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Don't Take The Blame

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Rhodey hadn’t been home that long before his phone rang. He walked over, faster than he could have a week ago, and picked it up.

He frowned when he saw that it was Tony who called him, and he answered, worry a steady presence in his gut.

“Tony, what’s wrong?” he immediately asked, because there had to be something wrong if Tony was calling him not three hours after Rhodey had left the tower.

“I’m so sorry,” Tony sobbed out as a greeting and Rhodey’s stomach dropped out.

“Tony are you okay?” Rhodey carefully asked but there was only harsh breathing at the other end for a few seconds.

“I’m not alright, and I can never tell you how sorry I am about what happened to you, that I let it happen to you, I can never make that better; I can’t make it right, and I can’t take it back and if I could take it on for you I would, god, I would die if that meant you could walk again, I’m so sorry. I love you so much and even that I could never get right and now you are hurt like that and I know you don’t sleep well but I don’t either, I always see you fall and I hear you crash and I am so sorry,” Tony managed to say, but his voice was breaking and shaking and Rhodey couldn’t breathe.

“Tony, what are you doing?” Rhodey very carefully asked.

“I’m not doing anything,” Tony whispered. “I’m apologizing for fucking up your life and getting you hurt and loving you, I guess.”

“Tony, what is going on. What happened?”

“You left,” Tony mumbled into the phone.

“I left before,” Rhodey cautiously said. “But I always come back.”

“Maybe you shouldn’t,” Tony gave back.

“Tony,” Rhodey said again, heart still beating heavily in his chest. “You are not hurting yourself, are you?”

“I got you hurt,” was all Tony said to that and Rhodey almost dropped the phone.

“I’m coming back now, don’t do anything,” he rushed out before he left his flat as fast as he could.

It took him almost fifteen minutes to get to the tower and Rhodey had never been more terrified than during those minutes. Images of Tony, hurt, bleeding, too still, swirled around in his mind and they made him sick and shaky.

When he finally made it to the tower Friday immediately brought him up to Tony’s floor.

Tony wasn’t there to greet him and it took Rhodey a second to spot him near a window.

“Tony,” he rushed out and then stumbled forward to get to Tony as quickly as possible.

“Tony, what did you do?” Rhodey asked and it was only then that Tony turned around.

“I hurt you,” he said again, like he had on the phone, voice just barely steady and Rhodey pulled him into a hug as soon as he could reach him.

“I got you hurt and I can never make it better,” Tony sobbed into his shoulder and Rhodey could feel him shaking in his grip.

“I don’t blame you, I never blamed you,” he told Tony, and held him close. “It wasn’t your fault and you did nothing wrong and I love you too, you didn’t fuck that up.”

Tony was shaking too much to answer now and Rhodey gently lowered them down to the floor, where he pulled Tony into his lap.

“I thought you would do something stupid,” Rhodey admitted and felt Tony shake his head.

“I wouldn’t do that to you,” he mumbled and Rhodey sighed. He would prefer it if Tony wouldn’t do that to himself, but he would take what he could get.

“You did nothing wrong, Tony,” Rhodey told him again, because it seemed like Tony didn’t believe that.

“Don’t leave me,” Tony whispered into his shirt, almost inaudible, and Rhodey squeezed him.

“I always come back to you, Tony, you have to know that. I would never leave you alone, I love you.”

Tony started to cry then, sobs wrecking his body and Rhodey just held him through it until Tony fell asleep right where he was. Rhodey tried to get up, but when Tony made a distressed noise he just stretched out on the floor, Tony still securely in his arms.

They would have to talk about this but for now Rhodey was more than content to give Tony whatever he needed. Just like Tony always gave him what he needed.