|runs_the_show (runs_the_show) wrote in doorslogs,|
@ 2012-10-26 23:51:00
|Entry tags:||pepper potts, thor|
|She’d stopped to get ice cream on the way back from Passages. Pepper had, kindly, texted Benji, but she hadn’t gotten in touch with Silver or Tony. That was odd, as were the aches she felt all over her body. Her shoulder was so sensitive that just the barest of touches sent a jolt of pain right through her and her lady parts? It felt like someone had pounded her with a hammer or something and she didn’t know what that was. Pepper was silent, as usual, so Justine just figured she’d have to wait until she fell asleep to ask her questions. She texted Benji to ask him to come over and Mike, to give him a heads up. She didn’t hear anything back from Mike though and that made her worry. Was he okay? Had he gone to the party? Despite her worries, ice cream always helped when she was confused or sad or mad. It wasn’t until she got into the apartment and found the note left by Mike that she really just gave up. |
Needed to go back home, Tiny.
That was it. “At least he left a note,” she whispered to herself as she opened her container of ice cream. Benji was on his way and she knew she’d need some hugs tonight. A lot of hugs. She’d call home tomorrow, make sure Mike got there okay and everyone was doing well. It was her fault he was gone, considering how much she’d been complaining that he was keeping too close an eye on her. She didn’t know how long it had been between when she got home and when Benji knocked on the door, but she’d gotten a brain freeze already and she was still achey despite the ibuprofen she’d taken. “It’s open,” she called, not even remotely interested in getting up from the kitchen table.
Thor was still concerned about Pepper, regardless of what the woman had said on the journals and he had his own plans to visit her the next time that Justine crossed. However, given how tight lipped she had been, it had been Ben to convince him to wait and that his sister would spill the beans if anything had happened. It took some time but Thor finally acquiesced, and they both waited until the appointed hour.
A half hour til, Ben began walking towards Turnberry. Some people would have taken a cab, others made use of the public transport, but he always found a certain peace in actually walking. Thor appreciated the physical activity and while it was a city and not the mountains of Nepal, it was good to be out. His steps were light as he entered the building, saying hello to the doorman and a few of the people inside that he'd met when visiting his sister previously. Ben was still smiling until he heard his sister, his brows coming together as he pushed the door open. "Juju?" Something was wrong.
She looked up at him from where she was sitting at the kitchen table, a spoonful of mint chocolate chip halfway to her mouth. Justine knew she should smile and pretend that everything was okay but seeing him, knowing that he was there and that he wasn’t going anywhere, just made her start to tear up. Her lips pursed together as she tried to hold back her tears but it was too late. Her shoulders started to shake and the tears started to fall, followed by a sob she tried to hold back. “He had to go back home,” she said miserably, wiping away some of her tears. “I didn’t really want him to go.” Just from that alone, he would’ve been able to tell that she thought it was her fault.
Justine pushed herself out of her chair then, wincing at the pain in her body as she penguin-walked over to him. She wore jeans and a tee, so he’d be able to see the angry red marks and hand-print shaped bruises on her neck but not the bite marks and bruises on her shoulder. She didn’t know anything about them either, only that the ibuprofen was only just starting to kick in. All she wanted was a hug and comfort but even lifting her arm up was painful. As soon as she was close enough to Benji, she leaned in to rest her head on his chest, her good shouldered arm wrapping around him. She was just sad, but at least he was here and he wasn’t going anywhere.
Pepper had said that Justine was fine, but the marks on her throat and the fact that she was crying as soon as she saw him said otherwise. "Juju," he started to say when she said he had to go back home. There was no asking who she meant, the silence in the apartment could only mean one person. Mike. "Oh shit, Juju," he murmured as he pulled her in snug to his chest, one hand rubbing up and down her back, unaware of the injuries. "When'd he leave?" And why the hell hadn't Pepper mentioned it? Or was it after he'd talked to the other woman?
That was the only reason he could think of as to why she wouldn't mention this. "I know you didn't want him to go back home, Juju," he said quietly, kissing the top of her head. No matter how angry he ever got at her, he never wanted to see her this upset.
She didn’t know exactly when Mike had left, but she had a feeling it had been before the party. It just hurt, that she hadn’t been able to say goodbye. His job was to work for her family though, not to look after her specifically. Justine supposed she shouldn’t have complained so much because she hated that he was gone. Who was going to listen when she let her insecurities about Benji get the best of her? Who would watch movies with her and eat ice cream and just let her snuggle until she felt better? She could talk to Silver about some of that stuff, she knew, but it wasn’t the same.
“I don’t know,” Justine murmured into his chest, accompanied by the shake of her head. A sharp gasp escaped her and she jerked away from his touch when his hand brushed her shoulder. “Ahh! No I- I hurt. My shoulder it’s-” But she just whimpered and pressed closer to him, trying to steady her breathing. “I don’t know how I got all these injuries. I don’t know why it hurts so much.”
Never in his life had he had his sister flinch away from him. Never. Even if she came back, that line between his brows was still there. Pepper had said she was fine, but that wasn't true. "What injuries? What happened?" He asked, trying to find a place where he could put his hands without hurting her. What the hell had happened to them last night? "Let me see, Juju."
She'd been hurt before, either through play or practice, or even dance and Ben had taken care of her then, either providing ice packs or heating pads, depending on what happened, but he knew that whatever injuries she had now weren't from that. They were from something else. "What happened, Justine?" He asked again, feeling Thor start to move to the forefront of his mind, alarmed by Ben's concern that whatever happened had come from Pepper, not from his sister.
“I don’t-” Justine shook her head, partly to indicate that she didn’t know and partly because she felt Pepper trying to push, though she wasn’t much more than a dull ache easily ignored at this point. She looked up at him, baby blue eyes wide and obviously fighting back both physical and emotional pain. A miserable nod was the response he got as she pulled away. The fastest way would be to just take off her shirt and he’d seen her in less growing up. It was just as obvious that it hurt as she pulled off her shirt gently, revealing the teeth marks and scratches that blended into the bruises on her neck, both of teeth impressions and a hand. Justine didn’t know anything about them but she sure was going to have to live with them.
“I don’t know what happened but it...it hurts,” Justine reiterated softly, her eyes firmly on the floor instead of on Benji. She had on a very modest white bra so it wasn’t that she was ashamed of her underthings. It was the injuries she didn’t remember getting and without an explanation from Pepper, she just didn’t know. At least she had the presence of mind to not discuss the dull throbbing pain between her legs. She didn’t think that would go over well at all.
It was one thing to see the bruise at her neck, above the line of her t-shirt, but that didn't prepare him for the mottled black and blue of her skin, or the bite marks. Bite marks. On his sister. "What the fuck--" He started, voice quiet, hushed before he was reaching for her, one hand at her hip as she leaned in to make sure the skin wasn't actually broken. "They're not yours? This didn't happen to you?" If they weren't her wounds then they belonged to Pepper. Rage settled cold under his skin, but Ben forced his tone to remain calm, to not yell. As angry as he was, he wasn't mad at either of them. The same couldn't be said for whoever did this. "What else? Is there anything else?" Did it stop there?
She winced, and this time it wasn’t because of the pain. It was entirely because of the tone of his voice and she hated Pepper even more in that moment. What had happened that she was being forced to deal with all of this? Benji was angry and it was hard to remind herself that it wasn’t her he was mad at. The hand at her hip informed her of a bruise she didn’t know she had but she tried desperately to hide it. “No, it didn’t. I was...some kind of old fashioned princess, like Marie Antoinette from France,” she explained, latching onto that as a distraction. “I didn’t do anything bad or have anything bad happen to me. I mean, I kissed Draco Malfoy, but that doesn’t count.” She didn’t think so, at least. Justine called forth every trick she knew to lie to her brother. “I’m just sore everywhere,” she replied.
Rubbing a hand over his mouth, all Ben heard was that it hadn't happened to her and something about Draco Malfoy. It hadn't happened to her. Running a hand through his hair, he nodded absently and touched her side lightly, where she wasn't bruised. "Go get -- have you got a tank top? I'll make up some ice packs." He started to get up, needing something to do with his hands, anything to keep them from balling into fists. It wasn't her that he wanted to hit and it wasn't her that he would. If Mike had been here, he would have waited to get Justine settled and asleep and then asked the older man for a sparring session until Ben could find out who the fuck it was that had done this to Pepper. "Have you taken anything yet?"
“I do,” she said quietly, turning to head to her room. She had to pass Mike’s rooms on the way - he’d insisted, saying if anyone unwelcome came, they’d have to go through him first - and that just saddened her even more. Justine sniffled though, instead of crying again. She wasn’t a baby or a kid. She was twenty-one now. Happy Birthday to me, she thought bitterly. It didn’t take long for her to retrieve something to wear, a sweatshirt that she could just zip up and not move her shoulder or arm too much, and she was back in the main area just standing there, unaware of really what she should be doing. “I took some ibuprofen when I got home. It’s started to kick in a bit,” she replied, finally deciding to just take a seat on the couch.
While she went to go get a different top, Ben went into the kitchen, moving on automatic because if he stopped to think about what had happened, why Pepper might have bruises like that, he wasn't going to be able to help his sister feel better. He'd be taking Pepper through the door to find out who did those things to her. Even here, on this side of the door, he could feel his hair stand up on the back of his neck like the air was charged with electricity. Whoever did it was going to be intimately acquainted with the wrong end of Mjolnir. It was only the tight grip he had on the freezer door and his hand beginning to ache with it that brought Ben away from his thoughts. Later. They were going to find out who did this later. Right now he had to take care of his sister. Making up several ice packs and grabbing one package of frozen peas, he returned to the living room. "How many did you take?" He asked as he walked up to her and offered out the first of the packs.
Moving sucked. Justine had a feeling she wasn’t going to be up for leaving the apartment for a few days which meant she’d have to deal with the healing bits instead of Pepper. That just wasn’t fair at all. She curled up as best she could, trying her hardest to not wince as she found the most comfortable spot she could. Definitely not moving. Ever, if she could help it, even though she knew it was an exaggeration. Her phone was in the pocket of her sweatshirt which meant she still had access to her journal and such, but it was ignored in favor of trying to not worry her brother so much. “Two, like the bottle said. Every six hours I think it was,” came her soft reply, reaching with her good arm for the first ice pack that she settled gently on her neck. “Cold, cold, cold,” she winced, but once it was settled, she felt a little better. She reached for the second and this time put in on her shoulder, grateful for the barrier of fabric to buffer the icy cold against her skin. “Can you get me another blanket?” she asked, looking from him to the pile of fluffy looking blankets on the side of the couch.
Ben looked at the blankets and then back to her. It wasn't something they'd done for a long time, but he had an idea. "Wait here, Justy." Given the amount of wincing she was doing, he didn't think she'd be going anywhere anytime soon. Heading toward the bedroom that didn't look like hers -- must have been Mike's -- he pulled the mattress off the bed and hauled it into the living room. Setting it down in front of the couch, he began tugging the pillows off the couch and chairs until it was hopefully more comfortable for her. Only then did he grab another blanket for her and wrap it around her shoulders. "Can you get down all right?"
Justine furrowed her brow when he told her to wait a minute, but she nodded slightly and waited for him to come back with whatever it was he was thinking. When he came back with the mattress - Mike’s mattress - she smiled faintly. She remembered this, from a time that seemed forever ago. How he always seemed to know what she needed, Justine would never know, but she’d thank her lucky stars for such an amazing big brother. She’d forgotten about him leaving, about how much it hurt. She’d found something that hurt worse and Benji was the one making it better. “Yea,” she replied softly, tugging the blanket tight around her as she pushed herself off the couch and settled in, pulling on his hand to get him to lay down with her. Exhausted didn’t even begin to describe just how tired she was. “Will you stay? Just...just until I fall asleep?” she asked, eyes bright and honest. She didn’t want to be alone just yet but she understood if he had things to do.
"I'll stay, Juju," he promised as he pressed a kiss to the top of her head. "You've got me all night." He could text Aubrey later, let the other man know that he wasn't going to be going out tonight. "Just sleep, I'll be here." Keeping one arm loosely around her wrapped up body, he stretched to reach the remote. He wasn't really going to watch TV, not while he was thinking about the bruises that littered his sister's body, but he wanted to have the thing on just to distract him. Turning the volume on low, he curled his body around hers and waited for her to go to sleep.