"Do you really want to die, Mr. Banner?" -The first time he tried, he woke up to a green eyed man plucking the bullet from his head.
The dinginess of the air threatens to stifle him, choke him with its uncleanliness, and Bruce squares his shoulder, though his gaze on the floor does not falter. He taps his knee methodically, and with a dull quirk of his head, Bruce notices his finger nails have gotten longer. Dirt resides under the nails, and he lifts a hand to inspect them.
Oh. That's right. It's been awhile since he's been out. At the conjuration of his new nickname the other guy jostles for a moment, inside, burning for exploration. Bruce hisses, bows over, head buried in his hands. Be quiet.
His blood boils for a moment, veins rushing in excitement, and Bruce snatches the alcohol from the table beside him. The alcohol burns, but in a way Bruce would like to be more familiar with, and he can feel his body growing heavy from another matter entirely.
He dulls away; the headache pulses for both of them, and the other guy doesn't like annoyances. A wry smile tugs at Bruce's lips, and he gulps down the rest despite the protest in his throat. Coughing, he sets down the glass before his rough hands can break it too. No matter how delicate he handles things, they always break under his fingers, shatter under green. It is a feeling Bruce doesn't like growing accustomed to.
His pocket is heavy, and Bruce falters for a moment. Swallowing thickly, he rubs his neck, stretching the rusty joints. The gun presses against the outline of his pocket, and Bruce stills. Slowly, he reaches for the weapon, and lets it sit on his palm. The revolver is surprisingly light, and for a moment, Bruce wonders how such a small thing can ruin so many lives. He is familiar with Big wrecking things.
He sighs, lets his fingers curl around the weapon. He regards the gun with half-lidded eyes, the metal shining in the swinging lamp from above them. He rights it, presses it against his temple hesitantly.
His fingers are still.
Bruce exhales. Coward. He's been planning this for weeks, days, and now he was abandoning it? No, he went through too much stress and work to get the gun, and too much pain for one man. Too much loss.
His ears ring from the impact as Bruce slumps against the shabby carpet, blood sinking into the carpet. What an ugly color, he thinks, and his head throbs painfully. He wonders if he might have missed, he should have died on impact, he righted the gun so it would do so. Slowly, his vision dims at the edges, and it feels like his eye is pulsing, bulging. When he thinks the black will take him away forever, a hot feeling overcomes his skin, his vision. Red blurs in front of him.
Too late, he thinks pettily, even as the other guy roars.
all he sees is redredred, it burns so much, his head, and make the pain go away, make it go away-
something cold presses against his temple, sharpness digging into his head, and he can feel someone inside his fucking head- it hurts.
For an instance, Bruce blinks, sees glaring green, and closes his eyes painfully, when the sharpness goes away. The burn dulls, silences as if it were missing something. Bruce feels like he's missing something too. Too green, he thinks, though he doesn't know why, and sleeps.
Bruce wakes with a start, hand raised and pressed against his temple. There is no wound. Shit, Bruce thinks, he even took the liberty of death.
Bruce starts again, tenses, raises his eyes to his guest. A green eyed man meets his stare, head tilted to the side. His hair is tucked up almost maniacally, and the glint off his glasses glares at him when the lamp swings. The light gives him a headache, and despite his reservations about his guest, he groans, slumps back into the blankets.
The man chuckles from his perch on the shabby night table, and leans closer to scrutinize Bruce. Bruce doesn't allow his shock or suspicion show, simply regards the man with curiosity.
"Who are you?"
The man taps his chin, as if he has to ponder the question seriously, and it actually looks like he does. Green eyes lift to the light, blinks, before returning to his own.
"Ah, Harry," Bruce replies, brushing off the strange interaction before. "May I ask what, exactly, are you doing in my room?"
The man's lips lift slightly. "Just checking on you. I heard something."
"Right," Bruce says, only a little relieved. Did the other guy not actually get out?
"Although, you do look a little green, Mr. Banner."
Bruce tenses, jaw set, and narrows his eyes at Harry, who only offers a sheepish grin. He groans when a throbbing pain pulses in his temple, and presses a hand in an attempt to soothe it. Must be the alcohol, he thinks, as he finds his limbs sluggish and heavy when he moves to stand up.
"I wouldn't suggest moving," Harry intones, hops off the table, and for the first time, Bruce notices what the other man is wearing. Black draping robes encompass his body, until the only skin he see is the pale hands fluttering around the table and his face. Harry turns around with something grasped in his hands, ambles to the bed, and offers it to Bruce.
Bruce eyes the bowl suspiciously, but tips his head to Harry in inquiry.
"It's soup," Harry deadpans, and despite hesitation on Bruce's part, dumps it in Bruce's hand. Bruce notes the cold fingers, but allows his fingers to curl around the warm bowl.
"Room service," Harry shrugs. Bruce seriously doubts it since he specifically advised them not to come into his room, but grips the thin wooden spoon anyways. He tests a spoonful, and tries not to gag. The groggy liquid tastes worse than horse manure, Bruce thinks, but manages to swallow. Harry is inspecting his reaction, grinning when Bruce lifts eyes to him. Bruce can't tell him it tastes like shit.
Instead, he stirs the soup idly, asks, "What kind of soup is this?"
"Oh, it's not soup."
Bruce stills again, lowers the bowl, and says, "But you said-"
"I was lying," Harry shrugs, smiles. "Don't worry, it's not poison; more like a cure, really."
"To what ailment?" Bruce asks drily, sets the wooden bowl aside.
"But," Harry says, "if you didn't trust me, why did you eat it?"
A beat of silence, in which Harry narrows his eyes before sighing. Bruce squares his shoulders, leans back until back meets wall. Here, Harry takes something from his pocket, and Bruce watches, bemused, as he twists the bullet in his fingers.
"Do you really want to die, Mr. Banner?" Harry asks, squinting at the bullet. There's still blood smudged into the silver, and Harry tries in vain to scrub it away. Bruce watches silently.
He finally gives up, pockets the bullet, and turns to Bruce. "Why take the coward's way out?"
Bruce's hands curl into fists, and he tries to quell the anger by tensing and releasing his fingers. What does he know? Nothing.
"Why not burn to death? Drown?"
Bruce blinks. "What?"
"There are many ways to die. Granted, the gun was the quickest, but I really doubt you chose it for that. It was hard work getting it after all. Tell me, why the gun?"
Bruce doesn't answer, merely sighs.
"Shame," Harry intones.
"Who are you working for?" Bruce interjects, stares at Harry.
"Does it really matter?"
"S.H.I.E.L.D?" Bruce says. Silence.
"Why the blood?" Bruce asks. "What do you want from me?"
"Silence. Would be nice right now."
Bruce chuckles, and he's not certain the laugh sounds entirely sane.
"You guys are really persistent, you know that?"
Harry hums in reply. "Just,- please. What do you want?"
"Nothing," Harry says easily, "just your cooperation."
"Oh, you have it," Bruce laughs, now he's certain there was something in the soup, "just got to ask the other guy first."
"You want to meet Death," Harry observes, not a threat, merely a statement.
Bruce sobers, and straightens. His muscles don't protest as much, and as his feet meet carpet, he notes how the red has left it. Harry has a small stature, barely reaching Bruce's shoulders. In fact, the man looked like he barely got past his teens.
"You're smaller up close."
"Good to know," Harry replies drily, and watches with amusement as Bruce tips the glasses back up his nose when it slips.
"If you don't work for Shield, how do you know my name?"
"Room Service," Harry says, edges around the other man and perches on his night table.
"The motel doesn't provide Room Service," Bruce deadpans and Harry laughs.
"Consider it charity, then."
Bruce frowns briefly, before walking to the door. As his fingers curl around the doorknob he waits for a protest. None comes. When he looks back, Harry is looking at him with furrowed brows. No matter. He was going to move a long time ago. He passed a man in the market a few days back. While he was dressed as poverty, sunglasses were tucked in his pocket when Bruce bent down to retrieve his own glasses. Now it might be a coincidence, but Bruce wasn't taking any chances.
Behind him, the wind howls.
A/N: this didn't turn out the way i wanted it to :/. will probably make another story about it. still, hope you enjoyed! reviews would be adored :)