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“Them’s the rules Rhodes, James, Jamie, Rhodey.”

James sighed. “I don’t think it counts if you’re holding the mistletoe yourself, Stark.”

“Tony,” he corrected.

James sighed again. “You’re too young to be throwing yourself at everyone that passes your way.”

“Uh one, I’m not that young, two, even if I was, I’m not throwing myself at anyone but you, and three I’m about to get a doctorate and that demands a celebration! A celebration that includes kissing the living daylights out of you, Jamie Rhodey.”

“My name’s not Jamie.”

“Rhodey it is then. C’mon Rhodey, I’ve been very good this year.” He dropped his arm holding the mistletoe-- finally-- and leaned up on his tiptoes to kiss Rhodey’s cheek. When he pulled back, he had a pleased little blush painting his cheeks.

Somewhat unwillingly charmed, James smiled, and kissed Tony’s mouth with a short little peck. “Congratulations on your doctorate.”

Tony’s face turned from pink to red and he cleared his throat. “You know… I haven’t gotten it yet. You’re gonna have to kiss me again when I do.”

James huffed out a laugh. “Aren’t there easier ways of asking someone to date you?”

Tony shrugged. “I’m doing engineering, not communication.”

Friends since MIT anyone else smelling friends to lovers with mutual pining??? #IronHusbands #avengers #fanfic #INEEDIT

Tony groaned and pawed at his husband’s back. “Rhodey,” he whined, “where’re you goin’?”

“I have a meeting with Senator Watson, which I know you remember.” Rhodey twisted around to press a kiss to Tony’s forehead. “Go back to sleep, by the time you’re up, I’ll be back.”

“Won’t be able to sleep with you gone,” he pouted.

“Liar,” Rhodey said affectionately. He kissed him again. “Be back soon.”

Tony frowned at his retreating figure, pulling a pillow to him to hug in a poor imitation of his honey-bear. “‘S not the same.”

“Would you like for me to call him?” Jarvis offered.

Tony paused, for a minute truly considering it, but shook his head and burrowed his face into the pillow he was holding. “Thanks, J, but he’s busy.” Tony hugged the pillow for several minutes, trying unsuccessfully to will it into something more comfortable. He sighed, pushing back the covers and sitting up. He rubbed at his eyes and asked, “Is there anything I’m supposed to do today?”

“Miss Potts has sent several documents for you to read and sign.”

“Anything for the workshop?”

“Pararescue wings, an upgrade on the intelli-crops, and Mister Stane has requested you visit R&D. Apparently they are, and I quote, ‘Not holding their personal appearances to Stark Industry standards.’”

Tony snorted. “Tell him I’ll drop by.”

“Of course, sir.”

Tony *clap* Stark *clap* wouldn’t *clap* give *clap* just *clap* anyone *clap* their *clap* own *clap* suit! #IronHusbands #theyareREAL

“Happy anniversary,” Tony said, nuzzling Rhodey’s neck.

Rhodey sighed contentedly and leaned back into him. “I think you already covered that.”

“Nah.” Tony kissed his neck and trailed one hand down to Rhodey’s abdomen, pressing circles into his skin. “You’re not that old.”

“Don’t you dare, Stark,” Rhodey warned, but he tilted his head back to accept a kiss.

“You’re a Stark too, y’know.”

“Only by marriage.”

“Only because you’re a coward who refuses to change his last name.”

He hadn’t because of DADT and they both knew it, so he said, “Why don’t you change your’s? My family’s better anyways. Tony Rhodes, sounds nice, don’t you think?”

“I have a whole company named after me, you bastard. What am I supposed to do, rebrand everything? And Tony Rhodes doesn’t sound nearly as nice as Rhodey Stark.”

“My name’s James, and James Stark sounds like shit.”

“I said ‘I take thee Rhodey’ not ‘I take thee James’.”

“You did not .”

“The way I remember it--”

“We had to do it three times because you didn’t want to say my real goddamn name.”

“Exactly! I said ‘I take thee Rhodey’ twice as much as I said ‘I take thee James’, and that makes it more legal.”

“It really doesn’t,” Rhodey laughed.

“What do you know, you’re just in the military.”

“We went to the same school Tony, and I graduated summa cum laude.”

“And yet I still did so much better than you.”

“We can’t all be geniuses.”

“You’re correct, but I am one, so you should just admit that I’m right. Rhodey Stark, for the win.”

Rhodey rolled his eyes, and let it go, not that it actually bothered him. Being called Rhodey felt more right than being called James, Tony especially only called him Rhodey-- with a brief stint during their relationship where he thought he had to call him James because they were serious, and that was plain uncomfortable-- and Rhodey did have every intention of taking Tony’s last name as soon as the military would let him.

He hadn’t mentioned that to Tony yet, and he also hadn’t mentioned the budding idea of an early retirement in a few years’ time.

Tfw your otp is in the same fight after months apart *heart eyes, heart eyes, heart eyes* #IronHusbands

“You’ve got to let it go, Colonel,” some asshat superior of his was saying. “After this long, the chances of him still being alive… It’s a waste of resources, and the time of one of our best officers.”

“Are you calling for my resignation?” The major general next to the other man blinked and tried to backtrack, but Rhodey cut him off as respectfully as he was capable of. “Tony Stark has done too much for the military for us to leave him out there. If you believe I will bring back a corpse, that’s your opinion. But he still deserves it.”

A shared look, and they surrendered while trying to pretend that’s not what they did. Rhodey couldn’t give a single fuck, and just nodded before continuing on his way.

Tony had been gone for going on two months now, and Rhodey was starting to lose hope that he’d find him. Knowing Tony, the man would bust out from whatever terrorist cell had him and make his way back to the base while Rhodey was away. He pretended like the idea bothered him, but he would give anything to have Tony back in his arms again.

Bros that slay together, stay together amiright? #IronHusbands <picture of Tony Stark and James Rhodes at MIT> <gif of Iron Man and War Machine walking side by side>

“I’m supposed to be reworking my entire company right now,” Tony protested weakly.

Rhodey didn’t loosen his grip at all. “Let Pepper do it.”

“I’m not gonna make her do this all by herself. She keeps insisting that she’s not actually the one running the company.”

“Sounds like a bunch of paperwork. You’ve done plenty of that in bed before.”

“Not in this position, I haven’t.”

“Fine,” Rhodey grumbled, letting Tony turn around so that he was sitting, with Rhodey behind him, his legs framing Tony’s. “Better?”

Tony grabbed Rhodey’s arms and wrapped them around his middle instead of where they were resting on his thighs. “Much.” A few minutes into drawing up new plans, he asked Rhodey, “Do you want a suit?”

“I already have suits. I know you know this because you were with me when I bought them.”

Tony chuckled. “No, I mean an Iron Man suit.”

“Oh. Really?”

“Yeah.”

“Someday.”

“Not today?”

“You know how the military is,” he said uncomfortably. “With you shutting down the weapons’ division, people over there are getting nervous.”

“Oh,” Tony said quietly. “But I’d be giving it to you, not the military. Would that make a difference?”

“Not to them.” He kissed behind Tony’s ear. “I appreciate it though.”

“What if I make one that just so happens to let you in and fits you perfectly, but doesn’t officially belong to you?”

Rhodey paused, thinking it over. “That could work. But, Tony I don’t understand why this means so much to you. I mean, I want one, they’re amazing, but I don’t get it.”

Tony leaned back into him and closed his eyes, taking a deep breath. “I keep thinking about what happened with Stane. You’ve always been more like a hero than me, if you’d been there… I don’t know.”

“No, come on,” Rhodey urged him gently. “What are you thinking?”

“I almost died, I almost got Pepper killed, I-. If you’d been there, that wouldn’t have happened. Hell, you probably would’ve broken Stane’s nose before he made it out the door, let alone put the arc reactor in his own suit.”

“Okay.” Rhodey kissed Tony’s head again, and held him just a bit tighter. “But it’s not going to be red and gold.”

“Then what’s the point?”

UH anyone seeing what I’m seeing???? *eyes emoji, eyes emoji, eyes emoji* #IronHusbands <picture of Tony Stark and James Rhodes attending a gala together, Rhodes’s hand on the small of Stark’s back>

The Avengers got back from a fight, not covered in green slime, but with enough of it on their person that they felt the need to hop in the shower as soon as they got home. Tony had already taken off the suit, and Jarvis was starting to have it cleaned. He didn’t have any slime on his body, but he felt icky enough that he was going to shower before going to the workshop to make Natasha a new pair of Widow Bites, the slime having destroyed the ones she was wearing in the fight (and her backup ones had been destroyed from a power surge by the previous villain).

Tony perked up when he saw who was in the living room though, and walked faster so he’d reach him sooner. “Honey bear! What are you doing stateside?”

Rhodey pulled him into a hug, kissing the side of his head. “Military decided I’m more useful as War Machine than an ordinary colonel, and with the rest of the Stark Industry contracts finished, they don’t need a liason.”

“They retired you?” Tony frowned.

Rhodey shrugged. “In spirit, yeah. Officially I’m just relocated, here on their behalf, yadda yadda all that bullshit.”

Tony grinned and hugged Rhodey again. “Bullshit that’s going to keep you here is good bullshit as far as I’m concerned.”

When they walked off, heading to Tony’s floor, Clint said, “I think they just forgot we existed.”

“Are they together?” Steve asked with a confused frown.

“No,” Natasha said, “but they’ve been friends since MIT.”

Understanding crossed Steve’s face and he nodded.

Unknown to the Avengers, Rhodey had Tony pressed against the wall of the penthouse kissing him for all he was worth, just outside the elevator doors because that’s as far as they got before Rhodey decided that he’d waited long enough to be with his husband again.

#IronHusbands THEY’RE SO CUTE TOGETHER I CAN’T ASDFLKSJDF <picture of Tony Stark and James Rhodes in the Iron Man and War Machine armors with their helmets off, smiling at each other>

After a couple years of being War Machine full time but still officially under the military, Rhodey retired. He was still War Machine, only now he was doing so as a full Avengers member, with everything that came with it.

The most important of these changes, was the chance to finally be with Tony, no hiding required. Not that they did anything with it at first, but it was nice to have the option.

“Do you think we should get rings?” he asked Tony one day.

“Do you want a ring?”

“I dunno. Maybe. It might be nice. What do you think?”

“I want one someday.” He shrugged. “Not sure if that’s today or not, but by the time we’re in our golden years, yeah definitely.”

Rhodey hummed thoughtfully. “Why don’t we go look for rings this weekend and see if any of them catch our eye.”

Tony kissed him. “Sounds like a great plan. Assuming no B-list villains try and ruin it, that is.”

“Well if it’s just a B-lister we’ll kick their ass and make it to the jewelry store in time.”

#IronHusbands Real? Tony Stark and fellow Iron Avenger Colonel James Rhodes spotted looking at wedding rings on Saturday

“Oh! Uh, good morning Mister Rhodes. Um Colonel Rhodes.”

Rhodey smiled at the kid, amused. “Rhodey’s fine. What are you doing here so early, Peter?”

“Mister Stark said I should come by today, I didn’t mean to interrupt anything.”

“You didn’t. But Tony was just barely getting up, so it might be a minute. You want some coffee?”

“Uhhh sure. Thank you.”

Rhodey poured Peter a cup of coffee, leaving room at the top for if he wanted cream, passing it over along with the little pitcher and shaker of sugar.

Tony stumbled into the kitchen, rubbing at his face. “Hey Peter. What are you doing here so early?”

“Oh, well I’m hanging out with Wade later, and he’s got some stuff going on tonight, and I texted you to see if we could move it up and Jarvis said it was okay. If it’s not though, I can go? It’s not problem.”

Tony waved him down with a yawn, giving Rhodey a quick good morning kiss. “It’s fine. I’ll just grab some food and we can head down to the lab.” He ducked his head into the fridge, grabbing an apple and a loaf of bread.

Rhodey picked a mug and a plate from the cupboard, passing Tony the plate, and fixing his coffee for him.

“So how’s Wade doing?” Tony asked, waiting for the bread to toast.

“Um.” Peter’s eyes were wide, darting between the two of them. “Good. He’s getting better.”

Tony sent Peter a questioning look at his expression. “You alright?”

Peter gestured at them. “Are you two… together?”

“Oh. Yeah, have been for years.”

“Is it… secret?”

Rhodey shrugged. “Used to be. Military,” he said as an explanation. “Haven’t gotten around to announcing it or anything.”

“Huh. Wow, I owe Wade dinner.”

Tony raised an eyebrow, taking the bread out of the toaster. “He bet we were together?”

“Well he phrased it more like ‘he always knew Iron Husbands was real and he won’t stand for nonbelievers in his house’. It’s Wade, you know?”

“Not all of us know him as well as you Peter. Down to the lab we go,” Tony said, grabbing his plate and mug and kissing Rhodey again.

“Have fun you two!”

An hour later, Tony texted Rhodey, asking if he could tweet about their relationship. Rhodey told him to go for it.

Glad to prove you all correct #IronHusbands <picture of Tony and Rhodey with their wedding rings on>

Rhodey opened his twitter to retweet it, then silenced all notifications from apps. Like hell he was going to deal with that today.