So, this story had been previously uploaded on my other account, but i've gotten rid of that one and moved this story over here. So, no plagarism has taken place!
I don't own the Avengers
"Why, Bruce?" Natasha peered over her Stark industries coffee mug at the very tired looking scientist. He glanced up from his papers and jumped a little at the way he was being surveyed by the redhead. Under her gaze he felt very naked.
"Why what?" he asked, removing his glasses and taking of sip of the coffee she'd brought him when it was decided that she would not be getting any sleep that night. It had been 4:45am, the sun was just becoming visible through the windows of The Avengers Tower. It had been quite a shock to the whole group when Tony's ego had taken a backseat and stayed there long enough for Tony to put the eight letters on the side of the building. The plan had been to head to the gym but,like a moth, she was attracted to the bright light coming from Bruce and Tony's science genius lab. Bruce had been inside, tinkering with one of his machines. Had he been in there all night? She asked herself, quickly she'd backtracked and grabbed two cups of coffee from the kitchen and went back down to the lab. He 'd jumped when she'd made her presence known to him. They'd exchanged the pleasantries. Then, Natasha found a chair by Bruce's work area and sat in it, intaking all the sheets of research he had. Bruce had been uncomfortable at first, but he had to admit; he enjoyed her company. He enjoyed being around her.
"Your research, your need for a change, why?" she ran her fingers over the huge amounts of papers filled with Bruce's cramped penmanship. She gazed at them almost hatefully. She did hate them, she wasn't fond of the fact that he was convinced that in order to be like he was going to need to change. He followed her hand, no doubt reabsorbing the words she brushed by even though he already knew them by heart.
"Wouldn't you want it too?" he asked,when she was really tired he heard her complaints surrounding SHEILD. He'd listened dutifully, nodding and Mhmm-ing. Never really offering his opinion. He knew that wasn't what she was looking for, she was just venting of steam to somebody who she knew wouldn't judge her.
"No, I know I bitch about it Bruce but it's who I am." she stands now and walks over to another table. During the day, Tony lays claim to the table, and to the best of Starks knowledge it's still his at night. But at night more of Bruce's papers overrun Tony's space. But its always gone by morning.
"Well, I was who I was before the big guy came along. I'd like to be that man again." She whips around, hair creating a scarlet cloud as she turns to face him. He stands upright, placing his coffee down and crossing his arms over his chest. Her looks makes him feel as if he's being judged.
"Bruce," she sighs, sounding as if she's on the verge of tears. "You're still the same man. We don't think any less of you."
He laughs wryly. "You found me on the outskirts of Calcutta. Would I have been there if people had thought that I was the same guy I was before the big guy came along?"she moves back to her original place, now they stand with the table between them.
"If they don't believe you to be the same kind hearted, sensitive, insanely intelligent man all of us living here in Stark tower know you to be then screw 'em." she looks right into his eyes, big brown and incapable of hurting you on purpose. The corners of his lips turn down into the slightest of frowns.
"Or Smash." he says, turning away from her towards a collection of science magazine clippings. All the articles touch on the idea of cells, shifting, changing morphing based on heat, altitude, time.. Emotion.
"Banner, I don't think that'll help your issue." she confesses, though it wasn't that big of a secret. Bruce had been using it as a joke, but he didn't even find it funny.
"That is my issue. Smashing people" he whispers.
"No, your issue is that you refuse to accept that you are still a good guy!" she starts to march towards him, make him see that he's not a monster but then he whirls on her.
"I've killed people!" he yells. Natasha stares, searching for the green. But gets none, she doesn't back down, but stands even taller and locking her gaze on him.
"So have I." She reminds him. "But you killed as somebody else. It was me that killed them, it was my skin their blood dried on. I have more right to be mad at myself then you do." she see's the anger leave his face, but it's soon replaced by shame.
"You can control yourself. I can't." he's deflated, he's curling up into his ball, into his shell where the only thing he hears is that he's a monster. The only thing he tells himself is that he's not worth anything.
"Yes you can. You did. On the carrier." his eyes darken, she knows she's touched a sore spot but she's not stopping, she's saying this and he is going to listen. "Hulk looked me right in the eye. He saw me there, he saw I was stuck, he-" Bruce cuts her off with a harsh reminder.
"I tried to kill you, Natasha." she softens, realizing that he might think she's expecting him to act like a perfectly trained green guard dog.
"I wouldn't expect you to be perfect-" she amends.
"Trust me I wouldn't be." he looks over his papers, his fingers run over the dogeared corners of his notebook. Suddenly, gracefully and surprisingly, Natasha's hand folds over his, stopping it's movement.
"I expect you to be Bruce." Natasha whispers. "Charming, sweet, smart, funny. And the Hulk. He's a part of you as much as the red on my ledger is a part of me. Maybe we don't like it. But it's us and as long as we're surrounded by people who care about us it shouldn't matter what our flaws are. No matter how big or green." her hand stays on top of his as she watches his face. It's turned towards his work, the work he's spent endless nighttime hours on. He doesn't look at her but For her trained eye she see's everything. The twitch of the muscles between his eyebrows, the slight clenching of his jaw as he mulls over her words. She expected a well-formed debate to come from his mouth but it didn't.
"You called me charming." he looks back up to her face, and is astonished to see that she's blushing.
"In the general sense or for you personally?" he asks, raising an eyebrow.
"You're sufficiently charming in the general sense. Personally?" she trails off, her voice ending higher than when she started her confession; like a question. Teasingly keeping her opinion from him.
Then she does something that nearly shocks him dead. She kisses him.
Not a major make out, no tongue, no excess saliva. A sweet peck on the cheek that says a lot more to Bruce than Natasha could have put into words; you don't have to change to be enough for me.
You like-y? I am, personally, not feeling that this is my best work. I do have another Hulkwidow ( a sort of continuation of this one) saved on my computer that I'm going to finish then publish here. I shall be trying to finish this weekend. Reviews welcome!