Ten long minutes for a search-and-rescue operation; seven minutes for a Mercury Cougar's non-literal flight eastbound in the Bay Bridge's intuitive direction towards refuge; six minutes for some blackout maze maneuvering in pitch darkness and the occasional non-lethal path-clearing tactic deployed for an understated escape plan; another four minutes to arrive at a screeching halt on the east side of SoMa, where racing pulse checks and a breather could finally be taken to reevaluate the sagacity of speeding a weapon of mass destruction directly into their hosts' home.

Of course, the impending irony of the brick building that had alerted their pause was—at that point—still lost. Loose notions of settling down in a shared location—the notion of superhero-adjacent semi-fugitives settling down, in general—still only frivolous fictions on their mused-aloud breaths. An inviting idea, but hardly any form of a plan. And presently, Bruce Banner wasn't in much of a state for plans.

It'd been kind of a close shave back there, snapping awake delayed in the party-packed fortress of faux then too-real terror; some highly unfortunate blood splatter and the minty scent of Sambuca now soaking his host's fancy-wear while he breathed in heaving pants in the passenger seat, belt fastened across his chest like that was gonna restrain the catastrophe surging in his veins.

Had any officers been placed in their path, she would’ve been marked. Marked, chased but not stopped. As if distance and speed were the cure to the time bomb next to her. The driving violations done not for the greater good of the Bay Area because in spite of her lawful good alignments, her motivations were far more specific. Far more selfish. To spare the scientist of what she had only glimpsed of in the cave at the start of the New Year. To keep him whole. With her. Away from the radar of Avengers who might see him as their solution for all problems in this increasingly strange world. From the government who was seemingly more aware on the west coast than she had ever noted while back on the east.

“Stay with me, doc.” Her words were a poor imitation of casual—pleas, more than the demand she wanted it to be as she ran through red lights. In-between checking mirrors and listening for sirens, she stole glances his way. “That back there.. that was nothing.” Bravado more transparent than in its usual deadpan doses in sprouting so called assurances, even as her human arm bore a ragged ripped sleeve and a fresh jagged cut. The origins or even its existence not yet noted with her adrenaline and preoccupation.

Misty still wasn’t sure what happened or the culprits behind the fiasco that she had woke too. Stumblingly dumbly from a restroom along the sidelines of some sort of party instead of wrapped up in his arms in bed as had become the custom. The date and the time lost still up in the air and unconsidered at this point. Barely able to refrain from a tightened bionic grip to bend the steering wheel in front of her. Barely able to breathe. Barely able to maintain the rapidly crumbling shroud of badassery until she needed to stop. Needed to check the pulse for herself. See for herself.

No sooner had the brakes been applied followed by the permanent park gear did she twist in her seat without the restraint of a belt. The safety and practicality of the self perserving act having slipped her mind as her brows knitted. “Bruce?” A silver arm held onto his shoulder, hoping he’d be the one to answer back. “Tell me what to do.” Anything that didn’t involve that stupid gun that she didn’t even have on her. “You won’t hear that often.. In fact this may be your only shot to boss me around.” The joke—or attempt at one, at normalcy—came with the faintest of waffling small smirks as the hand on his shoulder moved to cradle the side of his face.

In every world that Bruce Banner had the bizarre luxury of visiting over the course of his existence, whether with qualifiably justified reason or alternatively sinister ambitions, it was near-always the Hulk whose appearances stirred cause for sensation. Hell, if it wasn't enough that he'd been recurrently tossed off cliffs and aircrafts and spacecrafts like an exploding candy wrapper, or cryogenically incapacitated into a living warhead on indefinite standby, two of his wives had married hybrid incarnations of more monster than man, while his third wife would eventually turn into a hulk herself... A petty addition of insult to injury, surely—the deeply envious personal resentments that the two beings held in barreled grudges against the other—yet its pettiness didn't lessen at all the profound impact that his name on her lips continually left upon the scientist's fractured psyche. The wild stillness that it laid, like a hand upon his chest, presently into his veins—immediately frightful and simultaneously a developing second-nature. Deviously selfish in a way that he'd never previously identified within his experiences, in a way that cared nothing about philosophical principles or the blind bleeding eyes of self-adjudicating justice or the cathartically pure releases of pent-in cataclysmic rage. Selfish in a way he couldn't begin to rationalize; it was simply beyond him and quite certainly past a border of scientific madness. For perhaps the first time, he needed to stay because want. The instinct—or impulse?—so primitive that it echoed in equal volume the raging "out" that bellowed through his synapses. For the first time, he was fighting his other on the other's primordial terms. No confines of logic and hence no restraint—that had always been the hulk's advantage. But maybe not always anymore. Devised theories of Hulk's own basic unwillingness to be part of a world that wasn't home perhaps an added edge on even ground now in Bruce's favor.

His sweating grimace twisted unhuman expressions through veneers of pale and puke-green hues, gritted teeth containing animalistic grunts to a minimum; the luminescent spikes in radiation added a fevered glow in his eyes that briefly glanced to his left with its own plea for a conflicted go and stay; but ultimately, he had this one under control. May not have quite looked that way, but for the most part, this was just how it looked when the biochemistry of monsters were settling down. An intended nod jerking from his chin more like the shaken head of refusal; an emitted grunt distorting his intended chuckle. "Banner.. I... Okay. Here good."

For all her pride in problem solving, Misty couldn’t have felt more clueless. Or more helpless in watching him writhe in a fight that she couldn’t be any true assistance to. Teammates she had once likened them to. Partners in every sense of the word in which she vowed to have his back and trusted completely for him to take care of hers. The most terrifying part of those first long ten minutes not being the fire or the blood or the attacks from seemingly all angles but being separated from him. The signature signals assigned to him and meant to reassure in case of just such a scenario in which they woke alone as opposed to together had caused alarm with it’s intensity—once she remembered what it could mean. Meant that she should brace herself for a probability that she had refused to even entertain in hypotheticals and yet she still wasn’t. Even as she noted the flashes of green and her grip tightened and she scooted closer rather than further away. A decided failure in every other promised way except a determination not to leave his side, no matter the outcome. When he spoke she realized she’d been holding her breath, nodding slowly as she exhaled. “Yeah. Here good. Here very fucking good.” Her fingers moved to push his hair back before leaning over to hold her cheek against his chest in an impulsive and tight one armed hug. As if the tighter she held, the longer she could keep him there. Unfortunate blood splatter and the minty scent of Sambuca be damned.

It seared. Like molten rock in volcanic calderas, the result of the earth's core at restless war with its own composition, it seared—the radiation that scorched in his eyes and the sweat of tears that began to well in those craters. So much for a seatbelt not restraining catastrophes; Bruce almost had it in him to laugh in the crawling wave of relief that transpired through his reparative fibers and balancing cellular structures as he blinked in his hazy but healing vision, streaks appearing down the sides of his face like the heaved sigh that soon escaped his fallen jaw. Epinephrine levels in his bloodstream plunging into an immediate exhaustion, similar to the acute dullness of his regaining mental and emotional composures. Altogether an insignificant cost compared to the crisis averted, though after another few moments of allowing the partial transformation to fully revert—preferably as gradually as possible, to make the most of the other guy's regenerative factors—he couldn't help that his clearing focus fell first to the ugly gash on her human arm before it had quite sunken in how very tender and un-Misty the moment may have been. "Your arm—" His voice was hoarse, vocal chords fragile. "How's the rest of you?" Not yet trusting his movements, his right hand flinched to approach her shoulder—maybe the side of her head, an unseen side of her face—though it remained close to the handle of the door. They really needed to work on their Code Green contingency plans...

She barely heard the question through her own relief of his continued voice. The sound of words — even strained and hoarse favorable to the grunts and silence. The mere ability to pose inquiry’s in the first place signaling not only an awareness of the surrounding area but the freedom to do so. An internal war lessening to the point where his attention could be split to settle on her state of okay. A state that paled so drastically to his own that it was almost comical though she was fresh out of lame joke attempts — her last try being the best of what she could muster at the time. Her tightened hold on the scientist as much in service to him as it was to keep herself steady. It was only in what seemed like the clearing aftermath that she noticed how very close she’d been to a brink of her own. Her bubbling hysteria was still there under the surface with no place to go. To simmer and harden and push aside in favor of the progression of the next step. To not succumb to lingering in the moment simply because they were exhausted or because it was easy. There may not have been an official plan for code green but she knew they couldn’t simply stay here, latched onto him for dear life. When she lifted her head again a glance far too quick to warrant any real consideration was made towards the torn sleeve, her human shoulder twitching in a poorly executed shrug before dark eyes found more important points of interest. “Nothin’ but a scratch.” Somehow managing to keep her own voice from squeaking as thumbs wiped at those streaks on his face, leaving an accidental smear of red along his jawline. “Don’t worry about me, Baby.” Her head shook in a reassurance that she didn’t have to pretend to deliver. “Don’t even feel it.” There was a dull ache that radiated from her bones and the surrounding muscles that was far more present than the breaking of actual skin but she didn’t tell him that. Steering clear from the subject entirely in looking at him, with knitted brows. “Is it over?”