When Steve stumbled into the kitchen in the early morning he wasn't surprised to see Pepper sitting in the kitchen already. When he had first moved into the grand tower that had long since become the permanent living base for the avengers he was sure that he would have been the first to rise each morning. He was pleasantly surprised when he first managed to navigate his way to the kitchen and found the woman that Tony had introduced as Pepper Potts sitting at the kitchen table drinking coffee and answering her emails. She had smiled politely and greeted him as Captain. Not much had changed since then in the four months he'd been living there except now there was always enough coffee in the pot for two and he was now Steve, never Captain.
However, that morning he was running a little behind his routine. It made no odds to anyone but him seeing as he had no place to go and almost all of the people he would want to spend anytime with lived under the same roof as him, but he guessed old habits died hard. He was surprised, though, to see that Tony sat with Pepper that morning, his attention fixed on the tabloid he was reading.
He didn't comment, instead poring himself a cup of coffee and silently moving to make himself some breakfast. There was a sweet domesticity in the air, it seemed. It was peaceful in a way he couldn't quite get enough of, the sound of Pepper tapping the keys on her laptop, the frequent rustles of Tony as he turned the pages of what he was reading. It was a pleasant change from the conflict that seemed to follow him and his team-mates wherever they went, at least here-
"I'm leaving you."
For a second Steve was quite sure he had misheard.
There was no way in his mind that Tony could ever say such a thing to Pepper. None of them had lived with the couple for very long but they would've had to be blind not to see how scarily in sync the two were. It was uncanny. Steve turned his head slowly only to feel his heart drop. Tony was staring straight at Pepper who had yet to acknowledge him.
"Any particular reason?" She asked at last lifting her head from the screen. There was no hint of emotion in her voice and Steve couldn't help but admire the fact she looked Tony straight in the eyes with no hint of backing down.
Tony shrugged looking very blasé about the whole thing, "We argue too much." He said casually. Steve couldn't deny that at first their arguing had disturbed them but he had come to see it for what it was. Their way of showing affection. "And I'm having an affair." He carried on blithely.
It seemed they had forgotten Steve was in the room and he did his best not to draw attention to himself, he wasn't quite sure what he would have done if provoked, but he knew it wouldn't have ended well for Tony. After all, Steve hadn't had a lot of experience with woman but there was no doubt in his mind that that was not how to treat them.
Pepper's lips quirked, "What a coincidence, so am I."
The world was becoming a stranger place by the second, as Tony smiled blandly and Pepper once more returned to her screen.
"I'm pregnant." At the sudden announcement from Pepper Steve felt his jaw physically drop, and on instinct he began to speak,
"Is it mine?" Asked Tony, efficiently cutting off Steve, as he glanced up from his tabloid.
Pepper gave a delicate laugh, "Nope."
"Guess that means I'm kicking you out of the tower then." Tony showed no emotion as he didn't even glance up from his paper. Steve felt his hands curl into fists as he tried to calm himself down. He didn't know what was going on but he knew he didn't like it.
"Where will I go?" Asked Pepper. To Steve's everlasting respect to her she didn't sound upset or angry, just…mildly interested. It was strange but he was glad. Tony didn't deserve to see any of her emotions the way this saga was playing out. It was clear that Pepper too had committed several wrongs, but to kick a pregnant lady out of her home was even worse. That was cold even for Tony.
Tony looked back up and Steve felt his blood boil when he saw Tony actually had the audacity to smile, "Not my problem, go live with the baby daddy for all I care."
"That might be a problem." Said Pepper, a sweet smile fixed upon her face, "I mean, Bruce already lives here so…"
Steve had turned around to give them small measure of privacy without drawing attention to himself. He had taken a sip of coffee but Pepper last sentence the drink fought to make its way back up. As he fought to keep his choking fit as silent as possible his mind was a chaotic disarray of thoughts.
Bruce and Pepper…? He had seen them talk a few times but he never would have guessed this.
How were both of them taking this so calmly? He had seen them scream at each other over the music that Tony insisted on reverberating throughout the entire tower, and yet here they sat discussing the end of their relationship as through commenting on the weather.
He managed to swallow the rest of the coffee in time to hear the one thing out of the entire conversation so far that he really wished he had missed,
Tony sighed dramatically, "Well, I should have known it'd come to this, but you can't live here. After all, you'd only get in the way."
"The way of what?" Asked Pepper sounding like she might even be smiling.
Steve turned around in time to see Tony give the smug smirk that he was so renowned for before saying, "My torrid affair with Captain Spangles over here."
It was the last straw. The coffee that had fought so valiantly to come back resumed its attempt and won. Steve turned around, partly out embarrassment and partly so he had a chance to figure out what in the deepest depths of hell was going on here?
From behind him there was a feminine sigh and when he looked back Pepper had slumped in her chair and sat with a dejected look on her face.
Tony just looked smug, a look that was serving to irritate and confuse Steve further. "Of course I do. I told you, the tabloids love hating me more than they enjoy hating you."
"Hey!" Protested Pepper, "I got some good ones in there!"
Tony gave her a disbelieving look, "Oh, come on. Mine were awesome. Where do they even get this stuff?" He said spreading out the tabloids across the table for all to see. Sure enough on the front page of all of them either Tony or Pepper were present in a small inset with derisive headlines set next to them.
"I don't know." Said Pepper with a shrug as she spun her laptop around to see the screen, "But it's brilliant. They must spend half their lives making this up, god knows where they get the time from." Steve peered a little closer to the laptop screen and sure enough he could see that Pepper was looking at what looked like the online equivalent of the papers that Tony had been so engrossed in. A website he thought it was called.
Pepper continued, "And Rhodey sent these to you, and if anyone was going to pick out the worst ones for you…it would be him."
Tony opened his mouth to protest but quelled at the disbelief Pepper sent his way.
"Ok…maybe. But I still win!"
Steve felt a headache beginning to build and even through he knew it was none of his business couldn't help speaking up, "So, wait…none of that was true?"
Tony rolled his eyes while Pepper tried to stifle a laugh. He appreciated the effort at any rate. "No Steve, none of that was true." She managed kindly, her eyes still alight with laughter.
For Steve he had decided that was enough madness for quite so early in the morning. Slowly, he took his coffee headed out of the room trying not to look too much like he was making his escape.
He got all of the way through the door when he heard Tony's voice calling him back. Cautiously, he poked his head back into the room to see Tony smiling. A sure sign that something was about to go wrong.
"That might have been a load of bullshit… but I'm always here for you, Spangles. If you know what I mean." A wink and a suggestive look were enough to send Steve all but sprinting away from the kitchen with his cheeks aflame, intent of repressing the memory of that morning if it was the last thing he ever did.
Behind him echoed the sound of Tony roaring with laughter, and perhaps more tellingly, Pepper laughing right alongside him.
A/N- ….I'm not even completely sure where this came from, but I hoped you liked it. It was a lot of fun to write and if you did happen to like it (or not) please leave a review!
Thanks for reading,
Ps. I love Pepperony but messing with Steve is just too good an opportunity to pass up!