"Bruce. Bruce, hey. Wake up already, would you? Come on, big guy, genius billionaire ain't got all day here."
Bruce's eyes slowly peeled open, finding shreds of sunlight filtering through the window. How long had he been asleep? It was only last night that he'd been working on the one new project for the Stark Tower, working to replace the letters lost from the Manhattan massacre...
"Jesus Christ. Does the Other Guy take this long to wake up?"
He sighed. Stark. Playboy, philanthropist, too-big-for-his-breeches, yet somehow still brilliant, Stark.
"The Other Guy doesn't sleep very often," Bruce replied groggily, lifting his head and reaching to fix his glasses, which he then realized weren't on his face as they had been the night before. "He's too busy breaking Harlem. Where are my glasses?"
"Oh, I took them off." Stark reached to his right, pulling his hand back with the glasses in his hand. "I didn't think you'd want some huge ugly mark on your face from sleeping with them on."
"How very nice of you to protect my face," Bruce mumbled, slipping the spectacles onto his nose. "Now what are you yelling at me for?"
"Okay, first of all, Mister I-Wear-Purple-Cutoffs, I wasn't yelling at you. I was trying to wake you up cause you were about to drool on my desk. Which, by the way, I cleaned last night. Secondly, I need to take you somewhere, that entails waking you up, cause I sure as he'll wasn't going to carry you cause my suit is still in repairs," Stark replied sassily, pulling the other up by the back of his shirt.
Rubbing the side of his head where it had been squished against the table, Bruce squinted in the light. "Why me?"
"Because Bird's Nest and Russia are out having sexy time or whatever. And you're... My science bro." The dark-eyed man shrugged lightly, and Bruce noticed the faint glow of the Arc reactor beneath his black shirt. How fascinating that is, he thought, as the Man of Iron's lifeline always seemed to interest him for no plausible reason. I wish I could... Investigate that.
"Science bro?" Bruce repeated, confused.
"Yeah. You know, since I was the only one who ever did my science homework, apparently."
Bruce nodded without comment on that matter, looking down as he smoothed out the wrinkles in his dark purple button-down shirt. "You said there was a place you needed to show me?"
"Aha!" Stark clapped his hands rather loudly, giving the other man a start. "Yes there is." He walked off towards the elevator in the back of the room, assuming that Bruce would follow. Tiredly, he did, and made it into the elevator just before the door slid shut in front of them. Once they were downstairs, Stark made a beeline for the garage where his many expensive cars were stationed.
"Hop in," He said, sliding smoothly into the driver's seat of his red convertible. Bruce situated himself in the passenger seat, but not before stealing a glance at the license plate.
"You have your name plastered on your license plate?" he asked. "As if the tower wasn't already enough?" Stark rolled his eyes dramatically, giving Bruce a disapproving look.
"There's never enough Tony Stark in the world," he responded, smirking slightly. "Ever." Bruce looked away and muttered something unintelligible under his breath, and Stark didn't bother to ask what.
They drove for what seemed like ages, the car gently purring beneath them as the wind whipped through their hair. Stark had turned on the radio to some station Bruce didn't know, but it seemed to play anything from hard rock to electro pop. As the car slowed, some sappy love song that neither of the two seemed to know started, and Bruce made a rather turned-off face. Stark shrugged it off and parked the car, opening the door and climbing out.
"Alright, come on," he said, pulling Bruce out of the passenger side by his arm. Bruce stumbled forward a bit at the tug, but quickly regained his balance. He looked out over their surroundings, raising an eyebrow.
"What are we doing in the middle of nowhere on a cliff?" Bruce inquired, turning around to face Stark.
"Oh, well, you know." Stark shrugged. "I thought it was nice and… peaceful." Bruce walked forward and kicked a few pebbles across the ground, watching them fall over the edge of the cliff.
"Peaceful," he repeated, a kind of aloof curiosity present in his voice. "What, are you afraid that I might not be able to handle any place else?"
Stark shrugged, pressing his lips together as he shook his head. "Nope."
"Good. Because you know I have control." Bruce sighed and looked around again, unsure of what to say next.
"But, um," Stark began, looking at the ground as he paced forward. "I did kinda bring you here for a reason."
"Oh?" Bruce turned to look at him. "And what reason is that?" Stark looked at him briefly, and then glanced away again, his fingers gently scratching at his goatee.
"I, well, you know how everyone else can be," Stark answered nonchalantly. "Always sticking their nose in other people's business, constantly up your ass with every damn thing you do."
"Well, that's what you get for bragging about being the Brilliant Sir Tony Stark all the time," Bruce shot back, mumbling. Stark ignored him and continued.
"Just, you know, everyone's always listening to everything. There's no privacy anywhere. Hell, there's probably not even privacy here cause of the Thunder God up in Ass-Gard or whatever," he continued, now running his fingers through his thick brunette hair.
"Stark." The sound of Bruce's voice interrupted him from his tirade. "Just say what you need to say."
Stark sighed and finally looked him straight in the eye. "You're more than my science bro, Bruce Banner," he said. "At least, I want you to be more than that." Bruce blinked.
"What do you mean by that? You want us to be like, BFFs or something?" he joked quietly, one side of his mouth turned into a smile. To his surprise, Stark didn't even crack the slightest smile.
"No," he murmured. "More than that, too." Before Bruce could even open his mouth to respond, Stark was in front of him, his hand on the back of the shorter man's neck. Their lips were touching and suddenly the environment seemed dead silent – the birds ceased chirping, the waves stopped rolling beneath the cliff, and the crickets all seemed to halt. The only sound left was that of their ragged breathing and their lips mingling with one another, and unthinkingly, Bruce melted into the contact. He ravished the feeling. It was like nothing he'd experienced before – since his most recent 'incidents', he'd been too afraid, he feared that he'd lose his control.
When time finally began to tick again and the birds began to sing, Stark quickly pulled back, gasping.
"I, uh – well." He hesitated, his gaze locked on the other man's. "Did I… piss you off?"
Slowly, the sides of Bruce's mouth curved upwards. "I've said this before, Tony," he said lowly. "I'm always angry."
"Oh. Well, then. That went better than I thought." Stark cleared his throat. "I gotta give it to you, science bro, you're a damn good kisser. Even for me." Bruce laughed once and shook his head.
"Thank you?" he chuckled, tracing the outline of Stark's goatee with his finger. Stark nodded.
"I'm, uh, glad." Stark smiled. "It took me a while to come to terms with all of that. That's pretty unusual for my Einstein-like brain."
"I'm aware," Bruce replied, his glasses gone askew over his face. Both of them stood in silence for a moment or two, before Stark cleared his throat again.
"I guess we should head back," he suggested, though he didn't make any moves to step back towards the car.
Bruce blinked suddenly. "Are we going to tell anyone else about this… encounter?" At that, Stark burst into a grin.
"I didn't say we were going back to casually drop in on the rest," he said. "Cause, you know, there's this great high-tech room I designed once when the tower was still in blueprints. It's great. Automatic lights, remote-controlled or voice-command appliances, the whole nine yards. And did I mention the swiveling bed?"
Bruce couldn't help but mirror his grin. "Sounds just… brilliant." He looked towards the car, noticing the midday shadow that was cast across the hood.
"And, Bruce?" stark said quietly, waiting for the other to look at him. "The Other Guy ain't too shabby, either."
Somewhere above, millions of light years and realms away, two 'brother's sat in an elaborate pathway, watching.
"Finally," the thinner of the two muttered. "Their sexual tension could be seen from Asgard."