ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem fills a square on my second card for the [community profile] cottoncandy_bingo fest. This fest encourages people to create and share material focused on what is variously called fluff, schmoop, gentle fiction, light reading, comfort reading, positive thinking, chicken soup for the soul, or anything else that offers a fun alternative to usual run of sex, violence, and angst of modern media. I'm hoping to attract some new readers for my writing.

The following story belongs to Schrodinger's Heroes, featuring an apocryphal television show supported by an imaginary fandom. It's science fiction about quantum physics and saving the world from alternate dimensions. It features a very mixed cast in terms of ethnicity and sexual orientation. This project developed with input from multiple people, and it's open for everyone to play in. You can read more about the background, the characters, and a bunch of assorted content on the menu page.

Skip to Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7.  This is a crossover with the Hulk from The Avengers. So it doesn't match up exactly with the various Hulk movies, and Bruce Banner is played by Mark Ruffalo. The story goes into alternate-universe mode after the lab accident while Bruce is running from General Ross but before Bruce meets any of the Avengers.

There is a sequel, "Two Spirits, One Past."

Fandom: Hulk / The Avengers / Original (Schrodinger's Heroes)
Prompt: Safe
Medium: Story
Summary: Bruce Banner, on the run in America, seeks help from his college lab partner Alex. She is not happy that people have left him in such a shabby state, and decides to get more involved than Bruce intended.
Content Notes: Hurt/comfort. Angst. Advanced science. Bruce and Alex are science buddies. Fragile!Bruce. Protective!Alex. Cuddling. Teamwork. Ross!whump. Safe ending.

"Safe Keeping" Part 1

Someone was pounding on the door.

Alex opened it. A disheveled Bruce Banner tumbled into her arms. He reeked of sweat, with the acrid undertone of fear, and his baggy clothes had dirt ground into the knees and elbows. "Oh my God, Bruce! What happened?" she exclaimed.

"Lab accident, a while back," he said. "Alex, I need your help."

"Of course," she said. She pulled him inside for safe keeping and shut the door, locking it securely. "What can I do for you?"

"Some bad people are hunting for me. I need to get away from them," Bruce said. "I'm hoping to cross the border into Mexico without being noticed. Could I borrow your jet?"

"Yes, if you're sure about that," Alex said. Everything about Bruce shouted trouble, and she didn't want to let it go at that if she could find a better solution. "Let's sit down first and work through this a little more."

Bruce shook his head. "I may not have much time."

"We'll buy you time if necessary," Alex said.

"Against the Army?" he said.

"The Army is afraid to come here, after some previous incidents left them in rather awkward positions," Alex said. "Anyone from the nearest base would drag their feet over it, and even outsiders would get delayed if they checked in there."

"You're one of the best lab partners I've ever had, Alex," said Bruce. "I won't bring this mess down on my friend." He ran his hands through hair that hadn't seen a comb in days. "I should never have come here. I should just go --"

"You should tell me what's going on, is what you should do," Alex said, steering Bruce firmly into the common room. She sat the two of them on the couch. "Are you hurt?"

He gave a bitter laugh. "No, that's really not a problem for me anymore," he said, but he had his arms wrapped around himself so tightly that they shook.

"Do you have any other immediate physical needs?" Alex asked. Practicalities weren't her strong suit, but her teammates had drilled into her a little checklist for emergencies. She felt very grateful for that just now.

Bruce shrugged. "Safety, I guess, but that's not really an option."

"Of course it is," Alex said. "You're safe here, Bruce, whatever it takes to keep you that way."

"You can't promise that," he said. "You don't
know --"

"I can promise that," Alex said, "and you don't know what I've been working on recently either. Do you still trust me?"

He had to think about it. She could see the struggle in his eyes, their old partnership weighed against some more recent betrayal. Alex began to get some very ugly suspicions about what brought Bruce to her door. Finally he whispered, "Yes."

"Then believe me when I say that you are safe here, and entropy itself couldn't drag you out of my protection," Alex said.

"Safe," Bruce said, and then he launched himself at her, burrowing into her lap.

Alex held him and rocked him. She could feel him trembling. She could also feel the hard, sharp edges of his shoulderblades under her hands, and further down, the slatted ladder of his ribs. Bruce hadn't been getting enough to eat, not for a long time, or else he'd run off more calories than he could consume. She murmured a soothing litany of, "Hush, you're safe now, no one will get you here."

It took a while for the muffled sobs to subside. Alex decided that whoever was responsible for this was about to have a very bad day, once she found out the name or names behind it. In the meantime, she needed to take care of Bruce.

"Can you tell me more about what happened to you?" Alex asked.

He took a deep, shuddering breath. "I was working with gamma rays, you know, the usual and -- and some other stuff, top secret stuff," he said. "There was an accident. That was -- then I turned into a monster. Still do, when I lose control. People call him the Hulk. I just call him the Other Guy. He does a lot of damage when he takes over, so I try to hold him in. I don't like being a monster."

Alex shook her head. "You are not a monster," she said. "You're one of the gentlest people I know, and that's a very respectable set these days."

"You don't understand. I, I just --" his voice choked off. After a minute he managed to continue, "I killed people, Alex."

"What were they doing to you?" she demanded, a sharp edge in her tone.

"What? It doesn't matter what -- Alex, I killed people."

"Bruce Banner, I know you. You may have a bitter temper, but you have never once to my knowledge aimed it at an innocent victim," Alex said firmly. "Now you tell me: what were they doing to you?"

"Hunting me, most of them. Trying to kill me, or capture me -- it's hard to remember. I only have these flashes in my head, like scenes caught by a strobe light." Bruce admitted. "There were some civilian casualties, though. So I did kill innocent victims."

"Bruce, if somebody shoots at you and hits a bystander instead, that is not your fault," Alex said.

"Some of the casualties were at my hands, very literally, when the Other Guy wrecked buildings," Bruce said. He pulled back from Alex and stared down at his hands as if expecting to see blood.

What Alex saw was how thin they were, and the fine tremor making his fingertips dance in the air. She caught his hands in hers and said, "Did you hurt innocent people on purpose?"

"No, but --"

"Would you have avoided them getting hurt if it had been in your power?" she insisted.

"Of course, but --"

"Then it's not your fault," Alex declared. "Bruce, sometimes people do bad things and others get hurt because of it, but you need to put the blame where it belongs. Now, who started this fulminating fiasco?"

[To be continued in Part 2 ...]

(no subject)

Date: 2012-11-22 01:24 pm (UTC)
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)
From: [personal profile] siliconshaman
Huh, now that's a interesting thought, what would happen if you put Bruce in a reality where whatever cockeyed laws of physics that apply to him becoming the Hulk, just don't apply?

That, and if anyone could talk the Hulk down from being a giant green rage monster.. that would be Alex.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-09-20 01:13 am (UTC)
pinkrangerv: White Hispanic female, with brown hair, light skin, and green eyes, against a background of blue arcane symbols (Default)
From: [personal profile] pinkrangerv
I'm probably in the minority, but I love Old English and its rythmic\poetic structures, so the alliteration in 'fulminating fiasco' was awesome. XD

Re: Well...

Date: 2014-09-20 03:04 am (UTC)
pinkrangerv: White Hispanic female, with brown hair, light skin, and green eyes, against a background of blue arcane symbols (Default)
From: [personal profile] pinkrangerv






ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

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