Chapter 5
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It takes the helicopter another fifteen minutes to come to them and when they do, a man she recognizes as Rhodes is one of the first to get them. She can almost feel the worry and relief exuding from him.

"How was the fun-vee?" he says as soon as he sees him, noticing, like her, how close Tony is to a breakdown and also knowing he wouldn't want to be seen in that state. It works, as Tony regains his composure. He grabs his free shoulder and adds, "Next time, you sit with me, okay?"

Tony just nods. He swallows once before saying, "Do you have a burger inside your ride?"

Rhodes laughs before looking at her. "And who's your new friend?"

Eva tilts her head as she looks at him, trying to look like a little innocent ferret.

"Oh? This is Eva. Never mind her, I'm famished. I really, really am."

"Sure, Tones. Though I warn you, we've only got some rations in the helicopter. And they're no better tasting than what you've probably eaten here."

Tony grimaces. "Then just give me a small one. I assume there's good food inside whatever place you are going to take me."

"Better not get your hopes up and wait for your plane to receive a better-tasting meal."

"Never thought I would someday wish to eat some plane cuisine before."

"I know," Rhodes says with a sad little smile.

After some debriefing that comprised Rhodes trying to pull some info from Tony, they got into a nice-looking airplane. It was big and better organized than her old apartment. It certainly had more stuff than it. Bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, and more. Tony concentrated on taking a well-deserved bath and eating like there was no tomorrow. He naturally gave her some of the food on a small plate that was more likely used for coffee cups, but it was still delicious.

He had asked her if she could handle everything he's been eating or if there was anything her body couldn't process in a roundabout way.

"Hope this doesn't make you sick. Don't need to have you pooping on my plane," he says, sounding like he was muttering to himself for the flight attendant. However, considering the look he was giving her, it was serious.

She answered in his mind with a 'Don't worry, Tony. We Pokémon are made of sturdier stuff.'

Afterward, Tony looked like he wished he could fall asleep, but was wary of it at the same time. Eva moved onto his shoulder and promised him to take guard, which seemed to mollify him a little. Instead of going to the bedroom part of the plane, he just sat there, in his seat, with her on his shoulder.

She leaned a bit onto his cheek to comfort him whenever he saw his hands trembling and jaw clenching in what sounded to be a nightmare.

She didn't use the move Sing, afraid she will make everyone fall asleep. Even so, she hummed inside his mind, hoping she'll be more successful that way.

And that's how the hours flew by.

It wasn't until one hour before arriving that he woke up. Rhodes returns from wherever he was to wake Tony up. Tony refreshed himself, adorning the one suit he keeps in each of his jets (And yes, jets, as in plural) in case the one he uses is not… 'Presentable' enough.

And it's a big contrast to see him wearing clothes he was comfortable using just a couple of months ago being loose on his body now. It's sad, too. Because of the way Tony's eyes grow lost in thought, slightly vacant when he sees himself in the mirror.

So she quickly nudges his leg, waking him up from whatever horror he's in.

When they finally land, Rhodes is the first to assess the situation outside. She can't see it clearly, perched on Tony's shoulder, but she can feel him take a deep breath when no one is looking. It's subtle, but the previous slump on his shoulders is no longer there. He stands tall and proud, a light smile appearing on his face as soon as the ramp lowers and Rhodes moves to help him move. It's not really necessary as, unlike movie!Tony, this one received some help from her.

"Watch it, coming up here."

Tony looks at him, his gaze moving towards the medical personnel that's waiting for them to hurry down so they can help. "Are you kidding me? Get rid of them."

She glances at Rhodes just in time to see him roll his eyes. She wants to laugh, but it'd be weird to see, so she quickly adverts her gaze just in time to see a teary-eyed Pepper.

Tony walks up to her and points at her. "Your eyes are red. A few tears for your long-lost boss?"

After the amused and wet chuckle, Pepper regains her bearings as she says, "Tears of joy. I hate job hunting."

"Yeah, well. Vacation's over," he says, giving Eva a quick glance.

Pepper follows his gaze, just as Happy opens the door of the limo for them and they go inside. "And this is?"

"Eva. My new friend. Isn't she cute?"

Pepper nods absently and seems ready to question some more but Happy, having just seated in the driver's seat, asks, "Where to, sir?"

Attention diverted from her furry self, Pepper looks forward as she says, "Take us to the hospital, please, Happy."

"No," Tony says, quick to interrupt.

"No? Tony, you have to go to the hospital."

He shakes his head. "'No' is my complete answer."

Pepper frowns. "A doctor has to look at you."

"I don't have anything," he says, his voice slightly harsher. He seems to notice it as he takes a deep breath and answers calmly, "I've been in captivity for three months. There are two things I want to do. I want an American cheeseburger and the other…"

She looks exasperated. "That's enough of that."

"… is not what you think. I want you to call for a press conference now."

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