Title: Boyfriends and Suits
Warnings: Iron Man 2 spoilers. I used both of the trailers and some other interviews for inspiration.
A simple question changed everything. It changed seven years between them. It changed six months of hoping and praying that someday she will finally succumb to the fact that they couldn't live without each other. The painful truth was that he couldn't live without her…
The question held more than one meaning, but he couldn't bring himself to care. He had felt like he had been electrocuted when Rhodey told him that every morning there were a bunch of exquisite flowers waiting for Pepper in her office. To be honest, he'd seen a bouquet of red roses one time he passed by her office. But frankly, he'd thought that those were set up there to brighten her mood.
The anger had been boiling inside of him since then. It only surfaced one time when he'd been too much of a fool to ignore the pain in his chest.
"You have a boyfriend?" He asked quietly, not trusting his voice.
"I shouldn't answer this question." She replied back after a few minutes, without making eye-contact with him. Instead, she gripped the files she held to her chest tighter.
"I'll take that as a 'yes'." He said, turning his back towards her and starting to draw something on a piece of paper.
"Take that as whatever you want it to be. I don't care."
Pepper waited for another minute, while staring at his back. He bent over his desk in order to retrieve a few pencils, but when he pressed the tip of a pencil on the paper, it broke. Tony swore under his breath before throwing that pencil into the trash can.
"You know… I actually came here to discuss about the plans for the Stark Expo."
"Yeah…What do you wanna talk about?" Tony asked her quickly, still not turning towards her.
"You mentioned something about cutting a hole through the ceiling of the main building."
"Yeah, I did. Make that happen."
Pepper raised an eye-brow at him, wondering if he really meant that.
"Why don't you call your assistant and set something up with her?"
"Why would I? You're already here, and besides…" He trailed off and looked at her briefly. "I've sent her out on an errand."
"All right, then." She paused and took a deep breath. "I will return to my office and have the architect know. Do you need anything else?"
"No, thank you." He muttered dismissively, grabbed the pencil and started drawing specs again.
"This whole lone gunslinger act is unnecessary. You don't have to do this alone." Rhodey said with conviction behind Tony who was obviously too engrossed in his own work.
"What do you want, Rhodey?" Tony asked under his breath as he concentrated on a few equations in his mind.
"I want you to build me a suit."
"After all you've put me through. I don't think so." He replied after a couple of seconds.
"You know I didn't have a choice, Tony. But it's your choice, no matter what. Still, I don't think that you should do this all by yourself, especially after what happened at Monaco."
Rhodey paused and took a few steps into Tony's personal space.
"I could be there for you when you need help. I could watch your back, or your front, for that matter."
"It's risky." Tony said quickly before closing a wooden box on his desk.
"Be as it may, but I want it."
Tony considered it for a moment. He didn't want to do something he'll regret later, but anyway, Rhodey was right. He needed someone to watch his back, especially now after revealing his secret identity to the whole world.
"Alright, you've got yourself a deal."
"Mr. Stark displays textbook narcissism." Tony quoted and raised an eye-brow at Nick Fury. He looked momentarily into Fury's eye, not the eye-patch. "Agreed." He continued.
"I'm curious…" Tony whispered before looking up at Fury again. "I think you'd look better with the eye-patch on your other eye." He winked at Fury before standing up and shaking the other man's hand firmly.
Fury didn't say another word. He didn't have to because who would argue with a textbook narcissist anyway?
"Did you enjoy the party last night, my dear?" Tony asked Natasha while he occupied a chair at the dining table.
"Yes I did. I'm very humbled that you have let me try that gauntlet on. It was fun aiming with it. I bet you really enjoy shooting with that thing." The redhead said with a small smirk.
Tony paused from wolfing down his pizza only to shoot her a naughty look.
"I enjoy shooting with other things." He told her with a mischievous glint in his eyes.
"I imagine that." She replied back with a small laugh.
"Why don't you stop imagining and let me prove it to you?"
Natasha looked him dead in the eye and licked her lips, making him shift uncomfortably in his chair. Too much of those thoughts and he would have needed to excuse himself in order to release the tension from his body.
"So…" He cleared his throat. "Does that mean yes to my question, or what?"
The woman stood up and crossed the space between them in a few steps. She leaned forward supporting her hands on the arm rests on either side of him, and licked her lips again.
"That means maybe. If you don't let me down in your workshop and hide everything from me, what do you expect? I want to know more about you… more about the things you do down there." She told him.
Tony gripped the arm rests tightly so he wouldn't snatch her down to him. She was so irresistible.
"All right, I'll take you down there sometime."
"Thank you, Mr. Stark. I promise you won't be disappointed…" She whispered and left the room. "I can't wait to meet Iron Man."
A month later…
"Okay… I literally want to apologize for everything." He said as he paced around Pepper's office restlessly.
"I don't think you have things to apologize for." Pepper told him sincerely.
"I do… At least I think so."
"I don't want to hear anything." She whispered and pressed the heel of her hand against her forehead.
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm anything you want me to be. Just name it."
"I want you to stop this."
"Stop what?" He encountered quickly.
"I want you to stop feeling guilty."
"But I am."
"You should really stop doing this."
"But I want to apologize for being a shmuck. I want us to be friends again."
"We are – were friends. You're just you. I can't do anything else to change you."
"I've changed for you."
"For me?" Pepper raised an eyebrow and just shook her head.
"No… you've changed for yourself. It's a good thing to find out, I suppose."
Tony sighed in frustration and clenched his jaw.
"You'll still be you when we'll be done with this conversation."
"How do you know that?"
"It's seven years worth, Tony."
"No, listen. It's not seven year's worth. It's more than six months worth. I still can't tie my shoes without you."
"You'd better trust me."
"Then what is it wrong with you?"
"I came here to apologize for everything I've done to you all this time and you practically want me to just shut up."
"Yes. I don't want you to apologize because I don't believe you."
"You don't believe me." He accused, hurt clearly evident in his voice.
"No. So…" She cleared her throat before adding. "The exit's right there."
"I don't want to go anywhere. I want a smooch."
Pepper blinked a little, looking strangely confused.
"Excuse me… a what?!"
"You've heard me. I want a kiss, a real kiss this time. Like the one you've given my helmet that night on the plane." He whispered and looked at her hesitantly. "No more martinis to save you this time, Potts." That said, he hurriedly crossed the room in five big steps and pressed his lips against hers harshly.
Pepper gasped against his mouth in shock before biting his lip hard. He broke the kiss with a whimper and looked at her with big, brown and doe-like eyes. Pepper blinked hard and looked down at her manicured hand.
"What the fuck is wrong with you, Pepper? I'm just trying to show you that I want you, and you fucking keep turning me down cold. How many times do I have to endure this feeling, huh?" He asked her panting. "You know what… don't answer that question. I'm out of here."
He exited her office with fast steps and Pepper considered going after him.
Oh, what the hell. He'll come back himself. She knew it.
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