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Off Duty

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Summary:

Tony finds out that Virginia actually does have plans for tonight.
(Similar to the Gala scene in Iron Man 1)

Notes:

[Test Run] This is a continuation! I’m testing out a AU story I felt would be fun to do. Instead of the usual Iron Man stuff (though I may still use somethings) Pepper and Tony are paired up as Police Officers. Tony does not have Stark Industries and they are just meeting.
(Side note) I personally have no real experience as a Police Officer and this is not in any means meant to give faults info about being a Officer. I respect them.

Feedback and suggestions are always welcomed!
Enjoy.

Work Text:

It was just quarter past eight in the evening and the guests were filing into the annual charity for the emergency response teams of Malibu California. Virginia was sitting at a open bar with a few of the other Emergency Medical Services (EMS) people, sipping on her first drink of the evening while trying to keep herself calm as she was expected to give a speech. Not only to thank the guests for attending, donating generously, and more. But to also honor those who have lost their lives recently. No matter how many times she goes over her speech she’s a bit nervous she may forget something or say something wrong in front of the crowd that’s still building. But something else now catches her attention. It’s not something but someone.

“Oh god.” Pepper mumbled and had a few of the police officers from the same HQ she works at look at her oddly, wondering what’s going on. “Everything okay Potts?” One woman asked her with an amused look as she sees the redhead dodge behind some of the flowers displays on the bar. “What the heck is he doing here?” Virginia says quietly as she slowly moves a bit to see Tony Stark. “Who?..” The woman looks over and sees the familiar man from earlier. “Oh!” Virginia yanks at the woman’s arm quickly to get her out of his view if she was. “Shh. Tony. I told him I had no plans tonight. If he sees me here…” The woman laughed softly and got up. “Please. You’re acting like as if the two of you are dating.” Virginia could feel her cheeks getting hot suddenly from the thought. “What?! No!” She’s quick to deny it. Because it’s true. Her and Tony are not dating. “Alright, okay. Easy there. I know you two are partners on the job. Relax Potts, enjoy the evening.” The woman laughed softly again before grabbing her half finished drink and leaving Virginia to her own business.
It had to be a about ten minutes before Virginia dared to look out again. This time she couldn’t spot him, Tony. Maybe he just dropped in and left for the evening? She puts the thought in her mind and it starts to feel true. Until she hears a familiar voice behind her.

“I thought you didn’t have plans tonight, Potts.” Virginia felt like she couldn’t move. She tensed up fast as she tries to come up with an excuse. Eventually Tony gets to see her front side and smirks at her as she is still seated at the bar. Virginia is caught up in his good looks as he’s not on duty and in a tux. Freshly groomed for the evening. “Well… Things changed and I’m here now.” She simply says to him as he decides to sit down next to her to have a drink. “Alright. I’m glad you have a social life after all.” Tony teased her as she turned in her seat now and takes her drink quickly. “Of course I have a social life. Who doesn’t?” Tony gives a nod towards a stranger who seems to be having a nervous wreck moment. “I think he may not have much of one.” Tony sips at his drink and looks over at Virginia, noticing her gorgeous blue dress that hugs her body just enough and doesn’t reveal anything. Virginia is a bit distracted with noticing the nervous wreck going on across from the bar in their view. She even dares to chuckle a little which causes Tony to smirk against his glass before putting it down.
“You look good by the way.” That caught her attention and causes her to look surprised at him. “Wh-What?” Tony makes a gesture to herself with one hand. “Your dress. It fits you very well. Is what I meant.” Virginia gives a nod and sighs softly as she looks away from him. “Thank you.” She says a bit shyly. Tony notices that she’s seeming a bit uncomfortable compared to their day at work. “Do you dress like this often or only for special events?” He’s curious of his work partner. “And relax. We’re off duty, Potts. We’re just talking.” Tony felt a reminder was needed. It takes a moment for Virginia to find her words, but she only barely parts her lips before she’s called on to take the stage. Tony looks surprised at her as she sighs softly in place of talking and heads over to the stage. Tony kind of follows and blends in with the crowd that’s gathered to listen to Virginia.

There was an applause as she takes the stage. Using a microphone she gives her speech of thank you to the guests. But as she reaches the moment of remembrance for those who have recently lost their lives Tony is moving forward in the crowd and catches her focus. He makes a gesture at her to keep going, being the partner who is also there for her even when not on duty, and she gives him a little smile. Lifting her head quickly while forcing a smile, though it looks more natural then most would realize, she gives the names and which job they did and for how long. After that there was a long applause for her speech as Virginia left the stage off to the right side. Tony moved quickly and grabbed her arm gently, leading her off to the balcony.
The fresh air did Virginia some good as Tony rested himself against a wall of the building and watched her quietly. Eventually after wiping a few tears away from her eyes Virginia turned around and looked back at Tony who was still watching over her. “How did you know about this event?” She starts out and he smiles a little followed by a shrug of his shoulders. “Saw the flyer at HQ. Figured I should try to make some new friends around here.” Virginia laughed a tiny bit a gave a nod. “So why didn’t you tell me?” Virginia frowned a little and avoided eye contact. “I didn’t think it was appropriate.” This caused Tony to give a slightly odd raised eyebrow look at her now. “Really? We’re partners, off duty might I remind you. We need to..” Tony swallowed hard as Virginia watches him. “We need to what?” Clearing his throat a bit Tony moves a hand, waving it off. “No. Tell me Tony.” Virginia moves a bit closer to Tony, showing she won’t back down until she hears what he has to say. “We need to, communicate better.” He simply says. Virginia blinks a few times and exhales quietly after a deep breath of cool night air is taken in. At first Tony was expecting Virginia to bite his head off over this obvious thing but he was surprised that she just nods in agreement. “Yeah. We’ll figure it out.” She says calmly. “Yeah. We’ve only just started.” He says in return and gives a little smile which causes Virginia to smile in return. “Lets go back in and join what’s left of the evening.” Virginia suggests to Tony who agrees quickly to the idea.

The evening goes smoothly. Virginia and Tony split off to talk with others but at one point as Tony is moving through some of the crowd that’s left he spots Virginia talking with a elderly couple. He’s not sure what they are talking about but he watches them from a fair distance. After the conversation he sees Virginia wipe away a few tears and accepts a item from the elderly couple. They each hug her and leave for the night, leaving Virginia to stare at whatever the item is in her hands.
Tony gives it a moment before acting like he was never watching her. “Hey.” He says calmly with a smile. Virginia flinches a bit and quickly puts her hands behind her back before looking right at Tony. “Everything okay?” Taking a deep breath Virginia shrugs her shoulders a little as her ocean blue eyes focused on Tony. “I think I should start to be more truthful to you, Tony.” Virginia said quietly to him as she moved forward and shows him a medal that was meant for a officer. “This..This belonged to my previous partner.” Virginia looked down at it and Tony could tell this was hard for her. So her carefully puts his hand on her other hand and closes then gently over the medal as he knows that path all too well himself.

“I think this will need some more off duty time.” Tony explained to her. Virginia sighed softly and looked up at him. “Agreed.” She simply says. Tony smirks suddenly and nudges her a little which earns him a confused look. “Hey, that’s twice you’ve agreed with me tonight. I’m on a roll.” Virginia looked like as if she was just caught doing something she shouldn’t be. She laughed softly and shook her head at him as they head out to return to their own homes for the night. “Don’t get use to it.” Virginia says with that familiar toughness Tony met earlier today.

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