Simple Question by AndromedaMarine
Author's Note: Song "Hallelujah" owned by Rufus Wainwright.
Perhaps they were the four words that tore them apart. She couldn't answer him – her brain froze when she felt his hands on her arms. He'd interpreted it as reluctance, hesitance. He walked away and didn't speak to her for the rest of the day. She was left upstairs, contemplating his question.
"Do you love me?"
It was almost ten in the evening when Pepper made the decision to answer him. He was intently laboring over the suit, not noticing when she entered. He was quietly singing the words to a song she didn't know. "...There was a time you let me know...what's real and going on below...but now you never show it to me, do you? Remember when I moved in you, the holy dark was moving too...and every breath we drew was hallelujah..." He faded out and screwed up his face in concentration on the flight stabilizer.
"Tony," she called quietly. The billionaire didn't seem to hear her, a question that was answered when she saw the earbuds. She walked up behind him to surprise him like he'd surprised her. He stiffened when her hands rested on his shoulders. She tugged the headphones out and turned to face him. "Tony."
"Yes, Miss Potts?"
Her face fell slightly. "Concerning your earlier inquiry," she said, pretending to talk about something professional, "my answer..."
His eyes darkened.
"My answer is yes." She turned away like lightning and practically ran to the stairs, her heart pounding.
Tony said three words that made Pepper stop. "I love you." He strode over to her and pulled her into a warm embrace. He saw that she was crying into his shoulder. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I'm finally home, Tony. I'm finally home."
"What do you mean?" Tony asked, pulling back so he could see her face. "You've always had a home."
She shook her head vehemently. "I've had a house and a job. Home is where your heart is, and you have my heart. I'm home, Tony. With you."
Unsure of himself he leaned in to kiss her, and was utterly surprised when she met him halfway. Tony could've sworn his brain had imploded when they kissed. "Home," he confirmed, and kissed her again.