Timelined concurrent to [Instance]Ritz Crackers.
<Paige> Paige rocked with Miriam while Ripley played on the floor at the Shaws' house. Bobby had just left with Sebastian to take Hope and Shinobi to the hotel. Why they had to go to a hotel was beyond her, but everyone coped in their own way.
<Paige> Jess had been in the shower for... for how long? Paige glanced at her phone, giggling at Bobby's text and responding to it. "Oh Rip. Your daddy is so funny!" Paige giggled again and glanced over in the direction of the bedroom. It had been a loooong time. Right? She couldn't remember.
<Jessica> It had been long enough that Jess' fair skin was starting to redden where she scrubbed at it but she didn't see it, still trying to scrub away the blood and the fluid from those awful tanks.
<Paige> Miriam started to fuss as Paige got to her feet, moving to the bedroom door and knocking. "Jessie Jess Jess?" She bounced Miriam a little, trying to shh her.
<Jessica> Jess let out a shout of surprise at the voice and hurried to compose herself, "Uh... yeah?"
<Paige> "I think it's time we got some lunch," she offered gently. "I think we're all hungry. Aren't we sweet girl?" she bounced the baby some more, holding her securely on her chest.
<Jessica> "You go ahead... I'm not hungry.... I'll be out soon..." she wasn't sure which of those was the lie but she went back to scrubbing.
<Paige> "Nope, sorry, I need your hands. Miriam is fussy. Hard to cook and hold her and watch Ripley." It wasn't, but it was a good excuse.
<Jessica> "I'll be out in a minute..." she bit down on her lip, trying to find a way to stop.
<Paige> Miriam fussed louder, starting to actually cry. Paige cooed and bounced her, trying to soothe her. Was there any milk left in the fridge or freezer?
<Jessica> And that did it. She couldn't ignore the cry of her daughter. Shutting off the water, she grabbed her robe and pulled it on, going to Paige still dripping wet and holding her hands out for Miriam.
<Paige> "Look! It's Mommy!" Paige gladly handed her over, smiling warmly at Jess. "I was just about to go check to see if you had any milk left. I think she's hungry. I just changed her."
<Jessica> Jess nodded, going to settle herself on the bed with her daughter, "Or she just wants attention..."
<Paige> Paige didn't point out that the baby had had plenty of that, but... she wasn't mommy. Smiling, Paige backed out a bit to go collect Ripley and start on lunch. "What sounds good for lunch, Jessie Jess?"
<Jessica> "Whatever you want," Jess offered a tired smile in response and settled Miriam for a feed.
<Paige> "Ooo grilled cheese?! Tomato soup!?"
<Jessica> "Whatever you want," she repeated adjusting her hold on Miriam so she could move the inibitor cuff into a more comfortable spot on her arm.
<Paige> Bouncing a little, Paige scooped up Ripley and took her upstairs to help her cook.
<Jessica> Jess watched Paige go then turned her attention to Miriam again, gently stroking her soft hair.
<Paige> There was much giggling and laughter upstairs as Paige and Ripley made lunch for everyone.
<Jessica> Once Miriam had had as much as she was going to, Jess lay her down on the bed and built her some walls so she couldn't roll over while she dried off properly and put some clothes on. She opted for cotton, her skin felt raw and she saw the redness from the scrubbing wasn't fading now.
<Paige> With no tomato soup to be had, Paige opted for chicken noodle instead. Soup was a comfort food... and Ripley would eat it. Win win!
<Jessica> An approximation of dressed, Jess retrieved her daughter and started the climb up the stairs, her hair still dripping everywhere.
<Paige> There she was! "Hey Jess!" Paige smiled warmly, slicing the grilled cheese sandwich in half onto a plate.
<Jessica> "Hey..." she slid into a seat at the table rather than attempt to make tea one handed. Usually this would be no trouble but she didn't have the energy lately.
<Paige> "It's mostly ready," she told her, passing a plate to her and Ripley both. "Soup is still heating. Tea is almost ready."
<Jessica> "You made me tea?" She glanced down at the plate before her attention wandered to Ripley.
<Paige> "Of course... isn't that what you always drink?" Paige asked, suddenly panicked that she had messed up.
<Jessica> Her attention swung back to Paige and she nodded, "Yeah... Just surprised..." she wasn't sure she recalled the last time someone had made her tea.
<Paige> "Oh good!" Paige laughed and brought the mug over to her. "I thought I messed up. Like how Cookie can't stand tea."
<Jessica> Jess managed another smile, as close as she could get to a laugh, "He just wasn't educated properly, it's not his fault."
<Paige> "Poor baby. You haven't managed to brainwash him yet?" She giggled and went to put the soup into bowls.
<Jessica> "Not for lack of trying..." she curled her free hand around the mug for warmth then saw the red marks on her skin and hid her hand back under the table.
<Paige> Paige gave her a sympathetic look as she passed a bowl to Jess, blowing on another one for Ripley.
<Jessica> Jess eyed the soup and the grilled cheese and her cup of tea. For all of these things, she needed hands. "I'm not big on coffee either... but at least I have a legit excuse."
<Paige> "Being British?" Paige asked, stirring and blowing on the soup some more.
<Jessica> "The Brits like coffee too," Jess informed her with a small smirk, "It's a mutation thing... heightened senses make coffee kind of a minefield of overload... and there's not much point putting myself through that when the caffeine doesn't even work."
<Paige> "Well that's a fair point." Paige finally passed the soup to Ripley. She took her own bowl and sat down next to the child, smiling at Jess.
<Jessica> "I like the smell of it though..." she chewed her lip, lifting her hand above the table and picking at a corner of a slice of grilled cheese.
<Paige> "I'm a huge fan of Vanilla Bean Frappucinos from Starbucks. I get them with a pump of Raspberry... tastes like cotton candy!"
<Jessica> "A giant cup of sugar? Maybe I should try that..."
<Paige> "It really does! It doesn't taste like coffee at all to me. I don't know about your super senses though," she took a bite of her soup, thinking of going next door to the Starbucks.
<Jessica> "Well... my powers aren't a concern at the moment," her eyes drifted down to the inhibitor cuff on her arm.
<Paige> "To Starbucks it is! We can go after lunch!" Paige reasoned, glancing down to the cuff. Her smile faltered at the redness of Jess' skin.
<Jessica> "Sounds like a plan," she managed another smile.
<Paige> "Oo oo and we should bake cookies too! Ripley loves that, don't you, Princess?" She laughed and Ripley nodded, her mouth full of grilled cheese.
<Jessica> "I like baking too... and Hope's not here so we don't have to watch what we put in them." She cleared her throat, her voice having cracked a little, and looked down at Miriam.
<Paige> "Oooo we should take full advantage! Peanut butter it up!"
<Jessica> "I like peanut butter..." so did Shinobi, "I know there's some in the house."
<Paige> "There is?!" Paige was shocked. Jess would allow death butter in the house?!
<Jessica> Jess nodded, "I hide it behind all the healthy stuff that Hope hates..."
<Paige> "That's really smart!" Paige giggled and took a bite of her sandwich. "Poor girl... how does she stay healthy?"
<Jessica> "I secretly feed her vegetables while she's asleep."
<Paige> Paige dissolved into a fit of giggles.
<Jessica> Well at least she could still get a laugh? She gave Paige a small smile, "Imagine if that was true."
<Paige> "You must never tell her. She'd have the biggest fit!"
<Jessica> "She would... sort of tempted now..." but she didn't want to talk to her anyway.
<Paige> "Maybe when things have settled," Paige suggested, taking another bite.
<Jessica> "Yeah..." or when hell froze over.
<Paige> Paige giggled and took a bite of her soup. "It's good to see her surrounded by people she can trust and who care about her. You too."
<Jessica> "Yeah..." though she felt a little abandoned today. She subconsciously cuddled Miriam closer to her.
<Paige> Paige leaned over and pushed the tea mug closer to Jess. "You need nourishment."
<Jessica> Jess nodded because she knew she did but she didn't really want to eat anything. "Not really very hungry..."
<Paige> "What if I find you an Ensure or soemthing? A smoothie with vitamins. Maybe make you a smothie?"
<Jessica> She shook her head, "It'll just go to waste..."
<Paige> Paige chewed her lip a little. "When is the last time you ate?"
<Jessica> Jess gave a helpless shrug, she wasn't even entirely sure what day it was. "I never have much of an appetite...."
<Paige> "I know that... I don't either." She sighed, setting her food down. "You'll be ok then? I don't need to get an IV?"
<Jessica> "I'll be fine," she offered another tired smile, "Just... need to get settled...."
<Paige> Paige smiled back at her. "Well... why don't you have a rest? I'll get the kitchen cleaned up."
<Jessica> "I can't... I have to drug myself into sleep so I don't really want to do that right now... Miriam might need something..."
<Paige> "If you want to... I can watch her. It's no problem. I know you want time with her, but she needs a well rested mommy."
<Jessica> "And mommy needs to not accidentally drug her baby..."
<Paige> "So.... pump and then sleep?"
<Jessica> "I don't know... I won't sleep tonight... I'll keep Sebastian up...."
<Paige> "Hmmm that's a good point... Maybe something relaxing then? Like Frozen?!"
<Jessica> "Okay..." she wasn't sure she considered Disney movies relaxing but Ripley loved that movie.
<Paige> Ripley was already singing 'Let it Go,' which made Paige giggle. "Frozen it is!"
<Jessica> Jess turned in her seat and got up, "I'll go put Miriam down for a nap... she's falling asleep anyway..."
<Paige> "I'll get the movie set up," Paige scooped up Ripley into her arms, kissing on her baby girl.
<Jessica> Jess headed back downstairs to the nursery, listening to Paige cross the hall to the living room, "Mommy doesn't know how much longer she can keep this up... you still love me though, right?"
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