I Think I Love You [A Tony/Pepper, Iron Man 2 fic]

"How about we head down now? I think they've cleared the area." Tony suggested gently.

"We should go back there." Pepper said and looked down the railing, then back at him. "Have you heard anything from Happy just yet?"

Tony wrapped his metal clad arm around her waist, preventing her from falling down the railing.

"He was with Natasha last time I spotted him," he said and frowned at the suspicious look on Pepper's face.

He mouthed a small 'what' before realizing that she was waiting for an explanation.

"Okay," he started with a sigh. "First off, I haven't slept with her, nor have I kissed her. Good?" He stopped and gauged her reaction.

After a few moments she nodded a little and waited for more.

"Second off, I only found out yesterday that Fury had made her watch after me because apparently he knew about my health condition better than I did." He looked at her for an awkward moment. "She's like a triple agent or something…"

Pepper merely nodded and looked down at her feet.

"Um… I think we can go now." Tony said. "You can hold onto my shoulders this time and tell me if you're uncomfortable. Should take just about thirty seconds…"

With that said, Tony wrapped his arms gently around her waist and waited patiently for her to wrap herself around him.

"Comfortable?" He asked her, feeling slightly amused at the look on her face.

"Yes Tony, very." Pepper murmured against his cheek and held tighter on his shoulders as he took off.

The moment they reached the concrete down below Pepper sighed in relief. She couldn't believe that she had let him off the hook again. Looking down at him, Pepper realized that he was staring at her lips quite intently.

"Tony…" She whispered and held back a small smile when his eyes snapped up to hers. "I think I'll call Happy and ask him to take me at the airport. I think the jet is still here and…"

"No, don't do that." He said with a frown. "I was thinking that you could stay here with me until tomorrow and we can go back home together." He settled her down gently and cupped her cheek with his metal clad hand.

Pepper brought both her hands up to his in an instant and held onto him.

"Tony… you don't understand. I'm still in shock after I accidentally heard your conversation with Natalie." Her blue eyes looked up into his. "But I guess it was half my fault that you couldn't tell me you were dying."

"It's not half your fault." He cleared his throat. "Maybe just a little, but I don't know, I guess I was too afraid of seeing that look on your face, or… or…"

Pepper silenced his babbling with two fingers on his lips.

"Are you okay now, right?"

Tony nodded slowly and kissed her fingertips. "I'm fine." He whispered.

An awkward silence settled around them, but suddenly there was a throat being cleared.

"Everything's in order, Miss Potts." A police officer came around the corner, surprising Tony and Pepper.

"Thank you." Pepper said kindly and added. "Will anybody clean up the mess left behind, or do I have to make some calls?"

"That won't be necessary." The officer said and nodded towards Tony in a sign of 'good job'. He nodded back thoughtfully and went back to watch Pepper's lips as she told the officer a few last things.

When the officer finally walked away, Pepper turned her eyes back to Tony's only to be surprised by the fact that he had pressed his lips back to hers again. She gasped against his lips and closed her eyes tightly at the way his arms wrapped around her waist and back, holding her against him. Her own arms went around his shoulders and one of her hands went into the slightly damp hair at the back of his neck.

"Mmm…" He moaned slightly and pulled back, licking his lips. "It's not weird or anything, right? Cause I was wondering if you liked it, but then of course, if you didn't like it or thought it was weird you would hurl something at my head, right?"

Pepper laughed at the mention of her hurling something at his head, but then turned serious and cupped both his cheeks in her hands.

"I'm sorry for threatening you, Tony, but I was really mad at you for parading with your suit that night at your birthday." She shook her head at him and sighed. "Answer me honestly, please."

Tony nodded and clutched her tighter to him.

"Can you remember what you told me at your party?" Her voice grew quiet.

Tony shrugged indifferently.

"No, I can't remember what it was. Why?"

Pepper dropped her hands away, disappointed.

"Wait a second, Pepper. Did I tell you something… important?" His voice was trembling. He feared that he had told her something about the way he felt about her.

"If you can't remember, then there's just no point in continuing this discussion. Anyway, I thought you said it just because you were drunk, and clearly, not thinking, so that confirms my suspicions." She smiled a little at him. "I'll see you at the penthouse."

Tony frowned at her, heard thudding hard in his chest, and he was pretty sure it wasn't from palladium poisoning. He turned his eyes towards a car that was approaching them.

"That's Happy." He acknowledged hesitantly. "Ask him if he's okay."

Pepper nodded and went over to the car, grimacing slightly when she saw Natalie in the front seat.

"Are you okay Happy?" She asked gently and looked him over.

"He's a little bit disappointed considering that he was beaten up pretty badly earlier." Natasha said and winked at Happy.

"Are you okay, Miss Potts?" She asked with a gentle tone that couldn't impress Pepper.

"I'm doing fine." She looked at Natalie, eyeing her costume.

"Oh, I'm sorry for not introducing myself properly." She held out her hand. "My name is Natasha Romanoff and if Tony didn't tell you, I'm a SHIELD agent."

Tony. Tony…

That word ran in her ears for a long time before she noticed her extended hand. She took it and gave it a gentle squeeze.

"Thank you for taking care of him. I know he might be reckless sometimes, but-" Pepper was cut off by the feel of Tony's cold hand on the small of her back.

"Agent Romanoff, Hogan…" Tony said with a nod. "Oh my god… Hogan you look a bit too shaken up. Did agent Romanoff beat your sorry ass?"

"Okay, I think that's enough Tony." Pepper said as she turned towards him.

She glared at him for a moment. "If you say so, Pepper. I'll meet you at the penthouse." He said and leaned in to press a kiss to her forehead. "Drive safe Hogan."

Natasha eyed Pepper as she got inside and smirked when she saw the blush on Pepper's cheeks.

"I have arranged a flight tomorrow at noon." Natasha informed Pepper with another smirk, seeing as Pepper looked very distracted. "About Mr. Stark's condition…"

"That's fine. You don't have to make excuses for him being incompetent." Pepper cut her off. "Besides, I'd like to thank you and your boss for everything."

Natasha nodded and gave her a sympathetic smile.

"I want to inform you that I wasn't planning on sleeping with him." Pepper's heart skipped a beat. "And I did not. He was too wasted and I wouldn't have liked it anyway, seeing all those black lines on his chest… You get the point, don't you?"

"Yes, that's…" Pepper was at a loss for words.

Natasha turned her head towards her and gave her a serious look.

"Tony's a great guy and he's been trying to tell you he was dying for a few months now. If you hadn't cut him off that time when he came to apologize at your office…"

"I did NOT cut him off. I was already mad at him for what happened at his party."