"I've always found this place very impressive," the voices seemed to say, speaking through a smile. "How you've managed to conjure this place from your subconscious."
Bruce groaned when he heard the voice, cringing, trying to open his eyes. His heavy hand reached up and rubbed at his eyes. He was extremely tired for some reason. Using his aching muscles, as much as he didn't want to, he sat up, leaning on his elbows.
"Where am I?" he asked, squinting at all the whites and grays around him. His voice seemed to echo—like out of a bad horror movie kind of echo.
Wherever he was, was just pure white, with items that were shades of gray. If he looked hard enough, he thought he would see his childhood living room made up of white plaster and gray paint. Beside him, he could feel a cold presence, as well as a breeze coming up from the floor.
His eyes first fell to the floor, where there was no real cause for the breeze. His shirt sleeves and collar waved in the wind, and his hair blew around his face, but there was no fan, nothing physical causing it.
"You're asleep. You can be wherever you want to be," the voices replied from beside him. It was a mix of three voices, all expressing different emotions. One was slow, buried deep beneath the other two. It was calm and soothing. The second one was one that sounded sad, prepared to cry, biting it's lip while it spoke to keep from breaking down. The third was happy, speaking in an energetic way, sounding optimistic and joyous.
Afraid to look, but knowing he had to, Bruce twisted his neck to face the cold presence beside him. There on the floor, lying with its hands in it's lap, was a white figure—face less. It didn't have the mouth to speak, and yet it was the only thing that could be able to speak. One thing about it though, was that it had long, beautiful brunette hair.
"Why am I here then?" Bruce asked, accepting it's answer.
"You're not in control right now," the figure spoke, one voice giggling, and another sounding disappointed.
Bruce knew all too well what that meant. He sat up completely, resting one elbow on a knee he had brought up to meet it, and used his other hand to rub his face again. Painfully, his back arched as he sat up, tiring him.
"Do not worry, all is well," the figure said, sitting up slowly and mechanically with ease.
"Right, don't worry. I'm not in control," he practically scoffed, shaking his head in disbelief.
Although it didn't have a face, Bruce thought he could see a smile. The brown hair cascaded around the white face. Bits were curly, and other bits were straight. A single braid dangled by it's cheek. The face turned to him, slowly, like it's gears needed oil.
For a moment, they just stared at one another in silence. Because it didn't have eyes, Bruce couldn't tell what it was looking at, what it was thinking—and yet he wasn't uneasy. His eyes darted around it's face, trying to find some feature.
"Who are you?"
"You're subconscious is still deciding. You're brain is too busy focusing on more important things," the figure muttered.
He smiled, chuckling, "Great, I can't even control that."
"Think about why you're here," the figure replied.
"I don't have to. I know why. Because the other guy is having a field day out there," he sighed, rubbing his hands on his pants. "God only knows what he's doing."
The figure shook it's head, it's hair moving like silk. "Not because of that. Think harder," it also sighed.
He squinted. What was it talking about? Why else would he be here?
"Because…I don't have control? Because I need a safe place? Because I want to be somewhere else—I don't know!" he said frustrated, shaking his head and looking at the figure like it was purposefully trying to confuse him.
"Don't think so hard, Bruce," the happier voice chuckled over the other two.
Bruce looked around, the breeze still blowing around him. It wasn't just his imagination that it looked like his childhood home. It was.
"So I do want to be somewhere else," he muttered.
"Not exactly," the figure said.
"Then tell me!" he said, getting extremely tired of how vague this figure was.
The figure chuckled. "You're here for a confidence boost. Your mind is searching for something to help you continue," the figure said, standing up.
Bruce, for a second, thought the thing was made of fluid, because it didn't look like the figure was even bending any limbs to stand up. No imperfections anywhere.
"So I came here?"
The figure shrugged. "No one knows the reasons for their manifestations. Maybe you missed it?"
"Why would I miss this place?" Bruce muttered, looking at the room. He remembered his mother playing with him, but he also remembered his father doing…unspeakable things to her.
"Your father is not here, Bruce," the figure said quietly, looking around the room. "And he doesn't need to be. Just don't think about him."
For a moment, he paused. If he thought about his father, would he appear? It means that if he thought of anyone else, they would appear too. But if that could so easily happen, where did the figure come from?
"If anyone I want can appear, how did you come to be?" he asked, hopping to his feet.
"I told you. Your subconscious is fighting itself—you can't decide who you want to talk to."
"Who are my choices?" he joked, pacing around the room slowly, stuffing his hands in his pockets.
The figure didn't answer. He turned to look at it, standing still. Pressing his lips together, he pulled his hands from his pockets and started playing with them.
"Is there a specific reason I'm just waking up here now? Finally deciding to give me a much needed confidence boost?" he asked.
"You know that there are people out there who want you to be you, correct?" the figure asked, stepping up to the counter from the kitchen that jutted into the living space.
Bruce squinted again, "Excuse me?"
The figure turned to him, seeming to hesitate. "There are people out there who want you to know that it's good to accept both sides of you," it whispered.
Scotty talking to him earlier about all of that popped into his head. He slumped his shoulders and sighed exasperatedly before pinching the bridge of his nose.
"Okay…if this is some small part of my brain that's trying to tell me to listen to Scotty, this isn't going to work. I'm sticking to my guns," he said, shaking his head.
"There are more than just her, Bruce!" the figure said, sounding somewhat frustrated all of a sudden. "Tony wants that too! Betty might as well!"
Bruce immediately started shaking his head, pointing at the figure. That was completely wrong.
"That's not true, I just want to believe that," he said, irritated.
Before his eyes, the figure's hair started to curl a little bit more.
"Do you miss her?" the figure asked.
Bruce blinked a few times and shrugged. "A little. Why?"
"It's just a question," it replied, one of the voices growing a little bit smaller.
"Why?" he asked again, prepared to advance and make it explain.
"It's a deduction. Would you want to see her again?"
"I told Scotty that I wouldn't," he started immediately. "Because she has a life now."
"There's more than that."
He opened and closed his mouth, caught off guard. He didn't know what to say. There was more than just…her having a life—of course there was! She—she didn't want to be with him if he was going to be half Hulk all the time. But he couldn't change that, he didn't know how.
"She…couldn't handle the other guy…or that she had to share—I don't know," he said, no longer angry, but actually a little numb. He didn't like thinking about it.
"So you don't really miss her," the figure asked.
Bruce pressed his lips together. "I guess not."
The figure stood there staring at him, the hair finally turning curly completely.
"That's all we wanted to know, for now," the figure said, sitting down at the dining room table. The sad voice was gone.
Without even knowing it, he sat down in an arm-chair he had forgotten was there. And yet he knew he could sit down. He put his face in his hands and sighed. He was sweating.
There was so much silence, minus the breeze that would occasionally whistle. The figure tapped their fingers on the table—making Bruce's ears perk. They were tapping Claire de Lune, his mothers favorite song.
He peeked up at the figure, who was staring off out the window.
"So how do you feel knowing you aren't in control right now," the figure asked.
Bruce pulled his hands from his face and shut his eyes tight.
"Um…I feel vulnerable…I feel inadequate…I feel so—worthless," Bruce explained, speaking monotonously like he was in a therapy session he didn't want to be at.
The figure cocked it's head to the side, "Why worthless?"
"Because I had it under control. I could handle it," he shrugged, rubbing his hands together. "Now look where I am."
"Have some faith, Bruce," the figure sighed.
"Faith? What's that supposed to mean—I'm in here because I lost my control of him and now he's loose," Bruce scoffed. "Everyone could be dead!"
The figured shook it's head. "They're not dead. Think Bruce! What do you remember?"
Bruce shook his head as well. "I remember an explosion, getting angry and then I woke up here."
"Think harder. What does he remember?"
About to say something, he stopped himself. No point in fighting it.
"Um…okay…" he muttered, shutting his eyes to think.
Desperately he pushed through the darkness in his mind, trying to see for anything he could remember. Nothing about Tony, nothing about the Captain, nothing about the Director or Thor—but there was Scotty.
He could hear her voice desperately promising that everything will be okay, that she'd get him out of this. And he yelled at her. Then there was more blackness.
"I was with Scotty," he muttered.
He furrowed his brows, trying to think harder.
An image of Agent Romanoff appeared in his mind, blurry, but there. She was on the ground, in pain, holding her side. He had hurt her. Bruce externally bit his lip.
Suddenly he was face to face with Scotty again, her hands and arms up, stopping him. He could feel the Hulk hesitating. She looked prepared to break down.
"BRUCE—NO! YOU'RE BETTER THAN THIS!" she screamed, her voice traveling through a tunnel.
She spoke to Bruce, but the Hulk listened.
"She…she stopped him," he muttered.
"She did," the figure said happily, stalking towards him. "What do you think that means?"
"She's the tamer of beasts? I wouldn't know…But, that doesn't make sense," Bruce said, opening his eyes and looked up at the approaching figure.
"She believes…what?" the figure asked, trying to get him to finish that sentence for it.
"That the other guy is good. That I shouldn't be ashamed," he asked, looking around.
The figure sighed. "Your friend believes in the other guy, because she believe in you."
"And let me guess, the Hulk realizes that and didn't hurt her because of that," Bruce mocked, leaning back in the chair.
The figure, now sitting criss cross and straight backed on the floor, quietly sighed and inclined it's chin to the floor. They sat in silence. Bruce was starting to think he had offended it.
"How often do you miss your mom?"
"Everyday," Bruce said without hesitation, looking down at his hands. "Luckily she never got to see anything of the Hulk…but she died too soon."
"Would she have believed in the Hulk? That he could do good?" the figure asked, looking around the room.
Bruce shrugged. "Maybe…but she'd say it would be because of me."
"Sounds like someone else, doesn't it?"
He tapped his foot, thinking of other people. No one came to mind. "I don't understand."
"Scotty," the figure said exasperatedly.
"I knew that. And she respects that I disagree," Bruce shrugged in response, remembering Scotty bringing it up.
The figure laughed. "You compared Scotty and Betty…but she seems to have more in common with your mom," the happy voice said louder than the soothing one.
"What, they're both dead? He probably killed Scotty after she stuck up to him," Bruce suddenly spat, feeling angry even thinking about the comparison. "And why do you keep bringing her up—Scotty?"
The figure stood. "It's not just coincidence!" it said, trying to leave it at that.
An odd look from Bruce made it sigh yet again.
"Think about all of this! Just think! Not about anything specific—go through your thought process…and tell me what you want!" the figure spat, stepping away from him and crossing it's arms.
"What I want?"
"Yes. What do you want…right now?"
Bruce sighed, looking away, "Besides you to drop the subject?"
A dark feeling started to emanate from the figure and Bruce shifted uncomfortably.
As he was told, he started to think, just staring up at the ceiling. He was thinking about how jumbled the figure was, and yet he understood what it was saying sometimes. It didn't make sense with its own thought process, what it was trying to get at.
So Scotty was like his mother huh? She was nice enough, he'd give her that. But saying she was like his mom was a stretch. Really. Scotty could be another passing face for all he knew. The only lasting affect was that she was a woman with robotic mechanisms buried in her skin. But was it more about her opinions? Is that what it meant? Even then, it wasn't enough for him.
Scotty believed in the Hulk, okay, that was something his mom would do too. She believed in the Hulk because it was Bruce that was holding onto him. That they were good for each other. It was ludicrous.
"I want control."
"You can't have it," the figure replied with a smug shrug.
"Then I want people to know I can."
"Why would you want that? You pretty much said it yourself, Bruce, the other guy is a beast," the figure scoffed. "No one would believe you."
"When did you suddenly get so negative?" Bruce said, furrowing his brows and glaring at the figure. The thing claimed he needed a confidence boost, and here it is suddenly shooting him down.
"THINK," the figure yelled, it's voices echoing throughout the room, repeating over and over again, even yelling backwards.
Who, who, who? He couldn't think.
The only one verbal about wanting to believe was Scotty. It was disheartening, and yet at the same time, despite how unimportant she seemed to him, it was nice knowing someone believed in every part of him.
"Scotty," he muttered.
"What was that?" the happy voice said, the other one almost completely gone.
"I want…people to believe…like Scotty…" he said, not knowing where the command was coming from.
"Because…if people believe in him…than maybe I will," he muttered, cocking his head to the side. A deep rumble in his stomach, and a ache in his chest made the words come out strained.
"And how are you going to get that done?"
"I'll have help…I have people who care about me now…"
"Oh really? Who."
"Tony—Scotty—they care about me—they believe in me."
The figure scoffed. "Oh stop kidding yourself Bruce. If they don't matter to you, how do you know they even care—you've thought before that Scotty herself was just a fad."
"I never thought that."
"Never directly…but she's just a pretty face to you. She means nothing. Maybe the Hulk did kill her—what would you care?"
"Don't say that," Bruce whined, shutting his eyes tight and he grabbed the sides of his head. Why had this thing suddenly turned so evil?
"THINK WHAT?!" he finally screamed, standing up and getting in the figures face. "What do you want me to think about?! Scotty believes in me—she believes in the Hulk—and yes I said I may never see her again but that doesn't means she doesn't matter! She cares about me, all right?!"
The figure stood still. He was fuming, panting in it's face. He thought he could see condensation forming on it's plastic skin. When it hadn't moved, he blinked a few times and stepped away.
Just those words made him groan and he collapsed back into the chair. Now all he could think about was Scotty. Was that the confidence boost? He needed people to believe in him, like Scotty did—that's why the figure kept bringing her up? If she wasn't dead, if she wasn't hurt, than he wanted to see her. She was always so positive—maybe she could brighten his mood.
That was something else she had in common with his mother. Just walking into a room could lighten it, every smile like a brand new day. It was enlightening and cheerful and made someone walk lighter. He needed to be in a good mood right about now.
"I want to see her," he winced, burying his face in his hands.
"I want to see Scotty. I need her—" he started, but hesitated. There was silence. The figure wasn't going to say anything. "I need her to tell me everything is fine."
The breeze started to pick up, his hair and clothes swirling everywhere. And suddenly it stopped.
"Why didn't you just say so?" only the happy voice said, right in front of him. Bruce pulled his hands away from his eyes and was face to face with Scotty.
The figure had become her. Her smile and everything, even the sparkle in her eyes.
"Hi," she giggled, talking quietly, sweetly. When she closed her mouth, she tried to keep herself from smiling by pressing her lips together.
He had wished her there. Or had she been summoned by the figure into itself…to finally give him someone to talk to?
"Hi," he said, laughing slightly, astonished at how life like and real it was. Her hair was still down, with the small braid brushing her cheek.
If only, in real life, it was this easy to find someone that believed in him. To have them at your fingertips. The thought even made him a little emotional.
With a tired sigh, he leaned his head down and into her shoulder, shutting his eyes tightly. Without thinking, 'Scotty's' arms wrapped around his shoulders and stroked the hair on the back of his neck.
"What's wrong?" she muttered, sounding concerned.
"I just…I don't know what to do," he muttered. She smiled and pulled him in closer and tighter.
"Honey, if you want to wake up, you can wake up," she assured him.
"I don't think I can," he replied, pulling his head off of her shoulder so he could look her in the eye.
She stroked his cheek. "Bruce…" she muttered, biting her lip. She examined his face carefully. "You are the stronger half. And you always will be."
"Did…did he hurt you?" he asked. He was unaware if this Scotty was speaking from reality or if this is just what he wanted to hear…but whatever she said he would believe.
She smiled and shook her head. "No, no, of course not."
She shook her head, pressing her lips together, suppressing that smile again.
"Bruce—" she cut him off, lifting his head high. "You didn't hurt anybody."
Staring her in the eyes, wanting to believe she was real, he allowed her to press her forehead to his.
"Wake up, Bruce," she whispered harmoniously.
"What?" he said, mesmerized by her eyes.
"You have to wake up now, sweetheart," she cooed, stroking his cheek with her thumb. "We need you."
He sat up. "How will I find you?"
A light blinded him and then there was nothing but black.
~ o ~
Bruce opens his eyes and sees nothing but concrete dust and a hole in a warehouse ceiling. Tiredly, he sits up. Dust falls from his hair.
He's naked. That's one thing he was really confident about the moment he could tell this from that. And he could feel someone staring at him.
He turned to look over his shoulder at an old man.
"You fell out of the sky," he said simply.
"Did I hurt anybody?"
"There's no body around here to get hurt. You scared the hell out of some pigeon's though," the man said, pointing around the warehouse.
He sighed and rubbed his head. "Lucky."
"Or just good aim. You were awake when you fell."
He looked back at the man. "you saw?"
"The whole thing, right through the ceiling. Big and green and buck ass nude. Here—" the man explained, picking up some clothing. He tossed it to Bruce, and he started to unfold the pants and slip them on.
"I didn't think those would fit you until you shrunk down to a regular sized fella," the man smirked as Bruce buckled the pants.
"Thank you," was all he could think to say.
He started unfolding the shirt. The Scotty in his mind told him that they needed him. For what, he didn't know, but he really hoped that that was true. He needed to see Scotty in person—to confirm what is odd psyche had tried to tell him. "Are you an alien?"
Bruce paused. "What?"
"From outer space—an alien?"
"Well then, son, you've got a condition."
It gets repetitive and stupid and weird and it makes no sense, but I've been writing it for hours, and my eyes hurt and my brain hurts.
I'm sorry lol
Read & REVIEW REVIEW REVIEW