Whatif...? The Sentinels Won

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Re: Whatif...? The Sentinels Won

Post by Slarti » Sat Jan 03, 2015 1:16 am

<Shinobi> His day had gotten better and better, truly. After Sebastian left, and after their office tryst, they actually had been productive. So productive that when Hope ran into a stumbling block Shinobi volunteered to go get her the parts she needed. First, he'd find those, then get some coffee to bring back.

<Jessica> Jess had finally decided to venture out of their small apartment and go in search of Shinobi to attempt to apologise again. After asking a few random agents, she managed to get a general area and headed that way. A few turns later, she paused and listened for the sound of Shinobi's voice or his walk. When she had a direction, she went toward him.

<Shinobi> Not sure exactly what he was looking for, Shinobi was taking forever in the storage room. All these little bits looked alike, and he didn't care what the bin labels said. Picking out the fourth piece that looked identical to all the others and therefor was wrong, he swore.

<Jessica> Jess zeroed in on the voice and stopped in the doorway, knocking on the frame so she didn't startle him, "Shinobi?"

<Shinobi> His spine stiffened at the voice, but unless he simply phased away he couldn't escape with her in the doorway. "Yeah?" he said, continuing to pick through the bins, but more slowly.

<Jessica> "Can we talk?" she chewed her lip, not encouraged by his reaction.

<Shinobi> "I'm not sure I want to."

<Jessica> "Well then... will you listen?"

<Shinobi> "I suppose." He still hadn't looked at her, and moved to the far side of the storage room to rummage in another set of bins, slowly adding components to a small pile on a work table.

<Jessica> She pushed a hand through her hair and moved a little way into the room, "I'm really grateful... for all your help over the last few weeks, Shinobi.... I honestly don't think I would have survived without you... and I don't know how I'm even going to begin to repay you for taking care of us."

<Shinobi> He snorted.

<Jessica> She sighed, looking down at the floor, "And I'm sorry... I'm sorry I failed you and I'm sorry I hurt you when you were only trying to help... I just... I don't even know why I did that... instinct I suppose. It's no excuse but I felt cornered and I just... reacted... I'm so sorry... I don't know what I'd have done if you'd been more seriously hurt..."

<Shinobi> "I was trying to help you. I was trying to tell you." Shinobi shook his head. He didn't want to hear her excuses, and his temper was rising.

<Jessica> "I know..." she moved a little closer to him, "After I got Hope to calm down enough to pull you out of the wall I went and got Miriam... then I left her with Viper and went straight to see Sebastian to tell him...."

<Shinobi> "Hope was terrified..." he said, looking down at the collection of parts.

<Jessica> "Yes... I went back when I heard her shouting for help..." he hadn't moved away from her so she took another couple of steps closer, "She needed reminding that she could phase to whatever frequency you were at... after she pulled you out, she told me the news..."

<Shinobi> She was edging up on him, so he gave her a flat, irritated look and stepped around the work table. "You know, it would have saved all of us a lot of trouble and pain if you'd just fucking listen."

<Jessica> "I'd listen better if people didn't yell and belittle me," she stopped walking, frustrated, "Or stopped telling me what I'm supposed to do all the time. No one can tell me how to deal with something - everyone deals differently and I'm so sick of being compared to everyone else. Why do you think I run away?"

<Shinobi> "Maybe because the way you deal with things is fucking ridiculous?" He straightened up, crossing his arms to stare at her.

<Jessica> "Well pardon me for not being part of the real world until I was all grown up and unable to learn the right way to do everything!"

<Shinobi> The audacity of that concept made his mouth drop open in shock for a moment. "Bullshit," he finally said. "That's not an excuse. I'm a goddamn clone! Something which, I might add, you knew for years before I did. Every memory of I have of growing up miserable, and alone, was false because I probably grew up in some kind of freaking incubator!"

<Shinobi> "But somehow, I'm the one who managed to hold it together?"

<Jessica> "You're as bad as she is!" No wonder they got along so well, "It's not a fucking contest! Some people are just better at dealing with stress than others. I am not one of those people. I freak out and run away and hide and hope it goes away because that's all I did with my dad. We hid. For my entire life. I had nothing and no one when he died and I still hid because I thought I had to."

<Jessica> She turned her back putting her face in her hands, "I'm not saying that it excuses everything I do or don't do. Nothing does. I know I'm a shit mother, I knew I was going to be awful at it and I'm not a hundred percent sold on doing it again but I'm still here. I'm still in the building. Don't think I haven't considered leaving."

<Shinobi> "Because leaving would make the baby in your stomach go away?" He shook his head, feeling for his father. "Or are you going to take care of that some other way first? If you haven't already. If it's not already dead it's probably ...damaged." Shinobi made a face.

<Jessica> "Don't." She reminded herself that her emotions could negatively effect everyone else now and tried to pull herself together. "I thought about leaving before I knew... now, I don't know what I want to do." She let her hands fall to her sides, "What do you want from me, Shinobi? I've said I'm sorry and I mean it, I've said I'm grateful and I meant that too... I don't know what I'm supposed to do now..."

<Shinobi> "You don't know what you want to do? You have noticed that Sebastian's okay, right? I would think so. And I saw him just a couple hours ago, and he seems to think you're still a family." Now he was offended on his father's behalf, something he had never expected. "Have you ever stopped to think about what it would do to him? If you left? What it would do to Miriam?"

<Shinobi> He found a box and starting loading up his parts. "Yesterday, I was trying to prepare myself to raise Miriam by myself. Luckily, Hope volunteered to help. I guess now we can just help father. Just go if that's what you want to do so badly."

<Jessica> "I don't want to abandon anyone! Why do you think I'm still here?!" Everything was so much easier when it was just them and no one else throwing their two cents in and making things complicated. "I love Sebastian and I love Miriam... and I love you too. I don't want anything to happen to any of you and I want to keep our family together..." She just wasn't sure now was the best time to make the family bigger.

<Shinobi> "You were the first one I trusted, the first one to give me a chance... you were..." He couldn't look at her anymore, and cleared his throat. "You were the closest thing I've ever had to a mother and you could have killed me."

<Jessica> "I know... and I'll never forgive myself for that." She balled her hands into fists at her sides, she didn't have any right to be upset. "I'm so sorry... I want to try and make it right...."

<Shinobi> "Just go then." He picked up the box, eyes still on the floor. "Leave me alone."

<Jessica> She sighed, "I'm not giving up... you're family, Shinobi. I'll find a way to make it right."

<Shinobi> "If you believed that, you would have listened to me. Everything I did, I did to help you, and father, and Miriam, because I made the mistake of thinking we were a family." He pushed past her to get to the door.

<Jessica> She caught his arm, "We are a family. Or maybe you are... Hope seems quite happy to take my place. Would you be happier if I let her?"

<Shinobi> "Take your place? What is that supposed to mean?" He glared at her, then pointedly down at her hand on his arm.

<Jessica> "She's said multiple times that I don't deserve any of you, that you're her family," she let go of him. "Would you really rather I just left? Would that make it easier? Or would that just make it easier to hate me?"

<Shinobi> "She thinks of Sebastian as a father... or an uncle." He wasn't sure who he was trying to convince. "She wants to be with me, not him."

<Jessica> "You're not answering the question, Shinobi." She knew perfectly well the relationship Hope had with Sebastian and what Hope thought of her.

<Shinobi> "I want you to leave me alone, not leave. Father loves you, and Miriam loves you, and... they need you. I want you to figure things out." He sniffed, looking away from her and moving toward the door again. "It's not easy, but I did it."

<Jessica> "I'll leave you alone, for now... but I hope you change your mind about that - I'll miss you..." And she was still no closer to figuring out what the hell to do.

<Shinobi> He had no answer for that, and just nodded slightly before he left.

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Re: Whatif...? The Sentinels Won

Post by Svartfreja » Sat Jan 03, 2015 5:32 pm

<Paige> Paige stared at the clock in the Drake living area. It wasn't time for Ripley to come home yet, the laundry was completely caught up and put away, the dishes had been set out for return, and the bed was made. She didn't have anything to do except try to knit. She sat cuddled up on the couch, the needles clinking away as she attempted to knit a little white hat.

<Jessica> Jess had found herself at the other end of the living apartments after her talk with Shinobi, her feet had taken her there seemingly all by themselves and she came to a stop outside the door to Bobby's apartment. Maybe he was in? After a moment or two of hesitation, she raised a hand to knock.

<Paige> Knocking? Was it Sebastian again!? Paige attempted to get up, but said forget it. "It's open!" She called out to the door.

<Jessica> No Bobby... but maybe... She chewed her lip, opening the door enough to poke her head inside, "Uh... hi... is it okay if I come in?"

<Paige> "Jessiepiecrumbcake! I would get up and hug you if I could.... but that's rather difficult right now. I really am sorry... Please come in! Come in and come here!" She set the knitting down in her lap so she could hold out her arms for Jess.

<Jessica> Well that was probably the most enthusiastic hello she'd had since she got there. She stepped inside and closed the door behind her, going to the other woman for that hug. She'd missed hugs.

<Paige> Paige hugged her tightly, closing her eyes briefly. It was good to have friends here. And alive. "How are you?!"

<Jessica> That was a loaded question. She gave a non-commital shrug and a half smile, "Oh, you know..."

<Paige> "Well Sebastian is awake... I thought you'd be doing great!" Paige patted the couch beside her for Jess to sit down.

<Jessica> She sat down beside her and sighed, "It's complicated... people are mad at me... which is not a new experience, granted, but... it's the people I've come to rely on that are mad at me."

<Paige> "Well that happens from time to time... but why is everyone mad at you? What happened? I don't get to leave this room often. I miss a lot." Paige rubbed her back soothingly.

<Jessica> "You don't want to hear all this.... you should be hearing happy things, you're all pregnant and stuff..."

<Paige> "Well I know what Bobby did to you... kind of. I'm so sorry. I know if he were back to normal he wouldn't mean it. Is that what you're talking about?"

<Jessica> She shook her head, "No... Bobby's fine... he apologised, actually... and I started that anyway. I lashed out first, he was just defending himself... instinct is a funny thing."

<Paige> "Not to say I told you so... because I don't really mean that... but that's why I wanted to be sure you knew to be careful with him. He's... so easy to set off right now. Phil..." She shook her head, but she probably knew already anyway because of Sebastian. "Phil tried to convince me that he was abusing me because of it."

<Jessica> "He's not himself... but he'll get there... if Sebastian could survive, he'll be okay." She gave Paige a smile, "We just have to make sure to remind him there are people waiting. It worked for Sebastian."

<Paige> "It seems to be working for Bobby too. He's been around a lot more. A lot lot more." Paige smiled happily for Jess. "I'm glad you are ok, by the way. And don't worry. I will keep this baby a secret too," she promised.

<Jessica> Jess blinked at her, "I... um.... what?"

<Paige> "Sebastian... but I haven't told anyone! Not even Bobby!" she promised. "I just... may be a bit excited that I'm not pregnant alone?"

<Jessica> "Oh..." Her eyes found her lap, "Yeah... but you're nearly through it now, right?"

<Paige> "Details," Paige dismissed the thought, picking up her knitting again. It looked terrible. She showed it to Jess... then laughed.

<Jessica> "That is... a mess." Jess cocked her head on one side, "Do you want a hand?"

<Paige> "I would love some help," Paige laughed a little more.

<Jessica> Jess held her hands out for the mess, "What's it supposed to be?"

<Paige> "It's supposed to be a hat. We don't know what gender the baby is.... so I went with white. It's terrible, I know," Paige made a face. "When I get better I can make one for you too!"

<Jessica> She dropped the ball of wool and failed to catch it with her shaking hands. "I don't know..."

<Paige> "Yeah... I guess it is that bad... maybe a blanket would have been easier?"

<Jessica> "Blankets are super easy... but they can get out of hand... I guess it depends..." she chewed her lip, "I don't know what to do with myself...."

<Paige> Paige looked over at Jess, giving her a baffled look. "What do you mean, Jessiepie? Like, jobwise? Surely you might not even have to do that right now, given... everything."

<Jessica> "I can't sit around and do nothing, I'll go crazy." Really it was a wonder she hadn't already. "I can't just go from being out there, to being in here in a box... a big safe box with rules and people that yell at me and judge me til I don't feel safe at all and wonder why I freak out and zap them."

<Paige> Paige folded Jess back up into a hug. "You know they love you... right? Even when they are mad at you? Even when they attack you? They still love you, even if they don't show it."

<Jessica> She shook her head, "I can't believe that when all I'm getting told is how much I failed like I don't already know it... how much I don't deserve what I have.... Everyone's better at this than I am."

<Paige> Paige couldn't help but laugh at part of that. "That you don't deserve what you have? Who told you such a thing? It's the most absurd thing I've heard in a long time." She pulled away enough to see Jess' face.

<Jessica> "Hope... She thinks I don't appreciate what I have because of how I behave... but she has it backwards.... I'm just so afraid of losing everything again that when something bad happens I just... I don't know what to do and it cripples me... and it looks so awful from the outside but I can't explain what's going on in my head... and I shouldn't have to always do that...."

<Paige> Paige pulled Jess back to her so she could kiss her cheek. "Jess... I'm not going to make excuses for her, because that was pretty horrible what she said... but she just lost her dad and nearly lost her 'uncle.' Don't take anything she says seriously. You know she is hiding behind that brave face. She'll come around to reason. She always does."

<Paige> She thought for a brief moment. "Or I can yell at her again."

<Jessica> "Don't... don't yell at her.... don't intervene... she'll just use that against me too... she'll say I ran crying to you and got all this undeserved sympathy for my pathetic excuses.... it'll make it so much worse..." She sighed, resting her head on Paige's shoulder. "I don't know what I'm supposed to do to fix this..."

<Paige> Paige just smiled and cuddled Jess. "I think you do... you know her better than she wants to admit. You know how she reacts. So here's one of those marriage things that work for non marriage things! Focus on their need first. What does sheeeee need? Then she will want to take care of yooooour need! It's magic!"

<Jessica> "I don't know what she needs... other than to yell at me at every given opportunity even when I'm not doing anything."

<Paige> "So maybe somebody to talk to her and force her to talk about what's really bothering her? I doubt she can be that invested in your personal life. It's... just something that set her off. What did you do back at the school? When she was upset?"

<Jessica> "Um.... lie on the floor and eat brownie batter...?"

<Paige> "Start with that? If she throws the batter at your head, wellllll maybe wait a little while."

<Jessica> "But I don't even know what to say to her... and if I go and Shinobi's there it'll be horrible and awkward and I can't handle that again right now... I want to run... I want that so badly... but I have all these people in my life now and Miriam..."

<Paige> "I know how you feel," Paige admitted. "That it would be easier to just leave. Run away." She rubbed her forehead. "Bobby tried that too, if you noticed. He tried hiding from his problems instead of facing them. It hurt us all. And it didn't help anything at all."

<Jessica> "I just don't know what else to do... I feel like I keep ruining everything... I'm just waiting for the next thing to go to hell.... And I really don't think I can handle another thing..."

<Paige> "But it comes. And we handle it. And we move on." Paige gave her a sad look. "You don't have to be strong by yourself. That's what we're all here for. To share the pain."

<Jessica> "But no one shares it! They just tell me I'm hopeless and selfish because I can't cope with it all on my own!" And she was so frustrated by it.

<Paige> "Well come to me! I'm not telling you that," she pointed out. "And I kind of need you too," she pointed out. "You and Sebastian both. Bobby... can't help right now."

<Jessica> "But I can't help... I'm barely holding myself together as it is... Paige... I want to help, I really do... I just... I don't know what I'm doing..."

<Paige> "Well, right now... I would say you are watching after your husband and yourself? Getting settled? And this is helping. Are you kidding!? You are helping!" She hugged her tightly again. "You know what it feels like to be lonely, Jess."

<Jessica> "I'm not watching after anyone... I should be... But I'm just failing again... And now I have another.... something depending on me to not fuck up and I might already have..."

<Paige> Paige bopped Jess' nose gently. "You aren't failing!" Hope didn't even need to yell. Jess was hard enough on herself! "Jess... what is one, realistic thing you can do today to improve things? Just one."

<Jessica> Jess shrugged helplessly, "I don't know... I don't know where to start..."

<Paige> "Who is the most important person to you?" Paige tried.

<Jessica> Jess stared at Paige. Was she going to make her choose?

<Paige> "So... Sebastian and Miriam, probaby? Yes? What can you do today to help your relationship with them? Maybe bring back some hot chocolate and have some family time? Tea? Tea and coffee?"

<Jessica> "My relationship with them isn't what's broken... Sebastian knows how I tick... and I showed him everything that had happened since the attack... and Miriam.... she likes everything.... but she misses Shinobi and that's my fault... and I tried to fix that already and I think I made it worse..."

<Paige> "Then focus on them first. Give the two mad people a couple of days to cool down... then try one of them?"

<Jessica> "Maybe I should just leave them alone... That's what Shinobi said he wanted... I'll just stay away... they can see Sebastian and Miriam and I'll go do something else...."

<Paige> "That's a great idea... for a little while. I don't know why they are mad, but you know them both. They don't stay mad forever do they?"

<Jessica> "Shinobi... no... well... not usually but now... Hope holds a grudge and she has this way of making people agree with her and I'm worried she'll do it with Shinobi... I deserve it... I won't pretend otherwise... but I owe Shinobi..."

<Paige> "Then maybe start with the harder one there and the other will follow?" Paige offered. "But wait a couple of days. It's... like a hornet nest. If you hit it or go near it while it's still stirred up, they attack just because you're there."

<Jessica> She sighed, "I'm not good at waiting..." she pushed a hand through her hair, "I should go and see Viper..."

<Paige> "There you go! Another good idea!" Paige smiled at her. "I don't either... but sometimes..." she glanced over at a picture of her and Bobby. "Sometimes waiting is the best that you can do."

<Jessica> Jess chewed her lip, "Paige... am I a horrible person?"

<Paige> "Of course not! And don't let Hope tell you otherwise. Or anyone else for that matter."

<Jessica> "Even if... even if I don't know if I want another baby?" She had to talk to someone about it and Paige was the first person not yelling at her.

<Paige> "Just because you don't want it right now... doesn't mean you won't... or that you don't love it. And maybe you should talk to your husband about it? Maybe you're just scared and overwhelmed. But you are a mother. And a good mother, even if you don't feel like it. You'll take care of both of your children."

<Jessica> "It's not a safe time to be pregnant... I can't... I don't want to be that vulnerable for so long.... it was hard enough the first time but at least we were safe... at least we could go outside..."

<Paige> "Jess... don't do something permanent because of a temporary situation. And promise me you will talk to Sebastian about this and not do anything on your own. This isn't just your decision.... I can't make it for you. But please don't make it alone. And I would never tell you what to do in this situation. I can't. You see what decision I made. Despite everything. Despite Bobby not being able to hold his child or me. I can't leave. I'm a single mom. But I see no difference between this child and Ripley. None."

<Jessica> "But if I talk to people they'll try to push me one way or another.... Broo said I should have the baby because of mutant population growth and something about jobs later on... Shinobi thinks I could have already done permanent damage... maybe I did... I don't know..."

<Paige> "Not people. Your husband. The father of your child."

<Jessica> "He thinks we'll find a way... but I don't know if I can do it again... I'm not in a good place, Paige..." she put her face in her hands, "I really just need someone to tell me what to do."

<Paige> "You need to trust your husband and Viper to take care of you. To keep you and both of your children safe. Trust all of us." And not kill that poor baby! "You know this is about more than just you. And as someone who lost her first child? I would think this would be the last damn thing you'd even think about," Paige told her softly.

<Jessica> "I know..." she curled up and choked on a sob, "I hate myself for even considering it..." but she could barely take care of herself and it wasn't fair for her to expect everyone to look after her all the time, especially when they'd been yelling at her all week for just that.

<Paige> Paige held onto her and started to cry with her. "You can't kill your baby, Jessie. It needs you to protect it. And we'll protect you. You'll both be safe."

<Jessica> "I can't protect anything no one will let me! Sebastian told me to run, he told Shinobi to protect Miriam and me and he shouldn't have. He shouldn't have put that on Shinobi. It should have been me."

<Paige> "Jess... you are his world. Of course he told Shinobi to protect you! Is that what this is all about? Because he told Shinobi to protect you instead of the other way around?"

<Jessica> "He's just a baby, Paige... he's our family, we were his parents and now it's all messed up and it's my fault... I hurt him... I do this to everyone sooner or later, how could I bring another child into this mess? Who's going to look after them if something more permanent happens to Sebastian?"

<Paige> "We all will," Paige reminded her. "He may be a baby to you, but he's grown. He's an adult. And Sebastian trusted him enough to get the two people he cared about the most away from the danger. Men like to protect their women. It isn't meant as a slight to you or saying you weren't capable."

<Paige> Paige ran her fingers through her own blonde hair. "It was the best he could do in a bad situation. This is a different situation. And do you really think Viper would let anything happen to you? Doesn't she view you as her child?"

<Jessica> "Broo, maybe... not me... she made a promise to my dad to look after me.... but I don't want to be trapped down here, Paige... I don't deal with confinement well... even when I was a child I used to sneak out... I need to see the sky..."

<Paige> "Jess..... I don't know how to say this nicely. I like you. You're my friend. but killing your child just for your own convenience? Which is what you are sounding like... You better lie to me and never tell me the truth. You better tell me you lost it and you better be the best actress at mourning. Because I can't handle that."

<Jessica> "It's not convenience... I know how it sounds... I just can't say what I'm feeling because I don't know how... and I don't think it's fair to dump all of this on you with my powers..."

<Paige> Paige gripped her hands tightly in her own. "If you don't want the baby then give it to me and Bobby. We'll take it! Just please... please don't kill it."

<Jessica> "Paige... I wish it was that easy..." it had to survive to get to term first and that meant she had to look after herself for several months. Something she wasn't sure she could do.

<Paige> "It is that simple. You have a husband who is here and you can touch him and he can hold you and make everything better," She wasn't aware of the tears already sliding down her cheeks. "We've both lost children, Jess. You know what that feels like. Do you want to tell Sebastian you killed his child?"

<Jessica> "I could have already...." she looked away at the wall, "I know I should go for tests but... I'm afraid what they'll find... part of me feels like it'll be a relief... but the rest.... knows I'll never forgive myself."

<Paige> "What if I run the tests and tell you when you are ready to know?" Paige offered. "So you can find out when you want to."

<Jessica> She shook her head, "No.... if anyone's doing that it's Viper..." She trusted her to remain entirely neutral with her lack of emotional investment.

<Paige> Feelings hurt, Paige tried to hide that behind one of her smiles. "Viper is a good choice! A great choice." She wiped her face with her fingers.

<Jessica> "I need someone to just give facts and no opinions... it's less overwhelming that way...." she chewed her lip, "Can I come back here if I need a hug, though?"

<Paige> "You can." Paige promised. She'd say extra prayers for Jess tonight.

<Jessica> "Thanks..." she turned to give Paige a hug right then, "I really appreciate not getting yelled at..."

<Paige> Paige cuddled Jess a bit, holding onto her tightly. "You are welcome.... but you know Sebastian deserves to know what you decide before you do anything."

<Jessica> "I know... and I will talk to him... assuming there's even a decision to make...." she sighed heavily, trying to release some of the tension.

<Paige> Paige nodded, sniffling a bit. "Thank you, Jess."

<Jessica> "I'm not completely stupid... everyone's always so surprised...."

<Paige> "I didn't mean to make you think you were... just impulsive."

<Jessica> "I'm not... I overthink and work myself into a corner... and end up always on the defensive. I wish I knew how to stop."

<Paige> "You aren't stupid. And at least with me? I'm not out to get you. I want to help you when you need help." She backed up to give her a smile. "But you have to help me too. Because that hat is terrible!"

<Jessica> She laughed, reaching to pick it up, "Yeeeeeah, well don't worry. We can fix it."

<Paige> Laughing, Paige nodded. "Thank you."

<Jessica> "Maybe I can show you how to start a blanket too... and then we won't talk about how I know how to do these things."

<Paige> "We don't have to talk about that at all!" Paige promised. "And Bobby can show up and not freak out because you're a woman! This is great!"

<Jessica> "Oh I don't know... I am a spider," Jess reminded her, "Hardly anyone likes spiders, just the special crazy few."

<Paige> "Well I like you! I can't say the same for other spiders though." Paige smiled at her.

<Jessica> "Well as long as you make exceptions for Miriam and me... and Lulu, of course because she loves that thing more than air, I'll let you off the hook."

<Paige> "Deal accepted!" Paige giggled. "You should bring Miriam over to play too. Ripley would love to play."

<Jessica> "Yeah... we'll have to try and work out a schedule or something... maybe after we've figured out how to fit in."

<Paige> "That would be great! Any evenings are fine. She has school during the day."

<Jessica> "Yeah... Miriam's making friends with all the other kids... it's good that she has friends her own age... I missed out on that...."

<Paige> "Well she won't," Paige promised. "And you won't miss out on friends now either."

<Jessica> "Well... assuming I don't piss them all off anyway..." she offered Paige a small smile.

<Paige> "Even if you make me mad... I'll still be your friend. And still hug you," Paige assured her. "And you owe me... a piece of candy! I owe myself one... so cancel that one out. But next time... a piece of candy!"

<Jessica> "I'll see what I can do," she untangled the yarn and pulled out the mangled stitches, "Now... let's see what we can do about this."
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