“Pepper.” Tony pointed at the guardian. “About a year and a half back. Wasn’t that guy Takami Sahashi’s arm candy?”
“Arm candy?” Bruce blinked, as if he’d never heard the phrase.
“Kagari?” Pepper had expanded the image, sitting up straight. “You’re right, that is him.” She nodded at Bruce. “There was an event at Shinto Teito, Tony dropped in for one of the evenings. Dr. Sahashi is one of MBI’s top researchers; they had obvious bodyguards looking after her. Kagari was the one who wasn’t obvious.”
Bruce raised an eyebrow at that. “So if he wasn’t obvious – how could you tell?”
“I sometimes do things that are not obvious,” Tony said wryly. “Watch Natasha and Agent Barton when they’re not watching you. I grant you, not easy. But watch how they move. What they look at. It’s not quite like regular not-an-assassin people. Bodyguards do a lot of the same stuff.”
“So not just a good Samaritan,” Bruce observed. “He knew what he was getting into, stepping into a fight.”
“So it would seem,” Jarvis stated. “Someone in MBI was apparently giving Homura intelligence on when and where Sekirei were released.”
“He planned it in advance,” Tony muttered. Which fit the impression he’d gotten of Takami’s companion at that party, before the music started getting loud enough to wake the neighbors and Dr. Sahashi had called it a night.
“But why would he take that chance?” Bruce frowned. “If they need an Ashikabi to stay healthy-”
Which was when the other shoe dropped, and Tony felt a familiar icy chill down his spine. “Don’t think Kagari was worried about making it that far.”