Author Topic: Apologies  (Read 283 times)

Johnny Storm

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Apologies
« on: March 24, 2012, 12:43:23 PM »
The show at noon had gone well, though the turn out could have been better, at least in Johnny's eyes. His heart wasn't really in it, though he didn't let anyone else know that. As far as they were concerned, he was his usual brash self. The stunts, as dangerous as they were, came off without a hitch. He'd been working hard for weeks, practicing stunts in between patrols of the city. It didn't leave a lot of downtime, but it kept him busy and out of trouble and kept his mind off other things, like home and the twins, for starters. Whatever glitches he'd encountered with the stunts had been worked out until everything was perfect. It had to be perfect. He couldn't afford to make any more mistakes. There had been a small group of press present after the noon show. They had asked him some questions and taken some photographs, and then there had been a few autographs to sign. Once that was done, he had a few hours to himself before it started all over again.

The crowd had finally dispersed and he was left with a small crew working on setting up the next show before taking a break for lunch. It had turned out to be a nice day outside, and he was currently found crouched over his bike, making a few minor mechanical adjustments. He was wearing a green uniform today, in honor of St. Patty's Day. It had been Race's idea, not his. Bright green, a little flashy, the color didn't really suit his blond hair and blue eyes.

He didn't quite have that time all to himself. Someone had been waiting for him outside the arena where he had performed, hands tucked into her pockets, nervous energy radiating from her tense posture. Lucy had spent a very uncomfortable week or so being constantly hounded by her twin to make amends, to at least try and speak to Johnny. The phone calls had been a failure, since he had apparently either been screening his calls or ignoring the thing altogether. All that was left to her was to track him down, and even that had proved almost impossible. Until the posters had gone up for the Human Torch's display at the Wonderplex. If Johnny was going to be there, then so would she. Which was how she found herself trying very hard not to pace back and forth as she watched him work on his bike, willing him to turn around and notice her.

His concentration was nothing short of intense as he worked on the bike, tweaking this and that, making sure everything was in order. One minor slip up could prove disastrous, not only for him, but for the crew and the onlookers. Everything had to be perfect, and though he trusted his crew, he liked to do things himself. After a long while spent making adjustments, he finally straightened and grabbed a towel off the handlebars to wipe his hands. He'd test her out and then go grab a bite to eat and if he was lucky maybe grab twenty winks before the next show.

He wasn't going to notice her. She was going to have to speak up. And that was hard. It took a moment, but finally Lucy cleared her throat, plunging in at the deep end with, "Hello, Johnny. Want to incinerate me now, or later?"

It wasn't so much the mention of his name that drew his attention, but the voice that had said it. He jerked his head toward the twin, wondering for a split second which one she was, but that seemed obvious enough by her greeting. Lucy. The fringe of bangs and the somewhat guilty expression on her face gave her away. Ever since his disastrous date with her sister in the park, he'd been avoiding both sisters, refusing even to answer Lucy's calls, letting them go straight to voice mail. He wasn't exactly surprised to see her. He figured she'd hunt him down sooner or later, but he wasn't really prepared for it either. "Well, look what the cat dragged in. Come here to ask my forgiveness or rub my nose in my own stupidity?"

"Both and neither?" she suggested quietly. Lucy drew in a slow breath, letting it out in a huff before she took a step forward. It was definitely her; Johnny knew enough of both twins to know that Liv wouldn't be able to take that step, or even be able to speak. "We need to talk."

"Talk. I'm listening." He turned his back on her and climbed onto the bike, straddling the seat. She was on his time clock now, and he didn't have a lot of time to waste. He finished wiping the grease from his hands and threw the rag aside while he waited for her to tell him whatever it was she'd come there to say.

There was a pause as she gathered together what she wanted to say in mind. Then her eyes, dark and warm and solemn, lifted to lock with his, willing him to see the sincerity in her as she spoke. "I was wrong. I turned one moment of irrational jealousy into a stupid, childish game that not only hurt you, but my sister as well. I'm a selfish, immature brat who hasn't ever had anyone not give me my own way. I thought I was better than you, that I should teach you how to be rather than learning how you are." She let out another low sigh, glancing down at her feet as she scuffed her toes in the dirt. "Look, Johnny, I know you probably hate me now, and that's fine, I deserve that. But stop ignoring Liv's calls. She's worried about you, and she's going to make herself sick if you don't at least speak to her once. That's all I'm asking ... not for forgiveness, or for another chance, no matter how much I want one. I just want you and Liv to stop hurting."

Anger flared momentarily, eyes burning, boring into hers like blue flame, and then she spoke and all the anger melted away, turning to pain and regret. As sweet as Liv was, she wasn't the one that he wanted. "So, you're going to just step aside and sacrifice anything that might have been between us so your sister can be happy? Is that how it works? Have you ever stopped to think even once about how I might feel about all this? About what I might want?"

Lucy stared at him for a long moment. "Wow," she said finally. "You really don't know how to listen, do you?" Rolling her eyes, she let out another huffing sigh. "Did I once say that I want you to date Liv and make her happy? Did I? All I want that has anything to do with my sister is for you to stop ignoring her and making her upset! I'm not asking you to forgive me, I'm not asking you for anything, because that would be the selfish thing to do - I would be using your sensibilities to give myself a second chance to do things right a second time around, and that would be worse than what I've already done to you!" Realising she was shouting, Lucy flushed, glancing at the passers by who were staring at her in embarrassment. "This is this, this is my apology, this is me. The ball's in your court, Johnny. If you want something, go ahead and make a play for it, but don't expect me to validate any excuse for you to keep on feeling bad and hurting my little sister in the process."

He stared at her while she carried on, her voice raising enough to catch the attention of a few passersby, but he didn't seem to notice or care. He heard her out, trying hard to listen, really listen, to hear what it was she was trying to tell him. He quietly took it all in, once again feeling that attraction toward her that he had when they'd first met. He sensed a fire in her, a burning passion, a love for life and the desire to live it to the fullest, not unlike himself. Why couldn't she see how similar they were? Was she blind or was it just his imagination? "Get on," he told her finally, scooting forward a little on the bike to give her room.

She'd been breathless when she'd finished, the passion in her little speech not entirely born of anger or guilt or desperation to make him understand because, frankly, that suit he was wearing really did leave very little to the imagination. And when he answered, she didn't hesitate, surging forward without a second thought to fit herself confidently against his back, not even asking for a helmet this time. Not needing one.

He didn't need a helmet either, or bother with one, the decision to take her for a ride too spontaneous to worry about such details as safety, his own or hers. Once she had settled herself on the bike behind him, he took off, a few of the crew members and passersby shouting at him as he drove past, but he ignored them. He'd be back in time for the second show. Until then, his time was his own. Once they were free of the crowd, he headed toward the exit and out onto the open road, unsure where he was headed. Anywhere, nowhere, it didn't matter. It was a perfect day for a ride, the sun shining brightly, a warm breeze blowing through their hair.

Johnny Storm

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Re: Apologies
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2012, 12:50:32 PM »
And again, unlike Liv, Lucy didn't cling on too tightly, or close her eyes. She settled her chin on his shoulder, her own hair a dark streak behind her as the wind whipped over them, unable to keep herself from laughing in delight at the exhilaration of this unplanned, unexpected ride. Her hands were warm on his chest, and yes, there was a strange kind of possessiveness in the way she held on that had been absent in Liv's arms about him. Lucy wanted to be there, through whatever danger. Wasn't her courage in apologising to his face evidence enough for that?

He was acutely aware of her behind him, of the hold she had on him, not the frightened, clinging vine that had been Liv, but the self-assured, assertive woman that was Lucy. She had told him she wanted him once, and he couldn't deny that he wanted her, even after everything that had happened. He wasn't sure why, but her arms around him felt so right, as if she belonged there. He squeezed the throttle, increasing his speed, driving so fast it almost felt like they were flying. Now, that would be a thrill he bet she'd never experienced before. To soar through the sky, the wind at your back. It was a feeling of exhilaration, of freedom, but he was only giving her a small taste of that now. The bike roared through the city streets, up and over the bridge that connected the two sides of the city, toward a place he had only recently discovered - the Spaceport.

As the bike sped along, the speed rising with each second that passed, Lucy felt her heartbeat increase with it, her laughter growing ever more breathless as her arms tightened around Johnny against the tug of the forces that wanted to whisk her off the back of the bike. Her body was almost one with his, molded so smoothly against his back that they might as well have been wrapped up in cellophane.

This... This was a true city, unlike anything he'd ever seen before, as different from the old town as night and day. It was truly a sight to see, a hub of activity all times of day and night, ships coming and going both on land, sea, and overhead. A sprawling landscape of tall buildings, seedy neighborhoods, warehouses, and compounds. Something from some science fiction movie and he'd fallen in love with it at first sight.

He brought the bike to a stop finally, just outside the city, atop a hill that overlooked Fool's Luck Bay, the city twinkling like a Christmas tree below them. As beautiful as it was to behold, this was nothing compared to what it looked like at night. "Have you ever seen anything like that in all your life?" he asked, clearly in awe. In a way, it reminded him of home, or what home might look like hundreds of years from now. New York City, all lit up. The sight of it tugged at his heart and made him feel a little homesick.

"Oh, wow ..." Lucy leaned close still against his back, drawing her feet from the rests to wrap her legs comfortably about his waist. Her cheek settled between his shoulder blades as she gazed over the vista he'd brought her to see, amazed and more than a little awed by the vibrantly unique city in front of them. "I don't think anything can compare with this place."

Golden sunlight reflected off the bay, gulls and other sea birds squawking and diving toward the water for their meal. He wasn't sure why he'd taken her there of all places, but it was a view that tugged at his heart more than any other place he'd seen here so far. "It's beautiful, isn't it? I'm gonna live there someday." His voice was quiet, a little lost in thought, though he was aware of her wrapped around him, her chin against his shoulder and he pulled his eyes away from the sight to turn to her. "There's so much I wanna show you,"  he told her, his voice uncharacteristically soft, almost wistful.

It was such a little thing, her moment of doubt, but that doubt had to be set to rest. As beautiful as this place was, as handsome and warm and yes, screwable, as Johnny was against her, Lucy had her insecurities like any woman, and she knew she had a lot to make up for. Tearing her gaze from the stunning view, she met his gaze with soft solemnity. "Are you sure?" Sure you want to show me, though it hardly needed to be clarified.

He met her gaze with equal solemnity, his hands leaving the handlebars to cover hers at his waist. He seemed to sense the doubt in her, though there was little doubt in his own mind.  Fear, yes. He didn't want to get hurt, not again, and he didn't want to hurt her or Liv, but life was too short. His mother's death had taught him that. "I've never been more sure about anything in my life. Ball's in your court, Lucy. All I'm asking for is a chance."

She couldn't help it; her familiarly wild smile broke over her face slowly, one hand slipping from his chest to smooth against the heat of his cheek. Her legs slipped down from his waist, feet settling against the rests to push herself up until she was leaning over his shoulder. "That's my line," she murmured through her grin, her breath tickling his lips for a split second before she found his mouth in a slow kiss that promised more than she had pretended to before.

Eager for her kiss, his mouth met hers, eyelids drifting closed to savor the sweetness of her lips, his heart beating a little bit faster. Still locked to her lips, he eased himself from the bike, kicking the stand down, turning toward her and reaching for her to pull her along with him. His lips parted to deepen the kiss, as they stood there atop the hill overlooking the bay, the sun winking its golden light off the water.

She was impressed, despite herself, by the way he managed to move without breaking his lips from hers, though that consideration was only momentary. Her arms loosened just enough to let him twist and stand before tightening about his neck once again, welcoming the deepening of that kiss with a tongue that was sweet and forceful in its desire to taste his mouth. Her knees bent upward, lifting her feet from the bike finally as Johnny drew back, giving him her slight weight for the few moments it took to bring her clear of his bike before her feet lowered to seek the ground once again. Some things couldn't be feigned, and the gentle, eager passion in Lucy's kiss was one of those things. She did want him, a second chance to prove that she wasn't such a heartless bitch.

He wanted her right then and there, to show her what he was made of, what could be between them, what she'd almost walked away from, but before that could happen, there was something he needed to say, something he needed her to understand, even if she'd already heard it from Liv. She needed to hear it from him. He reluctantly pulled away from her kiss, hands clutching her arms to pull her away for a moment, so that he could offer his own confession. The look on his face was remorseful, knowing that all of this was more than likely his own fault, but he'd had no idea things would get so out of hand. "Lucy, I'm sorry I'm such a jerk. I never meant to make you jealous. I never meant for any of this to happen. I never wanted to hurt you or Liv. I'm sorry."

"Johnny, you don't need to apologise." Lucy leaned close, twisting one arm from his grip to curl her palm to his cheek. "This was all my fault, my foul. I won't ever mention it again if you won't. But please answer Liv's calls. She wants to be your friend." And even talking about her sister couldn't calm the want that had risen in Lucy once again in Johnny's presence. She had thought that it might have been a fluke, a residual reaction from riding a motorbike for the first time in years, but no. It was all Johnny, and here they were, about as private as either of them could get right now, and free for at least two hours. She surged up onto her toes to catch his lips with hers once again, her arm slowly curling about his neck as she pressed close.

He was about to tell her how wrong she was, how he knew it was his fault, but then she promised to never mention it again, and the protest died on his lips. The mention of Liv was like a dagger in his chest, and he opened his mouth to protest again, to tell her how fond he was of her, but that sadly, it wasn't Liv he wanted. It wasn't Liv that made him feel this way, full of passion and life, like he could do anything. He wanted to tell her all this, but then she was kissing him again, and the heat he'd felt between them that day in the woods returned ten-fold. He wasn't fighting it this time though. This time he was going to see it through, to see if he wasn't imagining the spark that he felt between them. There was only one way to find out.

Apologies had been said. All was forgiven, at least for now. There was no more need for words. Johnny's arms went around her waist, and he returned her kiss, deeply and passionately, showing her, instead of telling her, what could be between them, if only she'd allow it.

Only time would tell if what they both were feeling would grow into a fiery blaze, or burn out like a candle in the wind.