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[personal profile] mapi_littleowl
Pepper Potts is ten when she finds out how hard a simple thing as being who one is can be. She is ten and her panties are spotted with red droplets and her mom and dad are looking at each other with stretched smiles on their faces, hardly touching her as she sits between them.

She thinks it's because of the blood, that she did something wrong, but she doesn't know exactly what she should be apologizing for. Maybe she shouldn't have told them. Maybe she was sick.

"Is it something wrong?" she asks eventually and the parents try to hold a startled sound.

"Not at all. It's just -- you're a Beta, you see," daddy explains eventually with a wide stretched smile, but Pepper is ten and she doesn't understand what's the matter with that, because Miss Hawkins, her teacher, is a Beta too and she is the nicest person she knows. Miss Hawkins and mom get along really well, too.

"Is that bad?" Pepper asks anyway, looking from mom to dad with big, expectant eyes.

Mommy shakes her head. "Of course it's not, love!"

"It's perfectly alright, and we'll always love you anyway. It doesn't matter what you are, Ginny." (Daddy's hair is red too, and has been mocked because of it when he was young, and he doesn't like calling her Pepper. She doesn't mind, really, because pepper is red, strong and tastes good. She likes to think it's a lot like her.)

Pepper doesn't feel very loved right now. Only slightly confused, because mommy had always told her she was likely to present as an Omega at some point, like her friend Mandy's big sister, and Mandy keeps telling the scariest stories about her sister being locked away for days in the middle of the month, with her dad freaking out about boys and girls hanging around their house and out of their doors.

Being an Omega doesn't sound good, she had decided, so knowing that she's not one should make everyone feel better. She sure does.

Mommy combs her hair with her fingers, pushing them away from her eyes, and Pepper stares, waiting for her to say something, to explain why she looks so upset. Mommy chuckles and it's slightly strangled but Pepper says nothing as she offers a little encouraging smile.

"I just wanted to have grandchildren at some points," mommy says eventually, and then she kisses Pepper's cheek loudly. "But it's not impossible, is it?"

Pepper sees her dad nodding and then she stands up and her parents do the same. "Can I go now?" she asks resolutely, feeling weird to stand there because of the thing attached to her panties. She thinks she's never going to get accustomed to that.

"Of course you can," daddy says with a smile and mommy caresses her head once more.

"I'll make dinner. And if you are hurting or feel even slightly bad, come to me, alright?"

Pepper nods and she flees, disappearing behind the door of her bedroom. She jumps on her bed, takes her Betty doll from the shelf and rips her head off, throwing it on the other side of the bedroom.

When less than an hour later mommy calls her for dinner, there is absolutely no sign on her freckled cheeks that betrays that Pepper has been spent her time crying her heart out.

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