Disclaimer: I own no part of either the Iron Man franchise or the Avengers franchise.

Okay, so I just saw The Avengers and about flipped – needless to say, this will be fairly full of spoilers. The Chitauri? Thanos? And Phil? Oh. My. Thor. And all the Pepperony! ^^ So, this just struck me as I was watching the demolishing of NYC. It seemed to me that while every other building was full of workers, Stark Tower was not. Considering that it was the epicenter of the fight, I would have thought there would have been a scene of mass exodus from the building (they had it for enough other buildings). So this is my attempt to remedy it.

~AES~VP~AES~VP~

"Son-of-a-b–"

Her phone rang as she was walking out of her newly completed office in the New York Stark Tower. Pulling it from her pocket, she saw the familiar image of Tony's smirk flashing on the display. She pressed the button to answer it and lifted it to her ear, but before she could say anything, Tony's voice blared through the speaker.

"Potts! Are you still at the Tower?"

His voice was full of urgency as he spoke. "Tony? Yeah, I'm still here. What's go–"

"I don't have time to explain, but you need to evacuate the building, right now."

Evacuate? she thought to herself, even as she moved back to her desk and sat down. "Tony, where are you?" His voice came through again, still agitated.

"Pep, you know I can't tell you and in any case, there's no time. The Tower is about to become Ground Zero in an us-versus-them showdown and you do not want to be there. Evacuate – now."

Her fingers worked furiously as she listened, typing in a series of codes she memorized once and hoped never to need. Pressing 'enter,' she could hear a klaxon sounding on the lower levels.

"The evacuation has started. Tony, please, tell me what's going on," she pleaded into the phone. There was such a long pause she thought he'd hung up.

"Pepper, I can't; it's gone to hell in a handbasket up here. This is big. Quite possibly bigger than all of us. Get the Tower empty and get yourself the hell out. Take Happy with you and get away – go back to Malibu, if you have to."

She nodded, eyes bright, then realized he couldn't hear a nod. "Alright," she said, relieved to hear a calm voice coming from her mouth. "Will you let me know when you're safe? When it's safe?" He answered immediately.

"I will, Pep. Don't worry about me; just get yourself safe. Do that, and I'll be fine."

She glanced around the office, deemed everything replaceable, and walked out. "Okay – I'm leaving now." She hesitated for just a moment, not wanting to end the conversation.

"Tony? Can you promise me something?"

"Anything, Pepper." She swallowed.

"Come home to me? In one piece?" This time, he was the one to hesitate.

"I...I'll try, Pepper. Right now, that's all I can promise; I'm sorry." He sounded, well, upset that he couldn't promise more. She took his words to heart, though, and believed him.

"Just come back to me and I'll be fine." She could practically feel his grin form at her turn-of-phrase. He chuckled, then stopped suddenly at the sound of a distant voice on his end.

"Pep, I've got to go. Get yourself safe," he repeated.

"I will. And you come back in one piece to me," she repeated, then steeling herself, spoke again. "Tony?"

"Yes, Pepper?"

"I...be safe. Please." Her voice was pleading once again, imploring him to hear what she couldn't say, for fear of sounding like a good-bye forever. He seemed to understand, however.

"I will. When I get back...we've got a lot to do, got it?" She imagined the look of childish energy that would cross his face in the event of any projects to plot and plan for. She couldn't help herself; she smiled.

"Got it, boss. See you soon." He repeated her words and closed the connection. She stared at her phone for a moment before hearing the sound of racing footsteps nearby. She looked up to see Happy Hogan, slowing to a walk in front of her office.

"Ms. Potts? The Tower is empty, except for you."

She tucked her phone into an inside pocket of her suit jacket with a fairly successful (or so she thought) attempt at her characteristic brisk manner.

"Alright then, Happy. We've got a plane to catch."

~AES~VP~AES~VP~

So there. My attempt to fix what I thought was a fairly glaring plot hole (maybe it'll be addressed in a deleted scene?) and add a bit of subtle Pepperony. Hope you liked it and please R&R.

Trekker