Who: Tony, Vision What: catching up and meeting Morgan When: early May Rating: Green
Tony invited Vision over to the penthouse. He was pretty certain that Vision wasn't going to take the elevator, so he didn't inform the doorman or security. Instead, he was waiting out in the living room by the observation deck, antsy that he wasn't in the same room with Morgan and Pepper. As he idly tapped out new ideas on a notepad, it amazed him once again how he switched gears so quickly from obsessing over how to build a better mousetrap to hyper-attentive dad mode. And if anyone knew what he was like in those moments of testing and adjusting and tweaking for hours on end, it was whatever remnant of Jarvis that now resided inside of Vision.
He missed Jarvis, sure. But seeing what he, Bruce, and Thor were able to turn into a living being, fused by their ingenuity and raw power? That was humbling in the extreme. It would be good to hear a familiar voice too, after finding out that Vision was gone in that other universe. Good to know that here, things weren't the same.
Not any easier, but definitely not the same.
Vision had been incredibly relieved to hear that so many of his companions were present in this universe. Though he could not deny that it also felt somewhat surreal to speak with each different version of an individual he’d once known. It was a bit like if he had been in a coma, or something similar, and was now trying to catch up with people who had gone on living their lives while he had been unconscious. Such a strange feeling.
He hoped that by visiting Tony today, things would be as he remembered them, for the most part. Well, with the addition of an upcoming marriage and a new child - both of which Vision was very happy to hear about. Not that he thought either addition would actually slow Tony down in the slightest; but it was nice to know that his friend was a little more settled.
“This is new,” he stated upon his arrival, phasing through the wall of the very luxurious living room. He figured Tony of all people was least likely to mind such an informal arrival. “Very impressive views.”
Truthfully, nothing would slow Tony down until he knew that threats were removed. He was simply having his cake and eating it too. Time was wasted waiting to marry Pepper, and the time felt right now. Having Morgan was one of the happiest accidents ever. For whatever reason, Tony was holding onto everything he could with both hands with a strangle hold.
Tony started at first and fumbled with the pad when he heard a voice all of a sudden. That quickly went from a high alert to relieved delight.
"Oh hey. Thanks! I needed something high up to land on," he said, standing up and walking over, patting Vision on the shoulder. "Nice that some things never change. Like using doors. Eeesh, it's like a part of you lived with me or something."
He looked Vision over, knowing that their world's Vision was taken offline to retrieve the Mind Stone. And he sent a word to Wakanda to check where they had the body.
Gone. Of course.
Here. Now. With a Mind Stone in his forehead again.
"Yikes," Tony summarized, staring so hard at it that he was nearly going cross-eyed. It didn't help that he was invading personal space to do it, but he backed off in an instant to a distance that was within reach and offered breathing room. They could talk about that later. This was a friendly visit. "Have a good flight over? Air traffic not too bad?"
“Doors are overrated,” he responded with a broad smile as Tony greeted him. “At least I only phase through them.” Yes that was a pointed remark at the man who had crashed through his own ceiling on various occasions when calibrating the suit for flight. Though that particular memory belonged to Jarvis, Vision had access to it, along with some others. Some things were lost, while others remained. He’d evolved far beyond an A.I. into what he was now - but he could still recall those times with fondness.
The staring and proximity didn’t register as anything particularly odd to Vision. Personal space was a human construct that he too had to occasionally remind himself of. Plus the fact that he was even here and with the mind stone intact was still confusing to him, so he could understand the ‘yikes’, for the most part. He had a few questions on that front for Tony, but they could wait for now.
“I managed to avoid any major collisions,” he answered dryly.
“How are you and Pepper doing with the baby?” Happier topics were a wonderful distraction at the moment, and he was just glad they had the option of talking about something that didn’t involve imminent threats - for all that he knew they would have to address those at some point as well.
"That's great? Hold on a sec. I need to go get the burn gel. Seriously. That was a good deep burn. Score one for you." Tony laughed a little, since somewhere in that synthetic brain wired with innumerable synapses, were a whole lot of Tony Stark's Greatest Hits. Including running before walking, breaking eggs, and a whole lot of bruises and concussions.
He wasn't yet ready to tackle the matter of the stone yet if Vision wasn't mentioning it. Instead, he nodded over in the direction of the other rooms.
"I'm just making it up as I go along," Tony admitted, "watching a metric shit ton of tutorials. I think Pep's sleeping right now, which must mean Morgan's snoozing again. I can go get her if you want to see her?"
He pointed back toward the rooms, the proud papa ready to show off the kid already.
Vision smiled, because that response was very much a Tony thing to say and that made him feel more at ease.
“I’d love to meet her, but I would not want to wake her up if she is sleeping,” he responded. He didn’t know much about children, other than the fact that they slept often and made their human parents exhausted but also happy and fulfilled - which was a touching thing to see from Tony, the way he lit up at just in the mention of his daughter’s name.
“I don’t think I can recall ever seeing you quite this happy,” he commented, as if it both encouraged him and made him pensive at the same time. If Tony could find such happiness here, how was he able to do so without a cloud of fear hanging over his head regarding the instability of this universe?
Vision shifted topics then without much by way of a heads up, his tone shifting to something more serious. “I am struggling to adjust to this reality. What happened to me here, during the battle? Was I present? I’m told we succeeded but that Thanos is still alive.”
Tony stopped before he could turn around and go running to check and see if Morgan was really asleep. Vision was right, though, that waking her probably wasn't a good idea for the time being. Pepper was exhausted and the aftermath postpartum stuff was real. It still wasn't as bad as what Tony read about, which was enough to give even the most stalwart person the nervous sweats.
"Really?" he asked Vision, blinking and thinking about it. "I mean, tinkering with coding let me zone out. Building suits was kind of a mixed bag, since...you know. You saw it. Obsessive compulsive anxiety complex. But now, yeah. It seems better here, somehow. With Pepper and the baby. Life's pretty complete, except for...that."
By that, he meant the universe. Tony gestured toward the large couches so they could sit down in the living room and talk. He sat and leaned back trying to force himself to relax. Not an easy feat when obsessive compulsive anxiety complexes were always churning around in the background.
While he waited for Vision to sit also, he started talking.
"Well. I know it gets confusing, but here goes. There's the same people here, basically. Copies of those from the main universe. Your counterpart existed when the universe splintered off, so you're here. I mean, Rhodey's here but I've had to ghost on him a lot so I don't give it away. Told him I'm retired. Thing is, it's like the universe hadn't called you up to home plate yet and handed you a bat. You weren't aware, and we aren't marching around singing A Whole New World or anything.
"You spent a lot of time up at the upstate HQ or wandering around studying use humans. So when we decided to all lure Thanos to Wakanda, we asked you if we could remove that." He pointed at the Mind Stone. "To take you off line until we, or anyone in Wakanda, could find a way to repair you. And you agreed. Wanda destroyed the stone, and Strange portalled off Thanos' arms. We got the stones, minus one, and Thanos left, without his four goons and a lot of his space puppies."
“I see,” he responded, after taking a few moments to fully absorb everything Tony had just said. He was still as frenetically verbose as what Vision remembered, and that too was comforting in it’s own way. It was difficult to fathom that another version of himself had been here, yet had no connection to Wanda, at least not what he’d had in the other universe. Though from what she had told him, their interactions had dwindled after the events in Germany.
“I suppose all of that makes sense, though I wish I understood why, and why now,” he commented, just sort of musing aloud and not expecting an answer.
“So I take it this means there were no previous evil versions of me?” Mostly kidding. Ultron could have been considered that, although he and Vision were vastly different. At times he did wonder what would have happened had Ultron been successful, and the mind stone was in his possession instead. How different would it act. Untold destruction, no doubt; but fortunately that wasn’t something he needed to worry about now. There were plenty of other things to be concerned over - like the re-emergence of Thanos, primarily.
Tony appeared to be mulling this over too. His lower jaw was slight askew as he thought. One could almost imagine many wheels whirring in that space behind his dark eyes, with the way he was suddenly quiet and staring at a point hovering in air, about three feet away from his face.
"I called up Wakanda and asked, and they said that your body was missing from where they stored it," Tony mused aloud. "So it is like the universe took you, smushed you all up and then spit you out whole again. If you ask Strange, he'd tell you the universe chose you for some purpose. It's bunch of cosmic hippy mumbo jumbo. Dad would say the whole thing sounds like a bunch of bongs and mushrooms."
Which, actually, it did.
Tony's gaze refocused back on Vision once more.
"Nope. You didn't show up with a goatee and go flip side. Lucky us. We dodged a Mirror, Mirror universe happening. That'd be a new fresh hell."
With those words spoken, an almost uncomfortable quiet set in. Almost like the universe was quietly taking notes.
He wondered at what point his body simply disappeared. Was anyone around? Did they see it? And how long after that before he reappeared - bewildered and randomly deposited in an alleyway in New York City? There were so many questions, but he wasn’t certain he needed those particular answers right at this moment.
“Chosen for a purpose?” He let that one settle for a moment. It wasn’t wildly outlandish, but it was difficult to grasp logically. It was leaning toward bongs and mushrooms, sure; but maybe there was also a spark of truth there as well. He would have to ponder it further, later. “I suppose the same could be said for all of us then,” he responded, his gaze going back to Tony.
If it was possible that he was indeed here for a purpose, then Tony was as well.
Although, Tony had the advantage of not having an infinity stone as a seemingly inextricable part of his being. When Thanos and his army came, that stone had only turned Vision into a target and a danger to those around him. Not something he wanted to repeat, under any circumstance.
He felt that quiet moment as well. It was weighty, and he almost regretted even bringing that thought into consciousness.
“Are goatees universally a marker of evil?” he asked then. Thanos had a sort of… odd protuberance that passed for a chin, but no goatee.
Quiet moments never lasted long. There were plenty of things wrong or weird to dwell over, but it reached a point where it wasn't going to do them much good moping about it while mulling it all over.
"Well, not with me," answered Tony. "Obviously. I'm not full on evil, but there's a whole Evil Goatee Twin thing. Like Good Spock, Bad Spock from a hell-a-old episode of Star Trek. Bad Spock has a goatee. That's how we were supposed to tell that he was went to the dark side. Facial hair."
Tony shrugged, like he didn't write the script. He just rocked the look. Like a badass.
He thought he heard Morgan making noises on the baby monitor, and he stood up as though he was waiting for that moment. Where he once focused for hours on tech and specs, he was now honed in on the baby and making sure Pepper got enough sleep.
"Sit tight," he said with a grin, taking off down a hallway and disappearing into a room as quietly as possible.
A few minutes later he reappeared with a small bundle in his arms, coming back to sit down next to Vision. A tiny blinky baby in a white blanket was cradled in the crook of his arm, his other hand fussing anxiously with the blanket until a wrinkly little hand thwapped near it. That stopped him.
"This is Morgan. She's usually pretty oogly after she wakes up and not too cranky pants, but I expect that's probably gonna change soon. Wanna hold her?"
Vision gazed at Tony’s newborn daughter with a soft smile, feeling a strange sense of wonderment. He’d never interacted with a child before and there was something inherently miraculous about the whole concept of children - such delicate, fragile beings, utterly dependent on others for the first part of their lifespan; yet they were precious and protected by their parents. At least, the lucky ones were.
Humans were capable of such polarity - great good and great evil; but it was moments like this - seeing the look on Tony’s face as he held Morgan; it made Vision feel hope for humanity, rather than dread. He felt that too, at times; but unlike Ultron, he leaned more toward hope.
Then Tony offered to let him hold her, and of course he agreed. “Yes, how do I—” he held out his arms, a little unsure of the right positioning to cradle her.
There were times that Tony thought the same things Vision did. It made him worry about what sort of future awaited Morgan when she got older. Would it be good? Bad? Terrifying? How could he avert it? What preventative measures could be put in place? How did he stop anything really bad from happening? There were too many questions, too many variables. Far too many things to consider, and if he really thought about it, he'd stop enjoying time with Pepper and Morgan and it would be an anxiety fueled meltdown.
Tony talked as he showed Vision how to do what Pepper had shown him before, "Just bend this here and hold this there, and...there we go. You got this."
Morgan was in Vision's arms and Tony sat back, giving Vis a thumbs up and a huge smile. The baby squiggled only a little bit, blew a spit bubble. Then she stared as though trying to hone in on Vision's blurry red face.
"Hey, look at that. She likes you," Tony said with a note of pride. "She really only gets fussy when I start running around doing an OCD tapdance. Kind of like her mom telling me to stop. Which you know nothing about and don't you dare tell that kid any stories."
“She’s lovely,” Vision said warmly, cradling Morgan in his arms carefully. He smiled when Tony said that she liked him - that was a gratifying feeling. He halfway expected her to start screaming and crying as soon as he held her. He’d received a wide variety of reactions from adults and children alike, when he was not in his human disguise - ranging from ‘hey I know you!’ enthusiasm to ‘dear god what is that?’ horror. It didn’t typically affect him negatively, but he would have been upset if he had frightened Morgan inadvertently.
So it was nice, to be able to hold the child and have her look up at him with curiosity and not an ounce of fear.
“Tony I have lost track of the things I am not to say to others about you, and my memory is vast, so that’s saying a lot,” he remarked, still gazing fondly down at the child.
"Thanks, buddy. Appreciate it," Tony said with a note of amused sarcasm, watching the infant as she tried to make sense of who was holding her. That and the way that Vision was looking at the kid was actually pretty neat too. He didn't want to rock that boat too much.
It seemed that Vision wasn't only worthy of holding Mjolnir, but infants didn't get any bad vibes off the guy either. A fact that made Tony smile at them both, before he propped his heels up on the coffee table and gave Vis a thumbs up.
"You got this. I'm gonna veg for a few while you figure each other out some more. I don't want to interrupt her googly eyeing our resident robo guy. She starts to fuss, you hand her back. She'll probably be hungry by then."
Tony clammed up, like he often did when he was mulling over matters or figuring out a complex equation, to give those two some time to gel. Downtime was a rarity and so was a quiet moment.