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Barely Breathing

By SupernaturallyLokid

Drama / Romance

Barely Breathing


I clutch at my chest, the poisonous black lines spreading rapidly under my skin. They burn like fire, constricting my chest, making it hard to draw in air. Desperately, I try to perfect the new element, knowing that it is the only thing that can potentially save my life. As I feel my arc reactor malfunctioning, I know that I won't have the time, but I stubbornly cling to the small shred of hope.

As the pain worsens, and the lines spread, I can feel the weakness flowing through my body. It takes a great effort to pick up the tools. I can barely stay standing. My eyesight is blurring, but I can't tell if it's from the pain, regret, or the palladium that is poisoning my veins. Maybe it's a combination.

When my legs give out on me, I lay on the floor, shivering, trying to fight off the effects of the poison. Pain wracks my body, sending me into spasms. JARVIS' worried voice enters my mind, sounding blurry and far away. "Sir, do you wish me to summon Ms. Potts?"

"Ple- please," I manage to choke out, the short sentence taking away my breath, leaving me gasping for air. I suck in deep breaths, feeling as if I am drowning in the air. A single tear trickles down my cheek, and I realize that I am truly afraid, even more so than when I was trapped in the cave in Afghanistan. Maybe it's because I know that I'm going to die. I don't have any more replacement arc reactors. My palladium poison repressors are gone. Perhaps the biggest reason for the tear is that there's so many things I wanted to do, wanted to say. I've treated so many people badly, and now, I have no way of apologizing. More tears leak down my cheeks, but no sound escapes my mouth. I can see the door to the lab opening, and Pepper walks in.

"Tony, what's the matter? Where are you?"

"He- here," I manage to croak out. Pepper comes running over to me, and I lay back against the floor, thankful that I get to spend my last moments with the woman I love.


I follow the weak sound of Tony's voice, expecting to see him lying under one of his suits, unable to get up. However, the sight that meets my eyes is so much worse than that. Tony is laying on the floor, gasping for air. He winces in pain, and tears run down his cheeks. I know then that this is more serious than I could have ever imagined. I've never seen Tony cry. "Tony, what's the matter? What are the black lines?"

"Pal - ladi - um poi - son - ing," Tony manages to gasp out.

"What can I do? Tony, are you okay?" Tony chuckles weakly.

"It's - past - the point - where - you - can - do - any - thing, Pep - per."

"No, Tony, it can't be! You can't die on me! You're Iron Man! You're Tony Stark!"

"Pep - per, I - don't - have - much - time - left. I - just - want - you - to - know - that - I - love - you, - and - I'm - so - sor - ry - that - I - di - dn't - show - it - more - of - ten. You - de - ser - ved - so - much - bet - ter - than - me, - but - you - al - ways - stuck - through - it - with - me, - ev - en - when - I - was - a - to - tal - ass. - There's - so - ma - ny - more - things - that - I - wan - ted - to - do. - I - wan - ted - us - to - get - mar - ried, - I wan - ted - to - hold - my - first - child - in - my - arms, - and - ev - en - tu - ally, - I - wan - ted - to - be - able - to - hold - my - first - grand - child. -None - of - that - will - be - ab - le - to - hap - pen - now." At this point, I have tears rolling down my cheeks as well. Tony goes into a coughing fit, blood spraying from his lips and speckling the ground. At last, he stops coughing long enough to continue.

"I'm - so - sor - ry, - Pep. - I - wish - I - had - more - time - to - tell - you - every - thing - I - want - to. - I - wish - that - I - could - go - back - and - re - do - my - life. - It's - tak - en - me - dy - ing - to - make - me - re - al - ize - what - a - jerk - I - was - to - every - one. - My - big - gest - regret - is - that - I - didn't - ever - tell - you - how - I - re - ally - felt. - I'll - ne - ver - for - give - my - self - for - that. - Pep - per, - I - love - you. - Don't - ever - for - get - it, - ev - en - aft - er - I'm - gone." At this time, another coughing fit wracks his body. Blood sprays from his lips and splatters on my shirt, but I am beyond caring.

"Tony, I love you!" I shout desperately, pressing my lips to his. Tony smiles once, his lips barely curving upwards, before I hear his breathing hitch. I look him in the eyes one last time, seeing only love shining there. He takes one last shuddering breath, before his chest stops rising and falling. His eyes remain open, glassy, unseeing. Desperately, I begin CPR, determined to revive him. However, after ten minutes without any results, I stop and lay across him, not caring about anything, other than the fact that my on again - off again partner is gone. Tears stream down my cheeks, and I lay my head down and cry.

Tony may have had a reputation a a genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist, but he was so much more than that. He was my partner, my love. He truly cared for people, even if his demeanor didn't show it. Nobody besides myself may know the truth, which makes his death all the harder to accept. Iron Man may be gone in the eyes of the public, but Anthony Edward Stark will always live on in my heart.

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cassy466: Great story, however there were some issues with the chapters and some grammar or poor choices of words. It would be better if it was revised before being posted.. and whatever happened to the mother? And how did the relationship with her and peter became what it is.. need more details

Alkira Joan: Great story, I found it hard to read especially the dialogue. You just need to fix up some spelling errors and the gramma .I enjoyed this book. was a little hard to get though.,.,..,.,.,,..,.,.,, , , , ,.,, , , , , , , ,., , ,.,,,,,

vanellesapp: It was so amazing to read this book each part was entertaining.It is that kind of love every body will like to have.I will have like the explanation on how they did it the first time to be more explicit but apart from that it is perfect

PaulSenkel: If you like Arthur C. Clarke's Odyssey, especially The Final Odyssey, then you will probably also enjoy this book. I definitely did.It does, however, address a more adolescent public than the above-mentioned book.I enjoyed the story and finished it in a few days. The overall situation on earth an...

Jean Tryon: As a beta, I found this story outstanding!! Plot, grammar, phraseology, etc Rachel gives us it all. She takes the story into the future from where due South ends. She is an exacting and thoughtful author.

Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...

brettylee: The narrative is slick yet punchy. Life, Family and Friends I believe is the core message so it’s easy to relate to. It’s surprisingly action packed. The author does a good job at keeping you guessing. Just when you think all is right, whack, the unexpected happens. The dialogue is energetic and ...

Jacklyn Reynolds: As a mother of an Autistic child, I know how hard it can be. I love how beautiful you made everything. That's all I can say. I need to grab a tissue.

rudyoxborough46: An action-packed, mystical adventure awaits anyone wishing to read this novel. I’m amazed at how well you’ve managed to flesh out the characters in this book, and I hope to read more of your work.I’ve read books about goblins and elves and all that mumbo-jumbo before, and most accounts of these c...

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jessiehs: This was absolutely amazing. I loved how it went back and forth between perspectives. I actually cried at the end I was so happy. This was amazing. I can't even think of another word to describe it. Thank you for writing his.

catd69: Karim is a very talented writer. When I started reading his journey it took me into the book and I was in the story till the end. I've never felt this way with any other writers stories. If you want to read a gripping adventure, this will be the one book I would suggest you pick.

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CurlyRed: I read this entire book in just under 4 hours I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! i found myself emotionally attached to the characters and making personal connections that i had never experienced before while reading a book! I was constantly wanting to read more, every chapter left me on a cliff hanger tha...

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