Riassunto: Everyone is born with a name on their wrist. Tony Stark insn't different. Only, his name is crossed out in a red strike.
Note: Scritta per la M2 della 5° settimana del COWT9 per "Meraviglia"
There's a name written on Tony Stark's wrist. No one has ever seen it, no one but Tony, his parents and Jarvis that is.
He still remembers his mother's face, his father ire and disappointment and Jarvis' sadness. There's a name on his wrist, but what Tony quickly figured out was that it wasn't always a good thing to have names. Not when they looked like Tony's.
Growing up he started to understand more about their reactions. Discovered the world and what his name meant for him.
Discovered why his father had been so disappointed.
Tony keeps it covered up from that day, a brand covering it up from anyone that wishes to peak. There are mysteries building up over his name. Tabloids talk about him not having one, having multiples, having his own name - because Tony is a narcissistic asshole, right? He kinda liked that article.
They were all very far from the truth, but Tony let them say what they wanted. He didn't care enough to disprove them, nor to fight a useless battle.
It wasn't important what they thought, after all, the name under his band was crossed over with a hard red line.
Tony's soulmate was dead, gone from the world before Tony could even breathe his first breath in the world.
So how was that for fucking fair?
Tony spent his teenage years trying to understand how soulmate worked. All the studies conducted in that field said that in order for a bond to form, two people would have to be alive at the same exact time for even just a second.
Enough for their souls to recognize each other and mark their bodies, desperately trying to find each other again.
That, of course, was the fucking fairy tail bullshit explanation.
The problem was that there wasn't another one. No one had ever studied soulmate scientifically, and those who had tried had never gone far.
So, if Tony only had those fairy tales to go on... how was he possible?
His soulmate had never been alive at the same time as Tony, he knows that extremely well, so how can Tony's soul be branded?
How is it possible that Steve Rogers had reached for Tony's soul from beyond the grave?
For a while, Howard had hoped that maybe the red marked had been a mistake and had gone back to his crazy trips in the arctic, trying to find a legend that was lost to the world.
Of course, he had never found anything, but Tony could have told him that from home.
There's something missing inside Tony, ever since the mark showed up. it's like his soul knows that she has a mark, and knows that she won't ever be able to see it. There's a loneliness that permeates around Tony where, before, there was nothing.
It's why Tony tries so hard. Why he doesn't sleep at night trying to find an explanation. Anything.
It takes years for him to finally reach the inevitable conclusion: No one has any explanation for him and so Tony has no other option but to give up.
He has girlfriend and boyfriend and sometimes both at the same time. Most of them are people that don't hide their soulmates, who tell him that they're not searching for them.
After all it's supposed to be fate, right? It means it will come to me. I might as well have fun in the meantime. They laugh while saying that, without realizing that they have all Tony has ever wanted in his life, only to leave it to rot.
All the possibility. All the unexplored potential, and they're just wasting it away.
Still, Tony is lonely, and he's not supposed to be broken up about a bond. So he smiles at them, kisses them, and then lets them go when they eventually find their bonded.
He tells them he doesn't care.
Tony is a very good liar.
The only time Howard had talked about Steve's mark, he had been drunk and maudlin. Still, Tony, who was ten at the time and recently marked, had listened.
Apparently Steve kept his mark hidden, blushed wherever asked. He was one of those who vowed to wait for their soulmates.
He never even had a girlfriend, you know? And believe me, a lot of women had asked after the serum. But no, Steve wanted to wait. Fat lot of good it did to him, ah? He actually asked me about you. Heard my surname and asked me "Do you have a relative called Anthony?" I called you that because of him.
Tony had touched the name on his wrist and thought about the one person who had, apparently, loved Tony enough to wait for him even before meeting him.
Is that what soulmates do? Wait for each other against all odds?
Is this what Tony is supposed to do? Even if Steve is already dead, gone in order to save the world?
Tony thinks it's a little unfair, if he's honest with himself.
Steve had hopes, those forty-something years ago. Tony's name hadn't been crossed on his wrist so Steve could have hoped.
Tony has nothing.
Tony is working, big shock , when his cell phone rings. He looks at the caller and sees that it's Fury and he almost thinks about ignoring him.
After all, he really doesn't want to join the fucking boy band, not with how him and Russian Doll treated him, and there's nothing else that Fury can that interests him.
Still, it's much more fun to tell him that, rather than ignoring him. So he sighs and reaches towards the cell phone before something burns on his wrist.
It's not the worst pain of his life, after all he has received a lot of hits since he became Iron Man, but it's up there really. And, Tony realizes with a bit of panic, it comes from his bondmark.
For a moment he has the irrational fear that maybe Steve's name is simply disappearing from his skin. Maybe Tony's soul is irredeemable enough that even his soulmate is rejecting him from the grave.
But, when Tony removes the band, he sees that the name is still there. It's the red crossed strike that's gone.
The name Steve Rogers shines on Tony's skin like fresh ink. Like a fully formed bond.
What the fuck?
His cellphone rings again and Tony picks it up without thinking.
"Yes?" he asks, holding his breath.
"Stark? I might have found something of interest to you, considering it's was found by one of your father's expeditions."
Tony doesn't talk, can't. He looks at the name on his wrist and prays that Fury will continue.
"We've found Captain America, Stark, I hope that interests you at least a little."
"Alive?" Tony can't help but ask, feeling lighter than he has in years.
Is it really possible? Can this miracle really be happening?
"Yeah. Alive. Can you fucking believe it?" Fury asks and Tony almost chokes on his next breathe.
No, he really can't believe it. What the fuck? What the fuck? How is it possible? What strange twist of fate made this possible?
"Look, I know it's difficult to believe but..." Fury starts, but Tony doesn't let him finish.
"I'll be there in five minutes. I want to be there when he wakes up. Or did he wake up already? I don't care I'm coming."
"Look. Stark, maybe we shouldn't crowd him." Fury says. Tony can imagine his face: too serious, a scowl even in the face of this incredible news. This miracle.
Still, there's no fucking way Tony isn't going to meet his soulmate as soon as possible after all this. "Yeah, that's going to be a hard pass. Believe me, I've a wonderful surprise for him."
"I doubt it..." Fury mumbles, but Tony doesn't even listen to him.
Fury can't understand, and that's fine, but there's nothing short of miraculous about this, and Tony won't let him ruin this wonderful thing.
"I'll be then in five. Make it ten, I gotta clean up."
"Clean up?" Fury asks, incredulous, "this is not a date, Stark."
Tony debates with himself for a second about not saying anything. But really, where would be the fun?
"Are you kidding me? I gotta be at my best for when I met my soulmate," he says with a smirk.
He hears Fury start to say What the fu-- but Tony closes the call before he can finish.
After all, he really has to make himself look pretty for Steve. They've both waited too long.