Title: Temperance in All Things (Even Revenge)
Author: Del Rion (delrion.mail (at) gmail.com)
Fandom: Iron Man 2 (MCU)
Rating: K / FRC
Characters: J.A.R.V.I.S., Tony Stark (Iron Man). Mentioned: Happy Hogan, Pepper Potts.
Summary: The world – and the press – have figured out Pepper and Tony are together. Tony doesn’t stress about it, but even if he did, there are others who have his back. Including his AI, who is not above retaliation when the situation calls for it.
Complete. Part of the “Genius, AI & Bots” series.
Written for: My card on Love Bingo’s (love_bingo) Round 3 (square: “Monogamy”)
Disclaimer: Iron Man and Marvel Cinematic Universe, including characters and everything else, belong to Marvel, Marvel Studios, Jon Favreau and Paramount Pictures. In short: I own nothing; this is pure fiction created to entertain likeminded fans for no profit whatsoever.
Beta: Mythra (mythras_fire)
Feedback: Warmly welcomed.
Story and status: Below you see the writing process of the story. If there is no text after the title, then it is finished and checked. Possible updates shall be marked after the title.
Temperance in All Things (Even Revenge)
Author’s note: In case anyone’s wondering, the name of the magazine featured in this story is totally made up (I didn’t want to imply anyone *cough* would actually print untrue, trashy stories of celebrities).
Written for my card on Love Bingo’s Round 3. Square: “Monogamy”.
The headlines were everywhere, each more slanderous than the last. All those who had to censor themselves wanted to say what the rash rags were already writing:
Can Tony Keep It In His Iron Pants?
It was touching that they were ‘worried’ – insert sarcastic roll of eyes and air quotes here – but Tony failed to feel the love. Not that he cared: he had thrived in what the filth magazines wrote about him since he came of age – not to mention how low he could lure the more full-of-themselves magazines to stoop in order to get a comment out of his mouth. He wasn’t going to become sensitive about it now.
Pepper, too, was thick-skinned, having dealt with that very filth in the past, but it seemed unfair she had to keep wading through it now that it wasn’t in her job description anymore.
In the beginning stages of their relationship, Pepper had wanted to keep their involvement a secret. However, it got out sooner rather than later, and she was smart enough to know that hiding something was a surefire way to get the press to poke at it. Plus, Tony wasn’t good with secrets.
Correction: Tony was amazing with secrets he felt like he had to keep – like the fact that he had been dying from palladium poisoning – but he refused to hide things that didn’t warrant it – like the fact that he was Iron Man, or that he was in love with Pepper and was going to give it his best shot.
Which included respecting Pepper and not sleeping around – a behavior which he had drastically curbed after his stay in Afghanistan, but no one seemed to notice that.
It wasn’t as if Tony were allergic to monogamy. He didn’t dislike it. In fact, he admired that connection between two – or more – people devoting their bodies to one another. And, of course, there were ideals, life, living space and all sorts of compromises that had to be reached. Other people called that ‘relationship stuff’, but Tony included it all in a monogamous effort to make something work and last.
Seeing as he was working on more lasting solutions for all mankind, it all coincided beautifully. Giving himself a steady, stable environment to work in ought to reflect well on his other efforts for a better, brighter tomorrow.
Luckily, he wasn’t alone in his efforts to maintain his relationship with Pepper: Happy was like a grumpy watchdog on a tight leash, leaving no room for lingering doubts that approaching either his boss or former boss with undesirable questions was totally not okay.
And then there was J.A.R.V.I.S.
After a rather nasty, out-of-context interview appeared in a national white-trash magazine, Hot Now! USA – the entire interview constructed from individual, unrelated chats with both Pepper and Tony – the magazine’s website and offices became the victim of a vicious cyber attack, and the accompanying worm rendered all their back-ups and databases completely unusable. No one could pinpoint the origin of the attack, but Tony knew his handiwork when he saw it:
“You didn’t, by any chance, happen to corrupt all of Hot Now! magazine’s hardware earlier today, did you?”
“I have no recollection of you ordering such action, sir.”
“That’s because I didn’t.”
“Then I could not have done it.”
“Not even a little?”
“Are you insinuating that I have worked without your express command?”
“Just knocking on doors, asking questions…”
“There are no doors here, sir.”
“Just as you are not capable of taking initiative and completely ruining an entire business.”
“I would imagine so.”
“So we’re all good, here?”
“Of course, sir.”
“You’re welcome, sir. Give Miss Potts my best.”
Tony laughed and jumped into one of his cars to pick up his CEO for a date that might just end up on some trash magazine’s front page. He knew, though, that there were people who had his back.
And one seriously badass AI.