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, Part 2, Part 3. Skip to 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 3

"I don't want to put you to any trouble, really --" said Bruce.

"You're not. This place brings the trouble right to us," Bailey assured him.

"I did kind of break the universe," Alex said. "I patched it up as best I could, but it still ... um, leaks sometimes."

Bruce blinked at her. "I guess I should stop complaining about my lab accident," he said slowly.

"No comparing victimization and trying to guess who had it worse," Ash said. "That never helps."

Pat came back. "First, this is our standard scrambag; keep it with you in case anything goes wrong," he said as he set down a large duffelbag. "It contains a generous selection of survival gear, food, and other necessities. If you need to drop weight for speed's sake, unzip this end --" he demonstrated "-- and this backpack comes out with a smaller set of supplies. Lighten again and you're left with a fannypack of just the bare essentials; try really hard not to lose that."

Bruce flicked a nervous glance around the room and then bent down to lift the duffel. "I can carry it all," he said in a low tone. "I get a little spillover even when I'm just me, so I'm stronger than I look."

"Moving right along, I suggest that you eat something while you can," Pat said. He held out a bottle of juice and a can of vienna sausages.

Alex wondered why in the world Pat would hand a guest snack food instead of fixing a decent meal. Then she saw Bruce slowly rubbing his thumb over the bottlecap.

"I won't be offended if you check the seals," Pat said. "In fact, I actively encourage you to check the seals."

Bruce tested the bottlecap and gave the lid of the can a discriminating tap. Then he opened both and started stuffing himself. "Thank you," he said with his mouth full.

"We have two linked problems here: dealing with General Ross, and protecting Bruce," said Bailey.

"Once I go, he'll leave you alone," Bruce said.

"That won't make him any less of a problem," Bailey said. "He'll just cause trouble somewhere else."

"I don't like this Ross character," Chris said. "Sounds like he's the one who puts the chrome plating on all the Grade-A clusterfucks."

Bruce smiled at that, just a little. "Yeah, he's good at that." Bruce swallowed the last of his snack, then said, "I just need to get away from him."

"I never expected to find myself working on the Underground Railroad, but if this compound needs to turn Station, I surely will do my part," Pat said.

"It's not like that," Bruce said. "General Ross just has it in for me personally."

"He refers to you, a person, as army property. He conducts experiments on you. He tries to use your body for his own ends. He locks you up, and hunts you down when you run away, using institutional means to do it," Pat said bluntly. "That is slavery, Bruce, and it is not okay."

"It's not really the same thing --" Bruce mumbled.

"Yes, it is," Chris said. "Lotta good men died in a war over this, once. I don't aim to stand by and let it happen again."

"I just need to get over the border to Mexico," Bruce said. "I'm sure I'll be safe there."

"You've already said that General Ross is obsessed with you," Ash pointed out. "He wants what he wants, and he doesn't care who gets hurt in the process. You really think a border will stop him? People with that mindset don't stop for borders. They don't stop for anything. That way lies invasion and genocide, if they go far enough. I won't stand for that either."

"Think about it, Bruce," Alex said more gently. "If General Ross is that mean to you, how do you imagine he treats other people?"

"Betty refuses to have anything to do with him," Bruce admitted. "They'd been estranged for years before he hunted her down when I --"

"Hunted her," Pat said.

"Oh my God," Bruce said, "you guys, you, you're right."

"It seems to me that the monster in this story isn't the man in my lap," Alex said to him.

"You can't just kill him," Bruce said.

"We don't kill people except as an absolute last resort," Alex said. "We have other options. We're the gatekeepers for this dimension; we can toss him out for bad behavior. We could put him somewhere he can't hurt anyone else."

"That seems a little extreme," Bruce said. "I mean, he hasn't committed any actionable crimes that I know of --"

"Stalking, reckless endangerment, kidnapping, assault, human experimentation, torture," Ash said at once. "Shall I go on?"

"Please don't," Bruce said.

"Sometimes the Teferact's effects are strictly localized, other times not so much. There's a dimension not terribly far from here where white people are considered property," Pat pointed out. "I'm sure there are others where the South won the Civil War -- you want to risk General Ross making contact with somewhere like that?"

"Or hell, hooking up with my fool cousins at the local KKK," Chris said. "In this part of the world, you don't have to look far to find that kind of trouble."

"Something else to consider: how much of a threat is General Ross to other people out of the ordinary?" Ash asked. "Is this really a personal issue, or would he go after anyone else with your qualities, or worse, anyone who had something he decided that he wanted?"

"He hates me a lot, so that makes it worse," Bruce said. "I wouldn't trust him with anyone, though, not really. He is pretty grabby in general."

"Tim," said Alex. That was worrisome.

Quinn just laughed. "That would give a whole new meaning to the game of laser tag," he said. "Tim doesn't miss."


[To be continued in Part 4 ...]

(no subject)

Date: 2012-11-24 02:27 pm (UTC)
siliconshaman: animated gif of basement cat (Basement cat)
From: [personal profile] siliconshaman
I like the idea of a dimension where you can kick out those that just can't play nice with everyone else... although, it does give a whole 'nother meaning to giving someone a time out!

(no subject)

Date: 2012-11-30 05:13 am (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
Oooh. I like that icon.... :)

Reminds me of the Phantom Zone... (that extra dimension for time outs..)
Edited Date: 2012-11-30 05:13 am (UTC)

Re: Well...

Date: 2014-09-20 02:21 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
When I was a kid, I came up with the idea that there were people who were born able to go through universes, and they tried to keep the multiverse strong and healthy--it was something the multiverse had somehow evolved. This sounds EXACTLY like something they'd do.

Re: Well...

Date: 2014-09-20 05:33 pm (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
Well, the people I came up with were in fact whackadoodles--I mean, they worked together, but they were *assholes* because they never really had control over their lives\their leader was a borderline sociopath--but I can see that IRL. The universe does not fuck shit up.

(Oh, BTW, I have a Tumblr for psychics--if you want to come look\post stuff, it's called Welcome to Psi. I thought you might like seeing it, there's a lot of libraries of information, and there's a section for art, not that I have anything up yet there. :p)

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