Sorry it took sooooo long. Once again, I have 2 kids ages 2 and soon to be 6 months, one who has a bunch of Dr. appts. So, I don't always get a chance to sit down and write. Also, I think this chapter sucks, but I know what the next one is going to be about, so it won't suck. I will try to post two chapters today if I can write uninterrupted...So here goes...
Whoops, also, I do not own Avengers or the characters within. If I did, I would probably not be writing fan fiction. Although that would be awesome if the writers for Avengers wrote fanfiction. So, yeah I lied, if I wrote for the movie I would still do fanfiction just to be awesome...And I'm rambling...Here's the story.
Bruce sat on the couch watching as Tony paced his living room arguing into the telephone. "I don't know." After a few more minuted of arguing, Tony ended the conversation abruptly. "I'll think about it." He hung up.
Bruce observed the lines of tension on his boyfriend's shoulder and the crease in his forehead as he poured himself a scotch. Tony downed the scotch in one gulp, refilled the glass, threw it back, poured another and was about to down that one too when Bruce spoke quietly. "Or you could just talk to me."
Tony glanced up in surprise, then back to his drink, then back to Bruce. "How long have you been sitting there?"
"Since you came in talking to whoever it is that made you so upset, so about twenty minutes."
"Oh." Tony sipped his drink more slowly this time. "It was the one-eye bastard. He wants me to move everyone into the Tower."
"You know everyone. All the avengers." Tony gestured vaguely with his hands, trying to mimic the attack on Earth by Loki and the Chitauri.
"And I take it you don't want to?" Bruce surmised succinctly.
"Sure I do. Clint, Natasha, Thor, and you of course. That's fine with me, but Steve hates me and I'm not exactly fond of him." Tony explained, sipping his drink a little more.
Bruce snorted. "Not fond of him. Yeah, that's one way to put it."
Tony narrowed his eyes. "You think this is a good idea don't you?"
"And you think I'm being ridiculous." Tony guessed.
"No." Bruce replied. "I think you have your reasons for hating him, but I also think we need to work on our teamwork. What Fury is suggesting will help us do that. Plus you can't let everyone else move in and leave him out. That's just rude."
"Since when do I care about being rude?" Tony commented as he rolled his eyes.
Bruce waved his hand dismissively. "Pshht. You care. You just care covertly, because you don't want anyone to notice." Before he finished his sentence, he noticed the tension in Tony's shoulders, which had never fully gone away in the first place, increase immensely.
Tony turned around from his bar. He had poured another drink which he drank quickly before speaking. Anger came off him in waves, figuratively of course, he wasn't a rage monster after all. "Or maybe I don't care. Maybe I have no feelings. That's what you're wondering after all. That's what you think when you send looks my way or when you try and convince me to leave the lab and I won't. Maybe you just don't want to face the fact that I DON'T CARE, because then you'll have to wonder what it is we have. After all, if I'm a sociopath without feelings than what have we been doing for the last two months? You want me to have feelings to make yourself feel better, but maybe it isn't about you. Maybe, just maybe you don't matter at all to me because I am a soulless man without a heart." Tony angrily poured himself another drink.
Taking advantage of the pause, Bruce tried to back down from the way the conversation had turned. He looked pointedly at Tony's glassy eyes and pursed his lips. "We should do this later. When your sober."
"I don't do sober!" Tony thundered as he approached. "You are acting just like Pepper. Don't expect me to change! I can't change. I'm always going to drink too much. I'm always going to be an ass, even when I don't mean to. I'm always going to be broken. So, just deal with it or leave."
"Tony. Stop yelling at me or I'm going to change." Bruce growled angrily.
"So, change!" Tony yelled. "Sometimes I think Hulk likes me more than you do anyway."
"And sometimes I think you like him more than me!" Bruce screamed, barely controlling the other guy as his eyes turned green. He took deep calming breaths before speaking with his eyes firmly shut. "Do you want to fight about us right now? I thought we were talking about the Avengers moving into the tower. How did the subject change to this?"
Tony sighed and deflated, leaning against the counter. "Yes. No. I don't know. Maybe we should do this later."
Bruce opened his eyes and sighed. "No. You're right. We keep avoiding the real conversations. No putting it off till later this time. You want to fight. Then let me speak. You're saying I'm trying to change you, but the truth of the matter is, you've been trying to change me since we met."
"No I haven't." Tony said looking genuinely surprised.
"Yes. You. Have. You want me to accept the other guy. I can't do that Tony. I just can't. If I accept him, if the other guy is me, then everything he has done, all those people he killed, then that was me. I can not handle that. I would never kill innocent people. I would never destroy all those lives. I could never do something like that. The other guy is not me. He can't be me Tony. I will not accept that. Ever!" Bruce looked up and saw Tony looking upset and guilty. "And I understand why you want me to accept him as a part of myself, but I can't. I'm not even mad about it, but you are trying to change me. I would like that to stop. And you Tony. You are amazing. I don't want you to change. Do I want you to find better ways of coping? Yes of course. I don't want you to drink yourself to sleep or self-destruct every other week, but I know change is hard. I won't make you change. You don't have to change for me, but you should consider changing for you."
As Bruce waited for Tony to respond, Tony regarded him silently. Finally, he spoke quietly. "You don't have to accept the other guy for me, but you should consider doing it for you."
They stared at each other for a few moments before Tony averted his eyes and blurted out. "Are we still together or are you leaving me?"
Bruce blinked. "Yes. No. Yes, we are still together and no I am not leaving you."
"But we fought and-" Bruce grabbed Tony's flailing hands and held them tightly in his own. Tony blabbered on. "And we haven't before-" Bruce kissed him gently "Which means-"
Bruce kissed him hard. "Stop thinking! All this means is we have some things to work on. Also, instead of ignoring the small stuff like me stealing the last of your poptarts, we should have the small fights. Then we won't scream at each other and say mean things."
"Oh." Tony melted into Bruce. "I'm sorry I'm a screw up and a drunk."
"You aren't. Really." He added at Tony's incredulous look. "I'm sorry I can't accept my green rage monster."
Tony huffed a laugh."I accept him for you. I'm sorry for saying mean things."
"You mostly said mean things about yourself."
"Still. I do care about you. And by the way, I do like you better than Hulk. Hulk may be my friend, but you're my boyfriend. I like him, but I love you." Tony froze as he uttered those words.
Bruce's eyes glimmered. "I love you too Tony." As Tony averted his eyes, Bruce reiterated. "I really do. As you are. You don't have to change. If you want to move everyone except Steve in there, or if you don't want any of them there, I understand. Do whatever you want to do and I'll go along with it."
"And if I move all of them in? If I let Steve live with us at the tower and subsequently bury myself in arc-reactor technology? Can you accept that too?" Tony asked quietly.
"Only if you can accept me coming down there bugging you and trying to drag you out."
"Maybe I can" Tony giggled at Bruce's fake look of shock. "Hey! I said maybe."
"Yeah, well, you should call Fury back then if you're sure." Bruce gestured vaguely to the cellphone on the bar.
Tony hesitated. "He said to call when the rooms were ready, so maybe I should wait."
"Please don't act like you haven't built them each their own floors in anticipation of this request. The tower has a floor for each of them and a training area for everyone. Plus, the top eight floors as a penthouse and labs for us. What we'll do with eight floors, I don't know. But still. Oh and Hulk's new floor. And seriously Tony? A playground."
"Awww. JARVIS! You let him peak!" Tony whined, then for good measure he added. "And Hulk will totally love his swing. I built it specifically to withstand his bulk."