|Mind and Hand
Author: lilyamongthorns PM
Follows Tony during his last year at MIT. He meets Pepper, innocent and green, but smart and with wits that rival his own. She's unlike any girl he's met before. And of course, Tony gets everything he wants. Always. AU-ish. Pepperony.Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Romance - A. E. Stark/Tony & V. Potts/Pepper - Chapters: 23 - Words: 56,278 - Reviews: 207 - Favs: 142 - Follows: 102 - Updated: 06-22-12 - Published: 05-18-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8129129
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
AN: Ok. I am really excited about this, so I hope you guys like it. I think this is one of the first stories I've written that I actually have a plot planned. In this AU story, Tony meets Pepper while they're both still in college. I've got some good stuff planned for the death of Tony's parents, and how Tony will manage once he inherits his father's company. I've also got a plan for how he will deal with his long distance relationship with Pepper. I won't give too much away right now; I want you guys to read without me giving away all the backstory in an AN. But for now let me set up the basics.
In this story, the year is 1995. We start in the summer, and cover Tony's last year at MIT. Tony and Pepper are both 18, and Pepper's just finished her first year at UCLA. That's all I'm saying for now. Other details will unfold as the story goes on.
Also, I apologize if this is short. I will have longer chapters eventually. So, without further ado…
May 20th, 1995
His eyes snapped open, then snapped shut again. If this was how bright heaven was supposed to be, he didn't want to go. He groaned and rolled on his side. His head pounded and he felt nauseous. The usual. He wasn't sure what time he got home. He didn't even remember leaving the party. But that was normal for a Friday night. He was lucky he was alone in the bed, and that he hadn't brought anyone home with him. As far as he knew.
Once he got the nerve to sit up, millions of hammers started pounding inside his skull. He rubbed fiercely at his eyes with the heel of his hands, cursing under his breath. Eventually he'd have to get out of bed. He had plans today to meet Dean and some friends at the shore. A glance at his alarm told him the time was 11:06am. Surprising. He usually managed to sleep until three, depending on how much he drank the night before.
He showered, taking his sweet time. If he was late, he could care less. He downed four aspirin and even though his head was still pounding, he headed out the door by noon. It wasn't a long drive, and was an enjoyable one. He put the top down and let the cool sea breeze hit his face and tangle his hair. The Cape was quiet, lined with little houses and shops, but otherwise undisturbed. He sometimes drove down here just to be by himself. Something about the sea was soothing to him. It was ever changing, continuously renewed as it churned. And it didn't listen to anyone. No one told the sea where to stop, when to flow. No one told the sea it wasn't good enough. The sea made its own rules. It was the one thing man could not conquer. No one argued with power of that magnitude. Land was weak. Land let itself be dominated, but the sea never folded.
He decided to park in the lot of one of the little shops, and walk the rest of the way to the bay. The salt in the wind filled his lungs and stuck to his hair, but he wasn't bothered by it. Inevitably, the sand filled his shoes and he was obliged to take them off, walking the rest of the way in only swim shorts and a heather grey t-shirt, which labeled him quite obviously as a student of MIT. If anyone knew his age, they would think he was a freshman. But his fake ID boosted his age by a few years, and his unique mind boosted his credits a few years. This coming fall, he would begin his last year and graduate with two masters degrees in physics and engineering. In past years, he had taken classes during the summer. In part, summer classes helped him to get ahead (not that he needed to), and they kept him busy. But mostly, he filled all his time with classes because there was no way he'd be returning to Long Island for three months straight with his mother and father glancing over his shoulder every other minute.
With his father splitting time between California and New York, he knew he'd be coerced into accompanying him. The last thing he wanted was to spend any extended amount of time with his father.
But this summer he convinced them both that there was no need for him to take classes during the summer. He could finish everything in the next two semesters. So he took the summer off. Of course his mother begged that he come home, and he'd tried every excuse in the book not to go. He had an apartment here, and there was no need to leave. He needed this summer to kick back, relax. Take a breather.
His best friend, Dean, had invited him to the shore today to do just that. He said he was bringing a few other friends as well, and Tony wondered if that included any hot girls. It was all but impossible to find girls his age on campus that weren't stupid, immature freshman. But then again, those girls were the most willing to put out.
"TONY!" The shout broke him out of his reverie, and a flock of seagulls were startled into flight.
Ahead, an ugly, rusted station wagon was parked in front of another little shop. Dean's car. The man had the smarts and the money to put himself through school at MIT, but he still drove a ratty, rundown clunker. Tony smirked and shook his head. He'd tried to convince him multiple times to get a new car, but Dean insisted on driving that piece of crap.
Dean made his way over, and clapped Tony on the back. "Man. Long time no see, huh?" he joked.
"Yeah. What? A week?" Tony laughed and shook his friend's hand in greeting.
"How was the party? You looked trashed."
"Still better looking than you," Tony quipped.
Two other guys and a girl were unpacking towels and food from the car. "Hey Dean! Get your ass back over here!" one shouted.
The two men sauntered back over to the car. On further inspection, Tony noticed the girl and one of the guys had matching red hair. They were obviously brother and sister. He looked the girl over closer. She was wearing a floral bikini top and cut-offs. Her legs were long and slender, nicely toned. She was obviously athletic. Her bright red hair was pulled into a pony tail and sunglasses topped her head. The last boy, who had spoken earlier, was shirtless and had curly brown hair that he obviously worked very hard to maintain and the sea breeze was currently ruining his efforts. Tony decided immediately that he didn't like this guy.
"Guys, this is Tony," Dean introduced him. "And this is Thomas," he gestured to the brown-haired boy. Tony waved passively.
"Peter," Dean continued. The red-headed boy reached out his hand to shake Tony's.
The girl didn't wait for an introduction. She reached out her hand without hesitation. "Hi. I'm Virginia."