The first time Scott Lang proposed was… well, an accident.
He and Hope were at a really fancy restaurant, just scouting out the place to see if it was actually the hotbed of criminal activity she suspected it was.
"The scallops with rice, and the chicken parmesan for you. Can I get you anything else?"
"No, thank you—" Scott read the waiter's name tag. "Mario, this looks fantastic. I think we're all set." Hope offered Mario a smile, and Mario disappeared into wherever waiters go until they're needed. The kitchen, probably
"I haven't seen anything yet, but we can't rule this place out yet." Hope took a bite of her scallops.
Scott tried the chicken parmesan but didn't take his eyes off Hope and wasn't really sure if he got chicken in the bite or just breading. She was beautiful. "What is a scallop, anyway? Is it like a clam?"
"I think so. Just a little smaller. Do you want to try it?"
It looked slimy, so Scott shook his head in a decided no don't make me. They sat in silence for a few minutes and watched the crowd.
The reverse-snap had been three months ago, so they really weren't surprised that general criminal activity was starting up again. In a depressing example of true human resilience, people had gotten over the fact that their loved ones were back from the dead, some people had died from actual aging in the five years break, and children were grown up. So naturally someone had decided to revive some old quantum tech from who knows where and start making non-Pym-sanctioned suits.
The only time they'd seen real proof that this was happening was on a few ant-cameras near this place, so Scott had taken it upon himself to ask Hope on a date (an actual one that wasn't burgers and training) with the added bonus of checking out the restaurant. They were wearing their suits under their fancy clothes and it was uncomfortable but also really exciting.
"Scott." He zoned back in and followed Hope's stare, almost immediately seeing what she'd noticed. Some of the employees had extra ear pieces, and all four of them looked incredibly shady.
He turned back to his chicken and pasta. "Can you tell what they're doing?"
"No proof yet that they're who we want. Let's just stay and keep watching for a while."
He nodded, set down his fork, and reached for Hope's hand. "Should we sit here like really cheesy rom-com couples and just gaze at each other and let the food get cold?"
Hope laughed. She tried not to, he could tell, but still. She laughed for the fourth time since Tony's funeral, which was almost three months ago. "I never thought about their food in those scenes. I always just think come on, guys, get it together. Don't they have anything better to do than stare into each other's eyes?"
He thought about saying something cheesy that would involve complimenting her (like not if they look like you) but it got to be too much for even the cheese-ball that he was. "How's the food?"
"It's good. A little squishy. Basically what I expected from the reviews."
"You looked at the reviews?" He released her hand. His spaghetti was getting cold. He thought about his girlfriend for a moment. "Of course you did. God, I love you." She grinned and tore a piece of her bread, handing him half. "I also love bread. Thanks, babe."
"You're welcome, babe." She glanced back toward the sketchy people and her face went serious. "Scott, they're gone."
He thought back to their plan and said it out loud for the table uncomfortably close to them. "I'll get the check, you go ahead to the bathroom."
"I'll meet you at the car." She stood, gave her scallops a parting glance, and kissed him before disappearing into the back. He waved Mario down, got the check, and paid it in record time, grimacing as he stepped outside. Hopefully this job would somehow pay well, because neither of them could afford to keep doing dates like this.
He ran around the back of the restaurant, where shots were already ringing out. He pulled his fancy clothes off and shrunk, jumping onto Antoni IV just before he hit the ground. "Fly, Antoni!" Antoni, needing no such encouragement but chirping happily nonetheless, flew toward the sounds.
Hope was battling a few men who were just slightly too big to not have been enhanced by something quantum-y. He jumped off Antoni's back and grew to match their size, immediately regretting his actions since they were evidently also on some super-soldier drug.
"What do you want?" Scott let out between punches. Him getting punched, not him punching others.
"To be the best!" That guy's next punch was toward Scott's nose. That would have hurt, if not for Scott shrinking and the man hitting the brick wall.
"The best what?" Hope asked. She had her arms wrapped around the neck of the tallest guy and was bringing him down like Westley and Fezzik in The Princess Bride.
The blond one sighed. Scott was having way more trouble than expected just landing a hit on the man. "Just—the best! Come on, guys, you get it!"
"You're explaining nothing at all, but you're messing with stuff you don't understand," he said. "How did you even get ahold of this stuff anyway?" The vial he'd swiped from Blondie's jacket pocket was faintly teal rather than the red of Pym particles or bright yellow like the Yellow Jacket stuff.
"Give that back!" Within a few seconds of non-exposure to the blue stuff Blondie was back to normal size. Just as quickly, Hope brought down the other three men and knocked Blondie unconscious to join them.
Hope snorted, going through their pockets for the rest and dialing 911. "They're ridiculous." Scott was left standing with a vial of teal stuff, aching ribs, and nothing but admiration for the woman before him.
"Hey, Hope." He had a crazy idea.
She whirled on her booted toes and faced him, scanning him for injuries. "What is it?"
"Will you marry me?"
She took a step back. "What?"
"I love you and you're freaking awesome and I want to marry you."
The police interrupted their conversation, taking their statements, accepting the fact that they weren't going to get much besides they're dangerous, and disappearing with four groggy men in tow. Scott and Hope were left alone behind the restaurant and they started walking back toward home, Hope almost running. He grabbed his fancy clothes and ran to catch up with the speed-walking Hope.
"Are you serious?"
"As I've ever been," he said, trying to keep smiling. It was hard, talking and running.
She stopped on the sidewalk and he almost ran into her. "Have you really thought about it?"
"No, but I don't need to to know that you're the only person I want to spend the rest of my life with."
"Scott…" she took a step forward and he braced himself. "I love you. I love you so, so much. But it's too soon. Don't you think? Thanos was three months ago. Before that you were stuck in the quantum realm for five years and I was basically dead. Before that—"
"We'd been together for two months. It is kind of soon when you put it like that. But I'm sure."
Hope rested her hand on his chest. "I know you are. But I'm not ready. Every night, I wake up sure that we're all dead and I can't plan for tomorrow yet when I don't know how to…"
He took a step closer, pressing her hand to him and wishing that she wasn't right. "We need to figure out how to live again."
She nodded and finally took the last step forward and kissed him. "Plus, you don't have a ring, do you?"
He almost managed to smile. "You know me. This was kind of spur-of-the-moment."
She turned toward home again, reaching her hand behind her. He took her hand and squeezed, following where she led. "I'm not saying never, you know. Just… once we know how to live in this new world. And after we've actually talked about the future. And when you have a ring. I do like jewelry."
He laughed and they wandered toward home.