Disclaimer: Most of the characters and situations in this story belong to Marvel Comics, Fairview Entertainment, Dark Blades Films, and other entities, and I do not have permission to borrow them. All others are mine, and if you want to borrow them, you have to ask me first. No infringement is intended in any way, and this story is not for profit. Any errors are mine, all mine, no you can't have any.
Editing, and support, and general cheering on all by Cincoflex, who put up with angst and whining and distraction and saw this one through. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
"I still don't know what happened to my current diary," Pepper complained, rummaging through her desk for what felt like the hundredth time.
Tony, leaning in the home-office doorway with his arms folded, shrugged. "It'll turn up eventually. Did you check the bookshelves in the bedroom?"
"At least six times." Pepper frowned and straightened. "Blast."
Three weeks after her memory cascade, she was still finding the occasional blank spot in her recall, which Jarvis assured her was normal. Pepper didn't let it worry her too much, but the missing diary didn't fall into that category.
"Just start a new one," her lover suggested. "It's probably hiding out of spite."
Pepper sniffed, lips twitching at his grin. "If I find out you hid it, Stark--"
Tony held up both hands. "Hey, no way. Seriously." Pushing away from the doorframe, he walked over to her and pulled her into his arms. "Come on, Pepper. Let it go for now. I'm hungry and you promised we could go out for lunch."
Sighing with contentment, Pepper leaned against him, resting her hands on his hips. "It's only ten o'clock, Tony."
His grin didn't lessen. "So?"
Pepper regarded him for a long moment, thinking. The man smiling at her, her boss, her lover, her friend--she knew him inside and out, from both directions. The last couple of months had forced her to some hard decisions, but they had also proven some things--like love, and trustworthiness.
And he'd kept asking. With a patience and a certainty that had surprised her.
Tony's smile softened and he raised his brows. "What?"
"I just remembered something," Pepper said, smirking at him. "Several somethings, in fact. Okay, I'll marry you."
His poleaxed gape was worth a great deal, she thought in the few seconds before his hug picked her up off her feet and made her squeak with its tightness. "Really?"
"If you haven't changed your mind," she managed, grabbing his shoulders for balance and still smirking. "Tony--"
His eyes were brilliant as he looked up at her, and then he pulled her down into a kiss that tasted of relief and joy. When her feet found the floor again, Tony released her, grabbing her hand. "Come on, Potts."
"Wait--what? Where are we going?" She let him pull her out into the hall.
"To pick up a license, obviously. Can you call Rhodey?" His grin was just this side of manic, and Pepper started to laugh.
"You want to get married right now?"
Tony stopped and looked back. "Hell yeah. You said yes, I'm not giving you a chance to change your mind." He hesitated. "Unless--do you want a big wedding and all that? Because I'll do anything you want, really, I just--"
Pepper smiled, and put her free hand over his lips. "I believe," she said, feeling amused and solemn and ecstatic all at once, "that the county courthouses are open until at least 3 P.M."
"No time to waste then," he said against her fingers, and kissed them. "Let's go!"
Laughing, she followed him out.