2020-03-18 - Backdated Scene: 3/10/2020: Rough Patching


Hank seeks out Betty after a month of absence getting his head on straight and they begin the process of mending things.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed Mar 18 14:41:08 2020
Location: NYC - Betty Brant's Apartment

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Theme Song



* Backdated Scene: 03-10-2020 5:03 PM *

It has been about a month since the horror of his reversion to furry form, in that time Hank has been a bit scarce, avoiding - everyone - as he gets his head together. He's gone on some missions, of course, but that's work. Mostly he'd hidden out in his lab and occasionally gone out to run in the park as he gets a handle on his new instincts, as he re-learns to control the powerful bestial drives under his skin, and it is a difficult task. The new form IS more bestial, and his urges far more pervasive and immediate.

Still, there have been moments, and finally he is prepared to spend more time with his girlfriend, finally he trusts himself not to hurt her. Hopefully she'll understand how difficult it has been to stay away, sure, they text and call and talk all the time, but he's just been awkward about things and he truly hopes she could sense it was him, he needed to get himself under control again.

It is just after work, and when Betty emerges from the Bugle, she might walk right by the Beast as he lurks near the exit. Softly. "Hello Betty." His voice deep as ever, perhaps a bit rougher in the wake of the new form. A little nervous, he'll wait for her to turn and then offers her a full dozen red roses - the arrangement is accented with baby's breath, and the roses look to have been very carefully picked indeed.


It wasn't fair. Granted, forcing him to stay close wasn't fair either. She offered him her home specifically and after one night of tears and adoration, he was gone. They talked, sure, but there was always the hint of sadness in her voice.

Frowning, she hears her voice and closes her eyes. Drinking in a deep breath, she straightens her posture and turns to face him. Eyeing the flowers, she regards them with some hesitation before accepting them. She never cared for roses, but it was the thought that counted, right?

"Hey." She greets in turn.


He senses and smells her hurt, and then he simply, if she permits, gathers her close. He presses his cheek to hers, his furry cheek. "I am sorry, Betty. I…was in a bad headspace. I was afraid I would hurt you." He is literally trembling. He steps back. "Have I broken us?" He asks, those altered yellow eyes seek her own. "I pray I have not, that we can work things though. I know this - I do love you, very much. I do want to be with you, to live together, to be a partnership."

A catch to his voice. "Have I destroyed that by my fear?"


"It's a repeat, Hank." She murmurs softly. At least she hasn't pulled away from the embrace. Indeed, it was allowed. Head down, hand patting his back, she steps back to see him before glancing about the sidewalk. Work was over and the path was already starting to surge with people on their way home.

"This also isn't the place to talk about this stuff. It's like going to a crowded restaurant to break up with someone so they don't make a scene." Beat. "May we go somewhere else to talk? Please?"


A faint growl to his voice. "I am not breaking up with you, if you'll have me." And then he nods, and steps back. "I was…yes, lets go somewhere private. Bessy's just around the bend." Hank offers her his arm, the gallant instinct in him so ingrained he doesn't even think about it. Though he will offer a hopeful smile if she accepts.

Either way, he leads them to the car, and will get her door for her before circling around to take his place behind the wheel. Once they're belted in, he starts driving. "I was terrified I'd hurt you, I needed the time we spent to get /me/ back…" He frowns, stiff as he drives as he struggles to find the words. "..it would /wreck/ me if I were to hurt you. Absolutely wreck me. So…I had to go…to get my self under control."

Finally he looks to her, eyes raw yellow wounds. "My reversion was awful, you know this…but…it also /vastly/ increased my animal nature, my rage, I -had- to be sure. I -HAD- to re-learn enough control to be certain. I know I hurt you by leaving, but it was never, ever meant to be anything lasting." A sigh. "I love you. I want you. I want to marry you someday if I haven't squandered us because of my terror."

A sigh. "I am a proud man. It..I need to learn to be more…sharing. I couldn't trust myself…I couldn't risk…"


The growl is enough to cause her gaze to harden. "I didn't say you were. I was linking the situation of our current locations together." She notices his arm, and for now doesn't accept it. She does have an arm full of flowers, however. Walking along with him, though, she slips into the car after tenderly setting the flowers down in the back seat.

As they drive, she lowers her gaze. Cheeks hot and eyes stinging. "I hate fucking hearing that." She admits calmly. "I hate fucking hearing the same thing over and over again. Not from you specifically, just everyone…'I left to protect you', 'You can't help me', 'It's for your own good'. Selfish bullshit." No, it was not the first time Betty had heard such things.

"I know what happened. I was there. I ran into a biohazard to try and help you." Her voice, as always, is still calm. Even as that tingling burn starts to build across the bridge of her nose.

"I love you, too. That's why it's so amazingly shitty."


He's quiet for a long moment, digesting her response and then he sighs softly and nods. "It was." He accepts her censure. "It will never happen again. I'm wired to protect, Betty. I…can't help it, but I will never do anything even faintly like this again, not with you. Never again." There's no lack of conviction to his words.

Softly. "I still feel like a monster." He admits. "I start when I see my reflection sometimes…I /hate/ what I've become in those moments, even MORE beast than ever…I wonder if I'll lose my mind, become a brute." These are hard things for him to admit, he's /trying/. "I love you, and I don't know if I deserve a second chance, but I can't give up on us. I need you, Betty and I won't be so selfish and vain again."

A nod. "If you'll let me try."


"I thought we talked about this before, Hank. Being afraid of what you are doesn't help you deal with it. It makes it worse. You're not a monster, you're a beast and that's ok. Own what you are, how it makes you feel. Make it part of yourself and maybe you won't struggle to control it as much."

"It's just the same. Again. Eddie said the same shit. Lucas was afraid I'd get hurt. Frank just…I'm not stupid. I'm not here without some clue of what I'm doing, who I'm with, what's happening in the world. Being careful around people you love is fine, but I'm not…just someone to put up in a tower while the rest of life happens. You wouldn't let me help you. You won't let me help you, and that's not right. There's no partnership there if it's only when things are good."


"Fear…is not rational…I am. Or so I thought, hubris probably…certainly." Hank offers his hand to Betty. "Will you help me with this? I…have always fought so hard to be /refined/. To be clever. Embracing this animal side of me — I don't know how, not really. I've spent literally years learning to suppress it." A faintly mocking tone, self-mocking. "More hubris I realize now." A glance to her, they're driving after all, and he won't risk more, even with his senses and reflexes.

"Will you help me, please?" He asks…it is one of the hardest things he's ever done, because Hank /is/ proud, and strong, and unaccustomed to feeling so lost and out of his depth. He is not used to -needing- help. Perhaps it is the measure of the man that he pushes past that, that he does ask.

"I don't want your life to be a broken record, lets take the needle off the vinyl, lets play something different — together."


"I know fear is not rational. I know emotions aren't rational and I'm not upset with you for being fearful or something you don't fully understand or feel like you can control. But doing this, what you're forcing yourself to do - you're swinging in the dark, Henry. You've spent so long trying to drown that part of yourself…yeah, I'd get why it'd be troubling to have it resurface with such force."

A glance to his hand, she accepts it and rests it on her thigh, her fingers around his first two digits. "You're too brilliant to keep saying such stupid things. You know I'll help you and you don't even have to ask."

"I didn't want it being a record either, Henry. I'm so…angry and frustrated. I want to cry and yell and just get drunk and forget about myself sometimes."

"I wanted that, too. But I can't…we can't…if this is how you handle issues. If you can't come to me, talk to me, let me help you as someone who loves you, then how do we handle anything else down the road?" Sniffling, she scoffs. Her grip tightens. "The timing was amazing. Horribly amazing. I had to defend why I believe what I believe and do what I do to a sour, bitter God. I had to go on a mission and during preparation for that, be reminded that something I love so deeply will never honestly be mine. And then that sliver of love and affection I can bless my life with simply leaves."

Her voice cracks as her lips tremble. "I don't know what to do."


"I'm a hot mess." He says, echoing things SHE has said in the admission. That she accepts his extended hand, that reaching out, drains some of the tension from his shoulders. It gives him hope.

"You have every right to be, I…I /fucked/ up." A nod. "Royally, with the style and panache of a master." He sighs faintly, the fact he dropped an F-bomb shocking, but also powerful emphasis. "I can't change what has already happened, well…not without breaking some very fundamental laws of physics and probably years of research…" Trust Hank to allow for the possibility of time travel, and it is actually a credible thing from him! "…I /can/ change how I behave in the future, but I need your help. I /do/ need to learn to open up. Always I've retreated, I think, behind clever repartee and banter, behind humour…I want to be more than that."

Firmly. "I need to be more than that." A nod. "With you."

"There's a hanky in my breast pocket." He offers as she sniffles, unwilling to have his hands move from their present positions - one on the wheel, one held by Betty against her thigh. "I wish…I wish I /could/ undo it, and I want to hear all about your troubles, and maybe we can help each other. I want that very much." He pulls over, parking near a water fountain, turning to look to Betty. "I promise I won't try to shelter you, I won't hedge you out, I won't ever again leave you like that. I promise I'll try every day to be there, to share my day, to talk to you about my fears and doubts, and listen to you as you speak of the same."


"Sounds like you're writing vows already." She muses, or attempts to. It falls somewhat flat as her voice doesn't carry well. Then, she goes quiet and simply sits, holding his hand, and nothing more.

After what feels like an uneasy build of silence, she sniffles once more and lifts her head. "Take us home." Comes the soft request. Then she blinks. "Unless you're not staying tonight. I should have asked if you were busy or anything."


Hank nods once, sharply, and signals, then gets back in motion, taking them home. "I'm staying tonight." He says softly, voice a little rough that he gets the option to. He drives at a sedate pace, and never once relinquishes Betty's hand. He drives just enough over the limit to keep pace with traffic and manages to get them there in good time even driving with only one hand.

Once parked he of course will get the door for Betty if allowed to, and then heads up to the new place.


He really likes the sound of that…her use of 'home' instead of 'my apartment', yeah, that was not missed.


Betty makes to unlock the collection of barriers that allows her inside the domain. Slipping in, she waits for him and then sets the bolts once more. There, sitting on the kitchen counter, is a bowl with a note reading 'Hank' across it. Inside were keys of his own, uncollected as he hadn't returned.

That silence lingers before Betty slips out of her pumps and makes way to the thermostat, cranking up the temperature to make the home cosy. "Sorry," she says at length, shedding her coat and padding into the kitchen. "Would you like something to drink?"


Hank closes the door behind them, and then lets her set the vast array of bolts. Turning, he catches sight of the bowl and goes very still. Ater a moment he moves to the bowl, and reads the note as Betty turns up the heat. "Don't be sorry." He says, voice a bit husky as he takes up the keys. Yellow eyes shift to Betty, and then he nods. "Yes, whatever you're having." He says.

He studies the keys, then slips them into his pocket.

For weeks she saw that bowl, several times a day. How is he even allowed in here after that?


"Irish Coffee it is." She muses with a weak smirk pressing a faint dimple into her cheek. There's weapons here now, more so than just her ready hand-cannon. There's a wooden sword and buckler in the corner and a stand for armor. The armor is perfection, beautiful - the craftmanship eye watering, awesome. Its fit to her, and along it rests runes, set in, the hue of deep crimson.

She makes the drinks without pause or hesitation. The rest of the home? The furniture set out was larger than it use to be. Fit for him. The space - fit for him in all ways. Accommodating for him.

Soon, with the smell of coffee, cream, and whiskey in the air, she offers him a mug that's more like a bowl in shape. "Stop looking like that." She murmurs gently, smiling. "I love you."


"Oh, good choice." Hank states with a flash of a grin. That armor, those weapons, they catch his eye and he moves over, nostrils flaring as he examines them, almost but not quite touching. He -wants- to, but…something tells him better not to presume, these are special. "Amazing." He murmurs.

He takes up the offered bowl and the way the entire place was clearly built to suit /him/ is not lost on him.

"Thank you." He's not just speaking of the doctored coffee. A smile forms at Betty's murmur. "I love you too. I think from the moment I bandaged your feet." Hank says, his voice a little gruffer than before, it is still his voice, his words, his intonations. Just a bit more raw. He samples the Irish Coffee, then sighs gently. A chin point. "Gifts from your Asgardian friends and allies?"


"My feet? Really? I guess I looked pretty pitiful, didn't I?" Frowning, she moves around to the sofa and sits. Sipping her own drink, she sighs and settles back. Her attire still fitting for the office. At least for now.

"I'm sad you never got to meet Eddie. I hope he's ok out there." Sorrow is heavy in her voice with that. Though, her head turns as he motions to the side. "Hmm? Yes. Before I went to speak with the Morrigan, they had that forged for me by Dwarves. They took some of my hair, and with my blood we made the runes." Scoffing, she smiles down at her drink.

"Sadly, I didn't get to have any battles. Wearing it feels amazing, though. I felt…powerful. Steady."


"Not at all, actually. You looked…brave." Hank says with a fond smile. "You were in pain, I could smell it, yet you pushed through and did what you felt was needed regardless. I have never thought you pitiful, or weak, Betty. Never." Hank sighs very softly, settling onto a couch, and finding it a good fit for him. "I was the one who lacked courage." He states. "Too wrapped up in my own strength and fear of it to remember yours."

He sits up straight, drinking more of that Irish Coffee, really enjoying the nuances his super senses bring to the table. That was the only thing he missed in smoothskin, the world just sort of got washed out, bland.

He meets Betty's gaze then, and nods. "I wish I had too, he sounds like an interesting person. The symbiosis he formed with that other life form was absolutely fascinating." He tracks to the armor as she does, and he nods. "Sounds like a fairly significant bonding was forged." He doesn't know any actual magic, but he's a gamer, and he's read up a lot about myths and legends, he's especially fond of many of the Native American myths, and the Celtic, the Norse, the Greek…okay, he kind of embodies the principals of 'ravenous intellect' and 'eclectic'.

He considers her last sentence, and then nods very firmly. "And you're a priestess learning magic from several gods." She can almost see him reorienting his view of her.


"Several? I'm afraid not. Only two." She clarifies and nurses from her mug. Breathe in, breathe out, she looks his way and finds herself staring. Head canting, she studies him in silence. Thinning her lips, they fill back out naturally before she sets her cup aside and moves to stand.

Padding off to the bedroom, the woman starts to change into something more comfortable and less form fitting. "So," she calls out. "What do you want to do tonight? Order in? Watch something? Go out? I think I'm done arguing for the evening."


"Oh, I thought that you were also studying with Fenrir…sorry." Hank frowns very faintly as he sees how upset that mistake got her. "Order in, stay in, and definitely not arguing." Though, he's a little mystified, did he offend jus tnow, or was the look and the ire lingering from before? Clueless, Hank just waits on the couch until Betty is changed. "We can watch a movie if you'd like, or play a boardgame." A soft chuff of laughter. "Or I could sing for you, I don't believe I've ever done that…" Not for anyone, except once for some refugee kids in the Ukraine, and that was just a snippet.


"Why are you sorry? He offers me his blessings and I serve him." She explains calmly enough. "Sure, he has his own abilities and has shared some with me, but I'm learning from Loki and Sigyn respectfully." Back in the living room, she fluffs out her hair and stands in yogo pants with baggy cuffs and a shirt that's collar falls over her shoulder.

Smirking, she shakes her head. "You haven't, but I think I'll save it for when I'm not still annoyed? I'm just trying to settle and kick down my fears, Hank." Beat. "Order in for us, would you? I'll pay. Pick what game to play?"


"It seemed to anger you that I got the detail wrong, I knew about Loki and Sigyn, I simply thought that the one you serve also was teaching magic." Hank nods then. "So…what exactly /can/ you do? I know you get visions, and I recall the snake shield, that was -fascinating-. You have magical arms and armor too, you're like a full on adventurer priestess." Another chuff, clearly he's intrigued. "I mean if we ever end up in a fight together it would be helpful to know what the other can do, in fact we should train sometime, learn."

His smile fades a bit, when she declines his singing, he's literally never sang just for one person before. And then he smirks right back. "Fair. How about…Twister?" He quips. "Though…Monopoly is good too, always liked Monopoly."


"Henry, please. Stop acting like I'm angry or upset with you about every little thing. I already told you what pissed me off. Now you know, now we work on it." She clarifies before moving over to a small cabinet filled with board games. Pulling out a themed Monopoly (Lord of the Rings, thank you), she starts to set it up. It was the first time the coffee table was cleared off of her word in who knew how long.

"I'm Strider." She selects without pause.


"As you wish." Hank says in a fairly credible Wesley impression, albeit a bit deeper of course. Eyes of yellow…such contrast to his former blue…study Betty, and then he makes a soft huff sound, and nods. "Now I know. Now we work on it." Even as she is moving to get the game out, he is neatly putting things away off the coffee table to make room. "Betty, I do want to learn more of what you can do with your magic, and I do want to train with you. I'm not a deity, but I might be able to help all the same."

A grin as she claims Strider. "A pity there's no Samwise, I'll go with Gimli I think." Once the board is setup, he rises and refreshes their coffees, and yes, that includes with a bit more Irish Cream, and then settles in. "Standard rules, or house modifications such as a kitty in free parking?"


"Taxes and stuff on Park." She nods. "Normal rules otherwise, honey." After setting out the pieces, she looks to Gimli and then sets him down on GO along with Strider. "Y'know, could make Frodo Samwise with a lil tinkering. Shouldn't be hard." Another smile his way, she blinks and then looks toward the Beast.

Pressing up to her feet, she pads his way and reaches out and up. Cradling his face, she draws him to her face and plants her lips against his own. The kiss is slow, chaste, adoring. Hands slip until she's hugging around his shoulders and thick neck, her body pressing up on its tip-toes.


"Agreed, I like that little extra boost at unpredictable intervals." Hank chuffs softly, not a sound he'd made before, and then nods. "I bet we could manage, yes. Actually, there's another solution - we can go shopping at a hobby store and simply buy a miniature from one of the Middle Earth RPGs." His smile broadens. "And we can other characters, perhaps one such as Eowyn." Because Betty is turning into an armor clad heroine…with extra bonus magic. Also, both were blondes, so that's a factor.

Instinct prompts him to lower his face, he's careful of his fangs, he's got quite a few more of those now, at the kiss there's a tension to Hank that simply flows away with a deep sigh, a little catch at the end. Long arms wrap about Betty as she presses up on tip-toes, holding her close if she permits and returning her kiss with infinite care. "I love you." He breathes against her lips when there's a pause.

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