In the wake of everything, Pepper wonders if its worth it. If the three months Tony had been missing weren't enough, the insanity of being Iron Man's assistant are starting to take their own toll. Her mother calls daily, always the same.
"Virginia Potts, you could be killed or kidnapped. The money just not worth it, think dear!" The words don't diverge that significantly from what anyone else is saying, be it college friends or the media. After 8 years of being the sense that drives Tony Stark, no one thinks she deserves more insanity.
"Pep, just put the papers down!" Tony's voice trails out from the living room, and Pepper rolls her eyes. Her blackberry is blinking insistently as she tries to organize the stack of expense reports in front of her. There's so much to do, so much to organize in the wake of the Expo. Never mind that she has to turn the company back over to Tony, something the board is balking against. Superhero or not, they enjoyed the relative efficiency of Pepper Potts.
"Peeeeeeeepppppppppp!" Tony's voice has become more plaintive, and Pepper does her best not to scream. She stare's longingly at the stack of papers in front of her, then snatches up her blackberry. Might as well deal with these emails while dealing with Tony.
"Yes, Tony?" Pepper's voice is deceptively mild as she continues to scan through her emails. Junk, an email from an old college friend, emails from fans of Tony's (she's going to have to change her address again), a sale at Nordstroms, and on down the line. After two minutes of standing there, she finally looks up. Tony's sitting on the couch, his arms spread open, just smiling at her. Not smirking, not grinning when he's done something truly stupid, nor the little half-smile when he's trying to pull something over on her. Tony is simply smiling, and everything about his posture suggests patience.
"Yes, Tony?" Her voice has a distinct edge to it now, and she shifts her weight slightly. "You've been yelling for me for the last 20 minutes, what do you need?" She emphasizes the last word, her eyes narrowing as his grin only gets bigger.
"It's 7pm on Friday." Tony states this like its an intrinsic fact. At her confusion, he stands up, and slowly begins moving towards her. "It's 7pm," he repeats, "which means that it's the weekend."
Pepper's began to back away from Tony slowly, her eyes suspicious. "Yes, it is Tony." He's smiling again, and she can feel her stomach churning. The expo, and its spectacular finish had ended days earlier, and neither of them had spoken of their kiss on the rooftop since. There'd been phone calls to make, planning to deal with, angry bureaucrats and shareholders. They had both had their hands filled and when Tony hadn't even attempted a flirtatious wink the entire week, Pepper had written it off as a moment of insanity, brought on by adrenaline and fear. She was big enough to admit to herself that she'd hated Rhodey in that moment, and that while the curiosity about what it would be like to kiss Tony Stark had been appeased, a new attraction that pooled in her stomach like her favorite red wine had begun instead.
Tony had taken another step forward, and Pepper felt that red wine again, mixing and churning with the fear in her stomach. The living room is a big space, but Pepper's aware that Tony's quickly crowding her into a wall where the only options will be the couch or him. She quickly sidesteps, to line herself up with the entrance to the kitchen. "Does this mean you want me to leave, Mr. Stark?"
She's surprised at how composed her voice comes out, light and full of the complacency she doesn't feel in this moment.
"Leave?" Tony falters for a moment, his eyes confused. He tilts his head to side, his expression genuinely perplexed. "Do you want to leave Ms. Potts?" The smile is still there, but his words are guarded. Pepper stands there unsure of what to say, swaying slightly. She can smell him now, grease, soap and the very Tony-ness that often make her go weak at the knees, though she'd never let him know that. He seems to take that as an answer, and slides his arm around her waist in a quick motion, pulling her lightly towards him. "And may I say, no one says Mr. Stark quite like you do." His voice is soft, and slightly gravelly, and Pepper feels like her eyes are going to roll back in her head. Tony continues to pull her towards him, his fingers brushing up, one had in the center of her back, the other on her neck, turning her head slightly, so he has access to her neck.
"It's the weekend Pep," he whispers, his breath brushing against her neck, causing goosebumps to rise. He nuzzles her lightly, and seems to be breathing her in.
Pepper shakes her head, and pulls herself back. Tony doesn't give an inch, his arms forming bands around her. "Tony, what are you doing?" Pepper knows her voice is coming out screechy, but his hands are making her crazy. One is rubbing in slow circles on her back, slowly moving lower, and she's damned if she doesn't want him to keep going.
Tony opens his mouth again, and Pepper shoots him her fiercest glare. "If you say it's the weekend again, Mr Stark," she flounders a little as his eyes become more slumberous and his grin deepens. His hand is definitely going for her butt and she can barely think. Taking a deep breath, she gives Tony a hard shove, separating them. "I think we've established it's the weekend Tony, could you explain to me why this makes you think you can maul me?" She'd started out high pitched, but her voice is calming, modulated to her usual tone. Pepper Potts is used to her employer (or employee, she's not really sure where she stands at this point) trying to run moves on her.
Tony looks confused now, and runs a hand haphazardly through his hair. "I-uh-I thought that because…" His voice trails off and Pepper realizes that he's lost for words. Pepper can only feel pride, she's finally managed to teach Tony some shame. Never mind that most of her anger right now stems from the last kiss, the red wine still sloshing around in her stomach and the feeling that if she just leaned forward she'd get another kiss, one without the adrenaline of flying, just the feel of his mouth and the bristle of his goatee. She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath.
"It's been a long week, Tony," she says as she's already turning away, frustrated and sad and angry with herself. But there's work to be done and she needs to update her CV, not that it will be too hard to find another job… Her minds running, back to the normal things in her life, and she's almost left the living room when Tony grabs her arm.
He spins her around, and his face is as open as it's ever been, staring at her with intensity. "It's the weekend, Pep." When she glares at him, he shrugs. "We're colleagues, I get it on workdays, but it's the weekend." Before she can even formulate a response, he's kissing her and there's bristle and tongue and the taste of peppermint and some sort of vegetable, and she just feels so drunk, and heady and her knees are going weak. She'd thought the adrenaline had given her all these feelings before, or at least intensified them, but its just Tony, all of him, holding her up, and she knows they are moving and her butt is hitting the couch, his hand underneath. She tries to take a deep breath, and his mouth is latching onto her neck and Pepper just breathes. A deep long breathe, cataloging the smells surrounding her.
Tony's nuzzling her neck, his arms braced around her, caging her underneath him. " You okay Pep?" His voice sounds just as drunk as hers, and he's breathing just as hard. Pepper places a hand on his cheek and pulls his face until their eyes connect. "It's the weekend," she states, smiling at him.
Tony grins, slightly sheepish, a smile she rarely sees. "I didn't want to get a rep for sleeping with the boss," he whispers. One hand slides up to brush her hair off her face. She smiles as well, and her fingers clench involuntarily on his face. Tony catalogs the smile, and Pepper can literally see the insecurity disappear as his favorite leer appears instead. But he's still holding her so carefully, and the leer is flickering to let in his other smile, the one he saves for his machines. The smile of wonder and awe. Pepper's aware that he's managed to undo her skirt, and her blouse is being nudged up as well. She lets her head loll back and enjoy the attention she's getting.
When they're sated and lying on the couch, her body thrown across his and his hands running up and down her back slowly, Pepper allows herself to speak. "So, the weekends then?" Her voice is composed, but she's nervous. She's finally done it, slept with Tony Stark and her nerves are taut.
"Nope." Tony's voice reverberates through her body. When she tries to move he holds her tighter, his legs wrapping around hers. She feels him press a kiss to her head. "Too hard to just do weekends, gotta be every day Pepper."
Pepper wiggles a bit so she can look up and she his face. It's calm, and his eyes are still closed, a small quirk of his lips visible. The wine feeling is still there but it's the aftermath of a good bottle, the warmth and the serenity she associates with a perfect moment. She nudges him slightly. "You think you can just keep me Tony?" Her voice is laced with amusement, and she's rewarded with a hand cupping her butt, and pulling her more fully onto him.
"We can argue later," Tony murmurs, and his hand is doing that thing in circles again. "Just go to sleep Pepper." His eyes finally open, and Pepper can see how tired he is. She tries to move again, then thinks better of it, and simply places her head down on his chest, her right hand laying over the arc reactor, and finally goes to sleep.