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Summary: Tony Stark makes the formal offer of JLA Membership to Captain America.

Location: Tony Stark's Office at Stark Enterprises.

Characters: Iron Man, Captain America

Rating: G - Suitable for all ages.


While the offices of Stark industries are usually closed on the weekends, certain exceptions are made. And a meeting with the living legend of World War 2 certainly qualifies as an exception. There's only a skeleton crew at the offices in Stark Tower in midtown Manhattan, all senior members of staff who don't see coming in on a Saturday as a punishment, but rather a reward considering who the guest is. So, while Cap doesn't receive an overwhelming welcome, all the SI employees are respectful and helpful as they usher him to the top floor and Mr. Stark's office. And while Tony usually makes his appointments wait while he finishes tinkering in the lab, he's on hand to greet Cap at the doors to his office. "Captain America," he says almost reverently as he holds out his hand. "It's quite an honor to meet you. I'm glad you accepted my invitation to meet."


Indeed, it was almost Captain America who was late. Not from being lost, but from pausing to study some of the technological wonders on display here. He's every bit as polite in return to those that help him along his way and are kind enough to answer the few questions he asks about some of the devices. It's not quite "childlike wonder" but it's definitely a degree of fascination. Of course, "on time" for Captain America is "fifteen minutes early" for most other people, so it all works out nicely in the end.


"Mr. Stark. The pleasure is mine. Colonel Fury spoke highly of you." His features shift to a faintly amused smile as he takes the offered hand and shakes it firmly, "In his own way, of course." Nick being quite the irascible fellow, one sometimes has to read between the lines. "This is quite a remarkable place you have here."


Tony returns the handshake. "Thank you. I'm glad I was able to build on what my father and grandfather gave to me." he gestures inside the office to lead the hero in. "Can I get you anything to drink? Water, coffee...milk?" The interior of the office is both the height of luxury as well as cutting edge technology. Touch-screen displays imbedded in the walls and desks along with large chairs of mahogany and leather.


Captain America glances around the office studying that mix of luxury and technology for a moment before adding, "Coffee would be fine, thank you. Black with two sugars. " He affirms, stepping further into the office and nodding with a smile still in place, "I remember your grandfather. He was a good man. Not many people could stand up to the Red Skull the way he did, for as long as he did."


The mention of his grandfather causes Tony to pause and nod thoughtfully. "Yes. That's one of the reasons why I wanted to meet you, to thank you in person." He presses the button on the intercom to speak with his secretary. "Ms. Arbrogast, could you bring the Captain a black coffee with two sugars." The businessman gestures to one of the seats and takes a casual seat himself on the edge of his desk. "My grandmother was pregnant with my father at the time, although no-one knew yet. So, if not for you, all of this..." he gestures around the office, "All of the things my father and I created, all of the people I've tried to help with my inventions and philanthropy...it wouldn't exist. So, I wanted to say, 'thank you'. Not just for my existence, but for what I've been able to do." By this time, Ms. Arbrogast has entered and hands the Captain his coffee before heading back outside.


"Thank you, Ms. Arbrogast." Captain America says softly to the woman as he accepts the coffee, taking a sip from it and looking to Tony before smiling a bit more warmly, "Well, you're welcome, Mr. Stark. But we were just doing our jobs. I'm just glad it all worked out. You do a lot of good in the world, from what I've seen." He sips from the coffee again and notes, "Nick said you also wanted to speak to me in regards to the Justice League?" The star-spangled fellow queries, moving to settle into the indicated seat.


Tony nods. "Yes. As I'm sure Col Fury told you, there is a group of heroes known as the Justice League of America. They are the most powerful heroes of the modern day, and I'm rather pleased that my bodyguard Iron Man is part of their number." No use spilling the beans right off the bat, is there? "I'm one of the major financial backers of the League and i think that having you on the team would be a tremendous asset."


"There seems to be a lot of people interested in seeing me join this team." Captain America comments, "I'm not opposed to the idea, after all the Invaders and the All-Star-Squadron were very effective in their time, but my only concern is that with the President's very public involvement with this project, well..." He pauses, "Well, Nick seems to respect President Hundred, as well, but I don't want to be used as a political tool. What role is the League looking to fill?"


"The purpose of the League is to protect Earth from all threats, extraterrestrial or otherwise, that conventional forces cannot stop," Tony replies. "Primarily, the League deters metahuman crime along with SHIELD, turning all offenders over to the appropriate authorities for trial. Also, there's been a great deal of extraterrestrial activity on Earth recently, as in the military or invasion kind. The League prevents those things from happening as well."


"Sounds good." Captain America sips from the coffee once more, looking perhaps a touch sheepish, "You'll have to forgive me, Mr. Stark. I don't mean to sound suspicious. I'm just...still having some trouble finding my footing here. It's been a pretty overwhelming few weeks." He gestures, indicating the high tech office, "All of...this. I'm feeling a little like Buck Rogers."


Tony chuckles. "I can imagine. I joked with Nick that you were probably wondering where all the Buck Rogers jet packs and ray guns were. And there's nothing for you to apologize for. Amrica, the free world, owes you a debt that can never be repaid, so the least we can all do is give you time to readjust."


"That's not even the overwhelming part." Captain America notes with a smile, "All these computers...this "internet" thing. I don't know that anyone would have ever imagined the world being this...connected." He chuckles a touch, "But in any case, I don't see any reason why I can't work with this League while I try to find my way. Though...certainly I'd like to meet at least some of the others. It sounds like it's a pretty sizeable organization."


"There are currently 8 active heroes and the League is growing," Tony says with a smile, proud of what he's helped to build. "If you need any help learning the new technology, I'm more than happy to help you. And as for the Internet....I'd stay off it for a while until you get a bit more settled in. Technology isn't the only thing that's changed since World War 2. Society has changed a great deal as well, and not totally for the better."


"I might have to take you up on that. Though generally as long as I can read some kind of manual I can usually figure it out. At least as far as basic operation goes." Captain America notes, then nods at Tony's mention of society's changes, "I see a lot of signs of progress, but yes...at the same time it seems like we're more divided and fractious than anything short of the Civil War."


Tony nods. "It's a frightening time, indeed. And that's why I think you need to be a part of the League. You're a symbol; a symbol of service, dedication, hope, and rising above to fight for what is right. We haven't had that kind of a symbol in a long time. And that's what America and the world needs now: someone to show them all that is good an noble about this country. Things that we seem to have forgotten about in our daily rush."


"Well...I hope I can live up to this reputation I seem to have garnered in the intervening years." Captain America notes with a faint frown, though...he doesn't sound -terribly- worried. Still, he was wildly popular during the war, certainly, but that was a different, more immediate sort of adulation. He never really expected to be a "legend" of any sort. "So tell me a bit about some of the other League members, if you can?"


Tony nods. "Well, the most prominent member is Superman. His powers are....astounding. Superhuman strength beyond comprehension, flight, invulnerability....he's the greatest hero ever and probably a match for you in the humility department as well." A smile at the thought of the Boy Scout meeting Cap. "Wonder Woman is an Amazon princess here to teach the ways of love and compassion that her culture espoused. She's also incredibly strong and a skilled fighter. Power Girl is a newer member and has powers on par with Superman. Green Arrow is an expert archer that uses specialized gadget arrows. Black Canary is a martial artist with a powerful sonic cry. And Batman....well....you'll see. He's an important member, but the one that fits in the least. Also, the Martian Manhunter, an alien with just about every super power you can think of who is trapped here on Earth."


Steve listens intently, a faint grin spreading over his features as Tony concludes the brief summing up of the League's members, "And here you are recruiting "Shield-tossing man?"" Yes, it's a joke, Steve is plenty humble but he knows there's more to himself than that. Still, it seemed an appropriate jest, given the circumstances. "And of course your bodyguard."


Tony smiles. "Yes. Of course Iron Man as well. I suppose I just don't like tooting my horn about him compared to others. At any rate, the League is set up in my family's old Mansion on Park Avenue. I'm afraid there's not much use for it ebsides hosting gala events, so why not put it to good use, hmm?"


"Right in the middle of the city?" Captain America comments, "Interesting. The Invaders never operated so...openly. But that was for wartime security reasons. I can see the benefit in being more publicly accessible in the here and now. Especially with these anti-metahuman sentiments I've seen cropping up here and there."


"Yes. It's a shame about that." Tony does sound rather disappointed. "One the one hand, I can understand the fear people have. On the other...many of the metahumans only want to use their powers to help society. Many of those that are protesting wouldn't be alive if not for the League saving them and the earth as regularly as they do."


"I wish I could say I'm surprised by it, but our nation's history with "new" minorities hasn't always been something to be proud of." Captain America looks thoughtful a few moments, sipping at his coffee, "But as always...we're a work in progress. It'll take time...but with the right people doing the right things for the right reasons...eventually it adds up. I wouldn't be here if I didn't believe that."


Tony smiles and nods at the sentiment. "Exactly, we'll get there. I just hope we survive the evolutionary process to be honest." He stands up and offers Cap his hand again. "Well, I'm sure you have a great many things on your plate. It was the greatest honor of my life to meet you and I look forward to seeing you around the League mansion."


"The pleasure was all mine, Mr. Stark. I'll be looking forward to working with you and your bodyguard." Cap rises and shakes Tony's hand firmly once more offering a warm smile. "Until later." He offers by way of farewell, and sees himself back out. He thinks he's beginning to understand what Nick sees in Stark. That, and for once since he's awoken from his long, icy slumber, he's feeling more hopeful than anything else.

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