A Friend Drops By...
Disclaimer: I don't own either the Buffy verse or the Marvel verse. See previous disclaimers.
I would like to thank my Beta MissE and Tammin
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Thanks again to everyone. Your reviews have inspired me to go beyond the movie.
Above Manhattan, N.Y.
Invisible SHIELD Helicarrier.
'I am not liking this, but it could have been a lot worse. Now to the real nitty gritty.'; "Where, is my portal machine?" Fury demanded. He knew exactly where it was. In Stark Tower, Lab three; Banner was working on it as they spoke.
"What do you mean your portal machine. That slice of tech was found on my building. I'm keeping it. Fair and square. Finders keepers."
"Stark we are not in a playground. A SHIELD scientist built it, with stolen SHIELD equipment I might add."
"Not really. A few of my facilities were hit as well. I've got as much invested in that piece of tech candy as you do."
"A SHIELD retrieval team will be taking charge of the device. Your property will be returned as soon as it's been properly removed. They'll be there a.s.a.p.; Unless of course you're willing to trade?"
'Okay so that was the stick, here comes the carrot.' Tony gave Fury his best 'I'm in a billion dollar piece of destructive, precision, and power weapon, and you're not' look. Although a case could be made for the Helicarrier. " What's on your mind?"
"I want suits. They don't even have to be your best, but I want at least a hundred."
'Not bad. I expected as much, at least he's letting me dole out the level of tech he wants. A modified, and stripped down version of the Mark IV should do the trick. Maybe even paint it green. The military just loves green. Changing the name for the type of armor is must at this point.', "Fifty..."
"Done!" Fury spoke before the man-child changed his mind.
"You haven't even heard the price yet. Billion each." he smiled under the faceplate, 'let's see you squirm out of this one. He he he.'
"I said done Stark, but I expect delivery to start by the end of the month."
'Sonova bitch. He was ready for that one. Can't blame him though. If he has to face another alien invasion soon, I'd rather the troops backing me have some punch. "I'll send you the specs by the end of the day along with the contracts. Are we done?"
"No. We are far from done. The Helicarriers you and Richards designed need to be modified for space flight. Artificial gravity and energy shields should give us a bit of an edge out there. What about those Quinjets you're building out in Jersey? My people say that they're space ready."
"The work on the Helicarrier can only be done if I'd have total access to the portal machine for at least two weeks..."
"You get four days."
"And that'll get you absolutely the same Helicarriers you currently have and granted they are awesome machines, but space ready they're not..."
"Fine. Five business days and that's it."
"Again we might get the gravity thing figured out by then, but the energy shields will be a problem..."
"What will it take to not make them a problem?" Fury's eye developed a slight tick the longer his conversation took.
"Like I said, two weeks. I'll be calling in favors from Reed and that's if Banner stays interested long enough to finish the math. I figure two weeks with no interruptions should do it. After all, I'd hate to be the one who has to take a flying coffin into space, what with all the hostile aliens out there, just waiting to pounce..."
"Alright, I get the picture. Two weeks, but not a day more, and all the pieces better be ready for transport the moment my people get there. Jeezus one more round of negotiation like that and you'll be doing my job." Fury growled.
"Nah. I wouldn't want your job Nick. I'd have to deal with people like me, and unlike you, I don't like shooting people. You'd better get your agent ready. I'm going down now, if they want to be introduced properly, it's now or never."
Fury gave the armored man the silent stare, 'One, two, three, four and five...' the two agents flew out of a door in the hanger floor and landed by Stark and Fury. The blond was a little wobbly on the landing, "What took you?"
"Sorry boss, but Carol's still getting used to flying on her own. She's more used to flying Jets, than being the jet." Jessica Drew explained. She made sure that Stark had a perfect view of her best features, front and back. Carol was still working in her powers, and she didn't go through the Hydra honey trap course like she did.
"Don't you think the 'Red and Yellow' will clash." Tony was checking both girls out with his sensors. He didn't need to move a muscle to 'scan' these two. Drew was eye candy, the other one had the Cali-blond thing going for her, until you looked into her eyes and had to re-evaluate your priorities if she caught you checking her out. 'This one's going to be a handful. I can tell right now. Jessica looks like fun, but Pepper's going to make sure I'm not the one having the fun. Hey maybe Phil will change his mind? Nah...' he cracked up laughing his head off at the picture of Drew pursuing a romantic interest in agent Coulson.
"Let's go." Tony took off from the runway without giving either Fury or the girls the option of goodbyes, or in Nick case a chance to give them final instructions, before they became guests under his roof.
May 08 2012
"Thanks for coming over on such short notice Reed."
"No trouble at all Tony. It's always a pleasure to play in another man's lab. Bruce, it's nice to see you again after that bit of unpleasantness we went through out in the desert."
"Water under the bridge Reed. Now that the curse has been mostly broken..."
"Mostly?" Reed invited Bruce to elaborate.
Bruce explained the events that led up to the last few days.
"I'm glad to see that you are about to overcome the obstacles that life used to test you. It's good to see you back in the lab." Reed's warm smile told Bruce that he truly meant every word. There were very few people on the planet that could hold their own end of a conversation with Reed, fewer still on the side of light.
"How's Sue and Franklin doing?" Bruce had met Reed's family when Richards had tried to help him with a cure. They thought back then that they had resolved the issue. Alas some critical ingredient was missing and the Hulk came back stronger and more savage than ever.
"They're fine. Sue came with me. She's with Pepper. She was promised a tour when the Tower was finished, I guess most of the highlights are still the same despite the damage."
"The major changes will be be behind the scenes. You might be interested in those Reed." Tony led the tour of the lab and When they were done they finished in front of the disassembled portal machine.
"This it?" Reed asked. He could already see that it was. There were several system that had little to do with opening rips in the space-time continuum, the artificial gravity and energy shield components were easily recognized as well as the power converter, the only thing missing was the power source.
"That's it. Bruce and I have already figured out how to reproduce the gravity and energy modules on a small scale, we need your help in figuring out the principles and the math, so we can super-size the units. I sorta promised Fury that the next generation of Helicarriers would have both innovations in them, and that they'd be ready for space deployment."
"Shouldn't be a problem from what I can see. You'll have to give them a stable power source...are you planning in sharing your ARC technology?"
"Not just yet. I was thinking of maybe using several honking fusion reactors, with an ARC backup under the control of a Stark AI. I'm sure I could convince Fury to let me put those in...as a safety feature."
Reed laughed. Tony wasn't sure if he ever saw the scientist let go a belly laugh like that. It was good for him. He was too repressed. How could a woman like Sue Storm fall for a cold fish like Reed was none of his business. Good for him in fact...
"Are we talking about the same Fury who bugged my honeymoon, and has you under twenty four hour surveillance? The same man who doesn't trust himself with his most important secrets, because he doesn't trust himself enough, on the off chance he might talk in his sleep. That Nicholas Fury?"
"When you put it that way..."
"Oh. How would you put it?" Bruce smirked. He didn't trust Fury. The man was just like Ross on the inside where it counted. On the outside he might play the compromise game, but that was just it. It was a game. The rope he gave you was long enough to go around the world several times, but it was still a rope with a beginning and a end.
"Not fair. You guys are ganging up on me. How can I be the gracious host if you do me like that?"
"Tony you are a smart man. Isn't that right Reed?" Reed nodded that yes Tony was clever. "See even Reed agrees with me, but get over yourself, no matter how smart you might think you are, Fury will match you with cunning and a healthy dose of paranoia. If he could, the man would not trust what his right hand is doing while his left hand is out of sight. If you put an AI on the Helicarriers, be prepared to lose it."
"He's essentially right. Give the man what you are prepared to lose, otherwise he'll get what you dangle in front of him, one way or another. Now, where's the power source?"
"You remember the brown haired girl hanging all over Steve Rogers when you came in?"
"Yes. Very nice polite young woman. Sue liked her."
"She's likable, a babe. Hot stuff, whatever. She decided that she'd rather have a Steve as boyfriend than spend eternity as an all powerful source of cosmic energy. Go figure. Sure Steve's a stud and all but come on."
"She changed her nature from energy to physical being. Fascinating, but if she has the energy to transform herself one way, she should be able to transform back..."
"Yeah we'll she says that because of the template she used she can't. She's locked in her new form, she can modify the structure, but he form stays until the original template figures out how to transform from solid to energy and back again."
"What are the chances of that happening?" Reed asked, he was doubtful it was even remotely possible for a human to reach that stage of evolution without outside help.
"...surprisingly good in fact. The template started out as an energy being and was changed into a human form by a higher power, if you can convince her to try and go back to her original form, then we'd be in business."
"I think I would like to meet this girl." Reed said as he made his way back to the Penthouse. He had seen most of the Avengers were hanging out on the terrace when he and Sue landed the Fantasti-car on the landing pad.
"Hey what about the portal machine and the math..."
"I already figured that out long ago. I just needed someone to come up with a way to use it. This way there's a valid explanation for why we now have these new capabilities."
"You know Bruce, sometimes that man scares me."
"Only sometimes?" Bruce laughed at Tony's insulted expression. It was his best. He really was a good actor. But who was he kidding. Most of the people Tony hung around with had him figured out long ago.
A/N I want to thank my Betas for getting back to me with the cleaner version.