The grass is soft between my bare toes as I sit back against a tall oak tree. Scott lies with his head on my lap looking up at me. I smile, more to myself than anyone else. After the hell that has been the last few days, this is more than perfect. My legs ache from dancing, my feet are dirty from twisting and turning in the grass, and I feel comfortably full from the 'picnic' Scott had set out for us. By 'picnic', I mean he ordered a pizza and bought a cheap chocolate tart from the grocery store in town. But that was more than perfect for me. This whole evening has been spectacular. I make a mental note to thank Warren for his suggestion of a date later.
"You know," Scott starts, the lenses of his glasses glinting in the moonlight. "The stars look beautiful from down here..."
"Is that so?" I raise my eyebrows sarcastically.
"Yeah, come on." He smiles and taps the grass next to him. I roll my eyes mockingly, before slipping from under him and shifting so I lie next to him on the grass.
"Hmmm... You're right. The do look-" he predictably cuts me off with a kiss. I return the action, weaving my hand into his hair. I shiver slightly, the chill of the clear night nipping at my exposed shoulders. Scott pulls away.
"You're cold." He states. It's definitely not a question.
"No, Scott, I'll be fi-" I stop in confusion when he sits up and pulls something from his bag that is propped neatly against the tree.
"Here," he says, draping a large fleece blanket over us. I move closer to him and shrug the blanket up, over my shoulders. He kisses me softly again. "Better?"
I nod; feeling like the smile on my face probably expresses how I'm feeling better than words ever could. He returns the smile, making me giggle. His hand rises and softly strokes a lock of hair from my eyes and tucks it behind my ear. His fingers then weave through the red strands, occasionally twisting or twirling, until he touches my neck. Here, he runs his index finger up and down the length of my skin. His touch electrifies my senses.
"Hmmm..." His mouth twists quietly.
"What?" He doesn't answer. Is there something wrong? Is he planning something?
"What?" I repeat, laughing slightly through the word.
"Nothing," he whispers. "I was just thinking that there's something missing here..."
"Really? What?" I furrow my brow in confusion.
"Close your eyes." He orders in a precious whisper and, of course, I comply. I feel his arms pass either side of my neck, and then the cold, smooth sensation of metal against my chest. A necklace? His arms retract and the chain falls naturally against my skin.
"Open your eyes." He whispers. I do, and immediately look down to inspect the gift. The pendant is a small, red, heart-shaped stone encased by randomly angled metal vines, made to appear like a flame motif.
"Oh, Scott, it's beautiful." I gasp happily.
"It's ruby quartz," he replies, blushing. "Do you like it?"
"Of course I like it, silly! It's so 'us'!" I hug him. I feel kind of guilty now - I never even thought to get him something.
"It suits you," he smiles.
"Thank you." I shuffle closer to him, our foreheads almost touching. "What's it like being the leader of the X-Men then, Cyclops?"
"Scary," he laughs.
"Well, I thought you were really brave the other night. When we needed a leader, you were there. We're so lucky to have you." The uncontrollable grin that's so common when I'm around Scott claims my lips again.
"I don't know," he sighs "I feel like you guys didn't need me. I mean, Warren was the one who saved you. Bobby is the one who made those guards slip up. Jean is the one who destroyed their guns. You're the one who stopped me from being shot!"
"Scott, don't be silly. Who was the one who orchestrated the whole escape from the building?" I place my hand against his cheek. "You did."
"But maybe that guy was right, maybe my powers are just a bit redundant." His voice is quiet.
"Redundant? Are you kidding me? Scott! Your ability is spectacular! You'll never be 'redundant' to the X-Men!" I kiss him quickly. "And you'll never even come close to being redundant to me!"
"But my powers... They can be so easily stopped!" He argues.
"And you think mine can't? Water. All they need is water. Don't you think that makes me feel kind of... Suckish?" He laughs at my choice of words. "My point is, there will definitely always be a need for you in our team. Not only your amazing mutation, but your natural talent as a leader."
"Thank you, Evelyn. That means a lot." I can tell from his tone that he still doesn't quite believe me.
"Plus," the cheeky undertone in my voice is more than evident "you're kind of the only eye candy, so you can't leave."
He laughs. "Now, I know that's a lie!"
"How can you be so sure?"
"Because how can I be the eye candy in a team that includes you?" I giggle slightly.
"Slow down on the flirting, Mr Serious, you might actually have some fun!"