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Sextremis

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Avengers Tower was presumptuously named, as only one Avenger lived there currently and his other place had been blown up by terrorists. Inside, in one of the suite of rooms lined up in a row like a millionaire’s idea of a college dorm (which they were), Tony’s Sure-Fire Hit Make-Out Mix stopped in the middle of a particularly good Boyz II Men ballad.

 

“Pepper,” Tony began, wrapping himself in a silken kimono, “the spirit is willing, but the flesh just had open-heart surgery. Dummy, where’s my guava? I put you on mixed drink duty and—“

 

Dummy buzzed around the corner, reversing, re-angling, trying to shift around… nothing in particular. The contours of the new headquarters were disconcerting to it.

 

“I trust you with a little responsibility, a little responsibility…”

 

Pepper waited in the doorway to the bedroom. The lingerie Tony had been trying to get her to wear forever. The riding crop was her idea. “Dummy, belay that order.”

 

Dummy stopped, reversing and tanking forward a few inches in either direction.

 

“He doesn’t understand ‘belay’, I didn’t program him to play Scrabble…”

 

“Guava later,” Pepper told him, slinking from the doorway. “Now, I want round fourteen.”

 

“There are only twelve rounds,” Tony told her. “We’re friends with Floyd Mayweather, you should know this. Dummy, guava me! You’re killing me here!”

 

Continuing her slinking—Tony thought it was the most consecutive slink he’d seen from her since she tried his new martini—Pepper leaned against the bar and stuck out a leg, very bare, very long. “Maybe I’ll start without you. Do you have an Iron Man glove I could borrow?”

 

Tony rapped his knuckles on the bar, like an air traffic controller waving glowing sticks for Dummy. “Pepper, I know you’d think sex with me is like alcohol, in that you can have all you want and there’s no downside and you just quit once there’s something else to do, but this is like me with a full beard. Too much of a good thing. I’m sorry. Who knew this would be a problem for our relationship? But my underarms are sweating—one of my eyes is blurry, but not the other one, that’s somehow worse—I heard someone describe being poor once and this feels like that sounded.”

 

“You can’t just finger me?”

 

“I’ve been fingering you. I think I have carpal tunnel syndrome. Pepper, Virginia, Virginia Pepper Potts—“

 

“You forgot my middle name?”

 

“I think maybe this is a side effect of the Extremis thing; wanting hot sex.” Tony canted his head to the side. “Bam, even when I’m not trying, badass one-liner. Where are my sunglasses?” Dummy offered them up, having finally reached the bar. “Oh, look who decides to show up. Still no guava. If I told you I needed the guava on my face, would that help?”

 

“Tony, you’re honestly not telling me that your explanation for a woman with a high sex drive is that she was temporarily turned into a dragon-person?”

 

“No, no, every woman I’ve met has had a very high sex drive—“

 

“Every woman you’ve noticed—“

 

“Is that what I said? What’d I say? I don’t know, could be a thing, your body’s way of regulating excess energy, better than blowing up—well, depends on who you do it with, I guess. Dummy! I don’t even want the guava now, I just want to see if you can get it across ten feet of flat terrain—“

 

Pepper walked up to Dummy, plucked the glass of guava from its claw, and brought it over to Tony.

 

“You coddle him too much. He’s gonna grow up to be a sissy.”

 

“Drink your guava.”

 

“Hey, remember when I stopped this town from getting nuked?” Tony drank. “Yeah, anyway, we’ve been having sex every night for the past two weeks. Some afternoon delight. We’ve gone past the fun-kinky stuff into the weird-kinky stuff; last night you watched porn with me. I’m not judging, but if I were judging—“

 

“Women enjoy sex! Alert the media!”

 

“It’s not a bad thing, I’m not complaining, but seriously, I’m not Sting. Three times a night is my limit. So maybe instead of treating me like a piece of meat—“

 

“Complaining. That was a complaint.”

 

“It was observational humor. God, I think I’m having hot flashes. Okay, I’m thinking there are other ways to deal with your excess DTF. Some Playgirls, a Sybian, some Supernatural fanfics, I won’t judge.”

 

“Tony, that’s not what I’m—into. I just want to get fucked. That’s your job! I don’t ask for much from you—“ Tony let her have that one, “Just kill spiders, save me from the occasional nutjob, and give me a deep dicking now and then.”

 

“God, I wish I could get that in writing. But now and then isn’t supposed to be ‘ten minutes ago’ and ‘ten minutes from now’. And I don’t even kill spiders. I programmed Dummy to vacuum them up.” Tony stopped to stare at Dummy. The robot was trying to deliver his empty glass to the dishwasher, while backing up and advancing over the same throw rug repeatedly. “That’s it. Why didn’t I think of this before? I’m the world’s biggest idiot.”

 

“Wish I could get that in writing,” Pepper sniffed.

 

“Pepper,” he interrupted, “have you ever thought JARVIS was sexy?”