"I thought that Shield would have told you if I was a person you would have to worry about or not…"
"How did you…?"
"I saw the eagle emblem in the dirt after you stepped by me"
"Wha…?" I looked down and bent my leg to look at my heel. Low and behold, there, centered in the middle of the rubber tracking on the shoe, there was an eagle with a plate in the middle of its chest, donning the American stars and stripes.
He laughed and I later joined in. As the evening progressed we had moved to the threadbare couch and chair with the coffee table dividing us. We talked about my reason for being there and how this month was supposed to work.
I explained to him that this was quite abrupt and that I was sorry. The original plan was to meet up with him about a week from now- not on the first day.
"This was definitely not the way I wanted this to go." I said as I frowned a bit
"I'm actually glad it did for a, couple reasons…first of all, I probably would have leveled this town or I should say 'the other guy' would have. And… I like having met you sooner rather than later." Banner looked down, embarrassed for admitting it out loud.
He took a deep breath, "Because, as we have been talking we have burned through a million subjects and they have all been fascinating, I haven't had that in a long time and I have been missing some human contact with people who I can relate to."
I was flattered but still confused, "How can you relate to me? I am no genius or a doctor. I am just a girl who has been thrust into this kind of agent-y life against her will."
He tilted his head, "Do you wanna elaborate a bit…?"
Even though I had only known Banner for a few hours and I was way past the point of 'letting it get personal', I figured I could tell him. We were friends after all.
So, taking a deep breath I let loose my tale of how I came to be 'Raven'.
"I was born in Chicago about 19 years ago. My parents apparently didn't want me so they just left. They just… left. I guess, according to Fury, I was put up for adoption. I would have just been raised like a normal adopted orphan if something that the government worked out, where they measure a person's genes based on their parents, didn't make me eligible for a program. They ran some tests and I made the cut. It was purely coincidence that I was shipped out to Shield. From there, their recruiters and trainers took care of me. That didn't really work out though…."
"How so?" Banner whispered, feeling for me.
"I don't really know. Fury said the training didn't take or something. I suppose it had something to do with my gift. Every time they wanted me to do something I didn't want to do I would make them change their minds by forcing them to feel indifference towards my training. Eventually it became so bad they just stopped and treated me as a regular kid. I kinda became the entire organization's child. So I have a lot of adopted brothers, sisters, fathers, and mothers." I finished with a smile.
"You have a gift? Is that what you used on me in the alley?"
I frowned again, "No. I don't know what that was that calmed the other guy down."
He frowned too and wringed his hands, leaning his forearms onto his knees.
Suddenly the weight of the day came crashing down on me and I yawned, my eyes lidding slightly.
"I am so sorry. I didn't mean to keep you this late. I just figured it was better than talking out there in the alley."
"Yes. I really didn't want a repeat of that."
He sat there and looked at me, studying me the same way I had earlier. I wonder if he liked anything he- STOP THAT.
Stop-just stop. This is nonsense. Of course he doesn't find anything he likes. Your 18 going on 19 and he is 44. He probably is just looking at you like a father would his daughter.
"Come on." He said standing up from his chair, "I will walk you back. But, your going to haft to help me find it…"
I smiled up at him, "I think I remember…"
Soon we were back out of his apartment and I found myself missing the comforting feel of the couch and the overall smell of the air that was trapped inside his home. I found though, that the smell was easily found again on Dr. Banner but I couldn't just ask him if I could sniff him on the way back to my home.
In the streets and paths there were a lot of stray dogs roaming around. A few growled but others just moped past.
As we saw these creatures I never once felt threatened, for some reason I felt safe because of Dr. Banner's presence and I knew it wasn't just because of the potential for the Hulk to save me. I knew that Banner would as well.
In a matter of minutes and words we had become good friends and I was looking forward to knowing more about him and him of me. It was a strange feeling that I had never had before but I found the need to embrace it.
Hopefully all these decisions wouldn't come to blow up in my face. And/or Dr. Banner's.
It wasn't long before I had led him to the little outhouse and we had come to a stop in front of it.
He raised his eyebrow at me indicating how strange this was, "Shield set you up with this? How do you even fit?"
"When you press this little button inside part of the floor drops down and it does so top secret stuff. The living space is underground."
"Oh…thank God. I was about to offer that you stay at my place instead…"
I laughed at his humor, "Maybe I shouldn't have told you…"
Oh God…why did you say that!
"Really?" he asked, turning to me with his hands in his pocket and a huge smile across his face.
"Yeah…I mean I like your apartment. A lot more than my boring little set up down there and I trust you now."
He stayed silent for awhile more before realizing the time, "Well, I should let you get some rest but I will keep what you said in mind."
He started walking backwards, back towards the town and I watched him as he teasingly walked.
"By the way, as good as friends as you and I are now, I still didn't know your name." he shouted from a distance.
He paused, and laughed again, looking down, "Well Magnea, I'm Bruce."
A/N: Ahhhhh…I would say something to explain the last a/n but it is midnight and a school night. Besides I just came back from the NATO riots in Chicago and marching really wears you out…
I don't necessarily stand for everything they do but I just love observing them- and cheering them on for exercising their rights as Americans to preform freedom of speech. Fanfiction exercises this with every chapter and reader it has- its funny, I have never felt more American then I did today.
For all you Americans and all of you who love your country have a beautiful day.