Beginning Anew

Leaving behind a Superhero life is about the easiest thing to do. Being called back in, no matter the circumstances, is the hard part. Especially when there's more reason to stay hidden. My OC is a main character, please be advised.
This is an Avengers drama. I own nothing, only a couple ocs. No copyright infringement intended.

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10. Feelings Linger

        "Ah, you just um just missed your best friend," a gentle soft spoken man in a lab coat looked up from behind his frames.

        "And which one would that be exactly? I'm overly popular and everyone just loves my cheery disposition." A dark haired man that just entered the science lab wearing a Black Sabbath t-shirt and jeans happily sat down next to his friend, who was currently filling a beaker with a thick blue liquid.

        Banner pushed his glasses back unto the bridge of his nose. Pursed his lips, nervously and faintly spoke her name, "Oscuridad."

        Tony Stark spun his stool around to face the shy man directly. "Oh really? Last time I checked, The Big Bad Wolf was your friend. A very very good friend at that." He wiggled his brows.

        Bruce Banner took in Tony and his accusing smugness. He became shifty as he cleared his throat, "I um... I had no um... no idea that you knew she went by this name."

        Tony propped himself up on an elbow. "Of course, I do keep tabs on the interesting individuals around my person. Especially ones that somehow think that they are a smidgen smarter than moi. However with that being said, my thing is, you sir evaded the question."

        The scientist returned all his attention back to his careful and precise measuring while crinkling his brow, "yes, of course she was a friend, much like..."

        "Romanoff." Tony interrupted his friend.

        Banner was now trying his best to save face and remember that his friend was only teasing, trying to get a rile from him. "No, no not like Romanoff in the least." He knew as soon as the words left his lips that he'd regret it.

        "Oh, do tell. I thought that you and Romanoff were..." Tony seemed overly intrigued.

        "No Tony, she and I are friends. There is absolutely nothing that would come from anything. I only break everything. And when I say me, I mean him." Bruce put the glass container down gently on the table.

        Stark raised his brows in picking up the beaker to wave his other hand in the air, bringing the occupant's odor to him. "And exactly which are we speaking of again? Because I know for a fact my good man we aren't covering the subject of your faithful little puppy dog."

        "Don't call her that." Bruce became defensive.

        "Yass! Lianner, Bannerra, no." Tony gazed puzzled to the ceiling during his thought process. "Biara I ship it." He then rapped the table in a rhythm.

        Bruce furrowed his brow even further, until he looked truly hurt and bothered. "I, I don't understand why you would, there is nothing there. Remember I haven't seen her in years."

        "No stalking? Cause I recall stalking with that other girl, what's her face." Stark tapped a finger to his lip.

        "Umm, Betty." Bruce muttered.

        "That was her name, huh, very ordinary. Was she ordinary looking? Wait noooo don't tell me she was drop dead gorgeous. No, can't be, I mean your animal conquest was wooow, so of course this Betty had to be a Plain Jane, only right. I mean neither are NOTHING compared to Ms. Potts of course, cause let's face it, that lady is completely out of your league. No offense." Commented Stark.

        "None taken." Banner raised a brow along with a confused smirk.

        "How long has it been since you pickled your cucumber?" Stark tilted his head looking for any sign of a lie.

        Bruce swiftly walked to a holographic computer, and began pushing the glass in front on him.

        "Shut the hell up, my man Bruce. Here I thought that you were playing 'Hide The Zucchini' with Romanoff, but nooo you are more into the bestiality. Furry love, aww." Stark quickly took to his friend's side.

        "Oh my god, no Tony. Just... just um... can we stop okay." Bruce tried to sound stern, but it came across as more of confusion.

        "Wolves need love too, Brucey." Tony now stood on the other side of the glass, pouting.

        "Can I please finish?" Banner took his glasses off and rubbed his eyes with his forefinger and thumb.

        "By all means, go right ahead." The taller man crossed his arms.

        "Thank you." The scientist slid his glasses back on.

        When the shorter man began to push buttons on the glass, Tony blurted out. "So here's my hypothesis. She didn't do you, she did the other guy and you're pissed about it."

        Bruce lowered his forehead onto his fingertips, knowing that there was no way his friend was going to let this go.

        "Green does work so very well for her." Tony threw up a hand.

        "Tony, look. I haven't been with a woman since I was blasted with radiation ok, are you quite satisfied now." Bruce was beyond irritated.

        "Quite," Stark retucked his hand in the fold of his other arm.

        Banner furrowed his brow. "So can I please... please finish. I have but a little to go."

        Stark now had his lips between a thumb and a bent forefinger. "However she's not a woman is she."

        "Tony she is definitely a woman." Bruce grimaced.

        "Yasss I so ship it." Tony clasped his hands together.

        Bruce rolled his eyes and slung his head upward. "You've already mentioned this."

        "Have to make sure that I'm the best man. I am the best man right? Of course I am, with this being clearly obvious. I'm going to let you know, because that's what friends... bros do. Yeah, I'm sorry my man, but Romanoff just isn't the girl for you. On top of her being a little short in the tooth, she is just missing something..." He grasped his right elbow as he tapped his fingers on his lip. Scrunching his brow.

        Bruce eyed his friend through the glass computer screen.

        "What's the word I'm looking for?" Stark still tapping his cheek.

        "Delusional? Egotistical? Cocky? Maniacal?" Bruce suggested with narrowed eyes.

        "YES! See you get me, all that and she lacks the whole wolf thing. That is soo your thing Bruce. You were so all over that." Tony beamed.

        Banner now could feel the heat raising in his cheeks, "I was not. I have no idea what you are talking about."

        "Why did you break it off, don't look at me like that," Tony returned the bothered look he was receiving but with added exaggeration, "no for real. I thought that the two of you were really going to make it. I truly did. Given your fear of basically everything in life, she somehow kept you honest. I was pulling for you."

        "It was actually getting too hard to live without her. There was something happening that even I couldn't explain, no matter how smart I am. There was always a calm there that scared me beyond belief. Even when I was the other guy. Hmm, yeah, no it was worse with him." Bruce glumly recalled.

        "Wait wait wait, hold on. So you broke up with her?" Tony poked his bottom lip out. "No wonder she tore out of here so fast. You do know she was in love with you right?"

        "It was for the best Tony. So she could live her life, find a man that could love her properly, create a family and be.... hap...py." His words trailed off as he became distant.

        Tony could read his friend's internal battle. "Even if that kills you in the process?"

        "It is the right thing, so hmm yes." Bruce only took in the flooring of the lab and nodded.

        "Just because you continue saying it, doesn't mean that it's going to become even less of a lie." Tony knew his friend was telling himself this tale to keep himself going.

        Banner now shook his head, "it was the only way to handle things. What if he would have raged? Hurting her in the process? I wouldn't be able to deal with that. He does have a history of that sort of thing."

        Tony searched for the right words. "You do however realize that you just now told me that Miss Thang had this control over him right? So how does this even remotely make your process of thinking sound?"

        Bruce now took Tony and his concerned expression in. "You don't understand Tony."

        "Obviously." Tony raised his brow.

        Bruce took a chair at the closest lab table. "What if she and I did discover the possibility to coexist and function as a unit? That could have been um hea... ni... nice. However she would need more... more that I could not have possibly given her."

        "Looove? You already went there. Both of you." Tony placed a hand on Bruce's back as he took a stool next to him.

       Bruce took his glasses off, "I know she was fond of me."

        "No I meant you and the awesome green one. Remember him? The Big One, yeah the one that single-handedly took Loki out? Yeah him, your better half actually." Tony kidded.

        "Uggh," Bruce let out a over exaggerated breath.

        "Yes see, him. He makes all those cool sound effects." Tony turned his head slightly, then narrowed his eyes. "And dare I say more good looking as well. No wonder our little playful pup is soft on him."

        Bruce tried a smile, "you know she is our age right."

        "Hmm I was going to say that age has nothing to do with it, but you are correct my good man, she technically is indeed. Although she looks around what, within the range of twentish?" Tony nodded as he frowned in agreement.

        "I'd say thirtish, but sure." Bruce raised a brow as he thought.

        Stark chuckled, "of course you'd say thirties cause you don't want to come off as a perv."

        "We should in fact do studies of her." Bruce nibbled on the temple tips of his glasses.

        "Did you not already? Liquid samples, physicals, the whole nine?" Tony repeatedly raised his brows.

        Bruce let go of a full breath. "You know what I just now recalled? Just how much you and she are a damn like."

        Tony huffed his knuckles and acted as if he was shinning them on his chest. "Yes, all us beautiful geniuses are like that aren't we."

        "Sure," Banner sarcastically answered.

        "You love it." Tony winked.

        "You and she would have been a better fit." The scientist mocked.

        "True," he sucked air through his teeth. "There was only one issue with that, tall green guy would have kicked my ass."

        Bruce looked to his lap, as his voice once again was almost a whisper, "I would love to have seen how that panned out."

        Tony leaned into his friend. "So exactly how much are you still into her."

        Bruce cleared his throat.

        "Thought so, it's all too transparent my man. How was it in seeing her after all this time?" Tony really wondered.
        
        "Not too good, Romanoff was there." The scientist pursed his lips.

        Stark laughed, "lucky you, the three of you should make that a thing."

        Banner side eyed his friend.

        Tony raised his brows as he could see his friend's reaction from his peripheral. "Oh that's right you and Romanoff are friends, without the benefits. Good choice, I mean cause you know with that Alpha back around, there could be trouble a brewing. She owns all that," Stark waved his hand clockwise in a circle. "you know, that is the way wolves mate, for life and all that good stuff."

        Bruce barely chuckled. "That is true, but seeing how she's a woman, Tony. That has absolutely nothing to do with her and her situation."

        The dark haired man stood and started to tap into the S.H.I.E.L.D. mainframe. He found what he was looking for within seconds. "So you say that you and Romanoff are only friends. She is overly friendly I see."

        Banner returned to his experiment. "There is nothing there, well um or should I say from my end."

        Stark gave a nod and raised his brow quickly. "You have great restraint my man. Faithful to the pup even still."

        Bruce gave him a look as he turned his head around and readjusted his glasses.

        Tony pulled breath through his clenched teeth, "I'm sorry, She Wolf."

        Banner returned to his chemicals.

        Tony commented on the images. "This her new thing? Hoodies, caps and sweats? Not very becoming."

        "I don't know, I think it has to do with trying to be ov... overlooked. I've been there, done that. Works actually." Bruce justified.

        Banner walked over to Tony and studied the camera footage with his friend. "Hmm, she didn't seem hostile. Or jealous." Tony observed.

        Bruce shrugged, "she never was the jealous type. Oh there was the fact that she wasn't upset with me and also that she's over me. Her words."

        "Sorry big guy, her body language does scream that." Stark placed a hand on his friend's shoulder. "I find it cute that she has you acting like a sixteen year old though. And to think you willingly walked into that. I imagine heightened pulse, bodily secretions, forced shaky movements?"

        Bruce smirked guiltily.

        "Yeah, she's going to make your life a living hell from here on in my man. Glad that I'm not you." Tony apologetically shook his head.

        Bruce could do nothing but grimace. "No, she carried herself as normal. Everything will be fine. Right?" He took in his friend that only continued shaking his head.

        "So glad that I'm not you. Pepper has nothing on a scorned Liara my man. Nothing in the slightest." Tony closed the camera feed and left the S.H.I.E.L.D. protected servers.

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