Fandom(s): Animorphs and The Avengers
Rating: T (as according to ffnet)
Characters In Chapter: Tobias and Bruce Banner
The events of the previous evening had shaken me to my core. I had nearly died far away from home. So far away that I'd have to travel to a different dimension to get back to my friends. To get back to my fight.
I didn't spend much time at Avengers Tower during the following day. I needed time to think. Time to go over the events. I also needed time to not think about anything. To fully escape into the mind of the hawk. The hawk part of me that had no understanding of what had happened.
You could say that the hawk part of me thought that I had been extremely stupid.
But eventually I had to return. I didn't want anyone to panic about me and disturb their important work. I didn't want to cause too many problems while I was here.
So tonight I was sitting on the couch by Bruce as the evening news played. It was interesting to see what was happening on a day by day basis in the Avengers universe. I could tell Rachel all about this when...Rachel. If I ever got back home.
"You've been quiet." Bruce said with a voice tinged slightly with shame.
Bruce was ashamed for what he had nearly done and I was ashamed because of how stupid I had been. If I hadn't waited, if I hadn't paused, then he wouldn't be ashamed. I would be slightly spooked and we could've laughed about it.
I'm not usually talkative. I said, a little afraid for this conversation to continue.
"Listen, I'm sor-" Bruce started.
It...it was my mistake. I could've flown away and been safe. I could've prevented it. I told him.
"But you were afraid."
I wished I could give Bruce a good answer. An answer that would make him able to look at me. That would relieve him of all his faults.
You were...different when you changed. I told him, telling a half truth. I'm used to morphing and how that looks. You were different when you changed. I guess curiosity nearly killed the hawk.
Bruce looked at me. I felt his eyes seem to blame me of lying. Like he knew that what I was telling him wasn't true. At least, not all of it.
I flexed my talons, feeling them cut into the couch. My feathers ruffled and I started to preen myself.
"Am I really that interesting?" Bruce asked with a small smirk on his face.
Parts of you are. I said and was glad I couldn't blush.
Why would I be blushing now?
"Parts of me." Bruce replied and turned his attention back to the tv. "Tobias I..I think you're a good friend. You're a kid and all, but you're good to have around. Great to keep Tony at bay."
He's not that bad. I said as I finished preening.
"It feels like I get overloaded. With you, I see myself. I guess it's just easier to talk to you."
As Bruce talked I noticed something strange about his face. It kept moving in strange directions and then the man would take control again. Was he trying to control the Hulk or was it something else?
I sort of feel that way with Marco. He's a great guy, but sometimes you really just need a break from him. I finally replied.
"Seems like they could get along great." Bruce said and turned to me.
No. No. No. I said, barely containing my laughter. Just no.
With that, Bruce and I started laughing. It felt great to hear him laughing. To not be in so much pain. It was almost like...like...like I was just a normal boy hanging out with a friend. No aliens and I was in the dimension I had been born in.
There was no war and I wasn't in danger of losing anyone.
"Pepper only districts him for so long." Bruce said with a fake sigh. "Mostly it's him finding new ways to annoy everyone else."
He slowly lifted his hand and touched my back. I stiffened and then relaxed. It took great effort to calm the hawk mind, but I did so. It was easier to keep that part of me calm when Bruce started scratching. It felt like heaven.
It also felt odd. Hawks aren't used to being petted and I had seen what Bruce could become at any moment. Any moment he could lose control, maybe that made this petting even more exciting. The fact that I could die at any moment.
"I'm sorry for what happened." Bruce said and stopped. "I'm the adult. I should know better."
We all make mistakes. I said, trying to calm him. We're only human.
Were we? Bruce and myself were in the same condition. I didn't consider myself fully human anymore. There was a connection between us that could have no substitute. A good friendship.
I...does it matter? I asked. I'm half-boy and half-hawk. I don't think I'd fit as either. And I'd be scared if I no longer had the hawk mind beside me.
Bruce just nodded and I waited for him to say he was human and that he was a monster.
"I'm going to bed." Bruce said as he stood up. "More tests tomorrow and more Tony to deal with."
I nodded as he left. The tv still playing in the background. I had stopped listening to the news of this dimension as I had realized something about Bruce and myself.
I was lying to myself when I thought of Bruce as a friend. I thought of him as much more than that. A friend was someone like Ax or Jake, someone I could tell my troubles to and they wouldn't abandon me.
My feelings for Bruce were like my feelings for Rachel. Some deep, unbreakable bond. Of course not as strong as with her, but still extremely similar.
But Bruce was older, far older, and that was wrong. So wrong. And I was dating Rachel and cheating on her was even worse. I shouldn't do this and yet the thought of him as my lover kept persisting.
I was in another dimension and might never get back home. Why should I be stuck to someone that I would never see again? I had to move on, right?
As for Bruce's age...I didn't care. I loved him.