Tony can't exactly pinpoint everything that has bought them to this moment. It feels like all their decisions, their very being, has put them on this street and that never had any chance of avoiding it.
Today, Tony doesn't want to avoid it.
The rage in his heart roars with betrayal and hurt, and he while he had never thought he and Steve were the closest of all of them, he had thought the other to be his friend.
He had revealed part of him to Steve that he never had anyone else; he had to face all of his father's words just to stay in the same room with him.
And now Steve does this.
So today Tony doesn't want to change where they are, he wants to fight Steve. Stubborn as a mule, self-righteous prick. All of Steve's flaws, things he usually overlooks or almost finds charming, glare at him under the other's mask.
Tony wants to fight, he wants to kill him, and he appreciate the other making it incredibly easy.
Thank you, he wants to say, you're giving me the excuse I wanted. He punches Steve because he's unable to stop, because he needs to and the other replies in kind. Because that's what Steve Rogers does, in any situation and for any reason: he fights back.
Today Tony counts on it.
He won't win the fight, but Tony had never really cared about that. This isn't about hurting
Steve - the same way Steve hurt him - it's about the hot rage inside of him.
"I don't want to fight you," Steve says, parring another one of his blows. But Tony doesn't stop, he charges another blow with a grim satisfaction.
"I do," he informs Steve, with such a terrible, terrible glee. He wants to fight, and Steve's entire existence seems to be designed to give Tony reasons to.
After, when Steve wins, Tony lays on the ground.
Beaten and betrayed.
Isn't that just the perfect description of his life?
Avengers; Infinity War; 335w; Grazie per la vostra amicizia
E' strano, dopo quasi un anno, ritrovarsi tutti di nuovo assieme. Steve non può fare a meno di guardare verso Tony, che sta facendo del suo meglio per evitare il suo sguardo. Vorrebbe andare da lui, parlargli, ma sa che non può.
A volte pensa che se non fosse stato per Thanos, l'altro non l'avrebbe mai davvero chiamato. Forse avrebbero passato la loro intera esistenza ignorandosi a vicenda, troppo fieri per cedere.
Steve si pente di non avere provato di più prima, di aver lasciato che fosse Tony a dettare le regole di questa loro situazione, ma Steve si pente di tante cose quando si parla di Tony Stark.
Eppure, non c'è tempo di pensare alla sua vita di rimorsi. La terra sta affrontando la sua più grande minaccia dalla prima invasione che portò gli Avengers assieme per la prima volta, e ora sono di nuovo tutti lì. Uniti davanti ad un nemico comune che, forse, non hanno possibilità di battere.
Nessuno si tirerà indietro, però, Steve lo sa.
"Grazie," dice, piano, attirando però immediatamente l'attenzione di tutti su di sè. "Qualsiasi cosa sia successa, qualsiasi cosa succederà. Voglio solo che tutti voi sappiate che tutti voi siete stati importanti nella mia vita. E quindi vi voglio solo ringraziare per la vostra amicizia."
Il silenzio che riceve in risposta è pieno di frasi abbozzate e scuse mai dette. Sono rotti in punti che forse è impossibile aggiustare, ma sono la sua famiglia. Nel bene e nel male.
"Non c'è bisogno di diventare sentimentali," Tony dice, dall'angolo più lontano da Steve, "torneremo tutti sani e salvi."
Sanno tutti che Tony sta mentendo, o che forse sta solo cercando di auto-convincersi. Non c'è modo di dire se qualcuno di loro sarebbe tornato indietro, ma Steve ha sempre cercato di vedere il bicchiere mezzo pieno. Nel tempo è diventato sempre più difficile, ma forse per questa volta può fare un altro tentativo.
"Si, dopotutto siamo Avengers. E se qualcuno di noi cadrà, faremo quello che sappiamo fare meglio."
Voltron; 416w; Daddy
Lance hasn't known Keith for very long. All he knows about him is that Keith is a little antisocial, and doesn't interact much with the rest of their class.
It's still a mystery why he had agreed to go out with them, but Lance knows Hunk's magical powers and there are no limits to them. Keith probably hadn't been able to refuse Hunk's expectant look, and Lance understands him way too well.
Still, it's not like Lance knows what to say to him.
Hunk is at the bar, taking their order, and Lance is completely out of his depth. They don't have any common interest, and beside Hunk and Shiro - Lance's TA from another class who he had seen talking to Keith a couple of times - they don't have any common friendship. And it feels strang talking about his TA - who is ridiculously hot - to Keith. So Lance tries to stay silent, hoping that Hunk will come soon and save him from this situation.
Keith doesn't seem really interested in starting a conversation either, and they would have stayed in complete silence if Keith's cell phone wouldn't have gone off with a call.
Lance likes to pretend that, normally, he wouldn't have been so nosey, but he's actually not sure. He looks over and notices with shock the daddy flashing on the other's screen.
Before he can stop himself he asks, out loud, "What? I hadn't pegged you for someone who still called their father daddy." If Lance is being honest with himself it's kind of embarrassing.
Keith watches him for a moment and then he takes back the phone and answers it. He looks straight at Lance when he says, in the most deadpan voice possibile, "Hey, Shiro, what's going on?"
Lance chokes on the rest of his drink and almost dies there and there. He sees Keith smirk a little before saying "I'm just out with some classmates, you said you would be occupied until late. Yeah, okay. See you soon."
Keith closes the call and then gets up, calmly, as if he hadn't just given Lance a heart attack. "Shiro has finished earlier
than expected. You don't mind if I go, right?" Keith asks, but there is a little mischief in his tone and Lance doesn't trust his voice enough to say anything so he just shakes his head.
When Hunk returns, a couple of minutes later, and asks where is Keith, Lance's only comment is What the fuck.
Shadowhunters; 326w; Trucco
Izzy had always known that a good Shadowhunter needed weapons to be effective. In battle she brought her wip and her seraph blade, trusting them to be at her side and defeat her enemies, but everyday life was trickier than that.
And yet it was navigating her normal routine that she needed weapons the most. Her mother had taught her from a young age that the life of a true Shadowhunter doesn't stop in the field.
There are politics that one has to follow, rules and infights that a true Lightwood needs to manage. And Izzy had always also known that the burden would fall on her.
Alec was smart and brave, but he wasn't a diplomat. He didn't know how to play the game, how to twist words so that they had different meanings. How to lie.
But that was exactly what she needed to do.
In life she couldn't take the wip or the blade, so she had to be creative. She used her body and her smile; she made sure her clothes couldn't be ignored, always a little too far, always a statement.
But most of all the used her makeup to cover her face. Her lipstick was a war paint; her mascara a blade that would strike fear
in the heart of whoever crossed her path. Makeup helped her look eerily beautiful and impossibly perfect, and it was an advantage that not many realized.
Izzy was revered, her mere beauty enough to intimidate most and scare some. And wasn't that exactly what she wanted?
Sometimes Alec tells her that she doesn't need to dress that way, or use that much makeup, but Izzy had always known that her brother would never understand.
Jace does, strangely enough, and while he has his own weapons, he always respects Izzy's recognizing their deadliness.
For no one will ever be able to intimidate Izzy when she brings out her silver eyeshadow and they all know it.
Critical Role; 355w; Prigione
Prison, as it turns out, is rather dull.
Even after months, maybe years, on the run, Percy hasn't get used to this life he was forced upon and he resents it. But it beats being closed up in a cell.
Give him days of wandering the fields, looking for something edible, or running from wild animals and monsters. At least, he thinks, something happens.
Prison is dark and still, and it has been a long time since darkness was Percy's friend. There are shadows hiding in the dark now, ready to reach him and drag him with them.
He tries not to look at them when he can, but sometime they whisper in his ear. Terrible, terrible but enthralling things.
Prison makes it worse and while Percy tries, he thinks like he's slowing losing his mind. A ticking hourglass slipping away from his grasp.
It's why he reacts with suspicion to the people that come to his cell. They seem to be on a quest, and they look at his ragged clothes and general state of poverty and don't think much of him.
Can Percy really trust them? They look like thieves and barbarians. And yet, Percy had trusted nobles and kings, scholars and scientists, and he still ended up betrayed and hunted like a beast. What exactly does he have to lose? "Thank you for freeing me," he tells them with a little curtsy, "might I ask for your names? I am Percival Fr-" he stops, not because he wants to hide his identity, but because does his full name really matter? He's no one now, his family burned down under the ashes of their city. "You can call me Percy," he says in the end, hoping the others don't notice his falter.
It seems they do, clever thriefs that they are, but the female of the duo smiles at him with a grace that he has never seen in a
common street rat. "It's a pleasure, darling. You can call me Vex and this is my brother Vax. Do you need help?"
Percy nods and wonders, again, what does he have to lose.
Voltron; Messages; 319w; Piccione
When Keith had started taking care of the pidgeons around the area, he had done so mostly out of boredom more than anything else. He hadn't expected the messages.
Some of the pidgeons, sometimes, when returning to the little cage he had bought them, carried messages with them. They were mostly stupid doodles, sometimes metaphorical questions that obviously weren't meant to receive an answer and, once, a rather depressing message about being alone in the universe.
It was that last one that had bought Keith to reply, a little worried about whomever had written the little messages. He had scribbled a little "no one is really alone" on a piece of paper and had let the pidgeon return to wherever he usually got the doodles.
A day later a larger message had found his way in the leg of the pidgeon and Keith had opened it with a little anticipation. "Is this the god of pidgeon? What the fuck I didn't anyone read these things".
Keith had laughed for five minute straight at the idea of a god of pidgeon and he had hesitated over replying again. He had caved in the end, thinking about the precedent message.
"I'm not really. I'm just the weirdo that cares for the pidgeons," he had written, quickly, trying not to think about it too much. he had hesitated a second before adding "so I can listen".
It is, according to Lance, the strangest way anyone has ever met their husband, and Keith might kind of agree. Still, he likes to remember how he and Shiro had written thanks to the pidgeons for months before actually meeting in person.
Keith had never really cared about being a normal person, and the idea that he and Shiro might have the strangest meet-cute encounter ever, makes him laugh.
Also, Lance hasn't even heard how Keith proposed to Shiro, he can't wait to tell that story.