God's Ice Cube

Pepper had stopped ticking away on her phone minutes ago in favor of watching Tony. The second the press conference had ended, she'd informed him that next on his schedule was yet another board meeting to discuss updates that needed to be made in the labs in Japan. He'd practically thrown himself into the limo and had begun rooting around for the ingredients for a scotch: ice, the scotch itself, and a large glass.

He'd managed to locate all three, but was having trouble with the ice tray. Only two cubes were left, and one was already starting to melt in the scotch as Tony struggled to shake the other out.

"One damn cube," he muttered to himself. "Why… won't… you… come… out?!?"

Pepper raised an eyebrow at Tony and shook her head. Such dedication, she thought. All for a square of frozen water. "Just leave it, Tony. I don't want that thing flying out and hitting me in the eye."

"I will get it out," he insisted as he continued to twist the small tray this way and that.

"You'll never get it out," she said flatly. "Give it up. That's God's ice cube."

Tony froze and slowly looked up at Pepper, a smile creeping across his face. "Pardon? God's ice cube?"

Pepper bit her lip, blushing lightly as she raised her phone and pretended to text. But before she could even attempt it, Tony had leaned forward and gently plucked it away. Sitting back, he gave her that maddeningly charming smile as he said, "I'm sure there's an interesting story behind that statement. Out with it, Potts."

Pepper knew that there was no way this side of the devil's gate that she'd be able to talk her way out of telling him this wholly unimportant and insignificant story from her uninteresting childhood. What was that phrase her father used to use with her uncle? You can't bullshit a bullshitter. A quick glance at her waiting boss told her that that sounded about right.

She sighed heavily. "Fine. Whenever I went to visit my grandparents, my grandmother always loved to make me lemonade. The few times that she had trouble getting one or two ice cubes out, she'd fuss over it for a good five minutes with no results. After a while my grandfather always told her that she ought to give it up because that was God's ice cube and she needed to leave it for His whiskey."

He waited a beat before bursting into a fit of laughter. As he placed the tray back in the limo's chiller, he shook his head with a large smile. "Very well, Big Man," Tony said, his eyes heavenward. He lifted his glass of scotch. "Cheers." He took a large swallow and tossed Pepper back her phone. Again, he gave her that damn smile, though there was something unmistakably sincere in his eyes as he looked at her. "I like learning things about you, Pepper."

Nodding, Pepper raised her phone to shield her face again. She didn't like hiding, but it was only until her face didn't feel so hot anymore. But, knowing Tony, the blessed silence wouldn't last for very long.

"Was it good lemonade," he asked quietly.

"Delicious," she replied in an equally low tone.

Just a little something that came to mind when I came across a hilarious web comic. 'Toothpaste For Dinner.' Check it out. I'll probably do more.