Movie night had been a Friday night tradition at Scott's since he and Hope had officially begun dating. Together with Cassie they'd watched everything from Jurassic Park to Harry Potter to Moana.
Scott and Hope had collected Cassie from school, they'd eaten dinner out while she'd told them tales of her visit to the zoo with school, before the three of them returned to Scott's for their family movie night. Cassie jumped down into her place at the centre the sofa excitedly as Hope handed her a bowl of popcorn while Scott loaded the DVD of choice for tonight; Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
"Daddy, did you remember the marshmallows like you promised?" Cassie asked around a mouthful of warm popcorn.
"Oh, peanut..." Scott began. He'd promised last week, and the week before. But he'd also been busy working and once again they'd slipped his mind.
"I can go get some" Hope offered, seeing the disappointment creep onto Cassie's face. She knew Scott had felt bad enough forgetting for the second week in a row, she knew he'd feel awful at forgetting again. Hope didn't want either of them to feel upset.
"No, you stay. It's your movie. I'll go and I'll be right back" Scott promised, drawing a smile for, his daughter and kissing Hope on the way past. "I'll be back by the time you've made cocoa" he promised, blowing a kiss to Cassie as he grabbed his keys and left.
"You want whipped cream?" Hope offered, smiling as Cassie nodded before heading over to the kitchen. It was another tradition. After Cassie had told her Father that Hope's hot cocoa was better than his, each and every Friday night, unless the world was in danger, they took turns to choose a movie, Hope made cocoa and Scott provided the snacks...
Hope made their cocoa as promised, also making one for Scott, and placed the three glasses on the coffee table before taking her usual seat on Cassie's right. She had been about to ask the young girl whether she was excited about the movie when the ground began to shake. Cassie looked to Hope with a horrified look on her face as one of the glasses fell from the table and shattered all over the floor. Hope glanced around quickly, formulating a plan. She had to keep Cassie safe. Hope made her decision but before she had chance to move, the window beside her shattered. Cassie screamed and Hope instinctively shielded her with her own body, pulling her close and holding her tight before she stood and pulled Cassie quickly towards the dining room. Hope steadied Cassie who was unsteady on her feet, pulling a chair out of the way before guiding Cassie under the dining table. Hope grabbed the blanket from the couch and shook it free from glass before wrapping it over Cassie's shoulders and sliding under the table beside her.
Destruction could be heard throughout the house. Picture frames fell to the floor; Cassie's first day at school, Scott and Hope together on a beach in Hawaii, the three of them by the Bay... Books vibrated off the bookshelf and Hope mentally thanked Scott for being a responsible parent and bolting the furniture to the wall, or she and Cassie would have been crushed by now. The tree that had fallen and smashed the window littered the lounge with leaves while plates and mugs fell from cupboards and smashed over the kitchen floors and counter tops.
Cassie was watching Hope with a horrified look. "It's okay, Cass" she reassured.
"Hope, you're bleeding" Cassie informed her worriedly. Hope followed Cassie's gaze and reached her hand up, pulling it away from her face to see it sticky with blood. Cassie was right, Hope's right arm and the right side of her face were bleeding from the shattered window glass that had rained over her when the tree had fallen.
"Does it hurt?" Cassie asked, frowning.
"No I'm fine" Hope promised, offering her a small smile and moving to sit beside her. Hope shifted to position herself with her back against the wall, resting her arm over Cassie's shoulders while Cassie curled into her side under her blanket, both huddling under the dining table avoiding the falling debris.
The lights flickered off as the aftershocks continued, Hope felt Cassie tense each and every time the shaking began again, no matter how slight they were.
Once it seemed they'd finally stopped, Hope told Cassie to stay put while she ventured out from beneath the table. She grabbed her phone and tried to get hold of Scott only to find there was no signal, typically. Hope sighed, glancing back to Cassie before she began cleaning up a little, ensuring it was safe for her before she came out.
Hope buried her concern for Scott by concentrating on tasks. Sweeping up glass, moving broken objects, tidying up what she was able... She reassured Cassie and wished she could reassure herself. With each passing minute he didn't return, her worry grew.
"Come on Cass" Hope whispered gently, offering the young child her hand. With the blanket wrapped over her shoulder, Cassie gripped her hand and climbed out, taking in the view of devastation that was her home.
The pair went upstairs together hand in hand. It didn't escape Hope's attention that Cassie's grip tighter than usual. They reached the second floor and came to learn that both bedrooms were also scenes of destruction; the only undamaged room was the bathroom.
"Wait here" Hope whispered to Cassie, offering her a small reassuring smile and giving her hand a gentle squeeze before heading into the room she shared with Scott. She returned several moments later, with piles of duvets, blankets and several pillows, carefully shaken free from glass, dust and debris. Hope piled them in the bathtub and helped Cassie climb in. She saw the glint of a smile on Cassie's face for the first time since the earthquake began.
Hope's plan had been to allow Cassie to curl up and sleep somewhere safe while allowing herself to worry about Scott alone. But instead, Cassie shifted over, swinging her legs over the side of the bath and patted the spot beside her for Hope to join. Hope had never been very good at saying no Cassie, so she took the seat beside her, propped up by pillows, legs dangling over the side beside Cassie's. The young girl looked up to her and smiled before resting her head on Hope's shoulder.
"Do you think my Daddy will be home soon?" Cassie asked, voicing the one question Hope really didn't want to answer. "I hope so, Cass..." she replied honestly.
Cassie soon fell asleep, twisting in the small space to rest her head in Hope's lap, knees close to her own chest. Quite how she was able to both squeeze into the small space and be comfortable enough to sleep was beyond Hope. But it drew a smile to her face nonetheless.
Light flooded in through the small window, and Hope realised she must have fallen asleep too at some point. It took a few moments before she registered that everything hurt. Her back ached, her legs were numb, the cuts on her face, shoulder and arm stung... Her whole body felt stiff. But Cassie was still sleeping soundly beside her and that was the important part.
It was a short while later when she heard a small bang from downstairs, followed by the unmistakable shuffle of Scott Lang's footsteps. Hope smiled and Cassie stirred as the bathroom door opened.
"Daddy! Hope saved my life!" Cassie exclaimed as she scrambled from the bathtub and threw herself into Scott's arms.
"I'm so glad you're safe, Peanut" Scott told her, lifting her in order to hug her tightly and pres a kiss to her cheek. "Maggie and Paxton are downstairs, Cass. They're desperate to see you" Scott carefully placed his daughter on the floor and watched as she as she left to go see her Mother.
Cassie made her way carefully downstairs, exclaiming "Mommy, Paxton! Hope saved my life!"
Scott smiled and offered his hand to Hope, helping her up and back to unsteady feet. His smile quickly disappearing when he caught sight of the dried blood coating her face. "I'm fine, Scott" she assured, simultaneously looking him over for injuries.
"Hope, there's still glass in there..." he told her, gently running his thumb over her cheek, just beneath the raw cuts littering her skin.
Scott explained that the store had been all out of marshmallows, so he'd driven over to Maggie's to beg and plead for a bag when the earthquake had hit...
Hope sat at the dining room table as Scott picked pieces of glass out of her arm with a pair of tweezers while Maggie and Paxton helped to clean up and Cassie napped on the couch.
"You know..." he began, waiting for the grimace to disappear from her face as he removed a particular shard of glass before he continued, "I had something special planned for this weekend" he smiled at her, drawing Hope's gaze up to his face. He watched as her green gaze scanned his face, looking for some indication of what he was referring to.
"Come on, Buddy, we don't want to hear it" Paxton commented as he passed, teasing slightly.
"Ha-ha" Scott replied, rolling his eyes and making sure he was out of earshot again before he continued. "This isn't exactly how I pictured this going, but this weekend I had planned on asking you to move in with me" he admitted, watching her closely.
"Planned?" Hope asked, emphasising his use of the past tense. Her facial expression giving Scott no clue as to what she thought of the proposition.
"Well, this place used to be a lot more appealing..." Scott shrugged, a slightly sad smile on his face. Hope reached over and squeezed his hand apologetically. Hope had spent a lot of time in his home and was as sad as Scott to see it in its current state. It was fixable, sure. It was all cosmetic damage, nothing structural. There was no reason they couldn't make it perfect...
"But I have a better idea" he added, his face brightening as she looked back to her. Hope responded with a raised eyebrow. That statement coming from Scott was often risky...
"We could get a place together. A place that'll be ours" he smiled, and Hope recognised the look on his face as one of excitement. "We can get a bigger place. Close to your parents and to Cassie..." He was getting carried away, planning things in his mind. Hope could see it on his face; he was already imagining how they'd decorate...
"Scott-" Hope interrupted, a smile growing on her own face, because Scott's smile was always infectious to her.
"If you want to" Scott added, realising she hadn't agreed to officially live with him yet.
"I would love to live with you" Hope answered, hooking her finger in the collar of his shirt and pulling him closer for a kiss.