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Private The Sky is Falling

Prudence

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"Wake up boss!" Spoke the soft robotic voice inside Tony Stark's helmet. Blood and sweat stung his eyes as they blinked open. Instinctively he reached to rub them, only to be stopped by the cold tink of his metal gauntlet against his metal helmet. He pinched his eyes shut and shook his head violently, as if he could rid himself of the mental-fog that way. "Boss, wake up!!" The voice spoke again, this time more infatically.

Tony sat up, looking around for an idea of what was going on around him. Instead of getting any clues, he was fed a static-ridden view with blue lines running through it. He popped the faceplate of his helmet open, and was given a better sense of his surroundings, as well as a much needed breath of fresh air. He struggled to his feet, having to grab onto an uprooted piece of concrete to do so, and then looked down at the rest of his armor. There was a dark black impact sight on the center of his chest, and scorching all over the rest of his armor, no doubt from a missile that'd hit him—it would have to be that to damage his armor so much.

He shaded his eyes from the sun with one hand, and swiveled his head about, trying to find a sign of any allies nearby—and more importantly, more missiles. The streets around him were mostly empty, and thankfully void of any tanks or armored vehicles. What he did see was a young woman, off in the distance, paying particular attention to his crash site. "Hey, hey you—you're on the uh," he glanced around at the war torn city, while out of breath and panting, "the New York side right? Not the evil bad-guys with missiles side?" He could tell blood was trickling down his side now that he was standing, "You happen to have a car? Or anywhere we could get out of the streets?"

"Thanks for letting me know you're awake, Boss," FRIDAY complained in his ear.

"You've got what, like two-hundred-and-fifty unique sensors in this suit? You should've known that, now shush," Tony admonished the AI. "I'm trying to not die."
 

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Sam had the slightest possible outline of a plan as she booked it toward her university. She definitely wasn't strong enough to fight off the fuckers wrecking the city on her own, and she had been unsuccessful at finding anyone she knew. New York was big, obviously, and they could be anywhere fighting their own battles. She needed to beef up if she was going to make it on her own. The slim armor she'd built into this hero-spandex costume was fine for a little melee combat, but these guys had fucking bombs and shit. Real superhero level danger, and Sam was just a pathetic college girl with a hero complex.You're truly fucked out here in the open. You have to keep running.

What was usually a boring subway ride to campus had turned into a terrified sprint as Sam dodged debris and various skirmishes in her path. She was running out of steam quickly, totally lacking in the superhuman stamina department, when she spotted the top of Columbia U. Fucking FINALLY. Dear god how do the heroes fucking sprint everywhere, Jesus goddamn Christ. She slowed to a jog, checking the area around her for threats. All she needed to do was get inside and up to the second floor display hall, nobody would give a shit about the alarms at this point anyway. If she could get her Iron Man replica suit out of there, at least she could reuse some of those components to protect herself. With a sharp pain in her ribs that definitely wasn't from a regular slip, she definitely needed the protection.

An explosion overhead shocked Sam back to attention, and she reeled to a halt when something hit the ground across the street from the university. Shit, FUCK, it's not the fucking time for this right now. Can't these New York nazi bitches find anywhere else to bomb right now?? The crash site smoldered with fire from the explosion, though Sam couldn't tell how much there was behind the shield of dirt and concrete that jutted up from the street. Shit, I can't even tell who went down, and there's probably going to be guys rushing in to take care of whatever's left of them. Fuck this makes my shit so much harder.

Before she could take off running, something started to stir in the wreckage. The desperate heroic instinct in her commanded that she stay, so she waited until someone emerged and

FUCK - SHIT - GODDAMN - FUCKING HOLY MOTHER OF FUCKS - SHITTING FUCK FUCK FUCK SHIT FUCK

Sam's pulse raced, but her body went numb and tingling when she realized that fucking Iron Man what the fuck was slowly standing from the impact in front of her school. He was definitely wounded, and as he turned looking for other people she could see a pit of black where some explosive must have hit him in the chest. His gaze stopped on her, terrifyingly close to the crash site, and Sam tensed every muscle in her body against the sudden and overwhelming fear that she was going to piss herself. Don't you fucking dare betray me right now, body. I swear to god I will kill myself if I embarrass myself in front of Iron Man right now.

"I, uhh..." Sam took a couple of anxious steps forward, trying to find some words in her stupid-ass brain. "Yeah, I-I'm New York." IDIOT. "I mean I'm... I-" Sam scrambled inside her head, trying to remember what that fucking superhero code name Impact had suggested was, but her STUPID brain was completely blank. "I ran here. I-I don't have a car, but that's my school and... I can, uh, find a place to hide in there." Sam pointed across the street, trying not to shake visibly as she approached FUCKING Iron Man and his small crater. She was thankful she'd finished prototyping her mask before all this shit went down, since the featureless white shell did a great job of hiding her fear and embarrassment.

"We, uh, we should move fast. I mean... if you can." Sam nodded her head toward the front of the Columbia building, hesitantly moving toward it to lead the way. Do I help? Does he need help? I didn't fucking ask him if he needed help! I'd look stupid if I asked now, it's too late to ask now. If he needed help he'd say it, right? He's Iron Man, he's a professional, he'd know when he needed help. I wouldn't even know how to help fucking IRON MAN anyway, I don't even know what kind of help he would need, I'm a fucking idiot compared to him and I should not be the only good guy that showed up here FUCK.


 
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Prudence

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"Gret, nice to meet you, New York," Tony quipped as he tried to rock to a standing position, only for his armor to seize up and force him to fall on his ass.

"Boss I don't think that's her name,"
FRIDAY chimed in, causing Tony to groan.

"You don't say."
He tapped twice on his Arc Reactor, and his armor began to peel away from his body like a mechanized cocoon. "I had guessed that, based on New York being the city we're in," Tony sighed as he sat up, out of his damaged armor. He nodded along with what Sam was saying, while his eyes picked apart the suit of... armor? costume? that she was wearing.

"No car... that's... less than optimal, but yes let's move quickly."
He grabbed his armor by the arm and began dragging it as quickly as he could behind him. His right leg ached, and a glance down at it saw blood slowly soaking through his pants at the thigh. Shit, need to check that out once we get inside.

"Do you have access to any kind of robotics labs or... any other shop equipment in there? I need to repair this suit enough to get to Stark Tower.... then we're golden."
 

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When Sam had turned back to check on the actual fucking Iron Man, she realized that she probably should have offered her help at some point, but it was definitely way too late now. He climbed out of his armor from the ground, and Sam cringed at the thought that she was the only person at hand. Seeing Iron Man drag his armor around like this is definitely not something a shitty civilian like me should be seeing. He has no idea that I'm just a regular person that genuinely has no idea how to even be a superhero but he's still acting like he can trust me, fuuuuckkkkkk...

He wanted to know if they could fix his armor. Okay, good! Yes, great, actually. I can help with this, and nobody else could probably help with this like I can! Score fucking one for being a dumb civilian. Sam trotted ahead to the doors of the school, pulling the door open while she scouted around for enemies. They were clear at the moment, but they couldn't possibly stay lucky for long. "Yeah, actually, uhm. Yeah, I'm doing my graduate study in, uh... Robotic engineering. I can get us in the lab." As she ushered Iron Man and his broken suit into the building, she noticed a bloody color in his footstep. Shit shiiiiiiit, damn it. No, it's fine. I can handle this, I have to handle it. Shit Sam, why couldn't you just be some kind of magic person? This would be so much easier with magic.

"I'll find the first aid kit, too." Sam tried not to sound anxious, and took some long steps to get in front of Iron Man again, leading him down a hallway to the left and around the corner. Okay, nobody should care if I use the lab while I'm here. I mean, not any more than they would care about me stealing my suit from upstairs. It's fine, it's fine, and when this is over I can go back to studying like normal and maybe they'll even appreciate that I used the school resources for good. Yeah, that's wildly unlikely, but it could happen. Biiiig could. Sam took her phone out of a pocket hidden in the slim armor padding on her hip, and tapped it on the keyless door lock, then held the door open again.

The lab was probably shit compared to what Iron Man was used to, surely he had all the tech in the world at his disposal. Unlike me, with my shitty college budget. At least Sam knew her way around here. "Okay, uh, use what you can, I guess? There's the presses and cutters and stuff," she pointed at a large cubicle in the corner, "and the power tools and solderers and stuff should be around the workbench," she pointed at the far wall, lined with hanging tools and messy counter space, "and computers over here." She pointed at a glass cubicle on the right wall. The rest of the space was filled with tables and rolling chairs, and a couple of mobility assistance projects left incomplete by other students.

"Uh, I'm gonna grab the first aid stuff," Sam said, stepping into a doorway on the right wall, "so I'll be right back." She disappeared into the short hallway, shaking out her nervous limbs once she felt she was out of sight. Shit shit shit okay, it's fine. Just, mask on, don't let him see your fear, it'll be fine. Maybe you'll come out looking cool after this. Maybe you'll remember your fucking name and introduce yourself at some point, fuck. Sam grabbed a cart from the other room filled with first aid material, and wheeled it back to the main lab.

"Okay, uh... Where do you, uh, what would you... Want to do first? I can help...?" Fuck you Sam you're so fucking dumb.


 
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Tony limped behind the girl as best he could, grumbling the whole way to FRIDAY about how the AI could at least try to make the mechanized suit actually act mechanized. His AI response with a variety of ill-formed responses, including "Welcome to Collumbia University boss! You graduated from here in the year... NULL! Are you here for a class reunion?" Tony rolled his eyes at the malfunctioning code in silence, and tried to favor his wounded leg. The girl explained that she was a grad student here, in Robotics, and Tony realized just how young his partner in heroism was.

"Grad Student? Those were the days," Tony panted, breathlessly. "Albeit, I wasn't the legal drinking age during my Grad School years," he added. The girl was obviously nervous, and still hadn't introduced herself. Given all that was happening, he couldn't exactly blame her.

"First-aid kit.... yes, good stuff," he said, trying to recover his breath once he made it inside the doors. He followed her until they reached the workshop, and then let out a sharp whistle. "It can't quite hold a candle to MIT or Stark Industries, but I see way more soldering irons and cutters than I did on that burning street." His attempt at humor came with a stiff laugh that caused his chest to hurt.

She explained that she was gone to get the first aid kit, and then darted away, leaving Tony alone in the workshop. Something childlike sparked inside him anytime he was left to do his own work in a shop like this. He limped towards the center of the room, hoisting his tattered armor up onto a bench, and then limping over to one of the computers. He set his phone atop a desktop, activated its holographic display, and tapped away at a few panels. "Alright, FRIDAY, their network is yours. Link up to Stark Tower and do a diagnostics dump. I want to see your current operating protocols so I can understand why you're being a batty bitch, then fix yourself, K?"

"On it boss!" FRIDAY cheerfully replied.

He then limped back towards a rolling stool, and plopped down in it. From there, he was able to roll himself around the lab, and did just that. First he got a few cutters, and began to cut the damaged sections of his suit open to reveal the damaged circuitry and fractured joints. From there, he was able to begin soldering—until the girl returned with her first aid kit.

"My leg, preferably," Tony said, trying to infuse some humor into his voice. "It's the only one that couldn't be fixed by a soldering iron... though I guess cauterization..." He cringed at the thought. He took one of the wire cutters and clipped his pant-leg, then tore it the rest of the way off, to expose a large gash where a piece of armor had stabbed into him. "Rubbing alcohol and any bandages / stitching? I can properly patch it up when we fight our way to Stark Tower."

Tony mentally laughed at the irony of relying so heavily on the girl, when he typically was anything except a team player. "I realize I forgot to introduce myself, when you were so nice as to introduce yourself, New York," he added with levity in his voice. "I'm Tony Stark."
 

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Iron Man was already pretty well set up when Sam got back, so that was good. The faster they could get in and out, the faster Sam could get back to her original plan. He'd tried to lighten the mood after they got in, which was definitely super cool and probably a nice thing, but Sam was naturally anxious and really just fighting panic at this point. Good thing you didn't skip the damn meds today, Sam. It was already embarrassing bringing Iron Man into her college robotics lab, like some kind of dumb child showing her lego house to her architect father.
At the table he'd taken over, Iron Man's busted suit was already under construction. Sam tried not to stare at it too long, but there's just so many parts in that thing. All of these tiny circuits and panels... he has to be running so many operations inside that system to need all that wiring. Sam couldn't start to imagine what it would look like if she tried to build a similar skeleton of circuitry into her own suit. Probably a mess, there's no way she could wire all of that by hand. Surely Iron Man had some fancy robots already built that could handle all that detail.
The wound on his leg was distracting enough to pull Sam's attention away from the suit. She cringed, thankful again that her mask covered the grimace on her face. Definitely more first aid than she was used to giving.
"Yeah, sure, okay... Haha, yeah, I can take care of it." Again, it seemed like he was trying to be nice, maybe? It was a little easier not to panic, anyway. "Mask, show me first aid for lacerations." She mumbled, trying not to seem super lame with her simple voice command mask while she grabbed a stool put prop his leg up on. The readout inside her screen pulled up some wound dressing instructions, and Sam rinsed her hands with a squeezy wash bottle of soapy water before drying them and slipping on some gloves.
"Oh, yeah." Sam looked up again when he started talking. Introduced himself as Tony Stark... shit, should I have known that already? Stark Industries Tony Stark... Is this like common knowledge or super hero knowledge? Fuck, I haven't kept up with my research. "It's, uh, cool to meet you Mr. Tony Stark." I sound like such a dumbass. Sam dug through the bag of first aid tools to make it seem less like she wanted to slap herself in the face. A skin stapler clattered onto the cart and she quickly scooped it back into the bag, again thankful that she could hide her burning face.
"You don't, uh, have to call me New York. Sorry. I, uh," she finally found and unwrapped a package of gauze, and started rinsing the wound with another squeezy bottle. Do I go superhero name? That'd be dumb, that's not an even trade. But then is he gonna think my superhero name is New York? Shit. "I usually go by Transistor, y'know, superhero biz and all that... But, uh, my name's Sam. Um, Bradshaw." This is so fucking weird what the fuck. Sam pressed gauze onto the rinsed wound, trying to soak up the blood so she could do something to close it. Do I stitch it? Do I fucking stitch Tony Stark's leg? Can I staple his fucking leg hole shut? Fuuuuuuuuck.
"I, uh, I'll take care of... this... and then I-I need to run, uh, upstairs. I need this... this project I made." She sighed heavily, forcing herself to focus as she carefully removed the wet gauze, replacing it with more from the package. Hold it together Sam, fucking hold on. Be a regular fucking superhero and try to think of something funny to say so he doesn't think you're freaking out. Nothing came to mind.


 
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Tony tried to keep from wincing as she started to operate on his leg, but eventually let out a loud "Ouch!" as alcohol met one of the more tender parts of his wound. His face was pinched taut, and his teeth clenched to try and keep more explosive outbursts in check. "Jesus CHRIST," Tony shouted as she started rinsing his leg, "A pleasure to meet youTransistor... please don't fucking amputate my leg," he managed between gritted teeth.

"The proper steps to amputate a leg are, step 1: sanitize the afflicted area!" FRIDAY began from the overhead speakers.

"FRIDAY shut the FUCK up," Tony growled loudly, "I didn't ask you, and you've obviously failed your diagnostic repair. I'll chop you down and feed you to the AI vacuums." He took several deep breaths, trying to regain his composure, and realized that Sam was almost done patching him up now. This would definitely hold up until they got to Stark Tower, assuming he could get his armor operational.

"Yeah..." Tony replied, when she said she needed to run upstairs. "For sure, I'd hate for the building to fall on your shoebox Raspberry Pi," Tony quipped, but then let his sarcastic expression soften. "Seriously, run, go get it," he shoed her with his hands, "I'll be done by the time you get back."

As she was leaving, FRIDAY spoke up, "Diagnostic repairs complete, boss! I'm here to help!"

"About time," Tony replied, "get me some guidelines on the repairs I need... just enough to get me to the Mark L"
 

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Sam flinched as Tony - Iron Man - Stark...? He complained about his leg. Probably a good thing Sam didn't decide to go into medicine, because it's hard not to fucking panic when the patient and his AI are complaining the whole time. It's fine, it's first aid. It just hurts sometimes, you cannot accidentally destroy Iron Man's leg... can you? Fuck. Sam anxiously finished up the bandaging, thankful she survived such a harrowing test, and started cleaning up the mess of supplies.
"Um, yeah." Sam felt like she was probably dark red under her mask, blushing with fear and embarrassment when fucking Tony Stark made a condescending joke about her project. Sure, yeah, it's small compared to a hundred fucking Iron Man suits and an international technology business but... FUCK, man. FUCK. Sam pushed the first aid cart into a corner and shook her hands, trying to relieve some of her nerves. "I-I'll be right back. Just - uh, yeah." Sam took off for the door, catching a short snippet of the AI's voice again before the door closed.
Sam balled her fists as she rounded the corner to the elevator, trying to hold her shit together. Once the doors closed and she started up to the third floor, Sam punched the wall. "FUCK!" She gritted her teeth, trying not to yell at the top of her lungs, and slipped her mask off for some fresh air. This was fucking stupid and you should've known it. You should've rewritten this whole fucking plan because now what the fuck are you gonna do? Show goddamn Iron Man your stupid fangirl suit? What's he gonna say, that it looks like some dumb tin can he designed a billion years ago? You should've just searched the lab for something else to use. Sam turned the corner after exiting the elevator, heading into the display hall where her suit stood on a glorified rolling doll stand. She unlocked the wheels and rolled it back to the elevator, scanning it all over for the smallest imperfections. It was a 3-D print of the Mark III Iron Man that she'd designed herself, so she'd put a lot of meticulous work into making sure every part worked just right. It was printed in aluminum, so the accuracy was pretty high, but she couldn't help looking for every spot that the joints might rub or separate too far. It was a stupid project, and she shouldn't have wasted her time on it. It was ridiculous that a girl trying to be a real superhero spent any time making fan replicas of actual superoes.
When Sam got back to the lab, she slid her mask back on and stuck her head in the door first. "Okay, just... Don't look at it okay? I just..." She sighed heavily. "You don't wanna look at it." Quickly, she wheeled the suit into the room and pushed it down the short hall to the storage room where she got the first aid kit. "I just need some parts from it, really, so it, like, it doesn't even matter what it looks like." She was talking fast, like she wouldn't be so embarrassed if she just got the words out really fast. She grabbed a toolkit from one of the work tables, one marked SAM on the side in big gold letters, and darted back into the storage room again. "Back in a minute!"



 
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For a while, Tony was left alone to mend his damaged armor. Despite having grown better at managing young nervous proteges, Tony preferred it this way. Just him, his tools, and his project. At this very moment, with his suit fileted on the workbench in front of him, Tony felt like a surgeon operating on a patient. He would manipulate a plate of armor here and patch the shielding on a cable there, fully sunken into his work and focused.

FRIDAY maintained a holographic image nearby him as he worked, showing the status of his suit with more damaged sections highlighted in red. Maybe you were being a bit harsh, Tony considered. That kid from Queens built his own 'webs', which sounds pretty lame but they're impressive. Maybe she's got a neat gimmick.

About that time, Tony heard the clattering and clanging of something coming down the hallway. He guessed it was Sam, but he still picked up a sharp screwdriver and brandished it threateningly until he saw the nervous girl stumble in. She started blurting out disclaimers for to look away and not see her project—but Tony Stark was far too curious for that. No, he gawked in muted shock and horror as she wheeled a replica of his Mark III into the lab, quickly trying to shield it from sight.

"No, hold on, hold on," Tony said, shouting as she disappeared into the storage room. He was quickly on his feet, limping towards the armor with a wrench in his hand. He poked and prodded the armor, lifting back its face plate and testing the mettle of its plated armor while he waited for her to come back in.

"We're not just going to wheel in a replica of garbage I made a year and a half ago and just ignore it,"
Tony said, when she returned. "What the hell is this? The Mark III? This is the Mark III."

He tapped his wrench softly on the faceplate, tilting his ear in to hear the clang of metal on metal, "Is that aluminum? Well it'll be fast, for sure, but it can't take a hit for shit." He spun it around and searched down its spine for something particular. Midway down, the direction of one of its plates changed, prompting Tony to slowly shake his head; whether out of admiration or horror was left to the imagination. "You even copied my mistake, this wasn't supposed to happen." He rapped his wrench against the reversed plate. "I was tired and drunk when I made this suit, forgot which way my vents were oriented when I was halfway through—you got it down to the tiny detail...."

"FRIDAY, what's my operational status?"
Tony asked suddenly, shouting behind himself toward the AI.

"The Armor is operational but still heavily damaged," she informed.

"Okay, good," Tony replied, "I don't trust that this thing's reactor isn't going to blow when you put it on. If it doesn't.... I want that thing in a museum and I'll let you build a new one in Stark Tower to just not have the Mark III walking around." He backed up to his armor, pulled it to its feet with a struggled heft, and stepped backwards into it. Instinctively, the armor closed up around him like a cocoon, its plates interlocking from the feet up, ending with his face plate slamming shut. A soft blue glow illuminated Tony's face, as the suit's cracked and static-laden HUD came up.

"Ok, put it on," he demanded.
 

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Sam fought the urge to slap a hand on her mask when Iron Man tried to make her stop. He really doesn't need to look at this stupid thing, god damn it... I should've just taken my tools with, shit. She stopped, still holding her toolkit at the doorway to the storage room, as Tony Stark limped over to survey her project. It wasn't anything like a real Iron Man suit, and didn't even deserve his attention. It was just something cool to get Sam some attention from her professors, who were basically nothing compared to Stark. She was nothing compared to Stark.

He spent way longer than Sam was comfortable with looking over the suit. Her skin crawled with fear as he turned it around, checking the plates down the back. He pointed out the reversed plate. Fuck, would it have been better to make it match the others? Was it stupid of me to make it exactly the same? I didn't think it made sense like that but I thought it must have been for a reason, but... Fuuuuuuuck, shit. What might have been a cool opportunity to meet another hero was quickly descending into nightmare. Never meet your heroes...

Sam was still frozen in panic when Iron Man finally turned back to her, apparently done scrutinizing her stupid project and checking the status of his repairs. He wanted her to put the suit on, which was definitely not her plan, especially now that he was actually here. And he thought it actually had a reactor? Like a for real suit? God-fucking-damn it I'm so lame.

"Uh... Yeah, um, it's not like a... like a serious, like..." She waved her hands around, but it wasn't really clear what that motion meant. "Iron Man thing, y'know, it's just... uh, like lights and some moving parts and a mic and a screen... I'm not like, uh... yeah." She fumbled that sentence to a halt, narrowly avoiding any self-directed insults. Idiot, you're an idiot.

"I can put it on, I just... I had some padding built inside that I needed, because I don't have much armor in this suit, but... yeah, I just, gimme a second." Sam grabbed the suit by the arm, dragging it over to the computers, where she slid her mask off to plug into one of the PCs. Don't look at me don't look at me don't fucking look at me please god ughhhhhhhhhh. Still, her face was flushed with some mix of fear and embarrassment. She pushed the button on the front of her suit, where an arc reactor ought to be, and removed the faceplate of the suit as the armor slid open at the front. Plugging this into the computer as well, she quickly copied and edited some files. At least I can get this updated to the new version, look a little less like a dumb cosplayer. Shit. Compared to this, meeting Spider-Man went fucking great. That memory was even more embarrassing.

When the files were finished, Sam stowed her mask in a drawer, replaced the faceplate on her armor, and stepped in. "Okay, cool, yeah, double Iron Man, right? Like, uhh, doppelgangers right? Haha, super weird, didn't wanna look like I was trying to copy you or something so... But yeah this is fine, yeah, we can make a run for it like this, haha." Clearly her efforts to calm down were failing, as she punctuated her sentences with nervous laughter.

Somewhere in the University, an explosion shook the building all the way to the robotics lab. "Okay, yeah, good time to run. Uhh... you good?"

 
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"Oh, no I think you're mistaken, this," he motioned up and down her, "is definitely a serious Iron Man thing. We're not dropping this topic, not yet."

He slowly followed her as she dragged the suit toward the workbench with the PC. Tony looked the suit over, imagined whether or not it might withstand a 9mm shot, and cringed. "What kind of OS are you running here? Or did you manage to scrape some of my code off something that got discarded? Fucking Parker tried to do that, but the JARVIS encryption bricked his computer when he tried to use it." Tony's face shifted a self-satisfied smile. His expression darkened some as he thought of JARVIS, and added "Now he's trying to brick himself." With his speaker muted, Tony spoke directly to FRIDAY. "Seriously, scan that laptop and tell me if it's running any of my IP."

When Sam was finally done booting up her suit, and stepping inside, Tony couldn't help but burst a slight giggle. His faceplate lifted and he arched an analytical eyebrow, "I'd hate to see the homework you 'mixed up' so it wouldn't look copied." He tilted his head some, and then instinctively raised his voice "Hey FRIDAY, take a look at this, what do you think?"

"It appears a very competent imitation of the Mark III. Initial scans indicate limited combat functionality, and basic input output systems."

"Goddamn buzkill," Tony groaned. "It's like a picture with a picture of you, and a dorkier version of you from the past. Except this version has teenage angst and acne. Anyways, don't beat yourself up kid, imitation is the sincerest form of—" Tony grimaced for a moment, raised a finger as if he remembered the word, and then shook his head. "It's the sincerest form of liking someone, it's cute."

An explosion behind them shifted Tony's attention away from mocking sam, and he lowered his faceplate with a jerk of his head. "Oh I'm good," Tony reassured her. The pain pulsing from his leg made him feel like he was less than good, but FRIDAY's diagnostic said that basic flight systems worked still. He raised a hand and one of his palm cannons blasted a hole through the drywall. Beams of light streamed in through the dust, and Tony could hear the fighting outside even better now. "Try not to fangirl too hard when you're inside Stark Tower. Maybe I'll let you try the Mark III on."
 

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Please, whatever God is out there, can we drop this topic? Anything would be better than this. Maybe a quick death? Just fucking shoot me right in the head so I won't see it coming.

"Your code?" Sam asked as she let the suit close around her. What's Parker? Who's Parker? Is that someone I should know? Shit. "No, I... It's just a program I wrote, it, uh... It just connects to my phone. I-I wouldn't try to steal something..." She turned making sure everything was as stowed away as she could get it, before heading toward the door again. The suit made quiet little clicking noises as she walked, embarrassingly inelegant. Doesn't really make my fucking case when I copied the suit, but... Fucking fuck. Who's Parker and why is he trying to hack Iron Man's tech? Who's fucking dumb enough to try that?

"I- it was just a project... I make my own stuff now." Fucking "cute???" I look like such a dumb baby doing this shit. Goddamnit. Think, credentials, what else can you do?

"Uh, I built a suit for a new mutant, and I... fixed Spider-Man's suit before..." And he hung out at my apartment in his underwear... Shit, fuck, too fucking embarrassing. "I'm, uh, trying to do bigger stuff, anyway." At least the Iron Man suit could hide her burning face. Sam hurried to push the exit door open and escape from her internal torment. She turned back in time to see a big-ass Iron Man cannon blast break a hole in the wall, and she sighed. So much for protecting the equipment.

"I... definitely don't have one of those," Sam remarked, glad for some reason to stop thinking about Spider-Man, even for a moment. Where the fuck is he, anyway? Do I call him? Too fucking clingy, Sam, shit. Outside, gunfire and explosions still rang out. It wouldn't be a pretty sight, and Sam still didn't know how either of her super-friends were faring. Maybe they could figure it out... At Stark Tower? Excuse me??

"Uh, let's hustle... I think." Sam moved quickly through the new hole in the wall, trying to shake off the anxious and embarrassed jitters. "I dunno how much time we've got left." There has to be something else we can do, someone else we can get in contact with. He's hurt and I'm fucking useless and there's way too many guys with way too much goddamn ammo out here. A superhero team-up would be pretty fucking sick right about now...

Beyond the exit to the university, the air reeked of smoke. Sam turned to see the destruction at the other end of the building, where someone had blown up an entire wing. It won't be long until the find us, then, shit.

"Okay, Mask, navigate to Stark Tower?" Sam asked, hoping for an easy trip. In a moment, she did trip, stumbling back against the wall as gunfire pounded into the grass a few yards ahead of her. She looked back up, searching for a shooter on top of the university building. She couldn't see anything through the hazy smoke that rose from the last explosion. "Is there an avoid bad guys option?" Sam scraped the heels of her suit together, pushing the hidden levers she'd placed there to cover the output at the bottom of the boot. The thrusters were a very early prototype, from before she'd even developed Blake's Impact suit, and Sam wasn't 100% sure they'd make it through a full flight across the city. She didn't have the luxury of a reactor for a power source, and the battery power was fairly limited. She hadn't even tested it for more than 5 minutes at like 30 miles per hour... This better not fucking kill me.

 
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