ever_lovin: (human: lock-n-load)

"Behind me, children." the Dragonman calls out around the gout of fire he's breathing at the alien invaders swarming the Negative Zone Portal room. It had been a nice quiet day. The kids were in the lab working and Ben and Johnny were looking over paperwork. Then ninjas attacked. They had made their way to the N-zone Portal and locked it open before Alex Power pinned them to the ground using his powers over gravity. But then the real trouble began.

The ninjas collapsed in on themselves, revealing them to be insectoids. Worse yet they were carrying eggs. Eggs which hatched and grew instantly to human size. It was an ambush but fortunately Ben and Johnny were able to get everyone together so no one had to face this onslaught alone.

"NO!" Val calls out in answer to Dragonman's order. "We can't leave the gate open. Uncle Johnny! You have to reach the other side of the room, there's a fail-safe"

"They're focusing on me and Ben. We're being overrun, Val," Johnny calls out as he flies over Ben who busy blasting away with the big gun Val had given him earlier. "Can't get to it. Alex?!!"

Lousy time for me to be powerless, Ben thinks but keeps firing. Really could'a timed this better.

"Trying, there's too many of them," Alex calls out as two of the Moloid children use the karate moves they'd been studying on one of the larger insectoids. "I...think we have to run for it."

Leech, the mutant kid who's a living power dampener, yells out, "Punch! Punch! PUNCH!"

"Oh," Val says reaching for a spanner.

Damnit. Ben thinks but calls out, "Somebody wanna shut that kid up? I'm tryin' real hard not ta get killed over here."

"Why is he...?" Johnny asks turning to look at Leech just as Val hits the kid over the head with the spanner.

"Leech wanted someone to knock him out." Val says to Johnny's horrified look.

"Why would...?" Johnny begins to ask and Val hooks her thumb at Franklin.

"Whoa," Franklin says as all the reality warping powers at his command come flooding back. "BUG SPRAY!" he calls out and blasts every insectoid in the room before running and hitting the fail-safe for the N-zone portal. "Got it. Shield's up."

"Okay. So someone want to tell me when Franklin got his powers back?" Johnny says a little mystified.

"You should pay closer attention Uncle Johnny. It's been pretty obvious if you knew what you were looking for. Why do you think Dad has Leech rooming with him?"

Ben has to agree with Val as he'd figured it out a few days ago. Still wouldn't do to make Johnny look bad. Well not in front of the kids. Okay, not in this situation. "Backup's on the way," he says instead. "Called the Avengers, time to clear out of here and wait for the cavalry."

Val looks to Ben with a mix of fear and sorrow on her face. "I don't think we can do that, Uncle Ben. The shield isn't going to hold. It wasn't made for this. If the main controls hadn't gotten destroyed by the bugs, I could activate the vibranium shielding on the other side from here..."

"So what are..." Johnny starts to ask.

"We have to go through and turn it on manually and we have to do it right now. Before everyone over there knows the doorway is open."

"No way." Johnny says.

"Not happenin'." Ben echos though he trusts Val's judgement and sees she's right.

"Listen, we just need a couple of minutes. Franklin could probably buy us that by himself. I only need some of the Future Foundation," Val argues.

"I could totally squash them," Franklin says as an arm pushes through the shielding of the portal. "See?" he says blasting the insectoid.

Val pushes a strand of hair out of her face and meets both her uncle's eyes. "There's a second Annihilation Wave waiting to invade Earth and we're all that stands in it's way. Tick-tock, super heroes."

Ben and Johnny look at each other but they know there's really no choice. "Reed's gonna kill us," Johnny says.

"Reed? Na, it's Sue who's gonna kill us." Ben replies.

"Okay, everyone," Johnny says turning to the assembled kids and the Dragonman robot. "Ben's already called for the Avengers, so backup'll be here as soon as they can. But right now, we have to go through there and fix this thing. While we're gone, the Dragon is in charge. Anything that comes through that portal that isn't us, you burn to a crisp, understand?"

"Yes sir," the Dragonman replies as all the kids nod their heads.

"All right then," Ben says arming his big gun and turning to the portal, "here we go."

ever_lovin: (Default)
And so one of the four has fallen and Ben could only watch.

The last time a member of the F4 died (funny enough it was Ben) Reed invented a device, based on Dr. Doom's tech, which allowed the remaining members to go to the gates of Heaven and get Ben back. Fortunately the Creator agreed to this but did magic Creator things to make the device never work again. And thus Ben was brought back to life. He is in fact the only Marvel character ever to be brought back to life with the Big C's approval, that is just how awesome Ben is.

Anyway, plot ideas have been stewing for sometime in my head and so I present the basics of Knocking on Heaven's Door:
1) Ben takes the plans for the device Reed created and brings them to Miliways to find someone to rebuild and modify the device so he can go and get Johnny back.

2) Ben assembles a team of willing individuals, arms them with Reed tech and goes to Heaven. He isn't going to risk anymore members of the Fantastic Four (especially since the only other members are parents) in this venture as angels are likely to try and stop the group. Exactly how much fighting there is or how deadly the fighting is can be decided before hand.

3) Ben faces Johnny who convinces him to give up this whole thing and let go. Can't interfere with canon too much right? Plus Ben just doesn't have Reed's ego in deciding what's right.

So what would I need? At the minimum, one genius (Jordon Kennedy? Ray Stantz?) and a couple of gunmen (Gene Hunt? Fi? Tanya?). What I would love would be an angel (Earl or Castiel?) or Deity (Demeter?) to try and dissuade Ben from this plan. Ben will of course ignore their advice but it would add drama to the whole thing.

This is month's away from happening as I want to make sure Marvel isn't already planning on something like this. Since this is months away it is likely to change as well but I wanted to get the basic idea out there.
ever_lovin: (Default)
"Oh no..." Franklin says from his seat in the east family library of the Baxter Building.

"Oh, yes Franklin...And then...," Ben replies pausing for dramatic effect. "...and then he punched me in the kisser! Wham!"

Tong shudders from his seat with his brothers on Dragonman's lap and says, "Oh...he hit the Ben."

"This is wrong. The Ben should not be hit," Korr adds.

"Ben hitting is very, very bad." Mik agrees.

"So what happened after the robot..." Franklin asks, hungry for more of the story.

"Android," Val says interrupting him though she is just as curious about the story.

"Whatever," Franklin replies. "What happened after it beat you and uncle Ben?"

"Well," Johnny replies, "You mom and dad were able to figure out a way to switch it off, and then--because Reed had all his equipment set to shut down at exactly 4 o'clock--the Mad Thinker was defeated and we destroyed all the anti-matter weapons..."

"Yeah," Ben says picking up the thread of the story again. "So the moral of the story is what?"

"I dunno...If you're going to construct a killer android, use something more adaptive and complex than ape DNA?" Alex Power guesses.

"Oh, I'm not sure that matters as much as the unreliable nature of photovoltaics powering a mobile combat unit," the upgraded Dragonman postulates. "Thermelectric would have been a better choice."

"The Thinker using unstable molecules as a starting point is interesting..." adds one of the undersea kids.

"Surprising actually. I've met the Thinker before...limited faculties...horrible breath..." the young clone of the Wizard says.

Listening to the dialog, Ben nearly face palms. Talk about not getting the point. "Ahem!," he says to interrupt. "You're all a buncha weirdos. The lesson was--just 'cause you're smart, it don't mean you've thought of everythin'."

"So, what does that have to do with us uncle Ben?" she asks as she's not quite sure where he's going with this. She likes her uncle Ben because the way he thinks is so alien to her.

"Nothing obviously...," Johnny says which earns a little frown from both Ben and Val. "Okay. You've stayed up way later than we should have let you. 'Night!"

"Good night!" all the kids chorus as Ben waves his goodnight and ushers them out.

Once the kids have gone Jonnhy heads to the kitchenette and pulls open the fridge. "Hungry?" he asks Ben. Ben just gives him a look. "Yeah stupid question."

"..." Ben replies as he takes a seat. "Do you want kids, Johnny?"

"More than anything," Johnny replies immediately as he lays out bread for sandwiches. "Hey, you take yours with mayonnaise, right?"


"How about you? Kids?"

"I tried not to think about it..." Ben replies. And he has managed to in the past. How did he know his kids wouldn't be affected by those cosmic rays? What right did he have to curse some kid with rocky skin? But now, with his cure? It's getting harder not to.

"Well, nothing like a nice couple of days alone with a house full of kids to help you figure that out."

[All dialog from Fantastic Four #585]
ever_lovin: (Default)
It takes him until early evening to finally work up the courage to call her.

"Hey doll," he says when she picks up.

"Hey Ben. How are you doing?"

"Okay I guess," he replies with his guts churning. "Well better than okay really. You know Reed's Future Foundation?"

"Those kids he's gathered?"

"Yeah. Well they figured out a way for me to be human for one week a year."

"Oh Ben that's wonderful!" she replies but she can tell something's wrong, the news just wasn't delivered with the enthusiasm she'd expect. "What is it Ben?"

"Something happened and I'm sorry it's probably gonna hurt. I took the cure and it worked. Johnny and I spent the day on the town and..."

"Ben," she interrupts sure she knows where this is going, "we aren't together. We agreed to wait a year and see where we were then."

"Yeah, but..."

"No buts Ben. I don't want to know."

"You sure? I swear I don't wanna hurt ya."

"I know Ben and yes I'm sure."
ever_lovin: (FighterPilot)
Ben rose early to a phone call. He's normally one to sleep in but when Captain America calls, you answer. And so he finds himself on the deck of a helicarrier in some undisclosed airspace trying not to yawn as the sun begins to tint the clouds. He's fairly certain he's still in US airspace but given how the windows in the quinjet he was flying in were blacked out he can't say for sure. The flight time adds up though and it didn't feel like they went super sonic. All in all though, he's still not sure why he's here; he should be calling Debz.

"Thank you for agreeing to come Ben," Rogers says.

"Anytime Captain," Ben replies before correcting himself, "Commander." Gotta remember that, he's Commander Rogers now not Captain America. "I gotta say though, I ain't sure what I can do fer ya. As ya can see I ain't my usual self."

"Ben let me introduce you to the Q-1 or as the developers have been calling her, Mjolnir," Rogers replies pulling the tarp off a nearby aircraft and Ben can't help the whistle of appreciation. "She's an experimental craft combining the best attributes of the A-10 Thunderbolt and the Quinjet. Her thrust ratios are nearly triple the A-10 yet she is expected to maintain the maneuverability of the A-10 as opposed to the Quinjet which I don't have to tell you isn't the most agile of birds. Her potential payload is triple that of her parents as well and fuel consumption seems to be improved as well. We want you to test her out for us."

Completely stunned Ben doesn't reply right away and Rogers has to hide a grin at having caught him flatfooted. Finally, Grimm gathers his wits enough to say, "I'm honored sir but I ain't been in a military craft in decades!"

Rogers opens a folder he's been carrying and begins pacing around Ben as he reads in the clear voice of command, "You graduated among the top ten pilots in the first class of the Air Force and have test flown nearly every craft the Force and NASA has put in the air the entirety of your career and many beyond your years. You have maintained your pilots license every year since you were discharged regardless of your ability to fit into a cockpit. You regularly fly air craft and space craft of the highest technological capability, whether built by human or alien hands. You are familiar with both technologies used as the basis of this craft..."

"Well, yeah but..." Ben begins to say before Rogers cuts him off.

"Major Grimm, your country is calling you. How will you answer?"

What else can you say to that? Twenty minutes later Ben is suited up and taxiing for take off. "All systems are green," he says, "I am ready for take off."

"Affirmative Major, you may fly at your discretion."
ever_lovin: (Human-Thinking)
Ben takes a deep breath to steady himself and closes the door behind him. "Alicia, would be alright if we just talk?"

"Of course Ben," she replies relief clear in her voice.
[For the visually minded, this dialog fits into the first four panels here.]

Twenty minutes later Ben leaves and finds Johnny still waiting for him. Ben doesn't say a word but climbs into the car and waits for Johnny. Johnny meanwhile rolls his eyes before sighing and getting in to start the engine.

"Ready to head home?"

Ben glares at Johnny and then sighs, "Yeah. I think I've screwed up enough tonight."

"Excuse me?" Johnny says completely baffled.

"Alicia an' I kissed, I'm sure you saw."

"Yeah...so? You and Debra split didn't you?"

"Only like three months ago and now here I am throwin' myself at someone else. What kinda heel that make me?"

"Dude!" Johnny replies honestly shocked. "Umm...she broke it off not you, it's been three months and you and Alicia have been an item for like ever?"

Ben turns away to scowl out the window. He and Johnny just see romance too differently.

"Oh, what the...!" Johnny blurts out and Ben turns to see the thirty-story figure of Galactus hovering beside the Baxter Building.

"Johnny...GO! I'll catch up," Ben cries out as Johnny pulls over.

"You better not scratch my car," he replies as he flies off toward Galactus.
ever_lovin: (Human-Smile)
Fourteen hours ago
Ben is nearly dancing with nerves as he turns to Johnny holding the formula the kids had made. Hard to believe so much hope can be held in such a small tube of glass. "Okay, the Future Foundation said this stuff is supposed to turn me back into a regular person for around one week a year...every year...All I need to you to do is run and get Reed if somethin' goes wrong...okay?"

Johnny starts in surprise and waves his hands in denial. "No. Not okay. Are you seriously going to take some potion cooked up by a bunch of kids? I mean...do you know what I was doing when I was their age?"

"Roughly the same things you're doin' now?" Ben dead pans.

"Eh...fair point. Hope it doesn't kill you."

"Shaddup,"  Ben replies. The last thing he needs right now is the kid echoing his fears. His stomach is in knots and his heart feels like it's down where his stomach should be. Still no time like the present. He drains the vial and waits. Nothing happens. The anger and disappointment begin to boil, he can't believe he fell for it again. He is the Thing and that's all he's ever going to be. There is no cure for a schmuck like him and the sooner he accepts it the better.

Then he realizes what he's feeling isn't like anything he's ever felt before. "Whoa....Urrrgggh! Uhhh...." He feels every muscle contract and spasm. He feels like he is tightening into a ball and yet shedding a great weight.

It seems like forever until it passes and he hears Johnny say, "Oh no..."

"Wha...what?" Ben says panic setting in. "It didn't work?"

"Oh God. No, Ben...it's even worse."

"No! They said...." Ben runs to a mirror. He doesn't want to see but he must. He has to see what sort of freak he's become.  He sees...himself. Human. "Oh! You #@%$^%@#!!!!"

Johnny falls back on the bed laughing, "You should've seen your face!"

"Do you know how...it felt like my heart was in my throat...," Ben's screaming and doesn't care. "You SORRY, NO-GOOD #%$6@&#!"

Johnny sobers and sits up, "Look in the mirror...Again."

Ben turns and the anger fades before the miracle. "Oh...I...I...Oh my god."

"So, you're not going to start crying or anything, are you?"

"If you're gonna be a jerk...just leave, Johnny."

"I'm not saying you shouldn't be happy...I'm saying maybe you should look at this in a more opportunistic fashion."

"What are you talkin' about?"

"Instead of getting all weepy, we should go out and do all the things you haven't been able to do for a really long time. Two guys out on the town...how's that sound?"

Ben looks out through the windows to New York and feels like he owns it. "Pretty good, actually."

Johnny, "Excellent! Give me a couple of minutes to make some phone calls and you and I are going to make up for a lot of missed opportunities. Get ready Ben...this is going to be the best day you've had in a very long time."

Twelve hours ago
Walking downtown, no one looks twice.

ten and a half hours ago
Beer, hot dogs and the Giants versus the Eagles at New Meadows Stadium.

Six hours ago
An Early dinner with Johnny, Stan and Jack. It's been too long since he's seen his first comic chroniclers and Ben enjoys their company.

Three and a half hours ago
The floating super hero poker game at the Thunder Dojo. Ben takes the pot though Captain America came close.

An hour and a half ago
Near Yancy Street.

"Uh-huh. Around here only one of us is too big to fail," the head mugger says with a growl. "So...what's it going to be ladies? A tax-deferred cash deposit--or is the deal going to need some restructuring?"

Johnny turns to Ben."I dunno...I'm thinking it's been a long time since you've gotten to punch a normal guy in the face...What do you say?"

"I want my 401K back!" Ben yells and dives at the gang.

An Hour ago
"Ow! I think I broke a tooth," Ben says as he watches the gang run away.

Johnny smiles. "Have fun?"

"God, yes. I'm gonna sleep like a baby."

Johnny opens the car door and getting in says, "Well, one last stop to make before then. Get in."

Ben leans back and enjoys the feeling of the wind on his face (actually feeling it!) as they drive.

After driving in silence for a bit Johnny says, "So. I've got to ask...you think, now that you've got one week a year, it's going to be enough? I mean, do you think you'll get used to it and in some way that'll be worse?"

Ben takes a minute to consider. "I've missed out on a lot of things, Johnny. I think all one week a year means is I won't ever take it for granted...and I'll 'preciate everything I get."

"Good enough...we're here."

"Where are...oh." He recognizes where they are as soon as he gets out of the car and thinks of Debz. "I don't know if I should..."

"Shut up. You're going."

Ben walks up to the front door and buzzes the intercom. He hears her voice say, "Yes...who is it?" and his heart skips a beat. His mouth is suddenly dry and he swallows before replying, "It's me. Can I come up?"

She buzzes him in and he climbs the stairs getting more and more nervous. He knocks and says, "Hey," when the door opens. She's back lit like some cheesy movie but to Ben she doesn't need the effect. She's his Alicia no matter what happens. He sees she's grown out her hair again and is even more beautiful then ever.

"Hello, Ben," she says looking vaguely in his direction.

His heart drops again and all he can manage to say is, "Hey." again.

"Is something wrong? Why do you sound..." Alicia steps closer to touch his face and he doesn't move. Her fingers pause where his skin normally is and a look of confusion passes on her face before she reaches farther. "Oh...Oh...My..You...You're...Is that really you?"

He can smell her hair and her perfume, she's right there and the world suddenly doesn't matter anymore. Tears come to his eyes and he says, "It's me, Alicia." He sees tears in her eyes as well and acceptance, that blessed acceptance of him being human he had feared she'd never have. Her lips part. He bends and kisses them before reaching out to gather her in his arms. She melts into his kiss and embrace with a sigh.

Outside Johnny sees their silhouettes and says "Good for you, Ben."

5 Minutes ago
The eternity of their kiss ends as all eternities must and he pulls up for air. He remembers the world then and Debz and pulls back. He turns and nearly runs for her bathroom. He says something inane to her worried, "Ben?" but he's not sure what and then the bathroom door is closed.

F4 #580

Nov. 4th, 2010 01:55 pm
ever_lovin: (F4-580)
"This better be important, Stretch...I was nappin' and you know how I need my beauty sleep," Ben says walking in to the lab.

Reed replies, "You'll want to sit down for this, Ben."

"What's goin' on?"

"Go ahead, Val."

Val stands and says, "So, Uncle Ben. As you know, Dad created this special class for us and, just to see what we would come up with, he let us pick what we wanted our first group project to be. We talked about it for a while and came up with some pretty cool ideas..."

The reprogrammed Dragon Man interrupts, "I suggested a mass-to-energy converter."

Bored and still not sure why they wanted him there, Ben says, "Uh-huh."

One of the Atlantean kids says, "I thought artificially-generated perfectfood was a pretty solid suggestion."

Ben resists a shudder and replies, "That don't sound so good."

The Wizard clone adds, "And I think we should build a death ray."


Val clears her throat and continues as if she had not been interrupted. "But it was the Moloids who decided our first project should be you."

The Moloid children chorus together, "Hail, Grimm! Savior of the universe!"

"My people," Ben replies with a grin liking this idea. "So what do I get? Superboots? A robot assistant? You guys could whip me up one of those sub-zero personal coolers..."

Reed lays a hand on his friend's shoulder. "Ben..."

And now Ben's getting a little nervous. "What?"

Val offers a comforting smile and says, "We figured out how to cure you Uncle Ben...sort of."

Day 07

Oct. 5th, 2010 11:19 am
ever_lovin: (FriendlySmile)
Alone in Central Park, Ben walks along one of the many paths when he spots the tree that he helped rescue when it was uprooted early in the year. He walks over to it and rubs his hand along it affectionately.

He looks out over the city and remembers all the times he saved the city and the world.

He also remembers all the times he hid himself in that ridiculous trench coat. All the times he was chased and ran cause he didn't want to hurt anyone. He clears his throat as he feels tears coming again. That'd be the last thing he'd need, bawlin' like a baby in Central Park.

He hears a little girl's voice cry out, "Oh my god! Dad!" Fearing the worst he turns, ready to fight, only to see a father and daughter opening their Happy Meals. "I got Ben Grimm!!!" the girl squeals with glee as she pulls out a hideously orange plastic version of himself.

"Me too," her father says and as Ben watches they have a mock battle with the two toys as they eat their hamburgers.

Ben can't help but smile and calls out, "Hey you guys got a pen I can borrow?"

"I may be alone but I'm still the ideal of millions,"
he thinks at the look of complete awe and astonishment that overtake the little girl and her father.

Day 06

Oct. 5th, 2010 11:01 am
ever_lovin: (Grim)
Ben is standing in one of the many observation rooms of the Baxter Building, this one over looking the Hudson river, when his phone rings. He's ready to send it to voice mail when he realizes that it's Debz and picks up. "Hey babe."

"Hey," she replies and just from that one word Ben can hear she's been crying. This isn't good.

"How you doin'?" he asks in his best Joey impersonation even though his heart has fallen into his stomach.

"Oh Ben..." she says before her voice breaks. She clears her throat and continues, "Well enough I suppose. Ben I hate doing this over the phone but..."

"It's okay I understand," he says in a whisper.

"No Ben you don't," she snaps. "The school here wants to offer me a job. For the next year. It's a wonderful opportunity. I haven't quite decided yet..."

"Hey if it's a good deal go for it."

"Won't you miss me?"

Ben shakes his head though she can't see. "Of course I will babe but I ain't gonna stand in yer way. 'Sides people have long distance relationships all the time right? An' what's half way round the world ta a guy like me?"

She laughs then though it sounds a bit forced. "I'll be honest Ben, I think I want to try an ordinary life again for a bit. The school here can give me that, no metal detector, no gangs...well not like New York, no super heroes..." Her voice trails off.

"No me," Ben finishes for her. He knows he should feel something but he doesn't know what, anger maybe but he can't really blame her. "So this is it?"

"I don't know. Maybe we can see where we are in a year? When the job here is done?"

"Sure babe, inna year." The words are hard to say but he isn't going to force her to stay.

Silence fills the line for a few minutes until Debz asks, "Ben why were you calling me at 1:15 every day this week?"

"I was tryin' ta get in the habit of callin' everyday so's you'd know if somethin' big came up by my not callin'. Silly I guess."

"No, no it wasn't but why 1:15?"

"Cause that's the time I first saw you, when Reed and I came into yer classroom."

"Oh Ben," she says no bothering to hide her tears. "I love you."

"I love you too babe. I'll see you in a year?"

"Plan on it."

"'Kay. I've gotta go now, Reed needs me fer some experiment," Ben says to get off the line before he breaks down. "Can I call ya later?"


The line disconnects and Ben calmly pulls the phone from the side of his head. He stares at it and resists the urge to crush it. He doesn't notice it's trembling until Susan's hand picks up the phone.

"I'm so sorry Ben. I didn't mean to intrude." He doesn't fight her as she takes him in her arms and holds him. Finally the tears come.

Day 05

Sep. 29th, 2010 02:29 pm
ever_lovin: (WTF-Animated)
Hey Debz, on my way down to Yancy Street. I'm gonna pick up yer favorite danish from Gal's and eat it all up since yer not here to give it to. Love you...Debz I gotta say New York ain't the same without you. I'm not the same without you. Ever since the day I became the Thing it's been like I've been fightin' myself, not knowin' which was the real me, Ben Grimm or The Thing. Wit' you I'm just me and I can't tell you how much that means.

Anyway, sorry fer that. I don't mean ta make this harder than it is. Take care an' I love ya.
- Voicemail from Ben to Debra

"Susan, we've got to do something about Ben!" Johnny blurts as he storms in interrupting her just as she was about to dive in for a swim in the saltwater pool.

She takes a deep breath and counts to three before replying, "Ben's a big boy Johnny, he's fine."

"No he's not!"


"He's listening to Pink!"

Ten minutes ago...
"So what do you think?" Val asks her uncle as the song ends.

He lifts the fifty ton weight a few times before saying, "Well, she seems pretty angry fer one. Are you sure yer parents know yer listening ta this stuff?"

"Yes," Val replies from her perch nearby. If Ben were paying closer attention he would notice his answer disappoints her somehow. "I found it in the popular music database. How about this one?"

Ben finishes his set of twenty as he listens and finally clues in that something is up. He racks his weights, sits up and pats the bench in front of him. "Come here," he says, continuing when she takes the seat. "What's going on?"

"Are you going to leave us?"

"WHAT?!?" Ben blurts taken off guard.

"When mommy and daddy fought and split up, she and uncle Johnny left. Are you going to leave too?"

"Oh girl," Ben says with sympathy. That was a hard time for him too, one of the hardest parts of what the media called the civil war. "I ain't goin' anywhere. And me and Debz ain't fightin' really. She's just takin' some time to figure out if she can handle a life like ours. She has a choice fer now, she should consider it."

"So you're not mad at her? The songs suggest you should be."

"Honey, these songs ain't really how life is. They're more like a picture of what the artist thinks it is or could be. Or sometimes what they think it should be. Never think something should be because it is in a song okay? It's kind of like..." He pauses trying think of a simile she'll understand. "It's like comparing pictures of Mars from the Viking missions and pictures from the Spirit and Opportunity. Better yet, more like looking at the pictures verses actually being on Mars. You can't really learn things from songs, you need to live and experience. Life isn't like math or science okay?"

Day 04

Sep. 29th, 2010 02:27 pm
ever_lovin: (SimianBen-wKids)
So Debz, hope things are goin' great. Um did I mention that I rescued some kids a while back from the city of the High Evolutionary? Yeah well it's looking like I'm their guardian now and they're great kids by the way...so yeah, take care. Love you.
- Voicemail from Ben to Debra

Day 03

Sep. 29th, 2010 02:15 pm
ever_lovin: (SimianBen-wKids)
Well the X-men saved themselves and San Francisco. Kinda felt useless yesterday but them's the breaks sometimes. I gotta run but I love ya. 
- Voicemail from Ben to Debra

"So ya barely wanna work the dough? You sure Aunt Petunia?" Ben asks.

"Yes. It's just like Alton Brown says, you want to give the proteins a chance to bond." Aunt Petunia replies form the vidscreen.

"Ben?" Susan calls out as she walks in. "Oh sorry I didn't mean to interrupt. Hi Petunia."

"Hello Susan," Aunt Petunia replies. "And it's no trouble, Ben and I were just arguing over biscuit dough."

"Ben, I was going to take Franklin and Val toy shopping and I was wondering if I could take Turg, Korr, Mik, and Tong with us?"

"Sure," Ben replies a bit distracted.

"See you later then."

"Ben, who are Turg, Korr, Mik, and Tong?" Aunt Petunia asks as Susan leaves.

"Just some kids I rescued. We're taking care of them."

"Oh Ben!" She says excitedly, "I always knew you'd be a father someday."

"What?!? No! Reed and Susan are the parents here. Besides, they're moliods not hu..."

"Benjamin Jacob Grimm!" She interrupts angrily. "Don't you dare finish that sentence! There are plenty of people who would say you aren't human!"


"And if Reed and Susan are the only parents there why did Susan ask you if she could take them? I've got to go now but call back and introduce me to these kids, I can't wait to met them."

Day 02

Sep. 29th, 2010 02:03 pm
ever_lovin: (Tell Reed-BigGun)
Hey Debz, we're on our way to San Francisco. Looks like the X-men need ta be bailed out and I can not wait to see the look on Wolverine's face when we do. Anyway, gonna make this quick as we're jumping time zone and I'll loose the signal. Love ya.
- Voicemail from Ben to Debra

"Doctors Richards and Nemesis -- Tony too -- figure it out. Explain the dome, define it, find me a weakness. And in the meantime...Thor...Thing...get me inside that dome," Captain America says calmly.

"You got it, boss. It's clobberin' time," Ben replies cause really who can argue an order from Captain America?

"I'm gonna make that runt buy everyone a beer fer this." Ben thinks after his first punch which does nothing to the energy sphere which has isolated San Francisco.

"The energy is near frictionless and has a bit of give. It's almost rippling with our blows now, as if it's adapting or somethin'," Ben says out loud to give Reed something to work with. "Not at all like Suzie's force fields like I first thought. Almost like Valeria's...I mean the Val that was Doom's kid."

"This isn't working, maybe I should just get out of the way and let Thor handle this," Ben thinks after fifteen minutes of his strongest blows but then he shakes himself. "What the hell am I thinking? If Debz was in there would I be quitin'? Hell there is a Debz in there, someone's Debz at any rate. There're kids in there. I. AIN'T. QUITIN'"

He feels something fracturing and increases his hammering until he hears Thor say, "Hold friend Grimm, greater minds then ours need win this day not our might. Thou are injured. Cease thy battle and save thy strength for what enemies reside within."

Ben pauses and looks at his hands and realizes the fracturing he had felt was his knuckles and not the barrier. "Ya. Ya I think that's a good idea."

Day 01

Sep. 29th, 2010 02:01 pm
ever_lovin: (Doomwar-01)
Hey Debz, just saying Hi. We're getting all settled in here back home now. The whole mess with Doom is taken care of and the good guys won again. Everyone's okay and I gave Doom that knuckle sandwich like ya wanted. Love ya babe.
- Voicemail from Ben to Debra

Day 00

Sep. 29th, 2010 02:00 pm
ever_lovin: (Grim)
[Milli-timed to before the end of Doomwar]

Hey Debz. I know ya wanted space an' I respect that. I just need to make sure you know I love you an' ta apologize fer not sayin' it when we talked before. That was it, so I'll give ya all the space you need now. Just don't ever forget I love ya. Hope yer havin' a good time.
-Ben in a voicemail to Debra

...Hi Ben. Thank you for calling, it was really good to hear your voice. I'm having a good enough time all things considered, we're in Budapest now touring some schools. I...I think if you wanted to call me I'd be okay with that. I may not pick up but please leave a message if you call okay? I love you too despite all of this. Please believe me, I do love you.
- Debra's voicemail reply.
ever_lovin: (Doomwar-01)
Somewhere near Easter island...

"Hey Lion, you ever hear of a Fastball Special?" Ben calls out as the Doombots circle him and the Dora Milaje. She doesn't respond but climbs into his hands. "I've got a fix on the command center, happy landings!"

He throws her just as the Doombots lock their blasters and begin to fire. Thinking quickly, Ben goes limp and drops to the ground, allowing the eight Doombots to blast into each other. For added effect he plugs his ears with his fingers.
At Area 713, Doctor Doom's secret lab...

"Doom, we have a problem," Walter Declun says as he steps into Dr. Doom's private lab.

"We had better for you to intrude here Declun. My patience with your interruptions grows thin."

"The attacks of the Dora Milaje and the Fantastic Four have become more effective, they've changed their strategy. At this point if they continue unimpeded they run the risk of gathering a large portion of the vibranium."

"Fool, it matters not if they get all the vibranium! Still, this is not like Richards," Doom pauses and rubs his chin in thought. "Of course! It is that cretinous gargoyle Grimm! Begin Phase D, let them face live guardians now."

"As you wish."

"And Declun, do not disturb me again. It is paramount that I complete my work here. Nothing else matters."

"Of course."
Meanwhile at the Palenque ruins in Mexico...

"We're holding our own. This isn't exactly Doom's A-team. Give us fifteen minutes to wrap this up," Susan says into the communicator to Shuri.

"Nah," Ben says delivering a haymaker to "Crusher" Creel. "Ten minutes tops."
At the field of Lotho, Symkaria (near the border of Latveria)...

"But be warned," Princess Shuri is saying to Doom as he lays on the ground, the circuits of his armor fried by T'challa's attack. "If you lift a hand against Wakanda again, or put one polluted foot on our soil, then I will hunt you to the ends of the Earth and kill you. And now you know that I can do it. Me...my brother, his wife...and our friends."

Everyone turns and heads back to the waiting quinjets but Ben approaches the fallen dictator. He bends down to be sure Doom can see him and says, "Hey Doom, got a present for ya." and then gives him a knuckle sandwich that sends him flying back into Latveria. Nodding Ben looks around at all the useless tech and then shakes his head and turns to join the others.

As he boards Susan says, "That was cruel."

Ben feigns a look of shock and says, "He was in Symkarian territory. I was trying to prevent an international incident!"
ever_lovin: (Tell Reed-BigGun)
Ben sits in the cramped space of the medibay of the Wakandian quintjet as they travel to the next stash of Vibranium that Doom has hidden away. The plane rolls with the turbulence of the Indian ocean but he's still stubbornly trying to write a letter. So absorbed he is in his task he doesn't realize the Dora Milaje he brought here is awake until she says, "What does the elephant write?"

He jumps a little and turns to her, "A letter to my gal. How ya doin'?"

"The lion will fight when the elephant is ready. The pain fades."

"Okay," he replies and gathers his notebook and pencil. "I'll be back, I wanna talk with the big wigs."

She nods and then lays back and closes her eyes.

Entering the cockpit Ben hears T'challa say, "Keep hitting them with everything you've got, it has to be keeping Doom distracted while we find him. It seems to be the best plan."

Ben looks around to gauge the reaction to this statement and sees everyone looking anywhere but at each other. No one speaks and no one offers any opposing views. "Well, no time like the present," he thinks.

"Bull," Ben says startling everyone in the cockpit. He can even see he's startled T'challa, Reed, Shuri, and Ororro over the holographic vid-phone or whatever it's called. "All due respect but we're gettin' chewed up out here. There ain't gonna be much left if we keep goin' as we have been."

"What do you suggest Mr. Grimm, surrender?" Shuri says with scorn. Susan actually gasps at Shuri's words and shakes her head.

"Girl, I'm gonna let that go cause you don't know me. No I ain't talkin' surrender, my Aunt Petunia didn't raise no quitter. What I mean is we need ta start fightin' smart. Hittin' em hard and heavy ain't doin' nothing but gettin' the Dora Milaje new openings fer recruits. No we gotta start fightin' smart, we gotta start fightin' dirty.

"These new Doombots are made of some weird vibranium what makes 'em near invulnerable? So what, they still need ta see and they still need joints ta walk and hard ground ta walk on. Let's attack where we can be effective. Let's stop hittin' our head against the wall and work on the mortar that holds the wall together.

"Let's look fer the central command that's linkin' all these 'bots together and knock it out. Each location has ta have one and as soon as we knock it out, it'll hit those Doombots like a lobotomy. Let's see 'em try and fly when it's so foggy out their optics are useless and their radar sees nothign but static. Let's melt the glass in their optics. Let's fight like we was on Yancy Street or the back alleys of Cairo. You know what I'm talkin' about Ororro?"

She nods smiling a wicked grin. "Yes. Yes I do Ben."

"This is foolish. They will still be able to fire their weapons," Shuri fires back.

"No," Reed interrupts, "Ben has a good idea. I'll start working on a sensor to locate the central command and the frequency they are likely to be projecting on. I can likely create some interference."

"Make it quick honey," Susan says. "Our next drop is in twenty minutes."

"No Reed, make it simple and low tech. Anything fancy Doom will have thought of as he knows that's what you would do. We just need to know where the signal's coming from."

"Okay, I'll let you know as soon as I have something."
ever_lovin: (Doomwar-01)
The call came as they were leaving Ascension Island and heading toward Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. Ben was tired and almost just pushed the call through to voice mail until he caught site of the caller's ID. "Debz, aww jeeze," he thought as he activated his ear piece and connected. "Babe I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." The weariness in his voice is plain though he tries to hide it.

"Ben, finally. I've been trying to reach you for hours! Where are you?"

"Over Saudi Arabia I think. I missed our date haven't I?" How many hours have they been fighting anyway?

"Our date was yesterday," comes her cold reply. "I haven't heard from you for nearly two days. What's going on?"

"Doom's got something big going on and I hate ta say it but it looks bad. I'm sorry I didn't call, I got wrapped up in things ya know?"

"No I don't. First you disappeared for nearly a week chasing after those cities or whatever and now this. Couldn't you have called?"

"Yer right I should have, I'm sorry. We've been fightin' straight fer a while now and it slipped my mind. Ain't gonna happen again..."

"Don't...just don't. Don't make a promise you can't keep."

"Drop zone in 10 minutes," Sue says from the cockpit of the Quinjet.


"This is the way it's going to be isn't it Ben? There are going to be times where I simply won't know what's going on aren't there."

Ben wants to argue but he can't. "Yeah," he says quietly.

"Okay," she replies equally quiet, "I knew I had to share you with the world. It's just harder than I thought it would have been."

"I'll take ya out somewhere's when I get back, somewhere's special."

"Oh Ben," Debs replies tears clear in her voice. "I just want you home."

"I will be, promise."

"Ben...I'm going to Europe with a friend. Nicole from school?"

"Where? I can join ya there. Heck, chances are I'll be in Latveria before this is over."

"No Ben. I..." Her voice cracks but she goes on. "I need some time to think about things. To decide if I can share you. I'm sorry."

"Babe, I'll give it all up! You won't have to share, after this fight, I'll quite." He's sounds desperate he knows but what else can he do.

"No Ben. The world needs you. I just need some time. Give Doom a knuckle sandwich for me?"

"Yeah okay. This ain't goodbye is it?"

She laughs and cries. "No you big lug. I love you. I just need some time. Take care of yourself."

The line clears just as Sue says, "We're in the drop zone. Drop in 2 minutes." The jump doors open as Ben stares at the head set in his hands helplessly. He was never good with words. Blinking he looks up and sees everyone getting ready for the next fight.

"No Ben, not yet!" Sue calls out. "We aren't ready!"

The wind washes away his tears as he plummets. He needs to clobber something to pieces so bad he can taste it.


On the ground he flips the first Doombot that charges him and then catches its legs as it sails by. Bracing himself he spins and the Doombot arcs to crash into its fellows. Lost in his hurt he doesn't see the Dora Milaje as they land near him. They give him a clear path but use his rage tactically.

"Ben. BEN!" Sue calls again finally getting through to him. He stops, panting and looks around.

"Are you okay? What's wrong?" she asks seeing she finally has his attention.


"Bull. I've know you too long to believe that."

Ben throws aside the metal club which was once the leg of a Doombot. "I don't wanna talk about it."

"Ben," Sue says taking his hand. "We need you here. Tell me what's wrong."

"BEN!" Johnny yells as he lands. "What the heck man? You turning Wolverine on us?!?"

He blinks furiously and his voice cracks as he replies, "Debs wants some space. Ta think about if she can handle all of this."

"Is that it? Get it together man."

"Jonathan Spencer Storm! You apologize right now!"

"No sis I will not!" Johnny says rounding on her. "We can handle it if Ben loses it. We have powers, we know how he can be. They," and here he points to the wounded Dora Milaje, "don't. Do you have any idea how many of them threw themselves between you and Doombots? You didn't even notice, did you Ben? Look I know you love Debs. We'll get her back. You and me, we'll figure something out. What girl can resist both of use working together huh? But right now we need you. They need you."

Back in the plane Ben carefully carries one of the Dora Milaje wounded to the medical bay. As he helps her settle in she says, "You fight like an elephant who has lost his mate. It was an honor to be by your side."

He looks at her wounds and wonders how many he caused by his inattention. He remembers a black shape darting near him as he fought and replies, shaking his head, "An' you fought like a lioness protecting her cub. The honor was mine."

She laughs, "I shall heal and the elephant and lion shall defeat these metal men."

"I look forward to it lady."

(And that Marvel is how you can end a marriage without either party looking like asses. Walking out of his own wedding and leaving the bride at the alter indeed.)
ever_lovin: (Default)
Val, my world's Dr. Doom is up to his usual tricks but this time he's really got the cards stacked in his favor. If you can figure out someway of shutting off robots like the one I left in your room (it's deactivated) aside from beating them to paste I'd sure appreciate it. Stretch is busy with the big picture of Doom's plan and I hate to say it but I really think we're in trouble. Anything you can come up with can only help.
Thanks, Uncle Ben
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