Timelined after Cheat Sheet
<Shaw> Tracking her to the last location where he could sense her presence was nerve-wracking, but not as much as when he finally located her. "Jessie!" Sprawled on the mat in what appeared to be a gym, she wasn't moving.
<Shaw> He was attempting to give her a touch of space within her own head - as much for his own protection as hers. The frustration and exhaustion rolling off her would quickly overwhelm them both otherwise. But, when he was showering and he sensed the link go dead, it was no longer time to stand back.
<Shaw> Time was difficult to truly track in this place, but Sebastian sensed the passage of more than the hour Jessica had said she'd be gone when he again awoke. A check of his phone confirmed it.
<Jessica> Jess didn't respond to her name, in the comparative dark before the automated lights blinked on with Sebastian's movement it was possible to see tiny arcs of green dancing over her left hand, the fingers on it twitching ever so slightly.
<Shaw> He was wary of that hand, but circled to kneel down beside her and gently probe her mind. Love? After a moment's thought, he brushed her hair back from her face. "Koibito..."
<Jessica> Jess groaned - she didn't want to be awake. At all. And now she hurt all over. She whimpered a little as she rolled onto her side and yelped as the charge in her hand arced across to the other. Now she was awake. "Nooooooo whyyyyyyy?"
<Shaw> Sebastian enjoyed a touch of that jolt as well, but for once it just made him jump. "What happened?" Settling on the floor, he pulled her into his lap.
<Jessica> She curled up against him once she was sure she'd dropped the charge and closed her eyes, sniffling a little, "I just wanted to sleep..."
<Shaw> "You wanted to sleep? Why not come back to bed then, love?" Puzzled, he smoothed her hair and kissed her forehead.
<Jessica> The sniffles turned into sobs and she tried to keep them in, "I can't sleep... keep... having nightmares..." She was so exhausted she couldn't even try to keep her emotions in check.
<Shaw> The tide brought tears to his own eyes and he fought to control himself, sniffing loudly. "I'm sorry, love..." Sebastian held her tightly, making soothing sounds and trying to send her some reassurance.
<Jessica> "I thought about asking Viper... but then I thought you'd be angry with her... so.... so I venomblasted myself...." she sniffed again and hid her face against him.
<Shaw> That brought his brain to a full stop. "You what?"
<Jessica> "I venomblasted myself..." she repeated, though it was slightly muffled now. "Was a good idea at the time..."
<Shaw> "That was not a good idea, at any time, love!" He looked heavenwards, though there were only fluorescent lights to answer him.
<Jessica> "How do you know? I've never knocked you out with one..." She sniffed, pushing her hand through her hair. "I need restful sleep... and I can't have that... I thought if I knocked myself out for a bit then I'd at least get something resembling it..."
<Shaw> Gripping her chin with two fingers, he forced her to look at him. "Get help from Sarkissian if you must, love, but don't do that again."
<Jessica> "It doesn't hurt..." she offered, "Well.... it probably does but you're too busy being unconscious to notice..." she frowned, avoiding his gaze, "Are you honestly telling me you'd be okay with her turning off my powers and drugging me?"
<Shaw> "It's better than the alternative," he said, moving to try to catch her eye. Right?
<Jessica> She nodded, "Of course it is... but it's not a permanent solution..." she sighed, reaching up to touch his cheek. "I keep seeing his face...."
<Shaw> He sighed. "You will, for some time, I'm afraid. Especially considering..." Sebastian stopped that train of thought. "But, you can at least rest assured that you avenged the attack on Shinobi, and he's alive. Once again, thanks to Sarkissian."
<Jessica> She nodded slowly, the feeling creeping back all over her skin. She curled into him and squeezed her eyes shut, "I've never wanted to hurt someone so much..."
<Shaw> "I know. And if you had not, rest assured I would have." He stroked her hair.
<Jessica> "I wish I hadn't done it..." she stifled another sob as she started shaking, "I keep remembering how it felt... all of it... hearing it... I did that... and Shinobi's face.... and I can't... I don't know how to deal with that..."
<Shaw> "Love, he most certainly is not Shinobi, and he tortured them both." He pressed his lips together. "He deserved execution."
<Jessica> "I know... I know all that... but you weren't there... you didn't do that to him... you didn't have-" she cut herself off and pulled away from him, the unclean feeling back with a vengeance. She needed to shower.
<Shaw> "I damn well wish I had," he growled, letting her go, though reluctantly.
<Jessica> Shaking her head, she went to the door, "No, you don't."
<Shaw> He knew this was not the time to argue the point, and rose to follow her.
<Jessica> Jess beat a hasty retreat back to their room and didn't pause on her way to the bathroom, pulling off layers as she walked and stepping under the shower as soon as she was done.
<Shaw> Sebastian trailed behind her, picking up clothing as she lost it, and finally dropping the lid of the toilet to sit down. I wish I could fix this for you. For all of you, in fact.
<Jessica> Me too... She tried to keep the memories and images to herself as she scrubbed.
<Shaw> Ensuring you're not sleep deprived is a good first step. And if Sarkissian can help you with that... then let's do it. He sighed, rubbing both hands over his face.
<Jessica> "I hope she can..." Jess glanced over at him, "How are you coping?”
<Shaw> "I was going to go try to speak to Shinobi in the morning." It wasn't something he wished to do, but it needed done.
<Jessica> Jess frowned, "That's not what I asked..."
<Shaw> He moved the shower curtain aside with one finger to watch her. "I don't know, love."
<Jessica> She didn't notice the movement, consumed with her purge of dirt he couldn't see, "Shinobi doesn't want to be called that anymore... he told me..."
<Shaw> Sebastian tilted his head, distracted from his vigil to watch her face as she spoke. "Did he say, by chance, why?"
<Jessica> She nodded, "Yes.... He said it was the name of the project...." She kept scrubbing, her voice oddly detached.
<Shaw> "Project." He repeated the word, mulling this over.
<Jessica> "That's what he said." Jess continued her scrubbing.
<Shaw> This was not the way to get Jessica out of the shower and he knew it. "Love, when you finish, would you like to go find Sarkissian?"
<Jessica> She paused then and looked up at him, the sudden change of subject confusing her, "What?"
<Shaw> "If you think she can help you sleep," he clarified.
<Jessica> She nodded, reaching to shut off the water, "I'm sure she can."
<Shaw> "Well, then let's go find her, yes?" He stood and reached across to zip a towel from the rail and moved the curtain aside to wrap it around her shoulders.
<Jessica> "I should put some clothes on first..." she leaned against him, just enjoying being close to him.
<Shaw> "Well, yes, that would help," he said with a chuckle, but made no effort to move. Instead, he wrapped his arms around her tightly.
<Jessica> She smiled, turning her head to brush a soft kiss against his cheek, "I missed you..."
<Shaw> "I'm right here, koibito." He returned the smile, sharing a rush of affection and love.
<Jessica> "I know... but you've been so busy... I feel like we've hardly had any time to just... breathe..." she turned and buried her face in his shoulder.
<Shaw> "Well, with any luck things will slow down now." He knew what she meant, however, pressing his nose against her wet hair.
<Jessica> "I hope so... I don't think I can take much more..." she sighed heavily, straightening up again. "Do you think we'll be safe now?"
<Shaw> "We should be a good deal safer, yes. The Oyamas... well, they're disabled, and I believe our message of zero tolerance for threats will be well-received."
<Jessica> "I'm not worried about the Oyamas... there's nothing to fear from them anymore..." she dropped her gaze and tried to keep that image out of her head again, "I just... I suppose I want some reassurance that it's okay to let our guard down a bit now.... so we can recover..."
<Shaw> "Yes, I think so. It's most definitely time to recover." He would ensure it was safe enough for at least some of them to let their guard down, that was true enough.
<Jessica> She nodded, lifting her head to kiss him softly before stepping back to dry off and get dressed again, "Then let's track Viper down so I can ask her do drug me into oblivion and get started on that."
<Shaw> "Yes," he said with a slight laugh. He shook his head. How strange his life had become.
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