"JARVIS, increase power output to 23 percent," Tony said as he checked the radiation levels.
"What are you doing?" said Bruce. "We haven't done thorough testing at this power level."
Tony didn't spare Bruce a glance. "Well," he said as he noted the spike in radiation, "I got bored. And hey, no risk, no gain." He winked at Bruce and tapped his chest.
Brue crossed his arms, frowning. "That can get you in more trouble than it's worth."
"Keep your pants on, Bruce. I'm eccentric, not dumb." He made a few calculations in his head; the radiation being emitted was far too high, but by changing the alloy used in the shell, they could block that out by, oh, as much as 60 percent more.
"Sir, I'm detecting an instability within the main reactor."
"Keep it going, JARVIS."
"Sir, I think-"
"You two, just-"
A spark came from the reactor. With a shout, Bruce flung himself forward, skin turning green, and flesh and bone growing, and the Hulk wrapped his arms around Tony just before the blast went off. The smell of scorched metal and sweaty Hulk filled Tony's nose, and his ears were ringing both from the explosion and the Hulk's roar.
Tony's back hurt, and one of his legs ached from being contorted in an unusual position. He tapped the big guy and said, "Uh, maybe you can let me up?"
The Hulk let Tony roll from his grip. He stood with a snort and shuffled on his feet, agitated. He huffed and grunted, glancing between the remains of the machine and Tony.
Tony picked himself up gingerly. Everything seemed to be fine, a little sore at worst. He wished the ringing would fade.
JARVIS said, "Are you alright, sir?"
"Yeah, I'm good." He bent over, hands on knees, concentrating on breathing through his nose.
The Hulk roared and ran through the lab, knocking over tables, instruments, experiments, and machines. Tony winced. At least the Hulk used the special exit he'd constructed for him.
"Sir, Mr. Banner has gone to the Hulk's sanctuary."
"Just let me know if he leaves."
Tony rolled his neck. Everything, except for his lab, seemed to be in working order. He supposed he should start cleaning up while he gave Bruce time to de-Hulk.
Several hours later, JARVIS informed him that Bruce was still in the sanctuary. Tony decided to check on him.
The sanctuary had been a joint idea between him and Bruce. It was a glorified indoor garden, funded by Tony's considerable fortune, but it gave the Hulk somewhere to hide from society whenever he needed.
Tony pushed through the low hanging branches to the waterfall. Bruce was sitting on the ground, his back to Tony, likely meditating.
"Hey there," Tony said. He walked up to Bruce, who didn't move. "So that was fun."
"Stop it, Tony," Bruce said. Tony noticed he was gripping his knees hard. "You shouldn't have increased the power level so high."
"I don't know, things were going fine until the last minute-"
He shut up. Bruce stood and began pacing, a hand holding up his torn pants. It reminded Tony of how the Hulk would pace when he got anxious, itching to smash something but forced to wait. Tony often wondered just how much the two influenced each other, despite every claim Bruce made that they were unique individuals.
"Look," Bruce began. He stopped and ran a hand over his neck. Tony liked that little habit of his. "You can't go flagrantly taking risks like that. Not when... not when something could go wrong."
"What went wrong? So there was a little boom, nothing I haven't experienced before. In fact, I rather like booms, if you haven't noticed."
Bruce glared at Tony. "Just stop it. If the Hulk hadn't come out, you wouldn't be walking around like that."
True enough. Tony had figured out that the explosion had been a little more dangerous than he was playing it off as. "But it wasn't the Hulk that saved me. You saved me."
Bruce shook his head. "The Hulk-"
"Come on, Bruce, I know I'm an arrogant ass, you don't have to make up for it by being a god damn Buddha." He approached Bruce. "Give yourself some credit."
"You want me to be more careful? Fine, I'll be more careful. But you better be there to make sure I am. Otherwise, who knows, the whole tower might go."
"You could listen to me more."
"I promise I will listen to everything you say." Tony was right in front of Bruce now. He ghosted his fingers over Bruce's arms.
"You've said that before," Bruce said, but he was smiling. "I don't know why I bother."
"Because you love me, that's why."
Bruce shook his head, grinning. Tony brought Bruce’s face to his and kissed him, long and deep. Bruce brought his free hand up, placing it the back of Tony's head.
"How about we have hot make-up sex now?" Tony rose a hopeful eyebrow.
Bruce laughed. "I don't know how much of an argument that was."
Tony pretended to do some calculations in his head. "Well, if you count that, but subtract that, hmm, we can say it's partial make-up, but still 100 percent hot, sex. I promise it‘ll be nice and sweaty, just a little rough, fast or slow, however you want it, and I’ll slide over your-"
Bruce kissed him again, hard and a little desperate. Tony took the opportunity to run his hands over Bruce’s bare back. That was one great thing about the Hulk, he did a fantastic job of disrobing Bruce. Sure, Tony liked doing it himself, but he would never say no to a half-naked Bruce Banner.
“My place or yours?” Bruce said.
“How about right here?”
Bruce made a show of considering the suggestion. “Here would work.”
Tony grinned and kissed Bruce again.