Meredith and Pepper stood next to each other silently. The wind on the air force base was whipping past both of them with such ferocity that it seemed Mother Nature herself was celebrating Tony's return. Meredith felt naked without her scrubs, it seemed she'd spent so much time living in them these days she hardly knew how to dress without them. She must have looked ridiculous in her tshirt, light jacket and jeans standing next to Pepper who was sharply dressed in a skirted suit. Tony's driver, Happy, was also dressed stylishly in a suit of his own. Happy hovered just a few feet away at the limo they'd all arrived in. All that was missing was the man of the hour.
"This must be them." Pepper whispered when a plane touched down on the landing strip they were closest too. The plane landed and the cargo bay opened.
"Is that...James Rhodes?" Meredith questioned in surprise when she recognized her brother's longitme friend.
"Yes." Pepper nodded. "He's a Colonel in the Air Force now."
Tony had certainly looked better. His arm was in a sling, probably broken. He was holding Rhody's hand and leaning a lot of weight on the Colonel to help walk. Meredith was trying to assess his injuries but she has to remind herself that she wasn't at the base for medical reasons. She'd come to see her brother and make sure that he really was alive. He might have been poorly patched up, but alive he was.
"Are you kidding me with this?" Tony asked Rhodey when a team of airmen brought over a stretcher. "Get rid of it." So, Rhodes waved the medical team away.
"His sister's a doctor." Rhodes whispered. Which seemed enough to pacify the concern of the other airmen. Rhodey gave small nods to Pepper and Meredith before stepping off to the side and allowing Tony to walk the last few steps on his own. He stumbled over to Pepper who tearing up at the sight of him.
"Your eyes are red." He squinted at her. "Tears for your long lost boss?"
"Tears of joy." Pepper nodded. "I hate job hunting."
"Yeah, well vacation's over." Tony sighed. "You came?" He said, noticing his sister for the first time. "I thought for sure you'd have stayed in Seattle with your dreamboat brain surgeon."
"A lot's changed while you were gone." Meredith told him. "I'm a much better swimmer now."
"Really?" Tony raised his eyebrows. "Good. You can tell me all about it later. Let's get in the car." Pepper and Meredith exchanged a glance, but Tony was already hobbling his way over to the limo.
"Where to, sir?" Happy asked, once everyone was in the car.
"The hospital." Meredith and Pepper said at the same time.
"No." Tony argued.
"Tony, you have to go to the hospital." His sister insisted. "You were held hostage for four months. You have a broken arm and who knows what's wrong with you internally. You could have damage that we can't see without an MRI or a head CT."
"No." Tony held firm. "I don't have to do anything. Yes, I was in captivity for four months. That means I get what I want first. There are two things I want, I want an American Cheeseburger and the other thing..."
"That's enough of that." Pepper interrupted him.
"Not what you think." Tony sighed. "Call for a press conference."
"A press conference?" Pepper looked at him and them Meredith as if the say help me. "What for?" Tony didn't even bother responding to her. He leaned forward and tapped Happy on the shoulder.
"Drive." He instructed. "Cheeseburger first." Happy knew he really didn't have much of a choice but listen to what his boss wanted.
"I can't believe you two!" Meredith complained as Pepper started calling around to set up the press conference and Happy drove to the nearest McDonalds. "Is it their job to just give you whatever you want?" She snapped at her brother.
"Yeah." He nodded. "That's pretty much what I pay them for." He put a pair of sunglasses on that he found in the car's door and leaned back in his seat.
"Tony, this is serious. You could die!" Meredith huffed.
"I know! I very well might die if I don't get my cheeseburger soon!" Tony called to Happy.
"Anthony!" His sister gently pushed his shoulder. Tony's head snapped back to Meredith. Did she seriously just full first name him?
"Merideth," He said her name very slowly and calmly. "I can not tell you how happy I am that you are here. I know that things have been pretty shitty between us, and I know that you are a doctor and that you want me to go to the hospital and see a doctor. But there are things I have to do first, okay? So please, if you're going to stay, you have to sit there and shut up, while I eat my cheeseburger."
Meredith leaned back in her seat and Happy handed a greasy bag of McDonalds to Tony. She wanted to continue to argue with him. She couldn't help it, Tony just seemed to bring that out in her. At the very least he'd said he was glad she was there. She didn't want to further damage their relationship, so she decided to give him a few hours to see what exactly he was up to.
Pepper pulled together a press conference with incredible speed. An hour after picking Tony up from the Air Force base, they were stepping out of the limo and into a whirlwind of photographers and reporters. Obadiah Stane was there to greet them. He even opened Tony's door and helped the Billionaire out of the car.
"Look who it is!" Obadiah smiled, pulling Tony into a hug. "I thought I'd be meeting you at the hospital." He looked over Tony's shoulder at Pepper and Meredith.
"We tried, believe me." Meredith nodded. Obadiah led Tony into the building with his arm around the younger man's shoulder. Pepper trailed closely behind them and then Meredith and Happy followed even further back.
Inside one of the company's auditoriums that was typically used to demonstrate new technology, was a waiting horde of reporters clamoring for their slice of Tony Stark's story. Meredith shook her head. She remembered what a circus these sorts of things could be. Whether it was Howard or her mother up at the podium, she never much cared for the media's probing questions. Somehow, as she watched her brother struggle his way to the front of the room, she managed to disapproval of them even more. Obadiah swaggered into the room waving and smiling like the ringmaster that he was. When Tony managed to finally get up to the front of the room, he sank down and sat in the front of the podium with his half-eaten cheeseburger still in hand.
"Would it be alright if everyone just sat down?" Tony took a bite of his burger. "Just sit down. Then you can see me and we can all just be...a little less informal."
"Miss Potts?" Pepper, Meredith and Happy were watching from the back of the room when a man wearing a visitor's badge pulled Pepper aside.
"Oh, I'm...not part of the press conference." She tried to wave the man off and bring the attention back to Tony, but the man wasn't listening.
"I'm not a reporter." He smirked. "Agent Phil Coulson. I'm with the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division."
"That's quite a mouthful." Pepper remarked. Meredith was beginning to realize just how out of place she was in Tony's adult life. Tony didn't just have Pepper to be his person. He had Obadiah, Rhodey, and Happy and all of these other people who were at his beck and call whenever he needed them. So why would he need his sister? She wasn't even his real sister. She thought about asking Happy for a lift back to her hotel, but Tony himself once again had her attention when he began addressing the crowd.
"I never got to say goodbye to my father." He told the attendees before placing his burger down. "There's questions I would have asked. I'd have asked him how he felt about what his company did. If he was conflicted, if he ever had doubts. Or maybe he was every inch the man we remember from the newsreels." Tony was looking out at the crowd, but the glazed look in his eyes indicated that his mind was far away. "I saw young Americans killed by the very weapons I created to defend them and protect them. And I saw that I had become part of a system that is comfortable with zero accountability." A reporter in the front row raised his hand.
"Mr. Stark, what happened over there?" The reporter asked once Tony pointed to him.
"Well, I had my eyes opened." Tony seemed to find the strength to rise to his feet. He circled up to the back of the podium so that he could speak directly into the microphone. "I came to realize that I have more to offer this world, than just making things blow up. And that's why, effective immediately, I am shutting down the weapons manufacturing division of Stark Industries."
A/N: It's been awhile since I've updated this story because every Christmas I take a break and work on my Santa Clause Fic, but as it turns out this chapter was mostly finished and I should have updated so much sooner! Sorry about that. Chapter 13 it seems is mostly written too so I should be back with the next chapter shortly!
Dauntlessofthesea I want to work in the creation of the Avengers and get Meredith around for all of the big MCU moments, so I think it's fair to say there will be quite a few time jumps going forward. But I also want to include key Grey's Anatomy moments too like the Plane Crash. And how fun will it be to have like Dr. Bruce Banner at the Seattle Grace, just walking the halls all casual AF looking for his good friend Meredith?! The crossover possibilities are endless.
Thank you so much to everyone for enjoying this story! To be honest when I started this, I thought it was going to be a small side project I worked on mostly for myself so I am thrilled that it has reviews and followers. Its definitely different than some of the other things I've worked on in the past, and your support means the world to me and keeps me coming back to it! A special thank you to dautlessofthesea, unnamedconspirator, & 1 Guest for your reviews of Chapter 11!