Britta only stopped running when her whole body was screaming in pain and she couldn't breath. She collapsed, right in the middle of a street, and curled into a tight ball. She'd hurt Bruce. She'd hurt him. And she hadn't meant to either. When she looked over at Grid the dark haired girl was suddenly not asleep. Instead she was standing over Bruce who was lying on her table, bleeding and looking straight at Britta as if he was silently pleading for her to save him. Britta had squeezed Bruce's hand to remind her that he was beside her, not dead or dying, and apparently she'd squeezed too hard.
"Oh gods please no. Don't make me go through this again." Britta begged the heavens, tears rolling down her cheeks. "I can't go through that again. I can't go insane again. I'll hurt someone. I've already hurt someone." Britta very nearly sobbed out.
"Miss? Miss are you okay?" A worried voice asked. Britta looked up to see a young girl, no more than fifteen or so, staring down at Britta. "You aren't dying are you? I mean you look hurt but most everyone whose made their way over from around Stark Tower looks hurt." The girl said. Britta didn't reply, too busy trying to stop herself from sobbing. "Hey, you were on the news! There was footage of you fighting!" The girl said suddenly, her voice filled with awe. "Did the fighting traumatize you or something? Is that why you're in the road?" The girl asked.
Britta slowly pulled herself up into a sitting position, wiping at her eyes. "I'm fine. I just lost something in the battle is all." Britta told the girl. That wasn't a lie either. She'd lost her sanity, her old best friend, and the voices in her head who would be talking to her at the moment if they were still there. The girl looked down sadly at Britta, sympathy and understanding in her eyes. "Hey, kid, where am I?" Britta asked.
"Queens. We didn't really get damaged, you guys were really good about keeping the battle in one place." The girl told her.
"Mmm, thanks." Britta mumbled, getting to her feet. She started walking towards the direction she knew her apartment was in but the girl stopped her.
"Thank you, for fighting for all of us I mean. It must have been really hard. And I'm sorry you lost something, I wish that hadn't happened but there's always a price in war." The girl said quickly, as if she expected Britta to run off before she could finish.
Britta felt her cheeks heat up with shame. This girl thought she was a hero and was even sorry for her without knowing any details. The poor thing didn't know the type of person...the type of monster she was. "Thank you but it was really no big deal. I was just doing what was right." Britta said before continuing to walk away. "Thanks." She said over her shoulder, remembering the rest of the girl's words. "Stay safe." Britta added without thinking. It was what she'd said to everyone after she'd recovered enough form her insanity to understand how horrible and spontaneous her anger was. She'd told everyone that every time they left her, reminding them to not get hurt until next time she saw them. Next time she actually saw them. Sometimes they'd visit and she wouldn't remember it because she'd been in one of her fits. Britta felt a tear roll down her cheek when she thought about how she was going back to her old ways. Her old horrible ways.
Her apartment was actually just a block from where she'd collapsed. That was extremely lucky because Britta didn't have enough energy to go further than that. Once she was in her apartment she practically crawled to her room and into her bed. Everything smelled like comfort and it made Britta want to never leave again. She buried her nose in her pillow and pulled her blankets all the way up over her head. She made her armor disappear and soon she was lying in the nightgown she'd been wearing the night Phil came to get her.
"Night Grid. Night Nan." Britta mumbled sleepily, forgetting for a moment that her girls wouldn't reply. She fell asleep a moment later, slipping instantly into nightmares.