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New Fic: Update

Update
Fandom: Iron Man
Rated: PG
Category: Movieverse (but comic canon consistent), humor, mild implied Pepperony.
Setting: Most likely post-Ironman 2, but could occur at any time.
Spoilers: None.
Summary: Update. Another word for mess everything up. Or maybe not.
Word Count: 909
Disclaimer: Everything Marvel belongs to the Man. (Not the Mouse.) Excelsior!
Note: This one is for Beth, who made my last update not suck.

xxx

Tony Stark pushed his stool back from his workbench and wiped his greasy hands on a rag. Then he threw the rag onto the floor and glared across the room at the only other occupant of his workshop.

“Seriously, what were you thinking?” he demanded.

Pepper Potts, long-since immune to the Stark glower, arched one eyebrow back at him.

“It is my job,” she stated calmly.

Tony shook his head and exhaled loudly. “Not when it pertains to the suit.”

“Well, how was I supposed to know that you configured the system to update everything like that?”

“That’s common sense, Pepper.”

“No,” argued Pepper, impatience starting to show in her voice, “common sense would dictate that something as important as your Ironman suit would have its own systems, independent of the household.”

“I… I didn’t think I needed to do that! JARVIS… Hell, even Dummy knows not to mess with my stuff!” stammered Tony.

Pepper crossed her arms over her chest and stared Tony down. “The lights were going out all over the place because the program controlling them was out of date! It couldn’t talk to the rest of the house, so it kept shutting down!”

A lesser man might have backed down under a glare so fierce, but Pepper wasn’t the only one with a long-standing immunity to irritation. Tony shrugged nonchalantly and turned away from Pepper, muttering his response as he did so.

“So?”

A flush finally appeared in Pepper’s pale cheeks at Tony’s brush off.  

“I have work to do, Tony!” she shouted.

“You could have killed me, Pepper!” he yelled back.

Pepper blinked and tilted her head to one side for a second as the recently-acquired color drained out of her face. Tony still faced away from her. He leaned heavily on the table on the far side of the lab, and for just a moment, Pepper’s eyes grew wide as she realized the possible truth in his words. Still, though, he’d survived just fine, and she was still angry with him for skipping out on the last board meeting, so her expression quickly turned dismissive. She waved one manicured hand in the air as she answered him.

“Oh, please. You're bright enough to figure out a few icon changes.”

“That’s not the point!” argued Tony. “Do you know how annoying it is to have things get moved on your desktop?”

“Yes, in fact, I do,” answered Pepper, giving Tony a pointed look as he turned around to face her.

Tony didn’t seem to notice her expression. He just plowed on as if she hadn’t spoken.

“Well, multiply that by a thousand in the suit! It’s distracting enough to cost me seconds, and seconds can mean life or death, Pepper!”

Pepper knew he was right - for once. She knew she’d inadvertently put him in danger by updating the AI systems in the lighting controls for the house and thereby somehow changing the preferences in Tony’s armor. Her heart clenched in her chest at that thought, but her external façade never cracked. After all, Tony was fine, and it was his design flaw that allowed the situation to develop in the first place. It wasn’t her fault. It was a wonder something like this hadn’t happened sooner. And frankly, she just flat refused to give Tony the satisfaction of being right. Not after the week she’d had. Not after she’d yet again had to smooth all the feathers he’d ruffled.

“Well,” she drawled, “perhaps you should take precautions against this happening again.”

Tony snorted. “I’ve already created an independent system with redundant back up controls and restored the previous display appearance.”

“Good,” said Pepper, clearly done with the conversation. “Now, if there’s nothing else?”

 Tony merely smirked for several seconds before answering.

“Oh, there’s something else,” he said, his eyes traveling the length of Pepper’s body.

Pepper swallowed, and a touch of pink crept back into her cheeks.

“What’s that?” she asked calmly.

Tony scrutinized her carefully. “Just an observation.”

“An observation?”

Tony nodded. “Yeah.”

“And that is?”

“Earlier, you implied you couldn’t work because the lights kept going out.”

“Yes,” answered Pepper, with an arched brow. “And?”

Tony shook his head slightly. “And that doesn’t  make sense to me.”

Pepper sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose with one hand. Her eyes closed in frustration.

“Tony, what are you on about?”

“It’s just that I happen to know you do some of your best work in the dark,” answered Tony. He’d bent his head down low and was trying to peak underneath Pepper’s fingers from across the room. His eyes were glued to her face behind her hand.

Slowly, Pepper released her nose, took a deep breath, and opened her eyes. When she did, her gaze caught and held Tony’s, and a wicked grin slid over her face. Her look spoke volumes, but it was the two words she actually vocalized that made things crystal clear.

“JARVIS? Lights!”

The room went dark, and suddenly Tony was very glad Pepper had installed that lighting update after all.

When he heard the whisper of clothing and the obvious clatter of discarded stilettos, his heart rate accelerated and his mouth went dry.

When he heard the door to the workshop open, then click closed, his brow wrinkled in the dark.

When he heard Pepper’s laughter ascending the stairs outside, he jumped from his stool and ran after her.

Oh, but she would pay for this.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
xfirefly9x
Oct. 7th, 2011 11:27 am (UTC)
Hee, cute! :)

“Oh, please. Your bright enough to figure out a few icon changes.”

You're ;)
jackwabbit
Oct. 7th, 2011 11:32 am (UTC)
Thanks, babe! Payback is fun, eh? ;)
xfirefly9x
Oct. 7th, 2011 11:33 am (UTC)
No problem. ... you know it is. ;)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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