1963-09-02 - Having That Chat
Summary: Sue and Johnny finally have that talk about his night in Hell's Kitchen.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
johnny sue reed 

Things at the Richards-Storm-Grimm household had felt damn near normal for a little while, there, and for the silliest of reasons. Normally, having a famous actress over was not so comfortably mundane, and yet. And yet. But, eventually, Trish had needed to run home.

Now, it's just Johnny who is lounging in the living room and waiting for Sue to come home from her meeting(s). He's stretched out on the sofa in jeans and a t-shirt, bare feet dangling over one armrest as he sort of half-listening to the television.

Instead of the TV, Johnny's eyes are fixed on a small photograph held delicately between his fingers, a pensive frown pulling at his face.


The door opens slowly and Sue lingers in the entrance for a few moments longer than usual. Carefully, she thumbs through the mail and clucks her tongue at one particular pink envelope. With a shake of her head and a hint of a smirk, she steps into the main living area, envelope in hand: "I think your superfan wrote again." She flicks the envelope twice.

Her eyebrows draw together and she eyes the television that is decidedly off, remarking, "Television not working? Ask Reed, I'm sure he can fix it — " before she finally drops her shoulder bag on the floor.

Johnny is shot a weak, but still present, smile.


After a moment, Johnny's head pops up over the back of the couch to peek towards the door. He's not expecting Ben back yet, but part of him is still hoping to see his big ugly mug finally coming home. Shut up.

He mirrors Sue's smile instead. "I am perfectly capable of fixing a broken television, you know," Johnny says wryly, pushing himself up to sit on the couch. "It's just off."

He studies her for a minute before he pats the cushion next to him. "How'd it go?"


Sue's eyebrow quirks, "…off?" there's a range of surprise behind the word. "You're sitting in here, alone(?)," her eyes carefully peek about the room at the implied question, "not watching TV." Pause. "That seems weird."

As Johnny sits up, Sue sits next to him. Her lips twist to the side, "They were… interesting?" Her eyes narrow again. "A full afternoon. First, went to talk to my dissertation supervisor about — " she lifts her hand. It's not that important. "And seems I'm on the last draft of the thing." Her head cants to the side, "Then a conversation with a friend on Ambassador Street…" Her lips press together tightly. "She seems to think the Latverian embassy is setting up residence." Again her eyebrows lift.

It's only then that her neck cranes to peek at the picture Johnny had been looking at.


"Weird? I have layers, Seo," Johnny replies with a sniff, leaning back into the sofa's cushions and stretching his legs out to prop his feet up on the coffee table. At least, for as long as he can get away with it. Which is probably not very long.

"Final drafts are good," Johnny murmurs, nodding to himself as he listens. When she mentions the embassy, however, his lips press together in a mirror of her expression. "Oooof course they are. Why wouldn't they be. That'll be fun…"

When Sue tries to peek at the photo, Johnny offers it to her with a faint frown. "Trish's sister," he explains. "She's missing, too." He pauses. "…um. Trish Walker. Pat— Patricia Walker. Her sister. Is."


"Feet down," Sue points to the ground. "Our feet, dear Joon, must remain on the floor~" she virtually sings, mimicking Aunt Margay's tone from their childhood. Her cheeks puff out and she shrugs, "The embassy has seen a lot of movement, and furniture is being added nearly daily. And it's opulent." Her eyes lid lightly. "I always like it better when Von Doom stays at least a continent away. He'll be three blocks from us. Three blocks." Pause. "Assuming it's him." Of course it's him.

The picture is regarded with a small frown. "Too many missing people," she shakes her head. "Do you know anything about her… the sister I mean, not Miss Walker."

Her lips purse, "I saw the paper, Johnny. Are you dating this girl? Because if you're dating someone I really ought to know about it. And meet them. Properly. At dinner. That I will cook," it's probably wise to talk Sue out of this plan before it's even a potential thing on the horizon.


"Of course it's him," Johnny says, giving voice to his sister's thoughts. He does obediently take his feet off the coffee table, he just also… you know… shifts to sit cross-legged on the couch, instead. This doesn't count against feet-on-the-floor, does it?

Johnny holds up his hands and, for a wonder, actually looks flustered. "No, no, no, we're not dating. I've only spoken to her twice, once today and… last… night." He coughs quietly and, without being told, uncurls his legs to put his feet on the floor.

He lightly taps the photo. "Her name's Jessica. Jones. She lives in Hell's Kitchen. That's why Trish was at the bar," Johnny explains. "She's trying to find her."


"It could be someone else," Sue offers helpfully. "We don't know much. Besides the fact the residence is getting set up. And they haven't had someone in it… for a long stretch." Pause. "I did, however, pick up a program for the conference. He's definitely there. Presenting on," she waves her hand. "I don't even remember. Something in the mechanics field."

Sue doesn't seem wholly convinced at Johnny not dating Trish, but she doesn't push on the point. "When did Jessica go missing? Do the timeline or circumstances line up with Crystal's sister at all?" She frowns lightly. "Seems like missing women are a dime a dozen right now," her eyes widen and she shakes her head. "Any other details?"


"I don't think they're related — Medusa was separated from her family in Europe, right?" Johnny asks, one eye squinting as he thinks back to their lunch with Crystal. He puffs up his cheeks and looks down to the photo again. "We didn't… I didn't press for much," he admits. "She needed to not think about it for a while. But I have her number, so we can call her for more."

As for Von Doom presenting on something mechanics-related, Johnny just rooooooolls his eyes and gives the ceiling a plaintive look.


"Well let's try to establish some details. Maybe we can help. Even if the two disappearances are not related, we've got a lot of resources at our fingertips." Her arms cross over her chest and she shifts along the couch, crossing her ankles in the process.

"So. We should probably talk about last night." She arches a wry eyebrow at Johnny. "Engaging in a juvenile fight at a bar," she lifts her hand, "is not acceptable. You know that. Even if you didn't start it. Even if you were ending it. We have an image to uphold, Johnny, and now it's literally affixed to the building. Things are spiralling for us here in a way I don't think any of us really expected. It would be easy to fall into a pattern where we ignore or status and strangely acquired fame, but we need to be better than that." Her throat clears. "All four of us need to be above reproach. Especially now."


Oh, here it comes.

Johnny leaves his head tipped back to stare up at the ceiling, as if it might somehow save him from this terrible fate. But he doesn't interrupt Sue at all; he just listens, lips twisting to the side.

"I tried to walk away, nunim," Johnny says just a tad plaintively, lolling his head to the side in order to look at her. "I tried to talk them down. I really did."


"Trouble's coming. The protests for mutant rights extend beyond mutants. We are under a microscope we didn't ask for and couldn't have anticipated. And we're negotiating it alright right now, but…" Sue's head shakes, "it doesn't take a genius to see where things could go. As rights change and evolve,the definition of who counts is becoming more convoluted, not less." Her hands fold lightly in her lap. "I'm not saying you did the wrong thing from a moral standpoint." Her eyebrows lift, "I'm not even saying I wouldn't have wanted to do the same," except the fellows never would've seen what Sue would've sent them coming, "what I am saying is we can't afford this right now. And not because of us. I can handle blowback for us. I've negotiated that before. I'll certainly do it again."

Her head turns to the window, "No, it's more than that. Reinterpretation of the law means that people like us, who are genetically different from other humans may be called something different — are already being treated as different in the eyes of the law. That means that when we do something, it affects an entire group of people." Her arms tighten over her chest. "This is the kind of story that gets dragged out in front of committees to prove we're unstable. Not just in terms of our abilities, but in our psyches. Which will be presented as evidence that we can't handle our own lives…." Yeah, Sue definitely sees a slippery slope.


With an unhappy groan, Johnny lets his head fall back again and brings both of his hands up to cover his face. At least he isn't being lectured for doing what he is still pretty sure was the right thing.

Just for doing it, you know… here. Now. In public. Because other people are the worst.

Somehow, perversely, that makes Johnny feel worse. He leaves his hands over his face. "I know. I'm sorry." He hesitates, his hands still in place. "…in my defense, I did not damage the bar, like, at all. That was all the other guys."


"Good," Sue offers quietly before shaking her head. "I'm going to work to get a release on this so we can do some damage control." She levels her gaze at Johnny, "It might be helpful if we can get a statement from the woman who was undergoing the — " her eyes narrow slightly " — harassment," because that's certainly how she's interpreted the situations, "if she's willing. Was it Miss Walker?" Johnny has her number, that will simplify Sue's job considerably. "Something about how she appreciated," Sue flippantly looks up at the ceiling, "the help. Or something. I don't know."

Also, on the topic of Miss Walker, "So… you got her phone number, right?" Johnny may get a good impression at how angry Sue really is when she bumps shoulders with him and inquires. "Did you get her number to help with her sister," mischief glimmers again in Sue's gaze, "or for other reasons?" Pause. "Dinner still applies."


"No, it was a friend of hers. I didn't catch her name, but she's from… Westchester…" Johnny pauses. Wait a minute. He straightens up and goes digging in his pocket for the business card Crystal gave him, squinting down at it… and he laughs. Without a word, he offers the card his sister's way: Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. Guess where it's located?

At the bump, Johnny relaxes considerably and leans into it with an odd smile. "I didn't say I asked for her number," he notes sweetly. "She just gave it to me."


Sue shakes her head, "If you can find her it might help with some of the damage control." The card from Westchester earns a glimmer of a smile and a shake of the woman's head, "It's like you're made of luck." Because, seriously, what are the chances? "Find the gal, get a statement, and I can work with it."

Her eyebrows lift at Johnny's observation. "Right, and Tony Stark gave me his my number last week," her eyes roll with the overtly obvious sarcasm. She leans forward and presses herself to a stand. "I'm going to start dinner. I have a pot roast thawed in the fridge…" because everyone should have a home cooked meal once in awhile, even in New York.

"Reed around, or is it just the two of us?"


Speak of the devil, and surely he appears. Again. It's as if Reed has developed some sort of warning system capable of detecting someone about to mention his name. A large cardboard box with Reed Legs enters the room— wait, no, that's just Reed carrying a large cardboard box. Easy mistake.

"Anyone home?" He doesn't wait for an answer, completely happy to talk to an empty room. "A reporter stopped me downstairs for a comment on the bar incident. I told him I couldn't stop to talk, but I took his card" indeed, there is one between his fingers "and I'd get back to him before his deadline. More importantly, the posters arrived. I need to speak to the printer about the density of paper vis-avis packaging size… specifically… smaller shipping boxes…"


"I'll call the school tomorrow and see if I can come visit," Johnny muses, glancing at the card again before he returns it to his pocket. He is made of luck, isn't he.

"I — what — no, she really did!" Johnny protests, hauling himself up to his feet after her. "I just asked if I could get them a cab! If she wasn't famous, you'd believe me," he grumbles, crossing his arms over his chest. Hmpf.

He looks over his shoulder when the door opens and, again, it isn't Ben. Man. "…Reed. How much stuff did you order for the conference?" he asks slowly, his head tilting to one side. "Are you sure you're not overdoing it a little?"


"If she was less famous than you, I'd believe it," Sue jabs back. She taps her nose smugly, "I'm onto you Johnny Storm. I also might've believed you if it wasn't Patsy. She virtually taught us English. Way too convenient to get her number."

Sue treads towards the Reed-box and she peeks around the box in an effort to pluck the business card from his fingers. "I'll deal with this, thank you~" Because that is often her job. Her lips purse lightly and she notes, "Von Doom is on the schedule, by the way. I suspect he'll be… interesting during the presentation."


Reed, always left with the heavy box. Tragic. "I had a well-thought-out statement and everything," he begins to lament, but hastily adds "but of course this is more your arena than mine, please do let me know if you need me to speak from a sheet of paper or something." Not that he hasn't made perfectly acceptable public statements before.

Reed hauls over to— of course— the dining area table and sets the box down. "Of course not, Johnny. These are going up to let people know we'll be there. I doubt many of the people wanting to see us are paying attention to the Conference schedule." He would probably be surprised, actually.

At Sue's additional note, he frown in thought. "Victor." He rubs the tip of his nose with an index finger. "I wonder if I can make a counter-force-producing feild generator large enough to cover a crowd without also irradiating said crowd by then…" Well, he'll think about it.


"You can ask her yourself," Johnny grumbles at Sue's back, taking a few steps into the kitchen. He snags a magnet off the counter and uses it to post the photo of Jessica — and Trish's number — to the refridgerator door.

He peers sidelong at the pair as he retrieves a mug from one of the cabinets. "Tell him about the embassy, Seo," Johnny says lowly, reaching for the mostly-empty pot of coffee still left over from earlier. It's cold by now.


"Well if you really want to leave a statement with the reporter, you're free to do so — " Sue offers with a small tick of her head. " — maybe they'll start calling you the secretary." That seems likely. Her arms cross over to her chest as she slides up to refrigerator and plucks out the pot roast. "I called Ben again, not due back for a day or two more," she murmurs. "So. That's three for dinner." She looks at the giant hunk of meet and cocks her head to the side before hauling it into a large roasting pan and shovelling it into the oven.

There's a faint nod about Victor. "And the residence at the Latverian embassy three blocks from here is getting set up. No confirmation as to why — " but her eyebrows punctuate the point as she looks at the oven controls and turns the dial to broil. That's probably right. " — but probably Victor. Not sure why, but I can't imagine it's good. I prefer him a continent away."

"I will ask her myself," Sue replies easily. "When I meet her." Not if. Her back turns away from Johnny as she adds, "And then I will have to ask her intentions with my brother."


Reed is clearly trying to figure out if Sue actually wants him to issue the statement or not based on her response and body language when the topic of the embassy catches his attention. He frowns thinly. Emphatically enough that it distorts his face slightly in a cartoonish fashion. It happens sometimes. "I really wish Victor would learn to be content with his own accomplishments," he huffs. "This ongoing rivalry he insists on is a waste of otherwise good energy." Grump. Well, whatever. "We can't really do anything about it on a practical level except keep our heads up."


Johnny leans back against the kitchen counter and cradles his coffee mug between his hands. Slowly, it begins to steam. "Nothin' for it, Reed. Sometimes smart people are just really, really stupid," he says wisely, bringing his coffee up for a sip as he watches the pair of them over the mug.

He tries not to roll his eyes at his sister. Speaking of. "It's not like that, nunim, honestly," Johnny sighs. "I haven't even flirted with her." That… he can recall, anyway. "Be nice."


Reed's comments about Victor prompt a single shoulder shrug from Sue, "He's just jealous." Of what, exactly remains unclear. "And, I think, the three-ringed-circus the conference is likely to become will feed it more." For better or worse. She sucks in a slow deep breath, "The thing is still weeks away and security has already become a hot topic." Her arms cross over her chest as she finally turns away from the stove and leans against the countertop.

There's a smirk that follows Johnny's remark and Sue, rather innocently holds up her hands and bats her eyelashes in the cutest fashion she can muster, "I'm always nice." Her chin lifts, "People like me," and her face scrunches into an over-exaggerated, very offended scowl.


"My just reward for trying to help him that one time, I suppose," Reed murmurs. It does get taxing trying to do the right thing for a person and get it blowing up in one's face. Which is an unfortunate phrase under the circumstances.

Reed shakes off the thought and nods. "Unfortunate, but I'm not interested in changing the way we do things just because he doesn't care for it. We'll just have to take due care."

He is definitely not inserting himself into sibling by-play today. he just got OUT of hot water, thanks.


Sue's claim that she is always nice earns a barked laugh from her brother, and Johnny points an accusatory finger her way. "You tricked me into spending money on anchovies, that is the opposite of nice! It was hurtful." He places his hand against his chest and sticks out his lower lip. "You hurt me, Sue. And in public. You should release a statement about that."


"Ha! Not exactly the case," Sue counters as she treads back to her room to change. "You offered to buy me lunch at a pizza joint. You didn't give me parameters for that lunch. I proceeded to order anchovies on my pizza. Reed," she offers in return, "took me for dinner and didn't give parameters either. I can follow directions. When I'm given them…" She bats her eyelashes again. So innocent.

"Hurt you, pfffft. I've only been watching over you the last twenty-some years of your life… only because someone has to do it." And on that note, she slips off into her bedroom, leaving both Johnny and Reed to enjoy whatever noxious fumes are bound to come off the roast later. Note: she did season it earlier. Much earlier.


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