Timelined for the day after [Instance]Cookie Conspirators.
<Jessica> Jess sat quietly after dinner, the television was on but muted and she scrolled through courses and the odd nannying service website. Miriam was fast asleep in her bouncer, glancing over, Jess considered taking her upstairs but she seemed quite happy there.
<Shaw> Sebastian had his own tablet balanced on his lap as he sipped his coffee.
<Jessica> After another moment of consideration, she put her tablet down on the table, "We need to hire a nanny."
<Shaw> He sputtered on his coffee and then carefully placed the cup on the side table before slowly turning to Jessica. "Pardon?" he said with a slow blink.
<Jessica> "We need to hire a nanny," she repeated, "I love our baby and our house... but I can't stay here all day every day - I'm going to go crazy."
<Shaw> Taking his time, Sebastian powered down the tablet and balanced it on the arm of the sofa. He arched a brow at her, then looked past her to Miriam.
<Jessica> "Don't look at her, she can't save you."
<Shaw> His head tilted as his gaze slid back to her. "Whatever inspired you to say that?"
<Jessica> "The afore mentioned crazy?" She suggested, "I can't stay cooped up in here all day anymore... I've been in this house for months and months... I want to go back to school...."
<Shaw> "You are not crazy, love." He slid sideways to close the short distance between them. "I think getting out more would do you a world of good, and going back to school..." Sebastian smiled. "I'm happy to hear it."
<Jessica> "I didn't say I'm a hundred percent crazy yet," she rolled her eyes, "But I'm glad you agree that I should go back to school... but do you agree about the nanny?"
<Shaw> He considered it. "I believe it might be a challenge to find someone acceptable, but in theory I do agree."
<Jessica> "I know it's going to be difficult... I've been agonising over it for months already... I just... my life's been on hold for over a year. I can't do this anymore..." she covered her face with her hands.
<Shaw> "Months?" He moved to her side and slid his arm around her shoulders, voice softening. "Koibito, why didn't you mention it sooner?"
<Jessica> "When was I supposed to bring this up? When we were in Japan? When Hope was in hospital?" She shook her head, "It wasn't important enough to bother anyone else with until things settled down... so I just... put it off..."
<Shaw> "I understand things have been terribly hectic, but it is important, love." He sighed, watching Miriam sleep.
<Jessica> "It's not, though... not like all that stuff...." She leaned against him, resting her hands in her lap, "I don't mind putting things on hold for them... you know that... It's just starting to take a toll on me..."
<Shaw> Sebastian took her hand, straightening her rings. "Then we'll look for a nanny." He was quiet for a moment. "You've been thinking about this for some time, so do you have any ideas of how to proceed?"
<Jessica> "We need a mutant," she studied his face, "Preferably one that can handle all the crazy shit that happens to us so often."
<Shaw> He felt her scrutiny and met her eyes. "And do you have one in mind?"
<Jessica> "I thought that should be something we do together... maybe some former student or other we can try?" she looked at the tablet she'd set on the table, "There's some companies... but not a lot of mutants."
<Shaw> "Former students would be a definite option," he said thoughtfully, looking at Miriam again. "Perhaps there are some possibilities amongst the younger members of the Hellfire Club as well."
<Jessica> "Maybe... I'd have to meet them... see how they are with her... and we'd have to be sure they can protect her if crazy stuff happens...."
<Shaw> "Oh, meeting is most definitely a requirement," he said with a soft chuckle. "As is a thorough background check. I will not trust our most precious asset with anyone until I've exhausted every possible avenue."
<Jessica> She nodded, "And we'd have to see how they got along with everyone else that lives here... and warn them about visitors... it's complicated.... you see why I didn't want to mention it before?"
<Shaw> "Yes, he or she would need to pass Secret Service screenings as well." Sebastian cast a look upwards toward Hope's room. "Not that her paramour meets that requirement," he added with a smirk.
<Jessica> Jess laughed, "Yeah, I'm not sure I would either."
<Shaw> "Nor I, truth be told." He shook his head and chuckled. "I suppose this could be tricky."
<Jessica> "Yeah... I know it's going to be complicated and annoying... but hopefully worth it. I just need to know she's safe so I can focus on school..."
<Shaw> "We can take the summer to select someone then, if you'd like to start classes in the fall semester." Sebastian looked back to her, squeezing her hand. "Are you returning to Xavier's?"
<Jessica> She shrugged a shoulder, "I don't know.... maybe not.... they attract trouble like no one else... we have enough of that on our own."
<Shaw> "That's very true." He smiled. "Perhaps MIT?"
<Jessica> Jess nodded a little, chewing the corner of her lip, "I've been looking at courses... but I'm not sure if I have the formal education to back up an application...."
<Shaw> "You attended Xavier's, and though it is... unconventional, it still has a generally recognized program." Frankly, he wasn't sure how.
<Jessica> "Yeah... but I only have about a year of that all told.... maybe less.... and it's kind of broken up a lot... and that's all I have."
<Shaw> "Koibito, if you wish to attend MIT - or any university - you may." He tilted his head to look at her curiously.
<Jessica> "Feels like lying..." she looked down at her lap.
<Shaw> "It isn't lying, not if you have the knowledge and experience in truth." Sebastian let go of her hand to lift her chin with his fingertips.
<Jessica> "All the tests I took when I moved to XU said I do... but, well... I don't know..." she was never a hundred percent sure whether or not to take things told her at XU seriously.
<Shaw> "Love, Shinobi was accepted because I am an alumnus who has been most generous. However, the outcome of his decision to work toward testing out of basic courses will be on his own merits."
<Jessica> She took his hand and pressed a kiss to his palm, "I'm just nervous... I've never been in formal education... I spent my whole life moving around being taught by random people my dad knew... and XU couldn't be formal if it tried. I don't know what it's like..."
<Shaw> "You could audit a course or two to try it." He watched her with a smile and stroked her cheek with his fingertips. "Even this summer, if you like. One or two courses wouldn't even require a nanny, truth be told."
<Jessica> "I talked about doing that with Michael... but then everything went to hell... and Hope got weird about us being friends..."
<Shaw> "I wouldn't put much stock into her reactions at the moment, love. We know it's mostly stress."
<Jessica> "Yes, I know... but I really don't want to poke the bear..." she sighed heavily, flopping against him, "I just want a quiet life..."
<Shaw> Sebastian chuckled and moved them both into a more comfortable position. "That's unlikely."
<Jessica> "I know that too... but I'm certainly not going to help the drama along..." she curled up in her seat and cuddled against him.
<Shaw> "Love, would you really be taking the exact same courses?" He sighed. "Of course, there is the matter of knowing if he will continue with school..."
<Jessica> "Probably none of the same," she admitted, "But that wouldn't matter by then... because if I was going to be sitting in on random classes to see what it was like, I'd rather go with someone I know..."
<Shaw> "Then go with him, love. Have you spoken to him about this? Since... everything?" Sebastian was as reluctant to talk about their imprisonment as anyone, as it turned out.
<Jessica> She half shrugged, "Sort of.... things are awkward... hard to talk about things."
<Shaw> "Perhaps, wait until we hear back from the Maximoffs?" He took her hand again, toying with her ring.
<Jessica> "I don't know that that would be better...." she looked down at their hands.
<Shaw> He looked upward, to the ceiling between their floor and Hope's room. "It would at least give us a... starting point."
<Jessica> "Or derail the plan entirely..." she turned her face into his shoulder and closed her eyes, "I don't know, Sebastian... maybe it's tempting fate to think I could do something normal...."
<Shaw> "Love, you did not cause any of this."
<Jessica> "Says you... My track record says otherwise." She sighed, "I just look at every time we try to do something good and every time it goes to hell.... they're kind of neck and neck."
<Shaw> "That attitude is defeatist and unbecoming." He kissed the top of her head.
<Jessica> "But accurate," she pointed out, "So realistic... I'm just trying not to get my hopes up too much..."
<Shaw> "It is not accurate." He lowered his voice. "If - and as we do not yet know, it is still an if - there is nothing that can be done for Michael, then what will you do? Place your life on hold? For how long?"
<Jessica> "As long as I have to..." she knew, no matter what she said, that would be the outcome. She was always going to put her family first.
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