Dislcaimer: I do not Iron Man, the Avengers or any of Marvel's characters used in this story. What is written here is for entertainment purposes only. I do not make any profits from it.

Tony could hear his heart beat. For the very first time, everything else was silent save for his heartbeat and that dial tone. It was as if his very life depended on whether or not Pepper would pick up her phone.

She was probably watching the news, he thought. She always did. She would torture herself by replaying every scene, pausing it, closing her eyes, praying to God that he's still alive, and then watch it again.

And just like always, he wished she wouldn't watch the news, wouldn't listen to the reporters. Because it pained him to see her hurt herself like that.

Pick up, Pepper! Pick up!


Pepper's face appeared on the screen of his HUD, and Tony gasped. There she is.

There was a sound of relief coming from the both of them.

"Pepper, I—"

"Tony, where are you? I'm watching the news right now." She was frantic and he could already see her eyes brimming with tears.

"You're nowhere in sight. I- I tried calling Phil but he didn't pick up."

"Pepper!" His voice shook as he grunted, forcing the missile in his hands to obey the direction he was forcing it to face. "Pepper, I need you to listen to me." He mentally cursed at himself for having to talk to his girlfriend under such circumstances and not even tell her Phil Coulson's dead.

The voice on the other line stayed silent as he pushed on.

"Once all of this is over, know that I give you permission to rebuild Stark Tower as Potts Industies, got it?"

"I—Tony, what are you talking about? I don't—" He hated making her confused.

He gave her a pleading look, a look that said just go with me on this one.

"Trust me, okay? Take care of Rhodey. Don't make him drink too much. Don't let Happy drive off a cliff." He allowed this moment to give her a grin. "Oh, and give the Captain a slap for me."

Pepper shook her head. "I don't understand. Tony, is everything okay? What the hell is going on? What are you doing?"

He looked up. He was getting closer to the portal.

"Pep, give me a smooch. I might not make it back."

Her eyes widened. "What?"

He gave her one last look and said, "I love you."


Pepper felt tears trickle down her cheeks. The last time Tony appointed her with something important was when he was slowly dying due to palladium poisoning, and now—she shook her head.

"I don't understand. Tony, is everything okay? What the hell is going on? What are you doing?"

From the screen of her phone, she could tell her boyfriend was distracted. Then, he said something.

On normal days, she would've responded to it with a grin or a playful smack on the chest. But on days such as the one she was having right now, a grin wouldn't and couldn't appear.

His voice echoed in her head, "Pep, give me a smooch. I might not make it back."

And the only thing she could say was, "What?"

He gave her one last look with his chocolate brown eyes and then, the line went dead.

"Miss Potts, is something wrong?" asked a flight attendant.

Pepper slowly sat down. She gulped. She felt a glass of water being brought to her lips, hands on her shoulders, voices.

She shook them all away. What did Tony mean by not making it back? she thought.

Her eyes darted to the TV screen.

"All of the alien lifeforms appear to have dropped down to the ground," reported a news lady, "leaving even the heroes on site shocked! Who and what is the cause of this miracle?"

Pepper turned to the people around her. "We need to go back."


"We need to go back! Tony just called and he—We need to go back!"

A flight attendant grabbed her arm. "Miss Potts, you need to calm down. You know we can't do that."

Happy Hogan nodded. "She's right, Pep. New York's a mess right now! I promised Tony that no matter what happened, I'd get you to DC safely. So, I'm not going to allow you to go back to New York and possibly get yourself hurt, alright?"

She glared at him. She pressed her lips together and huffed, "Fine!"

Plopping back down to her seat, she stared out the window. Tony, she thought. Please, come home.

"There's something that seems to have come out of the closed portal!" The reporter's voice brought Pepper sitting at the edge of her seat again. "It seems to be a fallen hero!"

"IT'S IRON MAN!" said a man behind the reporter. "It's him!" he pointed at the figure. "You can spot that red and gold anywhere!"

Her breath caught in her throat and she swore her heart stopped beating. She gripped her skirt and bit her tongue.

"Please, be alive. Please, be alive," she whispered repeatedly.

The figure in the sky kept on falling and she doubted on whether or not Iron Man would be caught on camera landing swiftly and safely like he always did.

Minutes passed and all the news showed was the destruction that resulted. Sometimes, a SHIELD agent would appear on camera but only for a second. On one occasion, a channel managed to air a clip of the Avengers on top of what's left of Stark Tower. But Pepper couldn't see him. It was too blurry for even the red and gold to be distinguished.

"I'm sure he's fine, Pepper. Knowing Tony, he wouldn't let a black hole take his life away," Happy stated.

She forced a smile. "Thanks."

They all sat in silence, as the private jet continued to move towards DC.

Then, her phone gave off a rather familiar vibrating sound. She grabbed it and saw the name of the caller: Tony Stark.

Pepper let out a deep breath and actually felt a huge weight being lifted from her shoulders.

Shakily, she answered the call—not a video call this time.

She could hear him breathing on the other end of the line.

"You never did give me that smooch."

She laughed, letting the incoming tears take over.

A/N: This was written last April 25 when I first saw The Avengers. I just finished it now after much inspiration. I hope you guys love it! AND SERIOUSLY, THE PEPPERONY WAS JUST—GAAAAAH!