"…and in other news this evening, we have just received word that Johnny Storm, also known as the Human Torch, is recovering well at the Fantastic Four's residence. Mr. Storm was shot three weeks ago in a newly opened club. Greg Stepler, the alleged shooter, will appear in court this week on attempted murder charges. His lawyer claims that Mr. Stepler will be pleading temporary insanity. Now to Joyce with the weather…"

Johnny had been sprawled out on the couch sleeping lightly when he heard his name mentioned on the news. Cracking open an eye; he watched the news anchor sleepily.

"They still goin' on about it?" Ben grumbled from the doorway.

"Yup." Johnny replied, not moving from his position on the couch.

"Better be careful Matchstick…wouldn't want all this attention to get to your head," Ben said sarcastically, "Oops! I forgot…it's already too late for that."

Johnny chuckled, closing his eyes as he relaxed deeper into the sofa. He and Ben had gone back to bickering and nagging quite quickly after the shooting, and he didn't mind in the least. Before he could retort with a witty comeback, both Sue and Reed entered the room.

"Johnny, you awake?" Sue asked softly as she walked around the couch.

"Yeah, Ben woke me up with his gravelly voice." Johnny joked, opening his eyes so that he could look directly at this sister.

"How're you feeling?" Sue questioned as she sat opposite of him, her blue eyes sweeping over his relaxed form critically.

"Fantastic!" Johnny replied exasperatedly. What is this, like the millionth time she's asked me? "Really Sue, my side only aches occasionally, and Reed himself said that my powers are fine. I've flamed on a few times this week and nothing bad has happened."

Reed nodded in support, "His powers were not affected by the bullet, and he definitely looks healthier."

"He's back to his annoying, cocky self." Ben snorted, but he was smiling all the same.


The four superheroes quickly looked to the television when they heard these words. They watched silently as the news anchor started talking about a major fire that had erupted at the north end of the city. The screen soon flashed to a flustered looking reporter, who was standing in the forefront of a massive apartment building blaze.

"The five alarm blaze has firefighters working frantically, Kevin," The reporter said breathlessly, "There are an estimated twenty people still trapped in the upper floors, and the firefighters are having trouble finding a way to get to them…"

Johnny tore his eyes away from the screen and gave his teammates a pleading look. There had been several incidents during the past three weeks, none of which they had allowed him to help with. "You're going to need me for this one."

As if on cue, their communicators started beeping simultaneously. They were obviously being called to the fire.

"C'mon! I'm as healthy as a horse! You know I can help, spending last week as Reed's human guinea pig proved that I'm good to go."

"I don't know…" Sue began hesitantly, "You'll be careful right? You won't overexert yourself?"

"Of course not." Johnny said nonchalantly, jumping off of the couch quickly. The familiar feeling of adrenalin surged through him, his exhaustion completely forgotten.

"Well, get suited up then- we gotta go." Ben said impatiently.

Johnny grinned as he pulled off his sweater, revealing the blue uniform underneath, "I'm ready when you guys are."

"Meet you there?" Sue sighed, knowing that she couldn't keep her brother safe forever.

"You bet." Johnny smiled, stepping forward he whispered into her ear, "Don't worry sis, I promise you I'll be fine."

"Yeah, I know you will." She nodded in agreement, allowing a reluctant smile to spread across her face.

"Let's go!" Reed called from the hallway, Ben was already halfway down the hall.

Sue gave her brother a quick hug and ran after her fiancé. The last thing she heard before she shut the front door was her brother letting out a joyful whoop as he jumped from the balcony, yelling his favorite line;


The End.

So that's it! It may be a little corny, but I wanted to end it on a happy note! I may extend this chapter if I find the time, but that is not very likely (I'm a busy lady haha!)...hopefully it proves as a satisfying end!