A truly calm Mind
The moment the deep brown eyes met the green pair, his thoughts just went as wild as his muscles. The shirt was ripped apart by his shoulders first and his shoes gave a nasty sound before the leather gave in to the swelling feet. For years he hasn't reacted this spontaneously to anger or lost control in any way. But this particular pair of green eyes just made something inside him snap.
Actually. It has been a quite nice day. The New York incident was about two years ago and it hardly came to his mind anymore. There had been some threads. Miami, London even in New York again, but there was no need for him to come in at all. He wasn't really sad about it though. Spend his days in North Africa lately, helping as a doctor using his mind instead of giant green muscles. He came to a point, where he could enjoy life again, not minding the angry mind, that he kept to control himself. On this very day he almost forgot about it. The sun was up as usual but for some reason it was not burning hot. Most people were enjoying this unusual weather and it seemed that even the sickness and pain of the weak people granted him a day off.
Right now he was strolling around some ruins with nothing on his mind. Almost nothing. While the sunset was about to begin, he found himself sitting at the edge of a small cliff staring over the desert. Bruce Banner was clearly enjoying this moment since such silence was very rare for him. Usually after just a couple of seconds the Hu-… the other guy was showing up in his head. Talking, roaring, demanding. But not today. A smile came to his lips when he thought about his second half taking a day off as well. So he closed his eyes for a second and took a deep breath.
It was then when a very unexpected voice reached his ear.
"Wow, what happened to you? Listening to the wind and being all romantic…?" A clear tone of mocking came from this line but Bruce was still smiling. His eyes left close he answered in a low voice.
"So yo come to visit me? Or am I needed again."
He received no answer. Only could he hear the steps of his unexpected company. He waited until the movement stopped before he opened his eyes and gazed up to the man that was about to sit down next to him.
"It's good to see you, Tony. You look great."
About a year has passed since he took over the throne in Asgard. Maybe two years since he last saw most of the group calling themselves "the mighty Avengers". Quite some time. So it was no surprise that he decided to check on them. To reach his goals it was necessary that he beat them. One way or another. His former pet, Hawkeye was no thread. Not on his own. Neither was the woman. Especially now that she was busy with the patriot. This man out of time was easy to fool. The god of mischief knew as well that the tin man gave up his suits. So there was a possible way to beat him without putting up a real fight. The only real thread left for the trickster was the monster locked inside a humble man.
The first of these five people he had checked in two days, without them noticing. But he was hesitating for the fifth one. Sitting in his throne he was rubbing his tired eyes. Hours must have passed without him moving. He just couldn't understand, why he was hesitating. It was not fear speaking out of him. Nor insecurity. There was something else. A thought he could not quite grab. Finally he stood up in a rather urgent movement. A plan had just crossed his mind and a grin found a way to his lips.
"Time to go out and play again.", he whispered to himself in a deep voice and left the room. There was need for some preparations. It would take a couple of days for him to fully understand why he was that excited after all.
Finding the intelligent man was not a problem. He got the location from Stark whom he could easily get to talk. Chatting about friends, traveling and countries it was easy to get to the conclusion, that Banner was somewhere in North Africa. Spotting the man himself in said area was a bit tricky. He must have lived there for some month already and manage to merge almost perfectly into the mass of natives. But then he was the master of lies and disguises and a challenge like that was just, what he was looking for.
Even though there was something he did not foresee.
The chatting did not really go further. Bruce watched his friend as he was sitting down next to him and if he did not recognized the strange way of his movements that were almost too elegant for a playboy, he did spot the mistake in this picture at once.
He had barely spoken these two words when his anger took over. And with it, the other guy. Those green blue eyes that were full of mischief jet full of grief and despair as well. He would recognize those eyes between a million. And he was sure that his reaction would always be the same. Blind anger.
Before he knew what happened, he had grabbed the leg right next to him and threw his visitor trough the air. When he hit the ground the first time, the trickster hadn't even manage to shift back into his real self. Another blow to the ground was followed by three more dashes of his arm. The tall green monster took a deep breath through the nose and grunted snidely down to the trickster. Loki just let a voiceless sound of pain passing his lips. That was not what he had in mind when he visited this man. Never before did anyone recognize him this fast. And surely he did not expect a repetition of their first meeting. That he wanted to avoid.
Luckily his mind was still working perfectly and when the Hulk turned his back on Loki the god raised his voice again. Or at least he tried.
"Fascinating that you release your anger caused by them on me." He tried to sound superior, but he could not oppress the tone of pain and surprise. Slowly he leaned on his elbows and lifter himself in a sitting position.
The Hulk, ready to leave the foe behind stopped in his movement.
"What do you know.", he snarled almost offended.
"Oh, I can read you. In fact… I might be the only one truly understanding you."
A Moment of silence brought a bizarre touch to this scene. The giant was glaring at his own shadow that was stretching out over the ruins. His muscles were tensing and even more anger seemed to arose from the spoken words. But he was not turning around jet. For some reason he was hesitating. Almost waiting.
"They simply used you. And you know I am right." The tricksters voice was still feeble. One could hear that he was in pain, even though his roots made him heal very quickly.
"Blame it on me, if you want. But you can not deny that I was only showing the truth to you."
It was Loki now, sitting on the small cliff facing the sunset with closed eyes and simply listening to his surrounding. The pain had something sweet and for some reason he felt light and happy.
The Hulk stood still, his back turned on the god.
"Shut up!", he demanded.
A grin grew on Lokis face.
"Why? Can't you stand the truth. You are not angry with me. You are angry with them. Non of them has called you since New York, am I right. They all know where to find you, but none o them came looking."
He leaned back a bit, trying to get rid of the pain in his back.
"No invitations, no letters, not even a freaking postcard. Because…"
"… they don't need you right now. Nor your human mind."
The Hulk swirled around, roaring at his visitor who sat still.
The trickster slowly opened his eyes, his grin as wide as it could be. He knew he had found his way into Banners mind. And since he enjoyed games like that he considered himself more than fabulous for this achievement. Jet again, he did not fully foresee what might happen.
The problem in a tricksters life is and was that he lacked the power of understanding sentiments. The meaning of true feelings failed to reach him ever since he figured out about his adoption. He had a slight idea though. Thanks to Frigga who might be the only person showing him true love. But even that was destroyed by the "greatness" of his so-called brother Thor. So while he thought himself above the situation, he missed the true point of Banners behavior.
"Don't ever show up here again.", he hissed being all human and vulnerable again. His eyes laid on the back of the trickster. He just sat there breathing heavily and quiet.
"Just leave me alone…" Bruce did not finished the sentence like he originally intended but turned around and left for the city. When he was sure to be out of sight he turned and made his way to a couple of caves where he could do no damage to somebody innocent.
"…like the other did."
Hours passed. Maybe even days. Bruce couldn't tell. His anger and rage drove him deep into the earth smashing trough cave walls and stone. His mind gone wild, he was not able to control himself again. Every time he was surrounded by silence there was this voice again. His voice. Unfortunately it was speaking the truth. Knowing that just fed his anger more and more until even the Hulk was exhausted. At least in some way. He could not bear any more thoughts but neither could he stop them and rest.
When he left the caves again he felt lost and desperate. The sun stood high above the green monster that was moving with slow steps. He did not watch the way and looked up in surprise, when he found himself back in the ruins. It was as hot as usual and even the wind was silent and probably hiding in the few shadows. Not knowing what exactly he wished for, Banner threw a look at the small cliff and stopped in astonishment. He was still sitting there. The Hulk was able to see from the distance that the god was breathing calmly now.
"You came back."
Loki spoke before Banner was sure he had already noticed him. His voice was low but not feeble. And to Hulks surprise there was no mean tone in his statement.
"Made up your mind jet?"
He remained silent and approached the god until there was no more space than the length of his arm between them.
"You haven't move." It was not a good answer but it gave him time to think. The Hulk started to think. That was usually the point, where he found back do Bruce again, but today was different. The green muscles were tensed again as he waited for the smaller one to reply.
"Had no reason to. Nor the intension."
Something in Lokis voice was different this time and in an instant Banner had those green eyes in his mind. So clever jet so sad.
"Not afraid, I might smash you again?", he asked his voice sounding way more aggressive than he intended. But he earned only a laughter. He knew perfectly well that this was not the way to defeat the god of mischief.
It was this exact moment when Banner asked himself the right question. This one question Loki still tried to grab so that he might start to look for an answer. The Hulk acted as he was intend to. As if Loki was a thread to him. But the trickster did not show up as a thread. He disguised himself as a friend. In Lokis eyes the closest friend Bruce had. So why was he offended by the god appearing next to him all of a sudden?
Unexpected clarity hit the Hulk with such intense, a hit couldn't have caused more damage. His body started to tremble as he waited for the final proof.
"I always liked you most out of all the mortals. …for the smashing I guess. Isn't it one of the most honest languages one could speak?"
Loki could hear the creature behind him going down on his knees and he was waiting for a heavy blow from one of his fists. His sad smile vanished, as he realized what was about to happen. And there was just one expression left on his face. Confusion. Two long not so green arms were closing around his shoulders from behind. No further word was spoken. None the less was he sure about the warm smile that covered Banners lips.
Unable to defend against this sort of treatment the tricksters mind was swirling around restlessly, trying to understand. Bruce Banner on the other hand was as calm as he could be in body and mind. Realizing what a treasure he had just found in his arms he was able to let go of the anger completely for the first time since the other guy inhabited his head. And as the silence grew heavier both men started to understand what had brought them together here.