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I don't know why everybody thinks the last chapter I wrote was the last chapter, but it isn't. This is.
"He's not breathing!" Susan Storm sobbed again.
Ben put one hand on Johnny's bruised body and raised the other one above it. Reed saw immediately what he was going to do and stopped him.
"You'll crush his lungs." He explained, throwing feverish looks at Johnny. He assumed the position Ben had been in, trying not to look at his comrade's face, and proceeded to pound on his chest, trying to restart the heart.
Susan looked away, tears flowing endlessly down her cheeks, her breath coming in short gasps. Ben was the only one actually looking at Johnny's face, which was pale from both cold...and death. He, too, had tears running down his rocky cheeks.
Reed continued to pound on Johnny's chest, tasting the salty bitterness of his own tears. He needed Johnny. They all needed Johnny.
A deep, shuddering intake of breath made every pair of eyes turn to Johnny's face. The eyes, which had been closed, were open and gazing around confusedly. Johnny's hands clawed at Reed, looking for support, but his eyes lingered on his sister. He even managed a weak smile.
Then he passed out.
Ben moved forward, tears still flowing. He picked up Johnny's limp form and stood for a second, listening to the younger man breathe. Then, with Ben in the lead carrying Johnny, the Fantastic Four ran out of the room.
Two Weeks Later
Johnny stood in the back of the room, watching the party. He was, of course, happy that his sister was getting married, but he was tired. So, so tired.
Johnny was waiting for the tiredness to go away. To wear off. Ever since he had been rescued, he couldn't seem to stay awake for more then six hours at a time. Right now, he was pushing eight.
He looked around the room, filled with people dancing and talking. He felt like he didn't belong there, with the people, because suddenly, people scared him.
Johnny still had scars where the electricity had coursed through his body. He still had nightmares about his ordeal. He still hated the company of people. And he didn't know when that was going to change.
Ben came over and stood next to him. "How're you doing, kid?"
Johnny shrugged, then leaned against Ben, his head barely reaching the older man's chest. He needed sleep. "I'm tired, Ben. When's it going to end?"
Ben wished there was an answer to that. He knew that Johnny hated himself for hating people, he wished he knew when all the man's troubles were going to go away. But he didn't.
"I don't know kid. I don't know." Ben held Johnny's small body to his, and felt the ongoing thumping of the heart.