'll do it without help. "I'm not sure what oure telepath situation is," he says. He takes a swig of Coke and glances at his project again. "I don't know. What time is it?"

"Uh…" Hope glances upwards, doing a little mental math. "Eleven pm on Monday." That she knows to add the day speaks to her familiarity with this sort of obsession. Another bite of her sandwich, and she flashes a chipmunk-cheeked grin. "S'okay. You'll get there. You're right, though, miniaturization is the future. And that's not going to change until a lot of manufacturing stuff changes, so. At least I can't screw that up too much."

"Yeah, I forgot to sleep," Tony says, and he doesn't sound terribly surprised. He sets the Coke aside and takes up his contraption again. "If I can get a camera small enough no one would notice it on a pair of wire-rimmed glasses, one that could display remote images to a central location, our spies could gather a lot more intel. It's a design problem as much as a practical one." He frowns at his work. He's mocked up something, but it's not perfect. He looks up to fix Hope with a look. "I knew it," he says. "We just don't have the tech to make the tech or the means to produce it. Yet." Then he waves a hand vaguely. "You're here, in our timeline, and I can only assume that in the grand scope of things, that's how it's supposed to be. Whatever you do or don't help us with, I don't think it's screwing anything up." Because tech tech tech.

"Yeah, Kamala likes to go on about the time travel paradox thing. All I know is better safe than sorry, you know?" Hope finishes her sandwich, reaching for another one. "The guy who chased me and Nathan my whole life? He was trying to kill me to prevent his future. And to do it, he did some truly heinous stuff to the future, trying to box us in. But the way he figured it, if he killed me, none of it would ever happen and it wouldn't matter. It's a damned dangerous way to look at the world. Even if I'm kind of biased."

"I've never understood those words," Tony says. "If things break, don't be sorry, fix them. Not the way this guy's trying to fix you. People turn to killing too easily." Says the man who makes his money selling weapons to the government. He sighs and sets his prototype aside in favor of his Coke again. He's hit the wall, and even he knows it. "He's not going to kill you. That's not going to happen."

"Says you." Hope takes another drink, then shrugs. "You're probably right. He's been trying to kill me since I was born and he hasn't managed yet. If he couldn't kill helpless baby me or three-year-old me or seven-year-old me or thirteen-year-old me or sixteen-year-old me, then he's probably not going to figure it out now."

"So what is it about you that this guy thinks you've got to die?" Now that he's grudgingly given up on the project for now, his attention shifts to Hope more fully, and he snags another sandwich. "Are you some kind of anomaly? Is he insane and obsessed? If he comes for you, we'll protect you. I'll put him down myself if it comes to that."

"Yeah, you could call me some kind of anomaly." Hope smiles crookedly, finishing off her second sandwich and reaching for her coke again. "In the future, there was something that happened. Mutants were getting more and more normal. There were millions of us. And then something happened, and suddenly there were less than two hundred mutants left. And no new mutants were being born. Until me. This guy, from his own future, believed that I was going to be the cause of the end of mutants. Something I was going to do was going to end up with all the mutants in these…concentration camps. On the other side, a group of religious nuts believed I was going to be the end of humanity. Fun times, right?"

Tony squints at Hope. "I guess if it's going to happen, it's got to happen to someone. Rough break." To say nothing of the whatifs and wherefores of time travel and the implications. Tony shakes his head. "It sounds to me like you were the beginning of the mutants, or rebirth, or whatever. What was your deal? Something about other people's powers?"

"That's how it was working out," Hope nods. "After I got back, after we handled the anti-mutant group, other mutants started to show up again. Except their powers were out of control until I could show up and get things back the way they should be. I don't know what's going on without me, that's the thing I worry about the most." She takes another drink, nodding again as she looks down at the bottle to trace the letters on it with one finger. "I copy powers, basically. If there's a mutant nearby who can do it, so can I."

"So what's that like?" Tony says with a crooked grin. "You like that power? Or is it a drag? I think if I could choose a super power, I'd want to fly." His grin broadens. Who's surprised? "Anyway, don't worry about what's going on without you. It hasn't happened yet. Right now it's all unwritten potential. It has to be."

"You can fly," Hope laughs, looking up from the bottle. "You literally built yourself the ability to fly. Which is pretty awesome, by the way. I was working on a jetpack before I got ported back here. I almost had it." She reaches for another sandwich, setting her elbow on the table and leaning on it. "I'm pretty okay with it as a power. I mean, I didn't have powers for most of my life, so Nathan taught me to get by without. Honestly, I think the best thing about it is that it lets me see what other people are dealing with. It's a lot easier to help mutants when you can literally put yourself in their shoes, you know?"

Tony inclines his head and says, "What nature doesn't provide, technology offers. In a better form, even. That suit's heated." He leans against the table, one foot hitched on the lower bar of the stool in a casual stance. "Putting yourself in someone's shoes is well and good until you realize their power is shooting ink like a squid when they're stressed out."

"Mmph," Hope says around a mouthful of coke. "No. The best one was the x-ray vision. Sometimes I pick up powers when I don't mean to, and this time I picked up on someone who had x-ray vision, and I couldn't turn it off. Spent the whole day seeing everyone naked. You probably think that sounds like fun, but I promise, it was not."

Tony grimaces. "I've walked around this city. I know that's got to be a nightmare." He shudders for good measure. "There's this old guy outside my office who has a newspaper stand. Just from what I can see of his birthmark… no. No." He clasps Hope's shoulder in sympathy. "No. That's a bad power. Much worse than shooting ink out your armpit. Your armpit if you're lucky."

Hope chuckles, shrugging lightly. "The way I see it, I didn't have a lot of choice about the whole power thing. Except the one I got sort of gave me all the choices. Flying is great," she adds as a sidebar. "Recently met a guy who heals. He's also got these…" She sets her coke down, pointing at the back of one hand with the other. "Bone-claws in his hands. Which are kick-ass, but they're literally under the skin. Extending them is like getting a massive piercing. Heals up right after, but…Hurts."

"Bone claws?" Tony says. He strokes his beard. "That sounds horrific but in the coolest possible way. I mean that's got to be a winner with the ladies. Dames love that tough guy stuff. Unless there's blood. If there's blood that might be a deal breaker." He leans in a bit himself. "Did you take them for a spin? How well do they work? The tensile strength of bone can only stand up to so much punishment."

Hope snorts softly, though there's a bit of a grin there too. "Yeah. I mean, I normally wouldn't, but there was a group of mutants showing up to pick a fight with an anti-mutant group and I was trying to break it up, so…" She clears her throat. "His were actually coated in some sort of metal. I'd guess to deal with the tensile strength issue. Wasn't part of the mutation, though, since I just got bone. It worked, but it definitely hurt using them."

"Now that's one hell of a modification," Tony says. "How does one even get the metal to adhere to the bone without it eroding from use or poisoning the blood?" He spins on the stool to reach for a notebook, and he starts to make sketches. "Not to mention the pain would put a grown man into shock, easily." He taps his pencil to the page, then looks at Hope. "I want to meet this guy." And take him apart from the look on Tony's face.

"I'm gonna guess it was not a lot of fun for him, so you might not want to lead with that," Hope smirks, setting her empty bottle back into the pack. "But he might be willing to meet you," she shrugs. "I took him to another place for mutants, but I got the feeling he didn't fit in much there. I get the feeling he wouldn't fit in much here either, but he'd probably be willing enough to wander around for a bit."

Tony lays a hand to his chest and says, "I'm wounded. Of course I wouldn't lead with that. I'm just an interested scholar of science and the humanities, and he's human. I think that's how the taxonomy works in all this." He's a little too tired to lay the charm on for real, but there's stirrings there of potential, once he's had a night's rest and a couple more meals put in him. No, scotch doesn't count. "I don't know if you've met him but there's this guy with a metal arm who kicks around here sometimes, and I've gotten inside it to look around. We get along fine. It'll be fine."

"More like taxidermy in your case." Hope snorts a laugh, idly arranging a few of the loose bits of equipment on the table. "Yeah, Bucky. We met. He introduced me to ice cream, which puts him firmly in the good folks column in my book. Nathan had a metal arm, too. Although that was because of the techno-organic virus," she trails off, musing.

"Techno-organic virus?" Sure, Bucky's a standup guy and metal arms are cool, but… He leans an elbow on the table and keeps the notebook close at hand in case notes need to be taken. "What was the techno-organic virus? Was? Is, will be."

"Very bad," Hope summarizes. "I don't know the details. But when Nathan - that's who raised me - was just a baby someone infected him with it. And what it does is, it…replaces organic material with metal. The thing is, when it's done, you're just…a machine. There's nothing of you left. But Nathan was a telepath and telekinetic. And he used his telekinetic powers to- Well, sort of like that," she nods toward Tony's chest. "All the time, he was holding it back."

Tony glances down at his chest and nods with small, almost mirthless smile. Ah yes, that thing. "That's got to be exhausting," he says. "So clearly a manufactured virus. Nature doesn't make machines. That's the providence of men." He shakes his head. "Lady, I used to lament being limited by the time I live in, but the way you make it sound, the sixties are exactly where I want to be. Maybe taking our time on that tech isn't such a bad idea after all."

"It was," Hope nods. "Nathan was…he was a world-class telekinetic. He could have thrown tanks like it was nothing. And it took all but the smallest amount of that power for him to hold back the virus. If he ever had to use his power for anything else, there was a chance he could lose control of it. So." Her smile settles crooked at Tony's words, nodding her agreement. "Yeah. I mean, this time isn't perfect, but there's a lot of pretty great things."

"I'd like to think I'm responsible for some of them," Tony says with a bland smile. "You're right, though. There are a lot of great things about this time. Plastic, nuclear power, domputers that don't take up entire rooms. Integrated circuits, very handy." He pulls a face. "Could do without the civil unrest, but everyone's got to be mad about something."

"Well, if it makes you feel any better, that's not something that really goes away. Any time there's people, they'll find something to be difficult about." Hope reaches for a second coke, though she doesn't open it immediately. "But it gets better. Bit by bit, the more people fight for it, the better things get."

"Says the girl from a future where everything's awful," Tony says. "I can't fault your optimism." He raises his nearly empty can of Coke to Hope in a silent toast, then he upends the last of it, his throat working as he swallows it down. Then he says, "We do make our own future, though, every second of every minute of every day."

"Hey, that's what I'm here for, right? If I'm going to be the mutant messiah, then I'm going to do a damned good job of it and actually make the world better for some people." Hope grins, opening her coke to take a drink with him. "You should probably, I don't know, sleep or something. Before you accidentally blow the place up. I like living here, I don't want it to blow up."

"Hey, throw me in with that 'some' while you're at it," Tony says. "Don't forget the little guy who helped you out." There's humor in his weary eyes. Him, the little guy. He sits back and says, "Bah. I'll solder my fingers to the glasses. Again. That's what woke me up I-don't-know-how-long-ago." Still, the advice doesn't seem ill-taken. He looks around like he's contemplating cleaning up.

Hope chuckles, sliding off her stool and pushing it back under the table. "Come on. No one else is gonna come down here and move anything. Except maybe me, and I'll put it back if I do."

Tony grunts and hauls himself off the stool. He doesn't need a moment, he just puts a hand on the table because he feels like it. After a deep breath, he pushes himself to stand upright. "Erf, my legs are stiff," he says. "Because of sitting for so long." He's not getting old! "Okay, I'm going to crash for awhile. Be good, don't have too much fun without me."

"If I do, I'll make sure to tell you about it," Hope promises, making a quick round of the lab just to make sure everything that could start a fire is turned off. "Told you about the claws, didn't I? Sleep through the night and I'll tell you about the old naked Russian wizard on the horse."

"Sold," Tony says, "I won't get out of bed til the sun's shining." Probably around noon, given how tired he is. He tips off a jaunty salute, then heads for the stairs. "The things kids get up to these days…" Yes, it's the children. He's still young and spry. He waves a hand, then heads out. Upstairs to pass out for awhile.

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