Fandom: Iron Man (Movieverse)
Characters: Tony/Rhodey (Slash)
Summary: Tony was late, as usual, and just like always, it was driving Rhodey nuts.
Author's Notes: An Australian Flood Auction story for simplelyric, who suggested this wonderful Tony/Rhodey scenario.
Also for writers_choice ("Immature").
"I'm waiting, Tony. Where the hell are you? The damn meeting's in five minutes!"
Rhodey ended the call and paced in front of the entrance to the conference room. Tony's office, Tony's rules—Rhodey understood that. But this was a meeting with military personnel and two Fortune 500 companies, one that Rhodey had arranged at Tony's request. Nobody in that room was going to be happy if Tony was late, and it would all come back to bite Rhodey in the ass, he was sure of it.
I should have lied. Why didn't I tell him the meeting was at one-thirty, instead?
But he'd tried that before, and Pepper always managed to dig up the truth, so Tony wound up being just as late as always.
Rhodey glanced at his watch again—one fifty-eight and counting—and envisioned the nosedive his career was about to take. He took a deep breath and tried to remember the highlights of Tony's presentation, or what he'd seen of it two days ago, before Tony had lured him off to bed.
Suddenly, movement caught his eye as Tony rounded the hallway corner.
"Jesus, Tony, what took you so long!" Rhodey hissed.
"You look nervous," Tony said. "Are you nervous? We should work on that sometime."
"Why do you always do this?" Rhodey asked. "You're going to get me fired,"
"Ridiculous." Tony moved in close, out of sight of the people in the conference room. He brushed the front of Rhodey's suit. "They love you—you're the colonel to the stars. Well, to me, anyway." He leaned in and kissed Rhodey briefly, a 1950s going-to-the-office peck.
"I mean it," Rhodey said, trying to pretend that kiss hadn't distracted him, which wasn't even remotely true. "Would it kill you to be on time?"
"Well, I don't know," Tony said, looking up at the ceiling as if he was searching for something. "I seem to remember sitting in a bathtub of cold water one night, watching the ice in the champagne bucket melt while the clock ticked past the end of my birthday."
"That was one time!" Rhodey said. "I got stuck in an emergency meeting and I couldn't leave! I said I was sorry. Jesus, Tony, that was years ago!"
"And yet," Tony said, picking up his briefcase, "it feels like it was just yesterday." He smiled mysteriously and stepped around Rhodey and into the meeting room.
Damn, Rhodey thought. He can't be serious. Is he serious? After all this time? Though when he thought about it, there was a certain, stubborn consistency to Tony's lateness.
"Colonel Rhodes," he heard Tony call out coolly from inside the next room, "we're ready to begin."
Rhodey huffed out a short breath of exasperation, because Tony always did that to him too, made it seem like he was the one lagging behind.
He straightened up and strode into the room with an air of bulletproof confidence.
But as he took his place at the side of the stage and waited for the presentation to start, he was already weighing the notion of revenge.
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