Chapter Six

Oh! Darling

Pepper shaded her eyes as the 'copter landed on the roof. She looked back at Tony, and wanted to laugh. The man looked ready to bolt. She'd gotten over her snit after a long bubble bath the night before, and was now looking forward to seeing what a child of his could be like.

A Stark not raised a Stark... it had possibilities.

So far, she'd liked what she'd seen, as a teenage girl was first out of the helo and had immediately turned to help her mother out of the harness. Not waiting on their escort, she swung the boy out of it next, pushing his head down and getting him out of the way of their mother's exit.

Once the family was free of the blades, they followed the aide over to them, the teen laughing at her brother's excited babble.

Following business protocols, since she knew nothing of personal ones, she bowed as the aide made introductions. Apparently Takeshi was a maiden name, she noted, adding Higurashi to her notes. She looked up again and the girl, Kagome, looked directly at her.

The impact of her gaze stole Pepper's voice. She was gorgeous, even after two days on the go. Deep blue-black hair, creamy ivory skin, and Tony's rich brown eyes thickly fringed with lashes. Old eyes, she realized, getting a shiver down her back. What could have happened to the girl for her to have that wise look in her eyes? It reminds me of Steve.


Tony couldn't believe that this beautiful young girl was his, but she had his mother's look about her face and the intense Stark eyes. He took them inside, thankful for Pepper's acumen for setting the right mood. A light brunch was ready and waiting in the dining room.

Turning on the charm, he pulled out a chair for the woman who had been not only a lover, but one of his few friends that long ago stay in Tokyo. "Aiko, you are as beautiful today as you were then. And you've passed that down to your children. Congratulations."

"Thank you, Stark-san,..."

He winced. "Please, Tony. There's too much between us for formality, wouldn't you say?"

She looked down at her lap. "Thank you, Tony-kun. I apo..."

He shook his head, not wanting an apology. And just jumping into old, probably painful emotions wasn't something he cared to do straight off. "Okay, umm, sorry to cut you off again, I know I'm being incredibly rude to you, but really, don't apologize for anything. I can think of a thousand and one excellent reasons for you to be right in everything you've ever done for or to me and I'm not upset at you in the slightest.

"I'm actually kinda... giddy, I think is the word. Yeah, giddy I have a kid. So... For now, let's just relax, eat this delicious brunch, and get to know each other better. Explanations can wait for later, after you've eaten and caught your breath."




What? You didn't expect him to dive right in, did you? Procrastination is Tony's byword.