Disclaimer: Yeah, I wish, but sadly no, don't own them.

Author's Note: Because damn, this movie was just too amazing not to write something about it. So here's a little insight into what poor Tony might have been thinking during a certain part towards the end of the movie. It's short, it's sweet, and very much Tony/Pepper. Enjoy.

As he laid there helpless, paralyzed, the one thing that'd kept him alive since his time in captivity ripped from his chest by that bastard Obadiah; the only thing that mattered was getting to her in time.

It was funny too, really, considering how just months before he'd felt little if no remorse over forgetting her birthday. He'd taken it for granted that she'd buy something for herself from him, like he'd taken for granted everything else about his life, about her. If his time with Yinsen, one of the few people he could call a friend dead or not, had taught him anything, it was to not waste any more time on things that didn't matter and to not take things for granted that did, like he had for so many years. Suddenly, the one person he'd taken for granted the most mattered the most. Her.

Finally managing to break free from the numbness in his limbs and use what little strength he had left to get downstairs to the workshop, the bitter irony of it all only continued to slap him across the face. While he'd been racing against time to save her, it'd been her sense of nostalgia that he'd claimed to have nothing of himself, that in turn had saved him.

Oh yeah, he could just picture the look on Yinsen's face if he were alive to hear about that one. The man had had a small knowing smile that could almost best his own smirk.

But there was only one thing that mattered to him just then, and perhaps that was what made the Yinsen in his mind's eye smile knowingly all the more.

He was a changed man alright; because it didn't matter if he lived, if he couldn't get to her in time.