Early morning after [Instance]Empty Assurances.
<Hope> The sun was peeking up over the horizon, as much as it could through the clouds, signaling the start of another dreary, rainy day. Hope sat outside, wrapped up in a sweater she had... borrowed... from Shinobi. She bit down on her thumbnail, lost in her thoughts. Shinobi had gone to bed and had been able to actually sleep.
<Hope> She was jealous of that, really. The sleeping. She looked down at a cup of coffee she held, wrapping her hand around it again. It was warm and fragrant, calming her nerves a bit.
<David> Once again, David was thankful that he didn't actually have to sleep to survive. Tea in hand, he made his way back outside to join Hope, easing himself down to sit beside her. "Did you sleep at all?"
<Hope> Hope glanced over at him as he sat down, shaking her head no. "No. Maybe a little. But really? No." She took a sip of her coffee, staring off at the sliver of light that she knew should be the sun.
<David> He studied her for a moment, easing back to relax. "How can you still be so angry? Worried I would expect... but angry?"
<Viper> Viper had been watching the house all night, standing silent sentinel in a gap between two houses across the street. Voices in the garden drew her attention and she moved closer to listen in - she had nothing else to do.
<Hope> "Because angry is easy. I can do angry." She sipped her coffee, setting it down to wrap her arms around her. "They didn't believe me, but they believed a bowl of rice? Like, seriously?" She looked over at him to see if he agreed with her. "Rice which you ate. Why did you eat it? What is wrong with you?"
<David> He laughed at her and ruffled her hair, grinning as she flailed to fix it. "They believed the rice because it was second. I imagine if it had been reversed, you'd be mad they didn't believe the bowl of rice. Which was delicious. Needed duck sauce."
<Hope> Hope just stared at him. "You ate evidence!"
<David> He sighed a bit, nodding. "There wouldn't have been any prints or anything worth obtaining. Why do you think that is?"
<Hope> What did he mean why? She gave him a look, and thought about that. "Because it was calculated. The same reason I said they wouldn't be attacking tonight. Every move they make is carefully calculated. They wouldn't slip up in the details on such an important night. They want to lure us into a false sense of security to strike."
<David> He grinned. "I'll have to get you a biscuit when we go inside." He sipped his tea, thinking a moment. "You know we're not going to let anything happen to him right? Job description or not."
<Hope> Hope laughed and picked up her coffee, taking a sip. "Good to know." They fell into a comfortable silence for a long while before Hope broke it again. "Weren't you on some elite team for SHIELD?"
<David> He paused with the cup halfway to his lips, lowering it slowly. "I techncially still am. My team are volunteers within SHIELD, trained to do the most dangerous of missions."
<Viper> Leaning against the wall, Viper cocked her head to one side listening to them talk and the dawn chorus starting up in the background. They seemed relaxed enough so nothing else had happened overnight.
<Hope> "So you left all that to babysit me? Why?" Hope looked over at him, studying him. "Just... why?"
<David> David set his tea down, looking at her properly. "I should... start at the beginning for this. So just... hang in there. Be patient." He smirked. She was terrible at that. "Years ago... many, many years ago... I lost my wife. I didn't know if I'd ever be alright after that, so I filled that gap with travelling." And Hydra. He kept that thought tightly shielded.
<David> "I did find something, well someone, that made everything ok again. Someone I thought I could go through life with." He looked down at his cup. "But that wasn't for her. So I kept searching. Howard found me." He looked at her again. "Howard your grandfather."
<Viper> Viper's eyes found the floor, even though he couldn't see she was listening in. She felt like she was intruding now. However, he rarely spoke about his time immediately after Hydra so she remained.
<Hope> Shock didn't begin to cover her emotions. "You knew my grandfather?"
<David> David grinned. "I knew Howard. He was... pompous, eccentric, narcisistic... sound like anyone you know?"
<Hope> Hope grinned back at him. "Yeah. Sounds like Tony!"
<David> He shoved her, laughing. "Yeah just Tony." He smirked, but that fell as he got serious again. "Howard made everything alright again. We worked with the SSR, early SHIELD. I still missed her, but the Starks became.... family. Tony was much cuter as a baby."
<Hope> Hope had to laugh at that. "I am so telling him that!"
<David> He laughed with her. "I'm just saying. Hashtag throwback Thursday!"
<Hope> "No! Bad! Stop using hashtags, old man!"
<David> "Hashtag bitch please." He laughed, grinning and sipping his tea. "Anyway. I made Howard a promise. A promise that extends to you." He caught her eyes. "I promised I'd take care of his family if anything ever happened to him. And I aim to keep that promise."
<Hope> Hope swallowed down a lump in her throat. "So that's why me."
<David> Nodding, he watched her a bit, relaxing. "I know you've been confused about who you are. I have something that might help."
<Viper> Viper nodded quietly to herself, still the same old David. All that nobility that had no place in the real world.
<Hope> Hope gave him a questioning look. "What would that be?"
<David> "Howard's unfinished plans." He took a sip of his tea.
<Hope> Hope about choked on her drink of coffee. "What do you mean unfinished plans? Why hasn't Tony finished them?"
<Viper> Viper's head turned to the side, she was greatly interested now.
<David> "Tony was more obsessed with himself and his political career. They need a Stark to finish them. A Stark to continue the legacy."
<David> He set his cup down again. "Howard was limited by the technology of his time. He hoped Tony would be able to complete them, but I saw very early into his career that he wouldn't. You can do whatever you want to with them. They belong to you."
<Hope> Hope couldn't help it. She hugged him. "Thank you, David. That's really... really awesome, actually. And as soon as I do... something... I want to start on those."
<David> First he hugged her, then he pushed her back a bit. "You are not doing anything... stupid."
<Hope> Grin in place, Hope shook her head. "Never."
<David> He stared her down.
<Viper> Viper had to stop herself making a sound at Hope's assertion she'd never do anything stupid. She was a Stark.
<Hope> Cracking under the stare, she sighed, exasperated. "I have to do this, David! I spent my entire life wishing for a family. Hoping someone would pick me. And they did! Even when I want to smack them, they are my family. What is the point of being this powerful if I can't do anything about it?"
<David> He thought that over, watching her and thinking. "I will see what I can do. I make no promises, and you do nothing without me or Drake. Do you understand?"
<Hope> Slowly, Hope nodded, accepting those terms.
<David> "Good. Then you should go back to bed unless you plan on telling your lover that you spent all night with a much hotter Asian."
<Hope> "You are impossible! And gross." She made a face at him, but took her cup and headed for the door. She paused, looking back at him. "Hey David?"
<Viper> Hidden behind the wall and the hedges, Viper smirked at David's comment.
<David> "Yeah?" He looked over his shoulder at her.
<Hope> "I'm glad he found you. And thanks. For keeping your promise."
<David> He smiled and nodded. "Goodnight, Hope."
<Hope> "Goodnight." She smiled and headed back inside to rejoin Shinobi.
<David> David heaved a heavy sigh and slammed his forehead into his hand. He was so screwed.
<Viper> Viper straightened up, "She's very willful... are you sure you haven't taken on more than you can handle?"
<David> "I managed you, didn't I?" he asked, looking up slowly toward the voice.
<Viper> "Managed?" She laughed, "Tolerated, maybe."
<Hope> "Always more than tolerated you," he laughed softly. "I guess you heard about the death threat then? Or is this a social call?"
<Viper> "Jessica informed me... I was already in the neighbourhood. I'm never that far away." She brushed a hand over the foliage that hung over the wall.
<Hope> "Of course not." For her. He drank more of his tea. "She's willful, which is great. It means she can't be easily influenced. She thinks for herself. Course, that stops when it comes to cute boys."
<Viper> "At least you never had that problem with me." She smirked, "Is anyone else awake?"
<David> "Not in the house I don't think. Several agents and Shaw security are. Intensified security after the threat of course. I still don't know who I get to really yell at, so I just yelled at them all."
<Viper> She laughed, softly, "An approach I take myself. Did you feel better afterwards? If not, I'd suggest shooting someone next time... not fatally, of course, otherwise how would they learn?"
<David> "I did feel better, but we do not shoot secret service agents, Viper," he laughed at her. "They can't figure out how the intruder got inside either. I'll put Hope to thinking about it tomorrow. Give her something to do besides rage at people."
<Viper> "You do not shoot secret service agents," she corrected, "I'm far more flexible... though I find I'm less inclined to shoot people after coffee. Unfortunately, I haven't had any in..." she checked her watch, "eighteen hours and seventeen minutes."
<David> "Hmm maybe if you ask politely," he grinned. "I'm sure Jess would be most upset if you shot people around her home."
<Viper> "Very likely... so, would you consider bringing me some coffee or do I have to teleport in and steal it like a common theif?"
<David> He snickered, but handed her his tea as he got up. "Hold this. I'll be back."
<Viper> Viper was a little surprised by the cup offered through the hedge but sighed and took it anyway. "Mmhmm..."
<David> It didn't take David long to fetch her coffee and return to her, offering it through the hedge in exchange for his tea.
<Viper> Viper made the exchange, her hand brushing his in the process, "Thank you." She raised the mug to inhale the scent, "Do you think we should take this threat seriously?"
<David> He sighed, leaning his head back on the side of the building. "Hope is convinced we need to. Sebastian isn't too concerned." He sipped his tea. "Regardless of if we should... if she is? I have to."
<Viper> "I'm inclined to take threats seriously, especially those made without marks inside a home. Threats like these are not made lightly." She sipped the coffee, "I will see what I can find out and share the information through Jessica."
<David> David nodded, though she couldn't really see him. "Thanks. You know... there's only a few ways to get into a house without a trace."
<Viper> "I've already scanned for teleportation technology signatures so you can rule those out."
<David> "Still leaves a telelporter... or somebody who can phase." He glanced up where Hope's bedroom was. A phaser...
<Viper> "Then you have an avenue to conduct a search down," she studied the surface of her coffee, "Will you share your intel with me?"
<David> "Naturally. You may have to deal with the threat yourself. I'm limited in what I can do."
<Viper> "If Jessica requests it of me, I will intervene. They may prefer to try their own channels first."
<David> He barely kept his eyeroll to himself. "I'll keep you in the loop."
<Viper> "And I will do likewise," she drained the rest of the coffee in her cup and offered it back through the hedge, "I should go before someone sees me here."
<David> He took the cup from her carefully. "Probably for the best. Only one other person would be glad to see you. Everyone else is trigger happy."
<Viper> "Guns never bothered me but I suppose they would wake the neighbours." The hand protruding through the branches gave David a wave now that it was empty.
<David> Acting quickly, he juggled the cups so he could catch her hand, holding it for just a moment. "Take care of yourself. I know you do. But I have to say it."
<Viper> She gave his hand a firm squeeze, "Only if you promise to do the same."
<David> "Always," he smiled to himself, releasing her.
<Viper> She withdrew the hand and turned for the alley across the street again, "I'll be close by."
<David> "Goodnight, Viper."
<Viper> "Good morning, David." She smirked to herself and walked away.
<David> He banged his head back against the wall of the house. Double screwed.
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