Alternate stories

Damn liberals!

This is my first slash story involving Tony Stark, with Peter Parker as the love interest. Now, I love Tony/Pepper, but I can't help it, I like the idea of Tony and Peter getting together. RDJ has chemistry with everyone -male or female, (even a disembodied voice, like JARVIS), plus he and Tobey Maguire look great together.

I have a couple of longer stories on the works, one with Spiderman and the other with an OC but I won't start posting them until (or unless) they're completed. But those will be dramas; this one's just for fun, (though it may not seem so in the beginning).

Oh, and if you hate slash then for goodness sake, don't read.

"... So I went to General Masters," Cnel. James T. Rhodes said, "But you know how it is; the General, he's not gonna put his butt on the line unless he knows he's gonna come up on top."

"Uh, huh."

Rhodes frowned. Tony had been mumbling, 'yeah,' and 'uh, huh,' but it was obvious he wasn't really listening; he was fidgeting, his attention seemingly torn between his computer and the bar on the opposite side of the room.

He'd been doing that all evening.

Finally, Tony stopped pretending; he rose and made a beeline to the bar. He selected a bottle and a glass, poured himself a very generous drink, downed it in a single gulp, then poured himself another -his sixth in less than an hour.

'But who's counting,' Rhodes thought wearily. Actually, he was. Without meaning to, he'd been keeping tags all along. That's what you did when you became a friend of Tony Stark: You watched for signs of danger.

Watching Tony now, Rhodes couldn't help thinking how terrifying this would be if that bottle held whisky or vodka like in the old days. Yet the fact that Tony was guzzling mineral water didn't make the scene any less troubling. The point was that Tony Stark was hitting the bottle; he had 'issues' and whatever they were, they should be dealt with before they escalated.

After all, mineral water could be murder on one's kidneys.

Rhodes cleared his throat.

"So, Tony. Anything bothering you lately?"

Tony gave him a sour look.

Rhodey smiled. "That bad, huh?"

Tony scowled.

"Damn liberals."

Now, that was the last thing Rhodes expected to hear.

"Since when do care about politics? And since when are you a Conservative?"

"I'm not."

"Then why...?"

Tony sighed. "You wouldn't understand."

"Try me."

Tony didn't immediately reply. He looked completely demoralized, all of a sudden.

"I don't get it, Rhodey," he said at last. "There was a time when being a guy meant something -" he struggled for a word. "Something good. We had all the advantages, you know? No ties, no compromises -"

"What the hell are you talking about?"

Tony stalled. He poured himself more mineral water but took only a moderate sip this time. Then he said, aloud.

"JARVIS, get me the CNN tape, will you?"

"Again? I mean, yes, Mr. Stark."

Tony reluctantly looked at the TV screen mounted on the wall.

Rhodey looked up too. The sound was off, but he could see images filmed in some large city, New York, most probably. People were cheering on the streets; young men waved at the camera, young women hugged... It looked like they were celebrating the end of a war.

And then a headline from a newspaper appeared on the screen; The Daily Bugle announcing, "GAY MARRIAGE NOW LEGAL IN NEW YORK"

The TV screen went dark after that.

"That's it?" Rhodey said, "What does that... Uh-oh."

Suddenly, it all made sense. The drinking bout, Tony's testiness...

Rhodes cleared his throat again.

"So, your -" He almost said 'boyfriend', but stopped himself on time. That was a forbidden word in Tony's world, (which was kind of stupid, considering the man's behavior these past six months). "So, your 'pal', Peter Parker...?"

Tony didn't reply.

"Oh, shit," Rhodey muttered. He didn't know what to say. He was sorry it had come to this. He kind of liked Parker; the young man had a calming effect on Tony. But if he thought Tony Stark would hop on the marriage train, then he wasn't as smart as he looked. "So. I guess this means Iron Man won't be flying to New York every Friday night from now on, huh."

Tony looked away.

"What happened? Did he actually pop the question?"

"No -"

"Then why are you -"

"'Cause it's only a matter of time," Tony said with a glare. "We were ok as long as we didn't have the option! But now it's there. And I -"


"I... I've been -" He didn't finish. Instead, he went back to the bar and picked another bottle.

Frowning, Rhodes looked around for some clue of Tony's behavior, then noticed the computer still open on the desk.

On a hunch, Rhodes went to it and looked at the screen.

"Son of a bitch," he muttered. He couldn't believe it; he'd poured his heart out, telling Tony all about his recent problems in the army, and all along that bastard had been googling male jewelry!

Rings, for God's sake. Rings!


Rhodey started to laugh.

"You, Tony? You are shopping for rings? Oh, God, you really are screwed!"

Tony shrugged.

"Damn liberals," he muttered.

He didn't bother with a glass this time.

The End