Cassie Lang was six years old when she notices her Dad has fallen in love. Unfortunately, her Father hadn't noticed...
Hope Van Dyne had come into Scott Lang's life at a rough time for them both. Eventually, they grew close, even kissed a few times. But between's Hope's focus on the fact her mother might still be alive, and Scott's new business, they'd decided to be 'just friends'.
Cassie Lang was not satisfied with this. Her Father was her idol, her hero, and as far as she was concerned he deserved all the happiness in the world. Cassie decided the answer to this was Hope, and worked hard to keep the two close.
1: August 2015
Cassie stayed with her Dad every Friday night and every other Saturday, she'd have preferred more time, but after years apart she'd take what she could get. After three weekends in a row spent with just her Father, Cassie questioned Scott about where Hope was. The young girl had taken an instant liking to her and she liked the way her Dad was around her; he seemed happier, more relaxed. Cassie both missed Hope, and missed the way her Father smiled when she was nearby.
"She's working, peanut" Scott explained.
"But it's a Saturday..."
"Some people work at weekends, Cass"
"Can she come see us after work?" the six year old asked, crossing her fingers and pouting at her Dad.
"I'll ask her, okay" Scott promised, snapping a photo of Cassie to accompany his message to Hope. To his surprise, his tactic work and Hope agreed to meet them for ice cream and a walk in the park after dinner.
Scott hadn't seen Cassie so excited in a long time, it warmed his heart to know his little girl adored and admired Hope so much. He was also grateful to Hope for agreeing to spend the evening with him; all for the sake of Cassie of course.
They met by the park, outside 'Mama's', the best ice cream parlour in the city and Scott bought them each a scoop before the three made their way to the park, hand in hand. They spent the next few hours on the swings, playing hide a seek and helping Cassie climb trees while it was still light, until it was time to head back home. Cassie held a hand of each of the adults and skipped happily between them before she tired.
Scott had offered to carry his daughter back home but Cassie has requested Hope carried her. Hope had agreed and it wasn't long before the young girl was asleep in her arms, head resting on Hope's shoulder while her arms hung loosely by her side.
"She missed you" Scott told Hope as they approached his home.
"I'm sorry I haven't been around a lot. I missed her too" she replied, running her fingers through Cassie's hair gently with a small smile, holding her close. It had surprised her at just how much she'd missed Cassie. And Scott...
"I missed you, too, you know?" Scott added as they reached his front door. Hope's gaze flicked back to him as she struggled to find the right words to say. She was saved from trying to voice her feelings when Cassie stirred. She moved to adjust her hold, to allow Scott to take his daughter, but Cassie only tightened her arms around Hope and sleepily asked her to stay and tuck her in.
And that was how Hope ended up in Scott's apartment that night. Scott offered her a beer once Cassie was well and truly down for the night, she accepted and they spent the next several hours just talking. And laughing. Each coming to realise that they had missed each other far more than they'd realised...
It was after eleven when Hope realised her car was still parked outside the ice cream parlour. Scott didn't want her to leave, and truthfully neither did Hope. He offered her his bed and promised to sleep on the sofa, stating that Cassie would love to have her over for breakfast. She agreed, but insisted she'd be the one to take the couch. Though, in the end, it didn't matter, the pair of them stayed up talking into the early hours, planning out the next few weekends with trips to the zoo, the movies, ice skating, restaurants... Places they could take Cassie together. The pair of them both fell to sleep on Scott's couch sometime after three.
The next morning when Cassie woke, it was to find her Father asleep on the sofa. Hope was asleep with her head in his lap. Cassie smiled to herself, skipping happily to the kitchen to turn on the coffee machine for the pair of them, just like her Dad had shown her.
2: November 2015
Over the next few months, Hope had been spending more and more time with Scott. They'd decided to keep it casual, but she was there more often than not when Cassie visited.
Over time, they developed their own routines, began to feel more comfortable together despite Hank's disapproval, and they continued to get closer. Cassie fits into their routine with ease and comfort; Hope was the only one allowed to read Harry Potter to Cassie, because they started it together and it became their book. Cassie had also decided that she no longer wanted to take ballet, but instead wanted to do kickboxing like Hope.
One weekend in mid November, Cassie became unwell. Maggie had told Scott she was too unwell to come stay and he promised to bring her ice cream as soon as she felt better. It was a cold, miserable weekend that Scott now had to spend alone. Hope was in Los Angeles for business. A long, tiring week full of meeting after meeting... That day she was looking forward to a warm shower, a glass of wine and a well deserved early night. However, when she got back to her room, she had several missed calls and a voicemail from Scott.
"Hey, Hope. I know you're busy, and I don't really know if it's stupid to have called, but Cassie is ill. Nothing too serious, I don't want to panic you or anything, but she's asking for you... I promised I'd find out when you're due back... So when you get chance can you give me a call? Thanks"
Hope listened to the message a few times, giving herself time to quell her initial panic over Cassie being unwell enough for Scott too call her, before eventually returning the call. She wasn't due back in San Francisco until Friday. Four longdays away...
"Don't worry about it, Hope. Cass'll understand" Scott promised her before they finished the call and hung up.
Hope couldn't help but feel like she was letting Cassie down... Not only that, the tone of Scott's voice was disappointed. He was more worried about Cassie than he was letting on and he wanted her there too... She sat and debated with herself for a while. Would she be stepping on Maggie's toes if she went back to see her? But Hope knew what it felt like to be a child who wanted someone who wasn't there for her. And her decision was made.
It was too late to get a flight back, so Hope did the only semi-rational thing she can think of, and rented a car, speeding most of the 300 miles back home.
Scott was clearly surprised when she knocked on his door at six am the following morning, but the smile that lit up his face was unmistakable; he was relieved to see her. They made their way over to Maggie and Paxton's, a huge tub of chocolate ice cream courtesy of Scott and, despite the fact Hope was still wearing her suit from the night before, she'd found the time to grab their copy of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets to take with her.
That night, when Cassie was firmly on the mend and sleeping soundly, the pair took comfort in each other. They reflected on their relationship and the small family they'd somehow become. Next week, when Cassie came to visit Scott, Hope had officially moved in.
3: June 2016
"Cass, sweetie. Can you come here a sec?" Maggie called from the kitchen.
"What's up, Mommy?" Cassie asked as she skidded round the corner and came face to face with her Mother.
"Why did you ask for three tickets to your school play, sweetie? We already explained that Paxton has to work that night" The envelope containing the three tickets was on the table, along with the request form where Cassie had clearly edited the neatly written '2' her Mom had filled into and turned it into a '3'.
Cassie looked up to her Mother with an innocent smile, looking every part Scott Lang's Daughter. "Cass?" her Mom repeated, raising her eyebrow.
"I wanted Hope to come" she admitted, shyly.
"Did you ask Hope?" Maggie asked, wondering if her daughter had plotted this entirely on her own.
"Did you ask your Dad?.."
"Why not?" Maggie moved to kneel in front of her daughter, whose gaze had fallen to the floor.
"I didn't know if you'd want Hope to come or not..." Cassie replied, chewing her lip nervously.
And there it was. Maggie knew how much Cassie adored Hope. But as she was getting older, she was beginning to worry about any potential rivalry between her Mother and her Father's girlfriend. "Sweetie, I think it would be great if Hope could come to your play" Maggie told her, drawing a smile from Cassie and earning herself a hug.
Maggie had been a child of divorce. She remembered vividly what it felt like for her Mother and Step Mom to argue over her, to feel like she was caught in the middle, to be used as a pawn for her Father to get back at her Mother and vice versa... That night, Maggie created a group chat for the four adults in Cassie's life so they could organise things together and Scott found himself invited on a double date with his ex wife, her new husband and his girlfriend. Though he expected it to be one of the more awkward nights of his life, it went exceptionally well and it soon became a monthly occurrence. Not to mention, Cassie was thrilled that her Mother and Hope were getting along so well.
4: May 2017
Hope and Scott arrived at Maggie's to collect Cassie for their first week away together early in the morning. Cassie excitedly greeted her Father at the door with a hug before running down the driveway and leaping into Hope's arms.
"Thanks for agreeing to this Maggie" Scott smiled, taking their daughters bag from her. "It's no problem, Cassie loves spending time with you and Hope" the other woman smiled, watching Cassie giggle as Hope twirled her around.
It had become easier between Scott and Maggie since Hope had come into the picture. Maggie and Hope get along great, the four of them co-parent like pros and it was easy to see how happy Cassie was now her parents were getting along better and arguing far, far less.
"Hey, Scott..?" Maggie said, pausing him in his tracks as he began to head back down the driveway to load the car with Cassie's belongings. The pair heard hear Hope laughing at something Cassie was saying and they both turn to see their little girl whispering to the older woman while she perches comfortably on her hip. Scott turns back to Maggie with a small smile, "everything okay, Mags?"
"Things are getting pretty serious between you and Hope, huh?" the blonde asked, raising a brow with a small grin, leaving Scott with no idea to what she's referring. Maggie hands Scott a pink envelope; it's addressed to Hope in Cassie's unmistakable scrawl.
"Cassie insisted on getting Hope a Mother's Day card" she explains. Mother's Day. He'd completely forgotten. Mother's Day was Sunday. "She's wants to give it to her this week while you're away, but I said I'd check you were okay with it first" The last thing Maggie wanted was to be the cause of any awkwardness between the couple if they weren't quite there yet.
Scott smiled brightly at his ex, taking the card from her; "Thank you, Maggie" he said earnestly before waving goodbye and going to load Cassie's bag into the boot of his car. It meant more to him than they'd ever know that both Cassie and Maggie accepted Hope as part of their extended family. Officially. That this had been Cassie's idea and that Maggie had agreed to it.
Hope opened the card when Cassie proudly presented it to her on Friday; their last day. She was both shocked and overwhelmingly happy. Crying, she had held Cassie tightly and pressed a kiss to her head. Scott denied it, but he had cried a little too, watching his two girls together.
That Mother's Day was both Hope's first receiving a Mother's Day card, and the first since being reunited with Janet... It was emotional and special, filled with tears. It was one both Hope, and Scott, would never forget.
5: December 2017
Scott and Hope's relationship had been going from strength to strength. First Cassie, then living together and now the return of Janet, had all helped bring them closer.
Though Hank had always been a little sceptical, Janet had loved Scott from day one. She saw the way he looked at her daughter; with the same awe and adoration she saw him look at Cassie with. Janet's support had softened Hank's resolve and the four of them had spent a lot more time together. While Hope was very much like her Father in many ways, Scott's easy going attitude and caring disposition was similar to Janet and the pairings just seemed to work.
It was nearing Christmas when Scott, Hope, Janet, Hank and Cassie went shopping together. They got hot chocolate, because Cassie and Janet insisted, before Cassie picked out a few gifts for Maggie and Paxton. The group eventually split up; Hope agreed to accompany Hank to help him pick something out for Janet, with Cassie choosing to tag along, while Scott and Janet went to get a table at a restaurant so they could grab a bite to eat before the shopping chaos could continue.
Hope, Hank and Cassie walked round store after store; perfume, clothing, jewellery and book, Hank saying no to each and every suggestion either Hope or Cassie made. Hope was about to give up when Cassie broke through both adults frustration; "what about this, Grandpa Hank?"
The nine year old was stood on her tip toes, peering into a glass counter, pointing to a heart-shaped locket necklace. Hope's gaze moved between the oblivious child and her shocked Father beside her, unsure quite what to say or how Hank would take this new title. Cassie turned back to face him and looked suddenly concerned, "are you okay, Grandpa Hank?.." she stepped forward and took his hand, watching him closely.
"He's just hungry" Hope excused Hanks behaviour, nudging her Father who thankfully snapped out of his frozen state. Quickly and silently purchasing the locket Cassie had picked out.
That night, Hank had taken Cassie to bed, she'd insisted it was his turn to read her her bedtime story, while the other three adults laughed as Hope recounted the incident over a drink.
"I can't believe she called him Grandpa..." Scott said, unsure whether to laugh or fear for his life for when Hank was done with the latest chapter of Cassie's book.
"That might be my fault..." Janet admitted, taking a sip of her wine.
"Mom?" Hope raised an eyebrow in the direction of the older woman.
She shrugged and refilled her glass, "Cassie asked if she could call me Grandma, I told her she could. I didn't consider the fact she might turn the same attention to Henry..."
Hank rejoined them in the lounge, interrupting their conversation as he took a seat beside Janet and picked up his own glass, Scott watched him apprehensively as he entwined his fingers with his wife's; "so, we're Grandparents now..." he stated, receiving a soft smile from both Hope and Janet while Scott struggled to process his surprising reaction.
+1: July 2018
Hope's birthday; it was a warm day in July and she'd explicitly declined a party; she spent enough of her time at business meetings and galas, in rooms full of people she barely knew and had little inclination to social with. Instead, she opted to spend her day with the few people who truly mattered; her Mom, Dad, Scott and Cassie. Hank had suggested a picnic at the park overlooking the bay and Hope had happily agreed.
In Hope's eyes; it had been the most perfect day. They'd had ice cream and played games, it had been filled with the sounds of laughter. Family was a word that had once had little meaning to Hope. But here, today, she was surrounded by it.
She smiled to herself as she sat in the sun on the picnic blanket, watching Scott and Cassie unload the 'top secret cupcakes' they'd spent all morning preparing. Janet and Hank sat a small distance behind her in the shade, their backs leaned against the trunk of a large oak tree as they spoke quietly to each other.
Cassie approached, carefully carrying the plate of five cupcakes, a single candle flickering as she sung Happy Birthday. Hope smiled and blew out the candle, pausing as she got a closer look at the hand-decorated cakes. Each one had a single word scrawled carefully in icing, unmistakably in Cassie's handwriting. They were precisely arranged on the plate to read 'will you marry my daddy?'. Cassie giggled as realisation dawned on Hope's face; her gaze moving past the bright smile on the little girls face to where Scott was knelt on one knee, a few feet away.
Janet and Hank had been aware of the plans for months, they'd helped organise the entire thing. It was why Hank had suggested a day in the park; a well organised secret Hope had never suspected. Janet had helped Scott secretly pick out the perfect ring, while Maggie and Paxton had agreed for Cassie to spend the extra day with the couple. Maggie had even baked the cakes after Scott failed his third practice attempt.
Hope whispered a 'thank you' to Cassie and gently squeezed her hand before climbing to her feet and crossing the distance to where Scott was waiting.
"Will you marry me?" he asked as she neared.
Hope reached him and knelt down in front of him, cupping his cheeks with her hands and leaning in to kiss him happily. "I would love to marry you" she replied.
Scott slipped the ring from the box and placed it gently on her finger before hugging her tightly, "she said yes!" he shouted to their small audience, holding her tightly with one arm while punching the air with the other.
An excited squeal from Cassie could be heard from where she sat eagerly watching between Hank and Janet. Hope laughed, and he kissed her again as he lay back in the grass, pulling Hope down with him.
"I love you, Mrs Lang" Scott whispered, kissing her.
"I love you too, Mr Van Dyne" Hope replied, deepening the kiss further as she heard Cassie call over "can I be bridesmaid?"
Bonus Chapter: September 2019
Saturday morning breakfast had become their routine. It was the one meal a week the three of them were guaranteed to spend together and it had become an unspoken promise none of the would miss it.
It was Scott's turn to make pancakes, he finished up in the shower while Cassie read a book at the table and Hope sat beside her, quietly drinking her coffee while they waited for Scott to join them,
"Hope, are you and Daddy going to have a baby?.." Cassie asked out of the blue. She was so blasé about it, her eyes still on the page before her, that Hope wondered if she'd heard her wrong.
Hope choked on her coffee, spluttering slightly as she got up to grab a cloth, wiping it from her face and previously clean shirt, trying to regain some element of composure as the burning sensation in her mouth and nose subsided.
She caught sight of Scott, who had entered the kitchen unnoticed and was now sneaking away again before Cassie caught sight of him and included him in this particular discussion. Hope glared at him and mouthed 'coward' in his direction, to which he shrugged his shoulders and fled.
"Why- why would you ask that, sweetie?" Hope asked, unsure what to say.
"Mommy and Paxton are having a baby" Cassie answered simply, as if that explained it all.
"Are you- happy- about that?" the brunette asked carefully, still unsure which way this conversation was heading.
"Yeah, I'm going to have a new baby brother. I wondered if you and Daddy might have a girl so I can have a sister, too" Cassie replied, finally looking up to meet Hope's gaze.
Hope moved over to take her seat again, "I think, maybe, this is a discussion your father and I need to have, Cass" she replied, taking her hand and raising her voice just slightly for Scott, who was most definitely listening on the other side of the wall. "But maybe, one day... Or maybe not. Either way, we have you and we'll always love you"
Cassie smiled, seemingly gotten what she wanted out of the conversation, uttering a quick 'okay' before turning back to her book on the table and leaving Hope feeling like she needed a stiff drink.
"Nicely played" Scott commented a few moments later, startling Hope as she walked out of the kitchen to change into a clean shirt. She responded by throwing the coffee soaked tea towel at his face, smiling at him a little as he pretended to be wounded by it. She moved to take the stairs and Scott followed, "I love you, Hope Lang Van Dyne" he called up the stairs after her, to which he received a grin of her own and face full of her coffee soaked shirt. He grinned again, whistling at her as he watched her take the last few stairs up to their bedroom.
That night, once Cassie was asleep, Hope lay in Scott's arms, her head on his chest, as she replayed the conversation in her mind. "Do you think I should have told her?"
"No. We agreed we'd tell your parents first" Scott replied, running his hand down her bare arm and pressing a kiss to her head.
"I know, but there's a difference between not telling and lying, Scott"
"Cass won't mind" Scott promised, "besides, at least that answers our question on whether she'll be happy about it or not"
"Only if it's a sister" Hope corrected, looking up at him.
"I think it's a girl"
"Oh?" his comment surprised her
"The world needs a mini Hope running around"
She laughed and reached up to kiss him, "Oh Scott, you have no idea what you're letting yourself in for..."