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When worlds collide
Dungeons and Dragons-Forgotten Realms

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#1
Being an intelligent man, Arjay was well aware of just how out of touch it could make him look to not understand the technology of many of the worlds around him. He could gather the use of devices, of course, but not having them on his world, actually operating them was an exercise in overcoming a rather large learning curve. He hadn't, therefore, told anyone that he'd gotten a phone until he finally figured out how to use it well, and had felt sufficiently proud of himself once he had.

The first call he'd gotten had been from Steve, and he'd been pleased that he'd managed to not press the wrong little pictures on the glass while he'd been on the call. He'd been in such a good mood about it all that he'd headed straight over to help with the little problem Steve had, and now found himself in quite another technological quandary: How the blazes did you get into this building?

The doors were locked, and there was no one on the other side of the door to see him or open it if he knocked, he could see that through the odd glass door.
There was some manner of device at the door, but he couldn't for the life of him decipher what it did, never having seen a retinal scanner on his world. Using magic to bypass the door would be possible, yet obviously rude, so he held that as a backup idea. He spent a good ten minutes just looking everything over, marveling at whatever it might be, before he decided that yes, there was probably someone watching him, and yes, he was probably looking like quite an idiot. So, deciding to take a chance before he used up a Sending spell, he cleared his throat, looking around. "Ah... hello? I was called by Steve Rogers, he said that there was an injured friend who needed care? May I come in?" He waited a moment, then added, "Or am I looking like a complete fool talking to myself here?"
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Marvel-MCU-1

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#2
There was an elf at the door.

If she had the capacity Friday would sigh, although after Norse Gods she really should be less surprised by these things. A ripple of unknown energy spiked the Towers sensors, the oddly aligned copy of another universe registered that it was a form of what was commonly called ‘magic’. Wonderful. Also that it did not appear to be harmful, in fact it seemed to be tied most strongly to the sword at this side.

Interesting.

Something to point out to Tony for future analysis. But for now- “Welcome to Stark Tower, Captain Rogers has been informed of your arrival, Dr.-?” A small pulse to Steve’s phone, chiming his location in the Tower as well as a verbal explanation of the same.

“Of course not,” The doors slid open a path of lights marking the way he was to walk and wait. “If you would follow the lights, until Captain Rogers can come to greet you personally.” And verify his identity, Friday was being polite, but she wasn’t going to let anyone randomly into the residential area’s of the tower.

“May I offer some refreshment? Coffe? Water? A selection of bagels has just been delivered, please make yourself comfortable.” The automated dolly wheeled out with a twin carafe as well as the promised items.

The Tower might not have had a true AI but as Friday had ‘settled in’ she’d discovered a truly amazing amount of automation at her disposal.

"If you don't mind I will have to ask that you remove your weapons while you are in our-" which phrase to use? "Home." The pause was less then a nanosecond.

A second empty dolly beeped politely near his hip.
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Marvel-MCU

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#3
When Worlds Collide

He had called Arjay out of desperation. Tony wasn’t going to take it easy, no matter how much he didn’t mean to, or couldn’t help himself, or whatever it ended up being.

So he had turned to the only other friend he had that could do something to help Tony recover. Arjay had mentioned healing being among his abilities, and well… A healed Tony could at least go wandering through Hub without being in danger of overdoing it or pulling stitches or hurting himself.

Of course, Steve had never imagined that Arjay would come over immediately after the call. The call. Phones in Hub worked, and Arjay, an elf no less, had gotten himself one of them and given Steve his number. Steve grinned at the idea; it was amazing. Five years ago, he hadn’t known what a cell phone was, and now he was watching someone figure out the technology just as he had. It was surreal, really. He knew the feeling Arjay must have felt when he had tried to set up the device, tried to use it the first time. It was exciting, and just a little bit scary at the same time

So when his phone buzzed in his pocket, and Friday let him know verbally that Arjay was here, right now, Steve blinked and then chuckled, “Let him know I’m on my way if you wouldn’t mind please, Friday?”

Steve ran. He wouldn’t admit that with any real pride, but he was glad to have a friend coming to visit. Justin was great, and Tony… Was Tony… And Friday was… He was pretty sure she was going to be furious with him for awhile yet, but he understood that. He understood Tony’s reaction (sort of?) too, but that didn’t make it all any more comfortable. Justin knew him, but he didn’t know Justin. Tony didn’t remember what had happened between them, but he knew it was something. Friday definitely remembered, and held it against him, again, with every rightful reason for that, but it made Steve’s life just a whole ball of discomfort right now. Arjay was… Uncomplicated. They were friends. Just that, that simple thing. It was nice, and Steve embraced having something so straightforward in his life.

When he came to the hallway where Arjay was, Steve smiled to his friend, “Arjay! I hadn’t thought you’d come so quickly, but thank you. Thank you so much.” He looked to the ceiling as he nearly always did when speaking to Friday, “And thank you, Friday.” He shrugged to Arjay, then motioned to the building they stood inside, “What do you think?”

“That’s not going away anytime soon.”
*
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Dungeons and Dragons-Forgotten Realms

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#4
‘Doctor.’ Now there was a term that Arjay hadn’t had applied to him before. He knew vaguely what it meant, it was the word for healers that didn’t have access to magic, but it wasn’t exactly a common term in his world. Still, when in Amn, do as the Amnish do. “Arjay,” he told the mysterious controlling presence. “Arjay Lo’Ran. There’s no need for titles.” Since, naturally, the one she offered didn’t apply to him, and any that he could lay claim to had no meaning in the world that Steve and this Tony came from.

He followed the glowing path with mild amusement, wondering just how this feat was done with technology. He knew how it would be done magically, of course, but trying to figure out the physics of this world was something that would never stop amusing him. “I believe I’ll have coffee,” he said, “And thank you.” The refreshments from this world were something he hadn’t completely explored yet, of course. He studied the bagels before picking one that smelled savory (onion, if his nose served him well), and discovered that contrary to the strange name, coffee wasn’t strange to him, although it was obviously of a different strain than the kaith he was used to from Faerun.

He was sweetening the ka- er, coffee to his taste when the final request was delivered, and Arjay paused, looking up at the ceiling (for where else could this mysterious presence be?), and tried to figure out how to proceed. He obviously didn’t want to offend anyone, but this was hardly a house where you put your sword on a rack near the door. He had no idea if he could find his sword again if it was misplaced or taken (after all, how many people did this building hold?). That was just the mundane concerns, he also had to deal with the very huffy displeasure he felt from the sword at his hip at the idea of being put on that cart.

He was saved from having to choose between two unattractive options by the sudden arrival of Steve, which made Arjay smile in relief. “Steve,” he said warmly, clasping the other man’s forearm. “Of course I came right away. In all my time here, did you know that this is the first favor I’ve been asked? I’m not about to put that off.”

His expression grew more serious as he returned to the dilemma he was in. “Perhaps you can help me. I’m being asked to surrender my sword. This sword is, without a hint of clever exaggeration, a gift from my goddess, handed down from her temple itself. It feels, it has its own will, its own mind. It would be an affront for me to simply leave it lying on a table unattended.” He glanced up at the ceiling again, speaking up, obviously for Friday’s benefit. “Even if that table was very carefully and deliberately guided.” Returning his gaze to Steve, he pulled the sheath from his sword belt, offering it to him. “However, I can surrender it to a known comrade in arms without any affront to admittedly vain goddesses and the temperamental feelings of touchy weapons.” He looked up again. “I assume that this is an acceptable arrangement?”

“I will admit, I'm impressed,” he admitted conversationally, once that matter was concluded, as he looked around the greeting hall. “"Quite different from the towers I'm used to, of course, and quite different even from those that I've seen of your world. What is this friend of yours, to be accorded such security and graced with such a seat of power and monument to his name? A king? A prince? Lord of this city, at the very least?”
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Marvel-MCU-1

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#5
“Arjay.” Her tone was warm, inviting, as she repeated his requested form of address.

“If I might suggest-” she offered when he picked his bagel. “The jalapeno chive cream cheese? One traditionally sliced open the bagel and applies the smear.” Came the soft Irish voice, dipping oddly on the last word as her accent warred with the yiddish word.

Friday made a little noise, reminiscent of clearing her throat to gain their attention; “I can promise that your weapon will not be touched while it is under my care. And it will be attended by..me.” she clarified, wondering if he would ask to ‘see’ her. To know who was watching his religious artifact.

“That is acceptable, Captain Rogers is a suitable substitute for storage.” was there a little bit of bite on her response? Possibly, Friday wasn’t admitting to it though.

“Mr. Stark holds no hereditary land titles, he does how ever hold multiple intellectual titles as well as having considerable secular influence in the matters of politics. As well as monetary influence.”
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Marvel-MCU

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#6
When Worlds Collide

”Arjay,” Steve’s voice was warm and affectionate. The smile he wore was genuine and reached his blue eyes in a way that was uncommon to see lately. ”It’s good to see you. You didn’t have to come immediately…” With a chuckle, Steve shook his head, ”The first? Well, I hope you don’t mind, Arjay… But my friend was hurt, and while we’re able to make sure he heals properly by our own means, he’s… Impatient. And I’m worried about him exacerbating his injuries.”

Asked to surrender his sword? Hm. Thinking back, Steve couldn’t remember a time where he, Natasha, Clint, Thor or Bruce had been asked to surrender their weapons. But he supposed they were Avengers, they had first entered Tony’s tower as Avengers. Arjay was not only not an Avenger, but he was also a complete unknown, not even human… Or Asgardian. He couldn’t blame Arjay for not wanting to give up his sacred weapon. Steve had found it every bit as hard to give up the shield, though he had worked to make sure that Tony hadn’t seen how difficult it had really been for him, covering the hurt, unease, and shame with stoic disregard and dropping the shield unceremoniously at his friend’s feet.

With just a touch of hesitation, Steve glanced toward where he knew a camera was as Friday agreed that the arrangement Arjay offered was acceptable. Thank goodness. He didn’t want to think about how difficult it could have become if she had insisted. ”Thank you, Friday...” Storage substitute. Yeah, she wasn’t going to let that go soon, was she? Not likely. Still, he smiled and took the offered sword from his friend, moving to carry it with them as they walked. He had heard Friday’s tone, but he let it go. Calling her out on it now would do him absolutely no good at all. He was still going to need her help convincing Tony to let this happen...

”The tower is pretty amazing; it’s unique, and everything here was made by Tony.” Was that warm pride for the engineer in his voice? Of course it was; he might not always love the fact that Tony was so confident in how amazing he was, but that didn’t mean that Steve thought any less of him or didn’t see that the genius was truly gifted. Friday’s explanation earned a smile from Steve, and he chuckled, ”And he’s not a wizard, either. Though in some ways, he’s not all that far off. He makes and deals in technology. And as Friday mentioned, he has some political sway.” Steve paused before speaking the next words, his voice just slightly pained, ”He’s a good man.” And he had been a good friend, too.

“That’s not going away anytime soon.”
*
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Dungeons and Dragons-Forgotten Realms

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#7
“Ah,” Arjay said, understanding the urgency. “I had a friend who was like that once. We found out later that he had to be dragged to the temple half dead for healing… We made quite a scene berating him for all the worry he caused everyone. Yes, I quite understand.”

In truth, Arjay still didn’t like surrendering his sword. To him, it seemed a statement of mistrust. You expected such things at taverns, where you needed to make sure to not leave an opening for the more… lively aspects of humanity to remain armed just because you weren’t collecting swords from those you trusted. In the home of someone who’d invited you, though? His sword was a symbol of his status in his world, the last one that he maintained. His military status had been surrendered when he withdrew his service from Myth Drannor, but his goddess’s blessing still served him well, and was really the only honor he needed to have acknowledged. He had to assume that weapons and honor were seen differently in their world, but it still served to make him feel more guarded in this encounter. “Keep it with you, if you please,” he said as he surrendered the sword.

“Oh, I’m aware that he’s no wizard. There isn’t a touch of magic in this building, all appearances to the contrary. Not that I’d expect everyone from my world to be able to realize that… he could, I suppose, make a good attempt at impersonating one to them.” How many times had Arjay had to pretend to be a wizard? Or, for that matter, a cleric, or a druid, or a soldier… Being a bard was a lot less distinctive than many people assumed, he had to admit. On the subject of Tony being a good man, Arjay simply offered Steve a thin smile. They’d see about that. His own opinion, he was trying to prevent from being colored by being separated from his sword. “What sort of wounds are we dealing with? I won’t lie, I’m curious what sort of injuries the technology from your world can’t deal with.” He stopped at a corner, waiting for Steve to show him the way to the room in question.
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Marvel-MCU

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#8
When Worlds Collide

Steve couldn’t help but to chuckle a little bit at Arjay’s comparison. ”I can’t say that we make a scene with him, but… Yes, that sounds similar to Tony. The man doesn’t ask for help. Even when he’s dying.” He remembered hearing about Tony nearly dying of palladium poisoning and never telling anyone, not a soul. Not even Ms. Potts.

As much as Steve wouldn’t have asked Arjay to give up his weapon, he understood why Friday was making the request, and why Tony might not be comfortable letting a person he didn’t know walk around his home armed with a sword, especially when Tony was already hurt. Looking down at the sword in his hands, Steve sighed quietly, ”I hope you don’t take any offense to this, Arjay. But Tony… He has reasons he doesn’t trust people easily, and he’s never met you. And…” Steve looked at the ceiling, ”I doubt he’ll be all that happy about this, either. I’m really sorry to put you in this position, Arjay. But I will keep it with me.” Steve felt bad about it, but it was either this or… Tying Tony down, maybe? And no one would like that. No one.

With a quiet chuckle, Steve nodded, ”Right. Well, his technology is close enough to magic for most of us, too. He has never ceased to amaze me with what he can do with it, or what he can make it do.” It was absolutely true; Tony was a master of his craft, and his craft was be a technological genius. Steve wasn’t afraid or ashamed to admit that sometimes what Tony was able to do and create awed him. It also inspired him. How many sketches did he have of Iron Man, DUM-E, or the other bots?

Wounds. Steve winced. ”He was in a suit - made of metal - and fell through six stories of a building before he came to a stop. Friday can probably give you more information on the actual wounds, I think, but… The doctor here, Justin, had to perform emergency surgery.” Steve paused, preparing himself, ”It was his head, that was the worst wound he has. But I imagine his back is pretty banged up, falling how he did.” By the time he got to the end of the sentence, Steve’s eyes were closed; he’d seen Tony fall more than once, and it made him sick to picture it again, even now.

“That’s not going away anytime soon.”
*
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Marvel-MCU-1

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#9
Tonly actually didn't give a fuck if an elf wanted to walk about his tower armed with a pig sticker. He's more likely to comment about selling tickets or make more Lord of the Rings jokes.

What he DIDN'T like was being managed-
Ok that was a lie he expected to be managed to a certain extent. Something's were off limits.

Like his health.

“Friday you scheming little-” Tony ground his teeth cutting off the rest of his complaint fingers swiping the air removing the projected video from the entry way.

There wasn't any hiding or avoiding this. Steve had a god damn bee in his bonnet about trying to ‘fix’ him.

Tony was a decisive man, it only took a few seconds drumming against the reactor in his chest before he made his decision.

“Welcome to my Tower!” Tony appeared from the elevator, leaning on the frame, 100% cocky genius Billionaire inventor.

“So Friday says Elf?” The storm that was Tony Stark on a charm champine descended on the pair. “Wow. Good to know. Only heard about the Dark kind. You know Steve, Thor brought a whole bunch of them home. Kinda decimated Greenwich. Which was kinda bad for all the kids studying there.”

Tony held out his hand, that perfect CEO smile on his lips. The white bandage holding the steel mesh and netting keeping his brains in place a stark contrast to his remaining hair. “Tony Stark. Arjay right? Friday got you coffee. How about a drink?” He asked meandering over to the bar, unstopping a bottle.
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Dungeons and Dragons-Forgotten Realms

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#10
This situation was just getting better and better, now, wasn’t it? Now he was being told that the man wasn’t going to be happy about this. Arjay fixed Steve with a flat, though not unamused, look. “And you say we won’t make a scene? If he won’t be pleased about this arrangement, we won’t have to, he’ll likely do it for us.” No, Arjay hadn’t met the man, but really, look at this tower. The sort of man who would make something this complex, this grand and intricate, was not going to be one who tended toward being softspoken and meek.

The description of the injuries inflicted caused Arjay to raise an eyebrow. This would take more magic to heal than he had expected. The armor the man had been in must have been considerable to protect him from such a fall, but the fact that the man was up and about… well, the answer came when the man emerged from one of the metal doorways that opened of its own accord. The man… well, to put it lightly, the man was not well. Arjay might not have seen a person fall through several floors of a building before, but he had seen battlefield injuries against giants and dragons, and he knew the look of someone who shouldn’t be on their feet.

This… was going to be interesting.

“See?” Arjay said, glancing at Steve. “I told you that my people must have been through your world. Though it would seem that you only met the more unsavory sort. I’ll thank you not to judge me by that standard.” Confiscating his sword and comparing him to a Drow. Arjay knew that he had to allow for the ignorance of alien humans, but his patience was rapidly decreasing. He shook the man’s hand, then felt a bit of his surprise melt away as the man headed for a drink. This level of obstinacy and self-destruction could often be attributed to excessive drinking, although the drinking could be a symptom of the problem, not the cause. Either way, he had a self-destructively willful man here whom Steve had said wasn’t going to like this. He supposed he might as well get the ‘not liking’ part out of the way.

“Yes, I believe I will have a drink. What do you have?” He ran a tavern, after all. Sampling the local beverages always made some sense. “So,” he said, getting right to business, “Steve tells me that what’s needed is to bypass pesky concerns like healing taking time, is that right? What appear to be the problems that need dealing with?" His eyes were drawn to the glowing... thing in the man's chest. What, exactly, had this man done to himself? He'd heard of people mutilating their bodies for magical enhancements, but technological ones? Perhaps their worlds were not so similar after all.
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Marvel-MCU

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#11
When Worlds Collide

Well, the pig-sticker that Arjay possessed was (Steve was pretty damn sure) magical in nature, which (again Steve was pretty damn sure) Tony wouldn’t much like. But it was what it was, and frankly, Steve just wanted Tony healthy and whole again so he didn’t have to worry so much about him.

And that also meant not having to manage the other man quite as much. Because the fact that Tony really didn’t like it was pretty damn clear, even to Steve. Well, truth be told, Steve didn’t like having to be like this, either! It wasn’t fun to be on Tony’s nerves, not that Tony probably realized that.

The look Steve fixed Arjay with was one of stubborn determination, ”He’ll see reason.”

It was almost as though Tony had been watching them, their progress. And maybe he had. Or Friday had, and had told Tony when they had reached just the right place. Steve couldn’t even begin to suppress the sigh that bubbled out of him when he saw the act that Tony was putting on. And yeah oh boy was Tony putting on an act today. Great. ”Tony…” Steve’s voice was tight, and he was frowning now, ”Obviously a different sort of elf.” Steve knew what Tony was referring to. It had been all over the news, after all, and Steve did watch the news. Looking to Arjay at his comment, Steve winced slightly, ”They were space elves. From… Space. But yes, I’d say they were rather unsavory; caused a lot of destruction in one of our countries. England.” He was flushing just a little bit, cheeks just a bit more warm than usual. Yes, he did realize how silly it sounded, but damn it, they had arrived in a space ship, thus… From space.

Steve really, really hated that smile.

It actually surprised him how much he hated that smile. Fake, it wasn’t Tony’s smile at all. Oh, he had worse smiles. Some were so plastic that Steve couldn’t stand looking at him; the smiles he wore when he did a press conference. The smile he wore when he wasn’t really smiling. Tony Stark didn’t smile like other people smiled. Oh, sure he did, but it was like this, it wasn’t really a smile. No, when Tony was honestly smiling, it didn’t show with his lips, not really. You had to watch his eyes. And right now, his eyes were not smiling. At all. ”Tony…” Steve didn’t mean to let his tiredness invade his voice, but it did just a little bit. But Arjay agreed to the drink, so Steve just sighed and shook his head, his eyes catching the dim glow from Tony’s shirt, ”That’s something else; you’re…” He rolled his eyes to the ceiling, ”Friday could give you a rundown on everything that actually requires healing, right, Friday? Because I don’t know the whole list.” And none of them wanted Arjay to hurt the arc reactor. And if Tony wanted it… Well, Tony (or Steve) could ask Arjay to deal with it, but if Tony didn’t, then Friday would know (or Tony could say something), and Steve would make sure that Arjay understood. But one thing Steve was certain of was that there was a list.

“That’s not going away anytime soon.”
*
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Marvel-MCU-1

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#12
“Different dimension-” Tony held up a finger correcting Steve. “Not space.” Tony flashed that professional smile again, “So Dimensional Elves. Dimensional Dark Elves even...which seems kinda racist? Is it racist? They were pale. But maybe all of them weren't. I'm not going to tell a Eof he can't call himself Dark. But still evil Elves. Racial appropriation seems about the speed.”

“I mean England so you know probably deserved it for all the colonization but again-” Tony stabbed out the bottle stopper in their general direction. “How long do you hold someone's mistakes against them?”

Tony poured the drink for Arjay, “Ok Arjay the Elf. No judging based on Dimensionally race appropriating elves. Anything. What's your poison? Try the Scotch. Best on earth.” Tony set the tumbler down near him.

“Don't like, we'll see if you're more a vodka man. Or pick your own. Feel free, bars open.” He waved his hand backwards to indicate the assortment.

“I don't have a problem with time. Sure. Brain surgery isn’t fun.” Tony snapped his fingers, “eyes up here Link.” When Arjay’s gaze drifted down wards.
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Marvel-MCU-1

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#13
Friday...was not having a good day, although to be fair she couldn't say that her first activation day was that great a week either.

Born in battle and all that.

“Mr. Stark is missing part of his skull from the surgery. As well as suffering from swelling and trauma, three bruised ribs multiple contusions from where the armor impacted with the ground.” Friday noted the interest in the reactor. “I would highly advise against anything that could interfere with the reactor.”
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#14
Steve had told him that this Tony was a good man, and Arjay was clinging to that statement for dear life. He had to remind himself more than once that ‘good’ and ‘pleasant’ didn’t always go hand in hand, and that not only people that were pleasing company deserved to be helped. Yes, that drink was going to be completely necessary…

“Pale ‘dark elves,’” Arjay said dryly. “Your people have odd naming conventions.” He wasn’t sure what ‘racist’ meant, casting yet another raised eyebrow in Steve’s direction when it was brought up, but didn’t pursue it. Tony appeared to be talking largely to hear himself talk. He was, more than likely, the sort who was used to being listened to solely because he was talking, at least that’s how he came across, and he was trying to take command of this encounter. Well, good for him.

He took offered drink, sniffing it, then giving a look of understanding. “Ah, whiskey.” He took a sip of it, testing it, then nodded as he took a more substantial drink. “Very smooth, very strong… is it truly the best in your world? Have you tried them all?” It was possible that the man had… it all depended on how much he drank. “I’ll have to treat you to a few from my world so that we can see how they compare. I’ll admit I’m not a good critic, wines are much more my expertise.”

Of course, the man was going to say he didn’t have a problem. That was why he was up and about with, apparently, a hole in his skull. At the snap of his fingers, Arjay’s eyes narrowed, for the first time showing his impatience with the man. He wasn’t sure what ‘Link’ meant, but he was rather sure it wasn’t a compliment. “Well,” he said, over-emphasizing his patient tone, as one might with a particularly petulant child, “As your mysterious voice says, that is apparently a rather important concern. What does it do? How deep is it? I’ll need to understand that if I’m to do this.” And then, he stopped addressing Tony altogether and spoke into the air, where the more informative voice was coming from. “As it stands, nothing that you’ve mentioned should take more than two spells, if that, exept for the missing piece of skull. Do you happen to still have the piece that was removed? If we can set it back in place, the matter should be simple. If it’s lost, then I’ll need to start him regenerating, in which case, I need to know more about the nature of what he’s done to himself.”
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#15
When Worlds Collide

Being corrected by Tony Stark was old hat. Dimension, not space. Okay, whatever Tony said, Steve just accepted it with an easy nod and a half shrug, ”Alright, Different Dimension Elves. Who came to Earth in a space ship.” Steve took Tony’s rambling about the dark elves that Thor had defeated (with help from his human friends) in England entirely in stride, accepting what Tony had to say as the truth without question. In fact, Steve seemed more amused than anything…

Until Tony asked about how long to hold someone’s mistakes against them, anyway.

That hit like a ton of bricks. Steve winced, his easy amusement dropping off of his face immediately, head dipping slightly toward the ground, even if he did look thoughtful, there was a hint of shame there, too. ”I suppose that depends on what they did. It’s awfully subjective.”

Steve didn’t raise his eyes again until they were back to discussing the reason that Arjay was actually here. If Tony wanted to take a drink, Steve had no real right to stop him. They weren’t teammates anymore, Steve was no one’s leader these days, had no leg to stand on when it came to making decisions for anyone but himself. And while he still stubbornly strove to make sure that Tony didn’t hurt himself, that didn’t mean he felt that he had the right to tell Tony how to live his life. Not anymore. Maybe he never had.

But when they were discussing how to proceed, Steve looked up and his eyes caught the muted glow of the arc reactor, and that was why he had mentioned Friday helping with the list. He wasn’t sure if Tony would want to keep it or not; after all, he’d had it for years before he’d gotten rid of it, Steve wasn’t sure what had really inspired the man do that, to undergo that surgery. He also had no idea why it was back. And then Tony was snapping his fingers and Steve’s head jerked up in response, eyes not even trying to meet Tony’s, instead he looked to the ceiling as Friday spoke.

Arjay wanted to know if Tony had tried all the whiskey’s? It was possible, Steve had to admit, but he was also not looking forward to the answer. Tony was a good man; Steve still stood by that statement, but that didn’t mean he was perfect by any means. But when Tony said he didn’t have a problem with waiting, Steve snorted, muttering, ”Oh sure you don’t. You’ll just kill yourself by pushing too hard before you’re fully healed. Not a problem for you at all.”

“That’s not going away anytime soon.”
*
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Marvel-MCU-1

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Kel

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#16
I am Iron Man
Sometimes you gotta run before you can walk.

Genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist
“Didn’t name them.” came the quick repost, “What they called themselves; so again-” Tony gestured at the pair with the crystal tumbler in his hand. “Racist yes no?” Tony might be the last person to call himself ‘good’ not when he was being honest. He made enough mistakes for a lifetime...a few life times. From that first kid dead on the floor of the Humvee protecting him to the hundreds killed by Ultron, his creation; Tony knew damn well what his personal hell would look like. He saw it every night in his ‘sleep’ after all.

Tony had learned early that the more you talked, the better people let down their guard, charmed, or underestimating him when he was younger (or talking to wanna be gods, which he supposed defined the teachers and guardians he’d been assigned as a child.) dazzle them with babble. Aggravate them into giving up what they actually wanted. Or at least leaving him alone. Good thing he was genius at chatter.

“See!” Tony smiled, gesturing to Arjay, “A man that knows his whiskey. So does that mean that Rivendell has Whiskey? Oh don’t tell me there’s elfish moonshine. What’s that made out of? Dreams, stardust and someone’s socks?”

All of them? “Enough. Hell if I know. This is why i have people for. To go out and get me the ‘best’.” Tony honestly didn’t give two shits for the ‘best’ but at his level he had to stock it, it was expected and he hated to disappoint expectations after all.

Dark eyes hardened with bitterness, this whole convertion had layers, ones he wasn’t trying hard to uncover, Steve's sudden silence told him he’d hit a sore point. A victory in his battle to avoid what every ‘magic’ they wanted to subject him too, yet it was a loss for...well everything else wasn’t it?

“See the last guy that asked that?” Tony addressed Arjay, “Wanted to keep it for himself. Sorry proprietary tech and all that, i’m sure you understand. Some spells you don’t even tell your mom am i right?”

His skull? That was..disturbing. Thankfully the glass in his hand provided a needed distraction from that train of thought.

“It has been saved.” Came Friday’s voice from above them.

“While I hope Sir will prove..amiable to your assistance, perhaps you would indulge us by demonstrating the ‘spells’ you would perform?”

And then Steve just had to start.

“It is only my problem Rogers!” Tony hissed, fingers clamping around his glass. Tony had teased enough out of his reluctant AI to put together a picture of what the last year looked like and- “From what I get? You gave up giving a shit. So no not a problem for anyone but me.” Tony turned his smile to Arjay. “Look. You seem like a great elf guy. Neat sword by the way.” he nodded to the item still in Steve’s care. “Thanks for dropping by and next time you stop by we can get pizza.” Tony kept smiling the expression never reaching his eyes, “They have pizza in the Lonely Woods?” he had moved towards Arjay, arm out towards the doors, body language clearly expecting him to get up and go.

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Dungeons and Dragons-Forgotten Realms

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Mike

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#17
This man was one of the worst types he could have hoped to be treating. He had some sort of device implanted into his body, something that would obviously be a concern when being healed, but he wouldn’t discuss it because it was proprietary. Why, oh why, did the rich think that anyone else gave a used fig about their little secrets? He was the last person who would care a whit about what little trinkets he’d come up with, but here he was, trying to hamper the healing.

It was his dismissal of Steve’s concerns that really grated at Arjay’s nerves, though. He’d known many people who would put themselves in danger, pretending that their injuries were only their own, that they did not cause pain and worry for those around them, those who couldn’t help but care for them. Oh, his obvious little snide remarks about elves and what Arjay assumed were legendary places associated with elves on their world weren’t helping, either. “Yes,” he said, looking vaguely toward Tony, “Yes, I believe I will.” Was he talking to Tony? Well, probably not, given that the next thing he did was to grab the man by the arm.

The words he muttered were strange, words never heard on earth. His hand, gripping Tony’s arm, began to glow with a light that was purer than white, a light that they could almost hear as a ringing note vibrating through to their souls. The effects were immediate. The lingering injuries, the bruises were healed, the scrapes and cuts healed themselves, the cracked bones knitted back together. The only things left were the incisions in his head, the bones unable to seal closed with a piece missing, the skin similarly slow to close. A second spell, chanted mere seconds after the first, shot through Tony, clearing his mind, freeing it of the shackles that injury had placed upon it.

“Make light of yourself as much as you like, sir,” he said, still gripping Tony’s arm, “But not the care that others have for you. It’s more precious than any of the ‘proprietary’ secrets that you put so much more stock in than your life.” Golden eyes never left Tony’s as he released his arm. “Now. Am I going to fix everything else? Or will this favor be considered one offense further than those visited to me?”
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Marvel-MCU

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Nyte

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#18
When Worlds Collide

Steve was beginning to think he was a fairly hateful person. He hated Tony’s fake smiles, not because they weren’t nice, but because Tony didn’t mean them. Because Tony used them to cover up other, important things like pain and sorrow. He also hated the glass in Tony’s hand, much for the same reason. It was a cover, it was a crutch, and Tony was stronger than that. ”I wouldn’t think calling a group of people by the title they give themselves would be racist.” His voice was easy here; responding to Tony’s chatter was nothing new for Steve, and the fact that Tony was chattering was, Steve thought, a good sign. At least he was interacting and not just slamming the door in their faces. It meant they had a chance at this to go well.

Whiskey didn’t, he hoped, affect magic the way it would medication. Friday wouldn’t let Tony drink if it would interfere with the medications currently in his system, Steve trusted that entirely. And if Arjay’s magic worked, then Tony wouldn’t continue to even need the medication he was now taking. Win-win, if they could get Tony to see it that way. ”Arjay is... He’s from… I don’t know, but it’s beautiful there, Tony. It’s represented here, just like New York is, if you wanted to go later, I know where it is here.” The offer sounded so… Hopeful. If Tony were to let Arjay heal him, then there was no reason that Tony couldn’t go out and take a walk, to see the world they had found themselves in.... Of course, the hopeful part was also that Tony would even agree to go anywhere (even a walk) with Steve.

The comment about ‘holding mistakes against you’ dug at Steve. How long would Tony hold Siberia against him? Steve couldn’t say that he even deserved forgiveness, so he had no way of saying that it should even happen, let alone how long it should take. That was entirely up to Tony. Steve went quiet, because really, what more was there to say about it? Tony didn’t remember, and couldn’t forgive him, and that was that.

The muttered words had been filled with concern and frustration. Tony’s words in return were…

They were blows that struck Steve full on. Only his problem. ”Really, Tony?!” Steve was nearly incredulous. ”You know what? For someone so damn smart, you’re an idiot. Is this only your problem the way it was only your problem when you were dying and couldn’t be bothered to tell Pepper or Rhodey? Because maybe you don’t realize it, but other people are affected when you’re not well; the people who care about you!” He all but shook at Tony’s accusation, eyes glaring at the ceiling, not because of any betrayal, but if Friday were going to drop pieces of the last year for Tony, she could have at least warned him about it! ”Do I look like I don’t care?!” Hands fisted at his sides, Steve’s eyes were on Tony now, jaw clenched so tightly that there was a muscle there twitching, not from anger, Steve wasn’t angry, he was frustrated and hurting. ”I made decisions, and I don’t know, maybe I was wrong about some of it, or all of it, but that doesn’t mean I stopped caring. I’m sorry I haven’t been there over the last year, but it wasn’t because I didn’t want to be, it was because I couldn’t come home. Coming home, or trying to, because I couldn’t do it anymore was how I ended up here!” Steve hadn’t told anyone that; but at the moment he didn’t care. For the first time since Tony had mentioned holding mistakes against someone, Steve met his eyes, ”So how long do you hold someone’s mistakes against them? Because no matter how long that is, Tony, I’ll still be ‘giving a shit’ when it’s over.”

Steve’s stance shifted, his fists going limp as he finished, shaking his head, ”Now please, Tony. Arjay is a good man, just like you are, and he is only here to help. If we can heal your injuries, then we can take a look at where we are and figure out how to get you home instead of worrying about your health, because even if you think it’s only your problem, that isn’t going to stop Friday, me, and Justin from worrying about it.”

And then Arjay just grabbed Tony and… Healed him. Without Tony’s consent.

Well, that was definitely one way to get it done without too much of a problem with it. But Steve knew that Tony wasn’t going to take it well. Eyes widened just slightly, Steve moved to Tony, stepping directly into his line of sight, between Tony and Arjay, watching carefully. ”Tony?” his voice was cautious, concerned, but also hopeful. There was nothing dismissive toward Arjay in the gesture, but Steve’s attention was on Tony first and foremost, and on his new friend second. Tony had been through a lot, Steve knew that, and… ”Tony has a habit of placing too many things before his health and life, Arjay. He might be the most selfless man I’ve ever known.” If the words were warm and affectionate, so sue him. ”Please, Tony… Let him finish. Let yourself be whole and well again…”

“That’s not going away anytime soon.”
*
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Marvel-MCU-1

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Kel

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#19
I am Iron Man
Sometimes you gotta run before you can walk.

Genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist
“Right but again...white efly people calling themselves ‘dark’-” Tony’s mouth twisted into a ‘eh’ wiggling his hand back and forth. “Slippery slope.”

Oh look Captain Freedom pants had finally done the reading.

“My choice. Captain. My life. My death. They couldn’t do anything but spend the time I had trying and failing to fix me. Why the hell would I do that to them?!”

There were things you just didn’t do to people; one was touch them without consent, and another was you know using weird ass ‘magic’ on them. Especially with Tony Stark. So when elf boy pulled his come to jesus moment Tony was mentally stunned; unfortunately not just by the sudden lack of pain, or ditching the head throbbing ache he’d low key just dealt with. His brain might be stunned, but his body wasn’t.

Red and gold metal snapped into place around his defensively raised hands, repulsed charging with their signature whine when Steve placed himself between Tony and his attacker. Clear minded and his faculties returning to him, Tony only had one panicked thought; ‘He doesn’t have his SHIELD!’

There were lines he wouldn’t cross, hurting Steve (or more likely killing him) because of a knee jerk response from his PTSD was was of them. The orange laced beam of pure energy splattered mostly harmlessly on his now armored leg, red and gold encased him, FRIDAY and the autonomic protocols built in reacting to his distress and desire, need for protection.

“Correct me if i’m wrong but I didn’t shove any of my tech down your pointy eared throat!” Tony’s voice was harsh through the suits filters, Arjay might have fixed most of the physical injuries, but his magic had only reopened mental scars in turn.

The helmet slid back to reveal his expression, rage mixed with panic, with a dash of betrayal. “Trusting the wrong people with my ’proprietary’ tech has killed more people than you’ve met Legolas! So no I’m not going to put it above my one life!!”

And there was Steve, shielding him from the elf? Or shielding magic guy from him?

Tony wanted to believe the former, his mind however pessimistically assumed the latter. “You don’t know what he did!” Tony had been stepping backwards from the pair, halting once he reached both a safe distance and once he realized he’d been retreating. “For all you know he planted something in my head!”

“Sir…” The soft voice sounded even more delicate the usual, but her soft brough didn’t disguise FRIDAY’s unhappiness for Arjay’s actions, he’d healed her boss...but also upset him. “My scans picked up the energy-” Holo displays popped up giving Tony access to all the information she’d gathered. “There is no sign of anything like what Loki or the Scarlet Witch attempted.”

“And also the injuries from your impact seem to...have vanished, beyond the missing skull piece.”

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Dungeons and Dragons-Forgotten Realms

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Mike

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#20
Bless Steve’s heart for stepping between them. Had he not… well, that blast that the man had sent scorching across his armor might have killed him. Well, then, if that was how it was going to be… Arjay, in one smooth motion, defiantly yanked his sword from the distracted hero and thrust it back in to his belt. He maintained a very strict view of hospitality, and one of the tenants of that view was that when you were threatened, you had a right to have your blasted weapon on you. Oh, he didn’t draw it, but having it was enough of a statement, if this man was wise enough to see it. At the moment, Arjay doubted that very much.

“I was asked for a demonstration. How else did anyone think I would be able to do that? It’s wonderful to see that you’re feeling better, by the way, sir,” Arjay shot back. It might have been delivered lightheartedly with a smile, but at the moment, the man had just been about to kill him, if not for Steve’s intervention. Arjay’s humor was officially gone.

The man’s tantrum raised conflicting retorts from Arjay over different parts of his complaint, so he went with the part that had been gnawing at him longer. “My name is Arjay Lo’Ran, and I think, sir, that your brain is no longer addled enough for you to remember that!” he shot back, teeth clenched. “Or shall I start addressing you in kind with names that have no relevance except that I know them to be human? Shall I limit it by those who are self-destructive and arrogant as well? I assure you, it doesn’t narrow the list as much as you might think.” Oh, look, it seemed that they weren’t worrying about being racist. “And stop trying to inflate your importance, I’m neither sheltered enough or gullible enough to believe that telling me the function would in any way allow me to replicate that, even if I came from a world that gave me the background knowledge to even begin to work on such a project. You were using the excuse to be dismissive and obstructive, with the apparent boost to your self-importance probably not hurting either.”

At the accusation of mind-tampering, Arjay threw his hands up in exasperation pacing in a frustrated circle. “Is it considered common or polite to accuse those who are called to heal you of absolute evil on your world?” Arjay shot angrily at Steve before turning his words back to Tony. “I have no magic that could do that, for that exact reason, you ungrateful fool! I’d explain what all of my magic did, if I didn’t think that you’d just be dismissive and insulting about it because you knew you had no chance of really understanding it.” His hand was kept decidedly away from his sword hilt, more to resist temptation than to appear non-confrontational. By contrast, he was completely unsurprised that the technology could detect his magic. It was, after all, energy of a sort, and it should register as something, should it not? It did make him curious, though, what his magic could detect of the technology… but this wasn’t the time. He had several spells he wanted to cast to protect himself, and that was at the bottom of his list of spells he was willing to take the risk of casting.
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