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Tin Man

Chapter Text

He walked through the cliff side mansion, the absence of light making the edges blur around him. He glided up the few stairs towards the piano.

"Good evening, sir" said a man who looked like Jarvis, the way Tony often imagined he would as a person; tall, thin, sharp pale face and icy blue eyes.
Jarvis was playing a soft rendition of chop sticks on the piano that was floating around in pieces, the long pale fingers found each broken ivory and ebony key with ease, the sound pure and sharp.

"Hi, Jarvis" Tony said, still gliding along the floor.
"The time is of no consequence, the temperature is a bit too cool for you and you are bleeding from a hole in your chest, sir".

Tony looked at his hands; they were brown with caked blood. His chest felt tight and as he brought his hand to his chest, it went through a gaping hole where he felt his heart was missing from his rib cage. He looked down and saw his bare feet were drenched in a pool of crimson.
"Looking for something?" he heard and looked up to see Obadiah holding his heart; beating, bleeding and glowing cerulean blue.

Tony woke with a yelp, clutching his t-shirt. Without thinking he tore the flimsy cotton and looked down at his arc reactor; glowing the same cerulean blue as always, creating blurry shadows in the corners of his workshop.

"Sir" said Jarvis suddenly, his voice coming from nowhere and every where, gave Tony a further jump "my sensors are reading that your heart beat is rapid and that your breathing increased significantly in the past four point three minutes… are you all right?"
"I'm fine, Jarvis"
"Do you require Miss Potts?"
"No, I think I can manage a little late night insomnia"
"Sir, it is two forty-five pm. Miss Potts has been here since seven o-five am"
Tony frowned "What time did I go to sleep?"
"You lost consciousness at five thirty six am"
Tony blinked and said "Lights", Jarvis carried out the order.

Tony removed what was left of his t-shirt and groaned, throwing it to the floor where it was quickly swept away by Butterfingers who shot down the garbage shoot.
Dummy followed Tony and handed him the black silk dressing gown, an absent "good boy" was replied with an enthusiastic sounding chirp.
He walked up the stairs to the living room, out of the corner of his eye he saw the empty space where the piano used to be.
He turned his eyes towards the sofa where he saw Pepper (dressed in a charcoal pin-stripe pant-suit, the vest beneath a light azure that brought out her eyes and didn't clash with her strawberry blonde hair, which was twisted into a professional up-do with just a few wisps let out to frame her impeccably made up face with just a touch of pinkish lip-gloss and pale blue eyeliner and transparent mascara… Tony wasn't sure why he was cataloging all this) multi-tasking on her laptop, blackberry and cellular phone ear-piece.

She still managed to sneak in a sip of coffee between breathes and talking to whoever was on the other side of the phone.
"I'm sorry," she said "but Mr. Stark just isn't available at this moment… no, nothing will stop his yearly donation to your foundation… of course… good day!" the smile she had forced onto her lips and voice slipped as she took off the ear-piece.
"Good afternoon Mr. Stark" she smiled genuinely at him.
"Good afternoon Miss Potts" he smiled, as the last residual memory of his dream evaporated. He could no longer remember waking up petrified that his heart was missing from his chest.