A/N: Once again, I'm stepping into new territory. I've been reading Ant Man fics with Scott and Hope on AO3 and they've been turning me into mush. Why this pairing doesn't have hundred of fics written about them on this site, I don't know. However, I decided to contribute with this little one shot, except it's mainly focused on Hope/Cassie, but it's still a Scott/Hope-centric. I hope you guys enjoy it. :D
Maggie and Paxton had just gotten married and were away on their honeymoon. So Scott, Hope and surprisingly, Hank, had all talked it over and agreed that Cassie would stay at the Pym house while her mother and stepfather were away.
Even though Hope had agreed with Scott and her father about bringing Cassie into their home. She never would have admitted it to anyone, least of all, Scott - God, she'd never hear the end of it from him - but she was actually nervous about the whole thing.
The time she'd spent with Cassie had mostly been when she and Scott picked her up from school, ate an occasional dinner with Maggie, Paxton and Cassie. Then, sometimes, Hope and Scott would take the little girl to the fair, the park or the zoo.
It had been hard at first, spending time with Cassie. Particularly in her own home. Not that Hope disliked her by any means, but she had never been much of a kid person. Dealing with the loss of her mother and being away from her father, had made her grow up a little faster than most kids.
Hope was used to living life with a sturdy backbone and put her feelings on hold, or else, they'd run away with her. She was a confident businesswoman and had no problem speaking before a board of directors, but for some reason, the idea of being around her boyfriend's little girl for a couple of weeks made her very uneasy.
The good thing was that Cassie was a little kid, so she didn't notice the bubbling turmoil inside of her daddy's girlfriend. She simply saw a nice lady who made her daddy happy and that was all it took to draw her to the woman.
Over the course of the next two weeks, Cassie and Hope had grown close. This first dawned on Hope when she was in the basement with Cassie, teaching her how to throw a punch. In a way, it was funny because it made her think of several months ago when she taught Scott how to throw a punch. Now she was teaching his daughter. Would wonders never cease?
The little girl had been so eager to learn that she threw the punches excitedly at the bag with a grin on her face. There was so much of her father in her that it made Hope smile herself.
"No, here. You have to plant your feet on the ground and twist your hips, but not so much that you'll spin. Watch me, Cassie." Hope stood before the bag and crouched a bit, making sure to keep her feet steady on the ground. She held her fists up and moved her hips just a little, planting a hard punch on the bag.
"Oooh, that's so cool! I wanna try!" Cassie began to hop up and down ecstatically.
Another smile worked its way to Hope's face. "Okay, but let's do it slow. Alright." She motioned for the girl to step forward, facing the bag. "Now, look at my feet. See how they're positioned? Mimic my movements."
Cassie did as she was told and held up her fists. "What next?"
"Next, you pivot on your right foot and drive your fist into the bag. Like this." Hope stood in front of Cassie so she could see her better. Again, she planted her feet and turned, punching the bag hard. "Now, you try."
"Um, like this?" Cassie pivoted on the correct foot and the tiny fist she sent towards the bag was successful. Granted, the bag didn't move very much, but it was still an achievement in the little girl's eyes.
"Yay!" She squealed and jumped around the room.
Her excitement was infectious and Hope let out a laugh, holding out her hand to the girl for a high five. "Great job! You'll be a pro in no time!"
Instead of taking Hope's hand, Cassie threw herself into the woman's arms and hugged her tightly.
The action shocked Hope and she almost fell off balance, but quickly corrected her footing and slowly moved her hands to the little girl's back. She normally didn't hug people, due to the sometimes awkwardness she felt at expressing a lot of emotion.
Hope was used to living life protecting herself, never letting anyone get to close because of the scars from her past. She had to be brave and tough because, inside, she was a mess. Over the past few months, though, that had changed as she began opening up to her father and even Scott - although, he could still ruin those heartfelt moments with his ridiculously out of place comments, but she knew he cared and that was more than enough.
It was just the physical touch that had her a bit apprehensive. Not to say that Hope felt vulnerable just by hugging someone or holding their hand, but she wasn't used to recieving that kind of affection, so she had to open herself up to it. Scott told her that it would take some time, but eventually, she'd be able to feel freer once she did it more.
And yet, being here holding this Cassie in her arms made something spark inside of Hope. She felt some of those carefully built barriers fall as the little girl embraced her and buried her nose in her shoulder. The emotion was so thick that Hope was afraid when the girl drew back and began talking again, she wouldn't be able to answer her.
I want a child like her someday.
These thoughts surprised Hope and a few tears slid down her cheek as she realised how true it was. The swell of pride she'd felt when Cassie landed a punch, the unexplainable joy that ran through her being as she watched Cassie jump around, her pigtails flying in the air, excited that she hit the bag the right way.
It opened something in her heart that she hasn't expected. A desire to have a child of her own one day. A child with Scott.
Yes, it was true that they had only been dating for six months, but those six months had been among the best in Hope's entire life. His moment was just adding to it.
Spending this precious time with Cassie made Hope realise that there was a future for she and Scott. She could see it so clearly. Being married to Scott and being a stepmother to Cassie. Even having children of their own. It warmed her heart and scared her a little bit at the same time because Hope really did want those things.
She wanted a home full of laughter and children and a silly, doting husband who took care of her and understood her, letting her be herself. Hope wanted all of the things that she'd read about in the storybooks as a child. She yearned for a family of her own, and for the first time in her life, with Cassie in her arms, she felt like it was possible.
"Hope?" Cassie had drawn back and was looking at her with a curious expression.
"Why are you crying?" The little girl touched Hope's cheek with her forefinger.
She had been crying and she didn't even know it. Wiping the tears away with one of her hands, Hope let out a small laugh and shook her head. "It's because I'm so proud of you."
"Oh, yes." That wasn't a lie either.
Cassie smiled at the woman and patted her cheek. "So these are happy tears."
"Mmhm, happy tears."
The little girl bit her lip and looked around the room cautiously before speaking again. "Can I tell you a secret?"
Hope cocked her head to the side and she nodded. "You can tell me anything, Cassie."
The girl bit her lip again for a moment and leaned over to Hope, whispering in her ear. "If you marry my daddy, that would make me happy."
An involuntary gasp left Hope's lips and she stared at the little girl in a new light. "You...mean that?"
Cassie beamed and nodded. "Yes. I know my daddy already loves you and I love you, too."
Was this really happening or was she just daydreaming? "I...I love you, too, Cassie."
"Good! But I have a question."
Struggling to keep her emotions in check, Hope patted the girl's hand tenderly and replied, "What is it, honey?"
This time, there was no bother to stay quiet. Cassie spoke up in a determined voice with her hands on her hips. "Can I be your flower girl?"
Hope choked. Well, she hadn't expected that either.
It was difficult for her vocal chords to work, but Cassie asked her a question and needed to hear an answer. "Y-yes, honey. You can be the flower girl at our wedding."
"Awesome! You're the best, Hope!" The little girl gave her another hug and this time, Hope's arms clung to the child like she was her lifeline. This girl had broken down her defenses in less than five minutes. She really was her father's daughter.
Hope could feel earnesty and love from the girl just like she could with Scott. They held on to each other for a while before the sounded of footsteps made their way down the stairs and Scott came into the basement.
"Daddy!" Cassie looked up and ran out of Hope's arms, into her father's gleefully.
"Hey, peanut! Been having fun?"
"Yes! Hope taught me how to punch and I hit the bag really hard!"
Scott gasped as if he were in shock and gave her a kiss on the forehead. "That's awesome! Tell me more about it a little later, okay? Lunch is ready and I bet you're hungry."
"Ooo, yeah! I'm starving!" Cassie got out of her father's embrace and began to run to the stairs. Turning back, she gave Hope a wave. "Thank you, Hope!" Then she went up to the kitchen.
Hope had waved back at Cassie and ran the back of her hand over her eyes. "I'll be up in a minute, too."
Scott went over to her, a concerned look on his face. "Why are you crying, Hope? Is everything okay?" He was a bit already because he's only seen her cry once and that was months ago when Hank told her what happened to her mother and why he sent her away.
"Yeah, I'll be okay in just a minute." She gave him a weak smile, trying not to tremble.
"No, Hope. Something's wrong. What is it?" He touched her arm and pulled her to him.
There was no point in hiding it from him. He'd find out from her sooner or later. Hope rubbed her arm and said quietly,"Cassie. She...said that she'd be happy if you and I got married."
Scott's eyebrows rose. That wasn't what he expected her to tell him. After a few quiet moments, his lips quirked slightly. "She really said that?"
"Yes, and not just that...she said she wants to be a flower girl in our wedding and that she loves me...and when she said it, I just knew that I loved her, too." Hope's shoulders shook and she covered her face with her hand.
"Wow..." Scott had no words to describe the surprise he felt at that moment. His little peanut had given the woman he'd been seeing romantically her approval. Even though he wondered how Cassie would bring the matter up, he hadn't expected her to say anything to Hope so soon. However, the fact that Hope loved his little girl made his heart leap for joy. This was what he'd always wanted.
"She knows how happy we've been together. Kids. They notice everything, right?" A little laugh came from Hope's lips and she looked into Scott's eyes, affection in her gaze.
"Yeah, they do, pretty much."
"Well, since we have your daughter's apporval, any time you feel like popping the question, feel free."
Scott smirked and slid his hands around Hope's waist. "I'll make sure to remember that." He kissed her forehead and squeezed her gently. "I just want you to know that she's not wrong. I understand that we've only been seeing each other for a handful of months, but I wouldn't be lying if I said that I don't see you in my future. This may be premature, but I can't imagine my life without you in it, Hope. I love you." There was no fear or doubt in his honest words.
The brunette smiled and more tears began to fall down the side of her face. This time, she didn't bother to stop them. "I can't imagine a future in my life without you either, Scott. Even though you do drive me crazy sometimes, I love you, too, and there's nowhere else I'd rather be than with you right now."
His eyes focused on her lips and she shuddered under his intimate gaze. "I'm glad the feeling's mutual, then." Leaning forward, Scott pressed his lips to Hope's and she sighed, moving her hands behind his back and up to his neck.
The kiss was gentle and loving. Full of warmth and a promise of a bright future for them both.
Geez, the feels in this fic are just too much! ;~;
-holds out box of tissues-