Toni wandered into the Betty's floor, opening her standard metallic door carefully. She stepped one foot on a very nice Indian rug, something that must have been a memento of Betty's travels. It matched well with the overall look of the room. The floor was decorated in reds, golds, and oranges with hints of blues and yellow in intriguing and delicate patterns of swirls and paisleys. The room was painted a nice light brown that shone a bit of gold in the sunlight that came through the partially opened windows that had red thin curtains that looked like filters or lighting gels. They cast a pinkish light on some blue and green mirror vases that rested on black furniture and shelves.
Toni poked her head through the door and spoke loudly in the room calling in a questioning and curious tone, "Hey Bee? You in here?" She got up out of her more bent-over state, and stood up tall. She took another step in the room, as she heard some noise around the corner of the room where her desk was. She closed the door quietly enough behind her and walked in slowly. "Helloooo?" She asked again. "You can't sneak up on me again. I'm getting better at that." She threatened emptily. She hopped a bit and popped her head up with wide open eyes and raised eyebrows in surprise when she heard She-Hulk's deeper, sarcastic voice.
"She ain't at the door right now, honey. You can leave a message after the beep. BEEP." She-Hulk answered in a somewhat snarky way without looking away from her screen, but more in a dull preoccupied tone. Her face was emitting a rather bored look as she had a laptop on her lap, resting each end of the bottom of the computer on some point of her body to support it's position. It made a triangle as it balanced on her mid thigh and poking into her stomach a bit. She had her legs crossed and up on a cleared spot of Betty's desk that was brown with leather decor and that was normally covered in a lot of papers and various gadgets. She rested in her thin plaid pajama pants, crinkling and creasing and slightly pulled to rest under her knees and a loose tank top that ended and flowed around mid-way of her torso. It was clear that these were more suited to fit Betty than She-Hulk.
Toni walked into the archway of the corner grabbing then leaning with her hip against the wall. The archway had black metal spirals that came down the wall a foot or so and were from candle holders. Large green candles rested in the vine-like design. Toni looked up to admire Betty's decorating skills, then looked back at She-Hulk to ask her a question with a cocky smile on her face. "Well, if it isn't the Jade Giantess? Nice to see you again. You think I could talk to Bee? It's important science stuff." Toni wiggled her hips a bit and pouted at her.
She-Hulk looked up briefly from her screen to look at Toni. She grabbed her glass' gold metal arm and pulled them down a bit from her face, looking up at her with slight irritation. "Nice to see ya' too, short stuff. I'm afraid Betty really isn't in the chatting mood today, and neither am I too much." The large green woman spoke as she was rather comfortably stretched out nice and tall in the puffy blue office chair and current footstool the desk had become. Her green lips were pursing and pouty-looking, though this was only by her normal look and nature.
Toni sighed a bit, and whined in a small high-pitched noise like a child not getting their way, because she was one at the moment. She said in a whiny tone, "Aww... Bee's always so nice and listening and so, well, herself. Why isn't she going to come out and play?" Toni entered the room a bit more, resting and leaning on a large red puff ball of a chair that had lovely polished dark wood arms and legs and gold button like studs to keep the fabric to the wood. Toni let herself fall into the chair, having her legs kick out from the arm, and her body sideways so it rested against the other arm. Her hair fell down the body of the chair and over her chest a bit, covering up some of the arc reactor's faint blue glow. Maybe if she was whiny enough, She-Hulk would tell her why Bee wasn't feeling so hot. She made little moaning noises in complaint to pick at her nerves and patience, which she knew she didn't have much of.
She-Hulk cringed a bit, sighing as she closed and wrinkled her eyes in patience-testing agony. Her mouth crumpled into a angered pursing of the lips and she breathed out irritably from her nose and brought her shoulders down. She rubbed her bridge of her nose, and placed the laptop on the desk after removing her legs. She closed it and leaned back into her chair with her arms resting on the black supports the chair offered. She spoke like someone had been drilling a bit on her head in a somewhat snappy tone, "Stop making that noise!" She growled a bit, bearing her white teeth. "It's a little personal, small fry, but if you shut up for a few minutes, I'll tell you a little story since you're so curious. Okay?" She glared at her a bit with her deep jade eyes and had a 'i-might-hurt-you-if-you-don't-be-quiet-but-i'm-still-trying-to-be-kind-here' look.
Toni shifted until she sat like a little observant child ready to hear a bedtime story, except she already had a martini this morning and she was anything but innocent. She had her arms resting their elbows on the wooden arms, and leaned a bit into the chair, crossing her legs. "Sure!" She smiled at She-Hulk, as she loved to irritate her and get on her nerves.
She-hulk rubbed her face a bit pulling it down, and sat up straighter in her chair that she swung gently side to side. "Well, as you know Stark, we don't have the best o' back stories really. I'm sure you read the S.H.E.I.L.D. report, or maybe not, but it doesn't go into the detail I know." She motioned with her hands a bit, aiming semi-spread out fingers and a bent wrist at her bigger chest. "I suppose it began whenever. She used to be normal. A real egghead like ya'self. She was going places, was getting into colleges and everything. It wasn't something women really did, but I figure something called her in early years that she wasn't cut out for normal. Then, this is where I come in. It was the summer of '69. That's when the accident occurred, how I came to be." She-Hulk smiled a bit, small hearty laugh in the back of her throat. She said quieter, "Though, some doctors think I began a bit earlier than that. What do they know anyway?" She-Hulk rolled her eyes. It seems Betty was really in her own little pit of her despair. She didn't even make a single noise about telling Toni this story. She figured she'd continue. Maybe it would draw her out.
"I wasn't the gamma gal you guys know and love back then. I was harder to deal with, much less fabulous as I am today." She-Hulk added, as Toni was intently listening. Toni questioned with a curious look on her face, "Summer of '69? How old is Bee?" She made a surprised look on her face. She-Hulk laughed a bit, "Don't interrupt my story, hon. Also, it's not nice to ask a woman her age, but if you must knooooooowwww" She-Hulk stretched the word out and quickly added, "She's 61, but you didn't hear that from me." She-Hulk smiled and looked away.
Toni's jaw dropped a little, her eyebrows were interested and her face morphed into a face ready for juicy gossip. "Really? I never expected that." She said surprised. "And continue, lean green mean." She quirked an eyebrow at her.
She-Hulk laughed a bit, and continued her story. "You see I was much less... intelligent as I am now. It took me about a year to get English down right. I had broken English like my cousin Hulkster. Bee thinks I got my accent from when she went to college here in New York. I like to consider it a hometown. Anyway, Me and Bee didn't get along too well. I just caused trouble, didn't listen to her, etc. I knew that General Ross wanted nothing but my head on a silva' platter, and frankly nothing to do with Betty or what she did with his son. Caused some strain on their relationship to say the least. They were close too, Bruce and her. " She-Hulk added, noticing how in to the story of her life or Bee's life she was. Betty still didn't even blip up in her radar. It really must have been bad this time.
Toni asked inquisitively, "What's this have to do with her not making spotlight this morning? " She was concerned for her friend, and felt like she was a little closer with She-Hulk pouring out what really was Betty's soul and life-story out to her, but if they shared it like they shared a body, did that make it hers as well?
She-Hulk answered a little more content and warmed-up for the conversation from how she started at the beginning of it, "Well..." It seems Betty was not going to budge in her ways of self-isolation, so she figured she spill just a bit. "She had some nightmare about it. I didn't catch much of it from when I woke up." She said looking a way a bit, chewing on her plump green lip.
"A nightmare? Why wouldn't she talk to someone about it? She could talk to you, right?" Toni asked, a bit confused. She understood not wanting to talk about it to your friends. It was tough to express such weakness, but the bond she had with Shulkie must be stronger and closer than that.
"Well, I can't really answer that as she well, hasn't been answering her Psych-phone all day." She-Hulk retorted at her, with a face that expressed a bit of 'well, duh' and awkward explanations she prepared herself for. "This isn't the first time she's done this, and it won't certainly be her last time. " She shrugged her shoulders a bit, and finished her story. "After some fateful seven-year trip, we got a long a long better. Had a chance to get used to each other. And the rest is history..."
Toni had a angered surprised look on her face. She was a little frustrated to hear this. "You mean to tell she's shut herself away and ran off before? And I haven't been informed of this earlier?!" She was not happy at all, but remained in the chair, needing an explanation.
"Well, to be fair, not many people even know how we work. She'll do this lightly more commonly, but only occasionally extreme. " She-Hulk tried to reason with her a bit, keeping a calm easy-going tone as she leaned her elbow on the chair's padded arms, motioning her open palm in the air.
Toni's face faded a bit of it's anger as she tapped her fingers against the wood of the chair making small plucking noises with her fingertips. She sighed a bit, calming her voice. "How do you get her out of her little rut?" She asked somewhat curiously, concerned for her friend.
"I usually can give her some time to herself, which works a lot, or something alarming manages to happen and it sort of drags her out. " She-Hulk explained simply, being rather tame and entertained right now. It helped keep her mind of Betty's private pity party.
"Alarming, you say? Like what kind of things?" Toni asked wanting a lot of information. She was very into this and very curious. She would find a way to get Betty out. She got out of her chair, and walked towards the desk. She hopped up on the desk, legs off and dangling while her torso was turned towards She-Hulk and her arm supported her body with an open palm against the desk. Toni smiled a bit, leaning in.
She-Hulk moved her head back a bit in response to Toni's leaning, and one curious eyebrow rose and then her face shrugged it off. She replied, "An alarm, a crash, one time a burning building. Something that gets the blood pumping." She shrugged a shoulder.
Toni spied She-Hulk's smooth facial features, eying her plump green lips and dark eyes. She noticed how her green curls gently brushed her cheek. If there was anytime to take her by surprise, it would be now. Toni leaned in quickly, pulling in She-Hulk's face with her smaller, very white hand on her green cheek. She took her by the mouth and fought a bit with her tongue. She-Hulk's eye's widened, but she accepted it and fought her tongue back, moaning lightly in her throat. She almost held Toni's small face in her large green hand that wrapped around her moving up and down jaw in passion. The kiss lasted only a moment, ending as a surprised Betty looked scared and confused looked Toni right in the eyes.
Betty's eyes appeared like she could spill over in tears in a moment. She had been through her nightmare over and over again to be woken up with Toni's tongue almost in her throat. She looked up blushing at Toni, grabbing her hand on her face, and setting it on the table. Her glasses fogged. "Toni... I...." She looked away, her face red as a fresh cherry, with a tear rollong down her cheek. "I just can't...!" She ran off to a hallway, leaving the chair spinning a bit. Toni could hear the chime of the elevator she had and the door shut as she sat on the desk, confused and stunned. She couldn't think of what to do or say, but that sure left her speechless.
'Well, that was interesting.' Toni thought with her mouth gapped open, still trying to really understand what happened. It was going to be one of those days it seems.
Chapter 2: A Position Not Unlike Yours
Betty runs off to wallow in her sadness, but She-Hulk had other plans.
I lied. It's not a oneshot. Another idea for another chapter came to me during work again. Stephanie will be making an appearance soon.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Betty felt her heart race as she had her back hit the metallic wall of the elevator shaft. Her sudden entry pressed an array of random buttons, making her unknowing her her destination. It had to be anywhere but her floor. She quickly stopped the elevator by hitting the emergency stop button, causing a dull redder light to turn on briefly and return back to the normal bright white light of the small compartment. She had raced her hands through her greasy hair that was loosely falling out of a ponytail and had stray hairs curling away and out in a frizz. She pulled it back from her face, with a hand covering her mouth as she gasped little cries and stuffs for air. Her breathing was erratic and her eyes wet and tear-stained. She let out little cries muffled underneath her palm, before removing her hand from her head and burying her face into her them.
She had gasped in between various blubbering noises and high-pitched almost dying animal sounds. The moment raced through her head, and she tried and tried to shove it aside, yelling at She-Hulk a bit, why why why why why why. She could only repeat that one word as she bit her knuckle a bit, trying to get a hold of herself and completely and heartbreakingly failing. She slumped down, sliding slowly against the wall until she rested her forearms on her thighs and her hands sat at her knees caps where she had her face being supported. Her legs came close to her chest and she closed her eyes tightly shut, wanting to vanish and become so small no one could see her and maybe , if she was lucky enough, fade from existance itself.
She heard She-Hulk's voice as if she was beside her, leaning on the wall. Her normally comforting New York accent bared no pleasure this time, though she tried to kep her tone somwhat inviting to help Betty feel better. After all, she still cared for her greatly, even if her actions didn't reflect it. 'I didn't start it. Though, hon, I didn't end it either.' She sighed a bit, realizing she might have to try harder to not sound brash and joking at a time like this. 'I don't know why she did that, sweetie. I'm not a mind reader.'
Betty tried to breathe in and out, though her attempts were futile to resist her feelings. "B-b-but, you can stop her. Y-y-you're stronger, braver..." Betty spoke out loud weakly to the elevator shaft, muffled in her knees. She felt a presense of a hand on her shoulder, and she brushed it away. She felt it disappear and then reappear, as she gave up to fight it. She wiped her eyes, causing her face to looked soaked in tears. She rubbed her wet hands on her face and brushed back her stray hairs, causing her face to pull a bit.
She-Hulk tried to reason with her, as this was a delicate situation. It was something, surprisingly, She-Hulk had decent skill dealing with. At least when it was Betty. 'Braver? Bravery has nothing to do with this. This was my doing and my affairs, something you usually don't complain about, and I'm sorry about that.' She-Hulk said, placing the blame on herself rather than Betty believing this was her fault, when that couldn't even be true. She knew though that Betty couldn't see that through the clouded emotional state she was in and that She-Hulk was definately getting a bit lost in at the moment.
"B-b-but ... It was Toni. Why her?!" Betty shouted to the lonely empty space that had an eerie coldness. She went back to sobbing somewhat loudly. She craddled herself back and forth a bit to attempt to calm down. She played with her feet, rubbing them down her leg a bit, awkward in all her motions and how she sat on the ground. 'Sweetie, please.' She-Hulk sat next to her, like a ghost or projection, and tried to get her to just stay still for just a moment. Betty looked at her in the reflection of the metal wall somewhat warped with red stained eyes longing for some comfort. She sniffled a bit, rubbing the tears away from her glistening face in the odd light. There was a short silence that only increased with the watery gaze of her eyes.
She-Hulk looked back and down at Betty, as she was a few inches taller than her. She sighed eith her eyes away, and looked deep into Betty's eyes and admitted, 'I don't know why. I'm not sure about it yet. I'm sorry I upset you, Bee. I really am.' She reasoned a bit with her, her green eyes showing confusion and , more importantly, brutal and raw honesty. Betty broke her eye contact and looked away ahead of herself at the warped shine of the closed door. She was thinking and had a stubborn anger on her face. 'C'mon, Honey Bee. Will you forgive me?' She-Hulk asked quieter and serious, like a deadly whisper of faith.
Betty looked back at her with a pouty, tired, and upset look wrinkling her face. Betty wanted someone to hug her, but she knew that She-Hulk couldn't. She reached for a hug of the empty air, She-Hulk looking distraught about how she could only use her words to comfort her. Betty felt a presense embracing her, the most she could do and the only thing She-Hulk could do.
Betty wiped away her tears, alerted by JARVIS speaking to her. "It appears the elevator has stopped suddenly. Would you like me to restart it so it may go to its desginated location, Miss Banner? " The robot voice politely asked in a curious manner.
Betty recomposed herself a bit and coughed, answering quickly and nervously, "No, no. It's fine. I don't even know where I was heading..." Betty admitted to the voice that echoed throughout the room. She looked down a bit, still wiping the tears away, drying her face a bit with her tank top.
JARVIS quickly responded, "It looked like you were upset earlier. Perhaps you would prefer to go back to your living quarters?" Betty quickly blushed to that comment, and sputtered out anxiously, " No, no, no. I would like to go somwhere else. I could maybe talk to someone. I would wanto to bug Claire or Nate... Maybe..." Betty trailed off, taking off her glasses and cleaning them against her shirt and putting them back on after playing with them for a minute. She lightly chew at the end of an arm.
"Very well. I could contact Mrs. Rogers if you would feel more comfortable talking with her. " JARVIS had a kind and curious tone only Toni could program. I don't want to think about her right now... Betty bit her lip, and nodded like a lost child confused and unsure what to say. "Yes... That would be nice..." She said with a small smile on her face, though she wasn't feeling better just yet. "Just... Can I have another moment to myself?" She looked up asking pleadingly and quite small in demeanor. JARVIS quickly replied in a comforting tone and soft british accent, "Of course, Miss Banner. Notify me when you would like to continue."
Betty sat in the corner with her arms wrapped around her legs and her cheek resting on her knee. She looked down, and replied quietly and softly, "...Thanks..."
Stephanie will be introduced next chapter. I hope you enjoyed some comfort of She-Hulk. I probabbly will update this fic often enough, as I do it in between threads on Tumblr when things get dull over there. I'm glad you've stuck reading this far.