4/27 Instance: Backward Progression

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4/27 Instance: Backward Progression

Postby Slarti » Tue Apr 28, 2015 3:59 am

Timelined a couple of hours after Sleepless Nights

<Jessica> Jess was half asleep on the sofa, her solitary slice of pizza still untouched on the coffee table and the television on low volume. Her eyes were closed but her mind was working, going over and over the events of the past few days.

<Shaw> The trip to the school and back had been fairly uneventful, aside from dealing with Paige's cheer and Drake's snide commentary. Miriam was sleepy, babbling to herself in the back seat once she'd calmed down from her relocation. Sharky sat in the passenger seat of the Knight, looking out the window in his canine form.

<Shaw> He was not looking forward to the conversation to be had inside the house, either with Jessica or the eventual conversation to be had with Hope and Shinobi. Sebastian rubbed his jaw and flipped down the visor, inspecting the bruise.

<Jessica> Jess heard a car pull up and opened her eyes with a yawn. She stretched and unfolded herself from the sofa, going to the window while she scrubbed her face with her hands and tried to shake away the sleepiness.

<Shaw> With the tank safely parked, Sebastian decided the bags could wait. He was not interested in balancing the baby and the luggage at once. Climbing into the back passenger compartment was still difficult for someone his size, despite the size of the vehicle. Once there, he unbuckled Miriam and jumped lightly down.

<Shaw> Sharky leaped clear of the vehicle and headed for the door as quickly as his short legs would carry him, seeming to bound like a rabbit.

<Jessica> Turning from the window, Jess went for the stairs, stretching again and debating whether or not to go down. Maybe just to the next level.

<Shaw> The baby latched onto his collar, blowing bubbles. Inside, he could sense Jessica watching, and her general state of mind. Once inside the door, he for once dispensed with the steps and went straight for the elevator, sparing a glance at the stairs leading to Shinobi's room. They were both there.

<Jessica> Jess heard the elevator and sighed, going down the stairs to the nursery. She'd missed her baby.

<Shaw> The elevator dinged and he stepped out onto their floor, immediately spotting Jessica. Sebastian gave her a level look and a slight nod and went straight into the nursery.

<Jessica> She followed him into the nursery, pausing just inside the door. "You got there and back okay, then..."

<Shaw> "There were no problems." He murmured to the baby and set her on her changing table. "Miriam's sleepy. Paige already fed her. I'll get her bags later."

<Shaw> After a moment, he looked up at his wife. "Is everything here alright?"

<Jessica> She nodded, "Shinobi's fine, Hope's asleep." She turned her attention to her daughter and crossed the room, taking one of her small hands in her own.

<Shaw> "Good." He located a clean diaper and got to work.

<Jessica> Jess rubbed the back of Miriam's tiny fist with her thumb and bent to press a kiss to her forehead.

<Shaw> Miriam flailed in excitement, kicking both feet while he tried to get her pajamas off. Sebastian counted to ten.

<Jessica> She smiled at her daughter and stroked her free hand over her head.

<Shaw> Suppressing his temper, Sebastian freed her little legs and got the diaper off. Finally.

<Jessica> Jess could feel the bubbling temper in Sebastian but she ignored it in case it added to her own, focusing instead on the happy feelings her daughter was providing.

<Shaw> Clean diaper in place, he snapped and zipped the girl back into her pink flowery pajamas, wondering if she'd had those before or if this was a Paige purchase.

<Jessica> Once she was all changed, Jess reached to pick Miriam up and have a cuddle.

<Shaw> Sebastian took a step back, letting Jessica have her way.

<Jessica> Jess cradled her daughter against her chest, murmuring softly to her and telling her that she missed her and loved her.

<Shaw> Sighing, he moved to the window and looked out at the city lights, rubbing his jaw absently.

<Jessica> Having her fill of cuddle time for now, Jess went to the crib to settle Miriam into it.

<Shaw> He turned to watch, arms crossed. Finally, he slowly picked his way over to the crib, watching them.

<Jessica> She frowned a little as he approached, was he angry with her now for some reason? Well two could play at that game. She smiled at her daughter and bent to kiss her again then turned for the door.

<Shaw> After a beat, he followed suit, leaning into the crib to bid Miriam good night and kiss her forehead. He caught up with Jessica at the door and quickly closed it behind him.

<Jessica> With a soft sigh, Jess headed back up the stairs toward the living room.

<Shaw> He followed, watching only her feet for once. "When did you speak to Shinobi?"

<Jessica> "A little while ago. He came up after you left and I sent him back down with pizza."

<Shaw> "So he's alright?" Considering it hurt to speak he could imagine how the boy was feeling as he didn't have the benefit of a healing ability.

<Jessica> "Why are you even asking?" She turned to face him, "If you were worried about that, you shouldn't have hit him in the first place."

<Shaw> His eyebrow arched, and he was in the uncomfortable position of looking up at her on the stairs. "I don't recall throwing the first punch."

<Jessica> "You were baiting them. Again. When are you going to learn to just leave it alone?"

<Shaw> "Only after Hope chose to escalate the situation pointlessly, yet again."

<Jessica> "You're missing my point... and since when does Hope ever not do that?"

<Shaw> He sighed, moving past her as he had no interest in arguing in the stairwell all night.

<Jessica> Jess stepped out of the way and watched him with slightly narrowed eyes.

<Shaw> Once he reached the living room he stared at the cold pizza. "You need to eat."

<Jessica> "Who says I didn't?" She folded her arms, leaning against the wall in the hallway.

<Shaw> He gave the plate a pointed look, then returned his gaze to her.

<Jessica> "You know there was a whole box, right? Do you want to go and inspect that too?" She straightened up and turned for the kitchen.

<Shaw> Sebastian heaved a sigh and took off his jacket, tossing it on the back of a chair, then followed her.

<Jessica> Jess started the process of making tea. Loudly. What she was seriously considering doing was finding an inhibitor cuff somewhere and drinking all the wine.

<Shaw> The clank of something against the sink made him wince, hoping Miriam didn't wake up. After a moment, he moved in behind and slid both arms around her to stop her movement. "You're right."

<Jessica> "About what?" She sighed and leaned against him despite herself.

<Shaw> "I should not have let my temper get the better of me." He pursed his lips, tightening his arms around her.

<Jessica> "No, you shouldn't. You do that a lot..."

<Shaw> "I am aware..." Perhaps he wouldn't if everyone didn't test his limited patience. Although, once upon a time he recalled being more patient. He frowned. "It is... a work in progress."

<Jessica> "Your progress is going backwards." She straightened up and reached for her mug again to continue making the tea.

<Shaw> "I will talk to them both... tomorrow." He loosened his grip to let her continue with her task, then tilted his head in thought. "Perhaps separately."

<Jessica> "Or wait until they come to you. You can't force reconciliation on people."

<Shaw> "We may not have the luxury of time if we wish to speak to Shinobi about... his past." He closed his eyes, sensing the boy was still in the basement, and now asleep as well.

<Jessica> "I know. But there is now the issue of everyone being prickly so I think it can afford to wait a day or two until everyone cools off."

<Shaw> Sebastian sighed. "Agreed."

<Jessica> "I just don't understand what the problem is... All of you. Not one of you knows when to just drop it and leave it alone. It's like a freaking disease."

<Shaw> He could only laugh at that, since it was true.

<Jessica> "It's not funny!" She shoved the mug away from her, spilling the sugar all over the counter. "We have held off and held off because you can never get to a point where you're not at each other's throats and now we're in a rush and it's still no fucking better!"

<Shaw> Backing up, he crossed his arms. "And what would you suggest?"

<Jessica> "Not punching him in the gut would have been a good fucking start."

<Shaw> "I believe we've already covered that." He focused, ensuring everyone else in the house was still asleep.

<Jessica> "We did and we'll keep covering it until I'm sure it's actually sunk in this time."

<Shaw> "Koibito..." he said, tone warning.

<Jessica> "What? I'm so sick of walking on eggshells all the time in my own damn house. Why is it so difficult?"

<Shaw> "Now she wishes to move into the basement with him - did you hear that part?"

<Jessica> "Of course I heard it. And what is wrong with that? They slept in the same room the entire time we were in London, they sleep in the same room most nights here. She may as well move in there. Why is this suddenly an issue?"

<Shaw> He watched her rant at him, considering this. "I didn't disagree."

<Jessica> "Then why bring it up in that tone? Are you trying to piss me off?"

<Shaw> "No, of course not!" Irritated, he began to pace.

<Jessica> "Well then? Why bring it up?" She folded her arms and leaned against the counter, watching his progress back and forth.

<Shaw> "Because I am considering the ways in which this could all backfire in a most spectacular fashion."

<Jessica> "The only way it's going to blow up is if you keep pushing them and someone says something in anger. If you and Hope can keep calm for a few days we can try telling him but we have got to reduce the tension first otherwise it will go to shit."

<Shaw> He stopped abruptly and leaned both hands on the counter, staring at her mug with a sigh.

<Jessica> Jess looked away across the kitchen her own temper bubbling under the surface, intensifying every time she forgot to rein in the empathy and got a dose of his.

<Shaw> Closing his eyes, he could still see them together - most significantly her terror and concern. "As you have pointed out time and time again, he is not me... but he's very much like me."

<Jessica> "He's not the one creating all the problems, Sebastian." Jess tone was strained and she directed the comment at the floor. "It's like you're always waiting for something to go wrong... almost like you want something to go wrong just so you get to say 'I told you so' and this attitude... it's toxic don't you see that? You set it up to fail because you don't want to try just in case it doesn't work... it's all backwards."

<Shaw> "He is, but not intentionally." Waiting for something to go wrong - precisely, as she always did. Couldn't she see that? He let all this process for a few moments. "I believe," he started, pausing again to debate this, "I spent so much time pretending to be his father only to keep him under control."

<Jessica> "Too much time pretending." She corrected, still talking to the floor, "Instead of trying to get to know him - You don't talk to him properly..."

<Shaw> "I didn't want to," he said, looking over his shoulder at her.

<Jessica> She closed her eyes, fighting to control her temper. It was some time before she trusted herself to speak, "Are you ever going to want to?"

<Shaw> Turning, he leaned on the counter, crossing his arms to stare at her.

<Jessica> Realising he was looking at her, she lifted her head to stare right back.

<Shaw> He drew in a breath, slowly, then released it. "Yes," he said quietly.

<Jessica> "Do you happen to have a timeframe on that?" she unfolded her arms to cover her eyes with her palms and push the ends of her fingers into her hair.

<Shaw> "I don't precisely know when my opinion of him changed." He watched her, afraid to look too deeply into their link.

<Jessica> Jess made a small sound of frustration and pressed the heels of her palms against her closed eyes, her fingers curling a little in her hair.

<Shaw> "I should not have lost my temper, I most certainly should not have struck him." He frowned at himself. "I wouldn't have struck Hope."

<Jessica> "I should bloody well hope not," she muttered.

<Shaw> "My point being, I would never strike my daughter, yet I did so to my son?" Sebastian closed his eyes, letting the guilt wash over him.

<Jessica> "This is what I don't understand... and it makes it so hard to live in this house. I can't keep telling him it'll be okay when nothing changes."

<Shaw> "At first I believed there was no need to truly win him to my side, as he was simply a pawn, and there's truth in the statement that makes me no better than Essex, or Nur... or the Lord Imperial."

<Jessica> "You are the Lord Imperial now. You want the Hellfire Club to be different. Maybe you should start with yourself. What do you want to happen?"

<Shaw> "I don't want to lose either of them," he admitted.

<Jessica> "Then stop acting like an asshole."

<Shaw> He huffed, though he could hardly be offended. After a moment, he nodded in agreement.

<Jessica> "I've said all this to you before in one way or another. And you've said you'd try. How do I know you actually will this time?"

<Shaw> "I hit him." He reached up and touched his jaw again. "I terrorized him, and Hope. This... this must be the end of it."

<Jessica> "So what are you going to do instead?" She lowered her hands and lifted her gaze to his face.

<Shaw> Leaning back on the counter, he braced himself with both hands. "Well, I will take your advice and give them a bit of space. Then, I will apologize. Whether or not he accepts that, he will still need to know... soon."

<Jessica> "Is there anything I can do to make this easier for you?" Even though he should suffer for being a douchebag for so long.

<Shaw> "I believe this is mostly on me, yes?" He smirked. "But I believe you're already doing your best. You and Hope seem to be on decent terms, and Shinobi cares for you.”

<Jessica> "I have worked so hard. That's why this all frustrates me so much. I've been laying groundwork with Shinobi for you for months and you just shit all over it... Honestly, I'm amazed I haven't punched you myself yet."

<Shaw> "I know you have, koibito." He closed his eyes and rubbed his hands over his face. "I'm sorry."

<Jessica> She sighed and crossed the kitchen to him, reaching up to take his hands, "You know I'll always forgive you - I love you... but you have to learn from your mistakes... we can't keep going around in circles like this..."

<Shaw> "I agree," he said, intertwining their fingers and drawing her closer. "I know it's exhausting for you, and it's become that to me as well."

<Jessica> "So no more angry face? No more looking for problems that aren't there?" She stepped closer to him.

<Shaw> Not when they had a very real problem to handle, no. Her phrasing, however, made him snort. "No, no more."

<Jessica> She managed a smile, standing on tiptoe a little to give him a soft kiss. "I'm going to hold you to that."
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