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 you'll have to get through me, tag:: Tony
Pepper Potts
 Posted: Jul 15 2012, 07:40 AM
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[CF: Stay in School, kids! ]

Pepper always knew Tony’s day better than he did. At least, she knew the day he was supposed to be having, as opposed to the day he wanted to have (and therefore almost inevitably would have). Every single part of his week had to go through Pepper first, even a morning bagel. Impromptu latte? No, never, Tony might occasionally believe that espressos simply materialise out of thin air when he says the word but the truth was that Pepper made them happen and delivered them. Plus, she’d been told when she was a much younger assistant that a good assistant was never seen. Everything happened without the boss seeing her. Well some things she managed that in, but quite frankly if there wasn’t someone standing over Tony’s shoulder telling him to calm the hell down he’d probably do far many more stupid things than he already did. Besides she was not a maid, perhaps maids weren’t meant to be seen but Pepper certainly was.

She’d told, or rather warned, Tony who to expect today. No one got to Tony’s office without going through Pepper’s which, she was proud to say, wasn’t some little cubicle either. It was nice, luxurious, more than she needed, but Tony wouldn’t stand for even his assistant to have a tiny little office. She represented him, Pepper understood that, so she had to look good – especially since she was the standard go-between. She scrawled on post-its and clicked away at her computer (Starktech of course), switching between the two with swift ease whilst speaking into the headset plugged into her Stark phone on top of the glass desk. Pepper was the master of multi-tasking.

Her soft eyes flashed to the time on her screen, knowing his next appointment should be here any minute. It was rare that people were late to their appointments here, after all he was Tony Stark and people tended to be willing to wait for him, or at least moreso than the other way around. They also knew how difficult it could be to get hold of him any other way and a few were unfortunate enough to find out, from experience, how long it took to reschedule. Pepper was a complete whizzkid with his schedule, but he only had so much time for her to fit things into. Saying goodbye into the headset, Pepper finished scrawling another post-it note, hanging up with a touch of her finger (still holding a pen) before tapping a few more keys and touching another button on her phone that would set off a very short alarm in Tony’s office to warn him of the imminent arrival (hopefully) of someone for his appointment. Though there was every possibility he’d already forgotten.

It was surprising rare that the waiting seats in her office were all empty. Even if someone wasn’t waiting for their appointment (as Tony was more often late than anyone who came to see it – and they were willing to wait quite some time), there was usually someone, particularly within the company, hoping, despite Pepper’s advise, to catch him for two minutes before his next....whatever it was. Equally there was usually someone there to question Pepper or make appointments or collect (or deliver) paperwork. Thus, she was surprised, glanced up for the rare emptiness. Seeing the phone flash again, she shrugged it off and answered it swiftly in her flawlessly perfected phone voice,
”Good afternoon from Stark Industries, this is Pepper Potts, how may I assist you?”

This post has been edited by Pepper Potts: Jul 20 2012, 01:27 AM
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Iron Man
 Posted: Jul 25 2012, 12:15 AM
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[ CF: H E A V Y . arms ]

"No. No no no no no. Stop it. You can't do that. It's not what I want." Once again Tony was running late. Like always he had a habit of getting himself into trouble with Pepper, his personal assistant and one of the executive officers on his Board of Directors, as well as with the Board itself. He knew they were trying to propose the idea of reestablishing Stark Industries as a weapons manufacturer but at the national level. Weapons were not to reach the military in any way, shape, or form. Tony knew the government would try to seize anything he made for them at the first opportunity. Given he was sure they wouldn't want non-lethal riot weapons, but they'd find a way to manipulate and warp whatever he invented into something against the people of the United States. Once the enemy had gotten their hands on his technology before he'd vowed never to make weapons again. The Iron Man suit was not a weapon, nor was it to be treated as such. It was meant to save people, to make him a hero and to give the people a chance to fight back with a protector. His Board of Directors obviously had no idea what he wanted and were not apt at even guessing what was going through his mind. Between almost getting killed in the field while on mission with Thor, and of course being on the wrong side of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s shit-list, he wanted some much needed time off. Fortunately he was able to do something about his own stance with the organization. He'd managed to get himself up-to-date on the Avengers and what they were up to, as well as a variety of other top-secret bits of information Fury and his cronies were working on. It had gotten in the way of his company, made him fall behind, and it was time for him to actually do something about the indecency his trusted advisers were trying to pull over on him. "You tell the rest of them they can't do it. I will personally come to their Beverley Hills homes — each and every one of them — and give them a taste of their own medicine."

While Tony normally would have been a bit more creative in his sarcasm and reciprocal remarks, he was not in a particularly good mood. No, they had seen to that. Dealing with the renovations on the mansion was not stressful for him, considering he only visited when the realtor and foreman really needed input, and of course J.A.R.V.I.S. was taking care of that business for him on top of that, but it didn't mean he had to give up entirely on the project. Certainly trying to juggle his company, the Avengers, and whatever unorthodox projects he had uncannily found himself in the midst of was a harrowing experience on the shot nerves he had left. Instead of dealing with the asshats over the phone, however, he immediately hung up, seeking to press the Quick-Dial button to get hold of Pepper. After the elapse of three rings his personal assistant answered the phone — what she might have gotten was a very irate Tony. "Pepper. Cancel my appointments. All of them. We have a problem." Even as he spoke that last part he shoved open the double doors which led to her personal office connected to his, letting them swing shut behind him even as he returned his phone to his inside-coat pocket. "Did you know the Board of Directors wants to reinstate Special Weapons Defense and Development? Did they tell you? Did you think to tell me? Why does no one tell me anything anymore?" He didn't wait for an answer, still trying to calm down from fuming over whatever digital voice transfer those bastards could have concocted. What, did they think he was really an idiot beneath the layers of brilliant genius he often paraded around in front of them?

Doors to his office opened, granting passage through and right to the towered glass windows lining what should have been the back wall, overlooking the city. He had several levels in Stark Tower, the majority being Research & Development, and he'd even gone so far as to add a personal executive office for himself with a conjoined space for Miss Potts just for his clients who didn't want to meet at the Stark Industries headquarters in New York. Manhattan was a marvelous city but was not one he wanted to be in on some days. He missed the sunny beaches of Malibu and missed his chance to surf on clear blue waves even more so. But he said nothing about it, instead turning to Pepper under the pretense she had more of an explanation for him. "I cut my day short to come here for appointments I think you could have handled and I walk in on a massacre to the integrity of my company waiting to happen." This was turning into a very off-day for him.
    [ Okay, did my best considering I feel off today as well. xD Let me know if something should be edited. <3 ]

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. I CAN'T BREATHE BUT I STILL FIGHT WHILE I CAN FIGHT .
. AND RIGHT NOW IT'S A STEEL KNIFE IN MY WINDPIPE .
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Pepper Potts
 Posted: Jul 25 2012, 05:45 PM
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Pepper fingers moved swiftly, practised precision and finesse. Efficient but not clumsy. She was searching through for the necessary files for a later meeting with board directors. She was well known with them, hell even within the company, for her remarkable organisation skills. By any other employer’s standards they’d be unparalleled, but under Tony Stark, whose schedule changed as swiftly as his moods (which was faster than his Lamborghini), her ability to keep up was quite extraordinary. She actually held a rather unique but difficult position as both Tony’s executive assistant and an executive officer on the Board of Directors. It might be Tony’s company, or rather a Stark company, but like any publically traded major corporation, it needed to have a Board of Directors to vote on the major business, changes and direction of their commerce. A lot of people’s wallets were on the line. Pepper however, was stuck between the two. She had to respect the wishes and interests of the directors and the company at large, but those two didn’t always align. Then again she understood where their logic lay. And yet she was still Tony’s right hand woman. For the most part, save for when he was being incredibly selfish and reckless (and indeed that rarely truly affected the company at large – just her sanity), she tended to agree with him.

There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that Pepper looked out for her boss’ best interests. The red head certainly did, even though he made it rather difficult at times. Doing what was best for Tony wasn’t always the same (in fact it was almost never the same) as doing what Tony wanted, and there was the rock and hard place Pepper too often found herself in. Still it was Tony...so it was a position she would put herself forward for time and again, but it brought them no end of petty conflict.

Finally when the phone rang, Pepper answered it in her finest phone voice. Really it wasn’t too different from any voice she used in terms of business or her usual, sensible self. She was a rather composed woman after all. It was only when she lost that composure (that, too, often being Tony’s doing) that he voice displayed her distress...and her speech sped to near incomprehensible levels. Either way, she parted her lips to calmly protest Tony’s interruption, and inform him they had a private line for a reason however the double doors burst open with his rather theatrical entrance. Pepper rolled her eyes hanging up, but she was already scooping up her files and Stark phone, turning on her chair to follow him as he bee-lined for his office. Lesser assistants, or at least those with less experience, might get flustered by Tony’s sudden, not to mention irate, entrance and demand to change the schedule but Pepper certainly did not.

Following him smoothly, she closed her eyes with a brief sigh as he dropped the bombshell – or rather revealed the bombshell that had been dropped on him. The weapons proposal. She’d known he’d find out about it eventually, but she’d rather hoped she could ease into that topic with him herself to prevent this barrage upon her. Equally she’d hoped to have all the affairs for the proposal a little more in order before Tony discovered it. Still the red head remained silent and allowed him fume himself into silence as well, watching with fractionally narrowed eyes at the minor slight. At last her expression became one that clearly asked ‘are you done?’ before the executive assistant straightened and replied calmly, ”Yes, I knew.” There was no sense lying about it. In fact she almost never lied to Tony, though very occasionally omitted some truths for his own good. But quite frankly he was no innocent little angel on that front.

Setting down her items on his desk, Pepper strode around it to approach Tony and began, tone entirely business, ”Look Tony, I know this isn’t what you want but you cannot simply dismiss the board without at least listening to them.” She held up a hand as she continued to speak in the vainest of hopes it might derail him from interrupting, even if just for a moment. ”You know how this business, how any business, works. You need the Board of Directors on your side and pissing off a bunch of arrogant men won’t do you any favours. The company needs compromise and agreement to function and earn. The company doesn’t earn, there is no time for Iron Man. He cannot exist without Stark Industries, whether you believe that or not. I know you don’t want to make weapons, you shouldn’t, and you won’t have to, but you have to meet with them and you need to listen to them Tony. Give them something else to put their faith in or just explain why this can’t happen, but they need to hear it from you!” At last Pepper’s hand fell to her hips and she looked up at him expectantly. She wouldn’t have survived in this gig if she couldn’t hold her own.
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Iron Man
 Posted: Jul 25 2012, 09:13 PM
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She knew.

She knew.

Tony immediately turned back to Pepper the moment she admitted to knowing more about the situation than he did. What he should have come to realize was she was on the Board of Directors, same as he was the head of it, and she should have known about it long before he did. They were the ones plotting it behind his back (or maybe he'd just been gone that long). Though he wanted to say something, wanted to tell her just how bad the entirety of the situation made him look as opposed to the company at the moment (assuming it was not public knowledge), she had gotten her word in first. Tony was irritated enough to really not be sure of what he wanted to say, and lately he'd been working under a lot of pressure and stress. S.H.I.E.L.D. wanted the Avengers to represent all the good things, and that meant stomping out the competition no matter how they managed to give the rest of the world some leeway. Maybe they were doing it to make allies, even some enemies turned into allies, but Tony was not about to do that with his company. Stark Industries was never meant to create weapons; not anymore. Not since his run-in with the Ten Rings years prior. He wanted to prove Stark Industries was capable of doing more than being traitorous to its own country. Tony had seen his own weapons killing the men and women he had made the weapons to help protect. The mere thought made him avert his eyes from Pepper as she finished explaining her version of what he felt was a stance against the Board. Or maybe she was trying to support them and keep him out of the way of doing so. For a second he debated on telling her to cancel the meeting yet again, but being as confused as he was he moved on to the next possible thing he could really imagine.

"What if instead of weapons, we create a defense unit to help police National Security measures?" A quick thought, definitely. "They want weapons for law enforcement and Homeland Security. They want to use them for non-military purposes well what if we give an exclusive contract for it? I don't want to talk to these assclowns, Pepper. I'm tired of talking to them. This is why I thought you were better at running the company than me. You wanted to be there, do this stuff; you wanted to keep it running and you were doing a great job. Better than I did sometimes." Granted that had been a self-destructive part of his life but he wasn't going to mention that. Instead he turned away from her and to the mini-bar set up along the right wall of his desk, next to the fireplace that really didn't have flames in it, and of course the wall that held most of the display for J.A.R.V.I.S. to run on. This was like a home away from home but it wasn't his home. Wherever that was. But once he had his Glenfiddich 1937, one of the 61 rarest bottles of whiskey yielded from a single and only batch, he turned back to her, finally finding that miniscule amount of courage he needed to meet her gaze. If there was one person who could really, truly scare Stark, it was Pepper. She had a habit of giving him severely disappointed looks, disproving of everything he did, and — every once in a while — put him in his place through scolding. In this case she was telling him how to run his company better than he did. Stark may have done more than his fair share of company-running when he was younger but that was nineteen years ago, when he barely inherited the company after his father had died shortly before. "My company is never supposed to make weapons, not for anything. Military, local, national, international; whatever they want them for they aren't going to get them. They shouldn't even entertain the idea of me giving them that kind of thing. What do you think would happen to me, Iron Man, if I started selling weapons again? What do you think people would believe? I'm supposed to be the good guy. I'm supposed to stand for what is right and though I usually don't care what other people think this is my new legacy. My father was great at building weapons and arming the United States military so it could do anything, even dropping nuclear bombs, but I am not my father and I would never want to be him."

Once he had sufficiently run out of things to say temporarily he took a small swig of his drink, feeling his throat burn and the sudden influx of amazingly potent flavor waft its way through to his nose. He didn't even manage a cough, even a little hiccup, so used to drinking was he. But he did do something else. He set his drink down, approached Pepper, and reached out to lay his hands on her shoulders, trying to get her to understand. "Don't make me do this. Don't make me tell them I can't do something that would go against what I believe in now. I saw terrible things out there, and I'm sure they won't understand that unless we pay someone to kidnap them and —" He paused, focusing just to the side of her instead of continuing his original plea. "Hey, that's it. Maybe we can have someone kidnap all of them and I won't have to worry about this. I can get a new Board of Directors."

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. I CAN'T BREATHE BUT I STILL FIGHT WHILE I CAN FIGHT .
. AND RIGHT NOW IT'S A STEEL KNIFE IN MY WINDPIPE .
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Pepper Potts
 Posted: Jul 27 2012, 06:59 AM
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It was very fortunate, for both Tony and herself, that Pepper was a highly adaptive person. She had to be of course, to deal with the ever changing moods of one Tony Stark, but it also made her particularly good at dealing with business. The red head had been with the business since before Tony took control, she’d been hired when she was under the control of Obadiah Stane, still following what was left behind by Howard Stark. Naturally things had first been shaken up when Tony took control, particularly with her own promotion, but further still the day he’d come back from his kidnapping and announced that Stark Industries was no longer in the weapons business. God Pepper remembered how sick she’d felt. It hadn’t been that she was particularly invested in the weapons division of the company, in fact she didn’t really care what Stark Industries manufactured after this many years, nor had weapons been why she applied for a job there in the first place. But Pepper had understood the implications of Tony’s statement and been mobbed by reporters as a result. She was good at her job, fortunately, and kept her lips sealed air tight save for making a pre-prepared official statement later, but what he’d said could hav e ruined them! She’d understood that and indeed the pair had discussed the stock drop on multiple occasions. Unlike other Board members however, Pepper also understood Tony himself. As much as anyone could. As much as he allowed anyone too. When he had told her about the kidnapping, about why he’d made the decision and needed to be responsible for the things he produce, how could her faith have fallen with anyone else?

She sighed when he suggested the defence unit. She wasn’t entirely opposed to the idea, if it was genuine. But it was merely a for-show scheme to keep the Board happy then she was. It wasn’t that she didn’t understand the need to placate them on occasion, and ensure it remained Tony’s company, but Pepper also knew there was only so much distraction they would take before they began to turn on him. She rolled her eyes as he insulted the men. She certainly wasn’t their biggest fan but she would still inevitably have to be the one who dealt with them when it was Tony’s job! He brought up her brief stint as CEO and the red head narrowed her eyes. He headed over to the bar and she took a few determined strides after him, ”You mean when you neglected to inform me you were dying?” She snapped slightly. Those weeks had not been good. Pepper wasn’t sure she’d ever been as angry with Tony as she had been at that time. He had been making mistake after self-destructive mistake and acting like nothing sure of an asshole. She hadn’t approved in the least of Rhodey’s actions to deal with him and made that quite clear afterwards but she felt sick when she finally heard why Tony had been acting that way. Jesus, she’d been losing her mind from the stress and then he pulled that gem out of the bag?!

She shot a glare towards the scotch before looking up at him. Sometimes she wanted to smash every bottle of it he had stashed away. She was around him enough to know that he was nothing short of addict, and yet also knew the topic was entirely off-limits for discussion. Whilst she wanted to protect him, even if that and what he wanted didn’t align, she also felt that was a topic that could be potentially disastrous for their relationship. At least if she was still on his side, she could watch him and look out for him...and that had to be better than him shutting her out. Even if it hurt her to watch his addiction. Sighing, she walked back to her files and tried to find the appropriate one of the Board’s proposals for the upcoming meeting, but when Tony continued to speak, she looked up.

She sighed as she listened, frosty exterior melting just a little. As horrified for his safety as she’d been when she discovered his creation and use of the Iron Man suit...she was increasingly proud of him. She’d seen Tony at his worst but at his best he was almost unparalleled. How could anyone compare to him? Perhaps it was easy to risk everything when you had nothing, but Tony had everything. People would die to be him, and he risked it all to help people. Some might ask how he differed from other superheroes but Pepper knew it was a hell of a lot. At the mention of his father she softened a little further. Even when she was a naive 18 year old in the secretarial pool, the gossip had been prolific. It was no secret that, while absolutely brilliant, Howard Stark won no awards in the father department. With a gentle sigh, Pepper murmured, ”You aren’t going to become him Tony.” It frightened Tony. He’d never admit it, after all it was easier for him to hating his father than admit how scared he was of the prospect of becoming him. ”You aren’t.”

Silence fell between them and Pepper dropped her gaze. It was always a sensitive topic, even if Pepper was one of the very few people with whom it was ever discussed. Tony was the only family she had, and she hoped vice versa. However at last he approached her and when his hands fell upon her shoulders, she looked up and recognised the plea in his eyes. She straightened, immediately pursing her lips and trying to put her guard back up. Everyone else caved to Tony, her job was to be one of the few who didn’t. ”Tony-” She began, warning in her tone and tried to look down every so often to break the pleading gaze he had over her. He began to ask her and Pepper interrupted quickly, ”Don’t do that look!” But already she could feel the cracks forming as he continued regardless. ”Stop with the look!” She interrupted again, but he persevered and the cracks ricocheted further in her armour. Oh crap. At last he mentioned the kidnapping, a cheap trick, and Pepper’s facade shattered with a sigh and a drop of her gaze. She hated when he mentioned that. She’d continued to work, as they all had, in his absence but she’d had to come to terms with how strong her feelings for him truly were, with how much she worried. She’d taken sick days, at first but being home alone with nothing else to dwell on had possibly been worse than walking round a building where everything was stamped with his name.

”Tony!” She muttered, eyes flashing back up as he seemed to genuinely consider the option. She rolled her eyes and tried to draw the blinds on her emotions back up, ”Might I remind you that I’m one of those directors.” She looked at him for a long, silent moment and at last looked skywards, exhaling slowing, as if for strength, before throwing her arms up in the air. ”Fine!” She conceded at last, but the red head promptly prodded him just above his arc reactor and continued sternly, ”But you listen here Anthony Stark! You have to come up with something for me to give them, and I mean something good. Something real, that you genuinely believe in, and might I add, is going to make money or publicity, or better yet both. I will not take them some random idea to distract them that you don’t care about.” She paused, hands on her hips and then added pointedly, ”And you owe me. Big time....I mean it!”
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Iron Man
 Posted: Jul 28 2012, 12:16 AM
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There was a point in his life — recently, in fact — where he had done stupid thing after stupid thing, again and again, only to prove he had been doing all of it when he was dying. He had been within forty-eight hours of dying when S.H.I.E.L.D. had stepped in and given him a chance with his father's work in tow. Nick Fury had done that, and so far it had been the only decent thing he'd managed to weasel into what Tony owed him. But the billionaire wasn't going to go that far. He was a hero, did his own thing, proved how he could protect the world given the right opportunity. Having his company stab him in the back like this was one of the few things that would genuinely piss him off. Obadiah had done it to him, taken it right from under his nose, locked him out of his own company and Tony had made the man pay with his life. Obadiah had been an iron monger, a man who wanted to have all the money and power and none of the conviction to tone himself down to a level not unlike that of a normal citizen. Tony didn't really hold himself higher than everyone else. Had he truly done that he wouldn't have been protecting civilians with his own life. He rose above and beyond the call of what a man with money should have done. He wasn't like Batman; wasn't doing it for revenge or trying to be the face of justice. Hell, Batman hadn't the gall to really reveal his personal identity to the public. It was unfortunate Tony had done so, as Iron Man would no doubt bring more than one enemy his way and his loved ones would get hurt. It had been a brash moment of indecision where he wanted the spotlight. Tony lived for that kind of thing and, in the meantime, he had put his friends in danger. Pepper had almost died at the Expo and while he wasn't going to admit it was truly his fault, he knew somehow it was going to end badly — either with her getting injured or worse, killed. Tony knew the dangers associated with his job as Iron Man and knew he was going to meet a fatal incident one day, but for the moment he was trying to live and was doing his best to ensure the rest of the world didn't have to suffer the indecencies of human nature.

So he'd tried to use his own wiles on the woman before him, trying to get her to understand what he was going through. She knew how he felt about weapons, especially after what he went through, and she would stand up for him. But not if he was being an idiot or a stubborn asshole about it. Tony felt the resolve in his personal assistant breaking and he only ruined it by leaving her standing there with the concept of him truly wanting to get rid of the Board of Directors. He hadn't thought of her being on the Board, however. "Okay, you're right. Bad idea. Maybe just kidnap the others, not you. That would work, right?" But she was back to invading his personal space and he took a moment to reel back, stepping just short of a foot from where he stood backwards. No, she had decided to poke him in the chest and use her glaring tone that always told him he was about to be in trouble, especially when she used the dreaded full name. Throwing his hands up in defeat he huffed out his next words, trying to get her to lay off. "Alright, fine. An idea I'll back. Yeah, something I can give money into and get money back. Or just to have good publicity. I'm good for that. I'm the spokesperson for the Avengers anyway, right?" Getting good face over national and international news for Stark Industries was what Tony did best. The Board of Directors wanted weapons manufacturing again but they couldn't have it. Tony refused to give in to that evil. He was not the Devil and he was certainly not the Merchant of Death, not anymore. But what was viable? What could he give them that would indefinitely shut them up? Probably not for the rest of his life but at least long enough to give him some breathing room to finish the mansion for the Avengers, and to get S.H.I.E.L.D. to leave him the hell alone as well.

Right then he turned away from Pepper, moving back for his drink so he could actually get some time to think about what he was going to tell her. It had to be something useful to the general public; something only the law enforcement of the government could use. The F.B.I. didn't need it, and S.H.I.E.L.D. definitely didn't need it, so he had to ensure he could keep the technology away from their greedy little paws as well as that of the military. For a second he debated on telling Pepper to let the Board of Directors know they could stick their Special Weapons Defense and Development department up their collective asses, but he instead went for a steadier, more congenial approach. "What about an emergency response unit?" Tony turned back to her, raising a hand in the hopes she wouldn't interrupt him and instead trying to get his word in. "Hear me out." A brief swig was taken of his whiskey before he continued. "If we make a law enforcement unit, say something that can respond the same as the Avengers in desperate situations where we can't, then maybe the Board and the government will stop tailing us like needy red-headed step children. We give them some of Stark tech, and they can go shove it for a few years." Or a few weeks, depending on how squirrelly they were feeling. "I mean, I'm not one hundred percent behind it but if we can ensure they don't abuse the technology we give them maybe it will all work out."

What he neglected to mention was what kind of technology he was looking at giving them. God forbid he cross into the realm of Tony-bots or something as equally annoying. The general public and media would never forgive him for this one. Outsourcing was not an option either, and he would be damned before he'd fire off individuals working for his company because the Board got a little squeamish over what he was proposing. But would Pepper buy it or would she think he was talking out of where the sun don't shine?

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. I CAN'T BREATHE BUT I STILL FIGHT WHILE I CAN FIGHT .
. AND RIGHT NOW IT'S A STEEL KNIFE IN MY WINDPIPE .
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Pepper Potts
 Posted: Jul 29 2012, 05:53 AM
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He was a rather...eccentric man, when all else failed when trying to surmise the personality that was Tony Stark. Still, Pepper had the unique ability to circumnavigate most of those oddities and thus push him to do the right thing, rather than simply what he wanted. For example Tony didn’t like to be handed things. They told people it was a liability thing. It was a him-being-an-ass thing. Fortunately the rule didn’t apply to Pepper. She could hand him things, touch him, put him back in his place on occasion and that was why Pepper needed to give him a swift poke to remind him who he was talking to.

”Something like that.” Pepper murmured with a roll of her eyes as he called himself spokesperson for the Avengers. He came from a group made up of a 90 year old guy who’d been kept on ice, an extra-terrestrial god, a meek scientist meets anti-social rageaholic, and a couple of super spy-assassins all backed by an organization who’s finest skill was espionage....who else was going to be their spokesperson?! Tony of course, the one man in all the world that would use his alias and opportunity to deny he had anything to do with the super-hero-suit, to admit he was Iron Man. That had been another fun day for Pepper avoiding the reporters. ”Getting lots of publicity isn’t necessarily the same thing as being good with publicity,” The assistant murmured dryly and began sifting through her files once more in an attempt to work out what subject she would broach with the Board first. Unconsciously, she sat down in Tony’s chair at his desk as she continued to look through them. How was she going to go about this? No matter what she said she was essentially saying ‘no’ to them and that would never go down particularly well. On top of that it was fairly obvious that the group of men were neither used to, nor did they particularly like, being told ‘no’ by a woman. Still, Pepper had thicker skin than they suspected. Which was fortunate, could they would no doubt hurl a lot of abuse.

At his suggestion, the red-head glanced back up and parted her lips to speak however he requested she listen. Closing her mouth, Pepper eyed him carefully as he began to explain, searching his expression for any tricks. Again her eyes narrowed slightly at the whiskey – repressing the urge to stride other there and pluck it out of his hand and down it herself – but she listened. The idea was...intriguing...if genuine. She rolled her eyes as he managed to throw in a couple of insults but still she considered it. ”Ensure they, nor anyone else, abuses it..” Pepper amended, chewing her lip slightly. She’d seen enough almost-Iron Man suits abused, and been much too close to the action for her liking. Tony had saved her ass both times, but she didn’t think either of them should push their luck.

Pepper hesitated, wrapping her fingers on the desk, torn between wanting to cut him a break and needing him to do this properly. Particularly since she’d take most of the brunt for it. Chewing her lip a little longer, Pepper finally stood and approached Tony again. ”Alright you-” She paused and then called loudly to the room, ”Not JARVIS-” Her eyes dropped back down to her boss. ”You, need to come up with a full proposal by midnight tonight – not a minute later. That way I can know the ins and outs and fully support it before taking it to the Board at 8:30 tomorrow morning. A full proposal-” She clarified, locking her eyes on his to emphasize it, ”Initial schematics, proposed deadlines, safety features, prospective costs......then I’ll put a call in for the legal team at the D.C office to collaborate with the department here and we can put together an air-tight contract.” The last thing they needed was another suit-stealing fiasco, which again, Pepper had had to deal with last time! It hadn’t exactly been what she had in mind when she’d asked Rhodey to help her get control of Tony at his birthday party.
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Iron Man
 Posted: Sep 25 2012, 03:38 PM
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Tony was definitely not the kind of man to keep to the shadows. In fact he was more likely to show his true colors under the facade he masqueraded around in almost every day of the week. He wanted people to know he was the perfect vision of a superhero; that he had the capabilities of being a good person but the inadequacies of a human being. He was, for all intent and purpose, a man who could represent humanity. Hawkeye and Black Widow were assassins of a high caliber, not something anyone wanted representing them when all they knew how to do was murder. Banner was a man of two faces like Tony but the other was not so pretty; a monster others were afraid of. Captain America was a soldier out of time, someone who didn't fit with the modernized remnants of a society long in the past. Several of the new Avengers, including Ms. Marvel and War Machine, had been part of the Air Force or other military once upon a time. Unfortunately it meant they were too stiff for the public eye; Tony was not afraid of that. He wanted to know that he was capable of good things and bad things, and it's what made him human. But being human was not enough for him to stand before the rest of the world and show everything he was made of. Every molecule was different and Pepper saw that in him. She accepted him for who he was and everything in-between but she did not understand him. For that he covered his eyes with his hand, listening to her while she rambled off the orders of a full proposal by midnight.

Did she not know his habits after work hours?

"Okay, okay. I get it. Not JARVIS -- just me. If you want everything I can give it to you before the board meeting tomorrow but I can't do it by the end of tonight. I have work I need to get done and you know how boring I find board work to really be." He should have kept it to himself, maybe telling her he would do it but giving the calculations and aspect ratios to JARVIS instead. How would she know the different between the AI's mind and Tony's own sporadic one. Clearing his throat now he looked down. Maybe he'd said that wrong. "What I mean is, I will have it done and there will be almost no homework for you. I promise." To add to it he moved closer to her, reaching for one of her hands to clasp it between both of his own. He didn't know really what to tell her, or how to tell her, and he wasn't sure it was right for him to take the stride he was but he was trying to be reassuring. Couldn't she see that? He felt his heart pound in his chest just below the Arc Reactor, trying to calm it at the same time as calm her. Pepper could be raging mean when she was irate and he didn't want to hurt her that much more. A change of subject was perhaps in order. "The mansion. How is that going, by the way?"

He moved away from her back to the minibar, looking for a stronger drink to keep him sane during their altercation. So many subjects and so little time meant so many drinks. Tony wanted to make sure he'd stay sane between then and now. Of course that also meant he had to work hard to be the man he wanted to be and it was not ending so well for him. Keep her mind off the other topic; derail to the new one. Again and again he would to prevent himself from floundering in whatever insecurities he had. Giving away company or personal secrets was a no-no, but it was something he'd have to do anyway.
    [ Sorry it's so small. ><;; I'm still rusty but here it is! <3 ]


This post has been edited by Iron Man: Oct 7 2012, 05:51 PM

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. I CAN'T BREATHE BUT I STILL FIGHT WHILE I CAN FIGHT .
. AND RIGHT NOW IT'S A STEEL KNIFE IN MY WINDPIPE .
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Pepper Potts
 Posted: Oct 1 2012, 12:49 PM
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Anyone who knew Tony Stark, recognised just how difficult Pepper’s job must be, but they were the few others who did. Plenty assumed that a fat pay cheque and the latest in fine, expensive technology made her job a cakewalk. Really all it did was make things just a little easier. She was quiet convinced that without some of the technology she now had at her disposal her job really would be impossible. Admittedly most of it was Stark tech since Tony seemed to take it as a personal offence if he spotted her using anything else. Still, it only made things easier to organise, and fortunately the pay made the rare time off she got a little more relaxing, but her job could be excruciating.

The biggest difficulty was stress. Yes dealing with Tony and his affinity to dangerous and life threatening things was difficult, as was the workload and the media and the board of Directors but it all led to one thing: stress. Pepper had a remarkable lid on it, admittedly, but even in her downtime the stress added up. Worse still, she was a micromanager. Pepper couldn’t help it. Even leaving business things to Tony made her anxious, but Pepper couldn’t help it – if she did it she knew whatever it was would get done right.

She was a worrier to start with, particularly when it came to Tony – after all, despite everything he put her through, he was the one definite thing in her life. No man had a bigger role in her life than him, hell no person. He was the only person she had left and yet he still seemed determined to kill himself in one way or another, even when he wasn’t in that damn Iron Man suit. Naturally, Pepper was proud of him for everything he did now, he was a hero, but it was yet another way in which he put himself in danger. She worried every time he left the place in that suit.

Pepper tilted her head, narrowing her eyes as he mentioned boredom. It was typical. If she didn’t know better, she’d suspect that was the reason he created the Iron Man technology in the first place. Just another way to stave off boredom, as often seemed to be his life’s journey. Fast cars, faster women, crashing parties, drinking, and beating up bad guys. The exasperated executive assistant rolled her eyes heavily at his promise. She found it difficult to think of many things her boss did that didn’t create more work for her. ”Sure-” She muttered in disbelief, ”No homework for me.” However as Tony clasped her hand in his, her hard exterior cracked a little. She met his gaze and could see something...else. Something besides the boredom he claimed, and his general dislike for busy-work. Pepper’s expression smoothed and after a moment she began to frown, her stomach twisting uncomfortably. She parted her lips to ask what was going on but Tony quickly changed the subject. She pursed her lips in a mixture of curiosity and irritation for his sudden attempt to avoid a potentially difficult conversation. Typical.

She narrowed her eyes slightly as he approached the mini-bar. God she hated watching him drink too much. ”Everything’s fine, a little ahead of schedule actually.” The red-head replied bluntly, clearly having no intention of sticking with that topic and she leaned against the bar next to him to make sure he looked at him and asked quietly but seriously, “What wrong Tony? Cause something sure as hell isn’t right.”
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Iron Man
 Posted: Oct 7 2012, 07:09 PM
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When Tony said he'd have something done he'd get it done. If people refused to see that it was their fault they didn't believe in him. He could have done all of the project in the span of a few hours if he wanted to but the point was they shouldn't have expected him to listen to their pleas for more weapons. Stark Industries didn't do that kind of thing anymore and being forced to work on a project he was not behind even one iota was going to weigh heavily on him. But he was doing this for Pepper, letting her get heat taken off because the stress would make her crack like it had shortly after the Stark Expo met its match in the form of Ivan Vanko. Not to mention all the crazy stupid things he did before that because he was dying. No, right now he was focused on the idea he was going to be her Knight in Shining Armor again. But as an Avenger and the CEO of Stark Industries he had his work cut out for him. She knew he was reckless, knew he liked to take chances — he wanted to believe she understood that anyway. And how was he to tell her she meant the world to him? She was the only real friend he had, the only family who really mattered (if he did have other family out there in the world somewhere), but he was trying and failing time and again to prove this. Maybe he wasn't cut out for this social bullshit most of the world threw on their shoulders day-in, day-out. It made him turn to a drink now and again, giving himself a wide berth trying to sort out all the things that made no sense. He felt his heart still pounding wildly in his chest as he fixed his little tumbler of whatever-the-hell-looked-good-to-drink while he tried to avoid her accusing glare.

It didn't help he'd shown her softness in that touch. His fingers were still tingling from the attention he'd given her but he refused to believe something like this was going to set him back a year or so. If he had his way he'd say to hell with the company and let the Board of Directors eat each other alive like rabid wolves. No, he had to be responsible and it was going to kill him sooner rather than later. At least the mansion was doing good. He could tell J.A.R.V.I.S. to handle it and the AIU would without Tony or Pepper around to organize and sort. E-mail came in use when the Internet was a universal means of J.A.R.V.I.S. getting around. Tony could only clear his throat as she confronted him, glancing to the side so he had took at her. If Pepper wanted his undivided attention she'd get it. That didn't mean he had to enjoy any part of it. What was he so afraid of? "If I told you nothing's wrong would you believe me? Probably not. You know me better than that."

The last part was added under his breath, trying to dissuade her from pressing for further information. Tony was the one who made the noose and hung himself with it; Pepper didn't have to do anything to instigate a more honest admittance from the billionaire. "This whole Board of Directors thing. It has me thinking about what the company could become again. I'm the man behind the company and what my business does reflects on me." He continued to pour himself a bit of his drink, trying to limit himself but failing to do so as the words continued to flow out. "I saw what happened to my father, how they looked at him like he was a king. I remember how busy he was, how little time he had to deal with his family or even me. He'd just as soon have gotten rid of me than give me the time of day and I don't want to turn into that. What I was before Afghanistan, what happened to me in that cave, it changed everything." Still dwelling on it then. "They want to change it back Pep. They want me to do what you and I know can't happen." The resignation on his face, the obvious dilemma he was suffering — it was building it up from years of doubting himself, wondering if he was doing the right thing or was turning into just another greedy corporate bigwig.

He didn't want to be his father — he couldn't turn into that man, no matter how much care everyone thought Howard Stark gave to his only son.

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. I CAN'T BREATHE BUT I STILL FIGHT WHILE I CAN FIGHT .
. AND RIGHT NOW IT'S A STEEL KNIFE IN MY WINDPIPE .
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Pepper Potts
 Posted: Oct 9 2012, 08:20 AM
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Tony and Pepper’s relationship was something of a minefield, if she was entirely frank. There were topics both knew were far too dangerous territory. There were a hundred rumours about them flying around the magazines and tabloids, and perhaps, though she would always fervently deny it, there was a element of truth to it. No, she and Tony weren’t having some secret affair, or planning to elope or any of the other nonsense the trash reporters seemed to decide was truth. But their relationship was far from strictly employer-employee. In fact she didn’t know what she’d do without him, and it was difficult to remember a time she had been without him. She’d been working in Stark Industries since she was almost eighteen and when Tony took over it had only been a matter of months before he picked her as his assistant. No one was as prominent a figure in her life as Tony was, both figuratively and quite literally considering the amount of time they had to spend together. Nor did she worry for anyone as much as she worried for him every day. Tony ha an affinity for the dangerous and it was every time he took a brush with it Pepper was reminded just how unconventional their relationship was. After all she shouldn’t feel the way she did for her own boss. But Tony was different from other men, and when you got past all the bullshit he was a wonderful man. Okay so he drank too much and slept around and caused her plenty of stress, but when it came to the big stuff he was selfless, he’d saved her life more than once, and without him there wouldn’t be much of a life to be saving.

After a moment he cleared his throat and glanced over towards her. Pepper merely lifted her eyebrows patiently but expectantly, and the smallest of smiles tugged at the corners of her lips as he conceded that she saw through his lies. She liked to think most of the time she did, yes. That didn’t always mean that calling him on his bullshit always worked, and in fact the pettiness that could fall between them as a result was just another explosive in the minefield of their relationship. They weren’t quite like normal people.

The red-head tilted her head, watching him carefully as he began to explain, leaning one elbow on the bar comfortably. This wasn’t a new fear of his, but it fact its repetition showed just how prominent it was. She understood, as much as she could from her position, and even she preferred the company helping people instead of arming them. Aside from getting further involved in charity and good will organisations as a result (Pepper all too often standing in for Tony by the Avengers or boredom called), she preferred the way Tony was. He was kinder, more patient, and even a little happier even if those things weren’t always the most apparent.

She frowned ever so slightly as she watched his glass only get fuller and fuller as he spoke. Part of her was desperate to take it away from him, but she didn’t want to run the risk that he’d stop talking to her. Tony seemed like he wouldn’t be an over-thinker and yet on subjects like there he could work his mind into a frenzy. Pepper just wanted to make sure the channels between them always stayed open for him to vent this kind of thing. She hated to think of him sitting around his lab losing sleep over it, though she was sure he must. He began to speak of his father and Pepper diverted her full attention back to his face once more. It always hurt her, more than she thought it probably should, to hear him speak this way of his father. No Pepper’s parents weren’t in the picture anymore either, but it was never for not having time for her, and Tony could throw as much swagger in anyone else’s face, but she knew how difficult it was for him to even think about him. She parted her lips to comfort him but he mentioned Afghanistan and she fell silent at once. Pepper never spoke about it to anyone, save a couple of words to Happy at the time, but it had been one of the most terrifying and difficult times of her life. Rhodey had called her to explain what had happened, Tony being taken, and the corporation had been up in arms. Worst had been walking in on a conversation about giving Stane controlling stake in the company if Tony was killed. Pepper still had nightmares about it.

The predicament was obvious on his face. He was torn, and it wasn’t like Tony to be so. He was good with his gut instincts, and the Board stood in the way of that. After a moment Pepper licked her lips and slipped her hand over his on the bar, squeezing his gently. ”Tony...both you and your father are remarkable men, but you are not the same man. You aren’t him, and I’m not about to let you become him...and lets face it I’m very good at my job, so it won’t happen.” She smiled slightly more, a little of the very narcissism Tony had taught her peeking through. ”We have to play nice with the Board but you’re right, Stark Industries doesn’t do that anymore. Leave those misogynistic old men to me.” Pepper hesitated, eyes dropping down to their hands and only realising when she looked that he thumb was rubbing back and forth on his skin comfortingly, ”You’re not alone in this.”
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Iron Man
 Posted: Oct 11 2012, 10:04 AM
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The fear of his life going back to the way it was before — before Iron Man, before the company changed, before Pepper — was a hard thing for him to swallow. Tony wanted to be the best for others, to be the face of everything and everyone but he knew he had to look out for himself as well. It was unfortunate he was forced into situations the Board cooked up and even worse when it reflected upon him as a superhero. That was the catch for having a public identity, of which Tony was sure he was the only one. Everyone else kept their faces and names out of the media whenever they could but Tony was not that kind of person. He was Iron Man, and as he told the Department of Defense several times he and the suit were one. Without Tony there was no Iron Man and without Iron Man, well, there was just a crazy drunk gaining weight and age and there was nothing he could do about it. He didn't want to admit something was nagging at him, that something was bothering him because that would make Pepper worry and he could not afford to make her feel that way. It hurt him to believe he was capable of lying like that, or dissuading her from the truth, but he had to do what he could to protect her. Pepper was the only person he had left worth something in his life, even more than the Avengers, and he was so stupid for being unable to tell her that. So as she tried to reassure him, tried to tell him everything was going to be okay he couldn't help but that wiggling doubt at the back of his thoughts.

The comfort of her hand on his brought his eyes up to meet hers, feeling the warmth and care there. She was soft, gentle around the edges but could be tough if she wanted to be. It reminded him of his mother, Maria, or what little memory he had of her and he wanted to keep that. They said some sons turned out to marry women who reminded them of their mothers; Tony thought Pepper was worth more than what he deserved. He swallowed with some difficulty, setting the bottle of liquor down and not even taking up his cup. Instead he took her hand into his again, turning just a bit to look at her straight on. "As long as I have you I'm never alone. Without you..." His words trailed off but she had to know. He'd told her when she'd changed the Arc Reactor in his chest — Pepper was all he had. He wanted to be by himself, to do his own thing on his own time but without her he'd be a mess. Tony was not like his father; he wasn't as focused or hardcore about work but he was sure to slip into the drinking and failure Howard must have reached at the last part of his life. Giving her hand a gentle squeeze with his before letting them go Tony moved away from her, leaving his drink forgotten on the bar in his office before heading back to the desk.

What was he supposed to do? Was he supposed to tell JARVIS to do the work anyway because he couldn't put his heart and soul into a program he had no belief in whatsoever? Tony felt his heart sink further in his chest as he sat down, leaning back in what was supposed to be comfort but wasn't. Instead he felt like he was drowning in something that would never let him go. He covered his eyes with one hand, the other perched on the arm of the chair to think. Sealing out all light did that sometimes, like when he was in his workshop. "JARVIS." The hidden speakers in the room were silent before JARVIS' voice transitioned into life. "Good morning, Mister Stark." Always a cordial one wasn't he. "Show Miss Potts what we were working on last night. Why we're early and late or whatever." The wall above the bar, not covered by anything faded to a screen, showing schematics for the Iron Man suit but of a different build. "As Mister Stark requested from his private server." The schematics twisted, showing points of interest in the center of the chest where an Arc Reactor should go, as well as through weapons that were non-lethal. "They're prototypes. Non-lethal riot control suits I was thinking about. Some way to make people safer because I can't be everywhere." He wasn't even thinking about the Avengers; he was thinking about himself and how, for once in his life, Tony admitted passively without saying it that he was human.

--------------------

. I CAN'T BREATHE BUT I STILL FIGHT WHILE I CAN FIGHT .
. AND RIGHT NOW IT'S A STEEL KNIFE IN MY WINDPIPE .
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Pepper Potts
 Posted: Oct 14 2012, 02:23 PM
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Pepper might not be a superhero but that didn’t mean she wasn’t strong. Okay, she wasn’t punching bad guys and arresting terrorists but Pepper could take control of an entire boardroom of over-paid men who played golf so much they might as well be considered to be working part-time. She could intimidate someone if she really had to and could most definitely run a hostile take-over if need be. Hell, she could run in stilettos! She’d learnt over the years to hide her emotions, keep her poker face in check, even read people pretty well, she’d needed to learn those things. First from losing her family, next for succeeding in business. Still, she had one weak spot, one she could never armour, not matter how hard she tried. Tony. When it came to him everything became uncertain. Pepper was a confident, decisive woman but with Tony everything was just questions. What did she want? What did he need? That was the more important one. Worse still, Pepper feared the day (probably due to the influence of too many movies and TV shows) that someone realised the leverage he posed. If they figured out some way to get to him and threatened her, Pepper wasn’t sure what she wouldn’t do to protect him.

Yet, when he squeezed her hand back, Pepper still couldn’t resist smiling slightly. It was just...him! And he didn’t drink. Pepper couldn’t help but notice that and couldn’t help the way it filled her with warmth. Given the option he’d turned to her instead of alcohol...it had to mean something. It had to. The red-head smiled warmly at him however it faded gently, uncertainly, as he trailed off speaking. She knew what he meant, at least what he meant to say. But what were the implications of that? How much did he really mean that? Pepper never entertained the concept of herself and Tony as a couple, she couldn’t see any good in doing that, partly because she would never be just a notch in a bedpost, but more importantly because even thinking of it meant thinking about a lot of things that made Pepper far from strong. Her smiled disappeared as he moved away from her and Pepper dropped her gaze, licking her lips and inwardly chastising herself for even allowing her thoughts close to the idea of the two of them.

Pepper clenched and unclenched her hands, biting the inside of her cheek and watching Tony sit, covering his eyes. She wanted to say something, thought it would inevitably mean treading the same old ground they always did. The same reassurances, always avoiding the truly important thing she could say. How she felt... Pepper parted her lips, stepping towards him when suddenly he called for JARVIS and she stopped. JARVIS was so much more than mere AI, he was like another person in Tony’s life, the only one he fully trusted, and thus she was back to ‘Miss Potts.’ She sighed softly and turned towards the wall as it lit up. Her expression quickly shifted to one of intrigue and concentration as the holograms appeared. She could instantly see the similarity to the Iron Man suit of course, but also the distinct differences. Obviously Tony couldn’t have anyone stealing his show. She tilted her head, watching the schematic as Tony spoke however she looked round suddenly with a frown as he finished. Anyone who spoke to Tony for ten minutes came to expect his rather cocky opinion on himself but she knew that it was rare to hear anything else. Admitting he was limited? Maybe even flawed? ”Okay..” Pepper murmured uncertainly.

Turning back to the schematic, she lifted her hand, taking control of the rotation of the image and zooming in on the gauntlets and gloves. ”And no one could get hold of one and reengineer it to be lethal?” She asked, craning her neck to look closer. Finally she turned back towards him with an empathetic expression and approached him quietly, ”Its good Tony, really, great.” She swallowed and then shifted the angle of her walking ever so slightly to put the desk between them. ”If you want me to take them this, I will. It’s your call.” She reminded him gently, and hoped he’d realise it was supportive. It was his call, she just wanted him to understand she’d always support it. Always support him. Even the times when he didn’t want her to.
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