It was a Wednesday and an unremarkable one at that. Tony Stark sat patiently waiting for some new improvements to render onscreen, watching out of the corner of his eye the news of the day before on the TV opposite him. He checked the clock repeatedly; 2:30 came and went with nothing to help clear his mind. Without a true distraction, his mind drifted to Pepper. Always it was Pepper that invaded the privacy of his mind when he least expected it, nowadays more than ever. He chewed on a pen cap and wondered.

He wondered what Pepper was doing. What she was wearing under that tight skirt and just too low to be strictly professional blouse. He wondered if she was wearing anything underneath all that. He wondered if she wanted him like he wanted her, and mostly, he wondered why she had put up with him as long as she had. He knew that he loved her; he had no way to know how or whether to show it. She had never given him a definite assurance of either side, so he waited. Miserable. Hiding it by fucking every single possible redhead he could and whatever blonde or brunette he encountered between them. All clean, most reporters or high-end journalists, all meaningless. Every single time he woke he felt a surge of hope that he would roll over to a freckled face, the one he knew so well, and the blue-green eyes he so deeply desired. And every single time he was disappointed.

He spat out the pen cap and sighed, and then froze. He heard an echoed sigh, and the workshop didn't have an echo. Not to mention the answering sigh had been more like a… breath of the sort that seemed to warrant giving up. Not his sigh; Pepper's.

He swiveled in the chair to see her standing there in the doorway. Her hair was halfway in and halfway out of the loose ponytail that had contained it earlier that day, like she'd been repeatedly running her hands through it (an anxious habit of hers that was only practiced in private), her lower lip was caught between her teeth and she was looking at him like she was only just seeing him for the first time. Tony choked on his own breath; she was beautiful and more than anything he wanted her hair to look the way it did because of his hands, to ask what was wrong and have to coax it out of her with kisses. He wanted to be with her. He wanted her.

He stared and she stood and breathed and they waited until she spoke, finally: "I need to try something," she told him, and shattered his world into a thousand tiny pieces.

He had barely stood before she had wrapped herself around him in the most feminine of ways, arms twined around his shoulders, hands buried in the hair at the nape of his neck, lips slanted against his in a breathless and passionate kiss. Tony decided not to question his good fortune ('not yet') and let his hands fall around her perfectly-shaped hips, dragging her flush to his warm and eager body. They pulled apart when oxygen became a neccsesity and stood breathing into each other's faces, eyes locked.

"I can now die a happy man," he told her on a whim, and she laughed breathlessly. "You are a helpless, spoiled vagrant," she told him, not without affection; brushing her fingers along his jaw, "and I love you all the more for it."

Tony smiled and sighed at the same time- with relief now instead of anxiety- against her lips. "Love me?" he asked, needing to hear it again, out of context. Pepper closed her eyes and pressed her forehead against his. "Only always," she agreed smilingly. "Tell me you hadn't guessed."

He shrugged. "Not really," he admitted, "I figured it was impossible. I mean… you're Pepper Potts. You're together and organized and responsible and you deserve someone who is capable of holding you up and not aggravating you to the point of homicide every five minutes." She laughed again, a musical sound that sent a thrill from his head to his toes and back up again. "I like homicide," was all she could think to say, and he kissed her again, softly. Just to prove he could.

"I love you too," he said needlessly between kisses, hands busied in pulling her hair tie out. He hit his swivel chair and pulled her into his lap as they laughed together, lips to cheeks. She let a hand fall to his growing erection and he groaned, involuntarily bucking into her hand, head falling back onto the top of the chair in bliss. Pepper pressed hot, open-mouthed kisses to his neck, nipping at the tender skin just below his ear. He knew how close he was to coming undone; he could feel it and he kissed her to keep from the torture of her talented mouth.

"Is this how we're gonna do this?" she asked into his neck. Tony had the sudden vision of Pepper bent over his desk, gloriously naked, her long body stretched out in front of him and he moaned despite himself. "I don't care," he admitted, "As long as we do it soon." She nestled her knees on either side of his hips so that she was wedged between him and the arms of the chair, resting almost entirely on his lap and his prominent hard-on. "God," he breathed, fumbling with the bottom of her skirt, pushing it up onto her hips, "We are going to be good together, Pepper," he told her and kissed her roughly. She made an agreeable noise and tugged his t-shirt over his head, skimming her hands over his bare chest.

He in turn made quick work of her button-down, ripping it apart and sending buttons twanging in every direction. Pepper gasped into his mouth at the feel of his hands on her skin, through the lace of her bra, and nipped his lips apart to kiss him again. "That was my favorite shirt," she hissed under her breath, unclasping her bra and tossing it to the floor. "You owe me."

He ignored her and kissed the hollow between her breasts, drowning in the smoothness of her skin and the scent of her enveloping him. He barely had time to find one sensitive nipple with his mouth before Pepper's hand fell to his zipper and yanked it down unceremoniously. He laughed against her collarbone and lifted her up off of him briefly so that they could get his jeans and boxers off of him and her panties off from under her skirt. "I didn't even know that they made Krispy Kreme themed boxers," she told him, smirking. "Hey," he smoothed his hands over her thighs, feeling goosebumps rise from his touch, "Don't knock it. I got up at four in the morning to stand in line for those." Her gaze grew serious and his hands stilled at her hipbones.

"Tony," she started, resting her hands on his bare shoulders, "I…I have to be sure, before we do this, that this is what you want. I mean… me. I have to know that you want me, not just…" she squeezed her eyes shut and her nails scraped ever so lightly against the muscles of his shoulders. He rested his forehead against hers and tipped his chin forward to kiss her gently. "It was always you I wanted," he said softly. "I love you, Pepper. I have loved you since the day you pointed out my accounting mistake."

It was all the encouragement she needed. She pressed down onto him with no warning, leaving him breathless and frozen as she adjusted to the feel of him inside her. He gasped out a breath and gripped her hips in strong hands. "This isn't going to last very long," he warned her. "Me either," she confided, dropping one hand from his shoulders to twine fingers with one of his hands. "It's okay."

And it was okay. Much better than okay, once she started to move. His hips matched her pace perfectly and their foreheads stayed pressed together as she leaned into him, one hand braced on his chest. Just as Tony predicted, he didn't last long. The feel of Pepper surrounding him, the brush of her long hair in his face and their perfect rhythm sent him over the edge disappointingly soon and he groaned as much in pleasure as in frustration. He had wanted to last much longer, to draw out Pepper's and his pleasure as long as he could, but the sexual tension between them had created a kind of continuous game of foreplay that had gone on for years now, and he just couldn't take it. Once he reached down between their bodies to brush his knuckles across her clit, Pepper wasn't far behind him, moaning his name and falling against him, spent.

After a few minutes of lying like that, his arms wrapped around her and her hands tracing lines on his chest, she stirred and spoke, her smile evident in her tone.

"Some Krispy Kreme would be really great right now," she told him, and he laughed.