A/N: So it was pointed out to me in the comments that I didn't quite get the phrasing right for the lullaby. And I was like "you know what, they probably changed it a few times to get the right saying down. I can make another part to that." So because of untapdtreasure, you all now get a second part. Thanks for the inspiration behind it!
Brutasha shipper: even though I didn't plan for one more chapter, aren't you glad I did?
Hitting the Grace Notes
When Natasha's day started with a parachute drop onto the roof of a HYDRA base she didn't bat an eyelash. Taking care of the few guards that were trying to pack up and leave was protocol. Surfing through her emails on her phone while she waited for information to be downloaded to an external hard drive was a nasty habit she had picked up on solo missions, and yes, she was trying to break it. However, what did make her do a double take was when she was about to reach her temporary bedroom at Avengers tower, even thinking about visiting Clint, the Hulk came crashing through the drywall. Tony flew right through in his suit and punched the Hulk in the face, pummeling him into the floor. His punches became harder and with a groan the floor broke through and they both went down.
Natasha turned her com back on and dropped down through the ceiling of the lower floor. She landed gracefully without a sound and followed the large holes in the walls to figure out where the other two had gone. "Stark, what's wrong? What triggered Banner?"
"We were in the R&D department when one of the drones I've been developing malfunction and caught Banner by surprise. Literally. They crashed right through the window. When I looked over I was met with the green rage monster and I've been trying to keep him contained ever since."
Natasha heard Hulk roar and made a sharp right and almost ran into him. She ducked back around the corner and pulled her gun from its holster. "Stark, how is this contained," she whispered.
"Well until you showed up he was on the same floor."
"Stop and let my try the lullaby."
There was a pause.
"All right little Red. Give it a whack."
Natasha looked back around the corner and saw that Tony had backed off. "Hey," she said, but softly.
The Hulk turned around breathing heavy; she could feel his warm breath on her face. He was staring at her with a deep frown on her face.
"The sun's setting soon," she held out her hand, but Hulk just slapped her away through a wall. She spat plaster out of her mouth, shook some dust from her hair and then was right back up on her feet. She edged closer to him, backing away every so often so she didn't scare him. She raised her hands up tentatively and looked him in the eye. "The sun's setting soon."
Hulk looked at her and Natasha tip toed a little closer so she could place her hand on his even though he didn't have one outstretched. He grabbed her by the neck and instantly Natasha began to have trouble breathing.
"Hey, Oscar, stop being so grouchy and give us Banner back," shouted Tony and he blasted Hulk in the shoulder.
He looked over at Tony and dropped Natasha on the floor. He grabbed Tony by the leg and flung him out the window breaking glass.
Natasha sat up and held her hand up towards him. "The sun's setting soon."
He lumbered towards her, not stopping.
She looked in his eyes and repeated, "the sun's setting soon."
He roared and threw a desk at her. She tucked and rolled out of the way and was on the other side of the room. "Damn it. Why isn't it working?
She stepped up on a desk and vaulted into an opening in the ceiling, trying to buy herself some time. The ceiling quaked with each step the Hulk took closer to where Natasha was. "Stark, where are you?"
"Plummeting. He knocked out one of my thrusters. Shit! Nat, you're on your own."
She looked down through the hole and saw the Hulk looking around for her, almost as if he was confused. Natasha took a deep breath to calm herself before dropping out of the ceiling with a soft thud.
Hulk turned around and stepped closer to her.
He stopped and stared at her.
"The sun's getting real low."
His frown deepened and he cocked his head to the side. He picked Natasha up and looked at her. With a confused frown he slowly raised his other hand up to her.
Never breaking eye contact, she raised her hand and placed it up against hers. She let her fingers linger on his palm before lifting them up and lightly placing them on his forearm. She left them there for moment, keeping eye contact, before moving down lower on her arm. Hulk stared at her moments, his face squinted in a look of remembrance. Natasha continued down until she reached his palm and she let her fingers linger against his calloused green skin.
Hulk looked into her eyes and they widen as he stumbled backwards. He dropped Natasha as he put his hands up to his head in disbelief. She landed on her hands and knees and she watched as he tripped backwards on a long lab table and the green began to fade from his skin. With the sickening sound of crunching bones, the Hulk was slowly turning back to Bruce.
"Is Banner back," asked Tony.
Natasha had forgotten that Tony was still on the coms and had previously been plummeting to his death. "Yeah, he's getting there. Where are you?"
"I landed fine. I'm coming up the elevator."
Natasha cautiously approached Bruce. He was covered in sheet rock dust and wearing his tattered trousers, indicating he was not expecting this. "Bruce?"
His eyes fluttered open and he took one wild eye look at Natasha before jumping up and running away. She watched as he ran down the corridor towards another set of elevator doors. She looked back at the rubble where he had been to the empty corridor where he fled.
The elevator doors pinged and opened depositing Tony. "Where is he?"
Natasha sighed. "He ran."
Tony leaned up against the elevator doorway. "Shit. I didn't mean to set him off like that. It was just an accident."
She looked at the razed room as she tucked a piece of her hair back. "Yeah, I know."
The beautiful soprano voice rising over the one hundred plus orchestra was her confirmation that Bruce was indeed in his room. Natasha pushed in on the door and saw Bruce sitting on his bed. He was leaning against the wall, eyes casted up at the ceiling, blanket wrapped around his shoulders, headphones on and leaking music out, and he was squeezing a Stark Industries stress ball in one hand. "Hello."
He didn't respond, mostly like due to the loud volume. Natasha crept closer and sat down on his bed, the appropriate amount of space between them.
He noticed the shifting weight on the bed and looked over, startled. He pulled his headphones off and Natasha could hear the soprano's aria much clearer and louder. "Natasha? What are you doing here?"
She held out the warm mug she had carried up with her. "I brought you some tea."
"Uh, thanks." He let the stress ball fall from his grip so he could accept the mug with both hands and it rolled of the bed and bounced along the floor.
She watched it roll into the open closet door out of sight. "Why did Stark even have those made anyway?"
Bruce shrugged. "High paying C.E.O.'s get stressed. He thought it was funny?"
"Tony would think it was a joke," replied Natasha. A lull fell between the two's conversation. She filled it by gently swaying her feet from her perch on top of the bed. Bruce filled it by sipping on his tea. Bruce's music swelled and the soprano belted out an ear piercing note. "That singer has a pair of lungs."
Bruce smiled. "Yeah, in the original piece that note is two steps lower. What she sang was the grace note. It's sorta like an optional note to add to the piece. It's normally more difficult than what the original note is." He looked over at her and met her eyes. "Natasha, I don't know what happened there. I...I don't know why it didn't work the first few times and it scared me."
She placed a hand over his. "It's all right. Maybe all we needed to change was the wording. Everything's fine now."
"Except for those two R&D floors."
"Stark has money to spare."
Bruce looked down at their hands. "Natasha...I-"
Master Stark would like the two of you to come to the common floor as Miss Potts has returned from her business trip and he is requesting you "chill" with them and the other Avengers in the tower.
Natasha looked down at their hands and pulled hers away. "We better get to going down there."
She smiled at him. "You're welcome." She walked out the door and she felt his fingers brush hers as he passed her. She looked up and saw the faintest smile on his face and it was hard for her to not smile back.