Scott yawned, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. The morning was bright, the air coming through the window cool and refreshing. He grumbled a little as he stretched, before realizing that the space next to him was cold. Hope must be up already. Scratching his unshaven jaw and taking a sip of water from the glass on the nightstand, he allowed himself one more big yawn before throwing back the sheets and getting on with his day.
His arrival in the kitchen was greeted with the sight of mother and daughter busily making breakfast. Janet was humming along with the radio, sprinkling in blueberries to the sizzling batter before her. A healthy stack of finished pancakes already rested next to her, a pat of butter oozing down the top as it melted.
Scott's stomach growled loudly, alerting his girlfriend to his presence. Hope turned around to smile at him, her hands still busy assembling the simple white tea set. He grinned back, coming over to give her a quick peck on the lips. "Morning." he said. Her freckled nose wrinkled in reply. "What?"
"Sorry." he responded, a little sheepishly. He reached around her, scooping up a mostly full mug of coffee and taking a hearty sip. She gave him a look. "Coffee breath is better, right?"
She snorted, filling the sugar bowl with fresh cubes.
"Oh come on Hope. Are you telling me a little bit of coffee breath is going to keep you away from these luscious lips?" She rolled her eyes and quirked her mouth up in amusement.
He leaned in a little, voice dropping, still aware of Janet in the room with them. "Oh you laugh now, but I know you can't resist." She paused what she was doing and turned her body to face his. She arched her brow, silently challenging him. "You forget I know all the naughty little things you like, including the ones I do with their very mouth." She shifted a little closer to him, her lip now caught between her teeth. "I've seen how you squirm when I kiss you just there." he tapped the spot just under her jaw near her jugular. "I've made you whimper and whine. I've seen you beg for my mouth to touch you."
Hope swallowed thickly. Her eyes did that thing they do when she wants him. Flicking down to stare at his mouth, but then quickly back at his eyes like she was almost embarrassed to be caught thinking about it. His heart sped up a beat and his breath tightened with anticipation. He grinned, thinking that he'd won.
She leaned in, her nose brushing his, impossibly close. Slowly their lips touched, a mere whisper of a kiss. He reached out to pull her closer, Janet be damned, when suddenly, she was gone, dancing out of his grasp and across the kitchen.
Dazed and confused Scott blinked, hands now empty of morning brew. What just happened?
"What's the matter Lang? Those luscious lips of yours at a loss for words?"
It took a moment for the blood supply to return to his brain. "Oh now that was just cruel."
"You love it." she teased. Hope bounced on the balls of her feet, smiling from ear to ear. She made a show of drinking from the mug, humming deep and low in satisfaction, knowing just what those noises do to him. "Better than morning breath." she conceded. " But next time, get your own coffee."
He smiled to himself as he watched her sauntering off to the breakfast table. She never failed to surprise him. It was one of the things he enjoyed about their relationship. He turned back to the machine and poured himself his own cup, combining it with the tea tray. He balanced his load carefully, setting it down on the polished wood surface, just as Janet brought in the pancakes. Hank adjusted his paper, giving Scott a nod of thanks as his tea cup was placed in front him. Earl Grey, no milk, two sugars.
The four of them sat down in companionable silence, passing around plates and cutlery. Pancakes were topped with butter, syrup or cream. Fresh juice poured and spare fruit from the bowl passed around. The house was filled with nothing but the contented sounds of forks scraping, mouths chewing and morning beverages being sipped.
After some time, Hank turned over the final page of The Times, folded the newspaper and set it down next to his breakfast on the table. "So Scott, are you planning to actually move out of my house sometime soon, or are you just hoping to continue living here rent free while sleeping with my daughter?"
Scott nearly choked on his mouthful of pancakes while Hope garbled her coffee down her chin.
"What? He's been here two months already. Eating my groceries, using my water. Borrowing my things."
Hope was quick to jump to his offense. "It's not like Scott has been sitting around doing nothing Dad."
"I didn't say he was, but this is my house dammit and..!"
"Hank! Honestly." chided his wife.
"It's alright." said Scott soothingly. He took a sip of water to clear the last bits of pancake blocking his windpipe, then turned to face the older man. "Hank, I appreciate how generous both you and Janet have been."
"Hope, please. Let me finish. As I said, I'm very grateful and I am doing everything in my power to not burden you any further. I know I've overstayed my welcome. I've been looking for a place to stay, but it's been a little harder than I would have imagined. Now that everyone is back, from you know, before Thanos, there aren't a ton of empty places available in our budget."
"What about that place you had before? Where you spent your house arrest?" asked Hank.
"Luis wasn't able to pay the rent on his own when I was stuck in the Quantum void and had to find somewhere else. But I promise, I will find a place soon. It's part of my custody agreement to see Cassie and while I doubt that's going to matter as much with a 15 year old, I want to set a good example you know? Plus there are a lot of other things to consider. Do we want an apartment just big enough for us, or a place with the potential to grow?"
"Grow?" asked Janet, starting to realize what Scott meant by 'our budget' and 'what we want'.
"Yah well you know, it's maybe a little early but I definitely want more..."
"Pancakes!" Hope almost shouted, nervous panic written on her features. She could feel every eye on her as she desperately tried to control her breathing. She laughed nervously. "He wants more..pancakes. Right Scott?" He looked at her like she had a second head.
"I well, uh yah, sure, I'll take another." Hope sighed in relief, plopping two more pancakes onto his plate. That was way too close. "So as I was saying…"
"I think.. " interrupted Janet. Oh thank God. "...what Scott is trying to say is that he's working on it honey, so let's give the man some space. It sounds like he has some important decisions to make with his partner." Hope's cheeks bloomed pink as her mother shot her a sly wink across the table.
A dissatisfied grunt was all Hank had to respond. Thankfully Janet continued to offer some salvation from this awkward conversation and got up to wash her plate. The couple joined her in clearing the table, busing dishes and wiping crumbs from the polished surface. The quiet only lasted a few moments though before Scott felt he had to speak again. Hope loved him but sometimes that man just didn't know when to shut up.
Scott did his best to look earnest as possible, considering he was holding a dirty dish cloth and wearing Hank's pajama bottoms."I promise sir, I will find something soon. My budget isn't great what with the security business still getting back on its feet but with Hope sharing the rent we should be able to affor...ughk!" His sentence was cut short by the uncomfortable feeling of his air being cut off by the collar of his t-shirt. Hope had yanked him, hard, out of the dining room.
"What did you say?" said an angry and confused sounding Hank. "Did he just say you're sharing the rent? Are you two moving in together?!"
The couple all but ran down the hall, choosing to ignore Hank's questions. "Are you freaking kidding me Scott?" hissed Hope, pulling him now roughly by the arm up the stairs and away from her protective father. "Sorry" was all he could say. She shot him an angry glare as he followed, rubbing the red mark on his neck.
"Moving in together!" huffed Hank, joining his wife in the kitchen. "The two of them still sneak around my house like aren't ready for that."
"Oh come now dear, she's a grown woman. She can do as she likes." He stroked his goatee in consternation.
"We only just got you back Janet. I would have thought she'd want to spend more time with you, with us. At the house, in the lab. I wasn't around enough before, I know that now. I was too consumed with work, but I thought this time might be different. That it might be my chance to change that."
Janet smiled softly. Her husband acted all callus and tough sometimes but he really was a big ol' softy. "Hank, darling. Hope will still be here. She is just as committed to our Quantum research as we are, but that doesn't mean she doesn't get to have a life too. Scott makes her happy. Makes her laugh. He loves her and though you may not want to admit it, she loves him just as much. She will always need her family, but she needs that in her life too. She deserves it."
Hank sighed. Janet patted his cheek affectionately. She handed him the dish cloth and turned back the sudsy water. He took the hint, pulling out dishes from the rack, drying and putting them away.
"Besides, don't you think it's time? We certainly aren't getting any younger and I want grandchildren before I'm too old to walk."
The cup Hank was holding clattered to the floor. "Grandchildren?"
Hope all but threw him into their bedroom, closing the door behind them with a heavy thud.
"What the hell Scott?"
"I know, I know, I'm sorry okay? It just sort of slipped out."
"We talked about this. You know how my Dad is. We both agreed that it was best for me to tell him once we had found a place and it was official. He isn't exactly your biggest fan."
"Oh come on, he doesn't not like me. He chose me to be Ant-Man after all."
"Not the point here Scott."
"Look, he already knows we're together. Plus he clearly isn't buying your whole sleeping in separate rooms charade so what does it matter? We're basically engaged. Moving in together is hardly that big of a step."
"I swear to God Scott if you get down on one knee and present me with a diamond ring right now I will literally punch you in the face."
"So much for that plan." he joked. She shot him an angry glare.
"Woah, okay, message received. But you already said yes, and you know I'm all in. Look.." he sighed, "..I know this isn't the way you wanted it to go and I apologize for that, but at least now he knows. You don't have to get all worked up now, worrying about telling him or what he might say."
Hope looked at him a moment, considering his words. She took a steadying breath. "I suppose you're right. Mom is no doubt working her magic on him in the kitchen right about now. If anyone can calm him down it's her."
Scott took his chances and wrapped Hope in a hug, resting his head against hers. She relaxed into his touch, wrapping her arms around his back.
"Van Dyne women are pretty excellent at convincing others to do as they're told."
Hope smirked, the playful spark back in her eye. She hands wandered around to his front, finger tips skimming the waistband of his pajama bottoms. "I can think of one very compelling argument right now," she purred. Scott gulped audibly.
She broke from their embrace, her body backing away as his arched towards hers as if pulled by some invisible force. "But sadly, we don't have time."
"Uh, but, what about…" stumbled Scott, mouth suddenly very dry. This woman was going to be the death of him.
"Nope, sorry Babe. You were the one who promised my Dad we'd find a place. We can't afford to be wasting any more time. Go shower while I look at the latest listings online. We've got a long day ahead of us."
Scott groaned, mimicking a child who was just told to go do chores by his parents. She gave him a playful slap on the ass as he headed for the bathroom. "Cheer up Scotty. This is what you wanted right?"