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Clean Break

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Gregory would never ask to speak with him-it's never that simple. It's all a game, a match of wits, where his prize so to speak is the right to talk to him and they aren't children any more but Greg does so love his competitions.

 

“Sales are down 5% since the last time I visited,” he says, a glass of scotch against his lips, “what could possibly be your excuse this time?”

 

“And I suppose yours are up? No, of course not,” he smiles, and the loose ring of people around them all glance at each other. Their...disagreements are hardly news any more-so much so that the tabloids had run a story about their apparent 'falling out'. Naturally, he's remiss to tell them the truth of it and doubts Gregory will be leaking that particular story to the press any time soon.

 

“Hardly surprising considering I've just opened a new branch. And when was the last time you did anything of note?” he raises his eyebrows as if waiting for an answer then lowers them, “but of course you've been developing those phones.”

 

His fingertips drum on the bell of his martini glass and Gregory observes the habit with his mouth set in a line, “By next quarter they'll be outselling everything else.”

 

If he lives that long.

 

“Of course they will little brother, it's not as though you've ever used father's money to fund one of your foolish personal endeavours before.”

 

“Don't be angry I thought of it first, darling, I'm sure that everyone will love your StarkPhone bootlegs,” he peers over his brother's shoulder, sliding past him, “if you'll excuse me, I have a date with a beautiful blonde.”

 

“By all means, enjoy your bimbos.”

 

“Women, Greg,” he calls back, “most prefer the term women.”

 

He doesn't remember who she works for or why she's at a gala for funding research for an experimental alloy but it hardly matters when he has his hands up her dress in the bathroom. She tastes like champagne and smells like florals and she shivers when he touches her right-he drinks her in like he could get drunk off of her and god if he could he would have been dead years ago.

 

“You're bleeding,” she says with a gasp not totally divorced from the way that he's fucking her against a sink.

 

“I'm-oh,” he feels the blood smear under his fingertips and doesn't stop with a few drops. She gets him a wad of toilet paper and leaves, shivering for another reason entirely. What's a little bit of blood between hook ups? He wants to ask but occupies himself with forcing his nose to stop bleeding instead.

 

He looks gaunt-of course he does, he has cancer-and pale and just entirely dreadful. He makes certain to get every bit of blood before adjusting his tie and stepping out of the bathroom. Gregory can't know. Of course he can't even if Tony has convinced himself somehow that his brother would forgive all of his slights. He won't, though, he has to be realistic and the oncologist had said-well they hadn't said exactly how long it would take to succumb to the tumour after all, it could be years. It could be months.

 

Gregory doesn't catch his eye when he passes him on the way to the bar but his spying skills could use some work so he sees him observing Tony ordering another drink. He taps on his glass again and after a few moments Gregory taps back. Morse code had been easy for them both to master, even as children, and though it suits him more than Greg to have tics like that (the papers say he has a drug habit, if only they knew) they use it anyway.

 

He watches him excuse himself from the men he's talking to and head in the direction of the bathroom. A few minutes later Tony follows, bypassing the bathrooms and converging on their agreed upon meeting place.

 

A coat closet hardly represents an ideal place after years of his bed or Greg's but he closes the door behind himself, securing their hiding spot amongst the coats. It smells of a mix of everyone's perfume and cologne and the only light is on the wall behind Gregory so he can barely see his face. Years ago that would have been a blessing. Now he isn't certain what it is.

 

“Your little games are going to catch up with you, brother.”

 

“You came, didn't you?” he loosens his tie, hangs up his jacket.

 

“Someone has to ensure that you haven't run father's company into the ground.”

 

He reaches over and pulls Gregory's tie out from his jacket, reels him in, “that's why you came back to Manhattan. That's not why you came to this place in particular.”

 

“And I suppose you have a theory as to why I did,” he stands motionless for now because the gauntlet has yet to be thrown and right now it's a game of wills. It's all a game to Gregory.

 

“Well it wasn't for the women and you're years ahead of any of this so I have to assume it's because you missed me.”

 

“That always was your problem, Anthony, sentiment,” he says and when he presses their lips together it's crushing, one of his hands curling loosely around Tony's throat that anyone else would see as a threat. But Tony knows this game, too, and so he lets him have his fun.

 

“I hope you don't think I've been faithful, darling,” he murmurs after pulling away to wet his lips. They tingle now and they'll be redder than they were even after his earlier encounter but that only makes his arousal burn hotter. He's always enjoyed a good scandal after all and he can spin it into sales if he treads the line between good press and bad properly even if the part about his debauchery carefully excludes his escapades with his brother. Incest is bad for business but he'd be a liar if he said that the threat of being found out would stop him.

 

“No, you always were a slut. First with that Josey woman and now-”

 

“Jealousy is so unbecoming, Gregory.”

 

Gregory kisses like he does business and when they pull apart again Tony tastes blood on his lips, feels fingernail marks at the back of his neck and god, for all that he loves control his brother is so easy to take it from. But then, that's always been Tony's gambit-piss them off until they lose it completely. It works, and when he sinks to his knees he hears the noise Greg makes above him. His hand moves to his hair and pulls. He really is terrible at hiding it when he wants something.

 

“You could at least say please,” he says as he unbuttons the fly of his obnoxiously white pants.

 

“Why? You enjoy it, don't you?”

 

“It's a wonder why you aren't married yet, Greg, really.”

 

“Neither are you.”

 

His mouth waters when he finally pulls him out of his underwear-white, again, so predictable-and he looks upward to catch his eye, “maybe I just haven't told you I am yet.”

 

“You say that as though it's possible for you to keep anything from me.”

 

He licks him from base to tip before closing his lips around the head of his cock, letting it fall from his mouth after a moment, just to hear how Gregory protests. “How long has it been? You're so hard already I'm surprised you haven't already come.”

 

“I’m not a teenager.”

 

“I'm flattered that you save yourself for me but I'll survive the slight if you don't. What kind of brother would I be if I expected that?”

 

“What would father have to say about your antics, do you think? All of his years of hard work and his successor is parading himself around like a showgirl,” he bites out and the hand in Tony's hair tightens reflexively, sending a shiver through him.

 

“Well I do have the legs for it, don't I?”

 

“Shut up,” his cock pushes insistently into Tony's mouth and he doesn't try to stop it, just lets it happen until it bumps the back of his throat and he has to pull back. He recognizes a challenge when he sees one though and clenches his eyes shut tight as he tries to ignore his gag reflex. It sounds obscene when he sucks, lets him fuck his mouth but he can never get enough, can never taste enough. He's greedy for it and Gregory tells him so as he pulls him further onto his cock. It's hardly ideal but the feeling of his hands in his hair, his skin against his skin is an addiction-one that had started when they were boys(not children, they've never been children) and Gregory had yet to submit to their father's insisting that they compete at every opportunity.

 

He's no good at denying himself and if Gregory were he wouldn't be here, wouldn't have been there when their mother had died and Tony hadn't been able to stop crying. Gregory hadn't wept then-Tony can't remember the last time he has but it doesn't matter, really, because they had each other. He wonders if he'll cry at his funeral, if he'll say something with something other than scorn on his face or if he'll simply add it to his list of accomplishments; “outlived Tony”. But he hadn't been there two weeks ago when Tony had tried to drink himself to death and so he can't hold out much hope for him showing up when Tony is in the ground either.

 

“You're really too good at this,” he mutters; Tony doesn't know whether it's meant as a compliment or an insult but pulls off anyway, breathing harshly.

 

“Better than you.”

 

“Perhaps if you didn’t thoroughly botch every other attempt you make to prove yourself as superior you wouldn’t have to make things like that as a matter of pride.”

 

He doesn’t bother fighting with him anymore, it doesn’t ever lead to anything and he feels how close he is. Maybe he’ll be more willing to play nice after he’s had some form of relief.

 

It only takes another minute before he comes down his throat soundlessly. He hasn't always been quiet but they're in a coat closet in the middle of a party and it's not an unfamiliar situation but now isn't then and Gregory even speaking to him is nothing short of a miracle.

 

“Not going to offer to return the favour?” he wipes his mouth with the back of his hand, gets to his feet where he can't ignore how hard he is and smirks, “oh yeah, that's right, the last time you couldn't even get me to come without my help.”

 

“Is this the part where you expect me to grovel? Because unlike you father instilled me with some modicum of self-respect,” he’s breathless but trying to hide it, albeit poorly.

 

Tony tucks his dick back into his pants with more gentleness than is probably necessary, “So you're scared. It's almost endearing.”

 

“You can goad me all you like, it won't change my mind.”

 

“Then why are you still here?” he asks and gets the distinct impression if he could get away with it Gregory would kill him right here with a coat hanger-he's inventive, they both are, he would find a way but doesn't.

 

“Because you look a mess. It's a wonder you can even be seen in public,” he says and his hands are in Tony's hair again, smoothing it back before returning his attention to his own clothing.

 

“I'm in awe of your concern, brother, really.”

 

“One of us has to keep up the family name,” Greg says and he rolls his eyes because of course, it's always about the family name. God forbid he actually admit some sort of affection for his own brother.

 

“I’ve got the company though,” it’s a low blow but it makes him shove him against the wall so it’s a victory anyway.

 

Gregory shoves his hand down Tony’s pants and he does his best not to arch into it because it will ruin the illusion that Greg has the upper hand so to speak. He’s learned to like it when it hurts and that’s really his brother’s favourite game. His grip on Tony’s cock is too hard and he bites his neck as if he’s trying to break the skin beneath his collar, like he’s marking him and he can’t hold back the shiver.

 

“You have the company for now.”

 

“I told you you could have it,” he says lightly as though that conversation hadn’t ended much like this one, “you didn’t want it.”

 

“I didn’t want your cast offs.”

 

“But you’ll take father’s.”

 

He speeds up his strokes and Tony bites his lip to keep the noises in his throat from escaping, “that’s a legacy, what have you done with it? Nothing.”

 

“You won’t even give me a chance,” he says between clenched teeth and it’s hardly the best time for such a conversation and he sincerely doubts that it will have any effect anyway, “I’m trying to do something worthwhile, but it’s not what you would do so it’s not worth anything to you.”

 

“I’ve given you plenty of chances, good god, what do you think my going to England was? You couldn’t do a thing without me and it appears little brother that is still the case. Without me pushing you Stark Industries would be bankrupt already.”

 

He comes in his hand and Gregory allows him exactly ten seconds of weak knees before plucking the handkerchief from Tony’s pocket and wiping his hand clean, “I would ask if you had any hand sanitizer but you find it appropriate to fuck women in bathrooms.”

 

Its sounds wrong to hear him swear but then, it’s only to emphasize how distasteful he finds all of Tony’s behaviour so it doesn’t count for much. “It’s not that terrible, Gregory, really.”

 

“I don’t have time for your disgusting habits,” he stuffs the scrap of fabric back into Tony’s pocket, his nose wrinkled, “unlike you I have other things to attend to.”

 

“Not even a kiss goodbye?”

 

“Is that not how you do this?” he adjusts his tie and pushes the door open, leaving Tony behind without even a backwards glance. It feels startlingly similar to him leaving for England and he shouldn’t be surprised-clean breaks have always been Gregory’s style-but it’s possible this will be the last time they see one another. Then again, he always runs that risk with Gregory.

 

When he finally leaves the closet the rest of the night blurs together with the help of booze and women but the morning is always there to slap him back to reality. Jarvis hands him a paper and he shouldn’t be surprised that Gregory is on the front page except that he is and it’s not cellphones he’s peddling now but it doesn’t have to be, the implication is clear, Tony needs to step up his game or Gregory will up the stakes again.

 

He strolls to his workshop and it’s only red parts strewn over a few tables, an idea more than a concrete plan but it’s something-something bigger than Gregory and his ridiculous games, than the cancer in his brain. He calls up the files on the computer and goes over his blueprint again, inputs the name because something like this can’t just remain ‘suit of armour’. Iron Man. Yeah, that sounds about right.