2010-07-11: Team Mark



Date: July 11, 2010


Some decisions are made.

"Team Mark"

Mark's Apartment

Several hours passed before now. Jo had made a few calls, and lined up some meetings to set herself up back in the navy. As always, they were glad at the prospect of having her back, not that anything is set in stone. And having made her phone calls, she sits on one of the stools at the breakfast bar, still not quite home in this space.

She sips at the orange juice in front of her (wishing it to be vodka) before gazing down the map she's scribbling over. Biting her bottom lip, she shakes her head a bit, still wholly unsure. Maybe this is one mission she should give up on. Move on, enjoy her life. Learn how to live again. Maybe.

She quirks another eyebrow before bringing the orange juice to her lips again and pressing her lips into a thin line and glancing at the package Robert had left for Mark. Skeptically she wrinkles her nose and shakes her head. No opening the package.

Keys rattle in the lock of the door, hours before Mark said he'd be home, it should raise flags The owner of the plush apartment, however, is smart enough to call out. "I'm home, Jo."Again that one word doesn't quite fit in his mouth anymore. This wasn't home anymore.

A rather tired looking man comes out of the entry way, already working to get rid of his coat. "That was a mistake." Mark comments right off the bat, not quite looking at Jo, except for quick glance, since he's working to unbutton his shirt, the white undershirt peaking out. But he doesn't undo more then a couple of buttons.

"So…" He puts on a little brighter expression as he asks, "… what did you think of Robert?" His falls into a bland expression again, moving into the kitchen. Well, he knows Robert stop by and isn't happy about it. The fridge door yanked open and he starts eying the content.

The rattling of keys actually puts the marine on alert, eyebrows furrowing as she pushes the orange juice further away. And then there's Mark's voice. Her eyebrows continue to knit together as he walks into the room, her head tilting in unuttered concern. Chewing on her bottom lip, she turns on the stool. "What was a mistake?" The going in? The shirt?

Jo can't help the flaring of her nostrils and pursing of her lips at Robert's name, nor can she suppress the small snort that escapes. With her face tensing into a scowl, she shakes her head slightly and attempts a few deep, cleansing breaths. "Your brother is an ass," she says matter-of-factly. But then, involuntarily, a smile edges her lips, "I put him in an Anaconda hold and kicked him out after he insinuated I'm male and somehow hit on me with his next breath." Lifting what Robert left behind she tosses it towards Mark, "Left you this."

"Yeah, he mentioned he met you." Mark comments, pulling out the carton of orange juice, letting the fridge door swing shut again. Looking at her again, he gives her an amused look, a smile pulling up on one side of his mouth. "Really?" Both brows tilt upward and he looks impressed… but then he chuckles. There is not humor in that sound. "Sounds like little brother had a bad day."

Moving to the cabinet near the breakfast bar he pulls out a glass and sets about filling it. "Told me he stopped by to drop off some paperwork and check out the new piece of meat." He flicks a glance her way before adding, "Then I threw him against the wall." The container is seat heavily on the counter. "It was a mistake to go in… I'm not ready yet."

It's hard for him to admit that, giving his head a shake, "Especially, with how close they got to getting me successfully killed." He sighs heavily and picks up the glass to take a sip.

"Real charmer that brother of yours," Jo clucks her tongue with a now-broadening grin before finishing her glass of juice. But the grin is stifled at the next bit, falling into something more contemplative. "You… you're off." Her features altogether soften with a heavy sigh.

"You're an incredible man for not throttling them." Now she sets her glass down on the breakfast bar, staring at it silently before hopping down from the stool and over to him. Her hand reaches to give his free hand a squeeze.

Her eyes soften as she glances up at him and shakes her head just a little. "You don't need to go back, you know. People quit jobs all of the time— " She sighs again, her gaze turning to the floor with another shake of her head, "Families are… complicated." She bites her bottom lip.

He takes another sip of the orange juice before it settled down on the counter top again, Mark's fingers linger on the glass. Her hand is warm in his, his fingers tightening gently. "If I quit, they win." He turns towards her, giving her a small gentle smile. "Can't have that.

"Told them I'm going on vacation, tho. Needed time to unwind." He sighs heavily, using her hand in his to pull her close with his other arm. His hand slips from her's so he can settle a hand against her cheek, thumb brushing along the delicate bone of her cheek.

"I'm going to Egypt, Kate." Mark says softly, eyes meeting hers. "No rest for the weary… especially for me."

Relaxing against Mark, Jo settles there with another heavy sigh, this one different than the others, contented, at least mildly. "So… vacation's off the menu, then?" her head tilts up at him, her arms settling comfortably around his waist, but there's a weariness there as well, a different one. "They're overrated, anyways."

"What's in Egypt, Mark?" the question is soft, undemanding, curious, even. "What are we doing in Egypt?" And there it is. She's going with him, there's no question in the matter, not in her mind, anyways.

She wants to say more; she wants to say everything on her mind, but she can't bring herself to do it, instead she gives him a squeeze, regretful she can't bring herself to say more.

A smile plays on his lips at her small declaration, his arm tightening around her just a little. The smile quickly falls his face, as he admits, "More of my father's madness." His eyes search her's, brows furrowing a bit. "How much did Cody tell you about time we were captured by terrorists? If at all?"

The hand on her cheek, slides down to rest at the curve created where her neck meets her shoulder, his touch gentle. "There are rumors of armed strangers and people in collars." Marks blue eyes gaze drops to where his hand lays on at her neck. "I have to go check it out, make sure it's not the collars made by Lane."

"Cody told me next to nothing," Jo admits with a slight frown as she stares intently at his face. She twitches at the notion of armed strangers and people in collars her grip on him loosening slowly until her arms are down at her sides again. Her own jaw tightens and he can likely feel her tighten underneath his touch.

"I.. need to come with you." Her face pales just a stitch. "You know I was one of them right?" She swallows and now looks away from him entirely, choosing to stare at the floor. "One of the armed strangers…"

"Hey…" The word is firm, but spoken softly. He lets go of her, but it isn't to move away from her, instead both hands move to cradle he head and force her to look at him. "Hey… key word here is 'was' and yes… it was mentioned." A smile tries to tug up a corner of his mouth. "You were a member of the protocols… I am the heir to the very company that build everything you used.

"Seriously… who am I to judge anyone?"

Slowly, almost as if reluctantly, he lets his hands fall away, "I couldn't stop you if I tried I bet… I mean from coming with me." He gives her a look, something passes through his expression, before he lets his own gaze drop. "Wouldn't stop you anyhow, I need someone I trust at my back… someone who can take care of herself in a firefight." He looks up as he speaks those somewhat familiar words, having said something similar on the banks.

"I was hoping you would go with me." Mark voice speaking volume of how feels about it, since the words won't exactly come to him. It's all still too new between them.

Jo complies with the motion, watching him intently with every word her own tension still present in her body. But at the comment about the company, it's her turn to graze his cheek with her fingertips. Shaking her head she quietly corrects, "Don't talk like that. You didn't do this. You weren't responsible. You aren't responsible, and you're doing what you can to fix it. You're a good person, Mark. I know you are." Her lips press together again as she looks up at him. "Me? I… chose that. And it wasn't until they asked me to off my best friend that I found things… fishy. I thought— " she stops, allowing her thought to fall flat. It's her turn to frown, her lips edging downwards and her eyes drooping the same way.

"It's like I told your brother, I'm on your team." Even when there isn't an obvious one to be had. "I'm coming with you and yeah, I can take care of myself. I'm scarier barehanded than most untrained men with guns."

Her hand is captured again, when Mark feels those fingers touch his cheek. "Yeah. I know… I've had those hands all over me." Yes, he made a lame joke to try and ease some of the tension between them. His brows lift just a way as if daring her to deny it, head turning slightly, to press a kiss to her hand.

"Either we'll leave as soon as we can and we'll get to the bottom of what is going on." Mark gives a soft sigh and bows his head, pressing her hand against his cheek. Brows furrow in thought, before his eyes open again, and his head tilts up to look at her, soft smile touching his lips. "As a team, of course."

The lame joke actually earns him a trace of a smile as Jo eases at the kiss on her hand. She makes no effort to deny it. "And was it frightening?" Now her eyebrows arch, daring an answer. Her tone is slightly intrigued and has definite traces of good humour that seems to be reserved primarily for Mark.

The second hand is raised to his other cheek in turn. "Just consider me a permanent member of your team until further notice." Moistening her lips, she adds, "I got your back."

The brave explorer scrunches his nose up a bit, a hand lifts between both her arms as she holds his head between them. Thumb and a finger held a part just a smidgen. "Just a little." That hand and the other then grips at her hip, fabric of the shirt she's wearing bunched under them. "You know… but in a good way." He smiles then, that one that comes so easily to his lips.

Studying her for a long moment, Mark finally shakes his head. "I still don't understand how I get so lucky. Thank you." Those last two word whispered, as he leans in slowly. The adventurer attempts to press a gentle kiss to her forehead, lingering there for just a moment, before leaning down further to try to capture her lips in something with more feeling and need behind it.

The kiss on her forehead draws Jo's eyes shut, in that moment she's away from these troubles, from this place, and from this situation— gone somewhere safe and whole and far away from all of this. Her hands remain there, caressing his cheeks, so even with closed eyes the lean for her lips is noted, imminent. Her own need drawing her towards his lips with equal fervency.

Hands slid around her hips, pulling the fabric of shirt tight, even as he pulls her against him. Just like for her, it's a moment to let go of everything else but the sensations of their touch, the tasted of her kiss and emotions that get wrapped up in it. His family, the responsibilities melt away with each passionate kiss.

He doesn't quite know it, but his brother is right, the woman in his arms is his weakness.

Moments like this one are fleeting and pass quickly, but with the dangerous life they live, they are precious in their own right. So Mark is going to take advantage of every one he can manage, before they are gone.

Right now it's the best way the explorer has to express himself to this warrior woman in his arms. Shifting his grip, he suddenly moves to sweep her off her feet, so that he can spend some time expressing himself further in the comfort of the bedroom.

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