It feels so good to be writing Pepperony again! My own pregnancy inspired this work a while back, and Iron Man 3 gave me the push to expand and finish it. It's set after IM3 (no spoilers until chapter seven, so you still have time to go see it!), but it is a tad AU. Nothing crazy. All prompts are taken from the Pepperony200 community over at LJ, and each "week" of pregnancy is a 100-word drabble. Disclaimer. Please leave so feedback, and above all, enjoy!

CHAPTER ONE
First Trimester: First Month

Week 1

148. Complicate

"Vegas? I thought you were taking Pepper out?"

Tony chewed on his lip, resting his foot on the edge of the coffee table.

"She cancelled."

"Again? What did you do to piss her off?"

He took a generous gulp of scotch. "Nothing. Her cycle's probably just off or something."

Rhodes huffed out a laugh. "Or stopped."

The glass paused, Rhodey's comment thundering in his ears. Tony's eyes shifted.

There was no way. She was too meticulous.

But she was avoiding him. And she yawned four times yesterday. Had her shirts gotten tighter recently?

"Holy shit, Rhodey."

"Tony? What?"

"Holy shit."


Week 2

126. Code

After she got back from New York, he tried not to corner her. Instead, he took his time moving through a morning thick with anxious speculation.

Carefully padding barefoot from the bathroom to the domestic sounds of breakfast-making, he slowly sat at the bar, watching her slide the contents of the frying pan onto a plate. She carried it over, sitting it in front of him abruptly with her hands on her hips.

It was an omelet.

Tony met her eyes, an entire unspoken conversation transpiring between them instantly. Pepper froze under his calm, bright stare.

"How did you know?"


Week 3

122. Pamphlet

He was slumped in the chair next to her exam table not-so-nonchalantly, unblinkingly scanning the fatherhood brochure from the lobby.

Hearing that rapid, swishing heartbeat? Seeing that squiggling speck?

Paralyzed with a golf ball lodged in your throat?

No difference.

The doctor shook his hand, congratulated them, and gave them a strip of five glossy frames.

Tony looked from Pepper's stomach to the pictures as they went through the lobby again, scheduling her next appointment.

No bigger than her pinky nail, the intimidating little white blop stared him down.

Twenty-seven weeks suddenly wasn't enough time to even catch his breath.


Week 4

174. Stranded

Tony sat in the hot rod, tracing the steering wheel in silence.

So, Dad, you're gonna be a grandfather.

He swallowed, running his hand over his face. I don't know what to do.

I don't know how to "be there" for her through all this.

I don't know the first thing about doing this the right way, but I want to.

She deserves it. That baby deserves it.

His stomach lurched unfavorably.

He had no one. No one else with this life experience to laugh and say "it will be okay."

Tony shut his eyes.

What do I do, Dad?