Hey heres the new chapter!
About an hour into the flight Tony got up from his seat and found the box of supplies he always had on his private jets. He brought the box over to the other side of the plane and sat down across the aisle from Pepper in a seat with a table. He pulled out a pad of drawing paper and a freshly sharpened pencil and started putting the ideas he had down on paper. Tony was most focused on a design that would allow Tony to replace the palladium inside. He figured that since he had palladium poisoning, the palladium inside the Arc Reactor must be compromised. Tony fully sketched the plan out and leaned back to admire his work. It looked even more sleek than his current one. Tony unbuttoned his shirt and twisted the Arc Reactor out of its place. He pulled it out just enough to look at it without unhooking it. It was a marvelous thing to look at. The soft yet ultra bright blue glow was almost a hopeful sight. If I could make this work of art, shouldn't I be able to save myself from it? I created it to save me and it's killing me in the process. Well isn't that just plain ironic. Tony put the Reactor back in its place and looked back at the paper. He picked up the pencil and started to doodle absentmindedly. He began to think about Pepper and how she had been such a help to him. Tony began to wonder exactly who she had been comforting back in the hall earlier that day. Surely it must have been around half and half. Pepper needed comforting just as much as he did. Tony looked over at Pepper who was sound asleep in her chair. He smiled as she murmured something that sounded a lot like his name.
"Yes, Pepper?" Tony softly asked wondering if he would get a sleep conversation out of her.
"Don' forget to take out th' garbage, okay?" she muttered back. Tony held a snicker back.
"But we're out of garbage bags, Pep," Tony said with mock sadness. Pepper sighed.
"I'll go get some later," she said groggily. Tony thought for a minute. He wondered if he could get some true facts from her. He decided to test it.
"Who do you work for," he asked hoping she would say something funny like Hugh Heffner.
"I work for Tony Stark. You should know that Tony. Mr. Stark is on the news so often that everyone knows who he is." Tony laughed lightly and wondered why his work self seemed to be a whole other person from his social self according to Pepper.
Tony decided to use the moment to his advantage and get some answers out of her that he should have known by then.
"Did you have any pets when you were a kid?"
"Yeah. I had a Bunny named Artemis. He was so cute."
"Do you have any allergies?"
"I'm terribly allergic to strawberries."
"Do you like your job?"
"When Mr. Stark isn't trying to get himself killed or completely drunk, yes. " Tony made a mental not to try and stop drinking so much.
"What is your favorite color?"
"Blue. The same blue as the dress I wore to the Disney thing Mr. Stark funded. You were there, remember?"
"Yeah, I remember," Tony said, the memory of a forgotten Vodka martini in this head, "I'm still sorry for that."
"It's okay, Tony. I know you didn't mean to," Pepper said. It sounded like she was starting to wake up a little. Tony looked down at his doodle and saw that he had written "TS + PP" inside a poorly drawn heart. Tony laughed at how much he was like a love sick teenager.
"You love me, right?"
"Of course. I've always loved you."
"Yeah, me too," Tony said trying to fix the sloppy heart.
"What's that?" Pepper asked. Tony looked up at her and saw she was trying to look at what he had drawn.
"When did you wake up?" Tony asked trying to avoid her question and hoping she hadn't been awake for his whole interrogation.
"Just now. Why?" Pepper asked suspiciously.
"Okay. Don't worry. It's nothing," Tony said with a smile.
"I wasn't sleep-talking again, was I?" Pepper said horrified. Tony gave Pepper a sheepish grin.
"Just a little," Tony said.
"Oh God! What did I say? Tony you have to tell me!" Pepper stood up and walked over to where Tony was sitting. Tony laughed and reached for Pepper's hand revealing the doodle. Pepper grabbed the paper and, while giggling at Tony's shocked expression, forgot all about the sleep-talking.
"This is very cute, Tony," Pepper smiled. Tony fumbled for words and found that he couldn't find any.
"You know if this blueprint stuff weren't on this, I would frame it," Pepper said holding the paper up to admire it. Tony stood up and snatched it back.
"It's just a doodle," Tony said putting the sketch back on the table.
"Just a doodle?" Pepper asked with a mock pout. Tony took a step closer to her. He let his suave side take over and gave Pepper a smile than no one could resist.
"Yes. Just a doodle," Tony said in the voice he usually saved for his meaningless flirting but this time it wasn't meaningless. "Besides," he paused admiring how beautiful Pepper could be even having just woken up, "I thought that you were past doodles, Miss Potts." Pepper bit on her lip, most likely deciding how to play her cards.
"Well, I guess that you could say that I'm past doodles so to speak but if one turns up I'd be more than happy to-"
"So you're past doodles then," Tony interrupted, sensing her tendency to ramble kick in. Pepper gave Tony an odd look.
"I'm past doodles," she said simply. Tony took another step forward leaving only a couple inches between them.
"Was that so hard?" Tony asked. Pepper seemed to be losing her train of thought. Tony knew it was unfair to use his power of seduction on his own girlfriend. I need to prove that she isn't the only one in this relationship who can leave someone speechless. Tony casually ran his fingers through his hair in a way that belonged on a magazine cover.
"You're pure evil, Tony," Pepper said half dazed. Tony grinned an evil yet loving grin.
"I know, Pepper. And I'm all yours," He said before Pepper threw her arms around him and kissed him fiercely.
After Tony and Pepper finished what Rhodey would have probably described as "sucking face", Pepper decided to ask Tony a favor.
"You haven't met her and she's been dying to meet you. I promise it would only be a couple days," Pepper reasoned.
"Pepper. You know I have a ton of work to do…" Tony frowned.
"It's my mother, Tony. You're going to have to meet her sooner or later you know. I would prefer the sooner side of that, too. My mom can be a little harsh sometimes and she respects a man who wants to do things right. Besides I want to give her my gift in person."
"Wait. Do things right? What's that supposed to mean? Does this mean no sex before marriage?" Tony asked leaning forward in his chair, horrified. Pepper rolled her eyes.
"Yes, but I suppose if it came down to it, it could be our little secret," Pepper sighed. Tony relaxed a little.
"Jeez, Pepper. Don't scare me like that," he said half jokingly. Pepper gave him a scolding look but didn't comment any more on the subject.
"Okay. Pepper you win this one but if were going to go visit your mom I want to do it now," Tony said firmly.
"Now? What are you just going to go up and ask the pilots to make a detour?" Pepper asked.
"That's a great idea, Pepper. Where does your mom live?" Tony asked standing up.
"You can't do that, Tony. Oh who am I kidding… you can do any thing you want. She lives In Minnesota. A bit north of the metro. Tell them to land in Minneapolis," Pepper said trailing after Tony torwards the cockpit. Tony knocked on the reinforced door and one of the pilots opened the door. He looked to be much younger than the other pilot. He had light brown hair and silver-blue eyes.
"Hello, Mr. Stark. We didn't expect you to be joining us," he said slightly star struck. Tony flashed the smile he always wore for fans, paparazzi and even the haters.
"I was wondering if you could take a little detour for me?" Tony asked.
"A detour?" asked the pilot, "What do you mean?" Tony put on his best mourning face.
"Well, my girlfriend's dad is very sick… He's on his last leg and there's really no time for us to catch another flight to see him before he… well, you know…" Tony delivered it perfectly as he pushed Pepper back. He hoped that she would catch the hint and go pretend to cry in the corner.
"I'm so sorry," The pilot said falling for Tony's act, "Where do you need to go? I'll see if we can't work something out."
"Minneapolis, Minnesota," Tony said solemnly. I'm really going to have to look into acting… The pilot nodded and sent Tony back to his seat assuring him that he would do what he could to change the flight path. Tony closed the cockpit door and turned around to found Pepper sitting in her seat with a stern look on her face.
"Did you really have to hypothetically kill my father?" Pepper asked.
"It's better than just saying 'Hey! We want to drop by my girlfriend's parents just for the heck of it so what do you say?'" Tony said sitting next to her. Pepper frowned but seemed to agree with him.
"Look, I'm sorry. If it makes you feel any better, I am interested in meeting your parents," Tony said.
"I've been wanting to talk to you about that, actually," Pepper said.
"Oh yeah?" What's up?" Tony asked.
"Well, it might be good if you didn't call me Pepper," she said with a wince.
"Why not?" Tony asked confused," It's a harmless enough name." Tony wondered if Pepper's mom has some weird aversion to certain names.
"I know it's just that- well, she can be a little strict with how she-" Pepper seemed to be searching for the right words," umm, runs her house and names are kinda one of those things."
"Names?" Tony asked skeptically, "So I'm supposed to call you Virginia the whole time we're there?"
"Yeah," Pepper said looking relieved for some reason. Probably because Tony hadn't forgotten her real name.
"Can't you get your name legally changed to Pepper?" Tony asked mostly seriously.
"You can't deal with calling me by my real name for a couple days?" Pepper asked.
"Days? I thought this was going to be an afternoon visit?" Tony asked getting nervous.
"Tony, this is my parent's we're talking about. Not some friend I knew for a semester in college," Pepper argued.
"Hey I once stayed with some one I knew back in MIT for a month!" Tony exclaimed with a little glint of mischief in his eyes
"Girlfriend?" Pepper asked crossing her arms. Tony scowled. She's good.
"… Never mind that. How are your parents going to react when you tell them 'Hey mom and dad! My boyfriend is dying and we decided to drop by so I can have you guys meet him before he keels over!'" Tony knew he was hitting a soft spot but he couldn't stop himself. Pepper was about to say something but stopped. She turned away and stared out the window without saying one word. Now you've done it. Way to go Tony. You just verbally murdered the only person in your life who can stand you. Kudos.
"Jeez, Pep. I'm so sorry. I don't know where that came from. Just forget I ever said it," Tony said completely guilt ridden.
"No. You're right, Tony. I shouldn't have even suggested it," Pepper said in a monotone voice still looking out the window.
"Please, Pepper. I didn't mean it. I'm really interested in meeting your parents. I want to get to know you more and meeting your parents is on my list. And I am not going to keel over. I shouldn't have said that," Tony said hoping he hadn't just lost the person in his life that mattered most.
"It's okay, Tony. I'm sorry I'm springing this on you. I should have suggested it after we had worked on the cure a bit," Pepper said turning back to face Tony.
"You should probably call your parents and tell them we're coming," Tony said, "You can use mine. It won't interfere with the plane." Tony handed Pepper his phone and watched her dial the number with mixed emotions. He was excited to meet his potential in-laws. He was hopeful that they would get along. He was scared shitless for both of those reasons too.
"Hello, Mother," Pepper said with a smile on her face. Mother? "I just wanted you to know that Tony and I are going to drop by in the morning."
"Flight path change has been approved. Two hours to Minneapolis."