Disclaimer: Iron Man and all other associated characters, plotlines, etc. do not belong to me. They are the intellectual property of Marvel Comics and several others. I'm just playing in their multi-million dollar sandbox for a bit.

Finally, another interesting idea. What if Tony lost around seven or eight years of his memory when he crashed the Mark I suit in the desert? What if he couldn't remember Pepper? This is definitely an Alternate Universe story based off of the movie, though the rest of the events in the movie will probably not change. Probably.

That said, enjoy. This short little prologue is:

The Pepperony 100 Challenge Theme #48: Shock

All the King's Horses

1. Prologue

"Do I know you?"

Pepper laughs and presses her teary eyes shut for a moment, shifting her clipboard from one hand to the other. She refuses to believe Tony's really lost it. Not yet. He's just been gone for three months, gone and under the hands of munitions-hungry terrorists, no less. He's had a long journey.

That's all.

"Very funny, Mr. Stark," she says, distractedly biting her lip as her grin diminishes. Her new fear, which has been fed for the past few days by numerous doctors' concurring diagnoses, didn't just come true. It isn't feasible.

Tony tilts his head to the side and, with a truly blank look in his eyes, says calmly, "No, really…do I know you?"

She can't help it: she laughs again. What is this, Pepper wonders to herself, some sort of sick joke?

A glance to Rhodey, however, proves the opposite; Rhodey isn't sighing and rolling his eyes tiredly at Tony's antics. No, Rhodey's looking at her with absolute, pained pity, because these antics aren't antics at all.

These are the signs of true amnesia.

Eyes wide in shock, Pepper looks back to Tony. He's absolutely serious. She chokes, biting her lip ever-harder. Tony Stark, her very own boss, does not remember who she is. She breathes in and out slowly through a small hole in her pursed lips, the pounding of her nervous heart growing louder in her ears. This isn't the sort of thing that happens to her or someone she knows. This sort of thing, she thinks, happens to other people.

She can't accept that it's happened to Tony.

She won't.

Reviews are appreciated.—MJ-Skywalker