Doctor Squared // Bruce & Tony
Explaining everything to Steve, or at least trying to, from a scientific standpoint just meant that Bruce was answering his questions. Cap asked a question, and that voice again - it was irritating just how familiar it was. It was too close, and that was unfair. “He would have to heat the cube to a hundred and twenty million Kelvin just to break through the Coulomb barrier."
"Unless Selvig has figured out how to stabilize the quantum tunneling effect.” Tony said as he approached, finally looking up from the floor at the two men - one in a spangly getup and the other…his eyes widened just a fraction, his body jolted slightly. No one who didn’t know him would recognize it, which made him feel protected in his little moment, but the figure before him was the last one that he ever expected to see. In a button up shirt the color of eggplant and an unimposing pair of slacks was one now more ragged, Bruce Banner.
Whatever little exchange they had Bruce didn’t exactly remember but he knew that he would remember how it felt when he stuck his arm out to shake hands with Tony - he pulled him in a little closer in what could look to anyone else like a simple power move but he had to be closer. Bruce’s hand trapped between Tonys, that warm, real heat held for a far too brief second, his voice clumsily thick and heavier than he would have expected. “It’s good to meet you, Doctor Banner."
He’d remember the encounter just like the remembered the first, every second that they spent together and the way that Tony had been so careful and patient with him - so understanding that it burned him up at the core. This was a little different though. He was counting on Tony not remembering him and blessedly the entire time Tony didn’t even make a single reference. It wasn’t until a hours after the attack on Manhattan, when they were driving back to the Tower so that Bruce could gather his things and head out, that Tony caught him off guard again in that unimposing way.