Asuka S Meeting With Raphael

[15:15] <Raphael> Snow had begun to fall beyond the wide windows of the alpine lodge's gym, the late grey light of dusk making the whole scene look strange and unreal. The space itself was silent bar the rhythmic pounding of feet on one of the many treadmills, a young man keeping up a steady pace as he focused on the scenery beyond as if he were engraving it upon his memory.-
[15:15] <Raphael> Raphael Guillory had slipped away for some time to himself shortly after the battle between the Paris-2 and Beijing-2 Evangelions, eventually finding himself here. His outfit - black track pants and a grey singlet - would have been remarkably casual on his old body, but it suited the form of Shinji Ikari just fine.
[15:25] <AdEvaGM> [Focused as he was, the quick footsteps behind him went unheard…-
[15:26] <AdEvaGM> [… Asuka stood behind him, staring a burning baleful eye-glare into the back of his skull. She didn't say anything. She waited for him to see her reflection in the window.]
[15:30] <Raphael> It didn't take long. Even this focused, Raphael's sense for danger was too finely honed to miss her for long. This did not, of course, mean he showed much of a /reaction/ to her presence. He just continued to jog without his pace ever faltering, staring right back at her reflection in the glass.
[15:32] <AdEvaGM> ["You've got a lot of guts to keep running like that, you know."]
[15:34] <Raphael> "I thought it would be polite to allow you to make the first move, ma'am."
[15:38] <AdEvaGM> [A vein in her forehead twitched at the insolence. It was obviously insolence, right?-
[15:39] <AdEvaGM> [She had to clench a fist tight to suppress the urge to belt him. "If you're going to speak like that, you could at least stop and turn around. Or do you -want- me to hit you?!"]
[15:49] * Raphael exhales softly and slows the machine, eventually bringing himself to a stop and turning to face her. He reaches for a towel hung over one of the treadmill's handles and quickly mops his face off. "To be honest, ma'am, that expression seemed to suggest you intended to hit me regardless of what I said."
[15:55] <AdEvaGM> [Asuka's hands are on her hips. Her eyebrows crease together. "Ma'am this, ma'am that… I have a name." She shakes her head, her expression clearly showing that she was dealing with an imbecile. She sighed and turned her back to him, arms folded. "I really should. I still haven't forgiven you for your stupidity in Paris."]
[16:00] * Raphael rubbed at his eyes. "And I've apologized for my part in it. But again, I'll note that I was not actually watching you."
[16:05] <AdEvaGM> ["Hmph. No, you were just helping your perverted little protege, huh?"]
[16:10] <Raphael> "Moral support, perhaps." Raphael says, already sounding exhausted by the conversation. "He was under orders to study you training regimen, not -you-. And he would have avoided it if he could."
[16:16] <AdEvaGM> [Asuka turned on her heel, leaning towards him, eye to eye. "What? You have to be -ordered- to look at me now?"]
[16:23] <Raphael> "Given your age, miss? Yes."
[16:25] <AdEvaGM> [Poor Raphael could not have known that he was hitting a particularly sensitive spot in young Asuka's psyche. Her face turned red, but unlike most young ladies who stood face to face with Raphael, it was from anger. She seemed to be resisting his pheromone charms mostly through sheer indignation.-
[16:27] <AdEvaGM> ["So what?!" She turned around and stomped off, grabbing a treadmill and trying to throw it to the ground- only to find it was bolted to the floor. Embarrassment now added to the fire and only made her more furious. She instead grabs the water bottle on her hip and hurls it at Raphael. "Ooh, you're so -young-, you're so this, you're so that- I don't care! I'm old enough to fight and think, so I'm clearly an adult, and it doesn't matter what I look like or how old I am, idiot!"]
[16:36] * Raphael manages to duck in time, and the plastic water bottle clatters off the glass window behind him and disappears amid the other treadmills. He stands again, setting the towel aside and giving her a weary look.-
[16:36] <Raphael> "You’re confusing the issue. I respect your capacity as an adult, but that doesn’t mean I feel that it would be appropriate to show interest in you given our wildly differing ages. Surely that’s quite simple to understand?"
[16:39] <AdEvaGM> ["Hmph. Beauty is ageless." Says Asuka, not -quite- hearing what he means in her temper. She folds her arms. "Besides, what about Rei?!"]
[16:42] * Raphael stares. "Rei? What about her?"
[16:43] <AdEvaGM> ["She's like, three years old, but I don't see you throwing a fit about Wellesley…"]
[16:44] * Raphael is quiet for a moment, expression remaining calm even as a momentary flicker of anger appears in his eyes. "… That's a vastly different situation, ma'am."
[16:48] <AdEvaGM> ["Hmph. I don't care, anyway." She says after a second, waving a hand dismissively. "All this worry about age… What a load of crap."]
[16:51] * Raphael steps off the treadmill and begins running through a few simple stretches. "I don't see why it should worry you, with all due respect. As I understand it, you're with a young man your own age."
[16:55] <AdEvaGM> ["I am." Asuka turns, grinning- but then she frowns angrily, folding her arms. "He does the same thing you do, though. 'You're too young for this or that'… What's the point of treating me like an adult whilst ignoring my femininity?"]
[16:59] <Raphael> "Being an adult doesn't mean people are obliged to lust after you, Pilot Langley-Soryu."
[17:03] <AdEvaGM> ["Idiot! That's not what annoys me." Asuka's frown deepens. "Your excuse was I'm too young." She shakes her head and looks away. "… If it were me, I would've said that my excuse was because I was already sharing my hot spring with someone else."]
[17:05] <Raphael> "You mean your visit with Pilot Zhang, ma'am?" Raphael said, not missing a beat.
[17:08] <AdEvaGM> [Asuka doesn't miss a beat either, lashing out at Raphael with a single sharp right hook.]
[17:15] <Raphael> It's probably the anger behind the blow that lets Raphael dodge it so easily, moving his hands to redirect the punch itself even as he swivels around her. By the time he's done, they've practically swapped places. "Hmm."
[17:17] <AdEvaGM> ["You've got a lot of nerve." She folds her arms, scowling. "Either way, I'm right."]
[17:19] <Raphael> "If you say so."
[17:20] <AdEvaGM> ["Grr. You're -trying- to piss me off now."]
[17:22] <Raphael> "Not at all. But you're not interested in having a discussion about the issue at hand, and so I'm doing my best to move on to a different topic."
[17:23] <AdEvaGM> ["Oh really?!"]
[17:24] * Raphael sighs, continuing his stretches. "I'm not entirely sure what you want me to say, ma'am."
[17:28] <AdEvaGM> ["You could respond to what I said earlier, you know! Urgh. Not even Yanmei's this thick." Asuka shook her head. "It's -still- disrespectful to even fail to acknowledge that part of me."]
[17:35] <Raphael> "I believe I -did- acknowledge it."
[17:39] <AdEvaGM> ["I don't think you did." She says haughtily. "I want you to say whether you think I'm good-looking or not."]
[17:41] <Raphael> "…" It's enough to finally halt Raphael's cooldown routine. He looks over at her with an eyebrow raised. "And what would you get out of that, precisely?"
[17:41] <AdEvaGM> ["Your opinion." She says flatly.]
[17:45] * Raphael eyes her for a moment longer. "As you wish." He says, giving a very slight shrug. "You seem like a perfectly attractive young lady, I suppose."-
[17:45] <Raphael> Still, he barely looks at her as he says it. He certainly doesn't take the time to make a proper assessment. Is he-… could he be just trying to get her to drop the issue?
[17:46] <AdEvaGM> ["More or less so than Zhang Yanmei?" Fool.]
[17:47] <Raphael> "I don't know, ma'am. Equal?" Fool indeed.
[17:47] <AdEvaGM> ["Are you even looking at me properly?!"]
[17:48] <Raphael> "Of course."
[17:48] <Raphael> He's not.
[17:48] <AdEvaGM> ["Right." She grabs his wrist.]
[17:51] <Raphael> "…!" And this time he's caught off guard, too busy concentrating on dodging verbal attacks to avoid the obvious physical one. He tries to pull away. "What are you-"
[17:52] <AdEvaGM> ["Idiot." She begins to pull him away from the gym. "You aren't going to focus on me, so I'm going to take you somewhere where I'm the only thing you -can- look at…"]
[17:55] * Raphael says nothing, but his attempt to break her hold suddenly becomes a good deal more serious. He turns his wrist sharply, threatening to get away from her entirely.
[17:55] <AdEvaGM> ["Keep struggling and I'll break it."]
[17:57] <Raphael> "This is ridiculous. Let go of me, Pilot." Raphael says sharply, still on the edge of breaking away.
[17:57] <AdEvaGM> ["Shan't."]
[18:15] <Raphael> "…" Raphael's eyes narrow, and he tries one last twist. For a moment, the grip is broken entirely…
[18:17] <AdEvaGM> [… And a second later she grabs it even more forcefully and, in the same movement, counter-twists it until it hurts. Really, really hurts.]
[18:45] <Raphael> "Nnn." The groan isn't much louder than a whisper, but the pain is definitely there. The wristlock is quite familiar to him, and he knows she's only a fraction away from doing real damage. "… Asuka, you're pushing the limits of my patience."
[18:46] <AdEvaGM> ["Geez. Then maybe you should stop fighting and just go with it. You're so -whiny-."-
[18:47] <AdEvaGM> [She walks- dragging him along- to a door, which she swings open. Inside is a martial arts' sparring room, mats and all. She pushes him forward, releasing him. "There. See? Is this so bad? God…"]
[18:55] * Raphael gives the room a blank look as he flexes his wrist, scanning for anything out of the ordinary and finding nothing. "… You want to spar?"
[18:55] <AdEvaGM> ["Yup! This way, you'll -have- to look at me and study my lovely form~ Or, of course, you could -not-, and fill out a different sort of form later…"]
[18:58] <Raphael> "I've already given you my opinion, miss."
[19:05] <AdEvaGM> ["Then we'll see if it changes after a sparring match~" She walks into the room quickly. It should be noted at this time that she's wearing a pair of long white trousers and a long-sleeved red t-shirt; she quickly pulls it off, revealing a white singlet underneath. She turns and stares at him, bringing her hands up into a fighting stance.]
[19:14] * Raphael looks away for a moment, shaking his head. He takes a moment to eyeball the distance to the door, but decides against it. "… If you insist, ma'am." Raphael mutters, bringing up his own hands.
[19:15] <AdEvaGM> ["Good! Let's see how you go against a real fighter~"]
[19:40] <Raphael> For a few long seconds, Raphael is completely still… and then all at once he’s a blur of motion, closing the distance between the two of them in an instant. He makes a quick feint with his left hand only to catch her by the wrist with his right, turning the joint and quickly pulling her into a no-nonsense arm lock.
[19:44] <AdEvaGM> ["-!"-
[19:47] <AdEvaGM> [Her surprise exists for a split second before she manages to twist the wrist at just the right second, pulling Raphael in. She hurls a snap fist at his throat, hitting -hard-; she converts it into an aimed uppercut…]
[19:56] <Raphael> It knocks the wind clean out of him, but he leans back in time, coughing roughly from the blow to his throat. He's falling into the fight now, not bothering to gain any distance from Asuka as he levels a vicious elbow strike at her head. That she's a Pilot is rapidly becoming unimportant to him as the fight begins in earnest.
[20:23] <AdEvaGM> [Asuka whips out of the way, reaching out to grab the arm, preparing to twist and break it in one violent action…]
[20:30] * Raphael is faster, though only just. His left hand whips out in a quick, hard punch to her solar plexus, followed a moment later by an even stronger palm strike to her throat that mimics Asuka's earlier blow.
[20:40] <AdEvaGM> ["-Gh-" She moves away from the throat strike, feinting a jab at the ribs that she tries to convert into a chop to the face- whether or not the blows land, with a flurry of movement she'd suddenly be metres away, a stretch of space between them.]
[20:44] * Raphael straightens up slowly, breathing hard. For that first second, the furious elation that had overtaken his expression during the fight is clear… but the normal unreadable mask is back an instant later. "… So."
[20:46] <AdEvaGM> ["Bit tired?"]
[20:49] <Raphael> "Me? No." Raphael says with a smile. He reaches up to rub at his throat. "You're good, though."
[20:51] <AdEvaGM> ["Of course." She shakes out a hand. "You're pretty fast."]
[20:56] <Raphael> "Mmm." He murmurs. The sound is more noncommittal than actual agreement. "You really tried to break my arm, hmm?"
[20:56] <AdEvaGM> ["It's habit. It's ok. You have a spare, right?"]
[21:02] * Raphael makes a show of lifting his other arm to check. "Seems so." He chuckles. "… So am I finished 'studying' you yet, ma'am?"
[21:04] <AdEvaGM> ["Time for your final exams. Who's better looking? Me or Zhang~?"]
[21:06] <Raphael> "Isn't this one of those questions I'm able to excuse myself from by mentioning Misato, ma'am?"
[21:07] <AdEvaGM> ["Hah!" She laughs, and she doesn't seem to be pissed in the slightest. "Yup. See? Was that so hard? Even better, if Misato's around, you can totally claim that she's ruined your perception of ladies and earn free points. And if you do it around Zhang, you can annoy her, too, which is a nice bonus." She smirks.]
[21:09] * Raphael stares. "… Is that really all you were looking for?"
[21:10] <AdEvaGM> ["What? No. I was looking for a fight. I was bored."]
[21:11] <Raphael> This only earns a longer stare… although it's eventually broken by a quiet laugh. "Fair. I think it may have been what I needed, too."
[21:12] <AdEvaGM> ["Oh yeah?"]
[21:14] <Raphael> "It hasn't exactly been one of my better days. This commentary business…" He shakes his head.
[21:14] <AdEvaGM> ["That Julien is an idiot. You totally look a lot better next to him."]
[21:26] <Raphael> "Well… /yes/. But he's only part of the problem." Raphael says, walking to the water fountain in the corner of the room. "I'm still uncomfortable in this shape, so to have it shown to the world along with all of its flaws is… not what I'd hoped for, I suppose."
[21:30] <AdEvaGM> [Asuka instead found her ballistic water bottle and began to drink from that. "Flaws, huh? Like what?"]
[21:36] <Raphael> "Eh… largely it's just teenage nonsense." He mutters, shaking his head. "… I probably need to talk to Sergeant Kirishima, though."
[21:45] <AdEvaGM> ["What about?"]
[21:46] <Raphael> "That business on the commentary feeds. It's highly improper." Raphael mutters, and even the memory seems enough to make him blush.
[21:47] <AdEvaGM> ["What business?" Asks Asuka, frowning in puzzlement.-
[21:47] <AdEvaGM> ["Oh. Right. Bringing the little girl on."]
[21:48] <Raphael> "Wha-… no, I-…" Raphael stares at Asuka helplessly for a moment, only to shrug. "… Yes, for bringing the Suzanne on."
[21:49] <Raphael> «bringing Suzanne*»
[21:49] <AdEvaGM> ["I think she did a good job." Says Asuka firmly. "You should loosen up."]
[21:50] <Raphael> "Almost certainly." He nods, deciding to roll with it.
[21:55] <AdEvaGM> ["Mana's a weird one, though." Says Asuka almost to herself. "I haven't spoken to her in ages, actually. I didn't even know she was part of your team."]
[21:57] <Raphael> "Mmm." Raphael nods. "She was originally signed on to work as my secretary, but she showed too much promise as a pilot…"-
[21:58] <Raphael> "A 'weird one', though? Why do you say that?"
[22:01] <AdEvaGM> ["Eh. I dunno how she is now. But I always remember her as the one who never fought back in the day. Everyone fought at times, especially during sparring- if we fought, there was a chance we'd be seen and rewarded for our skills. But she never fought. It was like she didn't want to be noticed."]
[22:05] * Raphael frowns. "Do you have any idea why?"
[22:08] <AdEvaGM> ["Not really. It never seemed to harm anyone, so I didn't really bother." She shrugged. "Of course, one day she just stopped appearing. That wasn't odd- vanishing Spartans was a #thing#, you see." Said Asuka. "Either way, Akagi was pretty upset about it."]
[22:11] <Raphael> "Those two were close?"
[22:12] <AdEvaGM> ["They were best friends. We weren't all fighting all the time." She smirked. "Most Spartans paired off. Me and Alex, Tsubaki and Mana… Natasha never did, because no one liked Natasha, but yeah."]
[22:25] * Raphael lowers himself down onto one of the benches alone the wall. "And these candidates that disappeared… was it common for them to reappear?"
[22:25] <AdEvaGM> ["No. Surely you knew that though? You were there when most of them reappeared."]
[22:28] * Raphael flinches at that, his eyes narrowing as he looks down at the floor. "… Ah. Of course."
[22:29] <AdEvaGM> ["We were told, just so you know, that only the incompetent kids vanished." Said Asuka, a humourless smile on her face. "Near the end, it got pretty vicious."]
[22:35] * Raphael shakes his head. "Yes, I'm sure it did." He mutters. Still, she'd see his brow crease even further as a new thought rises in his mind, and he looks up at Asuka thoughtfully. "… You know, ma'am, we happen to be looking after one of the reconstituted NeoSpartans at the Geofront right now. Did you know a candidate named Eevi Nieminen?"
[22:37] <AdEvaGM> [Asuka blinks, clearly taken by surprise. "… Eevi Nieminen?" She holds out a hand. "A little short, with red hair. She was pretty good at fighting- not the best, but pretty good. Very popular, she was. A lot of us found her pretty charming."]
[22:40] <Raphael> "That's… her, yes. Mostly." Raphael says quietly. "We recovered her from an LN cell in Paris. They were using her as a conditioned weapon."
[22:41] <AdEvaGM> ["Seems a bit stupid." Says Asuka. "She's a reconstitute, so that means she's what, 3 feet tall? She wouldn't be any use in a fight."]
[22:43] <Raphael> "They also fit her with a suite of cybernetics and an angel core." He continues.
[22:43] <Raphael> «and a core*»
[22:48] <AdEvaGM> ["Huh. That takes care of the strength problems, and it also lets her use an AT Field." Says Asuka appraisingly. "Still, kind of dumb to use it on a kid, unless they wanted someone who could blend into normal society. Kind of hard for an Iron Guard to do that. Ugh. Have you seen that Iron Guard in the cafe?"]
[23:06] <Raphael> "Not personally, but there's been no shortage of talk about him amongst S2 and general security. Suzanne seems quite taken with him, though…"
[23:07] <AdEvaGM> ["He's weird. He's… Not a giant raving monster, I mean."]
[23:10] <Raphael> "I doubt the Colonel would have hired him if he was."-
[23:11] <Raphael> "… Probably."
[23:14] <AdEvaGM> ["He was giving advice to Yanmei, it was great." Asuka smirked. "Watching her squirm is great."]
[23:21] <Raphael> "… Mmm." Raphael murmurs, the corner of his lip twitching in an effort to contain his own smirk.
[23:21] <AdEvaGM> ["Which is why she doesn't get on with Misato."]
[23:22] <Raphael> "How do you mean?"
[23:23] <AdEvaGM> [Asuka leans towards Raphael, smirking slyly. "Misato knows how to push Yanmei's buttons, because they're so alike. She's done all sorts of great things." Asuka grinned. "Did you hear about what she did the first time she met Yanmei and Gabriel-Wei?"]
[23:27] * Raphael lets out a long breath that quickly turns into a fit of laughter. "With the love hotel?"
[23:28] <AdEvaGM> ["Yup!" Asuka beams. "It was the same one that a certain pair of Paris Bunnies were at. Even better, Misato paid for it, but she did it from a special account set up for her by NERV, so Colonel Lachapelle saw it…"]
[23:31] <Raphael> "You know, that story was practically the first thing anyone told me about the Major. I suppose that was my fair warning." Raphael says with a fain, rueful smile.
[23:35] <AdEvaGM> ["What did you think, then? Hearing that."]
[23:41] <Raphael> "Hmm…" Raphael falls silent for a few seconds, drumming his fingers against his knee. "I think I was torn. While I disapproved of her intruding upon there personal lives… well, it -was- a very funny story."
[23:43] <AdEvaGM> ["Heh. And it all turned out ok." Asuka leaned towards Raphael with a scandalous expression. "Let's be honest. You can't -blame- her for sending them to a love hotel. Did you know what they were like during those ridiculous 'platonic' days?"]
[23:43] <Raphael> "I've heard a little. But it was all over before I met them."
[23:50] <AdEvaGM> ["It was really silly. Let's go get some cheesecake- I'll tell you about it~"]
[00:02] * Raphael gives her a thoughtful look. "… Mmm. I suppose that would be alright."

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