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[OOC: *This comic never existed and all the following is my canon.]

When the time comes to end the fun,
I'm the one that gets the business done,
ain't no one in the world that can get in my way
Oh no!

I've found a place among my friends,
and I'll be there up until the end
the first family to make me forget I was so grim
That's why I finally feel like one of the guys...

~Kirby Krackle, One of the Guys

A week later and Ben is hosting a benefit concert She-Hulk set up as a way of fostering good will and raising money. He didn't think he had any good will to foster from folks but went along with it cause when Jen set her mind to something you just went along for the ride. He still hadn't moved back to the Baxter Building as while Reed and Susan forgave him, he was finding it hard to forgive himself. Plus Doctor Doom living there with his villain chums just sat wrong.

Alicia found Ben behind the stage as the final act played their last song. Using his shoulder for balance, she lowered herself to sit on the curb beside him.

"Sorry, the crowds were gettin' ta me," he murmured by way of explaining why he was hiding. She sat silently giving him the time to say what really was bothering him. "Will they ever trust me again?" he whispered finally.

She leaned against him and took his hand. "With time," she said with all the love she felt for him. "They thought they lost their hero but he returned. They need time to trust that and so do you." She stood then and pulled on him to stand as well. "They will forgive you and trust you. In fact, listen…"

Ben turned his attention from her and his thoughts to listen and heard the crowd, thousands of New Yorkers singing, "It's clobbering' time, it's clobbering' time..."

"Come on, they want their hero," she says pulling him up just as his phone rings.

"Hold on," Ben says pulling out his ear piece. "Yeah Reed?"

"Ben...we need you, can you come back?"

"'Course. How soon?" Ben replies unable to hide the thrill in his voice.

"About an hour?"

"I'll be there." He says to Reed hanging up. He stands and holds out his arm to Alicia. "Better not keep the crowd waiting."


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Benjamin J Grimm

September 2017

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