Avengers © Marvel. Not mine.

Just something that came to mind when watching the movie (for the fifth time). The way Banner was watching the argument between Rogers and Stark had me wondering what he thought of it.

Ten of You

"You were wrong, you know."

Steve looked up from his shield. They were still at Stark's tower for lack of anyplace better to go, and he was so freaking tired that he could have used his shield as a pillow. Banner didn't look in any better condition, with bags under his eyes and a fresh pair of pants that didn't quite fit him, but he stood there staring at Steve with something akin to disgust and that really pissed Steve off.

"What about this time?" he demanded, returning his stare to his shield. "I've been wrong about a lot in my life."

"You said you knew men worth ten of him." Banner's voice was calm and cool, but there was something dangerous lurking underneath the words. Steve wondered how close the Hulk was to the surface, then decided he was too tired to care.

"I know. He proved me wrong."

"He proved you wrong before you ever said the words."

Now he had Steve's attention. "How? You saw how he was."

"He poked me in the side, just to see if it would piss me off."

Steve rolled his eyes. "That just makes him insane."

Banner merely grinned as he leaned against the wall. "Do you know what it's like to have everyone be constantly afraid of you, Captain America?" The title was added with a sneer. "Do you know what it's like to have people try to kill you simply because of something beyond your control? Of course you don't. You're Captain America. You're the hero everyone wants to have around.

"But no one wants the monster around. No one wants to have something that uncontrollable, something that doesn't take orders, in their backyard." He snorted. "Even after everything, you still fear me. I don't blame you. Thor could have died because I lost my temper. But even after proving to you that I can control the Hulk, you're still scared of me."

"I'm assuming you have a point to this." He was so tired. He didn't want to deal with this.

"Stark's worth ten of you."

Steve's eyes widened. Banner simply smiled. "He is. He's worth more than every single damn person on this team. He's not afraid of me. Everyone else is." He turned to leave, then paused.

"You pretend to accept me, Captain. Stark actually did. All of me."

Then he walked away, leaving Steve sitting in the dark with his shield and wondering how in the world he had managed to misread everyone so badly.