My Impractical Hurricane – 1
Author's Note: Whoops, edited a few errors I saw. And I also realized that my original descriptions were rather misleading. This isn't a one shot, it's the full blown, long, boring, stuff-happens deal. There's like…fifteen chapters, I think? Definitely can't be more than that. Yep, zapped it out in five days. All I really did was eat, drink, and write. Sleep? Yeah right.
Warnings: Man on man, yadda yadda yadda, lame humor, madness.
Reed Richards practically collapsed onto his uncomfortably hard couch with a groan, dropping a hand over his forehead tiredly. He was hot. And not in the 'Sue loves how my ass looks in this tight suit' kind of way. No, for all of Reed's brains, studies, and status as the poster boy for super hero science geeks, he had no way to prevent himself from falling victim to the common flu. For the next few moments, he lay deciding firmly to himself that the next project he would take to would be to scrape this benign but truly sinister epidemic from the face of the earth. Then, not only would he be a hero in the genetically mutated, super powered, big scientific whoopsy-daisy sense, but in the world renowned, medical-degree-outstanding-enough-to-hang-on-your-bathroom-wall one as well. For now, however, he would have to settle for lying feebly on his couch, playing a little mental coin toss between throwing up and passing out.
Part of him was glad that he was alone right now. Ben had invited him and Sue to dinner and dancing with Alicia, upon which he had of course declined when he had already felt the beginnings of his sickness that morning. He hadn't caught where it was The Human Torch had headed off to, but it was just as well that the loudest and most ostentatious house mate be absent too. If you had to be sick, it helped to be sick in peace. He had just woken now with a pulsing drumbeat in his head and a stomach doing acrobatics that would put an Olympic gymnast ninja to shame. Smoothing his fingers through his hair, he leaned back and attempted to relax. That was about the moment that the door cracked from down the hall like it was coming off its hinges. Either Sue was coming home angry, Ben was coming home careless, or…
"Honey, I'm home!" sounded a cocksure voice from the front door, and Reed returned a hand over his eyes. So much for peace and quiet. Well if he'd come home to shut himself in his room with his crash metal rock screeching through his walls so loud it made it impossible just to piss straight, as was the norm, he had another thing coming. "Hey, anybody here?"
"In here, Johnny." Reed called back, tossing up an arm in defeat against the fate that conspired against him.
"Oh." As Reed uncovered his eyes, he was met with the face of his soon-to-be brother-in-law staring down at him. "Heya stretch. What's hangin'?" he greeted with a grin.
Reed sighed and eyed up at him through the dark hair that was strewn in his face. "Isn't it kind of early for you to be back?"
"Yeah, I was just gonna tell you this story. See I was with this girl—Cherry, Chelsea, I don't know—and I ran into this other girl from last week and she was saying something about how she needed a buddy to go up surfing on the coast a' Cali next weekend. Well then she sees this CherryChelseaJessica something, but, well it's like this—"
"Okay, okay…" Reed waved a hand. "I'll just take your word for it…"
"Where's Sue and rockhead, huh?" Johnny settled in to hover annoyingly over Reed's exhausted form from the arm of the couch, oblivious to being a nuisance as always.
"Out." Reed answered, reduced to a monosyllable state and thinking that far too much effort itself.
"Out? Out where?"
"I-I don't know, dinner and dancing, I…Something. Somewhere." Reed shrugged and rubbed his temples, unwilling to go into depths he couldn't concentrate on anyway.
Johnny took a long look over Reed with an eyebrow raised calculatingly, observing his sweat-dampened gray T-shirt and leisurely sleeping pants, as well as the hair that was mussed down and lackluster. "You sick?" he cocked his head.
Reed gave him a look and sighed. "Don't I look it?"
"Sure. But then, I don't know—you always have that look on your face." He jabbed. Johnny went to the front of the couch and flopped rudely down to the middle, nearly sitting on Reed's prostrate form and jostling him out of his limp position.
"Johnny-!" Reed coughed out as he drew up into a mostly sitting position, clutching at his stomach and trying to fight the army battling against his gag reflex.
"Hey, hey, sorry!" Johnny leaned away, holding up his hands with a chuckle. "Don't puke on me. It's a new shirt."
"Oh, well, don't let me ruin your night." Reed replied as he winced and rubbed his chest.
Johnny peered over at him and dropped his hands into his lap, pausing. "Hey, you're really sick, huh?"
"Please don't make me prove it." Reed's hand went back to his stomach and he swallowed heavily.
"Well…you want me to like…get you something?" Johnny made an uncomfortable attempt at being serious for a moment.
Reed sat back and sighed, shaking his head. "No, it's okay. Thanks."
"Great. Someone sneezes in this tin can and suddenly everyone's leaking snot. You're gonna get the rest of us sick too, I hope you can live with that."
"Right now, I'm just hoping I live through it." Reed decided.
"Don't worry about that, captain, I can handle the team if you don't." Johnny gave a dramatic salute and rested his arm over the back of the couch.
Despite himself, Reed made an outburst of disbelief. "You?"
"Me?" he repeated.
"No, I mean what makes you think you're first in line for command?"
Johnny smirked devilishly and stretched. "Come on man, who else is there."
Reed snorted, a slow, good-natured smile creeping up on him. "Well first it's Ben…then Sue…then you."
"What?" Johnny made a little jaw drop. "Wideload? Sue? So what you're saying is; if I'm the only one left, then I can be the leader?"
Reed thought for a moment. "Yeah, that sounds about right."
"Hey come on now, you can't mean that." Johnny protested. "I have the best power. Nothin's hotter than fire."
"It's not a contest, Johnny." Reed laughed lightly.
"Not a close one anyway." He said resentfully.
"Well, fire can be contained by a force field…and it can be smothered by a rock." Reed hinted.
"None of you can fly." He insisted. "And fire still melts rubber. I could take you any day."
"Maybe." Reed chuckled and shook his head.
"Oh you wanna go?" Johnny threw out his chest.
"Don't be—hey, Johnny—hey!" Reed yelled out as he was suddenly manhandled into a headlock.
"Come on Mr. Fantastic, let's see what you got!" Johnny laughed as he proceeded to noogie the life out of him.
"Johnny, let go, I'm sick!" Reed snapped, only to be smothered into the other's side. "Mmf!"
"I guess you'd better find a way out then." Johnny continued to taunt him. "My sister fights better than this, come on!"
Reed blindly reached up an arm, hooking it around the back of Johnny's neck and jerking him forward in a motion that successfully toppled them both to the ground in a heap. In that one, sudden movement, they had become children. Two ten-year-old boys wrestling for no real reason other than that someone had started it. "Cut it out, Johnny." Reed demanded, even as he smacked his fist against the younger man's stomach.
"You do the math, Gumby!" Johnny wheezed back, reaching down and pulling up Reed's shirt over his head while he attempted to use an arm to pin him down to the carpet. "I've always been able to whoop Sue, and she's always been able to whoop you. That puts me at the top of the chain."
Momentarily trapped in his shirt, Reed struggled and stretched a hand up to twist one of Johnny's arms in an awkward fashion. "Sorry. This looks more like a rock, paper, scissors thing." He joked.
"Ow! Ow!" Johnny tried to push Reed harder into the ground, half laughing and half yelping in pain. "No way! I'll kick your fantastic-elastic ass!"
Eventually the pain was too much, and Johnny was forced to use his other arm to try and pry Reed's off, in which time Reed raised up. Upon fixing his shirt a little, he grabbed Johnny by the shoulder and tried to roll him onto his front to pin an arm behind his back. To stop this from happening, Johnny wrapped a leg high around one of Reed's, ripping it out from under him and causing him to practically fall on top of him. Unfortunately, Reed's uncalculated fall also forced his knee to drop directly into Johnny's groin. "Shit!" Johnny gasped out, trying to flip over so that he could pummel Reed beneath him as opposed to being trapped under him.
Reed hassled his opponent down until he was straddling him, hitting him lightly across the face once before Johnny's hands were fisted in his shirt and trying to throw him off. Reed knew that he would be useless to prevent it directly, as Johnny was a bit physically stronger than himself, so wrapping his arms in a boneless looking manner around Johnny's, he completely pinned both of those arms to the ground in a helpless splay. This action left them both utterly trapped and unable to continue, but as they were both in hysterics by this point, they hardly had the energy or focus to keep fighting anyway.
"You cheated!" Johnny cried between loud fits of laughter. "You can't use your powers!"
"You never gave me any rules!" Reed returned with a grin.
"Fine! Maybe I'll just turn up the heat a little!"
"You'll burn the whole place down!"
"Then level the playing field!" Johnny started to jerk wildly under Reed's grasp, heaving his pectoral region upwards and flexing his arms hard to try and break an impossible hold.
"Who's whooped who, Johnny? Come on, who's whooped who?" Reed sank into a rarely used competitive attitude, keeping his hold secure.
"No way." Johnny shook his head vehemently.
"Say it!" Reed ordered, squeezing his knees tightly on either side of Johnny's middle and squashing the air out of him.
"God—rrk!" Johnny's eyes crossed for a second, fighting to glare back up at Reed in refusal. "That hurt!"
"You wanted to duke it out, you got it." Reed tightened his hold against Johnny's arms and smirked in satisfaction.
"I'm gonna punch you so hard—" they both started laughing again, Johnny starting to thrash wildly and Reed rather hard pressed to keep him pinned. "Get off!"
"So you can punch me?"
"I'd smoke you in a fair fight!"
"Not only did I beat you, but when I was sick no less. I guess it goes to show, brains beat brawn, hm?"
"If you hadn't kneed me in the jewels—"
"If you hadn't tripped me—"
Suddenly, it happened. There was no provocation, actually, and it was utterly impossible to know who initiated it, but suddenly, someone planted a chaste, quick little peck on someone's lips—and the laughter and struggling dropped to a big, dead and buried, decomposing, worm-eaten, no chance of resurrection through zombification or divine intervention silence…It was so fast in could have even been construed as accidental, but that was left to ambiguity. Two men who had been previously rough-housing in joviality were now staring blankly at one another in shock and mounting horror as though they'd just found themselves smack dab in the middle of a Jerry Springer fiasco.
Johnny was the first to erupt.
As the younger of them jerked back, Reed quickly released his grip and pushed himself up, watching Johnny scramble to his feet clumsily. "What the f—"
"I don't—I mean we didn't—" Reed blurted out unthinkingly, trying to calm the panic that had blossomed in the middle of the room.
"What did you--!"
"I didn't do—"
A very long, naked pause. Another blank sheep stare.
Johnny thrust out a hand, his voice high and squeaking. "I'm not gay! I've been with so many women I can't even—you know how much I love women, you know!"
"And I'm marrying your sister!"
Yet another long, gaping pause.
Neither was sure exactly why they were yelling so loud—especially when they were agreeing.
"So so so—th-this never happened! Right? I mean that was, we weren't, I was just—" Johnny made various panicking gestures to Reed, himself, and the spot where they had been.
"Uh, goodnight." Reed nodded and both men fled from the room as fast as they could.