Summary: Pepper should have known that Tony never does what he was supposed to do and leave it at that. This said, even she was confused how a simple visit to the orphanage for PR purposes ended up with Tony adopting 3 of the weirdest kids she has ever met. Genius!Harry. SLASH. De-Aged Golden trio.
"No," Tony said, tone annoyed, eyes firmly fixed on the holographic display in front of him. "Jarvis, run the simulation again please? This time with 20% more power." Beside him, Dummy made a chirping sound and waved his mechanical claw in Pepper's direction as if to shoo her away from his creator.
Pepper, with the patience of a 1000 saints, ignores both of them and continued to speak.
"Yes Tony," she insisted, "This orphanage was built entirely thanks to the generous donations of the Maria Stark Foundation. I have agreed to let you off the hook 2 month ago for the opening ceremony but I refuse to do it again this time. The director has personally invited you to come take a look. It would be more than a little disrespectable to refuse."
"Can't you do it for me? Act in my stead?" Tony whined even as he perused the new set of data Jarvis has sent to his screen, "I'm busy. Fury has been riding my ass to get the new upgrades for the Helicarrier done and there's no way I'll manage with so many interruptions."
"It's an afternoon," Pepper snapped, unimpressed, "And if you spent more time working than trying to cosy up to Captain America, you would have already finished this by now."
Tony actually winced a little at that.
"Low Pepper," he admonished, half frustrated, half impressed.
"Whatever it takes," Pepper nodded resolutely before turning away. For one wonderful second, Tony actually thought she had finally given up and was now going to leave him alone but that belief was shot when the workshop door opened and Steve Rogers came in, dressed in a pair of form fitting jeans and a t-shirt 2 sizes too small.
"Oh you little devil," Tony breathed as he stared at Steve's shy smile and felt his heart skip a beat, "I'm so going to get you for this."
"Of course you are," Pepper said, not at all intimated and patted Tony on the arm. "The car leaves in 30. Do make sure you are presentable."
With that, she gave him a small peck on the cheek and left the workshop.
"It's a really nice thing for you to do Tony," Steve said, "I would love to visit the orphanage with you."
And that was that.
The orphanage was a rather sorry-looking place, with a barren courtyard that had seen better days. Tony wondered how this was the best his donation had managed to get. He really should ask Pepper about it because the thing in front of him wasn't even built to house animals let along kids.
Steve apparently agreed with him because he made an almost heart-broken noise at the sight and Tony made a mental note to upgrade this crap ASAP.
A dull-eyed 20 year old opened the door for them, her expression lighting up at Tony's introduction. She quickly introduced herself as Maria and told them that the Director would be waiting for them in his office and it is her task to bring them to him.
"It's an honor to meet you," she said, tone almost simpering. Tony ignored her blatant interest. He was here for the children and Pepper would kill him if he ever started to flirt with the staff. Besides, he wanted Steve to see him under a new light and trying to get in to the woman's pants, no matter how wonderful they made her legs look, was counterproductive. "Thank you so much for coming."
"No problem at all," Tony said, as he and Steve followed her in to the heart of the orphanage through a labyrinth of doors and corridors, "It's really nice of you to invite us. I do apologize for not being able to make it to your opening ceremony."
"All's forgiven," she replied, "Director Taylor was a little disappointed I have to admit, but he can understand how busy you are."
"How many children are currently residing here?" Steve asked before Harry could reply. He was grateful that Maria's attention was now entirely on him.
"20," she said, "we have about 10 rooms so currently we're only at half-capacity."
"You're planning to put 4 children by room?" Tony asked, a disapproving frown on his face, "Isn't that a little bit much?"
"Unfortunately we do not have the resources for anything else Mr. Stark," Maria answered, tone much less welcoming, "We're here."
The Director was a middle aged man with a beer belly and a huge smile. He gave Tony and Steve a hearty handshake before inviting them to sit. Maria immediately left them without a word and Tony tried to ignore the way she glared at him as she passed.
"Ignore her," The Director said, noticing the exchange, "She has been with the children here when we were still located in the countryside. She tends to be a little bit defensive."
"No problem," Tony replied and Steve echoed the sentiment.
The next 20 minutes consisted of the Director telling them all about the orphanage and its services before it was time for lunch.
"Why don't you go to the mess hall?" he suggested, "I have a call to make so I'll be joining you later. It's the just in front of the office, you won't miss it."
"Of course," Tony replied and got up to leave.
Tony jumped in surprise as a red headed boy with second-hand clothing sat down in front of them, eyes inquisitive as he watched Tony swallow his bite of food.
"Hello there," Steve smiled kindly at the child, "What's your name?"
"Ron," was the reply – short and to the point.
"Ron!" Another voice called out from behind him and Tony watched as a bushy haired girl, also around 5 or 6, walk over, a black haired boy in tow. The boy's nose was buried in a book of some kind and Tony was more than a little shocked to recognize one of the Engineering text books they used at MIT.
"Do you actually understand what you're reading?" he couldn't help but ask, ignoring the way the girl was now berating Ron for running off on his own. She really reminded him of Pepper.
The black haired boy looked up from his page with a frown before nodding.
"I do," his voice was soft and Tony felt a genuine smile creep on to his face.
"Why don't you explain to me what you're reading then?" Maybe this won't be as bad as he had thought after all.