Can we take a moment to talk about the fact that the Black Widow is properly scared of the Hulk…
Anyone who isn’t afraid of facing down the Hulk is kinda stupid. And I am including Tony in that. He knows that Bruce needs to deal with his Hulk issues head-on, but at the same time, his lack of fear at the idea of actually facing the Hulk is pretty dumb. Hulk can rip you into tiny pieces. Fear of that is healthy.
I’ve read somewhere that the reason she’s scared of the Hulk is because he’s the personification of what she’s so scared of in herself: the loss of control. The complete and utter eradication of what you are, replaced with a monster.
Because yes, she knows what it’s like to be unmade. She’s so familiar with it that she thinks she can taste it sometimes- the sharp, chalky click in her brain when someone says her trigger word.
And she remembers waking up afterwards.
She’s been brainwashed over and over until she’s had to crawl out of the rubble of her own mind. She knows what it’s like to be the monster, and the hulk- green, huge, raging, destroying everything and screaming while he does it- is what she’s been terrified of since she can remember waking up after that first time.
She knows the monster intimately, carefully, completely, even when she doesn’t want to. Watching the hulk, watching Bruce dissolve into what roars at the edges of his mind, is like coming to pieces.
It’s like becoming unmade again.