Author's Note: I saw people wanted more Tony stories that weren't slash so I pretty much spent the whole day brainstorming Tony/Pepper ideas. xD Yeah, I should have been writing other things, but this popped in my head. Hope you enjoy!
What if I need you baby?
Would you even try to save me?
Or would you find some lame excuse to never be true?
-What If by Ashley Tisdale
Pepper had watched him for a long time. Ever since she had been hired to run Stark Industries, she had watched him. He drove her insane though. Playboy, billionare, philanthropist... Indeed, he was all of those things, but to her he'd always be something more. He was Anthony Edward Stark to her. He joked around all day, but when it came right down to it: he cared. He worried about all of his friends, and he always made it his goal to ensure that no one would ever get hurt. Pepper admired that about him. He was always braver than she ever would be.
She knew that he let friends into his circle too easily, and that he'd risk himself unnecessarily for them. When Natalie Rushman came into the picture, Pepper worried for him. She knew that Anthony had a weakness for beautiful ladies, a fact that she loathed, and knew that he'd fall for her charms. Pepper hated that time. He had been wrenched from her watch by another woman; she was no longer needed. She had pondered leaving Stark Industries then, but she knew it was selfish to do so. She had stayed and ended up witnessing the aftermath of Natasha's betrayal.
She played the part of the caring friend, friend, not lover. Anthony never seemed to feel those sorts of emotions towards her. She would be the old friend, no matter how much he flirted with her. As she felt the wind rustle through her hair, Pepper wondered if he would care now. She looked up into the city skylights with a calm look on her face. The ropes around her wrists kept her firmly secured to the metal beam that she sat ever so precariously on.
She looked at the slack pile of rope beside her for a moment before turning to the man behind her. "Woman, are you not afraid?" The Mandarin said from his position on the rooftop. His dark eyes pierced into her heart, but still she shook her head.
"No, Anthony will save me." She said with a complacent smile on her face.
"No, he will not. I will go as far as to guarantee it. You are simply a prop to summon the Avengers, a disposable prop." The bearded man stretched out his ringed left hand. The ring on his thumb shone brightly and Pepper felt a pit well up in her chest. Her breath came hard to her as she felt gravity trying to suck her down to the ground.
"We'll see." She choked out. She felt herself slipping. The beam fell out from beneath her and she went tumbling down into the air. The ropes halted her fall, and the air was knocked right out of her. The ginger wheezed as the pressure on her arms mounted.
"Pepper!" Pepper found a smile had made its way onto her face. Anthony, ever the good friend. She knew that he wouldn't leave her to die, at least, he wouldn't leave her to die alone. She grunted as the ropes suddenly let her slip another foot towards the ground. Her eyes looked up to see the length beginning to fray.
She gasped as time seemed to move in slow motion. Each strand slowly broke apart until she was falling. Pepper didn't even have it in her to scream. Instead she closed her eyes and let the wind whip past her. Soon, it would be over. And she didn't even tell Anthony how she felt. A tear pricked at the corner of her eye as she descended down towards the ground.
Suddenly, cold arms wrapped around her, and Pepper felt herself being lifted away from the ground. Her eyes opened to see the metallic shine of the man she had come to love, "Anthony?"
"Does anyone else have the spiffy suit? I think not," Tony said cheekily. Pepper knew him well enough to know that he was merely putting up a brave front. The man was tired and terrified. "Are you alright, Pepper?"
Pepper nodded and gave a smile, "I'm alright, Anthony. Don't worry."
"Pfft. How am I not supposed to worry with you falling off buildings like that? Don't worry, I'll catch him and make him pay."
Pepper raised a hand to stay her hair and said, "Be careful, will you?"
"Careful is my middle name! Along with awesome, incredible, and terrific," he quipped as he landed upon a nearby rooftop. "You will be safe, right?"
Pepper could have almost sworn that she heard more than the normal concern in his voice. "Of course, Anthony. You need to concentrate on this battle; I'll be alright."
Tony flipped back the mask on his suit and looked at Pepper with a downcast look. "I'm sorry that being around me has got you in trouble, Pepper. I really am."
Pepper blinked slowly before shaking her head. "Don't worry, Anthony. A bit of danger is what makes it fun, right?" She unconsciously rubbed her sore wrists, but it was something that Tony immediately caught up on. He snaked an arm behind her back and pulled her to his chest.
"Danger is only fun when I don't spend all my time worrying." He breathed into her hair. Pepper let a small blush dust her cheeks as she laughed softly.
"No matter how it goes, I'll be worrying anyways."
"I'm sure you will," Tony chuckled. "I'll be back in a flash."
"No, you're Iron Man remember? Leave Flash to the other heroes." Pepper cracked a smile and gave him a quick hug before unlatching herself from his arm. "Now go, they need you." The sound of an explosion rocked the building as the Mandarin shot a blast of energy towards the other Avengers.
"I knew they were hopeless without me! Well, love you, Pepper." Tony bent down and planted a soft kiss on Pepper's hair before flashing a cheeky smile. His mask plate slid back into place and he flew off, leaving a confused woman behind. Perhaps she wasn't just the old friend after all.