Now, this story should probably be explained first. It's going to feature characters from X-Men as well, but it is centred around the F4, so I'm posting it here. The reason it features the other characters is because, in the Marvel universe, Reed is a member of a secret society called the Illuminati, and I wanted to use that group for this story. This is different to anything I've ever written before. There's no immediate fluff or happy middles, in fact, I'm downright evil to pretty much everyone in here. I'm using inspiration from a lot of comic storylines that were based on the F4 comics, so hopefully I'll do them justice.
Chapter 1: (Prologue) Let's Get It Started
"Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other. Now there will be no loneliness, for each of you will be companion to the other. Now you are two persons, but there is only one life for you. May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years. May happiness be your companion and your days together be good and long upon the earth.
Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together. Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves. When frustration, difficulty and fear assail your relationship - as they threaten all relationships at one time or another - remember to focus on what is right between you, not only the part which seems wrong. In this way, you can ride out storms when clouds hide the face of the sun from your lives - remembering that even if you lose sight of it for a moment, the sun is still there. And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight."
Blessing of the Apaches
Remembering her wedding was one of Sue's favourite things to do. She'd first imagined that the day she married Reed would be dramatically spoilt by the press reporter's love for snooping into their lives, but the day had gone without a hitch. Nothing had spoilt it, and the entire day had been wonderful and perfect. Fantastic, even. She had never thought it would be easy to smile all day, even through the tears she shed when her father had given his speech, using the Blessing of the Apaches which his father-in-law had spoken at his own wedding to Sue's mother. Of course, neither Sue nor Reed had much family attending the wedding, but they enjoyed seeing their families getting along and not bickering over small details of the past. One of the mian highlights of the day was seeing Johnny talking casually with Reed, rather than his usual threats of broken bones if he ever hurt her again. Suprisingly, even after Johnny had taken extreme advantage of the alcohol being passed around on trays, this conversation still didn't happen. Johnny and Reed were actually getting along. Everything was wonderful, and never, not in a million years, would she have wished for a better day. There were no variables, no fears, no interruptions; only the happiness they deserved finally beginning.
And that happiness was still there, three years on from their wedding. The Baxter Building was still their much-loved home, no matter how many times they came around to the conversation of settling down properly. It was no secret that Sue wanted a considerably normal life for the two of them, especially when they were looking forward to raising a family, but at the end of the day, she found an adrenaline rush in the respect of the crowds as much as her brother did, no matter how much she'd deny it. The Baxter was easily big enough for what had now become a family of five. Alicia had moved in with the Fantastic Four shortly a few months after she began dating Ben, and whilst Johnny still hadn't settled down from his party-filled lifestyle, he had stopped bringing quite so many women home with him at night. The others couldn't decide whether he was genuinely calming down with his short relationships, or whether he was simply running out of women in the city. Reed had considered a teaching position when it had been offered to him from NYU, but the consitency hadn't timed well with the spontaneous superhero lifestyle that he also led. However, he did visit various universities around the country to give lectures on his theories.
It was strange, for such a beautiful summer's day, for Central Park to be considerably empty. The small area they had chosen to walk through was practically void of any tourists, who were probably using the good weather as an incentive for a trip to Liberty Island. Ben and Alicia were first along the path, arm in arm as they discussed Alicia's brilliant reviews for her lastest sculpture exhibition, which had opened three days ago. About twenty paces behind them, walking at a slower pace, Sue and Reed were arm in arm, closely sandwiched together as they spoke soft words to each other. Darting in between the trees around them, sometimes overlapping the path, and occassionally nearly running into either of the couples, was Johnny, who was entertaining his pet dog, Blaze.
Blaze had been the most recent addition to the Fantastic Four household, and by far Johnny's pride and joy. It was rumoured that Blaze had actually replaced Johnny's car in his heart, or at least, that's what his fan websites said. Blaze was a male Afghan Collie, which Sue had given him for Christmas two years before. Johnny had reminded her casually how their father had provided everything they ever needed growing up, but still hadn't let them have a dog, so when Sue had passed a cardboard box in the downtown area, labelled 'Free to loving home' in a child's writing, she'd been unable to resist the last puppy that had been wagging his tail at her. Blaze had a beautiful black coat, and, naturally, Johnny had named his puppy after something fire-related, and for the two weeks following Blaze's arrival, Sue had needed to convince Reed that puppies weren't evil.
Two years on, Reed was more than content with Blaze being at the Baxter Building, so long as he was kept out of his lab. There had been a few incidents during the paper training phase where Blaze had escaped into the lab and relieved herself near some wires on the ground, which had left Reed lecturing Johnny, of all people, on the danger of fire hazards. But now, as he watched the youngest team member so happy as he threw sticks and ran alongside his dog, he was glad that Blaze had come into their lives. After all, it had taught Johnny some responsibility, and Blaze's need to be walked first thing in the morning meant that Johnny had a reason to get out of bed before midday.
Reed smiled, looking out of the corner of his eye at Sue again, who was smiling softly as she looked up at the clear blue sky above them. "It'll be a girl." He aruged for what felt like the millionth time.
"A boy." Sue said simply, lowering her eyes from the sky and giving him a smug expression before looking at the path before them again.
Reed shook his head. "If you look at the consistensy of girls in my family history, then it's only right that our first will be a girl." He attempted to reason with her.
But Sue was not to be deterred. "And if you look at the consistency of boys in my family history, then it's only right that it'll be boy." She pointed out simply.
He looked at her out of the corner of his eye again, raising his eyebrow. "Do you really want to argue against one of the greatest minds of the twenty-first century?" He challenged her.
"Do you really want to argue against maternal instinct?" She shot back quickly, laughing to herself at the stumped expression on her husband's face.
"You're not even pregnant yet." He reminded her. "You can't use maternal instinct against me." He insisted unfairly.
"We can always go for female intuition then." Sue pointed out to him.
"Trust me," she said, turning her head to him and winking as they walked, "I've got hundreds of these up my sleeve."
Smiling, Reed shook his head to himself. They caught each others eye as he spoke to her. "You know," he teased her lightly, "you're going to have a hard time explaining to our daughter how you thought she was a boy."
She rolled her eyes, sighing dramatically. "And to think," she mused, "most great minds want a son to continue on the family name."
He moved his arm so that it was no longer looping her own, but rather wrapped around her back and settling on her waist. "Sue, you know I don't mind whether we have a son or a daughter." He reminded her, tilting his head so that he could place a clumsy kiss to her temple.
"I know that." She smiled, putting her own arm in a mimicking position to his. "It's just fun to tease you."
Reed mused on this for a moment, looking at the rest of the family that were enjoying the same beautiful day that they were. One day, he could imagine them walking through Central Park, satisfied and content with their life whilst their children ran through the trees, chasing each other and laughing. No matter how many different times or places he looked into their future, he always imagined them to be happy. The only tears he ever saw in his imagination were the ones of their children that they comforted late in the night because of monsters under the bed or a scary dream. "I think we'll end up with sons and daughters." He thought aloud.
Sue looked at him, taking her eyes off the path whilst Reed continued to watch ahead of them. "Is that so?"
He nodded. "Oh yes. Many of each."
She arched her eyebrow. "You do remember who's carrying these children, right?" She pointed out to him.
"Absolutely." He nodded firmly, and Sue laughed at him. "In fact," he continued, "that's why I'm determined for so many, because it's you."
She eyed him scrutinisingly. "Okay, now you're up to something." She realised.
"I'm not up to anything." He said innocently.
"The other day you brought me ice cream in bed for breakfast, and today you want me to have a million babies." She remembered. "Is this a way of telling me to put some weight on?"
He laughed. "No, I just can't wait to have a family with you." He told her softly.
She smiled, looking up at him as they carried on walking. He kept his eyes on the path ahead, but could surely feel her eyes burning against him. She knew that he wanted a child just as badly as she did. They had been trying unsuccessfully for two years of their three year marriage so far. The start of their month was always clouded by a negative pregnancy test, and even after so many attempts, it never got any less heartbreaking to throw a negative test into the trash. Even Johnny and Ben knew what it meant when Reed came into the kitchen silently, and Sue followed, throwing something noisily into the trash, both of them with red eyes. Both of them had been assured that it was nothing to do with the radiation they had been exposed to, and that they were both perfectly capable of having children, but part of Sue still felt like it was her body that was to blame. "Yeah, I know." She mumbled quietly, her eyes dropping as she kept her gaze on their feet.
Giving her a reassuring smile, Reed stopped their walk, turning her in his arms so that they were standing opposite each other. "Sue, don't worry so much." He told her, unable to believe that for once it was he who was telling her not to worry, and not the other way around. He cupped her cheek lightly. "It's going to happen."
She lifted the corners of her lips slightly, but its meaning was pure, and she was about to speak when the sound of a shrill beeping came from Reed's pocket. She sighed as his hand dropped from her cheek and went to his cell phone. They still had the disagreement about how addicted he was to his PDA or cellphone, no matter how many times Johnny had melted his precious gadgets so that he'd have to live without them; he'd simply buy a new one.
"Reed Richards." He answered.
"Richards, it's Stark." Came the replying voice, snappy and irritant.
Reed frowned, and stepped away from Sue. Sue also frowned, listening to her husband's voice as he spoke in a quiet and yet urgent tone. "What is it?...What?...But you said...You told me this wasn't going to happen..." His voice dropped, and he sounded like he was almost threatening the person on the phone, but Sue couldn't hear what. She could only see a strange look on his face, a fear, almost, that made her uneasy.
Reed hung up the phone, and walked back to Sue, the blood drained from his face. He was silent for a minute, staring at the cellphone in his hands. She placed her hand on his cheek. "Honey?"
He snapped back into life. "We have to get home." He told her. "Something's happened."
And we dive straight in with the action...please review! I'm going to be cruel and say that I'll only update once I get five reviews. :P Love to you all and Cookies to my first reviewer!! xxxxx