Three Small Words
An X-men: Evolution fic by Lavender Gaia.
Editing and Assistance by Laine.
Disclaimer: I do not own X-men: Evolution or any of its characters. They are property of Marvel.
"I think we've made a lot of progress here, Scott. Really, it's a breakthrough."
Scott Summers lifted up the pillow that had been resting on his head and threw it across the room at his friend. "Shut up, Kurt."
The blue elf scooted aside in the rolling desk chair, easily avoiding the fluffy projectile. A wide grin spread over his face. "Say it again. Just for posterity."
"What's one more time? I just want to hear it again. You know you want to."
He buried his head against the sheets of his bed and grumbled, "I ike ean."
The fuzzy man put a hand up to his ear. "What's that? I can't hear you…"
Raising his head off the bed, Scott turned to glare at his friend. "I like Jean."
"What?" Kurt frowned. "Before it was 'love,' now it's 'like?' Make up your mind, man!" As his leader lifted a hand to his glasses, Kurt put up his own hands in surrender. "Okay, okay. Just do one more thing," he requested, picking up the pillow as Scott raised an eyebrow in question. "Tell her!"
Scott caught the pillow that was thrown back at him. "You know I can't do that, Kurt. She just broke up with Matthews."
"And oh, what a happy day it was," Kurt intoned Scott's inner thoughts. "Matthews was a jerk. We know this. You are not a jerk. We know this too. So if she'd go out with a jerk, she'd have to have a screw loose not to go out with you."
"I don't want to ruin what we have. We've been best friends forever," he rested back on the pillow with a sigh.
"Ah, but would you be ruining it…or making it better?" Two three-fingered hands seemed to weigh each side. "I mean, it's not like she could just completely stop talking to you; you two do live in the same house. My economics teacher says the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward."
The leader of the X-men blinked. "Since when do you pay attention in economics?"
Kurt shrugged. "Eh, I drift in and out. But I did hear that part. And really, how big is this risk?"
"Um…she could completely and totally reject me, then avoid me at all costs?"
"Yes…until a Danger Room session or she needed a ride to school or it was your turn to do the dishes together. Plus, you know that won't happen. You'll still be best friends, just not friends with benefits. And speaking of the benefits...you know you want to kiss her. We all know you want to kiss her. Hell, you probably talk about it in your sleep. Are you gonna give up that just because you're scared?"
A dreamy smile passed over Scott's face. "Yeah, well…I don't see why I'm taking advice from you anyway. You never told Kitty you had a crush on her."
Kurt froze, mouth partially open. "That…that is totally different and besides the point!"
"I realized that she wanted Lance," he said, smiling wickedly at Scott's indignant snort. "Plus, I found myself another girlfriend that I love. Unless you wanna go back to Taryn…"
"No," Scott shook his head. "God, no. I mean, Taryn's nice and everything but…no." He shuddered at the thought.
Nightcrawler smiled triumphantly. "So the only thing left to do is to tell her."
"I just got up the nerve to tell you!"
"My friend, you're the leader of the X-men. You've faced the Brotherhood, Mystique, and Magneto without blinking an eye! Now you're scared of a girl?"
He blinked, "Um, Kurt? You do recall that this girl is a telepath and telekinetic and could rip me in two or make me think I'm a turtle for the rest of my life if she felt like it?"
"Ja, what's your point?"
Cyclops sighed, closing his eyes. "Nothing. Look, I'll tell her when I'm ready to tell her."
Both boys turned to the knock at the door. Jean stuck her head in. "Oh, hi. Sorry, I didn't know you were busy. I can come back."
Scott got up quickly. "No, that's okay." He pushed Kurt's chair slightly. "He was just leaving."
"Ja, I was on my way out. I'm sure you have a lot to talk about." Giving Scott a look, Kurt teleported out of the room.
Jean raised an eyebrow at her friend. "What was that about?"
He shrugged it off. "You know Kurt. I don't think he knows what he's talking about most of the time." At her giggle, his smile widened. "So, what do you need?"
"Well, you know we have that trig test tomorrow, right?" She sighed, and he nodded. "I just don't get it. You seem to be doing okay, so I was wondering if you'd help me?"
Behind his glasses, the leader of the X-men blinked, sitting back on his bed. "Oh, sure. But why me? You know Kitty can do this stuff in her sleep."
"That's kind of the point," she sat down next to him, close enough that he could smell the shampoo she used. "Kitty always explains stuff as if I'm supposed to automatically understand what she's talking about, which isn't really her fault because she always gets everything. You know how to explain stuff so I get it." Jean smiled at him. "But if you're busy…"
"Nope, not busy at all," He reached over her to his desk, grabbing his trigonometry textbook. "What do you need help with?"
Her look was sheepish as she pushed a lock of bright red hair behind her ears. "Everything?"
Chuckling, he made himself stop thinking about how nice she smelt, and turned to their current chapter. "Okay, well, then let's get started."
A few days later, their trig teacher, Mr. Gates, was about to dismiss them. "That's it for today. If you want your graded test papers, you can come see me after school." The bell rang. "I'll see you all tomorrow."
Scott approached his teacher. "Hey, Mr. Gates, can I have my calculator back?"
"Oh, sure. Sorry I had to borrow it. I have no idea where mine went. Go ahead and grab it, it's on my desk. I'm sure I'll find it during my break," The teacher patted Scott on the shoulder, then exited the classroom.
Digging through the papers on the desk, he found his graphing calculator. Behind his shades, he saw the stack of graded exams. It couldn't hurt to take a peek. It seemed that he had gotten a solid, 92, and Jean… A grin spread over his face. Jean had gotten a 98, with "Great Job! Keep up the effort!" written on it in red marker. Kitty had, as usual, gotten 105 with the bonus points, but that was nothing new.
He knew Jean would want to celebrate. And if she did, he sure did. She worked hard and deserved something for it. Heading to the cafeteria, he got his food and settled down at their usual table. "So, who needs a ride today?"
Kurt and Evan raised their hands, mouths full, as Rogue claimed, "I do."
"Like, no thanks," Kitty speared a piece of lettuce. "Group project to work on."
"Same here," Jean joined in. "For English. Plus, I wanna see how I did on Gates' test."
Scott suppressed a knowing grin. "I'm sure you did great."
"I'm really worried," Kitty pouted. "I think I got some answers wrong."
Rogue rolled her eyes. "Yeah, because the world'll end because you got somethin' wrong."
She glared at her roommate. "Some of us, like, care about our grades."
"And some of us don't take trigonometry their sophomore year because they think it'll be a 'fun' break between Pre-Cal and Cal."
Scott tuned out the conversation, nudging Jean's knee with his own. When her green eyes looked up, he locked on to them, giving her a reassuring smile. She returned it with a smile of thanks and Scott couldn't help his heart from flipping over. It was then that he made his decision.
Later that day, the red convertible pulled up the driveway of the Xavier Institute, coming to a stop without the engine turning off. "Okay, everyone out."
"Hey, man, aren't you coming in?" Evan asked, grabbing his backpack and skateboard.
"I've gotta run some errands."
Kurt brightened up. "Can you pick me up some burgers from the Gut Bomb?"
Scott gave him a look. "Are you actually going to give me money for it this time?"
Pulling out of the driveway, he headed towards the nearest convenience store. He didn't have a lot of money left to his allowance, but it was enough to get a card and a bouquet of daisies. Returning home, he started his physics homework to distract himself, before realizing that signing the card was probably a good idea.
It was a simple congratulations card, with enough room on the inside for him to inscribe a message.
I just wanted to congratulate you on your great job. You really worked hard, as always. I'm glad I could help out my best friend. You know you mean a lot to me. I like you, Jean. Please know you're in my heart.
Feeling if he had rid himself of enough of his masculinity for the day, Scott quickly stuffed the card into the envelope and sealed it. Now there was just the problem of building up the confidence to give it to her.
Kurt suddenly appeared behind him. "Hey, mein fruend, I was just going to work out in the Danger Room for a bit. Get Logan off my back. Thought you might want to come, you looked kind of stressed earlier."
"Sure, that sounds good."
"Hey, what's with the flowers?" He gave his friend a weird look. "Trying to brighten up your room?"
"No," Scott smiled lightly at the bouquet, making sure to peel off the price tag. "They're for Jean."
Kurt grinned slowly. "Really now?"
He nodded, rubbing the back of his neck. "Yeah. I'm gonna tell her."
"No wonder you're stressed!" Nightcrawler clapped him on the back. "Good luck, man. Really."
Almost two hours later, Scott was leaving the sanctity of the bathroom when he heard Jean pull up in the X-Van. Hurrying to his room, he made sure that the flowers and card were still there as he got dressed. He had finished pulling his pants on, but was still shirtless when Jean bursts into the room, "Scott, I—Oh, sorry. I should have knocked."
He noticed how cute the blush on her face was. "No, it's no big deal. What's up?"
"98! I got a 98!" Stopping a moment to wave the paper in his face, she grabbed him in a huge hug. "And it's all thanks to you."
"You're the one who took the test," he couldn't hold back his smile, hugging her in return.
She pulled away suspiciously. "Why aren't you more shocked?"
"Well…" He grinned sheepishly in her direction. "I already knew. I kind of peeked at the papers when I stayed behind to get my calculator."
"Why didn't you tell me?" Jean insisted.
"I thought it would be better if you saw for yourself," he defended, reaching over to his desk. "Plus, I got you this to say congratulations."
Her face softened, taking the flowers from him and inhaling their scent. "Oh, Scott. You didn't have to do this."
He squeezed her hand. "I know. I wanted to. Read the card."
She ripped open the sea green envelope, reading what he had wrote quickly. "You're so sweet. Thank you." She leaned up to kiss his cheek. "I'm gonna go tell the Professor. See you later!"
"Uh…" Words having left him, he watched her walk out the door. Had…had that just happened? Did she really not feel the same way? In a daze, he pulled his shirt on, then sat down hard on his bed. It did happen. Jean had rejected him. He felt sick.
Some time later, Rogue opened his door, seeing her leader sitting on his bed with a devastated look on his face. "Hey, Scott? Dinner's ready."
Shaking himself out of the reverie, he blinked at her. "Oh, uh…I'm not hungry."
She raised an eyebrow at him. "You okay?"
"Fine. Just had something to eat earlier when I went out." It was a lie, but easier than telling her that trying to eat anything would probably make him physically sick.
"If you say so," she shrugged and headed back out. When the door closed behind her, he leaned back into his plush pillows, closing his eyes. His chest felt tight and it was hard to breathe.
He laid that way through dinner, not moving until he heard the BAMF and the smell of brimstone reached his nose. "What's up, Scott? Why didn't you come to dinner?"
Without sitting up, Cyclops reached behind his head for his pillow, hurling it at his friend. "I'm never listening to you again!"
"What?" Kurt demanded. "What did I do?"
"You told me to tell Jean!"
His friend blinked in surprise. "You mean…you told her? Really? How'd it go?"
Scott sat up to glare at him from behind his shades, voice hardening. "How do you think it went?"
"See, originally I would think she would be falling into your arms and we'd never get to talk again because you'd be in a constant liplock…"
"She said thank you…" he mumbled. "I told her I liked her, she said thank you, and left."
Kurt's jaw dropped. "You're kidding!"
The leader scowled. "Does this look like the face of a guy who's kidding?"
He plopped into the desk chair. "But…that's against all the laws of nature! It's completely obvious she likes you."
"You're delusional. She just like jerks like Duncan." Sighing, he laid down again, rolling over to stare at the wall. "I think I'm just going to go to bed."
"Ja, alright." Though he couldn't see Kurt, he heard him stand up with the squeak of the chair. "I'm really sorry, Scott."
He just closed his eyes, willing this day to be over.
Friday didn't dawn bright and sunny for Scott Summers. In fact, it only seemed to increase his sour mood. He hadn't done his physics homework the night before and failed a quiz, slammed his finger in his locker door, and forgot money for lunch so he had to mooch off of Kurt. It was just not his day.
When the school week was finally over, he had settled on the couch in the den with Kurt, watching Bobby and Sam play video games. Some mindless violence was just what he needed and he had begun to relax when Jean walked in. "Hey, Scott, can I talk to you?"
He sat up a little straighter, heart pounding in his chest. "Sure, what's up?"
"A few of us are going to the mall, and we wanted to know if we could borrow your car."
Behind him, Kurt choked as Scott felt his heart plummet to his feet. "You, um…wanna borrow my car?"
Jean shrugged a shoulder. "It's just so much cooler than the X-Van." Giving him one of her best smiles, she added. "Please?"
He broke down like a paper cup on a hot day. "Sure. Keys are on my dresser."
Kurt made a strangled noise and Jean shot him a look. "Thanks!" She gave him another grin before leaving.
Bobby was looking strangely at Kurt too. "What's up with you?"
"Let me get this straight," Nightcrawler said slowly. "She asked to borrow your car…and you said yes!"
Scott nodded. "Yeah, that's what happened."
"You are a sick masochist, Scott Summers."
On the floor, Sam whispered to Bobby, "Why is Kurt saying things we already know?"
The next day seemed a bit better for Scott. He got to sleep in, there was no school or anyone from school to deal with, and one of his favorite Danger Room sessions was planned for later. Overall, life looked pretty good.
After breakfast, everyone had left the kitchen and he was clearing the table when Jean groaned. "Great. It's finally my turn to use the TV and I'm on dishes duty."
Scott frowned at her, sticking the syrup and butter back in the refrigerator. "What do you mean?"
"Well, I've been TiVoing shows all week, and I scheduled my time to watch them for now because I didn't know I was on dishes duty," she sighed. "Oh, well, maybe I'll get to watch one or two of them later."
He walked over to the sink, taking the glass out of her hand. "Go ahead. I'll get these."
She stared at him. "You don't have to do the dishes until Monday."
"So you can take my spot on Monday." Scott smiled at her.
"Are…are you sure?"
"Positive. Now, go," he nodded towards the doorway. "I've got it covered."
Jean beamed at him. "Thanks, you're the best."
His smile faltered as he watched her leave, holding back a sigh. "Yeah, but obviously not good enough for you to like me." Still, he picked up another plate and rinsed it off before sticking it in the dishwasher.
Not two minutes later did Kurt come in, saying, "Hey, Scott, you finished clearing ye…What are you doing?"
"What does it look like I'm doing?"
"It looks like you're washing dishes," he glanced at the chores list. "Which is Jean's job."
Scott shrugged. "She wanted to go watch her shows, so I said I'd trade days with her. No big deal."
Kurt groaned, "Dude, you've got to stop this! What are you trying to do, win her over or something?"
"It's not anything I wouldn't have done before I told her," he pointed out, rinsing another glass. "I don't want things between us to change."
They both sighed. "Sorry to say so, my friend, but they have changed. You are not Scott and Jean: Best friends anymore. Now you're Scott, the guy who likes Jean, and Jean, the girl who doesn't reciprocate. It messes with things a bit."
He slammed a pan in the sink loudly. "It shouldn't have to! I still want her to be happy like I did before."
"But now it looks like she's taking advantage of you," Kurt whispered.
Scott fixed him with an angry look. "Jean wouldn't do that."
The blue boy shrugged. "Before now I wouldn't have thought so. But she knows you like her and look at you. She's borrowing your car, you're doing her chores…You're just too nice for your own good."
"She's my friend. Friends do that for each other." He sounded pained as he added, "I wish I had never told her."
"Ja, Scott, I know," Kurt gave him a reassuring smile, then reached for another pan. "Here, let me help."
On Sunday afternoon, Jean Grey was looking anxiously for Scott Summers. She had idiotically left her physics book at school and couldn't do the homework. He was the only one else in the house who took that class and she wanted to borrow his so she could get it done.
Lucky for her, she passed Kurt on the stairs. "Hey, do you know where Scott is?"
He glared at her coldly. "Why? Want to borrow his car again?"
She was a bit taken aback by the criticism, but brushed it off. "No, I just wanted to ask him a question."
"You know, why don't you just leave him alone? Isn't it enough that you broke his heart?"
"Broke his…Kurt, what are you talking about?" Jean demanded.
He folded his arms over his chest. "You know exactly what I'm talking about. He buys you flowers and writes you this nice note and tells you he likes you and you just blow it off with a 'thank you.' How cruel can you get?"
Jean could feel the blood draining out of her face. "Wh-what? You mean…he meant…" The realization dawned on her. That was why Kitty and Rogue had giggled and given her weird looks when they had read it. "I'm such an idiot."
"Well, ja! I mean, it's not like you're going to get any better than Scott Summers."
"No, that's not what…I didn't know what he meant in the letter. I just thought he was being Scott," she bit her bottom lip desperately.
Kurt narrowed his eyes suspiciously at her. "You really didn't know?"
"Of course not! I mean, I…I could never hurt him that way when I…" Her emerald eyes pleaded with him. "Please tell me where he is. I have to talk to him."
"The Prof sent him to pick up a few things. Should be back any minute now."
She breathed a sigh of relief. "Thanks, Kurt. I owe you."
"Hey, wait," he stopped her. "Look, I'm…I'm sorry for being so rude to you these past few days."
Jean smiled at him. "It's okay. I deserved it." She headed off towards the garage, standing there until it opened and the red convertible pulled in. "Scott!"
He glanced up at her, grinned in her direction. "Hey, Jean. What's up?"
"We really need to talk," she approached him as he got out of the car.
"Well, I need to bring these bags in," Scott gestured to the plastic shopping bags in the backseat, "but…"
She shook her head violently. "No, now. It can't wait. I have to tell you I'm sorry."
He frowned at her over his glasses. "Sorry? For what?"
"Don't play dumb. You know for what. For the card. For totally blowing you off that day and not even thinking about it. I was just so caught up in how good I did on that test and so self-absorbed…God, I feel horrible!"
Rubbing the back of his neck, he assured her. "Don't worry about it. It's not a big deal."
She scowled at him. "It's a huge deal and you know it."
A sigh escaped him. "Listen, you don't feel the same way and that's alright. We're still friends. And--"
"Oh, Scott, just shut up and hear me!" When his mouth closed she put a hand on either side of his head, drawing it down so she could kiss his lips. For a minute he froze, then kissed her back almost desperately. Pulling away slowly, she pretended as if she was staring straight into his eyes through his glasses. "I like you too."
His jaw dropped in shock. "You do?" She kissed him again, and he smiled. "You do…"
"I really do. I should have told you the other day. Heck, I should have told you a long time ago," she reached up, running a hand through his hair. "You mean the world to me, Scott."
Cautiously, he put his hands on her hips, smiling. "I love you, Jean. I think I've loved you from the moment I saw you."
A blush spread over her face. At that moment, it would have been impossible for her to stop smiling as she wrapped her arms around his neck and hugged him close. "I love you too."
Scott buried his head into her hair. "So, apparently this works better when I actually tell you things. I'll remember that."
Pulling back slightly, Jean nodded. "I believe it does." A slow grin spread over her face. "But lips are also good for other things…"
Happily taking the hint, he leaned down to kiss her again. They remained in this lip lock for several minutes until he pulled away. "This is great—really, really great—but we have to stop."
She stepped back sheepishly. "Right, we're moving to fast…"
"No, no, it's not that! It's just that," he picked up a bag from inside his car, "you're ice cream's melted."
He ran a hand through his hair. "Well, I was at the store and I saw that they had your ice cream and I knew we were out of it so I got it for you."
Jean stared at him, mouth agape. "So even though I inadvertently rejected you—I'm still so sorry about that---you leant me your precious car, did my chores and bought me ice cream?"
"Scott Summers, you are too perfect for words." He wrapped her arms around him again and they kissed for a long while. That is, until Jean sensed someone in the background. "We're being watched," she whispered to him, before flinging open the door to the house with her telekinesis. "C'mon out."
Kurt, Kitty and Rogue filed in sheepishly. "So, uh," Kurt grinned. "You two get everything worked out?"
"Yes, but obviously not alone," Scott snorted. "You guys could at least bring these bags in."
They shuffled over to the car, grabbing the plastic satchels and heading back inside. Rogue shot them a look. "Aren't you coming?"
Scott opened his mouth to answer, but Jean interrupted him, interlacing her fingers with his. "Nope. Scott and I are going out for ice cream. My treat."
He smiled down at her, squeezing her hand. "Yeah. That's what we're doing."
Kitty looked at them with eager blue eyes, "So, like, does this mean that you're finally together?"
The redhead looked at Scott for acceptance. "I think we are."
He kissed her forehead. "We definitely are."
The others congratulated them, then headed into the house. Jean rested her head against Scott's shoulder. "I'm really happy to be your girlfriend."
"And I'm really happy you're my girlfriend."
"But you know," she rested her palms flat on his chest. "If this is going to last, and I think we both want it to, we need to be able to talk about things."
Scott kissed her gently. "If talking is going to keep us together, I'm never going to shut up."
They both smiled at each other, then got into the car, driving away on their first date as a beautiful, happy couple.
A/N: This is kinda sorta based on a real life experience. I just thought it would make a really nice JOTT fic. See, Marvel, this is how Scott's supposed to act!
Version 2.0: All beta'd and pretty and missing those thousands of mistakes. My beta says patience is a virtue. Obviously one I need to learn.
Questions, comments, reactions and reviews are greatly appreciated.