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 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 4


"Don't underestimate General Ross," Bruce said quickly. "He is a very credible threat."

"Credible, yes. Competent, not so much, by my book," Alex said. "I won't dismiss him as harmless, but Bruce -- Tim and Morgan are working on plans for a starship. We have him very much outgunned no matter what conventional armament he brings along."

"He could kill you all," Bruce said.

"He could try," Chris said. "We've had a powerful lot of black hats try that before. You'll notice how we're still here and they ain't."

Bruce perked up a bit at that. "That is encouraging," he said.

"All right, Ash, you leveled some charges based on what Bruce said. Is there corroboration for any of that?" Alex asked.

Ash turned her laptop around. "All that and more," she said coldly. "These are clips from the material less uncomfortable for Bruce."

The screen filled with explosions. This was the less uncomfortable material? Alex wondered how much worse the more uncomfortable clips must be.

"I'm thinking General Ross is a waste of perfectly good carbon atoms that could be put to better use elsewhere," Morgan said.

"Also, Betty Ross has filed for a restraining order against her father twelve times, in twelve different states. He's blocked every one through bribery, threats, political manipulaton, or some other means," Ash went on. "I've taken the liberty of correcting that in accordance with Miss Ross' wishes, and I've discreetly sent some evidence to appropriate authorities."

"Those, um, those are secure files," Bruce said, staring at Ash's laptop. "Encrypted, even."

"Not really," Ash said, "but it's amazing what people will say and do when they think nobody will ever find out and hold them responsible for it."

Bruce huddled against Alex, trembling again. "Yeah, amazing," he said, "but what right do you have to do anything about it?"

"As I said before, we're the gatekeepers. We guard the place where this world touches others -- me because I made it happen, everyone else because they stepped up when Earth needed them," Alex said. "History always comes down to the choices made by the people present whenever a crisis occurs. For our credentials, I present the continued existence of the Earth, intact and free of outside invasion. Contrast that against the guy who seems not to have read the Thirteenth Amendment and the Geneva Protocols."

Bruce sighed. "Point," he said.

"All in favor of voting Thaddeus Ross off the planet?" Alex asked.

Hands went up around the room.

Suddenly Bruce's left hand went up. "That -- that wasn't me," he stammered, trying to pry it down again with his right hand.

"Hulk votes in favor," Alex noted. "What about you, Bruce?"

He frowned, a delicate crease between his eyebrows. "We get separate votes?"

"You have two spirits. You get two votes," Ash said, backing Alex up.

Bruce managed to fold his hands back into his lap. He rocked nervously from side to side. "Um ... abstain," he mumbled.

"The ayes have it," Alex declared. "Thaddeus Ross is hereby voted off the planet, to be transported into safely uninhabited territory if he makes his nonsense our direct problem."

"And on the admittedly slim chance that he doesn't?" Bruce asked.

"We don't start fights," Chris said. "We just finish 'em."

"If he doesn't provoke a direct conflict, we'll restrict ourselves to more subtle pursuits of justice, such as shining some light on his copious misdeeds," Alex said. "We can neutralize his career without restorting to violence. Catch is, that won't solve your whole problem."

"I know that," Bruce said. "I'm still a monster."

"Will you stop saying that?" Alex said, throwing her hands in the air.

"Not helping, Alex," Quinn said quietly. "Bruce, I understand that people have been tormenting you, but adopting their language is not a good response. You'll tear yourself apart that way."

"You don't understand!" Bruce snapped. Alex could feel the tension in his body increase. "You know nothing about this."

"What makes you think you're the only person here with an alter ego?" Quinn asked.

"... what?" Bruce said, startled out of his tirade. He always had tended to stumble when something went off the expected script. It made social situations awkward for him. Alex could sympathize.

"I'm a man, but I was born with a female body," Quinn explained. "So I do, in fact, know what it's like to be called a monster, to be chased by people who want to hurt me, to be beaten up for no better reason than being what I am, and to be treated as a nonperson. When I say that buying into other people's bullshit labels and hating on yourself will tear you apart, I speak from very concrete personal experience as well as observation of friends in similar situations. I'd really rather not see that again."

"You haven't killed anyone," Bruce said. "That's what really makes me a monster."

"I haven't," Quinn said.

"I have," Chris said. "Man come through from some other world, tried to kill Pat -- who I didn't even know at the time -- so I put a bullet in him. Kay may have finished him off, but I know what I hit. He wasn't gonna heal from that. Killin's not what makes a monster -- some people need killin' -- hate's what makes a monster, hurtin' folks without any reason for."

"We don't judge people by their appearance or circumstance. We judge by their choices," Bailey said. "We've had some hard lessons about that. Also, Schrodinger likes you, and he's a surprisingly good judge of character."


[To be continued in Part 5 ...]

(no subject)

Date: 2012-11-25 06:48 pm (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
I don't think I've mentioned it, but I've really been enjoying your bingo entries.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-11-30 05:22 am (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
Two-spirits!

Hmmm. I think the idea of Hulkie as shaman makes my brain hurt....

Nice move on Quinn's part. And Chris'. (And the Texican accent, very recognisable... :)

Kitties are often good judges of character. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2014-03-06 01:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] labelleizzy.livejournal.com
"I'm thinking General Ross is a waste of perfectly good carbon atoms that could be put to better use elsewhere," Morgan said.

Yes yes yes yes SO MUCH THIS...

It's recycling. It's a Good Thing, right?

Re: *laugh*

Date: 2014-09-20 02:28 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
It made me actually burst out laughing. I love it. XD And OF COURSE Hulk and Bruce each get their own vote! They're brothers, they need to share. :p

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