Chapter 11 Therapeutic Love

Chapter 11

I do not own Marvel or Twilight. Read and then review. Thank you. Yes, I know I’m very behind on my other stories. I just haven’t had as much time to work on them like usual. I’m lucky to even get a chapter a day posted now. Life is crazy. I’ll get to them soon!

“Did you just…”

Her heart was doing this fluttering thing and she felt a little dizzy.

“I mean is this for real?” She whispers with that innocent wide eyed expression.

He looked to her with a slight panicked mien.

“You want to marry me?!”

He nods. She ran her fingers through her hair. Meanwhile, poor Bruce was having a bit of a meltdown. He was beginning to fear that she’d say no, that it felt too soon or that after what Edward had done to her marriage just wasn’t in the cards for her at the moment. The way he saw it? They’d technically been together for over two damn years. One of which was a living nightmare. He never wanted to go through that again. Now that she was back in his life. He wanted it to stay that way. There was no longer a need to hide out. This was it and he was taking it to its fullest advantage, starting with Bella. At least he hoped to be.

“…ok…”

“Ok?”

She nods with a smile.

“Ok as in… hell yeah, I’ll marry you.”

He beamed at this and placed the ring on her finger. It was a beautiful white gold, princess cut, diamond halo engagement ring. She couldn’t even envision a more perfect ring. Bruce rose back up. Bella giggled as he grabbed a hold of her and spun her around whilst kissing her. Her fingers intertwined with his hair as they continued to kiss. She gasped back in amazement as Bruce brought them down to the ground. She noticed they were on the landing area for Stark’s jet. Bruce didn’t seem to care at the moment. He carefully laid her down and his hand traveled up her skirt. Bella felt as though she’d climax from merely his touch alone it’d been so long. He was warm to the touch and she already ached for him. Bruce closed his eyes dealing with his own sensitivity as he ran his hand along her panties. She was already wet and her scent drove him mad. Once his eyes opened they had that familiar glowing green hue to them. One she’d missed incredibly.

Bella slightly arched off the ground as he slid her panties down, taking them off. The moment his fingers entered Bella was gone. She came instantaneously. Bruce gritted his teeth as his dick felt like it’d rip through his gray slacks. He hurriedly unfastened his pants knowing there was no way in hell he could hold off anymore. He had to have her and now. Bruce wasted no more time the moment he brought his cock out he lifted her skirt and plunged on in. Bella significantly moaned out making his dick twitch ten times worse than it already was. That and it truly felt she was coming with each stroke he gave. She was warm, soaking wet, and perfectly snug. This low growl escaped his lips as he picked up the stride.

“You feel so damn good.” He grunted out and kissed along her neck.

Bella whimpered out his name and Bruce felt her coming yet again. He lost count is how many multiples she was having.

“I’m sorry baby, I can’t hold it.” He uttered as he came. He was so backed up that he thought he’d never stop coming. Bruce kept stroking himself as he continued to feel himself coming still.

Bella had him by the collar and was feverishly kissing him. She had a smile on her face as he pulled out. A long string of come followed. His eyes widened as Bella positioned herself just right and licked him clean. Something she knew drove him crazy. He throbbed in her mouth and threw his head back.

“Keep going…” He hinted ready to go again.

It’d been far too long for the both of them. He forgot just how amazing her mouth felt. Before long they were making love all over again.


Stark lifts his eyes towards them as they enter the room. This smirk came about his face.

“So… Did you two enjoy the view?”

Bella bit down on her lower lip a bit and nodded.

“Actually, yes…”

Bruce grinned and shook his head as he sat on the couch.

“So drinks… anyone?”

“We’re good.”

“Oh… so you speak for her as well?”

Bruce raised his brows on this and clears his throat a bit.

“She’s… 19.”

Stark’s smile becomes ten times wider than it was.

“Oh… she is… is she?”

Bella sighs and sits beside Bruce on the couch.

“Well, I won’t tell! If… you won’t!”

“Stark…”

“Hm?”

Bruce rolled his eyes and leaned back wrapping his arm around Bella’s shoulder.

“Let me guess first year of college?”

Bella nods and Stark nods in return.

“That’s about what I figured. You truly think your hottie of a college girlfriend has never had an alcoholic beverage? Think about it…”

Bruce cocks a brow towards Bella. She cuts him this wide eyed look. He tilts his head about.

“Let me guess… coy, bookworm, probably one of the top students of the college. I’m guessing fourth or fifth in ranking of highest GPA of the entire college. But even you have your dirty little secrets. I bet after a few drinks in you and behind closed doors you’re the life of the party!”

Bella raises her brows towards Stark.

“First of all, I’m second in standing of highest GPA of the University of Washington. I’ve managed to pull off two years of classes and credits in the span of one year by overlapping my classes because I had more than enough time on my hands. Two more years is all I need to earn my Bachelors of Science in Nursing. I’ve already earned my associates and am currently able to work in the field. In the meantime, I will continue my education. As to being the life of the party? Haven’t had much time to kick back with the frat boys and “whine” and dine with the sorority girls.”

“So you’re one of those…” He says with a wrinkled nose.

“Now Mr. Stark, that’s not to say I’ve never been to a party.”

Bruce looked upon her curiously.

“And what’d you do at these parties? Chaperone?” Stark scoffs.

“Not exactly… you see Mr. Stark I happen to have a high tolerance for alcohol. I can damn near drink anyone under the table. So some bets were lost, some tears were shed, and I never had to worry about a hangover or went hungry for that matter!”

Bruce uncomfortably clears his throat.

“Really…” Stark replies with full interest.

“I bet you couldn’t drink me under the table!”

“Stark…” Bruce warns.

Stark holds up a hand.

“Now, now things are just getting rather interesting.”

“You don’t seem to understand when I say I have a high alcohol tolerance. That’s truly what I mean.”

He smiles.

“Oh Ms. Swan this could be fate! Can it be? Have I found my drunken mate?!”

Bruce gave Stark this death stare from hell. Stark half laughs.

“Platonic mate of course! I’m merely curious that’s all!”

Bella sighs.

“Very well, can you drink an entire bottle of tequila and only feel slightly tipsy? It took half a bottle of Jack to wash that down with, before I even truly felt the effects.”

“Bella…” Bruce damn near scolded.

She lets out this nervous giggle.

“You do realize you could have lost your scholarship?” He whispers.

“It was just the one time… honest… well except for that one time Christopher he…” Bella stopped seeing the unimpressed look on Bruce’s face.

“I love you!” She says hoping to break the tension.

He smirks and shakes his head.

“I don’t know Dr. Banner. Maybe she should be punished.”

Bella looks to Stark wide eyed and he dies in laughter.

“Oh you and I are going to get along perfectly. I see what he sees in you. Truly, I do.” He says pointing a finger upon her as he pours himself a drink.”

“Humor me…” She challenges.

Stark nods as he downs his drink.
“Very well… Let’s see. Smart –check, Modest yet naively sexy– check, Librarian/closet geek- check.” Bella’s jaw dropped and he winked upon her.

“Wait now, I’m not finished. I imagine your age and the way you two met came as bit of a shock for Dr. Banner. Maybe even for you as well. You both tried to deny it, because let’s face it. There’s somewhat of an age gap! What we have here are two highly intelligent, fairly good looking people… mainly speaking of Ms. Swan, sorry Dr. Banner just being honest. You seem to strike me as someone that’s got some fight in her. So check! But there was the one question Dr. Banner was DYING to know. And that was pretty much what sealed it for him. Age was no longer his concern… But love and life in general. So there was just one golden question to all of this.”
“And that would be?”

Stark smiles and pours himself another drink he downs it and he tosses the empty glass into the sink.

“How does the big guy feel about you? I mean I take it you two have met?”

Bella nods.

“And I’m guessing he’s just as smitten or this relationship wouldn’t have panned out by no means.” He points upon Bruce.

“No offense, but let’s face it. You’re not so pleasant to be around when pushed over the edge.

I mean if you two ever get into it… It won’t be your typical domestic dispute. Therefore, it’s going to take one HELL of a woman to put up with the temperament of Dr. Bruce Banner. Now tell me am I not dead on, Dr. Banner? Does that pretty much sum it all up?”

Bruce nods.

“All the more reason you didn’t take too kindly to Romanoff touching that picture back on that island.”

Bella looks to Bruce oddly.

“Island? You were on an island?”

Stark narrowed his eyes and leaned back. He claps his hands together.

“Ok I’m dying here. Story time and I nominate…” He looks to Bruce then back to Bella.

Stark points to Bella and then changes his mind.
“Actually as cute as you are. I’m more curious to hear your side of the story. So shoot.” Stark declares looking to Bruce.

Bruce shrugs and begins his story. He doesn’t even make it through the first few sentences before Stark grins upon Bella.

“You really are a naughty girl! And you sir are my hero! Who’d have thought you had it in you, doctor? Seducing your student and whatnot! Or was it the other way around?”

Bella rolls her eyes.

“Do you want to hear this or not?!” Bruce inquires.

Once Bruce is done Stark looks upon the both of them in utter disbelief. He then turns to Bruce.

“Fury would be pissed if he knew you were in Forks this entire time! I can’t believe you managed to get away with that. And you Ms. Swan, it seems you have a thing for ill-tempered men.”

“I’d hardly refer to Mr. Cullen as a man Stark.” Bruce retorts rather bitterly.

“Bruce seems to have everything in order Mr. Stark. It’d be something entirely different if I didn’t feel safe around him, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. If anything it’s quite the opposite.”
“Ok fair enough, let me ask you this… Have you two truly fought yet? I mean just a real good knock out drag out fight?!”

They look upon one another and shrug. Stark smiles.

“Hmmm…. Interesting.”

“If you’re inquiring that one of the two men would hurt me?”

“I’m not sure what I’m inquiring to be honest. There are something’s even I find myself baffled at. How is it you two have been together two damn nears nearly and haven’t had a real fight.”
“We’ve had our disagreements. But it’s never lead to anything we couldn’t solve or learn to deal with. Not everything has to come down to a battle.” Bruce states.

Stark rather nods and shrugs at the same time. He takes notice of the engagement ring and leans over getting a better look.

“Now that looks expensive. And didn’t you introduce her as your notable legal girlfriend? Or is that not an engagement ring I’m seeing.”

Bella and Bruce smiled.

“Wait… did this just happen? Like today?!”

Bruce nods.

“Huh well, it seems we have something to celebrate!”

“I do believe this is something we wish to celebrate more privately. After all, it has been over a year for us. Bella also hasn’t had the chance to tell her loved ones back home. I don’t believe her father wishes to find out through other means before hearing it from his daughter first.”

Stark frowns as if disappointed.

“So that’s a no to a party?”

Bella grimaces and Bruce laughs.
“Bella and I are both in agreement I believe on that one. Your parties they tend to…”
“To…?”
“Go a bit overboard.”

“Huh… so professing your undying love isn’t noteworthy of the world?”

“Quite the opposite actually, we just wish to do things our way.” Bruce states and takes Bella’s hand.

“So the boring way?”

“Considering everything, I believe boring is a change of pace.”

Bella laughs at Bruce’s comment.

“I have to agree.”

Stark sighs like a spoiled child that didn’t get his way.

“Fine…”

He comes to a stand.

“I better head back home anyhow. I’m sure Pepper’s starting to wonder. Make yourselves at home. However you might want to nix the idea of trying to sleep in. Things are about to get pretty noisy around here, with the construction crew and all. By the way… Welcome to Avenger’s Headquarters!”

Bruce raises his brows on this.

“Right here?”

Stark nods.

“Well, it will be! Think of it like this. You live where you work now! Isn’t that just dandy?!”

Bruce clears his throat and looks upon Bella.

“So an apartment is sounding better and better!”

Stark smirks at this and Bella laughs.

“You two behave now. Oh and Dr. Banner?”

They both turn to him as he was grabbing his jacket and about to get on the elevator.

“As big of a fan as I am; think you can keep the big green guy from destroying anymore of the tower? I’d greatly appreciate it!”

Bella’s eyes widen as she looked upon Bruce. Bruce sighs taking notice.

“Thanks! Stark…”

Stark winks upon Bella.

“Don’t mention it!”

Bruce shakes his head as Stark steps onto the elevator.

“By the way… You can call me Tony…” Tony points to Bella.

“And you can call me…. Ok fine… you refer to me as Tony as well. I suppose.”

The elevator door shuts and the both laugh.

“He’s… well… interesting.” Bella remarks.

“He tends to grow on you.”

Bella lays down in his lap and Bruce ran his hand along her tummy.
“So I see how it is…”

She looks to him puzzled.

“I’m stranded on an island and you go and party?!” He mocks as if truly appalled by her behavior.

“Well, I figure that was as good as time as any.” She fires back.

“If I’m going to go rebellious it might as well be in my first year of college!”

“So let me guess dancing on the tables, smoking pot, and flashing people.”
“Were you spying on me?!” She shoots up as if truly taken back.

He dies in laughter.

“I thought your eyes looked a little blood shot. Is there a boyfriend I need to eliminate as well?”

“You can do whatever you want to him. But you leave my girlfriend out of this!”

Bruce raised his brows upon her playful demeanor.

“So not only did you decide to go into the medical field, but you’re already experimenting?” He taunts with a smirk.
“Isn’t that what college is about?”

“Hmmm…”

“And what about you? Where was this island you were stranded on?”

“Isle Esme.”

“Huh?”

“Yeah it’s not on the map it’s just a tad out of the way. Think Rio De Janeiro, somewhere around there…”

“What made you go there?”

“Actually, it was your friend Jasper that suggested it. Apparently, Mr. Carlisle Cullen gave his wife an entire island as a wedding present.”

“A whole island? You can do that?”

“I suppose so.”
“What the hell do you do with an entire island and even more so, one named after yourself? That would feel really weird.”

“So that’s a no to ever giving you an island?”

“Um yeah, I believe so.”
“Noted.”

“So what was it like there?”

“Beautiful to be honest, serene even, but lonely.”

Bruce lies down and has her lay beside him.

“How’d they find you and who found you?”

“Not quite sure to be honest and it was S.H.I.E.L.D they sent Agent Romanoff and a good number of “hidden agents” as well. That naturally only agitated the other guy and it just continued to build from there.”

“I imagine so. I really missed you Bruce.” She whispers.

Bruce kissed her forehead and wrapped his arm around her waist.

“I missed you too. More than you’ll ever know. I love you.”

She smiles.

“I love you too.”

Bruce noticed how she was wearing the bracelet he’d given her on her birthday last year, with his name facing. He grazed his fingers along it in thought.

“How’d the other guy do?” She hints.
“Eh… he had a couple of moments. One in which happened not long after I got to New York. Let’s just say Romanoff might not ever see me the same way again.”

“Bruce…”

He smirks but shakes his head.

“What can I say? He missed you too, which caused some issues. Once I let him out again he wasn’t really one that wanted to be contained. There was no control he just went on a rampage.”

“Ugh, looks like he and I need to have a good talk.”

“Anything new with you?”
“Well Charlie and Sue are officially married now.”

“So you have a new stepmom and siblings.”

“Yep.”
“How’s that going?”

“Not too bad actually. Sadly, I get along with Sue better than my own mother.”

Bella fixed the collar to his shirt and ran her fingers along it in thought.

“So how long would it have taken you to come get me?” She asks curiously.

He smiles.

“Ironically, I was just about to have Stark drop me off at the airport. If you had been just a few seconds later you would have missed me.”

“Now that would have been awkward.”

“Yep, you’d be here looking for me and I’d be heading to Washington. I still can’t believe you came here knowing the potential danger. What if we were still in mid-battle?”

“Um hello… did I not help Hulk take out those stupid vampires?”

“Bella, what we were facing was ten times more dangerous. Especially, with the tesseract…”
“The what?”

“Long story… In fact it’s something I suppose I’ll have to tell you over dinner one day. But for now, I think we could both use some shut eye.”

Neither was willing to move. They merely held one another and before long passed out.


They both groan out once morning hit. Sure enough the construction crew was here and they were already at it. Bruce quickly grabbed Bella as she was stretching out and nearly fell off the couch.

“Ugh… too early…” She complains and buries herself into his chest.

Bruce smiled and rolled her over. He pecked her on the lips and headed to the bathroom. Bella rolled back over and snuggled up against one of the pillows to the couch. Bella had fallen back asleep, while Bruce was taking a shower. Her phone however made her jump awake and she rolled back over reaching for it.

She ended up on the floor as she answered the phone.
“Hello?”

Her eyes widened realizing she never called to check in with her father after arriving in New York. So the first thing she heard…

“WHAT THE HELL, BELLS?!”

She flinched a bit and rubbed the sleep from her eyes.

“Um hey… dad.”
“I swear to God kid! I’ve been over here wracking my brain thinking the worst. I tried to call and text and you weren’t even answering your phone.”
“Yeah it died on the way. I forgot my charger so had to get a new one. Sorry.”

Bella makes her way to the window and looks out. She noticed the entire city was being worked on and cops were directing traffic. She heard her father sigh on the other end.
“I didn’t mean to make you worry, honest.”

“I know kid it’s just with everything we’ve been through.” He hints.

Bella leaned against the window as she continued to look out.

“I know dad. I know… I really am sorry.” She softly says.

Bruce had made his way back into the room and was buttoning his shirt. Bella hadn’t even taken notice of him being in the room.

“So how is everything?”
“It’s good. I take it you’ve been watching the news?”

“Nothing’s been able to pry me away.”

Bella smiled and nodded to herself.

“Seems your guy is some kind of hero.”

“He always was dad. That’s just not how others perceived it. He just needed to be given that chance.” Bruce rather cocked his brow on this as he started them some coffee.

“So these Avengers…”

Bella softly laughs.

“Have you met them?”

“All but one.”
“What are they like?”

“Not quite sure yet, I haven’t gotten that acquainted. The only one I’ve truly talked to face to face with that Stark guy.”

“Um yeah, I’ve seen him on TV…” Charlie utters as if in distaste.

“He’s not so bad. Not in person anyhow.”
“Hmmm…”

“Well, he is letting us stay at the tower.”
“I figured it’d be destroyed.”

“Portions of it are.” She admits.

“Look Bells, I gotta know what’s the plan. I mean are you coming home or…”

Bella takes in a deep breath and looks to her ring.

“Not at the moment, no. I’m not sure what our plans are we haven’t had a chance to really discuss it.”

“We…” He scoffs.

“Dad… don’t, you already knew. I mean we did mention the possibilities. Bruce did so himself before he went into hiding.”

“He proposed didn’t he?!”

Bella held the phone from her ear for a moment. She took in another breath.

“How’d you know that?”
“DAMMIT!”

“DAD!”
“He couldn’t have waited until you finished college?!”

“That isn’t for another two years! And no! With all due respect dad this is our decision.”

“I knew it. I knew he was going to propose to you the moment he ever saw you again. I could see it all over his God damn face.”

Bella reared back.

“You what?”

Charlie sighs.

“I just knew… I’m sorry Bells. I just… I knew it was coming, but still.”

“What do you mean you saw it on his face?”

“I don’t know. I just could tell. Call it a man’s intuition or a father’s even. I shouldn’t have snapped at ya. Dammit kid, you’re killing me.”

“Not trying to. Just trying to live my own life.”
“I know you are. At times that’s what kills me.”
“You do realize that no matter what I’m still a part of your life? Right? Dad?”

“Yeah Bells. I do. I just gotta remind myself of that sometimes. You just gotta give me a chance to adjust to all this, that’s all. You going to college, getting married, and hell for all I know you’re probably going to end up living there in New York.”
“Like I said, we haven’t planned that far ahead. You’ll be first to know.”

“I hope so. You’re certain this is what you really want?”

“Yeah dad, more than anything.”
He sighs.

“Ok then.”
“Ok…”

“As long as you’re happy, Bells that’s all that truly matters.”

“Well marrying Bruce is what would make me happy.”

Bruce rather swallowed back on this.

“You do realize you’re marrying the other guy as well right?”

Bella laughs.

“Yes, I’ve already thought of that.”

“Don’t that feel a little… awkward? Won’t it be like being married to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?”

“Did you just… You really went there? Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?!”

Bruce rolled his eyes as the coffee finished and he poured them both a cup.

“I’m just saying…”
“Ugh, don’t ever… just don’t.”

Charlie chuckled on the other end.

“It’s not funny.”
“It kind of is when you think about it.”
“Um no, it’s not, so quit laughing.”

That only seemed to make him laugh harder.

“Jesus, dad.”

“Alright Bells, I’ll let you get back to your “life”.”
“Gee thanks!”

“Yep! Love you kiddo.”

“Love you too, even if you can be a jerk.”

He dies in laughter once again and Bella shakes her head and hangs up.

“I can’t believe him…” Bella uttered under her breath.

“So, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde huh?”

Bella winced and slowly turned to see him handing her a cup of coffee.

“Yeah, I was amazed to find out my father actually reads!”
Bruce laughs as she sips from her coffee.

“I’m going to hit the shower as well.”

He nods and watches as she heads to the bathroom with her coffee. As soon as she was out of the room, Bruce began to make plans for tonight. He was anxious about taking Bella on their first actual date. That felt a bit strange considering he’d just proposed to her but they had been together for two years now. Not once, had he truly taken her on a real date. The closest thing would have been that time he took her to Seattle.

Bruce lifted his eyes towards Bella as she entered the room. She was putting her hair up in a ponytail. She was wearing a baby blue buttoned shirt that showed off a hint of cleavage, a black skirt that stopped just a few inches above the knee, and black laced boots. He tilted his head about wondering how the hell he managed to get such a knock out for a fiancé. Bruce was in one of his smoky black blazers, slacks, and black shirt.

“Well hello, Mr. Bixby.” Bella teased as she made her way over.

He smirked knowing what she was referring to. He had a boner from hell and there was no hiding it. She pecked him on the lips.

“A year…” He reminds and pulls her in for a deeper kiss.

They both wince as one of the construction crew made a loud thud then cursed directly after.

“Hmm… Why don’t we get on out of here? See what Manhattan has to offer.”

Bella nods and follows him onto the elevator. Bruce hails them a cab once they’re out outside. They grab something quick for breakfast head Bruce instructed the driver to head on to the Manhattan Zoo. He figured he could kill sometime before hitting Chinatown.

“The zoo?”

Bruce nods.

“Awesome.”

Bruce took her hand as they walked about the zoo.

“Have a favorite animal?”
“You mean besides Hulk?”

He nods as they were looking at the Gorillas.

“Not really.” She says with a shrug.

“Never really thought about it, to be honest.”

“So no favorite color or animal.”
“I thought we established that green was my new favorite color.”

She reminds pointing to her hair.

“Right…”

“Aw, look at that little guy.”

Bella smiled as a baby ape came right up to the glass. He put his hand to the glass and Bella hunkered down and put her hand to it as well. Bruce laughed as the young ape was trying to play with Bella through the glass.

“If this little guy keeps this up it might be the apes.” Bella says behind laughter as he was trying to hand her some plants to gnaw on.

He didn’t understand why Bella couldn’t just grab them. He huffed out bitterly and threw the plants down.

“I think you made a friend.”
“He’s too cute.”

Bella waved upon the ape as Bruce offered her a hand back up.

“Think they’d let me keep him? We could name him after your friend Tony!”

“So what? Iron Monkey?”

They both laugh on this Bruce and wrapped his arm around her waist as they headed to the next exhibit. It was a relief to the both of them, no longer having to hide. They were finally free to be themselves. Bruce was free to touch and kiss her as much as he wanted to now. That’s not to say they didn’t get odd looks from time to time. He and Bella pretended to not even notice. They knew this was just something they were going to have to get used to. They weren’t about to let it get in the way of their relationship.

“So what about you? Favorite color or animal?”

“Hmm probably blue and not sure I have a particular animal I favor.”

Bella looks to him in thought. She opens her brown leather purse and hands him a gift. He looks to her oddly.
“What’s this?”

“You just had a birthday. I missed your last one and I was determined to get you one this year; whether you came before then or not. Just a few days shy.”

Bruce’s birthday was May the 28th. He had to go into hiding before Bella could even celebrate it with him. Bruce was never one to celebrate his birthdays. For one thing he was usually always on his own. He was 35 now. Bruce peeled back the gold and black wrapping paper. He narrowed his eyes upon the black jewelry box. He lifted the lid and found himself rather taken back. It was a very nice watch. He knew she spent a good chunk of change on this. Bella reaches over and presses a certain button.

“Heart rate monitor. Just in case… you never know.”

Bruce smiled.

“Thank you, Bella.”

She nods as he takes it out of the box. He takes off his old one that had seen better days. He’d had that thing for years. Just never got around to replacing it. Bruce narrowed his eyes however taking notice of the engraving on the back of the watch.

Our love is timeless- Love Bella

Bruce swallowed back and lifted his eyes towards her.

“This is easily one of the best gifts I’ve ever received.”

She smiles. Bella then pecks him on the lips.

“Happy belated birthday.”

Once he gets the watch on, Bruce kisses her. He slightly lifted her off the ground.

After the zoo they hung out in China Town for a while. They held off on eating due to the fact that Bruce had reservations elsewhere. They did a little bit of shopping and sightseeing. When it came time to go, Bruce made certain that they had a cab already waiting for them. He took her to one of the nicer restaurants. Where they ate and spent a couple hours rehashing everything they’d missed out on when it came to the other’s life. Bruce couldn’t believe how Bella was breezing right through her courses. He also was taken back that she’d decided to double up her courses. He knew how hard that must’ve been. He couldn’t even imagine the amount of homework she and how tired she must’ve been most of the time. He felt a sense of pride, yet at the same time he hoped she didn’t do that this year as well. He didn’t want Bella to burn herself out. That and selfishly he wanted whatever time he could get with her. But the more he listened to her, the more he seemed to realize she did it in order to keep busy and distracted. And she wasn’t at all the party animal Tony had tried to make her out to be. She’d only been to a couple, but she wasn’t kidding when she said her lifestyle alone kept her pretty grounded during college. Then there was the fact that she was rather following in his footsteps. He found himself rather stunned that she was going into the medical field as well.

As for Bella? She couldn’t believe some of the things Bruce told her about Loki and this tesseract. He also told her about Loki’s brother Thor. He also went more in depth about the other Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D and everything else that had taken place. She couldn’t fathom everything that Bruce had been facing. He really was a hero. They all were… Admiration washed over her as she gazed upon him. He’d come such a long ways and she couldn’t be happier for Bruce.

They both looked to one another once they were done catching up. Bruce cleared his throat knowing they still had the one issue to discuss, their future and what step to take next. Considering Tony was going to be setting up headquarters in New York, Bruce figured they might as well stay at the tower until they can find a place of their own. But they had decided on staying in New York after all. Bruce would help Bella get her transcripts and everything else transferred over to NYU. He knew it was late to be trying to apply, but he figured between him and Tony Stark they could easily squeeze her in somehow, especially with her GPA, NYU would be foaming at the mouth to get ahold of Bella Swan. The only other issue they’d have to deal with is he knew they’d want her living on campus. That’s just how some of these colleges were. Well if they were about to get married, he didn’t see the point. So that was another road they’d have to cross as well. He knew it wouldn’t be that hard to get everything settled.

The only issue they knew they’d have a hard time facing was Charlie Swan. They both knew he wouldn’t take the news very well. After all she would be moving clear across the country.

Then came the discussion of when to get married and where. They couldn’t come up with a place directly but the more they talked on it they both decided on to do so during spring break. Bella would have a couple weeks off during that time and it was more than enough for them to get married and go on some sort of honeymoon. They could get her back in time for school.

On the way back Bella leaned against Bruce’s shoulder. He kissed her forehead, but Bruce still had one more thing up his sleeve. When they got back to the tower he led her to the bedroom. Bella still couldn’t get over how big everything was. The bedroom within the tower itself could fit three of hers from their old house back in Forks.

Bella was leaning against the dresser with one hand as she went to take off one of her boots. She froze however as she heard music start to play. She snapped a look upon Bruce recognizing the song all too well. He had a single red rose in his hand and as he approached her he kissed her hand and handed her the rose. It was the Bryan Adam’s song Bruce picked out for her at prom. Only he had to have Jasper Whitlock in his place instead. Which damn near killed him, but he wanted to get his point across to Bella. And this was the one song that truly touched home to Bruce when it came to her. Every single lyric was exactly how he felt.

Bruce didn’t know a thing about dancing, but he wasn’t about to let that stop him from attempting it anyhow. He figured he couldn’t go wrong if he kept the pace slow and didn’t step on her feet. Bella had her head nestled up against his chest as they danced. He held her even tighter as he heard her breaking down. That wasn’t his intention, but he knew this was going to be a rough transition. A year was a long time to overcome. A year in which he knew she had her doubts as did he.

“Shhh…” He whispered soothingly and ran his hands along her back.

She clung onto him in such a way that actually had Bruce tear up a bit himself. He quickly wiped them away. Bruce scooped her up once the song was done. He laid her down in the bed. He took off her boots and socks. He stepped out of his shoes and socks as well. Then he lay beside her and propped himself upon his elbow. He reached over with his free hand and wiped her tears away.

“Was I that bad?” He teases.

Bella manages to softly giggle behind her tears.

“Was it my breath or did I step on your feet?”

She takes in a breath and takes his hand.

“I never thanked you for what you did. At prom… What you had Jasper do… Bruce, I know that must’ve been hard on you. Having another man step in your place to try and get your point across since you couldn’t physically be there. If anything that only made me admire and love you even more than I thought possible. I don’t know many men that could do that, if any.”

Bruce nods and takes the rose from her hand. He runs it along her lips, neck, and chest.

“You’re right it wasn’t easy. But when you’re desperate to get your point across you find yourself taking drastic measures. So yes, I had another man swoon you in my behalf. He might’ve been the one physically there, but everything else was all me.”

“I wish you could have been there.”

Bruce rather laughs at this.

“Could you imagine?”

Bella grins at his comment and shakes her head in thought.

“I could already hear the little hens clucking away the moment I marched right up to you and swept you off to the dance floor. Then stole a kiss promptly after.”

“Then I mention something about a hotel and follow you out.”

They both laugh.

“Just wait until we go back to Forks… How do you think everyone will react?”

She shrugs.
“Don’t really care.”

“You know who I’m most curious about?”
“Hm?”

“Jessica Stanley.”

Bella wrinkles her nose but dies in laughter.

“That’s so wrong.”

“I really don’t get how you and Angela remained friends with her.”

“Not so sure I ever really thought of her as a friend to be honest. She was more like someone that was just there; like a thorn in your side or a tumor even.”

Bella gets this playful grin on her face.

“And what of Ms. Jones?”

Bruce frowns and Bella giggles into her hand.

“She had it bad!”

“Hmmm, yes, she was something else that’s for certain. That woman didn’t know how to take a hint.”

“Well you handled it like a perfect gentleman. Kind of sucks to watch your man getting hit on and you can’t even do anything about it.”

“Oh we’re on the same page there. You haven’t any idea just how many heads you turn. I swear every time I lifted my head one of those boys would be gawking at you. There were a couple of times I wanted to let the other guy out on Kevin for sure.”

“OK so we both had our jealous moments.”

“Very true… However Ms. Swan. I’m more than certain I have plenty more lessons coming your way.”
“Is that so?”

He nods and tosses the rose onto the nightstand. Bruce kisses along her neck. Bella was unbuttoning his shirt, just as the alarm on his watch sounded. He tapered his eyes upon it.

“Well, we know it works.”

He takes off his watch and places it on the nightstand.

“I do believe I got this part under control.” He says with a wink.

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