1964-08-28 - After a Dinner Date
Summary: Pepper convinces Tony to seek help for his issues.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
pepper tony 

It was a nice dinner with some lovely government officials regarding some non-classified stuff, so having a date was perfectly acceptable, even if she does work for the enemy. It's hometime now, though, and Tony just assumes they're going to his place. It's got Jarvis, after all. Who doesn't love Jarvis? On the elevator up, he mentions, "You always make me look so good."

"You know, you just took the enemy on a date with government officials YOU are trying to woo… Some people might say that was a poor business move." Pepper teases him, gently, but her grin says she's clearly joking. SHe's never taken anything she's learned from him personally into the work room, she wouldn't betray him like that. Still, she seems content to be going back to his place, not even questioning it as she tucks herself next to him in the elevator, eager to soon get out of her heels. Tonight, she's been in a striking golden gown which hugs every one of her curves and has a slit up to her mid thigh. It provided a nice distraction for some officials.

"Yeah, but she's a gorgeous femme fatale. If anything, I'm the victim here," Tony says. He slips an arm around her shoulders and gazes down at her with a grin. "One of these days I'm going to steal you back, but I'm waiting until you've got enough dirt on the competition it'll be worth the financial hit we're going to take, paying you what you're worth." A far cry from 'come back as my assistant.'

A deep smirk crosses her lips, "…You know my rule…You offer me a job worth it. Vice President. CFO, at least… YOu make me a proper offer and I'll come. Until then…" Sharon just shrugs smoothly, no fear in her voice or eyes saying that. No apology. Business is business. THen the elevator comes open but she remains tucked neatly under his arm, more than happy to be his partner through this all even if they aren't in business.

Tony sucks his teeth and says, "Vice President, CFO. I'll have to find my current CFO in some kind of scandal so I can can him, but so far the man's a saint. I have no idea what he's even doing among rabble like us." Walking into the luxurious apartment, he says, "Jarvis, drinks in the lounge." Still drinking, but at least he's not staggering drunk. Baby steps. "I wanted to say, about the assistant jibe, that's my bad. I don't know what I was thinking."

"You…didn't want things to change. You wanted it all to go back to the way it was, I know. I… I know you, Tony. You didn't do it because you were being mean. You were just drunk and you wanted comfort. I just…I can't be that person again. I have too many other women who look up to me…I have to stay doing this. Or better." Pepper admits quietly, as they step inside. She even pauses a moment to look up to him, so he can see the honesty behind her eyes. Even if she was hurt, she's not angry.

"I'm glad you do," Tony says. "Sometimes I don't know myself." He smiles down at her, and there's nothing of resentment in his mild expression, neither at hurt nor anger. "Well, I wasn't all that happy way back when, either, so let's leave the past where it belongs: in secret exposes that are a hit in the tabloids." He draws her to the lounge where two glasses and a bottle of Riesling await. "No scotch, Jarvis?" Javis's amiable robotic voice replies. "The occasion seemed to call for something more romantic, sir."

"Romantic…Is Jarvis match making you now?" Pepper asks with a little bit of a laugh, but she's not complaining. The wine would be better on his body anyway. She just slips out of her heels, making her a good few inches shorter than him, and pads in stockinged feet over to the lounge where she just half collapses on the couch, bone deep exhausted, even if she's hidden it well most of the night. She worked all day, dined all night. It's catching up to her. "…I hope you're happier now, Tony… I… do."

Tony arches a brow. "Jarvis, are you match making now?" Jarvis responds, "Merely recognizing a match and the requisite beverages of such, sir." Tony shakes his head, and he follows after Pepper, pouring them both some of the wine. It's light and on the sweet side, not a bad way to wind down for an evening. He actually considers her question, then he says, "I'm in a place where happy can happen. Because of you." He studies the way the wine swirls in his glass. "I'm still having numb moments, but getting to think about you fills those in."

Gently, Pepper shifts her stockinged feet to stretch out into his lap. She curls her toes against his thigh, her skirt hanging open to bare her legs now. The rest of her sprawls elegantly, releasing a slow, deep breath as she just gets comfortable in her exhausted state. He gets to see her like this, half undone, in just her stockings. Only he does. "I… still wish you'd talk to someone. They are professionals for a reason, you know? But…I'll be here no matter what. I see you trying. I… I'm glad you are. I'm proud of you."

Tony's hand not holding the wine glass begins to give the redhead a foot rub. How she manages in those heels all day will remain a mystery to him. The bared legs are regarded with interest. "I'm not sure how I'd talk to someone about Berlin," he says. "Or work, or the Avengers, there's so much about those things that's secret." He sets his wine aside so he can draw the foot he's massaging properly onto his lap. He grins at her, that old, charming grin. "You're proud of me? Cool. That means a lot."

A low groan escapes her lips, of approval and surprise, as he pulls her feet into his lap. This is delicious and, clearly, Pepper is enjoying it. She sinks down a bit deeper in the couch and half closes her eyes, enjoying the rub. "Incredibly proud… but now you're distracting me. Keep that up and I won't be able to think." Pepper admits softly, trying to focus on what they were discussing earlier. It was important… AH! "…You could tell a proper psychologist anything. They have… vows of secrecy, like… doctors. They ARE doctors… Doctor patient confidentality."

"Oh good, I discovered the off switch," Tony says as he works on getting all the tension out of those beheeled muscles. He loves the way the heels make her look, but the concept still seems like torture to him. "What's a doctor of psychology going to be able to make of having to make this thing in my chest to keep me alive? That's not even the thing that's got me so messed up, though. Or, I don't know, maybe it is. I still don't like enclosed spaces." He switches to the other foot. "Or blindfolds. I hear some guys do, though. Some women, too."

A little moan escapes her lips as he comments on having discovered the off switch. He's getting closer, but Pepper truly never lets go of a large amount of control. Just bit by bit she sinks deeper on the couch, trying to focus her mind even as they are discussing things she very much wants to be sharp for. She smirks, slightly, as he goes on about blind folds, "We're not talking about… proclivities. We're talking about the fact you went through a traumatic hell and that would affect anyone's mind. It's… not about your physicality. It's about… the things that keep you up at night. The stuff that still does get to you. The fact you don't even know WHAT is bothering you… that says you could use someone to help."

Tony keeps up with the massage, and he grins a little, enjoying Pepper's response to it. Hey, if nothing else in his life works out, he still knows how to make a woman feel good. The grin fades though as he says, "I saw that metal-armed bastard the other day. He came to the Avenger's Mansion. Somehow I didn't punch him in the face." He shakes his head slowly. "I don't even remember the details, just flashes of what went down, and I had that visceral emotional response of just wanting to hurt him."

"…Tony… Stop." Pepper murmurs softly, gently pulling her feet back, if he lets them go. She tucks her legs beneath her, instead, so she can come to her knees and look him in the eye. Both her hands reach for his cheeks, grasping his face gently but wanting him to see just how serious she is about this. "Tony…it's not healthy. It…doesn't have to be you. I KNOW it's not you. It's… something messed up inside of you. A psychologist can help. Please… please. For me, if not you? They keep secrets… they can be trusted. I… I don't know how to help you better with this and… dammit, it kills me. You know I'd do anything in the world to help you, right?"

Tony's brow pinches, and it gives his features such a severe look, but there's a gentleness behind his eyes still. After a long silence, he finally says, "Fine. Find me a shrink and I'll talk to him. I don't know how much he can do with 'I can't remember why I hate this guy but I want to kick his ass,' but we'll give it a go." He holds up a finger and adds, "Only because this is really upsetting you, and I don't like seeing you upset."

Her fingertips linger there, features hovering but a few inches away from Tony's, but the heartache and the love is far too clear in her eyes. When he finally agrees, it's like someone has cut her puppet strings. She sinks forward, "Oh… thank god…" She breathes out, and then she's on him like wildfire. The kiss is different — immediate, passionate, full of relief, of love, of an abandon she hasn't quite permitted herself since they begun to make up again. He's earning back her trust, inch by inch, but agreeing to that has bought him a mile.

Tony wraps his arms around Pepper and draws her in. Well, if he's going to get kissed for being agreeable… He returns the kiss tentatively at first, not knowing where exactly he stands, and he's trying so hard not to be that guy, the one who decides he wants something, that he's entitled to it. He's earning back his own trust as well. Only tentative at first, then he lets himself go a little more, answering passion for passion. When he finally parts to draw a breath, he says, "I'd already consider therapy a success so far."

"…still got to actually go to an appointment, you know? But… this is a good step in the right direction." Pepper admits with a wry, warm smile, somewhat flushed and breathless herself after that kiss, but in the best of ways. She sinks back, butt resting on her heels as she still kneels on the couch in front of him, but looks like she has no wish to yet pull away. The pad of her thumb tenderly traces the edge of his jaw, her smile coming a bit more easier than he's seen it since he got back.

Tony gazes at her lovely face, and he clicks his tongue before he says, "What did I ever do to deserve you?" He sweeps a lock of hair back from her brow, and he smiles, one of his rare, tender smiles. "I do want point though for not punching Barnes. I only wanted to. See? I'm learning restraint." He pauses, then he adds, "There was a girl there, though, a redhead, real young. She wanted me to take a look at some equipment she had. She claims she's from the future, and she wants me to fix her time machine. How crazy is that?"

"…I… cannot entirely tell if you are messing with me or serious, and if maybe you are getting sick because you haven't commented about how pretty she was or ask for her number. Should I be worried?" Pepper asks, reaching her hand up to his forehead and mock checking his temperature. But there is relief in her gaze, and a bit of pride, that he's talking about a pretty red head and isn't immediately considering taking her on a date. "…and yes. I am proud of you for not hitting Barnes. You've been… great lately. I just want to keep it… up."

"She was just a baby," Tony says. Not that women being young has ever stopped him from chasing them before. He strokes her hair, trailing his fingertips then along her cheek. It's strictly business. I've got this thing I'm trying out called not stepping out on you." He smiles thinly, well aware of his track record with that in the past. He laughs at the mock temperature checking and captures her hand in his. He gives a kiss to the back of it, then intertwines their fingers. "I'm trying," he says. "I don't know if I'll ever be the Tony you want, but these days I feel like it's something to aim for."

The kiss to the back of her hand gains another happy, quiet sound from her throat. Pepper, for tonight, was content. Relaxed, proud of him, trusting… Just fully content. "I know you are. And… I've been… impressed. Relieved. Proud? Yes… proud. And… a bit scared." Pepper admits quietly, her other hand stretching out to idly cup across the back of his neck so she can play with the edges of hair there. Still touching him, fond and tender, but not quite seductive. Not yet. Just enjoying his presence, as she kneels there still in her too-fancy dress.

Tony doesn't seem to mind the kneeling at all, no sir. But he does tug her hand gently to lure her into lounging beside him, the better to tuck her under one arm. He too is enjoying her presence. "If I weren't such a strong and capable man," he says, "I would feel a little scared, too. Fortunately, I'm optimistic and eager."

The woman happily allows herself to be tugged close by his arm and she tucks in against him, her cheek pressing to just above his heart. That draws a faint smile to her lips, curling close in her evening gown. "…we both should change, you know. Get into more comfortable things. There are better places to curl up than a couch…" She murmurs against his throat, but she also does not seem eager to leave his arms.

Tony's brows lift, and he says, "Why, Miss Potts, are you hinting at something? Let me think…" He thinks all of two seconds before he gets to his feet and tugs Pepper toward the bedroom. "I could stand to get out of this suit, and I'd hate to wrinkle that pretty dress." Sure, like he doesn't want to see it piled on the floor. He releases her hand so he can start undoing his tie. Everything else aside, he's really tired of this itchy suit.

"…I'm just saying. It would be *logical*. This time of night." Pepper states with mock professionalism, as if they were planning some sort of business lunch. She then grins, letting him pull her up from the couch as she eagerly follows him back towards the bedroom they've shared a handful of times in the last few weeks, but not often. It's still a strange, adaptive dance they are doing. But there is no hesitation tonight, especially as she reaches for that back zipper and smoothly frees herself from the dress. Ahh, she can breathe easier now.

Tony tosses the tie aside and unbuttons his shirt. "Absolutely," he says "No need to wear these things at this hour, when one should be winding down and relaxing before bed. Maybe with a nightcap." Though he hasn't touched a drop since a few sips of the Riesling out in the lounge. Pretty soon, he's got the suit hanging over the back of a chair. He's not shy about being down to an undershirt and boxers around Pepper. She's seen hi in less.

He has seen her in less too, but it's been a long time. The last few times she stayed over, she stole one of his long shirts or came prepared with modest pajamas. Now, however, she slips out of her dress and stands in nothing but the strapless, bullet bra she was wearing, matching black lace panties and the garter belt keeping her thigh highs up. And all that pale, red head skin. She's a rather delicious sight, with somehow still innocent looking face. "I…will need to borrow a shirt… again.." She admits softly.

Tony's gaze lingers. He's being good. He's taking things slow. He wants to take things slow. That doesn't mean he doesn't notice, or that he doesn't also want to just wreck this bed with her. But! He's being good. "Hmm? Oh! Right, of course. Take whatever you need." A nominally decent man would look away while she changed, but as he trundles toward the bed, he just kind of doesn't.

As he doesn't just ravish her right there, Pepper tilts her head slightly, momentarily surprised, but a softer smile pulls at her still slightly painted lips. "Thank you…" She murmurs gently. She then steps over to the less used shirts drawer, of course she knows where it is, and draws out a pale blue and white pin strip, overly long dress shirt. It really is pajamas on her. She turns her back as to not tempt him TOO much as she slips out of her bra and into the shirt. The stocking and garter belt come next, all the things neatly draped over a chair before she comes over to him. "…Sleep, maybe? Or just… curl up and talk? No night cap needed."

Tony exhales sharply and says, "You're welcome." He looks a little pained, maybe tormented. Taking things slow, though. Not even asking for other redheads' phone numbers. He's got so much to prove to her. "Maybe a little bit of both," he says. "One then the other." As for nightcaps, he says, "Eh, I don't want to get up again anyway." He rolls to his side and pats the bed beside him. This is where she belongs, to him. By his side. "It's kind of like a slumber party, besides," he says, aiming for cavalier, like he's not even tempted.

There is a momentary bit of skepticism in Pepper's features, at just how casual he is being, but she doesn't push it. She just steps barefoot over to his side and crawls up into the bed, pulling the two little pins out of her hair which kept it from being in her face. SHe now looks tired, tossled, and ever so soft. She sinks down into the pillows, reaching one hand out to try and pull him with her. "Then bed it is… and we shall see what happens. Come on…we're both exhausted."

Tony isn't difficultly led. He lies beside her and wraps her in his arms. Burying his nose in her hair, he inhales deeply, and he releases a sigh that proves him a liar about any kind of casualness. This is hard for him. If he weren't so damned tired, it would be even harder, but the moment his head hits the pillow, the distracting thoughts are washed over with weariness. Being good is exhausting. Insomniia from PTSD doesn't help. "In the morning, maybe we play hooky and do something fun."

"Mm…you need to warn me about hooky days. I'm not my own boss, you know…and you aren't either. But… we'll see how the morning goes. Tonight? Sleep… sleep sounds nice. I'm right here. I'm not going anywhere." Pepper whispers softly against his throat, tucking herself down against his chest so he can wrap around her and she can wrap her arm around his waist, tucking their bodies even closer. Her leg comes up, knee between his thighs, letting him drown in her heat and scent. "I'm here… I'm not going anywhere. Just… get some sleep, Tony."

"Fine, in the future I'll schedule a morning meeting with you that'll last til noon," Tony says. "I'll get Jarvis on that in the morning." He sounds a little put out about not being his own boss. "Then why does everyone call me boss?" he says, though he grins when he says it, not hanging onto bent feelings. Not when she's right there, and she smells like heaven and looks amazing. Who could muster up a bad mood? His eyes close, and he murmurs, "Hooky in the morning." Always has to get the last word. Then he's out like a light.

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