Me and @kiernaserea were discussing CaCw and she asked me how I would write that blasted letter if I were to do it. So I did and here it is:
I’m glad you’re okay. There have been so many changes and choices made by us and made for us, and there are not many we can really afford to regret. But I’m glad that despite all of them, you are okay, and safe. I wouldn’t want to imagine it otherwise.
I heard about Rhodey. I’m sorry, Tony. There are so many things I wish had happened differently, but none more than this. He’s a brave man, one of our best. A better man than most, if we thought about it. I know that it means less now, as words always do, but I know that he wouldn’t regret his choices despite their outcome and I am glad one of us is as strong as that. I’m sure we’ll see a resilient War Machine again, protecting those who need him. I’m sure you’ll work to make it happen, the way you always do.
I wish I knew the right words to apologise, Tony. I wish they meant more on paper after the hurt we’ve suffered outside it. You always believed in righting your wrongs, no matter what they cost you. Me? I believed in remembering the wrongs and trying not to repeat them later. I know, I know that the Accords were your way of righting the wrongs of the past and preventing them in the future. For me though, Tony, they meant repeating the wrongs of my past. Leaving my men behind. Leaving those behind, who could not be considered worthy based on few faults. I know the irony of my words, Tony, but I cannot afford to take them back. The cost has been too great for me to do it now.
I remember being wrong about you when we first met, Tony. I remember you proving me wrong for it. I never told you this, but I was grateful to be proven wrong. After finding nothing worth moving forward in a new world, decades away from where I thought I belonged, I found something worthy in your strength. You had the strength to move forward and mold the future. It was something I envied you for, many days, but it was also something that I wish I had myself. My past is both my strength and my weakness, Tony, but I’m sure you’ve seen that by now.
Bucky was a brave man long before I became Captain America. He was braver so after I becane this symbol. Sometimes I wonder if he was more foolish than brave, Tony. He came out of the Hydra hell and then didn’t blink before following me back into it. He trusted me. It was me who couldn’t stand up to that trust. I see that history repeated itself with us this time. I wish I could regret this, Tony. I don’t know how to. Maybe we were never meant to be selfish. Maybe heroes were never meant to be human, Tony. It seems so disastrous in result.
I’m certain you would tell me a story of a knight or a scientist who knew the worth of regret. I miss your stories, Tony.
You once told me that our end mission was to finish the war and go home. I once told you that I was home. One of us lied, Tony. I’m sorry it was me.
I always found home in people. In my team. In our team. You gave me a home in that manner. I’m sorry for taking yours away.
I don’t know what the future holds for us, my friend. I’m sure you’d know, I’m sure you’d have a data on the various probabilities of it. I wish I could ask that of you. I can’t. All I can do is give what I have. The same you always do. I give you my word, Tony, if you ever need an old friend by your side, I’ll be there.
Stay safe, Iron Man. The world still needs you.
- Your friend, Steve