Who: Bruce & Rogue What: Being neighborly When: a few weeks ago Notes/Warnings: Nope
Now that they’d resolved the issue of him and Steve being dosed with something that negated the super soldier serum, Bruce had a little time to relax. Of course, Bruce’s idea of relaxing probably didn’t match a lot of other people’s and he’d been spending most of his time in the kitchen, baking and cooking. His freezer was stuffed and he’d also left some goodies in the common area for everyone to enjoy.
And after a bit of hesitation, he decided to take some things over to his next door neighbor. Rogue was a nice young woman who had been through hell and he felt like she needed some extra kindness. Plus, after being locked up on that island for more than a year without proper nutrition, Bruce’s doctor instincts were to feed her.
He knocked on her door and called, “Rogue, hey, it’s Bruce.”
She sent the tiny ink bird away, before opening the door. But there was a scroll on the table when she opened the door. "Bruce! To what do ah owe the pleasure?" Her smile was warm and genuine.
She was happy to see him, she liked him. He was friendly and helpful. She was looking much better, and moved easily. "Come in come in.sorry where are my manners?"
“I’ve been a bit busy in the kitchen,” Bruce said as he stepped inside her room. “So I brought some things over for you.” He was holding a large shopping bag that was clearly full of containers. “I hope you have room in your fridge and freezer.”
He was guessing that she didn’t have a lot in either place, but if he was wrong, he’d figure out some alternative place for all this food to go.
Rogue blinked, “So ah see.” she laughed as she closed the door behind him. She did not, in fact, have a lot of food stored. She’d been living off delivery because she hadn’t wanted to cook. It took more focus than she had and she’d been slipping lately, and it was exhausting trying to remember to be her.
“Ah have plenty of room in both the fridge and freezer. Thanks, ah appreciate it. Much better than another round of take out, yeah?” she grinned at him, “can ah get you something to drink?” she asked as she headed into the kitchen.
Bruce smiled as he followed her, carrying the bag into the kitchen so she could unpack it. “I figured you could use some nutritious food,” he said. “You’ve got a lot of time to make up for with that.” He was trying not to be in Doctor Mode, but it was difficult for him to ignore those instincts completely.
“Uh, if you’ll join me, I wouldn’t mind a cup of tea,” he said. “As long as I’m not imposing.” He really didn’t know what she did with most of her time and it wasn’t any of his business either. Most of his time was spent in the lab or the clinic, so he wasn’t often hanging around the residential area of the Tower.
She carefully put everything away, finding room (easily) in her fridge for things. “You really went all out on things didn’t you?” she teased lightly, looking up at him with a warm smile. “Ah do, can’t say the food on Genosha was delicious. Nutrient packed, sure, he didn’t want me dead.” unless he did. It really depended on the day.
“Ah can do that.” as she finished putting things away she got water going for tea. “You are not imposing. Ah still kind of stick close to home and all. Ah don’t want to hurt anyone and ah’m still not good with crowds and New York is one big crowd.” she laughed.
New York was a very crowded city and especially when the weather was warmer, Bruce could understand her hesitation in going out and about much. “At least with the cooler temperatures coming in, you should be able to get out a bit more safely,” he said. As the temperatures dropped, it would be much easier to cover up and not attract attention.
He leaned against the counter as he watched her puttering around. There was a certain grace to her movements that he found intriguing. It made sense that she was hyper aware of her body though, given that a wrong move could really hurt her or someone else.
“That will be nice - but then we run into the fact ah? Ah am from the south. Ah’m just gonna hide inside the entire winter season and pray ah don’t turn into an icicle.” she laughed, she was mostly kidding. Though, she wasn’t sure how she was going to survive the winters. She hadn’t done so great beforehand. She had hated the winters. The cold sucked.
She felt him watching her, and part of her was amused, the other part of her felt bad someone was taking any interest, no matter what kind, in her. She knew she was not someone to be trusted. She moved around him easily to grab the mugs and offered one to him. “Ah was thinking about what we talked about last time - school and all”
“Yeah? What did you decide?” Bruce asked, taking the mug from her carefully, ensuring that his fingers didn’t brush against her hand. From what he’d heard, that would be painful for both of them and he certainly didn’t want to make her accidentally turn into the Hulk. That would be bad for everyone.
He moved back to her living room area and took a seat in one of the chairs so they could chat while they drank their tea.
“Ah’d like to take my GED then ah don’t know - what skills are useful that ah do not know already? Ah can’t lie, ah have a few college educated people in here already. Do ah just go test out of things, and say ah did it? Or see if someone like SHIELD needs me?” she was worried they’d use her like a weapon anyway, though.
She settled on the couch and smiled. “Ah have at least one scientist in here, too” she mused.
It had to be difficult to make decisions when you had the memories of so many people in your head and Bruce nodded thoughtfully as she explained what she was thinking. “We can get you signed up to take the GED,” he said. “And there are prep courses you can do to get ready. I’d be happy to walk you through that.”
As for after, well, that depended on what she wanted. “Once you pass the test, you’ll get a certificate,” he explained. “And then, yeah, you can decide what direction you’d like to go with either further education or starting some kind of career.” He did realize it might be difficult for her to figure out what she was truly interested in doing though.
“Maybe see what you enjoy the most,” he suggested.
"That would be great. Ah don't really know what the right information is. There are so many variations of things in here that ah sometimes forget what the truth is." She didn't notice the fact her expression was slightly more pained.
What was her truth? She was loyal to sinister but doubts had begun creeping in.
"Ah am sure there are careers that don't rely on me touching people. Ah suppose it would have to go that way, ah can't risk it." She frowned.
Bruce noticed the confusion in her expression and it only made him feel worse for her situation. The poor girl had been so terribly abused and it made him want to unleash Hulk on everyone who was complicit with Genosha. They all deserved to be smashed.
“Yes, I wouldn’t recommend surgery or nursing,” he said, giving her what he hoped was an encouraging smile. “But there are plenty of options where you wouldn’t even necessarily need to interact with people. So we can figure that out.”
Rogue smiled a bit, she had a lot going on in her head and she didn’t know how to sort it out. IT was never going to be easy, she was getting that now. “Ah would skip that, yes, though gloves help with that skin to skin.” she teased softly, “but ah hope there are a lot of options.” she smiled again as she leaned back.
“Ah dunno, maybe something that can help put a lot of these skills in my head to use. As much as Ah worry ah could be a weapon, it might not be the worst job choice. Ah’ve got all these skills that are meant for stuff like that.” she said with a bit of a sigh.
“Listen,” Bruce said, leaning forward a little, his expression sobering. “I understand that feeling probably more than most people around here could. But just because you have that inside you doesn’t mean you have to use it that way.” It would have been easy for him to give the Other Guy control, to stop fighting for control, and to cause wanton destruction everywhere. “You don’t have to decide anything right now.”
And he would be more than happy to help her figure out a path that seemed right.
She smiled at him, “Is that so?” she canted her head at him, she shook her head a moment later. She was slipping. This was a problem. “Ah know, but, ah… wouldn’t it be wrong to deny the use of it when it could help people? Ah’ve been a trash human. Ah did a lot of harm.”
She smiled tightly, “ah don’t know, ah guess. It’s hard. Ah just want to be better.”she pushed her hair back over her shoulder, “and now ah have freedom again, it’s nice.” she laughed softly as she sat back to sip her tea.
She was happy to talk with him about possible things to do with her life. She valued the help.