It takes Bruce a while to figure Tony out, because Tony Stark, simple as he pretends to be, is a man of contradictions.
Tony Stark is the man who performs surgery on himself late at night because there’s no one in the world qualified to do it for him and Pepper was so horrified the only time he asked for her help that he never asked her again. (Although he doesn’t do that anymore. He asks Bruce for help. Hulk was very definite on that.)
Tony Stark is the man whose father made him feel utterly unwanted and yet who still allowed another man to become as close as a father. (A man who then tried to kill him, apparently, because Tony is an appalling judge of character.)
Tony Stark is the man who created the first true AI, gave it total free will, and then put his life in its hands.
Tony Stark is a man who’s been tortured, imprisoned, threatened, kidnapped and betrayed and who still lets virtual strangers move into his house.
Tony Stark is a man who keeps himself awake with coffee and rock music rather than face his nightmares, but who is still willing to face down an evil god when the planet needs him to.
Tony Stark is a man who has dined at every Michelin starred restaurant in the world, but who happily drinks horseradish and spinach smoothies. Even when he doesn’t have to.
Tony Stark has been hurt so many times but he’s still willing to put his heart on the line and fall in love.
It takes Bruce a while to figure Tony out because he’s looking for something complicated when the truth is so very simple. Tony Stark is simply the best man Bruce has ever known.