Long Ass Note
I like Iron Man. I also like Batman. I really, really like slash. A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN, Y/Y?
I honestly don't have any idea how this happened. I wanted to write a little something (preferably pornographic) about these two, to, you know, get them out of my system. I ended up with a bunch of ridiculous and absolutely no porn. I am disappoint. Anyhoo, some Bruce Wayne/Tony Stark, because there should be more of it I think and I totally owed my BFFFE a birthday gift which properly conveys my everlasting (and somewhat homoerotic in its intensity) love for her. Sad fact? I will never be as important as OMG TONY or OMG BRUCE to her, which I have learned to make peace with on most days (and on others, there's still the voodoo doll I keep in a shoebox so I can pretend to needle her literally).
Note the first: This is pretty much film canon for the most part, other than all the lovely superhero mentions/add-ons and Tony's height because I love you to pieces Robert Downey junior, but my Tony Stark is pretty tall. Also, I don't have encyclopaedic knowledge of both Batman and Iron Man comics—more like an eleventh grade cheat-sheet. My wealth isn't in proportion to my love, thus this sad lack of nerd-facts.
Speaking of love and wealth: This is a disclaimer. It disclaims. Carry on.
Note the second: Andrej Pejic doesn't belong in Marvel or DC, but he was perfect for what I wanted so I borrowed him. Obviously in this fic he's as divorced from reality as flying in a metal suit, but poetic licence. Let's pretend it's not him, just some made up person with the exact same name and looks and profession. Because that is how I roll.
Now, without further ado, I give you:
THE BILLIONAIRE BOYS CLUB
The first time he sees Gotham relatively sober he vows never to try that again. He is young enough to find it vaguely amusing in the way seeing a large predator rend some fluffy creature to pieces can be amusing the first time. Every time after the first is just cruel and so, so sad.
Then he realises he can't possibly wear his designer shades in that kind of gloom and is no longer amused. Gotham, Tony decides, is other people's problem. No matter how many up-and-coming new talents, possible ventures, bla, bla, bla, you can find there—there are such things as personal ethics.
Let's face it, he's already so ridiculously rich that another few million here and there just aren't worth the aggravation.
"Fuck this," he says decisively, "back to civilisation, please."
Years and several experiences later, he is still unimpressed.
It isn't his turf and if he has his way—and he would— it never would be. Did a drearier place even exist anywhere on the face of this planet? No, they could keep Gotham with its dark, cold, and dreary forevermore.
Any place without at least a dozen days of sunshine a year is unnatural and unconstitutional as far as he's concerned.
For once he is on the right side of midnight but that doesn't mean he can't enjoy it just the same. If Pepper's expression is anything to go by he's doing a fabulous job of it so far. The last time she'd looked that constipated he'd demolished part of his house after putting a sizable dent in his collection of fine cognacs. He smiles at the memory. Good times.
He isn't sure what it is they are celebrating—some technological discovery or other, it wasn't his so he doesn't feel the need to keep track. It had been short notice and so they'd merely invaded the nearest overpriced restaurant where it had taken Tony all of five minutes to order up a dozen or so models—and he kept telling Pepper they weren't strippers, what did she take him for, a common lecher—as to not expire of boredom. It maybe wasn't his turf but that didn't mean he had to go native. There were limits to what one could be reasonably expected to endure and Tony wasn't really interested in finding out what they were, exactly. There is nothing more boring than a party made up of suits, except, maybe, a party made up of nerds in suits.
"Sir, I must insist—" Unfortunately it isn't only Pepper's disapproval he has to deal with, that walking moustache looks close to bursting a vessel. It couldn't be helped. They don't really know him here, but he's the fucking Iron Man and that should cross the Ts and dot the Is.
Tony waves him away. "Must, nothing. It's a party and parties aren't supposed to put me to sleep."
One of the models is climbing up on the table, and oh, hello! That certainly explains the lack of pantylines.
"But sir, this is a respectable establishment, we, we can't have ladies taking their clothes off!"
"Mmmhm." It's a most wonderful development. "Miss Potts, my chequebook, please." He says this to be dramatic because the whole sign-with-a-flourish makes a statement that 'put it on my card' just doesn't.
"Yep, that's the name on it," he says absently. He is far too busy thinking of where exactly to stick a twenty considering the pantyline revelation.
Pepper doesn't so much hand him his chequebook as whoops him over the head with it.
"Thank you Miss Potts. Now," he says turning to Mr. Moustache and plucking a pen out of the man's breast pocket. "Let's pretend I care and tell me that this place isn't for sale. Come on, I want to hear you lie to my face." And get back to the important things, but that much is obvious. He'd already written down something preposterous and signed it while Moustache was spluttering something about not being authorised, yadda, yadda. He tears the cheque out and sticks it in the man's breast pocket along with the borrowed pen.
He then turns to the people staring at him with his arms spread wide and smiles winningly. "Now! Let's get some proper music in here!"
Gotham doesn't know Tony Stark, but he would introduce himself with his own personal brand of charm. It takes him all of three seconds to hack the restaurant's system and upload his own playlist. The girls really do a lot better when they have a beat to grind to and Pepper looks two seconds away from Armageddon so it is a win all around. He is having a wonderful, if overcast, day.
"Tony, come dance with us!"
A wonderful day that is only getting better and better.
It is now officially a party. The beat is thumping, the liquor flowing and the girls are either topless or close to it. The younger generation of customers has seen fit to join them and any stick in the mud had long retreated to quieter pastures.
"Mr. Stark, there's a couple of gentlemen who'd like to speak to you," his assistant warns him.
Uh-oh, a group that official-looking never predicted anything good and Sonja—Sandra? Selma? Sarah?—was this close to achieving an Olympic-grade spread eagle. Tony leans back in his chair and signals Pepper to deal with it. Sonja obviously needs all the coaching she can get.
While Pepper deals with the grumpy delegation he focuses his attention where it is needed. Now if only he could decide which perfectly shaped body part, exactly, warrants it most. The legs are triple A, but then so is the rest of her. He loves natural blondes.
Someone clears their throat right next to his ear.
"You really should get that looked at Miss Potts."
"Mr. Stark, there is a little problem with your acquisition of this particular establishment," Pepper says smugly. Smugly? She is smug? That can't be good.
"Whatever, raise the offer."
No, no no, smug is not nearly close enough. She looks utterly satisfied.
"The amount is not the issue, I believe."
He turns to give her a look. "Then what is?"
Pepper clears her throat again and points. "Apparently you're not the only billionaire playboy who solves all his problems by throwing money at them."
His head whips around to where she's been pointing. Sure enough, right there on the terrace is a man sitting at a table, laughing while he watches two girls swing from the light fixtures. He's a suit, but he's a suit in the way Tony himself is a suit—tailored, overpriced and suave.
"Mr. Wayne and the ladies of the Monaco circus had similar ideas about the restaurant's rules and regulations. He beat you to it."
"Oh. Ooh, isn't that something," he says to himself, watching the man and his companions. "Mr. Wayne, tsk, tsk. This isn't a boy's game." Pepper looks as if she'd love nothing more than to disagree with him on that and he's not in the mood to let her. "Miss Potts, would you be so kind as to enquire if Mr. Wayne would care to join us?"
"You can't be serious," she hisses.
He wags his finger at her, tutting. "Don't be insulting. I'm never serious, but this means war."
"Tony, a representative of the Wayne Foundation is expected at a charity event sponsored by Stark Industries this Saturday and it's imperative that you not insult—"
"Mmmhm. Now, Miss Potts."
She sighs and schools her features into something more neutral. He blows her a kiss as she turns to do as he's asked. He's won. He always does.
All that is left is for Mr. Bruce Wayne to be made aware of that.
That plan is reshaping itself very rapidly in his head because, hello, there's Pepper leading a slightly confused looking young man and the man is more than fine. Bruce Wayne is serious eye-candy from the tips of his Italian shoes to the shine of his perfectly coiffed dark locks.
Of course money buys everything, even looks, but the man is built in the way that hints at actual strength and not a shiny gym membership. It doesn't take much to imagine kneading those shoulders.
Here is something more. Something interesting.
"Mr. Stark," Wayne says, looking a little puzzled.
Tony grins charmingly, reaching out to shake the hesitant hand. "Mr. Bruce Wayne, a pleasure."
"To what do I owe the honour?" Wayne speaks but his eyes aren't on Tony, he is taking in the chaos around them. He doesn't look angry, which is a plus. That means he's still in business.
"Ah, I thought it would only be polite to apologise for this little"—he gestures at the mass of people still partying—" invasion. From what I hear this is your playground."
Bruce Wayne's smile could power a small country and while he'd known about Wayne in a kind of arbitrary 'yeah he's in my league but not in my league' kind of way he'd not known that yes, yes he is very much in his league. How, why, why had he not known this? Damn Pepper she'd probably set him up.
"Don't mention it. Please, make yourself right at home." Bruce pins him with a look from those golden-green eyes. "But then, I see you already have."
"I am made up entirely of spur of the moments," Tony admits. Pepper seems very eager to expand on that but chooses to restrain herself. Wayne sees it anyway.
"Better to ask forgiveness?"
"That sounds about right. Miss Potts, make sure I own a t-shirt that reads that," he says very seriously. "In red and gold."
She rolls her eyes but takes out her PDA. "Right away, Mr. Stark."
Tony makes a grand bow—if he does say so himself—and offers Wayne a hand, again. "So am I forgiven, Mr. Wayne?"
"Bruce, please, and thoroughly forgiven. I haven't seen the staff here this flustered in a long time."
"Oh thank god, the Mr. Starks are coming out of my ears."
That actually makes Bruce laugh—yet another one of those things he really should have been warned about in advance, damn it Pepper.
"I can imagine. I admit I hardly expected to find the great Iron Man himself here in Gotham."
Tony shrugs, snagging two glasses from a table, and signals a waiter who actually runs for it. Huh, so Tony Stark is negligible but Wayne gets them going. Figures. "Spur of the moment. I'm a runaway, actually. Something about some meeting back home—too long, didn't read. Gotham seemed a safe distance away."
They are about to have a moment, Tony is sure of it, which is probably why the circus ladies arrive just in time to prevent it. They press up against Bruce like strips of velcro, evil slutty velcro.
"Come on, Bruce, you promised to show us the city from up high, yes?" one of them whines.
"Yes, Bruce, you promised," the other says. She tugs on his nose and Tony wants to strangle her right then and there. Bitch.
"It's only fair. A show for a show."
Bruce smiles apologetically at Tony and wraps his arms around the two of them. "I did promise," he admits.
"Yes," the girls chorus and start tugging him away.
"My apologies, Tony. I seem to be kidnapped," Bruce says laughingly.
"I apologise too, but I don't think this is really a job for Iron Man," Tony says, managing to keep the childish petulance out of his voice by the skin of his teeth.
Bruce laughs again and winks at him. "There's still the Batman if the need arises," he says lightly, and then he's gone.
Tony pouts for real. His day is no longer wonderful.
"I want to go home."
He's stewing in the car and Pepper is really not helping with her amusement and the fucking smugness.
"I'm sorry the billionaire boys club hasn't worked out for you," Pepper says. "But I thought he wasn't in your league?"
"That's mean. You're supposed to be on my side," he whines. "What happened to being on my side?"
He heads for the swankiest hotel in Gotham having no doubt it is there Pepper has made reservations. He doesn't own property in Gotham. Why doesn't he own property in Gotham? A city this ridiculous, he'd need a base of operations—the Batman.
Right. That was why.
Well, too bad.
"A building. Something tall, yet sturdy. All the usual infrastructure," he rattles off, confident she will catch on to his meaning. "Tinted windows, maybe."
"Residential or commercial?"
"Residential of course. I'm not going to board the man's ship without permission."
She grins, catlike. "And here I thought that was exactly what you were planning." Damn her, damn her, damn her.
Tony steps a little harder on the gas.
She pats him on the shoulder. "There, there. You might see him Saturday evening."
He points accusingly at her. "You didn't warn me. You traitor."
"Oh, I'm sorry. As I recall it was you who said that Wayne was an idealistic airhead débutante and to stop bothering you with banalities last time I brought him up. You're the reason Stark Industries hasn't even bothered working with Wayne Enterprises no matter how profitable it might be."
"You sound angry, are you angry?" He taps his fingers on the steering wheel impatiently. "He's beautiful."
"It's typical you'd fixate on that instead of all the potential this meeting could have had."
"Right, this has been fun but I can see the hotel and I'm getting tired of being patronised so let me put this out there. I would not and will not use Wayne Enterprises as a crutch to support my company because of a problem I personally created. I also am not and will not be kissing up to a rich boy for any other reason than his very impressive pectoral girth. And pretty hazel eyes. And dat ass." He sticks his tongue out at her just to emphasise. "So there."
She's quiet for a moment before a smile creeps onto her face. "Would you like that on a t-shirt as well, Mr. Stark?"
"That would be nice, Miss Potts. I could wear it to my charity event."
It is finally a cheerful and above all determined Tony Stark who falls into bed that night. Life, is full of surprises.
The event is extravagant, full of beautiful people and a total bore. The only conversation he can even remember having was about Batman. Had he seen him while in Gotham? No. No he hadn't, wasn't that a shame.
Christ, why did pretty girls sometimes have to be so fucking stupid. You give them Iron Man and they natter on about a huge bat.
Wayne never showed. Instead there had been a boring suit with, yes, moderate intellect, but no social graces.
He later learned there was an incident involving Bruce Wayne, a tiger, and the trapeze artists of the Monaco circus. Oh, and some bank robbery, but what ever.
They are back in Gotham and are being driven around town by a far too cheerful fat man. There is actually a good reason for it this time instead of a spur of the moment escape from Malibu. He is scheduled to appear in a meeting between Stark Industries and Wayne Enterprises to discuss a joint venture in the altruistic field of limb prosthetics. He's managed to drag his company out of the pits and into the limelight once again so he feels not the slightest twinge of unease about the idea. Of course it's not really about the project, although it really would be a sound venture and between the two of them they could do a lot of good for the world, yadda, yadda.
If it doesn't get him an in with Wayne Enterprises, and by extension Bruce Wayne's pants, he doesn't know what will.
Pepper is shuffling papers and playing with her PDA at the same time. She is prattling on about real estate and plumbing of all things. He isn't even pretending to listen but instead gazes out over the urban wasteland that is Gotham.
"Does this city come in a shade other than grey?" he wonders out loud.
"No sir," the driver answers lightly, chuckling. "Unless you count black, brown, or washed out vomit-yellow and dirty pea-green."
Tony purses his lips and thinks.
"Miss Potts, make a note. None of those colours anywhere near my building." He thinks some more and comes back on that demand. "Except black. I like black."
She frowns unhappily, annoyed at being interrupted when imparting what she must have thought to be vital information. "Do you have a particular colour in mind, Mr. Stark?"
"Gold," he answers immediately. "Steel and glass and gold. Maybe a little green."
She stops playing with her papers to look at him sideways. Gold is actually predictable. She must have been expecting him to say something outrageous. She doesn't realise his new obsession is just as outrageous.
When they arrive at the high rise Pepper has chosen to show him it is everything he doesn't want.
"It has a good view of Wayne Tower," Pepper comments in this offhand manner that is entirely rehearsed.
"Buy it, renovate it, decorate it."
He can tell that she's seeing all the probable headaches the project will cause her parading behind her retinas from the set of her mouth and that adorable twitch of her eyebrow. "Is that all?"
"Just keep in mind Miss Potts—black and gold."
"Yes, Mr. Stark."
He glances at his watch. "Aren't we running late?"
She nearly drops her PDA. "Come again?"
"Let's go, Miss Potts. We have orphans to save and widows to comfort."
Tony's speech is a riveting spiel about world peace and orphans in need of love, which has nothing to do with prosthetics but that's a detail and he can't be bothered. He smiles winningly and ends it with, "In conclusion—profit." and a little bow. Nobody claps, it's such a let down. Pepper is clenching and unclenching her fists but he'd obtained his goal just fine—Bruce had smiled. The Stark delegation will smooth out the edges when they present the offer in more detail because he pays them to be bothered, so it's a double win. He lets them get on with it and sits down to observe.
He's counting down the minutes and doing mindless calculations in his head to pass the time. There is no way an agreement won't be reached eventually. Probably not right away, but he is in. When the discussion has finally wound down and appointments for legal things he doesn't care about are being made he stares Wayne down, holding his gaze until everybody leaves and they are alone. Pepper lingers in the doorway for just a second but even she can see what's going on and with a little huff she leaves, muttering under her breath.
"You are ridiculously transparent," Bruce tells him.
Tony wiggles his eyebrows at him. "It saves time."
Bruce fails to suppress a smile and Tony wants to pat himself on the back. Score one for the direct approach—his charm really has no bounds. It's enough to make him want to break out in song.
"I like the lack of surprise and homophobia. I'm ever so happy to avoid those," Tony says teasingly.
"Lunch?" Bruce finally says, and he's fondly exasperated. Tony knows this because he's very familiar with the tone from his many years of being babysat by Pepper. It pretty much means 'I think you're an idiot, but you're a loveable idiot and I will let you have your way—just this once, mind'. They never realise it means they've given him carte blanche, and he's a greedy, greedy child.
"Sure, but let's make it in bed," he stipulates, standing up and extending his hand to Bruce.
"Did I say ridiculously transparent? I take it back—you have all the subtlety of a blunt weapon," Bruce mutters, but takes the hand and lets himself be pulled up.
"Pitfalls of being a shark, Bruce. I see, I want, I take."
Bruce chuckles in that same fondly exasperated way. "You are so full of shit, Stark."
"Hey, none of that now. I told you, call me Tony," he chides. "I plan for us to be intimately acquainted which makes last names a little redundant."
Bruce quirks a brow at him. "Do I get a say?"
Tony lifts their joined hands in answer. Unfortunately, Bruce pulls away the minute they see people. Balls. Bruce has lovely hands, big and strong and, actually, a little calloused. His mind fills in all the pleasurable little blanks.
They walk through Wayne Tower together and exactly one person isn't surprised—Pepper. She falls into step behind them and brings up her PDA, waiting for instructions.
"Miss Potts, clear my schedule for the rest of the day, and if at all possible, the rest of tomorrow. Exacerbating circumstances, etcetera," he tells her in the Professional Voice which has fooled many but he doubts fools her even a little bit. She goes along with it anyway, bless her.
"Of course, Mr. Stark, will there be anything else?"
He glances at Bruce who rolls his eyes at him but shakes his head and takes out his phone. Tony waves Pepper off and follows Bruce to the main entrance. They are met by an old gentleman Tony desperately wants to call Jeeves. He refrains out of self-preservation—while it hasn't been proven a lack of sex will kill him, he's not ready to put it to the test.
"Good afternoon, Mr. Wayne."
"Hello, Alfred. Keys please," Bruce says sweetly, holding out his hand.
Jeeves looks from Bruce to Tony, realisation lighting up his eyes. Tony actually feels like he's being judged, which is sad because he's Iron Man and Jeeves is looking at him like he's something someone scraped off the bottom of their shoe.
Bruce catches the keys deftly and nods respectfully at Jeeves. "I'll see you tomorrow, Alfred," he says and Tony almost but not quite sticks his tongue out at the old man, who glares at him even after he gets in the car. If Bruce sees them firing lasers at each other with their eyes, he doesn't mention it. It's probably for the best—Tony doesn't think he can refrain from calling the man Jeeves and Bruce obviously respects him.
The drive is mercifully short, so Tony doesn't paw at his new friend in a way that could get them killed in a car accident with their pants down. He's fairly sure his reputation could take it but he doesn't want to put Bruce through that until at least their second date. The penthouse is unsurprising—remember, billionaire boys club—being slammed up against a wall as soon as they're through the door, a little less unsurprising.
By now he's certain Pepper set him up again. Kisses like that should be infamous and he had, again, been ignorant of Bruce's prowess. He can imagine her sitting in a dark corner somewhere, cackling and rubbing her hands together in a vaguely diabolical way. That is really no way to treat your boss.
When Bruce lets him come up for air he's breathing hard and ready to sign over half his company. Then, because of course, his phone rings and it's an emergency.
"Stark, where the hell are you? I've been calling you for three hours straight and if you think I don't have shit to do other than babysit your ass, you got another thing coming."
With his apology in his smile, he steps away from Bruce. "Nick Fury, what a pleasure to hear your dulcet tones after so long."
"Are you sassing me, boy? You better get your ass over to command before I have you collected."
"Is that an option? I never knew I could order a taxi from S.H.I.E.L.D.. What exemplary service you provide," he says because there's no word for how annoyed he is at the interruption but god help him, he'll make sure he's not the only one. He has to hold the phone away from his ears to spare himself injury, which means he's succeeded to properly infuriate Fury, which is a win. When the man winds down a little he jumps in. "I'm in Gotham so my ETA will be a little different than usual."
The shriek of Gotham nearly renders him deaf in one ear. Then there's some ranting about the Batman that he doesn't listen to because he's watching Bruce, who looks not the littlest bit gentle and playful. There's something in those eyes Tony recognises but can't name—a mystery. Shit, that means there's no turning back because if there's one thing Tony can't stand, it's not knowing something. He's hooked and he knows it.
He barely catches the 'get your ass over here' from Fury, he's so busy examining Bruce. Still, duty calls and he's gotten a bit better about answering.
"I'm on my way, keep your pants on," he tells Fury before closing the connection. He sighs deeply. The disappointment is sickening, really. "Well," he says.
"Indeed," Bruce agrees, a tiny smile playing at his lips.
"Do not think this is in any way over," Tony warns him on his way out.
"Wouldn't dream of it," Bruce says, and now he is indeed playful and damn it, Tony really doesn't want to leave.
He takes one look at the closed door and grits his teeth. "Today is no longer wonderful," he grumbles. There had better be something he can beat up because if there isn't, he'll not be responsible for what happens.
It's been a few months and Tony has kept relatively busy in the sense that he has broken at least five different bones and is the proud owner of a gruesome yet bad-ass new scar from mid-thigh all the way to his navel. Things have been interesting, to say the least.
He considered his properly full schedule a silver lining of sorts—there was simply no time for Gothamly escapades by Waynely incentive. It's kind of an accomplishment that he managed to refrain from storming up to the manor, or penthouse, or whatever, and demanding proper restitution for weeks of non-sexual torment because Bruce Wayne was everywhere. If he wasn't debauching a dance troupe, he was absconding with an actress—mind the 'ress'. There were no 'ors', which is either flattering or enviable, depending on one's view, because it either meant Tony has demolished the standards for male lovers or that Bruce has the best press agent in the universe. The jury is still out on that one but Tony is (justifiably) leaning towards the first.
All GBH aside, Tony Stark is frustrated with the entire universe. This showed in nothing so well as it did in his interpretation of S.H.I.E.L.D assignments. Fury seemed torn between fatherly pride and blind rage at the brutality Tony employed in dispatching various idiots who stood between him and Bruce Wayne's posterior, because damn it is fine even in newspaper photographs.
So, yes, he is a little frustrated and yes, it is a little obvious. Thankfully, no one really knows why—they just assume it's a genius alcoholic billionaire playboy thing and roll their eyes a lot but accept it as normal.
Pepper, curse her soul, knows better. He knows this because there is the case of the knowing smile and self-satisfied click to her high-heeled walk every time she brings him the day's news which often includes either Wayne or the progress reports on the renovation of his Gotham skyscraper.
Then, one day, it's finished.
"There was a minor conflict between the interior decorator and the construction crew but it has been handled to satisfaction," she prattles while queuing up documents for his perusal, "all in all I believe you will be satisfied with the results, Mr. Stark."
"Wait," he mutters, eyes scanning the blueprints and assorted photographs with lighting speed. "It's done? It's done. Awesome." Tony pushes his chair back and stands up in one smooth move like the graceful creature he is should. He breezes by her because he is on a mission and they have sayings for that. Pepper, of course, laughs.
"Shall I clear the schedule, Mr. Stark?"
"I know not the meaning of the word," he says, striding to the elevator while peons scatter out of his way. "Invent some technical failures—have J.A.R.V.I.S. help you with that. I don't plan to be reachable by anything other than carrier pigeon and even then it better be trained by wizards because I'll try to shoot it."
"Is he even in Gotham?" she asks exasperatedly, rushing to keep up while furiously typing on her tablet. "Generally he does know the meaning of the word schedule an I don't think he'd appreciate being kidnapped out of his own meeting."
Tony stops suddenly and she crashes into him with a squeak.
"That's actually a very good point. Find out for me? I'll be en-route but J.A.R.V.I.S. will patch you through. Besides, I need to inspect my new vacation house."
"In Gotham?" she hisses after collecting herself from their collision. "That's your excuse for it?"
Tony smiles and it's all teeth.
"No one will go for it," she says bluntly.
"Of course they will," he says, putting on his sunglasses. "I'm Tony Stark."
"Of course," she sighs.
His new holiday home away from home isn't difficult to spot. He has to hand it to Pepper, when she handles a project, she really handles it. The building he's heading for looks so little like the trash she'd made him sign for by way of childish possessiveness and stalker-like tendencies (both his), that she may very well have had it rebuilt from the ground up. Even if it is one high-rise among many, it is the only one with that shine that says new and expensive like all his things tend to with the typical Stark techy edge. He knows the edge well. Pepper's modern art fanaticism never fails to rear its head, the only difference here is her concession to the scenery. His tower is menacing, just like the rest of Gotham. Lovely.
Back on subject, his tower (because it really is) shines like a beacon despite the liberal use of black so he flies straight to it and lands on the roof which of course triggers about five million security protocols. "Yeah, not in the mood. J.A.R.V.I.S., kick it in the balls and tell me which way is in before I use the skylight and damn the consequences."
"Would you like me to add world peace to that order, sir?" his AI sasses him. It sasses. He doesn't know what he was thinking when he chose to submit himself to the mercies of both Pepper and a damn mouthy AI.
"If you can swing it. I'd like a holiday right about now," he mutters. "Entrance, J.A.R.V.I.S., I'd like a bath this century."
"The skylight is looking promising."
Tony huffs and scans the roof for an obvious door. Of course there is none. "J.A.R.V.I.S., how would you like to spend the rest of your days confined to something running Windows 3.0. The security system can't be that difficult to crack, I haven't touched it yet!"
"Kind as well as modest, sir." the AI says dryly while simultaneously a panel hisses and opens to something that better be stairs. Pepper never contacted him and he is in dire need of a drink and a long soak to mask his sulk. Waiting is not and never will be his strong suit.
Tony rolls his eyes and stomps into what seems to be an elevator. "Upload yourself and let's get this party started. Run diagnostics on everything, I'll review from the tub. Which floor?"
"Two down, sir."
"I'm not on top?" he pouts. "That's mean."
"A workshop has been assembled for your personal use there and while the suit is fully waterproof, I'd assumed," J.A.R.V.I.S. says.
"Smartass,"Tony grumbles without malice. He's not thinking clearly, which, duh, Gotham. Still, getting out of the suit is a relief only surpassed by ditching the bodysuit for sweats on his way to his bedroom and finding out that Pepper loves him truly, madly, deeply.
"This is quite the surprise," he says. Smooth. Yeah.
Stretched out on a black leather sofa is none other than Bruce. Fucking. Wayne. Is it his birthday? He must have forgotten, there is no way his karma is as good as to deliver him something like casual barefoot Bruce in jeans and ridiculously thin grey knit shirt for nothing.
Bruce shifts so the light hits his face. "Your assistant contacted me a little while ago. She inquired, I delivered."
"Raise. She is so due," Tony decides on the spot. And a car. Or a house. Maybe a country? He will hug her to within an inch of her life. No, he will get her knighted in some country that still does that. Then he remembers the fucking security. "How did you get in?"
"Your assistant had someone let me in. I like what you've done with the place."
Tony smirks. "Like I said, she is very due."
Bruce chuckles at him, slides his legs to the floor and sits up. He'd been reading something. A paper. Shit.
"All lies, I swear," Tony tries pre-emptively. Bruce rolls his eyes and shoves the paper away.
"I should hope so. I would like to think I had a say in who I'm marrying."
Tony doesn't twitch, but it is a near thing. "Marrying. Congratulations?"
Bruce has gotten to his feet and, unlike Tony, is capable of movement. His legs eat up the distance in seconds. "Mmhm. Jessica. Or Angela. Perhaps Michelle. I didn't read the article after seeing the obviously photoshopped picture. She has blue eyes. The children are bound to be spectacular."
"Oh, obviously. Tall, too?" Tony asks, his eyes glued on the neck a hair's breadth away. Screw it. He reaches out and puts two fingers on the pulse. Bruce's breath hitches.
"Of course. Heaven forbid the Wayne heirs are all midget children."
Tony can't help the laugh. "Isn't that sort of expected? They grow, I heard." Bruce's hand unerringly lands on his scar. He traces it down and Tony shifts his weight. Right, he has instincts now. "I like this surprise a little less."
"The news," Bruce explains. He visibly tenses when Tony presses his fingers down more firmly.
"Funny, I don't remember posting a list of my injuries anywhere lately."
Bruce relaxes minutely and breathes a laugh. "Stark, I'm a billionaire."
The fingers fall away but Tony still twists out of the way of Bruce's hand. "Fair point. Drink?"
Bruce lets him attempt to walk away for all of two seconds before yanking him back by his sweatpants, spinning him back around and nearly dipping him like a southern lady for a kiss that's featured in many a daydream for the past few months. The fantasy does not fucking compare.
Tony doesn't even think to struggle, he bites back at the mouth devouring all of him and just thinks fuck it, work with that you have. He fists his hands in Bruce's hair and gives back all he's got, which is plenty.
He is the one to break the kiss. Panting slightly he looks up at Bruce with a feeling of stubbornness he knows well. "You have got to stop defying expectation."
"Then stop underestimating me," Bruce growls and goes for more like he'd been the one pining and decimating the wicked to get rid of an infinitesimal amount of frustration only to see it returned when he opened whatever news source was closest to hand.
Tony loses a braincell or two through his mouth but hey, it's not like he can't spare them. Still, this is so not on. He's being dipped for god's sake. Thinking he's so very clever he tries a move he's learned from agent Iron-Man-yes-Tony-Stark-no with the mouth and ass, a move which has laid him out on the floor every single fucking time she used it.
Bruce grabs his leg, yanks, twists, does something insanely coordinated and limber, and gravity asserts itself. It asserts itself on the wrong person.
"What the hell?" Tony grunts from the floor. He's the superhero here! There is no way, no matter how much underestimation is going on, that pretty boy Wayne just countered a move that has brought Tony nothing but pain and humiliation for weeks before Steve took pity. He is distracted by hands and mouth but doesn't miss the whispered, "Reflex" and the way every muscle in Bruce's body is made of steel.
"We, are having a talk later," Tony threatens. Bruce grunts something which isn't a denial or an agreement but goes straight to Tony's cock. Yeah, okay, screw instincts. Hah. Screw instincts. "Bed," he gasps.
"Here," Bruce counters with a hand on his ass and lips on his neck.
"Here," Tony quickly agrees.
He wakes up in his bed alone. This is a new development to say the least but one he perhaps should have seen coming. He is sore in all kinds of fun ways and certainly very comfortable. There is a distinct lack of sticky mess which means Bruce is the considerate type. Not, mind you, that it showed in the way he fucked. Tony is practically covered in bruises and scratches in interesting locations.
There was zero alcohol involved so he remembers every little thing, and those things make him want to build a memory extractor just so he can revisit in full HD with surround sound.
Bruce Wayne is a spectacular fuck. His press agent should be fired because nowhere does it say anything of the sort! Playboy, idiot, spoiled, yes, yes, and yes. Tiger in the sack? Not a single mention anywhere. Tony feels he's been mislead one too many times when it comes to Bruce Wayne.
The Bruce Wayne who barely paused when he took off his shirt and there the arc reactor was, shining a soothing blue and cold to the touch. Bruce had kissed it gently, once, face bathed in blue light, before Tony promptly slithered down and sucked him off like his dick was the container of all the answers in the world. He'd never thought he'd find something so simple that sexy. It's a crying shame Bruce is MIA and not available for another round or two. Tony did some of his best work in the morning.
"J.A.R.V.I.S.," he groans, "order me a gallon of coffee and have it delivered." A chuckle answers him before his AI can and he cracks open an eye to investigate. Oh hello.
Tony had given as good as he'd gotten and Bruce is in a similar state concerning bruises and scratches. Interestingly enough, there are way more scars than Tony is used to seeing on his bed warmers. He works his way up to the jaw, which now sports the tiniest bit of stubble, over the lips he's kissed and bitten raw, to those eyes which devour. Tony approves wholeheartedly. He then tries to take in the full picture of morning-messy Bruce Wayne.
"Are those mine?" he wonders, gesturing at the sweatpants Bruce is wearing.
Bruce rolls his eyes and pulls them up to a more decent position, which leaves his ankles bare. "Obviously." He then—merciful god—uses his feet to pull each leg back down so they cover his ankles, but close to nothing of his pelvis. It's indecent. It's delicious.
Tony fights with the sheets until he can sit up. "I hereby decree you are never to wear anything else, ever."
Bruce ignores him. "Who's Jarvis?"
" J.A.R.V.I.S. is the AI. Say hello to mister Wayne, J.A.R.V.I.S.. By the way, he's supposed to be in the database. Be a dear and add him."
"Hello, mister Wayne. It's a pleasure to meet you," the AI says dutifully.
"Oh, sure, you can be polite to him," Tony grumbles.
Bruce smiles and his entire face lights up. "Extraordinary."
From where he's comfortably resting against the headboard Tony raises an eyebrow at his house guest. "I thought you'd left."
"I made coffee," Bruce says. "Thought it might be polite to say goodbye."
"You're crazy if you think I'm letting you leave after you made me coffee," Tony tells him, happily bouncing out of bed. "You found the kitchen? How?"
Bruce watches him like a hawk as he puts on his underwear and another pair of sweatpants so Tony makes sure he gives him a bit of a show while he waits for Bruce's brain to catch up to his mouth.
Tony pauses to stare. "J.A.R.V.I.S. is he shitting me?"
"No, sir. Mister Wayne indeed found all the facilities on his own."
Tony narrows his eyes at pretty air-headed Bruce Wayne. He gets a beatific smile in return. Something clicks in his head.
"Wayne Enterprises," Tony blurts out.
Bruce's smile widens.
"Of course. I bought and built in Gotham. Cheater," he accuses.
Bruce pretends—abysmally—to pout. "You don't like it? I made sure to pick the gold alloy personally."
Ohshit. Backtrack, backtrack. "Of course I like it baby, it's the best wedding present ever."
Bruce laughs. "Your face, oh my god, your face."
"Hey, now. You promised me coffee," Tony reminds him. In fact, he could probably do with some breakfast. And a shower. With Bruce. He is so obviously a genius it's a wonder they haven't awarded him some kind of thank you for existing for the good of humankind award.
They're in the kitchen where Bruce has indeed made coffee but it's cooled so he does it again and Tony falls a little bit in love. They're just sitting down at the island counter when a screen comes to life and J.A.R.V.I.S. starts the morning routine.
"Today's weather conditions are expected to include fog and drizzle. After 11AM there is a slight chance of showers; after noon, a chance of thunderstorms. Otherwise, it should be mostly cloudy, with a high near 81 degrees."
"Beautiful Gotham Weather," Bruce comments to which Tony makes a face and uncomplimentary grunting noises.
"I am taking you to Malibu. You've probably never seen a sun before. It'll be an adventure."
"There are thirteen messages. Would you like to review them?"
"Not right now J.A.R.V.I.S., I have a guest to entertain."
"Futhermore," J.A.R.V.I.S. continues, "the usual selection of domestic and international news, Mr. Stark, with the addition of the Gotham Herald."
"Fuck," they share their mutual dislike in unison. Tony glances at Bruce who looks slightly shaken. Probably not for the same reasons, then.
"Problem?" he asks.
"God I hope not," Bruce sighs.
J.A.R.V.I.S. chooses to interrupt again. "There is a call for Mr Wayne on his personal device," the AI informs them, splitting the screen to show the surveillance footage of Bruce's ringing mobile.
"Can you tell me who is calling?" Bruce asks, and J.A.R.V.I.S. zooms in on the little screen of the device. "Alfred," Bruce mumbles.
"Shall I patch it through, sir?"
Tony looks at Bruce who nods once. "Please, J.A.R.V.I.S.." He gestures to Bruce to speak freely.
"Good morning Alfred. What can I do for you?" Bruce says pleasantly.
"Master Bruce, good morning. I found myself surprised by your absence and thought to inquire as to your whereabouts," the older man says politely but there's no masking the slight scolding tone in his voice. Bruce seems to think it's fine because he smiles.
"Not to worry Alfred, I'm visiting a friend."
"A friend, Master Bruce?"
Bruce turns his smouldering look on Tony, who feels his cock jump a little. "Mmhm. Tony Stark arrived recently in Gotham and I wanted to welcome him."
The other end of the line is quiet. "I see. And when can I be expecting you, sir?"
Never, Tony mouths. Bruce rolls his eyes.
"I'll let you know when I know for sure, Alfred."
"Do you," Bruce chuckles. "Say, Alfred? Anything interesting in the morning papers today?"
The line is quiet again. Bruce tenses as if readying himself for a blow.
"Nothing of note, sir," the butler says and the tension flows away.
Huh. Tony finally makes the connection—in his defence, it's nothing he's ever had to worry about.
"All right, thank you Alfred. I'll be in touch."
Tony makes a cutting gesture and J.A.R.V.I.S. ends the call. He taps Bruce on the cheek with his index finger. "You're worried about the press?"
"You obviously aren't."
Tony rolls his eyes at the obvious non-answer. "I don't have a reputation to ruin. My body may be my temple, but it's one dedicated to lechery. What's your excuse?"
Bruce pauses a little too long before answering. "I don't want the extra attention."
Tony wants to cry bullshit, but he doesn't. It doesn't exactly sound like bullshit, but there's something distinctly fishy about the whole thing. Bruce gulps down his coffee while Tony tries to decide what it is about Bruce Wayne that has all his hackles up.
"I am going to leave before I get accused of giving you corporate favours in exchange for your talented tongue."
Tony pouts. It's a good excuse. He still doesn't buy it. "Can you go after we shower? I have a schedule I'd like to keep." He doesn't let Wayne answer. "J.A.R.V.I.S., call for a car to be here in two hours. Then order up some breakfast and if you can swing it, some clothes." He catches Bruce's frown just in time before it disappears under that pretty boy idiot smile. "The clothes from New York. I don't trust Gotham not to spit on them." He slides off the stool and wraps himself around Bruce. "Do I have a bath somewhere?"
"Yes," Bruce gasps. Score for the talented tongue.
"Let's find it, shall we?" He grins into Bruce's shoulder. He has plans for those shoulders.
J.A.R.V.I.S. does good work—duh, he programmed him—and Bruce leaves via the side entrance in the very mob-like car waiting there. Tony is luxuriating in his over-sized bathtub, considering everything he's learned opposite everything he thought he knew about Bruce Wayne. It's not much, but it should be enough to get started.
"J.A.R.V.I.S., be a dear and compose me a file on Bruce Wayne. Wait, make that two. I want reliable sources and facts in one, every rumour which has nothing to do with girlfriends in another. Call me when you're done."
"Of course, sir. Would you like me to make you a picture book as well?"
"Funny, very funny. I wouldn't mind a gallery, no."
He's sore now and getting out of the tub is not on his list of priorities. Still, there are things to be done—at the very least he should contact Pepper and find out who exactly is responsible for the building's security and if she remembered to stock the pantry.
"Sir, Pepper Potts is on line two."
Tony grins and pulls himself out of the water. "Darling! Let me tell you of all the wonderful things I will buy for you."
"Tony, what are you doing! I just got a call from S.H.I.E.L.D., you're popping up in every cyberterrorism database around the world!"
Tony falters, slips on some wet tile and falls ass first back into the tub. Well, well, well. Mister Wayne, what an interesting man you are. He'll have to stop by and have a chat with Fury before he gets himself arrested for being curious. Tony feels that same iron-hard determination that got him out of hell using just a box of scraps.
Oh, Bruce. It is on like Donkey Kong.
"Sir, while I applaud the practice of test flying the upgrades to the thrusters I am a wondering if it was really necessary to do so over Gotham."
"Shut up before I invent a cyber STD just for you, J.A.R.V.I.S.. How are doing?" he asks, even though he can see the readouts for himself just fine. Sometimes he needs to distract J.A.R.V.I.S. from prodding him about his personal life.
"It seems that the improvements are indeed more energy efficient, just as you hypothesised. I calculate an eleven hour difference in possible flight time without engaging any of the weapon-systems."
Tony smirks to himself. "Score one for Norse mythology. I knew I liked that boy for a reason."
"I believe the boy is at least several hundred years older than you, sir."
"Cybersyphilis!" he threatens.
J.A.R.V.I.S. cleverly stays quiet and Tony attempts to enjoy his flight as he usually does. It's kind of difficult—Gotham by night is a menacing pit of despair. Even the bird's eye view doesn't detract from that, despite all the pretty lights. He feels iffy about the whole thing and berates himself for it. Is he a kid to be afraid of the dark? He's miles high, nothing will 'get' him up here.
He believes this for all of ten minutes, after which he's shot down like a clay pigeon.
"J.A.R.V.I.S., what the fuck?" he screams, fighting to keep his fall at least a little stable. The display flickers blue and static and all he has of J.A.R.V.I.S. is a mechanical gurgle and the occasional crackle. "Not cool, not cool," he chants. "Snap out of it J.A.R.V.I.S. I need these thrusters back online yesteryear!"
The display blanks out entirely and for a second he thinks yes, thank god, it's rebooting. It never comes back on and all Tony knows is that he's dead, dead, dead, eaten by that shithole called Gotham. "Fuck!"
"Chrttt, fzzbt," the system agrees and it is not what Tony wants to hear right now while he's plummeting to the ground. He closes his eyes for a moment and breathes in. His eyes snap open, determined and resigned. He'll die, true, but he's not taking anyone with him. Below him he can see the street, full of little ants scurrying. Nothing would survive being crushed by the suit from this altitude. His brain works overtime as he looks around, searching, then his muscles cry out in protest when he aims himself away from the road.
If he's lucky, he might even live through crashing onto a roof.
"Cheers, J.A.R.V.I.S., it's been fun," he says semi-cheerfully, even though the AI probably doesn't register it. Hell, he doesn't even get to say goodbye. Not a problem, that's what the emergency protocols are for. He knows what he got into and planned ahead for once. Fury would be so proud.
Out of fucking nowhere cables shoot out, missing him completely. The second time it's a direct hit, which ruins his projected crash site by the way, and for some reason the display starts a lovely strobe effect forcing him to close his eyes. He can feel the change in acceleration—fuck you, gravity—and then he's being pulled back up.
"Bzztchk... ine... Sir... o be back online. You appear to be alive."
He opens his eyes to readout after readout. "Cyber-fucking-AIDS, J.A.R.V.I.S.! Where were you when I was dying?" Tony shouts. "Is everything operational? I want off this fishing line." He tries to angle his head so he can see where he's being towed to, but it's impossible. Not entirely operational then.
He hears the whirl of some machine or another and then a click. He's stopped moving.
"Uh, hello?" he says to the empty air, which isn't great wit but forgive him, he's currently hanging off the side of a fucking building.
A low, throaty growl is all he gets in return, then he's being pawed at. He snorts. "Yeah, you're not lifting four hundred and twenty-five pounds by hand, buddy. Appreciate the thought, though."
"Shut up," he's growled at.
"Yeesh, sorry. I'm just saying."
"I should have let you fall," the growling continues.
"Rather you didn't to be honest. Woah, gently!" The rope wrapped around his chest isn't really uncomfortable but it's a question of style. The growly man behind him grunts and, woah, Tony is being lifted. He can hear the superficial damage to his suit happening, but he doubts a snappy comment would be appreciated by his audience, er, saviour. Once he's on his back and safely inside—a broken window, huh—he lets his mask open and takes a deep, deep breath of happy-to-be-alive air. He sees a great deal of black.
"Holy sh—Batman!" he says happily. Way, way more impressive in person, he has to admit. Possibly the mortal danger has something to do with it but Tony has liked a little fetish since the dawn of time so maybe not.
"Idiot," the Batman says.
Tony rolls over with a great deal of difficulty and crawls to his knees, then stands. Definitely needs to look into making the suit lighter. "So, what got me? Don't tell me—someone thought I was an alien invasion."
"Idiot," the bat says again.
Tony frowns. "Hey, it's been known to happen. But really, what the fuck? I was just cruising."
Batman closes his eyes and kind of sighs. "I hate tourists." Tony is about to argue because, hey, he lives here, but the bat is talking again. "Chances are someone mistook you for me. Probably. Lunatics don't need a reason."
"That's not nice. Any idea where I can find them? I want to talk to their parents." He's seriously put out, clomping to the Gotham branch of Stark Residential will take forever and a day and he can't wait to find out what he was hit with. Maybe he should call a cab?
The Batman growls again—seriously? What gives?
"Keep Iron Man out of Gotham."
"I live here!" Tony finally says. The Bat has some for real control issues, he feels. "Speaking of, want to come visit? I need a ride." Batman's turned back implies a no waiting to happen. Damn it, he really doesn't want a Gotham cab.
"Tony Stark may live in Gotham, but the Iron Man has no jurisdiction here. Keep him out. I'm not in the business of rescuing tin cans," he says, and swoosh, is out of there just like that. Tony rushes to the ledge to get a better look because wow, he'd not thought of suicidal as a superhero characteristic before, just in time to spot the cape-wing thing happening and Batman sailing away on the wind.
"Huh. Nifty," he mumbles. "Hey, J.A.R.V.I.S.. How big are the odds of the suit magically being capable of flight in the next ten seconds?"
"Point two percent."
Tony sighs. "Yeah, 's what I thought. Order me a car at wherever I am. Which way is down?"
"One would think you are intimately familiar with that particular route, sir."
"Fun-ny. See if I make you that girlfriend I was thinking about now, smartass."
"At least you're reducing my chances of cybersyphilis, sir. Through the door and thirty-five feet to your left is an elevator. It should take you to the ground floor. Also, I regret to inform you that the emergency protocol was put into action." Fuck, Pepper is going to kill him. "The press, also, is here."
"Fabulous. Right. Awesome face on. Let's rock and roll."
It's a good phrase, it's just that clunking along a corridor is not the best time to use it. J.A.R.V.I.S. doesn't hesitate to point that out to him.
He really, really needs a drink. After that, he can face the world, which now includes a giant fetish bat. Christ, his weakness for pectoral girth always gets him into trouble.PART THE SECOND BECAUSE LJ SUCKS.