Pepper nodded in thanks when the waitress brought their food, eating a piece of the crab cake and savoring the taste of it. The food here really was incredible, and sometimes she came just to enjoy the food and the view. “As soon as possible. He deserves to know, and I’ve already kept it hidden for a week. I can’t go on hiding it from him.” She was starting to feel calmer, with the decision made and everything settled. She couldn’t control Tony’s reaction, but she always knew that. Once she told him, though, everything would be out there and she wouldn’t be hiding anymore. That’s what she needed.
It was at the third sip of her drink that she could tell the tightness in her chest for what it truly was, just as it was getting harder to breathe. She’d been careful for so long that she hadn’t recognized an allergic reaction for what it was, mistaking it for a panic attack, which was far more common for her nowadays. Her eyes widened and she scrambled for the glass, spilling it instead. “Nat…” she gasped, spots starting in front of her eyes.
“Pepper?” Something was wrong and this was not a panic attack. This was something else. The redhead swore colorfully in Russian and sprang into action, grabbing Pepper’s purse. No Epipen. “Someone call nine, one, one now. This woman is having an allergic reaction.” People around them gasped and some pulled out their cellphones, wait staff moved to help and do what they could, but there was nothing. As everything became chaos, Natasha was eerily calm. Deadly one might say as she watched the scene, watched everyone closely and wondered what on earth—
Strawberries. But from—
“An Ambulance is on its way.” Someone called out amidst the chaos as Natasha picked up the spilled glass and a slender, small finger swiped some of the daiquiri to taste it, but she could only taste the strong raspberry, but it had to come from there. “I need a bag for this glass and find out who the fuck made this drink.”
Seconds later the paramedics charged in and everyone directed them to Pepper as a waiter brought her a bag for the glass and informed her that the bartender swore he only used raspberries. It didn’t matter now, they could figure it out later, Natasha needed to go with Pepper to the hospital and she needed to get a hold of Tony.
The drink didn’t seem to help any and she stared at it, her chest feeling tight. She forced herself to breathe, knowing how to calm herself from similar moments with Tony. She still felt flustered, though not as panicked as before, and she took another sip of her drink to try and quiet the last of her nerves. She would talk to Tony when she got home, tell him everything, and he would be excited. Even if he was terrified of being a father.
"I’ll let him know he can talk to you. I think it would help him, too, knowing he has someone to go to so he doesn’t have to try and stress himself out." She grinned slightly. "Though I might just suggest it the day after I tell him, so he thinks I told you second."
"That’s exactly what friends are for. And you’re my friend, Nat. I can trust you for so much more than this."
It was strange to see Pepper like this, even when everything was going to hell when she was pretending to be Stark’s new PA she had never once seen this woman be so well… close to falling apart. Or at least that was how she seemed to Natasha in this moment and if the spy was the type she would’ve gotten up and hugged her friend. But she wasn’t sure if Pepper herself wanted such comfort or not and so she remained seated and took a sip of her drink.
“Okay.” It seemed like there was a plan formulating, that maybe there was light at the end of the tunnel for Pepper and maybe she’d be surprised, maybe Tony would be okay and not freak completely out. Hopefully.
Their waiter returned then to check on their drinks and bring their food, Natasha opted for a refill and nibbled at her shrimp, which was fantastic. “So, now the question is when are you going to tell him?”
"I will kiss your scars as you heal, I will sit by your side and hold your hand. I will write invisible secrets and paragraphs and maybe a book into your skin at night, while you sleep warm next to me."
She just had to take a few deep breaths and force herself to think again. She could tell Tony, she knew she could. And of course he’d want their child. Why wouldn’t he? It was their baby, something they’d created together. But every time he went into a panic attack over the mere thought of being a father, she reconsidered the idea. Now that she had fallen into this, she knew she would love the baby inside her. But would Tony? She could only hope.
"That might help. He would attempt to stay calm, knowing you’re there. But he’s still not stupid. I think after a while he’d put it together… he’d figure out you were there as emotional support, not just for whatever reason we give him." As much as the thought of having Natasha there appealed to her, she knew she would have to do this alone. Perhaps tonight, after she returned home. She would talk to him just the way she was talking to Nat, calmly and hoping he would take it all in.
"He’ll need a lot of time. At least you’re right, he’ll have nine months of time to think and get used to it." She shook her head and took a large sip of her drink. "Don’t worry about it. I just had to tell someone and you were the first person I thought of. At least talking to you, I feel a little more comfortable going up to Tony."
The longer the conversation went on, the more Natasha took to watching Pepper carefully because every large breath she took seemed to remind the spy of Tony when he was trying to ward off a panic attack. Pepper didn’t need that and so she’d do everything in her power to keep her from having one. It was going to be okay, somehow, Natasha had faith in that she believed it. Tony would be fine once he came around to it and then he would be excited like any other Father to be or at least Natasha hoped for Pepper’s sake.
If only I could talk to him, I’d get him to not freak out about all of this. Maybe. I don’t know.
“If you think it will help, tell him he can talk to me anytime and vent things out that way he won’t stress you any further.” She suggested. “You’d just have to suggest it in a way that doesn’t say ‘oh yeah, by the way I told Natasha before I did you’ though.”
“That’s fine, I’m glad you can trust me that much to do that.” It made her feel more human, more than just a tool. “That’s what friends are for anyways, right?”
"Up on the table, shirt up and prepare yourself for cold jelly" Mara hummed out, going over to pull the sonogram over to the side of the table. Mara slowly rolled up her sleeves as she walked about the room, humming slightly to herself as she worked.
This was actually happening. This was going to make it all real. Was she even ready? She didn’t know, but here she was and there was no turning back. She easily got up onto the table and got comfortable before rolling her shirt up and watching Mara move around. “Ready when you are,” she said with a small half smile.
He laughed at her words, she would not get used to it so often. He remembered when they started their path together, she wasn’t the type given to touches and hugs and kisses, he was the one that always made the first move. It was a victory to have her sleeping safe and sound on his arms for the first time. He wanted to make her feel safe and loved, that was how he felt around her. “I know you love it,” he held her glance, smiling, her eyes were so pretty and he knew that she liked his. He laughed again, fondly caressing her cheek. “I don’t think we could ever make each other blush.” Thor was hardly ashamed of anything, the same applied for her. “I love you so,” he told her quietly, kissing her hand. She deserved a medal for behaving like that, Thor could feel a cloud of worry above their heads still they were dealing with it the best they could. He didn’t know what he would do if she lost her hope, but like him, she had faith now, something he taught her some time ago.
They broke their trance when her grape juice arrived in a big glass, “I must warn you that everything here is a little bigger than things on Earth, you’ve probably noticed that by now. It includes our meals.” And horses, and plants, and houses. The fact that Frigga got Natasha fitting clothes was impressive. “Deal,” he told her thinking about the vodka, he didn’t like it that much. “I have a strong feeling that you’ll be able to beat Volstagg on a drinking contests. Where are they, by the way?” He turned to the bartender who was watching Natasha with dazed eyes, waking from his stupor. “Last time I saw them, they were on the stables, sir.” Thor nodded, drinking some of Natasha’s juice. “Come now, I want you to meet Stormbringer, Treibold and the others, the stables are closer.”
He had changed her, she was different more open to being held and touched, to being loved. She was not as apprehensive as she once was, though at the moment she totally wanted to blame that on hormones. They were devil things, though she had to admit so far she had been pretty level headed still and hadn’t really flown off the handle. Though in truth she was just waiting for it honestly and it would probably happen at some point no doubt for they were both stubborn people after all.
“Au contraire, I will admit you’ve made me blush before and I know I have you, but you won’t admit it.” She teased, not caring that the bar keep could hear her at all in fact she hoped he had just for her own personal amusement.
Both her brows rose at the size of the glass of juice as it was sat in front of her. “Asgard is literally the Texas of the nine realms.” She commented shaking her head slowly, but picking up the glass and taking a drink finding it to be the sweetest grape juice she had ever tasted and she nearly drank all of it. When she could drink no more she sat the glass down with just some left at the bottom, a shot glass amount really and sat back content for a moment. “We can get this at the Palace right?” She had liked it that much and then she had laughed at the idea of her beating an Asgardian in a drinking contest. “Please. I can’t even beat you what makes you think I can beat him?” She inquired eying her Husband disapprovingly before noticing the way the Tender was looking at her and then glanced to Thor, was she that much of a novelty or something?
As they left, heading to the stables she looked to Thor. “Am I honestly such a big deal? I know you saw the way he was looking at me.” She was merely curious and nothing more.
Talking it over with Natasha was sometimes relieving. It was like salving a wound that had been aching for days. Other times, when even the spy had no answers, she felt more lost than she had before. This was one of those times, when Natasha’s blind groping for answers filled her with a loss that she longed to get rid of. The problem with having a friend that seemed to know all the answers is that when they finally don’t, you just don’t know what to do.
"Whatever he’s afraid of, he’s refused them so far. He’s refused to even discuss them before. I just don’t want to… push him, with this. We were supposed to wait…" She looked down, staring at her drink and toying with the stem of the glass. "There’s not much you can do, I suppose. I have to tell Tony myself. And if you’re there he’ll know I told you first. That’ll just hurt him more, I think." She grinned, a little wryly. "Yes, but we agreed I would be in charge of the birth control, so he wouldn’t have to use condoms. That’s what was my fault." But it was all out of her hands now. She was pregnant and there was nothing else for it. "Of course. I think Jarvis might even have a recording of Tony attempting yoga and being interrupted by Joules, if you want to look into that."
This was troubling to Natasha, she wished she had answers, she wished she could fix everything and make Tony understand and be okay with this. She knew Pepper was probably worrying herself to death over it which wasn’t good for herself or the kid. It was all such a mess and the spy wanted badly to make it not so for both of them. There had to be something, she just needed to think for a moment and definitely take another drink. She had to be careful however, given it was a crutch she didn’t want Pepper to know about or that in a way all of this was stirring up memories for the redhead.
“What if I’m just randomly there when you tell him? I am a good actress you know. I can just be in another room, just in case.” Because she was right, it would hurt Tony terribly to know that Pepper hadn’t told him first. But even as she suggested this, it didn’t exactly seem like a sound idea either. More and more it sounded like she would just have to do the whole thing on her own and hope for the best and Natasha would hope for her as well. Still it felt like leaving the woman to the wolves in a way.
“I think after a while he’ll be okay. It will give him something to focus on. He’ll just need time, a lot of time.” She sighed then, slouching back a bit in her seat. “I wish I could be more help somehow and yes I would definitely like to see Tony yoga time with cat-interuptus.”