Author Topic: Ring One Year In, Kiss One Goodbye  (Read 335 times)

Olivia Storm

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Ring One Year In, Kiss One Goodbye
« on: January 02, 2013, 03:24:45 AM »
The LimeLight nightclub was just one of many of Rhy'Din's little secrets. A club devoted to bringing back just a little of the classic music and mood of the Golden Age of Hollywood, it was an intimate setting, a deep circular hall that held a collection of tables and chairs set around a polished wooden dancefloor and a carefully appointed stage, on which live music was played every night in one form or another. For the night that would see 2012 become 2013, the LimeLight had been decorated in purples and blues, white light to catch the flicker and shine from silver and glass in the intimate darkness that surrounded the dancefloor and stage. On the stage, a band played swing and old-school jazz, big band music you could dance to or simply sit and listen to, whichever you chose. Sometimes there was a singer, sometimes not, but the music kept playing, counting down the hours toward midnight.

It wasn't the sort of venue Johnny might have chosen to welcome the New Year, but Liv had pulled out her biggest and best puppy dog eyes to win him over, talking him into dressing up for it as well. And then ... well, she'd mumbled some excuse around an hour before she'd told him they would have to leave to 'make an appearance at Jon's party', and promptly left, assuring him she would be there and waiting, but that she had a few things she had to do and didn't want him to be bored waiting around for her. Truth be told, she'd been on edge all day, but had seemed to be making a real effort to hide it. Something was being planned, that was certain.

Johnny had pouted like a lost puppy when Liv had announced her leaving. There were days when he was jealous of her job, which seemed to take occupy a good part of her time, and tonight was one of them, but he didn't make a fuss about it, knowing it would only upset her. She had seemed off all day, and he wasn't sure why, worrying maybe she was upset with him over something. Maybe she even wanted to break up, but that didn't make sense. She wouldn't have accepted his proposal if she'd been getting ready to break up with him. Still, something was up; he just wasn't sure what it was yet. He'd agreed to meet her, hoping he wasn't going to get stood up.

The club was full of people, mostly couples who seemed more than happy to be together, and he felt a little tug of homesickness, feeling an odd sense of loneliness at being surrounded by a crowd of people he didn't know and who didn't know him. He hoped Liv didn't leave him alone there too long. He'd decided to give her two hours at most before he headed home.

He wasn't entirely on his own in the crowd, however. Jon and Vicki had made it to the club - purely so they could witness firsthand the look on his face when Liv's carefully planned surprise came off - quick to locate the Torch when he made his appearance. Vicki gave Jon a gentle push to remind him that Liv would need to be told Johnny was here, and made full use of her bump to force a way through the mingling crowd and claim Johnny's arm.

"Well, look what the cat dragged in," she declared cheerfully, planting a kiss on Johnny's cheek before beginning to pull him through the milling people to the table Jon had managed to claim for the couple. "Looking dapper tonight, too. Very impressive." The redhead winked at him merrily, relentless in her determination to keep any and all moping at bay.

Too late; he was already doing a good job of moping and looking a lot like a fish out of water. There had been a time when he'd have eaten this sort of place up and would have been hitting on everything in a skirt, but that time had passed. He had certainly turned a few heads and not just because he'd been recognized by a few, but he'd hardly noticed. All he wanted was to ring in the New Year with his Livvie, and though he was fond enough of Vicki and Jon, it wasn't the same.

"How come everyone else gets to party, and Liv's still working?" he asked, assuming she was off running some errand for her boss while he got time off to relax. He allowed Vicki to pull him through the crowd, which opened up for the pregnant redhead. He was fond of Vicki, but he wasn't too sure about her husband yet.

Intelligently sharp blue eyes looked up at Johnny thoughtfully for a moment, and Vicki made a snap decision, ultimately going back on her promise to Liv in the process. But if keeping up the pretense was going to cause friction, it wasn't worth it, in Vicki's opinion. "She's not working tonight," she told Johnny with a smile. "She's been working on a surprise for you for over a month, and she didn't think you'd come out here by yourself if she just asked you to meet her, so we made up a party." She laughed. "I don't know anyone here but you, Jon, and Liv, and we won't be staying long. Don't want to cramp your style, you see." One finger bopped the Torch on the end of his nose. "No giving away that I told you the real reason, or I'll be sulked at."

"What?" he asked, the frown on his face dissolving, replaced by surprise and confusion. "A surprise?" He glanced around for Liv, searching the crowd, but not seeing her. "What surprise?" He turned back to Vicki to find her bopping his nose and he had to cross his eyes to follow the movement of her finger. "She's not working?" he asked, blinking to refocus his eyes. He looked over at the table where Vicki's husband and Liv's boss sat waiting. Jon waved and smiled good-naturedly. He had braved the crowd and gone along with the ruse, though all he really wanted to do was welcome in the New Year alone with Vicki in the privacy of their home. "She arranged all this to surprise me?" Johnny asked again, obviously not expecting that.

"Not all this," Vicki chuckled, catching Jon's eye and failing to hide her cheerful grin as she maneuvered Johnny around to sit down at the table, facing the stage. "The party was going to happen anyway. But she did arrange that." She pointed over his shoulder toward the stage, dropping herself down to sit beside Jon, incredibly excited about what was beginning to happen.

Up on the stage, clearly visible above the swaying couples, a slender, dark-haired figure stood behind the microphone. Encased in deep blue satin, her hair swept back from her face, Liv held to the microphone stand as behind her the band swelled into the right, full sound of a musical introduction. Blushingly nervous, she fixed her eyes on Johnny, and hoped like hell the mic was on as her voice rose with the musicians behind her, shy but clear. "Ring out the old, bring in the new, a midnight wish to share with you ..."

Jon reached for Vicki's hand, wrapping his fingers around hers and leaning close to brush a kiss against her cheek. He was happy finally and it showed. Even though he wanted to be alone with Vicki, this was a moment he wouldn't have missed, especially since he'd helped to arrange it, but hopefully that little detail would go unmentioned.
[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: Ring One Year In, Kiss One Goodbye
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2013, 03:28:02 AM »
As for Johnny, his confusion turned quickly to shock as he followed Vicki's finger to the stage. At first, he thought it was just some pretty singer who had stepped onto the stage ready to sing some cliched song or another, but that thought fled from his head as he realized the lovely brunette was none other than his Olivia. Johnny's jaw dropped open, his gaze moving over the hourglass shape of her figure clad in sapphire blue. She looked like a vision, and when her voice rang out, shy but clear, it was suddenly as if she was singing that song just for him.

Her voice trembled as she sang the refrain, her knuckles white where she gripped the microphone stand. But Liv kept singing, determined to prove to Johnny and to herself that she could step out of herself and make a grand gesture, just like him. " ... I don't need a crowded ballroom; everything I need is here ... if you're with me, next year will be the perfect year ..."

As the words moved on, swept along by the rise and fall of the music, confidence began to creep into the shy voice that sang, the scared look in the soft brown eyes that remained fixed upon Johnny fading as a tiny hint of her smile twitched at her lips. Yes, it was a cliche, and no, she didn't think she would ever repeat this, but in this moment, as the band played, drawing her from the repeated refrain once more and into the last verse, Liv felt herself relax into the music, loving adoration filling her gaze as she smiled through the lyrics to her fiance. "... Dance one year in, kiss one goodbye ..."

If he was in love with her before, he was falling ever deeper in love with her by the moment, as she sang each word seemingly meant for him. He got up from his chair, unable to sit there any longer, moving slowly through the crowd until he reached the stage. No one seemed to blink an eye or notice, the crowd too lost in their own dancing and their own partner. He alone moved forward, drawn to her like a magnet, realizing that all his worries were unfounded, that she really and truly loved him like no one else ever had. The loving adoration on his face matched hers, and he even felt his eyes growing misty with tears, his heart swelling with emotion. With Liv by his side, it was going to be an amazing year.

Behind him, Jon smiled warmly at the scene taking place before him, touched by the romance and the obvious love the other couple had for each other. They might seem a little lost, but he was confident they'd find their way.

Beside her husband, Vicki nestled in close, carefully putting the little camera she'd been discreetly wielding back in her bag before Liv or Johnny noticed that their romantic moment was being captured for all time on film. She touched a kiss to Jon's cheek, smiling with him. They wouldn't need to stay much longer. Mission New Year had turned out to be a complete success.

Despite the terror of singing in a public place, of being up on a stage where everyone could see her, of deliberately putting herself in the spotlight, Liv found she didn't even notice them as the song wound through to its inevitable end. She only had eyes for Johnny as he moved toward her, each word on her lips as heartfelt as they would have been had they been all her own. " ... we don't need a crowded ballroom; everything we need is here ... if you're with me, next year will be the perfect year ..."

As the music swelled to the final bar, she dropped her hands from the microphone, the familiar blush lighting up her cheeks as she laughed, exhilarated and faintly disbelieving that she had done what she'd set out to do. She just hoped he had liked it.

How could he not like it? It was the ultimate form of flattery to unabashedly show the world how you felt about someone. For Johnny, it was easy. He was used to the limelight and even revelled in it, but he knew it wasn't so easy for the quietly shy woman he'd fallen in love with, and that made it even all that much more special. It was hard to tell if there were tears in his eyes or if it was just the lights making his eyes shine the way they did. He didn't know the song, but he listened to the words as she sang them and took them to heart, touched by what it seemed she was trying to tell him. Whatever had happened in the past was over; the next year would be perfect because they'd be together. He beamed a smile up at her, banishing her doubts, even as her gesture, however corny and cliched other people might think it was, banished his. If he'd loved her before, he loved her now even more than ever.

And the LimeLight being what it was, there was applause for the performance, applause that Liv had to stand and take, though she would quite happily have run straight off the stage as soon as she finished singing. When the band raised their instruments again, she murmured a soft thank you to the conductor, and moved to step down off the stage finally, coming to a halt in front of Johnny. Her fingers flexed and relaxed at her sides as she looked up at him in silence. What on earth could she say now she'd made such a silly fool of herself for his benefit?

There was nothing she needed to say really. Her song had said it all, and once she got close, she'd be able to tell that it wasn't the lights that made his eyes shine the way they did - it was the sheen of happy tears shining brightly in his eyes of blue. "Liv," he whispered her name softly, his voice trembling with emotion. "I love you," he said, pulling her toward him and sealing that declaration of love with a kiss, uncaring who was watching. In that moment, it seemed as though they were the only ones there, the rest of the world forgotten. He kissed her with all the warmth and adoration he felt for her, setting his heart aflame with love.

She was still trembling with the shock of her carefully planned performance as he took her into his arms, easing her hands to his back as he kissed her tenderly, letting his wonderful heat and warmth and adoring affection wash through her and calm the lingering uncertainty of what she'd done as easily as though he had wiped it clean away. If Rhy'Din had missed his proposal to her at the skating party, once this story began to circulate, no one would have any excuse not to know that Johnny Storm was well and truly taken.

Taken was an understatement. She had stolen his heart nearly from the very first day that he'd met her, and every day since had only made him love her more until he was well and truly head over heels and lost in love. It was a heady feeling, almost like feeling drunk, drunk on love, but he didn't care. He couldn't stay serious for too long, however, and as that kiss neared its end and he broke from her lips, he broke into a grin, giddy with happiness. "You're amazing, you know that?"
[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: Ring One Year In, Kiss One Goodbye
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2013, 03:30:07 AM »
His enthusiasm was infectious, drawing an embarrassed smile from his ordinarily shy fiancee as she slid her hands from his back, shaking her head with a quiet laugh of her own. "I'm really not," she argued predictably, but managed to turn the habit of putting herself down into something else before he could become annoyed with her for it. "But if you think so, then that's all that really matters."

"You are amazing," he reiterated. "And I love you and I don't care who knows it." He drew his arms around her waist and picked her up to swing her around in a circle, carefully so that she didn't have a wardrobe malfunction, laughing as he did, feeling that predictable rush of adrenalin he always felt when he was happy. "I love you, Olivia Broderick!"

For once, Liv didn't protest at the way his exuberance had enveloped her this time, looping her arms around his neck as he lifted her off her feet, laughing again as she felt herself swung about. "I love you, too, silly man," was her indescribably fond answer to his happy declaration, the tip of her nose bumping to his as she smiled at him. "I can't believe I just got up on a stage and sang!"

"I can't believe you did either!" he laughed, not laughing at her but with her, settling her on her feet, his arms around her waist. "I didn't recognize you at first! How'd you manage it? I had no idea!" He mirrored her smile as she bumped her nose against his, feeling suddenly as light as a feather, all his worries and doubts disappearing as if in thin air.

"Oh, I didn't really do anything," Liv insisted with a faint shrug, still looking vaguely embarrassed by her foray into extroverted display. "I just asked ... well, I asked Vicki to ask Jon if he could pull a few strings for me, and, well, he did." She nodded, giggling a little. "They didn't even ask me to audition, like I thought they would. They just gave me a slot."

Johnny arched a brow, clearly surprised by this bit of information. He glanced toward the table where the other couple had been sitting, forgotten by Johnny and Liv, but the table was now empty, as if they'd never been there at all, and Johnny realized he'd been set up and completely and utterly hoodwinked. Maybe her boss wasn't such a bad guy after all. He laughed at his own foolishness, at his unfounded worries that she was going to break up with him or something equally stupid. "I'm such an *ss," he said, brushing his fingers against her cheek, looking apologetic. "Can you ever forgive me?"

"Of course I can," his sweet-natured fiancee assured him, catching his hand in hers to touch a soft kiss to the palm of his hand. "What am I forgiving you for?" Finally, her smile had relaxed, showing off the sweetness that was entirely his to play with beneath the soft sparkle of nut-brown eyes.

"I thought you were gonna stand me up or something," he admitted with a chagrined frown. "I don't know why," he continued. "I'm an idiot. I'm sorry." He pouted remorsefully, his blue eyes apologetic, looking a little like a puppy who'd just been caught peeing on the carpet.

"Oh, Johnny ..." As much as Liv tried to be sympathetic, the thought of her standing him up just proved too funny to be ignored, producing a bubble of laughter from her lips as she leaned into him, one palm curling to his jaw as she looked into his eyes. "I promise, if I ever do stand you up, you have my permission to embarrass me hugely in some very public place in retaliation."

"It's stupid, I know! I don't know why I was worried about it," he admitted, chastising himself further. Another slow song started, and he smiled, taking hold of her hands and tugging her out onto the dance floor. He wasn't a very good dancer, but unlike Steve, he wasn't afraid of making an idiot of himself in public. "Dance with me," he urged, as the crowd made room for them.

She smiled tenderly as he did, unsurprised when he drew her onto the dance floor, into the gently swaying crush of couples just enjoying one another in the slow approach to 2013. "I do love you, you know," she reminded him softly, smoothing her hands up over his arms, lightly hooking her fingers together behind his neck as she stepped close in the mingle of people. "It's not going to change."

"I know," he replied, his smile softening. "I'm an idiot. I promise I will never doubt you again. Cross my heart," he added, drawing a cross over his heart before sliding his arms around her waist again to draw her close. He didn't really know how to dance, but he knew how to hold her close and sway to the music, and that was all he really needed to know.

Giggling quietly, Liv stepped as close as she could into the circle of Johnny's arms, content to sway to the music and the beat of his heart as she felt it through his chest, gently teasing the very tips of her fingers through his hair as they moved together. "Yes, you will," she teased him lovingly. "But I'll forgive you every time. Promise."

"It's not fair to you though, Livvie," he said frowning. "It's just... Every girl I've ever been with..." He broke off, as he tried to find the words to explain. "I know I'm not easy to put up with. I know I'm irresponsible and I've got a big mouth, but I've changed. I'm changing.  I've grown up a lot this past year, and it's mostly because of you. I just want to make you proud of me, Liv. I love you more than I've ever loved anyone."

"I am proud of you," Liv insisted, gently unwinding one arm from his shoulders to lay a single finger against his lips, stilling his litany of his perceived faults. "You're the kindest, warmest, best man I have ever known, and I'm not just saying that because I love you. You make me a better person, Johnny, and you touch so many lives in the best possible way. Don't change because you think you should, or because you think I want you to. I love you."
[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: Ring One Year In, Kiss One Goodbye
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2013, 03:32:16 AM »
He shrugged a little, as touched as he was by her praise. She saw him through loving eyes, but maybe the way she saw him was a truer picture than how he viewed himself. "Warm kind of goes without saying," he said with an ironic smirk.

"I don't notice that warm, not any more," she pointed out, determined to make it clear once more that it wasn't the Human Torch she loved but Johnny Storm. She enjoyed the heat of him, yes, but she would have loved him just the same had he been as ordinary as she was. "You're a very special man, Johnny. And don't argue with me, you'll lose." Her eyes twinkled teasingly as she added this addendum, blowing him a cheeky kiss from mere inches away.

Johnny wasn't much of a blusher or he would have blushed at her praise, unaccustomed to being on the receiving end of it. "What happens if I argue?" he asked curiously. "Are you gonna punish me?" He smirked down at her, even as he swayed with her slowly on the dance floor.

Liv was a blusher, and a fairly predictable one at that. One cue, her cheeks lit up rosy pink as he smirked at her. "Not in the middle of a nightclub, sweetheart," she managed to counter, patting his cheek fondly. "Maybe when we get home, if you really think you deserve it." And this being Liv, she could have been talking about writing lines or the something else that had obviously occurred to Johnny. He wouldn't know until he got her home and found out for certain.

"That doesn't give me much incentive not to argue, Liv," he pointed out with a smirk, realizing after a moment that the slow song had ended and the band was gearing up for the party, rocking a song that got the crowd worked up into a frenzy of excitement. There had been a time when he'd have eaten it up and been rocking out with the best of them, but now was not the time. Jon and Vicki had left them on their own, and though they hadn't even had one glass of champagne, Johnny was ready to leave, ready to take Liv somewhere a little more private. "What do you say we blow this pop stand?" he asked, leaning in and having to shout over the music.

He'd surprised her again. Liv had deliberately chosen to make her gesture at a party, because she knew he enjoyed being out and socialising, and that he missed the regular evenings out and about that he had used to enjoy before he moved her into his apartment and his life. Hearing Johnny suggest that they leave a party before he'd even had a drink was astonishing, and left her wondering just how much more there was to her increasingly complex lover. "Are you sure?" she called back, leaning in close to speak into his ear.

"Uh-huh," he replied, nodding his head, a mischievous smile on his face, which usually meant he had something up his sleeve. She had surprised him, and now it was his turn to surprise her. Tit for tat. If they kept at it like this, they'd be trying to outdo each other clear into summer. "Do you trust me?" he asked, leaning close to her ear.

"Is that a trick question?" Her arm had looped itself around his back as he leaned close, and her head tipped back to show him a decidedly mischievous smile of her own. She loved to see that look on Johnny's face; it usually meant he was going to do something rather wacky and get her involved somehow, but whatever it foreboded, it was always fun. Her breath teased his ear as she went on. "Of course I trust you."

Satisfied with her answer, his grabbed hold of her hand, suddenly in a hurry to be away from the club and the crowd. "Did you bring a coat?" Not that it mattered really. She was welcome to his, as he didn't really need it.

"Um ... no." She had the decency to look a little shame-faced about that. Olivia Broderick, who made a living out of organising someone else, had been so nervous for most of the day that she had forgotten to bring with her a coat. On a snowy day. When she knew she'd be wandering through the city after dark. As wonderful as Johnny's innate heat was, not even he would be able to keep her completely warm unless they found a substitute for her.

He wasn't too worried about it. He was a veritable furnace of heat. All he had to do was turn up the temperature and she'd be toasty warm. And if worse came to worst, well, he could always go to flame. Filled with excitement now that he had a plan in his head, he tugged her by the hand through the crowd of people, calling to people to move out of his way. "Excuse me! Make way! Coming through!" They got bumped a few times by overzealous and tipsy revellers, but finally reached the hall that led to the exit. Johnny didn't head that way though. Instead, he took a door that led to a stairway up to the roof.

As Johnny elbowed and bumped his way past couples and singles and hopefuls, there was a quieter stream of apologies following after him, tugged along by one hand and moving easily through the gap created by his passage through the crowd. When, at the exit hall, he turned abruptly to one side and led her up into the stairwell, Liv frowned, hiking her skirt up in one hand as she followed him obediently. "Where are we going?"

"You'll see," Johnny replied, as he led her by the hand through the crowd, past the door, and up the two flights of stairs to another door conveniently marked "EXIT", which led onto the roof and a fire escape down to the street for emergencies. He pushed his way through the door to stand on the roof, which wasn't very exciting in itself, but the roof wasn't his goal or his final destination. Not this roof anyway. Johnny waited for Liv to follow him outside, the cold breeze whipping at his hair, though he hardly noticed.

Why was it, Liv wondered briefly as she followed Johnny up into the chill of the whipping air on the roof, that she always seemed to find herself outside without a coat when she was wearing satin? It didn't offer much in the way of protection against anything, after all. She shivered, shaking her head to flip her hair out of her eyes, and turned her gaze over to her lover. "I'm seeing," she told him with smiling mischief, far calmer now there was no one to see her.

A mischievous smirk played across his face as he turned to face her. "No, you're not. Not yet," he said as he peeled his jacket off and laid it across her shoulders. "Put this on," he instructed as he continued to peel the rest of his clothing off, folding it all into a neat little pile where he could come and collect it later. All but the blue fitted suit beneath it all that was like worn like a second skin.
[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: Ring One Year In, Kiss One Goodbye
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2013, 03:35:33 AM »
"Oh, I'm not?" Her curious gaze turned knowing fairly quickly as she slid her arms into his jacket, watching him remove the rest of his clothing with a slow smile. Well, she had asked, hadn't she? Admittedly, she hadn't been expecting to be taken up on that query like this, but that was what made Johnny wonderful. He just wasn't predictable. "Do I need to start sewing your name into all your clothes, sweetheart?"

He shrugged, that smirk still on his face. At least he'd had the foresight to not let his best suit go up in flames this time. "Maybe I should be like Superman and use a telephone booth to change into. Ever wonder what happens to his clothes when he does that? Think Clark Kent comes back for them later?" He extended a hand to draw her toward him, repeating the question he'd asked her only a short time before. "Trust me, Liv?"

"Maybe he has some kind of anonymous courier service who check phonebooths on a daily basis for his clothes?" she suggested, easily distracted if only for a moment or two. As he reached for her, she stepped close, soft brown eyes shining with muted excitement in the darkness. Trust me, he said. She could no more not trust him than stop her own heart. "Always," she promised him with a loving smile.

He had only taken her flying once, purely out of necessity. She'd asked recently for him to repeat that feat, and he'd thought what better time than New Year's Eve. He slid an arm around her waist to draw her close. Flying with a passenger was a little trickier for him than for Superman, and if it rained, they'd both be screwed, but he wasn't planning on going so far away that there wouldn't be shelter if they really needed it. "Hang on tight," he instructed, knowing it was more up to him to hang on than her. He had to be careful the flames didn't get out of hand. That was the tricky part. Flying was easy.

Perhaps an ordinary person would have been wary of repeating an experience that had only been had once, on a night when they had almost lost their life. But then, Liv wasn't really as ordinary as she thought she was. She didn't think twice about wrapping her arms around Johnny's neck, about knowing that she was going to be flying, because it was with him. The last time he'd carried her away, he'd come back into her life and woken her heart up. What could possibly happen now that could reverse that? "I love you," she repeated once more, touching a kiss to the corner of his mouth with smiling lips.

Johnny smiled, her answer warming his heart, her trust in him bolstering his confidence and his conviction. It seemed that every day he spent with Olivia only made him love her more, not less. He couldn't understand how people fell out of love over time, when he only seemed to fall deeper. "I love you more," he replied, returning her kiss. So long as she stayed close, she wouldn't have to fear the cold. "Ready?" he asked, needing to make sure she was holding on tight and ready for the feeling of weightlessness that she was about to experience.

She laughed softly. "Prove it," was the soft challenge she offered him as they settled close to one another, locking her hands together behind his neck as his arm wrapped about her waist. "I'm ready."

He chuckled at the challenge, which only proved how much she trusted him, and he drew her toward the edge of the building where very little stood between them and the street below. It wasn't very high off the ground, but high enough that a fall could prove fatal. "All right. Here we go!" He tugged her tighter against him and then he was leaping with her off the roof, with a shout of "Flame on!" and bursting spontaneously into flames, but only partially, just enough to carry them over the rooftops of Rhy'Din in the direction of the WestEnd.

To he credit, Liv didn't scream, though it was a near thing. She made a sound almost like "unk!" as Johnny jumped them both off the roof, her grip tightening further automatically, proving that though she trusted him implicitly, she wasn't completely unfeeling. The blast of heat from below calmed her, though, bringing with it the memory of a fiery rescue, and the long night that had followed it. A night when he'd refused to leave her side. Her death grip loosened to something a little less life-threatening for him, and she seemed to relax, turning an exhilarated smile onto Johnny as he swept over the city.

His face thankfully remained flameless, not wanting to alarm her by seeing him engulfed so completely, up close and personal. Most of the flames were at his back, enough to make them buoyant, his arm warmer than usual, even for him, but lacking the heat of fire. He didn't want to frighten her, knowing she'd nearly perished in a fire, only to give her a glimpse of the city from above that very few who lacked wings were ever able to see. "Beautiful, isn't it?" he asked as they soared over the rooftops, the lights of the city glimmering below them. The mountains were far off in the distance, shadowy against the night sky, Rhy'Din's twin moons casting a silvery glow to light their way.

The last time she had been so high, Liv had not even opened her eyes. This time, she couldn't have closed them even if her life had depended upon it. Her enthralled gaze flicked from one horizon to the other, sweeping over the sparkle of the city, the discernible groups of people in the streets below gathering to welcome in the new year together, the gentle sheen of the moons' glow over the mountains. "It's wonderful!" she heard herself enthuse. "I never dreamed it could look so beautiful up here ... No wonder you fly whenever you can!"

"Flying is the best part," he agreed, without argument. As soon as he'd learned he could do it, all those years ago, he'd gone out and practiced the art of flying until he could do it in his sleep. It was by far the best part of being the Human Torch, at least, in his opinion. There really wasn't much of a downside to his powers that he could think of, other than for being a bit of a freak and the difficulty of maintaining a decent wardrobe. He was careful to fly evenly and smoothly, no dips or turns or twists, the flight smoother than even the most sophisticated aircraft. He steered them gently toward the WestEnd and before long they had reached their destination, far faster than any other form of transportation. He touched them down atop the roof of the Shanachie Theater, extinguishing the flames so as not to set the building on fire, his arm still wrapped around Liv, a perfect landing.
[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: Ring One Year In, Kiss One Goodbye
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2013, 03:38:03 AM »
Liv was giggling by the time he set them down, her laughter expressive of nothing more than the sheer joy of having flown with him, of having seen the city from above as he did every day and knowing beyond any shadow of a doubt that no matter how ugly it seemed at street level, Rhy'Din was a beautiful place to live. She loosed her arms from around his neck only to squeeze him tight about the waist, ignoring the rush of cold wind that wrapped around them up here at one of the highest points in the old part of the city. "That was incredible! Thank you!" And he'd thought she would be frightened if he ever took her off the ground again. This little flight had definitely put paid to that idea.

He beamed back at her, happy she had enjoyed the flight, as brief as it was. If she could tolerate flying, there was no end to the places they could go together, at least, so long as the weather was good for flying. It was nearing midnight, and in the streets below them, people were excitedly awaiting bidding the old year goodbye and welcoming in the new. Johnny found his way behind her, winding his arms around her waist, lending her his heat so she wouldn't get cold, his voice soft in her right ear. "Close your eyes, Liv," he instructed, before the countdown to midnight started in the streets below.

She leaned back into him, warmed through as much by the excitement of her first real foray into flight as by the heat that seeped from him to her as his arms wound about her in the chilly breeze. Despite her cheerful excitement, her wish to see everything and remember it forever, she forced herself to close her eyes as he told her to, unable to quench her delighted smile in the gentle glow from the lights below them. She could hear the countdown beginning in the crowded streets, many voices raised to welcome in the New Year even before it had officially happened, thrilling to the knowledge that only a very few would be privileged to have the view she had tonight.

The voices could be clearly heard in the streets below, counting down the remaining seconds that remained in the old year before welcoming in the new, but high above the crowd, Johnny and Liv had a bird's eye view of the festivities, away from the hustle and bustle of the crowd, all alone to celebrate in their own. The countdown began, from ten down to one, the air bursting with shouts of "Happy New Year", just as Johnny said, "Open your eyes."

The sky came alive with the pop and flare of fireworks bursting across the sky in an array of sparkling colors. From where they stood atop the roof, it seemed like you could almost reach out and touch them. Johnny could have added to that flaming show in the sky, if he so chose, but tonight, all he wanted to do was watch with childlike wonder and share it with the one person he loved most.

As her eyes opened, Liv was dazzled with the first spray of colorful pyrotechnics as they exploded in front of her, capturing her attention easily. Fireworks, while loud, were always beautiful from below ... but up here, where they were closer, almost close enough to reach out and touch, they held a visceral, wild edge she had never experienced before. The louder bangs made her jump, jerking back further into Johnny's embrace even as she laughed at her own reaction, turning her delighted eyes onto the man who stood so close at her back. Her hand rose to curl to his cheek, caressing the line of his jaw as her eyes travelled over his face, painted in the glow of the fireworks so close by. "Happy New Year, Johnny."

He smiled warmly, both of their faces bathed in the light of Rhy'Din moons, the reflection of fireworks sparkling in their eyes, along with something a little deeper - a sparkle of life that less than a year ago had been sorely lacking. His smile softened, his eyes shining with happiness as he mirrored her gaze. "Happy New Year, Olivia," he echoed, leaning closer to capture her lips and welcome in the new year properly with the year's first kiss.

Just like that, the exuberant celebrations were forgotten. The fireworks made no impression, the cheering, drunken singing didn't reach her ears. She turned into him, her entire being focused upon the one and only man she had ever loved, ever been so close to, ever even wanted as much as she wanted him now. And it never occurred to her that in that moment, as he kissed her and she kissed him, that the words she had sung to him barely an hour before rang out with the kind of truth that only happens once in a lifetime. She didn't need a crowded ballroom; everything she needed was right here. So long as Johnny was with her, Liv was absolutely certain that 2013 would be the perfect year.

[size=9]((Aww, ain't they cute? As always, many. many thanks to Johnny's player for this lovely little scene, and here's hoping they get their perfect year!))[/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]