Author Topic: Bump In The Night  (Read 287 times)

Olivia Storm

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Bump In The Night
« on: April 19, 2012, 08:21:40 AM »
Hours passed, and Johnny still hadn't returned. Dinner time came and went, and it started getting dark outside. The hours ticked on and still no Johnny. Sometime in the evening, it started to rain, just drizzling at first, thunder in the distance, a storm threatening, and still, no Johnny. About nine o'clock, the storm arrived in full force. Thunder clapping overhead loud enough to shake the building, lightning lighting up the sky bright as daylight, rain pouring down in buckets, and still no Johnny.

The clock continued to tick, and the rain continued to fall. It was spring in Rhy'Din, after all, and April showers bring May flowers, or so they say.

Liv, despite her experience of waiting while someone was one call, couldn't help but worry. She'd taken a shower; she'd unpacked her belongings; she'd had something to eat; and still there was no Johnny. When the rain had begun to fall, she'd been forced to close the bedroom window or allow the elements to soak the carpet, wrapping herself up warmly in a thick cardigan to wait out the weather. Her thoughts kept straying back to Johnny's parting words, lingering unhelpfully on the certain knowledge that she would never forgive him if he got himself killed before she could challenge him on them. As the hours ticked by, she curled up on the couch, her eyes on the clock, watching the second hand counted out each minute passing by.

It was close to midnight when the rain let up a little, pit-pattering gently against the windows, though still beating against the roof, the storm finally moving away from the city after hours of pouring rain. It was just after midnight when a loud thump was heard on the roof above apartment 4C, sounding almost as if something had collided with the roof, the walls shaking momentarily with the vibration before turning silent, once again.

Dozing on the couch, Liv jumped as the thump against the roof above her knocked her from the half-sleeping settle she had found. Pushing her glasses up onto her nose once again, she frowned at the ceiling. Could that be Johnny? But for such a heavy landing ... Her breath caught in her throat suddenly at the thought of him injured, up there in the rain, and the shy young woman fairly launched herself from the couch, snatching Johnny's keys from the table in front of her and abandoning her glasses there instead, scurrying barefoot to wrench open the door and run as fast as she could up the stairs to the exposed rooftop.

It was Johnny on the roof, all right, soaked through to the skin, too exhausted to get up, vapor rising off him as the heat from his body turned the water to steam, but not quickly enough to keep up with the downpour. He'd had to fight the rain all the way home from wherever he'd been and though not injured, was clearly worn out. It was a rare sight to see him in such a state, but superhero or not, he was not impervious to everything, water being his main weakness.

Despite the lash of the rain that soaked her to the skin almost as soon as she stepped out onto the roof and her own poor vision that made her squint toward the shape of him, Liv recognised Johnny as soon as her gaze fell on him. "Oh god, Johnny!" Ignoring the sting in her bare feet as she ran through the rain to greet him, Liv dropped down onto her knees, hooking her arms under his to try and help him to his feet. "It's okay, you're home, almost home," she chanted into his ear, her own worries forgotten in the face of his obvious exhaustion.

Johnny lifted his head to look up at her, exhaustion clearly etched on his face. He didn't appear to be injured, merely exhausted, having had to fight the rain all the way home, exhausting every last bit of strength. The flames had sputtered out a few times, causing him to dip downward and nearly crash, sheer force of will keeping him going, keeping the flame alive long enough to get him home safely. He didn't even have the strength to reply, letting her help him to his feet. For once, he didn't feel abnormally hot, the rain cooling his temperature, but it wouldn't last. Once he was out of the rain and started drying off, his metahuman metabolism would take over again.

"Come on, I need you to help me," Liv pleaded with him, heaving to get him up and onto his feet. She wasn't strong enough to drag him to the doorway by herself, and there was no way in hell she was going to leave him to go and get help. "Just a few steps, Johnny, and we're inside." The deluge of rain had her soaked to the skin, adrenalin urging her through the promise of shivers and cold, keeping her mind off how cool he felt against her as she struggled toward the doorway.

He leaned against her, clutching at her waist to drag himself along, gritting his teeth against the wave of exhaustion. He knew if he could just drag himself inside out of the rain, he'd be okay. He just needed to rest. It was only a few short steps to the doorway, but it might as well be a mile. Slowly, step by step, he dragged himself forward, grateful for her help.

It was hard work, supporting a man so much taller and broader than her through torrential rain, but Liv was a stubborn soul at heart. Despite the difficulty, she struggled to the doorway, kicking it open with her bare toes and toppling inside, pulling Johnny with her to land in an ungainly heap on the dry floor.

Thankfully, he didn't land on her or he might have crushed her with his weight, but he did land heavily with yet another thud as he went down onto the floor, glad to be out of the rain. He lay there dazed for a moment, steam rising off him like he was a wet cloth being ironed.

Breathless, Liv rolled onto her back, trapped underneath his legs for the time being as she stared up at the ceiling, gasping for control over her breathing. A clunk signalled the door closing, shutting the weather out, and she rolled onto her side, fingers dripping with rain water rising to stroke against his cheek. "Johnny? Johnny, are you all right?"
[size=9:184a99ac32][color=darkblue:184a99ac32][i:184a99ac32][b:184a99ac32]I want you to be everything that's you, deep at the center of your being.[/b:184a99ac32][/i:184a99ac32][/color:184a99ac32][/size:184a99ac32]

Olivia Storm

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Re: Bump In The Night
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2012, 08:26:14 AM »
He forced his eyes open as the sound of her voice somehow reached through his foggy half-conscious brain, and he realized where he was and that he had somehow ended up at least partly on top of her. Rolling aside, he pushed himself up, sitting with his back pressed against the wall and looking over at her through bleary eyes. "Liv... I'm okay," he told her quietly, each word coming slowly.

She grunted lightly as he pushed himself off her, rising onto her knees to kneel beside him. Where the water on him was beginning to evaporate as his skin slowly heated itself once again, she was just getting colder, drenched to the skin and not actually caring about that for the moment. "You don't look okay," she pointed out in a shivering tone, clenching her jaw to keep the chatter from her teeth.

He couldn't help but notice her shivering and was suddenly far more concerned about her than himself. He was home and out of the rain; all he needed was some rest. "You're freezing," he remarked, reaching to pull her into his arms. It didn't matter now whether he was wet or not. It wouldn't be long before his temperature rose high enough to both dry her out and warm her up. "Come here."

As much as she wanted to be in his arms, the top of the public stairwell was not the appropriate place right now. Instead, Liv brushed a shivering kiss to his cheek, slipping her hands into his as she moved to draw him to his feet. "Not here, Johnny," she told him warmly. "You need to get to bed."

He was in no mood to argue. He'd had a horrible night, and all he wanted was to curl up in bed with her by his side. He wrapped his hands around hers and slowly climbed to his feet, using the wall to brace himself. "I'm sorry," he found himself apologizing, though he wasn't sure for what - for worrying her, for being gone so long, for being the cause of her getting soaked and chilled in the rain. He had to admit, though, that he liked the thought of someone worrying over him and wanting to take care of him, just as he wanted to take care of her.

She smiled, tucking herself against his side to begin traversing the interesting obstacle of walking down the stairs with a superhero who was only just holding his weight upright. "You're back safe," she said quietly. "Don't be sorry for that. You need to get out of that suit and dry off, though. Why were you on the roof in this weather?"

"Didn't think I'd make it to the ground," he replied, sliding an arm around her waist again but trying not to let her take too much of his weight. The truth was he'd just about come in for a crash landing, and he was just happy to have made it home safely.

"That really doesn't make me feel better about the state of you right now," she drawled quietly, her eyes on her bare feet beside his on the stairs, acutely aware at she, at least, was leaving a trail of water behind her as she went. Another shiver caught her, one she couldn't hide from him pressed close as she was, and her arm tightened about his waist. "Oh, sod getting you dry - I need to dry off," she added with a low chuckle.

He winced at her remark, blaming himself for her getting wet, realizing she was soaked to the skin and in her bare feet. He'd never forgive himself if she got sick or worse. He stopped on the stairs, right then and there, pulling her to him. Though clearly exhausted, he pulled on the very last of whatever strength he had in reserve to transfer his heat to her, pulling her close and wrapping his arms around her to hold her tight against him, closing his eyes as he willed himself to warm up enough that her clothes started to dry out, just as his had.

Confusion flared in her as he stopped, uncertain entirely what was going on as he drew her close against himself ... until she felt him beginning to heat, sensing the effort it cost him. "Stop it," Liv heard herself say sharply, struggling in his grasp. "Johnny, don't, I don't need you to do this. I just need to dry off and ... stop it, you're going to hurt yourself!"

He was either too stubborn or too tired to listen. It wasn't that hard to generate the right amount of heat to dry her clothing and warm her; it was controlling it that was the problem, and that took a certain amount of concentration. "It's okay, Liv. I'll be..." Okay, maybe he wouldn't be fine. He was almost there, he almost had her warmed and dry when he felt his knees starting to buckle.

She didn't stop protesting even as her clothes began to dry, her voice rising in a startled cry as Johnny buckled against her. "Oh! Oh, right, okay ... Johnny? Johnny, you need to stop - I can't carry you into your bed, I'm too small!" Bare toes bounced ineffectually off his shin, trying to get him to stop looking after her and look after himself for once.

Hearing her and realizing he was going to pass out if he didn't relent, he backed off, letting his temperature level off, which was probably hot enough to warm her anyway. He paused a moment, drawing on his remaining strength to find his legs, straighten, and continue down the stairs to Apt 4C.

Thank god, there's some sense left in his head. She couldn't even imagine what might have happened to have exhausted him so much, not knowing about his aversion to water, but at least she could get him into his bed before he passed out. The keys jangled in her fingers as she unlocked the door, easing them both through and into the apartment. "All right, we're almost there," she murmured, kicking the door shut behind them.
[size=9:184a99ac32][color=darkblue:184a99ac32][i:184a99ac32][b:184a99ac32]I want you to be everything that's you, deep at the center of your being.[/b:184a99ac32][/i:184a99ac32][/color:184a99ac32][/size:184a99ac32]

Olivia Storm

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Re: Bump In The Night
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2012, 08:29:48 AM »
Too tired to reply, he just let her lead him onward, every step harder than the last. He hadn't even gotten into a fight; the whole night had been a miserable waste of time, and all he'd gotten out of it was exhaustion. Grateful to be back inside where the elements weren't a threat, he let her lead him wherever she would - the couch, the bed, the floor. It didn't matter. He was home safe at last.

This was Liv - he was going to bed, even if she had to drag him by one foot. Once they got into the bedroom, she pushed him onto the bed, crawling up to search for the zip on his suit. "Just stay awake a little bit longer," she told him, drawing the zipper downward to begin the process of peeling the suit from his skin. "I'll let you settle in a little while."

"I'm fine," he murmured, as she pushed him onto the bed. "I can get myself undressed," he insisted, though he made no move to stop her from unzipping him. This wasn't exactly the way he'd envisioned things to go between them. It was the third time now that she'd seen him in a state of undress or half undress, and nothing had yet come of it. "You waited up for me," he muttered, somewhat in awe. She was worried about me, he realized silently.

"You're a long way from fine right now," she told him in a tense voice. Now he was out of danger, she was a little less than gentle with him, anger beginning to flare up at the worry and fear he'd put her through with his crash landing on the roof. "How could you be so stupid? Do you have any idea what you put me through?"

She heaved to pull him into an upright sitting position, dragging the sleeves of his suit down his arms. "I mean ... what possessed you to tell me you love me, then burst into flames and jump out of a window? What was I supposed to think, that everything was going to be fine and you knew you were coming back, or was that a goodbye just in case something appalling happened?"

His mouth dropped open at the stream of words that flowed from her mouth, the questions, the obvious worry, the declaration of his stupidity, and he blinked up at her, too tired to argue, too dumbfounded for words. The only thing that came out of his mouth at that moment to reply was a mumbled, "I..."

Had he told her he loved her? He tried to remember what he'd said before dashing out the window. He remembered telling her not to worry, that he might be late, and then he was climbing out the window, in a hurry to fulfil his obligation and his duty. If he'd told her he loved her, he supposed it had just slipped unconsciously from his lips, but he couldn't deny what he was feeling. Whether he'd said it on purpose or not, the words had come from his heart. He didn't know what to say or how to explain. All he could do was apologize and hope she'd give him time to explain and try to understand. "I'm sorry," he offered, knowing it wasn't enough.

The apology stilled her almost irate babbling, jolting her into realising that she was snapping at him for no good reason. "You don't have to apologise, you silly sod," Liv told him in a gently incredulous voice, easing him down onto his back. "I've been worried sick all afternoon, all evening. I couldn't help thinking that you might ... that something might happen to you, and you wouldn't know." She swallowed, frowning as she crawled backward, urging him to lift his hips and let her strip the suit from his legs entirely.

Wouldn't know what? he wondered. Are you leaving? Is it over already? His heart sank at the thought of that, and he felt like a fool for letting her get to him and for admitting his feelings. He braced himself for the let down. It was always the same. "I can't do this, Johnny. I can't sit here and wait while you're off doing something that might get you killed. I can't and I won't. Good-bye, Johnny."

He closed his eyes against the flood of pain, lifting his hips almost without thinking to let her finish stripping the wet suit from his body.

She tossed the sodden material into a corner, crawling higher on the bed to pull him to his pillows and cover him over carefully. A moment later, her damp cardigan and dress joined his suit in that corner, her underwear tossed aside in the moments before she slid herself into the first cover at random - one of his shirts again. Sliding under the covers with him, Liv stroked her fingertips against his temple, down over his cheek, for once relieved that she couldn't see his expression so very clearly without her glasses.

"Johnny, I ..." She leaned close, pressing her forehead to his, closing her eyes as she said what had been weighing on her heart since he'd left her earlier that day. "I love you, Johnny. Don't scare me like that again."
[size=9:184a99ac32][color=darkblue:184a99ac32][i:184a99ac32][b:184a99ac32]I want you to be everything that's you, deep at the center of your being.[/b:184a99ac32][/i:184a99ac32][/color:184a99ac32][/size:184a99ac32]

Olivia Storm

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Re: Bump In The Night
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2012, 08:35:05 AM »
He let her cover him with the blanket, which was mostly unnecessary as he never really got cold, except when he was faced with a torrential rain storm or some similar peril, and even then, he usually recovered quickly enough once out of danger. Eyes closed, bracing himself for the worst, her declaration of love was the last thing he expected to hear from her. Blue eyes slid slowly open when he felt her touch him, her forehead leaning against his. Had she just said what he thought she said? Still too tired or too shocked to say anything, he lifted a hand to touch her hair, his fingers combing through the rich silken strands of chestnut as he looked at her in awe.

She held his gaze for a long moment, not sure what was supposed to happen after you told someone how you felt, wishing she could see his expression more clearly. The gentle brush of his fingers through her hair brought a soft flush to her cheeks ... a flush that quite abruptly darkened to crimson as the shy shift of her body to mould against his told her something she really should have noticed before that moment. The boxers she'd seen him wearing under his suit before he left hadn't been there when she'd stripped the suit from him. Liv was snuggled up with a very naked Johnny.

What did you say to something like that? How did you reply to someone's all too unexpected declaration of love? He wasn't really the type to share his feelings. He didn't exactly ooze sentimentality, and yet, there was something about this shy, gentle woman that he found endearing, that made him want to be the man she needed and wanted and deserved him to be. That strange, uncomfortable, almost shy silence had settled between them again, and he only looked up at her, searching her gaze while she held his. His fingers brushed her cheeck, sliding around to the back of her neck to draw her down to kiss him. Maybe his kiss could tell her what words could not.

It was impossible to be kissed by Johnny and not feel the frisson of heat that promised more, but somehow this kiss was so much more than just a prelude to intimacy. Whatever it was Johnny was trying to tell her, she could feel the power behind it, the force of emotion that had so unexpectedly bound them together. The shiver that rippled through her had nothing to do with the chill on her skin, and everything to do with the man lying with her in the wide bed. And slowly, Liv's fingers began to stroke over his cheek, down to trace the defined muscle of his chest as she breathed in deeply, drowning in the scent and taste of him, wanting her touch to soothe as much as excite.

He inhaled sharply when he felt her fingers slide down against his chest, reaching to catch her hand and press it against the thrumming beat of his heart within his chest. It seemed in that moment to beat just for her. His lips lingered against hers, tenderly plying her lips, warm and soft, wordlessly returning her declaration of love.

Gradually, her kisses stilled, her lips curving in a soft smile against his. Nut-brown eyes opened to gaze into his, as soft as ever, offering a warmth he could put a name to now - love. "Don't scare me like that again," she repeated, her voice a tender whisper in the silence that wrapped around them.

"I'm sorry," he repeated for the third time, his voice deep but quiet, his gaze back up at her as soft and loving as hers, but just a little fearful, just a little worried. "Liv..." he started, the rain and the cold and the distress gone for now, now that he was home safe in her arms. Home.  Where was home really? Was it back in New York with his sister or was it here with her? "Liv, I... I meant what I said."

She shifted once again, resting on her forearms, combing her fingers lovingly through his hair as she nuzzled to him. The half-mast of her eyelids hid the disappointment that stung with the realisation that he didn't seem to be able to say it again, frightened herself now. Had she spoken too soon? Should she have pretended not to feel this way? She'd been falling in love with Johnny since he and Lucy had started going out together; it didn't seem right to hide that from him.

"You don't need to mean it right now, Johnny," she murmured gently, gazing into his eyes. "It would be nice if you did, but you don't need to say it. Not if you're not happy to."

She had completely misunderstood him. It wasn't that he couldn't or wouldn't say it because he didn't feel it; it was that he needed to know she meant what she'd said, just as she seemed to need the same reassurance from him. "Liv, don't..." he pressed his hand against hers, liking the way her hand felt against his chest. "I thought I was falling for Lucy, but that day in the park, when you told me the truth..." He drew a breath, feeling his throat constricting with pent up emotion.

"Did I say it too soon?" Fear took light on her face; fear that she had gone too far, that he didn't want her loving him. That hearing her say how she felt had made him realise that he really did want her sister, instead. "I don't know how long I was supposed to wait, I've ... I think I've been falling in love with you since we met, even though you didn't know it was me." Brown eyes that shone with that unmistakeable affection beneath the uncertain fear locked with his. "I've never been in love with anyone before, Johnny. I don't know if I'm doing this right."

He lifted a hand to press a finger against her lips. "Shh." She was talking too fast and he was having trouble keeping up, too weary to explain. Didn't she understand what he was trying to tell her? That it was her he'd been in love with all along? That he'd realized it that day in the park when she'd told him the truth. That it was Liv he wanted, not Lucy; Liv who held his heart in her hand. "Not now. In the morning." Blue eyes pleaded with her, too heavy to stay open much longer. As much as he wanted to, he needed to rest.

"In the morning." She said it reluctantly, but understood that he was too exhausted to talk about it now. Her fingers stroked his hair from his brow as she brushed a very soft kiss to the curve of his cheek. "Sleep now, Johnny. You need it." She slid away, rolling over to reach for the light switch.

Once she'd turned off the lights and it was dark, he reached for her to hold her close, almost immediately drifting off to sleep. Even superheroes needed their rest. She couldn't possibly know, but he slept better having her close. Whatever it was he wanted to say to her, it would have to wait 'til morning.

[size=9]((How's that for an eventful first day out of the hospital? Again, many, many thanks to Johnny's player - so much fun!))[/size]
[size=9:184a99ac32][color=darkblue:184a99ac32][i:184a99ac32][b:184a99ac32]I want you to be everything that's you, deep at the center of your being.[/b:184a99ac32][/i:184a99ac32][/color:184a99ac32][/size:184a99ac32]