Title: Iron Cars, Man
Author: Constance Truggle
Fandom: Buffy/Fast and the Furious/Iron Man
Pairing/Characters: Buffy, Jesse, Tony/Pepper, ensemble FF Cast
Summary: Buffy goes to see Jesse and her new boss /old friend goes to see her and they all end up in the same place. Follow up to Her (Not So Dirty) Little Secret.
Disclaimer: Don't own Buffy, Fast and the Furious or Iron Man.
Word Count: 1820
Author's Note: Since this is the final day of Fic-A-Day, I figured I'd go over the top and outrageous. I'm trying for cliché and cheesy, so here's hoping I hit the mark. This is Post-Chosen with a Buffy who split from the Scoobies until the entire group could work out their issues; during Fast and the Furious; no canonical relevance for Iron Man past the first movie. Timelines shoved all to hell to fit all the cool things. So mostly fudged to coincide post-Iron Man. Glad I got to do this with all you other authors who joined in and the readers who enjoyed us! For hellbells, because she always had encouragement for me, even when I was despairing of ever having anything to write.
Buffy had called her friend Jesse just an hour before, asking where he was. He told her he was at the garage and why didn't she come by? She could see the new car he was working on and finally meet his friends. She had been his secret just as much as he was hers, after all, so they knew nothing more than what they got out of him that morning.
She agreed and there she was, jeans and a tank top with heeled boots giving her an extra two inches.
"Yo! We only work on real cars here, Barbie," a dark haired girl called out. Defensive, Buffy thought. Maybe one too many race bunnies tried their luck and lost? Buffy shrugged. She didn't know and didn't care.
"That's fine. I take care of my own," she replied. It was true. Jesse had taught her a lot that first summer, and she'd kept at it when she could. It was the only thing that helped after being pulled from Heaven, and it was soothing in a way that even beating the shit out of Spike never was. "I'm looking for Jesse, not a tune up."
The girl arched an eyebrow back at Buffy but hollered into the garage for Jesse anyway. He grinned as he came out.
"Hey Buffy. I didn't think you'd be ready yet," he said.
Buffy rolled her eyes good naturedly. "It doesn't take me that long to get ready, you know!"
"Come with me. I wanna show you this new car I'm working on." Jesse was excited, she could tell. So with a smile lingering, she followed the excitable man into the garage and back to the office where his computer was set up. It was an older model, but he obviously knew how to get the most from it. She wondered how much more he could do with some Stark Tech at his fingertips. She made a mental note for a Christmas-slash-birthday present for him. Tony wouldn't mind parting with some for a worthy cause... right? Right, she decided.
Jesse showed her all the mods he was making and she eagerly followed along. She wasn't a genius at it, and she only caught about two thirds of everything he was talking about, but she always did love listening to his passion going full throttle. Eventually the subject turned to her, though, and they started making their way through the garage as she answered him.
"Oh, an old friend is hiring me on as his bodyguard," she answered his question about what she was going to do next. One of the guys near one car snorted.
"Ain't you a little small to be guarding anybody?"
Buffy groaned. Trust the neanderthal looking one to freakin be a neanderthal. He'd gotten under her skin just that quickly, and she ignored the sound of a powerful engine purring to a halt outside as she glared at him.
"That's what Tony said, too. Now I work for him."
"My ears are ringing," came a voice she knew all too well. It was very definitely a voice that didn't belong there, too.
"Tony. What are you doing here?"
"JARVIS told me you were here, and since you were, you know, here and not where I can put you to work, I came to get you."
Buffy huffed a sigh and transferred her glare from Jesse's friend to her own. "I don't start working for you until next week. Then you can call me when you need me, even swing by and kidnap me if you want to. Until then, I am spending time with my friends, one of whom is here right now and I would like to continue to spend time with. So, shoo! Off with you!" She made little shooing motions with her hands that set Jesse to giggling. It seemed everyone else was rather rattled that Tony Stark was standing there. The ass.
"No, no, no, Buffy. I haver things to do and you know how I hate to waste time."
"Please, Tony. You love to waste time. You live to waste time, even!"
"Well, yes, that's true to the extent where it's other people's time I'm wasting. But when it's my own time, I don't have enough to waste."
"Oh for fuck's sake! Look, Tony. This is my friend, Jesse. He's designing a car right now and was showing me the specs. Why don't you let him show them to you while I call Pepper and tell her you slipped your leash again. Hmm? Doesn't that sound fun?"
Tony gave her a dirty look as she started talking to him like he was a preschooler, but he let her friend drag him away to look at his design, rambling on about mods and motors and parts and Tony's attention was caught instantly. He left the small office for just a moment, coming back in with a bit of Stark Tech that would revolutionize the kid's design and they got to talking in a language only they could understand.
"Well. At least Jesse didn't have a nerdgasm like Willow did when she met Tony," Buffy muttered, then pulled out her phone; a gift from Tony. She hit a speed dial and was instantly connected to JARVIS.
"Hello, Miss Summers," her phone told her. And everyone around her, too.
"JARVIS. If you ever tell Tony how to find me again, I'm going to find a way to dismantle you and shove you someplace that will severely hurt Tony."
"Good. Now, can you connect me to Pepper?"
The phone didn't so much as click, but suddenly there was a female voice in place of the British sounding AI.
"Pepper, it's Buffy."
"Oh hi, Buffy!"
"Hey, did you know Tony's free in Los Angeles?"
"I'm not his warden, Buffy."
"No, but you're the only one he listens to. And oh God did I do something stupid just now!"
"What did you do?"
"I sent him off with my friend, Jesse. You know, the computer whiz who likes to design cars? Well, they're now together, in a single room, designing a car. Together. Pepper, stop laughing at me! It's so not funny! They'll be at it for hours now and I'm gonna go hungry because Jesse was supposed to go to lunch with me, and now Tony has him all hypnotized with some Stark Tech and they're designing cars together and dammit Pepper! Stop. Laughing. At. Me!" Buffy stopped for breath, only then noticing the barely concealed laughter going on behind her. She growled and turned around, menace radiating off of her as she glared at them. Only the big guy seemed to share her dismay as he stood watching through the door into the small office.
"Buffy, it's your own fault. You know how Tony is."
"Can't you do something, Pepper? Please?"
"Like what?" Pepper sounded far too amused for Buffy's liking.
"I don't know. Find something he needs to do now? Create a need for Iron Man? Oh! That's it! I'll go find some thing to rampage on LA, then Iron Man will have to fix it-"
"You are not setting something loose on the city and hope that Tony can stop it in time! That is not the right thing to do!"
"But Pepper!" Buffy whined.
"No. Happy will have me there in less than ten minutes. Try to get him to wrap it up, hmm?"
Ten minutes later, Buffy was leaning against the wall next to Jesse's big friend, watching Tony and Jesse get into increasingly gibberish-y discussions about engineering. Tony actually having gone to MIT and Jesse being someone who should have gone there, they were definitely in a league far above the mere mortals in the garage. The click of heels had Buffy sagging in relief.
"He's in there," Buffy said, pointing towards the two guys.
"So why'd you introduce them?" the big guy rumbled at her, finally breaking the silence her phone call to Pepper had left.
"I didn't think it would get this bad." Buffy ran a hand over her face. "I guess I forgot how obsessive they can get on their own, and that putting them together was definitely of the bad. Sorry about all this."
"Nah, it's alright. I got to get a look at the Audi R8 out there that he's driving. That is one hot piece of machinery."
Buffy smiled briefly and held out a hand. "Buffy Summers, Jesse's friend."
"Dominic Toretto, Jesse's friend and garage owner."
"Nice to meet you. And look! Pepper finally got him away!"
Tony was following Pepper out, glaring at Buffy even as he was still talking to Jesse. "I'll email you a time and we can go over it then. I think-"
"Tony!" Pepper's voice carried over the billionaire's chatting.
"Jesse," Buffy said. "Jess, c'mon. We've got a lunch to go eat."
"Hey, there's a thought! We'll all go to lunch. My treat. Then I can finish telling Jesse about-"
"Tony Stark! I will accept only if you and Jesse agree to shut up about cars and engineering and whatever else you were going on about as soon as the food arrives. Deal?"
"Deal," Tony grumbled.
She'd gotten her wish. Tony and Jesse obligingly shut up when the food came, and Buffy finally got to learn about the rest of Jesse's friends. Vince, the neanderthal was pretty much what she expected. Leon was quiet but funny when he did talk. Letty was Dom's girlfriend and he was the reason she was so defensive when Buffy arrived that morning. Had it really been just that morning? Tony's entrance really made her feel like more time had passed than it actually had. She liked Letty, though. She was sarcastic and hilarious and bossy and very much reminded Buffy of Faith. Because Buffy left the Scoobs for a while, Faith was the senior slayer sent to the Cleveland Hellmouth. Dom was intense and ruled his family with what seemed like an iron fist, but they each could question him; if they did it subtley.
Pepper and Tony both fit in well, and Buffy was glad that she wasn't embarrassing Jesse. He just seemed to light up whenever he and Tony started talking. Buffy was so glad that, even though Tony was high handed enough to actually trace her through her phone, everything worked out in the end. That just left Vince's question to be answered.
"So, why does Iron Man need a bodyguard, anyway? 'Specially one as tiny as that one?"
The man needed a lobotomy.