|☼ Mari Lagos es la (curandera) wrote in doorslogs,|
@ 2014-03-01 21:40:00
|Entry tags:||catwoman, door: marvel comics, hulk, iron man|
Who: Selina, Doctor Banner, and Tony
What: Being put under
Stained cheeks, and Selina didn't care.
Oh, the kitty cat had experienced nearly everything under the sun during her twenty-something years, and yet she hadn't been prepared for this. She didn't trust easy. She hadn't trusted since her parents died when she was five, since her mother had killed herself, and since her alcoholic father had died after a flurry of fists and bottles. She hadn't trusted since the Russian orphanage had turned out to be an even worse nightmare than home had been, and she hadn't trusted since she ended up in a Russian brothel at eleven. No, Selina Kyle wasn't trusting.
She'd made three exceptions in her life. One of those exceptions was dead, and the other two? Well. Eddie and Bruce had both lulled her into thinking they cared, and she'd believed them.
And now they'd betrayed her. Both of those men had betrayed her. They'd tossed her under the bus to save a city, and the funny thing was that she'd made herself vulnerable to help them. And they'd used that against her. And it hurt. It was worse than claws or whips or men with rough hands and bad breath. It hurt, and the kitty cat hated it, hated that she'd let them in to begin with.
And she knew that if she survived this, she would manage to rebuild herself, come back stronger and harder to crack. She'd made a life of covering herself in lacquer, in being an untouchable thing in black and slink. But just then, just then she was scared, and she was sad, and her cheeks were stained with salt.
She sat on Tony's metal table, and she hated every minute spent in the suit that was keeping her head from exploding like the decoy had. She hated that it had come to this. She hated that she'd ever tried to help, that she'd ever cared.
It wouldn't happen again. She repeated that over and over in her mind, and maybe it was a lie. Maybe she wouldn't be able to manage it at all, but she would try. No matter what happened, she would try.
Assuming she made it off this table in one piece.
Her head hurt, the ache a constant now, and she just wanted it done. "So, Tony, does your little doctor friend come highly recommended?" she asked, almost managing a purr. But Tony knew her, and there wasn't anything of the Cat in her damp, mossy green eyes. No, there was only hurt lingering there. No smile graced her lush lips, nothing entertaining tipped the edges of her expressive eyes. None of that, but the purr was close. It was something.
Tony was standing next to the table with his arms crossed and his legs braced to either side staring at a glass display plate held by a metal arm from the ceiling. He was wearing a vintage Megadeath t-shirt with the same confidence that other powerful men wore three-piece ties and leather shoes, and the blue light on his chest was glowing with steady intensity over the languid drape of his lashes over the pale planes of his face. It was impossible to tell if he looked tired, and his voice gave no hints as he tapped the display. “My recommendations don’t get any higher because they’re my recommendations. I’m getting sick and tired of the constant doubt around here. I am the best at everything and I know everything, and what I don’t know, I have esteemed colleagues for.” He stared with mock-resentment at the ceiling, which was far enough above their heads to be sheathed in steel shadow.
This wasn’t the lab beneath the bay, the one he’d built his first time around; no, this was the familiar white one in the Tower, the one with the long windows and the white counters. It was probably closer to a more traditional lab than anything else Tony had ever worked in, except the walls were all unbreakable glass and you needed ten security cards or a role in Cirque de Soleil’s contortionist act to get into it. All the light was serene white and all the fixtures were stainless steel, and only Tony’s distinctive blue-light tech and discrete A.I. intelligence programming warmed the place. It was certainly not built for armor, and of the three of them, Selina probably stood out the most.
Tony’s suits were heavier, set up with arms and explosives, sleek and red the way that tanks built by Ferrari might be sleek and red. The suit he had built for Selina, to keep her safe and provide an isolated digital environment in which the damning signals could not reach the chip embedded in her brain, was built only for isolation and protection. If stealth fighter jets could scream black sex on chrome, the sound incarnate would look like this, long black lines and fitted plate over molded mesh. The matte black glowed with threads of silver as the suit regenerated the safe signal and spurned the dangerous one.
Tony moved a few more digital icons and consulted briefly with JARVIS in computer-speak before he stepped back and pushed the plate of glass away. “The room is secure. You can take the helmet off, Selina.” He looked across the room and to the door that had just closed with a serene hiss. “The doctor’s here.”
Bruce both loved and hated the tower; it had the goodies Tony promised and more, and he enjoyed that aspect, but he was uncomfortable being in such a big public place. It was from all those years on the run, when keeping his head down and out of trouble was the only way to survive. It was impossible to stop from looking over his shoulder and worrying about what hell he could bring down on the others around him. Especially now that he had actual friends, or the closest thing to them he had since the incident.
But he never hesitated when someone was in trouble, and he'd been working on the project with Tony, trying to make sense of it without the person around. Bruce hurried and tried to shuck off his public anxiety by the time he made it to the right floor. He smiled self-deprecatingly at the introduction. "Glad to finally meet you. I'm Dr. Bruce Banner." He didn't know her on sight or that she was the woman who caused that tiff with Pepper before. He was oblivious to paparazzi.
"How long ago was it set off?" Bruce was not one to beat around the bush, and this was the time for expedience. He shrugged out of his jacket, it was cold outside, and neatly folded it onto a nearby table. Despite feeling uncomfortable with the building as a symbol, he was comfortable in all labs. They felt right to him. His words might've been short, but it wasn't cold. He had a gentle type of warmth mixed with introversion. Here, at least, he was confident.
It wasn't that Selina didn't trust Tony, but she still held her breath as she took off the helmet, fully expecting some sneaky little bit of signal to get into the room and blow her sky-high. And she was having one of her more fatalistic days, so maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing? It felt like a pretty good alternative to figuring out how to pick up the pieces after this mess. Not that the pieces had been in very good shape before.
But she did trust Tony, and the helmet was settled into her lap as she exhaled. She managed to roll her eyes at the man with the little blue light, despite the fact that she felt absolutely no desire to quip or banter. But it was expected, required, and maybe it felt like a security blanket. In the unfamiliar suit of black, it was like her own suit and cowl, the banter. "Tony, I think your ego is about to spill out into the next room and breach containment," she teased, shaking out her long brown hair and turning her attention to the doctor in question.
Bruce Banner wasn't what Selina expected him to be. She'd expected someone like Tony; there was no Tony in this man. And she was good with people, with reading them, with clawing beneath their skin to see what made them tick. She'd seen him briefly, and now she remembered, during the incident with the plague. But she couldn't recall ever being in the same room with him. But, you know, dying could do things to a kitty cat's memory. "I didn't look at the clock," she admitted of the time when the bomb had been detonated, and she leaned back onto her palms in the sleek black. "Tony's the one with the stopwatch." She smiled, and the lush curve of her lips did nothing to light up the worry-sad mossy green of her eyes.
Tony looked at Selina’s sad kitty eyes, blushed with slight red and her mouth soured with betrayal, and his jaw tightened visibly. He didn’t say anything or quip farther, however, and simply turned away, plucking the helmet from her grasp and only just stopping himself from chucking it across the room like an angry basketball player after a bad game. He walked around the edge of the room in a circular pattern, moving with the turn of his thoughts, trying not to imagine Bruce Wayne’s face or how good it would look with a surprised expression, perhaps as he was blasted ten feet into a wall with an ever so small flash of blue light.
Tony had been really sure of his read on the other door’s brooding superhero, and he expected the man to put Selina before everything because everybody knew these dark scowl-y types were all about the ladies. He was angry to find that he was mistaken, angry on Selina’s behalf, mostly, and really irritated on his own. If this had occurred in his door, he would have bundled up a couple of those wily teenagers with the super powers and handled this chip-bomb-blackmail bullshit two months ago, but only after Selina was safe. He glanced at her, looked again at Bruce, and then back.
Tony gave into his impulses the way he always did and tossed the black helmet, with its faintly feline three-point face, over his shoulder. It crashed into a bin of spare parts, and he put on an expression of calm defiance, all arched brows and model-pursed lips. “So are we going to get this done? I’m monitoring the signal and I’d like Selina’s advice on my love life once she wakes up.” This was perhaps the most outrageous lie he had ever told, and he strolled up with it settled deep into the chip in his shoulder.
Bruce was fairly good at reading people himself, he had to be, in order to judge the safety of a situation or who to trust. The latter of which he wasn't good at; not anyone's fault but his own. He saw the worry past the bluster in Selina, bluster never worked on him, and he made eye contact with her. "It's going to be all right. You're in good hands. I've been working on it since Tony told me." There were a few risk factors he really wished he had the time to fix first, because Bruce was methodical after a big risk led to the creation of the Hulk. But beggars on the verge of a very messy death couldn't be choosers.
"What love life?" Bruce quipped at Tony, and moved to get the sedative they would need. "I have one piece of good news. I know a way to go through the neck, it'll keep you from having to shave your head. So there's that." He shot a look in Tony's direction, because there were more than a few answers he wanted about this situation after they got past the immediacy. "We're going to have to knock you out for the surgery, it might be a few days of recovery. We'll be monitoring you the entire time, one or both of us will be here." Bruce would just trade sleeping in his lab for this one. Good enough.
"Time is important right now, but do you have any more questions before we get started?"
Selina managed to roll her eyes at Tony's comment about his love life, and the good doctor's return quip made her relax visibly. Maybe she should have been more concerned with medical degree, but liking someone always made it much, much easier for the kitty cat to trust them, if only marginally. "I've been trying to get Tony to stop being so very stubborn when it comes to matters of the heart," Selina explained, and it wasn't entirely a lie. But there was obvious warmth and fondness in the teasing, even with the sadness and fear, and she reached out and squeezed one of Tony's hands reassuringly, as if he was the one going under the knife. "I'll do my best not to get you killed this time." She meant that, and she turned to look a the harmless looking doctor. "If there's any risk you're going to end up blowing yourselves up, abort." She wasn't teasing, and it showed in the mossy green of her dampening eyes.
She laughed at the assurance about her hair, because the thought hadn't even occurred to her. "Good. I'd hate to lose my hair. What's a cat without her fur?" But the comment lacked the mirth it should have possessed, and she turned her attention back to Tony with trying to remedy it. "I don't care about Bruce," she began, her voice shaking slightly and belying the difficulty she had saying those words, "but let Luke know how things go. He'll be worrying about Wren." She paused. "And if something goes wrong, make sure he gets her body." There done, and there was nothing else to say.
So, she turned back to the man with the scalpel, and she gave him a smile that was all bravado. "Well, what are you waiting for, handsome?"
Tony rolled his eyes at Selina’s attempt at influencing their decision to be within such close proximity to her skull, a distinctly annoyed, entirely unsympathetic expression that suited his face rather too well. “I just want you to know that this Bruce here,” (there was no pause to acknowledge the shared name between the doctor and the bat, Tony just wasn’t the kind of person to put up with that kind of sensitivity even in this situation) “is quite nearly half as smart as I am, and I assure you we can assess risks just fine without your dramatics, Cleopatra.”
By the expression on Tony’s face, he really did not want to talk about his love life even a little bit, but he was obviously willing to take one for the team. If he was Selina, he’d want to be distracted. He was going to wait until she was out to sterilize the room though,and so he leaned on the table between the cat and the doctor and said, “I am not being stubborn, I am trying to be fair, shockingly enough.” He made sure to exaggerate the word shockingly, sound much put-upon and long-suffering. “I have no idea why the woman insists on getting annoyed at every little thing, even when there isn’t anything to be annoyed at.” Making it fairly obvious who ‘the woman’ was without doing anything more than jerking his eyes in the direction of the building offices, several floors below and to the west of the lab.
He pushed away and, with cavalier good will, gave Selina a pat on the arm, and then took one of her ankles and set it down on the other end of the table as he moved past her to go work on the sterilizing isolation walls. “We’ll talk about it when you wake up,” he told her, devoutly hoping she’d forget any such conversation. Okay, not really hoping she’d forget anything, but you know… normal forgetting, not brain-not-working forgetting.
"Nearly half as smart as you? That's the biggest compliment I think I've ever got." Bruce shot Tony an amused but withering look, and he assumed their bickering, all three of them, was ultimately good for Selina's state of mind. Even if they all knew it was strained. He meant it when he said he wanted to stay out of the personal lives of other people, but he always ended up sucked in regardless. "You definitely want to listen to Selina over me. We Avengers are fairly good at stopping alien invasions, terrible at personal relationships." Thor, for example, didn't seem to get in the least the complicated human relationships. No one really did.
He shook his head at her lightly when she mentioned the bomb. "Don't worry about the bomb. I don't know how much you know about me, but I, uh, have a natural failsafe for that sort of thing." Bruce came to accept that a lot of people there knew who he was now. It made him uncomfortable, but there wasn't much he could do about it. Bruce was never concerned about his own life. Indestructible as it was so far. "But we're not going to need that option."
He didn't know what the Bruce and Luke references were to, but that would be a question for another day. He smiled as reassuringly as he could to her. "I'm going to give this to you and I need you to count back from ten, okay?"
The sedative was strong so she probably wouldn't make it past eight.
"She thinks giving in is showing weakness, Tony. Maybe she thinks you'll grow bored of her and discard her once you've had her, like you do with all the other women that have rolled in and out of your bed," Selina said knowingly, and it was a few seconds worth of concentrating on someone else. But it brought back her own demons, and she gave Tony a green-eyed look that was more somber than the norm. "Just don't make her think she matters, and then take it away," she cautioned, and she didn't argue when he slid her ankles up onto the table.
She smiled at the doctor, and normally she would have told him that he looked absolutely impoverished, which wasn't very reassuring. But this wasn't normally, and she didn't say a thing about his apparent inability to explode. Tony, at least, had the suit. She wondered what this man had, but only briefly.
She refused to think as she counted, and she was out by the time she made it to six.