Flames of Salvation
Pairings: Johhny/Reed, implied past Reed/ViCtor
Summary: Reed's in pieces and his friends just don't see it. Johnny has his own plans though...
Authors Note: It's AU, obviously, since it's slash.
Warnings: Rape, hurt, comfort, SLASH...
Disclaimer: They're not mine, even if I wish they were...sigh
"What do you mean, you don't know?"
Johnny held his ears as his sister screamed at him. She was really pissed. And so was Ben. Alicia just sat on the sofa, calm as ever.
"That means, I have no idea where he is, okay." The fire starter answered a bit miffed.
"He ran out three hours ago and now he's not here. Is what I mean!" Johnny wasn't really sulking. A few seconds after Reed had run out on him, he had started to feel like a giant idiot. He should have remembered the fact that Reed was a bit to shy for the direct approach. The feeling of guilt had increased with every minute the older man was gone. The fire starter didn't think it could get any worse, until his sister and Ben had come back home. Seriously, he didn't need her to remind him what a total dumb ass he could be.
"Why the hell would he do that? Reed's not really a party animal." Asked Ben obviously worried.
"Look, I'm not his babysitter. He can do whatever he likes, he's an adult." Retorted the blond slightly nervous, without answering Ben. If he told them what actually happened Sue would skin him alive.
"Did you even ask? What kind of a friend are you? He's been miserable for weeks on end and you really don't care do you?" His sister shouted at him.
"I do care! So he's not been the happiest camper. What am I supposed to do? It's not like he would spill his guts to me?" Fired the younger sibling back.
"Still, you could have..."
Johnny never found out what he could have, since Sue was interrupted by the front door banging close. As if on cue all three of them left Alicia in the living room and hurried to the front door.
"Reed, where have you been?" Sue asked and watched her former boyfriend confused.
Reed looked up from below dark bangs of hair and, slightly stumbling, hung up his jacket. "Hya there Suzie...What are you so looking about...uh...I mean, worrieeeed...yeah, that was it...worried..." He slurred slightly and leaned against the wall for support.
"Reed? Are you drunk, man?" Asked Ben in a lightly freaked tone.
"Not enough..." mumbled the scientist silently.
"You reek of alcohol and...sex...but...is that cologne from another guy?" Sue questioned bewildered while her nose twitched in disgust.
"And what d'ya care if I do, Dr. Sue?" He giggled drunkenly and started to sway down the hall, but had to stop after several steps, 'cause the room was starting to spin.
"What do I...Reed, of course I care about you..."
Johnny watched the older man anxious. This just wasn't right. Reed never let himself go like this and the fact that he did made the fire starter only feel worse. He put a hand on the other man's shoulder to steady him, but a push send him reeling backwards.
"Don't you touch me!" Reed hissed and fixed him with a hard glare.
"Just trying to help, man. Calm down." The blond retorted, holding up his hands in a sign of surrender.
"I don't need your help!" The older man suddenly shouted. "Especially after what...after that! Just stay away, Bastard."
Sue gasped in shock and Ben's eyes widened in surprise. They had never heard their friend talk like this, had never seen him so angry.
"Dude, that was so not nice." Johnny said in a steady tone, even though the words had struck him like a punch.
"Do I look like I care?" Snapped the smaller man. "Why should I consider your feelings after the shit you pulled with me? I'm not a fucking serene budhist, you know."
"The shit I pulled?" Repeated Johnny confused. "What the fuck, man?! I didn't do that to hurt you! I just wanted to..."
Reed watched him even more angry as he failed to finish that sentence.
"Yeah, I know what you wanted!" The dark haired scientist was so enraged he nearly spit the words out. "You wanted to get off. You just jumped me because you wanted to use me, as if I was your own personal rubber doll."
"What?" Johnny couldn't tell who'd screamed that question first, Ben or Sue?
"That's not the reason I kissed you!" Johnny shot back but was completely ignored from the other man.
"But tell you what. I'm done with it! I'm tired of being handled like a freaking toy. I won't take that from anyone ever, again. Not from Victor fucking Doom and certainly not from you!"
"What?" This time it was Johnny who let out the surprised question.
"You had a thing with Victor?" Oh hell, what was he thinking? Reed was practically screaming the house down and the first thing he asked was that.
Depending on how you look at it though, it was the right question.
Reed closed his eyes, taking deep breaths and tried to steady himself against the cold wall. "I should have stayed with him...instead of hiding in the lab..." The other man whispered. "If I had watched over him...maybe he wouldn't have..."
Shivers started to wreck Reed as he slowly sank to the floor. With his back leaning against the wall he put his face in his hands. "God, I gave him everything he asked for, let him do everything he wanted to...why wasn't that enough?"
Sue looked pale and Ben furious as their friend started to sob slightly.
"I never asked him for more than he was ready to give... I just wanted to be with him...so stupid...thinking I could save him..."
Johnny knew karma was a bitch and hell did he deserve the guilt right about now. Why the fuck did he always had to act before thinking.
"...before that stupid mission he at least...apologized and tried to make it up...he didn't even care anymore that he was hurting me when we were in that office...he didn't care that I begged him to stop or that I was crying...he just didn't care..."
The silence after that statement was nearly suffocating as the other three members of the fantastic four pondered the meaning of it.
'Victor apologized before the mission?? So he had hurt Reed before. God, no wonder he slapped me...' The fire starter thought as he witnessed the dark haired man fall to pieces.
"Oh, god...Reed..." Johnny hadn't even noticed Sue moving. His sister was now kneeling next to their friend and pulled him into her arms. The older man clung to her and let himself be held by her smaller frame.
And god help him, but Johnny wanted to be at her place...
"Why didn't you tell one of us." Asked Sue as she carefully stroked the dark haired mans head. Ben had helped her to get Reed on his bed and then left the two alone. Sue looked down at him worried, as his eyes felt shut. His head lay in her lap and she pondered this new revelations in her mind. Reed had been in an abusive relationship with a man who, at the same time had, had a total normal love affair with her. Man, that was more than weird.
"I was ashamed to tell..." The dark haired man whispered. "...and...I still loved him. It wasn't right what he did to me, but...I still loved him and wanted to be with him."
"But Ben, he's your best friend. Why didn't you..."
"Susie, I was afraid of how he'd react." As he opened his eyes they were dark and pleading for her understanding. "Ben never liked Vic', and for good reasons, but I didn't saw it that way at the time. I don't think...if Victor hadn't...tried to kill you, Ben and Johnny I...I probably still had forgiven him for...raping me in that office...I know it's wrong but...he always got me to do things I didn't want to do..."
She was a few seconds short of bursting into tears herself, but she reminded herself to stay strong. Reed needed her to be steady and take care of him...as a good friend.
She knew now, that he wouldn't be ready to pursue a relationship with anyone for the time being. First, they had to get him back together. In her mind an image of a shattered glass figurine sprung up, with Victor standing above it and smiling. Oh, how she wished the bastard was still alive so Johnny could melt him a second time around. Or better yet, frying him long enough that all his atoms were sprayed into the atmosphere.
Slowly she placed a kiss on his forehead and continued brushing his hair.
"I wish I had known, Reed." She whispered apologetically. "I would've never let him touch you or me again. But it's okay, now. You know, you'll always be save with us, don't you?!"
He buried his face in her stomach and nodded against her. "I know...I just don't know how to stop feeling like this. It's like...I've got this painful ace inside me and I can't get it out...no matter what I do it won't leave..."
"It will. It'll just take time, honey." She promised and added. "Just talk to us. Let us help you, take care of you. We're a family, Reed. Whether you noticed or not, we belong together..."
They kept both silent and Sue stayed until Reed was fast asleep.
Kissing his temple as she pulled the covers over him, she kept watching him for a while, before she left his room.
Just before she'd reached her room, she turned around and went to her brother. In all the drama she'd nearly forgotten to kick his ass, for upsetting Reed...
"You really are an egoistic bastard sometimes, you know." She said to the man lying on the bed. He had a pillow over his face and she saw him flinch at her words.
He groaned and threw the pillow on the ground.
"You don't have to tell me that, I've already noticed." Johnny grumbled slightly pissed and set up against the headboard. "In my defense, there was no way I could've known, what had happened."
"This isn't just about what Victor did to him. It's what you did." She snapped angry and fixed her brother with a glare. "You wanted to fuck him, because you were horny or whatever and you didn't think about how that could make him feel. Your supposed to be his friend and friends don't use each other like that."
"I didn't just jump him because I was horny..." Whispered the other blond and hung his head.
"Then what were you thinking?"
He looked at his sister and pondered if he should tell her the truth. This was fucked up as it was and confessing to your sister that you like the man she loves could only make it worse. On the other hand it was maybe better to tell her. After all one should at least give your much loved sibling a warning about your intentions.
"Sue, whether you like it or not, you're not the only person who can see Reeds appeal."
Dumbfounded she stared at him. This couldn't be! Her little brother couldn't be implying what she thought he did. God, please no.
"Are you telling me that...oh my god, Johnny don't joke about that?!" She whispered in a disbelieving tone.
He shrugged his shoulders and looked away. "I may have had more one-night-stands than a rock star, but you know that I don't lie about my intentions."
"Johnny, you...you know how I feel about him and you still..."
"What? You're telling me you had stopped trying with him if I'd told you that I want to be with him, too?"
"Then don't try to make me look like a bad brother. You know, I love you, but there's only so much I can hold back for you. And how I feel about Reed is one of the things I can't give up."
"I don't expect you to, it just shocked me, Johnny." Sue answered and rolled her eyes. "Anyway, none of us can do anything about it at the moment. He needs his friends, not two people fighting over his affection."
"I know that..." He hissed back and glared at her annoyed. "I won't jump him again or anything. If there's someone I want, I go after her or him. No games, no courting I just say what I want or show it, but I know that he doesn't need that right now."
"So do I..." She said and turned around to leave. "Goodnight, Johnny. Love you."
"Love you, too."