Timelined after Light of Day
<Viper> It had taken far longer than it needed to but Viper had finally assured herself she wasn't being followed and was now able to take care of her errand for the day. Getting within range, she teleported into the Shaws' house and finally relaxed, sitting down on the
<Shinobi> Obi let go of Hope's hand just long enough to get the door open, then held it for her with a wry grin. "My lady," he said, giving a slight, stiff bow of his head.
<Hope> Hope grinned at him, stealing a short kiss as she passed him to enter the house. "We should get more brownies."
<Viper> Viper lifted her head when the door opened, recognising the voices. She rose to her feet, shifting to allow an excited Sharky to run past her.
<Shinobi> "We could. Starbucks has them, but then I'd have to resist Chad." He smirked at her and closed the door behind them after nodding at David.
<Hope> That made her laugh, stooping down to cuddle the excited Sharky. "I admire your willpower."
<Shinobi> He bent to pet the silver dog as well but a movement from the corner of his eye caught his attention. Expecting to see Jess, or Sebastian, Viper was not at all what he expected. "Fuck," he muttered, quickly pushing Hope behind him. Where the hell was David?
<Viper> "Nice to see you too," Viper raised an eyebrow at the unconventional greeting.
<Hope> "What?" Hope stood up, leaving Sharky on the ground. The voice sent chills down her spine. Viper. With one hand on Shinobi, Hope moved around him enough to see her. "Hello, Viper."
<Viper> "Hope, Shinobi," she inclined her head to each of them, "It's nice to see you both looking so well."
<Shinobi> "Viper," he said, inclining his head in greeting and still blocking Hope as best he could. "I almost didn't recognize you." The woman's bright green hair was black.
<Viper> "Good, that's what I was going for," she turned to go on up the stairs. There was coffee in the kitchen.
<Shinobi> He shot Hope a confused glance. I know she does this a lot, but she was just hanging out by the door...
<Hope> I think she's getting creepier. And weirder. Should we follow her? Hope looked back at Shinobi, keeping a hand on him.
<Viper> Viper located the coffee and put a pot on, then she investigated the contents of the fridge... Where was all the meat? She frowned and closed it again.
<Shinobi> I don't know. Can you feel Jess or Sebastian in the house? He cautiously led her to the bottom of the stairs and looked up.
<Hope> Jess is home... Hope debated for a half moment, then followed Viper up the stairs.
<Shinobi> He sighed and went with Hope.
<Viper> Viper leaned against the counter while she waited for the coffee, watching the door.
<Hope> Hope walked on into the kitchen, finding her way to the table. "So... what brings you here?"
<Viper> "I need to speak with Sebastian." She folded her arms loosely across her chest, eyes going to the coffee pot then between the doorway and Hope.
<Shinobi> "And where's Jess?" He again moved between Viper and Hope, watching the woman. She was dressed oddly too, but he couldn't put his finger on how.
<Viper> Viper shrugged a shoulder, watching them both between glances at the doorway. "I only just arrived."
<Hope> "Don't you knock? Or... call? Sebastian isn't here."
<Shinobi> Obi caught onto her odd behavior and pointedly looked at the door, then back to Viper. "He's at work. Who knows when he'll be home."
<Viper> "I can wait." Probably. "Or you can call him... and when have you ever known me to knock or call ahead?"
<Hope> "It's very rude, you know," Hope pointed out, watching Viper.
<Viper> "So I've heard." Not that she cared at the moment, or had the means to do much about it. The coffee was almost ready so she turned to get a mug from the cupboard.
<Shinobi> He watched her, debating if he should check on Jess and Miriam, but that would mean leaving Hope alone with Viper. Nope.
<Hope> "So your plan is to hide in the kitchen and drink coffee till who the fuck knows o'clock when Sebastian gets home?" Hope questioned her, leaning her chin on her hand.
<Viper> "Yes. Unless one of you would like to expedite the process?" she looked over her shoulder at Hope, eyebrow raised.
<Hope> "I'm sure someone as great and powerful as you can figure out how to contact him." She smiled sweetly.
<Shinobi> Where are Jess and Miriam? Can you just make sure they're okay? He looked over at Hope, gesturing at his head, then strolling over to Viper and getting down two cups.
<Viper> "At the moment, it would be... inconvenient for me to use my usual methods of contacting him."
<Hope> Asleep and... Hope made a face. I think she's in the shower. "Oh. Well sounds like we're in for a cozy visit."
<Viper> She poured herself a cup of coffee before setting the jug down and turning the handle toward Shinobi.
<Shinobi> He poured a cup and took a careful sniff, then a sip. In the shower? Again? Thanks, Ariel, he sent with a mental sigh. "Inconvenient? How?"
<Viper> "Those methods can be tracked and traced and I would rather not invite the hassle at the moment."
<Hope> Now Hope was paying attention. She sat up better. "Tracked and traced by whom?"
<Viper> Viper rolled her eyes, "I really would rather only go through all of this one time."
<Hope> "How unfortunate for you. Tracked and traced by whom?"
<Viper> Viper sighed, plucking an apple from the fruitbowl and a knife from the knife rack to peel it. "Hydra."
<Shinobi> He lowered the mug and stared at the knife in her hand. "You are Hydra."
<Viper> Ugh. Why was everyone so slow? "Not anymore."
<Hope> Hope may or may not have slid David's power on at seeing Viper handle a knife. Should I get Jess? I feel like I should get Jess. This woman needs a babysitter.
<Shinobi> Get Jess. "Not anymore?"
<Hope> A choice was presented. She could go down the stairs... or she could use that awesome power and not leave Shinobi alone with a terrorist. Hope sent her mind up to Jess' Yo, we have company.
<Viper> "We had a difference of opinion. I thought our planet would be better not invaded by giant sentient insects from space and they disagreed." She gestured casually with the knife as she spoke.
<Jessica> Jess has been curled up under the water of the shower for some time. She had found Shinobi's bloodied towel in a laundry sweep and it had sent her in a downward spiral. The voice in her mind startled her and she pushed back at it.
<Hope> There is a fucking terrorist in our house wielding a knife! Hope pushed back.
<Shinobi> Taking the knife from her did cross his mind, but that might be an overreaction. "Broo's cousins?"
<Jessica> This did not help at all with her anxiety levels and the image of Oyama and his katana flashed in her mind.
<Viper> Viper nodded to Shinobi's question, "They're coming. They will be here within a matter of days or weeks. I saw fit to inform SHIELD."
<Hope> Are you going to get down here or do I have to come up there?
<Viper> Jessica> Jess managed to pull herself together enough for a response, though it was probably unacceptable. I can't...
<Hope> Jess. Viper is here talking about weird shit. You need to get it together and get here before I call David to haul her off for being crazy. Shinobi won't move more than three feet away from me. We need you.
<Jessica> That got through the haze of fear a little easier. Viper's here? She fumbled with the inhibitor cuff to deactivate it and check then thought better of it. Her emotional state was a time bomb.
<Hope> What other terrorist did you think I meant?
<Shinobi> "What do you mean they're coming here?" Now, his unease had little to do with the knife in Viper's hand.
<Viper> "What do you think I mean?" She stared at him incredulously.
<Jessica> I don't know... She scrubbed her hands over her face then reached to shut off the water.
<Hope> Well she's freaking us out. Should I call David?
<Shinobi> "There's an invasion force of alien cockroaches coming to take over the Earth?" He'd seen weird in his life, but there was weird and then there was weird.
<Hope> "Remind me to get a giant can of Raid."
<Viper> "Enslave or consume is more likely... but yes, generally speaking." She sliced a piece off her now peeled apple. "They may also have something of a vendetta to settle... This point was also not well received."
<Jessica> David? What for? She's not dangerous....
<Hope> That's a matter of debate.
<Shinobi> "Con....sume..." He looked at Hope. Did she snap? Or is this for real?
<Hope> Hope shrugged. Which coffee is mine, Obi? she sent to him instead of Jess now.
<Jessica> Maybe Viper would want to see David? She frowned to herself as she dried off.
<Viper> After swallowing her bite, Viper decided to expand, "They came before but they crashed in New York, something went wrong with their entry to the atmosphere. Hydra had detected the signals weeks before and we were waiting for them. SHIELD showed up late to the party. And they would have again if I hadn't warned them."
<Shinobi> He picked up his mug and took another sip. Deciding it was safe, he picked up Hope's sunflower mug and filled it as he listened to Viper. "That was from before, when you obtained the samples to create Broo?"
<Viper> "I didn't create Broo. I saved his life. The Brood are an extraordinarily resilient race, I simply used their traits to improve his chances."
<Shinobi> The pieces fell into place. "Like you did with me..." Oh, fuck.
<Hope> Hope froze, staring at Obi as that registered.
<Shinobi> She heals... He swallowed, taking a moment before he could look at her.
<Hope> She was going to kill Viper.
<Viper> "Yes, like I did with you." Viper swapped her knife for her coffee.
<Shinobi> "But you used your own traits..." He took Hope's coffee to her, mostly so he could sit down beside her. After he placed her cup on the table with an awkward thunk, he fumbled for her hand.
<Hope> Hope wouldn't take his hand. Her eyes were on that knife. If she was quick, she could kill Viper without the woman ever so much as flinching. Yes... yes the plan was perfect.
<Viper> "Yes." At a cost to herself that was there for all to see. She looked at the door when she heard movement on the stairs.
<Shinobi> Stung, he pulled his hand back. He could feel her turmoil, but...
<Hope> "Why the fuck would you not fucking tell us something like that?!" She was on her feet.
<Viper> Viper blinked at her, "Nobody asked."
<Jessica> Reaching the top of the stairs as she finished plaiting her hair, Jess stopped in the doorway, "Tell us what?"
<Shinobi> Too stunned by Hope's outburst to stop her, he just looked at Jess blankly, running his tongue over his canine teeth.
<Hope> The dishes in the cabinet began to rattle, Hope's green eyes locked on Viper. "Your precious psychopath altered him. She did something to him and didn't think we should know BECAUSE WE DIDN'T FUCKING ASK? Are you fucking kidding me!?"
<Viper> Jessica> Jess eyed the doors of the cupboard and hoped those dishes stayed in there. She looked at Viper, eyebrows raised.
<Viper> Viper rolled her eyes again. "It saved his life," she pointed out, "And it was only temporary. There is no lasting effect... to him, anyway."
<Shinobi> "How temporary?" He stood up slowly and reached for Hope again.
<Hope> "Roll your eyes at me again."
<Viper> "A few weeks at most until the serum has completely left your system." She took another sip of coffee, raising an eyebrow at Hope over the rim of her cup.
<Hope> "You don't get to do whatever the hell you want and get to justify it as you saved his life!" She let Shinobi touch her this time, which calmed her enough to stop the dishes rattling.
<Shinobi> He touched his face, fingering the healed cut. After lunch, there hadn't even been a mark there. "Just a few weeks? It's not another change to my DNA?" Moving closer to Hope, he slid his arm around her.
<Viper> "If I hadn't done it he wouldn't be standing here now for you to be indignant about it so I think I do get to justify it that way." The eyeroll happened, "The change is not permanent, altering someone's DNA is not something you can do in a hurry when you're trying to stop them bleeding out on the operating table."
<Hope> Hope started for Viper, stopped by Obi's hold on her waist.
<Jessica> Jess looked between them and chewed her lip, "Um... why did I have to come up here, again?"
<Shinobi> Quickly, he looped his other arm around her. "Hope... unfortunately she's right. I'm alive because of her." He looked over at Jess. "Did you know she was here?" She looked terrible.
<Jessica> Jess shook her head slowly, "Not until Hope told me..."
<Hope> Hope stopped fighting, leaning back against Obi. Viper had to answer to someone. Viper didn't want Hydra to know where she was. how hard would it be to get ahold of Hydra? "I'm sorry Jess. I thought you'd want to see her." Would David know? Would he do it? Would Carol? The clock was ticking. She wouldn't be here forever.
<Shinobi> Jess was wet. Why was she wet? More showering? "Are you okay?" he asked, frowning.
<Jessica> Jess nodded, offering him a small smile then going to Viper and hugging her. She hadn't heard anything from the woman in some time and she'd been starting to worry. She was still a little concerned by the conspicuous absence of any green.
<Viper> Viper was never really fond of surprise hugs. She sighed, putting her coffee and apple down on the counter, patting Jess when her hands were free.
<Shinobi> He took the opportunity to tighten his hold on Hope and press his nose into her hair. The scent and her solid presence was reassuring. There are worse things than a temporary healing factor.
<Hope> Hope wrapped her arms around his, holding onto him tightly. "What else did you do to him?" she asked more calmly.
<Viper> Viper eyed Hope over Jess' shoulder, "Saving his life wasn't enough?"
<Hope> It was a very good thing that Obi had a tight grip on her. She was tempted to have another shot at Viper. "Are you that stupid that you don't remember that you just said you didn't tell us because we didn't ask? What the fuck else did you do to him?"
<Viper> "I did nothing else. I saved his life with my own healing ability at personal cost. That is all I did. I do not make a habit of experimenting on the people I am trying to help unless they ask me to."
<Shinobi> "Personal cost?" He frowned, resting his chin on top of Hope's head.
<Viper> Jessica had moved away toward the kettle so Viper tucked her hair behind her ear and gestured to the scar on her face, "It won't heal."
<Hope> Good. Hope settled in Obi's arms again.
<Shinobi> "But if you somehow extracted your ability and gave it to me, when will you regain yours?" Even after working for Essex this was strange.
<Viper> "I already have. It took too much of the serum and too much time to heal properly, however. It seems this is permanent." She shook her hair free to cover the side of her face again.
<Shinobi> "I'm sorry." He wasn't sure if that was true or not, but she had saved his life.
<Viper> She gave a half shrug and inclined her head in acknowledgment of the sentiment.
<Shinobi> "So... what are the limitations of this healing power?" Then he was reminded he'd left a bit of a bloody mess upstairs in Hope's bathroom. Fuck.
<Viper> Viper raised an eyebrow at the question, eyes going to Hope for a moment before a frown of suspicion crossed her face.
<Shinobi> He really needed to go upstairs and find that towel before Hope or Jess saw it.
<Viper> "I can't give you an exact answer," Viper said eventually after carefully choosing her words, "As you can see, I'm still quite healthy."
<Hope> "Bullshit you can't."
<Viper> Viper raised her eyebrows at Hope, "I can't. The only way to give an accurate answer would be to test every conceivable way of killing myself and see which one stuck. It's not an experiment I wish to carry out."
<Hope> "That experiment can be arranged."
<Jessica> "No it can't." Jess decided it was time she attempted to inject some sanity into the conversation.
<Shinobi> "I was asking because I wanted to know the limitations of the healing I have now, because... well... it surprised us today." He glanced at Jess.
<Jessica> "That was yours?" Jess' voice was quiet and she swallowed, trying to ignore the rising anxiety.
<Hope> "What was his?" Hope asked softly.
<Viper> Viper, too, glanced at Jess before turning her attention back to Shinobi, "I would suggest not getting used to it or testing it too much. It is only temporary."
<Jessica> Jess avoided looking at Hope and Shinobi, "I found a towel..."
<Hope> "It was just a nick, wasn't it?" Hope looked up at Obi finally.
<Shinobi> "I'm sorry, Jess... I meant to get it before we left." Nodding, he met Hope's eyes and then looked back at Jess. "It wasn't anything serious. I was just shaving."
<Jessica> Jess nodded, balling her hands into fists in an effort to hide that they were shaking.
<Viper> Viper studied Jessica for a long moment before turning her attention back to Shinobi.
<Shinobi> "It healed within five minutes, or less," he said, trying to soothe Jess, but then turned his gaze to Viper. "It would have been good to know that was a possibility, however, since it was quite a shock."
<Viper> "You were all in such a hurry to leave my care," she reminded him, "Anyway you know now and you know it will wear off. May I suggest you try not to break any bones - they take sometimes several days to mend."
<Shinobi> He nodded, lost in thought.
<Hope> Hope had settled enough that she felt confident enough to levitate her mug to her hand, taking a slow, careful sip. Her eyes, however, didn't leave Viper.
<Viper> Viper turned and topped up her coffee then picked up her apple and decided to move to the living room. She intended to wait for Sebastian and she wasn't going to do it in the kitchen on her feet the whole time.
<Shinobi> Catching the movement, he watched her. What do you think?
<Hope> She's nuts. Hope took another sip of her coffee.
<Shinobi> But do you believe her? He slowly released her and sat down, pulling her into his lap.
<Hope> I don't think lying is her thing? I don't know. Jess does... but I still think she's nuts for that too. She sat in his lap, getting comfortable.
<Shinobi> But if he could heal, why didn't that power take care of everything? He chewed his lip, keeping that thought from Hope.
<Jessica> Jess wasn't sure whether or not to follow Viper. Rather than make that decision she mumbled something about checking on Miriam and left.
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