|Welcome back, Richards|
|What: Reed returns home after a long space trip.|
A sleek, modern NYC high rise building that just happens to have the top third of the building reserved for the Fantastic Four.
It's been a long ten months, eight days, fourteen hours and twenty-three seconds for Reed. After a deep space 'field trip' with some of the greatest minds of his generation: Astrophysicist; Neil deGrasse Tyson and Physicist; Brian Cox. It's good to be back. The first few months were particularly fascinating. They mapped a nebula and even got close to a comet and take core samples. That was a giddy day for all of them. But month after month all Reed could think of is home. At first he wondered if he left an experiment running, but over time he realized it was something else. Luckily, Reed was able to call the year long mission short, thanks Brian for wanting to see your wife.
It's always good to see the old Baxter. It's architecture was perfect for his needs. And is become more than just that: it's home. As he rides the elevator up, his mind wanders as he wonders and hopes everything isn't burnt down or ripped open. As the double doors of the elevator slides open, a head stretches from the car into the open area and gives it a quick inspection. "Good. Everything's still here." he says softly to himself before his head returns to his body. Then a heavily bearded man steps from the car and back into his 'comfort zone' with a sigh of content to follow. As his eyes open he shifts his feet from side to side before looking down. New carpet. Interesting. He quickly makes a mental note and puts it away in his brain storage.
So far as she knows, it's just another Thursday. Sue has been going through the routine she's established over the past year, doing the big sister / mom thing for both Johnny and Ben. For anyone who didn't know her well, she'd appear to be quite happily going about her day. But for those who know her better, it's clear that going through the motions is a way to keep herself from thinking too much. Down that path is melancholy.
Daily exercise regimen completed, the Invisible Girl is walking through to the kitchen to get something to drink, freshly showered hair being scrubbed with a towel. She hasn't noticed that anyone has arrived mostly because people don't usually enter the common area at this time of day.
As he continues to look around, he even starts to take a step, but stops when signs of life appear from around the corner. Susan. Wow. Quick it's been almost a year. Do something you idiot. You owe her. Big! Did she change her shampoo? I smell strawberries? Idiot. "Ahem." It comes out of nowhere, the clearing of a man's throat, followed by a dry throated voice. "Excuse me, miss? I was told this the home of the famous Fantastic Four?"
Sue Storm starts and gasps, turning to look toward the elevator with wide eyes. She stares at the man for a long moment with the towel still in her hands, and slowly she recognizes him. "Reed? Ohmygod, Reed!" Then she's smiling and running across the common room to greet him with a hug (and a damp towel). "When did you get back? Why didn't you call ahead to let us know? Are you back for good, or are you going to leave again? Have you eaten lunch yet, I was about to make something for myself."
As she hugs him, Reed now realizes what he's been missing. Then comes the lighting round of questions which causes him to laugh. Only a few people can draw out the ever elusive laugh from Reed Richards, and Susan happens to be on the top of that short list. "To answer you in order: Recently; I wanted to surprise everyone; I am and no I'm not; Not as of yet, but don't let me stop you from doing so." he says as he smiles and pauses before wrapping his arms around her. A lot could have happened in his absence. Her still living at the Baxter doesn't mean anything. "So what's been going on?" Simple question even for the man of hundreds of them.
"Oh, you know, more of the same." Sue steps back from the hug and all but skips toward the kitchen area, draping the towel over the back of a chair as she passes by it. "Johnny's been keeping busy by volunteering with the local fire departments, and Ben's ... well, he's the same as always, you know?" She keeps talking as she starts taking sandwich fixings out of the fridge. "I've been volunteering at a medical clinic in Harlem during the afternoons. It's fun, and I helped them get a new donated MRI machine installed in one of the exam rooms."
With a smile he follows her to the kitchen. Cabinets have been changed, linoleum to wood? Possibly a bamboo style flooring. Intriguing. Noted and banked. "Interesting. Well Neil and Brian send their love and hello's." he says as he takes a seat at the counter. As he continues to glance about, he seems to be inspecting for damage. But he can't help but stop and look back to Sue.
Sue Storm pauses in her sandwich preparations to look at Reed. "They do? I'll have to call them now that they're back as well. How about you? How was your exploration?" She seems completely unaware of Reed's taking mental stock of the place.
"It was quite spectacular. We got to see a sunrise over Io and even cataloged a few debris fields that have been around since the big bang." That's when Reeds stops himself from going too overboard. He knows Sue isn't as fascinated with this 'stuff' the same way he is. "But all in all, what said is done it turned into an very eventful journey." With a smile, albeit hidden under a beard, still on his face he stands up. "Now if you'll excuse me the steam showers aboard 'the Sagen' broke down two days before reentry. So you can imagine I need to take a long shower and have Johnny burn these clothes." As he starts out of the kitchen he stops and turns towards her and with a smile apologizes. "Sorry about the mess." And with that said Reed walks towards a well needed hot shower.
Mess? He was only there for a few minutes. Then there, on the counter, a message written using Alpha-bits cereal can be seen. And all it says is: 'Missed you too' with the last O's being used by Froot Loops.