This is just a random one shot I wrote because I've been thinking about writing one for the Avengers for ages and I mean, what could be better than Tony and Bruce? Anyways, hope you enjoy it :)
I'd say this was mine,
But I think marvel would decline
So I give this to you without taking fee,
So you can't sue me,
With the power of Thor's hammer,
And the love we give Bruce Banner,
Out adoration for Tony's goatee,
Our misunderstood Loki,
Hawk eye's crack shot,
Him being Black Widow's weak spot,
Though I think he thinks Coulson is hot,
I give you this fanfiction,
To distract me from my Benediction,
Hope you like it.
When he thought about it, they were the most judged out of all of them. Out of the 'freaks' called to rescue Earth, as an alternative in Fury's eyes to weapons of mass destruction. The more he thought about it, the more they seemed one and the same. Everyone always thought they knew them before even speaking to them, they knew better than most that wasn't the case.
The Hulk wasn't as stupid as everyone believed. All anyone ever saw was the beast, the killer and the power- no one saw anything else. No one bothered. The Hulk was just a freak accident to any one he encountered, a freak and terrible, horrifying accident.
Bruce knew when he had a handle on his anger, by god he also knew when he didn't. He didn't need other people shipping him off, telling him he needed to leave and thinking they could lock him up and it would all simply fade away. It got worse though, then simply thinking they knew better then he when he was at breaking point. It was the fear in their eyes as they looked at him after he'd hulked out, the way people were wary of him and on guard constantly.
That was the one thing Tony never did, treat him like anything other then a simple human being. Well, not simple. You don't analyze an element you made yourself just in your basement, taking apart the key aspects of it, with someone you'd call 'simple'. No, Tony respected him as an equal to him, which for Tony Stark really was saying something.
But it wasn't just him they all thought they knew, it was Tony too.
The first time he'd really been on the Avengers scene, he'd rescued Captain America's arse. Tony was a cock-sure, arrogant man that was for sure- but it's not bragging if you can back it up he'd say. He was, in some ways, right. One of the most intelligent men Bruce had ever met he never had to worry about what he was saying flying over Tony's head or saying something off-handed which would scare the man. Nothing about Bruce or the Hulk seemed to frighten Tony.
The first time they really met, Tony had teased him about becoming the Hulk. The thing about him that drove countless people away, edgy looks- even from the other teammates when they thought he wasn't looking. And yet Tony Stark had not only seemed to accept it, he'd joked about it.
No one else had seen the flash of hurt in his eyes, the one he so quickly masked, when Steve had ripped at him. Snarky comeback or not, witty words surpassed- he'd been hurt. They knew the man he had once been and had decided that was enough for them. Bruce knew what it was like to build walls rather then bridges, to hide behind them so much you forget how to move around them. All the jokes, the retorts, they were the walls Tony lived behind and Bruce wanted nothing more then to dissemble them one by one. How could he though when he could barely trust himself?
It seemed though, that as time passed, he didn't need to rely on his trust- Tony trusted him enough for both of them. Bruce remembered the details of S.H.I.E. plans appearing on the screen, the true reason they wanted the tesseract and remembered the distrust, betrayal and anger he felt. He knew he wasn't going to blow, knew he wasn't going to break into green as it was. The way they'd tried to coach him out the room, push him out, lock him away for the damage they were sure would be caused- that's what hurt the most. But Tony fought against them, knew Banner had the right to know just as much as any of them, knew he needed to know and put his faith in him.
The more they worked together, the more Bruce realized he was a special case to Tony. It wasn't just the faith Tony placed in him, though that was rare enough, and it wasn't just the walls he let him past. It was more. The smile he gave him, the true smile he'd only ever seen directed at Pepper before when she'd turned up at the lab on a miserable morning. At first, it was easy to see why they fit together so well. Tony could be so wonderfully oblivious to himself sometimes, not consciously noticing the way he kept glancing in his friend's direction or how he seemed to latch on to every word Bruce said no matter how insignificant the word were. Bruce noticed though, and he really didn't know what to think about it. Pepper however was attentive, her full attention focused on whichever task she set herself to. She noticed too. The conversation between was easy, nothing seemed forced or pushed just natural and flowing. It all looked, well perfect. Better then anything Bruce had ever dared hope for.
Watching the pair of them together, his mind became mutinous. The thoughts that had been rising in his mind which he'd been steadily pushing away had begun to grow and his resistance to them had been fading. The way he'd grown closer to Tony, far more then a best friend he was sure. Now, it didn't seem to matter how many walls he broke (he was good at that in both sense) or how many smiles Tony gave him- he'd never be able to give him what Pepper did. Stability, the constant, all of it. And he'd never felt so broken.
It hadn't taken long to work out he'd fallen head over heels in love with Stark; his genius, brilliance, weaknesses and tears. Everything that made him the man he was made Bruce love him more, to the point where he was sure he could no longer hide it away. Pepper knew, he was sure but it was no longer just her. He was sure Natasha and Clint knew- worse he was sure Nick Fury knew. But Tony, as oblivious as ever, had no clue. A blessing in disguise but always a curse. In some ways, just like the Hulk.
He didn't say a word, because even if it didn't send him to the hills- even if he did reciprocate which to Bruce's mind was virtually impossible, though as a scientist he wouldn't rule it out, he couldn't do that to Tony. Couldn't expect him to be happy with a man who lived life knowing with just too much emotion he could blow. A man who was constantly judged by those around him, never trusted not to just explode. Sometimes, he thought it was within reason. He couldn't say a word.
At first, they'd told him they didn't want him for the Hulk, just to track down the tesseract, just to be another buzzing mind. It was hard to believe, considering the lack of truth surrounding everything S.H.I.E.L.D did. He'd mentioned it to Tony, without even really meaning to as he'd been trying to pull himself away bit by bit to preserve what was left of his heart from years, and had been shocked to see the man angered.
"You can't let them use you Bruce, you mean too much for that," He'd snapped, throwing down a wrench he'd been fiddling with and turning to face Banner fully. Bruce had no idea how to reply, what he could say, so he simply nodded. "I mean it, don't let them."
"I won't," He'd promised him. He hadn't been lying either. When he'd gone back to fight alongside the Avengers, it hadn't been for S.H.I.E.L.D. It never had been. He just had to trust that his love for Tony some how bled through into the Hulk- that he would protect him.
Bruce woke after the fight, disoriented and tired as he always was, but distinctly comfortable on a cushioned sofa. With no clear sign as to why he opened his eyes blearily to find a sleeping and tranquil Tony Stark laid beside him, his hand inches from Bruce's own. He thought about moving, or even waking up the sleeping man just in case he wasn't aware of the situation. Sleep however, quickly stole his thoughts from him.
When he awoke again it was much later in the day- more towards the afternoon- and Jarvis was more then happy to spout of the day's weather report as Bruce stretched, feeling the warmth of Tony still by his side.
Everyone had heard of his playboy tendencies, though Bruce was confident the rumours were at the very least a little overdone after seeing him with Pepper, so it did surprise him a little to see he was still there. He wasn't even asleep, simply staring at Bruce whilst smiling gently.
"Yeah, I guess. You?" Bruce wasn't quite sure why he was still there, what he was meant to say, or what it even meant. After a few moments of silence, Tony seemed to loose whatever thought was troubling him and causing the slight frown upon his face. He'd seen this expression many times before, Tony had made up his mind on an important decision but wasn't quite sure how to communicate it. Before, Bruce had had some kind of idea as to what the decision was and could therefore help him, but he was stuck and wasn't sure he liked it.
"No, I'm not," Tony paused, wondering if Bruce was going to question him which to his relief he didn't- just sat quietly and listened, "Pepper left me. Today. She hasn't left Stark Tower, I mean, she still works here. I still want her to- but… she told me it wouldn't work." Tony paused again and stretched before standing, walking lazily towards a large window which had survived the attack giving a view of New York from the clouds. For a second, Bruce wasn't sure he was going to continue, before he turned back and began speaking once more. "She told me we no longer loved each other, that we loved other people and shouldn't try to hide it any longer, that we were together because it was easy and simple .Comfortably not in love. At first, I couldn't see how she could ever be right. I… I pushed it away… because I thought it was pointless. I denied it to even myself, but of course she saw right through it, she always does…"
His heart was hammering in his chest, fear drove through him, but he found it was a nice fear. The fear of rejection, of finding out he was in love with another and even Pepper knew, that he disagreed he could ever be in love, that Pepper had told him he loved him and he was disgusted. It made him nauseous. But then there was the other side of the fear. Tony could love him, there was a chance, it could have been him. It made him feel like he was flying.
"W-who is it?" The fear driving behind him caused his words to stutter, his cheeks to darken and his eyes to advert and glance around the room, but none of that mattered as Tony began to speak.
"You." Denial, self- loathing, fear, potential humiliation and that nagging feeling he'd never be good enough all disappeared within an instant. Replaced instead by warmth he couldn't describe. Nothing he could have said would have described it, nothing he could have thought could have come near it. So instead he did all he could think to do when his genius mind left him- he got up and kissed him.
No sparks, no fireworks and no epiphany of greatness. Fear of pushing against him to hard, a slight pressure against his lips and by no stretch perfect. But that's why you practise things. As he pulled away he couldn't resist the look in Tony's eyes, stealing another but chastiser kiss.
"That… was brilliant," Tony seemed for a second lost for words and briefly Bruce wondered if the world had simply stopped turning, before the man he loved returned faster then a whippet, "Of course I put that down to me and my wonderful kissing skills. I mean, they are marvellous. You really haven't had a chance to experience the true brilliance of it, though of course you will," He did continue speaking after that, but Bruce found it beyond easy to tune out the words and instead press gentle kisses against his cheek.
There wasn't any doubting, from the way he held him and the way he kissed him, he was loved. He hadn't thought it possible since Betty, hadn't thought it would ever be possible to be intimate with another again, but as he did with most things Stark had simply ignored the norm.
All the judgements had been wrong. Steve had clearly stated Tony would not be the one to sacrifice himself for another, for the team or for anything other then his own selfish reasons. It had been said so many times he could never love, settle and could never feel affection. He'd been called egoistical and too damn proud to function. It was all wrong. Not only had he taken the line for the team, he'd taken it for the whole of Manhattan. Not only did he feel strong affection for the Avengers team as a whole (though he often pretended not to), for Pepper and for Rhodey- he also loved Bruce Banner, with all his heart. Proud? Yes, he was, very much so. But he'd put his heart on the line to tell Bruce, he'd risked his pride, risked rejection and risked losing it all, just as Bruce had felt, but he took the chance regardless- Bruce knew all this.
Bruce Banner was not an aggressive man. You need only to look at him, the wire framed glasses that sat on the edge of his nose, the slightly greying waved hair and the peaceful look he wore so well. He was not a frightening man either, rather small and not of an athletic build he held no threat as an unsuspecting kind worded gentleman. He need not be feared, pushed aside for what he can't stop but can control- more so then anyone seems to think. After all, otherwise how could he ever survive a relationship with Tony Stark? And the Hulk? He was not a tyrant, nor was he mindless or stupid. He'd saved Tony's life by catching him when he fell. He'd known what Loki had been saying about him or to him. The Hulk wasn't some stupid part of Bruce who's only desire was to destroy and kill- Tony knew all this.
"I love you."
"I love you too."
Yeah, so, that's it. Hope you liked it. They've even updated the review button so you can't find it ugly and refuse to use it.