"I speak based only on what I have seen," Loki said in response to the echo of his own words, eyes narrowed as he glared up at the beast. Perhaps it wasn’t the smartest idea to offend the creature who essentially held the key to his freedom. But old habits certainly did die hard.
At the initial refusal, Loki looked ready to argue, but then the Hulk fell silent and the Trickster decided to wait and see what he came up with. The God could practically see the gears turning in his head. And then the beast started to change slowly. Loki would never admit it, but it was a fascinating process to watch. The God had never met a mortal capable of any form of metamorphosis, let alone such an extreme form as this.
His brows furrowed at the way that Bruce’s arm stayed enlarged and he looked ready to say something. But in the end, there was nothing he could do about it. “Fine,” he finally conceded, glaring coldly at Bruce, eyeing his arm carefully. “If you so much as touch my daughter with that arm, I will rip it from your body gladly.
With that, he turned away and started walking back towards his home. His body was tense and fear filled him at the thought that he was being forced to reveal his home to his enemy. As he walked, he started to clench and unclench his fists at his side.
No. He had to keep himself calm. Einmyria would pick up on the fact that he was upset; everything would be alright. He just had to keep reminding himself of that.
When they reached the house, there was a moment of hesitation before Loki opened the door, barely holding it open for Bruce. Several cats stood by, sniffing at Bruce curiously while his dogs rushed to be at his side, tail wagging. A hyena practically tackled Bruce, whining and licking his hand, nudging him in an attempt to get the stranger to pet him.
Meanwhile, a full grown lion and tiger stood nearby, tails flicking in an agitated fashion as they watched the newcomer and picked up on their Master’s tenseness. Loki stepped immediately towards them, giving a small hand gesture to keep them from lunging at Bruce.
"This is my home," he murmured, glancing back at the scientist with a cold look in his eyes. Before the other had a chance to reply, Loki turned away once more to call down the hallway, "Einmyria, come out here." His voice was calm and controlled now, but soft.
After a few moments, a young girl poked her head out of a doorway, grinning widely before she came running down the hall and into Loki’s arms as he pulled her into a hug and lifted her. “Where did you go, mom?” she asked, looking curious before finally noticing Bruce. She frowned, eyes darting to his right arm before she questioned, “What’s wrong with his arm?”
"Einmyria, that isn’t very nice!" Loki scolded, but couldn’t stop from grinning slightly.
"I’m sorry, mister," she said to Bruce.
Bruce quickly concluded that Loki wasn’t going to argue with him. It was a smart response on the god’s part, not to mention it helped take the stress off Bruce — if Loki had kept arguing with him, he probably would’ve gone for his neck out of frustration. And when Loki threatened him, his mood only improved even more; he tried not to give him a snide smile. This whole complex that Loki had going was going to get him in a lot of trouble someday; after all, what could Loki possibly do to him with that gangly form? It definitely wouldn’t involve limbs being ripped off, he knew that much. Ultimately, Bruce started trailing after the demigod without saying anything. He did, however, choose a selection of words after walking for a while. What Loki said about the Hulk was suddenly offending him. “What you’ve seen," he said contemptuously, "wasn’t me. It was me in a sense, but at the same time, it wasn’t. You wouldn’t get it.”
Then his voice became uneven, and he had to stop himself there. In no way, shape or form could he portray weakness or emotional instability to Loki. The god didn’t know, but he still had a hold on Bruce’s psyche because of what happened before. At least, Bruce’s little experiments had told him so.
When they finally arrived at the house, he saw Loki stop for a minute in… Hesitation, perhaps? Bruce’s heart thudded against his ribs; he just wanted to see this ‘daughter’ once and for all. Soon enough, Loki had opened the door and stepped inside. Bruce let out a miffed grunt when the god released the door prematurely and nearly allowed it to close on him. Then the scientist stepped into the home. The first thing he noticed was the sheer number of animals. He was taken by the overpowering smell, a medley of fur, breath, and sweat from different four-legged creatures. His eyes darted from a clowder of cats to a fully grown lion and tiger, and finally wound up on a hyena. The creature was pushing its nose against his leg, and its tongue was attacking his hand with eager licks. Bruce hated this. His features twisted slightly in disgust. When Loki cast a cold glance back at him, he responded with a scoff. If the god wanted to be hostile, so be it. “Clearly. Well…”
He looked pointedly at the animals, then at Loki again. “You fit right in.”
Then he snapped his fingers at the hyena, causing it to back off.
Soon afterwards, Loki was calling out some fantastical name, and it was in an oddly soft voice. There was none of the usual boldness to it, which made Bruce both surprised and uncomfortable. He’d never heard the demi-god talk like this before. And when a young girl ran into the room, Loki scooping her up in his arms, Bruce’s surprise fell completely out into the open. He was certain his jaw had gone agape and the colour had drained from his face. After all, he could sense the girl’s warm breath, hear how her voice sounded more realistic than any illusion Loki could conjure up… Bruce didn’t want to admit it, but Loki had been telling the truth. He was so stupefied that he almost forgot to acknowledge the girl when she…
Figures. Like father, like daughter. Of course her first reaction would be to mock the monster in the room. He snorted and, with his arm ducking behind his back, he cast a poisonous glance at Loki. Then he looked at the girl, his expression relaxing but maintaining his guardedness. “Apology accepted, Einmyria.”
Then Bruce saw that the hyena was drawing closer again, ears perked and tail wagging. This animal was getting far too persistent for his liking. Ignoring the presence of Loki’s daughter, Bruce let out a disgusted exclamation and quickly staggered away from the animal. The corners of his mouth pulled up into the beginnings of a snarl — not to Loki or his child, but the hyena. He kept his eyes trained on it. “If that thing touches me one more time,” he growled, “we’re gonna have problems. This isn’t a petting zoo. Control it.”
Because he didn’t like the idea of Loki’s pets sizing him up or sampling him.
The hyena advanced again. Bruce snarled at it, green feathering into his face.
open - nocturnal;
"Oh, it’s really nice to meet you too, uh—sir!"
[ Maybe she should have checked for a name plate outside the lab door. Come on, Charlie, that’s like Kindergarten stuff. ]
[ She followed him at what could only be described as a puppy’s pace: stepping along a little too quickly then pausing so she wouldn’t shoot ahead of him. It wasn’t like Charlie had any idea where the cafeteria’s kitchen door was, so really, she had no choice but to follow, but she was just so excited! ]
"I wasn’t—I mean, I totally understand what you’re saying, don’t get me wrong. It’s just rare that most other people see it that way, at least not without doing a lot of critical thinking beforehand, so it’s generally safer to introduce myself as ‘just’ this and ‘just’ that, otherwise my superiors might think I’m getting a big head or something. Which, like—hey, they don’t know. Maybe I could do their job.”
[ It occurred to Charlie to shoot him a sidelong grin, to show she was only joking. There was no way she could do his job. ]
[ He pursed his brow when Charlie referred to him as ‘sir’. He wasn’t offended, but he was a little surprised that she didn’t know his name. In that sense, meeting Charlie was a wake-up call — unlike what he’d previously thought, not everyone on the carrier knew him. He was rather notorious for his contributions to S.H.I.E.L.D., more for his field work than anything, and most people just seemed to know who he was. Hell, even the interns and the newbies were like this. Either Bruce was getting too much of an ego, or he was just being thick. But whatever the case, he felt it was best to simply give his name and let Charlie piece together the rest of the details. He wanted to have a normal night, not one that was riddled with questions and fanboying (fangirling?) like they so often were. ]
“Oh, I’m sorry — Doctor Bruce Banner, head of research.”
[ He was self-conscious, and it came through in his voice. However, he quickly banished the feeling and was more confident when he offered his hand for Charlie to shake. He responded to her next comment about superiority complexes with a shrug and a quiet chuckle — some people already thought Bruce had a complex. And his chuckle threatened to become a laugh when he realized just how enthusiastic Charlie was. The way she was talking, even the way she was walking! Something she told him had struck solemn ground, though. ]
“You do have a point. Actually, the lack of critical thinking is precisely why I keep my lab closed to most other agents. They’re not exactly brimming with respect. I mean, it’s not just agents; there’s… a lack of decency in people.”
[ Then he shut his mouth. He was slipping into dangerous territory; he didn’t want Charlie to think of him as a cynic, or offend her personally. He kept walking, meeting her gaze in a matter of moments. ]
“Sorry. The, uh… door’s just up ahead.”
helicarrier started following you
She couldn’t help but inhale sharply the moment he said he couldn’t talk to her at the moment causing Betty to clench her fist, the other holding her purse.
"Excuse me?" Her voice was strong, unwavering. "You can’t talk to me. To. Me." With each word, Betty grey angrier and angrier until she was shaking slightly, glaring at him.
"I spent years waiting for you, looking for you and the moment I find you, you don’t have time for me?" She continued just as she let out a huff and narrowed her eyes. "Well, fine, Dr. Banner.” Betty bit out, as bitter and sorrowful as she could sound, much to her dismay.
"You’re really gonna play the anger card with me?"
[ His carriage slowly changed from mild and meek to coiled and menacing. The venom in his tone and stance was merely a front for his inner confusion, though. Because Betty had never reacted like this before. Why was she so angry about his refusal to talk to her? Had the time they spent apart finally gotten to her; was she sick of him running? It was part of the human condition to feel bad when someone walks away from you, but Bruce thought they were both in a mutual agreement — one that involved cutting their relationship for the good of people. The dispelling of this belief made him jump to the defense. ]
“Oh, no; don’t make this about you!”
[ It happened before he could stop it. The cutting sound in his voice was second only to the volume of it, this volume encouraged by the name that Betty had given him. It hurt him badly. She was pushing him away even more than he was. He took a step forward with no care for the people that might have heard him; he was focused on Betty. His fists tensed up. ]
"Am I just a surname to you, now? Is that how it’s gonna be?"
[ Then he stopped. That was crossing the line. He couldn’t fight with her; things wouldn’t end well if he did. He closed his mouth and bit the inside of his cheek, taking a breath into the pit of his stomach. Cold air pooled in his lungs and numbed his tension. It melted away into a slight trembling of his hands and a tiredness in his eyes, which took to observing his shoes. ]
"You’re not just ‘Doctor Ross’ to me, you know. Why do you think the Hulk—"
[ No, not the Hulk. ]
”—Why do you think I saved you all those times? The campus, Harlem…?”
captive - bruce and violet
Laugh? Like this was funny? Violet couldn’t fathom the idea of finding anything in this situation funny. Being locked up against one’s will, with her powers being suppressed? And clearly, whatever his were, as well? It wasn’t anything she could find funny. She hated feeling powerless, something she rarely could feel now that she’d actually embraced her abnormality and accepted it as a core part of her. The powers that she had could help people if she used them to do so, and keep herself safe as well.
At least, they could have. How she ended up here was still a mystery, but the knot on the back of her head was a pretty decent indicator.
"Of course I have. I mean, at least, whatever’s in the papers. I don’t go out of my way to learn about anyone. I prefer to remain inconspicuous."
Violet wasn’t lying. She didn’t want anyone to think anything strange of her, and this was one of the situations she was desperately trying to avoid. When she decided to move away from home, and her family’s protection, her parents had warned her not to trust the wrong people, to be wary whenever necessary. Her secret identity remained as such, as far as she knew.
Violet was aware that her existence was on government radar. She had always known, since she was old enough to comprehend her powers and understand that she had to keep them secret, that she was under government protection. SHIELD, however, wasn’t a familiar sounding agency. They had a file on her, and he had apparently read it. From the nod towards her wrists, he knew what she was capable of.
With a shake of her head, she tried once again to use her power, but was incapable. She let out a frustrated sigh, before brushing her hair back with her fingers. She had no idea what the cuffs were that could suppress that part of her powers, although she hadn’t tried to disappear yet. That was easy, almost as easy as breathing, letting herself vanish into nothing. Surprised that it had worked, she let out a sigh of relief, before reappearing.
"Well, I can still do that, but it doesn’t help since my clothes and these cuff don’t vanish with me."
Being able to disappear would have been useful were it not for that fact. That was why she’d gotten a supersuit that disappeared with her, something that would be helpful. These were normal clothes, not the material that was capable of vanishing with her. She was used to wearing things that were either made of that material or easy to shed, with the suit on underneath. It was another way of hiding in the open that Violet had gotten used to over the years, and now she was basically stuck being visible.
"So you’re here because you’re alter ego is the Hulk? And I’m here because I can…make force fields? At least, I assume that’s the power of mine they care about, since it’s the only one whoever it is managed to suppress. I guess there’s no real point in speculating about it, huh?"
Violet wasn’t certain how long she’d even been here, or how long they planned to keep them there. She still didn’t know exactly who was after her, or why anyone would bother. She wasn’t exactly a ‘superhero’, in terms of the public sense. She did little things, stopping muggings if she came upon them, but nothing real. She wasn’t saving the world, or even trying to. She was trying to be normal, but help people when she could. So what could anyone want with her?
"Do you have any idea how long we’ve been here?"
Bruce looked at the floor when Violet said she preferred to be inconspicuous. He was the same way, and right now, they were out of luck. Being here was anything but inconspicuous. Who knew what kind of information their captors had on them? For all Bruce knew, they could have hijacked S.H.I.E.L.D.’s database and stolen their files. Their home addresses and virtually everything else was up for grabs. But between him and Violet, he was probably the warier when it came to his info being disclosed. God, if they told his identity to anyone — the public — he was fucked. He was practically a WMD; who knew what kinds of people would come after him!
He stretched out his legs again and drew his hand up to his forehead, swallowing the tension that was rising in his stomach. It was this moment that he realized he was very hungry. "You and me both, Violet," he said at last. "You and me both."
Glum, he watched from his peripherals as the young woman faded into thin air, leaving only her clothing and cuffs behind. He looked up just as she became visible again. He should have been relieved that she could do that, but he didn’t even break a smile. He simply nodded in agreement when Violet said it wouldn’t help much. Invisibility was pointless with the clothes she was wearing and those damned cuffs; she clearly couldn’t make them vanish like the rest of herself. And Bruce’s own power had been reduced to little more than partial changes, ones that could barely scratch the surface. He could wrestle up a mean growl if he tried, but…
Pathetic. Like that’s going to help.
Once Bruce told her about the Hulk, he waited with keen ears for her response. When it came, his breath escaped in a muted sigh. He was grateful that she didn’t express a sense of fear. People didn’t normally enjoy being in close quarters with him, even now, and while Violet didn’t know him too well, she did seem to know the Hulk. Her fearlessness was making him feel a little better. He could focus less on convincing her that he was safe, and more on telling their captors to let them go. He could also focus more on why Violet and himself were here in the first place. Violet probably had the right idea; the captors knew about their abilities and if they were trying to suppress them, they obviously knew the potential behind them. And while Violet’s arsenal wasn’t quite as destructive, it still had numerous applications. He didn’t know how her invisibility worked — perhaps something to do with chromatophores — or her force fields, but they were just as useful as the Hulk in the right situation. The first thing that came to Bruce’s mind was stealth. Energy-based resistance to physical damage. And as far as his own abilities, destruction. He was pretty sure they didn’t want the Hulk for its resistance to disease or temperature…
Bruce blinked when his mind conjured up the image of a mass genocide, brought on by some kind of biological weapon, the culprits using a siphoned form of Bruce and Violet’s abilities to bypass the calamities. He shuddered as he found himself sifting through more visions, none of them good.
"Yeah. That’s a safe guess," he murmured. "I think… Well, we can’t do much at this point. But whatever might happen, we should prepare for the worst." Because their kidnappers, if Bruce and Violet’s current state was anything to go by, didn’t have good intentions for them. Bruce was afraid of what this could mean; he was starting to fear for his life, and he was starting to fear what could happen if these people took his abilities.
His hands bunched together in a tight knot on his lap. He looked to his left and saw a steel door, a small peep hole in the frame, and Bruce felt a new rush of fear. His hands lurched up to his neck, a gut response to his trepidations, and tried to pull the collar off again. He didn’t care about subtlety, or Violet’s reaction when the change began; let his body go as far as it could before he could no longer pull a breath. Nothing gave. He held back a desperate growl and tried to reel in the expression that was trying to surface, one of panic. This wasn’t the fake kind of panic that one gets when watching a horror movie, mere goosebumps — this was real. He reverted, keeping his right arm as changed as it could get. If he couldn’t escape or pull the damn collar off, he might as well keep himself safe.
Well, as safe as he could be. He was stronger now, but he was still vulnerable to all sorts of injury. A bullet wound could probably end him if it was left to fester.
He looked back at Violet and broke into an embarrassed smile. He couldn’t lose his head now. After all, he was the stronger one. There was a chance they could appeal to reason and make a deal with their captors, but if things got ugly, he needed to be able to protect her. He couldn’t let anyone else get hurt because of his incapabilities. “I… don’t know how long it’s been,” he conceded, running a hand through his hair while his expression slipped into solemness. “But we’re awake now, so unless they’re trying to starve us—” or time us out ”—It’s only a matter of time before they show up.”
He’d almost forgotten the formalities.
"My name’s Bruce Banner, by the way."
His voice tapered off when he heard footsteps outside the door. He didn’t turn to face it; he simply kept his eyes on Violet and gauged her reaction. As for him, he was more than terrified, and it showed. Who was outside? Were they going to walk in, or pass them by?
Mkay, back to business as usual!
I just cleaned up like, half of my dash and WHOA STRESS GONE. It sucks because the blogs I unfollowed are some of my favourites, and my mouse was hovering over the unfollow button for like ten minutes for each one. u_u Anyways, there won’t be any more ooc spam from me — I’m gonna try and finish all my drafts. c: