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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22. Gone

        "I think that you and I shouldn't be around each other while here, if you know what I mean. Liara doesn't know yet, and I think it's for the best that she doesn't, just yet." Phoenix, who was perpetrating Alana Deltora, began setting the wheels in motion of her plan to continue to take Alana's place for as long as possible.

        Tony groaned into his end of the call, "so I guess that tonight is a no go. And I must shower alone."

        "I'm serious Tony, she's fragile, you know how she is anyhow. She's very territorial with her inner circle." Phoenix continued.

        "Yes, which we both are of," Stark began as he loosened the knot in his tie.

        Phoenix's mind was working at a mile a minute with excuses and scenarios, to justify for whichever lie Stark fell for. "Well of course, but you know that she was overly fond of your ex-seasoning."

        Tony threw himself backward into his chair. Ever since he and Bruce left Fury's office, they had been linking networks, tapping into Ross' department. He placed a finger and thumb on his forehead as he let out a bothered breath. He looked up to Banner who was going over the live feed they both tapped into before he himself made this little call.

        "Yes, you are right, and that crazy pup gets wiled up rather quickly." A guilty smirk when he looked up to his counterpart, "sorry."

        Banner shook his head as he extracted his glasses from their resting place upon the bridge of his nose. "Why must the two of you always have a go at each other? You do it so regularly that it even spills over to when the other isn't.. isn't even present."

        "I'll call you back, something very interesting just came up here." Tony hung up the phone, as a look overcame his face.

        The man that stood with his arms tucked one over the other furrowed his brow as a now accusing stare burned through him. Banner became agitated and fidgety, he awkwardly cleared his throat.

        "My man Bruce!" A huge smirk turned into a smile. "Was she everything you remembered? Come on you have to tell me everything, got to be better than Romanoff."

        The salt and pepper haired man looked appalled, "no, no... oh my God no."

        Before Bruce could walk away from him, Tony hit his shoulder playfully, "damn you had her stuttering, must be nice. So when you had her begging, was it to not stop or to not Hulk out. I mean she hasn't been with you in what, fours years. Jesus I'm surprised that she can still walk. No wait I forgot, she self regenerates, so yeah I figure you so tore it up."

        Banner gulped hard, "Tony, can we please not go there."

        "I mean you sooo went there. Oh wait, am I being insensitive? You didn't go there but her begging 'no' was for Hulk to not turn back into you. Oh, I'm so sorry for your loss." Tony continued to pester his best friend.

        "Tony please! I have told you before that I cannot do... that any longer since the accident all those years ago. So can you please just give it a rest. And for that matter no one died." Bruce now stood with his head tilted down into his right hand.

        There was a twinkle caught in the eye of the man that stood before the scientist, letting him know that he just wasn't quite finished yet. "So what you just now told me is that my brave little killer was begging Hulk not to stop. Of course there was no death, just you weren't invited. Once again, I'm sorry for your loss."

        "I don't even understand why I bother. I truly don't. You and she are completely the same." the now frustrated scientist grabbed for his sport jacket.

        Stark loosened more of his tie, "I take offense to that. Only one of us has seen her naked."

        Banner let go of a breath as he could only shake his head, "Which would be you, now wouldn't it."

        "I meant between she and I but, way to bite back Banner. You gone then man? I'm about to call it a night as well. My friend hasn't come back to see me, which means either you..." A huge smile as he rocked in place.

        As he pulled on his jacket, the scientist gave the slightly taller man a look.

        "Wore her out, hurt her feelings, or she's riding Fury. All, I would say is a no brainer." Tony scrunched his face as he talked to the carpet.

        Bruce pulled his jacket on and made his way for the door. "I really need to go, Tony. It's late and I am tired. Also the fact that your joking is getting stale."

        "Always defending your girl, OTP is alive and well. My faith in humanity is restored once more. Hey, one thing before you go." Tony watched as his best friend walked slowly towards the door.

        "Yeah," Banner called, noting the sudden difference in Tony's delivery.

        Stark returned to his desk and propped himself as he now lowered his head, furrowing his brow. "I'm going to do everything in my power to keep you safe."

        Bruce stopped in his tracks. "I..."

        "Bruce, if Ross' gunning for Liara, then he's inadvertently gunning for you. We both know that. All joking aside, we both know how you feel for her, regardless of your heart rate issue." Stark took a bothered breath, looking up to his best friend. "Then there is also the fact that once Ross sees you, it's going to be even more evident that he'll want you taken down by any means necessary. So when I say you, I speak in plural."

        Banner turned to fully take in his friend. He seemed defeated and completely drained. "Tony, I... I am not going to give anyone a reason to hate me more than I myself do."

        Stark gave his friend a look, which consisted of a tight pulled right cheek and a raised left brow. "How many times have I told you that I am fond of the huge rage beast? Very charming fellow in fact. Theeen there is that one person we both know whom is crazy abo... no, yeah, just crazy."

        Bruce rolled his eyes as he let a huge breath go, "see that right there. That is what I mean. You rag on her constantly. I am getting very close to my breaking point with it. She never stops insulting you nor you her."

        "You forget yourself in that equation, Jekyll. Or do you forget the Hyde part as well. We both know all of it is out of love. She may not be the one to tell anyone that she cares, but you know better." Tony raised his brows as he joined Bruce by the entrance to the office. "Please tell me you do right. Because I can go into great detail of how this is all your fault. That she would have still been here if it wasn't for you doing and saying whatever it was. When whatever was exchanged between the two of you. Clearly should have been bodily fluids, but let's let bygones be bygones." Tony's mood changed as he took in the threatening eyes from the scientist.

        Banner shook his head as his anger raised, "I mean it, Tony. Stop. I'm tired. So very tired of the two of you. This childishness stops here and now. I'm not supporting it any longer."

        "You are adamant about this aren't y..." Tony began as Bruce lowered his head.

        "I almost lost her Tony. That put a lot in perspective. I mean a great deal. Things that I wish wholeheartedly could be taken back never can be." With a sad furrowed brow he lifted his head.

        Stark nodded in understanding, "damn. More than I thought transpired in your disappearance, between the two of you didn't it. I'm sorry man. If that is what you wish, then it shall be. I'll lay off. Just let her know how you feel, before it's too late. Can you at least do that for me? Stop being a coward about who you are. She loved you completely. Meaning both sides. Or do you also forget that while everyone else tiptoes around Hulk, she has a knack for relishing in his presence?"

        "She deserves someone strong enough for himself and her combined." The shy scientist took in his sympathetic friend.

        An understanding nod and a tender smile. Tony placed his hand on Bruce's shoulder. "She has all that in you my friend. You don't see it, but here you are taking up for her. Manning up and telling me to stop, to lay off. So tell me exactly why you aren't the one meant for her?"

        A long exhale, "It's just all overly complicated isn't it."

        "Love usually is." Tony stroked at his goatee. "Go to bed old man, it's late and the morning is almost on us."

        Bruce exited his friend's office, on his way to his room, when he was sidetracked. There was a very familiar smell in the air. A very fragrant vanilla lotion that he all too well knew whom lathered in it to cover all other smells. So up the stairwell, he was now in, he traveled. Needing to find the owner of the pungent cream. Out of the glass door, he saw her in the full moonlight.

        Banner exited and walked beside her. She was gazing out to the moon. Liara looked over to the man briefly then down to his left hand that instinctively encircled the metal rail in front of them. A huge breath was taken then let go even slower. "I have a question if I may."

        "Of course." Banner as well took in the moon as it shone brightly in the sky. Illuminating everything as far as the eye could see.

        Liara took a sigh as she gazed down toward her left, away from the man, whom stood dangerously close to her right. "I carried your smell, much as you still do mine. This is understandable, granted of course for you saved my life. However, I remember nothing. Everything is a complete blank."

        "Wait, what?" Banner was trying to absorb Liara's words as they left her lips.

         Yellow rolled as she shrugged, "I mean you did your job right. You got me out of there, got me to safety. Yay, I get to live another depressing day on this pitiful excuse of a planet. What joy, no. But yes. I'm drawing a complete blank as to where, and what. Who, why, and when I know. It doesn't matter really Jekyll, so get that grump off your face. I will thank you, for just in case I haven't already. So thank you for saving my life Jekyll. Even if you were in Hyde mode."

         Bruce could not believe what he was hearing, she had to be joking. Surely she was having yet another go at him. "Liara this isn't funny."

        "You think I don't know that! I'm not playing here. I can't remember anything after I passed out in your arms. It's.all.gone." Banner shook his head while the woman that laid everything on the table hours ago was now clueless to her actions.

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