|Tony Stark (in_extremis) wrote in oh_marvelous,|
@ 2011-09-12 12:16:00
|Entry tags:||z: om1: !complete, z: om1: character: tony stark, z: om1: character: wanda maximoff, z: om1: location: new york|
Characters: Wanda and Tony
Setting: Evening, around New York.
Summary: Tony's been sober for a year and needs help figuring out what that means.
The medallion was a little different but still familiar. Holding it in his pocket, Tony could feel the relief of the Roman I on the front of it and the stamped quote on the back, but it didn't feel heavy, in any way. In his office, in the pocket of a jacket hung up in the closet that hadn't been worn in over a year, he still had a medallion that he never turned in with a bold VI on the front of it and a lot of guilt probably stretching the weave of the lining. He avoided Henry for months last year-- more than a year ago. Now he was back to I. That was only the beginning of the insincerity Tony felt holding the chip. Did that night in Vegas count as a relapse?
Some people in the group he knew celebrated their anniversary as a birthday, with a cake and cards congratulating them on their milestones. Celebration never really felt right, though. Rock bottom didn't seem like something that deserved a pat on the back, especially when you kept going back down there like you forgot something really important last time. Tony didn't know if Pepper remembered the date or if it was just another Monday bringing a swift end to her weekend and forcing her to deal with him again, but she was easy enough (suspiciously so) to subvert and send home early so he could make it, just a little bit late, to a meeting. The coffee was terrible, but he kept drinking it, and the group was small so he could catch each person's eye when he cracked a joke when they asked if he wanted to share. He would have to come back, he told them, he promised, because he hadn't been to a meeting for a few months and hadn't given himself the time to have the moment of clarity yet. Some of them patted him on the back. They reminded him that he wasn't celebrating his last drink, but his sobriety. Tony wasn't sure yet.
The bright point, he knew, even if he didn't know much else, was that he managed not to alienate so many patient, supportive and extraordinary people, no matter how hard he tried. But after the meeting, as everyone else went home and he loitered on the steps of the church, leg bouncing with all of that caffeine and fingering the medallion in his pocket, he felt as detached as he had a year ago. It wasn't a night he fully trusted himself to spend alone, but he couldn't stand the idea of going back to the Tower and seeing Steve still there after everything Tony did to him. Happy, too, and Pepper, who endured even more and who's only sin was expecting less of him than Captain America did, and who had someone much more important to take care of. Tony flipped the chip into his palm to pull out his phone, his brain feeling like static without a reliable signal, and quickly dialed before he changed his mind. "Hey," he said, talking over Wanda's greeting. "I just-- I, um..." he stumbled and pinched the bridge of his nose, eyes squeezed shut, berating himself and regrouping before he made any more inefficient noises. "What are you doing tonight?"