So there are tons of musical callbacks in the MCU - I remember noticing the Tesseract had its own theme across movies, and lots of other continuity with characters and stuff.
The Incredible Hulk, I didn’t expect to get tied into that, because the score was one of my least favorite parts of that film. The score was plodding and melancholy and unchanging in its tone.
Watching The Winter Soldier for the second time ever today, I heard some of the same themes, and let me tell you, putting a good beat behind them and alternating them with the dynamic brass-heavy Cap themes makes them almost infinitely better.
It’s a really interesting choice, because it brings out all these similar storytelling themes between the two movies - a sense of isolation that dogs a man who thought he knew his place in the world but keeps being proven wrong, a sense of despair that the military he was working for has turned against him, and that good men are being brought down by a force they should never have been made to fight, that would not exist if the man had done his job right in the first place.
…Putting flash drives places where food should go in order to retrieve them later.
Anyway a lot of sneaking around in baseball caps on data scavenger hunts and despairing. Showing up on the doorsteps of acquaintances with nowhere else to go. And pining after a woman who spent too long waiting for him and now it’s too late.
There are no actual characters in common, so I will call it the Somber Serum theme.
Anonymous asked: oh my god I loved your stuttering Bruce can you do more on that please please it gave me so many feels and just gah poor bruce
I can definitely do that for you.
Psychosomatic, his therapist had murmured, tut-tutting as they wrote down the diagnoses on their clipboard. It’s all about how you think, Bruce. You have to allow yourself to speak.
Bruce had always thought his childhood therapist had been a bit of a crack-job, mostly because he didn’t understand what psychosomatic really meant. The idea that he didn’t really have a stutter, that the abuse he went through as a child is what perpetuated it, was absolutely absurd. He’d thought he was over that—Suppressing emotions is not the same as dealing with them—he’d gotten himself into a better place and all he’d wanted was his stutter to be gone. But they’d told him it was his fault, that the perceived stress, the trauma, the nightmares, the PTSD—it was all weighing on him, and his brain couldn’t filter out the stutter with all that other garbage weighing it down.
What glee he’d felt when it was gone. When he’d broken through whatever kept his voice from staying level, whatever kept him from being normal, he’d be consumed by the absolute elation, because now he could speak and not feel as though a phantom hand was weighting to grab his hair and beat him to a bloody pulp.
But now that it had come back, he could do nothing but keep his mouth shut and retreat into himself, sit for long hours in his room, lock down his lab, repeat and repeat and repeat his phrase, holding back rage with each new failure.
'H-h-he thr-us-us-sts—' 'He thr-thr-thrusts-s-s-s—' 'H-he—he th-th-thrusts—!’
And he’d punch a wall in his room, breaking through the plaster, or he’d shatter a piece of equipment in his lab, burning up with rage—but that green wouldn’t cover his eyes, wouldn’t haze his rage. He’d feel every moment of it, because even the Hulk didn’t want to come near these feelings, this fear, this anger—it was solely reserved for Bruce.
And one day he’d sit with his hands in his lap, forcing the words past his lips, slowly, carefully, still stammering and breaking apart syllables, still curving his lips down in a scowling snarl, when he’d hear the door to his lab open, and in would come Tony, grinning his usual grin, strutting his usual strut, and he’d look to Bruce, sitting on the small couch in the corner of his lab, and he’d raise a brow at him. ‘You good over there, Broken Record? You’ve been hiding away a lot lately.’
And Bruce would shrivel up, grip his knees tight in white knuckled hands and pull them to his chest. ‘G-g-go aw-w-w-way,’ he’d stammer, not looking towards his teammate, his friend, and Tony would make a surprised noise. ‘Ah, Bruce, I’m just playin’, come o—’ And Bruce would say it louder, angrier, hands turned to fists. ‘G-g-get-t out!’ And he’d bite out the last word with so much rage, so much pain, that when he’d look up at Tony with burning eyes the genius would back away, nodding, holding out his hands. ‘Alright, I’ll…I’ll let you cool off for a minute,’ and he’d leave in a hurry, feeling guilty, but nothing compared to what Bruce was feeling.
Because Bruce would feel hurt, infinitely hurt and broken and bruised, he’d feel like he was sitting outside after a day of torment at school, waiting for his aunt to come get him, a new black eye added to his list of injuries, because he was a geek, a loser, that stammering know-it-all who thought he was better than everyone, and the people who passed him would sneer, or avoid looking at him, and he’d feel so alone, so small, so empty. And that feeling would build and build, water filling him, cold and heavy, from the pit of his stomach, up his throat, choking him until it poured from his mouth in sudden, broken sobs.
And he’d still be in his lab, but all at once he wouldn’t be, he’d be in his old house, with his father looming over him, and at his school, with a bully laughing at him where he fell, and he’d curl so small in on himself that he’d almost pop, before those sobs turned to snarls, those snarls turned to action, and suddenly he would be up and ripping apart his lab, tearing down monitors and breaking glass beakers and shattering expensive equipment, but he didn’t care, didn’t care, because he was hurting, and alone, and fighting to scream because even guttural sobs came out broken and disconnected.
And he’d slam his fist into the stone wall and crumple to the floor in a heap, breathing heavy, hard, shuttering gasps, and he’d cradle bloody knuckles to his chest as he fought to calm himself down.
And he’d sit there for ages, forehead pressed against the wall, tears streaming down his flushed face, hands shaking and bleeding; and he’d try and stutter out his phrase, try to smooth himself into alignment, and fail.
'He thr-thr-thrusts h-h-i-i-s-s-s f-f-f-f-' He'd gasp for breath, grit his teeth. 'F-f-fist a-a-again-n-nst the po-po-pos-s-st—' and he'd break off, sobbing, thump his head against the wall.
'And still insist he sees the ghost,' he'd hear from behind him, soft and careful, and a moment later someone would sit down beside his hunched, kneeling figure, looking at him with thoughtful eyes and a frown on his face.
'C-c-c-clint?' He wouldn't turn to look—he'd know, of course he'd know, and he'd hunch his shoulders further around himself, trying to calm his broken sobs.
'Yeah, it's me. I love that book, you know. IT? Futzin' scary, man.' And Bruce would peek over at him, eyes blurry with tears, and Clint would give him a watery smile. 'Real cool guy, that stutterin' dude, totally kicked that monsters ass.' When Bruce didn't reply, he'd go on. 'You know, it ain't so bad, right? I mean, I'm sure it futzin' sucks, stuttering and shit, but I don't think it's too bad. Hardly notice it sometimes.' He'd smile, reach out to where Bruce still cradled his bloody knuckles. 'Hulk don't come out cause he's scared, huh? Cause that fear gas is what did this, right?'
Bruce would swallow, nod, turn a bit more towards Clint as the archer gently rubbed away the worst of the crimson staining his hands. ‘You know, I get it. I used to be mute—after I got this thing—’ And he’d tap that little piece of plastic, like he had last time, looking rueful. ‘I didn’t talk for so long they thought I forgot how. Sometimes, when shit gets real bad, I stop talkin’ completely—just go real quiet and don’t say a damn word. I don’t like it, cause I feel like I can’t talk, you know? Like maybe I really will forget how. Scary stuff, not being able to talk.’
But then he’d lift his hand and spread his fingers, press his pointer to his chin, and tap thrice. 'Talk'.
And Bruce’s eyes would widen slightly, tears forgotten, pained hands forgotten, and he’d break into a small, surprised smile. Of course Clint knew ASL—he was hearing-impaired! But Bruce hadn’t used sign language in ages, and Clint would smile when he’d try to reply, fix his hands, a bit, and chuckle.
'Good job. I'll help you more.' And Bruce would shake his head. ‘Not so good.’ ‘No, very good!’ And his smile would be watery, his eyes rimmed red, and they’d sit together in the mess of Bruce’s destruction, signing together, Clint gentle and sweet as he helped Bruce in places he’d forgotten, and Bruce would feel so much better, so much happier, because he could speak, if not out loud then in general. And when the hour drew so late even Bruce was yawning, Clint would grip both of Bruce’s hands and kiss his bruised and bloody knuckles, looking up at his scientist with intense eyes before he’d reach out to grip Bruce’s chin, pulling him in for a real kiss.
'Your stutter doesn't define you, Bruce,' would be what he'd murmur, before he'd lead a blushing Bruce out of the destroyed lab and to his own floor, giving him one last goodnight kisses before signing a quick goodnight and letting him get his sleep.
Bruce didn’t sleep at all that night—the memory of gentle lips on his haunted him well into the dawn.