Authors Note- My loyal readers! So sorry for long delay!! I have been SWAMPED at work. Unacceptable, I know.

This chapter is short and sweet, just a little fluffy bit, a little morning after vignette, still taking a break from all that angst. Not sure where I will go with this story…any suggestions or just some constructive criticism is always welcome and appreciated!

Jennigirl- thank you so much for stopping by and reading my little world of tony/pepperism! Hope you continue to read and enjoy!

Mh9wgo0- I am so glad you saw the bit of emotion in between all that sexy times. Here is the next chapter you were hoping for!

Effortless- Ooo, delicious, I hadn't thought of them that way, well, I lie. I thought of Tony that way. Hehe. Thank you again for the praise, I am glad you found it as passionate as I hoped it would come out!

JO- my love! Hahaha. Sorry, I did not mean to make you too hot and bothered! The compliments must cease! My head is too big!

Always a happy ending- So glad I got a "wow" from a reader. Here is some more! Hope you like it!

Twisted Cinderella- hello dahling! Sorry for the delay! O goodness, you spoil me way too much with your kind words. I am BEYOND FLATTERED! But more importantly, I am so happy you found it enjoyable to read. I wanted it to be perfect and I am glad you found it to be exactly that!

Quicksilvermad- Hahaha! Oh dear, I am sorry about your glasses! I am so glad you love this. Thank you for your reviews, as well as your input!

VampireDA3- I love that you need a cold shower, means I did my job! I am super flattered I am a fave, I hope I can continue to earn it!

Tamasit1- Another one who needs a shower! Great to know it came out as steamy as I imagined! I love that you saw the give and take between the two, I think that is such a HUGE part of their relationship, ya know?

The big question is, now that they have done the naughty, what happens next?

cue dramatic music

Heehee! Enjoy!

P.S. I am so in love with this chapter. Tony and Pepper came alive perfectly! I hope you like it as much as I loved writing it!


Pepper opened her eyes. She yawned a bit and craned her neck upwards towards her alarm clock. It read 6:30am. She furrowed her eyebrows. Weird, she thought. Her alarm usually went off at six and she always, always turned it off on the third ring. She shrugged and tugged the big down comforter off and stopped.

There was an arm casually draped around her middle and it certainly wasn't hers.

That's when it all came rushing back.

Pepper sat up with an alertness better reserved for the afternoon and not early morning. She followed the arm with its light downy hair, all the way up to a broad shoulder and finally her eyes came to rest on a sleeping innocent face that could have fooled anyone into believing Tony Stark was an angel.

Pepper could not help the impossible grin that spread across her face as she once again realized that he was sleeping in her bed, cuddled at her side and as she pulled the blanket down to peek, still completely naked.

A piece of his hair had fallen over his forehead while he slept and Pepper, perfectly prim and proper and almost devoid of this kind of affection Pepper, reached over and brushed it right back into place. She looked down at him and smiled again.

Tony opened one eye and mumbled from where his face was squished against a pillow, "That is super creepy Potts."

Pepper laughed and pushed his arm off. "Oh really?" she asked. "How is that?"

"I didn't realize you stared dreamily at all your one night stands while they slept," he replied closing his eye and putting his arm around her middle again. Pepper began running her palm lightly over the hair that covered his forearm.

"Who said you're a one night stand Mr. Stark?" she replied. Tony now opened both eyes and with a huge stretch and a couple of pops of various aching bones, he propped himself up on his elbow.

"Well, considering we are about to embark on a very serious conversation, while I still have horrible morning breath, then perhaps I am more than a one night stand," he said with a slow smile. He brought his hand up and touched her cheek softly.

"You presume too much," she said blushing, even though they had both been in very, very blush worthy positions just a few hours earlier. "I refuse to be serious. I find you to actually be quite a bore when it comes to serious conversation, and yes, you do have morning breath."

Tony let out a loud laugh. "Sorry about that, maybe I should bring breath mints, a toothbrush and toothpaste next time I plan on seducing you Pepper," he responded.

"Ah, so you admit you came over here looking to get into my pants?" Pepper said with a pinch to his arm. Tony pouted.

"I would say yes, but as I recall, when I came in, you weren't wearing any pants," he shot back. Pepper blushed again, all the way from her neck up. Tony noticed and smiled, as he had been doing since waking up.

"You're beautiful Pepper," he finally said. She rolled her eyes and pulled the blanket up over her head.

"O stop trying to flatter me," she said from underneath. "You gained access to my apartment, you got into my proverbial pants, and you're occupying my bed. What other aspect of me could you possibly want, you greedy little man?" Tony pulled the blanket down and shifted so that he was lying completely on top of her. He brushed a few stray hairs off of her forehead, and then ran his finger over her lip.

"I usually don't make it this far into the morning Pepper," he said softly. "This is all a little new for me too. I know I want more of it, whatever all of this maybe. Yea, yea so I am greedy." His voice grew playful again. "Who says I can't have everything, especially if that everything is nestled under me so nicely I can feel-" and he ran his hands over her breasts. Pepper laughed and pushed at him.

"You were doing so well too Mr. Stark," she said. "You almost fooled me into believing you were serious." Tony frowned down at her.

"Low blow Potts," he said. He touched her collar bone lovingly and stared at her. "I mean it. I don't think I can ever wake up without you there anymore. That's crazy right? Well, you know me so that should not come as a shock." He leaned down and brushed his nose against hers again, something Pepper realized he had done quite a few times now and that she found she rather liked. "I love you Potts," he continued. "I wasn't just admitting that in some hormonal induced rant, although I must say, you doing what you were doing last night would probably make me squeal like a baby and give you all my passwords and bank account numbers."

"I already know them," Pepper said. He nodded and put his finger to his lip tapping as if deep in thought.

"Right, I forgot about that," he said. "Well one less thing we have to work out. Now tell me you love me again."

Pepper chuckled and ran a hand through his thick hair. God, she could not get enough of it. "Mmm, what do you mean work out? What do you think I am, your girlfriend or something? Is this some new m.o.? Are you actually going beyond just a hop in the bed Mr. Stark? Because if so, I must say, women everywhere will be jumping out of windows and you will be in the paper for months."

"I'm already in the paper and stop avoiding the obvious," he said with just a hint of sternness. "So it took me awhile to realize who I wanted to go beyond, as you so eloquently put it, "a hop in the bed" with. Can you blame me? I know people just don't miraculously change overnight, and I sure as hell have a lot of shit to work out still. But, I am here now Potts, honestly. This is going to sound horrible and cheesy and lame, so bear with me, but last night was just our bodies finally accepting what this thing between us is! Now I want to know your mind and your heart have accepted it too. I sure have Pepper. I told you, you're all I have."

Pepper looked up at him through her eyelashes, and ran her hand down his chest to where the arc reactor was glowing softly. She put her hand over it, seeing how the light shone through her fingers, making them look almost transparent and oh so fragile. It was funny, she thought. So strong and yet so fragile, just like Tony. She put her palm flat against the reactor and looked at him with big, shining eyes.

"What about this?" she whispered.

He looked down and put his hand over hers. She couldn't see through her fingers anymore.

"I can't lie and say nothing will ever happen to me Pepper," he said. "Iron Man is probably the bravest and stupidest thing I have ever done in my life. I don't know if that will ever change. I don't. I know some of the things I do, and have done, are borderline insane. I am taking this one day at a time Pepper, working out the kinks. I do know this though, having you to come back home too, would make this whole crazy I want to save the world phase of mine, a whole lot easier."

Pepper stared at how his hand covered hers so perfectly against his chest. She pulled his hand to hers and kissed it softly. She leaned up then and kissed his mouth.

"Then I guess I can deal with your morning breath for a while longer," she finally said with a smile against his lips. He smiled even harder than she did, and kissed her back firmly.

"Good decision Potts," he said all business like. "Now let's seal the deal." With that, he pulled the comforter up and over them and Pepper knew halitosis would be the last thing on her mind.