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"Well...it might not be fun but I should check your blood and see if there's anything causing you to look younger." Bruce doesn't want to put young Coulson through anything traumatic just yet, but it's going to have to be done eventually.
 
"How are you going to check my blood? Do you need to cut me?" It's only slightly tentative, but it's there.
     
"No. No definitely no cutting." He pauses. "But...there'd be a needle. A small one."
 
Coulson processes this information. "Oh. Like getting a shot?"
 
"Yes, like that. Would that be alright? I'm really good at it, I draw my own blood all the time."

He nods. "Okay. It sounds like it's important."
 
"Really important." Bruce goes to another part of the lab, searching in a drawer for the stuff he needs to draw blood. "You want to sit there or on the table?" There's a sterilized table for experiments nearby but Bruce doesn't want to scare him any more than he has to.
 
Apparently he needn't have worried. "I can sit on the table?"
     
"You want to sit on the table? It would be cleaner."
 
You're asking a seven-year-old if he wants to climb on furniture, Bruce. "Yeah!"
    
"Well, alright then." Bruce picks Phil up to set him on the table and starts rolling up his sleeve. Bruce must have never wanted to climb furniture as a kid.

Phil watches as Bruce rolls up his sleeve. "Am I going to get a band-aid?"
 
Bruce holds up the wrapped bandaid as a promise. "Yup." He cleans the inside of Phil's armpit with a cold alcohol wipe, letting it dry as he gets the needle and test tubes.

Phil sits waiting more or less patiently, legs swinging a bit where they're dangling over the table's edge.

He debated doing it without giving him a warning but that might be just as bad. "Ok...ready?" And he inserts the needle, filling up one test tube, then another before pulling it back out and putting a piece of cotton on the site. He bends the arm up to hold it in place.

He only flinches a little at the needle, and makes sure to hold his arm still after it's bent. "That wasn't too bad."

He shakes the test tubes to mix them with the reagents in them. "Good...I have had lots of practice." Though it was safe to say he was more nervous than Phil at drawing blood from a kid.

And now the bandaid. Sadly, they only have iron man bandaids.


Once the bandaid is safely attached, he looks at it. "That's Iron Man, right? The one who flew around and looked like a robot?"
   
"Yup...he built that suit himself." Kids liked robots, right?

Bruce puts the blood in the centrifuge and sets it spinning to separate the blood cells.


"That's pretty neat." He cranes his neck to peer over in Bruce's direction. "What are you doing?"

"Right now...I'm giving your blood a ride in the centrifuge. It spins the individual cells apart so they're easier to look at." He's pulling out the microscope and a few slides. Bruce does better with old school science anyway, none of this advanced computer stuff.
 
"Can I look at my blood too?"
  
"Sure, I don't mind." Bruce stops the whirling centrifuge and takes out a vial of blood. Now the liquid in it is split into three parts, clear, cloudy, and red in that order. "See? There's platelets on top, white blood cells in the middle, and red blood cells at the bottom."

Bruce draws up one of each for each slide and puts the red blood cells under the microscope. He focuses it carefully. "....hm...." It looked like the blood of a normal seven year old. He moves aside so Phil can see too.


He peers into the microscope. "Wow. That's what blood looks like really up close?"

"Sure is. Mine does too." Well, with a few green specks here and there. "It's red when carrying oxygen and purple when it's not."

"How come it changes color?"
    
"The iron in the cells activate in the presence of oxygen." Bruce was starting to sound like a science teacher at this rate.

"And iron is red?" He looks thoughtful. "Is that why Iron Man is red?"
    
That was a pretty good question, not one Bruce was prepared for. "Oh, uh...well, no...at least I don't think so." He was fairly certain the suit wasn't iron. There would be no way he could fly it around so easily. "I think his is red because he painted it that way."

"Oh." He wrinkles his nose. "But if it's red anyway, how come he needed to paint it?"
  
"I don't think it was red to begin with..." Okay, Bruce wasn't the expert here, but he could ask someone who was. "Jarvis, is the Iron Man suit painted red?"

The computer answers back, "Yes, Dr. Banner. It was originally a silver color prior to being painted."


And that brought Phil up short as he looked around for the source of the disembodied voice.

"Who's that?"

"That's Jarvis...." Bruce was not going to get used to explaining stuff to Phil that his older self already knew more about than Bruce did. "He's a computer AI." Hopefully he knew what an AI was.

Jarvis chimes in, "You are looking a little different, Agent Coulson."


After a bit of deliberation, he decided that talking to a computer was definitely cool. "Yeah, I guess I'm usually old but I'm not now because something happened but nobody's sure what it is yet and Bruce is looking at my blood to try and figure it out and he showed it to me too, and it kind of looks like red donuts except they're more like squashed jelly donuts instead of the kind with holes."

It takes a few seconds longer than normal for Jarvis to process that run on sentence. "Technically, you would be middle aged..."

"Thank you Jarvis," Bruce cuts in before Jarvis can continue. "Yes, sir."

He's working on putting a few drops of different substances on the cells. Sugar, adrenaline, antibiotics...he can't be sure what will work to reverse it. He's even running a radiation panel.


"So what are you checking? Can I help?"

"I'm trying to see if your cells react to a series of chemicals and stimulants..." Bruce points at a rack of different vials with eyedroppers. "Can I have the one labeled HCO4?"

He goes over to the rack and carefully looks at the labels before taking the proper vial and heading back to Bruce. "Here you go!"

"Thank you." Bicarb doesn't do anything either. Bruce sighs and picks up his glasses, setting them on his nose as he looks at the data he has.

"Wish I knew what you were up to when this happened." But apparently, that was out of his league to know that.


"I'm a secret agent, right? Maybe I was captured by bad guys but instead of killing me they hung me upside down over a shark tank and the sharks hadn't eaten in a long time so they were really hungry and then when they dropped me into the tank the sharks somehow didn't eat me because the shark water made them not hungry but that was only what it did to sharks and if you put a person in the shark water they turn into a kid."

He frowns. "Except then I'd probably remember the sharks."

Bruce looks back at Coulson over his glasses, looking confused at the story. And slightly amused. "...I don't think sharks would do that. You have a creative imagination though." Which is probably what they need to solve this.

The radiation panel is finally back and Bruce reads through the printout eagerly. Here was something he could work with. "Seems to be...a new kind of radiation...if I'm reading this right." No way of telling the exposure or half-life when it would wear off, IF it would wear off.


"If it's new does that mean you get to name it?"

Bruce half smiles, looking over at Phil. "Well, if someone else is using it, they probably get to name it first." But if it works out that he did get to name it, he's naming it after Coulson.

"I wish we could..." he stops, looking around to the hallway to see if anyone was around. Fury must have been telling the truth about letting him be the only babysitter. "...there might be a way. But I would need your help." Breaking into Shield files wasn't something he was cut out to do, but if Fury wasn't going to tell him about the op that Coulson was on, he didn't see any other way.


Young Phil Coulson is totally ready to Answer the Call! "Sure! I can help!"

"We might get in trouble," Bruce thinks it fair to warn him. "But...if it works, I don't think they'll be that upset." What were they going to do to the guy who hulks out when he gets mad and a minor former secret agent anyway?

"Jarvis, where would we find the mission logs for Coulson's recent mission?"

"I would believe they would be on Director Fury's desk."

Bruce helps Coulson down from the tall chair and both of them leave the lab. "We'll have to get into his office."


"Okay. How sneaky do we have to be? Do we have to tiptoe?"

"...possibly." More likely, they were going to have to look like they belonged wherever they were going at the time.

Bruce leads the way to Fury's office, practicing being calm on the way. This was important so he was focused, trying not to be nervous about being caught. The door is shut, Fury most likely on the bridge. Bruce is looking around carefully without looking like he's looking...and moves Coulson closer to the door. Hoping the eye scanner will catch like it did earlier.

And fortunately, it does.


He grins. "I think the doors like me."

"Good thing for us they do," Bruce says, hurrying them inside before anyone can see them.

Fury's office is probably a little messier than Bruce expected but with the job that Fury has, he doesn't doubt why it's a mess. He starts going through a stack of files, not exactly sure what he's looking for.


Phil climbs up in Fury's chair. "This is comfy."

"Nggh!" Bruce makes a strangled sound at Phil getting into Fury's chair, both of his hands full of papers. As if the chair might have motion detectors or something. Bruce was quite paranoid about such things. "Don't. break. anything."

He'd found a stack of mission reports finally, flicking through each one to find the right team. They had to hurry before they were found out.


"I'm not gonna break anything! I'm careful." He just sits, swinging his feet lightly. "What're you looking for?"

"I don't know exactly..." Bruce gives up on the first stack and starts rifling through the second. His watch starts beeping gently to warn him his heart rate is up slightly. He takes a breath or two before it stops and continues. This work was nerve wracking.

"Oh. Well I hope you find it even if you don't know."

"Wait...wait, I think this is it..." He'd spotted Coulson's name in the roster of agents and quickly reads down through the report marked with big red CLASSIFIEDs.

"...warehouse...alien contraband...what in the..." He did not just read the word shark. Apparently they were experimenting with shark DNA at the same facility and there were huge tanks discovered there of them.


One word out of that catches the kid's interest. "Wow, there were aliens? Like, real green aliens with antennas and ray guns and stuff?"

"....huh? Oh. I think it was just their stuff, not aliens per se." At least, there was no mention of them showing up. Apparently there had been an overload in one of the mysterious machines and Coulson had been caught in the radiation fallout.

They found him unconscious and miniaturized so they brought him back for testing.

"This warehouse isn't too far away...if we can find a way off the helicarrier." First, they had to get out of this office without being seen.


"You're supposed to be watching me, right? Maybe tell them I really really want to go to the park and play on the swings and ask if they can drop us off? And then we can go to the warehouse instead!"

Bruce just stares back at Phil, trying to run that scenario over in his head.

"These are highly trained secret agents. There's no way they'll fall for that."

Later...

Bruce is climbing into a helicopter with young Coulson to go play on the swings. Bruce, for one, can't believe they fell for it.


Phil is a little bit excited about the helicopter ride, but he's trying his best to be on his best behavior, even if he might want to be jumping up and down.

Bruce, on the other hand, isn't fond of helicopters. Too many times being shot from one will do that. So he's going to be keeping his eyes shut for this trip and just concentrating on his breathing.

Phil is peering out the window pretty much the entire time. It's totally neat to be flying, after all.

They get dropped off at the nearest playground, the other kids pointing with wide eyes at the big helicopter landing and taking off after it lets it's passengers off.

Bruce breathes a sigh of relief to be on solid ground again, watching the helicopter leave. He had to wait till it was out of sight before turning around to find Phil. "Ok, we should..."

Wait...where was Phil? Had he lost him already???


Phil had figured that it would probably be a good idea to actually get on the swings just in case the helicopter pilots watched as they left.

He was swinging impressively high when he called, "Over here!" to Bruce.

Bruce quits looking around frantically when Phil calls him and is visibly relieved, walking over. "Don't sneak off like that," he really doesn't need the stress.

He jumps off of the swing and lands cleanly, looking up at Bruce. "Sorry. I thought they might look at what I was doing so I should swing until they were gone."

Bruce now realizes what he sounds like. A panicky parent. He's really got to stop that. "...right...yes, good idea." He runs a hand through his hair with a sigh. "Sorry."

"It's okay," he replies simply. "I should have told you. Are we going now?"

"Yes, we're going..." They'd have to catch a cab, another form of transportation Bruce wasn't fond of. But some of the kids were running up to them, thinking Phil is the coolest kid ever to have his own helicopter, plying him with questions about it. Bruce is a little concerned, staying close to him.

And Phil is spinning a story about how his dad is really rich and he really really wanted a helicopter ride to the playground so his dad said okay as long as he brings his uncle along and so he did but now they have to go but they don't get to take the helicopter back because his dad needed it for something else.

The kids are eating it up with oohs and aahs. Bruce suppresses a smile and gives Phil's arm a tug. "Sorry, we're late for....something." Ok, so Bruce wasn't as good at lying. But they would only have so much time before their ride came back.

He flags down a cab and they're soon pulling up to the street down from the warehouse. The place looks empty but there's signs that Shield has been here. Namely, the police tape across the gate.


He looks at the warehouse, wrinkling his nose. "This is the place?"

Bruce crouches behind a bush, trying to keep Coulson low too. "Must be. They couldn't have left it without some kind of security detail though." He could see the warehouse now, it had a plastic dome covering it. Likely quarantined.

Bruce pulls out a geiger counter from his hoodie pocket and flicks it on. "...nothing." It was safe. So far.


He looks between Bruce and the dome. "Well, how do we get in, then?"

Bruce looks around the gate. "Maybe we can climb over from the back..." So long as nobody could see them coming. The front door was definitely out.

"Okay. As long as you can give me a boost."

He's really leery of bringing Phil back inside that place, but there's not much else choice. Bruce leads the way around the building and picks a good spot of fence to go over. He boosts Phil over first, "Careful when you land, don't hurt your ankles." And then it's his turn. Bruce had experience with climbing fences.

Phil lands safely enough. He didn't have fence climbing experience at this point, exactly, but he was more than willing to jump off of monkey bars and things. He grinned. "This is fun."

Bruce tries to smile but it comes off more worried than anything.

And he feels like he should confess something at this point. "Hey, um, hold up. If...if anything goes wrong in there? You find a safe place and stay there, okay? Far away from me."


He blinks. "How come? Wouldn't it be safer if you were there too?"

Bruce sighs and shakes his head, sitting in the dirt next to the fence. "No, not always. It's almost more dangerous." He holds up his watch arm, showing the heart rate of 87. "If my heart rate gets above 200, I...I turn into the Hulk." There. He said it.

His eyes widen a bit. "Coooool."

Right, this was a kid he was talking to. Bruce shakes his head, trying to look really really serious. "No, not cool. Very bad actually. I can't always control it...can't even control who I hurt because I can't remember it. And I don't want to hurt you by mistake, okay?"

"I don't think you would," he says, "but I'll find a safe place if something goes bad."

"It's bad. Worse than you know." But he can't expect him to believe that at his age. "Thank you." At least he knows Phil will try to be safe around him, now that he knows.

He gets up, letting out a breath. "Okay...lets do this." Walking towards the warehouse, there doesn't seem to be any cameras or agents around. Strange.


Phil followed carefully behind Bruce, as quietly as he could. After all, this was secret agent stuff, like a mission. And you never knew if bad guys might be watching.

Bruce moves up against a door covered in thick plastic and eases it open to peek inside. Everything's dark but there's a glow of light farther in. He makes sure Phil is staying behind him as they both go inside.

His geiger counter is starting to tick as they get closer, nothing dangerous yet but there is radiation here.

When they step into the main warehouse room, it looks like a tornado went through. Large crates are everywhere but the few closest to the computers in a circle are knocked around and burst open. There's an alien artifact on a glowing table, probably being dissected to see how it works.

And nearby, there's the wavy blue lines on the floor where the shark tanks are lining the side of the wall.


He can't help himself. Phil promptly drifts closer to the shark tanks, a bit wide-eyed.

"Whoa, there really are sharks."

Bruce shakes his head, barely believing that Coulson was right about them. "Maybe you remembered them from before...hey, careful! Don't get too close." He didn't know what was safe to touch in here.

Bruce moves towards the artifact, not touching it just yet. He pulls out his glasses to look at it closer. "Hm. I can't make out this writing..."


He watches the sharks from a reasonably safe distance for a while before curiosity draws him back closer to Bruce again.

"What's it look like?"

"Like..." he smiles faintly. "...like Klingonese." It did, sort of.

Bruce checks and sure enough, it's the source of the strange radiation. "We really should get this in a lab. But why did they leave it here?" Bruce muses. There's safety gloves to the side and he slides them on before reaching to pick up the artifact.

Too late does he realize those gloves are marked with a Shield symbol as the artifact glows in his hands and activates...a wave of energy going through Bruce before he slumps to the floor, unconscious.


"Uh-oh." He creeps a little bit closer and taps at his shoulder. "Um. Bruce? Are you okay?"

He doesn't respond but he is starting to look....smaller...

The artifact finally stops glowing when he stabilizes, now in the body of an 11 year old.

Bruce blinks up dazedly at Coulson's face over him. He can't remember what happened but he feels kind of weird.


Phil blinks a couple times. Well. That's not good. Especially since nobody actually knows where they are. "Uh-oh. Um. Hi. Are you feeling okay?"

Bruce blinks worriedly, not sure if he was okay or not. "...my head hurts." He had a slight headache...and his voice was a pitch or two higher even if he was still quiet when he talked. It was definitely still Bruce. "What happened? Where am I? Who're you?"

"Um, I'm Phil. And I know it's weird but we were both grown-ups and then that glowing thing turned us back into kids."

"What?" Bruce sits up, confused as he looks at his small body in the too big clothes.

...something about the too big clothes is familiar though he can't remember why. He scoots away from the glowing thing, eyeing it warily. "How do we fix it?" The thing looked dangerous. Bruce finds his glasses on the top of his head and tries to put them on...they're kind of big too but he manages.


He looks over at the glowing thing. "I dunno. But... um, we kinda snuck here. Nobody else knows where we are."

"That's not good." Even young, Bruce knew that wasn't good. His memories were hazy at best, he knows he lives on a farm with his dad and sister. But he's not sure who Phil is. "Maybe we should cover it up before it hurts anyone else."

"Yeah, okay." He looks around. "With what?"

He pushes his glasses back on his nose, trying to stand up and tie his pants in a knot so they won't fall down. "Something...that hides the glowing. So something dark." He looks around at the boxes in the warehouse. His eyes going big when he sees the shark tank. Bruce doesn't even speak, just points. SHARKS.

Phil looks over and grins. "Yeah, sharks! Pretty cool, huh?!"

"Uh...yeah." It was REALLY easy to get distracted at this age. Bruce walks over, putting his hands and nose up against the glass to watch them.

Phil grins even wider and goes over to join Bruce. After all, SHARKS.

"Wonder what kind they are..." Bruce liked chemistry, not animal science so much. "Are we underwater?" He shies back as a big shark comes really close to the glass, his little heart thumping loudly in his chest.

"Nope. We're in a big big building that used to belong to some bad guys. I guess they kept the sharks to try and feed good guys to until it was time for the good guys to escape."

"So we're the good guys then?" Bruce would like to be a good guy.

There's a noise of a door opening and closing. He turns quickly, still looking worried. "Someone's coming!" he says in a whisper. Should they hide?


He nodded most emphatically at the good guy designation and was about to reply when the door opened. Phil's eyes widened and he grabbed Bruce's hand and darted away to hide behind some boxes in a corner.

Bruce is pulled along and hides with Phil, not knowing what else to do. He had the feeling they weren't supposed to be here. When guys in suits come into the room, he ducks down, hugging his arms to himself. He didn't feel so good, all scared and shaking inside. His heart pounding fast in his chest.

Phil peers out and whispers quietly. "I think it's okay. They might be good guys. I think they are. It looks like the suit that I was wearing when I got turned back into a kid."

Bruce stutters an answer as quietly as he can, "Are...are you s-s-sure?" He wasn't sure why he was so frightened, it was just really hard to calm down. He didn't remember it being that difficult when he was this age.

The agents are following the small footsteps in the sawdust straight their hiding place.


He scrunches up his face in thought. "You stay here, I'll go out and find out. If they are bad guys, stay hidden and then find the police, okay?"

Bruce nods, not trusting his voice as he sinks down lower. The agents are almost on top of them. He didn't want to let Phil risk his own life but he was too scared to move.

Phil promptly takes a deep breath and crawls out, waving at the agents. "Um... hi?"

Bruce braces himself for the worst but the agents are actually happy to see Phil. One of them calls him by name, getting down to his level. Though he's not sure why, as he peeks out at them, why the agent is looking like he's trying not to smile. "Where's Dr. Banner?" Sitwell asks.

By their reaction, Phil is fairly satisfied that they're good guys. "Ummm... What if the glowy thing turned him into a kid too?"

Sitwell sighs, "Then Fury will probably have my head on a plate. Where is he?"

Bruce stumbles out of his hiding place, looking green around the gills as he holds his stomach. "...I don't feel good..." he says, shaking in his too big shoes. He didn't know what was going on but he wanted it to stop.

Sitwell and the others get back, him taking Phil by the back of the shirt to pull him away, all of them looking scared too.


Phil wriggles out of Sitwell's grasp and scampers over to Bruce. "It's okay. They're good guys. You don't have to be scared."

Bruce has fallen to his hands and knees, Sitwell tries to grab for the young agent, "Phil no, get back!"

"Feel sick..." Bruce said, trying not to be afraid but he can't help it. He wanted to throw up but his body seemed to want to do something else. The veins in his arm tracing green as his eyes glow, looking back at Phil, scared.


"It's okay," Phil replies, just as composed as his adult self ever is. "When you're a grownup, you turn into a cool big green giant that beats up bad guys. It's pretty awesome. I guess it stuck when you got little again."

Sitwell grabs Phil a little tighter this time to drag him back as the young Bruce starts to transform. Since he doesn't know what's going on, he doesn't fight it as badly. His arms and legs growing, pushing against the sleeves of his shirt as his skin tints green. Hulk stumbles to his feet, pushing boxes as he tries to get away from the men in black.

While the adult agents get nervous, Phil just stares, transfixed. "Wow, cooooooool."

He's more disoriented than usual, looking at his green hands in horror and shoving away boxes as he tries to find an exit. Everything is so loud and scary in his head. Hulk doesn't realize he's found the ramp to the upper level and the top of the shark tank. The agents following behind at a safe distance, wondering if they should have tranqed him before he got this far. But Sitwell couldn't resolve tranquilizing a child in his head.

Phil is kind of excited about the commotion. "I think he's going to see the sharks."

"That might not be a good thing," Sitwell says, gun out but knowing he can't use it. "He might break the tank."

Hulk pauses at the edge, watching the sharks swimming around with wide green eyes. They look scary too.

"We need to get him to calm down."


He thinks that over for a moment and then looks up at Sitwell. "Can I try?"

He hesitates. "...if you get hurt, I'll get busted down to Level One for sure." Fury would probably kill him, reanimate him and kill him again for losing Coulson.

But Coulson outranked him. And he had good instincts about this sort of thing. "You can't go up there alone."

Hulk was growling at the sharks, one of them snapping at his feet. He rears back and socks it in the nose, the shark swimming off in a fury.


"I won't be alone, he'll be there." He promptly headed up the ramp.

"Hi, Hulk. How are you?"

Sitwell follows close behind, unwilling to let him go by himself. He hangs back only a little bit.

The Hulk whirls around, ready to fight back...but it's only Coulson. His wild look trying to remember they were friends. He's only able to growl frantically, unable to talk.


Coulson is more than willing to talk more than enough for the both of them. "Don't worry. They're sharks. They look mean, but they still can't get out of their tanks. Did you know that they don't have bones? And they have to keep swimming in order to breathe? And if you rub their skin backwards, it's all spiney instead of smooth? They're pretty cool!"

It seems to be working. He's got Hulk's attention and he's starting to look a little less panicked as he's listening. That did sound kind of cool the way Coulson told it. His eyes narrow at Sitwell though behind him, not trusting him. Hulk quickly reaches and pulls Coulson to around behind his back and growls as if protecting him.

Sitwell...is stuck, not knowing what to do. He puts his hands up, his gun back in it's holster.


"Hey, it's okay. He's a good guy, I promise. Cross my heart. You're bigger than he is anyway. I bet he's more scared of you than you are of him."

Hulk still keeps Coulson away from Sitwell, backing up....

...and backing up too far, the both of them falling into the shark tank.

This was very, very bad.


Phil lets out a rather startled yelp when he falls into the water. But they're not that far from the edge, so maybe everything'll be okay. He's not the best swimmer and still isn't normally allowed into the deep end of swimming pools, but he dog paddles back towards the agents, really really hoping the sharks don't... eat him or anything.

Hulk sinks, being that he weighs more in this state. The sharks are circling menacingly around him and Coulson. HULK SAVE FRIEND was all he could think of, attacking the nearest shark and grappling with two at once. He keeps them occupied while Sitwell, thinking this day couldn't get worse, was working on rescuing Phil out of the water, pulling him out of the tank. "Are you alright??"

"I'm fine, but he's still in there! We have to get him out too!" He was also wet and cold now but that was entirely beside the point.

"He'll be alright, don't worry." Sitwell pulls Phil away from the edge of the tank, another agent coming up with a towel.

The tank is a flurry of bubbles and fighting as the sharks are trying to surround the Hulk, biting at him but despite being outnumbered, they're losing. Finally, when it's impossible to see through the bubbles, Hulk is dragging himself out of the tank onto dry ground, leaving some very beaten up sharks behind him.


Phil wraps the towel tightly around himself and grins. "You're okay! And you beat up some sharks!"

Was Hulk grinning? Maybe a little. And he yelled back at the sharks, his fists hitting the water in triumph. HULK WAS THE STRONGEST!

Then he sits with a thump, suddenly very tired after all that fighting. Sitwell nods to Phil, "Talk to him some more, he's starting to come down from it." They might be able to make it all home in one piece.


He goes and sits next to Hulk, still wrapped in his towel. "I was right, you know. You're a hero too."

Hulk frowns. No, that wasn't right. He grunts and shakes his head. Hulk wasn't a hero.

...but he still liked Phil. He reaches and musses up the kid's hair with a half smirk. You're alright, Coulson.


Phil giggles and wrinkles his nose at the hair ruffling. "You beat up some sharks so they wouldn't eat me. That's a hero thing. So there." He sticks out his tongue.

Hulk has a low throaty chuckle to himself, his eyes blinking slowly as he's starting to relax enough to change back. His body's already starting to shrink down, the green tint fading as his muscles pull back into place.

Soon, it's just kid Bruce sitting there in remnants of an adult shirt, looking dazed and confused as Sitwell is putting a towel around his shoulders too. The agent picks up the sleepy teenager, putting him over his shoulder as he holds out a hand to Phil. "Good job."


Phil just smiles and grabs Sitwell's hand and stands. Then he shrugs. "He's my friend."

Bruce dozes on Sitwell's shoulder as he's carried to the car. The glowing artifact is put inside an insulated box and carried by a robot to a different car.

Soon, they're driving back to headquarters. Sitwell in the back seat with Bruce and Coulson, Bruce covered with a towel and blanket as he sleeps with his head in the agent's lap on a small pillow. It's been a long day...


That it has. Long and overexciting. And the adrenaline rush catches up with Phil, too, as he leans against Sitwell and dozes off himself.

Suddenly, Sitwell's job isn't so bad after all. This was going to be worth all the grief he was going to get from Fury. He gets a second blanket for Phil to wrap around him too as they drive back.

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Bruce Banner - The Hulk

October 2016

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