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Opposites Attract (Avengers, Stark/Banner)- COMPLETE!


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Alright...so I've wanted to write a Tony/Bruce fic for a while now and I finally found my little plot. I have the distinctly terrifying pleasure of following up Garnet's epic fic about these two, so I'm nervously posting as my own take on the Science!Bros smile.png

This is a little two-parter, with this being Part 1.



Tony Stark's eyes narrowed when he read the note left pinned to his work bench.

Gone away for a week or so. Nothing to worry about. I will be back if it's okay with you.

Thanks for letting me stay. -Bruce

The small, neat handwriting that Tony had grown used to seeing scribbled on printed data sheets looked more hurried and shaky. Bruce had been staying at Stark Tower for over two months now and had seemingly settled into a comfortable routine with Tony and Pepper. The two colleagues had become fast friends, despite their totally disparate temperaments. Whatever had possessed Bruce to disappear with only a note for explanation made Tony wonder if it was more than a simple vacation.

“Jarvis, bring up the video surveillance of Doctor Banner's rooms from yesterday evening.”

“Right away, sir,” the AI responded as a hologram screen lowered in front of Tony and an image flickered to life. Bruce was in his room, sitting on the edge of the bed with his head in his hands, unmoving. Tony touched the screen, skimming through the footage. Bruce lay down, read a book, disappeared to the bathroom, and returned to bed. The overnight was uneventful and when the footage reached the morning, Tony returned it to normal speed and watched Doctor Banner wake up.

“Zoom in,” he said and Jarvis increased the image size to focus on Bruce. The scientist sat up, rubbing a hand across his face as he yawned and then, strangely, touched his throat and grimaced.

Standing up, he turned his back to the camera and bent forward, his body shaking. For a brief moment, Tony felt a wave of panic, thinking that the Other Guy was coming out for a visit. How had he slept through it?

But instead Bruce's shoulders rose and felt silently. When he turned back around, all Tony could see on the silent footage was the slightest wrinkle of Bruce's nose as if he were...sniffling?

Bruce approached the camera, keeping his face downward and shadowed. Suddenly, the image plunged to black and remained that way.

“Jarvis!” Tony barked. “What the hell is this?”

“Doctor Banner overrode the video signals, sir,” Jarvis replied evenly. “You did authorize him in the programing of my commands.”

“There's nothing? No footage of somewhere else in the house?”

“I have Doctor Banner at 5am this morning leaving the rear of the house and a taxi leaving the property, sir.”

The footage appeared on the screen showing Bruce carrying a small duffle bag and climbing into a cab. He had a sweatshirt on with the hood pulled up.

“Pull me his cell records,” Tony said, tapping the screen to retract it. “Something's wrong.”

“The last call was made at 4:10am this morning, sir,” Jarvis replied. “To Greg's Taxi Service Incorporated. Shall I retrieve the number?”

“Yeah, dial it,” Tony said, waiting as Jarvis put the call through and the sound of ringing echoed in the lab.

“Greg's Taxi, this is Jean.”

“Hello, Jean,” Tony said, turning on the charm. “Tony Stark here. A colleague left took a taxi across town this morning to visit one of my work sites, but I cannot remember for the life of me which site I sent him to. He's left his cell here at the lab and I really have to get in touch with him. It's an emergency...we've had a small explosion. One of your taxis picked him up here at Stark Towers this morning around 5. Could you tell me where it took him?”

“I'm sorry, we don't disclose travel records,” Jean droned, unaffected by Tony's attempts.

In the lab, Tony hit a switch, sending a rush of steam whistling out. With his elbow, he knocked over a tool box, sending it clattering to the floor. Jean yelped on the other end of the line.

“JESUS CHRIST!” he exclaimed. “Jean, Jean this is an emergency and this man is the only one who can fix it. This is a secure line, Jean. I really need to find him.”

“Okay, okay, let me see...” Jean said as the clicking of computer keys came through the phone. “Alright, I've got a pick up at Stark Towers with drop off at...looks like McCann Industrial Park.”

“McCann?” Tony said, jotting down the name. “McCann way out north?”

“Looks like it. $103 fare.”

“Jean, you're an angel. Thank you,” Tony said as he hung up. “Jarvis, pull me up an aerial of McCann Industrial Park.”

“Sir,” Jarvis said, as the map appeared in front of Tony.

The spread of buildings stretched out into a wide expanse of rural property, with no nearby buildings. Tony took his hands and swiped outward, zooming away to get a better look at the land. It was remote and surrounded by a few dense forests.

“Pull up property records for McCann.”

“McCann closed in 2001, sir.” Jarvis replied. “The property has not been occupied since then.”

“Shit,” Tony said, putting the facts together. “He thinks he's going to have an incident. Jarvis, prep the suit. And give me Pepper.”

He held up his cell phone and Pepper's face flickered onto the screen.

“What's going on?” she asked immediately. “You look green.”

“I look green?” Tony said. “I think someone else we know might be in danger of actually turning green. Bruce disappeared early this morning and I've tracked him to an abandoned industrial park.”

“Oh my gosh,” Pepper replied. “You think he's...you know...you think the other guy is threatening to make an appearance?”

“I do,” Tony replied. “I'm going down there. I just figured you should know in case I'm not back for dinner. Jarvis has all the data and coordinates.”

“Be careful, Tony,” Pepper said. “Don't be too hard on his for disappearing either.”

The phone disconnected and Tony put it into his pocket as he stepped forward into the Iron Man boots, allowing the suit to assemble around him. Fully armored, he stepped outside onto the rooftop of Stark Tower and flew upwards, towards McCann.

At top speed, it only took him ten minutes to reach the park and as he surveyed it from above, he was thankful to see that there didn't appear to be any Hulk-shaped holes in buildings.

He landed in the middle of the complex and looked around.

“Jarvis, can you ping his cell and see if you can establish an exact location?”

“There is no cellular activity, sir,” the robot voice replied. “I've pulled satellite feed and he appears to have entered into Building Three.”

“Great,” Tony said, locating the large metal hanger just to his left. “Prepare for flight, Jarvis. If the Other Guy is in there, he won't enjoy being surprised.”

Gingerly, Tony reached out and pulled open the large hanger door. It squeaked loudly in its track; if the Hulk was here, he'd know he had a visitor. Instead, it was quiet inside. Squinting, Tony searched the wide warehouse floor. The heat sensors in his suit highlighted a prone form in a far corner behind a pallet of boxes. He approached quietly.

“Bruce?” he called, flipping back his visor to expose his face. “Bruce?”

The man didn't reply. Tony rounded the corner to find his friend in a sleeping bag, curled up on the floor, snoring softly with his sweatshirt hood pulled up over his head. Tony crouched, extending a hand to poke the man gently.

Bruce woke with a snort and a gasp of surprise that quickly dissolved into a cough. When he recovered, he reached for his glasses and put them on his face groggily.

“Can't a man go away for a few days?” he croaked.

“He can, if he bothers to tell me where he's going.” Tony replied. “Care to explain why you've chosen to vacation at an abandoned industrial park?”

Bruce closed his eyes, breathing shallowly through his mouth. He pinched his nose at the bridge above his glasses in a gesture Tony recognized as irritation.

Suddenly, Bruce took a deep inhale, his chest puffing outward as his lungs sucked in air before expelling them in a forceful, wet sneeze.


Tony recoiled as Bruce's head snapped downward, misting the sleeping bag and Bruce's oversized sweatshirt.

“Bless you,” Tony said. “You're sick?”

It instantly became clear in Tony's mind.

“Oh!” he said, his voice raising in awe. “Oh! What happens when you get sick? I imagine a sneeze from the big guy would knock a building over.”

Bruce groaned, wiping his runny nose on his sleeve in a gesture that Tony could only describe as pitiful. Stark wasn't entirely fond of germs and he sat a bit farther back from Bruce.

“Don't be offended,” he said, flipping down his visor and engaging the suit's air filters. “I don't want to catch it.”

“I'm not,” Bruce said stuffily. “And yes, I'm sick. I haven't been sick in a long time, but the last time I got the flu...there was an incident. It was...well, it was bad. I lost control when I got a fever and so when I woke up yesterday not feeling well...I couldn't risk it happening while I was in the middle of Manhattan.”

“You could have told me,” Tony said. “I'm sure we could have arranged for you to go somewhere with a bed, at least.”

“I didn't want to cause any trouble,” Bruce explained. “I just need to sleep it off.”

“You're not going to sleep it off here,” Tony said. “Come home and we'll seal off your rooms and get you some medicine. Lying on the floor in a cold warehouse isn't going to help things.”

“I can't” Bruce replied. “What if something happened?”

“Nothing will happen. And if it did, I have the suit.”

“You've seen the other guy. He could crush that suit if the mood struck.”

“Then we'll make sure it doesn't strike,” Tony said. “Jarvis, give me a body temperature on Doctor Banner.”

“99.8, sir,” Jarvis replied inside Tony's helmet.

“You've got a low fever,” Tony told Bruce. “C'mon. If you won't go back home, at least there's a crappy motel on the interstate a few miles down. Nothing around but some cows and trees. At least if something happens there, you'll be out of the city.”

For a moment, Bruce sat still, pondering Tony's proposal. He did feel awful; his nose was clogged, his chest was tight, and his throat ached. Sleeping on the floor of the factory wasn't particularly comfortable or conducive to healing, either.

“Alright,” he said finally. “I'll go if you take me there and then leave.”

“What?” Tony exclaimed. “Don't be ridiculous!”

“That's what I want,” Bruce insisted.

“Fine,” Tony agreed. “Pack up and let's go.”

He watched as Bruce gathered his things back into his duffle and stood shakily. With a gentle grip, Tony scooped Bruce into his arms and took off flying towards the nearby motel. If Bruce thought for even a second that Tony was going to leave him alone, he was having a momentary lapse of intellect. Tony had no intentions of letting the man spend the night alone and sick in some seedy motel, though he did not relish the idea of being exposed to the germs for that long.

He landed, set Bruce back on his feet, and packed the Iron Man suit away into its portable case. Beside him, Bruce sniffled and then coughed so harshly that Tony nearly hit him on the back to help loosen things up. Panting, Bruce leaned heavily into Tony's grip as he steered them towards the room as he tried to keep from breathing anywhere near Bruce's germy face. It was going to be a long night.

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OMG is it Christmas?! 8D MORE SCIENCE BROS YESSSSS <3 I love this, and you. I am so excited! I'm half aww-ing and half cracking up at the creeper ways Tony tracks him down, and his germaphobia, and AWWW BRUCE my heart is breaking that his first instinct when sick = RUN AND HIDE in an industrial park! Poor beb :<

Can't wait for the second part fghkljgh!

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I'm so glad you decided to post this. I know, Garnet set an insanely high bar for science bro fics, but any Stark/Banner fluff is AMAZINGLY AWESOME. *does little happy dance* so glad you jumped on the bandwagon

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Oh. Oh, I see. :omg:

Allow me to spazz out in 3...2...1...

alskd;k;sldf;l;k;LSDKFMLJDOS"KJ!!!!! DUSTY. WOMAN. I CAN'T! Between you and Garnet with your glorious Science Bros goodness...*Incoherent whining* You both are writing goddesses. I swear. Tony and Bruce's voices were wonderful. I pictured it all so well! GAH!

Okayokay. I need to calm down. :laugh: I can't wait for MORE!!!

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Mmmm, brain too scrambled. What they^ said.

BYE! :bleh:

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Oh, how I love the Science Bros (were they called that before, or is that new? :P)...and sneezy Banner is my new favourite! Hooray! <3 <3

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What is it with these guys who go run away to somewhere ridiculously uncomfortable like they're punishing themselves for being sick? And why, why is that so hot?

Great job so far. Looking forward to more, soon, maybe?


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Thanks all! Here's the little ditty that is part 2! Perhaps I'll write something longer with these two in the future, but for now, enjoy this! :)



The sound of Bruce's muffled sneeze from behind the closed bathroom door made Tony wince. The poor man sounded disgustingly congested; a state confirmed by the productive, honking nose blow that followed. When Bruce finally emerged from the motel bathroom, still swaddled in his hooded sweatshirt, he looked downright miserable. A tuft of tissue was shoved into his left nostril and his whole face had the heavy, dazed look of someone who can only breathe through their mouth.

“Alright, champ,” Tony said, standing up from his seat on the bed and backing up as Bruce approached. “Into bed.”

With a sleepy groan, Bruce complied, crawling under the shiny coverlet and thin sheets. He stacked the two flimsy pillows to prop himself up better and looked at Tony through red, rheumy eyes.

“Alright, I'll be fine,” he said. “You can go.”

“I paid for the room,” Tony replied. “I'm not going anywhere. Someone has to make sure you don't go crazy and order everything on the room service menu. I won't stand for it being charged to my account.”

“It's a motel, Tony,” Bruce grumbled. “There is no room service.”

“Right, but there is a little canteen back at reception. You rest, I'll go get us a snack.”

“Or you can go home,” Bruce said.

“I could, but I won't,” Tony replied, opening the door to leave. “Be right back, your highness.”

Bruce rolled his eyes, sinking back into the pillows with a thick sniffle.

When Tony returned a few minutes later with a bottle of Gatorade, a crappy cup of coffee, and some stale pop-tarts, he could hear Bruce coughing even before he got into the room. Rushing in, he put the snacks on the nightstand and uncapped the Gatorade, passing it to Bruce, careful not to make contact with his hands.

“Drink,” he said and Bruce sipped the juice, his coughs settling down a bit.

“Thanks,” he managed to say as a few more coughs rumbled in his throat.

“Want to watch some TV?” Tony asked, opening the pop-tarts and taking one for himself before sitting on the floor at the end of Bruce's bed, leaning back against the mattress.

“Sure,” Bruce replied, letting Tony commander the remote. He settled on a program on the Discovery Channel that was far too amateur for either of them, but had some lovely shots of NASA equipment, which Tony judged as being about ten years out of date in terms of technology.

“What do you make of their insulating technology?” Tony asked, watching the footage of a shuttle entering space. “They are stupid to use that foam stuff still. There's much more efficient ways of doing it...”

Bruce wasn't responding. He'd dozed off, snoring lightly with his mouth hanging open. Tony turned the volume of the TV down and kept watching, glancing up every so often to check in on his friend.

Lying prone for too long eventually caused Bruce to start coughing as his throat tried to clear all the post-nasal drip and settle the irritation from breathing through his mouth. He woke, sputtering and straining, his chest heaving as he spasmed with each cough. Tony, worried, rose and went to his side, putting a tentative hand on the man's back and rubbing.

“Sit up,” he said, tugging Bruce's sweatshirt. Bruce complied, leaning back against the headboard as he coughed. His nose streamed down his face and turned his upper lip raw and chapped. When the coughing finally died away, he took a deep, shuddering breath and let his head loll back, eyes closed in exhausted relief.

“You're in rough shape,” Tony said, holding out the box of tissues from the nightstand and letting Bruce take a few. “I'll kill you if I end up catching this.”

“Go wash your hands, then,” Bruce said from behind the tissue he'd raised to his nose. He blew wetly and discarded the tissue on the nightstand.

“Don't leave it there!” Tony scolded. He grabbed the small wastebasket from the bathroom and put it at Bruce's bedside before returning to the bathroom to wash his hands very throughly.

When he went back out to the bedroom, Bruce was still sitting up, with a very strange look on his face. His dark hair flopped over his eyes as his head tipped down, his mouth hanging open and his brows furrowing. He took a slow breath and then snapped forward into a rapid series of ticklish, congested sneezes.

Uh'tsGHXHT! Tssh'GSHXTT!! 'tsGHT!

Tony kept his distance, watching in abject horror. Bruce surfaced after the fit, his nose shiny wet and pained looking.

“Bless you!” Tony exclaimed before retreating right back into the bathroom to wash his hands again. He was sure he heard Bruce laugh.

“Why don't you try to go back to sleep?” he said when he returned a moment later. “I'm going to hop in the shower.”

Bruce nodded silently, sliding down under the covers and closing his eyes. Tony turned on the taps and undressed, stepping into the warm water. It was certainly less luxurious than his own shower, but a hot shower was a hot shower, nevertheless. Clean, dried, and re-dressed, he went to check on Bruce.

Bruce had managed to fall back asleep, but looked uncomfortable. He'd kicked off half the blankets and the sheets were twisted around his legs. Under his breath, he was muttering something feverishly.

“Bruce?” Tony ventured, stepping a little closer to the man.

“No...” Bruce was mumbling. His voice sounded weak and far away. “No...no don't.”

“Bruce...” Tony tried again. He carefully sided up to the bed and pressed two fingers to Bruce's neck, checking his heart rate. It was thankfully slow and steady, though Bruce felt unnaturally warm.

Under his hand, Bruce's throat flexed as he inhaled before...


He sneezed weakly in his sleep, his head bobbing dangerously close to Tony's arm. Tony nearly shrieked in terror but Bruce groaned and rolled over, distracting him from the germs momentarily.

“Bruce? Doctor Banner?” he tried again, wiping his hands on the bed sheets and mentally promising himself a bath in hand sanitizer later.

Bruce's eyes flickered open for a moment and he smiled strangely at Tony, feverish.

“Go,” he said. “I'm fine.”

“Shut up,” Tony chided him. “You're not fine. Shove over if you're going to be all pitiful like this.”

Bruce rolled over and Tony climbed into the bed at his side, grabbing the Gatorade and tipping it to Bruce's lips.

Bruce drank gratefully, eager to whet his parched throat.

“Go back to sleep,” Tony said when Bruce finished drinking. “I'll make sure you stay nice and calm, okay?”

Bruce looked up at him, sniffling wetly.

“You're going to sit here with me sniffling and sneezing?” he asked incredulously.

“If that's what it takes to get you better and home, then I'll manage. But so help me God if I get sick from it, you'll have to do the same when we get back. And I'm a much meaner patient than you, Doctor Banner.”

Bruce barked a laugh and snuggled back into the pillows.

“Thanks, Stark.”

“I mean, at least you're a proper doctor. I don't have any fancy degrees so I can't promise this is quality care.”

“It's something,” Bruce mumbled, slipping back into the grip of sleep. “Better than no one.”

Better than no one indeed, Tony thought, watching his friend doze off.

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ADORABLE!!!!!!! Just... oh my gosh, this was so cute! I just wanted to cuddle Bruce the entire time (and did I see some foreshadowing of Tony getting sick?)! Oh, you should definetly write some more sometime!

BYE! :bleh:

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Oh my goooood! So much cuteness, I cannot even! <33333

And if Tony doesn't get sick from this, I will be a very disappointed me.

Edit: And you, get in my Avengers Collab Drabble Thread, now. <3

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Really, really, really freakin' cute. Tony, haha, you germophobe. XD Omg. Yes. WRITE MORE. Thank you. *_*

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Poor Brucey. :( He was just so miserable! I really liked the interaction between he and Tony, even if Tony was his usual germaphobe self, haha. Really nice imagery with Bruce's illness (the coughing, the sniffling, the EVERYTHING).

I love this pairing so much, and I also love what you've done with them. :wub: Brilliance~

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Wow, this is really good. There's something about Tony and Bruce together that I love. The two of them are made for each other.

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  • 7 months later...

THIS WAS JUST WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR!!!!!!! Sorry for the capslock and the excessive punctuation but I think my brain is kinda melting from from the sheer awesomeness of this fic! Germaphobe!Tony hopping into bed to look after sick and sneezy Brucey? It's love at first sight! wub.gif

And the ending was just PERFECT! *starry eyed* That's it I'm a total fan of yours!


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  • 4 months later...

I've been creeping through the archives looking for Bruce stuff and I'm so glad I found this one! Somehow I missed it when it was posted (exactly a year ago, that's weird :lol:)

LOL at Tony faking an explosion. And I love that everyone seems to write him as moderately to severely germaphobic. It just makes sense.

“I paid for the room,” Tony replied. “I'm not going anywhere. Someone has to make sure you don't go crazy and order everything on the room service menu. I won't stand for it being charged to my account.”

lmfao. He says as if Banner abusing his credit card to get room service is the worst that could happen.

Under his hand, Bruce's throat flexed as he inhaled before...


He sneezed weakly in his sleep, his head bobbing dangerously close to Tony's arm. Tony nearly shrieked in terror but Bruce groaned and rolled over, distracting him from the germs momentarily.

Your writing is the perfect balance of hot and hilarious. laughing.gif The thought of Tony almost screaming like a girl.

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