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Five Dates Tony Should Have Known Were Going to End Badly

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1. They had only known each other for a couple of hours, but Nick Halden was charming, witty, and could actually keep up with Tony. They liked the same art, the same jokes, the same liquor, and the same beaches. Tony was delighted when the man agreed to come home with him.

In the morning, Pepper realized that one of the Matisses had been replaced with a forgery. At Tony's annoyed face, Pepper just said, "Nick is too much like you. That should have been your first warning."


2. Tony met John Casey at Rhodey's birthday party. Casey just kind of sneered when he met Tony, and Tony was impressed by how unimpressed he was. He was also impressed that Casey seemed to think that everyone in Congress was an idiot.

Tony knew that Casey was exactly the kind of guy who would judge Tony for refusing to make weapons. But he figured that their first date would end in incredibly hot angry hate sex.

Instead, it ended with Casey getting a phone call and having to leave. But not before grumbling, when Tony talked about the beauty of artificial intelligence, "I have too many nerds in my life."


3. Nathan Stark was brilliant, good-looking, and, best of all, a scientist.

When they kissed at the restaurant, half the customers dropped their forks or drinks.

"What is everyone staring at?" Tony asked.

Nathan sighed. "They think we're related. Remember Fargo? He started an Internet meme about how we're so similar we must be brothers. Same last name, same big ego, blah blah blah."

"But we're not brothers," Tony said.

"Yes, it's astounding that something people learned from an Internet meme isn't true."

Tony frowned. "Don't snark. That's my job."


4. "How did you do that?" Tony asked. The man had just met Tony but had already guessed that he was suffering from PTSD since New York, that he idealized his mother, that he had a frozen burrito for breakfast, and that his arm was hurting from a non-Iron-Man-related incident.

Sherlock answered, with some degree of condescension, "I observed."

Tony paused, then said, "You should come back to my place."

"And what would be the point of that?"

"I have 134 sex toys, 57 of which I invented myself and you will not find anywhere else on earth," Tony said.

He could see Sherlock's face lose just a modicum of his control.

"Well, I try to be well informed on all areas of knowledge, and it wouldn't do to lack 57 pieces of information that might be crucial some day."

When they were done, they lay back in Tony's bed, panting.

"So do you always imagine your teammates having an orgy during sex?" Sherlock asked.

"How did you -- you know what, I'm not talking to you. I'm going to invent a special muzzle that filters out things that nobody should have to hear."

"Yes, of course, that makes you feel safe. To believe you can invent your way out of any problem. Even though, quite often, your inventions are a source of your problems. This conflict is probably why you've had trouble with the latest updates to your suit."


"I noticed the blueprints on the bedtable, which means you were looking at them late at night but not with the expectation that your thoughts would lead you to need to use your lab. There were crossed out marks everywhere, which is not the case for the blueprints of successful projects that you've donated to museums."

Tony sighed. "What the hell is wrong with you?"

"Why would something be wrong with me?"

"You know what? This is why I don't like people who are smarter than me. They're always dicks."

Sherlock hesitated, then said, "Back at you."


5. Tony really, really thought that Bruce would enjoy a surprise party....