Title: Warmth
Characters: Tony Stark, Pepper Potts, Happy Hogan
Rating: PG-13 for some mild language
Summary: Tony wakes up.


Awareness came back to Tony slowly. He was lying on his side, curled up under blissfully warm blankets. His whole body ached, as though he'd been electrocuted.

Again.

What had happened? The last thing he remembered was answering an Avengers alert, but this definitely felt like his bed. Tony racked his brain to dig up anything else, but was simply too tired to care.

He snuggled deeper into the warmth of the sheets, and was almost back to sleep when the bed shifted next to him.

Tony jolted awake.

Part of the warmth he'd been curled up against moved away. Someone had been in bed with him, he realized, and he had no idea who it was.

Slowly, Tony pried his eyes open to see a woman standing by the window, wearing what appeared to be one of his tee-shirts. She had his back to him, but her red hair stood out plain as day. The color was too light to be Beth, and she wasn't tall enough to be Natasha. He debated whether or not to call out to her when she turned her head to the side.

Oh shit.

He shut his eyes.

He opened them again.

Much to his dismay, Pepper Potts-Hogan was still there.

Tony's heart sank into his stomach.

Pepper turned around to the bed and smiled when their eyes met.

"Hey there. You awake?"

Oh shit.

He tried to think of something, anything, that could possibly explain this, but between the hole in his memory and the soreness in his body, everything he came up with could be summed up in the words 'not good.'

"Tony?" she asked, getting a worried look on her face. She came back over to the bed, crouching in front of him.

"Tony? Hey, are you okay?"

"Oh God," he whispered.

"What is it?" Pepper put a hand on his cheek, tilting her head to the side to look him in the eyes better.

"I'm a dead man."

"Tony?"

"Happy's going to kill me."

"What? Why would he..."

She stifled a giggle.

"Oh Tony. Do you remember last night at all?"

"Um…no?"

This time she laughed outright, looking almost… relieved?

"I'm so glad you think this is funny Mrs. Hogan. You're not the one whose life is in imminent danger."

"I assure you Mr. Stark," Pepper said, resting her chin on her hand. "What you think happened did not happen."

"Then why are you wearing my shirt?"

"Because you threw up on her."

Oh, right. That made sense… wait, what?

Tony went stiff, realizing for the first time that the nice, comfortable, source of warmth pressed up against his back felt suspiciously like a male chest. From there he went on to note the very male arm around his waist, and the very, very male voice breathing in his ear.

Pepper laughed even harder, "That was mean Happy. Oh God, Tony, the look on your face."

Tony levered himself up, or tried to anyways. A sudden wave of vertigo struck him, and then he felt two sets of hands steady him.

"Easy there Boss," Happy told him. He and Pepper carefully leaned Tony back against the head of the bed.

"You okay?"

"Um," he looked back and forth between the two half-dressed people sitting on his bed, "Could someone please explain to me what's going on?"

Happy shook his head, "You remember the Avengers alert?"

"Vaguely."

"Yeah well, I don't know all the details, but apparently the villain of the week had some sort of psychic fear wave. You took a hit just before the other Avengers took him out. You being you, told everyone that you were fine, and left," Happy said, rolling his eyes.

"You then proceeded to miss all your appointments for the rest of the day," Pepper continued, "You're going to be kissing Mrs. A's shoes for a week, by the way. Happy and I went looking for you in your workshop…"

"And?" Tony asked, not liking where this was going.

"And we found you still in your armor, curled up into a little hyperventilating ball behind a computer terminal. It took us half an hour to calm you down enough to get you out of the suit."

Oh.

That explained why Pepper was giving him that look. The one where she couldn't decide whether to hit him or hug him.

"After that, we got you up to the penthouse. Which is when you threw up on me."

Tony winced. "Sorry Pepper. Though, that still doesn't explain why you were both in my bed."

"After we got everything cleaned up, I tried to get you to sleep, but you completely freaked out on me. You refused to calm down unless Pep and me were close by so…" Happy shrugged. "That was that."

"Sorry for all this you two."

Pepper sighed, "Sorry for scaring the hell out of us, or sorry for not being more concerned with your own welfare? Wait, don't answer that."

Tony hung his head.

"I'd say just don't let it happen again, but considering who I'm talking to, I'll just have to settle for thanking god that you're okay," she said, kissing his temple.

"So," Happy said, as he got out of bed, "Now that we've got explanations out of the way, how about some breakfast. Or should I say lunch?" He added after sneaking a glance at the clock.

"Sounds good," Tony replied, starting to follow him.

"Oh no you don't mister," Pepper gently shoved him back down. "Happy will get the food. You are staying right here in bed where I can keep and eye on you."

"But-"

"No buts. If you think after last night that I'm letting you out of my sight, you've got another thing coming."

"Just nod and say, 'Yes Pepper'. It makes life so much easier," Happy told him, reaching out to ruffle his hair.

Pepper threw a pillow at him. "Food. Now."

"Yes Pepper."

Tony chuckled at their antics and leaned back against the headboard.

"I don't deserve you two," he whispered.

"Well too bad," Pepper whispered back, pulling him into a warm embrace, "Because you're stuck with us."

THE END


A/N: I have no idea why, but I love screwing around with the 'morning after' cliche. Also, I needed some Happy-relalted fluff with all the angst in the Marvel U going on right now.