Other Fan Fiction ❯ Blame it on the Mistletoe ❯ Blame it on the Mistletoe ( Chapter 1 )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]

Blame it on the Mistletoe
by ~bulma-th-babe

Title:  Blame it on the Mistletoe
Author:  geniusinmotion
Rating: PG
Summary:  For your Christmas enjoyment.  The Stark Industries Holiday Gala is in full swing.  Can Pepper help Tony through his holiday blues?  A HUGE thank you to StarBearerTM for sparking the idea when I was lost :)  You are my hero.

Disclaimer:  I don't own Iron Man, or Marvel for that matter.  All spelling and grammatical errors are my own.

Tony Stark sat at the bar sipping his scotch on the rocks.  His fifth one to be exact.  Being the owner of Stark Industries demanded that he be present at the gala, but nothing said that he had to be coherent.

Christmas wasn't his favorite time of year to say the least.  He didn't mind the commercialism of it.  The music, the fake Santas at the malls, the food, none of that bothered him, in fact he appreciated that aspect of it.  It was the feeling of loneliness,at a time when families usually came together, that really got him.  He, Tony Stark, playboy billionaire with everything, really realized how little he truely had around the holidays.

He could remember holidays spent with his family, however small it had been, filled with love, good food, the smell of cookies baking and pine in the air from the Christmas tree.  All of that though, family, had been taken away almost twenty years ago on an icy December night, just a few days shy of Christmas.  The season had never been the same for Tony.  While he didn't fall to pieces when December rolled around, the empty feeling still hit him.

Tony was so concentrated on his scotch glass and his own thoughts he didn't even hear the familar click of stilettos on the polished marble floors.  "Looking for signs in scotch Mr. Stark?  I thought only tea leaves worked."

Tony turned to see Pepper standing there, looking stunning in the deep burgundy evening gown.  Her hair was up but it curled around her face.

"Scotch can be very enlightening, I'll have you know."  he managed to stutter out as a comeback.

Pepper seemed to be holding back a smile.  "I can see that.  I makes you so eloquent after 5 or 6 of them."

Tony shrugged, noting the slight disapproval in her voice.  He glanced towards the open balcony doors and nodded in the direction.  As he made his way outside into the cool December air, he heard the comforting sound of Pepper's heels behind him.  It was a great deal quieter outside, but the sounds from the band still made its way out onto the large balcony.

"Dance with me?"  Tony asked.   Pepper hesitated, and Tony quickly added, "Everyone isn't watching this time."

"As long as you don't plan on disappearing again."  Pepper joked, stepping forward to place her arms around his neck.  This time dancing with him wasn't so formal and traditional. It was more like dancing at prom with your date.

"I'll do my best."  Tony chuckled, wrapping his arms around her waist.  They swayed to the music in silence for a few minutes before Pepper sighed.

"Tony, what's wrong?  And before you say nothing, the misery is coming off of you in waves."

Tony was surprised, he'd thought he'd hidden it pretty well behind his usual persona and the scotch.  It was starting to dull the feelings but leave it to Pepper to catch on.

"The season I guess.  I just feel empty.  I don't have anyone you know.  It'll pass.  Always does."  He stated, pulling away and walking over to the balcony's edge to look out at the view.  Los Angeles stretched out as far as he could see and somehow that made him feel even emptier.

He felt a small hand touch his shoulder.  "I know the feeling.  Ever since my mom passed away Christmas isn't the same.  That was 10 years ago, if you remember, the only time I've ever asked for leave."  Pepper admitted.  "You have me though Tony.  You know that..."

Tony glanced at Pepper surprised, "You've been pushing me away Pepper, for months.  I took the hint and left you alone, you know.  Everything was great for a little while and well...you didn't want to move in, you didn't want to change anything from the way its always been."

Pepper glanced away, wondering how the conversation had suddenly shifted to change the spotlight to her.

"I was scared."  She said quietly walking to join Tony at the balcony's edge.  "I was scared if we took the next step that I'd wake up and none of it would be real.  Or, that something would go wrong and I'd lose you forever.  I said it before, you're all I have."  She finished, taking a deep breath to maintain her composure.

Tony took her hand looking at her, "You aren't gonnna lose me you know.  No matter what."  he insisted.

"How do you know?"

"I'm a genius you know.  My math is never wrong and I'm sure that there is a 100% probability that we're meant to be."  he said with a ghost of his usual cocky smile.

Pepper couldn't help but laugh.  "When you put it that way that makes perfect sense."  she said sarcastically.  "Has that line ever really worked?"

Tony shrugged.  "Never tried it before.  But I'm sure if you're not interested..."

"You are impossible."  Pepper said, taking a step closer and kissing him.

The kiss started gentle but that didn't last long.  Pepper wasn't sure how long they stood there kissing when she heard someone clear their throat.  

"Seems like everytime I walk up you two are making out."  Rhodey laughed.  "You're just supposed to share a kiss under the mistletoe, not all that." He stood in the doorway, looking very amused, pointing up.

Tony was about to say something scalding in reply when he glanced up and sure enough, there were sprigs of mistletoe hung from the rafters overhead.

"What can I say, I'm Tony Stark.  I never do anything half-assed.  Let's get out of here Pep.  Merry Christmas Platypus."  Tony replied, taking Pepper's hand and leading her toward the door.

"Merry Christmas.  You too Pepper.  Take care of him.  It's nice to see him enjoying Christmas for once."

"Merry Christmas Rhodey."

Pepper smiled, realizing that however wonderful it was that Tony seemed happy, she realized that she herself was enjoying Christmas and the possibilities for the first time in years.