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New Fic: Too Little Too Late

Too Little Too Late
Fandom: Iron Man
Rated: PG
Category: Angst. Pepperony (Pepper/Tony). Movieverse.
Word Count: 407
Spoilers: Iron Man 2!
Summary: It’s been a week, and Pepper still doesn’t have the one thing she really needs from Tony. Can he give it to her? Or will old habits prove too much to overcome?
Disclaimer: All things Marvel belong to the Man. (Not the Mouse.) Excelsior!

xxx

Pepper Potts glared at her employer with eyes so fierce it was a wonder he didn’t drop dead on the spot. When she spoke, however, her voice was completely contrary to her expression. It was ice cold.

“Tony, I only want to hear three words come out of your mouth right now.”

Tony Stark looked at his assistant and raised his eyebrows.

“I only get three?”

Pepper sighed. “That was four. And since I’m feeling generous, I’ll let them slide.”

“See?” said Tony. “I knew I hired you for a reason. Excellent numbers skills.” The grin on his face tried to illuminate the space between him and Pepper, but it failed miserably when it met Pepper’s unchanging scowl.

“Tony, I mean it,” she said.

Stark snorted. “Never thought for a second that you didn’t.”

“Tony…” Pepper’s voice took on a warning edge, and Tony seemed to notice. He stopped sparring and instead began to stall.

“Alright, alright! Just… hold on a sec, will ya? Let me think for a minute.”

Pepper’s response was immediate and decisive. “No. I will not hold on a sec! I’m tired of waiting, and you should not need to think about this! Now, Tony.”

“But…”

Tony made eye contact with Pepper for a moment, then suddenly looked away. As his eyes focused on the floor, Pepper sighed, then shook her head slightly. She’d tried to run with this. She really had. God knows she’d wanted to. But she was too smart for that. She knew that adrenaline-fueled rooftop kisses didn’t change the world - and they certainly didn’t change Tony Stark. Neither did a week-long whirlwind attempt at an adult relationship coupled with a childish refusal to accept her resignation. It seemed some things never changed, and Pepper couldn’t wait forever for Tony to grow up.

“Fine,” she said. “I’m leaving.”

“But…”

“No. No buts tonight, Tony. I’m too tired to deal with this. Good night.”

Pepper picked up her coat and slung it over one shoulder, then turned and calmly walked out of the room. Tony stammered as she reached the door and seemed to hesitate for a moment, but he still could not make the right words come.

“But…”

Pepper sighed again and repeated herself. “Good night, Tony.”

“But…”

The door clicked open, then closed. A moment later, the words finally came to Tony Stark.

“I’m sorry, Pepper.”

It really was a pity that only his empty house heard him.

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