02-07-2019
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02-07-2019, 08:45 AM
[In-Character] [Post #51]
Once he seemed to give his consent, she drew on the screen nearest them and rotated it towards her, flicking it back to life. The immediate window allotted for the scan currently in progress, and still, much as before, it was not finding whatever it was everyone assumed was still lingering within. She opened another window, another line of command, and gradually restored some of his bionics as he had indicated, hoping to give him an easier go of breathing. She hoped it would give him the ease to let his eyes slip shut. He was draining partly because he refused to buckle.

She smiled, albeit somewhat sad, when he indicated that getting out of there was better than remaining within. It was sore sounding that he would even have to say that. The lab was some place she knew he normally felt comfortable in, felt comfortable operating within, and now it had become his prison.

Her fingers typed away, drew her focus back to the task meaning to be at hand, rather than allowing her thoughts to linger on the melancholy surrounding the room they were forced to remain within. Because she wouldn’t leave him there. She would tuck herself against his side once more on that table once her eyelids threatened to fail against every mental command to remain open. It didn’t matter how cold or hard the surface was, he was still warm and pliable.

The moment she opened the gateway she had left in the wake of her exit, the door she had created long before Tony had ever pushed her into that suit and sent her away, a few of the exposed circuits of his downed bionic parts glinted pale blue. It was… ‘bittersweet’ did not seem the right word, but she grasped blindly for one that fit better. The subtle illumination was an unspoken acknowledgement between creation and origin.

Another pair of windows, another unravelling of exposed code.

She initiated a different scan, something they didn’t have access to outside of the SentS programming she sought to siphon from. It flagged several times within the first thirty seconds, and she narrowed her eyes at the points drawn up, leaning forward slightly as thought the closer proximity to the screen would help her to see better. Alterations he had made to himself, breaks he had created and then sometimes stemmed off elsewhere, or completely severed.

A grouping emerged, and then it…slipped out of the cyber fingers seeking to draw it forth. She frowned. “Did you feel that?” She asked him without drawing her gaze form the screen. Her fingers went back to the keyboard and gave chase, skimmed through the immediate offerings and left the scan to open another window. She opened the coding for another sub-routine and found prints that echoed the blob of what had tried to slink away. “What is that?”
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02-07-2019, 10:58 PM
[In-Character] [Post #52]
Jaxon watched as she pulled the screen around and went to work. He followed her steps, every turn she took, placing the different windows as they popped open rattling off bits and pieces of code in the space of his system. Jaxon certainly appreciated the additional air he was getting. Elise was firing up sub routines. His bionics – at least parts of them – were coming to life.

Nodding, Jaxon too several deep gulps. He sat up, half of his chest against Elise’s back. He just watched, trying to sync any kind of sensation or experience or just reaction to what she was doing. And yet … nothing so far. It even took him time to realise that she had actually patched a line through into the lab. Her terminal, her access point, routed through the landline rather than the wireless. She was being cautious. Good. If everything failed, a pair of scissors could cut him off again.

Very good.

Jaxon looked closer, almost a smile on his face when he recognised source code that had been altered by him. He just rested his mouth against Elise’s shoulder when she leaned closer to the screen. It was a little – no actually a lot – like she was rummaging around his insides. Literally.

Then something … tickled. Jaxon moved his shoulders in a single circular motion as if to dispel the odd sensation that way. Had he felt that, Elise asked. Jaxon was surprised. “I did.”

Elise’s fingers were on fire so to speak. Flying across the keys of the keyboard she hammered in line after line of code. Another window opened, more code and then, Jaxon felt his left eye quiver. He exhaled, turned his head, flexing his neck muscles. There was a sound in his throat. Oh he could feel this. What it was, she wanted to know.

It slithered away. A serpent, on fire, almost. It set him on fire, left no oxygen in its wake. “It almost has a mind of its own”, he pressed out, trying to open his eyes. But he could not, not properly anyway. He could still feel it evading and avoiding while Elise tried to get closer. “It is a routine. It activates, intends to update – but to an older setting. Reverting. But not.” He shook his head, his eyes half open and unseeing.

“A failsafe?” What if it was not just there to bring him home but also to eliminate an android gone rogue was he to refuse to return. Jaxon let his head tilt a bit more, and he pressed his forehead against Elise’s shoulder now. “It is very uncomfortable.” The sensation was like hot and liquid metal on sensitive skin. It burned.

“Can you back up my alterations?” As the words formed, Jaxon knew that he was suggesting something that was simply mad. “Everything I wrote after twenty-twenty-one, and reset me?” He had his eyes closed, hated the idea but was drawing blanks. This thing was more than an update. Maybe it was just a damned virus. A Trojan, the namesake.

There was that chance that she could bring back a Sentinel Services Android. But then again, his human side remained untouched, did it not? Just the bionics had been altered. Maybe he would – almost literally – feel a bit rusty for a few days but then it should all be good. “Reset to core programming and then put my own edits back? That should work, right?”

Jaxon pressing his lips into a grim expression, his forehead still against Elise’s forehead. Was this even possible?
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02-08-2019
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02-08-2019, 07:04 AM
[In-Character] [Post #53]
A routine with an intent to update, somewhat along the lines of what she had been thinking. Something designed by SentS meant realign him with their coding, with the programming they had so generously gifted him. It was designed like any software update, meant to fix features that had become outdated or enhance previous settings to current optimization. Make a type of hunter better at its job. A failsafe was exactly what it sounded like.

Her right hand lifted of its own accord, somewhat back when he set his forehead against her shoulder, her fingertips brushing along the beard that was starting the thicken somewhat within the past couple of days. Citing that it was painful had her offering an apology and she considered pausing her attempt to chase after the apparent trojan.

When he asked about her backing up the alterations he had made, her fingers did freeze, and her eyes slid away form the screen and to the keyboard. She had considered drawing on original code and patching it over what was present after she burned the elusive remnant out of him, but if it persisted in its avoidance of her, she had let her mind wander to an attempted full reset. That would take him back to what he had been, when he had been with them. She had wondered on more than one occasion if he had been there when she had, if she had ever walked by him without ever noticing. When he gave the date of his alterations, she shook herself, realized he had at least freed himself after she had been forced out.

2021.

She lifted his chin so that she could shift on the table to face him. The idea sounded good as a thought, when it could be applied to a computer, not the greatest when it was meant to be applied to a person. If she reset him back to original settings, picked apart the code to replace it with what he had made to himself, it could make everything safer again, assuming that he had picked up the update from hooking into SentS during one of their missions to the compounds. He would just have to not do that anymore.

Pushing herself from the table, she padded barefoot to one of the counters where Jonathan had left a pair of handhelds to charge. She turned one on, assessed the storage capacity and set it back down. She opened one of the drawers in the nearby desk and skimmed through the cords within until she found the proper one and plugged it into the handheld, then moved back towards the screen and connected to the usb port. The device immediately prompted and she wiped it of nearly everything loaded so that it was little more external drive.

It was almost as easy as cut and paste to take the code presently running, even the silent portions within the man beside her and pushed it over to the faintly illuminated device. Then she picked apart the Troy archives for the origin programming and added it as well.

Turning more away form the computers and back towards him, she set her hands on either of side of his face and leaned towards him, pressed her lips firmly to his, then pried his mouth open with her tongue and took her fill. She wanted this man to be the one that remained, even after she wiped and reset his bionics. She wanted this man to be the one she let free of the table. She wanted this one, the one that was him, not the overridden operative that had taken one of her friends.

If he ever went back to what he had been, what was the extent? What were the parameters he was meant to function under in regard to taking those expecting? Was it limited to only pregnant mutants? Or was a human pregnant with a possible mutant also fair game? And how many mutants had been utilized exactly as he had been to retrieve gravid women carrying their abductors own child?

“I want you, Jaxon.” She said against his mouth. “I want more.” She tried to smile. “Do not let this take you over.” Her left hand moved back to the keyboard and pressed in a few short commands to disconnect from SentS, then she disconnected the internet. Turning her focus back towards him, she kissed him again. “Please lay back down so you don’t potentially flop back.”
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02-08-2019
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[In-Character] [Post #54]
Oddly enough, Jaxon knew the moment when Elise turned to face him, a finger beneath his chin, that she was not as certain as he may have sounded about the idea of a reset. And yet, he could not help but think that it was the only thing that would help. The malware, whatever it was in the end that did not matter, did it, was still in his system. It could touch upon his biologic functions but never directly. It was confined to the bionics.

There were words forming behind her eyes, but she did not speak. She seemed to just look at him, as if she making sure he was fit to undergo what he had suggested. Then Elise jumped off the table, her bare feet barely making any sound. A shiver raced through him. Her body heat was missing despite the temperature in the room. He watched her pick a handheld and go about cleaning it. Not without cynicism did he look at the handheld, making himself realised that part of who and what he was would soon be on a bloody tablet.

Others played games on those things.

He took a deep breath. It was a bit like being pinched here and there. Jaxon could sense her copying the code. “Backing me up”, he murmured as he followed her work internally, on a whole different level than how she was seeing it. He knew what would come next. Of course the programming could not rewrite his mind. The biologic part was separate from the bionics still. And yet, he knew they were taking a risk.

Did she know about his apprehension? That he worried restoring his code would do more than just set the bionics back to their original state? It appeared so when she set her hands on either side of his face. Her lips locked over his and Jaxon found himself sighing. Oddly, he was reminded of their first night and he yearned for whiskey, and showers, and this woman in his bad who had so much curiosity about the human behind the android.

Elise demanded to be let past the threshold and Jaxon knew better than to keep her away now. He responded to her kiss in kind. He felt her need, her want and it sent shivers down his spin. This was for him. This was not some game of ideas, not some fling they had. He realised, could sense that she was seeking him. The man underneath.

So when she spoke it shook him, it resounded in some fundamentally human part of him. She wanted him. Her name fell from his lips and the words she spoke were a reminder. They were his cue to ensure that bionics remained untouched by the human mind. The human carried the power here, not the machine. He exhaled, her smile somewhat sad as he brought up his arm to run his thumb across her cheek.

“Remember that please if this thing goes wrong”, he murmured. Other words were on his mind, using the label that had been suggested. I am falling in love with you. There was just nothing else to approximate this to. This need to be with her, stay with her. This way in which her words had had an effect on him. And yet he was not sure whether saying it was fitting or appropriate. “I …”, he started but eventually just said: “Same.”

He exhaled and Elise went to work on her keyboard. He watched her, not quite sure what to do in this moment. This could fix it, or break him for good. Jaxon was not certain whether he ought to be optimistic or simply scared out of his wits. He inhaled deeply when Elise looked at him again. Another kiss and he knew it was happening now.

Her gaze said it, but the strange tingling he suddenly felt in just over half of his body gave it away as well. Without much grace, he lay back down. It was like pins and needles. And while his bionic parts did not more or shiver or convulse, Jaxon gritted his teeth. It was unpleasant to say the least. It felt like someone had thrown a pinball into his head and it was now bouncing around, escaping from whatever was after it.

“Something is happening”, Jaxon said, biting down on his own jaw hard. He felt it sliver upwards, into his head and this time he hissed. It was a burn, hot but slow. It was pushing – but to do what? A program could not pass into biological tissue. Or could it?

Then it was almost like a faint pop. And the sensation was gone. Anticlimactic at best, Jaxon thought.

“System error”, Jaxon heard himself say, then his bionics all hummed to life at once. What he could not see was that the same words were written in capitals across Elise’s monitor. “Datastamp mismatch. Fatal system error. Complete system reboot pending. Complete system reboot pending …” Jaxon said the words about five times in a row, his eyes wandering to Elise not without a portion of fear in his irises.

“Releasing hormonal stabiliser to reset system- stand by.
System reboot pending. Stand by.”
System reboot..”

Something was wrong. Hormonal meant biological. How could the bionics reset the human side? What had the Services done to him to even allow for such a thing?

His eyes grew wide as darkness closed in on him. Jaxon had no idea who or what he would be if the reboot succeeded.

“Stop it”, he ground out between verbal system updates.

“Please ..”
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02-14-2019
08:55 PM
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02-14-2019, 08:55 PM
[In-Character] [Post #55]
There was a long moment where she simply stared at him, watched him for change, watched him return to the surface of the table less than graceful. She could see the system running in her periphery, but the majority of her focus was on the man lying in wait. The territory that they were stepping into was hazy at best. His bionics relied on his biological side to function, and the biological side needed the bionics to function. She had no idea, though, if and possibly where overlap would occur. It seemed odd to consider that altering the bionics could override the biologics or vice versa.

But it was possible.

And she would discount SentS for attempting to harness the concept.

If this didn’t work, or something went wrong, she was potentially looking at having to hand code what seemed hours upon hours of work. With the archived information, though, there was the potential to speed the process. Yet the fact that Jaxon had made so many alterations to himself made the potential to replicate appropriately possibly impossible. If anyone knew what would work and what wouldn’t it would be him, and yet he was looking to her. She knew how to format a robot, she knew how to access SentS, she knew how to possibly still hook into the sentinels, but that was completely different than the current task at hand.

When he grimaced, she swallowed, and then she curled her fingers against her palm to keep from reaching for the keyboard to pause.

Then he spoke, alerting her to the fact that something was happening, but not what and she waited, holding her breath. He tipped his head slightly as though he were allowing whatever was going on within it to slide to one side, or whatever was still moving about inside of him was pushing that way. She wanted to just reach inside of him the way that Kitty might have been able to push her hand and then pluck out whatever it was that was there. Why were there no cyberpaths anywhere? Oh right, because they were high on the Services’ most desirable list. She wondered if there were any of them free anymore.

System error.

Jaxon repeated the prompt and she narrowed her eyes. When he locked onto her, and fear rose upward and expanded his pupils, she sucked in a deep breath. He gave verbal cue to further prompting and the moment he said ‘releasing hormonal stabilizer’ she panicked. He asked her to stop and she turned quickly back to the screen and attempted to force the reboot to halt. When it continued to progress, denying her access to abort. Rather than looking at him with further panic in her eyes, she suspended the system in its entirety and had half a thought to tug the power cord out of the wall for good measure.

She pressed her hands against her face.

“Can I be of assistance?” A voice inquired.

When she peered through her fingers, she noted an active suit standing in the doorway and she moved towards the head of the table. “Are you all right?” She asked the man, leaving the suit to stand where it was, waiting an instruction. “What do you want me to do?” She had further ideas, but this was his body and his mind.
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02-18-2019
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[In-Character] [Post #56]
Jaxon instinctively knew when everything ground to a halt. Elise had suspended the processes running. He was once more immobile, and his breathing was short, shallow. They did not have much time. Lack of oxygen would be an issue very soon. His eyes search for her, searching the frame of the woman his every last hope now literally rested with.

He could see her apprehension out of the corner of his eyes. It was in the way she held herself, in her eyes, in the way she prompted him what to do.

Jaxon heard the new voice. He knew that voice. One of the suits. “Use it to eliminate the stabiliser.” If the bionics could not influence the human side, then they should be fine – should be. Jaxon swallowed at that. There was no guarantee, no proof that any of this really worked. Then again, he decided, if it did not work he would be gone anyway. Not that he was a particular fan of the idea, and yet. It could really only get better from here on out right?

“If they programmed the stabiliser as a measure, there should be a counter measure.”

That was how it usually worked. Jaxon just hoped that he would not be an exception to the rule. If she could eliminate the stabiliser and possibly even counteract it, then proceeding with the reset should leave him human side unharmed and unaffected.

“Use the suit”, he said, sounding very out of breath all of a sudden. “Jack it into the system.” Jaxon figured one more set of hands rummaging around his insides – so to speak – would not matter now anyway.
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02-22-2019
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02-22-2019, 12:38 PM
[In-Character] [Post #57]
Elise looked to the suit, it was a basic Six model, similar to the one that had arrived with Alex and Paige. Six had been Tony’s attempt at programming emotions and like responses. He had been so sure that he could teach something metallic to feel the way a parent taught a child. Whereas the suit that followed after Ben Summers seemed to have somehow clued itself directly into the boy and his needs, the one standing in the doorway had been an accidental find. She often found herself wondering at the how Ben’s Six had bonded to him so thoroughly. There was no whisper of technopathy to the boy, but that didn’t mean the potential was non-existent. Perhaps the coding had simply been just right.

Use it to eliminate the stabilizer. Her gaze fell to Jaxon, then, and she lingered on his eyes, the dark inviting depth threatening to draw her under. He reasoned the stabilizer was a measure, so then there must be a counter measure. She didn’t voice it, but she didn’t like the direction that any of this seemed to be stumbling towards. He was unsure of the ideas he was posing.

“You said that you had no active memory to draw from.” Her mind supplied form the first night, when they had been discussing Emma and Scott, when she had pointed out simply that Scott loved Emma. That the emotion was reciprocated. She fixated on the shallow breaths he was drawing in somewhat rapid succession. “You said that you understood the concept of love, but that you had no…no active memory to draw from.” He had said he couldn’t remember the school he went to or his first girlfriend.

“They did this to you.” She murmured. “Wiped your memories to make you what they wanted.” She set her fingertips against the back of his hand. “And when you deviated from their direction, they did it again. Resetting back to the start over and over.” That made an individual compliant, stealing their identity and giving them something else, something empty, hollow, something that didn’t even resemble what it had been before. She wondered what he had been like before ever being taken by the Services. What he would have been, if they would have ever met. He would have been far more biologic rather than bionic. How many times had he been wiped and reprogrammed?

She looked once more to the suit. “I need your help.” She told it and it responded immediately, stepped forward and put itself beside her. It looked down at Jaxon, likely diagnosing the symptoms presented without even needing to shuffle through programs, then it turned its focus to her. “Keep him alive.” Elise looked back at Jaxon, leaned over him enough to press a kiss against his mouth, lingered for the longest dozen seconds of her life, a part of her intent on remaining in that moment. So many thoughts sat on her tongue, so many words sat on her lips, waiting.

“I’m not going to keep running program after program.” She told him. “You’re not a machine, and I’m not going to continue to treat you as one.” The suit wrapped a hand around Jaxon’s bionic arm and she assumed it was linking up with him, as odd as that seemed in conjunction with what she had just told him.

Elise drew in a breath and cycled through the current open windows, drawing forth the one that held the coding that was still running through a diagnostic scan, lighting up red in multiple places following the attempt at resetting him. She had copied everything onto the handheld including the alterations he had made himself. “Close your eyes.” She told him as she turned just enough to look back at him over her shoulder. “Think of something nice.” She grasped at thoughts. “Something you can hold onto, something that will keep you where you are.”

She didn’t care how long it took, she was not going to run an automatic restructure of his system, not even going to attempt anything like it again with the threat of a hormonal surge possibly wiped out his human side to a blank slate. She was going to sit there for however many hours it took to hand write everything appropriately back into place.
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02-25-2019
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[In-Character] [Post #58]
Then Elise suddenly filled what remained of his visions. Jaxon drew a somewhat startled breath, his eyes finding hers, his gaze settling on the face he had come to care for so much. Elise’s tone demanded his attention, fully, as she recounted part of a conversation from their first night.

Their talk about Scott Summers and Emma Frost. Their connection. Love. She recounted his words, down to the nuances of repeating his own words back to him. Jaxon narrowed his eyes in an attempt to draw her meaning from the sound of her voice. What was she getting at?

He was still trying to remember, trying to fill that void he had been left with. What was love, being in love? Not for the first time he wondered whether it was what was growing in the center of his chest whenever he looked at Elise. Just that it was an answer he did not dare to give because he had nothing to compare this feeling against?

Then she delivered her point and the words stung more than Jaxon wanted to admit. She painted a harsh reality he so often pushed to the back or simply disregarded.

Pushing air out of his nose as she went on he tried to keep certain images at bay. Jaxon did not want to think about that. Not now. Maybe not ever. Still, she was right. He had been a guinea pig. For years on end, they had submitted him to treatment after treatment to adjust and readjust him. There was a chance that this person he was no had nothing to with the man he had once been. Jaxon had contemplated these thoughts frequently. What if he had been violent? A drug user? A survivor of some kind of violence.

Then again, he was a survivor, of significant kind of violence given the shape and form of a creature the Services had turned him into. Jaxon did not like to think of himself in that way at all.

Elise put the suit to active use. Jaxon momentarily eyed it as its scanners ran across him. Then Elise was once more taking up all of his vision. A small smile tugged up one side of his mouth. He hungrily accepted her kiss, a kind of underlying need springing free for all but a moment that surprised him. Jaxon was done. He was done lying on this table, asking himself the same questions over and over. He was done accepting that he could not have any kind of privacy with Elise right now.

He was done with it. It was time bring all this to an end.
Jaxon swallowed, settled back onto the table.

Elise’s words once more drew his attention towards her, and he found himself giving small nod after nod as she counted out what she was not going to keep doing. He found himself biting his lower lip for a moment when she made it clear that to her he was not a machine. A small voice in his mind wanted to object given the sheer mobility crisis he was staring at with his bionics currently disabled - or running on emergency backup at best.

Then the suit linked up with him, and Jaxon wanted to hiss as that side of him was forced to life. Jaxon did what Elise told him to. He closed his eyes, and he thought of something nice - something he could hold onto, that would keep him where he was.

What was she doing?

“I planted peonies for you”, he started, a tired smile on his lips as he thought about the corner he had begun restyling for her. More flowers, a small bench in what would be the afternoon sun once it stood higher in the sky once more. “I dug out what’s supposed to be the best recipe for peach iced tea.”

He sucked in a deep breath. “What if this goes south, ‘lis?” Jaxon sounded breathless, tired with the doubts, worries and overall ramifications of this situation. “I just want it to be over”, he admitted for the first time ever since he had been strapped to this table, in this room.
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03-15-2019
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[In-Character] [Post #59]
At some point, he had stopped speaking, and she hadn’t the heart to ask him to continue. It was a some bit of fear, she reasoned, and she refused to look at the suit. She was too afraid to see its blank expression that she could try to draw a hundred conclusions from. Instead she kept her focus on the screen, rubbed at the back of her neck and rolled her shoulders each and every time they threatened to stiffen into stone.

Her fingers continued cramping and she would take a moment each time the sensation started to lock up her joints to stretch them out. Flex outward, then curl inward, then flex out once more. Little more than a minute of time before she was back at typing away. It became somewhat of a trance. Her eyes would shift to the handheld to and her hands would continue moving, rewriting over the old coding, making everything new, plugging holes, linking broken commands. In clusters she would shift windows and realign all of his alterations just to deviate from the monotony.

When she looked at him, she would watch his chest rise and fall, glad for the even rhythm which in her head implied he was either at ease or sleeping.

She glanced at the desk, at the glass that was nearly empty, the orange contents having left dried droplets near the rim when the other suit had set it down for her. It had asked if she wanted anything else, informed her that everyone else in the theater was asleep save for the telepaths. She wondered how it knew that.

She thought of the peonies he said he had planted and the tea he implied he thought to make. It made the muscles in her chest clench, almost painfully. The Services had written, then wiped, then written him over and over, just as she had thought, just as she had said. And she kept wondering what he might have been like before all of it. If he was anything like the person he had been so long ago, before they had sunk their claws in so deep that even with his intellect and understanding of cybernetics and coding and syntax, even he seemed unable to fully escape what they had done.

Sleep nudged at her mind, tugged at her eyelids as she keyed in the last few lines of code. Then she pushed the screen and board away from her so she would have to move. She made herself get up, glanced only a moment at the suit that was still connected to Jaxon and then she moved about the lab. She disabled the life support systems one at a time, carefully assessing him with each operation that was deactivated, watched his breathing, listened for any sounds of distress he might have offered. When she was satisfied with one system, she moved onto the next, and then the next.

The pair of ivs into his left arm, she allowed to remain simply because they were offering him fluids and a meager measure of nutrition. They would be easy enough o slip free of their securements if he chose to.

Once every screen was quiet, every hum of every contraption silent, she looked again at the suit. It regarded her, the subtle blue glow in the center of its chest one of the few lingering sources of light in the lab. Then it retracted its hand from Jaxon’s arm. When the man on the table barely moved and his breathing remained the same, she gave a single nod of her head before she hoisted herself up beside him.

The suit receded to a corner of the lab, she could hear it ever so slightly, its quiet fans engaged to cool its own system. She scooted herself closer to Jaxon and settled onto her side, pushed her arm across his body and settled her fingers around his hip. She sighed to relieve the tension, to chase the desire to finally slip beneath the surface of the sleep that kept pressing up against her, and settled against his shoulder.

She wanted to tell him so many things. That she wanted to go up to the roof, that she wanted to watch The Princess Bride with him again and again until he was utterly sick of it, that she wanted him to still be him the next time that he opened his eyes. She wanted to do more. So much more. But all she managed was to turn her face into the crook of his neck in order to breathe him in before she finally gave to the exhaustion.
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