the trip 2

interlude dream reality

8

crazy ex-girlfriend season 2

i’m just a girl in love, i can’t be held responsible for my actions

 After the battle, Tony couldn’t sleep.


He dreamt he was falling. He couldn’t see or hear or touch or taste, but he could feel it. The sensation of his stomach plummeting into his boots; the weightlessness of limbs being tugged downward by gravity. It was all-consuming, terrifying in a way that Tony simply had never known before. He’d wake up screaming and screaming and screaming. This had been the fourth night he’d had to go to the guest bedroom, so as not to hurt Pepper.


After the battle, Tony couldn’t sleep.


There’s always something, see. An improvement in the suit- a whole new suit, in fact- just anything that would make him better, Stronger. More able. Less likely to let everyone down. He needed to work. He had to work. And maybe Pepper hated it and maybe JARVIS said he had a problem, but it’s not like Tony didn’t already know that. Of course he knew. Same way he knew Pepper was eventually going to leave him, or there would eventually be something bigger, better, stronger, that no amount of upgrades would be able to defeat. 

He just ignored it. It was either that or going insane.
Well- more insane, anyway.


After the battle, Tony couldn’t sleep.


He wandered, a lot of the nights. It was dangerous to walk through the rougher parts of New York in the early hours of the morning, but he couldn’t say he cared much. It was better than the other option.
The streets were mostly empty, and there were barely any shops open- except the one. One that caught Tony’s eye, anyway. He’d been hungry, and so he’d looked for the nearest light source, because there were usually some 24hour places tucked away in corners somewhere. 

That’s where he met the kid. Can’t have been more than 12- working the counter at some run-down store, barely even able to stand, he was that tired. Just handed Tony his change and then continued to stare vacantly out of the window. Tony asked him why he was working so late, and how he was even allowed, because he was curious and a little bit too tired himself. The kid just replied that he had to help pay the bills. The Battle had cost them dearly- his aunt couldn’t afford it all on her own. And there were some people just as desperate as him; who didn’t care how old he was. Hence the 3am shift on a Monday night.

Tony didn’t know how to answer that. It was difficult to just hear the name of the battle, most nights.
He just nodded and left as quietly as he’d come.


After the battle, Tony couldn’t sleep.


But he could still walk. And walk he did. 

All the way to the corner store,  3am on the dot.  The kid was there. Of course he was. Bills didn’t disappear in a week- especially not ones caused by alien-related structural damage.

Tony asked his name as he bought his bottle of milk. The kid looked at him, eyes a little squinted. He was probably trying to figure out, in his sleep-deprived state, who exactly Tony was. But it seemed he couldn’t find what he was looking for, because eventually just looked back down to the till again and mumbled the name ‘Peter’ through barely open lips.

Tony nodded. Handed over a few coins and a slip of paper. “Keep the change,” he answered, before turning away.

It took a minute, but he finally heard the sound of running footsteps down the street as the kid hauled ass after him, eyes wide and calling him ‘sir!’ as he waved. “This…this is a cheque for fifteen thousand dollars! You…I think you made a mist-”

“Queens is a nice area,” Tony interrupted, rubbing a hand across his face. God, what had it been- four, five days, since his last sleep? He felt like death warmed up. “Better than this end of Manhattan, anyway. Maybe tell your Aunt to save up, find a better place. Good schools, too, I hear. You won’t have to work for a while yet, with that.”

The kid- Peter, he said his name was- looked back down at it. He opened and shut his mouth a few times, before his eyes slowly returned to their normal state and he sighed. “This is a dream, isn’t it?”

Tony chuckled. “I’d hold on to it, just in case.” He waved a little, before turning back around and shoving his hands into his pockets. “I’d better never see you ‘round here again, kid,” was the last thing he called out, before he turned the corner and let the kid disappear from view, still gripping the cheque between bony fingers.

Tony went back the next week. The shop was closed up.


After the battle, Tony couldn’t sleep. But at least the kid could.