Disclaimer: I do not own F4
A/n: So…have really no idea where this came from. It just kinda popped in my head…which sorta makes me sound evil. But whatever. Obviously the italics are flashbacks.
WARNING!!!!! Lots of Johnny angst. Im just sadistic. WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW!!!!
Johnny laughed happily as he flew around the roof of the tall skyscraper, the Doombots, as he enjoyed calling them, chasing after him. He slowed his speed suddenly and lifted his legs as the bots soared underneath him, exploding in small burst of flames as Johnny shot at them with his finger. Chuckling to himself, Johnny opened his mouth to make a comment about Doom's lame new robots but was stopped short at the shout from his sister. Before he could do anything a stream of electricity hit him square in the chest sending him over the edge of the building.
Johnny cursed himself as his lip began to quiver, his jaw shaking. His lips were blue as his eyes now and his body twitched in painful convulsions. Wet hair either pinched at his skin or it was frozen, little icicles hang from his long blonde lashes. Under his nose it was wet and Johnny's ears popped, pressure built up in his head.
With the screech of metal Johnny tensed. Scrunching his eyes shut as water from above poured over top him, drenching his body once more. Giving out short cries, pants, and gasps the water finally ceased and splashed along his body, from his head, neck, shoulders, down his back, everywhere. The remainder of the water dripping to the frozen concrete floor.
Johnny shook his head as his body twisted in the air and easily flamed on. He flew around and sped up back towards the rooftop. He spotted Reed's long body stretched into a snake and the large form of Ben. Sue on the other hand was not visible, leaving Johnny's heart to drop suddenly before he calmed himself saying that she was invisible. Doom had his back to Johnny and the Human Torch smirked as he lifted his fist. A large burst of blue light hit him, sending the flaming young man into the building behind him. With a sharp smack Johnny's head hit the window as his body slammed into the glass. So this is what those stupid birds feel like when they do that. Blinking the flames left his skin and he plummeted to the ground, people screaming below while his body spun in the air limply until it was dark.
Johnny's voice cracked as a strangled cry left his throat, the water stabbing into his back. He couldn't feel his feet. It hurt to breathe, the breaths he was taking came out in clouds. He hated the emotions he was feeling at the moment, they were new and unfamiliar. Some were supposed to have stayed buried after he decided he could take care of himself a long time ago. But the feelings were back and they were dangerously close to breaking through the surface.
...Johnny wanted Sue.
The argument they had, had that morning was a bad one. It ended with the Human Torch leaving heatedly with his sister calling out his full name in fury.
"Jonathan Spencer Storm." Sue fumed following after her brother. "Do not walk away from me!"
"You can't ground me anymore, Sue!" Johnny challenged still storming through the hallways. "I'm not a kid."
"Then stop acting like one!" She bit back. Johnny retreated into his room slamming the door shut locking his sister out.
He could not believe her! It was one accident! One simple accident! And he'd told Ben he was sorry along with those two cops. He'd pay for the car! So why was she on his case about it?
The sting in the back of Johnny's throat got worse as he wheezed heavily. Metal screeched and the water came. But this time Johnny remained oblivious to it. He was so tired.
A gruff voice cursed, thundering into the small room. Screeching of metal, water. He sputtered out the water as Ben ripped off the offensive restraints holding Johnny to the chair and lifted the kid's legs up releasing his feet from the bone rattling cold water, the bucket of ice pushed away in disgust, the screeching sound echoing loudly. Johnny jumped and tensed waiting for the water once more.
"Hold on, kid. I gotcha' ya." Ben reassured as he lifted Johnny into his large arms, his body the unnatural cold.
"Now, now, Susan." Doom laughed holding Johnny up by hooking his arm under the younger man's limp arms, like a child holding a teddy bear.
"Victor!" Reed shouted holding out his hand.
"Give me the formula, Reed, or I drop Johnny here on the spot." Doom calmly demanded. Reed swallowed looking at Johnny and Sue before he stretched his arm, his palm expanding widely with the test tube in it. Doom took the vial sticking it into his pocket, a firm hold on the unconscious Johnny making Ben all the more anxious as he took a step forward.
"I'm a man of my word, Ben." Doom said fairly securing the vial in his pocket. But as he pulled his hand out he shot at them, the electric beam causing the group to separate, ducking down. "I won't drop him."
"Reed!" Ben shouted wincing at Johnny's small jump. Soon Reed and Sue were in view.
"Sue, go get some blankets!" Reed ordered immediately after he saw the pale face of Johnny who was shivering violently, the breeze making things all the more worse. Sue stood stricken to her spot as she stared at her brother. "Sue!"
"Reed, he's too cold." Ben said to Reed as Sue spun back to the Fantastic car. Reed nodded and expanded his whole body swiftly wrapping himself around Johnny, his jaw clenching grimly as he felt the immediate cold radiating off of his brother-in-law. Ben carried Johnny with Reed wrapped around him to the car, Sue waiting anxiously for them with several blankets. Ben set down the two in the middle seats of the Fantastic Car as Sue wrapped Johnny and Reed in the blankets. She went to reach for Johnny's forehead. She barely touched his wet hair before he recoiled back. Ben saw the hurt flash across her beautiful celestial face.
"Susie…" He said but she just nodded her head in understanding. Ben looked down at Reed whom returned the same silent reaction as he blew hot breath onto Johnny's ears and using the rest of his body heat to warm the younger man. Ben got up front starting the Fantastic car with Sue in the far back.
Johnny sat quietly on the couch next to Ben, both staring at the screen. Johnny had come down with a severe case of pneumonia, when his temperature had risen from the deadly cold it was, it continued to raise giving Johnny an unalterable fever that lasted several days. He hadn't been able to eat, his throat too raw from his harsh cough, resorting to Reed having to insert an IV. But the illness was the least of Ben's worries. Johnny hadn't had a full nights sleep since they had found him.
Ben tiredly moved to the source of the ruckus that had awoken him. Still lethargic he was metaphorically shaken from his stupor as the sight before him greeted the large superhero. The IV Reed had set up was lying on the floor, black scorches marking the long metal pole. Johnny curled and twisted in a charred blanket, small flames burning the rest of Johnny's room. A small cry came from the form in the bed, burnt holes adorning the pajamas, and Ben moved swiftly over to the younger man.
Sue walked into the living room, freshly dressed, and smiled at the two. Greeting Ben she moved over and gave Johnny a kiss on the forehead. He made no reply or any sign of acknowledgement. But Sue continued to smile softly as she placed her hand on his forehead and cheek. Nodding she must have felt that his temperature was down. As she walked away Ben looked at Sue almost in envy at her ability to understand and to forget what had happened. Ben couldn't do that. Not when he was the one who had found the kid, watched what he had endured throughout his time in captivity, and most definitely not when he had to carry his cold form out.
Ben repositioned himself on the couch. He was exhausted and was considering if it would be wise to take a long nap before he was needed once again during the night.
Johnny had resorted to sleeping out on the concrete balcony finally after his bed had been burnt far from repair. That's how Ben had found him. And Ben had become a solution. The rest of the night he held Johnny in his arms, tightening his grip around him as Johnny would tense and erupt in flames throughout his nightmares.
But Ben stayed next to Johnny who was growing thin just sitting there. Sue walked in with a tray.
"Hey, Johnny, why don't you try drinking some of this broth. If it hurts to much then just drink the water okay?" Johnny nodded as he wrapped the blanket closer around him before grabbing the cup with a shaking hand. Ben waited until he was sure Johnny had taken a sip of the broth before he got up and went to the kitchen himself.
He found Reed sipping a cup of coffee silently.
"Kid got about three hours a sleep last night." Ben informed.
"That's about an hour of improvement." Reed added quietly. Taking a sip of coffee he ran a hand through his hair. He too had been up many hours trying to find a stable environment for Johnny to sleep comfortably even with the nightmares. The work was all very complex. "You should get some sleep."
Ben snorted back a reply. "I could say the same thing, Stretch." Finally settling on a cup of coffee of his own and a bowl of cereal Ben looked back at his friend. "How's Susie?"
"She's…" Reed stopped to think of a word for his wife. "Worried."
Ben nodded and they watched as Sue rubbed circles on Johnny's back as he winced at the broth sliding down his throat.
"I should get back to work." Reed announced quietly setting his coffee mug down. Turning to his friend seriously he added, "You need some sleep, Ben."
And he left to go back to his lab. Ben walked back into the living room and laid on the opposite couch pretending to watch the TV, his eyes on Johnny who was trying to decide if it was really worth finishing the broth of just sticking to not eating. Sue seemed to sense this and nodded, letting her hand brush back some of his hair. Collecting the small cup she placed the glass of ice water next to Johnny. Ben watched in silent dismay as the kid stared entranced by the floating cubes of ice. When Sue had left Johnny pushed the glass away to the other end of the stand and ignored it.
"It's okay, kid." Ben quietly spoke receiving a blank stare back. "You don't have too."
"Watch out for him, will you Ben?" Sue asked quietly in a playful seriousness.
"Anything for you, Susie." Ben grinned as Sue walked away leaving her hotheaded teenage brother in the care of her friend. Ben had no idea how soon he'd find himself in the duty to fulfill his promise.
Hearing a couple gleeful chuckles and hollers had Ben smiling to himself. His men were a good group of boys each individuals good at what they did. They were gathered together chatting merrily and beers all around. His smile fell slightly as he saw the small group and a tall blonde haired figure in the center of it. Two guys, Bill and Tommy, were shoving the blonde figure lighthearted. It wasn't uncommon to mess with the rookie.
"Alright guys, knock it off." Ben laughed but the kid looked ready to take a swing at Bill.
"Yeah, kid, it happens to everybody." Bill sighed happily as he sat down on a cooler shrugging off the heated stare he was getting.
"Don't worry about it, kid, they're just messin'." Ben reassured him. A pair of blazing blue eyes turned towards him and glared.
"I'm not a kid, wide load!" He said in a smug irritated voice with a smirk. Ben felt his men tense as they stood silently watching for his reaction. Keeping his cool though, Ben cut the kid some slack and laughed lightly.
"Good one, kid." Grabbing a beer Ben opened it. "You, Johnny?"
"John." Johnny said in more irritation.
"No way, this is Sue's little brother." Bill asked with raised eyebrows smiling to himself as he took a drink. "Lucky, kid."
"Hey Johnny boy, does Sue still pick out your clothes for you?" Tommy joked causing a ripple of laughter from the group of the other men. Ben watched as Johnny laughed with a smile before his fist connected with Tommy's nose. Tommy bounced back quickly and tackled the smaller younger man. Ben dropped his beer and pulled Johnny back as Bill grabbed Tommy around the middle. Blood dripped down from Tommy's nose, the sight of the red crimson causing fury to cross his face and he lunged back at Johnny who jumped back at him, the fact that Ben was holding him back was the only reason why he was still standing.
"Tom! TOM!" Bill shouted.
"Hey, knock it off!" Ben ordered. "I said knock it off! Hey, take a walk!"
Bill led Tommy away as Ben grabbed Johnny around the arm and steered him away from the rest of the group.
"Hey, cool off matchstick!" Ben said in a hard tone as he pushed Johnny down on the ground.
Ben awoke from his slumber in a slight confusion. He had fallen asleep on the couch apparently. But what was he doing on the couch? Johnny. Ben searched the room frantically before he spotted the beautiful dark skin of Alicia, and Johnny.
Johnny's eyes were sunken into his head from the lack of sleep. And he had refused to sleep with his inability of control for his fire. But it felt so nice with his head on the blind sculptress's lap, her fingers playing with his hair and the side of his face, his forehead. Her fingertips were soft as cotton as they danced on his temple and cheek. Johnny fell into a daze, his mind going numb. Ben felt a surge of relief as Johnny's eyes drifted slowly into a dulling deep sleep as Alicia's tender strokes soothed his mind.
"You needed your sleep." Alicia softly answered Ben's unspoken thought. "You both did."
After about three weeks of recovery Johnny was finally healthy enough to go out on a rescue. And in much ignoring of Sue's protests, Johnny was suited up in his uniform and ready to leave. But instead of flaming on and flying ahead of them, he was sitting in the Fantastic Car.
It was a simple rescue, a construction site, with a few workers stuck on the unstable building. The calculations of support had been miscalculated leaving the structure close to collapsing.
Sue was waiting at the bottom with Ben, supporting the structure while Johnny welding beams together with the heat from his hand, and Reed stretched, picking up the construction workers and bringing them safely to the ground.
Ben sniffed suddenly at the familiar scent and looked down suspiciously. Widening his eyes he lunged at Sue and covered her body, the explosion from the gas leak making the ground shake. Turning he saw Reed having scooped up all the rest of the men and floating softly down because of his parachute shape.
"Johnny?" Ben called out. He looked back at the group of rescued workers. Johnny stood in front of them his palms facing the explosion as his skin absorbed the heat making Ben smile at the newly discovered blaze in his blue eyes. The crowd clapped and cheered as the men were hurried to an awaiting ambulance. With a happy laugh Johnny flamed on and soared through the air creating the all too familiar four of fire from his skin.
"Welcome back, kid." Ben smiled as Reed and Sue grinned together behind him.