Quick story, set 2 months before Tony goes to Afghanistan.

Enjoy and then review!! :)

'Mr Stark, you need to sign those papers that Clayton wanted or he'll be after you again,' Pepper said, strolling into her boss' office, high heels clacking on the floor, a pile of files in her arms. 'And don't forget that meeting for the directors in half an hour, if you miss that again they'll be after you as well.'

Pepper paused when Tony didn't respond. She couldn't see anything over the stack of files. 'Sir, are you even listening to me? There is a reason you hired me you know.'

Still no response.

Pepper sighed and dumped her stuff on the edge of the desk, looking over at him, 'Mr Stark, I…' but she trailed off when she saw him fast asleep over his keyboard.

Pepper opened her mouth and then closed it again. She walked over to Tony. 'Mr Stark?' she said softly, bending down over him. Tony didn't move. 'Tony..?'

'Hey Pepper,' he mumbled through his keyboard. Pepper put a hand on his forehead. 'Sir, you're burning up! Why didn't you say anything?'

'It's Tony,' he said, sounding like he was pinching his nose, sitting up and stretching. 'And I'm fine.'

'No, you're not,' Pepper said, putting her hands on her hips. 'Go to your meeting, and then go home.'

Tony raised an eyebrow at her. 'Since you're so keen on getting rid of me, don't I get to miss the meeting?'

Pepper glared at him, 'since you've had to reschedule, I mean, since I've had to reschedule about five times, no, you can't miss it.'

Tony nodded and stood up, then swayed and crashed back down into his seat.

'Nuh-uh, you're not going to fool me acting like that,' Pepper said, putting her hands on her hips.

'I'm not acting like anything,' Tony gasped, his face going white, 'I…can't… breathe…'

'Tony?' Pepper said, kneeling down next to him, and putting her hand on his back, 'Tony, breathe, deep breaths.'

Tony did so, still gasping for air.

Pepper rubbed his back gently.

'Go home,' she said softly, 'and get some rest, I'll reschedule your meeting and call Happy for you, now go get some sleep.'

Tony nodded as Pepper helped him up and fetched his jacket, shuffling towards the door and trying not to pass out.

In the car on the way back to his mansion, Tony had managed to pass out in Pepper's lap. Since it was clear he wasn't going to be able to get himself unto the house, Pepper had gone with him to help, and was now trying to support Tony's head while at the same time trying to do some work on her BlackBerry.

Pepper sighed and gave up on her BlackBerry when the car went over a bump and Tony moaned softly.

Pepper put the phone down and gently laid one arm over Tony's back and the other on his forehead, gently pushing back his sweaty dark hair. Tony moaned again and buried his head further into Pepper's lap.

'Shush, Tony,' Pepper said gently, 'it's alright, I've got you.'

Once they'd got to the house, Tony was completely unconscious and Happy had to carry him up to his bedroom.

Once Pepper had thanked Happy for helping, she undressed Tony and put him in his pyjama trouser, for once missing all his comments about undressing him.

Pepper left a glass of water, an orange and some aspirin next to his bed, covered him with a comforter and went downstairs to do some work.

'Miss Potts,' Pepper jumped awake, sending her laptop crashing to the floor, not realising she'd fallen asleep on Tony Stark's sofa. Had someone said something? 'Miss Potts,' came the voice of JARVIS, Tony's AI, 'I believe you should go upstairs, Mr Stark appears to be in distress.'

Pepper picked up her laptop and put it back on the sofa before running up the stairs to see Tony.

Tony was rolling over and over in bed, still asleep and muttering to himself, his face twisted in pain.

'Tony,' Pepper went over to him and put a hand on his arm.

Tony jerked awake, sitting bolt upright.

For a moment, they stared at each other, before Tony said, 'Hi Pepper.'

Pepper put her hand on his forehead. 'How are you feeling?' she asked softly.

'Uh… like death warmed up,' Tony said, collapsing back into bed.

'Get some sleep,' Pepper said, pushing back his hair, 'I'll cancel your meetings for the next few days.'

'Thanks Pepper,' Tony mumbled, eyes closed, already half asleep.

Pepper sighed and went downstairs, closing the door behind her.

Tony slept through 5 whole days, only waking when Pepper forced him to take some water and aspirin.

On the sixth day Tony got out of bed, had a major head rush and thumped down onto the carpet.

'Ouch,' he mumbled through the fabric. 'I should probably eat something.'

He looked over at the small table and realised Pepper had left him an apple and a strawberry jam sandwich. Tony ate in all in four mega Tony bites, before wandering downstairs to join Pepper, who was pacing the length of his living room and arguing on the phone with someone.

'Yes, yes I know but… that's not the problem! We really need them by tomorrow… yes I know that too…'

Tony walked up behind Pepper and took the phone off her, putting it to his own ear, 'Hi, this is Tony Stark.' That was all it took for the man to start jabbering apologies and stammering.

Tony grinned, pleased with the chaos he'd created and handed the phone back to Pepper, going into the kitchen to raid the fridge.

Pepper followed him, after receiving a personal guarantee from the sales assistant to have it delivered later that day, which was impressive considering it was coming from Moscow.

'Hi Pep,' Tony said, his mouth full of peanut butter.

Pepper leaned on the counter, 'feeling better, are we?' she asked, raising her eyebrows.

Tony swallowed and grinned at her. 'Face it Pepper, you were worried about me.'

Pepper's eyebrows disappeared into her hair line and she turned away.

'Nope,' she said, lying through her teeth, 'I never worry about you.'

She didn't realise that after two months had gone by she would be worrying about him an awful lot.