1965-06-12 - Swords Into Plowshares
Summary: Tony and Sue meet up in the park.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
sue-storm tony 

Even Tony Stark goes out for a jog once in awhile, despite having invented his own unique treadmill that does exactly what a normal treadmill does only cooler. Mr. Moneybags is in great shape for his age, dressed in running shorts, sneakers, and a black tank top just dark enough to almost fully obscure the glowing blue disk in his chest. There's a little gleam, if one knows to look. Otherwise, he's more or less incognito. People respond to the clothes and the cars more than they do the man, and he's left both at home as he hits the pavement.

Some members of the Fantastic Four rarely leave the lab. Others are rarely found in the lab. And when it comes to Sue Storm, the Invisible Woman is comfortable both in and out of the lab. Sometimes when things are getting difficult in the lab, she heads to the park to clear her head. It's what's sent her out today, a pair of large sunglasses and a floppy summer hat making an attempt at disguising her identity without actually being invisible. She's claimed a spot on a bench where she can see the people coming up and down the paths, letting her mind wander.

That's when this guy who looks just like Tony Stark shows up! Tony's jog slows to a stroll, and then pacing as he checks his pulse. Without the metal suit, or a designer one, he looks almost disappointingly mortal, all sweat-damp and panting for breath. It's after noon and he's stone cold sober. That ought to make Rogers happy. When he spies the lady in the floppy hat and sunglasses, he smiles reflexively. There's someone looking to hide, so of course he notices her.

Trying to hide or no, Sue knows how to look past the obvious herself. And for all he may not have all of his equipment, Tony Stark is recognizable. Especially if you've spent the last fifteen years following a man who lives for science. Sue tips her glasses down enough to look over them, a small smile curving in response to his look. But then, she can't very well interrupt someone else's escape from the world while she's escaping herself.

Tony holds a finger to his lips, then says with a wink, "I won't tell if you won't." He continues to pace, though his pacing slows. Just going to cool off a bit before he has an old-man heart attack. He's in great shape, but he's still no longer a spring chicken. "How's whatshisface?" He snaps his fingers, as if trying to remember Reed's name.

"Reed," Sue answers, a dry note in her voice that says she knows very well that he knows very well what his name is, "Is doing well, thanks. On to some advancement or another that the rest of us will fully grasp in a decade, no doubt." There's humor in the last, but an inescapable fondness as well. "What about you, Mister Stark? How are you finding trying to find the balance between heroics and science?"

Tony points and says, "Reed, that's the one." His small grin says he knows he's being bad, and there's not even a bit of an apology to it. "Ah, but the science is the heroics. Don't you know? I'm beating swords into plowshares. Stark Industries is going to start solving problems closer to home. We might even think about focusing on saving lives instead of taking them."

"Sometimes I think the relationship between the science and the heroics is a little more complicated than that," Sue says ruefully, pushing her sunglasses back up onto her nose as a pair of women with a stroller walk by, sharing the daily gossip. Once they're past, she tips them down again, just enough to actually reveal her eyes. "But that's a good thing to hear. I'm sure with the threat of war hanging over our heads again, there are people who disagree with your business decisions on that front."

"I like to think of it as opening up opportunities to burgeoning war profiteers," Tony says. He waves a hand and adds, "Don't worry. We'll still do R&D." When his pacing has slowed sufficiently, he sits down beside her. Not too close, he is sweaty after all and somewhat of a gentleman. Somewhat. "Those battlefields will need medical supplies," he says. "Our boys need stuff to outsmart the other guy's weapons R&D. There's still plenty to do."

Sue pauses at the mention of medical supplies, head tilting just a bit in his direction. "I didn't realize you'd gotten into the medical industry. Anything promising in the pipeline?" From a man, it might sound like hunting for leads, a way to cut into the business. From Sue, there's something both academic and genuinely interested in the words.

"Only dipping a toe in," Tony says. "I'm interested in functional prosthetics." He flexes his fingers. "We're not there yet, but if we keep at it, the tech will catch up." He half-smiles as he says, "I've got some great minds working on this. I just buy the neat toys and watch them go." Humility? From Tony Stark? "Of course without arc reactor tech, it's a pipe dream." There he is.

"Of course. It's a logical extension of the suit," Sue nods, smile deepening at one corner of her lips. "So you're looking at powering them with arc reactors? What's your plan to deal with the potential for too much power in an arc reactor? Say, someone with a prosthetic arm gets into a car accident and the reactor in their prosthetic is damaged?"

Tony shrugs a shoulder and says, "That's for Future Tony and the ballistics gel in the lab to figure out." He rubs at the back of his neck and takes a deep breath, then lets it out. Finally cooled down from running. "The way I figure, first we invent a seamless interface, then we scale down the power to handy, bite-sized pieces. If it all works out right, a damaged reactor won't do much more damage than a cracked battery."

Sue laughs softly at the first answer, smile twisting wry. "Alternatively, have you ever considered something powered by the body itself? An arc reactor is all well and good for a suit of armor loaded with lasers, or a factory, but a healthy human body normally provides all the power it needs to operate. If you could design a prosthetic that charged itself with the normal inertial energy we collect through movement throughout the day, you could make it self-powered, not dependent upon an external power source of any sort."

"That's the future," Tony says without pause for doubt. "In the future, we'll have neural interfaces. Our brains will operate the prosthetics like they do our flesh and blood limbs." There's no other future, in his mind. It's the only logical conclusion. "Storing potential energy's an idea," he admits. "It's still in the tinkering phase."

"Neural interface is all well and good for the future," Sue agrees. "But not entirely necessary for a surprising number of options. Programming becomes an issue, though. You don't need to interface with the brain if you can program the prosthetic to respond to small movements in the muscles it attaches to. It's amazing what the human body can adapt to, after all." At the last, she lifts one hand, reaching toward the glow at his chest with the back of one finger without even looking. "But I'm sure you also have entire departments full of people working on it," she adds, turning the motion into a wave of her hand.

Tony's brows lift as he watches her hand move closer. He sits poised, though, making no move to deter her. He smiles, lifting his gaze to her face, and he says, "Yeah, that calls for a different kind of egghead. Biology is a soft science. I mean, does it even really count?" He winks. "I'm also designing different models of lightweight splints and whatnot. Weight becomes such an issue in supply lines."

Sue arches a brow, a hint of laughter in her voice. "Careful, Mister Stark," she chides, teasing. "Those are what we call fighting words in the Storm household." She folds her hands on her lap once again, leaning back against the bench and looking up toward the sky. "And this…Avengers thing? I know Johnny thinks it sounds like fun, but I've learned to be wary of most of the things he thinks are fun."

Tony's smile broadens. "I'll watch my back," he says. Then he waves a hand. "There's nothing to be wary of. The Avengers have a responsible, respectable leader. He keeps us on the straight and narrow. Now if I were in charge, you'd be right to worry, but this old-timer, he's got no sense of fun whatsoever. He's perfect."

"Nobody is perfect." Sue sounds certain of that, at least. "And to be honest, I'm less worried about any of you hurting Johnny than I am about Johnny breaking something of yours," she adds, a flicker of a smile crossing her features once more. "Or Johnny setting the atmosphere on fire by accident, but I'm reasonably certain we've fine-tuned things enough that he knows how to avoid that now."

"He's a good kid," Tony says. "I wouldn't worry so much. If he sets the atmosphere on fire, at least it won't be our problem for long." He glances out at the park, seemingly enjoying the view, but always watchful, casing the area. Just wanting to make sure where everyone is in his vicinity. "Besides, if he wrecks anything at the mansion, it can be replaced."

"Well, that is always good to hear. If he gives you any trouble, you let me know," Sue adds, looking back over the rim of her glasses. "He is a good kid, but he just gets…Well, sometimes he just acts without thinking first. He means well. He does well. It's just that sometimes things happen. I'm glad he's found another group of people he can be himself around," she adds. "We're family, but the rest of us can be a little boring for him."

"We'll try to keep him engaged," Tony says a little too innocently. Like he's not going to find some way to have fun with a teammate who can burst into flames. What's the worst that could happen? "Everyone needs a life outside of family," he says. "Without friends, who do you have to complain about family to? Not that I know from personal experience, but it sounds like sage advice."

"Mmmm," Sue hums with a playful arch of her brow and a wry smile. "Yes, I'm sure Johnny's never complained about boring old Reed, stuffy old Ben, and his sister who insists he hang out with them," she chuckles. "He only means about half of it half of the time, though. Well." She pushes her sunglasses back up, looking up toward the sky for a moment. "I should probably get back to the Baxter Building. Do let me know if you come on anything interesting with the prosthetics though, won't you? Biology is something of a hobby of mine."

Tony admits, "I've never heard him say anything bad, actually. I'm not around much, though. While the whippersnappers are rubbing elbows, I'm in the lab doing science." It's not a complaint, far from it. What could be better than late nights in the lab with a bottle of scotch and millions of dollars worth of things that might go boom? He rises to his feet when Sue says she's going to get going. "I'll keep you in the loop," he says. "I might introduce you to this kid I know. He's got some good ideas."

"No wonder it feels like home to Johnny," Sue grins at the mention of Tony being locked up in the lab. She smooths a hand over her skirt as she stands, tugging her hat down just a little bit. "I'm always happy to meet with promising young scientists. They're the future after all. A pleasure running into you, Mister Stark," she adds, taking a step back. "I'm sure we'll be seeing each other."

"If I have anything to do with it," Tony says amiably. He makes the motion of tipping a hat. "I look forward to talking to you again." He stretches, then sets off jogging again. Gotta stay fit to keep up with the supers. It ain't easy being the squishible guy.

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