Cherry Blossom Procession 4 1 16

[14:15] <Yanmei> Yanmei preened in front of a vanity mirror and tiredly pulled on a sweater. It was still August, but the morning air seeping through the window of the hotel room she was in carried a chill in addition to the sounds of the busy Dublin streets. -
[14:18] <Yanmei> The sweater - and the rest of her outfit, in fact - was a distinctly low key business casual affair. She was even wearing sunglasses and hat. -
[14:32] <Yanmei> In the background, the morning news was running on the TV. "…I don't think they even need any of our help at this point," she was saying. "Like, they're holding their own pretty well?"
[14:35] <Hepburn> ["It's unfair. He's winning because of her cuteness. It's like weird cutey mind control."-
[14:39] <Hepburn> [Asuka was laying on the bed, wearing a light yellow sundress that cut off above the knee; her long legs were tucked into a pair of red heels. She had her hands tucked behind her head. "Did you see that thing with the kids? Buncha kids just cuddlin' up to her in her plugsuit… Eugh."]
[14:41] <Yanmei> "What, are you jealous?" Yanmei smirked. "You could always volunteer to help out with the Dorian's on-board daycare service. We'll get some kids snuggling up against you in no time!"
[14:43] <Hepburn> ["Yeah, a buncha brats crowding me? No way." Muttered Asuka. "Rei and your boy can have 'em all."]
[14:48] * Yanmei yawned, and then walked over to her own twin bed, which she had used for sleeping and nothing else during the previous night. Slowly, she sat down on the edge. "They're late."
[14:52] <Hepburn> ["They probably forgot about us." Said Asuka. "Probably busy makin' out somewhere. Typical!"]
[14:55] <Yanmei> "Or they ran into trouble." Her eyes narrowed. "Like one of Bitchface Caine's goons taking sniper shots into their hotel room. Or even one of Sidney White's goons!" she eyes their own window suspiciously.
[14:55] <Yanmei> ^eyed
[14:56] <Hepburn> ["Rei'd probably keep him safe with her AT Field." Said Asuka with a yawn. "If you're so worried, why don't you ring him up?"]
[14:57] * Yanmei promptly whipped out a cell phone, pressed a single button, and waited for the man to pick up.
[14:58] <Hepburn> [Dial. Dial…-
[14:58] <Hepburn> ["Wellesley."]
[14:59] <Yanmei> "It's Zhang. You aren't in any sort of trouble, are you?"
[15:00] <Hepburn> [("I may be. I'm finding it hard to shake the media at the moment; Rei's going on ahead, is it alright if I join you later?")]
[15:01] <Yanmei> "Hey. Are your backup bodyguards nearby? Asuka was getting worried about your safety and stuff."
[15:02] <Hepburn> ["You liar!"-
[15:03] <Hepburn> [("That's sweet of her, but I'll be fine. I still have Eevi with me.")]
[15:04] <Yanmei> "Ok, good." She nodded, even though he couldn't actually see it. "We'll see you later, then. Good luck?"
[15:05] <Hepburn> [("Thanks. Wellesley out.")]
[15:05] * Yanmei hung up. "Looks like he'll be along later. Rei should be here any minute, though."
[15:06] <Hepburn> ["Ooh, think she'll survive~?" Said Asuka smugly. "You know who those two remind me of?"]
[15:07] <Yanmei> "Caine and his wife?"
[15:07] <Hepburn> ["That's right~ You saw them at the enthronement, right?"]
[15:08] <Yanmei> "Ugh. Did I ever? They're ridiculous."
[15:08] <Hepburn> ["They're why those rumours got published, you know~"]
[15:11] <Yanmei> "I was thinking the same thing!" Yanmei folded her arms. "We have to be careful next time. If we don't act extra proper, we'll probably end up in a made-up scandal just by attending the same event as those two!"
[15:15] <Hepburn> ["And I bet they wouldn't even care."]
[15:16] <Yanmei> "They wouldn't. It'd probably be just another day for them." She scowled. "You and Fontaine had better not follow their example."
[15:20] <Hepburn> ["W-what's that supposed to mean?!"]
[15:21] <Yanmei> "Rumor has it you were sneaking off by yourselves to kiss too." Yanmei tsked loudly.
[15:22] <Hepburn> ["Y-Yeah, so what?" She said, scarlet filling her face. "So what if we did?! There's rumours about you too…"]
[15:22] <Yanmei> "What rumors?!"
[15:23] <Hepburn> ["That Spectre coming back in different clothes, after a looooong stay with you somewhere secret~"]
[15:25] <Yanmei> "That… that's an exaggeration and you know it!"
[15:25] <Hepburn> ["Rumours are rumours!"]
[15:26] <Yanmei> "Hmph! Of course, the only people who'd believe them are dirty-minded perverts."
[15:26] <Hepburn> ["The same goes for the rumours about me!"]
[15:27] <Yanmei> "A-agreed! Let's never speak of either of them again."
[15:28] <Hepburn> ["Let's talk about the other rumours! Like… Michael!"]
[15:30] <Yanmei> "Yeah. Which ones are you talking about? There's been a lot lately!"
[15:30] <Hepburn> ["There has, huh? That god-botherer… He never tried to make moves on you when he was living with you, did he?"]
[15:31] <Yanmei> "Hardly. He had eyes for only Blanc back then."
[15:33] <Hepburn> ["I thought he had something going on with… Uh, Clement?"]
[15:33] <Yanmei> "Oh. I guess that's not far from the truth, is it? She certainly seemed to like him, anyway."
[15:34] <Hepburn> ["Hmm. I wonder if they ever went out."]
[15:38] <Yanmei> "I don't know. Things got… bad before they ever hit that mark, I think."
[15:40] <Hepburn> ["I should ask."]
[15:41] <Yanmei> "H-hey. You'll bring up bad memories for him."
[15:44] <Hepburn> ["Mmm." Asuka frowned. "Yeah. Maybe I should get him drunk first, then."]
[15:46] <Yanmei> "That's… a plan." Yanmei hazarded. She tried to remember ever seeing him drunk before.
[15:47] <Hepburn> ["Let's see you do better, Miss 'Lock 'em in a room and throw away the key'…"]
[15:48] <Yanmei> "Hmph! To be fair, I never actually got a chance to try that out yet."
[15:48] <Hepburn> ["Got someone in mind?"]
[15:49] <Yanmei> "Everyone," she said seriously.
[15:49] <Hepburn> ["You can't lock everyone in a room, Yanmei, that'd be too small and it'd turn into an orgy." Said Asuka patiently.]
[15:52] * Yanmei frowned. "Ugh. You're right about the space, though. And I'd need Tsubaki to pull it off if we were going to do that. Also, it's not supposed to end in an orgy! It's all about getting along and kissing only if there's, like, a romantic spark there."
[15:54] <Hepburn> ["You dumbass! No one's gonna be romantic if everyone else is watching!"]
[15:55] <Yanmei> "They will if they're stuck there long enough! Tch. You don't understand anything about romance."
[15:56] <Hepburn> ["I know more about it than you do, moron!"]
[16:01] <Yanmei> "Oh really? What are you and Fontaine doing these days?"
[16:02] <Hepburn> ["Wouldn't you like to know~"-
[16:02] <Hepburn> [At that moment there was a knock on the door.]
[16:05] <Yanmei> "Ah! That's either Rei or a member of the press." Yanmei hopped up, and adjusted her diguise carefully. "Or both. Be on your guard?"
[16:09] <Hepburn> ["Is that supposed to be a disguise, dumbass?"-
[16:09] <Hepburn> [Another knock. ("Meimei?")]
[16:11] <Yanmei> "It's a good disguise! You shut up!" Yanmei hurried for the door, peeked through the peekhole, and then would throw it open if she saw that Rei wasn't surrounded by flashing cameras.
[16:11] <Hepburn> [No cameras!-
[16:12] <Hepburn> [The door opened, revealing Rei, alone. She wore a pink flared skirt and a navy blue cardigan beneath a pink jacket. "Hi, Meimei!" She said, quickly pouncing, trapping Yanmei in a squeeze.]
[16:17] <Yanmei> "Rei! You look really nice today." Yanmei hugged back, but her hugging strength was, of course, nothing compared to Rei's. "Come in, come in!"
[16:18] <Hepburn> ["Hehehe~"-
[16:18] <Hepburn> ["Cute skirt." Said Asuka, still lying on her bed.-
[16:19] <Hepburn> ["Thanks." Said Rei.-
[16:19] <Hepburn> ["How many little kids you got wearing it, eh, Miss Popular?"-
[16:20] <Hepburn> ["Hmph." Rei let Yanmei go, only to promptly leap onto Asuka's bed and latch her around the waist. "Don't be mean."-
[16:20] <Hepburn> ["Blerg! Lemme go, you hug-bug-"-
[16:20] <Hepburn> ["Never!"]
[16:21] <Yanmei> "D'aww. So cute!" Yanmei checked the halls again, carefully, before closing and locking the door firmly.
[16:23] <Hepburn> ["Gedder off me." Said Asuka with a scowl. "She smells of Wellesley."-
[16:23] <Hepburn> ["All warm and lovable~?"-
[16:23] <Hepburn> ["All dirty and pervy. Geddoff!"]
[13:54] * Yanmei flourished her phone and snapped a quick picture. "Heh. I bet Fontaine'll think it's cute…"
[13:58] <Minaplo> ["What?! Oi! You delete that right now-"-
[13:58] <Minaplo> [But Rei's grip tightened on squirming Asuka, and she couldn't get away.]
[14:01] <Yanmei> An unaccosted Yanmei cheerfully waltzed over to a table and sat down well out of arm's reach. "So Rei. I'm surprised you have that much energy. Aren't you tired?"
[14:02] <Minaplo> ["Nah." Said Rei. "I don't need much rest and I get lots of sleep in. Al's starting to feel it, though."]
[14:10] <Yanmei> "You guys should be careful. I'm no campaign manager, but if he burns out, it'll be bad news all around."
[14:15] <Minaplo> ["He'll be alright." Said Rei. "Al's not dumb, he knows how to pace himself."]
[14:20] <Yanmei> "Mm." But she looked slightly unsure. "What's the best part of it so far? Kissing babies?"
[14:20] <Minaplo> ["I bet it's all the young men cooing over her in her plugsuit~" Said Asuka smugly.-
[14:21] <Minaplo> ["Hmph." Rei gave Asuka a shove, her cheeks reddening. "No, actually… Well, it is really nice to be with the children! They're always so friendly once you get past their shyness, but… For me, the best part was saving those boats."]
[14:23] <Yanmei> "No wonder! The newspapers were all over that. Miss Selfless Rei, Wellesley's peerless companion…"
[14:28] <Minaplo> ["I bet he set those boats up to sink in the first place. What a wily bastard~" Crowed Asuka.-
[14:28] <Minaplo> ["He did not! Al would never…!"]
[14:29] <Yanmei> "She's just teasing you Rei. Feel free to tease back?"
[14:51] <Minaplo> ["Hmph. Teasing is mean."-
[14:52] <Minaplo> [Asuka had, by now, wriggled her way out of the grip and got to her feet. "Bah. Anyway, what're we doing, then?"]
[14:56] <Yanmei> "We were going to have lunch! Room service seems safest. Plus it'll make it easy for Wellesley to find us once he's escaped the press."
[14:57] <Minaplo> ["Room service? We can't eat in the hotel restaurant?" Asked Asuka.]
[15:02] <Yanmei> "But what if we get spotted?"
[15:03] <Minaplo> ["So what?" Said Asuka, tossing her hair flippantly. "Let 'em look."]
[15:06] <Yanmei> "If they start taking pictures or interrupting us for interviews we can't beat them up to make them go away. You do realize that, right?"
[15:08] <Minaplo> ["The hotel'll keep 'em out."]
[15:09] <Yanmei> "Unless they decide to pay the management off with a bribe!"
[15:14] <Minaplo> ["Then we bribe 'em more."]
[15:16] * Yanmei considered this thoughtfully. -
[15:17] <Yanmei> "We're not rolling in money and our accountants can be persistent when provoked. But fine. I think that should be possible."
[15:19] <Minaplo> ["Or else we threaten the hotel."]
[15:20] <Yanmei> "Also possible." Yanmei's eyes gleamed darkly. "Threaten to have an Eva stomp on it in retaliation. In secret of course."
[15:21] <Minaplo> ["No, dumbass." Said Asuka. "Just tell them if they leak, we'll criticise them forever."]
[15:24] <Yanmei> "Th-that's what I meant, you know. You should read between the lines." She briskly grabbed her purse. "Let's head off!"
[15:26] <Minaplo> [Asuka did not grab her own purse, but nonetheless followed. As did Rei, shaking her head.]
[15:41] <Yanmei> It wasn't long before they were seated among rows of white tableclothes and plain wooden chairs. A cheerful, old-fashioned pink and gold light fixture hung above their heads. Yanmei studied the laminated menu that had been given to her when they had been seated. Their table was, of course, far away from the windows.
[15:44] <AdEvaGM> [Rei was scrutinising her own, whilst Asuka had abandoned that and was peering suspiciously at the drinks menu. "Whatcha gettin'?"]
[15:49] <Yanmei> "I was thinking meat? But there's not much of it here, so maybe grilled vegetables instead."
[13:17] <Minaplo> ["The price of meat's gone really high in Britain since the attack, so a lot of restaurants don't bother selling it because most people aren't willing to pay." Said Rei.]
[13:25] <Yanmei> "It's that way all over France too? Even on the Dorian. The canteens have been stretching what little meat we have with soups and mystery meat burgers and stuff."
[13:26] <Minaplo> ["Eva meat." Said Asuka sagely.]
[13:27] <Yanmei> "Ugh. No. That's not what people are actually saying, is it?"
[13:28] <Minaplo> ["Of course they are?" Said Asuka with a snort. "Root Beer Girl keeps saying that she sees tech teams down sawing off huge steaks from the Master Models…"]
[13:33] <Yanmei> "She's having you on. It's textured vegetable protein mixed with an unknown percentage of ground meat and all the artificial flavors you can shake a stick at."
[13:33] <Minaplo> ["Ground Eva meat." Muttered Asuka.]
[13:35] <Yanmei> "It's cow," Yanmei shot back.
[13:39] <Minaplo> ["Maya-chan loves to tease people." Said Rei happily.-
[13:42] <Minaplo> ["Hmph." Asuka folded her arms. "I wonder what Eva tastes like anyway."-
[13:42] <Minaplo> ["Lean pork." Said Rei, looking down at her menu.]
[13:46] <Yanmei> "W-what?"
[13:47] <Minaplo> ["Eva tastes like lean pork. Anyway, I think I'll have the vegetable stew and flour dumplings."]
[13:47] <Yanmei> "Rei… how do you know that…?"
[13:48] <Minaplo> ["Zaizai told me."]
[13:49] <Yanmei> "…"
[13:50] <Minaplo> ["His Evas have sometimes berserked and attacked other Evas." Said Rei, still scrutinising her menu. "So he remembers the taste. I wonder if stout beer is any good? I'm so used to wine…"]
[13:53] <Yanmei> "I wonder why he remembers that," Yanmei said, troubled. "I don't even remember that."
[13:54] <Minaplo> ["You probably remember the taste of Angel meat more." Said Asuka. "Especially with your Angelic boyfriend~"]
[13:56] * Yanmei aimed a kick at her under the table.
[13:57] <Minaplo> ["Hey!"-
[14:01] <Minaplo> [Rei finally put her menu down, apparently satisfied enough to order. "I dunno if humans can eat eva meat safely though. Although… Wasn't Michael-san thinking about hunting Angelspawn for food?"]
[14:05] <Yanmei> "He wasn't serious about it? Besides. They say that if you eat an Angelspawn, you'll temporarily turn into one yourself on each night there's full moon~" She waggled her fingers at Asuka, all scary-like.
[14:07] <Minaplo> ["Really? Does it work backwards? If we feed Ban-Ban Lizzie, will he turn into a handsome prince every full moon?"-
[14:07] <Minaplo> ["Hmph. Ban-Ban's already a handsome prince." Said Rei firmly.-
[14:07] <Minaplo> ["Handsome to blind people, maybe."-
[14:07] <Minaplo> [Rei gave Asuka a firm kick under the table.-
[14:08] <Minaplo> ["Ow! Cut it out!"]
[14:14] * Yanmei smirked. "Besides, he'd probably just take her for a piggyback ride instead. Not that there aren't other things on the ship that'll try to eat her."
[14:14] <Minaplo> ["Like what?" Asked Asuka.]
[14:16] <Yanmei> "Like every single impact feral we come across outside of Daji the fox. For some reason, her first impulse is to run up to them and try to hug them?"
[14:17] <Minaplo> ["Pen-Pen isn't going to try to eat Lizzie." Said Rei firmly.]
[14:18] <Yanmei> "Well. Maybe he won't, no," Yanmei admitted. "Although he will teach her bad habits if she stays near him long enough."
[14:18] <Minaplo> ["She'll get more bad habits from her mother~" Crowed Asuka.-
[14:19] <Minaplo> ["Lizzie's so cute." Said Rei happily. "She really adores animals. Have you shown her Feng-san yet?"]
[14:20] <Yanmei> "Isaiah did." She scowled a bit. "Now all she wants to do is go out to play with him."
[14:21] <Minaplo> ["I'd be happy to take her! Feng-san's so beautiful and warm." Sighed Rei. "I just wanna bury myself into his side."]
[14:23] <Yanmei> "Look, that bird is big enough to eat her whole if it wanted to. Or flame her to death. Or both!"
[14:24] <Minaplo> ["It's okay if I'm there." Said Rei. "Besides, Feng-san won't eat Lizzie. He's too smart and good!"-
[14:25] <Minaplo> ["Feng." Muttered Asuka. "Oh yeah, heard the higher ups were reaaaaal keen on sage-boy."]
[14:33] * Yanmei went from shooting Rei unconvinced looks to peering at the menu again carefully. "Well, you know, they're a little suspicious of the new guy. But they'll come around."
[14:33] <Minaplo> ["What's he like?" Asked Rei.]
[14:38] <Yanmei> "Eccentric. But confident."
[14:38] <Minaplo> ["He's also unwashed and totally doesn't care about manners." Said Asuka huffily.]
[14:42] <Yanmei> "He washes himself sometimes!" There was an air or protest in the way Yanmei said that.
[14:42] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, if you force him to! If it were up to him he'd never wash!"-
[14:43] <Minaplo> [Rei frowned.-
[14:43] <Minaplo> ["Also, he's such a know-it-all." Said Asuka with a huff. "And he's probably a total pervert with the way he favours Go!"]
[14:45] <Yanmei> "Favors her how?! This is the first I've heard about it!"
[14:46] <Minaplo> ["He picks her for a super-important battle, then gives her the cushiest job? Meanwhile, he saddles you with a job that's totally over your head~"]
[14:48] <Yanmei> "He's just giving me a chance to shine, that's all?" she puffed out her chest. "You'll see. I'll be awesome, and you'll totally be falling all over yourself with how impressed you are."
[14:50] <Minaplo> ["He'd be better off giving me the job!"]
[14:50] <Yanmei> "What?! Get your own!"
[14:52] <Minaplo> ["Hmph. You should go and ask him to swap me in? Save you the inevitable humiliation~"]
[15:10] <Yanmei> "Hah. That's not happening? Although I can't blame you? It's been a while since you've showed off yourself~"
[15:12] <Minaplo> [Before Asuka could retort, the waiter came to take their order.-
[15:12] <Minaplo> ["Oh, yeah. I'll have the Irish coffee and two black puddings." Said Asuka.-
[15:12] <Minaplo> ["I'll have your vegetable stew, please. And one of your stouts." Said Rei cheerfully.]
[15:19] <Yanmei> "Grilled spicy vegetables? And a red ale, please~"
[15:19] <Minaplo> [The order taken, the waiter left.-
[15:20] <Minaplo> [But Asuka was frowning now, looking at the window whilst not really seeing it.]
[15:21] * Yanmei watched her a moment, and then gave her a little nudge. "Geez. I was just joking?"
[15:24] <Minaplo> ["Huh?" Asuka shook her head. "No, it's not really that."]
[15:25] <Yanmei> "What, then? You're getting kinda mopey…"
[15:27] <Minaplo> ["I dunno if you heard, but they published something kinda… Weird in a German paper recently."]
[15:29] <Yanmei> "Oh. Yeah. That weird plea for you to come back?"
[15:49] <Minaplo> ["Yeah."]
[15:49] <Yanmei> "How do you feel about all that?"
[15:51] <Minaplo> ["Well… It throws it all into focus, doesn't it?" Muttered Asuka. "I'm at war. With my own goddamn country."]
[16:08] * Yanmei nodded slowly, clasping her hands on the table. "It's heavy, right? Like, they supported you a lot over there?"
[16:09] <Minaplo> ["Yeah. And it's where I've lived most of my life after the Program. I mean, my mum grew up in Japan and my dad in America, but Germany is where I felt… At home."-
[16:09] <Minaplo> ["And they don't hate me yet. They actually want me to come back. And that feels… Good, but in this sad way, because what happens once I kill a German soldier or two or three thousand?"]
(13:25) <Yanmei> "Hmm. I don't know if I can speak much on that," Yanmei admitted quietly. "I can try to keep you off the German battlefield for as long as I can, though?"
(13:34) <Minaplo> ["But… What if you need me?"]
(13:40) <Yanmei> "You'll probably be kicking ass for us in Kenya or something." Yanmei winked at her. "Just because you're not in Germany doesn't mean we won't need you someplace else."
(13:48) <Minaplo> ["True, but… Eh. I don't want to fight Germans, but the idea of forcing another dumb condition on you doesn't make me happy."]
(13:52) <Yanmei> "Hmm. So you think you'll just have to face it, someday?"
(13:54) <Minaplo> ["It's not that. I'm making your job harder."]
(14:02) <Yanmei> "Come on…" she frowned, her brow crinkling slightly. "Which of these two is going to make my job harder: having to strategically shuffle around Evas, or having to work with stressed out, miserable pilots?"
(14:02) <Minaplo> ["Or I could be neither and just bite the bullet." Said Asuka stubbornly.-
(14:03) <Minaplo> ["It's okay to be repulsed by killing." Murmured Rei.]
(14:10) <Yanmei> "She's right, you know. It's one thing when it's Angels? But killing people is… well, it's different. Especially when it's a situation like this."
(14:16) <DadEvaGM> ["But…"]
(14:20) <Yanmei> "Asuka. It's fine. This is a part of my job too, so… you don't have anything to be guilty about."
(14:22) <DadEvaGM> ["But it's all I'm good at."]
(14:25) <Yanmei> "It's not. Didn't you just do a ton of field missions? And help with those Eva science experiments? Fontaine said you were really helpful."
(14:27) <DadEvaGM> [Asuka shrugged.]
(14:45) <Yanmei> "Hell, apparently, you're better at math and science than even I am? And that's not mentioning your own powers of persuasion…"
(15:17) <Yanmei> "Yes. But your words are important too? Remember what a wreck I was after… well. After Atticus?"
(15:18) <DadEvaGM> [Asuka stared at Yanmei sullenly, waiting for her to continue.]
(15:20) <Yanmei> "You actually helped me a lot? Convinced me that it was okay to kind of let it out and grieve. And yeah, there was punching, but I wouldn't have gotten the message just from that. I wish you'd be that compassionate with yourself too…"
[13:41] <Minaplo> ["But…"]
[13:44] <Yanmei> "But…?"
[13:50] <Minaplo> ["You don't get it." Said Asuka. "I like combat! I like being deployed, fighting, using all I've got to come out alright." She clenched her hands together. "I love it when I win. I feel like I'm on top of the world, and I can do anything… But more and more I keep…"-
[13:57] <Minaplo> ["… Feeling worried." Said Asuka. "About stuff. The future. What's gonna happen when the war's over? Am I gonna become like some drifting veteran looking for a fight 'cuz they're not relevant more? But it's not even just that! I… I'm tired of just waiting for the next fight. I want to be doing more with most of my life than just killing time. I want to… Do things, clever things! I wanna… Create!"]
[13:59] <Yanmei> "Like… art?"
[14:15] <Minaplo> ["No…"]
[14:16] * Yanmei looked suddenly worried. She peered around quickly. "Then you and Fontaine…"
[14:17] <Minaplo> ["…?"]
[14:19] <Yanmei> "N-nothing," she said quickly, settling back into her chair. "Look, you can get up to all sorts of things even if you stay on our ship. If you want to make computer programs or robots we have the people to teach you and the materials to do it. You can even do promotional stuff if you want."
[14:20] <Minaplo> ["Promotional stuff?"]
[14:22] <Yanmei> "Ever written a commercial before? Or directed one? I know you used to star in some…"
[14:26] <Minaplo> ["Of course I did? But… I only ever wrote my own dialogue."]
[14:28] <Yanmei> "You could always do a one-woman commercial. Or you can drag in people to help you! Right?" She glanced to Rei as if for affirmation.
[14:28] <Minaplo> ["Right." Said Rei.-
[14:28] <Minaplo> ["Mmm… Eh." Asuka shrugged.]
[14:29] <Yanmei> "Not feeling it?"
[14:31] <Minaplo> ["Nah. I did ads for Germany. I'd feel… Cheap if I did it again for anyone else."]
[14:33] <Yanmei> "M-man. What about straight up theatre, then? Or you could make movie."
[14:34] <Minaplo> ["I dunno. Acting?" She shook her head.-
[14:35] <Minaplo> ["Asuka's too Asuka to pretend to be anyone else." Said Rei warmly.]
[14:38] <Yanmei> "Again, directing? That's basically bossing people and waving a clipboard about. And if you're Blue, it means making a lot of terrible decisions too."
[14:39] <Minaplo> ["Hmm." Asuka's face lit up. "I could make all kinds of things with Yanmei in it…"]
[14:40] <Yanmei> "Only glamorous things, I'm sure." Yanmei preened.
[14:41] <Minaplo> ["That'd take too much money. Editing you to look good doesn't come cheap?"]
[14:43] <Yanmei> "W-what?! Hmph! I guess you couldn't do the editing yourself, because you're clearly blind."
[14:43] <Minaplo> ["Wow, eye jokes? You really don't have any class at all…"]
[14:45] <Yanmei> "What? No… It's-" She was actually stammering now. "I-it's because you're ignoring my obvious beauty and grace…"
[14:46] <Minaplo> ["Here you are, making fun of a veteran's injuries, won in battle against the Angels…" Asuka slumped her shoulders. "I thought better of you…"]
[14:51] <Yanmei> "I did no such thing? Ugh. Asuka…"
[14:55] <Minaplo> ["Sniff…"]
[15:02] <Yanmei> "Baka. I'll treat you to dessert, so stop that."
[15:04] <Minaplo> [Asuka suddenly grinned. "Got you~"]
[15:05] <Yanmei> "Grrr!" She poked her rather violently in the side.
[15:10] <Minaplo> ["Ow!" But her grin didn't fade. "Maybe I should just spend my off-battle time annoying you…~"-
[15:11] <Minaplo> ["But nah, that doesn't appeal either- the directing, I mean."]
[15:12] <Yanmei> "I revoke my dessert offer. Also, what does appeal to you? Is there one thing you've always wanted to try?"
[15:16] <Minaplo> ["I'm… Not sure." Said Asuka. "I bet there's a lot of stuff I would've had the chance to try, if I weren't a NeoSpartan…"]
[15:19] <Yanmei> "Maybe that means you should just try all sorts of things, then! Experiment to see what you like?"
[15:20] <Minaplo> ["Experiment, huh. Have you ever done that?"]
[15:21] <Yanmei> "Of course? When I was a little kid. And again when I came to Paris. It's healthy to do that when you think you need a change."
[15:22] <Minaplo> ["What'd you do?"]
[15:24] <Yanmei> "Looked around at a bunch of school clubs or activities. Then I tried them out. If it wasn't fun after a couple of days, I'd try something else. If it was fun, I'd stick with it until it no longer was or until I couldn't do it anymore."
[15:25] <Minaplo> ["Yeah? Huh. What'd you end up sticking with?"]
[15:26] <Yanmei> "Running. Acting~ Fencing."
[15:28] <Minaplo> ["Well, you've always been a running addict, and fencing you probably needed… How'd you find acting?"]
[15:34] <Yanmei> "They were having a school club fair and it seemed like an opportunity to show my charm to the world~ But seriously, I just went for it, because it looked fun. And it was!"
[15:36] <Minaplo> ["Maybe we could have a fair on the battleship." Said Rei.]
[15:37] * Yanmei rubbed her chin thoughtfully. "Maybe. It might cheer people up a little?"
[15:45] <Minaplo> ["Yeah. And it'd let everyone showcase their interests, which would help you figure things out, Asuka-chan. Also, you could find other people with similar interests to help you along."]
[15:47] <Yanmei> "And there can be attractions and games too. Maybe a talent contest?"
[15:51] <Minaplo> ["Ooh, what'll you do, Meimei?"]
[15:52] <Yanmei> "I'll be one of the judges, of course?" she tossed her hair. "If I was actually in the competition, I'd win for sure? It wouldn't be fair."
[15:54] <Minaplo> ["Wouldn't it be better to have the ODs judge?" Said Asuka. "I wanna see you perform!"]
[15:55] <Yanmei> "The ODs might have talents they want to show off too. Like Marianne's car-building skills, and Harken's drinking."
[15:57] <Minaplo> ["I won't come unless you're performing." Said Asuka firmly.]
[15:59] <Yanmei> "Heh. Well if you want to lose that badly… I'll have to find some volunteers to judge instead."
[16:01] <Minaplo> ["Why don't you two do a routine together?" Asked Rei innocently.]
[07:23] <Yanmei> "Hmm. Maybe we could write and perform a tw-woman scene about an awesome leader and her loyal servant."
[07:23] <Minaplo> ["More like a long-suffering but wise servant and her dumb, flat-chested tyrannical snoblord." Said Asuka waspishly.]
[07:26] <Yanmei> "Yeah, if we're starring, then no one would buy that," said Yanmei calmly. She was, however, making an attempt to puff out her chest slightly.
[07:27] <Minaplo> ["Because you'd suppress it for being too true?"]
[07:28] <Yanmei> "More like for being too dumb and obviously false!"
[07:29] <Minaplo> ["I have a better idea." Said Rei patiently.]
[07:29] <Yanmei> "Yeah?"
[07:32] <Minaplo> ["Why don't the two of you do a synchronized martial arts display?"]
[07:34] * Yanmei eyed the two of them suspiciously. "What do you think, Asuka?"
[07:36] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, I bet it could work…" She said slowly.-
[07:36] <Minaplo> ["See, it'd require dedication and teamwork and lots of training." Said Rei. "So it's not just about technique and power, but also on how well you guys work together."]
[07:39] <Yanmei> "So it's not about trying to beat each other," Yanmei clarified, squinting slightly.
[07:41] <Minaplo> ["No. It's about showing off your talents and your ability to work with another person." Said Rei.-
[07:41] <Minaplo> ["Hmm…" Asuka rubbed her chin. "Kinda hard to see Yanmei managing that with anyone but her boytoy~"]
[07:43] <Yanmei> "He's not a boytoy! And I can work well with everyone? Even contrary people like Katsuragi and stupid assholes like Lily Norling."
[07:44] <Minaplo> ["Yeah?! Even me, then?!"]
[07:46] <Yanmei> "Of course?" She tossed her hair. "If we've fought side by side in the field, we can totally do something as easy as a synchronized demonstration?"
[07:48] <Minaplo> ["Yeah? Then let's do it!" Said Asuka fiercely.]
[07:49] <Yanmei> "Fine!"
[07:49] <Minaplo> ["You're on!"-
[07:50] <Minaplo> [Rei took a hearty spoonful of her stew. "Also, you'll have to both wear cheongsams." She added.]
[07:51] <Yanmei> "And capes?"
[07:51] <Minaplo> ["Maybe. Cheongsams should be enough though, right? Too much and it becomes tacky."]
[07:57] * Yanmei frowned deeply at that, but she held her tongue. "We should basically try to take what we can get in terms of supplies and costumes and stuff."
[07:58] <Minaplo> ["You could ask Mr. Blue to spot for you. He'd love the exposure." Said Rei. "He's making me a cheongsam for when I get back, too~"]
[08:00] <Yanmei> "Blue is good and all. I kind of miss the days when I could go shopping at a regular mall, though."
[08:01] <Minaplo> ["Not much luck of that with fabric rationing." Said Asuka.]
[08:02] <Yanmei> "Yeah," she said glumly. "I bet it's harder to shop for clothes even here in Britain, right Rei?"
[08:02] <Minaplo> ["Yeah." Said Rei. "Actually, it's felt that it's kind of insulting to be seen in luxurious clothes right now."]
[08:04] <Yanmei> "Ugh. This war needs to hurry up and end," Yanmei grumbled.
[08:05] <Minaplo> ["You could always discuss armistice with Mary over tea." Came a new voice from the doorway.]
[08:06] * Yanmei turned sharply at that, her eyebrows raised high.
[08:09] <Minaplo> [Standing in the doorway, wearing a neat blue sweater-vest over a white dress shirt and black trousers, was Alphonse. Holding his right hand and wearing a cute red dress was Eevi.-
[08:09] <Minaplo> ["Al~" Rei quickly leapt to her feet, rushing over to give him a tight hug and a rather deep kiss.]
[08:12] * Yanmei swept a glance around the room, keeping an eye out for flashing cameras. "Welcome, you two."
[08:16] <Minaplo> [Asuka merely smirked.-
[08:17] <Minaplo> ["Hi, Yanmei." Said Alphonse after they came up for air. A moment later they'd returned to the table; Rei sitting, Alphonse on her lap, and Eevi on his. "How're you liking the emerald isle?"]
[08:23] <Yanmei> "We haven't seen much of it yet, I'm afraid, but the hotel has been extremely nice. We, er. Can get some extra chairs…"
[08:31] <Minaplo> ["I much prefer Rei's lap." Said Alphonse lightly. "It's warm and soft and it hugs back, for starters."-
[08:31] <Minaplo> [Eevi giggled, burrowing her own head into Alphonse's chest.-
[08:32] <Minaplo> [Asuka's snorts become a little louder.]
[08:33] * Yanmei resisted the urge to kick Asuka under the table. That wasn't helping! -
[08:33] <Yanmei> "How are you guys feeling overall? Is there anything you need our help with?"
[08:34] <Minaplo> ["A babysitter, for example?" Asked Asuka innocently.-
[08:34] <Minaplo> ["Nothing realistic comes to mind, to be honest. Get the damned media off my back for a moment, perhaps?" offered Alphonse.]
[08:35] <Yanmei> "Got it. I'll call in the snipers."
[08:37] <Minaplo> ["Cute. Ever consider stand-up comedy?" Asked Alphonse.-
[08:37] <Minaplo> ["What do you think her briefings are~?" Asked Asuka.]
[08:40] <Yanmei> "How rude. Maybe if you'd pay more attention during them, you'd learn a thing or two about strategy."
[08:41] <Minaplo> ["Like snacking on cold sausages mid-briefing~?"-
[08:41] <Minaplo> [Alphonse blanched. "Ugh."]
[08:45] <Yanmei> "Don't be mean. Did you pay attention to the actual plan he came up with?"
[08:50] <Minaplo> ["Of course I did? I was only just telling you about how I thought you couldn't handle it earlier!"]
[08:52] <Yanmei> "Which I totally can," she clarified, for the sake of Rei and her family.
[08:52] <Minaplo> ["I have no doubt whatsoever." Said Alphonse airily.]
[09:02] <Yanmei> "Good. And while we're on the subject of 'handling things,' it looks like you guys have got this election pretty much wrapped up. Say what you will about the media, they've been shedding you in really good light?"
[09:03] <Minaplo> ["Yeah…" But Alphonse's expression darkened. "I'm not sure it's so open-and-shut."]
[09:05] <Yanmei> "Oh?"
[09:07] <Minaplo> ["White's still pulling huge crowds at his rallies." Said Alphonse. "And Princess Catherine's still massively popular. Every time she visits an area in Scotland, White rises in the polls."-
[09:07] <Minaplo> ["And now there's fighting between people who support Alphonse and the other ones." Said Eevi.-
[09:07] <Minaplo> ["Yeah." Said Rei quietly. "People are getting really passionate…"]
[09:11] <Yanmei> "There hasn't been any actual violence, has there?"
[09:12] <Minaplo> ["Afraid so." Said Alphonse. "Brawl in Glasgow, 400 strong just the other day."-
[09:12] <Minaplo> ["Sounds like another day in Glasgow." Muttered Asuka. Eevi shot her a look; Asuka poked her tongue out in response.]
[09:19] * Yanmei tsked distractedly and settled into a deep frown. "That shouldn't be at all. Have you made any sort of plea to supporters not to get swept up in that if they're able to?"
[09:23] <Minaplo> ["Of course." Said Alphonse. "So's the other side, but…"]
[09:41] <Yanmei> "Yeah, I understand. People are going to fight if they're really determined about it? Just wish they wouldn't. This campaign wasn't supposed to be disruptive."
[09:43] <Minaplo> ["No, but it always was going to be. It's not your run-of-the-mill campaign." Said Asuka.]
[09:56] <Yanmei> "It won't be long until the actual election, at least. Is there anything about all this that you'll miss once it's over?"
[09:57] <Minaplo> ["It might be strange to say, but I'll miss the debates, at least a little." Said Alphonse. "Of course I'll always miss seeing the papers gush over Rei~"-
[09:57] <Minaplo> ["Hmph."]
[09:58] <Yanmei> "Heh. What about you, Rei? And you, Eevi?"
[09:59] <Minaplo> ["I'll miss seeing Al kick butt across Britain~" Said Rei glowingly. "But… It's actually been really good to go out and speak with people, see what they think, what they're worried about."-
[10:00] <Minaplo> ["I'll miss playing with all the kids, too." Said Eevi. "Also, all the sweets everyone gives me."]
[10:11] <Yanmei> "Lucky~ The people here are pretty generous. Of course, if we win, you'll still get chances to do some of that."
[10:11] <Minaplo> ["I'll be too busy guarding Alphonse." Said Eevi sternly.]
[10:13] <Yanmei> "You'll have more help with that too."
[10:15] <Minaplo> ["Not that any will be as good as you." Said Alphonse, ruffling Eevi's hair; she beamed bright, her cheeks flushing.-
[10:15] <Minaplo> [Asuka scoffed.-
[10:16] <Minaplo> ["There is one thing that bothers me, though." Said Rei.]
[10:16] <Yanmei> "Yeah?"
[10:27] <Minaplo> ["Didn't Lexie-chan have a bit of a breakdown in the talks?"]
[10:31] * Raphael (ua.ten.letxof.dlq.932-461-291-271-epc|leahpaR#ua.ten.letxof.dlq.932-461-291-271-epc|leahpaR) Quit (Quit: <Suzune> don't be silly <Suzune> DnD doesn't have sex crime laws)
[10:32] <Yanmei> "Sort of…" Yanmei hazarded. "Not a breakdown, exactly. She just… blurted out information that she shouldn't have. And then ran into her sister's arms."
[10:35] <Minaplo> ["Mmm. That worries me… Not only because Lexie-chan's upset, but also because they're hoping to use that info somehow, right?"]
[10:36] <Yanmei> "Undoubtedly? Hard to predict how, though."
[10:39] <Minaplo> ["What exactly did she say?" Asked Alphonse.]
[10:40] <Yanmei> "She told them what the Eternity Drive was."
[10:43] <Minaplo> ["She didn't!" Said Alphonse, horrified.]
[10:47] <Yanmei> "She did. And she was in such a state that she managed to make it sound somehow even more insane than usual."
[10:50] <Minaplo> ["Poor Lexie-chan." Murmured Rei. "She's spent such a long time hiding her pain…"]
[10:55] <Yanmei> Guilt briefly flashed across Yanmei's face. -
[10:55] <Yanmei> "Well. I can understand that. But she really left us in a difficult position with this."
[23:46] <Minaplo> ["It's not like he'd actually mention the Eternity Drive, right?" Said Asuka. "Not if he didn't want to look crazy too."]
[23:49] <Yanmei> "He could mention it if he wanted to discredit us further. Make it look like we were bullying Lexie to the point of a psychological breakdown, or worse, brainwashing her to believe really weird stuff."
[23:50] * Raphael (ua.ten.letxof.dlq.932-461-291-271-epc|leahpaR#ua.ten.letxof.dlq.932-461-291-271-epc|leahpaR) has joined #nervfrance
[23:51] <Minaplo> ["Could he even prove she said it?"]
[23:52] <Yanmei> "If they had cameras…"
[23:59] <Minaplo> ["Cameras in a diplomatic conference? That's pretty shady."]
Session Time: Mon Apr 18 00:00:00 2016
[00:00] <Yanmei> "Sidney White is a pretty shady guy."
[00:06] <Minaplo> ["But not dumb enough to admit that he is in front of the world." Said Asuka smugly. "He wouldn't dare use anything he saw."]
[00:11] <Yanmei> "He'd better not," Yanmei grumbled, "Or I'd have to send my secretary to rough him up or something."
[00:12] <Minaplo> ["I could do it. I kinda wanna see what he's like in a fight." Said Asuka.]
[00:13] <Yanmei> "Probably lame. You've seen our politicians. He's probably not much better."
[00:14] <Minaplo> ["Al's good at fighting." Said Rei glowingly.]
[00:20] <Yanmei> "Only after extensive training." She eyed him speculatively. "What do you think, Wellesley? Would you be able to take him?"
[00:21] <Minaplo> ["I'm fairly confident, yes." Said Alphonse. "… Not that I'd want it to come to that, of course."]
[00:22] <Yanmei> "It'd be easier than a proper election…"
[00:23] <Minaplo> ["What sort of buffoon culture decides leader by combat, anyway?" Muttered Asuka.]
[00:25] <Yanmei> "Some of the Iron Guards do. And maybe some part of Australia. And maybe some ancient cultures. Anyway, it's still a valid and civilized way of deciding leadership."
[00:26] <Minaplo> ["You're kidding, right?"]
[00:26] <Yanmei> "Am I? Am I really?" she said smugly.
[00:27] <Minaplo> ["I hope you are." Said Asuka darkly. "Anyone stupid enough to believe in rulership by combat isn't worth handling a kindergarten, let alone anything serious."]
[00:33] * Yanmei sighed loudly. "You can relax? Yes, I'm joking."
[00:34] <Minaplo> ["Pff. I knew that. Baka."]
[00:34] <Yanmei> "Grrr…"
[00:36] <Minaplo> ["You two really are amazingly close." Said Alphonse cheerfully.]
[00:38] <Yanmei> "Of course? Asuka looks up to me as a big sister, you know."
[00:39] <Minaplo> ["Big only in stupids, and nothing else."]
[00:47] <Yanmei> "Oh yeah? Well you're little in common sense and everything else too."
[00:48] <Minaplo> ["And I suppose you've got a lot of common sense?!"]
[00:51] <Yanmei> "Um, yes?" Yanmei preened. "I'm practically an expert strategist?"
[00:59] <Minaplo> ["If you're what passes as common sense, then I'd rather have no sense at all…"]
[01:04] <Yanmei> "Well, no worries there," she said smugly.
[01:06] <Minaplo> ["No sense is better than negative sense. You're like a big black hole sucking in good ideas and replacing them with dumb!"]
[01:11] <Yanmei> "And you're a big, um… dumb yourself!"
[01:12] <Minaplo> ["Dumbass!"]
[01:12] <Yanmei> "Idiotface!"
[01:13] <Minaplo> ["Flat-chested Moronduchess!"]
[01:16] <Yanmei> "Uncouth Hellbrat!"
[01:18] <Minaplo> ["Annoying eggplant!"]
[01:22] <Yanmei> "Screechy insect!"
[01:24] <Minaplo> ["Screechy!? I'll show you!"-
[01:25] <Minaplo> [Alphonse and Rei had happily tuned out of the bickering, with Rei instead spooning mouthfuls of excellent stew up to Eevi and Alphonse, who ate it energetically. They thus wouldn't see Asuka spring from her chair, ready to wrap an arm around Yanmei's neck…]

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