Bruce Banner has just returned from his lab, where his latest experiment came out really well. He should go straight to bed, because it's six in the morning, but he can't seem to become the right kind of tired, probably also because it's six in the morning. So instead he's watching the sun rise out the window of his cozy (tiny) grad-dorm single room.
"Mmmm, yes, so nice, you're so good . . ." Bruce gets incoherent and then nonverbal and then comes, wrapping an arm around Lev with a sigh and a shudder.
Lev collects Bruce's come on his fingers and puts his fingers to Bruce's mouth and then says, "you have to figure out if you can get nectars from yourself."
"Oooh, clever." He licks Lev's fingers. Anything?"
1) You can sense magnetism. (6h)
2) You can tell whether anyone in the world is impersonating you (12h)
3) You can explain any one ero-related topic to one person-- such as the location of the clitoris, that polyamory is different from cheating, or how to tie a shibari knot-- and they will understand it. Use of this ability requires one sentence of minimally competent explanation. (10 minutes)
"Hey, it worked!" He reads off the results. "Apparently nobody is impersonating me--why is that even one of them, I don't get it--and the hard disk in my laptop feels really neat."
"We should probably do me."
He does not look thrilled at the prospect.
"Only if you actually want to. Science is important but it's not more important than you." Oh shit, that was what he meant but not what he meant to say. "I mean, we gotta have scientific ethics."
"Maybe, I could hold you while you jerk off? Would that be better? Or we can just skip it, it's fine."
"That'd be nice," he says, and arranges himself so Bruce is holding him, and selects the fantasy where he's pregnant with his husband's baby and he's loved and they are going to spend the rest of their lives together, and moves his hand in a quick and businesslike fashion, and finishes.
Bruce cuddles him, and fantasizes with much less conscious planning about the counterfactual where Lev wants to date him and they can swap in-jokes across the lab and recommend each other books and introduce each other as "my boyfriend".
And then he gets to find out what Lev tastes like! (He was vaguely lime-flavored.)
Lev tastes like cotton candy.
1. You have an instinct for explaining things to people in a way that they will grasp. You are particularly talented at explaining things to children. (2 hours)
2. Scientific studies that have failed to replicate or which have poor methodology or falsified data will appear in blue. This power will not give you knowledge you could not have in theory learned through reading the literature carefully. (24 hours)
3. No one finds it at all odd if you wear female clothing in public. The same applies to unusual clothing which happens to be intended for women: for example, no one will notice anything strange about you wearing full goth female regalia to your office job, a microminiskirt, or nothing but panties. (permanent)
Lev's fingers get thoroughly licked before Bruce turns his attention to the text box.
"Oooh, yours is really good, get this--" he reads it off, sounding especially excited about part 2 and neutral on part 3. "Sometime in the next 24 hours we should go to the library and look at a bunch of journals." And it should count as a date.
Lev has extremely complicated feelings about part three. Half aching jealousy and half worrying that Bruce is going to put things together.
"We can do that right now."
"Sure!" The only thing Bruce appears to be putting together is his (relatively genderless) outfit, and even this is somewhat impaired by wanting to keep an arm around Lev as long as he thinks he can get away with.
Mm. What if instead of going to the library there were snuggles.
Lev has discovered one of the very small set of things Bruce prefers over going to the library. Snuggles indeed.
Eventually they are going to have to go to the library but not before Lev spends a long time running his hands through Bruce's hair.
Lev considers whether his curiosity outweighs his shame about his interests, and grabs an introduction to psychology textbook.
Bruce asks himself where in biology he's going to find the highest concentration of bad methods and failed replications, and grabs a textbook on nutrition.
Wow, something like seventy percent of this nutrition textbook is blue. (The intro psych textbook is also a sea of blue.)
If Bruce taps one of the blues, a popup appears that says "study conducted on two hundred undergraduates" or "poorly controlled observational study" or "did not replicate" or "IN RATS."
They are in a library, people are tooling in here. Bruce is going to lose it very quietly.
Bruce shows him some of the more implausible claims and their snarky counterpoints. He's especially amused by "IN RATS".
Also, clearly the best angle from which to look at a book together is side by side with their shoulders touching, yes?
Lev reaches out to hold his hand under the table.
"We should do more science with the Erogame. Or figure out how to get your Ero higher."
"Yes, to both of those." And yes to handholding under the table. "Apparently raising my ERO requires," quick check of his stat screen, "quote, 'pushing probability to its limits'. Which I think means doing things that have very different expected results given the existence of the game."