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There Ain't No Reason I Should Be Alone

570 | Steph Rogers/Tony Stark/Pepper Potts (femslash) | PG (KB: mechanical/technological)




I don’t want know what’s you and what’s Extremis. She knew that Steph would be furious and scared about the Extremis procedure, and she knew Pepper wouldn’t like it. She wasn’t expecting both of her girls to be so upset with her.

It doesn’t matter. She did what she needed to do to keep Pepper safe. Steph can kick all the ass she wants in New York, and it’s fine. She isn’t nearly as breakable as Pep (and as soon as she thinks it, she imagines Pepper looking at her all sad and disappointed, and it honestly hurts to think of Pepper looking at her like that right now. It’s too close to the scared look in her eyes.) Toni just wants the most important things in her life safe.

“It’s just you and me, then,” she says to the computer, and the computer doesn’t respond. She feels it humming in her skin, because of Extremis, but it’s just a computer.

“Ma’am?” JARVIS asks, out loud, even though she hears him in her head now.

“It’s fine, JARVIS.” Toni stares at the monitor, at the holographic mainframe, and she can’t explain the lump in her throat at the idea that she might get neither of them again.

She isn’t used to Extremis, though, and how it works in her mind. She doesn’t have to think of Steph and Pepper for their faces to be all over the workshop, a thousand different pictures and their smiles. It hurts too much.

Toni goes to wave it away, but she wonders. She can feel the edges of the holographics sometimes, smoothe under her fingers. “Okay, boys,” she says to the computers, reaching out and touching the images of her girls. They’re smiling here, frozen and not judging. “I need to to create a replica of Stephanie Rogers and Virginia Potts, please.”

“Ma’am, I don’t think that’s--” JARVIS starts, but Toni just thinks mute and his voice is gone.

She directs the mainframe. Steph’s measurements are all in SHIELD’s files, but they don’t know the heaviness of her tits or the slight swell of Pepper’s hips. She knows their bodies, and the holoframes that stand in front of her when the rendering is complete are almost perfect, almost right. There’s something in the face that’s wrong, and when she reaches out to touch them, there’s nothing but that strange slipperiness under her fingers. But they’re close to being her girls.

She thinks, and holo!Pepper’s voice is modulated and parsed together from the audio files in Toni’s mainframe says the words. “We’re sorry, Toni. We should understand what this took for you to do.”

Holo!Steph sighs, and her voice sounds like it’s being looped until she says, “I know you’re a hero, and this was a sacrifice for you. We should know better.”

Toni smiles, and she tries to not feel hollow at touching the holograms, trying to focus on how they don’t seem to judge her. They just stare at her with expressionless eyes, and Toni stands up to kiss each of their cheeks.

“JARVIS, figure out a way for them to be solid in my room. I don’t want to sleep alone tonight.” She doesn’t take him off mute. She doesn’t want to know that a computer finds her sad and lonely.

Besides, it’s only for a few nights. Steph and Pep have to come back eventually.
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