I can't believe Tony talked me into this. Anyways, Lt. Colonel James Rhodes here, but my friends call me Rhodey. I'm career military, liaison to Stark Industries, and I have poor choice in best friends (kidding Tony), but I like to think I'm loyal to them anyways.
The world narrowed down to those tiny actuators, the microprocessors that controlled them and the wiring, soldering and microfibers that moved information from one place to another. His Holo-screen open before him, he squinted through his yellow-tinted safety glasses at the…
"So, you’re playing babysitter? " Tony’s smile quirked crookedly. "Come to change my diapers and make sure I’m feeding myself? " He knew the jibe would likely annoy the colonel, but that’s what Tony liked so much about James Rhodes. He was one of the few, almost entirely predictable things in his life. A constant that he relied on more than he let on. He was pretty sure Rhodey knew, though. Or at least suspected.
"Well, nanny Mcphee. I’m fine. I’m in the middle of a major project - I go off-grid all the time. You should be used to this by now. " He patted a nearby bench seat and held out the bottle of scotch he was working on. He didn’t wait for Rhodey to object, though he knew it would come, and poured a glass for the military man. He pushed it into his friend’s hands and poured himself a glass as well.
"You didn’t come just to say hello. SOmething’s bugging you." He lifted his eyebrows, peering over his glasses once again at his friend. Predictable, and as easy to read as an open book. ".. is it that little fiasco in New York? I heard they had you grounded for that… locked up in your room like a teenage girl. Sucks, man. We could have used you. "
Rhodes was taken aback. Tony would never admit he needed anyone. He would also never use “we”, as in a team. What the hell happened in New York? But it wasn’t the time to push Tony on it and he recovered quickly.
"Nanny McPhee? Nice. I like that. That’s funny. So you are the immature child in this little analogy, then? That’s what you’re saying?” Rhodey grinned. He kept his drink in his hand. He would normally push it back to Tony, but realized after a while that Tony would always drink them both. He’d dump it when he had a chance.
"Kidding aside…" The smile slipped of his face. "…I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. I joined the military for very specific reasons. And the New York thing…it went against everything I joined for. I heard…I heard a nuclear weapon was launched. Or at least the order was given. Something went wrong with the launch, but I was reprimanded for asking." Rhodes grew angrier. His hand clenched the glass so hard it shook. "Instead of sending everything we had to the fight, they were going to wipe New York off the map. I don’t know how to feel about that."
The world narrowed down to those tiny actuators, the microprocessors that controlled them and the wiring, soldering and microfibers that moved information from one place to another. His Holo-screen open before him, he squinted through his yellow-tinted safety glasses at the lines of code and information scrolling past him in bright cerulean blue. Video feeds focusing on the funtion of those tiny flaps of metal that controlled the stabilization of flight from the knees down filled his peripheral, while his hands were simultaneously moving with precise care from one point of contact on a mother-node chip-board to the tiny chips that connected to it.
Music blared with deafening regularity over the PA - AC/DC, Def Leopard, Queen, Lynard Skynard, and a collection of other 80’s hairband, Ska, 90’s esoteric bands. The collection had a sort of chaotic cohesiveness to it that kept the engineer moving. His coffee mug… or rather.. coffee PINT.. sat largely untouched and growing cold. He’d been there for hours, body pulsing to the music, humming to himself, pushing from one desk to another in his roller chair as he concentrated on synchronizing the exoskeleton’s flight-surface stabalizers and fine tuning them for what he hoped would be more easily controlled and acrobatic aerial manuevers on the next run.
(( Edited, here. ‘Copying’ this post and assuming that Rhodey’s reply to this post has happened outside of the Bannersmooch RP thread, and is now an independant RP thread))
“Hey buddy.” Rhodes closed the door behind him. Stark said nothing.
Rhodes watched him work in silence for a few minutes.
“You ever think about losing the flaps below the knees and letting the shoulder flaps take the load?”
It took a solid minute for Rhodey’s presence to reven register, and then almost another for him to pull himself up out of his deep concentration to respond with anything but the knee-jerk reaction of blindly answering questions. “Yeah, but in vertical hovering the shoulder flaps don’t have enough fine-reaction-time and small surface areas to deal with the small shifts in balance…. OH HEY, RHodeeeeey..”
His brain worked like a poorly built seive. Things perculated through at different rates.
“How’d you get in here, JARVIS, how’d he get in here? You’re supposed to alert me when someone’s coming in the workshop…” He peered over the brim of his safey glasses at his friend, offering a somewhat repremanding scowl.
“I believe I attempted to attract your attention the specified 3 consecutive times, before I felt obliged to over-ride and allow Colonol Rhodes access. “ Tony’s lips pursed.. because. It was entirely possible that JARVIS had done just that. The A.I. wasn’t usually inclined to lieing. Coloring the truth, perhaps. But not lieing. “Oh. Well. Next time, try a fourth time. I don’t like it when people invade my little peace of heaven uninvited.” Not that he was being entirely sincere about his reproach of his best friend. Rhodey was always welcome, even when he wasn’t welcome.
“What brings you here, anyway? “
Rhodes opened his mouth and closed it again. He squinted at the lines of code. Frowned. Tony was right. “I thought I was the one that studied aerospace engineering” he said with a shake of his head. He was grinning as he sat opposite of Tony, watching him through the flashes of code and schematics scrolling through the transparent screen. They cast an eerie blue light on Tony’s face. “I haven’t seen you in a while, thought I’d check up on you.”
Just a place to crash here would be great, Pepper. It’ll let me keep an eye on Tony. And of course, Pepper. These are strange times. I read the reports on the New York incident and I still don’t believe it. We all have to stick together.
*visibly irritated* The military has kept me completely out of the loop on all of that. I could have been doing something. I’m on leave, I’ll be here for a while. I’ll do whatever I can to help. In the meantime, I’ll see what the military is willing to do. The Pentagon doesn’t want to lose Iron Man AND War Machine to SHIELD as assets. But they only use me for training exercises anyways. *scoffs* It’s like having a nice car you’re too afraid to drive. Tony’s never had a problem with that. *grins*
Oh, not a heavy drinker. *falls off stool* It’s just when Tony’s around. *tries to get up, slips again*
coloneljamesrhodes started following you
*Shocked* Er, Agent Hill. Good afternoon. *uncomfortable*
Where’ve you been hidng Rhodes, I missed you.
Er, just got off duty. I was, uh, seeing where everyone is at… *mumbles off at a loss for words*
Well you found me.
*nervous laugh* I guess you’re off-duty too then. *looks at feet*
You could say that.
Oh my. Let’s get you to sleep, Agent Hill. SHIELD can function without you, right?
They like me in California, ma’am, but I could always make the argument that I need to be as close to Stark as possible in order to perform my job. They might agree to New York or DC at the very least. It’s worth asking. How have things been around here?
Agent Coulson, always a pleasure.