Title: From the Very Beginning
Summary: Every story has a beginning and this is the story of Tony Stark and Pepper Pott's from beginning to end. Movie-verse
Wow, sorry this took so long to get up. Real life has been getting in the way but I will definitly have more time in the future so chapters should be pretty regular for the next couple of weeks. Hopefully, I will get one chapter out every three to four days. Anyway this I plan on this story to be pretty long and I have the general outline plotted out. This isn't a collection of one-shots, there will be a linear plot, but many of the chapters could be read like one-shots. Just wanted to let everyone know because I have noticed that there are a lot of collections of one-shots(all of which are incredible) and I want to distinguish between them and this story. So, please please please review. Honestly, it makes me put up chapters so much more quickly. And I would love constructive criticism, it is really super helpful. So with my standard begging done with, I give you From the Very Beginnning. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own Iron Man, so you can lower the army of lawyers Marvel because I know that you spend all day worrying that some student is mooching off your creation. You certainly don't spend your days counting your billions.
"Well, Miss Potts to be quite frank you are amazingly qualified for this job. Your past employers have all given you glowing reviews and your resume is spectacular." The middle-aged man removed his oversized glasses and gave the young woman who sat across from him a skeptical look. Pepper Potts took a deep breath and brushed her auburn hair out of her face. She thanked God that she had remembered to apply two coats of deodorant this morning because the pressure of her job interview was currently causing her to sweat in ridiculous amounts. She hoped that she didn't look as nervous as she felt. The Human Relations officer of Stark Industries continued, "However, I do have a few less professional reasons to hesitate hiring you for this job."
Pepper affected her consummate professional voice and asked, "Such as what, Mr. Hayes?"
The man became suddenly awkward and shifted in his desk. He adjusted his (undoubtedly) outrageously overpriced Marc Jacobs suits. "Well, Miss Potts," Mr. Hayes cleared his throat, "you surely know about Mr. Stark's…reputation." Pepper didn't lower her eyes in modesty or humor, she continued to watch the HR man with a steady gaze. This gave him a small amount of respect for his employer's possible future personal assistant. He prayed to God this would be the last woman he would have to interview for the position. "The truth is that Mr. Stark has had 23 assistants in the past year and a half. The last one he had lasted the longest, a month and two weeks." He hesitated to continue with what he had to say, he liked Miss Potts and didn't want to insult her but he knew he had to be blunt. "You are extremely young and, if I may say so, extremely beautiful. I have to tell you that you will catch Mr. Stark's eye immediately and my employer is a man who usually gets what he sets his sights on, if you catch my drift."
Pepper's gaze didn't waver in the slightest. "You mean you are worried that I will have sex with my employer?"
Mr. Hayes looked like he had swallowed his tongue. He attempted to regain his bearings and was eventually able to manage a weak chuckle. "Yes, in lay man's terms, that is exactly what I mean. I need to know that you are serious about this position and will not be falling into Tony Stark's bed anytime soon." He gave Miss Potts a small and reassuring smile. "Miss Potts, I tell you this because I like you and I believe you could be a great asset to this company but if you sleep with Mr. Stark, no matter what you believe, you will become unimportant to him. What do they call it? A notch on his bedpost and not the affective employee that we need you to be."
He ended his little speech and Pepper couldn't help but feel like she was having an interview with her father. She knew all about the playboy Tony Stark and his womanizing but she also knew about the amazing and innovative Tony Stark who has revolutionized the tech-world. That was who she was interested in working with; she had no illusions of becoming Mrs. Stark or even any ambition to do so. She may only be 27 but she wasn't some gold-digging bimbo. "Mr. Hayes, I can assure that I have not now, nor ever, been interested in becoming personally involved with Tony Stark. I can promise you that I will not be sleeping with Mr. Stark anytime soon."
Mr. Hayes studied her for nearly a minute, trying gage her level of conviction. Finally he gave her a relieved smile. "Well, I believe you but I guess only time will tell. Welcome to the Stark family." He held out his hand to Pepper.
She stared at it for a minute not comprehending what he had just said. Eventually it registered and she grabbed his hand and pumped it enthusiastically, while babbling something that she hoped sounded like thanks and reassurance.
The rest of the interview went by in a dazed blur for Pepper. She was given her basic introduction, her company Blackberry, and was told to report to Stark Mansion tomorrow at eight A.M.
She exited Stark Industries ten minutes later and immediately pulled out her cell phone, dialing her sister's number in seconds. The phone rang one and a half times before a happy and energetic voice answered, "Did you get the job?"
Pepper, finally, allowed herself to react to her new job. She broke out into a ridiculous grin and let out a little squeal of delight. Her squeal was returned by her sister (but in much louder decimal levels). "You did! Yes, see I knew you are perfect for the job. God, and the pay! I didn't even think about that, you totally don't have to worry about the bills anymore."
Pepper laughed aloud and drew the attention of several pedestrians. "Calm down, Tobe. It isn't that great, I haven't even met Mr. Stark yet so I don't know how the whole thing is going to work out. The job might be completely horrible." She knew that her statement would have sounded much more convincing if she wasn't smiling so wide.
There was a loud crash on the line and Pepper's smile faltered. "Oh Jesus!" cried Tobe.
Her sister brought the receiver back to her face and said, "Nothing, I just remembered that you are going to be working with one of the world's sexiest men alive and I became so jealous that I forgot all about the hot cup of Ramen in my hands and I dropped the bowl."
Pepper made her way around to the parking garage with a concerned look on her face. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. But let's go back to talking about the delicious Tony Stark, second degree burns have nothing on that man."
Pepper rolled her eyes and didn't even bother trying to question her sister about the aforementioned burns, knowing that when her sister got on the topic of men nothing short of a bullet to the head could deter her. "Honestly, Tobe, Tony Stark's looks had no factor in my decision to work with him."
There were various sounds of clanging in the background as her sister made a disbelieving noise.
"Seriously, I am not remotely interested in my new boss. I don't even know why we are having this conversation, I haven't even met the man yet. I bet he won't even notice me."
Tobe let out a care-free laugh, the laugh that professional Pepper had always been jealous of. "Please, Pep. We are Potts women, all men notice us."
Pepper shook her head at her little sister. "Well then, I guess I will have to be on my guard." Pepper smiled to herself as she stopped at the cross walk, impatiently pushing the button on the light post.
"Pepper Pepper Pepper. I will never understand your aversion to mixing business and pleasure. That's what makes business interesting in the first place."
"This coming from the unemployed 'artist'." Pepper shook her head at her sister's "c'est la vie" attitude towards life.
"You don't see me complaining do you?" Tobe retorted hotly back, her Irish temper flaring up. Pepper put up her hands in defense, she could just imagine her sister getting ready for a fight.
"Hey, I don't mean that as any offence. I'm jealous of your bohemian lifestyle, it's very Sienna Miller of you."
On the other end, Tobe let out a little giggle and Pepper knew an argument had been avoided. "That's great sis. Just what I want to be compared to, at least you didn't make any obscure references to Kate Moss. The day that I am compared to an anorexic coke-addict will be the day I get a real job and I am not sure I am ready for that kind of responsibility."
The sisters laughed in equal appreciation, just as the cross walk sign turned green. Pepper began to cross the street just as her connection went bad. Tobe's voice went in and out as Pepper slowed down trying to get better reception.
"Hello? Tobe. I can't hear you, hold on let me call you back when I get home! Tobe! I'm hanging up now! Tobe?"
Pepper was so involved with her phone call that she didn't even notice that she had stopped walking in the middle of the cross walk. She also didn't notice the speeding car whose driver was currently texting on their cell phone and heading straight for the oblivious Pepper
"Her name is Virginia Potts! Can you believe that Rhodey, Virginia! She must be one-hundred or something."
Tony Stark yelled loudly into his cell phone, even though he was fairly certain that Rhodey had stopped listening to him a while ago. Regardless, he continued with his rant. "Tell me, are there really no more twenty-ish assistants with the looks of a high-priced fashion model looking for employment? The last two assistants they gave me really showed that the company is no longer concerned with silly things like qualifications."
"Tony!" Rhodes sounded busy, so he was probably trying to find a way to get off the phone as quickly as possible. "How long have you had her information and why is it suddenly imperative that you rant about it now?"
Tony shrugged with the uncaring attitude only a life of privilege bred. "I've had her resume for a couple weeks now but I've only glanced at it. However, I just was picking up some papers from my office when the guy from HR dropped by to tell they had just finished her interview and she would be starting tomorrow. Can you believe they hired a woman named Virginia. You know I can't stand the smell of old people, they smell like death and Vaseline."
Tony could just hear Rhodey rolling his eyes as he heard his friend sigh tiredly on the other line. "Listen, Tony, I'm really busy right now so this is what we are going to do. I am going to hang up and get back to duty. You are going go home, go for a jog, or work out, or do something to expel the obvious amounts of extra energy you have built up. Then you are going to go to your workshop and tinker around until about two in the morning. Then tomorrow, you are going to suck up your little adolescent distaste for your new assistant and welcome her to the Stark family."
Tony let out a disgruntled humph as he exited the main entrance of Stark Industries. "I'm not sixteen-years-old, you know."
"Sometimes I wonder," came Rhodes's quiet reply. "Besides aren't you tired of screwing all of your assistants-"
Tony cut him off. "Do I really need to answer that?"
"Let me finish," Rhodey said patiently. "Aren't you tired of screwing all of you assistants while having to do all your own paper work and answering 80 of your phone calls?"
"Ahhhh," said Tony, "you do have a point there but isn't there a woman out there who is both gorgeous and hard-working?"
"Tony, the only way to find a woman like that is by going to sleep." Rhodes and Tony both broke out in laughter, forged out of manly understanding. "I really have to go now Tony. Call me later to tell me about Miss Virginia Potts."
"Okay, man. Talk to you later." Tony hung up the phone and made his way over to his car, where his trusty driver Happy Hogan was waiting for him with the door open.
He came up to his car and remembered Rhodey's comment about his pent up energy. On a spur of the moment decision he closed the car door and told Happy to come and pick him up later, he was going to walk around for a while.
Acquiescing to his employer's wishes, Happy nodded silently and drove the car back to Stark Mansion to await Mr. Stark's call.
Tony watched the car drive away when something caught his eye. A red-headed woman was standing in the middle of the street, her body was slighting hunched over, her hands were to her ears suggesting that she was on the phone, and her back was to the street. Because of this she was unaware of the Ford Focus that was barreling towards her at high speed.
His well-tuned reflexes went into action and his feet began to move of their own accord, desperately trying to close the distance between him and the woman. He called out to her and she turned to him for a split second before wheeling around to see the car that was heading straight for her.
At the last second possible Tony grabbed the woman by the arm and jerked her away from the path of the car as hard as he could, effectively sending her tumbling on top of him. It was a nanosecond later, that the car went rushing by so close that the heat of the engine washed over the two as they laid on the street.
Tony lifted his head to see where the woman's trampled body would have been and lets his head fall on the asphalt in exhaustion. His chest heaved up and down in perfect rhythm with the woman who was sprawled all over him. He looked up again and imagined himself as road kill. He felt the laughter bubbling up in his chest and before he knew it he was doubled over in hysterics as a small crowd gathered around him and the woman, curious to see what the commotion was. He pulled himself and the woman up off the ground and led her to the sidewalk.
When he had the woman safely sitting down on the stoop of some business office he finally let himself get a good look at her and his earlier smile of hysterics faded. She's gorgeous. That was all that ran through his mind as he saw her face. She had beautiful blue eyes and her softly colored mouth was rounded in an O of surprise. Her face was pulled together in a shocked expression, that for some reason made her seem wildly stunning. As he took in her face and expression, his mouth slowly began to form in his signature smirk, a smirk that he knew caused women to melt.
"Are you okay?" He was surprised at how out of breath he sounded, even though he still felt the adrenaline rushing through him. She blinked at him like she didn't speak English and couldn't comprehend what he was saying.
She shook her head and waved her hands in the direction of the long-gone car, "We have to get the car's license plate number down."
Tony placed his hands on her shoulders, noting that she was shaking like a twig. "Calm down, it's okay. Don't worry about the car. Let's worry about you first. Are you okay?"
Finally, she was able to give a shaky response to his question. "Yes, yes." She padded herself down, undoubtedly checking for any injuries. "I believe that I am fine. Thanks to you." She finally met his gaze and her eyes went wide, she surely recognized him. It was basically impossible to walk past a newsstand without seeing Tony Stark's face.
Feeling suddenly self-conscious, Tony looked away from the woman and glanced around the street, noting that some people were still watching them with concern. He returned his gaze to the girl he had just rescued, he smirked at the thought of rescuing anybody. "Well," Tony said in his old tone of voice, "It's not every day that I get to save a damsel in distress. If they all look as lovely as you do I will have to make it a more common practice." Tony gave her his most dashing smile, feeling like some sort of strange knight in shining armor.
The feeling soon disappeared when he saw the look on her face. She looked incredibly annoyed (yet still cute). "Well, I don't often make it a practice to make an idiot of myself, so if you have any hopes about finding me in this kind of situation again you are going to be disappointed."
"Well, then I guess I had better get your name. That way I don't have to start cutting random people'd brakes in hopes of meeting you again."
The redhead gave him a suspicious look but did answer him. "My name's Pepper."
Tony raised his eyebrows in disbelief. "If you don't want to tell me your real name that's fine but that just means I won't tell you my real name."
'Pepper' gave him an annoyed look. "Pepper is my real name," she said stubbornly. "Besides you don't need to tell me your name."
Tony's ears perked up at an allusion to his fame. "Oh," he said excitedly, "so you already know my name."
Pepper blushed bright red and hastily replied. "No no no! I don't have any idea who you are, I just meant that there is no need for me to know who you are."
"Uh-huh." Said Tony skeptically. "Well, 'Pepper' do you need a ride anywhere. If you are this absentminded in the middle of the road I'd hate to see what you are like in a car."
Pepper let out a disgruntled sigh. "I will have you know that I have incredible focuse. I was just a distracted today because I was telling my sister about my new job." At her last statement her eyes went wide and she lowered her earlier defiant gaze.
"Congratulations! I say we celebrate, I know this great bar that's right down the street. Let me buy you a drink." The offer seemed to stun Pepper and she didn't say anything. She did, however, stand up and quickly begin to grab her purse and (now crushed) cell phone.
"Uhh-no." Pepper voice was firm and unchanging. "That is a very nice offer but I really should be going." She said as she tried to stand up on a pair of broken heels.
Tony's smile faltered, it wasn't every day that a woman turned him down for a drink. "Are you sure?" She nodded her head vigorously and she clearly looked like a woman desperate to flee. Feeling a little put out he made one last ditch effort. "You know, that in a slightly different setting, there would be flocks of women wanting to get a drink with me." Tony cringed slightly at how much of an asshole he was being and wondered where that little comment came from. He knew exactly, his bruised ego.
Pepper rounded on him and pinned him down with a laser-eyed glare. She was flushed again and he could see that she was progressively getting angrier. "Mr. Stark, I will have you know that, even if half of the world's female population is falling all over you, any woman with half a brain could see what an asshole you are."
Tony was stunned by the words coming out of the beautiful woman's mouth. However, the ego-maniac Tony Stark truly only picked up on two words of her declaration. "Hey, I thought you said you didn't know who I was." He grinned at her brightly and with a triumphant look.
Her eyes grew wide with surprise and without another word she turned on her heels, again the best she could on broken heels, and walked away without looking back.
Feeling a sense of loss at seeing the attractive and fascinating woman walk away, he called after her, "If you change your mind you'll know where to find me." He made a sweeping gesture to Stark Industries across the street. She didn't even look back.
Sighing, he watched as the woman made her way through the crowd and disappear among the masses. When Tony lost sight of her completely he pulled out his cell phone to call Happy, his pent-up energy all gone thanks to his little rescue mission. He called Happy and gave him a brief overview of the last few minute's events. Happy had been surprisingly cavalier about the whole thing and told him that he would be able to pick him up in a few minutes.
Sitting back down on the steps Tony's mind wandered back to Pepper. He prayed that Miss Virginia Potts was even half as interesting as Pepper.
AN: Okay, so I know that my first meeting of Tony and Pepper is totally random and chick flick movie-esque but I honestly don't believe that Tony and Pepper met under "normal" conditions. I mean, honestly, they have such an unconventional work relationship that their meeting must have also be fairly unconventional. Plus, logically, there must be reason that Pepper stayed with "The Merchant of Death" for so long. She must have seen, at some point, that he is truly a "hero" and worth staying with. So my weird mind made this up, so don't go telling me how ridiculous this plot device was or how the Wedding Planner already used it, I know. I just wanted to put our heros in conflict right away. Why? Because conflict breeds strong emotions and strong emotions are so much more fun to read about. Would you even be somewhat interested in these two characters if they were only remotely interested in each other instead of madly in love. No, you wouldn't. So, now I am done and I apologize for ranting, my sister is an overly critical little girl and this is for the few readers that don't like ridiculous fluff. To the rest of you fluffy marshmellow lovers, review and I will buy you a trap door that leads to the a marsh full of marshmellows!