A/N- I don't own any of these characters. The idea, however, is mine and I'd like credit. Thanks.
Don't even ASK where this one came from. It's three thirty in the morning and my Internet isn't working. I drank some soda, had some candy, and boom. Here we go.
I KNOW it's a strange pairing. No flames. Just roll with it, okay?
This is intended to be a one shot. Buuuut, I'd be willing to continue it if it's requested. Just so everyone knows.
And no, I don't know when this would've taken place. Sometime after Wanda came, before Evan left, I suppose. Whatever.
Enjoy. Love, Sai-Chan.
Jean stared at the note that had been stuck to her locker when she had arrived to pack up her math book for homework that night. It had informed her that Scott had had to leave school without her. He'd gotten a call from the Institute about one of the trainees blowing up the Danger Room and had to hurry home to make sure no more damage was done. She'd been at practice, so he hadn't called, for fear of getting her in trouble. Thus, the note. He apologized for abandoning her and promised to send someone over to pick her up when he could. That was all the note said, though.
Sighing, she slammed her locker shut and marched out of the empty building. She hoped Kurt or someone with a car would be waiting for her. She really wasn't looking forward to having to walk home alone, again. She'd had to do that for the past few days thanks to young mutants blowing things up or Duncan's car breaking down because he insisted he could fix it himself. However, the only cars in the parking lot were Principal Kelly's, two other unknown cars, and Lance's Jeep. Seeing the Jeep, though, she perked up, hoping the mutant could give her a lift home. But he was nowhere in sight. Actually, the parking lot looked empty of all life. She was alone, with no ride, and no company.
" Just great. So much for a lift, Scott. So much for your promise," she mumbled to herself, pulling on her bag. As she took a couple steps, on the other hand, she noticed that she wasn't, in fact, alone.
Stretched out on a bench a ways away, seemingly asleep, was Todd. His head was resting on a green book bag and he looked dead to the world. Still, she knew him and he would most certainly know where Lance was. If she could figure out where he was, she could get a ride home and wouldn't have to walk in the heat. So, despite hesitation, she walked over and cleared her throat over him. Nothing. She rolled her eyes, before tapping him rather hard on the shoulder.
" Go ta hell, Quicksilver," was what he had to say as he hit the air. She giggled and told him she wasn't Pietro. That appeared to get his attention because he sat up with a start, his golden eyes opened wide in alarm. When he saw her standing there, he relaxed, giving a nervous laugh, " Yo, sup, Jean?"
" Do you know where Lance is?"
" I was hoping I could bum a ride home," she thumbed towards the Jeep. His eyes followed her hand, then slid back to her as she shifted her weight from one foot to the other.
" Iz gonna be a while. He's got double detention. Fer spray paintin' Kelly's office or somethin' like that," he told her, running a hand half way through his hair. She couldn't help but let out a moan, covering her face, " Where's Summers? Don't he normally give ya a ride home? Or did he flake out?"
" No, he had to hurry home," she snapped, before covering her mouth. Todd didn't seem to notice her tone in the least. He just gave a shrug and apologized for not being able to help her, " Um... are you waiting for Lance too?"
" Why didn't you just walk home?"
" I need him ta gimme a lift elsewhere. And I just got outta detention myself. Sos I decided I could wait half an hour," he shrugged again, " Better then walkin' alone,"
" Tell me about it,"
" Chu want me ta walk ya home? It ain't a car ride, but lease ya won't be alone, right?" he suggested, motioning to the way she had to go.
For a moment, Jean could only stare at him. His offer was too good to be true. He wasn't the type of person to just offer something so generous. She knew this from experience. After all, she'd been going to school with him since middle school. All his life he'd been a sleaze. True, he wasn't evil and he had no back bone and he tended to be sweet to the girls he liked, but Todd Tolansky was anything but a gentleman. This gesture was too strange for her to immediately accept. As the seconds dragged on, though, it became clear that he was sincere about it. So, she smiled and happily agreed, pleasantly surprised but glad nevertheless.
Todd hopped to his feet, pulled on his bag, and led the way off the property. She followed in suit, smiling but trying not to smile too much, if only because she wasn't sure how he would take it. They walked on in silence for some time, then she cleared her throat. He glanced his way, not moving his head and ending up looking through his bangs. The look made him appear more innocent then she knew him to be.
" It's been a long time, Todd,"
" Call me Toad,"
" Toad then,"
" Yea' it has," he shoved his hands into his pockets. She grew quiet for a minute or two, then gave a tiny cough. He cocked a grin, " Chu wanna say somethin'? Ya can, ya know,"
" No, no... it's not like that, Toad..." she paused, switching which arm her bag was on, " I'm just not sure what to talk about. But it's a long walk and I'd prefer it not be in silence, you know?"
" How's Duncan?"
" Excuse me?"
" Chu just said ya didn't wanna walk in silence. Tell me 'bout yer relationship wit the asshole," he waved his hand in a nonchalant way, rolling his eyes. Frustration built itself up in her chest as she spat out everything was going fine. The answer didn't appease the toad, who made a motion for her to continue. Yet, she found she really didn't have anything else to say on the subject and just sighed, growing steadily more embarrassed.
" We're fine. Fine. We went on a date the other day and it was fine," she felt idiotic saying this to Todd of all people, not only because he was the last person she wanted to talk to about love but also because she couldn't think of a word besides 'fine' to describe her relationship, " It was a nice French place. You've probably never been. I think it's called Le Amor Café. On-"
" Fifth. I went there once,"
" Yeah. They threw me out,"
" Oh," she squeaked out, swallowing hard. He adjusted one of his cuffs, " Do you have any one special in your life?"
" Nope. I think Wanda's dreamy though. She's a peach," he actually smiled when he said it, his expression truly sweet and caring. Jean smiled back in spite of herself, " I think I have a thing fer Gothic gals, 'cause I used ta think Rogue wuzz somethin' else too. But she ain't nothin' compared to Wanda. Now there's a pretty girl,"
" She doesn't like you... does she?"
" I'm sorry," she reached out and touched his shoulder gently. The physical contact appeared to shock him, but he didn't pull away.
They were quiet after that. Jean looked around at all the people they were passing whereas Todd stared at his feet. A few questions had appeared in her head, but she was pretty sure they were far too personal to ask. Therefore, she said nothing and waited for him to start up a conversation. A while went by where he didn't. Then she saw him open his mouth, stop, shake his head. Finally, he forced back what might have been another smile and looked her way. Whatever she might of thought he was about to ask, it wasn't what he did. She was caught completely off guard, although she'd been preparing herself for the worse.
" Yo, did chu ever get a letter when you wuzz in eighth grade? Wuzz in ya locker? Asked chu to meet someone outside by the gym?" he questioned, giving her a quizzical look. She gaped openly at him, not sure was he was asking. Slowly, though, a memory swam to the surface and she faintly nodded, shifting her bag once more.
" Yes. From a secret admirer. How did y-" all at once, Jean stopped talking and walking. Todd did too, as if expecting this sort of reaction. She pointed at him, at the school, at him, and at the ground before her hand fell to her side. Her shock came out in one breath, " You? You were the one who wrote that? All those years ago? It was you?! You're my secret admirer!?!"
" Could ya not sound so horrified?"
" Sorry," she whispered, a wave of guilt washing over her as she recalled what the note had actually contained, " Oh God... that note... it asked me to meet you outside the gym after school... I didn't go... oh, God, Todd, I'm so sorry!"
" Did you wait there long?"
" Till night fall," he answered, fumbling around in his back pockets, " First time I ever walked home at night alone," he produced a carton of cigarettes, " I doubt chu smoke?"
" No, I don't... you do?"
" Occasionally," he lit the cigarette without asking whether she minded or not. She did, but, considering the topic at hand, she didn't mention it. He took a long drag and blew the smoke away from her, " Wanna start?" he held out the package, but she only shook her head as she held up her hand.
He didn't say anything else. All he did was shuffle along next to her, puffing on his cigarette. She watched and waited, thinking there was more to his asking about that old letter. Yet, he said nothing else. So, she cleared her throat and gained his attention. He turned to look at her, almost as though shocked that she was starting a new conversation. She spoke quietly, unsure of what was going to come out of her mouth as much as she feared his reaction.
" Why did you bring up the letter?" she nearly stopped walking while she said it, although she failed to understand why. Todd took one last drag on his cigarette and tossed it to the ground, grinding it out before responding.
" Just wanted to make sure ya blew me off. I wasn't sure if I got the right locker sos I figured I'd make sure since we wuzz alone," he didn't sound bitter or harsh, much to her surprise. She motioned for him to continue, " There ain't nothin' ta say, Jean. I gave ya a letter an' ya didn't meet up wit me. I just wanted ta know if it wuzz because I wuzz stupid or ya blew me off,"
" I didn't know it was you,"
" Would ya have gone if ya had?" he stopped walking this time, crossing his arms over his chest. Her cheeks burned red, she stuttered for an answer, but none came. He curled a finger, beckoning her closer, so she leaned in. He spoke quietly, as though giving her the answer to a test right in front of the teacher, " Just say it. Ya wouldn't of. It's okay,"
" No. I wouldn't of,"
" Why not?!" his voice had finally hit the note of anger. She jumped at the sound and drew away.
The look he gave her was penetrating and she got the distinct feeling he was either reading her mind or searching her soul. She'd never felt so striped of her protection and automatically built up a psychic wall to guard her mind. That's when she remembered she was alone with Todd, who had no such ability. Feeling foolish, she lowered her defenses and searched for an answer. The whole time he stared at her, a frown on his face. In the end, however, she had come up with nothing short of an insult and could only shake her head. He rolled his eyes and continued to walk. She followed, though she couldn't help but bite her lower lip.
" In your letter... you said you thought I was pretty... that my hair and eyes were lovely... did you mean that?" she wasn't trying to sound arrogant and she wasn't fishing for a compliment. She just wanted to know if someone had truly liked her back then, when Scott had been unaware that she was female and Duncan was only a crush. Back when she'd truly felt invisible and moronic.
" Thank you..." her voice trailed off as she twirled a lock of hair around a finger. He waved her off, " Um... I've always thought you had rather lovely eyes yourself, Toad,"
" Thanks Baby Doll... er... Jean. My bad," he gave a chuckle, rubbing the back of his neck. She shook her head, causing her hair to fly every which way.
" No, it's okay," she assured him, although she was pretty positive he was never going to use a pet name around her anymore. He coughed, not meeting her eyes at all. For fear she'd frightened him, she reached out quickly and grabbed his arm. That action stopped him dead and his eyes stared holes into her flesh, " Um.. Uh... I'm really sorry I blew you off. I just want you to know that,"
" No prob. I got over it," he said, speaking to her arm. She drew back even more slowly then she figured she would, " Chu weren't the first or the last person ta do it. Chu were just the prettiest,"
Todd pinched her cheek, giving her one of the most heartwarming smiles she'd ever received. Her face burned over, her blood pounding against her skull. His eyes were so kind. So different from those arrogant orbs of Duncan or the red jewels she couldn't see of Scott's. There was real emotion lurking on the edges of those golden spheres. Emotions that she had never seen in a boy when he looked at her. All her life she'd either been ignored by men or flocked after as though she was a prize, a toy they could play with. But that wasn't even close to the look she got from the toad. His expression was sincere, sweet, considerate. It melted her and made her body tremble. She cast her eyes to the side.
" You're just saying that," her voice shook on the end and she nearly covered her mouth to fight it. He gave a laugh, looking away.
" Maybe. But it's nice to hear, ain't it?" he laughed loudly, spinning around and pointing at a metal sign attached to the wall some feet away. She absentmindedly looked in that direction, " Well, there's the gate. Chu want me ta walk ya inside? Or is that against X-Men code?"
" No.. Thank you for escorting me, Toad. It was really sweet of you," she bounced a bit as she said it, feeling as if she didn't really want to walk away from him. He gave her a bow and a wink, before smiling that same smile, " D-Do you want to come up?"
" Naw. Ain't my style. See ya 'round, Jean," he drew closer as though he was going to shake her hand. Instead, he did something completely unexpected when he grasped her wrist and pulled down.
Todd kissed Jean on the lips, eyes closed and everything. She froze up, caught off guard and unprepared. That didn't seem to matter to him, however, as he merely kissed her. Her eye lids fluttered and shut and she found herself kissing back out of sheer desire to be kissed by someone who liked her for who she was. She tasted cigarettes and slime, but it wasn't all unpleasant. For once, no hand dropped to her ass to grope her. She was untouched and left to the feel of the passionate kiss that left her speechless and smiling as she hadn't smiled in the longest of times. Her body was warm and shaking as he drew back and let go of her wrist, a devilish look in his eye that lingered on her face and not her chest.
" If ya interested, meet me by the entrance to the gym after school tomorrow," was all he said as he saluted her and left her at the gates of the Institute. She sadly waved before he disappeared around a corner.
Touching her lips tenderly, Jean walked inside the Xavier property. She'd never considered anyone other then Duncan or Scott before. She'd gone out with Duncan because he asked first and she knew there was a slight crush still in her heart for Cyclops. Yet, she'd never had every part of her fulfilled. There was that bad side that had only gotten to expand it's wings when she'd joined the Bayville Sirens. She longed to be treated like a lady, as if she was worth more then just a trophy. She knew the toad was slime but he could be incredibly sensitive when dealing with the women he loved. She knew that from the way he talked about and treated Wanda. And she'd never been kissed so lovingly in her life. All it had been was passion and love and that was all she'd ever wanted in a kiss.
For the first time, she seriously considered taking Todd up on his offer. She hadn't gone last time. Should she go this time? She knew he'd be waiting. Until night fall. Unlike two other certain boys with cars, he would wait for her. Because he thought she was more important then work or pride.
And that was really all she could ask for.