4956/Secret Doors: Back from Narnia

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Secret Doors: Back from Narnia
Date of Scene: 31 January 2021
Location: Stark Tower: Penthouse
Synopsis: Pepper is back from other-world place of possibly not-evil ghosts.
Cast of Characters: Tony Stark, Pepper Potts

Tony Stark has posed:
Memories might be a bit confusing and convoluted. The stress of the whole ordeal of being stuck in another twisted, half-reality shadow of their own reality takes a considerable toll: and Pepper was in there far longer than Tony. Even if she doesn't have the same heart problems he has, it's an exhausting ordeal.

If she expected to wake up in the Avengers mansion medical facility again, she'll find herself mistaken. It may be somewhat MORE disorienting to in fact be in the bed of the Stark Tower penthouse, as if everything could have been one long, horrifying dream.

Moreso, due to that Tony's there, with his deepened, quiet breathing, adjacent to her. He's resting mostly on his stomach, one hand up against the pillow by his face, thumb edge against his chin and goatee. He looks much like he does after crashing down after inventing something or saving the world: that he finally has allowed himself to rest, after the candle was down to the wick. But peaceful, and close at hand to her there.

Pepper Potts has posed:
Dreams, memories; it's hard to know where one ends and one begins, or what part of the dream is a memory and what part of the memory is only a dream. Pepper's 'sleep' began dreamless, a loss of consciousness when pulled from one 'dimension' to another. As time wears on, very basic awareness begins to creep in, which is when the dreams, the nightmares begin.

It's not a violent waking, when she does, nor does she make much of a sound beyond a brief but audible breath in, but she sits up quickly, clutching the blanket close to her. She finds a voice in the next second, "Tony!", the sound loud in the darkened room.

Maybe it's the familiar smell to the room, a familiar feel to the bed, the texture of the sheets, or it's the unconscious awareness of the presence of the man himself that keeps her from screaming again. Instead, she pulls in deep breaths in an attempt to force down a panic attack, gulping them in as she reaches blindly to her side.

Tony Stark has posed:
"Izzithere?!" Tony asks quickly abruptly flung back into the sleepless time they'd spent together in that other 'between' place. He wakes with a confused little start, jerking his hand down and pushing his upper body up onto his forearms. He's entirely disoriented only for a beat, though, before Pepper's hand has found his shoulder and bicep and he orients on her solidly.

"Errr, no, obviously not -- , no need to answer that," Tony says, thinly aware of what he'd /thought/ was going on. "You're back home." Tony pushes to hand and knee, and moves fully sideways, to scoop her upper body to his chest and lap as he sits up against the pillows. "I got you."

Pepper Potts has posed:
Fighting to push back the remnants of the nightmare is aided by the strong arms that takes hold of her, keeping her safe until the fears are banished. Pepper doesn't struggle against them, though when she is pulled in initially, her muscles tense before they relax, falling into him, her cheek against him.

It gives her that opportunity, then, to attempt to regulate her breathing, to focus, to pull herself together. Her breathing is still rapid, though at least she's not hyperventilating anymore. Back home. The words sink in, spoken by a voice that she knows so well, and loves.

In reaction to the words, or really, the embrace and the soft tenor that flows over her, Pepper's breathing begins to calm. "You did it.." is murmured.

Tony Stark has posed:
"Yeah, that's sort of my thing. No need to be so surprised," Tony teases her, though his tone is lower, more kind, than to actually bring cheeky weight to the tease. But, of course, he doesn't let her down in terms of making his arrogance known -- "I can do anything, you know. We're going to really need to drill that in if we're going to continue to date."

Tony's smile is quick and easy, but he drops his head to kiss into her hair on the top of her head, and pulls one of his arms securely across her upper torso. This puts his forearm braced across her front, hand hooking onto her opposite shoulder, in a comfortable but very secure posture.

Pepper Potts has posed:
Pepper chuffs a breath, the sound slightly different as it rises in a soft chuckle. He got her to smile, if only for the moment, and she lets out a long, slow shuddering breath. With that, she's able to honestly relax a little more; things are right, they seem right. "Of course," is murmured, "how could I forget."

She's settled a little more comfortably against him, allowing her to roll her head back and to the side, a comfortable cuddle. As the night terror draws further away, Pepper lies quietly before, "I'm sorry I woke you up." She knows that he sleeps so lightly, and he doesn't do it nearly enough. "I'm glad you were here, though."

Tony Stark has posed:
"Apology accepted," Tony answers grandly. He lets a moment stretch out, before speaking again.

"When you're ready to debrief - I'd like to know anything and everything that you saw in there. If anything changed, if it grew more or less interested in you ... anything you think that's important, and maybe stuff you don't think is important. I want to dislodge that thing from the mansion /soon/, but I've got this weird feeling that it's not directly aggressive. Maybe someone put it there, but... did you get the sense that it was out to harm us?"

Pepper Potts has posed:
Pepper glances up from her spot, her cheek against him with that half smile that is normally worn when he offers up such beneficence in response. She's forgiven! A soft 'mmm' exits before she rocks her head back down to rest, her free arm in a light embrace of the warm, present Tony.

"I know it's important," she begins. There's a momentary side track, however, as she considers her time in there without him. "You know your little robot is still there. He pushed a lot of power through for me, and I'm not sure it's fair to not try and rescue him." Pepper's gone and anthropomorphized the little robot, with whom she'd spent a 'few' hours. Some of that time was frustrating, but at least she didn't feel completely crazy when talking to it.

Though, more to the topic, she shakes her head, her hair brushing against him as she thinks back with an unconscious increase in the embrace. "I really don't think it knew where I was, where we had been." So maybe that speaks to sensory? "Though, when we powered the lights on, it didn't take very long for it to show up."

It's that last question, however, that has Pepper reliving those last few moments of her stay in that little side dimension. It's in the safety of Tony's arms, however, and she draws a softly audible breath as she thinks back in the light of hindsight. She shakes her head quickly, "I didn't really feel.. aggression?" The last word rises in uncertain statement, vaguely resembling a question. "It moved along the wall.. sort of curious, maybe?"

Tony Stark has posed:
"I don't think there's much of that robot left, Pepper. It was necessary to sacrifice it, to get you safe," Tony says, with a firm, direct tone. He may sometimes consider the robots to be something //more//, but he doesn't forget that they are things. People are more important. People over the tech, which can always be replaced.

"But it didn't really have any AI, it was following scripts I wrote. So, really, it was just... an extension of me," Tony continues. "I didn't mean for you to be there on your own, even with the 'bot, you know. I would've sent you through that portal first, if I'd gotten to choose."

Pepper Potts has posed:
"Yes, wellâ?¦" and her tones drop slightly, "I still feel badly. It's a little worse than losing my phone." Her phone, of course, doesn't *beep* back at her in 'conversation', after all! Pepper shrugs ever so slightly, not really wanting to move too much from the comfort of a warm cuddle.

His next words get something of a rise from her, and Pepper pulls back a little, just enough to look Tony in the eye, her jaw setting slightly as she considers the words. "Tony," she begins deliberately, "if you had sent me through first, I can't begin to believe I could have gotten you out. JARVISâ?¦ JARVIS couldn't figure it out on his own. It had to be you, even if you didn't choose it." Here, her voice lowers in tone but certainly not in intensity, "And I don't know what I would have done if I couldn'tâ?¦"

Sure, she knows and understands she probably could have asked a number of other geniuses that the Avengers have on staff, but without detracting their intelligence, intellect and ability, she's still more than a little dubious. "If anyone could have worked it out, it was you." Her hero.

Her words turn a little lighter, even if the meaning is still so very serious, and she reaches for a pillow to lightly poke at him with it. "So no apologizing for it."

Tony Stark has posed:
"Well---" Tony scoffs a little, as she sits up to directly attempt to face him down about the ability to rescue. "No faith I could have gotten myself out? I'm sure something would have come to me," Tony says, with his usual bravado, though she may see through it. The closer they get, the more she's seeing through things like that -- or he's also making it easier to allow her to see through the seemingly iron exterior.

"Anyway, we need to get that thing resolved, before anyone else has an away mission they didn't expect. Not everyone can cope with it as well as us," Tony says, kindly, as if in protection of the other poor Avengers that would be hapless lambs wandering around crying in the between-realm of 'ghosts'.

Tony bats at the pillow, and starts to sit up fully; the sheet falling away makes his arc-reactor in his chest briefly blinding from the angle. He yawns. "But first. Pancakes? I think so. Pancakes."

Pepper Potts has posed:
"With Gee and a pile of socks?" Pepper's brows rise in dubious question, and her head tilts slightly in the asking. "Tony, you're goodâ?¦" and she lets that sort of filter into the aether. Still, she relents, and presses her lips into a smile, "Okay, yes. Something would have come to you." It's a willingness to play along, to gently feed the ego, but make it quite plain there is some question that lingers behind.

"Yes, yes we do," she's quick agree there, however, and as he continues, there is that sort of left sided compliment; the sort he's given her over the years. It's a warm feeling; a spoken understanding of them as a 'team'.


With that, however, Pepper is momentarily confused again, and looking at the clock, catches the time. "Panca- oh.." she stutters briefly in the light of the reactor. How easy it is to forget that it's there when it's not in front of her. "No," and she begins the slide/roll in order to get up and out of bed. At least she's apparently changed into something more comfortable; a t-shirt of Tony's. "But first, a shower." There's a pause before she tilts her head, smiles again before leaning over to press a kiss and a whisper to his ear. Straightening once more, she's padding her way towards the shower before finishing, "Then pancakes."

Tony Stark has posed:
"Whispers like that suggest the opposite of getting clean," Tony quips in return after his brows lift in a little jolt of surprise and amusement. She did, in fact, catch him off guard - but he's always very adaptable. This time is no different. He gives chase to the shower, with a playful, quick grin; the exhaustion that may exist melts off quickly as she may sense him coming along to play-swat at her on the way to the shower.

"Which I am all for, mind."