Pepper Potts was intimately acquainted with Tony Stark’s antics.
She’d stood by him for years, escorting one night stands out in the morning, plying him with pizza and alcohol to coax him into meetings,
or to eat after spending two days straight inventing without sleep or food.
She wasn’t acquainted with his bedside, or the slow rise and fall of a chest that was littered with scars underneath the hosptial gown, each carrying a story that he would never tell,
as they were earned in a cave where many, though not all, of Tony’s demons were born.
They had thought he was in the clear after getting the shrapnel removed. Pepper remembered watching the surgery with Jim, “clutching her pearls” as Tony would mock later.
There wasn’t any more danger from slivers of metal threatening to shred his heart. He had a composite put in his chest, and everything had healed.
But Tony Stark had a heart, and it had broken.
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