Author's Notes: OH DEAR LORD IT'S BEEN SO LONG! Alright, sorry about the wait! Here's an extra long chapter for your patience! I've been working 60+ hours these past weeks and have been exhausted D-: I also had the hardest time writing this chapter...I rewrote it about 3-4 times and it took me awhile to get to a conclusion I liked. Still open for suggestions on other situations to put them in! :-D Thank you all for such wonderful reviews! I PROMISE THE NEXT UPDATE WON'T TAKE A MONTH+ TO GET TO D-':

Disclaimer: Avengers belongs to Marvel.

A hazy feeling settled over Bruce as he woke up. He blinked a few times and let his eyes adjust. When he sat up he found the room empty, no trace of Tony to be found. Memories of what had happened began to swim in his mind and he groaned, piecing together the puzzle as to why the playboy philanthropist was missing in action.

Bruce lay in bed awhile, taking in the surroundings once more. He was greeted suddenly by JARVIS, "Good morning, sir. Mr. Stark wishes to inform you that he'll be continuing his work in the lab and does not want to be disturbed."

Bruce's foggy mind barely processed the words, "Continue his work? Wait, what time is it? I thought we only took a nap?" He rubbed the sleep out of his eyes, "How can it be morning." He sat up again and scratched his head.

"It's the following morning, Dr. Banner. You slept through the rest of the previous day and night." JARVIS informed.

"And Tony?" Bruce asked, finding himself holding his breath as he waited for the answer.

"Mr. Stark woke up of couple hours later and went to work in the lab. He was there the rest of the night, and informed me he'll be there the rest of today as well."

Banner scrunched his nose, "Great. So much for the sleep therapy, or whatever you want to call it."

JARVIS continued without replying to Bruce's statement. "He also wanted me to pass along a message asking you to not to go down to the lab today." The A.I. ended sounding matter-of-factly.

The knotted feeling returned to Bruce's stomach. He bit the inside of his cheek to keep himself from saying anything further on the matter. When he looked back to the room, he suddenly felt alien, as though he'd just woken up in a strangers home. He quickly got himself out of bed, shuffled to the door and left without a single glance behind him.

Banner found himself doing what he usually would do when he couldn't work in the lab; systematically pacing and meditating in his room. A few times Natasha had knocked on his door to see if he was alright, but he'd ignored her and continued with his usual methods to calm himself.

He'd sometimes give himself small menial tasks to do whenever his thoughts strayed back to the playboy (which he'd found himself doing more often than he'd care to admit). Bruce kept himself busy by working on deep breathing exercises, to even organizing his sock drawer—on occasion his incense collection—in order to clear his mind.

10 times out of 10 he had to start over after about 3 minutes.

Bruce wasn't sure how much time had passed, but after his 8th time of reorganizing his socks—starting from brand and type and ending with colour—he'd decided it was time to find something else to do.

Thankfully for Banner, Natasha was doing another one of her rounds, trying to coax him out of his den. "Banner, we're all in the living room about to watch the ball game on the big screen." She said as she knocked on the door. As though in tune with his thoughts, she added, "We even got Stark to come out and play for a little while."

The scientist tried to ignore the slight jump of his stomach. "What was that?" He asked a little too quickly. He was glad the door was closed, though he could sense the smirk he knew the ex-assassin was wearing.

"Tony is out watching the game too." Amusement laced her voice.

Bruce tried to play it off cool, "I meant before that. Who's playing." He already knew that Romanov could tell he wasn't much into sports, and he mentally kicked himself for his slip up.

"Yankees versus Giants." She played into his half assed save.

Bruce counted to 3, trying to act like he was disinterested, "Mm...I don't know."

At that, Natasha decided to speed the process up and forced the door open. "Get your ass out here, Bruce. Quit being such an idiot." She marched over and yanked him out of his room by the cuff of his sleeve.

Banner didn't even try to protest to the fire in her eyes. He scrambled to keep up, tripping over his feet a couple of times in the process. "Alright, alright!" He tried to reason. "You can let go now!"

Romanov ignored him, guiding him around corners and down hallways until they eventually made it to the living room. She tossed him, a bit more forcibly than necessary, into the room for everyone to see. "Look what I dug out of the cave." Everyone but Tony looked up. Stark's attention was glued to the t.v. Which Bruce didn't notice immediately. Of course not.

Natasha lessened the force on him and lightly pushed him towards the couch. It didn't take a genius to realize what her plan consisted of. The scientist's eyes narrowed in on the only open seat available. Right next to Tony.

"Uhh.." He barely managed out before he was once again shoved without consent. "Alright." He landed with a not so graceful thud on the couch next to Stark. Banner tried to distance himself without being too noticeable.

Unfortunately for him, fate was not on his side. "Scoot over, rover." Clint chimed in almost too perfectly in time with Bruce's thoughts, destroying any plans for escape.

"Sorry." The disheveled scientist mumbled. His knees bumped up against Tony's and his cheeks flared up within seconds. Bruce gulped. It was definitely going to be an interesting afternoon.

What felt like hours, but had merely been 15 minutes, passed by and Bruce realized that he was already in a hole too big for himself to climb out of. Thankfully, with the help of his deep breathing exercises, he was able to calm himself down briefly and look somewhat presentable to the others. He was certain that Nat and Clint were conspiring against him, and he was too embarrassed to look at Tony.

So when Natasha had squeezed herself in on the sofa next to Clint, Bruce was once again forced to scoot closer to Tony. Their thighs were pressed up against each other with no room to move whatsoever. Bruce was convinced that, if the Hulk didn't come out, he'd die from all the blood rushing to his head. If that was even possible. And Bruce figured that, with some ironic twist, it would happen.

He didn't know how much more he could take, so he stood up and tried to shuffle his way away from the couch. "Excuse me." He said to Clint, hoping the guy would show him some mercy and move his feet so Bruce could have a clear pathway. Clint just smirked and shrugged.

Apparently mercy was not his forte.

Bruce was left with two options; to awkwardly step over Clint and Natasha's legs—and most likely be tripped in the process, or to go the opposite direction and walk past Tony—which spoke for itself. He suddenly felt like everyone was staring at him, and chose the latter. Banner didn't look at Tony when he made his way past him, but he could feel his stare boring holes into him.

"Hey Banner, you going to the kitchen?" Natasha asked, forcing him to stop once he made it to the end of the couch.

"Uh, sure?" He answered and scratched the back of his neck.

"Oh, if you are, can you refill my drink?" Steve chimed and held out his empty glass to Banner.

Bruce sighed and grabbed it, "Sure. What were you drinking again?"

"Just a coke." Steve said offhandedly and resumed watching the game.

Banner headed off to the kitchen, the sound of the others cheering and booing slowly dwindled down in the background. The sooner the game was over, the better.

Bruce didn't glance back in time to see Tony's eyes flicker in his direction.

It was when he was away from said Mr. Stark that Bruce decided to keep things between them strictly professional...or at least as professional as it would come for the two of them. Friends and only friends. Bruce told himself. He'd continue with the nightly rituals until Tony could get into his own routine and...

He paused mid thought.

And what?

Natasha had brought it up a few days prior, but it hadn't registered properly in that moment. After everything was said and done, exactly how would things between him and Tony settle? What exactly was it that they had? Banner found himself contemplating those words as he finished refilling Steve's coke.

He could hear cheering echo down the hallway from the living room. Figuring it would be best to return quickly, Bruce turned around from the kitchen counter and collided into the man he'd been thinking about.

"Oof! Sorry!" He blurted out quickly upon noticing he'd spilled some of the drink onto Tony's arm. Bruce set the glass down and hurried to find a paper towel. His muddled mind suddenly couldn't remember where they were kept.

Tony chuckled at the sight, "Calm down, big guy, just a little soda." Stark was the first to get a towel. He started blotting at his sleeve. "Bird brain sent me in to see what was taking so long." Tony smirked. "You space out too much, Banner."

Bruce tilted his head to the side, "What do you mean? I wasn't gone long." He glanced at the clock. Maybe at most 3 minutes..?

Tony shrugged. "Personally I think Barton was just hoping you'd get back soon enough to refill his cup too."

It was then that Bruce noticed Tony was holding Clint's empty glass in his opposite hand.

"Thought I'd get it myself just to get him to shut up." Tony side stepped the scientist to get to the fridge. "Hey, you wanna ditch out and go to the store?" He asked over his shoulder. "The game's pretty dull, and we're in desperate need of some nachos."

Bruce tossed the idea back and forth. He was sure a quick trip to the store wouldn't interfere with his plans to tone down their...what was it again? Professional friendship?...It might even help get over the awkward evening of hand holding.

Sounded good enough.

"Sure." Bruce agreed and picked up Steve's coke again.

They dropped off the drinks and ducked out during a commercial break. Tony threw in a brief, "Nacho run." At the quirked eyebrow of one red headed Russian.

"Alright, I'm never sitting next to spangled spandex again!" Tony whined as they made their way to the elevators.

Bruce snorted. "It couldn't have been worse than Barton and Romanov...I think that speaks for itself." He mumbled.

"Oh I beg to differ. Rogers is just so...There's no word to describe how stuck up that guy is." Tony exaggerated by tossing his hands up in the air.

"He's not that bad, Stark. You just don't like authority." Bruce pointed out and smirked.

"Correction." He held up his finger, "I don't like authority that comes in the form of spangly spandex."

"Touche." Bruce nodded and laughed.

The dinging of the elevator announced its arrival yet again. "Hulks first." Tony stepped out of the way and motioned for Bruce to enter before him.

Banner rolled his eyes. "Gee, thanks."

"It's what I do." Tony winked.

A calming warmth bubbled in Bruce's stomach and spread throughout his body. He leaned up against the wall of the elevator, and smiled to himself.

"What?" Tony asked, noticing his grin.

"Nothing." Bruce shook his head and averted his gaze down to his feet, the smile never leaving his lips.

"As you say, smiles."

The actual trip to the store was fairly straightforward. The two maintained easy small talk during their ride over—though the car ride was a bit unnecessary as the nearest store was just a couple blocks down from the tower.

"Finding parking is going to be a hassle." Banner said as he looked out the window of the car. He didn't understand why Tony had elected they drive.

"Only if you're not awesome, which good thing for you, I happen to be king of awesome." Tony boasted as he made a sharp turn.

Bruce glanced over at him with a raised eyebrow and smirk, "Alright, king of awesome. Whatever you say." He shook his head and resumed looking back out the window. "You just ran a red light."

"Red lights hold no power over the king of awesome."

"I think you've spent too much time with Thor." Bruce chuckled.

Tony waved off his comment and took a sharp turn into a nearby parking spot. "See! Found one!" He clucked his tongue in self approval.

"Uhh, I think this is a tow zone." Bruce looked up at a neighbouring 'no parking anytime' sign.

"We'll be fine. Look at everyone else parked around here." Tony gestured to the surrounding cars.

Bruce wasn't convinced but unbuckled his seatbelt anyway, "If you say so."

"I say. Now lets go find some decent ingredients for my famous Stark nachos!" He rubbed his hands together, then opened the door to get out. Bruce followed suit. "Though they're not really famous since this will be the first time I make them." Tony added in once they were outside of the car. He locked the doors and tucked the keys into his jeans pocket.

"Of course." Bruce wasn't surprised and began to follow Stark into the store. "We should grab a cart just in case."

"Nonsense." Tony said and walked past the shopping carts and baskets altogether.

Bruce sighed and grabbed one of the smaller ones as a back up. "I'm getting one anyway."

"You won't need it." Tony said in a mocking singsong voice.

"You'll thank me later." Bruce replied in the same tone and rolled his eyes.

Tony managed to prove Bruce right within 5 minutes of entering the store. Bruce had been idly eyeing a few items in the produce section, comparing prices of the organic grown to non, and had already lost sight of the billionaire Iron Man. "Tony, you don't mind if I get some papayas do you?" He asked, then realized he was talking to himself. "I'll take that as a yes." He smirked and grabbed a couple.

Bruce meandered around the corner towards the ethnic foods aisle, figuring Tony would have gone to pick up some other ingredients from the Mexican selections to go along with the nachos. He just managed to stop himself from running his cart into someone with an armful of items blocking their view, when he realized who said person was.

"You look ridiculous." Bruce tried to keep a straight face.

Tony turned sideways to look at him properly, he glanced down at the cart, "You look ridiculous with your...whatever those are." He huffed.

"See, what'd I tell you." Bruce allowed a smug smirk to grace his features.

"Just shut up." A light blush coloured his cheeks. Other customers walking by gave him odd looks, a few shook their heads chuckling silently to themselves.

"Admit it, you should have grabbed one in the first place." Banner gloated as the other started unloading everything from his arms.

"No. I just didn't want you to look as ridiculous with your two fruit things."

"Alright, Tony, whatever you say." Bruce rolled his eyes smiling. "Did you get everything you need?"

"Yes." Tony replied annoyed. He grabbed the front of the cart and started pulling it in the direction of the check outs.

"Are you mad now?" Bruce asked after a couple of seconds of strained silence.

"...No." He turned away, though the blush from earlier had clearly spread to his ears as well.

Bruce let the silence continue on as they found their way to the front. Unfortunately everyone seemed to have chosen the exact time to pay for their items as well. Upon further inspection, it was clear as to why there was such a long line; only one cashier. He sighed and leaned forward onto the cart.

"This is going to take forever." Tony voiced his thoughts. He walked over to where the tabloids and other magazines were located. "Hmm.." He looked over the selections and picked out two that seemed most interesting. "Heads up." Tony called over to Banner as he tossed one to him.

Bruce fumbled with it, barely managing to catch it in time, and looked down at the front cover. "The Inside Story: Does Captain America Swing for the Other Team?" Bruce raised an eyebrow and looked back up to see a chuckling Stark.

"Hey check this out," Tony bounded over and shoved the tabloid he had in Bruce's face. "I didn't know you liked pink so much."

The scientist had to blink a couple of times before his brain registered what he was looking at; a very poorly photoshopped image of himself in very, very pink drag. "Where do people get the ideas for these things?" He glanced back up at Tony and found him immersed in the article about Steve.

"They at least got some of the story right." Stark looked back at Bruce with a mischievous smile. "He does look pretty flamboyant in that spangly outfit of his."

Bruce snorted and shook his head. The line moved up a bit farther, though not by much. It seemed as though everyone was buying in bulk.

Banner looked back down to the article about himself. He skimmed over the actual writing and mainly looked at the pictures, his nose wrinkled whenever he'd find a particularly odd photo manipulation. He didn't notice Tony move closer to peer over his shoulder, and jumped when Stark started speaking.

"You've gotta give them points for originality on that one." Tony's breath tickled Bruce's ear causing the hairs on the back of his neck to stand up.

"I, um...I don't really know what's going on in the picture." Bruce tried to ignore the warmth that spread across his cheeks at Tony's closeness.

"Hey check it out, there's one about Bird Brains and Trigger Happy." Tony reached across to point it out, his arm brushed up against Bruce's chest in the process. The tight feeling returned, full force, in Bruce's chest, the breath caught in his throat, and he could feel every thud of his heart against his ribs. He swallowed hard and took a small steadying breath, willing his flush to cool down and his breathing to return to normal. Whether Tony noticed or not, Bruce wasn't sure, but he was doing a damn good job at keeping a straight face while his own was that of a tomato.

He felt Tony lean in closer, most likely to read more, but the soft pressure of a hand in between his shoulder blades and the warmth of Tony's chest pressed up against his shoulder was more than enough to send his mind into overdrive. Bruce was certain that had he been a cartoon character, steam would be coming out of his ears at that point.

As soon as the warmth was there, it was gone just as quickly. The line had moved up considerably and the people behind them were getting impatient. He blinked a couple of times before his feet registered the command to move forward and catch up with Tony.

The rest of the time in the store was spent in silence as Stark continued to flip through other tabloids about hollywood celebrities, while Bruce tried his best to keep himself from staring at said man. Needless to say, it was much easier said than done, as he was caught red handed more than once.

When they finally made it to the check out stand, Banner was more than happy to get the show on the road. The young woman who was their cashier looked more than frazzled, "I'm sorry for the wait, I'm still new to all of this and my co-worker called out sick." She explained in a rush, mumbling something about how said co-worker was supposed to train her. Bruce noted the flush on her cheeks as well as some recently dried tear streaks.

"It's alright, take your time." He told her, and offered a smile. He started unloading the cart at a steady enough pace for the woman to keep up with. As he was setting down the papayas, some candy bars were thrown on in front of him. He raised an eyebrow and looked up at Tony, who had his face hidden behind a magazine. Bruce shook his head and placed the candies back on the shelf opposite them.

"Do you prefer paper, or plastic?"

"Paper, please." Bruce said as more candy was tossed in front of him again. He glared down at the sweets and then back up at Tony who was again engulfed in his "reading." Banner once again went to put them back but was stopped by Stark.

"Hey, I wanna get those."

"You said only ingredients for nachos." Bruce gave him an incredulous look.

"Says the guy who's buying weird melon things."

"They're papayas, and I happen to want to eat them with the nachos."

"What? Am I not allowed to buy stuff that's not on the list?" Tony plucked the candy out of Bruce's fingers and handed it to the cashier. He winked and flashed his way too flirtatious smile, "Add these too."

Bruce sighed, "Alright, well just don't complain when you can't get to sleep tonight 'cause you're up on a sugar rush."

"Oh I won't be complaining," He directed his smile at Bruce that time and winked, "And neither will you."

The scientist's eyes widened and he blushed a considerable shade of red. He looked to the cashier, who also looked a bit flushed—most likely from being new to the job still and most certainly not at that comment. "He didn't mean that." Bruce tried to explain.

She gave him a small smile, "It's ok," she said and finished bagging the remaining items. Bruce noticeably relaxed at her words. "My best friend is openly gay, like very much, so I've heard worse, trust me." She chuckled.

It was as though all eyes in the room were on him at that point, and the flustered scientist wanted nothing more than to run out and back to the tower. He could hear Tony sniggering off to the side.

"Your total is $34.27."

Bruce reached in his pocket for his wallet and felt an arm reach around his waist.

"Don't worry about it Brucey, I'll pay for it." Tony purred in his ear. His heart nearly leapt out of his chest.

"Tony, knock it off." He tried to shove the other man off him, though it seemed to have the opposite effect as Tony's hold increased. "We're not really." He explained, though he knew it was futile considering how embarrassed he was, along with how calmly Tony was acting with the whole situation.

Stark held his hand up to speak to the cashier more indiscreetly, though Bruce could hear every word clear as day, "He's still really shy about people knowing."

The cashier gave him a sad smile, "Oh you shouldn't be, I know lots of support groups if you want their information." She ducked below momentarily and emerged with 3 brightly coloured flyers.

Tony shushed Bruce's attempt to speak, "Sounds great!" He grabbed the flyers, paid for the groceries, and was guiding Banner out the door by the waist in a manner of seconds.

As soon as they were out on the street, he released his iron grip (no pun intended), no longer being able to contain his laughter.

"Don't do that again!" Bruce squirmed his way out of Tony's reach, he didn't care that his cheeks were most likely permanently red. "And give me those." He snatched the flyers out of Tony's hands and tore them up.

"Hey, we might need those." Tony batted his eyelashes and snorted. "I'm just kidding." He patted Bruce on the shoulder. "You have to admit, that was funny. She totally thought you were closet gay."

"Yeah, and she thought you were openly gay." Bruce countered.

"Bruce, everyone thinks I'm gay. What do you think I was reading back there?" Tony smirked and turned back to where the car was parked. He stopped and quirked his head to the side. "Uhh...where's the car?" He walked out on the street and looked up and down.

Banner sighed and looked up at the 'no parking' sign again. "I told you we couldn't park here." He looked down at Tony with a blank stare and turned back in the direction the tower was located.

"But we weren't even parked out here that long!" Tony shuffled the bags into one hand and pulled out his cellphone. "Ok maybe we were...but still!" He shoved the phone in his pocket and jogged up to where Bruce was. "Wanna call a cab or something?"

"Tony we're only a few blocks away from the tower." Tony just raised an eyebrow in response. "We'll walk." He began to lead the way down the street, listening to whispers of complaint come from behind him.

Later that night, after the two had made it back to the tower and endured the nonstop questioning of Natasha and Clint, Tony and Bruce managed to escape back to Tony's room.

"Geez I thought she'd never shut up." Tony said as he closed the door behind him. His shoulders slumped down in exhaustion.

"Yeah, thanks for that by the way." Bruce said dryly and made his way over to the couch. He sat down with a sigh of exasperation.

"I don't know what you're talking about." Stark feigned innocence and leaned back against the door.

Bruce narrowed his eyes, "Uh, huh, I'm sure...'We wouldn't have been gone so long if Bruce hadn't of talked to the cashier about therapy sessions for closet gays. Want a papaya?'" He crossed his arms.

Tony smirked and nodded his head in approval, "That was a good one you have to admit." He sauntered over to the couch and flopped himself down next to the scientist.

Banner tried to bite back a smile. "Just don't do that again."

"No promises." Tony winked and relaxed his head against the sofa. The two fell into a companionable silence.

Bruce closed his eyes and allowed himself a moment of peace. He could feel his heart beating at a steady rhythm and focused on his breathing yet again. He'd grown so accustomed to his own nightly rituals of deep breathing that he briefly forgot he was sharing a room with someone else. That was, of course, until he could feel said someone else boring holes into the side of his head.

Bruce peeked one eye open and looked sideways at Tony. "What?" He asked rather gracelessly.

Tony shook his head, "Nothing. It's just..." He squinted his eyes in a more calculating way, "You make it look so easy. All that guru stuff. For a second it looked like you stopped breathing altogether." He shrugged, his eyes doing a once over of Bruce.

The scientist couldn't stop the blush from creeping up. Again. He internally sighed in annoyance at his body. Especially when Tony's eyes just happened to flick up in time to see said blush, a glint of amusement following suit.

Banner looked away, his stomach deciding to do hurdles as he felt his cheeks grow hotter. He could sense the smirk on Tony's lips without having to see it.

Fortunately for him, though, Stark said nothing and let his head plop back against the sofa. He stretched his arms out, making small noises that made Bruce blush even more when he heard them. When Tony relaxed, his arm fell dangerously close to Banner's leg.

Bruce coughed and attempted to inch away unnoticed. Somehow this only fuelled Tony's need to stretch out, and Banner eventually found himself pinned between the armrest of the couch, and Stark's leg. He mentally kicked himself and tried to ignore the pounding in his chest.

Bruce could feel the warmth of Tony's leg seeping into his own. He gulped down a shaky breath and closed his eyes, trying to focus on something, anything, else. Though, admittedly, it was very distracting.

Just when he'd gotten control of his body—as best he could that is—Tony once again interrupted his thoughts, "You're too tense, Banner. Just relax." His breath tickled Bruce's ear causing him to shiver. And when exactly did he get so close?

"I'm fine." Bruce replied very unconvincingly. He kept his eyes closed as he spoke.

"You sure about that?" Tony's voice dropped to a whisper. Bruce tried not to shudder, though his body always did seem to betray him at the worst of times.

"Y-yeah." His breath hitched slightly and his stomach felt like it was doing somersaults on its own accord.

The couch dipped down slightly and Bruce briefly wondered what Tony was doing, though still too nervous to open his eyes and find out. He held his breath slightly, trying to listen more intently on what the other man was doing. After a few moments, curiosity got the better of him and Bruce opened his eyes to find Tony sitting sideways facing him.

He raised an eyebrow, "What're you doing?"

Stark rolled his eyes, "Don't worry, buttercup, I'm not pulling a fast one on you." He reached out and turned Bruce so his back was facing him. "Just trying to get you to relax. You're too wound up, Banner." Bruce tried to twist his neck around and glance back at Tony, but was stopped by the other man's hands. "Nope, you stay there. Got it?"

Bruce gave a hesitant nod and waited. He eventually felt two warm hands lightly grab hold of his shoulders and gently started kneading. He was so caught up in everything, he hardly had time to notice how cramped up his muscles actually were.

He could actually hear Tony smirk that time, "Told'ja you were tense."

Bruce shook his head, "Only because I have to put up with you." He chuckled.

Tony playfully whacked him on the back of the head, "More of that and your complementary massage services will be revoked."

"Services?" Banner smiled to himself and closed his eyes again. "Didn't know I'd be getting multiple instances."

Tony snorted, "Only if you're good. I did just say I might revoke them."

Bruce laughed, "Coming from you, that's rich."

The hands stopped their kneading momentarily, "What was that? I didn't quite catch it."

Banner pushed back into Tony, "Nothing, keep going."

"I didn't hear the magic words." Tony drawled out.

Bruce huffed, "Please?"

"Nope that just sounded like one word. I said words, as in plural."

The scientist all but whined, "Come on, Tony, you can't just stop there. Please don't stop." His chest tightened at his own wording, and he hoped Stark wouldn't point it out.

"Fine." He started up the massage again, moving his thumbs in slow circles at the base of Bruce's neck. He smirked at the sound of a muffled groan that escaped Bruce's lips. "Enjoying yourself?"

"Shut up." The other man dropped his head forward to allow more access to the rest of his neck and shoulder area. He could feel the heat radiating off his cheeks by that point, and hoped that it wasn't too noticeable.

"Geez, Banner, never knew you were this tense. When's the last time you got a massage?"

Another low groan was the response he got.

"What was that?"

Bruce barely managed an "I don't know." He felt like putty in the other man's hands, and he found himself leaning back more and more into the touch. Had he been wearing a heart rate monitor, it'd be beeping off the charts.

With each passing second, his mind slowly shut off, until eventually he didn't even notice how he sounded, "Ah, go back."

"Where?" Tony asked and moved his hands down.

"A little lower." Bruce breathed.

"How about here?" He put more pressure into his shoulder blades.

Bruce arched his back and let out another moan. His breathing getting more heavy.

"I'll take that as a yes." Tony answered for him. He continued the massage, listening to the many noises he elicited from the smaller man. He maintained a firm hold on Bruce, even as he pushed back until he was practically laying completely against Tony's chest. "Easy there, big guy. Don't get yourself too worked up." He whispered into his ear.

Bruce flushed again, warmth spreading across the entirety of his body. "Sorry." He mumbled and let his head drop back onto Tony's shoulder. He felt the hands move their way around to accommodate for the new position. Bruce could feel Tony shift in his seat behind him, one leg extending out so that he was practically straddling his hips. His heartbeat sped up again. "Um, Tony?"

"Hmm?" Was the nonchalant response he got.

"I, uh..." He swallowed hard, "What are you doing?"

"I could ask you the same thing, since you did put us in this position." Tony spoke in his ear again, causing more shivers to run down his spine.

Bruce cursed himself for getting so caught up in the moment, but was content to stay put. He relaxed back onto Tony's chest, feeling the rise and fall of it as he breathed. "Is this ok? For now I mean?"

Tony's answer was to start massaging the sides of Bruce's arms. "Just try not to moan so loud this time, alright Banner?" He smirked as the scientist squeezed his eyes shut. "It's kind of...distracting."

"Oh god, I'm sorry." Bruce apologized and hid his face in the space between Tony's shoulder and the couch. He remained like that for awhile, not wanting to turn back and face Tony directly. Though, fate was on Bruce's side in that moment, after a few minutes his head was beginning to get a more fuzzy feeling.

Banner kept his eyes closed as he rolled his head over into the crook of Tony's neck. He felt a slight pause in the massage before it started up again. He could feel sleep tugging at the back of his mind, a light fog that was descending over him. His body felt heavy, and he found he could barely manage to open his eyelids.

"Tony?" Bruce was just able to murmur.


"Can you stay this time?" His speech was slurred as he spoke and he felt the massaging stop altogether at that point. "Please?"

The last thing he remembered before allowing unconsciousness to claim his body, was Tony's voice echo in the back of his mind.

"I'll stay."