deliciously_devient: (Default)
Summary; In which Tony Stark is an idiot and Bruce Banner misreads signals.

Tony Stark was not a man of patience when it came to most things; in fact, there was nothing he was willing to wait any length of time for in the world. As soon as he was aware he wanted it, he bought, made or charmed his way into getting it, and that was that.

So when he realized that he wanted a certain stuttering science bro, he was, for once in his life, at a complete loss as to how he would go about acquiring what he wanted.

"One does not simply seduce Bruce Banner," Tony muttered to himself as he peered at the aforementioned science bro who was on the lab side of the lab, peering into a microscope with an intense frown on his face. The two had been down in the lab for two days straight, Tony trying to make his suit completely airtight and still just as articulated, Bruce studying his own regenerative properties as well as Steve's to try and recreate it to make a cure for some disease or other. Neither had eaten or slept much, too far in the 'science zone' as Clint had nicknamed it to care about such trivial matters, and Tony had had just about enough of getting nowhere with his new suit and Bruce getting more broody and unbrolike in his work.

He stood up, throwing the very expensive, very delicate microsauder wrench he had designed himself in the corner with a loud thunk, and threw his arms in the air with a loud huff.

"That's it, we're done science brochacho. Let's go get some shwarma," he said, wiping his sweaty, oil smeared forehead with the back of his hand. Bruce mmm'd at him, not looking up from his microscope, so lost in his notes and replicating cell regeneration theory he didn't notice that Tony had meandered over to his work station until the billionaire had yoinked his microscope out from under his eye.

"Hey!" Bruce exclaimed, blinking as he adjusted to the brighter light of regular sized life.

"Don't you 'hey' me, Mr. Angry. We've both been in the same spots for a good sixteen hours, and neither of us has showered or eaten in three times as long; we are going to shower, shave and get shwarma," he said firmly, and Bruce opened his mouth to argue, caught site of the expression on his friend's face, sighed and looked forlornly at his microscope, and sighed again as he rubbed his eyes.

"Fine," he conceded, and Tony grinned at him, clapping Bruce on the back.

"Trust me Bru, when we come back after dining on the sweet nectar of the gods, all the science will bow at our feet and reveal its secrets to us," he said, and Bruce snorted in amusement. Tony bounced on his heels, letting his hand fall from the other scientists' shoulder where it had lingered a millisecond too long, and grinned. "Meet you at ground level in thirty," he said, bounding out of the lab like an over excited child.

An hour, several hair products and a good happy time session later, Tony met an amused and slightly exasperated Bruce Banner at the ground level.

"Wow, you were almost on time," the doctor said drily, and Tony grinned, unashamed.

"JARVIS told me you didn't come down until ten minutes ago," the billionaire replied, enjoying the slight blush that dusted the other man's cheeks.

"Yes, well I made an educated guess from previously acquired data," Bruce quipped back as they made their way to the limo that was waiting on the street for them.

"Are you saying you've got my habits in a nice little formula?" Tony asked, his eyes glimmering with nine kinds of mischief. Bruce surprised him with a mischievous grin of his own, before sobering and looking Tony in the eyes.

"Actually, yes. I've taken into account the time you say you'll be ready, how much you want to do the activity you have to be on time for, who you're going to be with, and what I like to call the masturbation variable, which I obviously forgot to take into account today, or I would have been on time instead of early," he said, with an entirely straight face.

Tony found himself chuckling, and, being Tony, latched onto the only thing that had really stuck from Bruce's little speech.

"The masturbation variable?" He said, thinking that maybe, this was the time for a little innocuous flirting.

"Yes. I find that, on some days you say you're going to shower, its easier to tack on an additional ten to fifteen minutes of time to account for whatever it is you do in the shower that needs an additional ten to fifteen minutes than normal," Bruce said. Tony found himself laughing to cover the blush he could feel starting at the back of his neck, hopping out of the back of the limo as Happy pulled them up to his favorite shwarma stand.

"You've obviously put a lot of thought into my masturbation habits, good doctor," he said with a smirk.

As he had expected, the other genius blushed, and what a pretty blush it was, and oh, Tony would love to see that blush more, and see if it went all the way down Bruce's chest the way it looked to him, disappearing down his collar like some kind of temptation...

Bad Tony, he thought to himself as he shook his head and ordered for himself and Bruce.

"Well, it was either that or actually listen to the time you told me to be ready and wasting hours of my life," the doctor said dryly, causing Tony to grin.

"Time is just an illusion my good friend," he said, and turned back to the shwarma stand to get their steaming wraps of deliciousness. When he turned back to Bruce, he saw a tall, leggy blond bump into Bruce's back, causing him to stumble forward and almost knock into Tony.

"Oh my gosh, I'm sorry!" She exclaimed in an annoyingly high pitched voice that immediately grated on the billionaire's nerves. Bruce, being the kind man that he was, turned to the blond with a smile.

"That's quite alright," he said in the quiet, bashful way he did with all strangers.

"Oh my god, aren't you one of the Avengers? You're like, a hero!" she exclaimed and Bruce turned a nice shade of red.

"Oh, I don't know about that.." Bruce murmured, casting his eyes down and shuffling in an adorable way Tony associated with the times he called Bruce a genius, or praised his work. Tony felt the first stirrings of jealousy in his gut; only HE was supposed to make Bruce all bashful and adorable like that.

"No, you totally are! You like, saved my cousin from a fire like a month ago!" the blond said, and Bruce shuffled his feet again and Tony ground his teeth so hard he could have sworn he chipped one.

The genius/billionaire/playboy/philanthropist bit into his shwarma moodily as he continued to watch the dumb blond flirt with his Bruce until he couldn't take it anymore.

Bruce was HIS science bro! HIS best friend and potential science lover, and no one was supposed to see that special, embarrassed half smile that Tony thought had been only been for him.

"Excuse me," he said, insinuating his body between Bruce and the blond slut. "But we really should be getting back to the Tower. Your shwarma is getting cold," he continued, all but dragging Bruce away from the blond whorebag who was encroaching on his territory. Bruce looked a bit confused at Tony's behavior, but chalked it up to Tony being Tony.

Bruce was exceedingly confused, and it irritated him to no end. He was not a man who was easily confused, but he supposed he shouldn't be surprised when it came to Tony freaking Stark. One moment, the man was open and laughing and joking, and the next he was brooding and moody and surly and...angry, Bruce concluded as he looked up from his notes to peer at the billionaire, who was glaring at a piece of metal as though it had fatally insulted him.
Ever since they had left the lab for shwarma, over a week ago, Tony had been in a bad mood. He had snapped at JARVIS, Pepper, Bruce and even DUM-E more times than the doctor could count. As he bent over his notes once more, thinking about what had caused his friends sudden mood swing, and why it was hanging on so long.

He looked up again and caught Tony glaring at him with a ferocity that made him lean back. Tony looked away just as quickly as he had looked up, but Bruce knew; it was him. He was the reason Tony was in such a bad mood.

The thought stung, more than he had expected it would when he thought he would overstay his welcome. He felt tears stinging his eyes, and got up quickly and left the lab silently, wondering how Tony Stark had managed to slip past all the barriers he'd put up against exactly this event. He wasn't supposed to grow attached to people; he knew what happened when he got attached. It was just that much harder when he had to leave.

He reached his room, stubbornly wiping away the tears he felt threatening to spill over. He began packing his small suitcase with what little he had, thinking he might go back to India, or Burma. Somewhere no one knew him, where he could help the sick or something. He paused in the middle of the room for a second, closing his eyes as he let the pain sink into his chest; he'd been here for nearly ten months, and it had been unreal. Blissful, even.

He had never imagined he could be happy again, never thought he could feel like he belonged somewhere, never even dared to dream he could have a friend as good as Tony... He swallowed hard as he realized that Tony wasn't his friend anymore; that much was apparent to him. He knew hatred when he saw it, and it had almost burned his skin as when Tony had looked at him like that.

He took a deep breath, and knew that the ten months he had spent with the Avengers, with Tony, would always be something he held close to his heart, and he would never regret his decision to stay.

He picked up his suitcase, took a deep breath, and exited his room in Stark Tower for the last time.


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December 2012

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