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Del Rion [userpic]

Handling Pointy Things; Chapter 21: Breathing Easy

Title: Handling Pointy Things
Author: Del Rion (delrion.mail (at) gmail.com)
Fandom: The Avengers & Iron Man (MCU)
Era: Post-Avengers movie, after “Blue Glow” fic.
Genre: Drama
Rating: M / FRM
Characters: Bruce Banner (Hulk), Clint Barton (Hawkeye), Jane Foster, Nick Fury, Happy Hogan, J.A.R.V.I.S., Darcy Lewis, Pepper Potts, James “Rhodey” Rhodes (War Machine), Steve Rogers (Captain America), Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow), Thor, Tony Stark (Iron Man)
Pairings: Bruce/Tony, Happy/Pepper, Jane/Thor (, Clint/Natasha, implied past Pepper/Tony)
Summary: It starts with a dream and ends with something that resembles strutting more than tiptoeing; in other words, Bruce has a new-found obsession with Tony, Tony finds that endearing and wants to take it further while everyone else – including Bruce – seems to think it might actually be a very bad idea.
Work in progress. Part of the “Turquoise” –series.
Warnings: Slash (m/m relationship) and some sexual content, past and current het (f/m), superheroes vs. villains violence, language.



~ ~ ~




Author’s note: Another “extra” chapter that I just had to write in the aftermath of the last few chapters. Enjoy the fluff!

(Also, Tony’s listening to Marilyn Manson’s mOBSCENE when Steve visits the workshop. Just throwing it out there…)





Chapter 21: Breathing Easy



When they finally rolled out of bed, it was noon and the other Avengers were spread around the Mansion. That meant Bruce and Tony had the kitchen to themselves. In between breakfast preparations – although they probably could have jumped straight to lunch – they would drift past each other, and more often than not it would lead to a lingering brush of bodies or a soft kiss.

Bruce noted at some point that at this rate they might starve, but if Tony wanted to press against him, fingers caressing the hem of Bruce’s shirt and slipping beneath to the sensitive skin, who was Bruce to tell him no? Especially when it felt almost therapeutic to run his hands along Tony’s body in return, the curve of his spine, the dip of his lower back and his ass…

“I’m hungry,” Tony finally announced out loud, the movement of his teeth releasing Bruce’s lower lip where he had been holding it almost thoughtfully. He completed his statement with a kiss, tongue swiping over said lip before he pulled back.

Bruce smiled and turned Tony around, towards the table, and proceeded to get his cup of tea and Tony’s coffee. They sat down next to each other, digging in at the same lazy pace they had used for everything this morning.

Inside, Bruce felt a bit giddy. He had been happy to clear the air with Tony last night, getting rid of the oppressive tension that his demands had created, throwing their relationship into a tailspin. To actually hear Tony open up and confess his shortcomings in a relationship explained things that Bruce should have probably sensed, but at least they were on the same wavelength now.

With that taken care of, Bruce wondered if it had been necessary to repeat his confession of love like that. He knew Tony had caught the word the first time, but when the relief had flooded him, that they were okay… it had blindsided him completely. He didn’t regret it, not really. Tony seemed happier, certainly, and Bruce could only agree.

“Ah, you are up!” Thor called out loudly as he entered the kitchen.

Bruce lifted his eyes to acknowledge him, while Tony just shrugged while munching on his toast.

“You seem to have found equilibrium,” the Asgardian hummed as he raided the fridge for his favorite juice. He opened a fresh carton and drank straight from it – no one bothered to complain since he would end up drinking the whole thing anyway, usually in one sitting.

“Yup,” Tony replied shortly, but he didn’t sound annoyed. Bruce wondered if Tony’s conclusion had anything to do with Thor, of all people.

Thor nodded with approval.

Clint walked in next, taking a glass and pouring himself some orange juice. “Are we feeling less grumpy today?” he asked.

Tony rolled his eyes.

“I think I’m allowed to ask,” Clint pointed a finger at Tony. “We live in the same house, which, while being rather spacious, can still be considered shared premises, and I would rather not have your PMSing –”

“That’s enough,” Bruce cut him off.

Clint just shrugged and left the kitchen.

“The Hawk is merely concerned since Tony was quite upset the last time they saw each other,” Thor noted.

Bruce glanced at his lover and raised an eyebrow. Tony actually looked a bit guilty. “I may have made a few unsavory remarks… mostly at Cap, however.”

“None of us took it to heart,” Thor reassured, then clasped both their shoulders in a hold that could easily bruise if prolonged. “Now, I must meet my Lady Jane for a… chat,” he stated, tasting the word. “I believe your disembodied servant is helping me do that.” He took his juice carton and left the room as well.

“My what?” Tony frowned.

“I believe Mr. Odinson was referring to me, sir,” J.A.R.V.I.S. offered. “I’m helping him establish a video chat connection with Ms. Foster in approximately six minutes.”

“Sounds romantic,” Tony teased with a heavy dose of sarcasm.

“I am hardly in any position to cast a personified opinion, but taken into consideration the previous calls between Mr. Odinson and Ms. Foster, I would categorize it as ‘romantic’,” J.A.R.V.I.S. observed. “Not very much unlike yourself and Dr. Banner.”

Bruce chuckled.

Tony pointed an accusing finger at him. “Don’t encourage him!”

“He’s your AI,” Bruce shot back.

“Yeah, but he had no calling to become some horrible mix of Oprah and Dr. Phil before you all came along,” Tony muttered.

“To be exact, sir –”

“If your response isn’t likely to please me, J.A.R.V.I.S., don’t say it,” Tony warned.

“Very well, sir,” the AI fell silent.

“Now you’re just being rude to him,” Bruce accused softly.

“He’s my AI; I can be as rude to him as I want,” Tony huffed. “He doesn’t mind.” However, it seemed he was feeling a minimal pang of guilt, and would probably make it up to J.A.R.V.I.S. by giving him new relays or a memory boost.

Bruce made no verbal comment but he offered Tony the last slice of apple; the other man took it without hesitation and popped it into his mouth, chewing thoughtfully, mind already two steps ahead of breakfast. From experience, Bruce knew their quiet, gentle, intimate moment was over now that Tony’s brain was really up and running. It wasn’t an actual loss, though, and Bruce decided he might join Tony in his lab and just watch him work.

It was another type of therapy, after all, at least for him. And if Tony thought he was keeping watch to make sure he removed that dangerous arc reactor function from his suit, Bruce could prove him wrong by initiating phase two of kissing – which had a way of turning into more than just kissing, but he didn’t currently see that as a downside.

- - -

Tony was listening to some obscene song when Steve entered his Mansion workshop. After all, it was less like the lab spaces he and Bruce often shared, more concentrated in actual engineering that Tony appeared to love and thrive in.

“You wanted to see me?” Steve called out over the noise.

Tony was… well, he was gyrating to the music, not outright dancing – especially not with a blowtorch in his hand – looking rather relaxed. The brunette’s head whipped around, as if he actually heard him, and he made a motion for the music to cease and even turned off the tool. “Indeed I did,” Tony replied, brushing a dirty arm over his sweaty forehead. Judging by the trails of smudges on both body parts, he had been doing that a lot recently.

Steve looked around. He had expected Bruce to be hanging around, but clearly the man wasn’t in the workshop after all.

“I had to send Bruce away,” Tony mused, as if guessing what he was looking for. “He was becoming a distraction.” Tony’s mouth twisted, as if he couldn’t believe he was saying that.

Steve just nodded, accepting it. He had heard the two were back on good terms, and he was glad. Tony’s outburst two days ago had been a clear sign that their relationship had dived into deeper waters – which meant the stakes were higher, too.

Tony turned back to his work – his suit, most likely, although it had been laid bare and save for the pieces of red casing lying close by, it was impossible to tell which part of the armor it was and what Tony was doing to it. Silence grew between them, not heavy and stifling but making Steve wonder if Tony had forgotten he was there.

“I wanted to apologize,” Tony finally spoke up, looking up at a screen, tapping at it, then making a dragging motion to bring the screen outside the monitor and enlarging it in the air in front of him. It was all so casual and looked like magic, making it hard for Steve to focus on Tony’s words.

“What?” he finally asked.

Tony looked at him, a slight frown on his face, as if he was trying to figure out whether he was being tricked, attacked or if Steve was just slow. “I said certain things I shouldn’t have, in a moment of anger not directed at you,” Tony went on, glancing back at the holographic screen, then returned his attention to Steve. “It was not… professionally acceptable.” It sounded like something Pepper Potts had beaten into his head, repeatedly.

“Apology accepted,” Steve finally forced himself to react. “Although it’s not necessary –”

“Of course it is!” Tony snapped. “Don’t… don’t belittle it and think I can’t tell.” He looked at the screen again, probably to give himself something to do other than stare at Steve. “I recall the pleasant little chat we had on the Helicarrier, close to our first meeting. While most people like to blame Loki’s gizmo for certain verbal accusations that were presented that day… We’ve fought since day one, and most of those things I should probably apologize for. So, take this one and try not to rub it in my face,” he finally decided.

Steve nodded and fought the smile that tried to make its way to his lips. “I’ll take what I can get, then,” he accepted, trying to sound disappointed, because that was probably what Tony was going for. Frankly, he was surprised Tony even had it in him to apologize, for this of all things. If Tony had found the will to do it, however, and thought it important enough to bring up on his own, Steve was going to accept it gracefully – or ungracefully, if that’s what Tony preferred.

Tony shrugged and stared intently at the screen. It seemed his mind was focusing on it again, for real, and Steve begun to turn, guessing they were done here.

“You know,” Tony started suddenly, before he could get to the door, “if I was totally against you, Cap, I wouldn’t hang around, being an Avenger. Just sayin’.”

That little confession meant more to Steve than most things Tony ever said. He nodded stiffly and left before either of them was compelled or forced to say anything else.

When he ascended the stairs, he ran into Bruce coming out of one of his own lab spaces – the one he had sort of blown up some time ago. The scientist gave him one of his easy, small smiles – another testament to the fact that his and Tony’s reconciliation was working miracles on them both. “Captain, what are you doing down here?”

That prompted Steve to entertain the small voice of doubt that had entered his mind when Tony first started talking. “I was visiting Tony, actually,” he informed his teammate.

“Really?” Bruce seemed surprised.

“I take it, then, that you didn’t encourage him to talk to me,” Steve pressed.

Bruce’s face went unreadable for a second, perhaps as a result of trying to steel himself against whatever came next. “No, I did not,” he answered.

This time, Steve gave up the fight against the smile. “Okay. That’s… what I sort of hoped for,” he decided. It had been a possibility that Bruce had encouraged Tony to apologize, but the fact that he hadn’t… It meant so much more to him.

“What did you talk about?” Bruce asked quickly, following Steve up the stairs.

“You’ll have to ask Tony,” Steve replied, knowing how uncomfortable such a small gesture had made Tony and not wanting to go behind his back, telling people that Tony Stark actually took into account, on occasion, the feelings of others.

- - -

“It hasn’t been three hours yet,” Tony called out the moment the door opened and J.A.R.V.I.S.’s security log, open in one corner of the screen, told him it was Bruce. “I’m not done yet and I can’t have you… staring… What?” he turned around and looked at the other man, feeling the weight of his eyes on him, that impressive mind working at full capacity to figure something out – to figure Tony out.

“You talked to Steve,” Bruce started.

Tony steeled himself. “I might have,” he answered evasively. Why had he thought Steve could be discreet about it?

“He didn’t say anything,” Bruce added, as if seeing it on Tony’s face. Well, he probably did. The man read him way too easily these days, but the only consolation was that it worked both ways.

“No?” Tony arched an eyebrow. “Then why the surprise visit?”

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen the good Captain smile after he’s talked to you,” his boyfriend pressed.

Tony really tried to fight the grin. “Maybe I told him I was quitting the Avengers?”

“Bullshit,” Bruce called his bluff, moving closer. “What did you tell him?” he pressed, circling slightly to block his exit when Tony shifted to the side.

“It was a private conversation,” Tony dodged.

Bruce’s eyes narrowed, but his expression was still bright, as if he rather liked this problem since it didn’t include any… dangerous features, for once. After a moment he let out a frustrated sigh and crossed his arms over his chest, then restlessly straightened them again. “I’ve got nothing,” he confessed.

“Keep at it,” Tony encouraged. “Maybe you’ll figure it out – eventually.”

“Or I’ll just hack J.A.R.V.I.S. to see the feed from the lab,” Bruce countered.

“Oh, please! You can hack into many things, Dr. Banner, but my AI isn’t one of them,” Tony teased, moving over to him. Bruce’s restlessness partially left him as his hands moved to rest on Tony’s sides, warm and firm. Tony pressed close to him, meeting his eyes. “I don’t kiss and tell…”

“Maybe I’ll just have to torture it out of you, then,” Bruce mused, pretending to go dark, yet his eyes didn’t adopt the dangerous edge and his voice didn’t manage to hold onto the edge for long. “Let’s trade,” he offered then.

“I’m listening,” Tony grinned.

“I will… let you suck me off again,” Bruce murmured, “and you tell me what you and Steve talked about.”

Tony considered it. “Is that your best offer, Dr. Banner?”

“I can reduce it to a hand job,” Bruce warned.

“Maybe you should try and pry the information out of our fearless leader.”

“I’ll have better luck trying to force it out of you,” his lover corrected. It was probably true: Steve guarded his secrets with something that wasn’t old-fashioned but rather a personal trait. As if gossiping would somehow make him unworthy of being Captain America.

“Okay,” Tony let out a deep sigh. “Blow job it is, but I refuse to look you in the eye while I do it and am not going to moan whorishly while I’m at it,” he said seriously – or as seriously as he could, given their ridiculous negotiations. “I’m definitely going below the price here.”

“So,” Bruce pressed, pushing Tony slightly backwards; clearly he had a destination in mind. “What did you talk about?”

“I may have apologized to him, about my most recent bout of tactless commentary.”

“That’s it?” Bruce frowned.

“I also may or may not have insinuated that I don’t hate him, as a leader, on the field,” Tony gave up the rest of it.

The other man considered this piece of news quietly for a moment, then nodded. “I would say I’m incredibly proud of you, and happy since I was afraid you were lying to yourself about it as much as you were to everyone else, but I know that would be inappropriate.”

“Very inappropriate,” Tony agreed. “I might have to reconsider our recent deal.”

“A deal’s a deal,” Bruce insisted, and finally he nailed the edge, too; if Tony didn’t know what was going on and whom he was dealing with, he would have thought things were about to turn very ugly very soon. The non-consensual kind of ugly. As it was, when Bruce’s next words came, Tony was more than ready for his end of the deal: “On your knees.”

Tony had enough patience to not bruise his kneecaps as he lowered himself. Bruce shifted, opening his pants, shifting them low enough to maneuver. One of his hands landed on Tony’s head, curling around to frame his face and pulling Tony closer, against his leg so that one side of his face was pressed against Bruce’s upper thigh – with an unrestricted view at the other man pulling on his flesh, leisurely, at a comfortable pace Tony knew so well.

Bruce’s hand caressed Tony’s face and held it with enough pressure that Tony couldn’t entertain any ideas of trying to help Bruce along. There were still rules, too, that both of them followed without failure, and as long as there was no condom, Tony wasn’t going to touch any part of Bruce’s genitalia with his mouth – and preferably not with his hands, either. While he may have been willing to slip up on that rule, just a little, he knew it was there for a reason and he wasn’t going to agitate Bruce by breaking it.

So, he watched, seeing the slight change of texture as blood rushed forth, the faint increase of strength in the squeeze of Bruce’s fingers, the first sign of wetness quickly spread across the tip…

Tony was aware of his own breaths speeding up although his body was still relatively relaxed. It was still rare that they both found satisfaction at the same time; too much of their focus was often diverted from where it was needed, rather than where it was wanted, and that was another line he knew not to cross if Bruce wasn’t initiating it. There were harder ways to make Bruce withdraw back to where he’d been when it first became clear he was attracted to Tony. As impatient as he occasionally felt, Tony tried to find satisfaction in the small details, from which there were many to choose.

Bruce took his time, building it up, then finally moved his hand, searching for something. The fact that he dug a condom from his back pocket made Tony smile and nuzzle against his leg, then he lifted his hands in time to accept the small packet, opening it carefully and then shifting to roll it on. Bruce’s hands remained much as they were – one still pressing Tony’s face to his thigh and the other holding himself still as Tony overcame the awkward angle and finished rolling on the thicker-than-average latex.

Tony was aware of the rise and fall of Bruce’s chest and the slight change of pace and depth in each movement. The hand on his face was steady, however, still kind of cupping his cheek as he finally allowed Tony to move and pleasure him instead of his own hand.

They had done this before, but usually with more preparation. This either meant Bruce felt relaxed enough to engage in such activities in the middle of Tony’s shop, out of the blue – or he was determined to knock down some of his personal reservations. Either way, Tony still took it easy with each drag of his tongue and tug of his lips. As he had promised, he didn’t look at Bruce’s face, trusting the other man to signal him if he needed a break.

Bruce’s hand hadn’t moved from his head, resting there at first then beginning a certain caressing motion, thumb dragging against Tony’s facial hair in perfect synch with the relaxing of his jaw while the other fingers were caught behind his ear, nails not scratching but teasing the line of hair. It gave them both something else to think about, a minute distraction from the act itself. The hand Bruce had used to stroke himself was still there, at the base, past the layer of latex, not interfering but still hovering close by to participate in the action in a roundabout way – like a voyeur.

Then those fingers moved down, beneath and beyond Tony’s line of sight when he opened his eyes, sensing the motion. Bruce groaned, pushing slightly then using the hand on Tony’s face to push him off and to the side as his body released the tension it had slowly been building.

Tony watched and waited, the fingers on the side of his head never tightening, yet they stayed still there it was over. “Good?” Tony finally asked, licking his lips carefully.

“Yeah,” Bruce replied and removed his hand, disappearing to the small adjoining bathroom.

Tony remained on the floor, sagging slightly, swaying to a tune only he could hear in his head. There had been a time when he would have scoffed at this simple act that brought him no direct satisfaction. But, as he knelt there, he felt more relaxed than he had perhaps the entire day, as if they had both just come.

When Bruce re-entered the workshop, his clothes suggested nothing at all had happened and his hands smelled of the heavy-duty soap Tony had sitting in the bathroom. The warm, clean fingers framed his face and Tony lifted his body somewhat, meeting Bruce’s lips in a kiss. It was slow, most of the time involving Bruce’s tongue either on his lips or mouth – depicting an act, at least in Tony’s mind, that both of them were looking for.

One day…

Today, of all days, Tony was more certain than ever that it was coming. He just had to stay alive long enough to be around, and make sure nothing compromised this awfully fragile yet tightly intertwined relationship of theirs.





to be continued…


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