|With Great Powers||Help Search Members Calendar|
|Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )||Resend Validation Email|
|Pages: (2) 1 2 ( Go to first unread post )||ADD REPLY. NEW TOPIC. NEW POLL.|
Sure, Worthington Industries had been involved in the Stark Expo before. A little something here or there, helping out the brand that was Worthington Industries. It was actually the first thing he saw in his father’s calendar – forward planning what was best for the company, always. Once he and Pepper got in touch with one another, Warren felt a little more at ease. She wanted to meet him at the construction site, that he could do. He didn’t have any classes today and he was excited to meet Tony. Okay, so Pepper was pretty awesome and sounded really nice on the phone. But Tony? Honestly, Warren was a bit jealous of him. Being able to fly in places, announcing to the world that he was Iron Man.
Not only were the X-Men officially retired, but Warren wasn’t exactly advised to announce that he was Angel of X-Men fame to his board, much less to the world. Just imagine all the heart attacks? Maybe he needed a new board? That was very possible. But trying to sneak some of his own folks in there was going to be tough. Hell, even having Mary in the meetings with up upon occasion was like pulling teeth because heaven forbid a woman be in the presence of company men. Yeah, okay, he needed a new board. But he was going to have to fight his uncle on that matter.
The matter at hand, though? That was all on him. One of the first big moves for him as CEO. He hoped he made his father proud, but he also wanted to show that Worthington Industries was not dead and decaying. That he was competent to lead them into a new era. And what better way to focus on the future than to support the Stark Expo? The real Who’s Who of technological innovation, to be sure. Warren had already offered his frozen yogurt branch to the cause, but he wanted to be more involved than just petty treats. Delicious treats.
He arrived at the construction site via his own rather comfortable SUV. Luxury, of course. But it was easier for him to drive than some of his sports cars because the seats were especially deep, allowing plenty of room for his wings. Which, of course, were compressed neatly into his harness and hidden by his Armani suit jacket. It looked like he was wearing all black from a distance, but his jacket actually had a tiny little checkered pattern on it. And, on the plus side, it was rather comfortable. Made room for his reasonably broad shoulders and tapered in just a hair towards his waist. While the double-breasted look might be more keen towards winter, he figured it was a breezy enough fall.
Plus just figuring out what to wear to a meeting with the heads of Stark Industries was taxing.
Warren stepped out of the SUV and looked around, wondering where Pepper and Tony were. Er, Miss Potts and Mister Stark.
Pepper had been at the construction site all morning. Having anticipated this, she'd dressed for the occasion: low-heeled ankle boots, long dark pants, and a loose-fitting shirt. It was a touch more casual than what she regularly wore to the office, though she wouldn't look out of place if she were to be suddenly called into the city. She'd arrived early to have more time to see the site; Frank, the head supervisor, had given her the grand tour, informing her of their current progress and future plans.
At the moment, and to Pepper's pleasant surprise, everything to seemed to be on schedule. As Frank had summarised, he and his crew had finished putting up the main buildings and pavilions; next week, they'd do electrical wiring. It wouldn't take more than a few days, but they'd have to delay wiring the west pavilion until the shipment from Tokyo arrived next Friday.
"Soon as the shipment comes, the boys and I will install it and do the wiring--one afternoon, tops." Frank winked. He was a stout man with a bushy, salt-and-pepper beard and twinkling blue eyes. Pepper knew him well; he had been in charge of construction for the last Stark Expo and was exceedingly competent. "We've looked at the schematics and planned it out. Don't you worry, Pepper, Fujikawa will get their special exhibit. We'll get it done."
Pepper smiled. "Sounds great, Frank," she said--shouted, actually, over the drumming of jackhammers. Ducking her head to avoid a dangling cable as she followed Frank out of the building, she noticed an SUV pulling up next to the construction site. She checked her watch, and then glanced back at the vehicle.
Well, look at that. He was on time, unlike somebody...
"Keep up the great work, Frank!" The man gave her a jolly wave as Pepper made her way towards the SUV, where a svelte man in a trim suit was now standing and looking around rather aimlessly.
"Hi, Warren, right? Pepper," she said cheerfully, but briskly. Before he had a chance to respond, she pushed a bright orange helmet into his hands. "Supervisor's orders," she added, tapping her own. She pointed to the man with the bushy beard. "Around here, Frank's in charge."
Giving Warren a nod, Pepper began to lead him down to the site. She wasn't one to waste time, especially not someone else's. "Watch your step, the ground's still soft from the morning rain," she warned, hopping lightly to avoid a muddy puddle. Pepper reflected that she should have suggested wearing comfortable clothes in her last email; Warren was wearing a really nice suit.
@WARREN WORTHINGTON III @TONY STARK
When a ginger in boots and a loose blouse approached, Warren had to remind himself to keep his eyes to himself. She looked comfortable, professional, and like she could probably wash that ensemble easily, should dirt or something get on it. Warren’s get up was … not that easy to wash, probably. But it would work. “Right. Pepper, it’s great to meet you,” he wanted to call her Miss Potts, but he refrained. They were all adults here.
Warren took the helmet in his hands, holding it for a moment before putting it on. “Don’t want Frank mad at me, then,” he tipped the hard hat towards the man with the bushy beard, who was clearly in charge around these parts. Better safe than sorry. Anything could go wrong at a construction site. It shouldn’t, of course, but the possibility was always there. Hence Frank’s insistence on messing up what his gel product managed to put together this morning. Warren didn’t mind making a show of safety. Maybe he was falling into that teacher / leader roll a bit better than he thought he was.
At least he could dress the part, thanks to his long-standing love of suits and fine clothes. Then again … you probably didn’t want to wear a suit to a construction site.
Admittedly, Warren was quite a bit overdressed for the occasion. While he knew it was a construction site, he also knew that he was meeting the CEO of another powerful company. And, supposedly, Tony Stark. Pepper and Tony were a power couple to behold and Warren may have been slightly too excited to meet them. At least his black sneakers wouldn’t be too out of place here, right? As long as they didn’t get too muddy or anything. The jacket, on the other hand, couldn’t be helped. Maybe he could lose the tie?
Oh, whatever. He was here, he was going to make it work.
“Thanks for the tip,” he side-stepped the puddle to follow her lead. “I know I’m a tad overdressed. But I’m actually pretty comfortable in suits,” Warren admitted with a shrug, knowing he probably looked ridiculous beside her. Tad overdressed was an understatement. He should’ve thought to be a bit more appropriate for being in a construction zone, but he didn’t care at the moment. Because he was getting to tour around with THE Pepper Potts.
Warren was young, but he was well-mannered and cooperative, slipping on the hard hat without a second thought. Pepper smiled appreciatively, having noticed that the hat would probably flatten the CEO's carefully coiffed hairstyle. "Right this way," she said, leading him towards a part of the construction site where the ground felt a little less like quicksand.
"Thanks for coming down here, by the way--I thought it would be easier to discuss Expo plans if we were actually staring at the place. The construction crew's just finished constructing the three main pavilions, a few other buildings, but as you can probably tell--" her voice rose exponentially to match the sudden onset of beeps and groans of excavators and dozers, "--we've still got a lot of work to do!"
A few men shouted something incoherent, and then the machines lurched to a halt. Pepper let out a small sigh. Glancing at Warren, she nodded her head at one of the centrepieces of the whole Expo--the iconic globe--and began walking towards it.
"Stark Expo has always been a huge part of the company's history," she explained. "The first Stark Expo was held in 1943, during the Second World War, where our founder, Howard Stark, demonstrated the world's first flying car. In a grey world being torn apart by war, Stark Expo served to bring colour and to give people the hope to dream of a better tomorrow."
She brought them to the base of the globe and took a moment to look up at it. "Sorry, I know you didn't come for the history lesson," she added with a slightly embarrassed laugh. She had a tendency to get carried away. "But I just wanted to--well, I guess I wanted to say that even now, the spirit of the Expo remains the same. To show the world a better tomorrow, and then to bring them there."
@WARREN WORTHINGTON III @TONY STARK
Warren followed Pepper as she headed off, leading the way to where they needed to be at the moment. At least the ground became harder in this area, so they weren’t sinking as much. Then again, Warren didn’t weigh as much as a man of his size should, considering the hollow bones and lean musculature that hung from his frame. But he could appreciate a firmer footing. Besides, it gave him a chance to look around at what was happening here – hence agreeing to come down here in the first place.
His hands slipped into his pockets as they walked, listening to her talking about things. The sudden increase in machinery noise hurt his sensitive ears, though, and Warren couldn’t hide the twinge in his face at the sound. Once the machines calmed down, he offered a soft smile. “Well, I’m glad you invited me down to come see the place. I’m sure things will look spectacular once they’re finished,” he nodded, knowing there was plenty of work to do but it always turned out great in the end. Right?
What Warren didn’t expect was a minor history lesson. Sure, he knew the history but it was nice hearing it from someone else. Getting a fresh perspective on it, aside from his father’s personal opinions – which were polite enough, but skewed in his own way. And the whole dreaming of a better tomorrow thing? It was a very nice sentiment. One he hoped people could abide by today. With the turmoil of the Accords and looming registration on the horizon, it would be encouraging to have a place where people could openly discuss research projects and ways to move forward in the future.
Together, as one people.
“No, the history lesson is fine,” Warren chuckled, knowing she had embarrassed herself from droning on about the company line. But it was what the Expo was all about. One of the reasons he asked Jean if there was going to be a group coming to the science fair to get inspired. The Expo really had things for the whole family, year after year. “I’ve always appreciate the Expo for that, bringing people together, showing them future possibilities and the latest and greatest technology of today,” Warren almost felt like he was catering towards her a little bit and being positive about the Expo, but it really was how he felt. Bringing people together here? It was a great cause. And one the Expo truly did well. So many rival companies in one setting, even? How did one manage that? They all came together for the greater good and a brighter tomorrow. It was … it was nice.
But one had to wonder where Mister Stark himself was …
"I certainly hope so too, Warren," Pepper replied with a laugh. God, it was a little surreal to think that the Expo was fast approaching, and Pepper's stomach would plummet about three feet into the ground whenever she thought about the things she still needed to do. Last week, she had to deal with a minor crisis when their newspaper advertisements had printed the wrong date for the opening Expo, and the week before that, the catering service they'd hired suddenly bankrupt. But despite the hiccups along the way, somehow, it was all coming together.
Warren's next comments made Pepper smile. "We do try to uphold that spirit," she agreed wholeheartedly.
She was just about make another remark when something in the air changed. She instinctively turned her head. There he was, gliding regally through the construction site like an emperor on a chariot (instead of a billionaire on a Segway), was Tony Stark himself.
Somehow, Pepper almost always knew when Tony was near, well before he was within sight or earshot. Maybe it was she had a sense for trouble, and Tony usually brought bucketloads of that with him.
Pepper tilted her head as Tony rolled towards them, her eyebrow arched sceptically while one arm was propped at her hip. She watched in unimpressed silence as he debated where to park his ridiculous scooter (did he ride that thing all the way down here?) before finally alighting and joining her and Warren, a full twenty minutes late.
Sometimes, it was difficult to believe she'd said 'yes' to this man.
@WARREN WORTHINGTON III @TONY STARK
“Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you out, by the way. I’m sure you have everything under control, but I’m sure the Expo can be a bit of an undertaking,” Warren offered, not really sure why but … he just felt it was the right thing to do. It was the Stark Expo, but he wanted to see it succeed just as much as the next person. He imagined their companies could complement one another. Sure, there might be a few things along the way which turned them more into rivals, but it happened. That’s called doing business.
Warren, of course, heard Tony coming on his Segway but didn’t turn to look because he wasn’t entirely sure if he was close enough for a human to have heard him coming. After a beat, Pepper turned towards the incoming man and Warren took that as his cue to turn slightly and look at the spectacle before them. He bit his lower lip not to laugh and made a mental note to see what sort of ridiculous things he might be able to come up with. Then again, he was still recovering from the purchase of the frozen yogurt company – which he still firmly believes is a good investment, Robert.
As he shook hands with Mister Stark, Warren smiled. It seemed such a ridiculous thing, to drive a scooter into the work site. Then again, Warren was the one who came massively overdressed. That had been the story of his life … well, since he was born, but still. Now he was casually shaking hands with THE Tony Stark. With the man he secretly somewhat envied because he was able to declare to the world that ‘hey look I’m a superhero’ whereas hardly anyone cared about the X-Men these days. Warren’s board would have a complete and utter heart attack if he dropped the ‘normal human’ charade. And he knew that.
But in the present, Stark was asking if they were through with the history lesson yet. “Just wrapped up, I’d say,” his gaze drifted back to Miss Potts for confirmation. Warren nodded, history lesson over. Stark had good timing on that one. Not that it was particularly boring or anything, but he knew the history himself backwards and forwards so he didn’t need a rehash. “What’s next, Miss Potts?” He asked, forgetting the casual ‘Pepper’ that she told him to call her earlier. Maybe it was because Tony was there now? He suddenly felt the need to be formal.
One of the things that he'd learned about Pepper, was that she didn't liked grand gestures. It was quite possibly something that had come out of knowing him for so many years. There were really no getting accustomed to his antics, Tony knew that but for some reason Pepper was still around. It still, to that day, surprise him but he was also equally surprised at the look she was shooting him, as well as the quirked brow and the very typical hand on the hip, a signal that he was Doing It Again. That alone could entail a number of things, but he suspected it had to do with his arrival. Funny, he'd thought he'd toned down his usual habit of arriving in grand style. If a Segway wasn't unpretentious, he wasn't sure what was.
It wasn't a good sign either when she didn't answer him, although technically, he hadn't addressed her with a question, had simply made a statement. That had been when he had turned to Warren Worthington instead. It was possible that he had met the man before but if that was the case, he couldn't say that he remembered it, not because he wasn't interested in people investing and being interested in the Expo, because he was constantly moving in his mind and discarding temporary details that he didn't currently needed. Now everything that he'd picked up along he way about the man, not counting Pepper's briefing earlier that week, resurfaced. It was convenient.
"Oh, excellent," he said as he adjusted his suit jacket a little and took another gander around the site. There was still a lot to be done before it was all finished, but no doubt this year's Expo and its theme was gonna kill it, he was sure of it. Never before had the Expo had anything themed except for general science and inventions, but it all had an angle this year, to send a message. When Warren turned to Pepper, Tony did the same. "Oh, please, don't let me steal the show. We're at your mercy, miss Potts." At least, he was. He'd hear about this tonight, for sure. Just in case, he offered a smile and opted to open the door for her. She could easily just step through the opening on her left, that was still missing its glass panel but it was the thought that counted.
At Warren's offer of help, Pepper smiled. She hadn't interacted much with the young CEO, but he was making a good impression on her. Poor kid probably had a lot to deal with ever since he took over the company. "Same here," she said. Her hand went to his arm and she gave him a meaningful look, hoping he understood she wasn't talking about the Expo. "If you need help or even just advice, don't hesitate to ask."
Pepper didn't believe that business needed to be cutthroat. A little kindness and humanity went a long way. Pepper kept that at the back of her mind as Tony inspected the site like an elementary schooler intrigued by an anthill. She let out a silent sigh as both men eventually turned their gazes back to her, their appointed tour guide.
"Warren, this is Tony Stark, and Tony, this is Warren Worthington," she said, gesturing between them. She made the introductions both as professional courtesy and also in case Tony didn't remember who Warren was supposed to be. Tony had a great memory, she knew, though it didn't always present itself when he needed it most, like that time he brought her strawberries as an apology gift and forgot she was completely allergic to them.
Pepper gave the men a moment to shake hands, nod, or do whatever they needed to do to get acquainted (she'd once made introductions to two business partners who literally flexed their biceps at each other for a good fifteen minutes) before she began walking towards the sponsors pavilion. On her way, she snatched up a hard hat that had been sitting in a wheel barrow.
"Let's head to Pavilion I," said Pepper cheerfully as she thrust the hard hat at Tony, "most of the sponsors like to know where their exhibits will be so they can better plan their displays. As I recall, Worthington Industries will be on the north end--do you know what you'll be exhibiting at the Expo, Warren?"
@WARREN WORTHINGTON III @TONY STARK
Pepper was a sweet woman, from what he could tell. Not only was she full of grace and class, but she was also a genuinely nice person. And yes, their interaction thus far had been brief, but still, there they were. She was offering help to him. Advice. Coming from her, it really did mean a lot. “Thanks. Really,” he smiled, knowing exactly what she meant. She was offering to share her expertise with him. As a pretty new CEO himself, Warren was still trying to figure out how to navigate things - and which meetings really didn’t need his attention.
But this one, of course, needed his full attention.
Was it strange for Stark to join the pair without introduction? Without a moment of handshaking? Warren just went with it, assuming if formal introductions were needed, they would be made … somehow. Was he supposed to introduce himself? Thankfully, the brief moment of hesitation passed as Pepper gestured between them, a formal introduction. Warren extended his hand towards the infamous man before him, glad to be meeting him
slightly jealous that he could be public about being Iron Man. “Mister Stark, it’s an honor,” he said, honestly meaning it.
After all, how many people get to meet Stark in person like this?
After the introduction was over, it was time to follow Miss Potts to … somewhere. Oh, Pavilion I. Yes, time to look at his space. While staring at it on a map might be all well and good, it would be nice to put boots on the ground, so to speak. Warren wanted to see what the space really felt like, and how to best put up … okay, putting up displays was not exactly what he was going to be doing. He was there for the scientists, to put on a smile and entice people in while they spoke … whatever language nerds speak. Maybe that seemed harsh, but the stuff that they said in meetings made little to no sense to him. Maybe he needed to get Hank to translate.
“All I know so far is that we’re going to be showcasing some of the designs from our new aeronautics division,” Warren offered, not remember what any of the pieces were called, just knowing that somehow it made flying better for folks who didn’t naturally have wings. “I’m sure some of the other parts of the R&D program will be wanting a little piece of the pie, as well. I think they’re trying to conduct some internal competition,” he chuckled, wondering just how much space they were allowed here. And wondering who was supposed to judge their friendly competition.
It was in moments like this one that he was glad that he had Pepper. Of course, he was plenty to glad to have her in all kinds of situations at any point in time but he'd since long ago left the kind of business that she took care off, behind. That meant that he had an knack for skipping or forgetting details he deemed important. Like a name, or even just a proper introduction. He also trusted Pepper's judgement when it came to greeting people. Not everyone seemed to be--not so eloquently expressed--worthy of the time or attention. So at the instruction done by his fiance, Tony took the hand and gave it a solid shake, even extending a polite smile and a pat on Warren's shoulder at the words. "Good to meet you, Mr Worthington."
Then, the small group moved forward and somewhere along the way, Pepper had snatched up a helmet and was shoving it at Tony. With a feigned scowl towards her, he took it and then latched his hands around it, letting it remain in height with his abdomen. He took in the site of the structures, much of it unfinished but was definitly show-casing the idea that they had started here. The Expo was being redone completely but that didn't mean that it was going to be any smaller. He perked up at the mention of aeronautics, so he turned towards Warren. "New division? Well, I for one would like to hear about that. Engineering, right? Are we talking components or the whole deal, top to bottom?"
Maybe Warren's company was sniffing on rocketry, ever since the Fantastic had landed Iowa in January that year, many was trying to incite a race towards space. Since he had been the one who'd done the final sponsoring on the rocket back in 1995, he felt that it said plenty.
Tony might have taken the hard hat, but it wasn't on his head. Ironic, considering how he loved wearing his Iron Man helmets. Fine, if a concrete slab came loose and hit him on the skull, Pepper would be standing right there to tell him 'I told you so'.
There were a few workers inside the pavilion, some doing electrical work while another team was directing a mobile crane that was carrying a few metal beams.
"That's right, I remember that," said Pepper when Warren mentioned his aeronautics division. "I spoke with someone with your company about that--we're reinforcing the ceiling of the pavilion so it can withstand a heavier load, for the hanging displays that were requested." She directed her gaze to the ceiling, where a few construction workers were lifted by aerial work platforms and fixing metal beams into position...
While it was an honor to meet Tony Stark, he supposed the man needed no introduction. Warren, on the other hand, was still a very new face around town. Especially because, as the heir to his father’s company, he hadn’t been seen around too much in the public eye before his father’s death. Of course, that had directly been a result of him being an X-Man and therefore intentionally avoiding the public eye because he didn’t want to accidently connect things with the mansion, but perhaps having an alum from the elusive school would add to the prestige? Maybe it was good for him to get out there and rub elbows? It certainly was a good thing for making professional connections.
Such as with Mister Stark, here. Hopefully that would be a positive connection for the future of both companies.
When Stark perked up at the mention of the new aeronautics division, Warren couldn’t help but smile. It had been a good investment. The fledgling company was making some excellent progress in engine design. Nothing that would take people into outer space, if that was what Tony was concerned about, but reducing air pollution here on Earth was certainly something to be intrigued by. He understood enough of the crazy science jargon to at least get that much out of his newest science team. Cleaner air for all. A great concept and something they could do. “Currently just components at the moment. Of course, that’s not to say we won’t expand in the future,” he smirked a little, knowing that the Fantastic mission was probably what Stark was thinking of. A sort of renewed space race for the private sector.
Hmm. Probably too overwhelming for his team to think about now, but something Warren could put in his back pocket.
But as their minds were on lofty ideas, there was a commotion above. His ears had picked up on the tail end of the autograph conversation (even though he was trying to be present with Tony and Pepper, enhanced hearing is sometimes a bear to keep in check). Before there was even a shout from above, Warren was already moving to wrap his arms around Pepper to tackle her to the ground. Just as the shout came, he was shoving Tony out of the path with the same motion. He had only looked up for a second when he saw what his ears had picked up on – those reinforcing beams? One of them was coming down. And he felt like it was his fault. His fault for needing the reinforcements in the first place.
As he pulled Pepper to the ground, out of the way of the falling beam, Warren pivoted to land on his back (and thus protect her). He let out a sharp intake of breath as his wings were crushed under their combined weight and closed his eyes. Oww. When he realized they were clear, he let her go. “Sorry,” Warren’s voice was graveled slightly, masking his own pain from landing on his wings but otherwise he was fine. “Sorry!” He called to Tony before adding, “Everyone okay?”
As difficult he could be to keep a conversation with, Tony's interest in technology and its advancement was always something that intrigued him, because if anything he believed his fathers words, that everything was achievable through technology. Ever since he'd let go of his chaotic past that involved producing weapons, it had become a different process, one that meant that what he created, was only meant to improve the world around him and the lives in it. Improving the world was for him, not a competition, but something that they all could contribute to and something that they needed to do. It was really that simple.
"Well that's just excellent!" Tony endorsed and gestured with his arms briefly outwards. At this point in time, his major role for Stark Industries was creation, not so much the other things. That was Pepper's job and she excelled at it. That was why he'd given her the job in the first place. It mean that he could spend time doing not only what he was good at but also what he enjoyed doing. There was, at the very least, plenty less fires for her to put out and more about... steering him in the right direction. If he could say himself though, it was going fairly well. He felt on track. A light hand tapped Warren's shoulder in a non-invasive and friendly manner. "If there's anything you need me to take a look at, just let me know."
A loud creaking of metal caught his attention but the time Tony tilted his eyes upwards to see what was going on, he was already been shoved out of the way, and good was that, because beam heavily landed onto ground with a thundering ruckus. Sitting up slowly, the dust started to clear and Tony glanced around, blinking. "...okay, that's not supposed to happen." Climbing to his feet he gave a dismissive wave, to indicate that he was okay, but his eyes lingered on Pepper, holding out a hand to help her to stand. "Maybe we should reconsider this location." He gestured towards from where they'd come, suggestively.
|TOPIC OPTIONS. Pages: (2) 1 2||ADD REPLY. NEW TOPIC. NEW POLL.|