A Slice Of Pie

November 30, 2014: America and Johnny have a calm moment at the Baxter Building

The Baxter Building

Where Mad Science Happens




Mood Music:
American Pie

The end of the month comes on a freaking SUNDAY. Johnny Storm didn't notice, because Sue had been doing part of the work, but the Finance Guy called him Friday morning and pointed out that there was a Big Fat Deadline on filing some tax stuff for the Four Freedoms Foundation. So he's worked pretty much nonstop (except for an interruption by a stray Doombot, which explains the hole in the wall that HERBIE is fixing) and he's got it done with hours to spare! Yay! As long as nothing interrupts the power. And the battery backup. And the emergency backup system.

Johnny yawns and stretches and stands up, as the system starts its final update before mailing the info to Uncle Sugar. He kicks his shirt up off the floor, where he tossed it earlier in the night when the work got sweaty. He's now barefoot, wearing just a teeshirt and his business chinos, because he has to wear something businesslike to think like business dudes think.

"Hey HERBIE, is there any of that chocolate cream pie left?" he asks the floating robot as it directs the building's repair system.

There was, indeed, some of that chocolate cream pie left. HERBIE might inform Johnny of that at this moment. Although whether or not he will inform him that America is currently helping herself to the very last of it… who knows?

Her 'talk' at Themyscyra House had left her in a sore mode. Sorer than usual. Sore enough that she had punched a hole into reality to get away from the whole mess and go for Dim Sum in an alternate earth.

She's back, a few days later, but the bubbling anger underneath still simmering. Chocolate cream pie was just the thing…

HERBIE notes the presence of "Blue Team" member Miss America Chavez, and informs Johnny about her presence. He yawns, thinking about whether or not to put the shirt on, because chocolate is hard to get out of the white-collar blandness of the generic business shirt. Pragmatism wins; it ends up in the laundry hamper as he continues to the Foodatoriam.

"Oh, hi America," he says as he wanders past the table into the prep area. The fridge shows a distinct lack of chocolate cream pie.

"Aww," the Torch half-whines. "I wanted to eat that before Ben got it."

He digs into the freezer instead, finding a box of neapolitan ice cream, and cuts a slice off, placing it on a plate, and eventually wanders out to the dining table with a fork and his pink, cream, and brown reward for financial responsibility.

"Sorry, Storm, it's either this or I beat someone up," she says, slicing a portion of it with her fork and eating it. Greedily. "Did anything exciting happen while I was gone?" She glances up. "Outside of the fact that you seem to have forgotten what shirts are."

"Teeshirt," Johnny says around a mouthful of ice cream, indicating the athletic-style ribbed undergarment he's wearing, "perfectly appropriate for 2 in the morning snack," another bite, "after a twelve hour thrill ride through the tax laws. Also a doombot, but it was stupid and I killed it the end."

He looks at the pie.

"You are forgiven for eating the pie I was going to eat before Ben could have it. He's supposed to avoid chocolate this week."

No particular reason for that, of course. Johnny's just doing another 'annoy Ben out of his funk' trick.

She looks up at him, and then looks at the pie. There are only a few bites taken out of it. On the other hand, she is annoyed. On the other, other hand… the Fantastic Four did help her underwater. Being nice is something she sometimes does for a change.

She slides the plate over towards Johnny. It doesn't fly off the table because she does know how to manage her strength. Even though she was tempted to give it a little bit more of a push to see if he would catch it in time.

"Is Richards back yet? There's something I need to ask him."

Johnny considers, and using the still-clean knife, slices an edge of untouched ice-cream off, and exchanges it for a thin slice of the chocolate cream pie.

"Thanks. No, Reed's still off chasing whatever that boojum was … I think they're trying to find out if James Cameron can really find giant cat people on the moons of gas giants."

He slides the plate back, then makes his 'food O' face as he takes a bite of the chocolate cream pie. Yes. It did in fact make the entire day worth the hassle. It's the nature of chocolate.

"Anything I can help with? I'm not a sooper genius, but I can work the machines a little."

America watches Johnny make his 'O face', and privately decides that she never wants to see that again. "That depends. Does the name 'Thanagarians' ring any bells for you?" She accepts the exchange with a nod and begins to dig into it.

While she doesn't wear it often, inside America is wearing the blue shirt with the 4 logo that Richards gave her. It's a show of solidarity, but it feels strange not to have a shirt with a star on it.

Johnny sets fire to his left hand and puts it on his forehead. This is a cure for ice-cream headache, apparently. For him anyway.

"Yeah, Reed and Sue went by there and a couple dozen other worlds back when they were mapping out what the whatchamacallit Drive can reach in a day."

He doesn't let the ice cream headache stop him from eating more ice cream. Not one bit.

"What can you tell me about their culture? See, I was just in a very tense negotiation the other day. Apparently some alien is convinced the Thanagarians are going to invade Earth. In about a decade or so." America looks at Johnny's pyro antics and hms.

It dawns on her that she has not heard of the Young Avengers in this world. The thought makes her strangely nostalgic, which is unusual for her. This world deviated a lot from the norm, for a world that also did not deviate much. There were universes where Noh-Varr had taken over the earth, there were also universes where humans never evolved and the earth was colonized by the Skifflefuffles. This world with the Fantastic Four but no Avengers in it seemed strangely dissonant because of how familiar it could feel at times, before going in strange directions.

"Oh yeah. That bird thing," Johnny says. "He's weird. Picked the worst possible host and then didn't even patch him up the way they usually do."

He shrugs, eating more ice cream, more slowly.

"The only thing I know about 'em for sure is that they have a sort of bird thing going. Reed and Sue talked to one of their police vessels, but they weren't any worse than the TSA here, apparently."

That's mostly because Reed didn't let them on board the Fantastic Voyager.

"I see." America mulls this over and eats her food, not really tasting it while deep in thought.

She finally speaks up again, "You take a lot of things very lightly, don't you?" it's something she has been wanting to mention since she met the man, over in the other earth. He reminds her of Tommy at times, although Tommy never made a pass at her.

So far this Johnny hadn't, either. She hoped it stayed that way.

"I keep hearing that from a lot of people," Johnny grins. "'Oh, Johnny, are you EVER going to grow up?' from my sister and my aunt… yeah, because I had a successful racing business at 20 years of age, and I've been essentially running the thing Sue set up, while she and Reed go exploring. If I worried about things, I'd choke up, I'd screw up. I almost did that once or twice before."

He looks carefully at America, considering her reactions and so on… "You're not really into guys that much, huh? Or at least guys who aren't from your original home?"

"Is it because I'm not drooling over you, Storm?" America says with an actual half-smile this time around, finishing the last of her ice cream trade.

"Only partly," Johnny grins. "I know I'm considered good looking. People Magazine said so. But honest, there's a whole body language thing, and yours says 'nah' when you look at me. Which is fine, I mean, I might regret having no chance to be with someone as fine as you, but if it ain't there, then it ain't there. Besides, you're a teammate, and it would be weird."

This Johnny Storm doesn't hit on teammates. It might be unique to the multiverse. He finishes his own plate, and wipes his face on his hand … then burns away whatever he wiped off … a handy trick.

"Man. I keep expecting you to have a star on your outfit somewhere. Feels wrong."

America raises an eyebrow. Well, there were only so many things you could expect from the multiverse. Namor was an idiot in all realities, but Johnny Storm not being a horndog in all realities might be the violation of a constant that might actually break the celestial machinery.

"There'll be stars as soon as I change and go out for patrol. I can't fly for a while, so you can come and keep me company." She stands up and takes the dish over to the kitchen to put it in the 'washer.

She passes by Johnny and says, "Be ready in fifteen to go out. And don't feel too bad. Guys just aren't my speed." She smirks and nods at him, heading for her room to change into her regular clothes.

"S'ok, they're not mine either," Johnny says. He takes his own plate over, and sets things in the to-wash part of Reed's specially designed Kitchen Helper. The thing is too complicated to take to market, so far, but it does dishes really well.

"Where we going? Wait, why can't you fly?"

He goes to change into his normal uniform. Apparently they're going on patrol. Oh well. Sleep is for wimps.

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