Hello everyone! It's your favorite ninja of the night back with a new story! Just remember that I don't own anything, I'm just a college student who needs to destress from school. This is gonna be a series of one-shots with each of the Avengers interacting with Pepper. Hope you all enjoy.

Every group has something that holds it together, acknowledged or unacknowledged, something that keeps the group from shattering into pieces, something to keep its members from scattering to the winds. For the Avengers, it wasn't Director Fury with his surprisingly severe gaze from one eye as he ordered them all to stay close; it wasn't Coulson who returned after a few days' leave requesting written reports of what happened in New York; it wasn't Steve, the unofficial leader saying they all should stick together and watch each others' backs; it wasn't Tony offering Stark Tower as the temporary home of the Avengers until they figured out what they were going to do. What kept the Avengers together was Pepper Potts. The unofficial member of the Avengers, the only person who could wrangle the Avengers as well as Phil, the glue that held the bunch together. Without a conscious action, she kept the Avengers together when they would have drifted apart.

Pepper rushed into the lobby of Stark Towers, her breath catching in her throat as she looked around at the carnage. The battle had ended about two hours earlier; it had taken a while to find a safe place to land the Stark jet and find a way into the city. Despite the car she managed to get a hold of, Pepper had to abandon it ten blocks from the Tower because of the debris, opting for walking the remainder of the distance. 'Thank god for ballet flats,' she thought as she walked over to the elevator, her heels stowed in her bag.

"Come on, Jarvis, I need you this one time," Pepper muttered to herself, jabbing the elevator call button repeatedly. She was barely able to contain her panic and worry over Tony, constantly tapping her foot and fidgeting. After a few minutes, the elevator doors slid open, its polished condition a sharp contrast to the disaster zone that was the lobby. "Jarvis," she called as she stepped into the elevator, slipping her key into the control panel that allowed her to go up to the residential floor. "Are you there?"

"Yes, Ms. Potts," Jarvis replied pleasantly, his voice slightly garbled. The elevator began its slow ascent to the top floor, the occasional bump in its usually smooth ride sending Pepper's heart into palpitations.

"Where's Tony? Is he alright?" she asked worriedly, her hand running through her strawberry blonde hair.

"Mr. Stark is in the living room of the residential floor," Jarvis replied. "He has sustained some injuries during the battle, but my scans detect no life threatening injuries in need of immediate medical attention. He has, however, sustained a moderate concussion and should be monitored throughout the night. Medical attention is advised."

Jarvis's words calmed some of Pepper's worry, although she knew it would be a fight to get Tony to go to the hospital. She could hear Tony's voice the moment the elevator doors slid open, her eyes watering in relief as she headed in the direction of it.

"Seriously Bruce, was it necessary to leave Loki prints all over my nice marble floor?" Tony asked, shaking his head in mock sadness. The Avengers stood scattered around the destroyed living room, looking as if they were barely able to hold themselves up. After having shawarma they all headed back to Stark Tower, more from a lack of anything else to do than any real desire to see the nearly destroyed Tower.

"I'm sorry," Bruce replied sheepishly, "I didn't mean-"

"Tony!" Pepper cried as she laid eyes on the man she spent the past few hours worrying over; she barely registered the other people standing in the living room, all of them looking between her and Tony. She felt as if her knees would give out from relief as she looked at him, finally able to tell herself that he was okay.

"Pep!" Tony answered, a smile lighting up his face as he smiled at his girlfriend. "You missed my call."

Pepper ran across the room, dropping her bag as her body crashed into Tony's, her arms wrapping around him. As the scent of motor oil mixed with his cologne hit her nose, the scent the very essence of Tony, her tears overflowed her eyes, unable to hold them back any longer. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry," she said, tears rolling down her cheeks. "I was watching you on the television and my phone was on silent and I didn't see it ringing and then you were falling from the sky! What were you thinking?"

"Calm down, Peps," Tony said soothingly, rubbing her back. "I'm fine…for the most part. And we saved New York and beat the bad guy; that has to count for something right? And I tried that shawarma place I was telling you about; it was pretty good. I'll take you there sometime. I've gotta build a new suit too; mine is sort of…dead."

"And she is…?" Clint asked, looking away from Tony and Pepper to address the other Avengers.

"Pepper Potts," Natasha answered. "CEO of Stark Industries and personal assistant/girlfriend of Tony Stark."

"What is a girlfriend?" Thor asked curiously.

Pepper looked up at the sound of voices, startled by their presence. "Oh, hello," she said, wiping away her tears as she turned toward them, slipping into assistant mode. "I'm Pepper Potts; you all must be the Avengers."

"Oh right, roll call," Tony said, wrapping his arm around Pepper's shoulder as he extended his other arm to point at each person. "This is Capsicle, the Jolly Green Giant, Pikachu, Legolas, and Spider lady."

"Tony," Pepper chastised gently, elbowing his side. "I know their real names; it's nice to meet you all."

"Don't think we're too tired to hurt you, Stark," Natasha threatened. "It's nice to see you again, Pepper."

"Likewise Natasha," she answered. She looked at each Avenger, smiling at them warmly. She only knew them for sixty seconds, but she was already fond of the group; after all they brought Tony home safe to her. "You'll all be staying here, won't you? At least for tonight, you all must be exhausted." Pepper said this with such warmth and sincerity that the Avengers couldn't refuse her offer, all agreeing to stay the night.

"Great, rooms are down that hall. Just pick which ever one suits you," Tony said, leading Pepper away from the group. "I, for one, need someone to tend to my injuries and I know just the nurse to do it."

"Tony," Pepper laughed as they walked toward their bedroom.

"Well now I've seen everything," Clint muttered as he heard the door shut.

Reviews please! Who should be the first chapter?