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[personal profile] onemuseleft
Shovel fics are so hit or miss for me. I don't seek them out and rarely read them unless I know the tone of the story. If they're written right they can be fun (I like protective friends who don't just disappear into the woodwork when the Main Character gets a Love Interest). But way too often they end up coming across as emotional abuse. Like, okay. If Pepper Potts was all "Steve you're a hell of a man and I respect you and I know you love Tony but he needs someone who's going to be patient and kind with him and if you go into this and treat him badly I will stab you with my pointy, pointy shoes" and it's written that she's not LITERALLY threatening his life and they're both friends and no one is hurt or offended by it, then it can be cute and even kind of touching. But if Pepper was all "You've hurt him before and I don't trust you not to hurt him again so you will be a good boyfriend or I'll kill you" that is not okay.

The shovel talk in real life always strikes me as pretty fucking disgusting. First of all, you're basically threatening the Love Interest into staying in the relationship. "Treat him right or I'll kill you" is a fucking threat. Also, what a shitty way to treat someone who loves your friend. Now, if the conversation was more "Steve, I have genuine concerns about your relationship with Tony and how you've been treating him" that's another thing.

(I read a surprisingly good fic where Clint's handler was abusing him and Tony recognized all the signs of physical abuse from one of his past relationship and went after Coulson, but it wasn't a shovel talk, it was straight up "Are you hurting him? No, then we need to find out who the hell IS" which is something else entirely).

Second of all, way to be a complete ass to someone your friend loves/likes a whole lot/is taking out for a test drive. If I found out any of my friends threatened to kill my SO when s/he hadn't done anything to deserve it, I'd be pissed beyond words. Way to respect my fucking judgment, not to mention show respect to someone I care about.

(There's a Clint/Tony fic where everyone gives Tony the shovel speech, some of them unintentionally, and Tony ends up in a bad head space where he decides that if he's doing such a terrible job of being Clint's boyfriend that his entire support group felt the need to call him out on it, then he must be terrible and ended up breaking up with Clint. Clint, upon finding out why his boyfriend left him, proceeds to lay out the entire team which was really fucking gratifying to read, let me tell you.)

Anyway, this rant was inspired by a shovel fic that could have been cute and ended up being kind of emotionally abusive and left me kind of shook up.
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