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?"