<Christopher> Chris had spent most of the day building a better shelter from the wind in the cave, making sure the fire would keep them warmer than it had been. He came in from the cold with a bundle of wood for the fire, enough to keep it going all night. "How're you doing Viper?" Chris sat down next to her and gave her a small kiss.
<Viper> "Cold... missing coffee... and my bed..." she sighed. Stupid SHIELD. Stupid snow.
<Christopher> "Mmm don't like how I warm you up?" Chris gave her another kiss. "I know Viper, this isn't very fun. But we'll get back to the warm and cozy eventually."
<Viper> "I hope so." She was going to go insane otherwise. She settled against him and pulled the blanket tighter around herself.
<Christopher> Chris held her close and placed a few gentle kisses on her neck. "At least you have me here with you."
<Viper> She nodded, "I've been much warmer than I otherwise would have been."
<Christopher> "And you get this sexy body to look at." He smiled. "I wish you'd let me give you my jacket at least." He laid his head against hers and slipped his arm around her.
<Viper> "I have the whole blanket..." she reminded him, "And I'm sitting by the fire."
<Christopher> "You know reason and logic don't work with me." Chris gave her a little squeeze.
<Viper> "Well those are my default settings so that's all I have to work with, I'm afraid."
<Christopher> "Hmm maybe I'll have to search you for a reset button. Get you back to factory settings." Chris poked at her playfully.
<Viper> "I think those are my factory settings..." she laughed, immune to the pokes because of the blanket around her.
<Christopher> "Can I still try to find the button?" Chris smirked and decided just to cuddle her since he couldn't get a reaction from the poking.
<Viper> "Maybe if we ever get back to civilisation and decent heating." She snuggled into him and rested her head against his shoulder.
<Christopher> "I guess I can wait that long. You're hard to resist though." Chris closed his eyes and just tried to enjoy having her close.
<Carol> Carol had finally gotten news that SHIELD had withrawn from the area the Hydra base had once occupied and was now conducting her own search. She had found the crash site and used her powers to melt the snow in the surrounding area. The blood alarmed her but the discarded clothing reassured her that Viper was at least alive after the crash.
<Carol> She looked around trying to imagine the path that might have been taken later but the weather was terrible. Instead she focused on her powers, trying to sense any energy at all - there would hopefully be a fire at the very least. Then she let her feet take her where they would.
<Carol> She found herself at the entrance to a cave that had been built up against the wind and allowed herself to be hopeful again. She ducked around the fortifications and paused in the entrance, relief flooding her. "Oh thank God."
<Christopher> Chris was alarmed at first, until he recognized the voice. "We have company... And I'm pretty sure she won't want to see me." He whispered to Viper.
<Viper> Viper looked round to see who it was then yelped as she was picked up and hugged tightly. At least Carol was warm too. "What took you so long?"
<Carol> "I had to wait until SHIELD went home..." She set Viper on her feet again and looked her over. She seemed okay. But it was cold in the cave. She used her powers to heat the air to a more comfortable temperature.
<Christopher> Chris stared at the fire not wanting to acknowledge that Carol was there. He still felt terrible about what he'd done. "Hey Carol."
<Carol> "Greer's gonna be so happy to know you're both okay. She's been freaking out." She gave Viper another hug because she'd totally been freaking out too. "And Jess and Cessily because I freaked out at them... don't be mad at me." She gave Viper an apologetic look.
<Viper> "I'm not mad at you..." Viper offered her a small smile, feeling much better with the increase in air temperature. She'd finally stopped shivering.
<Christopher> Chris frowned a little. He'd hoped Greer wouldn't find out. He kept quiet about that though, not telling people things got him in trouble.
<Carol> "I guess I should go and get something I can carry you both in...."
<Viper> "Something with walls and a roof if you can," Viper requested. She didn't want to lose all the heat she'd be storing up while Carol looked for that mysterious object.
<Christopher> Chris almost objected wanting to say he could make it home, but thought better of it. "Told ya we'd be okay Viper." Chris gave her a weak smile.
<Viper> Viper returned the smile, going to sit back beside him near the fire.
<Carol> Carol boosted the air temperature again before she turned to the exit. "I'll be as quick as I can."
<Christopher> Chris just went back to staring at the fire. He still didn't feel like he deserved to talk to her. "Maybe you should buy a lottery ticket Viper, you're pretty lucky hmm?"
<Viper> "I've always been told that..." she nodded, "But what would I need with a lottery ticket? Money is not a problem for me."
<Christopher> "It's a joke Viper." Chris rubbed her shoulder a little.
<Viper> "Oh..." she was still not very good at those. She leaned against him, "Are you okay?"
<Christopher> "Yeah I'm fine, almost indestructable remember?" Chris knew that was not what she meant but he wasn't going to admit he wanted to just go walk off into the snow.
<Viper> She frowned, "You didn't seem too pleased to see Carol, that's all..."
<Christopher> "I'd rather not discuss that right now..." Chris ran his hands through his hair.
<Viper> She frowned again and fell silent, watching the flames.
<Christopher> "Just me being me Viper... I just don't want to get into it in this situation." Chris gave her a hug to show her he appreciated the concern.
<Viper> "Okay..." she didn't know when they'd ever get a chance to discuss it after this but she decided not to bring that up again.
<Christopher> "Hey at least we're getting out of here now." Chris tried to fake being happy for her sake.
<Viper> She nodded, "I wonder where she's planning on taking us...."
<Christopher> "I'm sure she'll take requests, but you're welcome at my home if you want. I'm sure Greer would be happy to see the both of us." He gave her a gentle squeeze.
<Viper> "We'll see..." She glanced to the cave entrance as footsteps approached again.
<Christopher> "I still have to return the favor of you cooking me dinner." Chris smiled a little.
<Viper> "No you don't. You've suffered for that already," she gestured around them to indicate their situation.
<Carol> Carol stepped back into the cave, "Your carriage awaits."
<Christopher> "Pfft this wasn't suffering for me. I like camping, I'm crazy remember." He got up and offered Viper a hand. "I'll be out in a second, gonna tear this all down, and put out the fire."
<Carol> "Why? Just let the fire burn out and the weather'll cover up the rest." She put an arm around Viper when she reached her to protect her from the weather.
<Christopher> "Scouts, it's what we do." Chris went about breaking down the shelter and stomping out the fire.
<Carol> Carol shrugged and steered Viper outside to the car she'd acquired for their easy transport. She'd even helpfully turned the engine on and put the heaters on.
<Viper> Viper hurriedly climbed onto the back seat and under the pile of blankets Carol had put in there. Muuuuuuch better.
<Christopher> Chris finished up and drug his feet about leaving the cave and getting into the car with Viper. He was still basically avoiding Carol, not wanting to upset her.
<Carol> Both passengers inside, Carol carefully picked up the car - trying not to jostle them too much - and started to fly them back to civilisation, keeping at a relatively low altitude because they were cold enough already.
<Christopher> "Guess our impromptu camping trip is over." Chris tried to get comfortable in the car.
<Viper> "So it would seem. But there could have been a worse ending." She was happy with her pile of blankets. So very happy. Hey there was a flask... she opened it and was rewarded with the scent of coffee. "I think I love that woman." She poured herself a cup.
<Christopher> Chris laughed a little. "I wouldn't see why you wouldn't... She's pretty amazin." He ran his hands through his hair and sighed.
<Viper> She had a sip of her cup of coffee and made a sound of approval, settling back into her blanket pile. This was a nice way to travel. She should get Carol to carry her car everywhere.
<Christopher> "You're even cuter when you're happy." Chris reached back and rubbed her leg.
<Viper> "I'm sure everyone's cuter when they're not ornery," she leaned to look out of the window to see if she could work out where they were going.
<Christopher> "I don't know you and Greer look cute when mad too. Makes it hard to fight with her."
<Viper> "I think you're the only person who thinks I look cute when I'm angry.... but I suppose you've never seen me properly in a rage." She offered the flask of coffee - Carol had even supplied two cups.
<Christopher> "I'm fine." Chris just wanted to rest. "And I'm the only one that matters." He closed his eyes, a big smirk on his face.
<Viper> She prodded him with her foot, "Pfft. Ego." She poured herself some more coffee, if he didn't want any it was more for her.
<Christopher> "Mhmm. You know it's true." Chris caught her foot and removed her shoe so he could rub it for her.
<Viper> She set both her feet in his lap if he was going to do that. Coffee, warmth and a foot massage. This was a good rescue. She approved.
<Christopher> He just smirked and did the same with her other foot. "What would you ever do without me?"
<Viper> "I don't know," she offered a small smile. Well there went Boston.
<Christopher> Chris smiled back and kept rubbing her feet for her. "You're lucky you're cute." He grinned.
<Viper> Viper rolled her eyes at that but wore a smirk of amusement. The ground was closer on her next look out of the window. She could see the ocean so they were still near the coast...
<Christopher> Chris leaned over and gave her a kiss on the cheek. "I'm glad we managed to survive this."
<Viper> "Me too." She reclaimed her feet and her shoes when the wheels hit the driveway outside a cabin. "I think we're here."
<Christopher> "Apparently so." Chris got out of the car once they landed and looked around, wondering where they were.
<Carol> "So... this is my family's cabin. They only come here in the summer so it's totally safe to be here and I already checked there's food. I hang out here sometimes so my brother keeps the fridge stocked up... Go on in." She offered a small smile.
<Viper> "Where are we?" Viper asked as she climbed out of the car with the flask of coffee.
<Carol> "Cape Cod... I can bring you somewhere else if you'd rather...." she looked between Viper and Chris but Viper was already starting for the door. Okay.
<Christopher> Chris just followed Viper to the door, his gaze focused on the ground in front of him.
<Carol> Carol collected all the blankets from the car and took the keys out of the ignition, heading for the door once the vehicle was all locked up. She dropped all the blankets onto the floor in the hall and closed the front door behind her. Well this was going to get really awkward whatever way she did it so she grabbed Chris before he found somewhere to hide and dragged him into the living room.
<Carol> Viper was already in the kitchen, she could hear her exploring the contents of the cupboards and hoped that meant she was going to cook. "We need to talk," she informed Chris once they were in the room.
<Christopher> "Alright." Chris chewed his lip. "Thanks for saving us..."
<Carol> "You're welcome," she smiled, "I'm glad you're okay... I guess I should call Greer and tell her I found you... or you could do that.... I didn't tell her you were missing... she told me...."
<Christopher> "I can do that, I just need a phone. Wait... how'd she know?"
<Carol> "Well... that we hit a Hydra base was all over everywhere by the time we got back and then Greer came to me freaking out about you being with Viper and it was a whole thing... much freaking out everywhere... most of it was me." She leaned to pick up the cordless phone from the table by the sofa and offered it to him.
<Christopher> "Shit... Yeah Viper uhmm was fixing me." He took the phone and showed off his fixed arm.
<Carol> "Yeah she said that... it worked. Cool." She smiled, "I'll go.... leave you to your call in private... and see if Viper's cooking because her cooking is awesome."
<Christopher> "Alright..." Chris dialed Greer's number as Carol walked out.
<Viper> Viper was indeed cooking and was so thrilled to have real food! There was already a pot cooking with something on the stove and now she was mixing ingredients for bread. There was also coffee.
<Carol> Carol looked around the kitchen, a grin on her face at the sight, "Are you sure you don't want to rest or something....?"
<Viper> Viper shook her head, "I'm fine... I may shower once I finish kneeding this. It'll need to rest for a while anyway."
<Carol> "Okay... I'll go get some towels and find you some clothes to wear... you okay with borrowing some of mine?"
<Viper> Viper nodded, "That'll be fine." She glanced over her shoulder and offered Carol a smile. "Thanks for coming to get us."
<Carol> "Oh you're welcome. There was no way I was leaving you guys out there...." she went over and gave Viper a hug and a kiss, "I'll get out of your way now... even though I love watching you cook. I'll come back."
<Christopher> Chris let Greer know he was safe and what exactly had happened. Mostly he just told her over and over how he loved her and was sorry.
<Carol> Carol came back down the stairs after sorting out towels and clothes and waited for Chris to hang up, "So... Viper's cooking and planning on showering... you can shower too if you want... but you'll have to borrow my brother's clothes... is that okay?"
<Christopher> "Alright thanks. I think I'll just uhmm wait for her to get done." Chris bit his lip.
<Carol> "Um... there's more than one bathroom... you can go now if you want... I'll show you where everything is...."
<Christopher> "Oh uhmm yeah okay." Chris frowned a little feeling beyond stupid. "Thanks."
<Carol> She gave him a small smile and headed back for the stairs, "This way..."
<Christopher> Chris followed her up the stairs. "Mhmm."
<Carol> Carol chewed her lip as she showed him along the hall, "Um... so... I spoke to Cess.... well Viper sorta brought her over as a surprise... and things are okay... how are you?"
<Christopher> "Truth? I've been better..." Chris ran a hand through his hair. "Yeah Viper's good at surprises."
<Carol> She paused and turned to look at him, "Is there anything I can do to help?"
<Christopher> "Kick my ass?" He gave her a weak laugh. "I'm sure Viper told you I fell off the wagon."
<Carol> She nodded, "Yeah she told me... and I nearly did too... so I can't judge.... actually she's the only reason I didn't... she kept confiscating my booze...."
<Christopher> "You don't have to... And you wouldn't have if I wasn't worthless." Chris couldn't look at her now.
<Carol> "You're not worthless.... you're just occasionally really dumb...."
<Christopher> "More often than not." He ran a shaky hand through his hair. "I'm sorry Carol."
<Carol> "It's okay.... I... overreacted I guess.... it just took me by surprise... and then you said you were leaving and it hit me a lot harder than I thought it would...." she closed the distance between them and pulled him into a hug.
<Christopher> "You're not supposed to hug me..." Chris bit his lip, trying to hold back tears. "You're supposed to beat me up and tell me what an ass I am. That I never think about anyone but myself."
<Carol> "But then I'd be lying and you know how I feel about doing that... now hug me back and stop beating yourself up." She gave him a small squeeze.
<Christopher> Chris hugged her back. "No you wouldn't."
<Carol> "But you don't only think about yourself... you're mad at yourself because you upset other people.... and you're beating yourself up more than I could... but I can punch you if it would make you feel better. Would it make you feel better?"
<Christopher> "Only if you think you can concuss me enough to make me not an ass." He sighed. "I... I missed you Carol."
<Carol> "But then you'd be no fun... I can't mock you if you're assless.... I missed you too..."
<Christopher> "I'm sorry Carol... I didn't mean to hurt you. Shit just didn't happen right. And I was stupid, so fucking stupid." Chris gave her a squeeze not wanting to let go.
<Carol> "It's okay, really... look you may as well know that when Viper brought Cess over we all kind of ended up in bed together so I really don't feel that crappy about it anymore...."
<Christopher> "It doesn't change what I did, and that I should have known it would have hurt you. I'm sorry... I'm an ass and I probably smell like one too right now." He sighed. "I'm sorry I almost pushed you off the wagon."
<Carol> "It's okay... I'm okay now... Everything's fine and your hand is better which is awesome.... maybe I should get Viper some really good scotch.... or schnapps...."
<Christopher> "Why do you owe her scotch or schnapps?" Chris gave her a puzzled look. "I'm the one she fixed."
<Carol> "Because she's awesome and she's downstairs making dinner and bread. The kitchen's going to smell amazing and we'll have real food.... plus the hand thing."
<Christopher> Chris laughed a little. "You're a doofus." He finally looked her in the eyes, giving her a big smile.
<Carol> "It's part of my charm," she nodded sagely, smiling back. "And if you disagree I'll punch you."
<Christopher> "Promises promises." His smile got wider.
<Carol> "But you have to shower if I'm going to knock you into a wall in this house because they'll totally notice if you still smell."
<Christopher> "Unless you knock me through the shower." Chris stuck his tongue out at her.
<Carol> "I think they might notice a giant hole in the wall too... now go shower while I watch Viper cooking. Have you seen her cook? It's awesome."
<Christopher> Chris laughed a little. "Make me." He let go of her to go to the shower. "Yes I've seen her cook. I'm not too bad myself you know."
<Carol> "You can only cook outside and it's too cold for that.... and she's baking bread. Did I mention she's baking bread? I didn't know people still knew how to do that.... well people that aren't my mother."
<Christopher> Chris just shook his head. "Gonna cream your panties just watching Viper cook?"
<Carol> "You'd like that, wouldn't you?" She laughed and headed back for the stairs.
<Christopher> "Nah I wouldn't get to watch." He went into the bathroom to strip and start showering.