Fandom: The Fantastic Four
Rating: NC-17. I mean, do I even need to say it??
Disclaimer: Victor von Doom, Franklin Storm, and the Baxter Building are Fox & Marvel’s property. Nedra Nix, Jon Holland, and any other characters, locales, and brands not under the aforementioned scope are my property. This includes Yang’s, Victor’s favorite Chinese joint.
Timeframe: This story picks up six weeks after where “Playing Pool With Planets” left off, but before the end scene where Victor finds Nedra at the Coke machine. In fact, it would serve the Dark Dilettantes well to know that as it relates to this story, that scene officially no longer exists (though I am not removing it from the story itself). As a result, this makes the events in “Otherside of the Game” nonexistent, but I ain’t taking it down either. Just think of it as a Nedra/Victor “Choose Your Own Adventure.”
A/N: Because Victor did not get the screen time he so blatantly deserved in Fan4stic and because I have a serious, serious case of lady wood for the glorious Toby Kebbell (I mean, look at this man), and because the Muse is serenading, and also because I’m feeling sleazy, I decided to put him in one of my playgrounds where we can have some freedom and fun. Nedra, being my own creation, goes wherever I want her to.
A/A/N: Noob encouraged me to watch RocknRolla, which I happily did. We won’t go into how FIVE of the men on my He Can Get It list are doin’ it in that hilarious flick…and how I missed its existence for 8 years! Mr. Kebbell plays a junkie rock star (like a fuckin’ boss) and at the end, he gets clean (and I do mean clean)…and well, I decided to use that particular end persona as rocket fuel for this story. You watch it, you’ll see why. Sweatergawd.
Summary: Five weeks after getting Victor to return to the Baxter Building using her lethal arsenal, Nedra goes on with her life as a research chemist. Victor, however, won’t be so easily dismissed, discarded, or disregarded.
1: Bad Habits
Nedra normally left the job after midnight, but tonight it was closer to 2 a.m. It was one of those days; one of those weeks. While Franklin was able to secure Nedra 60% of the funding she needed for her research, she still had to hustle the other 40%. The past couple of weeks had been building towards today, when she had to make two separate presentations to two extremely wealthy philanthropists who were curious about her work in computational biochemistry and electron pathways. For whatever reason, both decided they wanted to hear her presentation on the same damned day, and it cost Nedra 18 hours at the office. She was going to spend the next two days off. She needed to be mindless for 48 hours. Balance was important and besides, she knew she’d been successful. Her research was cutting-edge with enormous benefits to the medical field, especially Big Pharma. If she landed those particular blue whales of the physical chemistry research ocean, she’d have damn near unlimited funding.
Jon would be so proud of her. Franklin would be as well. She would be loathed by some of her colleagues and outright hated by others who were also competing for additional funding, but Nedra didn’t care. It was one of the reasons why she asked Franklin for a certain level of anonymity at Baxter. She knew how petty her colleagues could be.
Nedra was in the massive underground garage walking towards her car, her jacket folded over one arm; in the hand covered by the jacket was her trusty snub-nosed .38 Smith & Wesson. She had her bag over her other shoulder, keys in hand while listening to Tech & the Effx’ “Perfect Match.” Her phone rang and paused the music, and she smiled. Jonathan always called her every night within the same two-hour time period and she was always prepared for it. Nedra clicked the ANSWER button as she walked.
“My Captain,” she said, her smile wide. Jon was a captain in the Marines before he retired.
“Tell me what you wore, Roxy.” Jon said.
“For presentation 1, I wore your favorite: the pink and black Chanel. With the matching stilettos, of course.”
“And the second?”
“My favorite: the black pinstripe Givenchy and the Louboutins.”
“Keva pressed it and twisted it up into the flyest up-do this side of the Atlantic.”
Jon chuckled. She loved his laugh. “And underneath?”
“Well of course my lingerie matches whatever I wear, darling.”
“I’m certain that they’re going to throw a pile of money at you, especially if you were rocking those killer outfits and looking like the woman of their secret dreams.”
She feigned a sigh. “Old white men can be predictable and I will play that game if it gives me what I want, but one’s son was present and tried to shoot holes in my research. Needless to say, he ended up having a nice hot cup of shutthefuckup and a stadium’s worth of seats when I was done dissecting his ass.”
Jon let out a hearty laugh this time. “I would have paid all the money to see his face when you broke him down Master Sergeant-Dr-Nix-style.” Then his tone changed. “I miss you, Roxy. Two weeks more and I’m home. I would love it if we could catch a weekend somewhere.”
“I’ll catch anything anywhere with you, Jon. You know that. You let me know when and where.” One thing she was not good at was making travel plans.
“Already on it. How are you liking your present?”
“I love it; thank you.” She blew kisses into the phone as she turned the corner where the present, a brand new platinum BMW G13 7 Series sat in her parking space. She missed a beat when she saw what came next, but Jon didn’t catch the catch in her voice. “I go out on weekends to that abandoned runway and open her up.” She stopped walking. “It makes me so horny, so you need to come back and go with me so we can christen it afterwards. I really need my big, strong captain to come see about me.” She hadn’t had sex since he left and masturbation only took a woman so far.
Jon laughed again. “Will do, Master Sergeant Nix.”
“Dr. Nix to you,” she teased. “Love you baby, but I gotta run.”
“Text me when you get home, gorgeous. In your lingerie.”
Nedra stared at her car. “I most certainly will. Good night, baby.” She hung up the phone, disbelieving her eyes as she absently cut the music, which had come back on.
Victor Von Doom was casually posted up against the passenger side of her brand new car, in a suit—an unheard-of concept, according to many—holding a large black calla lily. It was an absolutely stunning bloom; the leaves were a deep green flecked with white and there was a thin red bow tied around the upper stem. She wondered how much it cost. Normally, Nedra wasn’t into flowers, but she’d never seen a black lily before, and this particular flower was a showstopper. It rivaled the beauty of its holder.
She had her .38 at the ready. Whenever Nedra walked from the building to her car, she was always armed. While the Baxter garage was monitored and safe, Nedra’s time in the Marines had hardened her and she wasn’t about to get got. At least not in that way. Anybody who tried to fuck with her in the parking lot was going to have a bad day.
This way, however…
She closed her eyes. The last time she’d seen him was five weeks ago, very nearly running out of his apartment after getting what was likely the best sex she’d had in recent years; with Jon included. Victor folded her into a ‘V,’ penetrated her fully and held her in the air while long-stroking her. Nedra wasn’t physically or emotionally able to go to work the next day and she told Victor she never wanted to see him again as she ran out of his apartment.
When she opened her eyes, he was both smiling and smirking. How he achieved it, only he knew. But she knew—deep in that place where women just knew things—he was recollecting those same memories.
“You look unequivocally incredible, Nedra.” he said, standing up to greet her.
She uttered five quiet words: “How did you find me?”
He spread his arms and shrugged. “I’m persistent. You may be surprised at how far it gets you.”
Nedra turned and looked around. Most of the lot was empty. She spied a Range Rover and wondered if it was his. Then she looked at him and unlocked her car. “What did I say to you before I left you?”
“Before you ran away from me, you mean.”
“What did I say?”
“You never wanted to see me again.”
“That’s still true, you know. The absolute verifiable truth. It could be a commandment.”
“My God, you look unbelievable,” he complimented again. “Like that dress was cut to fit you.” The woman had an hourglass figure and a snarky sensibility that drove him batshit insane from the time the Marine walked into his house wearing tight jeans, a snug T-shirt, and a fucking gun on her hip. Victor had been crazy enough to bait her with sex…but maybe not so much because she agreed to give him exactly what he wanted and as much of it as he could get within that time span.
Nedra stared at him as she walked around the front of her gleaming car, knowing he was staring at her ass. “It was.” She stopped at the rear driver’s side door. “Why are you here?”
“No need to get those sexy panties in a bunch or be all offended and persnickety,” he teased, raising one sardonic eyebrow. “Though I’ll forgive you anything in that dress. But to answer your question, I have something for you,” he said, holding up the lily.
Nedra opened the rear door and put her bag and jacket inside of it. She had stashed her other suit in the trunk earlier in the day. She was exhausted and did not feel like dealing with Victor. At all, pretty flower aside.
“I don’t want it,” she said, closing the door. She walked to the driver’s side door, her gun in hand. Victor came around and stood on the other side of her door.
“This particular species came a long way for you, Dr. Nix.” He held it out to her.
“I don’t want to see you, Victor.” She put the gun on the passenger side seat.
“Don’t want to, or can’t bear to?”
“Don’t. Want. To.”
“You already know the answer to that. You are many things…an asshole douche being number one. But you are not an idiot. You know damn well why.”
“Because you enjoy me more than you care to admit.” He extended the lily once more.
“Because you don’t know how to stay in your lane. You can’t let that be what it was: a job, a task. You were an assignment.”
Nedra closed her eyes, calming herself. Victor’s nearness was affecting her in ways she didn’t want. He used the lily to touch her lip. “It wasn’t that for me, and it wasn’t that for you either. Do you handle all your assignments from Franklin that way?”
“No,” she said, her hand curling around the doorframe. “Of course not. You were the most difficult task he’s given me, and damn, how I regret him for it…”
The lily slid over one cheek and Nedra stifled a chuffy breath. Her grip on the car door tightened. “I’ve had a long, long, long day, Victor. What do you want?”
“I know. Hustling big wigs and fat cats for cash.”
Nedra opened her eyes, venom in her tone. “Not all of us are independently wealthy, asshole! And I have a staff!”
“Whoa,” he said, backing off just the tiniest bit. “I wasn’t criticizing you. Just the opposite. A lot of people knew who you were entertaining today, and I must say that there are a lot of your ilk who are not pleased about it.”
“Do I look like I give the slightest third of a fuck?” She sat down in the driver’s seat and inhaled. The Bima still had that new car smell. “Again, what do you want, Victor?” she asked, removing her patent leather Louboutins.
Victor watched her remove her shoes and gazed longingly at her legs. “What do you think I want, Nedra?”
“Sex, of course. It’s all you could possibly want from me, because there’s nothing else we have. You’ll have to get it from Sue or someone else. Like I told you, there are women here who would gladly bang your back out and drain your dick dry if you so much as said ‘Please.’”
“Ever since you hipped me to Sue, I’ve barely noticed her.” He snorted and slid the lily down her neck and over her bare shoulder. “And…please.”
“My mistake,” she said, starting her car with the fob. “That wasn’t my business and I’m sorry about that. I should have never interfered with your love life. Maybe if you figured out how to step to her, she’d give you the attention you need. Maybe your game is weak. Maybe she’d be the kind of wife you want. I’ve since become convinced you need one. Somebody needs to take care of you. But it can’t and won’t be me, so get that through your head.” Nedra pulled her legs into the car and grabbed her shoes, carelessly tossing them in the passenger seat well. She took a moment to put her S&W in the glove compartment.
The look in Victor’s smoldering brown eyes was obvious. “Trying to close all the doors, aren’t you?” he asked in an equally smoldering voice.
Nedra looked him directly in said eyes. “I just want you to leave me alone, Victor. You’re dangerous. You’re thermite.”
“But you’re still here,” he said, the calla lily hanging over the door.
Nedra closed the door so fast that the stem got caught in the door and broke in two. The lily fell in her lap. She rolled down her window. “There’s nothing here for you, Victor. I’m certain you heard my phone call.”
“Yeah, so? My feelings about him haven’t changed, so what?” Nedra’s boyfriend meant about as much to Victor as a sand flea on vacation in Moscow.
“He’s not going anywhere. He’s the love of my life, a man I have been with for 18 years. Jon loves me in every way a man can love a woman. I don’t think you have much experience in that regard. You don’t even listen to me. You certainly will never be able to take care of me the way he does…and no, money has nothing to do with it. Face it, Vic; you can’t hang. You can’t compete. So for both our sakes, let this go.”
Victor glared at her, anger twisting his features but he didn’t care. He still wanted Nedra and to hear her say he didn’t have the ability or capacity to love or take care of her was insulting; it felt like she stuck her Bowie in his gut...and then had the balls to call him Vic. That pissed him off. He leaned into her car window and reached down in her lap for the lily. The bloom was still intact. Victor scooped it up, kissed it, and handed it to her. Nedra sighed and took it, and then put it on the dashboard.
“Challenge accepted,” he said softly.
“No,” Nedra said.
“You’re treating me like my name is Stanley or something when you don’t know what I’m capable of when it comes to what I want. You have no idea what I’ll do.”
“All we did was fuck,” she said, putting both hands on the wheel. “That was all we did, and no matter how excellent it was—I will not take that from you—sex was all it was. I know that you’re capable of virtuoso-level exploits and you can fuck like nobody’s business, but that’s all I know…and want to know.”
He ran a finger over her arm. Her skin was so beautiful and so soft. He remembered how good it felt to bathe her. “You’re a liar.”
Nedra sucked her teeth and glared at the man. “It’s like you don’t understand basic math or logic when you have two PhDs and are the smartest man I’ve ever met.”
“Maybe you haven’t noticed, but you make me do irrational, illogical things. I don’t give a damn about him or what you have or what he does or how he loves you. I don’t give a fuck about any of that shit. You tell me I can’t compete, but you don’t know how vicious and tenacious I can be when I want something. I want you, Nedra. You make me crave something I didn’t know I even needed until I met you…and if the love you have with him is strong, then he won’t be scared of a little competition. After 18 years, you better hope he’s not.”
“What’s going to ruin you is that you don’t listen, Victor! Jon listens to me; every word I say and even the ones I don’t. I’m telling you important things and you’re not listening. You insist on forcing your way into my life when I don’t want you there.”
Victor took her hand off the wheel, noting that she hadn’t made the slightest effort to drive away, even though she could have over five minutes ago. Nedra had slender hands and long fingers with nails painted a wicked shade of red that were just long enough to feel good scraping his scalp and body. She had washed his hair and beard while at his house; it was the first time a woman had ever done that to him and he was putty in her hands afterwards. He closed his eyes and kissed her fingers.
He noticed that she did not pull away.
Nedra squeezed her thighs together. The man was indeed dangerous. She thought about all kinds of volatile chemical reactions.
Another kiss; this one to the palm of her hand and in a voice like honey: “Do you really not want me there?”
Nedra stared into those liquid brown eyes and swallowed. He was freshly shaven and clean in every sense of the word, but he let his hair grow out a few inches. He looked good and smelled even better; 180 degrees from the bum she’d been sent to recruit. It was partially the sex, but more so the connection that they’d tentatively established that worried her. Victor made no secret of his desire for her and that terrified her. She was a soldier; battle-scarred and hardened, tough to the bone, and had beaten opponents twice her size. Nedra was fearless, but Victor von Doom was no ordinary opponent. She knew enough about him from Franklin that Victor was unstable, and unstable men were…well, dangerous.
“Nedra,” he said, his voice quiet, her fingertips on his lips. “Don’t lie to me. Do you really not want me there?”
She could utter the words without her voice shaking. She could. She just needed to breathe slowly and think of her handsome, beloved Jon…who was coming home in two weeks. She hadn’t seen him a month. Nedra was trying to wrap up this quarter’s research so she could have a few weeks with her man when he came home.
Nedra pulled her hand away. “There’s nothing for us, Victor. We had our night. It happened and it was good. That’s it. That’s all,” she said.
He touched her lips, tracing them, remembering how good they felt on his. He didn’t fail to notice that yet again, she allowed him the intimacy of touching her mouth. “You didn’t answer my question, Marine.”
“How did you find me?” she said, getting nervous. “Why couldn’t you leave me alone; give me what I asked for?” She put her hand on the gearshift. It was time to go.
“You ask as if I have a choice in the matter. I drove myself nuts walking the halls looking for you for weeks. Your name isn’t anywhere in this building and people either do not know you by name, do not know who you are, or are lying about it. Then finally, I said fuck it and asked Franklin.”
Nedra turned on him like a cobra. “YOU DID WHAT?” She didn't want him knowing anything about her and Victor.
“Relax,” he said. “I told him that you left your hat at my house and I wanted to return it.”
“Then you also know he said to leave it with him,” she said.
“He did say that, but I convinced him that I wanted to give it to you personally to thank you for convincing me to come back to work. I hate Reed with a singular passion, but his work is solid and I am marginally impressed. Johnny could go die in a fire as far as I’m concerned, and Sue…Anyway, Franklin bought my lie and told me where I could find you. But he didn’t tell me you work at night. I must have looked like an idiot to your staff, standing around waiting for you to show up.”
“Fucking stalker,” Nedra said and gunned the engine. The vibration of the V8 calmed her down.
“I wouldn’t be if you weren’t so secretive.”
“And yet, you’re here!”
“This,” he said, stroking the roof, “is what gave you away. That place is a veritable grapevine and even though it is something I try to avoid, word trickled down to the basement that you’d gotten a top of the line platinum G13 7 Series and folks were green with envy. There’s a lot of speculation as to how you got it and who you got it from.” He shrugged and looked at her. “So I watched my feeds, greased a few security pockets and waited. And here I am.”
Nedra sighed. She didn’t give a damn about them hatin’ ass haters at Baxter. They might talk a ton of shit about her even if they didn’t really know who she was, but if it wasn’t for her and her badass squad of chemists and physicists, they would go without a lot of their own research completed. So they were jealous of her car. So what? It was stupid because a lot of the people who worked there had nice rides. Hell, Franklin drove a BMW and Dr. Allen drove a big-ass gas-guzzling Mercedes. She couldn’t help it if Jon got it in his head to buy her a brand new car and it just so happened to be a state-of-the-art prototype. Her new whip was sitting in her parking space in her apartment complex with a big bow on it just five days ago. Before then, she drove a 2008 Mustang GT.
Nedra made three different faces and gunned her engine again. It really was time to go. “Victor, I can’t have you the way I want you and if I can’t have that, then I don’t want you at all. So please, let this be the end.” She put the car in DRIVE and flew out of her space a lot faster than she intended, nearly running over his toes. He jumped back, the broken lily stem in his hand and a devious smile on his face.
“I’m afraid that’s not going to happen, sweet Nedra,” he said, clutching the broken stem.
“How Soon is Now?” –The Smiths
“Read Your Mind” -Avant
"Cupid Carries a Gun" -Marilyn Manson
"Cupid Carries a Gun" -Marilyn Manson
“Thinkin’ About You” -Tony Toni Tone
"Foxy Lady" -Jimi Hendrix
"One More Chance" -The Notorious B.I.G.
"Foxy Lady" -Jimi Hendrix
"One More Chance" -The Notorious B.I.G.