“Here,” Darcy said and shoved something in her face.
Jane looked up from her notebook and tried to focus on the paper bag Darcy was holding. It was covered in red and pink hearts.
“Oh God. Is it Valentine’s Day?” Jane asked, alarmed. “How is it the 14th already?”
“It’s called time, moron,” Darcy said. “Here, have some sugar.” She shook the bag and put it on the table. “Now I’m going to go to the bar since the hot archer form SHIELD isn’t here. Wanna come?”
“No, I ah, I have work to do,” Jane said.
“There’s a six pack in the fridge and a bottle of vodka under the sink from when Erik was here last,” Darcy said.
“I’ll be fine,” Jane said. “I really do have work to do.”
“Okay,” Darcy said and headed out.
Jane stared after her for a moment before opening the bag to find a veritable motherload of chocolate and sugar. So the plan was now eat sugar and chocolate and attempt to not drink any of the alcohol stashed around – something that was probably not going to be very likely – and work on finding a way to Thor, or for him to get back to her.
Thor was attempting not to dwell on thoughts of Jane. Heimdall had said Midgard was devoted to love on this day. He was rather perplexed as to why they needed to set aside a day for it, but Heimdall said Jane was sad.
He tried not to think that he was the cause for her sadness, but it was hard. Midgard celebrated love today and he had promised to return. And she was looking for him, but the Bifrost was broken and there was very little chance of her finding a way to him when it was in such a state.
The faster it was repaired – the faster he repaired it – the faster he could go to her.
“Your brother told Thor it is a day for love on Midgard,” the Queen said. “His Jane seems saddened.”
“There are many that dislike his love for a mortal, Sif said.
“There are many who believe he is betraying you,” Frigga continued. Sif made to speak but was halted by the Queen’s raised hand. “I know my sons’ hearts. Thor cares for you as a sister and I have seen his children in my visions. They look nothing like you.”
“You have seen Thor’s children?” Sif asked, startled.
“A boy and a girl. They will terrorize the court quite mercilessly. Much like their father, uncle, and aunt.
“Aunt?” Sif asked.
“I have always known that my grandchildren would call you aunt,” Frigga said. “At one point my son had hoped that they would call you mother as well.”
“Thor has never thought of me that way,” Sif began. She paused, eyes widening. “You know?”
“You think Loki could hide such a thing from me? Master of Mischief aside, he is still my son.”
“You’re sure you don’t want to go out tonight?” Phil asked.
“I’m sure. And besides, we’d never get a reservation now,” Carolyn said. Phil just looked at her. “Okay. Fine. We could. But I just want to cook and curl up in front of a movie so ridiculous it’s good and wear pjs and then pass out because our boss is a lunatic.”
“This is such a pathetic Valentine’s Day,” Phil said, but it was true. Fury had been running them ragged trying to get the Avengers Initiative off the ground.
“We can go out next week to that Thai place you like,” Carolyn said. “But tonight it’s carbonara. What do you want to watch?”
“George Clooney as Batman or Halle Berry as Catwoman?”
“Both if we don’t pass out maybe? One while I’m cooking and one while eating?” Carolyn asked.
“Didn’t your grandmother send fudge?” Phil asked.
“That’s saved for desert,” Carolyn said.
Why couldn’t the hot Robin Hood be in Puente Antiguo instead of the not hot thug? Well, technically Agent Barton was also a jack booted thug, but he was an archer. And hot. A little older than what her parents would approve of for sure, but it wasn’t like she planned on marrying him. She just wanted a little fun.
“I will eat all of these without you,” Jan said as she popped a shrimp in her mouth. “They’re really good.”
“Just a minute. I’m almost done,” Hank said.
Jan didn’t point out that he’d said the same thing twenty minutes ago when their food arrived at their hotel room. Such was life with an easily distracted supergenius. She’d gotten used to it.
Hank probably thought Valentine’s Day was next week anyways. He did have a habit of losing track of time. And the longer he stayed working the more shrimp she got to eat. They were quite fabulous.
She pulled out her phone and sent a quick text to Pepper while she ate another shrimp.
My date’s distracted. How’s yours?
Pepper replied quickly with:
He cooked. It’s edible. And there’s candles. And he showered. And dressed himself.
Can we switch boyfriends?
“Okay. I’m done. Well, as done as I can be,” Hank said. He came over and kissed her before stealing a shrimp and looking at her phone. “You want to date Stark?”
“He does have robots,” Jan teased.
“I have robots!” Hank protested.
“Ultron is creepy,” Jan said.
“No he’s not.”
“Totally creepy. But you are better than Tony.”
“Of course I am.”
“And I love you and Pepper loves Tony.”
“And I love you too – wait. Since when has she been in love with him?”
“Oh ages,” Jan said. “And are we really going to keep talking about them on Valentine’s Day?”
“It’s Valentine’s Day?” Hank asked, looking startled. “I thought it was the thirteenth. I made plans for tomorrow.”
“That’s what I figured,” Jan said. “I love you anyways.”
“I can’t possibly be as brainless as I think I am, can I?” he asked.
“That’s what you have me for,” Jan said.
She bought herself flowers in an attempt to cheer herself up. Not roses though. Instead she got bright flowers, spider mums and lilies and carnations and daisies.
It wasn’t helping overly much, but they were nice to have around.
The chocolates, ice cream, and romcoms were going to help more. She wasn’t going to feel guilty about having a pint of Ben & Jerry’s for dinner. And maybe some popcorn.
Once she was home she changed into some comfortable pjs and got settled on the couch. She started going through her mail as she cued up The Notebook. Most of the mail was junk, but there was one envelope that caught her attention. There wasn’t a return address on the envelope, but the handwriting was very familiar.
The flap had ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’ written on it and she tore the envelope open and tipped it over. There wasn’t a note inside, but her necklace poured out.
“Oh Bruce,” she said. “Happy Valentine’s Day to you too, wherever you are.”
“Where the hell are my employees?” Fury scowled.
“Out. This is what happens when you approve of intra agency dating, sir,” Hill said. “Or do you not remember how many people were at the Coulson wedding?”
“That was a circus even before the mutants were accounted for,” Fury said. “Where are Black Widow and Hawkeye? They’re single. Unless they started their whatever it was up again.”
“They left an hour ago. Barton said something about a bar.”
Fury sighed. “I hate Valentine’s Day.”
“At least Doom—,”
“Don’t say it,” Fury said. “Don’t you dare finish that sentence.”
“This was a fabulous idea,” Frankie said. “Johnny you are a genius.”
“Thank you. Sue and Reed can go have their fancy dinner. We will have a spa day.”
“There are times that I enjoy that you’re a closet metrosexual. When you’re hair product takes over the bathroom is not one of those times, however.”
“I do not have that much stuff.”
“Yes you do.”
“Go back to how brilliant I am. I liked that conversation better.”
To say that she had been rather unprepared for what met her at Tony’s mansion was an understatement.
Tony had been working very hard at being well, a good boyfriend. Thanksgiving and Christmas had been surprisingly nice. And calm. She wasn’t used to calm holidays when it came to Tony. And especially not for Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day was the least calm holiday Tony had during the year.
So when he told her to dress up she wasn’t sure exactly what would end up happening that night. He potentially could be in a mind to fly out to Paris or Tokyo or Venice or someplace else that would require a passport. So she packed her bag with anything that she might need. The outfit she deliberated about a bit more before finally deciding on a midnight blue sheath dress with a wrap in case he decided to take her somewhere cold. And underneath, well, just because they hadn’t slept together yet didn’t mean that it wasn’t going to happen. And she’d rather be prepared.
What she found at the mansion wasn’t anything she could have dreamed up. He stood by the door waiting for her when she arrived. He had shaved and was wearing a suit, showing that he could in fact manage to dress himself without her.
After that things got even stranger. A table was set up on the balcony set with a tablecloth, china, crystal, and candles.
“I wanted to do something that was just us,” he had told her. “So I made dinner.”
And it had been edible. Very edible. And Tony had been trying hard, but he didn’t need to because it was really quite the perfect evening.
When they’d finished Tony had announced that there was desert as well, though he swore he didn’t do anything too strenuous when it came to making it. He went to the kitchen to get it.
Pepper’s phone buzzed quietly. She grinned when she saw the text from Jan Van Dyne.
My date’s distracted. How’s yours?
Pepper held in a snort. That sounded like Hank Pym alright. She sent Jan a text about her night.
Can we switch boyfriends?
That Pepper did laugh at.
“What’s so funny?” Tony asked as he came back to the balcony, carrying a fruit and cheese platter.
“Jan wants to trade boyfriends. Hank is apparently rather distracted,” Pepper said, pleased to see that there wasn’t a strawberry in sight. “But she’ll just have to suffer with him.” She pulled Tony down for a kiss and stole a grape off of the platter. “Because I am very pleased with my boyfriend.”
Valentine’s Day at Xavier’s was usually a rather…bizarre experience. From February first until the fifteenth the adults tried to avoid the fallout of that many besotted teenagers in such a confined space. Generally speaking there were a number of broken hearts come the morning of the fifteenth.
The adults in relationships – usually only Jean and Scott – got the night off while those without dates watched the kids. The year Magneto had been in his plastic prison the Professor had gone to see him. Everyone attempted to not think about the reasoning behind that visit. There were some things that they did not need to know about when it came to the incredibly bizarre relationship the two men had.
Jean was glad to get away from the mansion on Valentine’s Day. It was sometimes more difficult than others to block the emotions of the students even if she could keep their thoughts out of her head. Despite how crowded New York City was, she could actually manage better there than at the school. Right now, however, she was having quite the difficulty keeping out the morose and lovesick emotions a very drunk Storm was sending her way.
She and Scott had gotten back not long ago and upon finding their friend in the kitchen set aside for the staff Scott had vanished upstairs, leaving Jean to deal with Storm.
“It’s just. He’s there but he’s totally unavailable,” Storm grumbled.
“Is this about your husband again?” Jean asked.
“Ex! Ex husband! I am a divorced woman! Broom jumping should not qualify as a wedding anyways. Are you sure you don’t like him anymore?”
“What?” Jean asked, confused by the question. “T’Challa? I have never had a crush on—Are you talking about Logan?!” Storm didn’t answer. “Oh my God. Logan? Seriously?”
“Yes. Logan. What’s wrong with Logan? You used to like him,” Storm said. “Even if you did choose Scott. And Mystique seems to have the hots for him too. But he’s just—argh. He’s like the Highlander!”
“What are you talking about? You know I didn’t see that.”
“Your stupid husband took me. But he is the Highlander. And I just…I hate men.”
“Okay. Let’s get you to bed before you cause another blizzard,” Jean said. “You’re head’s going to be painful enough as it is.”
“That only happened the once,” Storm said.
“You’re still going to bed,” Jean said, hauling Storm out of her chair. They headed out of the kitchen and up to the staff bedrooms. “If you still want to talk about men in the morning we can.”
“I don’t like men. Maybe I should switch teams,” Storm mused.
Jean had to hold her giggles in so she didn’t wake the mansion up. That got significantly harder when they reached the landing and found Logan frowning down at them from the top of the stairs.
“What on Earth is she talking about?”
“Highlander,” Storm said.
“What does that ridiculous movie and even more ridiculous show have to do with dating women?”
Jean gave up and promptly dissolved into giggles.