I try to update as much as possible, but college is in the way (as well as other emotional issues). Which is okay since my hard work paid of, and I got into nursing at one of the schools I wanted.

Thank you, Ryle Culler , ,MissCaityGrace , Angel JJK ,ren-hatake , and kikikiki for the wonderful reviews.

Needs to be BETAED.


Tony had entered not only himself, but Heather into a charity event where designers and scientists around the world invented something or improved something that would change the lives of persons in third world countries. At the time, Tony didn't know what he had signed them up for, so when Pepper reminded him the dead line was two weeks away Heather nearly threw the couch at him, and demand he slept on it for the rest of his life.

Tony of course remained calm and collected throughout the whole experience and within twenty minutes had a plan on how they were going to win this contest. Of course he didn't win anything really; it was pretty much just a publicity stunt and bragging rights. But for Heather, it would mean that she was in the lime lite more, and possibly would get her better opportunities with her dream garage. She had refused any help from Tony, so he planned around her to make sure that she had some connections.

Tony had decided that they were going to redesign a water pump that was not only environmentally friendly, but also filtered the water from harmful bacteria. Their work load started off pretty slow, but as soon as their materials were in, they both seemed to quickly piece together their project. They were only hours away from a completed pump, as well as the presentation that needed to go along with it.

Heather knew nothing about presentations, so while Tony worked on a small presentation for them, she finished up the small finishing touches on their project. They were both completely caught up in their own world until a shrill scream came from Heather that startled Tony. He had almost dropped what he was holding when he looked up to see Heather soaked to the bone, and one of his robots looking down in shame.

"I HATE YOU!" Heather yelled at the machine before storming out of the garage in a spit of anger. She would have slammed the glass door behind her if; he hadn't built it so it was impossible. He watched as Heather stomped up the stairs and out of sight before turning his attention back to the robot who was trying to sneak away.

"You're lucky I don't have time to take you apart!" He said pointing to the machine that almost seemed to bow its head even lower in shame. Tony shook his head in frustration as he tried to go back to his work but after about twenty minutes he realized that Heather wasn't coming back down. Bored, and alone he followed her wet trail upstairs.

He figured that she would be in his bedroom; because it was the only room in the house she kept her clothing. After the long hall up the stairs he found his way to his room. All the lights where on, and Heather lay curled up on her side, under the blankets, watching the waves outside of the massive window.

He could tell that a storm was coming in, because the waves were harshly slapping up against the rocks, and there was dark clouds casting over what would have been a beautiful sunset.

"Are you alright?" Tony asked his girlfriend, he was generally concerned about her because it was unlike her to just curl up in bed and watch the waves outside (at least not after she had stormed out of a room in anger). Heather didn't respond, and a look of confusion crossed his face as he slowly trailed over to her side of the bed.

Much to his surprise Heather was asleep, and it made much more sense to him then her simply just watching the storm rolling in. His eyes could barely catch the silky red straps of her pajama top, or the soft dampness of her hair. He figured she must have been exhausted after spending many hours in the garage helping him complete the project.

Tony mumbled something to himself before checking his watch. He counted how many hours he had been awake and was surprised to find that they had both been up for over 48 hours. The realization suddenly brought on a wave of tiredness. Being curled up next to Heather in a deep slumber sounded a million times better then working on their project. First he just needed to shower, even if it was just a quick one.

Heather was always amazed with his bathroom, and often spent longer amounts of time in the shower then she would at home. He didn't blame her, because she lived in a house with only one bathroom, and as a rule they were not allowed to lock the doors when having a shower. This rule was set in place because of Steve. The family found if he couldn't reach the bathroom, disaster entailed. Tony always disobeyed this rule, because even if he normally didn't care who saw him naked, he didn't want Heather's family seeing him. It would be something he would never live down.

After a short shower Tony stood in front of his large mirror finishing the few final touches in his nightly bed routine when he saw it. At first he wasn't sure what he saw, but when he did a double take a feeling of confusion and fear took over him. Beside the glowing reactor in his chest, was a collection of elaborate dark lines. He had never seen them before. They were short lines, and looked as if they had recently just started to spread.

He found himself muttering a few curse words before trying to step closer to the mirror in order to get a better look. With an absent mind he ran a few fingers over the lines feeling little to no difference in his skin. This worried him.

Suddenly all thoughts of curling into bed with Heather were gone. He needed to find out what was going on to his body, and as he grabbed a pair of clean clothes out of his bedroom he swore to himself that he wouldn't tell Heather. At least, not until he figured out what was wrong.

A feeling of dread washed over Tony as he sat in his living room running over the results in his head. He was beyond tired, and he could barely think straight. The palladium core in his chest was slowly killing him, and he needed to find a replacement before it killed him.


He had promised himself that he would tell Heather as soon as he found out what was wrong, but how do you tell someone you love that you're dying? He couldn't think of anything, he wasn't good a breaking bad news to people, and he didn't want to break it to Heather. She would be destroyed.

It would change everything about their relationship, and he knew that she would look at him differently. People always did when they were around someone they were dying, and he couldn't handle Heather being different. He needed her to be herself and for the moment without her knowledge, he needed her to be the strong one.

It was at that moment that Tony made a decision; he was not going to tell Heather what was happening. Even if for some miracle he figured out how to fix his problem, and to make sure she never found out, he wasn't going to tell anyone what was going on. From this moment on, he would carry the burden of his impending death on his own.

The sound of Heather walking down the stairs interrupted him. She was still in her pajamas, and her hair was tied back into a messy ensemble that made him smile. Even when she wasn't trying she was still beautiful. She yawned as she passed him briefly running her hand through his hair, in her ritual morning greeting before walking into the kitchen where she began to make breakfast.

If anything the motion had only justified his thoughts, and Heather was completely unaware of it.


"Where is the boy of yours?" Grandmother asked. Heather sat on the couch with a glass of ice in her hands, she shrugged grabbing one of the cubes with her fingers plopping it in her mouth where she chewed it and swallowed.

After their presentation Tony had barley been around, he had spent a large amount of his time withdrawn into his projects. Heather wish she could say it was something she had never seen him do before, but it was common for him to do such things.

She knew he would popup in a few days, extremely tired from his massive work load, and horny from his lack of time spent without Heather. She wasn't at all too worried, because besides her now missing boyfriend, Heather had an order she needed to complete.

She and her family had both been surprised when she got a phone call from a big time movie director who wanted her to design a bike for an upcoming movie. She had spent the past couple of days working with the director to create the perfect sketch of the bike he had in mind, and now that it was complete she was working on putting it together, only stopping when she was waiting on a part to be ordered.

"OH! I do hope he shows up soon! I have something for him!" Grandmother said slightly bouncing around on her feet. Heather gave her Grandmother a questioning glare, knowing whatever she had planned was possibly not going to work out in her favor.

"Don't give me that look young lady! What business I have with him is none of yours!" She snapped watching Heather roll her eyes. Heather although curious what the older woman was planning, knew not to get involved. Her grandmother was crazy, and she knew that whatever she had planned she would find out whether she liked it or not.

"Knock yourself out Grandma. I don't want to know." Heather lied turning her eyes back to her show. Her grandmother snickered quickly running over to grab the glass from Heather hands.

"HEY!" Heather mumbled reaching for the glass, her mouth filled with an ice cube, "That's mine!"

"OH! Heather my dear, don't pretend you don't care what I have planned with that hunk of a boyfriend you have! I know you want to know! Just like I know it's going to eat away at you're very soul!" Grandmother laughed dancing the glass above Heather's head. Heather groaned at her Grandmother's words, and if she knew anything it was to never encourage the woman. Bothering people is what she lived for in her old age.

Heather reluctantly placed her hands in her lap and waited for her grandmother to finish. It was difficult for her while her grandmother danced the glass around her head making strange noises that Heather could only assume was that of a haunted glass. Then without warning her grandmother tossed the glass at her. Heather nearly missed it, and spilt some of the cold liquid on her pants.

"You're no fun! Take it back!" Her grandmother said, pouting and leaving the room in a dramatic pretend tantrum. Sighing out of irritation Heather went back to eating her ice. Her wonderful silence didn't last long because she could hear the familiar squeal of tires, and clucking chickens as they moved out of the way. The slam of a car door shortly followed.

"THERE YOU ARE!" A loud voice echoed through the room. Tony stood in the entrance to the living room, with messy hair, and an outfit she could tell was days old. She couldn't help but raise an eye-brow in wonder.

"There is who?" She asked, Tony seemed almost stunned by her question trying to figure out what she was talking about before he clued in that Heather was messing with him. Tony looked down to study his appearance fully understanding that she was hinting to his disheveled appearance.

"Ah, I need to talk to you." He said quickly running his hands through his hair as he tried to look at his appearance in the glass of one of the many frames on the walls.

"Hello there, love of my life! I missed you. How are you doing?" Heather mocked Tony as she turned her eyes away from him, and back to the television. Tony chucked kicking his shoes off his feet. Heather had almost instantly forgotten he was there she was so into her show, so when Tony bounced on the couch and pulled her into his grasp she squealed in surprise.

"Hello there, love of my life! I missed you. How are you doing?" He laughed trying to shower her with kisses. Heather was far from impressed by his antics and attempted to push herself away from him. She failed and was forced to remain in his arms.

"How was that?" he asked looking down at her. She lay limply in his arms after giving up her escape. She would never manage it, and even if she did Tony would chase after her. She would end up in a worse predicament then she was before.

"Hew mell." She said, her face pressed into his chest, her cheek resting up against his reactor. He tried not to think about the lines that slowly crept into his skin, just like he tried not to think about all of the elements that had failed him in the past couple of weeks.

"Wait what?" He asked released Heather from his hold. She quickly used her arms to push her face away from him, but to his surprise she didn't pull away, she just adjusted herself so she could see the television before lying back down.

"You smell. Bad." She said simply, Tony chuckled knowing that she was probably right. He hadn't showered in a few days, and he was so excited with his new epiphany that he didn't even think of cleaning himself up, he just ran over to tell Heather.

"Sorry about that!" He chuckled moving a lose piece of hair back into place. His movement caught Heather's attention and he took the opportunity to tell her why he had showed up unannounced and unshowered.

"I had an idea." He said, but before he continued Heather grunted in disapproval. The last time Tony had an amazing idea, she ended up spending days working on a pump for water that brought her more attention than she wanted.

"Do you remember years ago when my father held an EXPO?" Heather nodded her head, she didn't know where Tony was going with this but she was sure she wasn't going to like it. Tony as much as she loved him, sometimes went overboard.

"Well, I was thinking of doing just that." He said, waiting for Heather to respond. Her brain stirred with this new found information, when it finally clicked she pushed her self away from Tony to look at him her eyebrows raised.

"You're not telling me everything." She said, the sudden burning fear that she was catching on to him ruptured across his chest, and she smiled awkwardly.

"I want it to last a year." He blurted, a sudden flair of anger passed Heather's face and for a split second he thought that she was going to give him a verbal lashing. A yearlong Expo would defiantly put stress on their relationship, especially if Heather would be living with him for the first time. The expo would mean he would be around even a lot less than before.

"I think you really need to think about this." She said almost harshly. Tony could only nod his head; he had already made up his mind. He was going to do this, and the only thing that bothered him was the burning feeling in his chest that Heather knew there was something more that he wasn't telling her.


Please review.