1963-09-08 - Just A Really Very Intelligent System
Summary: Pepper checks in on Tony and meets his new Alarm System
Related: None
Theme Song: None
pepper tony 

It's late. Not ridiculously late, especially by Tony standards, but late enough it's probably way beyond the hours that boss/secretary should be doing anything. That has never stopped Tony and Pepper. However, Pepper worries. She even worries MORE now that Tony isn't ducking into ehr apartment every other night of the week because he needs something. She almost feels like she's missed something. So, she's knocking against the door, standing just outside his condo. "Tony? It's…it's Pepper, I just wanted to see how you were… doing…"

After that brief warning, Pepper pushes the door open and ducks her head into the apartment. Hopefully no one is naked. At the same moment, she was concerned and she also wanted to make certain he wasn't passed out sick somewhere. SO, she lets herself the rest of the way in, her high heels carrying herself quietly through the foyer.


As he promised, Tony hasn't been bothering Pepper at home. Maybe he didn't actually voice the promise, but he made it silently and since it's his to maintain or break, it doesn't really matter. He'll bug her to bits at work, but at home he's been quiet.

Suspiciously quiet.

Like when your kid has gotten into the toothpaste and has smeared it all over the bathroom and themselves-quiet.

The door is still open, but that's nothing new — it takes a key to even get to the Penthouse floor. The apartment seems fairly quiet until Pepper steps a little further into the foyer, nearing the opening up to the rest of the apartment. Then, a klaxon alarm starts going off, a robotic voice announcing 'Intruder! Intruder!' over and over again. There's a commotion coming from the bedroom and Tony skids out, wearing a bathrobe that he just manages to close, and an Iron Man gauntlet. It takes him a moment, the gauntlet held out and powered up…until he sees who it is. "Off, Jarvis."

The klaxon alarm continues. "I said, Off!" The gauntlet holds up one finger for Pepper to hold on before he moves to his workstation to manually stop the alarm. "Voice recognition…it's not working quite right yet. Uhm. Hi."


Pepper's breath draws in, a quick gasp, as she sees that gaunlet and hears the slightly panicked voice and commotion coming from that direction. She stands there looking almost guilty herself, pale eyes wide, concerned and still a bit shocked. She's in her same dress from the day — a deep green number that looks great agaist her red hair and freckled skin. "Tony! I…shoot…I'm sorry. I'm intruding. Clearly. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to bother. I… I just hadn't heard from you in… in a few nights. I was getting worried." She admits softly, creeping across the floor a few steps closer. She looks him up and down, trying to double confirm that he's alright before she goes again. "…Everything is alright…Yes?"


"Oh, sure, everything's fine. I've just been experimenting with some alarm system…notifications. I should have made it silent," the gauntleted hand lifts to run through his hair before he remembers that it's on. It's pulled off and he then pulls his robe closer around his chest, "I thought I turned it off." Pepper gets another 'Hold on a moment' finger before he moves back to his workstation. Something is fiddled with before he nods, "That should stop it for now."

He looks at her for a long, possibly uncomfortable moment before he gives a little shake of his head, "I figured you'd be busy with your Jani…uh. Jack. That's his name, right?"

Is a sober Tony better than a drunk Tony? There is actually dust on the glasses on the bar.

"Everything ok? He treating you all right? Because I know people. There won't be anything left to trace…"


For just a moment her eyes catch sight of the dusty glasses on the bar. Dusty. That seems to surprise her. She arches a brow, staring at them a heartbeat or two longer before shaking the thought off and looking back in Tony's direction. "You…you sure you're feeling okay?" She doesn't outright say it's weird for him not to be drinking, but he probably saw where her eyes were. She's clearly surprised.

"..Jack? Yes! Oh goodness, yes. He is very good to me, Tony…Everything is fine. He'd never do anything to hurt me…" Pepper seems more than confident about that, the soft smile on her features that of a woman who is thoroughly twitterpated over a guy. But then, Pepper is probably too trusting in her own right, but she seems to be on the edge of falling hard for this man. "Things are fine. I was just worried about you. You…haven't come around as much."


"I'm feeling fine," Tony starts but then notices her looking at the glasses. "I told you I was going to stop. Or did I?" Did he say that one aloud as well? "I mean, just for a bit. See what happens. Consider it an experiment, really…I've got notes around here somewhere." When he's not drinking, he seems to have a great deal of focus. Hyperfocus. Maybe it's one of the reasons he started in the first place?

"Good. That things are fine. I mean, if they weren't, I'd have to fire him at the very least. Maybe set him on fire. You know, that sort of thing." There's a glance back to the bedroom before he turns back to Pepper, "What kind of horrible boss would I be if I wandered into your apartment while you were entertaining your boyfriend? I haven't been giving you the privacy you deserve." Maybe sobriety helped him realize that. The gauntlet is still on, actually. "Oh! Before I forget. Kindly let the other secretaries know that if my father calls or stops by, I'm not in. Ever. And tell him to go see a doctor. Standing orders."


"Uh…Yes, Tony. I'll make certain every administrator in the building knows. Standing orders." Pepper's not joking about that. She's always been rather fiercely protective about him, especially where his father is concerned. She doesn't seem to think that Howard's been much of a father. She's probably right. Her smile softens just a little bit as she realizes he's actually kept up not drinking.

"..I…I'm proud of you, Tony. For laying off the bottle. I…I think it's really good for you." Then she steps in his direction and, if he doesn't protest, reaches up for a quick, tight hug. She smells like cinnamon and vanilla, still. Maybe she refreshed her perfume when she went home, or maybe she was cooking. But somehow that sweet, innocently edible scent still lingers around her. "You can always bother me, you know that. If you ever need…that's why I'm here. You've made my life so much better and.. I… I just want to be there for you too. Alright? Jack will understand. You bother me any time." She squeezes his arm, staring up into his eyes, trying to make certain he knows how dead serious she is.


Tony gives a nod as Pepper makes note of the request regarding his father. That should prevent other potential issues in the future. Visitations are on -his- terms and his terms only.

When she mentions being proud of him, he gives a dismissive wave of his hand, "It's nothing. I could quit whenever I wanted to," and he's proving it. So he had some withdrawal, but it was probably a good thing that Pepper was otherwise occupied then. He's a bit better now. The hug gets returned, "I know you're there for me, Pep, but you should get to have some fun too." Mostly because he's not too sure what else to say. His brown eyes meet her's and just linger there.

That is, until a female voice calls from the bedroom, "Tony? Are you coming back to bed?"


The *moment* Pepper hears that voice, her eyes widen. She draws back as if she were stung, realizing that maybe bosses and secretaries shouldn't hug. What was she doing here, this late at night? Maybe she was crazy. Pepper shakes her head too quickly, not quite able to meet his eyes all of the sudden. "Oh…Oh, Tony…I…I didn't know. Here…here you weren't interrupting me and…and I interrupted you. I'm so, so damn sorry…go. Go back to… to your lady. I'll go. I'm glad you're doing well, Tony. I'll see you in the morning. G-good…good night, Tony." Pepper stammers out, turning almost as red as her hair.

After those words, she turns on the ball of her foot, double timing it back to the door. She is clearly beyond embarrassed. She pauses at the edge of the door for just a heartbeat, looking back to him with a half smile. "S-sweet…sweet dreams, Tony." And then she's pushing the door open and disppearing out into the hall. She is careful to shut and lock the door behind her, so he'll have proper privacy. She leaves nothing in her wake but the smell of vanilla.


"Wait! Don't —" Tony starts, but Pepper is already out the door and the klaxon alarms go off again. 'Intruder! Intruder!' "Dammit…" is muttered as Tony goes back to the workstation, "Why aren't you working right? I swear, if you don't turn off when I tell you, I'm going to disassemble you tomorrow!"

'Intruder! Intruder!'

"Turn OFF!" is called to the issue-causing panel.

'Intruder! Intruder!'

"All right, you asked for it." The cord is pulled from the panel, connecting it to the electricity in the wall. And stil…

'Intruder! Intruder!'

Damn backup batteries.

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