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This isn't connected to any prompt comm, but I got a fic idea in my head and couldn't stop writing until it was done. So, it's done!

Title: That Time with the Dobermans (and the Hole in the Wall)
Rating: PG
Word Count: 2,216
Characters: Tony, Pepper
Genre: Comedy
Paring: Gen, with a side of Tony/Pepper

So, somewhere in between becoming personal secretary to one of the most powerful men in the world, and said man becoming a self-proclaimed superhero, Pepper had accepted that fact that one day she was going to be kidnapped.

She’d prepared for it. She carried around pepper spray, a tazer, a pen, a book of crosswords, a mini-GPS, and pictures of her fictional children. Just in case her kidnappers turned out to be sympathetic. She’d read volumes and volumes about the psychology behind kidnapping. She’d taken self-defense courses. She was as prepared for a kidnapping as anyone could possibly be.

When it finally did happen, six whole months after Tony had publicly revealed his extracurricular activities, Pepper felt...excited wasn’t the right word. Because that would have made her crazy. But it was nice to know that all of her hard work hadn’t been for nothing.


Now, Pepper had certain expectations in regards to how her kidnapping, a logical eventuality, would go. For one, she assumed that a syndicate of some sort would be behind it. Or perhaps a brand-new super villain. Or better yet, an anti-hero. Preferably ex-CIA, with a buried heart of gold and a soft-spot for red heads.

What she got was a middle-aged accountant named Larry. He had collar stains.

She assumed that she wouldn’t get taken easily. What with the tazer and the self-defense courses. She assumed that there would have been a fight.

She’d gone to Larry for help with her taxes, as she was too busy doing Tony’s to pay any attention to her own. Larry came recommended by a friend, whose judgment Pepper was never trusting again. She’d shown up fifteen minutes early for their meeting (she made it a point to show up fifteen minutes early for everything), and had accidentally caught Larry counting a giant stack of fairly obvious counterfeit bills.

“Oh!” Pepper said, walking into the office. Huh. Probably not the tax guy for her. And that had honestly been Pepper’s only thought. She wasn’t going to go to his bosses, wasn’t going to confront him. He’d been caught, and any sane accountant would have just quietly resigned.

Larry, however, pulled a gun out from under his desk and pointed it at Pepper. Pepper looked at the gun, and looked at Larry. Larry, with the collar stains.


“I’m very serious.” His voice cracked.

Pepper tried her best not to look disappointed. She put her hands up in the air.

Larry already seemed overexerted, and pointed to the chair in front of his desk. Pepper sat down.

For a few minutes, no one said anything. Pepper noticed that in addition to collar stains, Larry also had a mild dandruff problem and a bit of dried egg on his breast pocket. Still, the gun was real, so she stayed put.

“Excuse me--”

“I’m thinking,” Larry snapped.

“Oh,” Pepper said, doing her best to sound reassuring. “I’m sure you are. I was just going to ask if you would mind if I worked on my crossword puzzle?”

Larry sighed, rubbing a hand over his face. Pepper honestly felt a little bad for the guy. “Yeah, sure. You got any gum?”

“Of course.” Pepper reached into her purse, pulling out her crossword book and a stick of spearmint gum. She pressed the emergency button of her GPS in the process, feeling a bit silly doing so.


Twenty minutes later, Pepper was midway through her puzzle. She was usually a bit quicker, but Larry was a loud chewer and it was distracting. Still, they’d settled into a comfortable enough quasi-silence, if you didn’t count the gun.

Then Larry ruined it by bursting into tears. Pepper looked up from her puzzle, confused.

“Larry? Um. You okay?”

No,” Larry cried, burying his head in his hands. The gun was, as a result, pointed towards the ceiling. This would have been a good time for Pepper to escape, but he just looked so pathetic. Suppressing a groan, she stood up and went to pat him on the back.

“Look, you had a bad day. We all have bad days.” Like Pepper, who’d been kidnapped as the direct result of a middle aged crises.

Pepper’s kindness seemed to open the floodgates. Larry hooked his arms around her legs, sobbing and getting snot all over her new skirt. Pepper stopped patting his back for a moment to retrieve the gun. Larry seemed to have forgotten all about it, as it was hanging loosely from his fingers. Not really the best place for a gun.

“What happened?” she asked, kindly. All of the books talked about forming a relationship with your kidnapper, even though she had the gun, which made this kidnapping officially bust. It was the principle of the thing.

“My wife’s gonna leave me if I don’t buy her a new Doberman,” Larry said, miserably.

“A new...” Pepper blinked. “...sorry?”

“A new Doberman. To breed. She breeds them, and with the recession my bonus just didn’t cover it.”

“Wait. Wait.” Pepper was now pointing the gun at Larry. Not because she was going to kill him or anything. She just didn’t feel like he deserved any more back pats. “You’re telling me that I was just kidnapped for the high and mighty cause of dog breeding?”

Larry nodded. “Good studs are a highly valued commodity.”

“I was just kidnapped for a stud?”

“I...I guess. Kind of. In a way.”

“I don’t even know what that is. I don't know what a "stud" is.”

“Oh,” Larry said, wiping at his tears. “A stud is a male--”

“Larry, let me ask you a question. Do you have any idea who I am? Did you see my name in your appointment book, do your research, and find out that I am very important to someone--a disgustingly wealthy someone--who controls most of the weapons manufacturing in the western world?”



“No...” Larry shook his head, looking at the pile of fake bills on his desk. “Wow. That’s a much better idea than what I was thinking. You know, get some fake money and cut out before lunch? Maybe stop off at Panera?”

Pepper sighed, releasing the safety on the gun.


“Yeah, Pep?”

“If you don’t run away now, I’m going to shoot you in the foot.”


Once Larry was gone, which took all of five seconds, Pepper rubbed her temples and sat back down across from the desk. Which turned out to be a good move, as the space that she had been standing in was soon replaced by rubble and an eccentric billionaire in a metal suit.

Tony stared at Pepper, who in turn stared at Tony.

“I’m just here to...” Tony trailed off, waving his right hand. The one with the rocket launchers. “You pressed the emergency button. I was in New York, but I’m here now. You know, to save you.”

Pepper nodded, standing up and picking some lint off of her skirt. “I see that!”

“Yeah, well. It’s what I do.”


“Did you see how I burst through the wall, there?”


“Okay. Just saying. I burst through the wall.”

“Yes, Tony. You burst through the wall. Thank you.”

Tony nodded. His helmet made a little wooshing sound. Pepper nodded. Her neck cracked, because she hadn’t been to the chiropractor in awhile. She walked over to Tony, and peered out of the Iron-Man shaped hole in the wall.

“Huh. That’s—”

“Fifty-seven flights.”

“Fifty-seven flights.” Right. The world went a bit fuzzy as Pepper took a giant step backwards, shaking her head clear.

“Pepper?” If it was possible for a not-technically-iron mask to look concerned, Tony was pulling it off. He just wasn’t pulling it off all that well.

“Jesus, Tony!” Pepper’s voice rose an octave, became higher and sharper, and thus her exclamation sounded more like “cheese toast Tony”. She cleared her throat, taking a seat. She put her head in her lap and her hands around her ankles – she wasn’t sure if that was actually a cure for motion sickness, or if it was something she’d kind of made up in her head.

“Erm,” Tony said, contributing to the conversation. Pepper shook her head, and soon her whole body was shaking.

“Pepper?” Tony sounded scared, now, and Pepper knew that he was kneeling down beside her on account of the woosh noise his knees made. It was a slightly different woosh noise than his neck.

Pepper looked up at him. What had been silent, body-shaking laughter, turned into a series of snorts. She clamped a hand over her mouth, but it didn’t do much good.

“Jesus, Pepper. Give a superhero a heart attack.”

Pepper took a deep, calming breath. Put her hand down. She looked Tony in the eye (sockets) and said, solemnly: “Another one?”

She started laughing again, this time around making no attempts to hide it. “You stink at this, you know?”

“I burst through the wall!”

“Not that. This. I’ve had a gun pulled on me so that Dobermans might procreate, and just discovered a new fear of heights. Let me see your face.”

Tony didn’t say anything, not even about the dog thing, which had to be some kind of miracle. He looked at Pepper for a moment, robot-head tilted towards the side. Then he reached up, pulling back the mask. Underneath was a guy in his forties, in need of a shave.

There he was.

“Hi,” Tony said.

“Hi,” Pepper said.

He was giving Pepper this focused kind of half-smile, that she’d only ever seen on him since after Afghanistan. She opened her mouth to say something, but couldn’t quite think of what. Instead, she reached for her purse.

“I take it you’d like to leave, now?”

Pepper put her purse in her lap. “Leaving would be good, yes. Home would be better.”

Tony half-smiled again, and Pepper vaguely wondered if he even realized when he was doing it. It wasn’t fair, to be able to go around with a smile that only your personal secretary ever got to see. Sent the wrong message. Or at least, it sent a message. She didn’t have the exact contents pinned down.

Pepper walked towards the door. Tony, conversely, walked towards the Iron Man shaped hole in the wall. He then held out his arms, expectantly.

Pepper stared at him. Pepper stared at him, and laughed.

“Not a chance in hell.”

“Oh, come on!”

“I quit.”

“You’ll look very cool.”

“I quit.”

“You’ll look very cool, and tomorrow morning, you’ll be able to tell all of your co-workers that you were swept off your feet by that dashing and handsome Iron Man.”

“I quit, I quit, I–-you’re my only co-worker.”

“I know. I can’t wait to hear all about it.”

Pepper looked up at the ceiling, but smiled. She threw her purse to Tony, heard the woosh of his arm going out to catch it, and walked out of the room and towards the elevator. Tony flew beside her, even though his suit was perfectly capable of walking.

“So you saw how I burst through that wall, right?”

“There was a window. I could have opened the window.”

“But I burst through the wall.”

“Yes, you did.”

“I thought it looked very cool. And just so you know, even though I know you already know, people tend to put a lot of stock into what I think. And I think you were impressed.”

“There was a window! It was very impractical.”

“You were impressed. Don’t lie to your boss, Ms. Potts.”

“Alright,” Pepper granted, as the elevator doors opened up. “Maybe I was a little impressed.”

Not by the wall thing, but by the fact that he’d been in New York and was now in Malibu. All because she’d pressed a button.

“I’d like to thank you for your honesty.”

Pepper shook her head, pressing the button for the main floor. Tony floated next to her.

“Hey Pepper,” he said, looking down at her. She looked up at him, and hey, those eyes caught her off guard sometimes. She tried to focus, leaning in for a moment and then pulling back.

“Yes, Tony?”

She almost felt like asking him to go get olives. He didn’t say anything, not for five floors. And then, finally:

“You saw how I burst through that wall, right?”



“I quit.”


( 72 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jan. 17th, 2009 08:30 pm (UTC)
Very cute and very funny. I totally have the visual in my head of a hole in the wall shaped like Iron Man. That would be awesome :)
Jan. 17th, 2009 09:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Tony just doesn't figure to me like a window-person.
(no subject) - chinksticks - Jan. 18th, 2009 02:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sunshine_minx - Feb. 1st, 2011 09:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 17th, 2009 09:04 pm (UTC)
Okay, that was just adorable.

Edited at 2009-01-17 09:05 pm (UTC)
Jan. 17th, 2009 09:14 pm (UTC)
Aw, thank you so much!
Jan. 17th, 2009 09:07 pm (UTC)
This was fun! I love how everything went so NOT according to anyone's plan! And Tony being so fixed on "You saw how I burst through the wall, right?" {glee}

Thank you for writing this!
Jan. 17th, 2009 09:16 pm (UTC)
Well, thank you for reading this! It was a lot of fun to write. Tony and Pepper strike me as over-planners, which means things very rarely go as they'd like.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 17th, 2009 09:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you! As much as I love Tony/Pepper, regular ol' UST can be a lot of fun to write.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 18th, 2009 01:56 am (UTC)
Thank you so much!
Jan. 17th, 2009 09:42 pm (UTC)
That is honestly one of the best Pepper pov fics I've read. Kudos!
Jan. 18th, 2009 01:57 am (UTC)
Oh, wow -- that's incredibly flattering. Thank you!
Jan. 17th, 2009 09:42 pm (UTC)
I am in love with you, and I don't even know you. It was like... Terry Pratchett doing Iron Man. And every line was gold.
Jan. 18th, 2009 01:58 am (UTC)

After that review, the feeling's mutual -- thank you! Every line was very fun to write.
Jan. 17th, 2009 10:04 pm (UTC)
Oh gosh, I loved this so much I had to read it twice! Very cute, very original!
Jan. 18th, 2009 01:58 am (UTC)
Thank you very much! Also, I love that icon.
Jan. 17th, 2009 11:14 pm (UTC)
“You’ll look very cool, and tomorrow morning, you’ll be able to tell all of your co-workers that you were swept off your feet by that dashing and handsome Iron Man.”

“I quit, I quit, I–-you’re my only co-worker.”

“I know. I can’t wait to hear all about it.”

Wonderful. I LOVED it!
Jan. 18th, 2009 02:00 am (UTC)
Thank you! I think I might need to write more Iron Man fic after all this.
(no subject) - amonitrate - Jan. 18th, 2009 03:55 am (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 17th, 2009 11:33 pm (UTC)
You have an incredibly funny manner of writing; please continue to write fic, especially Ironman, if you so feel inclined. :D
Jan. 18th, 2009 02:00 am (UTC)
After all this positive feedback, I am feeling very inclined. Thank you!
Jan. 17th, 2009 11:43 pm (UTC)

*saves to delicious*
Jan. 18th, 2009 02:01 am (UTC)
Thank you!
Jan. 18th, 2009 12:17 am (UTC)
That was perfect.
Jan. 18th, 2009 02:02 am (UTC)
Thank you very much!
Jan. 18th, 2009 01:04 am (UTC)
Underneath was a guy in his forties, in need of a shave.

Oh eff me, this was adorable. The whole thing. Just. Yes.
Jan. 18th, 2009 02:03 am (UTC)
Aw, thanks! What I love about Pepper is that she's one of the only people who sees Tony as unglamorous.
Jan. 18th, 2009 01:07 am (UTC)
“Did you see how I burst through the wall, there?”


“Okay. Just saying. I burst through the wall.”

“Yes, Tony. You burst through the wall. Thank you.”

I think this is my favorite part(which was hard to do, as I loved the entire thing) because I could see this happening. This was super adorable and hilarious.
Jan. 18th, 2009 02:05 am (UTC)
Thank you! I started to write the kidnapping as something more serious, but it just...didn't work. She's Pepper Potts, she can handle things.
Jan. 18th, 2009 02:20 am (UTC)
hahahaha, this was too funny! I loved the stains on teh guys collar and how proud of himself Tony was. Great writting!
Jan. 20th, 2009 07:53 am (UTC)
Haha, thank you -- I love the icon.
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( 72 comments — Leave a comment )