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First Impressions by intangible_girl, tony/pepper, ~1k
    “But you let your friends call you Virginia,” he protested.

“No, I don’t,” she said, taking a calming breath. “They call me Pepper.”

“Pepper,” he repeated, and he could see why.

    Oh, what a great fic about the first meeting between Tony and Pepper! It's so easy to imagine the MCU characters meeting exactly like this, from Pepper's initial hesitance but still competent to Tony Stark being Tony Stark and suddenly things are literally exploding around them and Pepper is... well, Pepper is the perfect person ever. The author does a lovely job with Tony's narrative voice, making it easy to hear him as well, and I love the attraction there that's not really going to go anywhere for ages, it makes it feel perfectly fitted to the first Iron Man movie, as a background for them.

You Only Live Twice by icarus_chained, tony/pepper, ~1k
    Pepper and Tony go to a reception at SHIELD's behest, and have some fun spy-spotting and making a little bet.
    I forget what I was even looking for today (probably Tony/Loki fic or some such), but I stumbled over this short Tony/Pepper fic and, oh, it was so sweet and flirtatious and lovely that I just totally fucking cooed over it. I've been meaning to find more Tony/Pepper fic, because I became really fond of them after The Avengers, but I could never quite figure out which authors were writing what I wanted and then I stumbled over this darling piece. It's short and fairly fluffy, but there's flirting between them, each holding their own with the other, while they're in a room full of spies that they're gossping about. Adorable and I totally wanted them to bang, like, a lot by the ending and so I consider it totally successful.

yes, and back again. by irnan, tony/pepper + implied bruce/betty, 1.5k
    Seven ways Tony's personal jet gets demoted to 'transatlantic taxicab'. (Nobody believes him when he claims to mind.)
    I definitely had to read a fic that had this summary, because it sounded delightful and it was actually less cranky!Tony than I was expecting and more about the Avengers slowly starting to become a family. The best part was probably the early scenes, when Natasha and Clint finally deigned to call him for a pick-up and Tony finds their banter and situations hilarious and, hey, can he come along next time?, which is so perfectly Tony that I fell in love right there. But the whole piece is just really surprisingly sweet (in an Avengers sort of way) and has a really great Tony voice. This is exactly what I needed to help cheer me up after all the soul-wrenching fic I've been reading lately.

Tony's Girls by InitialA, tony/pepper + other marvel characters, fluff, 14.6k
    A collection of ficlets, short-shorts, vignettes, drabbles, and other strings of words about Tony and Pepper's family.
    When I finally came back to fic reading, I went for something cute and sweet and fluffy. And this is definitely that--the first set-up chapter is actually rather serious, it's about Pepper getting pregnant and both she and Tony worry about what this means for their future, what kind of parents they'll be, but the subsequent chapters are much shorter and all about the adorable cuteness. And, oh, ugh, I love love love the thought of Tony having a terrifyingly smart kid that makes him just fucking beam or laugh his ass off at the sudden chaos of what they get up to, being a smart little fucker. It's short and fluffy, but that's totally what I wanted.

Or Even Rearrange You by lettered, tony/pepper, NSFW, 11.1k
    Tony and Pepper negotiate the beginnings of a romantic relationship. With sex.
    I have a strongly developing thing for Tony/Pepper fic, but finding the stuff that actually works for me can be hard (mostly because I don't devote the proper amount of time to it, I suspect), but every once in awhile, I come across something like this fic that works beautifully for me. Tony doesn't want to get into a relationship with Pepper, despite that he very badly wants to sleep with her, because he needs her to be in his life too much to risk ruining it and he always sabotages everything good in his life and he can't lose her. But she pushes, because they don't know until they try, she can be a lot more things than he expects, and she pushes him to be better and, oh, it's so good for me. Not to mention the porn is great because it's satsifying porn, but it's also great characterization for both of them, so much insight into both of them--especially because Tony will not shut up during sex. It's not super fluffy and I love it for the edges it has without being dysfunctional. It's not perfect, it's a little fucked up, but it's still good. And that was so, so good for me.

Ozymandias by Kay (sincere), tony/pepper, 2.1k
    Near-death experiences, as Tony has learned well, have a way of getting you thinking about your life and your accomplishments. He doesn't want everything he has to end when he does. He wants... to leave someone behind.
    Okay, I was supposed to be done for tonight, I was going to go to bed and get some sleep, maybe just a bit of reading before bed... and then I remembered, oh, right, I liked this author's other work, so I'll just read one quick Tony/Pepper fic. And then it was FEELINGS ATTACK BOMB all the way through this, fuck. It's gorgeous for being a missing scene, between the end of the final battle and the aftermath, where Tony's still coming down off everything that happened and decides to try calling Pepper again. And it's gorgeous for the way there's so much going on there, such an intense well of feelings and the headspace Tony is in at the moment, that edge of hysteria and adrenaline high, and how Pepper is so tightly wound about this but also so sensible because she keeps her shit together, both of them absolutely pitch perfect here. It's messy between them, but it's also so very good. It's Tony when his head isn't really screwed on straight, but that helps him take stock a bit more, while Pepper keeps him grounded. It's beautifully written and has excellent voices for both of them and some great imagery. And a whole shitload of feelings.

Action Items for the Morning After by lettered, tony/pepper, NSFW, 6.5k
    Pepper processes the aftermath of sleeping with Tony Stark. This is gonna take some time. And a fully annotated agenda, complete with multiple choice questions.
    NOTE: This is a sequel to Or Even Rearrange You, which you should read first.
    There's something about this fic that's difficult to explain, because it's basically just a "morning after" fic and yet... the author does this incredible job of capturing the characters and their voices and body language and way they interact, how they would go from one dynamic to the next, now that they've slept together. And it's not perfect, it could never be perfect with someone like Tony Stark, and I love that Pepper is so busy with her job and she doesn't quite know how to handle this or what to say, all these lists in her head, all these things she doesn't say, and the author captures that beautifully. The banter is absolutely pitch perfect as well, it was no trouble whatsoever to see this entire fic in my head--yes, sure, I loved it for the emotional content, too, as well as the porn, but there's something to be said for an author that just fucking nails a pairing's speech patterns in their banter.

Humility by penlex, tony/pepper, NSFW, some toys/denied orgasm kink, 5.4k
    Tony is trying very hard to be the perfect boyfriend. Maybe too hard. But that's okay because Pepper has a simple solution to get Tony to relax and nurture his other relationships too.
    I'll admit upfront that this isn't quite my Tony, I tend to see him leaning towards self-destruction and self-fulfilling doomed predictions, rather than a Tony who's desperate to do whatever he has to do to keep Pepper, but the author writes well enough that I was sold on it while I was reading this fic. This Pepper is solid and grounded and has such a quiet strength of character that she was perfect and I could easily see why Tony would be desperate to keep someone like her. But it's also that... it's not precisely the kink factor (though, I'm definitely fine with kink with these two, because they're both such... intense and unwavering characters, I guess is the only way I can think to put it) but that these two can both keep up with each other, that it's not just that Pepper is smart or pretty, it's that she is there in that relationship, this is as much about her as it is about Tony, in a sense. And that's what I love with these two, that certain dynamic that I can't really put into words very well, but I definitely got out of this fic. But, yeah, also that Pepper is the best and Tony/Pepper sex is super hot especially when he actually really loves to give her oral sex and she takes charge in bed. Yes.

The Only Tune I Like by leashy_bebes, tony/pepper, NSFW, pegging, 3.2k
    All the best super-geniuses make their own sex toys. Most of them aren't lucky enough to have a girlfriend like Pepper, though.
    I was looking at Tony/Pepper photosets the other day, one of which was where Pepper held her own against Tony and I thought about how, yeah, it's not just that she has to keep up with him, but that he has to keep up with her just as often! And that made me think, wow, did I ever want pegging fic. It's a long and boring train of thought that led me to wanting more pegging fic lately, but the it sort of collided with Tony/Pepper one day and, well, here I am. So, I went out and found this amazing fic where the characterization and writing are both gorgeous, the way there's something really sweet and gentle about them together even amongst the sharp dialogue and the chaos that's in their daily lives. It doesn't soften them up more than they already are, instead it shows where their intimacy would be better on display, and shows why they work, how they both challenge each other and how they both just really love each other.

That's in addition to the sex being really hot, because it's a great blend of mutual enthusiasm, just a little bit of teasing without being cruel, and how much they're both wildly attracted to each other and are not unaffected by being together. There's something so effortless about the way they work together and fit together here and I was just looking for good porn, I didn't expect to find that and beautiful characterization. But, bless this fandom, it did not disappoint me.

Enthalpy of Hydration by bemusedlybespectacled (ardentintoxication), tony/pepper, iron man 3 spoilers, ~1k
    Tony joins Pepper in the shower.
    Surprisingly, this isn't actually very porny! It's not even about sex at all, but instead all about the emotional porn and, oh, it's really good emotional porn, considering it came on the heels of Tony finally cracking open just a little bit and needing that connection to Pepper. The sense of physical intimacy and comfort drawn from that is lovely, even if this is far shorter and more pg-rated than I'd have liked. ;)

White Heat Red Hot by 51stCenturyFox, tony/pepper, iron man 3 spoilers, 1k
    Just a brief missing scene between Pepper and Tony prior to the end of Iron Man 3.
    I've seen these theories floating around tumblr, that Tony gave himself the Extremis virus so that he could heal from having the shrapnel and arc reactor removed from his chest, but this fic lays it out in such a lovely way, where you can see the dots being connected and it feels right that Tony would do this. With a missing scene to fill in the details of theories, like this one is, it often runs the risk of feeling like it's only covering old ground, but this one just feels so correct and adds in little touches of emotion and character insight that it completely and totally worked for me.

baby i'm not alright when you go (i'm not fine) by ohmyloki, tony/pepper, nsfw, iron man 3 spoilers, 1.6k
    He feels safe when he buries his head in her chest, goosebumps racing down his spine when she runs her fingers through his hair. Iron Man feels safe, he muses, being held by this wisp of a woman.
    I have been disappointed in fandom not giving me at least a dozen shower scene fics, but that's much more okay now because I have this one. And, oh, it's a beautiful mix of vulnerability and intimacy and an important moment of connection and shower sex. The way Tony feels so frayed at the edges here, how Pepper grounds him, is probably the only thing that keeps him together right then, how they make each other better, even when the road isn't smooth, all of that is so very lovely. Plus shower sex! That was super pretty, ahhhh. *__*

An Uncanny Likeness + Super Deluxe by outtabreath, tony/pepper + rhodey + coulson, 3.6k
    Tony introduces Pepper to her action figure.
    These were absolutely adorable fics, where Pepper gets her own action figure, which she's not pleased about, but Tony thinks is awesome. The author does a great job of the fun, flirty banter between the two of them, with Tony's constant barrage of flirtation that should be obnoxious and annoying (and maybe it is a bit) but it's a charming kind of obnoxious, which is exactly what had my face absolutely hurting from all the smiling I did while reading these. Super cute and funny and great for when you're in the mood for something light-hearted!

Five Times Pepper Potts Took Care of Tony Stark (and One Time Tony Stark Took Care of Her) by zauberer_sirin, tony/pepper, 5k
    In Pepper's defense she really did try to keep things professional.
    I love five times fic, especially with so many little details and touches like this one has. There's a solidity to Pepper's character and her interaction with Tony, she's so grounded and mature here, which contrasts nicely with Tony's more flighty, flirty personality. The theme of her taking care of him isn't really about a babysitter or infantalizing Tony, they both feel like equals here, they both feel like they have depth and weight of character here, even if I have a hell of a time putting my finger on just where specifically that's put into the writing. It's just so... them, somehow.

if there was one thing I could save from the fire by zauberer_sirin, tony/pepper, 1.8k
    Tony always needs to come back to Pepper to know he is alive and safe.
    By this point in recommending Zau's fics, I'm probably repeating myself a bit, which always frustrates me because when an author does something well, it doesn't mean it's any less interesting to read each time, just that it feels repetitive to me to say that this fic is about the little moments in Tony and Pepper's relationship again, where they're fun and flirty sometimes, where they're solid and weighty at other times, or even dramatic when they need to be. It's a story that's several scenes of filling in the spaces between what we see in the movies, the aftermath and the feeling of life going on, which is what I love about them.

The Wager by outtabreath [ also on AO3 ], tony/pepper, 16k
    Tony makes a bet with Pepper.
    I don't usually go for fics that have bets in them, because so rarely do they feel like actual wagers that real people would make with each other, but this one was so cute and adorable (and is about keeping their hands off each other for a week) that I couldn't resist! It's pure fun and flirtation and a straight shot of romantic comedy-like adorability. I suspect this is one for those who are already fans of the pairing, that the fluff might not work for everyone, but I found that the fic read quite smoothly for me, that I whipped through all 16k quickly, and there were moments that definitely put a grin on my face. If you're looking for fluff with these two, this is a fun one to pick up and be charmed by.

call every girl we ever met maria by irnan, tony/pepper + avengers, background mentions of other pairings, babyfic, 2.7k
    "You're telling me," Rhodey said, gleeful, "you're telling me that you've been shot, stabbed, sewn up, been riddled with shrapnel, had a magnet implanted in your chest, spent two years poisoning yourself with palladium, spent twenty years as a functioning alcoholic and had a vasectomy and you still managed to knock Pepper up?"
    This was short but completely adorable and warm-hearted, with cuteness just everywhere. Tony and Pepper are expecting, which is cute enough, especially as Tony's mind goes into overdrive, but it's more than that--it's about how a baby affects their lives in the future, the way a baby changes things, for the better here. There's moments of bittersweetness and it's not easy, of course, but the whole point of this fic is to be heart warming and sweet, so it never eases up on the adorable and everything being okay and full of love. When I read babyfic, that's pretty much exactly what I'm going for!

Drive by roboticonograph, tony/pepper, nsfw, 27k
    Tony and Pepper attempt a "friends with benefits" arrangement.
    I think this is the fic that I've been waiting for in this fandom. Not that I haven't read some absolutely amazing fics previous to this and not that I won't read several dozen more, but there's always that one fic that defines a pairing for you, and I believe that this is going to be the one for me. It's post-Iron Man 2, where Tony and Pepper try to navigate a friends with benefits relationship that's clearly never going to work out the way they plan, but they manage to figure out something better along the way. And, boy, is there a whole lot of sex along the way. It's not always super graphic (I would rate this as Mature rather than Explicit) but that doesn't mean it's any less beautifully written or scorchingly hot. I would have loved it just for all the really gorgeous sex they have, but it's more than that. It's banter and feelings and humor and characters resonating with me and being relatable and undercurrents that they don't discuss but you can feel them and moments that made me shriek with laughter and then sex up against the wall.

The beauty of this fic is that it absolutely, completely nails both characters, this is Tony and Pepper, this is their relationship and their feelings and their snarking at each other. This is how they would navigate this relationship and it's wonderful. Of course there are ups and downs, but you never doubt that they'll figure their shit out and realize that they love each other and that they can make a relationship work. It's fantastic for Tony being ridiculously in love with Pepper and having to do some growing up along the way. It's fantastic for Pepper being ridiculously in love with Tony, but having to get over her fears along the way. This is about both of these people in this relationship, how they both have their own motivations and issues, how they both bring balance to this pairing. This fic takes what we were given in the Iron Man movies and builds it the rest of the way, doing a stunning job.

I definitely stayed up far too late reading this fic and had to force myself not to ration it at times, because I didn't want it to end, and it's so smoothly written that I hardly noticed the fic just flying by me. The author also has a great Tony voice, there's Tony going down on Pepper, there's a real sense of passage of time to give them the room to naturally progress along this path without it being dragged out (ie, what good pacing!), there's pretty much everything I could ask for from a Tony/Pepper fic.

Happy (Accidental) Unions by icarus_chained, tony/pepper + avengers, ~1k
    The night before Pepper and Tony's wedding, he stops by to have a word with her. Tomorrow, after all, he'll be marrying his best friend.
    This is just entirely pure sweetness and fluff, the cuteness of pre-wedding jitters, but still so sure that they both want to spend their lives with this person. It's short and all about weddings and happily ever afters and the entire team being a happy family, which sometimes I just really need when I'm in the middle of an angstfest.

Aegis by icarus_chained, tony/pepper + rhodey + bruce + howard + yinsen, 2k
    Five people Tony Stark has watched sleeping.
    This is really more of a gen Tony piece, but there's enough Tony/Pepper in there to include it in these recs, I think. But it's such a beautifully written piece, as Tony watches over these five people who've had such a huge impact on his life, the fic knowing when to draw parallels and when to show the contrasts between them, both between Tony/the people he cares about and the parellels/contrasts between the people in his life. It's insightful, hitting all the right notes in the right places, whether sweet or bittersweet, making this a lovely piece. It's overall a happy one and makes it feel like an excellent epilogue to the movies.

Grounding Point by icarus_chained, pepper potts & betty ross, references to tony/pepper + bruce/betty, 3k
    Pepper and Bruce, and things worth staying for.
    I love that this is a fic centered on Pepper and Betty having a conversation post-movie, I love all fic that brings Betty into the fold of things, even if this version of Bruce never interacted with her and I generally don't consider The Incredible Hulk to be part of the same MCU as hard as I do the other movies. But this fic does a lovely job of... there's something almost jittery here, something fiercely so, in a way that might not have worked for me at another point in time, but post-The Avengers, I can buy it. And it's about the bonds between these people, mostly about Tony and how they're going to get Bruce to stay, how everything is bigger than just one person. It's a nice follow up to the movie.

Shoulder to Shoulder by icarus_chained, pepper potts & betty ross, references to tony/pepper + bruce/betty, ~1k
    After Bruce and Betty are reunited post-Avengers, Pepper sits Betty down for a drink and a shoulder to lean on.
    A very short, but sweet fic with these two, talking about their lives and their relationships, how difficult it can be, but that it's still worth it and they're still here. It's probably best for those who want more scenes between the women in the MCU and/or those who are fond of both pairings--which I am, so this was a nice bit of character filling in for me.

and birds are singing to calm us down by paenteom, tony/pepper, iron man 3 spoilers, ~1k
    In his dreams he’s falling.
    This is short, but it's a lovely piece that's set post-movie, that's about Tony still dealing with everything and all his issues and his pretty clear case of PTSD, but it's also about healing, in that way that's bit by bit, of opening himself back up to things and reconnecting. The imagery and almost dream-like quality of the piece really works for me here, too.

home, where dust once was a man by neverfadingrain, tony/pepper, iron man 3 spoilers, 1.2k
    Tony doesn't really sleep anymore.
    There's something almost frantic about the pace and feel of this, as Tony builds and builds suits and doesn't think and doesn't sleep. It's Tony and his PTSD and by the end it's much calmer and I like the way the tone shifts from one thing in the beginning to something else by the end, an undercurrent that matches the way the movie worked. It's not "fixed", but it's... better.

Probably Not On Purpose by Frea_O, pepper & natasha, background tony/pepper, iron man 3 spoilers, ~1k
    The first time she sees Pepper Potts as Natalie Rushman again, Pepper throws her through a wall. It’s an accident. Or Natasha hopes it is.
    Oh, I loved this. Set post-IM3, it's a lovely Natasha piece as she... forms something like the start of a friendship with Pepper, sort of, or at least a kind of kinship when Pepper could use some help sparring with her new abilities. I love the quiet way that Natasha enjoys seeing a woman with power, that they've always had a kind of power, but this is a more obvious way, and it's just... there's a lot of strength in these characters and this fic does a beautiful job with it.

Cold Turkey by sabinelagrande, tony/pepper, iron man 3 spoilers, ~1k
    Little by little, one by one.
    This is short but it works with the Extremis!Tony theory and it's about how all those fears and habits and patterns don't just immediately disappear, but instead they do start slowly getting better. Another lovely read for post-movie fic!

we're all we've got by vardaesque [ mobile ver. ], tony/pepper, nsfw, potential iron man three spoilers ~1k
    It was eleven PM and Pepper either wasn’t back from her late meeting yet or was ignoring him. Tony had to actually come upstairs—the horror— and look around for her because JARVIS was either messing with him or had been ordered not to reveal the whereabouts of one Miss Pepper Potts.
    Tony and Pepper sex, b l e s s and t h a n k, fandom. Especially with Pepper in the suit to seduce Tony, since that's their version of her wearing her boyfriend's clothes. It's a short piece, but it's lovely and fun and flirty.

I Hate That Word by Red_Tigress, tony/pepper, iron man 3 spoilers, 1k
    Pepper hated that word, "Girlfriend".
    There's only mild spoilers for Iron Man 3, but you should probably have seen it first before you read this fic. This was really cute and fun, with Pepper able to take care of herself even when kidnapped and without superpowers. Competence is attractrive and I love that Tony clearly thinks so, too.

Accidental Horrors by foolyoulove, tony/pepper, iron man 3 spoilers, ~1k
    Pepper wasn't sure what felt worse--the terror still coursing through her veins, or the sense of betrayal. "I am Iron Man. The suit and I are one." How was she supposed to reconcile Tony's self-professed symbiosis with his technology with what had just happened in the bedroom→ Their bedroom?
    Yes, good, fic exploring Pepper's point of view after the attack in their bedroom and how completely unsafe that was for her. Her sense of betrayal, even knowing it wasn't deliberate, is really good for me here, because there's no villain in this piece and I'm glad to see this expanding on that scene, especially with the ouchy ending with Tony. It was a complicated scene on both sides and this fic further explores that well.

Artifact by roboticonography, tony/pepper + tony & maria stark, 2.7k
    Maria Stark contemplates her son; Tony Stark contemplates his assistant.
    Oh, what a lovely set of themed scenes, the two most important women in Tony Stark's life, both with their own impact, their own relationships with the character, and the sense of... these are everyday moments, filled with warmth and love, yet have such weight to them. The fic doesn't go the easy route of comparing Maria and Pepper, it's not about that, but instead it's about Tony and his relationships. They're both lovely scenes separately, but even more beautiful together.

His and Hers by roboticonography, tony/pepper, 6.4k
    Post-IM2, a series of firsts.
    Ah, so good. Tony and Pepper navigating the beginnings and possibilities of a relationship, which is so smartly written and so sharply them and, so, so satisfying and... there's something so real about them and their relationship, which is reflected so well here. This author is quite possibly my favorite for this pairing and I strongly recommending everything by them, whether this rec is terrible or not, because it may sound almost mundane, but they really do sparkle in this author's hands.

Fixing Pepper by Eris Dea Disaccordo, tony/pepper + rhodey + bruce banner, pregnancy, iron man 3 spoilers, 9.4k
    "As you know," he begins, "I've been trying to reverse engineer the process they did to make you," he gestures to her abstractly, "hot. Hotter," he amends when her eyebrows twitch, "'cause you were already hot and of course you were, you're perfect—I told them that, you know?" "Tony." "Yes?" "Move on."
    This is set within the author's other larger fic universe, but you don't need to read it, really, you can pick up on what you need to know well enough just in this one and through the author's notes. I will also warn that this fic has a thread of anti-choice undercurrent to it that made me uncomfortable (Pepper considers abortion, but writes that consideration off as the "monster" in her because of the Extremis), but other than that, this fic is super cute and fun. There are some delightful lines and Tony is just so over the moon for her and his voice is solid and this is just as much Pepper's fic as it is about Tony. I love how much Bruce is around and what a great friendship he and Tony have, but also it's great fun to see Pepper dealing with Extremis, too. It's light and fun, for when you're craving something that deals with the aftermath of IM3. Plus, you know, I fucking love pregnant people in fic and the promise of babies!

The Man in the Red Suit by roboticonography, tony/pepper + happy hogan, 11k
    Pepper plans the Stark Industries Annual Holiday Celebration. Tony behaves strangely.
    Oh, this was fantastic from start to finish, the author doing a beautiful job of keeping them both perfectly in character and so very sharp, feeling so much like the movies themselves, practically sparkling in every scene. The author does beautifully with Tony's character, flippant or serious in all the exact right moments, but also with Pepper, who is so incredibly grounded and competent when she needs to be, but is also affected by Tony at all the right moments, too. The humor is delightful and the fic so very well captures what it must be like to work for Tony Stark, all the chaos that nearly overwhelms and yet feeds these characters at the same time. So, so good. Especially when the author is a master at building up the tension until they finally, finally kiss and, oh, that's so good for me, too.

change is gonna come by dress without sleeves, tony/pepper, 1k
    4 times Tony Stark tried to convince Pepper to date him, and the one time he succeeded.

    I read this entire fic with a smile on my face that kept getting bigger and bigger until it kind of started to hurt, that's how adorable and utterly perfect this fic. It's pure delight and charm, it absolutely nails their dynamic and the humor in it that's just a casual part of their banter. And I love it when Tony's the one pursuing Pepper, who is just so solidly, groundedly herself and that's why she's amazing and why he realizes she's the one for him. Just. Ahhhh, I kind of want to writhe around on my bed after reading this, it's so delightful.

One Night Stand by svilleficrecs, tony/pepper, 1k
    No Jarvis then. No famous Pepper Potts. Just Virginia, hard-partying UCLA freshman and, at the time, blonde.

    Backstory for Tony and Pepper, how she first came to work for him, and, oh, I really like the way this sets them up and builds a foundation for their relationship for so long. It's easy to see the characters having this beginning to their relationship, but I especially love it for how grounded and incredibly solid a character Pepper is here! Plus, there are some great lines in here that definitely made me smile, the kind that fit right in with the Iron Man universe.

Employer/Employee Relations by hackthis, tony/pepper, 3k
    "That's kinky, Potts. Really. Are you trying to get me excited?" Pepper almost pauses in her extraction of various wires from Tony's lower back to consider this question. Tony's not serious, but Pepper Potts is a reasonably sane, reasonably sensible, red-blooded American woman. She's young and not hard on the eyes, and damnit, Pepper has needs.

    As much as I like fic where Tony is chasing Pepper (boy, do I!), I also like fic that focuses on why she is attracted to him, even when Tony is so exapserating and consumes her life sometimes. This is a lovely look at them long before they start dating, focusing on all the little moments of attraction and Pepper holding herself back, all those little moments where you can feel their chemistry both in spite of and often because of the flaws they each have. There's a lot of hotness here, just by these two being around each other, and that's my favorite dynamic for Iron Man era fic.

Robot Trip by copperbadge, tony/pepper + steve & tony + bots, humor, 8k
    Tony is driving from Malibu to Manhattan with a robot in the back seat and Captain America riding escort at Pepper's behest. What could possibly go wrong?

    Despite the pairing label and my including it with other Tony/Pepper recs, this is actually much more of a Tony & Steve fic than anything. And, oh, this fic was amazing, because it's everything I could have ever asked for from a Tony road trip fic, where the author absolutely nails Tony's voice and gets the MCU friendship that could develop with Steve and does an amazing job of mixing Pepper into the whole thing. I've always liked Sam's fic in whatever fandom we end up sharing, so of course I had expectations here, but that never stopped me from enjoying everything anew and there were at least three points where I had to set the fic down just to straight up irl laugh. There's an incredible sense of comedic timing plus nailing the characters' voices and interactions plus just simply having an eye for the kind of little detail that makes the whole fic spring fully formed into my mind.

I picked this up for the Tony/Pepper (which it's worth reading for, because Pepper often checks in, even if they're only talking over the phone for short conversations and it's really a Steve & Tony fic) but stayed for the lovely characterization, the absolutely perfect Tony voice, and the screaming hilarity. It's one of those fics that, even if you're not really into any of these elements that much normally, I'd still suggest it as being worth a read. p.s. Tony + his baby robots is always a thing of beauty, especially when they clearly have personalities and he's defensive of them and scornful of them yet scornful with clear love, that's always so, so great for me and it's perfect here. DUM-E is, seriously, so great an addition to this fic.

Coffee by Jain, tony/pepper, ~1k
    Pepper's first hour as Tony's PA.

    Another short fic that looks at the first moments of Tony and Pepper's early days, but it's delightful because it's so... Tony certainly makes an interesting first (second first?) impression on Pepper's first day of work and the author does a fantastic job of not making it a total farce, but still keeping it... well, it's Tony Stark in the MCU. I love how casual the batshit is with Tony and how in control Pepper remains even when confronted with such on her first day. It's adorable early days fic and has some great character moments for both of them, but is especially a good piece for if you like Pepper, which, you know, boy do I ever.

The Trouble With Jarvis by dotfic, tony/pepper + J.A.R.V.I.S., 2k
    Jarvis develops a glitch. Pepper commiserates.

    One of the things I love about the Iron Man fandom is the way it reflects a certain sense of... there are elements of screamingly funny moments, there's a lot of cuteness, and there's a lot of fucked up issues in it, but they're never too sharp or too much, so there's an incredibly... almost grounded feeling to everything. I notice it sometimes when I'm reading fic about an AI program developing feelings for its creator and Pepper having to have a talk with JARVIS about it and they end up bonding, which could have been utterly ridiculous! But instead the author reflects that quality of the movies, where, yes, their lives are often ridiculous, but there's something that feels very... almost realistic about it. And, oh, Pepper's conversation with JARVIS about Tony, about the kind of charm he has and how you can't be sucked into it, it's absolutely pitch perfect, it's such solid advice and does a beautiful job of character insight into everyone here. Gorgeous all the way around.

call every girl we ever met maria by irnan, tony/pepper + avengers, background mentions of other pairings, babyfic, 2.7k
    "You're telling me," Rhodey said, gleeful, "you're telling me that you've been shot, stabbed, sewn up, been riddled with shrapnel, had a magnet implanted in your chest, spent two years poisoning yourself with palladium, spent twenty years as a functioning alcoholic and had a vasectomy and you still managed to knock Pepper up?"
    This was short but completely adorable and warm-hearted, with cuteness just everywhere. Tony and Pepper are expecting, which is cute enough, especially as Tony's mind goes into overdrive, but it's more than that--it's about how a baby affects their lives in the future, the way a baby changes things, for the better here. There's moments of bittersweetness and it's not easy, of course, but the whole point of this fic is to be heart warming and sweet, so it never eases up on the adorable and everything being okay and full of love. When I read babyfic, that's pretty much exactly what I'm going for!

Drive by roboticonograph, tony/pepper, nsfw, 27k
    Tony and Pepper attempt a "friends with benefits" arrangement.
    I think this is the fic that I've been waiting for in this fandom. Not that I haven't read some absolutely amazing fics previous to this and not that I won't read several dozen more, but there's always that one fic that defines a pairing for you, and I believe that this is going to be the one for me. It's post-Iron Man 2, where Tony and Pepper try to navigate a friends with benefits relationship that's clearly never going to work out the way they plan, but they manage to figure out something better along the way. And, boy, is there a whole lot of sex along the way. It's not always super graphic (I would rate this as Mature rather than Explicit) but that doesn't mean it's any less beautifully written or scorchingly hot. I would have loved it just for all the really gorgeous sex they have, but it's more than that. It's banter and feelings and humor and characters resonating with me and being relatable and undercurrents that they don't discuss but you can feel them and moments that made me shriek with laughter and then sex up against the wall.

The beauty of this fic is that it absolutely, completely nails both characters, this is Tony and Pepper, this is their relationship and their feelings and their snarking at each other. This is how they would navigate this relationship and it's wonderful. Of course there are ups and downs, but you never doubt that they'll figure their shit out and realize that they love each other and that they can make a relationship work. It's fantastic for Tony being ridiculously in love with Pepper and having to do some growing up along the way. It's fantastic for Pepper being ridiculously in love with Tony, but having to get over her fears along the way. This is about both of these people in this relationship, how they both have their own motivations and issues, how they both bring balance to this pairing. This fic takes what we were given in the Iron Man movies and builds it the rest of the way, doing a stunning job.

I definitely stayed up far too late reading this fic and had to force myself not to ration it at times, because I didn't want it to end, and it's so smoothly written that I hardly noticed the fic just flying by me. The author also has a great Tony voice, there's Tony going down on Pepper, there's a real sense of passage of time to give them the room to naturally progress along this path without it being dragged out (ie, what good pacing!), there's pretty much everything I could ask for from a Tony/Pepper fic.

Happy (Accidental) Unions by icarus_chained, tony/pepper + avengers, ~1k
    The night before Pepper and Tony's wedding, he stops by to have a word with her. Tomorrow, after all, he'll be marrying his best friend.
    This is just entirely pure sweetness and fluff, the cuteness of pre-wedding jitters, but still so sure that they both want to spend their lives with this person. It's short and all about weddings and happily ever afters and the entire team being a happy family, which sometimes I just really need when I'm in the middle of an angstfest.

Aegis by icarus_chained, tony/pepper + rhodey + bruce + howard + yinsen, 2k
    Five people Tony Stark has watched sleeping.
    This is really more of a gen Tony piece, but there's enough Tony/Pepper in there to include it in these recs, I think. But it's such a beautifully written piece, as Tony watches over these five people who've had such a huge impact on his life, the fic knowing when to draw parallels and when to show the contrasts between them, both between Tony/the people he cares about and the parellels/contrasts between the people in his life. It's insightful, hitting all the right notes in the right places, whether sweet or bittersweet, making this a lovely piece. It's overall a happy one and makes it feel like an excellent epilogue to the movies.

Grounding Point by icarus_chained, pepper potts & betty ross, references to tony/pepper + bruce/betty, 3k
    Pepper and Bruce, and things worth staying for.
    I love that this is a fic centered on Pepper and Betty having a conversation post-movie, I love all fic that brings Betty into the fold of things, even if this version of Bruce never interacted with her and I generally don't consider The Incredible Hulk to be part of the same MCU as hard as I do the other movies. But this fic does a lovely job of... there's something almost jittery here, something fiercely so, in a way that might not have worked for me at another point in time, but post-The Avengers, I can buy it. And it's about the bonds between these people, mostly about Tony and how they're going to get Bruce to stay, how everything is bigger than just one person. It's a nice follow up to the movie.

Shoulder to Shoulder by icarus_chained, pepper potts & betty ross, references to tony/pepper + bruce/betty, ~1k
    After Bruce and Betty are reunited post-Avengers, Pepper sits Betty down for a drink and a shoulder to lean on.
    A very short, but sweet fic with these two, talking about their lives and their relationships, how difficult it can be, but that it's still worth it and they're still here. It's probably best for those who want more scenes between the women in the MCU and/or those who are fond of both pairings--which I am, so this was a nice bit of character filling in for me.

Enthalpy of Hydration by bemusedlybespectacled (ardentintoxication), tony/pepper, iron man 3 spoilers, ~1k
    Tony joins Pepper in the shower.
    Surprisingly, this isn't actually very porny! It's not even about sex at all, but instead all about the emotional porn and, oh, it's really good emotional porn, considering it came on the heels of Tony finally cracking open just a little bit and needing that connection to Pepper. The sense of physical intimacy and comfort drawn from that is lovely, even if this is far shorter and more pg-rated than I'd have liked. ;)

White Heat Red Hot by 51stCenturyFox, tony/pepper, iron man 3 spoilers, 1k
    Just a brief missing scene between Pepper and Tony prior to the end of Iron Man 3.
    I've seen these theories floating around tumblr, that Tony gave himself the Extremis virus so that he could heal from having the shrapnel and arc reactor removed from his chest, but this fic lays it out in such a lovely way, where you can see the dots being connected and it feels right that Tony would do this. With a missing scene to fill in the details of theories, like this one is, it often runs the risk of feeling like it's only covering old ground, but this one just feels so correct and adds in little touches of emotion and character insight that it completely and totally worked for me.

baby i'm not alright when you go (i'm not fine) by ohmyloki, tony/pepper, nsfw, iron man 3 spoilers, 1.6k
    He feels safe when he buries his head in her chest, goosebumps racing down his spine when she runs her fingers through his hair. Iron Man feels safe, he muses, being held by this wisp of a woman.
    I have been disappointed in fandom not giving me at least a dozen shower scene fics, but that's much more okay now because I have this one. And, oh, it's a beautiful mix of vulnerability and intimacy and an important moment of connection and shower sex. The way Tony feels so frayed at the edges here, how Pepper grounds him, is probably the only thing that keeps him together right then, how they make each other better, even when the road isn't smooth, all of that is so very lovely. Plus shower sex! That was super pretty, ahhhh. *__*

An Uncanny Likeness + Super Deluxe by outtabreath, tony/pepper + rhodey + coulson, 3.6k
    Tony introduces Pepper to her action figure.
    These were absolutely adorable fics, where Pepper gets her own action figure, which she's not pleased about, but Tony thinks is awesome. The author does a great job of the fun, flirty banter between the two of them, with Tony's constant barrage of flirtation that should be obnoxious and annoying (and maybe it is a bit) but it's a charming kind of obnoxious, which is exactly what had my face absolutely hurting from all the smiling I did while reading these. Super cute and funny and great for when you're in the mood for something light-hearted!

Five Times Pepper Potts Took Care of Tony Stark (and One Time Tony Stark Took Care of Her) by zauberer_sirin, tony/pepper, 5k
    In Pepper's defense she really did try to keep things professional.
    I love five times fic, especially with so many little details and touches like this one has. There's a solidity to Pepper's character and her interaction with Tony, she's so grounded and mature here, which contrasts nicely with Tony's more flighty, flirty personality. The theme of her taking care of him isn't really about a babysitter or infantalizing Tony, they both feel like equals here, they both feel like they have depth and weight of character here, even if I have a hell of a time putting my finger on just where specifically that's put into the writing. It's just so... them, somehow.

if there was one thing I could save from the fire by zauberer_sirin, tony/pepper, 1.8k
    Tony always needs to come back to Pepper to know he is alive and safe.
    By this point in recommending Zau's fics, I'm probably repeating myself a bit, which always frustrates me because when an author does something well, it doesn't mean it's any less interesting to read each time, just that it feels repetitive to me to say that this fic is about the little moments in Tony and Pepper's relationship again, where they're fun and flirty sometimes, where they're solid and weighty at other times, or even dramatic when they need to be. It's a story that's several scenes of filling in the spaces between what we see in the movies, the aftermath and the feeling of life going on, which is what I love about them.

The Wager by outtabreath [ also on AO3 ], tony/pepper, 16k
    Tony makes a bet with Pepper.
    I don't usually go for fics that have bets in them, because so rarely do they feel like actual wagers that real people would make with each other, but this one was so cute and adorable (and is about keeping their hands off each other for a week) that I couldn't resist! It's pure fun and flirtation and a straight shot of romantic comedy-like adorability. I suspect this is one for those who are already fans of the pairing, that the fluff might not work for everyone, but I found that the fic read quite smoothly for me, that I whipped through all 16k quickly, and there were moments that definitely put a grin on my face. If you're looking for fluff with these two, this is a fun one to pick up and be charmed by.

and birds are singing to calm us down by paenteom, tony/pepper, iron man 3 spoilers, ~1k
    In his dreams he’s falling.
    This is short, but it's a lovely piece that's set post-movie, that's about Tony still dealing with everything and all his issues and his pretty clear case of PTSD, but it's also about healing, in that way that's bit by bit, of opening himself back up to things and reconnecting. The imagery and almost dream-like quality of the piece really works for me here, too.

home, where dust once was a man by neverfadingrain, tony/pepper, iron man 3 spoilers, 1.2k
    Tony doesn't really sleep anymore.
    There's something almost frantic about the pace and feel of this, as Tony builds and builds suits and doesn't think and doesn't sleep. It's Tony and his PTSD and by the end it's much calmer and I like the way the tone shifts from one thing in the beginning to something else by the end, an undercurrent that matches the way the movie worked. It's not "fixed", but it's... better.

Probably Not On Purpose by Frea_O, pepper & natasha, background tony/pepper, iron man 3 spoilers, ~1k
    The first time she sees Pepper Potts as Natalie Rushman again, Pepper throws her through a wall. It’s an accident. Or Natasha hopes it is.
    Oh, I loved this. Set post-IM3, it's a lovely Natasha piece as she... forms something like the start of a friendship with Pepper, sort of, or at least a kind of kinship when Pepper could use some help sparring with her new abilities. I love the quiet way that Natasha enjoys seeing a woman with power, that they've always had a kind of power, but this is a more obvious way, and it's just... there's a lot of strength in these characters and this fic does a beautiful job with it.

Cold Turkey by sabinelagrande, tony/pepper, iron man 3 spoilers, ~1k
    Little by little, one by one.
    This is short but it works with the Extremis!Tony theory and it's about how all those fears and habits and patterns don't just immediately disappear, but instead they do start slowly getting better. Another lovely read for post-movie fic!

we're all we've got by vardaesque [ mobile ver. ], tony/pepper, nsfw, potential iron man three spoilers ~1k
    It was eleven PM and Pepper either wasn’t back from her late meeting yet or was ignoring him. Tony had to actually come upstairs—the horror— and look around for her because JARVIS was either messing with him or had been ordered not to reveal the whereabouts of one Miss Pepper Potts.
    Tony and Pepper sex, b l e s s and t h a n k, fandom. Especially with Pepper in the suit to seduce Tony, since that's their version of her wearing her boyfriend's clothes. It's a short piece, but it's lovely and fun and flirty.

I Hate That Word by Red_Tigress, tony/pepper, iron man 3 spoilers, 1k
    Pepper hated that word, "Girlfriend".
    There's only mild spoilers for Iron Man 3, but you should probably have seen it first before you read this fic. This was really cute and fun, with Pepper able to take care of herself even when kidnapped and without superpowers. Competence is attractrive and I love that Tony clearly thinks so, too.

Accidental Horrors by foolyoulove, tony/pepper, iron man 3 spoilers, ~1k
    Pepper wasn't sure what felt worse--the terror still coursing through her veins, or the sense of betrayal. "I am Iron Man. The suit and I are one." How was she supposed to reconcile Tony's self-professed symbiosis with his technology with what had just happened in the bedroom→ Their bedroom?
    Yes, good, fic exploring Pepper's point of view after the attack in their bedroom and how completely unsafe that was for her. Her sense of betrayal, even knowing it wasn't deliberate, is really good for me here, because there's no villain in this piece and I'm glad to see this expanding on that scene, especially with the ouchy ending with Tony. It was a complicated scene on both sides and this fic further explores that well.

Artifact by roboticonography, tony/pepper + tony & maria stark, 2.7k
    Maria Stark contemplates her son; Tony Stark contemplates his assistant.
    Oh, what a lovely set of themed scenes, the two most important women in Tony Stark's life, both with their own impact, their own relationships with the character, and the sense of... these are everyday moments, filled with warmth and love, yet have such weight to them. The fic doesn't go the easy route of comparing Maria and Pepper, it's not about that, but instead it's about Tony and his relationships. They're both lovely scenes separately, but even more beautiful together.

His and Hers by roboticonography, tony/pepper, 6.4k
    Post-IM2, a series of firsts.
    Ah, so good. Tony and Pepper navigating the beginnings and possibilities of a relationship, which is so smartly written and so sharply them and, so, so satisfying and... there's something so real about them and their relationship, which is reflected so well here. This author is quite possibly my favorite for this pairing and I strongly recommending everything by them, whether this rec is terrible or not, because it may sound almost mundane, but they really do sparkle in this author's hands.

Fixing Pepper by Eris Dea Disaccordo, tony/pepper + rhodey + bruce banner, pregnancy, iron man 3 spoilers, 9.4k
    "As you know," he begins, "I've been trying to reverse engineer the process they did to make you," he gestures to her abstractly, "hot. Hotter," he amends when her eyebrows twitch, "'cause you were already hot and of course you were, you're perfect—I told them that, you know?" "Tony." "Yes?" "Move on."
    This is set within the author's other larger fic universe, but you don't need to read it, really, you can pick up on what you need to know well enough just in this one and through the author's notes. I will also warn that this fic has a thread of anti-choice undercurrent to it that made me uncomfortable (Pepper considers abortion, but writes that consideration off as the "monster" in her because of the Extremis), but other than that, this fic is super cute and fun. There are some delightful lines and Tony is just so over the moon for her and his voice is solid and this is just as much Pepper's fic as it is about Tony. I love how much Bruce is around and what a great friendship he and Tony have, but also it's great fun to see Pepper dealing with Extremis, too. It's light and fun, for when you're craving something that deals with the aftermath of IM3. Plus, you know, I fucking love pregnant people in fic and the promise of babies!

The Man in the Red Suit by roboticonography, tony/pepper + happy hogan, 11k
    Pepper plans the Stark Industries Annual Holiday Celebration. Tony behaves strangely.
    Oh, this was fantastic from start to finish, the author doing a beautiful job of keeping them both perfectly in character and so very sharp, feeling so much like the movies themselves, practically sparkling in every scene. The author does beautifully with Tony's character, flippant or serious in all the exact right moments, but also with Pepper, who is so incredibly grounded and competent when she needs to be, but is also affected by Tony at all the right moments, too. The humor is delightful and the fic so very well captures what it must be like to work for Tony Stark, all the chaos that nearly overwhelms and yet feeds these characters at the same time. So, so good. Especially when the author is a master at building up the tension until they finally, finally kiss and, oh, that's so good for me, too.

change is gonna come by dress without sleeves [ Iron Man ]
→ pairings/characters: Tony/Pepper, 1k
→ summary: 4 times Tony Stark tried to convince Pepper to date him, and the one time he succeeded.
→ rec: I read this entire fic with a smile on my face that kept getting bigger and bigger until it kind of started to hurt, that's how adorable and utterly perfect this fic. It's pure delight and charm, it absolutely nails their dynamic and the humor in it that's just a casual part of their banter. And I love it when Tony's the one pursuing Pepper, who is just so solidly, groundedly herself and that's why she's amazing and why he realizes she's the one for him. Just. Ahhhh, I kind of want to writhe around on my bed after reading this, it's so delightful.


One Night Stand by svilleficrecs [ Iron Man ]
→ pairings/characters: Tony/Pepper, 1k
→ summary: No Jarvis then. No famous Pepper Potts. Just Virginia, hard-partying UCLA freshman and, at the time, blonde.
→ rec: Backstory for Tony and Pepper, how she first came to work for him, and, oh, I really like the way this sets them up and builds a foundation for their relationship for so long. It's easy to see the characters having this beginning to their relationship, but I especially love it for how grounded and incredibly solid a character Pepper is here! Plus, there are some great lines in here that definitely made me smile, the kind that fit right in with the Iron Man universe.


Employer/Employee Relations by hackthis [ Iron Man ]
→ pairings/characters: Tony/Pepper, 3k
→ summary: "That's kinky, Potts. Really. Are you trying to get me excited?" Pepper almost pauses in her extraction of various wires from Tony's lower back to consider this question. Tony's not serious, but Pepper Potts is a reasonably sane, reasonably sensible, red-blooded American woman. She's young and not hard on the eyes, and damnit, Pepper has needs.
→ rec: As much as I like fic where Tony is chasing Pepper (boy, do I!), I also like fic that focuses on why she is attracted to him, even when Tony is so exapserating and consumes her life sometimes. This is a lovely look at them long before they start dating, focusing on all the little moments of attraction and Pepper holding herself back, all those little moments where you can feel their chemistry both in spite of and often because of the flaws they each have. There's a lot of hotness here, just by these two being around each other, and that's my favorite dynamic for Iron Man era fic.


Robot Trip by copperbadge [ Iron Man, Captain America, Avengers ]
→ pairings/characters: Tony/Pepper, Steve Rogers, 8k
→ summary: Tony is driving from Malibu to Manhattan with a robot in the back seat and Captain America riding escort at Pepper's behest. What could possibly go wrong?
→ rec: Despite the pairing label and my including it with other Tony/Pepper recs, this is actually much more of a Tony & Steve fic than anything. And, oh, this fic was amazing, because it's everything I could have ever asked for from a Tony road trip fic, where the author absolutely nails Tony's voice and gets the MCU friendship that could develop with Steve and does an amazing job of mixing Pepper into the whole thing. I've always liked Sam's fic in whatever fandom we end up sharing, so of course I had expectations here, but that never stopped me from enjoying everything anew and there were at least three points where I had to set the fic down just to straight up irl laugh. There's an incredible sense of comedic timing plus nailing the characters' voices and interactions plus just simply having an eye for the kind of little detail that makes the whole fic spring fully formed into my mind.

I picked this up for the Tony/Pepper (which it's worth reading for, because Pepper often checks in, even if they're only talking over the phone for short conversations and it's really a Steve & Tony fic) but stayed for the lovely characterization, the absolutely perfect Tony voice, and the screaming hilarity. It's one of those fics that, even if you're not really into any of these elements that much normally, I'd still suggest it as being worth a read. p.s. Tony + his baby robots is always a thing of beauty, especially when they clearly have personalities and he's defensive of them and scornful of them yet scornful with clear love, that's always so, so great for me and it's perfect here. DUM-E is, seriously, so great an addition to this fic.


Coffee by Jain [ Iron Man ]
→ pairings/characters: Tony/Pepper, <1k
→ summary: Pepper's first hour as Tony's PA.
→ rec: Another short fic that looks at the first moments of Tony and Pepper's early days, but it's delightful because it's so... Tony certainly makes an interesting first (second first?) impression on Pepper's first day of work and the author does a fantastic job of not making it a total farce, but still keeping it... well, it's Tony Stark in the MCU. I love how casual the batshit is with Tony and how in control Pepper remains even when confronted with such on her first day. It's adorable early days fic and has some great character moments for both of them, but is especially a good piece for if you like Pepper, which, you know, boy do I ever.


The Trouble With Jarvis by dotfic [ Iron Man ]
→ pairings/characters: Tony/Pepper UST, JARVIS, 2k
→ summary: Jarvis develops a glitch. Pepper commiserates.
→ rec: One of the things I love about the Iron Man fandom is the way it reflects a certain sense of... there are elements of screamingly funny moments, there's a lot of cuteness, and there's a lot of fucked up issues in it, but they're never too sharp or too much, so there's an incredibly... almost grounded feeling to everything. I notice it sometimes when I'm reading fic about an AI program developing feelings for its creator and Pepper having to have a talk with JARVIS about it and they end up bonding, which could have been utterly ridiculous! But instead the author reflects that quality of the movies, where, yes, their lives are often ridiculous, but there's something that feels very... almost realistic about it. And, oh, Pepper's conversation with JARVIS about Tony, about the kind of charm he has and how you can't be sucked into it, it's absolutely pitch perfect, it's such solid advice and does a beautiful job of character insight into everyone here. Gorgeous all the way around.


Growing Season by dotfic [ Iron Man ]
→ pairings/characters: Tony/Pepper, 1.7k
→ summary: Tony keeps trying to get it right.
→ rec: One of the neat things about this fic is the way, despite that it was written well before The Avengers, there are little things that can be tied into the movie that may or may not have made me flail a bit--like Pepper saying that blueberries were good as a food present. I completely accept this as a headcanon for why Tony was carrying blueberries around in The Avengers, yes. But mostly this fic is a delight because it still has that lovely grounded feeling between the characters, even as their conversations are hilarious, there's something so solid about these people and this relationship, as it moves forward. Plus, all the details about the food and Tony trying to figure out the way around this problem, all of it was just spot on for these two.


Percentages by dotfic [ Iron Man ]
→ pairings/characters: Tony/Pepper, <1k
→ summary: Tony preferred to be an optimist when it came to odds and numbers.
→ rec: This is short, but a lovely piece where Tony and Pepper are making out on the sofa, except then Pepper has to go and be professional eventually and Tony is smart enough to know how to react so that, maybe, one day, eventually, they might get to do this again here. It's a combination of adorable and sexy, with absolutely pitch-perfect characterization.


To Sweeten Her Temper by MusicalLuna [ Iron Man ]
→ pairings/characters: Tony/Pepper, 1.8k
→ summary: Tony's turning over a new leaf and it's covered in frosting. Also, not a leaf.
→ rec: This was just pure and total sweetness and had me with the goofiest grin on my face the entire time. The entire fic is about Tony trying to be a better person in this relationship and hoping like hell that he got Pepper's birthday right and it's not about being perfect, but that Tony's starting to get some things right, even if everyone around him laughs in his face when he wants to double check, okay, it really is Pepper's birthday today, right→ It's cute and sweet and light-hearted and adorable. I mean, it's fluffy, but sometimes you want that.


The Pregnancy Scare by igrockspock, tony/pepper, humor, 1k
    Pepper Potts has made it thirty-five years without a pregnancy scare. Unfortunately, she's not going to make it thirty-six.
    Oh, lord, Tony and Pepper and a pregnancy scare and it is as hilarious as promised! I had to just giggle for awhile at one point even! But also this is great because of the way Tony reacts and the way he approaches it and the lines he says, ahhh, my heart! Sharp, clever, and perfect!

Domestic Bliss and Detours by foolyoulove, tony/pepper + other marvel characters, fluff, 20.7k
    Wherein Tony and Pepper decide that, despite the number of times one or both of them has almost died saving the world (or at least the metro area), maybe lifetime commitments and procreation aren't terrible ideas... even if things don't always turn out quite right.
    Excellent Tony voice and perfect future (well, not perfect) for Tony and Pepper and their baby! Tony's hesitance and the bumps along the way are all fantastic, but mostly it's just such an engrossing read the entire way through and made my heart happy to read, both for the relationship and because, you know, I'm weak to babies!

Pale Queen by icarus_chained, tony/pepper + rhodey, 1.3k
    "Ask me to help you take over the world, Pepper Potts. Ask me to be your knight, and you my queen. Ask me that, ask me anything, and I will."
    A short and lovely look at Tony wondering if Pepper is serious about world domination and, for all that it's a cracky premise, the fic works surprisingly seriously. It's kinda fucked up and yet lovely and sweet and it works, the way they fret together, the way she's the sanest person he knows. Very pretty and lovely!

Black and Blue by roboticonography, tony/pepper + other marvel characters, 1.5k
    Tony and Pepper attend a function with the rest of the Avengers. Steve practices his dancing skills. Tony not-so-secretly enjoys wearing a tux. Pepper feels like she's at superhero prom.
    Oh, I loved this fic a lot, because Tony being jealous of Pepper dancing with Steve (whom she made Tony introduce her to because he was being obnoxious, bless this author) and Steve having two left feet with her, it's delightful! Add in a bit of background Steve/Natasha and focus on Tony being annoyingly territorial and it was really good for me.

As It Should Be by MusicalLuna, tony/pepper + the bots, humor, ~1k
    In the wake of Iron Man 3, there are three things Tony still needs to take care of. Three 'bots, to be specific.
    Oh, this was absolutely wonderful! It's short, but it's utterly sparkling and has great moments of humor. I love bot fic when it's well done, when it's sharp and not too twee and this fic completely nails what I wanted from Tony, Pepper, and the bots! So funny, too! ♥

Silent Like the Grave by Arukou, tony/pepper, 5.8k
    The first night in the hospital, Tony sleeps like a baby. By the third night, he can barely sleep at all. The surgery was supposed to make everything better, but somehow he feels like he's falling apart.
    Oh, what a stunning and perfect Tony/Pepper fic, where not everything is okay after the main events of the IM3 movie and Tony's arc reactor is removed. Things still haunt him and they're kind of a mess and it's so exquisitely told, as things just don't feel right. This fic captured the characters and the tone of the movies beautifully, what the biggest and smallest things mean and this nails exactly how I think things went between the surgery and giving Pepper the necklace and afterwards. I am just so ridiculously in love omg.

Ring of Fire by NyxEtoile, OlivesAwl, tony/pepper + rhodey, 23.6k
    Why don't we take a vacation?" "Like the last vacation where you stole a race-car and we almost got sliced into ribbons by your crazy, tentacle-having nemesis?" She put her hand over her eyes, remembering the car she was in getting sliced in half.
    I read this fic in only one sitting because I absolutely could not put it down and because it was utterly exquisite. The fic was everything I want from Tony/Pepper fic, where both of these characters are brilliant and bring their own history and weight to the relationship, where neither is overshadowed by the other, and the balance between a good, working relationship and yet they put actual work into it, is immensely emotionally satisfying. The writing here sparkles and is entirely joyful to read, these are fun and interesting characters, they're brilliant and flawed, the both of them, and the banter frequently had me laughing aloud.

And, if that weren't enough, it's not just relationship stuff in the fic, but semi-plotful stuff happens and it affects the relationship, these things are balanced so well that it made the story all the more engaging. But, oh, the way they talked about their relationship in the way these character would, the way I was here for both of them, the way they were just so spot on, the way Rhodey was used perfectly here, it was just such a perfect read today.

Velveteen Rabbit by PutItBriefly, tony/pepper, im2 au, 16.2k
    Iron Man 2 AU. Soon after the onset of his palladium poisoning, Tony reveals the truth to Pepper -- about his condition, and his feelings for her.
    If you had asked me if I needed a fic where mid-IM2, a dying Tony told Pepper about the palladium poisoning and how that changed things, I'm not sure I would have said yes. But this fic's writing hooked me in pretty much right away and, before I knew it, I was gone and not coming up for air again until I'd finished. Because, oh, this fic nailed these characters and how they worked together and the issues they would have and all the things that would linger between them. There's a certain quality Pepper especially should always have, a subtle but deep insight into herself just as much as into Tony, she knows the both of them, and that is done gorgeously here, the way the fic gets these characters and the strength of will they both have.

Navigating this relationship, the ups and downs of it, as Tony is dying and wants to be with her, the way she loves him, but isn't going to be blind to what's happening here, it's exactly how their relationship would have gone in M2 if he'd told her. The writing is fantastic and this is now one of my favorite fics for this pairing.

Invasive Maneuvers by PutItBriefly, tony/pepper + rhodey + natasha, 3.8k
    When their romantic getaway is ruined, Tony and Pepper learn their closest colleagues share a strange hobby.
    Elevator fic! Where Tony, Pepper, Rhodey, and Natasha are trapped in an elevator and have to make conversation, which means the terrible gossip about Tony/Pepper leaks out. Everyone is beautifully in character here, all their voices are spot on and each is a delight and pitch perfect to the tone of the Iron Man movies. Such a great read!

Sometimes a Fantasy by PutItBriefly, tony/pepper, 1.7k
    "This is my 'she loves me' fantasy, not a 'drill her like she's never had before' fantasy."
    A short and cute fic about Tony's fantasies and what Pepper expects they are vs what they actually are and a moment of vulnerablity with Tony. This really worked for me, the author has a tremendous grasp on the characters and what makes them tick, so this was pulled off really nicely!

Plus/Delta by PutItBriefly, tony/pepper + j.a.r.v.i.s., 3k
    A surprising assessment of their relationship.
    In a way, it's difficult to describe this fic, because it's a conversation about a relationship. And yet it was a lovely read about how these two work together, why they work, wrapped up in a fun conversation with J.A.R.V.I.S. A fantastic read!

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