1963-11-21 - Lucky to Have You
Summary: Betty receives Bruce's suicide note, and reminisces on years gone by.
Related: N/A
Theme Song: None
bruce betty 

Silence has taken over the Medical sing of SHIELD tonight. Most of the staff not technically on shift left hours ago, and the slew of offices has cleared out some time ago. Some medical personnel continue to walk about the wing as they check on patients and injuries of various sorts. A single light flooding into the hall from the offices, however, announces that someone is still around.

Silently, Betty stares at the note the police had brought her. She's spent hours staring at the script. Her eyes are puffy and red; her cheeks lined with paths where tears once were. But the tears had stopped some time ago. At least for awhile.

The numb had set in.

You brought me more happiness than I would have ever expected. This, unfortunately, has nothing to do with you.

She twitches at the words. How did they get here? How did this happen? "Oh Bruce," she sniffles.


The base was exactly the kind of place that Thunderbolt didn't want his daughter spending time. Of course, that was strategic as much as anything. Betty Ross always looked like her mother. But then, in the science wing, she'd found camaraderie she hadn't expected, much to her father's chagrin.

Lingering in the middle of the Medical Bay, Doctor Ross leans over the microscope, staring at several slides as her lips quirk into an unusual smile. "I think it's clearly irregular. I mean, whether or not we acknowledge the assailant as a mutant," she rocks her hand. "It's clearly someone advanced on the evolutionary chain."


"Do you think so?" Dr. Bruce Banner says sheepishly. Of course she thinks so. He dips his head away from her and looks at his charts. "I mean, of course. You're right." His outfit is pretty much standard. A pair of penny loafers and brown slacks. A dark shirt and a cardigan. Why he dresses this way in New Mexico is anyone's guess. Granted, it's winter, but still…

"The question is, of course, the cause. Perhaps it is a mutant, perhaps it is genetically modified, as I have suggested. Can you tell if the cells, perhaps have seen any strain?"


Betty hums quietly. "Well, Doctor," she virtually sparkles with her answer, "I mean, it's unusual, advanced… evolved in some way. It's still obviously human. Which is why my brain went to the mutant conclusion." She spins around to try to catch Bruce's gaze. "Well," she almost brightens around the word, "there is indication of some strain, but — " her lips purse lightly and then turn down into a frown " — wow. I didn't see that before." She zooms the lens on the microscope further, "I need better equipment. Someone needs to tell the General to get us better equipment. Someone he'll listen to, I mean."

Her fingers drum on the side of the machine. "It looks like some of these cells have been irrevocably irradiated." She twists around to face Bruce, and steps aside to give him a turn at the helm.


Bruce catches her eyes behind his thick glasses and smiles. "I can maybe put in a word with the Dean. He seems to get along better with General Ross than I do." He nods to her and closes the distance as he looks into the microscope. "I wonder," he begins and pulls away. "I wonder if the thinning of only parts of those cells, and their abnormal shapes, have anything to do with it. You'd think if the cell walls were thinning out that it'd be a sign of deterioration, but that it would also be more uniform. I don't know, what do you think?" Bruce folds his arms over his chest and looks to her, seemingly eager to get her opinion, which he seems to respect.


"The General is self-important," Betty offers in return with a tight-lipped smile. "Believe me. I know better than most." Her smile turns tired and she slides closer to Bruce. Absently, she smoothes the collar of his lab coat and then turns back towards the microscope. She hums thoughtfully and then an easier smile edges her lips. "Well, I think this sample wouldn't be a 'live' sample," or some proximity thereof, "if the deterioration had gone on completely. I suspect in that case we'd have head a dead one." She slips away from the microscope and Bruce earns a fond smile. Carefully, she tucks a stray strand of hair behind her ear. "I think it's certainly worth further exploration. And, perhaps, testing. If the Dean can convince the General, that is."


"I don't mean to disagree, but in fairness most of them are that way," Bruce says with a chuckle. "That doesn't mean it's not true, however." When she touches his collar he turns and smiles faintly, before stealing one more glance into the microscope. "I concur. I feel that we'll need a lot more testing to come up with any sort of hypotheses. I know you're not on this case fully, and I appreciate the help you've given us on all of these samples. Is this something you'd be willing to continue researching?"


"And here I thought General Ross was unique somehow," Betty casts Bruce an easy smile as her arms fold over her chest. "I could be more fully on the case. I mean," she actually chuckles, "I'm fairly certain the General would rather have me intern at the local hospital, but this… this is interesting. So absolutely. Assuming you want me. Only if you want me." She swallows hard. "On the case, I mean."


"I do," Banner says a little to eagerly. "Want you, uh, on the case. It'd be nice to have someone of your expertise and it'd also be nice not having to do all the work on my own. I mean, there aren't a lot of people who want to work on Gamma iradiation out there. I think everyone wants to believe all this nuclear stuff is just going to go away." His smile fades, "Other than a way to scare the Soviets, of course."


"A pipe dream, I think," Betty's smile softens as she leans towards Bruce. "The tensions aren't going to disappear," her tone quiets. "And neither is the science. No, I think you're doing incredibly important work, Bruce." She seeks out Bruce's gaze. "It's decided then. I'll stay on the case with you," her smile quirks to the side. "That is, as long as you'll have me."


"That could very well be a long time, Miss Ross," Bruce says with a smile. "I'm really lucky to have you."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License