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.
Rating: M / FRM
Characters: Bruce Banner (Hulk), Clint Barton (Hawkeye), J.A.R.V.I.S., Steve Rogers (Captain America), Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow), Thor, Tony Stark (Iron Man).
Quest stars: Jane Foster, Nick Fury, Happy Hogan, Darcy Lewis, Pepper Potts, James “Rhodey” Rhodes (War Machine), Betty Ross, Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, Erik Selvig.
Pairings: Bruce/Tony, Happy/Pepper, Jane/Thor (also: Clint/Natasha, implied past Pepper/Tony, past Bruce Banner/Betty Ross, implied/off-screen Betty/Leonard Samson)
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.
Complete. 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.
Disclaimer: Iron Man and Avengers, their characters and everything else belong to Marvel. The movie versions belong to Marvel Studios, Joss Whedon, Jon Favreau, Louis Leterrier, Kenneth Branagh, Joe Johnston, Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures… in short: everyone but me. This is pure fiction, created to entertain likeminded fans, no profit made.
Beta: Mythra (mythras_fire)
Feedback: Appreciated and cherished.
About Handling Pointy Things: In “Blue Glow”, Bruce had a dream that threw him a bit.
Before that, in “Smashed Heart” and “A Hulk-shaped Aegis”, he created a closer relationship with Tony (bordering on over-protective).
Even before that, in “Sleeping It Off”, Bruce felt drawn to the other man.
(Yes, all of the above is pimping for the previous parts in the series which you may or may not want to read before getting acquainted with this story.)
Between almost killing Tony, saving his life, trying to protect him and having some disturbingly nice dreams, Bruce can finally start admitting to himself that something’s going on that he hadn’t planned for when he joined the Avengers. This story aims to delve into that situation and what follows it for Bruce, Tony, the team and some assorted worried friends.
Parts of this story were inspired by prompts, comments and art:
Chapters 11, 14, 15, 16, 25 and 26 were written for separate prompts at avengerkink.
A scene in chapter 17 was inspired by Brilcrist’s art.
Chapter 19 was written in response to spocktacular’s (AO3) comment.
Chapters and statuses: Below you see the writing process of the story’s chapters. If there is no text after the chapter’s title, then it is finished and checked. Possible updates shall be marked after the title.
Chapter 1: Breathing In
Chapter 2: Dreamscape
Chapter 3: Tiptoeing
Chapter 4: Eye-catching
Chapter 5: Strutting
Chapter 6: Reality Check
Chapter 7: Handling
Chapter 8: Reality Check 1.2
Chapter 9: Pointy Things
Chapter 10: Reality Check 2.0
Chapter 11: Conditioning
Chapter 12: Reality Check 2.5
Chapter 13: Breathing Out
Chapter 14: Confirmation
Chapter 15: Reaffirmation
Chapter 16: Heart-stopping
Chapter 17: Offbeat
Chapter 18: Tapping
Chapter 19: Dreamscape 2.0
Chapter 20: Untapping
Chapter 21: Breathing Easy
Chapter 22: Super-dating
Chapter 23: Meet Miss Lewis
Chapter 24: Conferential
Chapter 25: Imprints
Chapter 26: Table Manners
Chapter 27: Heart-to-heart
Chapter 28: For Future Reference
Author’s note: Some heavy references to the earlier parts of the Turquoise –series included in this fic so I recommend reading them before tackling this story.
Now, finally, it’s time for some Bruce/Tony. Enjoy!
Manhattan, New York, NY, USA
“Breathe in for me,” Bruce said. His voice was steady and quiet, calming even though his patient of the day wasn’t afraid or in a panic over a rotting limb or something equally gruesome.
Tony took a deep, slow breath, his ribs moving, the arc reactor shifting. There were still a few faint scars but they had healed exceptionally well. All the swelling and bruises had vanished. Bruce focused on listening to his lungs then shifted the stethoscope to take a listen to his heart as well, out of habit. In the background there was the steady whirr of the arc, which he had to drown out; another thing he did out of habit by now.
The body on the examination table shifted after a moment, prompting Bruce to lift his eyes. Tony gave him a quick smile, waggling his eyebrows. “Is there anything else you would like to take a look at, Doctor?”
The flippant comment was nothing out of the ordinary; examinations made Tony nervous and uncomfortable, so he tried to break the tension by faking nonchalance. Throwing in a sexually-laced comment was a trademark move on his part. Until recently Bruce might have raised the stakes with a comment of his own or just told him to leave with a fond smile, but now he froze, his brain making a U-turn in a very different direction.
The body on top of his, rocking, rising and falling in steady rhythm; his hand on top of the arc reactor, blocking its light, the blue glow illuminating his skin…
“Doc?” Tony’s voice snapped him out of it.
“We’re done,” Bruce hurried to say and cover for the momentary lapse of focus.
Tony, of course, didn’t miss it. “Is everything okay?” he asked. “You’ve been acting a bit strangely for a while now.”
“It’s nothing,” Bruce said, turning to put his instruments away. Well, the ones that Tony had gotten him since his old things never came back from India; hopefully someone else could find a use for them there in his absence…
He thought about Asia, about how much simpler his life there had been. Horrible and restricted, maybe, treating the never-ending line of the sick and dying, hiding from any and all government agents – no matter what country they represented – but at least there he didn’t have to dread each night in his comfortable bed, pondering whether he would dream of another body joined with his and then try to look Tony in the eye and not let it show.
Bruce hadn’t thought he would ever come to miss the nightmares related to the other guy.
“It’s nothing,” he muttered again, trying to convince himself.
“I’m sure it’s something.”
Bruce started; he hadn’t thought Tony was still seated behind his back. The man usually wasted no time getting out once they were done. He turned to look at him, his friend still shirtless, the arc reactor bright even in the well-lit room, and he could only imagine what it would be like in the dark. Too bright, maybe. Not glowing softly in shades of blue as in his sensual dream.
A dream that wasn’t real.
Couldn’t become real.
Would not become real because he knew better.
Tony shifted on the table and then slid down, barefoot, just wearing a pair of pants and potentially nothing beneath them. His shirt was thrown across a chair by the door where he had chucked it off. “Bruce,” he said carefully, advancing on him. He usually called him by his surname which made this much more intimate. Bruce allowed his eyes to fall down the ribs he had traced in his sleep so many times, the hips he had grabbed and caressed.
Yes, it had been multiple dreams now. They kept coming back, almost every night and even when he took a nap which made him wary of doing it anywhere other people might see him, just in case it drew a real response from his body.
It usually did.
He hadn’t jerked off this much since his teenage years.
“I’m all better,” Tony said, mistaking his long looks as something else, “and I think we’ve established it wasn’t your fault.”
Bruce looked him in the eye again, finding it easier. In his dreams he didn’t always see Tony’s face although he knew it was there. It was other details his mind decided to focus on.
“We can keep this routine if it makes you feel better,” Tony said and Bruce knew it was a big gesture from him since he had no affection for medical prodding and poking even when it was necessary. “But I also want you to start moving on,” Tony went on. It was all kinds of wrong that Tony had to sound like the reasonable one; it was usually someone else having this discussion with him.
“Move on?” Bruce swallowed.
“Yes. You almost killed me – or the other guy did, that’s just details. It was horrible, more for me than everyone else, but you can’t keep living in that moment. We’re getting better on the field,” Tony went chattering on.
Yes, the Hulk, far as Bruce had heard, was actually letting Iron Man partake in the action again. If the situation got too hot, though, the other guy tended to intervene, and Bruce was secretly pleased. He wondered if even a lifetime of new memories would erase the vision of Iron Man’s broken form lying at his feet. Knowing that Tony was encased in the broken metal, dying…
“Bruce,” Tony said again, snapping his fingers impatiently.
“I’m working on it,” Bruce promised.
“Good. Great. That’s awesome,” Tony smiled hurriedly then turned to fetch his shirt. Bruce’s eyes followed, watching the lines and bumps of his spine; he never saw it while asleep, so he wanted to take it all in. The round curve of his ass, looking rather nice in those pants that rode low yet not too low.
“Are you checking me out?”
Bruce started; of course Tony had noticed, and of course he would be grinning. “Uhh…”
“Maybe it’s a good thing you’re not a real doctor, although it’s still pretty kinky,” Tony cracked then winked and left, his tone already changing as he started talking to J.A.R.V.I.S. in the hallway, going over some piece of coding that had been giving him trouble for a few days.
Bruce leaned against the table beside him and sighed, rubbing the bridge of his nose. He felt like taking a nap – an old habit from when he was still on the run and had to find rest wherever he could – and wondered if he could get through it without having some new ideas in it, including Tony’s backside.
The dreams bothered him for a few reasons. One of them was a worry about their origin, although he could admit he had been lonely for a long time and being around the same people was a big change. Tony was perhaps his closest friend on the team and he felt a kinship to him. Tony’s past had included plenty of unabashed attention from and for other people, and although he had slowed down considerably after becoming Iron Man – and after getting together with Pepper – he had that playboy air about him and it wasn’t a stretch to imagine him… well, in any way a person wanted to imagine him.
Another point of concern was the other guy. Bruce didn’t know how dreams like these would affect him and for now there had been no incidents. Perhaps they wouldn’t even trigger a transformation since there was no sense of danger and he had a better handle on the other guy. The only problem was the soiled sheets and clothes; he really had to get on with the tests to find out if only his blood was poisonous, or did the same apply for other bodily fluids like semen, sweat and spit? Well, he could rule the last two out as very unlikely to have an unhealthy dose of radiation but there was no room for error in that area.
Not that he planned on making a move on Tony and putting that data to good use or anything. It was bad enough J.A.R.V.I.S. had caught him having the dreams and was aware of them, but far as he knew, Tony was still oblivious – and there was no way either the AI or its creator could know whom it was his dreams focused on.
Dreams were relatively harmless. Actual interaction with a person, however, could trigger a transformation, not to mention other dangers, and he had never even felt attracted to men.
He closed his eyes, picturing Tony putting on his shirt. He had seen more of him naked than that but he was healthy and alive now, not lying unconscious in a bed, so it was different and this was the way he wanted to remember him. And perhaps he had never been attracted to men but his dreams were convincing him that he might just feel something for Tony Stark.
Opening his eyes he set out to clean up the medical room and left to make himself some tea. Perhaps it would calm him down so that he could have a perfectly normal nap with no dreams concerning dark rooms and glowing arc reactors.
to be continued…