“How many piercings do you have?” Tony asked as he scanned my body.

I pursed my lips and thought, “I guess ten so far.” I answered.

“I only counted nine. Where’s the other one?” He asked, his eyes shining with lust.

I shyly smiled and cooed “Someplace you won’t see in public.”

“Maybe I could convince you in private.” He beamed.

“I won’t give you the chance.” I said with a slight blush.

“Are you sure?” He asked with a devilish smile. “All the Avengers are invited to the Hero’s Gala since we saved the world and all.”

“Um, I was kinda planning on going stag.” I admitted. “It’s not that I don’t like you it’s just that I, um, want to keep my options open.”

He shrugged and said “I’ll be sure to change your mind once we’re there.”

At the Hero’s Gala I was feeling rather self-conscious. Everyone kept looking at me and whispering as soon as they thought I was out of earshot. I thought about what I must look like to other people. I was pale with dark brown eyes and bobbed hair to match, dressed in a floor length black halter dress with a slit up to the knee. The dress was backless and on my back I had gotten a corset piercing with red ribbon. At the time I thought the exotic look would go over well but now I was feeling like I would be kicked out for causing a whispering campaign. I walked over to the bar. “Grasshopper, please.” I said to the bartender. Before my drink was served I felt someone tap me on the shoulder. I reluctantly turned around, expecting to see an usher ready to lead me out of the party but instead I saw Tony. He had his broad smile which relaxed me. I picked up my drink and returned the smile while I took a sip.

“Interesting set up on your back.” He commented.

“I was going to something that no one at this gala has ever seen before.” I said.

“You’ve accomplished that.” He remarked.

“Are you sure you want to be seen with me? I’m probably a social pariah by now.” I said as I nodded in the direction of two women that were staring daggers at me and whispering.

“You’re bringing new life to this party, that’s going to get you haters. Embrace it. Speaking of life,” He purred as he took me by the arm and led me away from the bar. “there’s someone I need you to talk to. He’s out on the balcony; I need you to convince him to stay.”

“I’m not known for my powers of persuasion.” I reminded him.

“I have a feeling you can convince him and if you don’t you’ll have to show me your tenth piercing.” He said with a wink.

I walked over to the balcony, standing there was Bruce. I gathered my courage and walked next to him. “Hi.” I whispered.

He looked over at me and then quickly away. “H-hello Allison.”

“Is something wrong?” I questioned.

“N-no.” He stuttered.

“Nothing you want to talk about?” I asked.

“I, um, I think I’m going to leave!” He exclaimed and started to walk away.

“Wait, Bruce!” I squeaked, grabbing his arm. “Don’t leave me here alone.” His cheeks were red and his irises were turning acid green. “I know parties probably make you nervous but when we’re out here it’s like the party is miles away.” I soothed.

He took several deep breaths. “You look stunning tonight.” He stated.

“Do you really mean that?” I asked with a blush. “Because my corset piercing seems to offend a few people.”

“No matter what you do you always look beautiful.” He told me. “I don’t usually go for girls with piercings but—“ He started, his cheeks a bright shade of red and irises returning to green. “This was a bad idea, sorry.” He sighed and started walking away.

I stayed out on the balcony, sipping my drink. Was it the piercing that scared him off? Should I go after him? I downed the rest of my drink and put the glass on an empty tray and started walking towards the door but before I could get there Tony intercepted me.

“I’m sorry Tony, I wasn’t able to make him stay.” I confessed.

“He ran away before telling you?” He asked.

“Telling me what? Was there something he wanted to tell me?” I replied.

“Go find out.” He advised. “Oh, and remember, you have to show me that piercing as soon as we’re alone.”

I took at taxi back to Avengers Tower and knocked on the door to Bruce’s room. As soon as the door opened I greeted him with a smile. “I feel like our conversation at the party was cut short. Can we keep talking?” I asked.

He nodded and held the door open for me to enter. I sat down on his couch and he joined me shortly after.

“I wanted to tell you something but I don’t know how to say it.” He began. “I don’t think I can ever say it. Maybe it’s better left unsaid.”

“You don’t have to say it.” I responded taking a napkin and pen out of my handbag. “Just write it down. It might be easier, and remember, I don’t judge.”

He wrote on the napkin and handed it back to me. It read, “Allison, I don’t know how to explain it to you. Whenever I try to describe you the words that come to mind are cute, beautiful, exciting, and unique. Those are things I don’t know if I can handle but what I do know is that I love you.”

I looked up; my whole face was probably red. I took the napkin and wrote something on it: “I love you too. I didn’t know how to say it until now because I thought you would reject me.” He read it and gave me a bewildered smile.

I smiled back and then leaned in for a kiss. Our lips met and I felt so happy at that moment.