Chapter 1: Pokerface
The first thing Darcy did when she woke up was think Shit, how much did I drink?
Then she registered that her hands were chained and pulled up over her head and she her wrists really hurt from supporting all of her weight and she switched to Shit, did I get roofied?
Through the pounding in her head and the ache in her arms – not to mention the nausea that felt like something with tentacles was rolling around in her gut – it actually took her a few minutes to remember that she wasn’t a student at Culver anymore, so this wasn’t just some frat party gone horribly wrong. She let her eyes fall closed again, because the fluorescent lighting in whatever torture warehouse place she was in was pissing her off, and because maybe a little bit of SHIELD training was starting to bubble up in her brain, and she was pretty sure in situations like this she was supposed to pretend she was still unconscious so that maybe she could overhear her crazy kidnappers talking or something.
Okay, lady, she coached herself, let’s take this one step at a time.
She was Darcy Lewis. Following the attack on New York City by actual space aliens, she was forced into working for SHIELD because she knew too much to be allowed to wander around by herself, all kidnap-able and stuff. (Or so they said – she was thirty percent sure that they thought she might be dumb enough to brag about tazing Thor. Which, she would totally brag about tazing Thor, but only to people who already knew about Thor, Jesus Christ.) She went through SHIELD basic training, which sucked because they made her run a lot and running with big tits was harder than anyone without big tits could imagine, and then promptly stuck her in the science department as a liaison/assistant to Jane Foster, Tony Stark, and Bruce Banner.
Or as she liked to call them, the Science Sisters.
She mostly cleaned up after them and got coffee, but whatever, she got to hang out in Avengers Tower because Tony refused to do science in the SHIELD facilities and she got paid like a million times more than she would in any other job where she’d have to do actual work, so that was something. Also, Tony gave extravagant presents to make up for the times when he was a douche canoe (which was often) and Bruce Banner was the kind of older professor with glasses and fluffy hair and rumpled everything that Darcy could really see herself doing some extra credit with. She’d never actually go there though, dude was a genius and all sophisticated and shit and he’d probably laugh at her, or be like, so offended at her crush on him that he’d turn into the Hulk and pancake her.
Jane was, of course, Jane, Darcy’s absentminded, slightly manic boss turned friend.
But none of that was the point. The point was that Darcy hadn’t gone drinking last night. So she hadn’t been roofied. She’d been on her way home to her little shoebox of a SHIELD assigned apartment and then… nothing. She remembered a pain in her neck, wondering what the fuck was going on, and then everything went black.
Okay. Okay so.
She was probably drugged. Pain in the neck was like… a syringe or something. She felt hung over, so yeah. Drugged. And now she was hanging out in a warehouse. Literally.
Wow, tough crowd, she thought, aware that she might be cracking up. Just a little. She pushed her panic away as best she could. She could totally flip her shit later and like, cry on Thor because he gave the best hugs and he’d take her flying and she’d make Tony buy her a pony. Tony would buy her all the ponies.
With the promise to herself that if she lived she would own like an entire herd of ponies, she gave a firm mental nod and started pretending she was the Black Widow.
This was a thing she did. She didn’t know the other Avengers as well as she knew Thor and her Science Sisters, but she saw Widow and Hawkeye and the Captain around often enough. Pepper Potts too. On days she needed to be badass, Darcy pretended she was the Black Widow. On days she needed to be a queen among mortals and also not kill Tony Stark, she pretended she was Pepper Potts. Mostly, it worked out pretty well.
If I was Natasha Romanov, I would… Darcy slit her eyes open and tried to study the room she was being kept in, which wasn’t as easy as it sounded because light kind of made her feel like puking and her eyes started to water and everything was all shadowy anyway. But she knew it was a big open torture warehouse-y space, with vague shapes of stacked crates and shit making like a… torture warehouse maze.
She couldn’t see well enough without her glasses (damn those fuckers, drugging her wasn’t enough?) to tell if there were cameras or anything anywhere. She didn’t see anything within reach she could use to get out of her chains, which were obviously pretty secure since she was fucking hanging from them.
Okay, so she was starting to get cranky.
She wondered when they would notice she was missing. JARVIS would probably notice, but he wouldn’t comment on it unless asked, because he was totally cool and never tattled about her playing hooky from work, which she didn’t do that often, but – not the point. JARVIS would notice, but wouldn’t say anything until he started to suspect something was wrong. The Science Sisters wouldn’t notice if they were deep in the science, but if she lucked out and they were having a slow brain day they would probably notice when they ran out of coffee (Tony), tea (Bruce), and Pop-Tarts (Jane). JARVIS wouldn’t serve them food in the lab, again because he was totally cool and Darcy’d had a talk with him about being an enabler. The only one allowed to feed the scientists in the lab was Darcy, and she only fed them if she deemed whatever they were working on to be Super Important, or she didn’t think they needed a break.
Thor would notice if she wasn’t back by Thursday. Darcy and Thor hung out every Thursday because it was Thors-day and she was his favorite not-Jane person.
Too bad it was only Monday. A lot of shit could happen between Monday and Thors-day.
Despite herself, Darcy got bored enough that she fell asleep, something she never thought it would have been possible to do while hanging from a ceiling in chains, but. Whatever.
That wasn’t the part that sucked. The part that sucked was waking up because some psycho had just jabbed her in the neck with a syringe. Again.
“Get the fuck off!” she shouted, kicking at the guy. The shout was really weak because she was thirsty, but her kick was pretty damn hard if she said so herself, and she caught a flash of a white lab coat as needle wielding dude bro went flying. The syringe was still stuck in her neck, which didn’t seem safe at all, but fuck if she was letting anyone get close enough to take it out.
Too bad that the plunger had already been pushed all the way in. Whatever they wanted to inject her with was already in her bloodstream, and she was just going to totally not even think about that and she was probably imagining the sensation of fire spreading through her veins. Or was it ice? It was temperature related, and it hurt and this was just not fucking cool at all and there was probably a joke in there somewhere and oh my Thor, she was actually going to die wasn’t she?
Her mental babbling was interrupted by a guy in military fatigues stepping into the light. He wasn’t close enough for her to see his face clearly (glasses stealing motherfuckers), but she could tell he was older.
“Is this the part where you interrogate me about the science?” she asked, her tongue like cotton in her mouth. She was trying for sassy, but it came out sounding more like she was on her deathbed and pissed about it, which was probably just as good. “Because I got to tell you dude, you kidnapped the wrong person. I barely rate above a one armed robot named Dummy. Stark is always threatening to donate me to a community college, though I’m pretty sure he can’t do that because that would be slavery or human trafficking or something.”
“Actually, Miss Lewis,” Old Army Dude said, “we kidnapped exactly the right person. We needed someone expendable, you see.” He gestured at her, and Darcy glanced down at the syringe still stuck in her neck without moving her head, cause if she moved her head maybe the needle would tear open her jugular and she’d die and that would just be the lamest.
She decided not to talk to Old Army Dude anymore, because he was totally itching to start expounding on his evil plans and she didn’t want to give him the satisfaction. But that decision lasted all of five minutes, because it wasn’t like there was anything else to do and dammit she really wanted to know.
“Expendable?” she asked. She was really not proud of the way her voice cracked, and reminded herself that she was pretending to be Black Widow.
Old Army Dude nodded, and stepped closer, though still not close enough that Darcy would be able to make out his face. She wondered if he was doing that on purpose.
“Yes, Miss Lewis. Expendable. We’ve been watching you. You are surrounded by the best minds in this country, by men and women who have worked hard to serve, but you yourself are barely above average intelligence. You have little combat training to speak of. In fact, the only reason you got a position in an organization like SHIELD is pure dumb luck.”
“Don’t feel so lucky right now,” Darcy snarked. And where did this dude get off anyway? Okay, so she wasn’t a genius and she couldn’t like, choke someone out with her thighs, but she was still awesome! She made the best playlists. And she was especially gifted at mad scientist wrangling, which should totally be an Olympic sport. If it was an Olympic sport she would get the gold. Or at least the silver, if Pepper Potts was competing too.
Yeah, she was definitely cracking up. Like, just becoming crazy in self-defense or something. That was a thing. Wasn’t it?
“But you are lucky,” Creepy Old Army Dude was going on. “We are giving you a chance to serve your country in a way very few people ever can, Miss Lewis. The good doctor here,” Old Army Dude gestured to Syringe Happy Lab Coat Guy, whom Darcy had completely forgotten about until that moment, “has been working on perfecting a certain serum, and we needed someone to test it on. The American people have already lost one brilliant scientist and a good soldier to these trials. It was determined that the next test subject should be someone less… valuable.”
Certain pieces of information that had been swimming around in Darcy’s mind ever since she was given security clearance high enough to read the Avengers’ files (the heavily redacted versions, but still) snapped into place.
“Fucking psycho son of a bitch!” she cursed. “You just injected me with super soldier serum didn’t you? But like. Not the good shit. I just got back alley dirty needle drugs and now I’m probably going to die or turn into a swamp monster or a zombie. If I turn into a zombie I am coming after your brain first – ”
She’d have gone on like that until she was physically incapable of speaking any more, but Syringe Happy Lab Coat Guy got syringe happy again, and injected her in the other side of her neck so fast she didn’t have a chance to try to kick him. Whatever it was, it worked double time. Unconsciousness dragged her under like the Loch Ness fucking monster.
“What now, sir?” Lab Coat Guy asked as Darcy slumped against her chains.
“If it works, the American people will have a new super soldier, one that can possibly breed with Captain America to produce children with the same abilities. If she turns out like the others… well, hopefully she’ll put the monster down like he should have been a long time ago, and the Council will see what a mistake it was to pull my operation. Goddamn Fury, keeping me from doing my job.”
“I meant, what should we do with the girl, General?”
“You’re sure she won’t remember our little chat?”
“With the changes about to take place in her body and the combination of sedatives, I’d be surprised if she did, sir. Even if she does, you stayed far enough away that she won’t be able to positively identify you. Not with her vision.”
“Then call SHIELD. Tell them we found something they lost. A unit undergoing routine city combat training tripped over her and a cache of old HYDRA weapons. Keep my name out of it.”
Chapter 2: Mad World
Darcy floated in and out of consciousness for a while. She dreamt that Hawkeye crawled up a wall to cut her chains down from the ceiling in the torture warehouse, and then Captain America carried her somewhere. “I’m Black Widow,” she informed him. “Don’t tell Agent Romanov.”
Then it was like time sped forward and suddenly she was on a stretcher in an ambulance that wasn’t an ambulance, but like a super secret SHIELD medical van, and there was someone in a white coat shining a light in her eyes. She screamed.
“Get the fuck away from me you syringe happy shit!”
Something started beeping really fast, and Darcy started to feel really weird, like her skin was too tight, but then Thor was there, his giant god hands on either side of her face, and everything was going to be okay, because Thor.
“Is it Thors-day?” she asked him. The fast beeping noise was slowing down. “Can we have ice cream?”
“Aye, Lady Darcy, we will have as much of the iced cream as you want,” Thor promised her, giving her one of his awesome Thor hugs.
Then Darcy blinked and she was in a room, and Tony and Bruce and Jane were there. “Science Sisters,” she greeted them. “Where’d Thor go? Do you need more coffee?”
She was in a bed. She tried to stand up, but her legs kept getting tangled and everyone’s faces were blurry. Bruce rushed over to the side of her bed and put gentle hands on her shoulders. “We’re fine right now, Darcy. Why don’t you stay in the bed and rest?”
Darcy blinked. There was a pair of glasses hanging from the pocket of Bruce’s purple button down. Darcy needed those. She took them and tried to put them on, but she couldn’t get her hands to aim right and poked herself in the cheek. Bruce took the glasses out of her hands and put them on her face for her. “Does that help?” he asked. But no, no they didn’t. They made everything even fuzzier. Then Darcy remembered that Bruce wore glasses too, and these were probably his glasses.
“Tony has to buy me a pony. A lot of ponies,” she told Bruce. “I promised myself if I lived I could have ponies.” Darcy took the glasses off and tried to put them back in Bruce’s pocket, and then sort of forgot what she was doing and just pawed at his shirt instead. Bruce didn’t stop her. He was looking back at Tony and Jane and he had his pinched The Science Isn’t Sciencing How I Want It To Science face on.
Darcy peered over Bruce’s shoulder, but she couldn’t make out Tony and Jane’s expressions. “Oh wait. Do I not get ponies? Am I dead?”
If she was, it wasn’t so bad. She wasn’t really concerned about it.
Jane made a weird noise like a sob, and ran over to sort of throw herself over Darcy’s feet. And wow, suddenly Tony was really close too, bending over her. “Of course you’re alive, Lewis. You’ll get your ponies. But hey, why don’t you let Bruce here look you over, since you wail like a banshee every time any of the doctors come near you?”
Darcy leaned forward, rubbing her nose in the chest hair just visible above the unbuttoned top buttons of Bruce’s shirt. “Suuuure,” she said. She started unbuttoning Bruce’s shirt the rest of the way, her fingers clumsy. Bruce jerked, his hands coming up to grip hers.
“Darcy,” he said. She looked up into yummy chocolate eyes. Bruce had such a sweet face. And that little bit of grey at his temples was delicious. “What are you doing?” he asked.
Darcy blinked at him, confused. “Is this not a sex dream? Usually when you ask to play doctor it’s a sex dream.”
Bruce looked kind of dumbstruck. Tony made a choking noise that turned into a giggling laugh after a few seconds, and Jane was still hugging Darcy’s legs.
Bruce recovered first, though he looked a little flushed. He firmly, but gently put Darcy’s hands down on top of her sheets, and then redid his shirt buttons, including the ones that had been unbuttoned in the first place. “This isn’t a dream, Darcy. You spent close to thirty-two hours without food or water, and I need to check and see if you’re okay. Does that sound alright to you?”
Huh. Thirty-two hours. It had seemed like so much longer, even though she was probably unconscious for most of it. “No more syringes. And no white coats,” she negotiated. “Tired of being injected with shit.”
Jane clung harder to Darcy’s legs and started cursing under her breath. Darcy sort of made pat-patting motions at Jane’s head, but couldn’t quite reach her. Tony turned white. And Bruce? Bruce had Hulk-face, but he just said, “No syringes. And no white coats… Darcy, do you know what you were injected with?”
Bruce moved away from the bed and when he came back he had gloves, a chart, and a blood pressure cuff. He put the gloves on and took Darcy’s pulse. Darcy stared at his hands. They were really nice.
“Huh… oh. Sedatives. And they want me to have babies with Captain America. For patriotism. Super soldier babies.”
Tony had started to laugh again, but he stopped abruptly when Darcy mentioned that the babies would be super soldiers. Darcy looked at him, and then got distracted by the light of the arc reactor in Tony’s chest. She raised a hand to play with the light, and Tony let her.
“Why do they want you to have babies with Steve, Lewis?” Tony asked, face grim.
“Because they gave me their shitty street super serum,” Darcy huffed. Hadn’t she already told them that? Tony needed to shut up so she could play with his arc reactor in peace.
There was a clatter as Bruce dropped the blood pressure cuff and the medical chart where he’d been making notes. He definitely had Hulk-face now. He was breathing deep and hard, his eyes flickering green. He backed away from them, trying to find his Zen or whatever. Jane leapt up from the bed and went out the door, probably to give everyone the Code Green. Tony didn’t even seem to notice.
“Tony,” Bruce growled, his voice lower than normal. “Harlem. Blonsky.”
“I know, buddy,” Tony said, not taking his eyes off Darcy. “If they used the serum that’s been synthesized with your blood, then Darcy might have her own green side.”
Bruce stomped toward the door, his shoulders hunching and the back of his shirt ripping as he fought off the change. Darcy remembered watching footage of the Hulk on television. How huge and powerful he was.
That fast beeping sound was back. This time she realized it was a heart monitor, and it was her heart that it was monitoring.
Bruce was getting taller, a low groaning sound coming from his throat. The Hulk was scary on TV, even if he was on their side, but in real life he was terrifying. Darcy had made a big deal about being totally sanguine about working with Dr. B when she first started wrangling the Science Sisters, but that didn’t mean she’d ever wanted to get up close and personal with him on a bad, green day. Her contingency plans for meeting the Hulk began and ended with Getting the Fuck Out, and for it to happen when she was dizzy, possibly but probably not dreaming, and stuck in a hospital bed on top of everything else that had just happened to her was just really Not Okay. In fact, it felt like a heart attack.
Darcy was going to complain to someone. She didn’t know who yet, but there was going to be a Complaint.
The Hulk gave a roar, and that was the last thing Darcy heard before she went hot and cold all over and her skin turned inside out. It was like falling into another dream. She was aware of everything around her, but she couldn’t control her body. There was a creaking sound, and then suddenly she was dropping to the floor.
She looked down at herself and saw that she’d ripped out of her clothes, and the hospital bed, unable to hold her weight anymore, had crunched down. Her skin was a deep verdant green, and her big green tits were just hanging out for the whole world to see.
It okay, lady, said the fake-Black Widow part of herself. She stood up and wrapped the sheets from her bed around herself like a dress, then looked around the room to see Hulk by the door, and Tony Stark crouched between the two them. The room was barely big enough for both hulks to fit. Hulk had to stoop, and Darcy’s head brushed the ceiling.
It was interesting that they were still in proportion to each other. If Hulk could stand up all the way, Darcy was pretty sure there would be the exact same height difference between him and Darcy’s hulk-self as there was between Darcy and Bruce when they were puny, pink people. Darcy wondered if she essentially looked like herself, except big and green, the same way Bruce did. Probably.
Then that thought caught up with her.
Oh fuck, I have a hulk self.
She fizzed out to a grey nothing.
Hulk looked at Man Hulk standing by the door. Man Hulk was strong and Hulk liked his soft hair and green color. Good.
There was a little puny man between Hulk and Man Hulk. Hulk looked at the little puny man, bending down to peer at him. He had dark hair like Man Hulk and there was a pretty glow light in his chest. Hulk smiled at the little puny man.
Man Hulk roared at Hulk. She jerked her head up and roared back, and snatched up the little puny man so that Man Hulk would not smash him. Hulk liked the little puny man’s chest light.
As soon as Hulk picked up the little glowy man, Man Hulk got mad and started to smash, roaring louder at her.
Hulk slapped Man Hulk and he went flying through the wall into the next room.
“Hey, Darcy! Darcy!” Little glowy man was talking to her, waving his tiny little arms.
“Darcy not here now, Little Glow Man,” Hulk told him. Little Glow Man was not very smart. Hulk slapped her chest with her free hand. “Hulk,” she told him.
There was big crashing noise as Man Hulk came back. He pounded his fists against his chest. “Hulk!” he declared.
Hulk looked at him. “Man Hulk,” she said, pointing. Then she slapped her chest again. “Hulk!”
Man Hulk glared and Hulk glared back. Little Glow Man started to make squeaking laughing sounds. No, Little Glow Man was not smart at all. But his glow was so pretty.
Man Hulk pointed at Hulk and said, “She Hulk.” Then he pounded on his chest. “Man Hulk.”
She Hulk thought about that for a minute, then she nodded, snorting. “She Hulk,” she agreed.
Then she sat down on her smashed bed, and turned Little Glow man in her arms, cradling him against her bosom. Carefully, with one finger, she petted his hair and watched his pretty glow.
Man Hulk growled and beat his hands against the floor, smashing all the white tile. “Give Tony!”
“No smash!” She Hulk yelled. “If smash, have to clean. Darcy hate clean. She Hulk hate clean!”
“Yeah, Big Guy,” Little Glow Man piped up. “Listen to the lady. No smashing, okay?”
Man Hulk ignored Little Glow Man. He held his hands out. “Give Tony. Tony not for She Hulk. Tony for Banner. Banner and Man Hulk. She Hulk have Jane.”
She Hulk thought about that. She remembered Jane. Jane was good, but Jane did not have a pretty glowy like Little Glow Man. Tony.
“Hey now, guys. I’m flattered. But how about you share? There’s plenty to go around.”
She Hulk looked down at Little Glow Tony, baring her teeth. Then she looked at Man Hulk. Man Hulk was strong. Good. She Hulk liked strong.
She Hulk put Little Glow Tony down in between her and Man Hulk. “Share,” she said.
Man Hulk frowned, but then he lumbered over and sat down, patting Little Glow Tony on the head. She Hulk sat down on the other side of Little Glow Tony, and tap-tapped his glowy. “Pretty.” She smiled at him. Little Glow Tony smiled back.
“You’re pretty good looking yourself,” Little Glow Tony told She Hulk.
Man Hulk growled.
Little Glow Tony turned to look at Man Hulk and raised his puny little hands. “Sorry, Big Guy. Didn’t mean to move in on your woman.”
Man Hulk grunted, and She Hulk and Man Hulk settled in to watch Little Glow Tony’s glowy.
“Well,” Little Glow Tony said, “this is weird.”
Just as She Hulk was getting tired of watching Little Glow Tony’s glowy, she heard lots of little scuttling footsteps. She inhaled and smelled puny people, and something else that She Hulk didn’t like. It made her nose itch.
Gunpowder, Darcy whispered in the back of She Hulk’s head.
A puny man in a pretty blue suit with a star on the front came in the door to the room behind Man Hulk. The man had yellow hair. Man Hulk looked at Bluestars Yellowhair and grunted. “Cap,” Man Hulk said.
“Hey Hulk,” Bluecap said. She Hulk watched him. The Bluecap Star Man moved slowly around Man Hulk. “You okay, Tony?”
Little Glow Tony nodded his head. “I’m fine. I’m their favorite, but they agreed to share, so it’s all good.”
“Share Little Glow Tony,” She Hulk agreed. She petted Little Glow Tony’s hair. Then Man Hulk petted him too. Good. They were sharing.
“Shut up, Cap,” Little Glow Tony said.
Two more little people came to stand in the door where Bluecap had come in. One little man had arrows. His arms were big, but not as big as Man Hulk’s. And the other was a lady, like She Hulk. A lady with red hair.
She Hulk smiled and surged to her feet, taking a step forward. She made grabby hands at the lady, but stopped when the Arrow Man raised his arrows like he might shoot She Hulk.
“She Hulk not smash team!” Man Hulk growled.
She Hulk growled back and swatted at Man Hulk. “Not smash. She Hulk not smash for no reason. She Hulk not stupid like Man Hulk, smash everything.”
Man Hulk pounded his fist. “Man Hulk not stupid!”
“Is okay,” She Hulk told him, stroking his chest. “Man Hulk strong. Strong better than smart for Man Hulk. Man Hulk strong, She Hulk smart.”
Man Hulk huffed air out his nose, but he leaned forward into She Hulk’s hand so that she would pet him harder. Man Hulk liked pets. That was good. She Hulk liked to give pets.
She Hulk looked at the Little Red Hair Woman. She Hulk knew the little woman’s name. “Black Widow,” She Hulk said. “She Hulk can pet hair?”
Black Widow stared at She Hulk. She was holding guns.
“Darcy play like Black Widow when Darcy scared,” She Hulk told Black Widow. “She Hulk be like Black Widow too, Darcy never be scared.”
Black Widow’s eyes got big, and she nodded her head at Arrow Man, putting her guns away. Arrow Man stepped to one side, and Black Widow moved slowly around Man Hulk, until she stood next to Little Glow Tony and Bluecap.
She Hulk smiled at Black Widow, and Black Widow stopped, tensing, but then she stepped forward again. She Hulk sat down, so that she wasn’t so much bigger than Black Widow. She Hulk made it so Darcy didn’t have to be scared. She Hulk didn’t want to scare anyone.
She Hulk held her hand out. “She Hulk pet pretty hair?”
“Alright,” Black Widow said.
She Hulk looked at Man Hulk. “Share team?”
Man Hulk made a thinking face. It took a long time, because Man Hulk was not as smart as She Hulk. “Share team,” Man Hulk agreed.
She Hulk petted Black Widow’s pretty hair.
Then something hit She Hulk in the shoulder. She Hulk looked down and saw a puny arrow. There was one next to Man Hulk too.
She Hulk picked up the puny arrow and looked at Arrow Man. “Arrow Man not very smart. Puny arrow not hurt. Too puny. Arrow Man do again, She Hulk smash arrows.”
Then the head of the arrow released a cloud of gas that smelled like sweet things, and She Hulk toppled forward, nearly hitting Little Glow Tony. A loud thud told her Man Hulk had fallen too.
Darcy woke up and promptly wished someone would knock her out again.
“Owww,” she groaned. She felt like she’d been beaten all over, and fuck was she hungry.
Darcy opened her eyes and looked to the right. She was in a hospital bed in what looked like SHIELD medical, and she was sharing a room. Bruce was in the bed next to hers.
Darcy wrinkled her brow. Her memories of the last few … days? hours? were foggy at best. Someone had kidnapped her, and then Thor was there, and then… Black Widow and Tony, and… she couldn’t remember.
“Doc? Did they get you too?” Darcy squeaked. There was a glass of water with a straw on her bedside table. She levered herself up on her elbows and grabbed for it.
“Not exactly,” Bruce said. “Let me know when you’ve started to feel a little better. I’ll explain, and then we have some security footage to watch.”
Chapter 3: It's Not Easy Being Green
Bruce insisted that he and Darcy be left alone in a private conference room to watch the security footage of Darcy’s first transformation. He knew how it felt to be so exposed, to have everyone see the dark primal things that pulsed inside you like a nerve, and he wanted to spare Darcy as much trauma as possible.
He told the SHIELD agents that it was because he was afraid watching the video might trigger another episode, and he was the only one who they could guarantee wouldn’t be hurt if She Hulk turned violent. And that was true, but it was far from the only reason.
Bruce was responsible. This had happened to Darcy because of his blood, because she was an assistant in his lab, and he just… he had to do anything he could to make this easier for her.
They watched in silence, both of them dressed in SHIELD issued sweats, Bruce keeping Darcy in his peripheral vision.
On the screen, Hawkeye had just shot both hulks with a tranquilizer. They fell one after the other and began to shrink, and the footage froze.
There was a heavy silence, and Bruce prepared himself to try to be comforting if Darcy started crying or to deal with a transformation if that was how she reacted.
“Dude,” Darcy said, “your hulk totally has a crush on my hulk.”
Bruce’s mouth dropped open. “What?”
Darcy looked at him and smiled, bumping her shoulder against his. Her smile was strained, her skin ashy, but she was trying. She was amazing.
“Don’t even try to deny it, B-man. Your hulk is crushing on my hulk so hard. He was so giving her puppy eyes.”
Bruce returned her smile. If she was going to be brave, he wouldn’t ruin it for her. “Well, She Hulk is something else. She seems to have higher cognitive function than the Other Guy, err, Man Hulk does. Or at least, more than he did when he first… manifested.”
“Maybe it’s a male-female thing?” Darcy suggested, fiddling with a strand of her hair. “I remember in my freshman psychology class, there being something about women having a greater facility for language development, especially at a young age? Maybe it’s just like… my hulk is better at talking, but yours is better at smashing and spatial reasoning?”
Bruce fiddled with his glasses. “That is… an excellent point. It’s very possible. I never thought to approach studying the Other Guy from a developmental psychology perspective.”
“Don’t sound so surprised, Doc. I’m not a genius, but I do alright.”
Darcy’s smile was gone now. Her shoulders slumped. She looked so very small, and young.
“Darcy,” Bruce put his hand over hers. Soon, when word got around, people would hesitate to touch her. There would always be a bubble of space around her, and she would start to expect it. Would start to be startled by anyone being close. Bruce didn’t want that for her. He’d offer her what he could. She, at least, would always have him. He would never be afraid of her like everyone else. He wouldn’t shy from holding her hand or giving her a hug.
“I’m tired,” Darcy said before Bruce could tell her just how smart he thought she was. “I know that you need to be like, my Jedi Master and Yoda me up or whatever, and we need to figure out what turns me mean and green and be debriefed and a million other things. But can we do that later? Right now, I just really want to go home.”
Bruce sighed. “You can’t go back to your apartment – ”
Darcy hunched in on herself further. Bruce squeezed her hand. “But Tony’s built a containment room for the Other Guy in the tower. There’s a little apartment attached to it, where I stay if I feel the need.”
Darcy looked up. “I can stay there? And you’ll stay with me?”
Bruce nodded. “Whatever you need, Darcy.”
She hugged him, and Bruce found himself holding her tight. He’d thought about how she might feel in his arms a lot over the time she’d worked for them in the lab, but he’d never let it go farther than a few errant thoughts. She was a beautiful woman with a wicked sense of humor and a smile that could light up a whole room – who wouldn’t think about touching her from time to time? But it had been too dangerous, would have been too selfish of him to actually entertain those kinds of ideas.
But now? Well, Darcy was the only woman in the world who was safe from him, and he was the only man in the world who could handle her.
He absolutely refused to chase that train of thought to the logical conclusion. He was not happy Darcy had been given the serum. He wasn’t. He had never wanted anyone to have to deal with his demons, and he was especially sorry that it was beautiful, funny Darcy who was clinging to him and shaking a little.
Bruce subtly sniffed her hair and hated himself for it.
Bruce left Darcy in their shared room at SHIELD medical while he went to arrange transportation for them to Avengers Tower. Tony was happy to send a car, but Bruce had his work cut out for him getting Fury to agree to let Darcy leave the base. And it was even more difficult to convince the Director that a heavily armed escort would not be necessary. Bruce finally had to imply that a convoy of agents would just result in setting two rage monsters loose on the city.
“You’re all used to me,” Bruce tried to explain, running his hands through his hair and taking deep breaths in through his nose. “I’ve had years to learn control, and I still have… episodes where I don’t mean to transform. Darcy is entirely new at this. We don’t know what triggers her, we don’t know how much, if any, control she’ll be able to have over it, and we don’t know how She Hulk might react if she feels threatened.”
“Those all sound like good reasons to keep her contained here.”
Behind Bruce, the door to Fury’s office opened, and Tony and Thor strode in.
“I told them you were in a meeting, Director,” Fury’s secretary called from the doorway. Fury waved his hand at her, rolling his one good eye.
“I’m inclined to think She Hulk won’t hurt anyone without provocation,” Tony said, jumping straight into the conversation. He’d probably been eavesdropping somehow. “And I also think that since Bruce is the only other Grumpy Green Giant on the planet, we should listen to what he has to say.”
“Just because they treat you like a lava lamp, Stark, doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous to other people.” Fury riveted his one eye on Bruce. “I can’t let her leave base. The medical team – ”
The Other Guy surged to the forefront of Bruce’s mind, Protect She Hulk rattling around his brain.
Bruce slammed his hands down on Fury’s desk. “Let me make this clear,” he said in a low voice. “Either you let Darcy leave the base, or you won’t have a base to keep her on.”
Fury stopped talking. Tony’s hand landed on Bruce’s shoulder, giving it a squeeze. Bruce didn’t turn to look at him.
A tense silence stretched between them, filled only with their battle of wills.
Finally, Thor said, “The Lady Darcy has ever been a sister to me, and I am strong enough to stand against her until she learns to control her new abilities. I will escort her wherever she needs to go.”
And with that, Thor turned and walked out, as if his word was enough to make it happen.
Tony snorted. “Ladies and gentlemen, the king has left the building.”
Bruce rolled his eyes, but gave Tony a wry smile.
When they returned to Darcy’s room, they found She Hulk sitting quietly on the flattened remains of another bed. She’d fortunately turned the thin hospital blankets into a kind of toga dress. It was bad enough for Bruce to end up shirtless, wearing rags. It was worse for Darcy.
It seemed he had new incentive to find or invent some kind of clothing that would last through a transformation.
But to the matter at hand.
Bruce glanced around. It looked like Darcy had transformed on the bed, crushing it, and She Hulk had made herself a dress, but otherwise not moved. The medical staff weren’t even aware that She Hulk had put in an appearance.
Thor and Tony stayed back by the door, ready to call a Code Green, while Bruce slowly approached the bed.
“Hi, She Hulk,” Bruce addressed her.
She Hulk looked at him and smiled, and Bruce was startled by how much she looked like Darcy. The smile was a bit more ferocious than usual, but not by much. Was this how he looked to other people? Like himself just… bigger and green?
She Hulk pretty, Man Hulk informed Bruce.
She Hulk inhaled deeply, then snorted. “Man Hulk,” she said. “Why puny?”
Bruce temporarily couldn’t speak. His thoughts were spinning in too many directions at once – the implications of her remembering things that happened from episode to episode; her obvious at least partial exchange of knowledge with Darcy; her recognition that he and Man Hulk were the same; that she might have identified him by scent; in what ways her abilities might differ from Man Hulk’s, and how many of the differences would be predicated on gender or the different circumstances surrounding their manifestation….
“Oh,” Bruce said when She Hulk growled at him impatiently. “I’m Bruce right now. Just like how you’re sometimes Darcy.”
She Hulk took a moment to think that over. Then she nodded. “Darcy get scared, She Hulk come so Darcy not be scared. She Hulk go to sleep, Darcy come back. Man Hulk come when Bruce get scared?”
Fear? Fear was Darcy’s trigger, rather than anger? Bruce wasn’t sure if that was better or worse. Only time would tell.
“Something like that,” Bruce told She Hulk, edging closer to her with the vague idea of taking some readings since she seemed so cooperative. “Man Hulk comes when I get angry. Was Darcy scared? Is that why you’re here now?”
Noticing his not-as-subtle-as-he-thought approach, She Hulk scooped him up in one arm and sat him in her lap. Then she started to pet his hair, much as he’d seen her do to Tony in the security video. Bruce felt himself blush as he tried not to get a face full of cleavage. “Darcy get scared when Bruce leave. She Hulk come. No one here. She Hulk wait for Bruce to come back.”
“And you didn’t smash anything?”
She Hulk started to stroke her hand from the top of Bruce’s head all the way down his spine, like he was a particularly strange breed of lapdog. It was weirdly nice. Bruce tried not to think about it.
She Hulk gave him a look. “Why smash? She Hulk not stupid like Man Hulk. She Hulk not stupid like Bruce. Not smash everything. She Hulk do what Darcy scared to do. She Hulk be like Black Widow.”
Bruce had to do some yoga breathing to stave off his excitement, to keep his heart from beating fast enough to trigger a transformation. He was just so relieved that so far, Darcy’s alter ego seemed much more manageable than his own. “So you’d let Black Widow teach you what to smash and what not to smash?”
She Hulk put on her thinking face again, a crease between her dark brows and her plump, green lips puckered. Then she nodded. “She Hulk be like Black Widow.” She gave Bruce another of her terrifying smiles. “Bruce like pets? Man Hulk like pets. Is good. She Hulk like to give pets. Darcy like to give pets, but too scared, so She Hulk do it.”
She Hulk nodded and pointedly stroked her hand down Bruce’s back. Flustered, Bruce squirmed in her lap and said, “Oh, uh. Thank you. It’s nice.”
Sniggering from the direction of the door made Bruce remember that Tony was listening. He squeezed his eyes shut and pinched the bridge of his nose.
“She Hulk, do you think you could let Darcy come back now?” Bruce asked in as even a voice as he could manage.
She Hulk stopped petting him. “Bruce not like She Hulk?”
There was a dangerous edge there. Bruce hastened to reassure her. “No, no, I like you! It’s just that we need to go somewhere, and you’re a little too big to fit in the car this way.”
She Hulk squinted at him and breathed deeply, and Bruce got the uncanny sensation that she’d be able to tell if he was lying. But she appeared satisfied with the answer he gave. “Is okay. She Hulk like Man Hulk have big arms. Strong. She Hulk like strong. Darcy like Bruce have fluffy hair. Is fair. Sharing.”
And with that, She Hulk started to shrink at such a rapid rate that Bruce didn’t have time to move or steady himself. Instead, he wound up sprawled over a mostly naked Darcy, who frowned up at him. “What?” she asked.
Then the stress on her body took its toll, and she passed out.
It seemed that all Darcy had done lately was wake up places without any idea how she’d gotten there. She wasn’t in SHIELD medical anymore. Nope, now she was ensconced in the center of an enormous squishy bed, in what appeared to be a luxury apartment. Hey, maybe the whole kidnapping and She Hulk thing was just a dream, and she really did just drink too much and go home with some dude. Maybe she slept with Tony. She could be totally fine with having slept with Tony. It would be super awkward, but still…
But when she flung the blankets off, she found she was dressed in a set of SHIELD issue sweats, so that pointed to the whole She Hulk thing being a Thing That Happened, and that meant she could hulk out any second and hurt people and she was probably going to suck at controlling it because she’d never really been good at being still, and it seemed like deep meditation would require being still and Bruce would probably get annoyed with having to help her eventually and –
The bedroom door opened and Bruce entered. He’d changed into a pair of grey pajama pants and a purple t-shirt. Purple looked good on him.
“JARVIS told me you were awake,” Bruce said, coming to sit on the bed. He was watching her carefully, like she might be about to hulk out, which just made Darcy feel like a time bomb. Seriously, if he kept looking at her like that she was going to start freaking out, then she was going to hulk out and then he would have to hulk out and –
“Darcy,” Bruce said in his calmest Zen voice. “We’re in the sub-basement of the tower. The walls are reinforced adamantium. If we leave this apartment, there’s plenty of space for both of our, um, hulks to be contained until we change back. You’re safe here. Other people are safe from us here.”
Darcy didn’t realize she’d been gasping for air until she started calming down, taking deeper breaths.
It was all going to be fine. Bruce said so, and Bruce was pretty much as good as Thor at this point. Darcy let out a long sigh and buried her face in her hands.
“Sorry for being such a spaz. I’d say it won’t happen again, but it probably will.”
The mattress dipped as Bruce shifted closer to her. His hand was warm on her back, even through her clothes. He stroked his fingers up and down her spine, occasionally making little circles with his thumb. If Darcy hadn’t been so exhausted, it probably would have been sexy. As it was, it was really soothing.
“You’re not a spaz, Darcy. You’re doing a lot better than anyone could expect.”
Bruce had never touched her before. Darcy wondered if it was because he wasn’t as afraid of hurting her now that she had her own personal hulk, or if he was just trying to keep her calm. Did he mind?
Well whatever. He better not mind. She was awesome, and she had an awesome rack, even in hulk form, and she deserved hugs. Deciding to take the back stroking as permission, Darcy plastered herself to Bruce’s side, burying her face in his chest and breathing him in. He smelled nice, like soap and the Science Sisters Lab. Maybe other people wouldn’t like Lab Smell, but Darcy had been indoctrinated to the point of associating it with good things like kittens and cookies.
Bruce went stiff and Darcy looked up at him, lip caught between her teeth, daring him to push her away. Bruce smiled tightly, resuming stroking her back. “Sorry,” he said. “I’m not used to…” he shrugged.
It was cool. Darcy got it. Bruce was normally very No Touchy for good, Hulk-shaped reasons, which she had tried to respect despite being a naturally tactile person. Tony was the only one who routinely got all up in Bruce’s space, and that was twenty percent showing Bruce he had better control than he thought, thirty percent trying to make sure Bruce knew he was wanted, and fifty percent Tony wanting to have Bruce’s Science Babies, Darcy was pretty sure.
“Yeah, I know,” Darcy told him. “I guess I’ll have to get used to that too. You know. Having a bigger personal space bubble. But hey, at least I can still be all over you, right?”
Bruce’s arm sort of spasmed, like seriously he was having a localized seizure. Darcy watched his face. “Unless you don’t want me to? I mean, I always figured the no touching thing you had going on was because of the Hulk. Man Hulk, I mean. But since I’m pretty hulky myself now, I’m safe to touch, right? Cause even if you get surprised or horny or whatever and hulk out, I can just counter-hulk out and be totally fine.”
Now Bruce sounded like he was choking, and he was blushing. Darcy’d made sophisticated science genius Bruce Banner blush. Score!
“Horny? How did you…? That was never made public knowledge.”
Darcy laughed at him. “Dude, I spend a lot of time on the internet. A. Lot. You don’t know what else people post about the Avengers.”
Now Bruce had New Discovery-face. It was a mixture of horror and curiosity, with a sprinkling of wonder. “People on the internet theorize about my sex life?”
Darcy shrugged. “I know, right.”
Bruce insisted that Darcy have the bed and that he’d be fine on the couch. After Darcy saw the couch, and how comfy it was, she stopped arguing with him. Neither of them were hungry, and apparently it was late, so after Bruce showed Darcy how to flee into the Hulk Containment Area in the event of freak out, they retreated to their separate rooms and went to sleep.
Darcy had nightmares.
She couldn’t remember what they were about when she woke up, but she knew they had to be pretty bad since she got up three times on the verge of a hulk out and went to stare at Bruce like a creeper until she calmed down. Somehow, in the past twenty-four hours, he’d become her safe place.
Eventually she gave up on going back to bed, owned up to the fact that she was apparently Edward Cullen now, and watched Bruce sleep.
He looked cute, all curled in on himself, his hands tucked under his chin. Bruce scrunched himself up in sleep, like he was trying to take up the least amount of space possible. His fluffy mad scientist hair was sticking up every which way.
Darcy started to smooth it back, but stopped herself before her fingers could make contact. There was creepy sleep watching, and then there was Creepy Sleep Watching. She needed to not cross that line.
Bruce like pets, She Hulk’s voice rumbled in Darcy’s head.
“Fuck it,” Darcy muttered.
She sat down on the couch, pulled Bruce’s head into her lap, and stroked his hair.
Bruce woke up to the feeling of fingers in his hair. He gave a contented little hum, rolling to snuggle closer to the warm body he was partially wrapped around.
Bruce cracked his eyes open and got a close up view of a few strands of dark hair and the underside of a breast. Fortunately (unfortunately?), it was a clothed breast.
Bruce sat up and scooted away, bunching his blankets in his lap so that Darcy wouldn’t notice the tightening in his groin that was partly her proximity and partly the usual morning vasodilation of erectile tissue.
… Somehow, thinking in science terms didn’t do anything to make seeing Darcy first thing in the morning any less sexy. Bruce needed to get a handle on this attraction to her before he did something stupid and unforgivable.
“Good morning, Doc,” Darcy said, giving him a smile that was interrupted by a jaw cracking yawn.
“Good morning,” Bruce echoed, befuddled and groping for his glasses. Darcy handed them to him.
“So I can see you’re trying to figure out how you woke up all cuddled up to me, so I’m just going to admit to creeping on you. It’s all part of my nefarious plan to steal your virtue.”
Bruce snorted, startled into a laugh. “I’m afraid you’re a little late for that.”
“Damn!” Darcy snapped her fingers, making a show of being dismayed. “I should have realized. I mean, you do hang with Tony Stark. What's that even like, anyway? I mean...”
Speaking of Tony, as Darcy continued on at a ramble, Bruce started to get the feeling that Darcy had the same gift of chattering about anything and everything except whatever was bothering her. There was no pause for breath, and she was no longer even close to the original topic. So Bruce did the same thing he’d do to Tony.
He put an arm around Darcy’s shoulders and quirked an eyebrow.
“You know how we talked about my trigger being fear? Well I had nightmares. No big deal, but I kept almost hulking out and I could only calm down enough if I could see you, which is stupid and I don’t know why, maybe because it convinced me I wasn’t still you know, kidnapped or whatever... So I came out here and just kind of… stayed, so that I’d be able to see you as soon as I woke up.”
Bruce’s forehead wrinkled, his eyebrows pinching together as he gave Darcy a reassuring squeeze. “Do you want to sleep with me?”
If Darcy hadn’t been dosed with the serum, if she wasn’t weighed down with Bruce’s poisoned blood, she’d be able to find comfort with a friend, or boyfriend. Bruce was a little ashamed to admit that he didn’t know much about her life outside the labs. He’d tried to keep her at a distance, before. But now, well. It wouldn’t be safe for anyone to be near her during a potentially triggering event. Bruce could comfort her. He could offer her this much. It was the least he could do.
Darcy leered at him. “Why Dr. Banner, I didn’t know you felt that way.”
Bruce went red all over when he realized how his offer could be taken. His first instinct was to play along, snap back with something smooth and suggestive, pretend it was a deliberate innuendo, but something about Darcy turned him back into a tongue-tied teenager, barely able to speak to a pretty girl. And she was vulnerable right now. And half his age. “N-not. I meant. Just until you have better control. Not sex, just so you’d be able to see me… Not that I wouldn’t want to, you’re very beautiful, I’m not saying that…”
Bruce trailed off, looking hopefully at the Avengers alarm hanging discreetly in a corner of the room. Now would be a really good time for an order to assemble.
Darcy was laughing, little giggling snorts that she tried to contain with her hands, before she gave up and laughed long and loud. Tears were streaming down her face. “Oh God, Doc. Bruce, you…” more laughter. “Your face…”
Bruce found himself smiling at her as she struggled to get it under control. It was good to see her more herself – Bruce was used to a Darcy who laughed and teased and danced through the lab to whatever music Tony was deafening them all with.
“It’s okay, Doc,” Darcy finally managed to say, patting his leg. “I know what you meant. And yes. That would be really great, if you would do that.” And now she was shy, almost withdrawn.
Bruce put his hand over hers. “JARVIS has put together some reading on meditation techniques for you. I’m going to go up to the lab today. Tony and I are going to try to come up with some kind of material that will grow with us when we change, so that you don’t…”
“End up flashing my great big green tits everywhere? Yeah, gotcha, Doc. I’ll be fine here.”
Bruce really shouldn’t have been so turned on by Darcy saying ‘tits.’
Darcy studied her meditation stuff for two hours before her concentration started flagging. Usually, this was the point in a study session where she’d crank up some rockin’ tunes and dance around to get her blood going, let off some steam before she hit the books again.
But if she got her blood going, she might hulk out.
Somehow, the thought of never being able to rock out by herself in her apartment ever again brought Darcy’s carefully constructed calm crashing down around her ears. She folded in on herself, shaking and gasping, hardly able to believe that the animal noises of despair that filled the room were coming from her.
Maybe it was a side effect of She Hulk. A crying superpower.
Her sobs turned into insane sounding laughter, and great, now she was crying and laughing at the same time. She was actually having hysterics, like a heroine from a period drama.
But she still wasn’t turning any shade of green, so losing her fucking mind didn’t count as a transformation trigger.
Good to know.
JARVIS kept asking if she was alright, and offering to get her things. He informed her that 'Mr. Stark' was in the process of acquiring a horse ranch for her, which JARVIS seemed to think would cheer Darcy up, but she mostly just found confusing. But it was Tony so... whatever.
It was seventeen minutes past one in the afternoon when she felt like she could stop acting like a basket case. She was startled by how much time had passed. She must have been staring into space for quite a while.
She hoped Bruce wouldn’t be disappointed with how little reading she’d done. He’d probably been able to take all the meditation theory stuff in over the course of one afternoon and become a Zen master by the end of the week, with how smart he was.
Darcy really, really didn’t want to disappoint Bruce. She wasn’t blind, she knew she wasn’t a genius and while most of the time she was awesome, sometimes she frustrated the mega minds around her with her inability to understand what the hell they were going on about. She didn’t want being Hulk Jr. to be like that. Bruce was stuck, just as much as she was. He’d never asked for an apprentice monster, and he was too good a guy to send her packing just because she was slow on the uptake.
Darcy went back to her reading, resolved to slog through a little more.
She managed another hour of study before the quiet of the Hulk Apartment started to get to her. There was a reason she was a music junkie – quiet was unnerving, even more unnerving after hours hanging in a torture warehouse that was suffocatingly, ominously quiet.
“Hey JARVIS?” Darcy called.
“Yes, Miss Lewis?”
“He is in lab three with Mr. Stark and Dr. Foster.” JARVIS replied, his coolly accented voice filling the silence in a way that was like scratching an itch. “Would you like me to tell him you require his presence?”
Darcy stood up and stretched, firming her jaw. “No. No, Jarv, that’s okay. I should go up and make sure they’ve all eaten today anyway.”
Her job. She could do that. Get back to something normal, like following Jane around the lab with a plate of Pop-Tarts. And if anything wonky happened, Bruce would be there, and Tony could suit up, and everything would be fine. Darcy wasn’t going to let this beat her.
She exited the Hulk Apartment, went through the Hulk Playground, and got in the (Hulk Sized) elevator.
Darcy made it as far as the hallway outside the science labs before something went wrong.
The few people that she saw were quick to scuttle out of her way, which was kind of annoying, but also a huge relief. At least if anything did happen, she wouldn’t have to worry about anyone being stupid enough to get too close to her.
But of course, there was no accounting for Hawkeye.
She’d like to say that he surprised her by dropping out of an air vent, that what happened was unequivocally his fault. But in reality, all he did was walk up behind her and say, “Hey.” He probably didn’t mean anything by it. He certainly didn’t mean to scare her, he just couldn’t help his goddamn assassin stealth.
Darcy shrieked and jumped a foot in the air, her heart hammering. She could already feel herself greying out, could feel She Hulk pressing right behind her eyes, and she groped frantically at the meditation techniques she’d spent the morning reading about.
But then Clint’s hand was on her shoulder, and Darcy flashed back to being grabbed outside her apartment, and there was no stopping it. He was so close! Too close! What if she hurt him? Oh God oh God oh God, she was going to kill him.
She saw Clint back away, and his lips form words, but at that point, she couldn’t hear what they were.
She Hulk looked down at the little puny Arrow Man and snarled. He scared Darcy! Darcy should not be scared! And he made She Hulk come out where there was nothing to wear as a dress and She Hulk had to be naked, and that made Darcy scared too.
She Hulk growled at Arrow Man, and lunged at him, angry that he had made She Hulk do something that scared Darcy. She Hulk never scared Darcy! She Hulk protected Darcy!
Arrow Man was jumpy and squirmy. He rolled away from She Hulk, and jumped up when She Hulk tried to smash him with her hands. Frustrated, She Hulk roared. “Arrow Man stay still! She Hulk SMASH!”
“Don’t think so, Darce,” Arrow Man shouted back at her. She Hulk ripped a panel of metal off the wall next to her, and hurled it at Arrow Man. He jumped up, but this time She Hulk was ready. She Hulk was smart. She learned. When Arrow Man jumped up, She Hulk reached out and caught him between both hands, holding him up and away from the floor.
Arrow Man kicked his little puny feet. She Hulk laughed at him.
“Arrow Man not so tough without puny arrows.”
“Mr. Barton,” a calm voice came out of nowhere. British, whispered Darcy. Hugh Grant. Harry Potter. “Mr. Stark and the other Avengers are en route. They should arrive in fifty-four seconds.”
“Who that?” She Hulk demanded, whirling in place. She couldn’t smell anyone but Arrow Man. “Where you hiding, talky man?” Confused, she grunted, huffing air just in case she missed Hidey Talky’s smell.
“That’s JARVIS,” Arrow Man said. She Hulk blinked at him. He was so little and light, she’d almost forgotten she was holding him. But now she remembered. She needed to smash Arrow Man so he wouldn’t scare Darcy ever again.
But just when she was starting to squeeze, Little Glow Tony zoomed up and tapped her on the shoulder. He had even more glowies than before. His hands were glowy and his feet were glowy and his chest glowy was extra bright. She Hulk cooed at him. “Pretty pretty Little Glow Tony.”
Arrow Man snorted, and She Hulk started to squeeze him again, smiling to herself when he made a little squeaky noise.
“Hey, hey, hey,” Little Glow Tony said, holding up his hand glowies. “How about we let Clint down, huh? He can’t really do anything to hurt you, so there’s no need to squeeze him like that.”
She Hulk snorted at Little Glow Tony. He was not very smart. She Hulk was smart. “Arrow Man scare Darcy,” she told Little Glow Tony.
“All I did was walk up and say ‘hey.’ I swear!”
“Hey Hawk, maybe you should shut up,” Little Glow Tony said when She Hulk started to squeeze Arrow Man again. There was a popping sound, and Arrow Man made a noise that hurt She Hulk’s ears. She would smash him so he would stop making the noise.
“My Lady, why do you attack the Man of Hawk Eyes? Has he offered you insult?” a booming voice inquired. She Hulk knew that voice. She loved that voice.
She looked over her shoulder to see a big man with a hammer and a pretty red cape. She Hulk beamed. “Thor Thor! She Hulk smash!”
Thor Thor strode down the hallway, and She Hulk turned around so she could watch him. Thor Thor was very pretty. She Hulk liked him. He was not as strong as Man Hulk, but no one was as strong as Man Hulk. She Hulk liked strong.
“The Man of Hawk Eyes is not a fitting opponent for one such as yourself,” Thor Thor was saying. “Perhaps you should let him go, and spar with me instead! I can give you a fight worth your abilities!”
Thor Thor smiled, but She Hulk blinked. Confused. Thor Thor wanted her to smash him? But Thor Thor didn’t do anything. He didn’t scare Darcy. Arrow Man scared Darcy. Thor Thor must not be very smart. She Hulk was smart. She Hulk was the smartest.
“No smash Thor Thor. Thor Thor She Hulk’s friend. Arrow Man scare Darcy. Smash Arrow Man.”
“Sometimes friends scare you without meaning to,” Little Glow Tony was saying, but She Hulk wasn’t paying attention. She Hulk could smell more people coming. Bruce was coming. And Bluecap. And Black Widow!
She Hulk sat down, still holding Arrow Man in her grip. She would ask Black Widow what to do. Black Widow was the only one smarter than She Hulk.
Bluecap and Black Widow came to stand by Thor Thor. Bruce came from the same direction as Little Glow Tony, but She Hulk ignored him. Bruce was puny and stupid and he wouldn’t know what to do.
“Black Widow,” She Hulk said.
Black Widow looked at Bluecap and Thor Thor, but she took a step in front of them. “Yes?”
“Black Widow smart. Black Widow smartest. Arrow Man scare Darcy. She Hulk smash Arrow Man. Right?”
Black Widow tilted her head, staring at She Hulk. She Hulk wanted to pet Black Widow’s pretty red hair.
“Arrow Man is stupid,” Black Widow said. “Arrow Man should have known better than to scare Darcy. But you don’t need to smash him. He will learn. He won’t scare Darcy again.”
She Hulk huffed and thought about that. Man Hulk was not very smart, and Little Glow Tony was not very smart, and Thor Thor was not very smart, and Bruce was not very smart. Arrow Man was the most not very smart. She Hulk wasn’t sure about Bluecap.
She Hulk was smart. Black Widow was smart.
“Men stupid,” She Hulk said.
Black Widow smiled big at She Hulk. “Yes, they are. But they can be trained.”
She Hulk nodded, then she looked at Arrow Man, holding him close to her face. “No scare Darcy! Bad Arrow Man!” She shook him once to make sure he understood, and then she dropped him on the floor.
He yelped, and Black Widow and Bruce went to poke at him.
“New house rule,” Little Glow Tony babbled. “Make noise when you approach Darcy. I can get some collars with bells, if that’ll help.”
She Hulk felt sleepy.
When Darcy came to, someone was holding her. A deep sniff told her it was Bruce. No one else smelled like that kind of soap and the Science Sisters lab. That she knew of, anyway.
Man Hulk, She Hulk rumbled somewhere in the back of Darcy’s brain.
The next thing Darcy realized was that she was naked. There was fabric draped around her back – it looked like Thor’s cape – but her uncovered breasts were pressed against Bruce’s chest.
She couldn’t find it in her to care. She was too busy noticing the wreckage of the hallway, and the fact that a medical team was putting Clint on a stretcher while the rest of the Avengers stood around and glared.
Darcy squeezed her eyes shut.
“Please,” she whispered to Bruce. “Take me back to the basement.”
She spent the rest of the day sitting in the big bed in the Hulk Apartment, staring at the wall.
Bruce came in late that night. Darcy turned to look at him, and he must have seen something in her face, because he slowly climbed into the bed, and even more slowly, like one wrong move would make her hulk out, pulled her into his arms.
“Clint?” she asked. She didn’t recognize her own voice.
“Will be fine,” Bruce said. “He’s got two cracked ribs and some bruises, but otherwise he’s okay.”
Darcy relaxed against Bruce’s chest.
In the morning, Darcy woke in Bruce’s arms. He smiled at her from beneath the fringe of his fluffy hair, and offered to walk with her to the lab.
Darcy said, “That’s okay. I think I’m going to stay here today.”
She didn’t take any calls either. She couldn’t face anyone.
Use of the word 'vasodilation' was inspired by the hilarious scientific method by 100demons.
Chapter 5: Don't Stop Believin'
The next few weeks fell into a routine for Darcy. She stayed in what she had started calling the Hulk Basement, and studied meditation and shit to try to get a handle on She Hulk.
In the mornings, she woke up cuddled up to Bruce, usually with his monster of a cock poking her in the back or the thigh or something. Seriously, he should be called Hulk just for the size of the rocket in his pocket. Darcy never said anything though, because Bruce always blushed and wouldn’t look her in the eye, so it became this big (really big) unspoken thing. Darcy knew that Bruce had a giant dick and that sleeping close to her turned him on, Bruce knew that she knew, they didn’t speak of it.
Sometimes she wondered what he’d say if she told him waking up that way turned her on too, but they had enough shit to deal with without adding sex to the mix. One day, though. One day she was just going to get in the bed naked or something and see what he’d do.
During the day Bruce disappeared up to the Science Sisters lab to work on Project Hide the Hulk Junk, and Darcy did her meditation exercises with JARVIS. It didn’t take her long to figure out that while Bruce needed quiet, relaxing music to help him with control, Darcy needed to feel confident, not calm, to keep She Hulk from coming out. So she made herself a playlist of power ballads, Lady Gaga, and Adam Lambert, and the world could judge her for her tastes all it wanted, her tastes were clearly awesome because they literally soothed the savage beast.
In the afternoons, Bruce would come back and be Darcy’s Yoda for a while. They ate lunch, because Darcy knew he would just eat Jane’s stale Pop-Tart crusts if she didn’t make him something better, and then they meditated together and talked about having a hulk.
“Does yours talk to you inside your head too?” she asked one afternoon. “Or am I just extra crazy?”
Bruce smiled his little wry smile. “We’re all mad here.”
They compared notes on conversing with their counterparts.
On some days, they transformed into Man Hulk and She Hulk and filmed themselves interacting. At Darcy’s suggestion, they started reading up on social behaviors between various types of big apes, and found some promising comparisons. (Darcy’s first suggestion had been to call Jane Goodall, but Bruce didn’t want anyone to know too much about the hulks, and after some thought Darcy agreed.)
“I think it’s like… they’re not separate from us, you know?” Darcy said. “It’s more like they’re what’s leftover of the primal monkey part of our brains, and the transformation just puts that part in the driver’s seat. Look at how Man Hulk defers to She Hulk and brings her things to smash. The bonobos we watched on that Animal Planet documentary did that same posturing thing he does, look.”
Bruce was quiet, turning his glasses over and over in his hands.
He blinked and looked up. “Sorry. I know that they’re us. There’s not really a difference. It’s just… I’ve thought of him as separate from me for so long because – ”
Darcy cut him off with a hug.
“God, you must resent me so much,” she said without meaning to, after several minutes of silence. She immediately wished she could take the words back, because if Bruce did resent her she actually really didn’t want to know about it.
“What?” Bruce gasped, gripping her shoulders and pushing her back far enough so that he could look into her face. “Why would you think that?”
Darcy blinked at him. “Umm, because I take up all your time and I’m constantly whining about being a hulk and I won’t leave the apartment and it’s been so much harder for you. I mean, at least I have you, right? You were all alone for so long, and people hunted you, and – ”
“Darcy,” Bruce interrupted, pushing a strand of her hair behind her ear with one hand. They’d both found that the urge to groom each other sort of carried over from their hulk selves, and had stopped fighting it. “If it wasn’t for me, wasn’t for my blood, this would have never happened to you. If anything, you should resent me.”
Darcy put on her most serious face and reached up to run her thumb over the stubble on Bruce’s cheek. “Yeah, no. You don’t get to add this to your pile of brooding guilt. I’m like this because a bunch of goons kidnapped me and stuck me full of needles. It’s their fault, not yours.”
“But – ”
“Darcy – ”
“I will taze you.”
Bruce was silent, and Darcy smiled. “That’s what I thought.”
Bruce’s lips twitched into an answering smile. He started to turn back to their hulk research, and then paused. “Darcy?”
“You’re right. I was all alone before. But I’m not anymore.”
Darcy gaped for a minute, and then they were hugging again.
Once a week, Natasha called to video chat with Darcy. These chats always ended with Darcy hulking out and She Hulk listening to her precious Black Widow talk about battle strategies and plans. While Darcy was adamant about not leaving the tower, she agreed that it was a good idea to condition She Hulk to find and ask Black Widow for instructions if she was ever thrust into a combat situation. After an almost alien invasion, who knew what could happen, right?
Besides, Natasha was stubborn as fuck and she’d just keep calling back if Darcy hung up on her.
Darcy’s only visitor besides Bruce was Thor. Any attempt to introduce someone soft and squishy into the Hulk Basement, or to make Darcy leave, resulted in a panic attack that had Darcy mean and green in five seconds flat.
Thor was strong though, and he didn’t care if she hulked out. On some days he even asked her to do it so they could arm wrestle, and he could teach She Hulk to fight with a little more finesse than just smashing anything that stood in her way. He came to hang out every Thors-day, just like they had before the whole She Hulk dealio.
“I do not understand why everyone speaks of this as if it were a curse,” Thor said. “You have always been a warrior maiden. Now your strength of arm matches your strength of spirit. What is wrong with this?”
And that was why Thor was awesome.
About four and a half months into Darcy’s voluntary confinement in the Hulk Basement, she was making sandwiches for her and Bruce when the ‘Avengers Assemble’ alarm thing went off.
Darcy turned off the alarm, turned on the TV, and settled on the couch to watch. Knowing that Bruce wasn’t going to be down, she ate his sandwich too.
There was an army of giant robots attacking Brooklyn. Because of course there was.
Darcy sighed. “JARVIS, mute the TV and start playing the She Hulk Lewis Playlist, please.”
So long as she had her tunes, she’d probably be able to watch this without hulking out.
She was wrong. She was totally going to hulk out.
Some kind of pulse ray thing had messed up Iron Man’s suit, and his power kept flickering on and off, effectively grounding him since it would be stupid to fly that way. Hawkeye had fallen off a building, Captain America’s arm looked broken, no one knew where Black Widow was, and Man Hulk was surrounded by so many robots that even he looked overwhelmed.
Her head pulsing, green bleeding into her eyes, Darcy marched toward the door of the Hulk Basement.
This wasn’t the first time she’d been pushed to a hulk out by watching the Avengers on TV, but this time was different. Fear was her trigger, yes, but up until this moment, it had always been fear for herself that turned her mean and green. She feared being alone, hurting people, Bruce getting tired of her; a few times while watching the news, she had freaked that SHIELD was going to expect her to join the Avengers in whatever craziness they were doing and she’d wake up five days later three states away with people parts jammed between her toes.
But this time? This time she was afraid for her friends.
“JARVIS, I’m about an inch from hulking out. I need you to clear the way so that I don’t hurt anyone or break the tower too much.”
“Protocol is to keep you confined to the tower, Miss Lewis.”
“JARVIS!” Darcy protested, her voice already deepening into She Hulk’s low alto.
“… I will see to it that the way is clear, ma’am.”
Darcy nodded, then stripped her shirt and pants off, looking down at the black sports bra and spank shorts the Science Sisters had given her to wear under her clothes just that morning. Here was hoping that the latest Hulk Wear Prototypes held up to the girls.
After that, Darcy faded out to grey.
She Hulk stood in a shiny room. Little puny people were screaming and running. Screaming hurt She Hulk’s ears, so she covered them with her hands.
Then she noticed that she had pretty shiny black clothes. Clothes that matched her hair. Where was Man Hulk? Or Thor Thor? She would show them her clothes and let them call her pretty.
“Hidey Talky,” She Hulk called. “Where Man Hulk? Where Thor Thor?”
Hidey Talky always knew everything.
“Man Hulk and Thor are with the other Avengers, fighting in the streets,” a cool, accented voice told She Hulk. That was Hidey Talky.
A moving picture of Man Hulk and Thor Thor and Little Glow Tony and Bluecap popped up in the air. They were being smashed! No one should smash them!
She Hulk roared at the picture, and swatted at it, but her hand went straight through.
“Hidey Talky! She Hulk smash!”
“Turn to the right, and follow the hall until you see the doors that lead outside. Once you are outside, follow the sounds of… smashing. That is where they are. Do not hurt any of the little people on the way. Darcy would be very upset. Darcy would be scared.”
She Hulk nodded. “No scare Darcy. Good Hidey Talky!”
Then she dropped to all fours and took off at a lope.
It did not take so long to find the team. She Hulk followed the sounds of smashing, just like Hidey Talky said, and she tried hard not to squish any little puny people or their little puny things. But she wasn’t sure what she should smash. Should she smash robots that were smashing team? She wanted to smash the robots, but She Hulk was smart, and she remembered the time she had wanted to smash Arrow Man, but that wasn’t the right thing to do. She Hulk didn’t smash everything like Man Hulk.
She Hulk followed her nose until she found Black Widow. It was easy. Black Widow always smelled like gunpowder and flowers and something on fire.
“Black Widow!” She Hulk shouted, squatting down so she wouldn’t be scary. “She Hulk be like Black Widow. Tell She Hulk what smash.”
Black Widow smiled a vicious smile and She Hulk smiled back. Then Black Widow climbed up to sit on She Hulk’s shoulders, and she told She Hulk what to smash.
And She Hulk did.
When the battle was over, She Hulk put Black Widow down next to Arrow Man and went to stand by Man Hulk.
Man Hulk smiled at her.
“She Hulk smash,” he said.
“Man Hulk smash,” She Hulk said. She gave Man Hulk pets, and picked dirt out of his hair. Man Hulk gave a roar of triumph and sat in front of She Hulk so she could reach his hair better.
“Man Hulk smash the most,” Man Hulk said. She Hulk gave him more pets.
“Man Hulk strong,” She Hulk agreed. She didn’t care that Man Hulk smashed more. Man Hulk was strong. She Hulk was smart. “She Hulk like Man Hulk strong.”
When she was done cleaning Man Hulk’s hair, She Hulk sat in front of Man Hulk so that he could clean hers. She leaned back against his chest and went to sleep.
Darcy woke up in a pile of rubble, wearing her magic stretchy black bra and spanky shorts. Bruce was wrapped around her, holding her, wearing his own version of Hulk Wear – skintight black pants. His fluffy hair was curling over his forehead. Darcy sproinged the curl.
“Now this is cute.”
Darcy looked up to see Tony staring down at them, douchebag sunglasses perched on his nose. His helmet was missing and the Iron Man suit was pretty banged up.
Darcy rolled her eyes. “Shut up, Little Glow Tony.”
Tony smirked. “Good to have you back, Lewis. Does this mean that you’re going to stop being a hermit?”
Darcy shrugged, looking down when Bruce started to stir. “I guess. So long as I didn’t smash anything I shouldn’t have.”
“You didn’t,” Natasha joined them, somehow still looking like a supermodel even though she’d just been through a battle. “She Hulk is very good at following directions.”
“Your directions, maybe.” Captain America looked a little worse for the wear. His right arm was dangling at his side, and his faced was bruised and covered in a dozen small cuts. “When I tried, she just said, ‘She Hulk be like Black Widow, smash what Black Widow say smash.’”
Tony sniffed. “I’m still her favorite.”
Bruce groaned and opened his eyes. He blinked up at Darcy, a slow, private smile stretching his lips.
“Hey,” he said.
“Hey,” Darcy answered.
Bow chicka wow wow, came the sound of porno music. Darcy’s head snapped up, and she glared at Tony.
“I’m sorry,” he said, nonchalant. “Was this a bad time to mess with my ring tone?”
And now Bruce was pulling away from Darcy and glowering at Tony. Darcy got up and put her hands on her hips. “Tony Stark, you are the absolute worst, and I am telling Thor on you as soon as he gets here.”
Like she’d called him (and Darcy never was sure how much of a god he really was. Did he feel it when people mentioned his name?), Thor landed where they had all gathered. “What is it you wish to tell me, Lady Darcy?”
Darcy spun to face him. “Tony is the worst.”
Thor tilted his head. “The worst at what?”
Darcy threw up her hands.
“Incoming,” Hawkeye – Clint – said, materializing from… somewhere. Darcy was proud of herself for only jumping about a foot in the air, instead of say, hulking out and tossing Clint over a skyscraper.
Clint nudged Darcy with his shoulder. “You ready for your first press conference as an Avenger, Darce?”
This was the first time Darcy had seen Clint since she sent him to the medical bay, and for a split second she thought she was going to transform. She had to hum the first few lines of Smash Mouth’s All Star to stave it off.
Once she had it under control, she looked at the people standing around her. Tony, with his stupid sunglasses and broken down armor, Natasha with her perfect everything, Captain America – Steve, she needed to call him Steve – with his puppy eyes and broken arm, Bruce with his Don’t Look At Me slouch and tight Hulkpants, Thor with his awesomeness and enthusiasm for pretty much everything, and finally, Clint, with his arrows and his super cut arms of death.
“Am I an Avenger?” she heard herself ask in a small voice.
“You fought like one today,” Natasha said. It meant the most, coming from her.
But I’m just Darcy, some incredulous part of her protested. Not a genius, not an assassin. Just plain Darcy.
Shut up, She Hulk said.
Darcy took a deep breath. She Hulk was totally right. Darcy was awesome. And she was an Avenger.
“Hell yeah, let’s go do this press conference thing,” Darcy grinned at them all. She went to stand by Bruce, because hulks needed to stick together. “I need a fake name though, so people don’t go after my mom.”
They started walking, Tony supporting Steve on his uninjured side. “Already taken care of. JARVIS hacked your files weeks ago. You’re Diana Lane.”
Darcy swatted Bruce on the shoulder. “You told him about my comic books!”
Bruce did not make apology-face. In fact, his face was the complete opposite of apology-face.
“You’ll never prove that,” he told her. “Tony is a snoop. He could have just found out on his own.”
“He couldn’t have known my two favorite comic women though,” Darcy huffed, sticking her nose in the air. “I take it back. Tony isn’t the absolute worst. You are.”
“The worst at what?” Thor asked again.
The morning after Darcy’s debut as an Avenger, she woke up, as she usually did, with Bruce’s monster penis twitching against her ass.
Deep breaths, lady. Time to put on your big girl panties. You’re an Avenger.
This time, instead of pretending not to notice Bruce’s throbbing wood (like anyone could possibly miss this python, seriously dude was hung like an ox), Darcy rolled over to face Bruce, and very purposefully thrust her hips forward.
Bruce’s eyes widened to the size of dinner plates.
“Here’s what we’re going to do,” Darcy told him. “We’re going to get up and brush our teeth, because morning breath isn’t sexy, and then we are getting back in this bed and fucking until we hulk out. And then we’ll probably keep fucking, because Man Hulk has wanted to tap that since the first time he saw She Hulk, and he’s pretty cut, so she’s down with it.”
She Hulk like Man Hulk. Strong.
I know, right, Darcy thought back.
Darcy put her hand over Bruce’s mouth.
“Yeah, no. Look, I’m a pretty straight forward girl, and while that ‘will they, won’t they’ bullshit is great on TV, in real life it sucks. So let’s cut the crap. I like you. You like me. I think you’re sexy. You think I’m sexy. We’ve been doing this whole Master and Padawan thing long enough that I think we can both be confident that we like each other as people, and not just because we’re the only two hulks. But hey, speaking of the hulks, that’s a bonus: Our hulks like each other, and we don’t have to be terrified of squishing each other during sex. So unless you just aren’t that into me, I don’t see why we shouldn’t do this.”
Darcy took her hand away from Bruce’s lips. “You may speak now.”
Bruce frowned at her. “Thank you.”
“No prob, Doc.”
“Darcy… I’m old enough to be your father.”
“Doesn’t bother me if it doesn’t bother you.”
“Because you’re young, and beautiful, and funny, and you can do better than a scientist with grey in his hair.”
Darcy kissed his temple. “I like the grey. A lot.”
Bruce pulled back. “I – really?”
“Really really,” Darcy giggled.
Bruce made a visible effort to pull himself together. Darcy could feel his cock twitching, and felt her lips twitch in response.
“You asked for reasons why we shouldn’t do this. How about the fact that it’s my fault you have to deal with She Hulk?”
Darcy rolled her eyes and groaned. “Oh my Thor, I’m a hulk because of the jerkwads who kept stabbing me in the neck with needles. Next.”
“Out of reasons there, Brucey?”
“Is it because I’m immature? Not smart enough?”
“What?! No! Why would you think that?”
Darcy shrugged. “It’s why I never asked you out before. I thought you were out of my league.” She met Bruce’s eyes. “You don’t have to make up some crazy reason why we won’t work. If you don’t want to, you don’t want to, and that’s fine. We’ll still be bros.”
Bruce took a deep breath, looking at a fixed point over Darcy’s shoulder. “It wouldn’t be just sex. For me.”
Darcy broke into hysterical giggles and booped Bruce on the nose when he looked at her. “What do you think I’m angling for? I want to be your girlfriend.”
“What? I – ”
“Chill, Man Hulk. We’re going to be awesome. Now come on. Let’s brush our teeth and have us some monster sex. Then you can take me out for lunch. I think if you’re with me, I’ll be able to hold it together long enough to eat something without turning green.”
When Darcy and Bruce left the Hulk Basement, Darcy decided to wear one of Bruce’s shirts because he was her boyfriend and everyone on the planet should know that, so that Darcy wouldn’t have to hulk out and smash any bitches. (Bruce seriously underestimated his sex appeal. Darcy was considering getting him a t-shirt that said ‘Property of Darcy,’ just to get the message across. Or ooohh, hey, maybe she could bribe Tony to put it across the ass of Bruce’s Hulkpants.)
Speaking of Tony, he was getting on the elevator as they were getting off. He just glanced at them at first, nodding a hello. Darcy could see the moment he realized and did a double take, a look of unholy glee coming over his face at Darcy wearing Bruce’s shirt, and the hickey on Bruce’s neck he couldn’t quite hide under his collar.
“Why Big Green,” Tony said with a smarmy smirk. (A smarmirk?) “I’m so proud of you.”
“Oh my God,” Bruce moaned, tilting his head back to stare at the ceiling.
“So do you do it the regular way? Or is it more like they do on the Discovery Channel? Is there giant green gorilla sex, is what I’m getting at here.”
“Why?” Bruce addressed to the ceiling.
“I don’t know, sir,” JARVIS answered. “He’s always been like this.”
Darcy swatted Tony on the arm, and then she winked at him. “Let’s just say, that if the tower starts rocking…”
Tony choked on a laugh. “Oh my God. Oh, this is the best. Hulks are my favorite.”
“You’re right,” Bruce whimpered. “He is the absolute worst.”
Thank you everyone for reading! I had a lot of fun with this, and your comments really brightened my day. :3
And don't worry: I'm not done with Darcy and Bruce yet. You will get your Pony Ranch scene eventually. It just didn't make it into this fic. ^_^