Disclaimer: I don't own The Avengers.

Summary: Seconds after she pulls the gun on him, Bruce smiles to himself and thinks, 'I might just like this woman.' BruceNatasha, oneshot

Okay, another Avengers fic! I really liked the dynamic these two had in the movie, and this is my second favorite ship next to ClintNatasha, so I just thought I'd give it a shot in writing it, since it's so underappreciated. And I hope that y'all enjoy this! I would love to hear your opinions on this little fic! Thanks so much for reading!

Wild Card

He should have known something was up.

Really, he thinks that, but should he have? Should he have been suspicious of the little girl who was leading him to her ill father? Bruce supposes if he had been suspicious of her, then that would have counteracted the whole point of being here, healing people. Suspicions didn't heal wounds, and there was no reason not to trust her…

So that was why he was so stunned to be presented with this woman, tall and curvy and red-haired, with calmness oozing out of every pore, entering the room just after the child had exited.

He wrings his hands as he looks at her, suddenly feeling trapped. She has that effect, he supposes, with those serious eyes and the nonchalant expression that borders on remorseless.

Bruce decides to go with the flow. What else could this be about, but the other guy? He has worked to keep him locked up for this long, and hopefully this woman won't do anything to provoke him into making an unexpected appearance.

Though, there is something in the calm that he can make out. An edge of anxiety, maybe. She is good at hiding it, but he can sense it. Well, the other guy can.

She introduces herself as Natasha Romanov, and he's more interested than he should be.

He's not sure what she wants. He's been trying so hard to stay off the grid, and it comes as a slight surprise to him that they've been keeping tabs on him all along. They, being SHIELD, apparently. "A year without incident," she says. They've been keeping more than tabs, he supposes.

They want him to help pick up on the gamma signature of something called the Tesseract, which he can't blame them for, though he is a bit surprised that they've come to him first, knowing what he could do with just a bit of provocation.

There's a moment in which a thought occurs to him - the most lovely, interesting thought, and he acts it out.

In a fit of faux rage, he yells at her, slamming his hands on the table in front of her.

She jumps out of her seat.

Seconds after she pulls the gun on him, Bruce smiles to himself and thinks, I might just like this woman.

It was insensitive of him, he knows, but he found that he just had to get a rise out of her. Out of this glacial woman. Bruce raises his hands in front of him in a gesture of surrender, and a sheepish smile comes across his face. He apologizes in a breathy, amused tone. Tells her to put down the gun.

She hesitates, the fear in her eyes is obvious. After a while, she lowers her gun and speaks into what he knows is a hidden communication device, "Stand down."

He hears the massive forces outside the hut back off, and feels a grin cross his face.

"Just us, huh?"

Natasha looks at him, her eyes still frightful, but he can see that she is trying to place back her icy composure.

Amused, he gives her a smile, watching as she returns to a stable state, unmarred by fright. However, that little stunt by him has caused her to become that much more aware of who she is in a room with. Good. He wouldn't want to hurt her if things were to go…well, wrong.

He decides the least he can do is help them out. She said she'd "persuade" him if he refused, so he figures he'd spare her the stress of trying to persuade anyone.

"Okay, then," he says, relenting. He is still reluctant, and hopes this whole thing doesn't take too long. "Lead the way."

She tucks a strand of red behind her ear and looks at him for a moment. Her eyes are clear and there is a slight confusion to them. He shrugs, not offering any more explanation, and she sighs. Not in relief but out of good humor.

"Good," she says, "I was afraid you wouldn't survive my persuasion techniques."

There is a note of teasing to her voice, something that he would have never expected from her.

So he smiles - a genuine one, however introverted and contained it may be - and tells her, "Me too."

Natasha turns and gives him the faintest of smiles, something that no one else would have been able to pick up on. It is just the slightest upturn of the corners of her mouth, but somehow it makes him feel accomplished.

She leads them out of the small hut and into the awaiting agents with artillery that would make any gun-nut envious. He follows at a distance, watching discreetly as she walks in front of him, hips swaying just slightly. The other guys stirs, and Bruce pushes him back down.

This, he thinks as she turns around and glances at them once more, should be interesting.

Bruce just hopes for the sake of her and for everyone involved, that it doesn't get too interesting.