Timelined right after the fic Tough Love
<Shaw> Sebastian awoke disoriented, fighting with the pillow for a moment to flip over and sit up, looking around and prepared for... he knew not what. He could feel Jessica, relaxed and sleeping, and looked at her space on the bed beside him. Empty.
<Shaw> He rubbed his hand over his face, scratching his prickly cheek. It was unusual for him to sleep so soundly, and was a clear measure of his exhaustion.
<Carol> The sound of movement caught her attention and Carol looked into the bedroom, "Hey," she said softly, trying not to disturb Jess, "Over here."
<Shaw> His head swiveled toward the master bath and he blinked, slowly. Danvers was in his bathroom. Swinging his feet over the side of the bed, he quickly padded to the door and pushed it open. His eyebrows shot up.
<Carol> "Look at it this way... at least she's out of the shower." Carol nodded to a robe on the other side of the bathroom.
<Shaw> His wife was curled up in the other woman's lap, wearing nothing but a wet towel. It took him a moment to take this in, and then he got her robe. "What in hell happened?"
<Carol> "I waited a few hours... got bored... heard the shower still running.... fixed it." She would have shrugged but she was worried that'd disturb Jess and there'd be more crying.
<Shaw> "Hours?" He blinked at her again. Surely not.
<Carol> "Yeah... she said she wasn't done... I've seen this before, it's okay." She took the robe and tucked it around Jess carefully.
<Shaw> "Did she tell you what happened?" They'd only given Danvers and Drake the brief report upon their arrival, after all.
<Carol> "She didn't feel like talking about it." Now that everything was covered up, she adjusted her hold on Jess and gently lifted off the floor. "Do you want to tell me what happened or should I guess?"
<Shaw> He frowned, not best pleased the woman was still holding onto his wife. "I can take her."
<Carol> "That a no?" She rolled her eyes, turning for the bedroom to put Jess down on the bed.
<Shaw> "No, point of fact, it was not." Unfortunately, he was left to follow and flipped back the covers, then tucked the blanket up around her shoulders once Carol laid her down.
<Carol> "I don't know how long she'll sleep for, she seems pretty wired... and you should probably get that towel out of there or the whole bed'll get damp..." She turned back for the bathroom to get a dry towel for Jess' hair.
<Shaw> "I'll give her a while first, because exhaustion sleep may be all she gets." He sighed and watched her, waiting for Danvers to return before he continued. "Kenji and Yusei Oyama are both dead, thanks to Shinobi and Jessica."
<Carol> "Damn... that's not going to wear off in a hurry..." She got the towel between Jess' hair and the pillow and loosely wrapped it up. "You should really keep an eye on that..."
<Shaw> "There is more." He let the other woman deal with her hair, since he was likely to tangle it. "It was a cloning facility."
<Carol> "It was what?" It took some effort to keep her voice low, "Please tell me they didn't manage to do anything..."
<Shaw> "They used Shinobi as a template it seems." He swallowed and glanced at Jessica. "We located one recognizable clone of Hope." After a quick look back at Carol he found he couldn't meet her eyes. "It was destroyed. Everything we could locate was destroyed."
<Carol> She winced but nodded, "How much of this is getting passed on?"
<Shaw> "Undetermined." All if it, perhaps. It would likely be Hope's decision.
<Carol> "Well until you're all back here, I'll keep sending reports as if everything is normal... pretty sure I'm going to get yelled at for that but apparently there's a whole other planet I can get a job on now so I'm not worried."
<Shaw> He gave her an odd look, but let it go. "It may be some time before Hope and Agent Sum return."
<Carol> "That's fine... I'll keep it going as long as I can... just keep me posted, okay?" She glanced at Jess when she stirred, wide eyed with worry that she'd wake up and start crying again.
<Shaw> "Shinobi may not survive." It was surprising, the ache in his chest at admitting this aloud.
<Carol> "Fuck..." she bit her lip, "I really hope it doesn't come to that..."
<Shaw> "Agreed," he said, clearing his throat quietly. "Jessica went after the younger Oyama herself after she saw Shinobi fall at his hand."
<Carol> "And then she killed him, I guess?" Carol glanced down at Jess.
<Shaw> "Yes." He could still see the man's face, and likely would in his dreams. "She is quite fond of Shinobi... she's accepted him as a son."
<Carol> "So... Viper's taking care of him now?" the end of her nose wrinkled a little.
<Shaw> "I'm not pleased about it either, but until he's stabilized we really can't do anything about it." Irritated with himself he hadn't checked before now, he picked his phone up from the nightstand. No messages.
<Carol> "Well... it's Hydra... they probably have drugs that aren't legal so maybe it's the best place for him right now...." she glanced down as Jess stirred again.
<Jessica> Jess was vaguely aware of voices and that she was lying down, "Sebastian...?"
<Shaw> "I hope so-" He halted himself and sat down beside her on the bed. "I'm here, love," he said, touching her leg in reassurance.
<Jessica> It took some effort to get her eyes to open. She was so exhausted. Raising a hand to her hair she felt the towel, the confusion evident on her face. Her vision shifted to the person behind Sebastian and she managed to piece it together. Her gaze tracked back to Sebastian's face and she offered a tired smile, "I'm okay."
<Shaw> "Good, I'm glad." He smiled in return and echoed his affection and reassurance in their link. "You might feel better if you dried off and put on some more comfortable clothes to take a nap."
<Jessica> Jess shook her head, "I'll get dressed... but I don't want to nap." She pushed herself up to sit, pulling her hair over her shoulder to towel the ends of it dry.
<Shaw> "I think some sleep would do you good, koibito." He dropped his phone into his lap. "There's still no word anyway."
<Jessica> "I'll sleep when we're back there..." or she'd try to anyway, "I don't want to be so far away..."
<Shaw> "Technically, considering Sarkissian's technology, we're not far at all." He glanced at Carol, then back at Jessica.
<Jessica> "It feels far..." She realised there was something between her and the sheets and found her robe. After pulling it on somewhat awkwardly so she didn't accidentally flash Carol, she turned to put her feet on the floor.
<Shaw> He decided it wasn't worth an argument and nodded, moving aside to let her up. "Carol, would you like some coffee? We'll let Jessica get ready."
<Carol> "I'll never decline coffee," she offered a smile, "If that happens, I'm an imposter and you should worry."
<Shaw> "I'll keep that in mind," he said with a smirk for the colonel, then stood. He paused to stretch, still exhausted himself.
<Jessica> Jess watched Carol for a moment before giving her a small smile, "Sorry about before..."
<Carol> "Oh don't worry about it," she waved it off, "It's not the first time I've had to do that. Just make sure you get some sleep, okay? Exhaustion isn't going to help you any."
<Jessica> She nodded and got up, going to the closet to take out some clothes, "I will." Somehow.
<Shaw> "You'd best." He crossed to the closet and put his hand on her hip, claiming her lips briefly.
<Carol> Carol decided to give them a moment and headed for the space in the ceiling to exit directly to the living room.
<Jessica> Jess slipped her arms around Sebastian to hold him close for a moment. It was much nicer now that they weren't covered in... stuff. She closed her eyes and burrowed in against his neck.
<Shaw> He smiled slightly and closed his eyes, savoring the contact. It was all he could do to hope that things would work out this time.
<Jessica> "Go and get your coffee, I'll get dressed and have a tidy round... say hi to Widget..." she pressed a kiss into his neck before she straightened up.
<Shaw> "Yes, ma'am," he said with a smirk, holding onto her for a while longer.
<Jessica> "Go on..." she gave him a small push toward the door. "I'll come up when I'm done."
<Shaw> He chuckled and gave her a small swat on the rear, then went for the door.
<Carol> Having retreated to the kitchen across the hall, Carol had taken the liberty of getting the coffee started.
<Shaw> Sebastian climbed the stairs and joined the agent in the kitchen. "Ah, well I see you've made yourself right at home."
<Carol> "I figured I should make myself useful. You're all sleep deprived, you might spill it everywhere."
<Shaw> "That is true enough." He listened carefully and heard Drake entertaining Miriam. Taking a step closer, he lowered his voice. "Jessica thanked you, but allow me to echo her gratitude."
<Carol> "It's fine, really... I've seen it before... sometimes the best approach is what seems like tactlessness," she gave a half shrug, turning to lean back against the counter while she waited for the coffee. "But you should keep an eye on it."
<Shaw> "If she will let me, yes." He sighed and scratched his jaw.
<Carol> "You kind of have to learn when to help and when to wait... it's one of those things where experience helps. But you know her, you can handle it."
<Shaw> Sebastian nodded. It would be easier to handle if Shinobi survived. He really didn't want to contemplate the alternative. "I was not in favor of leaving Hope with Viper, but she has Agent Sum... and she refused to leave."
<Carol> "He'll take good care of her, don't worry. Don't tell him I said this, but he's kind of a badass."
<Shaw> He smirked. A badass who had already been taken once this week, he didn't point out.
<Carol> "I really hope this all works out okay... it's one thing to open a report with 'don't worry, everyone's fine' but a whole other thing to start one with 'heads up, your kid might be depressed for a while'." She wrinkled her nose, "I don't like giving people bad news. Don't make me do that, okay?"
<Shaw> "Believe me, I don't want that to happen." He looked down, finding his wedding band fascinating.
<Carol> She reached out and put a hand on his shoulder, "Hey... whatever you need, okay?"
<Shaw> Surprised, he just nodded.
<Carol> After giving his shoulder a reassuring squeeze, she turned to pour some of the coffee that was just finishing up.
<Shaw> "There is one other thing you could do. I've been unable to reach Miss O'Keefe..." That would certainly simplify things.
<Carol> "Yeeeeah, you're not the only one. We haven't seen her since she went off to celebrate her national drink-all-you-see day...." She passed him a cup of the fresh coffee.
<Shaw> He sighed and accepted the cup with a quiet thank you. "Well, if you can locate her..."
<Carol> "I will get right back on that just as soon as I'm back at the school, I promise."
<Shaw> "I'm sure we'll be returning to Japan, and now that we have decapitated the Oyama family I believe it's safe enough... Drake could likely take Miriam to the school as well."
<Carol> "I'll let him know... and give him a twenty to give to Paige for all the cursing he'll do when he hears you left Hope with Viper."
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