one of many things that i find deeply fucked up in tony’s sales pitch of the jericho is how he kicks it off by like… literally responding to one of machiavelli’s points when he says “is it better to be feared or respected? i say, is it too much to ask for both?”
from chapter XVII of the prince:
“Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? It may be answered that one should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, is much safer to be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with.”
and just the fact that the name of the missile is “jericho,” really, and tony presents it with a mountain chain behind him and then all the explosions – pretty sure that’s supposed to parallel the collapse of the walls of jericho (described in the bible, book of joshua). this wouldn’t be the only (or the first) biblical reference by tony in this movie
like there’s something really cold… and dark… about this. about tony weaving machiavelli and the bible into a sales pitch for a missile. and then the showmanship of the whole thing. having a drink afterward. throwing in a high tech cooler as a ~special treat in purchases of five hundred million dollars or more.
it’s all sooo…. fucked. up. IM1 had no chill about this stuff. and it’s ultimately such an important part of the change in tony. because the double-dealing might have been on stane, it might have been something tony would never do himself, but like tony said, “it’s my name on the side of the building.” he did sit down at one point and incorporated war into marketing strategy. regardless of what his true intent or goals were as a part of the weapons industry (stark innovations all relied on military funding, and the most genuine statement of intent that we get is the post-captivity mention that he created weapons to “defend and protect”) the fact that tony was this polished businessman wearing perfectly pressed suits and having a drink in the middle of a desert war zone after making a small marketing spectacle out of something he personally designed to kill from a distance and at the push of a button – that’s fucked up and it must weigh a SHIT TON in his conscience. it’s the “i saw that i had become part of a system that is comfortable with zero accountability” part of his post-captivity press conference speech. the fact that in his line of business one would design something deadly, sell it, and then just watch it being used to kill others from the comfort of one’s own home while thinking “i just designed the button and sold it, i didn’t push it” or worse: “well, ultimately pushing the button is necessary, and from an objective standpoint, pushing the button means i sell more stuff to keep paying for x, y and z”
and that, thank FUCK, is what tony got out of. tony started at “it’s an imperfect world but it’s the only one we’ve got, i guarantee you the day weapons are no longer needed to keep the peace, i’ll start making bricks and beams for baby hospitals” then *actually* made that exact leap by shutting weapons manufacturing down then pouring billions and billions and billions of the money he made into clean energy initiatives, mental health research, the avengers, city clean-up through the maria stark foundation, student research grants. it’s interesting because tony is one of two (thor being the second) current mcu heroes who actually had to like. drown in sudden awareness of his own privilege in order to get to where he is. so when people ask “uh why does tony suddenly care what 117 other countries think” well, it’s this
tony coming to care about what 117 other countries think is the whole point of his character development and look the fact that the iron man franchise itself, after IM1, just fucking DROPPED the arc of tony’s feeling of personal accountability over his role in the military-industrial complex – is in fact a fucking crime and i will never forgive them
Roman Reigns - Reader is Roman’s girlfriend and Roman has a match with Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho and she is at ringside. One of JeriKO spears reader to distract Roman and it just angers him so he goes after them. Then Seth comes out to help Roman creating an on the spot tag team match.
- Warnings - None really. Little surprise at the end ;)
I sat on top of one of the cold, metal crates that lined the gorilla position as Seth and I watched on nervously as Roman battled Chris Jericho in a no disqualification match; with Jericho’s loud-mouthed buddy Kevin Owens at ringside for what he claimed as ‘moral support’. By now everyone knew that was a complete lie and all he was set out to do was distract Roman and once again piss off the WWE universe- something the overly brash Canadian managed to do very well.
It was a little over ten minutes into the match and already there were broken chairs, splintered kendo sticks and even tables scattered across the ring. Fatigue also was clearly setting in on both men as their moves became more tiresome and sluggish as time ticked away. I bit my fingernails seeing Roman in a spot of immense difficulty as Jericho had ‘The Walls Of Jericho’ firmly in place.
Both Seth and I breathed a massive sigh of relief as my boyfriend’s exhausted body scrambled its way to the ropes. We both held our breaths as Roman tugged his frame to be standing setting up for what you could already tell would be a devastating spear. Witnessing his body crash into the already hurt Jericho ultimately caused a small, schoolgirl-like squeal to escape my lips as I then knew this would be it and Roman would finally pick up the win.
However, those short seconds of elation were quickly cut to an end as that interfering idiot yanked the near enough defenseless body of my boyfriend out of the ring, automatically breaking the count. Romans body tumbled to the concrete as Owens crushed his body into the barricade before I heard the faint shouts of him screaming crude remarks about mine and Roman’s relationship… It was in that exact moment, I snapped.
“Seth, I’m going out there.” I blurted out in a fit of anger, gaining a concerned look from my friend.
Turning towards the curtain, my muscles tensed as my arm was tugged backward from the tight grasp around my wrist. “You can’t, it’s not part of the script.” He mumbled trying to ease your outrage however it was clear to see; once he finished speaking, he knew full well he couldn’t change anything.
“I’m not going to sit back listening to that bastard talk about Roman or me for that matter like that. It’s one thing interfering and costing my man the match but it’s another thing mentioning our private lives to a sold-out arena.” I ripped my arm out of Seth’s grip, immediately sprinting through the black curtain that separated the whole universe from out there from the previously calming backstage environment. My ears seemed to muffle the screams of the crowd as focusing solely on making sure Roman was right on track was the only thing circling my mind. As I reached the bottom of the ramp, I turned the corner sliding to the side of my boyfriend who was lying against the barricade clutching his right arm in discomfort. “Hey, hey, Rome are you alright?” I spoke hastily before nodding at his simple response of ‘yeah’.
Part of me was glad Roman was coping with it, however, a good seventy percent of myself was raring to just go and speak my mind to Owens. Aggravation seemed to consume any happy bone in my body making it borderline impossible for me to just let go of the snarky comments that were made. The on-going roars from the crowd only made my confidence grow stronger as I rose taking a few strong strides to be face-to-face with the man of many words. “You talk big Kevin; truthfully I don’t think you can back up your words very well. Acting all tough guy, interfering every damn match won’t get you very far you know.” I sassed keeping a close eye on Jericho’s actions, knowing just the extent he’ll go to in order to gain an advantage over the distraction.
“I can’t back up my actions huh? What about you, when was the last time you wrestled, not since Charlotte laid waste to you four months ago. You know it’s cute you running to the aid of your boyfriend because he can’t finish the job himself, yeah how about a round of applause for Y/N. How about you run on away with Roman and get married, you’re engaged, right? Oh wait my bad, they were just rumours.” It seemed Kevin made it his mission to get under my skin with every single word said. Above all, he was successful in his endeavors.
Within seconds I ripped the restricting, very executive blazer from my shoulders to be dressed in nothing more than a Roman Reigns shirt and leggings- an outfit that can allow for a war to be finished. “Oh dear Kevin, you’ve just made the biggest mistake of your life. You wouldn’t dare hurt me; I know for sure I don’t have a problem hurting you; I’m pretty sure a certain someone over there doesn’t have a problem giving an extra spear to an extra jackass either.” I rose my voice, causing my head to not only be full of ideas to torment Kevin, but also to pound through the extremity my anger has peaked at.
I guess my comments hit him hard- well he walked away from you so I guess that’s a start. Twisting my body to be facing Roman, my heart sank to the pit of my stomach as I witnessed him struggling to even stand without the aid of the barricade. That in my eyes… the complete definition of hurt. I practically dashed to assist the man I so deeply loved, grabbing his underarms to ease his transition. For a split second, I turned to see Kevin giving what seemed to be ‘tactics’ to Jericho from beyond the ring before I diverted my attention back to the intense stare radiating from Roman’s face. “Okay baby, I know you’re hurting but I also know you can do this. It’s not fair on you, I mean come on it’s basically been 2 against 1. Go on back in that ring and set up for the superman punch, he’s going to try and dodge it so go for the spear.” I whispered, running my fingers through the dampened hair of the Samoan to clear it from his eyes. My hands traced up the herculean arms of him until they reached the back of his neck, whilst Romans held my lower back tugging me into a close hug.
Despite the fact that blood still boiled within my body, just being this close to Roman made this a moment of clarity. “Alright babe, go do this, for us,” I spoke prior to leaning upwards to place my lips upon his. His lips always felt so good against mine; almost as if they were made for that purpose… truly if he wasn’t my soulmate, I’m not entirely sure I’d know what that word means.
Releasing from his latch, I rested my chin upon his shoulder for one last moment before he went back into his zone. It would’ve been fine, except hairs stood on my body, a shiver raced down my spine and a lump formed in the back of my throat as I witnessed him- Kevin Owens dashing towards the two of us; his eyes dark with the need for revenge. It was hard to even find the words to say in that very moment, the single word that could escape my lips was, “Roman.” I could’ve said anything but that- that just led to Roman being in a state of confusion. He turned his body ever-so-slightly to face away from me but I knew just was coming and it sure as hell wouldn’t be pretty. I couldn’t bare the thought of Roman being put through any more pain than he already is so my first instinct was to push him away.
As quick as I slapped my hand on Roman’s body, I found myself on the floor holding my stomach as pain I’d never before experienced surged through me like a whirlwind. My limbs trembled, my head pounded and my vision was blurred but still, I could see his dark locks flash in front of my eyes. “Y/N, tell me you’re alright. Why’d you do that? Damn it babygirl, you’re scaring me half to death. Say something.” His words expressed in a panicked flurry as he held your cheeks.
The numbness if my entire body made it a difficult task to move or for that fact, speak. All that seemed capable of doing right now was to cry- I just couldn’t not in front of Roman, it’d panic him too much. “I’m fine. Just go and win this match.” I stuttered but with the sole aim to conceal the fact that I was in complete agony. Propping myself up to be sat so my back rested on the walls surrounding the rings, a sigh of relief rolling off my tongue as I heard the far-too-familiar beats of Seth Rollins’ entrance music. A sign that the match could carry on and you could just go backstage.
My legs seemed un-moveable; almost as if they weren’t even a part of me anymore. I practically had to drag myself up the ramp and through the curtain, before I could relax from the strain I was exhorting on them. That task wasn’t an easy one, especially knowing my past experiences with injuries.
With a slight limp in my step, I entered back to the gorilla area, my hand literally clawing my stomach as I tried to deal with the intolerable ache. Trying to put on a brave face and pretend it just didn’t exist was arguably the hardest thing I’ve ever dealt with, now I just couldn’t do it anymore… My nerves pulsated ten times the speed as normal causing small bumps to form on my body as I bent forwards one hand remaining on the vulnerable area and the other holding me up against one of the many metal crates. A small yet shrill cry left my mouth, echoing around the room and ultimately causing a few heads to face my direction. “Holy, Y/N are you alright, someone go get the medics.” Sasha ran to my side, her hand delicately placed on my shoulder giving some sort of comfort- that didn’t take away any of the pain though. It seemed as though within a split second a medical team were wheeling me off to be ‘examined’ but in reality, it was almost as if time was frozen; as if everything had just been drawn to a halt. Sasha continued to walk by your side until you’d reached the door holding many answers. “Sasha, don’t tell Roman. I’d never hear the end of it if he knew.”
The artificial white walls of the room made it seems so big- made me feel smaller and even more fragile than I already did. All I could do was wait… nothing more until the x-ray and test results came back. A small fraction of my mind still wishes Roman was here but I full well know, he’d be way more afraid than me and totally make the situation worse- well if that’s even possible. “Alright Y/N stay lying down for me, I don’t know how long this’ll take.” One of the medics spoke before the door swung open and a tall, dark figure sprung to your bedside. “Roman -How did you kn-”
His scruffy beard tickled my cheeks as he ran kisses all over my face before kneeling down in front of me. “Shh, it’s alright, don’t worry about that now. Everything’s going to be fine babygirl, I promise. I just wish you would’ve told me you were in this much pain beforehand. Do they know what’s wrong?” I shook my head at his question- I myself fearing the worst possible outcome. “Ugh, you shouldn’t have pushed me out of the way, I would’ve taken it. Heck- I would take it a million times if it meant I didn’t come even remotely close to losing you.” Just hearing his voice still after a year made butterflies form in my stomach- even if this time they felt like wasps, I still knew that feeling.
“Miss Y/N?” A tall body entered the room gowned in a pale blue top and trousers. It was visible to see Roman’s features becoming drained of his prior relief, “Is everything okay with her?” He questioned, grabbing my shaking hands in his, intertwining his fingers with mine. “Mr Reigns, we’re just going to need to do an ultrasound scan on her.”
“An ultrasound?” My heartbeat rapidly increased just hearing those words. I jolted my head towards Roman, seeing that his reaction seemed to be an exact mirror of mine. Lone tears began to stream down my cheeks as the gel was applied. I squeezed Roman’s hand a little tighter as he placed a firm kiss on my forehead.
“Hm, well there was direct impact to the ribs, there’s bound to be some bruising but your baby’s absolutely fine.” Words were immediately caught in the back of my throat, my mouth agape as I heard faint chuckles from Roman.
“Baby? Are you sure?” I rested my head upon Roman’s shoulders, nuzzling it slightly into the crook of his neck.
“Tests suggest that; yes. You’re a lucky woman, and you Sir you are one lucky father.” I let out a small giggle. It all just didn’t seem real to me. Pulling my head away from my man’s body, I was immediately met with his strong, affectionate gaze as he lifted my head up with his thumb. Once again a wide grin was ever present on my face as I caressed his cheeks with both of my thumbs.
“God I love you so much,” Roman exclaimed, leaning in to draw me into a warm embrace. “No more saving me alright babe. And for you little guy…” He cooed, pointing towards the base of my stomach. “You’re more of a superman than me already.”
A/N - Mannnnn I loved this one so much. I enjoyed writing this so so much, ugh!! This was also my first attempt at writing in first person so hopefully it was alright!xo Thank you guys ~ Nikkii