Timelined for the day after [Instance]Rebranding.
<Shaw> The turnout was impressive, he would give it that. And tonight, Sebastian held court at the true black heart of the Hellfire Club at Medmenham Abbey, deep in Wycombe. Most were already dressed in the velvet robes of the club - black, white, and red, and the few who were not stood out for their absence.
<Jessica> Jess kept close to Sebastian, picking out familiar faces in the crowd and smiling at the ones that noticed her looking. She still didn't like the robes.
<Hope> Hope hated velvet. With a passion. She kept fidgeting with her robe, which made Tony smirk at her, and her glare back at him. She needed a drink, and she was surprised when her dad handed her his own drink. Hope smiled and took it, taking a sip.
<Shinobi> He watched the exchange between Hope and her father, smirking slightly himself and shifting his weight. He'd already met at least a dozen Hellfire dignitaries, and he was done. While he didn't want to admit he was hiding behind Hope, he more or less was. Sighing, he adjusted his tie.
<Hope> Leaning back against Shinobi, Hope smiled and offered him a sip of the scotch. "Maybe I can convince Sebastian that silk is way better than velvet."
<Pietro> "Silk wouldn't keep you as toasty down in the tunnels," Pietro appeared at Hope's shoulder, "Hi." He offered her a bottle he'd swiped from the bar and an empty glass.
<Hope> "There you go being practical," Hope laughed, taking the offered glass. With one passed off to Shinobi, she could refill both glasses. "So what you're saying... is I need a silk robe and Drake."
<Illyana> "I don't know how you drink that stuff... Drake? Is Bobby here?! I haven't seen him in forever." She looked around the room for him.
<Pietro> "I'm always practical, it's a mutation thing," he shrugged, "There's a whole bunch of powers that can ward against the cold though, not just Bobby's. Mine aren't that bad... and you get to eat what you want," he gave Hope a grin and slid an arm around Illyana's shoulders. "I haven't seen him."
<Illyana> "How rude of us! I'm Illyana Maximoff," she introduced herself to Shinobi, offering her hand. "This is my husband, Pietro."
<Pietro> Pietro raised his glass to Shinobi then glanced around the room again, "I'm going to go make a nuissance of myself."
<Shinobi> He knew who they were, if only from files read long ago. He shook the thought off and took the woman's hand. "It's nice to meet you. I'm Shinobi Shaw."
<Illyana> Laughing, Illyana went to follow her husband. He could make a full time job of being a nuisance!
<Shinobi> He turned to Hope with a raised brow. Interesting.
<Shaw> "Ahhhhh, Tatsu'o!" Sebastian dispensed with a bow of greeting for his old friend from the Tokyo club, instead embracing the smaller man and clapping him on the back.
<Amara> "Short attention spans are a flaw of speedsters," the blonde Italian commented from a little way away, watching the white hair disappear into the crowd.
<Jessica> Jess smiled to see such a welcome guest and bowed, greeting him in Japanese, "It's been far too long."
<Hope> "I feel like I should be sociable..."
<Tony> "You are. Make them come to you. They should be seeking your attention." He took the bottle and refilled all the glasses.
<Tanaka> Returning the bow, he responded in kind and then took her hand. "Mrs. Shaw! It is a pleasure. And I understand congratulations are in order."
<Shinobi> "Shouldn't they be seeking yours?" He gave the President a sideways glance and took a perhaps too large drink from his glass.
<Jessica> "Yes! But our little bundle of joy is back home with friends so it'll have to wait a bit before you can see how cute she is." She smiled at Tanaka, "And, I might be biased, but she is really cute."
<Tony> "They do and they will," he responded, eying the younger Shaw.
<Tanaka> "I am certain she is the most beautiful." He smiled, pleased for his friends. "This is a good day, and long in coming." He nodded at Sebastian, who was now greeting one of the LeBeau family.
<Jessica> She laughed a little, "Yes... a little longer than we intended with events but we're here now."
<Tanaka> "Yes, but these are happy events! I hope you are finding Yukio helpful?"
<Jessica> Jess frowned, "Yes and no... but that's not a subject I want to get into right now because it'll just irritate me," she waved it off, "How're things in Tokyo?"
<Tanaka> He frowned at the news, but quickly recovered with a slight bow of his head. "Nothing is... ever slow, yes? I do hope you and Mister Shaw will be able to return for a visit, especially as I understand you have another new addition to the family." Tatsu'o searched the small crowd nearby until he located said younger Shaw.
<Jessica> Jess followed his gaze and nodded, "Believe me, there is nothing I'd like more than a return visit to Japan. I love it there," she smiled, "I'll talk to Sebastian."
<Shaw> "I'm happy to hear the news, Jean Luc," he said, glancing at Jessica with Tanaka. "They do grow up so fast."
<Shinobi> He noticed Monet across the room, talking to a man he recognized as a Braddock. "Ech, how long is this going to take, do you think?"
<Hope> Hope took his hand, giving it a squeeze. "They like to talk. You might make some friends?" she offered, smirking a bit. "Or not."
<Shinobi> "I would rather avoid another friendly meeting with Monet St. Croix." He raised her hand and gave it a kiss.
<Tony> Tony gave him a slightly disgusted look. "I'll be... over... there." Far away from that.
<Tanaka> "Please do." Tanaka moved aside a little, allowing Mrs. Shaw to greet her next guest, and searching the crowd himself.
<Jessica> Jess excused herself when she thought she glimpsed another familiar face in the crowd but when she looked again it was gone. She frowned.
<Hope> Hope laughed. "Look, you ran him off already. Record time."
<Shinobi> "I'm a little surprised he tolerated me this long already," he said with a laugh, and with her father gone he slid his arm around her waist. The velvet was soft at least.
<Viper> Pleased with herself for avoiding Jessica's searching gaze, Viper lurked in the shadows and sipped her drink. She had opted for low-key tonight to avoid distracting from the events. She looked positively boring, but still attractive even if she did say so herself.
<Hope> "That definitely makes two of us." Hope slid her arm around Shinobi's back, relaxing and taking a sip. "I wonder if that works... making people come to you."
<Shaw> Now distracted by a member of the Salvadore family, Sebastian didn't notice when his old friend Tanaka saw who he was searching for.
<Shinobi> "I know I shouldn't, but I would rather take the other approach and just avoid them all. This is... awkward." He made a slight face and looked over at his father.
<Hope> "Then just stay here with me," Hope suggested, taking a sip. "He can gripe at me later for not being sociable enough."
<Jessica> "People will avoid you if you keep being all couple-y," Jess crept up behind them, "So your avoidance plan might still work."
<Oyama> The tapping of the old man's cane on the marble floor stopped as he entered the room and surveyed the crowd. Folding both hands on the intricately carved knob, he snorted in none-too-subtle disgust.
<Tanaka> He edged his way back to Jessica, not at all pleased with this turn of events, although he should have expected it. "Mrs. Shaw... I urge you to be cautious," he started, laying a hand on her arm in support.
<Jessica> Jess startled a little, looking at Tanaka, "Why? What's the matter?"
<Shinobi> The new man surprised him before he could respond to Jess' comment and he looked between the two of them.
<Tanaka> "I urged him not to come, and that this was not the place to continue his... unjustified vendetta..." The crowd parted enough for him to nod slightly toward the scarred old man by the door.
<Hope> Hope blinked a bit. What was happening? What? Hope looked in the direction of the man at the door. I feel like we're missing a piece to the puzzle here.
<Jessica> Jess followed his gaze and rolled her eyes, "Oh bloody hell... I suppose I should go and warn Sebatian..."
<Shinobi> Catching the drift, he leaned to look at the door too. What the fuck happened to his face? Confused, he looked at Jess.
<Hope> I bet we don't want to know. Hope shuddered, taking a sip of her drink.
<Tanaka> "Hai," he said with a nod of agreement. "I will remain." Tatsu'o turned to Hope Stark and the younger Shaw and bowed in greeting.
<Jessica> "Hope, Shinobi, this is Tanaka Tatsu'o. He heads up the Tokyo club and we owe him about a million times over," she smiled at them, "I'll be right back."
<Oyama> He adjusted the collar of his traditional garb, hidden beneath his robe of office, and turned to signal his companion into the room. A slim young woman, robed in red, glided to his side, speaking softly in Japanese.
<Jessica> Jess weaved carefully through the crowd, putting a hand on Sebastian's forearm when she caught up with him to catch his attention.
<Hope> "Hello then... what's all the fuss about?" she asked, glancing between the door, to Jess, to Sebastian, and back to Tanaka finally. A little late, she mimicked his bow.
<Shinobi> Knowing at least that this was expected of him, Shinobi disentangled himself from Hope to bow at the older man, then shake his hand. "I believe we've met, but it's good to meet you under better circumstances."
<Shaw> I know, love, Sebastian told Jessica, moving to take her hand. When he caught sight of the woman, however, he sucked in a surprised breath. "Oh, Christ."
<Jessica> "Shall we go and say hello?" We don't want them thinking we're afraid of them now, do we?
<Tanaka> "Yes. It's wonderful you have found your father." He greeted Hope Stark, offering her his hand. "You as well, Miss Stark."
<Hope> Hope smiled at him, taking his hand. "A stroke of good luck, really."
<Shaw> "I couldn't agree more." Squaring his shoulders, Sebastian considered the man. "Although, I believe he should come to us. This is my domain now."
<Jessica> Jess laughed, taking his arm, "You're rather enjoying this, aren't you?"
<Shaw> He grinned. "Well, it rather is my element, love."
<Jessica> "Well alright then," she smiled at him, "I'll stay with you for a little while. I left Tanaka-san with Hope and Shinobi."
<Hope> Hope shot another glance at the guy who had upset Jess, noticing the girl this time. She looked familiar.
<Shaw> "Excellent. He'll keep Oyama at bay. I believe we should locate Tony, and warn him, and then we shall continue our obligations." He smirked. "Just one moment first."
<Shaw> Leading Jessica into the room, he paused and stared at Oyama Kenji until the old man felt his gaze. Baring his teeth, he inclined his head slightly in acknowledgment and then turned back to Jessica, expression shifting to a smirk as they moved into the crowd.
<Jessica> Jess laughed and shook her head, leaning against him as they walked, "You're terrible."
<Shaw> "Oh, come now. You enjoy it." He certainly did, and it distracted him from his very real concern.
<Jessica> "I do... does that make me a bad person?" she nuzzled his shoulder.
<Oyama> "Arrogant as ever," he told his companion in Japanese, dismissing Shaw with a flick of his hand. "Come Yuriko."
<Shaw> "It makes you my queen," he said, turning to give Jess a quick kiss as they looked for Tony.
<Shinobi> He caught Hope staring at the new arrivals and looked again. "Do you know her?"
<Hope> "I don't... I don't know. Maybe. She looks so familiar. I just can't put my finger on where I know her from" She shrugged and went back to her scotch.
<Tony> Tony was busy chatting up some cute blonde in the corner.
<Shinobi> "I don't remember meeting them at the Toyko club, but then... " His memories from that time were still sketchy. "Who are they?"
<Amara> She wasn't going to complain about being hit on by the President, truth be told she was rather enjoying the attention. A small smirk tugged at the corner of her mouth when she thought about how her mother would receive this news. She did spy the face of Shaw, however, and nodded toward him to point Tony at him.
<Hope> "You realize I've never been to Japan right?" Hope glanced at Shinobi.
<Shinobi> "Well I've only been the once..." He glanced at Tanaka. "Briefly."
<Tanaka> "That is Oyama Kenji, White King," he admitted, keeping a wary eye on the man and his granddaughter. There must be more as well. There always were.
<Hope> Hope choked on her scotch, nearly spewing it all over herself as she just managed to swallow it, coughing at the burn.
<Shinobi> Oyama. Shinobi stared at Tanaka, then the frankly terrifying old man and attractive young woman.
<Shinobi> Realizing Hope's distress, he shook himself and patted her back. "Are you okay?" So I look like him?
<Hope> "Just um... just went down wrong." She tried to play it off, coughing a bit more. Maybe a little.
<Shinobi> The look he gave her was the utmost in betrayal.
<Shaw> It seems Tony has found a diversion. Sebastian was amused, despite the situation.
<Hope> I said a little. From across the room. She looked around for some water. There had to be water somewhere.
<Jessica> Indeed... should we be worried? Jess glanced Tony's way.
<Tanaka> "Do you need a drink? Something a little less potent?" He hated to leave them, and attempted to locate a waiter.
<Shaw> Should we? She is one of yours, after all. He noted Tony was so engrossed he failed to notice the girl's pointed stare over his shoulder.
<Amara> She certainly didn't mind that he was more interested in looking at her than someone else and Amara happily accepted the offer to refresh her glass.
<Jessica> In that case... definitely. Can't trust any of those crazy people from Xavier's collection.
<Shaw> Absolutely not. You people are nothing but trouble. Sebastian caught up to Tony and moved to touch his friend's elbow. "Tony, I see you've found a friend." He smiled at the Aquilla girl.
<Hope> "I'll be fine," she protested. "Apologies."
<Tony> Raising an eyebrow, Tony smirked. "I always find friends."
<Amara> "I'm a useful friend to make," Amara raised her refilled glass to the Shaws, "Nice to see you again."
<Shaw> "The pleasure is mine," he said, shifting to take her hand for a brief kiss, if only to irritate Tony.
<Amara> She laughed, "Ever the charmer. And here I thought marriage might tame you."
<Jessica> "Not likely." Jess raised an eyebrow at her husband.
<Tony> "Oh it has," Tony smirked, annoyed.
<Shaw> Sebastian simply grinned at his friend.
<Jessica> "Pfft," Jess waved a hand dismissively, "That happened before we were married, Tony."
<Tony> "Some of us are still real men," he smirked at Sebastian again.
<Jessica> "Oh I can assure you, he's still all real."
<Shinobi> Shinobi rubbed Hope's back, enjoying the feel of the velvet as much as simply comforting her. Across the room, he watched the old man shuffle around greeting people, attended by the woman.
<Tony> "I do appreciate the scotch," Tony raised his glass to Sebastian. "Worth the flight. Good booze, beautiful women... not a bad party."
<Amara> And she would take that compliment. She raised her glass to Tony.
<Shaw> "I'm so pleased I'm still up to your standards," he chuckled, moving back to Jessica and resting his hand on the small of her back. "Unfortunately, not all is so enjoyable." He cast a significant look to the corner of the room the Oyamas currently occupied, also marking Hope and Shinobi's location with Tanaka.
<Tony> Tony nodded his acknowledgment. "How unfortunate."
<Hope> Hope smiled up at Shinobi. "I'm aright. Really."
<Amara> She followed Sebastian's gaze, raising an eyebrow, "If you need anyone setting fire to, I'm your woman."
<Shaw> "I'll take that under advisement," he said with a smirk. "It might be the only effective deterrent for that one."
<Jessica> Jess laughed and shook her head, "Well, while you discuss toasting our guests, I'm going to check on Tanaka." Or at least she was going to use him as an excuse to check on Shinobi.
<Oyama> Even from across the room, he could sense the young man's eyes on him. All as exactly as planned.
<Shaw> Do stay out of trouble, koibito. He leaned and gave Jessica a lingering kiss.
<Shinobi> I guess he could be the dad of the guy they mistook me for? He looked at his father, talking to Tony and a hot blonde.
<Jessica> Jess brushed his cheek lightly with her fingers, I always stay out of trouble... She headed over toward Hope and Shinobi.
<Hope> Hope leaned up, kissing Shinobi's cheek. More likely. Especially if you aren't paying attention.... or are an idiot.
<Shinobi> It made him smile a little and he looked down at her for a long moment, then gave her a soft kiss. It's one hell of a coincidence though, don't you think?
<Hope> It's creepy, but don't let it get to you. I get it though. I thought I found my family once... I get it. She assured him.
<Jessica> Jess cleared her throat when she reached the others to announce herself, offering a smile for them all.
<Tanaka> "Mrs. Shaw," he greeted, happy to have an excuse to take a step away from the young lovers.
<Jessica> "Sorry about leaving you so long," she glanced back at Sebastian, "Got waylaid."
<Tanaka> "Of course. You are a very busy woman," he said with a smile, ensuring he knew where Oyama was and to whom he was speaking.
<Oyama> The boy was very close to Hope Stark. This was better than expected. He cackled, whispering to his granddaughter, who did not attempt to hide her contemptuous stare.
<Jessica> Jess followed his gaze, narrowing her eyes on the woman with Oyama. "Why do I feel like they're here to spy on us?" She muttered to Tanaka, "Paranoia?"
<Tanaka> "No, not at all. You are correct."
<Shinobi> Shinobi noticed Jess and straightened, just in time to lock eyes with the woman across the room.
<Hope> Hope caught on to his mood shift and sighed slightly. This was worse than the house.
<Jessica> "I feel like going over there... but I promised Sebastian I'd stay out of trouble... and I don't think it'd be in our best interests to make a scene." She sighed, "Their timing sucks."
<Shinobi> She didn't appear much older than him. "Jess..." he started, eyes still on the woman. "Do you know her?"
<Jessica> "Yeah, we met when I was in Japan with your father... she tried to beat me in a fight."
<Shinobi> "Somebody in the city... he called me an Oyama." He looked at Jess questioningly. "Am I?"
<Hope> Hope went for the scotch immediately.
<Jessica> Jess turned her attention from the Oyamas, reacting before she even thought about it, "Of course not, you're a Shaw."
<Shinobi> "You know what I mean." He looked at Hope, who was drinking again, and then Tanaka, realizing he likely shouldn't be discussing this in front of the man. He didn't care. "Is my mother an Oyama?"
<Jessica> Jess sighed, "I don't know, you'd have to ask your father to speculate on that." She lied well, fortunately, offering him a small apologetic look, "Maybe ask him later when the ceremony's over."
<Shinobi> "Yeah. Okay." Frustrated, he rubbed at his eyes and decided he needed a drink as well.
<Tanaka> Alarmed by the discussion, he looked at all involved.
<Hope> Hope offered him her now refilled glass.
<Jessica> Jess noticed the eyerubbing with a small frown, He's asking questions... I lied... I don't like it. She glanced across the crowd at Sebastian, He might ask you later...
<Shaw> Sebastian excused himself from Tony and Amara, stopping a waiter for a drink. I will deal with it. How, he had no idea.
<Shinobi> "Thanks," he said to Hope with a small smile, and took the tumbler to down a healthy dose. Within a moment, however, he was again staring at the old man and woman. I should go talk to them.
<Hope> Good, good... let's get all these bad ideas out. She considered taking that drink from him.
<Jessica> Tonight was turning into one of those nights where she wished alcohol effected her.
<Shinobi> He stopped and turned the stare onto Hope. How else will I ever know?
<Hope> I don't know, but something is going on there. And I have no clue what. But something. Something weird. You can always ask them later. I'll even go to Japan with you. She took his hand again, all but begging him with her eyes. I can't explain it. I just know something is going on, and I don't know what.
<Shinobi> He met her eyes, then looked away across the room at the Oyamas. What if this was his only opportunity?
<Hope> "Obi..." she whispered softly, not taking her eyes from him.
<Jessica> I think it might be time to go downstairs now.... Jess could see where Shinobi was looking and it was making her anxious.
<Shaw> I concur. Draining his drink, Sebastian moved through the crowd to Monet's side. After a moment, a signal was passed and a loud gong note rang throughout the room.
<Shinobi> With a sigh, he closed his eyes and bowed his head to rest his forehead against Hope's.
<Jessica> "Alright, showtime," Jess smiled at Hope and Shinobi, "Let's go find Sebastian and Tony."
<Hope> Thank you... Hope closed her eyes too, gathering herself. "Do we have to?"
<Jessica> "Absolutely. It's Sebastian's big day." She gestured Tanaka to walk with her.
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