Cherry Blossom Procession 4 1 19

[18:59] <Minaplo> [The day had been long, tiring and at some cases, dangerous and nerve-wracking. Despite this, the mood in the safehouse was upbeat, even cheery.-
[19:01] <Minaplo> [One arriving home, Shinji had happily declared that he'd cook everyone dinner, and San was all too eager to help. The two worked closely together, cracking jokes, laughing loudly and telling endless wild stories.-
[19:02] <Minaplo> [Dinner- San having risked buying fresh local ingredients- was exquisite, laid out with lots of fluffy warm rice, steamed vegetables of a dozen types, grilled chicken and roast fish.-
[19:03] <Minaplo> [After dinner, Shinji and San had shown off by washing up with the help of their AT Fields, actively competing to see who could be the most flashy.-
[19:06] <Minaplo> [Now it was over, with Shinji having gone to enjoy a shower, Surov sitting in the corner with his computer, and San was sitting by herself near the window, humming to herself and staring down on the city below.]
[19:19] <Raphael> Raphael had managed to get to the shower before Shinji, and now he exited the bedroom wearing a fresh set of clothes. He sighed with relief, walking across the small living area to flop into a chair by San's window seat. "You're looking very cheerful," he smiled.
[19:29] <Minaplo> ["Uh-huh." Said San with a smile. "Today was a good day, huh?"]
[19:42] <Raphael> "The recovery's going better than we expected, certainly. I don't think that's quite what you mean, though…" he chuckled.
[19:47] <Minaplo> ["Well, I do wanna see grandma and grandpa again." Said San. "But it's like…"-
[19:48] <Minaplo> ["I did good today, huh?"]
[19:50] <Raphael> "You did a fantastic job," he agreed. "We wouldn't have made it half as far today without your help."
[19:52] <Minaplo> [San beamed, her eyes shining with pleasure.-
[19:54] <Minaplo> ["I was really nervous, but… Now I feel like I could take on the world."-
[19:55] <Minaplo> [San turned her gaze out toward the city again.-
[19:56] <Minaplo> ["Hey, Mr. Guillory?"]
[19:56] <Raphael> "Mmm?"
[20:00] <Minaplo> ["I've never felt like this before. Is it ok?"]
[20:03] <Raphael> "… Yeah," he said gently, "Of course it is. I'm fairly sure you're just feeling proud of yourself, as you should be."
[20:05] <Minaplo> ["Huh… Really? I won't end up screwing up a lot?"]
[20:06] <Raphael> "Were you feeling that way after the visit to the mechanic's?"
[20:09] <Minaplo> ["Proud? Or like I'd screw up?"]
[20:10] <Raphael> "Proud."
[20:11] <Minaplo> ["Yeah." Said San. "Actually, like… Kinda surprised in myself. I thought it was just a one off… Then we went to the…" She blushed and mumbled- "And I did well again, and then Shin-niisan said I did, and…!"]
[20:13] <Raphael> "Exactly. You did an amazing job at the meeting with Kikkawa, so it should be ok to feel happy with yourself, right?"
[20:14] <Minaplo> ["… I guess so. It's just, I feel good, and I don't wanna screw it up by making a mistake."]
[20:18] * Raphael nodded. "I know. It's… not precisely the same thing, but I get that sort of feeling sometimes myself. The best advice I can offer is to enjoy it when it's there rather than panicking about the idea that sometime it might not be. Sometimes we can tie ourselves in knots and become the problem we were worried about. Does that make sense?"
[20:21] <Minaplo> ["Yeah." Said San with a nod. "Is that like how Macquarie says I throw up after getting out of the Eva because I'm scared of throwing up?"]
[20:29] <Raphael> "Exactly. It's the same idea. The good news is that if you have a few successes and start to learn ways of coping it's something you can get better at - Go's gotten much more sure of herself over time, for example."
[20:36] <Minaplo> ["Yeah… Haha, it's kinda funny that everyone knows Go as being the shy one, huh?" Said San with a grin. "She thinks everyone kinda overlooks her, but…"-
[20:37] <Minaplo> ["I uh…" She glanced away awkwardly. "You know, Go makes me feel… Little."]
[20:40] * Raphael gave her a thoughtful look. "Why is that?"
[20:46] <Minaplo> ["Go's all shy and meek and expects to be ignored, but she's actually really popular." Said San. "And she did really great on Mars, and now she's just an amazing AT manipulator…"-
[20:47] <Minaplo> ["And then Chii's got her natural charisma, and she's just like this force of personality." Said San. "And she's so forceful in how she lives…"-
[20:49] <Minaplo> ["Then I kinda feel like the 'superfluous AT manipulator'." Said San. "I've never felt like I excel, and now I feel like I'm even more background than Go. It'd be okay if I enjoyed Eva piloting, but I don't. I just feel like I'm always second fiddle. I don't even think they'll bother fixing my Eva, and I kinda hope they don't."]
[21:03] * Raphael looked sad for a moment, reaching out to give San a little pat on the arm. "Now I'm not going to argue with you because I don't think this is the sort of thing where I can change your mind, but I don't want you to think that's the same as me agreeing with you. I think you're better than you tell yourself you are."-
[21:03] <Raphael> "But let's try a different tack - If they didn't fix your Eva and you had your choice, what would you like to do?"
[21:07] <Minaplo> ["Well… This." Said San, and she rewarded Raphael's touch with a sudden bright giggle. "This is new, but it's also exciting and fun and it makes me feel… Alive, and useful, and energetic, and a little… Sexy."]
[21:14] <Raphael> "Well… that's…" 'That' was clearly not what Raphael had expected to hear, but after a second he managed to rally. "… Ahem. I certainly don't think anyone could look at your performance today and say you weren't suited for it. If you want I could forward the idea on to Command when we get home, perhaps see about testing you in Intelligence while your Eva is damaged…?"
[21:18] <Minaplo> ["You think so?" Said San, suddenly lighting up. "Field missions only? No boring desk work? Desk work is for Macquaries."]
[21:24] <Raphael> "No promises," he said, trying to supress a smile and failing. "Desk work is a part of the job."-
[21:25] <Raphael> "The ISF gave my team one of their field agents as liason. I'll introduce the two of you. If Command wants you to be supervised I think he'd be a good choice."
[21:26] <Minaplo> ["Okay." Said San. "That sounds cool. It could turn into something awesome…"-
[21:27] <Minaplo> ["Or maybe I could become a detective after everything…"-
[21:27] <Minaplo> ["Ugh, they all sound so cool."-
[21:27] <Minaplo> [There was the sound of a door opening. Shinji emerged from the bathroom, wearing a towel over shirt and shorts; he vanished into his bedroom.-
[21:28] <Minaplo> [San tracked him with her eyes; after he was gone she turned toward Raphael. "H-Hey!"]
[21:30] <Raphael> "Mmm?"
[21:31] <Minaplo> ["Umm… I'm feeling something else for the first time too."]
[21:33] <Raphael> Raphael mostly managed to hide his unease at the turn this conversation seemed to be taking. "Y-yes?"
[21:36] <Minaplo> ["It's probably gonna sound weird." Said San seriously.-
[21:41] <Minaplo> ["But… You know, I ended up in Boston with Rei, so we spent some time together when she wasn't with Alphonse." Said San. "But I didn't end up talking to most of my sisters. I knew mama was supposed to be my mama, and papa was supposed to be my papa, but they were so busy that I just got overlooked, and I was always too far away."-
[21:44] <Minaplo> ["Then there's Shin-niisan, who's always been busy or tied up with a lot of problems, so even though he was supposed to be my brother, I just… He was just another person."-
[21:48] <Minaplo> ["But today, he was really cool." Said San warmly. "And then we started working together, and it just clicked, like I knew how to work alongside him without ever being told. It just felt natural, and it was… Suddenly this connection everyone was telling me I should've had… It was suddenly there, and it felt wonderful, and he hugged me, and it felt great… Like, warm and comforting
[21:48] <Minaplo> and happy. Accepting. I felt really… Loved."]
[18:50] <Raphael> "I'm glad to hear it," he smiled, casting a quick, conspiratorial glance over his shoulder at the closed bedroom door, "I think Shinji's enjoying a chance to get to know you as well. He's brighter than I've seen him in a long time."
[18:52] <Minaplo> ["Really?" Said San, brightening. "Oh wow…"]
[18:57] <Raphael> "You shouldn't be worried that you don't feel close to people you've never had the chance to know. Time and shared experiences will build that feeling of family if you work at it."
[19:06] <Minaplo> ["Man…"-
[19:11] <Minaplo> ["More time and experiences." She said quietly. "How do I work at it, Mr. Guillory? Is it just time? Should I take Shin-niisan out to shows and dinners and things? Maybe I'll sleepover tonight!"]
[19:16] <Raphael> "Uh… it might be best to let it happen a bit more organically, ma'am. Trying to force a bond is a good way to make things awkward. You had the right idea tonight."-
[19:16] <Raphael> He paused, "Also, it might be best to wait until we're not in the field."
[19:17] <Minaplo> ["Hmmmm."-
[19:17] <Minaplo> ["It's okay if I just talk to him, right?"]
[19:18] <Raphael> "I think that should be safe, ma'am," he deadpanned.
[19:19] <Minaplo> ["Okay. Because he looks happy to me, and he's been kinda gloomy for most of the day, and I know he's been sad…"-
[19:19] <Minaplo> ["Ugh, I wish I could cook! I'd make him a big cake."]
[19:20] <Raphael> "I'm sure Roku would help if you asked."
[19:20] <Minaplo> ["Oooh, yes." Said San brightly.-
[19:21] <Minaplo> ["Thanks, Mr. Guillory! My sisses always said that you were good to speak to, but I never realised it until now."]
[19:22] <Raphael> "I do my best, ma'am," he said, grinning a little.
[19:26] <Minaplo> ["I feel a little jealous of Misa-bachan, actually~"]
[19:31] <Raphael> "… Yes." He coughed. "Well. Thank… you?"
[19:32] <Minaplo> ["You're very welcome~"-
[19:32] <Minaplo> [And then she blushed. "Um, I'm not saying I peeked when you went for the shower, but uh, I was a little slow in cutting my senses…"]
[19:36] * Raphael cleared his throat. "Your candour is…"-
[19:36] <Raphael> "… yes."-
[19:36] <Raphael> "Hmm."-
[19:37] * Raphael stood, pointing vaguely towards Shinji's room. "I should check Pilot Ikari has swept his room for bugs."
[19:40] <Minaplo> ["S-Sorry! I didn't mean to…" She went red to the roots of her hair.-
[19:40] <Minaplo> ["I uh…" She mumbled, trailing away.]
[19:42] * Raphael managed to chuckle convincingly, and even reached out to rufle her hair. "No harm done, San. Really."
[19:42] <Minaplo> [She dissolved into giggles.]
[19:45] <Raphael> Satisfied that she would at least not be left to stew in her own anxiety, Raphael left San to her view and crossed back to the bedrooms, knocking gently on Shinji's door.
[19:45] <Minaplo> [("Come in!")]
[19:46] <Raphael> And he did. He didn't lean against the door once he was inside, but he certainly gave the impression of a man who wanted to.
[19:56] <Minaplo> [Shinji was lying on his bed, poking at the tablet that San had bought earlier. "Hi, Mr. Guillory."]
[20:08] <Raphael> "Shinji." He nodded.-
[20:08] * Raphael glanced around the room awkwardly. "Do you, uh, need help sweeping the room, sir?"
[20:09] <Minaplo> ["… I turned my senses off, Mr. Guillory, so you'll have to tell me what you're hiding from. Is it Surov? I bet it's Surov." Said Shinji, his eyes narrowing.]
[20:13] <Raphael> "I wouldn't say I'm hiding…"
[20:14] <Minaplo> ["I see." Said Shinji softly. "So what're you regrouping from?"]
[20:16] <Raphael> "San was a little too… inquisitive with her own senses, sir."
[20:18] <Minaplo> ["… Oh."-
[20:18] <Minaplo> ["Oh." Shinji suddenly covered his mouth. "Did she get a little… Misa-bachan on you?"]
[20:18] * Raphael grimaced. "A little."
[20:23] <Minaplo> ["Was it like Yanmei or Go, between-the-lines Misa-bachan, or more like Sophia Simonides or President Linden, feasting-eyes Misa-bachan?"]
[20:26] <Raphael> "Tilting more towards the latter, I think."
[20:28] <Minaplo> ["… That must've been very awkward for you." Said Shinji, his mouth not quite managing to hide his smile.]
[20:30] * Raphael gave him a dark look. "I'm quite certain she didn't mean anything by it, but… yes, a little."
[20:33] <Minaplo> ["To be fair, you can hardly blame her." Said Shinji conversationally. "You're tall, toned, muscular, you've got a clean, well-kept look… That really does something for some girls."]
[20:09] <Raphael> "I've never noticed," he muttered.
[20:10] <Minaplo> ["You'll have lots of chances to do so now that you don't look like me."]
[20:11] <Raphael> "A little relieved? About the face, I mean, not the-… the that."
[20:16] <Minaplo> ["Mmm." Said Shinji with a small smile; he leaned back against his pillows. "I don't think it'll be a problem for you in the long run… So long as you don't wake up one day with San giving you homemade chocolate, I guess."-
[20:17] <Minaplo> ["On a more serious note, do you think people have been treating you differently since you reformed?"]
[20:23] * Raphael finally gave up his position at the doorframe, apparently content that San was not about to slam through it. Instead he wandered over to the broad window, drawing the blinds shut and slumping into the long bench seat laid out beneath it.-
[20:23] <Raphael> "Not… as much as I thought they might, but in all honesty people adapted to the first set of changes better than I had any sane reason to expect them to. I suppose I shouldn't be shocked when they took me changing back just as easily."-
[20:23] <Raphael> "My family and Misato are happy, but the rest is about the same as ever."
[20:27] <Minaplo> ["So no escape from President Linden's smouldering looks, huh…?"]
[20:28] <Raphael> "Ah… We came to an agreement about that even before the change," he said awkwardly. "It's not really a concern."
[20:34] <Minaplo> ["Oh, huh. Well, good for you." Said Shinji. "Still, I'm glad everything seems to have settled down for you."]
[20:36] <Raphael> "… Yes. This is what 'settled down' looks like for me - skirting the edge of a major international incident on foreign soil."
[20:36] <Minaplo> ["What's more nerve-wracking? Skirting the edge of a major international incident on foreign soil, or soiling the edge of a major international incident's skirts?"]
[20:37] * Raphael visibly winced.
[20:38] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, I thought so too." Said Shinji sympathetically. "I uh… Well. I won't say I know how you feel, but I know a few times I've caught some of President Linden's looks before she realised it was me…"]
[20:39] <Raphael> "Oh," he said slowly. "… I see how that could be a problem, in retrospect."
[20:41] <Minaplo> ["Yeah." Said Shinji. "I've never really spoken to the President outside of purely professional briefing stuff, but I feel like it'd be kinda awkward. What's she like? I've only ever heard the smouldering-look stuff, and it feels unfair to pigeonhole her entirely on that."]
[20:55] <Raphael> "A little, but understandable if that's all you have to work off. Most of the time she's a sweet, clever young lady who lets people believe that fact is incompatible with the capacity for ruthless leadership." He said it as though it were intended as the sincerest of compliments.
[21:04] <Minaplo> ["Silk hiding steel, huh?"]
[21:05] * Raphael smiled a little. "That's how she's termed it."
[21:11] <Minaplo> ["That makes sense. It kind of reminds me of Rei, too."-
[21:11] <Minaplo> ["Although it also makes me think of Misa-bachan. I remember kind of thinking she was a joke at first until I saw her in combat…" Said Shinji shamefacedly.]
[21:21] <Raphael> "It was the same story with Marshal Wellesley. The President just used it to her advantage where Alphonse fought it."
[21:29] <Minaplo> ["Huh. How'd that go down…?"]
[21:33] <Raphael> "Alphonse's?"
[21:34] <Minaplo> ["Yeah."]
[21:41] * Raphael shrugged. "He saw good support from most of our ODs - Everyone but Misato, in the beginning - but it was a different story in the chain of command for regional forces. The officers who worked with him saw as a PR play or an upstart, and he reacted by trying to be more 'adult' than everyone around him. It only served to make him seem more stiff and forced, which didn't really help."-
[21:41] <Raphael> "He came into his own once they gave him command of Boston and Rei helped him build up some confidence. Even then, there's a reason a lot of his bridge staff there were NeoAlexanders."
[21:44] <Minaplo> ["Mmm, that makes sense." Said Shinji. "People he'd worked with before, who knew him and wouldn't question him…"-
[21:44] <Minaplo> ["I wonder if he's feeling the same now in Britain? Or if Rei's helping with that, too."]
[21:53] <Raphael> "My sense is that the last few years have given him a better set of tools for dealing with it, but I'm sure Rei is helping. I haven't much opportunity to speak with them, but they seem to be doing well with the pressure," he said.-
[21:54] <Raphael> "… Of course, things have changed a lot in a few years. The head of one of the largest factions on Earth is his age, the NeoSpartans and NeoAlexanders have been taking up increasingly prominent roles in military work and elsewhere."
[21:56] <Minaplo> ["Does that feel… Weird to you? I know you've spent most of your life following orders from people like Marshal Thomas…"]
[22:06] <Raphael> "I… can't say it does, personally," he said thoughtfully. "If I hadn't worked closely with most of them it might've, but I've tried to expect the same level of performance and professionalism from them that I would from any person in power. By and large they've met that benchmark. If they can do that I don't see what I have to complain about."
[22:08] <Minaplo> ["Oh. Well, that seems fair. I guess that's part of why Alphonse appreciates you."-
[22:09] <Minaplo> [Shinji leaned back a little more, turning his gaze down toward his hands. He had fallen silent, but bother was given away by the frown on his face.]
[22:12] <Raphael> Raphael gave him the silence, only breaking it when it was clear Shinji wouldn't do so on his own.-
[22:12] <Raphael> "Something wrong, sir?"
[22:13] <Minaplo> ["…"-
[22:13] <Minaplo> ["So I ended up looking around in my father's room."]
[22:18] * Raphael nodded slowly. "… Was it intact?"
[22:20] <Minaplo> ["It was weird. It hadn't been damaged. Looked abandoned… Actually, it looked like they'd abandoned it in a real hurry, like there'd been an emergency."]
[22:23] <Raphael> "That is odd," Raphael frowned.
[22:24] <Minaplo> ["Yeah. What could've made them leave like that…? Because they didn't -return-, either."]
[22:26] <Raphael> "By my understanding Gehirn operated with government sanction, which probably rules out an attack. They would've returned if the structure was still standing after a disaster. Which suggests your father might've been fleeing Gehirn itself…?"
[22:27] <Minaplo> ["Maybe, but it wasn't just his room…" Shinji frowned. "Maybe it has something to do with the LN split."]
[22:28] <Raphael> "Possibly…"
[22:29] <Minaplo> ["Mm…"-
[22:29] <Minaplo> ["… Anyway." Shinji shifted a little. "I found something of his."]
[22:29] <Raphael> "Ah?"
[22:30] <Minaplo> [Shinji took a book out of the air; from the faded leather cover, Raphael might suspect what it was. "It's a diary of his."]
[22:33] * Raphael sat forward in his chair, watching the book with curiosity. "Do you know how old it is?"
[22:34] <Minaplo> ["It starts at 2001."]
[22:38] <Raphael> "… your birth year," he surmised, meeting Shinji's eye.
[22:39] <Minaplo> ["Y-yeah." Shinji's gaze failed, and he looked down toward the book, which he held gently.]
[22:43] * Raphael watched him for a moment, a slight frown on his face. "Did you have a chance to read much?"
[22:46] <Minaplo> ["Yeah…"]
[22:47] <Raphael> "Was it-"-
[22:47] <Raphael> Bad?
[22:47] <Raphael> "… Useful?"
[22:48] <Minaplo> ["Not really." Said Shinji. "Um, he mostly talks about me…"]
[22:52] <Raphael> "That must've been good to find," Raphael said, a little bit of hope in his tone.
[22:53] <Minaplo> ["Uh, w-well."-
[22:53] <Minaplo> [Shinji awkwardly thrust the diary at Raphael.]
[22:54] <Raphael> The hope faded fast. He squared his shoulders and accepted the book, flipping to a random page and beginning to skim…
[22:56] <Raphael> "… Shinji, this is all Japanese."
[22:56] <Minaplo> ["…"-
[22:56] <Minaplo> ["You… Don't read Japanese?"]
[22:57] <Raphael> "I'm French."
[22:57] <Minaplo> ["Aline read Japanese."]
[22:59] <Raphael> "Aline was also a functional wizard."
[22:59] <Minaplo> ["Suzanne can read Japanese." Said Shinji petulantly.]
[23:02] <Raphael> "Suzanne knows a few words and how to bluff."
[23:03] <Minaplo> ["But… Don't you just…" Shinji's hands hung in the air, twisted into awkward shapes. "Learn from osmosis or something?"]
[23:04] <Raphael> "… Shinji, any osmosis is my personal business."
[23:06] <Raphael> "Also, that's not remotely how languages work. At all. Sir."
[23:06] <Minaplo> [Shinji flushed scarlet.-
[23:08] <Minaplo> ["B-But… Your girlfriend's Japanese." Said Shinji desperately. "Rei's like your daughter and she's Japanese. You spent a year in my body and I'm Japanese!"-
[23:09] <Raphael> "Shinji."
[23:10] <Minaplo> ["Y-Yes?"]
[23:10] <Raphael> "We've been in Tokyo for nearly a day. Have I spoken any Japanese?"
[23:11] <Minaplo> ["You don't need to speak Japanese to sneak around in an invisibility cloak…"]
[23:11] * Raphael gave him an icy look.
[23:12] <Minaplo> ["L-Look, we've been in Tokyo for nearly a day and this is the first time you've so much as hinted that you don't read Japanese." Said Shinji. "That's -weird-. You didn't tell anyone about this. That's very…"-
[23:13] <Minaplo> ["… Japanese." Said Shinji finally. "I'm sorry, Mr. Guillory, but you're one drinking session and a cram school scholarship away from becoming a countryman."]
[23:15] <Raphael> "Everybody knows I don't speak Japanese! Except you apparently! Sir!"
[23:16] <Minaplo> ["You're the most Japanese Frenchman I've ever met! Why would I think otherwise?!"]
[23:20] <Raphael> "Because you've never heard me speak the damned language!"
[23:21] <Minaplo> ["I don't spend nearly enough time with you to know that!" Said Shinji. "I don't… I…"-
[23:22] <Minaplo> ["I speak French for heaven's sakes, but you've never heard me say it, have you?!"]
[23:25] <Raphael> "And I never assumed you did!"
[23:25] <Minaplo> ["Even your secretary is Japanese!"-
[23:26] <Minaplo> [Shinji covered his face with his hands.]
[23:27] <Raphael> "… I am surrounded by a lot of Japanese," he said slowly, as if only just realizing it.
[23:29] <Minaplo> ["Considering you've spent most of your time in France… Yeah." Said Shinji, his voice only slightly muffled by his hands. He peeked over them at Raphael. "What was the last meal you ate before you left on this mission?"]
[23:32] <Raphael> "… katsudon," he admitted in a very small voice.-
[23:32] <Raphael> "Blue made it specially."
[23:33] <Minaplo> ["For Misa-bachan?"]
[23:34] <Raphael> "That would be a comforting lie."
[23:34] <Minaplo> ["…"-
[23:34] <Minaplo> ["I'm so sorry."]
[23:35] <Raphael> "So am I, sir."
[23:36] <Minaplo> [There was a long, awkward silence, punctuated only by San calling out in Japanese, with a response from Surov… Also in Japanese. A more rough form, yet still recognisably Japanese.-
[23:36] <Minaplo> ["…"-
[23:36] <Minaplo> ["D… Do you want me to read it to you?" Whispered Shinji in a horrified voice.]
[23:37] <Raphael> "… I would rather throw myself from the window, sir."
[23:37] <Minaplo> ["…"-
[23:37] <Minaplo> ["Maybe you could get Surov to do it?"]
[23:38] <Raphael> "…"
[23:38] <Minaplo> ["O-Or you could get San…?"]
[23:40] <Raphael> "…"-
[23:40] <Raphael> "I'm going to go now, Shinji."
[23:40] <Minaplo> ["Oh."-
[23:42] <Minaplo> [A fat crow flew past the window.-
[23:42] <Minaplo> ["…"-
[23:42] <Minaplo> ["Um. W-Well. I'll see you tomorrow." Said Shinji awkwardly. "But just so you know…"-
[23:43] <Minaplo> ["It's good. The stuff in the diary. He was… Excited. Delighted."]
[23:50] <Raphael> The change of gears took him a moment, but the smile that finally spread across Raphael's face looked sincere and a little relieved. "I suppose he found a way to tell you after all?"
[23:51] <Minaplo> ["S-So it seems." Said Shinji, and despite the awkwardness of the situation, he too smiled. "He talks about crying when I began to walk, and…"]
[23:54] <Raphael> "… Maybe it's best I couldn't read it after all. Not because I don't want to, but… it's a part of your father that can be yours. I think that's good for you both."
[23:54] <Minaplo> ["Yeah."-
[23:55] <Minaplo> [Shinji stared down at the diary, his eyes becoming misty.]
[23:56] <Raphael> He stood, crossed to the bed and laid a gentle hand on Shinji's shoulder. "Would you like some time to yourself?"
[23:56] <Minaplo> ["Yeah. Thanks."]
[23:57] * Raphael nodded and shuffled towards the door. "You did a great job today, sir. Sleep well."
[23:59] <Minaplo> ["Y-You too, Raphael." Said Shinji softly.]
[00:00] * Raphael slipped out the door without a sound, leaving Shinji in peace.

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