ever_lovin: (Default)
[OOC: *This comic never existed and all the following is my canon.]
And if I show you my dark side
Will you still hold me tonight?
And if I open my heart to you
And show you my weak side
What would you do?
Would you sell your story to Rolling Stone?
Would you take the children away
And leave me alone?

~ Pink Floyd, The Final Cut

Ben's been sitting in Alicia's hospital room off and on for nearly six hours now and Alicia is still unconscious. The doctors assure him she will recover, that it will just take time, but he's never really been one for waiting. He'd pace but knowing him he'd hit a wire or tube and mess something up, so he waits watching her breath.

The door opens and Susan pokes her head in. "How's she doing?" She asks as if everything were okay.

"Doc's say she'll be fine an' there's been a couple'a times she's almost woke up..." Ben replies his voice trailing off. He hangs his head down as he really can't met Susan's eyes.

"Good," Susan replies. "Come with me."

It's the last thing Ben wants to do but he has to face the music sooner or later. Sooner means he'll be able to get back to Alicia. Susan leads him to the next room where Reed waits. "Where're the kids?" Ben asks without thinking about it.

"Jen's watching them for us," Susan replies closing the door.

"Guys, I am so sorry. I'll move out..." Ben starts to say before Susan puts her hand on his mouth to quiet him. She hugs him and says. "Shh, we're just glad you're back."

Reed comes over and hugs them both. "I swear Ben, I have never made a device specifically targeted for you."

"And I have never blamed you for Johnny's death. I know you did the best you could and you would have taken his place if it had been possible."

Ben squeezes his eyes closed to hid the tears and hugs them back until his Avengers phone rings.

At the Avengers mansion all the various teams mill about not sure why Captain America called them.

"So until we get Stark Tower rebuilt, we'll have to share the mansion with you," Stark is saying to Luke. "Shouldn't take too long with Stark technology and Damage Control's manpower."

"Do we even have enough rooms?" Mockingbird points out.

"What about bathrooms? Are we going to need a schedule?" Spider-man quips.

"Guys!" Ben calls out to get everyone's attention. "I just wanna say it since everyone's thinking it, this is all my fault. If I hadn't picked up that dang hammer. But I did an' I'm sorry. I've just been havin' a bad time of it lately. I can pack up my stuff to make room.."

"That won't be necessary Ben," Captain America says grabbing his shoulder as Stark walks up.

"Can you guys give us a minute," Stark says to the room, before turning to Ben. "I heard about your plan to help rebuild and I and Stark Resilient would like to help."

"Sounds good," Ben replies still downcast. "But ya should talk ta Jen Walters, Danny Rand or Matt Murdock as I'm not in charge of it. I set them up so there's no conflict and they're setting up a legal trust to ensure folks what own property get a fair deal."

"Okay," Stark replies sounds slightly disappointed.

"Anyway Ben," Cap says with a slight glare at Stark. "Wait, can I have everybody's attention? Thank you. I would just like to say you all did amazing things and you have my up most respect. We saved the world," He turns to Ben then and salutes him, "and you saved New York, Ben. By stepping up and leading the heroes left in the city, you saved many lives, lives that would have been lost without you. And I would just like to say thank you. Thank you all."

Later that night Ben makes it back to Alicia's room just as she stirs. He freezes, scared of finally facing her. How can he ever account for nearly killing her?

"Ben?" she says to the room blindly.

"Yeah," he says, a bare whisper.

"Come here," she says sitting up, holding out her hands and like a puppet he comes and stands near her where she can reach him. She feels his face and chokes out a sob. "Oh it is finally you." Tears cascade down her face in her relief.

"Babe, I'm so sorry," he chokes out but she quiets him with a finger on his lips.

"Shh...I told you before, when it comes to us, you never have anything to fear. I love you and nothing will change that. You are back, that is all that matters."
ever_lovin: (withdrawn)
[OOC: *This comic never existed and all the following is my canon.]
Buddy you're an old man poor man
Pleadin' with your eyes gonna make you some peace some day

You got mud on your face
You big disgrace
Somebody better put you back in your place

~ Queen, We Will Rock You

It's been hours since the world was saved and Ben is busy working with rescue workers; cleaning up and saving those that can be. He hasn't rested, hasn't allowed himself to rest and there is still so much work to do. So far he's been out here on his own; no other heroes have arrived but then a lot of them are far away right? He works deliberately and carefully, keeping his head down to avoid the stares of the people of Yancy Street. He can't ignore them but he can keep working. They leave him alone as they stare, seemingly unsure what to do, until an old woman marches right up to him and yells in his face, "MONSTER!" She spits at him and he just stands there exhausted and deserving it until a couple of kids from the Yancy Street Gang politely lead her away.

Ben takes a deep breath and gets back to work.

Reed and Susan are the first to arrive to help him. He knows they need to talk but the rescue and clean up effort takes all their attention. Later the rest of the Avengers show up and he can see in all their faces how tired they are, how much this fight took out of all of them.

The reporters and TV camera show up soon after and it isn't until the Yancy Street Gang forms a barrier between him and the TV vans that Ben is able to get back to work. He glaces over and sees the old woman who called him a monster being interviewed as well as a little girl who holds up a lost dog poster. Idly, he wonders where she found a copier to make them but when she comes up to him he sees that she drew each one by hand. "Have you seen Buster?" she asks him nervously and he leans in to get a good look at the border collie.

"Nah, but I'll keep my eyes open. When did he go missing?" He replies.

"Last night when the robots attacked."

Twilight comes and Ben still hasn't seen any sign of the dog and he fears the worst. All day he's seen the girl walking around with her flyer and asking anyone who would listen and his heart just broke ever time he saw her. He grunts as he carefully lifts a large slab of wall that's fallen on a subway entrance and almost drops it when he hears barking underneath. He lifts it the rest of the way and sees an excited Buster dance back and forth. "Come on boy," Ben says gesturing for the dog to join him as he looks around for the girl.

"Hello?" Calls a voice weak in pain and exhaustion.

"MEDIC!" Ben calls and races down the stairs to the dog and the woman Buster had been protecting and keeping warm. Her leg is broken pretty badly and she's pale. Kneeling Ben rests a careful hand on her shoulder to let her know it's going to be okay. Her eyelids flicker and she says, "Penny?"

The medics take her, Penny (the little girl with the flyers) and Buster away toward New York General and everyone goes back to work now that the excitement's calmed down. Ben makes it to an alleyway before he loses it, sobs breaking free. He doesn't hear the old woman come up.

"What are you doing?" she asks.

Startled he jumps and then glares. "Don't worry about it."

"You saved that child's mother and dog," she replies, ignoring his glare.

"What's it matter, I'm still a monster right?"

She laughs then. "What monster weeps for a little girl? Why do you weep anyway? The girl is safe, her dog is found and her mother is safe."

"I just...I spent all day convinced I had killed that girl's dog." He doesn't know why he's telling her this, likely because he hasn't really spoken with anyone all day. "Guess I'm just relived."

She nods. "I can see that. And no, you are not a monster. Not any more. As I said, a monster does not weep for a little girl. A monster does not work all day to fix what he has done. This morning maybe you were a monster but now you are a hero. It's like your Yancy Street boys have been telling any reporter who would listen, a man has a right to fix his mistakes and that is what you have done and will continue to do. Now come, I have food and then you can go back to fixing."

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

Ben stands at the edge of the broken office building and looks out at the city. From ten stories up he can see an awful lot and he doesn't like what he sees; fires in a few places, looting, screaming and general mayhem and if that weren't enough, giant robots with the swastika are advancing. Part of him looks at it all with shame and guilt, part of him looks at the whole thing like troop movements, and part of him looks to see where help is needed the most but all of him burns with an anger more potent than phosphorus. He also notes the grouping of Avengers nearby on the ground and decides to head there with Franklin and Val. He needs to find them protection before he can go hunting for the Serpent and any other "Worthy" he can find. He feels it then, the Serpents' power flares and his palace, his center of power appears; a castle floating above the Lower East Side.

"Huh, don't see that everyday," Ben says. "Let's get down there." He turns and heads towards the stairs, the elevator would be quicker but he doubts the safety of it given the damage the building has taken. Franklin and Val follow him and pause with him when he stops at the hammer.

"You should leave it," Franklin suggests.

"And risk some other schmuck picking' it up? Not likely," Ben replies reaching for it.

"But what if…" Val starts to ask.

"Ain't nothin' ta worry about kids. I ain't got no fear left in me but I got plenty o' pissed."

It takes them five minutes to make it down the stairs and join the Avengers at what remains of Avengers Tower. He can feel the Serpent is gone but his influence remains, fear so strong you can taste it. The people needed help, that much was clear and yet the Avengers were guarding a pile of ruble.

"What in the dad blamed Sam Hill are you guys doin'?" Ben shouted by way of greeting. Several of the Avengers immediately went on guard and Ms. Marvel turned as if to blast him so he dropped the hammer and held up his hands. "It's me…really me."

"Stand down everyone!" Luke Cage yells and hurries forward to Ben. "Thank God, you're free."

"Thank Franklin ya mean. What's goin' on?" Ben asks grimly.

"Stark's in Asgard making weapons we can use, Cap's in Oklahoma chasing after the Serpent and we're making sure either one can get to where they need to go."

"So no one's protectin' the city?!?" Ben asks incredulously.

"We only have so much resources," Ms. Marvel says. "If Cap and Iron Man don't succeed, we all fail."

"So ya give up what yer fightin' fer ta win? THAT"S DAD BLAMED BULL!"

"Woah Ben, calm down. Carol is right. We can only do so much."

"Fuck that. City ain't falling while I got breath. You yahoos stay here and play general's solders, I'm takin' the fight where it's needed." Ben turns and walks off with the kids leaving some very confused Avengers behind.

"Grimm, take care of those kids first!" Wolverine calls out just as Ben turns a corner. He waves a hand in reply.

"What was all that?" Jewel asks.

"Man's lost it all," Luke answers with a hint of grief. "He thinks he's got nothin' left."

"He's walking death's road. I just hope he let's the kids off." Wolverine adds.

"What the hell?!?!" Spider-woman says. "Why are we letting him go?"

"Man's got a right...especially after what happened." Wolverine replies.

"We don't have the time to hold Grimm's hand and guard this. Man wants to go out, I can't stop him right now. Best to give him free reign so he'll get the kids to safety first."

"Thank you for reminding me that all men are insane," Jewel says shaking her head but staying where she is.

ever_lovin: (Default)
From the live broadcast from Channel 12's helicopter:
"During a time of already significant panic among the people of New York...and indeed, the people of the world...we're reporting live from yet another escalating event. We're witnessing mass destruction on a scale unlike anything I've seen before. Rescue teams and civil authorities have been unable to evacuate danger zones quickly enough to avoid terrible casualties and riots are breaking out across the city, only adding to the disorder and confusion. The decimation of property...the potential loss of life...to call what I am seeing cataclysmic would not be an exaggeration. Reports are unconfirmed, but it appears that the source of this destruction is The Thing! The Future Foundation's Ben Grimm appears to have undergone a sudden and ghastly transformation...a mutation, perhaps...and he's rampaging through the city. It is unclear if this change in his physical form--this apparent change in his state of mind--is some further manifestation of his abnormal physiology or if this might be something else...perhaps, as some have already speculated, something contagious."

[OOC: Everything that occurs within the red velvet room is my own bit of canon. Most of all else is Marvel canon.]

ever_lovin: (Grim)
Things have been hard for Ben. Not everyday but enough of them he hasn't been able to really get beyond his grief and guilt. There's been good days like when he fought those A.I.M. nutcases who freed The Wizard (okay maybe that wasn't a good day since they got away) or the time they fought four of Spider-Man's nutjobs who thought they could handle the FF. Then there were the really bad days like when Ben found out Doom was joining the FF or when that little creep Bentley got in Ben's face about Ben's usefulness after all the big brain villains joined up with the FF. With how close Ben had come to hitting the little guy and Ben had to admit the truth in his words, Ben had decided to take a few days to himself and left the Baxter Building. Reed and Sue knew how to get ahold of him.

And the new white uniform of the newly minted Future Foundation just didn't go with his orange rocks very well. And why did they have to change from the Fantastic Four to the Future Foundation anyway? Yeah, Johnny was gone but Spidey was working out despite Ben's initial misgivings and they'd had fill-ins before. They were still the Fantastic Four when She-Hulk took Ben's place weren't they? And why didn't they call Jen to fill in? Why'd it have to be Spidey? Oh yeah, Johnny's request.

"I'm sorry," Alicia says as she sets the tea service on the coffee table, breaking Ben out of his brooding. "I don't have any Splenda, Ben. Just sugar."

"It's fine, Alicia," Ben says reaching for the cup and saucer she holds out. As she sits across from him he watches her and that old familiar ache for her beauty pierces his heart again.

She lifts her cup to sip the tea, Darjeeling. Ben mimics her move with a smile remembering a time when he couldn't even open doors without breaking them and all the patience Alicia had shown as she helped him learn to use his new body.

"You haven't called," Alicia says jumping straight in.

Carefully Ben puts down the bone china cup before answering. He finds he can't look at her so looks down before replying, "I know, I…"

"You haven't called since that night."


"And you didn't speak to me at the funeral."

"….I know. I'm sorry. I've been kinda keeping' to myself. I…I…I'm just haven' a hard time with…." Ben swallows to clear the lump in his throat. "Bein' with you…it shoulda been the best thing ever. Now I look at you and all I can think about is how I couldn't save my friend…my brother. I feel so guilty, Alicia."

"Are you looking at me right now?"


"Good. Because I want to make sure you hear me when I say there are two things you're going to have to deal with…Johnny's gone. And I love you."

"Alicia, don't…"

"No. You need to know that I am not going anywhere. You need to know that I need you as much as you need me…and, most of all, that Johnny would want you to be happy. I promise you…things are going to get better…There's nothing to be afraid of."

Ben sits there lost in her words and can't help but wonder at the fear and sense of forwboding they leave in his heart.


ever_lovin: (Default)
Benjamin J Grimm

September 2017

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