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Change of course

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Bruce headed towards the elevator. “JARVIS, where are the others?”

“They’re in the penthouse, Dr. Banner. Sir requested your presence once you were done here.”

“Alright, take me to the penthouse and keep watch on these two.”

Once he reached the penthouse, all of them were sitting in the living room. Pepper and Tony were snuggling on the couch and Happy was sprawled out on a chair. He sat down on the loveseat.

“So what’s his condition?” Pepper inquired.

“It’s not looking good. I didn’t tell her, but he had overdosed on sleeping pills. Now, modern medicine has made them safe enough that death from overdosing is difficult. But he was also drinking a lot in the past few days. And because of that, I don’t even know how this guy is still alive.” It was reminding him too much of his own attemps. And he was having a hard time keeping lid on the other guy. “From what I heard him say in the conference room, it seemed like he tried to..” he couldn’t get himself to say it out loud.

“We’ll deal with that once he wakes up. In the meantime, what do you think of her story?” Tony asked. From the things she has revealed he seemed a bit shaken. He was holding Pepper close to himself and kept sneaking glances at Happy. Understandably, what he had observed in his stay at the tower, Rhodes, Pepper and Happy were close to his heart.

“She didn’t say much about anyone else. She spoke most of you.”

“Yeah, that’s true. And most of what she said about past events was true as well. And what she said about Loki. I mean she has a point there. I could plan a better strategy than that when drunk off my ass. That was the most shittiest plan I have ever seen. And I also asked JARVIS to research a bit on Killian and also have him enter the SHIELD database from the backdoor we made during invasion. From what we have got she might be correct. The Killian dude looks a lot different than 2000. Now, I know physiotherapy can do wonders. But this, this is not it. I think whatever this extremis is, he used it on himself. But completely trusting her right away, is out of the question.” Tony said.

"I have also been analyzing the energy readout they gave when they appeared. They have energy readings of the tessaract and the scepter but they also had some other energy signals similar to them." JARVIS announced. 

"Let's just keep an eye out on them for now. Listen to what they say but don't jump in with half cooked plans. Discuss it with everyone else." Everyone gave a look to Tony on the last comment.

"Yes, like you don't do anything without discussion." Pepper commented dryly.

"I walked into that one." Tony admitted.

"Sir, Miss Powell requested her phone. I told her I needed your permission for that." JARVIS said.

"Alright, get into her phone and get one of the boys to bring it to her." Tony replied.

"As you say sir." JARVIS said theatrically.

"The sass I endure from you..." Tony waggled his finger at nearest camera.

"I do not know what you are talking about, sir." JARVIS sassed back.

"DumE had delivered Miss Powell her phone and has returned to the lab." JARVIS announced after a few minutes.

****

Gianna was sitting in the room for quite a while now. She couldn't take her eyes off him. A year and a half of loving someone didn't just fade away in a few hours. He was the first guy that she had let in her heart to such extend. "Why did you have to break my heart like that? Was I so that bad that you couldn't even tell me the truth." She sobbed. She sat on the couch and tried to think of something else. Her phone. 

"JARVIS, can you get me my phone please?" She asked while looking at the nearest camera.

"I must ask sir Miss Powell." He replied in a lower voice.

"Okay." 

"I have asked boss and he agreed to return you your phone. If you could step out and collect your phone." He replied after a few minutes. 

"Alright." She went outside and looked around. The lift opened and she heard a whirring sound.

"JARVIS, is that DumE?" She asked excitedly.

"Yes he insisted on coming." He replied dryly.

"Hush you. Oh my God!!!" He moved his arm and opened and closed the claw. And let out a series of beeps. 

"So cute. What's he saying?" She was bouncing on her steps. 

"He is introducing himself and asking about you." 

"Hi DumE. My name is Gianna and it's nice to meet you." He chirped again and started heading back to the lift.

"He said it was nice to meet you and wished your friend quick recovery." 

"Tell him my thanks." 

"Of course miss." 

She contemplated if she should ask or not but in the end decided to ask anyway. "JARVIS you can locate the energy signals the scepter generates, right."

"Yes I can, if the radiation it emits is not being blocked. May I inquire the reason of this particular question." 

"In 2014, infiltration of SHIELD comes to light, and Rogers and Romanoff dumps entire SHIELD data online. In all of the chaos, the scepter gets stolen by Hydra. That's why I am asking. They use the scepter for biological enhancement." 

"Shouldn't you be discussing this matter with sir and others?" 

"I do but if the info dump still happens, then I don't want them to forget about it. That's why I'm telling you. So that even if they forget, you still remember it." 

"Miss, Mr. Ardent is waking up. I'll inform Dr. Banner."