[Fandom: MCU, Post-Endgame
Characters: Loki, Thor, Professor Hulk
Author’s note: This is a fan-work, meant for enjoyment only, and not for any material profit.]
Somewhere, in one of the many dimensions, this happens.
First, there are introductions: “You’re dead, in my world.” “Funny, you’re dead in mine.” “Thanos?” “Thanos.” “I hate that guy.”
Hulk has a rather large pile of sandwiches in front of him. He pauses in the middle of eating one of them. “If it’s any consolation, Thanos is dead too, in this world.”
Loki smiles. “Why do you think I came here?”
Loki is eyeing the sandwiches. Hulk, remembering that he was fairly hungry, after they took him prisoner in 2012, offers him one. Apparently, this wasn’t why he was looking at them, though, because he refuses.
“So…” How do you make conversation with people who should, by rights, be dead? Apparently, with awkward small-talk, because that’s what Hulk finds himself using now. “What’s new?” He stops, because all he can think of to say next is, “How do you like not being dead?”
Loki takes up the slack, though. He’s still looking at the sandwiches. “You really need to eat all those?”
Hulk shrugs. “Well, I’m big.”
“Yes, I see.” Loki looks at him too. He looks him up and down, with a speculative expression. For a long time, he says nothing, and then, finally, “You used to be Banner, though, did you not?”
“I was Banner as well as Hulk, yeah.”
“But Banner did not eat like that.” Loki gestures at the sandwiches. “And yet you fared well enough,” he says. “Did you not?”
Where is this going? Even Professor Hulk can get confused sometimes, and right now, he’s confused. “What are you getting at, Loki?” He grasps for any idea he can come up with. “Are you afraid I’ll get fat?”
Loki’s face changes. It is the fat thing, isn’t it? “I wouldn’t say afraid,” he says, and he smiles.
After this, there comes a story. “My brother…” Loki’s face still has that same, kind of funny smile. “Do you know how much he must have eaten, to gain any weight at all? The ale alone wouldn’t have done it.”
“You’re saying you think I could get fat too?”
“Oh, I don’t know.” Loki’s smile turns into a smirk. “Don’t you want to find out?”
Apparently, inside of Professor Hulk, regular old Hulk still lives, and he’s still as competitive as ever. This, the Professor learns, somewhat unexpectedly.
“I found my brother…” This is Loki, speaking. “He was on a quest of some kind,” he says, “accompanied by a green woman, a small animal, and a tree. Once he found out that his beloved brother yet lives…” There’s that smirk again. “Naturally, I was able to change his plans. Once he found that he can spend time with me instead, he was quite delighted.”
Thor looks delighted. He also looks somewhat confused. Maybe his brother didn’t mention that Hulk would be here? He looks at Loki. “You mentioned an eating contest?”
“A friendly competition,” Loki says. “Not only are you two the most powerful beings, in this World Without Thanos, but, I would venture to say, you are also the ones who can eat the most.”
“Without getting fat?” Thor knows, already, that he can get fat, so, naturally, he’s going to bring this up.
Loki looks up at the ceiling, in the most offhand way possible. “Hulk says he can’t get fat.”
That did it. There’s Thor now, ready for whatever comes. “You mean he hasn’t gotten fat yet,” he says.
“I don’t know.” Loki still sounds so innocent. It’s insane. “He says he can’t, and, so far, he hasn’t.”
“If I can’t eat more than that green egghead, and keep my figure…”
This is when Old Hulk comes to the fore: “Hulk, eat!” the erstwhile Professor finds himself yelling, and, what’s more, he means it.
Two tables: Burgers, (These, apparently, were Thor’s favorite food, while drunk) and pie (because Hulk’s favorite food has always been pie). Lots of burgers, lots of whole pies, all kinds, and two men, both of them with bibs on, that Loki found somewhere, that have “I’m a Big, Hungry Boy” printed on them. Loki seems to find this whole thing hilarious. Let him. Hulk’s going to win this today, no problem.
“Ale too.” This is Thor. “A man can’t eat all this, without something to wash it down.”
“None for me,” Professor Hulk begins, “the ale will take up valuable space in my stomach.”
“You afraid I’ll beat you with the ale?” Thor taunts.
Fine. Apparently, Hulk drink, too.
Both of them start out. Size-wise, Hulk definitely has the advantage. One burger is hardly even a bite for him, and, as for a pie? Two bites at most. The burgers are delicious, fresh-grilled and juicy, and the ale, which tastes like Sam Adams, is the perfect accompaniment. The pies are incredible, flaky crusts, some with sweet-tart, fruity fillings, others filled with custard, or, a few, with chocolate-y ice cream…
Hulk realizes that he’s taking too much time to savor, when he happens to look over at Thor’s table. He is going to town. Those burgers are going into him, one, two, three bites, and there’s another one gone. As for the pies, they are going on him and in him. Thor’s a mess, of blueberry juice, custard cream, and burger dribbles, but he is making progress with that food, there’s no doubt about that. Hulk will have to step up his game.
For awhile after that, it’s both of them eating. Eat-eat-eat, gobble-gobble-gobble, munch-munch-munch. Sometimes it’s drink-drink-drink of the ale, if they need a break. Good thing Hulk doesn’t get drunk, because the empty mugs are starting to pile up. Is Thor getting drunk maybe, Hulk finds himself wondering? That would make it easier…
He stops himself. That wouldn’t. Hulk can out-eat anybody, any time, anywhere, and without gaining any weight at all.
How the whole thing ends? They run out of food. It’s about four in the afternoon, both of their tables have been overturned, and the two warriors sit, replete, among the wreckage, both of them licking sticky fingers, and occasionally letting out a loud belch.
“Actually, you ran out several hours ago,” Loki tells them. “I have been conjuring illusion-food for you, since then.”
“Indeed?” Thor sounds like he might want to take offense, but he can’t. Hulk can’t either, he’s just too full. “Who won, brother?”
Loki shrugs his shoulders. “I have no idea.” Another of those evil grins. “I was having too much fun watching you,” he says. “I couldn’t possibly keep track.”
Irritation stirs, somewhere at the back of Hulk’s overfed mind. Thor seems to be struggling to get angry as well. He manages a scowl. “You mean we did all that for nothing?”
“No.” Loki’s grin widens. “I tested my hypothesis.” He points. “Apparently, Hulk can gain weight.”
He can’t. He’d better not be able to. One thing that’s always separated Professor Hulk from the old-school, unimproved version? He had dignity, at least. And so, at first, he looks over at Thor. That Asgardian warrior now has quite a tummy on him again, like he did before. And as for himself… Oh god, oh god, let it not be so!
Before Hulk can look at himself, he hears a shout of laughter, coming from Thor. “Indeed, brother, you are right!” He’s pointing. And now Hulk does look down. Oh god, his stomach is tremendous.
“I knew it.” Loki’s grin is gone, replaced by his usual snotty smirk. “Stands to reason. Too many calories in, and you get this.” He pokes… He is actually poking Hulk’s belly! Oh, where is the old, angry Hulk, when he’s needed? “I think it’s cute,” Loki says.
Thor, irritatingly enough, agrees with him. “I do too, brother,” he says.