2019-07-27 - The Wayne-Potts Alliance Begins


Bruce, Helena, and Selina meet with Pepper about the wedding reception for Steve and Bucky.

Log Info:

Storyteller: {$storyteller}
Date: July 27, 2019
Location: Stark Tower

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It's the middle of a weekday at Stark Tower. The lobby is, as usual, a bustling hub of activity with people arriving and leaving through the main entrance, and Stark Security are an unobtrusive but constant presence. People checking in to the building at the reception desk seem to be able to do so with surprisingly quick efficiency, and there are a couple of other guards offering newcomers unfamiliar with the building directions. The lobby itself is clearly part of the monument and spectacle that is Stark Tower, with a mix of modern art installments and thriving potted plants and even a corner with modern and comfortable seating for those waiting.

The trio are checked in at the reception desk and a guard with the name tag 'Becca' — she's a tiny slip of a woman who carries herself like someone with military combat training — leads them to a conference room there on the ground floor of the building near the elevators.

Inside the conference room, Pepper waits patiently, typing something into the screen of her tablet with the speed and ease of much practice. Yes, she's working while she's working. Surprised?

Bruce did not feel like coming alone today. And considering the recent news in the house with the arrival of an unknown Wayne, he's sort of allowing more freedom.

So he arrives with Selina and Helena in tow as the three check in at the desk and head to the conference room. Though he does pause for a moment to glance at Helena. "Don't gawp too much." it's said teasingly. "They're still rivals." Even if he's more pharma while Stark has always been more military.

Selina is here to that effect, Bruce's non-sidekick backup for 18 years running, smirking a bit as she subtly nudges Helena and adds, "DO see if you can make off with something though. Doesn't matter what, just a moral victory." She says, quietly, then smiles winningly at the security guard.

"It's not gawping if it's scientific," Helena assures her father with a faint smirk. In navy trousers and a white sleeveless blouse with a tasteful string of pearls and low heels, she looks every bit like she's along for professional reasons. After all, one day it's all going to be hers, right?

Her lips twitch at her mother's advice slash challenge, though she holds it back. Barely. Instead, she puts on a polite smile once they're shown into the conference room, hands clasped lightly in front of herself.

Glancing up as the trio enter, Pepper offers them a smile and quickly closes what she'd been working on to stand and step toward them with a hand outstretched. "Good afternoon. Thank you all for joining me. I'm Virginia Potts."

After introductions are made and seats and drinks are offered — not just the usual water or coffee, but hot tea as well — Pepper gets straight to business.

"So, while this has all sounded like a business meeting so far, it's not. A reliable little bird told me that James and Steven are being thrown a reception, and I'd been promised that I would get to organize that since those boys ran off and eloped." First test: the way she named the couple in question.

"Ms. Potts, a pleasure. Bruce Wayne. This is my daughter, Helena, and my fiance Selina Kyle." With the introductions out of the way, Bruce moves to take a seat, wholly expecting a meeting on something else - when it turns out to be a reception, there is a small chuckle. "I see. And this was a promise made when?" he asks curiously as he settles down and folds his hands into his lap.

"Bucky and Steve are long time friends of the family." he explains, as he considers for a moment. "You see, Captain Rogers is Helena's godfather." And we won't go into what Bucky has trained Helena in at this juncture. "So it's not really /me/ you need to convince to release the control of here." With that, there's a knowing glance toward Helena. "I'm just holding the venue and the purse strings, as it were."

Selina gives a little finger-wave as she's introduced, and shakes Pepper's hand, saying "Good to meet you~" She takes a cup of tea, gingerly bringing it to her lips and then… stopping to turn her eyes towards Pepper and arch an eyebrow as the most patriotic couple on earth are brought up.

Went and eloped, those two. Honestly it was the smart way of doing things. Selina sat on it for around two decades, and the price she has to pay is a ceremony, and the planning therein.

Though it's kind of a fun trap to be in.

She eyes Helena wryly and notes, "Don't do it, hold out for money." In an obviously teasing manner. She's not super familiar with Ms. Potts, but she knows who she's associated with, which she at least seems to feel doesn't make this a tense decision. Then again, this is also Selina Kyle, who wrote the book on irreverence.

"Nice to meet you." Helena shakes hands politely, taking a glass of water when drinks are offered and settling into a seat. When the topic is raised, her brows go up as well, soon replaced by a flicker of various emotions.

Sure, it stings a little to think they asked someone else. And she bristles a little at the idea of being told. But eighteen years of living with foster siblings and learning to share kick in pretty quickly.

"Mom and Dad are…mostly kidding, Ms. Potts," she says, smile crooked. "Sorry. I mean. If they asked you to arrange things, I'm sure you'll do an awesome job. Though if you wouldn't mind help, I've got some things I've started pulling together."

While Pepper is entirely capable of having an internationally unbeatable poker face when squaring off against CFOs and R&D boffins, finding out that this young woman is Steve's goddaughter changes things, by a fair bit. "I'm going to have to have a word with those two," she comments mostly to herself.

After taking a sip of her tea, she looks at Helena seriously, as this is the person that truly has the vested interest in this reception. "I think I should offer my assistance only, then, as it would be beyond rude of me to try and take this away from you." She's already thinking about the strings she can pull, the favors she can call in, the people she can cajole to help Helena set this party up and make it EPIC without overwhelming the couple it's meant to celebrate.

"What do you say, Miss Wayne? Partners?" Pepper offers the young woman a smile.

Sipping from his coffee, Bruce might have a hint of amusement that the idea for the first merger between Stark and Wayne would be an unofficial one for a wedding reception. Outside of the commentary about the time that Bruce was an Avenger. He already knows Pepper, just not without the cowl on.

With the offer being made to Helena, he glances over at his daughter and gives her a wink. This is her negotiation. And another one of those steps on the future of her own path once he's gone.

Selina frowns a little when Helena's reaction makes her displeasure a little more apparent than Selina had figured on. While she's a fair sight better at expressing herself than Bruce can be, in many respects, empathy can be a little unintuitive for her, unless it's either coming from someone she's trying to manipulate, which she's not; or someone she cares for a great deal; which Helena is.

So in this case she just smiles quietly and lets Helena make the call. Selina probably doesn't actually have to cast her vote for self-interest at this point in Helena's life anyway, it's a bit obvious.

Her entire life, Helena's parents have brought in boys and girls with particular needs and particular skills. And each time they did, she learned something from them. If there's anything she's learned from the experience, it's that what looks like losing at first can always be turned into a learning experience.

"No, of course not, Miss Potts," she says quickly, smile flashing even as she shakes her head. "It's their reception. It should be what they want, including their planner. But if you'll forgive me for saying it, Miss Potts, your organizational skills are frankly legendary. I'd love to help you if you'd let me shadow you. I'm sure there's a lot I could learn from the experience."

At Helena's words, Pepper smiles again. "I'm thinking, the things you've already thought up, let's go over them. I can definitely use your help in working on getting your choice of venue arranged, finding caterers for your menu choices, things like that."

Her eyes flick toward Selina and Bruce briefly, but it's more to gauge if they're wanting to interfere than to check for their approval. Because if Helena wants to make this reception happen, Pepper is on board to move all of Brooklyn if need be to get it done.

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