tormentedeyes: (broken)
[personal profile] tormentedeyes
Title: Broken Truth
Rating: NC-17 (I'm serious.)
Disclaimer: I, in no way, own anything to do with this wonderful franchise. Just splashing around in the kiddie pool. And I apologize in advance to the Marvel peeps.
Summary: Bruce Banner always ran from people. Except for when he didn't, when he let them in. Now, though, all those doubts and uncertainties are forced back up to the surface in the worst way possible.
A/N: Okay. So. This is mostly based off of the RP group on Facebook.

He honestly doesn’t know how he got there; the last thing he remembered was talking to Jarvis via cell phone before going back to work on the hub’s maintenance. Now, he was chained to a pole. A Goddamned pole. His arms were crossed behind his back in an awkward manner, but other than that, Bruce couldn’t feel anything else out of place.

Looking around, Bruce noted he was alone in a dimly lit, damp room. He rolled his eyes. It was just his luck, getting caught in a bad cliché. It looked like there was no way out, at least not to his eyes. Nonetheless, he tried to maneuver his way free from his binds. Annoyed he may be, but he really didn’t want to hulk out at whoever was stupid enough to abduct him.

“Good evening, Dr. Banner.”

Bruce’s head snapped up, mildly surprised. He could have sworn he was alone. The man before him smiled, dressed for all the world like this was a private party for the richest of the elite. Bruce narrowed his eyes.

“No need to look so apprehensive, my good doctor,” Mister Rich Man smiled as he cocked his head to the side. “You’re chained merely as a precaution.” He could’ve been talking about the weather.

Easy, Bruce. Mind your temper. “What do you want?”

Pulling up a chair – where had that even come from? – he sat down, about a leg’s length away from Bruce’s spot on the floor. Crossing his legs, placing his hands in his lap, the man looked at Bruce as if they were in a business meeting. “I want you, Dr. Banner. I want you safe.”

“The hell?” Bruce couldn’t stop the words from leaving his mouth. He was starting to get a headache. This can’t be happening. “You’ve got a funny way of showing you care.” Bruce moved his arms, a twang heard as his chains collided with the metal pole.

His abductor chuckled. “As I’ve said, it was a precaution. I couldn’t have you lash out at me once you’ve learned the truth.” His smiled never faded. It was beginning to piss Bruce off.

“What truth?” Bruce didn’t like the way he carried himself. Maybe hulking out wasn’t such a bad idea.

“My dear Bruce,” the ever present smile actually faded then, turning into an apologetic look, “you’ve been betrayed, tricked by your so-called loved ones.”

Before Bruce could ask what the hell he was talking about, Rich Man snapped his fingers, and Bruce’s face collided with someone’s rock hard fist.

Cursing, Bruce tried to control his breathing, glaring up at his attacker. Just some dumb brute, by the look of it. “Again.” He heard Rich Man command, and the brute’s other fist made contact with Bruce’s skin. “Keep going.”

“I wouldn’t,” Bruce managed after spitting out a bit of blood. “You’ll get me angry.”

A hand stopped the brute’s fist from moving, Rich Man looking down at Bruce with... sincere sympathy? “Oh, dear doctor,” he cooed, the apologetic expression back on his face, “you have no idea what they’ve done to you.” His hand reached out to touch Bruce’s cheek, but Bruce flinched away. It didn’t seem to faze the other man. “They’ve finally found a way to contain the monster within you.”

Bruce’s brow furrowed as he let the words process. “What are you talking about?” A sense of uneasiness began to fester in his mind, its thorns sticking him.

The man smiled sadly. “Let me show you.” He moved away, behind the brute. “Anton, continue.”

The brute – Anton, apparently – delivered a swift kick to Bruce’s gut, following with a knee to the chin directly after. Somewhere beyond the winces of pain, Bruce heard the beep of his heart monitor quicken substantially. He was getting worried now. Anton’s assault didn’t let up, and with each pain-inducing hit, the beep got louder, quicker. He wanted out of there sure, but he never liked it when someone forced Hulk out of him.

His heartbeat reached its peak, and Bruce closed his eyes, waiting for the inevitable.

Except... it never came.

Bruce, with newfound panic, found that, no matter how angry he was that Anton was beating the shit out of him, no matter how much pain he was in, he was not transforming into his alter ego.

The beatings stopped, and Bruce gasped, choking on air, not so much in relief but in fear. He was honest-to-God scared, and wasn’t that a plot twist? He was afraid of not turning into the Hulk. How fucked up was that?

His abductor, the fucking devil himself, knelt down in front of him, his eyes gleaming and that sad little smile on his face. “You won’t change, Bruce.” He went to reach for Bruce again, but the kick to his arm stopped him. Bruce got another hit to his head for that. “Now, doctor, please don’t fight the truth; it’ll only make things more difficult for you.”

“You’re doing something,” Bruce accused, panting slightly. It felt like he was having a heart attack. “You have to be using... magic or something.” Fuck. If this guy was using magic, he was in deep shit. God, he hated magic.

A sigh brought him out of his musings. “Dr. Banner, magic can only affect the mind. It leaves no physical effect, unless the magic causes the one affected to harm oneself. However,” that pitying expression returned to his face as he stared at Bruce, “the Hulk would not allow any harm to come to you, as you yourself have proven.” He stood up, taking a step or two back. “Therefore, magic is not the cause of the lack of transformation.”

Bruce narrowed his eyes. “Then this is a dream. Contrary to popular belief, people can feel pain when they dream.” Bruce tried tugging at his restraints again, his wrists becoming raw from the struggle.

“My dear doctor,” he sounded so disappointed, “must I prove to you that it’s real?” He snapped his fingers again, and Bruce braced himself for more blows. However, Anton appeared with a tray, and Bruce decided he didn’t like that one bit. He threw himself forward, trying to break the chains, or even the damn pole.

Anton held out the tray for Rich Man to take and moved away from him, a scalpel in his hands. “I’d advise biting down on the leather, Dr. Banner. It’ll lessen the pain.”

“The fuck are you –!” Anton shoved the rolled up leather into Bruce’s mouth, effectively cutting off any of his complaints, and held it in there. Bruce tried to kick, his heart racing from terror, but the big brute all but sat on his legs. After placing the scalpel in his mouth, Anton used his now free hand to rip Bruce’s jeans down his legs. A flare of panic rushed through him as Bruce watched as Anton retrieved the scalpel from his mouth and placed it on the inside of his left thigh.

“Delicately, now. Careful not to breach his artery.” And with that, Anton let the blade slice into Bruce’s skin, eliciting a muffled cry of pain. He let it sit there for a moment before sliding it down his thigh. Bruce tried not to cry out, but it hurt like a bitch. Anton twisted the scalpel, and Bruce wailed, choking back tears, his vision blacking around the edges. Anton didn’t bother keeping a hold of Bruce’s mouth as he no longer had any qualms about biting down on the leather, trying to do anything to distract him from the searing pain in thigh. He barely registered Rich Man handing Anton a pair of tweezers.

With the scalpel still lodged in Bruce’s skin, Anton dug the tweezers into the open wound, causing another painful sob as he maneuvered the tools inside Bruce’s body. After several agonizing seconds in which Bruce was almost sure he was going to pass out from either pain, shock, or blood loss, the tweezers were withdrawn, something no bigger than a pea between the levers.

“He is a rather cunning genius, that Mr. Stark.” Rich Man spoke lazily as he slipped on a latex glove. The fact that Bruce was seconds away from passing out seemed to unconcern him. “This tracking device was perfectly designed to withstand the body’s harsh environment and rest within it unnoticed.” Bruce glared at him, ready to tell him he was talking nonsense and where he could shove the tweezers when Rich Man held them under a magnifying glass in front of him to see. “Quite egotistical, isn’t he?”

Bruce stared at the little pea-sized device, a wave of coldness crashing over him. Stark Industries was written in its signature logo across the surface. Oh God. Tony had tagged him? Why? Nick’s shadow team could track him just fine. His teleporter worked well, too. Why would Tony tag him? Bruce narrowed his eyes, letting the leather fall from his mouth. “Bullshit.”

“Why do you think SHIELD allowed you to stay with Mr. Stark? Because the man vouched for you? My dear doctor, Mr. Stark is working under Director Fury’s orders. He has been commissioned to find a way to contain and control the Hulk, and he has, by way of a certain robotic butler.”

Bruce’s blood ran cold as ice. Don’t listen, Bruce. “Fuck you.”

“After his attempt you woo you himself failed miserably, Mr. Stark began to notice how you acted around his faithful creation; he then formulated a plan and adjusted Jarvis’ programming accordingly.”

“Shut up.” Bruce shook his head, forcing the doubts that were arising back down into the depths of his mind. It’s not fucking true.

“It worked marvelously, didn’t it? It took a while, but you let your guard down in front of him, let him in close. You allowed Jarvis to view you in your weakest, most vulnerable moments. That’s when Jarvis moved in and ... modified you. After all, he’s had plenty of opportunity, yes?”

Oh my God. “Shut. Up.” Bruce squeezed his eyes shut, trying to make himself wake up, something. He didn’t want to hear any more.

“I feel sorry for you, Dr. Banner. I really do.” His free hand reached out and caressed Bruce’s chin, making him face his abductor. “Being drawn into Mr. Stark’s lies and control without anyone the wiser. I never would have thought it, but he is rather cunning, isn’t he?”

Bruce glared, refusing to respond; he wouldn’t give the psychopath the satisfaction. Anton was fooling with something behind them. Bruce could hear the hiss of whatever he was doing.

“It’s understandable how he manages to keep that dimwitted thunder god from cluing into his plans; that overgrown child never had any brains about him, especially where it concerns humans.” Rich Man scoffed, looking rather miffed at the mere thought of Thor. He moved away from Bruce then, letting Anton kneel in front of him again, a heated iron in his hands. Before Bruce could react, the leather was shoved back into his mouth as the iron made contact with his skin, cauterizing his wound and eliciting another choked sob. Rich Man didn’t seem to notice as he continued to speak.

“Mr. Rogers was a bit more difficult, I’d imagine. I mean really, Dr. Banner; I’m surprised you never questioned it. Mr. Rogers was always kept busy with SHIELD missions, and when he returned, Mr. Stark would distract his time with sex and decadence. Rather brilliant, I must add. After all, my dear Bruce, Steve – the ever valiant man he is – would have put a stop to it if he found out. Then again, you didn’t help matters by shying away from the others.”

Bruce tried to breathe evenly, tears welling up in his eyes as pain seared into his skin. He almost missed the lunatic’s words, but they stung, too. He shied away from people to protect them, to keep them – and him – safe. Now he’s being told that was his undoing?

“Such a pity, really.” Rich Man tsked, his hands resting behind his back. “If you hadn’t had been such a loner, I wouldn’t have to do this…” He snapped his fingers again, and Anton was suddenly looming over him, completely invading his space.

A sinking feeling settled itself in Bruce’s stomach as he looked into Anton’s eyes. Without any warning, he tore Bruce’s underwear off, yanking the leather out of his mouth soon after. Heart pounding in his ears, Bruce tried to break free from his chains, the cuffs cutting into his skin; he’s pretty sure he's bleeding now. This is not happening. This is a dream. Wake. Up.

Bruce cried out, unable to hide the pain as Anton pushed into him, trying his hardest not to sob. Jesus fucking Christ.

“You need to feel this pain, Dr. Banner, so that you know all that happens is real.” Rich Man spoke, and Bruce wanted nothing more than to bash his skull in. “Tell me, how was your first time with Jarvis?” Anton grabbed his legs, spreading them, forcing Bruce to take in all of him. He refused to speak, the sting of tears tugging behind his eyes. “Did you take him, bent him over some household surface and had your way with him?” Bruce grit his teeth as Anton slowly, agonizingly, slid out of him. “Or did he take you? Did you give yourself to him like a bitch in heat?”

A sob broke free from Bruce’s lips as Anton thrust, hard, back into him. It felt like he was being ripped a part. Why? Why was that psycho doing this? His anger flared again, at himself, at Anton, at the Rich Man. The beep of his monitor quickened again, but nothing happened. Shit. Anton thrust into him, creating a ruthless pace, and Bruce couldn’t stop his screams if the world depended on it. And all the while, the psychotic motherfucker kept on talking.

“Did they make you feel loved, Dr. Banner? Did Mr. Stark make it seem like you were his only friend, like he cared about you above the rest? Did the Avengers try to make you feel like you’re an important part of the team? How could you believe them? You, who have more hate and rage than any other on the planet? You, who murdered your own father in cold blood. How could they possibly love someone like you?”

Bruce tried to focus on something else, something other than the words, but that left him listening to the way Anton grunted, feeling the way his hands dug into his skin, listening to his own shouts of pain as his body was being relentlessly abused. So, as he didn’t want to dwell on what was happening to him, Bruce found himself focusing on what the Rich Man was saying, inexplicably enraptured.

“I mean, really, dear doctor, the god of evil and madness ‘herself’ likes you. That should tell you something. Evil, wicked, and pathetic beings tend to recognize each other. Another opportunity Director Fury took advantage of. Tell me, Bruce, how did you ever let yourself be taken under their hold?”

Anton never relented in his thrusts, his hands grasping Bruce’s hips, pulling him roughly onto his cock. Bruce tried to control his breathing, tried to block out the pain, but every time he was close to displacing himself from the situation, Anton would find a new way to bring him back into the situation, like aggravating the cauterized scar in Bruce’s thigh, causing the scientist to wail, choking on his sobs. He hated himself for not being able to hold in his cries.

“Dr. Banner,” Rich Man was right next to him suddenly, a hand caressing his cheek, and Anton mercifully stopped his assault. “Bruce, are you listening to me?” Remarkably, confusion settled on Bruce’s features, wondering what the hell he was talking about; the guy hasn’t stopped talking since he woke up. “You’re not enjoying this, are you?”

A whole new wave of anger rushed through him, and Bruce could have sworn he’d actually seen red. “The fuck –” an intake of breath as Anton gripped his wound again “– are you asking!” As if he’d actually enjoy something like this! As if he’d enjoy being beaten, used, and abused as they were doing to him.

After nodding at Anton to continue – which he did with renewed intensity, making Bruce cry out even harder – Rich Man continued speaking, caressing Bruce’s cheek still. “I only ask because you seem to like people abusing you. Why else would you let those so-called heroes capture and tame you as if you were some dumb beast of burden, ready to use you for their bidden whenever they want?” Even despite the new wave of pain the washed over him, Bruce tried breaking from his binds, longing to bring his hands from behind him to strike his abductor for touching him, for dragging the doubts that he had finally managed to lay to rest back up to the surface in the worst way possible.

A particularly harsh thrust stopped all his thinking abilities, and Bruce ground his head against the pole, his hands clenching into fists, fingernails digging into skin. It felt like Anton was trying to breach even deeper into him, impossibly so. Bruce's breathing came out ragged through his nose, his jaw clenched.

“You know, Dr. Banner,” Bruce vaguely heard the man, trying to focus all his energy into preventing an all out bawl fest, “You really are quite sexual, even like this.” That hand, gentle before, roughly clasped his chin, tilting Bruce’s head back so he could look into his eyes. “It’s no wonder that Jarvis records your little intimate sessions for Mr. Stalk’s viewing pleasure.” Bruce’s eyes widened, the physical pain fading into the background momentarily. Jarvis wouldn’t. He had assured Bruce, had promised him, that they would have privacy, especially from Tony. He wouldn’t.

“After all, there isn’t an order that Jarvis wouldn’t follow; he simply isn’t capable of disobeying his master: the perfect machine, devoid of the complications of emotions, especially love.”

His abductor released his chin, and Bruce just let his head fall back, hanging beside the pole as Anton picked up his pace. When the brute climaxed within him, Bruce felt numb, shuddering as he pulled out, his entrance raw and tender.

Once again, a hand was cupping his chin, turning his face. “I think our first session went rather well, don’t you, Dr. Banner?” His voice was soft, and his smile was sad. “However, I don’t think you fully understand the truth yet.” The man nodded at Anton, signaling him to leave. “But not to worry, my dear Bruce, we shall visit you several times a day until you finally believe.” Patting his head lightly, he moved away from Bruce, his voice fading as he left the room. “Remember that I’m doing this for your own good; you need to see what those people have done to you.” There was click of a lock, and then everything was quiet.

They left him in the darkness, their promise of returning for repeated performances lingering in the air, and it was only then that Bruce let all the information sink in and swirl in his mind, tears falling freely.


A few hows later, another therapy session began, one crueler than the first. Things only got worse from that point.


Bruce blinked as whiteness engulfed his vision. He felt so exhausted. His eyes were heavy; he was having difficulty keeping them open. Out of the corner of his eyes, Bruce saw Captain America retrieving his shield from where it had been embedded in the wall. A wave of relief washed over him as he noticed the room was nothing like the one he was in before, no damp walls, no dark shadows, no worries. It was all a dream after all. A long, terrible nightmare.

His attention focused on Captain America, trying to offer an apologetic smile through his weariness. Sorry for getting abducted and making a fuss and all that. It was only when Cap inhaled sharply and cursed under his breath did Bruce know something was wrong. Peering down, Bruce’s eyes widened. Fuck...

His was still naked. The bruises were still there. The cauterized gash still ran along his thigh. The cuts still peppered his skin. The blood and... and semen... Oh God.

“Bruce?” Bruce gazed up, unaware that he was shaking, into the eyes of Captain America. Shit. His heart rate was increasing, and he couldn’t breathe.

Captain America was beside him in a second. After using it to break the chain, Cap placed his shield aside and moved to place a hand on his friend's shoulder. Bruce flinched violently, backing further into the pole. Get away from me!

Captain America stilled, taking in the frightened, shivering form in front of him. Carefully, with slow, deliberate movements so as not to startle Bruce again, he pulled off his cowl, fully revealing his face. Bruce stared at the action. That was against Steve’s protocol with SHIELD; Nick pitches a fit if the “boy scout” reveals his face when on a mission, when in costume.

“Bruce,” Steve spoke gently, “it’s me; I’m your friend.” Steve held out his hand, his eyes compassionate. “I haven’t always been there – for that, I’m sorry – but you’re safe now.”

Bruce stared at the hand held out before him, processing the words. His heartbeat was still racing, yet nothing was happening. Fuck. Bruce closed his eyes. He didn’t want to believe it. But... it made sense. He always doubted, always questioned, but never... He trusted them, damn it. He loved them, for fuck’s sake. It was all a lie. They lied to him.

“Bruce?” Steve called, concern dripping from his voice. His hand never wavered; he was letting Bruce decide when to take it. Bruce looked at him. You didn't help matters by shying away from the others. It was your own undoing. “Bruce, please.” Steve was truly worried. Truly cared.

Hesitantly, Bruce attempted to grab hold of Steve’s hand. That didn’t go so well, however, because the moment Bruce tried to move, pain jolted throughout his body, making him groan, tears springing to his eyes. Jesus Christ, he’s never been in so much pain in his life. The transformations were better compared to this.

Steve was by him in an instant, wrapping his arms delicately around Bruce’s shoulders. With gentle and what he hoped were soothing hands, Steve rubbed his back as sobs racked his body. God, he’d never felt as pathetic as he did right then, but Bruce couldn’t stop the tears even if he tried. It was just all so fucked up. Tony and Jarvis betrayed him.

Before either could say anything, Iron Man landed in the room, making Steve get in a defensive position and Bruce wince. Steve relaxed a bit; Bruce only shivered. “Well, bad guy got away somehow.” The faceplate opened, revealing Tony’s irritable face. “Next time, though, he’s dead. No one messes with my Banner and gets away with it.”

Bruce narrowed his eyes. His?

“You okay, Banner?” Tony quirked an eyebrow. “Didn’t Hulk out?”

“Tony!” Steve snapped, cutting off Bruce’s curse. He exaggeratedly glanced at Bruce, alerting his condition to Tony. “Knock it off and be a little more sensitive.” His tone was firm, and his grip on Bruce’s shoulders tightened, ever so slightly, protective.

Tony frowned, looked hurt. Maybe even pained. “Easy there, Winghead, he knows I was just kidding.” He picked up a blanket from somewhere and moved toward them, intent on covering Bruce. “I was really worried.” Tony stopped moving when Bruce flinched. “Banner?”

“Get away from me.” Bruce’s voice was rough, hoarse from screaming. Oh God, did I scream like that?

“What?” Tony seemed stunned.

“Get the fuck away from me.” It was a pathetic snarl at best.

Tony looked like he received a blow to his ARC reactor.

Steve gently turned Bruce to face him. “What’s wrong, Bruce?” His eyes searched him, alarm and concern displayed freely. Bruce just stared at him, weariness starting to take control. He shook his head, trying to shrug out of Steve’s grip.

“Keep him away.” Bruce was shivering, the pain making him squeeze his eyes close, still trying to get out of Steve’s grasp. “That bastard...” The last thing that passed through Bruce’s mind, other than the reality he was betrayed, was Steve’s alarmed yell as Bruce blacked out.


Bruce was vaguely aware of people yelling, though judging from their tones, they were trying to be quiet.

“He’s been missing for a week and was muttering about betrayal.”

“I’m telling you, I don’t know what he’s talking about!”

“I heard him myself... Tony, I need to know the truth.”

“Steve, seriously? He’s one of my best friends, for fuck’s sake!”

“Gentlemen, please. You’ll wake Dr. Banner.” Bruce knew that voice. Knew that hand on his forehead...

Bruce’s eyes snapped open, and his vision was filled with the surprised expression of one android butler. Jarvis. Jerking away from the touch, Bruce rolled off the bed, Jarvis too stunned to react. Crawling away, Bruce ran into a pair of legs, his heart pounding in his ears.

“Bruce, don’t strain yourself.” Steve knelt in front of him, hands clearly visible, not wanting to spook him. “You should be resting.” He offered to help Bruce up.

“Dr. Banner,” Jarvis was up as well, moving toward them. “Are you alright?”

“Leave me alone.” Bruce spat, the pain flaring now that adrenaline wore off, making him shudder.

Jarvis blinked, obviously taken aback. “Sir?”

“Fuck off.” Bruce glared, clenching his fists. Don’t look at me like that. It only makes everything worse. Steve placed a gentle but firm hand on his shoulder, forcing Bruce to look at him.

“Bruce, you need to calm down.” Steve gently pulled him to his feet. “You shouldn’t be so harsh.” He held on when Bruce swayed dangerously. “Jarvis just wants to help.” Jarvis looked on helplessly, hurt in his eyes.

“He’s done enough.” Bruce muttered, hands subconsciously gripping Steve’s arms so hard his knuckles whitened. “Both of them have done enough.” He was shaking again. Fuck. It was harder to admit than he thought.

“Bruce...” Tony was in the door frame, his eyes big and watery, brow creased. “What’s wrong?” He didn’t make a move, though.

Bruce just stared at him, expression hard. He wanted to ask why. Why go through all of that, why make him give his heart away, just to suppress and control the Hulk? He could have just asked him; that would have been better than tormenting the fuck out of him with Jarvis. Bruce wanted to voice his questions, but his voice wouldn’t cooperate. Why?

“Dr. Banner...” Jarvis spoke quietly, sounding absolutely lost. “Bruce?”

“Don’t you even,” Bruce warned, shuddering as he felt the tears building, “Don’t you even call me that after what you’ve done.” His voice cracked and the tears began to fall, and he just didn’t care. Everything didn’t matter.

Jarvis glanced from Bruce in Steve’s hold to Tony’s still form in the doorway, a truly perplexed expression on his face. “What have I done, sir?” He was obviously hurting.

“Just leave me alone. You accomplished what you set out to do.” Bruce felt Steve’s grip tighten slightly and tried to get away. “Go back to relaying information to Stark, like you’ve always done.”

“Bruce!” Tony took a quick step into the room, stopping just as quickly as both Bruce and Jarvis flinched. “Jarvis does not report to me about anything, especially not you.”

“Whatever you say, Stark.” Bruce muttered, still trying to get away from Steve. The man was becoming annoying, but he simply didn’t have the strength to break free from his grasp.

“Dr. Banner,” Jarvis was in front of him, a determined look in his eyes, “I would never do anything to hurt you. You... mean a lot to me.” A gentle hand – one Bruce knew so well – was on his cheek, Jarvis’ eyes bright with emotion. Bruce felt sick.

“Stop fucking with me,” Bruce jerked out of both Steve and Jarvis’ reach. He fell to the floor again, landing on his backside, glaring up at them through the searing pain. Jarvis was frozen where he stood, his normally impassive face showing alarm and shock. “You did it, okay? You got my guard down, and you got what you were after. Just,” Bruce’s voice broke, a sob escaping his lips, mildly hating that he was breaking in front of them, giving them the satisfaction, but he didn’t have the energy to really care, “just leave me alone.” He lay down, giving up on everything, glazed eyes staring at the ceiling, at nothing. “It’s over. I give up. You win. Leave me alone.”

Tony walked quietly out the room, the way Bruce had just collapsed on the floor, had just lain there, freaked him out too much. It seemed like he was broken, utterly and completely broken. Tony let out a sob, cursing himself for being too late to stop whatever had happened to Bruce. Steve stood in the room, looking between Bruce’s defeated form and Jarvis’ heartbreaking expression of loss. He felt helpless, unable to find the right thing to say to either man; he did, though, swear vengeance on whoever did this to his friend. And Jarvis… Jarvis felt like he’s been shut down again, unsure if what he’s just experienced and witnessed was real.

Bruce didn’t care.

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