Timelined another day or two after What's in a Name
<Hope> Without using David's power, Hope was forced to actually sleep, and sleep she did. It wasn't until an agent came into the room with food that she woke up. Hope protested the noise by pulling the cover over her face.
<Shinobi> The clinking of the tray roused Obi as well and he stretched, then hissed at the pull. "Ow... getting really tired of that." He threw his arm over his eyes.
<Hope> She mumbled in protest, hiding against him.
<AgentBob> "Apologies... enjoy." He scurried out to the door quickly before they made him do anything.
<Shinobi> "He was... polite for one of Viper's lackeys," he mumbled. At least it wasn't Viper herself.
<Hope> "Maybe Jess sent him," she suggested. Jess would have been one to warn them to be nice, wouldn't she?
<Shinobi> His answering grunt was noncommittal. After a moment, he sighed and moved his arm, looking over at Hope under the blankets. "I hope she's okay."
<Hope> "Me too," she admitted. "She'll be okay... Sebastian and Viper are both here." Hope shifted to look up at him, blinking a little as her eyes adjusted.
<Shinobi> "Morning." He smirked, then considered it. "Or whenever it is."
<Hope> Hope wrinkled her nose at him. "Morning... I guess. If we have to."
<Shinobi> "Heh." Moving in, he bumped her nose with his and started to give her a kiss. Frowning, he stopped himself.
<Hope> She smiled at him as they bumped noses, but stopped, matching his frown.
<Shinobi> I really need to brush my teeth. In fact, he felt... overall funky. Which, he supposed meant he was improving.
<Hope> She grinned and kissed him anyway. I don't care. Damnit, she was getting her kiss. They could get cleaned up next.
<Shinobi> Smiling, he returned the kiss, stroking her cheek. At moments like this, things were still perfect.
<Hope> Hope grinned and kissed the tip of his nose. I love you.
<Shinobi> Love you, too. Giving her another quick peck, he slowly moved his arm from beneath her and tried to sit up. It still hurt, but not as badly. He groaned anyway.
<Hope> She winced at the groaning, sitting up herself. "Are you alright?" she asked, concentrating on the food to bring it closer to them.
<Shinobi> "Yeah, it's... well, believe it or not, this is better." He closed his eyes for a moment and blew out a slow breath.
<Hope> She smiled weakly and set the tray up in front of him. "Here. You should eat."
<Shinobi> He lifted the lid and tried to determine what it was. "I hope that's chicken. You think?" Slipping his arm back around her, he turned a grin in her direction. "They brought enough for both of us, lucky you. Bet it was Jess."
<Hope> Or David... now that she thought about it. He'd been the one to keep bringing her candy after all. He was clever. "Well... I'll try a little maybe. You need it more than me."
<Shinobi> "Pfft." He poked around on the plate for a while with a fork, deciding for his own sanity that it was probably chicken. Skewering a bit, he tested it.
<Hope> She totally watched him to see if it was safe to eat.
<Shinobi> He gave her side eye while he chewed, picking up another bite and offering it to her.
<Hope> She gave him a look like he was crazy. "Is it edible?"
<Shinobi> With a shrug, he smirked and waggled the fork.
<Hope> She eyed the chicken... and went for the pudding instead.
<Shinobi> Making an amused noise, he rolled his eyes and took the bite himself.
<Hope> Hope rested her head against his shoulder as she used the spoon to dig out a big scoop of chocolate pudding, taking the bite happily. Mmmm pudding.
<Shinobi> "It's not that bad," he said finally, watching her from the corner of his eye again. "Don't eat all the pudding."
<Hope> She pouted a bit, but nodded. "Okay okay. I'll only eat this cup. The other one is yours. I hope it's vanilla," she teased.
<Shinobi> "Maybe I like vanilla." He smirked and took another bite, finding he was actually hungry.
<Hope> "You would," she laughed a little. "Well... maybe it was Viper herself. If it was Jess or David... there'd be coffee on this tray. And extra pudding. Or brownies."
<Shinobi> "Or more vegetables." Although he was pretty sure there was some hidden in the chicken stuff.
<Hope> "She would try to force vegetables on us! That sneaky Jess." Hope took another bite of her pudding. "Maybe Sebastian?"
<Shinobi> "Hmm." Sebastian was still a more touchy subject, so he just took another bite.
<Hope> "Would explain why it's terrible with a lack of coffee," she reasoned.... though Sebastian would think of coffee. He'd have put scotch too. "Or maybe it was just... maybe none of them."
<Shinobi> "Yeah, that's just as possible." He poked around and found a tidbit, then tried to offer it to Hope again. "Come on, you need to eat more than pudding. I'm the invalid."
<Hope> Sighing an exasperated sigh, she took the offered bite, making a bit of a face. After pudding? It was weird.
<Shinobi> He grinned at his success.
<Hope> After swallowing, Hope took another bite of her pudding. "I'll stick to the pudding. Is there a button we can press? We need more pudding."
<Shinobi> "It's not that bad," he protested. "Really, you should eat some more. I know you haven't been eating." It was said casually, but he turned his head to look at her as he spoke.
<Hope> "I am eating!" she pointed out as she took another bite of pudding.
<Shinobi> "Protein." He gave her a squeeze, his hand settling on her hipbone. "You're already super skinny, Ariel. You can't afford to lose any more."
<Hope> "You don't need a lot of calories when all you do is sleep and stare at hot guys," she pointed out. "Well. Guy." She did, however, pick up the second fork, staring at the chicken.
<Shinobi> "I don't care. You still need to eat." He illustrated by taking another bite.
<Hope> She made a face at him before shoving a bite of chicken into her mouth. "Happy?"
<Shinobi> Thrilled. Somehow, he managed to smirk and chew at once.
<Hope> You owe me, she decided.
<Shinobi> I can live with that. He watched her to make sure she was really eating some of the chicken glop.
<Hope> I don't know what you owe yet, but something! She rested her head against his shoulder again.
<Shinobi> Laughing, he took another bite and brushed his thumb against her side. I'm sure you'll let me know.
<Hope> You know it, she laughed, smiling. She continued to eat the nasty chicken, even though she hated it. At least he'd be happy.
<Shinobi> They ate quietly for a while, and he paused to inspect the IV line in the back of his hand. I want to go home.
<Hope> Hope paused, slowly taking another bite. Once she swallowed, she set the fork down, looking up at him. "I don't."
<Shinobi> "You don't?" Obi blinked at her.
<Hope> "I just... I don't know." Hope shrugged. "Just... not that I want to stay here... but I don't really want to go home either."
<Shinobi> "Yeah, I'd be worried if you wanted to stay here..." They were even still in Japan. The idea made him uncomfortable. "Where then...?"
<Hope> "I don't know... Tony hasn't really cleared you, so D.C. is off the table. Like hell are we going to the school... You know, I still have the contact information for that apartment that I wanted."
<Shinobi> He took another slow bite, waiting until he'd finished before he responded. "You want to move out?"
<Hope> "I don't know..." she poked the chicken. "Just... I don't know."
<Shinobi> It seemed to be implied that she meant both of them, but he still wasn't entirely sure. "Why?"
<Hope> "I don't want to fight with Jess.... don't..." she swallowed before she could continue, "Don't really want to be near Miriam now. It's harder to shield with people that close. Take your pick."
<Shinobi> Miriam. He put down the fork. That wasn't really his sister either.
<Hope> "Not to mention.... being undisturbed with you."
<Shinobi> That made him smile a little. "Maybe... just for a while?"
<Hope> "Maybe somewhere that does the cooking and cleaning for us?" she suggested.
<Shinobi> "That would be a bonus," he said with a laugh.
<Hope> Hope smiled and nodded, picking up her pudding again as she rested her head on his shoulder. "I don't know what I'd do right now without you," she admitted softly.
<Shinobi> "Well, you won't have to worry about that," he said quietly, picking his fork up and sneaking a bite of her pudding.
<Hope> "Hey!!" She shrieked, tried to shield her pudding from him. "I might if you keep that up, no matter how cute you are!"
<Shinobi> Chuckling, he went back to his chicken, but eyed her pudding. It was good to see her laugh again.
<Hope> Hope smiled to herself and passed him the rest of the pudding cup.
<Shinobi> "I don't really want your pudding," he laughed, but picked up another bite of the chicken and offered it to her with a raised brow.
<Hope> Hope grinned and took the bite. "Good. I wanted to keep it for myself anyway."
<Shinobi> "Somehow I might have guessed that." Still smiling, he ate another bit himself, fairly sure that was a stealth vegetable. "So. Somewhere that will cook and clean for us..."
<Hope> With a heavy sigh, Hope rested her head on his shoulder again. "And then leave us alone."
<Shinobi> Alone with his thoughts. Sounded great. He hid his reaction behind another forkful of food.
<Hope> Another spoonful of pudding and the cup was empty. Hope set it down on the tray and winced as her stomach cramped up again.
<Shinobi> Pressing his lips together, he dropped the fork as quietly as he could and pressed his hand to his stomach. Though he managed not to grunt, he was afraid his exhalation would be enough of a tip off to her. Shit.
<Hope> Trying not to be caught herself, Hope didn't pay too much attention to Shinobi as she held her own stomach. "I uh... will be right back."
<Shinobi> She was sliding off the bed before he had a chance to respond and winced.
<Hope> Hope made a dash for the bathroom.
<Shinobi> As soon as the door closed, Obi reached for the snaps holding this awful Hydra hospital gown contraption closed. Stripping to the waist, he inspected the bandages that encircled his middle. There was no blood. A little prodding brought pain, but not the same pain.
<Hope> The bathroom brought privacy, but not relief. She held her stomach as she sank to the floor, waiting for it to pass.
<Shinobi> Blowing out another breath, he frowned and stared at the bathroom door. Hope? Are you okay?
<Hope> I'll live. I'm fine. Just eat your lunch. she sent him as she took a few ragged breaths.
<Shinobi> That confirmed his suspicions and he pushed the tray away, shuffling to the edge of the bed again and taking that IV stand with him.
<Hope> The pain began to subside enough that her breathing could slow back to a regular pace. I'm fine... She wasn't fine. He wasn't fine. Nobody was fine.
<Shinobi> It didn't matter, because he was already on his feet. Blinking and doing a quick check, he realized he didn't feel terrible and closed the distance within a few steps to knock softly on the door.
<Hope> I'm fine... she repeated, though was in no hurry to get up from her spot.
<Shinobi> He opened the door and saw her in the floor. "You're not."
<Hope> Giving up, she shook her head. "I'm not."
<Shinobi> "Come on back to bed." He braced a hand against the wall and offered her his other. If that bastard wasn't already dead...
<Hope> She took his hand, pushing herself up so he wouldn't have to pull too hard. Once on her feet, she slid her arms around him, pressing against the smoothness of his bare chest. She should just ban shirts in the house. "Just um. Give me just a minute."
<Shinobi> "Okay." Still worried, he met her eyes for a long moment and then gave her a quick kiss. He closed the bathroom door behind him and swayed a little. No, neither of them was fine.
<Hope> Hope took her time... finally emerging from the bathroom when she was cleaned up and felt well enough to.
<Shinobi> He looked up from his place back on the edge of the bed and gave her a sad smile. Come here?
<Hope> That was the only place she wanted to go. She quickly crossed the room to him.
<Shinobi> That's been you... every time. Obi moved his arms around her, resting his cheek against her hair.
<Hope> She lost it, crying quietly against him as she curled up in his lap. It's me, Truth be told, it was nothing compared to the actual process.
<Shinobi> I'm so, so sorry. He just held her for a while, unsure what to say. What exactly had they done to her?
<Hope> She sniffled against him, nestling into him. "It's not your fault."
<Shinobi> It was, in a way, but he didn't argue. "Why haven't you healed? David is back, or Sebastian."
<Hope> "I thought I had," she admitted.
<Shinobi> "Okay, well you need to use their powers. Now." He closed his eyes when his own injuries twinged.
<Hope> "I'll try. It's been hard to hold onto them and keep mine in check." And maintain that link and keep it shielded, but she kept that to herself and picked up Sebastian's power.
<Shinobi> "Then maybe..." He paused, licked his lips, and knew this suggestion wouldn't go over well. "Maybe you can get some of whatever Viper has been giving me."
<Hope> She shot him a look. "I'd rather endure the pain."
<Shinobi> "I'd rather you didn't." The corner of his mouth twitched into another sad smile.
<Hope> "I'm not taking it. She'll make sure you live because of Jess, but there's no guarantee for me. I'll be fine. Just... have to block that."
<Shinobi> He moved just a little to meet her eyes. "Hope... what happened?"
<Hope> She stayed there in his eyes, looking back into them. "They... cut out the inhibitor. So... so they had to stitch that back up..."
<Shinobi> "Yeah, I saw that part." He skimmed his hand down her arm and raised it, pulling back her sleeve to bare the smooth skin. He blinked.
<Hope> "I told you I healed...." she pointed out, but didn't pull her arm back from him. "So... so I didn't cooperate... so... they had to..." nausea. She felt nauseous! She had to pause, swallowing a few times.
<Shinobi> "They had to what?" He leaned, forcing to her to focus on him and touching her arm gently over the healed injury.
<Hope> Hope swallowed as she looked into his eyes. She couldn't keep this from him, she knew that. "They..." she was cut off by the sudden appearance of one of Hydra's agents bursting into the room.
<Shinobi> Jumping at the sudden intrusion, he hissed when his middle pulled. Dammit! Caught looking between Hope and the agent, he wanted to tell the green-glad jackass to leave.
<AgentRob> "I'm here to change your dressing," the man blurted, opening a drawer and sorting through the supplies he needed.
<Hope> Relieved. She was so relieved as she moved back out of the way, away from him to let the agent... nurse... doctor... whatever do his job.
<Shinobi> "Yeah, okay." Obi gave Hope a worried glance and watched the man, wondering if he needed to do anything.
<AgentRob> "Viper said you've had the last dose of the... serum, so, um, the IV can come out too."
<Hope> Well that was good news at least. Serum... what was in that serum? What all did she do to him? She turned her chair so she could stare at the wall and give Shinobi some privacy for this.
<Shinobi> The agent peeled the tape from the back of his hand and he winced just a little, turning his head to see Hope's reaction. You don't have to be here for this if you don't want.
<Hope> We're in this together right? she rubbed her hand to match where the IV was. I'm fine. It's you I'm worried about.
<Shinobi> I'm fine, he echoed, smirking to himself. The IV was out and he clenched his hand into a fist, checking the fit of the bandage that'd taken its place.
<Hope> Hope smirked to himself. Sure he was. Sure they were. She peeked at him over her shoulder. Good. She sighed a bit with relief and settled in to wait. I could go ask David to get things set up for us...
<Shinobi> So where are we going? Unwinding the yards of gauze around his waist seemed to take forever, and then, of course, when he got closer to the wounds it started to come away stained. Ugh.
<Hope> Preferences? She kept her eyes off his abdomen, not trusting herself to shield her reaction.
<Shinobi> I want to stay in Boston... He bit his lip when the man started peeling gauze pads from his back first. I think I want to go to class. It would give him something else to focus on, after all.
<Hope> Boston it is. I like the Ritz. They know me there. She rubbed her arm a bit as she slowly got to her feet.
<Shinobi> He smiled, watching her. I bet they do, he chuckled, then hissed when the man yanked the gauze from his stomach. "Fuck!"
<Hope> That made her look despite herself, pausing to stare at him. Oh Obi...
<Shinobi> It was the first time he'd seen it as well, and the jagged wound and then Viper's incision were... sobering.
<Hope> Hope stayed where she was, just managing to stare at him. She had known it was bad... she had known. She suddenly saw him under her, blood rushing out around her fingers as she sobbed over him, promising him marriage and children if only he lived. If only he stayed with her. Yes... yes she had known it was bad.
<Shinobi> His head snapped up to Hope. His memory had been a little spotty, but from her perspective? Hey... I'm okay. Come back.
<Hope> She glanced up, having trouble focusing between the two. She looked down at her clean hand again before putting it into a fist. She looked back up at him, blinking a few times.
<Shinobi> Obi smiled at her, though it was a bit of an effort himself with that Hydra nurse cleaning around the staples in his stomach. I'm okay.
<Hope> You're okay, she echoed, glancing down at the wound on his stomach again.
<Shinobi> I really am. He held out his hand to her and his smile was fairly lopsided.
<Hope> Hope hesitated before she crossed to him, a shaky hand reached out to grab onto his.
<Shinobi> See? He squeezed her hand, with just a little force to show her he could. The man was replacing the dressing with what looked like a more conventional bandage.
<Hope> Nodding, Hope moved his hand to her cheek, pressing it there and anchoring her to this instead of her flashback. She nodded again. I see.
<Shinobi> His thumb stroked her cheekbone. I remember that now...
<Hope> Remember what? she asked him, locking eyes with him.
<Shinobi> Should he ask her then? Was she pretending she didn't know what he was talking about? He looked down as the man finished off.
<Hope> Remember what? she asked, more firmly when he didn't answer her.
<Shinobi> Blinking at the bandage, he was saved from answering by wound care instructions from the Hydra nurse. "Wait... so I'm going to have to do this myself from now on?"
<AgentRob> "Yes... there's no reason for you to stay anymore." He looked at the president's daughter and back at the weird clone. "Viper said you all wanted to go... so you can."
<Hope> You can go? Hope's face slowly lit up. They could go! She moved closer, happily wrapping her arms around him... still being careful.
<AgentRob> Well, he wasn't going to hang around if they were doing that. "I'll make up a bag of medical supplies." He turned around to go, then looked back at them. Maybe he should write down the instructions too. If that clone got an infection Viper would gut him.
<Shinobi> "I guess maybe we better get those hotel reservations soon..." Obi kissed her forehead, and once the Hydra lackey left he caught her chin and gave her a proper kiss.
<Hope> All the anxiety melted away as she moved closer to him, her fingers sliding through his hair. "I'll take care of it."
<Shinobi> "I know you will." He smirked, pulling back to meet her eyes. "Just like you take care of me."
<Hope> That made her smile, her hand resting on his cheek. "Because I love you."
<Shinobi> "And that's why I'll take care of you, too." He returned the grin and moved his forehead to press against hers. I love you.
<Hope> Hope closed her eyes and stayed right there with him. I love you too, Obi. She couldn't help the goofy grin that crept onto her face despite everything that week had brought.
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