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Thread Contributor: 616 Tony StarkThe First Step Is...
Marvel-616

323 Posts
12 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: 480
Points: 3,373.67€
#21
Tony had fucked up. He could see it on Chris's face, the disbelief, as he refused to let it go.

Well, Tony wasn't above lying. He never had been. He might be in a bad way himself, but he wasn't going to say anything to smear Safi's name. It wasn't like Safi would ever do anything like that to Chris. It wasn't like Safi had done anything to Tony he hadn't deserved. Hadn't brought on himself.

"Safe. Yeah," he repeated, thinking about the gun Safi had pressed to his temple, before he'd kissed him so tenderly, and oh God what the fuck was wrong with him. His face was frozen into something that was halfway between a smile and not, because he knew now that Chris didn't want to see that. "He's a good man. Of course he is. I trust him. Didn't mean anything by that."

@eve
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DC-DCTVU-1

511 Posts
22 Threads
Age:32
Job: PA/Magician
Ship Status: Single with Complications
Sexual Orientation: Pan-Romantic
Nyte

All Accounts Posts: 1,456
Points: 8,119.17€
#22
It wasn’t so much that Tony had screwed up as much as it was that Christian had faked being fine for long enough to spot another faker. It was troubling, to think about what Tony had asked, and why he would be faking right now.

The thing was, though, that Tony wasn’t right. Christian had no way of knowing what the other man was thinking, and so he couldn’t brook an argument, but the fact of the matter was that there had been a night not very long ago, less than a week ago… That night when they’d come home from the end of another world, Chris, waking from a nightmare wherein Safi had died, had gone to check on the other man. Turned out, Safi was having a nightmare of his own. The result had been… Conflicting. Safi had pointed a gun at his head and grabbed him by the throat. It would have been frightening from anyone but Safi…

Tony looked for all the world like he was lost. Christian empathized with him, he understood what it was to be confused and upset and…

He lied. Chris didn’t lie, not if he could avoid it, and here was Tony, saying he trusted him and then lying so badly to him… Which was it then? If Tony trusted him, then why lie? “Did something happen?” Brown eyes remained leveled on Tony as he waited for the answer to that simple, straightforward question. The man could lie, or he could choose to just be honest, it was up to Tony.

@starkly
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Marvel-616

323 Posts
12 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: 480
Points: 3,373.67€
#23
No good was going to come of telling Chris anything. Chris and Safi had their own issues, sure, and Tony had no doubt contributed to them by sleeping with Safi. What he hadn't done, yet, was get in between them. He couldn't imagine that Safi wanted anyone, let alone the man he--loved?--to know exactly what had transpired between them. Nor could hearing what had happened do anything for Chris aside from make him question his friend's goodness, when in reality Tony had deserved it all.

"Nothing happened," Tony said, meeting Chris's eyes with a reassuring gaze. He'd long since mastered the art of lying to someone's face. Practiced it in the mirror, even. That was the kind of person he was. "I mean, nothing worth a mention. We ran into each other on the roof, and, well, you can fill in the rest." He made a vague gesture, certain that Chris would lose the urge to pry if it can meant thinking about Tony and Safi together. The best lies were built on a grain of truth, anyway. "Then I got drunk. I was just... Thinking about trust. That's all. No need to worry."

@eve
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DC-DCTVU-1

511 Posts
22 Threads
Age:32
Job: PA/Magician
Ship Status: Single with Complications
Sexual Orientation: Pan-Romantic
Nyte

All Accounts Posts: 1,456
Points: 8,119.17€
#24
Everyone had issues. People who said their relationships were perfect were liars, and Christian was well aware of that fact. A relationship could be perfect for you, the perfect fit, your ideal, but it wasn’t going to be without issues, problems or bumps in the road. Chris loved Safi, he loved him all he had, but he had come to the understanding that it wasn’t enough, that Safi had to love him back for it to be real, and well… Safi loved him, he knew that, he’d said so days ago, but not the same way that Chris loved him, and that was something the magician was trying to come to terms with.

Nothing happened? Tony had looked so lost, though. He had asked about Christian’s trust in Safi, and while he knew that the bodyguard didn’t trust himself as much as he should, Chris made up for that by trusting him more. Tony was lying to him. He understood that, but he also understood that Tony had to be lying for a reason, and so to make things less stressful for his friend, Christian smiled and nodded along with what the genius was saying.

And then Tony insinuated just what the two might have done up on the roof and all expression from Christian’s face drained away, leaving the magician blank for a moment before it faded away. He smiled a small smile to Tony once he wiped the blank look away, but it didn’t reach his eyes. Those held a silent pain. “Right, of course. Nothing to worry about.” The words came out flat, though, a parody of the warmth that Christian usually spoke with.

@starkly
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Marvel-616

323 Posts
12 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: 480
Points: 3,373.67€
#25
Tony was an asshole. Here Chris was helping him, with the hardest job of all. He'd dropped everything when Tony had texted him out of the blue. He was a good, kind person, and Tony was lying to him and hurting him so he could lie better.

He was a fucking asshole.

"I'm sorry," he said, and meant it. "That was uncalled for. I--I'm sorry. I know you--" and then he stopped, because that was none of his business, especially considering all Safi had said to him last night. Still. A little damage control was probably warranted. "I mean. Here's the thing. You two care about each other and my part in it...it doesn't change anything. Safi doesn't love me. Believe me on that one."

@eve
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DC-DCTVU-1

511 Posts
22 Threads
Age:32
Job: PA/Magician
Ship Status: Single with Complications
Sexual Orientation: Pan-Romantic
Nyte

All Accounts Posts: 1,456
Points: 8,119.17€
#26
Of course he had dropped what he’d been doing at Tony’s request. It was a friend asking for help, and more than that, this friend was one who rarely if ever made such a request. Of anyone. So yes, Chris was going to be there for him. The thing was, he understood what Tony was asking, or at least in theory he did.

He wasn’t going to leave Tony hanging. No matter how many terrible images the hero conjured up, Chris just had to swallow back all the bile and frustration and heartache and deal with it on his own time.

“You don’t have anything to be sorry for, Tony.” The last words came out stiff and terse as Tony all but mention Christian’s feelings for the bodyguard. Unrequited, at least in the sense of which sort of love the two felt. There was only one word in English for all the kinds of love, unlike so many other languages that jd different words for different types of love. It was easier in those languages, he supposed, there would be less to have to figure out when someone said they loved you. Chris didn’t lean or move away, but neither was he leaning in. “Don’t worry about it. What happens between you and Safi is none of my business.”

”Safi doesn’t love me.”

Christian’s smile grew tight on his face, his brown eyes locked on the man sitting across from him. “Don’t. Just…” his knuckles were white on his coffee cup, “Just don’t.” Safi choose him over you. Different kinds of love. That damn voice in his mind screaming at him was going to drive him insane. Another world, maybe. Another set of rules and circumstances, with different faces and names and beliefs and experiences, and maybe Safi would have chose him. Maybe. “It’s really none of my business. We’re roommates, Tony, that’s all. You’re worrying about nothing.” Because there was nothing for the genius to worry about. He had Safi, and Chris wouldn’t interfere with what Safi wanted. With what made the man he, yes, the man he loved, happy.

@starkly
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Marvel-616

323 Posts
12 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: 480
Points: 3,373.67€
#27
He'd gone too far. It was obvious, and Tony cursed himself and the damn hangover because he should have been able to see that he was only making everything worse. Hell. This was why he'd always liked machines better. People were complicated and far too easy to hurt. That hasn't been his intention (well, not entirely, a voice in the back of his head reminded him) but it had happened nonetheless.

"I'm sorry," he said hoarsely. "I didn't mean to--" he wasn't going to make excuses, not when even the distraction of the damn headache was entirely his fault. He let out a sharp breath, shaking his head. "Chris. I'm grateful that you're here. I'm sorry I've made this more difficult than it has to be. Please forgive me."

Apologizing to people you've hurt because of your actions. That was step nine, but then Tony had never really liked to do things in order.

"If you'd like to go..." He let the offer hang a moment. "I mean. I crossed a line, several probably, and you don't owe me anything. I'll be all right. Just this--" he gestured vaguely at the table, "this helped. So, uh. Thank you."

@eve
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DC-DCTVU-1

511 Posts
22 Threads
Age:32
Job: PA/Magician
Ship Status: Single with Complications
Sexual Orientation: Pan-Romantic
Nyte

All Accounts Posts: 1,456
Points: 8,119.17€
#28
Tony’s words were hurtful, but Christian understood what the man was doing. It wasn’t a new thing for Tony Stark to push at those close to him when he was hurting. He pushed and he lashed out and yes, sometimes he was hurtful. Okay, well, Chris could take it.

He knew it wouldn’t be easy. But damn him, he hadn’t thought it would be like this. Tony hit him where he was already hurting, in that soft tissue right around his heart and the attack left him feel like he had to gasp for air. It he could do this. He would be a good friend in the face of adversity. “Tony,” Christian’s voice was soothing and warm, “It’s okay.” The magician reached to give his arm a light, friendly pat. “Really, it’s okay.”

Tony thought he’d up and walk away just like that. Chris shook his head. The man didn’t even realize he had friends. Real friends. “I’m still here, aren’t I?” Chris gave Tony a wry smile, “I don’t really have to wait for your permission to leave, right? So I’m still here because that’s my choice.”

Sure, there had been lines crossed here, but it wasn’t like Tony mentioning what he had was unforgivable or something. “If this helped let’s do it again. This,” He met Tony’s eyes, his own still holding pain but not angry as he gestured to the both of them and the table, “Is what friends do.”

@starkly
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