a/n: This story will not have a complex storyline and will not examine the characters' innermost psyche. It is simply my take on the everyday lives of our favorite superhero and his overworked personal assistant.
"Good morning, Mr. Stark."
"Pepper!" Tony Stark greeted his personal assistant with enthusiasm, even though it had been less than twelve hours since they'd last seen each other. He sat with his back to her, tinkering with some contraption. Then he straightened up. "I didn't hear you come in."
Of course he hadn't. The doctor had encouraged her to wear more "sensible" shoes, so she had been forced to set aside the Prada stilettos she so dearly cherished and slip on an old pair of flats from Kohls. "Mmhm. Well, today you have an-"
"What happened?" she raised her eyes from the stack of papers cradled in her left arm and sent him an exasperated look.
"Your arm." He said, staring at it quite intently.
Pepper pursed her lips. She'd still been clinging to the vain hope that he wouldn't notice it. She'd managed to secure a white-colored cast, instead of the fluorescent orange ones popularly used today, but the bulging thing wasn't easily covered. And believe that she'd tried. In the end, she'd given up and settled on a short-sleeved blouse and pencil skirt.
She didn't dare meet his eyes as she said, "Sprained."
"My wrist. Now, today-"
He crossed the room in a nanosecond and snatched the papers out of her hands.
"Mr. Stark-" she began, but suddenly felt the air being drawn from her lungs when he scooped her up and held her like she weighed no more than a doll.
"This is highly unprofessional." She said when her voice had returned.
"Our relationship is allowed to be sometimes." He said, a little too intimately for her comfort. He deposited her on the table of his workshop. "You have over a hundred sick days piled up, and yet you come to serve me with an injury?"
"First of all, I don't 'serve' you." Even though she often felt like it. "Second, I'm still quite capable of holding a phone, thank you. This isn't the most physical job."
Surprisingly ignoring the careless segway to an inappropriate joke, Tony frowned at her.
"You're not working today."
She raised an eyebrow. "Oh, I'm not?"
"Mr. Stark, I appreciate your concern, but there is work that needs to be done-"
"Jarvis can handle it."
They stared at each other, Pepper growing tired of his game.
"You can't stop me from doing my job."
"Is that a challenge?" he asked, smirking in a way that only he could.
She didn't wither. "Only if it has to be."
His smirk stretched into a full-on grin. "Give me your phone."
"I don't have it." She said, straining to remember where she'd left the device.
"You are such a liar." He moved forward.
"Touch me and I'll sue you for sexual harassment." She snapped, searching the room wildly for her beloved Blackberry.
And then she saw it, sitting at the edge of the table next to the door.
She lunged toward it, moving as fast as she could around her boss to the entryway. But somehow he was already there, tossing the device carelessly between his hands. He popped out the battery, slipped it into his back pocket, and handed her the now useless piece of plastic.
"Give me that." She muttered darkly, imagining all the disgusting things the battery now resided with. Gum, oily pieces of metal, a dirty rag….
"Take it," he said, holding up his hands beside his innocent face. Just reach into his pocket? That would be easy.
Damn her pride. "Mr. Stark, what am I supposed to do all day if you won't let me work?"
"It's Professor Plum, at the-"
Tony frowned at her. "It's not wrong; Miss Scarlet said it was a man."
"Well, if you'd bothered to go to Inspector Brown, you'd know that she was a liar."
"Then who did it?"
"Miss Peach, at the parade."
Tony grabbed the book, observed the answer, and scowled at her. "Fine."
Pepper picked up the dice and shook them around in her good hand. "I believe the score is now seventeen to five?"
His scowl deepened. "Clue is stupid."
"I agree, but this isn't even Clue. It's Clue Mysteries, which is aimed at a less mature audience."
"Good thing we bought this one then, eh?"
Now it was Pepper's turn to frown. "Mr. Stark, I'll have you know I am very mature. The only reason I've been playing this stupid game is because of your immaturity."
"Only an immature person would insist that they were mature." Tony said, crossing his arms and turning away from her.
"You're immature!" she snapped. "Sleeping with women and then not even having the decency to kick them out of your own house?"
"That was totally unrelated to this conversation. And I don't do that anymore."
"Oh, look at me, I'm Tony Stark! I can sleep with any woman on the planet, but I just can't seem to get my personal assistant into bed!"
"Really? That's what you're using to support your maturity argument?"
"Oh, Miss Potts! What wonderful legs you have! Why don't you respond to my advances?"
"Okay, I get your point."
"Oh, Miss Potts! Let me steal your phone so you'll have to talk to me about something other than work!"
"You know what, fine! Look at me, I'm Pepper Potts! I'm unbelievably attracted to my boss but just too professional to grow a pair!"
"I'm Tony Stark! I'm convinced every woman is in love with me!"
"I'm Pepper Potts! I'm going to kiss my boss now!"
"No, I'm Pepper Potts, and I will never do that."
"I don't get this movie."
Pepper sighed. "Of course you don't." Apparently having an abnormally high IQ also meant he had to be a film critic.
She shoved her hand into the Skittles bowl and sorted through the colors, dishing the orange and green candies back into the mix.
"And I don't get why you do that."
She shrugged. "The orange and green ones are gross. What do you not get about this movie?"
Tony turned back to the screen and watched the oil leak over the fallen man's face. "He loves that girl, right?"
"Then why did he tell the cops he was going after her when he really wasn't? He could've gone for the political guy-"
"Yeah, him. He could've saved him and let the police save Rachel."
"Well," Pepper said, picking up The Dark Knight case and checked to see how much longer the movie was. "Maybe he didn't want to endanger the lives of the policemen."
"That's so stupid! He loved her!"
"He had a hard choice to make."
"His whole 'one man show' thing is stupid. God forbid he let the cops have the spotlight for a second and actually do their jobs! He-" Tony caught sight of Pepper's stony glare and stopped short. "Oh…right. Walked right into that one, didn't I?"
"Yes." Pepper said, turning her attention back to the screen.
"I'd save you, you know."
Pepper turned to him. "Hmm?"
"If I had a choice between saving you or the president, I'd save you."
"You don't mean that."
"Yes, I do." He stared at her.
"The whole world would hate you. I probably would, too."
"Probably." He agreed.
They sat for a few moments in silence. Then, "I'm bored of this movie."
Pepper rolled her eyes. "Of course you are. Jarvis, what time is it?"
"Almost six thirty, Miss Potts." Jarvis's voice echoed through the empty house.
Pepper fell back on the sofa cushions. "May I leave now, Mr. Stark?"
"No," Tony said, scrolling through his Netflix movie choices.
She sighed and stood up, stretching her good arm in front of her. He looked at her warningly, and she rolled her eyes. "I'm just going to the bathroom. No more action movies, okay? Pick something girly."
She walked to the nearest bathroom and shut the door behind her. Feeling constricted, she unfastened a few buttons of her blouse and released her hair form its tight bun. It was still wet from her shower that morning.
She quickly fixed her makeup and took care of other business before re-entering the living room. "What are we watching?"
"I've got it narrowed down to three. And I ordered pizza."
"How about The Princess Bride?"
"Eh…" she waved a hand. "Good movie, but I'm not in the mood. Next?"
She shrugged. "Possibly. What's the last choice?"
"No. Absolutely not. No way. Take that movie and burn it in the backyard!"
Tony stared at her, suddenly frightened.
She cleared her throat. "I, uh…don't care for that movie too much…"
When he continued to stare at her, she added, "If you saw it, you'd know why."
"Okay," he said, and maneuvered the remote to the 'play' button.
Pepper narrowed her eyes at him. "You wouldn't dare…"
Tony smirked evilly at her. "Wouldn't I?" He pressed the button, and suddenly Pepper launched herself at him, clawing at his hand to get to the remote. He sat up as far as he could and managed to keep it just out of her reach until she tired, breathing heavily and glaring at the device.
And then Tony gleefully noticed that in her haste, she'd managed to sit on him in a rather suggestive manner. "Why, Miss Potts. This is so forward!"
Pepper frowned at him, eyes still on the remote. "What?"
He purposely dropped it behind the couch cushion. "And in fact I'd say it was totally inappropriate, but I am getting a rather nice view."
She suddenly remembered she'd forgotten to re-button her shirt, and just as suddenly realized how un-professional sitting on her boss's lap was. "You're a pig."
"Pepper dear, I am not sitting on you."
She hastily climbed back to her seat and scowled deeply as the young actress on the screen walked through the church with an utterly fake smile.
"You really hate this movie, don't you?"
"What was your first clue?"
"Can you hand me another slice?"
Pepper passed her boss the pizza box and dabbed a spot of grease from her lips.
"So, what's going on right now?
She glared at him. "You force me to watch this movie and then don't even pay attention?"
"I'm paying attention, Potts. I just don't get it. What was the point of that scene?"
"There was none. I guess the directors felt they needed a sex scene."
"Why does every director feel that way?"
"Maybe people actually like the sex scenes."
"Isn't that creepy, though? Watching other people have sex?"
"It is creepy. Almost as creepy as having it with women you don't know."
"You know, Potts, that's the second time you've brought that up today. Is it possible you're a little jealous?"
"No, it's merely been useful in making points today."
"So, what kind of sex isn't creepy?"
"The kind that involves mutual attraction and no alcohol."
"So, if we had sex right now, it wouldn't be creepy?"
"Because you are my boss, and that makes it creepy for an entirely different reason. Now can we watch this movie?"
Tony snorted. "Oh, now you want to watch it."