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?"

"Gross."

"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.

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Benjamin J Grimm

September 2017

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