Actions

Work Header

Y a la mierda se fue

Chapter Text

“I love...”

 

What...?

 

“Tony!” A face smiled, blurred by bright lights.

 

Me?...Who...

 

“Come on...missing...shellhead.” The voice was warm, light and laughter filled the sunny space.

 

Shellhead...?

 

“Tony!...Peter! God you’re such...” Giggling, there was so much giggling and laughter filtering around. A buff man with golden hair, lips stretched wide in a smile. A small child in his arms, hands, so small, reaching out and patting the man's cheeks. Rosy cheeks and a smile brighter than the man, brighter than the sun.

 

Peter...? Peter...

 

“Peter!...” Groaning followed by shuffling. Someone, dark haired and shorter, stood up from a comfortable looking chair. White cream slowly slipping down tanned skin. Calloused hands reaching for a fluffy white towel besides him, wiping the substance off.

 

“Papa!” Rich brown eyes twinkling, ever present smile wide on his cherub face. “Daddy said...” Lips fumbling slightly over words, his voice fades before coming back in. “...take care of you!”

 

Why do I need to be taken care of? Cold cream...Cold...

 

“...We found...He...I can’t leave him...” The blond man was standing, face scrunched, lips drawn tight, pinched. His head was down, and coldness started to seep in.

 

“...I know...Go...” There was an ache, it was tight and constricting. The shorter man kept his face passive, lips forced up into a smile and fighting to keep his voice even. He was struggling to keep his hands from shaking.

 

Cold..so...cold...

 

“I can’t! Steve....you know why! I can’t- I won’t ...Either you sign or...” That man, that poor man, his voice was shaking, cracking. Beautiful golden eyes, glassy, pleading. His heart was racing, he knew the answer, but he was still hoping.

 

“Tony...I can’t...”The blond handsome man said, his face twisted. Gorgeous blue eyes equally glossy, voice steady and low but holding something back. His fists were curled, knuckles bright white. He took a breath, gazing into those lovely, shiney, heartbreakingly honest golden eyes. “Tony, I lo-”   

 

“Don’t.” His voice was soft, but haunting. He closed those honest golden eyes, bringing his shaking hand to wipe away at the heavy tears.

 

The handsome man knew better than to touch him, but the finality in his voice made him reach out.

 

“Tony, sweetheart-”

 

Don’t. ” The shorter man bit out, a sharp breath, and those gorgeous eyes opened. Cold, guarded eyes glared at those blue eyes.

 

Why...why is it getting colder....why...why-

 

“He’s my friend!”

 

“So was I.”

 

They were teaming up against him, a flash of a sweet cherub face made strength flood his veins. He will not go down. He hadn’t back then and he refuses to now. There was so much clashing, he managed to shoot that killers arm, but it was becoming too much. They- no he knew too much on how the suit worked-

 

Panic. Panic. Panicpanicpanic panicpanicpanic ! He was on his back, he couldn’t move. It was paralyzing and so cold, it rushed up his spine and kept everything locked. He stared back at those dark, cold, always cold blue eyes that held that shield up.

 

Oh god. Oh god oh god oh god the Arc Reactor was already damaged, more damage is going to kill him, please oh god no he can’t he can’t can’t can’tcan’tcan’t-won’t-     

 

He couldn’t focus anymore, everything was blurring together and his heart, oh god it felt like it was going to break out of his chest any second. He trashed and kicked and kept moving, fighting desperately to be freed.

 

The rising erratic beating of the monitor alerted all the staff, who rushed into the room trying to restrain him. The head doctor quickly administered a sedative that slowly brought the man back under.

 

“Oh god...what did he do? Was his last thought before the pull of the drugs became too great and brought him a painless, dreamless sleep.

Chapter Text

Helen Cho, a woman who has faced various precarious medical situations, was not ready for this. She was never ready for this. Her palms cradled her face, trying to cool her heated cheeks and swollen eyes. Whether it was from the nearly 30 hours it took for her team to remove most of Tony’s shrapnel, from the work it took to work around the broken reactor that- thank whoever the hell is looking out for Tony- managed to keep the shrapnel from progressing any nearer to his heart, from the total rage she felt at whoever dared to do this to her friend; she didn’t know.

 

She was a woman of numbers, and fuck did it rear its ugly head in this situation. She read his charts, triple ran each and every number with heartbreaking, gut-wrenching, hair tearing reality.

 

Tony had no chance surviving this much of damage for more than 3 weeks.

 

So far they could only remove 65% of the shrapnel, the other 35% were too far close to the heart to be able to immediately remove and there was no heart donor available soon enough to risk it. And then there was the fact that Tony’s rib cage was practically non existent and the artificial sternum could only hold up for so long before being rejected, which the data started pointing to. His lungs- oh god- his lungs were another thing entirely. She prayed to any deity that would listen that Tony would get through this.

 

She couldn’t hold back the sob that was clawing its way through her throat. The constriction in her chest was unbearable and tears flowed down her blotchy face. The throaty, uncontrollable cries barely registered in her mind.

 

She couldn’t lose him.

 

Her body trembling and shaking. Her hands clawing at her scalp, digging deep as she let every shriek and wail leave her chapped lips.

 

She had options, limited and uncertain. The cradle was damaged after Vision, the entire structure was broken and the software fried. Regardless of how much she and Tony tried to recreate the software, they weren’t getting results that could safely guarantee its success.

 

And the other....Tony would never forgive her for using it.       

 

But then again a pair of once twinkling, brilliant and oh so radiant dark brown eyes that are so viciously- unfairly - tainted and dulled, broken and hurt stared at her.

 

She failed Tony but she couldn’t fail Peter. Not when he was so young, too young to lose the only family he had left. She couldn’t do that, regardless of what Tony would say about her decision; she knew. He would never have wanted Peter to relive what he went through, especially when he was so young.

 

With that precious face that was too sullen, too pale, too swollen around the eyes from nights filled with tears, and questions about his papa flooding from a sore throat, she knew her answer.

 

Struggling to stop the sobs, she took deep breathes. The sobs still choked her at some breathes, but she was managing to calm the trembles. Her hands, still shaking, wiped the tears from her face. Sniffles were loud and unapologetic, and minutes passed before her shaking stopped completely and the tears were stemmed. Her face was still red, eyes still puffed and irritated but she stood tall from where she slumped on the wall.

 

She was going to fix this. She was going to make sure nobody could hurt Tony again .

 

And when she heard the sound of heels clicking against the floor, she knew she had someone who would agree to her plan.        

 

----

 

Pepper knew that Helen was a formidable woman in every way. One does not simply become such an important figure in the science community being anything less. That’s why when they first met after Tony’s long operation, the redness and puffiness of Helen’s rich brown eyes didn’t phase her.

 

She was formidable, but she was also human.

 

But there she stood, tall and ready for war.

 

Pepper felt chills running up her spine as she took in her hard eyes that had fire burning in them. She knew Helen didn’t know who had done this, but that didn’t stop the glee that raced after her chills.

 

She could not envy those fuckers when Helen found out what they did to her Tony.

 

“Dr. Cho.”

 

Helen’s shoulders drooped slightly but her body was still tight as she ran every number through her head. Pepper’s gut clenched as she saw Helen’s fierce face go blank.

 

“It’s Helen, Pepper. We both know each other too well to go through formalities. That’s not important though is it,” She said dryly, before taking a deep breath. “It doesn’t look good Pepper. He’s still got 35% of the shrapnel too close to his heart, the reactor is miraculously still keeping it away but i don’t for how long it’ll hold. Too much too soon, and we can’t find a donor and can’t hook him up to the cardiopulmonary bypass machine before taking the reactor out which would kill him.”  

 

Pepper’s heart stuttered, she knew the news was going to be bad but she hadn’t expected it to be this bad. It only added more fuel towards her hatred of those disgusting, backstabbing vermin. She moved her need for vengeance to the back of her mind for now though, Helen’s options for how to fix this were more important; Tony was more important.

 

“What are our options?”

 

Helen took a moment to think about what she was going to say and any possible reactions Pepper would have. She stared straight into Pepper’s guarded blue eyes and spoke.

 

“Extremis is our only hope at thi-”

 

“No.”

 

Helen expected the sharp gasp and the hard voice, the grounded out words that were desperate to stop her.

 

“Pepper-”

 

“Absolutely not Helen-”

 

“It’s the only-”

 

“There has to be another way! Helen you know he would never forgive us for this! You know damn well that he’d hate himself more after this! I won-” Pepper’s voice was harsh, raw and she kept rushing every word out. Her hands were clenched into tight fists, knuckles bone white and fingernails pressing so tightly against her palms blood would surely draw soon. A wave of panic surged through her as she remembered Killian and what that bastard did to her. She couldn’t let Tony go through that damn virus, she couldn’t let him become like those monsters that tore him apart-

 

“PEPPER!” Helen shouted, she didn’t wait for Pepper to say anything else before bulldozing on. Her voice remained calm but her tone was cold, harsh and steely.

 

“If we don’t try the modified Extremis, he’ll die. There’s no doubt about that. I know Tony would hate us for giving it to him, but I’m a selfish person and I won’t let him die because I didn’t try my best. You think I like this?,” Her voice broke, losing the cold tone gradually, but she carried on as she glared into panicked and glassy blue eyes. “Do you think I like the fact that what I’m left with is turning him into something other than human!? I know he’ll hate himself, but I can’t let him die,” Her voice was hoarse as she kept spilling everything out, her eyes were wet and tears were close to falling down. “I can’t leave Peter fatherless because god knows where his other father, the fucking deadbeat, ran off too, I can’t just fail them, I can’t.” Shaky pale hands wiped at the tears, rubbing at the puffy skin with frustration.

 

Pepper was at a loss, she hated the idea of ever making Tony go through something so abhorrent, but she knew Tony would never want Peter to go through what he did at such an early age. An ugly voice in her head also taunted her for wanting Tony to live, regardless of how much pain and suffering he’ll go through after the revelation of what they did to him. She imaged those dulled brown that had cried too much and had no more tears to spare, whose face was always somber and couldn’t smile anymore, whose light was smothered out too soon. Her heart ached and clenched so tightly in her chest as she remembered how lifeless Peter was. The words that came out of her mouth burned, felt like acid crawled up her throat.

 

“Okay...what are his chances with...” She hesitated with the name, jaw clenching tight before finding the energy to spit it out, “Extremis?” The tremble her body gave was hard to go unnoticed.

 

Helen sympathized with Pepper, the way Extremis changed her was violent and vile. But the way that Extremis was as extreme as its name, it really was their only hope to keep Tony alive.

 

“With the serum Bruce, Vision and I have modified, there’s a 48% chance that it’ll fix everything but it’ll completely rewrite his DNA and we’re not sure what else it could do. He would become enhanced but we don’t know in which areas and what he’ll develop,” She eyed Pepper who was running every possibility through her head and was looking as if she regretted this already. Helen pushed on regardless. “A 25% chance that it’ll fix everything without enhancing him. 12% of it not doing anything and compromising his weak immune system, cutting his life expectancy in half,” She ignored Pepper’s flinched. “10% that it’ll aid us in extending his life just enough to work around the arc reactor and hopefully graft or receive a new heart for him, and a 5% chance of him dying instantly.”

 

She gave Pepper some time to absorb everything, watching as Pepper’s eyes closed and processed all the possibilities.

 

The silence was tense but they both knew the answer. There never was another choice.

 

“Okay.”

 

----

 

Rhodey’s hands were tightly clenched on top of his lap as he stared through the glass, dark brown eyes watching his best friend’s lifeless form connected to too many wires. His jaw clenched, aching through all the pressure he kept on it for the past minutes. He didn’t bother to tear his gaze away from Tony when he heard the clacking heels come close.

 

“Helen said he’s doing better...his body has been slowly adapting to Extremis and she’s been able to take out 65% of the shrapnel so far.”

 

Rhodey took in a deep breath, body slowly relaxing as he heard the update.

 

“When is he going to be cleared of all that?” He asked, eyes closed.

 

Pepper hesitated, her own blue eyes fixated on Tony.

 

“We don’t know. Even though Extremis is doing so well, it’s not doing what we expected.” She bit her chapped lip, fingers fiddling with the bottom of her blazer. She couldn’t stop remembering the conversation she and Helen had about Tony’s chances.



Rhodey watched at Pepper’s fidget and frowned. He hated how they were all placed in this situation. How they were forced to watch their best friend bounce back from death all over again. The crease lines all over his face were more pronounced now. They were all deeper than they were a year ago, more grey around his temples too. He knew he should be grateful that Tony has a chance to live, but the worry bubbling up and simmering in his chest and settled there as he mulled over what Extremis was doing to his best friend, thinking about all the possible outcomes.

 

‘If I could just get my hands on those damn shitheads...’ He thoughts before closing his tired chocolate eyes.

 

“Pep?”

 

“Yes Rhodey?”

 

“How are we going to nail those bastards.”

Chapter Text

I'm sorry guys but this story is being put on hold for awhile. I've just lost someone close and I'm having a rough time in general. Thank you for all the support and interest I've received for this story. See you later alligators.