Iron Man Armored Adventures
Summary: True friends don't attempt to isolate.
Word Count: 475
Tony’s been quiet. Rhodey knows that’s a bad sign, especially since he’s only halfheartedly tinkering with those stupid AIM things again. He must be still upset about his fight with Whitney. That he’d refused to tell them about. Pepper had been triumphant until about an hour after school had ended, at which point she’d gotten worried about mopey Tony.
“Would you guys still be friends with me if I wasn’t rich?” he asks abruptly, derailing Rhodey and Pepper’s cautious conversation.
Rhodey frowns. “Look, man, if this is about Stane, don’t worry. You’ll inherit the company in a year, and until then we’ll help you deal with anything that comes your way. That’s what friends do.”
“Yeah! Besides, taking down evil supervillains and CEOs is super cool! I just wish I could get more of the action sometimes.” Pepper’s eyes light up. “You know what, Tony, you could make me a jet pack! With lasers! Not that I don’t want a SHIELD-issued jetpack, because hello, SHIELD, but a lady can never have enough jetpacks!”
At least that gets Tony to smile. It’s a weak, scared smile, like he’s really worried about something, but it’s still a smile and that’s more than Rhodey’s achieved.
Rhodey smiles and forgives him for being annoying earlier. “T, seriously, what’s this about?”
He bites his lip and refuses to look up. “Nothing. It’s fine. Just a stupid question.”
Rhodey comes over and lays a comforting hand on Tony’s arm. Who now looks like he’s going to throw up. “The simple answer, Tony, is yes. The more complicated answer is that you wouldn’t be my rich, genius, eccentric, absent-minded-slash-sometimes-clueless, occasionally annoying friend if you weren’t, and that’s the guy who’s my best friend.”
That earns a brilliant, relieved smile, and Pepper chimes in.
“Grr, Rhodey, you stole the best lines! But yeah, Tony, you’re delusional if you think we wouldn’t be friends with you; I mean, it’s nice, especially if you’re feeling like being generous, but you’re Tony and you can be an idiot and selfish sometimes but you’re also a superhero and a really good friend; I mean, you could be nicer and listen to me more but you don’t just tell me to shut up or that I’m crazy or that no one could be friends with me because I’m too annoying, so I suppose I can forgive—“
By this point, Tony is beaming. Whatever had been eating at him is gone. “I’m glad you’re my friends, too.” He pauses. “If Whitney ever stops acting weird, I’d like it if you’d give her a chance.”
Rhodey glances at Pepper. “Are you okay with that?” he asks quietly, quietly enough that Tony doesn’t hear.
“Oh, there’s no chance of her changing the way she acts,” the redhead replies, smiling too, but she nods at Tony, who certainly looks happy enough.