Timelined after Lost at Sea
<Bobby> If he'd thought the ride to the hotel had been tense and awkward, he was sadly mistaken by this car ride to hell. Shinobi - the presidential assassin and freakin' clone was driving, illegally, while the president's daughter stared out the window wearing an expression like an extra off the Walking Dead.
<Hope> As nervous as Bobby was about Shinobi driving, Hope was at peace about it. He wouldn't endanger her life. Nope. She pressed her temple against the glass, staring out at the city as they neared 'home.'
<Shinobi> Focused on the road, and the redhead beside him, Obi was more than happy to be going somewhere where he could get some help.
<Hope> Hope took her eyes off the window long enough to look down at her phone. Tony. Again. She had to respond to the text, though lately it had been in as few words as possible.
<Jessica> Jess smiled at Miriam as she banged her spoon on her highchair table. She, at least, seemed to be enjoying herself. Dinner was pretty much ready and Sharky skittered around her feet expecting his own meal but she couldn't get it for him. That was Sebastian's domain for the forseeable future.
<Shaw> He wasn't terribly pleased about that situation, but if he wanted meat at all these days he was preparing it for himself. So, Sebastian breezed past Jessica and her pet and ruffled Miriam's hair on the way to feed his namesake. But first, coffee.
<Jessica> Jess offered him a smile, going for the stairs so she didn't have to watch the Sharky feeding and mumbling something about going to the bathroom.
<Hope> Hope replied to Tony and looked back out the window, inwardly cringing when she saw they had arrived. Great. Super. Wonderful.
<Shinobi> As they pulled into the parking space in front of the house, Obi let out a sigh of relief.
<Bobby> Bobby unclenched his fist from the oh shit bar. He never thought he'd be so happy to see Casa de Shark.
<Hope> She was the only one who wasn't relieved. If anything, she was more tense to be back here. Maybe they'd forget about her and she could hide in the car?
<Shaw> Sebastian looked up from his duty, hearing a car pull up outside at the same time that his phone chirped a security alert. "They're here," he announced to the room in general, and tipped the bloody chunks into Sharky's dish, ordering the pet to keep an eye on Miriam.
<Jessica> Having not really needed to use the bathroom, Jess continued down the stairs to the front door to open it.
<Hope> Hope immediately slumped down into the seat. Damnit. There was no escape!
<Shaw> Shinobi> He took the keys from the ignition and reached over, placing his hand on Hope's knee. You're okay, he assured her.
<Hope> Riiiight. Hadn't she just told him she wasn't okay? She was so not okay. And there she was. Being all... Jesslike. She'd want one of those godawful hugs or something. Well, at least it wasn't Dr. Guthrie. "Sure."
<Jessica> Putting on a smile, Jess stepped out to greet them, "Welcome home!"
<Bobby> He couldn't get out of that car fast enough and popped out of the car first. "Jessie! Long time no see, babe!"
<Jessica> "Hi!" She went to hug Bobby, "Sebastian's feeding Sharky... he'll probably come down in a minute."
<Bobby> "Well joy of joys," he laughed, but when he closed in for the hug he sighed. "It's a relief to have help watching Hope," he admitted softly.
<Shaw> Sebastian was following Jessica at a more sedate rate, and slowed near the door since she was hugging Drake and the others were still in the car.
<Hope> Hope sighed a little and reluctantly opened the door when she caught sight of Sebastian. She made a direct path to him, wanting to avoid that hug monster.
<Jessica> She smiled and pressed a kiss to Bobby's cheek, "If she'll let me." She let go of him, watching Hope pass her, and sighed herself, turning her smile on Shinobi.
<Shinobi> He followed Hope, and when Drake moved on inside he stopped to smile at Jess and give her a hug. "Hey," he greeted her. "Sorry for the short notice." His eyes were on Hope moving to Sebastian.
<Shaw> "Little Stark, he said, and held out his hand to her. She looked... as he had the last he'd seen her. No worse, at least.
<Hope> She took his hand, holding onto it lightly. "Hey."
<Jessica> "Oh it's okay," she pulled Shinobi to her, "Good news is allowed to be a surprise. Coming home is good news." She pressed a kiss to his cheek too.
<Bobby> With a quick look at the Shark and his ward, Bobby quickly escaped upstairs to play with the baby.
<Shinobi> He smiled at her gesture, touched more than he knew how to say. "Thanks."
<Shaw> Sebastian assessed her, trying to catch her eyes while he gave her hand a squeeze.
<Hope> Hope didn't meet his gaze, watching Bobby retreat instead. She didn't return the hand squeeze, but she didn't pull back either.
<Shaw> "You're just in time for dinner," he told her, still watching her reactions. "Jessica even made macaroni and cheese in your honor."
<Hope> "She didn't have to do that. I'm not hungry."
<Jessica> Jess offered Shinobi a smile, "Let's go inside..."
<Shaw> "When did you last eat?" He cocked his head, regarding her choice of clothing. It was hard to tell how much weight she'd lost since she insisted on wearing Shinobi's clothes.
<Shinobi> "Mac and cheese, huh?" He let go of Jess and motioned for her to go first.
<Hope> "Earlier," she moved to go on into the house. No escape... didn't she have a rape whistle?
<Jessica> "Yes... It would have been more interesting but I know how Hope feels about vegetables... I did make a salad though."
<Shinobi> "You had to get some in there somewhere, right?" He laughed a little, catching up to Hope and placing his hand on the small of her back as they started up the stairs.
<Shaw> Sebastian stared at his abandoned hand and then clenched it into a fist, waiting for Jessica. I don't know what to do with the girl.
<Hope> To her credit, she didn't flinch at his touch. She lingered at the base of the stairs before going for the elevator. Nope. Stairs were a big nope.
<Jessica> Give her space... She offered Sebastian a smile, "They're good for you!" she protested to Shinobi's back.
<Shinobi> He was only curious about her choice for a moment, and then followed her lead and pressed the button for the elevator. "I'll eat your salad," he said, amused.
<Shaw> His eyebrow raised, but Sebastian continued to the stairs. Space. "We'll see you upstairs then, yes? We can get your bags after dinner."
<Hope> Hope brightened a little at Shinobi and slid her arms around him. "My hero."
<Jessica> If you smother her she'll withdraw... She followed her husband, So just... let her know you're there for her and back up...
<Shaw> I believe you, love. I will try. He took her hand as they went up the stairs.
<Shinobi> "Happy to be of service." He kissed her forehead and sadly had to let go to lead her into the elevator.
<Hope> Inside the elevator Hope leaned against him again, trying to relax. It was difficult.
<Jessica> Jess gave Sebastian's hand a squeeze, "I'll feed Miriam... assuming Bobby isn't beating me to it as we speak."
<Bobby> In fact, Bobby was letting Miriam lick cheese from the back of a spoon, and looked up with a guilty grin when the parents appeared.
<Shinobi> Just remember to breathe, he offered, his arm already back around her. When the elevator dinged, he didn't want to move.
<Hope> "I am breathing," she mumbled against him, reluctantly heading for the door.
<Jessica> "What has Uncle Bobby been feeding you?" She laughed, going to her daughter and eyeing the spoon.
<Shaw> Sebastian went to finish his cleanup of Sharky's bowl, giving Drake a smirk and a shake of his head.
<Bobby> "She liked it!" He booped the girl's nose and grinned. "And now that uncle Bobby got caught, he's gonna go call auntie Paigey."
<Jessica> "Say hi for me!" She smiled at Bobby, lifting Miriam out of her seat.
<Shinobi> He steered her into the kitchen, exchanging an awkward nod with Drake on his way out. The man was still being disconcertingly friendly.
<Hope> Hope stopped short in the doorway, swallowing hard. Miriam. How had she forgotten about Miriam?
<Shinobi> What's wrong? He'd felt her tense up and looked around the room.
<Hope> I... um.... maybe I'll just go to bed.
<Jessica> Jess cuddled her baby and went to warm a bottle for her, "Sit down, I'll be there in a sec."
<Shinobi> He turned to look at Hope, taking hold of both her arms. Talk to me, Hope.
<Shaw> With Sharky happy, Sebastian turned to watch the young couple, then moved to help Jessica. She looks like she's about to flee, he observed.
<Jessica> Jess frowned a little, She better not, she's spent long enough in hiding... I'm going to start taking it personally...
<Shaw> I doubt it's a personal affront, love. I warned you she was... highly unstable.
<Hope> Hope took a step back: back from that room, back from Shinobi. While she couldn't voice the reason, her eyes betrayed her, landing on the infant in Jess' arms. "I'm sorry." She bolted.
<Jessica> She's been fine with everyone else... She sighed.
<Shaw> I do believe fine is something of an overstatement, he sent, but bent to kiss her temple anyway. Then, he straightened and looked at his faux son. "Would you like to speak to her? Or shall I try?"
<Shinobi> He could only watch Hope escape and stiffened when he heard Sebastian's voice behind him. "I don't know."
<Jessica> Jess leaned against the counter, "I would offer but... I'm probably the last person she wants to talk to... so I'll just go feed Miriam somewhere else and eat later..." she picked up the bottle and started for the door herself.
<Shinobi> "You shouldn't have to, it's your house." He'd seen Hope's eyes on Miriam, and despite himself he took the few steps closer and waved at Miriam, who squealed and flailed for his hand.
<Jessica> "Well I don't know what else to do..." She paused for Miriam so she could say hi to her big brother.
<Shinobi> "I know, I'm sorry." He let Miriam have his hand and she latched onto his fingers, attempting to remove one. He understood Hope's reaction, yet he didn't.
<Shaw> As entertaining as it was to watch Miriam try to rip the boy's hand apart, there were more pressing matters. "If she attempted to harm herself she should not be alone for long."
<Jessica> "Well then one of you should go after her, shouldn't you?" Jess prompted, "While I feed Miriam and dinner gets cold."
<Shaw> Sebastian tilted his head. "I can feed Miriam if you'd like to try, koibito."
<Jessica> "And this is where I call you a giant wussbag?" She rolled her eyes and offered Miriam to him, "I'll do my best... but I can't promise I won't make it worse..." that seemed to be how every other conversation they ever had went.
<Shaw> "I'm not certain I've helped either, if it's any consolation." He looked at Shinobi for confirmation, taking his daughter. "What do you think?"
<Shinobi> "I'll go with you, if you want. She's..." He gave up, shaking his head with a helpless shrug. "I don't know."
<David> "I'll go." David announced and dropped his bag down, kicking it out of the walkway.
<Jessica> Did that mean she was off the hook? She looked between David and Shinobi.
<Shaw> Sebastian spun and gawked at the man, looking him up, then down, then turning up his glare. "Where in hell did you come from?" Balancing Miriam, he reached for his phone to check his security system.
<David> David grinned and went for a bowl of the macaroni and cheese to take with him. "China."
<Shaw> "Clever." He muttered at his phone. It was time for another update to Widget, clearly.
<Shinobi> It was a relief and disconcerting to see David, since it also brought back a score of memories. Obi swallowed roughly and backed up to the wall.
<David> David snickered and picked up a fork, heading for the roof. He nodded to Shinobi before heading for the elevator.
<Jessica> Jess reached for Shinobi, concerned by his reaction, "You okay?"
<Shinobi> He could only nod his head, unsure himself as his hand pressed to his stomach.
<Shaw> Eying Jessica with the boy, he shifted Miriam again and picked up her bottle. I will feed her, you see to him.
<Jessica> I've got it... She pulled Shinobi to her for a hug, "You're okay."
<Shinobi> He went easily into her arms and buried his face in the crook of her neck, shaking his head. No, he wasn't fucking okay!
<Jessica> Jess held him tightly, rubbing his back to comfort him. "Tell me what's wrong?"
<Shinobi> "I don't know what to do for her..." That was part of it, certainly. And what was worse was he felt her relief at seeing David Sum.
<Jessica> She sighed, "Neither do I... we're all in the same boat there..." She stroked a hand over his hair, "Maybe David'll have a different approach..."
<Shinobi> Obviously, David did, and it should have reassured him. He shook his head. "She thinks I'm okay..."
<Jessica> "Have you given her any hints otherwise?" She gave him a squeeze, "It's okay to pretend for her, you know... if it helps her... but you don't have to hide it from everyone else, okay?"
<Shinobi> Now he wasn't sure if the guilt he felt was even his own. "She thinks I want to kill myself..."
<Jessica> Jess leaned back from him a little, "...why?"
<Shinobi> He couldn't meet Jess' eyes.
<Jessica> Jess tried to catch his gaze, "Tell me...."
<Shinobi> "...because I'm not sure..." He closed his eyes and swallowed so he wouldn't have to see her.
<Jessica> Jess didn't know what to say to that, she pulled him back to her and hugged him tightly. It hurt to hear him say that.
<Shinobi> Too numb to cry, he just clung to her.
<Hope> Hope and David made their way from the elevator toward the kitchen, Hope laughing and one more snide comment David made. "Yeah Bobby totally bolted already didn't he?"
<Shinobi> Why hadn't he felt her coming? Quietly, he loosened his hold on Jess and straightened up, hand moving back to his stomach.
<Jessica> Jess kept an arm around him, rubbing his back again gently and glancing at him.
<Hope> The sight of them brought an immediate flare up of jealousy, but David's whisper of the word "Hufflepuff" in her ear squashed it. She took a deep breath. David was right. "So..." She glanced at David instead of Jess, but his look sent her back to Jess. "Your macaroni and cheese was really good."
<Jessica> Jess smiled at that, "There's more, if you're still hungry..."
<Hope> Her eyes darted to Shinobi, then back to Jess. "No thank you."
<David> David cleared his throat.
<Shinobi> David was whispering in her ear and he swallowed, shifting his weight.
<Hope> Hope took another deep breath. "I'm sorry for running off."
<Jessica> "It's okay...." she chewed her lip, still wondering if it was her fault. "Do you want a drink or anything...?"
<Shinobi> Finally, he found his voice. "Are you okay?" It sounded off, but there was nothing he could do about it.
<Hope> Oh she'd love a drink alright, but Shinobi would smash it onto the floor. "Sure. A drink." She finally looked at Shinobi again. No.
<Jessica> "Coffee? Water? Juice?" Jess glanced at Shinobi, shifting her hand to give his shoulder a squeeze.
<Shinobi> He nodded and looked down, then closed his eyes at the support from Jess. Maybe coming here had been a bad idea. If Hope was miserable it wasn't going to help either of them, and he couldn't live with this crushing guilt.
<Hope> Scotch. She wanted lots, and lots of scotch. "I guess coffee." One look from David made her add, "Please?" She watched him mouth the word Hufflepuff again, which made her smile. Right. A Hufflepuff would touch her friend. And hug them. And... console them? Shit! She'd been so wrapped up in herself, she hadn't thought of his feelings!
<Hope> Hope crossed the room and wrapped her arms around Obi.
<Jessica> Jess gave Shinobi a reassuring smile before going to put some coffee on, feeling a little relieved that the tension seemed to be easing.
<Shinobi> He hugged her tight and closed his eyes. We don't have to stay here if it's too much for you. Or if David was what she needed, then maybe she should go with him. The idea made his throat seize.
<Hope> Hope closed her own eyes and held onto him tightly. As you and David both pointed out, hiding didn't help. It's just... it's... it's hard. To see Miriam.
<Shinobi> She's not a clone, he pointed out, feeling a twinge.
<Hope> It's not that... well not only that. She nestled into his chest. But it doesn't matter. Have you eaten?
<Jessica> Coffee on, Jess went to Sebastian and Miriam, bending to press a kiss to her daughter's head.
<Shinobi> He wondered what it was then, but shrugged. Not really hungry. Not anymore. He watched Jess, Sebastian and Miriam. A family.
<Hope> I was told to sit down and be civilized, she looked up at him, brushing his hair back. But if you want to go hide...
<Jessica> So... now we just need to get everyone sat at the table... At least they were all in the same room? She looked up at Sebastian.
<Shinobi> He closed his eyes again at the gentle touch. No, I can do that. In a moment.
<Shaw> Sebastian hooked Jessica's wrist and tugged her in for a quick kiss of his own. Is Shinobi alright? You seemed... distressed.
<Hope> Hope smiled and took the opportunity to sneak a quick kiss on the tip of his nose.
<Jessica> Jess sighed, He's not alright... but he's not ready to talk about it either... She'd already made up her mind to keep an eye on him.
<Shinobi> His lips quirked up at the kiss and he took her hand to go to the table.
<Shaw> They have both been through a lot. His therapist is out of his depth, but doing what he can. Sebastian smiled at them, then looked down when Miriam grabbed his hand.
<Hope> Immediately Hope laced their fingers together and went with him to the table. Are you alright?
<Jessica> We're all out of our depth... She wondered idly if he'd ask her therapist how the sessions were going.
<Shaw> That is true enough. Bottle finished, he hoisted Miriam up and she burped loudly.
<Shaw> Yeah, I will be. He squeezed her hand, then let go when they reached the table to pull out her chair for her.
<Hope> Hope kissed his cheek softly before taking her seat. "Thank you."
<Jessica> Jess giggled at the burp and rubbed Miriam's back before she went to get the coffee, "Do you want tea, David?" she glanced over to the doorway.
<David> Smirking at his handiwork, David nodded to her. "Yes please, Mrs. Shaw."
<Jessica> Jess wrinkled her nose, "Please don't 'Mrs' me... just call me Jess..." she flicked the kettle on though.
<Shinobi> He sat down beside her and sought out her hand again.
<Shaw> "Well, she's quite happy." Sebastian handed Miriam a ring to chew and sat her on the table, steadying her with one hand.
<Jessica> "She's always happy... I think she's on something." Jess nodded sagely, reaching gently to touch Miriam's cheek with the back of her fingers.
<Hope> Hand reacquired, Hope squeezed it. I'm sorry I freaked out.
<Shaw> Shinobi> It's okay. His eyes were on the family across the table.
<Shaw> Miriam squeaked happily and grabbed her mother's fingers for a nom.
<Shinobi> If the baby didn't remind Hope of that cloned baby he'd heard about, then what was it? The last he'd known, she was on better terms with the idea of Sebastian having a baby, and had even held the girl a few times.
<Jessica> Jess laughed, wiggling her fingers to entertain Miriam some more - she loved that squeak.
<Hope> Trying not to be too obvious about avoiding Miriam, Hope allowed her head to drop onto Shinobi's shoulder.
<Shinobi> He couldn't help but smile at the baby reaching for Jess' hand, then it slipped. Even if they made it long enough to recover and marry, they'd never have that. They'd never have their own children, because of him.
<Jessica> Jess tickled Miriam then had to try and extract her hand as the kettle boiled.
<Shaw> Sebastian watched the couple, keeping Miriam steady.
<Hope> Hope swallowed the lump in her throat. As a foster child... I'm not upset about adopting, Obi.
<Shinobi> He couldn't answer, not without losing control of his emotions. Instead, he gave a jerky nod, eyes fixed on the far wall over Sebastian's head. She was so upset about it that she ran away, yet now it didn't matter? Was she lying to him? Again?
<Hope> Annoyed, Hope tried again. What I mean is... yeah it would have been great to have our own. We can be sad about that and still be glad to adopt someone. Someday. I mean we still haven't proved we can keep the damn fish alive. I'm pretty sure I'd have killed it by now without you.
<Shaw> Eyes narrowed, Sebastian wondered what was going on between them now. Things are getting tense again, love, he warned his wife.
<Shinobi> Once again, all he could do was nod, but he blew out a shuddering breath.
<Hope> Hope kissed his shoulder and rested her head against it again. Yeah that fish was toast without Obi.
<Jessica> Having freed her hand, Jess was now organising tea and she sighed at this news. It was a good thing she was still wearing the inhibitor cuff.
<Shinobi> Uncomfortable, he shifted in his seat.
<Hope> Now that caught her attention. Hope slowly sat up and looked at Obi. What?
<Shaw> "Michael," he started, congratulating himself for remembering, "I would like for you to accompany me to the office sometime this week, please."
<Shinobi> He looked up, surprised. "Why?"
<Jessica> Finishing up with the tea, Jess picked up a cup and took it to David. It also gave her an excuse to hide in the hall.
<David> Smiling, David nodded and took the cup. "Thanks Mrs. Shaw."
<Shaw> "Simply to continue learning about the family business, of course, whether or not you choose to continue in the field." Miriam picked up a shiny spoon and started to bang it on the table.
<Jessica> "I told you not to Mrs me! Don't make me zap you," she pouted and gave him a small shove. She couldn't actually zap him at the moment, after all. "But you're welcome, I suppose."
<David> David smirked. "Yeah you'll get right on that, Mrs. Shaw."
<Hope> Hope was annoyed. She'd been ignored. Damnit Sebastian. She sat back in her chair and watched.
<Jessica> Jess reached up to ruffle his hair instead.
<David> "Ack! Hands off, woman!" David tried to defend himself and not spill tea.
<Jessica> Jess laughed, "Are you sure I'm the woman in this scenario?" Score for her, she found a thing that worked!
<David> David glared at her and smoothed out his hair, taking a step back. Damn married women and their hands.
<Jessica> Jess giggled at the look, "Enjoy your tea!" she headed back into the kitchen.
<Shinobi> "Oh," he said slowly, distracted by his own chaotic thoughts and the girl's banging. "I don't know." He looked at Hope for help, but all he sensed from her was annoyance.
<Shaw> "Miriam, little love, sensitive ears." He tried to distract the girl, and reached for a plastic plate for her to beat to at least dampen the sound.
<Hope> Why had she rushed back down here? Hope entertained herself with inspecting her hair. Oh it was bad.
<Jessica> Jess crossed the kitchen to fetch Miriam's plastic spoon then tried to convince her to swap it for the metal one.
<Shaw> "Well, you can think about it." His eyes slid to Hope, then back.
<Shinobi> "Okay." He shifted again. Coming here had been a bad, bad idea.
<Hope> Wordlessly, Hope got up from her seat, heading for the stairs, her eyes still locked on her hair.
<Jessica> Jess watched Hope go and looked at Sebastian. Well so much for that.
<Shaw> Sebastian frowned at Hope's back, exchanged a glance with his wife, then turned his attention to Shinobi again. "I understand you've both been through a lot, but life does go on," he snapped.
<David> David was the one to gently touch Hope's shoulder. "Where are you going?"
<Hope> She startled at the touch, blinking at him a few times. She held up the bit of hair in her hand as explanation. Duh! She was back to the stairs.
<David> David couldn't help but laugh. She was going to do her hair! Women!
<Shinobi> The chair grated on the floor as he pushed it back. "It's not quite so easy for all of us," he said quietly, getting up and walking to the nearest wall, then through it.
<Jessica> Sighing heavily, Jess sank into the nearest chair and slumped forward onto the table. So much for dinner.
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