Author's Notes: Ahh. I LOVE THIS MOVIE. My adoration for Liv Tyler's Betty Ross and Edward Norton's Bruce Banner knows no limits.
I mean that. Go ahead and try to find one, I dare you.
can't go back now
For Edward Norton—
Somewhere around mid-December, there is a knock on the door. Bruce is so startled that he nearly crushes the glass in his hand; unscheduled visitors are rare to the point of extinction these days.
He peers cautiously out of the curtains and then startles at the face that smiles back at him. He opens the door.
"Betty," he says after a moment, "You shouldn't be here."
Her lips twitch. "Very true," she agrees, her solemn voice mocking his own as she breezes past him into the worn living room. When she takes a seat on the destroyed couch the tattered covering flutters upwards, whistling against the fabric of her skirt. "My father informed me that if I were to come find you than I could consider myself permanently written out of his will." Her voice dropped an octave and matched that of her father's, syllable for syllable, down for his barely-noticeable Southern twang. "'Rosses don't date criminals, young lady, do you understand?'"
"And what did you tell him?"
She doesn't hide her grin this time and her eyes crinkle around the corners. They're sitting as far away from one another as the tiny room allows-- Bruce perched on the desk and Betty sunken politely into the couch, her legs crossed at the ankles and hands clasped on her lap. "I told him that was fine, considering the fact that I'm not a Ross anymore."
In one fluid motion, he lifts her left hand and wiggles her fingers; the metal band resting neatly beneath the knuckle on her fourth finger waves cheerfully.
At the gesture Bruce's mouth finally tips upward, his familiar and uneven smile stretching towards his ears. They collide in the middle of the floor, Bruce whooping incoherently as Betty laughs. He's got his arms wrapped around her middle and spins her; she buries her face in his shoulder and giggles into the warm skin there.
"How did you do it?" He breathes, finally setting her on her feet.
An unashamedly mischievous smile dances across Betty's mouth as she giggles into her hand. "I told the judge you were a paraplegic," she whispers into his ear.
For a second, Bruce is stunned to silence; then he laughs, long and loud, and clutches his wife to him with renewed fervor. "You are a terrible, wicked human being, Mrs. Betty Banner," he scolds cheerfully.
"Yes, I am," she acquiesces with a punctual nod, and kisses him quickly on the mouth. "Hmm. Mrs. Betty Banner. I like that."
"And what about the kids, do you think? How about Benji and Barbara?"
"Bridget and Beelzebub."
"Bo and Bess."
They smile stupidly at one another, as happy couples are wont to do, much to the disgust of those without love.
Becky looks down at her hand, and together they admire the ring there. "He did a great job, you have to admit," she murmurs appreciatively. Bruce smiles slightly.
"Well, he likes you," he teases. "Of course, our friend the Hulk also likes tripe, so I guess there's no accounting for taste."
His wife fixes him with a glare that comes to nothing as she dissolves into another fit of giggles. "Have you been working on your breathing exercises?" She asks nonchalantly, draping one arm over his shoulders. Her husband casts a wary eye at her, nodding slowly. "So you feel more in control? No spontaneous...um...incidences?" He nods affirmative again, just as suspiciously. Betty smiles, clapping her hands together. "Good. Then I guess it's time to try them out."
Bruce cocks his head in mock-innocence. "Please don't make me jump out of a plane again," he murmurs. "Because let me tell you, the ground hits hard."
Betty rolls her eyes, drawing his face close. "No, Bruce. Your days of high-altitude pleasure seeking are over. I had in mind some more... grounded pursuits."
"Not like Dominoes. Like getting a head start on Benji Banner."
"Well I don't know, sweetheart... you do get my heart rate going. And I would just be embarrassed to have children that are four times my size and... well... green."
With a furious growl, Betty leaps at him, and they both land heavily on the bed.
Several hours later, Bruce says: "You know, I could definitely come to terms with your anger issues, as long as we continue to channel them this effectively."
Betty giggles into the dark. "Zip it, you."