Vision’s blast knocks out Riley’s - Rhodey’s - power, and Sam loses a few crucial seconds in smoke and gunfire and blinding desert sun before he’s diving after Rhodey’s too-small form. Rhodey’s suit makes an actual crater in the ground - Sam’s landing (too late too late) seems all the softer for it, unfairly gentle when that was supposed to be him. All he can offer Tony are the same un-fucking-helpful words he gave Riley’s mom and dad at the funeral.
With I tried, I tried so fucking hard, I swear, choking like sand in his throat, all that came out was, “I’m sorry,” to the parents of the man he loved. What right did he have to burden them with his pain as they buried their son?
The memory is always fragments of sound and sight and smell. Smoke billowing thick from the ruined wing, Riley laughing on the wind as they wove through the air, the sickening crunch of Riley’s body hitting the ground that he was too far away to hear but heard anyway every night for months. Arms reaching for him just beyond his grasp.
Rhodey wasn’t even his friend. What right does he have indeed?