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“Bruce, go!” Rebecca Banner pleaded.

Bruce wiped the blood from his split lip as he looked at his mom. “But…”

“You fucking useless woman! All you had to do was give me an Alpha and you couldn’t do that right!” Brian Banner yelled as a bottle shattered by Bruce’s head.

Bruce turned to his mom who pushed him into the hallway. “Tell me about the beginning of eighth grade later.”

“M-Mom please let me…” Bruce groaned in pain and gripped his side. His dad’s kick still stung.

Rebecca helped Bruce up and pressed a kiss in his hair. “Go and I’ll see you later.”

Bruce frowned, but hurried out when his dad rounded the corner. He winced at his mother’s cries and the resounding slaps in the kitchen. He held his side and limped back to his room.

Bruce hated to leave his mom when his dad was in the middle of a drunken rage, but he couldn’t be there anymore. It hurt to think that a woman as sweet as his mom was the omega to someone as horrible as his dad. Bruce collapsed on his bed and felt for the medicine that suppressed his heat along with some pain medicine for his wound.

It wasn’t his fault that he was an omega. Bruce made peace with it a while ago when his mother explained to him why he felt a pull towards certain people in school. She said it wouldn’t be as strong when he found his mate, but it would be there in the back of his mind. She explained that things would be different for Bruce, but assured him that Omegas could live comfortably.

However, his father didn’t share the same mindset. Brian Banner did not like that his only son was an Omega not an Alpha that he wanted. Bruce hated that he took his frustrations out on his mother, but as his Omega his mother couldn’t say much. He knew his mother tried to protect him from his father. It angered Bruce that he could do nothing, but hide when his father was in a mood.

Bruce knew he could adjust to being in the background. He practiced it at school every day. If he continued his suppressants, he could work in science. There was one part he didn’t look forward to, he didn’t want any Alpha trying to claim him. He learned the hard way that Alphas treated anyone else beneath them. Bruce wasn’t going to look for an Alpha. He knew he could develop something that could cover his scent. He would make sure that the Banner line died with him.

Bruce would look for a job, leave home, and make his own way without an Alpha.

With his mind made up Bruce took his suppressants and medicine. He splashed some cold water on his face before he limped to bed. He pulled the covers around him and tried to ignore the sound of his mother’s broken sobs.

*~*~*

Bruce kept the plan he made in school. After the death of his mother by the hands of his father, he went to stay with his aunt and uncle. It surprised Bruce that his aunt was the Alpha and didn’t treat his uncle any different because he was an Omega. His cousin, Jennifer, tried to help him change his mind by showing him different ways Alphas and Omegas could get along.

Bruce saw a different view, but he couldn’t accept it as his own. He kept the plan he made in school. Once he was old enough he found ways to take heat suppressants. He didn’t want any Alpha to mate with him. Bruce wasn’t going to fall for that trap. He led away any Alpha that tried to get close.

After high school, Bruce continued his work in Desert State University. With the help of labs and a few medical students, he developed a medicine that covered his scent. The medical students he worked with knew the inconvenience heats provided in the middle of finals or an important project.

A few Alphas tried to come his way when heat season rolled around, but the medicine helped him. Bruce followed a strict schedule so he wouldn’t forget to take his supplements or the medicine.

There were times that Bruce wanted to go off the pills and let his instincts take over. He felt the need to have someone fill him, mark him, and call him their own. There were many times Bruce wanted to give himself over to the nearest Alpha and lose himself in pleasure for a few minutes, hours if he was lucky.

However, he didn’t dwell on those thoughts for long. Bruce made sure to squash it and concentrated on his work whenever it appeared. If he couldn’t squash it easily, he stayed in his room until the feeling went away. He wasn’t going to be under an Alpha’s rule for a few moments of pleasure.

It didn’t stop Bruce from thinking about it from time to time, but school came first.

He continued his work with nuclear physics and rose among the ranks. Many people knew Bruce as one of the few Omegas to obtain such praise in the scientific community on campus. After college and he started work he met Betty Ross, a cellular biologist, in the library. They needed the same book, but Betty didn’t push Bruce to give it up. She offered to share it with him, something that surprised Bruce. It was the beginning of an easy friendship between them.

Betty was the sweetest Alpha he ever met. She didn’t let the other Alphas intimidate her or try to push her away from any of her projects. Betty agreed to help Bruce during his heats. At first, he refused, but rationalized that it was better for his body. It made work a bit more bearable. Many Alphas assumed he was with Betty and stayed away. Bruce could work on his experiments in peace.

Everything went well for Bruce’s life for a while. A job offer appeared on the military base that Bruce didn’t take at first. He knew that many Omegas weren’t allowed to get jobs on a military base. A few broke the stigma such as James “Bucky” Barnes, but he was a solider. Bruce doubted the same could happen to scientists.

However, Betty felt otherwise.

“I know you’re the perfect one for the job.”

Bruce tentatively looked at the application in front of him. “I can’t. I’m an Omega, the fact that I made it this far is only through sheer willpower and many suppressants.”

“You’re one of the best people I know in radiation. I know your mind is what we need for this project.”

“How are you going to hide, um, you know?”

“I don’t think we’ll have to hide it. I don’t care what my dad says, times are different now. Omegas can get jobs just as easily as Alphas. Besides, once the Alphas pick up your scent no one is going to mess with you. I promise.” Betty said. She took a seat next to Bruce and grabbed his hand. “I’ll make sure you’ll be able to work in peace.”

“What about your father?” Bruce asked. He met Betty’s father a few times. He couldn’t say that he had a good memory from any of those visits.

Betty waved it away with an irritated huff. “He doesn’t matter. He needs a scientist and I know you’re one for the job. Are you going to take it?”

Bruce linked their fingers together as he looked back at the application. It would be a chance to work with equipment that the university couldn’t obtain. He could finish his current research and start on a few projects that he placed in the back of his mind. He turned to Betty with a smile.

“I’ll do it.”

Betty smiled and pulled him close for a kiss.

Bruce submitted the application the next day. He looked forward to the next stage of his life. He had an Alpha that saw him as a person and he could finally use his skills. Bruce’s life carried on without much incident for a while. He went to work, did his research, and had someone to help him take care of his heats. For once, his life seemed to fall into place. In his haze of happiness, he didn’t think anything could go wrong.

That is, until the accident happened. The last thing he remembered he pushed a person out the way of the blast, but he didn’t expect the bomb to explode or for him to survive. He truly didn’t expect to have another person living inside him that didn’t like that he was an Omega. In turn, Bruce didn’t like having that the Hulk, what he called the creature, was an Alpha.

Until he found a solution to his problem, Bruce had to live with an Alpha that appeared whenever he became angry. He didn’t think things could turn worse. Bruce forgot that fate like to drop the biggest punch lines on him.

Betty’s father claimed that because the accident happened on the base then Bruce belonged to the military. He didn’t believe it. Bruce knew Ross didn’t like him or agree with the idea of his daughter falling for an Omega not in the military, but he didn’t think he would be seen as property. Bruce started to trust Alphas again, but that disappeared the minute he ran away from the base with Ross and his men chasing after him.

Bruce escaped the base, took the few suppressants he had left, and ran away from everything. His work, life, and Betty were gone.

It started his years of life on the run while he tried to control a creature that was an Alpha and represented the anger that stayed inside him.

Bruce didn’t think any light could break the darkness that surrounded his life. However, one thing stayed true.

He wouldn’t trust another Alpha again.

*~*~*

Tony Stark, the son of renowned scientist Howard Stark, was an Alpha that refused to follow any of the characteristics, much to the chagrin of his father. He took anyone to bed it didn’t matter if they were Omega, Alpha, or Beta if they were interested in the same fun he was then he welcomed them. There were many arguments with his father about his behavior, but he could care less.

Tony didn’t not like any of the characteristics associated with Alphas. It made them sound like bumbling beasts with only one thing in mind: mating. Tony didn’t want to mate with anyone and he had no plans to continue the family name anytime soon.

He learned at a young age that if you said the right things to people they would believe it. Tony used that skill many times to get people on his side. He had many “friends”, but he wouldn’t trust them with anything that didn’t require a quick favor in his regard.

The few people he trusted weren’t people at all. They were the small robots he built as a child and improved on as he became older. There was JARVIS his main AI that controlled the house and one of his oldest friends. He remembered Jarvis took care of him when he was little and continued to do so as an adult.

Jarvis helped when his father was too busy to pay attention to him. JARVIS provided a voice when the house was too quiet after his parents’ death. There was Dum-E who tried to help as much as he could. Dum-E was a boy and no one could tell Tony otherwise. He may be bumbling and sometimes help at the wrong times, but it didn’t stop Tony from loving him.

Besides JARVIS and Dum-E there were a few more robots Tony created between his time in MIT and his takeover of the company. It was the closest thing he had to a family besides his friends, Rhodey and Pepper, and Stane.

Stane was another person Tony trusted without any question. He guided him after his parents’ death, during his time in MIT and his whirlwind of alcohol and women. As a fellow Alpha he answered any question Tony had. He was a person Tony trusted, until he tried to kill him.

Tony had others tried to use him, they tried to deceive him, and they tried to get him to do their work. It hurt, but the hurt disappeared in a matter of a few minutes or a good movie and a nice drink. However, Stane hurt him in a way he didn’t think was possible. His mentor and friend tried to kill him.

He didn’t think he would be able to recover from that, but with the help of Pepper he did. Tony started to grow closer to Pepper as she continued her work on the company. He found it funny that the first time he met Pepper she was an intern. In a matter of a few months, she had the company running smoothly. She was the best person to handle things when Tony didn’t feel like it or lost days in his lab.

During the course of their friendship, Pepper revealed that she was an Alpha who didn’t have a mate. Tony discovered that he was in the same predicament. They decided to act on their growing feelings for each other. Tony found someone who could keep up with him while Pepper found someone she could confide in after the end of the day.

They weren’t mates, but they shared a very close relationship. Tony thought about having a mate, but he didn’t know anyone that could keep up with him like Pepper. He didn’t want a regular Omega that couldn’t do anything unless he told them to. He wanted an Omega that kept up with him. Pepper did a good job, but he didn’t know if there was someone out there that could do the same thing.

Tony pushed the thought aside before his instinct kicked in to find a mate. He had Pepper and they had a good thing going. Tony didn’t know how long it would last before Pepper would look for her own mate, but he was going to enjoy it while it lasted.

*~*~*

The years that followed the accident wasn’t easy for Bruce, but he survived. He found a way to control the Hulk and the proper supplements that could repress his heat while not aggravating the Hulk. He didn’t like the Hulk, but he knew it was part of him that he couldn’t separate.

During his travels, he met some amazing people and tried to help them as best as he could. He didn’t stay in one place for long. He didn’t want to hurt the people that offered their generosity. Bruce thought that many things wouldn’t surprise him anymore. That is, until the Chitauri invasion happened. His life changed quite drastically. He went from spending the night on the floor of a small village to sleeping in a bed.

Another thing that surprised him was his acceptance in the team and the ease he felt around his teammates. He didn’t think it would be possible. Bruce waited to be kicked off the team at any minute, but it didn’t happen. There were a few Alphas in the group such as Natasha, Thor, and Tony, but they didn’t treat him differently.

Bruce thought they did it out of respect for his knowledge on the Tesseract. However, it continued after the invasion. They didn’t change. They didn’t mention the other guy either. Bruce wanted to know what to do with the new situation. He wanted to let his guard down, but he didn’t know when he could.

He started to let his guard down around Tony. It was a long time since he found someone who could keep up with him when he started to ramble about a scientific finding. Even longer since he called somebody his friend. Tony fell into those categories. 

After he hopped into Tony’s car he started to go over his options. Well, he tried, but Tony didn’t stop talking since they got in the car. It was something Bruce started to get used to.

“You know, you can always stay in the tower for awhile. We have everything you need. Food, water, a lab with every new toy available…” Tony trailed off as he zigzagged through traffic.

Bruce looked at the blurs of cars around them before he turned to Tony with a shrug. “I don’t know. I haven’t stayed in one place in a long time. What if I don’t like it?”

Tony gasped dramatically. He clutched his chest at the red light. “Don’t like it? I can make it anyway you want. If there’s a style you want let me know and I can do it. Come on, it’ll be fun. I promise.”

Bruce bit his lip. It would be good to settle down for a while, but I don’t know if he’ll try something. During his musings, Tony cut in.

“You don’t have to stay permanently, but we saved the world a few days ago. It will be nice to just relax. You know eat some good food, drink some nice wine, make an advance in the world of science, nothing major.”

Bruce chuckled. “It sounds like a paradise.”

“It is. You can stay in the Tower for a while, catch your breath, then make a plan on what you want to do.” Tony pulled up to the bus station. He cut off the engine and turned to Bruce. So what do you say?” He asked as he rested his hands against the steering wheel.

Bruce consulted his options as he sat back in the leather seat. He didn’t have any plans except go to the next area that needed some medical care, To have a place he could think again sounded nice. To practice science again sounded nicer. He tapped his fingers against the bag in his lap. Bruce noticed the looks Tony shot to him out the corner of his eye. He hasn’t met anyone as concerned about him since Betty. He was the first one to talk to Bruce, to be brave enough to poke him with the prodder and didn’t worry about the big guy making an appearance.

Tony talked to the Hulk as if he was another person not an 8ft green menace. Bruce figured they clicked so fast because Hulk met another Alpha and didn’t have to just talk to deal with Bruce all the time. Bruce did feel better when he returned. It felt good not to hear the Hulk rampage in his mind.

To have the things that weren’t available to him in a long time sounded too good to be true. Bruce looked over at Tony who stared back with an indifferent face, but he saw the way Tony tightened his grip on the steering wheel.

It will be nice to rest for awhile. Bruce released the grip on the strap of his back. He placed his hand on top of it as he nodded. “Yes.”

“Yes…”

“Yes, I’ll go back to the Tower with you, only until I figure out what to do next.” Bruce finished quickly as Tony cheered and turned the engine back on.

“No problem, we have plenty of space to help you think. I promise, you’ll like it big guy.” Tony smiled as he sped back into traffic.

Bruce gave a small smile back as the cars blurred around them again. He tried to calm down as Tony talked about each floor of the Tower. Bruce could live around people, he did that many times in the villages he stayed in, but to stay around people that wanted him would be new.

However, if Tony trusted him then maybe it wouldn’t be that bad.

Bruce took a breath when Tony pulled into the garage. I hope this won’t blow up in my face. He wiped his sweaty hands on his bag. Tony cut the power and smiled at Bruce.

“We’re here.”

*~*~*

Tony wanted to cheer and throw a victory party. He got Bruce to agree to stay at the Tower without using any Alpha tactics. He read Bruce’s file, he didn’t want to intimidate Bruce or scare him away. Bruce didn’t have a good history with Alphas during his time on the run. Tony didn’t want to add to that.

It took a lot to keep Bruce on the Helicarrier and finish their research. Bruce was a brilliant man, a thing Tony didn’t say to many people, and he wanted everyone to know. S.H.E.I.L.D. knew, but they would make sure to keep it hidden from the world.

Tony didn’t want that.

It was a long time since he met someone that could talk science with him. Rhodey was his best friend and he adored Pepper, but they couldn’t keep up with him when he started on the new theory in robotic engineering or astro-physics, but Bruce could keep up with him. The sweet smile and curly brown hair was icing on the cake for him.

Another thing he read on his file was Bruce’s knack for not staying in one place for a long time. Once Bruce finished anything he had to do, he was off to the next area. Tony wanted him to stay a little while longer. It maybe a selfish reason, but he didn’t think he would find a person like Bruce anytime soon.

The warmth that passed through him when Bruce turned to him with that small smile meant the beginning signs of their friendship and nothing more.

Tony walked over to the elevator and hit the button to his room. “Jarvis!”

“Yes sir?” The AI responded.

“Dr. Banner will be staying with us. What’s the status of his floor?” Tony asked as they walked in the elevator together. He chuckled at the surprise on Bruce’s face. “Yep a whole floor and it’s no trouble.” He added when Bruce opened his mouth to protest.

“The repairs are still going on sir. However, your bedroom, Miss Potts’ room, and the guests room are all intact sir.”

“How about the bathrooms?”

 “The ones on your floor are intact sir.”

“Wonderful! How is the kitchen? I don’t use it, but I would like to know.”

“Those are ready as well sir.”

“Great, thank you Jarvis.”

“Anytime sir.”

“We can stop by my floor and get you settled in. I’m sure there are some sheets somewhere. Let me know if those sheets aren’t soft enough for you and I’ll make sure to get some.” Tony said as they walked off the floor to his room. Many times he fell asleep in the lab or the garage when Jarvis locked him out of the lab. He didn’t spend much time in his bedroom, unless he was entertaining someone. After their time with Loki he couldn’t wait to get into bed after a nice shower.

Tony checked the guest room next to his and hit the lights. “I hope this works until your floor is finished.”

Bruce walked in and stared around in a bit of awe. “I think this is alright.”

Tony grinned as he walked over to the bathroom. “Right here is your bathroom and if there is a problem with the jets let me know. Over there is your closet, dresser, desk to work on whatever you want, and you can take the elevator to the lab at any time you want. I’m still adding the finishing touches to your lab, hope you don’t mind sharing one with me.”

“I don’t think that will be a problem, but I do have a question though.”

“I have one for you. When are you going to put your bag down? I’m not going to bite, unless you’re into that type of thing doctor.” Tony smiled.

Bruce chuckled as he placed his bag down by his feet. “Let me guess, Alpha humor?”

“I don’t know how other Alphas work, but I like humor. Makes life a bit better.”

Bruce nodded as he looked around the room again. “You don’t have anything smaller do you?”

“This is small.”

Bruce’s eyes widened a bit as he moved around the room. Tony watched him look back at his bag as if he would hide it so he wouldn’t leave. He walked over to Bruce and threw his arm around his shoulders.

“If you really feel uncomfortable, I can take you back if that’s what you want.” Tony ignored the way his stomach twist at the thought.

“Is this my choice or is it a command?” Bruce asked. He didn’t meet his eyes, but he didn’t pull away. Tony saw that as a good sign.

“It’s your choice. I’m not forcing you to do anything well besides take a nap on a feather soft bed.” Tony grinned.

Bruce chuckled with a shake of his head. “I don’t think that will be necessary, but if I wanted to go back to the bus station would you let me?”

“I would actually give you a plane ticket to anywhere you wanted to go, but that’s just me.”

“An upgrade?”

“Only way to go in life.”

Bruce gave a small laugh and shifted on his feet. “Alright, I’ll stop over thinking things. I’ll unpack my bag and take a quick shower soon.”

Tony grinned and squeezed Bruce’s shoulder. “I’ll meet you in the common room in a few minutes then. If you need help getting anywhere Jarvis can assist you.”

“He’s right Dr. Banner. I would be happy to assist you in any way I can.” Jarvis said.

“Thank you.” Bruce said.

“Anytime sir,”

“Thank you too, Tony.” Bruce said softly as a small smile bloomed on his face.

Tony felt the same wave of warmth pass through him as he smiled back. “Anytime. Well, I’ll let you settle in.” He squeezed his shoulder again before he walked out the room.

Tony hummed on his way down the hall. He couldn’t have crush he was too old for that, but he hoped that Bruce stayed longer than his original goal.

*~*~*

Bruce looked at the door before he turned around to examine the room again. The room was bigger than most he ever seen. The bed could feed a village for years, the rug could do the same thing. He didn’t want to think how much his own <i>floor</i> would cost. Bruce pushed the thought to the side as he walked around the room. He took a seat on the bed and noted that it was too soft. Bruce didn’t know how he was going to get any sleep.

He felt around for any firm parts on the bed before he sat on the edge again. Bruce bit the inside of his cheek as he slid his fingers through his hair.

“J-Jarvis?” He tentatively asked the ceiling.

“Yes, Dr. Banner?” Jarvis responded.

“My bed is a little too soft is there a way to change it to something a little bit firmer? Or should I…”

“Try the bed now, Dr. Banner.”

Bruce frowned at the ceiling before he pressed down. He blinked in surprise when he didn’t sink in. “H-How?”

“All beds are designed to fit the person that lies in it sir. If you would like to change it at anytime let me know. Master Tony has also place remotes by the bed if you wish to change it.” Jarvis said.

Bruce nodded. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome. Would you like anything else sir?”

“…I would actually.”

“How may I help?”

Bruce tugged on his hair again before he asked his question. “Did Tony…I mean is he truthful about not giving me an order? I know that if an omega enters an Alpha’s home they have the right to do so.”

“Master Tony provided the truth, sir. He does not give many orders unless it’s necessary. If you do wish to go back we can begin making arrangements.”

He meant his word.  “No, that’s alright. Thank you, Jarvis.”

“You’re welcome sir.”

“I don’t have more questions at the moment. Thank you.”

“Not a problem sir. If you require any assistance please let me know.”

“I will.” Bruce nodded. He curled up on one side of the bed as he tried to get comfortable. He waited for Tony to tell him what he had to do in return for the room and the free food.

Bruce continued to wait until he fell asleep.

*~*~*

Tony frowned when Bruce didn’t join him in the common room on his floor. The main living room was under repairs, but the living room on his floor stayed stocked with the recent movies, games, and food. He walked over to the cabinet and pulled out a bag of chips.

“Jarvis?”

“Yes sir?”

“Is Bruce alright?”

“Yes, he’s currently taking a nap in the guest room.”

Tony smiled. <i>So he decided to take my advice after all.</i> “Alright we can let him sleep. I’m sure he’s pretty tired.”

“Yes sir.”

Tony nodded and plopped down in the nearest chair. He had a few things to do like go through the plans for the Avengers floors, start the plans to make a suit for space, and prepare Bruce’s personal lab. Once he had the plans set his mind started to wander. A few questions circled his mind since they met on the Helicarrier.

Bruce’s smell didn’t match the one that normally followed Omegas. It smelt different, but he couldn’t figure out why it smelt so different. He didn’t like the idea of following order from an Alpha. He felt the Hulk listened to Steve because he was the leader of their team, but he didn’t think Bruce would follow an order if Steve gave it to him.

He wondered how Bruce and the Hulk worked together. It didn’t seem it would be easy to have an Alpha inside and trying to fight an Omega’s instincts.

<i>It’s a good thing that nothing happened to Bruce. How does he go through every day with the big guy? I think this call for some research in the name of science. </i>Tony grinned as he finished the bag of chips. He threw the bag away and leaned against the counter. He contemplated visiting Bruce to make sure he was alright.

Tony frowned at the urge of protectiveness he felt towards Bruce. He summarized the feeling as looking out for a friend. He refused to have any of his decision be based on his instincts.

He walked upstairs to the guest room and peaked inside. Bruce ended up on the floor next to the bed, curled into a tight ball. Tony shook his head with a small sigh.

<i>So much for him getting comfortable.</i> Tony walked over to the bed and grabbed a sheet and pillow off it. He placed the blanket over Bruce before he tiptoed over to the other side to slip the pillow under his head. Tony made sure his glasses were close by, in case he woke up.

Tony nodded at his handy work before he walked out the door. Convincing Bruce that it was alright to sleep in the bed was next on his to do list.

*~*~*

Bruce stirred the next morning with a slight pain in his back. He reached for his glasses as he rubbed his eyes. <i>I’m on the floor? I guess that saying about old habits are true.</i>

When he gathered his senses, he noticed the pillow under his head and the blanket over his form. There was no surprise who did it.

<i>Guess he really wants me to stay.</i> Bruce tried to be annoyed, but he couldn’t do it. He touched the blanket again before he got up and walked over to the bathroom. After he finished his morning routine, successfully taking a shower using only one spray and no jets, he walked down to the kitchen. He stepped in and looked over at a beautiful woman in a tailored executive outfit at the table.

However, when he caught Pepper’s scent he debated stepping back in the hall. <i>Tony didn’t tell me another Alpha would be here</i>.

Before he could leave she placed her paper down with a smile. “Hello, you must be Bruce. I’m Pepper Tony told me all about you.” She stood up and walked over to him with an outstretched hand.

Bruce looked down at her hand before he turned to Pepper. She didn’t look at him in different way or ask why he was in the house. He shook her hand with a nod.

“Hello, it’s nice to meet you.” Bruce said. He looked up at Pepper before he turned his eyes down at the floor.

“Bruce, you don’t have to do that. I don’t want you to change things because of me. I’m not that Alpha that <i>insist</i> you don’t look at me when we meet. Between you and me I think that’s a bit old fashioned.” Pepper grinned.

Bruce rubbed the back of his neck with a small smile. “I suppose some could see it that way.”

Pepper’s smile widened as she gestured to the table. “Would you like to join me?”

Bruce hesitated a bit before he nodded. “Yes.”

Pepper flashed him a gentle smile on her way back to the table. Bruce followed and kept his hands in his pockets. It stopped him from tugging on his sleeve or his hair. He took a seat at the table as Pepper returned to her coffee.

“How do you like the Tower so far?”

“It’s fine.”

“This isn’t where we normally eat dinner, but that floor is in repair. I hope this one is fine.”

“Yes it is.”

Pepper placed her coffee down and folded her paper up. “Bruce, I want you to calm down for me. I’m not going to do anything to you. There are no set rules or ways for Omegas to act here. Please it’s alright Bruce.”

Bruce nodded. He took a breath and tried to relax in his seat. “So is it alright if I go get some breakfast?”

“Of course! Use the kitchen as you wish.” Pepper grinned.

Bruce gave a small grin back. <i>She doesn’t seem too bad. </i>He got up and walked over to prepare breakfast. While he started on his eggs, Tony walked in.

“Morning Tony.” Pepper said.

Tony muttered a greeting as he reached for the nearest cup of coffee. Pepper laughed and turned the page of her paper.

Bruce looked over at Tony and offered a small wave. “Good morning.”

Tony looked up and walked over to Bruce. He grinned and placed a hand on his shoulder. “Morning, I can speak now that I have caffeine in my system. Yes, that’s a food.” He shot over to Pepper.

“That’s what you say, but I know the truth.” Pepper shot back.

Tony chuckled. He cradled the mug in his hand as he leaned against the counter. “Are you liking things so far? Did you use the shower? Please tell me you tried one of the jets.”

“I tried it, but I didn’t like it so much. I can always try it again though if--”

Tony waved it away. “I personally love the jets, but if that’s alright for you then it’s fine. I can change the shower to just have the one jet if that’s what you want.”

“No it’s fine. I figured out how to work it to one jet, so I’m fine.” Bruce said.

“Are you sure? I can always change things if you want me to.”

“I’m good.”

“Alright, but I’ll still check to make sure.”

Bruce opened his mouth to protest, but stopped at Tony’s smirk. “You know I can always make another adjustment to the bed as well. I’m sure the floor can’t be too comfortable.”

Tony missed the way Pepper watched the exchange. She hummed and returned to the paper.

Bruce hated the small flush that appeared on his cheeks. “Um, Jarvis helped me with that. He made the bed better for me, but I was going to try it again tonight.”

“I’ll make a note to get a bed that will work for you.”

Bruce shook his head. “Tony…I…”

“I’m not doing this as a show of my power or anything. You’re my guest and I want you to enjoy your time here. If I’m not doing that, then I’m not being a good host and that hurts me here.” Tony rested his hand on his chest over the arc reactor.

“It truly does. I’ve seen him fall apart at the smallest imperfection.” Pepper said. She didn’t try to hide the laughter in her voice.

“Ouch hurt me more why don’t you?”

“I can, but where’s the fun in that?”

“You treat me so well.”

“You know I do.”

Bruce started to relax further as he watched the exchange between Tony and Pepper. They didn’t try to hide their personalities because Bruce was in the room. He felt included in their joke something that didn’t happen often. He finished his eggs and carried them back to the table.

Tony grabbed another cup of coffee and followed him.

“Are we just going to have caffeine today?” Pepper asked when they settled at the table.

“I’m going to have some food in a bit.” Tony said with a wave of his hand.

“Um, I made more than enough eggs. You can have some if you want.” Bruce said.

“That’s nice of you Bruce, but like I said you don’t have to do that. Tony has to make his own food.” Pepper said.

“She treats me so wrong.” Tony pouted with a dramatic flair.

“I’m sure you’ve mentioned this to Bruce before.” Pepper smiled over at Bruce.

“I don’t mind.” Bruce said quietly.

Tony and Pepper placed their things down before they turned to Bruce. Bruce stopped eating and looked between them, ready to leave when he needed to. It surprised him when they sat on either side of him and didn’t make a move.

Bruce swallowed and gripped his jeans. “Um…”

“Bruce we want you to be welcomed in our home. We don’t know what other Alphas do, but we’re not them.” Pepper said.

“We’re not going to hurt you we promise.” Tony said.

Bruce felt at ease from their soft tones. He felt his resistance trying to come back, but their soft tones distracted him. He resistance faltered at the soft growl that came from Tony. Bruce pushed back the urge to lean against him and take Pepper’s hand. He released the grip on his jeans as he nodded.

“Alright, I’ll calm down. Well I’ll try to.” He offered a small smile.

“Great! Now after breakfast I have to show you the lab I set up for you. It’s amazing and great and I know you’ll love it.” Tony grinned.

“Can’t wait to see it.” Bruce offered a small grin back.

Tony squeezed his shoulder. He stood up and walked over to the stove to get some more coffee while Bruce returned to his eggs. They didn’t notice the knowing grin on Pepper’s faced after their exchange. She finished her coffee and folded up her paper.

“I’m on my way to work now. I hope you’ll do the same thing in a few hours.” Pepper said.

“I’ll be there.” Tony said.

“Jarvis please remind Tony about the meeting.” Pepper said as she grabbed her briefcase.

“I will Miss Potts.” Jarvis said.

“You’re not fair.” Tony said to the ceiling.

Pepper laughed. “Thank you Jarvis.” She turned her smile to Bruce. “Have a great day!”

“You too.” Bruce waved.

Pepper squeezed his shoulder on her way out the room. She smiled as she walked down the hall. She saw the look on Tony’s face when she squeezed Bruce’s shoulder. She didn’t think Tony knew that he unconsciously calmed Bruce down with the way he growled. Tony didn’t use his Alpha instincts to attract anyone. He had enough charm and charisma to get anyone to spend the night in his bed. It was the first time she saw Tony use his instincts.

Pepper knew Bruce would bring more of Tony’s instincts to the surface. She didn’t wipe the smile off her face as she stepped in the limo. She couldn’t wait to see what would happen when everyone moved in the Tower.

*~*~*

Bruce chuckled at the way Tony bounced on their way to the lab. He acted like a kid that Christmas came early. Bruce didn’t think it was possible for someone to talk that long without taking any breaths. He didn’t have the heart to stop him.

“I’m sure that you’re going to do so many great things here. I have machines to do science experiments and medical equipment to do whatever you wanted to do.” Tony said as they rode the elevator down to the labs.

“You have medical equipment?” Bruce asked.

“Yeah, you have some experience in that right?”

“Yeah is it in my file?”

“Yeah it was and I wanted you to have a place to work. I can change it if you want.”

Bruce shook his head. “No it feels good to have a place to work. Thank you.”

“Anytime.” Tony grinned as they stepped off the floor. He walked over and pressed a code onto the keypad. “You can come here anytime you want. Jarvis can let you in if you forget the codes.”

“Thank you.”

Tony grinned as he rested his hand on the door handle. “Now Bruce I introduce you to candy land.” He pushed the door open. Bruce’s eyes widened as he walked inside. There was lab equipment everywhere. Items he hadn’t seen since the time he worked on the Helicarrier he saw new equipment he didn’t think anyone had yet. There were state of the art computers, tables with a variety of equipment, chemicals, and a small medical station in the back.

“I have plans for the rest of the medical equipment, but that’s a secret.” Tony winked as he walked over.

Bruce didn’t hear him. He couldn’t stop looking at the equipment in front of him. It didn’t look real. He touched the table in front of him to make sure that it was real. Bruce could count on one hand the number of time he spent in a lab during his time on the run. There was a chance for him to do science again, he didn’t know if he wanted to risk that in case it would taken away from him again.

“Hey buddy, are you okay?” Tony asked.

Bruce could hear the smugness in Tony’s voice. He took a breath and calmed down before he faced Tony. “When you told me, I had no idea you meant <i>this.</i>” He gestured around the room.

“Well this lab is pretty big and I only use it when Pepper bugs me to get out of the garage or my other lab in the basement. I spruced it up a bit because things are going to get messy enough without dust getting in the way.” Tony walked over and placed his arm around Bruce’s shoulder. “So, do you want to leave now?”

“The option is still on the table, but maybe I’ll think about it now.” Bruce said with a small smile.

Tony smiled and squeezed his shoulder. “Great, I say we get to work. There are a lot of things we can work on and--”

“Master Stark, Miss Potts wanted me to remind you of the board meeting you have to attend today.” Jarvis said.

Tony frowned up at the ceiling. “How come I have to go? Pepper is better at handling those types of things, not me.”

“Miss Potts requested you make an appearance so the board does not become suspicious about your actions.” Jarvis said.

Tony sighed and moved his arm off Bruce’s shoulder. “Fine, fine, let Pepper know that I’ll be showing my face there in a few minutes.”

“Yes sir.” Jarvis said.

“This isn’t fair I wanted to continue the work we did on radiation levels that we started in S.H.E.I.L.D. Since we can work on it now without anyone breathing down our necks, but that’s a bust.” Tony grumbled as he crossed his arms over his chest.

“Don’t worry about it. I can start working on something small until you get back. Um, can I work on something small?” Bruce asked as he adjusted his glasses.

“Yeah, you can use anything you want in here you don’t have to ask. Told you I’m not one of those Alphas who demand that they must be asked before anything can be used. Anything you want to use in here, you can. I don’t mind, in fact I’ll be upset if you don’t use anything.” Tony grinned.

“I wouldn’t want to do that. I don’t know if I can do it today, but I’ll try to use one thing at least once.” Bruce grinned.

“I’ll make sure to help you with that.” Tony said. He clapped Bruce on the shoulder on his way towards the door. Bruce nodded and turned to the nearest workbench when Tony called his name.

“Yes?”

“You can use anything around here. That includes the lab, kitchen, living room, anything. You don’t have to ask for permission. I mean it.” Tony said.

Bruce fought the urge to squirm under the serious look in Tony’s eyes. He knew it wasn’t a punishment or Tony showing his dominance, but he couldn’t help the urge to wait until Tony gave him an order. He took a breath and nodded. “Alright, I will. Thank you.”

Tony softened as he rested his hand against the door handle. “No problem. Well, I better go before Pepper has my head.”

“See you in a bit.”

Tony waved and walked out the room. Bruce watched him for a bit before he turned back to the lab.

<i>I guess I should get started working on something. </i>He walked over to the closest table and started to work on a few equations. He didn’t let his mind dwell on the flurry of thoughts that passed through. He wasn’t going to pass on the chance of working in a lab again.

*~*~*

Tony tried not to slouch in his seat while one of the shareholders, he didn’t remember names they all looked the same to him, drone on about something regarding the company stock. There was nothing wrong with it, Tony checked it before the meeting started, but he knew the shareholders liked to scare him with it.

He leaned back in his chair and tried not to tap the pen in front of him or check his phone. He didn’t get any calls, he assumed everything was alright. He wasn’t sure if Bruce would call or if he would wait until he got back. One of the reasons he didn’t want to find a typical Omega. He didn’t want someone who waited on his every word to do something. Tony figured it was another reason why he hasn’t found a mate or an Omega hasn’t present themselves during their heat.

He felt someone squeeze his hand under the table. He looked over to Pepper, she couldn’t turn to him while talking to the shareholders, but she did squeeze his hand again. Tony grinned and squeezed back.

He was sure Bruce was fine.

*~*~*

Bruce tugged his hair as he stared at the equation in front of him. He worked on it multiple times, but couldn’t figure out the answer yet. He sat back in his seat and check the time on the nearest clock. It was three in the afternoon and he started worked at around nine in the morning. He figured it was time to take a break.

Bruce walked out the lab and to the elevator that would take him to the kitchen. He looked around the pristine kitchen with every new culinary device out there. Bruce had a feeling that Tony upgraded a few things. He walked over to the counter and didn’t know what to use first.

“Do you require help Dr. Banner?” Jarvis asked.

Bruce looked at the ceiling. “Er, yes, I wanted to know where the tea is and the tuna I would like to make a sandwich.”

“There is an assortment of teas for you to choose from in the cabinet in front of you. We also have a variety of meats, tuna, and bread for your sandwich. I also have the number of any restaurant ready if that is what you would like sir.”

Bruce nodded and rubbed the back of his neck. He couldn’t remember a time when he was faced with so many choices. He walked over to the cabinet in front of him and picked out the Assam tea. He looked for the teapot when something sounded from the corner of the counter.

“The hot water is ready for you sir.”

“Thank you Jarvis.” Bruce walked over to the counter and picked up the mug. He placed the leaves inside and walked over to the fridge. Bruce didn’t think Tony would allow him to walk freely among his house. The last Alphas he encountered during his travels weren’t as benevolent and expected Bruce to ask them for everything.

Tony was different. He insisted that Bruce not ask him for everything. Bruce pushed back the annoying urge to pick up the phone and ask for permission. One of the downsides of his Omega instincts he discovered during school. Bruce came out of his thought when Jarvis called his name.

“Dr. Banner, do you need any assistance?”

“No I’m fine, thank you. However, I do have a question. Can you tell me where everything is located?”

“Why of course sir, in front of you are the bread. The plates are located in the cabinet next to the cups. The closest drawers next to you hold the cutlery. The bottom cabinets contain the pots, the one next to you contain the pans. Spices are in the rack above the drawers and any devices you need are close at hand.”

“Alright, I should be able to find everything with no problem.”

“If you have any questions sir, please don’t hesitate to ask.”

“Thank you.”

“It’s not a problem sir.”

Bruce sipped his tea as his mind started to change his idea for lunch. He frowned as he leaned against the counter. He couldn’t afford to get comfortable when he had no plans on staying for more than necessary, but he couldn’t deny how good it felt to rest. He didn’t have to look over his shoulder every few minutes or try to find a place that accepted Omegas to stay for the night.

Things were calm for once, but Bruce knew this pattern. He didn’t know how long it would be before things turned on it’s head or worse Tony ended up hurt in the process. Bruce sighed as he took a seat at the counter.

<i>I’m probably over thinking things. I’m part of the team and right now I don’t have enough to stay in anything, but a cheap motel. I’m sure S.H.E.I.L.D. will pay me for things, but I’m not sure.</i> Bruce took another sip of his tea and tapped his finger against the counter.

<i>I’m going to eat first because everything is starting to blend together. I can figure out my plan better then. Besides, I’m sure it’s a matter of time before Tony finds his mate and I want to be gone when that happens.</i> Bruce ignored the way his stomach twisted at that idea. He carried the mug over to the fridge and prepared his tuna sandwich on wheat bread.

Bruce took the sandwich back to the counter and looked around. The kitchen was one of the biggest he’s seen in awhile. He didn’t think there was nothing out of place. He shifted when he saw the bar away from the main area of the kitchen. Hulk growled as Bruce’s anxiety started to rise. He took the sandwich into the living room and sat down on a very soft couch.

Bruce took a breath to push the Hulk back into the safe corner of his mind. When he didn’t hear Hulk growling anymore, Bruce finished his food and sat back on the sofa. The softness of the sofa eased Bruce into a state of relaxation. He fought against it, but his body had other ideas.

<i>I guess I can take a few minutes of rest.</i> Bruce rubbed his eyes and curled up on the sofa. He placed his glasses close by him and closed his eyes.

He could make up the lost sleep from last night.

*~*~*

Tony couldn’t wait to get out of the meeting, go home, and relax in the lab with Bruce. He noticed that Bruce crossed his mind throughout the entire meeting. He tried to shake off the worry that accompanied the thoughts, but it was hard. He put his cell phone back in his pocket so he wouldn’t press the home button and ask Jarvis how things were going.

Tony sighed softly and rested his head against the seat in the limo. Pepper looked up from her laptop with a knowing smile. “Let me guess, thinking about Bruce.”

“Maybe.” Tony shrugged.

Pepper laughed softly as she finished clicking a few things before she closed the top. “You’ve had that same look on your face since the meeting. He’s fine.”

“Yeah, but I wasn’t able to give him a complete tour before I shoved him in his room and left him alone. I found him on the floor this morning so I’m a bit apprehensive if he’ll use anything besides the lab.”

“You barely use anything, but the lab and your workroom.”

“I’m different.”

“That’s true.”

Tony rolled his eyes and pulled out his phone again. He turned it around before Pepper took it.

“Hey!”

“How about I keep this until you get back home?”

Tony narrowed his eyes, but Pepper looked back ready for the challenge. One of the problems of having another Alpha as a friend they were quick to start a competition over anything. Tony crossed his arms over his chest and turned to the window. “Fine, keep it, I have another one anyway.”

Pepper shook her head as she handed Tony his phone. “You know you can’t fight it forever.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“I think you do.”

“Nope.”

Pepper closed her eyes and took a small breath. “You do and I think it’s starting show the more time you spend around Bruce.”

“I don’t believe in that whole instinct stuff. Why should my actions be dictated by something that science proved can be changed.”

“Sometimes instincts can beat out anything science can create. It’s not good to squash what’s going through you.”

Tony yawned loudly and turned to lean against the seat of the car. “You know I’m beat. I think I’ll take a nap on the way.”

“Fine, if you want to, but you know I’m telling the truth.” Pepper said. She pulled her laptop back out as Tony closed his eyes. He didn’t want to think about what Pepper said. He couldn’t stand when she was right. It was worse when he admitted it.

*~*~*

“I’m home! Finally I can actually do some work instead of meeting with those old cronies all day.” Tony said as he shrugged out his blazer. He walked over to the elevator to his room to change his clothes. Pepper mentioned finishing some work in her room, but being down to join them for dinner. Tony couldn’t wait to get in the lab with Bruce and start on some projects. He would like for the butterflies in his stomach to disappear whenever he thought about Bruce.

“Welcome back sir. Shall I prepare something for you?” Jarvis asked as Tony finished changing and walked over to the elevator.

“Hmm, start some coffee and maybe some tea if Bruce is up to it. Is he in the lab?”

“No he’s in the living room, taking a nap.”

<i>He won’t sleep in his room, but the sofa is alright.</i> Tony chuckled as he stretched his arms above his head. “I’ll go check on him. Have that tea ready, just in case.”

“I will sir.”

“Thank you.”

“Anytime.”

Tony nodded as he walked over to the living room. He checked the status of the repairs and it was going better than he thought. He would be able to move Bruce in a few days. Tony sent out a notice to the rest of the team about their floors. He had a feeling they would be joining them in a few days as well. He would have to get ready for that too.

Tony placed it on the growing to do list he kept in his head as he peaked into the living room. Bruce stretched out on his back with his arm resting loosely on his stomach. His face looked clear without the worry lines that were on it every day.

<i>He’s quite attractive I don’t know why he doesn’t think so.</i> Tony grinned, as he looked Bruce over. He saw Bruce’s glasses hanging close to the edge of the sofa and walked over to catch them before they fell. Tony reached for them when Bruce shot up and grabbed his wrist.

“Whoa big guy it’s just me. I wanted to catch your glasses before they fell.” Tony held his hands up.

Bruce rubbed his eye and reached for his glasses. “I’m sorry, force of habit.” He missed Tony’s frown as he placed his glasses on. Bruce ran his fingers through his hair as he looked around the room.

“Have I been sleeping here the whole day?”

“I think so.”

“I didn’t mean to. I don’t know what happened I just remembered falling asleep after eating. I had some things I wanted to do in the lab today.”

“We still have time the evening is young.”

“Sounds good to me.”

“Great, I’ll go recharge with coffee while you have some tea.”

“I could use some tea my mouth is a bit dry.” Bruce stood up and stretched his arms above his head.

Tony noticed the peak of skin that showed when Bruce’s shirt lifted. “So did you start on anything while I was away.”

“I did a few equations, but nothing really heavy yet. I have the idea for a way to be able to help people with radiation poisoning, as I said I haven’t gotten that far. Did you think of anything during the meeting?”

“I didn’t really have time. Anytime I tried to think of something, the shareholders called on me for some inane thing. I’m glad Pepper was there to answer any question they had.”

“Are those meetings long?”

“Too long if you ask me.”

“Aren’t they important?”

“They may be, but it doesn’t mean that they’re not boring.”

Bruce chuckled. “I can see that.”

Tony grinned and placed an arm around Bruce’s shoulders. “Too bad you couldn’t come with me. I wouldn’t be so bored then.”

Bruce tried not to think about the warmth he felt from Tony’s arm. “I can’t come to those and you know the reason why, but I’ll be with you when we have a S.H.E.I.L.D. debriefing.”

“Please don’t remind me.”

Bruce gave a small grin as they walked into the kitchen. He settled at the island as Tony grabbed their mugs. He handed tea to Bruce and took a grateful sip of his coffee. They fell into a comfortable silence as Bruce sipped his tea and Tony worked up to his second cup.

“So, there has been something that’s been on my mind. What’s the jolly green giant?”

Bruce knew the silence wouldn’t last long. He shifted in his seat and looked down in his mug. “Is that information really important?”

“Yes, it’s part of a working hypothesis I have.”

A small grin tugged the corner of Bruce’s lips. “Oh and what is it?”

“You and the big guy may share the same body and anger management methods, but I’m sure there’s a difference between you two. It’s something that’s been in the back of my mind since I first looked at your file.”

“It doesn’t say.”

“No, it mentions that you’re an Omega, but nothing about the big guy. So tell me, is he an Alpha or an Omega too? Has to be another reason why you don’t like to bring him up.”

Bruce mulled over the idea. There were many reasons why he didn’t want to bring <i>him</i> up that he could pick one, but no one asked about the other guy before. Bruce knew Tony would be the first one to do that as well.

“I suppose I can tell you since you asked so kindly.”

“See I can ask for things.”

Bruce chuckled and took a sip of his tea. “He’s an Alpha.” He muttered into his cup.

“Hmm, sorry I can’t hear you.” Tony cupped his ear and leaned over the island.

Bruce shook his head and said a little louder. “He’s an Alpha.”

“Really?”

“Yes.”

“That’s amazing. How did you figure that out? Was it something that happened after the accident?”

Bruce took a big drink of tea to push the knot in his throat down. After the accident wasn’t one of his favorite things to talk about. He looked over at Tony who sat back in his seat and took another drink of his coffee. Tony scrunched his nose at the smell of fear he got off Bruce. It was a scent Bruce carried around him since they met at the Helicarrier. Tony didn’t like that scent very much.

Bruce continued to twist the cup in his hands as he thought of the way to answer the question. “Yes, I’m certain it’s one of the reasons he comes out whenever I’m in danger as well.”

“So the big guy doesn’t respond to just anger.”

“No, whenever my heart rate goes up he’ll come out.”

“What about when you go through your heat?”

“Um, I haven’t gone through one since the beginning of my first year of college.” Bruce stared back at his cup again, missing the way Tony’s eyebrows tried to get into his hair. He took a seat next to him and started on a series of questions. “How did that happen? Was it will? The big guy? A genetic mutation, I’ve heard about that and read that happens to people who have the mutant gene. How did you do it?”

Bruce didn’t know which questions to answer first. “Um, I made a few friends with the scientist on campus and we made a pill to help me suppress my urges when my heat rolled around. I didn’t have enough time to find an Alpha that would understand that my heat wasn’t an invitation to bond. The supplements helped when I was on the run too.”

“Just when I thought you couldn’t top yourself, you did! That’s really amazing, but isn’t it dangerous to stop your body’s function like that?”

“The pill helps regulate that.”

“My list of things to investigate grows the more we talk. What happens if you miss a pill?”

“I don’t know I haven’t missed one in a while, but I’m sure I would have my heat again.”

“Do you have a plan for that?”

“I didn’t think it would be something I’d have to plan for.”

“We’re heroes now and something tells me it won’t be the first time we’ll be called to do some world saving now that Fury knows who we are.”

Bruce sighed. “I was worried about that.”

Tony squeezed his shoulder as he stood up and grabbed their mugs. He returned with Bruce’s second cup of tea and his third cup of coffee.

“Do you have a plan?” Bruce asked as he blew the steam coming from the cup.

“I have a couple of fail safes I’m working on in my suit and a backup power source in case this shuts off.” Tony said as he tapped the Arc reactor. “Can never be too sure, you know?”

“Yeah that’s true. My back up plan has always been to leave before anyone noticed I was there. I may need a new plan though, it didn’t work as well as I hoped last time.” Bruce said as he thought back to his first meeting with Natasha.

“Never hurts to make a new one and you have time now that you’re here.” Tony grinned.

“Yeah I do.” Bruce said as his lips twitched.

“Well, take your time and let me know if you come up with one. We can revisit pills and your heat later I want to go back to the big guy and how he’s an Alpha. He followed Steve’s orders I thought he would want to take charge.”

Bruce almost lost the next thought when Tony didn’t mention his heat again. He thought he’d want to know the cycle and how he could be a part of it. Bruce seemed a bit lost that he didn’t want to mention it, but didn’t bring it up. He took a sip of his tea and shifted in his seat.

“He likes Steve and had a chance to smash things. It doesn’t take a genius to see why he would enjoy that.”

Tony chuckled. “I see. Does he get any of the urges?”

“I think for most people imagining <i>him</i> with urges is a bit scary.”

“I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’m not like most people.”

“That’s true.”

Tony smiled. He placed his mug down and leaned closer to Bruce. “So tell me does he feel the urge to do anything?”

Bruce tried not to lean towards the welcoming heat. He cleared his throat and look at his mug again. “Well I haven’t been able to research it further, but I know he sets out to protect me. Any time I’m in danger he’ll make an appearance. The one time I had my heat after the accident it was a bit painful having a frustrated Alpha try to get to you and they can’t. I assume he has the same urges as many Alphas, but doesn’t seem eager to go out and try them. I’m not eager to let him explore either.”

“Why? It might be good for him and you.”

“I don’t see how going through a painful process so he can get laid will be good for me.”

“How did you know I was going to ask that next?”

Bruce turned to him with a slight smirk on his lips. “Aren’t you Tony Stark?”

Tony laughed. “Good one doctor. I knew it I was rubbing off on you.”

Bruce chuckled. “Of course.”

Tony smiled and tapped his finger against his chin. “Hmm, but if he took care of himself then maybe that will give you some comfort.”

“I doubt it. I don’t think I would be able to feel any of his urges such as he can’t really be happy if I took care of my heat.”

“Sounds like a working hypothesis that needs to be tested in the near future.”

“You want to test <i>his</i> urges and get the results. Maybe you took one too many hits to the head.”

“His reactions aren’t the only thing I want to test.” Tony winked as he got off the stool and took his cup to the sink.

Bruce blinked as he felt something he hasn’t in years, butterflies in his stomach. <i>I’m too old for this.</i> He sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose. Leave it to Tony to be happy about finding out Hulk and his Alpha urges not to mention have him feel things that hasn’t appeared in years.

“So besides the most dangerous experiment you could think of, is there anything else you want to test?”

“I do, but we can start those things in the lab. That is, if you’re up for it.”

“I’ve ran on less sleep.”

“Literally?”

“Ha, ha.”

Tony grinned as Bruce placed his mug in the sink. Bruce tried not to let his gaze travel down to Tony’s fitted Black Sabbath t-shirt or pants. The attraction to another guy wasn’t anything new to Bruce. He figured out attraction through science and knew that sometimes it happened. He had a few fleeting relationships with either sex in college before he was serious with Betty, but he didn’t expect to feel something for someone as quickly as he did for Tony.

He tore his eyes away and rubbed the back of his neck. “Ready?”

“Yeah,”

Bruce nodded and ignored Tony’s smug smile on their way to the elevators. He knew he was in for a long night of teasing.

*~*~*

Tony woke up with a start and pulled a blueprint off his cheek. The last thing he remembered was teasing Bruce about an equation while he sketched the plans for his new engine in the Mack 2 then he blinked off for a few minutes.

<i>I guess it was a few hours instead.</i> Tony yawned. He looked over at the other table to Bruce who fell asleep on his crossed arms on the table. His hair sticking in different directions from the way he pulled it last night. Tony loved when he did that and took a few looks out the corner of his eye at him.

The questions he wanted to ask Bruce grew throughout the night when they worked together. They took a break for dinner when Pepper joined them. Bruce started to loosen up around Pepper. They weren’t making inside jokes yet, but Bruce wasn’t as stiff as he was in the morning. Something Tony saw as an improvement.

Tony slid his fingers through his hair as he called for Jarvis.

“Yes sir?”

“What time is it?”

“It’s noon sir.”

“Noon, hmm I’m up early, start the usual pot of coffee and tea we’ll be up there in a minute.”

“Yes sir.”

Tony smiled at the ceiling and got off the stool. He walked over to Bruce and gently shook his shoulder. He liked the smell around him that wasn’t filled with fear. He wanted that to stay around him often.

“Hey,”

Bruce grumbled and moved away from Tony’s hand. Tony grinned and started to poke his shoulder. Bruce swatted at Tony’s hand, but it didn’t deter him. Tony moved his finger to Bruce’s side and moved back to his shoulder. Bruce groaned and pushed his hand away.

“Alright, alright I’m up, I’m up.” Bruce sat up and rubbed his eyes.

“I was performing another part of my experiment.”

“What were you testing?”

“How long it would take before you wake up or get angry at me? We’ll need to run some more tests though to be sure if the answers are correct.”

“Of course.” Bruce chuckled. He stretched his arms over his head and looked at the notes around him. “I didn’t leave anything on a burner, right?”

“Nope, nothing caught on fire and everything is still intact.”

“Don’t sound so disappointed.” Bruce said and got off his stool.

“It’s not a true experiment until something catches on fire.”

Bruce shook his head and ran a hand through his hair as he walked to the elevator with Tony.

After they finished their morning routine, they took the elevator down to the kitchen. Tony picked up the smell of another Alpha that wasn’t Pepper. He looked at Bruce out the corner of his eye to make sure he wasn’t close to green. Bruce tensed, but didn’t walk away. Tony continued to watch in case he had to explain the situation to jolly green.

However, they calmed down when they saw who sat at the kitchen table.

“Cap?” Tony said as Bruce calmed down.

“Good morning!” Steve waved happily. “I hope you don’t mind, the lease for my old apartment was up and I had some complications trying to get my money from the account that S.H.E.I.L.D had it in. I played with my cellular phone a bit--”

“You can just call it phone.” Tony said.

“Um, right, well I played with the phone and I found the message you left about coming here so I thought I would take you up on it. I got here a bit early, but I thought it was too early. I was going to come back, but Jarvis told me that it was alright because you were going to be up later on today. I ate breakfast, talked with Pepper, and read the paper. I wanted to watch television, but I couldn’t find the remote.” Steve chewed his bottom lip.

“Quite a busy morning I see, let me answer a few things. First, congrats on finding the text I sent you. I thought that was going to take longer than I thought. Next, it’s alright for you to stay here I opened the Tower up for that reason. Next, I’m sure Pepper told you that I was in the lab with my awesome lab partner here all night.” Tony smiled as he placed his arm around Bruce’s shoulders.

Bruce waved. “Good morning Steve.”

“Good morning Doctor.” Steve waved back.

Tony squeezed Bruce’s shoulder when he felt the slightest tense. When Bruce relaxed he continued. “I’m actually up earlier than normal and if you wanted to watch tv why didn’t you ask Jarvis.”

“I bothered Jarvis enough when I got here, finding the remote shouldn’t be that hard.” Steve said.

“Yeah, but I don’t remember where we put it. That’s why we have Jarvis. Jarvis!” Tony said.

“Yes sir.”

“Can you turn the t.v. on for Cap here and help us find the remote?”

“Of course sir.” Jarvis said as the t.v turned on in the living room. “Captain Rogers I can change the channel to any you would like to watch. If you’d like to change the channels manually the remote in on the arm of the couch and there is another one on the coffee table.” Jarvis said.

Tony snickered as Steve blinked up at the ceiling. He loved the reaction people made when they met Jarvis for the first time. Tony would never get tired of it.

“He’s not going to bite, but I’m a different story.” Tony grinned as he walked over to the coffee.

Bruce shook his head in amusement as he walked over to get his tea. He heard similar teases throughout the night in the lab.

“I’ll take your word for it.” Steve said. He turned to Bruce and frowned when he didn’t say anything.

“Tony hasn’t been teasing you too much has he doctor?”

Bruce placed the tealeaves in his cup as Tony clutched his chest dramatically. “Why am I the bad guy?”

“There’s no one here to fit the role.” Bruce said.

“I knew you had some humor in you.” Tony said.

Bruce chuckled and turned to Steve. “I’m fine. Besides some puns--”

“That was an amazing show of my talent--”

“I’m fine. How have you been?” Bruce asked.

“I’m good, I’m learning more about the world every day. I’m trying to find more things, but more information is on the computers right?” Steve said.

“Yes, you can find anything on <i>Google</i> in a few seconds.” Bruce said.

“Which make life much easier in my opinion.” Tony said as he joined them at the kitchen table.

“This is going to take me some time to learn isn’t it?” Steve said.

“It won’t be that hard I’ll help you if you’d like.” Bruce said.

“Really? That would be really swell if you could.” Steve smiled.

Tony laughed in his cup. “Swell? Man, you really are a living relic.”

Steve glared. “What’s wrong with that?”

Tony opened his mouth when Bruce jumped in. “Nothing, it just considered an older saying that’s all, but I can explain that too.” He didn’t want to be in the middle of two Alphas argument so early in the day.

Steve calmed down and leaned back against the chair. “So swell is considered old?”

“Well ancient really, but no one says that.” Tony shrugged as he got up to get another cup.

Steve’s glare returned as Bruce sighed quietly.

It was going to be quite a day.

*~*~*

It seemed that whenever Bruce worked all night in the lab, either on his own projects or with Tony, more of their team appeared in the tower. After Steve’s arrival in the Tower, Natasha and Clint arrived soon after. Clint grew tired of his old place and wanted a change. The move was convenient for Natasha, her old building closed and she spent more time at Clint’s place. She killed two birds with one stone moving into the Tower with Clint. Thor spent the night whenever he visited Earth.

Bruce felt a bit antsy with the addition of more people. He felt a bit at easy that Clint, another Omega, moved in, but there were more Alphas than he liked. When he worked in India he stayed on the side of the town with the Omegas that didn’t have a partner. He only traveled to the Alpha side if they needed a doctor regardless of rank. It would be the first time he would be in close proximity with Alphas, including one that the Hulk attacked, and it didn’t soothe him.

He didn’t mind Tony. Tony was different in everything that he did. His scent reminded Bruce that he was an Alpha, but he didn’t treat Bruce differently. They worked on projects together, providing help when they were stuck on an equation, and talked while a serum or piece of metal cooled. It was great, but Bruce knew it couldn’t last. The closer he got to Tony, the harder it would be to leave him when he had to.  

Bruce faced the same problem with their team as well.

One night when the sight of his heat suppression medicine equation started to blur he decided to take a break in the living room. He walked to the doorway and stopped when he smelled Steve and Natasha. Bruce turned to walk back to the elevator to take him to his room when Clint called his name.

“Hey man! Don’t you want to watch a movie with us?” Clint asked.

“We’re getting Steve caught up on all the movies he missed. Right now we’re doing the 50s, would you like to join us?” Natasha asked as she stood up from the couch. She didn’t look as menacing in a pair of worn sweatpants and t-shirt, but her stance said otherwise.

Bruce shook his head as he took off his glasses and cleaned an imaginary smudge. “I came up to get something to eat and go back to finish my project.”

“I’m sure you already have tons of things finishing or cooking down there. I’m not a scientist so I don’t know the proper terms. We only see you at meals, take a break, help us get Steve caught up.” Clint walked over with a bowl of popcorn and a can of pop.

“I-I think I should--”

“Bruce.”

He shut his mouth at the tone and waited for the command. When he didn’t receive one he looked up and saw the softest look on Natasha’s face. Bruce blinked and tried to form the words in his dry mouth.

“I know we didn’t exactly meet on great terms, but I’ll tell you now I don’t believe in the whole Alpha mindset. People do things for a reason, instinct is part of it, but not the major base of it. I don’t like when people hide from me.” Natasha said.

“Yeah because she’ll find you anyway.” Clint grinned.

Natasha smirked. “You’re different, you’re an easy target. Anyway, I know we didn’t have an ideal start so why don’t we start over. We can help Steve, watch some movies, and relax before we have another mission.”

“Trust us, when you have a break in missions like this take it.” Clint said.

Bruce looked at Natasha and Clint who hadn’t budge since their offer. He peaked around them to Steve who watched them curiously. Bruce noticed that he didn’t feel threatened just a bit surprised to be included in an activity. He nodded and accepted the bowl of popcorn from Natasha.

“If you’re going to show Steve movies from the 50s let’s start with the sci-fi movies, those are funny.” Bruce said as he grabbed a few kernels.

Natasha and Clint exchanged a knowing glance on their way back to the living room.

Bruce settled on the couch and started to explain the movies of the 50s to Steve. As Natasha and Clint sat down around them Bruce ignored the voice in the back of his mind that told him to leave before he got too close. However, Bruce found it was going to be harder than he originally thought.

*~*~*

Tony frowned on his way up to the living room. He didn’t know what Pepper wanted to talk about, but he hoped it was quick. He made a discovery with Bruce on a serum that had Reed Richards stumped. He had to get back in the lab and solve it as soon as possible. Tony grinned at the thought of Bruce. He knew they were getting closer, but he didn’t want Bruce to leave again. Bruce hadn’t said anything about leaving in a while, but Tony didn’t want to take any chances.

Tony stepped off the elevator and walked into the living room. “Pepper?”

“Hello Tony, please sit down.” Pepper pointed to the chair across from her with a smile.

Tony hesitated as he took a seat. He knew that smile it was the same one Pepper used when she had to let someone go. “Is everything alright?”

“It is, but I think it’s time we bring up something we knew was going to happen.”

“Pepper, I…”

Pepper held her hand up and shook her head. “I know you’re going to apologize, but I don’t want you to. We knew that one day we were going to find a mate and that we were together to help when we needed it. I’ve found my mate and it looks like you’ve found yours.”

“Who is your mate and more importantly who is mine?”

“My mate is Happy. His amazing and I can’t wait to make it official.”

“Too much information, but you haven’t told me who’s mine.”

“Do I have to spell it out for you? Bruce. I’ve seen the way you look at him and the way you are around him. You like him.”

“Of course I like him he’s great.”

“You know what I mean. I’ve seen the way you act around him. You almost challenged Steve when he wanted to spend the whole day with Bruce.”

“How I was supposed to know what he’s doing when I’m not around? Bruce is getting used to things and taking him out when I don’t know his heat cycle is dangerous.”

Tony thought Pepper’s smile would break her face. “I knew it! Well me and Natasha knew and found it very amusing.”

“I’m glad you find my pain funny.”

“I always will.”

Tony laughed as Pepper joined in. It didn’t feel as much of a breakup as Tony thought it would. He knew his attraction towards Bruce grew, but he didn’t want to scare his fellow scientist away. No matter how much he wanted to act on his feelings he could continue to tease him. He didn’t think he was that obvious, but Pepper was always different.

They quieted down and Pepper patted the spot next to her. Tony took the seat and linked their fingers together. Pepper smiled and squeezed his hand.

“He’s pretty cool, but try not to make the other guy come out.”

“You sound like Rhodey.”

Pepper giggled. “We just worry about you. We remember some of your past partners weren’t that amazing.”

“I always got out in the end.”

“Barely.”

“I’m happy you have faith in me.”

“It never wanes.”

Tony chuckled. “Thank you. Well I admit Pepper I had a lot of fun with you and we’ll still be friends right?”

“Of course, you know you can’t run things without me.”

“Then I’m fine. I want you to be happy and I hope Happy does that.”

“I wish the same for you and Bruce.”

Tony hugged Pepper with a smile as Pepper squeezed him back. They sat in the darkened living room like that for awhile. Tony knew the fun had to stop one day, but he didn’t think it would be so soon. He wasn’t too upset. Happy was a good guy and one of his best drivers, he knew she was in good hands. It meant that he had to address his feelings for Bruce, but he felt that he was halfway there.

*~*~*

Bruce took a breath as he walked to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Steve wanted to go and Bruce didn’t mind. Natasha and Clint had another day off in the first time in a while so they tagged along. It amused Bruce that Steve was quite shy for an Alpha and Clint carried the cockiness of an Alpha. Natasha didn’t carry any of the characteristics, but that wasn’t unexpected.

Bruce grinned at a joke Clint made and walked up the first step when it hit. It worked up the base of his spine and spread along his body.

“No! No!” Bruce fell to the ground and pulled at his shirt. He looked over at Steve and Natasha who looked back with darkened eyes as Clint knelt beside him.

“Shit, man we have to get you out of here. I didn’t know you were in your cycle.” Clint said.

“I-I haven’t been on a cycle…i-in awhile…” Bruce gasped when another wave washed over him. His sense were on overload, he wanted to crawl over to the nearest Alpha and jump in their lap. Between saving the day, his lab time with Tony, and hanging out with the team Bruce forgot his supplements.

It felt as if every heat he suppressed were coming back at one time. He couldn’t see straight. He reached for something to steady him, but he couldn’t grab anything. Bruce vaguely heard Natasha growl to keep the other Alphas away as Steve picked him up.

“T-Tony…c-call Tony…” Bruce gasped when another wave hit him and he snuggled into the crook of Steve’s neck.

“I’m on it.” Natasha pulled out her phone as Clint called for a car.

Bruce tried to fight back the urge to present himself to Steve, but the roaring in his ears prevented any thought from coming through. He clawed at Steve’s shirt and turned to him with lust hazy eyes. Steve bit his lips as his cheeks flushed.

“Bruce, you smell so good right now. I want to help you, but fuck that smell is so strong.” Steve growled and pressed his nose to Bruce’s hair on the way to the car. Bruce whimpered and leaned into the touch.

Natasha nodded as she pulled back from her heated kiss with Clint. “I know, but we can’t figure out anything until we get him back to the Tower.”

“Right. Don’t worry Bruce we’ll get you help.’ Steve said as they piled inside the car. Bruce panted as he gripped Steve’s shirt. He looked over at Natasha who had Clint in her lap and her hands in his pants. He groaned from Steve’s erection under him, but he didn’t want anything to happen. He knew Steve he wouldn’t stop apologizing about it.

Bruce moaned and arched his back when another waved hit him. Steve growled and tightened his hold around Bruce. “Don’t worry, we’re going to the Tower soon.”

Bruce opened his mouth to respond, but a moan left his lips instead. He closed his eyes and hoped that when he opened them again he wasn’t bouncing on Steve’s cock.

*~*~*

Tony rushed up to Bruce’s room undoing his tie on the way to his room. He left the meeting the minute he received the call about Bruce’s collapse on the steps of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. He knew the supplements messed up with the composition of Bruce’s body, but he didn’t know that he stopped them. Tony wasn’t for checking anyone for anything, but he thought that Bruce kept up with it. However, things were hectic for a while, especially with a visit from the god of mischief, it was easy to forget.

Tony groaned from the smell that reached his nose. He was glad that Steve, Clint, and Natasha took him home. He hoped he wouldn’t walk in on Bruce and Steve. Tony growled softly as the image passed through his mind. He didn’t care that his Alpha instincts made an appearance. He wanted to be the one to help Bruce.

Tony walked through the door as Bruce gasped and twisted on the bed. Tony stopped as the overwhelming scent hit his nose.

“W-Wow…” Tony whispered as his pants tightened.

“Y-Yeah it’s why we got him out as fast as we could.” Steve said.

Bruce whined and gritted his teeth as he pulled against the sheets. He turned to Tony and tried to focus on his face. “T-Tony?”

“Yeah big guy I’m here, I’m here. How do you feel?” Tony walked over and took a seat next to Bruce.

“Horrible…e-everything is so hot…so hot.” Bruce panted.

Tony reached out and cupped Bruce’s cheek. Bruce sighed softly and nuzzled his hand. Tony noticed Steve walking out of the room from the corner of his eye. He made a note to thank Steve later. Tony turned back to Bruce who continued to nuzzle his hand. He tipped his head up to look in Bruce’s eyes.

“How do you feel now?” Tony rubbed his cheek with his thumb.

“Better, much better.” Bruce whispered.

Tony licked his lips at Bruce’s flushed cheeks and the way Bruce watched his tongue. Bruce rubbed against the bed. “T-Tony help me please…please…”

“I don’t know. I mean you’re not thinking straight and your scent is driving me crazy.” Tony pressed his nose against Bruce’s neck and took a deep breath. Bruce tipped his neck back with a sofa sigh. Tony growled against his neck and pulled him closer.

“I can see why everyone got you out of the area. I’m surprised someone didn’t try to grab you or Steve and Natasha didn’t try to have their way with you. You smell so great.” Tony nuzzled his neck with another growl.

Bruce moaned softly and leaned into the touch. “I-It was hard, but wanted to wait f-for y-you.”

“You did? Why me when there were others around?” Tony rubbed Bruce’s sides and nuzzled his neck.

“T-Trust you, I do.” Bruce moaned and arched his back when another wave hit him. “Please Tony h-help me.” He opened his eyes and placed a hand on Tony’s arm. “Please…”

Tony couldn’t help it anymore. He pulled Bruce close and pressed a heated kiss against his lips. Bruce kissed back with a groan. The pain started to lessen as Tony wrapped his arms around his waist and pulled him close. Bruce wanted more he needed more than a kiss, but he couldn’t do anything until Tony was ready.

Tony pulled back and rested his forehead against Bruce’s. “I wanted to wait for that, but I’m not picky.”

Bruce gave a shaky smile. “R-Really?”

“Yeah,” Tony brushed their lips together. “How’s the big guy?”

“Mad h-he can’t help, but k-knew you could.” Bruce sighed.

“Aww the big guy trusts me that make me smile.” Tony pressed a quick kiss against his lips. “Are you sure about this?”

“Y-Yes, yes.”

“Can we talk about the pills after?”

Bruce nodded as another wave washed over him and made him grip Tony’s shirt. Tony pulled Bruce close and kissed him again. Bruce relaxed against him and wrapped his arms around Tony’s neck. Tony eased Bruce back against the bed and slid his hands up his shirt. He groaned from the heat against Bruce’s skin as their tongues slid against each other.

It wouldn’t be the first time he helped an Omega with their hear, but it was different with Bruce. He didn’t want to do the same thing as his dates. He wanted to take his time and help Bruce with it. Tony pulled back from the kiss and started to take off their clothes. He kissed down Bruce’s neck as he rubbed his chest.

Tony groaned at the chest hair under his fingers and pulled Bruce close for another heated kiss. Bruce slid his fingers through Tony’s hair as he rolled his hips. Tony pushed back as he moved his hands down to the belt buckle of Bruce’s pants. Tony’s hands made quick work of his belt as he kissed down Bruce’s neck. He pushed Bruce’s pants off and his own joined the growing pile of clothes soon after.

Their hands touched and explored their bodies as their lips continued to meet. Tony slowly prepared Bruce as he nipped and kissed Bruce’s neck. He moaned at the wetness that met his finger and the way Bruce opened his legs wider. Tony nuzzled Bruce’s cheek when he started to shake. He was going to make sure Bruce enjoyed his first heat.

*~*~*

Bruce woke up with a clear head and blurry surroundings. The last thing he remembered was going into his first heat for the first time in years and Tony helping him. He looked down at the arms around his waist and the soft breath against his neck. It happened, but it wasn’t with an Alpha he didn’t want. He wanted Tony, but thought Tony had his eyes on someone else. Not a guy who continued to wash the same clothes he came with. 

Bruce felt better than he had in a while and the Hulk stopped growling in his head. He toyed with the idea of getting off his supplements until he made the plans to leave. At that point, it was something that Bruce kept in the back of his mind whenever he became too nervous. The thought left his mind when Tony pulled him closer.

Bruce grinned and reached for his glasses. Tony stirred behind him and kissed his ear. “It’s too early to get up.”

“Just getting my glasses.”

“Why? All the good things to see are right here.”

“I see.” Bruce chuckled. He turned in Tony’s arms and traced his fingers along his lips. “How long was it?”

“Three days, I have to say you have quite a vocabulary when you get into it.” Tony smiled.

Bruce’s eyes widened at the days. “Three days? Really?”

“Yeah.”

“Oh, um did we…?”

“Mate, no, and I used condoms. Um, can you get pregnant?”

“No, the accident saw to that.”

“Oh, I didn’t know that.”

“Yeah.”

They sat in silence for a few minutes before Tony spoke again. “Are you going to keep taking the pills? I think that you shouldn’t anymore, but it’s your call.”

“Will you help me when I go into heat?”

“Yes.”

“Then I won’t take them anymore.”

“Really?”

“Yes, it’s been a while since I could let my guard down during my heat. It’s something I would like to continue to feel. That is, if you’re up for it.”

“Only if you can handle it.”

“I think I can.” Bruce smirked.

Tony smiled and brushed their lips together. “I have only one request.”

“What’s that?”

“Wear one outfit in your closet, including the shoes.”

“Everyday?”

“Once a week.”

“Sounds reasonable.”

Tony smiled and leaned forward to kiss him. Bruce grinned against his lips.

Things didn’t look that bad. Bruce hoped his luck lasted a bit longer this time.

*~*~*

Bruce and Tony agreed to start out their relationship slow. It was something new for the both of them and they didn’t want to scare the other away. Bruce waited for Tony to command him to wear a collar or something to show people that they were together. He expected Tony to change his sleep patterns, throw out the bag he came with, and take control of the things he did have. It never came.

One of the few things Tony asked for him to do was sleep in the bed instead of the floor, let him know if he can’t sleep, and wear one thing from the wardrobe Tony put together even that was once a week. He didn’t enforce it at all. Natasha, Steve and Thor didn’t blink when they entered the kitchen together or separately. Bruce braced himself for someone to tell him that he should mate with Tony instead of sleeping with him when his heat arrived. No one said anything.

The media speculated that Tony had a mate due to his lack of taking people back home after social events, but the media was the one of the few sources that mentioned anything. Bruce was confused and relieved at the same time. He didn’t know it was possible to have any freedom as an Omega.

Bruce remembered during his childhood his mother couldn’t leave unless she had permission from his father. He never saw his uncle leave without telling his aunt either, but Tony let him go alone on missions to other countries and volunteer at the local hospital. The uncertainty kept Bruce on edge he could feel the Hulk under his skin more than usual. He had to get some answers before the Hulk challenged Tony.

Bruce decided to ask Tony one day when they were in his workshop. Tony tested a new canon feature while Bruce flipped through some schematics to prepare all his suits for space travel and undersea pressure. He looked at Tony out the corner of his eye, watching the way Tony shot different targets in nothing more, but his black tank top and fitted pants.

He didn’t realize he was staring until Tony turned to him and posed with the arm canon. “Hot right?”

Bruce blinked out his daze and nodded. “Yeah.”

Tony frowned as he took off the canon and walked over to him. “Okay, what’s up? I can tell something is on your mind because you haven’t stopped looking at this blueprint and your smell has changed again.”

“You can smell that?”

Tony nodded and took a seat in the stool next to Bruce. “We’ve been sleeping together for about six months now, I think so. What’s up?”

Bruce stopped messing the blueprint and took off his glasses to clean them. “I have a few questions to ask you.”

“I have a feeling it’s not going to be about how I look so good everyday.”

“Sorry, I’ll have to figure out that mystery later.”

Tony chuckled and reached down to grab his hand. “The investigation is always open.” He winked.

Bruce grinned as he placed his glasses back on. “I’ll keep that in mind, but the thing I wanted to ask is how come you haven’t tried to mark me or something. I thought that was something Alphas did.”

“Yeah back in the stoneage I’m sure some still do that, but I don’t. I’ll only mark my mate and we have to agree about it. Why? Do you want to be my mate?”

Bruce tensed at the words and tore his hand away from Tony to run through his hair. “I don’t…I mean…I…um…”

“Bruce, calm down, we don’t have to I was only throwing out suggestions. I’m not going to throw you against the table and mark you don’t worry. I’ll only throw you against the table if you want me to.” Tony smiled and placed his hands on Bruce’s shoulders to turn him towards him. He nuzzled Bruce’s cheek with a soft growl. “It’s fine, calm down.”

Bruce calmed down while the Hulk growled in approval before sitting back in Bruce’s mind. He thought that only worked during his heat he didn’t know it would work outside of it.

“I know mating is big like trying a new program, but why did you get so scared?”

“I haven’t had good experience with that. My father…” Bruce bit his lip and balled his fists as different memories started to come to mind. Tony nuzzled his cheek and growled softly again. Bruce took a breath and wiped his sweaty hands on his jeans. “My father wasn’t the best example. My mother couldn’t do anything without his permission. There were consequences when she did so. I hated the way she would go back to him during her heat as if nothing happened. My aunt and uncle were nice, but I faced the same problem with them.”

“What happened?”

“My uncle needed to do something, but he had to ask my aunt and it seemed too constricting.”

“Hmm, some Omegas are like that. When they have a mate they ask them everything to make sure that they’re doing something right. Did your aunt restrict your uncle in any way?”

Bruce sat back and shook his head slowly at different memories that came to mind. “Not really. He could work and see his friends.”

“You probably saw something that they talked about before. Your father sounds too familiar.” Tony glared at the wall. “Your aunt sounds like she cared for your uncle and stopped him from doing something that could hurt him. I know many Alphas like to assert their dominance in every way, shape, and form, but I’m not like that. Hell, Steve is Captain America and he wouldn’t hurt a fly. You’ve seen Natasha, but I think she would be commanding if she was an Omega or Beta anyway.”

Bruce nodded with a small smile. “Yeah I think so too.”

Tony grinned and squeezed his shoulders. “See, don’t worry I’m not going to mate until we agree to do that.”

“You want my opinion before we do anything. You know I can’t get pregnant right, I wouldn’t be able to do my duty.” Bruce spat out as if it left a foul taste in his mouth.

“If that was the case then my duty would be to find a nice, obedient Omega to mate with. Don’t forget being an ass to Omegas and ignoring that Betas even exist. I should probably pound my chest and howl at the moon too.”

“You are lacking I see.”

“Alas I’m not perfect I know it breaks your heart.”

Bruce relaxed and reached up to rest his hand over Tony’s. “Do you mean that?”

Tony pressed a soft kiss against his lips. “Yes, I do.”

Bruce gripped Tony’s shirt and pulled him closer. Tony deepened the kiss as he wrapped his arms around Bruce’s waist.

“Bedroom?” Tony breathed against Bruce’s lips.

“Bedroom.” Bruce whispered back. They got off their stools and walked over to the elevators where they kissed and rubbed against each other along the way. They pulled at their shirts on the way to the bed before they toppled on it. Tony moved his hands everywhere while Bruce slid his hands down his back. Bruce kissed up to Tony’s ear. “I want to try something different.”

“What’s that?” Tony shivered when Bruce kissed his lobe.

“I want to take your knot Tony.” Bruce panted as he kissed along his jaw. He stopped when Tony stopped moving and turned his head to look in his eyes. “Are you sure?”

“Yes, Tony, I want your knot.” Bruce growled as he rubbed Tony’s cock through his pants.

Tony moaned and pulled Bruce into a heated kiss. Bruce slid his fingers through Tony’s hair with a soft groan.

Things would be different after tonight, but he didn’t know that more changes were coming his way.

 *~*~*

Tony was walking on cloud nine. After the night Bruce took his knot, his relationship with Bruce changed. Bruce wasn’t as closed off to him anymore. He didn’t spend most of his days or nights away from the team. He tried to go to social events, not many, but it was more than a few months ago. Tony learned something new about Bruce every day and things were pretty good.

However, one day after they returned from a battle that changed. Bruce refused to let anyone in his room, including Tony. Tony wanted to check up on him because jolly green didn’t make an appearance. Bruce ended up slammed against the wall and didn’t move much for the rest of the battle.

Tony wanted to make sure he was okay. He hated to use his Alpha behavior, but he wasn’t getting in the room any other way.

“Bruce?” Tony asked at the curled up figure on the bed.

“Go away.” Bruce mumbled.

“What? If this is about the battle then I--”

“It’s not that just leave me alone.”

Tony growled deep in his throat as Bruce tensed up further.

“So you’re going to make me tell you.”

“I have to make sure you’re okay.”

Bruce sat up as different emotions flashed through his eyes. “I figured out what happened and why I couldn’t Hulk out.”

“Why?”

Bruce sighed and pressed a hand to his stomach. “I’m pregnant Tony.”

Tony felt like a fish out of water with the way he opened and closed his mouth in search of the right words. “P-Pregnant? But the accident?”

“I know it shouldn’t have happen, but now I’m pregnant. Hulk knew he said he didn’t want to hurt Metal Man’s baby so I couldn’t do a thing. I don’t know what happened, but I’m pregnant.” Bruce kept the hand on his stomach and looked away from Tony’s eyes.

Tony didn’t know what to do. He didn’t have any plans to help him with an upcoming baby. Was he even ready to be a father? What would Bruce do? Would he leave? Would he think that Tony did this to him to make him stay? Tony shook his head at the barrage of thoughts. He walked over to Bruce and took a seat on the bed. Bruce moved away from him and crossed his arms over his stomach.

“Wow, I just man I didn’t know and wow.” Tony babbled as he stared at the wall.

“Yeah.” Bruce mumbled.

The clock ticked away slowly in the room as Tony looked around the room and Bruce didn’t move from the spot. Tony picked at his pants, his foot bouncing to an invisible beat. Bruce coughed in his hand before he settled back against the bed. Tony didn’t have any jokes, quips, or statements for the situation. He reached out and touched Bruce’s arm. Bruce didn’t pull away he turned to him and linked their fingers together.

“What are we going to do?”

“I don’t know. I haven’t thought that far yet.”

“You don’t have ten plans already, surprising.”

“Not as much as you making a joke.”

Bruce smiled and rubbed his thumb over his hand. “Do you want to keep it?”

Tony nodded. “…I do. Do you?”

“Do <i>you</i>?”

“They’re going to be in your body. Do <i>you</i> want to keep them?”

Tony rubbed the back of his neck at the silence that followed his question. He wouldn’t push Bruce, but the silence made him shift on the bed. He looked over to see if Bruce dozed off when he received his answer.

“…I do.”

Tony kissed the back of Bruce’s hand.

They would figure something out somehow.

*~*~*

Bruce lifted shirt and looked at the swell of his stomach in the mirror. It was slight, but still there. He lowered his shirt and walked out of the bedroom. Three months since he told Tony that he was pregnant. Three months since he was put on leave and banned from battles. He couldn’t travel because the threat of enemies using him as a bargaining chip was too high. Chemicals from the lab were out of the question as well since he didn’t know if it would mess with the baby.

Bruce couldn’t walk around outside until S.H.E.I.L.D. made sure that the area was secure. He touched the window and glared at the guards outside. He felt like a prisoner. Everyone in the Tower tried to make Bruce feel better and get S.H.E.I.L.D. to lower their precautions. Coulson said his baby was too big of a risk to take at the moment. They had to be sure that no enemy knew or it would spell disaster for the team.

Bruce once again felt like a burden. His pregnancy continued to baffle him. It caused him to go through the accident in his mind continuously and he came to the same conclusion. He shouldn’t have gotten pregnant, but how did it happen?

Bruce looked away from the window and walked over to the living room. At least he could catch up on t.v. He plopped down in front of the screen and grabbed the remote. He could see some logic behind the precautions. He didn’t want to know what Ross would do if he found out. Bruce felt a pang at the thought of Betty. They couldn’t pick up where they left off, but he hoped she was safe.

He wrapped an arm around his stomach at the thought of Ross. He took a few deep breaths to calm his nerves before he started to pace the room.

“How are you feeling?”

Bruce turned to Steve who waved with a smile and sat down next to him. He shrugged. “I’m alright. I don’t feel too bad just a bit stir crazy.”

“I’m talking with Coulson, but Fury isn’t budging. I think we’re going to have to use a different tactic in getting you some fresh air.” Steve said.

“I don’t know if you can, but I wish you luck.”

Steve grinned. He sniffed the air around Bruce. “You smell different like it’s two scents around you, instead of one.”

“Tony said the same thing. He said it smells like both of us together.”

Steve nodded. “It does.”

Bruce sat back and placed his hand on his stomach. He noticed he started doing that a lot more lately. “I wish they would let me see if the radiation is affecting them. I don’t want nothing to happen.”

“We can schedule another appointment.”

“It’s not that, it’s everything. I’m causing trouble for the team again and it’s only a matter of time before Ross comes and ruins everything. When I found out I couldn’t get pregnant I felt it was one thing that an Alpha couldn’t use against me. Not that Tony would, but it was my little spot of peace. I would have my heat, but no enemy could try and use me to breed their minions. Now I don’t know, part of me wants to leave, but I can’t until after the baby is born. Then I don’t want to leave because I don’t want the baby to grow up thinking that I just left them. I can’t figure out an answer because I can’t go to my lab and get the equipment needed to do so. The regular appointments don’t have what I need and it’s frustrating.” Bruce breathed out as he stared at the ceiling. He turned to silence by his side.

“Sorry about ranting like that I just…”

“No it’s alright. This must be frustrating, but you have a second chance at something that was taken away from you. I wished I had that chance.” Steve said softly.

“You had a mate?” Bruce asked.

Steve nodded. “I did, well, we were going to mate after the war. See, before I got this body I wasn’t the shining example of an Alpha. I was sick, weak, thin, and scrawny. I couldn’t go very far without my lungs burning and anything new that was around I caught within a few days. No one wanted me, I got beat up by Alphas, Omegas, and Betas it didn’t matter who they were. They found an Alpha they could challenge and they didn’t pass up the opportunity. Someone helped me through it all that was Bucky. Bucky was an Omega, but he acted like an Alpha.”

“I always tried to give as good, as I got, but Bucky helped keep the aggressive ones away. It bothered me, but Bucky assured me that there was nothing wrong. He helped me when I was ready to give up. Then when I got the chance to get the Alpha body I always wanted I took it. I finally had the height, the muscle, and the lungs to be a true Alpha. One that Bucky could be proud of.”

Steve clenched his fist and rested his hand on his pants. “Bucky looked at my body and told me that I was the same Steve I just had the body I wanted. We worked on many missions together and addressed the feelings that we had since we were old enough to like someone. We made a promise to settle down and mate after the war. I was so excited the war was ending and we could make a new life like everyone else. But I never got that chance. I lost Bucky in our last mission before I was frozen.”

“There are times when I wonder if I had done things differently would he had made it? Would we be able to have the life we wanted? I try not to think too hard or I won’t be able to think about anything else. I guess what I’m saying is, if I had a second chance to be with Bucky I would take it. You have a second chance at something that you thought was gone forever. Don’t pass up on it Bruce.” Steve said as he looked out the window.

Bruce opened his mouth, but didn’t know what to say. His mind couldn’t think of the words that he wanted to say. He touched his stomach again as Steve’s story sunk in. He always wanted to settle down eventually with someone and have the family he dreamed about when he was a kid. He finally had the chance to make that happen.

“Thank you for telling me your story. I know what I’m going to do.” Bruce got up from the couch.

“I hope you’ll be happy with your decision.” Steve smiled.

“I think I will.” Bruce gave a small smile back. He walked over to the elevator and took it down to the garage. Tony was working on one of his Jaguars with Dum-E. Dum-E noticed Bruce and started wave it’s arm wildly.

“Hey I told you not to do that when I’m working. You can put someone’s eye out like that and what got you so excited.” Tony turned and waved at Bruce. “I can see why you got excited, but don’t do that again.”

“Dum-E is a good helper. I wondered if I could talk to you or were you still busy working.”

“I always have time for you.” Tony took off his gloves and gestured to his break area. Bruce nodded as he followed him over there.

“What do you want to talk about?” Tony leaned against the desk.

“The baby, we haven’t prepared the nursery or anything.” Bruce said.

Tony’s eyes widened he pushed off the desk and moved over to Bruce. “Are you saying that you haven’t changed your mind?”

“That’s what I’m saying. I may not have planned it, but that’s nothing new about my life. I’m not having the baby with some unknown Alpha I’m having one with you and that makes things easier. I’m not going to run away I want to see this through with you. That is, if you want to.” Bruce bit the inside of his cheek as he looked up at Tony.

“I do.” Tony pressed a soft kiss against Bruce’s lips. Bruce closed his eyes and cupped Tony’s cheek. He didn’t know what was going to happen, but at least he wasn’t alone.

*~*~*

Once Tony wrapped his mind around being a father, he started to do some changes. They weren’t too sudden, but he figured he had to plan the nursery sooner rather than later. He booked every spa to let Bruce in whenever he had back pain or wanted to relax. It didn’t take long for the media to speculate about his behavior or for the shareholders to start balking at the idea of Tony’s child.

Tony put many of the rumors to rest while Pepper helped him deal with the shareholders. He didn’t care if Bruce didn’t wear the proper accessories of a mate, Tony knew they were together and that’s what mattered. Rhodey promised to look into military matters with Steve. Tony didn’t want Bruce to be on an examining table in some unmarked government location.

Tony wondered what he did to get Bruce pregnant and his findings turned up nothing. They checked the equation for the pills, but it didn’t show anything on changing the balance of the body besides the hormones that triggered the heat cycle. He thought Bruce made a serum for it, but those were vaccines for places where vaccinations weren’t easy to come by.

Tony didn’t believe in miracles, neither did Bruce so that answer was out. They continued to look for an answer when they weren’t decorating the nursery or out buying things for the baby. Tony didn’t expect the answer to come from Thor.

Thor arrived to the Tower one day with Loki in tow. Bruce and Tony didn’t look up from their argument over which era had the worst sci-fi movies until Thor cleared his throat.

“Who is that? Oh hey lightening bug, hello Diva, anyway I think the 50s rule that genre.” Tony said. He turned back to Thor and frowned at Loki. “What <i>he’s</i> doing here?”

Bruce cursed under his breath and reached for the bands that would emulate the Hulk’s strength. It wasn’t the same, but it was the best he could do at six months.

Thor raised his hand. “Please lower your weapons I’ve come here to help my brother explain himself.”

“What do you mean?” Tony narrowed his eyes as Bruce watched on and tried to keep his breathing even.

“I do not wish to harm you. My brother here has told me that I need to explain my actions when I see no such need.” Loki said.

“Your magic gave them something they were not expecting.” Thor said.

“They do not look angry with the result.” Loki said.

“Okay before this evolves into some Shakespearian play tell me what’s going on.” Tony crossed his arms over his chest.

“Tell them.” Thor nudged Loki’s shoulder.

Loki rolled his eyes. “Fine, but I only granted what Banner desired. An Omega that cannot bear a child is like a scholar without his books. On the day we battled I looked into your minds on my way back home. Banner wished to have a child and I grant that wish.”

“You were not to use magic of any kind brother!” Thor bellowed.

“I believe they heard you in the other realm. I was expected to use my magic for good and that is what I did. I am disappointed in the results. I thought Stark would react much differently, but things are different among mates. Now you know what happened, you may praise me in the way you wish.” Loki said.

“Wait, you mean <i>this</i> happened because of <i>your</i> magic?” Bruce said slowly as he touched his stomach.

“Yes, problem?” Loki smirked.

Bruce walked over to Loki and hugged him. “Thank you for your help. Now we can focus on something else Tony.”

“We can, thanks Loki you’re not that bad.” Tony clapped his back. They laughed at the bewildered look on Loki’s face.

“This can’t be, I thought this would cause you discomfort.” Loki said.

“It did, until we talked it over, now the idea isn’t bothering us as much anymore.” Tony said.

“We have more things to work out that we’ll do along the way.” Bruce said.

“You midgardians are quite strange.” Loki said as Thor chuckled.

“I’m glad that you have made peace with the problems ailing you. Now you can celebrate the upcoming birth of your child! It will be a glorious event!” Thor smiled.

“I am sure, but may I go now? This is starting to bore me.” Loki drawled in a bored tone.

“Before you go Loki I have one last thing to say. Read my mind again and you’ll be seeing your favorite person, got it?” Bruce smirked as his eyes flashed green. It amused Tony to see Loki’s calm composure slip at the mention of the Hulk.

Loki regained his composure and the indifferent look on his face. “Noted, may I go home now?”

“I’ll take you back to your cell. When I come back let us celebrate! I will bring lady Jane and Darcy to join in our celebration.” Thor said.

“Looking forward to it lightening bug.” Tony said as he wrapped an arm around Bruce’s waist.

Thor grinned. The expression fell when he turned to Loki and escorted him out the room.

Bruce shook his head as he leaned against Tony. “I would say I can’t believe it, but that seems far fetched now.”

“Yeah it does. I guess we can throw out our equations now I really enjoyed them too.” Tony pouted.

Bruce chuckled. “We can always do more equations though there is something pressing at hand.”

“What’s that?” Tony asked.

“The 40s had the worst sci-fi movies not the 50s.”

Tony smiled. “We’ll have to test that theory then doctor.”

“Yes we do.” Bruce said as they walked over to the couch to start their marathon.

The one possibility that Tony overlooked was the answer. He had to check his work again next time.

*~*~*

The last three months passed by slowly for Bruce. He hated his hiatus from the team, but it wouldn’t be long. Bruce spent time with Darcy, Coulson’s new assistant, and Jane when the team went off on a mission. Tony wanted to be around to make sure that Bruce had everything he needed. Bruce wasn’t used to the attention and tried to get Tony to give him some time alone.

He appreciated that Tony cared about him, but he didn’t need to be smothered when the world needed them. Bruce was pregnant not fragile. It was hard to tell Tony that.

“You’re going to be giving birth any day now I should be here.” Tony said.

Bruce shook his head. “It probably won’t happen until you get back. Go on the mission and come back, I’ll be fine.”

“The team can handle Magneto without me. It’s my kid and I want to be here to see them.”

“I’m going to be in S.H.E.I.L.D. for the rest of the day I’m not going anywhere. Go take care of things and come back.”

Tony growled low as Bruce narrowed his eyes. He hated that growl it turned him on and made him annoyed with Tony at the same time. Tony nuzzled his nose against Bruce’s cheek with another low growl. “I’ll be back as soon as I can.”

“Alright.” Bruce nuzzled back with a soft growl.

Tony left to suit up with the rest of their team. Steve and Clint waved while Natasha nodded with a small grin that anyone else would miss. Bruce nodded to the team and watched them go off. He didn’t think he’d miss going off and fighting. He didn’t miss Hulking out, but he did miss being able to go into the lab and work on a few projects.

Bruce walked over to the bookcase and grabbed a book. He felt tingles in his lower back, but knew that was going to happen. He continued to go throughout the day as the tingles in his back increased.

“Are you okay?” Darcy asked when Bruce grimaced.

“I’m fine just a bit of pain that’s all.” Bruce said. He groaned and gripped the table when another wave of pain hit.

“I don’t think so. I’m going to get Jane.”

“Wait don’t--” Bruce started, but Darcy was out the door. He got up to get her when the tingles in his back continued.

Bruce groaned as he waited for Jane and Darcy. He knew he wouldn’t hear the end of it from Tony.

*~*~*

Tony jogged down the hall of the S.H.E.I.L.D’s medical wing to Bruce’s room. He thought that battle wouldn’t take as long as it did that changed when Scarlet Witch showed up. It took them longer than he thought. Tony ignored the warnings as he sniffed the air for Bruce. He swallowed the lump in his throat when he couldn’t find him.

“Where is he?” Tony frowned.

“Tony he’s over here.” Natasha pointed to a hallway on her right. Tony turned around and jogged down that area.

“Calm down man, he’s going to be okay.” Clint followed behind him with Steve and Natasha.

“I have to see for sure. Why can’t I smell him?” Tony frowned as he sniffed the air.

“Because you’re not concentrating hard enough, he’s two doors down.” Steve turned Tony around. Tony walked two doors down and sniffed around the door. Relief filled him when he caught Bruce’s scent along with one that smelled like a combination of their scents. He pushed the bundle of nerves that appeared when he rested his hand on the handle. He opened the door to Jane, Darcy, Bruce and a bassinet by their bed.

Tony greeted Jane and Darcy on his way over to Bruce.

“How did it go?” Steve asked.

“Everything went well. We got worried when he turned green for a bit, but it went away once the doctors delivered the baby.” Jane said.

“She’s beautiful.” Darcy smiled.

“She?” Steve and Clint said.

“Yes, she.” Bruce whispered.

Tony peaked inside the basket at the bundle wrapped up in yellow and pink blankets. He saw Bruce’s eyes when she opened them and wisps of brown hair. He reached out and rubbed her hand. “She’s so tiny.”

“She didn’t feel that way coming out.” Bruce said.

A few laughs passed around the room dissolving the earlier tension. Tony picked up his daughter and hoped he held her correctly. She fussed a bit in his arms, but calmed down when Tony nuzzled her with a soft rumble coming from his chest. He found a spot next to Bruce on his hospital bed and took a seat with their daughter close by.

“You pick a name yet?” Tony asked.

“Not yet, but I have an idea for one.”

“What is it?”

“I was thinking we put our mom’s names together. We name her Maria Rebecca or Rebecca Maria which one do you like?”

“Rebecca Maria.”

“Are you sure?”

Tony pressed a kissed to the corner of his mouth. “I am.”

Bruce smiled. “Me too.”

There were things they didn’t address such as their examples in parenting skills from their fathers, the shareholders of the company, and Ross. Bruce placed his hand over Tony’s he squeezed his hand when Tony linked their fingers together. Rebecca slept soundly between them.  

There would be time to handle that later.