Title: So Far, So Good
Author: Sare Liz
Disclaimer: Not Mine.
Rating: Still T. Ish.
Continuity: Iron Man, Movieverse, TS/PP, After "I'm Working On It" and "Work In Progress"
Author's Note: some references: The book mentioned is by Walter Brueggemann, and is wonderful. It's true about the god-awful fuchsia shirts, and if someone knows more about diamonds than me, please review and give me the low down. I did my research, but I'm no expert.
After lunch with her sister, they had made a hastily planned stop at his favorite jewelers, and to their credit, the owner who came out to help Mr. Stark personally did not so much as flinch when Tony pointed out what they were specifically looking for. They decided on a platinum band, a simple setting, and had her finger measured, and his for the record as well, but that was the easy part.
"Tony, that's huge. I can't possibly wear that on my finger."
"You don't like it?"
"I like it just fine, but it's too big."
"What about the cut? Marquise, Pear, or Round Brilliant, a traditional diamond for a traditional girl?"
She grinned and snuggled closer to his side. "You know me, traditional."
"And you know me, untraditional."
"Which is why the metal will be platinum. Non-traditional."
"Could go with a gold titanium alloy."
"Well save that for the wedding bands, I think."
"With a little hot rod red in there?"
Pepper gave him an assessing sideways glance. "We'll see."
"What about this one?"
"That's not too bad. You don't think it's a bit on the big side?"
"Well, no, of course you wouldn't."
"What about this one?"
"Tony, that one's even bigger."
"I know. And I like it even better."
"What about this one?"
"Pep, that's tiny."
"I'm not buying you an intimate diamond, my darling one. I'm buying you a rock. You'll be able to signal satellites with its brilliance. Or me, for that matter."
Her eyes narrowed. "And everyone who sees it will have no doubt to whom I belong, is that it?"
He sighed. "Look. Two month's salary, right? I mean, that's the industry standard. Which is moot in my case. The sky's the limit, we'll get whatever you want. But I draw the line at purchasing a diamond you can barely see. I won't do it."
She sighed and pointed at a 6 carat diamond cut in the Round Brilliance style.
"Go look at earrings and we'll be ready to go in just a minute."
She'd rolled her eyes at him. Tony could only imagine what was going through her head, and actually he had a pretty good idea, but he still wanted to make these arrangements out of earshot of her. He arranged payment, and asked if it could, possibly be ready in five hours. They said they'd have it for him in four.
It wasn't long after that he walked her to the door of her apartment. She'd introduced him to the concierge and gave permission for him to enter and proceed upstairs without her tacit approval each visit. They took the elevator up to the ninth floor and the entire, slow ride he stood behind her and off to the left just slightly, his arms around her waist, his chin resting on her shoulder, his eyes gazing into her reflection in the mirrored side panels.
When the door opened, he followed her out, hand in hand. She dug into her purse and took out her keys, but when she slowed in front of number 903, he tugged her close and brushed his lips against hers.
"Invite me in?"
He pouted, but she just kissed him again. Her tongue swept out and he quickly parted his lips and let her slip inside. Their tongues slid across and around each other and Tony lost himself to the sensation of the kiss, the awareness of her lips against his, her body pressed between himself and the door. There was an amazing feeling that started somewhere around the arc reactor that just spread out, down his torso, through his arms. Not that he was thinking about it at the time, but if he did, he might have called it bliss.
He broke the kiss and steadied his breathing against the smooth column of her neck. "Invite me in," he said, and this time it wasn't a question.
He sighed and leaned back so he could meet her eye. "Have dinner with me tonight?"
"Well, my refrigerator is looking kind of bare. I might as well."
God, he loved it when she was playful. It looked so good on her. He had a hard time suppressing his own smile, and he knew it reached his eyes. "I'll pick you up at eight, then."
He took the book out from inside the slim drawer in his bedside table. It was the only thing in there.
He'd meant to go straight down into his workshop. He was working the redesign of the jet boots, and if his math was correct, the prospective changes would necessitate a redesign of the exoskeleton. He had several good ideas, and he only meant to come into this bedroom and change shirts, but he sat down on his bed and pulled out the book instead.
"Prayers for a Privileged People" – Desmond had given it to him. He'd flipped through it a few times. There was some good stuff in there, not that Tony considered himself the praying kind, but he could admit that he was, at least, privileged. Most important for his purposes right now, there was a phone number, complete with a string of country and area codes.
"Jarvis, what time is it in Cape Town?"
"They are nine hours ahead of us, sir. It is midnight there."
"Right. Bad time to call. Program the following number into my phone," he said, rattling off the many digits.
"And what name should I put to this number, sir?"
"Desmond. And search the Internet for a picture of him smiling. See if you can find one of him an a god-awful fuchsia shirt, will you?"
"Do I take it to mean you would like a picture of Desmond Tutu, former archbishop of Cape Town?"
"You're smart. I wonder who programmed you."
"I believe you will find, sir, that the 'god-awful fuchsia' is one of the standard colors of the traditional Anglican bishop's purple shirt."
"Oh? I suppose we have one of those?"
"In America? Yes, sir."
"And he wears that same color?"
"I believe she does, sir."
Jarvis was silent as Tony put the book back into the drawer and changed shirts. He'd already arranged to have Hogan pick up the ring before the shop closed, which meant that he had four hours before he had to shower and get ready.
There were a pair of jet boots with his name on them.
to be continued...