Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Iron Man Crossover (Self-Made Hero)
Summary: Actually, Rhodey's the best sidekick, but don't tell him. He might get ideas. -Tony
Word Count: 380
“Watch yourself. People might start thinking you’re my sidekick or something,” he tells Angel, who rolls his eyes.
“Yeah, if that involves making sure you don’t kill yourself and make Buffy upset.” Or get himself killed being an idiot, which would be equally as bad.
He shrugs his shoulders like it doesn’t matter. “It’s not like there’s a long list of contenders.”
There’s something quiet and helpless in the voice, but what’s probably worse is that it sounds like he’s resigned to it. Like it’s natural.
“Seriously. Are you okay?” He knows that it’s breaking the code, that they’re not supposed to talk about it, that however much Xander teases him about brooding and never talking about anything, let alone his feelings…Xander needs this. Intervention. Someone to step in. Even if it’s probably already too late.
“Batvamp.” Angel suppresses a sigh. “Look around. We’re living in a freakin’ warzone with not so much as SHIELD to have our backs. I’m living with the memories of several haunted alcoholics with PTSD in my head. Tensions are running high amongst my friends, i.e. fellow soldiers, which makes sense but doesn’t lead to good team-building. I’ve got at least five sets of memories where that led to the death of everyone I know and loved. I don’t even have my suit, which would at least make me valuable and a person again in the eyes of my friends. Even though I can fight, they won’t let me unless they don’t know about it.” He shrugs, eyes burning. There’s so much emotion there that Angel can’t even read. “It’s a losing war but that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop fighting.”
And that…that isn’t broken or hopeless or anything else. It’s kind of sweet, honestly, though Angel’s never going to say that.
“They appreciate more. They just don’t realize they do,” he corrects, because it’s something he can say, and that gets a lopsided smile.
“Whatever you say,” he says, just humoring him, and then, softer, “…Thanks, big guy.”
“…I’m not the Hulk,” Angel grumbles, and that gets a wide, delighted grin, which is the only reason he even bothered to say it out loud.
“Wow, you’re not a total philistine! There’s hope for you yet!” Xander claps the vampire on the back, hard.