Bruce sleeps when he can.
He spent years of his life in favelas and similar slums, jerking awake at the slightest sounds and struggling to keep his heart rate down. New York has its own sounds, but not all of them sound like the American military.
Most of them sound like Tony, trying to tinker his trauma away. He’s manic, starting several new projects and prototypes before finishing the first, all the while dismissing JARVIS’ nannying and the doctor’s soft-spoken concerns.
For at least a little while, they have an unspoken agreement to talk about little else outside of work. If they do, it’s usually brief and incidental, almost accidental. Tony pretends that nothing’s wrong, and Bruce is kind enough to pretend he isn’t worried.
In the end, Tony is the better actor.
“Can’t sleep?” he casually asks late one night, even though his own eyes look like two bruises pressed into a skull. Still, the engineer gets up from his work bench and starts wiping down his hands before Bruce can say ‘reaction formation’.
“Could use a night light,” he says instead.
[ previously ]