Timelined the day after Beware the Space Bugs
<Jessica> Jess had officially run out of things to clean. Well, she'd run out of things several days ago but she'd been going through the motions anyway. Now she was just randomly moving items of furniture around to see if it looked better another way.
<Shaw> Sebastian had not run out of things to clean, as his father's revolver hadn't seen any use, or maintenance, for months. After checking in with the contractor after his chat with Shinobi, he came back inside and started up the stairs, locating his wife quickly. "Hello, love."
<Jessica> Jess hadn't heard him coming, absorbed in her alphabetising of the few books in the living room, and she yelped in surprise, dropping the handful of books she'd been putting back on the shelf. She managed to move her feet out of their way before they hit the floor and she blinked at Sebastian, "Hi..."
<Shaw> He smirked, leaning in to give her a quick greeting kiss, then crouched and picked up her books. "Jumpy?"
<Jessica> "You just surprised me... I didn't hear you..." she felt herself blush and tucked her hair behind her ear before she moved to help.
<Shaw> Sebastian gave her a genuine smile at the charming red cheeks, handing her a few of the books. "I could get used to the ability to sneak up on you."
<Jessica> "I might end up with broken toes," she returned the smile despite the embarrassment and leaned to give him a soft kiss before straightening up again.
<Shaw> He stood and handed her the rest of her books, turning them to read the spines first. "What are you up to, koibito?"
<Jessica> "Nothing really... just busy work..." she put them on the shelves with the others, filling the gaps. "I already went through the library.... but I went a step further up there... don't judge me..."
<Shaw> Brow arched, he watched her, moving in behind to rest his hand on her hip and angle his face into her neck. "Have you seen the children?" He couldn't hear them, and didn't wish to try, frankly.
<Jessica> She shook her head, "Heard them moving around the house but that's all... No one's come looking for me so I'm assuming there's been no terrible emergency..."
<Shaw> "Mmm." He wasn't so certain of that. Wrapping both arms around her, he closed his eyes and breathed her in for a moment.
<Jessica> Jess returned the hug tightly with no concerns about too tightly when she was minus her powers. "How are you?"
<Shaw> "I'm quite alright. You?" He pressed a kiss to her cheek.
<Jessica> She shrugged a shoulder, "I'm doing okay... better than yesterday..." yesterday had set her back a few steps on her progress but oh well.
<Shaw> "Good. I'm glad." He rubbed her arm, his fingers stroking up and down the bare skin below the sleeve of her shirt. "He was most apologetic about it, but it's still a... troubling revelation."
<Jessica> She frowned, studying his face for a moment, "Why?"
<Shaw> "This... healing ability. And what it can and cannot do, apparently." He met her eyes.
<Jessica> "It's only temporary... where's the harm? At least we don't have to worry about him for a little bit..."
<Shaw> "If it would repair his eyesight, I would be less concerned."
<Jessica> She sighed, "I suppose that'd depend if it's damage or genetics... I don't know how healing things really work..."
<Shaw> "Yes, it depends on the healing ability. My father wore reading glasses, but I do not, except for the rare occasions I wore them to conceal my abilities years ago." He rested his forehead against hers.
<Jessica> "So... maybe it's just genetics? And he'll have to wear glasses. It's not so bad..." she chewed her lip, "And... maybe it means he won't have a scar at all and he won't have a reminder to look at all the time... I know what that's like..."
<Shaw> "Or, it may be the first signs of a handful of genetic conditions I was warned were possible repercussions of his creation."
<Jessica> "It could be anything... we're not going to know unless a doctor runs some tests..."
<Shaw> Sebastian ran his tongue across his teeth. "Yes, which is what I told him earlier."
<Jessica> "You talked to him about this?" she was worried now, her eyes going to the portion of the house that contained Hope's room, "How did he take it?"
<Shaw> "Not terribly well." He sighed and his gaze followed hers.
<Jessica> "You couldn't have maybe waited? Or, I don't know... told me you were going to do that?" Then she could have tried to be there at least and limit the damage.
<Shaw> "It wasn't planned." He turned back to watch her profile. "We were talking, and he was concerned about the healing ability and he brought up his eyesight."
<Jessica> "He's been really stressed out about this stuff since he found out everything... I don't know what to say to make it better..."
<Shaw> "I'm afraid I didn't help that cause in the least," he said, tone almost contrite.
<Jessica> She nodded, "I didn't think you would... no offense... but your track record... Maybe Hope calmed him down...."
<Shaw> "I hope so." He frowned, gathering his thoughts. "I did tell him to take the time he needed to think it over, but with his concerns about his eyesight and the headaches he's been getting worsening he shouldn't take too long to decide."
<Shaw> "Of course, we will do everything we can for him." He looked at Jessica again, smiling sadly. "I don't know that he believed me."
<Jessica> Jess nodded, "Well... maybe, if it won't freak him out some more... Viper could look at him? Or someone at the school we can trust..."
<Shaw> Sebastian paused, uncertain he wished to open that can of worms just yet. "Apparently, Oyama taunted him with the possibility there were flaws in his creation that would lead to his early demise... so, I'm afraid I just confirmed his worst fears, love."
<Jessica> "Nothing's confirmed yet.... you did at least try to get that across, right?"
<Shaw> "I did, but I'm not sure if he was listening by that point."
<Jessica> She sighed, bowing her face into her hands, "Okay... well... I guess there's nothing else to do about it other than organise those tests as soon as possible...."
<Shaw> "I know. And then, we hope for the best and prepare for the worst." Licking his lips, he watched her for a moment and sent her a surge of reassurance.
<Jessica> Jess lifted her head and offered him a small smile before sliding her arms around him again, "I'll text Viper in a bit and see if she has any thoughts... though she's been kind of slow with responses lately..."
<Shaw> Sebastian took a step back and let his hand slip down her arm to her hand, interlacing their fingers. "Koibito, come sit with me." He tugged her toward the sofa.
<Jessica> The gesture and his tone made her anxious but she went with him to the sofa, trying not to let the worry show.
<Shaw> Waiting for her to sit, he joined her and kept her hand, reaching for the other and sending her more of his reassurance. "Love, I'm afraid we won't be hearing from Viper for the foreseeable future."
<Jessica> She felt a jolt of fear, her first concern that maybe she'd been captured by SHIELD, "Why not?"
<Shaw> "She's run afoul of Hydra and needs to go underground for some time." He watched her face carefully.
<Jessica> A mixture of emotions crossed Jessica's face in quick succession, but cheif among them was confusion. "What?"
<Shaw> "That was precisely what I said at first," he said with a small smirk. "She and the Hydra leadership have had a disagreement, and as you can imagine, such a disagreement can turn deadly."
<Jessica> Jess was struggling to process this. "But... but can't we help her?"
<Shaw> "I have offered her my assistance, but she believes it would be safer for us if she makes her own way." He kissed her hand. "For now, at any rate."
<Jessica> She bit her lip, looking down at her lap for a long moment, "Promise me you'll tell me the minute she asks for help."
<Shaw> "I promise." He brushed his lips over her fingers. "Though you know my feelings for the woman, I know yours. And, I do owe her a debt of gratitude, for Michael, and for assisting you."
<Jessica> "I owe her a hell of a lot... she helped me keep my family together... raised my little brother like he was her own. She'll be okay... won't she?"
<Shaw> "Well, I would believe if anyone would be able to overcome Hydra it would be her," he hedged. "And in her absence, I've told her I will keep an eye on Broo. I'm sure you'll be happy to assist, yes?"
<Jessica> She nodded, "Of course I would... I should visit more.... and bring Miriam so he can see how big she's getting."
<Shaw> "And the reverse, I suspect." He smiled tightly. Keeping this other secret from her was... taxing.
<Jessica> She returned the smile and settled against him, mentally recalling the locations of various items she'd hidden around the house. She may have need of them.
<Shaw> "Love," he said after a moment's thought. "There is more, I'm afraid."
<Jessica> More? She tensed noticeably, withdrawing from him in their link - a side effect of her trying to mentally prepare and protect herself from potentially more bad news. "What is it?"
<Shaw> "Apparently, the Brood are returning to Earth." He sighed, unwilling to delay it further.
<Jessica> The effect of his words was immediate. "Broo." She rose from her seat on the sofa and started quickly for the door.
<Shaw> "Not this moment, love," he said, jumping up to follow and catch her hand. "SHIELD has been notified, by Viper, point of fact. That is the source of her disagreement with Hydra."
<Jessica> Jess paused to look back at him, shaking her head, "There's a Brood soldier near the school.... Broo's been studying it..."
<Shaw> "Of course there is." He rubbed a hand over his face.
<Jessica> "Viper thought he'd like to know how he might grow in the future... I was sort of helping for a while..." she wrinkled her nose, "I promised to keep it a secret...."
<Shaw> He quickly put a lid on his temper and blanked his expression, dropping his hand to stare at her.
<Jessica> "It wasn't my secret to tell...." she lowered her gaze and spoke to the floor.
<Shaw> "Point of fact, Sarkissian didn't want it known why she went into hiding, but I did not wish to keep secrets from you."
<Jessica> "It was Broo's secret to tell..." Jess shifted uncomfortably.
<Shaw> He closed his eyes, further tamping down his temper. "Well, if Sarkissian allowed him to take the Brood, she's not terribly concerned about it. For the time being, at any rate."
<Jessica> "But there weren't Brood coming when she gave it to him... it's different now... they're a hivemind, Sebastian..."
<Shaw> "Yes, and she still knew it was there yesterday," he argued.
<Jessica> She shook her head, "I want to go and check..."
<Shaw> "Fine," he bit off. "We may go and check, but we should see about Miriam and if Michael is up to watching her. I do not particularly want my daughter around a Brood unrelated to her."
<Jessica> She nodded, going for the stairs down to their bedroom to fetch shoes and deactivate the inhibitor cuff. She wasn't going near a Brood powerless.
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