Disclaimer: I don't own these characters.
Again... Spoilers for Iron Man III.
Closing and locking the door to one of the many conference rooms in the New York branch of Stark Industries, Coulson placed a legal pad and pen on the table. "JARVIS, I need access to some footage."
"As you are asking here, Agent Coulson, I assume the footage is of the sort Mr. Stark doesn't want SHIELD to have access to," JARVIS replied.
"Yes," Coulson replied with a nod. "I'm not here officially."
The wood paneling at one end of the conference room receded down to show a large monitor. "What footage?"
"Aldrich Killian's death."
"One moment," JARVIS stated. A few minutes later, the AI continued talking. "Mr. Stark wishes to inform you that this footage doesn't officially exist, as it was all regrettably destroyed during the altercation."
"Acknowledged," Coulson replied as he sat down, his pen poised to write.
After viewing the footage multiple times, the full time SHIELD agent and part time Watcher stared at the pages of notes before him.
"Agent Coulson, your appointment with Ms. Potts is in fifteen minutes."
"Thank you, JARVIS." Coulson gathered his pad and pen and quickly walked to the elevator.
Five minutes later, he announced his arrival to Pepper's assistant. Getting the go ahead, he entered her office and took a quick look around. Coulson's attention was caught by the soft spotlight to one side, showing a traditional table mounting of an antique katana and wakizashi sword set.
"Is something wrong, Phil?" Pepper asked as Coulson walked over and closely examined the sword set.
"No, nothing," Coulson replied with a ghost of a smile. "Just another item for my research."
Pepper looked slightly confused. "Research?"
Nodding, Coulson went over to where Pepper was standing in the office sitting area. "I believe we are officially meeting to discuss Stark's latest escapade over the Chrysler building."
"Which we discussed over lunch yesterday," Pepper grinned in reply as the two sat down. "Unofficially?"
Placing his notepad in front of his friend, Coulson pointed to a heavily underlined word at the bottom of the top page. "Are you?"
After staring for a few moments at the word, Pepper looked up, slightly shocked. "How did you…?"
Nodding, Coulson reached for the pad and flipped to the second page. "I keep personal notes on all my missions and assignments." Looking up from his notes, he continued, "During a review of my personal notes, I started noticing behavior you've displayed in the past. Knowing a person was behind you before they made noise, slightly off reaction times to stimuli... After reviewing your actions during the Killian incident, I was almost positive. Extremis changes the body, but doesn't add skill sets."
Pepper nodded. "One day, I squeezed too hard on my toothpaste and broke the tube. Then, while walking through Stark Industries, I kept getting odd feeling from people. That was the first day. Over time, I learned to subconsciously control it."
"And, when you were startled? You didn't automatically lash out?"
Pepper laughed. "Have you met Tony Stark? I had taught myself to ignore the 'attack when startled' response long before I changed."
Coulson looked pensive. "Speaking of Stark, what will he do when he finds out?"
"He shrugged and said, 'You're Pepper. I wouldn't be surprised if you secretly ruled the world.', then went back to whatever project he was working on," Pepper replied with a laugh.
Pepper nodded. "He's known since the beginning. When we figured out exactly what had happened to me, Tony made sure that the decor of my office and personal space has lovely, functional antiques like the set you were admiring when you came in today."
Pepper looked confused. “What about her?”
Coulson gave her a pointed look. “She doesn’t know?”
“We don’t ‘ping’ on each other, if that’s what you mean,” Pepper smiled mischievously before turning serious. “And, even if she doesn’t know, it doesn’t mean I can’t support her. She seems to enjoy having a foot in both worlds. For myself, the world of Tony Stark is hectic enough for my life.”
Nodding, Coulson placed his legal pad back onto the shiny black coffee table. "Since this meeting is unofficial, there will be no report filed with SHIELD," he assured. "All of my compiled notes on this subject are on that pad of paper in front of you. I need to ask… Your training?"
Sighing, Pepper stood up and motioned Coulson to stand as well. "I'm currently working on my black sash in Tai Chi. It's a great workout, and wonderful stress relief."
"I’m not mentioning this to my other employers either. You have a good grasp on your situation, and I don't think the world needs to know what a woman in your position is capable of. Also, you nor your company needs the type of notice that bit of information can cause. Until our next meeting." Smiling slightly, Coulson nodded and left Pepper's office, leaving the pad of notes behind.
The CEO of Stark Industries picked up the pad, ripped off the written on pages, plus a few beneath, and fed them through the shredder slot discreetly hidden in the back of her office. "JARVIS, have that burnt as well. And, if you haven't yet, inform Tony of this meeting the next time he's alone in his workshop. "
"Of course, Ms. Potts." JARVIS replied.
It can be hazardous to be in the car with Ithildin. A few mornings ago, she commented, "What if Pepper was a slayer?"
I jokingly replied, "I hate you." And, then, I started plotting. This is the result.
I don't know if Pepper as a Slayer will be mentioned again in the series. But, we'll know! And, won't future terrorists/kidnappers/etc have a shock if they go after her?
Tai Chi is used as a form of exercise and meditation, but it can also be used to fight, with or without weapons.