Birdy and Theo discuss Logistics

Theo sat back in the deep velvet cushions of a chair from another time with her boots propped up on a matching ottoman. She’d dragged the set from the TV room and it now performed duties in the library. She had a book open in her lap and was quietly reading. It seemed Theo was back to normal; better than normal. At any rate, she was fully dressed and quite serious, focused and free of those noticable signs of mania.

Birdy Wong entered with a tray and set about serving tea for two. He’d spent his time cleaning while the Maximoffs were upstate and so the Sanctum Sanctorum was no longer a dusty dwelling, but a small intown mansion with each room decked out in polished cherry wood. He and Theo both agreed it was cozy, but Niko’s opinion may have differed.

Theo closed the book and sent it back to its place among the shelves with a wave of her hand. Birdy sat down across from her and put his feet up on the same ottoman. He was glad to see Theo was Theo again. She had been someone quite different when she’d returned from the compound. He hadn’t experienced the shifts in sanity and may have been a bit blinded to the wilder eccentricities of his host. Where Theo was concerned, the Sanctum had developed a reputation for insistent hospitality and that likely passed to her handmaid as well.

They watched each other, sipping their tea in silence. Birdy smiled and spoke first. “It’s good to have you back, Theo. I was worried about you when you first returned. You and your cousin weren’t getting along and you seemed frazzled. I hope you don’t mind me saying so, but you don’t pay me for platitudes.”

“But we are paying you?” Theo wanted to make sure the finances of the place had been sorted out, but by and large Birdy handled all of that. It struck her that she hadn’t thought to ask about his personal wages.

“I paid myself. Nothing unreasonable. There were two deposits - not sure who you befriended, but they came through. Looks like everything is setup for recurring funding and there was some paperwork to be signed. I asked them to come back when you were feeling...well I asked them to come back. But they said it was me they’d come to see and the paperwork was all in my name. I didn’t know you could open bank accounts in someone else's name without their knowledge or involvement, but I’m guessing these lawyer types know all the ways around that. So - I’m to manage the fiscal functioning of the Sanctum. Does that anger you?”

“Not at all, Birdy. You’ll do a much better job of it than I would. I’m not good with money or logistics.” Theo reached over to scoop six sugar cubes into her tea and stir it with a tiny spoon. “I’m trying to cut back on churros and juice boxes, but I can’t give up the sugar cold turkey. So do you want to tell me about this envelope you left on the tray?”

“The money came with some stipulations. There’s a letter inside from Pepper Potts outlining them. It’s actually a friendly letter, given the circumstances.”

Theo raised an eyebrow, but set down her tea and collected the envelope. “It’s from the New York Family Courts. Should I read this?”

“It’s a restraining order against you Theo; you aren’t allowed within 50 yards of Stark Tower or to make contact with any of the Stark family. Happy Hogan is the only one you’re to communicate with.”

Theo hadn’t even finished pulling the packet of paper from the envelope, but when she heard Happy’s name she smiled and stuffed the paper back down. “A restraining order makes sense. I like Happy.”

“It’s a restraining order, Theo. You should definitely read it.”

“That’s okay, Birdy. Niko will just add it to the stack. You can give it to him to handle when he returns. What? This is not the first time I’ve upset someone and been served papers. There are whole lists of people I’m not allowed to touch or smell or talk to. You should not let any of them into the house,” Theo added very seriously.

“I don’t even know who they are.” Birdy leaned over and collected the envelope, then pulled out the letter written on thick stock. He held it out for Theo. “At least read the letter.”

“Yes Birdy.” Theo took the letter and glanced at it for all of two seconds then started folding it neatly in half. “I’ll read it in more detail later. I don’t want to interfere with my good mood.”

“Well read it soon.” Birdy wasn’t going to push, but it seemed kind of important.

“I absolutely will. And I have a letter for you as well. More of a note really - it’s for Jane Foster, I think you can track down her hospital room, right?”

Birdy took the letter and nodded. “I’ll take care of it, Theo. Perhaps some flowers as well?”

“That’s a nice touch, thank you.”


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