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James Rhodes Headcanons

  • Rhodey is a lightweight drinker. He might not have been one in college, when he had time to go to parties and drink every weekend, but he certainly became one after enlisting. His job entailed lots of long nights and years away from home and alcohol, so Rhodey only ever got to drink when he got leave. Two beers in and he has a headache, he’s giggly and ready to sky dive off a plane. Tony absolutely takes advantage of it, which is why Rhodey always needs a little persuation before drinking with him.
  • Rhodey is also very affectionate when he’s drunk. He’d drape himself all over you like a cat and start saying things he secretly thinks. Small little compliments like how Tony had expressive eyes or how Sam had a pretty smile.
  • Ever since he was little, Rhodey loved superheroes. He liked fictional ones, like Superman, and real ones, like Captain America. He also loved flying. Which is why Rhodey wanted to be a pilot growing up, and then why he loved being War Machine so much. His superhero obsession is also why he absolutely thought way too much about why Steve should’ve jumped from the plane.
  • Rhodey is a master at board games. Jeanette, who is a very sore loser, hates him for it, but Tony is delighted by finally finding a worthy opponent. He changes his mind after a few years, when he still hasn’t beat Rhodey at any game. Rhodey is so good at it, that he finds obscure board games online and orders them, and once he even made his own board game (he’s not so good at that). 
  • Rhodey has different nickname for every environment. With his family its Jimmy, with his ROTC and Air-Force friends its Jim or Rhodes, and with Tony (and SI) its Rhodey (and a myriad of other nicknames, of course). But if anyone calls him James, under anything less than professional, he’d never talk to that person again. 
  • Rhodey’s hobby is designing planes. Sometimes he does it absentmindedly, just sketching, his fingers used to the shape, but sometimes he designs it seriously. He makes every kind of plane: fighter jets, passenger planes, crop duster planes, etc. He doesn’t really show it to anyone, besides his family, Pepper and maybe Tony, but he was delighted when Lila has taken the same interest and he could teach her his knowledge. 
  • Pepper and him bond over a shared interests in drawing. Sure, Rhodey draws sketches and Pepper paints abstract drawings, but it’s a common ground they both have and they like sharing resources and inspiration pictures.
  • Rhodey knew he was gay since he was a kid. He didn’t much mind it at first, thinking it didn’t matter anyway because his career was the most important thing. As Rhodey grew up and enlisted, it became harder to ignore crushes or just indulge fantasies no strings attached. So he started to convince himself he didn’t have a crush, and even if he did, he couldn’t be in a relationship. Eventually, Rhodey repressed all his loves and crushes and convinced himself a relationship with him was unattainable. 
  • Rhodey keeps all of his old letters from when he first went to tours, and from years after of course. He reads them when he needs a little pick me up. Not to mention he likes to pull sections of the letters and read them to his family and Tony, just to embarrass them. 
  • Rhodey is very much a  Philadelphian mama’s boy. He loathes all the army food and loves all his mama’s dishes. He loves his hometown and the neighbourhood he grew up in. The things that calms him the most are his mama’s hugs and gentle soothing words. Rhodey loves traveling, has longed to do it growing up, but Philly is the one place that feels like home.
  • Rhodey knows how to braid braids and paint nail polish. He grew up with a younger sister, and has a niece, so of course he’d know. Lila doesn’t really like nail polish, but she loves how much time and care Rhodey puts into braiding her hair. Tony is the opposite; nothing much to braid really, but he loves it when Rhodey paints his nails. Not that he’d ever admit it.
  • Rhodey loved ferrets as a kid. Yes, you heard that right. It’s a very popular pet in Pennsylvania, and everyone wanted one when he was a kid. It sort of caught onto him.  He changed his mind pretty quickly, when Tony bought him a ferret on his birthday, and the pet immediately bit him. Now, all he wants is a fish. Fish are low maintenance and they won’t hurt you. 
  • Rhodey loves a uniform. He fell in love with it in choir, when he felt like dressing like everyone else made him fit in. He felt like he finally had friends when he dressed in the same clothes in them. Like he had people who understood him. Not to mention, it saved Rhodey from his terrible sense of fashion (”no, Rhodey, give up, just wear a t-shirt and jeans please.”). He feels the same way when he wears his dress blues, when he gained ranks, felt like he had people with him and people like him. War Machine is also a uniform of sorts. But this time, it reminds him that he’s a superhero, that he’s special and that Tony has his back. 
  • Rhodey would never admit it but he loves cheesy rom-coms. His sister used to have a phase of watching them, but while she grew out of it, Rhodey found he missed the habit of sitting on the sofa and being filled with hope. He knows they’re stupid. He knows there’s no way his best friend could love him back. It’s his guilty pleasure, alright? 
  • Rhodey doesn’t follow any sports, except the MIT football team and tennis. The first one because it’s his and Tony’s tradition, and because Lila wanted to join the girl’s football team, and the second one because… Rhodey likes the uniform, and the colors, and the hypnotising movements of the ball, and the quietness of the crowd. His whole life is filled with chaos, and it’s just calming to him. Relaxing. Also, you can’t go wrong polo shirts. 
  • Rhodey is so smart. Like blow-away-your-teachers, win-every-science-fair, person-in-the-yearbook-most-likely-to-win-a-noble-prize smart. He’s a prodigy child in MIT at 16. Tony thought Rhodey was the first genius close to his age, when they saw each other in MIT. Rhodey knows he’s not a genius. But that doesn’t mean he can’t hack over Tony’s codes sometimes to mess with JARVIS. It doesn’t mean he isn’t astonishingly smart. 
  • Rhodey is a tech genius, but he doesn’t trust tech like at all. Between a choice of a GPS and a map, he’d choose a map. He prefers to count on himself. He knows the dangers of technology and what people would do for money. 
  • Rhodey volunteers at soup kitchens. He’s sort of a regular in one, every time when he comes back from leave, he visits it.  Everyone there knows his name, and they laugh at his stories. Rhodey doesn’t tell anyone. Well, maybe Tony knows, because he keeps donating money to the soup kitchen. 
  • Sam and Rhodey are really good friends. They don’t really agree on much but they don’t mind. It’s nice to keep each other on their toes. Rhodey and Sam regularly roast Steve and Tony too. They have a running gag of making up random Air-Force Things™️ to confuse their army and civilian friends.
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rhodeytony seasons of love | summer, day twelve ☀️

what voicemail did rhodey leave tony at 3am?

rhodey doesn’t leave a voicemail because he can’t.

it’s 2002, a few days into august, and jim has been missing in action for about a week now. he doesn’t know where he is, and he doesn’t know if he’ll make it out. his mind keeps replaying the way his co turned away from him and left him to the wreckage of the fight he had caused, letting jim be a meat shield while he fled to safety.

jim didn’t sign up to be sacrificed for a middle-aged white man on his first assignment, but life had a funny way of making things hard on him.

but he’d woken up, so maybe he should be grateful.

staring at the weakening walls of his makeshift shelter is getting more exhausting as the time drags on, so jim’s mind wanders back to his loved ones as he wonders if he’ll ever see them again. he’d stopped himself from doing it in the beginning because that was a sure way to lose his mind, but now that it’s been a week of nothing? thinking of his family is the only way to keep himself sane.

he thinks of jeanette first, raising little lila marie while working to finish her high school degree. lila’s going to be three by the time his baby sister graduates, and jeanette made jim swear he would be there to see them walk across that stage no matter what. he wants to believe that he can do that, but as the days drag on, jim doesn’t know if he can.

he thinks of his mama and his pa next, who had been so worried about him shipping out for his first assignment. he pretended he hadn’t noticed their visual relief when he’d gone back to mit for his master’s degree, but the way his mama had stayed up praying the night before he’d left last month made his stomach twist with guilt.

finally, he thinks of tony. tony who was too afraid to take over as ceo after they graduated a few months ago and was working in r&d until he could work up the nerve take over stark industries. tony who had hugged him so tightly, riddled with anxiety about both of their futures as he quietly asked jim to come back safe before letting him go.

jim wishes he hadn’t promised he would.

because he doesn’t know if he can.

he wishes he could call his family and apologize. he wishes he hadn’t made a promise that he didn’t know he could keep. because even if he makes it out of this alive—and the most stubborn part of jim wants to believe that he still will—but even if he does, jim knows that this is going to change him.

and a small part of him feels guilty.

he’s experiencing a low point, jim knows that, and he wishes he could talk it out with his family and clear his head, but he can’t.

because he’s alone.

just him and his thoughts.

rhodey doesn’t leave a voicemail at 3am, and tony will never know. ☀️

tony’s voicemail

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Prompts from here#6 Jolting awake after a nightmare and being comforted. 

Ahhhh this is my favorite thing to write! 


Rhodey dreamed too often of falling. Falling in darkness, falling to nowhere, just falling, falling, falling, forever.

Sometimes he in his suit while falling and could only see the warning vitals in the suit. Sometimes he tripped while in his braces, and was suddenly falling into an abyss, his fall spinning out of control. Sometimes Sam or Tony were falling with him, sometimes they waited for him on the ground, waiting for him to fall. Sometimes he was back there, reliving that moment again and again. 

Rhodey only remembers falling from the fight. He wasn’t conscious while hitting the ground. Even if he was, he was sure falling and falling and falling, his suit failing him, Tony screaming for him, the ground getting closer and closer to him, was more terrifying. 

When he hit the ground in his dreams? He jolted awake from his dreams, shaking and breathing hard. 

And the worst thing about his nightmares? He was used to them. He had a routine with them. He would wake up, wander, take a sleeping pill, and go back to sleep. But now? He couldn’t do any of that because his once in shape body, was now useless, unable to climb out of bed without his husband. 

So now he had a new routine. Muffling cries to not wake up Tony and eventually falling asleep, slipping into another nightmare or waking up every five minutes. 

Except for that night. That night where Rhodey didn’t make it to the ground. 

“Rhodey,” he heard some voice in his sleep. It was Tony. But it wasn’t his usual panicked cries. The voice was gentle and concerned. “Rhodey,” the voice said again. 

Rhodey didn’t wake up yet, whimpered in his sleep. 

“Rhodey, wake up,” he was shaken again and then, then Rhodey stopped spinning mid-air, was back on safe land, but it wasn’t because he landed, it was because he was waking up in the bed. When he looked up, he didn’t see the ceiling as usual, but this time he saw Tony, concerned brown eyes staring down at him. “Rhodey,” Tony said again, “honey, are you okay?” 

“I’m-” Rhodey gripped Tony’s shoulders and Tony put a hand over one of the hands grabbing him, “I was falling.” 

Tony smiled sadly, “shhh, you’re okay now. You’re not falling anymore. You’re okay.”

Rhodey sobbed, “I can’t sleep. I don’t want to fall anymore.”

“Shhh, honey, you’re okay. You’re safe here with me.” 

Rhodey let Tony hold him tightly, and he didn’t feel like falling anymore. He felt grounded. He felt safe. He felt like he was flying the suit. 

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Tony: Is the dishwasher running?

Stephen: No… looks like it’s standing still, maybe checking its phone to see how many steps it got on its run.

Rhodey: It can’t be that many, I’ve never seen it move faster than a jog.

Tony: … I’m breaking up with both of you.

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Tony being cared for by the two people closest to him. I only hate that the rest of the Avengers is there to spy on this intimate moment. This is the kind of rest Tony deserves. Surrounded by love.

(Of course, there’s one person that should be there missing but he’ll be there after Thano’s defeat, along with Morgan. We only didn’t get to see it because the MCU is allergic to tenderness and the found family trope.)

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Here it is. The rhodeytony arlance au. Warning: it doesn’t end well. 

Tagging: @van-dyne (because you helped me lots with this), @samrhodey (for rekindling my love of the show) and uh, the rest of my mutuals I guess. Just kidding I love y’all: @warmachinesocks @littlemissstark @irontinystar @she-hulks @whyarepotatoe-s @frostysunflowers @ironcuddlystark @yesmooshoe 

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“Why do you always get to make the decisions?” Tony asked Rhodey when he served him, “why do you think this is okay?” 

“Tony, we’ve been over this again and again,” Rhodey pleaded, “just sign.” 

“No,” Tony told him, “no, not until you explain why.”

“Why?” Rhodey chuckled, “a true mystery. Seriously, Tony, you can’t think of even one reason

Tony looked down to the floor, “I know I’m not always easy…” 

“That’s the understatement of the year,” Rhodey muttered. 

“But you weren’t either,” Tony snapped, “you never told me anything that was going on with you. Never trusted me to handle your problems. Never confined in me. Never believed me when I told you I’m right here.” 

“Right and I was supposed to do that before or after you screamed at me for taking away your drugs?” 

Tony glared at him, “maybe if you didn’t just run off until you decided what to do with me, I wouldn’t scream at you at all.” 

“Fuck you,” Rhodey said, “don’t pin that on me.” 

“I was an addict, Rhodey!” Tony told him, “you can’t pin that on me! And I got better, am getting better. But you don’t trust me to change. Why? Why do you get to run off and think about how horrible I am to you and then not give me a chance when I’m better?” 

Rhodey’s eyes filled with tears, but this time instead of anger it was sadness, “you weren’t in your right mind back then, Tony. You don’t remember it like me. You can’t… You don’t… I just… I just don’t want to be hurt anymore. I truly wanted to believe you don’t have a bad bone in your body, but I don’t think I can see you as kind anymore.” 



Tony looked to the ground, deep in thought. It was a while before he said, “okay.” He took the papers and signed them, “okay.” 

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For @limetimto Brother by Kadoline for Ironhusbands. 


“Is this how you felt?” Rhodey asks, finally speaking for the first time in half an hour. 

Tony still felt winded and was trying to catch his breath, but he responded, choked, “when?” 

“When I was in the trenches,” Rhodey said, “and you begged me to let you cover for me?” 

Tony shut his eyes at the painful memory, at the one phone call that made Tony break all those years ago, “probably.” 

Rhodey was silent for a moment before saying, “I’m sorry.” 

Tony shakes his head, “it’s not your fault.” He sighs, “I know how you felt now.” 

Rhodey and Tony stare at each other sadly, from two other ends of the wall. 

“At least…” Rhodey says, “at least I can protect you now. You can rescue me when I’m dying on my knees and I can give you your lungs back when you’re drowning at sea.” 

Tony smiles softly, “yeah… yeah, at least we’re brothers in arms now.”

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I feel like Rhodey would absolutely flip out when Tony was in danger while he was a civilian, because Tony can’t protect himself, but once he becomes Iron Man, Rhodey is kind of relived because he can finally trust Tony to defend himself. Meanwhile, Tony was a nervous wreck all through Rhodey’s military career, and sometimes working with him side by side as War Machine and Iron Man actively hurts because Rhodey’s in danger.

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Rhodey, very drunk: I just *clenches fist* love Philly so fucking much. 

Tony, not sure what to do: I know, platypus.

Rhodey, starts tearing up: I miss my home, Tony! i just want to be back in my mom’s house with my wonderful neighbours. 

Tony, trying to make Rhodey feel better: I’ll drive you there tomorrow if you want.

Rhodey, no longer paying attention: will you dress up as Gritty for me, Tony? I miss Gritty. He’s a part of home! And you’re my home now too. So if you dress up as Gritty, it’ll be like double home. Please? 

Tony, about to cry: sure, Rhodey.

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Why did they spend the night in jail during their MIT days?

Rhodey usually let bullies slide, he’s well used to them and knows they’re better ignored, but Rhodey isn’t going to let some asshole tell Tony that it’s his fault his parents are dead on his goddamn birthday. So yeah, maybe they get into a fight.

What’s their go to karaoke song?

Under Preassure by Queen. They love to scream it at the top of their lungs.

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