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Bureau of Mutants, Superhumans, & Costumed Vigilantes


October 18th, 2008

Bruce Wayne/Tony Stark fic @ 02:33 pm

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished
Tags: ,

Title: Business Negotiations
Pairing: Bruce Wayne/Tony Stark
Rating: Light R
Summary: Tony. Bruce. Sex.
Note: Universe fusion.

Sort of inspired by a previous Tony/Bruce fic I read a while ago, where Tony was Bruce's embittered ex. I wanted to do a sort of re-take on the idea of a Bruce/Tony fling, where it was less negative. I think this may actually be one of the top two most explicit things I've ever written, mostly because I couldn't go the traditional romance direction and talk about their feelings instead of who was doing what to whom. Note how the most explicit thing I've ever written still barely deserves an R rating.


The party was one of the better ones Tony had been to recently, but the surroundings left a lot to be desired. Gotham was probably the most depressing city Tony had ever seen -- the dark, soot-stained skyscrapers with their gothic flourishes pressing claustrophobically in on one another, the low, perpetually overcast sky, the sense of desperation evident in its poorer neighborhoods, where windows were boarded up, alleys were narrow and dark, and walking down the street was like traveling back in time to the Great Depression; it all made him feel penned in, overshadowed. Give him Los Angeles's sun-drenched valley and widely-spaced, modern skyscrapers any day, or Metropolis's soaring Art Deco towers, or even Star City's steep hills and damp fog.

Worst of all, there was no room for Iron Man in Gotham -- no space amid the crowded skyline and ever-present floating police dirigibles for Old Shellhead to fly, which meant that Tony couldn't shake off the city's gloom and the tension of long business meetings by taking the armor out for a spin.

Six days in this miserable excuse for a city, and he still hadn't closed the deal with Wayne Industries. Stark Industries was still reeling from Tony's decision to shut down its weapons manufacturing, and the entire plant needed substantial re-fitting to shift those production facilities to civilian communications equipment. In the meantime, Tony needed the assistance of somebody's else's manufacturing capacity to meet production demand on SI's new line of computer products, and Wayne Industries was the only company with sufficient capacity who hadn't already made three attempts to buy SI out. The only other alternative was a partnership with Lexcorp, and with the amount of time WI lawyers were spending stalling over the contract -- no doubt hoping Tony would be stupid or impatient enough to agree to the near-criminally disadvantageous terms they wanted -- Lex Luthor was starting to look more attractive by the day. He at the very least never pretended to be anything but the shark he was, and a few extra under-the-table concessions would have gotten the whole deal wrapped up in a day, and probably on terms much more favorable to SI than the ones Wayne was offering.

Wayne. Tony drained the rest of his martini -- not dry enough -- and considered the other man, currently ensconced at a table on the far side of the room, a slim blonde at his right side and a curvy brunette at his left. The man might be a bastard across a negotiating table, but he knew how to throw a hell of a party.

Expensive champagne, even more expensive women, and just the right mix of high-power businessmen, high society Old Money, and A and B list celebrities to ensure that everyone had both someone to relax and have fun with and someone to schmooze and suck up to.

Tony had already turned down half a dozen offers of company. He wanted to talk to Wayne in private, without the other man's bevy of lawyers getting in the way -- sometimes the best negotiating was done over drinks. Tony's own best negotiating was done between the sheets, but given the way those women were draped over him, Wayne already had that department covered for the evening.

The brunette laughed at something Wayne had said, tossing her hair back over her shoulder and giving him a dazzlingly white smile. A wide bracelet of linked gold-and-diamond squares glittered at her wrist. The blonde, Tony noted, wore a diamond necklace that looked like it had come from the same jeweler.

Tony preferred sending flowers. It lessened the impression that you were buying a woman's affections.

Wayne looked up then, and saw him. He excused himself from the two women with a grin and a "what can you do?" shrug, and crossed the room towards Tony. Party-goers moved apart smoothly to let him pass, probably unconscious that they were doing so. Wayne could command a room just by walking into it, something Tony couldn't help but envy -- he had to work to turn on the charm, while Wayne exuded charisma as if it were as effortless as breathing.

"Stark," he said, still wearing the remnants of that rueful grin. "Enjoying the party?" He nodded at the empty martini glass in Tony's hand. "Let me have one of the caterers get you a fresh one of those."

"I'm good." A waiter with a tray of champagne was approaching them, edging his way through the crowd. Tony reached over as the man passed by and swapped his martini glass for a champagne flute, holding it up with a flourish. "To a profitable future, I hope."

Wayne smiled, shaking his head. "I never talk business at parties."

"How about a deal," Tony offered. "You listen to what I have to say over," he glanced at the glass in his hand, "a glass of champagne, no lawyers, no secretaries, no financial advisors, just the two of us. Then you tell me what you honestly think, and what it would take to get Wayne Industries to agree to a deal, and if it's not something I can offer you, I'll head back to LA tomorrow and you won't have to talk business to me at all."

Wayne shrugged one shoulder, his smile turning slightly embarrassed. "I'm afraid Lucius Fox handles most of that kind of thing. I just sit there and look pretty and say what he tells me to."

Right. And Tony was just an ordinary businessman with a slightly unusual bodyguard. "I know the feeling," he said. "Sometime I think my executive assistant is the one who really runs my company. But she and Mr. Fox aren't here, and we are. Surely Lucius lets you out to play occasionally."

"Lucius prefers to remains as unaware of when and how I play as possible," Wayne drawled, placing the faintest stress on the word 'play.' He smirked, the expression vaguely familiar, though Tony wasn't sure from where. Tiberius? Lex? Ollie Queen? A mirror?

"I'm serious. I'd like a chance to actually talk, get to know you a little." Or more than a little. Tony ran an appreciative eye over Wayne's broad shoulders and long legs, the solid muscles -- clearly enhanced by serious time in a gym -- visible even under evening clothes. Wayne had the trick of filling out an expensive tux without looking like mob muscle, despite his stature, something some other tall, heavily muscled men Tony knew had never quite mastered. Happy never looked like anything but a hired thug, no matter how well he was dressed. Too bad Wayne already had a date or several with him tonight. "Give you a chance to find out what sort of guy you're about to get involved with."

"I make it a point to never do too much investigating into the motivations of people I get 'involved with.'" Wayne flashed him that easy smile again, the same one he'd used on the two women. It didn't reach his eyes. "It cuts down on the potential hurt feelings."

"Theirs?" Tony asked, raising his eyebrows.

"No." Wayne laughed. "Mine."

"Well, I can promise you, Mr. Wayne, that I don't want your money or your jewelry, or to be seen with you in the Gotham Times society section." Overly flirtatious, maybe, but Bruce had given him the opening, and if he had to, Tony could always pass it off as a joke. "Just twenty minutes or so of your time. And your factories' manufacturing capacity, of course."

Bruce gave Tony a slow once-over, his eyes lingering on Tony's body. "It's a deal then," he said abruptly, extending a hand. "Shall we shake on it?"

Tony took it, feeling a rush of heat go through him at the touch of Wayne's bare skin against his own. Wayne's perfectly manicured hand was larger than his, he noted. Like Cap's. Like Thor's.

The other man's grip was soft, his handshake smooth, matching the easy, charming smile, but Tony had spent years projecting his own "charmingly irreverent playboy" act, and he knew how to spot a facade when he saw one.

Wayne couldn't possibly be as harmless as he was trying to seem -- not and be the head of a company as efficiently and ruthlessly run as Wayne Industries.

Work hard, play harder had always been one of Tony's personal philosophies, and from what he'd seen so far, it looked like Wayne shared his opinion. Tony offered the man his own smile in return, not the polished expression he had learned to put on for prospective business partners and the media, but one with some heat in it, one that hopefully indicated just how little Tony was fooled by Wayne's act, and how much he'd like to see what was under that perfectly tailored evening dress.

"Is there anywhere here we can talk privately?" he asked.

Wayne smirked again, and this time the amusement and lazy heat was there in his eyes as well. "There's a room on the second floor. I'll have Alfred send up a bottle of champagne."

***


"It's simple, really," Tony explained. "The robots are equipped with very low level AIs, which allow them to operate on their own within a given set of parameters, but there's also a manual override which lets a human operator run them by remote control, for search and rescue operations in hazardous environments, bomb disposal, mining and blasting..." he waved a hand, and the champagne in his glass sloshed out onto his fingers. "Oops. There any champagne left?"

Wayne was leaning back in his chair, watching Tony with half-lidded eyes, a mostly-empty champagne glass dangling from his fingers. It was his second, Tony thought. Or was it his first? He tried to remember if Wayne had ever refilled his own glass any of the times he'd refilled Tony's, and couldn't. "Unfortunately, no." Wayne held up his own glass in illustration, the half-inch of flat liquid at the bottom glowing pale gold in the dim light of the study's desk lamp. "Should I ring Alfred for another bottle?"

Tony thought about it for a second, but then he shook his head, and the moment of dizziness he felt at the motion convinced him that he was right. No more champagne, or he'd have a headache tomorrow to rival the one he'd had after Titanium Man threw him through a wall.

"I'll be honest, Mr. Stark-"

"Tony," he interrupted. "Call me Tony."

"Tony, then." Wayne smiled. "And make it Bruce. I'll be honest, Tony. Your designs are brilliant, and Lucius seems pretty sure you can actually deliver what you're promising, but I have some... reservations about your company's past."

"Like what?" There was, after all, so much to choose from. SI's seventy-point drop in stock prices in the past five months. The former vice-president of the company going insane and destroying half of downtown LA. Tony being a possibly crazy trauma victim who'd spent most of last summer in a cave in Afghanistan.

"Like the fact that you've spent most of your career as an arms dealer."

Or there was that. "Trust me," Tony said, "if I could go back and change that, I would." For a second, he could see the shattered buildings of Gulmira again, the dead bodies in the streets, and he blinked suddenly hot eyes, shoved away a moment of nausea. Don't think about it, he told himself. Don't. If you can fix enough things, help enough people...

"Wayne Industries doesn't make weapons," Bruce was saying. "And the fact that this is a military contract-"

"For non-combat use," Tony pointed out quickly. He drained the last swallow of champagne from his glass and set it down on the corner of Wayne's desk. He must have misjudged the distance by a hair or so, because it fell off the edge as soon as he let go. "Damn. Sorry."

Bruce scooped the glass up off the floor in one easy motion. "Hey, it was empty anyway." He set the glass on his desk, then gave Tony a regretful little smile. "Look, Tony, you've been very convincing, but Wayne Industries doesn't-"

"Doesn't make weapons," Tony interrupted. "I know. Neither do I these days. That why I need to diversify."

"The board of directors is a little uneasy about the recent performance of your company's stock, too." Bruce was leaning forward in his chair now, elbows on his knees, earnest. He was still wearing his dinner jacket, but he'd unbuttoned the collar of his shirt, bowtie hanging undone, a teasing glimpse of bare skin visible.

Tony had shucked his own coat two glasses ago, along with his tie. It had been practically strangling him, and slightly disheveled was a better look on him anyway. "You own seventy-five percent of the stock," he reminded Bruce. This discussion was not going as well as he'd hoped, despite the attractive company and the high quality of Bruce's very dry champagne.

"Yes," Bruce acknowledged, "but like I said before, Lucius is the one who makes most of the business decisions." He stood, extending a hand to Tony. "Time we got back to the party, unless there's anything else?" the question seemed to hang there, full of some weight Tony couldn't quite decipher. Everything around him had gone slightly fuzzy, no hard edges anymore, and keeping track of the double meanings in their conversation was starting to take effort.

"That depends on what you have in mind," Tony told him, but he took Bruce's hand and let the other man pull him to his feet. Bruce had nice hands, big, warm, and rough. Like he'd always imagined Cap's would feel without the leather gloves.

He let go of Bruce's hand -- slowly, letting his fingers linger for just a second in silent invitation, then turned towards the door. Or anyway, that's what he intended to do. What actually happened was that as soon as he got to his feet, the floor lurched and dipped underneath him, his knees went rubbery, and he swayed forward into Bruce.

Bruce caught him, holding him up, and then they were staring into one another's faces from inches away.

So Tony kissed him. It seemed like the thing to do.

Bruce didn't seem surprised, which was good, because Tony was almost completely certain the other man had had this in mind when he'd invited Tony up here, but then again, social cues weren't always Tony's strong point, and also, he was probably kind of drunk right now.

Bruce opened his mouth, letting Tony's tongue in, and his grip on Tony's shoulder and waist went from a firm, steadying touch to something more sensual -- holding Tony close, instead of holding him up.

Tony closed his eyes and threw himself into the kiss, the dizzy headrush of standing too quickly changing into another kind of rush. Bruce backed Tony up a couple of steps, not breaking the kiss, and Tony felt the hard edge of the desk against the back of his legs, just high enough for him to lean his weight back against it.

By the time Bruce broke the kiss, Tony was dizzy all over again, only now it was the desk keeping him upright, instead of Bruce's hands.

He opened his eyes, and found himself staring into Bruce's face -- all square jaw and chiseled angles, his eyes heavy-lidded with arousal.

Tony grinned at him. Bruce's hands were wrapped around his upper arms, his knee thrust between Tony's legs, trapping Tony against the desk. It felt good, and maybe Bruce would be more inclined to deal now. There was nothing like getting laid for making a guy willing to agree to a few contractual concessions.

Bruce had let go of his arm, was fingering the fabric of Tony's shirt with one hand -- slightly heavier than a standard dress shirt, so the light from the arc reactor wouldn't bleed through. Most people didn't notice. But then, most people didn't have their hands all over Tony.

Nice hands, too.

No, more than nice. Bruce's hands were fucking gorgeous. Perfectly manicured, yes, but it wasn't just the size that had reminded him of Cap and Thor -- Bruce's knuckles were rough with calluses and the tiny, white seams of scar tissue. The little finger on his left hand was no longer entirely straight, and calluses had toughened the skin on the sides of his hands, as well.

A boxer's hands, and a martial artist's, and, judging by those scars, one who did most of his fighting without boxing gloves.

A contradiction, those hands, just like Bruce himself - smiling, easy-going, and generous and completely uninhibited in the bedroom, at least if that kiss was anything to go by, while his company staged take-over after take-over and he brokered cut-throat business deals that rivalled Lexcorps'.

When those hands reached for the buttons on Tony's shirt, Tony didn't block them or make some excuse, as he usually would have. Bruce wanted to put on an act? Then let him see the scars, the metal, let him see what kept Tony alive. Maybe he'd get an honest response out of the man then.

Bruce undid the first button, then the next, fingers surprisingly dexterous for all the alcohol that had been consumed, but then, Tony had drunk most of that bottle of champagne, hadn't he?

When the shirt fell open, Bruce hesitated, his face blank for a moment before his eyes narrowed. For an instant, Tony was pinned by a gaze intense enough that it cut right through the soft haze around him.

Ice. Bruce had eyes like ice. Predator's eyes.

It hit Tony low in the gut, like rolling into a steep dive, pulling negative Gs, and he went from half-aroused to achingly hard.

And then Bruce's eyebrows flew up in surprise, and the intensity, the hardness, was gone. "Damn," he whistled. "That must have hurt. Do you mind if I ask what it was?"

"A Stark Industries M13800 fragmentation missile with high carbon stainless micro-flechette shrapnel." Tony stumbled a little on "microflechette," but not enough for anyone else to notice.

Another slight narrowing of Bruce's eyes, and then he grinned, running one finger slowly around the edge of the arc reactor. "I've heard of getting the number of the car that hit you, but that's really-- you had time to notice all of that while you were being shot at?"

"Of course." Why were people always surprised that he'd recognized the missile? And why wasn't Bruce touching him anymore? "I designed it." Tony reached around Bruce's hands and started unbuttoning the other man's shirt -- the buttons were small, but Tony could and had done delicate circuitry adjustments while completely smashed. His hands were always steady, no matter how shot his balance was.

"What does this do?" Bruce was still poking at the arc reactor, which was good in the sense that it meant he finally believed in the brilliance of Tony's work, but less good in that he wasn't holding still for Tony to get his clothes off him.

"It's an arc reactor," Tony explained, as he pulled Bruce's shirt out of his pants to undo the last button. "It provides power to a set of electromagnets that hold the shrapnel in place. So they don't move around and kill me," he elaborated, just to make sure Bruce actually understood. "This one's an upgrade. I built the first one from pieces I salvaged from the SI missiles they wanted me to build copies of for them."

Bruce's shirt finally fell open, revealing the carefully sculpted musculature Tony had known would be there, every bit as solid and inviting as he'd expected. What he hadn't expected were the rainbow of bruises across Bruce's ribs -- splotches of blue, green, and brown, and one or two patches of deep purple.

"So are you in some kind of billionaire fight club, or what?"

"Martial arts practice. It helps me stay in shape." Bruce shrugged one shoulder, then grinned, dismissing broth his bruises and the arc reactor completely, and said, "So, where were we?"

Coming up with a clever comeback was a little beyond Tony at the moment, given the way Bruce was now reaching inside his pants --when had they come undone? -- and wrapping his fingers around him.

Tony moaned into Bruce's mouth, held up only by the desk behind him. His skin felt hot, burning under Bruce's touch, and still, those hands were maddeningly gentle. All of that massive strength was leashed, tightly under control, but just the thought of what Bruce might be able to do to him if he lost a little of that control...

Bruce tightened his grip, and Tony was gone, white starbursts flashing in his vision, and his fingers tightening convulsively on Bruce's ribs.

Bruce made a low, moaning sound, and Tony, sagging limply back against the desk and blinking the patches of light out of his vision, realized that he'd just dug his fingers right into the bruises on the other man's ribs.

"Sorry," he mumbled, trying to gather his muscles into working order again.

Bruce shook his head slightly, his eyes glazed, and Tony realized that he was still hard and erect, and that the sound he'd just made hadn't been out of pain.

"You like it rough, huh?" Tony pushed away from the desk, Bruce backing up a step to let him, and dropped to his knees. He wobbled for a second, the change in altitude making the floor tilt again, steadied himself with one hand against the floor, and reached for the fastenings at the front of Bruce's tuxedo pants.

Tony was trapped again, balance unsteady and Bruce's hands holding him in place. He used his teeth, something he didn't normally do, and more force than he'd initially planned on, and Bruce groaned sharply through his teeth and dug his fingers into Tony's hair. It hurt, just a little, and Tony felt himself responding again, making low, needy sounds in the back of his throat.

Bruce wasn't the only one who liked it rough.

***


"So," Tony said sometime later, one arm over Bruce's shoulders as Bruce walked him to his car, "does this mean you'll make my all-terrain mining and bomb-defusing robots?" Enunciating took actual effort. So did walking without tripping. His feet didn't want to do what his brain told them to. Tony smiled at the thought, stumbling as Bruce steered him over the curb to where Happy and the Maserati waited. Now the rest of his body matched his heart, not working the way it was supposed to.

"Are you kidding?" Bruce's big, brawler's hand was flat over the center of Tony's chest. "Now that I've seen this? We'll sign the papers in the morn-" he broke off, giving Tony that narrow-eyed evaluative look again, "we'll sign them tomorrow afternoon," he finished. "There are a few points in the contract to go over, but-"

"Told you I was a genius," Tony interrupted, grinning at Bruce. "You'll like the robots. They're cute. An' I'm not signing any of the patents over, so you can stop trying. My terms, or I go to Lex."

Bruce blinked, the surprised expression again -- his real emotions were all in his eyes, Tony had realized, in the way they widened or narrowed. "I'd love to give you a good deal, Tony, but Lucius is the one who decides these things."

"No, he's not." Lying bastard, Tony thought, without any real rancor. "My terms. I'm not giving you the rights to my babies just because I'm drunk, no matter how many perks you offer me." He gave Bruce another grin to take the sting out of his words. Contract secured, and the sex on top of the alcohol had relaxed him so thoroughly that all his muscles felt unstrung.

He couldn't see Yinsen's face in his head anymore, couldn't, in this hazy, contented state, make himself care about anything enough to be tense, the habit of months -- stay alert, stay on guard, if they figure out what you're doing, they'll kill you -- blotted out for the evening by martinis, champagne, and Bruce's touch.

No nightmares tonight. He owed Bruce one, lying bastard or not.
 
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Comments

 
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From:gestalt1
Date:October 18th, 2008 08:02 pm (UTC)
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Really great fic. :D
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From:elspethdixon
Date:October 20th, 2008 10:42 pm (UTC)
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Thanks! I think it's the longest solo piece I've done in over a year XD.
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From:geuna
Date:October 18th, 2008 09:38 pm (UTC)
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(giggles like crazy) Man, that was awesome! It makes me want to see more! It was so satisfying to have their identities still secret at the end of the fic! TOTALLY AWESOME!!!
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From:elspethdixon
Date:October 20th, 2008 10:45 pm (UTC)
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Yay, thanks! I was originally going to have Bruce figure Tony's identity out (he's the goddamn Batman; he knows everyone's secret identity) but I couldn't figure out how to make that work in Tony's pov, and then I decided that it wouldn't be fair to have Bruce know and Tony not.
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From:geuna
Date:October 20th, 2008 10:47 pm (UTC)
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I would imagine Batman would figure it out right away should he ever meet Iron Man. The arc reactor would give it away instantly. And Batman, well... maybe it would be there eyes? XD
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From:dorothy1901
Date:October 19th, 2008 01:14 am (UTC)

I like it.

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I love crossovers where the characters don't suddenly (and usually inexplicably) become close confidants and learn each other's secrets. I also love it when there's at least a touch of the 'unreliable narrator,' where the significance of lines like "Lucius prefers to remain as unaware of when and how I play as possible," Wayne drawled, placing the faintest stress on the word 'play,' is easily spotted by the reader, but lost on the narrator.

Also, the closing line, He owed Bruce one, lying bastard or not, is so very neat.
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From:elspethdixon
Date:October 20th, 2008 10:45 pm (UTC)

Re: I like it.

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I love crossovers where the characters don't suddenly (and usually inexplicably) become close confidants and learn each other's secrets. I also love it when there's at least a touch of the 'unreliable narrator,' where the significance of lines like "Lucius prefers to remain as unaware of when and how I play as possible," Wayne drawled, placing the faintest stress on the word 'play,' is easily spotted by the reader, but lost on the narrator.

I don't think Batman is likely to suddenly become anybody's close confidant this side of ever. *grins* Tony just thinks Bruce is talking about his sex life -- which he is, of course. It's just that his sex life sometimes involves making out with Catwoman on rooftops while they're both in costume.

Also, the closing line, He owed Bruce one, lying bastard or not, is so very neat.

Thanks! I'm glad that one worked out -- it was kind of a last minute addition as I struggled to think of a closing line that would wrap the whole thing up.
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From:axolotl_lan
Date:October 19th, 2008 06:04 am (UTC)
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Damn contracts for sex but hell that was beautiful just naughty in the right places and overall right for these two characters- Excellent fic!~
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From:elspethdixon
Date:October 20th, 2008 10:46 pm (UTC)
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Yay! And I'm especially glad you liked the pr0n parts, because you can actually write pr0n whereas I just flail and go "and then something vague happened! Vague! But sexy!"
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From:axolotl_lan
Date:October 20th, 2008 10:52 pm (UTC)
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Hey sometimes the tasteful vague but sexy is best (not that I'll ever stop tormenting Panda to go all out smutastic... this is a very fun fic to reread)
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From:grey_bard
Date:October 19th, 2008 07:47 am (UTC)
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Oh, nice. I *like* thinking it would go this way. Mmm.

And I imagine, from time to time, when they feel it is necessary, they renegotiate their contract?

Delicious.
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From:elspethdixon
Date:October 20th, 2008 10:47 pm (UTC)
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The Stark Industries/Wayne Induestries contract requires periodic renegotiations every time Tony is in Gotham. Much like the SI/Lexcorp agreement-not-to-commit-corporate-sabotage, which is annually renegotiated over copious amounts of alcohol. Fusion-verse!Tony once tried to sleep with Oliver Queen to talk him into letting Tony open up a factory in Star City, but even sex wasn't enough to sway Ollie from his hatred of the Military-Industrial Complex (which didn't mean Ollie was going to turn down the sex. It was totally hate-sex, though. Angry liberal-on-conservative hatesex).
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From:marinarusalka
Date:October 19th, 2008 10:33 pm (UTC)
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Very nice! Bruce and Tony are such an interesting study in contrasts and similarities. I really like the dynamic you have between them here.
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From:elspethdixon
Date:October 20th, 2008 10:47 pm (UTC)
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Thanks! Tony's kind of Marvel's answer to Bruce in some ways (rich, not always likable businessman with a control freak complex who becomes a superhero due to personal trauma), but he's both saner in some ways, and more unstable in others. Batman has his one great line he will not cross (no killing, ever), lest he become the same as the people he fights, while Iron Man's lines are a lot more flexible. They're both massive man-hos, though, so sex was inevitable.
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From:hohaiyee
Date:October 20th, 2008 11:40 pm (UTC)

Bruce Wayne's libedo is probably greatly exagerated

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Though they are both millionaires whose only superpower is Money, I think that there are HUGE differences between those two, though I can be wrong, because I'm a Batman fan but I know very little about Tony Stark. I grew up with DC series and the only thing I knew of Marvel was the 1994 Spiderman cartoon, and the X-Men movies.

From the profiles though, huge difference would be childhoods. Tony Stark was a boy genius, his parents might be too busy for him or vice versa, but he didn't lose them until he was an adult, to a car accident. Bruce Wayne lost his parents when he was a little child, he was actually there too, when his parents were gunned down in front of him, after they went to a movie.

Tony Stark had girlfriends before he was Iron Man. Bruce Wayne on the other hand, he grew up as Batman, because I doubt he even noticed girls at the time his parents were killed in front of him and totally stunted his development. Considering that Gotham is probably a smaller city, and that Bruce lives way out there in the gloomy castle, I doubt he met a lot of girls until he was a full grown man hosting parties...and in fact, watching Burton's Batman (1989), I can believe it if the photojournalist was the first person that Bruce has ever had sex with.
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From:elspethdixon
Date:October 21st, 2008 12:11 am (UTC)

Re: Bruce Wayne's libedo is probably greatly exagerated

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You're right: there are some huge differences there. Bruce has got more backstory angst (His parents are DEAD!!!11!), whereas Tony has more personal angst (the Goddamned Batman does not have suicidal breakdowns or drinking problems). And while they're both kind of unstable in some ways, Bruce's instability is of the obessessive paranoia kind, while Tony's more emotionally unstable. And Bruce is a hand-to-hand combat expert and detective, whereas Tony's a tech geek at heart. They occupy similar positions in their respective superhero "pantheons," though -- they're both the voice of pragmatism/pessimism on their respective teams, contrasted to Superman & Cap's idealism and they have similar "civilian" personas (wealthy, slightly debauched businessman and member of high society, except that Tony's never hidden his engineering genius, and Bruce tends to play dumb).

Bruce in comics seems to get somewhat more action than Bruce in the movies, I think. None of it before becoming Batman, admittedly -- Bruce's sleeping around, or at least his dating and flirting, is as far as I know all confined to his "Bruce Wayne" persona, which he developed after he came back to Gotham to become Batman. So I'll give you that Tony got an earlier start.

Honestly, Tony's libido is somewhat exaggerated, too, though. During most of Iron Man canon, he's been a serial monogamist rather than a real "playboy." Bruce in comics canon has a bunch of temporary and interchangeable women because, thanks to his mission as Batman always coming first, he can't afford to get involved with anyone permenantly and can only have "disposable" relationships. Tony, when he sleeps around with random people, does it because he thinks of himself as disposable -- but what he really wants is something permenant. Like the classic slutty girl in high school with low self esteem.

There have only been two periods of real "a different woman every night" stuff: in the early canon, when Tony still had to wear his metal breastplate all the time to keep his heart beating, and was trying to distract himslf with other woman because he knew he could never have Pepper Potts (first because he was dying of heart failure, then because she was in love with Happy Hogan). He regularly blew off dates to go play with tech stuff (there's running gag in several issues of Tales of Suspense where the same blonde gets stood up a couple times in a row, and never actually gets a date with him) and never actually had sex with any of them, because then they would have noticed that he was wearing a giant piece of metal under his shirt. Tony-is-a-ho period #2 was during the late 80s/early 90s, when the writing eventually got so bad that they later retconned him to have been under mind control (my fanwank is that Tony's late-80s promiscuity -- which is where both Ultimates!Tony and movie Tony's sex lives seem to come from -- was a combination of a desperate search for some form of affection/approval because he'd just come out of a serious bout with depression, and a substitution of a new self-destructive behavior in place of drinking).

BTW, Meredith has been retconned out -- Sunset Bain's replaced her as Tony's first girlfriend. I'm not sure is Joanna is still canon, either. There's been no specific retcon erasing her, but nobody's mentioned her since before the 1998 reboot.
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From:hohaiyee
Date:October 21st, 2008 12:52 am (UTC)

Re: Bruce Wayne's libedo is probably greatly exagerated

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I think that in some ways, Bruce reminds me of Captain America! ...especially after reading Red Menace today. From the posters I've seen, I've originally thought that Bucky was the 'before' version of Steve Rogers, like, pre-formula when he was a scrawny arts student, lol.

Bruce is cynical because he saw his parents gunned down in front of him, but has his parents not been gunned down, I think his personality might have been similar to Steve's, his parents are doctors, at least his father was? Whereas Tony's parents has a company that makes weapons.

Bruce has a cynical view of the world, he sees the world as a dark place, but I get the impression that he has a stronger faith in the reforming individuals. The reason I love him so much in TAS is, I get the impression that he didn't just want to defeat the bad guys, he wants the bad guys to get better and stop being bad guys. In Batman TAS, the supervillains don't get sent to jail, they get sent to an asylums, and Harley was actually released in "Harley's Holiday", and Batman was very nice to her.

There was one episode of Justice League I caught, where they sent a supervillain to an alternate dimension or something, and when Superman looked in on Batman later, Batman was not happy about what Justice League has done, playing judge and jury. This is in contrast to Tony Stark sending Hulk into outer space.

Heck, Tony Stark is big guns, whereas Batman has a lot of leashed force. Batman patrols during the night, sneaks up on people a lot, and his fights generally takes place where there are no civilians. Batman likes to operate quietly.

On the note of promiscuity, considering how memorable all the women in Tony's lives has been...and how they've been able to hurt him, I get that Tony is looking to feel love through causal sex. Whereas with Bruce, he's not looking for that at all, it's part of the disguise...Bruce is probably afraid that someone who's involved with him will find out about Batman (this is why I can only see him with Cat Woman).

...and in terms of worth, I don't think Batman questions his self worth, but I think he fears in himself, a darkness, hence leashed force again. He dresses up as a Bat, I don't think Batman is concern with being seen as a good guy or PR. Whereas Iron Man NEEDS to be on the Good Guy's Side, with the Avengers thing.
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From:elspethdixon
Date:October 21st, 2008 01:32 am (UTC)

Re: Bruce Wayne's libedo is probably greatly exagerated

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I don't think Batman questions his self worth, but I think he fears in himself, a darkness, hence leashed force again. He dresses up as a Bat, I don't think Batman is concern with being seen as a good guy or PR. Whereas Iron Man NEEDS to be on the Good Guy's Side

Tony's greatest fear (prior to Steve dying, whereupon his greatest fear became, um, Steve being dead) is canonically that he will screw up and fail and the Avengers and everyone else in his life will reject him. Bruce isn't afraid of rejection -- he's afraid Bad Things will happen to Dick and other people he cares about because People Bruce Loves Die, but he's not afraid that they'll reject him. He's afarid that he'll succumb to the darkness within himself -- he doesn't kill people because he might find it too easy a solution, might like it too much. In some ways, he's a lot like a non-bipolar Daredevil (or to put it more accurately, Daredevil would fit right in in Gotham). I'm not entirely sure about wanting to rehabilitate people, though. Some criminals, yes, because there's a lot of pathos in the Gotham rogues gallery, but the Joker is pretty much irredeemable and Bruce knows it (whgich is why Steve, in Bruce's shoes, would just kill him, the way he's repeated tried to do to Red Skull). Harvey Dent/Two Face, on the other hand, is an entirely different story. He's for Bruce's what Smallville Lex Luthor is for Clark -- giving up on the hope of redeeming Harvey means giving up on the idea of saving both Gotham and himself.

Bruce is probably afraid that someone who's involved with him will find out about Batman (this is why I can only see him with Cat Woman).

I read and like Worlds Finest, but yeah, I sekritly like Bruce best with Catwoman, too. Who else can properly tie him up and whip him and scratch him with her claws? (One of my favorite moments in Batman Returns is when Bruce pulls Selena's metal claw out of his side and then stares at it with this sort of "Holy God, I'm so turned on now," expression). Plus, the art on the two of them kissing in Hush is just so gorgeous.
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From:hohaiyee
Date:October 20th, 2008 11:53 pm (UTC)

Comic Scan of Batman origin

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...it's from a geocity site, I wish I know which comic it's from, but a lot of stuff about Bruce Wayne makes sense because of it:



He was really, really, young, when it happened. It totally made me weepy when he apologized to his parent's grave in the TAS movie, Mask of the Phantasm (1993), for wanting to finally put his cape aside so he can marry the woman he's in love with. I think that Bruce was very attached to his parents, who was probably good parents who spent time with him instead of just buying his affections. Bruce's parents were out with him at the movie after all, and they went without bodyguards so they probably have a bit of a homely attitude.
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From:elspethdixon
Date:October 21st, 2008 12:16 am (UTC)

Re: Comic Scan of Batman origin

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I've seen this one, and yeah, it really does give you some insite into Bruce's particular brand of screwed up, and why, even thirty years later, he still can't move past it (actually, that scene gets repeated a lot in Batman canon, much the way shots of Steve-in-the-ice tend to get repeated). Some elements of various versions of the "Thomas and Martha Wayne are gunned down" scene are so classic now that I've seen them spoofed in other media (like Martha's pearls breaking and scattering on the sidewalk).

One part I really love is that the movie they were supposed to be returning from (in some versions, anyway, in some others, I know, it's supposed to be the opera or some other performance) is the old Douglas Fairbanks version of Zorro. Who also fights crime in a black cape and mask, with an animal-themed name.
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From:caduceus03
Date:October 20th, 2008 12:11 am (UTC)
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*grins* Awesome - I love the little details you put in that make it so much more than just an almost-pwp oneshot. Tony saying his robots are cute and calling them his babies just made me happy. Plus, the little mention at the end about what is essentially some PTSD...

*loves*
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From:elspethdixon
Date:October 20th, 2008 10:49 pm (UTC)
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Yay! I was trying for more of a movie-verse Tony here, and since the robots in the movie are basically his pets... *grins* The Avengers' traditional poster-child for textbook PTSD is Steve, of course, but given all the intensely traumatic things that happen to Tony in his origin story, I think you could make a pretty good case for giving Tony some post-traumatic stress symptoms, too.
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From:hohaiyee
Date:October 20th, 2008 01:17 am (UTC)

re: Business Negotiations

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OMG, I love Batman and I love this! Especially this:
and still, those hands were maddeningly gentle. All of that massive strength was leashed, tightly under control, but just the thought of what Bruce might be able to do to him if he lost</i> a little of that control...</i>

That is so very, very, Bruce. I also love Tony's needy little moan.
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From:elspethdixon
Date:October 20th, 2008 10:50 pm (UTC)

Re: Business Negotiations

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Thanks so much! I was kind of worried about the Bruce characterization, because I'm a Marvel fan at heart (despite much mainlining of DC toonverse DVDs), and I'm mostly familiar with Bruce as Batman, not as his Bruce Wayne persona.
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From:hohaiyee
Date:October 20th, 2008 11:22 pm (UTC)

Re: Business Negotiations

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I've mostly a TAS/Burton Batman fan, but that's very consistent with the Bruce Wayne persona as well.

Or well, consistent with who Bruce Wayne/Batman truly is, leashed strength. From both TAS and Burton, I get the impression that Batman is more lived in than Bruce Wayne, and that Bruce Wayne is relatively aloof and does not play as much as other millionaires...you won't find him at a Paris Hilton party. Other millionaires might find him strange.
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From:elspethdixon
Date:October 21st, 2008 12:19 am (UTC)

Re: Business Negotiations

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Bruce Wayne is relatively aloof and does not play as much as other millionaires...you won't find him at a Paris Hilton party

In the comics, I think he's canonically dated Paris Hilton (or at least a Paris lookalike). A supervillain showed up at the party and murdered her chihuahua. It was awesome.
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From:hohaiyee
Date:October 21st, 2008 12:40 am (UTC)

Re: Business Negotiations

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A supervillain showed up at the party and murdered her chihuahua.

OMGWTFBBQ

Link please!

I totally wanted to read the comics when I was little, but there was so many different continuities it confused me. Plus, I was less inclined to read the comics when I learned at the time, that Harley Quinn was a creation of TAS, and that Poison Ivy in the comics was originally very different, than the one I adore in TAS.
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From:elspethdixon
Date:October 21st, 2008 01:34 am (UTC)

Re: Business Negotiations

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Alas, I do not have one. I think I saw it on scans_daily, once upon a time.
From:crimsonquills
Date:October 20th, 2008 04:25 am (UTC)
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The identity play in this is awesome! I love the way both we and the characters got to see flashes of Tony and Bruce's other identities, without ever giving the game away entirely. Also, you do the hottest not-entirely-explicit porn ever. :-D And I did notice Tony kept comparing Bruce to Cap. *grins*

Of course, you've now made me desperately want a fic written from Bruce's POV in which Bruce meets Tony and Steve together, after Tony and Steve have paired up and are either out, or obvious enough that Bruce makes the connection...
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From:elspethdixon
Date:October 20th, 2008 10:51 pm (UTC)
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The identity play in this is awesome! I love the way both we and the characters got to see flashes of Tony and Bruce's other identities, without ever giving the game away entirely. Also, you do the hottest not-entirely-explicit porn ever. :-D And I did notice Tony kept comparing Bruce to Cap. *grins*

Identity pr0n is one of the great gifts superheroes have given to the world *grins* I was originally going to have Bruce at least figure it out (he is the World's Greatest Detective) but I couldn't figure out how to get that across from Tony's pov. And I secretly think Tony compares everyone he sleeps with to Cap,or at least everyone male. Possibly even before he was rescued from the ice ("This guy is really hot, but not as hot as my fantasy of going back in time and sleeping with Captain America").

The whole time I was writing the sex scene, my brain was going, "Nooo, I can't talk about their feelings! What will I do to avoid giving anatomical details? Why can't I just post it as is with [insert kiss here] and [blowjob goes here] written in?" Seriously, the first and last section of the fic were written in one or two sittings, and then the "sex" scene took about two weeks, wherein it was compiled one painful line at a time.

Of course, you've now made me desperately want a fic written from Bruce's POV in which Bruce meets Tony and Steve together, after Tony and Steve have paired up and are either out, or obvious enough that Bruce makes the connection...


I kind of adore that idea, too, but it would involve trying to write Bruce's pov, which I've got zero experience with.
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From:crimsonquills
Date:November 1st, 2008 08:42 pm (UTC)
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Identity pr0n is one of the great gifts superheroes have given to the world *grins*

Oh, so true. I've always found superheroes with secret identities much more compelling thank superheroes without them. Identity porn is a part of the foundation of the genre in my brain in a lot of ways. *g*

I was originally going to have Bruce at least figure it out (he is the World's Greatest Detective) but I couldn't figure out how to get that across from Tony's pov.

Yeah, I've had to let go more than one cherished idea or point in a fic because it was outside my POV character's POV. Always makes me sad, but it's damn hard to get non-POV character thoughts across.

And I secretly think Tony compares everyone he sleeps with to Cap,or at least everyone male. Possibly even before he was rescued from the ice ("This guy is really hot, but not as hot as my fantasy of going back in time and sleeping with Captain America").

*laughs* Well, given that Steve is the "peak of human perfection", one can hardly blame him. *g*

The whole time I was writing the sex scene, my brain was going, "Nooo, I can't talk about their feelings! What will I do to avoid giving anatomical details? Why can't I just post it as is with [insert kiss here] and [blowjob goes here] written in?"

*laughs*

Seriously, the first and last section of the fic were written in one or two sittings, and then the "sex" scene took about two weeks, wherein it was compiled one painful line at a time.

I'm so amused, because the sex scenes are often the fastest parts of any given fic for me to write. I'm not at all sure why because I, ah, don't exactly have any personal experience to base sex scenes on. *g* Maybe I just have dirty mind, because they really do come to me naturally.

I kind of adore that idea, too, but it would involve trying to write Bruce's pov, which I've got zero experience with.

Alas. I should see if I can rope a friend who writes Bruce/Clark into writing a crossover on this idea. *g*
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From:naanima
Date:October 25th, 2008 03:31 pm (UTC)
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This makes me smile.

I like this Bruce of yours; somehow more human, easier to get close to. Love the way there a hints about Batman and Iron Man all over their bodies and their mannerism. Just gorgeous.
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From:elspethdixon
Date:October 30th, 2008 10:29 pm (UTC)
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Yay, thanks! The bit about Bruce's hands being fighter's hands was actually the idea that spawned the entire fic -- Tony almost but not actually figuring things out because he recognizes what the calluses and scars mean.

I like this Bruce of yours; somehow more human, easier to get close to.

I think there's probably more than a little Toonverse!Bruce mixed in there. The Bruce-in-my-head draws from almost everywhere except the two Nolan movies (toonverse, the comics, the Tim Burton movies... all over the place.). It's funny, because I was thinking after the discussion upthread over Batman characterization with hohaiyee that I had a little more Frank Miller influence in my impression of Batman than she did. I guess the toonverse balances out the Frank Miller (though I could always go back and add in a couple of half-naked prostitutes with katanas, just to give it that signature Frank Miller touch).
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From:naanima
Date:October 30th, 2008 11:45 pm (UTC)
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Bruce's body is so very damaged. The idea that he wears his sins and his triumphs on his marked skin and broken bones is so like the way Tony wears the Arc Reactor like a badge of honour. Both of them marked by the experience, and I think maybe, Tony came out of it better, well Bruce was damaged beyond repair. It is absolutely fascinating how they are so innately different when so alike.

I love Toonverse!Bruce, and have this crush on JL cartoon Batman. While I thought the Nolan films were good (though the first I found rather, um, meh, while the second felt like 2 films hastily squashed into 2), his Batman and Bruce Wayne is not my Batman or Bruce Wayne. From a comics POV I'm much more a fan of the other members of the Bat clan than Batman itself. I'm terribly in love with Tim, and have the biggest crush on Cass. And it is probably the reason why I can't connect with Miller's Batman because my Batman, while screwed up in the head, have a network of support that will drag him out of his hell even if he doesn't want to leave.

From:pensive1
Date:October 28th, 2008 04:48 am (UTC)
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Okay, yeah this was basically freaking awesome.

I too shy away from detail-oriented pr0n when I write, but this was definitely sexy enough to get the point across. Tony loves to use sex as a tool, being the master manipulator that he is ;)

I LOVE LOVE LOVED that their identities stayed sekrit. My favorite element and probably the best part of the story, IMO.
From:jynx
Date:November 17th, 2008 10:50 pm (UTC)
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.........ya know, i coulda sworn i commented on this. >> << ... fail.

ANYWAY. :D I love you. I love this fic. And more people need to writer those two, not even slashing, just... snarky convo is fine~ This is more than awesome, above awesome and I'm blaming the babbling on the fact my brain is tehFried by the fic ^^; ♥
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From:phlogistics
Date:May 9th, 2010 08:00 am (UTC)
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This was awesome. Thanks so much for writing this!
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From:flyingcarpet
Date:April 20th, 2011 03:59 pm (UTC)
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This is fantastic. I love all the details about Bruce's hands and Tony's business sense -- perfect for them.
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From:amothea
Date:April 22nd, 2011 03:33 am (UTC)
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I had a blast reading your story and I loved all of Tony's observations.
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From:fictivore
Date:October 25th, 2011 05:17 pm (UTC)
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Hello! So this is one of my favourite Bruce/Tony fics and I just noticed that I've never commented on this, when I was in fact absolutely convinced I had done so. Oops! Anyway, so, first of all I really love that an encounter is all this is, and that the whole thing is from Tony's POV. It makes spotting all the double entendres so much more exciting, knowing things that Tony's doesn't. And the question of just how much does Bruce see? What does he think when he looks at Tony? Why did he even decide to sleep with him? Just makes your mind keep going on and on...

Anyway, I kind of want to rec this fic on my journal, if that is okay with you? I totally understand if it isn't, btw! Just let me know, please? Thanks!
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From:elspethdixon
Date:October 26th, 2011 05:05 am (UTC)
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Oh, sure ^_^ (and thanks!). Having the two of them not know who the other one really is (or having Tony not know and think Bruce doesn't know - I never decided whether Bruce figured it out when he got the explanation of the arc reactor or not) was one of the more fun parts of the fic. That, and managing to slip in that part of the reason Tony finds Bruce attractive is that his hands and build remind him of Steve.

I probably ought to go back and add a warning in the header for sex under the influence or something, though. I didn't think of it when I first posted this.

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