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30 September 2009 @ 01:21 pm
Iron Man Slash Fiction: "The Mystery Of Magnetic Attraction" (Tony/Rhodey, PG-13)  
Title: The Mystery Of Magnetic Attraction
Author: HalfshellVenus
Characters: Tony/Rhodey (Slash)
Rating: PG-13
Summary (College-era): Tony Stark was the smartest, cockiest guy Jim Rhodes had ever met…
Author's Notes: For tentinyfandoms, this is "Spark." The setting fits with the movie (where the characters are of similar age), but not within Iron Man comic canon.

x-x-x-x-x

The first few days at M.I.T. were sheer intimidation for Jim Rhodes, intimidation and awe.

The place was money—a legacy of grants and funding, and a future rooted in research and the talents of its students.

What the Hell am I doing here? he found himself wondering, with his mother's voice rising from his memory to answer, You belong here as much as anyone. You've earned it.

What he'd earned was a scholarship, because they'd never have been able to afford sending him there otherwise. That made him different—that and the shortage of other people who looked like him. But he was used to that already, after high school and all the years before. Hardly anyone took to math and science like he did, so the brothers (a subgroup of a subgroup) had numbered only him. That had exactly matched how many girls were part of that same like-minded group, which led a person to conclude that it was lonely out there for a nerd.

Didn't matter.

He had the grades, the drive, and the same burning curiosity that fueled half the students on the M.I.T. campus. In that sense, he was right at home. In later years, he came to think of college as one of the best times of his life.

College was where he met Tony Stark.

They were both freshmen, both enrolled in Differential Equations. Jim was testing the waters toward a Civil Engineering major, and Tony was probably just looking for new ways to blow shit up that would let him make sarcastic faces behind the professor's back in the meantime.

Tony was the smartest, cockiest guy Jim had ever met, the most aggravating and most fascinating all in one. Some days Jim just wanted to throw him out the nearest window, and others they'd stay up talking about artificial intelligence and electromagnetic forces until Jim fell asleep wherever he was sitting and Tony kept working on sketches or new programming until dawn.

Being with Tony was like being off-balance. Jim never knew where Tony was headed next, whether it was an idea or some kind of adventure. Most of Tony's adventures came close to getting him expelled, but there were times when simply talking to him seemed dangerous—especially when Tony was close enough that Jim could feel the heat rising off his skin, or when Tony was all wound up about something and his eyes were boring right down inside Jim's soul.

They made Jim restless, those looks—left him feeling energized and unsettled and almost giddy. It wasn't just that he had secrets he wanted to hide from Tony, it was the secrets he was keeping from himself that were making him crazy.

No-one else had ever had such a strong effect on him, and Jim's upbringing told him other men never should.

There wasn't a single box anyone could fit Tony Stark into, and he wouldn't have stayed in it if they'd tried. Knowing that didn't help Jim even for a second.

"Let's go for a drive," Tony said one evening, and that meant his fancy-ass Jaguar XK-E convertible, because Tony's dad was richer than God. Tony lived in the dorms, just like Jim, except he had a room to himself and enough equipment in it to rival some of the campus labs.

And he had a car that was like an automotive wet-dream, so no way Jim would ever turn that offer down.

They sped off on route 1A, out of the city. Tony preferred the winding roads, putting the car through its paces as they hugged the curves along the white-tipped edges of the sea. It was both nerve-wracking and exhilarating, every bit as addictive as Tony himself.

After a while, Tony turned inland, away from the highway and the lights from the nearby towns. He took a couple of back roads, heading left and then right. Only his headlights broke the surrounding darkness, and when he pulled off and parked in a clearing, the sky overhead was blanketed with stars.

He turned off the headlights, and leaned over, resting his elbow on the side of Jim's seat. "Still breathing?" he asked with mock-seriousness, like he was immune to the effects of racecar driving on the highway, and maybe he was.

"Barely," Jim gasped on a laugh. Tony hadn't killed them yet, but it was always a near thing.

He turned to needle Tony about it, and found their faces closer than he'd expected. Tony was watching him in that fascinated, teasing way he knew so well, where Tony’s eyes—his every thought—seemed filled with Jim. It was startling, being the focus of all that interest and attention, and it always made Jim's stomach spin and flip.

Just like now.

Jim knew he shouldn’t, knew he was risking everything, but the electricity between them was overwhelming, the pull so forceful it outweighed common sense. He leaned in and kissed Tony with months of pent-up longing, sure and strong and hard.

Oh God, he couldn’t stop if he wanted to, and Tony was responding to him just as eagerly. Tony moaned, and slanted his mouth over Jim’s to kiss him deeper, and the sound—the feel of him, all of it—catapulted Jim to a state of intense arousal. His skin burned with need as he pulled Tony closer, wanting every inch of him under his fingertips. Tony leaned, shifted his weight forward and back, and then he was straddling Jim’s lap, rolling across and up against him. The shock of it sent a jolt straight to Jim’s groin.

He drew a shuddering breath and gripped Tony's waist, his hands schoolboy-clumsy with urgency. Tony lifted Jim's shirt off and then his own, his body moving in symmetry with the sweet torture of his kiss. Unbuckling them both, Tony lined the two of them up and worked them to a finish that had Jim digging his fingers in hard enough to mark Tony's back while the stars broke and scattered all around them.

They leaned together for a moment afterward, Tony's breathing as uneven as Jim's. "How—" Jim started.

"It was on your face," Tony answered.

"My face."

"It was broadcasting movie previews of you and me getting naked. Like the way your mom calling makes you homesick, or you daydream about strapping Leittner to a rocket launcher."

"The man says everything at least five times, for God's sake, and now is definitely not the time to bring up my mother," Jim pointed out, because Tony could be utterly clueless that way.

"Yeah," Tony laughed, absently stroking the back of Jim's neck. He looked up and searched the sky for a moment, his body beginning to vibrate with nervous energy. "So what now? I mean after we get back—got any plans?"

Jim ran his hands over Tony's skin, thinking, feeling. "There's a test on Thursday I could be studying for."

"And you probably finished memorizing the material two days ago already."

"So?" Jim leaned his head back to look Tony in the eye.

"So," Tony continued, "I got the prototype of the robot butler running. Want to see it?"

"What do you think?"

The next five minutes were a scramble of cleaning up and getting dressed and back on the highway again.

They sped back toward campus, with the moon shimmering off the blackness of the water and Tony handling the stick shift with a smooth certainty that made Jim hard all over again, remembering everything he and Tony had done less than half an hour ago.

Jim had no idea where this thing between them was headed, whether it was a one-time event or whether the two of them were starting something new.

Tony kicked up the speed a notch, roaring around the curves so fast that it left Jim's stomach a good quarter-mile behind them. It was breathtaking and dangerous, like flying at low altitude, and it was the most alive Jim had ever felt.

They rounded a corner and headed into a straightaway, where Tony turned a blinding grin on him and slapped his leg.

Just like that, Jim knew he didn't care what lay ahead of them. Being along for the ride that was Tony Stark was thrilling and impossibly captivating, and Jim was ready to get drunk on however much of it he was offered.


-------- fin --------

 
 
 
tyrical: Ironman_Tony and Rhodneytyrical on October 2nd, 2009 01:50 am (UTC)
Found this jewel in my inbox this afternoon. Made me forget about my gum surgrey! I love how you portray this pairing. This was lovely.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: IronManhalfshellvenus on October 2nd, 2009 01:56 am (UTC)
You have an icon for this pairing now! *squee!*

I'm so glad you enjoyed this, and I wish other people loved this pairing more. So much potential, so much prettiness. :D

And I'm very happy to help you forget about the unfriendly details of RL, even for a little bit. ♥
peanutgallery79peanutgallery79 on October 2nd, 2009 08:28 am (UTC)


I wish other people loved this pairing more

I do! Thank you very much for another lovely fic *downloads* : )


The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: IronManhalfshellvenus on October 2nd, 2009 04:50 pm (UTC)
Glad you liked it-- and you found it!

There's another one here that you might have missed-- a little coda to the longer series, or just some standalone schmoop.

Things are very quiet over at the_funvee, ever since the re-casting of Rhodey was announced, which is sad. I'm trying to write all I can before that becomes a reality when the second movie is released!
ShadowHuntress Deliverance: Alexander Mahoneshadowhuntress on October 3rd, 2009 06:04 am (UTC)
Aww, I loved this! I don't think I've read any Iron Man fic since last summer, but this has definitely inspired me to wade back through the archives. Thank you for sharing!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: IronManhalfshellvenus on October 3rd, 2009 07:25 am (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed it! I loved the movie, and last year's Fall Fandom Free-For-All inspired me to write a Tony/Rhodey story for someone else (since I'd liked the idea of that pairing myself).

The rest is history-- I wrote a whole story arc on these two after that, and went looking to see what other people had done.

And I'm still a slave to RDJ's arms in that film. Guh.
adafrogadafrog on October 3rd, 2009 04:52 pm (UTC)
Very cool. Loved how you portrayed them.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: IronManhalfshellvenus on October 3rd, 2009 10:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you! This is the first time I've written them outside of the timeframe of the movie-verse, but I'd had it in the back of my mind to try this period since attempting to start it a year ago for dancinbutterfly in the Fall Fandom Free-For-All. I wrote her a different Tony/Rhodey then instead. :)
Rachael: Iron Mandancinbutterfly on October 3rd, 2009 08:54 pm (UTC)
Fuck, I forget how good you write them and then you do something like this and I'm reminded. God I love me some college fic and this was epic. They are so perfect together and you reminded me how much.

Edited at 2009-10-03 08:54 pm (UTC)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: IronManhalfshellvenus on October 3rd, 2009 10:12 pm (UTC)
This was actually the timeframe you were looking for in last year's Fall Fandom Free-For-All, and I couldn't wrap my head around it back then (and wrote the other piece instead), but the "spark" prompt really seemed to help formulate the idea. Either that, or it was because I finished the longer arc of them that was parallel to canon.

I'm glad you enjoyed this one, and wish you were writing this pair still! I love the universe you started for them, in this era. :)
happy is as happy does: Robert & Terrence - Ironman (movie)happywriter06 on October 10th, 2009 07:57 am (UTC)
Finally got around to reading this. This just makes me wish for more college-era fic.

He drew a shuddering breath and gripped Tony's waist, his hands schoolboy-clumsy with urgency. Tony lifted Jim's shirt off and then his own, his body moving in symmetry with the sweet torture of his kiss. Unbuckling them both, Tony lined the two of them up and worked them to a finish that had Jim digging his fingers in hard enough to mark Tony's back while the stars broke and scattered all around them.
*happy sigh*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: IronManhalfshellvenus on October 12th, 2009 06:28 am (UTC)
So glad you got a chance to read this, AND that you liked it! I love the movie-verse timeframe for them (partly because I really like working within the canon there), but this was really fun to try as a different setting with different possibilities.

I think that affinity between them would have been a lifelong thing, no matter when they met.

And you quoted the porn section, which makes me think that might have come off okay! :)
applesofdyscord: Squeeappleofdyscord on October 20th, 2009 03:51 am (UTC)
I can't believe I missed this on funvee!! You make inner fan girl go squee!! Lol I love this!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: IronManhalfshellvenus on October 20th, 2009 05:36 am (UTC)
:D Thank you!

I've been holding onto this title and the prompt ("Spark") forever, and it was nice to finally write this college version of them. I tried to make it work a year ago for the Fall Fandom Free-For-All, and a different story worked out better. That kicked off the whole Tony/Rhodey thing for me, though, so it was all good. And I finally got here!
creamsoda99creamsoda99 on May 7th, 2011 08:41 am (UTC)
I'm kind of late in the game, but I must post how much I love this. :D I really like how sensual and sweet this is.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: IronManhalfshellvenus on May 11th, 2011 05:18 pm (UTC)
:D There's no late in my book! I'm glad you found it, and enjoyed it. I get such a kick out of Tony/Rhodey as a pairing, and this was the one story about them I thought I'd never write but finally did.

Thanks so much for your kind words!
realpestilencerealpestilence on July 8th, 2012 08:49 am (UTC)
You ~know this happened, or something like it. The last two lines sum it up for me, though-Rhodey's been drawn into Tony's magnetic orbit, and he'll take what he can get, whatever that is. There's a lot of potential for angst and sadness in that, as well as those moments of connection that just feed his addiction.

I do like the original Rhodey best. Not just because he's more attractive to me, but because the actors have a natural charisma together.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: IronManhalfshellvenus on July 9th, 2012 01:34 am (UTC)
There's a lot of potential for angst and sadness in that, as well as those moments of connection that just feed his addiction.
We sure saw that in the first movie-- the way Rhodey can't let go, no matter how obnoxiously childish Tony gets or how close he comes to destroying Rhodey's reputation through lateness or worse, just not showing up.

Rhodey 2.0 not only looks completely different, he feels like a completely different person to me. The open vulnerability in the original Rhodey's face, the way he'd let himself get trapped by Tony's promises or failures and still not be able to emotionally cut the cord... that was an entirely different dynamic between them. I so wish we'd explored more of that rather than veering off into Tough, Unpersuadable Rhodey who in all aspects was also a less interesting person. Tony was Rhodey's weakness, and Rhodey's struggles with that lent much more depth to his character.
n3m3sis43n3m3sis43 on October 11th, 2012 11:20 am (UTC)
This is adorable and hot and hot and adorable. Did they canonly go to school together?

Oh and I like the way you portray Tony as Rhodey's addiction, because I can totally see that. Sorry my comments are getting shorter and dumber, but now my kid is up and that's distracting. I should probably stop and read the rest later.

Edited at 2012-10-11 11:22 am (UTC)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: IronManhalfshellvenus on January 3rd, 2013 10:16 pm (UTC)
In movie canon, they're about the same age (and the original idea for this came from someone who wanted them to have gone to school together). In comic book canon, they're generations apart, but I'm not working in that universe. ;)

I think Tony's attention would be addictive, once you'd received the full measure of it (which is in another story). He's so intense that being the focus of that intensity would be bound to make you feel incredibly special. Who would give that up?

Lose 10 Pounds of Ugly Fat...  Cut Off Your Head.n3m3sis42 on January 3rd, 2013 10:34 pm (UTC)
Hahaha... You responded. :)

And I agree with you about the intensity of his focus - it would be addictive. Happy New Year!
(Anonymous) on January 3rd, 2013 09:23 pm (UTC)
this was so well written. altho i would like to point out improper naming. Rodes first name is James, not Jim.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: IronManhalfshellvenus on January 3rd, 2013 10:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I've really enjoyed writing this pairing for this fandom. I wish more people wrote them!

"Jim" is a nickname for James, and very few men named James call themselves by the full name. It's considered stuffy, especially in the U.S.

This story is based on the Iron Man movies, and I think he does actually call himself "Jim" there at some point. Normally, I could use "Rhodey" (which is what Tony calls him, and so the reader thinks of him that way too), but in this setting he doesn't know Tony well yet and hasn't yet earned that nickname.