Timelined a few hours after Presidential Summons
<Jessica> Miriam was in her bouncer and Jess was in the kitchen making lunch. All was right with the world. She sat at the kitchen table, reading more nanny applications while her soup simmered on the stove.
<Shinobi> All might have been right with Jess' world, but not so for Obi. After a while in their room, trying to distract himself, trying to do homework, and generally trying not to think about why his bag was packed by the bedroom door, he came downstairs. "Hey."
<Jessica> "Oh, hey," she smiled, putting down the latest sheet, then she saw his face and frowned a little, "Everything alright?"
<Shinobi> It took him a moment to answer. "I... don't know, actually." He pulled out a chair and sat down, looking down at Miriam with a faint smile.
<Jessica> Now she was confused, "What happened?" She pushed the application pile away from her to give him her full attention.
<Shinobi> "I..." He trailed off and frowned, then looked at her. "Tony Stark invited us to DC."
<Jessica> She blinked, "Invited? For what? ... Isn't that a good thing?"
<Shinobi> "I don't know. It was one of those invitations we couldn't refuse, if you get my meaning." His nose wrinkled.
<Jessica> She frowned a little, "Okay... what exactly did it say?"
<Shinobi> "He wants us in DC. Tomorrow." He blew out a breath. "Or else."
<Jessica> "Or else what?" the frown grew, "Do you want me to ask Sebastian to call him?"
<Shinobi> "Well, the what else was implied." He swallowed. "No."
<Jessica> "Okay.... do you want me to do anything?"
<Shinobi> He laughed a little. "I don't know..."
<Jessica> "Hmm.... do you want some soup?" She got up from the table to check on it.
<Shinobi> "Sure, thanks." He slid from the chair to sit in front of Miriam, reaching for a toy to tempt her.
<Jessica> The soup was ready so she took down a second bowl for Michael and ladled some into both bowls. "It's just vegetable... and I know everyone's sick of the vegetarian food."
<Shinobi> He shrugged. "It's better than prison food." The baby was chewing on the ring and he smiled at her.
<Jessica> "Ouch.... that's a ringing endorsement." She winced a little, though she wasn't really offended.
<Shinobi> That made him snort. "Shit. Sorry. You know that's not what I meant, right?"
<Jessica> "I know..." she sighed, "And I want to be able to make all the things I used to make... I have tried..." She took the bowls to the table and set them down before she took her seat.
<Shinobi> "It's fine." He looked up at her from his seat on the floor with the baby and smiled. "I'm sure as long as you can manage mac and cheese for her within a year or so that everything will be fine."
<Jessica> She laughed, "Mac and cheese I can manage." She pushed the bowl in his direction, "Eat up."
<Shinobi> He spooned through it a bit, identifying the bits of veggies and smirking as he imagined Hope's reaction if she were here.
<Jessica> She sighed, leaning back in her chair as she watched him. "Either you're lying about the food being fine or something's worrying you...."
<Shinobi> Guiltily, he looked up at Jess with a little smile, then took a sip of the soup. "I'm worried, I guess."
<Jessica> "Well... look at it this way.... if he was going to have you assassinated he probably wouldn't go to the trouble of inviting you all the way to DC...."
<Shinobi> The spoon missed his mouth that time. "Fuck... I hadn't even thought of that!"
<Jessica> "You hadn't? Wow... is it bad that's the first place my mind goes?" she offered him Miriam's favourite rattle in consolation because it always made her happy and gave it a little shake. "Don't worry, everything will be fine.... is my brain washing working?"
<Shinobi> Snorting, he reached for a napkin and started mopping up. "I don't know, I might need her binkie too."
<Jessica> She laughed a little, "Yeeeeah I'm so out of practice talking to adults..."
<Shinobi> "Well, apparently I'm really about twelve, so..." Though he was joking about it, the bitterness was there and he turned to the soup to hide it.
<Jessica> She frowned, "We could get you a nanny too?"
<Shinobi> He looked up with a raised brow and a wicked smirk. "How about a buxom blonde?"
<Jessica> "Well I hid all the pictures... but I'm pretty sure there are some blondes in there... but also I think Hope already has one of those and she might accuse you of copying her."
<Shinobi> "Ugh, not that one," he laughed. "I still expect her to arrest me any minute."
<Jessica> "And risk the wrath of the redhead? Never going to happen," she laughed too, glad she'd got him to smile again. "Hold on then...." she got up and opened one of the kitchen drawers, extracting all of the pictures from their hiding place. She set the pile down in front of Michael.
<Shinobi> Obi looked between the pile and Jess, then shook his head. "Jess. I don't want a nanny."
<Jessica> She laughed, "Noooo not for yooooou." She gave him a shove, "Their names are on the back. Help me narrow them down so I can drop a tiny pile on Sebastian's desk."
<Shinobi> He let out a relieved huff and drew one closer with a finger, looking down at the photo. "You're trying to distract me."
<Jessica> "No, you're helping me...." she tried not to look shifty.
<Shinobi> "You're a terrible liar," he chuckled.
<Jessica> "I'm out of practice at that too," she offered a small smile, "But it would be helpful..."
<Shinobi> "Fine," he said, giving her a smirk along with his put-upon tone. "You should let Miriam help too."
<Jessica> "Uh.... yeah... I don't know if that's a good idea." She glanced at her daughter, "Maybe she can help when we're at the meeting stage...."
<Shinobi> "No?" He laughed and picked up a resume to read over it. "What are you looking for?"
<Jessica> "Someone who has experience with kids and who can protect Miriam if crazy shit happens... and who won't then go crazy themselves."
<Shinobi> "A mutant?" He picked up another resume and photo, glancing at the woman in the picture and then skimming the paper. It looked like they were all mutants, anyway.
<Jessica> "Yep. We decided we needed a mutant nanny with good security clearance... You'd think it'd be a shorter list."
<Shinobi> "Well, I suppose I could tell you if any of them had ever worked for Dr. Essex..."
<Jessica> "I'd hope the security checks would have caught that... but yeah I suppose that would be helpful," her nose wrinkled a little.
<Shinobi> "Or En Sabah Nur for that matter..." He trailed off when he picked up the next resume. That name was familiar.
<Jessica> "Yeah... I could do without connections to him ever again. Too much drama and surprise bad guys for my liking..." she picked at her soup.
<Shinobi> "Like me?" He smirked. "And Sebastian, of course..." As he read through the resume, it came back to him and he sucked in a breath, reaching for her picture. Oh.
<Jessica> "Aww you're not bad!" she reached over and gave him an affectionate shove, "Just misguided, same for Sebastian. Not your fault."
<Shinobi> He didn't respond, studying her picture and then looking back at the resume. Bundling them together, he slid it across to Jess. "She was one of those students Sebastian helped Essex kidnap."
<Jessica> Jess blinked at the papers shoved her way, "Um... okay.... is this a good reason to hire her or to not hire her....?"
<Shinobi> "Well, considering the way Drake reacted?" He gave Jess a meaningful look, eyebrows raised, and turned back to the soup.
<Jessica> "Yeah... and I'm pretty sure we haven't heard the end of that...." she frowned, setting that person to one side then her eyes caught something and she pulled it back to her. "... Huh."
<Shinobi> "Probably not. If not from Drake, then that Rogue woman." He sucked at the spoon, looking back at Jess questioningly. "Huh what?"
<Jessica> She turned the page around and pointed, "Powers."
<Shinobi> "Yeah, she's a shapeshifter. No wonder Dr. Essex was interested."
<Jessica> "Not that one, keep reading... though a shapeshifter would be a safe bet for looking after Miriam."
<Shinobi> Now he was interested, as he hadn't read the whole thing, and took the paper back to read. "She's an empath..." He looked up at her.
<Jessica> "Yes... something I'm in dire need of instruction on.... maybe I need a nanny..."
<Shinobi> He looked at the soup, considering that. "It seems very convenient that she's exactly what you need and turns up just when you need her... and was a victim of Essex."
<Jessica> "Maybe it's fate..." she glanced over at him, "Or should I put my paranoid hat back on again?"
<Shinobi> "I don't know. Maybe you should interview her and get a feel for her motivations..." He looked down at Miriam, who was happily chewing a toy. "Maybe see if Hope or Sebastian can read her mind."
<Jessica> "If she's an empath with practice there's probably not much I can do to find out... but I guess I could suggest it...." She chewed her lip, looking at the credentials again, "For bonus points... she doesn't cook."
<Shinobi> "I wonder how she feels about takeout?" He looked at the photo again and tsked. "Not a blonde..."
<Jessica> She laughed, "Shapeshifter... she could be blonde now for all we know... if she doesn't cook, takeout must be a thing..." She gave Michael a smile, "I'll talk to Sebastian... it might be good to meet her anyway."
<Shinobi> "Yeah, it would be interesting, at the very least." The baby dropped her toy and he bent to fetch it for her.
<Jessica> "Never met another empath before so that'll be good for me... or bad..." she frowned for a moment then shrugged, "We'll see."
<Shinobi> He rattled the toy for her and smiled when Miriam squealed and reached for it. "Yeah, we shall see..."
<Jessica> "Just like we'll see about this thing with you going to DC.... if you change your mind and decide there's something I can do to help, the offer's still there and it won't go away."
<Shinobi> "Thank you." Unbuckling the baby, he picked her up and let her have her toy, settling her in his arm. The girl snuggled into his chest, happily chewing and drooling. Closing his eyes, he nuzzled the top of her head, enjoying the soft hair and baby smell.
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