Deleted Chapter 1: Part 1- World War III in a Science Lab

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(Inbetween chapter 22 and 23)

Stupid Stark, considering himself so intelligent... It's not like he's freaking Sherlock Holmes! Who does he think he is? Offering me dating advice? Of all the people on this planet! Before Pepper, he had never even experienced a committed, long lasting relationship.

I banter to myself frustratedly as I advance down the maze of hallways; however, Jarvis' voice abruptly swerves my train of thought to a stop. "Miss Nightshade, Dr. Banner has requested your presence in the science labs. He deems it to be of the utmost importance. I do suggest you comply unless you desire for him to, as Mr. Stark so eloquently puts it, 'hulk smash' the building."

I tuck a strand of hair behind my ear bemusedly, curiosity piquing inside of me. A sharp exhale to bypasses my lips. "Be there in a moment."

What has Brucie done now? Perhaps he's asking for my blessing for Ally's hand in marriage. Now that is a day to look forward to. Johnny and Stark would be the best bridesmaids! And Natasha and Sue I guess.... But Starkie Poo and Tinkerbelle in bridesmaid dresses? Okay, that is going to happen within my life time. It is officially on my bucket list.

Hhm.... Now how would I get Johnny into a pretty girly dress.....?

"You zone out far too often for your own good."

Glancing up startled, I half-heartedly roll my eyes in annoyance as Ally giggles giddily, already waiting for me in the elevator. She was evidently summoned as well. "Well, maybe I do so because I'm far better company than everyone else in this god forsaken tower," I tease, earning a playful jab in my ribs from which I don't even flinch.

"You seemed fine with Steve accompanying your naked body yesterday. I bet he was excellent company then," she wiggles her eyebrows suggestively, a provocative, impish wink contributing to her frisky mood.

I grimace at her. "First off, I was not naked, I had his shirt and my bra and underwear on, secondly; don't. I'm not in the mood for a lecture on Steve Rogers, especially while he's so damn moody."

The elevator descends down, marginally catching me off guard. When did she even press the button...?

Her grin broadens. "You're rubbing off on him."

My brows pull into a tight knot. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"It means that you're the moody one, but your moodiness is rubbing off on him. Just like his language and manners is very very very very very very... very slowly rubbing off on you."

I cast her an exasperated look. "How so?"

The doors slowly open, a ding reverberating softly like a melody above as she treads elegantly away towards the labs, and for once I'm the one pursuing her, not the other way around. She appears incredulous at my retaliation. "You're joking right? Lillian Nightshade you have one of the foulest mouths I know and I don't think you've utter a single profanity in at least three to four months. In fact, you've hardly swore at all since you've met him."

She sways her hips a little more when the two of us trample into the lab, Bruce glimpsing up and warmly smiling at our entry. His mouth opens to greet up cordially, but he tramps it shut when he realises we're in the middle of a small domestic.

"I have too! And has it occurred to you that maybe I'm starting to resort to more colourful ways of releasing my anger? I mean, just because I may not swear as much as I use to, does not mean it has anything to do with the Fourth of July stripper."

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