Tony/Rhodey - soulmate wingfic!
When they first meet–Tony stumbling into the dorm room alone and slightly fuzzy, not drunk but definitely tipsy, four hours after Rhodey’s parents have kissed and hugged him goodbye–Tony’s too young for his primary feathers to grow in with their final color.
Rhodey’s just finished growing in over the summer, a clean, deep metallic silver at the very tips of his wings. The rest of his wings are a deep, even brown, creating a sharp contrast.
Tony’s are a russet color, and folded so tightly against his back that Rhodey thinks is must hurt. It’s a month before Tony starts relaxing them around him.
Tony’s wings are small. It’s totally normal, Tony is small, and he’s still got ample growing to do. His primaries aren’t even fully in yet. But Tony takes a lot of flak for it, and tries to prevent others from seeing his wings.
He leaves them relaxed around the dorm room, though.
By the end of their senior year, Tony’s adult primaries still haven’t come in. Now they’re a little late, but it’s not unheard of and all sorts of things can delay wing growth. Stress, for example, although Rhodey would never mention it aloud.
Rhodey leaves, joining the Air Force, and Tony heads back to New York, at least at first. Obadiah wants to start showing him the ropes, because the company is going to be Tony’s soon enough. But Rhodey hears stories. Tony’s getting patent after patent, enough to make the military salivate, but he’s also on every tabloid across the globe.
On his first leave, his mother picks him up at the airport. He’s a little disappointed, not to see Tony, who said he’d be there. Something must have come up. Or he forgot.
He is a little surprised to see Tony waiting on his mother’s front porch, although he shouldn’t be. His mother pats his thigh. “I’ll go ‘round back,” she says. “Leave you two to catch up.”
He doesn’t understand why she’s leaving until he catches sight of Tony’s wings, flaring out a bit, probably subconsciously.
Tipped with silver.
Tony looks behind himself and grimaces. “Yeah. So. It looks like. Well. Only one way to know for sure.”
Rhodey stretches out his own wings, seeing the feathers alongside Tony’s. “That’s a match.”
Tony swallows. Rhodey’s close enough to watch his throat bob. “I…christ,” he says. “I didn’t think they’d ever come in, truth be told.”
“Impatient as ever,” Rhodey teases.
“I didn’t want them to come in,” Tony confesses. “Because I didn’t think…the odds of this…I didn’t want them to be some other color.”
Rhodey stares at Tony, watching the way his eye twitches when he runs out of determination to hold the stare. “God, I wanna kiss you,” he blurts.
Tony smiles, finally looking back. “Yeah?”
Without much thought, Rhodey’s wing caresses alongside Tony’s. Not something he’d do to just anyone. Not something Tony would let just anyone do. “Yeah.”
(I’m leaving this verse here but picture, if you will, Tony’s wings getting damaged in the bombing, or perhaps the ten rings clipping his primaries to try to destroy his mobility, and Rhodey finding him in the desert, matching primaries gone).