HotRodRed has entered the chat.
WinterisComin has entered the chat.
WinterisComin: list 10 things that make you really happy
HotRodRed: coffee, cars, drinking coffee in cars, sex, Phantom of the Opera, air conditioning, indoor plumbing, internet, money, dat ass
WinterisComin: not sure if you can count drinking coffee in a car as a thing
HotRodRed: It makes me happy. Fuck you.
WinterisComin: later, babe ;)
HotRodRed: Naw, I’m more of a bottom.
“Tony, are you texting that guy again?” asked Rhodey.
“No,” said Tony quickly, shoving his phone into his pocket, blushing furiously.
“You totally are,” laughed Rhodey, reaching across the table and stealing a fry from his friend’s basket. “When are you going to introduce yourself?”
“Never,” replied Tony sulkily. “He doesn’t know who I am. I like that. I can’t ruin it by letting him meet me.”
“Kid, I already told you, if anyone tried to use you for your money or name then I will beat their ass.”
“That’s not what I’m worried about.”
“Then what is it?”
Tony glanced around the crowded campus dining hall. Most people were ignoring them, too busy with their own lives to notice the two friends eating together. A lot of them were staring at their phones and Tony couldn’t help but wonder if one of them were the guy he was texting. They had met on their college chatroom, so it could be any of them.
“Nothing,” muttered Tony. “Listen, I’ve got to run. I’ll catch you later, Rhodey.”
Before the older man could protest, Tony was off and running away, hiding in the mass of students because of his shorter stature. Once he was a suitable distance away, Tony pulled out his phone again.
WinterisComin: what are your top 3 pet peeves?
HotRodRed: Nosy best friends, fake assholes, Justin Hammer
WinterisComin: who’s justin hammer?
HotRodRed: Just some annoying frat boy who thinks he’s the next big businessman who will rule the world but honestly is closer to Scar from the Lion King – big plans, dumb minions, and little ability to rule a pride.
WinterisComin: sounds like a dick
HotRodRed: Don’t get me started. Seriously. I could go on for decades.
WinterisComin: haha okay. then what are five places you want to visit?
HotRodRed: Christmas Island, Greenland, South Korea, Woodward Oklahoma, and Cambodia. What about you?
WinterisComin: no, hold on what the hell is in woodward oklahoma?
HotRodRed: The Creationist Dinosaur Exhibit. I hear they think humans and dinosaurs lived together 5,000 years ago and I want to see it for myself. Now stop dodging the question. Where do you want to go?
WinterisComin: alaska italy california england florida. your turn to ask a question
Tony smiled to himself as he thought about taking Winter to Italy someday. Tony loved to travel – though his favorite trips were road trips with silly stops along the way.
“Watch out!” snapped a sandy haired kid, knocking Tony down as he rolled by on his longboard before falling off himself.
Tony sat on his butt, dazed, before realizing his phone wasn’t in his hand anymore. It was on the ground, screen shattered. Not just shattered, it was in bits on the ground. There was no salvaging it.
“Ah, shit man, I’m sorry,” said the sandy haired young man, fetching his board and running over to help Tony up. “I didn’t see you – this cyclist got in the way and I was trying to avoid her and hit you. Sorry about your phone.”
“Yeah,” said Tony, not sure what to say to that. He couldn’t well tell the guy that it wasn’t his fault – because it was.
“Um, I can try to find you a replacement,” offered the man. “My name is Clint, by the way. Why don’t you give me your number and I can text you when I – oh, no that won’t work will it?”
“No shit, Sherlock,” snapped Tony. “Listen, don’t worry about it. I’ll just get another later.”
“No, seriously man, I mean, I can’t afford anything fancy but I can find you something to work while I save up the money.”
“It’s not the end of the world, it’s just a phone,” said Tony dully, fingers already itching to text Winter. “I’ll just get another after class.”
“At least let me buy you a coffee,” offered Clint.
“I have to get to the library,” said Tony, shaking his head. “Seriously, just leave it.”
Tony stalked away, taking the shattered bits of phone with him. He practically ran to the library, threw himself in one of the over stuffed armchairs with a built in desk. Pulling out his tablet, Tony logged on to the chat, hoping Winter was still there, waiting for him.
HotRodRed: Sorry, some idiot ran into me and broke my phone.
WinterisComin: no worries you okay?
Tony blushed and smiled as he responded.
HotRodRed: Yeah, I’m fine. Just don’t have a phone.
WinterisComin: how are you typing now then?
HotRodRed: There’s this new tech called tablets. Idk if you’ve heard of them but they are like the bastard child of a phone and laptop.
WinterisComin: shut up ya punk. i know what a tablet is – don’t be dumb
HotRodRed: Don’t ask dumb questions if you don’t want dumb answers. Now’s your chance to redeem yourself – ask a better question.
WinterisComin: what are the last 5 songs on your playlist?
HotRodRed: My phone is broken, I can’t check. What about you?
WinterisComin: pour some sugar on me, good vibrations, high voltage, sugar were going down, friends in low places
WinterisComin: gotta go to class. later darlin
Tony stared at that sign off for three minutes before realizing that he too had to go to class.
- Chatter –
It had been a long day and a half. Bucky had grown used to talking to Hot Rod almost every hour of every day. They had been chatting for almost three months now and things seemed to be going well. Hot Rod was funny and witty, he seemed to want to come across as cocky but was actually quite shy and insecure. They had a lot in common and Bucky felt like he could talk to Hot Rod about anything – and frequently did. So this waiting for Hot Rod to get a new phone was torture.
“Stop moping,” said Steve, Bucky’s roommate in their shared suite.
“I’m not moping, I’m bored,” groaned Bucky.
“Your boyfriend not text you in a while?” said Clint, entering the room from their shared bathroom and spotting Bucky sulking on the top bunk.
“His phone’s broken,” snapped Bucky.
“Oh, I broke a kids phone yesterday!” said Clint excitedly, jumping on the topic. “I mean, I didn’t mean to, I sort of knocked the poor guy over and his phone just shattered. I felt really bad about it but the kid just shrugged it off.”
“Who was he?” asked Steve, not really interested in the story but feeling socially obligated to ask about it.
“I don’t know, I think he was a freshmen,” said Clint. “I offered to get him a new phone but he said no.”
“What time did this happen?” asked Bucky, far more interested than Steve, looking over his bed railing.
“I don’t know, like lunch time?”
“What did he look like?” asked Bucky, turning over so he was on his stomach, practically falling out of the bed in his excitement.
“Short, brown hair, kinda messy, like he hadn’t looked in a mirror all day. He was young too.”
“Come on,” said Bucky, jumping off the bed and grabbing Clint’s arm. “We’re going on a mission.”
- Chatter –
Tony ripped open the box holding his knew phone, carelessly throwing the box near the trash bin, not paying attention to where he was walking as he left the mail room. He ended up sitting on a bench near the library, absorbed is turning on his phone and downloading the app and then logging in.
HotRodRed: I’ve returned! My new phone is shit but it’s better than nothing.
WinterisComin: missed ya, babe. what are some words you live by?
HotRodRed: You aren’t doing it wrong if no one knows what you’re doing.
WinterisComin: wise words
Tony grinned at his phone.
WinterisComin: your turn
HotRodRed: What is something you’re excited about?
WinterisComin: talking to you. something youll always wonder about?
HotRodRed: The platypus. Seriously, what the hell is that about?
Someone chuckled near the library doors, causing Tony to look up. Tony saw Clint, the guy who ran into him and broke his phone, standing next to a tall brunet who was looking at his phone with a smirk. Tony had never seen anyone quite so attractive and when Clint spotted him, Tony looked back down at his phone, hoping he would be found out for staring.
“There he is!” yelled Clint.
Clint dragged Bucky over to the young brunet on the bench who was studiously staring at his phone.
“Wait,” hissed Bucky, stopping a few feet beyond the bench and typing something into his phone quickly.
WinterisComin: turn around
Tony blinked at the message, then slowly turned around.
There stood Clint and the hot guy stood there, staring at him.
“Winter?” said Tony hesitantly, gaze sliding between the two men.
“Hot Rod?” said Bucky.
“Oh praise! I thought Clint was Winter and I was about to be pissed,” babbled Tony, more to cover his shock and unease than because he had anything against Clint. He just talked when he was nervous – it was a coping skill.
“Hi, I’m Bucky Barnes,” said the brunet. “Also known as WinterisComin. I’m a senior majoring in architecture. I’m twenty-two years old and talking to you has been the most fun I’ve had in years.”
Tony stared at Bucky a little bit.
“Your turn,” said Bucky with a soft smile.
“I’m Tony Stark,” said Tony softly, as though afraid at how Bucky would react. “Also known at HotRodRed. I’m a senior and will be 18 in two weeks. Talking to you has been the most fun I’ve had in years.”
“You’re – you’re 17?” stuttered Bucky.
“You’re Tony Stark?!” yelled Clint.
“There’s two types of people,” muttered Tony.
“Tony! There you are!” said a voice.
Tony turned and saw Rhodey striding towards him, looking mostly worried but a little mad.
“Where the hell have you been? I thought you had gotten yourself kidnapped again,” complained Rhodey, checking Tony over for injuries before addressing the two men behind him. “And you two are?”
“Oh my – are you Tony’s Stark’s body guard?” gasped Clint, practically jumping for joy. “This is so cool! Okay, so I low-key want to become a body guard for a while so like, how do you do that? Is there a school you have to go to? How did you get good enough to score a gig with Tony Stark?”
“I became his roommate when he was a 14 year old in college,” snaped Rhodey, entirely unimpressed. “I’m his best friend and if you are going to continue to fangirl over him then I’m going to find your schedule and rearrange mine so I can make sure you never cross paths with him again.”
“Please ignore Rhodey, he’s like that over-protective big brother I never wanted,” said Tony, flushing even more.
“I honestly couldn’t care less about him being set to inherit the Stark fortune and company,” said Clint. “I’m way to excited to learn how to become a body guard.”
“I didn’t know you were a minor,” said Bucky, staring at Tony.
“Only for like two more weeks!” said Tony.
“You can’t even vote yet!”
“Yeah but most courts would try me as an adult, so I could still go to big boy jail!”
“What the hell is going on here, Tony?” asked Rhodey.
“Rhodey, meet WinterisComin,” sighed Tony, gesturing to Bucky. “Bucky, meet Rhodey, my roommate.”
Rhodey eyed Bucky, taking in the man bun and broad shoulders, leather jacket and ripped jeans before stepping forward.
“You will not touch my little brother until he is 18 years old,” growled Rhodey. “I don’t care if he is above the age of consent, that’s not how it works. But if you are going to let him go just because he’s younger than you pictured, well you’re an idiot and I agree that you should just leave now. Because Tony is brilliant and deserves the fucking world and if you’re just fucking around, get out now.”
Tony closed his eyes, wanting to get swallowed by the ground because he was never going to recover from this.
“Hey, I’m just trying to process this,” said Bucky, glaring at Rhodey with matching ferocity. “I just found out the guy I’m mostly in love with is several years younger than I expected. That’s a lot to take in.”
“I’m a lot to take in,” muttered Tony under his breath.
Clint burst out laughing, breaking a lot of the tension that was happening. Rhodey took a step back and shook his head, smiling ruefully. He might not like it but he could tell that Tony was mostly in love with this guy already and it wasn’t actually his place to interfere.
“Tony, would you mind if I took you out to coffee sometime?” asked Bucky.
“Only if you give me your real number,” said Tony with a bashful smile.
And if Tony saved Bucky in his phone under “Winter”, well, it’s not like Bucky didn’t label him as “Hot Rod”.