Disclaimer: I've got a burnt copy of Iron Man that has people walking across the screen so that they can get to their seats. I think that says it all.

AN: Written at four AM while still buzzing from a night out. Movieverse. Hope you enjoy (and I also hope they don't seem too OOC).


Pepper could already tell that her ears would be ringing once they left the club. She had no idea how she allowed herself to be dragged out to this, this, girls' night (at a club that she was certain was half-filled with females still young enough to be called 'girls').

Alright, so it was the bachelorette party of one of her oldest friends, and alright, she hadn't gone out with them "for the longest time", emphasis on the 'est', and fine, maybe she did need to her let her hair down more often (though not literally of course, it was far too hot in this place to dance around with long red hair down one's back).

However, the novelty of flashing lights, loud music, and far too many drunken men and women was beginning to wear off and Pepper wished she was elsewhere and wearing more sensible shoes. More sensible shoes being heels shorter than the four inches she was dancing in, and elsewhere being with Tony Sta-.

Part of her mind stopped her right there before she could finish that particular thought. Thinking about Tony Stark (damn it) with too much alcohol in one's system was not good. Though, Pepper supposed, it was a positive fact that the current song, and all the songs playing come to think of it, would be too loud for any of her friends to hear her sighing over.

Looking over at the bride-to-be, Pepper realized she'd been caught. No amount of booze, seizure-inducing lights, or heavy bass could get in the way of a woman's (friend's) intuition, and the rolling eyes and tight lips that were directed at Pepper before she was (rudely) shoved towards an almost quiet corner were not imagined.

"You've got to get him out of that brain of yours Pepper, if only for tonight, please, I beg you."

"Get who out?" Pepper yelled back.

"You know very well who Virginia Potts, don't you play dumb."

Pepper bit down on her bottom lip, eyes wandering over the writhing bodies around them.

"I'm sorry, I -"

She was interrupted with a finger to her lips, "Never mind, I don't think there's any way of stopping you from thinking of 'Mr. Stark' now."

The confusion on Pepper's face was clear, and her friend jerked her chin towards the entrance of the club and Pepper whirled around in time to see a slim, shapely blonde giving Tony Stark a double kiss on each cheek.

A warmth spread all over Pepper's skin, one that had nothing to do with the rum and coke (was there any coke in this?) that she sipped at in order to keep herself from saying anything. Pepper's bachelorette friend debated over whether to push Pepper in Tony Stark's direction, or to keep her with the group. She decided on the latter and plotted a million and one ways to get Pepper to think about anyone but Tony Stark.

"Let's go Pep," she said to Pepper, whose eyes hadn't left Tony's face; Tony's face which was currently turned towards another blonde who wore a skirt that had too little material in her opinion.

Pepper found herself being dragged far away from Tony, passed her group of friends, who came along thinking that a group of hot men had been spotted, and pulled up onto the stage at the front of the club. She tried to run; Pepper Potts did not dance on stage in short-shorts, and four-inch peep-toe heels, especially if Mr. Stark was there to see it happen.

When Virginia-I've-got-to-get-down-from-here-'Pepper'-Potts finally escaped from her (evil) friend's clutches, she realized it was too late, she'd been spotted, and because she was knocked from behind by an errant arm, Pepper fell right into one Mr. Tony Stark's waiting arms.

The smirk and raised eyebrow that he gave her were almost convincing, almost. A bright flash came over them both, and Pepper caught the surprise behind his darkened eyes.

"Mr. Stark."

"Miss Potts."

"I'm here for a bachelorette party."

"I didn't ask."

A curt nod was all Pepper gave her boss before attempting to head for the bar. Three steps away from Tony found her in the path of a mammoth of a man who immediately tried to dance with her. As Pepper unsuccessfully backed away from him she felt someone come up behind her, hands firmly on her hips, effectively blocking her escape.

"Back off buddy," a voice said, cutting impossibly loud and clear through the clamour and music of the club and speakers. She glanced nervously over her shoulder, and there was Tony, glaring directly at the very large man in front of her. Something in his eyes must have gotten to the other man because he lifted his hands up in surrender and lumbered away.

Just as Pepper was about to yell her thanks into Tony's ear he pressed his lips right to her own ear saying, "Dance with me."

She knew for sure that she hadn't given him an answer, but two seconds after the question came her body was pressed against Tony's, and the thought of how ridiculously high school-like this situation was came and went. She felt the nearly-rough material of his dress pants against her bare legs, his calloused hands on the skin of her left side and on her lower back (Pepper wished she hadn't worn this Godforsaken blue -blue!- backless -backless! again!- shirt), and part of his goatee on her cheek.

Unsure of what to do with her own arms and hands in this moment of shock, Pepper noticed too late that her hands were being guided, by Tony himself, to around his neck.

No words were exchanged, there was just a sway of hips, Tony's hand ghosting back and forth along her lower back, and Pepper unconsciously running her fingers through the slightly curled hair at the base of Tony's neck.

Somehow he (Pepper was absolutely certain it wasn't her doing) had managed to shimmy himself closer to her, and soon Pepper had her arms full of black, pinstriped, Armani clad Mr. Stark, and he in turn had his arms full of 'wearing-very-little' Pepper Potts.

The corner of his mouth grazed the corner of her own when the DJ began to mix the current song into the next and Pepper's head snapped away, and she stumbled back looking like a deer caught in headlights for the span of a heartbeat, before setting her eyes somewhere beyond Tony's right shoulder and making a bee-line through the crowd.

Standing out on the patio, letting a cool breeze (tainted by too much cigarette smoke) blow across her shoulders, Pepper expelled a long breath she hadn't known that she was holding.

When a hand came to her shoulder she froze, believing it to be Tony. When she turned however, she saw her friend, Marie, the bride-to-be, giving her a sympathetic look.

Outside in the relative quiet Marie said carefully to Pepper, "I saw what happened Pep, you could've just let him kiss you."

"I think that's one can of worms that doesn't need to be opened my dear."

Marie let out a noise that sounded remarkably like a 'pfft', and went on, "Pep, 'my dear', Tony Stark telling the world that he's Iron Man is probably the biggest can of worms that you need to worry about, and since he's already taken care of that I don't think one little kiss will do you any harm."

Apparently tonight was the night that Pepper would not be allowed the last sentence (it would have began or ended with, "I'm his assistant"), and Marie walked away, leaving her alone on the patio once more.

Kissing Tony? They'd come close a few weeks before, and once more since then (in an elevator two hours after his Iron Man revelation), but to actually go through with such an act was something Pepper still wasn't sure would be good for either of them.

Minutes later, when another hand came to rest on her shoulder, Pepper knew it was Tony. She didn't turn, instead letting him move to her right side, the wind blowing his cologne across her instead of the smoke (it smelled so much better, and if she were to kid herself tasted sweeter and spicier than anything).

"What was that back there?"

Her buzz had yet to fade, and when Pepper felt Tony's eyes burning through her she knew it had been him who asked, not simply her own thought screaming within her head.

She wanted to reply, "What was 'what' Tony?" But instead the words, "You know very well what," came out, and during lunch a week later she'd recall that Marie spoke those words to her first that night.

"I wanted to kiss you Pepper."

"Mr. Stark."

"Miss Potts."

Their game repeated.

"I still want to kiss you."

Pepper couldn't look at him and doubted that even a gun to her head could force her to say something.

Her boss, being the man that he was, took in her silence and then took the initiative to hold her chin gently in his right hand, turning her head to his, and placing the lightest of kisses to her lips. Her eyes closed in that instance, and she leaned into him ever so slightly.

Opening her eyes, Pepper wondered if the look on her face mirrored Tony's. A movement near Tony's left hip caught her attention, and glancing down she saw that he held a drink.

"I brought you a Vodka Martini, extra dry, extra olives."

Pepper closed her hand around the stem of the glass, eyes never leaving Tony's own, and then moved to whisper against his ear, "Thank you Mr. Stark."

With the can of worms not only open now, but spilling over, Pepper moved her mouth from Tony's ear to his neck and heard him answer, "You're welcome Miss Potts."