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Walk of shame
Marvel-616-1

72 Posts
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Age:46
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Kel

All Accounts Posts: 904
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#21
“Not exactly dead than either.” She muttered absently to herself.
In retrospect she should have anticipated his reaction; on the other hand he'd been defying her expectations since she'd met him here. “Oh Tony..”

She never felt so cruel, yet they both knew the burden of proof power, responsibility...but he also deserved time to grieve.

“Taking time to grieve isn't weakness, letting yourself be human isn't failure.” Because she wasn't entirely sure he knew that.

He was right. If the future she knew was going to come to pass he had to be in that world being Tony Stark, all the mistakes, all the successes they lead to her future. Perhaps not the brightest, but not the worst either.

But what if…

Wanda stood abruptly, skirts swishing around her legs, bangles at wrist and ankle choked her agitation. “What if you had time?” Her hands twisted together anxiously, Wanda had been so careful of her magic and mutation but..this was a good change wasn't it?

“I could send you back to when you left...regardless of how long you stayed...if you need the time..” she appreciated that he didn't press her back with the same accusation, that he didn't demand she return.
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Marvel-616

157 Posts
4 Threads
Age:35
Job: Director of SHIELD
Ship Status: Open to shipping
Sexual Orientation: Sure, with just about anyone (but I don't want to write it explicitly)
Jasmine (starkly-tony)

All Accounts Posts: 213
Points: 1,864.72€
#22
Wanda looked like she felt sorry for him. Tony looked away, not wanting to deal with her pity. He was a grown man, head of one of the most powerful agencies in the world. He could suck it up and do what had to be done, no matter what he felt about it.

"I didn't have time. I still don't," Tony said, thinking of the hectic weeks that had followed Cap's death. Extremis had allowed him to work for literally days at a time, and working for days on end had, paradoxically, been one of the few things keeping him sober or sane. He almost laughed at the thought that if he'd been any more human, it might not have worked at all.

Then Wanda stood abruptly and offered something Tony couldn't even have dreamed of. What if he had time. In all his adult life, time had been the one luxury he'd never had. "You could do that?" he asked quietly. She seemed conflicted, wringing her hands. "You would do that?"

It probably wasn't a good idea. He'd done little other than make one terrible decision after another since he'd arrived, the fantastic-yet-emotionally-harrowing sex he'd just had with Safi topping the list. He had no illusions that staying would help him process his grief in any meaningful way. On the other hand... there was nothing for him back home except responsibilities that left him miserable and endlessly exhausted, and running away from his responsibilities had always been tempting to him. But unlike running into a bottle, there were no consequences here. She could put him down right back where he'd come from.

He knew right then. If Wanda was really willing to do what she'd offered, there was no way in hell Tony would be strong enough to refuse.
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Marvel-616-1

72 Posts
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Kel

All Accounts Posts: 904
Points: 777.19€
#23
Would was an easier question than ‘could’, but she nodded to both. She was fairly sure she could manage to open her own portal back… “right now there are two ways home. Two different time points, maybe even three if we can find the one Steve went through.” Their Steve not one of the multitudes wandering around. “I know I can get us home, and I am as sure as I can be that I can drop you within a few days of when you left.”

The real question was- “Are you sure that is good for you though? Tony-” she sighed, “we are both known for our poor life choices, do you think this is the right move?”
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Marvel-616

157 Posts
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Age:35
Job: Director of SHIELD
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Jasmine (starkly-tony)

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#24
It took an impressive amount of willpower for Tony not to give another unhinged laugh. Wanda was without a doubt doubt right to question his ability to decide what was good for him. The obvious answer was that it was a terrible move to make, one that would probably leave him more miserable and confused than before. The last few hours he'd just spent with Safi were testament to that.

But given the choice between staying here, where he could at least have that, and returning to the lonely drudgery of his life back home... it didn't matter what he knew he should do. He was weak, especially when he knew the only person who could get hurt was himself.

He wasn't sure he could convince Wanda that he thought it was a good idea off the bat, so he tried another tactic. "If you were in my place," he said in a measured tone, "what would you do?"
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Marvel-616-1

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Kel

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#25
Wanda froze at the question, eyes sliding away. He knew damn well the lengths she'd gone to to have a few more days….

“We both make poor choices.” She repeated softly, fingertip grazing an invisible pattern. “Just...maybe this time we can both actually talk before leaping off cliff sides? We-” she reached for his hand. “Are friends...family. Aren't we Tony?” She asked, half begged, blue eyes searching his.
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Marvel-616

157 Posts
4 Threads
Age:35
Job: Director of SHIELD
Ship Status: Open to shipping
Sexual Orientation: Sure, with just about anyone (but I don't want to write it explicitly)
Jasmine (starkly-tony)

All Accounts Posts: 213
Points: 1,864.72€
#26
He regretted his question for a moment as pain flashed across Wanda's face. Of course, Wanda had nearly destroyed the world, had destroyed the Avengers, in her grief. Asking her to relive it, even in imagination, was hardly fair--not to mention unhelpful. She was right that terrible judgment was something they had in common.

He stilled as she took his hand again and implored him to talk. He had his mouth open to deny that he needed or wanted any conversation about this before it occurred to him that...maybe there wasn't any reason to resist. Few people knew him, and Cap, as well as Wanda did after all. They were friends. Family even. And while hiding his vulnerabilities from his friends and family had been Tony's style long enough for it to have become habit...he was finding that for once he didn't want to. That it might be damn nice to say the words out loud to someone who might actually understand, or at least who probably wouldn't entirely judge him for it.

He took a deep breath, and forced himself not to look away. "The truth is," he began slowly, and experienced a moment of near panic in which his mind ran through all the other possible ways he could end the sentence without giving anything away, before deliberately continuing, "I was in love with Steve. For a long time. No one knew. So is this healthy? Probably not. But it feels...great."

He stopped, fighting the sick hollow feeling in his gut that he'd spilled too much, and waited for Wanda's reaction.
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Marvel-616-1

72 Posts
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Age:46
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Kel

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Points: 777.19€
#27
Yes. The reminder was cruelly done of him, yet was she not asking him to open even fresher wounds? While Vision might no longer see her as his wife she had her sons in some form, and Steve was alive. That was more the Tony could boast.

The frank admission shocked her, yes they had been speaking in generalizations and she'd started to wonder, but to actually hear it? The last twenty odd years flashed through her mind, every moment between them seen in a new light and-

“Oh fuck…” she whispered, exhaling the shocked word. Yes of COURSE everyone knew Tony Stark loved Steve Rogers, but they also knew he loved Rhodey! It was not even CLOSE to what Tony was confessing to now!

And-

Oh gods.

Wanda felt physically ill, he was sleeping with a look alike from another world and-

Wanda's eyes were huge as she stared at him; “My gods Tony what are you thinking?!”

Except she knew what he was thinking or rather not thinking.

This was wrong in so many ways and-

Wanda took a deep breath forcing her chaotic thoughts under control, “When I said poor life choices I didn't think you were going to beat me to the championship ring here.” She quipped trying to regain some form of normality into this incredibly fucked up situation.

“Tony…” Goddess help them both but- “What of you fall in love with Safi? Or he you?”
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Marvel-616

157 Posts
4 Threads
Age:35
Job: Director of SHIELD
Ship Status: Open to shipping
Sexual Orientation: Sure, with just about anyone (but I don't want to write it explicitly)
Jasmine (starkly-tony)

All Accounts Posts: 213
Points: 1,864.72€
#28
He might've miscalculated. The expression on Wanda's face was nothing short of horrified as she breathed out an oh, fuck followed by a much sharper what was he thinking.

Funnily enough, her less than sanguine response didn't bother him nearly as much as it could have. It was like when he'd been drinking--plenty of people had been deeply disappointed in him, but it never quite measured up to his own awareness of how fucked up he was.

"Steve is dead," Tony said, his voice sounding much calmer than he felt, like it belonged to someone else. "I know that, and nothing I do here changes that. Safi is--nice." He frowned slightly at the word, which didn't quite do the situation justice. But he couldn't exactly explain how Safi had been considerate and understanding and accepting of him in a way no one else had been for years. Or just how much he'd appreciated that. "And he's good in bed and we get along. There's nothing more to it than that, aside from, well, the obvious."

He laughed slightly at the suggestion they might fall in love, even as a part of him had to admit that he felt more than just a physical attraction to the man. It as far from being love. "Don't you think that's jumping the gun a little? He's not looking for anything more than a little fun, and for me it's..." he trailed off before settling on, "therapeutic."
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Marvel-616-1

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#29
The horror wasn't at the thought of Tony harboring an unrequited love for Steve all these years; no it was focused on the fact that the idiot man was sleeping with his doppelgänger!!

Wanda was very VERY familiar with the kind of mental twists and turns grief could force a mind to. And the thought that Tony was THAT far into delusion sent chills down her spine.

“Therapeutic.” The word dripped disbelief.

“Tony…” Wanda sighed leaning back in her chair, yes it was like when he had been drinking, or when he tinkered with Extremis, or REBOOTED HIS OWN BRAIN. When Tony Stark set his mind on a course there was no force. Not even the ones she could command that would convince him to deviate from it. Even if it was or perhaps even especially if it was blatantly self destructive.

“Yes some people find pain therapeutic.”

Well as always there was no derailing him from this path, all she could do was attempt to be there to help pick up the pieces. Not that she had much hope he'd let her.

“For the record this is a horrible idea. Right up there with flash frying your brain.” She commented, forgetting that that had not happened for him yet.

“But-” Wanda rested her hand on his shoulder, “I'll support you, and Tony?” Hey look at her with bad advice central. “Maybe this is a chance. If he's a good man...don't be afraid to feel something for this Safi.”
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Marvel-616

157 Posts
4 Threads
Age:35
Job: Director of SHIELD
Ship Status: Open to shipping
Sexual Orientation: Sure, with just about anyone (but I don't want to write it explicitly)
Jasmine (starkly-tony)

All Accounts Posts: 213
Points: 1,864.72€
#30
Wanda wasn't buying it. Well, that was far from surprising. Tony knew that his motives were...problematic at best, and Wanda wasn't an idiot. Still, it had been worth a try.

"Some people find pain therapeutic."

Well...that was actually kind of true. If your problem was you hated yourself, there was something to be said for getting what you deserved. That was really the least of his problems these days, though. And it wasn't like pain had exactly been in short supply.

Her next words took him by surprise. She'd support him?

"What do you mean, flash fried my brain," he grumbled, because that was the easier thing to respond to. Deleting everything was a desperate contingency plan, not one he ever planned on using...

Then he looked away, and said in a low voice, "thanks. It means a lot." Support from friends WAS something that had been in short supply lately. It was also what had first struck him about Safi--the other man had offered it so easily, and without any judgment. It had made Tony feel warm and accepted and more attached to him than he'd intended to feel. But maybe Wanda was right. Maybe it could be a good thing. Looks aside, Safi wasn't Steve. Almost everything he did and said, including his willingness to overlook Tony's flaws, reminded Tony that he wasn't Steve. So if he did feel something, it had to be separate from Steve, and what was the harm in that? He was moving on.

He realized that he'd been quiet for a few beats too long, and he gave Wanda a tight smile. Letting her know that her words had hit home. "Really. Thanks."
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