15235/It's Just a Walk in the Park

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It's Just a Walk in the Park
Date of Scene: 20 June 2023
Location: Washington Sq. Park - Greenwich Village
Synopsis: Pepper runs into Skye in the park and asks her to stop by the office for a chat.
Cast of Characters: Pepper Potts, Quake

Pepper Potts has posed:
It's a gorgeous New York morning in June, and while Pepper Potts isn't the only one taking advantage of the beautiful weather, she is among the most recognizable in the little (nine acre) portion of Greenwich Village known as Washington Square Park.

Conveniently located not far from Stark Industries, the park was a frequent haunt of arguable the second most powerful and recognizable figure from Stark Industries -- and she would argue that's only because she's never actually donned one of Tony's suits or saved anyone that the media was particularly interested in covering. If you were going for raw air time standing up in front of the press, Miss Potts might actually have an edge on Stark himself. Of course, the single most often asked question during those press conferences? "Where's Tony Stark?" Alas.

At the moment, Pepper's strawberry blonde ponytail is swinging like pendulum as she jogs down one of the paths, keeping up a brisk pace and occasionally glancing down at a Stark smartwatch on her left wrist that gave her updates on vitals, run time, playlist, all the normal stuff.

3.. 2.. 1..

And, she's walking, blowing out a breath of relieved air as she moves over to a railing and lifts one heel onto the top of it, stretching out her muscles.
Quake has posed:
Skye was trying a new thing: going to the park. Yes, a park. To enjoy the outdoors. By herself. Really!!

Of course she had her tablet. And her smartwatch. But she left her laptop at home. Little victories?

Nat would be proud of her! But Skye didn't feel that way. Mostly she felt tired. Not physically tired, but emotionally tired. Of late she had no clue where her life was going. Didn't know if Clint had requested another partner. In her line of work she often had missions that didn't have a partner. Mind you, the missions were on the computer! And often she shadowed Fury. Most of the time she did her own thing in SHIELD.

Hell, if she wanted to (and frankly she expected to) work out here. So her visit wasn't quite the visit, as an off site work place. Which was what her brownstone was as well.

Skye never really was off the clock.

With the leaves finally finished sprouting, the trees were shady.And quite a number of park benches were beneath the shadows, with just enough sunlight to feel like you could have a tan if you wanted to. Sitting done at a fairly removed bench, she began to boot up her tablet, and looked around.
Pepper Potts has posed:
Pale green tank top over a black sports bra, black leggings, and running shoes, Pepper certainly wasn't in the same 'corporate armor' she wore in Stark Tower, but unfortunately, it was rare for her to be 'off the clock,' too. Not only was she on call 24/7 for whatever Tony himself needed -- whether that was picking up dry cleaning, ushering his latest one-night-stand out of his penthouse, or helping him with something in the lab because she apparently has dainty hands -- but was also at any given moment likely to endure a young person with a cell phone running up to take a video of her and start asking questions so they could get a scoop and be TiktokFamous.

Like this kid. About twenty, lanky, male, and dressed like he lost his skateboard in the nineties.

"Hey, Pepper!"

That was usually the first sign that it was about to go poorly. The actual journalists always called her Miss Potts. She lowers her leg from the railing and brushes the back of her hand across her forehead to clear the sweat. As it so happened, she wasn't far away from that bench that Skye was just sitting on, but she was so distracted that she didn't realize that, yet.

"Can I help you?"

The question was asked, but he already has his phone out, recording her. She knew exactly what he wanted.

"Yeah. Um. Have any of Tony's other suits gone missing, yet?"

Pepper's smile thins. "I assume you mean the incident from a month ago. No. That was an isolated incident, and the suit was recovered shortly after. If you'll excuse me..."

"So are we, like, in danger?" the kid presses.
Quake has posed:
Skye caught the tail end of the conversation.

Pepper.. Pepper.. AH! Tony's personal assistant. And given the young man, he wasn't getting the message to politely bugger off.

Which is where Skye saves the day. "Hey Pep! It took you long enough! I had time to play BingoWhiz while I waited." She glowers at the young man. "Do you mind? I have a lot to do this day, and I only have thirty minutes for lunch. And she's already took up ten minutes."

The fact is she was lying. But she sounded so smooth that it doesn't sound preposterous when she says it.

For her, it was black clothing, from head to toe, with arm braces for her forearms.
Pepper Potts has posed:
"Not from Stark Industries," Pepper manages to continue politely for the video, considering she was already living in a big enough PR nightmare was it was, but her patience was wearing noticeably thin. She was at least more diplomatic than Tony was about these sorts of things. He was equally likely to have either EMP'd the kid's phone or just handed him a puppy and sent him on his way. You never could tell what mood he was going to be in. "As I--"

But that's when she hears the voice. She turns to find Skye on the bench, and for a moment, even she has a flash of panic that she was /actually/ running late for a meeting she'd forgotten about.

"Oh! S-Sorry," the kid stammers, lowering his phone and smiling. "Thanks." And then he's wandering off, staring down at the screen and probably flipping through the footage, nearly running into a bush as he goes.

Which leaves Pepper to make her way over to that bench and take a seat beside her 'lunch date.'

"Thanks for that. I'm getting tired of answering those questions." She's wearing a warm smile, pale green eyes glinting with amusement. "It's Skye, right?" She may not have had the ability to spin an impromptu that the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent had, but she was good with keeping track of people in Stark's orbit. It was kind of what she did pretty much all day, every day.
Quake has posed:
The glower continues until the young man takes off. Then she shakes her head and laughs under her breath. "You looked like you needed saving. Skye is right. Well depending who you speak to. Your boss spent a whole lot of time calling me any name of a flower he could remember. Don't worry, we don't have an appointment. At least I don't think so?"

She shrugged.

"Usually my boss gives me fair reins - unless he needs me for particular.. things." By that she means hacking, and of late, Quake. "You must have a harder job than I do, what with keeping Tony on track. If I wasn't at SHIELD, and wasn't a bonafide international hacker.." These days more people recognized her from the Rising Tide days. "I would have given Tony my resume."

"Sit. At least you will look to be having a conversation and won't be as botherable then. I can stay here as long as you like. Got my tablet, so when you are tired of talking, I've got work." She grins.
Pepper Potts has posed:
Pepper's smile thins, but the tinkle of mirth in her eyes remains. "Tony is brilliant with almost everything except except names. Most days I'm grateful he remembers mine. Some days I wish he would forget it," she muses, taking the offered seat and sliding one leg across the other, resting her forearms on her thigh.

"Thanks. I won't be able to stay long -- it's not like they're going to dock my pay, but the longer I put it all off..." the more headache it would be for her when she eventually got back and the longer she'd be there tonight.

"Speaking of resume, though.. Tony knows you. Has he..."

Pepper's lips purse. She's looking right at Skye and the wheels are turning in her mind, but she's having a hard time phrasing something. Her eyes shift a bit, then her voice lowers.

"...I can't get into it, here, but has he approached you about the incident a month ago? The suit?"

Apparently, she hoped that was enough to at least get a yes/no answer from.
Quake has posed:
"Oh I know he did it on purpose. My real name is Daisy. I swear.. I mean in the same conversation, if he called me by name, he called me different name while looking at me with a grin. He knew.."

And first, Skye mistook Pepper's question very wrong. "Eww. No, I didn't and he's not my type. Strictly business and friendship there."

But when Pepper finished the question.. "Oh. No. I'm sorry. I haven't been out in the real world for a while." Well with certain exceptions. "I've been told to get out and enjoy the scenery." Actually she was told it was time to move on, and go and hook up with a male for a one night stand. Skye took it this way instead. Because. "Why should I have heard of it?"
Pepper Potts has posed:
"In that case allow me to apologize on Tony's behalf for being..." Forced smile. "Tony."

There's something apologetic that shifts in Pepper's eyes during the miscommunication. It had been a bad place to get stuck on phrasing. It wouldn't have been for anyone else, but at least she knew Tony's reputation.

"I'd rather not say anymore here, but there's enough to get you caught up to speed is already floating around out there on social media. I'm sure you can find it. Suffice it to say that if it piques your interest, I'd appreciate it if you could stop by my office so we can talk more about it. Sometimes all you need are fresh eyes and a new perspective looking a problem."

Cryptic much? Well, as a member of SHIELD, Skye was probably used to cryptic.

And even as she's finishing, her arm is buzzing. Or, at least, the phone in the little pouch strapped around her bicep is. She glances at her watch.

"That's Tony." She's already standing from the bench. "Think about it? It was nice running into you. And thank you again for the help."

There's a last, warm smile, then, and she's walking away, pushing a button on her watch to answer the call.

"What's happened?" she asks, a soft sigh already in her voice as she begins to trot back in the direction of Stark Tower.