Hearts And Diamonds

Written for Valentine's Day 1998

All characters belong to Marvel; no money is being made and no harm is meant. Further notes and disclaimers are included at the bottom of this little vignette, which suddenly jumped into my head out of nowhere on a quiet Friday morning. Feedback is not expected but enjoyed at kielle@aol.com -- please do not archive without my permission, which is stunningly easy to obtain. Try it and see.

And whoever said that a married woman couldn't have fun?

Jean Grey-Summers hummed absently under her breath as she adjusted her earrings in the mirror for the tenth time, touching her earlobes in turn to make sure that the tip of each teardrop-shaped diamond pointed symmetrically downward. It was silly, she knew -- he was not likely to notice such a trivial detail. Nonetheless, she checked them an eleventh time and almost went for a twelth before catching herself and forcing her hands down to her sides with a nervous laugh.

She was perfectly aware of the fact that she was acting ridiculous, like a teenage girl with a crush. She was a grown woman, for heaven's sake -- heck, she was a mother several times over in alternate realities -- and yet the prospect of a night out on the town with the man she loved was making her stomach turn flip-flops. Sure, they'd been to Harry's Hideaway a thousand and one times, but this was different; to ensure their complete privacy far from the all-encompassing responsibilities of living with the X-Men, he was whisking her away to some exotic restaurant on the far side of Salem Center. He'd refused to tell her exactly where, but the repressed "what, me up to something?" tone in his voice and the hint that she really should consider packing a spare set of clothing indicated that an overnight jaunt to a cozy motel was also on the agenda for the evening.

Jean smiled at the thought, shaking her head. She'd never seen him act quite this..."chirpy" before. She knew that he adored her, but he was understandably reticient about showing the depth of his feelings in front of the team. She didn't mind. Even if she hadn't been a psi, she would have known that his feelings for her were...well, it was difficult to find words for it. There should have been words for it. If Webster had been a telepath, there might have been.

She hadn't been on a "date" since long before the wedding. When he'd first suggested the idea she'd balked; could married people technically GO on dates? It all seemed a little childish to her, but he pushed and hinted and begged and tickled and pleaded and sulked and refused to tell her where he'd hidden the Thin Mints until she'd finally laughed and agreed to his hare-brained scheme. She was having her doubts now. Not the "bad" kind of doubts -- she was looking forward to it immensely. More by the minute, in fact.. No, it was more what the team would think if they got wind of their plans for the night. He was definitely the private sort; he wouldn't appreciate the stares and the whispers, not to mention the outright patented Iceman Ribbing(TM) which would inevitably result. She knew perfectly well that hardly any of them liked him -- and, certainly, no one had ever understood him.

Except her.

Which was why she loved him, and why she was adjusting the earrings he'd given her that very morning for the thirteenth time in ten minutes.

Ohhh, stop it, Jean! He's probably waiting outside right now...

Stuffing her favorite hairbrush and a box of Certs into her purse, she tugged on her favorite warm fleece jacket to ward off the February chill and left the bedroom, heading towards the entryway.

Scott was waiting for her in the "living room," the open section of the boathouse which had once housed a pool table and a clutter of disused water toys. Now it was a comfy wood-paneled shag-carpeted little home dominated by a fireplace and a battered but beloved sofa set. A smile tugged at the corners of her mouth at the sight of her husband. He was dressed in only his sweat pants and glasses, his hair ruffled and damp from the shower. He was in absolutely no condition to go out on the town.

Which was fine, since tonight was only the night before Valentine's Day, and their planned lunch-and-movie outing wasn't until tomorrow afternoon.

"Hey there, Redd. Staying out late tonight?"

She kissed him on the cheek as she opened the front door; the gust of cold breeze fluffed her crimson curls off of her shoulders and made Scott jump and yelp, shivering. "Maybe. I have some...ahem...errands to run for tomorrow, you know." It wasn't a lie -- she really was going to fit in some last-minute Valentine's Day shopping, before dinner. Before...well, before whatever came after that.

"You sure he doesn't mind taking you?" Scott's tone was worried; he hated inconveniencing anyone, especially a teammate.

Jean paused, the smile rising briefly to light her emerald eyes with humor as if at a secret joke. Not for the first time she was immensely glad that she, not Scott, controlled how much information leaked through their psi-link.

"Oh no, honey, don't worry about it, please," she replied. "Remy doesn't mind taking me at all. Honestly. In fact, tonight was his idea."

And with that, Jean Grey-Summers stepped out onto the driveway to meet her date.

.-= FINIS =-.

Afterword: Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! Ain't adultery fun....? What? What?! Stop looking at me like that, Tapestry! ;) Hee hee! Me bad or what? This is a wicked little follow-up to Laersyn's "More Than Friends" (itself an alternate-reality sequel to the notorious "Devil's Due") which is archived on Lori's Corner. "MTF" is most definitely x-rated, and if you haven't read it I'll just let you guess at what happens in it...

Mail the author, Kielle, with comments!