...and he deserved that too.

September 03, 2018:

After Spider-man's visit, Pepper Potts comes by as well to find out just what is wrong with Stark…and expand on the artwork in the room.



Mentions: Bruce Banner, Jane Foster

Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

The Tower has seen better days. The damage done to its physical shell wasn't as bad as it could be. The bottom floor of course looks like a freight train went though it, then reversed course and went /back/ though it. There are windows missing. There is structural damage but all that can be fixed. All that has happened before.

The real damage to the Tower itself was done to its heart.

In the secure medical bay of the tower rests a figure on a large medical bed. So advanced he doesn't need to be hooked up to anything. Clean and bright, the walls covered with pictures of himself on various adventures and from magisene covers(of course he replaced all the nice art Pepper had installed) Stark lies asleep.

Resting seemingly peacefully.

Across the hall rests Jessica Jones in a similar room, and in the hall the reinforced titanium walls are dented slightly as if someone punched one out of fustration.

Inside the room is Dummy, just resting himself after using his own bits to save Stark, the little AI on treads quietly sitting in a corner. With a fire extinguisher. Just in case.


After having spent the entire day (and the day before that) making all the arrangements to get the Tower repaired yet again, Pepper finally heads down to the medical bay to check on things. It's not that she doesn't trust the medical staff — she helped select them after all — it's that she has to see for herself that Tony hasn't gotten any worse.

She stops by to check on Jessica first, but doesn't linger long. She doesn't really know the woman all that well. Then she enters the room where Dummy is standing watch over his creator with extinguisher at the ready. She rests a hand on the robot's arm strut before moving to sit on the edge of Tony's bed.

"The repairs are started. They're going to take a while, though. Your lab and workshop are pretty much completely trashed as is the lobby, and there's a line of broken windows up the side of the building." She didn't ask how those could have happened. She's not really sure she wants to know.


Tony doesn't wake up.

He hasn't woken up since his reactor came back. Something to do with the healing process, at least JARVIS says so.

"Ah, Miss Potts. That would be because Mister Maximoff ran up the side of the building. Mister Stark was going to have most of it coated with a frictionless material dispenser system for things like this but he had not had time to install it yet."

JARVIS sounds tired. Possibly slightly distracted.

"I have Dunce and others working on repairing the labs and workshops. They should be operational again in a day or two." As the AI speaks he seems to become slightly more 'there' less distracted.

"Is there anything I can get you, Miss?"


Pepper smiles as JARVIS offers the information about the Tower windows, knowing the AI isn't telepathic, he's just that good. "No thank you, JARVIS. I do appreciate the offer, though. I know you're extra busy right now making sure the lobby stays secure."

There are of course security teams and repair crews working, but she feels she knows the AI well enough to predict that he's very closely overseeing the goings-on around the building. That reminds her of something else, though.

"FRIDAY, were you able to contact all Manhattan SI employees and advise them that they have until Wednesday off with pay, and to work from home if possible until the tenth?"


"Of course, Miss Potts!" FRIDAY's voice cuts in easily enough. "I'll tell them the news." A pause. "Is there anything specific you wish to include about Mister Stark?" She asks carefully. "Many people have been asking about him. I know several wished to visit…Spider-man already has."

A longer pause.

"Mister Stark also had a few personal messages to send out in case something happened to him. Do you wish me to send them ma'am?"


At FRIDAY's words, Pepper hesitates. "What do people know so far?" In other words, how much as the news leaked about this most recent attack? "If it's already public knowledge that he was injured, then reassure our employees that he is receiving the best care possible. If not …" She's honestly not sure what to tell the SI employees.

But the messages. "What do they contain, FRIDAY? Don't read them to me, just scan their contents, and if they mention anything like 'in the event of my death' don't send them. He's NOT dead." She takes a breath, then looks down at her hand and makes herself let go of where she's clutching the bedsheets tightly enough to make her knuckles turn white.


"They know there was an attack and Mister Stark was hurt," FRIDAY replies slowly. "Some details were told, as it was part of SHIELD's investigation into FuturePharm. But they know he's not dead, just in stable contition and recieving care in the most secure location possible."

There is a pause.

"We are secure, aren't we?"

JARVIS cuts in a moment. "Of course we are. All my defenses are on alert. Plus the added security of the visitors and SHIELD."

A pause again as Pepper's commands are followed. "Ah nothing like that, miss. Looks like most of it is just 'in case I stay too long out of the country' or 'incase I forget what day it is'. Nothing specificly says 'death'."

A longer pause as JARVIS cuts back in.

"He will be ok, Miss Potts. Miss Summers, she used her telepathy to check his mind. It is still intact. His body is just…shut down while what he injected himself with does its work."


"Then yes, reassure our employees about Tony's current condition." Pepper smooths out the fabric she'd rumpled in her hand as the JARVIS reassures the other AI about the security of their current location. "And send those messages if they seem appropriate to the situation, FRIDAY. Thank you."

She's about to voice her thanks as JARVIS explains that a Miss Summers checked Tony's mind, but then there's that record scratch noise in her head.

What did he inject himself with, JARVIS?" She has a very bad feeling about what the AI is going to say.


"Ah, it was an antigen to the Extremis system that he was working on." JARVIS pauses a moment. "He had gotten it to the point where it would destroy any of the corrupted Extremis in someones system, but we needed to run more tests before it was used on someone not effected."

The AI pauses.

"Mister Stark's thoughts were that it would effect the subject as the nanotech was originally supposed to. As a healing agent. Which thankfully it did…" There is a pause. "…there just were some…side effects."

Like Tony not waking up.

"I've contacted Miss Foster to assist, as well as SHIELD specialists. It shouldn't take them very long to find out what the problem is. Is there anyone specific you would like me to contact though, Miss Potts? To put your fears to rest?"


DAMNIT, Tony. Pepper closes her eyes for a second and takes a deep breath. "Bruce. See if you can contact Dr. Banner." Even if there's absolutely nothing he can do to help with this … whatever it is that Tony used on himself, he can maybe translate whatever Dr. Foster and SHIELD figure out.

"Why are you doing this to me /again/, Tony? Weren't the last three times enough?"


"Miss Potts," JARVIS' voice is suprisingly gentle and quiet. "He…did this because he didn't see any other choice at the time. The damage /was/ great enough to kill him. Between the removal of the ARC reactor and what happened before then he was…" A pause. "…he didn't see any other way."

A beatpause.

"Not to say Mister Stark wouldn't have done it anyway, but I am simply pointing out the facts. Forgive me."


"No, it's fine, JARVIS. He's just taking another page from the James T. Kirk book of heroism, and it's /really/ hard on my nerves." Pepper takes another deep breath and this time stands to pace a bit, pausing by Dummy to rest a hand on his arm strut again.

"You'll let me know the instant anything changes, JARVIS?"


"Of course, Miss Potts." The AI replies as Dummy awkwardly pats her shoulder in support. "As soon as I know anything at all."

This is of course when she might notice a sharpie in Dummy's claw. And the writing on Tony's face.

…but really. Lets face it. He deserves it.

We all have to get our stress out somehow.


"Thank you, JARVIS. You are wonderful, as always."

Pepper frowns faintly at the sharpie in the robot's claw, then looks over at Tony and has to put one hand over her mouth to keep from bursting out laughing. Then, she takes a moment to dig in her shoulder bag and produce a tube of lipstick, which she swaps out for the sharpie Dummy is holding.

Totally worth sacrificing a $15 tube of lipstick.

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