A/N: It's different from what I normally write. For one, it's in third person. And it also was a two-person effort. This is the result of an epic, very long role play. English isn't the first language for either of us, so please keep that in mind. Criticism is appreciated!
All mistake are mine, as I am the sole editor of this piece.
Also, neither third person nor past tense are my forte, so please forgive me for that.
Warning: Slash, slight swearing, OOC?
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Tony sat at a desk in his lab as he chewed on the end of a pen and watched Bruce work on some equation or other in silence. He had known he'd been developing a crush on the man since they met. The man was a genius when it came to science and Tony really enjoyed having him around. He didn't even know when it was that he started daydreaming about the scientist. He didn't know when he had fallen so hard for the man. But there he was, staring like a schoolgirl with a crush.
Bruce sighed loudly and massaged his forehead with two fingers, frowning a second before shaking his head and deleting what he just wrote. This one was not easy. He raised his gaze a second and saw that Tony was staring at him intently. He couldn't help but blush a second; what was the problem with that man, staring at him like that? Tony was really cool and it was nice from him to share such an incredible lab with Banner, but he could be really... 'strange' sometimes, and that was exactly what he liked about Stark. "hm.. What's the matter?" He finally asked.
Tony stopped chewing on the pen and snapped out of his daydream when he heard Bruce's voice. "I'm sorry, did you say something?" Tony placed the pen down on the table and looked up a bit to meet Banner's eyes with his. The man had gorgeous eyes that Tony could just think about all day and, sometimes, that was exactly what he did. He just wished he could admit it.
Bruce chuckled shyly a second, a bit uncomfortable, but amused. "Well... You're staring at me..." He said as he raised an eyebrow, playing with the pen in his fingers. It had been days now and he could see Tony being in thought and sometimes giving him some strange gazes, but he must be imagining it, right? Maybe he was finally a bit worried to have him at the Stark tower? About working all the time with him?
Tony cursed himself in his head when Bruce said he'd been staring. That's exactly what he promised himself wouldn't happen. He wasn't going to get caught - especially not at work. "Oh." Tony looked down a second; slightly embarrassed that was all he managed to choke out. "I'm sorry." A little less lame, but still not going well. Tony picked his pen back up and twirled it between his fingers, looking anywhere but at Banner. He was so stupid to think he wouldn't get caught.
The scientist looked back at his equation, but he wasn't in the mood at that point. He was really worried Tony wanted to say something, something that obviously made him uncomfortable. "Tony, if there's something you want to say, go ahead. I can understand if, well, you know, if you don't want me to stay here anymore. It's all okay. It's been really kind of you to share your house and your labs with me and I know it's delicate to… keep me around here every day. You don't have to feel ashamed about wanting me to leave."
Tony dropped his pen and his jaw fell. Did Bruce want to leave? He blinked a few times before he was able to form semi-coherent thoughts. "Leave? You? No. No. I don't want you to leave. How could you think that? No, Bruce. You're staying." Tony's eyebrows knitted together in confusion. What if it was Bruce's way of saying he wanted to leave. "Unless, I mean, if you want to leave, fine. Go ahead, I don't care. But you're free to stay here as long as you want." Tony felt like even more of an idiot. Those were not the most wisely chosen words.
Bruce kept silent a second, staring at his friend, totally confused by Tony's words. So what, he wanted him to stay here? He gets all upset about him leaving and then he doesn't care if he chooses to go? That was contradictory, incorrect and that meant that something else was clearly going on. After a long silence, Bruce started to giggle and chuckle before laughing cutely, putting a hand on his forehead "That's inconsistent, but thank you. I'm glad I can stay here. I must admit that I like living with you. I mean, here at Stark tower and in your labs and, just... thank you." Bruce nodded.
Tony ducked his head down, trying to hide the fact that he was blushing. "I... I'm glad you like it here so much, Bruce. I enjoy having you around." He flipped his head back up and he had a fake smile plastered onto his face. "How, uh, how's work coming?" Tony wanted desperately to change the subject to something else - anything else. He just didn't want to be in a place where he'd make a fool of himself. Which he'd sort of already done, but he got to hear Bruce laugh because of it. He thought Bruce had an adorable laugh. His laugh just had such a melodic tone to it. Tony drifted off into daydream land again thinking about Bruce's adorable laugh.
"Oh, well, to be honest, I'm blocked on this one problem ..." He started a very long and complicated explanation about his project and the issues he was just facing, hoping the billionaire could help him with the math part. He asked his question and waited for an answer that never came; he raised his gaze and noticed Tony was staring, lost in his thoughts again. "... Tony? You aren't listening, are you? Are you tired?"
Tony blinked a few times, finally coming back to reality. "Huh? Oh. Oh! Bruce, I... I'm so sorry. I did it again." Tony's head fell into his hands and he felt horrible. He couldn't even listen to science talk without daydreaming about Bruce - and Tony liked science. He didn't know what to think. All he knew was that he was screwed. He already knew this 'crush' of his wasn't going to go away easily, but now he just felt stupid. Tony bit at his bottom lip. It wasn't anything big; he just wasn't listening, but he felt like he had hurt Bruce and that made him want to cry. Except, he wasn't supposed to cry. He was Tony Stark and Tony Stark did not cry - especially in front of his crush.
Bruce frowned in confusion again as he could see how horrified Tony seemed to be, just because he wasn't listening. "Hey, it's all okay. That's not such a big deal." Bruce walked behind Tony and put his two gentle hands on his shoulders with a smile. "I think you should stop working so much and get some rest. If you're working on something that can't wait maybe you can give me the operating protocol and I'll finish for you?"
Tony's heart fluttered at the touch. He had it bad. He was certain that Bruce felt the way he relaxed as soon as he placed his hands on Tony's shoulders. "I'm not really tired, it's just..." Tony pursed his lips for a moment as he though. He shrugged it off. "Never mind. Let's, uh, let's just get back to work, eh?"
"That's not gonna happen. It's time for you to have a good meal and a real night's sleep. Ask JARVIS to lock the lab door for 24 hours for both of us. We're not allowed back in here, okay?" He smiled and opened the door, waiting for Tony who was still sitting in front of the worktop "Go ahead, get out of here right now. We are on vacation now."
Tony stared at Bruce with his mouth hanging open. He had no clue what was going on. He meant it when he said he wasn't tired. Although, he would admit that a proper meal and a good night's sleep might be useful. Tony smiled a bit at Bruce, who was still standing by the door waiting for him. Tony slowly got up and approached Bruce. "Thanks, Bruce." Tony offered him the best smile he could muster.
The scientist couldn't help but blush at that beautiful smile. Tony was for sure a good looking man. He was truly beautiful, awesome, attractive and so much more than just that. He quickly got out of the lab and closed the door, trying to get those strange thoughts out of his brain. "Come on, Tony. Prohibit the entrance for both of us." Bruce ordered with a chuckle.
"JARVIS?" The A.I. responded. "I don't care what I tell you, Dr. Banner and I are not allowed back in there for 24 hours. Got it?" JARVIS responded with an affirmative. Tony turned to Bruce as he crossed his arms. "What do you propose we do now, Banner?" Tony playfully poked Bruce in the arm.
"Believe it or not, I'm going to cook for you Stark." He answered with a gentle smile and he poked Tony's arm, too, before turning back and walking in the huge corridor. He reached the kitchen and started to calm down as if he was still working on some scientific project. Cooking is science, after all.
Tony followed Bruce, stopping just short of the actual cooking area. "You're really cooking for me?" Tony chuckled. "What is this, a date?" Tony regretted the words as soon as they left his mouth. He couldn't even retreat to his lab and pretend he forgot something important that he needed to work on because he had just locked himself out. He hadn't wanted to lock himself out in the first place, but he'd do just about anything for Bruce.
"A date? Why not? We can consider it one if you want to." He answered with a nice smile, hoping he wasn't blushing right then, but he was and it was quite obvious, too. "I hope you'll like my food. I guess I'm not that bad a chef."
Tony froze. Did Bruce just say what he thought he said? It was a date? Tony felt like he was going to fall over in shock. How was Tony supposed to react to that? He had just gotten his crush to agree to calling this, whatever this ended up being, a date. It would be their first date and he never even bothered to dress up. Now Tony just felt ridiculous. "You don't have to, you know. Call it a date, I mean. I don't really want to make you uncomfortable or anything..." Tony's voice trailed off into nothing.
Bruce's smile faded and his eyes widened. He stared at his friend in shock. "Tony, are you serious? I mean, I was joking." Okay, now that was really awkward. Of course he was joking, even if he knew that was not totally wrong. He would have loved for it to be a date, but Tony, he wasn't into guys and they were just friends, right? Everything was suddenly clear. Tony being in his thoughts, staring at Bruce. Was he falling for the scientist? Banner blushed and closed his eyes. That was getting dangerous, as hist hear rate was beginning to pick up the slightest bit. "Are you falling for me, Tony?"
Tony stood there, frozen over in shock. He had no idea what to say or do. His heartbeat was skyrocketing and he was sure if it beat any harder it would burst right out of his chest. He breathed heavily and his eyes were wide. Tony leaned against the counters, suddenly feeling dizzy. What had he just done? "Mhm." Was all Tony managed to get out in the nervousness.
Bruce stopped moving for a second and sighed. He closed his eyes and tried to think properly, but his thoughts were everywhere. When and why did this all happen? He was always trying his best for people to not get attached to him so why? And why Stark? His beloved Stark; his best friend and the person he loved the most in the world. "Tony, you don't get it. It's not about me not sharing feelings, that's... I really can't be involved in a relationship because of the other guy. I'm sorry, but please don't feel ashamed. I'm touched to know you have feelings for me."
Tony shook his head. He didn't want to hear excuses. He already felt like he was going to cry. He bit down on his lip, silently begging himself not to cry. He didn't need to cry. What was it with him and crying lately? "I..." Tony's head fell again and he ran his hands through his hair. His pulse picked up again and a tear sneaked down his cheek. He was screwed.
The scientist gasped in surprise at the tear and ran toward his friend. He grabbed him by his shoulders. "Please, no. Please, Tony, no tears. There are always so many tears around me. I don't want you to cry, not because of me. I don't want to see that, because I love you. So much, you can't even imagine. I... I would be yours if I wasn't... me."
Tony bit down on his lip harder, until he was sure that if he bit down any harder he would bite through it. He took a few deep breaths in hopes that it would calm him down, which it didn't. "Br-Bruce, I..." Tony sniffled. He had no idea how to say what he wanted to. "I love you because you're you." Tony stared up into Bruce's eyes. "Without... the other guy, you and I never would've even met, Bruce. How can you say something like that?" Tony didn't realize that his hands were balled into fists. He really didn't like feeling vulnerable and he was sure he had never felt more vulnerable than in that moment.
Bruce closed his eyes. He could feel his heart beating so fast and loud in his chest. Tony's words made him so happy and yet so scared at the same time. He just wanted to accept Tony's feelings and give them a chance, but that was impossible. This was not right for him. He wasn't allowed to love someone. He tried to keep calm, or it would be dangerous to continue their discussion. "Tony, if I'm yours, that would mean platonic love. I can't have sex. Can you deal with that?"
Tony kept his head down. "Sex or no sex, I... I just need you." Tony released a shaky breath. He felt like he was going to fall apart right then and there; just suddenly collapse into pieces. His heart was beating so damn fast he wasn't sure how Bruce hadn't seemed to notice it. Still, he knew the circumstances around dating Bruce. He knew what it would mean. He also knew he needed the man. Bruce was like oxygen to him. He needed the man to live.
"You don't look good." Bruce spoke, looking at Tony. He forced the genius to sit on a chair and knelt before him. He kissed a hand and put his head in Tony's lap, not looking at Tony's eyes, as he was now feeling so shy and nervous. Tony wanted him, for real? He would accept him with the fact he wasn't able to give him his body. It must be a dream or a joke. "What about Pepper?" He finally asked shyly.
Tony looked down at Bruce shyly. He hesitantly ran his fingers through Bruce's hair. "Pepper isn't you." He tried to sound confident, but it came out as a whisper. He didn't have much of a voice after crying. Tony tried to smile. He had no clue what was going on and he wasn't sure how he and Bruce were gonna change after the conversation, but pouring his heart out was worth it if he'd have a chance to be with the scientist. "She never has been and she never will be. You're the only person who can fill that spot."
Tony's words touched their target, Bruce's heart, and he blushed again. His heart was beating hard and fast in his chest. He was happy. He felt loved. That was so tender, so good, so true and he knew he made the right decision giving Tony a chance, come what may. He raised his head and straightened a bit, asking silently for a kiss.
Fairly early on, Tony had caught onto Bruce's subtleties and silent questions; this time was no different. He gratefully leaned down to kiss Bruce, tangling his fingers into the man's hair.
Bruce shyly and slowly kissed back. He wasn't an expert, but he was tender and cute. He pulled back gently when he was out of breath, his cheeks so red. "Wait, I need to calm down. My heart's beating too fast." He chuckled nervously.
Tony nodded. He could probably do for a cool-down, too. He could hear his heart beating and the arc reactor was shining heavily. He was actually somewhat grateful Bruce pulled away, because he knew he wouldn't have been able to. He wouldn't have wanted to. Tony, still breathing heavily, stared at Bruce and a small smile broke out on his lips.
"Does this mean we're officially a couple? I have to warn you, I'm a poisonous gift. I've never been involved in a relationship like this one. I'm not good at a lot of things, but I want to learn with you, for you, and you don't need to stop about sex, you know. You don't have to do that for me." Even if he said so, he knew it would be painful to share Tony with some random men or women.
"I'd definitely like that. You're poisonous? Well, I'm an alcoholic with a really big ego. Think you can handle that?" Tony smiled a bit bigger. "Let's figure this thing out together, then." Tony closed his eyes for a moment. "I will. Stop, that is. I... I love you, Bruce. As long as I have you I don't need anybody else." Tony's pulse was more similar to normal and he could finally breathe again. He leaned forward so that their foreheads were touching. He had waited so long for this, it was like a dream. "Hear that, Brucie? I love you."
A/N: I'm not sure what you guys thought, but overall I'm proud of how it came out. I'd love to hear your thoughts!