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A Place to Crash

Story Info

Title: A Place to Crash

Author: Del Rion (delrion.mail (at) gmail.com)

Fandom: The Avengers (MCU)

Genre: General

Rating: K / FRC

Characters: Bruce Banner (Hulk), J.A.R.V.I.S., Tony Stark (Iron Man), Tony’s bots (DUM-E & U)

Summary: Bruce Hulks out and wakes up to find himself sleeping it off on Tony Stark’s couch in Malibu.

Written for: yamx at Avengers Fest 2013 (avengersfest).

Warnings: None (other than light indications at potential danger due to unsafe nail gun handling).

Disclaimer: Iron Man, Avengers and Marvel Cinematic Universe, including characters and everything else, belong to Marvel, Marvel Studios, Jon Favreau, Joss Whedon, Louis Leterrier, Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and Universal Pictures. In short: I own nothing; this is pure fiction created to entertain likeminded fans for no profit whatsoever.

Beta: Mythra (mythras_fire)

Feedback: Most welcome

About A Place to Crash: This story contains Bruce & Tony friendship, bots & Bruce’s first encounter, and J.A.R.V.I.S. being disapproving of his creator’s condescending attitude.

Also, the Hulk’s homing beacon is located in Tony’s shop.

Story and status: Below you see the writing process of the story. If there is no text after the title, then it is finished and checked. Possible updates shall be marked after the title.

A Place to Crash

~ ~ ~

Written for yamx at Avengers Fest 2013.

A Place to Crash

When Bruce comes to, it’s with a certain clarity that he isn’t lying in a puddle of water or among undergrowth – or even on the hard floor of some abandoned structure. In fact, whatever he’s lying on is soft, and he’s warm and comfortable, which should be alarming; not even captivity, whenever he’s faced it, has been like this.

Blinking his eyes open, Bruce dreads what he’ll find – regardless of the comforts he’s found himself cocooned in – and almost instantly his eyes detect another person nearby.

A familiar face peers over at him although Bruce hasn’t made a sound yet, and a smile pulls at the lips. “Hey there,” Tony Stark greets him lightly. “Slept it off, have you?”

“Where am I?” Bruce asks. It’s a habit by now, to get his bearings and to figure out how to go on from there.

“My place. In Malibu,” Tony adds, as if just realizing Bruce doesn’t have a clue of what time, day, or time zone it is.

Bruce looks around as he sits up slowly, clutching at the warm fabric that is draped over him – a blanket. He can instantly tell this is Tony’s sanctuary, with the old Iron Man armors lining one wall, expensive cars parked along another, and everywhere else Bruce looks, his retinas are attacked by lights from holographic displays. Machinery and tools litter the room, making the space look cluttered, but Bruce is fairly certain there is a strict order that Tony keeps, to make his work run as smooth as possible.

“How did I….?” Bruce halts, regretting that he began to ask. He knows the Hulk got loose; remembers the sudden, unexpected rush of adrenaline and the need to run. How he ended up here, though, is a mystery – one that Tony can hopefully solve for him.

“If you are asking how you ended up here,” Tony muses, returning his gaze to whatever he’s working on – it looks like a piece of his armor, “you came in through there,” the genius concludes, raising one hand and pointing his thumb over his shoulder.

Bruce turns to see and wonders how he missed it the first time he took a look around: there’s a hole in the wall – a hole that two robots are in the process of covering with metal panels. At least he thinks they’re robots, because they have a single arm to grab things with and they are moving around on wheeled platforms, not appearing to be directly controlled by Tony.

“Don’t worry about it,” Tony tells him, as if he knows what Bruce is thinking. “I’ve done my fair share of blasting through walls – or the ceiling.”

“What are they?” Bruce asks, squinting his eyes. He knows he should be more concerned with how he ended up half-way across the continent and in Tony’s workshop, but for the time being he’s fascinated by the robots – which are struggling to aim something that looks like a nail gun at the wall, probably to fix some of the metal panels in place. The gun slips a little and fires a nail – which ends up bouncing off a pillar and smashing an empty coffee cup near Tony’s elbow.

Amazingly, Tony barely jumps. He turns around, though, dark eyes trained on the robots. “Hey! Watch where you’re aiming that thing!” He doesn’t move over to help them, which is odd – seeing as a few inches to the left and the nail would have hit him and not the cup.

“Maybe I should help them,” Bruce offers and walks over – safely wrapped up in the blanket. The floor is cool and smooth beneath his bare feet. Clean, too, he notes; someone has to be cleaning up regularly.

The robots are still balancing the nail gun as well as trying to look at Bruce; he spots cameras that must serve as their eyes, positioned at the tip of the mechanical arm with three moving parts that serve as fingers or claws.

Bruce extends his hand in a gesture to take the tool from them, but the robots don’t immediately release the tool.

“Just let them handle it,” Tony calls out.

“I think it’s only fair I help repair the damage I made,” Bruce reasons.

“Whatever you say, Big Green.”

Bruce doesn’t comment on that. Instead, he wraps the blanket around his hips – it doesn’t even surprise him that his clothes are gone, even though he had high hopes for the latest pair of pants. Next, he carefully grabs the nail gun again and after tugging on it a few times, the robots let it go, moving to the side and then forward, to press the metal panels into place on the wall so that Bruce can fix them into place.

“Do you remember what happened?” Tony asks after a bit, once Bruce has gotten the hang of shooting the nails.

“Barely,” Bruce admits. “I think I remember an explosion…”

“A van stuffed full of fireworks blew up. I have no idea what kind of moron was responsible for that, but save for a couple people getting burns, nothing worse happened. However, reports in social media indicate the Hulk took off soon after, which means you were probably close by and took the sound the wrong way.”

Bruce wonders if there is a ‘right way’ to take an explosion, but doesn’t comment.

“The owner of the vehicle has been found and apprehended by the local authorities,” a voice starts inside the room, and Bruce almost shoots the next nail through his bare foot as he jumps in alarm. One of the robots lets out a concerned beep.

Tony gives him an amused, raised eyebrow. “That is J.A.R.V.I.S. Haven’t I introduced you?”

“I believe not, sir,” the voice goes on, appearing to emanate from all around the wide space at once without being loud or intrusive. There’s a British accent, which is pleasant and smooth now that Bruce has a moment to appreciate it. “It is a pleasure, Dr. Banner.”

“Likewise,” Bruce replies, because it would be rude not to.

“J.A.R.V.I.S. is my AI,” Tony explains, as if it’s an afterthought. “The bots – Dummy and You – you’ve already met,” he says, pointing at the robots.

Bruce looks at the two machines more carefully and spots a letter ‘U’ painted on one of their bodies. As he leans to the side, he detects ‘DUM-E’ painted on the other. While he ponders the meaning of their names – or the lack of meaning, whichever is more applicable – Dummy raises to its full height next to him and suddenly something rings a bell in Bruce’s brain. “You built them while you were at MIT,” he recalls.

Tony gives him an appreciative smile. “Can’t say they’ve improved all that much over the years; I had such high hopes for them…”

J.A.R.V.I.S. lets out a sound like a muffled cough. Tony raises an eyebrow in the general direction of the ceiling, as if challenging the AI to say something, and Bruce gets a feeling Tony is more proud of his bots than he cares to admit.

“So,” Bruce tactfully attempts to change the subject, “how did I end up here? Did you pick me up?”

Tony grins at him, suddenly, like he’s super excited about something. “That’s the best part: the big guy just showed up. After the news surfaced that the Hulk was on the move, I tried to track you down, but before I got to suit up or anything, Big Green is smashing through the wall and settling down to sleep it off on my floor.”

Bruce looks at the wall again, which is now patched up more or less satisfactorily. “He just showed up here?” It doesn’t make sense because even though they’ve fought together and Bruce has been to the Tower in New York City – not to mention a safe house provided for his personal use by Tony, to keep him under the radar of unwanted parties – he’s never been to Tony’s house in Malibu. Yet here he is.

“In case you’re wondering, you’re always welcome to crash on my couch,” Tony informs him. “Or, floor. Whichever.”

“I wasn’t wondering about that,” Bruce admits and adjusts the blanket on his hips. Secretly, he’s happy that Tony isn’t mad at him about showing up like this, but part of him knew this was exactly like how it was going to go ever since they met on the Helicarrier and had that lovely discussion before things went sideways… The Hulk saved Tony’s life in battle, even though Iron Man and the green monster had barely met each other. As much as Bruce has tried to discourage Tony from reading too much into it, Bruce has to start wondering if perhaps Tony has more insight in the matter than he does.

“Want something to wear?” Tony asks when the blanket starts slipping off him again.

“I would appreciate that,” Bruce replies. It won’t be the first time he’s worn Tony’s clothes, and if this keeps happening, it might not be the last, either.

The way Tony smiles and stands up, abandoning his work in order to lead Bruce to the door that leads somewhere upstairs, Bruce has a feeling Tony doesn’t have a problem with that.

The End


Posted by: Yamx (yamx)
Posted at: November 26th, 2013 08:42 pm (UTC)

I already commented on AO3, but I just wanted to thank you again for this lovely fic. It's fantastic! :)

Posted by: Del Rion (del_rion)
Posted at: November 26th, 2013 08:46 pm (UTC)

Aww, you're most welcome (again, hehe)! It was my pleasure to write this ^^

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