The bell on the door jingled when it opened, letting in some of the noise from the road outside. Steve took a look around the diner, ignoring the looks he was getting from the nearby patrons. Doctor Banner was easy enough to spot in the small crowd of afternoon eaters and Steve had never been one to forget a face. Especially not after he spent the entire flight pouring over the man’s file.
He slid the dusty backpack off of his shoulder and doffed his baseball cap before walking over to the bar. The hostess got a warm a smile before Steve focused his attention back on Bruce. ”Excuse me,” He said politely, standing back enough so’s not to loom over the other man. “Mind if I sit here?”
Bruce subtly looked from one end of the bar to the other; there were plenty of seats. “Yeah, sure.” He said and pulled his own backpack from the seat next to him and set it on the floor, in between his feet. The man was the cleanest thing in the place and from the way he carried himself, he was probably military. Bruce gave him points for not sneaking around. Or tranqing him.
He really hated tranq darts.
“I gather you’re not here for the stellar cuisine.”
“Well,” Steve winced and smiled apologetically, “Not exactly. Though I could do with a cup of coffee if you wouldn’t mind, Miss-” he paused to glance at her name tag, “Caroline?” The hostess’ frosty attitude couldn’t quite keep up with the sincerity of his smile, though it probably helped that his left arm was still in a sling.
The coffee was black as tar but Steve only added a half a teaspoon of sugar before taking a sip thoughtfully. After a moment he turned and spoke.
“Listen, Doctor Banner, I don’t want to make you nervous.” He said, his blue eyes watching the other man with concern. “My name is Steve Rogers and I’d like it if you’d hear me out before deciding how to answer. I promise I’m not from any military or government you know. And if you say ‘no’ I’ll leave you alone. No one is with me so if you want to walk out and leave no one is going to stop you. I just want five minutes of your time. If you don’t mind, that is.”
Bruce snorted. “Steve Rogers, as in ..” He made vague gesture and saluted, limply. Either this man was serious and by some twist of fate or time travel, he was the real deal, Or, and Bruce strongly suspected that this was more likely, he was suffering from some form of PTSD. It’s possible that he knew of Hulk and Bruce simply because he was a survivor from Culver incident and was trying to live out some alternate ending where he hadn’t provoked violence from Hulk.
Bruce took in the sling and ‘Steve’s’ otherwise clear gaze and open demeanor and wondered how this man had come to find him. That information alone was enough to warrant further discussion. Bruce realized that Rick might have been a piece to the puzzle but was intrigued, nonetheless.
“Sure.” He shrugged. “I have time. And a burger on the way, if you don’t mind me eating in front of you.”