Timelined after Breaking Apart
<Hope> Back upstairs in the yellow bedroom they shared, Hope leaned against the dresser, watching Flounder in his little watery world swim round and round.
<Shinobi> Obi closed the bedroom door and looked around. He'd undone most of his damage from the search for additional firearms. "This is all his fault, you know," he said conversationally, pointing at the tank.
<Hope> "Don't be ridiculous," she told him softly, resting her head against him.
<Shinobi> "No, really," he laughed, voice soft. "I was looking for his food. Those bloodworm things he likes." Obi slid his arm around her and hummed, thinking that over. "Actually, I think Jarvis hid them, so it's really his fault..."
<Hope> "You thought the bloodworms were in my lingerie drawer?" she snickered, nuzzling him as her arms wrapped around him. "I'll check his program."
<Shinobi> "No, but once I realized it was your lingerie drawer, I was doing a little reminiscing..." He grinned and bent to brush his cheek against her hair.
<Hope> She smiled at that, biting her lower lip and playing with a red curl. Her smile fell slowly, leaving her in a more concerned state. "What the hell do I do now?"
<Shinobi> He sighed. "I don't know... things will probably settle down. Everybody's... emotional." Certainly, he still was. Obi swallowed down the jab of loss and held her tighter.
<Hope> Hope nestled into him and stilled herself, staying pressed against him. "I can't stay here with her this upset all the time."
<Shinobi> "Yeah..." There wasn't much else he could say, because it was the truth. He closed his eyes, biting down on his lip.
<Hope> "I don't know what to do," she admitted, tightening her hold on him.
<Shinobi> "I just... don't want to lose you." He sniffed, opening his eyes to look around at the cheery yellow room. There was no way he could stay here without her.
<Hope> "Why would you lose me?" she asked, giving him a baffled look.
<Shinobi> Wasn't that obvious? He blinked down at her. "If you move out..."
<Hope> "Even if I moved out we're still perfectly capable of dating," she shoved him a little. "Or you could choose to come with me."
<Shinobi> Defensive, he huffed. "Well I didn't think it meant we'd break up, but I don't want to lose this," he explained, taking one hand from her hair to wave at the room. Then, he deflated a little. "I'm not sure I can..." Although the idea that she wanted him too was more than a little reassuring.
<Hope> Her smile fell, a sigh escaping her. "I don't want you to have to choose either... but right now it's coming down to Sebastian choosing between us. I can't do that to him.... that's not right. His wife should come first. As long as he's defending me, she's going to be pissed."
<Shinobi> "That's between them though." He frowned.
<Hope> Hope just gave him a look. "Is it?"
<Shinobi> "Why wouldn't it be? They're adults, and Jess has to know what happened wasn't really your fault." He shrugged. "She's just upset. And dramatic."
<Hope> "Didn't you hear her? Everything is my fault. I'm supposed to use my scrambled brains like the genius I am." She pulled away from him to go to the window. "I don't know what her deal is anymore, but I can't..." she paused, trying to think of the right words. "I can't keep living somewhere that I'm scared to come back to when I make a mistake."
<Shinobi> He looked down, heaving a sigh and feeling cold for the loss of her. "I... understand."
<Hope> "Sebastian loves me. You love me. Both of you forgive me. Jess hates me... and she doesn't forgive me." She held herself now, clenching her jaw.
<Shinobi> Obi took three quick strides to stand behind her, bracing one arm on either side of her body at the window sill. "I don't understand how she can't."
<Hope> "I'm not the easiest person to get along with all the time," Hope admitted, leaning back against him a little.
<Shinobi> He couldn't help the laugh. "No? Really?"
<Hope> "I'm serious!" she elbowed him, though very gently. "I know I'm a pain in the ass... but we used to be friends. If she'd let shit go we could be again."
<Shinobi> "Mmm. Like Elsa. Maybe Drake can talk her into it..."
<Hope> "If you're going to mock me with Disney, I'm going to kick your ass," she informed him, turning and smiling up at him.
<Shinobi> He wrinkled his nose. "No thanks, you already did that once today." Leaning down, he gave her a soft kiss on the forehead.
<Hope> She grumbled at him, but wrapped her arms back around his waist instead of arguing. "I love you."
<Shinobi> "I love you, too." He nuzzled the top of her head and held her. Could he move back to the dungeon? He didn't think so.
<Shaw> It was impossible not to hear them, but he tried anyway, knocking at the door quietly. "Hope? Michael?"
<Hope> "It's open," she mumbled against Obi's chest, not willing to let go of him to answer the door.
<Shinobi> He turned them toward the door, leaning back on the sill.
<Shaw> Sebastian opened the door and came in, belatedly running a hand through his hair with his other hand lingering on the knob. "How are you? Both of you?"
<Hope> The redhead refused to make eye contact with Sebastian, shrinking back a little. She didn't want to answer that. She answered him with her silence instead.
<Shinobi> "We're... here. It's been a long day." He gave Sebastian a wary look. The guy didn't look good. "...how are you?"
<Shaw> His lips pursed and he didn't immediately answer, instead rotating the door knob and listening to the click. "Jessica is gone."
<Hope> That got Hope's attention, her head snapping to stare at Sebastian fully. "Gone? What do you mean, gone?"
<Shinobi> Obi tightened his arms protectively around Hope.
<Shaw> "She went to a hotel." His tone was angry, but moreso at himself - he hadn't intended to blurt that out.
<Hope> "Of all the idiotic, stubborn tantrums..." Hope muttered, her own anger building.
<Shaw> Sebastian looked down and sighed. "Frankly, I didn't intend to tell you. Not yet, at any rate."
<Hope> I'm going after her stupid ass, Hope told Obi, shaking her head slightly.
<Shinobi> What? He stiffened, looking down at her curiously.
<Hope> We both know she left because of me. She reluctantly looked up at him.
<Shaw> Sebastian felt the silence drag on and realized what they were doing. "I need a drink."
<Shinobi> Maybe they should sort out their own marital problems? He scrunched his nose at her, then huffed out a laugh at his father. "Me too."
<Hope> Because that's working so well, she pointed out.
<Shinobi> Well, yeah, but... maybe we should decide what we're going to do first?
<Hope> Hope fell silent and slumped against him. Didn't she have enough to worry about? She nodded. "Make that three drinks."
<Shaw> Sebastian nodded and turned, heading straight for the bar.
<Shinobi> After a beat, Obi shrugged and took her hand. Drinking with dad it is? We may as well make the day weirder, right?
<Hope> A smile crept across her face as she looked up at him, leaning to kiss his cheek. I love you.
<Shinobi> His chest ached and he turned his head, bringing up his free hand to her cheek and diverting the kiss. And I love you, he repeated. He couldn't lose her, but he didn't want to lose Jess either.
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