Nonmoving Targets

March 10, 2019:

Bruce Banner takes up a new skill in the Danger Room.

X-Men Danger Room

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

The X-men Danger Room is in use. It is a beautiful, open outdoor scene: wide stretches of grass, fields, warm sunlight. It's very pretty. There are woods and bushes towards one end, and some gear at another. A closer look will reveal it is some kind of hunting simulation. Banner is sitting near the gear itself, poking around in the guns, and staring down towards the trees. A few Danger Room targets are set up, which does break the ambiance of the hunting field quite a bit.

"Non-moving targets, please, computer," Bruce says aloud, and then starting to pick up some of the handguns. He needs training, he's noticed. And it has to start somewhere.

Betsy has been looking for Bruce. She's searched the dining hall. The laboratory. The classrooms. The offices. But she knows he's there. A light, brief psychic scan in his direction reveals a…surprisingly serene environment. With guns.

<Guns, Dear? Are we hunting robots or food?> She chides him playfully, finally locking on his location. <Oooh…The Danger Room. Need any help?>

There's mental amusement, embarrassment. Two emotions that often come up when she reads into his thoughts. Bruce is calm, at least: but now? Self conscious as hell!

<I don't really know what I'm doing. But I feel like I've been a hindrance unless the big guy comes out. I'd like to… at least not entirely feel useless on a mission.>

<Coming in…> Betsy warns him before disturbing the serenity of the Danger Room's setting. She releases the lock on the door and lets herself in quietly. "It's a noble cause, Bruce…I just can't….feature you with a firearm…Are you sure you're up to this, Dear?" She approaches Bruce and looks over the assortment of weapons. "If you are, I would be glad to assist, however I can."

Bruce is there, with a handgun in both hands, lowered. He'd been sighting along it while sort of trembling a little, staring off at the target down the way. It isn't a real gun: it's more like a laser-tag style trainer, but Bruce is treating it like a real weapon. It may as well be, for the purposes of what he's doing.

"It's what I have, though," Bruce says lamely.

What you have, Dear Bruce, is a beautifully brilliant mind. You help in a multitude of ways…" Betsy's deep violet hair is swept up, and spilling down in a cluster of curls over a neat twist. She is wearing a fitted black dress, long-sleeved, with a small diamond cutout just below the nape of her neck. And sensible black patent heels, which she slips off by the door. She approaches and picks up a weapon, another handgun, and holds it, keeping it pointed down at her side. "But I will never discourage you from learning to protect yourself more effectively."

"It's not about protecting myself," Bruce reminds her, with a smile, looking distractedly at her beauty. He looks away, then, though, back to his 'project', fiddles with the gun some, looks down at it.

"I mean, I can be shot. It's about everyone else." He swallows, takes aim. "It's always about that."

Betsy tilts her head, a soft smile toying at her lips. "With you, It's always about everyone else. It's something pure and beautiful and constant. If you ever wondered what I see in you…" She smiles more easily, moving close enough to finger the waves in his hair lightly. "Let's do what it takes t' make you feel better, then, hmm?"

Bruce blushes, his usual heavy red flush, but smiles at her as she comes over to touch his hair. "Yeah, well, if only that carried over to the big guy too, then I'd really be in business," Bruce says, embarrassed: not from the touch, but of his own inability.

Bruce lowers the gun and turns towards her for a hug, turning his face in against her neck, arm drawing around her middle. He did want the comfort, the gun thing isn't something he likes. It's a 'have to'.

Embracing Bruce warmly, Betsy encircles him with her arms, drawing him closer. A soft kiss is pressed against his temple.

"If this is what you need to make things right in your heart…in your mind….Then I'm behind you, a hundred percent. A thousand. Just so long as you understand that you're not something - someone - who needs to be fixed. It's a matter of making sure that you're comfortable with who you are. Let's get you /there/."

"I don't know. Just seemed like it wouldn't hurt to have another useful skill," Bruce says into her neck and shoulder, as she hugs him. He withdraws his head back to see her better. There's some mild stress or anxiety in him, but he's suppressing it: as is usually the case with Banner.

"Of course I'm not comfortable with who I am. I can't ever really relax, or let my emotions get out of control. I'm not okay with being this broken, but— I am okay with working on it. And accepting that I am. No suicidal thoughts," he promises her. And looks at the target. "I'm gonna get a little closer to start with," he says.

Betsy smiles warmly, endeared by his determination. "Whatever it takes, Bruce." She means that, on so many levels. And without intruding on his thoughts, Betsy imparts a sense of calm over the room, an attempt to allow him to focus, with as few doubts as possible. "Just breathe. You can do this. I've faith. Jus' take your time."

It can sometimes backfire. It does now. Bruce senses the calm, and overthinks it, and his nerves explode. "Do I need to be calm? Was I not calm? I'm calm," Bruce says in a not-calm manner, trying to shake himself, and strides forward a handful of steps towards the target.

"Shooting. Yeah." He hesitates, but then fires. It's probably in the trees someplace.

The created calm in the room dissipates, gradually ebbing gently away. "I was trying to help, Bruce. I wasn't in yer mind. Apologies. Faith in someone means trusting…blindly. I should have. I do." She smiles and moves up alongside him with her gun. "We'll try together, hmm?"

"Sorry. I'm jumpy today. I don't know what's with me. I'm all right, I'm not going to mood swing, I think," Bruce assures her. "Let's just shoot, then. Do you know any tips? I'm just working off memory. Natasha showed me a few times, but that was a year ago," Bruce says, and starts to work on the task at hand, using what knowledge she'll help him with.

Over time, he does relax, although he's a really horrible shot.

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