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Kiss

Pepper's Place

Keeping track of myself... and Tony

An Iron Man Christmas Carol: A Love Story (2 of 6)
Kiss
v_pepperpotts
Title: An Iron Man Christmas Carol: A Love Story (2 of 6)
Author: v_pepperpotts
Rating: PG-13 for now, but likely an optional NC-17 chapter at the end. This chapter contains rather graphic sexual references.
Spoilers: Set loosely between movies one and two
Summary: For the its_always_been Holiday challenge and the prompt: 'Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future'. A story in which Tony is visited by some unexpected friends, and discovers that love is more important than he thought.

And because I completely forgot to do this last time, I do not own Iron Man, nor the characters. Several times I either took lines directly from the text of that book, or updated a line, keeping the content the same, but this in no way is intended to imply ownership of either the book or characters, who were created by Mr. Charles Dickens in 1843. I both thank him for the story and inspiration, and offer my sincerest apologies for mangling his work. Any errors to the body of this text are my own. Thanks for all the reviews!

Stave the SecondCollapse )

An Iron Man Christmas Carol: A Love Story (1 of 6)
Kiss
v_pepperpotts
Title: An Iron Man Christmas Carol: A Love Story (1 of 6)
Author: v_pepperpotts
Rating: PG-13 for now, but likely an optional NC-17 chapter at the end
Spoilers: Set loosely between movies one and two
Summary: For the its_always_been Holiday challenge and the prompt: 'Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future'. I may have taken this a bit literally. ;) A story in which Tony is visited by some unexpected friends, and discovers that love is more important that he thought.

I do not own Iron Man, nor the characters. Several times I either took lines directly from the text of that book, or updated a line, keeping the content the same, but this in no way is intended to imply ownership of either the book or characters, who were created by Mr. Charles Dickens in 1843. I both thank him for the story and inspiration, and offer my sincerest apologies for mangling his work. Any errors to the body of this text are my own. Reviews are love!

Stave the FirstCollapse )

Tug of War
Kiss
v_pepperpotts
Pepper's days always started early. She was out of bed by 4AM, at Tony's penthouse by 6AM and, depending on the day, either hustling Tony out of his lab or out of bed by 7AM. By then, she'd had an hour to re-examine the day's schedule (which she already had committed to memory the night before), organize the paperwork for the first round of business to be attended to, and perhaps most important - figure out where Tony was, exactly.

If he'd had 'company' the night before (and Pepper used the term lightly), Tony was never still in bed himself. Then it was her job to get the lady, or ladies, dressed and on their way before either a) they had a chance to distract Tony from work, or b) he had to see them again and stumble around the fact that he'd usually already forgotten their names. Those morning, and some others, Tony was already in his 'garage' - not actually a garage at all, though it did have cars - working ferociously on something or other. On these days, it was 'simply' a matter of pulling him away from said project, shoving him into the shower - sometimes quite literally- all the while going over the schedule and highlighting the important points he needed to remember for that morning.

If by some miracle Tony had managed to get some sleep the night before, her morning routine was even more complicated. After taking care of her other business and peering carefully into Tony's bedroom (the things she'd seen...), she realized it was going to be one of those mornings.

Taking a breath and tucking a loose strand of her red hair behind an ear, she first went to the windows, opening the shades to let the dim morning light filter into the room. He was lying on his stomach, sprawled completely across the width of the California King-Sized bed, the electromagnet in his chest pressed against the mattress so she couldn't see it. This was almost a relief - it reminded her of the months he'd been trapped in Afghanistan, and she didn't particularly like to think about that time. Nonetheless, the magnet was fascinating. Sheets covered him from waist to mid-calve, which spared her a great deal of embarrassment as well. Not that it was anything she hadn't seen from him before - the man undressed in front of her so casually, she often felt like a wardrobe - but it spared her the ever-present teasing: "If you wanted a show, Potts, you could have simply asked."

Quickly selecting his clothing for the day, Pepper lay them on the divan in Tony's luxuriously appointed, though highly modern, bathroom and grabbed his robe, holding it before her like a shield as she finally approached her bosses sleeping figure.

"Time to get up, Tony. Rise and shine."

Tony grumbled something about mornings and rolled over. She dropped the robe over him quickly. "Come on, up and at 'em. You've got a 9 o'clock with Rand International, and it just gets worse from there." She interpreted his garbled reply to mean that he needed further encouragement. She grabbed his arm and tugged - hard. Despite four-inches of heel, Pepper had a lot of practice performing minor miracles.

It took ten minutes, but finally she got Tony to his feet (robe draped over him in a nearly-modest fashion), and into the bathroom. Pepper turned on the water, got it to the scalding hot temperature he preferred, then shut the door behind her, snagging the robe on her way out and trusting that the nudity, combined with the lure of a hot shower would do the rest of the job for her.

Frowning, Pepper paused before she could take a step. She'd only just noticed it on her way out - a deep purple bruise on Tony's left side. She couldn't think of what it might be from, but as she went down to start the espresso machine, she determined to ask her boss about it later... as soon as she could think of a way to bring it up that wouldn't earn her more teasing for having noticed.

Trouble
Kiss
v_pepperpotts
Songfic "Trouble" by Pink

<i>Mild Sexual Situations</i>

            There was so much wrong with what he was doing, but God help him, he couldn’t stop if he wanted to. His hands were in her hair and it ran through his grip like water pouring across rocks in a stream.

            Her mouth devoured his with a fire he always knew would be there, had always wanted to be consumed by but never dared hope would be his to possess. Her hands clutched at his neck and the front of his shirt, her nails bit into the skin below his ear and he moaned against her lips, astonished at the urgency of his own need.

            Sliding a hand along her leg to the hem of her skirt, he dragged it up to her thighs, his fingers gliding against the silk of her skin. She shivered at his touch & his chuckle turned into an even deeper moan when the hand ruining the fall of his dress shirt fell this his waist, pulling at the belt buckle.

            This was wrong… this was trouble. But then again, trouble had always been what he did best.

 

Only The Good Die Young
Kiss
v_pepperpotts
Songfic - "Only The Good Die Young" by Billy Joel

She didn’t know how she’d let him talk her into this. It wasn’t like he couldn’t have taken any – or all the girls he wanted – out with him, but there’s was no saying No to Tony when he was particularly determined, and he’d been adamant about this.

            “You have far too little fun in your life, Potts,” he’d smirked at her in that way of his that made her feel like he could see her underwear through her clothes. “We’re in Jamaica, all our work is done for the day and tomorrow we’re flying home. Plenty of time to prepare for anything that awaits us back in New York.”

            “But… why? Don’t you want to… I don’t know, do your ‘thing’?” She hid her blush with a frown. “I’m not really the club type, Tony.”

            “Which is exactly why you’re going. Go on – get dressed before I have to do it for you. Although…” he let his eyes run down her body. “If you really insist on staying in…”

            Her frown became a scowl. “Fine.”

            She chose something simple – nearly the first thing she laid her eyes on, just wanting to get it all over with. Making sure she had her ID and enough money for a cab to bring her back to the hotel when Tony inevitably got distracted by whichever woman most suited his fancy, she returned to his room.

            Eyeing her appreciatively, he offered her his arm. “Stunning, my dear, simply stunning. Shall we?”

            She let herself be led into the limo and then out in front of one of Jamaica’s most exclusive nightspots. A smile and a handshake got them right in, and Pepper felt herself tensing under his hand at the small of her back as he led them past the paparazzi and the rest of the crowd.

            Pulling her directly onto the dance floor and drawing her close, Tony began to dance, his body pressed close enough against hers to make her gasp, eyes widening in panic. “Tony! What are you…?”

            His breath was warm against her ear, and he delighted in the way she shivered in response to it. “Shhh… relax a little, Pep. You’ll live longer.”

            She didn’t want to relax… she wanted to run. But his arm around her waist was holding her tight, and the way he was moving…

            He chuckled against her ear, feeling the tension leave her shoulders as she finally started dancing. “That’s my girl…”

 

1000 Nights
Kiss
v_pepperpotts
Songfic - "1000 Nights"  by Nickel

He counted them. She had no idea what he was doing when she first noticed the tiny hash-marks in the bottom corner of each progressive day on his calendar, but as well as she knew him and as frequently as they were together, she soon noticed the alteration in his regular habits. There were no women.

            It wasn’t uncommon for Tony to go days – weeks even – without bringing someone home to his bed, but as time continued to pass without her having to escort anyone from the mansion at the start of her work day, and as each one of those days continued to be marked with a tiny hash on his calendar, her curiosity was definitely peaked.

            She didn’t ask him about it, just quietly counted them, wondering just how long he continued to keep this up and to what end.

            Six months in, the question slipped out over lunch, between reminding him he had to meet with the investors at 2:00 and catching a bit of soup with her napkin before it landed on his cuff. “Why aren’t you having sex, Tony?”

            His eyebrow shot up with surprise and obvious amusement as she gaped at him in astonishment with herself and turned bright red. She didn’t retract the question though, and she wasn’t sure why.

            Taking the napkin from her hand & wiping his mouth with it, he rose and came around to her side of the counter. “Self-imposed celibacy. Psychologists say it’s a particularly effective exercise for men of a more promiscuous nature to take stock of their actual desires and needs.”

            “Your… I still don’t understand.” Pepper leaned back against the counter. Why was he standing so close to her? “You’re just going to keep this up until… what? Until you figure out what you want?”

            He chuckled low in his throat, and suddenly his proximity to her made Pepper feel warm.

            “No. I already know what I want. I’m keeping it up until you figure it out.” He captured her lips with hers, his confidence betrayed only by the gentle pressure, allowing her the opportunity to deny or accept the advance.

            His words took time to give themselves meaning in her head, but she was already kissing him back by the time they did. One of them made a soft noise, she didn’t know which, and then her arms were around his neck and his were on her waist, pulling each other closer.

            Pulling away for a breath, she looked up at him through heavy-lidded eyes. “…me? You did this for 182 days… waiting for me?”

            He smiled, pulling her mouth to his again. “It felt like 1,000.”

 

Hair
Kiss
v_pepperpotts
Songfic - "Hair" from the musical Hair

It mesmerized him. She rarely wore it down at work, but sometimes if she stayed late enough it managed to work its way out of the neat bun she kept it in and fell down around her face like a halo.

            He loved that… enough that it distracted him from whatever he was doing, without fail. She’d be pacing near his worktable, going over his schedule for the next day before she left for the night, and he’d nod in agreement to pretty much anything she said, imaging the feel of it in his fingers, clenched in his fist, against his cheek…

            His voice would sound a little tighter than normal when he dismissed her on those evenings, and his dreams on those nights were always seen through a red veil… and he always slept on those nights.

 

You're The Devil In Disguise
Kiss
v_pepperpotts
Songfic - "(You're The) Devil In Disguise" by Elvis Presley

She was the devil – it was the only answer Tony could come up with for the feelings he’d been having about his Executive Assistant lately. She had to be some kind of succubus.

He was Tony Fucking Stark – emphasis on the Fucking. He dated and slept with any number of women on a rotating basis, without the slightest concern for what they did when they left his bed, let alone his house. Sometimes he’d already forgotten their names by the time he’d made her come the first time, if he’d ever even bothered learning it in the first place. He was an attentive companion, a thorough lover, but rarely did anything more than the conquest enter into things when it came to his romantic dealings with women.
Which was why he was questioning his reaction to the one woman he’d never seriously tried to bed in more than ten years of acquaintance, friendship, and continuous flirtation. Somehow she had worked her way under his skin, with her delicious freckles, bewitching skin, and good God – the way she blushed when he said something just a bit more outrageous than usual…
Succubus. No way could she really be as innocent as she seemed & have such a powerful effect on him unless she was doing it on purpose. That had to be it – it <i>had</i> to… otherwise, he didn’t want to consider the implications.

 

Just The Two Of Us
Kiss
v_pepperpotts
Songfic - "Just The Two Of Us" by Bill Withers

Sometimes she kidded herself that it was workable – this chemistry that had arisen between them without either of them really realizing it until it was too late to reverse it. There were nights when the fantasy was all too easy to believe possible. Nights where they sat on the floor together, the coffee table between them littered with papers and Chinese food containers as they went over the file for the next day’s meetings.

            On some of these late nights she’d end up kicking off her shoes and somehow her feet would find their way into his lap, his fingers massaging them absently as they discussed the pending contracts, or what time he needed to be where, and when.

            Those moments seemed like the most natural thing in the world for them, and when she finally left, her parting question of “will that be all, Mr. Stark?” would sound heavy and awkward on her tongue, as though instead she should be kissing him good-night and saying something far more meaningful instead.

            These nights – as confusing and frustrating as they were – had become moments she knew she wouldn’t trade for anything in the world though, and she found herself wondering, to her own chagrin, how her employer would feel if one night she stayed for a dinner that had absolutely nothing to do with work.

            It was on those nights that she let herself believe for just a few short moments that it was doable. But she’d never once asked herself if she thought Tony might like that too, because the answer would only make it harder for her to carefully push those moments back into perspective where they belonged when the next morning dawned, and it was time to go to work again.

 

Let It Be
Kiss
v_pepperpotts
Songfic - "Let It Be" by The Beatles

At the peak of his rage, Tony couldn’t even remember what it was that had made him so incredibly angry that night. Something someone had said, he knew that, but it had sparked something specific inside him that he was intentionally shying away from and that only infuriated him further.

            Storming into his house, nearly ripping his tie as he pulled it away & flung it aside without concern for where it landed, he flung himself down onto the bench of his piano and began a furious concerto, pounding the keys as though the baby grand weren’t worth a small fortune.

            He played for what felt like hours, letting the tension drain from his shoulders through his fingers… and then suddenly there was a hand on his arm, another body – small & finely dressed sliding onto the bench next to him. Her fingers spanned the upper register of the keyboard, forcing his down but not breaking his stride. She merely joined her soprano arpeggios to his bass ones, the contrasting notes melding together perfectly, changing the tenor of the music from furious intensity to pacifying harmony. She set the pace of the movement, guiding him without him understand exactly how she managed it, let alone knew how to play so well in the first place.

            Once his emotions had slowed to match the gentle legato she’d established for them, she finally spoke. “What that man said… what he implied… it’s okay, Tony. You and I know the truth. That’s all the matters.”

            It came back to him – the drunken insinuations, the leering, the idea that he only kept Pepper around because she was a good pity fuck when he needed one… that the only reason she stayed was for that occasional bone thrown her way… he felt the rage surge through him again, but Pepper’s hand suddenly moved to cover his own. He stared at where they lay together on the white keys.

            “He was an ass. Let him think what he wants, I don’t care.”

            He couldn’t look at her when he spoke. “I do.”

            Her delicate fingers arched up through his, entwining their hands. “And that’s one of the reasons I stay.”