Tony Stark wasn't used to getting "no" for an answer. Or, rather, she wasn't used to getting "no" as a final answer, so she was also very used to asking for a new one.
"But I'm not gay," the woman said, flicking her hair over her shoulder. Light red, and considering the freckles and peach skin, there was a chance it wasn't from a bottle.
"Neither am I."
The woman raised an eyebrow. "You're propositioning a woman, and you're not gay."
"I believe the commonly accepted term is 'bisexual'."
"I'm not bisexual, either."
Tony put up her ten-million dollar smile – probably more, considering. "Hey, labels are out. Doing what you want..."
"I'm doing exactly what I want." The woman was smiling too, but her voice was completely matter-of-fact. "In fact, if I got the impression that you were being anything but over-confident, I'd want to go over and talk to the nice man standing by the door."
This was promising. "You like confidence?"
"I find it refreshing in a woman."
"So that's why you're still talking to me?"
"That, and..." As the woman trailed off, a very attractive flush warmed her cheeks.
"And I know you're Tony Stark, and I'd be lying if I didn't say I wasn't curious."
Tony considered for a moment, which was rare for her, but this woman seemed a little less than common herself, so it didn't seem unwarranted. While Tony tended to go for the brainier types – it was so good to see them let go – honesty was her biggest turn-on. Honesty, and a complete disregard for her status and her money. This woman seemed to have both.
But sex seemed to be off the table, and so Tony proposed the only other relationship that she knew.
"I don't suppose you're job hunting?"
"Would you like to dance?"
Pepper could feel her cheeks heating up, and she hated herself for it. But it wasn't the first time that she'd been visibly embarrassed in front of her boss, and it wouldn't be the last.
"S-sure," she said, and took Tony's extended hand.
The dance floor had plenty of space for the two of them, but Pepper wasn't looking at the others around them. Heck, even though her eyes were physically moving in the direction of the crowd, her attention was firmly on Tony's soft palm on her exposed back. And the sweet smell of the men's aftershave that Tony insisted on wearing.
"Why, Miss Potts," Tony whispered, leaning toward her ear. "Are you shivering?"
"The dress isn't very warm."
"I'll make sure to get you a turtleneck for your next birthday."
Pepper sighed. "You remember when we first met?"
"And I said I wasn't gay."
"I did say I remembered."
"What if..." Pepper cleared her throat. "What if I said that I was willing to bend my rule?"
Tony's smile faded. "I don't think less of you because you don't sleep with me."
This was a more serious turn than Pepper had expected. But then, Tony hadn't been the same after her return.
"I'm not saying it because of the job, or because of what you think of me." Pepper looked straight into her eyes. She'd always liked Tony's shade of brown. "I'm saying it because...I want to."
The smile returned. "As long as you promise that things won't get weird."
Pepper laughed in spite of herself.