The Avengers were learning not to tip-toe around Bruce Banner. He'd been living with them for three months and he hadn't Hulked-out once.
Well, that's what they thought. Tony knew better. But Tony didn't really care and he'd built him a room adjacent to his bedroom so the Hulk could go and smash shit up. Apparently he liked it in there. Sometimes it'd just randomly happen, and he'd wake up naked with Tony sat beside him giggling and saying just how happy the big guy had looked…
But that wasn't the point. The point was Bruce was having one of those days where absolutely nothing was going right for him, and he was trying his best not to stamp around (mainly because he didn't know if Tony was in and he just knew Tony would comment on him behaving like a child because he did it every time Tony was in a mood, which was a lot) but it was really hard not to.
So he decided to make a sandwich. He stopped outside of the kitchen to control his rapidly pounding heart and unclench his fists and settle his jaw into something less... rigid.
He sauntered into the kitchen and tried his hardest not to look outwardly angry. But everyone in there was looking at him strangely. And everyone was in there. Other than Tony, apparently. Which meant that maybe he was off the hook.
Steve and Clint were reading newspapers, Thor was bashing at some steaks (Bruce didn't ask, but there was blood splattering everywhere) and Natasha was trying her hardest to read a book but was wincing every time the hammer hit the bench.
"Hi Bruce," Steve said. Bruce muttered a "hi," but he was looking so confused at what Thor was doing he was pretty sure his bad mood was just taken as confusion by the men of the room. Thor was beaming from ear to ear and he waved with extremely bloody hands, splattering the stuff everywhere. Bruce was wondering how the hell there was that much blood in a steak as Natasha was wiping it off her cheek.
"Thor!" She said, and then took a deep breath. "I think Pepper will be hugely grateful for you tenderising those now. I mean, they're definitely fine."
"They are? I don't think they are nearly flat enough."
He raised the hammer again and Natasha tried to cover the murderous look by putting her fingers against her temples.
"They really are. There won't be anything left soon. Just, put them back."
Thor shrugged, but wrapped up the meat regardless. Natasha shook her head and glanced over at the mess he'd made before cringing.
"And you better clean that up before she comes back, too."
Thor slipped in a pool of blood, and Bruce frowned. What the hell was this? Magic meat?
Clint was smirking and Steve had an eyebrow raised. Natasha finally turned to Bruce.
"Bruce, are you okay?"
He was okay, until she asked that. He visibly started as his anger level ramped up over confusion level and he remembered just why exactly he was pissed off. Everyone looked at him strangely.
He couldn't help making it into a question. She narrowed her eyes at his neck and he was sure she could see his pulse, but then she shook her head and looked back to the book she was reading and he was off the hook.
He could feel the anger prickling, and he was just holding the other guy at bay. Because damnit he wanted a sandwich, and nothing, no matter how big, green and angry was stopping him from getting it!
He opened the bread bin and was upset to find there was only brown bread. Again.
"Can we add white bread on to the shopping list please?"
Natasha looked at him as though he'd just spoken high treason and the Hulk wanted to smash in her face. He didn't like brown bread. It tasted silly.
"Or, at least allow me to do the shopping?"
There was silence as Clint and Steve said nothing, not wanting to face the wrath of Natasha Romanoff.
He knew they preferred white bread. They were just too wimpy to speak up. Thor would have joined in, but he was scratting about a cupboard for a mop at that present moment, leaving bloody handprints everywhere.
"No," he muttered. "Fine. Let us not offend you with our choice of food. God help anyone who brings anything into the fucking house that Natasha doesn't like."
Natasha looked up.
"What was that?"
Bruce really was an angry man, deep down. He had those kinds of thoughts all the time. They just surprised people when they came out of his mouth.
He slapped two slices of bread on a space of blood-free counter (which was difficult to find) and found there were no bread knives in the drawer. He sighed, pulling out a cheese knife and using that instead.
No, Hulk. Not yet. After I've eaten we'll let you out in the room, k?
Natasha was looking at him weirdly. He was pretty sure he didn't say that out loud so…
"Your eyes have gone weird."
"No they haven't. Shut up."
Minus 20 points for petulance, Banner. Well done.
Natasha was scrutinising him all the more. Clint and Steve either hadn't noticed or were pretending it wasn't happening. Thor was still looking for a mop, throwing things over his shoulders and nearly cracking them all over the heads.
Bruce opened the fridge door, skirting around the blood pools so he didn't slip because that would be all it would take. And he stared. And kept staring. And…
"For fucks sake! Why is there no cheese?"
The all glanced up because Bruce Banner had just said the f-word and he didn't say the f-word or any other words that could be replaced with a single letter and still have everyone know what they were.
Steve looked sheepish, Natasha shrugged.
"There's some goats cheese in the drawer."
He must've been scaring her because she didn't share her food with anyone. Not even Clint. Not even Clint when he stole it off her plate. She always got it back. But like hell did that matter.
"I don't want your fucking weird-shit cheese. Seriously. No one likes stuff that comes from a goats tits!"
Everyone was staring now, and he was having a tantrum to rival Tony Stark's best. The Hulk was getting closer and closer to bursting out of his chest. Everyone looked wary, except Thor, who was still throwing cleaning based missiles across the room. Bruce doubled over in pain, his eyes turning greener and greener. Natasha was edging towards the door.
"Um, Bruce. C'mon fella. Calm down."
"FUCK OFF STEVE!"
Steve, bless him, looked upset. Clint patted him on the arm.
"He's trying to calm himself down, Steve. You don't need to point it out. He's only saying that so he doesn't break your nose."
Bruce could have laughed, if he wasn't in so much pain. But he managed to push the Hulk back and exhaled, standing up straight.
"You okay, buddy?" Clint asked, and he nodded.
"Yeah. Sorry about that."
"It's alright," Steve said with a smile. Poor lad was too nice for his own good, Bruce thought.
A bucket hit Bruce on the head, and he sighed.
"You know what, fuck this shit."
He pulled his shirt off his head and turned into the Hulk.
Tony walked in just at that moment and was confused by the sheer amounts of yelling and other loud noises coming from the kitchen. Then he realised that Bruce had probably, finally lost it with the others and sighed.
He sauntered into the kitchen, a Burger King bag under his arm. He was trying to be nice and bring Bruce lunch, anyway. He'd not been able to spend much time with his bestest science-bro lately and so he wanted to make it up to him with fast food. Instead, he walked into a half destroyed kitchen where Steve and Clint were hiding behind a table, Natasha was dodging blows, Thor appeared to be wedged in a cupboard and the Hulk was in total rage-monkey mode. And there seemed to be blood everywhere.
Tony stopped, hands on hips, burgers behind his back.
"Hulk, c'mon buddy. In the kitchen?"
Everyone stopped dead, the Hulk turned to stare at Tony and everyone expected a roar or blows or something. But really, he kind of deflated and looked at the floor. Which was weird.
"I can see that, fella. Why?"
"Really? Well, geez. I'd be pissed at that too. Who ate the last of the cheese?"
Steve flushed red.
"Oh, Steve. Seriously man, buy some more."
Steve jumped up, "I'll go now." he scurried out of the door.
"I offered him goats cheese!"
The Hulk flicked Natasha on the head and she fell over.
"That's a fair response," Tony stated as she staggered back to her feet, very, very angrily. "Why is there blood everywhere?"
"Good to hear."
Tony followed the splatters to Thor, who was still being defeated by a doorframe.
"I was tenderising steaks!"
"How the hell did you manage to find so much blood in steak?"
"That what Bruce thought," the Hulk said with a shrug.
"Yeah, well, he's a genius too, isn't he?"
The Hulk smiled and nodded.
"Right, well. Since I've successfully diffused a situation on my own that four Avengers couldn't," Tony said, smirk evident in his tone of voice. "How about you help Thor out of that cupboard and clean up in here. I'll deal with the big guy."
"Tony, that's-" Natasha started, and Tony frowned.
"Fine, yes. I know. Hey, buddy, still hungry?"
Hulk nodded. Tony showed him the bag.
"I got your favourite. I mean, it's probably a little bit small for you; you could probably drain the coke in like, what? One sip. But maybe you could let Brucey back out and I promise that I'll force him to let us hang out later. Alright?"
The Hulk looked thoughtful for a moment, but then nodded and started to shrink before their eyes. Tony caught Bruce before he could fall to the floor, and smirked at him. Bruce looked around, his eyes widening at the destruction.
"Oh my god. Tony, I am so-"
"Say sorry and I'll hit you or something. It's cool. Now come on. I promised the Hulk Burger King and it so isn't the same when it's cold. I got your favourite!"
Tony waved the bag around and Bruce smiled and shrugged back on his shirt.
They walked out, leaving Clint, Natasha and Thor to tidy up, which Bruce was pretty certain would make him public enemy number one for a few days. Tony was chuckling to himself and talking excitedly as they walked down the corridor to find him some pants.
"Seriously, next time you do that I'm filming it. The look on their faces! Steve and Clint were hiding behind a desk…"