Everything You Want Already Exists
Some days he remembers he’s a liar, others he remembers he’s a god.
Loki tells the truth when no one’s paying attention, weaving it in and out between the falsehoods. No one notices, one noticed, they talk over him, he listens to him, they speak of redemption, he doesn’t.
Some days he forgets he’s a hero, others he forgets he can die.
Tony talks and talks and talks, and somewhere in all the mess of words, he actually says something. They’ve stopped listening to him, he listened, they say his name like it’s the definition of disappointment, he says it like a prayer, they want him to change, he doesn’t.
it doesn’t matter how many “pretend to be dating” fics i read, i’m always fucking in it headfirst every time and i fall for that shit every time. i know the pattern i know the plot twists i know what’s gonna happen but every single fucking time i’m fucking on the edge of my seat wide-eyed whispering like “what’s gonna happen are they gonna fall in love” to myself like of course they are you fucking idiot this happens EVERY TIME but as soon as i see the description and it’s like “x person and x person pretend to do the dating” it’s eternal sunshine of the stupidest fucking mind over here
I’ve been thinking a lot about why Tony/Rhodey isn’t popular with fandom. To those of us who ship it, it seems like the most obvious pairing of all time, but obviously not everyone agrees.
Now, I’m not going to beat around the bush—I think about 50% of the reason is racism. Pairing featuring black men have historically not done as well as white dude/white dude pairing; it’s difficult to ignore the patterns at this point. But honestly, I don’t think Tony/Rhodey would be terribly popular even if Rhodey were white.
I’m assuming this based largely on the sudden popularity of Steve/Bucky post-CA2. Now, as someone who’s been a Steve/Bucky shipper since Livejournal was in its heyday, I’m totally delighted by this, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that it happened now. When the pairing got really angsty.
That’s the problem with Tony/Rhodey: it’s not angsty. At all. It’s literally the opposite of angsty.
Now, I’m not anti-angst. (The fic I’m writing at the moment is about 90% angst, no joke.) But it’s a weirdly good predictor of how popular a pairing will be with fandom, and I just can’t figure out why.
This is definitely the factor that makes the most sense to me. I’ve seen lots of the same kind of speculation around ships like Thor/Jane, people asking why no one writes about Jane, don’t they like her? Are we all slightly misogynistic? And I love Jane, Jane is great. She’s smart and independent. But her life is whole as it is. It doesn’t need to be fixed.
People with fundamental flaws are so interesting to write about, because you can introduce various factors and then ask the question, what would go wrong? There are so many possibilities. But with stable, grounded personalities like Jane’s and Rhodey’s, the answer to that question tends to be less interesting.
I love to put Thor/Jane in the background of my other fics, but I don’t tend to come up with ideas for them that would carry a central plot. The same is true with Rhodey and any ships I might put him in. He’s sensible enough that he’s able to sidestep a lot of the drama that would make a story centered on him compelling.
With Tony in the mix, you add a lot of unpredictability, but he also makes himself the center of the story, and there’s also a certain extent to which their relationship seems to have settled - Tony himself never will be, but Rhodey’s adjusted to that fact, and seems pretty determined not to get dragged into that mess on an emotional level. Rhodey knows who he is, what his priorities are, and in my series on his and Tony’s friendship, I explore what that has to do with his background, both as a black child in Philadelphia and as a well-respected military officer.
This is one of the reasons why, when I do ship Rhodey with someone, I like it to be a new presence in his life, so that tension can be created while Rhodey is still figuring out who this new person is and what they want from each other. I have this weird little fixation on the idea of a Rhodey/Darcy relationship in which there is an immediate attraction and they fall into bed but then Rhodey agonizes over whether he’s taking advantage of this young innocent girl who he doesn’t actually want to have a relationship with. Tension continues until he actually does talk to her about it, upon which he discovers that she’s actually shamelessly taking advantage of him and she hopes he’ll continue to do the same to her as long as they’re both enjoying it. They then linger near the top of each other’s booty call lists for a while. (This dynamic appears briefly in the background of my main frostiron series.)
It’s hard for me to see Rhodey in an actual relationship with any of the Marvel characters, because they are so full of emotional drama, and while Rhodey appreciates action and danger, I don’t see emotional drama as being on his list of things he’ll actively seek out. That said, there is a wonderful Rhodey/Bruce fic that I absolutely adore, The Opposite of Trouble, which works an interesting angle - Rhodey only wades into the situation because he perceives the Hulk as being a physical threat to Tony, and by the time his experience has proved that fear unfounded, Rhodey is unwittingly attached.
So, it can be done, but it’s difficult, and for myself, I’ve found that if I’m going to put out the effort to write something difficult for the sake of a political message or a representational balance, I want it to be something I can legally sell. So my original work is where I make that push to put POC and other oppressed people front and center, and when I write fic, it’s usually to resolve the tension that seems inherent in the source material.
Anonymous asked: Why is a tiny purple archer and his giant green boyfriend the best thing ever?
This sounds like a challenge and I shall take it as such.
A tiny purple archer and his giant green boyfriend is the very best and most important thing ever because, one, giant green boyfriend is also a tiny precious scientist with a penchant for weed and has freckles and curly brown hair and big doe eyes and the tiny purple archer is also a hic from Iowa who can’t tie his sweatpants without reciting a kids poem and drinks coffee by the barrel every morning, and mixing those two together is like adding syrup on a grilled cheese sandwich; you question it at first, wonder if the sweetness will over power the cheesy-ness, and then you shrug, dive in, and have the time of your life, because they offset eachother perfectly.
That, my dear anon, is why they are the very best thing; they work in the very best way, and I will go down with this ship, understand?