So… It's been a while huh. I know that I gave this story up for adoption but I just… I needed to at least try to finish it. It's a rewrite so there will be changes. Plot the same, just a little added Please, Enjoy…
Disclaimer: I don't own the Fantastic 4, If I did I wouldn't be writing a story here and there would be another character who would go out with Johnny
Have you ever thought that it would be cool to have superpowers? To be able to fly or lift objects with your mind like Jane Gray from the X-Men movies? I'm sure you did, I mean everyone as a child, at some point wonders what it would be like to be a superhero. To be adored by tones of people and save the world on a daily basis. Yep, I'm sure everyone knows that feeling.
But now imagine that it has really happened. That you really got superpowers and not as a child but as a twenty year old student of art history that has two jobs and shares an apartment with her older brother and his crazy scientist friend. If you ask me it's a real pain in the butt but you have to live with it, you don't have a choice.
Huh, I probably totally confused you with my rambling but I promise that my story is not as boring as the introduction. So, I'll start with my name and then with the rest. My name is Victoria Alexandra Grimm. I know, a mouthful, and for that reason everyone just calls me Tori. I live with my big brother Ben and his best friend Reed Richards in Manhattan in a thirty-five story office building called the Baxter Building. I'm twenty years old, well almost twenty-one and I'm in collage studying anything that has got to do with art and art history. I have long, wavy dark brown hair that reaches my hips and stormy blue eyes. I'm quite small for my age, I barely reach 5 foot 2 and my petite figure along with my height makes me look like a child. It's kind of annoying really, because everyone assumes that I'm fifteen, sixteen max. I mean, how is that fair? I'm actually a legal adult for more than two years now and they still won't sell any alcohol to me without an ID.
But enough about my problems with self image and personal information, you'll get enough of that later. The real thing started one afternoon with my older brother saying that he wants to go to space…
I was sitting on the couch in front of the TV in our small living room. I still had my pyjamas on because it was Sunday and I just couldn't be bothered to get changed. There was an interesting Art show on with an Irish guy, Keith something showing how to paint a waterfall with watercolours. I have to say, the guy was a genius. I watched mesmerised as he used his paintbrush to create the image of the flowing water and noted to myself to try his technique in the future. As the painting the artist was doing was almost finished, I heard the door slam hard enough to shatter it into dust and then the loud steps of my older brother Ben echoing through the wide, empty halls of the Baxter Building. I sighed and shook my head. My brother was a very good brother and took care of me ever since our parents died when I was 10 so he basically raised me but he had a small problem with keeping a lid on his emotions. He was like an open book that everyone could read without a problem.
As Ben stomped into the room, the air became think with tension. Anger radiating from him was practically visible as he made his way towards the couch I was sitting on. He fell onto it with a slight huff of anger and he began to murmur under his breath.
'How can Reed think that I will help him this time. It's crazy to even think about this.' He babbled, shaking his head in anger.
'Ben!' I heard Reed, my brother's best friend call from the hall and looked away from my brother to see the scientist running towards the room. He had dark jeans on with a black T-shirt that clung to his body. His brown hair was, just like usual neatly styled to look like a casual mess and his black T-shirt was tucked into his jeans. Overall, he looked like a geek, which he was. As Reed came into the living room, he completely ignored my presence and headed straight for Ben.
'Listen, I really need you to come with me. Victor isn't that bad and I can't do this without you, you know that.' Reed's voice had a panicking tune to it, like he was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. He looked desperate and Ben wasn't helping from what I could see.
'No Reed, I can't do it. I was with you in NASA and the rest of the science freak agencies but I am not going to ask Victor von Doom for help. We ain't that desperate yet.' He huffed annoyed but one thing he said stuck in my mind.
'Wait a minute, did you say Victor von Doom?' I asked looking between Reed and Ben. Neither of them answered so I decided to push. 'And what's that about you guys asking that jerk for help.' I added, looking at Reed knowing that it was probably his idea. He always saw only good in people and ignored the bad.
Reed was recently working on some cosmic cloud and wanted to go into space to examine it. He said that it might change lives of millions of people and that's why my brother decided to help. But Reed was a bankrupt and didn't have the money for this kind of thing so he went to lots of different science organizations asking them to sponsor his expedition. All of them refused. But going to that scum was a little desperate. Everyone knew that Victor von Doom couldn't be trusted, Reed should know this better than anyone else. Reed shifted his weight uncomfortably from one leg to the other.
'Look Tori, I really have no other choice and I think that he really will be willing to help. It's the only thing we have left.' He said looking at Ben while saying this. I sighed. Ben just shook his head stubbornly.
'I'm not going anywhere with that arrogant son of a...' He stopped himself and looked at me from the corner of his eye. I rolled my eyes. I have heard worse words than that. My brother cleared his throat. 'Anyway, you're on your own this time. If he's the one sponsoring and helping then I'm out.' Said Ben and I could tell that he meant it. Ben was very stubborn and if he set his mind onto something, then it would be his way. Reed looked at me, his eyes begging me for help. I shrugged but then got an idea. I didn't really want to go, but Ben wouldn't let me go there by myself. And I knew that he always wanted to go to space. I looked at Reed and nodded slightly.
'If Ben doesn't want to go, then I'm going.' I stated and turned towards the TV. I could feel Ben's burning gaze on me.
'No you're not!' he yelled so loud that I could almost see the glass windows shaking. I rolled my eyes. I already had a perfect reason for wanting to go. I smirked a little but tried to hide it.
'Ben, you know what a great opportunity this is for me. Imagine all the drawings I could do. It would be a great back-to-school project. It's not fair that von Doom is going and I can't so there is no discussion about it. And besides, there is no way Reed is going off to space without me, he'll let von Doom sass and embarrass him and without your help, he can use some of mine. Right Reed?' I looked up to Reed who had a triumphant expression on his face. He knew that if I was on his side and wanted to go then Ben would too. His overprotective brotherly instincts wouldn't let him abandon me. Ben huffed annoyed and sloughed in his seat. He murmured something like; 'Two to one is not a fair game…' under his breath and then nodded his head.
'Fine, you want to go into space, you will. But if something happens to you, you'll be grounded until you're thirty. And there is no way you're going alone. I'm coming too.' He said annoyed and I smiled widely. I looked at Reed who was smiling at me as well. He mouthed a 'thank you' to me but I waved it off saying no problem.
'Thank you, thank you, thank you! You won't regret it I promise!' I said with fake enthusiasm and with that I hugged my brother tightly. For a moment he was stiff but then relaxed and hugged me back.
'Alright kiddo, no problem.' He said and I stood up quickly and rushed to my room. For a moment I thought that I will kill Reed for making me do this but then as I calmed down enough to think about it, it actually made some sense. I mean, what a better back-to-school project than pictures of Earth drawn from the original. The whole idea seemed better and better with every minute I thought about it. I imagined the face of my professors when I give them photos and drawings of real Earth. That would be something. And I would go to space, what a better way to end the holidays? I became excited and began to Google images of earth from the space. It was a beautiful sight and I would get to see it for real. I was really psyched now. A small part of me was screaming at me to stop and reconsider; 'What the hell are you doing?!' my rational side screamed at me inside my head. 'You're afraid of heights and you want to go into OUTER SPACE?!' . I shook the thought away. Sure, it would be tricky, but it would be soo worth it!
I started to gather all my drawing stuff; pencils, colors and sketch pads and sort them into a neat pile. One was the used up one and the other was the new one. I would take the new one with me. I really couldn't wait.
I wasn't able to sleep that night. I tossed and turned, thinking about tomorrow. We were supposed to go see Victor von Doom and ask him for help. After moaning about Victor, and how we shouldn't trust him, Ben was becoming really excited because he was hoping that he could pilot the spaceship and I couldn't blame him for that. Since I could remember he wanted to be an astronaut and his biggest dream was to pilot a spaceship. I really hoped that it will soon come true.
Finally, at about three o'clock I drifted off to sleep. I dreamed about the images of the earth from the space and me drawing it in one of my sketch books.
I woke up in the morning very sleepy and tired. Because of lack of sleep last night I was half alive and I desperately needed caffeine. I scrambled out of bed and headed to the kitchen. As usual, Reed the early riser he was stood near the coffee maker pouring himself a cup of hot steaming liquid.
'I want some too please.' I said, my voice still thick with sleep. Reed turned around and smiled when he saw me. He was all dressed up already. A black suit with a stripped tie. He poured some coffee into my favorite blue mug and handed it to me. I smiled gratefully and sipped the delicious drink, burning my tongue in the process.
'So, are you read for today's talk with Mr. von Doom?' I asked Reed and he was looking over his notes which I couldn't understand even in a million years. He looked at me briefly and gave me a small smile.
'I'm as ready as I'll ever be. I really hope that he'll decide to help me. I really don't know who else to ask.' He answered, his tone full of worry. I sighed.
'It'll be alright, I'm sure that he'll say yes. He would be an idiot if he refused.' I said and gave him a reassuring smile. After I drained my coffee I went to get dressed. I put on faded skinny jeans and my favorite dark blue top with a leather black jacket on top and black calf high converse. I looked at my hair. Like usual it fell down to my hips in large waves, making it look like a dark brown waterfall. I put some mascara on and a peach lip oil. I smiled and marched out of my room, satisfied with my look. Ben was ready as well, with brown trousers that looked like jeans from far away, light beige sweater and a dark brown jacket on top. He was just finishing his coffee, and when he saw me he smiled.
'Ready?' He asked. I nodded my head and looked at Reed and he gathered his stuff. Half an hour latter we were standing in front of Von Doom Industries. There was a large statue of Victor von Doom himself right in front of the main entrance made from black metal. I rolled my eyes. Could this guy have a bigger ego than he already has? Ben apparently thought the same thing because he scoffed.
'Typical of Victor Von Doom to build an thirty foot statue of himself.' He said with disgust in his voice. I let a small giggle escape my lips and that earned me a smile from Ben and a small glare from Reed.
'Well, it's obviously aimed at first-time visitors to create feelings of smallness, inadequacy.' Reed said looking around, a small frown forming on his face, like the idea alone was horrifying to him. Ben smirked at
'Good thing it ain't working.' He said and then frowned himself as we started walking towards the building.
'Speak for yourself.' I muttered under my breath, so low that both men didn't hear me.
'Reed, what are we doing here? This guy's fast-food, strip-mall science.' Ben said while I watched their conversation. It wasn't so hard to believe that Ben didn't like Victor, there were plenty of reasons not to. Reed looked at Ben and then at me. I was probably frowning too. I, too wasn't especially fond of von Doom.
'This wasn't our first stop, in case the both of you forgot.' He said in the scolding tone he used on both of us when he got a bit mad. Then he looked up at the building. 'Besides, Victor's not that bad. He's just a little larger than life.' He said and we made our way to the door. When we went inside it was like a jungle there. People were running around, trying to get to meetings and appointments on time looking like the world would end if they were late. I just rolled my eyes at them and went after my brother and Reed as they made their way towards the room Victor was supposed to meet us. When we got to the conference room we were greeted by a short man in a suit. He introduced himself as Victors assistant and told Reed that he could start setting everything up for his presentation. Me and Ben stood a bit to the side, looking at Reed as he fumbled with the weird devices he usually used in the lab. When the presentation started, Reed talked about what he wanted to do and why.
'My research suggests that exposure to a high-energy cosmic storm borne on solar winds might have triggered the evolution of early planetary life. He explained as the image of the galaxy with earth and other planets floated in the air. There was an orange cloud moving towards earth and then after a moment it started to coat the image of the planet. When it coated it all, it moved away from it to form a cloud again and started to recede away from earth.
'In six weeks, another cloud with the same elemental profile will pass Earth's orbit.' He said as a similar cloud to the last one started to make it's way towards the planet. Then the image changed and the picture zoomed in on Earth alone. Then it disappeared and an image of DNA structure appeared.
'A study conducted in space could fundamentally advance our knowledge about the structure of the human genome…' I couldn't understand most of what Reed was so passionately talking about but I looked over to Ben who was looking at Victor. I did the same and noticed that he was looking at Reed with little interest in his eyes, patiently listening to him talk. Reed continued his speech enthusiastically, clearly happy that he could show off what he knew about the cloud and how much it could help. '…cure countless diseases, extend human life, give kids a chance to live longer, stronger, healthier…'
'Turn it of, please.' Victor interrupted Reed and he looked shocked that he has. Reed had a determined look on his face and I was sure that he wasn't finished yet.
'I don't think I have explained my proposal fully.' Read started but was interrupted once more.
'No, I think you have.' Von Dooms voice was mocking, as if he was having a great time. 'Same old Reed, always stretching, reaching for stars with the weight of the world on his back. But dreams don't pay the bills, do they?' He asked and threw a magazine 'Wired' on the table with the photo of Reed on the front page and a title 'Reed Richards Bankrupt; Announces Grant Cutbacks.' But Reed didn't give up and started from another angle.
'You remember, when we were in school we talked about working together. Well, that's what I was about to explain.' He slicked a button on the remote that controlled the holographic presentation and an image of some kind of spaceship came up.
'The storm is deadly. But the shields on your stations control room are designed to protect any occupants inside.' Reed said at then Victor turned on the lights. He had an unreadable expression on his face. I had a feeling that he wasn't out of ammunition yet.
'So it's not just my money you want. It's my toys.' He said an Reed nodded with a hint of a smile on his face, I looked at Ben who on the other hand was staring at Victor. So I wasn't the only one who thought that Victor had an ace up his sleeve. Victor smirked suddenly.
'Tell me, if NASA doesn't trust you, then why should I?' He asked and the smile evaporated off Reed's face. Both me and Ben looked troubled at Reed who looked back at us shocked. Victor laughed. 'That's my job, to stay a step ahead. To know what other men don't.' He said smiling cockily and sat on the edge of the table looking at us with humor in his mischievous eyes. Ben groaned quietly and turned to Reed. I stood on the other side of my brother, glaring at Victor. I really didn't like the way he was treating Reed and wanted more than anything to punch him in the face.
'I can't take this.' Said Ben to Reed quietly so that Victor wouldn't hear. I heard Reed reply.
'Ben, this is business, just work.' Said Reed, always being the reasonable one out of us. Just then a different, familiar feminine voice said;
'He's right, Ben. It's just business.' I spun around to find Susan Storm standing at the door in a dark pencil skirt and a formal top in a matching color. I smiled widely at her. I haven't seen her in ages.
'I think you all know my Director of Genetic Research, Susan Storm.' Said Victor, his voice formal but I could hear the emotion hidden beneath. I didn't really care right now. I have missed Sue a lot since she cut all connections that she had to Reed. The both of them used to date but then Reed messed up and she broke up with him. To tell you the truth I don't blame her. Reed might be smart when it comes to science but with other stuff, like dating he hasn't got any knowledge about it.
Ben looked over his shoulder to look at Sue and then at Victor with an expression I couldn't quite place while Reed stiffened. I rolled my eyes at him while he turned to look at his ex. Ben looked amused as he said to Reed.
'One more thing he's got.' I stifled my laughter, pretending to cough. Sue walked towards us with a wide smile on her face. 'Hey Susie.' Said Ben and Sue smiled even wider.
'Hey.' She answered and hugged him tightly. 'Its so nice to see you. How is Debbie?' She asked, still smiling.
'Great.' Answered Ben and she smiled.
'Great.' She said and turned to me. I smiled at her.
'Hey Sue, you look great, I love the new hairstyle.' I said pointing to her now straight instead of slightly curly hair it was before. She smiled at me.
'Hey Tori. Thanks and you look great too. Although you haven't grown even one bit.' She joked and I mockingly glared at her. I was only a little bit smaller than her. We hugged. She let me go and when she turned to Reed her smile disappeared.
'How have you been?' Asked Reed awkwardly and both me and Ben rolled out eyes. Reed and his talkativeness.
'Never better.' She answered coolly and extended her hand for Reed to shake. He looked a little disappointed but shook her hand nonetheless. The air was filled with tension and awkwardness and I wasn't the only one to register it.
'This isn't going to be a problem, is it?' Asked Victor and all of us turned to face him.
'No' Said Sue.
'Not at all.' Said Reed at the same time. Ben smirked and I rolled my eyes again. There was definitely things going on between the two of them and everyone except them could see it. Even Victor was looking at them suspiciously.
'Good.' Said Victor walking up to us. 'Then you're just on time to hear the great Reed Richards ask me for help.' He stood beside Sue, and we turned again to face him. I was standing very near Ben, not liking the way von Doom was looking at me. He turned his eyes to stare at Reed who looked uncomfortable with how close Sue and Victor were. 'You know, you made a lot of folks a MIT feel like a junior high science fair. So you'll excuse me if I savour the moment.' Ha said smiling evilly. He was enjoying it way too much.
'You back this mission and I'll sign over a fair percentage of any application…'
'The number 's 75%.' Von Doom cut in which caused Reed's eyes to widen. I looked at Ben who was staring at Doom in disbelief. Was he serious? Was it a joke. He was either delusional or very sure of himself. 'And it's applications and patents.' Victor added smiling. I was speechless but Ben wasn't and decided to step in.
'What about his first-born?' He asked sounding annoyed. I didn't really blame him.
'Yes, I mean, you can't be serious!' I exclaimed. I wasn't one for math but even I knew that the number was very high.
'Ben…' Victor had the nerve to chuckle. I really couldn't believe that man! '…Come on. 25% of a billion is enough to keep the lights on for a while isn't it?' I could feel the blood boil inside of me. How dare he! Victor looked at Reed. 'Maybe even pay off your fourth mortgage on the Baxter Building.' He added, his eyes sparkling with humor. I looked at Sue who was looking at Reed with an unreadable expression on her face. Reed just stood there, looking from Victor to Sue and back. I looked at Ben to see his expression hardened.
'Deal?' asked Victor, extending his hand towards Reed. I looked at him, and he looked at Sue. Something flashed across his face and I knew that he'll agree. He took Doom's hand and shook it, closing the deal. Victor smiled.
'Well then. To our future.' He said with that annoying smile plastered on his face. God, I so wanted to punch him right now. 'Together.' Said Victor and he circled Sue's waist with his right hand. I knew that he did it on propose, he wanted to piss of Reed. He smiled widely and looked in between me, Ben and Reed.
'It's funny how things turn out, isn't it?' He asked and I looked at Ben. He looked at me too while Reed answered.
'Hilarious.' He said sarcastically and Ben smirked at me. I cracked a small smile. Yes, It was funny how your world can change in such a short amount of time.
So, this is a slight rewrite of the other story. I needed to add and change some stuff. I know that I haven't updated in ages and that I have given the story up for adoption but I really needed to finish it. SO, I'll try. Hope you will enjoy the rest of the story.