“I haven’t heard from you in a few days.” Tony texted Rhodey Tuesday morning.
“Are you alive?” Tony texted Thursday night.
“Getting worried.” Tony didn’t know why he hadn’t heard from his friend, but he was getting worried. He knew that he was reading the messages but hadn’t heard from him and that terrified him. By Sunday night—The ‘getting’ in that sentence was an understatement.
“I’m confused as to what we’re doing, Mr. Stark.” Peter told him as they got out of the car heading toward Rhodey’s apartment.
“He hasn’t answered me in over a week. That isn’t like Rhodey. He knows that I—“ Tony stopped on that thought when he realized he was talking to a teenager who internalized everything he said.
“That you what?” Peter prompted.
“Never mind. My point is. Rhodey wouldn’t go off the grid for no reason.” Tony stated firmly.
“So we’re doing a wellness check?” Peter questioned frowning.
“A wellness check. May talks about it from working at the hospital. It’s like when you’re worried about someone’s well being so you send someone to check on them except instead of like calling the police we’re doing the wellness check, right?”
“I guess. Let’s just get inside. I’m worried about him.” Tony made his way to Rhodey’s apartment door with the big 14 on it and let himself in with his key.
“Dude. Rhodey’s apartment is a mess.” Peter observed laundry overflowed in baskets in the living room, garbage on all open surfaces, and he wasn’t sure where that funky smell was coming from yet.
Tony didn’t waste any time he went straight to Rhodey’s bedroom and barged in without knocking, “This is not good, my friend.”
“Wait, if you’re here. Bring me a snack. I ran out of snacks hours ago.” Rhodey mumbled from where he laid in bed in sweatpants.
“This is disgusting.” Peter said coming into the room.
“Peter, do me a favor. Go clean up what you can. I’ll deal with Rhodey.” Tony rolled his eyes.
“But I didn’t make the mess.” Peter crossed his arms over his chest frowning.
“Leave the mess! It found it’s home here, like me!” Rhodey said.
“Peter, go clean up and I promise to take you to get ice cream somewhere.” Tony raised a brow.
“Do you think I’m six?” Peter raised a brow.
“So no to the ice cream?”
“No, I didn’t say that!” Peter sighed and turned to go see what he could handle in the apartment.
“How long?” Tony asked starting to throw laundry into the hamper that had been overstuffed for a while. He just made it worse. Can you make something like this worse?
“Tony, I’m so sad and I don’t know why.” Rhodey said quietly.
“I know, Buddy. I’m going to help.” Tony promised his best friend.
“Can you help by finding me snacks? Or order me a pizza. I lost my phone. I had it one day—Gone the next. Could be fired. Wait, can the military fire you? Oh, well. I had a good run.” Rhodey pulled the blanket tighter to himself.
“Rhodey, how long?” Tony demanded.
“Since I showered?” Rhodey asked turning to his side to look at his friend, “Or since I lost my phone?”
“No, how long have you been in a depressed episode?” Tony rolled his eyes.
“What day is it?” Rhodey frowned.
“It’s Saturday. It’s been over a week since I’ve heard anything from you.”
“Well I felt sad one day and the sad didn’t go away. Tony, can you make the sad go away? I don’t like it anymore, but the sad likes me.” Rhodey’s voice broke, “Don’t leave me alone. I don’t want to be alone. Oh man, my sad probably made you anxious, huh?”
“I’m not going to leave you alone, but how about you come to the tower so I can send someone in here to burn—I mean clean your apartment? And don’t worry about my anxious right now.” Tony said calmly.
“Can I get ice cream too?” Rhodey asked, “And I’m not changing. This is my favorite shirt.”
“I think it’s also the only option since everything else seems to be in the dirty laundry or on the floor.”
“Don’t forget the couch.”
“We didn’t.” Peter yelled from the living where.
“You can give up, Pete.” Tony yelled.
“Oh, thank God.” Peter said with relief.
“I don’t understand why you’re both sitting in the back seat! I knew this would be a problem. Now you passed your sad to Peter.” Tony groaned.
“But Mr. Stark—I just realized that the world is so sad. I don’t even have parents.” Peter cried.
“He doesn’t even have parents.” Rhodey cried with him.
“If you both don’t stop crying then we’re not getting ice cream. You can be sad when we get to the tower.” Tony warned.
“Tony, I don’t understand why you told me to drop everything and come home.” Pepper walked into the living room where Peter and Rhodey were cuddled under blankets discussing all of the reasons why they had to be sad.
“They are making a list of why they are sad.” Tony gestured to Rhodey and Peter.
“#336 is that when I was a kid I couldn’t say yellow. I always said lellow” Peter admitted.
“#337 is that I’ve been convinced that I’ve lost my best friend way too many times because he’s an idiot.” Rhodey added.
“#338 is that no one at school believes that I know you guys.” Peter said.
“That is absurd! I plan to fix that as soon as I’m not sad anymore!” Rhodey said more forcefully than he thought he had in him.
“What should I do?” Pepper asked.
“You fix them.” Pepper threw back.
“No one can fix us. That’s another thing to be sad about.” Rhodey said.
“#339!” Peter yelled.
“That’s right #339!” Rhodey agreed.
“I’ve got it!” Steve yelled coming into the living room holding a prescription bag.
“Oh no. He brought me the stuff that makes me lose my sadness.” Rhodey told Peter.
“It was nice knowing you, buddy!” Peter squeezed his arm.
“Don’t worry. It takes weeks to start working.” Rhodey explained.
“We’re also going to do a few other things. Remember the term coping skills.” Tony raised a brow.
“I hate those.”
Rhodey had showered, gone for a walk, and ate a meal. He had to admit he did feel little better, “Okay. Pass the medication.”
“Wait, where’s mine? I’m sad too.” Peter asked.
“Don’t worry. I know how to fix you too.” Tony rolled his eyes.
“Now can I go back to bed?” Rhodey begged.
“Yeah, but we get to have this fun every day until you start to feel better.” Tony reminded him.
Rhodey got up from where he sat at the kitchen island but turned back, “Tones, thanks. I’ve got you when Anxiety kicks in again.”
“Now how do we fix me?” Peter asked seriously.
Tony pulled him in for a hug, “Snuggles and Star Wars.”
“Add in popcorn and you’ve got a deal.” Peter ran for the blankets in the hall.
“You’d love for people to believe that you’re bad with people…But they don’t see this you” Pepper remarked from where she sat working on her laptop in the kitchen.
“The ones who count do.” Tony kissed Pepper’s cheek.