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Rating: 3-3-3

Word Count: None

Fandoms: All

Canons: Open/Oc's Welcome!

Bans: Howard the Duck,
RPF* Real Person Fiction; IE Apping an actual celebrity

Main Rule:Don't Be a Dick

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Thread Contributor: 616 Tony StarkStill Alive (Sorry)
Marvel-616

361 Posts
15 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: 533
Points: 3,867.81€
#21
Chris looked rough. There was no other word for it. While his attention had been on Tony, he'd done a good enough job of keeping up his usual controlled appearance, but as soon as it slidto his breakfast the mask broke down. Tony watched him surreptitiously, unable to keep the sympathy off his own face. He wanted to protect Chris. There was something about him, that that was all Tony reached to do.

(He couldn't kid himself. He knew exactly what that something was.)

"He'll be okay," Tony promised, trying to give the reassurance he knew Chris was seeking. He squeezed Chris's hand, then stood, balancing on one leg as he got his crutches under him. It wasn't too hard to snag his plate with one hand and drop it in the sink. He'd gotten used to navigating the world on crutches. Then he put his hand on Chris's shoulder, squeezing it gently, and nodded to the door. "I'll be back as soon as I can. I mean it, Chris. Anything you need."

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DC-DCTVU-1

533 Posts
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Nyte

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#22
It was hard, but Christian had learned how to hide his troubles and sadnesses behind a smile. Through everything, even heartache, he had been able to quietly hide behind his smiles and his professional and positive demeanor. Lately, it had become impossible to keep that facade up. He was just too worried to be able to truly focus enough to keep a smile on his face, no matter how miserable he was.

Nodding, Chris silently agreed with Tony that yes, Safi would be okay. They would make sure of that. Chris would make sure of that. He gave Tony a flicker of a smile when the man reached out to squeeze his hand; the touch was warm and comforting and kind…

Tony stood and Chris bowed his head once again, eyes on his food. “Okay, Tony. You go do the things you need to. I’ll get my things together and wait on the couch.”

***** ***** ****** ******


It took far less than the two hours Tony had given him to gather his things. Into the satchel they went, his magnets, his flask, a full set of vials, some full some empty, a book, and several other items, all the things he may or may not need to use to focus and cast his magic.

He waited on the couch, dressed in his suit because it made him feel whole and well and protected, the way he had always imagined Tony’s armor would feel. The way his shield spell made him feel. He waited, and he held the amulet through his shirt, knowing he shouldn’t take it out from underneath, but also knowing that it was his strongest link to Safi. Love. Love powered the amulet, or at least it linked him to Safi. He clutched it, and he used it as a focus to heal Safi through it.

The problem was the same problem he had been hitting the last couple of days, though. Energy. Christian regenerated his energy naturally over time, but things had gotten to the point with Safi, with the draw of energy from the other man, that Christian felt continuously drained. He was exhausted, sleeping wasn’t helping, not entirely. But he had other ways to gain magical energy, not pleasant, but necessary.

But he always kept the little gold pushpin on him. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled it out. Pain. It sucked, but at the same time, it was necessary. For Safi. He could do what he needed to do.

It was a cycle, slow and steady, use the pushpin, cast his healing and let the energy ebb out before he had to use the pushpin again. He didn’t pay attention to when he fell asleep, or at least, falling asleep was what he would say was what happened.

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Marvel-616

361 Posts
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Age:35
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Jasmine (starkly-tony)

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#23
Tony was feeling, well, better might not have been the right word exactly. In the hours he'd been gone, Justin had reset the bone, kick started the cellular regeneration, and approved an in-armor forcefield that would most likely keep him from incurring any permanent damage as long as he didn't push it. All in all, it had taken longer than he'd liked (a good hour or two past what he'd told Chris), but he was reasonably certain his leg would hold up in combat and that was what mattered. The lingering ache was incidental. He'd suited up with worse.

Although he'd spent most of his time as Director in the armor, he'd rarely worn it about the Mansion at the Hub, and it felt a little strange to be clomping down the hall in it now. On the other hand, the armor compensated for the need for crutches and even his limp, which was a welcome change, even if each step sent a new stab of pain up through his shin.

He returned to the common room adjacent to the kitchen where he'd left Chris, finding the door closed. He rapped on it with his gauntlet's metal knuckles, his helmet tucked under his other arm. (It really was nice to be done with those crutches.) When he got no answer, he pushed the door open.

Chris was sprawled on the couch, asleep. Tony smiled softly, glad to see he was finally getting some much needed rest, before his gaze landed on the pin in Chris's hand and the blood spotting his exposed skin.

Tony's smile faded and he kneeled beside Chris, shaking his shoulder lightly. "Chris. Wake up."

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DC-DCTVU-1

533 Posts
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#24
There were times in this almost endless-seeming cycle that Chris thought that Safi was dying. Or maybe it wasn’t thought, maybe it was know, because it certainly didn’t feel like the man was just hurt, it felt like… Chris wasn’t certain how to describe the feeling, even to himself, but he imagined that dying would feel an awful lot like this. It wasn’t normal, for healing someone to feel like this, but he wasn’t going to give up, to abandon Safi just because it didn’t nice when he healed him. The problem was that the pushpin only caused so much pain, which meant only so much magical energy. It wasn’t as though he hadn’t noticed that he’d been able to keep going longer than he would have imagined, though; his pool of energy seemed so much deeper than it had been before, but he didn’t know why.

Rest. There wasn’t time for rest. Chris had spent the last couple days worried that if he fell asleep, he might not be able to find Safi again, not even with his amulet. He didn’t try to name what that would mean had happened, it wasn’t like he didn’t already know, but with how Safi felt when he healed him… It was a real fear. He hadn’t meant to fall asleep, he had meant to keep casting until Tony had returned.

Being shaken awake earned a sharp gasp from the little magician as he went tense, adrenaline coursing through him as he woke. “Safi.” The word was a murmur as Chris reached down to the amulet to track the man.

Still alive. Thank God.

His eyes went to Tony then, relief clear to see on his face. It was stupid, he knew it, but Tony was Iron Man, his hero growing up, the Golden Avenger, and Christian couldn’t help it. Once more, he moved, hugging Tony, his hero, his friend, surprisingly strong, not caring that the armor was hard and cold, it didn’t even register. Tony was Iron Man, the armor was a part of him, and that was what Chris knew.

He’d been careful, his hands and fingers hadn’t been marred by pin; he needed his hands to cast magic, to control what he was doing.

To help Safi when they found him. When. He refused to look at it any other way. They would find Safi. They would bring him home.

“Just… Need a minute. Let me clean up?”

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Marvel-616

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

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#25
"Not exactly. Sorry," Tony said as Chris came to and called him Safi. If only he knew how close he was. The younger man clutched at the amulet on his chest, relief tinging his features as he got whatever reassurance he was looking for.

Then Chris was in his arms again, and Tony hugged him back gently, wary of his strength in the armor. "Hey," he said, his voice rough with worry and some pain of his own. He'd been planning on letting Chris know he was ready to go, and apologizing for taking longer than he'd planned, but what he'd walked in on... As Chris pulled away he held onto Chris's arm and pushed his sleeve up to reveal what looked like a dozen pin pricks, all beaded over with drying blood. "Chris. What the hell is going on here?"

He remembered Safi slicing open his arm on the first night they'd met to give Chris more power. It didn't take much to make the leap that this was related somehow, but beyond that Tony was lost, and considerably more worried than he'd been before. Which was saying something. If Chris was actively harming himself, to the point he'd, what, passed out? He might be in worse shape than Tony had realized.

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DC-DCTVU-1

533 Posts
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Job: PA/Magician
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Nyte

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#26
That the amulet being able to track Safi meant that the man was alive was an assumption. Christian couldn’t be sure that it wouldn’t continue to point him to Safi’s body were he to die, but he held out hope that were Safi to die, the amulet would know, would let him know, even if that meant it would no longer point him toward the other man. None of that made any difference to the relief Chris felt when he touched the amulet, felt that pull. He let a trickle of healing energy seep in; he had regenerated more than he would have thought while he had slept on the couch, and if it kept Safi alive just that much longer so they could find and reach him, then it was worth it.

Tony looked… Upset. That’s what happens when you sleep on the job. Even when Tony pushed up his sleeves, Chris wasn’t upset; he knew what the man would see, and there was a damn good reason for it. But Tony asked, worried and… Was Tony angry? Why on Earth would Tony be angry?? “Magic, Tony.” He knew the engineer wouldn’t like it, but it was the truth, “There’s a price, even to heal, and my… Well of magical energy, let’s call it… It’s deep, but it’s not fathomless, Tony.” He hated to admit it, the words were bitten out, not at Tony, but toward himself, “I regenerate too slowly to...to keep up. So,” he shrugged, “If it hurts, it gives me energy. A few pinpricks aren’t going to hurt me, Tony.” He tipped his head, “But I’d like to wash my arms off before we go.”

He was less exhausted than when Tony had first seen him, less panicked, if still not in great shape. “The nap helped, but…” Christian’s entire face twitched, his voice dropped to a whisper, “I shouldn’t have. What if he’d… Because I was sleeping?”

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Marvel-616

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

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#27
Tony's mouth pressed into a thin line at Chris's explanation. He understood that the pain Chris was inflicting on himself was purely (or at least mostly) instrumental. To catelyze the replenishment of his magical power.

That didn't really make it any less concerning. Steve had always been willing to throw himself under the bus for someone else. Chris, Tony had only really begun to realize, was not much different. Which made it Tony's responsibility to keep him from killing himself to get Safi back.

"You need pain to fuel your magic. Does it have to be your pain?" Tony asked, remembering how Safi had sliced his own arm the night they'd met. It wasn't even like Tony was about to offer to suffer unduly. His leg was already aching from the realignment Justin had had to do and it was only going to get worse the longer he was on his feet. Putting it to good use was nothing but an efficient use of resources.

He gave Chris a hand up so he could make his was toward the sink, still not entirely convinced the smaller man would be steady on his feet, but stopped when Chris spoke with his armored hand still on Chris's arm. "Don't do that," he said firmly. "First of all, he didn't." He paused. Steve had been so much better at this. "Second, you need to keep your strength up. It sounds trite, but in this case it's true. The last thing Safi needs is for you to collapse and have nothing for him when the time comes. Right?" He gazed at Chris evenly and hoped Chris listened.

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DC-DCTVU-1

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#28
Pain wasn’t a fun thing, even if it was self inflicted. But Safi was worth a few pinpricks of pain and a few drops of blood. His life was worth so much more than that. And so he hadn’t even hesitated to poke himself, not the first or the fifth or onward. But Tony wasn’t entirely wrong; Christian had a tendency to place himself between another and trouble; that was how his ribs had been bruised when he and Safi had first really gotten to know each other, Chris had intervened in a mugging while visiting his sister in Gotham.

“I can sort of skim some energy off of others if they’re attention is on me…” He frowned, “But I haven’t really done that. There are other ways to regain lost energy, but…” He shrugged angrily, “Not really an option.” He looked to the dots on his skin, “I’m okay, Tony. It’s just a few pokes, no more than I needed to to be able to heal Safi.”

It might be surprising, how steady Christian was, but he’d gotten more sleep on the couch after healing Safi than he’d had in days. That didn’t mean that the smaller man didn’t take the offered help, or that he tried to pull away when Tony continued to hold on and told him to stop thinking negatively. He says this even as he hides from his own world because he cannot cope! “Hypocrite.” The word was chewed and bitten out, bitter and angry and full of pain. “You want me to rest… Like you do? Take care of myself, like you do?” it wasn’t normal for Chris to have this much rage, to be all but overcome by it, but this… He was tired of fighting that little voice in his head, tired of trying to placate Tony, to watch his words, actions, and most of all his magic around the man who was his hero and yet seemed to incapable of liking him even a little bit.

He shook, but he didn’t sway or seem anywhere near unsteady on his feet. “You lost your Steve, I know,” there was no pity in his voice, but there was empathy, “I don’t want to lose the person I love, Tony. I can’t. I will always have the strength for him.” He met Tony’s eyes then, his voice growing softer, more like how it was usually, “I’ll be careful, Tony. I’ll make sure I’m strong enough for whatever he needs. But I can’t lose him.”

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Marvel-616

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

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#29
Tony's leg ached. He'd managed to put the hurt out of mind, more or less--it wasn't like this was the first time he'd suited up injured--but at Chris's words he focused on it, letting the deep throb of the reset bone fill his attention. Not hard. Hurt more than a pinprick, anyway. Then he looked at Chris, willing the rawness of the sensation to transfer through his gaze alone.

"How's that?" He asked.

Hypocrite. Chris wasn't wrong, exactly, and Tony winced. "Fair point," he said, odd emotions warring in him. It was good Chris was still fighting, still sharp, even if he was directing his vitriol at Tony. He'd seemed so lost, so desperate... This had to be better. On the other hand, he was aware that the central reason he'd not seen Steve in Chris until much too late was that Chris had shown him none of the anger or bitterness or pure unadulterated fury that had been all that remained of his friendship with Steve by the end. That something like it was surfacing now only made sense. Still. It left something hollow in his chest that had no place on a mission like this. "You shouldn't be like me." God, and there were a million reasons for that.

Then he gave voice to the determination he'd felt before. Still felt. "I don't want you to lose Safi. More than anything," he paused, letting that sink in, "that's why I'm here. It's the worst thing in the world and I don't want you to go through it." He sighed. "All I meant was, don't beat yourself for sleeping. The St--" he'd been about to say 'the Steve I knew' but he couldn't, because Chris had no idea, "Heroes run themselves to the ground trying to help the people they love and don't even notice it until they've gotten themselves killed. I know you'd do anything for him. But as your friend, I'd like to see both of you make it through this."

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DC-DCTVU-1

533 Posts
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Nyte

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#30
What Tony suggested was something that Christian had very, very little actual experience with. Miss Agatha had taught him many, many lessons, but this was not something native to her world. No, this was something that he had learned from Miss Zatana and the books she had given and listed for him to read. Still, Chris had worked magic now for a long while now, had learned and practiced and studied and this particular feat wasn’t something that felt overly difficult. He knew what it felt like, energy coming to him from someone else, because Safi had done it that first night they’d been here in Hub. Chris had stopped him then, but not before he’d felt it.

It was a good feeling, one that the sphere in his satchel encouraged him to enjoy. Tony, for his part, felt nearly nothing at first, though as Christian slowly, quietly took, he’d notice the change, the drain of energy. Odd as it was, the draw wasn’t strong, wasn’t forceful and barely noticeable until Tony’s thoughts turned painful as well. Then it became a gentle but insistent tug.

It was a pain that Christian understood intimately. For months, he had ached in a similar manner as Tony did when he thought of Steve; the sense of not being enough, not being good enough, of having lost but never having deserved were old hat for the small man, nothing he wasn’t familiar with. “Like you…” It was bitter, vitriolic, “I spent the majority of my life trying to be like you. Well, not you, huh? Isn’t that what you told me months ago? That the stories I read growing up were all just lies and bullshit?” Chris’ eyes were narrowed, but he went quiet, considering all of the things that Tony Stark had done in the comic books. Not perfect, no, but he’d been good, a hero, someone to learn from, if not always to emulate, but Tony claimed those stories had been untrue. It had bent something in Chris out of shape, to hear that.

“I’m not a hero.” It wasn’t a lie; Chris knew who and what he was, and ‘hero’ didn’t fit the bill. He was a PA and a damn good one. He was a magician, and he wasn’t terrible at that, either. But a hero? No. “And I have every intention of coming home alive, too.” He didn’t know when Hub had become ‘home’ as well as the little apartment in Central City, but it was. I fell asleep with Safi...hurt.” Hurt, but it didn’t just feel like hurt, either. That was why Chris looked so haggard; this injury of Safi’s, whatever it was, it was constant, and it refused to go away. At first, it had, it had come, and Chris would heal him, and then it would be done, but not anymore… Now… His voice was quiet, but it hard and pained, “He’s dying, Tony. It’s not just an injury. I don’t know what it is, but he’s just… It’s not going away or getting better.” That he was angry, more than just angry, was evident in that tone.

What was the most frightening thing about all of it was that Christian wasn’t certain how long he could keep up the constant healing. Especially without help.

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Marvel-616

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

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#31
Tony felt the tug of Chris pulling on the energy and doubled down on his focus on the feeling, even as the conversation quickly went elsewhere. It was fine. He could multitask. Extremis had let him do a hundred things at once. With the program dormant, he had much less processing capacity, but he could handle this easily.

And there was the bitterness again. Tony closed his eyes, but opened them again when all he could see was Steve's face twisted into the exact same expression. "Look. Chris. I haven't read your comics. Maybe they do tell the whole story. Maybe they don't. I said they couldn't be true because--" well, a large part of that had been his deep discomfort with the idea, but also, "--because the truth goes to some dark places and you'd have to tell me there are kids out there reading about me living in a box and selling my coat for a bottle of liquor. Or how the first thing I did as Director of SHIELD was blank out the cameras and cry over Steve's corpse for an hour." He pinched the bridge of his nose, because this was getting out of hand, and just saying the words out loud made him feel vulnerable and exposed. "Honestly, I don't want to know. The point is that... Chances are, you're already a better man than me, and probably better at taking care of yourself too."

Tony released a breath and put his hand on Chris's tense shoulder, squeezing gently. "I know a lot of heroes. Most of them resent me, but--anyway. I know one when I see one. And what you're doing now, that makes you a hero." He met Chris's eyes, willing him to believe. "I know you're scared. So am I. But we're going to get through this." He gestured to his leg, which was still aching away. "You need extra energy to pump into him until we get there, I can keep this up. Easy. I know you've been doing this all on your own, but. You're not alone now, you got that?"

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DC-DCTVU-1

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#32
There was no way to explain how it felt; the rush of energy from Tony. He was careful, he didn’t want to hurt Tony. And he could do that, if he just took from the man without considering the consequences, without thinking about how much he was taking. Which was why when Christian knew he had taken enough without hurting Tony, skimming off the top of Tony’s own magical energies as untapped as they were, the pull Tony would feel the slow pull on him ease and end. He wasn’t filled, that would take far, far more than Tony could safely give him, but he had enough to work with.

“You lied to me.” His voice wasn’t bitter or angry anymore, in part because it was gloats to be those things when the person was literally feeding you their own energy to sustain you, but also because while Tony had lied, Christian was more hurt than anything else. Instead his voice was soft, pained but gentle. “You were…”. Chris lifted his eyes to meet Tony’s gaze, “I don’t really have friends. Plenty of people to chat with or tell jokes to, but real friends are...hard. I can count the people I’m really close to on one hand and have fingers left over.” He drew in a deep breath, “The comics can be dark, sure, but so is life where I’m from. We have Batman and the Flash for a reason. I just…. You were the one that I just…. got. I guess I relate to others a little - Steve’s past I can relate to, by not how he is as Captain America. Things like that. You…. you didn’t really have special powers. You were brilliant and kind and you made your own powers with your armor. And I….” Tony didn’t need to know that. He didn’t need to know any of this. Chris closed his eyes, blushing slightly.

As a kid he hadn’t thought tony weak for being an alcoholic, he’d though him strong for dealing with it. “Did you…” he sucked in a breath, his voice hushed, as if he weren’t sure he really wants to know, “Do you really go to orphanages and hold the babies?”

He was shit at taking care of himself. Others, that was easy. He could feed them and mother hen them and make sure they were okay. But himself...that was hard. “I…. I don’t know.”

He didn’t feel heroic. He was doing this because…. “I’m being selfish, Tony. This isn’t heroism, it’s…” he made a face, “It’s fear and selfishness that’s making me do this. Because yes, I’m afraid of going, but I’m terrified of losing him. I can’t. I can’t.” He knew Tony’s leg hurt, but he couldn’t help it. Ever so gently, aware and making sure he didn’t make it worse, Chris hugged Tony, Iron Man armor and all.

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Marvel-616

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Jasmine (starkly-tony)

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#33
"I didn't lie," Tony said, not that it mattered at all. He'd assumed, wrongly, it seemed. The thought that his deepest secrets, even those he'd managed to keep from the hungry press of his own world, were leisure reading for children in another world made him want to hide in his workshop and never come out. He'd WANTED to believe Chris's comics had made him look better than he was. It was selfish, though. "Either way. I'm sorry. And I'm... glad. You got anything out of my--" his misery, his loss, his grief, "--experiences." He looked down, embarrassed, and wondered if Chris knew he'd started finding comfort in orphanages after he'd nearly died in that doorway with a tiny, half-frozen newborn in his arms, and had found the strength to turn his life around. "Yeah, I do that sometimes. I mean. They get something out of it too, I think. The babies."

"You don't know?" He said quizzically, squeezing Chris's shoulder again. "Take it from me. Bring a hero--well, a lot the time, it feels like anything but. Welcome to the club. Why did you think any of us did this?"

It was ironic, of course, that of all the heroes Tony had ever known, Steve's motives had been the most pure. He knew what was right. Believed in it with all his heart and would fight for it if it killed him. (And it had.) But Steve had gotten scared too. Had doubted himself just the same.

He returned Chris's hug, again, despite the armor. Before letting go he said, "Are you ready to go?"

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DC-DCTVU-1

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#34
Got anything out of it? Chris looked at Tony for a long moment, “Tony, I told you, you’re my hero. I didn’t… You’re my friend, and back then, when I was reading those comics, you were my friend then, too. You taught me a whole lot. And then you…” The magician shifted and fidgeted, “I felt guilty. Like a peeping tom, how you reacted… You were so uncomfortable, and that...that was the last thing I ever wanted. You said they got it wrong, and I believed you.”

The babies. Chris blinked and looked at Tony, his eyes moist and filled with so much emotion that it was hard for him to contain it. His voice shook when he murmured, “They do. Most orphaned babies...they aren’t held. The touching they receive is… Necessary things. Burped, Diapers changed, fed. But not just..held, not just rocked and spoken to quietly. It’s… Important.” He couldn’t remember being a little baby, but he remembered being young enough. Remembered what it was like to have no comfort, to never be held. To see other kids, the ones with parents, holding hands with their mom or being tickled by their father. He had hated watching it. Being made to know that he was different, he was alone. “They get so much out of it, Tony. What you do… It’s kindness that most people won’t ever understand,” but he did.

Looking at Tony, he met his eyes, “Because it was the right thing to do? Because you couldn’t not do it?” Because they were heroes, because they could do it. But Christian was just a little man with some magic. More than some. We are powerful, and we will punish those who harmed our Safi. Punish. Yeah.

The hug was good. It wasn’t just a hug from his hero, but a hug from a friend, from a man that Chris trusted to see him through this. The smile the smaller man gave Tony was more genuine than it had been since he’d last seen him, “Nope. Let’s do it, anyway.”

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#35
"I'm sorry," Tony said automatically, because he hasn't meant to show his discomfort so blantantly, and it obviously wasn't Chris's fault that his life was the subject of another world's comic books. "It's all right. There's nothing in there I wouldn't tell you now, anyway." Then he blinked at the intensity of Chris's response. He'd been embarrassed that Chris had known he'd gone to orphanages to assuage his own guilt and loneliness when Chris had grown up in a place like that. But here he was, seeing heroism and kindness when Tony had been nothing but selfish. He looked away. "We do what we do for the same reasons anyone else does. Whether it's hugging a baby or saving the world. Even--even the best of us."

Still. He was glad to see Chris's smile, even though it came with a statement of uncertainty and fear. It reminded him, blindingly for a moment, of the way Steve used to smile at him when everything in the world was new and he still trusted Tony to see him through it. Tony clamped down on that thought, then nodded. "Okay, Chris. Lead the way."

@eve
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#36
There was nothing in there that Tony wouldn’t tell him? Christian looked at Tony, obviously surprised. That didn’t even make any sense. The apology, yeah, because Tony always just immediately blamed himself, even when what he had done was normal, was nothing bad on them. Tony had lied and he had denied his problems to Chris because they were all but strangers, really. But now he’d tell Chris anything? Why? Because Chris was helping him with…? Tony’s response was… Unexpected. And then he was dismissing what he did for those orphaned babies and Chris… Christian frowned, brown eyes turning liquid, “Stop, Tony, please.” He looked up to the ceiling for a long moment before he spoke to Tony without exactly looking at him. “Everyone needs comfort, Tony… And those babies that you go and hold? They need it more than most people understand, and they get so little of it… And that’s the thing, Tony. You’re not just giving them the gift of touch, but you’re also giving them your time, Tony, and that’s a precious thing.”

There was no way possible for Christian to be entirely certain and confident, to be unafraid in this situation. He was going into unknown dangers against people who had managed to capture and injure Safi with only his magic and a little bit of knowledge of Aikido that he’d gained from Kai. There was no being ready to do what they were heading to do.

Lead the way. Blinking, Chris nodded slowly. Right. First things first, Christian took out a small piece of paper and traced the drawing he’d already made on it before tucking it into his pocket again. Better safe than sorry, and shields were something he always had on him, pre-made so the energy was expended weeks ago. Just in case, because he really didn’t know what they would be walking into. “Okay, Tony. Just… Be careful. I have no idea where we’ll really end up.” The whole point here was to get them as close as possible to Safi, wherever that was. Christian grabbed the necklace that still lay under his shirt, using it as a focus as he started the complex magic to open a portal to where the amulet lead him.

@starkly
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