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Maybe I'll Fly

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"I want- want to step off the r-roof."

Phil very carefully looks at the dinner he's been working on for twenty minutes, and then abandons it all without a second of thought.

He steps over into the living room where Tony is standing, voice wavery and he looks so impossibly innocent sometimes when he digs his toes into the carpet and tangles his hands in sleeves of shirts three sizes too big that Phil has to remember just some of the terrors this man has faced. More than most of them will ever imagine.

The man had earned the right to dig his toes into the goddamn carpet.

"Okay. To test something? Or feeling suicidal?"

Tony appreciates that Phil is up front with him, just stands in front of Tony and waits to find out what he needs. He watches his husband, and he hiccups as he tries to keep his trauma back, to keep it from choking him and overflowing.

He never fully succeeds.

"I...hear his voice in my ear, telling me that if i do.....maybe i'll fly." He whispered.

Tony can actually, literally, fly. He has a suit of armor. But this is schoolyard bullies convincing you to step off the top of the slide to be dicks, this is vicious blackness oozing into old mental scars, this is a voice speaking in Tongues telling Tony to just step off, you cant fall, just do this, Tony, its magic.

Its cruelty of the simplest kind.

Phil nods like this makes perfect sense to him, and Tony can see his throat moving briefly, subvocalizing something to Calliope, and Tony is shaking, tears welling into his eyes.

"Are you actually hearing him?"

The question startles him for a second, but then Tony shakes his head. "...No this is just...in my head. Old timbers and cadences."

Barton knows about this, a little. About having Loki voice in your head, dictating and reading and narrating everything in your life. Even after only a handful of days Barton confessed to Tony he hears Loki reply to him in his head some days.

Tony spent twenty years under him. Loki will...always be a part of him, even if Tony hates it. His own infestation under his skin. A whisper in his skull, under everything.

The little dark voice that tells Tony if he stepped out now, he'd get hit by a car, or if he moved his soldering iron now, he could burn himself.

Everyone has them, but Tonys is just a little more solidified.

He's startled by a click, and he looks down to see the super-soldier strength handcuffs he made Phil for their anniversary around his and Phils wrist, and Phil smiles very calmly while Dummy looks pleased for being so sneaky.

"You can try and step off the roof, if you absolutely need to. We'll make that happen. But i'll be right there with you, regardless of how Mister Laufeyson feels. Shall we continue making dinner?"

And Tony gives a watery giggle, before he follows him to the kitchen, fingers tangled together as Phil shows him what he was doing, and they start to salvage what they can from dinner preparations.