March 13, 2018 16:26 GMT+9
<David> David banged his head against the bars of the cell repeatedly. Hope had been back there for a long, long time. They could hear her yelling, hear her cussing. It gave little comfort, but it did confirm she was alive. That was something. He glanced over at the boy. How was he faring?
<Shinobi> Shinobi sat curled up in a corner of the cage, his forehead resting on his knees. He ached. The abuse he'd suffered and the fight with the guards made it hurt to move. The sounds coming from down the hall made him feel even worse.
<David> David swore in Chinese. "She's been down there longer than you were. I think."
<Shinobi> He cringed, sniffing. "I know," he said quietly, wiping his face as he looked up at David.
<David> "Did you fight? Or comply?"
<Shinobi> "I fought... at first. They knocked me out and when I woke up that masked fucker screamed at me for a while..." The tears wouldn't stop coming, and his wiped his cheeks again, hissing at the pain from his swollen eye.
<David> The guard looked in the direction of her yelling. "They haven't knocked her out yet..." He was so fired after this. Maybe he'd take up farming again.
<Shinobi> He cleared his throat. "That means they haven't started."
<David> His head snapped over to Shinobi. "Started what?"
<Shinobi> "The little white guy... he, uh..." Shinobi felt David's eyes on him and stared at the floor. "He collected samples." Unconsciously, he touched the bandage on his arm. "Skin, bone marrow... spinal fluid..."
<David> "So what are they doing to her now?"
<Shinobi> "Maybe they had to stitch her arm... he had to stop once for that." He swallowed and laid his head back on his knees, turning to face the hall. She sounded like she was in pain, but still angry.
<David> "Yeah.... but what else?" He tugged at the chains, wondering if he could get himself out of them.
<Shinobi> "What else? I don't fucking know!"
<David> David shot him a look. The kid was an idiot. His attempts to escape were cut short by the sound of Hope's screams. They changed. These were different. Higher pitched, actual screams.
<Shinobi> "Hope..." His head shot up and he twisted to stare down the hall, his fingers wrapped around the bars. "Please... no. Not her..." Once again he tried and failed to reach her through their link. Don't fight - just survive. Please. Please! If you can hear me, just stay with me!
<David> He could hear her cries of No, over and over. Frantic screaming and what could only be sobbing. Whatever they were doing to her... they had broken through any training he had given her. David gritted his teeth and tried to break his arms free again.
<Shinobi> Shinobi used the bars to pull himself up, breath hitching on a sob. "Y-you're her best chance," he said, moving over to David and inspecting the chains. "Tell me how to help get you free."
<David> "My wrists are too big to pull it. I doubt we can break it. Anything on you to pick it?"
<Shinobi> "They searched me - took everything." He checked the pockets of his ruined clothes again anyway, but his motion stopped at a heart-breaking cry.
<David> It was the silence that followed that cry that shook David. He tugged harder. Was she already dead? Was he too late?
<Shinobi> He met David's eyes and stared, unsure what he was looking for and unashamed of the tears running down his face.
<David> "She's more use alive than dead. They didn't kill her. They wouldn't." He tried to convince himself, more than him.
<Shinobi> "You're right... you're right..." he nodded, then realized something and looked back up at the other man. "Unless she just pissed him off too much and he snapped. Kabuki mask didn't seem... too stable..."
<David> That was entirely possible too, though he hated to admit it. "He'd knock her out first. Until they have what they want."
<Shinobi> "And... I don't know what they want." He rubbed his face, carefully. "I worked for Essex... I didn't watch him make clones!”
<David> "I don't know either," David sighed. "Just hope that Sebastian put more than an inhibitor in that chip. That's about our only shot right now."
<Shinobi> He snorted, wishing he had taken the fucking shot too.
<David> "I'm serious," David pointed out.
<Shinobi> "I turned the chip down," he explained, trying not to think about how quiet it was and reaching up to touch his collar. "Do you think you can get this off me?"
<David> "Why the hell would you do that?" David stared at him, shaking his head. "Turn around."
<Shinobi> "I didn't trust Sebastian." He did as he was told, leaning down so David could see the inhibitor collar.
<David> "If he gave it to her, it's safe. You should have figured that one out," David pointed out, fiddling with the collar, trying to figure it out.
<Shinobi> "At the time, I didn't know how he felt about her." He pressed his lips together and closed his eyes, remembering that plane ride.
<David> "What I mean is, you should have been able to see that he wouldn't do something to harm her. Neither here or there now. Damnit. They locked it."
<Shinobi> He hadn't seen that, no, but the man was right. It didn't matter now. "Fuck..."
<David> "Wait for an opportune moment. If that fucker hadn't teleported, we'd have gotten her out already."
<Shinobi> Nodding, he straightened up, felt a wave of dizziness and caught himself against the bars beside David. "Any idea where here is anyway?"
<David> "Either we're under a Japanese restaurant, or we're in Japan."
<Shinobi> He opened his eyes to stare at David. "Fucking Japan? How..."
<David> "Fucker has teleportation technology. Hydra has similar, so it was only a matter of time really."
<Shinobi> "Right... great." He closed his eyes again. "If I get a chance... if I can distract them..." Shinobi swallowed, trying to reach her again. "You know I'd do anything for her, but you're her best chance of surviving... we get you free and I'll distract them..."
<David> David nodded. "And I'll get her out of here." The silence from the other room was deafening.
<Shinobi> "And you get her out..." He slid down the bars to sit.
<David> David slumped down to the floor as well. All they could do now was wait.
<Shinobi> "How long do you think it's been," he said, rolling his head to the side to look at the other man. Shinobi was stiff, and he still ached, and he still couldn't reach Hope.
<David> "An hour? Two?" He had no idea. He sat up though, hearing footsteps. "Get ready."
<Shinobi> "Shit." He gripped the bars and pulled himself up, cursing again when his thigh cramped. They still had no real plan to free David, but there was nothing to do about it.
<David> A guard appeared where they could see him and what he was carrying over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. David felt himself growl, giving his chains a tug.
<David> A second guard fumbled with the keys, trying to unlock the cell.
<Shinobi> He could see her hair, cascading down and hiding her face. Moving for the door, he forced himself to ignore her and see if he could get an opening with the guard. There were only two.
<David> Hope wasn't moving on the guard's shoulder. He took advantage of this and pulled out his weapon again, aiming it at Shinobi for a brief moment before turning it on her.
<Shinobi> He raised both hands, taking a step back. Now, his eyes were trained on Hope.
<David> Smirking, the guard dumped Hope on the floor rather roughly, then backed out of the cage quickly.
<Shinobi> "You fucker!" He went to her, dropping to his knees on the hard floor and looking for injuries. After a split second, he checked her neck for a pulse, reaching beneath the collar she now wore. The moment he touched her skin he could feel her again. "She's alive."
<David> "Damn good thing," he snarled at the retreating guards.
<Hope> The rush from his mind probed her's. Hope opened and closed her eyes a few times, unable to focus on anything.
<Shinobi> Carefully, he rolled her to her back and brushed her hair away from her face. "Hey..." Her eyes were red-rimmed and swollen, but her face was untouched.
<Hope> Her eyes focused on him and his beaten face. She brought her hands up to her face, wanting to cry again, but having no tears.
<Shinobi> "Shhhh, you're okay." He stroked her hair, gently. "Can you sit up?"
<Hope> She shook her head no. Her stomach hurt so badly already. There was no way she could make her abs work.
<Shinobi> "No?" He checked the bandage on her arm and started searching for other injuries.
<David> David cleared his throat. "Look where it wouldn't be obvious," he told Shinobi softly.
<Shinobi> He looked up at David, then frowned and went back to Hope. He took a deep breath and slowly raised the hem of her ripped shirt beneath her shirt, hissing at what he saw. "...oh, Hope..."
<Shinobi> The bruising was terrible, and he gently skimmed his hands over her ribs. "She might have broken ribs..." His hands moved down over the dark marks on her stomach.
<Hope> She winced at his touch, peeking out at him around her hands. "It hurts." Everything hurt.
<David> David swore, looking over at her from his spot.
<Shinobi> The bruising extended down even beneath her waistband and he rested his hand on her lower stomach, his throat tight. "What did they do to you?" he whispered.
<Hope> She just shook her head. No. No she wasn't going to talk about it. She wanted to go home. She wanted her Daddy. Somehow, more tears came as a sob rocked her body.
<Shinobi> Oh God. His eyes filled with tears and he carefully laid down beside her, stroking her face and hair. I'm so sorry... He was going to kill them all.
<Hope> Carefully she forced her body closer to his, burying her face into his chest. I want to go home.
<Shinobi> He closed his eyes, feeling her anguish and wondering how it was possible with her inhibitor. Now wasn't the time to wonder that, however. They'd hurt her, horribly. Enough that she was begging for Tony. Or Sebastian. We'll get you home.
<Hope> I'm sorry... I failed. She sobbed into his chest.
<Shinobi> Very carefully he put his arm around her shoulders. You didn't fail.
<Hope> I didn't escape. She sniffled, already out of tears again.
<Shinobi> You were outnumbered and you didn't have powers... I didn't escape either. He looked over his shoulder at David.
<Hope> She nodded, sniffling and staying close to him. She was a terrible girlfriend. She'd lied to him, gotten him kidnapped, and possibly gotten them all killed. She sobbed against him.
<Shinobi> "Shhh. You're okay." He held her gently, picking up on bits and pieces of her thoughts. Lied to him. Closing his eyes, he forced down the anger. I love you. Everything will be okay.
<Hope> "Still?" she asked, rather doubtful.
<David> David just banged his head on the bars.
<Shinobi> "Yes, still." Everything else they could deal with later.
<Hope> Hope nuzzled his chest again. If they made it out of this alive, everything would be okay. They'd get through this. She just had to get him home alive. I love you too.
<Shinobi> The door at the end of the hall opened again and he sat up, trying not to jar her.
<Hope> She whimpered, reaching for him.
<David> The sound from Hope about broke David. He stood up straighter.
<Shinobi> "It's okay, Ariel." He gave her hand a squeeze and forced himself up, moving between her and the door. There were only two again, and one carried a tray.
<Hope> Frantic, Hope tried to reach his hand again, whimpering as she stretched, despite the pain. "Obi..."
<Hope> One of the guards muttered something in Japanese, causing the other to laugh as he set the tray down on the floor inside the cell, kicking it toward Shinobi.
<David> "Shut the fuck up," David shouted in English, then in rapid Japanese, "purple hamster eater!"
<Shinobi> He was torn between Hope, David - and what the fuck was that? - and the guards. He had to jump back from the tray, then realized what it was. Disgusted, he stared at the guard, who was was still laughing.
<David> David let loose a string of Chinese swears at the guards until they locked the cage and disappeared again.
<Hope> Hope could touch Shinobi's leg now, so that's what she did.
<Shinobi> Worried more about Hope than that tray now, he went back to her, settling down beside her again with a wince and tried to hold her. "Don't hurt yourself more."
<Hope> All that horrid training David had put her through was good for one thing. She gritted her teeth and pushed herself up where she could sit in his lap, folding herself into him and resting her head against him. "I don't know that I could."
<Shinobi> His heart broke for her and he leaned back, trying not to move her as he snagged a half spilled cup of water from the tray. Shinobi gave David a doubtful glance and then sniffed it.
<Shinobi> "They could have tapped the water line in here as easy as they could have put something in this," he said, nodding at the sink. "What do you think?"
<David> David eyed the food with suspicion. "They want her alive... but it could be drugged. " He chewed his lip, trying to decide.
<Hope> Hope didn’t care. Drugs would take away the pain right? She pulled his hand to her, trying to drink the water.
<Shinobi> "Wait," he said, and tried the water himself. "We'll give it a few, okay?"
<Hope> She nodded, closing her eyes and trying to shut out everything around them, just focused on his heartbeat. Either way... she would be drinking that water too.
<Shinobi> He caught a troubling thought from her, but didn't comment, just kissing the crown of her head.
<Hope> The steady rhythm of his heart and breathing lulled her into a sense of security. Her eyes drooped and eventually closed, falling asleep where she was.
<Shinobi> Minutes passed and slowly he realized she was asleep. He looked up at David and shrugged one shoulder.
<David> "Just... let her sleep. If that water doesn't poison you, eat something. You've both been through an ordeal."
<Shinobi> "I feel... okay." It wasn't true, but his problems weren't from the water. He stroked her hair gently. "Every one of them that touched her... every one."
<David> He nodded. "We agree on that. It will happen."