Pepper was sitting on the couch, her eyes were half open as she looked at the blue glare of the television screen. They had eaten the Indian food, and Pepper practically forced Toni to drink tea with her and continue to just sit on the couch and watch mind-numbing television. Pepper’s evil plan worked. As the night went on and the chamomile seeped into Toni’s system, she slowly got drearier and drearier until she was asleep in Pepper’s lap. Pepper had her legs crossed on the couch, a blanket was thrown over them. Toni’s head was on Pepper’s thigh, one of her hands on Pepper’s knee. Another blanket was draped over Toni. Toni was taking deep, soft breaths as she slept, and Pepper absent-mindedly carded her fingers through Toni’s dark hair, fingers massaging her scalp as Toni rested. Pepper wasn’t really sure what she was watching. It was some ridiculously dramatic crime drama which Pepper barely understood, the only reason she was watching it was because she was enjoying the moment as she was drifting in and out of sleep, Toni asleep in her lap. Pepper closed her eyes and didn’t open them until Toni started to stir beneath her hand. Pepper’s eyes opened, looking down at Toni who had a pained expression on her face. She was whimpering.
“Toni?” Pepper asked, “Toni, baby, it’s just a nightmare,” she resumed stroking Toni’s hair and Toni stilled, frozen, but no longer panicked. Slowly, Toni relaxed as Pepper continued to run her fingers from the nape of her neck to the ends of her hair, repeating in a steady motion. Pepper looked at the television. JARVIS must have turned it off.
“JARVIS,” Pepper whispered to the mansion.
“Yes, Miss Potts?” JARVIS asked quietly.
“Keep me awake,” Pepper asked. “But don’t disturb us…”