"Why am I the official costumer, all of a sudden?" Tony griped, but he griped while idly adjusting the measurements on his screen with a wave of his hand. "I mean, I'm an important man, you know."
"You say that a lot," I agreed, hands in my pockets. I like standing in Tony's lab, it's basically like a candy store for nerds. Spanners and screw drivers and welding equipment strewn about on million dollar smart surfaces, cans of oil next to high powered back up batteries.
Sports cars and tiny rockets, cans of paint and traces of powder coat.
I don't even know what all the things do, and I'll probably never find out. Like that thing, there. That thing there might make the liquid cushioning for his helmet to compensate for sudden stops against things like building and supervillians, or it might make smoothies.
I'm not really an engineer, but I always thought I could probably have a whole lot of fun pretending, in a place like this.
I might even had been able to get the machining factory in the basement to produce a suit of armor by tonight.
But it wouldn't have looked this bad ass.
Okay, so it wasn't Iron Man (tm) armor, but it was sexy as all hell and had a place for PLUMES for gods sake, like a Round Table night. I was gonna have to go get plumes.
And it was powder coated! In my colors! Red and blue and black and just...
"I am gonna have the best costume ever," Because I couldn't help but gloat. "You are the best boss in the world."
"Suck up a little harder, kid," Tony said, but he was grinning. Shot Pepper a look. "See? SOME of my employees like me!"
"Second best," she corrected.
"Oh, yeah, well, second best," Tony agreed.
"What are you going as?" I had to ask, because that's who had to have the best costume, right?
"I'm going as the boss," Tony said. "She means Steve's costume."
"What's he going as? He told me he usually just goes as himself, or sometimes digs out older versions of his uniform."
"One year he did that on Aprils fools and had half of us convinced he'd forgotten waking up. He kept asking to see the newspaper," Pepper said. She looked like she didn't want to be amused by the memory. "But he laid it on a little thick when he asked me why I was living in sin with Tony."
I made an extremely manly sort of snorting noise. "Seriously?"
"Seriously," Tony said. "I thought he was serious until he started to crack up in the middle of his 'Why haven't you made an honest woman out of the poor girl?' speech."
"What color plumes are you putting on it?" Pepper asked. "More black?"
"I don't know," I started but Tony was answering, since I apparently didn't actually get a say anymore.
I was kinda okay with that, since he was producing plastic plumes.
"Why do you have fake feathers?" Because I HAD to know.
"Owls fly silently, and I was trying to work out a way to reduce air noise. Right now when I'm flying the suit has to cancel out ALL outside noises and it's hard to get audio cues if anything i theosund system shorts out," Tony said. "But I looked like a tool with feathers on."
I didn't let Anything twitch but the corner of my eye. SO THAT had been the reason behind that costume. Huh.
"Anyway, artificial feathers," Tony said. "It was an interesting experiment."
"What's Steve's costume?"
"It's great," Pepper said, grinning.
"You're not gonna tell me?"
"Nope," said Tony, smiling and shaking out plumes. "Now, give me ten minutes to let the glue dry, and try not to get your plumes yanked on. "
"What's he gonna be that cooler than a knight in shining armor?"
"We are talking about the same Steve, right? He's already a knight in shining armor," Tony said with a shake of his head. Pepper's heels click-clicked as she walked away and I wondered for a moment if Tony had designed them, because surely real high heels would be a pain to wear all day every day, right? "Let's just say, you'll agree with me when you see his costume."
I had been feeling pretty awesome in my suit of armor.
It was really, light, but solid enough that I wasn't afraid of denting it, and I got like, thirty people honking at me and giving me thumbs up when I took my bike to the party that night.
I really don't see the point of a car in New York, okay? And besides, I like my bike. I put an engine on it, it's a cool little bike.
Just because Tony laughs his ass off every-time he sees it and demands to know why I'm wasting my paychecks on things that are not cars...
Anyway, I looked fucking fantastic!
And then I got there, and in front of the Baxter Building...
There were like, thirty little kids in various degrees of costume, from 'my mommy can sew and when i said I wanted to be a zombie fairy unicorn princess she made it happen ala Project Runaway' to 'Oh, that's tonight! Umm, look I'm a hippy cause I have a tye dyed shirt!'.
And they were surrounding...
"Steve? Is that you?" Because I had to ask, but it HAD to be, because the outfit was PERFECT and... And it HAD to be him.
"Hello, metal man! I am Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, and in the Name Of The Galactic Alliance, I need your assistance!"
Oh god it was Steve. Yeah, okay, second best costume it was.
I couldn't even talk.
"Star command wants us to ensure that these younglings are properly defended on their mission of complex carbohydrate gathering," he went on, and he really did have the voice almost perfect.
"Ah," I started, then tried again with a salute. "Anything to help star command, Lightyear sir!"
He struck a pose, chest and chin jutting, fists on his hips, and as a crowning touch, his wings popped out. "To the lobby! And Beyond!"
"And beyond!" The kids were cheering.
His helmet even did that whoosh thing.