Yeah, I'm not sure about this story. I know it's been done before and this is my version.

Please review!

Tony Stark raised his eyebrows at Pepper Potts.

She was sat in her office working on her laptop, while Tony (unknown to Pepper) lounged in the doorway.

'Are you crying, Peps?' Tony asked, hands in his pockets.

'No,' Pepper said, immediately turning her head away.

'Yes you are.'

'No I'm not.'

'If you're really that stressed give me some work to do.'

Pepper laughed, 'would you honestly do it?'

'Yes, if it benefited you.'

Pepper stopped laughing and looked up at him. 'Seriously?'

'Seriously.' Tony stepped over to her desk and stood to the side of her chair, glancing over the pile of papers on her desk. 'What needs doing?'

Pepper swallowed. 'Um, well these are the notes for the meeting tomorrow, you should probably look over them, add anything you think is relevant.'

'Sure,' Tony said, picking them up. He walked to the door and then turned back.

'You were crying, your eyes are red.'

Pepper responded by bursting into tears, which flowed down onto her laptop.

'Pepper!' Tony dumped the notes and walked over to her, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. 'Don't cry, I'm a bloke I don't know how to cope.'

'I'm fine,' Pepper said, wiping her eyes.

'No, you're not. Come here.' Tony wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close while Pepper cried against his chest.

'Tell me what the matter is,' Tony said, stroking her hair.

'You're the matter! You went missing for 3 months. I thought you were dead! Then you come back and seem insistent on trying to kill yourself, I can't keep patching you up like there's nothing wrong!'

Tony pulled back and looked at her, brown eyes meeting the blue.

'Is this about me, or Iron Man?'

'Both of you! You talk about it like it's something completely separate, but it's not, it's you! Whenever I turn on the TV and the reporter is going on about "Iron Man doing this" or "Iron Man doing that" it's never about the damn armour it's about you! You're the one in the suit Tony you're the one who's going to get hurt. I love you but you keep going out trying to kill yourself and I can't cope with it any more.'

Stunned, Tony took a moment to recover… and then his genius brain caught up with what she'd said.

'You love me.'

'Of course I love you Tony, did you honestly think I didn't?'

'Well… yeah.'

'You know something Tony Stark? You're a genius but sometimes you can be such a prat.'


'It's the truth and you know it.'

'Yeah, okay it is the truth but Pepper, why didn't you tell me before?'

'I did, you didn't listen, you never listen.'

'I'm listening now.'

Pepper looked at him. 'Puppy eyes aren't going to work Tony, you may listen but you won't do anything about what I'm saying.'

'Pepper, my weapons are killing people, hurting innocents. I have to protect them, make them safe.'

'You have to protect yourself, make yourself safe.'

'I do.'

'Not enough, clearly.'

'What do you mean?'

For answer, Pepper traced the bruise on Tony's temple and then the cut on the back of his hand.

'This enough?' she asked softly.

Tony looked at her. 'I'm sorry Pepper, I honestly am, I don't like upsetting you.'

Pepper stood up suddenly. 'Then don't.' And with that she stormed out the room.

Tony spent the rest of the day wondering what to say to Pepper, how he could make it right. But he wasn't called a genius for nothing, and by the end of the day he had a plan.

That evening, just before sunset, Tony strapped himself into the suit and flew off to Pepper's apartment.

Pepper was sat on her balcony dressed in shorts and a thin t-shirt reading when Tony landed behind her. She jumped so high for a moment Tony honestly thought that she was going over the side.

'Tony! You bastard what the hell do you think you're doing?'

Tony slid the mask up. 'I'm taking you out, let's go.'

Pepper looked stunned and Tony allowed her to have a moment to figure out what was going on. 'Wait… what? No!'

Tony swooped forward and gathered her up before flying over the side of the balcony.

Pepper shrieked and yelled, 'don't you dare drop me!'

Tony laughed and dropped the mask back down, 'as if I would!'

Pepper closed her eyes and tried not to think of anything until she felt a slight jolt as Tony landed.

'Okay Peps you can unscrew your eyes now, we're here.'

Pepper untangled herself from Tony and looked around.

They were on the beach just below Tony's house on Point Dume. The timing was perfect. It was sunset and the rays lit up the water, turning it a beautiful golden colour.

Pepper looked over at Tony who pressed a button on the side of the armour covering his leg. The armour fell away, folding into itself and Tony stepped out of it in his jeans and T-shirt, not wearing the usual black under suit.

'Well? What do you think?' he asked, dropping his hands into his pockets.

'It's gorgeous Tony, why are we here?'

Tony dropped down onto the sand and patted the space next to him. Pepper sat down hesitantly and Tony took her hands.

'Pepper listen, and don't say anything. I'm sorry, I really truly am. I always try not to hurt you and I know that most of the time I don't do a very good job. But you have to understand, I created those weapons, it's my technology that is being used to hurt people. I can't let that happen. And I know that it upsets you and I'm really really sorry but I can't stand by while people get hurt because of me. And I love you too, always have.'

Pepper stared at him, before grabbing his hair and pulling his face to hers, kissing him. Tony tensed, shocked for a moment, before kissing her back, winding her hair around his fingers.

When Pepper finally broke it due to lack of oxygen she took his face in her hands. 'Just promise me one thing.'

Tony nodded.

'Promise me you'll be careful.'

Tony smiled. 'I promise, Pepper.'

Then Pepper kissed him again.