Hi there! :) This idea came to me today as I was thinking about Valentine's Day and what it's really about. It's not necessarily just about couples, but about loving another human being - which means family and friends as well. :)
I was going to do thirteen one shots to count down to February 14th, but then changed my mind. I think I'd have more fun with this if it extended longer, even after Valentine's Day. Most of the couple fics in this will be centered around this holiday, but the main purpose of the one shots is to show love. And who says we should only do that once a year? So, this should continue even after Valentine's Day.
What else? I guess I should go ahead and mention that I'll be doing a variety of couples, not just the canon ones. If you don't like a couple, you're welcome to skip the chapter. This one is going to be Scott/Jean. I thought it'd be nice to start with them, since almost everyone loves them, anyway (almost, I know! The Scott/Rogue fans probably don't). :) Anyways, if you have any questions, just ask. I hope you enjoy the story! ^_^
Chapter One: Not What It Seems
Jean Grey sat outside, trying to enjoy that cool, dark February night. The wind blew through her hair, causing her to shiver a bit, but she didn't care.
The only thing she really cared about was February 15th, which couldn't come soon enough. She was tired of Valentine's Day. She was tired of couples. She was tired of everything being pink anywhere she went. And she was, most importantly, tired of Scott Summers.
Instead of being the sweet, perfect boyfriend she'd expected him to be on this day, he'd been ignoring her. He'd been up in his room all day and, when she'd tried to talk to him earlier, he'd pretty much ignored her and retreated back to his room to make a phone call.
She'd even tried reading his mind once and all she found was him stressing out about what to eat for dinner that night.
She slammed her fist down on the arm of the bench she was sitting on. Ugh! Why did boys - no, why did Scott - have to be so stupid?!
Even Lance hadn't forgotten what day it was. He and Kitty had left half an hour ago to go see a movie. Kurt had taken Amanda out to dinner. Tabitha had dragged Bobby away to go dancing with her. And even Rogue was no where to be found.
Everyone else was out having fun and her boyfriend just had to pick this night to start acting like a... a... She didn't even know of a word that would describe how ridiculous he was being.
"Is something wrong?" came Ororo's calm voice.
Jean looked up and wondered how long the older woman had been standing there. She sighed. "Scott's just being a jerk, that's all."
"It wouldn't take a telepath to figure out that's what you were upset about." She took a seat on the other side of the bench, next to the teen. "I am here if you would like to talk about it."
Jean shook her head. She knew talking would only make her more angry.
The two sat in silence for a while, gazing out into the darkness. It would've been a perfectly peaceful night if Jean hadn't been so incredibly frustrated right then.
"Sometimes in life," Ororo began, "things aren't as though they might seem. Sometimes we must look deeper to find what's really there. Only then can we see the complete picture."
Jean sensed that Ororo was simply trying to help her feel better, and maybe she was even right, but it didn't make the girl feel any better. She could see the complete picture already - it'd just taken her a while. Scott really didn't care. Or, even if he did, he hadn't taken the time to notice how upset and lonely she was.
She'd never been one to go crazy over Valentine's Day, but she would have at least liked a simple "I love you" or something from him.
"Maybe you should try speaking with Scott," Storm suggested.
Ororo sighed, putting a hand on the girl's shoulder. "Everything will be all right, child. You'll see."
Jean smiled sadly. "Thanks, Storm."
The older woman nodded, getting up and heading back toward the house. Jean was busy staring up at the stars when, suddenly, someone blocked her view.
And that someone was none other than Scott Summers.
She stood up angrily, glaring at him. "So, you've come to talk now?"
He seemed taken aback by her reaction to seeing his face. "Uh... Yeah," he managed. "I was actually coming to tell you something."
"What?" she snapped, without meaning to. Usually, it would take quite a bit to make her get angry at Scott, but tonight was different. He'd forgotten about everything they'd been planning for weeks - the walk in the park, the dinner reservations, everything. "What were you going to tell me, Scott? That you're sorry? That you're worried about being late for whatever special dinner you've planned? Or... I know - maybe you're sorry about ignoring me all day long just to lock yourself in your room and make a bunch of stupid phone calls!"
She didn't have to see his eyes to notice the look of shock that crossed his face for a brief moment. "Jean..." he trailed off.
She shook her head. "Save it, Scott." And with that, she turned to head back to the Institute.
He stood there, bewildered, for a second before running after her. Had she not noticed he was dressed up? Had she not noticed the beautiful, red rose in his hands? Hadn't she even noticed that he'd fixed his hair up a little?
"Jean!" he called, jogging a bit to catch up with her. He found it interesting how girls were always ten times faster at walking when they were angry. "Jean, wait!"
She didn't wait, though. She was too upset to speak to him any longer. How could he forget about her on the one night they'd had so many great things planned?
"Jean." His voice was a lot more steady now, since he'd finally caught up to her. He decided against grabbing her arm and instead jumped in front of her to stop her from going any further. "I didn't forget our plans," he tried to explain.
She pushed past him, not as hard as he'd expected, and kept walking. "Sure you didn't."
"Our reservations at the restaurant got canceled, and every other restaurant in Bayville was booked."
She hesitated for half a second before forcing herself to snort. "Nice try, Scott."
He once again jumped out in front of her, looking her in the eyes. "Jean, I've been in my room all day trying to make reservations to another restaurant. One of my friends called earlier, when you were in the room. They wanted us to double date with them tonight, but-"
"Why didn't we go, then?" she questioned, her hands on her hips. "Anything would have been better than sitting outside alone, being ignored by the one person I care about."
He took a deep breath, stepping in front of her when she tried to walk away again. "We didn't go, because I wanted to spend time with you - alone." He sighed. "Listen, Jean, I spent all day up there trying to find someplace nice to take you tonight, but everything kept falling apart. All the restaurants can't hold anymore people tonight."
She only stared at him, a blank, unreadable expression on her face as she thought.
"I wasn't trying to ignore you, I promise. I was trying to do something nice for you, because I love you."
She couldn't stop herself from checking his mind, just to see if he was serious about all of this. She felt like an idiot when she realized he was. He'd really spent all day in his room, away from everyone, making phone calls for her.
"Scott, I..." she began quietly, but the grin on his face stopped her.
"Come with me," he said, taking her hand.
Twenty minutes and one car ride later, they had arrived at a park the next town over. Scott got out and Jean allowed him to open the door for her.
"Why are we here?" she asked him, trying to keep the butterflies out of her stomach, even though she knew that was impossible.
He held out his arm for her to take. "We're here for a walk through the park I promised you, but that's not all." He grinned at her, and even winked, even though he knew she couldn't see his eyes.
"No. There will be an elegant dinner waiting for us at the end of our journey."
She smiled softly. She loved when Scott acted like this. There were some sides of himself that he only showed to her - and this was one of them. He wouldn't dare let the others catch him acting quite like this. They'd never let him live it down. But Jean seemed to like it, so he kept it up.
"This is nice," she commented, admiring the park as they strolled around together. The trees created a canopy above them and the cool breeze made them want to walk closer to each other.
Scott smiled softly. "It is."
It didn't take them too long before they reached the back of the park. "Maybe we should go back now," Jean told him, squeezing his hand.
Scott shook his head. "Close your eyes."
She smiled and slowly closed her eyes. He took her hand and carefully guided her to a small clearing a few feet away. The clearing was a perfect circle, lit up by candles, which surrounded a small picnic blanket. On top of the blanket was a basket, which held their not-so-fancy dinner. He hoped it would be nice enough. He'd prepared the whole thing the day before, just in case the restaurant plans didn't work out. Ororo had been kind enough to light the candles in advance, a little before she'd walked up to Jean at the Institute.
Moving his girlfriend over to the middle of the picnic blanket, he looked over everything once more, just to make sure it was all in place. This had to be perfect. He wanted her to have a wonderful Valentine's Day - one she'd talk about for many more years to come. One worth remembering. When he saw that everything was where it should be, he turned back to her, wanting to see her expression when she saw their romantic dinner.
Even if all he saw was disappointment, he wanted to know what she thought of this. He just prayed she'd be happy instead of upset.
"Okay. Open your eyes."
She opened her eyes as quick as possible, first seeing him, and then everything around them. It took a moment for her to truly understand what was going on, but it didn't take long for her to imagine the great lengths he'd probably gone to to make this... spectacular dinner. "Scott," she said breathlessly, hardly able to contain her amazement. This was the most beautiful thing she'd ever seen. No one had ever done something so nice for her, not even her parents. "This is amazing. It's... beautiful. How did you... I mean, when did you-"
"I made time," he interrupted, beyond satisfied with her reaction. Finally, he'd done something right. She was happy and that's what made his Valentine's Day perfect.
She stared at him for a moment, the expression on her face hard to read. She looked like she could melt from the happiness she was glowing with. "Thank you," she whispered, reaching forward and pulling him into a hug. "Thank you, Scott. This means the world to me."
He slowly wrapped his arms around her to return the hug. He wasn't quite sure how to get his thoughts out into the open, but after a while, he finally did, "You mean the world to me."
She smiled softly, never wanting to let him go. "I love you, Scott Summers."
He grinned. "And I love you, Jean Grey."
Thanks for reading! :D
You guys are welcome to suggest a couple (I don't write slashes or anything like that, though) and/or any ideas you might have. It can't be guaranteed that I can use them all, but I'll try my best. :)
Now, get out there and show someone you care. Love is, after all, the greatest thing you could ever give someone. ^_^