Author: Del Rion (delrion.mail (at) gmail.com)
Fandom: Iron Man (MCU)
Timeline: before “Iron Man 3”
Rating: K / FRC
Characters: J.A.R.V.I.S., Pepper Potts, Tony Stark (Iron Man), Tony’s bots (DUM-E and U)
Summary: Tony’s alloy experiment gets a little out of hand, resulting in a very expensive mess. Solution? Repurpose.
Complete. Part of “Genius, AI & Bots” series.
Warnings: Very mild ‘domestic’ violence (against robots).
Disclaimer: Iron Man and Marvel Cinematic Universe, including characters and everything else, belong to Marvel, Marvel Studios, Jon Favreau, Paramount Pictures, and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. In short: I own nothing; this is pure fiction created to entertain likeminded fans for no profit whatsoever.
Beta: Mythra (mythras-fire)
Story and status: Below you see the writing process of the story. If there is no text after the title, then it is finished and checked. Possible updates shall be marked after the title.
“Oh, come on!”
The bots’ arms jump up, camera-eyes searching the room and the source of Tony’s distress.
“I’m sure you can still salvage some of it, sir,” J.A.R.V.I.S. notes with his usual level of serenity.
“It’s melting all over the place,” Tony whines – then steps back to avoid the pool that is beginning to trickle off the side of the workstation. The heat of molten metal-alloy is palpable, making his face sweat.
The bots approach the scene like the laziest cleaning crew in the world. Dummy, at least, picks up a mop, even though it will be of no use whatsoever in the upcoming cleaning operation.
“Perhaps it would be wise to try and contain the leak?” J.A.R.V.I.S. suggests.
“Do you know how hard that stuff is to get off once it begins to cool down?” Tony snaps back and takes another step away from the ever-spreading mess.
“It might have been wise to remember that before allowing the alloy temperature to climb above the melting point.”
“I was mixing things up,” Tony shrugs. “It wasn’t supposed to melt so much as become pliable. Something wrong in the ratio, probably…”
“Well, you might count this as a success, then,” J.A.R.V.I.S. cracks dryly. “Of sorts. It certainly is pliable now – if you can scoop it up and keep it from cooling down before application.”
Tony grunts, then grabs the mop from Dummy before the bot can stick the cleaning tool into the still-spreading pool. “Give me that,” he orders.
You moves in, leaning close over the molten alloy, and Tony whacks the robot arm before You can get too close. The bot moves back up with a sharp sound of protest.
“The alloy mix is beginning to cool down,” J.A.R.V.I.S. reports. Indeed, it is barely spreading anymore, long, golden strings hanging over the edge of the workstation, creating a near-frozen waterfall of fairly expensive interior design.
“Do we have a flamethrower attached to any of the suits?” Tony asks.
“Is that really a viable solution, sir?”
“If you can think of something else, please, do tell.”
- - -
Pepper stops the car before she’s reached the end of the driveway. There is some golden monstrosity sitting on the grassy divider. It isn’t one of the art pieces she’s helped to choose for Tony’s estate: this one she would remember – and never in a million years would have chosen in the first place.
She stops the engine, undoes her seatbelt and gets out of the car to take a closer look at the new ‘showpiece’, if one can call it that.
It doesn’t look any better up close. Pepper is reminded of a large clump of melted metal, oddly shaped yet not really representing anything she can think of. Even as a purely abstract work, it is quite unappealing.
In the grass around the misshapen statue, there are deep markings from something akin to footprints. They aren’t from ordinary shoes, however, and the deep dents suggest a lot of weight.
Having lived around Tony Stark long enough, she has a strong suspicion about the origin of those prints, although there is still some uncertainty as to the origin of the golden clump adorning the driveway.
She gets back in her car and drives up to the main doors, parking and, getting out. When she enters, Tony is lounging in the living room, working on something on his tablet computer.
“Tony,” Pepper starts, not to startle him in case he hasn’t noticed her arrival, as unlikely as that is with J.A.R.V.I.S. always watching the property. “What is that thing by the driveway?” she has to ask.
Tony looks up at her. “You saw it?”
“Kind of hard to miss.” She waits for an explanation, which Tony doesn’t offer, to her frustration. “Tony,” she presses, tone a tiny bit sharper, which usually works.
Tony taps at his tablet, semi-ignoring her. However, she is patient.
Finally, with a heavy, dramatic sigh, Tony halts his evasive actions. “It’s something I made. Thought it would look good on the front lawn. Also, it is quite expensive,” he adds, as if that were a factor in his decision-making.
Pepper isn’t sure what to make of it. Tony doesn’t have a habit of creating art, but dismissing his work could lead to his feelings being hurt.
“Well, it certainly makes an impression,” she tries to say as diplomatically as possible.
“Good,” is all Tony says, and the matter is clearly handled.
The golden clump stays by the driveway for weeks until it one day suddenly disappears. Pepper isn’t concerned because the hunk of metal looked too heavy to steal. She doesn’t ask what became of it, fearing that it might make a reappearance if she shows interest in it.
Blessedly, it stays gone – and doesn’t show up as Pepper’s next birthday present, either.