All That I Am And All That I Have


The room is diffused with the soft light the lamps cast. She sees their reflections play across the water; creating hazy yellow ribbons across the surface.

No, not yellow, she amends. Gold. She picks out another handful of rose petals from the basket and carefully drops them onto the water; watching each one create its own ripple, it's own perfect circle. She wants it to be exactly like their first time. She can remember it just as if were yesterday.

She waits for him, enveloped in waves of red silk. The light splashes onto his skin as he enters, giving it a gold cast.
But his eyes... She notices they are wide and... and scared. She looks at him questioningly, wondering if she did something, made a mistake somehow.
But he says absolutely nothing; only stands stock still.
And then she understands. Understands the magnitude of what he is about to undertake. What all of this must mean for him. She walks up to him and loosely clasps him around his waist, gently but firmly pulling him to her.He stiffens for a moment, and then surprises her by kissing her harshly on the mouth. "Pepper.. I.. It's perfect." he says in a choked voice.

She smiles a little at the memory before slipping on his favourite dress, feeling the silk glide over her body. It's the blue one, the one from the Firefighter's benefit.Where they had taken their first steps towards where they are now. The dress falls softly against her skin, almost feeling like Tony was there, touching her. The thought makes her smile widen further; she can almost see his face with that trademark grin of his. I knew it, Potts. Even when you're putting on a dress you can't stop thinking about me. Her eyes are automatically drawn to the shining band of metal on her left hand.

She's been waiting near the poolside for a half hour now. He's usually late for most appointments, so this doesn't bother her very much. It's just that he sounded so strange over the phone. If she didn't know him better, she'd say that he sounded almost hesitant. She pauses her musings to look at the pool. The water is dark, and the stars are reflected in its inky blue. Suddenly she sees him out of the corner of her vision, and he's not meeting her eyes. She sighs. "What've you done?" He looks at her through a hurt face. "Why is it that you always assume I've done something wrong? Have a little faith, Potts." He places a hand over his chest. "Cross my heart and hope to die." he adds cheekily.

"Then what did you call me for?" she asks curiously. He looks at her blankly. "Oh. Oh right." He thinks hard for a minute.. "Ah hell. Forget it. I'd have probably screwed it up anyway." he says, looking remarkably like a deflated balloon as he walks up to her. "Here. This is for you. Keep it for me, okay?" is all he says gruffly as he presses something hard onto her palm. She looks down to see a platinum ring set with an ice blue sapphire. She looks at him in awe.

He rolls his eyes in response. "Yes, I know I didn't go down on the knee and everything. I mean I tried to, and there was this whole thing planned -" he says offhandedly as he claps his hands. The poolside is lit up by thousands of blue fairy lights and he pulls out a bouquet of white roses from behind the deck chair. "It just seemed so stupid when I finally got down to-" he begins when she speaks. "Tony.. I.. It's blue.." she says puzzled and overwhelmed at the same time. He looks at her and then meaningfully looks down at his chest before he speaks.

"Look Potts, you're all that I am and all that I have. Think of it as a reminder. Or as proof. Proof that Tony Stark really does have a heart." he says softly as he takes the ring and puts it on her finger. She clasps his hand, too moved to speak. "So gimme an answer already Potts, all this silence is making me nervous." he says shakily. She only kisses him in reply.

Her own eyes are shining as she twirls the band around her finger. She thinks how odd it is not even being allowed organizing her own wedding; Tony absolutely refusing to let her do anything. Jeez Potts, it's my wedding too. Stop being such an anal retentive twit about it, we've hired the best wedding planner there is. I should be able to hang out with my bride and my best man, right Rhodey? And just like that they had simply dragged her off to party with them. And it had been fun. Fun being just Pepper, Tony and Rhodey, out on the town.

She sighs as the nostalgia overwhelms her. She can see Tony laughing at her. Sentimentality was for most part, lost on him. I've been called a lot of things Potts. Nostalgic isn't one of them. She smiles and trails her fingers along the water, the rose petals sticking to her hands.

She takes a deep breath and slips into the water fully clothed. The blue dress flares out, matching the reddish gold cloud her hair has become. The water is warm, it soothes her. After all, a bride is allowed to have jitters one day before the wedding, she thinks. One day to go, Potts. You nervous? She laughs at Tony's voice in her head. He really is with her wherever she goes. Kind of like a permanently horny, sarky Jiminy Cricket, she thinks wryly. 'Course I am Potts. You could never stop thinking about me. I'm a lean, mean sex machine. And almost immediately she can see his cheeky grin flashing in her mind's eye. It has always been like that; all she needs to do is close her eyes to see him.

To see the all too familiar lift of his eyebrow. To hear the bark like laugh he gives when he's amused. The way he holds her gaze with his own when they make love.
She knows him like she knows the back of her hand. Every look, every scar, every mannerism burned onto her mind. She dims the lamp near the tub. It's easier to see his face in the dark. Because she knows. She knows after today that she'll never see his face at all.

It sounds like just another phone call. It isn't even Rhodey. She doesn't worry because she knows Rhodey would be the one to call her if something were to happen to Tony. But Rhodey can't call her this time. Because this time, Rhodey is dead too. She doesn't really process much after that. Random words filter through to her. Words that don't really make much sense because nothing really makes sense anymore. It's just a voice on the phone . "..So sorry...Intelligence failure.. Mr. Stark... accident.. Colonel Rhodes... didn't make it back..."


And then other voices.
Tony's voice.
"I'll bring you back lilies from Iran Potts, they're famous for them..."
Rhodey's voice.
"Like hell you will, Ironman'll crush those little things faster than..."
And then the voices and memories roll into one; becoming a blur, like a speeded up film.

"You can't be late to your own wedding Potts!"
Her hands snakes out from the water.
"You're all I am and all I have, Potts."
Her fingers find the base of the lamp and push.
Tony's eyes. His dark, dark eyes.
The lamp falls into the water.
Tony's face when they make love.

And as the electricity shudders through her body she almost feels like Tony's inside her again.

-fin-



A/N: Don't ask why. Angst begets tragedy I think. Blame batmansbabe's Fact versus Fiction for this.