Bruce got the email with the schedule and sighed. Sure enough, he was scheduled to meet with Steve Rogers in the gym for "training/sparring".
In truth, every team member was paired up with other team members, but he was surprised to see himself on the roster.
At 9am he dutifully showed up in an old t-shirt and his yoga pants. Rogers was in sweats.
"Doctor Banner, thank you for coming," Rogers began.
Bruce ducked his head and shrugged. "To be honest, Cap, I'm not sure why I'm here. Are you expecting me to bring the Other Guy out for you to train with?"
"Nah. I have Thor to throw me around like a rag doll. I have something else in mind."
"Well, if you want to spar with little ol' me, I just have to tell you that it's a terrible idea. You'd kick my ass, then the Other Guy will come and kick YOUR ass..."
Rogers smirked. "Yeah, I figured it would go that way. Let me explain. Doctor Banner, I've seen the footage of you dodging trained soldiers, and I've read your file. You escaped detection for years on the run, and neatly slipped out of government hands more than once. I spoke to Romanov, and she admitted that she had to lay a trap to get you because she couldn't get close to you any other way."
Bruce raised an eyebrow. "So?"
"So I was thinking that maybe you could show me some moves."
"You want me to teach Captain America how to run away and be a fugitive? How unpatriotic."
"Nope. I want you to train Steve Rogers in stealth and strategic retreat." Rogers put his hand out. "Whadya say?"
Bruce considered him for a long moment. Then he took his hand. "Worth a shot."
The Captain grinned. "Good man."
Bruce ran them both through stretching exercises that Bruce was sure pushed Rogers harder than he expected. Bruce explained Yoga as they went and offered to do sunrise yoga with him before his morning run.
Once they were both limbered up, Bruce took Rogers to the hallway outside the gym. There were boxes left over from the deliveries of new equipment, some of which hadn't been unpacked yet. Bruce examined them all carefully and then grinned at Rogers.
"Ok, so here's something you might not have been taught in basic training."
What followed was a basic tutorial on Parkour. Steve had some good moves from military obstacle course training and actually fighting in a war, but Bruce started to show him new ways to "see" urban infrastructure.
At the end of their scheduled time, the Captain was breathing heavily and grinned at Bruce with a twinkle in his eye. "Wow. You play harder than I thought, Doc."
"Might as well start calling me Bruce, Cap."
"All right, Bruce. Call me Steve."
"Sure. Tomorrow, sunrise Yoga. Then we'll take this down to the street."
"Deal. I'll change the schedule accordingly."
Steve loved this new obstacle training. Banner really knew some useful tricks and showed Steve how sometimes a blind alley is not so blind after all. They hopped over fences, climbed brick walls, and used the remains of rickety fire escapes to find new ways through the underbelly of the city. It became an elaborate game of hide-and-go-seek, with Banner sometimes telling him to find him in central park, or to hide from him in Times Square. Once Banner pointed out a homeless person and when Steve turned around, Banner was just gone. Steve looked for him everywhere but he had simply vanished.
Back at the Gym, Banner had turned up with hotdogs and a grin. "I got you a meditation dog; one with everything," he said, offering Steve the bun.
"When did you get this?"
"When you were phoning in that you lost me."
"The hot dog cart, over by the guy selling knock-off Avengers merchandise."
"I looked right at that cart!"
"Damn, man. You're as good as Romanov."
"Nah, she'd have brought you a report of every move you made on the way back to the tower. Or worse, she'd have managed to influence what you did. Heck, if I'd been her, you'd have been the one to bring back the dogs and you'd never know why you did it."
Steve shook his head. "You're not wrong, Bruce."
"So next time, you disappear on me."
"Ok. I'll give it a try."
Steve never did manage to get the drop on Bruce, but each time Bruce gave him good feedback.
"You need to keep a ball cap with you. Something nice and generic in your pocket. Just duck down and put it on your head. Nothing too new or unusual." Banner produced just such a ball cap as he said it, and showed Steve how to put it on without making a fuss.
"Hoodies are the best thing. They're popular so lots of people wear them, they help disguise the shape of your shoulders, and you can pull up the hood or drop it down to shift the way you look."
One day Bruce handed him some white headphones. "Even if you don't have them plugged into anything, you can tuck the other end into your pocket and just be some kid jamming to his tunes."
"Jamming? Do you mean dancing?"
"Nah, just bob your head slightly. Like this. It's all about looking casual, like you belong."
"I'm not good at that."
Bruce nodded then looked up at him, sideways. "It's not about actually fitting in, otherwise I'd be in a cage somewhere. It's about faking it. Watch the people around you. Every city has its own flavor, and the key is to figure that out and blend in."
"But sometimes you have to run."
"Sometimes you have to run."
And the running was amazing. Bruce always took him on a new route, and at first Steve thought that they were doing courses that Bruce was already familiar with, but after the first week the doctor had him choose their path each day.
And then there was the time when they accidentally caught a burglar.
They were doing their thing, running down alley after alley when a guy jumped off of a fire escape right in front of Bruce. Bruce swerved to miss him and caught the edge of his sleeve on a dumpster. As he struggled to right himself, the guy pushed him, hard, and then grabbed the front of his hoodie.
Steve was there immediately, and said, "Hey! Watch where you're going, buddy."
The guy pushed Bruce down into some boxes piled next to the dumpster and faced Steve with a gun in his hand, snarling.
The next thing he knew, the boxes slammed into him and he heard a roar. Steve grabbed for the guy's gun but was pushed out of the way, and then something big and green blurred past him.
Steve watched in fascination while The Hulk roared, running down the alleyway. The guy with the gun was on the ground, under several of the boxes. His gun was nowhere to be found, so Steve picked the guy up and set him on his feet. "What the hell is wrong with you?" he asked.
The guy just stared after the green giant. Steve saw a glitter on the pavement and picked up a handful of gold chains.
"I'm going to have to go ahead and make a citizen's arrest, here, sir." Steve snatched a piece of twine from the tangle of cardboard. "Come with me. The Police station is about three blocks that way." Steve tied the guys hands together and frog-marched him to the station.
On the way, Steve contacted Stark and let him know that someone needed to find and calm down the Hulk.
Stark sassed him, but agreed to handle the situation. Somehow he turned it into a publicity stunt for the Avengers and even managed to get some very charming pictures of the Hulk posing with schoolchildren.
The next morning, Steve was surprised to see Bruce at the gym.
"Sorry about the incident, Cap."
"Hey, it's no problem. Turns out that perpetrator was burglarizing buildings in the area. By knocking the gun out of his hand and scrambling his eggs, I was able to turn him over to the police with a minimum of fuss. Most of his victims from that day were able to get their stuff back. You're a hero."
"Yeah, but that doesn't excuse my... overreaction. The property damage alone..."
"Wasn't all that much, and besides, the Hulk gave me some interesting new ideas."
"Well, I guess it's because of our recent training together, but he was using your Parkour methods while he was running down the alley."
"You bet. Until he found something he couldn't leap around."
"Then what happened?"
"He smashed through it."
"It was something to see. He never slowed down once, until Iron Man showed up."
"Tony has threatened me with the footage."
"We should watch it together. I think we could make a new form of Parkour."
"How do you mean?"
"Run, run, use momentum to carry you over and around things, and when you can't... Smash!"
The next year, when Steve was chasing the Winter Soldier, he couldn't help but think of Bruce.