Always Be Drunk That S It

[14:19] <Marianne> [The drinks- and lots of them- had been set up, nibblies had been put in place as well. Frederic and Sophie were setting up the music system, whilst Misato and Tobias Linden sat and chatted amiably.-
[14:20] * Marianne herself was preparing a certain game peripherals, but she herself was also waiting for someone. She leaned out of the laundry. "Is Raphael here yet?"-
[14:20] <Marianne> ["Eh, not yet, not yet." Said Misato.]
[14:26] <Raphael> And, right on cue, there's a quick, sharp knock at the door.
[14:34] * Marianne left the laundry in a rush, heading over to the door. She threw it open.
[14:40] * Raphael is standing on the other side, a bottle of wine clutched in one hand and a bag of various cheeses and crackers to add to the table. He’s wearing an outfit quite similar to the last party, although obviously sized down somewhat, and he looks a little startled by Marianne’s sudden appearance.-
[14:40] <Raphael> "Colonel…?"
[14:44] * Marianne was wearing a long black skirt with a white turtleneck sweater; her hair was shiny and healthy. She'd obviously had it cleaned and pampered very recently.-
[14:44] <Marianne> She holds out an abrupt hand. "ID card."
[14:45] * Raphael gives her a flat stare.
[14:46] <Marianne> "Come on."
[14:51] * Raphael sighs, reaching into his pocket and searching out the requested card. "Yes ma'am."
[14:52] * Marianne takes it and immediately tosses it into a glass bowl that dominates a small wooden table by the door. Raphael would see that it was full of NERV IDs- and one LN card.-
[14:53] <Marianne> "Tonight!" She steps aside, beaming. "We are all equals without rank! That means you call us by our names. And no ma'am."-
[14:53] <Marianne> ["Hiya, Raffy-kuuuun~" calls Misato. "We've decided that whenever you break that rule, you have to drink twice, and we all drink once!"]
[14:56] <Raphael> "… This seems like a bad idea." Raphael says, stepping past Marianne and setting down his food and drink on the snack table.
[14:56] <Marianne> ["I believe I said the same, but for all intents and purposes I -am- Colonel Amatore's pris-"-
[14:57] <Marianne> ["COLONEL!" Shouts Misato gleefully. "Drink drink drink~"-
[14:57] <Marianne> ["…" Tobias sags. "It's good to see you again, at any rate, Sir Guillory."]
[14:58] * Raphael gives Linden a sympathetic look. "Likewise, C-…" He pauses and coughs. "Tobias."
[14:59] <Marianne> ["Heeeey, it's Raphael~"-
[15:01] <Marianne> [Raphael would find himself suddenly being half-tackled, half-embraced as the highly excitable and energetic form of Sophie Gagnier latched on, ruffling his hair. "eeeee, he's so cuuuuuuuute~"-
[15:02] <Marianne> ["You're only doing that because it's no rank." Says Frederic easily, sitting on the floor. "Hiya, Raphael."]
[15:05] * Raphael grimaces, trying to shrug off Sophie with minimal success. "Ah, Lieutenant, I really must insist-"
[15:05] <Marianne> ["LIEUTENANT! DRINK!"-
[15:05] <Marianne> ["Eeeeee I want to eat him all up~~~~~" Coos Sophie.-
[15:05] <Marianne> ["If it's any consolation, Raphael, she does this to the actual Shinji, too." Says Frederic.-
[15:05] <Marianne> "She also did it to Isaiah that one time."-
[15:06] <Marianne> ["Oh yeah, that's right…"]
[15:11] * Raphael lets out a half-hearted sigh and manages to duck free of Sophie's grip. "I suppose knowing that I'm not the only one is some comfort…"
[15:13] <Marianne> ["Heeheehee." She lets him go without much more of a fight, and heads to the chair.-
[15:14] <Marianne> [Frederic is after, patting Raphael on the shoulder.-
[15:14] <Marianne> [Misato scoots over one, and pats the seat she'd just vacated. "Come on, sit down! You have like, five drinks to do."]
[15:17] <Raphael> "Already?" Raphael asks, joining her on the couch. "I don't think I'll be able to keep up quite like I did last time."
[15:17] <Marianne> [Misato beams. "Mmmhm."-
[15:18] * Marianne sits down in her chair with a glass of wine. "The beer's in the kitchen if you want to go get yourself some, Raphael."
[15:21] <Raphael> "Ah. I just might, actually." He says, getting back to his feet. "It seems like I have some catching up to do."
[15:25] <Marianne> ["Mmmhm. Bring me back a few too, Raphael."]
[15:30] <Raphael> "Yes-…" Raphael begins, and finds himself stopping short again. He gives the bowl of ID cards a nervous look. "Alright, Misato." Raphael says, and with a small smile at the rest of the group he's off towards the kitchen.
[15:31] <Marianne> [She grins.-
[15:31] <Marianne> [The kitchen is liberally stocked by someone who clearly knows what they're dealing with. Beer cans by the dozen, a few bottles of wine and spirits…-
[15:32] <Marianne> [Pen-Pen sits on a stool at the bench, where he's apparently liberated a plate of sausage and cheese. "Wark."]
[15:35] <Raphael> It’s a testament to how strange his life has become that the discovery of a penguin in the kitchen doesn’t so much as stop Raphael short. In fact, Raphael’s first response is simply to give Pen-Pen a friendly nod as he begins browsing the alcohol on display. "Good evening, Pen-Pen."
[15:37] <Marianne> ["Wark." Pen-Pen reaches around- and it's clear that the cunning penguin has managed to create a wall of beer cans to hide something- and he pulls out a -special- beer- one similar in quality to the ones he gave Raphael last Christmas. He holds it out.]
[15:41] * Raphael gives the penguin a surprised look, only to break into a wide smile as he reaches out to accept the gift. "For me? Pen-Pen, that's really not necessary. But thank you…"
[15:42] <Marianne> ["Wark." He impales a piece of cheese on a long claw and eats it. "Warrrrrk."]
[15:44] * Raphael nods slowly, opening the beer and taking a long gulp. "How has everything been at home?"
[15:45] <Marianne> [Pen-Pen mulled this over.-
[15:45] <Marianne> ["Wark." Was his thoughtful reply.]
[15:48] * Raphael 's expression seems to imply that he's giving it the serious consideration such a response deserves. "You're taking care of Misato, I hope?"
[15:51] <Marianne> [Pen-Pen stares at him a little flatly, cracks open a beer and drains it. "Wark!"]
[15:53] <Raphael> "Good to know." Raphael says solemnly, falling silent as he drains the rest of his own beer before grabbing one of the unopened twelve-packs of beer from the countertop. "I'd best get back, Pen-Pen, but Suzanne sends her best."
[15:56] <Marianne> [A shadow crosses Pen-Pen's face and he warily looks over his shoulder. "… Wark."]
[15:59] * Raphael grins. "I'll see you later, I'm sure." Raphael says with a little chuckle, already heading back towards the living room.
[16:01] <Marianne> ["… But of course Raphael will want to play it." Is the first thing he hears, from the mouth of Misato.]
[16:04] <Raphael> Such a simple sentence shouldn't seem quite so ominous, any yet Raphael was unable to hear it any other way. "I'll want to play what, precisely?" He asks, emerging back into the living room and setting the beer down in the middle of the table.
[16:04] <Marianne> ["Nuh-uh." Misato shakes her head. "Before we tell you, you have to promise to play it."]
[16:05] <Raphael> "… Not a particularly enticing offer." Raphael notes, returning to his seat beside Misato.
[16:07] <Marianne> "It's a rhythm game." Said Marianne.
[16:09] <Raphael> "Some sort of board game?"
[16:13] <Marianne> ["Man, you lived with Rei all that time and…?"-
[16:13] <Marianne> "No, it's like… You do physical stuff. Like- do you know those video games where you have a controller in your hand, and you swing it to mimic swinging a golf club?"
[16:16] <Raphael> "I believe so."
[16:17] <Marianne> "It's like that."
[16:17] <Raphael> "I… see." Raphael says slowly, looking over at Misato. "And I'd want to play that?"
[16:19] <Marianne> ["We're all doing it." Says Misato. "It's -fun-, you know? Fun? We play games and we enjoy ourselves." She winks. "Besides, it's NERV-made, so it has several settings."]
[16:21] <Raphael> "… Mmm." Raphael says, considering this. Another beer seems to have found its way into his hand while nobody was looking. "I… suppose it wouldn't hurt to /try/."
[16:22] <Marianne> "Excellent. I'll go get the mat."
[16:28] * Raphael 's brow furrows for a moment, as if he's listening to some distant voice. But then the cloud clears and he looks over at Misato and gives her a genuine, fearless smile. "I suspect this will be a little embarrassing."
[16:29] <Marianne> ["Absolutely." She beams. "But don't worry, we also have a shooter peripheral too, so we can do some shooting range stuff."-
[16:30] <Marianne> ["Miss Katsuragi has money riding on you." Says Tobias, offering Raphael a small smile.-
[16:30] <Marianne> ["Money she'll -lose-." Says Sophie fervently.]
[16:33] * Raphael chuckles, leaning a bit closer to Misato. "Well, I suppose I'll have to put in my best effort."
[16:33] <Marianne> ["Or else~"-
[16:40] <Marianne> [It took Marianne about ten minutes to bring the dancing mats out into the main room. They were bright and colourful, with a collection of arrows for feet and hand prints for hands. She hooked it up to the large television display.-
[16:40] <Marianne> [During this, the beer flowed…]
[16:43] * Raphael was sitting alongside Misato, nursing his beer gently and staring at the mats in an attempt to analyze what he was being asked to do. He was beginning to get the gist of it all, but one question remained: "What is NERV doing with this sort of toy, Misato?"
[16:45] <Marianne> ["We use it for rhythm training~" She says happily. "It's actually a lot more sophisticated than it looks. There are times where we need choreographed actions from the pilots, see? Even better, there are times we need them choreographed in pairs." She nods. "With the tech we have, we can simulate them being shot at, so they have to dodge it."]
[16:47] <Raphael> "Hmm. I suppose that makes sense."
[16:47] * Marianne sets the mats up, and stands back. "Ooookay! We're gonna do it in pairs~ So everyone pair up~"
[16:51] * Raphael turns to Misato. "Well, if I'm going to embarrass myself I'd prefer you were concentrating on something other than mocking me."
[16:52] <Marianne> ["Ahahahaha." She grins. "Well played, well played~"-
[16:52] <Marianne> ["Fred and I have excellent rhythm, don't we~?" Says Sophie.-
[16:52] <Marianne> ["Mm, quite…"-
[16:52] <Marianne> ["Which I believe just leaves you and me, Colonel." Says Tobias, smiling faintly.-
[16:53] <Marianne> ["COLONEL! DRINK!"-
[16:53] <Marianne> ["Argh…"]
[16:53] <Raphael> "… I'm just pleased someone is having more difficulty with this than I am." Raphael mutters.
[16:55] <Marianne> "Mm, quite!" Says Marianne, looking rather pleased at the pairings.-
[16:55] <Marianne> "Alright. Let's see. Who should go first?"-
[16:55] <Marianne> ["Raphael and Misato." Says Fred instantly.]
[16:56] * Raphael gives Fred a dark look, tipping his beer in the Captain's direction. "I'll remember this, sir."
[16:56] <Marianne> ["SIR! DRINK~"]
[16:57] <Raphael> "Sir was never outlawed!" Raphael protested.
[16:58] <Marianne> "Spirit of the law." Says Marianne, grinning.
[16:59] <Raphael> "Fine, fine." Raphael says, waving his hand in defeat and smiling faintly. He grabs another beer and accepts his punishment.
[16:59] <Marianne> [The ritual is repeated by everyone else in the room. Misato stands.-
[17:00] <Marianne> ["We'll start off with the easy ones first~ Raffy-kun is new to the game, so it's only fair."]
[17:02] * Raphael drains the last of his beer and joins Misato at the mats. "If you'd like. I'll try not to take too long to learn."
[17:04] <Marianne> [The television turned on as they stepped onto the mat, blinding them with a violently colourful display- NERV EVA-EVA CARPET REAVER splashed across the screen in neon yellow.]
[17:06] <Raphael> "What… does that mean?" Raphael asks, raising his eyebrow as he shifts his weight from foot to foot.
[17:07] <Marianne> "You cut rugs." Says Marianne, grinning. She selects the 'Beginner Synchronisation Challenge' map. The screen changes.-
[17:08] <Marianne> [The screen is divided into two halves, one for each participant- EVA-01 occupies Raphael's screen, and EVA-02 taking Misato's. A soundclip- Commander Ikari going 'Launch Evangelions!' is played, and… the game begins.]
[17:23] <Raphael> He was going to Have Fun. He was sure of it. In fact his full concentration was being placed into just that, his mouth pressed into a tight line as he struck every glowing button as though his life depended on it. He was barely aware of the saccharine music washing over him, or anything else for that matter.
[17:27] <Marianne> [If anyone looking at Raphael at that point had taken a picture they might've been able to make money on it by selling it to the magazines, or more by selling it to the Louvre. He was a work of art. A pretty, pretty work of art…-
[17:27] <Marianne> ['Raphael rising from the J-Pop', perhaps.-
[17:28] <Marianne> [This wasn't lost on Misato, not at all. Misato wasn't bad at this game- she was actually rather good at it, but that didn't mean much. At first, she went fine, keeping in form and step, but then she looked to her side and…-
[17:29] <Marianne> [A person tripping over their own feet is never graceful. It makes them look as though they've tried to make two forward steps at the same time. This is exactly what it looked like, and Misato slipped, seemingly just -falling-, her eyes widening slowly…]
[17:34] * Raphael ‘s mat, meanwhile, is a blur of hands, feet and flashing LEDs as Raphael navigates the treacherous waters of DDR like he was born to do it. He is fairly certain that he is Having Fun.-
[17:35] <Raphael> But Misato’s situation isn’t entirely lost on him, even in whatever J-Pop fugue state he’s slid into. As the song draws to a close, he actually -twirls- on the last button, balanced on one foot as he slides over towards Misato’s side of the mat and catches her in a low bow a moment before she hits the ground. The music stops, and leaves his face mere inches from hers.-
[17:35] <Raphael> … His expression seems to suggest that he’s not entirely sure what just happened.
[17:41] <Marianne> ["Ah… Ah…"-
[17:42] <Marianne> [Misato stares up at him, shellshocked- although whether it's from the sensation of falling or from the sensation of being caught by the incarnation of dashing himself she isn't sure. A second later, a burning red blush spreads across her face.-
[17:43] <Marianne> ["Is… is this guy for real…?" Murmurs Frederic. Next to him, Sophie is -squeeing-.-
[17:43] <Marianne> ["This explains a lot, actually." Says Tobias casually.]
[17:46] <Raphael> "I… ah… … /hmm/." Raphael murmurs, looking almost as uncertain as Misato. He’s not really listening to the others just yet. "Are you alright?"
[17:50] <Marianne> ["Um." She says.]
[17:52] <Raphael> "…" Raphael is blushing a little himself now as he scoops her a little closer and pulls her back onto her feet. "I… ah, think we won the round." He notes mildly.
[19:04] <Marianne> ["You know, I knew a man in New York who used to break people's fingers for pretending to be beginners." Says Tobias conversationally.-
[19:11] <Marianne> [Misato, blushing hotly, patted Raphel on the shoulders with an almost- not quite panicky, but definitely jumpy manner. "You never told me you were- you- the dancing."]
[19:17] <Raphael> "I'm not." Raphael murmurs, before realizing how and where he's holding her is probably not appropriate in front a collection of most of his superior officers. He lets her go a takes a careful step back. "I was just… trying to hit the buttons."
[19:20] <Marianne> ["You definitely did that." Said Frederic. "You also seem to have hit a lot of Miss Katsuragi's buttons, at the same time…~"]
[19:22] * Raphael 's face burns red, and lets out an awkward cough. "So! We should… ah, probably decide who's going next, correct?"
[19:28] <Marianne> "Indeed. As you two went first, you can decide next~"
[19:30] * Raphael points towards Fred and Sophie without further comment, before gently leading Misato back towards the couch.
[19:39] <Marianne> [Frederic easily gets to his feet, stretching. "Alright. Let's show them what we can do." He grins and heads over to his pad.-
[19:40] <Marianne> [Sophie was, in fact, already there, eagerly bouncing up and down. "Pick the hard one! I like the hard ones. They're far more exciting."-
[19:40] <Marianne> ["Mmm."-
[19:53] <Marianne> [The flagship of all that is J-Pop bursts into the air, and now Raphael - out of his intense focus- can see that the Evangelion figures on the screen actually -react- to the positions the players make. As Fred moves flawlessly, left and right, dropping low to hit the hand notes, his Evangelion responds in kind, looking graceful and smooth and flowing.-
[19:56] <Marianne> [Sophie's looks considerably less so, in a way that would make Asuka Langley-Soryu throw a tantrum if she saw her Eva so disparaged. Mistakes are regularly made, and by the time the song is done, she's only managed to get 20% of the actions right. This does nothing to ruin her disposition, and clearly not to be outdone, throws herself at Frederic. "Eee! You got a flawless result~"-
[19:56] <Marianne> ["I di- oof."]
[20:01] <Raphael> A few minutes of distraction seem to have done Raphael some good. The blush is gone, and he seems almost back to his normal self. He smiles a little as Fred and Sophie finish their round and finishes the rest of his latest beer. "Good work, you two."
[20:02] <Marianne> ["No worries." Says Fred with a grin as he wipes a brow, sitting back down.-
[20:02] <Marianne> ["Hey Misato~"-
[20:02] <Marianne> ["Yeah?"-
[20:02] <Marianne> ["My score was higher than yours~"-
[20:02] <Marianne> ["A-heh. So it was." Misato laughs. Her eyes narrow.-
[20:02] <Marianne> [It was on.-
[20:04] <Marianne> ["Very well then." Tobias gets to his feet. "Now, I cannot vouch for my skill at this…"-
[20:04] <Marianne> "Don't worry. Where's your pattern recognition, Tobias?"-
[20:04] <Marianne> ["My-?"-
[20:04] <Marianne> "Well, you know, all the other handsome young men here seem to have gotten excellent scores."-
[20:06] <Marianne> ["Ah. Yes, of course." Says Tobias- if Raphael hadn't been, well, Raphael, he would've missed the small hint of uncertainty in that reply.-
[20:14] <Marianne> [They stepped onto the platforms, and… They danced!-
[20:15] <Marianne> [Tobias's expression was, Raphael would realise, rather familiar- the look of a man out of his depth but desperately trying to paddle to keep his head above water, and trying at the same time to ensure no one realised just how hard he was paddling.-
[20:20] * Marianne was far less… Serious, you could say. She was relaxed, not getting caught on her mistakes, dancing from one step to another light on her feet - and light of heart. She wasn't -worried-. She really was having fun.-
[20:21] <Marianne> [When the song ended, overall they'd probably done better as a couple than anyone else had- even though Frederic and Raphael had done better than either of them combined.]
[20:28] * Raphael is murmuring something to Misato as the song ends, but he quickly finishes and gives the two a big smile. "You two make quite a team." Raphael says conversationally.
[20:29] <Marianne> [Misato leans back and quickly murmurs a reply.-
[20:31] <Marianne> "What're you two whispering about?"
[20:33] <Raphael> "Nothing at all, ma'am." Raphael says automatically, wincing a split second later.
[20:34] <Marianne> ["MA'AM! DRINK!" Misato yells happily.-
[20:34] <Marianne> [Tobias sits back down on Raphael's other side. "It doesn't get easier." he says quietly, but he's grinning as he reaches for his wine.]
[20:36] * Raphael chuckles and finds himself another beer amidst the growing pile of empties. "Well, that really wasn't as bad as I had expected."
[20:38] <Marianne> "Ahem…"
[20:39] <Raphael> "Ah…?"
[20:40] <Marianne> "It appears there's unfinished business." She grins. "Your score and Frederic's score…"-
[20:41] <Marianne> She nods to the screen, where the two scores are blinking. The same number…
[20:42] * Raphael eyes the screen for a moment before glancing over to Frederic. "I thought this was all for fun?"
[20:44] <Marianne> ["They -did- make bets." Said Frederic, grinning.-
[20:44] <Marianne> "C'moooon."
[20:44] <Raphael> "Well, I suppose…"
[20:45] <Marianne> ["Go get 'im, Raffy." Says Misato, pumping her fist.]
[20:47] <Raphael> "You're sure you don't want to join me?" Raphael says with a small smirk.
[20:53] <Marianne> ["Oh no. It's one on one." She says with a smirk. "You can catch -him- this time."-
[20:54] <Marianne> [Frederic chuckles as he steps onto the pad. "To the best man, hm?"]
[20:54] * Raphael lets out a brief, joyous laugh and gets to his feet, setting his beer aside. "Indeed, Mr. Gosselin." Raphael says as he steps onto the empty mat.
[20:56] <Marianne> [The music began…!]
[20:59] * Raphael starts off slower this time, a little more unsteady as he second guesses himself after the unexpected success of his first round. But soon enough he’s slid back into the same graceful routine, making the whole thing look surprisingly natural as he and the virtual Evangelion move in sync.
[21:01] <Marianne> [Frederic can't keep up, not this time. Whatever calm focus he had that kept him ahead before simply can't match up to Raphael's grace and dancing ability. When the music dies down, Raphael has won by a significant margin.-
[21:01] <Marianne> ["Damn." He says, grinning. "Well done. I guess I owe you 50 francs now, don't I, Misato?"-
[21:02] <Marianne> ["Eeheehee. That's right~" Misato, however, is shooting glances at Marianne.-
[21:02] <Marianne> "Should I go get… It?"-
[21:02] <Marianne> ["Yes! Yes!" Squeals Sophie.]
[21:03] <Raphael> Fight or flight instincts kick in almost instantly, and Raphael begins assessing nearby exits. Whatever those three were planning there was no way it could be anything pleasant. "Get -what-?"
[21:03] <Marianne> "Close your eyes~"
[21:06] * Raphael glances over at Tobias.
[21:06] <Marianne> ["I promise you that you will not be harmed." Says Tobias, but he's clearly amused.]
[21:07] <Raphael> "…" Raphael stares for a moment longer, before sighing and shutting his eyes. There was no escaping it, whatever it was.
[21:08] <Marianne> [Giggles. Lots and lots of giggles.-
[21:08] <Marianne> [Frederic was one of them, which was even worse.-
[21:09] <Marianne> [He felt himself being moved a little. Something was placed on his head and on his shoulders.-
[21:09] <Marianne> "Open your eyes~"
[21:09] * Raphael braces himself for a second or two before doing so, making sure he was ready for anything.
[21:10] <Marianne> [A mirror had been placed in front of him.-
[21:11] <Marianne> [Raphael stared at himself, but…-
[21:11] <Marianne> [On his shoulders, a NERV officer's uniform had been placed- dark blue, a commander's, with a ridiculously bright red sash and epaulettes.-
[21:12] <Marianne> [And on his head was a peaked officer's cap. A piece of paper attached to the brim read, in bright bold letters,-
[21:12] <Marianne> ["DANCE COMMANDER"]
[21:15] * Raphael stares at the scene for a moment, his expression utterly blank in a way that would do his old body proud. But then… well, the entire facade simply dissolves in a single moment and he’s -laughing-. It’s a rich, happy (And fairly pretty) sound that seems to go on and on as if it’s been held in for a long time.
[21:19] <Marianne> [He isn't alone- as Raphael laughs the giggles break out into their own guffaws and full laughs- this is -fun-. They're happy…-
[21:20] <Marianne> [There's the sound of cameras as people take pictures of their phones. Misato is at his side, grinning. "We wanted to make you Dance King, but as it turns out, it was easier to steal Wellesley's clothes than to make a new robe…"]
[21:22] <Marianne> <On*>
[21:29] <Raphael> "I'm assuming Alphonse isn't actually aware of all this." Raphael says, still grinning as he begins to get his breath.
[21:29] <Marianne> ["Of course not."-
[21:29] <Marianne> "Rei helped us, so long as we brought back pictures of whomever got the lucky prize." Says Marianne. "She'll be -so- thrilled to see it was you…"
[21:31] * Raphael chuckles and rubs at his eyes to clear them. "I don't doubt it. She probably would have talked me into trying it even if I didn't win."
[15:06] <Viviane> "You won't mind if we post these on the NERV intranet, do you, Dance Commander~?"
[15:06] <Raphael> "… Don't you dare."
[15:07] <Viviane> []*
[15:07] <Viviane> ["What if we labelled it as Pilot Ikari?" Asked Misato with an evil glimmer.]
[15:15] <Raphael> "I'm not stealing the boy's appearance and using it to commit practical jokes, Misato." Raphael says, giving her an amused look. "… Hmm, does 'Pilot' count as a rank?"
[15:16] <Viviane> ["… Damnit."-
[15:16] <Viviane> ["Ahahaha, it totally does~" Cooed Marianne. "DRINK!"]
[15:17] * Raphael puts on a sunny grin. "At least we aren't alone now, Mr. Linden."
[15:20] <Viviane> [He cracked a smile. "Quite!"-
[15:22] <Viviane> [The backlog of drinks were happily consumed, and they found themselves sitting around Marianne's table, nibbling and drinking in equal measure. Sophie had disappeared at some point.-
[15:23] <Viviane> ["So. So so so." Says Misato happily, leaning on Raphael's shoulder. "So… Y'know what'd be fun?"]
[15:36] * Raphael has done admirably well to keep up this long, but with Beer Mountain beginning to grow to a ridiculous scale things are beginning to catch up with him. He’s certainly not drunk yet (Or even as drunk as some of his compatriots), but his slightly looser demeanour suggests he’s at least a little buzzed. "I do not!” He says cheerfully, finding himself two more servings of cheese
[15:36] * Raphael and biscuits for the both of them.
[15:43] <Viviane> ["Games." She says. "NERV has some really -weird- boardgames- I know you got some around, Marianne…"-
[15:45] <Viviane> ["'Course." Says Marianne cheerfully. "Every OD gets one~ Most of them aren't very good, though." She adds dubiously.]
[15:46] <Raphael> "If there is one thing NERV does a poor job of manufacturing it is whimsy." Raphael says, handing one of the crackers to Misato.
[15:47] <Viviane> ["Ta."-
[15:48] <Viviane> ["What do you mean, precisely?" Asks Tobias curiously.]
[15:55] * Raphael seems quite prepared to respond for a moment, but a sudden glance around the table reminds him just who he’s surrounded by. "… Ah. Nothing really. It’s just been a difficult few weeks, I suppose."
[15:57] <Viviane> ["Oh, that reminds me. You know who -is- good at whimsy?" Asks Marianne chirpily.]
[15:58] <Raphael> "Who?"
[15:59] <Viviane> [She leans over, across Marianne, and beams. Takes out a cellphone. "Julien~"]
[16:00] <Raphael> "No. -No-. Absolutely not."
[16:02] <Viviane> ["Awwww, c'mon! He's so much fun. You're just -mean-." She pouts.]
[16:05] <Raphael> "I… I-I am not 'mean'!" Raphael says with what looks quite a bit like a pout of his own. "Fine, then, if you really must."
[16:06] <Viviane> [Marianne holds out the phone with a smirk.]
[16:07] <Raphael> "… You're going to make /me/ invite him?"
[16:09] <Viviane> ["Unless you wanna be the Mean Major…"]
[16:09] <Raphael> "Major?"
[16:11] <Viviane> ["That's right. I'll take that hat and -replace it-." Threatens Marianne.]
[16:13] * Raphael gives his best imitation of wide-eyed horror, before letting out a begrudging sigh. "If that's what you all want." He murmurs as he hits dial.
[16:15] <Viviane> ["Yaaaay~"-
[16:15] <Viviane> [The phone rings…-
[16:16] <Viviane> ["Mmm? Hello? Superheavy Regiment Tech Division, Doctor Lafabre speaking."]
[16:20] <Raphael> "Julien?" Any hope of Raphael slurring is still a long way off, but his best professional voice departed roughly three beers ago. "It’s Raphael."
[16:27] <Viviane> ["Oh hi, Raphael~" Julien's voice switches immediately to a far more casual tone. "How's my main man going?"]
[16:31] <Raphael> "I'm no-" Whatever he was ready to say dies a harsh death as he gives Marianne a wary look, though. He takes a deep breath and tries again. "… Julien, some of the other officers and I happened to be having a small party at Marianne's apartment, and she was… wondering if you happened to maybe be available."
[16:41] <Viviane> ["Aaaaaah." He's quiet, and he considers this…-
[16:41] <Viviane> ["Sorry, bro. It's not really my scene, and I'm running a campaign here with my boys tonight. Blaise's PC just got caught by a tentacle mantrap. S'great."]
[16:46] * Raphael is silent for a few moments as he attempts to parse a significant fraction of that last sentence, but manages to convince himself not to look a gift horse in the mouth. "Well, if you're certain, Julien. Have fun with your… uh, tentacles."
[16:49] <Viviane> ["Ahahaha. Oh, oh, hey, Raphael. I gotta tell you something before you - no, you're snared and immobilised- yes, that means you're helpless- go."]
[16:51] <Raphael> "…" Raphael is staring at Marianne, trying to convey a silent promise of retribution. "Alright."
[16:51] <Raphael> "…" Raphael is staring at Marianne, trying to convey a silent promise of retribution. "Alright."
[16:55] <Viviane> ["You see, we've had a side contract for awhile now, building the new NERV- no, I'm sorry, it says -right here- that you're wearing a skirt on your sheet- air superiority interceptor. We're gonna show it off at its full capacity in a few weeks, and we're thinking you oughta pilot."]
[16:57] <Raphael> … Why was his sheet wearing a skirt? "Ah, well, that should be fine. Why don't we discuss the details tomorrow?"
[16:57] <Viviane> ["It sounds good! Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to teach Blaise why he should wear proper armour…"]
[17:00] <Raphael> "… Well, good luck with that. I'll see you at the office." Raphael said, and after a quick trade of goodbyes he was ending the call and passing the phone back to Marianne.
[17:01] <Viviane> ["How'd it go?" Asked Marianne.]
[17:02] <Raphael> "He can't make it. Some business involving mantraps and one of my Sergeants in a skirt."
[17:02] <Viviane> ["…"-
[17:03] <Viviane> ["… What?" Misato scratches her chin. "It sounds like they're having way more fun than we are…"]
[17:06] <Raphael> "I’m perfectly comfortable with this level of fun, thank you." Raphael said, shifting a little as he evidently decided it was his turn to lean on Misato for a while.
[17:06] <Viviane> ["Speaking of fun." Says Tobias. "Where did Sophie go?"]
[17:08] * Raphael glanced around the room and frowned, raising an eyebrow at Fred in a silent question.
[17:09] <Viviane> ["She went to the kitchen to get a beer…" He frowned, a puzzled expression crossing his face. He stood up and went out into the kitchen- freezing at the door.-
[17:09] <Viviane> ["Oh Sophie, no…"]
[17:13] * Raphael frowns, sitting up a little straighter and setting down his beer. "Is everything ok? Do you need help?"
[17:13] <Viviane> ["You may wanna come and see."]
[17:14] <Raphael> … that earns a vastly more confused frown, but Raphael dutifully pulls himself up from the couch and joins Fred by the door.
[17:17] <Viviane> [Sophie had, apparently, stopped to challenge Pen-Pen to a drinking contest. Pen-Pen had won.-
[17:19] <Viviane> [But it was a hollow victory for Pen-Pen. Sophie lay on the floor, snoozing pleasantly, Pen-Pen grasped to her chest like a plush toy. He was staring at them.-
[17:19] <Viviane> [Just staring.-
[17:19] <Viviane> [Pleading.]
[17:22] <Raphael> "… Oh dear." Raphael says, instantly adopting the same shocked expression Fred had been wearing a moment before. "That poor woman. She never stood a chance."
[17:25] <Viviane> ["Huh?" Marianne frowns. "What's happening?"-
[17:25] <Viviane> [Misato tilts her head and walks over, peering over Raphael's shoulder. "… Hey, my penguin!"-
[17:25] <Viviane> ["Warrrrrrrk…"]
[17:26] <Raphael> "… We should probably rescue him."
[17:26] <Viviane> ["After we take pictures." Says Fred cheerfully, taking out his phone.]
[17:32] <Raphael> "Misato, would you mind pulling him free? I'd rather not serve as a replacement." Raphael says mildly, smirking just a little.
[17:33] <Viviane> ["Oh, so I'm fair game? What a gentleman you are."]
[17:35] <Raphael> "… That's hardly what I meant." He mutters, his shoulders sagging a little as he creeps towards the pair. A moment later he's crouching next to them, trying to shift Sophie's arms as gently as possible so that Pen-Pen can make his escape.
#1[17:36] <Viviane> ["Eeeepenguingnnkdnap." She mumbles. Pen-Pen shifts away and spares Raphael a grateful look before rushing off.]
[17:39] * Raphael watches him go, and manages to make it back to the door before releasing the little laugh he'd been holding in.
[17:42] <Viviane> [Pen-Pen isn't staying in the kitchen after this. He takes a seat at the table.-
[17:43] <Viviane> [Fred goes and grabs Sophie- sleeping on the floor isn't going to help a damn thing. "Hey, Tobias, can you prepare the couch for me?"-
[17:43] <Viviane> ["Certainly."-
[17:43] <Viviane> ["You dodged a bullet there, Raffy." Says Marianne happily.]
[17:46] <Raphael> "Quite." Raphael agrees solemnly.
[17:50] <Viviane> ["C'mon. Let's go back." Says Misato, patting Raphael on the head.]
[17:52] * Raphael nods, smiling as he heads back towards the living room with the others.
[17:53] <Viviane> [Marianne sits- Fred and Tobias concerned with tucking Sophie away.-
[17:54] <Viviane> [Misato sits as well, but through accident or design misses a chair- and puts herself down on adorable Raffy's lap~]
[17:59] * Raphael ‘s face takes on roughly the same colouration Misato’s exhibited during the dance contest within a second, his eyes inching wider. "… Um… Major…"
[18:00] <Viviane> ["MAJOR! DRINK!" She yells happily.]
[18:01] <Raphael> "Yes, certainly, but really…" He says, shifting a little beneath her.
[18:02] <Viviane> [She stretches luxuriously, shifting a little in her cute chair. "Mmm?"-
[18:02] <Viviane> [Tobias, now sitting opposite, gives Raphael a deeply sympathetic look.]
[18:05] * Raphael manages to redden yet more, and tries to make do with simply moving as little as possible. He reaches for the nearest unopened beer and takes a long drink.
[18:06] <Viviane> ["Y'know." Misato looks up at the roof. "S'reminds me of a -story-."]
[18:08] <Raphael> "D-does it?"
[18:08] <Viviane> ["Mmmhm. It was back during my college years…"-
[18:08] <Viviane> ["Oh no." Mumbles Marianne. "I think I know this story."]
[18:09] * Raphael is beginning to look worried now, though whether because of Marianne's nerves or the mention of college nobody would be able to say for sure.
[18:12] <Viviane> ["D'you all know Ritsuko Akagi?"]
[18:17] <Raphael> "I know of her." Raphael says, still working through his latest drink. "The scientist, yes? Pil-… Tsubaki Akagi's sister, I mean."
[18:17] <Viviane> ["Close." Says Tobias, cracking a grin.-
[18:18] <Raphael> "I'm getting better."
[18:43] <Viviane> ["Well y'see, I went to college with her." Misato grins. "Very clinical, very logical was Miss Rits-chan, oh yes. Of course, too much so for me…"]
[18:49] <Raphael> "You two didn't get on?"
[18:51] <Viviane> ["Oh, no, we were friends." Said Misato, beaming. "She just wouldn't open up, you know~? A little bit like you once. And you know what I did to you…"]
[18:59] <Raphael> "…" Raphael can't quite trust himself to reply to that, but he blinks hurriedly and concentrates on his beer as his blush reaches even greater heights.
[19:00] <Viviane> ["Do go on." Says Frederic, folding one leg over the other.-#
#1[19:03] <Viviane> ["So one night, I said, 'Hey, you want to go to a movie?' And she looked at me and went 'Sure, what sort?' I promised her it'd be a comedy. But in reality, oh no." She grinned. "It'd be a horror movie. A really scary one. Almost illegal."]
[19:04] <Raphael> "Good to see you got started on this sort of deceit early in life."
[19:06] <Viviane> ["Hee hee hee." She wiggled around in order to get a good look at his face. "I've had plenty of training, it's true~"]
[19:16] <Raphael> "I-I see." Raphael mutters carefully.
[19:17] <Viviane> ["The movie." She leans back and puts an arm around Raphael's shoulders. "Was a masterpiece. Gory. Messy. Terrifying to the extreme~"-
[19:17] <Viviane> [But her face goes dark. "And do you know what Ritsuko did? She spent two hours laughing at all the implausible science."]
[19:28] <Raphael> "Ah. Ahahaha. Well, I suppose you both enjoyed it?" He manages, still looking terribly unsettled by all the close contact but seeming in too much of a hurry to shake her off just yet.
[19:33] <Viviane> ["Hmmhmmhmm. I guess~" She leaned forward, head on his shoulder. "Still, I dedicated years to getting her back for that…"-
[19:34] <Viviane> ["Did you?" Asks Tobias, interested in spite of himself.-
[19:34] <Viviane> ["… In a way." Her breath tickles his ear…]
[19:48] * Raphael squirms suddenly and takes a sudden interest in the label of his beer.
[19:49] <Viviane> ["… Say, Raphael." Begins Frederic, a mischievous tone in his voice. "I have a bet for you."]
[19:54] * Raphael glances up, seemingly happy enough for the distraction to miss the ominous tone. "Right now?"
[19:54] <Viviane> ["Mmmhm." He winks, unseen to Misato. That wink is all he needs to say what he needs to say.]
[19:59] <Raphael> "What is it?"
[20:00] <Viviane> ["I bet I can kick your ass at NERV Eva-Eva Rifle Leader."]
[20:05] <Raphael> "Indeed?" Raphael says, giving Fred a smile before turning to Misato. "W-well, Misato, that sounds like a challenge to me. I should probably go…"
[20:07] <Viviane> [Misato pouts. She stretches, wiggles a little- just to be vindictive- and slides off. "You show that jerk how well you shoot."-
[20:07] <Viviane> ["Hey now, I'm not a jerk."-
[20:08] <Viviane> ["Jerrrrrk."]
[20:13] * Raphael coughs awkwardly and stands to follow Fred over to the TV, setting aside his beer as he goes.
[20:15] <Viviane> [Fred picks up a rifle and holds it out to him. "I hope that wasn't too awkward. You looked like you were gonna die of shame." He murmurs, grinning.]
[20:19] <Raphael> "Yes, well… Yes." He murmurs, accepting the rifle as the blush begins to recede. "Thanks."
[20:20] <Viviane> ["Hey, no worries." Fred gives him a wink as he holds the rifle up to his shoulder. "I win, and you owe me a signed photograph."]
[20:21] * Raphael gives the Captain a dark, dark look, but after the rescue he can't quite deny it out of hand. "And if I win…?"
[20:23] <Viviane> ["Name your price."]#
[17:20] <Raphael> "Well…" Raphael juggles the rifle from hand to hand as the game loads, testing the weight. After a moment, a sly smile touches the corners of his lips. "Suzanne has been begging me for someone to teach her some basic swordsmanship."
[17:22] <Viviane> ["I'm not that good at swordsmanship. Will she settle for necksnaps?"]
[17:24] <Raphael> "Probably." Raphael said, considering this for a moment. "… But no. I was actually thinking you could have a chat to Mr. Rurikovich."
[17:31] <Viviane> ["Hmmm. I think I can do that. I'm sure teaching an enthusiastic little girl is something he can do in between beating up Hugues and hitting on Euphrasie…"]
[17:32] <Raphael> "I suspect Euphrasie would find it quite adorable, actually."
[17:33] <Viviane> [Fred mulls this. "Yes, you may have a point. Honestly, that's rather win-win, isn't it? Suzanne learns to wield a sword with technique and Rurikovich can use it to win points…"-
[17:34] <Viviane> [Unseen to Fred, at the words 'Suzanne learns', Pen-Pen slowly, fearfully turns his head and -stares- at his back.]
[17:35] * Raphael grins. "… Not that I'm encouraging him, of course." He says, before nodding towards the TV. "So we have a bet?"
[17:37] <Viviane> ["Yessir we do-"-
[17:37] <Viviane> ["SIR! DRINK!"-
[17:37] <Viviane> ["Oh- come -on-. That barely counts!"]
[17:39] * Raphael glances back towards the table. "Her hearing is a little alarming sometimes."
[17:39] <Viviane> ["I heard that!"-
[17:40] <Viviane> ["It's an OD thing." Mutters Frederic. He raises his rifle. "Eva-Eva Rifle Leader, go!"]
[17:40] <Raphael> "Right!"
[17:47] <Viviane> ["Launch Evangelions." Says Commander Ikari's electronic voice. Enemies- Gazardiels- appear…!]
[17:51] * Raphael 's face shows none of the strange, mindless focus he exhibited during the earlier dance-off, but his expression is calm as he raises the rifle and fires off a few experimental shots. The action may be familiar, but the myriad tiny differences are enough to throw him off during the first wave of angels and allow Frederic's score to race ahead…
[17:52] <Viviane> ["Gonna be -so- rich when I sell that signed picture on Ebay, Raffy!" He crows.]
[18:01] <Raphael> "…!" Raphael's eyes widen in alarm… but then his gaze narrows and his feet shift into a more practiced firing stance. All of a sudden the angels on screen begin to explode in rapid succession, Raphael's finger hammering on the rifle trigger as Gendo's digitized voice exclaims about some sort of 'multi-kill'.
[18:04] <Viviane> ["What? No way-" Frederic tries to catch up, but at this point he's simply outmatched by the fury of the prettiest sharpshooter in the world. he's simply too far behind when Gendo's bearded, shaded visage appears, declaring Raphael the winner.]
[18:10] * Raphael holds his stance for a few seconds longer, but by the time the roundup of the score has flashed up on screen he's set down on the rifle and wearing one of the most honest, open grins the others would have ever seen. This? This was real Fun.-
[18:10] <Raphael> "A good match, Captain." He says, speaking the last word with a pointed look at Misato, still grinning like mad.
[18:11] <Viviane> ["DRINK!"-
[18:12] <Viviane> ["Yeah, for sure." Fred holds out a hand with a grin.]
[18:15] <Raphael> He gets a quick, friendly shake as Raphael looks back towards the table, his gaze lingering on Misato for a moment longer than the others. "I believe we're behind a few drinks, Mr. Gosselin."
[18:16] <Viviane> ["One moment, Raphael." Says Tobias, standing up with a wry smile.-
#03[18:16] * Viviane is now known as Marianne
[18:16] * Marianne is suddenly staring at Tobias as if she's just seen him there.
[18:19] * Raphael raises an eyebrow, but otherwise he waits as instructed. Perhaps it's curiosity getting the best of him.
[18:20] <Marianne> ["Would you care for a wager and test with myself?"]
[18:21] <Raphael> "If you'd like, Mr. Linden. What would be the terms?"
[18:21] <Marianne> [He grins.-
[18:21] <Marianne> ["That signed photograph will suffice."]
[18:23] <Raphael> "…" Raphael -stares-. "I don't suppose you simply intend to sell it on the internet?"
[18:23] <Marianne> [There's a delightful twinkle in his eye. "No, I do not."]
[18:23] <Raphael> "Mmm."
[18:25] * Raphael glances over at Misato, looking uneasy.
#1[18:54] <Marianne> [Misato is beaming, either because she's genuinely amused or because she's unaware of the context.-
[18:57] <Marianne> [Tobias walks over to the peripheral, picking up the rifle. "And if you win… You will be able to count on a favour from me. Any favour."]
[19:02] <Raphael> "… Alright, Mr. Linden. If I do happen to lose, I hope you won't do anything too outrageous with your winnings." He says slowly, joining Tobias by the TV and initiating the match.
[19:03] <Marianne> ["Launch Evangelions!"-
[19:03] <Marianne> ["No promises."]
[19:07] * Raphael winces slightly, but as the virtual Angels begin to flit about onscreen there's no sign of the initial awkwardness he was showing in the last match. The Angels fall one by one, and for over a minute the two men remain almost neck and neck, drunkeness be damned.
[19:08] <Marianne> ["Huh." Tobias is clearly impressed. "Minerva wasn't exaggerating when she called you 'so perfect, he's yummy like a cheesecake', was she?"]
[19:13] <Raphael> "Wha-…?!" Raphael’s eyes are suddenly wide and alarmed, and the next pull of the trigger results in a shower of digital rubble instead of a hit on the angel menacing his avatar. Raphael’s kill streak is lost, and his score begins to lag almost immediately.
[19:14] <Marianne> ["Hm?" Tobias doesn't turn to look at Raphael, but instead he plugs away, his own kill count starting to sky rocket. "Headshot streak unlimited!" intones VocaloIkari.]
[19:17] <Raphael> "…" Raphael grits his teeth and throws himself back into the fray, but it's not enough. He cannot overcome the power of the Headshot Streak Unlimited.
[19:18] <Marianne> [The game ends with fanfare, awarding the win to player 1 by the High Priest of Dakka, Warboss Ikari.-
[19:18] <Marianne> ["Hm. That was close." Said Tobias, putting his gun aside. "What happened, Mr. Raphael? I could've sworn you had me at the start." His voice is genuinely mystified.]
[19:21] * Raphael 's desperate fight against another luminous blush has met with limited success, but he's managed to keep the rest of his expression under control. He looks Tobias in the eye and lowers his voice. "… She didn't really say that, surely." Raphael murmurs, and it's clear from the look in his eyes that he wants to believe it. "You were simply throwing me off guard."
[19:23] <Marianne> ["Say what?" Asks Tobias. There's no deception in his eyes.]
[19:25] <Raphael> "…" The stare goes on for a few moments longer, but eventually Raphael simply shakes his head and offers Tobias his hand. "Good game, Mr. Linden."
[19:27] <Marianne> ["Good game! I daresay that was fun." Tobias smiles a winning smile.-
[19:27] * Marianne is still staring at Tobias, a blush slowly building in her cheeks.#
[19:33] * Raphael chuckles, grabbing a drink off the table he'd abandoned there almost an hour ago.-
[19:33] <Raphael> "Mmm. I think that's a fairly safe call, sir." Raphael says, waiting for the predictable "DRINK!" from Misato before draining the recovered beer.
[19:34] <Marianne> ["DRINK!"-
[19:34] <Marianne> ["Oh dear. There you go again. I believe we both have quite the backlog, as you said. Shall we?" Asks Tobias, smiling as he turns his expression back towards the table, with its food, its drink, and its fine company.]

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