labcoatgirl: (hello Bruce)
She smiles back happily before her eyes indicate for him to look where they are. "Um, this is actually my house." They've stopped near the small white house in the middle of the neighborhood. She moves a piece of hair behind her ear, not really wanting to go in yet. "I don't even know if Dad's home yet..." For once, she hopes he's not.

He turns to look at her house, it seems so normal, and pleasant.

"It's nice." He smiles, looking around for a car, or any indication that someone is home. "I don't want you to get in trouble. I can always come back on Saturday, now that I know where it is."

"Oh I don't think...I won't get in trouble." At least, she doesn't think so. It's not like she's ever brought a boy home before, her dad might even think she's starting to act normal instead of burying herself in scientific journals and playing with her pet mice.

" to come inside for a sandwich or something?" She kind of didn't want to see him go yet. And besides, he had to see what she was working on and her lab set up and...and...stuff.

He would have politely protested out of principle, but right then his stomach makes itself heard loud and clear. He laughs nervously and runs a hand through his hair.

"If you're sure." He shifts on his feet. "I mean, I'd like to. Thanks." He'd just have to mind himself that he didn't inhale whatever she had.

Betty grins and reaches to give his arm a tug as she goes towards the house. "Com'n then."

Inside, it's a pretty normal household. There's a few pictures, mostly of Betty with school awards and ones of her dad getting medals. And a few medals framed too on the mantelpiece. Betty sets her bag down on the couch and goes for the kitchen to work on some sandwiches.

He follows dutifully, trying to wipe off his feet some before he walks inside. Bruce sets his bag down by the door, force of habit from quit exits, before he wanders in and looks at the pictures of Betty, and her father's medals. He is impressed by what he sees, before shoving his hands into his pockets and standing in her doorway. He doesn't lean against anything, as if he's afraid he might leave a layer of grime, or damage something.

"Anything I can help with?" Right, in the meantime, he at least heads for the sink. The least he can do is wash his hands.

"Um..." she turns from the fridge, lunch meat in hand. "The bread's over there." There was a small island in the middle of the kitchen for extra counter space. Betty piles lunch meat, cheese, and condiments there before grabbing a few plates.

Bruce has to pull a couple drawers open before discovering the breadbox and pulling out a loaf. When he turns to look at the island he tries to keep his eyes from opening wide. Honestly, he was expecting peanut butter and jelly because that's usually about the most he had available at home, but wow. Heavy on the protein was the fastest way to feel better after an incident, and he felt his mouth water a bit as he walked over with the bread and set some slices out on the plates she'd put down.

"You really didn't have to..."

She smiles, starting in on making two sandwiches at once with salami and ham. "Oh, I don't mind. I never get to cook for anyone anyway." Her mom was notably absent from this family picture. She pops a piece of salami in her mouth and hands an extra piece to Bruce. He even looked hungry.

"You want milk or pop?"

Bruce doesn't question, he's only known her for a day and figures it's not a good point to ask. He does, however, gladly take that salami and nibble at it, so he doesn't scarf it down in a single go.

"Thanks. Uh, milk please. Where do you keep your glasses?" He can help with that, at least.

She points with a mustard covered knife. "Cupboard up there." He can probably find the milk in the fridge on his own.

Betty's putting the finishing touches on the sandwiches and pops one in the microwave to heat it up, melting the cheese. She likes hers warm.

That he can, and does, pulling it out once he's found the glasses and pours himself a glass.

"What would you like?" He turns and sees her putting her sandwich in the microwave and tilts his head just a little at that. "You head it up?" He mentally flails, realizing she might find his tone insulting. "Oh, not that it's a bad thing, I just, never saw anyone do that before."

She doesn't mind, in fact she sounds eager to share. "Yeah, it makes the cheese all nice and melty. You want to try it?" Betty pulling out her sandwich and handing it to him. She can heat up the other one in a matter of seconds.

"Oh, go ahead and eat. I can have the other one when it's done, really." He waves off her sandwich, it feels too much like taking her meal from her. Besides, there's that whole 'ladies first' thing, and Betty definitely applies.

Oh no, she's not having that. Betty practically puts the plate right in his hands with a determined look. "You. Eat. After what you've been through, you deserve it." Betty's not about to take no for an answer as she goes to heat up the second sandwich and pours two glasses of milk.

"Uh..." Bruce looks horribly awkward but he doesn't want to be rude, so he accepts the plate and takes a bite. His eyebrows raise up, in an expression that clearly says that he has a new favorite way of making sandwiches. He gulps down the first bite. "Oh, wow, that's great. Did you come up with the idea yourself?" Because he honestly believes that she would.

"Mhmm," Betty smiles happily at his reaction as she takes her own out of the microwave. "I can't stand cold sandwiches. They get all dry and yucky." She picks up her glass of milk, taking a sip before motioning they should go into the living room. Easier to eat sitting down anyway.

Bruce follows her lead, but rather than taking a chair he settles himself on the floor at the coffee table. He sets his plate and drink down and then his stomach gets the better of him as he picks his sandwich right up without missing a beat and takes another bite.

She was going to sit on the couch but since he seems to prefer the floor, she sits there too, putting her milk in the coffee table. The way he's eating, she's wondering if she should have given him both sandwiches.

"I'll be right back." Betty moving off to her bedroom to get a small cage of mice and bringing them out to the living room. "Here's the fab four..."

"Mmph." He nods over his mouthful before ducking his head a bit at his sudden lack of manners. When she comes back, he's finished half his sandwich, but he's set it on the plate. He turns to see her come in and he smiles brightly.

"Hey guys." He greets the mice and watches them as Betty brings them in.

They all look back at Bruce with small black eyes, one of them stopping running on the wheel because there's a new person out there. Betty scoots up next to Bruce and opens the top to pick out one of them in her hand, rubbing his head. "This one's Paul, that one's John..." and she goes through which is named which.

He repeats the names after she finishes introductions, and just smiles. He has a certain fondness for the small creatures he really hadn't been aware of. He hasn't had many opportunities to be around them, but seeing how small they are, he just smiles.

"You dyed Ringo orange, right? How long ago?"

"Oh that was months ago. It's grown out since then." She pulls out and hands Ringo to Bruce, pointing near his tail. "See, there's a small bit of orange left." She trusted him implicitly with her pets already. Paul moves along the coffee table, nibbling on Betty's sandwich.

Bruce takes the mouse gingerly, looking a bit awkward as he holds the tiny creature, as if he might be afraid the power of the Hulk still lingered and there was a risk he'd hurt the creature no matter how gently he handled it. He cupped Ringo in his hands and brought him up to his face, the tiny creature's whiskers tickling Bruce's nose, making him smile.

"Hey little guy, nice to meet you too." He looks up and laughs, nodding toward Paul who's working away at the crust of her bread. "Uh, Betty?"

Betty smiles happily, glad that he was getting along with her mice. Most of the kids would think her weird for even having mice as pets. "I think he likes you."

"Oh Paul, come here..." she snags the wayward mouse, his mouth full of food as she puts him back in the cage. "He's getting fat as it is."

Bruce gently pets Ringo, who seems perfectly content with the affection, sitting still in Bruce's hands. Or perhaps it's the smell from Bruce's sandwich. Either way, he doesn't squirm as Bruce gently scratches behind a tiny ear, making Ringo close his eyes contentedly.

"Maybe we should put Paul through the maze first for some exercise."

She snickers at that. "He sure could use it." Betty leans in to talk through the bars at the chubby mouse who was chewing what he had left in his cheeks. "Hear that? You're going on an exercise plan."

"That, or we'll dye you green. You know, Kermit has it right when he said it isn't easy." Bruce isn't usually the sort to joke about his personal problem, but something about the whole situation just puts him at ease. It's out before he catches himself, and when he does realize what he's said, he curls in on himself, embarrassed. Making certain it's the opposite side from where he's eaten, he pulls off a tiny piece of bread from his sandwich and holds it out to Ringo.

She chuckles at that before looking at him...and stops. He seemed ill at ease with the color green, for good reason. "Too soon after?" she asks leaning back against the couch next to him.

Ringo snatches the offered bread and starts nomming it greedily.

"Nah. Just..." He doesn't know how best to explain that it's more a fear of making light of a dire situation, that maybe he'll come to accept it if he makes a habit of it. He smiles apologetically at Betty.

"It's okay to laugh. I mean, a chubby green mouse, kind of hard not to."

She can't help smiling at the picture he painted for her. "It is...I have to admit. He'd look kind of cute green too." She may or may not be referring to Bruce as cute indirectly that way. His other self wasn't exactly cute but Bruce definitely was. Betty bumps her shoulder against his in a friendly gesture. "I can't wait to start building that maze." Science was always exciting.

Date: 2012-11-24 03:36 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
Bruce uncurls his posture when she bumps his elbow and kindly changes the topic for him. He sets Ringo up on his skinny shoulder, breaking off another piece of crust for the rat before taking a bite of his sandwich again.

"Well, we can go to the dumpsters this time and know how much we really need." He points at her backpack since it contains their 'master plan'. "This way, we're not filling your room with cardboard when we might just need a couple pieces."
Edited Date: 2012-11-24 03:42 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-11-24 03:44 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
ext_1359443: (lovely hair)
"Oh right," Betty had forgotten they had to abandon the cardboard at the dumpsters. Worry painting her features. "Hopefully it doesn't go anywhere till tomorrow." They couldn't really walk back today, that would take too long.

Betty reaches over to pull out the notebook and flips to the plan of attack. Numbering the sides to see how much cardboard they would need as she leans against the couch next to him.

Date: 2012-11-24 03:58 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
"I've never worked with rats before, so I don't know how tall the walls need to be." He points to a question mark he wrote where there should be a dimension for the maze wall height.

Ringo, for his part, is sniffing about Bruce's shoulder for further crumbs, and decides that his neck, and then his ear might hold answers. Tiny whiskers and a nose poke into Bruce's ear and he laughs, leaning away from the sensation and into Betty's shoulder.

"Hey! There's nothing yummy about my ear!"

Date: 2012-11-24 04:01 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
ext_1359443: (Default)
She chews on her pencil, considering the problem. "It should probably be higher than they can stand..." She'll have to measure each of the rats and get an average.

Betty looks over to see Ringo inspecting Bruce's ear for food and giggles despite herself, reaching around to try and save him from being sniffed to death. Picking up Ringo carefully off his shoulder and not realizing how close she was now. "Easy, he's company. Be nice."

Date: 2012-11-24 04:07 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
"It's alright, it just tickles. Guess I need to do a better job cleaning up." Not that he's still just recovering from turning into a giant green creature. He puts his palm against his ear and rubs before raising his gaze up. Quite suddenly he realizes how close she is to him while she picks up Ringo and his face turns very, very red. There's no hiding it, even if she were at a distance.

Date: 2012-11-24 04:11 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
ext_1359443: (Default)
They're practically sitting next to each other, almost nose to nose when she brings her head up to look...he really does have nice eyes.

But she doesn't pull away, rather liking being this close. Poor guy though, he was blushing. Betty smiles knowingly. "You don't talk to girls much?" She could relate. She didn't talk this much to any guy she knows.

Date: 2012-11-24 04:19 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
"N-not really." His voice wavers, but he's still smiling because he just can't get over how perfectly blue her eyes are. That and her smile, if he wasn't sitting already he'd need to. To top it all off, she was just incredibly brilliant. Never in a million years would he have believed such a girl existed, and it made his head spin in a way he really wasn't familiar with.

Against his better judgement, his eyes wandered, nowhere lewd, just, taking in every detail of her face, her eyes, her lips, and her hair. This close, he could practically smell her shampoo.

Date: 2012-11-24 04:21 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
ext_1359443: (thinking deeply)
Now it was her turn to blush. " neither," she actually admitted. And then realized her mistake. "I mean, I talk to girls, that's silly. I meant guys...cause they're hard to talk to..." Okay, now she's just babbling. Why was it that he was different than the others? "...and..." she ventures to admit something else, her heart skipping a few beats and hoping he'll take this the right way. "...I think I like you."

Date: 2012-11-24 04:28 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
He knew what she'd meant to say, but his smile just became gentler, rather than wider as she back-tracked, trying to explain herself. And then it was out. His heart skipping too, but in a calm way, a happy way. It's a new and novel experience and one he actually finds himself enjoying.

"I think, I like you too." He responds quietly, and while he's always been the least assertive in school, that certainty, the kind that came out when he was protecting her earlier, that comes to the forefront. He sounds certain of it, and he's all warm smiles.

His eyes wander down to her cheek and he leans forward just a little bit. It's a gentle motion and she's being given a chance to back away, but his intention to give her a kiss on the cheek is clear, if she decides to stay still.

Date: 2012-11-24 04:32 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
ext_1359443: (goodbye kiss)
She didn't think he was going to and Betty's breath catches, realizing what was about to happen. Except she misinterpreted his actions...and throwing caution to the wind, she meets him halfway on the lips.

Her first real kiss. Time just slows down for a nanosecond all around them.

Date: 2012-11-24 04:38 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
Well, that takes Bruce by surprise, and he smiles a little into that kiss as he turns to meet her the rest of the way.

For the first time in what feels like a very, very long time, everything is right as he closes his eyes. He forgets about the Hulk, about a cure, about worrying and what's going to happen when he shows up to school tomorrow. Right now he has Betty and everything is going to be okay.

It feels awkward, but he reaches up, setting a hand on the side of her face gently as his heart beats rhythms in his ear.

Date: 2012-11-24 04:41 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
ext_1359443: (hello Bruce)
It's a chaste first timer kiss, Betty closing her eyes too, almost giddy with happiness and the butterflies in her stomach. She always wanted to kiss a boy like this. She just didn't realize it till now.

Betty blushes deeply whenever it ends, turning her lips inside as she tries to smile nervously. Not really sure what to say, but really does anything need to be said?

Date: 2012-11-24 04:47 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
Bruce is left voiceless as well when it ends. It's his first kiss too, and who cares if it was chaste? It's right up there as one of the most amazing, good things to happen in his life.

He's left smiling at her, his eyes confident at long last. He sits there for what feels like forever, soaking up her presence when Ringo squeaks from her hands. Bruce smiles, probably one of the most unreserved and real smiles Betty will see on him as he looks down at Ringo.

"I'm not kissing you too."

Date: 2012-11-24 04:56 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
ext_1359443: (completely shocked)
Ringo looks rather miffed at being ignored all this time. Betty, on the other hand, dissolves into a giggle, covering her mouth with her free hand. And then bringing Ringo up close to Bruce's face to tease him. "I think he feels left out."

The door opens and in walks a man in an army uniform, hat in hand. Betty's eyes go wide, freezing in place with the mouse halfway in Bruce's face. "Dad!" She hadn't expected him home so soon.

What an interesting position to be discovered in. Brigadier Ross looked a mix of incredulous confusion and suspicion. Not sure exactly what he was seeing here, but he didn't like the looks of it.

Date: 2012-11-24 05:05 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
Bruce makes a silly face as Ringo is brought up to his face. He'd been so absorbed in the kiss and sitting on Cloud9 afterward, that he hadn't even heard the car parking or the door opening.

Betty is the one with a direct view toward Ross, and when her eyes go wide Bruce's heart drops to his feet. He turns, looking back over his shoulder at Ross who doesn't seem quite certain what to make of it.

On one hand, Betty was in high school, and for once, this was a normal thing she should be doing, talking to boys. On the other hand, it's his daughter.

"Betty?" He clears his throat, leveling a gaze at her that says she has exactly now to explain herself before that red in his face causes steam to come out of his ears.

Date: 2012-11-24 05:11 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
ext_1359443: (lovely hair)
Betty finally unfreezes, quickly putting Ringo back in the cage along with the others. "Dad, I didn't hear you drive in." She's trying not to look flustered, he honestly should be glad she was doing normal things for a change. It was just an awkward place to be found in.

She stands and smooths her hair behind her ear, trying to explain, "This is Bruce, he's from school." Betty does try to convey that he was a nice boy and there's a begging look that Ross has never gotten from his daughter that says please don't scare him off PLEASE??

He closes the door behind him, coming up to Bruce and clearing his throat, still analyzing the situation as he puts out a hand. "Bruce what?" He wants last names.

Date: 2012-11-24 05:21 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
Bruce, for his part, stood right up the instant Betty did, his posture actually straight from habit, and not because he was actually quite scared. He had to remind himself not to stammer if Ross spoke to him, which he assumed he would.

Holy cow, sure she'd said her father was in the Army, but he had a star on his shoulder, so he was some sort of General, right? To be honest, that rank has more to do with Bruce being scared than anything. And then Ross is asking for names.

"Banner, Bruce Banner..." Bruce looks down at that hand and takes it, shaking it with the most certain grip he can muster. "...sir." He adds, uncertain if it's overstepping some boundary, or going to be interpreted as the proper attempt to be polite that it's meant to be.

Date: 2012-11-24 05:40 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
ext_1359443: (Default)
Ross has a grip like a vice, unyielding, much like himself. However, he does seem appeased by the use of sir by the boy. He stands up straight for himself at least, Ross thinks to himself before asking Betty a question, his eyes still on Bruce.

"From school, eh? Are you in a class together?" Read: how much time will you be spending with my daughter?

Betty is putting away the mouse cage in the corner. "He's my lab partner." There's a certain warmth in her voice that gives him pause. She never talks much about school, much less the lab partners she never gets along with.

Another clearing of the throat. "Won't your parents be missing you by this time?" He asks Bruce, nodding to the clock. Bruce should probably go home now.

Date: 2012-11-24 05:50 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
No, not really, but Bruce can take a hint. He nods, letting go of Ross's hand and looking back at Betty.

"I'll see you in class tomorrow." He turns back, keeping his head down, but not so submissive that he looks weak. He just wants to show some respect to Ross, hoping it'll keep the strong man off of his scent. "Have a good night." He moves to his bag by the door, picking it up and going to show himself out. He really didn't want to leave, but he wasn't about to make a scene, and hurt someone for no reason whatsoever.

Date: 2012-11-24 05:53 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
ext_1359443: (lovely hair)
Well, that wasn't as awful as she thought it was going to be. Betty was sure she would have to explain the situation in detail once Bruce left. She quickly darts over though as he's going for the door. "I'll walk you out."

Leaving Colonel Ross scratching his head and wondering what was going on with his teenage daughter. At least it was the first time he'd seen her smile since her mom passed away. That must be a good thing.

"Sorry, he's not mean, just overprotective," Betty says when they're finally out on the porch.

Date: 2012-11-24 06:01 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
Bruce smiles, the expression a little nervous because really, the sooner he left, the better off they all were. It also wouldn't give Ross time to realize he didn't have a pair of shoes.

"He wasn't mean, but he's right, it is late." He is betting somewhat that Ross will be overhearing their entire conversation, he knows adults. "I'll be at school tomorrow. I'll see you in class."

Date: 2012-11-24 06:05 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
ext_1359443: (come home with me)
Betty smiles, grateful that he wasn't scared off completely yet. She knew her dad could be a little....intense.

"Okay..." she agreed, and then did a sideways glance at the curtains. They fell back into place as her dad realized he had been spotted. When she knew he wasn't watching, Betty leans over and gives Bruce a quick kiss on the cheek impulsively. "See you tomorrow." She hurried back inside before he could react.

Date: 2012-11-24 06:09 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
Bruce smiles a little more when she turns back from seeing her father looking out at them. That kiss though leaves him rooted in spot for a moment, his cheeks flushing before he finally turns from the lone porch, and heads off down the sidewalk, and starts on the way home.

He was doing his level best not to wonder when the other shoe would drop, because for now, with Betty, he felt like he could take on anything.


labcoatgirl: (Default)
Elizabeth (Betty) Ross

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