labcoatgirl: (angry)
[follows this]

It was a long trip, almost six hours before she was in New York. Betty hadn't driven much in big city like this so she was grateful for the turn by turn directions of her GPS. Stark tower loomed in the center of town, the glowing sign lighting up the dark. It was still a wreck here, she had to avoid multiple construction sites, passing huge holes in the road and businesses smashed to pieces.

She parked in a lot a short distance away from the tower, who's sign was reduced to just a single A glowing overhead. Betty got out of the car and started walking, thumbing her phone as she posted on twitter, to make sure Bruce knew she was there.

@drbanner I'm here, walking towards the tower.

Date: 2012-06-02 08:30 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] brokeharlem.livejournal.com
Bruce probably should have warned her about the state of the area around the Stark Tower -- or well, at very least reminded her, since the scope of the devestation and the subsequent reconstruction wasn't exactly being kept on the down low -- but he hadn't thought about it. Nor had he stopped to think that it might have added a little time to her trip, too excited and nervous both to consider logic, and so when she hadn't shown up after exactly five and a half hours, as promised, he'd feared the worst.

Her father had caught wind of where she was going and stopped her; he'd sent a team specialized in dealing with people like him in her place. Something had happened on the way up here and she'd been in a horrific car accident. Some threat to the world's security, something the Avengers would likely be called in to deal with, had materalized somewhere between here and home, and Betty had been at the epicenter. The list went on and on. His entire life thus far had practically been a worst case scenario, and as such and if nothing else, he had gotten very, very good at assuming the same bad luck would follow everyone he cared about.

It was a relief to get Betty's tweet, to learn that he'd just been being paranoid in this case, and he turned from where he'd been headed back into the Tower to get Tony, fumbling with his phone to type out a response.

@elizabetty I'm outside.

Date: 2012-06-02 08:34 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] labcoatgirl.livejournal.com
ext_1359443: (angry)
Betty's almost at the doors at that point when her phone gives her a ding that she has another tweet. She looks at it and quickly pockets the phone, pushing her way through the revolving doors and hoping this was the only entrance. It would be awful if they kept chasing each other around the tower without ever meeting, but it did seem like the kind of luck they would have after all this time.

She was getting a few butterflies herself. What if he had changed after all this time? Time could change people. Betty took a breath, walking up to the receptionist filing her nails, reminding herself that no matter which way this went, she just wanted to be sure he was alright. "Excuse me, I'm here to see Bruce Banner..."

Date: 2012-06-02 08:43 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] brokeharlem.livejournal.com
"Doctor Banner went out a few hours ago," the receptionist tells her blandly, without looking up from her nails.

"Doctor Banner's right here, actually," Bruce puts in from behind them. He'd seen Betty come in and had been too stunned to call out to her -- this was really happening, she didn't look a day older than the last time he'd seen her, despite the fact that it had been at least two years, and God, it all made his heart hurt -- but he had at least had the sense to follow her as he tried to find his words.

It helped that the receptionist faltered. It helps less that he's not sure what to say now, and so he flips her a faint, idle wave, before clasping his hands in front of him to keep from fidgeting. " ... hi."

Date: 2012-06-02 08:49 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] labcoatgirl.livejournal.com
ext_1359443: (come home with me)
Her heart leaps at his voice, turning around quickly.

He looked older, time and stress had not been kind to him. But it was still him, still Bruce.

There's only a second's delay of hesitation before she's throwing her arms around him in a hug, throwing caution to the wind. "....hi."

Date: 2012-06-02 08:54 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] brokeharlem.livejournal.com
He wraps his arms around her in turn, muscle memory picking up where he's still nervous, still uncertain, and pulls her close to him. It takes longer than is probably proper for him to pull away, and he smiles wanly but genuinely, the expression fond and perhaps a little shy. " ... would it be too weird if I told you I missed you?"

Date: 2012-06-02 08:56 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] labcoatgirl.livejournal.com
ext_1359443: (come home with me)
She'd never let go if he didn't end the hug. He still smelled the same, if that made any sense. Her eyes were wet as she smiled back at him fondly, cupping his face with her hands. "No, no it wouldn't."

Date: 2012-06-02 09:04 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] brokeharlem.livejournal.com
"Good," he says, hands coming to rest on her upper arms to keep her close. It probably gives the impression that he's afraid of letting her go, that if he does, he'll wake up in bed, on the half-built floor Tony's been putting together for him as part of his renovations, all of this a dream. That impression isn't all that far from the truth. "I missed you."

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ext_1359443: (come home with me)
She would love to see him in a suit. Rumpled or otherwise. Betty sighs, still fingering his lapels. "I don't know how you managed for so long." Keeping his sanity, staying ahead of the army, finding food and clothing with next to nothing.
It's not hard to recognize that they're not talking about the state of his clothing anymore, and he sobers a little, breathing out a sigh along with her.

"It's been rough," he says, eyes drifting back down to her fingers at his shirt, his attentions as fixed on them as they had been on the floor earlier. "I got pretty good at begging for charity and day labor before I started with the whole street doctor thing. And I like to think I could almost keep up with Miss Romanoff when it comes to sneaking around."

y/w

Date: 2012-06-03 01:28 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] labcoatgirl.livejournal.com
ext_1359443: (come home with me)
She smiles, listening to him talk. Remembering when they had run together for a bit and he was saying she couldn't bring anything they could track...and she asked if her lipstick was safe.

"You're turning into quite the renaissance man." That would be the optimistic way of looking at it.

"...I should probably bring my stuff in." She really didn't want to break the moment but it was still dark outside. And Betty wasn't sure if looting was still going on in New York after all of the problems beforehand.

Date: 2012-06-03 01:38 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] brokeharlem.livejournal.com
"If by Renaissance Man, you mean most likely to end up on Cops or whatever, then sure," he shoots back, flashing her a thin smile. A glance over her shoulder, back at the door follows, and then he returns his attentions to her properly. "I can come down with you, if you want."

Most people wouldn't come near the Stark Tower, even in the aftermath of the mess Loki made, but he thinks he'll feel better if he goes with her anyway, just in case. Plus, well, keeping an eye on her will make sure she doesn't evaporate into thin air and give her peace of mind that he won't do the same the second she's out of the room.

Date: 2012-06-03 01:40 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] labcoatgirl.livejournal.com
ext_1359443: (hello Bruce)
She almost says, no she can handle it. But they both seem to worry that the other one is going to disappear once their back was turned. It might take awhile to get over that.

"Sure. I have a few boxes...and I'm not entirely sure I can find my way back up here by myself anyway." She smiles and pulls back so they can walk back to the elevators.

Date: 2012-06-03 01:49 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] brokeharlem.livejournal.com
Nerves churning in his stomach, he thinks briefly about reaching for her hand as they make their way back to the elevator. Something makes him think better of it, though -- his fear of physical contact, his fear of moving too fast and frightening her away, even if they've been beyond the hand-holding stage before, something -- and he settles for wringing his hands hopelessly, instead. It's become something of a nervous habit over the course of the last few years.

"JARVIS, ground floor, please?" he says to the open air, once they're back in the elevator.

"As you wish, Doctor Banner," the AI answers as the doors slide shut.

A moment of silence follows, and then Bruce clears his throat. "So, uh ... "

He has no idea where he's going with that.

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loop the next one around?

From: [identity profile] labcoatgirl.livejournal.com - Date: 2012-06-04 02:10 am (UTC) - Expand

Done!

Date: 2012-06-04 02:15 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] brokeharlem.livejournal.com
Bruce looks embarrassed by the video, though while he shifts a bit uncomfortably, he doesn't move to stop it or turn it to something else. He does, however, focus his attentions elsewhere, on one of the videos playing silently, mutely in the same corner she'd picked this one from. It's nothing special, just a loop of Steve launching Natasha off of his shield from what seems to be a street level camera in the instants before it's destroyed, but it's better than watching himself tear through Manhattan, actually doing good for once or not.

"Yeah," he mumbles a bit lamely.

woot!

Date: 2012-06-04 02:20 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] labcoatgirl.livejournal.com
ext_1359443: (come home with me)
His voice breaks her concentration and Betty realizes how intently she was watching. She blushes a bit and responds by hugging to his arm. "It's ok. I'm....really glad you could help." She smiles up at him. Betty knew who he was and she wanted to know what had happened.

She touches the X in the corner to close the video so he won't be further embarrassed. Maybe she could counteract it with something embarrassing about herself. "....did you know...I picketed Stark Industries while in college?" Ages ago, during her hippie stage of life.

Date: 2012-06-04 02:30 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] brokeharlem.livejournal.com
He looks immediately grateful for the subject change, though JARVIS doesn't seem to be so willing to let him out of it. The second she closes the one video, another pops up, this one on mute, unobtrusive but there, of the Hulk catching Iron Man as he fell. Bruce takes no notice of it, still not entirely willing to look at the screen, and it's likely JARVIS was counting on that. And that, hopefully, Betty will notice where Bruce doesn't. He, like Tony, doesn't seem to care much for Bruce's self-esteem issues.

"What for?" A beat. "I mean, not that I blame you, but ... "

Date: 2012-06-04 02:35 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] labcoatgirl.livejournal.com
ext_1359443: (hello Bruce)
She almost tries to close that window too, thinking she must have hit something wrong, but the video stops her, her hand hovering over the closing X. "...he caught him." Her voice betraying her surprise. That had to mean Bruce had more control than he thought. She has to ask, "Do you remember that?"

"There was a quick scare about the arc reactor technology becoming monopolized and not being used for anyone other than rich people. Not to mention the weapons that were being made." She shrugs with a sheepish smile. "I was slightly pro-active before you met me. I'm sure there's a picture of me tying myself to the front of the old Stark factory in protest with half a dozen other students."

Date: 2012-06-04 02:48 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] brokeharlem.livejournal.com
He looks up at the screen, then higher, casting a black look at the ceiling. JARVIS remains almost merrily silent.

"I remember ... bits and pieces of it." More than he could remember before, the last time she'd asked him if he could remember anything while running around as the Hulk. It's progress, not enough, not by his standards, but it's better than nothing. "I can't remember that, though. But Tony made a big deal of rubbing my nose in it, after he was back on his feet."

He shrugs, failing to mention how Tony had thanked him, quietly, genuinely and all the while looking oddly vulnerable after he'd shown him the video before his bluster fell back into place and he'd started grumbling about having to hammer out the Godzilla hand prints someone had left all over his suit. He's not sure it's important or if it's his place to share that raw, honest moment with Betty, when Stark seems to wear his facade of not taking anything seriously as well and as proudly as he does the Iron Man armor.

"I'll have to look it up later," he says, trying to change the subject back to her again. JARVIS thankfully lets him, his work done here. "The picture, I mean."
ext_1359443: (completely shocked)
"That was you though." She's almost insistent. The media always painted the Hulk as a mindless killing machine but this proved differently. "Like with the helicopter you..." Betty stops herself, realizing he might not remember that part either. That was right before he left the last time.

Missing accomplished! XD

Date: 2012-06-04 02:58 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] brokeharlem.livejournal.com
"Like with the helicopter ... ?"

Judging by his tone, no, he doesn't remember. There's a vague impression of emotion attached to that particular gap in his memories -- anger, unusual if only because it's stronger, brighter than anything he remembers having felt before, and something like worry -- but nothing beyond that. Nothing solid. Just an animal sense of wanting to defend what was his. Between that and her comment about the helicopter, he imagines that Blonsky caught up with them at some point while he was trying to stop his rampage.

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From: [identity profile] labcoatgirl.livejournal.com - Date: 2012-06-04 11:12 pm (UTC) - Expand

don't apologize, it's all good

From: [identity profile] labcoatgirl.livejournal.com - Date: 2012-06-06 12:46 am (UTC) - Expand

Thanks.

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y/w

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wrong spot, sorry :S

Date: 2012-06-06 02:19 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] labcoatgirl.livejournal.com
ext_1359443: (Default)
"I'm not toting a television up here," Betty says with a laugh. The couch was enough moving for one night, especially after the long car trip.

Jarvis, however, is a life saver, making a large screen hologram appear in front of the couch with a selection of movies on the side. Betty sits up quickly, gaping at it. "...is that real?" She reaches to poke at it and the hologram gives slightly.

No worries. :)

Date: 2012-06-06 02:28 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] brokeharlem.livejournal.com
"Hardlight hologram," Bruce supplies, one corner of his mouth tipping upwards. "Stark uses them mostly for his displays, but we've ... kind of been working on something bigger with them."

They both have their own, separate projects, but both of them are also used to multitasking. They're working on making a sort of training room using hardlight holograms, where he and Thor can get into pissing contests without destroying a forest somewhere. Or where he can let the Hulk out without worrying about racking up a hefty repair bill for the city of New York.

If Stark borrowed the idea from some friends up in Westchester, Bruce isn't going to call him on it.

/approves of xmen reference

Date: 2012-06-07 12:29 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] labcoatgirl.livejournal.com
ext_1359443: (thinking deeply)
"That's amazing..." She might have a hard time leaving this place with all these new toys around. Betty picks out a movie at random, something half comedy, half drama, and lets it run.

Her second slice ends up left on the floor, forgotten as she watches the movie with him. Exhaustion of the ride here finally sneaking up on her as her head starts to drift to the side, falling asleep on his shoulder without meaning to.

/grins and bows?

Date: 2012-06-07 12:37 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] brokeharlem.livejournal.com
"It really is."

He's only really half-paying attention to the movie himself, his mind wandering, so when she starts drifting in his direction, he notices near-immediately, and tenses slowly. He doesn't try to immediately dislodge her from his shoulder, however, nor does he try to wake her up. Instead, he watches her from the corners of her eyes for a long moment, as she slips farther and father into sleep. When he starts to worry this might get uncomfortable for both of them -- really, physically uncomfortable as neither of them are as young as they used to be -- he pulls away slowly, one arm going around her waist to keep her from simply falling over.

If he has to, he'll carry her to the bed. He wasn't kidding about letting her have it.

Date: 2012-06-07 12:45 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] labcoatgirl.livejournal.com
ext_1359443: (unconscious)
If she was more awake, she would have still argued that she was perfectly fine staying on the couch. It was comfy enough, perhaps too much so if she was this much asleep already.

When he shifts, she mumbles something in her sleep, readjusting unconsciously to fit under his arm before she can slide off his shoulder. It's been a very long day.

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Elizabeth (Betty) Ross

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