My first Tony/Pepper smut fic, in Tony's voice no less, and it ends up being over 4800 words. I'm still not sure how that happened.

Unending gratitude to miss steph for betaing yet again; thanks to the lovely ladies at Writers Anonymous who gave me the idea and their priceless input; and apologies to Zaedah, to whom I keep sending random chapters from fics I then abandon – at least I finished something.

I don't own the characters but I sure as hell own some tequila, salt and limes.

~*~Salt/Tequila/Lime by outtabreath~*~

It was 5:30 on a Friday and I was ostensibly channel surfing – my feet were up on the coffee table and shifting, the fingers of my right hand were pressing the buttons of the remote, the fingers of my left tapping the RT.

What I was really doing, however, was looking at Pepper as much as possible because it exasperated her and exasperated Pepper was fun and nice to look at: the flushed cheeks, the muscle twitching in her jaw, the tapping foot, the shoulders up around her ears….

"Stop it, Tony," she said from her seat three feet away; her head was still down, her eyes still fixed on the papers in her lap.

"Stop what?" I asked innocently, flipping through more channels and jiggling my foot faster.

"Everything you're doing," she sighed deeply, shuffling through her sheaf of papers. "I'm trying to get things done."

"You're always trying to get things done," I observed. "You gotta get over it."

She didn't bother looking up. "No, I don't – I need to get my work done so I can go home.

"Now listen to me: the Stark Children's Wing opens tomorrow at Cedars-Sinai and Happy will pick you up at noon. Please be ready."

"Okay," I mumbled, staring at the curve of her cheek because I couldn't look down her blouse.

"And wear the suit, tie and shoes I've left out for you."

"Did you lay out my underwear, too?"

"If I did would you actually wear them?" she asked, leaning forward and neatly tapping the papers into a pile on the table.

"If I told you that it'd take the fun out of you staring at my crotch all day trying to figure out if I was going commando."

She snapped her head up and thrust the papers towards me, "You're disgusting. These are the new contracts with the DOD. Sign next to the arrows."

"I need to read them first," I shot back, pushing the papers back at her without looking at them.

"Tony," she said, pushing the contracts back against my hand, "I've read them. Twice. Legal's read them. You never read contracts-."

"I never used to," I corrected her.

"Fine, just review and sign them so I can get out of here."

"Where else would you want to be?" I asked, continuing to ignore the paperwork. "Where else is as fun as here?"

"Tony, please." She thrust back harder.

"Please yourself, Pepper. Answer the question."

"What question?"

"Where else do you want to be?"

She blinked, then frowned. "I'm not sure I understand the question."

"Do you have plans tonight?" I asked, leaning towards her, crumpling the paper.

"That's not your concern." She pulled the papers away and put them in a neat pile on the table.

I refused to be deterred. "Do you have a date?" I'd meant for the question to be delivered casually, but for some unfathomable reason my voice cracked on the word date.

Her eyebrows shot up and she looked at me, her expression unreadable.

"Would you care that I have a date?" she asked.

"I don't like it when you have plans," I said as blandly as possible, because I wasn't entirely convinced that I didn't care.

She stared at me mutely, her eyes roaming my face restlessly for several seconds before finally answering. "Not that it's any of your business, but, no, I don't have plans and I don't have a date. I just want to go home and relax. I'm going to be on my feet all day tomorrow."

"You can relax here," I offered.

"I don't think that's a good idea," she said hastily.

But I thought it was an incredible idea, maybe the best one I'd ever had. As good as Iron Man, as good as hiring her, as good as…it seemed I'd only ever had two really good ideas in my life.

This was the third.

"One drink, Potts. I'll sign the papers and you'll be well on your way to relaxing."

She pushed a rogue curl behind her ear and fixed me with an analytical look. "If I have one drink with you, will you sign the papers?"



"Pinky swear," I said sincerely, extending the digit towards her.

She looked at it briefly, then shook her head. "That's enough of that. Just go get the drinks, please."

It had been so easy before, I remembered. Give a woman the crinkled smile, the liquid eye, the wink, and she'd fall all over me.

But not Pepper. Never Pepper. She'd always been a challenge.

I'd always liked challenges.

I jumped to my feet and strode – confidently and sexily - into the kitchen.

"Was she watching me walk?" I asked Jarvis once I was there and taking out an unopened bottle of tequila.

"Miss Potts did watch your movements with unusual interest."

"Good," I grinned.

"Sir, I bel-."

"Uh uh. Off with you. No comments, no video."

"Sir, that is unnecessary."

"Do you want me to have Dummy take over running the house?"

"Very much so, Mr. Stark."

I grabbed out two limes and started slicing them into wedges. "Too bad. Protocol eight until I wake you back up."

"Yes, Sir," he sighed.

I finished with the limes, found salt and shot glasses and stuck them into my pockets, scooped up the tequila and fruit and headed back out to Pepper.

Pepper was still sitting where I'd left her – her posture rigid, her eyes enormous. "Tony, I think…."

"No thinking," I proclaimed, setting the bottle, salt, glasses and lime on the table in front of her and myself down beside her, my leg brushing against hers. "Just do."

"Does that line ever work?" she asked, relaxing as she chided me: sometimes I thought it was her favorite thing to do; God knew I enjoyed it – pissed off Potts was one of my favorite things.

"I'll tell you in five minutes," I said as I poured us each a shot.

Her lips narrowed. "I'm not doing this because of a line but because we have a deal." Then, to my utter amazement, she licked her hand and sprinkled salt onto it.

"You've done this before," I said.

"I did go to college," she said witheringly, then proceeded to lick, slam and suck. She didn't cough, didn't sputter – just took the shot, then pushed the contracts towards me and said, "Okay, sign the papers."

It was perhaps the sexiest thing I'd ever seen.

And I'd seen some damn sexy things.

"Uh uh," I said, still staring at her. "Do that again."

"Tony," she said, her voice full of quiet threat; it was a tone I was well-acquainted with – and completely uncowed by.

"God, I'd love to see you let loose," I prodded.

She rolled her eyes. "I think you'd be disappointed."

"I seriously doubt that."

"Tony, I've known you for a very, very long time. There is nothing I can do that would be able to surprise you."

"Don't you want to try?" I challenged playfully, pouring her another shot.

She looked at it for a long moment, then resolutely licked her hand, poured the salt and took the shot.

She slammed it back just as easily as she had the first; when she brought her eyes to meet mine, they were slightly fuzzy and most definitely soft.

"Potts, I had no idea you had such talent."

She rolled her eyes. "Drinking tequila is not a talent."

"It is the way you do it. Seriously, you could start your own website, Potts Does Shots – you'd be rich in a week."

"Then I could retire," she smirked. "Okay, I've done two shots, now sign the contracts so I can go home."

"No, do a third."

"I'm not doing a third," she said briskly. "You haven't even done one yet – the last thing I need is to be drunk with you sober."

"Afraid you'll try to take advantage of me?" I asked, wiggling my eyebrows and slamming back my first shot and pouring my second. "You could, you know. I wouldn't fight you – unless you wanted me to."

She huffed, "I'm more worried about you taking advantage of me while I'm in an inebriated state."

I licked the salt, drank the tequila, relished the lime juice as it sluiced down my throat, then responded to her. "We could take advantage of each other."

She let out a sharp laugh, then her eyebrows drew together as I held her gaze. "You're serious."

"Not as a rule - but right now, yes."

"I don't think that's a good idea."

I leaned towards her – close enough to feel the heat of her skin, to taste the tequila on her breath – and looked her dead in the eyes. "I think it's a fantastic idea."

"And after we take advantage of each other?"

"A period of well-earned rest for me and a period of stunned and satiated amazement for you followed by more advantage-taking, more rest and amazement, more advantage-taking, breakfast, advantage-taking in the shower, the hospital thing, and then back here for…." I made a circular motion with my hands.

"You're not going to sign the papers, are you?" she asked, resignation in every line of her body – her spectacular, amazing body.

"Not sure how that's relevant, but no, not yet," I said, pouring us each another shot.

"You promised," she said, coming dangerously close to whining – I didn't like whiney Pepper. She wasn't hot at all.

"No, I offered to pinky swear and you refused. There were no promises exchanged."

Her jaw set alarmingly.

"I'll do it, Pep - I just want us to do this first."

"So I have to get drunk and have sex with you before you'll sign the papers."

I knocked back my shot. "See, when you put it that way, it just sounds wrong – I'll sign whatever you ask me to sign tomorrow morning, Potts – I want to spend the night relaxing with you - no work, no pressure, no sex - even though you'd really enjoy the sex."

"You're my boss."

I snorted. "I haven't been your boss since about a week after I hired you – you tell me what to do, order me around, make me go to meetings and conferences and do paperwork – how is it possible that you think I'm the boss in that scenario?"

She blinked myopically at me, and it was sexy and cute.

"This could be bad," she said, running a finger around the edge of her shot glass.

"Or really good. C'mon Potts, I want you to let loose, surprise the hell out of me."

She stared at the table, then at me. "I think you'll find my version of letting loose boring."

"Potts, you can piss me off, kick my ass and make me do things I don't want to do, but you could never bore me," I said.

She stared at me with her dazed eyes and flushed face. After several seconds she said, quietly, "You really mean that, don't you?"

"Well, yeah, you're you. You're incredible. You're Pepper. I couldn't tie my shoes without you, I don't know my social security number and you make me happy." I slammed my mouth shut, unsure of where the last part had come from.

She smiled slowly, her eyes sparking and I was suddenly very happy that my mouth had been so chatty.

She picked up the shot I'd poured for her and did it, took a deep breath, then asked, "Have you ever done body shots, Tony?" Her voice was very breathy.

And then, holy God I was in the midst of a full-on hallucination of Pepper with her hair down, clothes off, belly button the perfect shot glass, salt on her nipples (because where else would it be?), lime in her mouth - my tongue in her mouth.

"I'd love to do a body shot off you, Pepper."

She chuckled, "I don't believe I asked you to."

"You want to do one off of me?"

The hallucination shifted and I was spread out on the couch and she was straddling me. As my sticky-out belly button couldn't serve as a shot glass, the tequila – biting and hot – was pooled in my mouth, waiting for her tongue to lick it out as the salt sat on one set of fingers, lime clenched in the other.

Holy shit. I wanted her to do that to me.

"Slow down," she said, even as I was shifting to lay myself down for her. "I was just asking a question."

"You don't just ask a question like that," I said, slouching down and letting my legs fall open.

She glanced down and smirked; I recognized it as one she'd learned from me. Hot damn, the woman was good. "Just answer the question, Tony."

"Sure," I said. "I went to college too."

"When you were fifteen."

I shrugged. "MIT is full of fifteen year old geniuses – we figure out how to get things done there."

"Do you remember how to do them?"

She was killing me. Seriously. The RT was going to explode and she was going to be covered in non-organic discharge and she'd have no one to blame but herself.

Or, conversely, I'd survive her torture and she'd be covered in organic discharge and still have no one to blame but herself.

I was really hoping for the second scenario.

"There are some things about school I remember. That's definitely one of them."

She stared at me again, her expression inquisitive. I sat there, my face and eyes as open as possible under her searching gaze.

She tipped her head and her eyes warmed, then she was kicking off her shoes and shifting and pushing herself around until she was lying on the couch, her bare feet resting against the side of my thigh and her head on one of the small pillows.

I stared at her.

"Go ahead, Tony," she prompted, slowly pulling her shirt up and the waistband of her skirt down so her bellybutton was exposed. "Show me what you learned in college."

I'd learned about explosions and chemical reactions and what intense heat could do to things; I'd learned about circuits and electricity and couplings.

I was on my feet without realizing it, the bottle of tequila clutched in suddenly numb fingers. I couldn't stop looking away from the pale skin of her stomach, the color of it, the way it moved with every deep breath.

Pepper cleared her throat and I looked at her. She was smiling, her eyebrows up. "Do you need instruction?"

"Nope," I said, returning to full focus. "I got this." I handed her a piece of lime and poured some tequila into a shot glass, I wasn't even sure anymore if it was mine or hers, and handed it to her.

She raised a quizzical eyebrow; I wanted to trace the curve of it with my tongue. Instead, I answered her unspoken question.

"Just hold onto it for a second. Jeesh. I do know what I'm doing."

"I trust you," she smiled, and I felt a pleasant warmth – like ten shots of tequila – in my stomach.

I carefully maneuvered one knee between her ankles, then steadied myself with a hand on the back of the couch. My straight leg, the one planted on the floor, shook with the strain of not just dropping down on top of her and grinding against her.

Sometimes not being a complete and utter pig was hard work.

She was staring at me raptly, her mouth open slightly and her breath coming in little pants.

My body screamed to give into gravity and fall – my brain counseled caution.

My brain won – but just barely.

"Okay," I said, reaching my hand out for the glass.

She pushed it, cool and slippery, into my fingers. One last look into her eyes and I turned my attention to the perfect indentation of her belly button. I tipped out the amber liquid, carefully filling – then overflowing – the tiny cavity.

"Will you still respect me in the morning?" she murmured, the movement spilling more of the alcohol onto the couch. I watched the liquid slide off her body.

I tore my eyes away from skin and liquid; I knew she needed to see that I was telling the truth. "Pepper, I'll respect you until the day I die. Or you quit. Whichever comes first. Don't quit, though, okay?"

"Don't die," she shot back. "I don't like it when you do that."

"I try every day not to die," I smiled lazily at her. And after this, I was going to try ten times as hard.

"Good," she said, her voice soft.

"I do need to warn you that I won't start listening to you," I hastened to add. "That'll never change."

"I know," she sighed.

"Now be quiet," I said, refilling my Pepper shot navel and dropping the glass to the floor. "You're spilling it."

I could hear her fingernails scrape against the fabric of the sofa.

I sucked the residue of salt from my fingers, folded myself down and lapped the liquid from her body.

Her fingers scrabbled harder and she let out a sound – a cross between a sigh and a whimper.

I pulled my head up and looked at her. Her smile was dazed, happy.

"Lime." She pushed the fruit towards me.

I grabbed the back of her hand, held it in place as I bit the sweet-sour flesh of the citrus. Only when I'd sucked the last bit of juice from it, my cheeks hollowed out, did I let go of her hand.

"So, Professor, how'd I do?" I asked.

She shook her head slightly, as if to clear it, then gave me a small smile. "A fine effort, but I believe more data is necessary to reach a clear conclusion."

I shook my head wonderingly. How had I missed seeing this side of her for so long? "Potts, I think you're kind of a vixen."

She grinned widely. "Not rigid? Not frozen?"

"You are demanding, tenacious, unfailingly determined." I met her eyes – she was staring at me, a bemused expression on her face, "And feisty, brilliant, liquid and warm."

She laughed gently, her body moving around my bent leg. The overwhelming need to press against her warred with the desire to drink from her once more.

The latter won out, only because she had tasted so good.

And because I had a plan.

I gently eased her shirt up higher. She tensed around and beneath me.

"Just a little," I soothed. When I had a stripe of skin exposed to my satisfied eyes, I stopped. "Okay?"


I leaned forward and slowly, excruciatingly slowly, wet her skin with my mouth. Her legs tightened around my knee and one of her hands grabbed at mine, pressing it into the back of the couch with surprising force.

Pepper had some strength.

I liked it.

I removed my mouth and grabbed up the salt, sprinkling it onto the wet flesh. I spared a glance for her face. She was staring at me fixedly, eyes hooded, face flushed.

"You liked that, didn't you?" I asked, more cockily than I'd planned.

She let out an annoyed sound that was extremely familiar – she made it every time she thought I was being purposely dense and/or oppositional.

"I'll take that as an oh, God, yes, Tony." I leaned over to the table and scooped up the bottle – I didn't have time for shot glasses anymore – and, with an unsteady hand, I poured a small amount of tequila out.

"Ready?" I asked. She'd fumbled up a piece of lime and held it up in response. I licked the salt off of Pepper's hot, smooth skin, being very careful to get every last granule; I applied the same amount of attention to getting every last drop of liquor from her navel. I raised my head, ready to take the lime from her fingers.

It was in her mouth.

"Holy shit," I growled.

Her eyebrows shot up even as my body pitched forward, my mouth seeking hers with pinpoint accuracy. I took the slice of fruit in my teeth and yanked it from hers, barely feeling the juice as it slid across my tongue. I spit it out, sending it sailing across the living room, then I crashed my lips against hers.

The kiss wasn't refined. It wasn't experimental or practiced. It was teeth and tongues and lips, lime and tequila and something underneath it all that was wholly unlike anything else I'd ever tasted.

It was the best kiss of my life.

Her fingers were knotted in my hair, just this side of pain; she was, holy God, she was grinding up against the thigh I had between hers. I bore down on her, giving her the friction she was seeking. She moaned into my mouth and ground harder.

I knew I could make her come like that – could let her ride my leg until she was shuddering beneath me. But I'd waited far too long for her. The first time it happened with me, she was going to have me inside her.

I pulled myself away from her, looked down into her stunned, aroused eyes.

"I want this," I said.

"I always knew this would happen with one or both of us drunk," she responded, her voice rougher, deeper than I'd ever heard it.

"You always knew this would happen?"

"So not the point right now."

"It's part of the point," I said, making tight, tiny circles with my hips. "And for the record, we're barely buzzed."

Her cheeks pinked and her eyes were suddenly very hard and bright. "So I was wrong. It's going to happen because we want it to."

I felt the smile break over my face because, hot damn, Pepper Potts had just said she wanted to have sex with me – then her lips were on mine and that kiss was followed by several minutes of biting kisses which were, in turn, followed by several more minutes of indiscriminate flailing and tearing that ended with her skirt and panties behind the couch and my sneakers, shirt and pants somewhere near the TV.

In the end, Pepper's buttons proved to be too time-consuming and her shirt stayed on – but it was of little importance with my hands tight on her hips and her fingernails gently scratching the skin around the RT.

I lowered myself between her legs and her feet came up to dig into my ass.

"Protection?" I gasped, holding back by reserves of willpower I didn't know I possessed.

"You're clean and I've been on the pill for years. Now, how about less talking and more performing?"

"How about you asking me more nicely?"

"Are you serious?"

I smiled benignly.

"Oh for God's sake, Tony," she said, tipping her hips up at me so I could feel the brush of tantalizing wet heat, biting her lip so hard I could almost see blood.

Close enough.

I hadn't taken anyone since…in a while, and I was careful with the RT, careful with her as I slid forward, slid into her, into Pepper – oh God into Pepper - and she was indescribably good – wet, tight, hot, slick, Pepper.

I stilled for a moment, let the shocks and sparks course through my body and coalesce into one almost-painful shaft of pleasure centered at the base of my spine and radiating out to hard and needy flesh – out to where Pepper and I were connected.

"You can move," she prompted, her fingernails digging into my back and chest.

"In a second," I said, relishing just being with her like this.

"You're making me question your reputation," she said, her tone gentle and playful, but her eyes hard and focused. She tightened around me, forcing an low moan out of me. "Tony, please move."

And I did, driving into her, listening to every sound she made – varying my strokes in time with her vocalizations because, holy fuck, I was with Pepper and I wanted to make it good for her…until the moment that I realized, holy fuck I was with Pepper and that thought, brilliant and sharp, eradicated everything except the primitive, selfish drive to reach completion.

There was white light and sharp sparks of pleasure followed by a rushing, soul-deep release that left me insensible for far longer than was dignified.

When I was finally aware of a reality outside of my pleasure, Pepper was gently skimming my back with her nails and kissing my face; I realized that I had lost my shit, my skills, my Tony motherfucking Starkness, because of Pepper.

It was a little sobering and a lot scary, but I didn't have time to deal with that because I had to make it up to her.

"I fucked up," I said by way of apology.

"What?" Pepper had gone very still, her face very composed.

"I was trying to take care of you but, damn Pepper, it was you and…I'm usually spectacular."

She laughed, and kissed my eyelids. "You were fine."

"Fine is not acceptable," I growled, "Fine does not get the job done. I'm going to show you what I can do."

"Tony," she laughed.

"Prepare to have your world rocked, Potts," I promised, unbuttoning her blouse, kissing each fragrant, soft inch of skin as it was exposed. Her bra was a front clasp, further proof that she was completely brilliant, and her breasts perfect. She liked her nipples licked and sucked and I liked doing it for her. Her fingers were tangled in my hair and she was pushing on my head – trying to send it lower and I liked that, too.

I could still taste the tequila in her navel as I licked my way past it, then I was between her legs and, oh fuck, she tasted incredible and I was semi-hard again, but I ignored that - took my time with her, used every technique and skill I'd ever learned, listened to her sounds and her body to learn what pleased her, what she wanted and needed and when she came it was with my name a broken sound on her lips that I'd remember until I died.

I perched my chin on her stomach and watched with fascination as the red that had flooded her torso started to subside and her eyes fluttered open.


"Golly?" I demanded. "Golly?"

She was still panting, still trying to catch her breath, but her eyes narrowed and a very familiar look came into her eyes.

"That's all you have to say? How about that was incredible? Amazing? The best oral sex I've ever had?"

She shook her head at me, her breath starting to slow, the pulse point in her neck starting to settle. She pulled at my shoulders and I went with her, sliding my ever-stiffening length along her skin as I moved to cover her shaking body with mine. She kissed me for several minutes – deeply but gently, grounding herself in my mouth; I kind of liked the thought of it – definitely liked the sensation of it.

Finally, she pushed me back and said, "I wasn't damning your skills with faint praise, Stark. I was unable to form words or thoughts – it was the only thing I could think of. That's a good thing."

"I just blew your mind, didn't I?"

She laughed in earnest, her body shaking under mine. I took that as a hell, yes.

Her movements – coupled with the fact that I'd just made her come and had seen her naked – intensified the chain reaction in my body. I wanted her in a bed, and I wanted her there fast.

"Time to move, Potts."

She stretched languidly and I found myself distracted by the long line of her neck.

"Sign the contracts first," she ordered and damn her bossiness was a turn-on.

"Tomorrow," I said, kissing the hollow of her throat and rubbing against her leg. "Or Sunday. I promise to definitely sign them on one of those days. Or Monday."

"You're impossible," she said, running her fingers down the length of my spine, reminding me that we needed to relocate because, as good as I was on a couch, I was even better on a bed.

"I'm unreliable," I corrected her, sliding up and off of her, then helping her to her feet. I instantly fixated on the way her waist curved into her hips. I towed her backwards towards one of the guestrooms, watching the way her body moved. "And highly distractible. I think it's a good idea that until I do the thing you want me to do- ."

"Review and sign several very important documents," she clarified, her eyes roaming the length of my body.

"You should stay here with me – keep an eye on me – keep me in line."

She smiled and nodded her head slightly in response, a familiar expression of fond exasperation on her face.

And I liked that, too.