Hi guys and gals! Today, a poor, glass sauce cup fell victim to my clumsiness, literally. And after it dropped and broke into a thousand pieces, I had a sudden outburst of emotions (because I tend to break things often) So, anyway, when I went to my room to exile myself, all of the sudden this just popped in my head. I took the anger towards myself and turned it into a story. I know weird right!? But if you know me, well this isn't weird at all. Therefore, enjoy Gene and Tony have a verbal smack down over none other than Pepper! So it's set a couple of months after Gene turns on them, and leaves. He currently has 5 rings.

I don't own IMAA, or any of its characters. I just own some pants and a t-shirt.

"Unexpected Intrusions"

It started out a typical day for team Iron Man, or to the world, three normal teens. Tony, Pepper and Rhodey begrudgingly made their way to school in the early hours, but after school ended, instead of their usual routine of going to the armory, both Rhodes and Potts skipped out and went to the respective homes. A big test was coming up soon and both knew they were in desperate need of studying. But even so, Pepper insisted she would make time to come by, even if she didn't finish her homework. The test was in one of the hardest subjects for them, but simply a breeze for the boy genius-physics. Since he would most likely ace it anyway, Tony felt he didn't need to study and went on to the Armory without them. There was work that needed to be done. The software firewalls needed an extra layer of encryption, his armor needed an upgrade on self-repair power, not to mention the place was in dire need of a cleaning. Tony didn't like it, but decided he was going to suck it up and do it.

He got about five minutes into cleaning when he gave up and started on the computer. He sat in front of his computer, hoping to get some real work done, since cleaning was totally not his thing, a fact to which anyone could attest to. He typed away for a little while, programming all sorts of security additions, and mumbling to himself about backdoors. The quiet was peaceful, which allowed his restless mind to fully focus for once. But a sudden wave of energy in the air caught his attention. The hairs on the back of his neck stood on end, and he was met by a bright flash in the middle of the Armory. The light blinded Tony, and when his vision cleared again, a familiar figure stood before him.

"Gene," Tony gasped. He shot up from his chair and quickly moved to grab one of his armored gloves. He snatched it up, slid it on, and aimed it straight at Gene's armored head. "What the heck do you think you're doing here?"

"I wouldn't try anything Stark, you know with the rings I could obliterate you. Besides, is that anyway to treat an old friend?" Gene asked slyly. He took a step closer to Tony and shifted into his un-armored self.

"You're no friend of mine," Tony replied harshly, his hand still trained on Gene. "You need to leave, now."

Gene slipped the rings off his fingers, and slid them onto a chain around his neck, slowly rubbing Tony's failure to protect them in his face. "Relax Stark, I'm not here to fight. I came to talk," he said with a more serious tone.

"Talk, huh? You come up with a new lie to tell me? Or maybe you didn't finish telling me all your old lies, so you wanted to come fill me in on the rest. Maybe your just here to ask how we are, like you care. Whatever it is, I'm not interested in anything you have to say." Tony's patience began to run thin as his enemy's intrusion became increasingly unnerving. He refused to move his aim away from Gene, and was already considering several different ways to blow his head off.

"Just calm down Stark, I'm not here to talk to you anyway. I came to talk to Pepper," Gene stated. He looked around for her, but to no avail. The red-head was nowhere to be found.

"As you can see, Pepper's not here. Don't know why you bothered coming. It's not like she'd even consider talking to you anyway," Tony growled defensively. Thankfully, Pepper really wasn't there.

"And how would you know that, Stark?" Gene said, shaking his head. "What gives you the right to speak on her behalf? Like you would even know if she'd want to talk to me or not. I love how you speak as if you actually listen to her."

Tony's glove started to glow as his anger rose, readying to fire.

"Oh, and you do?" he said, the anger in the young Stark's voice becoming audible. "Just what do you think I've been doing ever since you left three months ago? I've been listening to her rant about you because not only did you betray us, but you broke her heart." Tony suddenly fired a warning shot from his glove, but Gene easily evaded it by tucking down and rolling forward. He came up on one knee and gave Tony a raised brow. He didn't think he would actually fire.

"Whose shoulder do you think she cried on when you turned on us? Mine," Tony continued, charging up again. "How dare you come into my Armory and think you can talk to her, make things better. It doesn't work the way, Gene. And if you cared about her at all, you would be down on your knees begging her to forgive you. But you don't deserve forgiveness, do you?"

Gene rose from the floor with a chuckle. "If you cared about her at all, Stark, you would actually acknowledge her existence. You don't even bother to pay attention to the girl that throws herself at you," Gene said, disgust laced throughout his tone. "You want to know why I never considered asking her out, because she won't even look at another guy, she's too hung up on you. But I bet you didn't notice that, did you?"

Though his words stung, something about them hit Tony at his core. "What are you talking about Gene? Pepper doesn't feel that way about me. You're the one she has, or should I say, had a thing for," Tony said, now unsure of himself. He lowered his arm, and his glove powered down as he looked away thoughtfully.

"Wow, Tony, you really are in your own little world aren't you?" Gene said with a hint of sarcasm. He crossed his arms and curled his lip as his own anger began to show. Gene stepped closer to Tony, and pointed a finger at his chest. "You and I both know she's always had a thing for you. But you're too blind to see it."

Tony smacked Gene's hand away. "Gene, just get out. She's not here! Leave before I do something I'll regret," Tony warned, looking him straight in the eyes. Gene turned his head away, then took one final look at his rattled ex-friend.

"I'll leave, but I suggest you open your eyes to the treasure you've been neglecting. Or one day, you may not have her around. And then, you'll be like me. Alone." Gene slipped the rings off his chain, and onto his fingers. A yellow orb of light flashed around the young man, and he disappeared from the temple. His peace was said.

Tony sighed heavily, and stood in silence. He hated to admit it, but what Gene said was true, the thing was, Tony wasn't sure what he was supposed to do. He barely had enough time to process everything that had transpired before Pepper came bee-bopping in. With a spring in her step, and a smile on her face, she skipped across the Armory. Tony's electric eyes widened in panic, and he quickly took a seat at his computer, hoping to give the appearance that he'd been working.

"Hey Tony!" Pepper greeted happily, but suddenly wrinkled her nose. "Whoa, man this place wreaks! I thought you were gonna clean in here?"

"I was planning on it, but then I remembered I don't clean things," he admitted. He attempted to keep his eyes on the computer screen, because he knew if he looked Pepper in the eyes, he would spill everything. She had that effect on him at times. "I thought you were supposed to be studying?"

"Well, I was, but I blew it off until tomorrow," she said. Pepper plopped down in one of the recliners, resting comfortably until she noticed that Tony had yet to look at her. "Anything interesting happen while I was gone?"

"Nope, nothing at all," he said with as much calmness as he could manage. But obviously, it wasn't working. Pepper stood up from the recliner and met Tony at the computer. "Everything ok, Tony?"

"Yeah, yeah. Everything's…fine." Pepper leaned in close enough over his shoulder to force him to look at her. His breathing picked up and he glanced to his side. Her hazel eyes locked with his electric blues, and he knew he had to say something. He breathed out a sigh of defeat.

"Everything is not fine," he admitted. He rose from his chair to meet the girl face to face. He took her hands in his and they exchanged a concerned glance. "Pepper, I know these last few months have been hard on Team Iron Man. But I know it's been hardest on you."

Pepper averted her eyes from Tony's to hide the pain that began clouding her mind. She didn't feel like crying about that again. "I'm ok, Tony," she insisted.

"No, you're not. And if I had…if I had realized how you felt, this wouldn't be so painful," he explained. Pepper started to say something, but Tony cut her off as he brushed his hand against her cheek and kissed her. At first, she was taken aback by the unexpected turn in the conversation, but after a second of awkwardness, welcomed it. They held their lips together for a moment, neither moving a muscle before breaking apart.

Tony waited for Pepper to say something, but she simply blinked, then smiled. "I was beginning to wonder if you'd ever notice me."

Tony chuckled and his lips pulled into a grin. "It took me a while, but I had a little help." The red-head raised a brow, and was going to question him, but was silenced by another kiss.

So yeah I know, dumb. But I just couldn't let it go.

Hey I just posted this...and this is crazy...but since you've red it...review it maybe? Please and thank you :D