Chapter 5, "Healing"

"Rhodey, how soon can we get to the cave?" she asked worriedly, seeing that Tony's condition was near fatal.

"In a few moments!" came his answer, and true to his word, she felt the plane begin to descend, and within a minute, bump lightly as they landed on the water-soaked ground. The thick trees of Verdantia provided adequate shelter from the raging winds and ice.

"Quick, we need to get him out of there!" Pepper was already on it, struggling to lift Tony from the backseat of the plane. Rhodey hurried over to help, and soon, they laid him down in a makeshift cot, inside their underground safe house.

Pepper immediately grabbed a white bag with a red cross on it and knelt down next to Tony, pulling out a small jar filled with an emerald-green substance with the consistency of honey, a large white towel, several rolls of gauze, and bandage tape, and set to work, using her years of medical school experience in treating injuries.

She first started on his leg, since it wouldn't take too long, and she was nervous about the obviously larger wounds on his chest. She opened the green ointment and, after mopping up the blood with the towel, smeared the wound with it, and bandaged his knee. She then bent down close to him, running her hands along his sodden and tattered shirt. It felt wet. She and Rhodey tugged it off, and when they did, Pepper's stomach took a plummet.

His chest was covered with half dried blood and his pale skin was laced with many deep dagger wounds and gashes, all of them bleeding profusely. It looked like someone had either run him over with a lawnmower or stabbed him repeatedly. Pepper guessed it was the second. Rhodey's eyes widened, looking like they were popping out of his head.

"…Oh, man. How can he still be alive? Is he still alive?"
"Good question." Pepper said, her voice trembling, and she grabbed the towel and folded it into a neat square, and, arms trembling, pressed it down onto him, putting pressure on his chest to stop the intense bleeding.

After a little while she lifted it up, and felt relief as well as dread. Most of the blood was gone and he had stopped bleeding, but the towel was soaked. She could see clearly the deep gashes that he had suffered. One in particular was larger than the others, but what was really strange about it though, Pepper thought, was that it was right where his heart was, a little to the left from his sternum. It was deep enough to have pierced right through his heart, and yet if it did, then why was he still alive?

(That dagger wound is deep enough to have skewered his heart right through…so why is he still alive?)

She abandoned those thoughts for later, though, and focused on treating his injuries.

And so she did.