Who: Bobbi and Bruce What: Let's Dance When: Stark-Potts Reception Rating: Green Status: Complete
Tony and Pepper’s wedding was beautiful. Long, but beautiful. No one could wear a Vera Wang like Pepper. Bobbi was wearing something off the rack, but she pulled it off. And for once it wasn’t something cut from here to there and back again. It was above the knees, and the neckline plunged a bit, but she had definitely worn more revealing outfits.
She’d spotted Bruce during the ceremony. Did he have any idea how good he looked? Probably not. Bobbi doubted he was even aware of what the priest was saying. No doubt he was running formulas through his head for this that or another thing going on in the lab. Well, she had plans for Doctor Oblivious Banner. Whether he liked it or not.
Photos were taken. Surprisingly good catering food was eaten. Pepper and Tony had their first dance, and now the reception was in full swing. It was time for Bobbi to make her move. She wove her way through the milling crowd of celebrities, dignitaries, blah, blah, blah, until she got herself next to Bruce.
“Hey doc,” she said with a smile. “Lookin’ good.”
It was nice to see Tony and Pepper so happy, especially knowing what happened in their original universe. Bruce was determined that the two of them would get to experience a happily ever after for more than five years and had started doing research on the whole multiversal bleedthrough thing that was happening. If he could understand it, he could figure out how to stabilize it and prevent them from getting sent back.
Bruce wasn’t unused to formal events like this, they were a frequent occurrence in the scientific field, though admittedly, he’d been largely out of the loop since his accident. Still, he wasn’t uncomfortable in his tux, though he was happy to untie his bow tie once all the official bits were done and leave it hanging open around his neck.
As he was wondering how early he could manage to duck out without anyone noticing, Bobbi walked up and greeted him. Bruce still wasn’t entirely sure what to make of her and the whole kissing him thing. “Agent Morse,” he said, giving her a slight nod. “You look very nice too.” Idly, he wondered how many weapons were strapped under her dress.
“Thank you. Pretty sure I’m more Bobbi than Agent today, though.” She winked at Bruce as she smirked.
Not unlike other agents Bobbi was well armed even without weapons. However, a couple of stilettos in her hair posing as hair sticks didn’t hurt to have. Hell, even the high heels she wore could do a lot of damage should she kick someone in the face.
She jerked her chin toward the happy couple. “I didn’t think he’d go through with it, but he looks stupidly happy.” Bobbi took a step closer as she lowered her voice. “Place a bet on who’s next?” Her eyes immediately went to Steve and Peggy.
“No bet,” Bruce said, following her gaze. “I’m actually surprised they didn’t get there first.”
He wasn’t surprised that Tony went through with the wedding, especially with knowing his fate at home, but he would have expected Steve to pop the question immediately after being reunited with Peggy. “If it’s not them, I’ll be shocked.”
It wouldn’t be him, that was certain. Bruce was pretty sure marriage wasn’t in the cards for him. He honestly wasn’t sure if a relationship would even be in the cards, though he didn’t say as much figuring that Bobbi might take it as a challenge.
Bobbi tilted her head as she watched the two hopeless romantics dance like no one was watching. “He didn’t want to step on Tony’s toes. Or Pepper’s. Dimes to dollars, doc.” It would be so like Captain Boyscout.
One step at a time. Bobbi wasn’t looking for more than intimacy from Bruce. Anything more would blow this whole thing to hell. The bad thing? The more time she spent with him the more she actually liked him. Blah.
Bobbi turned to face Bruce with a smile that was half smile and half come hither. “So how about a dance?”
Bruce figured she was right. That was the kind of guy Steve was and it wouldn’t surprise him one bit if a proposal was forthcoming in the near future, once Tony and Pepper’s day was done.
His eyes widened slightly at her question and he hesitated for a long moment before nodding. “I can’t promise I won’t step on your feet,” he joked, though he was actually a decent dancer. It had been a long time since he had the occasion to dance.
Even if he was convinced that she wasn’t genuinely interested in him, Bruce did find that he enjoyed Bobbi’s company. She was easy to be with and didn’t seem to be afraid of him. That was unusual in his experience.
Bobbi chuckled as she brazenly took Bruce’s hand before heading for the dance floor. “Don’t worry, doc. I’m pretty good at keeping myself from getting hurt.” So many ways to interpret that. The scars she had that he’d seen during her physical might argue her ability to avoid physical damage.
She walked beside him, not ahead. She wasn’t dragging or leading him. She went with him. Once they reached a space to squeeze into she gracefully pivoted to put herself into dancing position...i.e. His arms.
“When was the last time you danced?”
The position was automatic and Bruce immediately rested on hand at her waist, the other taking hers. “I honestly couldn’t say,” he admitted. It was one of those things that you didn’t forget though and he was moving in time to the music as he responded.
It was kind of nice, though he wouldn’t admit that out loud. He certainly didn’t want to encourage her… whatever she was doing. She was a nice girl, but she was far too young for him to ever consider dating, if he was even interested in attempting a relationship.
“I definitely don’t know this song,” he said.
“Then it’s been too long,” she told him with a smile. This was the closest he’s let her get without looking like he’d choked on something rancid. And being as trained as she was Bobbi could tell that not only could the good doctor move, but he had a very nice form to move.
His admission got her laughing. “You don’t know Michael Buble?” She grinned as she chuckled. “He’s the latest crooner. This era’s Sinatra. Honestly, I kinda like him. He sings the standards as well as his own stuff. It’s nice.”
Running from the government and trying to save the world from extraterrestrial threats didn’t leave much time for dancing. Bruce was just glad that he remembered how to do so without making a fool of himself.
“Oh, I think I’ve heard that name,” he said. He also didn’t have the time or inclination to keep up with pop culture. Especially now that the Avengers were part of popular culture. Going out and seeing the Hulk’s image emblazoned on products was surreal. “No one could replace ole blue eyes though.”
“I’ll bring you one of his albums next time I bring you food.” One corner of her lips quirked upward. Her little “visits” to the lab were something she looked forward to anymore. It was a nice break from the life of an Agent. Even if he barely knew she was there she had an odd sense of a job well done making sure he took a break and ate.
“Hey, I have a healthy appreciation for older guys with voices like silk.” Bobbi arched a brow at Bruce. Let the games begin.
Bruce did appreciate that Bobbi brought food by so frequently. It was easy to lose track of time and get caught up in his projects. There were many days when he’d look at the clock and realize he hadn’t eaten in twelve hours.
“You should check out Harry Connick, Jr,” he suggested. “Though I’ll admit I’m more of a fan of 70s music.” He liked classic rock, the Woodstock era stuff like The Doors, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix. Not quite as hard as Tony’s preferences.
“You a Led Zeppelin fan, doc?” The teasing gave her enough reason to wriggle a little closer to him...even though dancing like this left nothing more than a hard breath between them. “Queen. Kansas. Blue Oyster Cult, maybe?” She and Hunter had air guitared all over their first apartment to Crazy Little Thing Called Love. She had an appreciation for classic rock.
“Been a while since I listened to that stuff, though.” Idea. “Maybe you could show me your collection.”
“Oh, I don’t really have a collection,” Bruce said, completely missing any suggestion she might be making. “But pretty much anything from the late 60s through the mid 70s is good. I don’t enjoy disco.” And then the rock had shifted a little and was less mellow. He was basically an old hippie when it came to his musical tastes.
He did notice that Bobbi moved a little closer to him though and hoped his hands weren’t sweaty. It had been a long time since he’d been this close to a woman and that time hadn’t ended terribly well.
Bobbi suddenly had the most ridiculous idea, one guaranteed to make Stark pee his pants laughing. It wouldn’t even take much effort, and she could probably get Darcy in on it. This was going to be awesome!
“So Jane’s better.” The subject of music was dropped. “Greene is in custody. His weapons are in Wakanda hands.” She tilted her head as she looked into Bruce’s eyes. “What are you going to do now?”
The question was pointed enough that even Bruce wasn’t too oblivious to pick up the meaning and, quite frankly, it made him a little uncomfortable. He wished he had someone he could talk through this whole thing with, someone who wouldn’t mock him like Tony would. Someone who could actually understand his concerns.
“I’ve got a few other projects I’m already working on,” he said, deliberately dodging the real question she was asking. “Before getting the new memories, I was trying to figure out how to balance things between me and the Other Guy. Now that I know how I did it over there, I can adapt it.”
He just didn’t think he wanted to do the whole big green all the time thing.
Bobbi hadn’t gotten any of the memory dump that the others did. She wasn’t sure she wanted to know what that meant. Instead she just focused on everybody else’s meltdown, tried to help. This wedding did more for that than any of her efforts.
“That’s great!” She smiled openly. That really was great. She hadn’t known he’d gotten control. That made a whole lot of things a lot more possible. “How long do you think it’ll take until you get it finished?”
Bruce shrugged one shoulder. “Not sure,” he said. “I want to do things a little different here, so I can’t just do the exact same thing. And it’ll depend on how much we need to do with the clinic.” So far, they hadn’t been terribly busy, but he knew that could change at any moment.
“Anything interesting going on with SHIELD?” he asked, wanting to try and keep the conversation off of too personal topics.
“Nope,” she answered quickly. “Greene’s in custody. The weapons are on their way to Wakanda. But what is your end goal?” Yep. She was persistent. It made her a good interrogator. “What is it that Bruce Banner wants if he could have anything?”
Bobbi molded her body against his. It wasn’t a blam here I am invasion. Just a not so subtle touch to remind him that humans were built to fit together. A suggestion of one thing he could have. Something to look forward to.
He coughed when she pressed against him, but managed to tamp down the instinct to pull away. “I’m not used to getting what I want,” Bruce said. “So I’ve learned not to really want anything.”
It was a sad way to live and he knew it even as he said the words. The most he ever wanted was to keep the Other Guy from hurting people. He wasn’t entirely sure exactly what Bobbi was offering, but he was pretty sure that he didn’t deserve whatever it was.
Wow! Color her surprised. She had half expected him to give an excuse and run for the lab. He had neither pushed her away nor seemed to be comfortable so Bobbi wasn’t certain if this was success or a neutral reaction.
“Time to reprogram your brain,” she said. “If you can do what you said you could then a whole world of options will open up for you.” A smirk, but what she said next wasn’t what might be expected. “You could ride The Cyclone at Coney Island.”
Even before the accident, Bruce hadn’t really been a roller coaster kind of guy, though he would admit Bobbi’s suggestion did surprise him. Apparently she enjoyed keeping him on his toes. Just when he thought he was figuring her out, she did something different.
“Well, we’ll see,” he said mildly. He wasn’t going to get his hopes up because that usually ended in disappointment.
The song ended then and he stepped back, dropping his hand from her waist and letting go of the one he was holding. “Thank you for the dance.”
“You really need to learn how to have fun, doc.” Bobbi tilted her head at him. “Finding balance isn’t just about control. Sure, it’ll protect oh...everyone. But the reward is getting your life back.” There was a very good reason why Fury valued Bobbi. She wasn’t singleminded and sometimes dropped an unexpected pearl or two. “Don’t punch a gift horse in the mouth.”
Ok letting her go like that was definitely him fleeing. Bobbi stood there at a loss for a moment. She felt the lack of his presence in an odd kind of way she couldn’t identify. But she recovered quickly. “Think about what I said, Bruce.” She smiled kindly, gave him a wink then turned in a high heel to disappear into the crowd.