Timelined a day or two after Pink Ink
<Hope> This senior project, codenamed Jarvis, was almost complete. Almost. Hope had a very hard time staying focused with it being so close to completion. She wanted the stupid thing done already so she could blow up the robot part. She was keeping the program half.
<Hope> Hope twirled a red curl as she sat on her bed, coding in alterations. Obi was out, which was just as well. She had to focus. She had to get this done.
<Shaw> Sebastian had heard Hope working for some time, and after finishing up a little work of his own decided to wander to her door. As it wasn't completely closed, he pushed it open with the toe of one shoe and leaned on the doorway, watching her. "Is everything going as you expected, little Stark?"
<Hope> "Depends. Are you here to protest my engagement that hasn't happened yet some more?" she questioned, adding in some new lines of code.
<Shaw> "I was unaware I had truly protested it." He smirked. "That's interesting phrasing though..."
<Hope> "It's accurate phrasing. He hasn't proposed." Hope typed in one more line before looking up at him.
<Shaw> "It seems he's testing the waters..." Sebastian slid his hands into his pockets and sauntered into the room, casually looking around. Hope and Shinobi's belongings were mingled throughout the room.
<Hope> "Shark infested waters," Hope pointed out, glancing back at her screen to type more lines of code.
<Shaw> He smirked, gaze drawn back to Hope herself. Yet again, she was wearing his clothing. "I suppose we do attract our own kind..."
<Hope> "Oh am I a shark too? I felt more like a tiger or lion or something." She smirked a bit, hitting the button to test Jarvis. She frowned and went to find the problem when nothing happened.
<Shaw> "You're soon to join the family, I suppose." He circled her, watching both the robot and her reactions. "Are you prepared to become a Shaw as well?"
<Hope> That caught her attention. She typoed horribly and quickly backspaced to cover it up. "Become a Shaw?" Change her last name. The blood drained from her face at the realization.
<Shaw> Sebastian's eyebrow arched. "Well, that is the normal course of things... although many women choose to keep their own surnames today." Interesting, interesting. "I'm unsure how Michael feels about it, of course... he's already struggling, I believe, to feel he truly belongs to his surname."
<Hope> They hadn't talked about it... but she could guess. He'd want them to match... and it would be on her to change. She swallowed hard and made some more changes to her code. "And how have you been helping him with that?"
<Shaw> "You have been present when I've told him he is a Shaw." He tilted his head, moving to the bed and sitting on the edge to watch her. "As he has now made the decision to become my son by law and in practice, I hope things will become... easier."
<Hope> Hope glanced over at him, blinking a bit. "So that's your big contribution? Telling him he's a Shaw?"
<Shaw> Unmoved, he bared teeth. "For the moment."
<Hope> She rolled her eyes and went back to her code. "You can do better."
<Shaw> "Of course." He was quiet for just a moment. "The question is, can you?"
<Hope> "I've told him a million times I'm a terrible girlfriend," she waved him off.
<Shaw> Sebastian considered this. "And so you believe you would be a better wife?"
<Hope> That made her laugh outright. "No." She hit the button and this time, Jarvis came to life.
<Shaw> "Well done," he said, standing to inspect the robot.
<Jarvis> "Good evening, Mr. Shark. May I fetch you a scotch?"
<Shaw> Sebastian looked up and caught Hope's gaze. He smirked. "Yes, actually. That would be lovely." Sebastian stepped back, gauging if her robot could actually walk. "After all, it seems as good a time as any for a test of functionality..."
<Hope> Hope grinned back at him and nodded. "It would indeed be a great test..." She slid the computer to the bed and got up to follow Jarvis to the bar.
<Shaw> He watched, interested and observing the artificial intelligence's movements. "To my previous point, however... I was led to believe that marriage was your idea."
<Hope> "Does it really matter whose idea it was?" she questioned, watching Jarvis hover up the stairs. Perfect!
<Shaw> "Yes," he said simply, moving closer to the robot. "My God... is that repulsor technology?"
<Hope> "Yep." She smirked, watching her project with joy.
<Shaw> "Tony would be quite proud, I dare say." He followed her creation up the stairs, distracted for the moment from his cause.
<Hope> "Of course he would." He'd helped her with that part after all. She would not, however, be divulging that to Sebastian. "He still has my first robot. Butterfingers." She watched as Jarvis landed and walked gracefully to the bar, immediately preparing the drinks for Sebastian and Hope.
<Shaw> Moving in closer, he watched the robot's movements and chuckled. "He will have that forever. It's akin to keeping a first drawing on the refrigerator door for all eternity."
<Hope> "He complains about it all the time. I could fix it... but it gives him a reason to text," she shrugged and took the glass from Jarvis.
<Jarvis> "Will that be all, Miss Stark?"
<Hope> "Yes, thank you, Jarvis. Power down."
<Shaw> Sebastian accepted the drink with a thank you and a smile, mostly for Hope. "I shall reserve judgment until I've had a sip," he said, and did so.
<Hope> "It's straight scotch," she pointed out, resisting an eyeroll.
<Shaw> He shushed her and milked the moment since she was being obstinate about it.
<Hope> Hope rolled her eyes and savored the scotch, actually having to hold back her initial reaction. Obi had kept her sober long enough that the liquid burned.
<Shaw> "So." Sebastian moved to the sofa and sat, taking his time to settle and balancing the tumbler on his knee. "You wish to marry."
<Hope> "Well you did," Hope pointed out, setting her glass down on the bar. She leaned back against it, watching him.
<Shaw> "Yes, I did. How astute of you to notice." He smirked up at her.
<Hope> "So I don't really see the big shock there."
<Shaw> "Yes, but we're not quite in the same position, are we?"
<Hope> "Course not. I'm prettier." She smirked at him.
<Shaw> "That is a matter of opinion." He returned the smirk.
<Hope> "Girl bye." Hope pulled out her phone to take a selfie with Jarvis.
<Shaw> Though he wasn't even precisely certain what that meant, he could surmise. Sebastian took another sip of his scotch, watching her fuss with her phone. "Hope Shaw..." He pretended to inspect the beams of the ceiling. "It does have a better ring than Hope Storm, I suppose. And now, apparently a more predictable outcome."
<Hope> Hope nearly dropped her phone. She set it down carefully, watching him. "It was never going to be Storm. Johnny was going to take Stark."
<Shaw> Sebastian snorted his contempt of that idea.
<Hope> "I'm Tony fucking Stark's kid. I'm not changing my name to Storm. Are you kidding me?"
<Shaw> "Well, no, you're not." He gave her a pointed look.
<Hope> "Exactly. Never would have happened." She tossed her gingery hair back over her shoulder, watching him. Shaw... did she want to be a Shaw?
<Shaw> "No, not after the fate Sarkissian dealt him." Now he watched her from the corner of his eye as he swirled the amber liquid in his glass.
<Hope> She felt herself twitch at the reminder of Johnny's death. Yet... maybe she had saved Obi. As far as Hope was concerned... they were even. "Nobody says I have to change my name, anyway. Not like we're having kids for that to matter."
<Shaw> For a moment, that gave him pause, and Jessica's warnings to stay out of their affairs floated through his mind. "Mmmm, well, it's not as if he would be accepted as a Stark, so you're correct that is at least a moot point."
<Hope> "Why the hell not?" She snapped at him.
<Shaw> "No matter what sort of excuse Tony conjures if and when he finally issues Shinobi's pardon, there will always be a... stain." He kept his tone even and sipped his scotch.
<Hope> "Then what better way to erase it than to change his name?"
<Shaw> "And what better way to fling him directly into the limelight of public attention."
<Hope> Oh hell. Hope leaned back against the bar. She hadn't really thought of that beyond what he already dealt with. It was easy enough to hide him while they were dating. But married? She glared at Sebastian.
<Shaw> Judging by her expression, it would seem he'd made an impression. "He has made great strides toward building a life, but we should be wary of ...setbacks. Especially now that he knows his true origin."
<Hope> "Agreed." she ground out. Setbacks would involve her.
<Shaw> He sighed. "I know you care for him, and he cares for you."
<Hope> She nodded a bit, licking her lips and looking away from him. But it wasn't enough.
<Shaw> "Thankfully, it would appear he has a long, healthy life ahead." It still surprised Sebastian, though it was a truly welcome one.
<Shaw> "I could understand," he started slowly, leaning forward to study her better, "that you could have harbored a desire to rush into marriage... After all, you never had the chance to get so far with Storm..."
<Hope> "Could be." Now what? Her mind raced for an answer.
<Shaw> "So, if you wished to try to glean as much as you could from your relationship with Shinobi before he died... well, that's a moot point now, is it not?' She was being far too agreeable, and it was starting to sound a warning bell. "There would be no need to rush into something you both may regret."
<Hope> Her temper flared immediately at his last comment. Of course he'd think marrying her would be a mistake. Arms crossed over her chest, Hope stood up properly. "Anything else?"
<Shaw> Ah, perhaps a step too far then. "Hope..." he started, knocking back the rest of his scotch and rising to his feet.
<Hope> "Yes?" She kept herself in a position to easily move to the door and get away from him.
<Shaw> "You must have entertained some of the same thoughts for you to react this strongly to my observations," he said, moving between her and the door and softening his tone.
<Hope> "Oh yes, I often think about how fucking much he'll regret marrying me."
<Shaw> Most definitely a step too far. "Little Stark, I rather envisioned the reverse."
<Hope> And she rather envisioned throwing him out of her way. That would end horribly though, she knew that. "Why can't you just be forward and say that you think it's a horrible idea?"
<Shaw> "Because I do not believe it's a horrible idea." He crossed his arms, shifting just enough to lean on the doorway.
<Hope> "I can't keep up your fucking mind games!"
<Shaw> "I'm not playing one. He loves you, but despite appearances he lacks... practical experience, one might say, in matters of the heart."
<Hope> She nodded, licking her lips a bit. "Well. Thank you for your concern."
<Shaw> He sighed. "Frankly, Hope, though you may not believe it, it is concern. Please tell me what you're thinking."
<Hope> "I didn't say I didn't believe it," she pointed out, ignoring the request.
<Shaw> "Your actions say otherwise." He pushed off the doorframe and moved closer, resting his hand on her upper arm.
<Hope> She reacted almost immediately, jerking her arm back out of his grip.
<Shaw> He raised his hand in placation. "From what I've observed, you're quite good for one another, Hope. I'm not trying to push you apart, not truly. I merely want you to think, to look before you leap."
<Hope> "You know, contrary to popular belief, I and he are both quite capable of making decisions on our own." She moved to get around him.
<Shaw> "Do you want to marry him, Hope?" He stepped aside and watched her.
<Hope> "That is none of your business right now," she told him as she moved to the hallway.
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