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What to Expect When You Never Expected To Be Expecting

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Hetty was sitting reading a magazine at Genevieve’s bedside as she slept. She wasn’t exactly expecting her phone to ring but it wasn’t unexpected either. What WAS unexpected was the fact that Owen Granger was calling her.

“Oh Bugger” she sighed-getting up and walking outside and taking a few steps from the room before she answered.

“Hello Owen” she said as she answered.

“Henrietta” Owen said “How’s Genevieve?” he asked.

“Her recovery is progressing-whatever they hit her with has some unknown properties that’s slowing her healing time” she said.

“I am sure SHEILD is having a field day with that” he said.

“It’s nothing they don’t deal with on a day to day basis” Hetty replied-waiting for Owen to get to the real reason for his call.

“Well something has landed on my desk that I thought you should have a heads up about” he said after he cleared his throat.

“What would that be?” she asked.

“Intelligence thinks Thaddeus is at it again. Some soldiers who were supposed to be dishonorably discharged have disappeared. They have an assignment in the works where either Dr. Ross is our target or Dr. Banner” Owen said.

Hetty looked around to make sure no one could over hear her before she spoke “How much do they actually pay our intelligence people? He barley speaks to his daughter and he will ALWAYS be trying to get Banner” She replied quietly.

Owen sighed “It’s not a finalized plan yet-I just wanted you to be aware” he said. “I was also told by Vance I am being sent to Alaska in two days-I am sorry to have to cut your stay short” he added.

“Yes Leon told me as well-It’s ok Owen-to be quite honest I am going a bit crazy just sitting here” she said. “Thank you for the heads up-have a safe trip and I’ll see you when you get back” she added.

She hung up and walked back to Jen’s room. She was awake and smiling as Hetty inside.

“I was starting to get worried-your tea was still warm” she teased motioning to Hetty’s tea mug that she had been drinking before her call.

Hetty smiled “yes Owen called me and I didn’t want to take it in here and wake you” she said. “I am afraid I am being called back to L.A for a week or two. I’ll check in every day and I’ll make your doctors and Bruce or Gibbs to call me if anything changes” she adds.

Jen smiled “its ok Hetty-really. I am healing-not in any real danger anymore” she said. “I love that you’ve stayed with me-but I know how much you hate being immobile” she adds.

Hetty smiled and patted her hand “Oh I’ve enjoyed myself-catching up on my reading was wonderful. I’ve had a book on my tablet Nell recommended to me 2 years ago that I never have any time to read until now” she said. “If there’s nothing you need I am going to go back to my room and make arrangements to leave in the morning” she adds.

“You will come and see me before you leave won’t you?” Jen asked amused.

“Of course I will” Hetty said coming over and pecking her on the forehead and leaving the room.


 

When Hetty got back to her room she pulled out her phone-scrolling through her contacts until she found the number she needed and hit dial.

“Russel how are you?” she said when the person answered.

“Henrietta? It’s been a while-How are you?” he replied.

“Very busy as usual-I have a question for you. Do you still head the committee who generates the invites for that Gamma Seminar you have in three weeks?” she asked.

“The S.U.G.A.R.S? Yes I am-Why?” he asked generally confused.

“What if I could get you both Dr. Bruce Banner and Dr. Elizabeth Ross to attend and speak at your seminar?” she asked.

There was a pause “wow- both Dr. Ross and Dr. Banner are legends in the field of course. We tried a few years ago before Dr. Banner’s disappearance. After we tried one other time with Dr. Ross but she declined-understandably” He said.

“Well I have it under good authority Dr. Banner has been researching and is ready to show his many findings to the science community. Why don’t you bring it up in your next meeting and if they agree call me back okay?” she replied.

“Actually Hetty our meeting is tonight. They are in a bit of a panic because a few of the presenters have pulled out last minute-this could really help me out. I can call you as soon as a decision is made if you don’t mind the time difference.” Russel answered.

“Actually that will work marvelously-I am in D.C until the morning-so there won’t be a time difference.” Hetty said.

“Wonderful I’ll call you as soon as we make a decision-which honestly there shouldn’t be ANY opposition from anyone. Thank you again Hetty-you’ve probably saved me once again” Russel gushed.

“Anytime Russel-I’ll talk to you later tonight-Goodbye” Hetty said then she hung up.

Hetty called Owen after Russel had called her back with the Okay. She briefly explained the partial idea she had in her head. They needed to somehow get BOTH Bruce Banner and Betty Ross to that seminar. She knew Thaddeus always had a head hunter at those seminars-looking for new talent. Once the head hunter saw that Bruce and Betty were at the same event-she knew it would be no time before the General found out. She hoped that would push Thaddeus to react- and they could stop him before something bad happened. She figured she could persuade Banner-they just needed someone to persuade Dr. Ross.

“Hetty let me deal with that-there will be a folder on your desk when you get in tomorrow” Owen said.

In the morning as promised she come and sat with Genevieve and to her luck Bruce was there as well. She spent that time before she had to leave asking Bruce questions about his job-his career-whither he ever thought about furthering it. As she climbed into the cab afterward she hoped she had planted the idea and Banner would say Yes when Russel asked him to be a presenter. If not she always had whatever Owen had cooked up for Dr. Ross


 

Later at the NCIS LA Offices

Hetty was sitting on a sofa drinking tea when Nate Getz came in.

“Hello Hetty” He said in greeting.

“Hello Nate-I have a new assignment for you if you are interested” Hetty said nodding to an envelope that sat beside her.

Nate sat down opened it and started to read.

“So I am supposed to get close with the General’s daughter-in order for us to finally be able to get enough evidence to take the general down?” he asked.

“Yes” Hetty said staring at him. “There is a physicist’s seminar in two weeks-I am pulling some strings- both Dr. Ross and Dr. Banner will be asked to be speakers” she added.

“Dr. Banner?” Nate asked.

“He’s Genevieve’s boyfriend” Hetty said with a small smile. “Dr. Banner and Dr. Ross have an intimate history and there is bad blood between him and Thaddeus.” She added.

“Wait why do you want him to speak there then?” Nate asked.

Hetty looked back at him “This would be very good for his career-he’s been traveling and soul searching for many years now.” She paused thinking. “I might know from one of my sources that Thaddeus gets extra antsy when those two are in the same room-and I am hoping that this pushes him so we can catch him” she adds.

Nate pulled out another piece of paper and read it. “Am I supposed to talk to Banner as well?” he asked.

“This isn’t exactly an undercover assignment-so that’s up to you-I suppose” Hetty said.

Nate nodded then left to pack nodding to Callen and Deeks who had been loitering and listening,

“I hope you know what you are doing Hetty” Callen said.

Hetty looked over at him “Whatever do you mean Mr. Callen?” she asked.

“You are using Bruce as a pawn-without his knowledge for one” G stated. “And two you are keeping Jen out of the loop” he adds.

“Plus doesn’t this guy have like EVERY reason to hate this General guy? Deeks asked. “Wouldn’t he have helped if you had just asked?” he adds with a shrug.

“Dr. Banner shies away from ANY confrontation –I know he would have said no if I had asked. But I was serious about this helping his career-he needs something to call his own. As for Genevieve if she were able I know she would go with him-but that’s probably not going to happen. This is about catching Thaddeus so he can’t hurt anyone anymore.” Hetty declared to the two men.

Nell cleared her throat to announce her presence.

“Yes Nell” Hetty asked.

“I wanted to let you know both Dr. Banner and Dr. Ross have been contacted by the S.U.G.A.R.S committee and invited-and to our knowledge neither have accepted yet” Nell said.

Hetty nodded “Yes well they didn’t say no either so that is something. Thank you Nell. Keep me informed if you could” she said.

“Of course” Nell said then turned and walked away.

“So what exactly is your back-up plan if this doesn’t work?” Callen asked.

“I shoot him myself” Hetty said straight forward.

Kensi chuckled “ok I walked into the wrong part of that conversation-but I pretty sure you aren't supposed to admit to shooting someone in our presence” she said.

Hetty turned and looked at Kensi “Don’t worry Kensi it hasn’t happened yet.” She said then turned to Callen. “Thaddeus will try and either kill Banner or Genevieve to get to Banner. Hence why I would shoot him myself. I just hope this plan works out and I don’t have to” she added.


 

 

Hospital in D.C

Bruce was reading his mail when Jen was rolled back into her room from x-ray.

“What are you reading?” she asked once she was situated back on the bed,

“My mail-get this. I have been asked by S.U.G.A.R.S to be a presenter” He said.

“What’s SUGARS?” she asked.

“State University Gamma and Radiation Seminar” he said then shook his head and went to throw it away.

“Why are you throwing it away-that’s a high end seminar right?” she asked.

“Well yeah anyone who’s anyone in gamma and radiation will be there” he said.

“Why don’t you go-It’ll be good for you” she said.

“Honey” he said laughing.

“No I am serious this would be great for your career. This will help you gradually get back into the science community. It’s only for two days- all I am doing is laying around-waiting for the doctors to let me go home” she said.

He nodded “I do want to write a gamma research paper-it would be nice to get someone else’e backing and perspective other than Tony. I’ll go only if you call me twice a day and to listen to the doctors. If I find out the second I leave you sign yourself out AMA-me AND Hulk will be VERY upset with you” he said warningly.

She smiled “you forget I kind of like you when you’re upset” she said coyly.

They stared at each other for a second then burst out laughing. Bruce leaned his head against the side of the bed trying to stifle his giggles. Jen just started to run her fingers through the hair on the back of his head-causing Bruce to groan softly. She cocked her head to the side then decided to add slight pressure-she expanded her scratching and ended up rubbing his temples-he was acting like a big fluffy cat-rubbing his face against her hand and practically purring.

“Have you had any headaches lately?” she asked softly.

“Yes” he said.

“I am probably the cause of them-I am sorry” she said leaning down and kissing his head.

“Just within the last two weeks” he said with a smile.

She laughed and kissed him again. “Okay go-you need to pack and get your research together-and girl talk with Tony about the seminar. WAIT what about your research? Do you need to go back to New York?” she asked.

Bruce smiled and shook his head “No that’s the best thing about JARVIS-he can download it to any computer or tablet” he said. “But I might need to for clothes-well I’ll talk with Tony about that. Maybe I’ll let him buy me clothes for once” he adds as he laughs –and leans in for one more kiss before he leaves.


 

 

Gibbs decides to visit Jen the day after Banner left for the seminar. Outside her room he knocked softly and when he didn’t get an answer-slowly opened the door and peeked in. Jen was asleep with a fleece blanket over her. He just watched her sleep for a few minutes-in true Gibbs fashion Jen must have felt him watching her-because she started to stir.

“Hey” she mumbled still half asleep.

“Go back to sleep I was just checking in” Gibbs replied softly.

“You sure?” she mumbled.

“Yes” he said.

“You never just check in” she said.

“Go to sleep” Jethro said smiling.

She smiled and closed her eyes and was out cold. It suddenly hit him how much she looked like Mac. Jethro just sat there lost in thought. He should be angry at finding out Jen was his daughter-he should go to SHEILD and Hetty and scream until he got answers. But what would that do? He had the chance to be her family before this and he barely did that. But he thought he had lost the opportunity when Kelly died-made sure of it if he was honest with himself. Now that he knew the truth-he owed it to her-to himself- Mac-hell even Kelly-to try again. The problem was he had no idea on how to do that. He couldn’t go from nothing to family man-she’d push him away-hell he’d do the same thing if the roles were reversed. He figured the best way was to try and be her friend first-then see how it progressed. He smiled-he always did like when he had a plan.

Chapter Text

S.U.G.A.R.S

Bruce climbed out of the taxi and walked into the hotel where the seminar was being held. He went and signed in-got his nametag- his pass- and goodie bag. He was a little star struck at all the different scientist that he recognized. His phone beeped with a text message.

Jen: knock them dead Doctor Banner! She wrote.

Bruce chuckled and text back

Bruce: New at 11-an auditorium of dead scientist’s! With an 8 foot Hulk size hole in the wall!

Jen: LOL Stop it!!

He wasn’t paying attention to where he was going since he was not looking up and ran right into someone.

“Oh god I am so sorry” he mumbled steading the women after the impact.

“Bruce?” she whispered shocked.

The world stopped and the air was sucked out of his lungs at the sound of her voice. Betty he heard the Hulk mumble in his mind-as if he didn't already know that. He slowly looked up at her face-knowing he couldn’t continue to stare at her shoes. She was staring at him in surprise. He realized he was just staring and others were noticing as well.

“Hi” he said nervously-giving her a smile.

She smiled and threw her arms around him-hugging him.

“I am SO glad to see you-that you came! Everyone will be so happy you’re back!” she gushed then seeing someone coming up behind them she smiled and pointed. “Bruce this is Nathan-Nathan this is Dr. Bruce Banner” she said smiling.

“Most call me Nate-Nate Getz-it’s a pleasure Dr. Banner” he said extending his hand.

Bruce looked at his hand then took it in his “Please it’s Bruce” he said.

Someone came up and pulled Betty away-leaving the two men together. Bruce had never done well in social situations-he was just about to make his exit when Nate spoke.

"Is Jen still in the hospital?"

Bruce looked at him oddly “You know Jen?” he asked.

“Yes we used to work together-I heard what happened” Nate said.

“She’s doing better–still in the hospital-but doing better-thanks” he said then noticed Betty coming back-knowing she caught at least part of that conversation.

“Can I be noisy and ask who Jen is?” Betty asked.

Bruce tensed looking up at Betty “well she-umm” he stuttered knowing he was turning red. “She and I are kind of a couple?” he said vaguely.

Betty smiled and chuckled “was that a question Dr. Banner?” she teased.

He chuckled in return “well I find it’s easier to tell others than her apparently” he said smiling.

Betty smiled and hugged him again whispering “I am glad you’ve found someone” in his ear.

“You too” he said in return.

Betty pulled back in shock "Oh No-No. Nate's just my date for the evening. Leonard is overseas doing a round of research lectures" She said with a nervous laugh.

Bruce could tell she wanted to say more but was interrupted with the blinking of the lights meaning the seminar was about to begin.

Unfortunately he was so busy the rest of his time there he never got a chance to talk to Betty or Nate again.


 

Hospital in D.C two days later

 

Bruce tried to listen as Helen rambled on and on about what her plans for Jen were. All he was trying to do was grab two coffee’s and head up to Jen’s room. He had noticed Helen Cho-one of Jen’s doctor’s- in line at the coffee stand and when she noticed him she began telling him her opinion of Jen’s condition-in detail. Any other time when he NEEDED their input he wouldn’t have been able to find ANYONE. ‘Stop it’ he silently reprimanded himself. Helen was an old friend and colleague and he was quite relieved when SHIELD had called her in to help when their doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with Jen. But he had just got back from the seminar-and all he wanted to do was go see her. He finally decided he needed to interrupt her.

“Helen-I am sorry. I am very jet lagged at the moment. I think we need to continue this conversation later-when I am properly caffeinated and had some sleep-and obviously with Genevieve present-since ultimately it’s her decision-not mine.” he said as they walked toward the elevators.

Helen blinked at him “oh of course Bruce-If you will be around after her x-ray we can all discuss the options” she said as the doors opened.

He smiled “I will-thank you again” he said as he pushed the floor button and the door shut-separating them.

 He got to Jen’s door and peeked inside. She was reading with her head propped on 3 pillows. Suddenly all he could think about was the story of The Princess and the Pea-his mother used to read it to him when he was a child.

“Hello Princess in the Pea I brought us some coffee” he said as he walked in.

She looked over her book and broke into a huge smile when she saw him.

“You’re back” she said with a smile “I missed you” she adds giving him a kiss.

Bruce blushed and smiled at her- handing her a cup and kissing her cheek before he carefully sat down.

He leaned back and sighed “I can relax now that I've seen you" he said.

She laughed and leaned against him-making sure not to spill her coffee.

“I ran into Helen downstairs—she has some alternative options on ways to get your wound to heal. She was trying to tell me-but she’s going to come up after your x-ray later and discuss them in detail for you to decide” Bruce said.

“Alternative options?” Jen asked.

Bruce snorted “well-SHEILD called her for one-so that should give you an idea of what alternative means.” he said. “No-she’s good-we used to work together-before-Hulk. She’s a legitimate doctor. She tried to explain it to me-it’s like a CAT scan but it helps rejuvenate the tissue or something” he added.

Jen nodded slightly worried but if Bruce trusts her-she will as well. He knew how much she hated hospitals and doctors in general-so she knew he wouldn’t pressure her into something if she wasn’t comfortable with it.

“How was the seminar?” Jen finally asked-trying to change the subject.

“Oh it was fine-I talked with some old colleagues of mine-all fake smiles and questions of where I have been” Bruce said. “Actually I met a friend or colleague of yours as well” Bruce added.

Jen looked at him confused “I really don’t know many scientist-except for you and Hank” she said.

Bruce smiled “He was actually a date of one of the scientist-a Nate Getz?” he said.

Jen smiled “Nate? Oh wow-I haven’t seen him in a couple of years” she said. “I met him through Hetty” she adds thoughtfully.

“Well she must have told him what had happened-because he asked how you were” he said smiling.

“That’s nice of him” she said with a yawn.

Bruce smiled “Sleepy? Want to take a nap?” he asked.

“Yes-don’t sleep well here” she mumbled.

He chuckled and laid down-he omitted that he too hadn’t been sleeping well-but that probably had more to do with the lack of bed partner-then said bed. A quick nap couldn’t hurt either of them. Right before she fell asleep Jen reached out and pulled her phone to her.

“Thought you were sleepy” he mumbled.

“Need to send this before I forget” she responded hitting send then snuggling into Bruce.

A few seconds later Hetty received a text she had expected-earlier than she thought-but none the less expected.

GG: Care to explain to me WHY is Nate at a gamma radiation seminar?

Hetty debated on whether to send a response or not-but knowing if she didn’t it might cause more problems.

HL: All in due time-nothing to worry about at the moment.

 


 

 

 Later that day the orderlies came and took Jen to her x-ray and meeting with Helen. While she was gone Bruce pulled out his tablet and caught up on e-mails and random S.I business. He jumped when suddenly Tony Stark was in the room and talking-without knocking.

“Hello to you too Tony” he said dryly.

That made Tony stop-repeat the conversation in his head and realize he actually never said a greeting-or knocked even.

“Sorry Buddy” he said walking back over to the doorframe knocking then looked at Bruce. “Hi buddy-glad to see you’re back. How was the seminar? See any new research or promising minds we can steal-sorry EMPLOY?” he asked.

Bruce cocked his eyebrow “I didn’t realize I was supposed to scouting bright minds for you Tony” he said with a smirk. “I have some papers on the stick and some online portfolio’s-I’ll let you know if there’s anyone promising” he replied.

Tony looked at him and nodded. Not that he even really cared-but he’d rather bright minds be employed by Stark Industries than anywhere else.

“Listen man-I think Clint, Natasha Thor and I are going back to New York in two days” he said-jumping topics like only Tony could.

“We just wanted to let you know-we figured you’d probably stay until Jen gets out-or she’s back on her feet-or whatever. Not sure what your plans are after this-what the two are going to do-she can move in the tower-or if-if you’re staying here-which is cool too-whatever” Tony said-not looking at Bruce.

He was trying to sound like an understanding friend-but feeling like he was failing. It’s not like he can force Bruce to stay in the Tower or even New York for that matter. He was his friend-and technically his employee-not a prisoner. He wanted to remind Bruce that if he stayed here-he would be closer to Ross-and even though Tony would still protect him with every asset he had-it would be harder if they were in different states. But he’d do it-if Bruce truly wanted to stay.

“Tony” Bruce said-making sure he had Tony’ attention before he continued. “I can’t say how long I will stay. You’re right-I will stay until Jen gets out-and back on her feet. After that-I don’t know yet. I was thinking about a trip somewhere-just us-somewhere quiet. But that might be wishful thinking” he said with a shrug.

Tony looked at his friend “Will you-do you want to stay if Jen does?” he dared to ask-not sure he wanted to know the answer.

Bruce looked at Tony “I am not sure-do I like D.C-no not at all. But there’s Maryland-there’s Virginia-we don’t HAVE to live in D.C. But I’d rather not broach the “where are we in this relationship-are-we-aren’t we question” in a hospital” he replied.

Stark nodded then checked his watch "Damn I have to go I am late for a date with Pep-Shit sorry Buddy-I'll see you tomorrow okay" he said as he left the room.

Bruce just watched him leave with a shake of his head and a fond eye-roll. The door opened again and Helen was wheeling Jen inside. Then she started on her plan-even before Jen was settled. She had made a machine similar to a CAT scan. As Genevieve was moved through the machine-it would scan her body then localize a laser to her effective area-rejuvenating tissue and having her body heal itself. If she agreed to it-she had an opening in the morning and if all went well she could leave the hospital by the end of the week.

Jen looked over at Bruce once Helen was done-he and Helen were chatting giving her space to think. Whatever technology was in that gun that shot her-she had not been able to heal. The bruises and scrapes had faded but the wound in her abdomen was still as fresh as if it just happened. Nothing else they had tried seemed to work-but she was willing to give this a try.

She cleared her throat watching as they both cut their eyes at her “okay I am willing to try this” she decided out loud.

Bruce smiled-come over and kissed her forehead “oh good-I am glad. You are in good hands” he said looking over at Helen.

She smiled “Oh course she is-I’ll run down right now and grab the paperwork and try to push it through so you can be ready first thing in the morning” she said as she walked out the door.


 

Of course that night would be the time when Genevieve’s nightmares returned. In retrospect she was surprised it took them this long to return-since hospital stays always triggered them. But her mood had changed drastically by morning and she wasn’t sure she could go through with the procedure. Bruce was trying to calm her down-telling her how safe she was-that Hulk would smash anyone who tried to get her. She kept insisting he go in with her-Bruce gently reminding her that he couldn’t. If they were in a SHEILD facility that was one thing-but Helen would lose her job if she let him come in-since he wasn’t legally family. Lucky for them Jethro and DiNozzo were outside-both had been called about the surgery- came to sit with Bruce. He broached the subject if she wanted Jethro in there-since he was legally family- and was surprised when she agreed.

That was how Jethro Gibbs-in a bunny suit- was clutching Genevieve’s hand as the procedure started. He thought it was amusing and a little odd how all this doctor could talk about was Dr. Bruce Banner. At first he thought it was just because it was middle ground-common factor between the two-but all she did was sing this man’s praises. His brain-his accomplishments-his passions-everything. He met Genevieve’s eyes and chuckled as she rolled her eyes-apparently sharing his thoughts. He nodded but neither said anything and let Dr. Cho continue her diatribe on the wonder that was Bruce Banner for the rest of the procedure.


 

 Afterward Genevieve was rolled back to recovery and smirked when she saw Helen pull Bruce separately to talk with him-DiNozzo and Gibbs saw it as well.

“Think that might be a problem?” Gibbs asked amused.

“Yeah-why is she doing that?” Tony asked.

“She has a crush on Bruce” she said looking at Tony.

“Really?” he asked.

Gibbs laughed “couldn’t stop talking about him during that procedure” he said.

Bruce walked back as the three were laughing-smiling himself-but knowing he was missing something.

“What are you three laughing about?” he asked looking between the three.

“Just making an observation B” Tony said.

“What kind of observation?” he asked-amused.

“How Helen has a crush on you” Jen said.

Bruce stood there stunned “What do you mean?” he asked.

That made Gibbs laugh “Come on Bruce-the women couldn’t stop singing your praises in there” he said.

“Really?” he asked-then looked at Jen.

Jen smiled “It’s just a crush Bruce-nothing to worry about” she said. “Besides I don’t mind hearing others gushing about how wonderful you are” she adds with a smile.

"Good lord how much anesthesia did they give you" He teased-making Tony and Gibbs laugh.

Bruce wanted to argue that they were wrong-but from what he observed in the last few days-they might be right. He wasn’t sure what he was supposed to do-he obviously wasn’t interested in Helen-but figured as long as it didn’t progress any further-he didn’t have to worry.


 

Jen was checking her phone when Bruce came in and sat down next to her. She raised her eyebrow at him but didn’t say anything-waiting.

“Tony and the rest of the team are heading back to New York in the morning” he said as way of an opener.

“Ok” she said trying to see where he was going with this.

“I am not going with them-want to stay here with you. I was wondering if you were serious about taking that trip with me-once you are allowed” he asked.

“Of course I was” she said with a smile-thinking he had spent too much time with Tony-jumping from topic to topic with no transition.

Bruce released a relieved sigh “Good because I was looking through some sites-Have you ever been to Alaska? We could drive to Washington-or drive through Canada-your pick. We can rent a cabin in the woods-hike-see the sights. What do you think?” he said realizing he had rambled on and not let her talk.

Jen looked over at Bruce “I’ve never been to Alaska-that sounds wonderful. But will you be able to take the time off?” she asked.

Bruce chuckled and nodded “I have enough assistants and colleagues that I can divvy up the workload” he said.

She nodded “Ok that’s great. Do we rent a car-I mean we could use my car-but I am not sure if will survive the entire trip. And what about the cabin-“she began but was cut off by Bruce’s lips.

“Stop-let me worry about all those details ok. Your job is to pick a time and to pack yourself-that’s all. I’ll deal with the rest” he said. "But this isn't going to happen until you are given the clear from the doctors" he added.

"yes sir" she said with a mock salute-causing both of them to start giggling.

 Jen winced when her abdomen burned "stop making me laugh-hurts" she groaned.

Bruce reached down and gently rubbed the bandaged area as she asked "Is it supposed to hurt like this?"

He thought for a minute "well re-growing dead cells-should be painful-I assume. We will keep and eye on it and tell Helen if it doesn't get any better" he replied.

"This feels more like I am re-growing organs not tissue" she commented as an after thought.

Bruce looked at Jen-digesting what she just said. "I think Helen would have said something if the machine was THAT powerful" he said.

"I would hope so" She said  as a nurse came in to check on Jen and the conversation was put on hold-and forgotten-for the time being.

 

Chapter Text

NCIS-Naval Base- Washington D.C

Leon Vance sighed as he re-read an e-mail from the accounting department. They were wondering why they were reimbursing the L.A office for one of the agents going to a science seminar. He was wondering the same thing so he grabbed the phone and dialed Hetty’s number.

“Hello Leon” Hetty said as she answered.

“Hetty why are we reimbursing you for someone going to a science seminar? Anything you’d like to tell me?” Leon asked.

“Damn Owen” she muttered into the phone-of course the man would go by the book.

“Hetty” Leon warned.

“Owen called me-there is chatter that General Ross is up to something again. I sent Nate to that seminar to try and get information” Hetty replied.

“Information from whom?” Leon asked.

“His daughter Dr. Elizabeth Ross” Hetty supplied.

“Was Nate successful?” Leon asked.

“I am not sure- I haven’t heard from him yet” Hetty stated. “But even if he wasn’t successful in connecting with Dr. Ross-I believe the assignment will still be a success” She added stubbornly.

Leon leaned back in his chair “How is that?” he asked-not sure if he really wanted to know the answer.

“When word gets back to Tha-um-General Ross-he will act” Hetty said.

“Why wasn’t I told about this?” Leon asked.

“I know you need to keep political anonymity Leon which was why I never told you” Hetty answered.

“Hetty-even though I try to keep myself in political circles I will always try to catch the bad guys” Leon said. “If you believe whatever your plan is -will work-I will back you or turn a blinds eye-whatever you wish. But make sure it works-he can ruin you if he gets wind of it” Leon warned.

Hetty laughed on the other end “Oh Leon- far worse people have tried and failed. I am NOT afraid of Thaddeus Ross” she said.

 


 

S.H.I.E.L.D Headquarters

 

Helen had given Bruce permission to take Genevieve out of the hospital for the day. They decided to surprise the team and showed up at SHEILD to see them off-which shows how stir crazy Jen was if she was willingly going to SHEILD when she didn’t have to. Everyone was having their own conversations-going over checklists-packing equipment-and not paying them any attention-until Thor noticed them.

“Friend Bruce-Lady Genevieve –what are you doing here?” Thor exclaimed.

Tony turned “Did you break free?” he asked with a laugh.

Bruce laughed “We wanted to come say good-bye” he said-his hands in his pockets.

Jen smiled “Helen gave me-well Bruce- the okay to leave for the day” she adds.

“So you came here? Willingly? You must be going stir crazy” Natasha said smiling.

Jen smiled back laughing “you have no idea” she said.

That made Clint laugh as he passed by squeezing Bruce’s shoulder in greeting. Jen noticed Steve or Sam were there.

“I am assuming Steve and Sam are staying?” she asked quietly to Clint.

“yeah-Steve is staying for obvious reasons-and Sam-well-he figured Steve would need support” he responded.

“Do they need a place to stay?” she asked.

Natasha thought for a minute “Not sure where they are staying quite honestly” she said.

“Well they are welcome to stay at my place if they need to-or want to” Jen said.

Natasha smiled pulling out her phone “I’ll text Sam and Steve and tell them” she said.

Tony walked up to Bruce as Jen was talking to Clint and Natasha. He handed Bruce a laptop case- Bruce could tell he was nervous-his hands were moving-snapping his fingers.

“So-we have a meeting Monday morning-you have everything you need to telecommute from this here” he said tapping the laptop bag.

Bruce nodded “Thanks Tony” he said.

Tony shrugged “Yeah well-I figure we are going to need to come back here every couple of weeks-either for S.I business or SHEILD. Plus you will be running out of clothes-so I figure I’ll come back at the end of the week with more of your clothes” he said.

Bruce looked up -surprised that Tony would do that. But then it hit him-this would be the longest they have been apart since they met. Tony doesn’t do separation well-unless he is the one who decided on the separation. Bruce figured Tony will make those “business trips” until he got bored-or Pepper put a stop to it.

“That’s sounds great Tony-thank you” Bruce said.

Tony nodded and gave Bruce a big hug then climbed into the plane. Everyone else said their good-byes and climbed into the plane-Bruce and Jen waved and watched as the lifted off and flew towards New York.

“What do we do now?” Jen asked as they were leaving SHEILD.

Bruce smiled “Let’s go sight see-maybe stop by NCIS and visit-actually look around” he suggested.

Jen smiled “sure-that sounds like fun” she said.


 

 

NCIS

“Robert, Genevieve what brings you here?” Ducky asked-noticing them first as they stepped from the elevator.

Bruce smiled “Just seeing the sights” he asked.

“We thought it be nice to come visit-when we aren’t suspects” Jen added with a smile.

“Genevieve are you out of the hospital now?” Tim asked.

“I am hoping by the end of this week” she said.

“Gibbs! Gibbs! Gibbs!” Abby called as she came running  around the corner in her plateforms. “Are they here? Are they here! They are!” and threw her arms around Jen and Bruce.

Everyone laughed at Abby’s enthusiasm-it never got old.

"How did you know they were here Abby?" Tim asked.

"I saw on the security cameras" Abby said-not missing the worried look Bruce shot Jen.“I was hoping if you have time you would like to see my lab Dr. Banner-I mean it’s probably not as good as yours but I would really like for you to see it” Abby adds.

Bruce looked over at Jen-then at Abby “I would love to come see your lab Abby” Bruce said smiling as Abby jumped up and down then pulled him toward the elevator.

Gibbs laughed then looked at Jen “Are you healing alright?” he asked.

Jen shrugged “I am still in pain-but we’re keeping an eye on it. I am hoping to go home at the end of the week-I don’t want to jinx that” she replied.

Gibbs looked thoughtful “well if you need to stay-you should stay” he said.

“Really Jethro-are you actually suggesting to LISTEN to the doctor’s orders-you?” Ducky teased. Ducky smiled at her “Well since Abby has robbed you of Robert-would you like to accompany Jethro and me to the lab?” he asked.

Jen laughed “I’d love too” and followed Ducky to the elevator.

“Do you and Robert have any plans once you are healed?” He asked once inside.

“Well we were thinking about a vacation to Alaska-but he won’t do it until I have the all clear” she said.

Ducky looked Jethro with a smile “Alaska is a beautiful state to visit-I am sure the two of you will have a wonderful time” he said.

“What about when you get back?” Gibbs asked.

Jen tilted her head in thought “Honestly I haven’t thought that far ahead. It’s something we need to discuss-I mean he works for Tony-which is based out of New York”. She said.

“I thought Stark Industries was based out of Malibu?” Gibbs asked.

“Well Bruce’s research is based out of New York-Pepper runs the main offices out of Malibu” Jen replied as they walked out of the elevator.

Ducky smiled “I am sure once you two discuss it-you will come up with a plan” he said patting her hand as they walked into Abby’s lab.

She was a whirlwind of motion. Showing Bruce all of her machines and computer software. In true Abby fashion she was talking a mile a minute-bouncing from one object to the other. Bruce as polite as ever smiled encouragingly at her whenever she looked at him with excitement-asking questions or commenting at the appropriate time.

Gibbs chuckled “I would have thought Doc wouldn’t be able to keep up with her when she’s this excited” he said.

Jen laughed “Oh this is nothing-you don’t know this but Tony Stark is his best friend” she replied. “I’d love to see if they ever meet” she adds.

“So I’ve been thinking-anyway I can go see him” Gibbs asked-switching topics.

Jen turned and looked at Jethro “Him? As in Barnes? Umm possibly” she said.

Gibbs raised an eyebrow while everyone else stared at her. Which she immediately noticed and rolled her eyes.

“It’s a secret government agency that deals with keeping things quiet-I don’t know if they will LET you in or if you would even come OUT if you do go in” she replied.

“They let me in before” Gibbs commented.

“That was different-a shared mission is one thing. They will act differently if you just waltz in and ask to speak to a Russian super solider that has been working for the enemy” Jen replied.

“Steve stayed right?” Bruce asked-interrupting them.

“Yes” Jen said turning her attention to him.

“We both know he’s going to go see what Barnes is like. Maybe see what Steve says-Well Sam might be a more objective observer- and depending on what they both say then maybe we can convince them to allow Gibbs to see him” Bruce replied-ringing his hands the whole time at the attention.

“That’s a great idea-sound okay to you” she said turning to Jethro.

Gibbs smiled “Sure that sounds great” he replied.

Ducky checked his watch “Look at the time-what time do you two need to be back at the hospital?” he asked.

Bruce checked his own watch-feeling weird not having JARVIS remind him of things like the time “Jen we need to go-I had no idea it had gotten this late” he mumbled.

Jen pouted for a split second but then sighed “okay don’t want your other girlfriend to get mad at you” she teased.

Bruce flared red at the questioning looks but smiled as Gibbs laughed “Really? Why?” he said.

Jen smiled leaned over and pecked him on his nose “Because I like seeing you blush” she said as they said their goodbyes and started for the elevator.

“Other girlfriend?” Abby asked Gibbs.

“Genevieve’s doctor has a crush on Bruce” Gibbs supplied with a smile as his phone rang.

He frowned when he saw who it was “Yeah-Leon-sure I’ll be right up” he said.

Vance’s Office

When Gibbs entered Vance was sitting at his desk reading a file-making him wait. He slowly closed the file and looked at Gibbs.

“I just got off the phone with Hetty Lange” he began. “She believes that Thaddeus Ross is up to something and she has tried to get Intel from his daughter” he added.

Gibbs nodded “okay and what does this have to do with me?” he asked.

“That was Bruce Banner who just left this building correct? Did you know Ross has a vendetta towards him? He will stop at nothing to get him and those who stand in his way” Vance said. “You might want to tell him it is in his best interest not to show his face much around D.C for a while” he adds.

Gibbs cocked his head silently trying to figure out a way to destroy the security camera footage. When suddenly the lights in the building flickered-Vance’s phone immediately starting ringing.

“Vance” he said as he answered nodding for a second as he listened to whoever was on the other end. “That’s fine McGee thank you for telling me” he adds as he hung up.

Gibbs looked at Vance waiting for him to explain the call.

Vance smiled “That was McGee-apparently that power surge knocked out our security cameras and it appears we lost the last thirty minutes” he said.

Gibbs lips quirked “Not good” he said making a mental note to get a Café Pow for Abby.

Vance lips quirked in return “My thoughts exactly” he replied.


 

L.A

Nate got out of his car and slowly walked toward his home. He wasn’t sure what he was going to tell Hetty in the morning. The job-he felt-was a bust. He had befriended Dr. Ross easy enough-she had recently split with someone and she was extremely friendly. But he had found out pretty fast that she truly had no real association with her father-since whatever happened in Harlem a few years ago. He was so lost in thought that he didn’t notice anyone was inside his house until he noticed Hetty sitting in his living room-nearly giving him a heart attack.

“Hello Nate” Hetty said casually-like she was here to water his plants.

He gasped-clutching his heart “Damn it Hetty” he said.

She just smiled at him-waiting until he calmed down to continue.

“I was hoping you had the report for me” she said with a smile.

“Yes Hetty I do-is it THAT important it couldn’t wait until tomorrow?” he snapped.

Hetty looked at him with a raised eyebrow “If it wasn’t Mr. Getz I wouldn’t be here” she said.

Nate sighed nodding-going to his fridge for a beer-then sat next to Hetty on the sofa.

“What exactly do you want to know? I talked with Bet-um-Doctor Ross. But she hasn’t been in contact with her father in years. I accompanied her to the seminar-talked with Banner as well-as did she-we left-I spent a few more days there just to see. When nothing else happened I decided to come back” Nate replied.

Hetty looked at Nate “Ross and Banner talked? Did others see?” she asked intrigued.

Nate shot a sideways look at her “It was in the middle of the meet and greet. Whither they made the connection-well-I am a psychologist not a mind reader” he said.

Hetty nodded “Nate did you see anyone else there-someone who seemed out of place? Military perhaps?” she asked.

Nate thought for a minute “There was security there-undercover and uniformed-there might have been some undercover military as well” he said.

“They probably were” Hetty said-her phone beeped-distracting her for a second. “I know you feel this was a bust and a waste of time but you will soon find out that it wasn’t. Thank you Nate” she said getting up and left him to enjoy his beer.

In her car she re-read the text from Leon.

LV: Gibbs says you owe him- Do you still own that cabin in Alaska?

HL: I do

LV: Jen might need it soon

HL: Tell Jethro that can be arranged-just tell me when


 

Two Weeks later

Helen had discharged Jen at the end of that same week-with the promise of a check-up every three months-and her number in case they need it. Bruce had stuck to his promise and started looking at places in Alaska for them to visit. Jen was a weird combination of nervous and excited. This was a huge step for them-the first vacation together. Really their first time alone for any length of time-since they met. Which normally would have freaked her out-but she and Bruce have never gotten on each other's nerves before-hopefully that'll continue. She was excited because in all of her travels throughout the years she had never been to Alaska-and had always wanted to. Bruce told her he would deal with all the finer points-travel and lodging accommodations- everything like that. He was on his phone a lot-she assumed some of that was with rental agencies or what not.  She was trying to trust him and to stay out of it. Which was another huge step for her-not having control of a situation. Bruce got off the phone and smiled as he came into the room.

"Guess what?" He asked.

"What?" She replied.

"I had been in discussions with this company-trying to get this quaint little place-and they were giving me the runaround. Apparently it's owned by the Alaskan government-and obviously since I am not in the Alaskan government -it was a problem. Well he just called me-we've been approved for two weeks!" He said.

"Oh wow that's great!" She said leaning over to give him a quick kiss. Then she thought for a minute "who do you think we need to thank?" She asked.

Bruce thought about it then shrugged "not sure-probably Tony. Shield probably has that clout as well-but I honestly don't think they would do that for either one of us do you?" He asked.

Jen laughed "no you're right -they probably wouldn't for us"

He smiled again "so I have the beginnings of a tentative itinerary-because who knows what we will feel like doing once we get there. But I figure we'd want to do some trails at some point- and of course go out and see the northern lights" he said.

She smirked at him "who knows we might get up there and be so preoccupied we won't leave the cabin at all" she said.

Bruce smiled as his face flared red. He had hoped that they could take the next step. But he wasn't sure if he even could-but for the first time since before Hulk he wanted to try.  "Well um well" he stuttered. "I am not sure if -if I even could. But I'd -I'd like to try-if-if you do" he finally got out.

Jen smiled at Bruce-impressed that he actually got that all out. Years ago that wouldn't have been the case. There was so much she wanted to say to him-how she didn't want to push him -but she felt he knew all of that. She leaned over and kissed him gently-trying not to get too carried away in the moment. "You know I love to experiment with you" She said-deciding nothing else needed to be said

 Bruce smiled cupping the side of her face and sighed in relief. "I am glad" he murmured.

His laptop beeped-indicating he had another video conference from Tony. Bruce groaned but got up glancing at the printout “oh isn’t that funny-the name of the house is called Vicious Pixie” he commented as he walked out of the room-not seeing the look on Jen’s face. She pulled her phone out and sent Hetty a text.

GG: thank you for this cabin

HL: What cabin my dear?

GG: Hetty

HL: Gibbs said you were going on vacation and I decided to help

GG: Since when are you and Jethro friendly?

HL: LOL we did co-parent for years.

GG: Not sure what’s more frightening that the two of you are friendly or the fact that you just said LOL.

HL: Have a meeting I need to go-Enjoy the cabin-don’t blow it up this time.

GG: I didn’t blow it up LAST time

 

Chapter Text

Diner at Lunchtime

 

Genevieve walked into the Diner she had agreed to meet Gibbs for lunch. As she expected he was already there-sitting off in a booth in the back. She smiled at the waitress and climbed into the seat across from him.

“Hi” she said with a shy smile.

Gibbs smiled at her “Hi-I am glad you decided to come” he replied.

Jen smiled when the waitress came and gave her a menu. Of course she knew what Gibbs wanted-and waited as she scanned the specials and ordered.

“Any particular reason you invited me to lunch? Or did you just want to catch up” she asked.

“Well you might not want to have Bruce walk around D.C much-or at least not walk into Government buildings for a little while” Gibbs said.

Jen looked at him as she sipped her soda.

“Ross?” she asked.

“Yes-apparently that was no coincidence that he was at the gala a few months ago” Gibbs said. “Something is going on-I got called to Leon’s office a few days ago-after you two left” he added.

Jen turned and looked out the window at the cars “I hate that he’s in D.C-were Ross can get him. At least in New York Tony can protect him” she said. “Thank you for telling me” she adds with a smile.

“Well you two still going to make that Alaska trip?” Gibbs asked. “Talk to him-get on the same page-or figure out what page you are both on” he adds noting Jen rolling her eyes with a smirk.

“Relationship advice?” she asked.

Gibbs snorted “I am the LAST person you should take relationship advice from-with my four marriages” he said with a smirk of his own.

Jen cocked her head-mentally calculating “Four? Who did I miss?” she asked.

Gibbs looked at her “well Diane was two, Rebecca was three and Stephanie was four” he said.

“hmmm I guess I missed Rebecca. I met Stephanie-just at the end-you remember when you have to dodge flying objects” she said with a smile.

“Yeah-should not have married any of them. I kept trying to make them into people they weren’t.” he muttered.

Jen smiled “From what I witnessed of them-they were doing the same thing” she added.

Gibbs looked up at her in surprise. He had never thought of it in that way-having spent YEARS blaming himself-as his ex-wives did-of their failed marriages.

“Have you scheduled the cabin yet?” he blurted out-grasping at anything to change the topic away from him.

She slowly smiled “So I need to thank you for having Hetty give us her cabin?” she asked.

Gibbs shrugged “Might have called in a favor” he replied with a smile.

“We have to wait another month-he has a lot of work to do and he doesn’t think I am healed enough yet” she replied. “But I do need to talk with him-see if we are on the same page with this” she adds in agreement.

Gibbs leaned back allowing the waitress to set down the dishes before he continued.

“So part of this was to tell you I am sorry” he said quietly.

“Sorry for what?” she asked starting to eat.

“For not being a good-uncle-or f-father to you when I could. But I intend to do better” he said. “I won’t lie to you and say part of this isn’t because I found out the truth. But I don’t have family-except for my team-except for you. Rule 51” he adds.

“Rule 51?” she asked.

‘Sometimes you are wrong” he mumbled.

Jen set her sandwich down and really looked at him “are you dying?” she asked with a chuckle causing Gibbs to snort. “No umm- thank you? I’ve always wanted some sort of acknowledgement from you-so thank you.” She said-not knowing what else to say.

Gibbs nodded and started to eat. “By the way I’ve been meaning to ask you. Did Dad ever tell you were the grave is?” he asked out of the blue.

“Who’s grave?” she asked in confusion.

“Bucky’s” he said.

“Bucky has a grave?” she asked.

“Yep-somewhere in north Pennsylvania-right on the state border. The story I was always told was the family commissioned a grave that was military style but put both their names on it.” He said.

“They put Bucky’s and Steve’s name on it?” she asked.

“Their initials but yes-kept it quiet so that no one would know and desecrate it” he commented.

“Is it still there? Does the government or SHEILD have any knowledge of it” she asked.

Gibbs smiled and shook his head “To my knowledge-no. But I went there once as a young child-who knows if it’s still there” he replied.

FLASHBACK

“Come on now Leroy” a young Jackson Gibbs said as he unbuckled his son and helped him out of the truck.

“Where are we going?” the young boy asked excited as he grabbed Jackson’s hand as they walked toward a patch of woods.

“I want to show you something while we are waiting for your mother” Jackson said.

The pair walked through the woods for a while until they came to a single stone in a clearing-near some trees.

“What’s that?” he asked.

Jackson took off his hat in respect. He knelt down and cleaned around the stone for a few minutes before he spoke.

“This Leroy is a memorial grave” Jackson replied finally.

“What’s a memorial grave?” the boy asked again.

“Well it’s something where people can go to and pay their respect” Jackson answered.

“Who’s J.B and S. G?” Leroy asked-that being the only things the six year old could read from the grave.

“STG means Sargent J. B. Barnes is James Buchanan Barnes. Capt. Means Captain S.G. Rogers is Steven Grant Rogers” Jackson said waiting to see if the names clicked with his son-it only took a few minutes.

“Captain America is in this grave?” Leroy asked in rising excitement.

Jackson shook his head “No Leroy-unfortunately Steve and Buck aren’t actually buried here-neither were ever found” he said. “But my aunt Pat and the family had this grave put up. She wanted both men to have a respectable place for us to go and honor them” he added.

“Are we related to Captain America?” Leroy asked in confusion-not quiet understanding.

“No-his friend Bucky-he’s my cousin. But Buck and Steve were inseparable-ever since they were your age. Aunt Pat thought it was only fitting for them to stay that way in death” Jackson said pulling out his wallet-pulling out a picture to show his young son. The black and white picture was of two men in uniform standing in front of a ww2 plane.

“This photo is the last time I saw Bucky-remember the story I was telling you of getting lost in the plane in the war?” Jackson asked.

Leroy nodded eyes wide as he remembered the story.

“Well when I got back a man was running at me and hugged me-it was Bucky. The Howling Commandos were on the ship-when he heard about my flight. Bucky made sure I was okay before they left in the morning” Jackson said with a small smile as he put the photo back in his wallet.

Leroy went and looked closer at the grave. “I don’t understand” he finally asked his dad.

“Don’t understand what?” Jackson asked.

“Why is it here? Why isn’t it where people can see it?” the boy asked.

“Well Leroy that’s because this is a family grave. This is for us to remember our loved ones. If the public knew about this grave-it wouldn’t be special. Sometimes the only way we can protect others is to keep things to ourselves” Jackson said all of a sudden looking like he was a million miles away. “Remember that Leroy” Jackson adds with a smile ruffling his son’s hair.

END FLASHBACK

Jen just sat there-her food forgotten as she listened to Gibb’s story.

“The photo in my living room-is that the photo he showed you?” she asked.

All Gibbs did was nod. He stared out the window-embarrassed. He hadn’t meant to tell Jen all of that-just the part about grave.

“Do you remember the name of the city-because it didn’t sound like it was an actual cemetery?” Jen asked as she pulled out her phone-waiting.

“It was near Syracuse-because I think we were coming back from a doctor for Mom-although I didn’t know that at the time” Gibbs commented. “I wasn’t kidding I do want to see him-before they make him disappear. For dad” Gibbs adds.

Jen looked up at him and set her phone down “I will try to see how he’s doing. I haven’t seen Steve or Sam in a few days. His mind has been repeatedly wiped clean for 65 years-he might be a vegetable for all we know. But I know what you mean-all those stories Uncle Jack always told about him. I’ll call Coulson and see what he says” she promised as Gibbs phone rang telling him there was a body somewhere and signaling the end of their lunch.

 


 

 Jen winced as she climbed out of her car. She hadn’t been exaggerating about Bruce’s worry. She was healing but not at a rate either thought she should be. Bruce was patient with her-constantly reminding her that she had a major injury and that recovery times vary whenever she voiced a complaint. She saw Sam in the kitchen window as she walked up to the front of the house.

“Lucy I am home” she called in her best fake Ricky Riccardo accent.

Sam busted out laughing “Why do I have to be Lucy?” he called.

Jen snorted and didn’t comment-noticing instead that he was making dinner.

“You didn’t have to make dinner Sam” she said.

Sam shrugged “no problem really-clears my head” he commented.

She stared at him “Something happen today?” she asked.

Sam shrugged “Went with Steve today-first time they let them see each other. Guy just sat there-smiled a few times at memories Steve talked about. But otherwise he was a shell. Once Steve left-all he said was he wasn’t himself today” Sam replied.

Jen sighed as she sat down at the table “Sam he’s not going to be himself-he’s had 65 years of brainwashing-Steve does realize that right?” she asked.

Sam looked over at her “he says he does-but I don’t think so” he replied.

“I was meaning to ask you-Gibbs wants to see him at some point. Do you think that’s wise? I mean for us it’s probably easier for Barnes-since we aren’t “someone from his past”. We don’t expect him to be Bucky-we are just associated with his past-his family” Jen said.

Sam turned the stovetop on low and came and sat down across from her.

“When I was doing group sessions for soldier’s coming back-they always said that was the hardest thing. The people who expected them to continue to be their old self-when their experiences that ultimately changed them. For Barnes yes I think you and Agent Gibbs will be better for him to handle then he does Steve. Whither THEY will let him see the two of you would be another story.” Sam replied as he went back to check on his food.

“I know-that’s what I am worried about” Jen said.

Sam sat down again “Why are you doing this? I mean I get why Steve is doing this-but why you?” Sam asked.

“Jackson Gibbs” Jen said. “Uncle Jack-Agent Gibbs father-was-sorry Is-Barnes cousin. He would want one of us to at least see if he is okay” Jen said with a shrug.

“I guess I need to call Coulson and call in a favor of my own” she said to Sam as she pulled out her phone-finding the number she was looking for and dialed.

 


 

Coulson was preoccupied typing up a report when his phone rang and automatically answered it.

“Coulson” he said.

“Hello Phil” Genevieve said.

Coulson paused-his report forgotten “Genevieve How did you get this number” he asked.

“You gave me this number-remember?” she chuckled.

“You kept it? I am honored” he replied with a smile. “What can I do for you?” he asked.

Jen sighed “Agent Gibbs wants to see Barnes. Is there any way that can happen? You know before Nick makes him disappear” she said with slight sarcasm.

Phil turned his chair and looked out his window “The only way Fury is going to make Barnes disappear is if he becomes a threat” he stated matter of factly.

“Phil he was a threat the second he became the Winter Solider. But that’s not the reason I called” Jen said.

“Why does Agent Gibbs wants to see him?” Phil asked.

“His father” was the only thing Jen said.

“Let me read his latest therapy notes and I’ll see what I can do” Phil promised.

“Do you need my number?” Jen asked.

Phil smiled “oh no I have both yours and Agent Gibbs phone numbers” he added.

Jen laughed “Oh course you do” she said. “Phil” she added.

“Yes” he replied.

“Thank you” she said softly.

“I haven’t done anything yet” he answered.

“But you will” she said then hung up.

Phil looked at the receiver in his hand and knew she was right-he would.

 


 

Gibbs cell phone rang-he looked at the caller and even though he didn’t recognize the number-he answered it anyway.

“Gibbs” he answered.

“Agent Gibbs-this is Phil Coulson. If you are free at 3pm-we are allowing Barnes to see visitors” Phil said.

Gibbs wanted to ask how the hell they got his number. But from what he had gathered-they’ve probably always had his number.

“Do I drive to the place I went to earlier?” he asked.

“Yes-I will be waiting to escort you” Phil said.

“Thank you” he said.

“Thank Genevieve” was Phil’s only reply before the line went dead.

 


 

Voices outside meant he had a visitor. Therapy must be working-since the sound of the bolt turning on the door didn’t send him into full blown panic attack anymore. Barnes sat up and waited-not sure who would be here. Two men stood in the doorway-one was the suit guy-it took him a few minutes to recognize the other one-Jackie’s son.

“You only have thirty minutes” Suit guy said.

Jackie’s son nodded “Thanks” he said as suit guy nodded casting a brief glance inside at him and walked away

“Hello” the man said.

“Hello” Barnes replied.

“Mind if I come in?” the man asked.

“It’s a free country-or so I am told” he replied.

The man smiled and walked in standing and staring at him. Seeing the man’s eyes made him chuckle-causing the other man to raise an eyebrow in question.

“There’s no denying whose son you are. I might not have much memory-but man I remember Jackie’s blue eyes” he said.

The man smiled softly and extended his hand “Jethro” he said.

He looked at the others hand then at his face-took a deep breath and softly took the offered hand “James” he said with a small shake.

Jethro smiled and shook his hand. He looked around at the meager accommodations. Barnes saw him looking around and shrugged.

“Less furniture for me to break when I am having rough days” Barnes replied.

“How many of those do you have?” Gibbs asked.

“Mainly bad days-they call it PTSD now a days” Barnes answered.

Gibbs nodded causing Barnes to scoff.

“I’ve served in wars and I was told a continent and an ocean away about my wife and child’s murder. I KNOW about PTSD” Gibbs said in reply to the scoff.

Barnes looked at him “You served? You in the Air Force like Jackie?” he asked.

“No I am a Marine-a gunny” Gibbs said.

Barnes nodded then cocked his head “why are you here?” he blurted out.

Gibbs looked down at this man-this man you his father idolized. “I am here because dad would have wanted me to” Gibbs said.

Barnes looked at him “Jackie’s gone then?” he asked.

“Yes” Gibbs said. “Had a stroke about a year ago now” he added.

Barnes nodded “He talked about me? You seemed to know about me” he asked.

Gibbs smiled “Dad talked about you constantly. He was so proud of you-of how you served your country-how you died. When dad was wounded and lost-he told me about how when he finally got back to the carrier you were the first one running across to make sure he was ok. There’s a photo of it-Jen has it now. But believe me you were not forgotten” Gibbs replied.

Barnes smiled stoically after Gibbs had finished. Images flashed across his mind-just out of grasp of recognition-but close.

Gibbs looked at his watch-Coulson would be collecting him in 10 minutes-which meant he would be outside in five minutes. “He will be coming in ten minutes-so I need to be out of here in five” he began. “But if they let me-I’ll be back. I just wanted to meet you” Gibbs admitted.

Barnes smiled “if I am having a bad day the next time you see me-sorry” he said.

Gibbs extended his hand smiling and whispered “Simper Fi” he said.

Barnes smiled-speechless as he watched Gibbs walk to the door and walk out. He hoped he remembered him later on.

 

 

 

 grave photo  -sourced in end notes

Chapter Text

Bruce and Jen were sitting on the couch finalizing the plans for their Alaska trip. They decided on leaving in two days-they kept the date quiet-every time they set a date-something Stark Enterprise wise came up. Jen and Bruce finally decided the least Tony knew the better. Steve came into the living room with an old photo album-catching both of their attention.

“What’s that?” Bruce asked.

“Some old photos from the war-thought maybe this will help Buck” Steve said.

Bruce looked at Steve “Are the therapist’s letting you bring photos so soon?” he asked.

“Why wouldn’t they” Steve asked.

“Because you aren’t supposed to show photos until at LEAST a year for people who have had traumatic brain injury” Jen said-attention still on the maps in front of her.

“Genevieve you don’t understand” Steve began.

“No actually Steve I do. When Hetty found me again-I had no idea who I was-no past-but I DID have memories of what I had done. Do you know what it’s like to not know who you are? To wake up and the ONLY thing you remember are the bodies and the blood? It took Hetty and SHEILD a very long time-months and months of intense therapy for me to regain some of my personality back-and most of my memories. There are still LARGE gaps I don’t remember” she said finishing her speech.

“But you still got your memories back” Steve said gently.

“But Steve-Bucky had his brain both frozen and zapped repeatedly for what 65 years? That would damage anyone’s brain. You are going to have to realize he may NEVER be Buck again. Will you be ok with that?” She asked.

Steve huffed and looked down with the beginnings of his pissed face-the face he gets when he and Tony fight. “He remembers Agent Gibbs” he muttered like a whiny child.

“No-he’s never met Jethro-there’s nothing to remember” she corrected. “He represents a man from Bucky’s childhood” she added. ”I know you told me about when the he saved you from the water-and that’s great-that’s a MAJOR accomplishment. But he might have a harder time adjusting now-having memories of you two-then snippets through the years-then realizing its 75 years later-who knows” she said trying to lessen the double blow she had given him. “But the fact still stands will you be ok if this new person comes out with your best friends face? Because I don’t think you will” she adds gently.

“Of course I’ll be ok with it” he snapped and stomped out of the room.

Jen and Bruce looked at each other “was I too harsh?” she asked.

Bruce smiled “well you were honest with him” he said. “You have to realize though-Steve’s never had his life destroyed before. I mean he’s had bad things happen to him-we all have-that’s just life. But he’s never had to claw his way from the bottom-yet. He died Captain America and woke up Captain America- that’s part of why he sees the good in people-assumes the good guys are always going to win-all of that” he adds with a thoughtful expression.

Sam walked in looking between the two-then settles on Jen “ok what did you do to Steve?” he demands.

Jen looked at Sam “I tried to explain to him that Bucky Barnes may not BE the man he remembered-ever again and if he was okay with that. Might have pissed him off” she said.

Sam looked at her then chuckled “maybe if we continue to tell him he’ll finally get it” he replied.

Just then the alarm went off for the Avengers to assemble. Sam chuckled and Bruce groaned.

“Well at least Steve can let off some steam on the bad guys now” Jen commented as Bruce gave her a quick kiss “be safe” she adds quietly to his retreating back.

“Always” he said turning back to her and smiling before he turned toward the garage.

Jen thought for a minute then decided she needed to go make good on Mike’s unspoken rule-you do what you have to for family-and visit Bucky Barnes herself. She didn’t want to call Phil again-even though she knew he would help her. She decided the best plan was to walk up to the front desk and see what happens-worst case scenario was Fury laugh in her face and throw her out.

 


 

S.H.I.E.L.D Headquarters

Bucky walked into the therapy room-expecting to see Steve but seeing Genevieve instead.

“Hello” she said smiling.

“Hello” he said.

“I was just wondering how you were doing-thought I’d come for a visit” Jen replied-omitting how long she had to chat with Fury before he allowed it.

Bucky just nodded stayed where he was-by the door.

“If you want to come sit down you can –but if you are waiting for orders-you won’t get them from me” Jen said.

Bucky considered her statement-then walked over and sat down across from her.

“I am Genevieve- Genevieve Joan Gibbs” she said formally introducing herself.

Bucky smiled “My name is James Barnes” he said.

“Is that what you want to be called-James?” she asked.

He stared at her “it’s better than asset” he commented.

Jen smirked “I suppose it is” she said. “I am actually related to Jackson Gibbs” she added.

Bucky nodded “I thought he-Steve-would be here?” he asked.

“They were just called on a mission I am afraid” she said.

“Right-Captain America” Bucky said-remembering.

Jen nodded “I wanted to see how you were doing? Are they treating you okay here?” she asked glancing sideways at the security camera with a smirk.

Bucky noticed as well and gave a small smile “no complaints” he said.

Jen smiled “Good-what about Steve-what happens when he comes to visit?’ she asked.

Bucky just blinked at her-not sure on how he was supposed to answer that. She realized she might be losing him so tried another tactic.

“Steve and I got into an argument before they were called to assemble-fight. I believe he expects you to get all of your memories back-that you will be James Buchanan Barnes again. I want you to realize you can be James-or Bucky or any other variation you want to be-if you want. I understand you are getting some of your memories back-and that is wonderful. But the honest truth is you probably will never get all of them back. No one can hold 90 years of memories –you will go insane” she said-pausing to take a breath and to let the information sink in. “I was put in a machine very similar to the one they used on you-and lost a chunk of my memories-that despite years of therapy I will never get back. I understand-the realization that you are now at the bottom with nothing and no one and you need to decide what to do. I would hope you make the same decision I did-and despite the bad memories-try to help. But again-that’s up to you” she adds.

Bucky sat there staring at her-surprised at her honesty. Hydra taught him honesty was a weakness that could be exploited when needed. But the more this women talked-the more she reminded him of someone. A shadow figure of a women-a memory-was just out of his reach. That is the annoying part of this-these memories that he can ALMOST remember.

“Jackie’s son came to visit me” he said. “Are you related to him?” he asked.

Jen looked up at him-she should be annoyed that she wasn’t told about Jethro’s visit-but she wasn’t. “Yes I am” she replied with a smile.

Bucky nodded when loud commotion could be heard from outside the door. Men running and yelling could be heard-causing both to be alert. The sound of Hulk’s roar gave Jen an idea on what was happening. Suddenly Coulson was barging in barking out orders.

“You both need to come with me” he ordered.

“’What’s going on?” Jen asked-noting that neither of them immediately got up.

“Apparently Hulk is not cooperating” Coulson said.

Jen got up and walked past Coulson “Where is he?” she asked.

When Coulson didn’t answer her-she turned and glared at him. “It would be easier if I talked with him. He HATES it when Sheild uses force on him. AND if my vacation is rescheduled AGAIN-you will need to worry about ME hulking out!” she demanded.

Bucky snorted a laugh-diverting the standoff. Clint was coming around the corner before Phil could answer.

“Hey Jen we need you. Hulk didn’t like the idea of you coming here by yourself-and apparently is mad at you too-so well you know” Clint replied with a shrug.

Jen smiled following Clint- she vaguely realized Phil AND Barnes were also following them. They rounded the corner to see SHEILD junior agents using guns and tasers to try and contain an angry Hulk.

Bucky flinched in sympathy as Hulk roared in anger “I’d be mad too” he muttered out loud.

“Ok Stop” she demanded.

“Ma’am” one of them said when Coulson cleared his throat.

“Listen to her agent” was the only thing Coulson said.

The junior agents looked at each other-then stepped away.

“Why is he by himself” she demanded to Clint.

“Tony and Steve got into it out there-you know how that aggravates him. Then well he heard-someone-say that you had gone to SHIELD and that was the last straw” Clint said.

“How did he hear I came to SHEILD” she asked annoyed.

“Umm-I might have said something over the coms” Clint answered sheepishly.

She rolled her eyes as walked up and stood in front of Hulk.

“Are you okay sweetie” she asked.

Hulk still breathing heavy-looked down at her “Jen okay” he demanded.

“Yes I am” she answered.

“Hulk mad at you. Saw Banner-stayed with Banner-not seen Hulk yet” he demanded.

Jen looked at Hulk’s face and could tell he really was upset with her. She felt guilty-she had promised him she’d see him and never delivered.

“You are right sweetie. I did say that to you. You have every right to be mad at me” Jen replied.

Clint jumped in “Well Jade Jaws- Jen WAS hurt and in the hospital for a while” he tried to interject on her behalf.

Hulk looked at her “Jen hurt?” he asked.

Jen glared at Clint for a second before she turned her attention back to Hulk. “Yes Sweetie I was hurt. I was in the hospital for a few weeks. I am still healing” she replied.

Hulk walked up and picked her up-inspecting her for himself. The agents all went to rush in but glares from Clint and Jen stopped them.

“You ok?” Clint asked.

“Fine-feeling like Fay Wray at the moment-but fine” she said slowly.

“Jen hurt where?” Hulk finally asked when he couldn’t see any signs of her being hurt.

“My abdomen” she replied.

Hulk went to lift her shirt-but Clint stopped him before he ripped off her shirt and left her shirtless in front of all these junior agents.

“Buddy there are all these people here. Maybe she doesn’t want everyone to see? Can you trust that she is ok? That Bruce is taking CARE of her” Clint replied-hating that he all but announced their relationship inside of SHIELD of all places.

Hulk looked at Clint “ok birdy” he said setting Jen down as gently as he could.

“I am ok sweetie” she added-trying to reassure Hulk.

“Banner no hurt you” he asked.

“No why would Banner hurt me?” she asked.

“Want see you” he said.

She nodded “ok” she said.

“No hurt banner-Hulk be mad again” he said as he slowly started to shrink.

Clint went and caught Bruce as he fainted-weak after the fight and Hulk’s elevated emotions-just as Steve and Tony came rushing around the corner.

“Is he ok?” Tony asked.

“What happened?” Steve demanded.

“He was pissed at you two-pissed at me and needed to let me know” she said glaring at both men-who at least had the decently to look guilty.

Bucky snorted “Gibbs women are insane” he said.

Everyone slowly turned toward him-he had been momentarily forgotten in the presence of an angry Hulk.

“Excuse me?” Jen asked.

Bucky looked embarrassed then confused. “I don’t know why I said that. Someone said that to me once-I think-so I felt it needed to be said?” he answered.

Clint smiled “Well at least he’s honest” he said with a wink at Jen.

“I’ll take him to the car-we’ll be waiting for you” he said.

Jen smiled “Thanks I’ll only be a minute” she said watching as Clint easily carried Bruce away.

She turned to Bucky who nodded “It’s ok-go on. Hopefully I’ll see you again” he said. “Definitely want to meet that guy one day” he added.

“The green one or the little guy” she asked.

“Well whoever will talk to me” Bucky said with a smile.

Jen smiled “I’ll see you later James” she said, smiling at Coulson then turned and headed to the waiting car.

That left Steve, Tony and Coulson with Barnes. Barnes looked between the three-each expecting him to do something different by the looks on their faces. He was starting to get a headache-which was never good.

“Can you take me back to my cell?” he asked Coulson.

Coulson looked at him “Sure thing Barnes-follow me” he said-both ignoring the sad look in Steve’s eyes.

 


 

Bruce slowly was coming too. He was in a bed warm and toasty. Someone was running their fingers through his hair.

He cracked an eye open and even without his glasses he could tell it was Jen.

She chuckled and kissed him softly “Why do you look relieved?” she asked.

“For a second I was afraid it was Tony” he said with a smirk.

“Nope just me” she said.

Bruce stretched and groaned as he took stock of his normal post Hulk pains-which seemed more than usual.

“What happened?” he asked.

“Not sure” she said.

“What?” he asked.

“I was at SHEILD-visiting Barnes. Suddenly all hell was breaking loose because Hulk was downstairs and angry. Clint came and got me” she said looking at Bruce.

Bruce stared at her thinking “I remember Tony and Steve already arguing before I even turned green. I remember thinking oh man this isn’t good” he said.

“Well according to Clint-he was agitated at them-then Clint opened his mouth and said I had gone to SHEILD and that set him off” she said.

Bruce looked at her in confusion “How did Clint know you were at SHEILD?” he asked.

“I would assume Phil-or I am bugged or something” she said with a smile.

Bruce laughed “That’s probably closer to the truth” he said. “’Wait why was he mad at you?” he added.

“Well I’ve seen you and stayed with you and I haven’t seen him yet-when I promised him I would” she said. “He had every reason to be mad” she added.

“Did he hurt you?” he asked.

“No-when Clint told him I was hurt earlier-he picked me up to investigate for himself. Felt like Fay Wray-but once he was sure I was ok-he put me down. He made sure you were taking care of me- and I was taking care of you-before he calmed down” she said. “Just as a warning-I think Phil knows about us now” she added as she continued to run her fingers through his hair.

“He was bound to find out sometime” he said-obviously not knowing what he was saying.

Jen chuckled climbed under the covers and settled next to Bruce. Part of her wanted to continue to ask Bruce questions-to see what he would say-but refrained. They both needed their rest if they were going to leave for Alaska in two days. She chuckled to herself thinking maybe Barnes was right Gibbs women might be insane.

Chapter Text

Bruce woke the next morning from dreams of Hulk getting mad at SHEILD, Jen, Coulson, Clint and a metal armed man staring at Hulk/him, and Jen saying Coulson knows now. He laid there thinking over everything and decided he didn’t care if Coulson knew-he didn’t care if ALL of SHEILD knew. He hated that Hulk was angry enough at her to go into SHEILD to find her and tell her-but then again he always gets as attached to certain people as Bruce does. He decided he was going to make Jen breakfast in bed as a way of apologizing-even though he knew he’d apologize to her as well. He climbed out of bed and softly tiptoed down to the kitchen to whip up something. If he had planned ahead-he would have tried something a bit more ornate-but settled on vegetable omelets and fresh fruit. He timed it just right- Jen was waking up as he entered the room with the tray of food.

Jen groaned stretching-the smell of food filling her senses.

“Good morning” Bruce said leaning over and kissing her.

Jen smiled “Good morning indeed” she said leaning up and kissing him again.

“I made us breakfast in bed” he whispered against her lips.

Jen smiled “I thought I smelled food” she said.

Bruce chuckled and pulled away “come on before the eggs get cold” he said putting the tray between them-cutting a piece of omelet and feeding Jen.

“I am sorry about yesterday” he said suddenly-watching her as she chewed.

Jen rolled her eyes as she swallowed “I won’t have you apologizing every time Hulk comes out-he was worried and had a valid bone to pick with me. End of discussion okay” she said.

Bruce gave a small smile “ok” he said. “Let’s talk about our trip-see if we need to finalize anything” he added.

Jen smiled “That I will discuss” she said leaning in for a kiss which Bruce accepted.

“I think we should drive-unless we borrow one of Tony’s planes” Jen began. “I have a feeling your name would flag at any airport right now” she added.

“Hmm didn’t think of that-but you’re probably right” Bruce said thinking. “I am a little leery of driving-if our last road trip was any indication of our luck with travel” he added with a smirk.

Jen laughed “oh hush-don’t jinx us-we don’t need any bad luck” she said. “Since you brought up bad luck-maybe we need to tell someone else our plans-phone number-itinerary address to the cabin-as a backup” she added.

Bruce just stared at her with a confused look “Jen I was joking-now you are kind of worrying me. Do you actually think something will happen?” he asked-not voicing how hypocritical that sounded-since Bruce was the one who normally planned for bad things happening.

Jen looked down embarrassed “I was raised by Hetty Bruce-you always have a backup plan” she said quietly.

Bruce nodded “Okay-so it probably needs to be someone outside of the team-someone who knows us but maybe doesn’t have the same last name? What about T?” he asked thinking out loud.

“DiNozzo would be great-he’s an agent so he could help without–hopefully-jeopardizing his job” Jen agreed.

“Since this trip kept getting delayed-Pepper told me to email her and she will make sure it gets put in. I’ll send her an e-mail in a minute-I assume I’ll get a call from Tony by the end of the day” Bruce said chuckling.

Jen nodded “Ok” she said. “Why don’t you call DiNozzo and make sure he’s ok with this before we decide anything else” she adds.

Bruce nodded reached for his phone and scrolled through his contacts until he found DiNozzo’s number.

“Very Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo” Tony answered.

“Hey T” Bruce said.

PAUSE “Hey B what’s up” Tony said quietly.

“Well I was wondering-we are finalizing our trip. Mind if you are our backup? I’ll come by and give you Jen’s key and go through the bare necessities?” Bruce replied.

“No problem man-um-have to ask-what’s a backup?” Tony asked.

“Well Jen thought it would be a good idea if someone else knew of our plans and had a key-for precautions” Bruce answered.

“Do you need to be cautious?” Tony asked.

Bruce chuckled darkly “For most of my life T” he answered making Tony cringe on the other end.

“ DiNozzo” Gibbs voice barked on the other end.

“God T I am sorry-maybe we can get together when you are off” Bruce said.

“No-no man its ok-listen want to come by my place? I’ll text you the address whenever I get off okay” Tony said-not having to look up to know Gibbs was staring at him.

“Sure” Bruce said.

“Got to go man-I’ll see you later” Tony said and hung up. “On your six boss” Tony jumped up-grabbing his to go bag and running behind Gibbs.

“Everything ok” Gibbs asked once they were inside the elevator.

“Sure Boss-he just wants to give me a spare key for the trip” Tony said.

Gibbs looked at Tony as the doors shut “good” he said.

Bruce looked at Jen with a smile “T said he’s do it-he’ll text me when he gets off- we can swing by his place later on tonight sometime” he said.

“Sounds good to me-now go text Pepper-before something unexpectedly comes up” Jen said smiling sweetly.


 

Later that Day

Tony Dinozzo’s Apartment

Tony was pacing- checked his watch again-for what felt like the twelfth time in mere minutes. He heard someone at his door-expecting it to be Bruce went and opened it.

“Junior” Anthony Senior said startled at the sight of his son “I wasn’t expecting you-what are you doing home at this time of day?”

Tony cringed “umm Hi Dad-I’ve had a crazy couple of days-Boss gave me the evening off-so you’re back?” Tony asked surprised glancing around behind his father before shutting the door.

“I came to drop these bags off” Senior said putting plastic bags down and sitting down on the sofa. “To answer your question-Yes-my trip was canceled-Al had other business to attend to” he added with a frown.

A soft knock on his door meant one thing-Bruce had arrived. Being that Tony was still holding the doorknob-he opened it.

“Hey-umm-my dad’s here” Tony said in a rush-apologetically.

Bruce had a deer in the head lights look-Tony was pretty sure he was about to bolt.

“Junior are you expecting company-I can leave” Senior asked as he got up and headed to see who was at the door.

Tony sighed and turned revealing a scared looking Bruce. Senior stopped and stared until it clicked who the man was. Senior’s eyes got huge-looking between the two men.

“Bruce?” he asked in confusion. “No-You’re alive?” he added in wonder.

“Dad-umm yeah Bruce is alive” Tony said. “He’s was part of a case I was working on last month” he adds.

Senior looked between his son and Bruce- placed his hand on his shoulder “Let me look at you?” Senior said staring at Bruce.

Bruce sighed but met Senior’s gaze-going against years of conditioning. Senior searched Bruce’s eyes then smiled and pulled the younger man into a hug.

“It’s good to see you” Senior said into Bruce’s ear.

Bruce smiled and looked down “Thank you-um-“he paused not exactly sure what to call the man as an adult.

“Call me Anthony Bruce” Senior said.

He nodded “Thank you Anthony” he said.

Senior continued to smile at him.

“What?” Bruce finally asked.

“You have Becky’s eyes-and her smile” he stated squeezing his shoulder.

Bruce smiled and Tony let out a relieved breath.

Senior smiled and pulled Bruce inside the apartment-toward the couch “Come tell me what you have been doing with yourself” he asked.

Bruce immediately started to fidget as soon as he sat down. “Well I’ve been traveling around the world for about ten years now. Most recent though I am living in New York-I am employed by Stark Industries” he stated.

“Really? Do you know Tony Stark?” Senior asked with interest.

“No Dad” Tony said-taking a seat in one of the chairs.

“What?” Senior replied-looking at his son.

“Whatever scheme you are planning-stop right now” Tony said.

“I have become a short of entrepreneur in my old age Bruce” Senior replied-ignoring his son’s last statement. “Junior has a problem with it” He adds.

“No dad I have a problem when your “business partners” end up dead and you are a suspect in one of my cases” Tony shot back.

Senior ignored his son’s last statement instead looking at Bruce “What happened Bruce-we all thought you were dead?” he asked.

Bruce sat there not knowing how to answer that question-when his phone rang ‘Thank God’ he thought.

“Hello” Bruce said into his phone.

“Hey Hon I am still downstairs? Did you forget about me?” Jen asked. ‘Geeze Banner-how could you forget she was downstairs’ he chastised himself.

“Oh god-sure hon-sorry I’ll be right down” Bruce then hung up.

Tony busted out laughing “You forgot Jen was downstairs?” he asked.

“Yes-god-ok here’s the key and well the address of the cabin-otherwise we really don’t have a set itinerary- we are planning on being there for two weeks-but well you know how that might change. She just thinks it’s a good idea for someone else to know our plans in case something happens” Bruce said fidgeting as he handed Tony the key and a piece of paper. “Don’t worry Jen wrote it down-you’d never be able to read my chicken scratch-I am a physicists after all” he said with a chuckle. “Umm Anthony it was nice seeing you again-I am sorry I am have to run-umm” Bruce stuttered as he awkwardly sticking out his hand.

Senior looked between his son and Bruce “Good lord where are you going that you are afraid of something happening?” Senior asked.

Bruce looked embarrassed “We are just going on vacation-our first together-but-umm-we both tend to attract trouble and she was taught you always have backup” he said softly.

Senior looked at Bruce “Do you have plans tonight?” he asked.

“Excuse me?” Bruce asked confused.

“I think we should have dinner together-I’ll cook” Senior said.

“Dad-maybe Bruce and Jen have other plans-and I already told you I’ve been busy. Not sure what I have in my fridge is even edible” Tony said.

“You think I don’t know that Junior? What do you think are in those plastic bags-my luggage? I haven’t seen Bruce in 35 years and I know I would LOVE to meet this women of his” Senior said staring at Bruce.

Tony groaned as Bruce tried to politely say no.

“Anthony really-umm” Bruce began.

“It’s just dinner- Don’t worry I’ll talk to her-get her to agree. Just call her back-or I’ll follow you downstairs and talk to her there” Senior said with a smile.

Tony laughed “Dad don’t threaten him” he said.

Bruce rolled his eyes and handed Senior his phone and listened in awe as the man chatted with Jen and got her to come upstairs for dinner. He continued to stare as Senior handed him his phone back and walk away.

“How did he do that?” Bruce asked Tony as Senior took the bags into the kitchen.

“Dad has a way with convincing women to do stuff he wants- he’s been married A LOT” Tony said as they waited for Jen to come up.

“Hi” Tony said as he swung the door open when he heard her knock. “Come in and I just want to say beforehand I apologize” he adds with a smile.

Jen laughed as she was lead inside “its fine Tony-your father seems very-charming” she said.

“Junior where are your manners? Let the women in” Senior said coming up beside Tony.

“Well you must be Jen-I am Anthony DiNoizzo” Senior said walking into the room and kissing Genevieve on the cheek. “I hope you like red wine” he added as he hands her a glass.

“Hello Mr. DiNozzo-I am Genevieve Gibbs” she said with a pleased smile. “And thank you” she said as she accepted the glass-following both men inside.

Bruce was waiting for them in the living room-looking nervous and out of place as usual. He smiled and visibly relaxed when he saw Jen.

“Hi” he said.

Jen laughed walked up and kissed his cheek “I am sorry I interrupted –but the guard was kind of eyeing me and he said he was going to call the cops” she said.

Tony looked at her “I am sorry about that he’s new-I’ll talk with him” he said apologetically.

Senior paused staring at them “I am sorry did you say your last name is Gibbs? Are you related to Jethro Gibbs?” he asked.

Jen smiled “Yes I am-it’s a long story” she said as she took a sip.

“Well maybe you can tell it during dinner-I do hope you like Italian food-I am making my late wife-Tony’s mother-favorite meal” Senior began as he led Jen into the kitchen.

Tony rolled his eyes “Dad’s going to be flirting with her all night-I’ll warn you right now” he said to Bruce as they trailed behind-making Bruce chuckle.

“So Genevieve my dear-how did you meet Bruce? Have you been together long?” Senior asked as he walked back in carrying a pan and other items that Tony had no idea were in there.

“Well Anthony- Bruce and I actually met on a beach in Mexico” Jen said smiling at Bruce.

“Oh were you on vacation?” he asked as he started to prepare the food.

“No-a –umm-Uncle brought him home and that’s when we met” Jen replied.

“Wait a minute-Mexico-You two met because of Mike Franks?” Tony asked looking between the two.

Bruce chuckled and nodded “yes” he said.

“Who’s Mike Franks?” Senior asked.

“Mike Franks was boss’s mentor and best friend. Pretty cool guy-he was killed a few years ago” Tony said.

Senior nodded as he turned on the oven “how long have you two been together?” he asked.

Bruce flushed a little and started to fidget “Well-we’ve been off and on since we met 9 years ago” he said.

“Really?” Senior asked.

Tony chuckled “well I am impressed-I’ve never been in a relationship that long” he said.

Bruce shook his head “well no-we haven’t been together the whole time-umm-circumstances happened and well-we’re together now so” Bruce said earning a smile and a kiss from Jen.

“Ok dinner is served” Senior announced-placing the covered dish on the table.

Everyone sat and immediately dug into their food.

“Oh wow this is wonderful” Genevieve moaned.

“So I assume you know we-junior and -I have known Bruce his entire life” Senior began looking at Genevieve.

Both Bruce and Tony shared a concerned look over their plates.

“Yes Anthony I do know that” Jen replied smiling sweetly.

Senior smiled “my late wife and Becky were the best of friends. They of course had different as night and day-they had different taste in careers-in where they chose to live-in the men they decided to love. But despite all of that they were ALWAYS there for each other” Senior said not seeing the looks going between the other three.

Jen decided to try and derail the conversation-obviously reading the room “That’s wonderful Anthony-I am sure those memories are something to cherish. Aunt Shannon never really had many friends-an Army Wife and all-and well- Hetty NEVER had friends” she said smiling.

Senior blinked at her “You weren’t raised by your mother?” he asked.

Tony rolled his eyes-abandoning his plate to intervene if needed.

“No-umm-my mother died after I was born” she said honestly.

“I’ve been meaning to ask-when did you go live with Hetty Lange?” Tony asked jumping in. “I’ve wanted to ask Boss Man-but I value my life and my job” he adds with a smile.

Bruce and Jen laughed at that “I went to live with Hetty after the wreck-I was kidnapped and when I was rescued-it was decided Gibbs was in no condition to raise me so I went to live with her” Jen replied.

Senior shook his head-and jumping right where he had left off-as if no one else had talked “Well I must say I feel a little protective of Bruce”- he began.

“Dad” Tony warned.

“No I am glad we got to meet her-I was worried at first-but I think she is a wonderful fit for Bruce” Senior said sipping his wine.

“Dad-HOW were you were worried in the 10 minutes you saw him before she came up? You haven’t seen Bruce in over 30 years-you have no right to say that to either of them! Yes I think she’s great for him-but he is a grown man! He can see whomever he wishes. Good lord he doesn’t need us to protect him” Tony exploded. ‘Especially now’ went unspoken but understood.

Senior stared at his son “I enjoy seeing the children I helped raise with good strong women” he replied evenly.

“What is that supposed to mean?” Tony demanded.

“Children you helped raise?” Bruce asked with a raised eyebrow.

“You had a perfectly good women-a partner-who you let leave without telling her anything” Senior replied calmly looking at Tony.

Tony was practically seething “How many times do I have to tell you- she-Ziva- left because she had too. I tried to get her to come back-Begged her to come back with me but she didn’t. What else was I supposed to do?” he growled glaring at his father.

Suddenly the beginning bars of iron man could be heard could be heard from the living room-interrupting the fight. Which meant Tony Stark was calling.

“Think he got the e-mail?” Jen asked-amused and relieved.

Bruce sighed-rolling his eyes “excuse me” Bruce said-leaving the table and answering his phone.

“Hello Tony” Bruce said.

“Hey buddy what are you doing?” Tony asked.

“Jen and I are having dinner with Tony and his father” Bruce replied.

SILENCE

“Oh ok man-sorry-I didn’t mean to interrupt. I just got an e-mail from Pep-Are you really taking two weeks off effective tomorrow?” Tony asked.

Sigh “Yes Tony-I am” Bruce answered.

“Well—what if we need the big guy-or what if I need your help with one of my projects or what about work?” Tony asked.

“Tony-I have enough assistants and interns that work will be ok. IF you all truly need the other guy then you will be able to find me. It’s only two weeks Tony-I think you will be ok without me for that long” he said softly. “You know Jen and I have been planning this trip since she was in the hospital” he added.

“Yeah-you’re right. I am sorry- Have fun man. Go fishing or skiing or-dog sledding-  you do up there” Tony said in a rush.

“I have to go Tony-I can’t leave her in there by herself to long” Bruce said quieter. “I’ll call you later ok” he added.

“Yeah ok” Tony said hanging up.

Bruce stared at his phone then shook his head and put it back in his coat pocket.

“Everything ok” Dinozzio asked-having time to calm down.

”Yeah-sorry about that-Tony must have just gotten the e-mail about my trip” Bruce said as he sat down.

“Can’t be without you for two weeks?” Jen said smiling.

“He will have too” he replied with a smile.

“What time is your flight tomorrow” Senior asked.

“No we are driving-umm-I don’t fly well” Bruce said-not exactly lying.

Tony whistled “You are driving to Alaska?” he asked.

“You have always loved the scenic route-I wouldn’t be able to sit still for that long” Senior replied. “Now go sit down in the living room-I’ll bring out coffee and dessert” he adds shooing them away.

Bruce and Jen went and sat on Tony’s couch. Tony brought out coffee with dessert shaking his head.

“What?” Bruce asked with a smile.

“I think he’s brought all this stuff with him-I KNOW I don’t own any of this” Tony said motioning to the dishware. “I am sorry about the questions in there-Dad has a way of knowing what buttons to push” he adds.

“Bruce” Anthony called from the other room. “I’ve been meaning to ask- Have you seen Elaine since your return?” he asked.

Bruce had that deer in the headlight look again-both Jen and Tony saw it. Lucky for them Senior kept talking from the kitchen.

“She was always a very nice women-how long has it been since Morris’s death? I wonder if she would like to have coffee if I called her” he wondered out loud as he walked into the room.

Both men groaned-only Jen noticed that Bruce’s was a tad deeper and more of a growl. She lovingly squeezed his hand-hoping to distract and calm him.

“DAD-you are NOT calling Elaine Walters and going on a DATE with her” Tony replied.

“Why?” Senior asked.

Tony sighed “How do you think she will take someone who she hasn’t seen in 30 years-calling out of the blue for coffee?” he asked.

Senior thought then shrugged “Is her daughter still single?” he asked with a smirk.

“DAD” Tony exclaimed disgusted.

Senior laughed “I was just joking-calm down” he said.

Tony shot a warning look at his dad “Stop it” he gritted out.

Senior laughed and squeezed Bruce’s shoulder as he passed “I am sure Bruce knew I was joking-didn’t you Bruce?” he said.

Jen knew she needed to get Bruce out of there-the way it was going Hulk was going to make an appearance-either by the rising tension or the jokes Anthony kept making. She decided to play the tired cranky girlfriend card.

“Umm I hate to be this way-dinner was wonderful but we have a long trip tomorrow and I am getting tired” she said standing up-signaling to the others that the dinner was over.

After thanking both DiNozzo’s and promising to get together again-they were alone in the elevator heading down to the parking garage. She leaned against Bruce as leaned against the wall of the elevator-his eyes closed taking calming breaths.

“That was interesting” Jen deadpanned once he opened his eyes again.

Bruce barked out a laugh “Yes it was- Anthony DiNozzio hasn’t changed” Bruce said.

“Which one?” she asked with a smirk.

“Either” Bruce replied smiling.

“They must be trying to—reconnect” Jen said choosing her words carefully.

“They’ve had a strained relationship since Aunt Linda died” Bruce began. “Anthony promised her he’d watch out for us. But he –couldn’t. He was crushed when she died and couldn’t deal with his own son-much less me. Then Brian was arrested-finally- and I had to go with social services-eventually Jennifer and her parents took me. I don’t think Tony has ever forgiven him for that” he added quietly.

Jen nodded keeping quiet “Why haven’t you called them yet?” she finally asked.

Bruce stared at her “I am scared of how they will react” he said honestly.

Jen leaned against him kissing him “They might be mad for a minute-but if they love you they will be more relieved than mad” she said.

“And if they are more mad then relieved?” he asked.

“Then they are stupid-and you still have us” she replied.

Bruce shook his head stroking her face “I love you” he said quietly.

Jen’s head snapped up looking at him a small smile on her face “I love you too” said kissing him-then pulling him out of the elevator and towards the car.

 


 

Two men walked out of the shadows once they were sure the coast was clear- eyeing the security guard silently.

“You sure Mr. DiNozzo and his father aren’t going to be harmed?” the security guard asked.

“We just want to know about those two that left” the one man asked.

“Her name was Gibbs-must be a last name. It’s what she said when she answered her phone. Don’t know his name but they were all clingy and kissing when they left so I would assume they are a couple” The security guard replied.

The other man nodded and handed the guard an envelope with numerous undisclosed bills “This is for your trouble and we never spoke” he said eyeing the security guard.

“Yes-Yes sir” the guard said.

The man picked up his phone and dialed his employer not liking this new bit of information. ‘If we have to track this women as well-the price was defiantly going up’ he thought to himself in annoyance.

 


 

Los Angeles

Owen hung up the phone and sighed-he knew he needed to call Hetty-otherwise she would be pissed. ‘I am getting too involved in this’ he thought as he dialed.

“Yes Owen” she said when she answered.

“I think you should know I just got a call from my informants that General Ross has been visiting a psychiatric penitentiary every month for the last six months” he said.

Hetty chuckled “For a repeated consolations I hope” she replied.

“The penitentiary is in Ohio” Owen continued.

“Why would I care-oh bugger” she said when the pieces clicked. “Why is he visiting Banner?” she asked.

“Not sure exactly-but rumor has it that the penitentiary is having money problems and will probably be closed within the end of the year” he said.

“What are they going to do with all of the inmates?” she asked.

“Transferring most-but they are trying to release those that have been “rehabilitated” he said.

“They don’t want to waste their time with the elderly who have been there for years” Hetty clarified.

“That’s my thinking as well” Owen said.

Hetty sighed “Thank you Owen-I appreciate the call” she said as she hung up.

With further investigation she found out all the major Ohio papers were going to run the story about the penitentiary closing the next day. She had copies sent to herself-as well as Agent DiNozzo and Stark Tower-maybe between the three of them this can be dealt without Bruce knowing. Hetty shook her head hoping she hadn’t just jinxed herself and did what she does best-waited.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

When they got home all Jen and Bruce wanted to do was go to sleep-but couldn’t. They still needed to pack and Bruce kept getting texts from Tony Stark -they didn’t get to sleep until 2AM. Needless to say by the time they woke up-they were going to get a later start then they had originally planned. As they were sitting at the breakfast table a limo driver appeared at the door handing her an envelope-saying he would be waiting outside whenever they were ready.

“Ready for what?” Bruce asked as he walked up to read behind Jen’s shoulder.

“Tony leant us a driver and one of his planes for our trip as an apology-apparently” Jen said as they read the letter.

Neither wanted to admit they were relieved by the unexpected gift. They were both tired and the thought of the drive ahead was something neither wanted to do.

Bruce sighed and hid his smirk “Well it’ll get us there quicker” he reasoned.

“Bruce you hate to fly” Jen said.

Bruce shrugged “I can deal with that-I’d rather spend more time there with you-then being stuck in a car” he replied. “It’s was nice of Tony to offer” he adds as they go to clean up and get their suitcase.

“He just wants to know where you are at all times” Jen said with a smile. “But let’s call him and thank him on the plane” she added with a smile.


 

They were sitting in typical D.C traffic on the way to the airport when Bruce’s phone rang.

“Hello” Bruce said as he answered it.

“I just wanted make sure you are ok” DiNozzo said quietly.

“Yeah-umm-we are heading to the airport-Tony gave us one of his planes as an apology-and I hate D.C traffic and planes” Bruce babbled.

Tony chuckled “Perks of having a billionaire as your best friend I guess –but no I meant about last night. Once the two of you left-Dad and I kind of had it out. He’s always doing that-he has different memories of the past and his part in it” He said.

“I have to admit it was a little stressful-but he seems to be trying” Bruce tried.

“Yes I agree he’s trying” Tony chuckled. “But still he had no right so I apologize” he adds sincerely.

“That’s fine-as long as he doesn’t try to date my cousin” Bruce said with a smile.

Tony laughed “I make no promises-but hopefully he won’t –because it will upset you” Tony replied.

Jen had been trying to give Bruce some privacy to talk but started to rub his knee to get his attention-they were pulling into the airport.

Bruce sighed “I have to go T-we are at the airport. I’ll make sure to call you when we get back” he said as he hung up.

“Are you ready?” she asked,

Bruce slowly smiled “yes” he said as they climbed out and headed toward the waiting jet.


 

Stark Tower

Tony stumbled into the kitchen in search of more caffeine. On his way to the coffee maker he noticed an actual newspaper on the counter-which got his attention.

“JARVIS what is this?” he asked.

“Ms. Potts brought it in this morning. Apparently it was sent to you specifically from Ohio”  JARVIS answered.

Tony pulled it across the counter to read it better-scrunching his brow in confusion. ‘Why does that sound familiar?’ he asked himself.

“JARVIS-Do I know anyone in this place?” he asked the A.I.

“Well no sir-you don’t personally know anyone in that establishment-A Dr. Brian Banner has been an inmate there since his incarceration in 1983” The A.I answered.

Tony’s head snapped up at the ceiling “Bruce’s father?” he said.

“Yes sir” JARVIS replied.

Tony was sipping his coffee deep in thought when JARVIS interrupted “Sir you have an incoming video call”

“Put it through” he said.

“Did you receive my gift Mr. Stark?” Hetty asked as she appeared on the projected screen.

“Yes I did-why did you send it to me?” he asked setting his mug down.

“I wanted you to be aware and alert. Something is going on-whatever it is-it’s going to be big” she began.

A man in shorts and glasses walked in the door glancing at the screen and squeaked-interrupting the conversation. Hetty turned and stared as a small red head hid a smile. Stark just raised an eyebrow at the reaction.

“Is there a problem Mr. Beale?” Hetty asked when the man didn’t move-just stood there frozen.

The man continued to stare but managed to shake his head no-finally the red head intervened and cleared her throat.

“He’s fan boying Hetty” She said.

“What?” Hetty asked.

“Geeking out” She supplied.

Hetty rolled her eyes “Later Mr. Beale” snapping the man into action.

“Yes Hetty-Sorry” Eric said as he flung himself into his chair pushing papers into the red head’s direction.

She sighed “Hetty-Eric just found out that Dr. Banner-the original Dr. Banner-has been released 45 minutes ago” she said.

“WHAT!” Tony and Hetty exploded simultaneously.

“I thought victims were supposed to be notified if people are released?” Sam Hanna asked as he walked into the room with a women-nodding to Tony on the screen.

“You cannot contact someone you cannot find” Hetty said.

“But he’s been with me for almost two years now” Tony replied-then shook his head. “It’s got to be Ross” he added.

“I agree it’s Ross-but the fact still stands we now need to go on the defensive-try to get the upper hand” Hetty said pacing back and forth in thought. “I am going to have to contact Leon and Gibbs-maybe DiNozzo and give them this new development-do you have time to conference with us?” she asked staring at Stark.

“Of course” he replied.

Hetty nodded “Nell-patch me through to MTAC” Hetty replied.

“Yes Hetty” Nell said.


 NCIS

DiNozzio ended the call with Bruce as he walked into the bullpen a frown still on his face.

“Morning Tony” McGee greeted cautiously from behind his monitor.

“Morning” he grunted in response.

“Bad Morning?” Bishop asked from her desk.

“Or bad night?” McGee added from his.

“Dad was in top form last night-he and I kind of had it out once Jen and Bruce left after dinner” Tony admitted.

As if on cue the elevator opened and his dad walked out.

“Junior” Senior called with a troubled look on his face.

“Hello Mr. DiNozzio” McGee said jumping in and extending his hand “Nice to see you again” he added.

Senior looked at McGee then gave a small smile “Yes Tim-nice to see you again” he replied.

“Are you for long Anthony” Bishop asked.

“Hopefully so Eleanor-Junior we have a problem read this” Senior said throwing a paper on his son’s desk.

“How do you have an Ohio Paper?” he asked confused.

“Read it junior” Senior ordered.

Tony picked up the paper and scanned the headlines OHIO ASLUYM TO CLOSE. As he scanned the article he felt his blood start to boil.

“DAMMIT no” he exclaimed throwing the paper on his desk staring at his dad. “They CAN’T do this-they CAN’T let that asshole go free” he raged.

“DiNozzio, McGee MTAC” Gibbs barked as he walked through the bullpen heading for the stairs-nodding at Senior as he went.

McGee glanced at Tony “something must be going on- wasn’t today Gibb’s day off” he said.

Tony groaned “I’ll be right back Dad-Stay here” he said as he and McGee followed Gibbs.

Once they entered-Vance gave to nod and Hetty and Tony Stark’s face appeared on the screen.

“Good morning Gentlemen-thank you for meeting with me” Hetty began.

“What’s going on Hetty” Vance replied.

“I was informed last night that General Ross has been visiting a patient in an asylum in Ohio every month for the last six months” she said.

DiNozzo gasped whispering a curse under his breath.

“Care to share with the class Agent DiNozzo?” Vance replied.

“Brian” was all he could get out.

“Who?” Vance asked.

“Dr. Brian Banner has been incarcerated in an asylum in Ohio for the past 32 years” Hetty replied looking at Vance. “We were informed that Brian Banner has been released an hour ago” she added.

“Where is Banner-Bruce now?” Gibbs asked.

“He and Jen are in route to Alaska” DiNozzo replied. “Anyway we can track them?” he added to the group-nodding at McGee.

“Already done” Stark said before he could move to the computer.

Everyone looked at him confused.

“All my planes have tracking systems in them” he replied with a shrug.

DiNozzo chuckled “Is THAT why you offered them the plane?” he asked.

Stark frowned-ready with a comeback when Gibbs intervened.

“Ok do I need to head slap both of you?” he snapped.

“Sorry Boss” DiNozzo said.

“Questionable intentions aside-As I was telling Mr. Stark we need to get on the defensive. I have a feeling we will be seeing either Thaddeus or Brian Banner-or both- soon enough-and I would like to know what they have planned before we do” Hetty said. “You might not want to hear the next part Leon” Hetty added.

“Hetty if you didn’t want me to hear it-you wouldn’t have invited me here” Vance replied with a smirk.

“Touché Leon-I was just giving you an out” she replied with a matching smirk.

“Is there any way we can track Ross or Banner?” Gibbs asked.

“I would assume that’s why I was invited to this party” Stark replied with an almost shark like smile.

“You would assume correctly-I know you have to capability to track anyone-without the –limitations- the rest of us have” she replied.

He chuckled “I doubt you’ve ever had limitations” Stark replied the looked at the ceiling “Jarvis search for General Ross and Brian Banner-see if you find anything” he commanded.

“Yes Sir” JARVIS replied.

Stark looked back at the screen “We should have their exact locations soon” he replied.

Vance, Gibbs and DiNozzo looked at each other in confusion while McGee looked excited. McGee stepped in to explain to the occupants of MTAC.

“That was Mr. Stark’s A.I sir-umm JARVIS. It’s a talking computer that helps him” McGee replied.

“Like 2001 A Space Odyssey?” DiNozzo asked impressed.

“Well yes-except for the killing people part-I assume” McGee replied looking almost dreamily at the screen.

Stark looked impressed “JARVIS is self-aware artificial intelligence-like HAL- but he’s more of an electronic butler- looking out for my well-being” he said.

“I can assure you-even though I have multiple hard drives and can run numerous functions at one time-seeing that Mr. Stark doesn’t kill himself takes up most of my capabilities that I would have none to kill anyone or for world domination-or any other science fiction plot line that can be thought of” JARVIS replied dryly.

Tony chuckled “JARVIS not in front of company” he replied.

“My apologies sir” came the A.I’s reply.

“Hetty what are your theories on what Ross is planning” Gibbs asked.

“I think he wants to kill Bruce-he’s been trying to for years. Since Hulk seems to be indestructible he’s going to break the man down mentally” she said honestly.

“Bruce said Ross caught up with him early on and captured him until he could escape. I don’t want to think about what happened in there-but anyone who knows his background would know this would be the way to get him” DiNozzo said.

Gibbs nodded “Makes sense-bruises heal-broken bones heal- But to be faced with that man again after all these years-after what he did-how do we stop it?” he asked.

“We have to watch Bruce-we need enough HARD evidence that WHEN Ross acts and we CATCH him in said act and arrest him-he won’t be able to go free” she said darkly.

“Sir” JARVIS interrupted.

“What did you find?” Stark asked.

“Sir it would seem General Ross is back in D.C. Brian Banner does not seem to be with him at this point and time-but I will continue searching” the A.I promised.

“Expand the search to the entire east coast” Stark commanded. “If JARVIS doesn’t find anything I will do the entire United States then the world if I have to-no matter how long it takes” he added.

Hetty smiled “I am sure you will-since you also have eyes on them-keep us informed if something happens in Alaska” she said.

“Of course” Stark said.

“Before you react” she added.

“I can only promise as I act-not before” was his smart ass remark.

Hetty chuckled “In true Stark fashion” she muttered out loud.

Vance cleared his throat “Well I have a meeting to get to-thanks for informing us Hetty. It’s a pleasure seeing you again Mr. Stark” he said and turned and left.

“I am going to get off too-Mr. Stark we need to have a meeting at some point two of my people really would like to meet you” Hetty said.

Stark chuckled “Anytime” he said.

“Here too-McGee will probably chat with you for a second but my forensic scientist would love to meet you as well. She’s already in love with Bruce so I think you’d like her as well” Gibbs said.

McGee looked a little embarrassed for a moment “Yes- umm went to MIT and as I was telling Dr. Banner at the gala-you are a legend there” he said.

Stark smiled a McGee “Sure-I am sure I’ll be down in D.C soon and my place and headquarters for Stark Industries is in Malibu so I can always swing by your place as well Hetty” he said.

“I’ll send you the address” she said as she logged off.

“Before you go McGee I’ve been meaning to ask you-Why did you go up and shake Ross’s hand at that Gala thing we all roped into?” Stark asked.

“Umm well he actually walked up to me-my father was an admiral with the U.S. Navy. He had recently died and the General was giving his condolences” McGee said uncomfortably.

“Or trying to establish loyalties” Gibbs added.

“That’s what I thought too” McGee answered. “But don’t worry Boss you don’t have to worry about me” he added.

“I know Tim” Gibbs said squeezing his shoulder as he walked out the door.

DiNozzo, Stark and McGee just looked at one another “Do you think he’ll try something in Alaska?” McGee asked them.

“Yes” Stark said.

“Furthest away from us-makes sense” DiNozzo agreed.

“But he’d have others do it-no blood on his hands” Stark said thinking out loud.

“Mercenaries?” DiNozzo asked. “How do you even search that?” he added.

“Can’t until they hit-so you get a facial recognition. Most of the time you don’t-because they are that good” Stark replied.

“Weapons? Missiles?” McGee asked.

“Now THAT I can search” Stark replied as a holographic keyboard appeared in front of him.

“That’s so cool” McGee whispered. “He has capability of having holographic keyboards and computer access in his kitchen” he adds.

“Every room actually” Stark replied with a smirk.

DiNozzo rolled his eyes at McGee’s dream like expression “Will this take long to search?” he asked Stark.

“Usually does” came Stark’s preoccupied reply.

“Listen call us back when you find something-I am going to pull elf-lord out of here before he has a geek-gasim or something” DiNozzo said.

Stark chuckled “Sure thing” he replied distractedly with a flap of his hand toward the screen and signed off.


 

ALASKA

The plane ride itself was uneventful-Jen making sure to keep Bruce distracted as much as possible so he wouldn’t dwell on the fact he was on a plane. They read, watched some movies, napped, and talked-whatever was needed. It wasn’t surprising that there was a truck waiting for them to use when they touched down or that the quaint little cottage was well stocked and had an exceptional views from very window.

“What do you want to do first?” Jen asked as they stood on the back porch looking out over the trees.

 Bruce smiled turning to her “Let’s go explore” he said excitedly.

“Sure” she said taking his hand and letting him drag her toward the steps.

 


 

 After a few days of sight-seeing and excursions-they were both exhausted and just wanted a night in. They cuddled by the fire-enjoying each other’s company. Bruce leaned down to kiss Jen behind her ear making her sigh. His hand reached around her and started to unbutton her shirt wanting to get his hand inside-but his fingers were cooperating with him. He growled softly making Jen giggle. He turned her around trying to figure out the problem but was a rougher than he meant and sent buttons in all directions when he ripped the shirt.

“Hey! I LIKED that shirt” she mock complained.

They looked at each other than burst out laughing until Jen decided turnabout is fair play taking his shirt tails and pulled-sending his buttons in all directions as well. Bruce leaned down shrugging out his this shirt as he kissed her- trailing soft kisses down her neck and across her collarbone- making Jen moan softly. He could feel his heart rate skyrocket in excitement while his blood began rushing to other parts of his body-freaking him out. He laid his forehead on her stomach-taking gulping breaths-trying but failing to calm himself. Jen automatically stopped and started to run her fingers through his hair-until they were both calmer.

“We can stop” she said quietly.

He groaned as he pushed his face into her stomach “Shit-I should be able to do this. I WANT to do this” he said as he pulled his hair in frustration.

“Okay stop” Jen said rolling them so she was on top looking down at him. “I won’t have you getting upset or hurting yourself over this” she admonished gently. “Sex is a process in any relationship-we just have to take it slower than most” she added.

“If we can’t ever?” he asked bitterly.

“Then we can’t-or we try something else” Jen said smiling leaning down to kiss him again-taking the lead.

“You’re safe with me” she whispered in his ear as she kissed down his neck then found his lips again.

Bruce moaned into the kiss and ran his hands down her back and just decided to try and enjoy it. ‘Enjoy yourself for once’ he thought to himself.


 

 STARK TOWER

Pepper was worried -she hadn’t seen Tony all day-she decided to go see what was going on. She walked into his lab and was greeted with hundreds of hologram charts-maps-and blue prints. Tony was hunched over a keyboard mumbling nonsense that only JARVIS would understand. As Pepper stood there studying everything-she noticed one of the maps had two dots-one in Alaska and the other in D.C. She knew he had sent one of the planes to fly Bruce to Alaska this morning-was he actually tracking him?

“Ok you bastard where are you?” Tony asked out loud.

“Tony what’s going on?” she demanded.

Tony jumped so engrossed he didn’t hear her come in.

“Geeze Pep-scared the hell out of me” he snapped clutching his chest.

“What is that?” she snapped pointing to the map.

“Had a meeting with NCIS today-Ross is up to something and I am keeping an eye to make sure Ross doesn’t go anywhere near him” he explained as he turned back to the screens.

“Who else are you searching for” she asked.

“Apparently Brian Banner was released earlier today” he replied.

“Why?” she asked.

“Why was he released? Not sure-the place they locked him up in closed” he said.

“And JARVIS can’t find him?” Pepper asked.

“Not yet-but we will” Tony said with conviction.

Pepper frowned-wanting to explode about boundaries and his increasing obsession with Bruce. But if NCIS thought there might be a problem-she’ll let it drop for the moment. It wasn’t Bruce’s fault- and he shouldn’t be hurt because she has a growing problem with Tony’s newest obsession.

“Okay Tony I’ll come check on you later” she said and left the lab-Tony never noticed.


 Alaska

Bruce woke up feeling satisfied-a feeling he hadn’t felt since Betty. He knew he had a shit eating grin on his face and thank god there was no one here but Jen to witness it-although she was the reason the look was even ON his face in the first place. Jen was still asleep her bare back exposed to his eyes and the elements. He smiled and leaned down deciding to kiss down the exposed flesh-and the scars- seeing how far he could go before she woke up.

She hummed as she stretched “Good morning” she whispered.

“It is” he mumbled against her back.

She turned her head so she could kiss him and chuckled as she laid her head back to let Bruce continue “Don’t you have a prideful smile on your face Doctor Banner” she replied.

“I didn’t think I had anything resembling male pride left-if I had any at all- but you should know you put it there” he said as he continued to kiss her exposed skin.

“The smile or the male pride?” she teased-giggling as he touched a ticklish spot.

“Yes” he said.

She turned smiling at him “That’s all those unused endorphins still running through your system talking” she teased but pulled him into a kiss.

“I love you” he said against her lips.

“I love you too” she said-that’s when both their stomachs rumbled killing the mood.

“Let’s go eat” she said putting on her pajamas and robe on.

“Bashful now? Bruce asked.

“One I would bet this house has hidden cameras in every room and two I am freezing” she answered as she walked out toward the kitchen.

Bruce scanned the room uneasily then reached for his sleep pants following Jen into the kitchen. “In every room?” he asked.

“Probably” she said pulling out food from the fridge. “What do you feel like for breakfast?” she asked pulling out sausage and eggs.

Bruce just shook his head-realizing if she wasn’t worried he shouldn’t be either. He watched as she turned on the gas stove to start breakfast. It was only then that he smelt it-the rotten egg smell that comes from a gas leak. He reacted before his mind could process everything-pulling Jen back and throwing himself on top of her knowing Hulk would protect her as the cabin exploded around them.


 50 miles away two men in snowmobiles watched as the cabin exploded. Then the Hulk roared as he climbed out of the ruble clutching a women gently in his hands. He looked at the women-touching her face with a finger when nothing happened the monster roared louder in anger and leaped off.

“It’s done sir-the cabin was destroyed and the monster showed himself like you predicted” the man said into a burn phone.

“The women?” the man on the other end asked.

“The monster was clutching her-she seemed unresponsive and he leaped off clutching her” the man answered.

“I was hoping she would die in the blast” he sighed. “But otherwise the first part of my plan is working nicely. Your payment is in the usually place gentlemen thank you” then hung up.

 


 Stark Tower

 

“Sir” JARVIS said jolting Tony awake from a nap that he didn’t realize he was taking.

“What?” he asked confused.

“I am sorry sir but it would the cabin that Dr. Banner was at exploded 10 minutes ago” JARVIS said.

“WHAT!” Tony yelled.

“I am pulling satellite footage and calling Ms. Lange as we speak” JARVIS informed him.

“Did you find anything Mr. Stark?” Hetty asked.

“JARVIS just said” Tony began only to be interrupted.

“Yes I know the cabin exploded” Hetty said.

Tony was stunned “How?” he asked.

“Do you think with all my years with numerous undercover government agencies that I don’t have the surveillance knowledge to be informed the SECOND something peculiar happens with one of my properties?” she asked incredulously.

“You are right-sorry” Tony said. “What did you see?” he asked.

“The only surviving video is from inside the house-all the ones outside were cut” she admitted.

“JARVIS are you finished pulling up the video?” Tony asked annoyed.

“Yes sir” JARVIS said and played the video.

“Where is Hulk taking her?” Hetty asked after the video ended.

“JARVIS?” Tony asked.

“I am pulling surveillance satellite feed-I can’t pinpoint and exact location-he seems to be zig zagging across the continent and fast” JARVIS said.

“JARVIS get my suit ready and tell the team” Stark bellowed running for the garage-Hetty already forgotten.

“Eric notify Mr. Callen I want to see him in my office immediately-and keep an eye on Hulk and notify me the second something changed understood” Hetty said.

“Yes Hetty” Eric said.

“Nell Notify Gibbs and DiNozzo about this-they will want to know” Hetty replied as she turned to leave.

“Right away Hetty” Nell said.

Once Hetty got to her desk she sat down and sighed “I TOLD her not to blow this one up” she muttered.

Chapter Text

Gibbs and DiNozzo were waiting to hear from someone after the call from Nell. News travels fast and the rest of the team ended up in the bullpen watching the video on McGee’s computer and waiting. Gibbs cell rang-he looked at who was calling and answered it.

“Tell me you have something Callen” he barked.

“No Gibbs-Hetty just told me- Where do you think he’s taking her?” Callen asked.

“I mean Hulk’s not going to hurt her right-I mean he’s Dr. Banner-so that’s good. It’s not like a murdered has kidnapped her-just an overtly huge emotional man-beast thing-that has killed people” Abby replied trailing off realizing how it sounded.

“The video shows he is protecting her” Ducky agreed trying to help Abby out.

“Whither he is protecting her or not-we’re still back at trying to figure out where he is going?” Callen replied.

Tony just sat there thinking ‘where would he take her? It seems whenever Hulk was scared he ran-ran until people stopped chasing him-just like when Bruce was a kid. So he would go where he felt safe. The last memory of Bruce feeling safe was probably Jen’s house. That had to be where he was trying to take her’.

“Boss I think I know where he’s going-he’s taking Jen back to her house” Tony said as he grabbed for his keys running for the elevator.

“DiNozozo freeze-how do you know that?” Gibbs demanded.

“Whenever Bruce gets scared he runs-has since we were kids. He would go someplace he felt safe. The last place that was-was Jen’s house right” DiNozzo demanded.

“Makes sense Gibbs-might want to go” Callen replied from the phone.

“Go I am on your six” Gibbs said as they both ran for the cars.

“I’ll tell Hetty-she’s been in communication with Stark-maybe she can talk with him-keep me informed. Stay safe” Callen said.

“You too Agent Callen” McGee replied as he hung up the phone.

 


 

“Hetty- DiNozzo thinks Hulk is taking her back to her house anyway we can relay the message” Callen said as he walked in the Ops center.

“Mr. Beale” Hetty said.

“Already on it” Eric said keying in some commands.

Static could be heard-Eric looked at Hetty and did a go on gesture.

“Mr. Stark can you hear me?” Hetty said.

“Hetty how did you get this line-did you just hack me?” he asked incredulously.

“Again you seem surprised” Hetty said. “DiNozzo thinks Hulk is taking Jen back to her house-might want to meet them there” she said.

Stark scoffed “How did he come up with that?” he asked.

Hetty rolled her eyes “This not the time for your Stark ego Anthony” she reprimanded. “Think about it-When Bruce runs-or Hulk- where do they go?” she demands.

“Somewhere safe” Tony said as he turned around in the air. “Barton did you hear that?” he asked.

“Yep-still on standby-let us know what’s going on.” Clint said.

“Will do” Stark replied.

Gibbs and DiNozzo raced through the streets and turned into Genevieve’s driveway.

“How are we going to play this DiNozzo?” Gibbs asked as he parked the car.

“What do you mean Boss” Tony asked cringing at the angry roar from behind the house.

“How are we going to confront Hulk?” Gibbs clarified.

Tony sighed as he opened the door “We just talk with him” he said.

“He’s going to just let us-I got the impression he doesn’t like to talk?” Gibbs said.

“Well I just hope he remembers me” Tony said as he entered the house guns drawn- Gibbs following right behind him.


 

Hulk was on the back deck Jen still in his arms but he was pacing back and forth twitching and growling. He turned when he heard the door open and bristled when he saw DiNozzo. Then gave a quiet roar when he saw they were carrying guns.

“Boss put your gun away” DiNozzo said.

“What” Gibbs demanded?

“The guns are freaking him out-we need him to cooperate-right” DiNozzo said.

Hulk watched intrigued as the two men put the guns away-no one ever put guns away in front of Hulk before.

“Hi” DiNozzo said. “I hope you remember me-we’ve met before-I think. In my tree house- when Bruce and I were kids-right after Aunt Becky died.” Tony rambled as he crept closer.

Hulk was silent for a minute then snorted “T” he rumbled making Tony freeze.

“You do remember me” Tony said in wonder. “Is Jen ok” he asked.

Hulk clutched her closer growling a warning. Tony stopped his descent-but kept talking.

“Is she bleeding? Is she talking? We need to get her to a doctor or a hospital Hulk-can I call you that? Will you let me see her” Tony said.

Hulk stared at him “You said you protect puny Bruce-you didn’t” he said.

Tony stopped in shock and guilt “I tried H-Hulk-I really did-we were just kids- there’s only so much an eight year old can do” he said quietly. “Believe me-it’s probably better Bruce went to live with Jennifer. My dad wasn’t fit to be MY father much less raise TWO boys. But I always kept an eye on him-and was really upset when I thought he died” Tony rambled-as if that was going to make a difference. Tony took a deep breath and continued to talk “I work with her father-the man right here-his name is Gibbs. We just want to make sure she’s ok-that you both are ok. Will you let me just see if she’s ok-you can keep a hold of her-just let me make sure she’s ok” Tony said.

Hulk looked at Tony then looked down at Jen then looked over at Gibbs before he made his decision. He nodded and slowly lowering Genevieve gently on the ground so Tony could get closer. He walked up and crouched next to her-there was no sign of blood that he could see and she was breathing-which was always a good sign.

“Jen can you hear me?” he asked softly.

She twitched slightly at the sound of her name but didn’t make a sound.

Hulk watched them for a few minutes before he spoke “Hulk protect Jen” he said.

Gibbs looked up at the man “Thank you” he said.

Hulk continued “Gi-ibbs” he said testing out the name.

Gibbs looked at him and nodded “Yes my name is Gibbs” he said.

Hulk looked at him “are you good or bad father” he asked.

Gibbs kept his composure as he contemplated the question. “Not sure exactly. I never knew Jen was my daughter until recently and my younger daughter died a very long time ago. So I am not sure what kind of father I am” he said honestly.

Hulk looked at him “Hulk protect Banner from bad father-Hulk will protect Jen from bad Gibbs” he warned.

Gibbs couldn’t help his eyes widening slightly at the threat-but a small smirk appeared anyway “Understood” he said as he heard the sound of Iron Man approaching.

“What’s going on- is she ok” Stark asked as he landed taking in the scene. “Found him” he added to whoever was listening over the comms.

Hulk snorted “Hulk protect Jen” he said looking annoyed at Stark.

Stark smiled “no I know you would Big Guy-but you scared us-sending us across the country. Why would you come back here of all places? Why not New York?” Stark asked.

Hulk shrugged “Jen feel safe here” he said as an explanation.

“But Bruce hates D.C” Stark replied.

“House not D.C” Hulk answered.

“DiNozzo what is going on” Gibbs said realizing Tony had been quiet too long for his liking.

“I think she’s waking up-there’s no blood from what I can see-she has a few slight burns but nothing that seems overtly bad” DiNozzo said. “And if Bruce hates D.C so much why is he still here?” he added looking toward Hulk.

“Jen and T” Hulk answered with a shrug.

As if on cue Jen groaned quietly as she regained consciousness. She tried to move but DiNozzo leaned down and gently placed a hand on her shoulder.

“Shh Jen it’s Tony-try not to move” He ordered quietly.

She opened her eyes blinking up at him in confusion. She noticed Hulk, Gibbs and Stark in his suit behind him-all staring at her.

“Tony? What happened?” she asked in bewilderment.

DiNozzo smiled down at her “Since you are looking at me-I am assuming you mean me-this might get confusing” he said glancing back at Stark with a smirk. “Well you and Bruce were in a cabin that blew up-do you remember that?” he asked.

Jen looked at him then looked over at Hulk as bits started to come back to her “I was fixing us breakfast-Bruce threw himself on top of me-that’s all I remember” she said.

“We need to get you to the hospital-to make sure you are ok-maybe treat those burns” Gibbs said. Then he glanced at Hulk “Are you ok?” he asked.

“Hulk fine” Hulk said.

“The big guy doesn’t really get hurt-result of the gamma we think” Stark said. “Although is everything ok Big Guy? Usually you are turning into Brucie by now” he adds.

“I am ok sweetie-they are just taking me to treat some of these burns-I’ll be back soon. Thank you for protecting me. Can you please stay here with Tony and well-Tony” Jen said asked as Gibbs helped her up.

Gibbs nodded “Ok how about I take her to the hospital. The two of you stay here and make sure Hulk-and Bruce are ok” Gibbs said.

All three nodded-although DiNozzo and Stark looked least than thrilled at the idea. Gibbs smiled and looked Hulk.

“Hulk keep them from killing each other ok” he said as he helped Jen up and out the front door without looking back.

DiNozzo and Stark just stared at one another then at Hulk-not knowing what to do. Hulk looked between the two with a confused look on his face.

“Tin man quiet-tin man never quiet” Hulk said confused.

DiNozzo smirked at that earning a glare from Stark.

“Tin man’s quiet because he doesn’t like me” DiNozzo finally said.

Stark stepped in front of DiNozzo about to let him have it when Hulk growled.

“Stop” he said loudly.

Both froze with looks of shock and confusion at Hulk-waiting for him to continue.

“Banner had no friends. T was Banner only friend. Tin Man Banner new friend. Banner be sad if friends fight. Bring bad memories and make Hulk mad-don’t want Hulk mad-Play Nice” Hulk said to the two of them.

Both men looked around guiltily- Not many can say they were chastised by the incredible Hulk.

“Banner scared” Hulk said causing the two men to look at him again.

“Why is he scared?” DiNozzo asked.

“He loves Jen-when Banner love someone they always get hurt- mother- Betty-Jen” Hulk said.

DiNozzo looked at Hulk “Hulk does Bruce actually believe that? That’s not true-Aunt Becky died protecting him-not because of him. I don’t know who Betty is-but Jen has just as many people after her as the rest of us-it comes with the job” DiNozzo said. “Do you know what happened in Alaska?” DiNozzo asked him.

Stark looked thoughtful at the last question “That’s a good question-I’ve never been able to get a real answer from Bruce if they know what’s going when the other is in control” he commented to DiNozzo.

Hulk looked between the two men-thinking. “Hulk sometimes knows-remember pretty trees-and water-and mountains. Laughing- Puny Bruce and Jen sitting by the fire- talking-Banner feeling good then Banner fear then explosion and fire” he finished missing the look DiNozzo and Stark gave each other.

Stark smirked “wonder what happened in Alaska” he wondered waggling his eyebrows.

DiNozzo tried to hide his smirk-but failed. Hulk started to sway-which meant he was getting tired.

“Getting tired-make Puny Bruce stay” Hulk said smiling as he closed his eyes and slowly shrank back into Bruce.

“Does that mean Bruce is going run?” DiNozzo asked Stark.

“We won’t let him” Stark replied looking down at his unconscious friend then bent down to drag him inside.


 

Bruce groaned as he come too and immediately was on alert.

“Calm down big guy-your fine” Stark replied distractedly from somewhere beside him-knowing Tony he was probably on his phone.

“Hey just talked with Gibbs-Jen is being released and he’ll be here soon-Is Bruce awake?” DiNozzo asked as he walked into the room.

“Yeah he’s playing possum” Stark replied still on his phone.

Bruce could feel both of them staring at him even with his eyes closed while his brain tried to remember what happened.

“Two questions” he croaked out-still not opening his eyes.

“Shoot” DiNozzo asked.

“Is she ok?” he asked.

“Yes-Gibbs took her to the hospital. Just some minor burns” DiNozzo replied.

“Next question?” Stark asked.

“Did I wake up in an alternate universe?” Bruce asked with a small smile.

“What do you mean?” DiNozzo asked.

“He means because you and I aren’t at each other’s throats” Stark replied with a smirk. “I will only answer your question if you look at me” he added waiting.

Bruce smirked and slowly opened his eyes looking at Stark “Happy” he said.

Stark just chuckled “We are trying to play nice” Stark said earning a laugh from DiNozzo.

Bruce just stared at them Yes this is an alternative universe he thought to himself.

“When you are chastised by Hulk-you tend to try and change your attitude” DiNozzo supplied.

Bruce blinked until it processed in his brain-his eyes widening and he shot up from the couch.

“What!” he yelled then stumbled when the world spun in front of him.

Instantly both Stark and DiNozzo were on either side of him-catching him and forcing him to lay back down.

“Banner lay back down-it’s fine!” Stark snapped.

“Did he hurt you?” Bruce asked worriedly.

“No Bruce -we just caught up” DiNozzo said waiting for their reaction-both heads turned so fast DiNozzo was sure they had whiplash.

“What?” they both said.

DiNozzo sighed trying to figure out what to say. “I met Hulk one other time-we were kids. Up in my treehouse-after-well-after Aunt Becky” he said. “I was trying to hide you up there-you finally fell asleep-so I put one of mom’s quilts on you and started reading my latest comic book. You started to growl and talk in your sleep-talking about protecting you and smashing those who hurt you. We had this whole conversation-you-he-made me promise I would protect you-then your eyes opened- you seemed confused and had no memory of what just happened-I just thought it was because of what had happened” DiNozzo replied with a shrug.

“So the Hulk is what-a manifestation of a multiple personality?” Stark asked looking between the two. “hmm-makes sense-mutations don’t just happen-it can’t mutate what’s not there” he added.

DiNozzo looked uneasy “I am not sure-at the time I thought you were just talking in your sleep. Although honestly it wouldn’t surprise me-with all the shit that man put you through” he said.

Bruce was trying not to go into a full blown panic attack from what he was hearing. This can’t be true-even though the physicist part of his brain nagged that Stark was making sense. Some of his memories from his childhood were fuzzy-he had just assumed it was from age. He knew he had created imaginary friends as a child as most kid’s do. He vaguely recalls one night after his father was done and left the house he wished there was a monster-bigger than Brian-that would protect him-protect them. Tremor ran through his body from physical and mental exhaustion of the day and this new information DiNozzo was telling him.

“What the hell is going on?” Gibbs demanded from the doorway with Jen next to him-making both Stark and DiNozzo jump. “He looks worse now than when I left!” he added looking at Bruce.

DiNozzo looked down “I just told him about meeting Hulk as a kid-it probably could have waited” he said.

Jen looked between the three men-she should be worried-or upset. But the medicines they gave her in the ER were making her loopy and all she wanted was to sleep. “Sorry I am tired and you all need to leave until at least tomorrow-when I can think straight-and maybe yell at someone” she said as she walked toward the couch. She leaned down and kissed Bruce as she laid next to him- not caring who was watching.

Gibbs came over and threw a blanket over them “we will come back in the morning-we do need to ask some questions” he said.

“Ok see you in the morning” Jen said with a loopy smile.

Gibbs, DiNozzo and Stark chuckled as the let themselves out.

Jen laid there and watched Bruce “what happened when Gibbs and I left?” she asked.

“T told me he met Hulk when we were kids-after mom died. Tony thinks he’s a manifestation of a multiple personality. I-I can’t process any of that right now” he replied.

Jen slowly rolled on top of him hugging him “This ok?” she asked quietly.

Bruce’s tremors slowly stopped “Yes” he sighed.

“Let’s sleep-we’ve had a hard day-we can deal with the rest tomorrow” she said behind a yawn.

Bruce smiled as he softly kissed her “yes dear” he said as they both fell asleep.


 

They slept through Sam and Steve coming back from a session at the VA. They knew what happened and was expecting them. It wasn’t until early morning when the sound of two mugs being set down on the table in front of them woke Jen-who groggily looked up to see Natasha standing there staring at them.

“Good morning” Jen said in confusion.

“hmm Good morning” Bruce slurred.

She smiled “I wasn’t talking to you- I was talking to Natasha” Jen replied.

Bruce cracked an eye “Hello Nat-what can we do for you?” he asked.

Nat smiled and sat down “I had to come for some SHIELD business and wanted to make sure the two of you were ok” Nat replied waiting as Jen and Bruce untangled from each other and sit up.

“Huh what did they give me at the E.R? I can’t believe we slept on the couch all night-I am getting too old for that” Jen moaned as she stretched. “Thank you for the coffee” Jen said as she reached for the cup.

Natasha smiled “You are welcome” she said sitting there staring.

Bruce stared right back raising an eyebrow then reached for the mug “What’s the real reason you are here” he asked.

Natasha smirked at him knowing there was no way she was going to admit she was going to meet with Fury about the new development with Ross and Brian Banner “I am here for SHEILD business Banner-Clint told me what happened yesterday so I wanted to see how you were for myself.” She replied. “I would have made you breakfast but the kitchen is Clint’s territory” she said with a shrug.

Jen smiled “I am a little sore-but I am ok. Bruce?” she asked.

“I am ok-physically. Mentally not so much-but I am sure I’ll get over that too” he said.

Natasha raised an eyebrow waiting to see if he elaborated.

“Found out some interesting information about Hulk last night and I still can’t digest it” Bruce said.

Natasha’s phone beeped interrupting them. She glanced down and scowled cursing softly in Russian.

“They’ve moved my meeting up-I have 45 minutes to get to SHEILD-I have to go I am sorry” she said as she got up gracefully and walking out-without saying another word.

Jen turned and looked at Bruce when she was gone “She was lying to us” she commented to him.

“Yes she was-but we will find out sooner or later we always do” Bruce said.

“Yeah it’s been my experience if “friends” are omitting information-it is for our own good” Jen said.

“I wonder what is going on” Bruce wondered out loud.

 

 

Chapter Text

SHEILD HEADQUARTERS

Fury stood and glared at Coulson, Romanov, Hill and Stillwell as they sat around the table and Henrietta Lange who was on a screen at the head of the table.

“I called you all here because I want to know what happened yesterday” Fury demanded at the group.

“There was an incident while Genevieve and Bruce were on vacation Sir” Coulson replied.

“An Incident?” Fury said.

Hetty sighed “my cabin blew up while they were inside” she replied. “That would cause anyone to Hulk out” she added.

“We are supposed to be alerted the second an incident happens” he barked in return.

“I don’t know what to tell you Nicolas” Hetty said.

Fury huffed then looked at Hill “What is this about Brian Banner being released two days ago?” he asked.

“The institution he was in shut down and he was released instead of wasting time trying to place an old man in another institution” Hill replied.

“And?” Fury asked.

“He disappeared without a trace” Hetty interjected.

“How do you know that?” Hill asked.

“I looked for him” was Hetty’s reply.

“Why?” Coulson asked.

“My informants told me an older General visited Banner for the last six months before the place closed. When someone who never got visitors-for obvious reasons-suddenly gets them-it triggers interest” Hetty said.

“What why am I just finding this out now” Fury yelled.

“I suggest you get better informants Nicolas” Hetty said.

“Do you think either of them will try to contact Bruce?” Natasha spoke up for the first time interrupting the beginnings of a standoff.

Everyone turned and looked at her-surprised that she spoke at all.

“Yes I do-Ross is planning something. Why else would he visit the man repeatedly? When he does we will be dealing with something far worse than an upset Hulk” Hetty answered.

“How do you know it was Ross visiting Banner?” Fury asked.

Hetty turned and stared at the man with a raised eyebrow “We all know the kind of man Thaddeus Ross is. How obsessed he is with Bruce- I have no doubt that he was the man my informant was speaking about” She said.

Fury nodded “Yes we do but Henrietta there isn’t any proof to back up whatever you are planning” he said staring at her-challenging her to deny it.

“Then we need to make him give us proof” she replied cryptically. A cough outside of the frame caught Hetty’s attention-she looked then nodded at whoever it was. “I am sorry-I need to go. Crime never stops” Hetty said with a chuckle-then the screen went black.

“How does she seem to get information before we do?” Hill asked looking around the table.

“What you should be asking is why are we getting this information last? We need to try and see if any of what her information is correct.” Fury demanded. Looking around “Go” he barked when no one moved right away.

The room was silent for a few minutes after everyone had left- Fury groaned and shook his head.

“What are you thinking sir?” Coulson asked-who hadn’t left with the others.

“Henrietta is usually right whenever she has a theory” Fury said. “She should have stayed a SHIELD agent-she would be running this agency instead of me” Fury said with a slight smirk.


 

Jen’s House

Jen curled up and the end of the couch sipping her coffee. “Well I must say Natasha can make a good cup of coffee” she said with a smile.

Bruce looked over at her then he noticed the bandages and slight bruising from yesterday’s activities. He leaned over and lightly ran his fingers over the bandage over her wrist. Jen moved her hand and intertwined their fingers.

“I am ok” she said staring at him.

“Are you sure? You just drank coffee given to you by an assassin without blinking an eye” He replied teasingly. “I can’t believe I was so out of it last night I didn’t even notice any of these bandages when you got back” Bruce added.

“You were strung out from everything-you would have noticed them otherwise. They just gave me a mild sedative-tended to my burns-that’s all. They didn’t give me any medicine to take home with me. Jethro drove both ways-I am fine” she said leaning over to kiss him. “Are you ok though? I mean DiNozzo shouldn’t have sprung that on you in the state you were in last night” Jen replied.

Bruce leaned his forehead against hers and sighed “No-all he said was they caught up-it sort of snow balled from there. I am not sure. I-we-probably need to talk to him again-later-when I can process this better” he said.

Jen threaded her fingers in his hair and kissed him “Want a little-distraction” she whispered in his ear.

Bruce looked at her and slowly smiled “What do you have in mind?” he asked.

Jen smiled and pulled Bruce down on top of her kissing him. Bruce softly groaned and kissed her back. He cupped her head with one hand and slowly ran his hand down to settle on her hip-careful of the bandages and bruises-when she suddenly pulled away with a gasp.

“Steve” she said breathlessly.

Bruce blinked down at her panting “ok I have an issue with you calling out Steve’s name while I am kissing you” he said with a slight twitch in his lips.

Jen chuckled “No-Steve is coming” she said.

“No Sam I am going to talk to Fury-I think Bucky needs to be let out” Steve said as he and Sam walked into the room seconds later.

Both froze as they took in the couple entwined on the couch- Steve immediately blushing as Sam gave them a wink.

“Bruce, Genevieve-I-umm-good morning” Steve stammered out.

“Are we interrupting anything?” Sam asked innocently.

“Umm No-No Sam-not-not interrupting” Bruce stammered feeling himself blushing as well.

Jen just smiled and rolled her eyes “Good morning Steve and No not interrupting Sam” she said.

The four just stood there staring at one another-not sure what else to say.

“I was just about to make breakfast” Steve blurted out. “I see you two have had coffee but have you eaten yet?” he asked.

Bruce smiled “No Steve-we haven’t eaten yet. The coffee is from Natasha-she came in this morning to check on us before some supposed meeting at SHIELD” he replied as he got up and helped Jen off of the couch.

“Supposed meeting?” Sam asked as they all walked into the kitchen.

Bruce shrugged as he sat down at the table “I don’t doubt she was checking in-she is my friend. But since Steve is still here-it seems too convenient” He replied.

Steve hummed as he turned on the stove “I get that Bruce-I do. But Natasha does go on solo missions-without any of our knowledge. If there WAS a meeting at SHEILD I wasn’t asked because I am not on good terms with Fury at the moment” he commented as he cracked eggs into a pan-keeping his back to them.

Jen’s phone beeped breaking the silence. She picked it up seeing it was a text from DiNozzo. “Jethro and DiNozzo are on the way” She said with a puzzled look.

Bruce nodded “They did say they would come back in the morning” Bruce said.

“They did? Man I was out of it” Jen replied.

Steve smiled “I am glad the two of you are ok. Tony sent out a group text after he figured out where Hulk was taking you-well apparently Agent DiNozzo was the one who figured it out-but still” He replied as he portioned eggs onto plates for everyone.

“Thanks Steve” Jen said as he passed out the plates.

“You’re welcome” Steve replied as he sat down. He looked at his plate and sighed “I think this is the first time I’ve sat down for breakfast in four days” he added.

“Have you been visiting Barnes every day?” Bruce asked.

“Yes he’s there every day he’s allowed to” Sam interjected.

“Fury actually bans you some days?” Bruce asked with an amused smile.

“Certain days I might take out some frustration out on the new trainees” Steve replied to his plate.

Sam snorted “After that Fury told him he could only come certain days” he replied.

“Has James gotten any better?” Jen asked.

“Yes? I don’t know-There are days he’s almost the old Buck-which is great. Most days he’s him-the winter solider-which I can even deal with. Then there are days he just sits there and stares at the wall-he gets upset and violent over something and they have to subdue him” Steve says as he looks away. “I was hoping he would be able to leave his cell-get some fresh air-exercise-something” he adds.

Sam looked over at his friend “Man no self-respecting therapist is going to allow that with anyone in Barnes’s condition. This is going to take more time” Same said as he forked some eggs in his mouth.

“Steve SHEILD therapist are the best in their field-they have to be” Jen replied. “I wonder what their plan for James is?” she asked after a few moments of thought.

“What do you mean?” Steve asked.

“They have therapists that specialize in every field-in order to help all of their different agents. There are a few who are there for a specific reason-they help jar the memories of those who go deep undercover. But it’s not going to work on James-since their method is what caused him to be in the condition he is in” Jen replied.

Bruce sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose “Are you saying they gave you some form of electroshock therapy?” he asked incredulously.

Jen shrugged her shoulders “At the time I needed it-believe me” she answered as she rubbed his hand reassuringly. “All I am saying is there has to be some other reason they are keeping James around-I doubt it’s because of my threat” she added-then cringed when she realized what she had said.

“You threatened Fury?” Steve asked.

Bruce gave her a sympathetic smile and squeezed her hand-making her smile. “I might have told him if James disappeared he’d make an enemy out of you” Jen replied.

Steve blinked at her and looked down opening his mouth to speak when the door flew open with a bang making everyone at the table jump. Jen’s hand instinctively reached under the table for the hidden gun until she realized it was Abby.

“Abby-don’t do that!?” Jen exclaimed then gave a surprised squeak as Abby rushed toward her and pulled out of her seat and into a hug.

“I am sorry- I was so worried when Gibbs told me what happened yesterday-I begged Gibbs and Tony to let me come” Abby said.

“Demanded was more like it-Morning” Gibbs replied with a smile as he come in a few seconds later carrying drink carriers and DiNozzo followed with a box of bagels. “Easy Abs she might be sore” Gibbs added as he set everything down on the table.

Abby gasped as she pulled away “Oh god I am so sorry are you ok?” she asked then noticed Bruce had stood up. She smiled and threw her arms gently around him as well “Are you ok?” she asked smirking at the man’s automatic blush when she pulled away.

“umm-yes-yes I am ok Abby thanks” Bruce stuttered with an embarrassed smile.

Jen smiled as she guided Abby toward Steve and Sam “Abby let me introduce you-this is Ste-“ she began but was interrupted by Abby.

“Oh my god-it’s you” Abby said with a gasp. “My brothers are going to be so jealous of me” she said with a smile and thrust out her hand. “I am Abigail Sciuto-it’s a pleasure” she replied.

Steve always the gentleman stood up and gently grabbed her hand “It’s a pleasure to meet you Miss. Sciuto” he said with a smile.

“Abby please” she replied.

“Then you can call me Steve” he said.

Sam smiled and extended his hand as well “I am Sam Wilson-I used to work at the VA. I think you might have sat in on a few of my sessions” he replied. “I remember you- the hair-the boots-the tats” he added with a flirty smile.

Abby stared at Sam’s face as she shook his hand-her eyes widening when she made the connection. “Oh yeah-I really enjoyed sitting in on those sessions” she said with a smile.

“Not to interrupt but we brought food-well bagels- and coffee and tea-because well I wasn’t sure who drank what so dig in” DiNozzo said as he grabbed a cup and a bagel.

“Might be more comfortable if we move to the living room” Jen said.

“So what do you do now?” Abby asked Sam as everyone moved to the other room.

Sam chuckled “Well at the moment I am a sometimes super hero part time side kick” he said with a smile.

Gibbs smiled “How are you feeling?” he finally softly asked Jen.

“I am fine-not sure what they gave me. Bruce and I slept on the couch all night” Jen said as she sat down.

Gibbs sat down and tested the couch “feels better than mine” he replied causing Abby to smile and DiNozzo to snort.

Jen look at them with a raised eyebrow “Ok what did I miss?” she asked causing guilty expressions to appear on their faces. Gibbs cleared his throat

“I sleep on my couch too” he replied. Jen cocked her head at him then her eyes widened when the pieces connected

“Still!-Jethro it’s almost been 25 years?” she said with a shocked expression.

“I know how long it’s been” he replied slowly-trying not to snap at her. “Bedroom was ours-doesn’t feel right” he added sheepishly.

Jen opened her mouth to make another comment then realized that they weren’t alone. “I’ll drop it for the moment-but I WILL be bringing it up again” she replied.

Gibbs snorted “I don’t doubt it” he said.

“So I have to say I expected more media attention after yesterday” he added looking at Bruce.

“Well Tony might have something to do with that” Bruce replied “Or SHEILD. The public doesn’t seem too interested in Hulk unless he’s destroying property or Manhattan” he added with a small smile.

“Seriously you-he-you speed across two continents?” Abby asked.

Bruce shrugged his shoulders “I am not saying they love him-but at least I am not a wanted man anymore” he replied.

“Well someone is out to get one of you” Gibbs said.

“Do you have anyone who would want to hurt you?” Tony asked as he stuffed half a bagel in his mouth.

Jen snorted into her coffee while Bruce tried to hide his smile.

“I guess that’s a yes” Sam replied with a chuckle.

Gibbs smirked “Maybe we should ask is there any NEW people after you? Has anyone been following you?” he asked taking a sip from his coffee.

Jen thought for a minute “Not that I noticed-have you noticed anything?” she said looking at Bruce.

Bruce shook his head thinking “I don’t remember anything out of the ordinary” he replied. Gibbs phone rang seeing that it was Leon he excused himself to take the call.

“So Abby what do you do?” Steve asked once Gibbs had left.

“I am a forensic scientist at NCIS” she said proudly.

The door flung open Stark walking in without knocking “Morning” he called.

Steve frowned and sighed “Tony why would you bust into someone else’s house?” he chastised.

“Oh come on I knocked-hey there Falcon-Jen-Big Guy” Tony said and nodding to DiNozzo-then he turned and blinked at Abby. “Why hello I don’t believe we’ve met-I am Tony Stark” Tony said flashing his trademark grin.

Abby smiled “oh believe me Mr. Stark any geeky child from the last 30 years knows who you are. I am Abby Scuito” She said as she extended her hand.

Tony paused and stared at her than at her hand while the others tried to unsuccessfully hide their laughter.

“Wow I don’t know whether to be honored or offended” he finally said with a chuckle as he took her hand.

Abby’s eyes widened as he hands flew to her mouth “Oh god-I didn’t mean that” she exclaimed.

Tony held his hand out to stop her “No-it’s ok. I’ve been called worst-believe me” he said.

“He really has” Bruce replied cleaning his glasses with a smirk.

“Wow Big Guy nice one” Tony answered with a smirk of his own.

“I-I just meant I have been a fan for years” she said through her fingers.

Tony laughed “It’s ok-really I am flattered. What brings you here? Are you a friend of Jen’s?” Tony asked.

Abby smiled “Well I hope so-with Bruce too. But I actually work at NCIS—so I only met her a few months ago” Abby gushed making both Jen and Bruce smile.

“Do you want some coffee and bagels Mr. Stark” Abby said as she picked up the box of bagels and extended it to Tony.

Stark looked at her and then the box “sure thanks” he said as he reached inside and snagged a bagel. “it’s Tony-Mr. Stark is for my employees-so what did I miss?” he asked as he sat down and pulled apart his bagel.

“Just started asking them questions-had they noticed anyone following them-seeing if we can get a lead somewhere” DiNozzo replied.

Tony nodded but then his phone rang-making him curse under his breath. “Damn I was hoping I could get home before she realized-excuse me“ he mumbled out loud as he walked out the front door to answer the call.

“What was that about?” Abby asked.

“I would assume Pepper just realized he was gone” Sam said.

Bruce sighed and rolled his eyes “Tony” he mumbled-shaking his head.

“Who’s Pepper?” Abby asked.

“Tony’s girlfriend” Bruce supplied.

“Wow-he left without saying anything to her?” DiNozzo asked.

“Tony tends to have a-one track mind. He gets protective and everything goes on the back burner” Bruce explained.

Abby went to set her coffee on the side table and knocked over a sketch book in the process. Papers scattered the floor as the book landed. “Oh crap-I am so sorry” Abby said as she crouched down and started to pick up the papers.

Steve jumped up to help “No-No Abby it’s my fault. I always put my sketchbook away when I am done” he replied.

“This is your sketchbook?’ Abby asked impressed.

Steve stared at her with a slight blush “Yes Ma’am” he said.

“Maybe-maybe I can see your work sometime?” Abby asked shyly-causing DiNozzo to raise an eyebrow at the uncharacteristic side of Abby.

“Sorry to cut this short-DiNozzo we need to go-Abby want to come to the crime scene with us?” Gibbs asked as he strode inside to grab his coffee.

“Sure Gibbs I’d love to” Abby said as she and Steve stood up. “umm-it was nice meeting you-maybe-maybe we can have coffee again sometime and you can show me some of your work?” she added to Steve.

Steve gave her a small smile “I’d like that a lot” he replied.

Gibbs looked over at Bruce and extended his hand “Well it was nice seeing you again” he replied.

“Sorry I couldn’t be more help” Bruce said as he shook Gibbs hand. “Maybe you need to ask Hulk if he remembers anything” he added jokingly.

“I already did-last night” DiNozzo said as he came and hugged his friend.

Bruce blinked at him “You asked the Hulk what he remembered? I-I don’t think anyone’s ever done that before” he replied.

“He remembered quite a lot-you don’t give him enough credit” DiNozzo said as they threw the trash away on their way in the kitchen.

Stark walked in and laughed “Maybe if we both keep telling him that-he’ll believe us one day” he replied.

Gibbs checked his watch “Ok we really need to go” he commanded ushering Abby and DINozzo out the door. He turned around and briefly hugged Jen “I’ll try to check in later. You might want to think about going to LA and groveling” he added with a smile then walked down the stairs to his car and heading toward the crime scene.

Jen’s head shot up in shock as Bruce shut the door “Oh god! Hetty told me not to blow up this one-and look what happened!” she exclaimed.

“Well you didn’t actually blow it up-I don’t think Ms. Lange will be too upset” Steve supplied as he headed to his room with his sketchbook.

“Well if you were planning on going to LA that might be helpful. We apparently have a R&D committee meeting there in two days-Pep kind of sprung it on me” Tony replied.

“She didn’t spring it on you- she told you repeatedly and you forgot” Bruce said. “I was under the impression that my presence wasn’t a necessity so that’s changed-but seriously Tony this meeting has been on your calendar for months” he added.

Jen sighed “Well it would kill two birds with one stone regardless-I can go see Hetty and you can go to the meeting that your presence may or may not be needed for-if you don’t mind me tagging along” she added glancing meaningfully at Tony.

“Of course not-why would we travel separately?” Bruce asked preoccupied -not seeing the looks Tony or Jen were giving one another.

“So the three of you are going to Malibu?” Natasha said as she suddenly coming down the stairs making everyone jump.

“Really Natasha-why can’t you use the front door?” Jen exclaimed gesturing to the door.

“You had guest” Natasha replied.

“So?” she replied.

“I didn’t feel like socializing this morning” Natasha replied honestly.

Steve came back from his room with his work out gear on-giving Natasha a smile as he passed her-obviously overhearing their conversation since he didn’t comment on her sudden presence.

“Going for a run?” Jen said asking the obvious.

Sam walked in and rolled his eyes “Let me get my shoes” he replied.

“You don’t have to come” Steve replied to Sam’s back.

“Like I am going to let you have all the fun” Sam replied as he laced up his sneakers.

Steve chuckled and opened to front door doing some warm up stretches on the front porch then paused when something caught his eye. “Jen do you own a black parasol?” he asked as he walked back in carrying it in his hand.

Jen looked at Steve in confusion “No I don’t-you know what-I bet you that’s Abby’s” she replied.

Bruce smiled “That does seem like something she would carry” he added.

“Do you think you might be able to run it to her at some point?” Jen asked trying not to be obvious. “Since I am going to LA I need to pack-not enough hours in the day” she added.

Steve looked at the parasol “If you don’t think you’ll be able to” he replied.

Sam smiled as he walked out the front door “maybe you can bring your sketchbook too” he said with a chuckle and started off jogging down the road.

Steve glared at him than smiled and laughed “maybe” he said setting the parasol against the wall and jogged after Sam.

“Hey shut the door behind you!” Jen yelled after Steve-when he didn’t come back she got up to shut the door herself. She turned and noticed the sly looks the others were giving her. “Think I was too obvious?” she asked.

“No it’s Steve-you weren’t” Natasha replied.

“Think he got Sam’s little jibe though” Bruce replied with a chuckle.

“Oh come on Cap and her?” Tony replied with a roll of his eyes.

“What is that supposed to mean? Abby is a sweet women. Don’t judge her just because of the clothes she likes to wear” Jen snapped. “She extremely smart and funny-Even if he just goes there once-it’ll be good for him” she added.

“Woah- sorry I didn’t mean that the way it sounded. I just meant he’s never been interested in any other women except for Aunt Peggy” Tony answered.

Jen thought for a minute “Do you think he’s interested in Sam?” she asked them as they lingered in the kitchen.

“I think he’s never figured that out. He was a skinny sick kid who no one paid attention to-except for two people-then he was turned into- well what he is-and had women and probably men-throwing themselves at him. With the war, the ice and the avengers I don’t think he’s ever taken the time” Bruce answered.

Tony shook his head “Never thought of it like that” he said out loud.

Natasha smiled “so how long will you be in Malibu?” she asked.

Jen blinked at her than at Bruce “Well I don’t know-a couple of days-maybe?” she replied.

Bruce shrugged his shoulders “That’s up to you. This meeting will only be a day-so we can stay as long as you want” he replied.

Natasha rolled her eyes with a smile “nauseating” she teased.

Jen laughed as Tony checked his watch “Well I can get one of my planes ready by 4pm if that’s ok with the two of you” he said.

“I am ok with that-how about you?” Bruce asked Jen.

“Sounds fine with me” she replied.

“Good-so-umm-I’ll have the car come pick you two up by 2 ok?” Tony asked as he headed for the door.

“Where are you going? Why don’t you stay here for a bit?” Bruce asked.

“Well I figured you would be busy packing” Tony replied.

“Tony I’ve basically been living out of my suitcase since I’ve been here-it won’t take me anytime to pack” Bruce replied.

Jen and Natasha shared a smirk “Yeah I am the one that will take a while-plus I need to warn Hetty I am coming’ she replied. “You know I haven’t even heard from her through all of this?” she added with a frown.

“She and I were in communication a lot yesterday-plus I think I heard her call Gibbs when we left here last night. She might be busy-or trying to let you rest or something” Tony replied.

“You and her were in communication? Why?” Jen asked in confusion.

“JARVIS alerted me when the cabin blew up and she called-well-hacked-into my suit when DiNozzo realized where the big guy was taking you” Tony answered smoothly easily.

Jen laughed “that doesn’t surprise me at all” she said. “Ok I am going upstairs to shower pack and change-not necessarily in that order-I’ll be back” she replied as she left them and headed up to her room.

“Not going up to help her? She might need help with her bandages” Natasha replied with a raised eyebrow and a smirk at Bruce.

Bruce snorted “subtle-fine maybe I’ll go up and see if she needs help” he replied dryly and turned and followed her.

Once she was sure Bruce and Jen were out of hearing range Natasha turned to Tony with a raised eyebrow.

“What?” Tony asked feigning innocence.

“Hetty told you about his father getting out right?” Natasha asked.

“Yes she did” he replied.

“Has JARVIS found him yet?” she asked.

“Not that he’s told me” he answered.

“Do we have a plan?” She asked.

Tony shrugged “Protect Bruce” he replied.

Natasha rolled her eyes “That’s obvious. Are we going to tell him? He might start getting suspicious if you continue to add him to meetings he’s not supposed to be in-he is a very smart man” she added.

Tony raised his eyebrow and Natasha stared right back-silently challenging him. Tony looked away first and sighed.

“I haven’t gotten that far yet” he answered.

“You think about it-Clint and I will put our heads together and think about it. Between all of us we will come up with something” Natasha decided.


 

Bruce walked in to the bedroom watching with a smile as Jen undressed.

“What are you staring at” she teased with a smile.

“You” he replied.

“I thought you were going to hang out with Tony?” she said.

“Natasha thought you might need help-I think she wanted to talk to Tony” he answered.

Jen looked strangely at Bruce “ok what the hell is going on? What are they keeping from us? Those two are NEVER chummy” she replied.

Bruce exhaled slowly “Not sure-it can’t be good. But let’s just take a shower-pack-try to clear our heads. If I have a problem in an experiment I can usually see a way to fix it if I clear my head and see if from the outsider perspective” Bruce said. Jen walked up and slowly kissed him leaning into him and running her bandaged hand in his hair. “Let’s go clear our heads” she said making him groan and kiss her agian.

“Have you contacted Hetty yet” he mumbled into her lips.

Jen sighed “No let me do that-can you get the shower started?” she asked.

“Yes Ma’am” he replied with a light pinch as he walked past her-making her jump and squeek.

She chuckled as she sent the text

GG: I am on my way-I should be there by 6pm.

She rushed into the shower not waiting to see Hetty’s response-which came a few seconds later

HL: I’ll be waiting.

Chapter Text

Las Angeles

Hetty smiled reading the message as Callen and Sam neared her desk.

“Hetty have you heard anything from Gibbs or Jen?” Callen asked.

“G I keep telling you-no news is good news” Sam said.

“Don’t worry Mr. Callen-Genevieve will be arriving around 6pm” Hetty replied to him.

“Why is she coming here?” Sam asked.

“I would assume she feels the need to grovel about the cabin” Hetty answered.

“But it wasn’t her fault right?” G asked.

“Well of course not-but if I told her that-she’d never visit” Hetty replied with a smile.

Owen walked in and cleared his throat announcing his presence.

“Hello Owen what can I do for you” Hetty asked.

“We have a problem” Owen replied.

“Of course we do” Callen responded making Sam smirk.

Granger looked at both Sam and Callen then turned to Hetty “I just got a call from SecNav. Top secret-confidential information has been leaked to the Russians. Yet the trail is disappearing as soon as we get wind of it” he replied.

“So they have an inside person with the capabilities to make them disappear” Callen said.

“This is the only picture we have of one of the spies talking with a man in a dark car” Owen said handing the photo over to them.

Hetty stared at him then sighed “Mr. Callen please give this to Nell and Mr. Beale to blow up. I’ll text Genevieve and tell her not to expect me tonight” she decided as she pulled out her phone.


 

 Jen was leaning against Bruce’s chest reading during the plane ride to LA. It seemed to keep him calm and it gave her an excuse to cuddle and relax during the trip-she suddenly wasn’t feeling well. Tony had crashed out on one sofa as soon as he set foot on the plane and promptly passed out-tossing and turning and talking in his sleep. She glanced over at Tony as he mumbled again turning so he was facing them and they could actually understand him.

“Hmm yes I am brilliant. A man above men. A genius” he said with a snort as he turned back toward the couch cushion muffling the rest of his words.

“Did he just compliment himself in his sleep” Jen said with barley suppressed laughter.

Bruce nodded his head with amused and worried look on his face.

“I think he’s always done that-he’s always said he could conduct business meetings in his sleep. I still laugh every time though” Bruce replied with a chuckle.

“How does Pepper deal with it?” Jen asked amused.

“Honestly I don’t know if she does. They don’t seem to be in the same place very often” He replied.

“That’s sad” she commented.

“I guess it works for some people” Bruce replied.

“They keep it up it won’t work for long” she mumbled to herself as she went back to her book.

 


 

Happy was waiting for them at the airport when they landed-smiling and shaking Tony’s hand.

“Hiya Boss” Happy said with a smile.

“Hap it’s good to see you” Tony said with a smile. “You remember Bruce” he added.

“Yeah-Yeah Hey Doc how are you” Happy replied.

“Very good Happy thank you for asking” Bruce said.

“Happy do you remember Genevieve Gibbs? She worked for me quite a few years ago” Tony asked as he gestured toward Jen with a smile.

Happy looked over at Jen squinting slightly until he could place the name with the face “Yeah-wow Genevieve look at you. How are you?” Happy said as he came over and hugged her.

Jen laughed “I am great Happy-It’s good to see you” she replied with a genuine smile.

Happy checked his watch “Sorry Boss we need to get going. I have to go pick up Pepper in an hour” he said as he grabbed Tony’s bag and headed to the car.

“You still make that man shlup your stuff around? He’s not your chauffer anymore right” Jen whispered as they walked to the car.

Tony shrugged his shoulders “He protects Pep more now-but he’s still my-our-chauffer” Tony said. “Thanks Hap” he added as he climbed in the car.

“We got it Happy thank you” Jen said when he tried to take their bags as well.

He nodded and climbed into the driver seat to start the car. Jen rolled her eyes as they placed her bag in the trunk, next to Tony’s then glanced at Bruce.

Bruce smirked at her “Don’t waste your breath-Tony will treat people the way he’s always treated people. The only time that changes is when the relationship changes” Bruce whispered as he kissed her temple and closed the trunk.

They climbed in and Happy started the drive to the mansion. He glanced in the backseat eyeing them before he spoke.

“So Boss are Doc and Jen staying at the mansion too?” He asked.

Tony’s head shot up-alarmed. In all the commotion he hadn’t even thought about where Bruce was going to stay. Normally it wouldn’t have been an issue-but Pep seemed to be more annoyed at him than usual and showing up with two extra people probably wouldn’t go over so well.

Jen took pity on him “No Happy Bruce and I are staying elsewhere” she replied. “Actually we are close-would you be able to detour for maybe 10 minutes?” she asked as she scribbled the address and handed it to him.

Happy took the paper and stared at it “Yeah sure it’s on the way” he said as he turned the turn signal on and changed lanes.

There was an almost uncomfortable silence after Jen made that announcement. Tony was frowning- fiddling with his glasses and staring out the window-looking anywhere but at her.

“You need time to be with Pepper alone” Jen said finally-breaking the silence.

“Besides Tony-Pepper wouldn’t have been happy if you showed up with us in tow” Bruce said gently.

“How do you know that?” Tony replied.

“Your eyes were huge when Happy asked you if we were staying at the mansion-which meant you hadn’t even considered where we were going to stay” Bruce answered. “This is better-you can spend time with her-without any distractions” he added as Happy pulled up to the house.

Jen looked out the window “Thank you for the ride Tony-I guess I’ll see you tomorrow” she said with a smile as she climbed out to help Happy with their bags.

“Yeah sure” Tony said to her.

“What are they doing in there?” Happy asked as Jen came to stand next to him at the back of the car.

“Probably making out or something” Jen said with a roll of her eyes.

Bruce just stared at Tony with slight confusion. “What’s wrong?” he asked.

Tony looked down “Just didn’t know you guys were staying elsewhere” Tony replied with a pout.

Bruce looked annoyed for a second before he rolled his eyes “Tony stop -I enjoy spending my time with you-you are my best friend. You haven’t had time alone with Pepper in weeks-we didn’t want to interfere. Have Happy take you to the mansion or ride with him and surprise her. Talk to her. I will see you in the morning” Bruce said as he gave him a quick hug and climbed out of the car.

“Sure big guy-I’ll see you in the morning” Tony said.

“See you tomorrow Tony” Bruce replied as he stuck in his head back in-then shut the door.

Happy watched the interaction with a raised eyebrow as he shook his hand “So Doc do you need me to pick you up in the morning?” he asked Bruce.

“That would be great Happy thanks” Bruce said.

Happy smiled “I’ll call you when I am on the way-see you in the morning” He said as he checked his watch headed back into the car and drive off.

Jen chuckled “Tony’s mad at me” she said as they watched Happy drive away.

Bruce chuckled in return “he’ll get over it” he said.

“Are you sure?” she asked.

“He better” Bruce said as they climbed the front porch steps and unlocked the door.

Jen smiled as she locked the door-activated the security. Bruce looked around taking in all of the little personal items.

“Is this your house or Hetty’s?” he asked setting down their bags.

“A little of both” she replied.

Bruce looked at her with a raised eyebrow-making her smile.

“She has different properties throughout California-well the world really. This one she wasn’t using-I needed a place-so she sold it to me” Jen said as she headed to the kitchen.

“She collects properties?” Bruce asked.

“In case she needs to disappear for a while-and to give to her kids-apparently” Jen replied with a smile.

“Does she need to disappear often?” he asked smiling when he noticed his favorite tea waiting for him.

“Not in years it’s more habit now” Jen replied calmly.

“Does she know we’ve arrived?” Bruce asked.

“Yeah-she texted me when were in the air-something came up. I figured I’ll go to NCIS in the morning-while you are at your meeting” Jen replied with a shrug.

“Let’s eat and relax-you know how nervous I get when I fly” he murmured as he opened the fridge.

Jen leaned over and kissed him “Not sure if I should eat anything” she said.

Bruce looked her oddly “why?” he asked.

“I haven’t felt well today” she said her hand unconsciously on her stomach.

“Hope you’re not getting sick” he replied reaching up to feel her head. “You need to eat something-how about toast and ginger tea” he added.

“Whatever you say Dr. Banner” Jen replied with a smile. “And for the record I never get sick-probably just jet lag or something” she added.

“I am sure that’s what it is” he replied as he poured their tea and went into the bedroom to unpack and settle in for the night.

 


 

“What’s going on? Why is Hetty all giddy today?” Deeks whispered as he watched Hetty smile for the fifth time in a row from across the bullpen.

Sam glanced up from his paperwork and smiled then glanced at Deeks “Jen’s coming in today” he replied.

Kensi glanced up with a raised eyebrow “Jen?” she asked.

“Genevieve Gibbs” Sam said glancing at Kensi expectedly.

“Sorry Sam am I supposed to know that name?” she replied with a chuckle.

Sam stared at her for a few minutes “She worked here for a while-I guess she was gone by the time you came Kens. Sorry I thought you two had met” Sam replied. “Hetty helped raise her” he added.

“Hetty raised a child?” Deeks asked in surprise.

Suddenly Eric shrill whistle got their attention. “I found something” he called from the top of the stairs.

One by one the team got up from their desks and made their way to the Ops center. As they walked in the picture Granger had given them was blown up on the screen.

“what’s this” Sam asked.

“Granger says we have top secret information that is being given to the Russians. Once we get wind of it they disappear” G supplied.

“This is the only picture that has one of the spies and who we presume is their government contact” Granger interjected.

“Have you identified the spies” Hetty asked as they all looked at the picture.

“Sort of- They came into the country with alias’s but before that we have no record of them other than numbers-it’s like they don’t exist” Nell said.

“What about the person in the car?” Kensi asked.

Eric looked at Hetty “The resolution of the picture is a little grainy-we can only lighten it up so much-all we can decipher is that it’s a male in some sort of hat with a mustache” he said apologetically. “But we are checking other public cameras” he added.

Owen looked at the picture as well “Maybe we can track them by their weapons” he suggested.

“Thought of that as well” Eric said as he tapped on his tablet as the gun in the picture was isolated and in the fore front. The name on the gun said STARK.

“Well that’s a dead end” Callen mumbled.

“How?” Kensi asked.

“Stark stopped producing weapons quite a few years ago” Sam replied.

“Before that his weapons had been sold on the black market for years. Even if there was a way for us to track those guns there’s no guarantee it’ll take us to the people we are looking for” Granger finished.

Hetty turned slowly “Would Stark put some sort of detection chip in his weapons do you think?” she asked.

“Maybe” Eric hedged.

Hetty smiled “He’s in LA for a few days. I’ll contact him tomorrow and see if he can help us” she said.

“How do you possibly know that?” Owen asked.

Hetty looked at him “Genevieve rode on his plane” she replied.

Owen blinked then shook his head “She’s coming to visit huh” he chuckled.

Deeks looked between the two “So will we get to meet her Hetty” he asked bravely interrupting Owen.

Hetty looked at him then shrugged “If you wish Mr. Deeks” she said.

“We all would love to meet her Hetty” Kensi said.

Hetty smiled looking down “I am glad” she said finally.

The Next Morning

Eric and Nell looked at each other when the computer told them they had other camera views of the man in the car. They both had shown up earlier than normal to try and get an early start on their search.

“Call Hetty” Nell said to Eric-who was already reaching for the phone.

“Yes Mr. Beale” Hetty said as she answered her phone.

“We think we might finally have facial recognition” Eric said.

“I am switching to video” Hetty said and after a few minutes her face appeared in the corner of the big screen.

“We have different angles of the front of the car and there actually were two men in the car. Let’s see who they are” Nell said as she typed in a few commands.

Suddenly a picture of the man came onto the screen “The driver is a man by the name of Conrad Samuels. He’s wow-he’s older- 58 and is a member of the board of trustees at ..Stark Industries” Nell said as she read through the information in front of her.

Hetty blinked “What about the man in the back seat” she asked.

Eric typed away “We still can’t get enough for a clear identification yet. But we now see that it is an older man with white hair, a mustache and what looks like a military generals hat” he said looking at Hetty.

“Ross?” she asked.

Owen walked in “We don’t have positive identification yet Henreitta” he said.

“What is your professional opinion then Owen” she said barley suppressing rolling her eyes.

“It does sound like Ross” he said. “What worries me more is this new connection with Stark” he added.

“What are you planning?” Hetty asked.

“Think we can get Jen here earlier than expected?” he asked.

“I’ll call Mr. Callen-she’s already expecting him. This might actually surprise her” Hetty said with a smile. “I’ll be there shortly” she added.


 

“I think Happy is here” Jen replied when she heard a car pull in then gave a small scowl. “No-it’s not him” she said then headed for the door swinging it open to reveal Callen.

“G you’re early” she exclaimed as she pulled him into a hug.

G laughed “Yeah sorry change of plan” he said apologetically.

Bruce smiled as he walked in “G-hi-how are you” he said going to shake his hand.

“I am fine Bruce-how about you” he said as he shook the proffered hand.

A horn beeped outside making Bruce smile “Right on time” he said after he checked his watch.

“Did you expect any different-Happy’s always on time” Jen replied as they walked outside.

“The only time he’s not is because of me” Tony said as he climbed out of the car to greet them.

“Morning Jen-Big Guy and Agent G” he said with a fake smile.

“Morning Tony” Jen said.

“Mr. Stark” Callen said with a nod.

“What are you doing here?” Tony asked.

“Picking Jen up-she’s needed up at NCIS” G said making Jen groan.

“What does she have planned?” she asked.

All G did was shrug “I am just the messenger boy” he said.

“Yeah right” she said with a snort.

Tony smiled “Sorry Brucie and I don’t have time to chat-if we don’t leave now we’ll be late” Tony said as climbed back into the car.

Jen rolled her eyes but walked up and gave Bruce a quick kiss “Call me when you are done?” she asked.

Bruce smiled “Of course-be careful” he replied as he climbed in the car and Happy drove off.

G turned and raised an eyebrow at Jen “DO I even want to ask?” he asked.

“There’s a meeting at SI this morning and well Tony doesn’t like new people” Jen said.

G rolled his eyes “Well come on Hetty’s going to send a search party out if we don’t get back soon” he said.

 


 

Owen was waiting for them when G pulled into the parking lot. He walked up to greet her extending his hand.

“The prodigal daughter returns” he said with a smile. “How are you Genevieve” he added.

Genevieve looked at Owen in surprise “I am fine Owen-How are you” she asked as she shook his hand.

“Fine-Fine. I hear you’ve had quite an interesting few months” Owen replied as they walked inside.

Jen glanced sideways trying to decide how to respond “Yes I have” she said finally.

Owen nodded “well she’s been waiting for you so I am sure I will see you in a few minutes”

Jen turned and watched as Owen walked away then turned back toward G with a raised eyebrow.

“Ok what’s going on? Owen is never nice to me” she said with a chuckle.

“He’s luring you into a false sense of security” G said as they walked toward Hetty.

“Who” Hetty asked having caught the end of the conversation.

“Granger” G replied.

Hetty smiled as she hugged Genevieve “I had hopes of us going to lunch but I am afraid something has come up” she said.

“Is that I was “needed” she asked looking at Hetty.

Hetty looked at her “Come on upstairs and I will try to explain everything” she said.

Hetty led the way to the ops center and for once everyone was already there. Sam breaking off and coming toward her with his arms out.

“You better get over here” he said laughing.

Jen smiled and threw her arms around him “You act like you haven’t seen me in months” she said with a laugh.

“Ok Hetty, G someone needs to introduce us” Kensi said laughing.

Hetty laughed “My apologizes Ms. Blye. This is Genevieve Gibbs-I have been her semi-guardian since she was very young” Hetty said.

“Since I was born Hetty” Jen interrupted.

“As I said really young” Hetty replied with a smirk.

“Semi guardian?” Nell asked.

Jen jumped in “I was raised by 3 different people basically. Going between the three at different intervals” she supplied.

“Genevieve this is Kensi Blye and Marty Deeks-Standing over there are Nell Jones and Eric Beale” Hetty said beginning the introductions. “Ms. Blyth is one of my agents-Mr. Deeks is a liaison with the LAPD and Ms. Jones is my intelligence analyst and Mr. Beale is my tech operator” she added.

Jen smiled “It’s nice to meet everyone” she said.

“Ok we need to get down to business” Owen said as he walked in. “Mr. Beale please show the others what you and Ms. Jones found out” Owen ordered.

Eric cleared his throat “Yes umm Nell and I finally found other public cameras where we determined there were two people in the car” he began as he typed a command and the picture from yesterday appeared on the screen.

Jen looked around then slightly raised her hand “ok and this picture is of what exactly?” she asked.

“The men outside of the car are Russian spies that are collecting top secret data and the men inside the car are the people giving it to them” Sam supplied quickly.

Jen nodded intrigued “ok continue” she said.

Nell nodded “The driver is a man by the name of Conrad Samuels-58 and is a member of the board of trustees for Stark Industries” she said.

“Who was the man in the back seat?” Deeks asked.

“We have reason to believe it’s General Ross-although we couldn’t get a good enough shot for a positive identification” Eric said.

Jen cocked her head in thought “So Ross is what? Selling government information to the Russians?” she asked.

“Part of it-the Russians are using Stark weapons” Sam replied looking at her.

“New weapons?” she asked. “Tony stopped that years ago-after Afghanistan” she added.

“We’re not sure on that” Owen said. “What I am more worried about is this man who is connected with Stark Industries” he replied looking at Jen.

“So go and confront this guy-see what he says” Jen said.

“You know he’s going to lawyer up-he must be loaded if he’s on a trustee board” Deeks replied with a smile.

Jen looked over at Owen “So you think there’s a mole inside Stark Industries?” she asked.

“Yes-that’s why you are here. I want you to go try and find the mole” Owen said.

“Excuse me?” she asked slowly.

“I said” Owen began but Jen interrupted him.

“I heard you-How do you expect me to do that?” she snapped.

“There are other reasons-why don’t you all give us a few minutes” Hetty said looking at the others.

The others nodded and left the three in the ops center by themselves.

“I figured since you are with Bruce now and will already be within the vicinity of Stark it will be less conspicuous” Owen said staring at her.

Jen swung around and stared at Granger “I have an issue that you seem very knowledgeable of my life lately Owen” she said slowly.

“Ross has been active lately. I-we-need to stop him before he has a chance to strike. We need every angle covered so that we can get enough incriminating evidence that WHEN he is caught he can’t get off on a technicality” Hetty said interrupting.

“You think he’s trying to start up the super solider project again?” Jen asked.

“Yes” Hetty replied.

“Well what about the Russian angle? All you need to do is contact Arkady” Jen said.

“Callen has been unsuccessful in contacting Arkady. We need to act now” Hetty said looking at Jen.

“What do you expect me to do? Pepper is the CEO now-and we don’t have the best history-I don’t think she’s just going to give me a job” Jen commented.

“We will contact Ms. Potts and explain the situation” Owen said.

Genevieve looked at him worriedly “I would Love to see Ross behind bars for obvious reasons. IF you inform Pepper of why I am there I will try to figure out the mole and the connection with Ross” Jen said.

Owen nodded “I will go inform SecNav and one of us will contact Ms. Potts immediately” he said as he left the room.

Jen just turned and smiled at Hetty.

“What?” Hetty asked.

“I am proud of you. You’ve finally added them to your family” Jen said.

“Well despite my best efforts they have broken through my defenses” Hetty said with a slight blush. “Let’s go have a cup of tea while we wait for Owen to call Ms. Potts” she added as they left the room.

Chapter Text

NCIS

“Is Granger actually going to tell Pepper what we are doing?” Genevieve asked as she sipped her tea.

“That seems like that would be counterproductive” she added.

“Usually we don’t do that-but since it’s not an official assignment-it might be beneficial to have someone inside to help you” Hetty said. “But I am sure between Owen, Vance and SecNav will come up with something” she added.

Jen glanced at her phone for the tenth time in twenty minutes until Hetty couldn’t take it anymore.

“Oh for god sakes just call Bruce and I can have someone come pick him up! Hell I’ll even go pick him up if it’ll stop you from looking at that phone again” Hetty snapped.

Jen burst out laughing “I am sorry-I’ll stop. The meeting is almost over and I am sure he’s going to go to the lab for a while-I probably won’t see him for a couple more hours” she said.

Nell came over to them in fast pace “Hetty-excuse me for interrupting-but umm we found one of them” Nell said.

“Found who Ms. Jones” Hetty asked for clarification.

“One of the Russian spies from the photo. I’ve alerted Sam and Callen and they are in route to get him” she said excitedly.

Owen walked up “Did I hear you right-you’ve found one of the Spies?” he asked.

“Yes sir” Nell said. “Mr. Callen and Mr. Hanna are in route now” Hetty supplied.

“Good-Good Job Ms. Jones” Granger said.

“Thank you sir” Nell said then made her leave.

“Genevieve we’ve decided not to tell Ms. Potts much about the mission-for obvious reasons” Granger said.

Jen sighed and fought against rolling her eyes “So I am just supposed to call her and ask for a job?” She asked slowly.

“Yes” Granger said.

Jen sighed “Owen Pepper and I have a bit of a history. We are trying to do better but she’s never trusted much and I seriously doubt she’s going to just give me a job out of the goodness of her heart” Jen said.

“We have a plan B in the works but try-put all those years of undercover work to use” Owen said.

Jen looked at Owen with a raised eyebrow “Let me call Pepper and see what she says” she said reaching for her phone.


 

Pepper was hanging up the phone as Tony walked into her office without knocking.

“What’s with the look-who was that?” Tony asked.

“That was Genevieve. She was wondering if we have any job openings” she replied slowly.

“Wow really?” Tony asked.

“She says she’s bored and figures since she’s going to be around-she might as well get a part time job” she answered.

Tony blinked at her waiting until Pepper finally asked “Should I give her a job?” “Well I am honestly surprised she called you. I kind of offered her a job months ago and she acted like she didn’t want it. This is something that would have probably happened anyway-since they are a package deal now. It’s just happening sooner than expected” Tony rambled.

Pepper looked at him “This might work out in our favor-Cassandra is going on an early maternity leave because of the health of the baby. Genevieve can replace her-we needed a temporary replacement anyway” Pepper replied with a shrug.

Tony nodded “That sounds great-who’s Cassandra again?” he asked making Pepper roll her eyes.

“Cassandra is assistant head of the Grants department. She and I came to work here at the same time” Pepper said staring at Tony.

Tony’s mind went back all those years ago trying to come up with a face. He can remember meeting the skinny strawberry blonde that followed behind Obie with her head held high-sadly he couldn’t come up with a face of any other women.

“Well if you think that’s a good idea-I am on board” Tony said after a few minutes of thought.

Pepper stared at him “Ok are we going to lunch or not? I have a meeting in two hours so we need to leave now” she said reaching for her purse.

“Yes Dear” Tony said helping her into her coat and headed toward the elevator.

The elevator opened revealing Bruce who smiled when he saw Pepper and Tony.

“Hello Pepper-Tony” Bruce greeted.

“Bruce I didn’t realize you were still here” Pepper said with a smile.

“Oh I had to touch base with some of the interns after the meeting” Bruce said breezily. “Are you two going out?” he asked.

“Yep Pep and I are going to lunch” Tony replied.

“Good have fun” Bruce said.

“Where are you off to?” Pepper asked.

“Well Jen is coming to pick me up and well-not sure what we are doing after that” Bruce said with a chuckle.

“That’s nice-tell Jen she can come in tomorrow and we can talk about a possible job and signing the hiring paperwork” Pepper said reaching for her phone.

“What?” Bruce asked turning to look at her.

Pepper looked at Bruce with a raised eyebrow “She called me today and asked if we could employ her part time” she stated simply.

Bruce looked between the two in silent confusion. This was news to him-he didn’t know Jen wanted to work at Stark Industries. He wondered if it had anything to do with why Jen had to be at NCIS earlier than usual this morning.

“You mean she didn’t tell you?” Tony asked seeing Bruce’s face.

“I’ve been busy today Tony-and anytime we are alone drama happens. I am sure it’s something she had been thinking about and decided to call Pepper today since she was in LA” Bruce deflected-hoping he could stop any more questions.

“But why didn’t she tell you before today” Tony asked.

“I am sure she didn’t want to get me involved-a conflict of interest” Bruce said as the elevator stopped and Happy stood there waiting for Pepper and Tony and- luckily-Genevieve was nowhere to be seen.

Happy smiled at Bruce and went to open the door for Pepper-Tony stood there staring at Bruce.

“Do you not want her to work here? Pep’s on the fence-I think she’s just doing this for you and the fact that we need to replace Sandy“ Tony said.

“Casandra-not-Sandy” Bruce corrected automatically. “I would love Jen to work in the company if that’s what she wants to do. Tony you need to go-Pepper’s waiting” Bruce said shooing him toward Happy and the waiting car.

“yeah-ok see ya later” Tony said as walked toward the car.

Bruce waved at them as they drove off and smiled to himself as Jen pulled recklessly into the parking garage a few minutes after Happy dove off. He climbed in the passenger seat and leaned over to kiss her.

“Sorry I am late-I forgot how bad traffic is here” Jen said when he leaned back.

“That’s fine-I wasn’t waiting long” Bruce said. “Good-again- I am sorry I left NCIS later than expected” She said as she pulled into traffic.

“Did you being late have anything to do with this part time job at Stark Industries?” he asked mildly.

Jen looked over sharply at him “man he already told you?” she replied in annoyance.

Bruce chuckled “Only because we rode down in the elevator together” he said. “Does this have anything to do with Callen coming to get you this morning?” he asked.

Jen kept her eyes on the road “yes but that’s all I can say at the moment” she said apologetically.

Bruce smiled grabbing her hand, bringing it to his lips to kiss it “That’s fine” he said. “Don’t worry I won’t tell Tony either” he adds.

“Thanks-I appreciate that” she said with a smirk.

“So what are the plans tonight?” Bruce asked.

“Not sure exactly-Hetty keeps hinted about eating with us” she replied.

“That’s nice. Is that what you want?” Bruce asked.

Jen smiled “Kind of hoping for some alone time for just us” she admitted.

“That hasn’t worked out lately has it” Bruce said.

“Not lately” She replied sparring a glance at him.

Bruce grabbed her hand “It’ll calm down soon-I am sure of it” he said.

Jen just smiled and squeezed his hand in response “I hope so” She said quietly.


 

NCIS

Jen and Bruce walked into NCIS and was met with silence.

“You look relieved” Bruce said with a chuckle.

“Honestly I am was afraid there would be more people and staring involved” she said leaning into him.

They paused when they heard yelling coming from upstairs. “Should we be worried?” Bruce asked.

Jen looked around “Well no one is running and there’s no alarms-so I think we are ok” she said looking up the stairs. “Let’s go check it out” she said tugging him up the stairs.

Bruce sighed looking around “Are you sure that’s wise?” he said quietly.

“Don’t worry they don’t normally interview the prisoners here” she said kissing him on the cheek as they reached the top step. “They’re probably watching Callen and Sam interrogate whomever via live feed” she said.

Bruce looked confused “where do they normally interrogate them then?” he asked.

“Boat shed” she whispered as they neared the ops center. Hetty, Eric, Nell, Deeks and Kensi were all inside staring at a screen. Jen rapped on the doorframe to get their attention. All of them turned with different looks of surprise on their faces.

“Mind if we join the party?” Jen asked smiling sweetly.

Hetty looked at her watch “Oh bugger-I didn’t realize what time it was” she said.

“It’s ok-we made it through the lunch rush traffic faster than expected” Jen said.

“Without incident?” Hetty asked amused.

Bruce opened his mouth but paused when Jen touched his arm “She’s talking about my slight case of road rage” she said.

Bruce chuckled “oh right-how could I forget that” he teased.

Hetty smiled “Mr. Beale, Ms. Jones Ms. Blye and Mr. Deeks this is Dr. Banner” Hetty said making the introductions.

“Pleasure” Eric said nodding toward him.

“Nice to meet you Dr. Banner” Nell replied with a pleasant smile.

“Sup” Deeks said with a head nod.

Kensi smiled and waved “hello” she said.

“Bruce, Mr. Beale is my tech operator, Ms. Jones is my intelligence analyst, Ms. Blyth is one of my agents and Mr. Deeks is a liaison with the LAPD connected with this office” Hetty continued with a professional smile.

Bruce smiled and nodded as Hetty rattled off the introductions “It’s nice to meet everyone” he said quietly.

They quieted when Callen came into screen and started talking to the man in Russian. The man shifted in his seat and the arm of his sleeve rode up to reveal a metal arm.

“Does he have a metal arm?” Nell asked.

Sam asked him what happened to his arm-the man replied since the asset has defected they needed a new one.

“Who is the asset?” Deeks asked.

Jen and Bruce shared a look. Jen causally leaned toward Bruce.

“Call Nat” she barley breathed in his ear.

Bruce glanced at her his eyes cutting over to make sure the others were preoccupied. When he decided they wouldn’t notice him he nodded and slipped out. He walked down the hallway checking for cameras and slipped into the bathroom-locking it- pulling out is phone and calling Natasha.

“Hello Bruce” Natasha said as she answered.

“Hi Nat-we might have a problem” Bruce said quickly.

“Oh?” she asked.

“I am here at the NCIS office in LA. They’ve captured a Russian man with a metal arm. When Sam asked what happened to his arm his response was the asset defected and they needed a new one. You might need to tell Coulson-or Fury” Bruce said.

Natasha cursed in Russian “Ok I’ll call Coulson first. Call me later tonight if you find out more information” she said.

Bruce smiled “How about tomorrow” he said.

“Have plans tonight do you” Nat teased.

“Maybe-hopefully” Bruce replied with a chuckle. “I might have a plan forming” he added.

“Ok I am sure calling me in the morning will be fine” Natasha teased again.

There was banged on the door. “Come on” a voice yelled from outside. “I’ll call tomorrow Nat-bye” Bruce said quickly as he hung up. Thinking quickly he flushed the toilet-turned on the water for a second then unlocked the door- coming face to face with an angry older man. “Sorry” Bruce said “thought I was going to be sick” he added as he started walking back down the hallway.


 

Natasha dialed Coulson’s number as soon as she hung up with Bruce.

“Natasha” Phil said as he answered.

“Bruce just called me. Apparently there is a man in NCIS custody that has a metal arm and the only thing he said was since the asset defected they needed another” she said without preamble.

“Where?” Coulson asked.

“He’s in LA at the moment” Natasha replied.

Phil cursed “I’ll call Fury-keep me posted” he said.

“Of course. Bruce Is supposed to call me in the morning with more information” she said.

“Good-call me in the morning then” Phil said as he hung up.

Natasha hung up and looked up as Clint walked in. “Was that Doc who called you? What did he want?” he asked as he plopped down next to her on the couch.

“We might have another winter solider” she said looking at him to see his reaction.

Clint slowly turned to her studying her expression “Of course we do” he said after a few minutes. “Does Boss know?” he asked.

Natasha gave him an unimpressed glare in return making him chuckle. “Course he does-sorry. Um How do you feel about that?” he asked looking at her again.

She just gave him a blank stare making Clint touch her face. “Stop-you don’t have to tell me-but I know that must be weird for you. Just want to make sure you’re ok-even though I know you can handle it yourself” he said in a rush.

Natasha looked at him “Is it ok not to know how I feel?” she asked.

Clint smiled and bravely pulled her closer to him “Of course it is” he said.


 

“So what’s going to happen now? The guy didn’t SAY anything” Jen asked once the interrogation was over.

Hetty turned then noticed Bruce was gone “Where’d Bruce go?” She asked.

“He had to go to the bathroom” Jen replied.

“I didn’t hear him leave?” Hetty countered.

“He’s a master at being unnoticed” Jen fired back simply staring at Hetty.

Hetty just shook her head-but kept silent “Well we can’t exactly keep him here we have no evidence” she said.

Deeks spoke up “Can’t we detain him for suspicion? Or the fact that he has a fake passport?” he replied.

Hetty nodded “Perhaps” she said.

“If you do detain him-you know Ross will find out. Is that going to spur him or frighten him?” Jen asked.

Hetty nodded “That’s my worry” she admitted then seemed to realize what time it was, “Goodness-go home. You’ve been here all day. Go have dinner-have a nice night out-or in-whatever you prefer. I’ll make you two breakfast tomorrow” she said as she came up and hugged Genevieve.

Jen looked down at her and blinked “You can just tell me to leave if you want to hear what you are about to say” she teased.

“Leave I don’t want you to hear what I am about to say” Hetty parroted back with a smile.

Jen laughed as Bruce walked in taking in the scene with a raised eyebrow “Did I miss something?” he asked cautiously.

“Hetty’s throwing me-well us-but mostly me-out” she said.

Bruce chuckled “well I am sure it’s for your own good” he said.

Hetty smiled “See Dr. Banner is a genius” she said. “I’ll see you both in the morning” she added watching them leave.

Deeks raised his hand “Umm what was that?” he asked once they had left the room.

“I didn’t want Dr. Banner to hear what I was going to ask next” Hetty said with a shrug. “Have we found any indication where Brian Banner is yet” she asked.

Eric made a sound of disgust as he typed a few commands “No-it’s driving me nuts. With all of our resources I can’t seem to find him. He just disappeared off the face of the earth-it’s so frustrating!” he moaned.

Hetty nodded “I know it is-everyone slips up eventually. Keep it up” she said encouragingly.

“How long are you planning on keeping this from them?” Nell asked.

Hetty stared at the red head then smiled “As long as I can” she said.

“What about that guy with the metal arm?” Kensi asked-changing the subject.

Hetty looked at the screen in thought “I need to some research-this asset sounds familiar to me-I just can’t remember where” she said.


 

Jen followed behind Bruce as they walked into the house-she had been quiet most of the ride back.

“You’ve been quiet-are you ok?” Bruce finally asked coming up behind her.

Jen looked back at him “I am worried-this new man with the metal arm isn’t good. The fact that something is going on around us that no one is telling us about is starting to annoy me” she admitted.

Bruce sighed “Well Hetty said she’s coming in the morning-you can ask her then” he said leaning in to kiss her gently.

Jen smiled “Have something planned do you doctor” she asked against his lips.

“I might” he replied as he kissed her.

“Then by all means I am all ears” she said.

“I think a demonstration would be-mutually beneficial” he said causing Jen to bust out laughing.

“Really? Has that line work for you before?” she gasped as she laughed.

Bruce laughed “Hush-I was trying something different” he chuckled. “Now don’t kill the mood” he added kissing her again.

Jen tried to stop her giggles but failed “Ok I’ll stop-show me this demonstration Dr. Banner” she said.

Bruce growled “Oh I’ll show you” he said as he lifted her up and carried her briskly into the bedroom-making her laugh as he bounced her on the bed and slammed the door behind them.

Chapter Text

The soft crying woke Jen up. She sat up in confusion trying to figure out who was crying.

“Think you better go see who’s crying?” Mike Franks said leaning against the doorframe of her closet cigarette hanging out of his mouth.

Jen swung her head around staring at him “Why are you standing in my closet?” she asked amused.

Mike chuckled “Go check on him please-can’t stand to hear that boy crying” he demanded.

“Boy? Who is it?” She asked turning her attention to her bedroom door. “Mike?” She asked when she was met by silence-he was gone. “Of course” she muttered sighing as she flung her sheets off and headed for the door.

She paused outside the bed room door in slight confusion- she was in another house. The crying was coming down the hallway so she slowly headed toward the sound. She stopped outside a bedroom door where she determined the sound was coming from. She held her breath blowing it out slowly as she slowly turned the door knob. A curly head boy was crying on his bed then gasped and scrambled under his it as the sound of a man stomping up the stairs. Jen whirled around but the man-which was older than she expected-went through her into the room.

“Robert where are you- you freak!” he man snarled. “I’ll find you-you can’t hide from me. I’ll always find you” he man snarled.

“He’s coming Jen” a women whispered in her ear.

 


 

“Jen-wake up” Bruce said gently touching her making her gasp, flinch and roll out of bed-something she always seemed to do after these dreams.

Bruce crouched down “Jen-honey it’s ok -you’re in LA-you’re fine” he said softly reaching down and brushing hair from her eye.

Jen blinked up at Bruce her mind still reeling from her dream/premonition. She couldn’t stop the few tears to slip out.

“Honey-shh. I am going to touch you ok?” Bruce asked just before he leaned down to brush her tears away.

Jen nodded as Bruce slowly gathered her in his arms. “Let’s get you back in bed hmm” he said softly lifting her and placing her back in the bed. He laid down and gathered her back in his arms rubbing her back trying to comfort her. He didn’t ask any questions- knowing from experience Jen will talk when she wants to. He hates talking about his nightmares so he wasn’t about to force someone to talk about their own. “How about I go make us some tea” Bruce suggested after he was sure Jen had calmed down.

“Thank you” she whispered softly.

He smiled leaning down to kiss her forehead then climbed out of bed and headed to the kitchen.

Once he was gone Jen sighed and sat up leaning against the headboard. She couldn’t stop her mind from going back to her dream trying to figure out what it was trying to tell her. It’s obvious to her the little boy was Bruce and the man yelling was Brian Banner. The voice said he was coming-he who? Brian? He’s in jail-well-he’s supposed to be in jail. Did he get out somehow? She tried to breath slowly to stay calm. She knew she needed to figure out what this dream meant which meant she needed to do some research whenever she had a free moment tomorrow.


 

Hetty smiled as she walked in the house using her key. She paused listening-she had expected them to be awake by the time she got there but figured they needed their sleep. She decided to help herself to the pantry and starting making a breakfast fit for a king.

Bruce smiled when he heard Jen in the kitchen-until he felt Jen stir next to him. That got his attention waking him up.

“Hon who’s in the kitchen?” he asked.

“Hmm-Wasn’t Hetty supposed to come here for breakfast” she mumbled.

“I guess we’d better get down there” Bruce said as he slowly climbed out of bed.

Jen nodded and got up as well as Bruce passed her on the way to the door she grabbed his hand and reeled him in for a kiss.

“Sorry about earlier” she whispered when she pulled away slightly embarrassed.

Bruce smiled as he cupped her face “You never have to apologize to me for a bad dream-in whatever form” he said.

Jen smiled “I’ll remind you of that when you apologize for yours” she said.

Bruce smiled “You might have to” he said with a chuckle.

Jen smiled grabbing his hand “come on” she said tugging him out of the room.

Hetty was sitting down sipping tea when they entered the kitchen.

“Good morning Genevieve, Bruce” Hetty said with a smile. “I was beginning to think you would sleep all morning” she teased.

Jen glanced at the clock “It’s only 6:30 Hetty” she replied.

Hetty just stared back at her “I am usually am up at 5:00AM” she replied.

Jen laughed as she sat down “I remember” she said.

Hetty motioned to the kettle “I have a pot ready for you Bruce-I wasn’t sure what kind you liked in the morning so I left a selection” she replied.

Bruce smiled as he walked to the kettle “Thank you Hetty” he said selecting a tea and poring himself a mug of hot water.

“Are you eating?” Jen asked looking at Hetty as she sat down.

Hetty smiled “I was nibbling as I cooked” she said.

“So What’s going to happen with the guy from last night?” Jen asked after they had sat down.

Hetty shrugged her shoulders “Not sure-Mr. Callen said he hasn’t spoken all night-just staring at him” she said.

“I am sure that’s how he was trained. I am surprised he didn’t have a hidden cyanide pill or something” Jen replied.

Hetty chuckled “I had Mr. Callen look for one before we put him in the cell” she commented. “Incidentally when Mr. Callen interrogated the man last night-I felt like I have seen someone like that before. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any mention of anyone named the asset in my research” She said.

Jen and Bruce glanced at one another “Might want to look up the Winter Solider” Jen said slowly.

Hetty looked up sharply “The winter Solider?” she asked.

Jen stared at her “I would have thought the name would ring some bells” she replied vaguely.

Hetty smirked “It does but it’s a myth that the KGB created” she said.

“You sure about that?” Jen asked, when Hetty remained quiet she continued. “The Winter Solider is a real person” she added.

Hetty huffed in annoyance “Are you telling me the KGB created an assassin 60 years ago and no one knew about it?” She asked.

Jen raised an eyebrow “I don’t understand why you seem surprised? You know the inside workings of the KGB better than anyone I know” she said.

“Except Nat” Bruce interjected casually.

“Right except Natasha” Jen agreed. “I can’t believe you didn’t see or hear anything when you were there- about a man with a metal arm-someone they kept on ice until he was needed?” Jen asked.

Hetty straightened at the last part making Jen smile.

“You saw him didn’t you?” She asked knowing she didn’t have to elaborate.

Hetty nodded “I did” she stated.

“They must have already had him on ice when you got there” Jen said pausing when Bruce snorted into his tea.

“Put him on ice hon really-what are they the mob?” he asked laughing at her choice of words.

Jen chuckled “How am I supposed to ask that? Was he already in the cryogenic freezer when you saw him?” she said staring at Bruce with a smirk.

Bruce cocked his head in thought “Yeah I guess there’s no great way in asking that question-my apologies-carry on” he said with a wave of his hand that looked more like Tony.

Hetty smiled at their exchange “Yes Genevieve when I was in the KGB I saw him and he was in the chamber. The rumor was that it was a dead American that was found and they were going to try new experiments on him. I had another mission at the time by the time I got back-which was almost a year later the chamber was empty” she replied slowly. Then a thought occurred to her. “You act like you know him” she added.

Jen was about to open her mouth when Hetty’s phone rang. Hetty checked it then rolled her eyes.”Buggar I need to answer this-excuse me” she said as she left the kitchen and walked out the kitchen for some privacy.

Bruce chuckled “wow hon-saved by the bell-right” he chided.  

Jen jokingly glared at him sticking out her tongue for good measure.

“Are you going to tell her about Barnes?” He asked.

Jen shrugged “I guess? I will have to eventually. Especially now with this new one” she said looking down at her coffee cup. “But I am worried” she admitted quietly.

“About what?” he asked concerned.

“I wonder does SHIELD know. Is THAT why they’ve kept James alive?” she asked.

“That’s something you need to ask Fury” Bruce said then he glanced at the clock. “Is that the time! I need to get ready- Happy should be here any minute to pick me up” Bruce exclaimed as he jumped up and ran upstairs to throw on some clothes.

Hetty walked in the doorway with a raised eyebrow “Everything ok” she asked.

Jen just nodded her head “lost track of time” she answered.

Hetty sighed “That was Mr. Hanna-Owen says we legally cannot keep the Russian in our custody any longer if we don’t have proof” she replied.

“I seriously doubt they have lawyers waiting in the wings for them” Jen replied.

“That might be true but we can’t just bend the rules when need be” Hetty replied.

Jen chuckled “Since when?” she only half joked.

Hetty chuckled “I am trying to turn over a new leaf” she said.

“Do you have any connections anymore with anyone connected with the KGB?” Jen asked as she got up to put the dirty dishes away.

Hetty chuckled “They are all older than me-I seriously doubt they have any knowledge of this man” she replied. “But you do” Hetty added looking at Genevieve.

Jen turned and looked at Hetty with a laugh “Hetty you have a better chance of getting Natasha to talk to you than you do to have her talk to me” she said leaning against the counter.

“Would you try?” Hetty asked.

“I can’t make any promises-but you know I’ll try” Jen said with a sigh.

Hetty smiled “Thank you” she replied.

“I guess I should go get dressed too-since Pepper wants to meet me and have me fill out hiring paperwork. Do you want me to come to NCIS first to give me a rundown on what I am supposed to look for-or do you want me to come after I sign my soul away?” Jen said pushing off the counter and looking at Hetty.

Hetty rolled her eyes “Oh please you already signed your soul away when you signed up to for your first mission” she said with a smile making Jen laugh. “Come to NCIS after. That way you will have an idea of what you will be doing and we can make a plan from that” she decided.

Jen nodded in agreement “That makes sense. I am going to go change real quick. Can you let Tony in when he shows?” she asked as she left the room.

“Of course” Hetty replied.


 

“Would you mind if I hitch a ride with you?” Jen asked as she walked into the bedroom already pulling off her pajamas.

Bruce spent a few seconds enjoying the show before he shook himself and continued to dress.

“I don’t mind-you know that. The only issue would be getting you back-if you needed to that is” he said.

“Let me worry about that” she teased as she leaned over and pecked him on the lips.

He groaned then lightly pushed her away from him “we need to get ready-stop distracting me’ he said with a smile.

She just flashed a smile to him and started pulling on clothes.

Hetty frowned when she heard the door fling open and Tony yelled “Hey big guy-you ready?”

“Mr. Stark you know it’s rude to just bust into someone’s home? AND bad for your health” Hetty said as she walked around the corner.

“Geez Hetty you scared me! Big guy is ok with it don’t worry-so it’s not bad for my health” Stark replied.

“I wasn’t even talking about him Hulking out-although that should be reason enough. I was speaking more of walking unannounced into a house that has high security protocols as well as the fact the Jen is always armed and the fact that if I didn’t already know you were coming you’d probably have a bullet hole in your forehead right now” Hetty replied calmly.

Tony froze “You both are always armed?” he asked as he watched her pistols slide back into her sleeve.

“Yes” was all Hetty said. “Now come sit down-they should be right down” she added walking into the kitchen.

“They?” Tony asked confused.

“Oh I am sorry I assumed Jen was riding in with you since she needed to meet with Ms. Potts today. If you have other plans I can always let her borrow one of my cars” Hetty said.

Hetty chuckled as Bruce came rushing in trying to put on his loafers and walk at the same time.

“Hey Tony we should be ready in a second. Thanks for waiting-Is it alright if Jen rides with us? It’d be easier since we are all headed to the same place” he asked looking at his friend.

“My offer still stands as well” Hetty replied.

“What offer?” Bruce asked confused.

“No offer big guy. The more the merrier-I probably should call Pep so she will be expecting Jen and won’t be in some meeting” he replied reaching for his phone.

“Tony, Pepper was the one who told Jen to come in today. She wouldn’t be hiding in some meeting-you are confusing her with yourself” Bruce replied with a smirk.

Tony smirked back “Wow Big guy you’ve got a lot of sass since Jen’s been around. She’s a bad influence on you” He replied.

“I disagree” Bruce said.

“I actually agree with Tony on that one” Jen said as she walked into the room smiling.

Bruce smiled and nodded “You ready?” he asked.

“Yes-sorry for making you wait Tony-Hetty distracted us with breakfast” she replied.

Hetty rolled her eyes “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” she replied.

“Says the women who has tea for breakfast” Jen said.

“Thank you for breakfast Hetty” Bruce interrupted.

“My pleasure Bruce” Hetty replied with a nod.

There was a discreet knock on the door “Boss we need to get going” Happy called from the porch.

Tony checked his watch “Yeah Hap-we’re coming” Tony called as he turned and opened the door.

“Go-Go” Hetty said shooing them out the door. “I’ll lock up” she replied.

“Thanks” Jen said as she followed Bruce and Tony out the door.

 


 

STARK INDUSTRIES

Jen sat in the chair in front of Pepper’s desk when she was ushered inside after she signed the hiring paperwork. The secretary told her Pepper was on the way and to “make herself comfortable.” Jen glanced at her reflection in the mirror on the wall-she looked like she was going to face a firing squad-she needed to calm down. She hated lying to them about this undercover assignment-but she knew if they knew the whole building would find out and she would never get the information she needed.

The door opened and Pepper strolled in “Genevieve I am so sorry to keep you waiting” Pepper said as rounded the corner of her desk to sit down.

“I know you’re a busy women” Jen replied. “Thank you for the opportunity” she added.

“Well I will be honest I was surprised. But I get that you might be bored and not have anything to do with your free time. Well let me retract that-I get the IDEA of boredom-I don’t think I have had an ounce of free time since I first came to work here” Pepper replied with a smile. “Besides this will help us out. One of our assistant head of the grants department is going out on maternity leave-earlier than expected. You can fill in for her and when she comes back when can move you around if need be” She added.

Jen looked thoughtful for a second before she spoke “Do you feel I am qualified to work in the grants department?” Jen asked.

“I feel like you are-from what I remember you are a fast learner. Despite our history I trust you here instead of hiring an outsider” Pepper replied staring at her.

Jen nodded “Thank you” she said.

“It might be a bit more hours than part time in the beginning-is that ok?” Pepper replied.

“That’s fine” Jen answered.

Pepper nodded “Great-I would walk you up to the department myself and show you around-but I have a video conference I need to be on in 10 minutes” Pepper said as she rose signaling the meeting was over. “You have your employee badge-Cassandra is waiting for you. Go up to the 5th floor and she can walk you around” Pepper added as she walked her to the door.

“Sure thing Pe-um Ms. Potts thank you again” Jen said as she walked out into the hallway.

Pepper chuckled “It’s only Ms. Potts in front of HR” Pepper said turning to leave. “Oh and Genevieve in case you didn’t know when you are done with your tour the R&D labs start on the 10th floor-might want to try the 15th floor” She called as she walked away.


 

NCIS

Owen came and sat down staring at Hetty without saying anything-she could feel his eyes boring into the top of her head.

“Can I help you with something Owen?” Hetty asked not looking up from her paperwork.

“Have you heard from Genevieve yet?” he asked impatiently.

“If I had you would know by now” Hetty replied. “We probably won’t hear from her for another couple of hours-she had to sign paper work-talk with Ms. Potts-I am sure they are giving her a tour” she surmised.

“How do you know that?” Owen asked.

“Ms. Potts is thorough” Hetty replied.

“Or you have Genevieve bugged” Owen replied causally.

Hetty looked up and stared at her boss over the rim of her glasses “That is wrong and immoral-why would I do anything like that?” she asked.

“Because I know you Henrietta” Owen said.

Hetty barely contained her smile “I’ll be sure to call you when I hear from her” she said.

Owen sighed and got up to leave knowing he wasn’t going to get any more information from Hetty.

“Quick question Owen-do you remember hearing anything about the Winter Solider?” Hetty asked.

Owen paused and looked down at Hetty thinking for a minute.

“I remember it as a project name from some old KGB file-why?” he asked.

“I have reason to believe it has something to do with our young Russian friend from yesterday” Hetty replied.

"Did some research did you?" Owen asked with a smirk.

"I do have a life Owen" Hetty replied with a smirk.

“If I remember it was something to do with a man made killing machine. How does that connect with the guy from yesterday?” Owen asked ignoring her comment.

"I am not sure yet but we might have a whole new set of worries coming” Hetty replied.

Owen shook his head “Don’t we always” he shot back with a smirk.

Hetty gave a slow smile “I guess we do” she replied.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

R&D Department of Stark Industries

Bruce’s phone was ringing next to him- not moving his eyes from the microscope he blindly reached until his grabbed it and accepted the call.

“Hello” he said.

“You were supposed to call me” Natasha replied on the other end.

Bruce cringed “Shit Nat I am sorry It’s been a crazy morning-Hetty made us breakfast this morning- Jen is still at her orientation-“ he began in a rush.

“Orientation? She’s working at SI now-Since when?” Natasha asked confused.

“Since this morning” Bruce replied.

Natasha snorted “I got that part but why?” she asked again.

“She wanted something to do with her free time” he replied lamely.

Natasha snorted “If you say so” she said.

Bruce looked up and made sure Tony wasn’t in the room before he continued the conversation.

“The man apparently didn’t say anything all night and didn’t have a hidden cyanide pill-if that helps” Bruce said.

Natasha hummed in thought “Actually that does-most are-or were given hidden pills. If this one didn’t maybe he’s not actually associated with KGB?” she replied.

The sound of the lab doors opening caught Bruce’s attention but calmed when he saw it was Jen. She gave him an amused look and a raised eyebrow.

“Who is it?” she mouthed.

“Nat” he mouthed back.

“Can I speak with her when you are done?” she mouthed back.

“Jen wants to speak with you” Bruce said into the phone. “You might be able to get more information out of each other than you can out of me” he added as he handed over the phone.

Jen chuckled as she pecked him on the cheek and put the phone to her ear “Sorry about that Natasha. I-wait- Is this a secure line?” Jen asked out loud.

“Yes” Natasha and Bruce said together.

“Ok great-NCIS had to release the man they had in custody this morning. He had a metal arm-he was Russian and the only words he spoke was that the asset defected and they needed another one. You are the only one I know who knows the LATEST inside workings of the KGB. I was wondering if you could help somehow” Jen rambled.

There was silence on the other end before Natasha spoke. “Are you sure the man had an actual metal arm?” She asked.

“Hmm-I wasn’t in the room with him-Callen and Sam were-I’ll have to ask them. But I believe so” Jen replied.

“You do realize I haven’t been inside the KGB for almost 20 years-I might not be able to help you” Natasha said.

“At the moment you are the only one who has been in contact with them recently-any information can be helpful” Jen said then cringed at how that came across. “And I realize how stupid that sounded” she added into the phone.

Natasha actually snorted on the other end “I have been around intelligence agencies my entire-well Life” she commented.

Jen laughed “I know-me too” she said.

“You do realize SHIELD will probably have to be told about this-since they do have Ja-um-HIM in custody” Natasha replied after a quiet moment.

Jen nodded ignoring Natasha’s almost slip “Yeah I figured as much-can you wait until I warn Hetty” she asked.

“Of course” Natasha said.

“You don’t have to tell me anything right now-you can think about it. Or get information from whatever contacts you have and get back with me. I have a feeling this isn’t going to be the last time we see this guy. I will try to get back to DC in the next couple of weeks to talk with James-if they let me that is-and see if he remembers anything” Jen said thinking out loud.

“From what I’ve read Barnes doesn’t hardly remembers anything-why waste your time?” Natasha asked.

Jen looked over at Bruce “I am more trying to mark him off as a suspect-if he’s still there anyway” she said.

“Why wouldn’t he be there?” Natasha asked curiously.

“I have a theory on that” Jen replied noticing Bruce’s discreet cough to alert her Tony was coming.

“I refuse to believe they know nothing about this” Jen said as she walked into the office portion of the labs-so that Tony wouldn’t hear any of their conversation.

Tony watched her with a confused look “Who’s Jen talking to?” he asked Bruce.

“Nat” Bruce replied.

“Natasha? Since when are they chummy?” Tony asked.

“Jen needed to ask Natasha a question” Bruce replied half truthfully.

Tony just stared at Bruce blinking in confusion seeing Jen watching them from inside the office “Fine don’t tell me big guy-I’ll find out-I always do” Tony replied.

Bruce chuckled “There’s nothing for you to find out-all I know is that She needed to ask her a question” he said shrugging as he turned back toward his computer screen.


 

Inside the Lab Office

 “There-Tony walked in so I went into one of the back office’s so he wouldn’t hear. I am sure he’s trying to drill Bruce for information” Jen said staring at Tony and Bruce through the window.

Natasha laughed “Oh yeah-Stark hates not knowing something. Or thinking he doesn’t know something” Natasha said chuckling.

Jen smiled “yep-I probably should have just stayed in there-He’ll be insufferable now” She moaned.”

“Yep he will” Nat agreed. “Does Hetty know about HIM” she added changing the subject back.

Jen paused “Not –Yet” she replied. “I meant to tell her this morning at breakfast. She does know him-somewhat-but not the new information” she added.

“Do you think she’ll want to talk to him?” Natasha asked.

Jen sighed “That is a good question. I am sure one of them will have to interview him at some point” she replied.

“But you want to talk to him first?” Natasha commented.

“I guess?” Jen admitted.

There was a man’s voice in the background talking to Natasha-making her sigh into the phone.

“Clint and I are being called into a meeting with Coulson-I need to go. You have this number now-call me when you can when you figure out what is going on” Natasha replied.

“Sure thanks” Jen said as they hung up.


 LABS

Jen smiled as she walked out of the office-facing Tony and Bruce. Tony was staring at her and she stared right back. He smirked shaking his head when he realized she wasn’t going to comment on her conversation with Natasha.

“Did you get everything squared away with Pep and Natasha Jen? Tony asked as he walked to his station already swiping some data from his computer toward Bruce’s.

Jen rolled her eyes “Yes I did Tony” she replied.

“When do you start?” Bruce asked trying to distract Tony.

“Technically tomorrow” Jen said.

Tony looked up “Really that soon?” he asked.

“Cassandra wants to walk me through a few days so that she feels comfortable leaving me in charge” Jen said. “So I decided to start early” she added with a shrug.

“Well that’s good-that way you will feel more comfortable when you are by yourself” Bruce said distractedly as he read Tony’s data.

Jen nodded and pulled her phone out to send a text to Callen

GG: Got a question for you-was it a real metal arm?

GC: YES-WANT TO HAVE LUNCH WITH ME AND SAM?

GG: Sure when and where?

CG: sending you address

After she sent the text Jen realized the lab had gotten quiet. She stared at their bowed heads and knew she had lost them-she wasn’t even sure they even remembered she was in the room. She smiled, kissed Bruce’s cheek as she headed out the door-not even bothering to say good-bye.

“Jarvis please tell Bruce I am having lunch with G and I have my phone on me-when-or if- he realizes I am gone” Jen said as she walked toward the elevator.

“Yes ma’am” Jarvis said. “Since you are technically an employee may I suggest using a company vehicle” The A.I added.

Jen smiled at the thought “Thank you Jarvis-I believe I will” she said as the A.I sent the elevator to the garage.


 

Jen pulled into the restaurant parking lot and found a spot easily enough. She walked in and found G and Sam in a back booth.

“Hey” Jen said with a smile, “Thanks for inviting me” she added.

“Doc didn’t come?” Sam asked.

“Lost him to data” she added with fake morose.

G chuckled “Okay does that happen a lot?” he asked.

Jen paused in thought “Yes-he and Tony are both brilliant men-so they are in their element in the lab-everything else gets put on the back burner” she said with a shrug.

G laughed “Okay-well Hetty thought it would be easier if we debrief in lunches or dinners from now on. She doesn’t want to bring attention to you with you randomly going to NCIS for unknown reasons” he said.

Jen nodded “Makes sense” she agreed.

“So when’s your first day?” Sam asked.

“Tomorrow-She is taking me around and introducing me to everyone. I will even be sitting in on a board meeting –umm-she told me on Wednesday” Jen said.

G nodded “Two days that’s good-the sooner the better” he commented.

“So what am I supposed to do WHEN I find this person? Am I supposed to scan documents? Am I supposed to arrest them? Does anyone know?” Jen asked.

Sam looked over at G “Not sure if Granger or Hetty thought that far ahead-we’ll check for you” he said.

“So I have to ask did the guy have a metal arm.” Jen asked Callen.

“Yes he did. I felt it when I searched him” Callen replied.

“Why?” Sam asked.

“I might have someone who has information-I just don’t know yet” Jen replied honestly.

“Well keep one of us informed” Sam replied.

Jen rolled her eyes and gave a small mock salute making Sam burst out laughing.

“By the way we took the liberty of ordering for you” G replied as the waitress came and gave them their orders.

“I should be annoyed but I am hungry so thanks” Jen said as she bite into her sandwich.

Sam looked over at her “Didn’t Hetty make the two of you breakfast this morning?” he asked.

Jen gave him a stern look “Your Point” she asked.

Sam looked confused for a second “Nothing” he replied.

Luckily for them Callen’s phone rang “It’s Eric” he said.

Jen rolled her eyes “Ma’am” she called getting the waitress’s attention “We need 3 to-go boxes and the check please” she replied.


 

 Bruce looked up when his stomach growled breaking his concentration. He stretched out the kinks from prolonged time in one position and looked around. He had no idea what time it was or how long he had been at this with Tony-who had fallen asleep at his monitor. Wait-wasn’t Jen just here talking with him?

“Jarvis wasn’t Jen just here?” Bruce asked worriedly.

“I am afraid that was 59 minutes ago Dr. Banner. She told me to tell you she was invited to lunch with G and she has her phone on her” The A.I replied.

Bruce sighed “Did she seem upset?” he asked.

The A.I paused “I don’t believe so sir. Although I haven’t seen Miss Gibbs upset so I do not have the right data to make a correct assumption” he added.

Bruce snorted “I guess I’ll call her and see” he said reaching for the phone.

The sound of Jen’s phone echoed from right outside the lab- he turned phone still in his hand watching as she walked.

“Hey” she said as she handed him a Styrofoam container with a kiss.

“What’s this?” Bruce asked.

“Half of my lunch” she replied.

Bruce looked guiltily at her “Sorry about that-I-lost track of time” he replied.

“It’s fine. You didn’t miss anything important” she replied nonchalantly.

Bruce smiled uncertainly “If you’re sure” he replied-knowing he was missing some key piece of data.

“Of course” Jen said.

“So lunch was fun?” he asked trying to discreetly probe.

“No-they got called away” Jen replied.

Bruce watched as she paused breathing slowly “Are you ok?” he asked.

“Sure” she lied.

Bruce frowned-knowing she was lying. “For someone who makes a living in undercover work-you are a terrible liar” he replied.

Jen sighed “I was starving at lunch-now I don’t feel right” she said.

“You don’t feel right like you are going to be sick?” he asked coming up closer to her-gently rubbing her lower back.

Jen looked at him in thought “Not exactly” she replied.

Bruce looked back over seeing that Tony hadn’t stirred throughout the whole conversation. “Let me drive you back and you can rest. We don’t want you to get sick on your first day” he teased.

“I can drive myself if you have work to do” she said.

Bruce chuckled “Nothing I can’t do from my laptop. Jarvis please save everything and transfer it to my laptop” he instructed.

“I will Dr. Banner” Jarvis replied.

“Please tell Tony where I am when he wakes-and Pepper-if she asks” he added as he walked with Jen toward the elevator.

“Of course Dr. Banner and I hope you feel better Miss Gibbs” Jarvis replied.

Jen blushed, Thank you Jarvis” she replied as the elevator closed.

Bruce leaned close to her keeping a hand on her-Jen turned and stared at him with a raised eyebrow-waiting.

“Are you sure you’re ok? You’ve been off since we came here” Bruce asked.

Jen shrugged “I don’t know-maybe I am coming down with something?” she wondered.

Bruce leaned closer and cupped her face “You don’t feel warm. Maybe it was something you ate today?” he asked.

Jen leaned closer with a sigh “Maybe” she concluded.


 

The next few days Jen went to Stark Industries was walked through what her job responsibilities were going to be. Cassandra made sure she knew every aspect of her job and introduced her to everyone and anyone she would come into contact with. Jen made sure to take notes and passed the notes of anyone or anything she felt was suspicious to be looked into later. As promised she was permitted to sit in on a shareholders meeting and made sure to pay special attention to each member. Of course the one person she NEEDED to watch was teleconferencing in from New York-where he was going to be staying for a few weeks and commuting to California when needed. She walked back to her temporary desk with Cassandra trying to figure out the next plan.

“Genevieve Are you free to travel tomorrow?” Cassandra asked snapping her back into the present.

“Umm I believe so why?” Jen asked.

“Well I was talking with Miss. Potts and I think it would be wise if we travel to New York so I can walk you through the office there as well then we will be staying the night in D.C and I will show you that office the next morning” Cassandra said.

Jen smiled over at Cassandra “I think that will be a great idea” she said.

“We will be accompanying Miss. Potts and Mr. Stark in their plane and staying in Stark Tower” Cassandra said catching the grimace that Jen tried to unsuccessfully hide. “Will that be a problem?” she asked.

“No- no problem” Jen said not knowing what Pepper had told her.

Cassandra smiled “Ok well I need to go home and pack. I will met you at the airport in the morning ok” Cassandra said as she headed for the door.

“See you in the morning” Jen called as she watched her leave.

Jen pulled out her phone and text Hetty

GG: Apparently I am going to New York and D.C tomorrow

HL: Really

GG: Yes I will hopefully be meeting Conrad tomorrow so I’ll call you afterward

HL: Excellent

GG: Next question—How truthful am I supposed to be?

HL: Truthful?

GG: I am supposed to be on a plane with Pepper and Tony and Cassandra in the morning. DO I call her and tell her now-so that it’s not weird in the morning? Or do I wait?

HL: That’s up to you. Obviously she’ll know something is going on. Might want to call her now. Tell her you were embarrassed and didn’t want to give her the wrong idea or something.

GG: LOL not my first radio Hetty. Last question..I think SHIELD will need to be told...something. How truthful you want to be is up to you. But since I asked for Natasha's help-it's only fair.

HL: SIGH that women hasn't learned not to be blindly loyal yet has she.

GG: They got her out of the KGB-of course she's going to be loyal to them-until they giver her a reason not to. AND you have no room to talk you blindly follow orders the same as her. It's how the two of you were raised.

HL: Well it will be a hard lesson for her to learn just like it was for me. I will try to contact Nicolas tomorrow. Call me when you can. Be safe

GG: I’ll call you tomorrow

Jen smiled as she slide her phone into her pocket and headed for the elevators. Bruce and Tony were working on some project so she didn’t even bother to go down to the labs. She hit the button for the garage instead-deciding she needed to go home and pack.

“JARVIS” Jen asked.

“Yes Miss Gibbs” Jarvis answered.

“If Bruce asked tell him I am heading home. If they are there past 10:00PM please inform myself and Miss. Potts” She instructed as the elevator stopped.

“Of course Miss. Gibbs” Jarvis said as the elevator opened.

Jen walked toward her car, scanning the area for anything suspicious. Old habits die hard she thought with a smile. Once she made sure the coast was clear she climbed into her car and drove home.

Chapter Text

The Next Morning

Jen pulled into the parking lot and smiled as she saw one of Stark Industries planes gassed and waiting. She glanced around knowing Tony and Pepper weren’t there yet- Tony he would be pulling in at the last minute. Luckily for her Cassandra was here-she had come early so she could talk to Cassandra before anyone else showed up. She decided to tell her about her relationship with Bruce-last she heard he was coming as well and didn’t want her to be surprised by that bit of information.

“Cassandra?” Jen called as she walked up behind her.

“Genevieve Good Morning” Cassandra called. “You’re here early” she commented.

“Well I wanted to talk to you before anyone else got here” Jen began making Cassandra turn toward her in worry. “No-it’s nothing bad, but I wanted to let you know that I know Tony-umm Mr. Stark and Miss. Potts. I’ve been staying at Stark Tower for a few months now. I am in a relationship with Dr. Banner” Jen said pausing to take a breath.

Cassandra looked at her “okay” she said slowly.

“I’ve kept my relationship quiet-for lots of reason. I don’t want people to get the impression that I am getting special treatment or I am going to take their job” Jen said. “People are going to think what they are regardless but I try not to tell too many people-because I am afraid they will start to tease him as well and he doesn’t need that” Jen said.

Cassandra smiled and patted her hand “I understand that. I knew you had some previous relationship with Miss. Potts based on how she talks with you” she said. “Which one is Dr. Banner again?” she asked.

“The one that is always with Mr. Stark” Jen said.

Cassandra thought then smiled when she made the connection “The little fluffy one? Oh he’s cute” she gushed.

Jen burst out laughing “I think so” she said. “So is this a problem?” she asked.

Cassandra shook her head “No-No. Thank you for being honest with me. But I understand why you kept it quiet” she said. “Your secret is safe with me” she added with a smile.

“Thanks” Jen said as she placed her suitcase in the cargo hold of the plane as Tony came squealing into the tarmac.

Cassandra and Jen turned as Pepper door flung open “Tony are you trying to kill us?” she said loudly.

“You kept complaining you were going to be late-I made sure you weren’t late” Tony called back.

Cassandra gave her an uncomfortable smile “think they’ve seen us?” she muttered.

“Morning Pepper, Tony” Jen called catching their attention alerting them that they weren’t alone.

Pepper gave them a tight smile “Good Morning Genevieve, Cassandra” she called. “You’re here early” she commented then glanced at her watch “were here early I suppose” she amended shooting a look at Tony as she headed to the plane. “Cassandra I need to run a few things with Happy and the pilot then you and I can touch base-Genevieve do you want to come as well?” Pepper asked.

“If you think I should” Jen replied.

Pepper nodded “ok I’ll be ready in 15 minutes” she replied and climbed up the steps of the plane.

Jen looked around “Happy’s here?” she asked in confusion.

“Yeah-I needed to have a security walk through” Happy said as he walked toward them from the tower and climbed up into the plane to talk with Pepper.

Jen pulled out her phone “I am going to try and call Bruce real quick and see where he is” she said out loud.

“Don’t worry the big guy is coming with the pilot” Tony said as he walked past Jen.

Jen scowled at Tony’s back “Why is he coming with the pilot?” she asked.

Tony shrugged “Pep and I were busy-he needed to finish something with his lab assistant. He needed a ride-the pilot needed a ride-Problem solved” he replied.

Jen sighed “Tony- Bruce doesn’t like new people-you know that” she said sternly-trying to remember where they were.

A car pulled in as they were talking-Tony noticing it first. “Speak of the devil-see you can calm down-the Big guy and the pilot are both here” he said waving then turning and going into the plane.

Jen turned watching as Clint and Bruce climbed out of the car and grabbed their bags from the trunk.

Bruce looked up and smiled at her making her smile as well.

Cassandra chuckled “I am going to go call my husband then we can go in and talk with Miss Potts” she said leaving them alone.

Jen walked up to the car waving at Clint and Bruce. The window rolled down and she realized Natasha was in the driver seat. She smiled and waved then turned when Bruce walked closer to her-leaving Natasha and Clint to say good bye in peace.

“Hi” Jen said leaning over and giving Bruce a kiss.

“Hi” he said fidgeting.

“So why is Clint our pilot?” Jen asked ignoring Bruce’s nervous fidgeting.

Bruce shrugged “not sure” he said.

Jen looked as Clint walked toward them “Morning pilot” she said.

Clint smiled and chuckled “morning” he responded.

“So any particular reason you are our pilot” She asked.

Clint paused looking at her “I needed a part time job as well” he said with a wink as he continued toward the plane.

Jen laughed as she pulled out her phone and sent a text to Hetty

GG: Think SHIELD knows

HL: I haven’t been able to talk to Nicholas yet-how do you know that?

GG: Clint is our pilot

HL: Yes it would seem they do know something. Keep an eye out

GG: of course

Everyone got on the plane and went to their corners. Jen sat next to Cassandra and tried to look interested as she listened to Pepper drone on about the meeting they will be having once they got to New York. She knew she needed to keep up appearances and knew some of this might come in handy soon. After what seemed like hours the meeting was over and Pepper dismissed them.

Jen smiled and sat down next to Bruce who had been reading something on his tablet- leaning against him. He reached for her hand-absently rubbing her knuckles.

“How was your experiment? Was it successful?” she asked eyeing the charts on his tablet.

Bruce hummed in agreement “It’s still on-going. My assistant is sending me the data and I am entering it against the data I already have” he replied looking over at her for a second.

“That’s nice” she replied.

“I am sorry I’ve been busy” Bruce mumbled shyly his eyes back on the tablet in his lap.

“It’s ok. I’ve been busy too-it happens” Jen said reassuringly.

Her phone flashed indicating she had a message. She glanced at it making a face as she looked at the screen.

“What’s wrong?” Bruce asked.

“Nick just called me” she replied.

Bruce snorted “That can’t be good” he replied with a chuckle.

“Nope” Jen agreed.

“Any idea why Clint’s here?” Bruce asked.

Jen shrugged “I could go ask him?” she replied. “But I bet it has something to do with that message Fury just left me” she added looking at her phone.

“Might be less stressful to ask Clint” Bruce replied nodding toward the cock pit door.

Jen sighed “you’re right-but I need to hear what Fury said eventually. Might as well check now” she said as she reached for her phone and opened her voicemail.

“Ms. Gibbs It’s Nicholas Fury. I have talked with Henrietta about her mission and the man she arrested two days ago and believe we are after the same man. As I believe you already know Agent Barton is our undercover man and I believe it will be in our best interest to combine our efforts. You need to talk with Barton and create a plan and get back with us” Fury said as he hung up.  

Jen knocked on the door then opened it leaning against the frame.

“Feel like a visitor?” She asked.

Clint shrugged his shoulders “Sure-take a seat” he said.

“Don’t mind if I do” Jen said.

Jen stared out the window at the clouds “Very peaceful up here” she commented.

Clint nodded “I’ve always thought so” he said. “You fly” he asked.

“I can if the situation calls for it-but I don’t legally have a license” Jen remarked with a small smile.

Clint chuckled “Of course” he said.

“So I just got a call from Fury-we are to join forces since we are apparently after the same man” Jen replied.

Clint looked over at her laughing and nodding his head “Nat thought this had to be some mission NCIS gave you-this job was kind of fast and unexpected. Do they know?” he asked pointing to the door behind them.

Jen shook her head “No-well Bruce knows some of it-but only that I needed the job because of NCIS-nothing else. I feel bad but I know how Tony is and I didn’t want the wrong person to find out-before we-or someone got them” she replied.

Clint nodded “I get it-will you tell them” he asked.

“I will if I need to-I have no problem with breaking protocol if needed. Pepper and I have a-complicated history so it’s no real hardship if she gets mad-I don’t think our relationship is really going to change. I don’t want Tony to get mad though, then Bruce will be in an uncomfortable situation-I don’t want either one to have to pick sides” Jen said.

Clint chuckled “You mean you don’t want to break up the science bros romance.” he replied.

Jen chuckled “Yeah-something like that” she said.

“So what are your plans?” Clint asked.

“It was my understanding that I was going to be meeting Conrad on this trip-the suspect. I will be in continued contact with him in this position and I was told to gather information. I assume I am to close in when they get enough information and arrest him? Or maybe that’s your job now? I don’t know” Jen replied with a shrug.

“What about this man with a metal arm that you were telling Nat about?” Clint asked.

Jen sighed and looked out the window “I don’t know. He insinuated that he was the new Winter Soldier-“ she began.

“Do you think he is?” Clint asked.

“He didn’t have any weapons on him and he had plenty of opportunity to attack and didn’t. The more I think about it the more I think he was supposed to be a distraction” Jen said.

 


 

 

MEANWHILE Outside the Door

Tony kept staring at the door frowning then looking over at Bruce with the same stare-seeing if he noticed.

“Yes Tony?” Bruce asked trying to keep his eyes on the data in front of him and ignoring his friend.

“What are they doing in there? She shouldn’t be distracting him-he needs to get us there on time” Tony demanded.

Bruce laughed “Distract him from what? Air traffic?” he asked.

“Still it’s not- proper” Tony said.

Bruce continued to laugh “Proper? Tony she’s chatting with Clint. He’s flying a private jet-not a commercial airline. It’s not like they are having sex in there” he replied staring at his friend.

“How do you know that? I am sure they were trained to be quiet” Tony asked earning a glare and a smack from Pepper.

Bruce blinked at Tony rolling his eyes “One I hope JARVIS is taping this and it’s played in front of Nat with witnesses. Two I know I don’t have much self-esteem- but I trust in this-in us. Jen and Clint have known each other for years and I refuse to get jealous every time I see her talking with someone” he replied.

“Very good Bruce” Pepper said smacking Tony again in the arm. “Tony stop-there are other people on this jet-Just go play with Jarvis or something” she added with a glare.

“I just don’t like it-they’re being all secretive” Tony mumbled as he rubbed his arm.

“You don’t have to know everything that goes on” Bruce reminded him.

“Yes I do it’s MY plane” Tony retorted.

“Then don’t hire-Sh- Clint next time” Bruce shot back barely remembering there were other people present and stumbled through trying not to out the archer.

Jen’s phone vibrated on the table catching everyone’s attention. The name Natasha flashed on the screen.

“That’s odd” Bruce mumbled.

“What?” Tony asked.

“It’s Nat” he answered.

Bruce reached down and answered the phone. “Hello Nat”

“Bruce?” Natasha asked confused. “Why are you answering Jen’s phone?”

“She’s in the front chatting with Clint-hold on let me go get her” Bruce said getting up and heading for the door.

Bruce knocked and stuck his head in.

“Hon it’s Nat-she wants to talk to you” Bruce said handing the phone to Jen.

“Thanks Sweetie. Hi Nat-what’s up” she said into the phone.

Natasha chuckled “I wanted to warn you Fury will be calling you.” She said.

“He already did” Jen replied.

Nat laughed again “Figures. Next- Henrietta Lange is here and I THINK she is heading down to James floor to speak with him” she replied.

Jen sat up and looked at Bruce in annoyance “Please tell me she’s not by herself” she asked.

“As far as I can tell she is” Nat answered.

“Damn it. He still has security right?” Jen asked.

“Of course” Nat replied.

“She MIGHT be a trigger for him-not really sure if he was conscious at all in that chamber” Jen warned.

“Why would she be a trigger for him?” Nat asked.

“She saw him in that chamber when she was there-not sure for how long-but she did admit that she saw him” Jen said.

“Any idea why she’s here?” Nat asked.

“Well I THOUGHT it was to talk to Fury. But she I guess she wants to talk to him-and maybe you too” Jen replied in thought.

“To me?” Nat asked surprised.

“She really wants to get some knowledge on the current KGB dealings to figure out about the other metal armed Russian. She knows I was going to ask you-but don’t be surprised if she randomly pops up-kind of her own super power” Jen said with a smile.

Nat snorted “I’ll keep my eye out-I’ll let you know what happens” she said.

“Thanks” Jen said as she hung up as Clint and Bruce stared at her.

“Apparently Hetty is at SHEILD and is heading to James floor trying to talk with him” Jen said.

“By herself?” Bruce asked.

“Yes” Jen sighed then typed in Hetty’s number.

“Hello Genevieve how’s the flight?” Hetty said as she answered.

“Must you do this the second I go away” Jen asked exasperated.

“I was in town for a meeting and decided to kill three birds with one stone” Hetty replied.

“Meeting?” Jen asked.

“Just a meeting with Congress” Hetty replied.

“That doesn’t sound good?” she asked.

Hetty laughed “The meeting happens every couple of years-no big deal” Hetty replied.

“Do you actually think Fury will let you see him?” Jen asked switching subjects.

Hetty chuckled “I’ve gotten this far-if I get barred I can always call in Owen if I need to” she replied.

“Can I call in back-up? I can call Jethro or Steve even” Jen said.

“Dear I CAN take care of myself-despite what you and Mr. Callen think” Hetty replied.

“Well we worry when you go into a secret government agency without telling ANYONE where you are going. To talk with a man who could squash you in seconds” Jen replied testily.

“I am armed you know” Hetty replied patiently.

“That won’t matter Hetty. Just be careful. You might be a trigger to him” Jen said.

Hetty sighed “Agent Coulson and Agent Romanov are coming my way-satisfied” she said.

“Hetty” Jen warned.

“Oh I have to go dear-call me when you land” Hetty said as she hung up.

Jen stared at her phone “She does this JUST to show us that she still can” she muttered.

“Do you need to call someone?” Clint asked.

“No she’s already there. Phil and Natasha were heading her way-so that’s good” Jen replied.

Clint looked uncomfortable-Bruce noticed it first.

“Is that bad?” Bruce asked.

“Well not for Phil but maybe for Nat” Clint said.

“What do you mean?” Jen asked.

“Ms. Lange isn’t the only one who can trigger Barnes-Nat might as well” Clint finally replied.

“Does Phil know that?” Bruce asked.

“Why do you think he’s there” Clint replied with a smile.


 

SHEILD HEADQUARTERS

Hetty smirked as she watched Phil Coulson and Natasha walk toward her. She knew the second she hit any button other than the lobby SOMEONE was going to meet her. Sadly it wasn’t hard to find the floor she was looking for.

“Are you lost Ms. Lange?” Phil asked conversationally.

“Sadly no-if you’ve been in one secret government agency’s building you’ve been in them all” Hetty replied truthfully.

Phil raised an eyebrow at the little women “Then what are you doing on this floor?” he asked.

“I was hoping to speak with James Buchanan Barnes” Hetty replied truthfully.

“What makes you think we have him?” Phil asked.

Hetty just blinked at him giving him a look at screamed are you serious?

“What makes you thing Fury will allow you to see him?” Phil said trying a new tactic.

“He probably won’t-but he HAD to realize I was going to wonder-otherwise I give him too much credit” Hetty replied.

Natasha looked down hiding the impressed smirk that threatened to show at Hetty’s words. Phil gave her a quick side look-as he always did when she acted out of character. She cleared her throat softly focusing back on the conversation.

Hetty was staring at her smiling “very good” she said with a nod then turned to Phil. “Agent Coulson as I am sure you are aware-my people apprehended a man who had a metal arm and when asked about it all he said was since the asset defected they needed another. We searched him finding no weapons or anything else he could use to end HIS life or anyone else’s. I was hoping to talk with him to see if he could help with any information he has” Hetty replied.

“I am aware of your case Ms. Lange and I understand the obvious connection with Sargent Barnes but I will have to get multiple people’s permission for you to talk with him.” Phil began when Natasha interrupted.

“Genevieve did tell you the man has VERY limited memory of the past 80 years -much less details about when he was in service for the KGB” Nat said stoically.

Hetty turned her attention to Natasha “I understand Ms. Romanov-it might be a lost cause but at the moment it’s the only connection I have” Hetty replied then turned back to Coulson fishing out a business card from her card case and handing it to him. “Please call me any time-day or night and I will make sure to be here. I can get MY higher ups involved if that helps-but as we both know that never works out for anyone” she joked.

Phil took the card and suppressed a smile “I will run it by Fury and someone will contact you” he promised.

Hetty looked at him over her glasses “Don’t lie to a liar my dear-it’s bad for business” she replied as she turned and headed for the elevators intent to actually leave this time when she glanced back at Coulson “I have been meaning to tell you that I am glad you survived New York-I hope you take this as a true second chance and not waste it” Hetty said as the doors closed.

Phil stared at Natasha with a controlled expression-not knowing how to respond.

“Think she’s talking from experience?” Natasha asked breaking the tension.

Phil shook his head “I don’t know-maybe” he said as they walked the opposite direction.

“Are you going to talk to Fury?” Natasha asked.

“No need I already knew about it” Fury replied as he made his presence known walking up to them.

“Are you actually going to allow her to talk with Barnes Sir?” Phil asked.

“Well If I don’t she will get her bosses involved and we will have more problems on our hands” Fury replied.

“Do you think she’s closer to finding out how to stop Ross?” Natasha asked.

“Not sure Romanov” Fury replied.

“Anyone found Brian Banner yet?” Coulson asked.

Fury shook his head “Whatever Henrietta thinks Ross has up his sleeve-he is being quieter than usual about it” he replied.

“Would you like me to call Ms. Lange and make an appointment for her to talk with Barnes tomorrow Sir?” Coulson asked.

“That would be good-keep me informed” Fury said as he turned and walked the other way.

Coulson pulled out his phone and dialed the number from the card she gave him.

“Hello Agent Coulson” Hetty said as she answered.

Phil looked at his phone in surprised “How did you know it was me Ms. Lange?” he asked.

“It has barely been 10 minutes-I am still in the parking lot” Hetty said.

“Director Fury has allowed you to meet Sargent Barnes tomorrow at 11AM” Phil said.

“I’ll be there-see you tomorrow Agent” Hetty said as she hung up.

Phil shook his head and turned to Natasha “This should be interesting” he mumbled.

Chapter Text

 

 Washington D.C

“Hello Genevieve” Steve said answering the phone later that night.

“Hi Steve. I was wondering if you could do me a favor” Jen replied.

“Of course” He said instantly.

“Hetty has been allowed a meeting with James tomorrow. I know you go on a regular basis and I don’t know if you have any plans for tomorrow but is there any way you could conveniently be there tomorrow-just in case?” She replied.

“Why is Ms. Lange going to talk to Bucky tomorrow?” Steve asked immediately suspicious.

“It has something to do with a case she is working on” Jen admitted.

“Are you afraid she will be hurt by Bucky?” Steve asked. “Because I can tell you he’s been doing very well lately” he added.

Jen paused smiling on the other end “I don’t know how he is going to react when he sees her” she admitted.

“They know each other?” Steve asked surprised.

“Hetty was an agent during the cold war and had close connections with the KGB at the time. She saw James in his chamber at one point-I don’t know how alert he was in that chamber-I am just afraid she will be a trigger for him” Jen said. “If YOU are there less people will get hurt-especially James” she added.

Steve was quiet “You still think SHIELD has an ulterior motive for him?” he asked.

“Yes” Jen admitted bluntly.

Steve sighed “I’ll make sure to be there” he said finally.

“Thank you Steve” Jen said.

“I’ll let you know what happens” Steve replied.


 

The Next Morning

Natasha wasn’t surprised at the amount of SHEILD people that were in the observation room planning to watch the interrogation-for lack of a better word-that Henrietta Lange was about to conduct. What did surprise her was the fact that Steve was present as well as Jethro Gibbs. Steve immediately noticed and nodded giving her a small wave. She meandered over and causally leaned against the wall next to him.

“Surprised to see you here” she replied quietly.

“Jen called me” Steve replied just as quietly.

“Is that why Gibbs is here?” she wondered.

“Not sure. I think he is here on more official business” Steve admitted.

Natasha nodded “Makes sense” she said.

From his spot against another wall-Gibbs turned hearing his name and noticed Steve and Natasha leaning against the wall near him. He nodded a silent greeting-which they both returned.

“Is Phil the one that will bring in Buck? He seems calmer when it’s him” Steve asked.

Nat shrugged her shoulders “I honestly don’t know Steve” she admitted.

They watched as Hetty looked at the darkened glass and rolled her eyes as she poured herself a cup of tea.

“If I wanted to make a spectacle of myself I would have stayed in motion pictures” Hetty muttered out loud.

“She’s joking right?” Steve asked.

“Nope” Fury replied.

“She’s like an onion-many layers” Gibbs replied.

“Wow” Steve replied.

Any other conversation was halted when Coulson opened the door and lead Barnes inside. He nodded at Hetty –sending a small smile to Barnes then turned and left the room.


 

Hetty’s POV

Hetty smiled as she sipped her tea as she watched Coulson leave and Barnes stand there not knowing what to do.

“Hello. My name is Henrietta Lange. I am the Ops manager for the L.A office of NCIS” Hetty began. “I was hoping to get some information from you. Would you like some tea?” she asked.

Bucky just stood there then shrugged his shoulder.

She kept the smile on her face and motioned to the seat across from her “Would you like to sit down?” she asked.

“Rather stand” Bucky replied.

Hetty could help but chuckle “Always be on alert” she recited. “I’ll try to be fast. Do you know what NCIS is?” she asked.

Bucky shrugged again not answering.

“Naval criminal investigation services- it’s a law enforcement organization for the United States Military” Hetty said simply.

“What does this have to do with me?” Bucky asked.

“One of my agents arrested a Russian man that had a metal arm. I was wondering if you knew anything about that” she asked.

“I wasn’t me-I’ve been here for months now” Bucky replied sharply.

“Oh no-I know it wasn’t you. I was wondering if you knew if there are any more like-you” Hetty replied.

Bucky twitched taking a deep breathe “I was secluded-away from others-the only people I saw were the scientist and whoever was giving me my mission. So I don’t know. It wouldn’t surprise me if there were more like me-if that helps” Bucky replied slowly.

Hetty blinked at Bucky smiling- Bucky stared back until he couldn’t stand it anymore.

“What’cha staring at?” he snapped-the Brooklyn accent coming out.

Hetty chuckled again looking down “I apologize I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable. As you know Old habits are hard to break” Hetty replied. “I wonder Do you remember meeting me?” she asked.

Bucky snapped his eyes to the little women staring at her trying to place the face. “No-sorry. Nothing personal-I don’t remember too much from back before the war” he admitted.

Hetty laughed “Oh no Sargent-I didn’t met you then-I don’t know whether to be amused or offended-do I look THAT old?” Hetty replied shaking her head at the younger/older man. “I met you after you were captured by the KGB. You were in your chamber when I stumbled on the capsule. I thought your eyes blinked- that was what caught my attention when I got closer your eyes were closed so I chalked it up to the god awful blinking lights they had in those labs at the time. I was just curious.” Hetty finished setting the saucer down.

Bucky kept his eyes on Hetty “My body twitched when I was refreezing or defrosting” he replied blandly. “You probably found me either before or after a mission” he added.

Hetty nodded “I figured as much” she replied. “To be quite honest James-may I call you that? I honestly didn’t expect you to remember much. I hoped since it wasn’t that long ago you would remember something. But you never know when random memories will pop in. I hope you will contact me if you remember ANYTHING” Hetty said as she handed Bucky a business card.

He stared at the piece of paper “You actually think they will let me keep this?” he asked incredulously.

“Oh don’t worry others have it as well-plus you might see me again” Hetty replied glancing at her watch. “I have a meeting I need to get to. It was a pleasure seeing you again James” Hetty said as she got up.

“Maybe I’ll see you again and remember” Bucky said in an attempt at humor.

“I am sure you will” Hetty replied and headed for the door knocking softly.


 

Phil walked in after briefly talking with the others and stared at Barnes.

“You have other visitors if you feel up to it Barnes” Coulson replied.

“More people trying to get me to remember?” Bucky asked.

Phil shrugged his shoulders “It’s Captain Rogers and Agent Gibbs” he admitted.

Bucky snorted “So in other words yes” he replied.

“Both understand if you don’t want to and won’t push it-but since they were in the building and you seem to be having a good day decided to try” Phil said calmly.

Bucky sighed “Why not-they can tell me memories of people I don’t remember-let them in” he announced sarcastically.

Phil stared at him for a moment before turning and opening the door letting both men in. Jethro came in with a professional smile coming over and extending his hand.

“Nice to see you again James” Jethro replied.

Bucky stared at the man finally extending his flesh hand returning the shake “yeah same here” he answered.

Steve was slightly taken aback by Bucky actually returning the hand shake. Steve always has to initiate the handshakes and even when he does Bucky never reciprocates. Steve must have had a surprised look on his face because he suddenly felt both Phil and Jethro’s eyes on him.

“How you been doing?” Jethro asked.

Bucky shrugged his shoulder “Not bad. Might actually get to see some fresh air soon” he replied.

Jethro nodded “That’s good. So I hear you met my daughter Genevieve” Gibbs replied.

Bucky smiled “yeah-she came and we talked-got interrupted by the green guy-what’s his name?” he asked looking at Steve and Phil.

“Hulk” Phil supplied when Steve didn’t speak.

“Right Hulk-real interesting night” Bucky said.

Gibbs smiled glancing at the scowl on Steve’s face ‘Wonder what that is about’ he thought to himself.

Bucky nodded “Can I ask a question? Who said Gibbs women are insane? That night when we were all out in the hallway and she talked him down-that popped in my head and I had to say it” he said.

Gibbs looked at him with wide eyes

Flashback:

“Honey tell your daddy and uncle John dinner is ready” Anne yelled from the kitchen.

“Kay mom” Jethro yelled and ran toward the side door and out to the barn.

He neared the barn and he heard them laughing.

“I keep telling you Jack-there’s a reason we have sons-Gibbs women are insane” John Gibbs laughed loudly.

Jackson snorted “Please don’t say that around Anne” he warned.

“What’s the matter son-afraid of your wife?” his grand-father taunted.

Jackson’s voice got colder “No sir-more afraid for your life. Up to you-it’s your funeral”

End Flashback.

“Agent Gibbs?” Phil asked staring at the man intently-finally getting his attention.

“Sorry-umm-I heard my great-uncle say that once. The only time he came to visit us’ Gibbs replied. Bucky scrunched his face in thought “John?” he said.

“Yes his name was John” Gibbs answered in surprise.

“Why are you in the building?” Bucky asked suddenly rubbing his forehead.

Gibbs blinked at the topic change but went with it “My boss wanted me to be present when Hetty talked with you” Gibbs replied.

“So you are part of NC-whatever” Bucky asked.

“N.C.I.S-yes” Gibbs said with a smile.

“What made you decide to do that?” Bucky asked.

“After desert storm-I needed another job-couldn’t be an active marine anymore. Mike-a close friend-I thought I could be a good cop. That was almost 30 years ago” Gibbs replied with his editing back ground.

“I am sorry I am still catching up with wars while I was frozen- Desert Storm was when again?” Steve asked for the first time.

“August of 1990 to February of 1991” Phil replied from his spot.

Gibbs phone rang interrupting them “I need to take this-I am sorry I need to go James. It was nice seeing you” he said with a quick smile as he answered his phone and headed for the door.

Steve smiled at Bucky when Gibbs left-hoping he would keep talking.

“You did well today Buck-being able to talk with Ms. Lange about the KGB without getting upset” Steve said.

Bucky turned and stared at Steve and frowned “Why do you call me that?” he asked.

“Call you what?” Steve asked confused.

“Buck” he replied.

“When you introduced yourself to me-when we were kids. You said my names is James Buchanan Barnes but you can call me Bucky” Steve replied. “I know you probably hate it now-but I’ve always called you Bucky” he added.

Bucky rolled his eyes at him “When will you realize I can’t be that guy again? I might have his face but I don’t have most of his memories and probably never will” Bucky replied getting agitated.

“But Buck” Steve began when Coulson intervened.

“Captain-Steve. I think Barnes has had a hard day and I think it would be wise if we continue this tomorrow” Phil replied in a gentle but commanding tone.

Steve sped walked down the hall-intent on going to the gym for get rid of some of this frustration. He sensed Natasha was next to him-a quick glance affirmed it.

“I don’t get it Natasha-he was so good with Ms. Lange and then with Gibbs! With me it’s anger and hostility.” Steve complained as they walked out of the building.

Natasha stopped and stared at her friend “Steve-you are putting too much pressure on him. With Gibbs its easier-it’s someone he never met-no expectations” Natasha replied.

“I don’t expect anything from him” Steve exclaimed louder than he meant to.

"Time to show him the grave" Mike’s voice whispered in Gibbs ear. "Boy’s keeping too much in-not letting go of the past".

"Looking out for Captain America now are you?” Gibbs whispered back turning around to nothing.

Gibbs sighed pulling out his phone and calling McGee for directions before he walked up to them.

“Steve I have something I want to show you-up for a drive?” Gibbs replied.

Steve blinked at him then shrugged “Sure” he replied.

Gibbs nodded and headed toward a grey truck climbing in and waiting for Steve to follow. Steve glanced at Natasha then shrugged again and jogged to the truck. They were on the road for 10 minutes before Gibbs spoke.

“It’s out of state-should I have gotten permission or something?” Gibbs asked. “I’d hate to get arrested for taking Captain America across state line for some obscured old law” he added with a smile. ‘Jokes? Good Lord I am turning into DiNozzo’ he thought to himself.

Steve looked over at him “If you get arrested I am pretty sure you get one call” he replied with a smile.


 

Steve followed Gibbs through the woods until he stopped in front of an old grave. Gibbs motioned down to it with a smile.

“My dad brought me here once-I am actually surprised I found it again” Gibbs replied.

Steve crouched down to his knees pulling the weeds away until he could read the names on the grave.

“Who did this?” Steve whispered.

“Dad always said Aunt Pat and the family. But I wanted to show this” Gibbs said.

“Pat did this? But I thought the government took almost everything concerning me when I went down?” Steve asked.

“They would if they knew about this-that’s why they kept it a secret from everyone” Gibbs said.

“Buck-Buck needs to see this-to know that his family loved him” Steve stammered out.

Gibbs sighed “Not going to happen” he replied.

“Why not” Steve demanded.

“I will not let SHEILD know about this. It won’t mean anything to him-but it means something to me-and hopefully to you as well” Gibbs said.

Steve stayed on his knees-feeling once again lost.

“What exactly are you expecting from him? One morning he wakes up and he’s Bucky again-all the good memories and none of the bad?” Gibbs asked curiously.

“Yes” Steve mumbled.

“Why” Gibbs asked.

“Because he has to” Steve replied.

“What?” Gibbs asked.

“He has to” Steve said again slowly.

“Why?” Gibbs asked again.

Steve tensed head snapping up and glaring at Gibbs “Because he HAS To. He’s Bucky! Bucky ALWAYS watched out for me! ALWAYS protected me! Before Ma-After Ma-ALWAYS. I have NEVER been able to protect him! I ALWAYS failed!” Steve screamed huffing out breathe. “He got captured-then he followed me-became a Howling Commando-and I couldn’t even grab his hand on a DAMN train. I lost EVERYTHING and when I took the plane down one of my last thoughts was at least I get to see Ma and Buck!” Steve paused to take a few deep breathes. “I woke up 70 years later to this world I knew nothing about and I was alone. And now -here he is Alive and hates me! I go EVERY DAY and he won’t hardly look at him. He looked at me more when I was his mission than he does now. I don’t know what to do” Steve finally mumbled wiping the tears that were falling down his cheeks.

Suddenly Mike was standing next to him arms crossed “Damn Probie-you really know to push peoples buttons don’t you-even a national treasure” he replied with a smirk.

Gibbs shot the man a look- reaching into his pocket for a handkerchief and handing it to Steve.

“Here” Gibbs said.

Steve stared at the handkerchief taking it and blowing his noise “Thank you” he said meekly.

“Feeling better?” Gibbs asked.

Steve nodded cheeks red with embarrassment.

“I had amnesia once. I had no memory of my team or the last 15 years of my life. All I wanted was Shannon and Kelly-and knew I couldn’t have them because they were gone. All these new faces coming to me saying they knew me telling me things I couldn’t remember just angered me. I think that’s what going on with James and you” Gibbs replied.

“But why does he remember stuff you tell him but not mine?” Steve asked.

Jethro shrugged “I am not a doctor-but emotions connects with memories-at least that what they teach us with interrogations. Maybe it’s just as simple as the fact he feels more pressure with you and not with me” he said.

“Jen asked me- a month or so ago if I would be ok if Bucky was never Bucky-I said yes –but I am not sure if I am” Steve finally admitted.

“It’s got to be hard for you. Think about it-you woke up to this new world-James is doing the same thing now. He KNOWS who he’s supposed to be but has no idea on how to do that. He’s got these fragmented memories and he’s alone too” Gibbs replied.

“So I should what- show him what he’s missed in the last 60 years?” Steve asked.

“At the moment that’s the only thing in common the two of you have. I am sure it’ll show him that someone else went through the same thing he is” Gibbs answered.

“Is still going through” Steve admitted.

“Still going through” Gibbs said.

Steve nodded climbing to his feet “That makes sense-thank you Gibbs” Steve said.

Gibbs smiled “You are welcome Steve-now come on we need to get going” he said.

 

 http://lostcap.tumblr/post/122886120393/or-maybe-the-barnes-put-up-a-single-headstone-over

Chapter Text

“Come on” Bruce said gently. “You can barely stand and we’ve just got back from New York. Whoever you are texting can wait” he added as he pulled her toward the bed.

“Just need to send this to Hetty then I am done” Jen replied placing the phone on the bedside table and turning to Bruce. “It’s a shame I am dead on my feet-it’s nice to have a room to ourselves” she added with a smirk.

Bruce chuckled “Down girl-Later” he whispered in her ear-giving her a gentle kiss as he quickly got them ready for bed. They were asleep before their head hit the pillow-the messages Jen received throughout the night never woke them.


 

Message to Henrietta Lange sent at 10:20PM

The meeting was a success. Made introductions with birdy. More meetings in D.C. Lunch tomorrow at 3? LJG diner. If I don’t respond-asleep GG

Voice message from Jethro Gibbs Received at 12:01AM

Hey it’s me. Listen Hetty met up with Him today-I had to watch. Went and spoke with him after-Steve was practically glaring at me the whole time. Might have overstepped some but I took him to the grave. We talked-had a breakthrough I think. Call me in the morning and-have someone check in on Steve too-Bye

Message from Steve Rogers Received at 1:20AM

Hi Jen-I am sorry I didn’t call earlier but I figured you and Bruce would be asleep do I thought a text would be better. The meeting with Bucky went ok. I was surprised how much he talks with Gibbs. Still hate that he will talk with others more than he will talk with me. Not sure if Gibbs told you about my breakdown-but I think I finally get it now. I was pressuring him to remember because of my own guilt and making him feel anger and hostility. I am going to try and be a better friend. I will see you in the morning. Steven G Rogers

Message from Henrietta Lange Received at 3:30AM

Something came up I had to go back to L.A. Be back in D.C by end of week. MTAC at 8:00AM about meeting birdy. HL


 

In the morning Jen stretched and noticed her phone blinking. She unlocked it and looked at the numerous messages she had missed during the night.

“Good Lord” Jen said as she read through all of the messages.

Bruce cracked an eye “what” he grumbled.

“I missed messages from Jethro, Steve AND Hetty last night” she replied.

“Any important ones?” he asked.

“I apparently have a meeting in MTAC at 8am” She answered leaning over to kiss Bruce before she climbed out of bed and searched for clean clothes. “And Steve either had a breakdown or a break through yesterday concerning James” she called from the bathroom.

“A breakdown or a break through?” Bruce asked as he finally climbed out of bed and stared at her through the doorway.

“Jethro says break through-Steve says breakdown” Jen clarified.

“Who do you believe?” Bruce asked.

“Steve” they said in unison after a moment of thought.


 

NCIS NAVAL YARD

Jen sat down when she was done heaving into the toilet. Of course of all mornings she would pick TODAY to get sick. She waited making sure her stomach had calmed before she flushed and left the stall. She winced at her reflection as she washed her mouth and hands-she was pale, her hair was a mess, red eyes-so she looked awful. She just hoped whatever this was-wouldn’t last long-she didn’t have time to be sick. She sent a silent prayer that no one had noticed her absence as she opened the door-and came face to face with Clint waiting for her. DAMMIT

“You ok?” he asked looking her over.

She sighed “Not sure-hopefully this is a 24 hour bug” she said.

“Doc know?” he asked-knowing full well he didn’t.

“Since I JUST got sick and unless he’s acquired new powers in the last 30 minutes-I’d say no he doesn’t” she snapped as she walked to the elevator.

Clint stayed quiet and raised an eyebrow at her-waiting for her to continue. She stared back at him then deflated.

“I am sorry-that was uncalled for” she said. “If this continues I promise I’ll tell him” she adds.

Clint continued to stare at her-until it bugged her enough to ask.

“What” she said.

“Is there-Is there any way you could be pregnant?” Clint asked.

Jen blinked at him-taken off guard by his blunt question-then in true Gibbs fashion hit the emergency button-stopping the cab’s ascent.

“No Clint-I was given an experimental procedures when I was a teenager. I can’t have children because of it” she stated.

Clint looked at her “That’s not in your file?” he replied-unapologetic that he read her file.

“Failure tends to be omitted from one’s file” she answered cryptically.

Clint blinked but kept all the questions he wanted to ask to himself. He had an idea of what she was talking about from Natasha. He wisely kept silent. She hit the button-allowing the cart to continue to the squad room.

“I just need to get into MTAC-talk with Hetty and Fury then I can go home” Jen said.

“Where’s Banner?” Clint asked as they walked out and took the steps toward MTAC.

“Abby is keeping him occupied and semi hidden in her lab” Jen replied with a smile.

“You going to tell Bruce you got sick?” Clint asked knowing her answer.

“I don’t want to worry Bruce unless I have to” she said. “If this continues I will-I promise” she added.

Clint thought about it then nodded “okay” he said.

“Thanks” Jen said.


 

Unfortunately Jen continued to feel worse and worse as the meeting progressed. She was suddenly light headed and could feel herself paling. Her only saving grace was she debriefed first and could sit the rest of the meeting-otherwise she knew she would have fainted. She stayed seated after the screen went black and most of the others had left. She slowly got up and walked to the door. Clint was waiting for her again-a frown forming when he saw her.

“Still not feeling good?” Clint asked.

“No-but um let’s go get Bruce and head back to my place” Jen said.

“Sure” Clint said helping her to the elevator.

As soon as they walked into Abbey’s lab Bruce could tell something was wrong.

“Are you ok” Bruce said rushing to her side.

“I am fine” she lied.

“Genevieve” Bruce softly growled. “What’s wrong?” he demanded.

“Not sure exactly” she admitted “You know I’ve been feeling weird for days now. I might have gotten sick earlier in the bathroom-and THOUGHT I was going to get sick in MTAC.” She added with a flinch.

“What!” he exclaimed.

“Think we can swing by Ducky’s and asked if he could take some blood-run some test for me.” She responded.

Bruce looked troubled “Can he do that?” he asked.

She shrugged “couldn’t hurt to ask” she said.


 

Back at her place Bruce immediately made her sit down. She tried to make him sit with her so they could snuggle but his body was strung tight so it wasn’t very comfortable.

“Stop it” she said sitting up-“Let’s wait and see what Ducky finds before we worry ok?” she demanded.

Bruce took a deep breath and tried to calm down “ok-you’re right. Let’s wait and see what Ducky finds.” He said agreeing with her.


 

The Next Morning

Jen walked into NCIS autopsy by herself because the Avengers got called out for a mission at the crack of dawn.

“Genevieve my dear how are you?” Ducky said with a smile and a hug when he saw her.

“I am fine Ducky” she said returning the hug.

“I just made some tea and was about to go through your results-Would you like some?” Ducky asked motioning toward the teapot.

“I would love a cup” she said watching as Ducky poured them both a cup.

“You didn’t bring Robert with you?” Ducky asked handing her the cup.

She shook her head “No not today-they actually got called away early this morning on a mission. So it’s just me.” She said.

Ducky nodded and patted her hand and motioned for her to sit. “His loss is my gain” he said smiling at her.

Jen sat and watched Ducky read through the file-trying to sip her tea. His face was neutral and she was trying to stay calm but she finally snapped when she couldn’t take the silence anymore.

“If it’s something deadly could you lie to me?” she asked “I’ll never hear the end of it from Bruce.” She added.

Ducky chuckled shaking his head “No-No it’s nothing like that.” Ducky took off his glasses and wiped them-a stalling tactic she knew well from Bruce.

“Congratulations my dear. It looks like you and Robert are going to be parents.” He said gently looking at her.

Jen’s vision thinned and whited and all she could hear way the blood rushing in her ears. All of a sudden Ducky was in her line of vision making her take deep breaths-trying to calm her down. Her mind was running a thousand miles a minute.

“Ducky you need to do the test again-it’s wrong-you’re wrong!” she demanded.

“Genevieve” Ducky began.

“No Ducky do them again!” she snapped loudly.

“What the hell is going on here?” Gibbs demanded as he walked in taking in the scene.

Jen continued ignoring Gibbs presence.

“Ducky I can’t get pregnant-it-they –made sure of that. Bruce-Bruce can’t have kids since the gamma-and the hulk.” She exclaimed stopping only because she literally ran out of air.

“Wait-you’re pregnant?” Gibbs asked shocked.

DiNozzio walked in hearing Gibbs question and froze “wow B as a dad-um Congrats Jen.” He added not sure what to say.

Jen twirled at Tony- eyes widening with a new realization “Oh god! Bruce isn’t going to believe-he’s going to freak! He’ll run and I’ll never see him again!” she said as the panic started again.

“For heaven’s sake Anthony I had just calmed her down!” Ducky reprimanded.

“Sorry Ducky” DiNozzio said sheepishly.

“Genevieve you need to breath-in and out-there you go.” Ducky instructed calmly and once she calmed down he continued. “If it will make you feel better I can do the test again.”

Her head snapped up “Yes please Ducky. I am sorry I snapped at you-its just-it can’t be possible.” She whispered.

“This coming from the women who is around Captain American, a norse god, a man who turns into a 9 foot green guy and a relative who was born 100 years ago.” DiNozzio said earning a glare from Jen and a head slap from his boss.

“Thank You boss” Tony said automatically.

“Is Bruce back yet?” Gibbs asked.

“Never sure when they will come back-I get a text from someone when the battle’s ended and I haven’t gotten one yet” Jen said with a shrug.

“Come on I’ll drive you home” Gibbs said leading her out to his car.


 

Gibbs kept his eye on her as he made sandwiches and tea for them in her kitchen.

“Stop staring at me Jethro” Jen demanded softly from her spot at the kitchen table.

“Have you two talked about this?” Gibbs asked handing her the cup.

“No-I thought it wasn’t going to be an issue” Jen replied.

“Doctors can be wrong” Jethro replied as he sat down across from her.

“I have no reproductive organs Jethro-there’s no way I can be pregnant.” She replied.

Jethro frowned at her stunned by her comment. He could feel the anger burning-he knew of the chunks of time where she was kidnapped and Hetty had to search for her. When she was found Hetty would send him a courtesy update on her condition-apparently something had been left out of the updates.

“How come I wasn’t told?” he gritted out-surprising both of them.

“Nothing could be done-I didn’t want to think about it-take your pick” Jen said with a small shrug.

Gibbs phone rang interrupting them making Gibbs curse. He answered it and talked with whoever was on the other end.

“Damn Tobias-I should just let him rot in jail” Gibbs said after he hung up.

“Tobias?” Jen asked.

“Tobias Fornell-my friend who works in the FBI. The one Diane left me for” he replied with a smile.

“That’s why the name sounded familiar!” she exclaimed barking out a string of laughter. “What’s wrong?” she asked.

“He got picked up for suspected of DUI again” he mumbled.

Jen smiled “Go get him-all I am going to do is sit here and stew” she replied.

Gibbs looked over at her “I know this is going to seem weird-but you know to call me if notice anyone strange around you right?” he asked.

Jen looked over at him with a raised eyebrow “Of course. This have anything to do with your case?” she asked.

Jethro sighed nodding his head “I’ve kept my mouth shut since you’ve always had them around you. I’ve made lots of enemies and I just hope none of them are smart enough to figure out who you are” he replied.

Genieieve smiled reaching across the table “I promise if any one strange comes up to me I will call you” she replied with a smile.

"Thanks" Gibbs replied.

“Go get your friend out of jail Jethro” she replied.

He smiled “Fine-call me later” he said as he got up and left to get Fornell.


 

Jen tried to sip her tea and clear her mind and failing. She needed to think rationally. Hetty always taught her to have a backup plan-right? So she needed a backup plan-who would she trust for an OBGYN? She can’t just go to any doctor-there would be questions and the army will be there in seconds. Are there OBGYN’s for women like her? Wait-Hank! Hank McCoy would be the only other doctor she trust. She knew he wasn’t an OBGYN but he could point them in the right direction. She checked the time and went to her computer pulling up her video chat. This was something she needed to say face to face-she pulled up Hank’s screenname. She sent the video call and waited to see if he would answer.

“Genevieve?” he asked confused as his blue face filled her screen.

“Hi Hank-how are you?” she asked.

‘I am fine my dear-what do I owe this pleasure?” he asked.

“I have a…. predicament I might need your help on?” she asked vaguely.

Hank blinked at her gauging her expression.

“Genevieve you know I will help you with anything you need-can you be more specific?” he asked.

“Not yet-umm-I found out something today-and I need to tell Bruce before I tell you-I am sorry Hank-I know I am not making sense” she said apologetically.

“Well if Dr. Banner is involved I don’t see how I would have any different opinion for you-but I will be glad to help in any way you need” he said.

“Thank you Hank” she said with a sigh. “Will you be there this weekend or the beginning of next week?” she asked.

“I believe so-but you can always call me when you are ready to meet’ he said.

“That might be better-I have no idea how Bruce is going to handle this—so it might not be until next week-when we can meet” she said.

Hank raised his eyebrow in confusion “well whenever you and Dr. Banner decide you need to meet with me-just call me and I will rearrange my schedule if I need to” he said.

Jen sighed happy that Hank would do that for her “Thank you Hank-I’ll let you know when we are coming-and then I’ll explain everything” she said.

Hank smiled reassuringly “Of course my dear I’ll see you then” he said before the screen went black.

Jen leaned back “Ducky has to be wrong” she mumbled again.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

The Next Morning

Jen woke up the next morning reaching for Bruce and coming up empty. That woke her up-she sat up and looked for any signs that he actually come home last night. She looked at her phone not surprised when it rang.

“Hello Clint” she said when she answered even though it was an unknown number.

“It really freaks me out when you do that” Clint complains.

“Get used to it-what’s happened?” She replied.

“Battle just ended-took us longer to get there than we anticipated-plus the time difference. Nat and I didn’t want you to worry” he explained.

Jen sighed “Good I am glad-why didn’t JARVIS text me?” she asked.

“The suit took a beating-lost communication with JARVIS for a while” Clint explained.

“Is Tony ok?” she asked.

“Oh you know Stark-he’ll be fine” Clint said breezily.

“Tell her” Nat said from somewhere in the background.

“Tell me what?” Jen replied worried.

“Well…” Clint began.

“Clint” Jen snapped.

“Hulk is MIA” he replied.

“MIA?” She parroted back.

“Jade Jaws usually runs off after a battle if he hasn’t gotten all the smashing out of his system. We usually find him right away-well not this time” Clint said.

“What does that mean? How long has Hulk been MIA before?” Jen asked.

“A week” Clint replied.

“A week?” Jen asked.

There was a whispered argument then Natasha’s voice came over the line-obviously winning the phone.

“Listen we will continue looking then SHIELD protocol is to search military chatter and see if they have captured him. It’s never come to that and we won’t let it come to that now. Give us a few hours and if we haven’t seen anything-we will contact you again-ok” Natasha replied.

Jen wanted to argue but knew there was nothing she could do for the moment. “Fine-you better call me regardless” she replied seriously.

“I will” Natasha promised.


 

Bruce woke up with the usual aches and pains from the battle and de hulking. He tried to open his eyes but there was lights and loud noises causing him to groan and wince in pain. He had no idea where he was at or where any of the team was. Usually someone was there when he woke up-but as far as his fried nerves could tell no one was here. Suddenly he heard footsteps-unfamiliar shoes came into his line of vision.

"Wild night buddy?" A southern male voice asked.

Bruce opened his mouth to answer but his body wasn't listening to his brain yet-so he shook his head no.

"Come on" The man said as he hoisted Bruce to his feet. "Can you walk?" He adds.

Bruce clutched at the strangers shoulders and stumbled.

The man sighed "come on you can sleep it off at the office" he said helping Bruce get inside his car. Christopher got the man in his car without much trouble. He knew Pride might be mad for bringing the guy in-but couldn’t let the man lay in a gutter.

He picked up his phone to call King "Hey King" he said in greeting.

"Christopher" King replied.

"Listen I have a man in my backseat -barely conscious -half dressed-found him in the corner of St. Claude Avenue-figure he’s some drunk who doesn’t have a place to go- mind if he sleeps it off in one of the cells." He said looking in the rearview mirror seeing the man had gone to sleep.

"Sure thing Chris-see you when you get here” Pride replied.

Once he got to the office, Lasalle parked and tried to shake the guy awake. "Come on man you need to wake up- If I have to carry your ass inside I am charging you with something." Lasalle said.

Bruce roused himself enough to get inside with Lasalle’s help. A small part of his brain took in that he was with strangers and alone- as long as he wasn't walking into some laboratory he was fine-for the moment. LaSalle dumped him in a cell and walked back out as pride had Gibbs on the video chat.

"Hey my brother" Gibbs said with a smile.

Pride chuckled and smiled "Hey my brother” he said.

“Pride” Chris yelled as he walked into the room-pausing when he say Gibbs on the screen as well.

“What is it Christopher?” Pride asked.

“He has DiNozzo’s business card in his pocket” Christopher replied. “Morning Agent Gibbs” LaSalle said nodding toward Gibbs.

“Who had DiNozzo’s card in his pocket?” Gibbs asked.

“Christopher picked up a half-naked man who is barely conscious but apparently has one of your agent’s business card in his pants." Pride said.

Gibbs looked thoughtful for a second then asked "what's he look like?"

"Shorter then me-olive complexion-wild curly dark hair." LaSalle said.

Both could see the recognition hit him. "His name is Banner-Bruce Banner. Hold on- Jen come here" he yelled off screen.

Genevieve came into the shot confused to see why she was being summoned. When she recognized both Pride and LaSalle her face lit up.

"Dwayne Cassius Pride and Christopher LaSalle are you calling for little ol’ me?" She asked in a fake southern accent.

Pride smiled "No boo we called-well for another matter. But we picked up a man who has DiNozzo’s business card in his possession" he said.

She looked at Gibbs" I think it's Bruce" he said in way of an explanation.

"What?" She said looking at Gibbs then back at Pride and LaSalle. "Where'd you find him?" She asked.

"Corner of St. Claude Avenue." LaSalle replied.

Jen stared at them blinking “Why did he go there-they were fighting three states away! Listen Dwayne I'll be down in 5 hours- maybe less if I can get an earlier flight. Thanks" Jen said already turning her back-pulling out her phone and making arrangements.

"Wait sweetie wait-what's going on? How do you know him?" He asked. She blushed like a teenager causing all three men to laugh.  

"Could it be that little Jenny Gibbs has a boyfriend?" LaSalle said laughing.

She flicked him off as she finished her call. After hung up she glared at LaSalle. "For the LAST TIME Christopher! STOP calling me that!" She demanded. "And for god’s sake you're making it sound like I am 17 not 37." She added.

“That was fast if you were talking with an airline” Pride replied.

Jen made a face “Oh please I just called in a few favors-I am on the next DoD owned plane down there-they leave in 30 minutes” she replied.

Gibbs laughed "You probably need to go pack a to-go bag and see if you need to contact them." He said.

"You're right-seriously guy’s thanks. Oh if he wakes up before I or anyone else gets there he's going to need food-lots of it. Just give me the bill." Then she was out of the screen and presumably heading to the door.

"Who is anyone else?" Pride asked.

Gibbs looked at him "the Avengers-it probably will be Tony Stark than anyone else." He said.

"The avengers? How does this guy know an avenger?" LaSalle asked curious.

"He's one of them-listen Leon just walked in got to go-Please don’t run his name. I’ll explain later ok-bye" Gibbs said as he ended the call before either could ask any more questions.

Both Pride and LaSalle looked at each other is confusion as to what was happening and who they had sleeping in one of their holding cells.


 

“Sir Ms. Gibbs is calling you” JARVIS informed his creator.

“Put it on speaker-Hey Jen-I know bird brain told you but we haven’t found him yet” Tony said.

“He’s in New Orleans Tony” Jen replied.

Silence “What do you mean he’s in New Orleans” Tony asked.

“I mean they picked him up because they thought he was a homeless drunk passed out-and he had DiNozzo’s business card with him” Jen said.

“Where are you? It sounds like you are in a cargo hold somewhere” Clint asked when he heard all of the background noise.

“I am” was Jen’s answer.

“Why are you in the cargo hold?” Tony asked.

“Because I called in a favor and am on a DoD flight” Jen said.

“I am sure she wanted to make sure he’s ok too Tony” Steve said finally speaking. “Do you know where he is Jen?” Steve asked.

“Go to the NCIS office” Jen said through the static. “I am about to lose you. I’ll see you all there” she added as the line went dead.

 


 

Pride was checking in on the man when he started to stir. He watched as the man groaned as he woke up but stayed in the crouched position he had woken up in.

“Oh good lord” he man mumbled to himself.

“Morning Friend” Pride said making the other man freeze. “Do you know where you are at?” he asked.

“A cell” the man replied softly.

“Yes” Pride replied. “Do know where?” Pride tried.

Bruce sighed slowly turning around-decided he needed to face whoever this guy was.

“No I don’t” Bruce replied.

“You are in New Orleans” Pride said.

Bruce frowned at that “New Orleans? That’s three states away” he mumbled to himself.

Pride looked at him puzzled then shook his head trying to stay on topic “My name is Dwayne Pride and you are in the NCIS office. My agent found you passed out half naked in a gutter and thought you were a homeless drunk” he began watching the man.

“Hey King we have a problem out here” Brody said as she walked briskly in. “You need to get out there before LaSalle gets into a fist fight with this guy”.

King blinked at his agent “Sure thing-Brody could you grab something for Mr. Banner to wear. I’ll be right back” he said.

Pride walked out to see his lobby filled with superheroes-which was a first for him. He saw LaSalle seemed to be facing off with no other than Tony Stark-while Captain America was trying to intervene.

“Is there a problem Christopher” Pride asked loudly announcing his presence.

“Mr. Stark is here to get Mr. Banner King” LaSalle said as he slowly deflated turning to his boss.

Pride turned his attention to Tony Stark-the man was smaller in real life but held himself in such a way that made him seem taller.

“Mr. Stark-I am Dwayne Pride. I am the officer in charge here. Mr. Banner is fine-he won’t be charged with anything and we haven’t ran his name-per Gibbs request. So everyone take a step back and breathe-alright” Pride said walking back and squeezing LaSalle’s shoulder as he passed.

“Christopher Genevieve said Mr. Banner needed food-he does seem weak-I have a plate already waiting for him. Then we can go from there” Pride said staring at his second in command.

“Sure thing Pride” Chris said as he turned glancing at the Avengers before he walked toward the stairs.

“You are giving him food-why?” Stark asked in surprise as he watched LaSalle leave.

“I’ve known Gibbs and Genevieve for years so I believe them when they vouched for him” Pride said simply. “I’d offer you all food-but I am afraid I didn’t make enough. Once Jen gets here we can go to my bar and get food and drinks there-get acquainted” Pride said with a smile.

Sam walked in a few minutes later with Jen behind him “Hey Guys look who I found” he said with a smile.

Dwayne smiled as he walked toward her with his arms out “You better get over here and hug me” he demanded.

Jen laughed throwing herself at him “King It’s so good to see you” she said returning the hug.

LaSalle and Brody walked into the front with Bruce just in time to see Pride hugging Jen.

“Who’s Pride hugging?” Brody asked.

LaSalle smile “Jenny Gibbs” he said loudly making Jen groan.

“Shut up Ass” she said smacking LaSalle in the head lightly and hugging him as well.

Sam chuckled then gasped when he saw the other agent standing there “Meri?” he asked.

Meredith turned-her eyes getting huge when she saw him “Sam?” she asked.

“Who else would it be?” he replied with a cocky smile.

“Sam Wilson” she said with a shake of her head going over to hug him.

“Wow okay how’d you two know each other?” LaSalle asked.

“Emily once dated his best friend-so we saw a lot of each other” Brody said quietly.

The Avengers looked at each other in confusion until Sam elaborated.

“Reilly dated her twin Emily” he said simply.

Jen walked over and hugged Bruce gently-just resting against him-not saying anything. “Might need to teach Hulk how to keep his ear bud in” she said finally.

Bruce snorted into her hair “If he’d listen to anyone it’d be you” he said.

Pride looked around “Okay-everyone-it’s quitting time. Let’s go to my bar and get acquainted-or reacquainted” Pride said shooing everyone out of the office.

“I’ll call Loretta and tell her to meet us there” Brody replied.

“Good call Brody” Pride said as he grabbed his phone and locked the office



 

‘Hmm-This wasn’t so bad’ Bruce thought to himself. 'It wasn’t too many people or too loud-good music. He was actually short of enjoying himself. He was still worried why Hulk had taken him this far away from the team-but that was something he could ask him later. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves-they needed to let off some steam.'

Bruce looked across the floor at Jen. He watched as she declined another drink from one of Prides people. That's odd-she very rarely says no to free drinks. She doesn't drink like Tony-he didn't think he could be with her if she were-but they were in New Orleans of all places. He watched as Loretta give her a strange look-glancing sideways in his direction and then turning so he couldn't see her face-but he saw her hand go to Jen's stomach? The pieces were slowly falling into place in his mind-she had been sick-she was dizzy for no apparent reason-she is declining alcohol-OH GOD! He felt the panic hit him like a Mack truck. The room started to spin-the music and sounds were echoing -over the sound of the blood rushing in his ears. Air--he needed air-he got out of his chair so fast it crashed to the ground. He didn't pay it any mind as he turned and ran toward the door.

"Oh god" Jen said seeing the realization hit Bruce.

"Is he ok?" Loretta asked.

"No-get Thor and Tony please" she said as she ran after Bruce.

She was out the door looking at where Bruce might have run to in seconds. She glanced at the bouncer "See where the fluffy haired guy with glasses went?" She asked. He nodded pointed up the street. "Thanks" she said as she jogged up the street.

She was trying to breathe and not freak out. He knows and he's freaking out-she should have told him. Ok what chance did she have before this? She should have called him or something. Stop it she doesn't even know it's for real yet. She was so busy arguing with herself that she almost missed his hunched form in the shadows.

"Bruce" she said quietly.

"Don't” he all but growled at her.

"Bruce" she said again trying to reach for him stopping as he jerked away.

"Am I right?" He asked.

Jen just stared at him "I don't know yet" She said.

"You don't know yet" he repeated slowly.

She stared- trying not to snap "yes I don't know yet. I went back to Ducky-his initial test say yes-but it's got to be wrong. I can't have kids-you know that. So I made him redo the test" she said to her feet.

'Neither of them should be able to have kids.' His frantic mind screamed at him. 'They shouldn't be having this discussion ever-especially in an alleyway.'

"Bruce I know you are freaking out but I am freaking out too" Jen said softly.

Of course she would be-she's had to deal with this alone for 2 days now. She was told at a young age by doctors that because of THEM she wouldn't be able to have children. Now this is happening- with him of all people. He couldn't breath-and the Hulk was growling in the back of his mind. He shouldn't be awake so soon after a battle. He felt his control slipping with the stress of the situation-he needed time to calm down and think.

"I need-I need" he babbled-not knowing what to say-but knowing he needed to get go before there was an incident.

"I am sorry" he whispered as he shook his head pushing past her and incidentally running right into Tony.

"Whoa buddy what's wrong?" He said worried.

Bruce just shook his head clutching at his friends shoulder "get me out of here" he pleaded.

Tony looked over at Jen who just stood there with tears in her eyes and balled fist at her side-nodded and looked away.

"Ok come on Bruce lets go" Tony said pulling his science bro toward the hotel he had made arrangements with earlier in the day.


 

Loretta had followed Tony-worried when Jen ran after Bruce-coming up and hugging her. "It's ok sweetie-come with me" she said as pulled Jen back to the bar.

Natasha, Clint and Thor were waiting out front for her.

"Everything ok?" Clint asked looking at her.

Jen just shot him a look.

"Where'd doc go?" He asked next.

"Went back to the hotel with Tony" she said as Loretta pulled her inside.

Natasha looked at Clint with a raised eyebrow "ok spill" she said.

Clint shrugged "nothing to spill Tasha-all I have is a theory" he stated.

"What's your theory then" she asked trying not to roll her eyes at him.

"She's pregnant" he said.

Natasha was momentarily stunned then shook her head. "That’s not even possible-With either of them." She said.

"Why else would either one of them act that way?" He asked.

Natasha thought about that and realized he had a point. "How do you want to play this?" She asked. “I would prefer to go to Bruce-I am not good with girl talk yet" she adds.

Clint chuckled and kissed her forehead "ok go see Bruce-I'll do the girl talk" he said.


 

Tony had pulled Bruce to empty quiet side street near the river bank. He knew the sound of water always calmed him-he didn't want to take him back to their hotel in the state he was in. As soon as he let go-Bruce sat down-his back to the wall-his head on his knees.

"Breath buddy" Tony said. "What happened? First fight?" He asked fishing for details.

Bruce just shook his head "this can't be happening-this is so wrong" he kept mumbling to himself.

"Bruce what can't be happening" Tony asked worried.

Bruce continued to mumble- so far in his head he wasn't even registering Tony's questions.

Tony crouched down and grasped his friend’s shoulders-making him look at him. "Banner you need to tell me what happened-you are starting to scare me" Tony said slowly-deliberately.

Bruce blinked cleared his throat so Tony could understand him. "Ducky gave Jen a blood test-she-she hasn't been feeling right lately. He told her she was pregnant" he whispered.

Tony was rarely shocked-but he had to admit this shocked him. But as soon as the shock came disbelief and anger. All three must have shown on his face because Bruce's face paled.

"So are you upset because you think it isn't yours or that it is?" Natasha's voice came from the shadows-causing both to jump.

"Jesus Tasha my heart rate is already too high" Bruce snapped.

Tony looked at Romanov-she had a point- Bruce would be upset for either of those reasons. They shared a look and then looked at Bruce. He looked up and saw their looks and his anger skyrocketed. He jumped to his feet ready to exploded-yell and scream at them or confess his emotions- whatever came first-when the world spun. He had been working more than he was sleeping- the battle that just happened and his emotional state-he hit his breaking point and passed out. Both rushed to catch him-Tony actually getting to him first.

"Shit" Tony said as he held Bruce's limp body.

"Let me call Steve-he's the closest and should be back in his room by now" Natasha said pulling out her phone and hitting a button. "Steve we need you to carry Bruce-yeah we'll explain when you get here" she said then gave Steve the coordinates before hanging up.

"Is that a shield thing you all do together? The coordinate thing?" Tony asked. She rolled her eyes "no stark-we were both taught that way-by coordinates- so it's easier for him-us really-to do that in places we have never been." She said.

Just then a stick snapped and Steve came from the opposite direction. "Damn it cap" Tony said. "I do have a heart condition".

Natasha smiled while Steve chuckled. Then he looked at Bruce "ok what happened?" He asked.

"He fainted" Natasha said.

Steve gave her a look "I can see that-why?" He asked.

"It's really not for us to say Steve" Tony began.

Natasha sighed "we're not even sure-but we THINK Jen might be pregnant. Bruce understandably took it-well like he normally would." She said with a shrug.

Steve looked at both Natasha and Tony finally ending up looking at Bruce. "Poor Bruce" he said going and taking him from Tony. "Let's get him back and let him sleep." He adds looking around "is she here?"

"She stayed at the bar-Clint stayed with her-see if she was ok" Tasha said.

Steve nodded "that's good" He said as they started walking back to the hotel. "So she ran around on him then?" He asked.

Tony laughed "it's called Fucking around now Steve-and that's my guess" he said.

"Language Tony" Steve scolded.

Tony rolled his eyes "Fine-screwing around-that better for your sensitive ears" Tony shot back.

Natasha stayed quiet for a minute “guys her file says she can't have children-due to SHIELD doctors and other unnamed parties. She shouldn't be able to." She said going quiet again thinking "but we all are pretty observant-I think we could tell if something was wrong with them. I seriously don't think she cheated on him." She added.

"It could have been before they were together" Tony replied.

"Let's wait and let Jen tell us before we jump to conclusions" Steve interjected.

Tony sighed "yeah you're right-I'll be good and hear her out before I judge her" he said.

Steve rolled his eyes "good" he said.


 

Clint walked in-Thor, Sam and Brody were waiting for him.

"Is Bruce ok?" Sam asked worried.

"Thor you hear big green yelling?" He asked Thor-knowing he'd be able to hear over the music.

Thor cocked his head to listen "no the berserker is not out" he said.

Clint looked at Sam "he's fine then-just tired and upset." He said smiling looking for Jen in the throngs of people.

He saw her over in the corner with Loretta and started over to them. He grabbed an empty chair and sat in it backwards looking at them.

"Didn't take it well I guess?" He said stating the obvious.

Jen snorted trying to discreetly wipe a tear away. "Typical Bruce behavior" she said.

He chuckled "honestly you ok?" He asked seriously.

She smiled nodding "I guess. Not sure yet. Nothing is definite – Ducky’s test had to have been contaminated or something. So I made him redo it. I haven't gotten the results yet." She stated.

Loretta had stayed quiet through Clint's arrival finally spoke. "Would it be so bad if Donald's test was right?"

"Loretta I can't have kids" Jen said.

"Doctors have been wrong before." She interjected. "You've said before they would lie to make you do what they wanted-maybe this was one of the lies." She adds.

Jen thought for half a second then shook her head "even if that was the case-I am by no means a virgin." She said with a slight blush.

Clint laughed while Loretta continued "sometimes things happen at the right time to the right people" she said with a smile.

Jen busted out laughing as King came over. "What did I miss? What's so funny?" He asked.

"Loretta is waxing inspirations to me" Jen answered.

Dwayne smiled "Loretta why are you waxing inspirations-Jen can I get you a drink?"

"Just water Dwayne thanks" Jen said.

He chuckled "what are you-" he froze turning slowly and staring at her. “You are aren't you? Are you pregnant?" He asked.

Jen sighed "I need to know stupider people!" She said.

Clint laughed "Or you drink to much-since the second you decline a drink-it's the next assumption they make" he said ducking as Jen threw a balled up napkin at him. His phone of course starting ringing at that moment. He excused himself and stepped away to answer it.

"Does Gibbs know?" Pride asked.

"Yes he was there when I was having a panic attack and screaming at Ducky" she said.

"But she doesn't know for certain yet" Loretta said.

Just then Clint came back "listen -that was Nat-SHEILD wants us to head back tonight. Bruce is passed out-if you want to come back with us- you won't have to interact with him. It's up to you" he said.

Dwayne looked at her sensing she had no desire to go back with them tonight. "You know Christopher has to go for his certification renewal in DC-he leaves in the morning. You know how he is-I am sure he would love the company" He said.

Jen smiled nodding looking guiltily at Clint. He nodded in understanding "I get it. Stay safe and I guess we'll see you tomorrow." He said coming up and hugging her. "I'll tell Doc to call you if he wakes up" he adds looking like he wanted to say something else.

"Don't worry I'll be back tomorrow" she answered his silent question. He nodded saying goodbye to Pride and Loretta-then went to tell Thor and Sam they needed to leave.


 

Jen couldn't help but feel a little guilty for staying. 'Stop' she chastised herself 'Bruce will probably sleep until morning-he won't even know she was gone.' She thought. Dwayne looked at her smiling "come on let's head back- we can catch up" he said. "Okay" she agreed. Pride, Loretta and Jen headed to the door and back to Dwayne’s house.

The jet was waiting for them when they got there. Thor, Sam and Clint climbed in-Clint sitting in the pilot seat.

"She didn't come with you?" Tasha asked.

He turned making sure Bruce was still passed out before he answered. "Think she was still too emotional to want to come back with us. She decided to accompany one of Pride's people to DC in the morning." He said.

"Is she coming back" Tasha asked.

"she better" came Tony's muttered reply.

"She told me she was and I believe her" Clint said starting the plane so they could head back.


 Later the Next Day

Jen knew she needed to talk to Bruce. She took a deep breath as the elevator door opened to the floor that Bruce’s lab was on. She figured they both had time and space to cool off -or she hoped so at least. She had given Christopher a spare key to her house when she made him drop her off at Tony’s house on the way to NCIS. She Knew Bruce would be hiding in Tony’s lab and luckily for her no one was in the halls as she passed. He was staring into a microscope as she walked up-jumping as she knocked on the glass to get his attention. He looked at her-looking like hell. She gave small wave “I think we need to talk-can I come in?” she asked.

Bruce swallowed but nodded-hitting the button to unlock the doors. His heart rate immediately skyrocketed- He was afraid he was going to hyperventilate-or worst have a heart attack. It was no surprise to him that Hulk was at attention. He was always was attune to Bruce’s emotions-and after the last two days-the battle-the news-both have been on edge. Jen came in and stood near the table-waiting-determined not to go first.

“Are you ok?” he asked softly. “I was worried when Clint said you were riding back with Christopher” he said.

She was trying to stay mad at him but the disheveled look and the puppy dog eyes he was giving her-when he was looking at her-was making it hard.

“Well Christopher needed someone to ride back with him” she said-holding her tongue on the rest.

But he knew her well enough to know she would have walked back to D.C then ride back with them-that’s how upset she was yesterday.

Bruce’s shoulders slumped “Jen I am sorry. I acted like an idiot” he said “I panicked and didn’t even listen to you” he said sitting a stool. “Every time I think I have it under control something happens to show I am not” he said into his hands.

She walked up and cupped his cheek-making him look at her. “You acted like most men do-when their supposed barren girlfriend drops this on them” she said and smiles.

Bruce smiled then looks at her stomach.

“Has Ducky sent you the second test results yet?” he asked.

“It was waiting for me at Pride's last night" she said pulling out a manila envelope out of her bag.

“Want to open it” she said handing it to Bruce.

He reached out-like the envelope was going to bite him-then pulled his hand away.

“Let’s open it together” he said-causing her to smile.

They both ripped open the envelope and read the print out. Ducky had been true to his word and redone every blood test-even when he knew the result wasn’t going to change. Genevieve was indeed pregnant! Instead of the panic Bruce expected to feel again-he felt love and pride.

He smiled and looked at Jen-expecting to see similar emotions on her face. Instead her face was white and she was in a full blown panic attack.

“Honey-god calm down-Breathe” he said standing up and pulling her into his arms.

“How-How can this be possible?” she whispered into his chest once she had calmed down.

“I don’t know-neither one of us should be able to procreate” he said. “We need to pull some others on this to try and figure it out” he adds-thinking.

“We have a meeting with Hank whenever we are ready” she said.

Bruce pulled away and looked at Jen in surprise “What?” he asked.

“After Ducky told me the first results-I came home and called Hank. Told him I needed his help-we would be needing his help. But that I need to tell you first. He told me to call him whenever we were ready and he’d rearrange his schedule if he needed to” she said.

Bruce hugged her and kissed her gently. “I am sorry. I am sorry you had to find out on your own. Then when I found out I panicked and made things worse. I do love you-I hope you know that and I love this” he said rubbing his hand on her nonexistent bump.

Jen smiled and covered his hand with hers. “I get it Bruce I do-You can panic and run if it gets too much-as long as you come back” she said.

“Always” he said kissing her.

A knock on the door interrupted them-they found Tony glaring at them.

“So I see the two of you have made up” Tony said.

“Well we are in the process of making up” Bruce said.

“We need to talk some more” Jen adds glancing at Bruce.

“we’ll see you later Tony” Bruce said as he pulled Jen out of the lab to “talk”-before Tony could ask any more questions.

Tony watched as they left “Jarvis did that seem odd to you?” he asked his A.I.

Jarvis paused for a minute before he answered “I would assume by their conversation that they are going to talk and make up sir” the A.I replied.

“Couples don’t make up that fast” Tony replied.

“Well yes sir no couple that you are a part of but I would assume Ms. Gibbs and Dr. Banner are different” the A.I replied sarcastically.

Tony chuckled “JARVIS stop being a Smart Ass" he replied.

"Sir I am afraid Ms. Potts is on the way and she doesn't look happy" the A.I warned.

Tony sighed "Great" he mumbled. "Let her in" he sighed waiting for Pepper to enter.

 

Chapter Text

Pepper stormed into the room “Where have you been!” She all but screamed at Tony.

“What do you mean where have I been?” he shot back.

“Dammit Tony” Pepper yelled reaching for the nearest thing-a wrench- to throw at him. He ducked hearing the tool bounce off of something behind him and clatter to the floor.

“What the hell Pepper! Why are you pissed?” Tony demanded.

Pepper swung around her eyes blazing “Why am I pissed? I am pissed because my boyfriend doesn’t tell me where he is going! I have to hear from JARVIS when you’ve gotten called out to assemble and whether or not you are coming home at night. AND I am SICK OF IT! I used to have to sit around and withstand your obsessions-even had to escort them out on occasion. But I refuse to do that now” She seethed.

Tony looked confused at the switch in topics “What are you talking about?” he demanded.

“The sad thing is you don’t even see it” she added sadly.

“What am I not seeing” he yelled.

“Your obsession with Bruce!” She yelled back. “I had hoped that now that Genevieve is with Bruce you’d stop but you haven’t. It’s almost gotten worst! Are-Are you jealous?” She said.

“Jealous of Jen-Why?” he shot back.

“Because she has Bruce-she’s taking him away from you and there is nothing you can do about it” Pepper demanded. “I am not sure I want to be around for the outcome” she added softly.

Tony’s head shot up “So this is it? You are leaving me? There’s someone else isn’t there?” he demanded.

“No Tony there isn’t. But I don’t see the point in me being here if I am not wanted” Pepper stated with tears in her eyes.

“When have I ever told you- you weren’t wanted” Tony asked.

“You’ve never told me I wasn’t wanted-but you haven’t told me you needed me either-not in a long time. You go off the SECOND Bruce needs you-without even telling me-I have to hear it from JARVIS. Good things that happen to you-you tell Bruce first-then me. Did you even notice when I am in or out of the tower? Do you?” she demanded.

Tony’s mind was whirling trying to come up with an answer-but he couldn’t. His silence spoke volumes-to both of them.

A few tears fell Pepper’s cheek as she whispered “I thought so. I-I have to think things over” and fled the lab.

Tony stood there stunned. He knew he should go after Pepper but he couldn’t get his feet to move. She couldn’t be right-she was just angry and lashing out at him. Right?

“JARVIS where’d she go” he asked after a few minutes.

“She has left the premises sir” JARVIS replied.

“She’s not driving is she?” he asked.

“Not sir Mr. Hogan is driving her” JARVIS answered.

“Do you think she’ll want to talk to me” He asked.

“I cannot speak for Miss Potts but if you remember past fights the two of you have had -have resulted in more objects being thrown at you sir” JARVIS said.

Tony sighed “Tell her-I’ll go to New York. She can stay or go to Malibu or come back to New York-whatever she wants-when she decides” he said as he left the lab and headed for his room-more importantly his bar.

“Yes Sir” Jarvis replied warily.


 

 “Dr. Banner” Jarvis replied 30 minutes later-waking both Bruce and Jen from an impromptu but badly needed nap.

“Dr. Banner” Jarvis said again.

Bruce groaned pulling Jen closer to him “What Jarvis?” he said sleepily.

“I apologize for waking the two of you but I am afraid I need your assistance with Sir.” Jarvis replied.

“What’d he do now” Bruce mumbled rubbing his face trying to wake up.

“I am afraid he is not taking his argument and break up with Ms. Potts very well” the A.I replied.

Jen’s head popped up “they broke up?” she asked.

The A.I actually paused “I am not certain ma’am but I surmised as much by their conversation and resulting actions” the A.I replied.

“Ok what is he doing?” Bruce asked worriedly.

“He has decided to go back to New York and I am afraid has had quite inebriated and is attempting to get into the suit” the A.I informed them.

“I thought Pepper made sure you locked the liquor cabinet?” Bruce asked.

“Yes sir in Malibu and in New York-but not here” The A.I answered.

Jen looked at him “what does Tony like to drink? Will you be ok-Do you want me to go talk with him?” she asked.

Bruce sighed “I’ll try-if-if- I can’t I’ll have Jarvis call you” he said leaning over to kiss her.

“Sure” she said watching him get up and leave.

Jen turned and stared at her phone and against her better judgment sent a text to Pepper.

GG: If you want to talk-call me

PP: not right now-but thanks

 


 

Jen waited a few minutes and decided since she wasn’t going to go back to sleep to get up.

“Jarvis do I want to know where they are?” Jen asked.

“Dr. Banner is down in the lab with sir” Jarvis replied.

Her phone rang alerting her that Gibbs was calling.

“Good afternoon” Jen said into her phone as she walked into the kitchen.

“How was it?” Gibbs asked.

“Well I got to see Pride and Christopher-team met them-Bruce flipped out-the usual” she replied.

Gibbs sighed “I am sorry” he said.

“Well we haven’t talked in detail about it yet-we need to go to Xavier’s for that. But all in all I think we’ve handled it well” she said.

“Why do you need to go to Xavier’s?” Gibbs asked.

“There’s a doctor there that we both trust-Hank McCoy-not sure if you ever met him-but he is one of the few people who could give us some guidance” Jen replied.

“McCoy-don’t think the name rings a bell” Gibbs replied.

Jen giggled “Oh believe me-Hank is not someone you easily forget” she said.

Gibbs chuckled “So Bruce panicked huh” he asked.

Jen laughed “well so did I-at least he hasn’t ran yet- at the moment I consider it a win” she replied.

Gibbs paused “You expect him to run?” he asked.

Jen started at her refection in the microwave “yes-I do” she said softly. “It’s his MO. When he gets really scared-he thinks he’s doing the right thing-He thinks he’s protecting the ones he loves” she replied.

“If he does?” Gibbs asked.

“Then he will have a spot when he comes back” she replied then heard Bruce coming back up the stairs. “Jethro I have to go-I’ll call you later” and hung up before he could say anything else.

“Who was that?” Bruce asked as he clasped down on the couch staring over at her.

She got up and walked into the living room plopping down next to him “Jethro checking in” she replied. “Tony passed out?” she asked.

“Yes-thank god” he mumbled.

“I guess we are going to New York?” Jen replied.

Bruce sighed “I guess? Do-you want to come? Or is that going to affect your case? Just because I go-it doesn’t mean you have too-you know” he replied.

Jen smiled at him “Why don’t we get Tony back to the tower-go visit Hank and then we can decide about living arrangements then” she said.

Bruce sighed nodding “That’s a good plan-see what we are dealing with” he replied.

“My thoughts exactly” Jen thought. “I’ll just text people that I will be in New York for a few days” she replied grabbing her phone and started sending out texts to the appropriate people.

Jen decided she didn’t need to wait for responses-since she was going regardless of their answers. “Bruce I am going to go pack a bag-Will you pick me up?” she called after a few minutes.

“Sure umm Happy is with Pepper-so-I’ll call Clint since I assume he’s the one who’s going to be flying us” he replied.

Jen paused “I hadn’t thought of that-well call him and let me know I’ll drive back if I need to” she replied and pecked him on the cheek as she left.


 

MEANWHILE IN SHEILD HEADQUARTERS

“Boss just got off the phone with Banner-Stark is going back to New York and they need a ride. Am I supposed to be their glorified chauffeur until this mission is over?” Clint asked as he leaned against Phil’s office door.

Phil paused looking from his computer to Clint “I’ll run it by Fury but for the moment yes. It will help with the mission if he assumes you are there as the driver” Phil commented.

Clint nodded “I thought the same thing-just wanted to run it by you” he replied.

“The problem I see is having two drivers” Phil replied.

“It’s my understanding Hogan is staying with Pepper” Clint replied.

Phil raised an eyebrow “Well that’ll help us then” was his only response.

Clint smirked “My thoughts exactly” he said.

Phil nodded “Keep my informed” he said and turned back to his computer-silently dismissing Clint.


 

Xavier’s School the next day

Genevieve and Bruce sat in Hank’s lab watching as he read the numerous test results the next day. Like most doctors Hank wanted to run his own test-as a third opinion-which they were grateful for.

"Have you two talked about this-about children?" Hank asked as delicately as he could after he closed the file.

"No" Jen said as she shook her head.

"Neither of us thought it was ah-needed-with our backgrounds" Bruce said after clearing his throat.

Hank nodded his head "You are correct Doctor- with what I know of Genevieve's past procedure and the radiation you were exposed to-normal humans wouldn't be able to reproduce" Hank said. “The next question is what are your plans Genevieve?"  Hank asked.

Jen just shrugged "not sure Hank--how did this even happen? She asked still confused.

Hank looked back at her files adjusting his glasses "Honestly I am not sure until I do more research. I know you were in the hospital recently--did anything odd happen while you were there?" He asked.

Bruce sucked in a breath "Helen's procedure" he choked out.

"Helen? Helen Cho was your doctor after the incident in DC? When you were in the coma?" Hank asked.

"Wait you mean that laser not only regrew tissue but actual organs? Jen asked incredulously.

"I guess so? God I should have listened to you when you still saying you were in pain" Bruce chastised himself.

Jen looked at Hank and rolled her eyes. "Bruce I am a grown women-IF I had thought it was THIS -I would have gone to someone sooner." She said.

"Ok" Bruce said hold out his hand trying to ward off an argument. "That point aside this shouldn't have happened.

"I know that" Jen said slowly with effort to keep calm.

Hank was trying to stay out of it but felt he needed to intervene. "I feel the need to mention we still don't know what we are dealing with. There are unique variables that most couples who have unplanned pregnancies don't have to deal with" Hank said. "I would like to do some tests regardless of your decisions" he replied delicately.

Bruce and Genevieve just blinked at him.

"I just meant blood-nothing else. Other tests might need to be issued later on-but we will deal with that when and if it comes up" Hank began but was interrupted by an alarm going off. "I am sorry I need to go-I don't want to sway you one way or the other. I just want the two of you to way the pros and cons before you make any decisions. But I want you to remember you seem to have been given a chance that most don't get. But ultimately it's your decision" Hank said as he hugged her and headed out.

Bruce and Jen just stood there not knowing what to say to each other. "We-we probably need to go" Bruce replied.

"Stay" Charles said as he wheeled himself in.

"This is neutral territory here. Go up to one of the guest rooms-talk-rest-whatever you need" he said with a kind smile.

"Hello Charles" Genevieve said with a small smile.

"Genevieve how are you" Charles asked.

"I've been better-I've been worst" she replied.

Charles smiled "I mean it-go somewhere on the grounds and talk. We have rooms that can accommodate Hulk if you think it is necessary Dr. Banner" Charles added looking at Bruce.

Bruce shook his head "I hope that won't be an issue but we will see Thank you Professor Xavier" Bruce said.

"My pleasure" Charles said with a wink and left the room.


 

Bruce and Jen wondered the grounds until they got to a nice wooded area and sat down.

“I can’t believe this is happening” Jen said after a few minutes. “Up until 10 minutes ago I expected Hank to say the tests were wrong” she added softly.

Bruce nodded staying silent “I am going to be a father-how wrong is that” he said softly.

Jen frowned at him “Bruce you do realize I hear you right?” she asked.

Bruce’s eyes shot up at her “Said that out loud huh?” he said quietly.

“Yes you did” she replied.

“You know I love you right-this doesn't have anything to do with that?” Bruce said quietly. “I am just panicking” he added.

"I never doubted that" Jen replied softly. "And I am panicking too” she added.

“You can ask” she finally asked-knowing it needed to be said.

“Ask what?” Bruce asked confused.

“If I cheated or something" she replied.
 

Bruce sighed "I'll be honest honey-the thought briefly crossed my mind. Only because I shouldn't be able to have children" he rushed out. “But it’s been a couple of days now and I think you would have told me if something had happened by now” he added.

"You've always wanted kids right?" Jen asked softly-leaning on Bruce.

"Back with Betty-yes I did. I haven't thought about it in a long time” Bruce said.

“What do you think it will look like?” she wondered out loud.

“Someone with your eyes and your smile" he said softly.

"Hopefully they'd have your brain" Jen interjected.

"Stop you are very smart" Bruce scolded. "And they-do you know something I don't?" He added with a worried look.

"No- no calm down-I think its better than saying it" Jen said with a smile.

"What do you want to do?" Bruce asked as he started to ring his hands.

Jen sighed as she looked past him "I never considered this-motherhood. I probably won't be very good at it. But this was taken away from me-and as much as it scares the hell out of me-I want to keep it" she whispered as she turned to him tears in her eyes.

Bruce grabbed her face kissing her roughly. "I am sacred too. Neither of us had the best examples of good parenting, but I am glad you want to do this-with me" he added.

"Bruce there is no one else I would rather do this with" Jen said.

"Even with the problems-and people that will be after them? Going after the children of the Incredible Hulk" Bruce said self-deprecatingly.

"For one I have just as many powers and enemies as you do-so who's to say they wouldn't be after them because of me? And two it is your child-not Hulks." Jen said.

Bruce looked at her with wide eyes “I hadn’t even thought about powers” he said as the realization set in.

Jen shrugged “That’s why we are here-between Charles, Hank and the team-we have enough resources that will help us if they have powers” she replied casually.

"So we have to worry about people coming after our children as well as them being born with powers” Bruce said incredulously.

"They might be born with powers-they might develop later on-or they might not have any powers. Plus if anyone is going to go after our children it will be over my dead body" Jen vowed.

Bruce looked at her "That's what I am afraid of" he replied.

"Bruce you know I can take care of myself" Jen began. "I am not going to say that might not happen" she kissed him to soften her words. "But I won't go down without a fight-And I know you-hulk or anyone else on the team will not  stop until he or she is found and home safely" Jen said.

Bruce sighed nodded “I want to argue with you-but I know I won’t win” he said smirking at her.

“Smart man” Jen replied dryly.

“So we are going to do this-we are going to be parents” Bruce said. “Oh god!” Bruce exclaimed.

“What?” Jen asked.

“We have to tell the others” Bruce moaned.

“Bruce don’t you think after New Orleans-the team already knows?” Jen replied with a chuckle.

Bruce thought for a minute then chuckled “Yeah I guess you are right” he added.

“what you should be worried about is telling Hetty” she replied sweetly watching as he paled ever so slightly.

Chapter Text

Avengers Tower-Stark Industries Floor

Conrad was going over forms at his desk when his phone rang.

“Hello” he said sharply annoyed at the interruption.

“I need a report” the voice on the other end replied simply.

Conrad tensed rolling closer to his desk and lowering his voice “You can’t call me here-that’s not part of the plan” he said into the phone.

“You forget-I make the plans therefore I can change it at any time I choose-Is that understood” he said sternly.

Conrad straightened and turned his chair to look out the window “Of course-Of course. It’s just these lines can be traced” he stuttered out.

“Let me worry about that” The man said. “Have you seen Banner in the last few days” he asked.

“No-No sir. Saw on the news the Avengers had some battle two days ago. But I expect to see him soon” Conrad said.

“His girlfriend with him?” the man asked.

“Banner has a girlfriend?” Conrad said.

The man on the other end sighed “If you want to continue with us Conrad I suggest you become more alert.” He threatened.

Conrad looked out the window “Of course sir” he stuttered.

“Contact me when you do see Banner” the man said then hung up before Conrad could respond.

Conrad stared at the receiver than slowly placed it back on the cradle, shaking his head. He had always been greedy-it was why he agreed when he was approached about this. But it wasn’t happening the way they had presented it to him-and that was worrisome. If this falls through and it somehow was traced back to HIM-there was no doubt he would spend the rest of his life inside a cell. He turned and looked at his computer in thought-he might need to construct a contingency plan to present to the authorities IF that happened. He checked the time and deciding he had time before his next meeting and deciding to make a call.


 Bruce smiled over at Jen as he pulled into Stark Tower garage.

“What?” she asked with a smirk.

“What’s with the cards?” Bruce asked motioning to the bag in her lap.

Jen looked down then smiled.

“I had this cute idea-sending a grandma and grandpa card to Hetty and Jethro” she replied.

Bruce laughed as he turned off the car “Well that would take away the stress of telling them” he said.

Jen laughed “True-I was thinking more of untraceable” she said.

“Untraceable?” he asked.

Jen shrugged “I don’t want EVERYONE to know-for safety reasons. I just the people that count to know-the team-Hetty-Jethro” she said looking at him.

Bruce stared at her “Do you want to hide it-I thought you were okay with this?” he asked confused.

Jen grabbed his hand and squeezed it “I am honey I am! But I keep thinking about what we talked about at Xavier’s-and I think the safest thing to do is keep this quiet to MOST until I can’t deny it anymore. I don’t want to give someone like Ross more fuel to feed their obsession” she commented.

Bruce sighed “I guess you’re right” he agreed. “Are we telling both of our teams?” he asked as they climbed out.

Jen paused in thought “The Avengers-yes. As for NCIS –I don’t know-I mean I trust G and Sam with my Life-DiNozzo too. But to be honest I might be on a need to know bases with most of them too-for all of our sakes” she replied.

Bruce just stared at her with a raised eyebrow “A need to know bases?” he asked with a chuckle.

Jen smirked “Well do YOU trust everyone who work with?” she replied.

“Welcome Back Doctor Banner, Ms. Gibbs” Jarvis greeted interrupting them.

Jen smiled “Thank you Jarvis” she replied.

“Hello Jarvis” Bruce greeted the A.I.

“Would you like me to alert Sir of your arrival?” The A.I asked.

Bruce looked up “Tony usually knows the second someone is inside his building?” he replied.

“I am afraid sir hasn’t been as alert as he usually is Doctor” The A.I answered.

Bruce sighed “Has he been drinking the entire time I’ve been gone?” he asked wearily.

“No sir-I am afraid there was a call to assemble after you left-Colonel Rhodes was called to help- has helped distract sir” JARVIS answered honestly.

“They could have called you” Jen replied to Bruce as they walked into the elevator.

“I believe the consensus was Hulk wasn’t going to be needed for this particular mission” Jarvis answered.

“Where is everyone?” Bruce asked as the elevator rose.

“They are eating in the living room-I have alert them of your impending arrival” Jarvis replied.

When the elevators opened the entire team as well as Rhodney were sitting on the couchs watching a ballgame-eating.

Tony turned, eyes brightening when he saw Bruce “Buddy, Jen Welcome back! We are watching the game-came sit and help us eat all of this” he said waving his arm at the impressive spread he had on the coffee table.

“You could have called me you know” Bruce replied as they walked in.

“Don’t worry-you didn’t miss much-very boring” Natasha said with a smile.

Rhodney smiled “Besides I was in the area-so they called me to come in case they needed help” he said with a laugh.

“So” Clint said glancing at them from his spot next to Natasha “How was Xavier?” he asked.

“Fine” Jen replied smiling.

Clint nodded “Find out what you were looking for?” he asked cryptically.

Jen looked over at Bruce smiling “yes” she said.

Clint smiled “good” he said as he turned back to the screen.

Tony looked between the three of them suspiciously “what was that?” he asked.

“What?” Clint asked.

“That” Tony said motioning between the two of them.

Bruce glanced over at Tony barely suppressing a smile “that?” he asked.

Tony glared “That” he said again motioning more wildly “You know I don’t like not being in the loop” he said glowering.

Rhodney raised an eyebrow in amusement “Come on man-you don’t need to know everything that goes on” he said.

“Yes I do” Tony demanded.

“Tony” Steve admonished from his spot next to Sam.

Bruce smiled “Thank you Rhodney-maybe with the two of us telling him that-he will listen” he replied.

“Don’t count on it” Tony snapped back.

Bruce chuckled “Tony stop-we are just teasing you” he said then glanced at Jen again. “We are-I mean Jen is-pregnant” he said.

The room was silent except for the television. They looked at one another in confusion and trepidation not knowing how to proceed. Luckily Jarvis spoke up interrupting.

“I am sorry Ms. Gibbs there is an Agent McGee on the phone for you-he sounds urgent” the A.I replied.

Jen looked worried “Why is he calling here?” she asked.

“It would appear you forgot your cell in the car after you and Doctor Banner returned-If you would pick up the hand held that is right by you” Jarvis instructed.

Jen nodded her head “Thank You Jarvis-excuse me” she said and left the room.


 

“Jen can you hear me?” Tim asked quietly.

“Yes Tim-what’s wrong” she replied.

Tim sighed “I wanted you to hear it from me-Boss and Tony were searching for a terrorist organization and he was shot by-um-someone and he is in on the U.S.S Daniel Webster” he said in a rush.

“He’s been shot? It must be bad if they’ve transferred him” Jen replied.

“Ducky says he’s under good care there but that’s my initial thought as well” Tim replied honestly.

“When will he get back to D.C?” Jen asked.

“It would depend on the doctor on the ship-but I would assume a few days max” Tim replied.

“You said Tony was with him-Is he ok?” she asked.

“He says he’s fine-but-well he’s going to feel responsible for this” Tim replied.

“Was he the lead on this case?” Jen asked.

“No-but Tony always feels responsible when others are seriously hurt on cases he’s on” Tim said.

“Thanks for calling me Tim. I’ll be in D.C by the time he gets back” Jen vowed. 


 

Sam looked around “Okay I’ll bite-what did I miss” he asked looking around once Jen left the room.

“I was wondering the same thing” Bruce said testily from his spot.

“Did McCoy do a DNA test?” Tony asked staring at Bruce who sat up straighter.

“Damn it Tony is that what this is about? Genevieve tells me its mine and I believe her” Bruce growled.

“How is it yours-Neither of you should be able to reproduce” Tony replied loudly.

“Tony she’s in the other room” Steve said in warning.

Bruce took a deep breath-blowing it out before he spoke “We need to do more research-but the theory is Helen’s procedure-it grew back organs as well as tissue” he replied slowly.

Everyone looked at one another in confusion until Natasha cleared her throat.

“She didn’t have the organs before?” Natasha asked from her spot.

“No” Bruce replied.

“And the procedure in D.C regrew them?” she asked quietly.

Bruce paused looking at Natasha then seeing Clint slightly tilt his head in a barely there nod-making Bruce realize there was more to Natasha’s sudden interest then he knew.

“That’s the theory Nat-but again we have to do more research” Bruce commented.

“Well I guess I’ll be the first –Congrats Doc” Rhodney said as he got up to shake Bruce’s hand.

“To be fair-we kind of figured it out in New Orleans-but it’s great that it’s official” Clint said smiling from his spot.

Steve came up shaking Bruce’s hand “I am still a bit confused Bruce-but if you’re okay with it-then so am I” he said.

“Thanks Steve” Bruce said.

Bruce turned and the smile on his face hearing Jen come back into the room but it immediately fell when he saw her face.

“Hon-what’s wrong? What did Tim say?” Bruce said rushing over to her.

“Jethro’s been shot-he’s being transferred to a ship-Tim-Tim wanted me to hear it from him” Jen said quietly.

Bruce leaned over rubbing her back “You ok?” he asked.

Jen nodded “Not sure” she replied honestly.

“What ship was he transferred to?” Rhodney asked.

“Daniel Webster” Jen replied.

Natasha cleared her throat “Do you have any idea what he was working on?” she asked.

She shook her head “No-I’ve tried not to ask if I can help it-out of habit” Jen replied with a small smile.

“When is he getting back to D.C?” Steve asked.

“Tim wasn’t sure on that either-but he figured a couple of days” she replied.

Bruce sighed “I know its hard-but come sit down-try to eat” he said gently dragging her to the love seat.

Jen sighed “Yeah-I guess I need to since I am eating for two now” she said with a smile.

Natasha smiled and handed her a plate as she sat down-surprising everyone.

“Thanks” Jen said.

“You’re welcome” Natasha replied.

Clint cleared this throat “I can get the plane ready to leave in an hour” he commented.

Jen sighed “No-you guys just fought a battle-go rest! I’ll be okay for a few days” she said. “But thanks” she said.

She took a deep breath inhaling the aroma of the food- she normally loved Shawrma. But suddenly her stomach turned and she groaned barely getting the plate on table before Jen ran for the bathroom.

Everyone looked at Bruce who shook his head “So it begins” he said as he got up and rushed to see if he could help Jen.


 

After Jen was done retching into the toilet-Bruce gently lead her to his room and had her lay down.

“I am going to get you some ginger tea and some toast-maybe make some sandwiches. Will you be ok?” Bruce asked.

“Hon I am not sick-just pregnant” Jen replied.

Bruce sighed “If you go back in there the smells will probably make you sick again-just stay in here for a few minutes-at least until they are done with the food out there” he said.

Jen sighed “Fine” she replied.

Bruce smiled and kissed her temple “Love you-I’ll be right back with the tea” he said as he got up and left the room.

Jen laid down with her back to the door looking out the window at the New York skyline. She hated being sick-but this came with the territory of being pregnant. Oh good lord she was actually pregnant! How did this happen? This was something she’s never dreamed of-even as a child before Shannon and Kelly died-she didn’t remember even playing house with them. Would she BE a good mother?

The sound of the door closing broke Jen out of her thoughts, she turned expecting Bruce but was startled to see Natasha standing in the doorway with a plate.

“Hello” Jen said.

“Tony has cornered Bruce-so I took it upon myself to bring you food” Natasha said still at the doorway.

Jen smiled and sat up in the bed “Thanks-You can come in Nat-I won’t bite” she said.

Natasha stared at her-of course she was going to come when SHE wanted to-not because Jen asked. Jen smiled and waited until Natasha decided to come over placing the plate on the bedside table. Jen patted the spot next to her.

“Want to sit down?” she asked-at Natasha’s blank look she snorted. “Don’t worry-I am sitting on Bruce’s side” she added.

Nat smiled and gracefully sat down on the other side of the bed-not right NEXT to her-they weren’t that close yet-but within an acceptable distance to Jen AND the edge of the bed-in case a quick movement was needed.

Nat watched as Jen slowly picked up a cracker taking a small-hesitate bite.

“Want some?” Jen asked motioning to the plate.

Nat took a cracker “Congratulations” she finally said quietly-looking anywhere else but AT Jen.

“I wondered when you were going to say whatever it was you wanted to say” Jen chuckled. “But thanks-since you were the first one” she added in annoyance.

Nat raised an eyebrow at Jen in amusement “The others congratulated Bruce-if that helps. We don’t know what to do in awkward situations like this. Now if Pepper were here-she would have been giving hugs and rubbing your stomach” Nat said with a smile.

Jen looked uncomfortable at the thought of people coming up and touching her “How IS Pepper?” she asked.

Nat chuckled “good I guess. She’s been staying away for obvious reasons” she replied.

“Do you know what the breaking point was?” Jen asked.

Natasha stared at her “you want Gossip?” she asked.

Jen cocked her head to the side “No-I am worried it has something to do with Tony’s reactions to me and Bruce” she admitted.

Nat nodded in understanding “I think it has more to do with Tony then either of you-but yes she said she was sick of being the LAST person to know things” she said. “She was his girlfriend-not is assistant and I think he was forgetting that” she added.

Jen smiled “I always liked how close they became-I was around when they first became friends. I hope this hasn’t ruined that” she replied.

Nat shrugged “I am sure it will be uncomfortable for a while but I am sure it will eventually work out” she replied.

“Talking from experience?” Jen teased.

“I think both of us know what that’s like” Natasha replied.

Jen laughed “true” she said.

 Nat stared for a second “Have you and Bruce talked about this-parenthood?” she asked.

Jen sighed and looked at Natasha “No-not yet. I wasn’t expecting this-I was told I wasn’t going to have children-after-the surgery. We were taking precautions-but I guess this was one of the times they fail” she said.

“You seem calm for someone who never thought they’d be a mother?” Natasha commented in thought.

“Nat when Ducky first told me I screamed at him and had a panic attack” Jen said with a laugh. “Did I ever WANT this-honestly up until this point I would have said no-for thousands of reasons. Even as a kid I don’t remember playing house with Kelly and Aunt Shannon.” She added.

“Are you afraid?” Nat asked quietly.

“Yes-I was raised by soldiers and spies-which aren’t nurturing by nature” Jen said with a smirk. “I am not sure how I will BE as a mother. But-but I know what I lack Bruce will fill in. I KNOW without a doubt he will be a good father” she finished with a genuine smile.

Nat smiled “I’ve seen him with kids-back in Calcutta. I think he will be a great father” she agreed.

Bruce cleared his throat gently from the door-alerting them of his presence. Jen smiled and watched as Nat became more alert, yet stayed in her position.

“Were your ears burning love” Jen asked staring at Bruce-smiling when he blushed.

“Yes-and I realized I hadn’t brought the tea” Bruce replied.

Nat smiled at the exchanged then got up “Well I am going to leave-thanks for the food” she replied.

“Nat you don’t have to leave” Bruce replied with a small frown.

Nat shook her head “Jen needs to rest-and there is only so much girl talk I can take” she replied.

Jen snorted “went over your daily quota” she asked.

“Yes” Nat said smiling as she walked toward the door.

“Thanks Nat” Jen said.

Nat paused by Bruce looking over her shoulder “You’re welcome” she said softly then walked out the door.

Bruce stared at the door for a few minutes then looked back at Jen “girl talk?” he asked.

Jen shrugged “I was kind of surprised too” she replied.

“I think-I have a suspicion- that Nat might have had something similar happen to her as well” Bruce replied placing the mug down and stretching out on the bed.

Jen looked at Bruce in thought “Makes sense-ANY short of secret agency doesn’t want their people to leave-and will stop it from happening” she replied.

Bruce nodded reaching over and gently rubbed her stomach with a smile “I think you’d be a good mother-no matter what you think” he said changing the topic.

Jen blushed “we will see won’t we” she said leaning over and kissing him.

“Tony has a meeting tomorrow-back in D.C-and he all but begged me to come. It’ll help him as well as you-he’ll have a buffer and that way you can be there when Jethro comes back” he said.

Jen nodded “I think that sounds like a good idea” she replied.

“How much longer will this assignment Hetty gave you last?” Bruce asked.

“I don’t know-I promise you-if it gets too dangerous-I’ll have her assign someone else” Jen said.

Bruce smiled nodding his understanding-but keeping silent. Jen cuddled close to Bruce enjoying the moment. She needed to try and rest if they were heading back to D.C in the morning. They were smiling as they drifted off to sleep thinking about their future.

Chapter Text

Stark’s Plane heading back to D.C

“What are your plans?” Steve asked Jen as they traveled back to D.C.

Jen leaned her head on the headrest with a sigh “I don’t know. Tim still doesn’t think Gibbs will be back until tomorrow. I feel I need to go to NCIS-talk to Ducky. Then I don’t know-maybe I’ll go see James” Jen said.

Steve blinked “Do you feel like company? I could use a change of scenery” he replied.

Sam smirked “Would that change of scenery be the forensic science lab?” he teased.

Jen tried to stifle her giggles at Steve’s flush. “I would love the company Steve” she replied.

Tony smiled clapping his hands “Okay so it’s settled. I have three cars waiting for us at the airport. We split up-do our thing and then we can meet back up after” he said.

Jen glanced over at Steve “Do you want to go with me to see James?” she asked.

Steve thought for a minute before he nodded “I-umm-yes if you don’t mind” he stuttered.

“I’ve been meaning to ask you-How was it? The grave. Jethro just told me about it-but I haven’t seen it yet” Jen asked softly.

Steve smiled “It was great and the fact it was made and that’s survived is swell” he replied.

“I think the only way it HAS survived is because it was kept a secret” Jen replied trying not to chuckle at the word swell.

Steve chuckled “that’s probably true” he amended.

“Want to come with us Sam?” Jen asked looking at the other side of Steve-where Sam sat.

“I’d love to but I need to make an appearance at the V.A.” He replied.

Jen’s phone alerted her of multiple messages she received at one time. She raised an eyebrow at Steve-usually multiple messages weren’t good and gently turned her phone around. She had messages from Hetty, G and Pride asking about any updates on Gibbs.

“Work?” Steve asked. “Umm sort of. They are asking for updates on Gibbs” She replied with a smile.

Bruce walked over and sat down-handing Jen a cup of ginger tea “thought you might want to try and sip this” he said gently.

Jen smiled “Thanks” she said.

Steve couldn’t help but smile at them “Have you two talked about what you want?” he asked suddenly.

Bruce eyed him “You mean wither it’s a girl or a boy?” he asked.

Steve nodded at Bruce, who chuckled before he spoke. “I hate to sound stereotypical but I don’t care as long as they are healthy and don’t have a green tint to them” Bruce said earning a swat and glare for his joke.

“What if they do have a green tint to them?” Jen replied. “Are you saying you wouldn’t love them?” she added.

Bruce sighed “Hon-It was supposed to be a joke” he said gently.

Sam chuckled “Come on man-got to leave the comedy to Clint and I” he warned with a smile.

Jen sighed then shook her head “Bruce that MIGHT be a possibility. That’s something we have to think about!” she said in concern.

Natasha walked up and sat next to Bruce “Possibility of what?” she asked-even though everyone KNEW she had been listening in the co-pilot seat.

“Jen might be carrying a baby Hulk” Bruce replied.

Tony chuckled from his spot then noticed everyone was staring at him and shrugged “Just pictured a little green boy with curly hair picking up furniture” he said before he turned his attention back to his phone.

Natasha stared at the couple “Can’t you figure that out? Don’t most OBGYN’s do ultra sounds?” she asked.

Bruce stared at Jen “True. The real question is who do you want to go to?” he asked.

Jen thought grabbing his hand “I would prefer Hank-but I am not sure if HE would feel comfortable with that” She replied.

“Maybe we call Hank when we get to D.C? He might have options for us to consider” Bruce replied.

“By the way. Can we keep this between us?” Jen replied. “I would prefer not to advertise it-until I can’t anymore” she added unconsciously rubbing her stomach.

Everyone nodded “of course” they said.


 

NCIS

“I knew you would come” Abby called as she saw Steve and Jen exit the elevator.

“Of course I would come Abby” Jen said gently leaning back as Abby barreled into her with a hug.

“Abby I told you I called her as soon as Tony called me” Tim replied from his desk.

Abby straightened then startled when she realized it was Steve standing next to her.

Steve smiled “It’s nice to see you again Abby” he replied. Abby smiled

“Steve I am sorry I wasn’t here when you came to give me my parasol” she replied stepping back.

Steve shrugged “It’s my fault! I should have called first” he replied.

Jen smiled and slowly stepped back so she wasn’t in-between them. They didn’t notice and continued to talk-unconsciously leaning closer.

“Has anyone heard from Tony?” Jen asked Tim as she walked toward his desk.

“Yes-the Director told him to finish their job there before he will allow them to come back” Tim replied.

“A little birdie told me you were in the parking lot” Ducky replied as he turned to corner walking into the bull pen.

Jen smiled “Ducky” she said walking over to hug him.

“Where’s Robert?” Ducky asked. “Is he avoiding me?” he asked with a laugh.

“No-No. There was another meeting at Stark Industries I promise” Jen replied with a laugh of her own. “Plus we are trying not to have him seen in D.C as much as we can” she adds. “Ducky have you meet Steve?” She asked.

“Not in person no” Ducky said smiling.

“Ducky meet Steve Rogers-Steve this is Donald Mallard. Ducky has known Bruce-since he was a kid” Jen said as she made introductions.

“Doctor Mallard it’s a pleasure to meet you” Steve said straightening and shaking his hand.

“Oh the pleasure is all mine young man. It’s not every day one gets to meet a national treasure” Ducky said pride fully.

Steve blushed “well thank you” he stammered out.

Ducky nodded “Come my dear-walk with me to my office for a second. Abigail perhaps Steve would like something to drink after their trip” he subtly replied with a wink.

Abby blushed “Subtle Dr. Mallard” she replied with a smirk. “Steve would you like something to drink? We have a vending machine in the back and a coffee machine” she replied hopefully.

Jen could tell Steve was going to politely decline when she decided to intervened. “Steve I’ll be right back-15 minutes at the most. I am feeling a little puckish-you know how I am on planes now” Jen said with a sweet smile as she dug inter pocket for money. “Will you get ME something?” she asked.

Steve smiled nodding “I would love something to drink Abby-Thank You” he replied and followed Abby down the hall.

Ducky chuckled “I see what you did there” he observed from where he was holding the elevator for them.

Jen smirked at him “He needs a push” she replied with a shrug as she entered.

Ducky nodded as he pushed the button for his floor “So Loretta said you received my results” he commented without preamble.

Jen nodded “I did” she replied.

“AND-?” Ducky started to ask.

“I am and I am keeping it” she replied interrupted him.

Ducky chuckled “Well I am glad but I was talking more about how the two you feel about it” he said.

“Oh” Jen said with a snort of embarrassment “guess it would help if I let you finish” she added.

Ducky reached over and patted her hand “that’s fine dear” he said and waited for her to speak.

“I think we are both still in shock” She began slowly. “Neither one of us thought we could have kids. Bruce thinks that procedure I had a few months ago-the one that regrew the tissue? That it regrew organs as well” she said. “We’ve talked with a doctor that we trust with Bruce’s-condition. But I don’t know if he would be willing to be my OB. I-we-want to keep it quiet for a long as we can-for protection” she continued finally running out of steam and just stared at Ducky.

Ducky nodded “That makes sense. I was worried about what you were going to do for a doctor. But I am glad you have options” he replied.

Abby walked in a few minutes with Steve following behind her.

"I would have come up there" Jen said with a smile.

Steve smiled “That’s fine-Abby was nice enough to give me a tour of the building” he replied.

Abby smiled “Dwayne called me. He is coming up to see Gibbs and was making sure you had been told” she replied.

Jen smiled “He’s always looking out for me” she said.

“Are you ok?” She asked looking at Abby-knowing she and Jethro were extremely close.

Abby frowned “I hate that the kid shot him. But everyone assures me-he’s going to be okay” she replied.

Jen frowned “Wait a KID shot him!” she exclaimed.

Abby eyes widened when she realized she had said too much.

Ducky stepped in before it could escalate,“There was a boy that was helping Gibbs-he was being brainwashed by a terrorist organization. Gibbs thought he was getting better-but apparently wasn’t” Ducky said gravely.

Jen frowned “That poor kid” she mumbled.

“Poor kid” Steve replied in confusion.

Jen sighed, looked at the others then focused on  Steve "I was one of those brain washed kids. Nat was one of those brain washed kids. Believe me-at the time-we THINK we are doing the right thing. It’s only after we get out-if we are lucky enough-that we realize how wrong we were” she said sadly.

There was silence –no one knew exactly what to say to that.

“Ms. Scuito I was hoping you could run by something for me” Director Vance said as he walked into autopsy. Then paused when he saw there were other people there. “I apologize-I didn’t realize you had company” he replied with a friendly smile.

“Director Vance this is Genevieve Gibbs and Steven Rogers” Ducky said making introductions.

Vance smiled and extended his hand “It’s a pleasure to finally meet you Ms. Gibbs” he said. Then he turned to Steve “Captain It’s a pleasure” he said with a huge smile.

Jen looked around when a shrill noise was heard. “Whose phone is that?” she asked.

Steve blushed “Sorry-Clint was helping me and haven’t changed the ring yet-excuse me” he said politely as he answered his phone.

“I assume you will be there when Gibbs gets transferred back?” Vance asked turning to Jen.

She nodded “I will. It’ll be interesting if they’ll let me back there right away though” she replied.

“But they let family back there?” Abby replied.

“Yes they let immediate family back. Not sure if they’ll let his niece back there” she replied-not knowing how much Gibbs had told them about their newly found “connection”.

Ducky shook his head “Since you are is only living relative AND a NCIS agent-they shouldn’t give you any problems” he replied.

“I am sorry we need to go” Steve snapped in his “Captain America voice”.

Everyone turned and stared at him in various degrees of shock.

“I am sorry. But that was Phil-they have an emergency and need our help” He said looking at Jen in worry.

Jen knew it wasn't Phil but decided to play along, "That was Phil? That’s not good-ok let’s go” Jen said turning toward the door. “I am sorry-I was hoping to invite you two out to coffee or something” she added staring at Ducky and Abby.

“Don’t you worry my dear. We will see you tomorrow-go make sure everything is ok” Ducky said with a nod.

“I’ll call you if Gibbs comes in sooner” Abby said as she came over and hugged her.

Jen smiled “Thanks” she said-giving Steve a “talk to her look”.

Steve flushed “Thank you again for the tour Abby” he said. “Next time I promise to bring my sketchbook” he adds with a smile.

“I hope you do” Abby said with a small smile watching as the two left.


 

The two men watched as Captain American and Gibbs hurried out of the naval yard. They smiled at one another and pulled into traffic a few cars behind them. The passenger reached into his phone and dialed a number waiting patiently as his call was answered.

“They just left out of NCIS in quite a hurry” he replied to the person on the other end.

“Banner?” the man asked.

“No Captain America and the Gibbs women” the other answered.

“We are following them-we think they are heading to SHIELD” he added.

“Banner I am sure is with Stark-they were inseparable before SHE came into the picture” the man on the other end chuckled.

“The SHEILD cyber unit must have seen our hackers” he added in thought.

“Okay once you are sure they go inside SHEILD-head to her house” he instructed.

“AND once we are there?” the man asked.

“Make sure this time she doesn’t survive the blast” the man growled and hung up before the other could respond.


 

 

Jen stared out the window as Steve drove through D.C lunch traffic.

“What’s the real reason we left?” she asked finally looking over at him.

Steve looked over at her then chuckled “Sam’s right. I can’t lie to save my life” he muttered.

“No you can’t-which is hysterical since you were an actor before you were a soldier” Jen commented.

Steve smiled “That wasn’t Phil-it was Nat. Apparently they have someone trying to get into SHIELD and they think Buc-umm James is the target” he replied. “I don’t know all the details yet-Nat was talking fast” he added.

Jen looked out the window “What are WE supposed to do?” she asked.

“Drastic measures” He replied.

Jen turned back to Steve “Drastic measures? Such as?” she asked.

“Fury wants him disposed of” Steve said darkly.

“So we’re breaking him out?” Jen asked.

Steve stared at her out of the corner of his eye “Yes that was my plan” he replied.

Jen nodded “Ok. Next question-where are you taking him? Don’t you think SHILED will come to my house first?” she commented.

Steve frowned “I haven’t thought that far ahead” he admitted.

Jen nodded “Might want to. I am not saying I won’t help-but you are going to go against a secret government agency that has numerous ways of tracking-capturing AND disposing of someone” she replied.

Steve nodded as he pulled into the parking lot “Let’s see what’s going on first-then I might just improvise” he muttered as they walked toward the door.

Jen laughed “Stark’s rubbing off on you” she commented.

“After 80 years and two Starks-it was bound to happen” he replied with a smile.


 

Natasha was leaning casually against the front desk-waiting for them. She motioned with her head-indicating they were to follow her. She turned and ushered them into an empty room.

“Sorry to cut your visit short” Nat replied. “But I knew both of you should be here for this” she added.

“So what’s happening exactly?” Jen asked.

“Phil was informed by our cyber team that someone keeps trying to hack into our systems” Nat said.

Clint called from the rafters “Are we sure it’s not Stark?” he asked.

Jen chuckled looking up “stop” she chided.

“Stark isn’t as subtle at his snooping as these people are” Nat replied with a ghost of a smile.

“How do you know James is the target?” Jen asked.

“The hack is in the cells and all the information we have on The Winter Solider” Natasha replied.

Steve cleared his throat “Are we sure Fury is going to dispose of him?” he asked.

Natasha paused “If I were him I would” she replied.

Jen nodded “At this point he’s of no use to him or SHIELD in general. Why keep someone around that is of no benefit to him” She replied. “Are they able to search the hackers?” she added.

Clint was staring at Jen-trying to figure out how to voice his  statement without blowing their mission.

“What is it Clint-I can feel your eyes” Jen said in exasperated.

“We have a meeting with Hill about rumors-maybe we can see if all of this is connected?” Clint replied.

“Rule 39 Clint” Jen replied then another thought popped into her head. “And it sounds a little like rule 40” she added.

Clint dropped down rolling his eyes “Are these rules even written down?” he asked.

“Apparently” Jen replied with a shrug.

Steve looked between the two in confusion “Care to share with the rest of us” he replied.

Jen smiled “Rule 39 is there is no coincidences. 40 is if it seems like someone is out to get you they are” was all she said.

Steve nodded “I was actually speaking about this meeting with Hill” he replied dryly.

“A shared mission” Jen replied.

“Does Bruce know about this shared mission?” Steve asked.

Jen turned slowly staring at Steve “Yes he does” she replied.

Steve frowned "I am only looking out for you Genevieve" he began when Clint jumped in.

"Don't worry Cap-she’s only to collect information and report to her boss. I can be the go between without having to divulging anything to any unwanted parties” he said  with a wink-knowing both her and Bruce’s feeling on SHEILD. His watch beeped alerting him-he looked down then looked over at Jen apologetically “We are supposed to meet with Hill in a few minutes” he replied.

Jen nodded smiling at Steve and giving him a kiss as she passed “Thank you for being concerned Steve” was all she said.

“Of course” he replied watching as they left.

He cleared his throat ignoring the smirk Nat was giving him “What do we do with James?” he asked trying to change the topic.

Natasha’s smirk fell as she just blinked at him-without speaking.

“He needs protection from others as well as from himself. He obviously isn’t going to get it here” Steve continued.

Nat smiled “You feel he would be better off somewhere else?” she asked.

“Yes-especially if Fury’s going to kill him” He replied loudly-then realized his volume and muttered an apology.

“You know as well as I do Steve that he needs professional help. He’s still not stable enough to interact with the outside world” Natasha said staring at him with her hands on the desk. She slowly pushed them toward the edge of the desk accidently pushing a file across it and knocking it off. “Sorry Steve-I have a meeting with Fury and Coulson-would you mind picking that up for me?” she asked as she got up and walked out the door.

Steve sat there in confusion-staring at the door. He knew Nat was trying to subtly tell him something. He looked down at the file and papers at his feet-crouched down to pick them up. As he did he scanned the top of one of the pages-making him pause. He picked up the rest and realized it was Bucky’s file. It had everything they had on him-as well as the guard timeline. Steve smiled sharply-he now knew when he could sneak James out of SHEILD without anyone knowing. He glanced at the clock noticing the time and frowned. He didn’t have any time to plan something-he could come back tomorrow-but it could be too late. He sighed as he headed for the door deciding that he needed to improvise-like he told Jen he would.

 


 

 

Clint and Jen were walking toward the door after their meeting with Hill when alarms started going off making them pause.

“What the hell is going on?” Clint asked one of the agents running past him.

“Prisoner’s escaped” he yelled not pausing his momentum.

Jen shook her head and discreetly grabbed Clint’s arm “we need to get out of here” she said.

Clint raised an eyebrow but let her lead him out toward their car. He kept silent as he started the car and drove out into the highway.

“Which way am I going?” Clint asked finally.

“My house for the moment. I need to pack a few things and figure out what to do” Jen said.

“Was it Barnes that escaped?” Clint asked.

“Yes” Jen said.

“Who did it” Clint asked next.

Jen cut a look at him “Who do you think?” she replied.

Clint smiled “Didn’t know he had it in him” he replied as he turned off of the highway.

Jen rolled her eyes “He’s always defended the underdog. This is no different-especially when it’s James” she commented.

“Where’s he going to take him?” Clint wondered.

Jen sighed “I am not sure” she replied.

“Does he know anything about going on the run?” Clint asked.

Jen chuckled “He was a solider Clint-Remember?” she said.

Clint chuckled as he turned into Jen’s driveway “So are you going to move to New York permanently?” he asked.

Jen snorted at the 180 Clint took the conversation “We’ve kind of talked about it-but I think I am. I mean I need to see if Tony WANTS me to move into the tower-but Bruce’s safer there then he is here” she replied.

Clint nodded “Good” he said with a smile.

The curtain fluttered and a shadow flashed by the window in the living room catching both of their attention at the same time.

“Expecting company?” Clint asked as he pulled out his gun.

“No” Jen replied checking her own gun.

“I’ll take the back you get the front” Clint said as he climbed out with fake casualness.

Jen nodded as she casually headed to the front door, reaching for her key. She didn’t sense any danger but you can never be too careful. She opened the door stepping inside and slowly getting her gun out of her pants. She crept toward the living room to see if someone was in there. She took a deep breath when she got to the doorway swinging into the room when her gun drawn to an empty room. She heard her back door bang open-realizing whoever was making a run for it. She almost ran after him when a click made her pause and a bomb exploded sending a wall of fire and sending Jen against the wall her last thought was 'Damn it Rule 40'   before she blacked out.


 

 

 

Steve and Bucky were walking through the woods-heading toward Genevieve’s house.

“I have to ask why you came with me.” Steve asked Bucky.

Bucky shrugged “someone says come with me someone is out to kill you-you follow them” he replied.

The sound of someone barreling through the bush at them-made them stop.

Steve immediately froze-thinking they had been followed and caught.

Then sounds of gunfire and an explosion a few feet in front of them jolted him into what the others called “Captain America mode”.

“Bu-James stay here-I’ll be right back” he yelled as he sprinted after whoever was running.

Bucky watched Steve jump into action and for some reason he felt the urge to roll his eyes. He looked toward the house they had been heading to. He could feel the heat from the explosion from here which meant it was a huge fire. He looked back at where Steve had run then back at what he assumed was the house in flames. He wondered if anyone was inside. For some reason he needed to go see-and if he waited for Steve if anyone WAS in there-they wouldn’t survive. James decided he needed to go see-he figured Steve would find him when he came back. He crept near the edge of the woods-trying not to make any access noise in case someone was waiting. He crept through the woods and into the yard when he saw a figure laying on the ground-he recognized him as he got closer. He leaned down and checked for a pulse-the man flinched-cracking an eye open when Bucky touched him.

“Jen’s inside” he whispered at Bucky.

Bucky frowned looking up at the house-then back down at the man.

“Steve’s on the way-I am going in” he said then headed to the house.

Bucky eased in cautiously scanning the area. He needed to be careful where he stepped-one wrong move and the foundation might crumble. He had no idea where to look for Jen so he needed to sweep each room to check.

“Over here Buck” a voice called from the living room.

Bucky raised an eyebrow-he didn’t recognize the voice but didn’t have time to be cautious.

He sprinted into the room freezing when an older man standing there over Jen’s unconscious body. The man looked up and smiled-even though he was 60 years older than the last time he saw him-his blue eyes were the same.

“Hey Jackie” Bucky said.

“Hey Buck” Jackson Gibbs said.

“What are you doing here?” Bucky asked.

“I didn’t want her to die” Jackson said motioning to Genevieve. "Figured you'd listen to me" he added.

Bucky reached down and gently picked her up. He glanced back over at Jackson. “I have one question” he asked.

Jackson tilted his head “You’re in a burning building and you want to ask me a question?” he replied.

“Why am I still alive?” Bucky asked. “Wouldn’t it have been simpler if I had died when I fell from the train?” he added.

Jackson laughed “Buck when is life ever simple?" he asked. "Most of us don't get a second chance-you do. Just accept it-and don't waste it" he said with a smile.

 “JAMES” Steve yelled from somewhere outside. “The whole place is about to collapse-GET OUT OF THERE” he yelled.

“Go" Jackson urged.

Bucky’s eyes widened and he clutched Jen close to him and sprinted toward a space where a window used to be and jumped. He landed gracefully and kept jogging into the woods for a few feet before he slowed and laid Jen down. Rustling leaves caught his attention and he twirled only to be met with Steve.

“Whoa-just me” Steve said in a calming manner.

Bucky nodded and glanced back just as everyone heard a loud boom and the foundation finally crumbled. Sirens could be heard coming closer-Bucky looked at Jen then back at Steve.

“What do we do now?” Bucky asked.

Steve reached down and gently picked up Jen “I am going to go lay Jen by Clint then we can go” he said.

“You aren’t staying?” Bucky asked.

Steve shrugged “Tony and Bruce are on their way-I am sure Natasha is on her way too. I don’t need to be here” he said.

Bucky glared at him “You’re about to leave your injured friends ALONE by a raging fire?” he asked again.

Steve sighed “James if I stay they will start asking questions, and what are you going to do?” he asked.

Bucky thought about it “Are you sure they are on the way?” he asked.

“Yes” Steve said.

“Okay” Bucky said.

“Okay?” Steve parroted back in confusion.

“Let’s go. I am assuming you have a plan?” Bucky teased.

Steve gave him a small smile, "How do you feel about going home to New York?” he asked.

Bucky blinked “Might be good” he replied.

Steve smiled “Good-now let’s go before anyone sees you” he said.

Bucky nodded and followed Steve-away from the burning remains of Jen’s house.

Chapter Text

Bruce growled and paled at the sight of the blackened rubble that greeted them as Tony sped up the driveway. Bruce didn’t even wait for Tony to come to a complete stop as he jumped out, ignoring the yellow caution tape and raced toward the ambulances. The first one had Clint sitting on the bumper, with his arm wrapped in gauze and an ice pack on his head.

“God Bruce” Clint began when he saw him. “She’s in the other one. Nat’s with her” he added sounding like he did when he had to calm Hulk down.

Bruce had no idea what he looked like-probably a mad man. He was CERTAIN his eyes were green-which was probably the only reason no one stopped him in his mad dash up the driveway. He had to calm down-he was just going to continue to get riled up to the breaking point if he didn’t. He slowed his breathing and shut his eyes-trying to calm down.

“What happened?” Bruce asked with his eyes still closed.

“When we pulled up the driveway-we saw her curtain flutter. We both saw it and assumed someone was inside. I went around back-she went in the front-blocking both entrances to trap them. I unfortunately didn’t see the one in the bushes- he clocked me with something. I was out cold for a few-but it was enough time for the detonation to go off.” Clint said.

“How’d she get out if you didn’t get her?” Tony asked, neither had noticed him join the conversation.

Clint thought about it “Steve came to check on me. But” he said casting his eyes around to make sure no one else was listening. “I think I remember Barnes showing up before Steve. He went in to get her” Clint replied.

“Barnes?” Bruce and Tony hissed.

“He escaped?” Tony asked.

“Are they still here?” Bruce asked.

“No they left before the ambulance got here” Clint replied.

Bruce shook his head turning and heading to the ambulance where Jen was-he had other things to worry about. He opened the door, watching as the paramedics started an IV.

“Sir you can’t be here” one of the paramedics replied when they noticed him.

Bruce just stared at Jen’s prone body.

“Sir are you family?” one of the paramedics asked.

“Yes” Bruce said without thinking.

The paramedic nodded “Well Ms. Gibbs is okay. She has some cuts, bruises and burns but she is very lucky to be alive” she replied.

“You-You need to be careful she’s-she’s pregnant” Bruce said quietly.

The paramedic that was connecting her IV stopped and looked at Bruce. “That’s great to know. Do you know is Miss. Gibbs allergic to any medicines?” he asked.

Bruce thought for a minute then shook his head “No-I don’t believe she does” he remarked.

“Good. Now we need to get her to the hospital for observation Mr.?” The paramedic prompted.

“Dr. Banner” Bruce supplied.

“Dr. Banner, we need to leave. We will meet you at the hospital. Just go to the receptionist and tell they will have you fill out paperwork and sign her in” the paramedic said.

Bruce was about to argue that he was going to come with them but then he glanced around the back of the ambulance. It was cramped and cluttered-there was no way he would stay calm in there. The city and the hospital definitely didn’t need a visit from Hulk today.

“O-okay just please be careful” he stuttered out as the doors slammed in his face and the ambulance drove away.

Bruce glanced around suddenly remembering something-didn’t Clint say Nat was with Jen? She wasn’t there by the time Bruce opened the door-so where was she? He looked toward the trees when Tony walked up next to him.

“What are you looking at?” Tony asked.

“Clint said Nat was with Jen-but she wasn’t there when I opened the back door-so where is she?” Bruce asked.

“Think she’s tracking Barnes” Tony asked.

“Or Steve” Bruce said.

“Wait do you think Steve’s helping him?” Tony wondered.

Bruce sighed “I think you shouldn’t jump to conclusions until you hear their explanations” he said.

Tony nodded “Let me get you to the hospital” he said throwing his arms around Bruce’s neck and headed back to the car.


 

At the hospital

Bruce was pacing the corridor in worry and frustration. Everyone had been very accommodating to them as they waited for a doctor-either with help from Tony’s presence or the fact that a wild haired man with odd changing eyes. Whatever the reason they got right through and were now waiting in the waiting room as the doctors looked over Jen. Bruce checked his watch for the 200th time and sighed again running his fingers through his hair. ‘This can’t be happening again-They were just here-She shouldn’t be back so soon’ he thought desperately.

His phone rang diverting his attention-he didn’t recognize the number but for whatever the reason he decided to answer it.

“Hello?” Bruce said.

“Bruce its Hetty-you are on speaker” Hetty replied.

Bruce sighed “Hetty- god I am sorry I should have called you” he stuttered out.

“Bruce-it’s fine” Hetty replied curtly. “What happened?” she asked.

“The house blew up” Bruce replied dryly.

“Again?” G replied.

“Yes” Bruce replied.

“Houses don’t just blow up” Deeks replied.

“It would seem someone is out to get her” Granger replied.

“Rule 40” G replied.

“What?” Granger asked.

“I’ll explain later” G replied.

Bruce sighed “I can’t get into details I am in the hospital-don’t want….to make a scene” he said. “But apparently someone was here-they chased him and the house blew up” he added.

“But someone was there?” Sam asked.

“That is what Clint said” Bruce said again with deliberate calm. “You will need to talk with him-or Jen when she wakes up” he adds.

“I assume you two will go to Stark Tower then?” Hetty asked-switching topics gracefully.

“Yes” Bruce replied without a second thought.

“Good. I am sorry I can’t come down there-but please keep me informed” Hetty replied.

“Of course Hetty. I’ll call you later. Good bye” Bruce replied as Hetty said her goodbyes and hung up.

“Who was that?” Tony asked as he came around the corner.

“Hetty” Bruce said.

“Did you call her?” Tony asked.

“No” Bruce answered.

“Then how did she know Jen was here?” Tony asked.

Bruce chuckled “Because she’s Hetty” he said smiling.

“Excuse me-Dr. Banner?” A young doctor called as she appeared at the end of the hallway.

“Yes?” Bruce replied as he shot Tony a worried look.

“I wanted to tell you that Ms. Gibbs is rehydrated and has no permanent damage” she replied with a smile.

“The baby?” Bruce asked hesitantly.

“As far as we can tell there is no damage to the fetus either. Do you have an OBGYN?” She asked.

“We have one in New York” Bruce said.

She nodded “Good-umm I would make an appointment with them as soon as you get back to New York to make sure though” she replied.

Bruce sagged in relief “Of course-th-thank you” he said.

She smiled over at him “It’s my pleasure. Ms. Gibbs will be staying here for observation overnight and we think she will be able to be discharged in the morning” she replied with a gentle smile.

“Is she in a room yet?” Bruce asked.

“No she’s still in recovery. If you will follow me I can take you to her” She said then glanced over at Tony. “You can go take a seat in the waiting room and I can have a nurse come and get you when Ms. Gibbs is put in a room” she added.

Tony smiled “That’s ok-I need to get back. I am just here for support. But um Thanks” he said with a customary Stark smile.

Bruce stared at the doctor “Can you give me a minute?” he asked.

He hurried over to Tony and hugged him “Thanks” he whispered.

Tony smiled and hugged him back “Call me when you get in the room and I will go talk with Clint” he said.

Bruce nodded, turned and followed the nurse down the corridor. Tony frowned glancing around wondering why he was smelling cigarette smoke all of a sudden. Wait now he didn’t smell it- it was like someone passed by him and was following Bruce? Tony sighed and shook his head “Ok never thought I’d say this but think I’ve had too much caffeine” he mumbled to himself as he turned to leave.

 


 

Bruce was sitting in the chair head back when there was a knock on the doorframe. Bruce's eyes shot open and was relieved to see Ducky standing there. "Ducky what are you doing here?" Bruce asked.

"Director Vance told me you two were here" Ducky replied as he slowly walked into the room.

"How did he know?" Bruce asked in confusion.

"Apparently Henrietta Lange called him" Ducky answered.

"Has Gibbs arrived?" Bruce asked.

Ducky nodded "yes he's down in recovery while the doctors conference with Taft and come up with a suitable plan for him" he replied.

"Is he conscious?" Bruce asked.

"Tony said he was all the way to the ship. Taft must have given him something for the trip home. I just checked in with him and he was sleeping" Ducky said.

Bruce nodded "I can't believe he survived" he replied honestly.

Ducky nodded "Jethro has always been very fortunate in that regard” he replied with a smile.

Mike stood in the doorway listening to Ducky talk and shook his head in annoyance. "What did I tell you about watching out for yourself? You are such a pain in the ass-both of you" Mike grumbled at Jen as he leaned against the wall. "It isn't just you anymore- you have others to worry about. You're about to be a god damn mother-you keep walking into traps and you won’t survive to see your child" he replied gruffly.

"Shut up Mike" Jen mumbled.

Bruce and Ducky looked at one another with a mixture of relief and confusion.

"Mike? Hon are you awake?" Bruce asked quietly reaching for her hand.

Jen sighed 'good Bruce was here. He'll make Mike go away' she thought.

"Bruce make Mike shut up-he’s being mean" Jen mumbled weakly.

Ducky chuckled at Bruce's worried look. "If I didn't know any better I would have thought they gave Genevieve the good stuff" he replied.

"That's what I am afraid of-I told the EMT people of--her condition. They better not have given her any of the good stuff" Bruce warned trying to be as vague as he could in case there were others listening.

"Look at her chart and see" Ducky replied. Bruce shot him a look then at the chart fixed to the end of the bed and without another word went and glanced through the chart looking for evidence.

"No I don't see evidence that they used any anesthesia" Bruce said.

"Perhaps Franks is just reprimanding her for getting hurt?" Ducky replied.

Bruce nodded smiling "more than likely that's what it is" he agreed.

"Wonder if he has been to Jethro's yet?" Ducky replied with a chuckle.

Mike snorted "always liked him" he replied as the nurse came in on her hourly rounds and Mike decided he has done all he could for the moment-leaving to go check on Probie again.


 

Jen opened her eyes slowly. She blinked in confusion at the white unfamiliar ceiling. She layered there trying to figure out where she was. She could hear the hum of machinery and Bruce's soft snores somewhere beside her.

"Welcome back Genevieve" Ducky said softly as his face came into her line of sight.

"Ducky?" She replied confused.

"Do you know where you're at?" He asked.

"Must be a hospital" was her reply.

"Yes my dear now do you remember why?" He asked.

It all came back to her-Clint and her splitting up trying to apprehend whoever was in her home-the fire-the explosion. She slowly nodded her head. "My house blew up" she replied trying to sit up-groaning at the unexpected pain.

Bruce subconsciously must have heard her groan because he catapulted out of the chair rushing toward the bed. Ducky looked like he was going to intercept him but stopped when he noticed the green in Bruce's irises. "Hon are you ok?" Bruce asked in a rush.

"She's fine Robert--just has some pain" Ducky said gently.

Jen nodded grabbing Bruce's hand "I am usually not in pain when I wake up" she replied.

“You usually are given some form of anesthesia-I would imagine” Ducky replied.

Jen’s eyes flew open-her hands flying to her abdomen “Oh god is it ok?!?” she asked worried.

Bruce gripped her hand tighter “The doctor assured me nothing happened to the baby-but we need to call Hank when we get back to New York to make sure” he assured her.

Jen nodded while Ducky asked “Hank? Is that your OBGYN?”

“Hank McCoy-he’s not an OBGYN but he’s the best doctor for our…. extraordinary DNA” Jen replied delicately earning a snort from Bruce.

“Extraordinary?” he asked amused.

Jen smiled “It was either that or incredible” she joked with a shrug.

Bruce sighed as he kissed her knuckles "You've got to stop scaring me" he gently reprimanded. His other hand unconsciously rand down her side until it landed on her abdomen. Neither realized it until they realized Ducky was smiling at them. Bruce blushed as he was about to move his hand but Jen grabbed his hand to keep it where it was. Bruce just smiled nodded and kept his hand there. A knock on the door caught everyone’s attention-Abbey sticking her head inside.

“Hi I am sorry I hope I am not interrupting?” She replied.

Bruce smiled “Of course not Abbey-please come on in” he replied.

Ducky smiled “Abigail is supposed to be my ride back to NCIS” he replied. “Has Jethro regained consciousness yet?” he asked.

Abby nodded “Yes-he talked with me for a few minutes-but I wasn’t allowed to stay long” she replied with a pout.

Ducky chuckled and patted her hand “I am sure Jethro won’t remember tomorrow” he said.

“I want to go see him later” Jen replied quietly.

Bruce nodded “Of course-we’ll ask the doctor when he comes in” he agreed.

Abby turned and noticed Bruce’s fingers brushing over Jen’s stomach –she gasped and threw her arms around Jen. Jen flinched at the impact and looked over at Bruce and Ducky in confusion.

“UMM Abby?” Jen asked.

“I AM so happy for you” she whispered in Jen’s ear. “I was wondering that day you were screaming in autopsy-Tony and Gibbs wouldn’t tell me-but now I know and I am so happy. Wait-it’s a good thing right?” Abby asked.

“We believe so” Bruce said with a smile.

“Does Gibbs know-Or Tony?” Abby asked.

“No—everything has happened so fast. I did send Jethro and Hetty grandmother and Grandfather Cards—I don’t know if they’ve gotten them yet. UMM I am afraid I haven’t thought about telling Tony-although they were both in autopsy when I freaked at Ducky-so I guess they know” Jen replied.

Abby’s smile got bigger “cards-that’s so cute!” she gushed.

Ducky chuckled “Abigail” he chastised.

“What it is” she defended with a smile. “Besides I can’t believe Gibbs as a grandfather! I am so excited” she gushed.

There was a knock on the door and the doctor walked in smiling at everyone “Good to see you awake Ms. Gibbs” he said as he glanced through her chart. “Everything looks in order-you’ve just sustained a few bruises and a few burns. You need to make an appointment with your regular doctor and OBGYN when you get back to...New York. We will need you to stay for observation overnight but you are free to go in the morning. Any questions” he asked finally focusing on her.

Jen blinked and then looked at Bruce before she spoke “I don’t believe so. Umm but is there any way I can go visit another patient?” she asked.

The doctor paused “Well that would depend” he replied.

“His name is Jethro Gibbs—he was airlifted in earlier today” she replied.

The doctor paused glancing at the others “Give me a few minutes and let me talk with his doctor” he said as he walked to the nurses station for a few minutes. He came back and told them the doctors would allow Genevieve in to see Gibbs but then both patients needed to rest.

 


 

Gibbs smiled when the door opened and Bruce wheeled Jen inside.

“Bruce you didn’t have to push me” She grumbled softly.

“The doctors weren’t going to let you walk down so stop” he said gently.

“Why are you in here?” Gibbs slurred.

“Explosion” Jen replied gently as she rolled closer to the bed.

“Your house blew up?” Gibbs asked confused.

“Yes” Jen said with a frown as Gibbs suddenly smiled at her.

“You’re who she meant” he said.

Jen and Bruce exchanged worried glances, “she” she asked finally.

“Kelly” Gibbs said.

Jen smiled sadly “You spoke with Kelly?” she asked.

Gibbs nodded groggily “She told me I couldn’t give up. That people still needed me” he said quietly. He looked like he was about to drift to sleep when he jerked awake again. “Are you going back to” he paused trying to remember the word “New-York with Stark” he finally said after some difficulty.

Jen and Bruce shared a look “Yes-we have a doctor appointment we need to make-but I’ll be back by the time you get out of here” she promised.

“Good-maybe I’ll come visit you there” he said as he drifted off to sleep.

Jen looked over at Bruce “I don’t know whether to be happy or worried” she replied.

“Do you mean about Kelly?” Bruce asked.

“Yes” Jen replied.

“He had an out of body experience-is it so bad that he spoke with Kelly” Bruce asked as he pushed her out toward the elevator.

“No of course not. I am glad he got to see her” Jen began as they got into the elevator and headed up to her floor. “I just hate that it happened-I guess” she said. “So are we moving to New York? Since I no longer have a house here?” she asked.

Bruce looked over at her “I’ll go wherever you want to go-you know that. But for the time being-let’s go to New York-stay at the tower-rest and try to enjoy this” he said as he gently reached down and rubbed Jen’s stomach.

“We need to call Hank still” Jen reminded him.

“I called Hank before Ducky came up-he’ll be expecting us tomorrow” Bruce said.

Jen nodded smirking “good” she said. “The sooner Hank can look at me the calmer we’ll both be” she added.

“Definitely” Bruce agreed glancing at her. “I’ve got to ask-do you remember who got you out of the fire?” Bruce asked quietly as he rolled her into her room and back into bed.

Jen cocked her head in thought “No-I don’t” she paused thinking. “Nope-the last thing I remember was cursing rule 40” she said.

Bruce thought for a minute “okay refresh my memory-which one is that?” he asked.

“If it looks like someone is out to get you-they are” she replied.

“That’s what G meant” Bruce commented.

“Huh?” Jen asked confused.

“Hetty somehow knew you were in here and called me” Bruce began. “We were discussing what happened as well as we could and G made the comment of rule 40” he added.

Jen nodded “Makes sense” she said.

Bruce leaned over to kiss her gently “okay let’s forget today and try and rest” he decided.

Jen wanted to argue but she felt Bruce start to rub her stomach again and relented. She needed to learn to step back now and try not to get overwhelmed or over worked.

“Okay” she said.

Bruce smirked and raised an eyebrow and Jen stuck out her tongue.

“I can follow orders on occasion” she commented.

“Yes dear” he said.

 


 

Las Angles

Hetty sighed as she sipped her tea watching Granger and Callen walk toward her.

“Gentlemen please sit” she said as they got to her desk.

“Is the mission changed?” Granger asked.

“It would appear so-since he must be getting wind of it” Hetty replied.

“We have no proof of that” Granger answered.

Callen nodded “The only proof is that someone is out to kill both Bruce and Jen” he commented.

Hetty nodded “True” she replied.

“If we continue at this rate though-he will find out Henrietta” Granger warned.

Hetty nodded but kept quiet thinking. “I have sent out feelers to my contacts. We need to strike soon” she replied vaguely.

“Sam and I can maybe make an appearance in New York in a few weeks? Maybe ask for a tour-make ourselves seen” Callen replied.

Hetty nodded “That sounds great” she replied.

Granger checked his watch “I have a call with Director Vance in a few minutes-I’ll see if he has anything new to add” he replied as he left for his office.

Callen stayed in his seat and kept staring at Hetty “Anything YOU would like to add?” he asked.

Hetty glanced at him with a smirk reaching into her purse-pulling out a card and handing it to him. G raised his eyebrow but took the envelope-taking note of the return address and then pulled the card out and read it. He knew his face showed his shock and elation when he realized what the card meant.

“She’s-they’re pregnant” he whispered.

Hetty smiled “It would appear so” she said. “I can only assume this will be a hard pregnancy on both of them and I want to get her out of harm’s way as soon as we can” she replied.

“Of course” Callen agreed getting up to leave.

“Mr. Callen-we need to keep this between us for the moment” Hetty said.

“Keep what between us?” He said with a smile.

 


 

Xavier’s school the following day

Jen and Bruce smiled nervously as they waited in Hank’s examining room. Hank scrubbed his hands and gave them a running commentary in the next room.

“I have looked at the reports the doctors have sent-but I am glad you two came” he said.

“We know you aren’t this kind of doctor Hank-but you are the only one I trust with this” Jen replied.

Hank chuckled “Well I have talked with Helen Cho-since it will get to a point where it is out of my realm of experience-so it will be a joint venture” he called back.

Bruce smiled “We figured that” he said.

Hank laughed as he walked into the room “Okay Genevieve lay down and try to relax” he said as he started to put the jelly on the ultra sound wand.

“Easy for you to say” she teased.

Hank laughed “I am afraid that part will be Helen’s area” he said. “We are very close my dear-but I am afraid we might be crossing a line there” he added.

“What a wonderful cue to walk into” Helen said as she made her presence known making Jen laugh.

“Glad you could join us” Jen said.

Helen laughed as she walked over to Jen-already have washed and gloved before she walked in. “My pleasure” she said. “Now I am going to do my thing” she said twirling her finger. “As Hank-umm Dr. McCoy will be listening and examining on the screen” she said.

Both Jen and Bruce nodded as they tried to relax and the doctors went to work. After a couple of minutes Helen stood up and started rubbing and lightly touching Jen’s abdomen. Hank followed her movements with the wand, eyes on the screen. Hank smiled and paused at something he saw on the screen-Helen went and looked over his shoulder smiling herself.

“Okay what’s going on” Jen demanded.

Hank chuckled “I am sorry I don’t mean to worry you” he said. “Would you like to hear something?” he asked.

They looked at each other than nodded-looking back at Hank. Hank nodded and turned on his speakers. He moved the wand and then after a few minutes of static they heard a heartbeat. Bruce gasped as tears filled Jen’s eyes. Then Hank moved the wand and another heartbeat was heard. It took them a few minutes to realize they weren’t listening to the same heart beat-but ANOTHER heartbeat.

“Wait-tw-twins” Bruce stuttered out tears streaming down his face.

Hank smiled “Yes my friend-you two are having a multiple birth” he said. It was a good thing Genevieve was already laying down-because she would have fainted at the news.

“We are having twins?” she said for clarification.

Hank and Helen exchanged glances “I can’t be certain at this point” he began. “At this moment we only hear two heart beats-but cases have shown that at this stage sometimes fetuses are hiding and aren’t visible for a few more months” he added.

Jen eyes widened “So I-we-might have more than two babies in here?” she said motioning to her stomach.

Hank chuckled and patted her hand “Don’t worry they aren’t reproducing in there-you aren’t going to have a litter” he said in a mild joke.

Jen laughed “Sounds that way to me! Any idea when will you know?” she asked.

“What about abnormalities in the DNA?” Bruce asked.

“My friend I won’t know any of that for a few weeks now-maybe a month. How about you come back in two months and we will look again” Hank said. “And if I find anything serious in the samples we took I will have you come in before then” he adds.

“Sounds good” Bruce said shakenly.

Hank looked over at Bruce “Why don’t Helen and I leave you two alone for a few minutes. Genevieve get dressed and if you have any more questions I will be in my office” he said as they made their exit.

Jen looked over and could see Bruce starting to panic she sat up and grabbed his face “Shh” she said quietly.

“Twins! Twins! More than one” Bruce exclaimed.

“Yes that generally is what twin’s means” she teased.

“I-I can’t believe this” he choked out. “I thought I was excited and now that it’s real I am freaking out” he added.

“Hello! I am freaking out too” Jen said showing him her shaking hands. “But there’s no going back now” she said. “It’s just hit home now” she said.

Bruce sighed as he leaned against her nodding. “We need to start thinking about names and a nursery-all of the little things that comes with babies” Bruce said into her shoulder.

Jen nodded “you’re right. Where do you want to live? It’s up to you and Tony-of course-but it’ll probably be safer to live at the tower-until we stop Ross” she said.

“Jen you don’t like living in a skyscraper” Bruce said.

Jen shook her head “I am not saying forever. I can live anywhere. But I would love to live somewhere you feel safe. Somewhere where our children will be safe. Think about it-our kids can run around the halls-learning to draw with Steve-learning archery from Clint-how to build robots from Tony” she said.

Bruce chuckled “and how to kill and dispose of someone from Nat” he teased.

Jen smirked “or Russian ballet” she reminded him.

Bruce chuckled as he felt himself calm down. “Let’s talk about it-maybe broach the subject with Tony first before we make a decision” he said.

Jen nodded “Want to go back and tell them?” she asked.

Bruce smiled “Let’s go tell the team” he agreed.


 

Stark Tower

The tower seemed quiet as the elevator ascended and it wasn’t until they reached their floor when Jen sensed something was off. She held her arm our halting Bruce from leaving the elevator.

“Jarvis is anything going on?” Bruce asked.

“My apologizes Dr. Banner-but it might be in your and Miss. Gibbs best interest to stay in the elevator” Jarvis replied.

“Why” Jen asked.

“The team is having a tense discussion with Captain Rogers and his new guest” the A.I answered.

“Does this guest have a metal arm?” Jen asked.

“Yes ma’am he does” the A.I replied.

She glanced at Bruce seeing what he wanted to do.

“You can let us out Jarvis” Bruce said.

“If you insist Doctor” The A.I said as the doors opened.

Jen and Bruce walked out and froze when they realized they walked into the middle of the standoff-literally. The entire team was in one side of the common area-then it was the two of them then Steve and Bucky were on the other side of them.

“Jarvis you could have warned us we would be in the middle” Bruce snapped.

The others looked surprised and confused at the couple.

“Hi Guys” Jen replied with a small wave.

“What’s going on?” Bruce asked stepping more in front of Jen.

“I don’t want any trouble. I just came to grab a few things- Natasha forced James inside” Steve said tensely.

Natasha rolled her eyes “Please Steve-he was in plain sight. You are supposed to be on the run” she chided.

“Besides man-you shouldn’t come to the ONE place SHIELD would immediately be looking” Clint replied casually from his spot.

Jen rolled her eyes “I guess I was wrong” she said looking at Clint-who snorted and smirked. “Hi James-welcome to Stark Tower” she added as she glanced over at Bucky.

Bucky looked down-a little embarrassed “Hi-glad you’re okay” he said.

Jen looked confused then glanced at Bruce “Barnes had to be the one who got you out” Bruce said.

“Yo-You did?” she asked glancing back at James.

Bucky nodded over at Clint “He told me you were in there-based on the intensity of the fire I knew if I waited for Steve-you’d be dead” he replied.

The others looked at Bucky in surprise. Then glanced at Bruce as he walked over extending his hand.

“I for one want to thank you” Bruce said quietly.

Bucky stared at his hand then slowly took it and shook it “welcome” he mumbled.

“Ok so I am not saying this is over-or even resolved. But you are looking at a pregnant women who needs to eat” Jen said as she walked to the kitchen. “So do whatever you need to do-I’ll be in the kitchen” she called.

Bruce shrugged and followed her into the kitchen, leaving the others to gape at them.

“Do you think that’s wise?” Bruce whispered as he started slicing vegetables.

Jen shrugged “Probably not-but they –we-do need to eat” she replied.

“They?” Natasha asked suddenly causing the couple to jump.

“Natasha I am holding a knife-seriously” Jen yelled.

Bruce chuckled as he sidestepped them and went to pull out bread condiments out of the fridge.

“You didn’t answered my question” Natasha replied.

“Question?” Jen asked dumbly.

“You said they” Tony replied from the doorway.

Jen feigned innocent “Did I say they?” she asked turning to Bruce.

Bruce nodded “I think you did” he replied.

“Okay what is going on” Tony asked.

“We went to Xavier’s today to have a meeting with Hank and Helen” Bruce began.

“Is everything ok?” Steve asked.

“They did a sonogram” Bruce said.

“Did you get to see pictures?” Sam asked.

“We got to hear the heartbeat” Jen said.

“AND” Tony whined.

“We heard both of their heart beats” Jen replied.

There was silence as each person processed Jen’s statement.

“You’re pregnant with twins?” Bucky was the first to ask from his spot against the doorframe.

Jen nodded glancing at him almost shyly.

Natasha stood next to Jen staring at her stomach. She glanced up at Jen’s face and graced her with a small smile. “Are you scared?” she asked.

Jen chuckled at the tears that suddenly were threatening to fall. “A little” she admitted.

Bruce came over and rubbed her back “I fear the fear will switch between her and I the majority of this pregnancy” He said with a chuckle.

Nat smiled and hugged Jen briefly, then turned and hugged Bruce-surprising everyone. Tony was the next to come over and hug them-even briefly touching Jen’s stomach. Jen smiled as she watched each member come and hug her and Bruce congratulated them. She was trying to hide the rising emotion she was feeling at everything. Unfortunately Clint saw her and rubbed her back-discreetly handing her a tissue.

Jen laughed as she wiped her eyes “It starts” she said.

Clint snorted “Yeah-might want to stack up on tissues” he joked to Tony-making everyone laugh.

“So you guys are going to stay here right?” Tony asked.

Bruce and Jen exchanged looks “We’d like to Tony-it’s up to you of course” he said.

“Of course-I wouldn’t have asked if I didn’t want you here” Tony replied.

“I think it would be the safest place-for Bruce and for them” Jen replied.

Natasha nodded “It makes the most sense” she agreed.

“Besides we can help out with the pregnancy” Clint replied.

Sam laughed “Ok do any of us know anything about pregnancy?” he asked.

Steve smiled “Buck-um James’s sister has a couple of kids before he deployed” he said as he turned toward an empty doorway.

“James?” Steve asked walking out to investigate.

“How long as he been gone JARVIS?” Jen asked worriedly.

“Sargent Barnes slipped out when the team was busy congratulating you Miss. Gibbs” the A.I answered.

Steve came back and stood silently in the doorway.

“Did you find him?” Sam asked.

Steve shook his head “No-he’s gone” he said.

Chapter Text

Gibbs House

 

“Did you decide on going to the hospital or his house?” Bruce asked into his phone as he scrolled through his computer. “I still wish you would have let me come” he added.

“Bruce you know Ross would know the second you were in D.C. This is just a quick visit to make sure he listens to the doctor and doesn’t overdue it, and to check in if anything was salvaged in the house” Jen said.

“You are going to tell him right?” Bruce asked.

“Of course” Jen said. “I decided it would be less stressful if I come here instead of the hospital. But I have been sitting in the driveway for 10 minutes now just staring at the house” she added.

“Why?” Bruce asked.

“I’ve never been inside by myself since before they died” Jen said softly. “The line you can’t go home again keeps going through my mind” she added.

“I am sure he’s redecorated since-wasn’t he married like 2 times since?” Bruce asked with a chuckle.

“3 but I guess your right” she agreed gave a sigh grabbed her bags and climbed out of the car. She climbed to the front door and cautiously tried the door.

“and Of course he leaves the door unlocked” she growled as walked inside and glanced around.

“He leaves the door unlocked?” Bruce asked in amusement.

“Apparently” She sighed as she walked into the kitchen to investigate if he actually had food. “Hmm it’s a good thing I brought supplies-he has no food” she said. She put the phone on video chat as she started putting away the food. She kept glancing at the basement door until Bruce finally commented on it.

“Okay what are you looking at?” he asked.

“The basement door-when I was a kid it was his workshop. He’d always go down there to get away from everyone. I wonder if he still builds boats down there” Jen replied.

“Wait-Gibbs used to build boats in his basement?” Bruce asked amused.

Jen checked the time “I think I have time to sneak down there before he gets home” she replied as she grabbed the phone and opened the door.

“Hon maybe you shouldn’t go snooping around his house” Bruce replied.

“Believe me there’s nothing here. It barely looks like anyone lives here” She replied as she descended the stairs. “Wow he still does” she added and turned the phone to show Bruce the boat hull sitting in the middle of the floor.

Bruce chuckled then got closer to the screen “Is there a door down there?” he asked.

“No” Jen replied.

“How does he get them out?” Bruce wondered.

Jen paused “I have no idea. I don’t think I ever saw him finish one” she said as she stood at the bottom of the stairs and glanced around. Something on his worktable caught her eye and went to get a closer look.

“What’s that?” Bruce asked as the object on the table got closer.

“It’s a model boat” she replied as she picked it up and saw the name chickadee on it. “I think this was Ann’s. Jethro and Uncle Jack built this for her when she was diagnosed” she replied with a small smile.

“And he kept it-that’s nice” Bruce replied.

“No-I bet you anything Jack kept it” Jen replied.

Bruce chuckled “That makes more sense” he agreed.

Jen turned and froze when she saw her card on display on the back table. “Bruce look” she said turning the phone so he could see.

Bruce smiled “Can we take that as he’s happy with the card?” he asked.

Jen laughed “I guess-otherwise I don’t think he’d have it on display” she replied.

The sound of the door slamming shut and footsteps announced someone else was upstairs. Jen looked up “Oops they must be here-I need to get upstairs” she said as she started back up the stairs. “I’ll call you back hon” she said blowing him a kiss and hanging up. She opened the door in time to hear a gruff man talking to a young women.

“Emily you need to get behind me” he ordered.

“Dad-some bad guy isn’t going to drive and park in Uncle Gibbs driveway just to kill him” the young red head replied.

Jen cleared her throat and walked out so they could see her-making sure both hands were in view “That depends on the bad guy” she replied.

The man whirled around reaching for his gun-while his daughter froze eyes widening.

“Who are you” the man barked.

“Genevieve Gibbs” she replied.

“Who?” he barked.

“I am Jethro’s niece” Jen replied.

“I’ve known Gibbs for years-he doesn’t have a niece” the man said.

“Yes he does” Emily and Jen replied at the same time.

The man stared at his daughter in shock “How the hell do you know that” he demanded.

Emily sighed “Mom” she replied glancing at her father. “I found some old photos once-when mom and Uncle Gibbs were married. I asked who the girl was and she told me. When I asked why I had never met her-mom explained that she didn’t live with Uncle Gibbs anymore. Something bad had happened and Uncle Gibbs couldn’t raise her and she went to live elsewhere” she added.

Jen stared at the girl until it clicked “You’re Diane’s daughter?” Jen asked.

Emily looked up at her “Yes” she said.

Jen smiled “I am Jen, Emily-it’s a pleasure to meet you” she said.

Emily smiled “You too” she said.

Jen turned to the man “And you are?” she asked.

The man just continued to blink at her until his daughter got annoyed, sighed and jumped in.

“Dad” she huffed out, “This is my dad Tobias Fornell. He and Uncle Gibbs are best friends” she said rolling her eyes.

A chuckle from the doorway got everyone’s attention “Doesn’t she sound like her mother” Gibbs replied as he looked at his small welcoming party.

“You bet” Emily said as she went up and hugged him. “That’s why I here to make sure you listen to the doctors and threaten you if you don’t” she replied kissing him on the cheek.

Gibbs hugged her and turned to Jen “If I had known you were coming I’d have made up the guestroom” he replied.

Jen gave him a small smile and went over to hug him “I told you I was coming back when you got out” she said. “But you were doped up so I am sure you don’t remember” she added.

Gibbs looked over at Fornell who hadn’t moved from his spot. “What? Don’t I get a welcome back hug from you?” he teased.

Fornell smiled and shook his head “I ought to punch you” he warned. “You are lucky you just got out of the hospital. Now go sit down or something-you need to rest” he said gruffly.

Gibbs smiled “So is it just you or did Doc come with you?” He asked Jen.

She shook her head “No-I was too worried. The second he sets foot in D.C-he will know” Jen replied glancing discreetly at Fornell. “Let me go get dinner started and then I will come sit down and catch up” she paused then stared at Fornell. “I actually brought a lot of food will you and Emily like to stay?” she asked.

Fornell looked surprised but shook his head “No-no my mother in law is expecting us for dinner. But umm thanks for the offer” he replied.

Fornell waited until Jen went into the kitchen before he glared at Gibbs. “Mind telling me how I’ve never known you had a niece?” he demanded.

Gibbs sighed leaning back “She was dropped off at Dad’s and Shannon fell in love with her. When they died-Jen was already living elsewhere and I just couldn’t deal with it-or her I guess” he said with an uncomfortable shrug.

Fornell just stared at the Gibbs-anyone who knew the man knew how he never talked about that time in his life. He had known somewhat about his first wife from Diane-but it was only the last few years since Gibbs had mentioned either in passing. At first he never understood how the man never spoke of them but in the last year-since Diane’s death-he’s finally starting to understand.

Gibbs cleared his throat “And she’s not my niece” he said interrupting Fornell’s internal monologue.

Tobias raised an eyebrow at his friend “What is she then?” he asked.

Emily gasped “Uncle Gibbs is she your daughter?” she asked.

Tobias’s head swung around to stare at his daughter, then the pieces clicked into place and he looked over at Gibbs. “She is your daughter isn’t she?” he asked in wonder.

Gibbs nodded slowly “I just found out a couple of months ago. When she was in the hospital the first time” he replied quietly.

Jen chose that moment to come back into the living room carrying a tray of steaming mugs. “Everything is in the oven. I brought coffee, tea and my special hot chocolate for us” she said winking at Emily as she set the tray on the coffee table.

“Wow thanks” Emily said as she took a sip. “This is so good” she said with a groan.

Gibbs smiled as he reached for a mug “No that’s not for you-that’s for- I’am sorry do you want me to call you Tobias or Fornell?” Jen asked looking over at Fornell.

“Fornell is fine” he replied with a smile.

“Why does Fornell get coffee and not me? Gibb asked.

“Because for all intents and purposes you just had open heart surgery. AND you haven’t gotten the all clear from Taft yet to go back to your regular diet” Jen said as she pointed to the tea.

“How do you know that?” Gibbs replied then rolled his eyes. “You’ve talked with Taft?” he replied reaching for the mug.

“Yep” she replied as she sat down.

“So you’re here to make sure I listen to him? Check up on me?” Gibbs asked in annoyance.

“I think that’s why we are all here Gibbs” Fornell replied earning a chuckle from Jen.

“Part of the reason for my visiting is that, but I also have a meeting with the insurance people in the morning about the fire” Jen said. “Two bird’s one stone” she added with a shrug.

“What fire?” Fornell asked.

“Her house was the one that exploded three days ago” Gibbs commented as he sipped his tea. “Listen I am on desk duty for a while-I’ll come with you” he added.

Jen looked over at Gibbs surprised “That’s sweet-but they actually come to me-so I gave them this address” she said.

Gibbs nodded in agreement “sounds like a plan” he said.

Fornell looked at her “Do you live elsewhere?” he asked.

“At the moment New York” Jen replied.

Emily sighed “I’d love to live in New York” she gushed. “Is it in the city?” she asked.

Jen smiled as she nodded “Yes it is” she replied.

“You seem to be doing fine even though your home burned down” Fornell commented lightly.

“Fine? Not sure about that” Jen said with a small laugh. “I have always bounced around-living a few months one place then going to live a few months in another place- So the concept of “home” is a little different for me” Jen added.

Gibbs straightened “Oh no what about your photos?” he blurted out.

Jen smiled “Don’t worry I have negatives in a safe deposit box” she replied.

Fornell frowned “Who puts negatives in safe deposit boxes?” he asked. “And what photos?” he added.

“I have a few precious phots-some of Kelly and me, Shannon and me-a few photos I got from Uncle Jack. I learned that when you work undercover or have to leave in a moment’s notice-or something gets damaged or destroyed. The only place to put what’s truly valuable is in safe deposit boxes” she said then got up to go check on dinner.

Fornell turned and raised an eyebrow at Gibbs in silent question.

“She was raised by two of the most paranoid people alive” Gibbs replied as if that explained everything.

The sound of the oven opening and the smell of food wafted into the living room. Then cabinets opened and closed as Jen tried to find platters and plates for serving dinner with.

“Do we need to leave?” Fornell asked as Jen came back in.

“Oh no-I just didn’t want to burn it. It can sit and worst case scenario I can reheat it No big deal” Jen said as she sat back down.

“By the way she sends her love and I will probably be bringing food back” Fornell replied to Gibbs.

“She was always my favorite out of my ex-mother in laws. I won’t have to cook for a month” Gibbs replied with a smile.

Jen laughed “Okay I have to ask-what pictures did Diane have of me?” she wondered.

Emily scrunched her face in thought “It looked like some party?” she replied.

Jen looked over at Jethro “That birthday party she threw for you-your 35th?” she said laughing. “She showed up at Xavier’s and somehow convinced him to let me go with her-I have to remember to ask him about that” she added with a chuckle.

Emily looked between the two “I take it wasn’t good?” she asked.

“Well you know how much I HATE surprises” Gibbs said. “And you know how your mom was-it was an interesting birthday” he added vaguely.

Jen looked over and saw the sheepish look on Tobias’s face then a memory flashed in her mind of Tobias and Diane kissing in a coatroom in that party. That made her pause-that wasn’t her memory! She didn’t have to look to know it was Tobias’s memory. ‘This was new’ she thought to herself. She needed to keep an eye on this. She didn’t have time to deal with new powers.

“Dad look at the time” Emily said. “We are going to be late for dinner” she added.

Tobias looked at his watch and winced “You’re right we need to go” he said getting up as Emily hugged Gibbs good-bye.

Suddenly the door opened and Abby, McGee, Jimmy, Ducky and Bishop walked in. That led to more hugs before Tobias and Emily left.

“What’s going on?” Gibbs asked once the door shut.

“We brought food and a little birdy told me Jen was here” Abby said.

“Does your birdy carry a shield?” Jen asked with a smirk.

Abby smirked back “Maybe” she teased.

Jen laughed “Well let’s go put the food in the kitchen” she said helping Abby and Bishop with the food.

“So Gibbs” Jen called. “I want to ask-Did you get that model boat downstairs from Jack?”

There was silence for a second before he chuckled “I wondered if you had snooped. Yes I did. I pulled it out because I thought I could make one as a toy that I could play with my grandchild” he said quietly.

Jen sucked in a quiet breath seeing her chance-she walked back into the living room “well you will have to build two” she said.

Gibbs blinked at her in shock-everyone else in the house had the same look. Until Abby couldn’t stand it anymore and squealed in delight.

“Twins-I am so excited” she screamed running up and hugging her hard.

“Genevieve congratulations” Ducky said coming up and hugging her.

“Congrats Jen” McGee said.

Bishop smiled and came up to her hugging her softly “Are you excited?” she asked.

“Don’t know yet. I am kind of scared actually” Jen admitted softly.

“Every first time parent is nervous. I know I was” Gibbs replied as he slowly stood up coming over to stand in front of her. He stared at her and slowly smiled “But once you hold those little ones you will be fine” he added. “I am going to be a grandpa” he said smiling. “I think I like the sound of that” he said.

Jen smiled and threw her arms around him as the tears started to flow. Gibbs smiled and hugged her rubbing her back soothingly. He reached over for the napkin Ducky was handing him and wiped Jen’s tears.

“This is going to get old fast” Jen laughed as she took the napkin and dabbed at her own eyes.

“I wish Tony was here to hear this” Abby said sadly.

“He will be Abs and he will be just as excited as you” Bishop replied.

“Well maybe not AS excited as Abs” McGee teased.

“When IS Tony coming back?” Jen asked.

“Director Vance says by tomorrow” McGee supplied.

Gibbs nodded “Good I’ll get to see him before my trip” he said making everyone look at him in confusion.

“You going somewhere Boss?” McGee asked.

Gibbs nodded “Yes-I have a friend who’s in trouble-needs my help. Since I am going to be on desk duty I decided to take a few days off and see if I can help him” he said as he went as sat back down.

“That’s nice Jethro. Who’s the friend?” Ducky asked.

“His name is Luis Mitchell” he said as the sound of glass breaking caught everyone’s attention. They turned and saw Jen hand was shaking and her cup was at her feet.

“Are you ok?” Abby said guiding her to sit next to Gibbs.

Jen ignored Abby and just stared at Gibbs. “He-it’s his son right?” she asked brokenly.

Gibbs nodded “Yes” he said.

“Wait who is Luis Mitchell?” Bishop asked.

Gibbs looked at her “He’s the son of the Agent -Mike had watching Shannon” he said simply. “He asked about you-well his mother asked about you. Making sure you were ok. She knew you had some rough years-after” he added staring at Jen.

No one knew what to say to that. Especially since everyone knew the last person to see the man alive was sitting on the couch.

“I-I think that’s sweet she asked about me” Jen said brokenly.

Gibbs nodded “I thought so” he commented.

The smell of smoke made everyone look around. Jimmy yelled and pointed out the window at the driveway- Jen’s car was in gulfed in flames.

“My car!” Jen yelled as she ran to the door.

When she threw the door open a man was there and punched her throwing her backward. Suddenly his neck was snapped and Bucky Barnes was looming over her.

“Jesus James! What the hell” she hissed.

“Get down” James yelled at the crowd hitting the light switch at the same time.

Everyone hit the deck-not even asking who the strange man with a metal arm was. Suddenly there was the sound of tires and a car’s headlights ran across the wall as it passed the house. Everyone tensed as the sound of opening doors could be heard.

“How many?” Jen whispered.

Bucky held up three fingers as he put his other finger to his mouth. The first man walked in and Bucky knocked him out without making a sound. A second man came in when Bucky was busy and Jen jabbed him with her elbow and drove him to the ground, then a well-placed punch and he was lying next to the first man. No one else came through the front door so the other men seemed to be going around to the back. Bucky nodded and slowly crept into the house, staying in the shadows.

“Wait James” Jen hissed going after him.

By the time she got to the back she witnessed James knock each man out without making any sound and tied up in a matter of minutes.

“You ok?” James asked barely breathing hard.

“I am fine” She said.

“Liar” he replied with a smile.

“I almost walked into another trap-this pregnancy is making me stupid” she groused.

Bucky chuckled and turned to leave pausing when Jen gently touched his arm.

“Why are you here?” she asked.

“You need protection” he replied with a shrug.

“Excuse me?” Jen replied sharply.

“Jackie said he didn’t want you to die, there are people trying to kill you. You need a shadow” he replied matter of factly.

“One when is Uncle Jack say that? Two people are trying to kill You too. You need to concentrate on yourself-not another mission” Jen replied.

James shook his head-too many questions make his head hurt. “I need quiet. Time to think-to decide. Couldn’t do that in New York” he replied.

“Then why did you leave with Steve?” Jen asked.

Bucky rolled his eyes “Like I told him someone comes to you and tell you follow them or you might die-you are going to follow them. I might not remember much-but I remember he never lies” he replied softly.

Gibbs cleared his throat as he and McGee came into view. Bucky stiffened at the new people eyes cutting between the three of them.

“McGee get these guys out of here” Gibbs replied.

“Sure thing Boss” McGee said.

“McGee” Gibbs replied.

“Yeah Boss” he answered.

“You didn’t see this extra man here-okay?” Gibb replied.

McGee turned slowly and smiled at Gibbs “What other man Boss?” he said-as he drug the man around the house.

“What about the two in the house?” Jen asked.

“Bishop’s on it” Gibbs replied.

“Sorry” Jen said softly as she felt Gibbs next to her. “It seems everywhere I go lately something is happening” she added.

“It’s not your fault” Gibbs said as he looked behind her. “He didn’t stay” he added glancing around when he realized James had snuck out while they were distracted.

She shook her head “Damn I guess not” she said.

“Was that him? James?” Abby asked as she came outside.

“Yes” Jen said.

Ducky nodded “Perhaps you need to call Robert and Henrietta Lange-make sure they both knows about this” he said to Jen as he appeared next to them.

She nodded “You’re right” she sighed as she turned to go back inside.

“Let’s go inside Gibbs” Abby said as the three of them headed back in the house.

Ducky looked over and noticed a deep frown on Jethro’s face “Jethro I know that look. She is a grown women who has dealt with worse” he reminded his friend.

“Right but she is carrying my grandchildren now” Gibbs snapped. “And she shouldn’t be out in the field” he added.

Ducky smiled “How would you feel if she moved in here to take care of you?” he asked. “You would love her being here I am not saying that. But you would hate your routine broken. If you start babying her now you’re going to damage the fragile relationship you two are trying to create” he said.

Gibbs deflated “You’re right. I hate being babied and she does too” he agreed.

“I think with you, Robert and everyone else-she will start realizing she needs to slow down” Ducky said. “But she was part of whatever this case is before she found out. None of us like being denied to finish what we start-especially not a Gibbs. You just need to trust that she will get the job done without harming herself” he said.

Jen sighed as she walked back in “Hetty is flipping out. She’s sending G here to interrogate these guys. I called Clint as well and apparently Fury is sending Coulson here to talk to them ASAP. SO someone might need to get back to NCIS to talk to them BEFORE SHEILD gets here” she warned.

“Why?” Gibbs asked.

“I don’t trust SHIELD much” Jen replied with a shrug.

“Yet you are working with them?” Gibbs asked.

Jen sighed “It’s complicated. They saved me-numerous times. But secret government agencies have their own moral code. So I am always wary” she said.

“What did Robert have to say?” Ducky asked.

Jen sighed “He’s upset-luckily Tony is there and can talk Hulk down. So we won’t have to worry about an angry Hulk showing up” she said. “An angry captain America is another story-he was pretty upset when I told him James was here then left. I wouldn’t be surprised if he shows up with them tomorrow” she added.

“You both have had a rough couple of days. I am going to make us some tea then you both are going to go upstairs and sleep. I know where the sheets are so I can make up the guest room” Abby ordered marching into the kitchen to make tea.

“Abby” Gibbs warned.

“Gibbs there’s nothing you can do right now-either of you” Abby said. “So you need to calm down-because if either one of you end up back in that hospital you will be dealing with me. AND you will WISH you had an angry Hulk in front of you” she warned.

Jen burst out laughing “yes ma’am” she replied as Gibbs chuckled and kissed her on the cheek.


 

NCIS

The men weren’t speaking and had no traceable features that would allow in finding out either’s identities. Jen sat with Natasha in the observation room watching during Coulson’s interrogation.

“Why are they even here-it makes no sense?” Natasha asked.

“What do you mean?” Jen asked.

“Well they obviously failed their mission-why did they allow themselves to get caught?” Natasha mumbled quietly.

“Natasha I don’t think they allowed themselves. If it wasn’t for Barnes they’d have gotten away” Jen replied.

“I am with her though- it’d would be better if they did talk-since they will probably be killed by their bosses” G replied from his spot against the wall.

“Hasn’t that always been the point of mercenaries? They are dispensable” Jen replied.

“But they are usually sloppier than this” G replied.

Jen nodded “True” she agreed.

“So are you saying this was part of their plan?” Natasha asked looking over at Callen.

“Well if I was the boss that’s what I would do-to give a false sense of security” G replied.

“So how do we figure out who’s the boss?” Jen asked.

“That might take some time” G said.

“Which means I’ll be here for a few days” Jen surmised.

“Might want to warn Banner” Nat teased.


 

A Week Later

 

Jen video chatted with Bruce via JARVIS a couple of times that day-for both of their sanities. Neither expected her to be away as long as she had and talking to one another calmed them.

Jen smiled when she saw Bruce’s face “Hi Hon” she said.

Bruce smiled and adjusted his glasses “Hi yourself” he said quietly.

She raised an eyebrow “Did I wake you?” she asked.

“I might have done something-I hope you like it. Tony and I stayed up all night finishing up. He has movers coming in three hours.” Bruce began with a yawn.

“Movers?” Jen asked.

“You will be moved in by the time you get back” Bruce said.

Jen gave a surprised laugh “really wow! And I don’t have to lift a finger” she said.

Bruce smirked “nope” he said then looked embarrassed. “Tony wanted to design the nursery too-but I put my sizeable green foot down” Bruce said. “I know that is something we should do together” he added with a smile.

“AWW Bruce” Jen said with tears in her eyes.

Tony whistled as he entered “Hey Jen” he yelled.

“Hi Tony” she called. “I hear you got the place done. Thanks” she said.

Tony looked startled “No problem” he said. Then clapped his hands “SOOO I was thinking we need to throw a party once you’ve settled in” he announced.

Jen and Bruce shared a look “A party?” Jen asked.

“Yeah invite as many people as you want-we can call it a house warming party” Tony said.

“A house warming party? Bruce asked.

“Yeah it’ll be fun-we’ll invite some people in SHIELD-maybe some NCIS people” Tony began.

“Tony what brought this on?” Bruce asked.

“What nothing—I need to get back out there-right? Meet people-socialize. She’s moved on so why can’t I?” Tony rambled.

“Pepper’s moved on?” Jen asked worriedly watching Tony deflate.

“I may or may not know that she may or may not have been out with Happy last night” Tony mumbled to the floor.

“Do we want to know how you may or may not know this?” Bruce asked.

Tony looked anywhere but at them “Probably not” he replied quietly.

“Tony I-we-can’t stop you from throwing parties-it is your house after all. But if you were serious I wouldn’t mind inviting some people. It might be nice to socialize-before I can’t move” she teased.

Tony smiled “See I knew you’d be on board. It’ll be great” he said flashing his customary smile as he went to his end of the lab making plans with JARVIS.

Bruce glanced at Tony and then back at Jen “Are you sure this is a good idea?” he asked.

Jen smiled “If it gets too bad you can always put down your sizeable green foot and make everyone leave” she said.

Bruce rolled his eyes “That’s an idea” he deadpanned.

Jen turned to look behind her “Pride just came in” Jen said.

“Pride’s there?” Bruce asked.

“He came down to check on Gibbs. I have to go. I’ll see you later” she said blowing him a kiss as she signed off.

“How’s Dr. lover boy” Pride asked as she came into the kitchen.

She rolled her eyes “Bruce is fine” she said.

Gibbs laughed as he forked food into his mouth. “Might not want to piss her off” he warned.

“Like Linda wasn’t moody when she was pregnant” Pride replied.

“Linda threw a skillet at you” Gibbs reminded him.

“And Linda didn’t have powers to accompany her mood swings” Jen warned.

Pride raised an eyebrow at her “Are these the same powers?” he asked casually.

Jen looked uncomfortable “I don’t know if it’s my body changing-my hormones or if it’s them” she said as she touched her stomach.

Gibbs looked over at her in alarm “How do you figure that?” he asked.

“I may have seen a memory that wasn’t mine. But I haven’t had anything else since. If it continues I’ll call Charles and ask him” she said.

“What was the memory?” Pride asked.

“Fornell and Diane kissing” Jen replied slowly.

“In the coatroom at my birthday” Gibbs replied.

Jen looked over at him in mild surprise “You knew?” she asked.

Gibbs laughed “Why do you think I was so pissed at that party?” he replied.

“Because you hate surprises” Jen replied. “I thought it was Fornell’s memory but was it your’s?” she asked.

“Hell if I know” Gibbs laughed. “You going to tell Bruce” he added.

“Yes I will” Jen replied.

Pride chuckled “So did I hear something about a party?” he asked changing the subject.

Jen laughed “Yeah Tony wants to throw a party-trying to rope us in by making us think it’s about us” she said.

Pride shrugged “Why don’t you? You’ve always liked to socialize-and it’s better to do it before you get too big” he said.

“You guys want to come?” she asked.

“Naw I am out-thanks though” Gibbs said.

Pride shook his head “I am supposed to meet up with Laurel. But I’ll see if the others want to go” he said.

Jen smiled rolling her eyes “It’s not THIS weekend-it’ll be once we get settled in” she said.

“What’s not this weekend?” Callen asked as he walked in.

“Party at Stark Tower” she said.

“I am in” he said smiling. “Just let me know when” he said as he rubbed her stomach as he walked by.

“Stop that” she said in annoyance. “I think that’d be great. He said I can invite anyone” she added.

G laughed “Well thanks” he deadpanned. “Are his parties anything like they say in the media?” he added.

Gibbs chuckled “Media? How would YOU know?” he teased.

Jen laughed “I was at one of Tony’s parties-back when I first worked there. I didn’t know anyone there-actually I don’t think HE knew anyone there. I think enough years have passed that it won’t get so out of hand” she said.

“If it does?” Pride asked.

“We’ve already decided Bruce will put down his sizable green foot and make everyone leave” Jen said with an innocent grin.

Callen laughed “This I HAVE to see” he said.

Chapter Text

Stark Tower

 

Tony stood on the landing smiling down as the last preparations were made for tonight.

Bruce chuckled as he walked up next to his friend “You look like a King surveying his people” he teased.

“Kind of excited-I haven’t thrown a party like this since my failed birthday party” Tony replied.

Bruce raised an eyebrow and snorted “I’ve heard stories about that party. I am warning you now-if it ends the way I heard THAT party ended-I will Hulk out” he replied.

Tony stared sideways at him “Don’t worry-I was overcompensating because I figured it was going to be my last birthday. I PROMISE you on fear of death by Hulk smash it will not end the same way. And you have my permission to end the party if it looks like it’s going in that direction” he said.

Bruce chuckled “Well I hope you have fun. I am sorry it’s taken longer for you to actually throw this” Bruce said.

Tony shook his head “Not your fault. We needed you two to move in and life to calm down” he replied glancing at his friend. “Are you going to get ready?” he asked.

“Yes. I had a finish up in the lab. But I am going up to get ready” Bruce replied.

Tony smiled “Good don’t want you to miss anything” he said.

Bruce rolled his eyes “whatever you say” he commented but his phone beeped indicating he had a voice message-he stared at it with a frown.

“Something the matter with your phone?” Tony asked.

“It’s T, excuse me Tony” Bruce mumbled as he walked toward the elevator and took the call.

Tony watched as Bruce called DiNozzo back-and talked for a few minutes.

“Everything ok?” Tony asked when Bruce had hung up.

“No-Umm T and the others aren’t coming. Apparently Abby is in some sort of semi-hostage situation” Bruce replied.

“My god” Tony said.

“I know-he doesn’t seem that worried. I told him to call when she’s back safe” Bruce replied.

“Definitely” Tony answered. “Uh Oh” he replied after a minute.

“What?” Bruce asked.

“Rock, Paper, Scissors on who gets to tell Steve?” Tony asked as they watched the super solider walk out of the elevator.

When Bruce didn’t respond Tony turned and saw Bruce was in the other elevator-leaving him to do the dirty work. “That’s not buddies Banner” he called as the doors closed.

“What’s not Buddies Tony?” Steve asked in amusement.

Tony sighed “Got some bad news for you cap” he said turning toward Steve.

 


 

Jen sighed as she tried on another outfit-staring at her reflection in the mirror. Everything was getting tighter. Pretty soon she might not be able to hide the growing bump with bigger sizes.

Bruce smiled as he leaned against the door watching her.

“What?” Jen asked in amusement.

“Just enjoying the view” Bruce said with a smirk.

Jen rolled her eyes and huffed in annoyance “Nothing is fitting” she accused.

“That’s my fault?” Bruce asked.

“Yes” Jen replied

Bruce smiled “Then I fully take the blame” he replied.

“God you’ve been around Stark too long” Jen said throwing a shirt at him.

“So I just got a call from T. They aren’t coming because Abby is in some sort of semi-hostage situation” Bruce began slowly as he folded the shirt.

Jen turned and stared at him “Oh My God is she ok?” she asked.

“He didn’t say. But he didn’t seem all that upset” Bruce replied.

“Is someone going to tell Steve?” Jen asked.

“I sort of left that to Tony” Bruce replied a little guiltily.

Jen snorted then turned to the window as a clap of unexpected thunder rolled through.

“Thor’s here” Jen said with a giggle. “He never misses a party does he?” she asked.

Bruce shook his head “No-I heard he was bringing Jane and Darcy this time” he replied.

“Dr. Banner, Ms. Gibbs my apologies for the interruption but your guest are starting to arrive” Jarvis replied.

“Thank you Jarvis” Jen answered as she grabbed a sweater to finish her outfit and Bruce rushed to get ready.


 

20 minutes later they were in the elevator heading down to the ballroom. Both were quiet- in their own worlds- when Jen was hit with multiple emotions and visions. She tried to stay quiet but must have made some noise because Bruce was next to her in a second.

“Hon-Jen are you ok?” he asked.

“Yeah-sure I am” she lied.

“Jarvis stop the elevator” Bruce instructed and the elevator stopped instantly. “What’s wrong?” he asked.

“Emotions and visons” she replied.

Bruce blinked “Your emotions and visions?” he asked.

She shook her head and cleared her throat before she spoke. “I think they are other guest’s emotions and visions” she replied.

Bruce looked confused for a minute “How are you seeing other people’s emotions and visions?” he asked.

Jen looked down at the floor “I-In think I am getting new powers” she mumbled quietly.

Bruce startled “new powers? Since when?” he asked.

She placed a hand on her stomach. Bruce’s eyes flew wide and he back away until his back hit the other wall of the cab.

“Are-Are they your powers or theirs?” He asked after taking a few deep breaths.

“I am not sure” she said slowly as she walked towards him. “Every women’s body goes through changes. Maybe this is just my body’s version of it?” she replied quickly.

“But there is the possibility that the powers you are getting are theirs?” Bruce asked unconsciously rubbing her stomach.

“Yes” Jen said. “I’ve been keeping a journal-making notes” she replied.

Bruce had closed his eyes but they popped open at that.

“Notes? Like research?” He asked with a small smile and a sparkle in his eye.

Jen turned and laughed at the look on his face.

“Really? That’s all I need to say research?” she teased.

“I am a scientist” he replied with a wink. Then shook his head, “No-we need to call Hank-maybe he will be free tomorrow?” he asked.

“That sounds like a good plan” Jen replied as she leaned toward him for a kiss. It started out as a simple kiss that was starting to turn into something else when Jarvis intervened.

“My apologies again Dr. Banner, Miss. Gibbs but sir is starting to be worried and others do need to use the elevator” the A.I replied.

The two pulled away and giggled. Jen tried quickly fix her makeup-and rearrange shifted clothes. “Thank You Jarvis” she replied. “Now that I know what to say-we will continue this later” she whispered as the doors opened to the ballroom. Tony was standing there with a dirty smirk.

“Shut up Tony” Jen said as she stepped out.

“I am not saying a word. Think I haven’t had to stop an elevator before” Tony answered with a waggle of his eyebrows.

Bruce softly groaned “Seriously Tony-stop” he said.

Tony laughed but held out his hands “Okay-okay I am just teasing” he said. “You might want to check a mirror buddy that shade doesn’t go with your complexion.” He added as he walked by them toward the bar.

Bruce started to rub at his lips and rushed to find a mirror. Jen was trying not to laugh but couldn’t hold it in when Tony turned back around and winked at her.

“Maybe you should see if your guest have arrived?” Bruce replied dryly.

“Which one of us are you talking to buddy?” Tony asked amused.

“Either” he replied earning a laugh from Tony as well.

 


 

Chris, Meri, Sonja and Loretta walked into the lobby of Stark Tower and paused taking in the sights.

LaSalle took off his glasses and whistling low “Jen really had found herself with a whole new group of people” he muttered out loud. He looked around and for a boy from Alabama who very rarely got star struck-this was one of those times.

“Wow look at all these people” Merri said in wonder.

Sonja just smiled “So what do you want to do first? Find Jen or mingle?” she asked staring at the others.

“Mingle?” Meri asked.

Chris rolled his eyes “Isn’t that what you are supposed to do at a party Brody?” he teased.

“You guys made it!” Jen called rushing over hugging each of them. “I am so glad you came” she added.

“Wouldn’t miss an infamous Stark Party” LaSalle said with a wink.

Jen laughed “Well if you came for that-might be disappointed. He’s not as wild as he likes to think he still is” she said.

“Still it’ll be a great story” Percy said.

“You look great” Loretta replied smiling.

Jen laughed “Thanks- I’ve had to start buying the next size up” she replied as she ran her hand down her outfit.

Meri smiled “You do look great-but you can’t tell” she replied.

Jen sighed “I am not going to be able to hide it much longer” she commented.

LaSalle cleared his throat “Not that I am against hearing this-I am in need of refreshments” he replied.

Jen laughed “Of course-please go down-get something to drink and mingle” she said shooing them down the stairs.

“Don’t mind if I do” Chris said.

“Remember country mouse-we have to report in the morning” Sonja warned.

“Don’t worry City Mouse I got this” he called back.

“Famous last words” Brody called back.

Steve was standing at the bar talking with Sam-who got Sam’s attention when he noticed Mari walking toward them.

“Meri! You made it!” Sam called with a smile when he turned and saw them.

“Hey Sam!” Meri said hugging him. “I want to introduce you to someone-this is Sonja Percy” she said introducing her friend. “Sonja this is Sam Wilson” she added.

“It’s a pleasure” Sam said extending his hand.

Percy turned and stared at Brody “You never told me you knew an Avenger” she accused lightly.

Meri laughed “I’ve known Sam for years-his best friend dated Emily” she began watching as Sonja face change. “No-it’s ok. We lost touch after Reilly died-honestly. Saw each other when LaSalle picked up Dr. Banner” she added. Meri smiled and moved her head to look at Steve “Hello Captain Rogers it’s a pleasure to see you again” she said smiling pleasantly at Steve.

“Agent Brody it’s great that you all could make it” Steve replied politely.

Sam snorted “Agent Brody-come on man where off the clock” he teased. “Come on let’s get you two a drink and I’ll give you a tour” he said. “You coming man?” he asked Steve.

“No-you all go ahead. I’ll catch up” Steve asked flashing what he hoped was a genuine smile.

Sam frowned “are you sure?” he asked.

“Yes Sam-go play tour guide” Steve teased.

Callen smiled as he watched Wilson leave “Beer please” he said to the bartender. “Steve” he said nodding.

“Agent Callen-I didn’t see you come in” Steve answered.

“That was my plan” Callen replied “and it’s G” he added.

“Excuse me?” Steve asked.

“You can call me G-or Callen if you prefer” he said with a shrug.

Steve nodded “Callen-I must admit I am surprised to see you here” he admitted.

G shrugged “Sam-well everyone really-tells me I never relax. Decided to try it” he said with a smirk. “Bruce doesn’t look as uncomfortable as I thought he would” Callen added when he noticed Bruce.

Steve chuckled “I would assume Jen has something to do with that-and the fact we all gave him permission to leave when he needs to” he said.

Callen nodded “I would guess crowds must make him nervous. He was a small shy thing as a kid” he replied.

“I understand that-I never was very popular as a child. Too thin and sickly. Then there was the war and then the serum and well-I guess deep down I might still be that small boy who couldn’t go anywhere” Steve added with a flush. “I don’t think I’ve told anyone that” he added quietly.

Callen turned slowly and stared at Steve “Your secret is safe with me” he commented as Bruce walked up.

“G it’s great you made it” Bruce said with a smile.

“Yeah-couldn’t pass up an invite to a party at Avenger’s Tower” he replied with a chuckle.

Bruce chuckled “Yeah another moniker to add to Tony’s already long list” he said.

“Billionaire, playboy, Iron Man, party planner?” Steve said with a chuckle.

“Please don’t say that where he can hear it-his ego is big enough as it is” Bruce deadpanned.

“I wouldn’t dream of it” G replied.

Bruce looked around “Is it just you? I believe Pride’s people are here too umm LaSalle, Meri and Percy” he replied as he searched the crowd.

“Yes Meri and Sonja went off with Sam a few minutes ago” Steve supplied. “Have not seen LaSalle though” he admitted.

G laughed “Yeah just me. Sam and Michelle went off on a small family vacation while we are here. Deeks and Kensi had to stay in LA” he said.

Bruce gave a thin smile “Well that’s too bad” he replied.

Callen gave a bark of laughter “Man you are a bad liar” he replied.

Bruce looked embarrassed “No that’s not what I mean. I know Jen was hoping to get everyone here” he replied. “I am sorry Abby couldn’t make it Steve” he added.

Steve nodded with a small frown “I just hope they call as soon as she is safe” he replied.

G cocked his head “Is Abby in trouble?” he asked.

“Tony called me-she is in some sort of semi-hostage situation” Bruce replied.

“That women always seems to get into something” G replied at the two others stare he continued. “She got kidnapped when she came to our office a few years ago. Don’t worry she can take care of herself” he replied.

Bruce sighed “I hope so” he replied then raised an eyebrow as Jen, Loretta and Christopher came toward them.

“G you made it” she said with a huge grin throwing her arms around him.

“Wouldn’t miss it” Callen replied with a warm smile and tight hug.

Jen’s eyes widened as she noticed something at the other end of the room. Bruce happen to notice a look on Jen’s face “Uh Oh” he said softly.

“What?” Steve asked amused.

“I know that look-that’s her meddling look” Bruce said with a smile.

“You do realize I can hear you Dr. Banner?” she asked.

“I would hope so-otherwise I will drag you down to Helen” Bruce deadpanned.

Both Jen and Callen laughed at Bruce. Jen grabbed a beer from one of the bartenders and had it extended to Chris- Which of course made him realize he had missed something.

“What’d I miss?” LaSalle asked.

Jen just smiled and took his hand-dragging him across the dance floor.

“Come with me-I want you to meet someone” Jen said.

As they neared a corner that had a tall blonde and two women she pointed out one couple “Thor-Dr. Jane Foster-This is Agent LaSalle” she said.

Then she turned toward another women “Christopher LaSalle this is Darcy Lewis. Darcy this is Christopher” she said making introductions.

Chris shook his head and extended his hand “Nice to meet ya” he said.

Darcy raised an eyebrow at him but then smirked “likewise-hopefully” she said.

Jen rolled her eyes but smiled “Okay you guys mingle-have fun. I’ll be over there” she said pointing back to where Bruce, Callen and Steve were staring at them.

“Jenny wha’ cha doing” LaSalle said.

“It’s called meeting new people Christopher” she snapped back with a smile then turned around to leave. “And don’t call me Jenny” she yelled behind her as she walked away.

LaSalle turned around and rolled his eyes “Sorry bout that. She thinks I need to meet new people” he replied sarcastically.

Darcy laughed “well I am glad she did. Come on I’ll give you a tour” she said as she linked her arms with his and dragged him off.

Bruce was shaking his head as Jen came back “I don’t know him that well but I DO know her. DO you think that’s wise?” he asked.

“Why-he needs to meet people” Jen replied.

“True but Darcy? He asked.

Jen laughed “I know she stresses you out sometimes. But she’s not looking for anything serious and they’d be good together-even if it’s just tonight” she replied.

“I am going to keep quiet on that one” Bruce replied.

Jen gave him a smile “That’s why you are a genius” she replied with a quick peck.

“LaSalle lost his girlfriend not that long ago-it’s nice you are forcing him to meet people” Loretta replied with a smile, earning a chuckle from the others and a “see” look from Bruce.

Jen sighed as she rolled her eyes “I think they’d be good together that’s all” she replied.

G smiled “Just because you are happy and blissful” he replied motioning vaguely to her, “Doesn’t mean you need to force everyone together” he ribbed good naturally earning a middle finger from Jen.

Clint came over to the group “OOH Jen’s using her middle finger what’d I miss?” he asked.

Jen rolled her eyes “they don’t think I should have introduced LaSalle to Darcy” she replied.

Clint laughed “Well if he can handle it more power to the both of them” he replied with a shrug.

“Loretta you remember Steve and Clint” Jen began. “I am not sure if you’ve ever met G Callen” she finished the introductions.

Loretta smiled “No I’ve heard a lot from Dwayne though. It’s a pleasure” she said.

G smiled “likewise Loretta” he said.

“Well would one of you nice gentleman point me to the dancefloor?” Loretta replied with a smile.

“Of course ma’am let me” Steve said leading her toward the designated dance floor.

“Umm should we be worried?” Clint asked as he watched them go.

Jen laughed “You don’t have to worry about Loretta-although if she wanted to I bet she’d break him” she replied.

“Or teach him a thing or two as she was breaking him” Clint replied.

“Hey guys-having fun?” Tony replied as he pushed into the middle of the group.

“It’s a great party Tony” Jen replied.

“Yeah Stark having a blast” Clint said.

“Good-Good. Mind if I steal your date for a few Jen. I have a bet with Galaga over there and I need Brucie to back me up” Tony said.

Bruce looked over at Jen with a raised eyebrow.

Jen glanced at Tony then over at the other agent in question. Neither seemed drunk yet-but both seemed to be heading down that path. “Up to you” she replied with a shrug.

“Umm sure Tony” Bruce replied and was promptly pulled away.

“Well he lasted longer than I thought he would” Clint replied.

“What’d I miss?” G asked.

“Stark can’t be away from Banner for very long” Natasha replied as she appeared out of nowhere.

“How’s that effect your relationship?” G asked with an amused smile.

“Shut up G” Jen replied with a smile.

G laughed “well I am going to go mingle” he replied.

Jen turned to him “mingle?” she asked.

“I do enjoy to socialize on occasion” G teased as he turned and walked away.

 


 

Steve leaned against the wall surveying the crowd. He smiled when he saw Sam dancing with Meri and Sonja, Clint was dancing with Nat-which was surprising-even Jen had dragged Bruce out on the floor for a slow dance. He felt the dull ache he always gets in these situations. He willed his mind not to go to Peggy and all his missed opportunities. He needed to stay in the present, it was no use living in the past. He sighed and hoped he could sneak down to the gym now that everyone was otherwise occupied. He made it to the gym before he heard Bruce clear his throat.

“Just needed a breather Bruce” he replied.

“We know” Jen replied making him turn around. “You ok?” she asked.

“Of course” Steve replied automatically.

The couple shared a look “You don’t have to be” Bruce replied.

“What?” Steve asked.

“It’s ok not to always be ok Steve” Jen said.

“Parties have never been my thing. I don’t dance, I can’t get drunk. I guess I still feel like the small wallflower who no one paid attention to” Steve said uncomfortably.

“You were excited about this yesterday” Jen replied.

“Well Sam was-but now he’s spent the entire time with Meri and Sonja. Which he should-he should enjoy himself with same dame and not have to be my shadow” Steve replied then froze when he registered what he just said.

Jen’s eyebrow rose “Okay one PLEASE stop saying dame-It’s kind of annoying. Two-“she began when Bruce stopped her.

“Hon” he warned seeing where she was going.

“Bruce” she replied back which he just sighed and made a go on gesture.

“Steve are you jealous?” she asked as gently as she could.

“Jealous of who- Sam?” Steve asked.

“Or of Meri and Sonja” Jen answered.

Steve just stared at her mouth open and blinking. His brain knew what she was implying but he didn’t know how to respond.

“It’s ok to be jealous of Meri and Sonja” Bruce replied after it seemed Steve wasn’t going to respond. “Or of Sam” he added gently.

“Or all of them” Jen added.

Steve looked at Jen then turned to look at Bruce “I-I I don’t know how to answer that” Steve finally stuttered out.

“I know you don’t Steve” Bruce began. “We just want you to know that you are allowed to have conflicting feelings. I can give you some websites to look at if you are curious-just promise me you don’t research anything on your own” he added earning a chuckle from Jen.

“Or open any websites Tony sends you” Jen said.

Steve snorted “Oh I learned that the first week I moved in here” he replied with a smile. Then he sobered up and cleared his throat “I’d um-like to see those websites Bruce” he said not looking at the man.

“You don’t have to say yes right now-think about it. We just don’t like seeing you uncomfortable. I know we kind of ambushed you-and we shouldn’t have” Bruce began. “We just want you to be happy. And if that’s with someone of the same gender-with someone of the opposite sex or with no one at all then that’s ok. But I want it to be YOUR decision-not because you are saying something you think we want to hear” he added.

Steve nodded and deflated with relief. “Thanks let me think about it” he said.

“Ok-and don’t worry we won’t tell anyone” Bruce said.

Steve looked with gratitude “Thanks” he said.

Jen smiled “We might need to get back upstairs” she said.

“Stark might start sending out a search party for Bruce” Steve teased.

Bruce smirked but rolled his eyes at the super solider.

  


 

Callen happened to be searching for the restroom when he noticed a familiar face at the main doors.

“What are you doing here Nate?” G asked his friend.

“Dr. Ross was invited and needed a date” Nate replied as he extended his hand.

G shook his hand then turned and smiled at Betty “Dr. Ross, my name is G Callen it’s a pleasure” he replied.

“Do you work with Nate” she replied with a pleasant smile.

G keep the smile and decided on the version of the truth “We used to. There is a bar over there, the food is next to it and the dance floor is at the lower level. I’ll tell Stark you arrived” he said.

Betty smiled “Thank you” she replied missing the looks the two men were giving each other.

“Come on Betty let’s get a drink” Nate replied as he steered the women toward the bar.

G turned and scanned the crowd until he saw Tony, standing with Sam and Clint.

“We have a problem” he said as he approached the group.

“What do you mean?” Steve asked as he walked up to the group overhearing Callen.

“Betty Ross just showed up-she said she was invited” Callen replied as all the men scanned the crowd trying to find the women.

Tony furrowed his brow in confusion “That’s a lie-why the hell would I invite Bruce’s ex” he replied.

“Who’s the man with her?” Clint asked.

“He’s one of my guy’s” Callen replied. “One of Hetty’s ideas” he added.

“So she was invited? By whom?” Steve asked.

“I would say everyone needs to be on alert-something is going to happen tonight” Callen replied.

“Umm should we warn Bruce?” Clint asked.

“Warn Bruce about what?” Bruce asked worriedly.

“Where’d you come from?” Tony asked startled.

Bruce glared at his friend “I have eyes Tony and when I see everyone conspiring in the corner I start to get worried. Especially when I hear my name mentioned.” Bruce said.

“Any particular reason why Nate and Betty Ross just showed up?” Jen asked.

“Nate says she was invited” Callen replied.

“I didn’t invite her-but we wanted to warn you big guy” Tony replied quickly.

Bruce smiled “I would hope you would at least run it by me” Bruce agreed. “But its ok-it’s not like I haven’t seen Betty in last few months.” He added.

“You have?” Natasha asked out of nowhere.

“Seriously” Tony yelled startled. “You people have to stop doing that” He said clutching his heart.

“She and Nate were at the seminar I spoke at a few months ago” Bruce replied.

Jen turned and looked at Bruce “I told you I met Nate there” Bruce said in response to her strange look.

“You neglected to mention Betty Ross was there” Jen replied slowly.

The others had enough training to keep a straight face-except for Tony. But for once he kept quiet-since he didn’t want to upset his friend.

“You have nothing to be worried about. Let me introduce you-she already knows about you” Bruce said trying not to fidget. “At least you can say hello to Nate” he added as he slowly reached across her hand.

She allowed him to grab her hand and walk her over toward where Nate and Betty were. This wasn’t the time or place to cause a scene. She logically knew she shouldn’t be upset and just chalked up her irrational thought to hormones. Betty turned and smiled when she noticed Bruce coming toward them.

“Bruce I am so glad you are here” she said hugging him.

“It’s good to see you Betty. I want to introduce you to someone. Genevieve Gibbs meet Elizabeth Ross” he said.

Betty smiled and extended her hand “It’s a pleasure Miss. Gibbs” she said politely.

“Likewise Dr. Ross” Jen replied.

“Hey Jen” Nate said as he came up to her.

Jen cocked her eyes to him “Hey Nate” she said smiling and hugging the man.

“You look great-congrats” he whispered into her ear.

Jen smiled when suddenly the room changed color. She frowned and glanced around frantically. There was a red dot on Betty’s chest.

“Snipper” Jen screamed as she lunged for Betty.

A bullet shot through the window and Betty gasped and pitched forward into Jen. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Nate go for his gun and Bruce stumble to the side turning a slight shade of green. Jen grabbed Betty and drug her over behind a pillar. She leaned down grabbing a couple of napkins and applied pressure to the wound-trying to stop the blood. She could barely hear the screams of the others through the ringing in her ears. She glanced around briefly trying to assess the situation but it was just a blur of people running around and screaming-one roar in particular overshadowed the others. She assumed the team was going after the sniper but her focus was on Betty, who was gasping and blinking up at her.

“Keep your eyes open-Betty Please” Jen demanded.

She raised a shaking hand and brushed Jen’s stomach “thank you for loving them” Betty said as she closed her eyes and took her last breath.

“No-No” Jen voice cracked as she leaned down. “Betty Please wake up” Jen said as she crouched down and started CPR-after a few minutes she stopped when she realized it was useless. She leaned over to check her pulse-tears flowing and gently closed Betty’s eyes

“Sweet Betty?” Hulk asked from behind Jen. “Why sweet Betty not moving?” he demanded.

Jen turned and looked at Hulk her vision blurry from her tears and just started to sob. “She’s gone sweetie-I am sorry” she said brokenly.

Hulk looked at Jen then at Betty. He didn’t understand why Jen was crying-and why sweet Betty wasn’t moving. Gone-Jen said Gone-like-like mother was gone. Hulk shook his head and roared his anger. Hulk didn’t want to be here-with crying Jen and gone Betty-his head hurt. He turned and jumped out of the broken window.

Jen ran to the window watching as Hulk bound away. “Hulk” she yelled.

“Do not worry Genevieve. I will follow Hulk and make sure he is ok” Thor said as he took off after Hulk.

Jen shook with suppressed anger and range “He wants Bruce THAT bad he would actually KILL his daughter?!” Jen screamed gesturing to Betty’s body.

“It would seem that way” Natasha said grabbing her hands and rubbing them.

Jen looked at Natasha then down at their hands- her hands were glowing.

“That’s new” she mumbled looking back up at Natasha.

“You’ve never had this power before?” Natasha asked.

Jen shook her head then glanced back down at her bump “I really need to talk to Charles” she muttered quietly.

“We can take you tomorrow” Clint replied as he came up behind Natasha.

Jen shook her head “I can’t think about that right now” she muttered.

Nate walked over and knelt down next to Betty. “I knew he sent the invite-that this might happen. I tried to persuade her not to come” he said quietly. “I am so sorry Betty” he whispered.

G walked towards her “Are you ok? Were you hit?” He asked as he checked her over.

“I don’t think so” Jen said.

“Who’s blood is that” Natasha asked tugging her shirt.

Jen looked down her face paling “Betty’s” she muttered.

G stared at her then pulled her into a hug “Bruce will be okay won’t he?” he asked.

Jen shook her head “I don’t know” she said.


 

Thor followed the path of destruction as he tracked Hulk. He knew from Bruce that Hulk tended to go to wooded areas with lots of trees. He glanced down and noticed there were no more downed trees-meaning Hulk must have stopped. He began to land cautiously-not knowing what mindset his friend was in. When he landed Hulk was just huffing and staring into a cave.

Thor placed Mjolnir down and went to stand next to Hulk. “Hello Hulk” he said.

“Why here?” Hulk asked.

“I am worried about you-we all are” Thor said.

“Sweet Betty gone?” Hulk asked.

Thor nodded his head gravely “I did not stay to see but if Genevieve says it then I believe it is so” Thor said. “I am sorry my friend” he added.

“Sweet Betty dead because of me” Hulk growled.

“We will take down the man who is responsible for this. That I vow to you” Thor said. “We need to head back-Genevieve will be worried” he added.

“No Hulk needs to stay away-Jen will end up like Betty” Hulk said. “Puny Banner right” he added sadly.

“Do you not want to go back or is Bruce telling you not to go back?” Thor asked.

“Hulk decide this-Banner too upset” Hulk replied.

Thor looked over at his friend in surprised “You cannot leave her” he said simply.

“Why?” Hulk demanded. “Don’t want Jen to end up like Betty or mother” he said.

Thor’s eyes widened when he realized they had yet to tell Hulk their good news. “My friend you or Bruce cannot abandon Genevieve right now” he said. “She is with child” he added.

Hulk turned and looked at Thor in confusion. Thor sighed and looked at the sky in thought.

“She has Bruce’s children growing inside of her” Thor said.

Hulk gasped turning and staring at Thor “Jen has babies inside her?” he asked.

“Yes” Thor said relieved he didn’t have to elaborate into more detail with Hulk.

“Banner’s children?” Hulk asked.

“Yes my friend they are Bruce’s” Thor replied. “If you leave now-they will grow up without their father” he added.

Hulk looked across the top of the trees “Father bad” he growled.

Thor immediately cursed his bad wording “My friend-every man is afraid of becoming their parent. I believe Bruce will be a kind, loving parent” he said.

“Like mother?” Hulk asked hopefully.

Thor smiled sadly “I know if I am ever blessed with children I will try to be like my mother-not my father” he said.

Hulk looked at Thor then out at the top of the trees “Need to go back” he decided.

“I think that is a valiant plan” Thor said then he looked around. “I must ask Hulk why did you came here?” he asked.

Hulk looked back at the open cave “This last place Hulk saw Sweet Betty” he said sadly.

“You have my word Hulk we will make sure whoever killed her will pay” Thor vowed.

Hulk nodded “Jen needs Hulk and Banner home now” he said.

“Yes my friend lets go back” Thor said.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

The Man looked through the binoculars as Hulk roared and leaped through the broken window of Stark Tower.

“Was it a success?” The other man asked.

“You doubt my accuracy?” The first man asked.

“Of course not” the second man said.

“I shoot to kill-she’s dead” the first replied.

“We need to call him then” the second said.

He reached for his phone, “its done sir” he said when their boss answered the phone, listening to whatever was being said then hung up.

“He wants us to continue to watch them” he said turning back to the second man.

“Is this guy worth killing your daughter over?” the second man asked.

The first man shrugged “Not paid to ask questions” he replied.

The second shook his head “I know. It’s just surprised me he wanted his only child killed- I thought my father was a bastard” he replied.

“Better not let him hear you say that” the first said. “He will make sure you aren’t found” he added.

“Don’t worry you’ll be found” Another voice said as a Bucky emerged out of the shadows.

“What the hell” the men yelled scrambling for their weapons-shocked at the appearance of this mysterious man.

Bucky shot the first one down without breaking his stride. He had the man with the binoculars in a head lock and a quick twist snapped the man’s neck. He kept both men where they fell-glancing out the window to see if anyone noticed the gun shots. He turned to grab the phone and glanced once more out the window freezing when he noticed her-the red head from Steve’s team. She was in a lower window from the party but she was looking straight at him. They kept eye contact unwilling to be the first to break. The sound of the approaching police made Bucky flinch-finally breaking the trance they were in. He glanced down the street and figured he only had a few minutes to make a clean getaway. He glanced at the phone and knew THEY would be able to track this better then he would. He lifted his hand making sure she saw the phone and pointed behind him. She raised an eyebrow but nodded in understanding. He nodded and turned making a quick escape before anyone else saw him.

 


 

“Nat what do you see?” Clint asked coming up behind her.

“We need to go up there” Nat said pointing to the building across the street. “That’s where we will find the shooter” she added.

“Is he really that dumb to still be there?” Clint asked.

“He’s dead he has no choice” Nat replied.

“How do you know he’s dead?” Clint asked.

“I just saw Bucky up there. I am pretty sure he wouldn’t leave any of them alive” she said.

Clint stared at her “I’ll go up there. Maybe take Steve. I’ll call you if we find anything” he said glancing around and giving her a quick kiss before he left.


 

NCIS LA

Hetty slammed the phone down and cursed. Luckily there was almost no one else in the office to hear her.

“Problems Henrietta” Owen asked.

“Betty Ross was just shot and killed by a sniper” She replied.

Granger just blinked at her “Why is not shocking he would kill is own daughter” he replied. “Do they know who did it?” he added.

“Yes there are two dead bodies that were found in an abandoned apartment across from the tower. Mr. Callen said a cell phone was retrieved and Mr. Stark is tracing it as we speak” Hetty said.

“What’s going on?” Deeks asked as he and Kensi walked in-seeing how tense Hetty was.

“Dr. Ross was shot and killed by a sniper in New York” Granger replied when Hetty didn’t respond.

“Wow- Is Nate ok?” Kensi asked.

Owen and Hetty looked at one another guiltily. Nate hadn’t entered either’s mind when they heard about Dr. Ross.

“I am afraid that hasn’t crossed my mind” Hetty admitted softly. “Although I would presume so or Mr. Callen would have said something” she added.

“I’ll call him and see” Kensi said and reached for her phone.

They watched as it rang and rang-Kensi looked worried as she hung up. “He’s not answering” she replied.

Deeks looked at her “I’ll call Callen” he suggested and called from his phone.

“Hey Man its Deeks-we just heard. Let us know if we can do anything. Call us” he said as he left the message. He paused in thought before he added “If he wanted to make a statement why not go after Jen?”

Hetty looked over at him “Ross knows to get to Bruce is to attack in stages. So it affects him over a long period of time. Chips away at him piece by piece until he strikes and makes his last blow” she said.

“And his last blow is Jen?” Kensi replied.

“I believe so” Hetty said.

“Perhaps we can get Mr. Beale or Miss. Jones to pull up surveillance of the area to keep a better eye on her” Owen suggested.

Hetty nodded shaking her head “Quite right Owen. Good suggestion” she said. “As soon as Mr. Beale or Miss. Jones gets in we will do that. I now have to call Leon and explain this new development” she said getting up to leave.

“In the meantime isn’t there another case the two of you should be working on?” Granger asked looking at Deeks and Kensi.

Both looked like they were going to argue but knew since they were two people short they DID need to get back to their own case.

“Let us know if we can do anything” Deeks said looking at Hetty as he turned to leave-pulling Kensi with him.

Hetty and Owen watched them leave-he turned when he noticed the look on Hetty’s face.

“This isn’t your fault Henrietta” he said.

“Isn’t it?” She said bitterly. “If I hadn’t gotten Nate to involve her-she would have stayed in the background and out of trouble” she said.

“You don’t know that” Granger pointed out.

Hetty sighed “That may be true but all I can think is if I hadn’t gotten her involved she’d be alive” she said as she turned toward the Ops room.

 


 

Avenger’s Tower

Jen walked into the room a whirlwind of emotion. She was obviously upset and worried about Bruce-everyone knew what Hulk was feeling because he had no problem expressing his anger- Bruce on the other hand-not so much. But she also felt anger and guilt at herself. She hadn’t finished her assignment yet and if she had this wouldn’t have happened. ‘This wasn’t supposed to happen. Why her?’ she thought to herself. Suddenly she turned and paused when a sharp pain shot through her. ‘Breathe” she instructed herself and gently rubbed her abdomen. She glanced around and was relieved she was alone for the moment.

“Well Hetty is pissed” G said from the doorway.

Jen smiled “Of course she is” she replied then gasped as the pain intensified.

G was next to her in a second “What’s wrong? He asked.

Jen gasped as she scrunched her face in pain “I hurt” she mumbled.

G turned when he noticed Natasha in the doorway “She says she hurts” he replied.

Natasha nodded “Jarvis informed Clint to get the Quintjet ready and alert Dr. McCoy we are on the way” she said to the A.I.

“Yes Agent Romanov” Jarvis replied.

G was on one end of Jen-Natasha on the other as they gently lead her out of the room toward the garage. They had to stop every few feet when the pains hit. When they finally got there Clint, Coulson and Tony were pacing-waiting for them.

“Good god-what did you do crawl?” Tony snapped.

Jen glared at him “I am sorry Tony-but it takes some time when I have crippling pains that take my breath away” she yelled then almost collapsed.

Tony’s eyes widened then rushed to catch her.

“Damn Jen I am sorry- I am just worried. Is it the-them?” Tony rushed out.

Jen turned her head trying to hide the tears that were threatening to fall. “I don’t know” she whispered.

G glared at Tony “Just breathe Jen okay-you need to try and calm down” he said. “We will get you to Xavier’s and have him look at you. You’ll see everything will be ok” he said.

Jen smirked “You can tell you lie for a living” she said.

G smiled and chuckled “yep” he said rubbing her back.

Coulson cleared his throat “Someone mind informing me what exactly is going on?” He asked sternly.

Everyone glanced at one another no knowing what to say. Jen glanced at Coulson trying to breathe through the pain. “Come with us and I’ll tell you” she whispered.

G and Tony guided her inside the jet to get her comfortable. Clint was in the pilot seat checking gauges-he glanced back worriedly at her.

Tony stood up and glanced at everyone “Someone needs to stay to tell Point Break and the big guy” he said.

“Are we certain all the guest have left?” Natasha asked looking at Tony.

Tony startled with the realization he didn’t know. Then he sighed “I’ll stay start damage control” he said.

Natasha looked at Jen “I’ll stay too-help with tracking these people. Maybe distract Fury” she said with a quick smirk.

Jen smiled weakly at her joke “Thanks” she said.

Natasha glanced at the others uncomfortably but reached down and gave Jen a quick hug “positive thoughts” she whispered in her ear then stood and exited without looking at anyone.

Clint watched Natasha leave then turned and started the jet. Coulson grabbed a seat quickly keeping one eye on Clint and the other on Callen and Jen. He stayed quiet until Clint had leveled off then he unbuckled himself and cleared his throat.

“Okay what is going on?” he asked looking at Jen.

Jen looked up at Coulson “I am pregnant Phil” she said simply.

Phil nodded “well congratulations Genevieve but what does that have to do-“he paused when it clicked. “Wait are you-you are carrying Bruce’s child?” he said slowly in clarification.

“Children” she whispered.

Phil’s eyes widened a fraction but nodded “I see why you are trying to keep it a secret” he said.

“They’ve gone to Hank McCoy and Helen Cho for their –what’s it called again?” Clint asked.

“An OBGYN Barton” Phil supplied.

“Right- Hank and Helen have been the OBGYN” Clint clarified.

“Is it customary to have two doctors?” Phil asked.

“No. But Hank is the only one we trust with Bruce’s radiation” Jen said. “Since Hank is more scientist then medical doctor he asked Helen to help. Since it was her machinery that started this” she added.

Phil nodded glancing at her in thought “The procedure you had to regrow tissue in D.C” he said.

Jen just nodded, “Phil I am trying to keep this as quiet as I can-until I can’t anymore. We’ve already seen how far HE will go to get to Bruce” she said. “Even Fury” she added.

Phil raised an eyebrow but stayed silent “I know your history with Fury-as well as Bruce’s. But you do realize he oversees an organization that protects the world” he said.

“He’s also the man who told all of them you were dead after New York. And let them believe you were dead for MONTHS Phil. He’s man who is just waiting for ANY reason to put Bruce away. I am not saying he’s the bad guy but I won’t give him any ammunition to use as leverage” she replied cryptically.

Clint cleared throat “we are approaching Xavier’s landing now” he said.

As they neared the ground-Hank and Xavier were rushing to meet the jet.

 


 

Halfway back to New York Hulk landed and growled gripping his head. Thor landed next to him and placed a hand on his trembling back.

“My friend are you well?” Thor asked.

“Banner upset” Hulk growled. “Want to leave” he added.

Thor looked at Hulk at a loss for words. Loki was always better at this then he-he was more a man of action.

“For once you are the one who wants to stay and he the one who wants to flee” Thor said. “Let Bruce come back and I promise you I won’t let him flee” he added.

Hulk looked at Thor and nodded “Don’t worry Hulk come back if Banner leave” he said.

“I believe you will” Thor said with a smile.

“Don’t let Banner leave” Hulk begged.

Thor nodded “You have my word” he vowed.

A few minutes later Bruce was laying there disoriented.

“Bruce are you ok?” Thor asked when Bruce began to stir.

Bruce groaned sitting up blinking around. He looked at Thor in confusion “Umm Thor-where are we?” he asked.

Thor looked around “I am not sure my friend. I came searching for Hulk-had convinced him to come back with me when he landed” he said.

Bruce looked confused then his eyes widened when he remember the events of the night. “Oh god Betty” he whispered brokenly.

Thor nodded gravely “I am sorry my friend” he said.

Bruce climbed to his feet starting to pace and fidget. “I can’t go back-I’ll be putting them in danger” he muttered. “I need to go” he said turning only to stop short when Thor spoke.

“You would leave Genevieve when she is with child?” Thor asked in shock.

Bruce deflated “Thor I am putting them in danger if I go back. Look what happened to Betty. Jen will be fine-she’ll be pissed at first but she’s strong and will be able to raise them” he said.

“I agree Genevieve is strong and would be able to raise your children by herself if she needed too. But you aren’t going to battle- you are willingly choosing not to return to the women that you claim to love and help raise the family that is growing inside of her” Thor said.

Bruce flinched at Thor’s choice of words “You leave the women you love numerous times” Bruce reminded him childishly.

Thor nodded “Aye I do. And I miss her every time I need to leave” he said.

Bruce hung his head “I am sorry Thor that was childish” he said.

Thor smiled and gripping the man’s shoulder “I understand you meant no real harm my friend. I too have lashed out when I am scared and angry” he said.

Bruce nodded gasping “I love her but I am going to put them in danger. Look what happens when people love me-they die!” He said loudly tears falling down his face. “It always happens! I don’t know why I felt this would be any different. First it was M-Mom, now its Betty-It’s only a matter of time before he goes after Jen or the kids. I can’t let that happen” he yelled.

Thor looked at Bruce “My friend I understand your fears. But does Genevieve not have more enemies than you? She is in danger every day from her job-it has nothing to do with you. If you do decide to leave there is no guarantee that someone else won’t attack them. It would seem to better plan is to stay to help protect them” he replied.

Bruce shook his head and turned his back to Thor. “The team will help protect them” he argued.

“Bruce why are you trying to leave? Are you not happy with the idea of raising your children? Of having a family” Thor asked softly.

Bruce’s shoulders slumped “I am scared Thor. You know my background-what my father did! I have HIS DNA inside me! I don’t want to be him” he whispered.

Thor frowned “My friend do you actually believe you could EVER hurt your children?” he asked.

Bruce shot him a look “You’ve sparred with what happens when I get upset” he shot back.

Thor’s patience almost snapped but he took a calming breath before he spoke “Bruce I know you are upset and that you and Hulk have your issues but I KNOW for a fact that HE would never hurt your children-they would also be HIS as well” he said.

Bruce nodded “You’re right” he said quietly.

Thor sighed looking at the rising sun “We have been gone far longer than I had hoped. We are going to go back to the tower. I cannot make you stay but I WILL make you tell Genevieve that you are leaving. You owe her that much” he said.

Bruce opened his mouth to argue but looked at Thor and stopped. Most of the time he forgets that Thor is centuries older than the rest of them. But he is reminded in times like this when Thor speaks with authority and purpose from what must be his centuries of experience. Thor was right-he owed Jen an explanation before he leaves her to be a single parent.

Bruce nodded “Okay let’s go” he said with resignation.

Thor raised an eyebrow at Bruce’s demeanor “Come my friend I am taking you home not to your execution” he said with a chuckle scooping up Bruce and taking flight.

Bruce kept his thoughts to himself.

 


 

Xavier’s

Hank gave Jen a reassuring smile as he inserting the needle and drew blood as she laid on the examining table.

“Can you explain the pains? When they started?” Hank asked.

Jen sighed “Tony threw a party today-well I guess it was yesterday now. Umm everything was good until what ended up being the end of the night. Betty Ross came and was gunned down by a sniper.” She said.

Hank nodded “That’s terrible-how is Bruce taking that?” he asked.

“Not sure he Hulked out and ran” she replied.

“So as well as expected” Clint replied from the other side of the room-earning a chuckle from Jen.

“The pain happened after that. I was-am upset. I guess I feel a little guilty. Then the pain started” Jen said.

Hank smiled “I have to run a few tests but it’s my experience that fetus’s do respond to the stress of the parent” he replied gently. “A person who is carrying multiple babies is already at high risk. Add onto that your job as well as your environment is another risk factor” he said.

Jen blinked at him “So I have to quit my job and move?” she asked.

Hank smiled “No-no. I merely said thinking that may be why you felt pain” he said rubbing her hand.

“Have you experienced anything different lately?” Charles asked quietly.

Jen rolled her eyes but smirked “Yes I have” she said. “I have been experiencing empath powers” she replied. “I don’t know if it’s my changing body or if the power is one of theirs” she added pointing to her abdomen.

Charles nodded “May I read you?” he asked as he rolled toward her.

Jen nodded “sure” she said.

Charles reached over and touched his hand on either side of her of head. He closed his eyes for a few minutes then opened them and ran his one hand across her forehead before he rolled back.

Jen smiled “You haven’t don’t that since I was little” she whispered mimicking the hand across her forehead.

Charles smiled “I know” he said. “The babies are still underdeveloped that I cannot tell whither the powers are yours or theirs” he began as he rolled more in the middle of the group. “But for the time being they are yours Genevieve and empath powers will add to a high risk pregnancy” he added.

Jen stared at Charles “Is that all you saw?” she asked.

Charles stared at her “I am afraid you were blocking me subconsciously-but that’s to be expected. I can tell you they will be powerful-but that’s not unexpected” he said with a warm smile.

“Yeah look at their parents” G replied earning a smile from Jen.

“So am I going to be getting MORE unexpected powers?” Jen asked.

Charles sighed “I am afraid I don’t know. A women’s body does change during pregnancy-or so I am told. It is a possibility that you might get more powers before they are delivered” he said.

Suddenly alarms started going off and the sound of running feet could be heard outside the lab.

“Chuck, Hank unidentified group of mutants heading straight for us” Logan yelled as he ran by the lab. He paused when he noticed the others. “Damn might want to get them somewhere safe” he said as he ran off.

Charles glanced at them “Stay here-you will be safe” he said as he rolled away.

Hank nodded “Charles is right. I need to go make sure everything is ok. I’ll be back down as soon as I can” he said as he rushed out.

Clint looked around “Listen I am not one to get into someone else’s fight. But I hate missing action” he replied.

G smiled “me too” he agreed.

Jen smiled as she sat up “Let’s see if they need help” she agreed as the four of them headed for the elevator.


 

Avengers Tower

“Ms. Potts” Jarvis said quietly from the speaker in her office-causing her to jump.

“Yes Jarvis” she replied.

“Someone is in reception looking to speak with Dr. Banner” he replied.

She glanced at the ceiling in confusion “Um do you know who it is?” she said slowly.

“It’s Jennifer Walters ma’am” the A.I replied.

“And Jennifer Walters is?” She asked.

“Bruce’s cousin” Tony replied from the doorway of her office.

Pepper stared at Tony in shock-at the news and at seeing Tony.

“Why is Jarvis calling me? Why not call Bruce?” Pepper said staring at Tony.

“Bruce isn’t here. But even if he were here I don’t want him to see her until I figure out why she is here” Tony said.

Pepper rolled her eyes “You didn’t answer my question” she said.

“I need someone there to reel me in-make sure I don’t upset her” Tony said.

Pepper raised an eyebrow “And you called me?” she asked.

Tony cleared his throat “Pep believe me if there was anyone else I wouldn’t have call-um bothered you.” Tony replied to his shoes.

Pepper looked at Tony impressed that he called-even if she was at the bottom of the list.

“Okay lets go” Pepper said as she stood.

“Really?” he asked. “I expected more of a fight” he added.

Pepper stopped when she was at the elevator and stared back at Tony “Bruce is my friend too Tony. I want to protect him in any way I can” she said. “Why hasn’t she been here before?” Pepper asked as they descended to the main floor.

“When the accident happened-Ross said Bruce had died. To try and cover up his end of the failed experiment. Bruce let his aunt and cousin believe he was dead-to protect them” Tony said slowly. “And never told them otherwise-even when he became an Avenger” he added as the door opened.

“Then why is she here?” Pepper asked.

“No idea” Tony replied. “Ms. Walters?” he asked.

“Yes?” The women pacing by the window asked turning toward the duo.

“I am Tony Stark” he said flashing his customary smile.

“I am Pepper Potts” Pepper said.

“I am here to see Bruce” Jennifer replied.

Pepper stared at her “Please follow us and we can try to answer any questions you might have” she replied with a fake smile.

Jennifer stared at the duo but nodded and followed them. They lead her to a conference room off of the lobby. Once the door was shut and everyone was seated Tony began with the questions.

“How did you hear Bruce was here?” Tony asked.

Jennifer looked at him “I talked to Anthony DiNozzo yesterday” she replied.

“DiNozzo told you?” Tony asked.

Jennifer nodded “He called and asked for Mom. He always seemed to have a thing for her so when the caller ID said it was him she made me answer it” She replied with a chuckle.

Tony blinked at her “He didn’t seem like the type who liked older women but who am I to judge” he replied.

Pepper shot him a look as Jennifer looked confused for a few minutes before her eyes widened in realization.

“Oh god no not Tony-his father Anthony” she replied.

Tony nodded “Haven’t met him yet” he replied.

Jennifer smiled “I would assume Tony is protecting you from him-he’s always had ideas of getting rich quick schemes that involve billionaires. They’ve never ended well” she replied.

“What we were wondering is why are you here today in particular?” Pepper asked successfully and effortlessly changing the topic.

Jennifer sighed “If I called him-I knew he wouldn’t answer. The only way I would get to see him I had to surprise him and just show up” she replied. “Is Bruce even here?” she asked.

Tony and Pepper looked at each other for a moment. “Ms. Walter’s Bruce isn’t here at the moment” Tony began. “But I’ll be honest with you even if he were here-you’d still be in this conference room. He is my friend and I try and protect him as much as I can” he said simply.

“I am his family! Why are you trying to protect him from me!” she argued.

“Not from you per say” Pepper jumped in. “But you might be very upset-understandably -when hearing your cousin who you thought was dead for a last 10 years is in fact alive. We wouldn’t want you to take out your justified anger on him” she added.

“Why did he let us believe he was dead?” Jennifer asked. “I just don’t understand. I cried-he-he was my older brother. I mourned for him and now I hear he’s alive” she added.

“He was on the run for years. For all intents and purposes he was dead. Afterward-I think he was just trying to protect you. But I am afraid you’d have to ask him” Pepper replied.                                        

“But even now-he’s been back as an Avenger for a few years now. I don’t understand” Jennifer replied.

Tony sighed “Sort version he was protecting you. There’s a much longer version-which stems from childhood-but I don’t have to tell you that” he replied.

“Sir I am sorry to interrupt” Jarvis replied.

“What is it buddy” Tony asked.

“I need to inform you Xavier’s school is under stack” he replied as Tony straightened in his chair.

“What!” Tony snapped.

“I just received a text from Agent Coulson sir” the A.I replied. “But I also wanted to inform you Thor is about to land on the landing pad” he replied.

Tony was already up and heading for the door “Don’t let them inside” he said. “Pep got to go. Ms. Walter’s it’s a pleasure” he said not even turning his back toward them.

“Tony” Pepper yelled to his back.

Jennifer looked across at the women “What is going on?” she asked.

“I don’t know” Pepper replied in worry.


 

Thor and Bruce landed gracefully on the landing pad.

“We have arrived” Thor announced. “Now you need to go find Genevieve and talk with her” he added.

“Yeah she not here buddy” Tony said as he walked toward them.

Bruce turned and frowned toward his friend “What where is she?” he asked.

“Clint and Callen-and Coulson took her to Xavier’s. She um-she was experiencing pain and she was worried so we rushed her there” Tony said.

Bruce paled “The-the babies. A-Are they okay?” he demanded.

“I don’t know I haven’t heard” Tony said. “But you two need to get there because Jarvis just informed me that the school is under attack” he added.

Bruce growled his eyes changing green-but didn’t change “We need to go” he said.

“You aren’t changing?” Tony asked.

“Not yet” he said. “Come on Thor” he said.

Thor smiled and scooped him up again “Aye let’s go” he said.

“I’ll be right behind you” Tony called as he called his suit.


 

Xavier’s

Once Jen and the other’s reached the top level of the school the battle had already began. Coulson surveyed the scene before he spoke.

“Barton and Callen see if you can help them out there. Maybe stop those who are lucky enough to get through and think they can get in here. Jen and I will stay inside-make sure the students are protected and safe” he instructed. “Any questions?” he added.

“Nope got it sir” Clint said already heading for the door.

Callen smiled “No questions-but I am not calling you sir. I don’t even call my boss sir” he said with a smirk.

Coulson laughed “Barton does it mainly to annoy me” he said.

Callen chuckled as he pulled his gun and headed after Clint. Phil watched them go then turned to Jen.

“I am afraid I am not familiar with the layout of this place. Where are the easiest access points? We need to check those points. We need to make sure the students are safe while we wait for backup” Phil said.

“Backup?” Jen asked.

“On the way up here I sent a message to Jarvis. I figure some of the team will come and help” Phil said.

Jen smiled “Of course they will” she agreed. “I doubt this place has changed this much” she said as she grabbed a piece of paper and sketched the layout of the place for Phil.

He glanced at the sketched and nodded “okay and where do you think the kids would be?” he asked.

Jen thought for a second “That could a couple of places. Charles has a few secure places back then-but I am sure they have changed since then” she said.

She was interrupted by a scream down the hall.

“Or we could follow that scream” Jen said.

Phil nodded and took off down the hall. He and Jen rounded the hall and saw a mutant chasing after a girl. The girl screamed as the man gained on her and grabbed her. He laughed at her, she shifted out of the man’s grasped.

“Hey Stop” Jen yelled at the mutant motioning with her hand. Suddenly a beam of power shot out of her palm and headed toward him-hitting the corner of the wall over the man’s head. The mutant yelled and jumped away from the wall-wheeling around to face them. When nothing else was shot his way he ran the opposite direction. Phil grabbed Jen before she could start to run after him.

“What the hell was that?” he demanded looking at her.

Jen blinked at him looking down at her hand “I don’t know” she mumbled.

“You don’t know?” he asked incredulously.

Jen pulled away but pointed her hand down “That’s right Phil-I don’t know. I wanted to stop him and that happened” she exclaimed in agitation.

Phil looked at her shaking his head “I’ll go follow him you go make sure the rest of the students are okay” he said.

Jen looked like she was about to argue when more screams came down the hall. She huffed and nodded her head in agreement “Be careful” she said as she turned and ran down the hall.

“You too” Phil said as he ran the other direction.

 


 

Thor flew as fast as he could toward Xavier’s school. He was impressed that Bruce has stayed so calm the entire ride. But as they neared the school they both could see the battle in action Bruce tensed in his grip.

“Are you alright my friend?” Thor asked.

Bruce closed his eyes nodding slowly. “Let’s just get down there” he said.

Iron Man’s mechanical voice called from beside them “Jarvis did a scan. Legolas and Callen are down there-no sign of Agent or Jen. They must have stayed inside the school” he replied.

“Why don’t you go inside and make sure while Thor and I stay outside?” Bruce called.

“Why don’t you want to go inside?” Tony asked.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen and I’d hate for Hulk to ruin parts of the school or god forbid hurt a student if he shows” Bruce replied.

Tony nodded “okay that makes sense” he said as they descend toward the school.

 


 

Jen ran down the hall-grabbing the corner and using it as leverage as she whipped around it. She saw two women blocking the door in black leather.

“Really? How typical” Jen replied loud enough for the two women to turn toward her.

“Who are you?” one asked.

“None of your business” Jen replied.

“Do you actually think you are going to stop us?” The other sneered sniffing. “Especially in your condition” she added.

Jen’s back straightened at the comment-she hadn’t thought of the fact that SOME mutants have heightened senses and would be able to tell. She knew she had the upper hand and that this would be easy but rule 16 popped in her head and she knew she needed to play it cool.

“My condition?” Jen asked coyly.

The other women laughed and Jen saw she had a snake’s tongue. “Oh please-we have heightened senses and you reek of expected motherhood” she said.

Jen smirked “Well guess there’s no use in denying it” she replied.

“Are you a part of this?” the other women sneered motioning around her.

“Is that what Xavier is doing? Building his army with children who aren’t even born yet?” the first women continued.

Jen cocked her head in thought “whatever I say you aren’t going to believe me so think whatever you want” she replied. “But I will not let you hurt these kids-they aren’t a part of this. They aren’t superheroes yet-they are trying to learn how to control their powers and live their lives” she added.

One of the women rolled their eyes at her “Oh please why do you think we are here. To stop these kids before they turn good. Give them a chance to turn to our side before we kill them.” She said.

Jen scoffed “come to the dark side or die? That’s your line?” she replied.

The second women walked toward her “Our boss would LOVE a chance to groom someone into his ultimate solider. The only way that would happen is to groom them before they are even born yet” she replied.

Jen sucked in a breath at the comment. Images flashed through her mind of pictures of her mother-of the lab that Peggy Carter found her in-of Jethro-Shannon and Kelly-Of Bruce. There was no way in hell she was going to allow that to happen. She was deep in thought and didn’t sense the one talking was in front of her until her nail ran down her arm.

Jen’s eyes snapped up to the women in front of her “Don’t touch me” she growled.

“What are you going to do about it?” Nails snapped.

“This” Jen replied and shoved her hands out. A blast of fire and power shot out of them sending Nails though the wall into the battle outside.

Her sister screamed and ran toward her Jen turned and shoved her hands-the way she did the first time. This time actual fire shot out. The women jumped out of the way and the fire caught her pant leg on fire. The women came at her again and Jen closer her hand and punched her in the face. The women flopped back-falling unconscious to the floor. Jen looked down at her hands in genuine fear-this new power isn’t good.

Jen turned as she heard a familiar sound and turned just as Mjolnir came through the opening. Thor had seen the wall explode and had thrown Mjolnir inside to help. Jen extended her hand and to her surprise the hammer stopped. She gasped as she watched the hammer in suspension in front of her, she looked at her hand then motioned it down. The hammer flew to the floor with more power than she had expected-it dented the floor and the impact bounced her and the rest of the furniture in the room. Jen kept her hands out in front of her and slowly stepped away from Mjolnir. Her back it the wall and Jen slide down until she was sitting on the floor.

Tony found her there a few minutes later. He stomped up to her taking in her position and the destruction of the room with fear.

“Jen are you ok?” Tony asked as his face plate lifted.

Jen blinked then looked up at Tony “I stopped Mjolnir” she replied softly.

Tony turned and stared at the hammer and then at her “What?” he asked in confusion.

“I shot fire at those women-because they threatened to take the babies to raise as evil soldiers. Then when Thor threw Mjolnir in here I-I held my hand out and it stopped Tony. Then I motioned it to the ground and it-listened to me-I guess” Jen replied.

Tony blinked at her and whistled low “Wow” he said as he watched Thor call his hammer back to him.

“Tony don’t tell him yet-I-I can’t” Jen stuttered out.

“Don’t tell him what?” Bruce replied as he stepped through the opening. “Jen are you okay” he said as he rushed toward her.

Jen was trying to keep a straight face but the overwhelming emotions of the past 24 hours coupled with her rising emotions were too much. She could feel the tears falling before her brain registered what was happening.

“Bruce” she choked out.

When Bruce got to her he enveloping her in his arms. He pulled her into his lap-running a hand through her hair and rubbing one down her back as she sobbed. He whispered in her ear and listened as she choked out what happened between her sobs. Bruce felt guilty-if he hadn’t left she wouldn’t have had to deal with this on her own.

Jen shook her head-reading his mind “stop-I don’t blame you, you reacted the way anyone would have at her death-which is my fault too” she sobbed.

Bruce stared at Tony as he tried to calm her down from this new breakdown. “We need to find them” he mouthed-eyes flashing green.

Tony nodded “I am on it” he mouthed back. Out loud he said “In a couple of days we might want to test this new Mjolnir power with Thor” he said.

Jen chuckled wetly against Bruce’s neck “Do you think I am worthy?” she teased through her tears.

“Might need to ask Thor on that” Tony replied with a chuckle.

Bruce chuckled “I agree. Let’s go see if Hank and Charles need any more help then I say we need to get you home” he said staring at Jen.


 

Bruce typed in the code and the waited as the door opened to their floor.

“I am going to make us some tea” Bruce said as he turned toward the kitchen.

“Thanks” Jen called as she stepped into their room to change.

“I actually already made some” Another voice said from the kitchen table.

Bruce froze staring at shock at the women sitting there. He blinked and pulled his glasses off and wiped them off before putting them on again.

“Jen?” he asked in disbelief.

“Did you call me?” Jen said walking in behind him-freezing at the sight of the unexpected women.

Bruce glanced back at Jen then at his cousin “uh oh this might start to get confusing” he said.

His cousin got up and stood in front of him-staring at him hard. Then a slow smile appeared as she threw her arms around him knocking him gently into Jen. Bruce froze but then wrapped his arms around his cousin pulling her to him.

“I ought her hurt you for keeping me in the dark all these years” she muttered. “But I’ve missed you so much Bruce and I am so happy you are alive” she added as a few tears ran down her cheek. She pulled back and wiped at her face then extended her hand to Jen “I am Jennifer Walters” she introduced herself.

Jen smiled through her tears and took the offered hand “I am Genevieve Gibbs. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you” she said. Jen glanced at Bruce and could tell he was still shell shocked-she reached over and gently closed his mouth. “So I hope you don’t take this the wrong way-but how and why are you here?” she asked.

Jennifer chuckled “I talked to Anthony DiNozzo yesterday-well two days ago now” she said as she glanced at her watch. “He let it slip he had been in contact with you and that you were an avenger” she added.

“I might text Tony and tell him his father is in trouble” Jen said shaking her head.

Jennifer chuckled “I am an attorney so I grilled him until he told me the avenger part” she admitted. “As for how-I had a meeting with Mr. Stark and Miss Potts earlier today. Then the voice in the ceilling told him about Xavier’s school under attack and Thor-whoever that is-showing up and he ran out. I got lucky and Miss. Potts got called into a meeting and I told her I would see myself out but I wondered into what I found out was the residential area of this tower. I had a nice talk with the voice and he allowed me to come inside” she replied.

“Jarvis” Bruce chastised.

“I am sorry Dr. Banner if I crossed a line. But if Ms. Walters would explain what my stipulations were in allowing her inside” the A.I replied.

Jennifer smiled “He said he would allow me in and if I lied to him or in any way harm any occupants of this floor he would tranquilize me in 3 seconds time and my body would be disposed of in whatever way he saw fit” she recited with a shudder.

Bruce’s eyes widened “JARVIS” he exclaimed. “Does Tony know this?” he asked.

“No Sir does not know Ms. Walters is still in the building” the A.I replied.

“No I meant your unique security system” Bruce commented.

“No Sir does not know that either” the A.I replied. “He created me to watch over him and then the occupants of these floors and there are occasions where I need to put my preverbal foot down doctor” he added.

Jen smiled “He likes you and didn’t want her presence to upset you” she replied kissing him on the cheek, then her stomach growled “Sorry we are hungry. You two sit while I make us something to snack on” she said shooing the two toward the table.

Jennifer sat but stared at Jen’s back “We?” she asked finally looking at Bruce with a raised eyebrow.

Bruce flushed looking down at his hands “Umm Yep. We-are pregnant” he said.

Jennifer gasped head turning between her cousin and the women in the kitchen. “You-You are going to be a father?” she finally got out.

“Yes he is” Jen replied smiling from her spot by the fridge-closing it with her hip.

Jennifer jumped up and threw her arms around Bruce again. “I am so excited for you. I won’t ask all the questions I want to ask-I know you will tell me eventually. Can I tell mom you are alive? I won’t tell her where you are but she-she mourned you too Bruce. I think she took your death worse than she did dads” she replied.

Bruce’s eyes flickered with a mixture of sadness, guilt and fear. He glanced at Jen pleading for assistance.

“Hon you know I’ll back you up with anything you decide. BUT you might want to wait until we catch this guy. It’ll just be one more person that he could use as leverage” she replied.

Jennifer looked over at Jen “What Guy?” she asked.

“Not sure-but I have a guess” Jen replied-but then she glanced at Jennifer. “But it might be good to have someone that could get us information from another angle” she added.

Bruce stared at Jen like she had lost her mind “I don’t want to get her involved” he said quickly.

“Bruce she walked into Stark Tower and demanded to speak to you-then persuaded an A.I to allow her into our home. She’s not some innocent bystander” Jen replied.

Jennifer cleared her throat “How about you two not talk about me like I am not even here and explain what the hell is going on?” she demanded.

Bruce sighed and explained everything that had happened to him since the last time they saw one another-all those years ago. He talked about Betty and Ross, Hulk and Jen-he talked about joining the avengers and ended with everything that had happened in the year since he had reconnected with Genevieve. Jennifer blinked at him speechless when he was finished. If anyone else had told her that story she wouldn’t have believed them-but since it was Bruce she knew it was true.

“I’ll do anything you want-and I promise I won’t tell mom until you say it’s ok” Jennifer said finally.

“Why?” Bruce asked.

“Why am I helping you?” Jennifer asked. “Seriously Bruce-you are basically my older brother. I grew up with you trying to look out for me. It’s finally my turn to return the favor” she replied.

Jen smiled as she brought plates to the table “Good I am glad that’s settled. Now sorry it’s just sandwiches-nothing fancy after the day we’ve had” she said as she said down in the seat at the end of the table.

 


 

 

Washington D.C

 

The man hung up the phone and looked over at his boss with a frown.

“My men have been killed” he said.

Ross shrugged his shoulders “all they did was fail. It’s not like anyone is going to miss them” he replied.

The other nodded “True-do you have anyone else in mind to finish this?” he asked.

Ross nodded “men we can get-don’t worry about that” he replied. “I think it is time to show our secret weapon” he added with an evil grin.

“Secret weapon sir?” the man asked.

Ross nodded and reached for his phone “Release Banner” he said then hung up.

“Banner?” the man asked.

“The last piece of my plan. He’s the one man who still has the ability to tear HIM into nothing” Ross said.

“Where have you been hiding him?” The man asked.

Ross shot a look at the man “I think it’ll be best if we keep some mystery in this relationship” he said signaling that the meeting was over.

Once Ross was alone he turned and chuckled out into the skyline “This I can’t wait to see” he chuckled.

Chapter Text

Bruce walked into the lab and froze when he realized it wasn’t his lab in the tower. This was his lab from his time in the army-the one he shared with Betty. He whirled around frantic trying to figure out what was going on-whirling back around when he heard someone walk in behind him. He gasped when he saw Betty walk inside, glancing at him with her gentle smile.

“What are you doing here?” Bruce asked.

“What do you think I am doing here?” Betty asked looking back at him.

“I don’t know why” Bruce lied.

Betty sighed and stared at him” Bruce I don’t think you dreamed about me this much when we were together!” she said with a chuckled.

Bruce cocked his head in thought then nodded “Probably true” he concluded.

“You have nothing to feel guilty about” Betty said.

“How can you stand there and tell me that” Bruce snapped back.

“Bruce YOU didn’t kill me-HE did” she replied.

Bruce shook his head “Doesn’t matter” he said.

“It DOES matter” Betty argued. “I want you to have a good life-that’s what I’ve always wanted for you. This isn’t healthy-even by your standards! You are starting a family Bruce and you need to be honest with her.” She added.

Bruce shook his head and scoffed “Do you actually think she’d be okay with the fact that I am terrified of becoming my father-of losing her the same way I lost you” he whimpered.

Betty smiled “You might be surprised” she said and faded away.

“Dr. Banner?” Jarvis replied quietly making the scientist jerk awake.

“I am sorry to wake you sir but you were having a nightmare and your heart rate was elevating rapidly” The A.I continued.

“Thank you Jarvis” he said then realized he was alone in the bed. “Where’s Jen?” he asked.

“Agent Callen has been called away earlier this morning Sir and she got up to see him off, now you should find her at the range” the A.I replied.

Bruce nodded sighing as he laid back down running his hand through his hair in frustration. This was getting ridicules- he’s dreamed of Betty every day since her death. He was used to nightmares-staying up for days on end and keeping things bottled up inside. But it was different now-he couldn’t close himself off like he’s used to doing. It was effecting both of them-he knew for a fact Jen hadn’t sought the gun range in years-which meant she was nervous- They needed to talk.


 

Earlier that morning

Jen was leaning against the side of the cab as Callen placed his bag in the trunk.

“Do you have any idea what the new job is?” Jen asked.

Callen shrugged “No Hetty wouldn’t tell me-but it must be important if she’s pulling me off this one” he said as he came to her and hugged her. “Be safe and Talk to him” he said.

Jen snorted “You are giving me relationship advice?” she teased.

He chuckled “Hey I can tell you the one thing that ruins relationship is not being honest. You’ve both had some much happen in the last few months and you haven’t really talked about it. Every time you try something else happens” he said.

Jen sighed “Yeah I know-I mean we have talked but not enough” she agreed.

“Aren’t you supposed to go back to D.C in a few days?” G asked.

“Yep” Jen said popping the P.

“There you go-that’s your incentive. Clear the air before you go-or Gibbs will get involved” G teased.

Jen laughed “Yeah-I don’t need relationship advice from HIM either” she said hugging G again. “Be safe and thanks” she said as she watched the man climb into the taxi.

She sighed as she turned back toward the tower-she needed to shoot something.

 


 

Bruce held two mugs of tea as the elevators opened to the basement floor. He smiled when he noticed Clint leaning against the doorway to the gun range.

“Good Morning Clint” Bruce said.

Clint turned and smiled “Hey Doc” he said.

“How long as she been destroying the targets?” Bruce asked as he motioned with his chin toward the room.

“Only an hour-man I forgot how good she was” he replied with a gleam in his eye.

Bruce smiled uncomfortably “She was taught by the best-apparently” he said. “She only does this when she gets truly nervous” he added.

Clint nodded “Well after what happened-I can get why she’s nervous” he agreed.

Bruce nodded “Well I haven’t been much help-so I am attempting to stop that” he said motioning to the mug in his hand.

Clint winked at him “Well let me get out of your way then” he said as he turned and strolled toward the elevator.

Bruce chuckled “Are you still coming with us to D.C?” he asked.

Clint nodded “I am security man-you aren’t getting rid of me until we catch this guy” he said.

Bruce smiled “Good” he said.

“Good luck man” Clint said as the elevators closed in him.

Bruce took Clint’s spot on the doorway and watched Jen. She was in the zone as she smoothly reloaded the gun with ease that comes from years of practice. She raised the gun cocked the safety in one fluid motion and fired repeatedly until there was no bullets left. She placed the gun on the table in front of her before she spoke.

“What are you doing?” She asked. “You should be asleep” she added.

Bruce chuckled “Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black” he added.

Jen laughed as she turned “I wanted to see G off. Besides they are being restless” she said rubbing her stomach.

“Are you keeping your mother up” he said handing one of the mugs and rubbing her stomach with the other.

Jen smiled leaned over to give him a kiss as she took the mug “Thanks Hon” she said and turned to leave but paused when Bruce kept his hand on her preventing her to leave.

“We need to talk” he said quietly. “Before something prevents us again” he added with a small smile.

Jen sighed and nodded “Yeah we do” she said.

Bruce took her hand and led her gently to one of the back rooms behind the gym that held a hulk out room. Jen stopped when she realized where he was taking her.

“Is it going to be THAT type of talk?” she asked uncertainly.

Bruce shrugged “Just as a precaution” he said.

She nodded and followed him inside. There was a sitting area in the corner for guests so they headed over there. She stared at him as Bruce sat next to her-waiting for him to start.

“I-I haven’t been exactly honest with you” He began. “I-I am terrified. Well to be honest-I am terrified a lot. But I assumed this would calm down and it hasn’t and we haven’t had a chance to deal with ANY of it and as soon as we try something ELSE comes up” Bruce said with a flash of green. He stiffly walked toward the other side of the room-trying to calm himself and the other guy down.

Jen watched him pace for a few minutes before she spoke “I know you are terrified” she began walking slowly toward Bruce. “You think I am not? She added. “This is new for me too-I feel like I am going through puberty again. Hormones all over the place plus strange powers I don’t know how to control-not what most first time mothers have to deal with” she replied.

“Excuse my interruption Doctor Banner, Miss Gibbs” Jarvis said.

Bruce groaned “Every time” he said looking at Jen.

“You have an emergency call from Agent DiNozzo sir- should I patch him through?” Jarvis asked.

Bruce looked up worried “Please Jarvis” he said,

“Please hold I will patch him through” the A.I informed him.

“Bruce?” Tony’s called.

“Yeah T I am here, are you ok?” Bruce asked.

“Listen I just got a call-Jennifer has been shot. She’s in the hospital here in D.C” DiNozzo replied.

Jen gasped looking over at Bruce-who was losing color.

“Bruce?” Tony asked when he didn’t hear anything.

“What-how-how” Bruce stuttered out.

“I don’t know-I am on my way there now” DiNozzo said.

“How did they know to call you?” Jen asked.

“She was conscious for a few minutes and told the hospital to call me” DiNozzo said.

“Have you called Aunt Elaine?” Bruce asked.

“Yes, the nurse told me she did” DiNozzo sighed. “I don’t know if you want to come but I thought you should know” he said.

“Bruce?” Jen asked staring at his face-all he did was nod. “Tony we are on the way” Jen said. “We should be there in an hour” she added.

“Okay I’ll be waiting and I’ll call when I learn something” DiNozzo said as he hung up.

“Jarvis” Jen said snapping into action.

“I have already alerted Agent Barton and he is heading to the QuintJet now” Jarvis answered before Jen could say anything else.

Jen smiled “thank you” then she turned to Bruce. “Come on we need to get to D.C” she urged Bruce out of the room and toward the landing pad and pulling out her phone.


 

 

Jen was laying on the couch when she heard the boy crying again. She leaned up listening trying to determine where the sound was coming from. She got up off of the couch and crept down the hallway tracking the sound. She got to a door and stopped when she heard the boy inside. She slowly opened the door and saw a women rocking a scared boy in her arms. Jen couldn’t hear what she was whispering but understood she was trying to comfort him. Suddenly the women looked up at her and said in a clear voice “He’s coming Genevieve”.

“He who?” Jen asked.

“Jen-Jen wake up you’re talking in your sleep” Steve said gently shaking her.

Jen jolted awake-luckily not falling off of the couch-the extra weight was limiting her movements. She glanced around frantically until she remembered she was in the quintjet on the way to D.C.

Steve waited patiently until she calmed down before he spoke “Bad dream?” he asked.

She shook her head “No-well short of” she said earning a raised eyebrow from Steve. “I’ve had this dream before” she said glancing to see Bruce on the end of the couch with his earphones on. “It always starts with hearing a boy crying-I follow the sound and its kid Bruce crying. This time Rebecca Banner was comforting him and looked at me and said he’s coming” she finished quietly-hoping Bruce wasn’t listening.

Steve leaned back in thought “You get premonitions in your dreams right?” he asked.

Jen nodded “Sometimes” she said.

“And your assuming she is warning you about someone” Steve continued.

Jen nodded her head but kept silent.

“Who is she warning you about?” he asked.

Jen thought “I wish I knew” she said quietly.

“Does Bruce have any idea why his cousin was in D.C?” Steve asked.

Jen shrugged “She told us when she left she had to make a stop in D.C to talk with Tony. Apparently Anthony-Tony’s father -needed her legal opinion on something” she replied.

“Did Agent DiNozzo say what it was?” Steve asked.

“I think Bruce knows” Jen said tapping her foot to get Bruce’s attention. He looked over at her taking his earphones off. “Steve wants to know why Jennifer was in D.C?” she asked.

“Apparently there is a homeless women who thinks Anthony is her father” Bruce said quietly.

Steve nodded even though that wasn’t the reply he was expecting.

“Do you have a plan yet?” Jen asked Bruce.

“What do you mean do you have a plan yet?” Steve asked in confusion.

Bruce looked down at his lap. “Once-once we get in D.C-I don’t know what to do” he admitted.

“What do you mean?” Steve asked

“Up until now-Jenny and Aunt Elaine thought I was dead. Ross told them I had died and I never let them believe otherwise. Now my cousin is hurt and I am not sure if I am strong enough to face my aunt after all this time” he admitted.

Jen reached out and took Bruce’s hand rubbing his hand with her thumb. “I think we deal with one thing at a time. Gibbs is going to be waiting for us when we land. We check in on Jennifer then maybe we can go to Gibbs or Tony’s-somewhere safe. Afterward someone-Tony, Anthony-hell even I can tell your aunt if you want.” She said.

Steve cleared his throat “Has anyone thought this is just another part of Ross’s plan?” he interjected.

“Yes” Bruce and Jen said at the same time.

“That’s why we are here buddy-for back up” Tony called from the co-pilot seat.

All they could do now was wait.


 

Las Angles

Granger turned his head when he heard Beale run down the stairs heading straight toward them.

“What is it Beale?” He snapped.

“Sorry Sir But umm Hetty we found him” Eric said excitedly.

“You found WHOM Mr. Beale” Hetty asked.

“Brian Banner is in D.C” Eric said looking at Hetty excitedly.

“Show me now” Hetty demanded.

Once the trio was up in Ops Eric pulled up what they had found. There was a map of downtown D.C-A hospital and Jennifer Walters New York Driver’s License and a copy of Brian Banner’s latest government issued picture I.D.

“What are we looking at?” Granger asked.

“Jennifer Walter’s is Bruce Banner’s cousin. She was on the way to meet up with Anthony DiNozzo when she shot.” Nell began.

“She was going to see Agent DiNozzo?” Granger asked.

“No sir his father” Nell answered. “Agent DiNozzo’s mother and Rebecca Banner were very close friends” she added.

“She was airlifted to this hospital” Eric began enlarging the photo of the hospital. “And look what we just found on the traffic cam” he said enlarging a still shot of an old man sitting outside the coffee shop right outside.” He added.

Hetty stared at the picture “Brian Banner” she commented slowly.

“Do we have any footage of where he came from?” Owen asked.

Eric scrolled through multiple cameras from different angles until they got to 10 blocks down the street 3 hours prior. They watched as an unmarked black car pulled out of the lower parking lot of a supposed empty building. They watched as the car strolled through traffic until it stopped 2 blocks from the hospital, the man got out and made his way down the street. He shuffled along until he got to the coffee shop and went inside-reemerging a few minutes later with a coffee cup and sat down.

“So that’s all we have” Nell said. “He’s been sitting there for three hours now. We assume he is waiting for someone” she added.

“Waiting for who exactly?” Hetty asked.

“That’s the question. We all assume he’s here for Dr. Banner-but if that were the case why not drop him in New York” Eric asked.

“He wouldn’t have gotten 2 feet inside Stark Tower” Hetty replied.

“Has anyone warned Banner? Or Stark?” Owen asked.

“I don’t think warning Bruce is a good idea-but I will try Stark” Hetty said. “If I can’t get a hold of him I’ll try Gibbs” she added as she walked out of the room.

Owen looked over at Nell and Eric “I’ll contact the director-see if they can send someone to keep an eye on him” he decided and left as well.


 

Shield Headquarters

 

Coulson was finishing up his paperwork for the day when his phone rang.

“Coulson” he said.

“We have visual on Brian Banner” Maria replied.

“Really?” Coulson asked. “What’s the plan?” he added.

“Director Fury believes NCIS knows, so we are going to stay back until we are needed” Maria replied.

Phil looked out his window “That makes sense. Has anyone told the team?” He asked.

Maria paused “No but something is going on-the quintjet has entered D.C airspace and is going to land in 15 minutes” she said.

Phil sighed “I’ll grab the car and see what’s going on” he said and hung up.

He grabbed his keys and walked to the garage, as he climbed in he dialed Natasha’s number and waited for her to answer.

“Mind telling me what’s going on?” he replied as he turned out of the garage and headed to the airport.

 


 

D.C

 

Gibbs was waiting for the plane as it landed on the tarmac. He gave a short wave as Clint effortlessly cut the engines and they disembarked.

Jen smiled weakly as Gibb came to meet them.

“Hey” he said as he hugged her. “You both look a little green” he replied.

Jen looked at Gibbs trying not to laugh “Neither one of us fly well” she replied.

Gibbs looked over at Bruce who was fidgeting but gave him a small smile. “Good to see you Bruce” he said extending his hand.

Bruce nodded “same here agent Gibbs” he replied.

“DiNozzo is at the hospital with your cousin. She’s lost a lot of blood and will need a transplant as soon as they can find her blood type. It being D.C they are short at the moment but there shouldn’t be a problem finding more” he explained as they walked through the building to his waiting car.

“I’ll take the others and we will meet you there” Phil yelled through the window.

“Sure” Gibbs said then glanced at Jen “Do we need to worry why he was here?” he asked.

“He? Phil?” she asked.

Gibbs nodded as they climbed into his car. “When it concerns SHIELD I wouldn’t be surprised if they have one of us tagged” she said earning a snort from Bruce.

“What’s the plan?” Gibbs asked after a few minutes.

Jen and Bruce looked at each other Bruce sighed before he spoke. “I am not sure. If Aunt Elaine is there I-I don’t know if I should go in” he admitted.

“Why?” Gibbs asked.

“She thinks I am dead. I don’t want to give her a heart attack” Bruce said.

“Wouldn’t she be happy that you are alive?” Gibbs asked.

Jen jumped in “Would you be happy to know someone lied to you for years?” she asked then when she caught Gibbs eyes in the rearview mirror she couldn’t help but laugh. “Granted for you and I that seems to be a common thing but we are different” she added.

Gibbs snorted “That is true” He said. “How about this-we drive to the hospital-I’ll contact DiNozzo and if your aunt is there-we go to my house and regroup there” he suggested.

Bruce looked up and nodded “I’d-I’d like that. Thank You” he said sincerely.

Gibbs smiled “You do what you have to for family” he said as he turned onto the highway.


 

NCIS

“Agent McGee” Vance called as he walked down the stairs toward the bullpen.

“Yes Director” McGee replied.

“Any word on Agent DiNozzo or Gibbs?” Vance asked.

McGee sighed “Not yet sir. I know Genevieve was supposed to land 20 minutes ago and Gibbs met them” he said.

“Is Dr. Banner with her?” Vance asked.

McGee paused to think “I know Tony called him to tell him about his cousin. But since I haven’t heard from Boss or Tony-I don’t know if he came” he said.

Vance nodded “I just got off the phone with Owen Granger” he began.

McGee looked up in confusion “What did the assistant director want?” he asked.

Vance smirked at McGee “I was about to tell you Agent McGee” he said.

McGee looked down “I am sorry sir, please continue” he said.

Vance shook his head “Granger wants us to send someone to keep an eye on someone” he said.

McGee looked up again “Who are we supposed to keep an eye on?” he asked.

“Brian Banner” Vance replied handing McGee a print out of the still frame of the camera shot.

“What” McGee exclaimed.

Vance sighed “He has been sitting at a coffee shop right outside the hospital for the last few hours” he said.

“The same hospital that his niece is and his son may or may not be going into in the next ten minutes?” McGee asked incredulously as he checked the time.

Vance nodded “I need you and Bishop to go and watch him. I need someone who is not connected to this as personally as DiNozzo and Gibbs are” he said.

“What are we supposed to do if he goes into the hospital or tries to talk with Bruce?” Bishop asked from her desk.

Vance looked at her “Pick him up” he said.

“Sir we can’t pick him up if he hasn’t done anything” McGee argued.

Vance smirked at McGee “Oh Agent McGee, I would bet you money something will happen as soon as DiNozzo, Gibbs or god forbid Dr. Banner sees him. We might be doing him a favor by picking him up before anyone else sees him” he said.

McGee and Bishop shared a look and started to collect their bags and head to the elevator.

“Agent McGee” Vance called as the two were about to get into the elevator. “Not a word to Gibbs unless you have to-understand?” he said.

“Yes Sir” McGee said again as the door closed.

“Why does the director not want us to tell Gibbs?” Bishop asked as they exited in the garage.

McGee sighed “Probably because Gibbs will get involved” he said.

“But he’s already involved” Bishop replied.

“Unless” McGee replied then paused for a minute. “Unless he couldn’t TELL us to tell Gibbs but he knew if he told us NOT to tell Gibbs-which we would” he added as they climbed into his car.

Bishop rolled her eyes “so are we going to tell them?” she asked.

“Let’s go get Brian Banner first” McGee said as he turned the car toward the hospital.

 


 

Hospital

Tony sighed as the elevator opened, he shouldn’t be this nervous. He was very special agent Anthony DiNozzo. Seeing Elaine Walters shouldn’t be more terrifying then facing SecNav-or Eli David.

“Tony come on” he mumbled to himself as he walked toward the door.

He glanced in and made eye contact with Elaine. He knocked softly as he opened the door smiling as he come face to face with her.

Elaine met him halfway wearing a surprised smile “Tony? Is that you?” she asked.

“Hello Ms. Walters” he said.

She frowned “Ms. Walters? Oh no-just because you are a big government agent doesn’t make you too big to stop calling me Aunt Elaine. Is that understood?” She demanded with a laugh.

Tony laughed “Yes Aunt Elaine” he said as he hugged her.

“Good” she said. “I am so glad you are here” she said quietly.

“Dad is the reason she’s in D.C. I had to be here” Tony replied.

Elaine looked at him in surprise “She is?” she asked.

Tony sighed “We met a homeless women last week. She thought Dad was her father” Tony began.

“Was she?” Elaine asked delicately.

Tony snorted “With his track record-that was my first thought. But he swore she wasn’t. And after some investigation she’s just a sad dying women” he said.

“So why did Anthony want to see Jennifer?” Elaine asked again.

Tony sighed trying to figure out what to say “Well I think we are going to bury Susan-when she dies. But we also wanted to see if she has any right to any family money-if she has any” He said. “She got shot on the way to meet us” he added.

Elaine sighed “All those years I was worried with Morris-I never expected to get that call about her” she replied.

Tony’s phone rang-seeing it was McGee he rolled his eyes but answered it “Yes Tim” he said.

“Tony has Boss gotten there yet?” Tim asked in a rush.

“Why McGoo hello to you too” Tony said with a chuckle.

“Tony-Bishop and I were supposed to pick up Brian Banner and he’s not here” McGee said.

“You what? Where was he?” Tony asked standing up.

“In a coffee shop across from the hospital” Bishop said.

“Wait who told you to go pick him up?” Tony asked.

“Vance” Tim replied.

Elaine gasped making Tony turn and his blood run cold. “Room 318 get here now McGee” Tony said as he hung up.

“What are YOU doing here?” Elaine said.


 

Jen was leaning against the window as Gibbs pulled into the hospital. She squirmed, becoming more restless as they neared the hospital. Bruce reached over and started to softly rub her stomach “Are they at it again?” he whispered.

“For once it’s not them” she said.

Bruce blinked at her “Okay why are you restless?” he asked.

Jen glanced out the window and noticed McGee going into the hospital.

“Was that Tim?” she asked.

Gibbs was staring out the window “Yes it was” he said distractedly.

“What’s going on?” Bruce asked.

“I have no idea” Gibbs replied reaching for his phone.


 

 

“Really Elaine is that how to talk to your brother?” Brian said from the doorway.

“Mr. Banner you need to come with me” Tony said as he walked up to him.

Brian looked over and sized Tony up “You look familiar-Do I know you?” he asked.

“Yes you do” Tony said. “I am special agent Anthony DiNozzo” he added as he flashed his badge.

Brian’s eyes widened “Little Tony DiNozzo is a cop now” he asked in amusement.

“No I am a government agent” Tony said.

Brian smiled “Same difference” he said as he stepped into the room.

Tony stood up straighter but kept silent tracking him with his eyes. Brian stood near the side barley glancing at his niece. “I heard my niece was in the hospital and decided to come see” he replied.

“How did you hear that?” Elaine replied. “I was called 2 hours ago” she added.

Brian glanced at his sister “I know people” he said.

“Are these the same people who have kept you hidden since you were freed” Tony said walking so he was in front of Elaine.

“I wasn’t hiding boy” Brian snapped.

Tony bristled “One I don’t exactly care if you were hiding or not. I need to know who your people are. Two Mr. Banner two different agencies were trying to find you with no results. Now suddenly you show up-here of all places. That’s not a coincidence. So we can do this the hard way or the not so hard way” he said as he pulled his cuffs out of his pocket.

“It would be in your best interest if you come with us willingly Mr. Banner” McGee said as he and Bishop walked into the room.

“And if I don’t” Brian snapped.

“Then we would have to take you into custody” Bishop said.

“Or of course we could take you into FBI custody Mr. Banner? The FBI would like to talk to you as well” Fornell replied as he walked into the room.

The three agents looked at the other in mild confusion.

“Fornell” Tony greeted.

“DiNotezo” Fornell replied.

“What do you want to do Mr. Banner?” Tony said.

Brian glared at him “Since I have no choice I’ll come with you. I have nothing to hide” he said.

Tony turned him toward McGee and the two started to head toward the elevators. Tony paused “Tim you okay with him?” he asked.

Tim smiled “Sure Tony I’ll meet you at NCIS” he said.

“I’ll walk with you skippy” Fornell said.

Tim looked at Tony with mild panic as the doors closed. Tony chuckled and turned back to the room-where Elaine Walters and Bishop were waiting.

“What is he doing here?” Elaine demanded quietly.

Tony sighed “I don’t know” he said honestly. “Bishop Can I speak to you outside for a minute?” he said.

Bishop nodded and followed Tony outside “Can you stay here? Talk with Mrs. Walters until you hear from me-or until Jennifer wakes up?” Tony asked.

“Of course Tony” Bishop replied.

“One thing-she still thinks Bruce is dead. I want her to hear that from me if at all possible” Tony said.

Bishop nodded “Maybe I can try to tap into Ohio records and see what I can dig up on Brian Banner?” She replied.

“Thanks Bishop” Tony said with a smile. He went back into the room with a smile “Aunt Elaine, Agent Bishop is going to stay with you until Jennifer wakes up. I would but I need to get back to the office” he said.

Elaine nodded “I understand. You need to find out what Brian is up to” she said. She glanced over at Jennifer “the only good thing is Bruce isn’t here to see him” she replied.

 


 

Gibbs was watching the front door of the hospital and glancing into the rearview mirror as Jen squirmed.

“Do you want to go back to my house? You seem to be getting worse?” Gibbs asked.

“I need to stand” she finally said throwing the door open and standing up.

Bruce scooted to the end of the seat and grabbed her hands, trying to calm her. “Breathe Hon” he instructed. He breathed in deeply and watched as she copied him. “What is going on? What are you feeling?” he asked.

“Panicked” she breathed.

“Panicked?” he asked.

Jen glanced across the hood of the car and noticed Fornell and McGee walking out with another man between them. She gasped as she heard Rebecca Banner in her ears-he’s here.

“It’s him” she whispered.

“Jen?” Who do you see?” Bruce asked as he turned to try and see for himself.

“Gibbs?” Fornell called as he noticed his friend across the parking lot.

“Go” Jen whispered.

"Better listen to her probie" Mike said suddenly from the empty passenger seat.

“New Plan. We are going to my house” Gibbs barked as he threw the car into reverse-not even waiting for Jen to get back into the car.

Jen had to step back so she was out of the way-while Bruce went sliding back into the car as it took off.

“Gibbs what the hell?” Fornell yelled as he jogged to make sure Jen was okay. “What was that about?” he said staring at her.

“Is that him?” Jen asked instead.

“Who Banner?” Fornell asked.

“Is that Brian Banner?” Jen asked again.

“Yes” Fornell replied.

Jen sighed “Damn it” she mumbled pulling out her phone.

“Stark we have a problem” she said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

“Jesus Probie slow down! They ain’t chasing you are they?” Mike groused as Gibbs sped down the street.

Bruce closed his eyes and fought for control. Nether He or the Hulk liked surprises or the fact that they were speeding away from Jen, leaving her and the babies alone.

“What-What about Jen?” Bruce asked trying to concentrate on keeping himself as calm as he could as they raced down the road.

“Don’t worry Tobias and DiNozzo will make sure she’s ok” Gibbs said shortly.

“Was it Ross?” “Is that who she saw?” Bruce asked.

Gibbs looked at his briefly in the rearview mirror “No it wasn’t him” he said.

“Who was it then?” Bruce asked.

“Not here” Gibbs said.

Bruce glanced out the window “where are we going?” he asked.

“Someplace where he can’t find either of you” Gibbs said.


 

 

The man turned and answered the phone on the second ring.

“Hello?” he said.

“They took Banner back to NCIS Sir” the voice on the other end said.

“We expected that” he replied.

“If he talks?” the other man asked.

“I have a plan for that, don’t worry” he said and hung up.


 

NCIS

Tony paced the examination room glaring at the man on the other side of the glass.

“Breathe Anthony” Ducky said as he walked into the room.

Tony twirled around in shock “Ducky? What are you doing here?” he asked.

“The director wanted me here to assess the man” he said as he focused on the man in the other room.

“Does Robert know?” he asked.

“I don’t think so-he was in the car with Jen and boss” Tony said.

“So he’s with Genevieve and Jethro good” Ducky said in relief.

“Actually I am here” Jen said walking in at that exact moment.

Ducky looked surprised “Why are you here my dear?” he asked.

“Short version I was outside the car and when Jethro left” Jen said.

“Jethro sped off without you?” Ducky asked incredulously.

“She’s been warning me about him for months now. I had to see him for myself” Jen said quietly staring at the man on the other side of the glass. “Bruce does kind of look like him” she added sadly.

Tony and Ducky shared a look but refrained from asking her for any clarification. Ducky cleared his throat “Yes I am afraid poor Robert does bear a striking resemblance to Brian” he replied.

“Are you going in there?” Jen asked looking at Tony.

Tony shrugged “Not sure” he said. “Part of me wants to but not sure what I am going to do to him when I see him” he replied.

“Is Elaine Walter’s here?” Jen asked. “I thought I saw her get in your car” she added.

Tony nodded “Yes she’s in the room with Tim to get a quick statement and then he’s going to take her back to the hospital” he said.

“Did you have Eleanor stay?” Ducky asked.

“Yeah-just in case Jenny wakes up before we get back” Tony replied.

There was a knock and Vance walked in standing beside DiNozzo looking at the man on the other end of the glass.

“You might want to go check on McGee Agent DiNozzio” Vance warned.

Tony paled “Oh god, I’ll be right back” he said and fled from the room.

Ducky chuckled and shook his head “Timothy” he muttered.

“Doctor Mallard, how long have you been in here? Have you been able to watch him” Vance asked.

“No Sir. He hasn’t moved since I walked in. I can obviously make some conjecture based on my previously association with him. But until I can either talk with him or watch his interaction with someone else, I won’t know” Ducky replied.

Vance turned and stared at Jen. “Miss Gibbs are you sure you should be here?” he asked.

She stared at the man on the other end of the glass before she spoke “Probably not” she replied honestly.


 

Tony neared the examination room and was immediately worried when he didn’t hear anything. He ran and opened the door without knocking skidding to a halt. Elaine Walters was sitting at one side of the table having a staring contest with McGee, neither noticed him.

“Tony, what are you doing here?” McGee asked, blinking.

“Wanted to check in” Tony lied.

“As I told Agent McGee, I know my rights. I’ve answered his questions and I won’t answer any more. I refuse to sit here and listen to him lie” Elaine replied as she got up and reached for her purse.

“What did you say?” Tony asked.

“I might have accidently mentioned Bruce-umm Dr. Banner” Tim replied, giving him an apologetic look.

Tony sighed, turning to look at Elaine “Bruce is alive” he said quietly.

Elaine froze in her path to the door “What?” she whispered.

“Bruce is alive” Tony said again. “He has been on the run for years, and just recently came back to the states” he added.

Elaine turned and stared at DiNozzo “Where is he?” she asked. “Does Jenny know?” she added.

“Jenny does know-although she only found out within the last week” DiNozzo began. “Technically he’s still in D.C-at least he was as of 30 minutes ago” he added glancing at his watch.

“Is he ok? Why has he been on the run-why hasn’t he ever tried to contact me-us” she asked.

Tony sighed “He’s alive Aunt Elaine but that’s all I can tell you. He has his reasons for staying away” he admitted quietly. “Once I can deal with him” he said pointing to the general direction of where he had left Brian Banner, “I will have Bruce come to you-or I’ll take you to him” he added.

Elaine stared at Tony “Okay Tony” she said finally.

Tony sighed “Okay I will have Agent McGee take you back to the hospital” he said walking her to the door.

“No” Elaine said.

“What?” Tony asked.

“I want to know why he’s here. He has no reason for seeing me. Morris always said if he ever got out he would come back for me-or Bruce” Elaine said.

“I won’t let that happen” Tony said.

Elaine smiled and reached for Tony’s hand and patted it “Sweetheart I know you will try. But I was a detective’s wife. I know sometimes things happen that are out of anyone’s control” she said. “If I am allowed I want to watch him being interrogated” she added.

Tony and McGee exchanged looks.

“I can ask Vance and see what he says” McGee asked.

“I can-“Tony began but McGee interrupted.

“You and I both know you are more personally invested in this. Vance will say no if you ask for that reason alone. If I ask-he might allow it” Tim said.

The friends stared at one another for a few minutes before Tony sighed in defeat. “Fine” was all he said.

Tim smiled then turned to Elaine Walters “Give me a few minutes Mrs. Walters. I can’t guarantee the director will allow you to come in. But since you are the closest relative other than Bruce Banner that we have at our premises he might allow it” Tim said.

Elaine smiled at him “Thank You Agent McGee” she said.


 

Gibbs cabin in the woods

Gibbs opened the cabin and watched Bruce trying to meditate in the setting sun.

“Yes Gibbs” Bruce asked with his eyes still closed.

“Does that really work?” Gibbs said as he walked around Bruce to a stump and sat down.

“What meditation? It does for me” Bruce said. “Ever try it?” he asked cocking an eye open.

“An ex tried to get me into it. Said it would reduce my stress and my headaches” Gibbs replied.

“Did it?” Bruce replied.

“Hell no” Gibbs said with a chuckle. “Couldn’t turn my thoughts off” he added.

Bruce smirked up at the man “I see where she gets it from” he teased.

Gibbs chuckled “Yeah” he nodded.

Bruce sighed as he watched the sun “Are you finally going to tell me who you saw?” he asked not looking at the other man.

Gibbs sighed “I can-but you aren’t going to like it” he warned.

Bruce chuckled dryly “I can guarantee I am not going to like it” he replied.

“Brian Banner” Gibbs said.


 

Bruce felt like he had been punched in the gut. Out of all the names it could have been, THAT name was the last name he expected to hear. The scenery spun as he fought for air in his lungs. He felt his heart rate accelerate and he knew this was going to spiral out of control fast. He stumbled away from the cabin and Gibbs trying to get distance so Hulk wouldn’t destroy either. He heard Gibbs yell for him to wait but he ignored him as he fled through the trees. He had never been graceful on a good day-much less when he was running in the mists of a hulk out, and all it took was him to stumble over a root and crashing down for him to see green.

Gibbs had raced after Bruce but froze when he heard the roar. He sighed and kept running hoping that Hulk remembered him. He rounded the corner and stopped as he watched the giant roar and pull a tree out of the ground and throw it over the treetops.

“Hey careful-we aren’t in Canada. There are people around here” Gibbs warned.

Hulk whirled around and blinked at Gibbs.

“Gi-ibbs” Hulk said.

Gibbs nodded “Hey Hulk” he greeted slowly.

Hulk whirled around “Where at?” he asked.

“My cabin” Gibbs replied.

“Why puny Banner scared?” Hulk asked.

“I saw someone today he wasn’t expecting” Gibbs said.

Hulk blinked at him “Ross” he said.

“No it wasn’t Ross” Gibbs said.

“Who saw then?” Hulk asked.

Gibbs paused not wanting to set Hulk off. “Before I tell you I need you to make me a promise” he said.

“What?” Hulk said.

“I don’t want you to get more upset than you already are. You stay here with me until I say otherwise okay? Let DiNozzo and the others deal with it” Gibbs said.

Hulk rolled his eyes “Gi-ibbs talk too much” he said.

Gibbs laughed “You would be the first person to say that” he said. “I saw Brian Banner today” he said.

Hulk didn’t react at first, Gibbs watched as the name registered with the Giant and he roared.

“Father here? NO. He’s away. Where they put bad people. So he won’t hurt anyone anymore. He can’t hurt puny Banner there” Hulk growled.

“And I will make sure he can’t hurt Bruce again. But you need to let me deal with this” Gibbs said.

“Hulk protect Banner” Hulk growled.

“I know you do. But please let me do this. We need to see what he wants-why he’s here” Gibbs said.

“Who find out?” Hulk asked.

“Tony is there and I am sure Genevieve will find a way to talk to him too” Gibbs said.

Hulk whipped around “NO. Can’t be near Jen and babies. Can’t hurt them like hurt Banner” and before Gibbs could open his mouth Hulk roared and jumped away.

“Damn it” Gibbs cursed grabbing his phone as he raced to his car.

 


 

NCIS

Elaine Walters was ushered into the room and joined the other occupants staring through the glass at Brian Banner as the introductions were made.

“So may I ask what the plan is?” Elaine asked after.

Vance turned and stared at her “We need to talk with your brother to see why he is here. As much as I hate to do this I believe Agent DiNozzo and Dr. Mallard will get the best reaction out of him” he replied.

“I can talk with him” Jen replied from where she was sitting.

Vance glanced at her with a raised eyebrow “I don’t believe that will be necessary Miss. Gibbs” he said with a twitch of a suppressed chuckle. “I shouldn’t allow either of you in here, since you both are too personally involved in this. So I will need both you to leave if there is any problems is that understood” he said.

Jen glanced over at Elaine Walters and she could tell the women was trying to figure out how she was involved. She wanted to argue but she knew she would be asked to leave, so she had to try and stay calm.

“Yes Director” Jen said.

Elaine stared at her then at Vance. “Of course” she replied and winked at Jen.

A noise on the other side of the glass caught their attention and they watched as Ducky and Tony walked in.

“Hello Brian” Ducky replied professionally as he walked into the room and sat across from the man. Tony leaned against the wall behind Ducky.

“Good Lord Mallard is that you?” Brian replied in shock. “You’ve gotten old” he added.

Ducky stared at the man across from him “Have you looked in a mirror today Brian” he replied dryly.

The man chuckled “Still got that Scottish humor I see” he replied.

“Well I would hope so since I am Scottish” Ducky replied.

Brian just smiled “You’re a cop too?” he asked.

“No I am the medical examiner” Ducky replied.

“Why’s a medical examiner here?” Brian asked.

“I received my degree in phycology and am here to chat with you” Ducky replied.

Brian blinked at him “You always were an overachiever” he replied. “Why am I here? I haven’t done anything wrong. Is it a crime to come see my sister and niece?” he asked.

“How’d you know they were there? Jennifer was in that hospital for 10 hours and then you showed up.” Tony finally spoke from his spot.

“Ahh he finally speaks” Brian almost sneered, but at the last moment remembered where he was and changed his expression.

“Are you going to answer his question Brian?” Ducky asked.

Brian shrugged his shoulders “coincidence” he said.

Ducky opened the file in front of him and glanced at the papers inside. “Brian do you know what I have in this file? These are your yearly evaluations from Ohio” he said fanning the papers out in front of them. “I’ve been glancing through them for the past two weeks. Do you know what they tell me?” Ducky replied.

“What?” Brian asked.

“Many things- But let’s stay in the topic of your sister and niece. Neither of your sisters or niece ever tried to contact you in all of the years you were incarcerated. If I remember correctly you weren’t exactly close with any of your family ever. Half of these pages speak of your hatred of them-a few in particular which will remain nameless. Why the sudden change of attitude?” Ducky replied.

Brian blinked and paused seemingly to collect his thoughts “I have been incarcerated for years. That changes a person’s perspectives” he said sternly.

Ducky nodded “I expect it would” he agreed. “So once you left Ohio you decided to try and reconnect?” He asked.

Brian nodded. “They are the only family I have left. Since Susan wants nothing to do with me” he added.

“So you’ve tried to contact Susan?” Tony asked.

“You’ve been out for months now, why did you decided today was the day to see your sister and niece?” Ducky added.

Brian started to fidget “She told me when I went in she never wanted to see me again. SO I didn’t see the point in trying” he replied.

Ducky nodded “Yet you think Elaine would still want to see you?” he asked.

“She took my son-so she didn’t hate me” Brian replied.

“Taking in a battered child doesn’t mean she didn’t hate you” Tony replied. “It meant she cared for Bruce” he added.

Brian glared at Tony but didn’t respond to his comment.

“So Elaine and Jennifer are your only family?” Ducky asked.

“Since my boy died in some accident a few years ago” Brian replied.

Ducky paused “Yes I believe I read that-my condolences. Robert was a very smart boy-last I saw him” Ducky replied.

Brian gave a slight twitch but nodded his head.

“How did you find out about Robert’s passing?” Ducky asked as he shuffled the papers.

When no response came Ducky looked up and watched Brian. “I-I don’t remember how I found out” he stuttered.

“You don’t remember?” Tony asked.

Brian glared at Tony but kept quiet.

Ducky looked patiently at the man “Brian it was a simple question. There was one or two write ups of Robert’s incident if I remember correctly. But I think you had a visitor tell you. The same visitor who was the ONLY visitor you had in your time in Ohio. I would venture to surmise it’s the same man who has been keeping you hidden since you were released” he said.

“I kept my distance after my sentencing. Figured the kid had been through enough” Brian began but Tony interrupted him.

“YOU put him through enough” Tony seethed. “AND you kept your distance because that was part of the terms of your sentencing. Neither of you were to have contact with the other until Bruce became 21 and ONLY if HE wanted to see you” he added.

Brian’s face became red with suppressed rage “Whatever the reason-we had no contact. When he died his boss came and told me. Gave his condolences from one father to another” he said.

“General Ross came and gave his condolences? That’s very courteous of him” Ducky replied.

“I thought so” Brian said. “What time is it?” he asked.

“Why got somewhere to be?” Tony asked.

“No-just needed to know how long I’ve been in here” Brian replied with a casual smile.

 


 

“What was that?” Jen asked as everyone watched the interaction.

“I was wondering the same thing” Vance replied.

“Could he be a distraction?” Jen asked as she got up and walked toward the glass.

“Possibly” Vance answered.

Someone knocked and entered the room without waiting to being invited.

“Steve? What are you doing here? I thought you were with Abby?” Jen asked when she saw Steve.

“I was but I got a call from Gibbs-Hulk is on his way here” Steve said.

“Hulk? Good Lord what did Jethro say?” Jen exclaimed.

“Not sure, but Tony is here too-for back up” Steve said.

At the sound of his name Stark came into the room phone in hand, nodding at Jen.

“Hulk really shouldn’t be here. Not when HE is still here” Jen said motioning with her thumb to the man on the other side.

Steve glanced at the man “That’s him” he said.

“Yep” Jen replied.

“I expected him to look different” Steve said quietly.

“Not all evil looks like Red Skull” Jen said.

Steve snorted “you’re right” he said.

“Got a visual on Big Green. He should be here within 5 minutes” Tony said.

“Should we evacuate?” Jen asked Steve.

“Too late for that” Gibbs said as he walked in.

“What is going on?” Vance finally demanded.

“Don’t worry director, we’ve got this” Jen said as she turned a roar could be heard.

“We need to meet him outside-before he smashes in” Gibbs said as the four of them turned and ran for the exit.


 

Hulk landed with a roar glancing around at the scrambling bystanders.

“Hey Sweetie” Jen said as she walked up to him.

“Jen ok?” Hulk asked.

“Of course” she said.

“Hey Buddy” Stark said as he came up next to Jen.

“Why metal man here” Hulk asked confused.

“Came to help” Stark said.

“Gi-ibbs say father here?” Hulk demanded.

“He’s inside with DiNozzo” Stark said.

Hulk looked at Jen “speak to him” he asked.

She shook her head “No” she said.

“Why?” Hulk demanded.

“I knew I couldn’t control myself” Jen said.

“Why he here?” Hulk demanded.

“Not sure sweetie” Jen said.

“Don’t want him to see you. He’s bad. He hurts. Hurt Mother, Hurt Banner, don’t want him to hurt you or babies” Hulk said.

Jen smiled and tried not to show how emotional she was becoming. “I promise you he will never hurt me or the babies” she choked out.

Stark grabbed her hand and squeezed showing a rare moment of public kindness. “Or Banner-or you big guy” he said quietly.

“No one hurt Hulk” Hulk said in an almost smug manner, causing the other two to laugh.

Someone gasped behind Jen making her freeze when she realized who it was.

“Ma’am you need to” Steve began but was silenced by a stern look from Elaine Walters-who had come to stand next to them.

“B-Bruce? IS that you?” Elaine Walters asked shakenly.

Hulk turned and blinked down at the women “Auntie here too?” he asked.

Jen and Tony shared a looked of shock but recovered fast.

“Buddy you recognize her?” Tony asked.

Hulk nodded then looked back at Elaine “Not Banner-Hulk” Hulk said after a few minutes.

“But you sometimes are Bruce right?” she asked.

Hulk nodded “Most time Banner-but when Banner scared-in danger. Hulk come out” he said.

“How” Elaine asked.

“We have a lot to explain Mrs. Walters” Jen replied quietly but stopped when her phone rang.

“Who is this?” She mumbled as she answered her phone.

“Bishop? Calm down. Wait what doctor? No-No Bruce would never” Jen froze and looked over at Tony in shock. “Oh god that’s what the distraction was. Try to stop them” she said and hung up. “We need to get to the hospital now” she said to Tony and Steve.

“Why” Steve asked.

“A doctor just took Jennifer into surgery. Apparently they have a blood donation from a relative” she said.

“Jennifer and Bruce have the same blood type” Elaine said. “That’s the only relative she has” she added.

“Shit, they’re putting his blood in her” Tony said in realization.

“Wait what’s going on?” Elaine demanded.

“Hulk we need to get to the hospital now-can you get us there?” Steve said.

Hulk nodded and scooped the three up and rushed away, leaving the Elaine Walters wondering what was going on.


 

D.C Hospital

Steve paused as the elevator opened-putting his hand out preventing the others from moving. Tony and Je rolled their eyes but didn’t move.

“What’s the plan Cap?” Tony replied.

“We need to get in there-but we need to make sure no one else is hurt” Steve said.

“I expected to hear screaming” Jen admitted quietly.

As if on cue they heard screaming and commotion at the end of the hallway.

Steve took off running, his shield ready. Jen rolled her eyes and pulled her gun then glanced at Tony.

“I have my bracelets” He said showing her. “Jarvis will have the suit here in a few minutes” he added.

“Okay be careful” Jen said and rushed off after Steve.

Once she caught up with him he motioned for her to go in the front and he was going to go in the back. She nodded.

“NCIS” she yelled as she rushed into the room.

The equipment was smashed in pieces, gurneys were pushed over. The nurses were in opposite corners, terrified. The doctor upon seeing her rushed out of the room. Jen motioned for the nurses to go as well. As she watched them rush out she noticed Jennifer was huddled in the corner, seeming in the middle of her own Hulk Out. She was whimpering and groaning in pain. Her skin was a lighter shade of green, and Jen paused watching as the women became taller as her muscles grew.

“Jennifer?” She called, trying to get the women’s attention.

At hearing her name-her eyes shot open. Not recognizing her she jumped out and rushed her.

“What did you do to me?” She yelled.

“Duck” Steve yelled from behind her.

Jen ducked out of the women’s path-but she wasn’t as limber in her condition. As a result Jen crashed to the floor, Jennifer Walter’s bigger, greener body on top of her. Genevieve gasped as the air was knocked out of her. She grabbed the women’s arms, and pushed trying to get her off of her. She didn’t expect the women to move, but if she can move Mjolnir then maybe she can move her. She tried to center herself and pushed with all of her might and knocked Jennifer off of her. Once she could breathe she scrambled back, unable to get her footing. A roar was the only warning as Hulk came crashing through the wall-Iron Man right behind him.

“Hulk Don’t” Jen yelled as he grabbed Jennifer and hauled her up.

“Why” he growled. “Trying to hurt you”.

“It’s Jennifer” Jen said.

Hulk looked at the women in his arms. He blinked and realized that this women did have a resemblance to Banner’s cousin.

“Cousin?” Hulk asked.

Jennifer looked up her eyes wide “B-Bruce?” she asked.

Hulk huffed “Hulk-Not Banner” he said.

“What-What did they do to me?” Jennifer asked.

“We think they put Bruce’s blood in you and it mutated your blood” Jen said.

Jennifer looked down at herself. “OH my god” she said shaking out of Hulk’s grasp. “Where’s a mirror?” she asked and rushed to the adjoining room.

Jen looked at Tony and then rushed after her. Jennifer was standing in front of the mirror in shock. “Bruce’s blood did this to me? What am I supposed to do now?” she asked quietly.

“We can help you. I don’t know if this is permanent. But even if it is we can help. Bruce will help” Jen said.

“We will need to get SHIELD involved” Steve said.

Jen paused “As much as I hate that idea, it’s the best option we have right now” she agreed. “But I might call Hank too, as a backup” she added.

“Sounds like a good plan” Steve agreed. “We need to get going” he added.

Genevieve grabbed a lab coat and scrubs she found in the next room “See if these fit” she said handing them to Jennifer.

“Wait what is SHIELD?” Jennifer asked as she finished putting on the clothes.

“It’s a secret government agency” Tony replied as the group walked out of the room.

“The same people that tried to put Bruce-Hulk in a cage? And you expect me to come willingly” Jennifer replied.

“Ms. Walters we need to see what Bruce’s blood is doing to you. As much as I hate these people I don’t have all the extras we will need for you” Tony said.

“Doesn’t Bruce do experiments there?” Jennifer asked.

“Yeah but my science bro has had years of experience in self-control” Tony replied.

“And you’re saying I don’t?” Jennifer asked.

Tony smirked at her “Not sure yet” he said.

 “Banner be afraid now” Hulk said sadly.

Steve turned and stared at Hulk “What do you mean?” he asked.

“Feel respond-isble” Hulk said.

“Bruce didn’t do this to me. Ross did” Jennifer replied.

“We will make sure to tell Bruce that” Jen said.

Hulk nodded “I make sure he not run” he promised.

“Why would Bruce run?” Jennifer asked.

“When he gets scared he runs” Jen said. “You’ve always been in Bruce’s mind” Jen said. “The radiation just gave you a body. Why did this happen to Jennifer?” she added.

“All good questions” Tony replied. “But we seriously need to ask them somewhere else. Jarvis says we are about to have uninvited guest” he said herding them down the stairwell.

Hulk growled “Hulk stop them” he said turning to leave.

“Nope-no buddy we need you to stay with us. This was planned and we don’t know what else they have planned” Tony replied.

The sound of men running could be heard above them. They all knew they only had mere moments before the men would figure out where they were and come for them.

“Did anyone remember to lock the stairwell door behind us?” Tony asked.

Steve glanced around grabbing a loose rung on the stairwell and pulled-braking it easily. He raced back up the steps and wedged the bar through the door-preventing anyone from opening it and following them.

Tony chuckled “I am impressed Cap” he said.

Jen rolled her eyes “Tony what do you think he did during the war?” she asked.

Hulk groaned and swayed alerting every one of what was about to happen.

“Go-quick” Jen urged Jennifer out of the way.

“Is he ok?” Jennifer asked worriedly.

“He’s about to turn back” Jen said.

“Don’t worry I got him” Steve replied coming up behind Hulk scooping him up before Bruce could hit the floor.

Tony sighed “ok let’s get out of here” he said.


 

NCIS

Elaine paced the conference room-accepting coffee and food that was offered to her with a polite smile.

She watched as Agent Gibbs walked in and stood in front of her.

“Did you hear from them?” she asked.

He nodded “They got her out” he replied.

“Where are they-I need to see them” she replied.

Gibbs nodded “One second and then I will take you to them” he said as he turned to leave.

“Where are you going?” she asked.

Gibbs stopped and gave her a smile “where do you think?” he asked.


 

Gibbs walked down the hallway to the interrogation room. He knew he should stop and talk to Leon first but he didn’t. He didn’t even bother knocking as he threw the door open and barged into the room. He strolled until he was leaning over the man at the edge of the table.

“Jethro?” Ducky asked finally.

“Sorry to interrupt Duck. I just wanted to tell Mr. Banner that the gig is up” Gibbs said not taking his eyes off of the man.

“What are you talking about?” Brian replied.

“I just wanted to tell you we got her. You can go tell your boss that he failed” Gibbs replied slowly.

“DiNozzo I want you to escort Mrs. Walters out and I will meet you at the car” Gibbs said.

Tony opened his mouth to argue but thought better of it, nodded and left the room.

“Whatever he has planned we will stop you” Gibbs said.

Brian stared at Gibbs “And you are?” he asked mildly.

“Agent Jethro Gibbs” Gibbs replied.

Vance walked in and glared at Gibbs “Mr. Banner’s lawyer has arrived” he said.

Brian flashed a triumphant smirk and rose from the table. But glanced at Gibbs “Have we met?” he asked finally.

Gibbs smiled “Does Stillwater Pennsylvania ring a bell?” he said mildly.

All three men watched as the smirk fell from the man’s face and he turned and left the room.

Gibbs sighed “Bruce was right-My mother should have killed him” he said.