Not Quite Good Bye

March 08, 2019:

Three days after Pepper disappears through the rift Tony finds himself still trying to fix what has been done. But he's not quite alone.

Stark Tower





Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

How long has it even been.. Tony couldn't tell you. He's still wearing the same shirt and pants and his stubble is not a few days worth of beard. The apartment is like a tomb, wind blowing at the plastic where he's waved off the construction crews from changing ANYTHING.. down to her pumps still laying where she discarded them during the fight with the sentinel.

On one of the tables, he's set up a laptop connected to the working holographic projectors around the room so that his work can be visually represented. Trying to recreate the accident that led to the initial tear in simulation to no avail so far.

"Sir, the new calculations indicate an even lower chance of success than the previous. I strongly encourage you to get some sleep.. you are no longer thinking clearly."

Tony outright ignores JARVIS' pleas for the third day in a row, "No."


The rift was sealed and the city saved but not before a loss of life. Pepper Potts is gone but to what degree of gone Tony is not willing to settle on. Burning that oil after days at his screen one might think he is hallucinating when a ghostly echo of a voice calls his name in a questioning tone - perhaps edged with worry and fear. It sounds oddly like Pepper:


Was that her or was he hopeful? Relying on the memory of her and little sleep.

Tony? Where are you?

It's not a tone that accuses him of not being there - no. It is a tone of fear, wavering in her usually strong and clear expression.

The voice lingers in the room he sits in but soon echoes further away, towards the bedroom as if she were moving.


THAT sounds like desperation and a broken emotional Pepper but the voice sounds like its traveling through space and time.


Tony furrows his brow at the sudden whispered voice in the room, gazing about himself as if he's certain she's right there in the other room demanding his thumb print or signature, but it's only empty air and debris blown about by wind through the broken glass. "Pepper? JARVIS, did you hear that?" A frown creeps upon his face as he stands from his place in front of the laptop to pad barefoot over broken glass to try and find the source of this voice, "I'm here Pepper, where are you?!"


There is no reply to his question but suddenly that voice is no longer in the bedroom but back out in the main room, crossing the expanse of the living area.


That one will strike home, it sounds like her panicked call for him as she was being pulled towards the rift with that bracelet around her wrist. But then silence, deafening silence as the plastic billows in a chilly wind and whips about with a soft snap.

tony…where are you…where am I….please…

This one is broken, her voice wavering as there is a gasp that comes with it. Heralding what is likely tears and instead of words there is just ghostly cry that fills the huge open space between the kitchen and the living area as if Pepper were standing right there. The main depth of the sound comes from that position but still echoes like some maddening undefined entity.

Crying. Not wailing or sobbing, just a woman letting herself have a moment where she breaks a little bit.


"Am I losing my mind?" Tony asks himself as the voice shifts back out into the main room. He chases after it at first, but pauses when the tone sounds like that he heard when she was being pulled into the darkness of that open rift. "God, I want it to be you.." He's not convinced it isn't, not entirely, but he's a very logical man. One that's not entirely sure he's not finally snapped completely and gone tumbling off the deep end like the Joker.

He returns to the main room, he even glances around, but when he finds nothing he drops down onto the floor to bury his face in his palms laid across his features to hide them. Hide them and feel the pain of loss weighing on him like tons of steel upon his shoulders.

"JARVIS, run the tests again.. we have to find her. I know I can find her."


The crying continues only for a little bit for suddenly there is a panicked gasp and Pepper's phantom voice rings out. Who…what…who are you?! There is a muted cry and then silence. No crying but then the sound of her gasping again, running perhaps as the sound trails off towards her office in what sounds like fear.

Deafening silence follows. A snap of the plastic again in the wind. No crying, no calling for him just utter silence with only JARVIS to talk to.


Tony's brow furrows dangerously as the sound plays a picture in his mind and snaps his eyes around as if this will lead to further evidence of some kind of foul play that has elstwhile been forbidden him by great distance. "JARVIS, what are the possibilities that Pepper was taken to a parallel dimensions and that her final contact with me as she was pulled through the rift has left me with a connection to her?"

JARVIS is quiet a moment, "Small, but not impossible. Would you like the exact figures?"

"No, I think I Have an idea…" And he's up and off towards the bunker where he'll start to put together his thoughts into action.

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