Okay guys, here's your reward for sticking with me, first smut I've ever written. I wanted this story to kind of follow the movies so Tony and Pepper not getting together till the end of Iron Man 2 but when I was writing this (which as the original chapter 4) stuff just kind of happened… Anyway, I'm sure you can see why I didn't include it in the story so consider it a deleted scene or whatever.

Please review! :D


She's sat on a deckchair in a bikini, sunglasses on, plastered in suncream (she is a red-head after all), soaking up the sun with her sister on one side and her brother on the other.

The weather is perfect, blue skies, not a cloud in sight, and Pepper can feel the Californian sun warming her skin and relaxing her muscles after what has been, she has to say, the week from hell. Meetings galore, especially annoying members of the board, especially annoying boss that wouldn't go to any of the meetings she asked him to or do any of the work she wanted him to do. Complete nightmare and that was only on Monday.

Now though, she's putting all work out of her mind and is relaxing on the beach with her siblings enjoying the sun and the complementary cocktails that just keep coming (it turns out the bartender is in love with Tony after he fixed his old pick-up when it had been written off a couple of years ago and is still trying to pay him back) and are getting her ever so slightly buzzed.

Her sister sighs and turns her face to the sun then turns to look at Pepper and their brother, Jason.

'Well?' Lizzie asks. 'Aren't you going to tell Ginny your good news?'

Jason sits up and mimes doing a drumroll, then gives his sister a huge grin. 'I'm getting married!' he exclaims happily.

Pepper laughs and claps her hands. 'That's amazing news! Finally! Honestly, Jase, you took your time!'

'That's what my fiancée said when she said yes,' Jason says shrugging. 'Did I mention she's my fiancée? I have a fiancée now.'

'Congratulations!' Neil the bartender says on his way back with a tray full of empty glasses. 'A complementary bottle of champagne for the groom-to-be!'

Lizzie squeals excitedly. 'I LOVE your boss!' she exclaims. 'Remind me to come here more often.'

'How is working for Stark going?' Jason asks. 'You've worked with him for… what? Coming on nine years? No wedding bells in the distance for you?'

Pepper sprays her glass of champagne all over the sand and Lizzie laughs hysterically while she wipes her mouth with her towel.

'Ha ha,' Pepper deadpans. 'You're hilarious.'

'What? I'm being serious! I've seen the way the two of you look at each other, along with the rest of the planet. You bicker like an old married couple, you practically live together, you've adopted his kids…'

'What?' Pepper asks, confused.

'The bots!' Jason clarifies. 'You told us once that Dum-E and U were like Tony's kids. What's the AI's name again? Oh, JARVIS. Him too.'

'Honestly I'm amazed you can remember their names,' Pepper says, raising her glass in a mock toast to her brother.

Jason retaliates by giving his sister a mock bow. 'So when do we get the meet the famous Tony Stark, Pepper Potts' future husband?' he asks, innocently.

Pepper throws sand at him.

XxXxXxX

She stumbles up to the mansion around midnight that evening and Tony immediately confiscates her keys.

'Not fair,' she says, pouting at him, and then giggling when she sees he has a spot of oil on his nose.

'You don't let me drive when I'm drunk, so I'm returning the favour,' Tony says, chuckling.

'I swear to drunk I'm not god,' Pepper says seriously, hand over her heart, then frowning when she realises that sentence didn't come out right.

'I'm stone cold sob… sobr… silber…' she frowns and looks annoyed.

Tony can't help but grin. 'Any particular reason why you've had slightly too much?'

'MY BROTHER'S GETTING MARRIED!' Pepper exclaims, flinging her arms out and sending her phone flying into a corner. 'Oh,' she says confused as to how her phone suddenly developed the ability to fly, she didn't remember that upgrade.

'That is a good reason,' Tony says in acknowledgement, laughing as Pepper glares at her phone.

'Oooh and before I forget you're invited to the after-party!' Pepper says excitedly. 'Lizzie says you should be my date.' With this she makes a face and Tony smiles.

'Who's Lizzie?' he asks.

'My older sister,' Pepper says, making another face. 'She's annoying.'

'Well, you can tell your older sister that I would love to be your date for the reception,' Tony says, hands on hips indignantly. 'We've known each other for nine years so I should probably say hi to your family, wait… does your mother still hate me?'

'Yep,' Pepper smiles at him, popping the 'p'.

Tony frowns. 'Hmm, I'll have to stay out her way then.'

Then the oil on Tony's nose makes her laugh again and she has to clutch her sides.

'What's so funny?' Tony asks, frowning.

'You have oil on your nose!' Pepper says, pointing, before bursting into peals of laughter.

Tony rubs at his nose but misses the spot entirely which only makes Pepper laugh more. She steps up to him and removes the oil with the sleeve of her sweater.

Then realises how close she is to her boss and how tempting his soft full lips are. She's stopped laughing by this point and it's just her staring at Tony's mouth and Tony staring at her. Time seems to ground to a halt and Pepper finds her feet taking another step forward so she's so close to Tony she can feel the heat from his oh so warm body and can smell the familiar scent of his shampoo mixed with engine oil.

'Pepper…' Tony says softly when she brings a hand up to his hair and pulls his head down so their foreheads are resting against each other. She can feel her heart pounding in her ribcage and drops her hand down from his hair to his chest, where she can feel his heart beating fiercely against her fingertips.

'Tony…' Pepper responds, suddenly feeling a lot more sober then she did a minute ago and gripping his bicep tightly with her other hand, leaning up towards him.

Tony's warm strong arm snakes around her waist while his other hand tangles up in her hair, running the strands through his fingers. His eyes are very dark and his expression is nearly unreadable, but his lips are parted and he doesn't complain as Pepper leans up to kiss him…

… but he pulls away just before their lips touch and pain is written across his face for a second, before it vanishes and it's just Pepper stood alone with her arms outstretched reaching for him.

'I can't,' he says softly. 'And you can't either; you're not thinking straight, you'll regret this in the morning.'

'I won't,' Pepper says, and her tone is so heartbroken that the flash of pain appears on Tony's face again.

'I respect you too much,' he says, dropping his head down in defeat. 'I want you to be sure, Pep, and right now you're not sure and I'd just be taking advantage which I swore I'd never do to you.'

'You do it to everyone else,' Pepper says quietly, venom in her voice.

'But they're not you,' Tony says, looking up at her sadly, and his usually warm brown eyes are full of agony.

Pepper isn't sure what to say to that, so she looks down at her feet, then over to the corner when her phone still resides, suddenly feeling completely sober.

'Goodnight, Tony,' she says quietly, and walks past him to go upstairs.

'Pepper,' Tony says, turning round when she's halfway up. She doesn't turn around but stops, and Tony can see the sand in her red hair, and the small red sunburn on her shoulders, and he doesn't think she's ever looked more beautiful. 'That wasn't a "no",' he says. 'It was a "not yet".'

'I know,' Pepper mumbles. 'Goodnight, Tony.'

'Night, Pepper,' Tony murmurs, but she's already gone.

XxXxXxX

The next morning, Pepper wakes up in the guest room of Stark Mansion with no idea of how she got there, a pounding headache, a dry mouth, a bed full of sand, and a feeling like her heart has been ripped from her chest and stomped on. How that feeling has gotten there, however, she isn't sure.

Pepper manages to get herself out of bed once she stops panicking when JARVIS reassures her it's a Sunday and she hasn't missed any important meetings, and showers; feeling like the entire beach is in the shower with her. Dressing in a casual pair of skinny jeans and a button-down shirt (she always keeps spare clothes at the mansion, force of habit), she makes her way hesitantly downstairs, leaving her hair down to dry in natural waves.

She finds her phone in the corner tucked between the piano and the sofa with a message from her sister on it asking if she got home okay. Pepper isn't sure what to say to that, so she simply puts: 'I'm okay, can't remember a lot of what happened last night' and leaves it at that, making toast in the kitchen and bringing a slice down for her boss, who never remembers to eat in the morning.

Tony is sat slumped at his desk and his posture tells her that he's been sat like that unmoving all night. He looks up when the door opens and his face is so downtrodden that Pepper wants to run over to him and throw her arms around him and never let go.

'Morning,' she says, handing him the plate with toast and wincing when he straightens up and his back makes an ominous clicking noise.

'Hey,' he says, rubbing a knot under his shoulder-blade and eyeing her warily.

'Is everything okay?' Pepper asks. She wants to know where her keys are and why she woke up at his house, she assumes it's because Tony wouldn't let her drive home, but there's something about her boss this morning that makes her feel both angry with him, and crestfallen.

'Yeah, course it is,' Tony says, giving up on dealing with his shoulder-blade and tucking into the toast, and Pepper can tell just from that sentence that no, everything isn't okay and something happened last night that he isn't going to tell her about unless she makes him and threatens him with back to back budget meetings.

She finishes her toast and puts her plate down, standing up behind him and digging her thumb into the knot under his skin. His muscles tense for a second and then relax, and Pepper presses firmer into it and rubs around the area until she can feel the knot dissipate and his back slump into a better posture against the back of the chair.

Tony sighs in relief and Pepper sits back down next to him and tilts an eyebrow. 'What are you not telling me?' she asks.

'Don't you remember anything that happened last night?' Tony asks after a pause and Pepper backtracks, her eyebrows shooting up into her hairline in a blind panic that they did something.

'No,' Tony says, holding his hands up when he sees the look on her face. 'Nothing happened, we were just talking about some stuff, do you not remember it?'

'I don't even remember how I got back to the house from the beach,' Pepper tells him, rubbing her head.

'Your brother dropped you off,' JARVIS informed her.

Pepper frowns, then shrugs and looks back at her boss. 'So?' she asks. 'What were we talking about?'

'Well,' Tony says slowly. 'You told me your brother was engaged and that I was invited to the reception, you then asked me to be your date for the reception, laughed at me for a while because I had oil on my nose, then went to bed.'

Pepper gives him a look. 'I asked you to be my date? Really?'

'Cross my heart, Potts,' Tony says, miming the action. 'I said yes too, by the way, if you get desperate.'

'I'll bear that in mind,' Pepper says, frowning again then noticing the way he was completely avoiding eye contact with her.

'Tony,' she says softly, putting a hand on his arm and making him jump. 'When I look at you I get the urge to either punch you, or hug you, why is that?'

'Isn't that the way you feel normally?' Tony smirks at her and she glares at him and lets go of his arm.

'When you decide you want to tell me the truth, give me a call,' she says, standing up to leave. 'I'm going shopping. Will that be all, Mr Stark?'

'That will be all, Miss Potts,' Tony replies sadly as he watches her leave the garage.

XxXxXxX

It's months later and Pepper is listening to her new sister-in-law as she gushes about the house her and her new husband are about to buy. Pepper is smiling in all the right places and suggesting décor which Susanne laps up excitedly.

'You're so good at this!' she says approvingly. 'You must help me decorate the house, we both know Jason won't.'

Pepper laughs. 'He'll put a nail in then crack open a beer and take a break on the settee,' she agrees.

The band starts playing something waltz-y and soft and Jason comes over to lead his new bride to the dance-floor, smiling apologetically at his sister who gives him a wave as their guests clap as they start dancing.

'You look amazing,' says a familiar voice by her left ear and Pepper doesn't even have to turn around to know who it is.

'What are you doing here?' she asks, watching the other guests filter onto the dance floor.

'You invited me,' Tony Stark says, shrugging. 'Well technically, your brother invited me.'

'What?' Pepper says, turning round and looking at him quizzically. She has to admit he does look handsome, freshly showered with his dark hair curling at the back of his neck, wearing a grey suit with a blue tie, smelling of expensive cologne, a drink pressed into his hand and giving her his 'Tony' smile, the one he only shares with her, and sometimes Rhodey.

'Remember that night months ago when you turned up ridiculously drunk and asked me to be your date to your brother's wedding?'

'No, I don't remember that,' Pepper says, wincing and turning back to the dance floor where her brother and Susanne are in a world of their own, smiling lovingly at each other. Pepper wishes she could find someone to smile at her like that, someone to hold onto her and never let her go, someone to wake her up each morning by telling her she was beautiful and he loved her.

'I do however remember the morning where I got the impression that something had happened between us that you refused to tell me about,' she continues. 'You then proceeded to give me the cold shoulder for two weeks and only started behaving like your normal charming self again when I stayed late one night so you had someone to show you how to make cookies when you developed a sudden craving as I was about to leave.'

'They were good cookies,' Tony agrees, nodding approvingly at the memory.

Pepper sighs. 'What are you doing here?' she asks again.

'That night, you said your brother invited me, but then I thought maybe I shouldn't go since you didn't remember and didn't ask again,' Tony explains shrugging, and Pepper notices that the liquid in his glass isn't vodka, as she first assumed, but water.

'Then why are you here?' Pepper asks confused.

'Your brother stole your phone and told me to come dance with you,' he says, smirking at her.

Pepper pulls her phone out of her clutch purse and opens up her 'sent' messages; sure enough there is a message to her boss that she hadn't sent.

'Hey, Stark! Jason here (Ginny's brother), totally stole my sister's phone. I don't know if Gin gave you my invite to my wedding but it's tonight so if want to come, get your butt over here, man.'

'This does not say we have to dance,' Pepper tells him, giving him a look.

'It was implied,' Tony says, finishing his water and taking her hand, pulling her onto the dance floor.

'This is inappropriate,' Pepper whispers to him, and he responds by moving them to the shadows so it's harder for the guests to identify the two figures dancing in the gloom.

'You look beautiful, Pep,' Tony tells her, and she can tell by his tone he's being serious. 'That is a dress that needs to be danced in.'

Pepper has to admit she's looking pretty stunning in her full length silver gown that glitters when it catches the light. Her hair is half down-half up, her makeup is applied subtly, but in a way that gives her face a youthful look, in her shoes she's the same height as her boss, and she can feel her heart pounding in her chest at the way he's looking at her as they slow-waltz.

'Tony…' she says softly as a memory stirs of the two of them being as close as this, and a warm needy feeling starts to spread in her stomach.

'Yes, Pep?' he asks, and she notices his dark eyes look like chocolate in the gloomy light.

'What happened that night?' she asks, gripping his bicep and being hit like a wave at the familiarity of it.

Tony says nothing for a second, and then squeezes her hand. 'How about some air?' he asks.

Pepper nods and he leads them round the room and out onto the balcony where the moon is casting silver rays on the water below and the breeze smells like sea air and champagne. There are people on the balcony that look like they're half-recognising the sister-of-the-groom's famous boss, so he leads them down the steps and onto the beach, pausing a second so Pepper can remove her shoes and lift her dress up a little to prevent it from getting ruined.

They walk along the beach listening to the waves and Pepper waits for him to start talking. She's starting to feel a little light-headed and isn't sure if it's from the vodka martinis she's been devouring or the beating of her heart and the closeness of the man next to her and a memory that's trying to fight its way out of her brain.

'You came back late,' Tony says. 'You were sloshed to say the least, although not as bad as I've been in the past, and when I asked you why you were so happy you said your brother was getting married.'

Pepper doesn't remember any of this but listens intently anyway, his words are loosening the restraints on her memory and somehow she knows that he's telling the truth, it feels right, like it fits.

'You then said that your sister had told her I should be your date,' Tony says smiling. 'Then you started laughing because I had oil on my nose, and somehow you managed to throw your phone at the wall.'

Pepper winches, she does remember picking pieces of her BlackBerry up from the corner of the room.

'Then what?' she asks, and she can feel that sensation burning through her body. The feeling that they did something.

'Well,' Tony says, and swallows hard. 'Then you rubbed the oil off with your sleeve and…'

'What?' Pepper asks, turning his body so he has to face her.

'Well, then you put your hand in my hair and pulled your forehead against mine,' Tony says, pulling her against him and demonstrating the action, and Pepper can feel her heart beating so loudly she's sure he must be able to hear it. His hair is thick and soft and Pepper can feel the sensation of it twisting the key in her mind, like muscle memory as she softly plays with the curly strands she's always been so entranced with.

'Then?' Pepper asks, and her voice is at least an octave lower and barely a whisper.

'Then you put your hand on my chest,' Tony says, bringing it down (and she can feel his heart beating fiercely against his ribcage). 'And your other hand on my arm,' he puts it in place and she squeezes the firm muscle and knows instinctively that she's done this before. 'I put my arms round your waist,' he says, and does so, bringing her tighter against him. She notices that she's let go of her dress and without her shoes on, it's trailing in the sand, but she can't seem to find the energy to care.

'Tony…' Pepper says softly, staring at his lips.

'Then I put my hand in your hair,' Tony said, tangling his fingers in the silky-smoothness of her strawberry blond locks.

They're so close that Pepper can feel his breath on her cheek and his heart is beating out the samba against her fingers.

'Tony…' Pepper says again, and she can feel the blood pounding in her ears as Tony holds her against his firm, hard, warm body, eyes dark yet full of warmth.

She feels her eyes flitter close as she leans up towards his mouth, knowing what happens next and their lips press together and she tightens her hold on him, breathing him in as she opens her mouth and allows him entrance. His lips are as soft as she imagined and he's cupping her cheek with one hand and pulling her against him with the other, moving their lips together as they kiss like it's the last kiss they'll ever share.

She can feel him hard at her hip and she pulls his hand further up and above her waist. He takes the hint pretty well and tugs at her dress, sliding one hand up to cup her breast and rubbing her through the soft fabric. She tugs his shirt out from his trousers and runs her hands along the muscled skin around his stomach while all her mind can think is 'hot, firm, good.'

He moans against her mouth as she grinds her hips against his hardness and squeezes her breast, pulling his mouth down against her neck and biting her skin and she knows it's going to leave marks in the morning but she can't seem to concentrate on that right now because his hands are undoing the zip on her dress and pushing it down her curves.

She breaks away from him so she can pull them both down on the warm sand and his eyes are full of lust and longing as he leans over her and unclasps her bra skilfully with one hand. She doesn't have time to think about how she's now topless on a beach at midnight because then Tony's mouth is covering her breast and oooooh. He nips and tugs and bites her nipple while one hand massages her other breast and the other trails down south along her stomach.

Pepper groans in pleasure and her mind tries to fight through the cloud of lust fogging her brain and she realises that Tony has far too many clothes on. She pulls him away from her breasts so she can pull his jacket off and tug his shirt over his head, leaving him shirtless in the cool night air, the Arc Reactor pressing against her chest as he returns his attention to her swollen lips, slipping his tongue effortlessly inside her mouth and doing things to her she didn't think were even possible. She knew the man had some talent at kissing but oh my GOD.

She grounds her hips up against him and Tony moans into her mouth as she rubs herself against the hard ridge of his trousers.

'Ooooh, Pep…' he manages and she loves that she has this kind of control over him, that she can make him feel like this. One hand curls in his hair and she bites his bottom lip. He positively growls and she hears a riiiip as the delicate material of her panties are thrown away. She's completely naked now and exposed to the outside air, but it's a warm evening and Tony's body is radiating heat. He smells amazing and Pepper pushes his trousers down his hips as he pushes two fingers inside her wet core.

Pepper nearly climaxes there and then at the sensation of him filling her and she arches upwards, a strangled noise making its way out of her throat, breaking away from his lips and moaning into the air.

Tony starts to manoeuvre his way down her body, kissing her swollen breasts, slipping his tongue inside her belly button while his fingers thrust painfully-slowly inside her.

Pepper clutches at his hair as he brings her knees up around either side of his head and laps slowly at her core. His tongue is soft and firm and Pepper moans and whimpers as his tongue circles her clit while his fingers continue their endless torture inside her.

'Tony,' she begs as he brings her to the edge then back down again, not letting her tip over into pleasurable oblivion.

'Yes, Pep?' he positively purrs at her, kissing her clit then sucking it gently, making her grip the sand and thrust against his mouth.

He chuckles and removes his fingers, places delicate kisses along the soft skin of her inner thigh, pulling himself back up against her and nuzzling the soft skin at her neck.

'Stop mucking around, and start moving, Stark,' Pepper growls in his ear, pushing his boxers down his hips and gripping him, rubbing the head of his cock and guiding it to her entrance.

'What the lady wants,' Tony whimpers against her skin, and thrusts fully into her.

Pepper gasps at the sudden sensation and Tony moans as she wraps her legs around his hips, deepening the angle. He thrusts slowly in and out of her and Pepper feels like her muscles are turning to jelly.

'Mmmm,' she mumbles as his mouth returns to her breast and he bites the soft skin of her nipple gently with his teeth.

She meets each of his thrusts and each one is so deep he has to break away from her breast and clutch at the sand as she tightens her hold around him and makes him whimper. One of his fingers trails down her stomach and presses against her clit and Pepper gasps. He's hot and big and firm inside her and oh he knows exactly what he's doing as his lips are wet against her skin. The knot in her stomach builds and builds and his thrusts grow more frenzied until finally he tips her over the edge and Pepper gasps and clutches at his hair and squeezes her eyes tightly shut as waves of pleasure rolls up from between her legs. He comes inside her with a groan and wetness between her legs, collapsing against her.

When Pepper recovers a little, Tony is kissing around her neck and holding onto her hips.

'Wow,' she says.

'Hmmm,' is his response. 'You were great, Pep, we were great, we should definitely do this more often.'

'Urrr,' is her response as he slowly pulls out of her and lies beside her on the sand, one arm wrapped around her waist as he places sloppy kisses on her mouth. She can taste herself around his lips and rolls closer towards him as their tongues lazily dance together. She can't remember feeling this good after sex for a long time and with Tony it just feels… right, like they should have been doing it for years instead of dancing around each other.

He nuzzles her neck and sighs contentedly against her skin and Pepper feels like she could just drift away, then reality kicks in and she realises that she has sand in places that she never wanted to have sand and Tony has been known for falling asleep in inappropriate places and if they fell asleep here it would not be good.

'Tony,' she whispers in his ear as he cuddles her drowsily.

'Hmmm,' he says again.

'We need to move.'

'No we don't.'

'Yes, we do.'

'Hmmm.'

'Tony.' Pepper rolls over and straddles his hips, pressing her lips against his and he lazily caresses her hips and runs his fingers up and down her spine.

'Hey,' he says indignantly as she rolls off him and leaves him lying flat on his back and butt naked against the sand.

Pepper picks up the small ripped pieces of cloth that used to be her panties and sighs, pulling her dress over her head and standing up. She gets an almost instantaneous head rush and nearly crashes back down against the sand but then Tony is stood against her holding her upright while he retrieves his shirt and trousers.

They make their way up the beach holding hands and break into a bathroom by climbing through the window, where they're able to restore their appearance enough to sneak back into the party like they'd never left.

They end up going back to Tony's after the reception and the second they get inside the house jump straight in the shower before collapsing into bed and falling asleep immediately, wrapped in the warm sheets and each other's arms.

When they wake up, there's still sand in the bed.


What I really love is how this chapter is twice as long as the rest of them. Please review, hope you enjoyed, thanks for sticking with me till the end ^_^