by elfin

Bruce�s opening line is true genius-first-thing-in-the-morning-before-coffee. �I slept in your bed.�

Tony rubs his eyes, pushes up on his elbows and scoots sideways to close the space between them, stealing a kiss before Bruce can mount a token protest. �Well spotted, Einstein.�

�Why did you let me sleep in your bed?�

Shifting until he can feel Bruce�s body along the length of his own, elbow to foot, Tony dips his head and nips Bruce�s shoulder. �That was you and me in Kolkata, right? And in my bathroom? I mean, I know yesterday was wall to wall excitement so I can see how getting naked in the shower with me wouldn�t rate high against victory in battle....� He waits for Bruce to look him in the eye. �And you said you�d stay, so don�t get any ideas.�

Bruce laughs softly and turns onto his back, getting one arm under Tony�s shoulder, spreading his hand over the top of his spine, and Tony feels like he�s been waiting forever for him to be comfortable enough to relax. �As I remember, you said I�d stay and I didn�t disagree. And just because we�ve shared a couple of handjobs doesn�t give me the right to sleep ��

�Stop right there, because it really does.� Tony takes a swipe at one dark nipple with his tongue. �And now you�re rested up maybe we can add to the handjob count....� He moves his hand down, strokes his palm over Bruce�s erection rising in his underwear. �Or even add to our repertoire.� Dipping his fingers inside the waistband of his boxers loose on Bruce�s narrower hips, he touches hard, silky skin and hums softly. He gives Bruce every opportunity to stop this, taking his time to ease the elastic down until Bruce�s cock springs free and with a little twist and bend at his waist, Tony takes it in this mouth, sinking lower until the tip�s hitting the back of his throat.

Bruce�s low almost animal groan is reward enough, but the hand on his head, fingers in his hair and his own name like a mantra on the guy�s lips pushes him a long way towards his own climax. Bruce�s hips push up, the hand on his head becoming heavier, holding him in place as he starts to gently fuck Tony�s mouth. Tony groans, closing the back of his throat, hollowing his cheeks, sucking hard, swallowing every drop as Bruce comes with a loud cry.

Instantly the hand drops away from his head, and he can hear a breathless apology, �Sorry, sorry....�

Tony stretches up beside Bruce and kisses him, winding his fingers into his hair, �don�t apologise. Never apologise for being who you are. You�re fucking perfect.�

�You�re the first person to touch me in so long....�

Looking into soft, dark eyes he can see the lingering sadness there. �Selfishly, I want to be the only one.�

It�ll just take time he tells himself, but he is Tony Stark, he can change Bruce�s life and he wishes he�d done something sooner, found him earlier, brought him home before now. He kisses the tip of his nose and climbs over him, straddling his thighs, arc reactor bright even in the muted day light. Bruce reaches for him, curls his large hand around his dick and jerks him slowly, so slowly. It�s devastatingly intimate as their gazes lock. Bruce laces their fingers together in the air above his stomach and Tony runs his hand down Bruce�s arm, fingernails lifting the dark hairs. His orgasm curls into the base of his spine, spreads through his groin, balls tightening he comes hard over Bruce�s steady, strong hand.

He tightens his fingers, dropping forward onto Bruce�s chest, their hands trapped between them. He lies with his head tucked under Bruce�s chin and wanders at the changes being wrought in him. It�s been three days, not uneventful days, and his feelings, his emotions, are running wild.

Sliding off the guy, Tony lies on his side as Bruce turns to face him. He combs his fingers through the greying hair at his temples and feels like he might � just might � be falling in love. Not fleeting like so many times before, but something deep, something lasting, something almost painful.

�You know I can�t stay,� Bruce murmurs, touching Tony�s chest. And there�s the pain swelling right there.

�Yeah, you can.�

�I can�t, Tony. The military still want to get their hands on me, not to mention other interested parties. They�ll pay top dollar to find me and my pictures are all over the news.�

�I�ll protect you. So will SHIELD, as much as I hate to say it. You need to trust us.�

He moves his head on the pillow. �You can�t be with me all the time, and all it takes is one well placed tranquiliser dart � believe me, I know. I don�t want to be used to hurt others and I don�t want to spend the rest of my life as a lab rat.�

�You won�t. I swear. Just hear me out later, yeah? You don�t like what I have to say, I�ll fly you wherever you want to go.� He looks at Tony with such sadness in his eyes. �Please. You know it kills me that the stuff they used to hurt you had my name all over it. Let me at least try to help you.�

Finally, to Tony�s relief, Bruce nods. �Okay.�

�Thank you.� He shifts closer, touching the side of his head to Bruce�s. Eventually he falls asleep like that.


He lets Bruce sleep in until early evening, then wakes him with fresh coffee, fresh pancakes with fresh mango and a fresh set of clothes.

He sits on the end of the bed with a mug of black Americano and watches Bruce eat. Jarvis puts the news up one of the darkened windows, with the volume up just enough to mean they�re not sitting in silence, low enough so they don�t catch most of what�s being said about the thwarted alien invasion and the superheroes who saved New York. It�s not an uncomfortable silence between them at any rate and Tony has to keep from jumping the bones of the gorgeous naked guy in his bed. He has one task before they can have sex again � he needs to talk Bruce into staying. He�s bordering on addiction to the good doctor already, one more blissful orgasm, one more sight of him splintering apart under Tony�s hands, and won�t be able to let go.

�I don�t think I�ve ever slept with such a hairy guy,� he blurts out suddenly for no other reason than �I think I love you� doesn�t seem appropriate and before his brain can stop him. Bruce stares at him before blinking once and saying,


It�s fair enough, because there isn�t an appropriate response to what Tony knows was probably a completely inappropriate thing to say.

�It�s incredibly sexy.� And by the embarrassed smile that touches Bruce�s lips he�s at least got that bit right.

Obviously he insists on dressing, which doesn�t slow Tony�s brain down too much now he knows what�s under the clothes so he invites both Bruce and his coffee down into one of the surviving labs.

�Now, I don�t want you to take this the wrong way,� he starts as they step out of the elevator but he has to wait because Bruce is looking around him like a kid in Disney Land. �If you stay you can play until your heart�s content. But in order to do that.... Jarvis, pull the tracker up.�

A 3D visual appears in mid-air, a wireframe model of Stark Tower, a small blue blip high up, on their floor, in the centre of the representation of the lab they�re standing in.

�Steve was right when he said that without the suit I�m defenceless. At least, that�s how I�m going to choose to interpret what he said.�

Bruce makes that face, the one that looks as if someone�s shone a bright light into his face or has said something crude and distasteful. �You are aware he does actually like you.�

Tony nods, �Whatever. Pay attention. A guy I thought of as a surrogate father sold me out and tried to kill me. Telling the world I�m a superhero put an even higher price tag on my head. So after Afghanistan, I designed a tracking device that I implanted into my left shoulder, deep, below the muscle and bone. Its transmission is heavily encrypted and will get through anything. Only Jarvis can track it but it means he knows where I am at all times. If I press my finger into the skin between my shoulder and collarbone, it�ll trigger an alarm here, with my friend Rhodey and now with SHEILD. If I go above or below sea level outside of set parameters and without the suit, it�ll trigger an alarm. If I go outside a set distance from my home location, it�ll trigger an alarm. If my heart stops or the arc reactor is taken off line or removed from me the alarm triggers. If I go missing for more than twenty four hours without prior warning, the alarm triggers. If Jarvis has cause for concern, he can trigger the alarm himself. And when the alarm�s triggered, Jarvis sends my location and ongoing location updates to everyone and anyone I need to come find me.� He can see understanding in Bruce�s face. �It�s my security. It�s the safety of knowing that if something happens to me help is on its way, that there won�t be another Afghanistan. It�s security for Pepper, knowing there�s a way of finding me if I need to be found.�

�And you�re suggesting you implant me with the same thing?� It�s not a no, although predictably there�s more than a hint of wariness. �You realise I�ve been running for five years.�

�But not hiding. SHIELD�s been actively tracking you while simultaneously keeping others off your trail. They didn�t want to lose you and neither do I.�

�I�m better off on my own,� but he sounds like he just needs convincing and Tony�s happy to oblige.

�Aren�t you tired of it? Being alone, running from one shithole to another, leaving what little you�ve collected for yourself behind. The military have no claim on you. If they come for you publicly, we�ll stop them. If they try anything sneaky, we�ll find you before they can get a single needle in your arm.� Bruce winces. �It doesn�t have to be a tracker. We can set your device to trigger under whatever circumstances you want � if your heart rate elevates suddenly when you�re outside the Tower, if there�s a sudden surge of adrenaline in your bloodstream. If Jarvis puts that together with a Hulk incident, he can find you, check you�re okay and let it run its course. If he has any reason to believe you�re not okay he�ll sound the alarm and we�ll find you. I�ll fine you. I�ll always find you.� He turns, arms outstretched, �Cards on the table here. I�m... falling for you, hard and fast. You could well be... the one, you know, when people talk about The One? And I don�t mean in a Matrix Neo type way, I mean here,� he taps his chest to the left of the arc reactor. �I know it�s only been three days and I tend to be like a dog with a bone with new shiny things but you�re not one of those things. You�re... you. You�re very special and by that I don�t mean just because you get mad and turn green....�

Bruce�s fingers pressing to Tony�s lips stop the flow. �Okay.� He�s smiling. �I�m insane to agree and I�m certain I�m going to regret it but okay. You�re right that... I�m tired of running and I don�t want to be alone any longer. You�re the first person in so long who�s touched me without fear and maybe it is because I�m new and shiny but I don�t care. I�ll take what I can get while you�re still interested ��

Tony kisses him, fast and rough. �Shut up,� he growls, �You�re not a new toy, a new car, you�re not an experiment. You�re... Christ, you�re Doctor Bruce Banner, one of the smartest men alive. I�ve slept with countless guys and girls and none of them match up to you, they never could. I�m doing not this for anyone but you and me and I can promise you that Jarvis and I, we�re not for sale.�

Bruce nudges his nose with his own until Tony lifts his head and he can kiss him back. �Rule one, we don�t talk about your past lovers, okay? Any of them. And I know that�s a lot to ask because I know there are a lot of them.�

He grins. �Why, Doctor Banner, are you jealous?�

�What you said, about... feelings? I like you too, Tony, a lot.� He laughs softly. �As absolutely terrifying as that is, because it�s you and of all the people in the world I have no idea why it had to be you, not many people who�ve known about me have treated me with respect, like a human being. I�ve read all about you and not once did I ever imagine you�d be so... good to me. You�re just like I thought you�d be with Steve, with Thor, with Fury... but not with me. With me you�re different and I don�t know why or what I�ve done to deserve you but I�m glad I did it. I just... don�t want you to do anything you�ll regret, or to say anything I�ll regret.�

Tony wraps his arms around him and hugs him, is hugged back in return with a chuckle that makes him smile. �No regrets. I promise.�


It�s a few days before Tony strolls into his living room one afternoon to find it packed with superheroes, and realises that they never left.

�Don�t you all have homes to go to?� he asks the room in general. Everyone looks at him, no one answers. He�s been distracted, what with spending most of his waking hours and all of his sleeping ones in bed with Bruce, but he thinks Jarvis might have mentioned that he still has house guests.

�Thor�s taking Loki home once Fury�s finished debriefing him,� Clint explains eventually, actually using his fingers to put the word �debriefing� into quotation marks. He�s on the sofa with a giant bowl of popcorn in his lap and Natasha�s head pillowed on one thigh. They�ve paused what�s playing on the giant LCD screen but Tony recognises the police station scene from Terminator.

�Don�t you two at least have better things to do?�

�We�re on standby until Clint clears a psyche exam next week,� Natasha explains, and okay, so that makes sense.

�And what about you, Disco?� Steve looks odd somehow in jeans and a blue jersey.

�Vacation,� he replies, obviously getting the hang of modern sarcasm, �Where�s Doctor Banner?�

�Bed. Sleeping. That last one was exhausting, long and slow, kept him on the edge for an hour until he threatened to let the other guy join in the fun and that, my friend, is the definition of �compromising position�, believe me. We need sustenance if we�re going to keep this up.�

�You�ve been in bed for two days. Are you going to keep this up?�

Tony looks at him curiously. �Is that a euphemism?�


�Oh. Well, the answer�s still the same. Yes. We�ll rejoin the world when we run out of ideas and need to consult the internet, or you guys. If you�re still here.�

He grabs packets of things and bottles of stuff, piles it all into his arms and gives the assembled SHEILD heroes a little wave. �Don�t do anything I wouldn�t do.� He�s doubtful any of them can come up with anything he wouldn�t do, but if they can, he definitely wants to know about it.