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geeks will geek (and Tony Stark will create reasons for them to)

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"Tony!"

The sudden outburst of someone yelling out Tony's name and storming through the ThinkGeek offices actually happens so often that no one evens looks up from what they're doing. Today it's Peter storming down the hall with an iPhone in his hand. Peter pauses in front of Pepper's office when he walks by and Pepper doesn't even look up.

"Tony's in his workshop. Please don't hurt him and if he offers you anything to eat, say no because whatever he's working on right now is absolutely vile."

Peter continues to the boardroom that's been re-purposed as Tony's workshop and bursts in. Tony doesn't even look up, because everyone bursts into his workshop in a daily basis and his sound system is blasting AC/DC. [clip of music here that loud and overpowering, but gets turned down to barely-there?] Turning the sound system down, Peter starts waving his iPhone around and yelling.

"Tony, how many times do I have to tell you that you can't just release apps without telling me? How am I supposed to write snarky descriptions for things if I don't know they exist.?"

Wiping his hands on his jeans, Tony turns to face Peter. He doesn't actually remember releasing anything, but he also doesn't remember a whole lot about last night so it's entirely possible that he could have released something without remembering it in the morning. He kind of wishes the lecture could've waited until after he figured out what the hell the puzzle box he made is, but nothing goes the way it's supposed to at the ThinkGeek offices, so Tony pretty much expects stuff like this.

[sigh.] "What did I do this time?"
"Schrodinger's Cat app, for decision-making on the go."

Holding out the phone, Peter waits for Tony to take it. Tony studies the app for a moment, shaking the phone to decide the fate of the tiny digital cat on the screen.

"Don't remember that. [Tony snorts] Is it that big of a deal, though? Just go write your usual snarky blog post and let everyone know we have something new and awesome."
Peter rolls his eyes. "Doesn't work for about half of the users. Fix it, Tony."
"Sure, sure."

Turning back to the puzzle box he had been working on before Peter burst in, Tony turns the music back up and goes back to ignoring the rest of the world.

[Music picks back up until it's loud and overpowering again. Music fades out to Clint yelling Tony's name.]

"Tony!"

Clint wanders into the workshop with the final cut of a video for one of Tony's April Fool's products. It's surprisingly quiet considering that Tony's alone and hunched over something in the table, but then Clint notices the cord for the earbuds Tony's wearing snaking out of his pocket. Pulling at the cord, Clint pulls a usb drive out of his pocket and holds it up for Tony to see as he turns around.

"Final cut of the video for the Keurig meal cups. Bruce wants you to approve it now so he can actually get it up on the site a week from now."
Snatching the usb drive, Tony grins. "Are you shooting the video for the marshmallow machine gun today?"
[Clint sounds pleased with himself.] "Yup, we've got a great treatment and I think you're gonna love it. Can I have the prototype after we've done?"
"Pepper says I'm not allowed to give you anything that shoots things after The Rubberband Incident."

[Clip of the audio from the Keurig meal cups video?]

"Yeah, approved. Go shoot your dangerous video and don't tell Pepper I let you have the prototype."

In reality, Clint knew that Pepper would find out and it didn't much matter if he told her or not. If it meant Tony letting him have the marshmallow machine gun, though, Clint would totally not tell Pepper. Her getting angry is always worth a few hours of absolute office mayhem.

"Sure thing, Tony."

Tony doesn't actually give a response to that, just sticks his earbuds back in and goes back to work.

[Music here again. Music fades out to a soft knock and the creak of a door before Pepper softly calls out Tony's name.]

"Tony?"

There isn't a response, so Pepper carefully pushes the door open and switches on the strip of el tape that Tony installed instead of the overhead lights. The whole room glows soft blue, and Pepper's eyes take a moment to adjust. For once, Tony's not furiously working on something while mainlining coffee made with Bawls. Pepper keeps telling Tony that consuming that much caffeine doesn't actually help any and probably just makes him pee more than he should, but Tony never listens to her.

Scanning the room, Pepper finds the soft gray of Tony's self-made Taun Taun sleeping bag in the corner of the workshop. It's worn and not as well-made as the official version, but Pepper remembers Tony bursting into her office and demanding that she teach him how to use the sewing machine he bought for the express purpose of making a mock-up Taun-Taun sleeping bag. She suspects that Tony's version has sentimental value, even if he would never admit it, and the sight of him sleeping is rare enough that Pepper decides her lecture about why Clint isn't allowed to have things that can shoot marshmallows at high velocity can wait.

She leaves the el tape strip on because a just-woken Tony is never a coordinated Tony, and programs his coffeemaker to start up in four hours because she doubts Tony will sleep much longer than that and his coffeepot is empty.

Glancing over at Tony one last time, Pepper smiles fondly. The company is a lot larger than it was when Tony had things to do beside be a brilliant creative mind, but Pepper's pretty sure that Tony likes playing around in his workshop more than he ever liked doing inventory. He wasn't very good at it anyway, if Pepper's being honest.

[Music! But this time it's a lullaby version of The Imperial March that fades out to Steve questioningly saying Tony's name.]

"Tony?"

Steve pokes his head into Tony's workshop, finding Tony sitting on the floor and leaning against the leg of his work table. There's a small mechanical dog in front of him, wagging its tail, and Tony pats it on the head before looking up at Steve.

"Yeah? Did you need something, Mister Rogers?"
[sigh.] "How many times do I have to tell you to stop calling me that?"
"When you stop wearing cardigans, I'll stop saying it."

Part of Steve wants to argue with Tony, but Pepper's told him that tactic just encourages Tony and encouraging Tony is bad so Steve tamps down the urge to defend his cardigans as practical and drops the incident report for Clint and Natasha's latest round of cubicle warfare on Tony's Desk For Important Shit. Then, because Steve is weak to animals and Tony's inventions, he crouches down to inspect the little robot.

"It's cute. Does it have a name?"
[pregnant pause.] "Steve, it's K-9. You know, the robot dog from Doctor Who? Traveled with Sarah Jane? Is any of this ringing a bell?"
"Tony, you know I'm not good with that sci-fi stuff."

The terrible part is it's true and Tony does know that. Steve's been working at ThinkGeek for a while and he's still a little baffled at the easy way most of the office throws around references, because he's like. A normal human being who doesn't dress up as Kirk for Comic-Con. Not that Tony did that. More than once. They've been working on updating him on pop culture, but it appears that everyone made a terrible, Doctor Who-shaped miscalculation.

"Yeah, I know, but how has no one in the office sat you down and forced you to watch Doctor Who yet? We need to have a Doctor Who party for you. You are a sad, sad human, Steve Rogers, and I have no idea how you ended up working at a geeky company when you're a total normie."
"I saw Star Wars! It was good; I liked it."
"Updated or old-school version?"
"I don't know—I was talking to Bruce a while back and he made a joke I didn't get so then we went to go see the movies when all six of them were playing in a theatre."
"Ah, so you had the true Star Wars experience. We'll make a geek out of you yet, Steve."

Tony seems like he's going to say something else, only Natasha leans against the doorway into Tony's workshop. She's wearing sleek, professional clothing, but everyone in the office knows better than to be fooled by Natasha's looks. She and Clint have history, and for some reason that history involves both of them being excessively good at beer pong and prone to using the office as a battleground using weapons supplied by Tony. Natasha's very fast in stilettos and that's all Steve can say.

"Tony. Head of the Great Lakes shipping center called, apparently something went wrong and Phil says he needs you help fix it."
"Seriously? Again? Why do we let the Great Lakes shipping center do anything? Why can't Phil just fire them all? I gave him that power."
"Oh, he could. He'd just much rather see you suffer through the agony of cleaning up their mess. If you're not there in five minutes, Phil is coming to get you himself."

Rolling his eyes, Tony stands up and straightens. He rarely has to be the CEO, because Pepper and Phil take care of all the messy things CEOs are actually supposed to do so Tony can mess around in his workshop full-time. Or he assumes they do—Tony wouldn't actually know, because his CEO philosophy is very hands-off. Everyone knows that Pepper and Phil have all the real power, which is why even Tony has to listen to them.

Just for this, though, Tony is totally going to build Clint that nerf dart-gun Phil had said no to. It's his job to build the most awesome, geeky toys in the world and Tony is damn good at his job.

[Music! Actual Imperial March this time, fade out to THE END.]

The End.