Facing Your Own Demons


Everything looked blurry in Bruce's eyes. That could just because of the lack of his glasses. He was forever losing those. He was slightly more embarrassed to find he was lacking something else. The majority of his clothing. He immediately assumed the worst.

What have I done? Did I Hulk-out and destroy the jet?! Where am I? Where's Natasha? Did I hurt her?! Kill her?!?!

"Bruce." Bruce's eyes shot open, scrutinizing the room and trying to locate the source of the noise. "You're gonna be alright." That voice. A soft, mildly accented, female voice.

"Natasha?" His voice was hoarse and his throat was dry. He was completely parched. Small beads of sweat clung to his forehead and chest. There was a faint, yet persistent, throbbing hammering away at his temples.

The spy gave him a weak smile. She set down a glass of water next to him. He probably went for it a lot quicker than he should have. Didn't matter to him right now. Water first, question's later. Though he did have some amount of regret as he watched the red head flinch away from him at the fast, sudden movement. He sighed quietly as he set down the cup. "Where?-"

"Not sure, but I'm positive this isn't the landing sight," Natasha interrupted. Bruce nodded. "There wasn't even an actual landing," she muttered coldly. Bruce jerked his head up to meet the spy's emerald eyes.

"What do you mean there was no landing?" He inquired nervously. Natasha's thin brows furrowed curiously, her head slightly cocked to the side in genuine confusion.

"We were dumped out of the plane, remember?" She explained bitterly. Bruce looked down again and started to wring his hands together.

"D-..Did I-"

"No. I'm not exactly sure what went on, but I am sure that I don't like it." Bruce let out a breath he didn't know he was holding in. He legitimately valued the relief of hearing that the other guy stayed out of a situation. Though he did figure there was no way that he and Natasha could have survived that fall. A low rumble emitting from the darker corner's of his mind proved his theory.

"We've already been here for about two days. I'd like to get going as soon as you're able. With all the suspicious activity I don't want to stay in one place for so long." Bruce hmed in agreement.

Bruce was lucky enough to have found some spare clothes inside the cabin. Nothing very stylish, but it served it's purpose. When Bruce stepped out of the bathroom that he was changing in, he found Natasha quickly moving all the item's that they had used back into their original places. Well, excluding a few thing's they decided to take with them. When Natasha caught Bruce staring she explained. "I know it's unlikely that anyone know's what the inside of this place actually look's like, but I bet someone would know when thing's looked recently used or set up in a way."

Bruce could have face-palmed. He should know that by now, having been on the run for a good six years. It was something he always, somehow, negated to do when he left a place. Though the way he lived not many people would notice the difference. He brought most of his medical supplies with him, a few outfits, a few necessities. In other words, he learned to travel light.

Once Natasha had re-placed all of the various items the two headed outside. It was cold, damp and the winds blew lightly. You could just see the sun beginning to rise in the east over the top's of the tree's. "Let's get going," suggested the spy while buttoning up a baggy, dark brown fleece she had found for herself. "I don't know how long we'll be walking and I don't want to be stuck out here after dark."

The two stayed mostly silent during their walk. Only the occasional suggestion of direction based on deep tracks or broken branches that could suggest some kind of hunter's trail. Something Bruce knew from his many times of waking up in the wilderness after the other guy had made an appearance. The two really didn't have much to discuss.

Natasha couldn't help but wonder about this mysterious Betty that Bruce kept referring to during his fever dreams. It seemed like a far more approachable subject than asking about his Father. But how would you even go about bringing it up? So, when you were sick you were a bit delusional and started talking about the dark shit it your past. By the way, whose Betty? Yeah, she could imagine that going well. She tried to find delicate and gentle way's to bring it up. Instead the words, "You some said thing's," somehow tumbled out from behind her lips.

Bruce looked at her curiously. "Excuse me?" No use in turning back now. "During your fever. You.. said some thing's," she answered vaguely. Bruce's breath hitched instantly.

"I said some thing's," he repeated dryly "what did I say?" Natasha only drew in one breath.

"Not much," she lied easily "just something about a woman named, Betty?" Bruce looked down. Betty, a name that brought both pure happiness and vast sorrow's. She was the woman who he would always love yet never truly could.

"She was my girlfriend," Bruce answered after a minute's time "we were, uh, kind of serious." Yeah, but I already know that, thought Natasha.

"You two broke up?" Bruce fumbled for a polite answer and way to change the subject. This wasn't something he was exactly ready to talk about. He had barely even gone into it with Tony.

"Let's just say there were some complication's," said Bruce, expecting her to drop it.

"She left when the..other guy came along?" Of course she didn't.

"Well, not exactly...Her Father was the, uh, military general overseeing the project. I thought the procedure had failed, he..didn't," Bruce had already said about as much as he could stomach. The thought- No, memories alone sent chills down his spine. He wouldn't likely forget that little conversation he had with the General when Betty was in the hospital after the accident. Bruce wanted to reverse it. The General wanted to exploit it. "We had some, uh, different views on the subject."

Natasha stopped. "He wanted to use you?" She breathed lowly.

"He wanted to use him. The other guy," Bruce corrected quickly. It all made sense to Natasha now. The General approved the test that Banner conducted on himself. When it failed it had made the General look bad, but if he could use it, shape that kind of power and put it in his own greedy hands, he would become a militant god. A hero. And if that meant having to take someone's life to get it, well that was all collateral damage. Plus the guy was dating his daughter, plenty more reason to dislike him right there. But to take a mans life by dissecting him? That was just inhuman. Something Natasha was also not completely unfamiliar with.

"You don't deserve that, Bruce. Nobody does." And with that the two were off again.

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