|Though these words on my lips aren't my own
Author: spoodle monkey PM
JohnnyBen sequel to I'm still breathing. Everything is changing and he's struggling to keep up.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Angst - Chapters: 2 - Words: 12,749 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 14 - Follows: 20 - Updated: 02-13-13 - Published: 07-13-11 - id: 7177561
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Nope, don't own.
A/N- sooo this is what happens when you end up depressed for a couple of months...you stop writing. BUT I'm back! And I've brought Johnny/Ben as a present! ...with a side order or craziness and Loki (because I've recently discovered my love for him...though this one is based loosely on movie!Loki...sooo we shall see.) Anyways! I'm not sure how long this one will be...and the pairings will reveal themselves (to me...) as the story continues soooo as for part one- I hope you enjoy!
Johnny jerks awake, eyes flying open and muscles tensing. He bolts out of the bed, tripping over the covers in his haste, fists held up as his heart pounds in his chest.
Loki, for his part, continues to sit in an old, wicker chair that was most definitely not there the previous night, with an air of calm nonchalance.
"What?" He gapes, dimly aware that he must resemble a fish to the god as he tries to wrap his head around what he is doing there.
"Jonathan Storm," Loki repeats and Johnny swears he sees him role his eyes before the god pushes himself to his feet and Johnny's brain finally catches up with the situation. "I have,"
"Ben!" He yells and then, "Flame on!"
He bursts into flames but there is no one there.
Heavy footsteps come pounding down the hall before the door slides open and Ben appears there, looking rocky and menacing. Wide blue eyes dart around the room, taking stock of its sole occupant and general lack of destruction or mayhem.
"Johnny?" Ben asks, still wary. Nothing is out of place; the wicker chair and Loki are gone. Johnny flames off, heart still pounding, and confused.
Across the room Ben lets out a strangled sound and Johnny looks over in alarm. The other man is watching him with wide eyes, the blue there a darker shade than normal. He watches as Ben's rocky skin flickers and shifts until he's flesh and bones again, leaving him bare-chested and in his tight fantastic four pants. And staring at Johnny.
He looks down at himself and blushes. It appears that his boxers haven't survived his flame- he'll have to speak to Reed about that, lately whatever chemical his brother in law has been using so that Johnny's clothes don't get torched hasn't been as reliable as before. He's losing too many articles of clothing to allow it to continue.
Ben clears his throat; face tinted pink and tears his eyes away, gaze bouncing around the room. Johnny stands there, torn between grabbing the sheets and creating a toga to save whatever dignity he has left or to take advantage of the situation and go with it. There's something about the way Ben's blush spreads down his neck to his chest and Johnny really wants to see how far it can travel. Ultimately the choice is made for him.
"Johnny? Ben?" Footsteps, lighter than Ben's heavy tread, come running down the hall and he has just enough time to grab the sheet off the bed and wrap it around his waist before his sister comes running into the room. "Is everything ok- what?" She freezes inside the door mouth falling open in a look of surprise that Johnny is fairly certain he was sporting not that long ago. Then the surprise is replaced with a sly look and she rolls her eyes. "Guys, its not that I don't love you both, but I don't actually want to know about your sex life. Ever."
Ben blinks and looks helplessly around the room.
"I thought the kid was in trouble."
"Johnny?" Sue quirks an eyebrow and plants her hands on her hips and Johnny cringes at the parental act. "Do I even want to know what's going on?"
"Loki!" Johnny grips the sheet with one hand and gestures with the other.
"Loki?" Ben repeats, watching the space that Johnny is gesturing at as though the aforementioned god of mischief will suddenly appear there.
"He was here! That's why I called you."
"Loki." Sue repeats slowly. "Was in here?" Johnny nods a little desperately. "Well, what was he doing here? He's only been interested in the Avengers recently."
"I think," Johnny begins, scratching the back of his neck with his free hand. "That he wanted to talk to me." Now that he looks back at it, its not like the guy had made any menacing moves, or had started to monolog like Doom loved to do.
"What would Loki want with you?" Sue asks and Ben crosses the room, resting a heavy, warm hand on Johnny's bare shoulder. He leans into the touch and shrugs, careful not to dislodge Ben's hand. "We could always ask Thor if he knows what Loki is up to." But Sue is frowning as she says this and somehow Johnny doesn't think that Thor will have any idea what's going on.
Johnny blinks, as what he is almost certain is light laughter echoes through the room. He looks to Ben but the other man just squeezes his shoulder showing no sign of having heard it too. He writes it off as needing more sleep.
"We can ask. I was going to call Reed today anyways so I'll let him know then." A warm smile flits across Sue's face at the thought of her husband (even if he is currently halfway around the world with Tony Stark and Hank McCoy).
She turns and leaves them standing in the room.
"So," Johnny starts, hand flexing on the sheet, itching to just let it go and see what Ben will do now that they're alone.
"I'll lend you a pair of shorts Matchstick." Ben grins and kisses him quick, hand sliding down his chest to rest on his hip. Johnny groans and tries to deepen the kiss, to keep it going but Ben pulls back, squeezes his hip once and crosses the room to dig through the dresser drawers there. Johnny stands there for another moment, flushed and dazed and most definitely not pouting.
"Here." Ben tosses a pair of shorts and a shirt, enough for Johnny to make the walk back to his own room to pick up some clothes. He catches them, drops the sheet (purely accidental of course) and pulls the clothes on. He pulls the drawstring tight on the shorts but they still ride low on his hips and the shirt hangs down and probably looks ridiculous on him but there's just something about the size difference that makes him more than happy to wear Ben's clothes. And if the look he gets as he leaves the room is anything to go by, Ben's just as happy as he is.
Reed can't think of any viable reason why Loki would want to talk to Johnny, or really any of the Fantastic Four really and while Thor is in the city, covering for Tony while he's away, the god of thunder is impossible to get a hold of, for varying reasons. Sue has come back from trying to get a hold of him with anything from Thor's off fighting giant rats with the Avengers, to there's something wrong with the cell/phone service around Stark Tower and my phone was just fried.
Johnny's not a genius but even he can tell there's something weird about that.
"Matchstick, you're the one that wanted to see this movie. If you're that bored we can go."
Johnny jerks, startled, and looks around at the dark theatre.
"What?" He blinks and squints up at the screen. He hasn't seen this movie before but it looks like they're much, much farther than when he had last checked.
Ben frowns and pulls his arm from its perch around Johnny's shoulders. Johnny mourns its loss and the warmth it was providing in the cool room.
"You okay?" Ben asks quietly.
"Yeah." Johnny assures him quickly. "Just a little…distracted." They're in the back row of the theatre, there are only a handful of other people there and Ben's skin is soft and smooth instead of rocky. They blend in, no ones paying them any attention. "But," he pitches his voice quieter and smirks, feeling daring. "I can think of an even better distraction."
Ben lets out a startled laugh but there's something pleased and smug to it. He leans in and Johnny tilts his head, eyes fluttering shut and-
Their communicators go off in their pockets even as the ground starts shaking and the movie flickers on its screen.
"Terrible timing." Johnny let's his head fall forwards onto Ben's shoulder even as the other man answers his communicator. "I officially hate Reed for making these things." He digs out his own but doesn't answer it as Ben talks to Sue.
"We're on our way." Ben promises. People further ahead in the audience, turn towards them, half panicking as the pair stand.
Ben grabs Johnny's hand and together they dash from the room, to cries of 'it's the human torch and the thing'.
A plus side to Ben being able to change back and forth, Johnny decides as he flames on, grabs Ben's hands and lifts up into the sky, is that Ben is certainly lighter this way.
"Where to?" He calls out. There are no visible signs of destruction, just all of the car alarms in New York going off at the same time from the sudden earthquake.
"Towards the water."
Water, he thinks grimacing, it's always water.
Sue is already there, squaring off against a very angry looking King of Atlantis. He frowns in confusion at the scene below. Last he had checked they were at peace with Atlantis. But the pier is in disarray; cracked slabs of pavement and a half collapsed warehouse nearby are all scenes of a violent fight. A few onlookers remain cautiously cheering and taking photos. As they approach Sue and Namor get closer, and even from here Johnny can tell they're screaming at each other. Namor raises his fist and Sue lifts her hands and Johnny's not going to be fast enough to stop them. His sister looks furious. Ben grows heavy in his hands and Johnny lets go, lets Ben fall the short distance, landing a few feet away from Sue and Namor.
The ground shakes and the concrete dents with the force of his landing and Sue, Namor and several onlookers all get knocked off their feet and Ben, made of rock again, steps forwards. He hauls Namor up by the collar of his shirt and Johnny gets in front of Sue.
"Insolent children!" Namor yells and swings at Ben. He keeps his grip on Namor and together they go tumbling backwards across the pier.
"What's going on?" Johnny turns to Sue.
The breath is knocked out of him a second later as something he cannot see hits him. He goes flying backwards, hitting the water hard. His flame goes out and it's like a shock to the system. Water fills his lungs as he tries to draw in air and the edges of his vision are greying as he sinks deeper into the water. He can't think, can't move and is only dimly aware that he's in trouble. But the thought is far off and doesn't register as anything more than a minor annoyance.
His lungs are burning, mouth full of polluted, salty water and his eyes start to slip closed.
And then there's hard pavement under his back and air and he's rolling onto his side coughing up water. His body shakes as he hacks and coughs and draws air into his starving lungs as confusion flushes through him.
Water drips down his face, his blonde hair plastered to his forehead and he opens his eyes, blinks back droplets and past the greying edges of his vision and for a moment sees green eyes peering down at him and familiar pale, pointed features. Loki stares down at him and Johnny cannot read the look on his face. And then he blinks and it's like he was never there.
"Johnny!" He flinches as the hand curls around his bicep but the anger from before that had marred Sue's features is gone replaced with worry and guilt. "I'm so sorry- I don't know what came over me! Are you alright?"
Johnny sucks in a breath and it comes out as a cough, but he waves off her worry. Sue helps him sit up, supporting him as he rests, half bent over and head down, her hand rubbing soothing patterns on his back. He sneezes, hard, and it makes his head spin. Great, he thinks idly, just what he needs- to make the cold he's been fighting on and off, worse.
"Hey." One rocky finger tilts his head up and Johnny blinks up into the afternoon sun. "You okay, kid?"
"Yeah, yeah, I just," was saved by one of the Avengers enemies. And if he had just imagined that? He was going to look insane. Namor stands nearby, watching them, and while there is no guilt, his anger has disappeared as well. "What was that fight about?" He asks, knowing that it could make things worse, but curiosity getting the better of him.
Ben lets his hand drop and turns to Sue and Namor with the same open curiosity.
"We," Sue starts and exchanges a confused look with the Atlantean.
"I thought the surface world…" Namor trails off and confusion flickers across his features. "I was remembering an event a long time ago." He finally decides on, but even then looks unsure.
"I came to talk to Namor, find out why he was here, and…" Sue frowns and flushes. "And he insulted Reed. And the two of you." She winces at that and Johnny stares openly because neither of them seems to have a solid reason for the fury that has destroyed a large section of the pier.
Johnny sneezes again, body shaking with the force of it and Sue frowns harder.
"We should get you home. We can figure this all out there." Sue stands and offers a hand to him. He lets her pull him to his feet and then lets go and tries to flame on, if only to dry himself faster. He hates being wet. His skin warms a bit but he's too waterlogged and he's starting to feel the chill in the breeze coming off of the ocean.
"Here." Sue lifts the three of them up with her force field and turns to Namor. "I suspect you won't be coming with us?"
"No." He answers, curtly. He pauses and inclines his head to Ben. "Thank you for making me see sense."
Ben shrugs and waves it off but there's surprise in his blue eyes at the acknowledgement. He reaches out and wraps a large, rocky arm around Johnny's waist and Sue takes them home.
They're no closer to figuring out what happened down at the pier and Reed is no help. They manage to reach him for a few minutes, but he's clearly distracted and doesn't think that it's any cause for alarm and then he has to go but he misses them all and he'll be home soon.
Johnny knows Reed said he was going to Tokyo with Tony and Hank, but he's starting to suspect that they're some place else entirely.
So Johnny heads to bed. He's tired and feeling run down and is still slightly chilled from his dip into the water. He hugs his sister and kisses Ben on the forehead as he sits on the couch, bent over some papers of some sort that quickly get shuffled out of the way.
"I'm going to sleep in my room tonight." Johnny says through a yawn. Ben gets a strange look on his face and Johnny must be getting worse at reading people because he has no idea what Ben is thinking at the moment.
"You sure?" Ben asks, voice gruff with concern.
"Yeah, I'm just beat." Johnny stretches to demonstrate this and then grins, sly and mischievous. "But maybe tomorrow night we can finally,"
"And I'm leaving the room." Sue announces loudly and makes a run for it. Johnny laughs and watches her go. He figures he'll pay for it later, but in the meantime messing with his sister is just too easy to pass up. Ben rolls his eyes and pulls him in again for another kiss, this one longer and deeper. Johnny is seriously reconsidering his decision when they finally pull apart.
"Goodnight." Ben says with a smirk and watches Johnny walk out of the room in a daze.
Johnny strips down, throws a large, worn t-shirt (that he suspects is Ben's) over his boxers and curls up under the covers. It feels great as his muscles all relax and he starts to warm up with the added blanket to his bed.
"Jonathan Storm I wish to speak with you."
"What the hell?" He bolts upright in bed, hands gripping the sheets and seconds away from flaming on. Johnny blinks and squints and watches as Loki walks out of the shadows and into the light filtering in through the windows. Johnny is certain that he wasn't there when he first came in.
"You're sleeping in your own quarters tonight," Loki holds his hands clasped behind his back in a way similar to how Johnny's seen Cap do it time and again. "Did you and Grimm fight?"
"What?" Johnny blinks and frowns and tries to catch up with the conversation and to the point where he starts demanding what Loki wants. "No, I- what are you doing here?"
"You Midgardians love to fight," Loki continues, mostly to himself and ignores Johnny's question. "So much like my brother in that simple minded way."
"Hey!" Johnny says because he's pretty sure he's just been insulted. And then, "Ben and I didn't fight. I have my own room and sometimes I like to use it." Not often though, not anymore.
"I see." Loki says and crosses to the door to Johnny's room. Johnny watches, brain catching up with his body and he lunges to his feet but Loki has pulled the door open and the hallway of the Baxter building is not what appears on the other side. Cold wind whips into the room, sweeping up papers and ruffling the curtains and Loki steps through into the snow filled world, pulling the door closed behind him, as Johnny stands there, frozen.
A few snowflakes melt on the carpet and a chill lingers in the room and Johnny turns back to his bed and climbs under the covers and decides to deal with all of this in the morning.
"Hey!" Johnny turns up his flame and breathes a sigh of relief as part of the crowd finally backs off. There's screaming and yelling all around and the crowd surges against one another.
A riot had broken out downtown and they had rushed over to see if they could help. The thing was, which Sue kept repeating, was that there isn't any reason for the riot. The sound of breaking glass fills the air, as another storefront window is broken. Johnny turns up his flame before a glass bottle can hit him, melting it and then using it to keep a group of middle-aged women from scratching each other's eyes out.
He can't see Ben through all the chaos, can't spot his sister, but he can make out the familiar red, white and blue as Captain America makes his way through the crowd.
"Any idea what started this?" Johnny calls out. Cap uses his shield to push back a particularly violent man. His mouth is set in a deep frown and he looks as helpless as Johnny feels.
"None." A piece of metal bounces off his shield. Spiderman swings by overhead, webbing the people that need to be restrained. "Peter and Hank Pym are running some tests but," he looks over at Johnny and he blinks at myriad of emotions shifting across the other heroes face. "It would be easier with Tony here."
Johnny wonders what it would have been like had Reed invited Ben to go along with them for an undisclosed amount of time. And no matter what his brother in law has said, he doesn't believe that Tokyo is where they actually are at the moment. He wonders how Sue and Cap deal with it.
An elderly woman gets too close to his flame and he lifts into the air, panic seizing him as she just misses burning herself. It's getting out of control and they're no closer to calming everyone down. He spots Sue, rising up on her force field and trying to placate the half crazed people below. But there's so much rage and it actually scares him a bit how all these people can turn on one another so easily.
Lightning streaks across a suddenly grey sky and hits the pavement. It's like a shock wave as the crowd falls like puppets whose strings have been cut abruptly. Johnny feels the shock eight feet in the air, like static electricity coming off a sweater or a balloon. Down below Cap pushes himself to his feet, shaking his head as though to clear it.
"Are you alright?" Johnny calls out.
"I'm fine." He calls back, shading his eyes as the sun re-emerges and the clouds clear. Thor lands down the street. They go about checking to make sure everyone is all right, getting those who aren't to either the ambulances or the hospital a few blocks away. Its slow work and takes the rest of the day. They make it back to the Baxter building, exhausted and no closer to figuring out why two hundred people essentially went mad with rage.
Johnny remembers belatedly that he'd been meaning to talk to Thor about Loki, hoping he could shine some light on the situation, as he half collapses onto the couch. Ben grunts as Johnny's collapse ends with him half on top of Ben and too comfortable to move even when the other man starts prodding his side to get him to shift over a bit.
"Maybe it was Doom?" Sue suggests, pushing her hair back out of her face and settling onto the other couch.
"His mere presence is enough to drive people crazy." Ben muses. Johnny grunts in agreement from where his head is pillowed on Ben's chest. His head rises and falls with each breath Ben takes and it's not long before he finds himself drifting off to the soothing rhythm.
"You look terrible."
Johnny cracks an eye open and glares over at his sister. Ben shifts underneath him, jostling him.
"She's right, kid." He agrees and Johnny can feel the vibrations under his cheek. "You should get some sleep."
Frankly, Johnny is too tired to even attempt to argue otherwise and lets himself be shuffled and adjusted until Ben has an arm around his waist and they're both standing. They say their goodnights and he lets himself be led down the hall.
They end up at Ben's room, the closer of the two rooms and he lets himself be stripped down and tucked in. Ben climbs in next to him and, after a moment of hesitation, slides over and wraps a strong arm around Johnny's waist, tugging him backwards until his back is flush against Ben's chest.
"Kid," Ben starts and then hesitates and Johnny makes a noise, prompting him to continue. "I gotta ask ya something."
Johnny twists a little and squints through the dim lighting provided by a crack in the curtains. But all he can see are the shadows cast across Ben's face.
"What is it?" Johnny asks, voice thick and heavy with exhaustion.
Ben sighs and presses a soft kiss to his temple, tightening his hold a little; like if he were to loosen it at all Johnny would slip away.
"It can wait 'till morning." Ben whispers and Johnny nods, settling back into the embrace and letting sleep wash over him.
Johnny stumbles out of bed half awake and with a pounding in his head that almost rivals some of his more exciting nights in college. He grabs a pair of his jeans from a pile across the room; ones that he has forgotten to take back to his own room (on purpose) and tugs them on. Blindly, he finds one of Ben's long sleeved shirts, soft and worn with age and slides it on. It chases away the chill in the room and alleviates his headache enough so that he can focus on the raised voices outside the door.
Ben grunts and sits up in bed, rubbing at his eyes.
"What's going on?" He asks, voice husky with sleep and Johnny valiantly resists the urge to climb back into bed.
"Don't know." Johnny murmurs and crosses to the door. "I'll check it out."
The door slides open and suddenly all eyes are on him. The Young Avengers and Sue stare at him and Johnny self consciously reaches a hand up to smooth down what must be the worst bed head ever.
"Johnny, are you feeling all right?" Sue asks, frowning.
Johnny shrugs because, yeah he has a headache, but that's already feeling much better and will probably feel great once he makes it to the Sue's medicine cabinet and gets some of her stronger pain meds (that she doesn't think they know about considering its for that time of the month).
"What's going on?" He asks instead. There's some muffled noises coming from behind him and then Ben's arm is wrapping around his shoulders and he leans into the warmth.
"It's Tommy." Eli gestures to the teenager leaning heavily against his side. The leader of the Young Avengers has his arm around the slim teenagers waist, all but holding him up.
"Tommy?" Sue steps forwards, trying to get the boy in questions attention. Tommy blinks sluggishly and half lifts his head. There's a fine sheen of sweat on his pale face and it's like his gaze can't quite focus on anything in front of him.
"When did this start?" She asks, frowning.
"We don't know." Billy rests a hand on his twin's shoulder, worry and fear stretched out across his features. "He's been getting slower for awhile now, but it got really bad last night, after that riot."
"Okay, we'll get him up to the lab, run some tests and see what's wrong." Sue smiles reassuringly and lifts Tommy up with her force field, and making it into a make shift gurney. She leads the way towards the elevator, Billy and Eli right behind her, worried gazes on the teenager that appears to be seemingly floating down the hall.
"We couldn't take him to a hospital." Cassie says somewhat helplessly. "Not when it was his power being affected."
"You came to the right place." Ben says.
"I didn't see Mr Fantastic anywhere." Kate frowns and Teddy shoots her a look. "So it's true he's still not back in New York?"
"Suzie is just as capable as Reed is." Ben says firmly and starts herding them down the hall after their respective teammates. "Don't you worry, we'll get this figured out."
But if the look on her face is anything to go by, she certainly isn't reassured.
Johnny's phone buzzes in his pocket about halfway through the first set of tests Sue is running on Tommy. He ignores it and goes back to trying to help his sister (even if he has no idea what most of the stuff in the lab is for). A minute later it buzzes again, and then again almost immediately after.
So he digs his phone out of his pocket and opens the first text message.
Got a small problem. Meet me at apartment.
The message is from Peter. As are the other two, which reads; not a small problem! Not a small problem! And bring Ben just in case.
Johnny frowns, worried and confused and hands his phone over to Ben to read.
It could just be Peter overreacting…but somehow Johnny isn't convinced he's that lucky.
So he tells Sue briefly where they're going, grabs Ben by the hands and takes off from the roof. They have to land two blocks away and sneak in through a back alley, with Johnny leading the way, as Ben has never been there before. Johnny keeps his head down and sends up a silent prayer to the paparazzi gods that he and Ben don't get spotted going into Peter Parkers apartment.
Last he checked Peter was still dead set against coming out.
Peter opens the door and all but yanks Johnny and Ben into the apartment and Johnny keeps forgetting how strong his friend really is.
Peter's apartment is a tiny two bedroom, the second bedroom filled with textbooks and old chemistry sets and miscellaneous things that Johnny has never seen before. But the place is clean and well kept and has an air of being lived in. He suspects Aunt May has something to do with this. Ben peers around, taking it all in with a curious look on his face, like he's trying to memorize details.
And in the center of the apartment, webbed securely to a chair, is a rather angry looking man. His red hair is in disarray and sunglasses sit on his nose, though the bridge is taped hastily. The webbing goes from his neck all the way down to his ankles, engulfing both him and the chair and Johnny has to wonder what the overkill was for. But he can feel the weight of the man's glare on him from across the room and decides that overkill was definitely called for. There is also a splotch of webbing over the man's mouth.
"Finally!" Peter isn't wearing his mask and Ben shoots Johnny a look at this but Johnny just shrugs because it's not like Ben doesn't know who Peter is anyways. And by now the guy in the chair must know it too. "I was beginning to think you hadn't gotten my text or were busy doing other things and honestly I have no idea what to do, I mean its one thing when it's a crowd of people but this is Matty and," he winces and stops talking abruptly, takes a deep breath and turns to face the other men in the room.
"So," Ben says slowly, eyes a little wide from Peters rant. "What you're saying is that Matty," Peter winces and Johnny tries to place where he knows the name from. "Started acting like all those crazy people."
"Yes!" Peter grins, apparently pleased that someone has managed to sort out his thoughts. "We were playing x-box and Matt cheats or something because no way he's that good when he can't even see the screen and the next thing I know he's trying to strangle me with the television cords!"
Johnny blinks because if this were just some normal person that suddenly went mad with rage all the webbing really would be overkill and Peter would be taking them to the hospital and not calling Johnny and Ben over in a panic. And really, who does Peter spend insane amounts of time with aside from Johnny? Oh.
"Is that Daredevil stuck to your kitchen chair?" Johnny asks incredulously and Matty starts making furious mumbling noises at him. He takes a step back reflexively and bumps into Ben. Ben steadies him with a hand on his shoulder, eyeing the furious hero warily.
"No!" Peter denies, shooting quick furtive looks between them. "No?" He tries again at the disbelieving stares. "He's going to kill me!" Peter finally settles on, wailing dramatically and covering his face with his hands. Johnny has to admit from the way Daredevil is straining against the webbing, mumbling raising in volume and glasses slipping from his nose, that that would seem an accurate prediction.
"He'll snap out of it." Johnny goes for comforting and falls a little flat. "Everyone else did eventually." After that, well they'd just have to see how a calm Daredevil felt about being out-ed to half of the Fantastic Four.
"Maybe we should bring him back to the Baxter building." Ben suggests hesitantly.
The horrified expression on Peter's face is almost funny to watch. "Or we can wait it out here." Ben adds quickly.
Ben and Peter settle in with a video game and Matt quiets down again though he's still glaring at them, which is rather disconcerting. Johnny slips into the washroom.
He's washing his hands when he looks up to find another set of eyes staring back at him. Johnny lets out a startled yell, jumping back from the sink and hitting the opposite wall in the tiny washroom. Loki blinks, his lips twisting up into a smirk that looks much too menacing for anyone's good and is gone like he was never there at all. Johnny is left staring at his own, too pale appearance, blue eyes wide with shock.
"Johnny?" Ben knocks on the door. "Johnny, you okay? Kid?"
"I'm fine." He manages to call back, turning off the sink and drying his hands before he opens the door.
Ben frowns at him, blocking his way into the main room.
"It was Loki again." Johnny says quietly, looking everywhere but at Ben, who reaches out and squeezes his elbow gently.
"We'll talk at home." Ben promises.
"Hey guys?" Peter interrupts from where he's seated cross-legged in front of the television, video game exchanged for the news. Johnny's phone buzzes repeatedly in his pocket and he frowns because that is much more than one text message. "You really need to see this."
"Billionaire Tony Stark, also known to the world as Iron Man, was admitted into a hospital in the south of France a little after four this afternoon under a false name. Sources say that what originally appeared to be a severe migraine for the hero has progressed much further. Doctors say that Stark slipped into a coma shortly after being admitted and is not responding to treatment…"
"What?" Johnny gapes at the television as the news anchor continues to repeat the same information.
"We gotta get a hold of Reed." Ben says gruffly.
"Shit." Peter says quietly, eyes wide and still staring at the blurry video someone has managed to get of the outside of Tony's hospital room. "Who's going to tell Cap?"
If the amount of messages Johnny has received is anything to go by, he either already knows or is going to know soon enough.