A/N: Okay so here the long awaited second chapter. I am so sorry for the wait I have had a lot of stuff going on but here it is. I really want to thank Superdani for really encouraging me to continue this, without her I wouldn't have known what to do. So enjoy!
Chapter 2: You've Got to Jump
"I can't do it! I cannot do it!" Briana heard Ben exclaim.
"What can't you do Benny?" asked Briana coming to stand next to her brother.
"I cannot take commands from the underwear model," Ben practically spat pointing toward a cloud of dust following a motorcycle that seemed all too familiar.
Reed went on to talk to Ben, probably to convince him that he could do it and that he should do, but Briana wasn't listening. She was staring at the cloud of dust that trailed behind the motorcycle and the man on it. It brought back memories that she had long thought locked away, memories that were of a time were she thought she had all that she needed in the world, memories that she so desperately wanted to forget.
"Hey kid aren't ya coming?" Ben questioned drawing Briana's attention away from such miserable thoughts.
Briana nodded before turning away from what she thought was long behind her. She led the way for Reed and Ben to follow her but also leading herself from what was no doubt a destructive path. Little did she know, Ben had been watching her the whole time. In fact, he was rather intrigued at her reaction to seeing the playboy.
Ben stared at Briana as she led them to the main area of the space shuttle meant to take them to Von Doom's space station. He was rather intrigued to know the reason behind the sadness that had emitted from her silent form as she stared at Johnny. He didn't think he could remember a time when she had ever looked like that. There had been something in her eyes that had hurt him, something about them seem so tortured, almost as if the mere thought was hurting her. He didn't get long to think on this because Briana had stopped in from of a silver door like so many of the others they had passed.
"This is where I leave, for now," Briana said gesturing for them to proceed into the room.
"But- why" Reed asked, a lost look to his face.
" Because, big brother, I really don't want to watch you and Ben change. It isn't like I haven't seen it before but come on you're my brother."
Reed looked sheepish as they watched Briana disappear down the long corridor. "Come on, let's go in," Ben smiled, stepping inside the room.
Meanwhile, Briana was halfway to her changing room when she heard raised voices. Hiding behind the corner of the wall, Briana stopped and listened.
"Johnny why are you so late?!" Briana heard Sue exclaim in an exasperated tone.
"Hey sis! Good to see you too."
"Dammit Johnny answer my question!"
"I was just having a little bit of fun, don't get your panties in a twist."
"Johnny," Briana heard Sue sigh before she continued, "Briana has worked very hard to make sure everything goes off with any sort of problem and you being late is a problem."
There was silence after this statement, a silence that made Briana curious. Cautiously Briana poked her head around that corner to come face to, well almost face, of the man she hadn't seen in years. Johnny had a rather perplexed, almost shocked look on his face that Briana wanted to wipe off. In fact that look made her angry with him because in her eyes that meant he hadn't expected her to get on with her life, he expected her to wallow in pity and sorrow. She was half tempted to march out there, then and there, but was halted when Johnny opened his mouth and spoke.
"B-Briana?" came the slightly horse voice.
"Yeah is there going to be a problem?" Sue inquired slightly confused with his response.
"Johnny, I have a question for you."
"What is it?" he asked still trying to get his head around the thought of Briana Richards being near him once again.
"What caused the falling out in your friendship with Briana?"
Johnny really wondered how she found out that he had had a falling out with Briana but his kept thinking back to when things really changed.
He had been waiting in front of Ana's sorority house with his motorcycle when he felt hands cover his eyes.
"Guess who?" a voice whispered near his ear sending shivers down is back.
"Hmm? Hopefully my gorgeous girlfriend," he replied placing his hands the rather smaller ones that covered his eyes.
Pulling the hands down he turned slightly to see Briana Richards, his rather delectable girlfriend. "I thought I was gonna be the one to surprise you not the other way around," he told her before he kissed the tip of her nose.
"Ha! Like I surprised you, you aren't afraid of anything," she snorted rolling her eyes.
"I do too scare just not easily. But you didn't answer me, why are you the one coming up behind me when I thought I was picking you up?"
"Cause I was sitting outside reading and I saw you pull up and I wanted to confuse you."
"Well that was very nice of you," he replied with enough sarcasm to usually match her own. "Come on, hop on," he told her patting the seat behind before handing her the helmet that he bought after they had started dating.
Taking the helmet with a smile she climbed on behind him, grabbing his waist the way she enjoyed when riding with him. She smiled when he revved the 'cycle before speeding off to where ever their destination would be this time. However her smiled disappeared when they pulled in front of a building that she knew but had never ventured inside of. "Johnny why are we here?" she asked with trepidation.
"I thought that I'd cook dinner with you and see where that would go."
Briana nodded before trailing slowly behind him. She was slightly amazed when they arrived to his apartment and there were rose petals and candles all over the place but the amazement soon was replaced with an odd sort of fear. She knew where he wanted this night to go and it wasn't like she was a virgin. She had had her fair share of relationships before 'Playboy Johnny' but she had hoped that maybe things wouldn't get this far only because she had thought they had something more important than sex.
"Ana what's up?" Johnny asked as he poured her a glass of wine from on the table in front of him.
"Nothing," she lied hoping that he didn't know her well enough yet to figure that she was in fact lying to him.
Johnny eyed her suspiciously but continued with the wine before handing her the glass. She took it with a small smile that belied her nervousness while he went to turn on some music, "To add to the mood," he told her as he settled in next to her on the loveseat that was positioned perfectly so that they had a perfect view of both the bedroom and the kitchen were he had dinner setup. He watched her relax as she sipped more of her wine and things seemed to be going fine. They had dinner, they talked and laughed while eating, but when they finished and they found themselves back on the couch he noticed that she had stiffened again. Hoping to relax her he began to kiss her, to which replied with enthusiasm, but it seemed that fate was not on his side this night. Just as he had thought that she was relaxed and enjoying herself he began taking off her shirt, this seemed to cause what would be a night he would never forget.
"Johnny stop," Briana mumbled causing Johnny to stop and heave an annoyed sigh.
"What?" he nearly growled out annoyed that she stopped him just when he thought that things were going well.
"Johnny, can you promise me that this isn't some means to an end? Can you promise me that this isn't some quick, one night thing where after tonight I am tossed to the street, no longer your girlfriend?"
Johnny didn't know what to say. In some way it had been means to an end but he didn't know if he wanted to end things after tonight. He didn't know if all he wanted from her was sex, something that she had denied him since the very beginning, or if he wanted more from her. He was stunned when she got up from the love seat.
"I thought not," she whispered as she grabbed her purse and began heading to the door.
Apparently he had taken too long to tell her what he wanted. "Where are you going?" he questioned jumping up and heading to the door, hoping to stall her.
"I'm leaving Johnny. I love you Johnny, I know that this isn't what you wanted to hear but I love you and if tonight is just a way to get sex from me I don't want it. I love myself too much to allow myself to be used. I want to be your friend, your girlfriend, but if all you want is sex then I am willing to just be your girlfriend," Briana gave a small smile before kissing his cheek, a couple of tears mingling with the kiss.
"How are you going to get home," he whispered not knowing what to do.
"I'll call a cab. I'll see you tomorrow Johnny," she told him before she left and walked out on what was possibly the best thing that ever happened to him.
"Johnny you never answered me," Sue prompted finally getting annoyed at having to wait for an answer.
He never got to answer her because that was when Briana made her presence known, she didn't really want Sue to know why they had had a falling out. "Hey Sue you'd better go get changed. I passed Victor in the hall and he said that he really wanted to get to the station soon. Plus we are almost behind schedule," Briana offered giving a half lie.
Sue nodded at the two as she left the couple alone for the first time in ages. Johnny stared at the woman who had plagued his thoughts since leaving him that night so many years ago. He noticed with amazement that she had allowed herself to grow out her hair and that it was no longer the short, shoulder cut that it had been in college. But what had really caught his attention was that the light in her that had really attracted her to him had seemed to have dimmed and didn't seem to burn as bright as it once had. He didn't know that the glow had dimmed because of him. Deciding that he didn't want to waste time in silence opted figure out how she had been doing because despite saying that she wanted to be his friend he had seen very little of her since that night.
"How've ya been?"
"I've been doing good, thanks for asking. After I graduated I got offered a top position working with Victor and I have been in better contact with my brother since working with Victor."
Johnny nodded, glad to hear that she was doing well in spite of the odd feeling of wishing that she had been miserable with out him. "Briana are we still cool?"
"If you mean are we still friends? Then yes Johnny we are still friends," she said over her shoulder as she walked away to change.
Johnny nodded as he watched her walk into the room that probably still occupied his sister. He couldn't help but feel as though she wasn't telling him the whole truth but he was willing to let it slide hoping that maybe she still trusted him enough to tell him what she felt.
Briana changed as fast as she could with getting the zipper caught in the material of her suit. She was hoping that if she was fast enough that Sue wouldn't question her about the falling out that had occurred between her and Johnny. "Sue we'd better hurry we don't want Ben and Johnny in the same room for long."
Sue smiled before leading the way into the room that housed Ben, Reed, and now Johnny. "Okay, okay no fighting. We have to get going, according to Briana we are close to being behind schedule," Sue informed the men allowing them ample time to finish changing and head to the ship that would take them to the station.
Once upon the station all of them separated into their directions. Johnny and Ben heading to the airlock to get Ben out into space, Reed to a computer so that he could monitor things, Sue and Victor heading into a room where no doubt Victor was going to do something that Sue really didn't want him to do, and Briana followed Ben for she was to monitor him and to make sure things were going okay with him when he was released into space. She listened with half an ear as the two men bickered with each other, something that they seemed to enjoy doing when they weren't working. It wasn't until their voices had risen into almost a yell did she interrupt them. "Guys! Shut up!" she yelled to be heard over them and just because she was that annoyed. Her yell caused the two men to quite down almost immediately much to her delight.
In the air lock she suited Ben up before giving him a kiss on the cheek as she handed him his helmet to put on. He smiled at her as he headed over to where Johnny was waiting to get him into space. As the door closed Johnny gave Ben two thumbs up which then turned into two almost thumbs up. Ben rolled his eyes has he gave a thumbs up to Johnny. Johnny walked over next to Briana as they waited for Ben to get done with what he had planned on doing. While waiting for the time to get Ben back in Johnny tried to make small talk. "So do you have a boyfriend?" he asked trying not to sound jealous.
"I did but we broke up," she told him as she watched Ben and what seemed to be a bright orange cloud that seemed to be heading toward him. She didn't mention this to Johnny because she just thought her eyes were playing tricks on her.
"Oh? What happened?" Johnny asked actually curious as to why she didn't have a boyfriend. She was gorgeous enough that she probably had men falling at her feet.
"He became my boss," she whispered as her eyes strained to watch the bright orange cloud grow closer to Ben.
Johnny was about to reply when he heard Briana gasp. "What?" he asked curiously following her line of sight. That is when he saw it. The large orange cloud seemed to be picking up speed as it came closer to Ben. Just as he was about to say something to Ben through the mic in the suit Reed burst into the room. Looking between Ben and the station he motioned Johnny to get Ben back there.
"Ben you need to get back here now!" Johnny instructed, fear clouding his mind.
"Hold your horses I'm not done yet," Ben replied sounding annoyed.
"I don't care you need to get back here now Ben!" When it appeared that he wasn't going to move Johnny took things up a notch. "Ben look up!"
Ben did as he was told and saw to his amazement the cloud that was approaching him. "I won't make it," he whispered, fear sounding in his voice.
"You're gonna have to jump!" Johnny instructed to Ben his hand outstretched toward the man even though he couldn't get to it.
Ben did as he was told jump as far and as fast as he could, hoping to get to the station before the cloud hit it. Briana watched from behind Johnny and Reed as the two waited for the man that was outside the station. She watched in feared amazement as the cloud hit Ben before it hit the station. The last coherent thought that she had before she passed out was that she was so extremely cold that she thought she might freeze.
A/N Tada! I believe that it turned out really good. I worked on it hard and long hoping that it would be up to people's standards. I hope you enjoyed it and I hope that I can get another chapter up soon.