Pepper loved the office at night.
Most people would hate being stuck back reviewing contracts while the sun went down and the stars came out, but not Pepper. Night was when the phones stopped ringing, when the knocking at the door went silent. Night was peace and quiet.
It meant she could get her work done, it meant she could think and maybe best of all, she could take off her high heels and there was no one around to give a damn that the acting CEO of Stark Industries looked anything less than perfect.
She was really getting into the swing of her paperwork when a tall figure shifted within the shadows in the corner of the office. Pepper swallowed and took a deep breath through her nose. Taser, top drawer to the left. Panic button two inches to the right of her right hand, under the desk. She was fine.
“All right, who’s there?”
“Just an old acquaintance,” a voice sighed. Green eyes flashed in the low light; feral, animalistic. Inhuman. “Still working, I see. Does this tedium never stop, Miss Potts?”
Loki. What was he doing there? Usually he only showed his face if—
“Pepper, oh my god. You crazed workaholic. It’s nine o’clock,” Tony was already saying before the double doors of her office fully opened and he strode in, business casual in suit pants and a burgundy shirt that did nothing to hide the cool glow of his arc reactor. Not that Tony Stark gave a damn, Pepper thought dryly. These days, he flaunted it.
“But I’m almost done,” Pepper protested as Tony grabbed the file she was working on and flipped it shut, taking it with him over to the crystal decanters brimming with scotch. She never touched them. “Why are you here? Why is he here?”
“How rude,” Loki said from the other side of the room. He was studying the bookshelves, running light fingertips across the leather spines tucked against each other. The look he gave her was full of gathering light.
“It’s an intervention, Pepper,” Tony told her, setting a glass tumbler down in front of her. “Now drink. It’s Friday night and you’re scaring me.”
Rolling her eyes, Pepper took the glass between her hands and lifted it to her lips, taking the smallest of possible sips. Humouring Tony’s whims was one of the things she was good at, but she didn’t need to suffer the taste of scotch while she did it.
“Come on, Pepper,” Tony said, giving her a look. “Get your throat wet. I’m not leaving until I see you wheeze.”
“I don’t think I like the taste,” she replied dubiously, but took a healthy swallow anyway. It burned the whole way down, leaving her gasping as a spreading warmth tingled its way through her chest.
“Oh, Tony, how do you drink that all the time?”
“Years of practice.” He toasted her.
Air shifted at the back of her neck and she glanced over her shoulder to see the edge of a green-lined leather duster. It was all the warning she got before she felt deft fingers slide the clip out of her hair, sending the lot tumbling down around her shoulders.
“Hey! Don’t just—” Her train of thought completely ran off course when long, strong fingers dove into the warmth of her hair, kneading along the tense curve of her neck and shoulders with perfect pressure. “Oh.”
“Forgive my forward gesture,” Loki whispered, bending close to her ear. “I simply seek to give you…relief.”
Pepper struggled to think of a reply, but her mouth was warm with the taste of alcohol and his fingers were moving up into her scalp, dragging heavy lines of sensation through hair that had been tightly bound all day. It felt like heaven, even if it was Loki doing it. Loki, who was forever ambiguously neutral until he decided to attack.
“He’s pretty good with his hands, isn’t he?” Tony’s mouth curved slightly as he watched from the corner of the desk where he sat. The sip he took of his scotch was measured, but his eyes were unwavering. “Have another drink.”
Pepper tried to shake her head, but she didn’t want to interrupt whatever Loki was doing. “No, I don’t think I like it, and I need to get these files done with tonight.”
Shaking his head, Tony slid off the desk and took a quick mouthful of scotch, swivelling her chair around and leaning in close.
“Pepper, you need to relax,” he told her, covering her mouth with his. Pepper went rigid with surprise, gasping against his mouth, which was hot and laced with the burn of the alcohol he’d just swallowed. It wasn’t until the fingers in her hair tugged her head back that she dazedly recalled that Tony and Loki had some kind of complicated…hold over each other.
“Don’t be greedy, Stark,” Loki said dangerously. “Now she tastes of you.”
Tony shrugged. “So fix that.”
It took her a second to process that, but by the time she’d understood it was already happening; fingers guiding her head back, arching her throat. She saw Loki’s inhumanly green eyes gazing down at her with dark interest. Fingertips touched her lips, still slick from Tony’s kiss.
“If I may,” he whispered, “Miss Potts.”
“Maybe you’d better call me Pepper,” she told him, feeling Tony’s warm hand flex against her thigh as Loki lowered his mouth to hers.
Kissing him wasn’t anything like kissing Tony. Tony was unpredictable and warm and adored - Tony was slightly scratchy kisses and laughter in her mouth. Loki was smooth and cool and demanding by turns, decisive and intense as he plunged deep into her mouth, learning every curve and texture he could map with his tongue. He left her gasping for breath with he pulled away, her lips tingling from the assault.
“Scotch,” Loki said thoughtfully. “Of course. Hmm. I’ve not kissed lips so soft for some time now.”
Tony was looking almost as dazed as Pepper. “Well that was…interesting. I didn’t expect that. Do you two need a minute? I could go outside.”
Loki stretched out a hand. Spiralling threads of green light shot out of his fingertips and yanked Tony to his feet. Pepper gasped as Tony was forcibly pulled in toward her, knees planted on either side of her thighs on the oversized office chair. He was effectively in her lap. Which was…interesting. Pepper was okay with that.
“I don’t think I want you going anywhere,” Loki told Tony, flicking one of his buttons clean off his shirt. Pepper watched as long fingers parted the collar of his shirt all the way down to his arc reactor, which was level with her eyes.
“Miss Potts, if you’d please finish what I’ve started, I would much appreciate it.”
Pepper blinked. “Are you suggesting…”
“Oh, he’s doing more than suggesting it,” Tony panted, reaching over her to pull at the buckles of Loki’s armour. “You going to get my pants or is that outside your job description?”
Pepper thought about it. She reached for his belt buckle.
“Acting CEO gets to do whoever she wants.”