Author: Del Rion (delrion.mail (at) gmail.com)
Fandom: The Avengers (MCU)
Rating: M / FRM
Characters: Bruce Banner (Hulk), Tony Stark (Iron Man). Also: Clint Barton (Hawkeye), J.A.R.V.I.S., Pepper Potts, James “Rhodey” Rhodes (War Machine), Steve Rogers (Captain America), Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow), Thor, Tony’s bots (DUM-E and U).
Pairings: Bruce/Tony (implied/past Tony/OFC)
Summary: In the past year and a half, Tony had been infected by an alien werewolf, got lost in space, returned home and was reunited with his friends and teammates. His life should have gone back to normal but the world seemed obsessed with his new hairier, feral side instead, and it didn’t help that the Hulk kept calling him ‘Puppy’ and wanting to pet him. If only that were the least of his problems.
Complete. Sequel to “Broken Howl”.
Warnings: Sexual content (M/M, very mild/borderline/not-really-bestiality), canonical violence, language, vaguely implied death (including death of a child).
Before, whenever Tony relaxed, his smiles and laughs changed slightly and he became pliant in all the best ways. Bruce had liked making that happen, enjoying the fact that Tony trusted him that much and that it was easier for him to wind down, too.
After Tony came back, carrying the horrible virus that occasionally manifested in a rather beast-like fashion and with so much baggage Bruce wasn’t certain they would ever be comfortable around each other again, his attention had ultimately been on understanding Tony’s condition and helping him re-adjust to his life.
Now that Tony was back out there as Iron Man – and occasionally as Puppy, as the other guy called him – some normalcy had been achieved. For one, Tony was calmer, capable of dealing with then and now: things that happened on that far-away moon and planet and what his life had become now that he was back where he belonged.
Of course things were not the same: Tony’s life had been completely altered by experiences that had been all-too real. He had gained and lost a mate; he had become a father and later watched as his child died right in front of him, in the most horrible way possible. With that in mind, Bruce was amazed Tony even got back into the superhero game; he had failed to protect his new family so utterly that most people could never climb back up from out of that chasm.
Tony was resilient, though, and he threw himself back into his and Bruce’s relationship with gusto, as if that were the only thing that could save him now. Bruce didn’t mind as long as it stayed relatively healthy, and besides, for over a year he’d thought he had lost Tony, and to have him back now was a blessing beyond belief.
The greatest change, besides the obvious manifestation of the werewolf virus, was that Tony craved closeness. He wanted his pack, needing the security of numbers greater than one, and once he grew accustomed to some form of a normal life, he hung around Bruce more than he used to – and definitely closer in proximity.
There were times when Bruce got frustrated by that and told Tony to give him some space, and depending on how harsh his tone was, Tony slunk away like a dog kicked in the gut. After a few incidents like that, Bruce began to realize that he had unknowingly adopted the position of Tony’s ‘alpha’, and that led him to view their every encounter in a new light. Bruce began controlling his tone when he wanted Tony to do something – especially if he wanted to be alone when Tony would have rather been with him – and learned to dance around the new dynamic in their relationship.
The others had a harder time finding their footing with Tony, especially because Tony wouldn’t talk to them about it the way he would with Bruce. Also, none of them was his ‘alpha’, although he still took orders from Steve and respected him in general. However, he didn’t have that same look of willing acceptance bordering on submission when their leader gave him an order, when compared to his reaction to Bruce’s requests.
There were also, of course, perks to the new changes that Bruce appreciated.
Getting Tony to calm down and just take a moment in between projects was easier – not because he would obey if Bruce told him to abandon whatever he was working on, but because Tony seemed compelled to join Bruce when he went to lie down on the couch or something like that.
Also, there was the whole half-way point thing that had Bruce totally enamored.
The velvety ears were just begging to be caressed – something that only Pepper was allowed to do besides him. That led Bruce to assume that Tony knew just how much power they had over him: the ears were the most responsive part of Tony’s physiology, turning as he listened, telltale signs of his moods that he didn’t seem to be able to control, and Bruce knew they were wired to that good place in Tony’s central nervous system that just sent him to a relaxed, contented place, draped beside Bruce or Pepper with a silly look on his face.
The tail, of course, was another thing Bruce appreciated, although Tony was a lot more self-conscious about it – mostly because certain people had cracked jokes about it and other than snarling in obvious threat, Tony really had no clever comeback to any of the remarks. He didn’t seem able to turn half-way without both ears and tail appearing, no matter how much he tried, and Bruce kept telling him it didn’t matter.
What mattered a bit more were the nails: sharp and curved, often doing more damage than Tony realized, were cause for much misery. Tony tore so many shoes and socks that he opted to wander around bare-foot whenever he could; pillows, couch cushions and blankets had to be replaced because of unintentional stretching and gripping.
That list almost came to include James Rhodes’ face when the man, still skittish when around Tony, made the mistake of asking if Tony would like to fetch a ball or something. He didn’t ask again.
Bruce wasn’t sure how the other guy heard about that particular incident, but he got a report that the Hulk had smacked War Machine upside the head when they met during a mission the next time, scoffing mightily at ‘Metal Can’s stupidity’. Rhodey was impressed neither by the cuff or the new nickname, knowing that the Hulk usually stuck to his preferred terms – like Puppy, which infuriated Tony, but not nearly as much as he liked to state to anyone who would listen; there was a certain fondness whenever Tony related his and the Hulk’s latest meeting, once Bruce was back, with none of the venom he reserved for Clint’s attempts at nicknaming him.
Once Bruce accepted that the other guy was not mistaking the wolf for someone who wasn’t Tony, he was more relaxed about the entire thing – even when Tony wasn’t, on some days. In fact, it felt like the Hulk was the mellowest of them all when it came to Tony’s transformation, and Bruce wondered if he should have been at all surprised by that, considering how the Hulk came to be in the first place.
He wondered if the other guy would have handled the other intimate aspects of his and Tony’s relationship better than he did. After all, aside from the ears, the tail and the nails, there was still the sex.
Before Tony went missing, Bruce would have been lying if he’d said he and Tony were in the home stretch when it came to sexual intimacy. They had been experimenting and getting better at it, but after Tony returned, fell back into his old routines and generally started handling his life again, sex seemed almost inevitable. Also, with the added knowledge that the werewolf virus showed significant resiliency against Bruce’s gamma irradiated blood, they were for the first time in a place where Bruce felt comfortable exploring things they hadn’t dared to touch before.
Part of him wished they could have done it before Tony’s transformation, just for comparison.
Another part of him was adamant that it was better this way, for it would have made the new, abnormal aspects of their lovemaking stand out even more.
Whether Tony had had this preference before he got infected, he refused to say. Now, though, he wanted Bruce to be the ‘dominant’ party – and he liked them doing it doggy style. Bruce tried not to say anything about it, and besides, it wasn’t as if they always did it that way. Tony’s favorite position got him the most into it, though – and that was where the transformation began to happen, more often than not.
The first time the tail sprouted, in the middle of sex, Bruce withdrew and refused to continue. Tony was simultaneously embarrassed and disappointed, but it seemed he hadn’t been able to help it, and watching him pull into a corner of the room, ears in a shameful droop and the tail pulled between his legs, Bruce supposed his lover hadn’t meant for it to happen.
After several repeats and carefully continued coituses later, Bruce was forced to accept that the wolf was part of Tony now – even in bed. When Tony got really passionate, he expressed it by embracing himself, and that meant torn sheets and a tail brushing against Bruce’s chest.
It wasn’t so bad once they both got used to it.
Still, there was no way on Earth either of them was going to tell anyone else about it. Ever.
to be continued…