#61 – Weather

Warmth on a Rainy Day

Tony Stark had never been a morning person and most people knew that, especially Pepper Potts when she had the pleasure of trying to drag him out of bed every morning. He was usually cranky, sluggish and boorish on the best of days. But on the rare occurrence in southern California when it did rain, he was downright impossible.

On sunny mornings, JARVIS would open the blinds and the sun would eventually pour into Tony's sleep fogged brain and stir him to consciousness. Despite sometimes living in his garage, Tony was a creature of the sun. He craved it. He was addicted to it. The length of time he spent on the beach or by his pool was evidence enough.

On rainy mornings, like the current one, Tony would prefer to spend the day curled up in bed. He would pull the blankets over his head and no amount of coaxing or bribery would get him out. If he knew the forecast in advance, he would arrange for some pleasurable company to spend the day in bed with but that had all changed since he returned home from his captivity. Now, he spent the day alone on rainy days.

As Pepper worked in the living room in the utterly silent house, she felt that something was off. She was so accustomed to hearing music blaring at the top of the speakers' capacity and having Tony's manic energy flowing through the house that it was too quiet for her. She checked the time and saw that it was after three and Tony had not bugged her even once. Not for something to eat, company or just general nothingness. This was what worried her. Even on rainy days, he usually asked for something at least once.

Pepper left her comfortable spot on the couch and ascended the stairs and down the hallway to Tony's bedroom. She knocked lightly before opening the door. The room was still dark inside despite the fact that it had one full wall of windows and JARVIS had opened the shades but all there was inside and out were shades of gray.

"Tony, are you alright?" Pepper asked quietly.

The mound of blankets on the bed grunted something unintelligible and they shifted either now facing her or away. Pepper couldn't quite tell where Tony's head actually was.

Pepper moved closer to the bed. She was close enough to reach out and touch what she thought was his shoulder. Her touch was feather light but concerned. "Tony? It's after three. You must be hungry by now." She spoke gently to the mass of blankets again.

One arm managed to sneak out from under the blankets and snaked around Pepper's waist and pulled her under the blankets before she had a chance to protest.

Once she was safely under the warmth of the blankets, Tony had pulled her against him, her back resting against his stomach as he kept his arm around her waist to keep her from escaping. He softly nuzzled the back of her hair as he was still drifting between the world of sleep and wakefulness.

Pepper was surprised to say the least. First with how she was ambushed and second that she was lying in Tony's bed, fully clothed, and he was just in his underwear. "Is there something you want?" she asked bluntly.

Tony nodded. "Company," he whispered.

Pepper shifted in his strong embrace so she was facing him. Even with his eyes closed, she could see the pain and loneliness etched across his face. After he had returned, he was letting his guard down more and more around her, letting her into the heart he actually had deep down. Things were quickly going beyond boss and assistant, beyond friends. They were moving towards love.

"Tony, I have things to do for you." Pepper said as gently as she could. "I can't just spend all day in here with you."

"Save things for tomorrow." Tony said softly as he opened his eyes. "I want you here with me right now…please."

There was that look that Tony knew how to use very well. His dark eyes looking so sad and innocent and it was the one thing that Pepper found it hard to resist.

"Can I just get a little more comfortable? If you want me here for a while, I can't stay in a suit now can I?" Pepper said with a small smile as she pushed a few stray hairs away from his face.

Tony thought about it for a moment and when he figured that she wasn't playing him, he released his grip around her waist and let her out of the bed.

Pepper slipped out of his bed and Tony actually pushed the blankets down so he could watch her. He was curious as to how she would come back to him.

"No peeking. I want this to be a surprise." Pepper said as she crossed his bedroom to where the master bath was.

Tony was willing to play along and pulled the blankets over his head with a smile as he heard Pepper pulling something out of his dresser and then going into the bathroom. He tried to peek again as he thought she was coming out but only got scolded by Pepper from inside the bathroom as if she knew what he was doing.

"Are your eyes closed?" Pepper asked as she popped her head out.

"Not a chance this time." Tony answered honestly. "And there is no way I am going to."

"Well then…" Pepper sighed as she stepped out from the bathroom wearing only his MIT t-shirt that barely went past her rear.

Tony swallowed hard at the extremely erotic sight before him as Pepper climbed into bed next to him, lying on her side so she could face him.

Tony slid his arm around her waist again and pulled her close, knowing full well she would be able to feel what she was doing to him. "Are you expecting me to behave myself?" he asked cautiously since this part of their relationship was still very new and delicate.

Pepper kissed Tony's lips delicately. "Well, that is entirely up to you. This can be just what you asked for…company…or this could be more."

"I don't want you to do anything you don't want to." Tony stated as his hand glided over her hip. "Just having you next to me is enough but if more is offered I am not going to be an idiot and say no."

Pepper took Tony's hand and put it on her hip, underneath his shirt, as she draped one of her legs over his, kissing him deeply as she ran her fingers through his hair. "You tell me…" she whispered in his ear.

Two hours later, they were spooned up against each other in the bliss of feeling the other's skin against theirs, sound asleep. This was a first for Tony. Normally, he didn't stay when the woman he was with fell asleep in bed with him. But this time, in his bedroom and not the guest room and with Pepper, there was no way he was going anyplace.