By TheLostMaximoff

Disclaimer: Don't own. There's a surprise for comic fans at the end of this. R/R.

Love. It's a strange word I suppose. It means different things to different people. For scientists, love is a biological impulse rooted in our desire to pass on genetic material in the form of offspring. For dreamers, love is an indescribable feeling, unparalleled by any other emotion in existence. For high schoolers, love is very finite and our definition is often put to shame when we discover what true love really is. Yes, love is many things to many people but it is one thing for me. Love, in my case, is very fleeting.

It is a somewhat sad thing that I can honestly state that in my eighteen years of existence I have never truly loved anyone and no one was ever truly loved me. Quite a sad thing indeed. I suppose that given my family life, or lack thereof, it's not a very surprising statement but still it is sad. I guess some psychologists would say that my inability to love stems from issues with my father and perhaps some unresolved conflicts with my mother's death. They would be sort of right I guess. I learned from the best when it comes to not caring for someone. I say that with absolutely no pride whatsoever.

I guess when it comes down to it; love for me is also an illusion of sorts. My little black book is full of girls I've loved but that bound stack of paper has turned into a graveyard full of broken hearts and dead hopes. I have fallen in love with every single girl I've ever dated but just like everything else in my life that love disappeared just as fast as it appeared.

I know what everyone thinks, what Wanda and the rest of the guys tease me about. I'm just a player, a hustler who's trying to con his way into every girl's heart and then every girl's bed. Love 'em and leave 'em, right? Life's so much easier in the fast lane, right? Wrong. What I am doing is what every other kid my age is trying to do. I'm looking for true love, for that indescribable feeling you get when you're around someone and know that you never ever want to be without her. I want a love that stays around this time instead of running away.

Sometimes I think it's their fault. Why do they have to always be so beautiful? Why do they have to make me want them? Why is it they never stop me from moving so fast? It's true what everyone says, I break a lot of hearts but every time I break one mine is shattered all over again because it's just another dead end. I have never said, 'I love you', and never meant it. I have never kissed anyone without passion and I've never been intimate with anyone for a simple, cheap thrill. Every girl I've dated I've loved but that love and desire and attraction always fade away and then I'm left running to catch up to it. Sometimes I think I'll never catch it. Sometimes I think I'll just keep running from one girl to the next for the rest of my life, always in search of a lasting love.

My mind drifts back to what's going on around me. I came to this party in hopes of finding a girl, a girl I could finally have something meaningful and lasting with. I see the way Toad looks at my sister. It's a little gross to think about them kissing but I can tell he loves her. I sometimes wonder how I look to other people when I'm talking with a girl. Do I look interested? Does it look like I'm in love? Probably not.

I suddenly realize I have no clue what this girl in front of me is saying. She came over to me, something I think is a little unusual but refreshing. Usually I chase the girl. I stare at her. She is beautiful, of course, with nice auburn hair and sparkling green eyes. They're all beautiful though. The heart of Pietro Maximoff is only offered to the fairest of young maidens but then it is retracted as his love fades into a cold and hollow disappointment.

Yes, they were all beautiful and all as in love with me as I was with them but, like everything else, my ability to fall in and out of love moves at a hypersonic pace. This girl is blissfully unaware of that though. Perhaps she has heard the rumors and likes such quick and simple affairs. Maybe she's not chasing after love. Or there's always the remote possibility that she feels she can finally stay with me. I realize I am slowly, for me anyway, falling for this girl whose name I received, cataloged, and quickly forgot in the process of thinking. Once again I succumb to what must be a fool's idea that true love exists and can be found if you look hard enough.

"Are you listening to me?" she asks. No, the truth is I'm not but then again what is true often seems to elude me.

"Yeah," I respond falsely, "I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch your name. Can we maybe start over again?"

"Crystal," she replies with a brilliant smile, "My name's Crystal. I wanted to know if you'd like to dance." This lovely angel must enjoy trouble. Sometimes I think it'd be better for everyone if I just swore off girls altogether. Oh well, I'll just have to remember she started it. That's right, Pietro, just tell yourself that when the arguing and the tears start.

"Sure," I reply casually, "I'd love to." I can never say no to a pretty girl and pretty girls can never say no to me. Oh well, it's just one dance after all. I'm sure it won't lead to anything serious. Nothing I do with women ever leads to anything truly serious.