“Routine” by Wordsplat (AO3)
Pairings: Steve Rogers/Tony Stark
Word Count: 22,776
Warning: This depicts a character with OCD, but no mention is made of the character receiving help from a professional. Please keep in mind that this is a work of fiction, and if it weren’t, that almost everyone in the Marvel universe should be seeking professional help.
Since waking from the ice, Steve has developed an increasingly difficult case of OCD. Not wanting to be a burden, he doesn’t tell anyone of his troubles and always keeps his teammates at a safe distance, not getting too close to any of them. He’s struggling just to keep his head above water when Tony catches him in one of his compulsions, and refuses to be pushed away.
I know, I know. Another Marvel fic? So soon after last week’s smorgasbord of MCU shipping?
To be completely honest, I had contemplated adding this fic to that list, but then I decided that it was worthy of a post entirely its own, because it achieves a few things I’ve rarely seen done in fanfic, or in truth, fiction. It is rare, very rare, that we see a hero dealing with the mental health effects that must come from putting their life in danger on a regular basis, in literature or on screen. A hero with a tragic backstory is the norm, but a hero who struggles with functioning on a day-to-day basis? Not so much. Tony Stark is often used as the foremost example of a superhero who struggles, and in this fic Wordsplat very deftly uses Stark’s history to show Cap that he isn’t alone, that the numbers that dauntingly taunt him every night are not insurmountable.
It is a story that hit very, very close to home for me. And for anyone who still claims that fanfiction is fanservice: you’re right. You’re so damn right. We are writing what we want to see: representation. Wordsplat gives us queer representation, as well as a story about a man who deals with a problem that is a reality for so many of us everyday.
This one gets one of my highest recommendations. If you’re a Stony fan, it’s a must-read.
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