Chapter 2 – A Hard Day's Night (part 1)

They woke together, still holding one to the other, foreheads touching. The first thing they saw was each other; they smiled.

Bruce wanted nothing more than to kiss Tony; he still didn't remember anything, but the look of sheer wonder on his best friend's face was enough to take all his fears away.

Still.

There was the fact that Tony was a guy. And beyond that. His best friend. You don't fall in love with your best friend. You just don't.

Still.

And there was Pepper. Bruce loves Pepper; she'd been like a sister to him these past two years. Tony loves Pepper; even if he hasn't said the words yet, they all know it's true. Bruce had been nudging him along to actually get past the hundred and one excuses, realize that life is too short and go for it already, before Pepper got tired of waiting.

Still.

The look on Tony's face.

If it was anything like what he was feeling...

They moved before either knew they were moving.

Like a trickle of water joining a stream, lips melted like rain drops into one another. The kiss was so soft Bruce wasn't sure that he was even touching Tony. Then Tony deepened the pressure, smoothly, incrementally, with a gentleness that sent Bruce's mind floating. Weightless. Empty of thought, but full of now. Normally, Bruce (the ever cautious) would be measuring and analyzing every hitched breath, every sigh, every scrape of skin; he'd never allow himself to be so lost in the feel of another to let down his guard.

Never had Bruce allowed himself the simple luxury to merely be.

His body also relaxed, all tension gone. Loved. Adored. Safe...he was truly safe.

And for once, he didn't question that safety.

It (and he, and they) simply was.

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Tony was taking it slow; excruciatingly slow by his normal MO.

And that was alright by him.

Because for a very big guy, Bruce was terribly fragile. Where it counted the most.

He'd been lost for a very long time.

Broken for even longer.

And Tony was determined that Bruce would never feel lost or broken ever again.

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When they break the kiss, Tony breaks the silence: "Remember yet?"

Bruce hates to think about anything this second but Tony's lips on his, their bodies entwined...unfortunately, since he asked..."No. No. Nothing yet."

The infamous Stark smirk is in place: "Not yet? I know what will jog your memory...one word. Just one..." Tony, still smirking, cuddles around him (imagine, the Iron Man is a cuddler, thinks Bruce), nuzzles by his ear and whispers a single syllable: "Mine"

Mine?

Mine.

MINE!

A Technicolor explosion ignites his brain...and Bruce remembers.

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A/N:

I have been overjoyed at the response this fic has gotten...so my thank yous go out to my girls first and foremost, Random4ever, WingedWolf121 & ChristianGateFan, then to the following folks who have faved and alerted: ProjectZombieShitstorm; Ecokitty; bril (and bril, thank you again for your courtesy); juliastar; RealGeniusesProcrastinate (yes, yes they do); The Incredible Rori; Horribella; jack2724; Radwoman; Fiyero Tiggular; Sakurayuuki19; tinatwin; jayded524; Justu Dream; drummerlisa; & Bruce Wagner95...and to both my reviewers: Wingedwolf121 & jayded524, bless your hearts.

Hope you like this chapter!