Small Bump

Something was wrong with Virginia Potts, and she knew it.

Her hands settling on the table in front of her as she gritted her teeth, wishing the searing pain that was tearing across her stomach would stop. It had been the third time in two hours that this had happened, and no matter how much painkiller she took it still wouldn't stop. At least today she'd managed to reschedule her usual meetings, making up some sort of pointless excuse about Stark and whatever he'd done wrong this time. Luckily nobody asked questions about it, they were all too used to it being true. Dragging herself to her feet she started to pace the room, it was a force of habit, either through stress or her just trying to clear her head, but hopefully right now it would help with the pains she was getting.

With every movement it started to subside a little, and she could finally take in a little more of the surroundings. Her office had just been re-painted, and the smell of the fresh paint usually made her feel better, made her feel fresh and clean and like she was starting a-fresh. But today it was turning her stomach over. With a scowl she marched over to one of the huge glass windows, pushing one open manually rather than letting JARVIS see to it. The rush of fresh air was a blessing, and she closed her eyes for a moment, what on earth was going on?

Something inside her head was willing her to just ring the doctors and have done with it, to just find out what the hell was happening to her and have done with it. Pepper had never been able to stand not knowing anything; everything was ordered and perfect and worked to her plans. Her rules and regulations and nothing ever changed, but this was driving her mad. She'd suffered almost two months of on and off pains and cramps, and all they seemed to be doing was getting worse as time went on. Dragging herself away from the window and the fresh air she sat back down, pulling her diary out from the bottom drawer of her desk and flicking through it just to check something. Nope, it couldn't be that, according to this she hadn't missed anything and she knew the stress she was under was a constant problem when it came to this type of thing. Slamming the book closed again she retrieved the pile of paperwork that S.H.I.E.L.D had sent her two days ago, spreading it out across the desk and picking up the nearest pen, filling it out on automatic, still willing the pains to disappear.

The past few weeks had been busy, what with the clubbing fiasco and the mountains of work that where flooding her desk she hadn't had five minutes to think about what was going on in her own head, there was work that still wasn't finished, meetings that needed attending to and at least three business deals that she needed to complete. Casting all thoughts of pain aside as she grabbed the painkiller and coke from her bottom drawer she drowned the both of them, ditching the rubbish in the bin and instructing JARVIS to set her usual play-list to loop.

Maybe this time the medication would take effect.

Four hours, and a completed mountain of paperwork later the pain hadn't disappeared. Closing her eyes tightly for a while she rested her head on her arms, covering her ears. She just wanted it all to stop, she really didn't want to listen to the world around her or listen to the noises that were reverberating in her own head. Since when could pain become pure white noise?

Slowly she was losing control to the cramps in her lower body. Tears where seeping out of the corners of her eyes before she could stop them, pouring down onto the paperwork and staining the ink, making it pool into blotches, spoiling all her hard work. For the next few minutes she just let herself give in.

Finally Pepper gathered her feelings back up and hastily stuck it back together again, wiping off her eyes and her face and forcing herself to her feet. The best thing she could do now was find something else to occupy her head with, and the best way to do that was probably to leave her office. Gritting her teeth she marched across to the door, pulling it open and flicking off the lights on the way out before heading out into the corridor. She could cope with this. She could cope with anything!

But somehow she'd only made it halfway down the corridor before she was leaning on the whitewashed wall, desperately trying to calm her breathing as she fisted her hands, when would this stop?! Closing her eyes again she took no notice of the oncoming footsteps, counting her breathing down in her head in an attempt to make it stop.