Every step taken was filled with regret, a pang of guilt striking within each heartbeat as Bruce forced himself to walk down the too-bright corridor leading to Darcy’s apartment. He hated doing this. It was so much easier just to slip into the shadows and disappear without a word being spoken or alerts being raised. He was never any good with parting farewells, saying goodbye or anything of the sort. But, he owed Darcy this much. She was the only one that really deserved to know. The others, the team, well- they were probably use to this by now, if not expecting it. Maybe, in the back of Banners self-loathing mind, even secretly encouraging the time-bomb to go off somewhere else than the Tower.

It had been a bad week. Nothing in the lab was going as smoothly as it should have been, most of his experiments had either failed or were not cooperating with him as they had in theory. He had taken more time to meditate and to distance himself from the others, but nothing was working to keep the overwhelming stress from escalating and the Hulk’s presence from backing down. He spent the entire night mulling over the decision of if he should to stay or go, finally deciding to just leave for a week or so to reset his mind back to more ‘stable’ levels.

Though, he knew one week could easily turn into two months as it had in the past. He couldn’t do that again- not to her. Not without notice first. As if the stress lines and lack of sleep and the amount of crumbled up pieces of paper littering the lab wasn’t enough of a tell-tale sign that Banner was teetering on the edge of cracking.

With a heavy sigh, Bruce knocked on Darcy’s apartment door once he had reached it, looking everything like he had to tell someone he accidently killed their puppy. As the door was unlocked and opened, the timid researcher folded his hands together in front of him, wringing them a little. “Hey, Darcy..I hope I’m not disturbing you..” He murmured, trying to force a smile but decided the effort just wasn’t worth it. “I, uh..I just wanted to stop by and tell you that I’m..ah..” He frowned, looking down at his feet, unable to keep eye contact. “Leaving-..for a little while. I just need a break before I end up breaking the Tower itself…or worse.” He glanced back up for a second before looking down the hall. “I just wanted to let you know…so you didn’t worry or..something…” He stepped back and away, shaking his head. “I’m terrible at this, I’m sorry. I should just- go..”