A/n: Alright. Back to the romance. ;) Also, in case you don't know, the game 'Never have I ever' is a game where one person says "Never have I ever…(fill in the blank)" and if the other person has done it, they put down a finger. The object of the game is to be the last to have all ten fingers remaining. Tony and Pepper play it, with…interesting results. All songs used belong to their respective artists…not me. Lyrics (besides the ones they sing) are in italics.

Pepper arrived back at the Stark mansion at five feeling refreshed, beautified and ready for what ever…surprises the night would entail. Knowing Tony, she knew not to expect the simple or subtle. Pepper carried her shopping bags (a long white garment bag and a black bag that carried a new pair of stunning black stilettos) up to her room without a peep from Tony or Jarvis. This scared her.

"Jarvis, you there? Where's Tony?" she inquired.

"Oh, hello, Miss Potts," Jarvis replied, his crisp voice unusually rushed. "Tony and I have been working on a project this afternoon. So sorry to not have greeted you sooner."

"Don't let her in, Jarvis!" Pepper heard Tony's voice call. She rolled her eyes.

"Tony," she called, "what exactly are you doing?" She paused. "Aren't you supposed to be taking me out tonight?" Not that she minded if he forgot… oh, who was she kidding. Some small, far off part of her was looking forward to it. At least, she told herself it was a small far off part.

"I am, Pep, I'm just working. I'm busy. Don't bother me," he yelled back gruffly. Pepper sat down on the edge of her bed feeling unnaturally rejected. She didn't keep that feeling for long, however. Sweet revenge for the alarm and phone prank that morning was coming in the form of one brand spanking new knockout dress.

It didn't have a back either.


Tony sat in the middle of the floor of his former dining room (former because it now held one small table with two chairs), dressed in a suit and looking extremely out of place. He cradled one of his laptops in his lap and was furiously pecking away, not even noticing as the clock ticked past six…seven…eight….

"Tony!" His head jerked up at the calling of his name. "It's eight. Please don't tell me I bought another ridiculous dress just to get ditched again."

"Hold on, I'll be right there," he shouted, making some final clicks and pushing the laptop off of his lap. "Are we good to go, Jarvis?"

"Ready as ever, Mr. Stark. I'm sure Miss Potts will love it."

"I think that's what I'm going for," Tony muttered under his breath, running a hand through his hair.

"Might I remind you, sir, you've forgotten to update my security preferences since my update."

"I've been a little busy," Tony growled. "I'll be back. Prepare for launch." Tony bounded down the stairs to see Pepper standing in the center of his foyer dressed in- god- another dress that made her appear completely unlike the usual Pepper Potts who wore pressed business suits and neat heels and a tame smile. Her upper body was mostly bare, another backless dress to add to her growing collection. The emerald green panels of fabric gracefully covered her chest and torso as they headed for her knees, where the dress stopped. Patent black stilettos punctuated the outfit, making her at least three inches taller. Her hair was down and curled once more.


"So you aren't ditching me," she said in a slightly nervous voice. "You look nice."

"You look fabulous," Tony remarked in a low voice, circling her as a lion circles his prey. Pepper blushed deeply.

"Do you not recognize me again?" she said, her voice prideful that her dress had done its job.

"No, I recognize you." Tony paused and Pepper waited for an explanation. "I mean, the dress on its own is hot, but with it being you in the dress…" –he trailed for a moment-"…it's much better." Another shade of pink covered Pepper's skin.

"Are we going? We're late as it is," Pepper said, trying to divert some of the attention off of herself.

"Ahh, Miss Potts, that is where your surprise lies," Tony replied, a boyish grin overtaking his face. "Cover your eyes." Tony instead did the job for her, covering her eyes (and most of her face) with his large hands.

"What are you doing? You know I hate surprises, Mister Stark," Pepper grumbled.

"I promise, you'll like this one," Tony replied indulgently. "Be careful on the stairs." The duo managed to make it up the stairs without incident. When they reached the landing, Tony called out to Jarvis.

"Launch program, Jarvis." Pepper heard a tinkling noise, as it someone was running past a wind chime, and then Tony took his hands away. The dining room had been transformed- could Jarvis really do that?- into an intimate looking restaurant with deep red walls and low lighting.

"Rhodey called. He said not to leave the house after my little announcement, so I brought the restaurant here," Tony said. His voice sounded more eager than when he had first flown. Pepper noticed.

"It looks wonderful," Pepper breathed, touching the walls experimentally. They faded where her hands touched, then formed again when she pulled her fingertips away. "How did you do it?" She looked at Tony. He was taken aback—Pepper glowed in her happiness, cheered up by the wonder of her new environment.

"The mechanics would spoil the mood, Miss Potts," he said, putting a hand at the small of her back and leading her to the table. He pulled out her chair and Pepper had to hold back a laugh. Tony was trying very, very hard.

"Why, thank you, Mr. Stark," she trilled and sat down, smiling. Tony nearly sprinted to his chair opposite her and sat down.

"Jarvis," he barked, "animate yourself and bring us food."

"As you wish, sir," Jarvis replied, and suddenly the incarnation of Jarvis in human form was in the room holding two steaming plates of spaghetti. He wore a black butler's suit and looked quite British, just like Pepper had imagined. He sat the plates down wordlessly and left again.

"Impressive," Pepper noted. She took her eyes off of the food and looked at Tony. "Well…what do we do now?"


The plates were whisked away by Jarvis when he decided that the night had descended so far into frivolity that Tony and Pepper would never finish their food. Pepper's cheeks were pink from drinking wine and she laughed more raucously than she ever remembered doing as Tony put down another finger.

"How are you doing this well, Pep? I mean, I've got six fingers down already and we've barely started!"

"I suppose 'Never have I ever' just isn't your game," she replied, still giggling as she took another sip of wine. "Alright, it's your turn. Give me your best shot."

"Okay. Never have I ever…made out with a man," Tony said, smirking as Pepper scowled, putting down her second finger.

"Cheap shot."

"Come on, you can just do the opposite. I mean, I've made out with many, many women. There's no way I could keep my finger up for that one." There was a long silence. Pepper rolled her eyes and blushed. Suddenly, Tony caught on. "Pepper!" he laughed. "When did you make out with a girl and why didn't you let me watch?"

"I was in college," she moaned. "And I'm fairly certain I was drunk." Tony kept laughing. "Fine. Never have I ever owned a plane full of stripping flight attendants and a stripper pole that comes up out of the floor."

"Hey, I make them keep their clothes on now," he said, putting down his seventh finger. "Never have I ever had my fingers drenched in inorganic plasmic discharge."

"Entirely your fault, I must add," Pepper remarked. Her third finger went down. "Never have I ever….sang at a karaoke bar."

"Seriously? You've kissed a woman but you've never sang karaoke? You haven't lived, Potts."

"I have never sung karaoke," Pepper affirmed. "Put your finger down and go on with the game."

"No way," Tony replied, standing up. "Jarvis, can you invade my laptop and turn it into a karaoke machine for Pepper?"

"Tony, no." Pepper stood up, trying to be firm. Tony raised an eyebrow.

"You called me Tony," he murmured. "That's kind of hot." The next second he was out of the room, running down the stairs in the direction of his shop.

"What are you doing?"

"Getting you a microphone!" Pepper sighed deeply and drank the rest of her wine. She was inevitably going to need it. Tony's loud footsteps soon came back up the stairs.

"Here," he said proudly, holding out a dusty microphone to Pepper.

"I said no."

"I say yes." He held out his other hand to lift her out of her chair. Pepper folded her arms. "Please. Pretty please. Indulge me."

"When have I ever not indulged you?" Pepper said under her breath as she relented and took Tony's hand. He pressed the mike into her hand and pushed her to the unused corner of the room. Tony then ran back to his computer and hit a few buttons. The opening notes of "4 Minutes" by Madonna rang through the speakers.

"Oh, my god," Pepper breathed. "I'm such a bad singer. Please don't make me do this."

"Do it for me. I promise I won't make too much fun of you," Tony grinned. "Hurry up! You're missing the beginning of the song."

"I don't know the words."

"I'm sure the computer does." Pepper cursed silently as Tony pulled up the lyrics. "Now go! You're just in time for the chorus."

"You love to torture me, don't you?" Pepper inquired.

"Among other things."

"Hah!" Pepper rejoiced. "This is a duet. You have to sing with me."

"Um, no. I'm not the karaoke virgin here."

"I'm not singing then." Pepper folded her arms, satisified.

"Fine." Tony stood up and walked up towards Pepper. "But you start."

"Time is waitinggggg," Pepper crooned tonelessly, passing the mike to Tony.

"We've only got four minutes to save the world!" Tony squeaked, trying to sound like Justin Timberlake and failing.

"No hesitatinggggg. Grab a boy-"

"-and grab a girl!" Tony finished, doing exactly what the song told him to and grasping Pepper around the waist with the arm that wasn't sharing the microphone. Pepper's eyes widedned but she kept singing.

"Time is waitingggggg."

"We've only got four minutes to save the world!" They were standing incredibly close to one another.

"No hesitating." Pepper hesitated, realizing that her nose was mere centimeters from Tony's. She sucked in a breath. Tony was staring into her eyes and it was a rather disconcerting experience.

"Jarvis, can we have some mood music, please," he shouted, turning his head and taking the mike from Pepper. He threw it onto the table and led Pepper onto an imaginary dance floor as "Gravity" by John Mayer flowed through the speakers. "Care to dance, Miss Potts."

"You know how much I dislike dancing, Mr. Stark. Not that my dislike has ever stopped you."

"It's just you and me now. No one else." His voice was husky and persuasive. Pepper gave in.

Gravity is working against me
And gravity wants to bring me down

They slid into a comfortable embrace. "Did you really hate karaoke that much?" Tony inquired as he touched her back. His fingertips flamed.

"It was….a decent experience. But I hate being the center of attention," Pepper admitted. "You know that."

Oh I'll never know
What makes this man
With all the love
That his heart can stand
Dream of ways
To throw it all away

"I suppose that's a position better relegated to me, huh?"

"Indeed," Pepper breathed.

"But I couldn't do it without you, you know," Tony continued. Pepper was silent.

Oh Gravity
Is working against me
And gravity
Wants to bring me down

Oh twice as much
Ain't twice as good
And can't sustain
Like one half could
It's wanting more
It's gonna send me to my knees

"Did you have an enjoyable time tonight, Miss Potts?" Tony inquired in a deeper than usual voice.

"I did, Mr. Stark," Pepper replied, enjoying the way their banter flowed easily off of her tongue.

"Would you ever consider doing it again? Albeit out in public, once Rhodey gets me off of this house arrest crap?"

Oh twice as much
Ain't twice as good
And can't sustain
Like one half could
It's wanting more
It's gonna send me to my knees

Oh gravity
Stay the hell away from me
Oh gravity
Has taken better men than me
Now how can that be?

"Ah, but Mr. Stark, that suggests a rather…romantic overtone," Pepper said quietly.

"Is this not romantic enough for you?" he replied gruffly. Pepper found herself smiling where she usually would have rolled her eyes. "I mean, consider it logically, Pepper. Would it really be so bad if we went out on a date?" Tony's voice was disarmingly calm. "We could eat dinner, dance a little- which you are obviously well prepared for." He spun her out and then back in as Pepper remained quiet. "You could wear more dresses and I could clean up a bit too. We'd be the most beautiful couple in all of Malibu." Tony's voice was drifting into the realm of fantasy. "And if we ended up in bed together at the end of the night and your dress ends up slung over some lamp…so be it." He looked into Pepper's eyes. She raised an eyebrow, hoping to resort to her usual ways, but they didn't help. Tony was being too damn sincere. She sighed.

"That would be a nice thing to consider."

Tony chuckled and reached up to Pepper's neck, gently pressing her head down until it rested just below his shoulder. He tightened his arms around her as they swayed. Pepper grinned despite herself against Tony's chest. It would definitely be something to consider.

Just keep me where the light is
Just keep me where the light is
Just keep me where the light is

A/n: I made this chapter extra gooey and extra long because I'll be at A-Kon all this weekend. So…new chapter Monday or Tuesday. Thanks so much for all of your reviews! Your encouragement is my fuel. :D