The Revolt

July 24, 2018:

Bruce and Betsy discuss jellybean revolt and end up eating Brazilian. This is not a euphemism.

X-Men Headquarters Laboratory

The lab in the Headquarters is a combination of bedroom and lab for
the resident technician. The door opens into the lab space which is rather
large, with equipment and shelves lining the perimeter. Basically, almost
any lab equipment that seems feasible to have, he has in this room,
including refrigeration and freezing units, incubation units, a Mass
Spectrometer, a centrifuge, microscopes, a soldering iron, and a couple of
different computers and printers. There are a couple of work tables as well
as a desk or two. Decor isn't important in this area as it's about work.

An inner door leads to an actual bedroom and en suite bathroom. The
space is more than just his work space, but it's also his living space. The
bedroom is also fairly simple in that it's sparsely decorated and has a bed,
dresser, bedside table, lamp, armchair, and bookshelf. The bathroom is also
basic and utilitarian. There are a few picture frames on the bookshelf among
the books and a couple of pictures on the wall, giving it more of a lived-in
feel than not.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Seated at one of the tables in the lab, in full lab gear - lab coat, some protective goggles perched on his head in his hair (probably from ages ago), and a focused expression, is Dr. Banner. However, he's not working on something. He has his tablet set aside, a pile of notes next to it, but is doing something very important: taking a break. He's got a little pile of jellybeans in a cup, and is presently picking out the ones he doesn't like and making a little pile of them to one side.

Betsy lets herself into the lab, still in her workout clothes…black running shorts, oversized crop top heather grey tee, and a purple sports bra, the strap exposed on one side where the tee hangs off one shoulder.

"Careful, Dear, those in the pile might feel rejected and decide to revolt."

"I sure hope not; some of these are ones I know you like best," Dr. Banner replies thoughtfully. "With a few of these popcorn ones snuck in, maybe you wouldn't notice," he says without turning, giving her some time to come over, but then glances back towards her with a splash of a smile. One of those rare little relaxed ones when the man is not overthinking his life or situation. Little splashes of sun through normally overcast days. "Good workout?" Self-conscious, he fixes his hair, and finds the goggles; he removes them and sets them down near his paperwork.

Always a good workout," Betsy says with a smile and plucks a popcorn bean from the pile. "I might as well help knock down the resistance before it can get uppity." She pops it into her mouth and chews it slowly, running her fingers into his tousled waves just as he finished fixing them. "Which are your favourites?" She asks, peering into the cup. Any other time they might be poring over the notes set aside. For now, she is happy was they gaze dubiously into a cup of jellybeans.

Dr. Banner trustingly lets her do whatever she likes with his hair, be in making it stand up or be sideways. He nods as she takes one of the offending popcorn flavored ones off his hands, and inserts an index finger into the cup to stir them around. Which are the best? "Cinnamon. There's two of them that are cinnamon. I like the surprise of expecting cherry and it is spice instead," he says. He does like surprises: safe ones. Like jellybean flavors. He pulls his attention out of the cup and gives her a more steady look, though.

"Cinnamon suits you, I think. Cherry, too." She tousles his hair playfully, making sure to leave it as she found it.

When she looks back from the cup to his eyes, her own violet eyes widen a little. "That's an intent look, for a discussion about candy-coated beans." Her smile is mischievous, and she gives him a wink.

"Yes, too much deep thought for having a break," Dr. Banner says with a softened rueful laugh. He snares his notes and scribbles something down, while a blush emerges and turns very red along his cheeks. He knows she'll understand him needing to write his new idea down, but the timing could have been better. "Sorry about that. Inspiration," Bruce says, setting his pen down after clicking it, and returning attention back to her. "I like most of them, really. Though I should eat something more substantial." He looks at her exposed shoulder-stap and fidgets, but decides not to reach out to her. Even a non telepath could have picked up that he was considering it.

Betsy watches his quandary, then smiles and moves behind Bruce, wrapping her arms around his neck from behind. "Let's grab something, shall we? Or I can order somethin' for delivery if ya need to stay and work awhile longer, eh?" She kisses the top of his head and rests her chin in his tousled hair warmly.

Bruce wasn't sure what she was doing at first, so he started to turn in his chair to track her, but then figured it out and stopped that, letting her slide behind him, and lifts one hand to hook it over the forearm she rests on his upper chest. A softened proof of his appreciation for her making this easier on him. "No, I'm at a good point. Let's get out of here for a while," Bruce decides a little abruptly. Without her staring at him, he finds it simple to draw her hand from near his neck to his mouth and kiss the side of her wrist.

Betsy closes her eyes and Hmmm's as he kisses her wrist. "What do you feel like? Brazilian? Cooking meat and vegetables with fire? Chile Colorado? Something different entirely?"

She presses a soft kiss to his neck and moves around to sit facing him in a chair that is broken just enough that she tilts sideways, but acts as if nothing at all is wrong.
Aware of the broken chair, Bruce holds up one finger, and then leans down to snare her seat on either side, and tug her over a few inches. There's a full binder on the floor, that will even out that uneven leg. He positions her chair for her and smiles a little. "You were off-kilter there," he teases. "Ummm." Food choices. "I'm easy. Whatever you'd like." As usual.

"Well then I am going to say McDonald's," Betsy says as she tries out her new not-skewed seat. "I mean we could all use a Happy Meal once in awhile, don't you think?" She glances at him sidelong with a conniving gaze. "What say you to that, Dear Bruce?"

Bruce looks puzzled, but doesn't put up any real fight at all. "If that's really what you want," Bruce says. He's often a doormat, but also not foolish enough to really challenge a woman over something she really wants to eat. He pats his hands once on her knees that are towards him, and then starts to stand, removing his lab-coat off slim shoulders. "Do you want to change clothes before we go?" There's a light tease in there: his subtle, deadpan manner. He might know he's being teased, and is doing it back.

There is no way she is taking him to McDonald's, so it is a sound suggestion, but she isn't ready to give up her quest to make him voice a preference. "Oh sure!" Betsy strips off the tee without a second thought, and gives him a pointed look. "Or did you want me to change someplace more private?"

She's alarmed him. Which usually isn't a good look for Bruce to wear. Any strong emotion can be dangerous, even inflict a chill on those around him. His color is red, though. "I…. well, someone else could walk in," Bruce says, semi defensive of her. Which is definitely progress: the shyness isn't necessarily from her comfort with him, for once.

"Oh…well, when you put it that way…" She shoulders her bag and moves into an adjoining room. "Cover me, Dear. I'm going in."

Betsy disappears into the darkened lab and re-emerges moments later in a pair of black pants and a shimmery black and silver top. "Better? I'm sure McDonald's will thank you for making me presentable."

Bruce moved to one of the lab sinks to wash his hands, after hanging up the labcoat and checking himself over. He's certainly not as great looking in his casual khakis as Betsy will be, but it'll do. "While I /can/ eat almost anything, I usually prefer not to," he teases her a little. A cautious showing of skepticism about her food choice, but not actively disagreeing. Testing the water about her changing her mind, maybe. So brave.

"Ohh, all right. I suppose we can fall back on Brazilian grill." She nudges Bruce with her shoulder and looks over his shoulder into the mirror. "You look /absolutely/ perfect. Don't change a thing…"

When he's ready, Betsy leads the way to a limousine parked outside. "I have it for the day, courtesy of my photo shoot. I figure we might as well take advantage of it. Even if we aren't going someplace fancy like McDonald's." She flips her dark plum hair and grins at Bruce as the chauffeur opens the door for them.

"Yeah, uh huh," Bruce agrees with her assessment of his appearance. He's still floofed from her touching his hair. Or that being its natural state, possibly. When she brings him outside, he's confused by the limo. "Scared me for a minute, that Stark was coming along," Dr. Banner says, with an honest but deep laugh. He wouldn't be scared by his friend, really, but seeing Stark react to Betsy isn't particularly high on his list of awesome things yet. The limo's making him uncomfortable - and it isn't like he hides things like that, but as usual he's 'easy' and goes along with it. "Thank you," Bruce says softly to the chauffeur, getting in and sitting, fingers woven against his knees, taking up only a small space in the limo.

Betsy scoots close to Bruce as the Chauffeur shuts the door. "It's all right, Sweet. My car is waiting at the Golden Bull." Clearly, she never intended to make him go anywhere else. "I can drive us back."

she smiles and leans her head against Bruce's shoulder on the trip, which really isn't all /that/ long.

"It's fine, Betsy," Bruce says quickly. "I just get tense when a lot of attention is on me. Usually it's not for good reasons— it happens when suddenly I'm *somewhere* after an episode and people are crying or screaming and looking at me with —- it's hard to describe." He rambled a little, causing himself anxiety, clearly. He clears his throat and pulls an arm around her instead. "It's fine. Just reminds me of that. Being hated, feared. For the things I had just done."

"Bruce," replies Betsy softly, "Here, you will never be hated nor feared. And no one can see you here except me. And perhaps Steve," she adds, nodding to the chauffeur, grinning toothily in the rear view mirror as he looks back at them.

"Drive safely, Steve," Bruce says mildly, giving Betsy a bit of a 'look'.

When the car slides up to the restaurant, and the door is opened, Betsy slips out the door to catch any nearby onlookers' attention, before Bruce steps out looking like a khaki rockstar. She takes his arm and the two make their way inside the restaurant, where they are seated at a prime table, round, with a fire grill in the center. Two menus are given to them. But Betsy is looking at Bruce, with a soft smile.

As usual, Bruce looks like what he is: being led along somewhere by someone a lot more fabulous than he is. He's anxious about the situation overall, but also willing to be led, which causes a sort of embarrassed and overwhelmed grin to surface to the waiter when they become seated. "Thanks for bearing with me," Bruce says quietly aside to her as they sit, fiddling with the edge of menu before flipping it open.

Betsy smiles reassuringly and discusses a few options, finally settling on a combination of beef and chicken, with an array of vegetables. The chef busiest himself grilling it all to perfection while the two watch.

"So how was your day, Bruce? Working hard? You had a lot of notes there all piled up."

"Yes, I was switching projects around. Can be harder to get headway with constantly swapping, but some things for SHIELD were sent to me. I can't really talk about those, but nothing too difficult," Bruce answers, evenly, distracting himself by thinking about those items. It doesn't really pull him out of his own embarrassed head, but it does distract him from himself for a minute. "When do I get to see the results of your shoot?"

"I should have the proofs tomorrow, I'd be glad to show you anytime." Betsy speaks easily, trying to put him at ease too. The chef plates their dinner on two large platters, and sets them on the table, placing a clean plate in front of each of them. With an overdone bow, he leaves them in the privacy of their table to enjoy their dinner.

"We could have been having happy meals," Bruce says, in a tone that suggests he is entirely happy right where he is. He moves to select from the platter, with a gesture of hand to see if she wants the vegatables he's currently serving too. He's more than willing to fill her plate as well as his own. "Maybe I can come to a shoot sometime?" he asks, curious. "I'd like to see you work. You see me doing mine all the time."

"I'd love that, Bruce," Betsy says, gesturing to her choices and letting him place it on her plate. "Thank you…" She turns to him and smiles genuinely. "Not just for this. But for being who you are."

His gaze moves to her, brows lifting, still holding the serving plate to help place her choices on the plate. He's puzzled, but not unhappy. "I… sure," Bruce says lamely. His smile is uncertain, but has a hopeful charming quality in it. He doesn't know what he did, but he's accepting that he did do something good.

"Just…never knew anyone as supportive as you always are. Even when it takes you outside of your comfort zone. Don't think I don't notice." Betsy reaches up to caress his cheek affectionately.

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