Title: A Little In Between

Word Count: 1,255

Author: RID3RLVR

Note: This is a Movieverse fic.

Tony Stark, CEO of Stark Industries smirked over the crowd of yelling reporters. His smile broadened when he noticed the blond sitting there, simply stunned. And then his eyes came to rest on Pepper Potts'. She was wielding a fierce and slightly demonic glare that made Tony wince in pain. Yikes. He could here her voice in his mind, sharp and shrill with unsuppressed anger. He grinned again at her, less of a smirk, more of an apologetic and sheepish smile. Her face didn't change.

Tony walked off of the podium, ignoring cries of "Mr. Stark, Mr. Stark!" from the horde of reporters. He turned to face them. "Sorry," He boomed over the crowd, even without a microphone, "But I'll say that I've shared enough secrets for one day, haven't I?" He winked at the crowd before leaving the room.

He was whistling when he plopped himself down onto his plump couch in front of the TV. His face was on every station. And then he heard a silent, deadly, and angry voice behind him. 'Dangerously close', he mused.

"And what was that stunt?! Did you think you could get away with it? Well, guess what-" He interrupted her. "I know, I know. I'm wrong." He said it with a grin and his hands up in the worldly sign of surrender. "I know what I did was wrong, but, come on. Did you see their faces?"

Pepper showed no sign of relenting, at least not to the untrained eye. Tony noticed her eyebrows relaxing and her fists slowly unraveling themselves. "Yes, I did. But, be that as it may, you just created a heckuva lot of paperwork, phone calls, and imminent and unavoidable stress."

Tony grinned, knowing that he was out of deep waters. But then the final blow came. Pepper grinned devilishly. "Since you didn't just stick to the cards, and since you brought this upon yourself, have fun with all of that." Tony gaped at her, Pepper with a pleased smirk on her face. "B-b-bu-but…"

"No buts. I'm not paid to help you with the screw ups that you make. It's not in my contract." She smiled happily to herself as she left the still stunned Mr. Stark in her wake.

Four hours later, Mr. Stark was in an extreme panic. He had almost four-hundred emails in his inbox, along with about two-hundred missed calls, each of which were growing rapidly by the minute. He had just gotten off of a call with Pepper's mother, after picking up her phone instead of his by accident. Her mother had proceeded to yell at Tony about 'Still working for that crazy man who blows up things in his spare time'.

He had finally gotten her to shut up by yelling, quite loudly, "I'm not Pepper! The person who you're talking to just happens to be 'that crazy man who blows up things in his spare time', and, ma'am, you have no right to call any longer! Ms. Potts is happy with her job, and I'm happy with her as my assistant! Maybe if you took the time to see what she does, you'd be proud instead of disturbing her from her work. I always did wonder where she got the bags under her eyes from."

She had immediately went silent, then started blowing of curses at him, all of which were very foul and included things along the lines of 'Well, Mr. Stark, you'd better not be hammering my daughter with a lot of work, and you had better not let her ruin her reputation!!" This was proceeded by swear words, that even Tony found impressive. He eventually just hung up on her.

He groaned before returning yet another call to yet another magazine, saying that, no, he wasn't available for a press conference. He continued this for about two or so hours, before curling up on the couch cradling the phone, and falling asleep.

This was how Pepper found him, a couple of hours later. She giggled at the famous Tony Stark, curled up on a couch holding a phone like a stuffed animal or pillow. She quietly tiptoed pat the couch into the kitchen to make some coffee.

After checking to make sure he was still asleep, she began to whisper. "Jarvis, how long has he been asleep for?"

"Mr. Stark has been asleep for almost three hours."

Pepper nodded, impressed. Even she only managed an hour at the most on work days.

"And how long was he working for?"

"Mr. Stark had been working for approximately six hours, and fourteen minutes before falling asleep. Will that be all, Ms. Potts?"

Pepper smiled at the AI's voice, before nodding. "That will be all, thank you, Jarvis." She went upstairs, grabbed a blanket from his bedroom, and came back downstairs. He smiled at his peaceful face, before tucking the blanket over him. She took a last glance at the eerie blue glow of the arc reactor, before going up to her office to finish what Tony had started.

Tony woke up yawning, to the faint smell of coffee and peppermint. Ah, so Ms. Potts had been through. He became aware of the warmth, and noticed his blanket from his bedroom over him. He smiled, got a bit more comfortable, and breathed in Pepper's scent deeply before falling into another deep sleep.

Pepper padded downstairs, relishing the quietness of the house, and the soft sound her bare feet made on the lush carpet. She frowned to see the couch messed up, the blanket thrown haphazardly over the side. It was then that she heard a faint thrumming through the floors, a sure sign of overly loud music coming from the workshop.

"Jarvis?" She asked, already making her way down to the workshop, "Could you please turn down the music?"

"Yes, Ms. Potts."

She shook her head with a smile as she heard a groan and the sound of someone setting down a piece of heavy metal.

As she entered the workshop, she leaned against the door frame, her breath catching at the site of Tony in grease stained shorts and no shirt. She quickly gained control over her body language as he turned. "Must you always turn down my music Pepper? You do realize that it helps me work, don't you."

"Of course I do, Mr. Stark. But I always get the feeling that you don't really need to be working when I talk to you."

He frowned, thinking it over, before sighing. "Alright, fine. But as soon as you leave, it goes back up."

Pepper shrugged. "I don't mind that so much, so long as its low when I need to talk to you."

Tony nodded, before setting down his wrench, and another piece of metal. Pepper nodded at what he was working on.

"Another piece for the suit?"

Tony smirked and shook his head. "Nope."

Pepper raised an eyebrow. "Then what is it? Some secret project?"

"That's exactly what it is."

Pepper shrugged again. "Have it your way. You do know that I'll find out eventually."

Now it was his turn to shrug. As she turned to leave, he spoke again. "I never said that you wouldn't. But, could you hold out until I'm ready to show you?" His voice had the slightest of real, well, Pepper wasn't sure. It certainly wasn't pleading or desperateness, but maybe something in between. She nodded as she left, smiling softly as he asked Jarvis to turn his music back up. Her smile grew larger as the sound of cheerful whistling followed her upstairs, louder than the music.

Please review, you guys! I have a vague idea for the continuation of this, and another idea for what his 'secret project' is. If you leave what you think it is in your revie, you get a cyber cookie!

TTFN, Ari.