TONY STARK and PEPPER POTTS have just finished ‘expressing’ their feelings for each other, in the naked way. Pepper rolls to her side of the bed, as we look down on the two exhausted individuals lying COVERED in bed. Pepper is giddy, Tony's wrist resting upon his forehead as he stares at the roof with a distant look on his face
PEPPER: That, Mr Stark, was your best performance yet
TONY (obviously not as satisfied as Pepper): Glad I could rise to your expectations
PEPPER (picking up on Tony’s non-plusness): What is it?
TONY (realising he is not in the moment snaps back to reality): Oh no, it was great, you were great. I didn’t know you were double jointed...
PEPPER: So great that you couldn’t help but look bored straight after? Was I that bad?
TONY: No, it wasn’t you, I was just thinking about.....nothing
PEPPER: You’re Tony Stark. You’re always thinking something. If I was that bad you can just let me know, I mean I’m not Madam Masque but I could grab some tin foil and...
TONY: I was thinking about my father
Silence as both Tony and Pepper think about this statement.
TONY: Not like that.
PEPPER (smirking at making Tony uncomfortable): Like how then?
TONY: Where do I start? We could skip all the “he was to interested in his work to pay any attention to me” part of the conversation, not to mention the whole “I became great with machines to get my father’s approval” section, and go straight to – I think my father created Iron Man
PEPPER (confused): I don’t want to sound insensitive as you’re obviously having a post-coital moment, but huh?
TONY: He may not have made the suit, but I was already Iron Man long before it came along. My father never gave me the attention I craved so badly from him, never showed the affection I needed. I turned to machines in order to gain his approval, but I think I a part of me found them so appealing because they are emotionless.
PEPPER’s smirk fades as she realises that TONY is being serious
TONY: They can never judge you, never make you feel inferior. There was never a threat of rejection with machines as there was with people. As such, I became comfortable, enjoying the company of machines over real people. (Turning to PEPPER) Or have you never noticed that a multi-billionaire in his 40’s only has one friend, and has had just under that number of serious relationships.
PEPPER looks at TONY, looking at the man she has known for years, but is only seeing for the first time. TONY returns his gaze to the ceiling.
TONY: I have always been a man of iron. By keeping all relationships plutonic, I prevented anyone from ‘getting in’, protecting myself so I would not fall short of someone else’s idea of what I should be. Thanks to my father, I have always been Iron Man – the shrapnel just gave me an excuse to make it official.