A/N: I couldn't help myself. After reading some spoilers from the Avengers movie (AHEM COUGH COUGH), i just had to whip this out. If i hadn't, i probably would have died of happiness (and probably squealing/swooning).

Pre-Avengers

Disclaimer: I own zero. Gosh, Pepper and Tony are so cute together ;_; *Fan girl squeals and proceeds to swoon out the door*


"So…" Pepper breathed to pause. "You're leaving tomorrow?" Her eyes trailed up his legs, up his stomach and his torso, and safely landed on his chocolate brown eyes. Her heart began to race as she stared straight at him. They were in New York to attend a very important board meeting. After the meeting, they were supposed to be in town for another two days before heading back to Malibu. Tony had hinted to her about something to do with them not spending enough time with each other. Nonchalantly, Pepper agreed to the sudden arrangements only because his version of spending time together consisted of her, trying to catch up on work, and him barraging her with flirtatious acts and light kisses.

However, much to their surprise, Tony was greeted with Director Fury's presence the night of the board meeting. She didn't want to admit it, but Pepper counted every minute Tony spent talking to Fury. They were talking upstairs while she was downstairs responding to e-mails. When Tony walked downstairs – unaccompanied – Pepper could already tell what happened.

When Tony stopped at the bottom of the stairs, she asked him about his obvious departure. He only stared back at her still sitting form. He thought he had two more endless days to spend time with his Personal Assistant before heading back to his old life – the life of Iron Man. Those plans were painfully interrupted – so, what should he say to her?

"He wants me to ah…" He paused. "…he wants me to be at the base by tomorrow morning." The sting in his eyes portrayed his aching heart. He had to constantly remind himself that he had to go, for the sake of the planet, no matter how painstaking it was to leave Pepper behind.

Pepper didn't answer. She could only stare at him, swallow hard, and nod.

"I should probably leave here in six hours." He pressed his lips together. God, how it pained him to see her frown. He almost lost it when he heard her small sigh bounce against the walls of the room.

"How—" She paused as she felt the words sting her throat. "—How long are you going to be gone for?"

"I… don't really know." He scratched the back of his head. "B-But, ah, you're welcome to visit – if you want to, that is."

She flashed a small smile. "Visit?"

"Yeah." He nodded happily, and began to step towards her. "The rooms at the base aren't as big as this penthouse, but I'm sure we can figure out the sleeping arrangements." She thought she caught him winking at her.

"Director Fury wouldn't mind?" She asked curiously.

"Hey." He took a seat next to her and rested one leg on the cushions so he could face her. "You're my girlfriend." His hand brushed against hers, ever so slightly. "If that pirate has a problem with you, then he has a problem with me."

"But, he—"

Tony cut her off, instantly. "He knows how much you mean to me. I'm sure he wouldn't mind."

"Maybe." She smiled to herself.

"JARVIS can easily keep you updated when I'm away – and you can call me whenever you feel like it… assuming I'm not in a horrendous battle to the death, or something of the sorts." He tried to lighten the mood with her but, all he got was a slight frown. Bad choice of words, Stark. He scolded himself.

"I just want you back in once piece." She murmured as her soft blue eyes met his. Tony painfully swallowed. He hated how much his alter ego could cause her so much pain and anguish. When she couldn't bear to look at him in the eyes anymore, she scooted closer to him and leaned her back against his chest. Tony quietly and endearingly took her in his embrace. Pepper settled between his legs with her back against his RT, while his arms were wrapped around her.

Pepper's fingers gingerly played with his; she tried memorizing every contour, dip, and shape, so she wouldn't forget him. Tony squeezed and held her close for a good minute before finally realizing how important she was to him. He didn't want to let go of her – he didn't want to stop seeing her. He wanted to be in his office, and stare at that one picture of them for hours on end; he just wants grin to himself like a fool in love.

He pressed a tender kiss to the top of her head and rested his chin on top of her shoulder. He pressed his cheek to the side of hers and grinned a little. The butterflies buzzed around his stomach so violently – a giggle almost escaped his lips. Pepper, on the other hand let one tear slip down her cheek as a small smile graced her lips.

For the next five hours, they talked about what they would've done if they had gotten those two days to themselves. Pepper chimed in with her work, while Tony playfully challenged her by saying how much he'd annoy the crap out of her until she kissed him. It was a non-stressful memorable moment. It was something Pepper needed to distract her from the recent and interruptive news.

Their conversation ended with Pepper telling him how much she hated it when he left, and Tony responding with a small frown, mumbling, "I know".

Tony and Pepper arrived at the landing pad, hand in hand. Their fingers were tangled together, while the cold breeze made Pepper cling onto his arm in search of warmth. Tony abruptly stopped in front of the designated assembling area and quietly looked down at the adorable attachment on his arm. Tony turned around and placed his feet inside the semi armor plated flats.

Much to Pepper's surprise, his hands were still attached to hers.

"I'll be fine." He tried to tell her.

"Please listen to Director Fury, and everyone else—"

"Yes, Mom."

"Don't stir up too much trouble—"

"Mmhmm." He hummed while he endearingly looked down at her.

"And… try not to be an ass."

"You know that's impossible." He smirked.

"Emphasis on the word, 'try'." She reminded him, rolling her eyes. "And you don't have to call me when you get there. I guess I can just ask JARVIS – And don't worry about the board meeting we just had. I can give them a heads up and tell them that the contract will be looked over as soon as possible. Oh, and don't worry about Dummy and U—"

"—Pepper." He cut her off, quipped with a grin. "I'll miss you, too."

Pepper pressed her lips together and quietly sighed. She let go of him for a few minutes to let JARVIS assemble the suit onto him. She watched the metal casing surround his body. In the back of her head, she told herself not to worry. Sure, the armor looks like nothing could penetrate it, She paused to think. Yeah, tell that to the cuts and bruises he had on last week...

All the features of Iron Man were standing right in front of her – the gadgets, the rockets, and all the other weapons he had built for the suit – except the helmet.

Tony approached her cautiously (being careful not to squish her), and quietly dipped his head to meet hers at an infinitesimal distance. Pepper still wore a slight frown, and all he wanted to do was kiss that frown away.

"Please, be careful." She breathed, soft enough for him to hear.

He leaned forward in one motion and met her soft lips with his own. It wasn't a good-bye kiss – God, how he hated those – it was a kiss to calm her down. His insides almost tore him apart when he had to pull away. He stopped centimeters from her face and stared down at her luscious ocean blue eyes.

"I will." He simply told her with a small grin. "You complete me."


A/N: Reviews help the muse! :) Thanks!