A/N: This is listed as the Offers of Home series on AO3 with different names for each story. Here I'm going to call the whole thing Offers of Home in one big story. This is a crossover with The Pretender and Stargate: SG-1 in later parts.

Tony had been happy to get Bruce to not run away for more than a week. After that the man seemed attached to the work he was doing in the labs and appeared to start unfurling from his protective postures.

Watching the small feed that showed him Bruce's lab, Tony smiled when Bruce yawned. Tony flicked his fingers to make the wireframe of the next suit fly away. Now would be a good time. Too tired to escape, too tired to get really upset. Tony nodded to himself as he stood up.

"JARVIS, be on ready to call Pepper if Bruce starts smashing things."

"Sir, do you think antagonizing Dr. Banner to be the best course of action?"

"It isn't antagonizing, JARVIS. I'm trying to help." Tony blinked as he stepped into his elevator. Help? What the hell was he thinking? Bruce wasn't going to want help from him. Tony sighed and stepped out onto Bruce's floor.

"Indeed, sir." JARVIS sounded even more bland than normal.

Tony frowned for a moment before stepping into Bruce's lab. "Hey."

Bruce looked up from his screens. "Hi, Tony." He blinked and rubbed his fingers across the bridge of his nose. "What pointy thing are you going to poke me with this time?"

Tony smiled grimly. "Nothing pointy. Look, I know you don't like talking about yourself." He stepped forward and snagged a stool to twirl on. He swung his legs back and forth and smiled as Bruce tried to hide his own smile. "It isn't bad to be all quiet, but I really need to know something. Well, not need, I want to know...Nevermind. Look..."

"What do you want to know?" Bruce took his glasses off and polished them with the hem of his shirt.

"I, ah." Tony spread his hands, palms towards Bruce. "I wanted to know why you thought a bullet would kill you if the fall from a helicopter into the pavement of Harlem wasn't enough damage to even slow you down."

"Him." Bruce settled his glasses back on his face. "The other guy, not me."


Bruce stared at him. "What?"

"Oh, that is utter bullshit." Tony slipped off the stool and moved to stand across Bruce's table from him. "You can say you are separate all you want, but we both know that it is you. More instinct and bellowing, but still you."

Shaking his head, Bruce started to back away.

Tony leaned forward. "You saved me from falling. Thing is, he'd not met me. You had. He hadn't. He didn't have a damn reason to catch me."

Bruce took a shuddery breath. "I did."

"Yes." Tony moved back to the stool and settled onto. "I think you don't remember everything you do while green because the structure of your brain changes too. The memories would get stored differently, or don't go to long term memory correctly after the change back." Tony shrugged. "Still thinking on that part."

"I didn't think it would kill me."

Tony cocked his head. "Yeah? Then why shoot yourself in the head?"

"I hoped." Bruce fiddled with the holographic screen between them. "I didn't think it would, but I hoped."

"Ah." Tony rubbed his hand over his hair. "Look, I don't think you need to worry so much now. I have plenty of room here and I don't want..."

Bruce smiled, the smile that Tony liked because Bruce meant it. "I'm not going to shoot myself, Tony. I like being here."

"You look..." Tony twiddled his fingers towards Bruce as he frowned. "And I don't want you thinking that you're going to be thrown in a cage at any moment."

"I can though." Bruce shrugged as he moved the screen from between them. "The instant I become more of a liability than an asset I'll be in a cage."

"I consider you more than an asset, Banner." Tony scratched his beard. "I've been...betrayed by friends before, so I'm not calling you that." Tony flapped his hand as Bruce started to say something. "I'd like to think I have enough money and there's that legion of lawyers I, well, Pepper can sic on anyone that even so much as tries to make you do anything you don't want to do."


"I mean, you have every right to have a normal life when you aren't helping save the world."


Tony blinked as he snapped his mouth closed.

Bruce reached across the table and set his hand on Tony's forearm. "Friends, Tony. I call us friends. And I have no idea why that word bothers you, but then I was in remote places for years, so when you are ready I'd like you to tell me." Bruce pulled back. "If you want."

Tony covered the reactor in his chest. "Yeah." He swallowed. "Yeah, okay." Tony started backing up towards the door. "You can come into my workshop when you get bored." Tony grinned at Bruce. "Thanks."

Bruce stared after Tony for several minutes. He pulled his screens back up and made sure everything was at a stopping point. "Um, JARVIS?"

"Yes, sir?"

"Can you tell me what happened to Tony's reactor that's made him nervous about having friends?"

There was a moment of silence and then Bruce's screen flared to life. It showed a still picture of Tony sprawled on his couch with a burn mark in his shirt, his reactor missing from his chest.

"This was done by a person Mr. Stark called his friend."

Bruce glanced up at the inflection JARVIS put on 'person.' "Turn it off, please." He put his hand over his chest as he forced himself to calm down. There was no fighting for him here, not now. Not after Tony had tried so hard to get Bruce to stay. "Was the person stopped?"

"Indeed. He was killed in the ensuing fight after Mr. Stark was able to get an older reactor into place."

Bruce nodded. He didn't know how Tony had managed because he'd looked half-dead in the photo. "Thanks, JARVIS." He stood and reached out to straighten some papers Tony's fidgeting had displaced.

He glanced around his lab one last time before going to see if Tony needed...food. Food would work as an excuse.

Tony sagged against the elevator wall and sighed. "JARVIS, if Bruce asks you can tell him about Obi."

"Are you very sure, sir?"

Tony staggered a bit he stepped from the elevator and went into his workshop. He patted Dum-E and settled on the couch with a tablet. He needed to sketch out the quiver idea he had for Clint before he forgot it.

He didn't look up when his door whooshed open because he was engrossed and didn't even notice it.


He snapped his head up and flinched as Bruce startled back a step. "What? Sorry. Didn't expect you in here so soon." Tony blinked and frowned. "Are you okay?"

Bruce pulled on the hem of his shirt. "Mind if I sit?"

Tony moved over. "Not at all." He waited until Bruce got settled. "You have questions, don't you?"

"Not that need answers right now." Bruce pointed at Tony's tablet. "Is that Agent Barton's quiver?"

"Yeah." Tony lost himself in explaining how he thought he could give Clint more arrows without weighing him down too much.

"Have you eaten?"

Tony stopped in the middle of whatever he'd just been saying and frowned. "Have I what?"

"Eaten? You know, that thing you do when your stomach growls at you."

"I don't..." Tony glanced at the date and time on the corner of his tablet's screen. "Oh, damn."

Bruce stood up and held out his hand. "Come on. We'll eat and you can tell me the rest of the ideas you have for ammo-proofing Agent Barton."

Steve eased his way into Tony's shop and took the blanket from Dum-E, who whirred at him. "Shhh." He draped the blanket over Tony and then slipped Dr. Banner's shoes off his feet slowly. Steve turned to find Dum-E had a second blanket, so Steve spread that one over Banner.

As Steve slipped back out of the workshop, he patted Dum-E on its 'head'. He watched them sleep through the glass for several minutes before turning and nearly running over Ms. Potts. "Oh! I'm so sorry."

She jumped and moved to one side, even as Steve reached out to steady her. "No, no, it is fine." She glanced into Tony's workshop and then stopped to stare. "Holy shit."

Steve's eyebrows climbed. "Ma'am?"

She flicked her eyes to him and back to the sleeping figures on Tony's workshop couch. "He is sleeping."


She grinned at him and started dragging him up the stairs. "JARVIS told me he ate dinner too. Eating and sleeping in the same day as him in his workshop and all without dire threats of bodily harm." She bounced a little as she flopped on a couch and pulled him down with her. "If you had anything to do with it, tell me now."

Steve averted his eyes as the television played one of the horrible scantily clad women ads. It was selling a car he thought. Or maybe just the tires. "I didn't do anything besides the blankets, ma'am."

"Pepper." She smacked him in the arm. "I've told you a million times now, call me Pepper."

He sighed. "Yes, Pepper." He'd slip up within three times of opening his mouth.

"I'm happy Tony has friends now. He didn't there for a long time."

Steve thought back to how at peace both of them had looked on that couch. "Dr. Banner hasn't had a friend to talk to either, from what I heard."

Pepper changed channels again. "You need friends too, Steve."

He watched the animated dragons flying around and his fingers itched for his sketchbook. "I have friends, ma'am." Okay, two times of opening his mouth, but still, he was getting better, maybe. "Pepper."

She smiled. "Yes, you do. Tony likes you, but can't figure out how to talk to you. He's hoping to talk the rest of the Avengers into staying here once Thor is back from Asgard."

Steve blinked. "All of us?"

Pepper shrugged. "He was just going to ask Bruce, but then he got to talking about how you were just drifting and needed a home. Then about how Barton and Natasha probably needed a home that wasn't just SHIELD. And soon he was designing floors for each of you."

He turned to stare at her.

She glanced at him and settled the channel to Modern Marvels. "So everyone has a place they can call their own."

He watched the television explain sugar production as he thought about having everyone together under the same roof. "We'll need more blankets. And pillows."

Pepper snorted. "That can be arranged."