This story was written before I saw Iron Man 3. I understand that the Malibu mansion was destroyed in Iron Man 3, or at least part of it was. But I do not care. Things are always getting destroyed and reappearing anyway in Marvel universe.
Just pretend IM3 never happened.
"Wait, wait, when is this happening?"
They were just walking into the Malibu mansion, where they were staying for the summer. Steve was in California for a SHIELD mission. He wanted to drop by and say hello while he was still in the area. He said also mentioned something about wanting to introduce a friend.
"It's scheduled for today. Anyway, like I was saying –."
"Hold on, you scheduled it for today?! I thought it would be just you and me at dinner tonight. Pep, we've been busy all week eating dinner at banquets and conferences with blown-up, overrated people - ."
"He said he wouldn't be staying for long, and definitely wouldn't be staying for dinner. I asked him. And since when is the president of the United States overrated?"
"He just is. Well, fine. Compared to me, he is. I mean why do we need him, when we've got me? I'm like, the military," declared Tony.
Pepper rolled her eyes. "Can we not do this, just right now? Tony, Steve is your friend. Anyway, he might be here already. I told JARVIS to let them in if he is."
"Ms. Potts, Mr. Rogers is indeed here. He is waiting with a friend in the living room," JARVIS let them know.
Tony sighed, although he really didn't mind seeing Steve again. They'd been through so many missions together along with the rest of the Avengers. He just had to keep fashionably frustrated.
He went with Pepper to the living room. Pepper greeted Steve as she walked in.
"Steve! Long time no see! And who's this?" she asked.
Steve was sitting on a couch with a young lady. Quickly, he stood up politely and shook Pepper's hand.
Before he could say anything, Tony interrupted.
Pepper felt one of Tony's quirks coming. She faced himm.
"What is it? Come and say hi, Tony."
"Yes, Tony." To the young lady, she apologized, "Sorry, he's always this strange. I hope Steve warned you."
"I did," replied Steve.
"Pepper, there is a random lady standing next to Steve."
"Um, yes. I see that."
"And Steve had his arm around her as we came in."
"Yes, I saw that as well." Again she apologized to the woman. "Like I said, he is weird, but he's really a nice guy."
"Tony, this is really not a good first impression," she said through her teeth.
"Fine! I'm coming." He stepped forward. He took off his shades. He looked directly at the woman.
"Who are you? And also, hello."
"I'm Beth. Hello, Mr. Stark, pleased to meet you." said Beth. She was pretty in a simple way, not timid, and her manners were precise.
"My girlfriend," added Steve, Pepper could tell - pretty proudly.
"Well, since when do you make girlfriends?" asked Tony with a corner of a smile.
"Congratulations," translated Pepper.
"Thank you," replied Steve.
Pepper could feel an awkward silence approach.
So she asked them how they met. Apparently they had first met in a café in NY. Then, in the Avengers' first battle, Captain America had saved Beth's life. At the end of the battle, Beth had caught a glimpse of Captain America without his helmet. She had been startled to see it was the strange old-fashioned man from the café. She didn't see him again for a long time, and for that whole time had desperately wanted to thank him.
Then one day, after the city of New York was restored thanks to funds by SHIELD, she was working in the same café, and out of the blue, Steve had walked in. Beth thanked him quietly.
Steve had pulled her aside, and asked her gently but firmly if she had told anyone. She hadn't. He requested that it remain that way. Beth agreed.
Steve began to go to that café regularly. Steve said he was in the area because SHIELD warned him that a villain was on the loose there, and he was planning to fight it if he caught sight of it. Obviously, he didn't need the coffee. His metabolism kept him awake.
Steve started to come just at the time when Beth was just finishing her hours and was about to head home. So Beth ordered herself a coffee and sat down and talked with him. They were already technically dating, and things grew from there.
"Well, it's about dinner time," announced Steve after relating the story. "Beth and I are going to eat out somewhere."
"Have fun," said Pepper pleasantly. "Nice to meet you, Beth."
"Oh, well, it works perfectly," added Tony unnecessarily. "Pepper and I can finally be alone for dinner tonight." Pepper gave him a stern look.
"I meant," Tony amended, "that we'll walk you to the door, and I hope you both have fun."
Beth and Steve smiled. Outside, they were departing. Out of the corner of her eye, Pepper saw Tony throw something.
"Not another portable firework, Tony," she hissed automatically.
Tony ignored her.
"Wait!" he called out to the couple walking away.
"You dropped your money," he pointed nonchalantly to the ground.
Sure enough, there was a roll of money on the ground, which Steve picked up.
"This isn't mine," said Steve, confused.
Tony turned toward the door, as if bored. He shrugged.
"Well it's not mine either."
"Yes it is."
"No its not."
"Only you would have a crisp roll of five grand in hundred dollar bills."
"It's…still not mine." Tony's hand was on the handle of the door. "Say, maybe it's a free ticket France."
Pepper had to turn her head to hide her smile. Meanwhile, Beth's eyes widened.
"So, Pepper. What do you say? Pizza or Chinese takeout?"
"Mr. Stark!" Beth exclaimed. "This is too much!" She grabbed it out of Steve's hands so she could take it to Tony.
"Chinese takeout," decided Pepper, smiling at Tony.
"It always is," Tony grinned back.
"Tony!" Steve exclaimed. The doors closed.
"Thank you!" he shouted anyway.
France had always been Beth's dream. It wasn't as if Steve couldn't pay, what with his SHIELD salary and all. But Steve knew, and later, as Beth got to know Tony better, that it was a gift from a friend.
And so this was how Tony was the first Avenger Steve introduced his first girlfriend to, and this was how, once again, it was proved that, through all that metal, sarcasm, and egoism, Tony Stark did indeed have a heart.
This one-shot is what happens when you're too busy getting used to school again to think of a good plot. I just couldn't get the idea of Tony meeting Beth out of the way. So off it went and fell onto paper. (Or Microsoft Word. Same thing.)
Seriously, this hasn't been edited or anything.
My friend wrote two SUPER stories of Steve/Beth. (In her case, Beth is called Becky, but they are one and the same.) Her penname is Julliet15. She has always beta-read for me. This is my first story without her, as she is in college now. She writes professional-level fanfiction, SO GO CHECK HER OUT. She writes for other popular fandoms as well.
Anyway, if anyone reads this: thank you. Criticize me all you want. Give me tips. Or give me encouragement.
And to God be the glory,