Author's Note: Okay. I've spent my almost a year on here focusing on TV shows but I couldn't help but write a fic for this movie. I saw it for the first time a couple of days ago (Yeah, I know. What hole have I been in?) and LOVED it. As soon I saw the first explosion, my muse came alive.

The following exchange with my sister sealed it for me.

Me (after hearing Tony and Pepper together for the first time):"Hey, do those two hook up at the end?"

Diane: "Not exactly."

Let there be fanfic! Fair warning, I am an Iron Man virgin and most of my research was done on the ever reliable Wikipedia. If anything is blatantly wrong, please tell me so that I may fix it. Here's the first chapter and let me know if you guys want more.

Enjoy…I hope.

Disclaimer: "Honestly, it's not mine!"

"Anthony Edward Stark!"

Not batting an eye, Tony continued pounding an impressive dent out of a piece of the Suit. He didn't bother answering or fleeing. She would find him. She always did. Besides, he had just been thinking about her.

"Where is she, JARVIS?"

The crisp English AI replied, "She is currently in your bedroom."

"And without me? Tsk, tsk." he replied wryly.

An air vent surged a little, JARVIS' equivalent of a chuckle.

"Indeed. May I inquire as to what you have done to cause her distress?"

"Don't worry, my electronic friend. You'll find out in 3…2…1…"

The garage/lab door slid open and the rapid cadence of heels announced her presence, along with the sweet scents of honey and vanilla.

"Have you lost your mind?!" she demanded.

Continuing his work, Tony let a small smile curve his lips, knowing that it would irritate her further.

"Red Pepper, my mind isn't lost. It went off looking for the Holy Grail. Last time I checked, it was in Rio with a couple of totally stacked…"

A newspaper slapped down on the table, cutting him off.

"What is this?"

Setting down his hammer and removing his goggles, he looked at the paper's title.

"Well, this is the Wall Street Journal, a financial magazine whose roots go back to 1882 when it was founded by reporters Charles Dow, Edward Jones…"

"Read the headline!" she hissed.

Picking it up, he did, noting the picture of them on the front .It was an official Stark Industries photo, which was the only reason she had agreed to it in the first place. Both of them were in all black and smiling.

"Stark Chooses A New VP in Potts. Hmm…it's got a good ring to it, wouldn't you say?"

A fierce growl made him turn just in time to catch Virginia Potts who was quite determined to pummel him. As he struggled with her, he noted two things. She was in all black again and she was dead sexy when she was pissed, even if was at him, especially if it was at him. She was sleek and elegant, like a brand new hot rod.

"Let me go!" she grunted, squirming determinedly in his arms.

Concentrating on Rhodey and his spring break "hottie", he managed to keep his gear shaft from running her through. Although, if she didn't stop squirming, she would have a throbbing, 9 ¾ inch new reason to want to kill him.

"Pepper, stop it! I don't want to hurt you!" he insisted.

Or have you rip my dick off in a disgusted rage…

With a last frustrated (sexy) growl, she stopped fighting but he could feel shaking tension from her head to her toes. He was confused.

"Pepper, why are you mad? You should be celebrating. You're now the Veep of one the most prominent industries in the world. What's the problem?"

She stayed stubbornly silent for a second but then relaxed into his arms, sobbing like a lost child. Startled, Tony looked around for a box of Kleenex. To his disgust, he couldn't see one in the organized (sort of) chaos of the garage. A claw tapped his shoulder and when he turned, Dummy was there with a dark blue tissue box. He gave a sad pitiful whir and Tony could immediately pick up on his question.

"I don't know what's wrong with her, buddy."

A longer whir was given, sounding even more plaintive and pitiful than the last.

"Yeah, I don't like it when she's sad either."

That was an understatement. It fucking killed him when she cried or got hurt or when anything else remotely bad happened to her. It made him want to suit up and blow the asshole that hurt her to Kingdom Come.

Unfortunately, most of the time, he ended up being the asshole that hurt her.

Trying again he asked, "What's wrong, Pepper? You can tell me."

She sniffled and looked at him earnestly, tears still pouring from her eyes, which she dabbed at daintily with the given tissue.

"I'm not mad. Okay, I'm a little annoyed that I had to read about my promotion in the paper…"

"I wanted to surprise you." he cut in sheepishly.

"..You did. I damn near had a heart attack. Tony, I can't do this. I'm just a lowly assistant. You need someone more qualified. If the company tanked because of me, I'd feel awful and I would have to live with it for the rest of my life. You get it, don't you?"

Aw, jeez, of course he did. He remembered saying something remarkably similar to Obadiah when he took the reigns.

Great minds think alike, I guess. But, she's wrong. If anyone can do it, she can. She has to believe that, though…

With that, Tony realized that he would have to reason with her, a challenging but welcome change of pace. Usually, he freaked out and she talked him down from the ledge.

Guiding them to the couch, he reluctantly broke their embrace so he could look at her head on.

"First of all, there's nothing lowly about you. You're 5'9, for god's sake. Even without these stilts you call shoes." he quipped while pointing at one of her heels, hoping to get a smile.

She didn't smile but her lips quirked in her "Pepper is Amused" way.

That spurred him on.

"Second of all, you're more than qualified. Remember how you got to be my assistant in the first place?"

"The accounting mistake." she replied fondly.

'That's right. You caught it and you were persistent enough to threaten a guard with pepper spray to get to me, saving the company 5 mil and keeping my nuts out of a vice. You're an organization beast and you're a little bad ass so that means that you won't let the investors, the press, the board, or me walk all over you. Red Pepper, you can do this. I know you can. I have complete faith in you." he told her firmly.

Ah, there was her smile.

"You do?" she asked shyly.

"Hell yeah, I do! Besides, who better to run a multi- billion dollar corporation with than your best friend?" he asked with a playful nudge to her.

"I thought Rhodey was your best friend."

"Platypus is my best friend sans tits."

She groaned out a laugh and swatted him.

"You're worse than a damned teenager, Tony!"

"Yeah, I know. So, what say you? Will you help me take over the world?"

He gave her his best puppy dog eyes, knowing she couldn't resist the dark orbs.

She grumbled and then warned, "If this fails, I get to be the one that flees to Micronesia."

He grinned and impulsively scooped her up in hug, resulting in a girlish squeal from Pepper.

"Put me down, you iron fool! I have to go schedule a press conference because if you think you can just make me your Veep without someone scratching their head and saying 'huh?', then you're on dope."

Tony obediently put her down and pressed a kiss to her brow, mindful not let his goatee burn her.

Her face flushed to an endearing shade of pink and she hurried out, leaving her scent in her wake.

Tony sighed and headed back to finish his work.

If he hurried, he could get in the shower and change.

After all, he couldn't show up looking like a grease monkey, no matter how much fun it would be.