for anyone who knows me on tumblr, they know my woes with titling and summary and now see how i resolved that issue this time around.

it is ridic to spend more than ten minutes on title and summary okay. and i have a bet with a friend if i post tonight, he'll buy me cheesecake for national cheesecake day. PRIORITIES. I HAVE THEM.

anyway. we're beginning my ficfest with a lighthearted dialoguey one.

Earlyfic. PreIM. Tony/Pepper. He mentions her phone like how one compliments a new hairstyle.

"You've got a new phone. It's decent."

Pepper says easily, "Yes, I do. And thank you. I like how it works. Very convenient."

He notices things that are not typical for one to notice in casual conversation; he mentions her phone like how one compliments a new hairstyle.

"Your contract isn't over until next year."

"...Yes. And?"

"So you got a new phone."

"The other one was...compromised."

"How's that?" He's fiddling with the wiring of the remote, God knows why.

"Just was," she says with a shrug, tucks a stray hair behind her ear.

Tony blinks as he looks up from the mess on the coffee table and raises an eyebrow.

She sighs, "Water."

"One question."

She snorts at that.

"One or two?"


She inwardly curses herself for her prompt answer; she was too focused on catching his innuendo to catch herself from her answer.

"-piece. How'd you know what I was going to ask."

Then he fumbles, the remote clatters onto the glass surface as he hoarsely says, "Waitwhat?"

"Two years of working here, Tony," she is choosing to ignore his line of thinking, "Not that one needs two years to know you."

"It's a valid question," he presses on insistently, "this one is too. What does 'neither' mean?"

"This," she says pointedly, straightening her posture as he just stares at her, "is not a professional conversation."

"Says the one who said neither. You went skinny dipping? Potts. At least try to lie about having a one-piece on. Have some mercy."

"I didn't-" She splutters for a few seconds and then takes a shaky breath to compose herself, "I didn't go swimming. That's not how it happened."


"I...," she bites her bottom lip anxiously, piecing together the best arrangement of words in her head, "I forgot it."

"This is better suspense than Rhodey's last weekend movie pick, Pepper."

She sighs, "I forgot my phone in my laundry and...accidentally washed it."

"How- What?"

She's immediately defensive, "It happens, okay? I did everything I could, the rice, the silica gel, but it didn't work. And besides, I am certainly not the first, or the last, person to accidentally wash my phone. I'm sure someone right now is making the same very mistake. It could be Rhodey. O-or Happy."

She winces at her decision of using their mutual friends as a way to ridiculously emphasize her point.

"But that sort of thing happens to people? Seriously?"

"Yes. It is a common, but unfortunate, occurrence."

"Huh." Tony finishes up with the remote and sits there, cross-legged on the floor. He absently tosses the remote back and forth, from palm to palm, as he muses on this fact and various other thoughts not pertinent to the conversation.

"You wouldn't know, of course. You don't do laundry."

He nods and reaches over the table to grab her phone, ignoring her squeak of protest. He doesn't crack it open (or at least, not yet, Pepper frets), but just inspects the outside of it.

"I'd probably need to make a new phone every week," he replies. His index finger runs over the rectangular lines of her phone, brow furrowed as he makes calculations.

"Your laundry is not done every week. Unless you'd like to change that. I can notify the staff."

He shrugs, "Sureyeah. Mom used to schedule it so laundry was done every three weeks. Dad's clothes, every week, because of how dirty he'd get when he worked."

She glances at his currently stained tank, but only says, "That's the schedule right now."

"Keep it."

The conversation stops for a while; she types; he sets down her phone eventually and lays back, pillowing his head with folded palms.

"You should have brought it to me. I would have done something."

"Thank you, but no. It's enough that I already have you fix my car."

"Rhodey never complains. He never thanks me either, the bastard. But he never complains. Happy's...probably the happiest when I do anything to his car. Obie's the grumpiest."

"I'm not complaining. I'm very thankful," she says politely, "very thankful that you take time out of your day to fix things instead of doing actual work."

"You're welcome."

She rolls her eyes, "I'm simply saying that making you my repairman for things is...strange. Financially, it may benefit me, but it..." She trails off.

"If you ask me over to fix your sink, I promise to wear low jeans and-"

"No," Pepper stops his definite lewd joke hastily, "and besides, I can fix my own sink."

"Of course you can."

Then a moment.

"Even in my best low jeans?"

and now anticute goes to edit longer-ish fics. blurgh.