Disclaimer- Don't own.
A/U- Last chapter people! Sorry for taking so long to update, but I just didn't know how to write it. Anyways, in other news, my birthday was March 2nd! Yay for me! This chapter's a little short for being the last chapter, but I can't really make it too long. Sorry.
Chapter Eighteen- The Two Little Words Men Just Love to Hear
Things had been tense between them lately, but Pietro tried his darned hardest to keep the atmosphere light and friendly. He took her out to the mall, bought her ice cream, wiped the chocolate ice cream from the corner of her lips, didn't comment on how she seemed to be shoveling all the food within a ten-mile radius in to her mouth; no matter how nice he was, she seemed to be hesitant to talk or really do anything, like she was nervous about something. Something was going on, and hell, he wanted to know what the heck it was.
At first, Pietro thought that it might have been because she thought that he didn't love her in return. He knew he did, but he wasn't the guy who just spontaneously spouted mushy crap on the spot. He wasn't in to all of the: "I love you, darling," "I love you more, my dearest," unless it was followed by hours of hot, steamy, wild, hyper sex. Maybe even a little kinky…
He shook his head, trying to hide his smile as he turned his head away from Crystal, who was busy, window-shopping. He squeezed her hand a little tighter and in return she squeezed his back.
Okay, so he loved her and wanted her to be the only person he would have make love with for the rest of his sex life (and he had no doubt in his mind that he would have one until the day he died). If he can refuse other women pawing at him, then that must be something like love, right? If he didn't feel the need to bang her every damn minute of the day and was content to hold back for a few days, that could be constituted as love, right?
'I'll never figure all this shit out,' he thought to himself.
Crystal paused suddenly and stared into a store. Pietro looked and saw baby things. A little grin tugged at his lips as he saw little gender-neutral clothes that could fit dolls displayed in the window. Maybe he and Crystal would have one for their own somedayin at least ten years of course. He was only twenty-one and still partying at clubs and consuming vast amounts of alcohol, and Crystal couldn't even drink legally yet for another year.
"C'mon you're scarin' me," he joked, tugging gently on her hand. She swallowed and reluctantly followed.
"Can we stop in the drugstore?" she asked in a meek voice and he turned to her with a questioning eyebrow raised. She refused to meet his eyes so he shrugged and faced forward again.
"Yeah, whatever," he tried to sound indifferent.
They walked to the nearest drugstore two blocks away from the baby shop. Crystal told him that she would only be a minute. He said he was coming in too but she said it would just be a waste of his time, and that it'd only take a minute. Then he offered to go in and get whatever she needed because he could get it quicker, but she adamantly refused and ordered him to stay there.
Despite the wound to his pride by being ordered (by a woman, no less), he stayed outside. He wasn't going risk losing any nookie, no sir-ee.
Crystal exited the store a few moments later, stuffing a bag with something in it into her purse. He grabbed her hand again and asked what it was.
"Tums," she said tersely. He could tell she was lying, but he didn't say anything and just narrowed his eyes. "Can you take me home? I don't feel well."
He frowned at her but went to scoop her up. "You haven't been feeling well for awhile now. Why don't ya go to a doctor?"
"I'm going Saturday."
'Well,' he thought, a little upset that she just let him know about the appointment now. He had been worried about her since she started spraying chunks all over.
"Want me to come?" he asked her.
She glared daggers at him.
'Yee-ee' he mentally made a nervous sort of sound.
"I can take care of myself, Pietro, it's probably just the stomach flu."
'With that tone of voice I'm not sure I'd take care of you anyways.' He thought. He sighed. "Fine."
Scooping her securely in his arms now, he ran the rest of the way to her apartment.
"Shit!" Crystal cursed, storming in to her apartment after returning home from the doctor's and throwing her keys into the wall. "Shit, shit, shit, shit."
It was surprising how much she was cussing at the moment, because she hardly ever swore in her life.
"Dammit!" She landed heavily on the couch and began to cry, feeling helpless and scared; a feeling she hadn't felt since she was a little girl.
Sometime during the day, she must have dozed off because the sky was a dark gray and it was late in the evening. The phone rang and she jumped, nearly having a heart attack.
She answered it with a shaky, "Hello?"
"I got reservations for us tomorrow at one hell of a fancy restaurant so dress nice," Pietro went straight to the topic.
She let out a breath of air and despite herself, smiled slightly. "Occasion?"
"Eh, had a taste for filet mignon. Not cheap shit either. The good stuff without the mad cow." She could practically hear the shrug in his voice.
Crystal laughed lightly. "Mad cow disease isn't even in the United States." 1
"You keep saying that," he told her, "Anyways, it'd be nice, right?"
"Yeah," she grinned. Her face and tone turned serious suddenly. "How are you going to pay for it? I mean, I would, but it's rude for a lady to take the bill."
"Hush, hush, you're not paying," he said exasperatedly. "Don't worry, I'll manage it."
"Pietro, for all I know you don't even have a job. How the hell are you getting money to pay for things like this?" She sounded angry.
"I said I'll manage it," he gritted out. "I do have a job."
"Yeah," she said disbelievingly, and despite herself she let out a harsh laugh. "We've been dating for seven months and you haven't mentioned once about having one."
"I have two. Maybe I just wanted to save enough to buy you a fuckin' fancy dinner. God dammit woman, just make yourself look dandy tomorrow and quit questioning every single one of my motives! I'll pick you up at seven."
"Where do you wor-" the dial tone cut her off. He had hung up on her.
She let out an infuriated grunt and slammed the phone back on its hook.
The day after, she had done what he said and dressed up. She was wearing a black dress that went just above her knees, with a slit up to the middle of her thigh on each side. It was a spaghetti-strap dress, with a neckline cut straight across her dress, showing a modest bit of cleavage. Enough to torment him, but enough to not be considered dressed like a slut. She wore black stilettos and she had tied her hair up in a fancy hairdo. Wearing only a small amount of makeup, she was quite proud of the way she looked that evening.
He tapped on her sliding door to the balcony. Why he always insisted on picking her up there, she would never know.
She opened it and let him in, taking her time to observe him. He whistled appreciatively at her.
"Lookin' hot," he winked, "If we didn't have somewhere to be I'd strip you down and have my way with you right here."
Crystal's face heated up when that particular exotic mental image popped up. While the idea was pleasing, it was hardly civilized…for the occasion.
"Yeah, you look alright too," she managed to say. He just smirked and examined himself. He was wearing dark blue (almost black) dress pants, a white dress shirt (the first two buttons unbuttoned) and a matching dark blue dress coat. He wasn't wearing a tie.
"Doesn't this place have a dress code?" she asked, "Don't you need a tie?
He shrugged. "Eh, I have one in my pocket just in case I'll need one. Thought I'd look sexier like this though."
He picked her up and ran her straight down the side of the building.
"Sweet Agon!" Crystal gasped. "I don't go vertical!"
He laughed and set her down gently on her feet. Crystal took a moment to straighten her dress out before she told him she left her purse inside because he was too impatient to wait three seconds for her to grab it.
He returned with her purse before she had even noticed that he had left.
"Less than three seconds there," he winked and hooked her arm around his. "Hardly one-sixth of a second, actually. And everybody wonders why I get fed up sometimes."
He escorted her to a red convertible. She stared at it in amazement as he opened the passenger door for her.
"Where in the world did you get this?" She asked as she sat down. Turning to her right to look at him questioningly she saw he wasn't there. The ignition started and not too much to her surprise, he was already in the driver's seat.
"Took it from Kitty," he told her, reversing out of his parallel parking spot with unnecessary speed. "She's at the boarding house making wedding plans with Lance. Won't even notice this baby's gone cause they're going to be at it for a few hours-"
"I wish you wouldn't talk so crudely," Crystal said as she kept a hand on her hair so it wouldn't get ruined.
He looked puzzled. "What do you mea-" his face melted into a grin. "And someone accuses me of having a dirty mind. I meant they're going to be going at wedding plans for a few hours, Little Miss Can't-Keep-Her-Mind-Out-Of-The-Gutter."
"And Kitty in turn borrowed the car from Summers." Pietro finished, passing through a red light. Crystal screamed.
When they pulled into the parking lot of the restaurant, Crystal took her sweet time beating his head with her purse and hands.
"Quit it!" he held his hands up in a vain attempt to try and block her, "Quitit!"
"Raving lunatic!" She seethed, giving him one good smack on the arm before she turned sharply and entered the restaurant.
Pietro followed her shortly after and told the maitre de he had reservations under the name Maximoff.
The maitre de led them to a small, two-person table where the light was dim. He gave Pietro's hair an odd look before leaving them to greet an elderly couple at the door. Pietro smoothed his ruffled looking hair back and took his seat.
Their mealtime passed peacefully; they ordered their food, Crystal got their fish specialty and Pietro ordered his filet mignon. Then Pietro's ringing cell phone cut through the atmosphere. Heads turned to stare at them.
"Dammit," he muttered, hastily answering it before it disturbed anybody else in the restaurant further.
"What do you want?" he hissed quietly. "No I don't know where the damn plunger is. Blob, you of all people should know where the hell it is. I don't know, use Toad for all I care. I'm busy, don't call me again." He closed the phone with a snap and turned it off so they couldn't call him again.
While he was talking, Crystal wondered when it would be the right time to tell him. Throughout dinner, she kept opening her mouth to say something, but changed her mind and snapped it shut before changing the subject.
They left about two hours later and Pietro drove her home, making sure he stopped at the red light and at stop signs so they wouldn't have to repeat the incident that happened when they pulled into the restaurant's parking lot.
Crystal decided she was going to tell him as he opened her balcony door and set her down on the soft carpet inside. But as she was just about to open her mouth, he caught her lips in a deep kiss. For a second, she couldn't breath or respond, but she soon did as he continued to explore her mouth, his hands moving up and down her sides.
He laid a small kiss on her collarbone, and buried his face in the crook of her neck.
"I love you," he whispered against her skin, pulling her even closer to his body. Crystal froze, and at the moment she forgot that she had something important to tell him. She raised her arms and wrapped them around his neck, burying her hands in his hair as he began to kiss her again, this time even more passionately.
And later that night, as Crystal lay in her bed, snug in his arms, she remembered.
They sat in a little café, at a small booth, eating a nice lunch. Pietro had grabbed her hand from across the table and they sat there, him staring out the window, and her staring at the table.
"Pietro?" she said quietly. He acknowledged her with a, "hmm" but he didn't look at her. His mind seemed to be somewhere else.
"Pietro, look at me," she said a little more sternly. He turned to her, his eyebrows raised. He licked his lips.
"I have to tell you something," her voice shook with nervousness. She swallowed, glancing out the window and then back at the table. He still held her hand.
"Yeah, go on," it was hardly there, but she did hear the impatience in his tone. He would never change.
Taking a deep breath, she looked at their entwined fingers and said, "I'm pregnant."
Yep, that IS the ending, folks! Evil, innit? It's a cliffhanger! Yay! Makes you want to read the sequel more now, doesn't it?
But you all saw that coming.
1 This story takes place in 2002, so there isn't that whole Mad Cow craze going on.
I'm going to go back some time and edit all my earlier chapters. Just for the grammar and spelling and maybe a few other stuff.
Thanks to everybody who reviewed this story! I'm so glad it's done, the weight on my shoulders feels lighter. Yay!
Now I can concentrate on Drastic Changes. After I edit that one of course. My writing was sooo terrible back then I can't believe people actually read those stories.
Don't expect the sequel to be posted at least until May! But it'll be called, "Rules of Commitment" and for the first chapter it'll be in the PG-13 category…or is it T now? But anyways, after that first chapter, it's going to be M.