Title: Get me drunk, let me forget everything

Rating: T (for language and a few brief adult situations)

Word Count: 2.130

Summary: You don't care if you're acting like an asshole to the woman who loves you. You just want to get drunk and forget.

A/N: Major spoilers from the Iron Man 2 novelization.

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"Miss Potts?"

"Yes, Happy?" She looks at him and takes a small sip from her bottled water.

The chauffeur smiles a little and takes off his sunglasses.

"I don't want to be rude or anything, but Mr. Stark's party is starting in less than an hour."

The mention of her former bosses name makes her chest tighten, if only for a brief second. She takes a few more sips, satiating her thirst and puts on a friendly smile.

"You can leave me at my apartment, Happy. I'm not going to attend Mr. Stark's so-called party."

Tony Stark's chauffeur and bodyguard turns to meet Virginia 'Pepper' Potts eyes with his own, and reaches out to take her hand. He squeezes it a little, not breaking away from her steel blue eyes. Those steel blue eyes were hiding something, and Happy thought he knew what it was.

"You don't have to do this for me, Miss." He says quietly while looking at their joined hands.

Pepper looks at his face, knowingly. She remembers what Happy told her at Monaco on the racetrack while trying to save Tony from Whiplash. I've always loved you, Miss Potts. She knew why he told her that, understood why he decided to say it then, but she could never return his love back. The man who had her heart acted like she meant nothing to him and it hurt. It hurt very much, but she knew she couldn't fall in love with another man.

"I'm not doing this for you." She admits quietly, though that was the truth.

She sees how his face falls slightly, but she says nothing.

"Then I think you should go to the party."

Pepper squeezes his hand back for a couple of seconds and nods in silent agreement.

----

She doesn't know what she's doing, or why she is here and she has a feeling that this party isn't going to end up well. The tiny gift for Tony she'd wrapped before leaving her home lays safely into her small black purse. She doesn't know whether she should give it to him, or not, but she decides to find out as soon as she arrives there.

As soon as she sees him she wishes she hadn't come to the party. She sees Tony Stark – not Tony, because the man standing five feet in front of her isn't just Tony anymore. It's Tony Stark, the womanizer and the alcoholic asshole.

Pepper doesn't move forward because her feet won't move. Her heart screams at her to run far away from this place, but she doesn't. She stands there and keeps watching the old Tony, the merchant of death. She observes how he walks cockily to a group of females and picks one. When the woman turns her face towards Pepper, she immediately recognizes her as Natalie Rushman, Tony's new PA.

He brings his hand into his pocket and fishes out his new invention named the Tech Ball and passes it to Natalie who smirks a little at the undivided attention she's getting from Tony. Pepper watches as she simply presses one button and how the whole Tech Ball transforms into a gauntlet until it envelops Natalie's left hand. Tony seems as if he's enjoying himself too much to notice Pepper staring at the two of them. Instead, he moves closer to Natalie, wraps his arm around her waist, just below her breast and holds her other hand in his, helping her to aim. Pepper's mouth goes dry at the action, and her heart constricts when Natalie's hand presses atop of his below her breast, holding him there.

After a few moments of aiming the gauntlet towards an ice sculpture, Tony shouts 'now'. They stumble backwards as the repulsor ray flies into the frozen sculpture, shattering it in thousand little ice pieces. Her lower lip trembles slightly when the pair doesn't break their embrace, and she swears that what she feels in these moments is hate in its purest form. Hate towards Natalie, but especially towards Tony.

Why did I come here in the first place? She mentally asks herself. I sure as hell didn't come here to watch those two macking on each other.

The next few minutes are a total disaster. Pepper watches as Tony gulps down two glasses of scotch in under a minute and tries to hit on a blond. She isn't oblivious to the fact that Tony Stark acquires her attention, so she agrees to have him put on the Iron Man suit on her. Whilst watching this, Pepper suddenly realizes she is in a desperate need of a drink, so she puts on a neutral face and heads towards the open bar.

The red-head has a gin tonic served, which she drinks quickly. She wants to order another one, but before she can open her mouth, she sees Tony come back from his workshop, and walking beside him, the blonde. She has Tony's gauntlets on her hands, and apparently she couldn't get in the suit. She watches as Tony helps her hover in the air for a couple of minutes, marveling at how much hate and pain she feels in those moments. She sees Rhodey from the corner of her eye, and she thinks the look in his eyes prove that he's as pissed off as she is.

He wraps his hand around her waist in a friendly way and meets her eyes with an unsatisfied frown.

"So you're thinking about what I'm thinking, huh?"

Pepper nods and looks once again at Tony and the blonde. "Tony won't let the government have the suit, but those women can have it. Very interesting…" He mumbles, annoyance clearly evident in his voice.

"Go talk to him." Pepper says and gently points to his direction.

She watches as Rhodey makes his way towards Tony and bites her lower lip when Tony's drunken gaze catches Rhodey's. She doesn't hear what they're saying, but she's willing to bet that they're not talking like two friends right now. Tony smirks at his friend and tells him something with a laugh. Then he pats Rhodey's shoulder before grabbing the nameless blonde's hand and leading her upstairs to his bedroom.

Pepper's breath catches in her throat when she realizes what Tony's doing – he's taking her to his bedroom where he's going to sleep with her. She tightens her jaw, keeping her tears at bay, but when she's almost certain they reached the top stair, she sees Tony looking at her, a serious look plastered all over his face. He keeps on looking until the blonde grabs him by his lapels and forces her mouth down on his.

Tony doesn't think twice as he shoves her through the door and pushes her onto his bed. He manages not to think about anyone in particular as he fucks her with short, angry thrusts.

There's nothing to think about – no one to think about. He tells himself, though he knows after it's all said and done he will regret it.

Forty-five minutes later he's done with her. He leaves her panting on his bed as he dresses again and heads for the elevator. Once he's in his workshop, he moves to the robots and asks Jarvis to get out the suit. He doesn't say anything when he raises his hands for Dummy to assemble the suit on him, and he just grimaces when he sniffs his hands. The smell of the woman seems to have gotten imprinted in his skin, and Tony couldn't take the smell. It wasn't like it didn't happen before, but now, after Afghanistan, after Disney Concert Hall… it just wasn't fair.

With a heavy sigh, he taps his arc reactor, thinking about the look on Pepper's face when she saw him with the blonde. He waits until Dummy hands him his helmet, puts it on, lowers his faceplate and goes upstairs.

Pepper's eyes are like steal when he meets them and he feels an uncomfortable lump forming in his throat. She walks to him and whispers.

"Here's the microphone. End the party."

He smirks.

"What happens if I don't?"

The red-head keeps her eyes glued on his until Tony breaks away from her and chuckles. He brings the microphone up to his mouth and says.

"Ladies and gentlemen, Rhodey, Miss Potts…" He nods at her direction. "I'd like to tell you one of my intimate secrets."

Everyone shots up at that.

"Do you know what's the most often question I get about wearing this suit?" He grins and waits for another few seconds.

"How do I pee?" He says with a laugh, and he begins to imitate how he does it. "Like this."

Everyone laughs so hard Pepper's face turns scarlet. She doesn't even know what she's doing until she takes the microphone out of his hand and walks away from him. She hears him mumble something like 'hey' behind her, but she doesn't really care. Tony follows her, his steps heavy while he tries to keep up with her.

"Potts! What are you doing?"

She turns towards him suddenly and she regrets her decision. She didn't notice how close he was to her, until she bumps into some heavy metal – it's a gold-titanium alloy – she remembers. The woman wraps her hand around his waist for stability and gasps as he steps higher on a step, so that he's two inches above her. He stares down at her, his mouth slightly agape, and he doesn't seem to know what he's doing until he rests his metal clad hand against Pepper's hip. The red-head gasps softly at their close proximity, but tries to keep her composure. There are people here, for god's sake.

She tries not to blink as the light from his arc reactor bores into her eyes. Instead she looks up at him, hesitantly and locks eyes with him. After a few seconds of staring at each other, Pepper's mouth falls open a little. She so desperately wants to say something, break this awkward embrace.

"Give me. The. Microphone." The billionaire says quietly, but firmly.

"You might hurt someone with it, Mr. Stark." Pepper replies sincerely. She expects sincerity from him, but she aches when he simply laughs.

"Will you stop worrying about everyone else, Miss Potts?" He mumbles and reaches to her back where he snatches the microphone from her hand and walks away.

"I've had such a good time tonight, but unfortunately my ex-assistant tells me I've got to end the party." He points at Pepper, who bites her lip in hope to prevent rushing towards him and beating the crap out of him.

"So… thank y'all for coming. And don't forget to take your own copy of Iron Man's arc reactor on your way out. Thank you." He ends sweetly.

Pepper grimaces when he turns to her and takes the microphone from his extended hand. She remembers about the gift she has for him, and fishes it out from her purse.

"Happy Birthday, Mr. Stark." She says quietly and hands him the tiny wrapped gift.

"Oh – wow. You got me a gift." He sounds giddy as he opens it. "Arc reactor cufflinks…"

Pepper bites her lips and fidgets with her hands. She is nervous.

"What's with you and arc reactors, Potts?" He asks. "Do you get turned on by them?"

She just stares at him for a few moments. She can't believe what he's just said. Yes, she most definitely got turned on by arc reactors.

Suddenly, a robotic voice comes from a few feet behind her, and Pepper jumps in surprise.

"Never mind." Tony says and shoves her gift back to her. "Rhodey and I have some unfinished business."

And then suddenly Tony and Rhodey start to fight, leaving Pepper gasp behind. She sniffs gently and lays the gift on a table before literally running out of the house. There are tears streaming down her cheeks as she gets out of the house and runs towards Happy's limousine.

Happy doesn't ask her anything as she climbs inside, her tears clearly evident on her face, even though he knows why she's crying – knows who she's crying for and because of.

"Home, Happy." She instructs and tries to wipe the tears from her eyes, but she can't. Instead, she sobs softly and presses her hands against her face in defeat. She didn't know she could hate Tony so much.