Brutasha & Faithfulness
Am I the only on who doesn’t think that Natasha “betrayed” Bruce when she pushed him into the hole. It’s not as black and white as that. Sokovia was being lifted into the air, they were severely outgunned, there were a ton of defenseless civilians, and here was Bruce Banner, the shaky, reluctant, scientist scared of his own shadow, who courageously chooses against his previous determination to avoid conflict and hide, to ditch his comfort zone and risk transformation so that he can save his dear friend who he loves.
I can’t help but think that when he actively chose to rejoin the team temporarily and leave Avenger’s tower with them he was still very torn between transforming in anger at Nat’s absence when he needed her the most and to use his strength to defeat Ultron and help the cause but there was still that part of him that doesn’t trust the Hulk around civilians that was amplified by the public’s judgement and terror, in Johannesburg. In the quinjet, you can see his raw, rage and protectiveness of Natasha, who has become even more important than himself and his constant need to control his monster. They say you never know what you have until you lose it.
He could have ran away and disappeared long before the team went out to confront Ultron, but he doesn’t because he waits for Nat and in this moment, he doesn’t clearly doesn’t give two shits about rejoining the game as long as he gets his girl back. Yeah, he probably also knows that there’s a possibility that he’ll hulk out in the midst of the chaos but he also knows that he’s the best chance they have. I think this small scene is commonly overlooked even though it reveals the depths of his feelings for Natasha, which he always pushes away, but this time, he fights for her.
On the other hand, Nat still held onto the hope that they would run away together or at least be together, until the very end when he leaves her. This is seen as she tries to coax him into returning to her in the quinjet, telling him that the job’s done and their fight is basically over. Also, before she pushes him, she sees that he truly loves her and wants to be with her, (she is his reason not to lose hope in himself and his future). Despite, Bruce’s tendency to shy away from his feelings and confrontations, he admits his feelings for her for the first time and confidently engages with her, giving her confidence that even if she brings out his monster, to save the world, he’ll understand why she did it.
And despite people’s common interpretation that Bruce Banner ditches her for betraying his trust and freedom, this is the exact opposite.
She knows and understands every dimension of Bruce so well that she gives him a push in the right direction for the good of humanity and for himself, since she knows that he’s the kind of guy who under normal circumstances would never avoid saving as many innocent lives as he could.
Even if Bruce has lost hope in his righteousness, morality, and heroism, Natasha surely hasn’t and gives him another chance to prove this to the world and more importantly to himself since she knows he can’t run away from himself forever.
Actions speak louder than words and so instead of trying to persuade him to fight with her one last time, she proves her enduring trust in him and herself to bring him back (hence the lullaby), by triggering the other guy. This only happens after sincerely kissing him ofcourse to let him know, she loves and cares for him deeply and is always thinking of the best for him. The Hulk’s smile and willingness to join the battle and “go be a hero” confirms Bruce’s, subconscious desire to fight for the greater good despite his insecurities and past trauma that commonly dictate his actions as a human. The Hulk is a physical manifestation of Bruce’s repressed desires, emotions, weaknesses, and strengths that have accumulated since his traumatic childhood. Natasha knows this but he still clings to the idea that there are two separate beings that cannot be associated with each other, because he’s afraid of his power. One, day Bruce will finally accept himself completely and I think his temporary escape will have something to do with it.
So no, in my opinion, Bruce doesn’t ultimately feel betrayed by Natasha especially since it is clear in the movie that he is willing to be submissively transformed back by her tender touch during the almost-lullaby. Until, she is almost killed by Ultron risking her vulnerable life for Bruce’s humanity, which scares the hell out of him and that’s why he leaves. His main priority above anything is her safety but at the same time he needs to realize that she’s a hell of a fighter and doesn’t need saving. In fact, his presence in her life would truly free her.