#headcanon that when stark restarts shield#and brings nick back in#he sets up nick’s computer access so it follows his good eye#and whatever pops does so in front of him#wherever he’s looking#and also takes into account any depth perception issues due to only having the one eye#and tony just does it because he sort of makes for easier user access because he imagines no one else gets as much done as he does#he does the same thing for bruce’s computer access at the tower#doing research and eliminating triggers and flashing things from the interface#and generally subtly eliminating stress-inducing material#i just really like my headcanon that tony knows his friends have disabilities and works to accommodate them#and also sometimes he sends pepper in to give bruce a hug#because bruce needs hugs#and pepper is very good at them
Okay can we talk about Mercutio and Benvolio for a minute please?
Mercutio does not actually die on-stage. He is stabbed by Tybalt, makes a few puns and the odd dick joke (as one would), and then asks Benvolio to help him “into some house”. They go off-stage and Benvolio…
I have spent years complaining about Benvolio’s inexplicable disappearance from the play to anyone who would listen. I AM DOWN FOR THIS. (Also, Rosaline.)
Give me all the fics where not only does Rhodey already know Sam, the Air Force actually brought him in on training the EXO-Falcon candidates, because who better to teach them to fly without an aircraft than the man who taught himself? After all, Tony was at home synthesizing a…
"why shouldn’t i kill you? how many of us have you murdered?"
Chris crouches on his haunches, his pistol hanging heavy and cold in his hand, watching Derek’s suddenly unconscious form. Fear and worry war in his blood, alternating waves of chill and static fire. The stillness of a crypt settles over the office, so cloying the sunlight beats loudly on the desk, assaulting Chris’s keyed senses. The lighter fluid stings his nose and eyes, but he is part of this tableau, unmoving.
Derek’s chest rises and falls gently, and a drop of his blood splashes a stain on the floor.
He stirs. And Chris is on his feet at the speed of a howling instinct that drives him back a step just in case. Something small and black—a fly—crawls from Derek’s parted lips, and Chris fights the urge to recoil in disgust.
Derek jerks and blinks awake, and his eyes roam the office wildly as his features reconfigure themselves into human. He wipes his mouth, smearing blood on the back of his hand, and then stares at the rug, soaked and stinking of lighter fluid, and pales as his gaze lifts. He remembers; small no no no nos escape on an exhale. By the time their eyes meet, Derek is scrambling backward, and he doesn’t stop until his back is against the bookshelf and he cannot get further away.
Words try to coalesce on his tongue, but they scatter to ash, leaving him silent and horrified. He frowns slightly, shaking his head, and focuses first at the busted chair on the floor, then at the window. The things he’d said, the threats he’d made, replay baldly across his face as he starts to shiver from emotions just barely crusted over.
He looks … like an innocent betrayed.
Slowly, with one hand stretched in a calming gesture, Chris sets his gun on the desk. Fatigue pulls at his muscles as the adrenaline wears off, and he has to struggle to keep his hand steady. But he doesn’t look away. Can’t quite trust enough to look away, even though he’s never seen Derek look so wounded and so small.
“Derek?” he ventures.
The reply is an almost imperceptible nod and hard swallow.
Chris glances down at his soaked clothes and back up. He … should probably not be covered in accelerant. Should probably not leave Derek huddled on the floor, either. “I’ll be right back. Don’t go anywhere.” He threads a little command into his tone and gauges the quality of the frown that crosses Derek’s face. “All right?” he adds more softly. A kindness.
Derek swallows again, eyes still saucer-wide, and nods. His shoulders ease as he stops trying to press himself through the shelf behind him. He shivers again and crosses his arms to hug himself, the thumbholes in his shirtsleeves giving him a childlike air.
“All right,” Chris says.
He hurries to his room for a change of clothes and decides that maybe washing the lighter fluid from his hair would make a good kind of sense. He might feel less like an accident waiting to happen. He steps back into the office to find Derek pressing paper towels from the kitchen onto the rug, on his knees like a scullery maid. He doesn’t stop just because Chris walked in, either, and Chris can’t decide if he should stop him or let him finish. This is contrition. Guilt. But he’s fairly sure that that wasn’t Derek any more than Stiles has been Stiles.
“You don’t have to do that,” he says, which makes Derek pause but not look up.
“Pretty sure I do,” comes the low reply.
So he lets him finish and doesn’t miss the set of his mouth as he tosses the towels away.
He isn’t sure how to start, but it hammers against his ribs. This revelation. He wonders if anyone has seen Derek in so many pieces.
“I forget sometimes,” he says, a rough sorrow in his voice, “how young you are.”
Derek gives him a sharp, wary look and leans against the desk, unsure.
It was all there. Made plain by the twist of his mouth and the hysterical laugh as he waved the lighter. Everything he hid under stone and anger, the child he was cowering beneath a shield.
“How young you were,” Chris says.
Derek blinks slowly, pain flooding his eyes, and still says nothing. He crosses his arms over his chest and waits.
“Six years … isn’t much time. And I— You hide it.” Chris thinks back over his own history. A childhood of training, killing, loss. “Better than most.”
Derek lifts a shoulder, like he isn’t sure if it’s a compliment, or if he’s accepting compliments at the moment.
“So it’s easy to forget that you’re not much older than my daughter. And you didn’t ask for any of this.”
Derek’s frown deepens, and his gaze drops to the floor. “What I said, I didn’t—“ A cracking whisper.
“Mean it?” Chris offers and ambles a little closer, forcing Derek to look up. His whole body aches with grief, because this is a kid. A ruined teenager, an angry young man, who everyone expects to be an adult. He can see it now; won’t ever unsee it. “I think maybe a part of you did”—Derek takes a breath to object, but Chris presses on—“and I think a part of me deserved it. You have … so much to be angry about.” He lets out a humorless little chuckle. “Hell, I was angry at your age for a lot less.”
Derek’s body lifts in sardonic snort, and he goes back to staring at the floor.
Chris watches him for a second, trying to catalogue his own guilts. “I’m sorry,” he says eventually. “I didn’t know what she was doing, but I didn’t stop her either. And you were just a kid. And then you come back here, and I—” He thinks of the busted Camaro window. “I—” The words die.
Derek’s pulled himself so far in he’s vibrating with tension. Fighting so hard for control.
A tear briefly flashes down Derek’s cheek before disappearing into the literal mask of his beard—another reason it’s easy to forget. If the light hadn’t been just right, Chris would’ve missed it.
Instead, something falls off the shelf inside.
Maybe this wasn’t a mess he made, but it’s his to clean up. As adults do.
He moves closer and puts a hand on Derek’s shoulder. Lightly, at first, tentative. Derek jerks his head up to stare at him, but it lacks malice. Lacks everything but confusion, hurt, and unshed tears.
“I’m sorry,” Chris says again, squeezing Derek’s shoulder for emphasis. Sorry for the history of our lives. For my blind spots. My cruelty. That I am the legacy of a war older than us both.
Derek looks at him with a frown, uncomprehending. “I almost killed you,” he says, determined to be guilty of something in all this.
Chris smirks, letting his hand fall away. “If it’s all the same, I think I’ll focus on the ‘almost.’” He steps back at the sound of Derek’s huffed laugh and bends down to pick up a broken stick that used to be an armrest. He points one end in Derek’s direction. “But you do owe me a new chair.”