Disclaimer: I in no way shape or form own Iron Man. I'm just playing in their sandbox.

Author's Note: My first IM fanfic. This is based in the movie 'verse and I would appreciate any con-crict that can improve not only my handle on the chracters but also writing in general. I'm aiming to tell Pepper's side of the three months when Tony was taken. This first part takes place just before Tony leaves - future installments will be much longer. Hasn't been beta'd.

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing

'Her heart stopped beating for a second, the horror, the horror spreading through her veins.' Pepper Potts is waiting and wishing for Tony Stark to come home. -set during IM1- - missing three months -

Prologue: Smile (part 1)

She watched him leave and followed. As she reached the door of his workshop she froze for a single moment. She took in the cars: the gleam of silver, black and hot rod red. She saw the clutter on the desk: pens, scrap paper filled with half imaginings of death. She noticed how the screens, the holographic images that had projected themselves were retreating.

She smelt him: grease, cologne, sweat and scotch.

A smile tugged at her lips.

His voice called from up the stairs. She turned her back and hurried up the stairs after him.