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So this story deals with a few sensitive topics like cyber-bullying and death threats and depression. Please keep this in mind while reading or avoid if you have to.

Anyway, this is ironhusbands clocking in at ~1400 words


Rhodey found him sitting on the grass with his head resting on his raised knees. He was shrunken within himself, wrapped in a small cocoon. It’s been a long time since Rhodey’s seen Tony shut down so completely, enough to want to disappear. 

A month after they returned home, after the fiasco of the Avengers separating settled, a tag began trending on Twitter. 

#tonystarkisoverparty

Tony laughed it off the first time he saw it. Even Rhodey got a good chuckle out of it. They were both used to the media turning on Tony, slandering him more often than not. Tony was used to being tagged in hateful messages, receiving death threats and vitriol through the mail, and even being harassed in the streets by spiteful citizens who called him a ‘dirty capitalist pig.’ Tony shrugged it off even then, telling Rhodey that ‘it’s true, what they’re saying,’ before slipping on his aviator sunglasses. 

But this time, the tag on Twitter didn’t go away. A week later, accounts like @antitonystarkclub and @kystonystark gained massive followings. There were petitions out to boycott Stark Industries. As a result, SI stock dropped significantly, causing hair loss and rage for Pepper. When Tony saw how Pepper was hurting, he sent a tweet into the void, telling everyone to attack him if they wanted to, but to leave Pepper and her company alone. ‘She worked too hard to be shot down now because of me,’ Tony added in the tweet. 

Old photos and videos of Tony from when he was younger appeared, displaying a drunk and barely clothed Tony losing control or screaming or stumbling around and falling. Rhodey was even sent a blurry video of a young Tony being groped at a party while he was intoxicated. ‘This your bestie?’ the sender texted him. ‘How pathetic.’ 

It sparked the worst kind of fury in him, enough to make him sick.

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They dragged Peter away shortly after his confession. Four guards had to hold Tony back with how viciously he was fighting, the immobility wearing off. Maybe the exhaustion was fading, or his willingness to get Peter back, save him overpowered any sort of “head trauma” he may or may not have had. They couldn’t even force him into a cell - they could barely hold him in place.

Peter was led out of the room by Ross with a guard holding each of his arms, but Peter was being compliant for reasons Tony didn’t understand. He wasn’t fighting - he was going willingly.

Tony wanted to yell at Peter, tell him to fight. He’s not sure if he actually said something, or was just thinking it and got confused through his anger-filled haze. All he knew was Peter was being dragged away, and Tony couldn’t follow.

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Writer’s Month Day 19

So turns out mythology? Real. And yet, yet love is still a myth, isn’t it?

Tony thinks about Thor and Loki (Thor and Loki!!! Sons of Odin!!! Norse gods!!!) and apparent alien war and his life, because that’s apparently the cliché thing to think about when one is heading towards their death.

The nuclear bomb (Can’t this just turn out to be a fucking nightmare? Can’t he wake up?) on his back feel strangely light and he keeps his grip firm, terrified of losing it. Soon he’ll reach the portal and… this better work.

“J.? Call Rhodey.”

Last words, right? Maybe it’s cruel. Rude, and selfish and maybe he shouldn’t but Tony never did the right thing, after all. What’s the better time to man up if not before death?

Still, a part of him hopes Rhodey won’t pick up. That he’ll get to apologize to voicemail. But he doesn’t.

“Tones?”

He’s so close to… He has no idea what to say.

“I love you. I’m sorry.”

The portal feels surreal yet familiar. Like that feeling of travelling without really seeing it. Knowing you’re moving without knowing it. Like being blindfolded in a car boot. Tony knows that feeling all too well.

Darkness.

***

“I’m going to fucking kill you, Tones.”

There’s a steady beep of a heart monitor, and white, and a black angel above him, and he realizes they won.

“I’m going to fucking kill you. And then I’m going to kiss you.”

He looks at Rhodey, and slowly he finds out he can summon a smile. Weak, but genuine, and joyful.

So maybe mythology is real, and so are aliens, but hey. Turns out love? Love is real too. And pretty awesome.

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Tony loved Dum-E. Loved him how he assumed one would love their child, and had never been as happy as the day he first heard the bot’s first beep.  He knew his creation could understand him and he seemed to always understand Dum-E in return, but it wasn’t enough. He wanted to talk to him. To know what he was feeling, if his beloved bot even could feel. It was 2 am when Rhodey found them on the floor of their dorm, Dum-E making excited chirps to mimic Tony’s taps. 

“Really Tones? You’re teaching your robot Morse code?” Rhodey rolled his eyes but sat down next to the sleep deprived genius. 

Tony was practically vibrating with excitement, “Honey bear! You’ll be glad to know he’s better at Morse code than making smoothies,” he turned back to his bot, “ Just look how fast he’s picking it up! Dum-E, can you say Rhodey? R-H-O-D-E-Y.”

Dum-E gave an excited whir before clicking out his response.

_ _ _   . . _ ./   _ . _ .   _ _ _   . . _   . _ .   …   ./   . ./   _ . _ .   . _   _ ./ 

Of course I can.

Rhodey snorted at Tony’s beaming face, “I’m not even surprised. He’s already on his way to being smarter than you, huh?” 

Tony let out an offended squawk that his dorm-mate couldn’t help but laugh at. The genius dramatically fell back into Rhodey’s lap, “Just for that I’m taking your name off the birth certificate. Being a single parent is tough but it will be better than dealing with your hurtful words any longer.”

. ./  _ . .   _ _ _/  _   . _   _ . _   ./  . _   . . _ .   _   .   . _ ./  _ . _ _    _ _ _   . . _/       _ _   . _   _ _   . _/ 

I do take after you Mama.

Tony froze, eyes widening, “I didn’t teach him that.”

Rhodey doubled over in laughter, his face dropping into Tony’s stomach. “Whatever you say Mama,” he managed to wheeze out. 

“Platypus I am hurt. I am offended. Here I am clearly in need of your love and support and what do you do? Mock me. Unforgivable,” he squirmed underneath the older boy, shrieking when Rhodey moved up his shirt to blow a raspberry.

“How dare you! Dum-E, defend your mother from this fiend!” Tony’s squirming increased as he towards his bot to escape Rhodey’s oh so cruel actions. 

Dum-E made a confused beep as he analyzed the situation.

. _ _   … .   _ . _ _/   . _ _   _ _ _   . . _   . _ . .   _ . ./ . ./   . . _ .   . .   _ _ .   … .   _/   _ . .   . _   _ . .

Why would I fight Dad?

Silence filled the room. “Dad?” Rhodey asked, lifting his head from Tony’s abdomen. 

Tony grinned and booped his nose, “Sounds like you don’t have a choice Rhodey-bear. Dum-E has decided that you’re his Dad now. You wouldn’t want to hurt his feelings, would you?”

Rhodey made the mistake of glancing at Dum-E, the bot didn’t even have a face but it almost felt as if he was receiving puppy eyes not too different from those that his dumb genius used to get his way. “Oh God, alright. Dad it is.”

Neither of them could quite manage to hide their smiles at Dum-E’s excited beeps. Tony hadn’t felt this at peace in a long time. He had thought MIT would be lonely, much like the mansion was when Jarvis wasn’t around to keep him company. He never would have expected to have found his own little family. 

His creation tried to use his claw to boop Rhodey’s nose, accidentally smacking him in the face and Tony laughed at the betrayed expression his best friend gave their apparent robot child. Their family wasn’t conventional by any means, nothing like the typical nuclear family, but it was his. And he wouldn’t change them for the world. 


Also thank you @hcrleykeener for helping me with ideas and proof reading this!

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Honestly, props to Tony stans, they have so many ships with Tony that are just god-tier, and have so many good dynamics:

Iron husbands: Friends to lovers!!!!! They always have each other’s back!!!!!!! Tony needs Rhodey and Rhodey needs Tony!!!! They’d defend each other through everything!!!! So many moments!!

Pepperony: they balance each other out!!!! Pepper cares about Tony, but she still makes sure he doesn’t treat her like one of his hookups!!! Tony respects her so much!!!! Goddamn powercouple!!!! Cute bickering!!!!

Stony:

Ironstrange: Enemies to lovers!!!!! Hilarious dynamic!!!!!! Learning to respect each other!!!!! Iconic duo in Infinity War!!!!!! “That’s my dumbass” shipping trope!!!!! Plus Peter as their kid!!!!

Science Bros: An OG ship!!!! Tony and Bruce chilling out doing science together!!!!! Moments in both Avengers AND AOU!!!!! Chaotic Genius and Quiet Genius that just wants to build robots together!!!!!

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