Disclaimer: I do not own Fantastic Four. I'm not even sure I own the plot, seeing as how someone sometime before me probably already used it, as there are very few truly original ideas to be found. However, I will try to put my own twist on things.

Crash and Freeze

Chapter One

Johnny groaned as he cracked his eyes open and hissed in pain as the dim light assaulted his senses. He immediately shut his eyes. He was not in his bed, that much he was sure of. What he was lying on was hard, and seemed a little damp. He was sure that had his body temperature not been so high and he had not been wearing his bodysuit under his clothes, he would be freezing by now.

He opened his eyes again and tried to control the pounding ache in his head. He had no idea how he ended up in this predicament. One minute, he was laughing in the bar, surrounded by beautiful women, and the next thing he knew, he was waking up here, in an alley. This didn't make any sense. He had barely had half a drink, so obviously someone had drugged him. He wasn't naïve enough to believe that something like that could never happen to him. He was the Human Torch, after all. Over the past few years, the Fantastic Four had made plenty of enemies that would want to do harm to them. But who would go to the trouble of intentionally drug him only to leave him perfectly intact, albeit with a killer headache, in a back alley?

He carefully got to his feet, and stood still as the ground seemed to shift under his feet momentarily. Whatever he had been given must have been extremely strong. Hell, it took nearly a whole case of beers to get him to even feel the effects of the alcohol, due to his body burning it off quickly. He didn't exactly know how drugs would affect his system, having no experience with them, despite what his sister, and most likely Ben as well, thought; however, he was sure it would take more than the usual amount to affect him.


"Dr. Allison McKall accepted a seat on the medical board of Manhattan's prominent Mt. Sinai Medical Center today. The neurosurgeon has recently returned from Stockholm, where she received the coveted honor of the Nobel Prize in Medicine for her revolutionary technology that is able to regulate body temperature in extreme cases, such as when fevers peak dangerously high or body temperature plummets due to hypothermia. This technology has recently been adapted to be used in industries where—"

Reed switched the television in the lab off with a grin. Ally McKall was his dream girl in high school and his first years of college. She was his picture of perfection: beautiful, with stunningly clear blue eyes and radiant red hair, and fiercely intelligent, his only competition. However, despite the bets that went around on when they would get together, there was never much hope for them. Ally was ferociously competitive, and it killed her that he always beat her in their classes. It wasn't until their later college careers that they became friends without letting competition come between them, but by then, Reed had already met Sue.

He smiled again has he thought of his wife. When compared to her, Allison McKall paled, although if Susan ever found out that he even thought about comparing her to another woman, even one he had dubbed not in her league, she would probably kill him.


He winced. God, he loved that woman, even if she was a little crazy sometimes.


Ben Grimm turned off the mindless television show and turned towards where the youngest member of their team had just come through the front door.

'This oughta be good,' he thought.

"JOHNNY!" Susan Richards, formerly Storm, shrieked as her brother walked in. "Where have you been?!? Do you know how worried I've been?!? You've been gone since yesterday afternoon! You've been out for over 24 hours! What were you thinking?!? What if we needed you?"

Usually, Ben would have thought that Suzie's rant was completely deserved, especially since the kid had had them all worried, himself included, though he would never admit it out loud. However, taking a good look at the kid's face, he noticed that he looked a little dazed and confused. Maybe something had happened to him, or someone had done something to him. The Thing felt anger course within him at the thought of someone harming the younger man. He was very protective of his team. They had become a family to each other, and there was nothing he wouldn't do for any of them, even if they did tend to grate on his nerves most of the time.

"Sue, I'm sorry, but—" Johnny tried to explain but his sister was having none of it.

"No, Johnny, sorry isn't good enough! I thought you had outgrown these childish antics!"

"You know what, Susan, it wasn't my fault, but clearly you don't want to hear my side of things! I'm out of here!" he said, storming towards the elevator.

"Where are you going?" she demanded as the elevator doors opened.

"For a drive. Don't worry, I'll be back before curfew, Mom," he said sarcastically as the door closed.

Sue growled in frustration.

"You know, Suzie, maybe you should have heard him out," Ben reasoned.

She sighed guiltily. "I know, I was just so worried, you know? But I guess that's not really an excuse. I'll talk to him when he gets back."


Johnny relaxed as he let the thrill of being behind the wheel of the sleek Ferrari Spyder. Driving had always allowed him to clear his mind, allowed him to leave the rest of the world behind. He knew that it wasn't Sue's fault for blowing up. She always blew up when he did something stupid that made her worry like crazy. And it wasn't like he had never pulled the same stunt before of his own volition. But he had matured in the past few years, facing dangers that threaten not only his family, but the entire planet. Sue should have taken that into consideration, and probably had as soon as he left.

He suddenly felt guilty for storming out like he did. He should have stayed and told them what had happened to him. It could be a new threat to the entire team, or it could very well be something personal. Either way, his family deserved to know.

A light turned red in front of him. He was only a couple of blocks away from the Baxter Building. He thrummed his fingers impatiently on the steering wheel as he waited. Finally, the light turned green. However, as he went through the intersection, he was suddenly blinded by a pair of blaring headlights coming straight at him from his left side.

Pain shot through his body as the driver's side of his car was crushed in. It overwhelmed him, and for the second time in less than two days, his world went dark.