Timelined a couple days after Memorex Moments
<Shinobi> The April showers outside weren't conducive to many things, and especially not to running. Obi was restless, and after a glance outside convinced him he couldn't burn off that energy out there, he headed to the house's gym.
<Shinobi> He glanced at Jess' unused practice blades, but went around them to the weight equipment. After a workout, he found himself eyeing Sebastian's punching bags.
<Shinobi> Tentatively, he took a swing at one, smirking at the idea of picturing his father's face on the canvas. After a few punches, he picked up a rhythm and kept count.
<Shaw> Curious at the sounds emanating from the gym, Sebastian paused in the doorway and watched Shinobi pummel his favorite speed bag. "If you're going to do that, at least do it right."
<Shinobi> He struck the bag with a savage punch at the voice. Of course it was said with his typical sanctimonious tone. "And I suppose you want to show me."
<Shaw> "Would you prefer I didn't?" He strolled into the room and positioned himself in front of the boy, just out of range.
<Shinobi> "That's about the long and short of it, yeah." He sighed and gave the bag another half-hearted blow. "So?"
<Shaw> "Well, you should at least wrap your hands." His gaze flicked down, then back up. "As you lack my abilities in that area."
<Shinobi> "I hadn't really planned on making this a habit." Obi cracked his knuckles and whipped the towel from his shoulders to wipe his face.
<Shaw> "Well." He smirked. "What a shame."
<Shinobi> "Is there anything you actually wanted? Or did you just come in here to stare at me and offer sarcastic commentary?"
<Shaw> At that, his smirk grew into a grin. "Perhaps it's my morning entertainment?"
<Shinobi> He just stared at him for a moment, then swore softly and pushed past him to the door.
<Shaw> Sebastian sighed. The boy was right, he supposed. "Michael..."
<Shinobi> "What?" he snapped.
<Shaw> Sebastian moved to the weight bench and sat down, sliding to the edge. "No, this isn't what I came for." He paused, debating with himself. "Please, sit."
<Shinobi> Obi wasn't too inclined to move away from the door, but he did turn and look. When Sebastian patted the bench his eyebrow went up.
<Shaw> "Consider it a favor," he said after a brief staring match, which he gracefully forfeited.
<Shinobi> Not sure himself why he was doing it, Obi went back into the room and sat.
<Shinobi> The silence stretched. "Well?"
<Shaw> "Well," he started. "I realize Doctor Maximoff has made a few strides in your diagnosis, but I wanted to reiterate that everyone is invested in your wellbeing."
<Shinobi> The man couldn't say anything without using fifteen too many words, could he? "Yeahuh."
<Shaw> The corner of his mouth twitched. "I'm unsure what I can say that will make you believe me."
<Hope> Distracted by the fluctuation of Obi's moods, Hope hadn't been able to continue working on her project. She threw Obi's MIT sweatshirt on and ran her fingers through her mess of red hair before she started for the stairs. Not bothering to look, she used their link to find him and headed in that direction.
<Shinobi> He met Sebastian's eyes for a long moment and sighed. "I... know you don't really owe me anything," he said quietly. "I do appreciate everything you've done."
<Shaw> "But I do." He was actually surprised. "You did not ask to be created, and you are a Shaw."
<Hope> Upon hearing voices Hope slowed down. She shouldn't listen... she shouldn't. But she was curious now. And didn't Sebastian and Jess listen to them all the time?
<Shaw> "I do mean that. I hope you realize that by now. No matter the means of your conception, you are as much my blood as Miriam." He leaned toward the boy, willing him to believe it.
<Shinobi> He swallowed, looking down. "You said it was up to me... how to define... everything."
<Shaw> "I did. Whatever you wish." Perhaps he should have brought Jessica with him for this?
<Shinobi> "I think..." He closed his eyes, trying to decide if he really wanted this. Yes. Drawing in a breath, he straightened and forced himself to meet his eyes again. "I want to be your son."
<Hope> Hope slid to the wall, smiling softly to herself as she listened in. Oh Obi. She slid her fingers to the tips of her hair, twirling a curl around her fingers. About damn time.
<Shaw> He smiled, the expression genuine. "You already are."
<Shinobi> Relieved, he very nearly laughed. Instead, he blew out a long breath. "Thanks... thank you. I mean it."
<Shaw> "I know." He reached over and squeezed his shoulder. "If you like, we can continue with the paperwork. Whenever you're ready, of course." Still, they'd best hurry.
<Hope> She closed her eyes, taking in a deep breath. Everything felt right... except that he didn't have long. It was so unfair.
<Shinobi> "I think I'm ready." He closed his eyes. "There is one more thing..."
<Shaw> "Excellent. I'll text Emma and my attorney and we can just file an amendment to what we've already completed to change your name." He tilted his head, looking over at the boy curiously. "Yes?"
<Shinobi> "Hope and I... we've..." Once again, he forced himself to look at Sebastian. "I want to marry Hope."
<Hope> Her face flushed, grateful that nobody could see her. He'd just told Sebastian that?!
<Shinobi> "She... thinks of you as her father, along with her real father, and so-"
<Shaw> "Marry her?" he cut in, temper flaring. "What in hell? I know you care for her..."
<Hope> Hope's own temper flared. If Sebastian talked him out of this, so help her...
<Shinobi> "I love her! I love her more than anything, and I would do anything for her!" This was a monumental mistake, thinking Sebastian would somehow understand. Jess was full of it.
<Shaw> "You've known one another for less than six months! Oh, of course, aside from that little incident where you tried to kill her and her father." He swore.
<Hope> That was enough of that. She moved to the stairs silently, then moved down them normally. She'd have to pretend she hadn't heard. That or she'd punch her dad in his face. "Obi?" She questioned, moving back toward the gym.
<Shinobi> "I know that, and we've talked about all that," he argued, then hearing Hope he lowered his voice and moved closer to Sebastian than was comfortable. "I know I may not have long... This is what she wants, so it's what I want."
<Shinobi> Eyes still on Sebastian, he straightened. "Yeah, Ariel? In here," he called to her.
<Hope> Hope headed toward the sound of his voice, smiling when she finally caught sight of him. "Heeeeey," she said, though a bit awkwardly as she crossed to him.
<Shaw> Sebastian watched her curiously, head tilted as he observed them both. "Hello, little Stark."
<Shinobi> "Hey!" He held out his hand for her and gave her a greeting kiss.
<Hope> Hope grinned in the kiss, tightening her grip on him. "Wondered where you disappeared to." Finally she looked over at Sebastian with a, "Hey Dad."
<Shinobi> "The weather was too shitty to go out, so I stayed in." He tugged her close, interweaving their fingers and staring defiantly at Sebastian. "Get bored working by yourself?"
<Shaw> "Yes." His nose twitched and he turned his attention to Hope. "Have you made progress in your project, love?"
<Hope> "Love the sound of the rain," Hope nestled into his sweaty chest, not even caring. He was alive. He could be hot and sweaty. "The coding is easy. I hate the damn robot part. If I wasn't graduating, I'd drop the stupid class."
<Shaw> "You haven't graduated yet." He smirked.
<Hope> "What, going to fail me because I hate robots?" She wrinkled her nose at him.
<Shaw> "Well, Miss Stark, it is a robotics course, after all." His smirk didn't change, but he did take up an inspection of his cuticles.
<Shinobi> So, was he fucking with her because he was annoyed with him? Obi tensed.
<Hope> "Teacher is a real ass too," Hope pointed out, smirking a bit. She slid Obi's arm around her waist instead once she felt him shift.
<Shinobi> Obi kissed the top of her head and paused to breath in. If he was going to be a dick, permission was overrated.
<Shaw> "You wound me," he deadpanned, placing a hand over his heart and glancing between the two. They were quite... close.
<Hope> "I thought people like us didn't have feelings. Or hearts." She smirked at Sebastian again. Boy was that assessment ever wrong!
<Shaw> "Yes, yes, to the depths of my black heart." He tilted his head and ramped up his grin. "And how is your heart, little Stark?"
<Hope> "Stolen." Hope smiled up at Shinobi.
<Shinobi> Surprised, Obi grinned in response and bent to give her a gentle kiss. He lowered his shields to her. Same, my Ariel.
<Shaw> Sebastian suppressed his gut reaction and counted to five.
<Hope> Hope grinned in the kiss, knowing she'd won that one. "Did you boys have a good workout?"
<Shaw> "It was quite illuminating, point of fact." He ran his tongue over his teeth, finally realizing she was again wearing the boy's clothing. "I understand you wish to get married."
<Shinobi> "And we hadn't finished that conversation," he snapped. "So you're not fooling anyone by bringing it up. Did you think I was lying?"
<Hope> Glancing between them, Hope stayed where she was: between them. "I do not 'wish' to, I will."
<Shaw> "You will. Well, well." He crossed his arms, sizing them both up a tad. "How? He still has no legal status."
<Shinobi> It took the wind right out of him, and Obi sagged. Fuck. Why hadn't he thought of that?
<Hope> Hope laughed. "You think that's going to stop us? As soon as you do your job and get him legalized, then we can take care of the paperwork."
<Shaw> "I can't do anything to change his status as a felon on a quite questionable parole. That's your father's jurisdiction, if you recall."
<Shinobi> Quiet, Obi closed his eyes, tightening his arms around Hope. There would always be something.
<Hope> "Fine. I'll take care of it myself. Maybe it'll actually get done now." Hope tightened her grip on Obi and gave Sebastian a smile.
<Shaw> Sebastian arched a brow. "And have you thought this over, little Stark?" He felt a twinge at the boy's reaction. "Have you really?"
<Hope> "Do you fucking think I'd agree to something like that without thinking about it!?"
<Shaw> "Yes. Because you are ruled by your heart at the moment."
<Hope> It was there. It was on the tip of her tongue. But she swallowed the comment about Jess. "Save your concern for someone who needs it."
<Shaw> "Oh, but you are most certainly in need of it." He sighed and glanced at Shinobi. "I realize your motivation, but you must consider the consequences... in years to come..."
<Shinobi> "You can just fucking say it," he finally said, tone bitter. "Her years to come after I'm dead."
<Hope> Hope tried to send Obi some reassurance. Nothing he can say will change anything. "What that I've already buried one fiance? Not you, not Jess, not fucking anyone gets to tell me what to do in this."
<Shinobi> But he's right, in a way...
<Shaw> "I'm not attempting to tell you what to do, Hope. What I am doing is asking you to consider if this will make the loss worse to bear." He frowned, taking a step toward them. This was going terribly.
<Hope> "Nothing, Sebastian, NOTHING can make this worse."
<Shaw> He sighed. "We don't yet know that these dire predictions will come to pass," he said quietly.
<Shinobi> Obi snorted. Of course they would. This was his fucking lot in life, and maybe punishment for the things he'd done.
<Hope> "Then what are you worried about then?"
<Shaw> "You," he said quietly. "Both of you."
<Hope> "Obviously. If you have something more specific, then say it. If not, butt out."
<Shaw> He considered this, pursing his lips, then nodded.
<Shinobi> That was far too easy. Obi looked down at Hope, then back at Sebastian with narrowed eyes. "Just like that?"
<Hope> Way too easy. "Yeah.... that's it then?" Hope pulled Obi's arm more securely around her.
<Shaw> "Have you spoken to Tony about this?" He watched Hope wrap the boy around her like a security blanket and sighed.
<Hope> "I didn't even know we had told you yet. So no. No I have not."
<Shinobi> "It's kind of a stupid, old-fashioned idea, but I thought I should ask for her father's blessing." He gave Sebastian a suspicious once over, kissing Hope's hair again. "I figured it wouldn't go well."
<Shaw> Sebastian smirked. "Well, you are still standing."
<Hope> That surprised her. She turned to face him, wrapping her arms around his waist. "You asked permission?" She was genuinely touched.
<Shinobi> "Yeah." He smiled down at her and bent to brush his nose against hers. "I told you I wanted to try to do it right."
<Shaw> This time, his reaction was restrained to a slight frown.
<Hope> Hope grinned, biting her lower lip as she closed her eyes. "You did," she admitted.
<Shaw> His mouth twisted and he cleared his throat. Loudly.
<Hope> She ignored Sebastian, kissing Obi instead.
<Shinobi> All too aware of Sebastian watching, he worked to ignore the man as well. I think I fucked that part up...
<Shaw> He closed his eyes and resumed counting.
<Hope> He'll get over himself, Hope pointed out, lingering where she was.
<Shaw> He opened his eyes and sighed. "I'm not going to attempt to stop you, as I know how effective that course of action would be."
<Hope> "You're learning." Hope was somewhat surprised.
<Shinobi> Obi was more shocked than surprised, and raised his head to stare.
<Shaw> Well, at least that stopped them from mating in his full view. Sebastian smirked. "Don't gape, little Stark. It's unbecoming."
<Hope> Hope turned, raising an eyebrow at him. "I wasn't gaping."
<Shaw> He raised his brow in response. "At any rate, while I cannot truly say I believe this idea is your best, I understand your reasoning." Sebastian turned his gaze to his son, assessing.
<Hope> "You don't think any of my ideas are my best."
<Shaw> "Not true." He smirked, eyes flicking from her to Shinobi, then back. "I believe your robotics project shows promise," he smirked.
<Shinobi> Obi sighed. This was when he just wanted to punch the man.
<Hope> That's it. It was going out the window. She glared at him.
<Shaw> He grinned.
<Hope> I'm throwing it out the damn window.
<Shinobi> Obi stifled a chuckle.
<Hope> Yep. It was going. She headed for her room again.
<Shaw> "Tsk. You don't agree?" He watched them both, smirking. "Ah well."
<Hope> "I'm throwing it out the damn window!"
<Shinobi> "I think she means it," he said, helpfully, moving past him to the door.
<Shaw> "A bit hard to assess for your final grade, if it's in pieces on the sidewalk," he called after them.
<Hope> "It's an F for fuckity bye Robot! Want to watch it splat?"
<Shinobi> "Mmmm, maybe. How about a shower first?" He caught up to her and took her hand, putting Sebastian out of his mind.
<Hope> Distracted, Hope shared some thoughts with him. "Shower is good."
<Shinobi> He grinned. Success. "Shower is excellent."
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