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), 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.
“Sir, the S.H.I.E.L.D. ATC has cleared us for approach.”
“Okay. Prep the disassembly unit,” Tony replied to his AI and briefly boosted the repulsors as he flew along the bulk of the Helicarrier. Fury had called him in to look at some issues they were having with the engines. It was nice to be needed. “J, scan the engines and tap into the Helicarrier interface to see if there’s something buggy in their system.”
“After our last break-in, they have put up extra firewalls,” J.A.R.V.I.S. noted dryly.
“But you left a back door open, right?”
“Of course, sir. A moment.”
“Take your time,” Tony smiled and then curved along one edge of the wishbone before finding the correct landing area. Doors slid out of the way, letting him in, then closed again to steady the pressure and air levels before allowing him further into the aircraft through another doorway.
S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel were milling around, giving him professionally curious looks. A group of what had to be new recruits gaped as Iron Man walked across the deck to get to a secured crate that would take off the suit.
J.A.R.V.I.S. had a lot of data for him by the time Tony got out of the armor and he slid a tablet free from the crate as it closed back around the armor, securing it until he left.
Tony tapped at the tablet, running diagnostics and getting further acquainted with the engine designs. Sure, he had looked at them already this morning when Fury finally let him access some of his father’s work but there had been modifications and he needed to be aware of all of them before doing any adjustments; he didn’t actually want to see the Helicarrier dropping from the sky because he removed the wrong wire.
“Stark,” Fury’s familiar voice boomed across the space and Tony gave him a minimal glance. “You’re trying to break into our files again,” the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. told him in his best long-suffering annoyed tone.
“Not trying but actually doing it – there’s a significant difference between the two,” Tony informed him. “Besides, it’s faster than waiting for you to give me clearance.” He lowered the tablet for a moment, giving Fury his undivided attention. “You called me here on a job. I’m here to do it. Are you going to chew my ass or let me work?”
Fury let out a breath of air that had to be a suppressed sigh. “It doesn’t matter whether or not I give you clearance because you’re just going to break in anyway.”
“Problem solved,” Tony grinned.
“Let me show you to the engine room,” the other man said instead.
“Okay…” That put Tony on his toes; there was no reason for Fury to show him the way. Tony was certain the man knew very little of the technology that kept his ship afloat and there were people better equipped to help Tony should he need their assistance. He doubted it. Which meant there was something else Fury wanted to bring to the table while ensuring Tony was sufficiently busy to not back away if he didn’t like it.
They took an elevator down to arrive to the main engine level. J.A.R.V.I.S. had already dug out a few programming errors and possible upgrades given Tony’s own designs and ideas. As he looked around, Tony decided he wouldn’t mind playing around the Helicarrier more often; there were so many things he could tweak and improve, to study and repurpose.
“I hear the Avengers are settling in,” Fury started as Tony opened a panel to peer inside.
“They’ve been settling in for months,” Tony replied absently.
“And Doctor Banner…”
“What about Banner?” Tony turned his head so fast he almost pulled a muscle in his neck. “Is this what you called me here for? To talk about Banner?”
“Partially,” the other man admitted, giving nothing away.
“He’s been good,” Tony informed him. “He hasn’t run away, and save for one incident that wasn’t really his fault, there’s been no trouble. The other… Hulk is working well with the team. You know all this. You’ve received, I imagine, countless reports of the progress of the team and each of its members.”
“And those reports are why I want to know what you’re planning with him,” Fury pressed.
“Planning?” Tony didn’t even try to mask the hurt and anger in his voice. “I’m not planning anything.”
Fury snorted, hands on his hips, eye looking at Tony as if he saw something no one else could. “I know of your involvement with Dr. Banner. It’s causing me some concern because let’s face it, you’re not the most reliable source for a stable relationship. We need him – the Avengers need him – and I can’t let you fuck that up.”
It shouldn’t have come as any kind of surprise, not really. Pepper and Rhodey had both taken their turn to bust Tony’s balls about his budding relationship with Bruce. Why wouldn’t Fury join in? Clearly they all knew better than Tony what was good for him – and Bruce.
“For one, it’s none of your business,” Tony finally replied, jaw tense. “Secondly… well, I don’t really need a second because the first should be sufficient enough.”
Fury raised an eyebrow. “I think it is my business. When you screw this up, I’ll be the one responsible for clean-up.”
“Have you even for a moment entertained the idea that Bruce has stayed as long as he has because of me?” Tony challenged him. He hadn’t wanted to go there, to admit that much of their relationship, but Fury was getting to him and the man knew it.
“Yes,” Fury replied simply.
“And you’re still harassing me about this?” Tony narrowed his eyes. “You should be thanking me.”
“If you can actually do the impossible and commit yourself to a relationship, I will.”
Tony blinked, considering this, then shook his head and opened another hatch, burying his head inside to look at the wiring. If he dislocated a few, he might actually be able to cause a chain-reaction that might leave the Helicarrier dangling in the air at an uncomfortable angle. “It’s nice someone’s looking out for Bruce for a change,” he muttered.
“I imagine you’ve already been told by several people to discontinue your relationship with him,” Fury mused from the side; he had moved closer, leaning against the wall, casual and relaxed while Tony was trying not to burst a vein.
“How did you figure?”
“From the way you tensed the moment I mentioned him.”
Tony closed his eyes, took a deep breath then lifted his head again to look at the man who probably in a sense considered himself Tony’s boss. Good luck with that; he should ask Pepper that it wasn’t worth the effort. “I’ve been given massive amounts of relationship advice and it’s getting a bit repetitive. Why don’t you all sign a petition and we’ll see where it goes?”
“You do realize what will happen if you and Banner break up under bad circumstances? Or when one of you has had enough?” Fury almost sounded genuinely concerned but Tony knew better than to trust it; he knew the man had manipulated him before, although Tony wasn’t certain how exactly he did it.
“You think I haven’t given that some thought?” Tony finally met his challenge. “I’m in a relationship with a man who turns into a green rage monster that can tear me limb from limb out of sheer annoyance. I’m fully aware that pissing him off, prior, during or after a relationship might not end well for me. As far as my self-destructive tendencies go,” he said, quoting Romanoff’s old overview of him, “that’s not on my list of things to do.” He gave Fury a look which he hoped was hard and conveyed his full contempt for anyone doubting his resolve. “Anything else?” he asked then, daring Fury to try and run his bullshit by him again.
“Fix the engine problems,” Fury retorted as if that was the only thing they had been talking about and pushed away from the wall, and began walking away.
Tony looked after him, feeling a bit uncertain if that’s what he had expected to hear.
Just before Fury reached the elevator, he called back: “Don’t fuck it up, Stark. For all our sakes.”
Tony gritted his teeth and wondered if he could cause Fury heart palpitations by pretending to drop his flying fortress from the sky.
“Shall we resume working, sir?” J.A.R.V.I.S. spoke in his ear.
Tony brushed one hand up against the ear piece, adjusting it slightly. “Sure.”
“For the record, I think you and Dr. Banner are doing very well. On a related topic, Dr. Banner inquired as to when you are expected to return; there are a few tests he would like to conduct with you in the lab upon your return to the Stark Tower.”
Tony grinned. “It’s nice to hear at least some things are going my way.”
“Send him an estimate of how long we’ll be up here and tell him to enjoy the lab.”
“I will and he says he’s already enjoying it very much.”
“Tease,” Tony chuckled and immersed himself into his work. The quicker he finished here, the faster he would be back in Manhattan and joining his amazing science boyfriend for whatever tests Bruce had in mind.
to be continued…