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[from here]

I think I would like that

*******************************************

[ Turns as he passes the other man speaking into a phone. There is something familiar about him.

*******************************************

[Bruce is in a phone booth, leaning one hand against the glass as he talks into the phone]

Yeah...ok...I will Betty. [He'd risked a call to Betty Ross to let her know he was ok. He shuts his eyes at the voice on the other end, trying not to look sad.] ....love you too. I have to go. Bye.

[And hangs up.]

*******************************************

[Betty? Okay. That got his attention even more. Bruce slips into the shadows,hoping to blend in as well as he can. He cann't explain it ,but he had the impulse to stay. Hell he can even say he needs to use the phone if the man sees him and inquires.]

*******************************************

[Bruce picks up his small knapsack, shrugging it onto one shoulder as he steps out of the booth, his eyes looking back and forth to make sure he was alone. The other guy gets a haunted glance before he quickly looks away and starts walking. He didn't look like anyone Ross would hire out as a spy but he couldn't be too careful.

Best to move away from this booth as far as he could.]

*******************************************

[ A sudden crippling wave of deja-vu washes over Bruce. He puts a hand to his forehead. All of a sudden he feels so strange. Unlike anything he had ever experienced. Trying to look casual with his hands in his pockets,he walks after the other man,keeping his distance.]

*******************************************

[The hairs on the back of his neck practically stand up as he walks down the sidewalk. Great...he's being followed. His shoulders almost slump with defeat, why couldn't he go anywhere without being followed? Why didn't they just leave him alone?? He'd only just gotten to this town.

He'd practiced at this though and Bruce does a quick turn to duck into a small storefront, intending on going out the back if he's followed inside.]

*******************************************

Wait![ He instantly regrets speaking. A chill goes down his spine and he has seen this. Felt this. He knows what it means to run. Bruce has done that trick a thousand times or more. ]

*******************************************

[His shoulders bunch up, his hand on the open door...and for some unexplicable reason, he stops and turns.

No, he should be running away, why was he standing here? Bruce gives the other man a wary look. Hopefully one that says, go away, I'm not safe to be around.]

*******************************************

Do..[ He knows that look. His stomach forms a knot and he is almost afraid to speak.] Do I know you? [ Bruce is keeping his distance. A fight is something he does not want to risk. Not here. Not now. Not when he had been doing so well.]I think I know you.

*******************************************

[His grip almost tightens on the door at the question. Bruce takes a breath to steel himself no, not here, please don't know me and tries to answer]

No. You don't.

[His watch on his wrist starts beeping, giving him a reminder he was up to 120. Bruce quickly shoves that hand in his hoodie pocket and lets go of the door, forgoing the store idea to walk away down the sidewalk instead.]

*******************************************

Oh. Sorr-[ What..? His eyes go to his own wrist at the sound of the familiar beeping before Bruce remembers he hasn't needed it in a long time. Maybe it was just a coincidence..? Beeping watches were common. And damn he was walking away. Bruce steps to fall into pace with him and his words come out quiet and very puzzled.]



I used to have a watch like that..

*******************************************

[Bruce actually stops walking. Unable to walk away.

The very idea was ridiculous, someone else like himself? No, not possible. It was laughable...and horrible to think about.]

.....it's a cheap watch. [He says without turning around. Thankfully the watch has stopped, his heart rate back to a safe level.]

*******************************************

[ Bruce nearly runs into the man when he stops ,but rights himself quickly.] Oh. I see. Yeah. Mine was pretty rickety.

[ He stops and a huge part of him is glad that he may be wrong. It was too strange to even conceive.]

I thought-[ Trails off,squinting over his glasses at the man.]

*******************************************

[He half turns, still keeping a wary distance between them. Now and again, his eyes flick around at the rooftops, looking for snipers because OBVIOUSLY this was a trap.]

What did you think?

*******************************************

[ This had to be done delicately. If he was right the man would flee or worse. But this is crazy? Stuff like this just doesn't happen. He exhales shakily.] Its late and- [ Wipes his forehead with the back of his hand.] I thought maybe...

You were someone I knew from college. [Oops. Lets go with that.] I mean. You look just like him[ Bruce is a pretty okay liar. But not the best.] He was into Gamma research.

*******************************************

[His eyes snap to him at that, finally looking at the man. Was he someone from college or...was he just feeding him a line. That part about gamma research is worrying.]

[No time to be delicate] Is Ross here? [If he's wrong, the man will probably dismiss him as a crazy homeless guy. If he's RIGHT...he should probably run from the snipers that are getting set up on him.]

*******************************************

N-[The simple three word question confirms it. Bruce swallows hard. There ..were others?]No. He isn't here or the trigger happy military either.

Just me. [ And the 'other guy'.He scrutinizes the man closely, curious..Then he figure he should offer an olive branch,figuratively speaking.] I'm Dr. Bruce Banner.

*******************************************

[.....Bruce looks like he might be rooted to the spot.]

[What??]

What.

[WHAT.]

You're crazy.

*******************************************

What..?[That causes Bruce to grimace. The word 'crazy' is one he does not want directed towards him.] What do you mean?

*******************************************

[He takes a step back, confusion working all over his face as he rubs his temple. Maybe it was HIM that had lost it finally. Though the Hulk in his mind had stayed conspicuously quiet for some reason.]

This is wrong...no. I've lost it. [Maybe it was that phone call to Betty that triggered this.] Please go away. [It was a hallucination. That's what it was.]

*******************************************

No.[This is not the reaction Bruce had anticipated. Not by far. He stands in shock,his mouth hanging open slightly. Still ready to jump back if the other snaps,he steps forward.] You haven't lost it. As far as I know. I know the..situation you are in and..

*******************************************

You couldn't... [He catches himself, another worried glance around. Isn't this the part where he gets dropped by a dart from above?]

You can't know what the situation is. And you can't be....Dr. Banner. [He's not admitting that he's him though. Not out loud.]

*******************************************

[No dart this time! Bruce has to admit he is doing a shitty job of making this guy feel secure. He isn't trained for this.]

Why can't I? To either of those.[ There was that again. What..? If Bruce has to he'll get his I.D. out. He isn't going to elaborate really. You get a puzzled look from a puzzled doctor.]

*******************************************

[He shouldn't say anything. Why should he trust this guy? What if he had cracked far enough that he was literally talking to himself. That thought brings up a laugh, short and not far removed from crazy.]

You don't want to be him.

*******************************************

[That makes Bruce chuckle and smile sadly.] No I don't. But things don't work out how I want them to. [ There is a noticeable bitter edge to his smile ,now.] Now. I told you my name.

*******************************************

[His heart sinks into his stomach at that bitter tone. He even sounds like him.

Bruce shifts his weight nervously, still feeling exposed on the street like this.]

I'm not so sure who I am. [A year ago, he was a brilliant scientist. Now, he feels more like a disease. Or a monster.]

*******************************************

[ Bruce shrugs.] Fair enough. [ He interprets this as a reluctance to tell him his name and what good would it do to press it. Instead he offers his hand to him.]

*******************************************

[He flinches at the hand before he can stop himself. Bruce is still waiting for the other shoe to drop in this scene.

And if he takes that hand, that means the guy is real. He's not sure he wants to know that.

But something about the guy just...seems familiar.

He meets him halfway for a tentative handshake.] ....this can't be real.

*******************************************

[ Bruce gives the other man some sort of sad half smile. The handshake isn't the most firm. For either of them really. But that is something that could be expected.]

It is..err. nice to meet you..? [ it is a question with no discernible answer.]

*******************************************

Yeah, don't bet on that. [He mumbles, more to himself than anything. The other guy definitely wasn't someone "nice" to meet.]

[Suddenly, the grip on the handshake tightens. Bruce has seen something on the roof of the next building over, the glint off a gun barrel.

Ross has tracked down that phone call he made earlier. There's a thwipp! sound and Bruce recoils to find a dart in the strap of his backpack, only JUST missing being stuck in him.

His watch is beeping again.]

*******************************************

[ It takes about a second for Bruce to register what just happened. But when he hears that familiar beeping,he thinks an articulate "oh shit". Not in a populated place. Not with two of them. Bruce looks at the other man, adrenaline hyped up and eyes a green color.]

Run.

*******************************************

[Two things register for Bruce. The first is a look of horror back at those familiar green eyes. The second is this is VERY BAD.

And then he's running away as fast as he can down the nearest alley, missing another dart coming his way as he hopes they haven't blocked him in yet.]

*******************************************

[ Not again Bruce decides to follow him own advice and takes off after the other. There was no way he was loosing him. he doesn't really think of why they aren't shooting at him ,just took for granted they were. If anything ,he thinks he can lead them away from the man.It would be the least he could do. Keeping the man in his line of vision,he tries to blink away the green threatening to wipe away all coherent thought he has.

*******************************************

[Bruce doesn't even look back. Looking back just makes you panic more, plus it slows you down. It was Brazil all over again. Dashing through the streets at a breakneck pace and hoping the next corner didn't have a tank or worse in front of it.

He vaguely hears the running footsteps behind him along with a few pings off of different surfaces as various snipers take their chances, despite Ross yelling in their earpieces to NOT ENGAGE!

He's running into the city park, something the General must have been counting on because now there's a few jeeps joining in the chase coming down the road. Bruce throws himself behind a large dumpster, trying to catch his breath. His lungs were on fire and his watch was alarming up a storm as he looks at it....187, not good.

Slow breaths, com'n you can do it. Breathe.]

*******************************************

[ The monster in Bruce's mind is furious by the time he comes to a stops near a children's place castle. He can see the other man from where he is and dammit he can hear that beeping.Its putting him on edge,making his head pound.

He squats next to the slide, putting his head in his hands. The monster is beating on it's weak metaphorical bars. He can physically feel them getting thinner. With barely pieced together thoughts,Bruce hopes that the man can get under control quickly. Breathe.

With the repetition of his breaths ,he can feel himself calming. He had done this a billion times. Finally Bruce leans over to take a look his head still throbbing.]

*******************************************

[Another check of the watch and he's down to 150's, not optimal but it will have to do for now. He can hear the roar of the vehicles circling....or maybe that's the echo of a roar inside his head.

No, not now, please, he begs his inner monster.

...then the dumpster is pelted with gunfire by some of the more trigger happy recruits Ross brought with him. Bruce ducks fast, curled into a ball as he grabs at his hair. Trying to hold onto one calm thought and coming up empty. He was all out.

When the debris from the dumpster settles, Bruce is there on his hands and knees, watching his hands turn green as they grip right into the cement....and the watch hits 200 and falls off.]

*******************************************

[ Oh The shots come fast. Before Bruce can get a clear view of the other man,he is ducking to avoid the bullets. The metallic ripping as the dumpster being is turned into Swiss cheese echoes through the otherwise peaceful park. Blood pounds in his ears.

By the time Bruce looks back , the scrawny man isn't there anymore. Instead he is met with the dizzying site of another green rage monster. For a moment,he feels nauseous. This is so wrong.. But then he is jumping out from behind the slide.

A single push and his adrenaline soars. The chemical catalyst take hold and suddenly he is towering tall and mad as Hell.]

*******************************************

[Bruce fades out, another mindset taking hold as he rips right through his shirt. What's left of the dumpster is heaved over his head in a rage and tossed right at the approaching vehicles, smash them all to pieces how dare they attack us!]

GGRRRAAAAHHHH!!!!

*******************************************

[ There is a tiny part of Bruce still holding on. He had worked and worked for just this ounce of control. Just that teensy ability to aim the monster,was very much wanted. And at this moment, Bruce uses it.

With a growl, a Jeep goes flying. He is angry. Vaguely he registers yells of 'There is two of them.]

*******************************************

[General Ross has to be eating his cigar in a van somewhere, watching this. The soldiers are freaking out because they came prepared for ONE Hulk. Not two.]

[Bruce is too early on, he hasn't had the practice the other man has. So right now, it's just rage and instinct that barrels right into the fray, ripping a large gun turret off one vehicle and using it like a club on the next one, pounding it into a pancake.]

[The creature jerks back with a grunt, stopping only long enough to size up the newcomer. Circling to the right, his adrenaline fueled brain trying to process why this mirror image wasn't him.]

*******************************************

[ On the inside, Bruce is cautious. He urges it to be careful. This could be dangerous. The Hulk snorts at the other creature's confusion. It even throws in some sort of terrifying grin. Then it shakes it's head. In it's mind a certain scientist is still nagging.

The Hulk is not distracted by the other for long. A soldier had thought of the bright idea to shoot. The lone gun man didn't have much time to react to the big green fist hurdling his way.

Ah. There is that nagging docter again.]

*******************************************

[One side of the Hulk's mouth twitches up as the other one socks the man with the gun. It's not a pretty smile to look at. Here's someone who knows what he likes to do. SMASH THINGS. And he's smashing the right guys too.

He grabs a car door, ripping it right off and throwing it at an approaching tank with a yell. Slicing it neatly down the middle.]

*******************************************

[ Oh great..Tanks..?, a very disgruntled voice chimes in. The Hulk waves it off. No time for thoughts. Just smashing. His fist comes down on a tank. Now it is a pan-tank. Bruce groans. Now the Hulk is attempting humor? Just about when he is going to suggest being careful again, a helicopter comes into view overhead ,blowing debris everywhere. Damn.]

*******************************************

[Oh no, he's not messing around with helicopters. They're as bad as those automatic guns on the jeeps.

One leap and the Hulk is on it's tail, dragging it down with sheer weight alone in a tailspin. The guys inside start bailing out in a frenzy before they can crash land. In fact, they're going to be landing right next to the other green monster if he wants to get a few punches in.]

*******************************************

[ This Hulk is glad to lend a couple of green fists into the fray. Baring it's teeth, it sinks a hand into the 'copter ,tearing out as much machinery as it can. To, as Bruce advised damage it so it can not be flown for a while. Then the Hulk turns to the other Hulk and grins. Bro we could be best friends!]

*******************************************

[He starts tearing the copter apart from his side as if it's a contest. HE CAN SMASH MORE THAN YOU CAN!

And they had better because it looks like they're bringing out the big guns. Some sort of laser engineered deal. Of course, there's hesitation, the gunner not sure which one to aim for. Ross yells in his comm unit just pick one!

So he aims for the other Hulk's back and fires!]

*******************************************

[ Okay big guy. We need to-. Bruce is mid-thought when the laser hits. His control flickers. Damn i- Then goes kaput. Slowly, the Hulk turns. At this point the gunner really needs a new pair of military issued pants. The creature snarls ,rounding on the terrified man.]

*******************************************

[The gunner is warming up for another shot, but he doesn't get the chance. Before BOTH Hulks are too close to get an accurate shot. This one runs straight into the thing like a football player, shoulder down to knock it right into a nearby tree trunk.]

*******************************************

[ This creature growls and it's pout reads loud and clear. 'Not Fair.' Snarling, it rips off a top propeller or what used to be a helicopter. With an expertly executed swing, he bats a nearby Jeep. The men watch in awe,swearing that it went a least thirty feet. Which may or may not be an exaggeration.]

*******************************************

[He raises his green fists in the air with a triumphant yell as the weapon goes sailing away to who knows where. TAKE THAT STUPID WEAPON!!

The soldiers are realizing this is a losing battle and have started pulling back to regroup. Or run away completely, it's hard to tell.

Hulk glares at them running and driving away, his mind still buzzing with anger.

But now there's nothing to smash.]

*******************************************

[ The lull in the fighting is enough for Bruce to gain his footing back. STOP. The force of the yelling voice causes the creature to recoil physically. But it really isn't listening. It is a tiny bit disappointed for the fight to be visibly over. Boring. The creature gazes over to it's twin. Hey bro. This sucks.]

*******************************************

[Very boring. And he's getting antsy. Hulk paces a bit, circling again. Not sure how to proceed, but usually he starts running about now. Banner shouldn't get caught if he starts changing back here.

Hulk grunts, snapping off a tree branch in his hands and eyeing the other one. You want a piece of him too?]

*******************************************

[ Something strange happens. The Hulk makes some sort of half lunge half stumble back. The last thing Bruce want is to fight the other Hulk. They would be too evenly matched. It could go on forever and cause a lot of damage. ]

*******************************************

[For a moment, Hulk wants to just fight anything and anyone...but something inside stops him. Bruce hasn't learned much control but now and again, his ideals do surface.

He grunts. No, no fighting between them. His fight was with the General.

Speaking of, he might be coming back at any moment. His head snaps up in alarm as police sirens are zeroing in on them. Time to go.

He takes off running through the park and into the trees.]

*******************************************

[ The creature nods,watching the other go. Bruce urges that it is the time to flee. There is a mental argument between the two. Finally after a disappointed snort,the Hulk starts running in the same direction,hoping to put some distance between it and the police. ]

*******************************************

[Despite his size and penchant for destruction, Hulk is extremely difficult to catch. He moves through the trees in the park, trying to find a quiet place.

He always looks for a quiet place away from everyone. He's not entirely sure why but it's the right thing to do.

Soon they're far away from the city and Hulk slows down when he finds a lake. He stands at the edge, looking at the rippled green face in the water looking back at him. A sneer and he smashes a fist on the visage angrily.

Hulk is a monster.]

*******************************************

[ Bruce groans inside of the Hulk's head. They must catch up to the other. It was more important than anything right now. Of course,they both have an inkling of where the creature would have went.

They reach the lake to find the other looking into the water. When the fist comes into the water,Bruce has to detach himself from the scene. It was hard watching this. It was like looking into a mirror. The Hulk ,however stays silent. In his adrenaline fueled mind,somehow he understands.]

*******************************************

[When he finally gives up on the water, he's on his hands and knees at the edge. Suddenly feeling very tired.

It's a cascade effect, much like when he transforms but in reverse, exhaustion taking over as he's run out of adrenaline to run on. Hulk sits with a THUMP on the ground, passing a hand over his face as he starts to shrink back down.

Soon it's just a skinny pale human sitting there in pants too big for him. Bruce teeters before slumping to the ground, out cold.]

*******************************************

[ As the other man shrinks into barely anything,so does Bruce. The ground gets closer and closer and he is almost afraid it will come up to meet him. He sways for a second ,but rights himself. It was strange to have everything back to where it was supposed to be. Cautiously Bruce walks to the man. This was unbelievable and if he had not seen it with his own eyes he wouldn't have believed it.

Amazingly, there is still a pen in his tattered pants. Frowning to himself, he scribbles something on the other man's palm. His name and email. Just in case. Then with one last backwards glance, Bruce Banner turns to go.

*******************************************

[Bruce is too out of it to wake up just yet, a slight moan escaping him as his hand is used for a notepad. If anyone else were to come on him in the woods, they might mistake him for a drug addict, he's always so thin and pale after an episode. His muscles twitching now and again as they try to reset themselves back to normal.

Whenever he does wake up, the first thing he sees is his own hand in front of him....with writing on it. Bruce blinks at it a few times to see if it disappears.

Nope, still there. It takes effort to sit up but he manages it, just staring at his hand and racking his brain to figure out how that got there.]

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Bruce Banner - The Hulk

October 2016

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