For the prompt thingie, could I ask for “Well, that’s tragic.” with the situation kisses 15 (routine kisses) and Tony/Thor or Tony/Loki or Tony/T'Challa? Thank you! Love you!
So I went with Tony/T'Challa because I love them and I give T'Challa long hair, because... Well, I love that in a person 😅
I'm sorry it took so long, dear heart, but I was struggling with the 'routine kisses' part of the prompt and I'm not even sure if I actually got it. I still hope you'll enjoy it, hon 💚
Title: Tiny Love also on AO3!
Morning finds Tony bent over a bench with a torch in his hand. He has his goggles on and Rage Against the Machine is playing on the speakers. He’s in his work, thoughts running hundreds of miles per second, and… well, he might be a little bit sleep deprived.
Well, it’s to be expected of a genius, isn’t it?
“I wish,” a firm voice jolts Tony out of his work. He looks up, pushing the goggles on his forehead, and assumes the blurry figure at the door is his boyfriend. He mostly bases that on the honey-rich, but disappointed voice and the black hair kept in a neat topknot. “I was more surprised to find you here, Anthony.”
“Babe! You know me too well to expect anything else!” he sends him a million-watt smile. It’s only a little bit fake, so that’s a plus. “How’ve you been?”
“Busy,” T’Challa sighs and swiftly undo his tie. He wraps the purple silk in a ball and puts it in a pocket, making his well-fitted suit pants bulge at the front.
Tony wiggles his eyebrows at that and the corners of T’Challa’s mouth twitch in an almost-smile.
“Happy to see me?”
“Always, my heart,” T’Challa answers without missing a beat.
Tony lets out a startled, embarrassed noise that sounds like a dying animal, and hides his face in his hands. T’Challa can still see that the tips of his ears are red when he approaches.
“Oh, dear heart,” T’Challa mutters, running a hand through Tony’s short hair. He kisses the top of Tony’s head when the man leans into him instinctively. “You should be used to it now.”
“I am. Kinda,” Tony mumbles into his hands. “It’s just difficult to undo decades of abuse and manipulation. Leslie says it’s normal.”
T’Challa nods at the mention of Tony’s therapist. It’s been going great, especially with Dr Thompson being professional and stern enough, but also with a funny side and a brilliant mind, that Tony could easily relate to. It also helped that when she started treating Tony and the media got wind of it, she punched the first journalist that kept pushing her to break the doctor-patient confidentiality (and a bunch of NDAs that Pepper insisted she signed).
Tony was so impressed, that he didn’t need any encouragement to start his treatment. He tried to buy a car for Leslie, but she threatened to switch him to her colleague if he didn’t stop.
T’Challa was and still is extremely proud of Tony for reaching for help, even if it took him some time.
“Got a gala tonight to attend,” T’Challa says, sitting next to Tony on the bench. His boyfriend picks up the little robot that he’s been working on all night long again and is inspecting it from every side. It looks like a cube with ears. “Will probably be running late.”
“Well, that’s tragic,” Tony responds a little thoughtlessly. T’Challa can still hear the disappointment in his voice, even if the man is distracted by his work.
“Come with me?”
“Hm?” Tony looks up from the cube and rich brown eyes meet T’Challa. “Come again?”
“Come with me to the gala.”
“Whoever you want,” T’Challa answers. “But I’d love you to attend as my partner, my plus one.”
They haven’t been hiding their relationship, but truth to be told they didn’t try to be ‘official’ as the tabloids would say. Both T’Challa and Tony love having this only for themselves and a few very close friends, but the rest of the world doesn’t know about them.
“You sure about it?” Tony puts down his work and focuses completely on T’Challa, who nods. “You know I don’t mind having you only for myself. Wakanda is still a little… unbalanced,” Tony winces at his chosen word, but keeps going. “Being officially tied with me might not be the best business move right now.”
“Good thing this isn’t a business thing,” T’Challa replies and grabs Tony’s hand. He presses it to his lips and holds Tony’s gaze. “I love you, Tony. Wakanda has no say in this.”
He can see that Tony wants to yank his hand away and hides his adorable, blushing face again, but he holds on. The grip is loose enough for Tony to escape if he really wanted, but T’Challa doesn’t want him to hide.
“I love you,” he repeats and leans in for a short, sweet kiss. Tony tastes like coffee and T’Challa has been in love with this taste for years now.
“Love you too, babe,” Tony answers, barely above a whisper. His eyes are glued to T’Challa like he expects the other man to just disappear. “Okay, I’ll do it.”
“You sure? I wouldn’t want to pressure you into anything you don’t want.”
“I don’t think you could even if you wanted,” Tony says softly, giving him a sincere smile. “You’re a marshmallow.”
“Only for you, my heart,” T’Challa admits and presses another kiss to Tony’s full lips.
He deepens it and Tony’s hand finds itself in T’Challa’s hair. A gasp escapes the Prince when Tony pulls a little too much on the freed strands, and when they pull away Tony’s eyes are black with desire.
“What time is the gala?”
T’Challa barely looks away from his lover to check the time.
“In seven hours.”
“Wanna do something fun?” Tony asks, teasingly. “I have a bed with our names on it.”
“You certainly need some sleep, darling,” T’Challa laughs and reluctantly lets go of Tony.
He straightens and offers his hand to Tony.
“We shall!” Tony grabs the offered hand with enthusiasm and soon is squealing in surprise when T’Challa leans down and grabs under his knees. He scoops Tony in a bridal carry like he weighs nothing and the engineer’s arms sneak around his neck.
“I’m sure I weigh a little more than a pack of grapes,” he grumbles into T’Challa’s skin.
“Just a little more. Maybe two packs.”
Tony hits him playfully on the chest, but T’Challa can feel him smile, as he walks toward their bedroom. They settle in a comfortable silence during the elevator ride and T’Challa doesn’t need a superhuman hearing to know that Tony’s falling asleep.
“Just a little more,” he assures Tony in a warm whisper. The other man just hums in acknowledgment and it’s a good thing he’s already so gone on Tony, because the sudden wave of emotion that hit him, would certainly unbalance him. As he is well aware of how in love he is with Tony Stark, who’s acting like a kitten in his arms, he simply walks into the bedroom and gently puts the man under the covers.
“I’ll be right back, my love,” he whispers tenderly while tucking him under the blanket.
Tony lets out a little sound, something that makes T’Challa think of a sleepy newborn kitten, and unconsciously tilts his head towards T’Challa waiting for a kiss goodnight.
T’Challa doesn’t melt at the sight, but only barely. He leans down and presses a loving kiss to Tony’s offered cheek.
He pulls himself away reluctantly and moves towards the closet to change into something comfortable as quickly as possible to get back to his lover.
No one is there to see the abandoned little cube in the shape of a black cat’s head open with a click and a simple silver ring falls on the workbench.
Me shipping Tony Stark with anyone but Steve Rogers
Masterpost | All works submitted to 2019′s collection!
Can we just say how absolutely tickled (and completely honored) that we had 41 (!!!) submissions to this year’s Holiday Movie Challenge?! That’s 40 more than we expected, honestly, :P. And what a broad range of stories! They’re all amazing! And 18!!! different ships! Thank you so much for participating, and we hope to see new and old faces alike for our Harlequin Hoopla in February 2020, and for our challenge(s) this spring and summer.
The Holiday Movie Challenge will be back again in Fall of 2020!
The following list is organized alphabetically, as well as by type.
As Sweet as the Sound | InTheShadows | Bucky x Tony | G
Bucky Barnes Got Married | @tisfan @27dragons @monobuu | Bucky x Tony | M
Christmas in the Second City | icywind @redsector-a | Bucky x Clint | G
The Christmas Unicorn | @tisfan @27dragons Monobuu | Bucky x Tony | E
A Holiday To Remember | Sporadic_fics @sporadic-fics | Steve x Clint x Bucky | M
If Only in My Dreams ... | @debwalsh | Steve x Bucky | M
If you'll only (open your eyes) | @hogwartstoalexandria | Sam x Bucky | E
If the Fates Allow | @bladeofthenebula27 | Steve x Tony | T
i'm warmer in the winter with you | glazedsun @glazed-sun | Peter Parker x Johnny Storm | G
An Irish Solstice | wolfiefics @wolfiejinn | Steve x Bucky | M
It makes sense if ya play along | @kalika999 | Rollins x Rumlow | T
Leave All of the Lights on (Where I Belong) | InTheShadows | Bucky x Tony | T
Love from the Outside | ByAStream @jbbarnesnnoble | Bucky x Reader | M
Meet Me On All Hallows’ Eve | Iron_Eirlyssa @eirlyssa | Tony x T’Challa | G
Merry & Married | @sunriserose1023 | Bucky x Reader | G
New Year, New Man (or: How Bruce Banner Broke his New Year's Resolution in Record Time) | @ellewritesfiction | Bruce x Tony | E
Once Bitten, Twice Smitten | @star-spangled-man-with-a-plan | Bucky x Reader | E
Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn | @betheflame | Bucky x Tony | T
Once Upon a Wintertime | @iam93percentstardust | Bucky x Tony | E
One Way Ticket | @sunalsolove | Leo Fitz x Jemma Simmons | T
Pining for Lost Innocence | @iam93percentstardust | Bucky x Tony | T
The Prince and the Pourer | @shi-toyu | Bucky x Tony | E
Pumpkin Pies & Twinkle Lights | @betheflame @kocuria @em-dibujsb | Steve x Bucky | G
Shed a Sweet Light | @tehroserose | Sam x Bucky | G
Snow Falls, Love Rises | heyjupiter @twentyghosts | Bruce x Tony | T
A Stony Valentine | @amiyusesha | Steve x Tony | unrated
Time only mends some wounds. Others you have to stitch back together. | Celticas @quartzcelticas | Clint x Phil | G
Two Roads Converged in a Snowy Airport | @thesilverqueenlady | Erik x Charles | T
Wave a Magic Wand Over This World | @iam93percentstardust | Steve x Tony | M
The Way the Cookie Crumbles | Faustess @psychiccatpanda | Pepper x Tony | T
WhatsApps and Weddings | @betheflame | Bucky x Nat | T
you better not (in a pear tree) | glazedsun @glazed-sun | Sam x Bucky | T
Moodboard & Drabble
break cookies (not hearts) | @iam93percentstardust | Bucky x Steve x Tony | T
Fairytale of New York | @iam93percentstardust | Bucky x Steve x Tony | G
Home for the Holidays | @iam93percentstardust | Steve x Tony | G
A King For Christmas | @iam93percentstardust | Steve x Tony | G
A Little Bit More | @iam93percentstardust | Bucky x Tony | G
MHEA Moodboard | MarvelousMenagerie @hddnone | Bucky x Tony | T
Pumpkin Pies & Twinkle Lights | @kocuria | Steve x Bucky | G
The Student, the Soulmate, and the Bookshop | @iam93percentstardust | Bucky x Steve x Tony | G
Keep an eye out for each submission’s individual post [here’s our award post tag], which will include the achievements and banner that each piece earned!
Tony: This is my round killing-thing.
Tony: Bless you.
Tony: So you’re not going to get revenge today?
T'Challa: No, Stark, I’m not.
Tony: OK, got it. [slyly] Then I won’t bring your credit card… which I cut into a ninja star!
T'Challa: Oh, you cut my credit card?
Tony: Into a ninja star!
I don't know if this is 'shopped or not but please someone write a fic of Tony strutting to an avengers debrief, late, holding a Starbucks, and wielding this much sass.
Anytime anyone ever feels nauseous in a fic, I immediately say "pregnant"
“Mr. Stark, please come with us.” Tony turned to glare atthe man that was ushering him onto a big, metal, foreign looking plane…thing.
“You say “please” as if I’m getting some sort of choice inthe matter!” His hands were tied together for fucks sake! This whole thing wasbecoming a nuisance. He’s Tony fucking Stark and he was getting kidnappedagain. He’d been minding his own business too, walking the streets and daydreaming about a sexy Wakandan King when he was latched onto and dragged into avan that took off the second his feet left the side walk.
It’s a shame, he really like this outfit.
His guard had gotten quiet but spoke up when Tony had gottenall sad looking. “Mr. Stark. Let’s speed this along?”
“Fine, whatever, I’m going.” He made his way up the steps,keeping his bitching to under his breath. He didn’t really want to get punched inthe face or anything. Once he got up into the jet, he was guided to a plushseat and buckled in with his ‘guard’ sitting beside him.
With him and his kidnappers secured in their seats the plane– jet – thing took off into the skies. “Do I get an itinerary or…?”
His guard turned to him and smiled pleasantly, “Don’t worryMr. Stark, we’ll only be in the air for a short time before we arrive.”
Tony scuffed and rolled his eyes, he’s quite sure theirdefinitions of “short time” didn’t match with his. Annoyed, bored, and trappedTony decided he didn’t care, he was taking a nap.
Sometime later he was woken up by his guard and guided offthe jet thingy into another van. Still drowsy from his nap, head restingagainst his guards shoulder, Tony mentally reflected on this kidnapping. Sofar, if he had to rank all his kidnappings this one would be at the top formost ‘pleasant’ under the circumstances. Of course he didn’t like random peoplegrabbing him and taking him to undisclosed locations without his permission orconsent but compared to how other times…this was the best. Far from a bombgoing off in his face or chloroform over his mouth. But none the less, akidnapping is still a bad and very illegal thing.
During his slight trip down memory lane, they arrived at whereverthey’d been planning to keep him.
Tony looked up and took in the large mansion he was beingescorted into, it’s a shame I’m going toblow this place up. From the quick glance he got, the mansion was big andbeautiful. Modern style with wide expansive windows. But he didn’t have time toenjoy the interior as he was lead inside.
Down the hall and up the stairs he was lead into a poshlooking office. The chair behind the desk was turned to the windows so therewas a fifty-fifty chance someone was sitting in it.
He was ‘guided’ by his guard to stand before the desk at arespectable distance and then…they left. His guard and the other two lackeysthat tagged along just put him in place and then walked out the door withoutanother thought. Weirdest. Kidnapping. Ever.Normally someone would stand in the room or stand by the ‘boss’ while he wastold why he was here.
His back was turned to the desk, half turned to look at thedoor while he gaged if there were guards outsidethe door when movement and a very familiar voice spoke behind him. “HelloAnthony.”
Tony almost lost his balance we he spun around to starestunned at the sexy chocolate man that been occupying his thoughts right beforethis whole kidnapping business went down.
The King just smirked at him from his seat in the big fancychair behind the desk. Hands resting comfortably in his lap.
“What the hell! You got someone to kidnap me? Did you losemy number or suddenly forget how to work all that fancy tech back home!? Arethose people even bad guys? What if I’d hurt them? T’Challa I was planning toblow this place up! Oh my god is this even your mansion?”
His royal highness didn’t even blink, “You said to ‘spicethings up’ if I recall correctly…”
Tony stared at the other man in complete astonishment, ziptied hands still clasped in front of him. “So you kidnapped me!?”
“Ah yes, I did come across this thing called ‘role play?’ Itseemed like a fun idea.”
They both fell quiet, T’Challa waiting out the other manwhile Tony questioned why he was in a relationship with this man. When thesilence stretched into awkward and tense areas T’Challa attempted to check onhis boyfriend, perhaps he’d gone too far… “Anth–”
“I’m going to smack you.”
“We are going to finish this scene, I’m going to experiencethe best orgasm ever and then I’m going to smack you.”
It took a moment, T’Challa looked at Tony, Tony blinkedback. But then T’Challa laughed, rising from his chair to circle the desk andlean against the front. His laughter died out as he dragged his lover closer, “Verywell Mr. Stark, we have a deal.”
It’s 5:31am at time of queuing this but if you look closely you can see every man i ship tony with
Nat: Maybe just do something simple. Go to lunch. Have one of your boyfriends take you.
Tony: Okay, stop with that.
Nat: I can't. It's like an episode of The Bachelor out there.
Glad to be here and see how many people ship Tony with, well, almost everyone
Tony: I have cat-like reflexes.
Rhodey: Prove it.
Tony: [points to T'Challa] I like cat.
Soulmate & Wings AU: People born with wings but only soulmates can see each other wings. Character A can see other wings since they were born. But keeps it as a secret. Years later they learn that their bestfriend can see their wings but didn’t say anything.
T'Challa: [to Tony about Peter and Harley] Your children are unruly, disrespectful, volatile, and highly unpredictable. I am quite fond of them.
At this rate, even Thanos might fall in love with Tony Stark...
Why do I feel like Tony Stark choosing between Quill, T'Challa, and Bucky every time I see this
QUICK DISCLAIMER: It’s 12:30 AM and I’m sitting in bed when I hear something. Checking on my pup (which means listening because its dark as hell) I hear her making this sad whimpering/cry sound. AS SOON AS THE SOUND REGISTERED I STARTED CRYING. Pulling up my flashlight I look at her, this girl is passed the fuck out and having some type of puppy dream but releasing the SADDEST whimpers I’ve ever heard. When I tell you she sounded like she was crying in her sleep I’m not exaggerating. So I start petting her and I’m crying, “Keeda, you okay? What wrong?” She wakes up, looks at me, turns around and goes back to sleep. Wow.
So here’s a short for T’Challa, Tony and Megara.
Full Collection Here
T’Challa was tired, work as king was never easy. So many little tasks to be handled, it made him crave a mission. At least there was action and adventure there. But his love was with him. Tony was able to work staying in Wakanda into his schedule. It did help that once they’d become serious that T’Challa had a lab crafted for the man to use, making long stays possible.
So to say the King was excited to turn in, get some cuddling and maybe more from his lover would be an understatement. Although he hadn’t expected to open the door and see his love in tears.
Alarmed he rushed to the bed, “Anthony what’s happened? Why are you crying?”
Tony titled his head towards him, silently sniffling as he gazed at their pet panther, “Me-Megara…” Dread filled his heart.
“Is she ill?” He reached for the panther, a million questions at the tip of his tongue.
“No, she was – she was sleeping and–” Anthony stuttered and tried to take a calming breath but T’Challa needed to know. Seeing tears leak from those beautiful brown eyes crushed him, “–it sounds like she’s crying in her sleep.”
“Look, listen.” Anthony was whispering, lips trembling as he held back what he assumed would be a rather loud sob. He watched and listened to his sleeping beast.
Weak faint whimpering that sounded like someone trying not to cry was coming from the sleeping panther. She was sprawled out at the foot of their bed, laying on her side and head propped on her pillow dead to the world and having some form of kitten dreams.
Oh for heaven’s sake, “Megara.” His voice was loud and sharp enough that it snapped the panther out of the land of dreams. Sounds coming to a halt and eyes snapping open to glare at him. “You’re making Anthony cry.”
Her head shot up looking to her favorite person and immediately jumped up when she saw his wrecked state. “Honestly Anthony, you scared me. She was just dreaming.” He turned his back on the two, moving to undress for the evening.
Megara was all over Tony, sitting in his lap and her big paws were clutching him close like a frantic mother would with a distraught child. T’Challa looked at them, how fitting.
“She sounded so sad!” When more tears fell and Megara hissed, upset and displeased she licked them away.
T’Challa couldn’t stop his eyes rolling, these two…
He was pulling on a sleep shirt when he heard Tony’s breath hiccup. “Oh kitten, you need to calm down. You’re upsetting Megara.” He climbed into bed, immediately cuddling close and whipping at Tony’s face. It earned him a nip from Megara but he could endure, he’s gotten far worse from missions.
“I’m okay, I’m okay. Just-” He took a big breath and held Megara’s head, gazing into her vibrant eyes, “Promise me you’re okay.” She licked his face and he kissed her snout.
The Picture at the end of the Puzzle
A/N: This one is for @mommi-senpai. Please, enjoy.
T’Challa wasn’t alone in his bed. He knew from the moment he woke up who was pressed against his back and spooning him. Flashes of a perfect smile and flirty words that had unexpectedly greeted him yesterday floated to the surface of his memory as he touched the arm slung around his waist. Those snippets were chased by teasing words that danced around T’Challa’s inquiries as he attempted to procure the reason behind Tony Stark’s unplanned visit. It had been late at night, and T’Challa had been too exhausted to meet Tony’s dance of wit with one of his own.
Instead, he had let Tony slide in close to him, wrap his arms around him, and touch him in a way that promised so much more if T’Challa yielded and let himself get swept up in Tony.
Just like he had the first time Tony had seduced him, T’Challa had let go and enjoyed Tony’s company.
He had been doing so for months now. He’d been cocky the first time Tony had come on to him. He’d been certain Tony Stark was more interested in vibranium than in him. Tony Stark was a businessman, and vibranium was now accessible when it hadn’t been before, but still kept under a tight watch. T’Challa had assumed that Tony wanted T’Challa to loosen his watch and he planned to persuade T’Challa through physical means.
Tony Stark had a reputation after all.
At present, T’Challa felt ashamed for his past misconceptions of Tony. Back then, he had slept with Tony—the man was attractive, and T’Challa found himself tempted to enjoy a night—believing soon after Tony would ask for special treatment in regard to vibranium supplies. T’Challa would then refuse him, and Tony would return to his business empire to stew.
Tony didn’t ask for any special treatment. The next time they met face to face was on the battlefield, and Tony had offered to “tend to” T’challa’s wounds afterwards. It wasn’t until several sexual encounters later that T’Challa realized Tony was not sleeping with him because of the vibranium.
Tony Stark was genuinely attracted to him. T’Challa couldn’t deny that the attraction was mutual.
T’Challa slipped out from Tony’s embrace and stood up from the bed.
T’Challa looked over his shoulder to see Tony blink his eyes open and his fingers flex and grab the blankets. “Where am I?” Tony asked.
“Wakanda. Specifically, my bedroom.”
Tony’s grinned. Creases formed at the corners of his eyes. “Hey, gorgeous. Have a good night’s sleep? You certainly wore me out.” Tony wiggled his butt. The effect was muffled by the blankets covering him.
T’Challa’s mouth curved. “It was good. I have had better.”
Tony huffed. He rolled onto his back, and tucked his arm behind his head. “Just remember, it takes two.”
“Will you tell me today why you decided to surprise me with a visit?” T’Challa asked. Tony had just woken up and he was in a good mood. He might slip and reveal himself.
“Friends like to visit each other, last I checked. Or have I been teammate-zoned?”
Tony waved his hand flippantly. “You know, like friend-zoned, but teammates. Not as professional as coworkers, but still not enough to cross into the world of friendship.”
“So I will take that as a ‘no.’”
Tony smiled at T’Challa, which confirmed that T’Challa had interpreted Tony’s response correctly.
T’Challa shook his head in exasperation. He didn’t press the issue. He had a long day ahead of him, and it mattered little the reason for Tony’s visit. It wasn’t the first unexpected one, and it wouldn’t be the last.
T’Challa gathered his outfit for the day then went to the bathroom, where he washed himself. When he emerged from the bathroom, dressed for the day, not only did he find Tony fully awake and dressed himself, but the man and T’Challa’s sister Shuri were chatting amicably. Tony was seated on the edge of the bed, and Shuri had grabbed a chair and planted herself in front of Tony with a tablet.
T’Challa raised an eyebrow. “And what are you doing in my room? Have you no respect for the royal chambers?”
Shuri rolled her eyes. “Royal chambers he says. As if it’s something special and not his bedroom.” Shuri turned her grin on Tony. “What does it feel like to sleep in royal chambers, Tony?”
“Shuri,” T’Challa reprimanded.
“What? You make it sound so grand. I’m just wondering if your bedroom lives up to the hype.”
“Mine is better,” Tony stated, eyes skimming over the tablet. The corner of his mouth lifted with subtle joy.
“Ah ha!” Shuri declared.
No respect, T’Challa thought to himself. Not from his impudent little sister or Tony. He’d just have to show them the error of their ways when he didn’t have a country to rule. “If you do not need anything, then I will leave you two alone. I assume I will find you in the labs later if I need anything.”
Shuri and Tony nodded, Shuri’s movements energetic and enthusiastic while Tony’s were slower as he continued to look over the tablet.
It warmed T’Challa’s heart to see Tony and his sister getting along.
It was surreal to remember a time when he’d been wary of the two interacting because he believed Tony would try to seduce Shuri as Tony had him. His playboy reputation spoke not only of Tony sleeping with young men and women, but of him sleeping with one family member then sleeping with another.
Tony had never once looked or spoken to Shuri in a manner that suggested any intentions beyond companionship and a shared love of science and engineering.
As T’Challa left the room and closed the door behind him, his gaze slid to the side where Okoye stood guard. “You let my sister into my room.”
“There were no noises to suggest she would walk in on something.” Okoye’s eyes shimmered with amusement. “She wished to speak to Tony.”
T’Challa frowned at that. Tony had arrived late last night, and from what T’Challa knew, Tony had been escorted straight to him. “How did she find out he was here?”
“She did not say, but your boyfriend has patterns.”
T’Challa straightened. “He is not my boyfriend.”
Okoye cocked her head. “What do you call a man whom you have sex with and care for?”
“A friend with benefits.” T’Challa strode away. He didn’t need to look back to know Okoye followed him. “Patterns?”
“He comes to you when he is having a bad day.”
“And how would my sister know when he is having a bad day?”
“Oh my. I don’t know. It isn’t as if there are many ways for people to communicate across oceans instantly.”
T’Challa grimaced. Okoye’s sarcasm was more than fairly deserved.
“Also, it isn’t as if your boyfriend’s daily life isn’t plastered across every magazine or website that calls itself news.”
Another fairly earned remark. “Mocked and disrespected by those I consider close, and it hasn’t even been an hour since I woke up. Today is shaping up to be fantastic.”
“That it is, my king.”
Even with a council to help him, ruling a country was not easy. It was a fine balance of many acts, and one wrong action could lead to the suffering of thousands, if not more. The world was watching him and Wakanda. He wasn’t sure if he was thankful or regretful for the centuries of isolation in terms of media. To remain isolated, Wakanda had needed to be careful with how information was spread. There were media outlets, but not many, and while foreign outlets were rushing in to document “El Dorado,” the swarm was small and contained due to regulations T’Challa had swiftly set in place.
However, T’Challa was still not quite prepared for how aggressive reporters and photographers became upon seeing him. Before he’d been almost invisible to them. Now they came at him like he was a steak and they were starving dogs. Even for a warrior, such as himself, their fervor could be frightening.
The day dragged on with discussions that turned into debates. Legislation and trade were the two big topics of the day. Other countries were vying for more vibranium. T’Challa and the council had come up with a timetable to slowly introduce vibranium to the rest of the world, but it would seem their timetable was unsatisfactory to many.
It was in the middle of such a discussion that the security system flared to life. Projected blocks of information appeared around T’Challa and his council as the alarms went off. Okoye rushed to T’Challa’s side as T’Challa activated his Black Panther necklace. As his armor seeped over his flesh to protect him, he read the projected text stating what had triggered the alarm.
His stomach knotted and his heart plummeted. Resistance fighters.
There were those in Wakanda who believed that their king had betrayed them and that the country should have remained in isolation. He understood their doubts and fears. Not long ago he was of the same belief. However, he was a king. He had to enforce his decisions. He also had to protect the civilians who were caught in destruction the resistance brought.
With Okoye by his side, T’Challa rushed off to where the resistance was attacking. A town not far from the palace. The fighters weapons were advanced, so advanced that T’Challa knew that former scientists who had worked in the palace labs were lending aid to the fighters.
“You want to share vibranium with the world? Then this is what you will get,” was what the resistance fighters said with their weaponry.
T’Challa arrived at the scene with the Dora Milaje and an army of loyal warriors to subdue the fighters and protect the civilians. He was startled when Iron Man landed next to him.
“Looks like you could use some help. So what’s the strategy?” Iron Man asked.
“Subdue the fighters and keep the civilians safe.” T’Challa eyed Iron Man.
Iron Man’s repulsor boots activated and he lifted off from the ground. “Simple. I like it.” Tony zoomed into the fray.
T’Challa ran in behind him, launching himself at two fighters. He took one down with a punch and another with a kick. A third charged at him with a gun, and he swiftly disarmed the man and used the man’s running force to trip him and knee him in the gut.
A blast knocked T’Challa off his feet and sent him somersaulting into a cart of vegetables. He grimaced as he searched for the blast source.
A repulsor cannon decimated a home, as a father and child escaped the house just in time.
Rage boiled T’Challa’s blood. He shouted for his warriors to help the parent in child as he rocketed himself at the cannon and its operators. The operators were far more prepared than the first group of guerilla fighters to attack him. Advanced armor electrocuted T’Challa if he tried to slice through it with his claws. He ducked and dodged a spear that was coiled in electricity while he also avoided punches from a gauntlet that added enough force to the blow that a punch could level the wall of a building.
In the midst of the fight he heard his warriors shouts and the cries of his people. Those sounds empowered him to keep fighting until he took down the operators and destroyed the cannon.
Even after he stopped the cannon, the fight wasn’t over.
“Looks like you’re having some trouble out there,” Shuri’s voice came over the suit’s communications system.
T’Challa sprang into the middle of Okoye’s battle against three fighters. He seized one of the fighters and slugged them across the face. The fighter fell like stones. “Unless you have something to make the fight go faster, I suggest you keep quiet.”
“I do. EMP beads.”
T’Challa was hit by another blast. His ears rang. He heard Okoye call his name. She appeared before him and guarded him as he recovered from the blast.
“Don’t tell me they have another cannon,” T’Challa said.
“Not just another,” Tony’s voice joined Shuri’s on the comms. “Looks like three.”
“Great,” T’Challa said. “Shuri, deliver those beads.”
“Gotcha. Tony, you’re going to want to get out of there.”
“How big a radius do those beads have?” Tony asked.
“Sending you that information right now. Also, delivery should be there shortly.”
Tony whistled appreciatively. “All right, I’ll catch any outliers.”
As promised, the EMP beads arrived shortly after, via jet, and rained down on the battlefield. Once the jet flew out of the EMP’s radius, Shuri activated the beads remotely.
The battle changed in a moment.
The resistance fighters’ advanced weaponry was shut down instantly. Without the use of their weapons, the fighters were easy to subdue. Even so, they were not easy to capture. Sensing the turn in battle, many fled like ants whose home had been flooded. The battle ended quickly, and T’Challa was able to add more manpower to helping the civilians.
T’Challa was in the middle of cuffing the last of the resistance fighters they’d captured when his sister’s voice startled him.
“T’Challa, your boyfriend is doing something stupid,” Shuri said.
T’Challa was tempted to grumble and point out that Tony was not his boyfriend, but right then was neither the time nor place for banter with his sister. He handed off the fighter to one of the Dora Milaje and walked a few paces away to give himself privacy. “You will need to give me more details.”
“Tony was helping people of the rubble on the west side. The homes there took a lot of damage and some people were unable to escape. He was freeing them, but he’s in one of the unsecure homes right now and is outside of his suit. The house could collapse at any moment.”
T’Challa cursed. Just as T’Challa had learned that Tony was not the cut-throat businessman who would do anything for a sale or a playboy who would fuck anything that moved, he had also learned that as brilliant as Tony was, he was a reckless idiot. Perhaps not as reckless as some, but when Tony did something dangerous, it was never by small measures.
Tony may not be his boyfriend, but T’Challa wasn’t going to let Tony kill himself.
T’Challa raced off toward the west side of the village. As Shuri had said, the homes were destroyed, having been the entry point of the resistance fighters. By the time T’Challa and his warriors had assembled, the resistance fighters had done enough damage that several families wouldn’t have a home to return to for the night. T’Challa would have to find them shelter.
Just as soon as he made sure Tony Stark didn’t die.
Only a few civilians remained in the area. Most of them were injured. Only two of them appeared unharmed, and they were doing their best to tend to the wounds of those around them.
“King T’Challa! T’Challa! T’Challa!” Two bandaged children cheered from beside an elderly couple. The children were bandaged and one held an ice pack to her face.
T’Challa hurried to one of the people tending to the wounded. “Supplies will be here shortly. Where is Iron Man?”
Before the person could answer, the children chimed in and pointed. “In the leaning house!”
T’Challa nodded and took off in the direction.
The leaning house was an understatement. The first floor of the home was missing two walls, and the only thing keeping it up was the iron man armor, which was working as a pillar to keep the house standing.
T’Challa’s heartstrings twisted around his heart and choked it.
“Tony!” T’Challa marched over to the home. Items and debris were strewn everywhere. Splintered pieces of wood and shards of glass covered the floor. Broken chunks of furniture made piles in the mess.
“T’Challa!” Tony shouted.
Crying came from farther in the house. It was the sound of a child sobbing.
T’Challa didn’t think. He raced into what was left of the home and headed toward the sound.
“Hey, it’s okay. It’s okay. You don’t have to go alone anymore.”
T’Challa rounded the base of the stairs and froze.
Tony was pale as a ghost and his left leg was lodged deep into the hole were the staircase had given out under his foot when he’d been trying to go down the stairs. He had tucked his other leg under him, in a half cross-legged pose. Other than the pallor of his face and his watery eyes, Tony gave no facial indication that he was in pain from were the jagged floorboard stabbed into his leg.
A child who had to be five or younger stood in front of him crying. Tony had slung his arm around the child and was rubbing their back. “See.” Tony gave the child a soft push so they would turn and see T’Challa. “The big, protective panther is here to help you.”
“Tony,” T’Challa couldn’t bring himself to speak loudly.
Dirt spilled from the ceiling.
Tony grimaced. He pushed the child toward T’Challa. “Go.”
T’Challa couldn’t waste time arguing. Save the child, then return to save Tony. T’Challa carefully walked up the stairs and scooped up the child. He murmured reassurances and carried the child to safety. All the while fear constricted his chest. What if the house collapsed before T’Challa could save Tony?
Images of Tony crushed and dead bombarded T’Challa. He shook his head and forced himself to focus. Once he had the child safely outside, T’Challa set them down. He kneeled in front of them and pointed in the direction of where the other townsfolk had been. “I need to help Iron Man now, but if you go that way, there should be people there to help you. I promise they aren’t faraway. Can you handle that?”
The child sniffled and nodded.
Relief swelled in T’Challa’s chest. He watched as the child ambled off in the correction direction then dashed back inside the house. Panic spurred him to move at top speed. He reached Tony in seconds, running up the stairs without a bit of caution.
“Hey, you’re back.” Tony beamed at T’Challa.
“Of course, I’d be back.” T’Challa examined the hole and Tony’s leg. He inwardly hissed. The wood from the stairs had gone deep into Tony. How Tony hadn’t passed out from pain was a miracle.
Twin arms wrapped around T’Challa’s shoulders, startling him out of his contemplations. Tony slouched against him and clung. “Just slice me out of this, King Charming, and carry me like the damsel in distress that I am. Let the doctors worry about my leg.”
T’Challa hesitated. He didn’t want to risk causing Tony more harm, but the only reason the house was still standing was because of Tony’s armor outside, and the house was still crumbling. T’Challa wrapped his arm around Tony’s waist then sliced the wood around Tony. Tony clenched his teeth as his body dropped and the wood in his leg moved.
T’Challa lifted Tony up and carried him in his arms. T’Challa ran out of the house at top speed, barreling past the Dora Milaje who had just arrived. “Don’t you dare do something like this again,” T’Challa said to Tony. He eyed Tony’s leg. With the wood still in place, Tony’s bleeding was minimal. The palace wasn’t far. He could carry Tony there if necessary.
Tony weakly glared at T’Challa. “You’re not my king. I can save a kid if I want.”
T’Challa was flabbergasted. “Did you just-”
“My king,” Okoye cut in. “Please, set Tony Stark down over here. We have the medical supplies and knowledge to treat him.”
“Drugs!” Tony threw his head back. “Give me all of the pain killing drugs, or put me back in my suit. It’s fully stocked and prepped to drug me.”
T’Challa was frozen. His mind replayed Tony’s previous response repeatedly.
“My king,” Okoye softly urged as she gesture to a spot where a blanket had been set for Tony.
Slowly, T’Challa set Tony down and let those with medical knowledge take over from there.
He stared in awe at Tony.
“Your boyfriend is safe, King T’Challa,” Okoye whispered to him. “It is time for you to check on your people.”
T’Challa nodded numbly.
He didn’t move.
Okoye tilted her head. “My king...are you frozen?”
He was. He couldn’t believe it, but what he couldn’t believe more was how blind he had been. Tony’s defiant words had sucker punched T’Challa, but instead of seeing stars, he was seeing Tony anew. Each time Tony had proven a rumor about himself false, it had been as if Tony had given T’Challa a puzzle piece. T’Challa had taken those puzzle pieces Tony had given him and had tried to attach them to the unsolved puzzle the world had come up with for Tony. Tony’s words—that sucker punch—had knocked aside the world’s puzzle of Tony and left T’Challa with only the pieces he’d been given. When he joined those pieces together he saw a whole different image than the world had created.
Tony was a brave, intelligent, kind, and resilient person. The kind of person who made T’Challa’s head spiral in a rush and left him immobile. He couldn’t move or speak, he was too entranced.
He’d fallen for Tony Stark.