|Tell me what you see
Author: Norwegian-Pirate PM
Bodyswap!fic. Tony gets a crash course in just what it takes to be Bruce Banner.Rated: Fiction T - English - Supernatural/Hurt/Comfort - Iron Man/Tony S. & Hulk/Bruce B. - Chapters: 3 - Words: 9,207 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 27 - Follows: 67 - Updated: 05-16-13 - Published: 08-20-12 - id: 8447951
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Originally written for a prompt over at avengerkink and is dedicated to the OP and my wonderful beta who put up with all my mistakes (Note: The first chapter and some of the second is not proof-read, so please bear with me here...)
Prompt can be found here: (remember to remove the spaces)
avengerkink . livejournal . ?thread = 11178661#t11178661
Tony was flying between the buildings of Manhattan, carefully avoiding the colourful blasts Villain of the Week was shooting at him. He wondered briefly where Clint and Thor had gone, because he sure as hell needed some help right now.
The villain chasing him, some sort of creepy voodoo lady who seemed far too grunge to be messing with old magic, let out a mad cackle as she propelled through the air. Her magic seemed to be fuelled by the silly stick she was waving around like it was a fucking Wii-controller and though she wasn't powerful, her wild aim and seemingly random shots and spell might cause some actual damage and Tony didn't want to be there when that happened. Because it definitely would the way things were going now. And he also definitely needed backup and fast.
"I know I said I wasn't a team-player, but this is getting ridiculous," He said over the intercom, "Cap, where are you guys?"
"We're not far from you. Take the next right and then – "Steve's voice was cut off as Tony had to make a sudden duck as a spell clipped his shoulder.
"Cap, can you repeat that, I was a little busy being target-practice," Tony turned right at the next street corner, slowing slightly down for further instructions. The intercom was silent, except some noise in the background.
"Cap? Ah, fuck!" he dodged another shot from the witch and twisted around in the air, aiming his repulsors at her at the same time she was firing a particularly nasty one at him. At least it looked nasty, all sickening red and green mashed together. He shot his repulsors, making pure energy clash with the spell. The sheer force of it sent him flying sideways, into one of the many skyscrapers in the city.
The witch cackled, raising her magic stick again to send another spell at him. She stops in her tracks however when there's a loud roar echoing through the streets, quickly followed by a green blur which slams her into the skyscraper opposite the one Tony's staggering out off.
"'Bout time, Big Green; I was worried I had to take her all by myself and get all the credit again. You know what does to my ego," he said as Hulk landed beside him with a loud thump. Hulk snorted at this, but quickly stilled as a screech pierced the air, sending goosebumps all over his arms and back.
"You will pay!" She shouted, her previous mood having done a complete turnabout, which meant she was now raging and angry and radiating power much stronger than before. She's practically glowing and she looks – terrifying, but at the same time really hot. A bit like Natasha actually, except that this girl is more of a 6, while Tasha is a 9, bordering onto 10.
The witch screams again, but this time with an undertone of something ancient, like she's possessed. She begins chanting and beside him, Hulk stiffens and is about to jump into action just before a wall of colour is hurled their way.
"Son of a bi-," is all Tony manages to say before both he and Hulk is hit and for a second he struggles to breathe before everything fades to black and green and he can't help but think, Well, that's strange, as he's dragged down into the deep pits of unconsciousness.
When Tony came to it was like the world halted for a brief second. His lung filled with cold air and as he opened his eyes he was blinded by the white, surgical lights hanging from the ceiling. His mind was sluggish as he lay staring on the lights above him and his mind barely registered that he was laying down and it was the slow rocking of turbulence that had woke him up. Then the moment was broken and the soreness and cold set in. He groaned and squeezed his eyes shut, carefully avoiding to jostle his bruised limbs as he sat up. After a mental onceover he was pleased to note that nothing was broken, just incredibly beat. With that confirmed he pried open his eyes and he was surprised to discover that he was lying on the cold floor, trapped within Hulk's cage in the Hellcarrier.
"You're awake," Someone said to his right, startling him so much that his neck cracked as his head wiped around. Natasha stood there along with Thor, who looked at him with a big smile on his yeah.
"Yeah," he crooked, rubbing his eyes, trying to clear his vision which seemed to be slightly blurred.
"That was quite the battle, my friend! I'm glad to see you are well," Thor boomed, making Tony wince slightly, but smiled at his friend none the less, glad that he had people like his team who cared... But why they had put him in the cage was still a mystery to him, but seemed like some kind of practical joke Barton would pull, not Natasha or Thor.
"What am I –"he coughed, trying to clear his throat, "What am I doing he – what the actual fuck?" His voice sounded strange to his ears and what he had previously pegged for morning grogginess was in fact his voice. As he came to this realisation his mind went into overdrive, puzzling the pieces together, completely ignoring the strange looks he was getting from Natasha and Thor.
He lifted his hands to his face and noticed for the first time how big they were compared to his usual ones. There were scars and blemishes from years of working with machinery and chemicals, much like his own, but they were all wrong at the same time.
He swallowed the bile rising in his throat as he realised that they were somewhat familiar all the same.
Suddenly very aware of his body and how foreign it felt to him he stood up on shaky legs, taking a deep breath to steady is erratic heartbeat. He managed to reach the glass which enclosed him into the small space, right in front of Natasha who looked at him with raised eyebrows.
"Let me out," Tony told her, his voice nothing more than a whisper.
"I can't do that," She told him, "I do not have the authority nor the knowledge of how,"
"Please," It wasn't often he begged, but the situation required somewhat drastic measures.
"Bruce, you know I can't,"
And it was like the world stopped again, though this time it was like his heart stopped as well. Fear filled him as he caught a glimpse of himself reflected in the smooth surface and suddenly he was all too aware of the thing inside of him as it roared in fury.
"LET ME OUT!"
It wasn't a shout nor a scream but an inhuman roar, nothing like he'd ever heard coming from himself before, but from someone else entirely.
Pain swept over him and he felt muscle and bone tear as he shifted and grew bigger, which only worsened the pain and his own, blind panic.
Bruce had tried to explain him the process of transforming once, but had struggled and ended up saying that it depended on the situation. Of course, this had intrigued Tony and as he always did, he'd pushed.
"Does it hurt?"
"Yes. Yes, it hurts very much,"
The Hulk roared again and Tony felt himself losing control, like he was pushed back into his own mind and smothered. He fought, but the pressure only worsened and he could no longer focus on the world or people around him.
The last thing he was aware of was a familiar voice calling out to him;
Then the Hulk took over.
It was like watching a broken film. Only bits and pieces were shown and they flickered on and off at random, not gaining any structure as it continued on, feeling like forever. Tony didn't like it. Not that he was entirely aware or sure of what was really happening, but he would get fragments, like a terrified face, a gunshot, someone yelling; and it only fuelled the Hulk's rage which was like a pulsing hot pressure against his temples.
The Hulk, which had been a steady presence in his mind since he'd woken up the first time, didn't stop to yell at him in the closure of their minds, which was clashing badly as Hulk kept control of their body. Tony did never really know what the Other Guy yelled at him about, but as he was confided into the back of his own mind, panic and anxiety took deep root in his heart as Hulk kept shouting and he could do nothing except yell back. Though he couldn't even really do that either, as it fell on deaf ears.
"SHUT UP!" he screamed, but it was drowned out by the voice of the Hulk as well as other voices, unfriendly voices, and unlike the Hulk's, he was able to distinguish their words.
"YOU'RE NOTHING BUT A FREAK AND A MONSTER!"
"DON'T LET HIM CATCH YOU,"
"I LOVE YOU..."
"Tony, can you hear me?"
Tony groaned as he slipped out of unconsciousness for the second time that day. His head was pounding and he hurt absolutely ieverywhere/i. Unlike most time when you're knocked unconscious or your body is taken over by a green rage monster, he remembered everything, because how could he not? It had been so vivid and utterly terrifying that it would be hard to forget.
"Tony, take a deep breath, that's right. Just remember to breathe,"
He also realised that he was hyperventilating and did as the familiar voice told him, by taking deep breaths which rattled his ribs. As he calmed down enough, he looked up from where he was lying on a bed – not in the cage again, which Tony was grateful for, and was faced with the most disturbing image so far this day. Though he'd admit, he was a handsome fucker, it did not stop him from letting out a small squeak of surprise.
"Shh," his doppelganger said, "just stay calm. I know it's difficult, but I think that the Other Guy has had his moment of glory enough for today, don't you think?"
Tony huffed in agreement, trying to remember how to breathe properly as his pulse slowed down into an acceptable pace. As he composed himself, he slipped another look at his doppelganger, who was fiddling with a phone, obviously texting. The first thing he noticed was the arc reactor, which stood out like a sore thumb in his chest and he wondered why no one had ever told him that it was that exposed before. He'd obviously had to do something about that and his brain was already running high-speed on how to easily conceal the reactor in case someone like Obadiah thought it was a fine idea to take it again.
"It feels strange," his doppelganger said. Tony was not sure whether he'd caught him staring at the arc reactor and was referring to that or this whole situation.
"I know," was all he said in return, as he watched his body putting the phone away and begin pacing.
"That was quite the show though, with the Hulk. Never thought I would get to see the Other Guy from any other perspective than my own..." The doppelganger, who displayed traits so essentially Bruce, hesitated and Tony watched as his own body shift uncomfortably from where he was standing by the bed Tony was currently lying on.
After a moment Bruce whispered, "It was terrifying. Hewas terrifying. Why haven't you left yet?"
Tony watched as his friend crumbled and he sat up in bed, pushing down his own discomfort as he tightly gripped his own hands in Banner's. Or the opposite – whatever.
"If that is what you think, I'd prefer if you kept your thoughts to yourself, because none of us has even considered leaving you, alright? You're a part of the team and the Big Guy as well. Though I can't say I enjoy his presence at the moment, he and you are just as valuable as everybody else,"
"But he was so angry and destructive–"
"And what, a guy's no allowed to vent from time to time? Besides, he's obviously is upset about your absence. You should hear him; it's quite the racket in here,"
And it was. In fact, it was awful and Tony didn't know how Bruce had managed to stay sane for so long. The constant in his head which was the Hulk was either deep-frying his senses or drowning out every other sound by his loud roaring and thrashing. Now he really knew what Bruce meant when he'd told Steve that he was always angry. Turning into the Hulk was like a switch, all you had to do was flip it and suddenly all this anger would turn into a great destructive force. It was painful as well, and Tony recalled the feeling of muscles tearing and bones breaking, only to be reset again. It hurt very much.
"...Tony?" His own voice interrupted his thoughts and Tony's gaze snapped up, locking with his own dark, concerned eyes.
"Yeah," he said, before coughing, noticing for the first time that his throat was parched. He was grateful when Bruce offered him a glass of water, though he did notice that his friend seemed quick to draw back into himself. The sight of him, Tony Stark, acting like a tentative and shy child, as opposed to his usual self, was nothing short of strange.
Bruce began talking again, "You were just out of it for a second. I wondered where you'd gone off to," Though his tone was light, Tony knew exactly what Bruce was referring to.
"I'm fine. I just need to know what caused... this," he said, gesturing between the two of them. Once again, he noticed Bruce squirm uncomfortably.
"I don't know yet. I was told to watch over you until you woke up. I'm not even sure if they even suspect anything, I haven't told them."
Tony nodded, appreciating that Bruce wanted to wait telling someone before he'd woken up, even if he knew that would be the smart thing to do.
"Alright, I'm sure –," Tony paused as the door to the small room they were staying in opened with a iswooshiand he exchanged a wary look with Bruce before Nick Fury stepped inside, closely followed by Natasha and Thor.
As usual, Fury cuts right to the chase, "Alright, I want to know what the fuck happened to the two of you,"
There was an awkward silence in the room as all eyes focused on Tony, who was actually Bruce, waiting for him to tell some sort of exaggerated tale of how both him and Bruce, who was actually Tony, fought off the Bitch of everything magical and got knocked out in the process.
Bruce remained silent however and only squirmed uncomfortably under all the scrutinizing looks he was getting. Though Tony felt sorry for him, he knew that speaking up would only cause more suspicion and they definitely didn't need that sort of attention right now.
After a while Fury said, "Fine, if you don't want to talk, then don't, but I won't let you leave here before I'm given some sort of explanation as to why the fuck Banner hulked out without a reason or why you, Stark, ran away from the medical wing like a fucking madman,"
He gave Bruce and Tony a hard look – Well, as hard as he could with one eye, Tony supposed – before turning to Natasha and Thor, who'd been hanging back a little as Fury spoke.
"I'm expecting a report on my desk by the end of the day, am I clear?" The words were barely audible, but Tony knew what he'd heard and flinched slightly. If it was Natasha who was to interrogate them, the chances of keeping their situation a secret had practically disintegrated.
Tony felt eyes burn into the back of his neck and knew that Bruce knew that as well.