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Heavy in Your Arms

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“I was a heavy heart to carry,

My feet dragged across the ground...

And he took me to the river,

Where he slowly let me drown...”

— Heavy in Your Arms, Florence + the Machine

 

 

 

He drops to the ground, eyes half-lidded as Thanos and his army turn to dust. The pain in his arm is all-encompassing, even as Friday morphs the gauntlet without his telling and drops it to the ground. It's awful, numbing yet burning sort of ache that should make him scream and thrash in the confines of Mark eighty. But he can't, not in front of Pepper. Not in front of Peter. The two idiots who followed him here to his end.

"Mister Stark," the kid whispers. "We won, Mister Stark." God. "We won. We won—"

He can't see beyond the mop of curly brown hair that’s resting on his chest, can't hear anything apart from soft hiccups of ", I'm sorry". But there's Captain America kneeling right next to his feet, where the discarded gauntlet lay.

"Steve, what are you doing?"
Barnes.

"Fixing this."
Oh, no.

 

The pain disappears. And so does the world in front of him.

He thinks he can hear the dead screaming for help.

Or maybe that's just him.

 

 

 

He wakes up with Pepper in his arms. Her soft snores, the smell of her raspberry body wash and a strange burning static cling to them both.

The door opens and Morgan comes in.

She's older. Still not as old as Peter or Harley, who stand behind her, wearing identical masks of confusion.

But he just saw her yesterday and it's wrong.

 

The world shifts.

 

 

 

This car is the same one that brought Natasha, Scott and Steve to his doorstep. Now it brings him a divorce lawyer.

It's wrong. He can't speak.

"Mister Stark, I presume?"

He smiles. In his head, he screams.

"Jennifer Walters?"

"In the flesh."

Help. Please.

"Bruce said you'd be greener."

She laughs.
Hers is a familiar face.

 

Just not the one he saw all those years ago.

 

The world shifts.

 

 

 

"Uncle Sam said he's gonna bring Bucky with him."

"Can't believe my daughter just called a grown ass man a Bucky—"

"Language," both Steve and Morgan chide.

He laughs. It hurts.

"Steve, could you help me with the plates?"

"Sure, honey."

Steve kisses him and he smiles.

It's wrong.

 

The world shifts.

 

 

 

Natasha looks at him, then at Steve—her eyes wide with dawning horror as Clint envelopes her in a tight hug.

 

The world shifts.

 

 

 

"Steve, stop! Please," he whispers to him in their bed.

Steve hums in inquiry and kisses his nose.

"Stop what?"

 

The world shifts.

 

 

 

Vision phases through the door. Opens it to reveal a very pregnant Wanda. He smiles and hugs her, taps her baby bump and gasps mockingly. She opens her mouth. The puzzled scowl on her face turns into a happy realization when Steve walks in.

They all ignore the hollow socket where the mind stone once sat or the way Vision glitches into greys.

 

"Please," he whispers as both Wanda and Steve exchange pleasantries.

 

The world shifts.

 

 

 

Peter is jumpy and anxious. His eyes keep darting around like he expects an attack. His spidey-sense must be working overtime.

"Mister Stark, what's happening?"

"Steve—"

 

The world shifts.

 

 

 

"Steve, stop. You're gonna destroy the world," Nat says.

"You have to let us go, Captain," Vision tells him.

Tony opens his mouth and Steve purses his lips.

 

"No."

 

 

 

The world shifts.

 

 

 

"Where's Doctor Strange," Peter asks him.

"I don't know."

 

Steve turns to them from where he's helping Bucky make dinner.

"Why don't you get changed, honey?"

 

Tony pales. The sky is distorted.

"Steve—"

A heavy sigh and the world shifts.

 

 

 

 

He wakes up and smiles. There's a deep ache in his bones that's all too familiar. The smell of something fried and greasy fills the air.

Downstairs, Nat is braiding Morgan's hair. Both of them are humming an old-timey show tune.
His daughter greets him good morning. While the former spy winks at him as his husband pulls him in for a kiss.

Tony grins as Bucky pinches Sam's hip, then pulls him closer by his shirt.

Wanda and Vision phone them from the hospital—now parents to twin boys, Tommy and Billy.

 

The sky looks odd today.

 

 

 

But that's alright.