Author Topic: When Two Become Four  (Read 618 times)

Olivia Storm

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Re: When Two Become Four
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2012, 08:42:39 AM »
"Better," Liv promised him, pleased to hear the faint tease in his voice. "I'm going to bring you pizza and beer, and then I'll tuck you into bed." She drew him into the living room, closing the door behind them, and gently steered him to a chair. Lucy was momentarily nowhere to be seen, but she appeared barely a moment after they re-entered, beer in one hand, pizza in the other. The twins knew each other better than they liked to advertise, after all.

Steve, too, was nowhere to be seen, excusing himself for a moment to fetch something from the bedroom, something he'd brought back for Johnny, something that seemed more important than it had before. Johnny's smile flickered briefly when he saw Lucy, like a flame that couldn't stay lit, before it faded altogether. "Hey, Luce. Where's your other half?" he asked, noticing Steve seemed to have disappeared into thing air, unsure if he was relieved or disappointed by that fact.

"He's just getting something," she assured Johnny, bending to set the food and drink down on the coffee table near him. One hand gently rubbed through his hair with sisterly affection. "Eat up, Everlast."

Grateful to Lucy for getting there ahead of her, for making sure she wouldn't have to leave Johnny's side, Liv smiled fondly, drawing him down into a seat to settle beside him, refusing to relinquish his hand. She had nothing more she could really offer him in the wake of what he had told her, but she was hoping that the others would be able to help.

Johnny settled himself on the couch at the twins' behest, glancing at the slice of pizza that was waiting for him on the coffee table. "Did he like it?" he asked, hoping Steve had approved of Johnny's choice for dinner. He wasn't sure why, but Steve's approval meant a lot to him. Maybe it was because he'd never really had a big brother, and his father hadn't been much of a father. There was Reed and Ben, but he felt they merely tolerated him more than anything else. The only one he felt any real connection to back home was his sister Sue, and while she'd tried to be a mother figure to him, they both knew she could never really fill those shoes. He realized, not for the first time, that he and Sue were as much orphans as Liv and Lucy.

Lucy snickered softly, thumping down into a corner of the couch, opposite the Human Torch and her sister. "I think he did," she told Johnny, making an effort to be upbeat, not to sink into too much seriousness. He wouldn't appreciate it if he thought his mood had brought them all down. "We had enough of a battle saving those slices for you!"

Johnny actually smiled, though the smile was weak. It was good to be surrounded by people who cared about him, who cared enough to save him a few slices of pizza, even if they would have rather gobbled it all up themselves. "Next time we'll order him his own pizza with the works," Johnny promised, his mood lightening a little. He reached for the plate and took a bite, only realizing when he did how hungry he was. He groaned in delight at the taste of it, the harrowing experience of the fire forgotten for the moment. He followed that slice with a healthy swallow of beer, swigging down half a bottle before it got warm.

"We should get into the habit of ordering two when everyone's together," Liv mused, quietly relieved as Johnny seemed to relax into the lighter atmosphere Lucy and Steve seemed to have worked to keep up for him, even if Steve was nowhere in sight. "Keep this a regular thing."

Lucy nodded, nestling into the cushions at the corner of the couch comfortably. "Absolutely," she agreed. "Trust me, Johnny, you haven't seen anything yet. That girl there can put away a large pizza all by herself if no one stops her."

Johnny arched a brow as he looked between the set of twins, knowing they were doing their best to cheer him up, and it was working, at least a little. "Not gonna get fat on me before the wedding, are you, Liv?" he asked, with a completely straight face. Which wedding he was talking about was anyone's guess.

Steve cleared his throat gently to let them know he had returned as he stepped into the living room from the hallway that led to the master and guest bedroom. He was holding one arm behind his back, as if to hide something from view. "Am I intruding?" he asked, politely.

The thought of Liv getting fat in less than a week was silly enough to set both women laughing, but it was Lucy who laughed hardest, guessing pretty accurately that it wasn't her wedding Johnny was referring to. That was a happy development she was more than content with, after all. "What, don't you want a cuddly woman with ample boobs to snuggle with at night, Everlast?" the elder twin asked impishly.

For her part, Liv took this teasing with a pinch of salt, sticking her tongue out at Johnny fondly through a resigned smile over the cover of Lucy's cackles. She was the one who noticed Steve's entrance first, curiosity lighting up her gaze as she noted his stance. "Of course not, Steve," she assured him. "Come and sit on your fiancee before I do something dreadful, like tickle her until she widdles."

"Liv's got ample boobs as far as I'm concerned," Johnny remarked with a small, tired smirk. He finished off his beer and set the empty on the table, his gaze darting to Steve, even as he drew an arm around Liv. The next thing on his list was a shower and a good night's sleep, but he wasn't yet ready to leave the warm companionship of the trio who surrounded him and be left alone with his thoughts.

Steve glanced between the three of them, looking only slightly uncomfortable with the twins' teasing. It would take time, but he was slowly getting used to their verbal repartee. It was the talk of boobs and widdling that made him cringe. "I'm not changing her diaper if she widdles," he remarked, in a meager attempt to make a joke. He lowered himself onto the arm of the couch, leaning toward Johnny to hand him the comic book he'd given to Lucy and asked to have autographed. "This belongs to you," he told the other man, noting the look on his face, the weariness, the anguish, as much as he was trying to hide it.
[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: When Two Become Four
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2012, 08:45:48 AM »
Lucy's smile didn't hide anything as she realised what Steve had in his hand, her body leaning back into his as he settled himself on the arm of the couch behind her. He'd been a little confused when she'd asked him to sign it, but had done it anyway. Perhaps, now that he'd met Johnny, he understood why it meant so much. "I don't wear diapers, as a rule," she commented cheerfully. "But then again, my knickers don't usually last a full day without being torn off one way or the other."

As Johnny wrapped his arm about her, Liv leaned into him, giggling softly as Steve inserted himself into the warm grouping, pleased that he felt comfortable enough to join in, however awkward he might feel about it. Her gaze lowered to the comic book as it was offered over, and she felt her smile warm further, deep gratitude rising on her face as she realised what it was. Something that was bound to get a real smile out of her heartsore lover, if nothing else.

And there was another small hint that Steve did indeed possess a sense of humor, no matter how deeply buried it might be. "You don't wear knickers, honey." Not technically, anyway. He wasn't quite sure what the lacy things Lucy wore beneath her clothing were called exactly. They didn't seem to serve much purpose other than to entice. He turned back to Johnny with a serious look on his face. He didn't want to dampen the mood, but he'd guessed what was bothering him and needed him to understand that being a hero didn't come without a price.

"I lost someone close to me once," he told the other man. "I blamed myself for a long time after he died. Thought I should have done more, done something to save him. Sometimes I even wished it had been me. They say everything happens for a reason, but that's not really true. Sometimes things just happen for no reason at all, and no matter how hard you try, you can't figure out why. You can drive yourself crazy with all the what ifs and if onlys. In the end, you have to decide for yourself if you did everything you could, if you did your best. No one can ask more from you than that. And if you think you did, then that's all that really matters."

Johnny's smile faded as Steve attempted to impart some wisdom on the other man, who he gauged was about his age, give or take a year or two, less experienced at this whole hero thing, but just as passionate, just as capable, if not more so. Johnny quieted, turning serious, taking his hero's advice in like a sponge soaking up water. He turned his glance to the comic book in his hands, running a finger across the signature that had been carefully scrawled on the cover, which didn't read Captain America, as Johnny had expected, but Steve Rogers - the man behind the icon. Johnny knew that comic book upside down and inside out and knew exactly what friend Steve was referring to. Though he hadn't lost a friend today, he understood what the man was trying to tell him.

"Thanks," Johnny said quietly, taking his eyes from the comic book to look back at his hero, even more impressed now that he'd actually met him in person, knowing what made the man who he was.

Beside him, Liv was quiet, her cheek resting gently against Johnny's shoulder as she felt him absorb what he was being told. Nothing she could have said would have made a greater impact than hearing Steve tell him that he had done well, that there was nothing wrong with feeling a failure so long as he didn't let it pull him down. That he couldn't save everyone, but what truly mattered was that he had tried. She could never have put it into words that made so much sense and meant so much, deeply grateful to Steve for just being there when Johnny needed him.

Lucy watched the men just as quietly as Liv did, seeing things in a slightly different light. Where heroes fought against the bad and the unjust, the wrongness in the world, she was a doctor. Her entire life was a race against Death, which was no more wrong than life itself. She knew, better than anyone in this room, that some things you just can't fight, and accepting that had been one of the greatest challenges of her life. But just because she had accepted it, didn't mean she didn't still fight just as hard for every person who came under her care. She smiled gently as Johnny thanked Steve, glad to see that the horror of his own failing was fading. The deep pain would never leave him, but perhaps he would learn to accept it, the way so many had before him.

"You save as many as you can but you can't save everyone," Steve continued, needing to make sure Johnny understood this completely, or it would drive him crazy, more than likely sooner rather than later. He leaned close to brush a kiss against Lucy's cheek. "If you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go unpack." The three of them more than likely knew he wasn't going to do any such thing, that he was just making an excuse to leave Johnny in Liv's more than capable hands. "It's been a long day." He left it up to Lucy whether she wanted to follow him or stay with her sister. Moving to his feet, Steve glanced at Johnny again. "I'd be honored if you'd stand up at our wedding, Johnny. I can't think of anyone I'd rather have for my best man."

Johnny's brows lifted in surprise, though he'd already heard Steve and Liv discussing that very thing earlier. Steve Rogers wanted him to be his best man? How could he say no to that? "It's me who'd be honored, Steve. Maybe I can return the favor someday."

Steve flashed a warm smile that was a little too much like Johnny's for comfort. "Maybe you will," he replied, nodding toward Liv before starting back toward the bedroom again to relax for a while and allow the little group some privacy.

Steve was infinitely more subtle than Lucy. Sensing that the time for group chats and reassuring words among more than a loving pair was over, the doctor stretched her arms up high into the air as Steve slipped away, feigning the world's most unconvincing yawn. "Gosh lummy, I think I'm just too tired for all this lovey dovey nonsense," she declared, flashing a wink over to Liv and Johnny as she moved to stand up. "I think I'll go and educate my fella about the finer points of women's underwear, what do you think?" She grinned, bending to hug Johnny, dropping a kiss onto his cheek before she squeezed Liv in a find embrace. "Nighty-night, lovebirds."
[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: When Two Become Four
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2012, 08:49:55 AM »
Liv giggled softly as Lucy walked away, fairly certain that the finer points of women's underwear wasn't going to be the only topic of conversation in the spare room tonight. She twisted, curling her arms around Johnny as she looked up at him, her smile gentling. "We'll have to get you a suit," she murmured, not really paying any attention to what she was saying. "Maybe you should take Steve shopping tomorrow, have a little male bonding while Lucy drags me all over the city looking for the perfect pair of shoes."

Johnny chuckled a little at Lucy's leavetaking, and leaned into Liv's embrace. Despite his affection for Lucy and his obvious admiration for Steve, it had been a long day, and he was just as happy the other couple had decided to retire early, leaving him and Liv alone to do the same. "You don't think he really needs a lesson in women's underwear, do you?" Johnny asked quietly, wondering if he needed to bring Steve up to date on the finer points of women's lingerie. They were way past knickers, that was for sure. "I can't believe he asked me to be his best man!" Johnny exclaimed as the reality of it set in. "I thought you two were just trying to screw with my head." He made a face at the idea of shopping, wondering what it would be like to drag Steve around the marketplace in search of a suit. "Are they getting married here or back home?" he asked, somehow having missed that detail.

She laughed softly, resting easily against him as they talked. "I think, if he does need a lesson, Lucy will make sure he knows every last detail intimately," she suggested through her somewhat impish smile, nestling comfortably into the wrap of Johnny's arm about her. "No, he really did ask me if I thought you'd be interested," she assured him as he accused her, however lightly of screwing with him. "But I did get him to ask me twice, just so you two would over hear." She smiled her soft, sweet smile, tipping her head back to look up at him as he queried her on the details of the wedding. "Back home," she told him. "In a church in Brooklyn, I think they said. Someone called Fury is sorting out all the details at that end. Apparently there's even going to be a hotel suite for us to stay in overnight."

"Fury?" Johnny echoed, that name not sounding familiar to him at all, despite his being from New York and being part of another group of superheroes that was fairly well known there. "So, why shop here when we can do that back home?" he asked, wondering what the delay was and why they weren't going back through the portal sooner. "Think I'll have time to drop in on Sue while we're there?" he asked, hopefully, a little of the light returning to Johnny's eyes, now that he was no longer thinking about the one he couldn't save.

"I think Lucy has something she wants to get here," Liv told him, carefully not giving away what that something was. Lucy had intimated it to her under the cover of all the taps in the kitchen gushing while Steve was tidying the living room earlier. It was supposed to be a surprise, and as much as she loved Johnny, Liv knew he'd fold and tell Steve everything at the first little hint of pressure. She smiled at the light rising in his eyes, wondering - not for the first time - just exactly what he thought she was going to do. "Well, obviously we will," she told her lover laughingly. "You don't think you're getting away with taking me to New York without going to see your sister, do you?"

Fortunately for both Steve and Johnny, Steve had no idea Lucy was planning any kind of surprise. As far as he knew, they'd come to Rhy'Din for one reason and one reason only, and that was to meet her sister and bring Liv and Johnny back to New York with them for the wedding. Even that little bit Liv had just told Johnny had his eyes lighting up with curiosity. "What does she wanna get him?" he asked, but before she could reply, he was sidetracked with more talk of his sister, and the familiar look of excitement lit up his face. "Wait til you meet her, Livvie. You're gonna love her. She's gonna love you. I mean, what's not to love about you both? And you both love me, so..." He was rambling on again, in his usual hyperactive fashion, as if everything that had happened earlier in the day was forgotten, at least for now.

Liv smiled as Johnny rambled on, warmed and calmed by this return to his usual spirits as he wittered on about his sister and her husband and their soon-to-be-born baby. It seemed as though he'd found his even keel again, thanks to Steve's gentle interjection into his misery. Although she knew that the pain and upset of the evening wouldn't entirely leave him, it was good to know that Johnny hadn't lost himself to that terrifying sense of failure. And who knew? Maybe after visiting his sister in New York and making sure that Lucy was well and truly married, he'd pull something out of that shock and grief to spur him on to bigger and better things. She knew he could do it; now all he needed to do was believe in himself, to make those unknown dreams come true.

[size=9]((Captain America and The Human Torch in the same room! The girls have got their work cut out for them, haven't they? :grin: Magniflorious thankidoodles to the genius mastermind behind the boys!))[/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]