Timelined after Pardon Me?
<Hope> No White House tour would be complete without a trip through the kitchens (which sadly for Obi were 100 percent peanut free). A peppermint smoothie in one hand and Obi's hand in her other, Hope led the way back to the residence to show him her yellow room there.
<Shinobi> Obi made due with coffee, but it was admittedly good coffee, so he was happy. And, considering how the chat with the president had gone, he was more than happy. He gave Hope's hand a squeeze. "Ever seen Lincoln's ghost?"
<Hope> "Guess what you're going to be looking for tonight," she informed him, giving him a look.
<Shinobi> It surprised a laugh out of him and he grinned at her. "Okay, it's a date. Can we use some secret service night vision or something?"
<Hope> That got her to grin and lace their fingers together. "Just a text message away. Hopefully we don't have to take David with us."
<Shinobi> "Yeah I could do without his commentary. Our own is always much better." He took a sip of the coffee and looked around the hall. The place was fancy, but no fancier than many he'd seen, both in the Hellfire Club and in his ...previous associations.
<Hope> She led him by the agents who guarded the entrance to the residence and paused finally outside her bedroom door. "Ready?" She looked up at him, watching.
<Shinobi> The agents didn't even give him a second look, and he was looking forward to that sort of treatment from now on. Returning her look, curiously, he wondered what he was feeling in their link. She was happy for him, right? She'd fought for this after all...
<Shinobi> Stepping in front of her for a moment, he kissed her forehead just at her hairline. "Absolutely."
<Hope> Hope's eyes fluttered closed at his kiss, a smile on her lips. She looked back up at him, using her power to turn the knob and push the door open. "Right this way."
<Shinobi> Her reaction mollified him, so he smirked at her and bowed his head. "After you then, madam."
<Hope> She dropped his hand as she moved into the room, waiting behind the door so she could close it, taking a sip of her smoothie as she moved.
<Shinobi> Then that nervous gesture made him curious again. Casting her a look, he stepped inside and turned to watch her.
<Hope> Oblivious, she closed the door with her body and set her drink down on the dresser. She slid her shoes off and started removing jewelry, placing it on the dresser with her drink.
<Shinobi> Hm. He looked around the room, which was, indeed, yellow. It made him smile a little, but her behavior drew his attention back. Stepping up behind her, he slid his arm around her waist, putting down his own drink beside hers so he could hold her.
<Shinobi> Obi dropped a kiss to her shoulder and rested his mouth against her. Are you okay?
<Hope> She started a little, but relaxed in his embrace, her arms wrapping over his. In truth, she wasn't. She'd blocked him from the raging thoughts in her mind, but of course he knew. He always knew. It was much easier to focus on anger rather than her own insecurities. Who's Raven?
<Shinobi> He couldn't hide his surprise. Raven? he repeated, rather dumbly.
<Hope> Did he seriously just ask her that? She tried to pull away from him.
<Shinobi> Still surprised, he held on. No, wait... She was an acolyte. A shapeshifter. The only one I knew then, so when he mentioned it... He shrugged, wishing he could see her face right now.
<Hope> So when he mentioned a random shapeshifter to take the blame you were immediately concerned for her, she pointed out, but stilled, not struggling against him.
<Shinobi> Yeah. He closed his eyes, tried to decide how to continue. She was a friend, then...
<Hope> Why- but she cut herself off immediately. She knew why he'd never mentioned her. She didn't want to hear about his time as a marauder... the time when he tried to kill her. She shuddered and leaned back against him. Do you want to go find her... now that... you're not a terrorist?
<Shinobi> He felt the tremor and held her more securely. No, of course not.
<Hope> No? she questioned, stilling once more in his grasp. Why not?
<Shinobi> This confused him further. Why would I want to?
<Hope> Forget it, she snapped at him, once more trying to get out of his grip.
<Shinobi> This time he let her go, trying to get a grip on the stab of hurt he felt. "Hope... I don't understand..."
<Hope> "Well neither do I!" She snapped, moving to sit on the bed.
<Shinobi> "Okay..." He turned to watch her, leaning back against the dresser and crossed his arms.
<Hope> "You couldn't before," she finally spoke, though softly.
<Shinobi> "I couldn't what? Go find Raven?" He shook his head. "Whatever you're thinking went on between us... it was just a friends with benefits thing." His nose wrinkled as he thought back. There were still holes in his memory from that entire time. "If that."
<Hope> "You couldn't go find any of them. Any of your friends or... friends with benefits." She watched him closely, studying him.
<Shinobi> "Friends is probably overstating it for most of them," he said with a slight, bitter laugh. Then, he sighed and looked at her. Maybe it was time they talked about this...
<Shinobi> "We all worked for En Sabah Nur, so... colleagues, maybe. I just also worked for Dr. Essex. Raven didn't quite drink all the Koolaid Nur tried to give us... and neither did I..."
<Hope> "Please elaborate?" she asked gently, not moving from her spot or taking her gaze from him.
<Shinobi> He tried not to think too much about this part of his life anymore, although, apparently all this happened not long after his... birth. Ugh. "You weren't the only ones they... enhanced."
<Hope> That finally got to her. She slid to her feet, slowly approaching him while she continued to study him. He wanted to forget that part of his life just as badly as she did. She slid her arms back around him.
<Shinobi> Lost in unpleasant memories, he nearly jumped when she touched him, but quickly relaxed. He swallowed and bowed his head to the crown of hers, resting his nose and mouth against her hair. Is there anything else you want to know... from then?
<Hope> "No," she said somewhat firmly, regretting bringing it up really. She nestled into his chest and lingered there, breathing him in.
<Shinobi> "If you change your mind..." He sighed and turned to brush his cheek against her hair, tightening his arms around her. No secrets. I don't want to keep anything from you... not intentionally.
<Hope> She nodded, tightening her hold on him too. I didn't want to know before. It... was really hard to talk about that. Now... there are worse things to fear.
<Shinobi> At least they can't touch us anymore. He kissed her temple. No one would ever touch her again. I would kill them all over again...
<Hope> She shuddered, closing her eyes and steadying herself. Maybe she was silly for thinking he may rethink the whole marriage thing. I won't let anyone near you either, she assured him.
<Shinobi> Feeling the shudder, he raised a hand to her hair, stroking it and rubbing her back. We'll be okay.
<Hope> She quieted, listening to his mind and his heartbeat. But that thought returned... that thought that maybe now that he actually could marry her, he'd wise up and change his mind.
<Shinobi> The moment of peace didn't last, because he felt another surge of doubt wash through her. She didn't want to get married?
<Hope> Her mind followed her own rabbit trail, thinking about just how terrible of a girlfriend she already was. What made her think she'd be a good wife? She felt sick.
<Shinobi> She'd helped him find out what it meant to be happy, but now that they could truly be together, she tried to send him after Raven. Obi swallowed.
<Hope> He was better off with someone who could be Betty Crocker like Jess. with that thought in her head she reached for her smoothie and made for the window.
<Shinobi> What did Jess have to do with anything? Now completely lost, he straightened up and watched her. What?
<Hope> It was hard to focus on her shields and her own emotions. She stared out the window, watching the wind blow through the trees. "You have a real chance at a normal life now. You should take it."
<Shinobi> He couldn't tell what he was feeling through their link now. Crossing his arms, he frowned to himself. "That was my general plan, yes..."
<Hope> That caught her attention, and she turned to look back at him. "I can't give that to you," she reminded him in barely more than a whisper.
<Shinobi> The sudden lump in his throat was impossible to swallow and he made a slight sound. What?
<Hope> She was forced to look back out the window. She couldn't do this and look at him. Nope. No kids... and I will always be in the public spotlight. Always. I love you... but... I'm holding you back now.
<Shinobi> He blinked and found his voice. "How?" he blurted, louder than intended.
<Hope> That made her jump, turning to face him again. "I just told you... life will never be normal with me."
<Shinobi> "Hope, I'm a terrorist, pardon or no pardon, we know that was really me." He gestured to himself, then her. "That's not normal."
<Hope> "But nobody knows that!" she protested, crossing her arms to hide the fact that she was shaking.
<Shinobi> "So?" Now he knew what he was feeling from her - nothing. She'd blocked their link or something. Uncrossing his arms, he rubbed both hands over his face.
<Hope> "So I don't want you to regret this in ten years!" she snapped finally. "I don't want you to wish you had taken this chance... to regret staying with me."
<Shinobi> "That's what this is about?" He was so confused, he stared at her from between his fingers, then dropped his hands and looked away. "Because it feels an awful lot like you want me to fuck off. Go find Raven, or whatever."
<Hope> "Because that's easier than admitting I might be a mistake!" she yelled at him.
<Shinobi> His eyes snapped back to attempt to find hers. By now, he knew the signs that she was on the verge of tears. "You are not a mistake," he said quietly.
<Hope> In their short relationship she'd gotten him into fights, gotten him kidnapped and nearly killed, couldn't give him kids... why the hell was he still with her?! She sank to the chair by the window and buried her face in her hands. But I am. She was still a death trap.
<Shinobi> "No." Obi quickly went to her and crouched beside the chair, hesitant for just a moment. "Stop... whatever you're doing..." He tapped her head gently, then let his hand hover, not quite touching. "Don't shut me out."
<Hope> She hesitated before slowly dropping the shields again, her eyes on his face now. I don't want to lose you... but I don't want you to regret staying.
<Shinobi> He shuffled a little to meet her eyes directly. Now, he could feel her fear and he held out his hand to her. "I could never regret being with you." He said it quietly, attempting to put the weight of his feelings behind the words.
<Hope> Hope took her time studying him and his feelings through the link. She moved to him, hands at the back of his neck to pull him to her gently. Her forehead rested against his as the tears finally fell. Okay.
<Shinobi> Good. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, just feeling her mind in his, then moved to hug her tight.
<Hope> She pressed her face into the crook of his neck, clinging to him in the hug. She was so glad he hadn't taken her up on that offer.
<Shinobi> The relief mirrored his own, but it still made no sense to him. "Come here," he mumbled, and shifted his position to scoop her out of the chair and settle her on the floor with him.
<Hope> She mumbled something as she was moved and settled, nuzzling him gently. "I didn't want you to leave," she admitted.
<Shinobi> With her now relaxed and in his lap, he could relax himself. "After everything we've been through to be together, I don't understand why you'd think I would."
<Hope> "Maybe you're tired of having to work so hard?" she offered, playing with his hand.
<Shinobi> "Isn't that a saying? Nothing worth having comes easy?" He smiled, admiring the contrast of her long pale fingers on his. And, as usual, her nails were bright and patterned.
<Hope> "Stop logic-ing me," she mumbled in protest, kissing on his jaw and nuzzling it.
<Shinobi> "Well, it's the only weapon I've got," he said with a little laugh, closing his eyes and tilting his head to enjoy her attention. "Other than my considerable charm," he added, lacing their fingers together.
<Hope> "I might be defenseless against that charm weapon of yours." She continued her trail of kisses down to his neck, giving his hand a squeeze with her own.
<Shinobi> "Of course you are." He smirked, feeling fairly defenseless himself at the moment.
<Hope> She smirked right along with him, nibbling ever so gently. "Of course I am. Who wouldn't be?"
<Shinobi> Raven, for one, but he kept that thought hidden and shoved it back into the box in which is belonged.
<Hope> You're still my world, she let slip, kisses moving along his jawline again, her fingers moving to his hair.
<Shinobi> His breath caught and he leaned back just enough to see her face. And you're mine. You've made me happy, for the first time... ever. Bringing his hand to her face, he brushed the backs of his fingers over her cheek and wiped away the last of her tears.
<Hope> I told you to hold onto what makes you happy.... she recalled, sniffling a little. That's what we're doing, isn't it?
<Shinobi> "Yes," he said it aloud, laughing a little and giving her a squeeze. That's what I'm doing.
<Hope> A sigh of relief escaped her and she nodded, laughing slightly. "Okay... okay." She moved to find his lips, kissing him deeply.
<Shinobi> He groaned, thoroughly enjoying that kiss and sliding his fingers back into her hair. This was what he'd fought for, and he wasn't giving her up.
<Hope> Her doubts quieted as she kissed him, her fingers finding his hair. Her world was right... at least for now.
<Shinobi> When they broke apart, breathless, he opened his eyes to watch her, combing her hair back with his fingers and cupping her face.
<Hope> She was calm in his arms, nuzzling the hand on her face. "I'm sorry..." she whispered to him.
<Shinobi> "It's okay." He bit his lip, one corner of his mouth quirking up. "So, we're done fighting, right?"
<Hope> "Definitely," she grinned at him, touching his nose gently with her index finger.
<Shinobi> "And," he said, drawing the word out and returning the grin with a nip at her finger. "We're in the White House. In your room..."
<Hope> "Annnnd that means we can totally have makeup-sex in the White House," she supplied, grinning. "Who else can say that!?"
<Shinobi> "Clearly not your father." He smirked and cast a look around the room, getting a few ideas. "Is the door locked?"
<Hope> With a snap of her fingers, Hope smirked at him. "It is now."
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