Timelined a day or so after Breakfast in Bed
<Bobby> this is the awkwardy awkwardness of situations babe Bobby texted furiously, trying not to look up from his seat in the back seat of Shaw's... tank. I don't like david anymore. i hope he marries jess
<Shaw> Sebastian's eyes shifted from the road ahead to the rear view mirror, taking in Hope and his faux son. His fingers drummed a bit on the steering wheel.
<Hope> Hope had practically draped herself on Shinobi. She sat with her head against him as she stared out the window, hand tightly linked with his. Being back at the house had been rough, and she was relieved to leave it and head to the hotel.
<Paige> Bobberz! We don't promote swingers!
<David> David drummed his fingers on the seat as he watched the road ahead, the tension in the car not lost on him.
<Shinobi> He was tired and his stomach and back ached. Thumb tracing patterns on Hope's, he too looked out the window. At least he was clean, although showering had taken much of the energy he'd had left after teleporting twice - from Japan to the US and then to his fa- Sebastian's house.
<Bobby> Haaaa, Paigey. He snickered, then realized that was out loud. Oops.
<Paige> Be happy, Bobberz. They could use some happy. Poor sweeties! She attached a selfie of herself with a silly smile for him.
<Hope> Nestling into Shinobi's shoulder a bit more, Hope winced as her stomach cramped up.
<Bobby> After looking at the other occupants of the car, he put on a forced, over-wide and cheesy grin and snapped a selfie. see! happy happy happy!!
<Shinobi> Feeling that, he turned his head to kiss Hope's forehead. His arm was already around her, and so he snaked his hand to her stomach and rested it there.
<Hope> Hope pulled her knees up, hiding her face against him so she could have her moment, pressing her hand over his. She'd stolen his MIT sweatshirt to wear for the day, and she was glad. It was soft and provided some comfort.
<Bobby> He lowered his phone and watched the couple. Shiiiiiit. Stifling his sigh, he looked over at David.
<David> David set his jaw and stared out the windshield. This wasn't the first time he'd caught her doing that today.
<Shaw> Sebastian looked back again, noticing Hope's strange behavior. Love?
<Hope> I'm fine. She told Sebastian the same thing she'd told Shinobi back at Hydra. She was fine. She exhaled a shaky breath, relaxing as the cramp passed.
<Shaw> He smirked to himself. Of course. His tone said how convinced he was of her statement.
<Shinobi> Are you sure you don't want to see somebody about that? He closed his eyes and bowed his head over hers, holding her loosely.
<Hope> What could they do for me? Hope questioned him, wrapping his arms more securely. She ignored Sebastian. Ass.
<Shinobi> Find out what exactly is causing it? That seemed pretty obvious. He nuzzled her, smiling a little. She smelled like peppermint again.
<Bobby> Hope was silent. This... was awful. The fuck had they done to her?! Again, he tried to get David's attention.
<David> It worked this time. David glanced over at Drake, raising an eyebrow.
<Hope> Hope smiled back a little. It's okay. She already knew.
<Shinobi> It's not okay. He hated seeing her like this.
<Bobby> In response, Bobby raised both brows, cut his eyes at Hope, and then back at David. The hell?!
<David> David glanced over at them, then back to Bobby. He just nodded. What more could he do? This was how she'd been since they got to Hydra.
<Hope> Hope nuzzled Obi softly. I know... but I'm okay.
<Bobby> A nod? Really? The fuckadoodledoo did that mean?! Apparently he needed to go full pro on the guy and yank him aside for one of those "sitrep" things he was always told he needed to file and never did.
<Shinobi> He gave up arguing with her for now and just sighed.
<Shaw> Drake's terribly subtle facial expressions and Shinobi's sigh drew his attention back. "Are you quite certain you don't need anything before we arrive? We're nearly there."
<Hope> Unable to contain the eye roll, Hope shifted to adjust herself in the seat. "Yes."
<Shaw> "Mmm." He pulled into the parking garage after calculating the maximum vehicle height. There were two inches to spare. It was fine.
<Hope> She glanced over at David and Bobby before settling back into her seat. Yep. She just wanted to get to her room and get settled.
<Bobby> "So... we're here!" Well, almost. Sebastian was circling the parking garage like the great white he was. "What's the plan, Stan?" He snerked. "Well, without the Stan."
<Hope> Hope curled up smaller, keeping herself against Shinobi. Why didn't he do the valet? They had people to take care of this! This was the whole point of the Ritz.
<Shaw> "One would hope you would know the plan, considering you're her security detail," Sebastian pointed out, pulling into a space near the elevator. He smirked at the no parking sign.
<Bobby> "Yeah, well... it was mostly for the sake of conversation since... you know, knife, tension?" Bobby cut a perfect Scooby Doo donut from the air.
<Shinobi> Obi rolled his eyes and nudged Hope to get her to sit up.
<Hope> It made Hope smile though, watching Bobby. She sat up at the nudging, looking over to Obi again. Was it time now?
<David> David's eye roll matched Shinobi's.
<Shaw> Refraining from comment, he unbuckled and opened the door, jumping down and quickly moving to the back door to open it. "Let's go in and I'll have someone come for your bags, yes?"
<Shinobi> "Works for me." He was stiff from the ride, and carefully got out of the giant vehicle, accepting Sebastian's help with only a slight wince. Safely on the ground, he turned back to help Hope.
<Hope> Taking Shinobi's hand, Hope carefully got down onto the ground beside him. She gave Sebastian a nod for his plan. That's what they paid people to do.
<Bobby> He didn't like the way Hope was moving, and she still hadn't said more than two words at once since her return.
<Hope> Secure hold on Shinobi, Hope waited for Sebastian or Obi himself to lead them inside.
<David> David brought up the rear, preferring that position in the caravan.
<Shaw> Returning the nod with a slight smile, he turned and led them to the elevator, locking the Conquest from the fob and listening to its system arm. It was always a bit satisfying.
<Bobby> Behind Hope and Shinobi, he wasn't sure who was holding up who. He thought Hope hadn't been hurt?
<Hope> It was difficult enough to shield on a normal day, but with the stress of the past few, it was exceptionally hard. Hope rubbed her forehead and put a few extra walls up as they entered the hotel. Damn telepathy.
<Bobby> Riding up the elevator with this bunch was another laugh a minute but when the door opened he was happy to see the swanky lobby. "Ahhh, rich people. Never change!" He gave Shaw a friendly smack on the arm and went past him to be first onto the floor.
<David> David rolled his eyes. He was ready for his vacation.
<Shaw> He smirked at Hope and exited, heading straight for the front desk.
<Shinobi> Moving slowly, he helped Hope from the elevator and headed for a plush sofa while Sebastian handled things.
<Hope> The sofa was just what she needed. Hope sank down into it, sighing heavily with relief. This had been a great idea. She was able to relax her hold on Shinobi just a little as she settled.
<David> David kept behind them, his back against the wall. He scanned the room, looking for signs of trouble.
<Bobby> He was checking the room as well, and though he was looking for anything suspicious as per his job, he was also checking it out. Paige would love this place.
<Hope> Hope was perfectly content to sit where she was, watching as people moved around the lobby coming and going. It was strange to be back in a 'normal' setting again.
<Shinobi> Obi was just as content to sit and let Sebastian handle things. He slid down into the sofa until his stomach twinged. Dammit.
<Shaw> The hotel was well aware of who would be staying and had made arrangements, but Sebastian wasn't above giving the staff his own brand of incentive.
<Hope> Oblivious to Sebastian's (maybe slightly) empty threats, Hope stole a glance at Shinobi. We sure about this?
<Shinobi> About what? He gave Hope a questioning look.
<Hope> Everything. She doubted everything. She shook her head a little, trying to clear it. Nothing. Nevermind. She looked around to see where Bobby and David were.
<Bobby> Bobby was poking a potted plant, trying to decide if it was real.
<Shinobi> Biting his lip, he looked down. Sure about what? Was she regretting this?
<Hope> Oh Bobby. Hope smiled, resting her head on Shinobi as she watched Drake. She didn't realize how much she had missed his goofy quirks. Just... the last time I had a bright idea....
<Shinobi> It ended with... this. Obi sighed and shifted uncomfortably. She was... broken. He was... he didn't know what he was.
<Hope> Maybe we could get a massage too. She thought as she closed her eyes. That actually sounded amazing. With little cucumbers on our eyes and everything.
<Shinobi> That made him smirk and look over at her, admiring her while she was unaware. He felt the familiar tug in his chest and rubbed his face, blinking.
<Hope> She smiled to herself while they waited for Sebastian. I bet they can find you a cute little robe too.
<Shaw> Sebastian looked around at the strange laugh from Shinobi.
<Hope> That made her laugh a little with him, taking his hand in her own. Get you a pedicure.
<Shinobi> Yeah nobody is touching my feet. He was still laughing, and despite himself felt another pang when she took his hand.
<Bobby> He looked over at David and back to the couple. Did they finally crack?
<David> David tapped his forehead at Drake, moving closer to him. "They do that a lot."
<Hope> Hope sat up, laughing softly and wrinkling her nose at him. And why not?
<Shinobi> Just... no. He tapped her nose and flicked a bit of her hair.
<Bobby> "Hmm..." Weird. Shaw was on the move and Bobby straightened up, dragging his attention away.
<Shaw> "If you're quite ready," he said, arching a brow at the two.
<Hope> Deflating a bit, Hope kept Shinobi's hand, tightening her hold on it.
<Shinobi> He dragged himself to his feet, and Hope with him.
<Shaw> Without waiting, he turned to lead the way to the private elevator to the reserved presidential suite.
<Hope> Going with the tug, Hope kept beside Shinobi for the trek to the elevator. Is he always that cross?
<Shinobi> Cross? He looked between Hope and Sebastian's back, filing onto the elevator with him and edging away from the man.
<Shaw> Face impassive, he watched them. Leaving them here alone was a terrible mistake.
<Hope> Just... like that? she pointed out, taking her spot in the elevator as David got on behind her.
<Shinobi> One shoulder lifted. Yeah. At least around me. Now, at least, he knew why.
<Bobby> As the elevator door slid closed, Bobby blew out a breath. Nope, the ride over in the tank wasn't the most awkward thing ever!
<Hope> I don't think I paid attention before, Hope admitted, glad she was between Shinobi and Sebastian, though he was being that way to her too now.
<David> David leaned back against the handrail and sighed. Super. It was super awkward and tense. Why, he couldn't figure out though.
<Shinobi> He's only here for you. Obi slid his arm around her waist, deciding her hand wasn't enough.
<Bobby> He'd always had a suspicion that hell had elevator music. At least it wasn't country.
<Shaw> The atmosphere even affected Sebastian, though he didn't let it show. When the elevator dinged at the penthouse, he very nearly sighed in relief.
<Hope> That's okay. I'm here for you, Hope told him as she slid her arms around him as well. The ding of the elevator came all too soon, the music not bothering Hope in the least.
<David> This was a great example of why being the rear guard was best. David got to be first out of that hell hole of an elevator.
<Shinobi> He didn't wait for Sebastian and took Hope's hand back to step out right after David. Then, he stopped and looked around at the living room of the posh suite. Wow.
<Hope> It made her smile to watch his reaction to the suite. She'd stayed there before, but it was cozy and sunny. Just what they needed. Sunshine and lots of it.
<David> David made a final sweep, going to check the rooms.
<Bobby> His reaction was similar to Shaw Junior's and he whistled low, moving to assist David and escape this shit show.
<Shaw> "Everything seems in order at least..." Hands in his pockets, Sebastian looked out over the city.
<Hope> Hope watched Sebastian for a moment before she moved, leaving Shinobi to move to the elder Shaw and wrap her arms around him from behind, pressing her cheek against his back.
<Shaw> He stiffened for just a moment, then withdrew his hand from his pocket to rest it over hers. This is what you want?
<Hope> She nodded against his back. Please don't be mad...
<Shaw> I'm merely concerned, love.
<Shinobi> He watched them for just a few moments before he turned away and sat down.
<Hope> For Shinobi's sake, Hope switched to actual speaking. "We'll be okay. It won't be like last time. I know David sent twice the team size. And Bobby's here."
<Shaw> "Well, that fills me with utter confidence." He smirked, then turned around and gave Hope a proper hug.
<Hope> She smiled a little, staying in the hug. Bobby was hardly a responsible adult. "Should have brought Paige."
<Shinobi> He didn't want to watch them like that, so he stared past them out the window. After a moment, he closed his eyes and tried to shield his reaction.
<Shaw> Sebastian chuckled and gave her a gentle squeeze.
<Shinobi> She smiled just a little again and looked up at Sebastian. "I need to know something..."
<Shaw> "Yes, love?" He met her eyes, returning the smile and brushing her hair back from her face.
<Shinobi> Pressing his lips together, he worked on keeping his breathing even.
<Hope> "Are they all dead?" she whispered. She needed them to all be dead. She didn't need a nagging thought of going back to finish the job. She needed them dead.
<Shaw> "Yes, love. Every single one of those bastards at that facility are dead and gone." He kissed her forehead. "And you saw Kenji and Yurei." His eyes flicked to Shinobi.
<Shinobi> He opened his eyes at her question, and her lost tone - just in time to wish he hadn't. Meeting Sebastian's eyes, he raised his chin.
<Hope> Hope nodded, squeezing her daddy just a bit longer. I should go back to him, she sent Sebastian, slowly loosening her hold. "Thank you."
<Shaw> "Of course." Sebastian stepped back from her, crossing his arms and nodding at his son. "The world owes you and Sum a debt of gratitude for removing Oyama Kenji from it."
<Shinobi> "And so do you," he snapped, still staring the older man down.
<Shaw> After considering this, Sebastian nodded. "And so do I, yes."
<Hope> "Me too," Hope told Obi as she went back to him, sliding her arms around him once she was close enough.
<Shinobi> Now that she was here, he felt more than a little foolish for losing his temper. He helped her settle in beside him and took as deep a breath as he could.
<Hope> She buried her face into him, breathing in the familiar scent as she calmed again. She felt a lump in her throat as she thought about that. He had saved her by killing a man and nearly getting himself killed.
<Shaw> "And in that spirit," he said, inclining his head, "thank you."
<Shinobi> The display made him uncomfortable and he shifted in his seat.
<Hope> Hope swallowed hard, tightening her hold on Shinobi. You saved me, sort of slipped out with her gratitude to Shinobi.
<Shinobi> His head whipped to look at her and he swallowed down a lump.
<Hope> Hope looked up at Obi finally, her breathing becoming more ragged as she fought back her tears.
<Shaw> Sebastian turned his attention back to the skyline to give them a moment of privacy.
<Shinobi> "Don't cry," he whispered, wiping beneath her eyes with his thumb.
<Hope> She turned her face, kissing the palm of his hand softly. You saved me. And you nearly died to do it.
<Shinobi> I had to. He didn't know what else to say.
<Hope> Hope nestled into the crook of his neck, breathing deeply to calm herself. You didn't. You didn't have to do that.
<Shinobi> Yeah I did. He hurt you. I wish I'd killed him myself. Closing his eyes, he ran his fingers through her hair.
<Hope> A smile tugged at her mouth as she settled in his arms. Here I kept trying to protect you...
<Shinobi> We can protect each other. He kissed her through her hair and breathed in the soothing peppermint scent.
<Hope> Eyes closed, Hope nodded and stilled. Yes we can.
<Shaw> After the prolonged silence, Sebastian cleared his throat, eyes still on the horizon. "I'm having your car brought over, Shinobi. We can do the same for yours if you wish, Hope."
<Shinobi> The name made him wince. "Thank you," he said stiffly.
<Hope> "I'll send for a car," Hope announced softly. She had zero intention of leaving and even less so of driving if she did leave. She was staying in the bright, sunny hotel room that had so many happy memories of her and Obi already in it.
<Shaw> "As you wish." He turned around to face them and smiled softly. "If either of you need anything, don't hesitate to call me."
<Hope> Hope nodded, smiling a little. "Thanks, Dad. We'll be fine." We will... right?
<Shaw> His eyes shifted to Shinobi, then back. "Well, then I will leave you to rest."
<Shinobi> Yeah. He wasn't too sure of that himself, but he didn't know how else to respond.
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