Someone to Care
Summary: When Reed Richards's younger brother dies he gets custody of his eight-year-old niece, Lisa. Starts two years before the first movie and goes through it. I had this idea for awhile. Rated K+
Eight-year-old Lisa Richards looked at the huge building in front of her. The day had gone by fast for her. Her father had passed out on the couch as Lisa went to school. The police had then come after recess saying her father had died and she was going to live with her father's older brother that she had never met.
The police said that he was a scientist. Dr. Reed Richards. He was only one year older than her father and her only living relative from the papers that her father had kept. Her mother had no brothers or sisters and both sets of grandparents had died before she was born.
Lisa entered an elevator with the woman from Child Services. She might have liked the woman if she smiled and didn't act as if Lisa were going to a firing range instead of going to live with an unknown uncle.
Mrs. Childes knocked on the door and one of the biggest men Lisa had ever seen answered the door. He had no hair, but his eyes were blue and he had a friendly smile. "Are you Dr. Richards?" Mrs. Childes asked crisply.
"No. I'm his friend Ben Grimm," the man said just as crisply.
"I'm Sarah Childes from Child Services. It's imperative that I speak to Dr. Richards. Is he in?" Mrs. Childes asked her voice dropping to a whisper.
"Yes I am," a dark-haired man entered the room, wearing a white lab coat. His hair was almost black and his eyes were a warm brown; like chocolate. He was smiling and wiping his hands on a rag. He looked kind of like Lisa's father. The only difference was that he had a kinder look than Lisa's father did. Lisa was willing to bet that her uncle didn't drink and pass out on the couch at night.
"I am Sarah Childes from Child Services. Your brother, Scott Richards was found dead in his house this morning, Dr. Richards," Mrs. Childes said, apparently not beating around the bush. She didn't when she had told Lisa about her father's death.
"Scott and I had never really gotten along that well after our mother died. How did he die?" Reed asked. So far neither Ben nor her uncle had noticed Lisa. Lisa was usually invisible during conversations. This wasn't any different.
"Doctor says it was quite possible that he drank himself to death," Mrs. Childes said flatly. The woman didn't really care about how Lisa's father died. He only job was to give Lisa to her uncle and get out of there.
"Scott did like to drink. I never could understand what he liked about it," Reed said casually.
"Well, we found out something too. When one of his neighbors called us and we went searching we found papers in a locked drawer in your brother's night table. Your brother was married once too. He lost her from complications in child birth. His daughter, your niece, Lisa Richards, is eight years old and you are her only living relative, Doctor," Mrs. Childes said.
Her uncle's face was one of shock. Looking down it was then that he noticed Lisa. His face turned to one of compassion as her uncle's eyes met hers. They were dark brown like hers and her father's. Her first guess on their color was right. Unlike her father's, though, her uncle's eyes were gentle. Her father's were often glazed from alcohol or angry from the times Lisa just got on his nerves.
"Is this her?" Reed asked, stooping to Lisa's level.
"Yes. She's kind of not said much since I told her about her father. All she said was 'thank you' when I opened the door for her," Mrs. Childes said, pushing Lisa forward a little bit.
'I'm really the only living relative she has?" Reed asked uncertainly as he put his hands on her thin shoulders.
"Yes. Her mother had no other relatives and you were your brother's only living relative. If you don't take her she'll be in a foster home tonight," Mrs. Childes said severely.
Reed looked at Lisa for a long moment. "All right. She can live with me. I would not let a child go through the foster care system for anything," Reed said reluctantly.
"Thank you, Dr. Richards. We'll ship her things to you. We'll also have to check on her every so often to make sure she's doing okay," Mrs. Childes said, before making a hasty retreat.
"So, you're Lisa?" Reed asked.
"Yes, Sir," Lisa said, her voice barely above a whisper as she looked at the floor. Lisa swallowed visibly as Reed stood and took her hand in his. His hand absolutely swallowed hers.
"Come with me and I'll show you to your room," Reed said. Lisa had to make large steps just so she could keep up with her uncle.
"I guess this is where you'll sleep. It doesn't look like much, but when your things get here you can decorate," Reed said, smiling slightly at her.
"I don't have much except my clothes, Uncle Reed," Lisa said quietly. Her uncle stopped in shock as he opened the hideous brown curtains in front of the windows.
"Well, we'll see what we can do to make this room more comfortable. Are you hungry? I'll order out for pizza in a few hours," Reed said. He sounded unsure what to do with her. He probably didn't know the first thing about kids or raising girls for that matter.
"Not really," Lisa admitted. She wondered if she could tell him that she was scared and relieved at the same time. Scared over her new life and relieved that her father would never beat her again. And that relief made her feel guilty. She should be feeling sad over her father; not relieved with him never hitting her again.
"Well, you just rest for a few hours. Maybe you'll change your mind about food. Also if you want to talk I'll be in my lab if you need me," Uncle Reed said as she sat down on her bed and he left.