Author’s Note: Sorry for the long wait. I celebrated my birthday and it set me back a little bit. Not too much action in this chapter until the end. But stick around the next chapter is the day of their date.
Tony spent most of the night pouring over those encrypted files from the flash drive. He was still asleep when Pepper arrived at nine a.m.. She hadn’t heard from Tony so she decided to take a drive over hoping he was awake. The office was closed for the Stark Industries triple header softball game against Hammer Tech. It’s something that Pepper organized for the company last year and everyone loved it so they decided to do it again this year only this time they invited Hammer Tech to be their opponents. And Dodgers stadium was nice enough to host them.
Pepper let herself in and Tony’s bed hadn’t been slept in. She hurried down to the workshop and there he was asleep on his couch in only his boxer briefs and Pepper needed a minute to take a breath and appreciate his beauty.
“Tony” she said shaking him.
He grumbled and turned over and his perfectly sculpted backside only being covered by the thin fabric of his boxer briefs tempted her in a way like never before. She took another deep breath.
“Tony wake up the first game is in an hour” she yelled at him.
He sat up suddenly.
“Shit” he said.
“Come on get in the shower now. Start washing and I will have your clothes and coffee ready when you get out” she said.
“Are you still going to do this for me when we’re married?” he asked as he miserably dragged himself into the shower in his workshop with a grin on his face. He loved pushing Pepper’s buttons.
“What would you like for breakfast Mr. Stark?” she asked ignoring his question.
“Whatever you’d like to feed me Mrs. Stark” he replied.
Pepper just rolled her eyes at him and he was smiling at her.
Pepper went upstairs and grabbed Tony a towel and she dug out a clean pair of underwear and his Stark baseball uniform and cleats. She also grabbed his coffee and the rest of the leftover quiche she had made for him.
She carried everything down the stairs and just as she entered the workshop Tony opened the shower door and walked out naked.
“Oh my God Tony” Pepper said nearly dropping everything and turning around to give him privacy. She felt her face flushing so hard.
“You don’t have to turn around. I’m not embarrassed. Besides, I kind of owe you one after your topless stunt the other night” he said as he walked towards her and slid his arms around her to grab the towel out of her hands with a smile creeping up his face.
He grabbed it and rustled his hair quickly with it and wrapped it around his waist.
“You can look now” he said.
Pepper turned around and Tony’s perfectly sculpted abs and shoulders were invading her pupils and she felt weak in the knees.
“You are throwing out the first pitch at 10:00 a.m. on the dot. I need to head over there to talk to the team and speak with the vendors and make sure everything is going ok. Do you want me to have a car pick you up or are you taking the suit?” Pepper was rattling off to him.
Tony gave her a big smile and started laughing.
“Is something funny about this?” she said with the tone.
It was the tone she used when he knew he was in trouble.
“Yes. First off you’re adorable especially in that uniform. And second you’re the only woman to ever see me naked and have no reaction other than to yell at me about something unrelated” he said as he finished his quiche.
“Anthony Stark this is my thing. I organized this and if you’re late I swear I will strangle you” she said poking him in the chest.
“You just had to touch me huh. You just couldn’t help yourself. I don’t blame you honestly look at me” he teased knowing she was gonna be really mad at him.
“DON'T BE LATE or I will cancel our date tomorrow” she threatened.
“God I wanna kiss you right now” he said getting closer to her.
“Tony it’s 9:15 I have to go” Pepper said dodging his advances and heading out the door.
“Damn” Tony said.
When Pepper was satisfied that everything was ready to go, she made her way down to the dugout to join Happy who she asked to help coach since he was tired of being cooped up at home to recover from his gunshot and needed some fresh air and sunlight. She looked at the clock it was 9:57 a.m. and she was waiting for Tony.
“Don’t worry he’ll be here” Happy said reassuringly.
“He better be”
She looked at her watch and it was 9:58. She looked at Happy once more and then the unmistakable sound of rocket boosters came over the field and everyone was out of their seats cheering. Tony came flying in in the Iron Man suit like he promised and dropped down on the mound. He gave everyone a wave before exiting the suit.
He got out and put his sunglasses on and then Pepper began to step out onto the field and bring Tony his team baseball cap, a ball and glove and a microphone.
She handed them to him and smiled.
“Thank you Miss Potts”
She started to head back and he stopped her.
“Hold on a sec Potts. Can you hold these for me for a second? I need Jarvis” he said handing her the glove and microphone while he plopped the baseball hat on his head sloppily.
“What do you need Jarvis for?”
“You’ll see” he said while Pepper stood there and the crowd was still cheering.
“You need to say something to them,” she said.
Tony tapped his ear piece.
“Jarvis I need to nail this. Can you please calculate the angle and speed I need to let go of the ball?”
“Calculating” he said.
“That’s lame Tony. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s not like you can have Jarvis help you the whole game” she said.
He reached his hand out for the microphone. Pepper sighed and handed it to him.
“Welcome to the second annual Stark Industries triple header softball game,” he said.
He paused a moment and then continued.
“I’d like to thank Pepper for putting this whole thing together. Isn’t she wonderful?” he said smiling at her and putting his arm around her.
“She has a few words she’d like to say” he said handing her the mic.
She shut it off quickly and turned to him.
“You know I hate this. Why do you always do that?” she said under her breath.
“I have those calculations you requested sir” Jarvis said.
Tony just shrugged at her.
Pepper turned the mic back on and smiled.
“I want to thank everyone for coming today. As you know all the money from the tickets goes to the St. Jude’s foundation. And I’d like to give a special thank you to Justin Hammer for being a good sport. I know Tony and him have had their differences and they decided to bury the hatchet. Justin why don’t you come join us on the mound and say a few words?” Pepper asked as she waved him out.
She shut the mic off and looked at Tony and he was glaring at her.
“Why would you do that to me? I hate Hammer more than anyone you know that”
“Because you put me on the spot again” she said glaring back at him.
Justin Hammer reached the mound and him and Tony were forced to pose for a photo and Tony insisted Pepper be in it and be in the middle.
Justin went off to say a few words and Tony leaned over to whisper to Pepper.
“I have some important things to discuss with you when we get back to the dugout so don’t disappear on me,” he said.
Pepper looked up at him.
“It’s time now for Tony to throw out the first pitch. God bless Iron Man God bless America” Justin Hammer said as he handed the mic to Pepper.
Pepper and Justin took a few steps back and Tony nailed the pitch. Pepper shook her head but smiled at him. Tony waved goodbye and put his arm around Pepper’s shoulder as they walked back into the dugout.
“We need to talk Potts” he said.
“I can’t. We’re the home team so I need to get on the field. I’m playing shortstop,” she said.
“Well here take this so I can talk to you” he said putting an earpiece in her ear and purposely brushing her cheek went he pulled away.
“Tony I need to pay attention to the game”
“This is important Pep” he whispered to her.
She smiled. She honestly felt that Tony’s charms were wearing her down more and more each day. What she really wanted to do was pull him down to her lips and make out with him. After seeing him naked this morning she was useless. All she could think about was getting it on with Tony.
Pepper took her position on the field.
“Ok Tony What was so important that I need this earpiece ?”
“First thing is I doubled up on all security to keep you safe. Daniel is still out there and I’m not letting you out of my site”
“That’s very sweet and-
Pepper stopped suddenly to catch a pop up and she made the out.
“Show off” Tony said as he watched her.
“Look Tony you have hundreds of employees to rotate in. Can’t this conversation wait until the top of the second when I have a free inning” she said.
“Sure Pep. Anything for you” he said.
It was the top of the second and Pepper was free to talk to Tony.
“What’s up boss?” she teased him.
“Come on, let's go find a quiet office” Tony said leading her through the dugout into a hallway and he found a small office.
“First off, how are you feeling?” he asked once they were behind closed doors.
“I feel fine” she said as she smiled at Tony not knowing that’d she’d be speaking too soon.
“So I broke into the facility last night and I copied everything from the computer onto a flash drive. I started going through it last night. I haven’t found anything yet. But I still have a lot to go through. That’s why I fell asleep on the couch” he said quietly.
“Tony I need you to be careful. What if you got caught?”
“Iron Man doesn’t get caught” he said cockily.
“I still want you to be careful” she said as she hugged him.
He pulled her into him tightly and rubbed his hands over her back. He looked down at her and kissed her and she didn’t fight him.
“I must confess you look very sexy in this uniform” she said as she pulled away from him.
“I told you Pep you can have this anytime you want,” he said as he leaned in to kiss her again.
They kissed for a minute and Pepper didn’t want it to get too heavy or she wasn’t going to be able to stop so she refrained from using tongue. She pulled Tony’s bottom lip between her lips to suck gently when suddenly she didn’t feel good. She felt freezing cold and started shivering. She pulled away and she felt bile rising.
“I’m going to be sick,” she said as she leaned over the garbage can and began to violently vomit and then to her horror it came out the other end at the same time. She was having horrible diarrhea.
She couldn’t do anything but empty her body for the next two minutes and when she stopped she was shaking. She hadn’t realized that Tony was kneeling next to her and holding her hair back and rubbing her back. Then the mortification set in that she went to the bathroom in her pants.
“Pepper it’s going to be ok. Come on let’s get you home and cleaned up and in bed” he said.
Pepper looked up at him and she was grateful that he didn’t bring up her accident. It was humiliating enough.
“It's withdrawals from the birth control. I need to clean up. Take me to the bathroom” she said as she was shivering.
Tony helped her down the hallway and into the bathroom. She went into a stall and braced herself for the worst. She pulled her pants down and breathed a sigh of relief that it didn’t go through to her pants. She pulled her cleats off and then her pants and took her underwear off. She cleaned herself up and pulled her pants back up.
“You ok Pep?” Tony asked as he knocked on the stall door.
“Thankfully it didn’t go through to my pants. I just need some paper towels” she said.
Tony hurried over to get some towels and reached under the stall to hand them to her.
Pepper wrapped her spiked underwear in the paper towels and opened the stall door. She steadied herself on Tony and threw her underwear in the trash.
Tony took off his baseball jersey which left him in a tight white tank top. He wrapped it around a shivering Pepper and lead her to her car out the back door away from the crowds.
“Tony what am I going to do about the game?”
“Where’s your clipboard? I’ll give it to Happy” he suggested.
“I left it on the bench,” she said.
“That’s very naughty Potts. Leaving your responsibilities to sneak in here and makeout with me”
“Tony I shit my pants I’m not in the mood for jokes” she said sternly and he got the hint.
“Come on get in” he said once they reached the car.
Pepper sat in the passenger seat and tried to calm herself down.
“If you feel sick just let me know and I’ll pull over” he said as he reached over and squeezed her hand.
Pepper was now sweating and turned the ac up and hung over it. These withdrawals were too much for her to handle.
“Jarvis get Happy on the line” Tony said as he headed out onto the freeway.
He waited for Happy to pick up.
“Happy you’re in charge. Pepper is sick and we are out of the game” he said.
Happy started to protest and Tony interrupted him.
“I gotta go Hogan. Make us proud” Tony said as he hung up.
Tony pulled into his driveway and the second he parked Pepper bolted from the car and vomited in the driveway and the spasm caused more diarrhea. He walked around the car to help her up.
“Tony I don’t have a change of clothes,” she said as she tried to steady herself.
“I have plenty of clothes. You can wear mine”
“Tony I need underwear”
“You can wear my underwear too. I promise they are clean” he said as they walked inside.
Pepper just sighed. She was headed towards the bathroom.
“Tony it’s coming from both ends. I need a bucket and I need an Imodium and Gatorade or smart water whatever you have with electrolytes” she said as she shut the door.
Tony snapped into action and hurriedly found a bucket and ran down to his fridge in the workshop to get a Gatorade. Now he had to find Imodium. He went into the cabinet he kept with over the counter medications and he found an open pack that only had a few left.
“Hey Pep, I have that stuff for you. How are you doing?” he asked from behind the door.
“I need you to bring it in here,” she said.
Tony braced himself and opened the door. The smell was putrid and Pepper looked terrible. Her baseball pants were in a pile on the floor and he didn’t have the courage to look at them. She was covering herself with her baseball jersey and she was sweating and shivering.
He opened the Imodium and the Gatorade and handed that to her for her to take first and then the bucket. Then he went to reach for her discarded pants and she stopped him.
“Tony I’ll take care of it when I’m better” she said.
“No Pep I can handle it” he said reaching for it.
“Tony you seriously don’t have too. It’s one thing for me to do it for you I’m your assistant but you shouldn’t do that for me”
“What if I want to. I want to show you I’m a responsible adult and I can take care of you and be a good boyfriend” he said.
Pepper looked at him lovingly.
“You’re not going to be grossed out? You’re still going to want me after this?”
“Pepper it’s shit. Of course I’m grossed out. It doesn’t matter who did it but that doesn’t change what I feel about you and feel about us. I’m going to clean these for you and call Bruce to see if he came up with that serum to end these symptoms”
“Tony just put them in a plastic bag and throw them in the garbage outside. I will order new baseball pants next year” she ordered.
“Got it” he nodded.
He was a mature adult and he was going to prove to Pepper that he could take care of her and that he could be a good boyfriend.
Daniel sat up and stretched his arms above his head. He was absolutely elated. He was finally finished with his prototype. He admired it one more time before going up to get a drink.
“I think I’ll call you SPYDER the Camantula” he said picking it up.
It was a camera hidden inside a tiny robotic spider that looked convincingly real.
“Tony might be smart enough to see the difference but Pepper will run from a spider and by the time she comes back with something to kill you you’ll be hidden out of view if she even notices you” he said to his prototype and formed a grin that reached ear to ear.
He reached for his whiskey and took a swig. He admired it one more time.
“You’re going to have your moment tomorrow and make me proud. And then when the time is right
I will claim Pepper and Tony will watch”
He gave his creation one last look before closing the door behind him and leaving for the night. He was afraid he was going to need a new place to stay soon. He didn’t want Tony or anyone in his circle to find him.