Hello readers. Standard disclaimer for this story: I do not own any of these amazing characters as much as I may want to. I also do not own the song "The Reason" by Hoobastank, though it's an amazing song you guys should listen to. Happy reading!

"I hate him," Pepper sniffled, wiping her eyes with a tissue. A pile of tear soaked tissues formed at her feet as she sat on her bed with Natasha and Jane. The two girls congregated in Pepper's bedroom that evening to provide the comfort only best friends can offer after a broken heart. "I absolutely hate him. I hope I never have the displeasure of seeing Tony Stark ever again."

"That might be a little hard, Pep," Jane said, handing her another piece of chocolate. "We all go to the same high school. I can't believe Tony did that again."

"Say the word and he'll be stuffed in a locker and never be found," Natasha offered. "Trust me, I'm good for it. He's such an asshole."

"Like I can understand forgetting an anniversary once, maybe even twice," Pepper said, sniffling slightly. "But honestly how can you manage to forget our anniversary seven months in a row? Seven months. That's too much for even me to take. I should have listened to everyone else when they said Tony would be a horrible boyfriend." Pepper grabbed another piece of chocolate, unwrapping the Hershey kiss. "But no I had to think I knew him better than anyone else just because I've known him since middle school. I think this is the worst idea I've ever had."

"Are you sure we should be doing this?" Steve asked nervously as they began to unload Clint's truck. "I'm pretty sure going into her backyard uninvited counts as trespassing."

"Don't worry, Mr. Class President; Pepper's parents are gone for the weekend," Tony said as he handed a drum to Clint.

"You can't remember your own anniversary, but you can remember when her parents are gone?" Clint asked, raising an eyebrow. "Way to go, Stark."

"I know, I know, I really screwed up," Tony said, annoyed. "Quit talking and keep moving the equipment."

"Don't you think this is a bit dramatic for an apology?" Bruce asked quietly, grabbing the guitars out of the truck. "I mean even for you, this is a bit over the top."

"Nothing is over the top for a Stark apology. You should see the things my Dad does when Mom's pissed at him. Now that's over the top. This is relatively tame compared to what I wanted to do; I was gonna hire a blimp."

"Jane says that Pepper is still greatly upset with you," Thor said as they carried the equipment into Pepper's yard, trying to remain silent. "And then she described you in many angry, inappropriate words."

"You are so screwed," Clint laughed softly. "You might have to try harder than this."

"Well this is all I got right now," Tony replied irritably. "Just set up all the equipment in front of the pool. Everyone remember the plan? Thor, you're on drums, Steve on keyboard, Bruce on bass, Clint on guitar."

"And you're gonna sing?" Bruce asked skeptically. "Are you sure about that?"

"Of course I'm sure," Tony said as he fixed the mic stand. "I have an amazing voice."

"Maybe in the shower," Steve muttered, causing the others to chuckle.

"Less chatting and more assembling; we've got a relationship to save."

"If it can be saved. This is gonna be the best night ever," Clint said mischievously.

"Do you guys hear that?" Natasha asked, turning toward Pepper's window. "It sounded like…laughing."

"Natasha, it's eleven at night; no one is gonna be in my yard laughing. My parents are gone remember?" Pepper said, sipping her milkshake.

"I'm positive I heard voices," Natasha replied, getting off the bed. She quickly grabbed the baseball bat in the corner of the room.

"I just heard something too," Jane said, glancing at the window. "But not voices."

The three girls approached her window, pushing the curtains aside to look out at Pepper's backyard. The sound of a keyboard could be clearly heard from outside. "Oh my god," Pepper said, her eyes widening as she looked at the guys assembled in the yard. "Is he gonna sing?"

"Come on, we have to go downstairs," Jane said excitedly, grabbing Pepper and Natasha's hands and pulling them quickly out of the room.

Tony saw the curtain in Pepper's room move, three faces appearing in the window. He took a deep breath, trying to calm the butterflies in his stomach. He was Tony Stark; he did not get nervous. Well, maybe for Pepper Potts he did, but she was always the exception to the rule. As the back door slid open to reveal the girls, he felt his stomach drop into his shoes. 'Now or never, Tony,' he thought, looking at Pepper as he leaned into the microphone.

I'm not a perfect person

There's many things I wish I didn't do

But I continue learning

I never meant to do those things to you

And so I have to say before I go

That I just want you to know

Tony knew he screwed up again. He felt awful about forgetting his anniversary with Pepper again. He didn't mean to do it; being a teenage genius took up a lot of his brain space. Still he knew that was no excuse to forget; he knew he had really hurt Pepper.

I've found a reason for me

To change who I used to be

A reason to start over new

And the reason is you

He was trying with Pepper, he really was. He wasn't the high school playboy he used to be. He became a one-woman man for her. She changed him. He wanted to just be with her, wanted to walk her to class and take her out on dates, talk to her late at night on the phone and pick her up the next morning for school. She managed to tame the untamable playboy.

I'm sorry that I hurt you

It's something I must live with every day

And all the pain I put you through

I wish that I could take it all away

And be the one who catches all your tears

That's why I need you to hear

Tony knew there was a chance that Pepper wouldn't forgive him and that scared him. He knew she deserved someone who would actually remember their anniversary. Who wouldn't say it was Friday when she asked if he knew what day it was.

I've found a reason for me

To change who I used to be

A reason to start over new

And the reason is you

Even if he didn't remember their anniversary, he still remembered a lot of things about her; he had known her since they were in middle school. He remembered how he met her on the fourth day of school when she sat next to him in English class. He remember how she slapped him when he said she had nice legs. He remembered how she flushed as red as her hair. He remembered spending countless afternoons trying to count the freckles across her nose and cheeks. Thirty-nine freckles. He was the one who gave her the nickname of Pepper during their second week of middle school.

And the reason is you

And the reason is you

And the reason is you

I'm not a perfect person

I never meant to do those things to you

And so I have to say before I go

That I just want you to know

He knew she was highly allergic to strawberries. She wanted to dye her hair blonde the freshman year of high school. Her favorite ice cream was rocky road. She'd only had one pet her entire life, a little goldfish when she was seven. When she couldn't sleep at night she liked to sit by her window and look at the sky. She loved the rain and the sound of thunderstorms. He may not remember their anniversary, but he remembered all the little details about her.

I've found a reason for me

To change who I used to be

A reason to start over new

And the reason is you

I've found a reason to show

A side of me you didn't know

A reason for all that I do

And the reason is you

'Just forgive me, Pep,' he thought as the song ended, watching Pepper's expression closely.

Pepper stood frozen in the doorway, her eyes locked on Tony. "Oh my god," she said softly, her eyes filling with tears.

"Do you think it worked?" Steve whispered to the others. The other guys backed away from Tony as Pepper approached him, moving to stand with Natasha and Jane.

"That has to be the sweetest thing I've ever seen," Jane said, smiling.

"It was pretty amazing given Stark's flair for the dramatic," Natasha agreed, a faint smile gracing her lips as Clint came to stand by her. "All those years of playing bass have finally paid off, huh Barton?"

"I'm just full of surprises, Romanoff," he replied, smirking.

"Do you think Pepper shall forgive Tony for his many transgressions?" Thor asked as quietly as he could with his booming voice.

"I think he might stand a fighting chance," Bruce replied, looking at couple standing near the pool.

"Tony, what are you doing here?" Pepper asked, sniffling slightly as she held back her tears.

"Pepper, I'm sorry," Tony apologized sincerely, running a hand through his hair. "I know I'm sorry doesn't even begin to cover it; you deserve so much more than I'm sorry, but that's where I'm gonna start. I'm sorry I forgot our anniversary again, I'm sorry I upset you, and I'm damn sorry I made you cry; I should have never made you cry. It actually physically hurts me to think that I've hurt you enough to make you cry. But what am I expecting after screwing up so many times? Who wouldn't cry from me screwing up so much? I'm trying, Pep; I really really am. I don't know if you see it, but I am," he rambled. "I'm not here to beg you to take me back because you deserve someone so much better than me. You deserve a guy who'll always remember your anniversary, down to the hour, the minute, the second he met you. I know you deserve someone better and I'll leave you to find them, I just…I don't want you to hate me, Pepper. I know I'm asking you a lot, but please don't hate me forever."

"Tony, shut up," Pepper said, taking a step toward him. She wrapped her arms around his neck, kissing soundly as her momentum forced them backwards into the pool.

"Guess that means they made up," Clint laughed, watching as they splashed into the pool. He smiled mischievously at Natasha before quickly scooping her into his arms, running toward the pool.

"Clint Barton don't you dare-" Natasha's threat was cut off as they plunged into the pool, Clint still holding tightly to her as they resurfaced.

"Shall we join them?" Thor asked, looking at the others.

"Why the hell not?" Jane said, kicking off her shoes and running full speed toward the pool. The rest of the guys followed after her, canonballing into the pool, filling the night air with laughs and shrieks.

"I love you, Pepper Potts," Tony said softly, his arms wrapped around Pepper's waist as he held her close to him. He didn't even seem aware of the others splashing around him, all his attention focused on the amazing girl that gave him a second chance.

"I love you too, Tony Stark, I love you too," she murmured, kissing him softly.

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