|Marvel: In the Beginning...|
The birthday party was originally intended to be something simple. Sawyer's Aunt baked and decorated a cake.. yellow cake with sweet, white icing. The lettering states, in lavender piping, 'Happy 18th Sawyer'. Not the most creative, but she managed to put a few roses at the corners. A good attempt, but obviously not professionally done.
The guest list had been small, just Sawyer, her Aunt, and at the last minute her Aunt sent an invitation to Tony Stark, after his brief visit. The house has been decorated with lavender and white streamers, and matching balloons. There is a pineapple and sprite punch.. non-alcoholic, since Sawyer's 18, not 21.
Sawyer arrives on her motorcycle, parking it in her Aunt's driveway, and wiping it down a bit before heading into the house.
Sawyer Mason, caught in the semi wreak at the convenience store. Iron Man's timely response saved her life, and perhaps some of the others. Tony then visit her the next day to drop off her motorcycle and ended up staying for dinner. At least that is what he confesses to She-Hulk and Captain America who knows his real identity. "She's a cute kid, and her Auntie is great. I thought it be nice to show up as Iron Man, and you guys can come too. There will be cake, but no liquor sadly. Not that I can eat or drink anyway when I'm in the suit. Just stay for a little bit, get some yummies and head out. She's a brave kid with a smart mouth. I think you would like her She-Hulk."
And that is how it started. Iron Man a.k.a. Tony Stark getting a soft spot for a kid. At no time does he hint at romantic interest, he even uses the term 'kid' more than once. And yes, he mentioned she turns eighteen. He does add in promise of liquor and beer for afterwards to make up for attending a birthday party, and they can consider it good karma too. He is sure Cap stole someone's lunch money at some point, and She-Hulk broke someone's heart at some point that they should make up for. Har, har, right?
In either case, Iron Man actually flies through the air, while a car is offered to take She-Hulk and Captain America to the residents. One that doesn't stick out like a sore thumb, unless they want to drive themselves.
She-Hulk could only NOT stand out like a sore thumb if she changed to Jen. Which would defeat the point. IN the car, of course, its not too bad. "He owes us one...next time *I* encounter somebody I like enough to want to arrange an Avengers visit for them..." Uh oh. Yeah. Tony's in 'trouble'.
Captain America doesn't do birthday parties. He's here as She-Hulk's security guard. Yea right, like she needs one but that's the reason he's here as Steve Rogers. "Yea... That's why I showed up as Steve. Besides if I have to make you meet people it'll be Nick Fury. I will owe you people."
Iron Man lands in front of the house as the car pulls up and then...politely knocks on the door.
Blithely, "Fury doesn't scare me." She climbs out of the car. "Whilst parties, apparently, scare you." The kid hasn't come out yet, so its safe for her to say that.
Sawyer isn't expecting any more than she and her Aunt to be there, but the decorations don't surprise her a bit. She closes the door behind her, stowing her helmet up in the closet by the door. "Auntie?" She calls out, a distinct British accent clear in her voice. "Where are you hiding?" She makes her way into the dining room, smiling as she sees the cake. "You did a great job on the cake."
Her Aunt emerges from the kitchen, wiping her hands on a towel. "I'm glad you like it luv." She slips her arm around her niece's shoulders, but the knock on the door has her heading to answer it. The knock causes Sawyer to jump, spinning around to stare. "Who could that be? What did you Auntie?"
Auntie opens the door with a big, welcoming smile on her face, though just who she sees is a bit of a surprise. She expected Mr. Stark. "Well, hello." She takes a step back, making room for the guests to enter. "Please.. come in." She tries to peer beyond the guest.. probably looking for the 'absent', invited guest.
What did you Auntie = What did you do Auntie?"
Iron Man enters with a package under one arm. "Thank you," he says in his computerized voice, ducking down to enter the house. "Mr. Stark sends his apologizes, but work in the lab keeps him. He sent a gift however," and removes the package from beneath his arm. "I also wanted to wish Miss Mason a Happy Birthday, so I thought some friends and I could stop by and see her." Then blank red lensed eyes turn to look toward Sawyer. "Happy Eighteen Birthday." He then moves further into the house to let those behind him enter.
"I didn't say he was scary. More a pain in the rump." He looks at She-Hulk, "Yes, I'm afraid of most social gatherings. I'm afraid I just don't get things alot of time." Though that's when Ironman shows up. "He's getting good at making a big entrance. I think he's been practicing." He turning to head up to the front door with She-Hulk, "Happy birth day miss."
Sawyer's eyes widen as she sees just /who/ enters the house. Never, in all her life, would she have imagined /any/ of the Avengers, coming to her party. If she wasn't trying so hard to convince her Aunt she's not a kid anymore, she might have let out a delighted squeal. Instead, it's reflected in her face. "Well.. I'll be.." She's nigh on speechless, which brings a huge grin to her Aunt's face.
"I'm impressed." Sawyer's Aunt closes the door behind the guests. "You've accomplished the impossible. My dear niece can't think of a thing to say."
She-Hulk grins a bit. "No, he's just been hanging out with me." Then she grins at Sawyer. "Hey there." She's in costume, of course, and thus as larger than life as she ever might be. Lots of green skin visible there. And her eyes are green too.
Steve Rogers nods, "Yes ma'am. The Avenger's specialize in the impossible." The incognito Avenger says as he steps in behind Iron Man and She-Hulk with the team. Then he smiles at the two women, "I'm Steve Rogers. I'm an Avengers Security team member. Not that they need it."
Sawyer blinks a few times, still having difficulty believing what she's seeing. Suddenly, the planned party seems rather... minuscule and childish. Of course, her Aunt was the one that planned it. Her Aunt comes over and nudges her in the ribs. The girl splutters a bit. "Um... thank you for coming."
Auntie gives Sawyer a swat on her rear before stepping forward and holding her hand out to Steve. "Melisande Mason." She chuckles a bit. "But you can call me Mellie. I'm pleased you were able to come. I wasn't expecting many, so we only have cake, ice cream and punch, but I hope you'll enjoy it." She motions toward a place in the living room where Iron Man can place the package. "Please extend our regrets that Mr. Stark was unable to come, and a thank you for the gift." She chuckles. "Seeing as how my niece can't seem to find her words."
"It is our honor." To make Sawyer speechless? Funny, har, har. Yet Iron Man steps toward Sawyer and holds out a package for her. "We all wanted you to have a good birthday. This is obviously She-Hulk, and our friend Steve. He underestimates his worth."
Inside the beautifully wrapped gift with fluffy bow is a copy of "Farewell to Arms", an old edition actually. There is also a birthday card with Stark's crazy scribbling in it:
- Happy Birthday doll face! I hope you have a good 18th. Since Auntie is watching over you, you will likely spend it sober, better than what I did at your age. Good wishes.
- - Tony Stark
Inside the card is also a $500 gift card to a sports shop in NYC that sells motorcycle parts and accessories.
There is also a tissue wrapped extra in there that has a piece of paper taped in front of it that reads: 'From the Avengers'
Inside are signed individual photos of: Iron Man, Captain America, Kinetic, She-Hulk and Hawkeye. Almost a complete set, just missing Ms. Marvel.
She-Hulk grins. "Cake is fine...don't worry, I won't eat too much of it." After all, she IS a hulk...she probably eats quite a lot. "I see Tony's handwriting is as neat as ever." Yeah, she calls him Tony.
Steve takes the woman's hand and gives it a shake. "Pleasure's mine, Mrs. Mas... I mean Mellie." He says as he walks into the kitchen, "It's quite fine ma'am. If you have it I'll take a cup of coffee. That and I'm not much of a cake eater but I won't turn down a piece."
Being handed the gift seems to snap Sawyer out of her stunned state. She takes the gift. "Thank you.. and, I know I didn't get much of a chance to say it before, but thank you, for saving my life. I should have said it sooner. Pain is no excuse." If not hindered, she gives Iron Man a hug, then moves on to She-Hulk, extending her hand for a shake, then on to Steve. "Thank you so much for coming." Only after properly greeting and thanking, does she consider opening the gift. She's careful with the wrapping, her eyes widening slightly when she notices the book. She sets everything else aside for the moment, handling the book with great care. "Oh.." Nope.. the girl doesn't care a thing for books. She uses the utmost care in opening the cover and examine it, before finally putting it down to inspect the rest of the gift. The gift card earns a sharp, surprised gasp from the young woman, and she nearly squeals with delight. It's perfect for taking care of her 'baby'. Of course, the autographed pictures are nothing to sneeze at, but they don't earn exactly the same reaction as the previous two. "Thank you all.. so very much." Of course, it's probably better that Tony's not here to accept her thanks. She might have to eat a little crow before cake.
Mellie's smile is ever warm and welcoming to all. "I'll brew up a pot right now. Please make yourselves comfortable. Just let me get the candles on the cake and we can light them. If you don't mind, singing happy birthday, that is?" She bustles off to the kitchen to grab candles and a lighter, getting the coffee started before returning to the dining table.
She-Hulk does indeed shake hands...carefully, given her massive strength. "Mr. Stark didn't mention you had a motorcycle." Shame Hawkeye's not here...the two could probably talk shop for *hours*.
Iron Man gives one awkward metal pat to Sawyer's back during the hug. Inside the suit, Tony is actually blushing. He isn't used to thanks like this from a girl. Luckily, no one can see it. He watches Sawyer shake She-Hulk's hand and then Steve's. "You are welcome. I will carry your thanks to Mr. Stark as well." Then toward Mellie, "If you do not mind the fact I cannot carry a tune." He has no emotion or tone reflection in his computerized voice, it is flat. He is going to seriously embarrass Sawyer with his very LOUD singing of Happy Birthday in a few moments. "Do you believe you can carry the tune She-Hulk? You may make me sound better that way."
"Thank you." Steve Says and then he turns to look at Sawyer, "What do you ride?" He might not be Hawkeye but the Star Spangled Avenger did seem to have a love for the machines too.
Sawyer looks up at She-Hulk and nods. "She's that beauty out in the driveway. My baby." She wrinkles her nose a bit. "Mr. Stark decided to take the liberty of riding her." She still looks a little peeved about it, but it's hard to stay too angry, considering the gifts.
Mellie returns and quickly puts the candles on the cake, lighting every single one of them. Yes, she put eighteen candles on the cake, nearly overwhelming the confection. She sets a knife to the side to await the cutting. "Ready everyone?" She calls, her smile brightening her features. "Sawyer, come in here luv, so we can all sing to you." She turns that smile on She-Hulk. "Feel free to eat as much as you like, as long as everyone gets a piece." She straightens, turning to Iron Man. "I'm sure it will be fine. Do the three of you mind taking a piece back for Mr. Stark? At least he will be able to have some cake."
She-Hulk snorts. "I can do better than you, but nobody here is exactly Pavarotti," she points out, cheerfully. "Guess I can do it." Actually...she's not terrible. Not completely tone deaf, but certainly singing is not her talent either.
Sawyer swings by Steve on her way toward the dining table, slipping her arm through his to guide him there. (Not sure the make, but a pic is posted on Sawyer's wiki.) "She's pretty fast, when I can get away with letting her lose."
"I am sure Mr. Stark would love some cake." So would Iron Man. Darn face plate! In either case, he waits till Sawyer is in the room with Captain America and takes a cue from Mellie to start singing "Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you!" He is loud enough, that likely the next door neighbors can hear him. Poor Sawyer.
Steve Roger's find his arm took by Sawyer he walks with her, "BMW bike? That's a nice bike." Expensive too. "I've got a Harley Fatboy LO. That explains why Stark keeps eying my bike." That's when Iron Man start to sing Happy Birthday and Steve start to join in.
She-Hulk grins once she's done. "There, now we've let all your neighbors know we're here." Of course, the young woman is more interested in showing Steve her bike than anything else. "That I'm not allowed to go anywhere near. The bike, that is. He seems to be worried I'd smash it."
"A Harley? Nice.. I'd like to..." She's drowned out as the singing begins. Sawyer's cheeks tint a light rosy hue as she becomes the focus of the attention, and it makes her feel like a kid. It doesn't help when Aunt Mellie pulls her close and slips her arm around her shoulders, as she /too/ joins in. She reaches up, pinching Sawyer's already pink cheeks, and when the song draws to a close..
"Blow out the candles and make a wish." Mellie releases her arm from around Sawyer's shoulders, urging her forward to blow out the candles. She has to gather her hair to keep it from getting too near the burning candles, or getting on the cake. She draws a breath, and blows, trying to put out all eighteen in one breath. She /almost/ manages it.. but has to draw a second to finish them off. She straightens and smiles at She-Hulk. "No offense intended, but I can see why. Of course, I barely let /anyone/ near my baby." Must be why she seemed so peeved about Tony riding her.
Iron Man does at least advise, "You do realize that if you tell Tony no, he is going to want to do it all the more, right?" At least he knows that about himself, and confesses it. Cause he really wants to get on Sawyer's bike and say, 'I rode her baby!' He dare not say anything like that as Iron Man however. In either case, the cake is eaten, a piece is saved for Mr. Stark, and of course there is talk about motorcycles, Hawkeye's obsession with creating flying motorcycles, the flying cars of Stark Industries, racing cars and whatever else floats people's boats that the conversation leads to. But then things are drawing to a close and farewells begin. "It was a pleasure to meet you Mellie, and good to see you again and especially well Miss Sawyer. Please take care of yourself."
Steve joins in and talks but mostly quiet and seems to sound as if he's 50 year older than he looks in many ways. He just can't hide it. He finally says as it time to go, "It was a pleasure Millie. Thank you for welcoming me in your home." He turns and looks at Sawyer, "Nice to meet you miss. I hope you've had a happy birth day. We'll have to go riding one day and not invite Tony."
Aunt Mellie, ever the gracious hostess, makes sure to see that everyone has what they want, or need... whether it be coffee, or punch.. cake, or ice cream. She packs up a few pieces, setting them aside for Mr. Stark, Hawkeye, and whoever else wasn't able to be here. She wouldn't want them to feel left out.
As everyone is getting ready to leave, Aunt Mellie has no problems with going around and giving everyone hugs. "I'm sure you've made Sawyer's birthday the best one yet."
Speaking of which, Sawyer takes her turn, giving hugs.. perhaps learning the habit from her Aunt. "Thank you so much for coming.. and for the wonderful gifts. Please convey my thanks to the others as well." To She-Hulk.. "I'm so glad I got the opportunity to meet you, and wish I was able to meet the others as well." She'd shown an interest in the conversation when it centered on motorcycles, and race cars.. mentioning that it's one rush she hasn't tried yet. "But I'm very grateful to have met you. Thank you for everything you do for the city." She moves on to Steve, giving him a firm squeeze.. likely the only one she /can/ give a good squeeze, without hurting herself, or appearing... /too/ female friendly. "It was very nice to meet you too. Thank you so much for coming, and I hope to see that Harley of yours sometime. Maybe we could race?" She can't help but grin as he seems to have similar thoughts, and especially the part about not inviting Tony. The man, just somehow, manages to get her feathers ruffled.
Iron Man tilts his head slightly, "If that is your wish. You are not required to include Mr. Stark in your social activites." Basically, if you want to flirt with an eighteen year old, he isn't going to stop you! Tony is a womanizer, but he isn't quite to the level of thinking like that about Sawyer...yet. The cake pieces are set in...Iron Man looks between She-Hulk and Captain America. "I am not sure I trust either of you to get the cake pieces safely back to the Avenger Mansion without eating them." Yet he cannot carry them himself. He is in a tough spot right now. He then holds them out toward Steve, "Your word sir?" He knows Cap won't break his word once given.
She-Hulk has already snagged a piece. She's eying Hawkeye's piece in a manner that indicates that Iron Man is quite right thinking she might not be the safest recipient for it. Ahem.
Steve grins and it wasn't that he was flirting with the 18 year old but it was more to have somebody to talk about and bug Tony. Steve takes the cake, "I can't promise anything. She-Hulk does what she does. Though I'm betting if something gets ate it will be Stark or Hawkeye's piece. I'm sure Jarvis' will be safe."