Timelined a few hours after Mind Games
<Shaw> His mind half on his earlier conversation with Hope - and on the literally painful later conversation with his wife - Sebastian was not truly invested in the inspection he was giving Widget.
<Jessica> Jess sat in the kitchen, reinforcing Sharky's latest learned trick while she waited for the kettle to boil. He learned quickly but sometimes he got his instructions confused which could be disastrous... and would surely disappoint Viper.
<Shaw> He looked up at Jessica and her pet, then turned his distracted attention back to Widget and tinkering with his control panel.
<Jessica> Jess tossed Sharky his ball when the kettle boiled and he barked happily and scampered around with it, though he was currently a cat. Jess sighed and shook her head before turning to the kettle.
<Shaw> For once, he wished Miriam would cry. It would be a welcome distraction from the tense silence.
<David> "That the kettle I hear?" David asked, grinning as he came into the kitchen.
<Jessica> Jess looked up and gave David a smile, "It is, your timing is excellent," she laughed and took down another cup for him.
<Shaw> "Ah, back so soon?" He set his screwdriver on the table and stood, nodding at Sum in greeting and looking for Hope. Shinobi had yet to return, so perhaps he had time to put this to right before the boy got home.
<David> "Back?" David raised an eyebrow at him, going to Jess to get the tea. "I haven't gone anywhere."
<Jessica> Cat-Sharky dropped the ball at Sebastian's feet and meow-barked for him to throw it. Jess looked between Sebastian and David.
<Shaw> His heart leaped to his throat. "Where is Hope?"
<David> "I thought she was with you...."
<Shaw> "She said she was going out and she would be back. I assumed she was with you." He swore, loudly, and rubbed the back of his neck.
<David> "...That little shit. Did you chip her again?"
<Jessica> "You ran her off!" Jess' tone was accusatory and she threw the sugar caddy at Sebastian.
<Shaw> "I haven't had time, unfortunately." He reached for his phone, looking down at Sharky and toeing the ball toward the kitchen just as the piece of crockery sailed past his head. "Jessica!"
<David> David reacted, jerking an arm up to defend himself. "Shit fuck! What is with this family?!"
<Jessica> "Don't 'Jessica' me! You ass!"
<Shaw> "I was trying to speak to her as an adult!" He called her phone and it went straight to voice mail. "Fuck."
<Jessica> "Oh yes, because that works out so well! Are you a fucking idiot?!" Sharky ran for cover and cowered in the hall.
<David> David whipped out his and tried calling her, in case she had blocked Shaw's number. His too went to voicemail. "Fuck!" He texted Bobby [Cinderella has fled the ball].
<Shaw> "I will not have you speak to me like this!" Sebastian's temper flared.
<Jessica> "Oh you won't? Too bad! You have meddled in their lives since they started dating. You make Michael feel like shit for even existing and you keep telling them they can't be together! What the hell do you expect is going to happen if you don't leave them alone to make their own damn decisions?! I told you to leave it alone!"
<Shaw> "That is not what I told her!" Widget tottered in his way and he gave the hapless robot a shove. "I didn't expect her to fucking run away like a wayward child!"
<Bobby> [Fuckadoodledoo. Did she go with go go speedracer?] Far, far away, Bobby sighed and got up to find his pants.
<Jessica> "Have you met Hope?!" The tea caddy was the next thing to go.
<David> That was a great question. "Where's the kid? HEY! Stop throwing essential tea equipment!"
<Shaw> This one clipped his shoulder and the surge of power only fueled his temper, and it bounced off him and clanged onto Widget, who promptly fell over.
<David> With the spousal abuse going on, David texted Shinobi instead. [Where are you?]
<Jessica> "How can you be so bloody stupid!? You don't see her properly! You treat her like a child, she's going to act like a child! You can't 'talk to her like an adult' and still tell her what she can and can't do! What the hell is wrong with you?! Why do you have to control every damn thing?!"
<Shaw> "I wasn't telling her what to do! Just to think!" Now he was struggling to right the robot while defending himself. "Impulse control seems to be a problem in this house!"
<David> "Among all of you!" David pointed out.
<Jessica> "Don't you fucking dare! Do you have any idea how hard I have to work every time you meddle in their relationship?! Do you?!"
<Shinobi> Pulling up outside the house, Obi checked his phone, expecting a text from Hope. David? [Just got home.]
<David> Oh good! Backup! [Is she with you?]
<Shaw> "Yes, and every time you encourage their foolishness I have to set their feet back on the ground!"
<Shinobi> [Isn't she with you?] He stopped just outside the door to return the text, then heard voices from inside. Loud voices.
<David> [No.] David sent back, then stared at Sebastian. Oh hell. He texted Bobby again, [She's alone.]
<Jessica> "Don't you put this on me!" And there went her full mug. "Every time you talk to them they end up hurt! Every time you try to 'help' I have to spend days picking up the pieces! I told you before I've had enough! And you promised me you'd make a fucking effort! Have you?! Because it doesn't look like it!"
<Shinobi> Struggling with the door now that he heard the screaming, he finally phased through the wall and heard Jess. Picking up the pieces... What had he done now?
<Shaw> "I have made an effort! You know your history as well or better than I do! Her fiance died and now she wants another chance! She pushed for this marriage and he asked me about it!"
<Shaw> Hot tea splashed his trousers and the floor and he swore again.
<David> David slammed his fist on the table. "ENOUGH! You two can kill each other later. Right now, we need to find her."
<Jessica> "So you spoke to her? In what universe was that a sensible idea while Michael isn't even bloody here?!" Jess started for the hallway, pushing past David, "I'm done!"
<Shinobi> He heard every word, and heard Miriam start crying alone in her nursery as he passed that floor. As much as he wanted to go upstairs, he couldn't leave her that way. He went through the wall from the stairwell and bent to pick her up. "Hey, it's okay... shhh."
<Shaw> "Done? And what does that mean precisely? Of course I'd speak to her! Of course, she refuses to return the favor, so I pressed! I told you I thought I'd pressed too hard! It was a mistake!"
<Jessica> "Another one in a very long line!" Jess' voice rang back from the hall as she started up the stairs.
<Shaw> "Oh, yes, so you run away as well! Excellent!" He shot a glare at Sum, but unfortunately the man was right.
<Jessica> The wood of the stair rail snapped in Jess' grip as she paused on the stairs. If she went back down there she was going to hurt someone. She shut off their link from her side and continued slowly up the stairs.
<David> David just stared at Sebastian. "So, pops, where would she have gone?"
<Shaw> "I... don't know." He gasped when the link severed and looked up at the steps.
<David> David swore under his breath. "The kid should be home by now. Maybe he'll know."
<Shinobi> The corner of his mouth twitched at David's name for him, but the problem of where Hope could have gone was much more pressing. He shushed Miriam again and brushed his nose against her soft hair, pulling out his phone to try Hope's.
<Shaw> Sebastian blinked, dazed. "Home?"
<David> "And where would home be for.... oh fucking hell. If she went to fucking Alaska I'm going to fucking kill her myself!"
<Shinobi> Straight to voice mail. He frowned. Alaska?! Obi climbed the stairs to the kitchen, Miriam cuddled to his chest. "What's going on?"
<David> "Genius over here said something stupid and your girlfriend has lost her mind and run off."
<Shinobi> He looked straight at Sebastian. "What did you do?" He wasn't sure how he was staying calm, but it may have had something to do with Miriam's fist curled into his hair.
<Shaw> Shinobi had Miriam. That was the first thing Sebastian noticed, and he swallowed. "She misunderstood my intent."
<David> David snorted. "I'm sure that's it."
<Shinobi> He rolled his eyes. David pretty much summed up his thoughts right there, so he went to him. "I tried calling her... what do we know?"
<David> "Jack shit really. We just realized she was gone. Trying to figure out where she'd go."
<Shinobi> "She texted me that I might beat her home... said she was running some errands." So she lied, and turned off her phone. Right after talking to Sebastian. "I heard you, you know," he said quietly, looking right at the man.
<Shaw> Sebastian pulled himself upright. "I'm sorry."
<David> David rubbed his forehead with his fingers and texted Bobby, [Any ideas?]. "So she knew she'd be out longer than you... But "later" is very subjective."
<Shinobi> "I know you don't want us to get married, but I don't think you have to worry about it anymore anyway." His tone came out with just a little bit of bitterness and he turned back to David. "What if somebody took her..."
<Shaw> He blinked and scrubbed his hands over his face. "Jessica is right. I drove her away. It's unlikely anyone would have the opportunity to take her unless she was already under observation..." Which was possible, he supposed.
<Hope> "Unless who was under observation?" Hope asked, stuffing a fry into her mouth as she made her way into the kitchen.
<Jessica> Jess heard Sebastian's admission from her spot on the roof. It went some way to helping her calm down and then she heard Hope's voice.
<Shinobi> He turned around to stare, then blinked. There was still an empty void in his mind where he was used to her presence. Was this real? "Hope?" And if it was... she'd closed the link. He swallowed, shifting his hold on Miriam.
<Hope> "Yeeeeah..." she gave him a weird look and passed him the fast food bag, setting it on the table since his hands were full. Hands. Oh right. She shrugged her jacket off and took the inhibitor off.
<David> "The fuck did you get that!? The fuck have you been!?"
<Jessica> Taking a few more deep and hopefully cleansing breaths, Jess got to her feet running her hands through her hair and shaking it out in case of pheromones. Only then did she go back inside.
<Shinobi> He looked from the bag to her face and drew in a shuddering breath when the link returned. "Why did you have that on?"
<Shaw> Sebastian moved closer to the table, inspecting Hope closely. "You have yet to learn your lesson on avoiding your security escort," he snapped.
<Jessica> Jess took her time coming back down the stairs, counting the steps.
<Hope> Busted. So busted. Who did she answer first? One look at Obi told her it was him. "I needed to be alone. It's the only way to fully shut off the telepathy." She tossed it to David, who caught it. "I keep one or two." She pulled something out from under her jacket and tossed the dead rabbits at Sebastian. "These are for you."
<Shaw> "Good GOD!" Sebastian caught one rabbit just from reflex, but the others fell at his feet. Sharky appeared from his hiding place and snatched one away.
<Shinobi> Alone? He swallowed and nodded haltingly, the rabbits not even registering with him in his shock.
<Jessica> At the kitchen level, Sharky darted past her with something in his mouth. On closer inspection, it was a dead thing. "What the fuck is going on?!"
<Hope> Hope was momentarily distracted, laughing at Sebastian. "Thought you'd be pleased."
<Jessica> Jess caught Sharky and instructed him to drop the thing. Dead rabbit. Wonderful. "Okay you can eat it but in the bathroom."
<Shaw> He snatched up the other rabbit from the floor and held the bloody, furry things away from his clothing. "Because you're channeling a cat?"
<Shinobi> He closed his eyes and nuzzled Miriam, who babbled in his ear, tugging on his hair again. Her baby scent was surprisingly soothing.
<Hope> Hope shook her head. "No, because I was going to make rabbit stew."
<David> "You realize we have a grocery store right? And nearly unlimited funds?"
<Jessica> "You don't cook..." Jess appeared in the doorway.
<Shaw> Sebastian looked up at Jessica's appearance and started searching for a bag to hide the dead rabbits.
<Hope> Hope shrugged. "It sounded good."
<Shaw> "And where in hell were you that you managed this?" He stuffed the corpses into a shopping bag.
<Hope> "The woods. Where else do you kill rabbits?"
<Jessica> "Okay, can we not talk about the dead things in my kitchen..."
<Shaw> Sebastian made a face. "The woods... where? Here?"
<Hope> "I'm sorry. I'm no longer allowed to discuss this topic." Hope went to the sink to wash her hands.
<Shaw> His eyebrows shot up. "Pardon?"
<Jessica> Jess rolled her eyes. This and he thought he could talk to her like an adult. She had married an idiot.
<Hope> "Talking about it will lead to talking about what I did, which Jess does not want discussed in her kitchen." Hope pointed out, washing her hands.
<Shinobi> He sighed and sat down with the baby. "Somebody could have taken you again, you know," he said into the sudden quiet.
<Hope> "Which would defeat the purpose of being alone," she told him gently, moving to sit down and eat her damn cheeseburger, Jess be damned.
<David> "Would also keep you alive."
<Hope> "Which I am."
<Jessica> "Hope you can't just take off and not tell anyone about where you're going.... what if you had been taken? We wouldn't know where to start looking...." she wrinkled her nose at the smell of meat. She couldn't help it.
<Shinobi> "Jess is right. You had your phone off, and you didn't have your powers." She felt calm, and it helped him stay somewhat calm as he watched her eat.
<Shaw> "At least you had the presence of mind to go armed," he sniped, dropping the bag into the sink and standing in front of it to block the view if nothing else.
<Hope> "Or... here's an idea. All of you can stop fucking telling me what to do for one fucking day? How about that?" Hope suggested.
<Jessica> Jess frowned, she'd already yelled at Sebastian about that. She decided to clear up the mess she'd made earlier, snatching the tea caddy from the floor first and setting it on the table before going to get a broom for the crockery and the sugar.
<Shinobi> "Excuse me for being fucking concerned when I get home to find out you're fucking missing, considering what we went through, what, a month ago?" So much for that calm.
<Jessica> "Tiny ears..." Jess reminded him gently as she swept the sugar into a corner.
<Hope> "I said I'd be back. I'm back," Hope pointed out, taking another bite.
<Shinobi> He huffed, but Jess' comment made him close his mouth. What's going on? he asked her.
<Shaw> "You're side stepping the point, and I realize that is your favorite activity, but you could consider these things once in a while." He could smell the blood from the sink himself. God knows what those things were infected with.
<Jessica> It was someone else's favourite activity too and Jess made a point of being extra noisy with the shards of crockery.
<Hope> "Oh like how you consider things? I'll add it to the list of things I should think about." I really just wanted to be alone. That's all.
<Shaw> Sebastian looked over at Jessica with a frown, still feeling strange from the absence of her presence in his mind. "You misunderstood me, but perhaps I should have stated things differently."
<Shinobi> He nodded, turning his attention back to Miriam when she tugged on his collar.
<Hope> "Or perhaps you could keep it to yourself? Because contrary to popular belief in this room, I am FULLY capable of making decisions!"
<David> "When you stop making stupid ass one we'll believe you!"
<Jessica> "I've been telling Sebastian you're perfectly capable for some time now." Jess tossed in, her voice strained with the effort of keeping her temper.
<Shaw> "Clearly you're not, as evidenced by your actions this afternoon!"
<Hope> Hope set her burger down carefully and looked between all of them. "Just because you don't agree with them, doesn't mean my actions are stupid. If something had happened to me, then you could tell me that they were. I'm perfectly safe. I'm FINE! Thanks for asking. I'm FINE."
<Shinobi> "People were just worried, Hope. I was worried..." He got up and went down the stairs with Miriam.
<David> "I would at least have expected you to be smart and keep your damn powers!" David finally approached the table.
<Hope> "I had a fucking gun," she admitted softly once Obi was gone. Great. now he was upset. "And you people wonder why I left?!"
<Shaw> "I know why you left, and I'm sorry if I overstepped." He glanced at his wife, not moving from the sink.
<Jessica> Jess was still keeping him out of their link while she piled the swept sugar and crockery onto some newspaper to wrap up and dispose of safely.
<Hope> "I would have thought of most, if not all, of that on my own. In my own time. This decision concerns exactly two people. And guess what. One of them is NOT you!"
<David> "Regardless. You know better than to leave without me."
<Jessica> "It's no use telling him that, Hope. He doesn't listen."
<Hope> Frustrated, Hope sighed. "Look. I'm sorry, David. But nobody would have let me go had you known. And I just needed some time to be ALONE without all of you and your opinions and meddling."
<Shaw> "Yes, but you had not yet. That much was evident." He shot Jessica a look at that.
<Hope> "Oh my god, it had like, JUST happened!"
<Jessica> "You have to give them time, Sebastian. Not everyone likes to examine everything in minute detail as soon as it happens. Some people need time to process."
<David> "And some people run off without security. I've half a mind to have you shadowed in the house."
<Hope> Hope wrinkled her nose at him.
<Shaw> "Marriage is a rather important decision - it requires examination!"
<Hope> "I fucking know that, Sebastian!" Hope yelled at him. "And I'm tired of everyone expecting me to know what the fuck I want right now!"
<Jessica> "Not under supervision! For fuck's sake, Sebastian! It's their decision, not yours!"
<Shinobi> Hope's words were loud and clear and he sighed, snapping Miriam's clothing back up and disposing of her wet diaper. "Do you want to go for a walk, Miri?"
<Shaw> "Believe me, I do not want to supervise!"
<Jessica> "Then stop it! Leave them the hell alone, you moron!"
<Shaw> He turned to stare at Jessica, eyebrows up.
<Hope> "Since I need permission to breathe now, can I go?" Hope bagged up the uneaten food and threw it into the trash.
<Jessica> "I have dead things in my sink, don't you give me that look." Jess dropped the wrapped up broken things into the bin on top of Hope's bag.
<Shaw> "From whom are you asking permission? And where are you going?" He stepped away from the sink. "Your father trusts me to keep you safe, and as is we've kept the last incident from him."
<Hope> "Away from you." Hope headed for the door.
<Shaw> For the second time that day, Sebastian found himself staring at her retreating back. He turned his stare to Sum.
<David> David pinched the bridge of his nose. "I'm going to a place that doesn't throw tea."
<Shaw> "I do hope it's the same place she's going," he snapped.
<David> "I don't work for you." David snapped back and followed Hope out.
<Jessica> Jess decided to follow them both from the kitchen in case Sebastian made the mistake of thinking she also worked for him.
Read our instance transcripts here for hot character sessions!
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