(2016-12-25) A Stark Christmas
A Stark Christmas
Summary: Tony's got a few things for Pepper this Christmas to make up for near nothing last year. Even if she didn't know about it, he did.
Date: 2016-12-25
Related: None
NPCs: None
Scene Runner: NA
Social/Plot: Social

Christmas in Stark Towers. The hundred-plus floors beneath the Penthouse are still populated, but instead of burning that midnight oil, floor after floor is decked out in holiday festiveness. Santa has been good to the several thousand employees in the HQ, and their families, and all have been invited for special lunches and later in the evening, parties. Complete with babysitting services for those who can't find one. So, lights are indeed on, and people are home.

Up in the Penthouse suite, Tony simply hasn't yet been to bed. Sure he's come, gone, come again.. laid on his back, staring at the ceiling, and then off again to do this, that, and the other thing. All in the name of Father Christmas. There's a certain guilt to his madness, though; last year, this time, he didn't do the one thing that 'his' Pepper had asked. The ice skating and walking arm in arm to look at the tree. Now?

Tony is in 'over do it' mode. The Penthouse is decked out in holiday finery, a tree has magically appeared with all its decorations, and that's not to mention the presents. Presents big and small are dotted around the place; one, two small ones by the coffee pot, a larger one against the large picture windows, and Jarvis has been asked that the moment he notices Pepper's basic vitals change showing she's awake, he's to start the 'snowing' inside.

Until then? He's in t-shirt, boxers, and a light robe, sipping on coffee with both hands. With a set of antlers on his head, complete with the little jingle bell hanging from a thin red satin ribbon.

Having been up until 3 am on a call with their reticent Chinese partners, Pepper did the unthinkable — she didn't set an alarm. She's slept in as long as her body will let her, which is about 9 am, but that's some extreme sleep for Pepper Potts. Just as she's stirring, and it's a slow stirring, she faintly feels something against her face. The misting of fake snow made to melt and evaporate as soon as it hits something (so it doesn't leave the inside wet). That's on her cheeks and then disappearing. Pepper blinks awake, still ensconced in the warm of blankets and an empty bed. She then blinks up, seeing the snow from vents and hidden somewhere in the ceiling. "…JARVIS… am I having a.. stroke? Or is it snowing in here?" Pepper asks raspingly, still half asleep, but the snow is certainly a wake up call.

In the front room, JARVIS announces smoothly to Tony, "Miss Potts is awake. I think she finds the snow confusing." And in the bedroom, JARVIS cheerfully offers, "Your vitals are perfectly normal. Mr. Stark has arranged snow as a gift. Merry Christmas, Miss Potts."

She blinks, staring a few more moments, before a slow smile stretches across her lips. "Tony…" She breathes out, half shaking her head. He could be so sweet sometimes. Then she's starting to move, unfolding from the bed with a bit of a shiver as she escapes the sheets. She'll look for something suitably holiday to wear, quickly changing out of her old teeshirt and comfy pants she worked in most of the night last night.

Oh hey look… the coffee doesn't have whiskey in it. There's no tumbler of scotch close at hand! Tony takes another sip now settled on the couch, and at the pronouncement from Jarvis, he grins in response. "Thank you, Jarvis."

Rising from his spot on the couch, Tony's walking his coffee cup back to the kitchenette and pouring Pepper hers, adding a little candycane with a red licorice bow for the holiday. Timing his cross, he's holding out the coffee while calling out near the door, "C'mon Pep. We need someone to shovel the walk." Good to know he can actually surprise her; after all the years she's spent with 'not' him, him? It's a challenge. Had he ever done this before for her? "Hope you've got your boots and mittens handy."

Tony has to wait a FEW more minutes, as Pepper quickly handles morning ablutions and changes into red pajama pants with a matching red and white shirt, then pulls on a robe that just seems to have shown up out of no where, which mostly matches Tony's. She's cozy, warm, and suitably Christmas now, even if it's making her smirk. "…Shovel the walk? Don't you have money to pay people to do that?" She calls out with a laugh as she finishes pulling on slippers.

Finally, she pushes the bedroom door open, still looking adorably mussed as she hasn't had time to brush her hair out yet nor has she really showered, but she doesn't have morning breath and she's in the proper Christmas gear. And she's smiling. Properly wide, surprised, completely amused smiling. Her eyes are even shining a bit. Needless to sah, her Tony had never done ANYTHING like this. It was nothing like that ridiculously large bunny. "…I found the robe… We look ridiculous, you know? But I did not find boots and mittens, and I am NOT going out in the cold like this… you brought us plenty of snow right here." She murmurs, being mock gruff about it, but she can't stop smiling. One hand reaches for the coffee cup, but her other palm reaches out to tug him in close. If he permits, she presses an immediate, full kiss to his mouth.

Antlers. That's Tony's festive outfit; at least that's what he's wearing.

As Pepper emerges looking all sorts of mussed and beautiful, Tony just stares at her for a long moment before he catches himself. He chuckles, looking first down then away before he's back once again, "Yeah, well.. I gave everyone the day off. Remember? Now get out there and earn your keep." He's teasing; he hasn't yet caught all his breath from seeing her emerge. Could be Christmas, could be, well…

The coffee cup is reached for, and when Pepper leans in for the kiss, Tony's hand rises to slide behind her head, just at the top of her neck, fingers through that fine, red hair, the kiss returned. It's broken soon after, and he looks up with only his eyes. "No mistletoe. You're gonna have to try that again, when you find it." Until then?

"C'mon. I might have gone a little nuts, but I figure that it's to a good cause."

The Antlers are adorable, even if she doesn't say it, her smile does. The woman relaxes a bit more into his touch as he actually returns the kiss, the press between them reassuring. Natural. Warm. She squeezes at his ribs for a heartbeat or two before he breaks it to commment on the mistletoe. Her brows arch, smile widening, "…Mistletoe, hmm? I didn't know I needed an excuse. But…I'll keep my eyes open." She teases him throatily.

Then he's prompted to move on, because he went a bit nuts, and she actually laughs. She finally manages to take a sip of her coffee, she'll definitely need to be a awake for this, and then she bows her head appeasingly, motioning with her now free hand. "Fine, fine, I'm awake…Uh…show me what.. a little nuts is…" But already, as she looks towards the kitchen, she's catching sight of the little things — the presents by the coffee pot, the little trails of them around. Her eyes go a bit wider, "…Oh…Tony, you… this… It's… Too much. You did go a little nuts, didn't you? I…don't even know where to start…"

That's not to mention the 'snow' that is falling in the Penthouse, and the holograms of it on the picture windows to make it look as if it's a White Christmas. Why settle for anything less when one is a billionaire many, many, many times over?

The moment Pepper acquiesces is when Tony starts heading into full-blown 'kid' mode. He's going to keep hold of a hand as he walks her out, his lopsided grin giving him a boyish air. But the sheer amount of presents, artfully wrapped, the TREE that hadn't been there the night before that has little packages stuck in the boughs.. it might take her a month or so to actually find all the gifts, much less open them. "Start… wherever. I just stuck 'em where ever I figured you'd go." Could that mean her office, too? In the bathroom vanity? In her personal limo?


"What do you think? Too much? It's too much, isn't it."

The little kid look on his face, the pure happiness in his eyes? It makes her throat tight to watch. It's been a long time since Pepper had anything near happy tears, but she's getting there right now. She desperately tries to get it under control, but is mostly failing. She lets him lead her across the apartment like a kid in a candy store. Her hand doesn't leave his, but she gives his fingertips a tight, ever so strong squeeze, possessive, thankful, loving. That hold tries to communicate so much her lips can't right now.

Then he's asking her if it's too much and she laughs, giving an almost immediate nod, "…Yes…god, yes… way too much. And…it's perfect…" Pepper breathes out. One tear does finally streak free because she can't hold it back any longer, but her smile hasn't wavered once. This isn't homesickness. This isn't wondering what might have been. This is pure, unadulterated happiness. "I…I didn't get you..as much…" She admits half nervously, but then brings his hand up to her lips to give his knuckles a brief kiss before finally letting go so she can stop and pick one of the presents under the tree. Might as well start somewhere.

"That's okay. Not the point, right? I did this because I wanted to and you deserve it. You… you're sort of like an 'all the Peppers of the universe' sort of thing. But, more… you. This one was all you. Do you know how hard it is to think of things to surprise you? I mean, you've been with 'me'," the word is in verbal quotes, "for how long and I have no idea what I did, what I didn't do, what I promised and didn't come through." But? Tony's voice lengthens the statement that follows, "Something tells me he didn't quite do this. I didn't go this crazy." Which really is a shame. She deserves it. Every last bit.

As Pepper brings his hand to her lips, he shakes his head and leans in to give her a brushed kiss against her lips. "Now, go crazy."

In the boxes are little things; jewelry in the form of earrings and necklaces, from 'simple' and 'plain' gold to things that could blind a sheik. Some things are in envelopes; scheduled appointments with high fashion dressmakers, shoes. And there's one card by the coffee pot. In his handwriting, there's an arrow pointing to the carafe with a message, 'You're gonna need this'. Inside the envelope is a certificate. One of the subsidiary pharmaceuticals from Stark Industries has apparently been turned over. Ms Virginia Potts is declared to be the major stockholder and CEO, effective 01 January.

It's been a long time since Pepper felt like a kid — she was one of those children who grew up far before her time, too serious and reserved to actually play around and be a child. But this makes her feel like a kid again. SHe

It's been a long time since Pepper felt like a kid — she was one of those children who grew up far before her time, too serious and reserved to actually play around and be a child. But this makes her feel like a kid again. She laughs warmly, shaking her head as she opens more pieces of the gifts. A pair of simple pearl earrings she actually puts on immediately, and the matching necklace. She clearly loves them and they compliment her fine fears well. But then she opens that certificate and her eyes widen a bit more. She turns to him in surprise.

"…Tony… Oh, Tony, you… you didn't have to…do that. I mean… I'll increase it's stock value by fifty percent before the end of next year, but… You didn't have to. I like just being your secretary…" Mostly. But it's clear that this actually does mean a lot to her. She steps over to him again, closer, tugging him into a longer kiss this time. Thankful, loving. The sort of kiss that is meant for something that will last. "…You want yours, now? It's… well, it's not exactly here. But there's a card on your desk…" She smiles, and the look is all mischief glimmering with excitement.

Tony laughs as Pepper goes from present to present, slowing up to put the pearls on. It's when she goes for the necklace that he steps forward, in all his 'reindeer-ness', ready to help her with the clasp and position it such that it lays just right. "Perfect." If given a chance, he'll press a kiss to the side of her neck from behind before she's off again, finishing her opening for the time being. (There's more stuff.. chocolate, little things here and there..)

The certificate, however, seems to be the central gift in this holiday season, and Tony grins as she makes her predictions for the future of the company. "I can hear its stock rising right now. Too bad we can't tell the Nasdaq until January 2nd." He watches her, watches the glow, the beauty in a healthy, natural face. With freckles. "Yeah, well.. I couldn't part with Stark Industries yet, so I figured why not a pharmaceuticals. You don't have to know physics, and you're a quick study… so it'd be perfect." Tony puts his hands on her waist even as he's tugged forward, and he leans into the kiss. Gentle, fond.. and a promise. Once it's broken again, brows rise, his voice low. "What, there's something else? I dunno if anything could top that, but let's see what you got." He's teasing.

The smile is still there, both mischevious and happy, even as he teases her about topping that, "Mm… we'll see. Though, of course, it's not a competition, so to speak…" Says people who are losing. It's always a BIT of a competition between them, even if the competeing is out of love. She reaches up, daring to tug him back for one more kiss, this one a bit, uh, more lustful than before. Once she's got his head spinning, though, she pulls away and saunters her way into the bedroom, hips swaying as she goes, as if nothing happened.

She makes it to the desk she's claimed as her own and picks up a simple card, handing it in his direction. Inside is a photo of a car. A very nice, very racey, very expensive car. A forumla one car, to be exact, made for the fastest racing on earth. Stark Industries is painted on the side of it. The background is nice weather, small symbols for the Monaco 500 can be seen. Beneath it is a voucher for driving lessons from one of the best racing drivers in Europe. Pepper whistles a bit innocently, "…That…is your car now. Not Stark Industries, not technically, but I figured you'd like the advertising. It's yours. And you can even drive it, if you take the lessons…"

"No… not a competition." Of course Tony is one of the most competitive people in the world. And a gambler. And a risk taker. And oddly enough, more often than not, he comes out on top. That's just who he is, who he's always been. Of course, he hasn't (yet) faced adversity like 'the other Tonys', but that core personality is very much the same.

If you're going to play, you'd better play to win.

That next kiss does get his senses reeling, and when the pair part, he's still looking for those warm lips in order to take them again. Not happening, and he's left following her like an ever-hopeful puppy into their bedroom. Tony arrives into their bedroom, and before he can even hope to follow up on that kiss, the card is handed to him. He looks at it, looks at her, and starts opening it.

And there?

A car of his dreams. A soft whistle exits the man and he shakes his head, "I don't know what to say. This…" and he holds up the card and he looks to her, his expression genuine, "This is amazing. Absolutely.. I mean, of course it has to have my name all over it." Duh. He takes a step forward to give her a hug, ready for another kiss, "Lessons are for sissies," is whispered.

The first time her smile wavers is while he's opening that envelope, because she isn't certain that she actually DOES know this Tony all that well. Maybe he doesn't like those things. Maybe he never dreamt of having a race car. Who knows? Nerves are climbing up the back of her neck as she watches him, not even breathing a few seconds, waiting to see if this was at all a success. Then she exhales in relief, smile widening again as he confirms that it's amazing. She even laughs a bit about his name, "Yes, yes…I figured you'd enjoy that. I hope you like the font." She grins a bit more. She must have started this not even a week after appearing in this world, for it to be all painted and done already!

Then he's coming closer, tugging her into that hug, and she looks up before kissing him, "…I heard that. And I paid a ridiculous amount for those lessons, so you're going to be a sissy and you are going to like it." Pepper states, teasingly sternly. But then she's leaning in for a kiss before he can protest again, her fingertips reaching over to pluck the envelope away so she can toss it back on the desk. Gifts were a secondary thought now. She pulls back just enough she can whisper against his mouth, "I thought…maybe… you could unwrap something else… Too…" The throatiness of her voice leaves NOTHING to guess with that suggestion.

Then Pepper is walking him back towards the bed, her fingertips going for his shorts. No meetings, nothing pressing, no where to be, she pulls him back to bed with her, but certainly not to sleep. They'd managed to restrain themselves this whole time. Pepper is no longer holding back. It will be a very Merry Christmas indeed.

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