Timelined after School Spirit, still before the bug invasion
<Hope> Training with David was always an adventure. Today, however, it was slightly terrifying. While Hope had rock climbed before with no powers, this cliff seemed like a cliff of insanity. She was halfway up the Danger Room cliff, using no powers, and no gear. She paused to take a breather, glancing back down at David.
<Hope> "I hate you, you know."
<David> "Less talking, more climbing, sweetheart." David watched her carefully, hoping she still had his power active.
<Shinobi> "You know, I think I remember hearing they turned off their little failsafe that stops their training holograms from actually killing," Obi observed to David, watching Hope. He wasn't nervous. Nope. Not at all.
<Shinobi> Her foot slipped and he gasped before he could stifle himself.
<David> "Then hope she doesn’t fall."
<Hope> She gritted her teeth and pulled herself back up, pushing to get a better location.
<Shinobi> "I know she can take my power and stop herself, and if not that she can take yours and heal, but..." He glanced over at David again.
<David> "Then what? Because if you don't think she can do it, then keep that to yourself. She has to believe in her own abilities," David snapped at Obi, sparing him a quick glance before looking back up at his charge.
<Hope> Hope's fingers slipped that time, and she caught herself with her left hand. She swung with her right hand, trying to catch herself with both once more.
<Shinobi> "It's not that." He swore softly at her dangling high above them.
<Hope> She swore right along with him, trying to concentrate. "David..."
<David> "Pull. Brace your hands and pull yourself up. Stop looking down at us and look for somewhere you can grab onto."
<Shinobi> You can do this. Obi shifted his weight and then activated his own power.
<Hope> She breathed deeply and did what David instructed, pushing herself up onto a ledge. She shifted and turned her body to sit on the edge of it, looking down at them. "I just need a moment," she grinned down at them.
<Shinobi> He gave her an answering grin and airwalked up the wall, halting in mid-air in front of her. "Much easier this way, you know?"
<Hope> "Show off..." she wrinkled her nose at him.
<Shinobi> "Hey, you could do it this way too." He wrinkled his nose right back, breaking into a grin and holding out his hand for hers.
<Hope> It was impossible not to grin back at his smile. She pushed herself up and rather than take his hand, she threw her arms around his neck and held on tightly. "David would say this is cheating."
<Shinobi> "Screw David." He caught her and held on, laughing. "He can't get us up here."
<Hope> "I don't think my boyfriend would approve of me screwing my bodyguard," she teased him, nestling into the crook of his neck.
<Shinobi> His nose wrinkled for an entirely different reason. "Ew. Also, no, he would not." He laughed, nuzzling her.
<Hope> She laughed with him, closing her eyes and holding on tightly. "I have some food for lunch... picnic at the summit?"
<Shinobi> "I'd say race you there, but I'd win." He smirked.
<Hope> She pouted at him. "Don't leave me here! I'd have to climb up."
<Shinobi> The pout was hard to resist, so he didn't, and kissed it.
<Hope> That quieted her small panic, relaxing her as she kissed him back. Her fingers slid through his hair as she pressed herself closer to him.
<Shinobi> He grinned into the kiss, and when they broke apart he spared a look down at David.
<David> David was rolling his eyes. "Turn the program off when you leave."
<Hope> Hope snickered as David headed for the door. "You ran him off!"
<Shinobi> The smirk he gave to Hope when he looked back at her was triumphant. "Guess training is over?"
<Hope> Laughing, Hope kissed on his jawline. "Yep. See? You're always my hero."
<Shinobi> "I'm not going to complain about that. My ego appreciates it." He closed his eyes and enjoyed the attention for a moment.
<Hope> "Your ego," she smirked a little and continued her kisses. "Will never rival mine," she teased him.
<Shinobi> "Mmm, I don't know. I've embraced more than the Shaw name, after all..."
<Hope> Hope laughed and leaned back just enough to see his face, stroking his cheek gently with her fingers. "I love you, Obi."
<Shinobi> That made him smile. "I love you," he said, then swept her up in his arms to carry her to the top of the holographic mountain.
<Hope> She smiled happily and looked down, locating her pack on the ground and using her powers to fly it up to the top with them.
<Shinobi> Climbing through the air was not as impressive as Hope's teke, but he had her, so he was making the best of it. "Cheating is definitely the way to go."
<Hope> She grinned. "No lie there. I was hoping you'd be able to join me for lunch."
<Shinobi> "I never turn down food." He smirked down at her as they arrived at the top, and kissed her nose. "Especially with such excellent company."
<Hope> "But David already left," she teased, kissing him softly.
<Shinobi> "Well, I'm willing to settle for second best, I suppose." He set her down with a smirk.
<Hope> She wrinkled her nose at him, trying hard not to laugh. "I see how it is. I can call him back if you two want to be alone."
<Shinobi> He rolled his eyes and let her call his bluff, sliding his hands around her hips and dragged her against him. "Dessert first?"
<Hope> A grin crossed her face as she bit down on her lower lip. "I'm always ready for dessert."
<Shinobi> Some time later, they sat on the blanket Hope had thoughtfully packed. Obi pursed his lips at the strawberry in his fingers and compared it to her hair where it spread across his lap. Eyebrow raised, he met her eyes and smirked.
<Hope> From where she lay on the blanket, Hope had a great view of his face from his lap. She smiled up at him. "What is it?"
<Shinobi> "I never knew red was my favorite color before I met you." He brushed the berry down her profile and over the tip of her nose, then traced the cupid's bow of her upper lip.
<Hope> That brought a huge smile to her face as she watched him, shivering a bit at his touch. "It's lucky for me that it is. I'm covered in it," she pointed out, sitting up to scoot closer to him.
<Shinobi> "Don't I know it," he said, grinning and offering her the berry when she cuddled up to him.
<Hope> She took the berry, smiling despite herself as she did. "Mmhmm," she agreed. After chewing the berry, she leaned over to the bag and pulled out a small box. "I have something for you."
<Shinobi> He finished off the berry, dropping the stem and looking curiously at the box. "...are you getting down on one knee?"
<Hope> "No," she laughed, but handed the box over to him. "I know you needed a new one."
<Shinobi> Head tilted in curiosity, he looked between her and the box, then opened it. "Wow. Hope..." Obi smiled and lifted out the watch. "That's awesome." Grinning, he bent to kiss her. "Thank you, Ariel!"
<Hope> She grinned in the kiss before returning it. "I did an experiment on it... Jarvis is programmed into the watch now. So as I continue to expand his programming, you'll have access to it." She paused, looking up at him and stroking his cheek gently. "And it links to my panic button."
<Shinobi> Breaking the kiss, he pulled back to watch her as she explained, leaning into her hand. Jarvis was nice, but knowing it would tell him if she was in danger... "Thank you, Hope."
<Hope> With a grin, she nuzzled him and nibbled ever so gently. "Of course, Obi. It feels slightly selfish..."
<Shinobi> "Because you're beta testing on me?" He smirked, but the nibbling distracted his snark and he sighed.
<Hope> "Because it lets you know if I'm in trouble, but it does nothing for you."
<Shinobi> "What?" He craned his neck back to look at her. "Knowing that you're safe does a lot for me, Hope." Obi raised his hand to brush her hair back to better see her face.
<Hope> Face flushing, Hope averted her eyes from his. "I'm not all that special..."
<Shinobi> He cupped her jaw and brushed his thumb over her cheek, just studying her for a moment. How could she say that? "You're everything."
<Hope> Reluctantly she met his gaze, studying his own face for a moment. "As long as I am to you, I guess that's all that really matters."
<Shinobi> You are. He rested his forehead against hers, closing his eyes and letting her feel what he did.
<Hope> The emotional sharing choked her up. She closed her eyes and let him feel her own emotions fully as well. You are to me, too.
<Shinobi> Biting his lip and nodding, he sniffed, as subtly as he could, although since their link was wide open it was pointless. So, instead, he smiled and sat up a little. "So, I can order Jarvis to bring the car around with this?"
<Hope> Laughing, she nodded and wiped her eyes. "Absolutely. And feed the fish.... and prank Sebastian."
<Shinobi> "Ooooh, I like the possibilities here." He grinned and strapped the watch on, striking a pose for her. "And I make it look good, right?"
<Hope> "You make anything look good," she confirmed, laughing. She ran her fingers through his hair and grinned.
<Shinobi> His smug expression agreed, but it only lasted a moment before he leaned in and kissed her.
<Hope> Hope threw her arms around his neck and held on to him tightly. Yep. Everything about summed up what he was to her.
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