Fic| Bruce and Hulk talk about Caiera and come to an understanding. G
‘I don’t know what to do.’
At first Bruce wasn’t sure he’d understood what Hulk had said or that he was even trying to communicate. It had been several months since they’d really spoken to one another. Hulk was too busy ruling over his hard-won kingdom and Bruce, he was happy to admit, was content to relinquish control for the first time since the accident and to be a passenger without having to worry about the consequences.
It had been a difficult transition for them to work through, initially, not because of anything external, but because they were both so incredibly resistant and unwilling to compromise with one another. Bruce had blindly ignored what was going on around them, and relied on past experiences, stupidly assuming that he knew best. Hulk had allowed him to take over exactly once, as a means to an end, and Bruce learned very quickly that he was the outcast on planet Sakaar.
That had been almost a year ago and things had progressed well for them. Caiera and Hulk had married; she’d requested that Hulk stop hiding parts of himself and Hulk cursed that every woman that they’d ever liked between them should always be so goddamn intelligent. So Hulk regressed and let Bruce out, afraid that Caiera would recoil with disgust (at which point Bruce grimaced, because he knew exactly what that felt like. How Ironic that Bruce was now the shameful secret half).
Bruce was struck almost silent by her. It was so much different on the outside than what he’d imagined. He only recieved feelings from Hulk, sometimes scattered images but he’d never thought about the sheer enormity of the palace. Caiera stole his field of vision, though, and she was impossibly beautiful and incredibly kind to him. Bruce spoke to her, never once looking from her face, and told her of Earth, where, for better or worse, Hulk was born. She listened silently and when Bruce finished, she accepted him with a kiss. Hulk reemerged then and Bruce didn’t fight it.
'I wasn't sure you were meaning to talk to me.' Bruce replied with no inflection; there was no need. He wasn’t upset. He had willfully accepted that his role in their lives was reaching or had reached the end. Sometimes Bruce caught the tail end of thoughts; usually if Hulk was mulling or being otherwise inwardly thoughtful- it never meant that he’d wanted dialog with Bruce any other time.
'I was. Do you know what's happening to Caiera?' Bruce tried to remember. Things were always so fuzzy; time didn’t flow the same when he was a passenger.
‘Is she … pregnant?’ Hulk confirmed with a mental nod. Bruce sighed and tried to recall how excitement felt. Being insubstantial seemed to come with many drawbacks.
‘She seems unhappy. I don’t know how to change this.’
Bruce did remember laughter. Hulk’s internal atmosphere shifted to something decidedly dangerous and Bruce backed off, slightly. ‘The reason she’s changing is because she’s changing, Hulk. She’s pregnant and it’s not always comfortable. There’s not a lot you can do other than weather the worst of it and be there for her.’
'I do not like this.'
Bruce sent him a mental shrug. He knew that ‘this’ referred something that Hulk couldn’t fix with violence. It was most of what he knew, after all. Hulk had it in him to be peaceful, he just didn’t know how to act or how to fit in after the dust had settled. He got restless and now that his wife was swelling and changing, Bruce realized that there was no precedence for this. He only knew what to expect because it was a natural thing to humans, they grew up around it. Hulk might have an intrinsic knowledge from Bruce but he did not know everything because he had never grown up, he was created.
Bruce surmised that bipedal pregnancies were all fairly similar but because Hulk’s biology was so different, it was probably playing some role in Caiera’s overall uneasiness.
Bruce and Hulk talked for several hours and had come to an understanding; Bruce knew more of this kind of thing and they both knew he was more of a precision instrument than Hulk was. Hulk talked it over with Caiera and she seemed more relieved than she had in months; Hulk knew he had made the right decision, even if it took him out of the equation. Bruce would be the dominant personality for the next few months, unless the King was needed.