tumblr makes me fic. this is the result.
HERO AND HEROINE
A rendition of Pepper's cameo for Avengers.
So Pepper is on her way back to the States from her business trip and Eric, from the newest batch of interns, is actually trying to hit on her. She finds him cute in that "oh, honey. Nice try" kind of way.
Alice approaches her with relevant paperwork. She has this sheepish, grateful smile, because Alice's heel broke just ten minutes ago; Pepper was quick to lend the poor girl her extra pair of shoes. Pepper smiles back at her, leaning back in her seat to get comfortable.
Then behind her, she hears the television, breaking news of a disaster in New York, the rushing noise of the plane as it glides through clouds, and the internal rush of adrenaline as she twists herself around to listen more intently to the reporter mention the arrival of various suited individuals - and among them, Iron Man.
Several thoughts. Anticipations of repercussions, damages to the city, the money involved, the numerous lawsuits, the calls, the articles, the damage control, Rhodey freaking out, Happy fretting.
"Tony. Cockblocking. Why am I not surprised."
"Tony. I am going to kill you."
"Tony, answer. The. Phone," she wrings her hands together, fidgeting, legs shaking anxiously, while her phone sits across from her on the small surface, loudspeaker on. She needs loudspeaker because when he picks up - when he picks up - his voice will bounce against the plane walls and acoustics will do the job. It'll be loud and it'll be like he's here, safe and an idiot, and not there, in danger and an idiot. That kind of proximity to him is far more significant than if she just pressed the phone to her ear, listening intently for his voice - to hear his voice clearly. And he'd probably say how she'd enjoy his mouth against her ear. She'd reply that not much has changed since their stable-ish relationship - she still doesn't want his mouth against her ear at inappropriate times. And these are definitely inappropriate times.
"C'mon. Answer," she starts slipping her ring off and on her pinky finger anxiously. Except she doesn't want to distract him. She doesn't want that at all. But at least pick up. Even a muffled grunt will suffice, so she can confirm he's at least alive. And then he can hang up. And she'll sit here and not wait for him, because Pepper Potts doesn't wait. She will, however, worry, keep the fort and appearances and maybe let Eric harmlessly flirt with her some more to get her mind off it all. Not reciprocate, obviously, but Eric's lightheartedness will be a little helpful. And Alice can gush about her summer wedding plans to her fiancée Julie, come this July.
She never, ever calls him when he's in the suit. Ever. Again - she doesn't want to distract him. Not because she's Pepper and he's a little (she now has realized it) in love with her. That kind of stuff belongs in romance novels and chick flicks. But because Tony shouldn't, at all, period, take calls in the suit. It's reckless and irresponsible. Rhodey, Happy, and she have discussed and agreed to never call Tony when he's in the suit, unless an absolute emergency. Consider access to Tony's suit as access to his shop (which all three of them have). The same rules apply. Don't bother him unless an absolute emergency.
But she needs him to answer because this whole situation doesn't sit well with her (it never does). There's this feeling and she's plummeting and this plane isn't landing on solid ground for a solid few hours and-
She's startled to hear a female's voice.
"I'm Maria Hill and-"
"Oh- I. I'm...Pepper Potts."
"Yes. I know," Maria simply says, "he's transferred the call from his suit to us. He has a message: He'll finish this. Just order some pizza because he's going to be," Maria does not pause at all, "fucking starving after this."
"Oh. Okay. Can... Can you relay a message back to him? You don't have to tell him immediately, but. Just-"
"I...suppose I can. If it's short. We're a little preoccupied right now."
"No. Of course you are," she laughs uncomfortably, anxiously, "I- Just. Tell him. Tell him..."
She gives a shuddering breath and worries her lip, playing with a stray thread that somehow has become loose from the fabric of her outfit.
She wants to say that she hates this. She hates every minute of it. But she's also really proud. And she loves it because what he does, with the suit, with the Avengers (apparently that's what they call themselves now) makes him feel good about himself, even just a little. And that's just something she's always wanted for him.
"You wanted to check if she got the message, Stark. She did. And she has a message back."
He grunts as he evades a blow, "Well. I'm a little busy right now, if you haven't noticed. Can it wait?"
"Yes. Now, Agent-"
"No. Wait. Shit. What is it. Is it urgent?"
He knows it isn't, but-
"Do you or do you not want this message?" Maria says sharply, "Because I believe your attentions can go elsewhere - namely-"
"Just tell me."
Tony's impatient and needs instant gratification.
Maria sighs before saying, "She replies: 'Will that be all, Mr. Stark?'"
He grins and leaves Pepper's message from the transcribed dialogue between him and Maria on the screen - snug in a corner, while the suit's data and the enemy targets engulf the rest of the screen, for the entirety of the battle.
That kind of stuff belongs in romance novels and chick flicks, too. But Tony likes gratification. And Pepper reciprocating in any form, in her Pepper-y way, is gratifying.
BECAUSE PEPPER DESERVES TO BE HIT ON.