OKAY CAN WE JUST TALK ABOUT THIS SCENE AND THE GREATNESS THAT IS RHODEY, PLEASE AND THANK YOU?
Point the first: I think that this is, uh, maybe the only time in the entirety of both of the Iron Man films where we see Tony Stark willingly accept any kind of affection. From, uh, anyone. He brushes off Pepper’s concern, he shrugs Obie’s hand away (and really, fuck you so much Obie), he jokes and jibes his way around everyone, but right here? Right here Tony is hurting and Rhodey was clearly, visibly scared for him, and when Rhodey pulls him in, Tony lets him. UGH, RHODEY, WHY ARE YOU SO FLAWLESS
Point the second: Rhodey sees through Tony’s bullshit. He lets Tony get away with it anyway, which is why I broship them more than I romantically ship them, just like I broship Tony/Pepper more than I romantically ship them; I think Rhodey would be great for Tony and Tony would be terrible for Rhodey, and that’s not fair or balanced. I mean, hell, even if you look at what we see in the films it’s always Rhodey doing things for Tony and that’s great for Tony, but RHODEY, YOU DESERVE SOMEONE AS STEADFAST AND LOYAL AS YOU ARE, you deserve all the best things fdjskhfdkjsfds. And Rhodey—like Pepper—got to know Tony during a part of his life where he flatly refused to be held accountable for anything ever, and loved him anyway (and thank god for that, because Tony Stark Needs People even if he won’t admit it), but I think that kind of history lays the groundwork for a really problematic romantic relationship, you know? A situation where the emotional power balance isn’t even because there’s all this precedent of Tony behaving badly and Rhodey understanding and accepting that because he didn’t have any other choice, because that was just who Tony was; I worry, in trying to fit them together romantically, about the other places that kind of dynamic could bleed through. (UGH BUT THEN AGAIN IT’S TOTALLY MY HEADCANON THAT DESPITE BEING REALLY STRAIGHT, RHODEY GOT DRUNK WITH TONY AND THEY HAD LAUGHING-HYSTERICALLY-ABOUT-IT SEX THIS ONE TIME, AND IT WAS REALLY GREAT AND SUPER HOT AND THEN THE NEXT MORNING THEY WOKE UP IN BED TOGETHER AND RHODEY WAS LIKE, OH MY GOD TONY WE HAVE TO BE RESPONSIBLE ADULTS AND TALK ABOUT THIS WHAT DID WE DO OH JESUS YOU KNOW I PRETTY MUCH ONLY LIKE WOMEN RIGHT? I MEAN YOU WERE GREAT BUT THIS IS NOT, OH MY GOD, WHAT HAPPENED HERE, AND TONY WAS JUST LIKE HEY, SOURPATCH, CALM DOWN, I DON’T EXPECT ANYTHING FROM YOU, STOP MAKING THAT FACE, BUT DEEP DOWN TONY STILL KIND OF HOLDS A LITTLE BIT OF A CANDLE)
And wow that was a tangent but MY POINT WAS: Rhodey sees through Tony’s bullshit, and he lets him get away with it, but he also always calls him on it. That scene in Iron Man where they’re on the plane with the strippers? If you actually listen past the music to what Rhodey’s saying in that scene, you can hear him telling Tony shit like YOU’RE MORE THAN WHAT YOU ARE and YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE THIS PERSON, and then in IM2 there’s the scene where he’s all, “You do this lone gunslinger act and it’s just unnecessary” and just UGH, RHODEY, HOW ARE YOU SO PERFECT
Point the third: Look. At. His. Face. In. That. Last. Panel. That is the face of a man who is so relieved to find his friend alive and okay and fdksfjsd he still manages to make a joke because he knows that’s what Tony needs from him and the way he goes to bat for Tony in IM2, WHILE STILL REMAINING THE FAITHFUL STEADFAST BADASS COMMITTED SOLDIER THAT HE IS, the way he fights with Tony to take the suit rather than calling for the tanks and the fear in his voice in that last scene when he’s in the suit and he thinks he’s going to have to watch it shoot Tony down, Rhodey you perfect perfect human I just love you, okay, I just love you forever, the end.