stuckony soulmate au with misunderstandings everywhere!
The given name of your soulmate is what’s written on your arm. If you go and have your name changed or take your spouse’s name it won’t change on your soulmates arm. It’s permanent. It’s stuck.
Tony was born under Anthony Edward Stark and grows up along with his brother Gregory Stark. The two absolutely hate each other and it doesn’t help that Howard always, always takes Gregory’s side, no matter who is in the wrong. Maria sees this and Maria speaks her mind, but ultimately her concerns are ignored by Howard. She doesn’t stick around to be treated like this. They’re not soulmates, she’s in no way obligated to stay and gets a divorce. It’s messy, it’s brutal, Howard doesn’t want to see her go so he fights his hardest to convince her to stay. Writes her off his will, cuts any fundings under her name, threatens to fight for one of the kids “don’t separate our children, Maria. They need a family” but Maria ain’t falling for that.
She doesn’t need Howard’s money. She never needed it, and while she loves Gregory she knows that boy will resent her for the rest of their lives if she took him away. She takes Tony instead, knowing he wouldn’t survive living with Howard if she didn’t act up and fight for custody. She gets her divorce, wins custody over Tony, uses the fair amount of money under her family’s name and moves them away, changing their names. She’s back to Maria Carbonell and Tony is renamed Anthony Carbonell.
They leave the spotlight life, live in a little place so small compared to the mansion but warmer, daring to call it home. They’re happy, she’s happy, he’s happy, and they don’t regret anything. Tony leaves private school and goes to public instead (something he’s always wanted to do). Goes through the years easily, could jump grades if he wanted to but he no longer wanted to be the son of Stark. He just wanted to be Tony. He makes friends here and there but they usually never stick around, not until high school where he meets the gang. Science bro Bruce who is friends with Natasha who is friends with everyone else. Here he meets Steve and Bucky and nearly has his heart stopped when they say their names.
Like the name on his arm Steven Grant Rogers
And with a Bucky Barnes next to him and the way the two are very close it’s not hard to guess Bucky is really James Buchanan Barnes and he can’t believe he’s found his soulmates, and at seventeen years of age!
He tells them his name, Tony Carbonell, and finds it odd they don’t react any differently than getting to know a stranger, instead of reacting like most do when they literally found their soulmate.
He shrugs it off, thinking they’re not big on emotions, or don’t want to make a show out of it. Then they keep treating him as nothing but a friend as the days go on. It hurts, he won’t lie, but he guesses they’re not ready yet to add their final soulmate yet. They probably had years with each other an didn’t think they’d find their missing piece until well into their thirties. It’s natural to be hesitant. He takes it slow.
Except two months go by and even though he’s tried to take it their pace they still don’t treat him any different or even tried breaching the subject. Maybe they don’t want him at all? But no, his mother always told him soulmates were meant for each other. His soulmates wanted him, would wait for him.
But waiting has become tiresome. Half the school year is over already and nothing has changed except for maybe the others realizing Tony might or might not have a crush on the pair. In the moments that he could he subtly gave them touches and stuck close, trying to ease himself and make it natural. But Steve and Bucky either don’t notice because they don’t add in their effort, or they’re outright ignoring him.
The others give him pitying looks, but this is soulmate matters so they don’t say anything.
Eventually he realizes Steve and Bucky had noticed but never said anything, not until one day Tony put a hand on Bucky’s arm and the other brunet not so subtly pulled away from it. It hurt to have his hand rejected like that, but it hurt more when they made faces and began twitching, exchanging a silent conversation with each other, never including Tony.
“Tony, we need to talk.”
“Yeah, we know you have a crush on us, and it’s endearing and all, but we can’t let you continue like this. We don’t want to do this to you.”
“We can’t return your feelings. Bucky and I are soulmates and we know how it feels to be united with one of our other halves. We’re waiting for our third and there just isn’t room for you. It won’t be fair to you. Our feelings for each other won’t be equal to you.”
And that is the stupidest thing Tony had ever heard. He wanted to shout at them “I am your other half!” wanted to scream if they didn’t want him all they had to say was no instead of making up such a ridiculous lie. He had their names on his arm and he was positive they had his, but clearly they didn’t want a third. They didn’t want Tony.
He gave them a silent nod, holding in his fury, his sadness, the shame, and left. He continued the rest of the year all the way to graduation day in this state of numbness. The others either guessed or were told by Steve and Bucky about what had happened. They tried to sympathize but it just didn’t work. Tony pulled away from them, from Steve and Bucky. Didn’t go to prom, didn’t hang out with anyone on their graduation day. Just returned home and started planning his following years for MIT.
He continued numb well into his first year until one day he just decided “fuck it, soulmates are overrated anyway. They don’t want me, fine. I’ll love someone of my own choice!”
Befriending Rhodey and Pepper was perhaps the best thing in his MIT years. He graduates, starts a small business as a mechanic fixing up expensive cars or something, calls his mother every day, makes sure to send Rhodey letters when he’s deployed, and always makes time to check up on his favorite red head.
Years later the media goes nuts about some big announcement. The tv in his work building is on and the reporter is talking excitedly as three men stand side by side in front of a large crowd. One of the men looks like he wants to be anywhere but there. The other has an arm around his shoulder for support. The last one is on a podium talking to the crowd. At the bottom of the screen the words ‘Tony Stark’ are in bold.
“Tony Stark’s soulmates have just been announced! You heard it here live, folks,” the reporter says.
Tony huh’s as he watches his brother tell the crowd the happy news, about finding his soulmates Steve Rogers and James Barnes, and huh’s even louder when one of the reporters calls him Tony instead of Gregory.
He walks away.