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Disclaimer: Jaime is an original character created by gyzym. This is merely a fic based on her wonderful Bedtime Stories/Shortcut Stories series that you should go read (a fanwork based on a fanwork, FANCEPTION).
Also, the other characters are owned by Marvel.
Universe: Based on Movieverse.
Summary: Jaime Stark-Rogers, Bruce Banner, and fluff.
Edited by: sarimia
Bruce Banner didn’t take to being an uncle right away. Not that he didn’t adore Jaime to pieces from the day Cap brought the little bundle home for the first time. Bruce is a man of science and logic, but the kid had (and still has) a face and disposition that could melt anyone’s heart. So Bruce was wrapped, but he never felt comfortable around the kid. His alter-ego was a giant monster fuelled by anger, can’t exactly babyproof that.
Steve and Tony weren’t nearly as worried. Bruce was their teammate, they trusted him with their lives. He’d gotten much better at controlling the Hulk over the years. But try as they might, Bruce was too afraid to even hold Jaime for a minute. He spent the early years of Jaime’s life as a distant, sighing observer. Unfortunately, his tendency to leave the room when Jaime arrived didn’t make the best impression over the years.
* * *
Jaime’s sixth birthday arrives. The Avengers are between missions and decide to throw him a little family-only party (Jaime doesn’t really have friends over in large numbers until he’s a bit older, suddenly leaving Coulson or Pepper with a whole roomful of primary school kids would be too cruel). It’s Jaime’s first birthday where all of them are able to be there, and not be off in Asgard or Russia or something. They finally get to sit down, eat, and watch Jaime open his presents together as the weird little family they are.
Bruce hadn’t given him birthday gifts previously. He always seemed to inconveniently Hulk out around the little guy’s birthday, and forget about it until it was too late (He was however, the one who insisted on buying his Santa presents at Christmas because he loved to see the over-excited look on Jaime’s face, but didn’t want the kid to jump on him or anything). This year, he gives Jaime a chemistry set. Jaime is absolutely thrilled till he reads the tag. He arches a tiny eyebrow and says quite loudly; “Why’d he get me a present? He doesn’t even like me!”
That breaks the hearts of everyone in the room, and completely crushes Bruce. He’s out the door before anyone can stop him, and almost makes it to the lab before Hulking out. Luckily, he only tears up a small city park before he’s contained. Once he calms down, Steve visits him and tries to give some encouraging words. “Just try talking to him. I know he’s only six, but it’ll work. Trust me.” And Bruce agrees, because you don’t ignore advice from the Captain, unless you’re married to him.
Back at the mansion, Bruce shuffles into Jaime’s room while he’s stretched across the bed with the high-tech Legos Tony made him. He’s in the middle of building a fully-functioning space station, and isn’t keen on being disturbed by his flakiest family member. Bruce swallows and carefully explains as best he can, that he does care a lot about Jaime. In fact, the reason he was avoiding Jaime was because he cared about him. He explains the whole “Don’t make me angry” thing in child-appropriate terms, and ends it by saying he just doesn’t want to hurt or scare Jaime.
Jaime looks confused and does the eyebrow-arch again. “Why would the Hulk scare me? The Hulk is COOL! See? I drew pictures!” He jumps up and starts pointing to the dozens of crayon scribbles taped over his bed. A large amount of them are, indeed, of the Hulk. Bruce takes a moment to glance around and notice the Hulk-themed bedding set, various action figures and toys, and it dawns on him. Of course, a six-year-old would identify with a creature of pure emotion that can’t express himself properly.
Bruce laughs bitterly at himself. He tells Jaime he won’t avoid him anymore, and they can even hang out if he wants to, but Jaime has to promise to run and hide if the Hulk appears.
“But I like the Hulk!” Jaime pouts. “He doesn’t hurt the ‘vengers, he just catches them. I wanna meet him!”
“Maybe someday,” Bruce tentatively pats the kid’s head. “The Hulk’s a little…clumsy, and you’re a bit too breakable right now. When you get bigger you can.” Jaime huffs, disappointed, but goes back to building his space station.
Bruce is nervous at first, but does try to start over with Jaime. It turns out Jaime is interested in science, and one of his favourite things to do is watch Bruce in the lab. Bruce gives him chemistry lessons, babbles to him about the experiments he’s doing, and eventually lets Jaime try some basic ones with supervision.
Not more than two years later, Jaime does gets to meet the Hulk. Bruce, in a moment of distraction, splashes a drop of acid onto his hand, causing him to jump back, smash his head off a shelf, fall over, and despite his efforts not to, Hulk out. Jaime stares in wide-eyed, silent fascination. Whatever odd protective instincts the Hulk seems to have thankfully kick in. He scoops the kid under one massive arm, and storms through the mansion until he runs into a terrified Steve. Before Steve can even get a word in, the Hulk drops Jaime into Steve’s arms and stomps off like it isn’t a thing. Bruce is mortified afterwards. Jaime gets him a #1 Uncle mug (much to Clint and Thor’s jealousy).
Bruce and Jaime’s nerdy little bond pays off. He forever gets the highest science marks thanks to all his time spent in the lab (Jaime and Tony’s workshop time contributes too, but he’s not as much for engineering as his Dad). Bruce takes his A+ science reports and sticks them on the wall beside his main workstation. When Jaime eventually goes to medical school and does really well, he credits his uncle for being his first and best teacher.