I need to stop going on Pepperony sites at night, I get serious feelings :P Cookies to anyone who spots 'The Big Bang Theory' reference and can say who said it and who too.

Please review! Love you all :)

Pepper was waiting at Stark Tower when Tony got back, having ordered the pilot to turn the plane around and head back to New York the second she saw her boyfriend fall from the sky. Then she'd spotted the missed call on her phone and damn well nearly died of worry, especially when he didn't pick up when she tried calling him.

Pepper called Happy the second she got back on the ground and he drove her to Stark Tower. The New York skyline was just beginning to get dark and Pepper stared, terrified, at the destruction that had been caused by Loki's rage. Upturned cars, dead alien bodies littering the streets, one massive dead snake/whale/robot type thing lying across a building. She more she saw, the more panicky she felt.

Pepper ran into the building, there were a few employees left wandering around that hadn't ran off to hide when Loki's invasion force had struck, and they all stared at her as she tore through the building in her high heels, running straight into the lift and slamming her ID card against the penthouse scanner so hard the lift shook.

Pepper ran into Tony's, their, living room and stared, horrified, at the destruction around her. The smashed window, the smashed furniture, the massive person-shaped-hole in the ground.

'JARVIS?' Pepper said, unable to keep the worry from her voice.

'Here, Miss Potts,' JARVIS replied, calmly.

'Where's Tony?'

'He is currently en route back to the tower with the rest of the Avengers,' JARVIS replied, sensing her worry and trying to reply in a calm reassuring tone.

'But he's okay, right?' Pepper said, biting her lip.

'To use his own phrase, he is slightly "bashed up", but other than that body scans show no serious injuries,' JARVIS said.

Pepper let out a deep breath and tried calling him again.

'Hey, Pep,' Tony's voice came through as he finally answered his phone.

'Do you have any idea how worried I was?' Pepper screeched down the phone at him. 'I saw the whole thing on the TV, what the hell were you thinking?'

'Um… that Loki's helmet was stupid?'

Pepper tried to calm down. 'Where are you?' she said.

'I'm behind you.'

Pepper turned round to see Tony Stark sliding his phone back into his jeans pocket, the rest of the Avengers behind him, looking a bit sheepish.

Pepper marched over to Tony, grabbed his shirt and dragged him into the lift, vaguely hearing someone remark: 'oh boy is he in trouble.'

Pepper hit the button for the roof access and slammed her mouth against Tony's, pushing him up against the back of the lift and clinging onto his shirt for dear life.

Tony responded, kissing her back gently and wrapping his arms around her, holding her tightly.

The lift pinged and Pepper broke off, dragging her boyfriend out onto the roof, where night had fallen and sirens could be heard all over the city.

Pepper turned round and poked him right in the Arc Reactor. 'Don't you dare, ever ever ever do that to me ever again,' Pepper yelled hysterically at him, tears in her eyes. 'I was so worried! Especially when I saw that missed call and then you fell out the sky from space and weren't answering your phone!' Pepper chocked back a sob and covered her face with her hands, trying desperately hard not to cry.

'Pep,' Tony said, holding his arms out. 'Come here.'

Pepper ran into his embrace and clung onto him tightly, afraid if she let go, she'd lose him again. Tony hugged her tightly and placed feather light kisses into her hair.

'Hey,' he said gently, holding her back, even though she kept her hands tightly fisted into his t-shirt. Tony placed his hands gently on either side of her face.

'Pepper Potts,' he said. 'I have a confession to make.'

'You do?' Pepper said, sniffing and gazing up at him.

'Yes, I do,' Tony said. 'Something I haven't realised until this moment, although it's one of those things that's always there in the back of your mind.'

'What's your confession?' Pepper asked.

Tony took a deep breath. 'I am, completely and utterly, head over heels in love with you. Always have been, I can't live without you, I can't breathe without you. When I was in that cave, all I could think about was you.'

Pepper stared at him, eyes wide.

'And when you asked me earlier… what the hell I was thinking… I was thinking that, even though I knew I'd probably never see you again, at least you'd be safe, and alive.'

He let out a deep breath and moved his hands to her waist. 'Okay, now I feel better,' he said.

Pepper stared at him and tears welled up in her eyes. 'You thought you'd never see me again and I didn't answer my phone,' she choked out, staring at the ground.

Tony grabbed her chin and gently lifted it up.

'That's in the past now,' he said. 'But right now, I am here, I am safe, and I love you.'

Pepper stared at him and kissed him suddenly, long and hard. 'I love you too,' she said. 'So so much.'

'Um… Tony? Your radio is still on…' a voice chirped in his ear.

'Ah,' Tony said, frowning.

'What?' Pepper asked. 'What's wrong?'

'I may have left my radio on…' he said slowly.

'So everyone heard?' Pepper asked, a smile creeping across her tear stained face.

'Yes they did,' Natasha said, loud enough so Pepper could hear, which also made Tony wince from the volume.

'Also, Stark,' she continued. 'That was the most romantic thing I have ever heard and it came out of you!'

'Okay, you're going off now,' Tony said, sliding the radio out of his ear, turning it off and shoving it into his pocket.

'So… you love me too?' Tony said, screwing his face up in a half quizzical, half worried look.

Pepper smiled. 'You know I do,' she said, kissing him softly. 'Also, as much as I hate to ruin the moment, you really could do with a shower.'

Tony chuckled against her lips and pulled back, keeping his arms wrapped tightly around her.

'Okay then, Pepperpot,' he said. 'I will go shower quickly and you will stay up here and look gorgeous and then I shall return with blankets and a bottle of wine, deal?'

'Deal,' Pepper said, hugging him tightly. 'And I swear to god… no wait, I can't really say that now there is an actual god in our living room… I swear to… um… Thor, or whatever, that I will never let my phone out of my sight ever again.'

Tony laughed. 'Sounds like a plan,' he said, and kissed her again quickly before disappearing downstairs, pausing only to tell the Avengers that the place was theirs for the night, there was food in the fridge, spare rooms and showers, and they could sleep where they fell.


The next day, Natasha was the first to wake up and she had a long hot shower, relishing the warm water relaxing her still aching muscles. She got dressed and wandered into the kitchen to try and find something for breakfast when she spotted Tony and Pepper curled up against each other on the sofa under a blanket, fast asleep. She smiled softly and went back to her room, deciding to leave them in peace for the time being, until Clint woke up anyway.


When Pepper woke up, it was against Tony's warm chest, the Arc making a reassuring humming noise and his soft and gentle breathing assuring her that he was still alive, still with her.

Pepper sat up and stared at him while he slept, joy and happiness pounding its way through her chest.

'He's quite sweet when he's asleep,' came a voice. 'It's a shame he has to wake up.'

Pepper turned her head and spotted the archer- Clint Barton- sat on the other couch, cleaning dead alien gloop off of his quiver.

Pepper swung her body over Tony and perched on the edge of the sofa, rearranging the blanket so it covered him up. Tony's hand reached for her and he burrowed his head into the side of her thigh.

'Does he get nightmares?' Clint asked, frowning at Tony's sleeping form.

Pepper was surprised by the question.

'Yes he does,' came another voice, one Pepper recognised. 'When I was undercover working for him he damn near nearly made me shoot him when he jumped up from the sofa screaming one night.'

'Hello, Miss Rushman,' Pepper said, still slightly bitter over her deception.

In her defence, Natasha did try to look a bit remorseful, she had liked Pepper a lot, and admired her for putting up with Tony for so long.

'It's Natasha,' she said. 'Natasha Romanoff, I'm sorry about before, but needs must.' She shrugged and Pepper smiled. 'Thank you,' she said sincerely. 'Tony did tell me what happened, he did tell me you saved him.'

'He saved himself,' Natasha said, standing up from where she'd been sitting crossed legged on the ground and joining her partner on the couch. 'I just gave him a push.'

'I appreciate it,' Pepper said, looking at her seriously.

Natasha inclined her head towards her slightly, a smile tugging at the corner of her lips.

'Good morning, friends!' Thor's load voice boomed as he strolled into the room.

Tony moaned and burrowed under the blanket, hand finding Pepper's and linking their fingers together.

Thor chuckled. 'He is not a morning person, I take it?' he asked.

Pepper smiled. 'He's always grumpy when he wakes up, regardless of what time it is.'

Thor bowed to her and Pepper blushed.

'It is an honour to meet you, Lady Pepper,' he said warmly, kissing her hand.

Pepper caught Tony's eyes and he winked at her. Pepper had the funniest feeling the Avengers were going to be around for a while.

Please please PLEASE review :) Pretty please with a cherry on top? I'm not continuing this, but it goes along quite nicely as a prologue piece to my other story 'Earth's Mightiest Heroes! Wait, what?' so feel free to go read that :) Love to you!