Disclaimer: Not mine. The X-Men belong to Stan Lee, Marvel Comics, and 20th Century Fox. I'm just having fun.
Author's Note: Written for the XMMFicathon
The warm, inviting aroma of chicken baking in the oven filled the tiny kitchen as freshly cut vegetables warmed on the stove. Scott Summers would run in and out to check on them while preparing the bedroom he shared with Jean Grey. He nervously chewed his bottom lip as he bustled in this time and tested the cooking meat. It still wasn't done in the middle and would need a few more minutes. As he turned around, he ran into Professor Charles Xavier.
The older man peered up at him from his wheelchair and smiled. "I see you're just about ready for the big night."
"Yeah. I'm so nervous; I've never actually cooked for Jean before," Scott sighed as he leaned against the counter.
Xavier chuckled. "You shouldn't worry so much. She'll love it."
"Are you sure she still doesn't know anything about it?"
"You have my word. This will be the best birthday surprise Jean's ever had."
Scott sat down at the table and adjusted his ruby-quartz glasses. "Thank you. You don't know what this means to me. She's so hard to surprise."
Xavier rolled up to the table and patted the younger man on the shoulder. "I know. She has an infuriating habit of scanning everybody's minds to find out what her presents are, but this time she won't have a clue."
Scott grinned, Xavier's words making him feel much better. Just then, a horrible, burning smell permeated the air. At first, Scott wasn't sure what it was, but then his stomach dropped. Bolting up from the table, he opened the oven and was slammed with the putrid smell of burnt chicken. Crestfallen, he turned off the front burners and moved the vegetables to the back burners to cool. He then put on oven mitts and pulled out the ruined chicken.
Setting it on the stove, he frowned. "I thought for sure it needed a few more minutes," he groaned.
"Yes, it is a bit well done," Xavier commented as he peered at the black blob sitting in the center of the cooking sheet. "Don't worry; I'll take care of dinner."
Scott glanced down at him, alarmed. "I can't ask you to do that."
"You're not asking; I'm offering. How long until Jean and Ororo come home?"
Scott looked up at the clock, and his heart took another drop. "Thirty minutes."
"Go on upstairs and get ready. The food will be here." With that, Xavier disappeared through the kitchen door.
Choosing to trust him, Scott headed for his bedroom. Nothing was going to ruin this night.
"Ororo, you have to tell me. At least give me one little hint," Jean goaded as they climbed out of the car.
"Sorry, but I'm not saying a word," Ororo Munroe smiled, her chocolate eyes glistening.
Jean tossed a piece of paper at her. "You're horrible, do you know that?"
Realizing that she wasn't going to get anything out of her best friend, Jean grabbed her bags out of the back seat and ambled into the mansion. At least Jean got a wonderful birthday shopping spree out of her tight-lipped friend. Each bag was loaded with several new science books, a few new clothes, and tons of new CD's.
Scott greeted her at the door the minute she walked in. Seeing his face made her heart skip a beat, like it always did since the day they met. Setting her bags down on the floor, she wrapped her arms around him, and her lips met his. As always, it made her pulse quicken.
When they parted, Scott took her hand, a mischievous smile gracing his lips. "Follow me, madam," he said.
"But, Scott, my bags."
"Don't worry; we've got them, Ms. Grey." She turned around to see two of her students, Bobby Drake and John Allerdyce, holding all her bags. Before she could protest, Scott whisked her up the stairs and into their room.
She gasped the moment she saw it. A table set for two was sitting in the middle of the room, a white, lace tablecloth spread across it. The lights were turned down low, and candles gave off a soft, red glow. Slow music poured out from the CD player at a low level, giving the room a romantic feel.
Her eyes shining, she turned and looked at Scott. "It's gorgeous. You did all this for me?"
"Of course. Why wouldn't I? You're the most beautiful woman in the world."
She blushed at this and allowed herself to be led to the table. Once she was seated, Scott ran out of the room. Within a few minutes, he returned bearing dinner. To her amusement, the food was in take-out boxes that read "Midkiff's" across the top.
"I had a little trouble while cooking," he explained as he set them down. Jean just laughed and happily let Scott prepare her plate.
Mesmerized by her, he reached across the table to hold her hand. As he did, he accidentally knocked over one of the candles. Instantly, the tablecloth caught on fire.
'Just my luck,' Scott thought as he jumped up from the table.
Ripping the blankets off their bed, he and Jean smothered out the flames before the fire could spread any further. Sitting down on the blankets, he looked up at her apologetically. "That wasn't part of the plan," he explained.
Jean sat down next to him and placed her head on his shoulder. She chuckled. "That's okay. I'm just glad the fire didn't spread."
"So much for a perfect evening, huh?"
"What are you talking about? It's been wonderful."
"Wonderful? Are you serious?" Scott glanced down at her, irritation in his voice. "First, the dinner burned, and now I almost set us both on fire. How can it be wonderful?"
Jean faced him, her eyes serious. "Because you're here. Scott, all these material things don't matter. What matters is that you're here and that you love me and I love you."
She then leaned in and kissed him. Her lips were warm, soft, and perfect against his. As the kiss deepened, Jean pulled Scott towards her, her arms draped around his neck. He engulfed her small waist, moving closer towards her. For that moment, there was nothing else in the world but the two of them.
"Mr. Summers, I'm having a little trouble with this...oh, gross!" Almost immediately, Scott and Jean jumped apart. They looked up to see a mortified Kitty Pryde standing above them.
"Kitty, did you knock?"
Shyly, the teenager bit her lip. "Uh, no. I forgot what night it was."
"Good night, Kitty. We'll talk about the assignment in the morning," Scott said calmly.
"Yeah. Good night, Mr. Summers, Ms. Grey." With that, Kitty slinked back through the wall in which she had come.
Right then, Jean burst out laughing. Scott shot her an insulted look. "What was that for?"
"Now the evening is complete."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Summer's law strikes again. Whatever can go wrong will go wrong."
Unable to keep up his stern appearance, Scott laughed right along with her. "Yeah, I suppose so. Murphy's law hasn't got anything on me."
Jean took his face in her hands. "I love you, Scott, with all my heart, and this has to be the best birthday I've ever had." And she kissed him once more.