|ɑgɛɳt ɱѳɓiuร (jetskiing) wrote in avengers_logs,|
@ 2022-01-15 10:31:00
|Sharon had to tie up loose ends. It wasn’t easy extricating herself from all of this Powerbroker business, and every time she tried something else would draw her right back in. While she felt guilty that she’d told Mobius she was getting out, and then… well, wasn’t... she couldn’t stop what was happening. Dark and shady people from her Powerbroker life kept trying to creep in, and she had to put a stop to that.|
It meant trips to Madripoor. She still had the “legitimate” business there--the art gallery--which meant that she had reasons to be in the country. Frequently. Though, if she was honest with herself, Sharon knew that she was going to have to either abandon her business, or take her gallery to another country. There was no way she could continue traveling to Madripoor to deal in art and not get sucked in to the whole Powerbroker business.
Thankfully, Mobius had the TemPad, and she could save the seventeen-and-a-half hour flight to get from San Francisco to Madripoor. But it meant she had to be honest with Mobius about why she was going to Madripoor. Which she had been. Mostly.
This time she hadn’t been expecting to get swept up in things, hadn’t expected to get into a spot of trouble on the way home from the gallery. It was almost a repeat of the last time she’d left him in her apartment to pop out in the middle of the night. Only this time she’d really planned on heading straight to the gallery to pick up some paperwork and come straight back. And this time she only ended up bruised and bloody (cracked rib, maybe?) and not stabbed and bleeding out. Still, you should see the other guy.
Sharon unlocked her apartment and let herself in, a sleeve pressed against her bleeding nose. She was going to have a spectacular shiner in the morning, but for now the eye just looked a bit puffy and watery. She wanted to wash up before climbing back into bed with Mobius, and try and figure out how to explain all of this to him.
Mobius wasn’t sleeping soundly. He was asleep, just not to the point where sugar plums danced through his head - mostly it was worry that danced through his head (as it tended to, whenever he went to Madripoor for one of Sharon’s business jaunts), and kept him staring at the ceiling until finally he succumbed to a bout of slumber, simply because his eyes couldn’t stay open anymore and it felt like he had weights attached to the lashes. He wasn’t sure how long it was, after he slipped into a not-so-peaceful rest, but he stirred when he heard Sharon downstairs.
Then coming up the stairs. Then in the bathroom.
This was going to be bad, wasn’t it? So help him, he just had a feeling...
Groggily, he scrubbed a hand over his face and sat up, switching on the bedside table lamp. That would at least give him a little bit of light to see if he needed to run for the mega first aid kit again and stitch up a gunshot wound, but as that light flooded his senses (even a little bit was enough to get him squinting, rapidly changing from darkness to brightness) he was already expecting the worst.
In the bathroom, Sharon peeled off her jacket and her shirt. There were little spatters of blood all over them, though not all of it was Sharon’s. Actually, most of it wasn’t. She looked up into the mirror above the sink and turned the water on, so she could use a washcloth to start cleaning up. Overall, it wasn’t that bad. A great big, blue bruise was blooming across her side, and her face was a little banged up, but nothing that wouldn’t heal in a few days. She’d certainly had worse. He’d seen her worse.
Now she just had to figure out how to explain. The worst feeling of all of this was that she’d let him down. She didn’t think of it as betrayal, exactly, because this hadn’t been her idea. Still, it felt worse than the bloody (broken?) nose and bruised (cracked?) ribs.
Once she was sufficiently cleaned, she wandered into the bedroom. Apprehension was thick as her eyes moved from the light to his form on the bed. “Hey,” she spoke gently. “I didn’t mean to wake you.”
“I wasn’t sleeping that well anyway,” Mobius replied, stretching a little, half beneath the covers - under normal circumstances, he would have just flopped back down and gone back to sleep. Pulled the blanket back for Sharon, on her side of the bed, and snuggled with her until they both succumbed to slumber - she was probably tired after staying out so late, and it wasn’t to partake in the night life of Madripoor, where black sky tried to swallow the whole place yet was vehemently fought against by bright lights from the thousands of buildings all clumped together; in Hightown especially, you couldn’t see the stars even if they were there. Connected together but not.
But this wasn’t a normal night and he finally got a good look at her - and he could practically feel the guilt rolling off of her in tangible waves. “Sharon,” Mobius groused, because he could guess what had happened. “How many did you take on this time?”
Even more reason for Sharon to feel guilty. Did he ever sleep well when they were in Madripoor? With her being called out at all hours of the day and night? She really had to give up this whole business. She owed it to him; she owed it to herself. It was a work in progress--she was actually closer now than she'd been before.
"Two," she admitted, moving to sit down on the side of the bed beside him. "I thought I'd left the business in the hands of people who I could trust. Turns out, I was wrong." Maybe it was time to fake her own death. Or the Powerbroker's death. Pin it all on some dead shmuck, leave it all behind her. Looking over at him, the guilt bubbled within her again. "I'm sorry, Mobius. This is just... hard. It's a lot harder than I thought it was going to be."
“So, now what?” he asked - and tried to keep the temper out of his tone but the fact of the matter was, he did have a temper. Something of a hot, tempestuous one - and it was climbing fast, mercury rising. “Do you just want me to forget that I asked you to try to pass the mantle, because it’s hard?”
Mobius understood that it was hard. But he also felt like it was still worth doing regardless - that ultimately Sharon’s safety and her ability to build her own future and make her own choices would both be destroyed if she kept getting into these fights. She had a lot of skill and she’d also been lucky so far - that luck wasn’t always going to hold out. The thought of losing her was, again, terrifying - and in the end it would be for what? For a bunch of superheroes who couldn’t bother to try to help her after she was excommunicated from them? No.
"No," Sharon didn't like to see his temper come out. And she liked it even less that she was the cause of said temper rising. The guilt was turning into defensiveness--a gut reaction that she was trying to curb, though it wasn't working well. She gave a frustrated and enthusiastic shake of her head. "No, I don't want you to forget anything. I haven't forgotten, either."
Energy that she hadn't known she had billowed up inside her chest, and she found she couldn't stay still. Sharon climbed up from the bed and took a couple of steps, wishing she'd thought to change into pajamas. She felt exposed in her bra, even though he'd seen her in far less. Moving to the dresser to get a nightshirt, she continued, "I was trying. I am trying."
Mobius got up as well - he wasn’t really the confrontational sort, but he wouldn’t just let this slide either. Because he was worried, he was frustrated, he was - well, he wasn’t sure. He just knew that a lot of this unprocessed anxiety about Sharon turning in her Powerbroker keys was starting to morph into anger - not necessarily at her, just about the whole situation. As it so happened though, the anger was coming out in the form of a lover’s quarrel - but he supposed it was bound to happen eventually.
“Sharon - “ He wasn’t wearing much either, when he met her by the dresser - just a t-shirt and boxers. Lying there in bed was also making him restless, a cornered animal or a fish just tossed onto dry land - that’s why he had to stand to continue this...discussion. “So what’s the plan, then? Next steps? How many more times do you anticipate coming back injured? Am I going to go completely out of my mind before then? Tell me.”
The pair were quite something - him mad at the situation, her defensive... but every couple had to have their first lover's quarrel, right? It was something akin to a rite of passage, and if they got through this they would end up stronger. At least, that's what Sharon would have thought if she could be rational at the moment. She was in some pain and frustrated at herself because of the altercation, feeling backed into a corner and defensive, and overall not in the best of moods. So, rational was almost out of the question.
When he joined her by the dresser, Sharon had tugged a shirt out and was pulling it on over her head. She gave a frustrated sigh, and shed her pants gingerly as she spoke. "I don't know. I don't know what's going to happen. I just know that I can't quit cold turkey. Madripoor would descend into chaos without the boogeyman to keep the bigger criminals at bay." And she couldn't let that happen.
Having an argument in your underwear was most likely in a couple’s rulebook, someplace; Mobius would have to look that up later. Right now, he paced, just a little, folding his arms across his chest as he watched her. “First off, I never said you had to quit cold turkey,” he replied sharply, though he was attempting to keep the anger out of his tone - whether or not it was working remained to be seen. “Considering Madripoor was a hot mess before you even amassed your empire - we both know that. If it’s going to get torn apart by crime, then it’s going to get torn apart by crime - the nation was founded by pirates. And, anyway, all things considered I’ve probably been pretty patient here?” Sharon had to at least admit to that, right?
“Forget about what can’t happen - what do you want?” he asked. “You, personally. I need to know how you feel about it - about everything. And me. And us. And what you expect of me.” Because if she expected him to not protest whenever she returned injured, that likely wasn’t going to happen.
While he had been really patient--he'd come with her to Madripoor to help her with things that she needed to do for her Gallery, and to let go of her other business without pushing--Sharon had to fight back a knee-jerk defense response. She reminded herself that she'd already agreed that she was going to give up her mantle, give up her empire. And she was doing it because he asked her to (even though she knew it was a smart thing to do). Torn between wanting to argue what she was giving up for him, and wanting to agree with everything he said, she tugged her bra off under the shirt and tossed it into the drawer. She took a moment to consider his words.
"I want you," Sharon finally admitted, turning to him once more. She was running out of steam; her eye was throbbing, her side ached, and she just wanted to crawl into bed with him. "I don't care about anything else." It surprised her how much she meant those words. She really did just want him. More than her title, more than her gallery, more than all the money in her Powerbroker bank account. "This... us... it's all I want."
Mobius unclenched a little, hand reaching up to run through his hair - which was a silver sleep-rumpled mess but that was the least of his concerns now. “I want you too,” he said, voice laden with emotion - and, yeah, this was hard. Sharon was giving up everything she’d built to strike back at those who hurt her, everything she’d acquired on her own without having to hold hands with SHIELD or the Avengers - both of which turned their backs on her when she needed them. It was a lot, but everything she’d fought for was also tainted with bitterness because she couldn’t ever be open about who she really was - she had to claw and scrape her way to the top because now she was alone, but with Mobius in her life, she didn’t have to be. That was still an adjustment.
And Mobius, he didn’t know who he was - all of that, he was still learning. Still debating if he even wanted to know, though he was pretty sure he did - it wouldn’t change anything, however. All of it would be nice to know, and he thought he deserved to know, but he decided he didn’t necessarily need it. Not to build a future with Sharon, and whatever that would bring.
“I can’t lose you, not like this - “ He meant by way of the wrong end of a gun or a particularly sharp knife. “I’m sorry if it’s selfish.”
It was, indeed, hard. Sharon had been clinging to the hurt and betrayal and abandonment for so long... if she didn't have it, what did she have? If she wasn't the Powerbroker, who was she? There was a lot more to her than meets the eye, but sometimes she needed a reminder of it. A reminder that she was strong and smart and capable, that she was caring and funny and creative. She was in love with someone who loved her back. So, letting go of all that hurt should be easy, right?
"It's not selfish," she said, gently, and moved closer to him. Realization that she had been the one to be selfish came to her as she met his eyes. He had so many worries, so much going on; he didn't know who he was, didn't know his history. He was dealing with a millennia of brainwashing, trying to reconcile what was right and just and moral. And Sharon was laying even more worries on his plate? She took hold of his hand. "I'm so sorry, Mobius. I never meant to hurt you. I--” She had a hard time saying it, but it didn’t make it any less true. “I love you."
“I know you didn’t. You don’t need to - “ Oh. Oh. But then Mobius paused, caught off guard by those three little words. He’d said them to Sharon multiple times and knew he had to give her time because not everyone felt those things at the exact same moment.
He felt it though. Right now. Knew that he loved her. Continued to be comforted by that, actually, and how he was still lost in her maze.
“I love you,” he told her, stepping forward and wrapping her up in his arms - carefully, of course, in case her ribs hurt. “We’re going to get through this,” Mobius assured, kissing her temple and nosing there. “I promise. Come to bed.”
There was absolutely no doubt in Sharon's mind how Mobius felt about her. He'd never given her reason to doubt his affections, he'd told her many times, and he showed her, too, whenever they were together. Her own feelings, on the other hand, were more dubious. After so many years of pain and anger, she was worried that she didn't know how to love anymore. The trick was that it wasn't a conscious decision. It wasn't conscious at all--it took her by surprise, snuck up on her. She wondered for a moment how long she'd loved him, and just not realized it. (Spoiler alert: it'd been a while.)
Saying it out loud felt good, though. It felt like a dam bursting, but in the best way. She felt like she could say it again as many times as she wanted. It wasn't scary anymore.
Even though her ribs hurt, she melted against him when he wrapped her in his arms. It was exactly where she wanted to be. Only, horizontal. Horizontal would be better. "Bed sounds perfect."