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Things that kept him going in Afghanistan:

1. Rhodes. One Colonel James Rhodes. Rhodey. HisRhodey, not the Rhodey that commanded men with the arch of an eyebrow and a hut-hut-blue-forty-two mentality, but that man that sat across from him on a plane and whined, honest to god whined, about the lack of good radio stations anymore.

The Rhodey that said: “Oh my god, that is the coolest fucking thing I have ever seen in my life. How the hell did you get it to do that?! No, you know what? Don´t tell me. It´s better if it just seems like your special brand of Tony-magic.’

The Rhodey that said: “Fuck you with your DMX and Wu Tang Clan, I´ll take Dre and Ice Cube any day.’

The Rhodey that said, and meant: “I love you Tony. No truly, honestly, I do. So stop. Just stop. Stop fucking yourself over.’

And: “Please, man. Please just be real with me. I don´t care who Tony Stark is in the papers, that´s not you man. Just be real with me. “

2. Pepper. Ms. Potts. Pepper, with her hair and her legs and her breasts and her, god, so lovely skin. Her voice that´s silky smooth and that ironic twist to her lips. Pepper with her professionalism and her poise and her perfect mind.

The Pepper that said: “Tony you have a meeting in two minutes, do you think you could maybe stop congratulating yourself on besting your own top score on Mortal Kombat long enough to make it?’

The Pepper that said: “I took care of your last stray, can´t you just tell this one the money´s on the nightstand yourself? Oh, right, you don´t pay for your dates, you just treat them like you do.’

The Pepper that said: “You´re better than this Tony. You do realize that right?’

And: “If you ever say that to me again, I will rip your balls off one by one and feed them to Happy´s Rottweiler.’

3. Obadiah. Obie. Tony´s own personal Obi-wan Kenobi, the man that took him under his wing when he was more lost than he´d ever been in his whole life and showed him where the road maps were again.

The Obadiah that said: “Okay, so you can get any girl you want. You really want it to be the girl that´s gonna go telling Page Six that your dick is three inches? Because that´s who this one is, Tony, I promise.’

The Obadiah that said: “Are you kidding me, your father fucked up worse than this five times a week his first year out. You´re doing fine, kid.’

The Obadiah that said: “I love you, always have, like you´re my own son, Tony. I´ve never been more proud of anyone in my whole life.’

And: “I´ve always been the guy behind the guy, Tony. Never been a problem for me.’

4. Happy. Mr. Happy Hogan, driver extraordinaire and all around really awesome guy. Never was there a man with a more fitting name.

The Happy that said: “Mr. Stark, really? You mean it? I get to drive this thing? For like… my job? You´re not just jerking me? Because if you are, I swear to God, I don´t care how much you´re worth, I´ll still kill you.’

The Happy that said: “Are you kidding me, of course I can keep up. Fuck you with your lead foot, my foot´s glued to this motherfucker´s underbelly!’

The Happy that said: “Tony, seriously, no kidding here? You saved my life. I don´t know where I´d be without you. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.’

And: “No problem, Tone, really. I´ve actually been itching for a return to my boxing ways. Belting that dude for disrespecting Pepper was completely my pleasure.’

Things that broke his heart upon his return:

4. Happy: “No, sir, I´m sorry. It´s totaled.’ “Come on, Hap, there´s gotta be something you can do!’ “Well next time maybe don´t land your fucking suit made of god damned iron on top of the car.’

2. Pepper: because she´s everything he could possibly want in a woman and he´s fucked himself out of ever having it, both literally and metaphorically.

1. Rhodey: “I think you need to get your mind right.’ Because it meant that Rhodey was just like everybody else, thinking he´d gone off the deep end and not giving him one chance to explain where he was coming from.

3. Obadiah: All of it. Everything.

All feedback much appreciated!
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