Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy or Iron Man, they belong to Joss Whedon and Marvel respectively. I'm just playing with them for fun at no profit to myself or anyone else.
A/N: So this gives me a chance to explain the main story title, which is "If You Cross the Street...". It's pulled from Lykke Li's Breaking it up, where the lyric is "If you're going abroad, I can't help you. If you're crossing the street, I might be there." I tend to do my working story titles from whatever song is really leading on inspiration, and that one really kind of set up several different ways this story could go, so it's in all the playlists I've pulled together (there is a soundtrack for the main story, if anyone ever wants it). Originally, it was about the Iron Man team being there for Buffy when she was going through hard times. Now with the re-envisioning I've been doing, it's come to be about them all being there for one another, so I kept it as the actual title. "I might be there" for this one, refers to little moments of them being there for each other that might not quite fit into the story proper.
Posting this as a teaser for Chapter 4 of the main story. There may or may not be some delays with me posting that chapter, as real life is going to be crazy till the end of next week. This is a missing scene from earlier in the same day that Chapter 4 opens into. Thanks to Starfox for the prompting! That took root immediately. :-)
"You were surprisingly not surprised when I mentioned seeing a vampire," Tony mentioned as she walked out onto the deck. He was fiddling with the grill he'd taken apart and rebuilt in the weeks previous, and she knew he was doing that annoying thing where he pretended what he was doing was more important than what he was saying.
"My family owns restaurants in the city, remember?" She moved to join him by the grill, glancing back inside to where Happy was prepping meats for the grill, while Anne put her exceptional knife skills to use on the veggies. They were distracted, just as she'd left them.
"Yeah, I know that." He didn't face her as he kept fiddling, but she could see him rolling his eyes.
"After homeless people and runaways, service workers are the next likely targets," she told him, skipping over the fine detail that her family being part demon themselves allowed for greater understanding and some level of protection than most service workers.
"Really?" He paused in his work, finally looking up at her. "So why didn't you tell me. Vampires, I mean come on, how cool is that?"
"That's why," she answered seriously, pursing her lips. "Can you honestly tell me you aren't itching to run out there and grab one to study?"
"I mean, wouldn't you? They're supposed to be dead people, and they turn into dust when you kill them," he sounded like an excited child.
"You're just proving my point." She crossed her arms and waited, hopefully he'd start thinking rationally about it.
"I bet Annie could grab one without any problems," he grinned, working through a possible plan.
"Don't you dare ask her to do that," she snapped, obviously it would take a while for him to find his brain. "That's incredibly dangerous. I can't go on my trip if you won't promise to let this idea go."
"What idea?" Anne asked, stepping out through the French doors, carrying several large plates of food prepped for the grill.
"He wants to study vampires, see what makes them tick," she explained immediately, knowing Anne would be on her side.
"No," came the instant response, as she put the plates down on the prep table.
"Oh come on, it could be really interesting. We could find cures to diseases," he offered up, at least trying not to look so incredibly excited about the prospect.
"Not from vampires," Anne replied sharply, crossing her own arms and glaring. "It's not ok to lock someone in a lab and study it just because you feel like it. If that's what you're planning, I can't stick around."
This managed to actually quiet Tony, and she couldn't help but think about the personal nature that something like this would ping for Anne. She, herself, had been very careful to keep Tony from finding out about the ano-movic part of her. While she trusted him not to lock her up in a lab, or even Anne, she didn't quite trust him not to try and find some other demon somewhere else.
"Someone? We're talking about vampires," he pointed out, trying to find a loophole.
"They still have their human memories and are still capable of rational decision making. They're just evil that's the only difference," she explained, before turning and stomping back to help Happy at the kitchen island.
"Wow, she's really intense about that," he commented, turning his attention back to the grill finally.
"I agree with her," Pepper told him quietly, hoping he was getting the point.
"Fine, I won't study vampires, promise," and from the disappointment in his voice, combined with pout on his face, she actually believed him.