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02 September 2008 @ 06:11 pm
DVD Commentary: Books and Backchat  
DVD Commentary of Books and Backchat as requested by joonscribble, done for the DVD commentary meme (still open, come play!)



Title: Books and Backchat
Characters: Pepper, Tony, Jarvis (briefly)
Rating: PG
Spoilers: The movie, obviously. Also makes a couple of Fantastic Four references, which snuck in while I wasn't looking.
Word count: 1,574
Summary: Pepper and Tony discuss literature. Sort of. POST-MOVIE.
Author's notes: Of all the things I could and should be writing, my mind apparently decided this was the most important. Don't ask me where it came from or what purpose it has, I don't know. My first Iron Man fic. Unbeta'd, all mistakes are mine.

{Preface: I don't know how this fic got started, to tell the truth. I knew I wanted to write some Iron Man, since I loved the movie. I knew I wanted Pepper and Tony bantering. The story I came up with in my head does not actually appear in this one. This is sort of the first half of the story I was going to write and then it turned out to be a complete story on it's own. I may yet write that original story I had in mind.}

“Miss Potts, I am the middle of a great tape emergency!” Tony announced.

He never knocks – that how she knows it’s him. He threw open the door to her office in that attention grabbing way he’s so fond of and marched in.

“I’m sorry to hear that, Mr. Stark,” she said. “What is the nature of your tape emergency?”

He was already into her stuff, looking inside boxes and rearranging papers. She never keeps anything she doesn’t want him to see in here for that reason. He can’t keep still and it is a well-known fact that he has wandering hands.

{I always think of Tony as a three-year old child, needing to see and try and touch everything around him. You see that a lot in very smart people - their brains move so fast that they are perpetually bored.}

“I am in desperate need of tape and there isn’t any, Miss Potts,” he said. “What other kind of tape emergency could there be?”

She didn’t say what she was thinking – which involved some blonde woman, duct tape and bed posts. She just smiled and opened a drawer in her desk. It was full of rolls of tape of all varieties and uses. Tony always needed tape in the middle of the night, made no attempt to find any and then went out to some all-night drugstore to buy some. Which meant over the years she had collected many rolls of tape.

{I figure the only time Tony doesn't have Pepper watching him (aside from when he's on dates) is at night, after she leaves. So, in keeping with the 'Tony is a 3-year-old' theme, I picture him sneaking out to all night stores and buying, like, $300 worth of junk because he keeps getting distracted. So Pepper comes in in the morning and finds the kitchen filled with food he's never going to eat and his desk covered with magazines and little toys strewn around all over the place.}

“What kind of tape do you need?” she asked. “Duct tape? Masking tape? Scotch tape? Electrical tape?”

“Uh, door number three,” Tony said. He leaned over her desk and peered into the drawer. “That is a veritable menagerie of tape, Miss Potts. Are you hoarding in case of the apocalypse or do you have some sort of tape kleptomania fetish thing that I was unaware of? I have to admit, I’m hoping for the latter.”

“I like to be prepared, Mr. Stark,” she replied. She selected a roll of barely used Scotch tape and tossed it to him.

{Hoarding tape is a Bard family trait, by the way. We also use copious amounts of tape when wrapping presents. My Nana always asks if we own stock in the Scotch tape company.}

“There is enough tape in there to feed a small island population for a year,” he said. “Provided I had a small island and they could eat tape. Do I have an island?”

“No,” she said.

“Are you sure? I seem like someone who should own an island,” he said. “I should buy one. Look into islands for sale. I could use a secret base. Maybe in a volcano.” He held up a hand as though she had objected. “I know, a bit impractical.”

“The air conditioning bill alone...” she said.

“But think of the money saved in the winter,” he interjected.

“...And the possibility of eruption, which would really ruin my day...”

“I would come and fly you to safety, of course.”

“...And the commute would be hell,” she finished.

“I’d double your salary,” he said. He paused. “No. I need an island. Find me an island, Miss Potts!”

{This was my attempt to get the patter Gwyneth and Robert did so well in the movie down on paper. I loved how they talked over each other and interupted each other - you don't see that in movies very often because it's hard to cut out dialogue if the two actors are talking simultaeneously. I like that it's almost like a dance - they've known each other so long that they know what the other is going to do or say. So, when you read that section, picture the overtalking and the banter.}

“I’ll add that to my To-Do list,” she said.

He had selected a couple of pens from the holder on her desk and was now taping them together. As she watched, he selected another pen and attached it as well.

{Another Bard family trait. My father, brother and I all need something in our hands when we're watching TV. We're always twirling a pen or tossing the remote or dissecting bottle caps.}

“I read that book you were talking about,” he said, as he worked.

“What book?”

“The book,” he said. He waved a pen vaguely around. “The one with the British guy who’s a jerk to the British chick with the billion sisters.”

“Pride and Prejudice?” she asked.

He jabbed a pen at her. “That’s the one.”

{I was in the middle of reading Emma when I was writing this, so I was on a bit of an Austen kick.}

The mini-series had been on TV the other day and Pepper had it on in the background while she sorted through paperwork. When Tony had barged in to distract her, he’d paused to make fun of the characters on screen. She’d mentioned it was her favourite book. She was surprised he remembered. He never picked up on anything important she said, but some useless piece of trivia would, of course, be permanently stored in his brain.

{But of course, for Tony, what Pepper likes isn't useless. It's important. Whether or not you like them as a ship (which the movie is very obviously pressing) or just as friends, they are extremely important to each other. So I think Tony may not remember when her birthday is or where he's supposed to be at 9 o'clock on Thursday morning, but he knows exactly what shoe size Pepper is and what her favourite chocolate bar is.}

“You read Pride and Prejudice?” she asked.

“Yes. No. Jarvis read it to me,” he explained. “Last night, while I was working. He does a lovely Lizzie Bennet.”

{I love the way they portayed Jarvis in the movie, with his snarky voice and almost sentience. I thought he would do a lovely, if sarcastic job with an Austen novel.}

“Thank you, sir,” Jarvis said.

Tony looked up. “Hey, don’t eavesdrop.”

“You would like me to engage my privacy function?” the AI asked, sounding somewhat affronted.

Pepper often remembered the days when she didn’t know AIs could be affronted.

{I have this theory that Pepper and Jarvis work in cahoots to keep Tony on track. He's probably a very great listener when she needs to rant, as well.}

“No, that’s all right,” Tony said. “If Miss Potts tries to kill me, I want witnesses.”

“Understood, sir,” Jarvis said.

The sculpture had become cubical now and was still growing as Tony taped more pens to it. She knew she should probably stop him before he took all her writing utensils, but there was something about getting a look into Tony Stark’s brain that made her hesitate.

“So, what do you think?” she asked.

“About you murdering me? Not really the way I want to go out. I mean, being a superhero and all, it would be nice to die saving children or, like, a bunch of kittens -” he stopped his thought mid-sentence. “Are you a cat or a dog person, Pepper?”

“Dog,” she said.

{I figured dog because she has enough of cat-like behaviour with Tony. A dog just needs some food and a walk and some cuddles and will love you for it. Whereas a cat would just think it's its dues for bestowing its company on you.}

“Well, puppies, then. But, I am aware that you probably have some hidden secretarial ninja skills that may catch me off guard one day, not to mention those heels that, quite frankly could pierce my -”

“Tony,” she interrupted. “What do you think of the book?”

He blinked at her. “The book.”

“The book we were talking about two seconds ago,” she prompted. “Pride and Prejudice?”

He paused in attaching the latest pen to the sculpture. “Oh, right. If you wanted to talk about that you should say ‘what did you think of the book?’ which would imply a past tense, since I am not currently reading the -”

“Never mind!” Pepper said. “I don’t care.” She snatched a pen from the holder before he could get to it and rifled through some papers on her desk. “Your appointment at the Baxter Building has been moved to - “

“It seemed illogical,” Tony interrupted. “The book. I mean, all someone had to do at any point was say ‘listen, you know that thing that you think I said or did or wanted to say or do? Totally did not happen. P.S, I dig you, let’s get married and spend our 10,000 a year.’ By the way, how does that work? Does some guy from the bank just show up on New Year’s Day and say ‘here is your 10,000 pounds, sir, don’t spend it all in one place?’”

{That is something Ama and I have always wondered - how one gets 10,000 a year. This is the theory we have come up with.}

“I...don’t know,” Pepper said, thoughtfully. “I hadn’t really thought about it.” Tony made a disbelieving note in his throat at her lack of curiosity. “I didn’t consider it vital to enjoying the story, Tony. And some people, they have this quality called ‘shyness’. I know it’s a foreign concept. Some people don’t spill everything in their heads out in a Shakespearean monologue as soon as it occurs to them.”

Tony furrowed his brow, as though trying to wrap his head around the concept. “The sister was an idiot, too,” he said, after a moment.

“Agreed,” Pepper said.

“Do chicks really dig guys in red coats that much?”

Pepper shrugged. “Apparently.”

Tony wiggled his eyebrows. “I have a red suit.”

“I’m not running off to Gretna Green with you,” Pepper told him, with a smile.

{Gretna Green - one of my favourite place names to say. My surrogate grandmother, Joan, used to have a Dandie Dinmont named Gretna who was the cutest thing.}

“Not even for 10,000 a year?” Tony asked. “To be paid on New Year’s Day?”

“I’d need a lot of frocks,” Pepper decided. “And bonnets. And perhaps a Barouche-Landau or two.”

{It was originally 'curricle or two', before I stopped to check that I was right in my terms. I was not. A curricle is a one person cart young strapping boys would go careening about in. So I switched to Barouche-Landau, which Mrs. Elton's sister has in Emma, which she is constantly working into conversation. These are the kinds of hard hitting, shocking facts I give to you in these commentaries, people. Don't you feel educated now?}

“Done,” he said. “Though, you really shouldn’t cover up your hair, Pep. It’s a crime against nature. Seriously, nature will sue your ass. Which isn’t that bad, either.”

She rolled her eyes and wondered how, after so many years, he still managed to make her blush. He loved to do it, too. His eyes always twinkled with that smarmy delight when her cheeks pinked up. She cleared her throat.

“The Baxter Building meeting, Mr. Stark,” she said.

“Yes, Miss Potts,” he said, mimicking her professional tone.

“It’s been moved to tomorrow at 10 am,” she said.

“Richards blow his lab up again?” Tony asked. There was a slight hint of affection in the question. Reed Richards was perhaps the only person in the world who could follow Tony Stark’s technobabble and vice versa. Pepper suspected the two were in competition to see who could out babble the other.

{The Fantastic Four reference snuck right in without my thinking about it. I had this mental image of how very flustered Tony could make Reed with a simple well-placed bawdy tale. I bet he's made it his mission to see how fast he can get Reed to blush.}

“I believe Mrs. Richards has a doctor’s appointment Mr. Richards forgot about,” Pepper said. “It sounded important, from the yelling in the background.”

{If the F4 movie series had continued, there was talk of Sue having Franklin in the next one. I decided to make her pregnant in this one, though it's a bit of an obscure implication. I imagine being pregnant with a super-genius that can bend reality would make you very hormonal.}

“World’s dumbest smart guy,” Tony muttered. “Order some flowers for Suzie?”

{I also really wanted Tony to call Sue 'Suzie'. Because he would.}

“They’ll be delivered just before your arrival tomorrow,” Pepper said. “So you can pick up them in the lobby. You also sent me a lovely bouquet of lilies for my hard work and loyalty.”

“I’m a regular Mr. Darcy,” Tony said.

Pepper snorted. “You’re a George Wickham at best, Tony.”

“You wound me, Pepper,” Tony said, putting a hand to his chest. “I mean, I have tiny pieces of metal trying to pierce my heart, but that, that hurt. I am taking my tape and leaving.”

She smiled and shook her head, eyeing the sculpture of pens on her desk. She wondered if she could auction it off for charity. 'A Tony Stark Original'.

“Don’t be up all night,” she called after him.

“Evil doers never sleep, Miss Potts,” Tony called back. “We cannot know what atrocities may occur that need avenging.”

Pepper rolled her eyes and began dismantling the pen sculpture.

Tony stuck his head back through her doorway and winked at her. “Besides, tonight Jarvis is reading me ‘Sense and Sensibility.’”

{That's where the first half was going to end and I was going to toss one of those neat little line breaks in and keep going after a time jump. But it was long already and I thought that was a nice enough closing to the story. Should I be inspired, I will probably write the next part.}
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formerly lifeinsomniac: ruletheworldjoonscribble on September 3rd, 2008 04:21 am (UTC)
I never left a comment on the original story (bad joonscribble!) and in reading the story again with the DVD commentary, I feel doubly ashamed.

You really have Tony's voice down. I laughed out loud in several places because I could really hear his one liners in Robert Downey Jr.'s rapid fire speech pattern. I especially liked his description of Lizzie as the girl "with a billion sisters" and him warning Pepper that covering her hair would lead to nature suing her ass.

I have this theory that Pepper and Jarvis work in cahoots to keep Tony on track. He's probably a very great listener when she needs to rant, as well.

I feel like there has to be a fic out there of Pepper's first week and meeting Jarvis who sort of gives her the rundown of Tony's moods. If there isn't one, there should be.

That is something Ama and I have always wondered - how one gets 10,000 a year. This is the theory we have come up with.

I think it depended on the arrangements with the bank, but I think commonly was a monthly allowance type thing. Sort of like getting paid for a job, only you're not working because you're wealthy and don't have to. But Tony's idea of it being all plonked down at once is funnier. And probably explains why some men end up living beyond their means.

I think I want that pen sculpture now. Or attempt to make one of my own.
The Writer They Call Tay: IM: Tony Stark is awesomeawanderingbard on September 3rd, 2008 04:43 am (UTC)
No worries about comments, m'dear. Every writer is a comment whore, but sometimes I know I forget to leave a comment or just want to take a bit to process the fic and come up with something intelligent.

I feel like there has to be a fic out there of Pepper's first week and meeting Jarvis who sort of gives her the rundown of Tony's moods. If there isn't one, there should be.

I have been toying with the idea of writing Pepper's job interview with Tony (because the way she comes to work with him in the novelization is just...not good). I could probably put in some Jarvis/Pepper bonding into that.

ETA: Duh! Thanks for the lovely compliments! :-)

Edited at 2008-09-03 04:44 am (UTC)
formerly lifeinsomniac: MoranSortedjoonscribble on September 3rd, 2008 04:50 am (UTC)
How is the Iron Man novelization? I kind of want to read it. If anything because I want to try my hand at fic, but I only saw the movie once and it wasn't enough for me to get a good handle on anyone's voices.
The Writer They Call Tay: IM: who are you now?awanderingbard on September 3rd, 2008 05:02 am (UTC)
I wouldn't recommend it, honestly. I picked it up for the same reason and it's very obvious how much Robert Downey Jr. brought to the role, because the dialogue sounds nothing like movie!Tony. There's some nice insights into Tony's past and looks in his and Pepper and Rhodey's heads, though, and a bit more about Jarvis. It doesn't have the same fun feel of the movie and the author spends a little too much time trying to justify the science. In comparison to the X-Men novels, which really enhanced the movies for me, this one is just sort of blah. It's pretty cheap and a quick read, though, if you are willing to take a shot. The DVD is out on the 30th, so you don't have to wait too much longer to see it again.