ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This story 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.

Begin with Part 1.  Skip to 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.

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 2

"General Thaddeus Ross," Bruce said. "He, um, never liked me because I was dating his daughter -- Dr. Betty Ross was my lab partner. You'd like her, Alex, she's smart and funny and she doesn't put up with nonsense from anyone. Well, after the accident, General Ross declared me army property and -- it got bad." Bruce stared off into the distance, silent for a long moment.

Alex nudged him gently to bring him out of the memory. "What else happened, Bruce?"

He shook himself. "General Ross caught me a few times, locked me up, ran some unpleasant experiments," Bruce said. "I've managed to escape so far, and keep ahead of him, but he's getting better at this. I need more room to run. I need to get out of the country, Alex. You said you'd help."

"All right, I'm feeling a need for some backup here," Alex said, watching Bruce carefully for his reaction. "Would you mind if I asked my friends to join us here in the common room?"

Bruce eyed her suspiciously. "These 'friends' of yours ... how far do you trust them?" he asked.

"With the biosphere of the Earth, the handwriting of God, and all hope of humanity," Alex replied without hesitation.

"O-okay," Bruce said, his voice high and a little too fast. "Okay."

Alex activated the comm and said, "Houston, we have a problem. It's urgent but not an emergency at this moment. I've got a friend here who needs our help. Tim, I want you in the Teferact control room. Bring up the Alpha Vector in case we need a safe jump on short notice. Everyone else, please come to the common room."

The rest of the team arrived quickly: coppery Ash in her Homeland Security t-shirt with Geronimo's band on the front and her laptop in hand, darker Pat and lighter Bailey emerging from a repair job in the kitchen with tools still in hand, with fair Chris right behind them wiping his hands on a towel. Morgan came next, busy on his palmtop computer, followed by Quinn, whose hair today was an absurd shade of blue. Alex's cat Shrodinger slipped through the door alongside Quinn, sniffed at Bruce's shoelace, then hopped into his lap and purred loudly.

Kay arrived last, clearly having paused to shrug into a bulletproof vest and grab a rifle. "What's the major malfunction?" she asked.

Bruce flinched hard, pressing himself against Alex as he hissed, "You said no army, you promised --"

"Kay is retired, Bruce, she works here now," Alex said. "Kay, you're on security; keep a sharp eye on the perimeter."

"Okay, Alex," Kay said. She trotted out of the room.

Bruce relaxed a little where he pressed against Alex. She was glad that Kay had picked up the situation quickly enough to give a casual reply instead of a military one. "Sorry about that, Bruce, I should've thought to put Kay on watch instead of bringing her in here," Alex said.

"It's fine," Bruce said. Schrodinger butted imperiously against his hand. Bruce obeyed the implicit command to stroke the cat.

"Okay, Bruce, these are Schrodinger's Heroes --" Alex began.

"Who's Schrodinger?" Bruce asked.

"You're petting him," Alex said. "As for the rest of us: I do theory, Ash does software, Bailey does hardware. Kay and Chris are muscle. Pat's our social guy. Quinn keeps us level when the world goes weird, which happens a lot around here." She clapped her hands briskly. "Everybody, this is my friend and college lab partner, Dr. Bruce Banner."

"The Dr. Banner?" Morgan said, his jaw dropping. "Author of An Analysis of Gamma-Ray Bursts and Mass Extinction Events? I'm so honored to meet you in person!"

Bruce stared at him. "I, um, Betty and I never finished that paper. It's not published. How could you possibly have read it?"

"I guess things must have turned out better for you in my old dimension than here," Morgan said. "It sounds like somebody managed to shoot scientific progress in the foot."

"That would be me," Bruce said.

"That would be General Thaddeus Ross," Alex corrected, and went on to summarize for the team what Bruce had told her about his situation.

"So you're running for your life, and you've decided that Mexico is your next step," Ash said to Bruce. "¿Cuánto español habla usted?"

"Uh ... solamente un poquito," Bruce admitted.

"You might want to consider other options," Ash said.

"That's my cue," Alex said. "So, my latest project opened a fluctuating gate between dimensions. We have it mostly under control now." She brought out a portable terminal for the Teferact and flicked it on. A shimmering blue doorway appeared briefly in the center of the room, and then winked out. "If anything goes badly wrong here, you push that button and duck through. It goes to a safe place where I can find you later." Alex handed the terminal to Bruce. "It's more stable to manage access from the main consoles, but I want you to have control of this, for sake of your own confidence. Okay?"

Bruce looked down at the terminal, then back up at Alex. "It's a tesseract?" he said softly. "You actually managed to build a tesseract?" He whooped and grabbed Alex, hugging all the air out of her for a moment. "You crazy genius, you!"

He was grinning, the old wild grin that she remembered from their college days. It hurt Alex's heart to see how little it matched the lines etched into his face. "That wasn't really the effect I was going for, but yes," she said. "Sometimes the unexpected happens, and we just have to make the best of it."

"That's funny," Bruce quoted, and Alex said "Oops," and Morgan said, "Not eureka," and all the scientists cracked up laughing.

Then Bruce ran out of energy rather abruptly and sagged back against the couch cushions. "Excitement isn't too good for me," he said.

"When was the last time you ate?" Pat asked.

"I don't know ... yesterday, maybe?" Bruce said with a shrug.

"I'll be right back; I just need to grab a few things," Pat said.

* * * 


"¿Cuánto español habla usted?" -- "How much Spanish do you speak?"

"solamente un poquito." -- "only a little."

[To be continued in Part 3 ...]

(no subject)

Date: 2012-11-24 01:44 am (UTC)
thnidu: painting: a girl pulling a red wagon piled almost to her own height of books along a sidewalk (books)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
Goo-ood! But where's Part 1?

η: In case anyone else wants to know before you see this, Part 1 is here.
Edited Date: 2012-11-24 01:50 am (UTC)


ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

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