Standard Disclaimers Apply

Pepper sighed as she realized how late it was. She really needed some sleep, but told herself that, if she went to bed now, she would never have time to finish her documents. And so Tony found his wife, half-asleep, on the computer. He tried to gently bring her out of her trance.

"Hey, Pep. Come on, go to bed, please." He coaxed softly.

Unfortunately, it didn't work out the way he'd planned, and before he knew it she'd jolted herself awake. Now Tony sighed. Pepper was extremely organized, and it sometimes interfered with her sleep and health. And, being her husband, it worried him.

"Why is this so important to you anyway?" He asked her. She was now fully awake, and was slightly annoyed with Tony for being so concerned. After all, it was her life, why should it matter to him how many hours of sleep she got?

Because he loves you.

She thought. Sighing, she glanced at the clock again. 2:13 A.M. Maybe she should turn in, after all, those documents weren't that important. She looked up at Tony, who was still studying her face.

"Alright. I will go to bed. But only because you asked nicely." She said as she stood up. Picking up a folder lying on the table, she handed it to Tony to put away, who hesitated.

"Oh come on, your'e not seriously gonna pull that now, are you?" She asked. His eyes were...Saddened? Suddenly she realized that she didn't really know why he always said that. So she asked him.

"Why do you not like to be handed things, Tony?"

He again hesitated, but did answer.

"When I was little, after I'd come home from school my dad would always hand me these funny little tools, and tell me to figure out how to work them. Never asked how my day went, just handed me these odd little objects. Usually, they were weapon-type-things. Not really dangerous, but if you knew how to use 'em they would inflict a bit of pain. So every day, when I'd "figure out how to work them," I almost always ended up with a new burn, or an electric shock or something like that. One day I got tired of it and said I didn't want the tools, so he sent me up to my room and told me not to come down until I'd learned respect. So I guess my brain just assumes that every time I'm handed something I'll end up hurt somehow."

He finished his story with a small sigh. Pepper abruptly felt sorry for him, and put the folder away herself. When she returned, Tony was where she'd left him but had a faraway look in his eyes. She gently touched him on the should, bringing him back to reality.

"Come on, we both need some sleep." She said, leading the way to their bedroom.

A/N: So yeah, this was just my take on why Tony doesn't like to be handed things. Please review, if you can. I mean, its 1:43 AM my time so give me some credit, please.