Timelined after Scrambled Eggs
<Shaw> Things seemed calmer now, for which Sebastian was eternally grateful. The idea he was ill-suited for this sort of endeavor was still lurking in the back of his mind, but with Hope curled up in his arms it was lessened considerably, he had to admit.
<Hope> Hope had stopped sobbing sometime ago, but small sniffles still escaped. She had her head pressed against Sebastian as she continued to try and calm down. One thing was clear. It wasn't Shinobi's fault she wouldn't have kids. It was her own.
<Jessica> Jess sat in the waiting room with Shinobi, trying largely not to think about where they were so she could make sure he was alright. This was the longest time she'd been in a hospital without being attached to something that beeped.
<Shaw> He stroked her hair, softly, shifting just a bit to get more comfortable on her hospital bed. His right leg had fallen asleep some time ago. "Shhh, I know, little Stark," he soothed at her little sounds of distress. Koibito, how goes it?
<Shinobi> Hand still tightly clutching Jess' hand, Shinobi stared straight ahead, unseeing.
<Jessica> At the voice in her mind, Jess lifted her head from staring at her feet and glanced at the door. It's hard to say... how are things there?
<Hope> Not trusting herself to not flood Obi, Hope finally had to ask. "Where's Obi?"
<Shaw> Hope has calmed, though she's of course still quite upset. She's asking about your ward. "He's with Jessica, love. Do you wish to see him?"
<Jessica> Not wanting to startle him by speaking, Jess gave Shinobi's hand a squeeze in the hopes of getting his attention.
<Hope> "If he wants to see me," she replied, swallowing hard. If he would after this.
<Shaw> Sebastian moved just slightly, trying to at least see her face to gauge this. "Why would he not, love?"
<Hope> Hope couldn't meet his gaze. Which reason should she pick? There were so many to choose from. "Because I'm horrible?"
<Shaw> "This is something horrible that was done to you. It doesn't make you horrible." He tucked a lock of lank red hair behind her ear.
<Hope> That wasn't why she was horrible. She was horrible for yelling at him and shutting him out. She just shrugged, not arguing. Shinobi knew. He knew.
<Jessica> Jess sat up straighter in her seat and cleared her throat, "Michael?"
<Shinobi> At first, he didn't respond, but finally turned his head and looked at her.
<Shaw> "Ah, that's not what you're concerned about. Hope, the boy loves you, and he understands you went through an ordeal. So did he." Sebastian sighed and rubbed her back soothingly, pulling her back against his chest.
<Hope> Hope could feel herself starting to cry again. She hoped Sebastian was right. She pulled him tightly to her, holding on to her daddy.
<Jessica> "You okay?" She reached up with her free hand to touch his cheek.
<Shinobi> Huffing softly, he just closed his eyes. Of course not.
<Shaw> Sebastian simply held her, making soothing noises again. "Tell me what you fear, and perhaps we can put it to rest, yes?"
<Jessica> Extending the gesture, she pulled Shinobi into a hug, "Talk to me?" She wanted to try and bolster his mood a little before they went to see Hope.
<Shinobi> He went into the hug without protest, winding his arms back around Jess. "I don't know what there is to say. None of this can be undone."
<Hope> "Nothing you can fix," Hope finally got out. She could reach out to him... She should. She would. Obi?
<Jessica> "No, it can't... but it's not the end of the world," she gave him a squeeze.
<Shinobi> He stiffened in surprise at the brush in his mind. Relief was the first thing he felt, because his mind was so empty without her. Then came the fear, and shame. I'm here.
<Jessica> Jess noticed the shift in tension and loosened her hold enough to pull back and look at him.
<Hope> Where? She felt some tension ease in her own body despite the emotions from him returning.
<Shaw> "Perhaps not, perhaps so. You will never know if you don't try, yes?" He stared at a bulletin board on the wall and listened to the beep of her heart monitor.
<Shinobi> He met Jess' eyes, but his expression was uncertain. "Hope is talking to me," he explained. In the waiting room. "I... don't know what I can say to her... and if I think too much, she'll know..."
<Jessica> "What do you want to say to her?" She frowned a little at the use of the word 'can'. They'd all been treading so lightly around each other, around Hope especially, and that word said it all.
<Hope> "I guess not," she admitted. Oh... I.. what was she supposed to say now?
<Shinobi> A half dozen responses flitted through his mind. "I can't ask how she feels... I can't ask if I can help... everything I say is wrong." Is Sebastian still there?
<Shaw> Head tilted, he realized what her distant response really meant. "How is he?"
<Jessica> "Then just tell her you love her," she suggested, "That's never wrong."
<Shinobi> "I don't know... it could be. Sometimes it seems like it was..."
<Hope> "I don't know," she admitted. "I don't know what to say. Or do." She sighed. He's here... But I miss you.
<Jessica> "Don't be silly," she gave him another hug, "If you mean it, it's always the right thing to say."
<Shinobi> He drew in a breath. Yeah? Maybe Jess was right, and he clung to her a little.
<Shaw> "You know you always have me, and your father, but I believe you need Shinobi in a completely different way. Just as he needs you." He rather thought locking the two of them in a room for a day might be an easier alternative than all this dancing about.
<Jessica> Jess stroked a hand over his hair in a soothing gesture. "It'll be alright."
<Shinobi> He closed his eyes again at the touch, afraid of Hope's response.
<Hope> "Or he doesn't at all," Hope snapped.
<Shaw> Sebastian raised a brow at her outburst. Love, Hope is having a moment... what's going on with your ward?
<Jessica> What kind of a moment? Jess frowned a little while Shinobi couldn't see her face, He's... worried he'll say the wrong thing to her.
<Shaw> It would appear he already did. Internally, he sighed and wished for a scotch.
<Hope> Hope took a deep breath, trying to calm herself again. She wasn't needed. Why was he even here?
<Shinobi> She wasn't responding, and he sniffed quietly. "I don't think so..." I miss you, too, he tried.
<Jessica> Jess tried hard not to lose her temper, she sighed. "Tell me..."
<Hope> Do you? she asked him softly, more unsure than angry. Doubt flooded her, making it hard to think.
<Shinobi> "She doesn't believe me." He tried to keep control of his emotions, but he felt so confused. Yes... why wouldn't I?
<Jessica> "That's not your fault," she assured him. She's making him doubt himself... I don't know what they're saying to each other but he's uncomfortable.
<Hope> Because he was still with Jess and not her. She swallowed. Just... I don't know.
<Shaw> "Hope, why would you say that?" I'm certain they're just feeding one another's paranoia.
<Shinobi> It broke him. "It is my fault. This is all my fault, and she knows it is and that's why!"
<Jessica> Of course they are... Making a decision, she released Shinobi from the hug and got to her feet, "It's not your fault. It's the fault of the Oyamas and Essex." She offered him her hand, "Come on."
<Hope> What is your fault is you aren't here! She shot Sebastian a look. "Where is he?"
<Shinobi> Shaw> "I told you he's in the waiting room. Hope, what's going on? If you want to see him, just tell me and you may speak face to face." This was ridiculous.
<Shinobi> Obi reeled from the shock of Hope's retort. I am here... Looking up at Jess, he didn't bother to try to hide his tears anymore. "I don't know what the fuck she wants from me! She says I'm not here, but I've been here all along, even when she didn't fucking want me here!"
<Jessica> "I know..." she sighed, feeling bad for him, "I know what that's like... and I know it's frustrating and it's not fair..." she wriggled her fingers at him, signaling for him to take her hand.
<Hope> "I told you he didn't want to see me," was all she said. She watched her heart monitor, glaring at it. If it kept up Paige would be back. She didn't want Paige back.
<Shaw> "For Christ's sake, Hope," he sighed, losing his patience at last after listening to Jessica and Shinobi's exchange from down the hall. "Yes, yes he most certainly does. I was hoping the two of you would work this out on your own, but you're each feeding into the other's paranoia."
<Shinobi> "What else am I supposed to do? I just want to help her, but she doesn't want it." He took Jess' hand, but he bowed his head over it and sobbed. "I miss her so much..."
<Jessica> She stepped back to him and stroked her free hand over his hair, "I know, sweetheart..."
<Hope> "I'm not fucking paranoid! Look around, dad. He's not fucking here! He's with Jess. Don't tell me I'm paranoid when the proof is right there! He doesn't want to be here."
<Shaw> He wanted to throttle them both, but the Stark was right here at the moment. "Listen to yourself. Hope, I can hear him at this very moment. Aren't you the least bit curious?"
<Shinobi> "They were after me but look what they did to her! They did it to me too, but it didn't matter... they told me clones are sterilized because a copy of a copy is useless." He was still sobbing, babbling now that the dam had broken. "They made her like me, and it's my fault... she wanted kids and now she'll never... it hurts..."
<Shaw> Sebastian tried not to wince at that confession. All the more reason he needed the boy to undergo additional testing.
<Hope> That's not why I'm upset right now idiot! I'm upset because you don't fucking want to see me! she snapped at Shinobi.
<Jessica> That Hope had wanted kids was news to her. She crouched down to look at his face, "It's not your fault, Michael. You didn't ask for any of this. No one asked your permission before they did this. Don't blame yourself..."
<Shinobi> Hope's mental voice pierced through and the insult processed first. A more primal part of his mind rose up and he met Jess' eyes. Don't call me that. He was suddenly calm, and angry. She wanted him, she didn't want him. He tried to help her, and she threw it in his face. "You're right," he said quietly.
<Hope> "I'm so done. Page Guthrie." Hope looked around for the button to call the nurse station.
<Shaw> Sebastian blinked. What in hell was going on now? "Pardon?"
<Jessica> "Of course I am," she sighed, "Come with me..."
<Shinobi> He drew in a deep breath and went with Jess.
<Hope> "I said I'm done!" She dug around the bed and looked beside it. It had to be close by. "I'm either going home or to sleep." Because she couldn't deal with this.
<Shaw> Koibito, what's going on? He heard their movement, but the words he'd heard hardly seemed to warrant this reaction.
<Jessica> How the hell should I know? He wants to see her, she doesn't believe him. That's all I've got to work on.... but we're coming to you because I've had enough. She started down the hall with Shinobi, his hand securely in hers.
<Shaw> She wants to see him, and says he doesn't wish to see her. He believed the word for the sensation he felt was facepalm.
<Shinobi> Before they reached the door, he squeezed Jess' hand and let it go. He didn't knock, instead walking in and taking in Hope in bed with Sebastian. She appeared to be in his lap.
<Jessica> Jess made sure to step behind Shinobi in case he changed his mind so she could get in the way. I'm so done with this crap. It's driving me insane.
<Hope> Hope paused her hunt when he came in. Oh now he wanted to see her?
<Shinobi> Shaw> Agreed. He inclined his head in greeting, expression impassive though he could still see the tear tracks on the boy's face.
<Shinobi> "Could we have a moment to talk, alone," he said to Jess and Sebastian, his eyes still on Hope. His tone was not questioning.
<Jessica> "Of course you can," Jess rested her hand on his shoulder for a moment before gesturing for Sebastian to get the hell out quickly.
<Hope> "Can you bring Guthrie?" She asked Sebastian softly.
<Shaw> He extricated himself, then nodded at Hope's request. "Of course." Eventually. He kissed her forehead and moved past Shinobi to greet his wife. Meeting the boy's eyes, he considered something, then made his decision. You both want the same thing. Remember that.
<Shinobi> Surprised, he could only stare at the man. Then, they were gone.
<Hope> Hope sank down against her pillows, watching Shinobi. She wasn't sure who had more anger, but she hoped Guthrie came soon.
<Jessica> Jess took Sebastian's hand, glad for the respite, I'm glad he asked for that... I'm not sure how much longer I can squash down my compulsion to strangle someone.
<Shaw> I wholeheartedly agree. He squeezed her hand and strolled slowly back to the waiting room.
<Shinobi> "I'm here," he pointed out, crossing his arms and moving closer to the bed. "Now that I'm here, you want to throw me out? If that's the plan, let's get it over with."
<Hope> Hope stared at him. And he wondered why she'd called him an idiot. She reached for him instead.
<Shinobi> "No." He shook his head at her hand, but didn't retreat. "I love you, but you've been treating me like shit. Maybe I deserve it, but I can't take it anymore. I try to help you and you get pissed off and push me away. I want to be with you, but you're not there."
<Hope> Hope pulled her hand back, swallowing down her pain. She turned away from him, hugging her pillow. "Yeah I'm the one pushing you away. You don't want to be here. That's clear. So go."
<Shinobi> He pressed his lips together, watching her curl up. "I do want to be here."
<Hope> "From the moment we went back to the house you've shut me out. I tried before that. Just ask fucking Bobby. But it's not good enough! I'm not good enough. Where the hell is Guthrie?!"
<Shinobi> "Who was it that found you? Who was it that was here when you woke up? And all you could to was bitch at me for it." He shifted his weight and closed his eyes so he couldn't see her.
<Shinobi> "I'm sorry for what happened when we first got to the house, but when I tried to apologize you shut me down and I let you. Then when I couldn't take it anymore I came to talk to you and found you on the bathroom floor."
<Hope> "I'm sorry, okay! I'm sorry. I'm sorry for being a screw up. I'm sorry for being a bitch. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm SORRY!" She pressed her pillow over her face to block out her sobs.
<Shinobi> As always, it broke his resolve. "Hope," he protested, then sat down on the bed, his hand already on her back. "That's not..." He sighed. "I'm sorry for what happened to you. So sorry."
<Hope> "I don't know what you want from me," she told him softly through her crying.
<Shinobi> "I want you to get better," he said, finding himself tearing up again.
<Hope> "I want that too," she whispered, though wasn't about to reach for him again.
<Shinobi> He kicked off his shoes and slipped into the bed behind her, sliding his arms around her.
<Hope> She clung to his arms around her, pressing back into him. "I just don't know how."
<Shinobi> "I don't either," he admitted quietly. "Maybe," he started after a moment. "Maybe we could start with trying not to snap at each other?"
<Hope> She nodded, squeezing his arm. "I'm sorry."
<Shinobi> "So am I." He nuzzled the back of her head, breathing her in. We have this... we should use it. So there aren't as many misunderstandings at least? He closed his eyes. I can't do this without you.
<Hope> I know.... I'm not good at this relationship stuff. And feelings. And stuff. she closed her eyes, the tears stopping. "I love you... always. Even when I'm being.... difficult."
<Shinobi> "And I love you." He breathed out a sigh of relief and tried to will her to feel it was true. "I've never been in a relationship, so hey."
<Hope> She smiled, finally rolling to face him. "You couldn't have picked someone more difficult to be with."
<Shinobi> "I couldn't have picked anyone better." He returned the smile, raising a hand to tuck her hair back and brush the backs of his fingers over her cheek. After a moment, his smile faded slightly. "I understand why you didn't want to tell me."
<Hope> Her smile fell as did her gaze. She swallowed hard and took his hand, clutching it tightly. "I was embarrassed."
<Shinobi> Cupping her face, he pressed his forehead against hers. "They did it to me, too," he confessed quietly.
<Hope> She nodded sadly as she felt fresh tears. She kissed him softly, stroking his cheek. "I don't blame you, Obi. For anything."
<Shinobi> The relief he felt was instant and wonderful and he let her feel it, too, returning the kiss. "Thank you." He still blamed himself more than a little, but right now it didn't matter.
<Hope> "I.... Can't do this without you either," she admitted, kissing him again.
<Shinobi> "You won't have to," he said between kisses. "I don't want to die, Hope. I want to live, with you."
<Hope> "Me too," she told him, kissing him again and again.
Read our instance transcripts here for hot character sessions!
1 post • Page 1 of 1