Ok little explanation about this fic. I promised one of my reviewers I'd write something from Bruce's POV. I tried to get away from 'my Bruce' as much as I could (because I feel that inside even my Bruce's head he's dark and moody) but I didn't get too far. I've also had some trouble writing the last fic to my, what I've decided to call "Childish Games" series and the reason is… I can't get Batman/Joker out of my head. This hopefully will deal with that so I can get back to the bantering boys and get them married.
This takes place a week or so after the TDK, when Gotham's calmed down some. Despite what he says to Gordon at the end of the movie I feel Bruce has been broken almost beyond repair. His love is dead, he had to kill his replacement and all of his major villains have been locked up. To deal with this and to function at moments he becomes uncomfortable with or dislikes I have him 'hearing' the Joker, which goads Batman to the surface. Once awoken, Batman answers the way he thinks Bruce should or completely takes over until something shocks him out of Bruce's system or he completes his goal.
I've also formatted the story so it's clearer what's going on.
Joker's words in Bruce's mind.
Batman's thoughts unless it's in "quotes" like someone is talking.
There's some other stuff I've shoved in here, especially into Tony's character but you'll figure that out as you read along. Or if you don't…you can ask me in a review. I like reviews. LOVE reviews.
Now that all THAT is out of the way…I give you the story.
Title: Focal Points (Actually this title is terrible. I'm looking for a better one. Give me IDEAS people!)
Author: Spiras_Stargate (lord_blade)
Rated: M to be safe
Warning: SLASH, sap, OOC Tony?, UN BETAED (Don't have one...yet…)
Fandom: The Dark Knight/Batman Begins and Iron Man (CROSSOVER)
Characters: Bruce/Tony, Alfred, Pepper, Jarvis, (Quotes from the Joker) with mentions of Colonel Fury, Charles Xavier, mutants and…other such things that shouldn't cross over into both worlds but DOES in mine.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters. I'm not making any money doing this.
Summary: What madness would rule your mind if you lost the woman you loved and had to kill the man that was to take over your mantle? Who would you turn to? Who could understand?
"Rachel Dawes was my best friend growing up."
Nothing. I've got nothing left. The world I was fighting for is meaningless. I lied to myself when I said I was doing it for the good of Gotham, when I said it was for the memory of my parents. It was all for her because…I'd made a mistake with her, and I wanted make it up to her.
Don't talk like you're one of them! You're not! Even if you'd like to be.
"She was always a fighter and she's one of the unsung heroes of Gotham. Before Harvey Dent, when Gotham was on the brink of falling completely into darkness, she was there, fighting the lawless and the corrupt."
But the person she wanted me to be, died with the Wayne's in an alley. What was born that night was, mostly who I am now. A monster with all the dreams of a little boy, whose life was stolen from him.
You're a freak! Like me!
"She never complained or stopped fighting when someone close to her, on her side, died for the cause. She never asked for help. She only wanted to inspire good in other people. And she did."
And now, I can't even hear those dreams.
Oh they need you now…but when they don't? They'll cast you out. Like a Leper.
"When I returned to Gotham 2 years ago and she approached me and gave me a speech that inspired me for the first time since before my parents died. She said, 'Bruce, what chance does Gotham have when the good people do nothing? It's not who you are, but what you do that defines you.'"
The mask that is Bruce Wayne is dying. There's nothing holding for him to grab onto. No one to impress. Soon I'll be nothing but my monster and we'll see who he really is without the memory of a little boy guarding his actions.
I had a vision of a world without Batman. And it was so…boring.
"It was in that moment that I realized that I would do whatever I could in my power, to help her. To clean up Gotham's streets. And I have been."
I'm close to telling them all, who and what I am. The next words out of my mouth will either condemn me or cast me into a blurry position where I will be able to live out the rest of my life as nothing more than a shell in the public's eyes. It's not a hard choice to pick which ones should be said because I have nothing left to hide. I have nothing left to give.
I think you and I are destined to do this forever.
"For the last two years I have been known as the v-"
There's an explosion down the street from where we're holding the memorial service. People flee before my eyes, screaming for mercy. I fist my hands in a rage, my face clouding over in stormy anger. I can see Alfred out of the corner of my eye, moving toward me. He knows the look of my beast when he sees it.
"Master Wayne," he tugs on my arm as people bump into us, fleeing in hysteria.
I won't leave though. I want to see what's going to happen next. Who's disturbing my final glory moments as Bruce Wayne.
I'm prepared for anything but the giant robot that bursts through what's left of the building that just exploded. It's novel enough to surprise even me.
"Alfred get out of here."
He huffs, "I don't suppose I can talk you out of trying to go, at least dressed as you are?"
I refuse to look at him.
"Very well," Alfred turns and is gone.
He knows I'm close to breaking and suicide as Bruce Wayne would be better for Gotham, than suicide as Batman and then having the city find out who I am.
I jump down from the raised platform and feel twinges from various wounds. I ignore them. I start walking toward the sparking robot, my coat billowing out behind me. All in black. The first march of Batman unmasked.
I'm about 20 feet from the smoking machine when I hear a shout and a roaring noise that I'd thought was from the fires down the street. My head snaps up and I see a smaller robot floating off to my left. Gold and Red.
"Stay back!" It warns. "It's not done yet!"
I narrow my eyes, growling softly in my throat before turning my attention back to the robot. It's starting to move, emitting whines and clicks.
"Move!" The robot above shouts down at me.
I'm not moving. I think the smaller robot gets that idea from how I'm standing. It flies down and lands beside me with a resounding thud, cracking the pavement. It turns around to face the robot that has started to get up.
"You better get behind me," I hear and then there's the sound of a high pitched whine.
I step closer to it for some reason and just as I get close enough to actually reach out and touch the metal of its back, a beam shots out of the Gold and Red robot's chest, cutting through the giant in front of us.
The machine lurches like a wounded animal before falling lifelessly to the street, pavement flying in all directions.
After a few moments the smaller robot turns toward me and then it's head falls open.
"Iron Man," I mutter, staring at the famous Tony Stark. I'd seen the reports, but the images hadn't been too clear on the television.
"Bruce Wayne," the older man holds out a hand toward me, "pleasure to finally meet you face to face."
I reach out and take his armor covered hand in my own and give it a shake, "Likewise. What's that?" I nod toward the alien machine. Far more advanced that anything I'd ever seen, now including the Iron Man suit.
"It's an Ultimo duplicate."
I blink, frowning slightly.
"Never mind," Stark smirks at me like I couldn't possibly understand a superhero and his daily work.
"No. I'd like to know." I can tell there's no trace of Bruce Wayne left in my face by the way Stark has gone serious. Bruce Wayne is easy to lie to. Batman demands answers.
"It's actually top secret information that I can only divulge on a need to know bases to civilians."
I'm exposed here. I feel naked out of my armor while he's in his. I've never met another 'hero' like myself. I'd always known they were out there but none of them bothered trying to save Gotham. They probably think it's too far gone.
"I don't suppose you have any power tools back at your place?"
I eye his armor and then look at the robot. I get out my cell phone and dial, "Fox? Wayne. I'm fine. I need you to get some people down here for retrieval. Call the Gotham PD and tell them we're donating the time to clean up the mess." I snap the phone closed and turn my attention back onto the robot. Amazing machine. Fox will be thrilled. He won't get to keep it long but it'll have to be long enough.
"Tools?" Tony asks again.
All of a sudden my world goes shattered and foggy like all the reality has been sapped from me. I'm what's left of Bruce Wayne and I'm standing with Tony Stark. I don't know what to do but all the self-preservation I ever had is gone. "Yes. Down by the docks…I have a…" I look away from the robot, around for Alfred and my car. We've got to go to the lair. It's where my tools are.
I feel an arm go around my waist, "Since you seem to be negative a vehicle. Allow me. Just point me in the right direction as I go."
" We'll unscrew this part next," Tony's hand brushes over a locking bolt at his hip. He's sitting on my workbench in the lair. He doesn't know why I have a secret workshop down in the docks, the door of which is hidden in a freight container but he's not asking questions. I want him to. Normal people question things like this. Tony Stark is normal. He has to be.
I make room on the table for more pieces as he jumps down. Legs parted slightly, to help me remove the armor is my only guess. I place my power drill over the bolt at his hip and he gives me a lewd grin, raising his arms out of my way.
"You're pretty handy with tools for a playboy."
I glance up at him, "We all have our vices. I'm sure the same could be said about you judging from this piece of work."
Tony shrugs, "You should see me in a cave with a box of scraps."
My mind goes to the cave under the unfinished Wayne manor. I see it finished, the way I've planned to make it. Super computer consol, environmentally controlled lab, holding cell, hall of artifacts or rather weapons I've taken off of criminals like the Scarecrow and the Joker, a storage room for different suits and a finally place for the new tumbler. But I've seen it like that before. Only now instead of Alfred, or Rachel or even a villain in the holding cell, I see Stark in the lab surrounded by tools and gadgets, his Iron Man suit on a platform in the room next to my own suits.
He notices I'm lost in my thoughts and he lowers an arm, hand brushing against my cheek nonchalantly, "Hey sweets. Little focus on what you're doing would be nice. You're going to pop my hip out of joint."
"Are you flirting with me?" I ask, moving around to the other side.
"I don't know. Is it working?"
I raise my eyebrows, "Depends on what you're trying to get out of it."
Tony shrugs again, "Oh the usual. Dinner, a movie, maybe a show."
I look up at him again. I'm kneeling down, one hand resting on his still armor covered thigh, the other holding a drill positioned on the bolt at his knee joint. He's giving me a knowing smirk that has me questioning all sorts of things. Mostly if he just happened to end up in Gotham or if he made sure he ended up here.
I'm frowning, "Not really."
He clicks his tongue looking at me for a second more before up and across the room, "Too fast?"
"At least that's not a complete no," he starts talking to himself. "Which is good seeing as this is the first time I've ever tried this on a guy. Maybe I should have set the bar lower. Rhodey wouldn't have been hard. We've been friends for years and he obviously…obviously wants in my pa-"
I don't know what to think about him. I feel nothing. No disgust, fear, or uncertainty comes over me. Neither do any feelings of interest, lust or enjoyment. I don't even question why. He's Tony Stark. I unbolt his armor's shoes and then get to my feet, "Better planning would improve your odds of success."
He shrugs, "I don't really make it a practice to make plans. Sure I'll write down the more complicated stuff but mostly it just comes to me. I more or less just sort of do things."
I pause, my blood cooling in my veins. Threat.
"Hey you got a towel around here or…something?"
No. Just unpredictable. I moved forward and press a button, a chamber rises out of the floor behind us.
"Oh that's neat," I hear him walk over to it and open the doors, "extra clothes too? What do you do down here Wayne?"
I live. My hand hovers over the other button to raise the other chamber. I swallow, letting a snort out of my nose before I close my eyes and press it. I wait for Stark to realize what I've done. I lean forward, against the desk, my eyes on the screens before me. They're all playing different news stations.
"Oh. That's what."
Again I feel nothing. He's not reacting how I thought he would and I imagined he'd react in a lot of ways.
He comes up behind me, and places a hand on my back, "She was the reason, wasn't she?" He nods toward the screens; I realize they're all playing footage of the aftermath of Tony's fight, panning across the podium where I had been standing. There's a picture of Rachel smiling on a stand beside the podium where the sheets of the speech I was giving, flap in the breeze.
I give a jerky single nod. I can feel the tears prickling my eyes. I'm drowning and he's the only other person in the pool that can save me.
"Ok?" His tone is worried.
"No," I mutter. I'm quaking. My arms aren't going to support me much longer. I focus on the heat of his hand instead. I see myself on one of the screens giving my speech again. It's one of the ones that has audio going. I must have turned it on out of habit.
He's silent listening to my speech, but towards the end I feel his hand fist in the folds of my dress shirt. "You were going to tell them?"
"It doesn't matter."
"Usually I would agree with you. I find…hiding one's identity causes more problems than it's worth, but in your case," Tony's hand releases my shirt and presses into the small of my back, "the law is not on your side. This city is a corrupt and festering mess and to reveal yourself, means death."
I give a heartless laugh.
"Which I'm guessing…was the idea."
"I lost the reason to be who I am. What did you expect?"
Tony grabs my shoulder and turns me around. He's in a few inches shorter than I am and he's in a black body suit that makes him look like an aging surfer rather than one of the smartest men in the world. My eyes focus on the round disk glowing on his chest that doesn't come off with the rest of his armor. I wonder why.
"I don't expect anything. I met you in person all of an hour ago, but I bet a lot of other people in this city expect you to endure."
I open my mouth but he holds up a hand to stop me.
"They're idiots. You lost something. Someone. I know what that's like."
"You're still you," I say lifting my chin.
"Hardly," he lifts his own chin glaring at me, "I had to kill a man who I had trusted my whole life, who my father had trusted most of his, because he betrayed me. I watched a man, who saved my life three times die for me…so I could come back home. I'm nothing like I was before."
"I can't keep doing this."
"Not right now," Tony corrects. "You'll lose yourself in darkness if you try."
Something in my eyes must tell him more than I ever thought them capable of doing.
"Death or Darkness…"He pulls back from me slightly, "What did the clown say to you?"
I frown, random brain cells firing half formed questions, "How did you-"
"I watch world news. I heard his speeches. Let me tell you something about guys like him. They always say something that sounds good. They're hoping to catch you in a moment of weakness or they hope that something they say will come back to you when you're broken. Now what did he say?"
"I…I complete him…and we're going to fight each other…forever…because I…can't kill him…and he won't kill me…"
Tony grabs my chin. He's angry, "Wayne, they all complete you. Every villain you fight is made just for you or they'd be someone else's problem. As for the forever thing? Probably not. You can't kill each other…fine. I have my own set of villains that I…encounter…on a semi-regular bases. But! As the numbers stand, there are others that haven't promised not to kill you and neither of you are immortal."
"He's," I lock eyes with Tony, "chaos and I'm order."
Tony titles his head to the side regarding me, "You're not order. If you were, you'd restore the balance by whatever means necessary. I mean that is how he creates chaos, right?"
"See? You're not Order. You're Justice. You want to bring everyone to Justice."
"Justice doesn't have an opposite."
"Injustice, which is every villain you face, not just the clown."
I lower my head.
"But…you don't want Injustice, just like you don't want chaos. You want…an ally. That's why you feel like you're dying, because you've lost the person you connected with."
"She…isn't the only ally I have."
"But she's the only one that ever loved you? And you ever loved in return? I'm guessing she also knew who you were."
I nod. I know where he's going and it would work. We'd make it work. It'd be good for the world. Good for business…mostly. New wave. Next generation thinking. Stable too. We'd both be settling down, running our companies. We'd get a couple of orphaned kids. Tony knew people. He'd probably find a couple of young mutants that had special needs.
"Honey-Bee, you need to stop doing that."
Tony leans into my personal space, "Making plans." He pulls back giving me a little nod.
"I can't…not plan…"
"I noticed," he smirks at me, "Come back to Malibu with me."
"I can't just-"
"You were going to tell Gotham City that you were Batman, which means that you'd be running from the law or sitting in a cell either at the county facility or at the lovely asylum I hear Gotham has. I think you have plenty of time on your hands now that I ruined your speech."
"That's not…what I me-"
He comes up to me again and now I know why he has the following of girls he has. His eyes are mesmerizing, certain and yet oddly soft. I get lost in them for a moment but that's all it takes for him to reach up and slide his hand along my jaw and guides me forward to his lips. He tastes like scotch and his beard is soft, almost gentle against my chin and upper lip.
He pulls away first searching my face again, "Too fast?"
I'm breathing harder than I should be. Kisses never make me breathless. Not even ones from Rachel.
"Bruce," I correct, barely above a whisper. He should be calling me Bruce.
He's smirking again, "You're coming back to Malibu with me."
I nod once. Firmly. I'm going to Malibu with him.
"In that case, I'll ready your private jet, Master Wayne."
I step back from Tony like he's burst into flames.
"Let me guess," Tony points at Alfred, "butler?"
"Alfred Pennyworth, Mister Stark," Alfred bows slightly, "It's a pleasure."
"Alfred. I like that," he holds out his hand to Alfred, who takes it. "So you don't mind if I steal your boy away for a couple weeks?"
"Make it a month," Alfred says, glancing at me.
"I can't be gone for a-"
"You were going to be gone for a lot longer," Alfred cuts me off. "A month."
Tony's face is glowing, "I can do that. Ready the Batjet."
"I don't have a Batje-"
"Consider it ready. As soon as you're done here I'll drive the both of you."
I open my mouth to protest but Tony presses a hand over my lips.
"Just agree with it. Help me pack up my armor and let Alfred drive us to your non-Bat-named jet or I'm going to kiss you again. And this time I'm going for clothes too."
I glance at Alfred who's smiling. Smiling. I can't wrap my mind around that, so I nod.
I open my eyes as Tony gets up from the pool side lounge chair, next to my own. He's got a technology magazine and a glass of scotch in one hand and as he passes behind my chair he runs his empty hand across my shoulders and neck.
I absorb the feeling, like a dry sponge does water, and I watch him head into his house probably to have his personal assistant make lunch or go out and get it for us. These last few days have left me floating and relaxed. I don't think about Gotham's dirty streets, caves full of bats, or even scarred smiles and bottle green eyes. My mind is blank. I smell the ocean, hear the fabric of the umbrella whipping softly in the wind and I see endless miles of clear blue sky.
I don't think I've ever not had to be someone. Thomas Wayne's son. The only heir to the Wayne fortune. A vengeful, spoiled youth. A thief. A criminal. A student. A master. The fickle playboy. The Batman. Bruce Wayne. Now here I sit and I'm not any of those things.
I pull my eyes away from blissfully empty space and turn them up toward Tony, "Again?"
"No," Tony slides one of his hands over my shoulder , along my collar bone, his thumb caressing my neck, "but you started thinking again."
"I can't not think Tony."
"Sure you can. You've been not thinking for," he checks his watch, "three hours. Then I get up and go inside for 2 minutes and your brain fires up."
"Then next time you should take me with you."
His caressing thumb is retired in favor of his whole hand which he guides into the neck of my shirt and down my chest. My heart starts to beat faster.
"All in good time Mr. Wayne," he mutters against the shell of my ear.
My eyes flutter shut and I lean back into my chair. Into his touch. He'll do this but he won't push it any farther no matter how many signals I give for him to continue past these maddening strokes of his. He's waiting for something from me and if I knew what it was I'd do it in a second.
I grunt softly in displeasure as Tony's hand stops moving. He leaves it down the neck of my shirt though, which means he intends to continue.
"Yes Miss Potts?"
"Colonel Fury is on line 2 for you."
His hand starts to move again and I sigh.
"Who's on line one?"
"Charles Xavier, but he says he'll wait for you to talk to Colonel Fury first."
Tony sighs and removes his hand from my chest and shirt, "Sorry Bruce. You know Telepaths…"
"Actually no I don't…"
"Well they know you. Potts? See that Bruce eats some lunch and doesn't think himself into a coma while I'm on the phone?"
"Of course Mr. Stark."
He leans in and pecks me on the cheek, before standing upright and walking back into the house.
I turn to look at his assistant who is eyeing me like I'm the greatest mystery of the world, "Yes?"
She eyes me for a moment more before turning to leave, her heels clicking sharply on the tiles.
Frowning slightly I turn back to look out into the sky. Miss Pepper Potts never goes against one of Tony's requests, even if she highly dislikes the job required to complete them or the person she has to deal with to see that his wishes are carried out.
For the last few days she'd been nothing but pleasant with me, even after opening the door to the Limo when we first arrived and finding me all but sitting in Tony's lap making out with him.
I turn my head toward Pepper's voice sharply, not having heard her return and find her standing before me carrying a tray with gourmet sandwiches and a glass of what looks like one of my protein drinks that Alfred concocted for me.
"You're not supposed to be thinking," she gives me a soft smile and sets the tray down on the table next to me.
I snort and take a sandwich. It's one of the best things I've ever had. I reach for the glass and take a sip, then peer up at her from under my lashes, "Been making some calls?"
She gives me a, you must be joking sort of grin, "Mr. Stark has some unique personalized tastes so I thought it would be prudent to check to see what yours might be. "
"Alfred won't even give me the recipe for these. I'm surprised he would give it to you."
"He didn't," she smiles at me, "they arrived the day after you did."
I snort and sort of cough, "You mean he-"
"Mr. Pennyworth is very thorough in his handling of you. I'm impressed."
The term 'handling' rubs me the wrong way but I suppose the word is correct when it comes to the whirlwind that is Tony Stark. I can only guess how many women she's had to show firmly out of this house, while trying to get Tony ready for his day. A day he probably tries to avoid, if he's anything like the playboy I pretend to be.
"Sorry. " I focus on her, blinking rapidly.
She gives a short laugh, "I guess he was right about you thinking yourself into a coma."
"He really doesn't plan much does he?"
"Not inside his head no. He thinks aloud mostly. When he starts planning things inside his head, I worry."
She smiles sadly, "Because they're usually dangerous thoughts."
Oh. You look nervous. It is the scars? "And I suppose you told him that?"
"Many, many times."
You got a little fight in you. I like that. "And is that what I'm thinking of?"
She shrugs, "I couldn't say Mr. Wayne, but your face…you seem…different when you get lost in your thoughts."
"Serious?" I ask bitterly. Why so SERIOUS?!
I see her stiffen up and I wonder if my face looks like it does when I'm thinking. When my monster is in control. Very poor choice of words.
I turn, away from her and glare at Tony. I can't control the rage all of a sudden. Well hello beautiful.
"Mr. Stark I-"
"Charles told me. Don't worry," he hasn't taken his eyes off of me. "I want you to take the rest of the day off."
It takes every ounce of control I have not to throw myself at Tony while his assistant hurries into the house. What's wrong with me? Madness is like Gravity. All it takes is a little push.
"I suppose it wouldn't do any good to tell you to calm down."
"I don't want to 'calm down' Stark."
He relaxes his body as much as he can, "I was wondering when I'd get to meet you."
"Why?" My voice had been dropping steadily down in tone for a while, now it's reached it's bottom and I can feel the adrenalin cursing through my veins. He's making my blood boil just standing there, trying not to intimidate me.
"Because…I saw you once walking toward a giant robot, with no way to take it on and by the time we had a moment to talk, you'd already clocked out and I met Bruce instead."
"Here I am," Warmonger, Merchant of Death. Villain.
His eyes widen at my silent thoughts, almost as if he can read my mind. Or maybe it's the insane grin that's curled into my lips, "Oh you want to play…"
I lunge after him but he twists out of the way and headed toward the house.
"Well come on!" He calls over his shoulder, returning my look of insanity.
I lower my head growling and dart after him. He's quicker than I thought he'd be with as much as he drinks. I pause just inside the doorway, listening for him. It's too quiet especially for Stark's home. I move soundlessly toward the stairs that lead down into his garage. It's the only place in his entire home he hasn't shown me yet. I don't need showing.
I turn toward the sound and I see Stark flying at me. He's redressed himself in some kind of bodysuit like the one he wears under his Iron Man armor, but this one has patterns that look like circuits covering it. Bracing myself does no good and he actually brings me down to the floor. I punch him in the jaw.
"Oh yeah," Tony laughs, "you're in fine form today. What was the PSI on that Jarvis?"
I growl low in my throat and punch him again. His head snaps back painfully but he laughs again.
"Easy with my head!" He says as he brings his leg up and knees me in the stomach.
It's not enough to really hurt but it's enough to loosen my hold on him. He knees me again, pulling out of my arms and rolling to the other side of the room, quickly getting to his feet and crouching down.
"I designed this suit so I could train with the other Avengers and not, you know, die. So…show me what you got," he pauses, "Bats."
I snort through my nose once before going at him full force.
I wake up later to the sight of a freshly showered Tony, kneeling over me, dabbing my head with a wet cloth. Despite what he said about the suit, he's sporting a black eye and a couple large bruises on his jaw.
"I don't know why-"
Tony sticks me with a look that quiets me in an instant. After he's sure I'm not going to say anything he starts toweling me clean again.
I'm content again to just watch him. His face. He works over me, like he would a special project. I sigh and close my eyes.
"Batman is as much a part of you, as Bruce Wayne is," he whispers softly.
My eyes are still closed, "I know."
"Then why have you been forcing him into silence?"
"I don't know."
"I think I do," Tony takes one of my arms in hand and washes it.
"Hmm?" My damp skin feels cool in the breeze. It feels nice. Like after a fever you've had for days.
"As Bruce Wayne, your idea of a life partner is someone who can hold you close and look good hanging off your arm at parties."
I nod my head in a sleepy fashion. Rachel was beautiful and comfortable in my crowd.
"Batman however, is more animalistic. He wants them to have a little…fight in them."
I can hear the Joker's maniac laughter, and I frown, turning my head toward Tony's legs, pressing myself closer to him.
"Bruce," he brushes my bangs off my forehead, "don't fight who you are, even if who you are, is two different people."
I curl over on my side, cuddling into him, drifting off to sleep, "Tell me how to stop."
When I wake up again, I'm alone in Tony's bed. I try to think about something besides how soft the sheets feel against my bare skin but I can't. I feel drugged in the most delicious way.
"Good Afternoon Mr. Wayne."
I jump, my eyes snapping open. I look around for whoever's speaking but the voice seems to have come from all around me.
"No need for being alarmed. I am Jarvis."
"Where are you?"
"If you want a precise answer, I am housed in the mainframe in Mr. Stark's workshop."
"A system. Just a really very intelligent system. J.A.R.V.I.S. for short."
I smile relaxing into the bed, "Tony created you?'
"Where is he anyway?"
"Mr. Stark is out on Avengers business."
I sit up, "You mean he's out there flying around in his suit?"
"Yes. He told me to make you as comfortable as possible, since Ms. Potts is out. Do you require anything?"
"I require him to be here."
"If you wish to speak to Mr. Stark I could connect you to his mobile unit."
"He carries a phone?"
"The phone is built into his suit. Would you like me to connect you?"
I rub my face down with my hand, flopping back down on the bed, "No. When your boyfriend is saving the world from destruction I doubt it's a good time to call him and complain that he wasn't there when you woke up."
"Noted. Would you like me to order you any take out?"
"If I say no, will you anyway?"
I rolled my eyes, "Does he have you set on 'mother hen' mode?"
"My current monitoring state is set at "Pepper Potts-morning meeting". What would you like on your pizza?"
"What is it with Stark and pizza?" I groan.
"Hamburger and cheese then. Estimated time for pizza arrival, 30 minutes."
"Mr. Wayne, might I suggest you get dressed before then?"
I spend the night talking with Jarvis, learning what he controls and what he can do in the house. It's not like I have much choice really. Every time I try to have a quiet moment, Jarvis ask me if I'd like something else. Finally around 5 in the morning, I fall into bed and Jarvis turns on the mattress heater, lulling me to sleep.
When I wake up again around noon, the house is still empty.
Jarvis doesn't respond right away and I panic.
"Mr. Stark is currently in battle at the moment."
I can feel Batman sit up and take notice, "Where?"
Again Jarvis takes a moment to answer, "That information is classified."
I don't care! "Can you at least tell me if he's alright?"
It takes a long time for the computer to respond this time, "Mr. Stark is doing as to be expected for the current situation he finds himself in."
What kind of answer is that?! Then I realize something, "You're…in his armor aren't you? You're helping him fight."
Another long pause, "Yes."
"Let me know if…if anything happens to him."
"Of course, sir."
I wander around Tony's mansion, eyeing the staircase to his workshop as I explore. I don't let myself go there though. He'll let me down there when he feels I'm ready.
At noon on the dot, lunch arrives. It's Chinese.
I'm just finishing off a box when Jarvis starts talking again.
"If you're not busy. Mr. Stark would like to talk to you."
I sit up, "Alright?"
It's silent for a moment and then I hear panting.
"Good," he sounds tired. "Staying out of trouble?"
"More or less. Where are you?"
He chuckles, "An airship."
"I thought you were fighting?"
He sighs, "I am-was…I needed to…uh recharge…."
I know he actually means recharge and not 'take a break', "That thing in your chest-"
"No!" Batman growls, I sigh and push him aside, "What does it do?"
"Powers my suit."
"What else…does it do?"
"Oh…this and that..."
"Ok. I was hit by one of my own missiles and it left shrapnel in my body that's too small to be removed."
I pinch the bridge of my nose, "And you have an electromagnet in your chest to keep it all away from your heart?"
A freak like me. The thought is oddly fond and comforting, even if I feel angry at his stupidity for having to be a hero.
"You're mad aren't you?"
"A little. When are you coming back?"
"After we finish this guy off."
"Finish it Stark," I growl before I can stop the thought.
Tony's coughs, "Oh you're letting him talk now."
"Be glad that's all I'm doing. Jarvis end the call."
"Jarvis don't! Bruce…." Tony trails off.
Not talking to you. That's childish. "What?"
"I'll be home as soon as I can."
For only the second time, my animalistic side and my mask both agree on the degree of importance of a single individual. Our level of annoyance at him is in harmony which is startling and refreshing at the same time, "Fine."
The speakers go silent but my mind is turning over a new development. For once I can't tell which one of us was actually speaking.
I work out for the rest of the day in the middle of Tony's living room to work off the tension from not being out there. Push-ups, sit-ups, yoga. I was tempted to meditate but centering Batman probably wasn't a wise idea. More startling was when he didn't argue.
I'm thinking about heading out to the pool for a swim when Jarvis contacts me again.
"Mr. Wayne? Mr. Stark requests that you be waiting for him when he arrives in the garage."
"I'm not allowed-"
"He added your finger prints the workshop clearance list the day after you arrived. His ETA is 3 minutes."
I sigh and head over toward the stairs, ignoring the elevator. I go down them slowly, taking in everything as I see it. The glass 'cage' at the bottom of the stairs, the 6 sports cars and numerous bikes. The kitchen area. His work station. The couch and the large TV. I pause for a moment to press my thumb to the key pad next to the door. The door opens with a whoosh and closes behind me with a beep and a click. My eyes are on a silver version of the Iron Man suit and I move toward it.
"The Mark II," Jarvis supplies.
"Where's the Mark I?"
"It was destroyed in an accident at Stark Industries."
I reach up to run my hand over the shoulder of the suit, when I hear the roar of what sounds to be a jet. I step back into his work station area and wait. Seconds later I see movement above me and I watch as the ceiling opens up and Tony descends and lands with a thud beside his cars.
His helmet comes open and he sighs, giving me a half smile before walking over toward a platform on the floor that I hadn't seen before, "Bruce? You're going to have to catch me."
Batman takes over my body and walks over to him, standing off to the side, as mechanical arms come out of the ceiling and the floor and start removing his armor, "So that's how you get it off."
I move toward him as the robot arms finish, wrapping my arm around his waist as he starts to wobble. He steps out of the boots and leans into me heavily. I quickly decide to swing him up in a bride carry and head toward the door with him.
"My hero," he sighs, into my neck, "I want a shower."
"I demand it."
"Oh good and here I thought it was just me."
I smirk and ride the elevator up, taking him to his bedroom and into the bathroom. Getting someone out of a body suit when they're half asleep is next to impossible, but I manage. I decide against the shower, and fill up his large bathtub instead. I set him down on the toilet and undress myself before gathering him back up and getting in the tub. He's in between my legs, back against my chest and I sigh, lazily washing him while he basically sleeps. Half way through the bath though he comes wide awake.
"That's you in the tub with me right?"
"If by you, you mean me, then yes. If you mean someone else, keep it to yourself and let me enjoy the moment."
He twists his head around to look at me, "We're naked."
"So were Adam and Eve…for a while…"
"Do you know how many times I've been naked with someone and not had sex with them?"
I look over his face, "Can you promise you won't fall asleep on me?"
"Can you deny you've been begging to get into my pants all week?"
"No," I answer both questions. "So we can wait a little longer."
He sighs, "You were supposed to deny that."
"I'm supposed to do a lot of things," I shift over in the tub, "lean back and I'll wash your hair."
Tony does and after I'm content that his head is wet enough I have him sit up and then pour some shampoo onto his head and start lathering it up.
"You are an angel," Tony moans.
"We're still not having sex."
"You are the devil," Tony mutters, but he arches his back as my fingers scrub over his scalp.
I enjoy the banter as much as I enjoy his body pressed against mine. Now we're two.
"Yes," Tony moans sliding down farther into the water.
I tilt my head, "You are making this difficult."
"Hard," Tony smirks.
I snort, "Hold your breath."
I twist and dunk his head under the water and then pull him back out.
He glares at me, "Not funny."
"Cleaner," I smirk. I swat one of his thighs under the water, "Time for bed."
He groans and stands up, making sure I see he's aroused.
"Very difficult," I admit, my eyes wandering over his damp skin.
"You're so going to break your little rule," he says, toweling off, his heated eyes on me as I continue to sit in the tub.
He exhales in frustration, "Are you getting out?'
I give him a lazy smile, "In a minute."
"Embarrassed at your body's reaction to mine, Mr. Wayne?'
"Act of self preservation. You don't hold food in front of a starving man."
Tony narrows his eyes at me, "Fine. I'll just be in the bed then." He exits the bathroom annoyed that I won't play his game.
I stand and grab a towel, drying myself off slowly. I can sense his ever going irritation and smirk to myself at his coming reaction when I leave his bedroom for my clothes that are in the spare one down the hall.
He doesn't disappoint.
"Where are you going?" He's sitting up against the headboard, arms crossed over his bare chest.
I look over my shoulder, "To my room."
I continue out into the hall and down to my room, digging into the set of drawers where I unpacked my sleepwear. I finally select some and turn around to put them on the bed and take off my towel and find Tony sitting on my bed in only a robe, glaring at me like a sullen child.
"I am not sleeping alone."
I move over toward him and drop the dark blue silk pajama top on the bed next to him, "Oh? Who are you going to be sleeping with then?"
"I mean it Bruce."
"I know. I was coming back."
Tony stares at me for a moment as if he's trying to figure out if I mean it or not before he finally lowers his eyes and puts his hands in his lap.
"But I'm still not letting you see me naked Stark."
He raises his eyes to me frowning again.
"And you're at least putting on shorts. Full sleeping attire preferred."
With a snort of disgust he gets to his feet and goes over to the door, stopping to stand just outside of it, "You're a prude."
"And you enjoy it," I counter.
His eyes trail over my exposed skin for a moment before he clicks his tongue and walks back toward his bedroom.
By the time I get dressed and get back to Tony's room. He's half asleep, silted eyes watching me half-heartedly as I move over to the empty left side of the bed, "It was your evil plan all along to have me get into bed and comfortable so I'd be tired to make any moves on you, wasn't it?"
"No, but I had a feeling," I lift the covers and slide into bed next to him, burrowing down into my pillow. I note happily that Tony's fully dressed in cotton sleep pants and a soft MIT t-shirt.
He rolls over and rearranges my arm so he can lay his head on my chest and wrap one of his arms around me, "Schemer."
" 'm not," Tony complains in a sleepy mutter.
I take a deep breath, burying my face in his hair, "No," smile, "you're not."
I wake up first the next morning. I'm not surprised to find that Tony's curled up on his side away from me. Of the two of us Tony would be the one to want to cuddle, and even then he doesn't seem much like the type. Maybe years from now. The thought makes me smile. If I have anything to say about it we'll still be together years from now.
I slip out of bed to the bathroom and take care of my business as quietly as I can so he'll sleep longer. I'm not putting anything off, I tell myself. He actually needs the rest.
I pad back out to the bed and climb back under the covers. Tony makes an unhappy noise and rolls over toward me.
I wait for him to realize it's morning. It's going to be amusing.
I turn my head sharply toward the door glaring at Pepper. She's not in the plan.
Her eyes widen and she ducks her head, blushing, "He's still sleeping?" she whispers across the room.
I nod once. Go. Away.
"I'll just…" her eyes wander over his from in the bed again before looking back at me, "cancel all his meetings then."
"You do that."
She gives me a weak smile and darts out of the room.
I turn back to Tony and find him looking up at me, his mouth quirked like he's trying not to laugh.
"Things not going according to plan?"
I feel the familiar surge of adrenaline as I slide over the top of him, pushing his legs apart with my knee and sliding it forward to rest just where he's going to need it, "I'm trying something different this time."
He tilts his chin back as I lean down into his neck and bite along his collarbone, "What's that?"
Tony moans, "Well I have plans."
"Oh?" One of my hands slides up into his dark hair and pulls his head back farther.
"Yeah. It requires lube," he waves a tube in front of my face and all I have the chance to see about it is the word 'vanilla', " a pillow," he drops the lube on his chest and it rolls down into the crook of his neck as he makes a grab for my pillow, "your dick and my ass."
I surge forward and kiss him deeply, my cock rubbing against his stomach, leaving a damp trail of pre-cum in it's wake, "Sounds good but missing a few details."
"Oh be gentle. It's my first time," he pants, his hand reaching up and burring in my hair pulling me back down into another kiss, "making a plan."
"Stark," my voice lowers, "I don't do gentle."
He shudders, his eyes closing briefly, "My hero."
A/N: And that's it!...Seriously…I don't do sex scenes very well. As always I love reviews, but if you don't want to leave me one that's alright, I check hits too. That makes me just as happy. Feel free to post links to this other places, just drop me a note telling me where and make sure I'm credited.