The First Encounter: A Job Interview

By Yvelissa BlossoM

Virginia Potts is a woman who does not panic during panicky circumstances. That is why she remains calm when her boss fires her for no apparent reason, which she most probably will never even find out.

Although she hates job hunting, but, she wants to get it over with, as assertive as she can be, she seeks for a new one immediately. However, as weeks past, as her money lessens day by day, as she fails to find an occupation, Pepper Potts is, now, becoming into a frantic and panicking woman.

Due to her desperation, even though she's not one who believes in superstitions, fate or destiny, she has to. She prays, wishes, hopes for some sort happening to occur, to, at least, see a WANTED sign on ads, newspapers, internet, or wherever else! She. Just. Needs. A. Job. That pays.

That is why she is a hundred-percent positive that it was destiny (or whatever it could possibly be) in-progress when she sees an ad – no, wait, it's an article – in the newspaper that says, STARK INDUSTRIES: IN NEED OF NEW EMPLOYEES. She eagerly reads every single detail, checked each requirement she fits, and, although there's no salary mentioned, she applies for it. It's in the Stark Industries anyway. Surely, the company pays a lot, with how rich and large it is now, despite its owner who carries the rumour (or maybe not) of being a genius, playboy, billionaire philanthropist. She's absolutely certain her prayers really have been answered when the company calls and arranges an interview with her a few days after she informs them about her.

Surprisingly, Virginia isn't nervous, although she is actually one who does. That is why she enters the exquisitely beautiful Stark Industries building serenely and relaxed. She approaches the receptionist, "Excuse m–"

"Name?" The receptionist asks, without even looking up.

Rude, Virginia thinks, "Virginia Potts."

"You're late," she says (did she even look at the time?).

"Oh, well, uh," Virginia fumbles to her watch and sees that she's actually just right on time, "I don't think s–"

"Hello? Yes, Mr. Stark, she has arrived," It takes Virginia a second to realize that the receptionist was actually speaking through an earpiece. "Yes, sir, she is a she." Ouch. Virginia feels a momentary pang of offence, but it dissolves instantly. "Now, sir?" there's a pause, "Of course. She's coming. Thank you, sir." She continues to type. "Miss Potts, Mr. Stark is ready to interview you at the ninetieth floor, second hallway, first, large doors."

Once the sentence has registered in Virginia's brain (which only takes a second), her heart is instantly beating faster than its usual speed. She is nervous. It's probably because of the interview. Everyone gets anxious when it comes to job interviews. But, no, it's not that at all; she knows it. She's nervy because the one interviewing her is no other than the owner of Stark Industries. She doesn't realize it but, the man intimidates her.

"Uh, Miss Potts?" Virginia is broken from her reverie and realizes the one who has spoken is actually the receptionist, who, astonishingly, has looked up at her. Virginia notices that she has two big, chocolate eyes. "He is ready–"

"I heard you the first time," Virginia doesn't mean to be rude, but, the receptionist's expression seems to soften, giving the impression that she understands.

"It's alright, Miss Potts," the woman reassures her, "Just answer his questions honestly and properly, and everything will go fine." The lady's attempt of reassurance surprises Virginia, as she was rather impolite previously, but, she appreciates it anyway. She nods her thanks, and leaves without another word, walking towards the elevator.

Virginia arrives at the ninetieth floor within a minute, which is shocking compared to other elevators (there were even other people in it and they all go to different floors) and not-so-shocking when it comes to the owner of Stark Industries. As she walks through the hallways, which are startlingly silent and empty, although brightly lightened and comfortable, she listens to the soft tip-tap of her inky, two-inch heels, and her rapid heart rate, which makes it even faster. But, once she's nearing those large, blue-black double doors which lead to his office, she wills herself to calm down by inhaling and exhaling through her nostrils and smiling.

Just when she's in front of it, two ladies come out, both of their clothes messy, so are their hairdos. They're startled at the sight of Virginia for a moment, but, forget about her easily as they walk away; babbling in some random language (was that European?).

The billionaire lives up to the rumour, she thinks, because those untidy looks don't just happen. She takes a moment to roll her eyes, briefly forgetting about her anxious state, before knocking on the door, asking for entrance

She only remembers it when she hears his voice say, "Come in."

She ignores it as she gently swings the door open to reveal a magnificent, large, (surprisingly) clean and organized room, with a beautiful view of New York City, as there are floor-to-ceiling, glass windows. There's a good-looking desk at its center, vast bookshelves stretch through the right wall, piled with books, a very big table with tiny houses and building, which seem to be a tiny replica of New York City, is positioned in front of them, and there are chairs, sofas at the left, just as there's a pair in front of the desk.

She couldn't describe it anymore, because her gaze has fallen on her interviewer, who is amusingly short for a billionaire (although both seem to have similar height). She bites her lip, fighting back laughter, but then, the humour is instantly gone when she notices the man's not-so-neat appearance. He's still busy trying to fix his tie. She fights back the urge to roll her eyes again. However, he still looks appealing. How he manages that is beyond Virginia's knowledge.

He looks up once she closes the door behind her. "Oh, hello," he doesn't even smile. "Your résumé?" he reaches out a hand, while the other is still stuck at his tie. Well, Virginia's sure where the receptionist got her attitude; nevertheless, she hands it over.

He takes it and flips through the pages, seeming like he's not reading at all. But, with the way his eyes rapidly scan it, she knows he is reading – or skimming. Then, he suddenly halts. "Uh, Virginia Potts?" he inquires without looking up.

"Yes, sir?"

"What kind of job are you looking for?" he asks.

"Any kind of job, Mr. Stark, as long as it pays," she smiles.

"Hm, well, most of the jobs pay," he says as though it's obvious, which is, actually. "And you seem to have most of the necessary requirements for most of the missing positions. Any specific ideas, uh . . . ," "Virginia." "Yeah, whatever."

It's a miracle Virginia still manages to wear a calm facade.

"I suppose anything under business administration is fine with me, sir."

Mr. Stark is momentarily silent as he continues to gawk at the résumé. "Do you have some sort of nickname?"

Virginia isn't sure if she heard right, "P-Pardon?"

"Your name doesn't really bode well with my tongue, and I'm sure you heard my question the first time." Oh. My. God. Virginia ignores the anger and exasperation building up inside her. She knows Mr. Stark is annoying, but, she didn't expect it to be in this level.

She coughs, "Pepper."

"What?" This seems to catch his attention, as he looks up and stares at her in confusion.

She coughs even louder, looking away slightly, "Pepper," she repeats. "That's my nickname." She's not really proud of it, but that's what people have been calling her ever since.

"Like the seasoning?" he arches a brow.

She slowly nods, her lips pressed together.

"Hm," he goes back to the résumé. "Pepper," she can hear him muse as he continues to read.

There's a brief silence before he breaks it, "Well, nice to meet you, Miss Potts," he closes the folder, tucks it beneath his underarm, and approaches her. He stands beside her and reaches his hand out.

Virginia smiles, glad for the courtesy. She reaches her hand out, and shakes hands with him, just when he places another hand on top of hers, squeezing, which she finds a bit odd, but, ignores it.

"And you probably know me," he grins kindly (or most likely not), and as he gestures for Virginia to sit on the white chair in front of his desk, Virginia feels a soft pressure on her bum – then, a press – and she freezes as it dawns on her: Mr. Stark just squeezed her ass.

He should have known that Virginia Potts does not tolerate such actions, or else, he wouldn't have had that red, and raw hand-shaped mark on his left cheek, and heard that deafening sound of a door slammed shut.

The next day, Virginia receives a call from Mr. Stark, himself.

"You're my P.A. and you start work tomorrow."

Virginia isn't sure if she can handle working with the douche bag.

But, the salary is stated and she has agreed.

A/N: This is the story which I was supposed to submit to my editor for the school newspaper, however, I don't know if they allow fanfiction, so, I decided against it and just wrote a different one. But, I continued and finished it so I could show it to publish something. (:

The idea came while I was looking for humorous prompts, and I found one that was tagged as 'bad advices' at a certain site, that said, "Greet the interviewer with a warm smile, a hearty handshake, and a pat on the rear." With that, Tony immediately popped in my mind. So, I changed the 'interviewer' into the 'interviewee'. ;D

Okay, this isn't really how Tony and Pepper met. They met differently. If you want to know, read the comics or go to Wikipedia or some wiki about Iron Man or something. How did I know? I read a story about it.

Anyway, I'm going to tell you here anyway if you're curious (SPOILER ALERT) – they met when Tony Stark actually made a mistake that involved numbers and Pepper couldn't help correct him because she's so good with numbers and she likes them too. When the meeting was adjourned, Tony told Pepper to stay. Pepper was so scared that she was going to be fired, but, she remained calm and relaxed in reality. But then she found out that Tony only wanted her to teach him, and she did. Some stuff happened, I don't know, I can't recall, then, in the end, when Pepper really thought she was going to be fired, Tony (for him) "promoted" her into his P.A. So, yeah, yay!

I hope I kept Tony and Pepper in character, especially Pepper. I haven't really tried writing her before but I think I did something wrong with her here. Tell me if there's anything wrong and I apologize if there is.

Read, Enjoy & Review!


For my Impossible To Like You readers, I'm still writing the next chapter. It'll be up probably early October. Sorry for being late, I've been busy this week.

For my Babysat by Uncle Tony readers, I've begun the next chapter, it's in the notebook, but, I'll most likely release it on the second week of October. I apologize; school's got me hanging.

Once again, I do not own the characters (except for the receptionist, I guess).

– YbM