8/6 Instance: Stay With Me

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8/6 Instance: Stay With Me

Postby Slarti » Fri Aug 07, 2015 3:03 am

Timelined a couple days after Popping the Question

<Hope> Project almost done, Hope just couldn't force herself to work any longer. She had ventured up to the library, sprawling out on the sofa to play on her phone for a bit. While looking to upload a picture of her robot to twitter, Hope noticed a video. Curious, she went into her photos to investigate it.

<Shinobi> The video was taken in their bedroom. Obi dragged a chair against one of the yellow walls and sat down. He was dressed in one of his neat buttondown shirts and a vest. Donning his reading glasses, he opened a small notebook and looked into the camera. He smiled. "Hey, Ariel."

<Hope> Hope immediately sat up. She hadn't seen this before. What was happening? She stared down at his face, confused and intrigued by what he was doing.

<Shinobi> "You said you liked this idea, so..." He lost his words, looking down a moment and clearing his throat before he could again face the camera. "Ah, sunflower, weary of time," he began, not bothering to read from the notebook.

<Shinobi> "Who countest the steps of the sun, seeking after that sweet golden clime, where the traveler's journey is done..." He paused for breath, though it was slightly ragged.

<Hope> One hand slid to her mouth, covering it as she tried to control her emotions. He was making her videos. He was reading her a poem. About a sunflower.

<Shinobi> "Where the youth pined away with desire, and the pale virgin shrouded in snow, arise from their graves, and aspire where my sunflower wishes to go." He paused, eyes dropping from the camera lens again. "It's by William Blake. It felt... appropriate."

<Shinobi> After a moment, he looked back up at the lens and smiled softly, then reached for the phone to stop the recording.

<Shinobi> Downstairs, the flesh and blood Obi returned home from class, heading up the stairs and dropping off his bag in their yellow room. Where was Hope?

<Hope> Immediately she hit replay, listening to it again. Was... was it her? Was he saying it was about her? She couldn't even really process it as a few tears escaped, rolling down over her hand.

<Shinobi> He still wasn't fantastic with the telepathy, but he could generally use their link to find her if he concentrated. Closing his eyes, he focused and found her much more quickly than he'd expected. He nearly spoke to her, but then caught a flash of something odd. Curious, he went up the stairs to the library... and heard his own voice.

<Hope> She was on her third, possibly fourth rewatch. She'd already lost count. She just kept watching it, soaking in everything about it. She'd have to make sure it got saved in several places.

<Shinobi> Obi stopped at the top of the stairs and watched her, trying to decide what he felt from their link.

<Hope> Hope wiped her wet hand on her jeans then ran her fingers through her hair, hitting replay again. She didn't quite know what she felt either, but she certainly felt a strong affection for him. For this man who knew the end was coming, but was worried about her.

<Shinobi> And she was watching it again, and crying. He cringed a little and rubbed his hand over his face. Fuck, he was terrible at hiding things.

<Hope> She glanced up, startled to see him. The phone fell from her fingers, landing on the sofa with a soft thud as she moved quickly for him, throwing her arms around him.

<Shinobi> "Hey," he said quietly, catching her and holding on.

<Hope> "Hey," she returned, smiling softly. She tightened her hold on him, sniffling.

<Shinobi> "It's okay," he tried, one hand automatically going to her hair to soothe her.

<Hope> How could he ever doubt how real he was? She leaned up, placing soft kisses on his cheek. "I could live a thousand lives... and never deserve you."

<Shinobi> He blinked. "Hope..." Gently gripping her arm, he moved her back just enough to see her face, searching her expression. After a moment, he raised his free hand and brushed her remaining tears away.

<Hope> With great difficulty, Hope managed to look back into his face. She nuzzled his hand, holding it to her face.

<Shinobi> Mesmerized by her eyes, his thumb stroked her cheek. "My Hope," he said softly. "You really are, you know."

<Hope> "Of course I'm yours," she reminded him with a smile.

<Shinobi> "You gave me hope," he explained, thumb now tracing her lower lip.

<Hope> She kissed his thumb, pressing herself closer to him. "I'm glad I could."

<Shinobi> "You do. Every day." He pressed his lips together, his eyes on her mouth. "I just wanted to give you something back."

<Hope> She swallowed, gripping him tighter. "You gave me you."

<Shinobi> "I just wish I could give you everything you deserve." He felt the lump rising in his throat and struggled for control. This wasn't fair.

<Hope> Her hands gently reached for him, pulling him down so she could press her forehead against his. "Obi... You've given me that and so much more."

<Shinobi> But soon, and who knew when, he would leave her alone. That nightmare gave him a preview of her life then, and he hated it. He didn't know what to say, sliding his fingers back into her hair and pulling her close with his other hand on her waist.

<Hope> Eyes closing, Hope clung to him tightly. "You accepted me just the way I am... and still love me. You love enough to try and make me okay when...." she trailed off.

<Shinobi> "You know I'm going to do everything I can to prevent that, right?" He sniffed, trying to hold it together. It was difficult, since he was scared - terrified - and just the waiting was torture enough.

<Hope> "I know," she told him softly. "Whatever we have to do to keep you healthy... and alive."

<Shinobi> Those two weren't necessarily one and the same, and he wondered what her reaction would be if he was crippled by some horrible genetic disorder within a few years. There were worse things than death. His breath hitched and he closed his eyes.

<Hope> Hope moved to nestle into his chest, breathing him in. "I just want you to be okay."

<Shinobi> "Thank you." He sniffed. If things became too bad, he'd have to set her free. One way or the other.

<Hope> Hope nodded, sniffling a little herself. She didn't want to lose him, but it was more important that he was okay.

<Shinobi> Lost in his own thoughts and fears, it took him a few moments to realize his pocket was vibrating. He nearly ignored it, but finally looked. "It's Doctor Maximoff..." he said quietly, looking at Hope with wide, frightened eyes.

<Hope> Hope felt sick. She tightened her grip on him, nodding. This was likely it.

<Shinobi> He swallowed and answered the phone, his voice sounding strangled. "Yes, it's me. Sorry." Pausing, he cleared his throat. "Yeah?" Listening, he watched Hope's face until he couldn't take the fear in her eyes and closed his own.

<Hope> She was unsure how long they stood there, but for Hope, it felt like an eternity. Finally, she looked up at his face again. How bad was it?

<Shinobi> "Uhuh..." He made the appropriate noises, hoping he was interpreting what she was saying correctly. There was something about some additional tests, if he wanted them, for fertility. Then, she continued with her diagnosis and all he could do was try to absorb. "And you're sure?"

<Hope> She swallowed hard, searching his face and their link for any clues.

<Shinobi> It was only at the end of their call that he allowed himself to blow out a long, relieved breath and opened his eyes to look at Hope. He smiled a little. "Thank you. Yeah, I'll be in touch."

<Hope> Well he was smiling... so it couldn't be too bad? Right? Hope was barely able to contain herself. "Well!?" She pounced as soon as he hung up.

<Shinobi> "I'm okay!" He laughed, the words finally sinking in, and grabbed Hope to give her a hard, fast kiss.

<Hope> "Wha-" she was cut off by the kiss, where she couldn't help but linger just a moment. She suddenly pulled away, her hands on his face. "What do you mean you're okay?"

<Shinobi> "She said other than the hyperopia, which is probably genetic, she can't find anything wrong." He mirrored her gesture, brushing her hair back from her face to frame it with his hands. This was real, right? He wasn't dreaming?

<Hope> "But... but the results from SHIELD?!" Hope was stunned, unable to accept the news just yet.

<Shinobi> "She said they were wrong. They sequenced my DNA and compared it to Sebastian's, but they didn't really do much beyond that, and apparently some of the irregularities they thought might be warning signs were misread." He brushed his thumbs over her cheeks, watching her face.

<Hope> Hope took her time, mulling that over and letting it sink in. "So... so you're perfectly normal and healthy?"

<Shinobi> "Apparently it helped having a sample from Yuriko Oyama, and a new one from Sebastian..." He hadn't known Sebastian had let the Maximoffs draw his blood before their appointment. Surprising. "I'm... well, half of my DNA is his, and half is hers..." He licked his lips. "I'm his clone, but I'm her child..."

<Hope> She shuddered involuntarily at the child part. She knew how that was done. She shoved the thought hard from her mind and let the relief creep in. "So really? Really okay!?" A small smile was forming.

<Shinobi> "Really okay." He smiled in return, not wanting to think about how he'd been created any more than she did. "She did predictive genetic testing and other than some of the things she already knew from Sebastian's family history there were no surprises."

<Hope> "So... so how long.... lifespan? Normal? Years? Decades?"

<Shinobi> "That's kind of hard to tell, since I'm sort of younger than I look," he wrinkled his nose. Yuck. "But she said based on current US life expectancies I've got a good fifty or sixty years. Think that's long enough?" Biting his lip, he grinned.

<Hope> "Fifty.... to sixty years?!" Her eyes lit up, the rest of her face following. She pulled him down into another kiss in disbelief.

<Shinobi> He groaned happily, tilting his head and deepening the kiss. They could have a lifetime together and it still wouldn't be enough. He lowered his shields, hoping she could feel his relief and excitement.

<Hope> Hope lowered her own shields so he could see how similar they felt. When she broke the kiss, Hope rubbed her nose gently against his, whispering, "I love you."

<Shinobi> "I love you, too." He grinned, kissing her again softly. "We're awake, right?"

<Hope> "If we aren't... I don't want to wake up," she laughed softly, kissing him yet again. And suddenly... that marriage proposal was a lot more long term.

<Shinobi> "Me neither," he laughed, giddy enough it could be classified as a giggle. "I guess now I can't drop out of school..."

<Hope> Her laugh matched his giggle. "Nope! You have to graduate too. And get a real job. And shit."

<Shinobi> "Well, shit." He kissed her again, then hugged her tightly, still laughing. "Better get started on that paperwork..."

<Hope> "I better get Tony to cooperate," she muttered against him, holding onto him just as tightly.

<Shinobi> He nodded, happy just to hold her and... be happy. Then he realized something. She'd asked to marry him because he was dying...
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