Unlikely Singularities – Chapter 70


The Easy Way

January 23, 2017

Dr. Cho.” Evie nodded at the woman who was attempting to make Tony Stark sit still. Given everything she knew about Tony, Cho was making admirable progress.

Dr. Vivas, please, call me- Goddammit, Tony! If you don’t stop figiting I will sedate you!”

Can’t,” Tony replied with a smile that was most likely intended to be smug but looked pained instead. His arm was clearly broken in at least two places. There was blood on his bicep where the bone had poked through. “I do not give permission. The local is working fine.” He winced, clearly lying. “No sedation for me. Unless you have something less medical and more recreational? I haven’t had anything really good since the eighties – okay, mid-nineties. But I was young and naive and she was so hot. Not Pepper hot, obviously, but Miss July hot and I really wanted to avoid that Board meeting and-”

For the love of bacon,” Darcy Lewis rolled her eyes and abandoned the tour she was giving Evie. “Friday? Could you check with Pepper and see if she’s willing to override this nonsense?”

Friday!” Tony called shrilly, “I forbid-”

Ms. Potts has given consent for any sedation or other treatment deemed necessary by Dr. Cho for full assessment and prompt recovery. At your discretion, Dr. Cho.”

Tony scowled at Darcy, but spoke to his AI, “Traitor. And you too Lewis. See if I get you that shiny new wall display for your office now.”

Oh no. How ever will I go on living.”

Cho smirked at Darcy’s deadpan delivery while she continued to move a portable x-ray into position. Tony was doing a better job of not moving, but his attitude left a lot to be desired. Evie stepped around to the side of the triage bed, staying out of the way of Cho’s work and the line of verbal artillery between Tony and Darcy. She noticed that most of the staff seemed to have disappeared, only one stalwart nurse remaining at her station in case Cho needed assistance. Evie studied the exam area setup and found some sanitizer for her hands.

You just wait, Lewis. You’ll get what’s coming to you. Just wait.”

Cheesecake and a naked Steve?” Darcy whispered out of the side of her mouth to Cho, “I’ve been a very good girl.” Cho laughed, and Tony squirmed in agitation, ruining another of Cho’s attempts at getting a look at the damage. Evie took a quick inventory of the medical instruments and equipment available. The Tower was just as well-supplied as Darcy had told her.

That’s gross. You’re gross, Lewis. I don’t want to hear about your kinky food fetishes. I’m in pain here, agony, and my arm hurts too. I put my life on the line for your safety – for the country, for the world and-”

The elevator pinged. Out stepped two of the most handsome men Evie had ever seen. Which, really, wasn’t saying much since she had started working for Pepper Potts. Tony, despite – or perhaps oddly because of – his arrogance, was quite attractive. Happy was charming and pleasantly good-looking and a saint for his loyalty to his employers. Colonel Rhodes was muscular, determined, and had a smile that lit up a room. The Vision, the one time Evie had met him, was startling and aesthetically pleasing as an odd mixture of man and modern art. She assumed she would eventually become acclimatized to the visual stimulus, but the new arrivals would make things that much harder.

Steve Rogers she recognized both from news coverage of Captain America and the rather intimate photo on Darcy’s phone of his sleep softened face. Drool did not necessarily detract from the angelic image he presented. She could easily picture him with a blazing sword and white wings. If Rogers was Michael, the leader of the armies of God and opponent of evil, then his companion could only be Azazel, the rebel deceiver who taught men how to make war. Where Rogers was golden, the other man was dark. Dangerous looking. Even in jeans and a thermal shirt he was tensed and prepared to fight. He angled himself as they stepped into the infirmary, looking for threats like a feral cat.

Or a jaguar waiting to pounce.

When he turned, Evie caught sight of his metal hand, and recalled the brief overview Pepper had given her on the other permanent occupants of the Tower. This, then, was James Barnes. Evie had been advised not to stand between him and Tony Stark under any circumstances. The reasoning for that quickly became evident.

You!” Tony pointed with his functioning hand and frowned more deeply.

This isn’t even my job,” Cho muttered as she adjusted the x-ray again.

Tony continued, “I specifically said no puppets in my infirmary. They’re creepy and completely overdone. Not a single original feature since 1964. Shonteff was brilliant. Captain Golden Retriever, remove your boy. Is he even paper trained yet? I just had this floor waxed.”

Tony, we only wanted to verify security,” Rogers started calmly. “Friday said you were injured. Was there an incident? Any unfriendlies we need to take care of?”

Yes! Him! He’s unfriendly. Unfriendish. Fiendi-”

No,” Cho interrupted with a put-upon sigh. She realigned the x-ray machine for a fourth time. “He did this to himself. Something about a flying car.”

Tony!” Darcy gasped and smacked the shoulder on his uninjured side. “You tested it without Maria? She’ll be devastated!”

She can’t cut class. Apparently truancy is a thing now.” Tony scowled. “And the new lab protocols require safety restrictions when Junior is there. I was just setting up parameters,” he whined petulantly on the last statement. Rogers made a sharp sound that he quickly turned into a cough, and Tony glared at him. “Not the point. This is the point! It all would have gone fine if U hadn’t been testing ceramics for Ivan the Terrible Scowler’s new tactical armor! I wouldn’t have tried…tried…hey.” Tony blinked slowly, then turned his head toward Evie. She waited, nonplussed, holding a cotton pad to the tiny pinprick on his shoulder.

What’d ya? That wasn’t very nice. You’re…not even…my doctor.” He frowned.

Actually,” Evie recapped the syringe and dropped it into the sharps container, tossing the cotton ball and her gloves in with hazardous waste, “you did authorize me to treat you. And Ms. Potts has your medical proxy.

Cho sighed in relief, finally able to get her machine prepped.

Darcy answered. “He has standing orders not to be medicated – says it slows his genius. And he has control issues.”

Control issues. Do not.” Tony’s eyes were sliding closed as he eased back against the bed.

Hey, a little upset over a mild relaxant is better than bones sticking out of your body.” Darcy leaned closer to Tony’s face and stage whispered. “And we both know you only refuse the pain pills so you can whine to Pepper and demand attention.”

Do…not…” And he was out.

Well,” Darcy stood up straight and brushed her palms together, as if she had just completed a significant job. “I would have spent a good hour calming him down and he would have probably ended up hurting himself even more and I’d punch him in the face just to make him shut up. This was much easier. Good job, Evie.”

Evie shrugged, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat, but why use a lawnmower when you have a scalpel?”

Cho gave her a weird look, as if trying to decide if something had been lost in translation. Darcy laughed, practically skipping to Evie’s side and linking their arms to continue the tour. Behind them, Evie could hear a smothered chuckle and Rogers’ comment to Cho.

Please tell me she’s staying.”