I screamed, and I unleashed all of the pent up frustration inside of me as I slammed my fists into the force field. I didn't care that I knew it wouldn't break, I just hoped that it would flicker off and I would be able to reach him. All I could do was hope. I could feel the bones in my hands straining with each blow. I didn't care. I didn't even feel the pain. Somewhere inside of me, I knew this was the end for him. I knew that he was going to die. I chose not to accept it. He was too young, he didn't deserve this. He was going to live if I had something to say about it. I didn't give up until he looked at me, no fear in his eyes, braver then he's ever been. He held out his hand and lightly touched the field, our eyes locking. My body stiffened and I stopped my futile attempts at rescue. I put out my rocky hand and touched the field as well. We couldn't feel each others touch, but it was the nicest sentiment we could make at the moment.
He looked...tired. His smile was as brilliant and boyish as ever, he looked down and with a grin as he said, "You know, I don't like this any more then you do."
I've never been more scared in my life, and it wasn't even because I was about to die. It was for my best friend, my brother in a sense. I couldn't speak. All I could do was watch. I wish I had said something, I wish I told him how much he meant to the team.
He shrugged his shoulders, casually admitting defeat. His back was to me and he looked out across the negative zone. The place that would forever be known as where the Human Torch took his last stand.
"So this is it..." The distant horizon was covered in murderous insects ready to rip flesh from bone and families apart. They roared and screeched so loud it seemed like there was millions... And there probably was. They rose up and darkened the skies. A shadow that reached towards him and showed no signs of ever slowing. A hungry unsatisfied horde.
They closed in on him; I saw his shoulders tense slightly. "A billion to one..." He got into an attack position. I've never seen someone so unafraid... "You think I'm afraid of that?" His eyes sparked with defiance and he screamed as loud as he could towards his executors, "YOU THINK I'M AFRAID OF THAT?" His body caught fire and I was blinded by light. The doors had shut and Johnny Storm was left to die. He definitely knew how to make an exit.
I turned away from the door. Every organ in my body felt like it was falling into my feet. I slid against the wall till I sat. Franklin and Val witnessed the whole thing. No one said anything... They just knew.
The day went on, the hours stretched so long. Time was mourning a good friend. Statues were built in grief, buildings were named in remembrance, people held up candles and the world grew silent for a day.
A day that would never freakin' end.
All I could think about was that morning. The morning where Johnny Storm was still alive and no one knew what was going to happen. Everyone was happy. Where we watched over the kids like a pair of uncles should, when Johnny passed a slice of pizza to me.
"Do you want kids?" Truthfully, I was taken aback. Something that deep coming out of the kid? Naw, theres somethin' too it, but there wasn't. His eyes showed it. He was serious for once. He looked over his shoulder at the children playing around laughing innocently in their games.
"Yeah, I wouldn't mind it, but Franklin' and Val are enough, more then enough fer me." Johnny looked down and smiled. He didn't eat his pizza, just pushed it with his fingers slightly.
"Whadda 'bout you?" I leaned forward, swallowing whole my piece of pizza. Johnny looked up at me, a weird new form of honesty in his eyes. I thought I saw regret, it just could be the guilt now that I think about it.
"More than anything..."
Johnny Storm never held a relationship in his life. He always kept moving on like it was nothing, and for once in his entire life, he regretted it. He regretted it all. It wasn't guilt, the sap knew... I don't know how, but I guess, when you're going to meet your maker in a few hours, theres something in the air that just tells you its time.
He regretted holding back and never committing. There was one thing in the world that Johnny Storm wanted more then anything, and that was his own kids. Someone to share his life with, someone to sit on his lap and look in his eyes with admiration, rather than him doing it to everyone else. He wanted someone to hold in tough spots, he was tired of holding everyone else. He was tired of never having someone to love. It made everything so much harder to deal with, because I knew. I knew what was going on in his head before the end hit. He was thinking about us. He was thinking about how we are going to live another peaceful day after this. He was also thinking about how he spent his life, how it was a good one, although it wasn't complete.
It broke my heart. The kid deserved so much more then what he got. He was so brave... How could someone look into the eyes of death and stay so valiant? I could never be as brave as Jonathan Spencer Storm. I could never even try.
I remembered back to all those stupid pranks, how many times I told him I would never forgive him, but did seconds after. How many times we walked away from each other fumed and came back ready to shake hands. We were brothers me and him, maybe not by blood, but by bond.
He died for his family. He died with regrets. Like any man, he died knowing he would never be able to fulfill them. And yet he fought to keep his family safe, his sister, his brothers, his niece and nephew... He died for the whole world, to keep it alive.
And for those reasons, Johnny Storm died magnificently.