1963-08-22 - Green Thief in the Night
Summary: The Hulk likes to steal ideas.
Related: N/A
Theme Song: None
bruce jennifer peter 

The apartment belonging to the young Peter Parker is not really much to brag about. It's a three story walk up that take up one side of an old tenement brownstone that clearly has seen its best days well in the past. On the way up the wooden stairs are rickety, some of the supports are missing for the railing, and the walls were last painted before the Nazis were a thing. But, to be fair, the land lord is an okay guy who actually keeps it fairly rat free and is somewhat of a handy man, it's just the building definitely isn't what one would call 'purty.'

Once one gets up to the actual apartment, the door is at least sturdy, maybe replaced at a certain point in the recent past for some reason. And then inside in the living/dining/kitchen it's…


It's compact. There, that's kind.

There's a place for a black and white television, and some bean bag chairs. There's a folded card table with a few folded chairs just opposite the kitchenette that rests underneath the lone window towards the street. A hallway leads off from that main room towards the bathroom, bedroom, presumably. But the last room, as Jen has most likely learned, is playing the role of a workshop for him. It's the place where there's a bunch of chemistry bits and electronica, a desk set up for tinkering, and a rather… chaotic approach to storage of the same.


Stairs earn a flicker of a smile as Banner scales them. The knowledge of well traveled routes through many seedy apartments over the years have meant he's scaled many stairs. All indications prior to entry grant a sort of reassurance that thus far, Peter Parker is as Bruce had expected.

There's no question Bruce Banner has lived with meagre beginnings, a fact that has never escaped Banner's attention. His hands slowly retreat into his pockets as he reaches the door to the walk up, and he raps lightly on the wood. After a few beats, he glances over his shoulder, and, with a one shouldered shrug silently asking whether anyone would care, he tries the handle.

It gives easily enough, and with a quiet creak, of wood it slides open. Quietly, Bruce peers through the crack produced, feeling a stitch awkward and the presumed violation. The floor complains beneath Banner's gait, and he, rather slowly, steps into the apartment. "Jen?" he calls cautiously while his eyes flit about the room. "I'm here. We should head out, I left the car running downstairs — "


The floor daren't protest with a lady around. Not one who is fastidiously fighting with her hair to attempt an actual fashionable style rather the sort of professional look that she always has. She stands in front of a mirror with three combs, a brush, and an exceptionally irritated look on her face. Sadly tutorials outside of magazines are a thing in the future, and she keeps glancing down to the open Vogue.

She's busy teasing and backcombing her parted hair, uttering a low, angry growl worth warning off the unexpected or those not part of the Hulk bloodline. On the other hand, her crazily hairsprayed and texturized coiffure has to look insane as she's trying to keep the volumized pieces in one hand, and her bangs pulling back and… it's not quite a disaster. It's only a disaster if she gives up.

It's only a disaster if she loses her cool. Staring in the mirror, her fingers work through the dark tresses that now /stick/ to her damn fingers, and isn't that just the perfect moment when Bruce steps in. "I'm just finishing up!" This from a girl who never bothers much with cosmetics. Much. "…bloody useless two-bit bobbypin…"


There's a flicker of a smile at the reassurance of Jen's voice; Banner is in the right place. More than once he's suffered that embarrassment, and it's not one he likes to relive. "Take your time," he calls back as he begins to pad about the room. While he would suggest that perhaps they should get a move on, Bruce has learned over the years this is not a suggestion you make to a woman getting ready; not any woman.

He squints as he looks about the compact combo that is the living/dining room/kitchen. A lopsided, rather boyish, smile draws across his lips. His mom would call it cozy; a thought that only brings back warm fuzzy feelings over his consciousness. Slow paces bring him towards the bathroom, peeking in the general direction of the room for whatever mystery befalls his cousin in her bid to get ready. But he doesn't exactly stop there, instead, curiosity takes him to the end of the hall to the workshop.

The place is given a once over as he lingers in the doorway. Again he casts a glance over his shoulder. "Going to be long?" he asks somewhat haphazardly. Deciding the answer before it's been given, he shuffles into the workshop proper and strolls to the desk before sitting down at it to study the odds and sods that fill the room.


"I take any longer, the next ice age will be upon us," mutters the attorney through a mouthful of bobbypins. Seven, to be exact, balanced out like someone ate a giant mechanical spider. Perhaps she did. Jen struggles to force behaviour upon the naughty wings of her bangs swept around her temples, and getting her fingers free didn't help. Back to arresting progress with a finetoothed comb that might be a replacement for the broken one in the garbage.

Two fiddly strokes are followed by a jab of the metal torture device, lockpick, and securer of hair. In goes the bobbypin, and she stares at her reflection in the mirror. Light shines around the ajar doorway, giving an excellent idea of her preparations with the alchemy transforming mousy professional into French chic. Look, there's even a red and white -scarf- to go with her Breton stripe shirt.

She's almost cool. "Mmm, foo sec'ds 'ore," she answers, her grin a toothy and dangerous thing. It ends when she jabs herself with another pin; so much for being coated. "Ow!" No reason to panic. Not like she can't heal whatever live throws at her physically. She swivels, looking at her reflection in the mirror. Hey, it might even work. "Sorry about the wait, Bruce!" This suggests many a bobbypin was thrown aside or being used to torture herself. "I had the bright idea… This French girl's look… remind me never to do this again."




When Aunt May looked in on Peter's dwelling, she had merely clucked her tongue and said softly, 'Oh Peter.' But then again she had a preview of what his life would be like when she every now and then would pick up in his room. Though that stopped in high school when he started bringing home his chemistry experiments.

But for Dr. Banner, a genius himself, he might actually be able to perceive the method to the young man's madness. There are a few spiral notebooks on the left side of the large desktop, one opened in part to a series of equations that speak to weight and tensile strength at various velocities. A few pages in there are some chemistry notations, a few bar graphs gauging the success of a few variables that are unlisted in detail yet seem to have a connection to the initial equations. Those notebooks, however, would be of little interest save perhaps as some daydreaming chemist's idle thoughts… combine those notes with the equipment on hand and it comes about into an entirely different light.

It seems that the more volatile chemicals are on the right side of the desktop and have markings to make the user rather aware of it, even beyond traditional markings. There are also a variety of items that speak to converting formulae to different states of matter and examining their durability.


"Honestly, take your time," Bruce calls back after the apology. "I get to shower, towel dry my hair, and leave." It's a fortunate chain of events. The Hulk wouldn't stand for longterm primping. Banner cranes his neck as he spies the open notebook, and the equations are regarded with a slight wrinkle of his nose, a pursing of his lips, and squinting of his eyes. He grasps the notebook, and carefully glances between the book and the materials strewn about the makeshift lab.

Banner lifts one of the many bottles of chemicals, and reads the ingredients. "What are you working on?" he mumbles to himself, not loud enough to catch Jen's attention. Finally he calls towards his cousin, "What is Peter's graduate work on again?"


That, Bruce, is why she is the /sensational/ Banner, thank you very much. And when she does get around to swiping a few loose tendrils back, the nascent practice to forge her own take on Brigitte Bardot's iconic hairstyle actually looks well. It might look better mossy green, but who cares?

The light flicks off, Bruce's warning to the changing tide of events. She halts about a step out of the bathroom, reaching back for the comb off the counter and two more of the elastics not used in the process. "Materials chemistry at Empire State. Synthesis and development of better fabrication techniques, primarily, though I have to think he picks up elements of engineering and physics, from what it sounds like. You might have to ask him for the deeper particulars, of course."

See? Even the attorney can get the basic details right. She carries her can of hairspray in her right hand, sauntering down the short hallway. Not much time now. "Why? Planning on flipping over the field anew? I know you'd take it as a challenge." Her grin is nearly audible.


Of course it's at that moment that one might hear outside in the hallway the footsteps of someone approaching the front door. Yes, the walls are pretty thing, but that's what you get when you pay as much rent as Peter Parker does.

Then there's a jangle of keys at the door, only for the knob to turn as he remembers that someone might already be there. Parker's voice is then heard as he casually shoulders open the door, probably a few moments after Bruce and Jen exchange a few more words. "Hey, Jen you still here?"


With the light going off in the bathroom, Bruce lowers the chemical, returns the notebook, and shuffles back into the hall. He leans against the hall wall and waits just outside, lingering a few extra moments as he continues to think on what Peter has in his lab. "So…" he pauses, "he thinks about processes to build a better mousetrap?" the smirk can be heard in his voice. Yes, he is shooting for trouble.

"Been working in genetics recently," he offers quietly. "Finished the prototype for the Absorbatron, and it works." He inhales a long deep breath, "In a pinch it could save many lives, but," that's all assuming imminent nuclear disaster isn't on their doorstep, a fact Bruce knows to be true. The thought is never finished aloud.

"No, not switching exactly. Working at merging two sides into one. I'm a long ways from a breakthrough there though."

Peter's voice has Bruce shuffling back down the hall — he was just outside talking to Jen the whole time, clearly. "Yeah, we haven't left yet. Getting ready is an art."


"Oh, come now, there's room for three supergeniuses in the city. Four if Mr. Stark falls out of the sky riding his phallic rocket again," Jen replies. She retorts to the smirk by putting her hands on her hips, leaning forward a degree. Give her a second and she might actually stick her tongue out. "There is a place for materials science as much as packaging engineering. That may not have the glamour of anyone working on particle physics or the sensationalism of the people playing with fancy devices at Argonne, but they make an important contribution everyday. Polymers, ooh!"

Fluttering her hands, she almost dramatically swoons. All pretend, of course. Then she straightens up, her ill-gotten hair products held in both hands.

His news actually settles around Jen and she listens attentively, nodding. "You've been productive. It feels good, being back in the lab, doesn't it?" Then the voice of her boyfriend causes her to look to the door and brighten like someone turned up the setting on a lightbulb. "I am, ho—Peter! Bruce swung by a bit ago."

Not perking up. No way. Totally not smiling for no reason.


And there he is, backpack slung over his shoulder and his smile open to the both of them. "Bruce, hey!" He gives a small wave as he steps forward to touch a hand to Jen's, giving a faint squeeze as he steps to the side to clear the way in case they have to rush off. "Hey Jen, you look pretty great." He says happily as he looks to her. "Sorry I couldn't get back earlier, I did kinda rush a bit but…" He looks towards Bruce and then back to her as he rubs at the back of his neck, "Something came up. Glad I got to catch you guys, though, before you had to run."

He sets his backpack down, ESU clear on the side of it. "I'd come along but Jameson has my nose to the grindstone with that Stilt-Guy escaping the other day." He purses his lips a bit as if to say that such is his lot in life.


"The lab is useful," Bruce agrees quietly. To say he's happy might be a stretch, but he's oddly satisfied with it. "And necessary. There's a lot going on in the world." An eyebrow is arched at Jen's perking, but Banner makes no comment. His expression smooths and he hmmms quietly. His eyes flit between the pair and he cants his head to the side. The equations, chemicals, and notion of tensile strength all continue to roll over the cogs in his mind. "Stilt-Guy?" he asks quietly.

"I take it the photo journalism business is… challenging?"


"I'll forgive you when you make it up to me." See, Jen even made an effort to get out of the black and white suits that make up her wardrobe. Now she has stripes and solid colours, a pool game in the making. Her fingers curl around Peter's for a moment when he steps in, and the brightening of her smile is evident for anyone not covered in blinding glitter. "Work comes first. I get that. After this needless conference, the next time I decide to take on the system, I'm going to do it with a change of skin." Fingers curl and she wrinkles her nose. "Still no one taking us seriously down there. A Congressman's aide thought I was the /secretary/."

This is a fatal error. A wonder she didn't tear him apart. Poor man.

"Stilt-Guy running around in front of the Natural History Museum? Or was that Levitating Metal Legs Man? I confess they kind of blur together. Never an off day in New York." Eyes are not rolling, oh no.


"Sometimes," Peter looks at Bruce with a sort of exasperated look to clearly make that single word offered an understatement. "I only got the gig because I lucked out once and got some shots of some of those costumed vigilantes, and ever since then whenever J.J. needs something he always aims me at it. So I end up studying and looking out for a ruckus. Sometimes I'm lucky, but then again sometimes…"

He lets that word hang there as he shrugs a bit sheepishly. And, to be fair, he's not exactly lying to Bruce. Not really. Okay a smidge.

But then he looks back to Jen and smiles easily, "Sure thing, we'll go to that diner on 37th?" He offers that as a suitable venue, but then he grins as he starts to pull his keys out of his pockets and tosses them in a small glass bowl on one of the few counters in the kitchenette. "Stilt-Guy is the one with the like, armor and the dome head and the giant legs." He nods, "Though I don't know what name he answers to."


Bruce smirks at the mention of changing skin, "Change will come. Give it time, Jen." Ever the patient one, Banner sighs softly and then shakes his head. "Besides, the world isn't stopping for a second anymore. Not for anyone. Everything happening in the south, protests around here — " his cheeks puff out with an exhalation of breath and he issues her a shrug.

He squints at the mention of the costumed vigilantes. "So you lucked out and landed yourself a job?" His tongue rolls over his lips, "Who did you get shots of?" There's an almost too-casual lilt to his tone and he leans forward on the balls of his feet. "You must be pretty lucky to be in the right place at the right time to catch them all on film." Pause. "Or unlucky to be caught in desperate circumstances frequently…"


"You didn't have to stand there watching other women being treated like they had no place there," Jen replies quietly though there's an edge to her voice, a dangerous one, that makes this topic relatively volatile. Be absolutely unsurprised. "When they march in the South singing for freedom, it's hard not to want to join them. To sing for it up here, too, and to add a few more hats in the ring. We got the right to vote, but not to be seen as equals." Her sigh lets the matter go slightly.

When Bruce presses another issue, anyways, she throws her hands in the air, closing in on Peter to offer the poor guy a hug. "Hamburgers again. Nine. Don't forget, and you can tell your boss that you've got a prior engagement. Important. Something about a scoop involving /cats./" The stress get sa little grin out of her, a spark to her eyes. "Or it could be something regarding Holliway's latest case, I wouldn't know. Going to be an ugly show at the state court in, oh, two weeks. Mm. At Stilt-Guy. Chrome Dome?"


Stepping back so Bruce and Jen can bat that point back and forth a few times, Peter smiles a bit lop-sidedly as he's heard the argument before and made his own as well. For now he doesn't get in the middle. Though when Bruce asks him he sort of blushes a touch and smiles, "Well… to be fair one of my more recent ones was seeing Jen doing her thing." He gives a small nod to the woman even as she steps towards him and luckily interrupts where his discussion with Bruce might be going.

"Okay," A turn of his head gives her a kiss on the cheek even as he draws her into a hug before stepping back. "Hamburgers, nine. Roger." His lip curls and he waves as he perhaps presumes they'll be on their way out shortly. "Take care of yourselves, you two… and drive safe."


"Jen," there's quiet pleading in the name, "we're not on different sides here." Bruce's assertion is soft, but not quite as gentle as he intends. There is however a vague sense of warning in his eyes, the ever present other vying to get out.

And having succeeded in doing so without warning, Banner is keenly aware that the other guy lays in wait. Hulk lulls over Banner's mind, skirting along the edge of his consciousness, asking to be let out to play.

Banner prods him back and simply nods at Peter. "We always drive safe," and at the remark, he can feel Hulk smirk at him. He ticks his towards the door and offers, "Shall we?"


The sigh follows. It's her own cross to bear, the own proof of everything gone awry in the world when she has to stare down at those great massed marches. What, exactly, was she doing in Washington, D.C., anyways?

"There's going to be a bigger march next week. I'm going down Saturday again, if you want to come. Open invitation." Her olive branch comes with a smile, and Jen spreads her hands lightly. "Good chance for photographs. Anyways, Bruce, you're going to be dragging me halfway across town at this rate! We better hurry on our way."

A shining grin is thrown his way. "Let's go scare the taxi drivers. They deserve it!"

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