|Ben and Thor are both (afavoredson) wrote in doorslogs,|
@ 2012-05-08 01:44:00
|Entry tags:||door: marvel comics, pepper potts, thor|
Who: Thor and Pepper Potts
What: Pepper waits until Thor reappears on the Vegas side and then takes him back to her apartment.
When: Saturday into Sunday
Where: Passages Hotel, Pepper's Apartment
Rating/Warnings: Naked Asgardian ahoy! Then Pepper takes his clothes and runs away. No sexual content.
By Saturday evening, there still had been no word from Thor or Ben. Pepper was firmly in control when she stepped through the door, back into the hotel. Running a company was difficult and for the first time since arriving in this particular situation, Pepper wished she was CEO again. She was doing all of the work anyway, taking the phone calls Tony couldn’t, attending the meetings he couldn’t, and addressing as much as she possibly could. He was needed elsewhere and with his time limited in a way she wasn’t, it was a reasonable conclusion. There was also that small detail of her agreeing to sit back, which provided her with a great deal of time to get engrossed in paperwork and meetings. Perhaps it would work better this time, or perhaps she should just stop pressing altogether. It wasn’t like she’d have as much time as she did in the coming months, particularly after the younger Ms. Fulton gave birth.
A problem to deal with when it became a more pressing matter, she reminded herself. She leaned against the wall opposite the door and waited for Ben to step through. Thor would need to be briefed on his brother’s latest stunt, not to mention Mr. Stark’s reciprocated stunt. Her mouth thinned into a tight line that looked wholly out of place on Felicia’s full lips. It felt a little like she was rediscovering her boundaries with him and that wasn’t a pleasant experience for her. To push those thoughts out of her mind and to pass the time until Ben arrived, Pepper scrolled through her emails, replying and organizing them as she went. She was very nearly caught up when the door finally opened.
Thor did not so much as walk out as he fell out, face first and grumbling. He wasn't sure how long he'd been asleep, but it hadn't been nearly long enough and even the threadbare carpet under his cheek was better than the rocky surface of Nidavellir. Though they might be on Ben's side of the door, it was still Thor that was completely in control. Thor who was perfectly content to sleep right where they were and as Benji had no complaints, he was not interested in moving.
As tired as he was, he didn't miss the fact that there was someone else there. Standing. Blinking one eye open, he took in the sneakers, the jeans, the t-shirt and then the very pissed off look of the woman that was in the hallway with him. "I did not do it," he mumbled, pushing himself up and fishing his key out. He was not in the mood to deal with someone else's temper, especially when he was so wretchedly tired, but he was not going to stay when someone was that angry. Thor could move.
Pepper wasn’t angry at first, just glad that Ben was okay and, by extension, Thor. It wasn’t until a moment later, when she realized just how dirty and battered he was. “Jesus, did you lose a fight with a mountain?” she muttered as she slipped her phone into the pocket of Felicia’s jeans. There was no denying she was frustrated and angry with him, particularly since he looked as though he could sleep right there on the hallway floor. Their conversation with Silver filtered through her memory and Pepper frowned.
“Oh yes you did,” she replied, her voice hard and clipped. Her key was already out though and she wasn’t about to let him escape off to god knew where. With ease, she slipped past him and opened the door, praying it would open somewhere that wasn’t Mr. Stark’s home. Thankfully, it opened to her apartment in Malibu and a small amount of relief passed over her features. “In. Now.” Pepper couldn’t remember the last time she had to use this voice on anyone, but as she put one hand on her hip and pointed with the other, it was clear she wouldn’t take no for an answer.
"No," Thor groaned, rolling over slowly to follow her with his gaze. He understood enough that she was opening their door, but beyond that, he was really just too damned tired. "I won the fight." Heaving himself up, he lumbered through, changing from Benji on the Vegas side to one rough looking Asgardian on the other side. "Where are we?" He asked, far less demanding than he could be as he squinted into the bright sunshine. They had to be on Midgard somewhere and the exact town wasn't as important as the actual building.
Not that either was particularly important. It wasn't until she was through that he knew her for who she was though and nodded his head slightly. "Lady Pepper, I truly cannot stay."
For a moment, she wasn’t quite sure what he was saying ‘no’ to, unaware that he’d heard her muttered question. A smile flickered across her face. She should have expected nothing less than victory for him. The humor was gone in a moment though because he’d been gone for nearly a week and Silver was right. They had no way of getting to Asgard if Thor was in trouble. She followed him into her living space and shut the door firmly behind her.
“Malibu, California,” she replied and now her voice sounded like her once more. She was dressed in a gray pencil skirt that grazed the tops of her knees, a rich purple colored silk blouse and matching gray jacket with black heels to complete the ensemble. Her hair was half pulled back and curled slightly but it wasn’t as cleanly done as it had been that morning. “My apartment,” Pepper added, slipping off her shoes and putting her phone on the side table.
A perfectly sculpted eyebrow arched at him. “You can, and you will. Bathroom first, I think. Don’t you have baths on Asgard?” He smelled of sweat and battle and...man. The dust and blood alone was enough to warrant a shower first before she let him anywhere near her sheets. As it was, she knew she’d need to deep clean her carpets after this.
"I haven't been on Asgard," Thor replied, which explained why he hadn't bathed, but nothing else. "And our baths are --" he started, voice boastful until it took too much energy to simply keep up that amount of bravado. "Blissful. If you brought me here only to bathe me, I really must go." His first stop should be with the dwarves to see if their task was complete. Only then could he return home, bathe until his skin pruned and sleep until his body ached with inaction.
Of course, now that he was up, as long as he remained standing he could keep moving. There was no possible way her bathroom could be as delightful as his one at home, even if he rather thought he might just jump in a river to bathe first. It would be just as good and after he could go home and boil himself pleasantly in the waters of his home...
“You’ve been on Jutenheim all this time?” she asked, disbelief coloring her voice, which quickly gave way to a dark blush. “I am not bathing you. You’re a grown man. A very dirty, very exhausted grown man who has an Alter my Alter feels responsible for. Ergo, in the shower you go, or bath if you prefer, and then sleep.” Pepper didn’t think for a moment that she could actually force him into the bathroom so she led the way, stopping to take three fluffy, pale blue towels from the closet in the hallway. She led him past the door to her bedroom and into a decently sized bathroom. It held a jacuzzi tub that was more than big enough for her and a standing shower that would also accommodate him. Glancing from him to her tub, she decided on the shower, at least to start with.
The towels were set on the counter before she pulled the shower door open and deftly turned the water up to get quite hot. “It’s set to get pretty hot but if you want to adjust the temperature, left is hot, right is cold. Push the knob in to turn off the water once you’re done rinsing off,” she explained, moving back over to the counter. Beneath the sink were less floral shower supplies and she pulled those out, setting them on the counter before she turned to look at Thor, who was decidedly less dressed than before. The blush came back in full force and she averted her eyes. “Use whatever you’d like,” she said, managing to keep her voice fairly even. “Is there anything else I can get you?” Since it was clear he was going to listen.
It wouldn't delay him much if he bathed here instead of Asgard, he told himself. As soon as she turned on the water, the desire for a bath came on so strongly that he didn't bother to wait, just began stripping out of his armor and leaving it scattered around his body. Some rocks fell out of his clothing, but they were not the healing rocks of Asgard, only plain shale from Nidavellir. They were easily forgotten in the face of the promised shower.
He didn't even bother selecting any soap from what she had pulled out, just opened the door and stepped in. Her blush didn't register, not because he would ignored her sign of embarrassment, but because he was so focused on the shower he didn't even look. With a low, heartfelt groan of pure enjoyment, he tilted his head back let the hot spray hit him directly in the face. It wasn't like Asgard, but it was water, it was hot, and it felt good to start rinsing some of the grime off his body.
It was pretty clear that he just wanted a shower considering he was naked and Pepper was reminded of the fact that it had been a very long time since she’d seen a man that way, and by accident of all things. Not to mention, it was Thor. A soft groan escaped her and she wondered what she did to deserve such a complicated life. Escaping the bathroom became her first priority and, trusting that he’d remember to put on a towel before leaving the room, she grabbed his armor and clothes. They would need to be cleaned and washed respectively and it would certainly distract her while he made use of the facilities. Not even a glance was spared at him before she ducked out of the bathroom, closing the door behind her.
A quick survey of her collection revealed that she’d have to hand wash a great deal of it. The cape and undergarments could be washed safely but the leather pants and metal work would need to be hand washed. After setting what she could in the washer, she brought the rest to the kitchen sink and began to scrub. As she finished each metal piece, she moved it out to the balcony where it could dry relatively quickly. It was a mind numbing task, one she was grateful for considering it distracted her thoroughly from the very naked Asgardian in her bathroom. So absorbed as she was in her task, she didn’t hear the water stop running nor had she taken any note of the time. She only knew that all she had left was the chainmail and leather breeches to wash.
While his clothes were being attended to, Thor was very much enjoying Pepper's shower. It may not have been as good as his bath on Asgard, nor quite as refreshing as a jump in a river, but it got him clean and before long, he was looking for something to actually wash with. He went through the bottles already in the stall, all of it flowery and foamy and not at all what he needed until he found something labeled scrub. A quick check confirmed that it too smelled of flowers, but it had a rougher texture. Not quite as good as sand, but nearly so and he set himself to washing what grime remained off his skin.
When the water was finally clear again, only then did he step from the shower and turn it off. A bath would be nothing more than a luxury now and one that he didn't want to waste time on. His clothes were gone from the floor, his armor seemingly with them, and he spared a brief thought as to whether or not Pepper had servants that did that type of thing before he began toweling off. Using one towel to strip water from both his skin and his hair, a second towel was wound about his waist and soon enough, the call of sleep was pounding at his brain again. Leaving the bathroom in a cloud of steam, he was nearly about to call out to Pepper when he saw a bed through an open door. A few seconds later, he was sprawled across the surface and asleep again, his feet hanging off the edge.
The chainmail took an exceptionally long time to clean, though whether it was because Pepper was stalling or because she wanted to be thorough in her task, she didn’t know. Regardless, by the time both the chainmail and leather pants were outside on her balcony as well, the washer was finished. Its contents were transferred to the drier and then she made her way to the bathroom to see if Thor needed anything else. She half expected to see him in the bath but the room was empty save for the steam that still clung to the glass surfaces. A towel was on the floor, damp likely from his drying off with it. She stilled for a moment, afraid she’d come across him naked, but she quickly realized there was one towel missing. Hopefully it was around his waist and not his hair.
She set the bathroom to rights and put the used towel in the hamper in the bathroom. She needed a shower as well but that could wait until she’d found Thor. By mere habit, Pepper glanced into her bedroom as she passed the open door and froze. He was asleep from the looks of it, with only a towel around his waist. “Well at least he’s clean,” she muttered to herself. The couch in the living area was comfortable enough and it would do for the night. Moving as quietly as she could, Pepper found a pair of loose cotton pants and a well worn red tee that had Stark Industries blazoned across the chest. Not her usual bed attire but she didn’t fancy Thor walking in on her naked.
Pepper returned to the bathroom and shut the door behind her before turning on the shower. It was still hot thankfully and her clothes joined the towel in the hamper before she stepped under the spray. “Well this certainly wasn’t how I was planning to spend the evening,” she murmured to herself as she washed her hair. She was going to have to talk to him about the importance of clothes. Or at least having some modesty around women, particularly her. She reached for her body scrub next and found it considerably lighter. He’d opted to use her shower supplies instead of the more masculine ones she’d set out. She was too tired for this. Stepping out of the shower, she quickly toweled herself off and wrapped it securely around her body as she set about completing the rest of her nightly routine.
Dressed in her pajamas, Pepper returned to her room to take one of the pillows from her bed and the spare blanket from her closet. “Actually...” She grabbed two blankets and carefully laid one over him with an indulgent smile before leaving, shutting the door most of the way behind her. The white couch in the living area wasn’t exactly designed for sleeping but it was certainly comfortable. She was asleep in minutes, deciding that contacting the others could wait until after a good night’s sleep.
Thor slept the deep, dreamless sleep of the truly exhausted and when he woke, he rose slowly, trying to figure out where he was. A bed obviously. A woman's, given the faint traces of perfume. Or perhaps that was him, he couldn't tell and it wasn't as much of a priority as figuring out where he was. With a low groan, he stood up and stretched, the towel and blanket both falling off him. A glance down told him that he was cleaner than he remembered, and the towel was suggestive of bathing... The blanket was completely foreign though.
Picking it up, he draped it over his shoulders and slowly walked out of the room. It seemed dimly familiar and he followed the low sound of voices until he came upon Pepper's sitting room. Bits and pieces of the previous day started coming back then as he leaned against the wall. He had no idea how long he'd been asleep for, but it was dusky outside, the sun sitting fat and bright on the horizon. The western horizon. Close to night then, not daybreak. "Lady Pepper," he murmured, voice rough from both disuse for the better part of a day and from the yelling he'd been doing prior to returning to Midgard.
Pepper had awoken at the crack of dawn, as per usual. She was stiff from sleeping on the much smaller couch, despite its comfort and it took her a few moments to stretch and loosen herself up. She spied his armor and clothing out on the deck, now dry, and she brought it inside first, neatly stacked or folded on the white arm chair. Pepper made her way to her bedroom next, quietly opening the door. Thor was covered, thankfully, and still asleep. It wasn’t like she could leave him alone here and she didn’t want to wake him up after seeing him so exhausted the night before. Resolving to work from home, Pepper went back to the bathroom and brushed her teeth before making herself breakfast and scanning through her emails and calendar. The few meetings she had could be done via phone and that was how she spent her day.
Lunch was made for two, though Thor slept through that, and she also washed the towels and her clothes from the night before were sent for dry cleaning. She continued on with her work even as the sun started to dip in the sky and she was just finishing up her last phone call of the day when Thor appeared, blanket around his shoulders. She stopped mid sentence for a few moments before she snapped herself out of it. “David? I think we’re done for the evening. Email me if you have anything else you’d like to discuss and we can talk more tomorrow.” With that, she hung up the phone and leveled a hard glare at him, pointedly focused on his face. “You cannot walk around here without covering yourself. What if-” She stopped short, physically pursing her lips to stop herself from saying Tony’s name. Pepper just shook her head and turned her back, so that she was facing the stove. “Your clothes are on the armchair. I washed them last night while you were showering.”
"Is this another Midgardian custom?" He asked tiredly, the blanket falling off his shoulders as he went to get his clothes and began dressing. They were cleaned, but not oiled, he'd have to do that at home -- or at some point. Rolling his head on his shoulders to pop his neck, he dressed quickly until he was back in his complete armor. It felt better and to be clean -- better yet. Now all he needed was Mjolnir, but he was hardly going to summon it in her apartment -- it would come through the walls if need be and he had no interest in damaging her property. There were other things on his slowly awakening mind.
"I will remember. Thank you, Lady, but I must be going." Though he had no idea why she'd brought him here in the first place, he couldn't stay. He was rested, clean, and now he had to see if the dwarves had completed their work for him. "Unless you have some news of my brother?"
Pepper snorted before she could stop herself. “Yes, clothes are a custom here on Earth,” she replied dryly, though there was a hint of a smile on her lips as she began rummaging around for something to drink. She kept her back to him until she was fairly certain he was at least covered and then she came around the counter and leaned against it so that she was facing him. “You’re welcome, but yes, I do have news of your brother.” She crossed the room to the small coffee table and picked up her phone. It took only a few taps to pull up Loki’s broadcast and she let it play for him. “That was Wednesday. I’m not sure what he’s done, but I do not think it will be good. Not to mention we had no way of contacting you.” She gave him another stern, chastising look. “I was worried enough to stand outside the door and wait for you. Felicia, on the other hand, was worried on Thursday.” Her tone softened somewhat, as did her expression, before she continued. “You should collect your communication device before you return and I’d like to make a copy of your key.” She let her request sink in for a moment before she explained. “I don’t want to travel freely to Asgard. That isn’t why I ask. I want to ensure that there is a way to get to you if you are in danger.”
As he watched the broadcast, clouds began to gather outside, growing steadily darker until a thunderstorm was nearly assured. The first peal of thunder came when she mentioned that they had no way of contacting him. His journal, not in his clothes, was at his apartment where it was safe. The mobile phone that Benji insisted on was somewhere, likely dashed to tiny pieces on Nidavellir for all that Thor cared at the moment. "Stop," Thor said quietly, voice strained like he was holding far too much in. This was Pepper, a woman, a mortal woman that he would never hurt, but he wasn't going to be chastised by her, not when he'd been away from his home and taken Benji away just to help them.
His mouth opened and shut several times before he could finally manage to force the words out. These people were far too fragile and he had to remember that. "Then you do not need my key. I opened the doors of Asgard to you once. Do not think that I would allow you to come and go as you please under any guise you like. Asgard is my home, there are things there that would destroy this realm if you brought them here. I will not have that on my conscience and you will not have my key. If you have such need to contact me, speak to my mother, Frigga. She can reach me with far more ease."
She glanced nervously between Thor and the impending thunderstorm outside her window. He was angry, painfully, obviously pissed and although she wasn’t afraid that he would hurt her, she was afraid that he might punch a wall or otherwise attack her apartment. Those things would be easily fixed, she knew, but she was more focused on the fact that he was that angry because of her. The apology she wanted to make died on her tongue when he spoke and she stayed absolutely still until he spoke again.
“I don’t want to go uninvited, Thor, and I truly did appreciate the visit. Asgard is beautiful,” she replied softly, honesty shining through in her voice. “I only want to know that there’s a way to get you help if need be. Felicia feels responsible for Mr. Sorenson and I genuinely care for you, Thor.” Very carefully, she reached her hand out to rest on his arm if he allowed it. “I didn’t know your mother was here, else I would not have asked. I’m sorry for overstepping my bounds, truly.” She did, however, want to ensure that he would always have a way to get to her or a safe place, so she resolved to have a copy made of the key to the apartment they were currently in, but that would be for another time.
The only upside to Thor's anger was that it frequently dissipated as easily as came. The storm was started outside already, but the intensity slowly banked until it was a slowly rolling thunderstorm, almost gentle compared to the way it had formed. "If I am on Asgard there is little for you to worry about," he said quietly, a small smile crossing his lips. It did not reach his eyes "And I will protect Benji, but I must be going. If my brother continues with this..." He paused, his gaze darting back to the screen that still showed Loki.
It was like a burr in his spirit that could neither be removed, nor scratched, nor touched. It would remain there until his brother came home and put this madness behind him. "There is something I must retrieve. He will not be happy." Which was a drastic understatement, but it was the only way Thor could see where he could effectively neutralize his brother without harming him.
Her smile was more relaxed when she answered. “I can only imagine,” she murmured softly. She honestly didn’t want to. “I’m sorry.” Though for what, exactly, she wasn’t entirely sure. The hand on his arm lingered for a moment before she pulled back and clasped her hands together in front of her, phone tucked between them. “Just be careful, or at least check in every few days?” Pepper wanted to add that he should check in with the others as well but she wasn’t quite sure how to phrase it. Her smile turned almost teasing. “Otherwise I’ll wait outside the door again and I won’t offer you a hot shower or a comfortable bed.” Not that it had been her intention in the first place but he had been so exhausted.
“When you return, would you be willing to pick up your communication device? I feel uncomfortable holding onto it and the temptation to listen in is far too strong, even though I know it would do no good for me to use it.” An understatement if there ever was one. There was a reason Dr. Banner hadn’t given her one and it was the same reason she hadn’t listened in during that meeting. She wasn’t an Avenger and frankly, she didn’t want to be. Running a business and looking after Mr. Stark was a full time job. Taking on the weight of the world wasn’t on her to do list.
"I'll check in as often as I am able." Though Thor had no idea if it was possible to continue using the journal on the other realms. More importantly, he didn't want to lose it there either. Such things could be used against him, or Asgard, and that wasn't something he could risk at the current time.
"I will pick it up when I return," he promised as he straightened. "Now I must go." The sooner he had the manacles the dwarves were creating, the more at ease he would feel. "You should consider having a balcony outside your offices. I do not want to come through your window," he said with a slight frown. It meant he had to land on the roof, or on the ground, and it would be much easier if he could land outside her office. Still thinking about that, he went to retrieve Mjolnir from her bathroom.
It was on his way out that he truly considered things. "I will check every few hours," he amended. "If my brother attacks, I would not leave you to face him alone. Be safe, Lady Pepper." He turned toward the door and paused, one last time. He would not tell her all, not until the manacles were complete, but he could lead her in the right direction. Perhaps it would be some balm to her and their allies, without him wasting the time it would take to explain it all to her. "Our stories... you call them myths. There is one you might find of interest. It pertains to a wolf named Fenris and Gleipnir." That was all he said before stepping out of her door and shutting it quietly behind him.