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Break Time

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When Pepper brings the idea up, Maria says, "It's not that I don't appreciate the offer, but why are you here asking, and not the both of you?"

"Because sometimes I let Tony win fights," Pepper says.

Maria holds back a laugh, glad now for all the practice Clint and Natasha have put her through over the years. "Sweet of you. But not really an answer."

Pepper tilts her head, raising her eyebrow ever so slightly. "Is it just that you want to hear that Tony's a little afraid of you, or is it that you don't actually know? Also, not great with rejection and possible mockery."

Maria's stomach burns for a moment, cold and tight. "If he thinks I'd mock him for this, my answer is definitely no."

"It's not personal. You can't take it that way. Tony....' Pepper taps a fingernail against her thigh. "Tony operates on the principle that unless he's offering you toys, anything else is laughter worthy."

"And evidently, humiliation isn't his kink," Maria says smoothly, but Pepper's telling her something, and she knows it, knows how to listen. Knows that Pepper wouldn't be here if she weren't being extended some level of trust. She's gotten so used to not being trusted. The sensation is almost painful in its reawakening.

Pepper's smile is soft. "With me, you can say no. No damage done."

Maria can, probably should. But it's been longer than she can remember since she did something she wanted to, even if it maybe wasn't wise. "We negotiate, first. The three of us. Written guidelines, clear safewords, and if he can't do that, my answer is no."

"I already made that stipulation," Pepper assures her.

Maria smiles. "Of course you did."


Pepper's running this show, for all intents and purposes, so when the three of them sit down over glasses of water and large cups of coffee, there are printed checklists and sheets of negotiation guidelines. Maria looks them over slowly. Pepper says, somewhat ruefully, "We have our own systems, but we've never...adding someone's a new thing."

Maria takes a long drag of coffee and says, "Let's start easy." She looks at Tony, "What are your safewords?"

Tony is vibrating in his seat. Maria waits, ready for him to get sharp, mean, but Pepper puts a hand against the bare skin of his neck and he takes a breath, then another. "'Car' for everything is fine, 'blue' for slow down." He looks away, mumbles, "'Fly' for stop." Then his eyes are meeting hers again, defiant and challenging.

She doesn't look away, but she nods. "Single syllables, good. Easy enough."

She looks down at the checklist in front of Tony. It's filled out. There are comments everywhere, most of which she suspects are pure snark, but nonetheless, it's properly checked and annotated and marked. She holds out her hand. "May I?"

There are some hard nos she expected: shaming, non-sexual body-fluids, anything to do with water, binding, and blindfolding. She's read his file. And, honestly, spoken with Natasha and Pepper and, well, Tony. She's been executive for a while, sure, but she still comes out of the intelligence world. She knows how to read people.

There are a few hard nos that she doesn't have a problem with, but wouldn't have called, either. No yelling, no scolding, no parental or child-related language, and no face slapping. Areas to be careful are: anything coming near his chest, breathplay, gagging, and electricity.

Enthusiastic likes are: flogging and various other impact play, instructions and praise, orgasm denial, service kink, wax/temperature play, texture play, figging, hair-pulling, garters, stilettos (on his dommes), corsets (on anyone), and biting/marking. There are a number of kinks he has marked in the category of essentially, "sure, why not?"

Maria collects her thoughts. "I don't have a conflict with any of this. Would you prefer I share your safewords, or have ones of my own?"

Tony says, "Your own."

Maria nods. "Stars for all's good, glock for slow, sword for stop."

She challenges him with a calm look to say anything. He does, but it's just, "I'm glad you work for me."

Pepper takes over then, figuring out scheduling. Since she's the only person Maria knows who can get Tony to be anywhere at any given time, she just sits back and lets her boss handle that.


Maria wears a corset. She hasn't in a long time. She hasn't had sex in a long time. She's always thought she should pick up a habit of one-night stands, but somehow the actuality of it never interests her. She wears garters and silk stockings, too, but not stilettos. She likes the feel of carpeting under her feet. Besides, Tony is short enough. She's not interested in feeling like a damn giant.

Pepper, when Maria gets to their living room, has stilettos on anyway, of course.

Otherwise, she's fully dressed in a work dress so perfect for her, Maria's almost regretting that she's probably going to take it off at some point.

Pepper looks her over appreciatively. She holds out a hand from the sofa, where she's seated. "I made Tony go take a bath. He's been in how workshop since noon. He was more grease and smoke than real live boy."

Maria smiles. "Does he have a corset?"

Pepper gives her a Look. "Just one?"

The smile widens into a grin. "I get to choose, then?"

Pepper smiles in response. "He does like being dressed up."


It's the first time for the three of them. Maria hasn't a clue as to whether being asked back is on the table, but if it is, she'd prefer not to take it off, so she starts simple. A custom underbosom corset in Tony's signature red, matching panties.

When Tony comes out of the bathroom, Maria has to swallow a smile. He's so clearly torn between looking his best for them and showing them that he doesn't care what they think of how he looks. His hair is still damp, in disarray, but he's already naked, waiting.

Maria looks over at Pepper, who shakes her head slightly. "Your show. I'll intercede if need be. Show us what you've got."

Maria takes a second to breathe, to tamp down on the curl of want strangling her stomach and lungs. Softly, mostly just to see what will happen, she says, "Present."

Tony looks at Pepper, is what happens. Maria steps between them. "I said, present."

Tony tilts his chin up and says, low and with intent. "You're not the boss of me."

And oh, oh. Maria should have known, she should have, but this is so much better, so infinitely much better. She has always preferred the subs she has to work on, to pull down.

She reaches out more quickly than he can move, takes his ear and twists it so that he has no choice to follow her. His breathing quickens in pain, but she checks and he's already hardening. She pulls him until he's over her lap on the sofa. Maria likes floggers and crops and even a bullwhip, now and then, but there's nothing quite like skin-to-skin contact. She brings one leg over Tony's, trapping his between hers. She tells him, "You're going to count. And you're going to thank me, properly, for each one. The number is fifty. But we will start over until you follow directions. Do you understand?"

Tony grunts. Maria gives him a warm-up smack. "Do. You. Understand?"

It takes nine more kiddie-slaps for him to pant, "Yes."

Maria traces a pattern down his spine. "Yes, what?"

"Yes I understand," he grits out.

"Wrong," she says, and this time the slap is a little harder. Not full-strength, but a warning.

Even so, it takes two more before he gives her, "Yes, mistress."

She frowns a little at that, looking over at Pepper. She mouths, "mistress?"

Pepper smiles and says quietly, "He's old-fashioned in certain ways."

And well, okay, Maria can work with that. She's gotten the spirit of what she wants, in any case, even if she'd been aiming for the less-formal "ma'am." "Good," she says, "That's good, Tony."

He goes from aroused-enough-she-knows-things-are-fine to wow-that-has-to-hurt.

Then she begins. It's a solid six before he'll count. Another five before he'll properly thank her. The first time he gets it completely right, she rubs a little at the reddened skin and leans over to kiss at the nape of his neck. "Perfect. Forty-nine more. Can you do it?"

He shudders against her so hard she almost loosens her grip, but the fingers of one hand cling to her calf and he manages a shaky, "Yes, mistress."

Pepper, who's been sitting where she can watch Tony's face, says, "That's my good boy."

For a moment, Maria's not entirely sure Tony's not going to fly apart. She breaks into the reaction, bringing down her hand. Again, and again, and again. By ten, she has to allow him to catch his breath before each count and thank you. By thirty-four, she has to soothe him through sobs until he can speak. By forty-six, he's slipped down. At fifty, she takes her leg away, and helps Tony to his feet. She's barely begun saying, "Present," before he's sliding to his knees, swollen skin of his ass hitting his heels. He gasps, but it doesn't keep him from clasping his hands behind him, bowing his head.

Maria takes a moment to appreciate, the sight before going to her knees in front of him and tipping his chin up. She kisses softly at the center of his forehead, his eyelids, and once on his lips. "Who would have guessed you'd be so well-behaved? So perfect?"

She looks over at Pepper, a tacit, You didn't say, in her expression. Pepper's smile is sardonic. "Would you have believed me?"

Tony still has his eyes on Maria when she looks back, dark and blown and rapt. She cups the side of his face with her hand. "You're not to come until Pepper decides, yes?"

Tony's, "Yes, mistress," is more whimper than voice, but it's too beautiful for Maria to complain.

She looks back at Pepper, who's flushed and has her lips curled up in pleasure. She asks, "If I put him in a corset, are the breath play and chest issues going to be a problem?"

"He'll safeword if they are," Pepper says. "Won't you, sweetheart?"

Tony nods. "Yes, yes, please, yes, mistress."

Maria gets to her feet. "Stand for me. Legs slightly apart."

Tony does not hesitate, answering up and, even better, keeping his arms behind him and his head up. Maria grabs the lingerie she picked earlier and coaxes him to step into the panties. He does so without hesitation, his breath catching as the silk touches his erection. She rewards the behavior with another kiss, this one a bit deeper. He brushed his teeth for them. Something in her chest twists at the unexpected sweetness. She'd thought once he was down she'd regret not being able to call him names, make him crawl a little bit. But now that they're both here, it's hard to remember why, hard to remember exactly who they are on the outside, how far away from the normal this is.

She whispers, "Lift your arms."

As he's answering, she slips the corset around him and pulls the top laces tightly enough to begin lacing him in

She goes slowly. She remembers when she'd first begun training in this herself, both in wearing and in dressing. The margins for tipping over into a trigger are very thin, particularly in this instance.

She touches him more than is strictly necessary, brushing her fingers over the spine between each pull, keeping contact with his shoulder now and then.

About a third of the way through, she asks, "Status?"

"C-car, car, mistress."

She kisses the juncture between his neck and his shoulder, mumbling praise into the skin as she pulls again, and again. She's just about to check in a second time when a shaky, "Blue, blue," issues from Tony, his body tensing even as he forms the words.

She strokes his hair. "That was excellent, Tony. I'm so proud, we're both so proud."

Maria can see Pepper nodding. She asks, "Should we stop this?"

Tony takes a breath, then another. "No. No, just...not any tighter, please."

"This is quite tight right now," Maria assures him. 'We can stay at this level of tension, or I can loosen it a bit. Would you like me to loosen it?"

"No," Tony says softly. "No. Like this."

"Someone is very brave," Maria tells him, fond, but also serious. Even if she hadn't seen his file, the scarring on his chest, despite no longer supporting serious tech, is extensive, terrifying just to view. She cannot imagine what it feels like to carry those marks. "So brave."

She asks if Pepper will tie it off, once the corset is properly laced. Mostly, she wants to watch Pepper walk in those heels again. She also kind of wants to kiss her, to watch Tony watch.

Pepper ties a neat little bow, and when Maria touches her jaw, tilts her own face up just a touch, Pepper takes her up on the offer. It's a slow kiss, somewhat exploratory. Half-way through, Maria opens her eyes, catching Tony's gaze. He smiles, and if it's a bit like his regular smirk, it's also happier, a little easier.

Maria pulls up to kiss at Pepper's earlobe. "Mind if I get you a little more naked?"

Pepper laughs. "A little? Or a lot?"

"I suppose that depends," Maria says.

"Oh," Pepper prompts. "On what?"

"How dressed you like being while he sucks you off."

Pepper's smile is so gorgeous, it's all Maria can do not to kiss her again. She says, "The first time, or the time after that?"

Maria laughs and says, "Let's go linearly, and start with the first."

"In that case," Pepper says, stepping out of the shoes, "just a little bit naked."

She shimmies the dress up just slightly, just enough to slide out of her panties. Tony's breath catches, but he stays obediently silent. Maria kisses the ridge of his shoulder in reward.

Pepper walks toward the bedroom with a quick, questioning look back at Maria, who's more than fine with that. They hadn't discussed safe spaces. Maria will go anywhere they allow.

She turns to Tony, thinking about the way he'd said "blue" the way he'd admitted he was having trouble. She says, "Hands and knees," gently, carefully. It's an order, but he's got space if he needs to defy it. He evidently doesn't, though, because he goes down easily. She tells him, "You're gorgeous like this."

She stays by him when she says, "Come along," at his side the whole of the way to the bedroom, where Pepper is leaning back against the bed, legs slightly spread, still dressed.
Maria walks the rest of the way to the bed and gets on it, straddling Pepper from behind. She works the skirt up just an inch or so, and looks down at Tony. "Make her come."

Tony's smile is all eagerness, his "Yes, mistress," rushed and happy.

Maria adds, "Mouth only."

Tony doesn't respond, as he's already beneath the hem of the dress, and from the sharp breath Pepper takes, the way she draws taut for a moment, his mouth is already working on the issue. His hands are still behind his back. Maria tells Pepper, "You're so hot like this, between us, him beneath you. So long and pale and somehow still powerful." Then, "I envy him."

Pepper's evidently been ready for a while, because that's all it takes for her to tighten up, her hands scrabbling at her skirt in order to get to Tony's hair, pull him in deeper with it.
When she lets go, collapsing back into Maria, Tony blinks up, his face wet, eyes dazed. Maria unzips the back of the dress and pulls it off Pepper, unclasping the bra and throwing that aside as well. She pulls Pepper up and back until she's resting against the pillows, then gestures Tony onto the bed.

She begins to unclip her garters, but Tony asks, "May I? Please, mistress?"

She reaches out and tugs a little at his hair, not pulling, really. "Good behavior deserves rewards, and you've been fantastic, so yes, you may undress me."

He takes his time. He rolls the silk stockings down slowly, and sets the neat little ball of them aside. He unhooks the belt, and slides down her panties, daring to kiss the swell of her hip bone. He looks up at her then, face uncertain, and she caresses his cheek. He kisses along the line of her bra before undoing it, folding it tidily and putting it with the rest.
Languidly, she reaches over to the nightstand and grabs a condom. She opens it and rolls it down Tony's cock. Then she flips him onto his back next to Pepper, sits astride and mounts him in one smooth motion. Tony arches up like he's being electrocuted, and Maria can't help laughing, but it's not mean. Pepper leans over and kisses him, filthy and sweet. She says, "Don't come."

Tony makes a sound that reminds Maria of a wounded animal, but he gives a shaky, "Yes, mistress."

Maria rides him for a bit, playing with herself until Pepper reaches down and bats her hand away, taking over. Much like with Pepper, it does not take long to take the edge off, and when she can, she pushes herself off Tony, lying next to him in the aftershocks, her hand tracing a lazy pattern on his leg. He's shaking, every nerve seemingly overwhelmed.

"What does good behavior get?" Maria asks.

He takes a deep breath. "Rewards, mistress?"

"So the best behavior must garner the best rewards, yes?"

He blinks. She's slightly concerned he's not tracking completely. Pepper doesn't seem worried, though, so Maria says, "Hands and knees, in between Pepper's legs."

It takes him longer than last time, but he does it. Maria runs a hand over the top half of his spine. He sobs, just once, and she says, "Sh, sh, you're doing well, you're doing so well."

She waits for him to settle and says, "Just take care of Pepper, that's all you have to do," and presses his head lower, not with any great force. He's more than easy enough to guide.

When he's on task, Maria licks a line from his tailbone to his ass, right over the pucker, and laughs a little when he bucks, then forces himself still. She makes a circle with her tongue, sucking a bit at the rim. Pepper is watching without blinking, her hands clutching at Tony's shoulders.

Maria pulls up and reaches for the dresser, where Pepper ever-so-thoughtfully also left a harness with three different-sized dildos to choose between, and a bottle of lube. Maria can't help herself: she takes the largest of the three. "Stretching," had been on Tony's list of things that were fine and it was easily one of her top kinks
She pulls the panties down just enough, over his thighs, and works a lubed up finger into him and waits until he's fucking himself back onto the finger to add a second one. At which point, she twists a little, patiently seeking his prostate. Tony cries out against Pepper, who moans, her eyes rolling back.

Maria spends a while on the third finger, but Pepper is getting close and Maria wants to be inside Tony while she comes. She's careful, all the same. The dildo is about eight inches long, and probably has close to a three-inch diameter. She strokes at Tony's hip as she sinks in, millimeter at a time. When she bottoms out, Pepper breathes, "Fuck," and orgasms.

Maria withdraws and pulls at Tony's ankles until he's lying flat, at which point she sinks back into him. She looks at Pepper, who's still a bit hazy around the edges, but present enough to smile and say, "Come for me, baby."

Maria grinds down, pressing Tony into the spread, her hands grasping his hips in a way that will leave bruises. She leans over and bites into the flesh of his left tricep and no sooner are her teeth in his skin than he is coming, the waves of climax rolling over him so intensely that Maria would swear she could feel it in her body.

She keeps her rhythm, fucking Tony, the harness hitting her exactly right, over and over. He finishes before she does and lies there, even though it has to be beyond intense, probably a bit too much, he just takes it until Maria hits the edge, too, and falls onto him, letting it wash over her.

When she regains the ability to move, she pulls out slowly, whispering praise, petting at his shoulder blades. She takes a moment to breathe, to watch the almost-peaceful lines of his whole body. Pepper says, "I can take over, if you'd like."

Maria wonders if she should give it over. Tony is, after all, Pepper's. But this part, she likes this part, and they'd invited her. She shakes her head. "No, I've got you."

She begins to work Tony free of the corset, careful not to tighten as she's loosening. Once she can fit it over his head she maneuvers him into a sitting position, pulls it off, and lays him back down.

She tells Pepper, "Stay with him," and laughs in response to Pepper's expression, which says clearly where the hell do you think I'm going?

Maria roots around in the first aid cabinet she'd been shown as a precaution and locates the epsom salt. She draws a bath and sets the jets on low. She grabs some of the fluffiest towels she has ever seen from the linen closet and sets them out by the bath. Then she goes to collect Pepper and Tony, who, unsurprisingly, are both sleeping.

She wakes Pepper first, and lets Pepper wake Tony before herding them into the bath, Tony in between Pepper and herself. She sits in the water, taking in the feel of it lapping over her for a few minutes, one of the jets hitting just right at the base of her neck. Then she reaches up for a face towel, and begins the act of rubbing Tony down. She soaks his hair and wets his face. She's wiping at his jaw when he seems to focus on her, gain a little bit of awareness.

He says, "You don't have to."

It hurts a little, the way it will always hurt, that her success in creating a persona who will kick the ass of anyone stupid enough to get in her way means that the people who really should know better don't. "I know."

She cleans Tony head to toe, including in between fingers and toes, and then moves onto Pepper, floating over to her other side. Pepper rises up to kiss her, biting softly at Maria's lower lip. When the water begins to cool, it is Pepper who pulls them all out and wraps them in towels. Maria shivers a bit and finds herself being dragged into Tony's arms. She gets lost in the sensation of being held and misses Pepper disappearing, but when Tony moves her into the bedroom, the bed has been remade, new cover and all.

She looks at Pepper, who's already climbing in. Pepper says, "Unless you don't want to stay."

She glances at Tony, who is not looking at her. She wonders... She puts her hand to his chin and he allows her to pull his gaze to hers. She asks, "Can I still tell you you did well?"

Tony nods, and she can see it, see how he's not quite all the way up yet.

She says, "You choose your reward. I can stay or go."

"Stay," he says, no hesitation, not a beat missing.

She pushes him toward the bed, following right behind.