Note: This is a little canon divergent AU where Tony's mind was never wiped. He still knows about Violet's powers. I just wanted to capture a little snapshot of what being a fourteen year old with a crush is like, and I thought that him remembering her would offer unique ways to do that!
Violet's arms were crossed all night, picking at the sleeves of the purple dress her mother had bought her the previous day. Dress shopping had been postponed a lot due to a string of robberies. Some kind of wise guy who thought Halloween masks were a memorable gimmick. They weren't huge, exciting jobs, so her parents had each taken turns with them on their own, but they did mean that Mrs. Parr didn't have time to take Violet to the stores until the very last minute.
The dress was dark purple, accessorized at the waist with a black belt, and plaid. Plaid, of all patterns. She had wanted the solid blue sleeveless one she saw at the same place, but it cost too much money.
The dress Violet wanted looked like something supermodels wore. The one she was wearing looked like it was from the previous decade. All she was missing was a beehive on her head. She complained the whole car ride home; she would have worn something else if she had any other options. As much as she hated to admit it, this was her first school dance, and her family hadn't had much time to attend formal occasions when she was younger, so she owned no other dresses.
Regardless, she had stopped fretting about her outfit so much when Tony commented that she looked cute when he and the taller Mrs. Rydinger came to pick her up. It's funny how that's all it took. One comment from Tony.
At that point, her mind switched from worrying about her clothes to worrying about her behavior. But now that the dance was over, she had managed to survive the entire night (well, aside from a brief incident at the snack table that turned Tony's baby blue button-up to a very "grape punch" shade of purple). She had wound down a lot now. She even managed to crack a joke about how Tony's outfit matched her dress now, once she stopped feeling like hurling from embarrassment. It made him laugh. It made him laugh!
It was after the dance now, and they were waiting outside the gym for one of Tony's moms to come and pick them up. They were standing under a tree, discussing her family. He liked Violet's family, which was a curse and a blessing.
On one hand, it meant that her parents ended up inviting him to help Violet with babysitting more often than she would have liked. She didn't want her early memories with Tony being ninety percent changing Jack Jack's diapers.
But on the other hand, it meant he liked them. He accepted them. And that meant a lot to her. He took everything in stride: her baby brother's erratic transformations, her other infantile freakazoid brother's tendency to run around the house screaming, her father's habit of crushing things beyond repair when he got frustrated. Tony accepted everything.
Yeah, supers were legal now, but that didn't mean they were entirely accepted. Violet kept her identity secret like she was supposed to, so she wasn't bullied about her powers directly, but she heard comments. She still heard everything her classmates had to say about people who were born with powers.
And Tony wasn't like that. He was the only one of Violet's friends that knew her secret (and, by extension, her family's secret), and he was totally cool with it. Yeah, he ran off when he first saw her in her suit, but he apologized later. And he meant it. He showed up to their date, and it was a little weird at first, but he apologized and he meant it. Honestly, looking back on it, she didn't blame him at all for running at first. It was a lot.
Ever since then, they hung out whenever they could. He was the only friend she had made in this town so far that she felt like she could truly confide in. She'd appreciate that fact even if he didn't make her stomach flutter like there were a million butterflies in it. That was just a bonus.
Tonight, they were engaged in a conversation about her powers, making sure to talk quietly enough so nobody would overhear. Nobody had ever asked her how her powers worked before. She'd never had the chance to explain them to anyone who wasn't already a super. It made her feel special.
Tony was leaning against the tree, his head rolled in her direction so he could look at her. Could he get any cuter? "How do you do it? I mean, is it easy?"
Violet shrugged and smiled. "I guess. It's kind of like... you know how you can like, make your eyes go blurry? Like this." She made her eyes go out of focus and looked straight at him.
Tony squinted. "I can't see what you're doing."
She laughed. "You know what I'm talking about, though."
He laughed back. "Yeah, I do."
"Anyway, it's like that. It's like making your eyes blurry, except it makes me disappear, or it summons a forcefield."
"So, it's like flexing a muscle that isn't there?"
"Yeah!" She nodded. "Kinda like that. Kinda exactly like that. It's like invisible, magic muscles in my hands."
"That's far out."
"Yeah..." She looked at her feet bashfully. "You've seen me do it already, though. Nothing much else to it."
"Doesn't mean it's not still far out. It's always gonna be far out." He took her hand in his, which wasn't helping her pink complexion.
They stayed like that for a moment, enjoying the peace. It was the first time they'd held hands, and Violet didn't want to mess it up.
She hoped her mom never found out about it. She'd start gushing about how cute it was and how proud she was of her daughter and ugh.
And, as if the universe knew exactly how to ruin all of her happiest moments, a crack of thunder rang across the school yard.
The students stayed where they were for a minute, waiting to see if it would pass, but it didn't take long for rain to follow the thunder. It accelerated at a ridiculous rate. Violet didn't think she had ever seen rain intensify so quickly.
Students ran back inside, girls shrieking and boys whooping, and Tony tugged at Violet's hand, his eyes on the door.
Violet started to follow him for a second, but stopped. A thought popped in her head. She looked around her to make sure the coast was clear before she tugged Tony back to the tree.
He looked at her, his face confused and urgent, until she held her hand up, her fingers spread out like she was about to high-five him. A sparkling forcefield encircled them, blocking the rain.
They both looked up at the raindrops bouncing off of the makeshift roof, and, without much warning, the perspective immediately reminded Violet of her first battle with her family.
She didn't know why, but it did. The raindrops falling almost directly on her, stopped by only the transparent force she had created, reminded her of the robot.
That giant robot with its long, twisting arms, pounding into the shield she had made to protect her little brother, making a deafening noise that was louder than anything she could have ever imagined. She hadn't known back then if she was strong enough, powerful enough to protect Dash from this thing, hadn't known if she could keep the shield up. Hadn't known if her little brother would still be alive in a few moments. It hurt to think about.
Tony laughed at the rain's plinking noises, snapping Violet back to reality. She looked back down at him, her muscles already easing up. He always managed to take her mind off of the bad stuff, whether he was trying to or not.
She took a slightly shaky breath, having almost recovered from the brief flashback. She nodded to the stain on his shirt, the entirety of which was now speckled with raindrops. "And to think, you had almost dried off."
He looked down at himself, and they both laughed.
Smiling, Tony looked back at Violet and squeezed the hand he was holding. "You've got an umbrella with you all the time, huh? An umbrella reflex."
Much calmer now, she didn't look away from him this time, embracing the confidence now in her heart. It wasn't there all the time, but she had learned to seize the opportunity when it was. "Yeah. Pretty handy, isn't it?"
It was Tony's turn to look around for bystanders. "Wait, won't someone see?"
"Nah. Everyone's inside. We're good."
They both grinned at each other, and it only made Violet blush harder to see Tony blushing along with her. She guessed he was human, too. She wondered if he ever got as worried as she did.
Probably not, but it was nice to know he liked her back.
There were a few moments where they stared at each other, and Violet's confidence made her lean her face lean towards his face. Just a little bit.
Tony was mirroring her, leaning in ever so slowly, until he heard a car engine sputtering down the school's parking lot. His eyes widened as he broke eye contact with her, and his free hand shot up and took hers, the one that was controlling the forcefield.
The makeshift umbrella disappeared, and rain drenched both of them immediately, like someone had thrown a bucket of ice water over them. Violet coughed for a second, trying to catch her breath. It was her turn to look confused now, but she understood once Tony gestured towards the car with his head. Their ride was here.
She sighed, but had a weak smile on her face. If it had been any other car, they could have stayed right where they were. Continued what they were doing. But they'd get to this point another night, maybe. Hand holding was still a significant milestone.
The red car pulled up, the window rolled down, and two voices started chatter about how they'd both get sick. Of course both of his moms had come. They probably wanted to catch their son doing something cute, like holding both of his date's hands at once. They probably didn't expect them to be standing in the rain, though.
Violet and Tony scurried inside the car, having no choice but to get rain water all over the seats. The taller Mrs. Rydinger, the one in the passenger's seat, lectured her son on the dangers of catching a cold while the shorter Mrs. Rydinger shook her head, silent now that the kids were in the car. Regardless, a smile could be seen on the driver's lips when Violet looked at her in the rear view mirror.
Violet was drenched, she was freezing cold, and she was going to get her ear chewed out by her mother when she got home for ruining her dress (and about the forcefield thing, if she somehow managed to find out about it).
She didn't find herself caring too much, though. Tony hadn't let go of her hand the entire ride home.