Who: Iron Fam! What: Tony is the gift that keeps on giving stuff to Pep, and there's no return slip. When: sometime in July Rating: Green
It was a quiet weekend in the penthouse that was about to be shattered by a Tony Stark sized surprise. He even had a model waiting in the wings for the big reveal, even if the model wasn't even in first grade yet.
Tony darted in to stand next to Pepper, being so hyper-focused, he didn't even notice what she was doing.
"Hi. You got a sec, sexy mama?" he asked her, grinning like he was up to something. Something big. Something massive. Something exciting, of course.
Which meant that Pepper was instantly suspicious. She paused in the process of cutting potatoes to size so she could arch a ginger eyebrow at her husband.
“First, don’t call me that.” She had a knife, Tony. It was being pointed at you. “Second, what did you do now?”
"Third, unless you want Tony junior running around with his big sis, you should put the knife and sharp look down. Meow. Anyway, we have a surprise for you." He carefully coaxed the knife out of her hand and put an arm around her shoulders to turn her towards the entrance to the kitchen. "I present to you, our lovely model, Morgan Stark."
Morgan stepped from around a blind corner wearing a blue helmet that looked very similar to the Iron Man armor. While the rest of the suit was missing and one hand was holding onto the side, Morgan held up her other bare hand and wriggled her fingers while making pew pew blow up noises.
Tony continued like it was a fashion show, "Morgan is wearing the latest in couture armor for CEO's, in a fetching shade of blue which will, no doubt, look great with said CEO's hair."
Morgan gave her mom a thumbs up as Tony kissed Pepper on the cheek.
"It's done. All yours, a super suit for the world's most super woman," he said.
She could have stabbed him for the suggestion of having another kid, but Pepper let him take the knife from her. He was all proud of himself about something. He was always way too cute when he was like this. She even let him guide her away from her pot roast preparations with an indulgent sigh.
The sight she was presented with initially caught her breath in her throat. Her little girl in armor! Gah! No no no!! The mom in her wanted to snatch Morgan up and run away. But then it penetrated Pepper’s brain that the helmet was far too big, and her breath came back.
Now that she wasn’t panicking she could appreciate just how adorable Morgan was. Pepper chuckled as she leaned into the kiss to the cheek. “Did you teach her the shooting stuff?”
Tony was still on the fence if he liked pot roast or not. But if Pepper caught him scarfing down on more cheeseburgers while cracking jokes about his dad bod, then she might be carving on a piece of him and roasting it.
Tony booped his nose against her cheek and muttered under his breath, "Not until after she's old enough to get her pilot's license, and I add in a Training Wheels Protocol that's teenager-proof."
"Boom!" Morgan exclaimed, waving one hand up and around in an arc like she was mapping out the biggest explosion ever. "That's outie five thousand!"
"Ok, let's give that to mommy before daddy inadvertently makes huge messes that everyone glares at me for afterward," he said, quickly extracting himself to dart forward and carefully take the helmet off of their daughter. A daughter who now had a fully extended lower lip.
He turned and held it out to Pepper while Morgan hopped up and down, trying to grab it back. "Just in case the world needs saving again. I mean, if you want to go on missions any ol' time, you've always had my back and rescued me when I needed it most. You know I'd have your back too."
Between the pout and the helmet hair Morgan made an adorable mess. Pepper kissed two fingers then reached down to press them to that pouty mouth. Morgan tried to maintain the pout. Tried and failed, but Pepper pretended not to notice as she looked back to Tony.
She took the helmet in silence. Her eyes picked over the details. There were little touches that gave away just how much Tony had been thinking of her when he designed it and for more than just her safety. A loving smile formed on her lips as she looked to Tony. “The Iron Family?”
"New reality show. I like it. It's brandable." As much as he loved their kid, he had eyes only for Pepper at that moment. Even the color of the Rescue armor was chosen to match that unforgettable dress from that night at a gala. "Only maybe not so much with the show. That'd get weird."
Morgan hung onto her dad's hand as he raised his eyebrows at Pepper, quizzically.
"You like it?" he asked her. "Think you might actually wear this thing I gave to you?"
If it meant making sure Tony wasn’t hurt or panicking Pepper would wear whatever he wanted. She smiled as she touched her palm to Tony’s cheek. “I’ll wear it. And I’ll be better at it than you are.” She chuckled. “But please tell me I have my own A.I. because you know Friday will make me fly into a wall or something.”
"No one's better than I am," Tony said with an eyeroll, since his ego was the most effective armor he owned. Morgan was swinging off his arm more than hanging off of it, but Tony didn't seem to notice. He was smiling at Pepper, "It's FrankenFriday that is sulking, not regular Friday. Anyway since I know you and Friday don't get along, you've got Jo. Short for Jocasta. She's a hundred percent all yours, just like Friday's all up in my stuff."
It was one of the other natural language user interfaces he had, before he picked his girl, Friday. Jo was much more businesslike, and Pepper would probably appreciate how efficient she was, not to mention organized. And he made sure there were approximately 1,328,794 suit settings, and each setting had a tutorial associated with it. Along with auto-pilot functionality.
"I hope you like it. We've got to protect this," Tony pulled his arm up to show off a now grinning Morgan. "And I'll keep this busy while you finish your rump roast."
Or whatever that is. Tony just wanted to say rump.
He leaned in and gave her another kiss on the cheek before he started to lug the little one out of the kitchen, Morgan giggling the entire way.
Her family. Pepper felt a surge of emotion in her chest that wanted to squeeze out of her eyes. If this was as good as her life got she could die happy. Not that she wanted to die. She didn’t want this to end. Pepper just hoped that this wasn’t the prelude to something equally bad or worse.
“Love you both.”
"Love you three thousand!" father and daughter called out in perfect unison, before they slipped out of view.