Who: Bruce and Sharon What: Hanging out When: November 2 Where: Bruce’s apartment Warning: Low/None Status: Completed via Gdoc
Bruce hadn’t seemed thrilled about Sharon seeing Mobius at the same time as she was seeing him, and Sharon couldn’t blame him. It was a very, very weird situation all around, wasn’t it? For the last month or so, Sharon and Bruce had had a couple of meals together each week: either dinners or lunches. They traded books and talked about what they read. They cuddled up on the sofa and watched movies together, each with a mug of hot chocolate. It was wonderful getting to spend time with him, getting to know him. Sharon found she liked him a lot. She was starting to feel like he was a constant in her life.
Though, she was still wrapping her head around everything--being sucked to a pocket dimension, hanging out with Tony Stark, meeting someone who knew her secret... going on dates with Bruce Banner? Not to mention Natasha Romanoff and Vision were both alive and well. Oh, and Demons on Halloween.
It was the latter event that made her want to check in with him. She grabbed some hot chocolates from the Starbucks downstairs, and headed up to Bruce’s apartment to knock on the door. Hopefully he wouldn’t mind her checking in.
There really was never a dull moment and Bruce was tired. With Christine no longer in on the whole alternate universe thing, he was the sole medical provider for the team and the aftermath of the demon attack left him kind of exhausted.
He was enjoying spending time with Sharon, though he was slightly uncomfortable with the fact she was also dating Mobius. It wasn’t so much that they weren’t monogamous that was the problem, though that was his preference, it was the whole Mobius dating Tony thing. That was a dimension that he wasn’t sure he could handle because it would be uncomfortably close to him dating Tony.
It was nice having Thor around again though and Bruce was looking forward to the feast being held soon in Asgardia. He really needed to check in with Valkyrie. A knock on the door interrupted that thought and he asked Friday who it was before heading over to open it.
“Hi,” he said, giving Sharon a warm smile after opening the door and allowing her to enter.
The door opened, and Bruce was on the other side. He looked… a little tired. Sharon could absolutely understand why; he was incredibly busy. After the demons on Halloween, he probably had quite a few messes to clean up, and there was very little staff in the Medical wing to share the burden.
“Hey.” Sharon stepped through the doorway and leaned in to tap a kiss against his cheek in greeting. “I hope I’m not interrupting anything important?”
“Not at all,” Bruce assured her, resting his hand on her hip when she leaned in to kiss his cheek. “Though I do hope you’re not here looking for treatment.” It was mostly a joke.
He ushered her inside and shut the door. “Coffee? Tea? Water?” he offered. He had no idea if she was there just to chat or if she wanted something in particular. Either way, he would be a good host and offer a beverage.
Sharon laughed softly. “Not today.” She’d made a promise to herself that now that she and Bruce were romantically involved, she wasn’t going to see him for anything medical… unless it was an emergency. She could find another doctor, she couldn’t find another Bruce.
She came in and shook her head, holding up the hot chocolates she’d snagged from Starbucks downstairs. “I wanted to make sure you’re okay. After the demons in Los Angeles.” It’d been a couple of days. Sharon felt bad that she hadn’t been to see him yet. “...I missed you.”
She may have blushed a little as she admitted it.
Bruce smiled when she admitted that she missed him. It wasn’t something he was used to, having people miss him, and it was a pleasant feeling. “I’m glad you stopped by,” he said, taking one of the paper cups from her and using his other hand to lead her to the sofa where they could sit together.
“I’m doing okay now that I got some rest,” he said. “Between actually fighting the demons and then patching up everyone, that trip was a lot.”
“I am, too.” Sharon slipped her hand into his easily, then followed him to the sofa so they could sit. She’d found that getting to know him over the past few weeks had been very fulfilling. And her heart beat a little faster when he smiled at her, when he held her hand. She liked it. She liked him.
They settled down together on the sofa. She curled a leg up under herself to get comfortable, leaning against him. “It was. You were taxed more than anyone else, really.” What with the Hulk going to battle and then Bruce working twice as long to help with the medical needs. “I saw you and Thor saving the people from that hospital.”
Once upon a time, Bruce would have argued that it hadn’t been him who was helping with that. These days, he was a lot more comfortable with both sides of his existence though. “Hulk had a good time,” he admitted. “And was happy to be useful.” Smashing for a purpose was a lot better than indiscriminate smashing.
“I’m glad you stayed out of the fray,” he said, though he knew she was perfectly capable of taking care of herself.
There were a lot of things that Sharon didn’t really know about the Hulk and his connection to Bruce. When Hulk exerted himself, did Bruce feel tired? Was it exhausting for Bruce if Hulk had a lot of helping--smashing--to do? “He was useful. He helped save a lot of lives.”
Bruce likely knew that she was recovering from being very badly injured in Madripoor something like a week and a half before the events of Halloween. Sharon wasn’t about to go out into the fray at 60% if she could help it. She made herself useful back at home base, though. “I am, too. I’m mostly healed now, but I couldn’t justify going out there injured. Darcy and I kept on the comms, though, and that was useful.”
“Good,” Bruce said. “I prefer not having you as a patient.”
It was probably unethical for him to treat her since they were dating, but the whole interdimensional travel thing meant that sometimes ethics had to go out the window.
“Drinking hot chocolate is a much more enjoyable way to spend time together.”
Sharon smiled. “Me, too.” She lifted the hot chocolate in her hand for a sip, settling back against the sofa. Her arm was pressed against his. It was warm and comfortable. “Though, I’m glad to know that you have my back should I ever need it. --Let’s just hope that I never need it,” she added, playfully.
Her hand came down to rest on his, one finger curling around his palm. “We should do it more often.”
Bruce wasn’t opposed to spending more time with Sharon and he leaned in to brush a soft kiss against her lips. “I can’t argue with that suggestion,” he said. “Assuming the universe cooperates, that is.” It seemed like their down times were few and far between.
“How have you been keeping busy these days?” he asked. It was an oblique way of asking if she was still seeing Mobius, but it was also a genuine question since he knew that she’d had a rocky history with both SHIELD and the CIA.
“So true.” Sharon knew that the universe or the powers that be could be quite cruel. They could take and send people with no reason at all, could jump around in the timeline. She’d come into this world with a bullet wound. There could be dark and dangerous things around any corner.
So, they should take advantage, right? Live while they’re here, enjoy every minute. Sharon smiled sweetly at the soft kiss. She nodded. “Fingers crossed. If things stay slow for a while, maybe we can even get away for a bit. A weekend? Just the two of us?” It might have been a lot to ask, but Sharon felt they could handle it. Right?
“Aside from attacks in Madripoor and demons on Halloween, you mean?” She asked, grinning softly. “Whatever spare time I’ve had has been spent with you, with Mobius, or with my nose stuck in a book.”
There were a few moments of hesitation before Bruce nodded. “Maybe,” he said, his tone mild. Yes, he liked Sharon. And yes, he knew that she was also dating Mobius. And he was okay with that in an abstract sort of way, but he’d never really been the type for casual sex and wasn’t sure how he felt about sleeping with someone who wasn’t monogamous. He knew that if he asked Tony for advice, his friend would tell him to stop being an idiot, so he was trying to figure out who else he might be able to talk to.
“I’m looking forward to the feast in Asgardia,” he said. “That’ll be a nice trip for all of us.”
Sharon understood his hesitation--at least, she thought she did. And she hadn’t meant it to be a sexy getaway. Not really. She’d thought it would be nice to spend time together, but hadn’t been thinking about going all the way. She wasn’t going to push for that. She knew better.
“Well, we’ll have to feast together,” she offered. They had twelve days to feast. “At least part of the time? If you’re not too busy. You and Thor spent time together, didn’t you?” He’d mentioned it to her before, but she’d love to hear more.
“I’m sure we can spend some time together at the feast,” Bruce agreed, though he was looking forward to spending some time with Thor and hopefully Valkyrie as well as catching up with the Asgardians that he’d traveled with after they battled Hel. “Yes, I actually know all of the Asgardians pretty well.”
He thought he’d mentioned Sakaar, but didn’t think he got into too many details when they spoke about it. “I was stuck as the Hulk for a few years after Ultron,” he said. “Ended up on another planet. Thor found me there, got me back, and the two of us escaped with Valkyrie and Loki.” It had been an interesting experience, to say the least.
“Thor and Loki’s sister, Hel, was trying to take control of Asgard,” he continued. “I went with them to help fight.” There was a pause. “It didn’t end the way we’d hoped.” And that was a huge understatement.
Sharon had heard the part about the Hulk being on another planet, but she didn’t get all that many of the details. He’d explained that Thor had helped, but Sharon didn’t know about Thor and Loki’s sister. Nor did she know of the fate of Asgard or the Asgardians. That part was conveniently(?) left out of the tales.
“What happened?” She asked, gently. Her hand found his again. She twined their fingers together.
Bruce squeezed her hand, trying to figure out how to say ‘we unleashed the apocalypse so that no one would have Asgard’ without actually using those words since they sounded kind of… ridiculous if you didn’t know the full context.
“Ah, well, unfortunately, Asgard ended up destroyed,” he settled on saying. “That’s why the remaining Asgardians have settled in Asgardia. Their home world is gone.”
“Oh,” Sharon said. Her voice resonated a sadness that actually surprised her. She couldn’t imagine an entire world being destroyed, people being displaced. (The displaced people she could understand, but the world being destroyed?) Maybe the mention of Asgard being destroyed dredged up some emotions about the Snap, maybe it was something else.
She turned her eyes down to his hand wrapped in her own, her free hand came around to trace fingertips over his knuckles, laced with hers. “I’m glad they have somewhere to go.”
It was a lot to process and Bruce felt a little bad about dropping it on her with no warning. “So am I,” he said, giving her hand another squeeze.
After a few moments, he said, “How about we watch a movie?” That seemed like a better way to spend their time than talking about unpleasant topics.
Sharon felt bad that she’d made him feel bad with her reaction. She lifted his hand in both of her own and settled it in her lap. She’d keep it hostage and trail her fingertips along his knuckles, exploring his hand with her own, idly.
“Sounds good.” Thankful for the change in subject, she gave him a warm smile. “How about something funny?”