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IRONHUSBANDS for 11 please

Ahhh anon you picked a good one I loved writing this! 

Prompt - ‘Should auld acquaintance be forgot, I’ll love you til the day I die, should auld acquaintance be forgot, will you kiss me in the morning light?’ - this comes from the song ‘This Love Won’t Break Your Heart’ by Annalise Emerick and I highly recommend listening to it cos it’s lovely! 

also uploaded on ao3

Prompt taken from this list 

**********

“Tones - Tony! Wait up!”

Tony stumbles on, blinking wetly into the snow falling into his face. The frosty wind snags at his open jacket and manages to whip inside, knocking him off course. He flounders for a moment, the drinks he had at the party making him so very wobbly on his legs, and only manages to stay upright due to Rhodey’s hands grabbing him by the elbows.

“Whoa! Easy.”

“Get off,” Tony grumbles, shaking himself free and staggering off again, tugging his jacket back around himself.

It’s late, the strike of midnight rapidly approaching. The sky is a strange mixture of hazy red and inky black, blurred by the snowflakes swirling in the wind. The snow has been coming down for hours, covering the ground in a layer so thick that the wetness from it is seeping into Tony’s jeans.

It’s not a far walk from here to the apartment, but being drunk and nearly crying makes for a hard journey, even more so with Rhodey now dogging his steps, the scent of smoke and alcohol from the party drifting off him and mixing with the crisp scent of ice.

Tony’s mad. So, so mad. More than mad really, especially because going to the party had been his idea.

“C’mon, honeybear,” he’d pleaded, draping himself over Rhodey as he ate breakfast at the small kitchen table. “It’s Christmas, let’s have some fun!”

“We already had Christmas,” Rhodey grumbled. “Remember? Cheeseburgers for dinner? You giving me a new hoodie and then stealing it for yourself an hour later?”

From Rhodey’s lap, Tony had grinned up at him widely. He hadn’t said as much, but it had been one of the best Christmases he’s ever had. When Tony had quietly mumbled that he wasn’t going home this year, a result of a recent fight with Howard, Rhodey had decided to stay too, claiming that this was the year that his Great Aunt Mildred was visiting and he couldn’t stand the woman, so really, Tony was doing him a favour by giving him an excuse not to go home.

“I’m telling you, man,” Rhodey chuckled that night as they chowed down, a couple of empty beer bottles already lining the table, “she’s awful. She sits plucking her moustache at the dinner table and wears these-these-I don’t even know what you’d call it but it’s ugly as hell.”

Tony had laughed until he cried, a vibrant kind of warmth filling him up with all the strength of a summer heatwave, and then they’d exchanged gifts over glasses of eggnog - a new hoodie for Rhodey and a softer than soft blanket for Tony, along with a cuddly pink platypus - and Tony had become resolute in his plans.

This year would be the year that he told Rhodey how he felt, the year that he finally did something that would turn their friendship into something more, something golden and fierce in the way that only love could do.

So yes, he had a plan.

New Years Eve. The midnight countdown. Classic, cliche and totally perfect.

Except it wasn’t. It was a complete disaster.

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Words: 1.8k

Warnings: Anxiety and panic attacks (referenced), implied/referenced child abuse

Read on AO3!

Summary:

Tony Stark, the glasses wearing, sweater loving boy, had loved Bucky Barnes from a far for years.

Bucky Barnes had watched Tony from the shadows that followed him everywhere, shadows that would never let him leave.

Inspired by Aaron Carpenter’s song Chase.

-

Tony tugged the sweater tighter around himself as he watched Bucky smoke a cigarette while leaning against the school wall.

His trademark black leather jacket was slung across his arm, the weather being way too hot for jackets. Yet here Tony was in all his sweater wearing glory as he rushed inside the school, Rhodey trailing behind him.

He kept sneaking looks at Bucky from the corner of his eye. Next to his long-time crush was Steve Rogers, a massive football player and best friend of Bucky’s. Tony envied how everyone seemed to love the blond. He was easily likeable with his easygoing attitude and his ability to see the good in everyone.

Well, everyone except Tony. Tony was the devil rich boy in Steve’s book. Rhodey called it him seeing only the image Tony seemed to ooze, despite being a small teen that was deathly afraid of everyone. But apparently no one outside Tony’s friend circle could see it.

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Read on AO3 

~*~ 

Author Note: 

So. A few days ago my brother called me to verify my address. Fun stuff for the military after his return from deployment, and it got me thinking about Rhodey and how Tony’d react to that, and then how Peter’d react to Tony writing him into the will and honestly it was happier in my head I am SORRY.
(To be fair, it accurately reflects my very unhappy feels about that damn paperwork and how necessary it is and is rooted deep in my oldest brother’s death and paperwork and Yeah anyway, Arei writing as therapy is a thing)

~*~ 

He starts doing it as some kind of strange protest after Rhodey’s first deployment, when he’s home and settling into a new posting and they’ve fucked themselves silly. When Rhodey calls him out of the blue and verifies his address and social security number and rings off without an explanation, and it tugs at him long enough that Tony brings it up a few days later, running his fingers over Rhodey’s sweaty, still sticky abs. 

“Why’d you need my address, honeybear?” 

“Hmm?” 

Tony pokes him, a little bit grumpy, and Rhodey flinches away, snatching at his finger with a reproachful look. 

“Why?” 

“Paperwork. Next of kin, benefits–that kind of thing.”

It makes Tony still in his arms, because he doesn’t like to think of that side of Rhodey’s work, the side that is dangerous and mortal

Rhodey rolls over, pins him to their bed and kisses him soft, and says, “It’s SOP, peacock. Nothing to worry your pretty head over.” 

~*~  

Three days later, Marcus Green appears in his office, and outlines the rights and responsibilities and sheer, staggering wealth that will fall to Rhodey, should Tony die. It’s brusque and clinical–Marcus says, a verifying of facts.

Rhodey stares at him, nonplussed, and when he gets home, takes Tony to bed, where he proceeds to fuck him so thoroughly Tony is sobbing by the time they collapse into the sheets. 

“You aren’t allowed to die, Tony Stark,” Rhodey says, fiercely, and Tony bites his clavicle, just to hear the pretty noise Rhodey makes. 

“Neither are you,” he says. 

~*~ 

It becomes a familiar rite–Rhodey updating his will and military paperwork like clockwork every two years, every new deployment and duty station is answered by the arrival of Marcus Green in his office, in his home, and Tony’s defiant, tear sheened gaze. 

Pepper looks furious, the first time it happens after she sweeps into their lives, and Happy looks sick. 

Harley calls, frantic, desperate to know Tony isn’t dying, and that becomes something of a rite of passage as well–easing Tony’s new people through Green’s first visit. Some–Natasha and Clint and Bruce–barely blink. Steve is adamant that Tony rewrite the will, that there’s something wrong with it–he and Rhodey almost come to blows over it before he backs down. 

It’s part of living with Tony, part of being in his life, a sideeffect that he created and every time he’s faced with it, with Tony’s mortality and the future, it terrifies him. 

It makes him hold Tony a little bit closer. 

~*~ 

Peter is white face and trembling, curled in a corner of the couch when Rhodey comes in that evening. 

It makes him pause and almost–almost–call Tony because he’s close to Peter, now, but he isn’t ever going to be close to him the way that Tony is. He didn’t recruit the kid and spend years training him, didn’t watch him die and rewrite the universe to bring him back

That was Tony. 

Still. His eyes are trained on a neat stack of papers on the table, and Rhode realizes, abruptly, what happened. 

“Shit, Pete,” he murmurs. He moves to the couch, crouches next to the kid. “I’m so sorry, Pete.” 

“When my parents died, May and Ben went to the will reading,” he says, still staring at the papers. “I didn’t even know they left anything, until I was sixteen. When Ben died–there wasn’t anything to leave, except his watch. The lawyer said there was life insurance, but I never really–I didn’t think about it. I never did.” 

“Pete–” 

“Why would he do this?” Peter asks, softly. “I don’t want this. I don’t–I want him.” 

Rhodey sighs. “I know, kid. I know. Tony–”

“He wants me to take over R&D,” Peter says, and his voice is sharp and hysterical, and it’s afraid too. 

It’s always a shock, to find out just what kind of value Tony puts on you. He plays things so damn close to the chest–and this kid, this kid that is so like him, so damn good and impossibly brilliant–

“I know, kid,” Rhodey says, gently. “He told me that years ago.” 

When Peter was still gone and Tony was the only one sure that the Snap could be reversed. 

“I don’t wanna know this,” Peter says, hoarsely. 

Because that–that is the crux of it. 

There is a weight to the knowledge–to knowing that if anything happened to Tony–what that would mean. 

It’s what triggered this tradition of theirs that began over thirty years ago–the weight of the knowledge that if Rhodey fell, Tony’s phone would ring. 

“In our work, you have to know,” Rhodey says, softly. “But Peter–knowing means you keep him safe. You hold on to what is precious and you protect it.” 

They have. Since Thanos and the battle that almost killed Tony–they have all kept him safe. 

Marcus Green feels, for the first time in three decades, like a harbinger instead of a humorless joke. 

“I don’t want it,” Peter says. 

“But if he dies,” Peter flinches, violent, and give Rhodey a wounded look, “you’ll take it. You’ll do what he asks. And that’s why he asks.” 

Peter stares at him, his gaze red and wet and finally off those fucking papers. 

“C’mon. Let’s find him and order dinner.” 

~*~ 

The kid clings to Tony through dinner and a movie, falling asleep against Tony’s side without ever explaining and Tony–Tony doesn’t ask, just pets his hair and holds him close and when the end credits finally run, he twists his head to gaze at Rhodey. 

“Marcus saw him, didn’t he?” 

Rhodey nods. There’s an indefinable sadness in his eyes, something Rhodey can’t stand to see. 

“I knew he’d struggle with it,” Tony murmurs, petting Peter’s curls. 

They’re twisted around each other, protective and protected both, and it makes him ache to see. 

“Don’t you die on us, peacock,” Rhodey murmurs and Tony smiles at him, star bright and alive. 

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Rhodey: It’s Christmas time & you know what it means.

Tony: The happiness that I haven’t feel for 50 years?

Stephen: Everyone trying to kill each other on the dinner table?

Harley: The sweet release of death?

Peter: The fact that I will only get coal from Santa?

Rhodey: I was gonna say “ugly sweaters competition” but you know what? We’re going to therapy.

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steve hurt his ankle and is laid up with a cast. little penny and tony sat next to him, doodling little hearts on his cast to cheer him up

“I thought super soldiers couldn’t get hurt,” Tony said as he sat on the couch beside Steve, Steve’s casted ankle resting on his lap.

“No, we get hurt all the time. We just heal-”

“Faster than us normies. I know, Captain Spangles, I was teasing you.”

Steve sighed and stared at Penny, who was sitting on the ground at their feet, with his eyes wide as if to say, see what I have to deal with? Penny giggled.

“Well, a positive side to this is now you get to experience something that happens to us normies all the time,” she contributed with a grin. “We get to sign your cast.”

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rhodey: hey tony, i’m heading to the store. need anything?

tony: a will to live

rhodey: peter’s at school but i mean i can pick him up the way home.

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Rhodey: Tony, look. I’m sorry. Okay?

Tony: Don’t be.

Rhodey: No. I should have trusted you more.

Tony: I’m the one who put you in this position. Forget it.

Rhodey: No. It’s your fault, I just wanna say I’m sorry.

Tony: Thank you. That’s all I wanted to hear. Partner.

This exchange in Iron Man 2 is probably my favourite tonyrhodey moment, it just so perfectly illustrates what a strong, healthy and supporting friendship is like, I just love that both parties take responsibilities and they are so open and honest with each other, Tony never blames Rhodey for their fight and Rhodey knows but he still wants to apologise to let Tony knows that he loves his dumbass, in tonyrhodey’s dictionary, sorry means I love you and it’s beautiful. 

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Rhodey: Tony you can’t just sacrifice yourself every time something bad happens. 
Tony: *raises eyebrow* 
(Something Bad Happens) 
Tony: *already running out the door* Hey if I survive save me a seat at dinner! 
Rhodey: *looking at Pepper* …I can’t with him.

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