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Homework - 1/1 - Avengers Fic

Title: Homework
Rating: PG-13
Chapters: 1/1
Pairing:  Tony Stark/Pepper Potts
Spoilers:  Pretty much everything in the Avengers movie is fair game.
Summary:  Tony really was the only one who did the reading.
Words:  1,657
Disclaimer: I do not own the Avengers, Iron Man, Tony Stark, Pepper Potts or any of the other characters herein.  I'm just taking them out to play and will return them in the same condition in which they were received.  More or less.  ;)  No copyright infringement is intended, and no profit is being made from this work.

A/N:  In between working on two bigbangs and debating on whether I should consider Historian's Daughter as a second novel to be released into the wild, this little fic came knocking at my door.  It's light, it's fluffy, and I hope it's funny.


Edited to fix punctuation that went missing somewhere between the original file and here...arrgh!

~~~~~

"How do you put up with him?"

Pepper blinked owlishly as Steve threw himself down on the couch, leaned his head back and closed his eyes with a huff.

A small smile tugged at her lips.

"What did he do this time?"


"He's just...him." The disgust in his voice was withering.


Pepper mentally ticked through Tony's schedule until the most likely cause for Steve's frustration clicked into place.


"What did he say - or do - during the interview?" she sighed, setting aside her laptop and focusing on Steve.


"He..." Steve bit his lip, looking at her from beneath his lashes.


Pepper leaned forward.


"He...what?" she urged.


Steve huffed. "I'm sorry, Pepper. He flirted unmercifully with her. Every word out of his mouth was a - a - an indecent suggestion! It was appalling!"


Pepper couldn't help it; she began to laugh.


Steve stared at her, confused. "How - why -" he sputtered.


"That's just Tony," Pepper said with a grin. "If he's breathing, he's flirting. It doesn't mean anything."


"How can you be so sure?"


"Because I know Tony," she said simply, "and I trust him."


"Okay - yeah - he's a good guy to have in a fight, and he finally learned to throw himself on the wire rather than grandstand for his own glory, but -"


"Whoa, whoa, whoa - back up. What do you mean by that?"


Steve frowned and said, "You know how he fought before the Chitauri: for publicity and his own acclaim. I like to think that working with us, as a team, has really changed him for the better. Then we have an interview like this one, and I realize I've been an idiot and he hasn't improved at all, and why are you looking at me like that?"


Pepper simply stared, her eyes wide. With a start, she blinked and shook her head.


"Do all of you think that?" she demanded. "All of the Avengers, I mean."


Steve's own eyes widened and he leaned back slightly at her cold tones. "I - well, I assume - we've never really talked about it -"


Pepper's expression hardened. "Call them here. All of them. Right now."


Steve stared, and nodded wordlessly.


~~~~~


They were all in the living room, confused and curious. Thor and Steve, Clint and Natasha sat on the couches while Bruce stood slightly apart as usual, his shoulders hunched, his hands tucked beneath his arms.


Pepper stood in front of them, her arms crossed, her foot tapping.


Clint glanced around. "Where's Tony?" he asked.


"Missed me, Robin Hood?" Tony said as he breezed into the room. Like always, the effect of his presence was like a rock thrown into a pool, or a strong wind in the trees. The energy in the room immediately swirled and rocked, and all eyes were riveted on him as he came to a stop beside Pepper, casually slipping an arm around her waist.


"Light of my heart," he said, "what's going on? You look like you're about to deliver a lecture, and for once, I'm not the target, since I wasn't even here."


Pepper rolled her eyes, and gently bumped her shoulder against his chest.


"Keep talking, and I could make you the target."


"Except I haven't done any - oh, wait. Is this about that interview earlier today? She meant nothing, I swear!"


Pepper turned her gaze on Tony and he gulped.


"We'll talk about that later," she promised ominously. His dark eyes widened, and she held up a hand. "And no puppy eyes - not now, anyway."


He smirked. "How about later?"


An unwilling smile tugged at her lips. "Knock yourself out."


He nodded eagerly, then they both turned their attention back to their forgotten audience, who were watching with varying degrees of confusion, embarrassment and amusement.


"Bruce!" Tony cried expansively, and left Pepper's side to go to his fellow scientist. "What are you doing way over here?" He threw an arm around Bruce's shoulders and firmly guided the reluctant man towards the couches. "Come on; Pepper's in lecture mode. You really don't want to miss this!"


"That depends," Bruce said with a slight smile. "Am I in trouble, too?"


"I don't know - is he?" Tony looked with bright-eyed interest at Pepper, who sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose.


"If you'd sit down and shut up, you'd find out," she said.


"Jarvis!" Tony called.


"Yes, sir?"


"Remind me to fire Ms Potts when she's finished with her lecture."


"The reason this time, sir?"


"Insubordination."


"That puts it in the lead, Ms Potts."


"Damn," Pepper said drily, "it looks like Bruce might win the pool this month."


Bruce grinned and laughed quietly at Tony's pout and betrayed glare. Even Natasha almost looked amused as she kept a careful watch on Bruce from the corner of her eye.


"Are we ready now?" Steve asked, sighing heavily.


"Yes," Pepper said firmly, and stared Tony into submission before turning her attention to the other Avengers.


"I understand you're all operating under the apparent belief that Tony's actions against the Chitauri were the first time he'd ever - how did you put it, Steve? - 'thrown himself on the wire'."


Tony's eyes widened as Steve flushed.


"This is a non-issue, Pepper," Tony said mildly.


"Not as far as I'm concerned, Mr. Stark," she replied primly.


"Well, Miss Potts -"


"Tony."


Tony's eyes widened at Pepper's firm tones, and he subsided, blinking in confusion.


"Now, how many of you read the material Phil -" her voice wobbled for a moment, "that Phil gave you about the Avengers Initiative?"


Tony raised his hand and glanced at the others. He raised an eyebrow.


"I was on Asgard," Thor said.


"I wasn't given anything not related to the Tesseract," Bruce said.


"I wrote most of it," Natasha said coolly.


"I was...incapacitated," Clint muttered, his hand clenching into a fist that only relaxed when Natasha placed her hand over his.


Steve shifted. "I read the reports and watched most of the videos long before Loki stole the Tesseract," he said defensively.


"You mean...I was the only one who was actually given homework?" Tony yelped.


"Apparently," Pepper said drily. "Well, that explains why people don't seem to know your history."


Tony shifted uncomfortably. "It doesn't matter, Pepper."


"It does matter! They - or at least Steve - seem to think that you flying that missile into space was the first time you were willing to risk your life in order to beat the bad guy."


"Pepper -"


"No!" Pepper cried, and now there were tears in her eyes. "I could have killed you, Tony!"


Tony's expression softened.


"That explosion should have killed you," she continued. "You had no helmet. You could have - I don't know - dropped down to me; we could have blown the arc reactor together and Obie still would have died, and you wouldn't have been at risk!"


"Pepper," he said softly, moving quickly to her side, taking her hands, "Obie would have followed me down, and he would have gone for you first. If you hadn't blown the arc reactor when you did, Obie would have won, and then he would have gone after you. I had to be sure he was gone. I had to make sure you'd be okay."


Pepper trembled, her eyes filled with tears. "But you could have died."


"Pepper," Tony said, his voice low and intense, "there's only you. I'd gladly die a thousand times over if it means you'll always be safe." He squeezed her hands. "You know that, right?"


She nodded.


"Captain Freezie's right," Tony said. "Most of the time I do fight for myself and my own personal glory - sharing credit for anything goes against my nature." He glanced back at the others who were watching avidly.


"Sorry, guys," he said, "but I didn't fly that nuke into space for you. I didn't even do it for New York City." He turned to Pepper. "I did it for you. So the Chitauri would be defeated; so you wouldn't have to live with a destroyed New York. I'm only a hero, Pepper, because I do it all for you."


Pepper sniffled, her hands clutching his, and they stared at each other in charged silence. Then she blinked rapidly, sniffed again, and said, "You are such a liar."


Even Natasha and Clint gasped slightly.


"Gulmira," Pepper continued. "You didn't do that for me."


"That was you?" Bruce blurted.


Tony shrugged, his eyes never leaving Pepper's face.


"Wait, what?" Steve asked.


Clint quickly filled him in, and Steve turned to look at Tony.


He stood.


"You've made your point, Pepper," he said sheepishly. "I read about the incident with Stane, of course, but not - well, I didn't know that Tony was in the path of the blast that killed Stane. That he ordered you to cause the blast even though he was in the way. And, of course, this is the first I've heard of Gulmira."


Tony shrugged. "It doesn't matter."


"Actually, I think it does," Steve said slowly. "You deserve our - my - respect."


Tony turned to fully face the team although he retained his grip on one of Pepper's hands.


"Respect is earned, Captain. I don't have a problem with that."


Steve stuck out his hand, and Tony shook it.


"But your behaviour during that that interview this morning -" Steve began.


Tony's eyes widened and he hastily turned back to Pepper.


"She meant nothing, right?" she said dangerously, but her lips were curved in a slight smile.


"Absolutely nothing...but I'm going to be paying for that for awhile, aren't I?"


"Years, Mr. Stark. Possibly decades."


Tony slowly grinned. "I can live with that," he said, then leaned in and kissed her.


"Does this mean the lecture is complete?" Thor asked plaintively.


"We should have asked for popcorn," Bruce said thoughtfully.


"Next time," Tony promised. "We're here all week."

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
charlottetrips
Jan. 7th, 2013 07:32 am (UTC)
Yay! Fluff! This was so cute and Tony was at his sweetest :)
shirleyann66
Jan. 7th, 2013 04:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you!! My original idea for this story was much more angsty - Tony would have none of it! :D

I'm glad you enjoyed it!!
spockside
Jan. 7th, 2013 11:59 pm (UTC)
Sweet, indeed. "Light of my heart." Nicely done!
shirleyann66
Jan. 8th, 2013 02:49 pm (UTC)
Aww - thank you! Glad you enjoyed it! :D
hope_assassin
Jan. 9th, 2013 03:38 pm (UTC)
Aw, I absolutely loved this piece! I love how perfectly well you've captured the essence of the witty dialogue between Pepper and Tony. Simply superb! *-* It played out wonderfully! Memming for awesomeness. C:
shirleyann66
Jan. 9th, 2013 05:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you!! I'm so glad you liked it and that I accurately captured the banter between Pepper/Tony! :D

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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