Cherry Blossom Procession 4 1 30

[17:47] <Raphael> "Mgh."-
[17:47] <Raphael> Raphael came to face down on his bed, drooling gently onto the matress without so much as a pillow under his head. The itchy, cottony sensation in his eyes and thoughts suggested he'd overslept, but it was hard to say by how much - the last thing he could recall was stumbling through the door of the apartment after the debriefing and immediately collapsing onto the bed.-
[17:47] <Raphael> He couldn't even remember if he'd- … yep, a quick check of his arms revealed he was still in his uniform.-
[17:47] <Raphael> Gradually he levered himself away from his matress, his attention slowly expanding enough to pick up the quiet sounds of activity going on beyond the privacy screens.
[17:58] <Minaplo> [("… Really upset, but Al didn't care too much.") Came a voice; it sounded like… Rei's?-
[17:59] <Minaplo> [("Good for him, good for him.") Came another, which sounded like Misato's. ("What a horrible thing to do, though…")-
[17:59] <Minaplo> [("Here, have this.") Came a muffled voice that Raphael thought might've been Suzanne.-
[17:59] <Minaplo> [("Whatsit?") Asked Caitlin.-
[18:00] <Minaplo> [("S'pocky.")]
[18:07] * Raphael blinked a little at the voices, then ground a hand into one eye as he swung his legs off the side of the bed. Rei hadn't even been in the country when he'd fallen asleep, but that had been… twelve hours ago, according to a glance at the clock. He sighed and brushed open the screens to enter the wider apartment.
[18:18] <Minaplo> [Rei, Misato, Suzanne and Caitlin sat around the dinner table, chatting cheerfully. Rei wore a long-sleeved shirt and skirt of light blue, a red leather jacket hung over her backrest; Misato a dark purple turtleneck sweater and denim jeans; Suzanne a pair of shorts and a red t-shirt showing what looked to be a giant robot dropkicking a giant monster dog; and Caitlin a burgundy belted dress.
[18:18] <Minaplo> Sitting in the middle of the table was a veritable spread of colourful Japanese goodies, mostly sweets.-
[18:19] <Minaplo> [Rei looked over at Raphael. "Morning, Raffy~"-
[18:19] <Minaplo> ["Up so soon?" Said Suzanne innocently.]
[18:24] <Raphael> "I could go back if you'd like," Raphael said, voice still a little muddied by sleep. "I think I could still manage another day or so."-
[18:24] <Raphael> As if to illustrate his point he let out a monstrous yawn on the way to the spare seat at the dinner table. "What's going on?"
[18:25] <Minaplo> ["Rei's grandpa brought back some sweets from Japan." Said Suzanne.-
[18:25] <Raphael> "How-"
[18:25] <Minaplo> ["Here, have some sugar, hon." Said Misato cheerfully, dumping a small handful of confectionery in front of him.-
[18:26] <Minaplo> ["What'd you bring me, Raffy?" Asked Caitlin sweetly.]
[18:28] <Raphael> "Continued peace with Japan," Raphael said matter-of-factly, trying to examine the brightly-coloured Japanese wrappers for a moment before giving up on the investigation and tearing one open at random.
[18:32] <Minaplo> ["Thbbbbbt." Said Suzanne. "I told you."-
[18:32] <Minaplo> ["Hmph."-
[18:32] <Minaplo> ["How're you feeling, Raffy?" Asked Rei.]
[18:39] <Raphael> Raphael chuckled, swallowing what he believed to be a candy made of hardened sherbet. "Just tired, hon. I'll be better tomorrow, I'm sure."-
[18:39] <Raphael> "What about you? You didn't tell me you were coming home."
[18:40] <Minaplo> ["There wasn't really a good opportunity." Said Rei.-
[18:40] <Minaplo> [Caitlin got up. "I'll make you breakfast, Raffy. There's a pot of coffee on!"]
[18:42] <Raphael> "It's ok, Caity, I can get it-"
[18:43] <Minaplo> [But she had already flung herself, like a good-natured ballistic missile, toward the kitchenette.-
[18:43] <Minaplo> ["I'll only be here until tomorrow, too." Said Rei. "Then it's back to the campaign."]
[18:44] <Raphael> "Alphonse's here too?"
[18:44] <Minaplo> [Rei shook her head. "Just me."]
[18:48] <Raphael> "The United Kingdom will be wondering where their soon-to-be Queen has run off to," he said seriously.
[18:51] <Minaplo> [Rei giggled. "There's already enough soon-to-be Queens over there as it is!"-
[18:51] <Minaplo> ["Isn't that the truth?" Said Misato. "It's a big ol' monarchial mess over there…"]
[19:01] * Raphael nodded his acknowledgement, working on another lolly. "Have I missed anything over there? I can't say I've had a chance to check the papers."
[19:02] <Minaplo> ["White's starting to get lead back in the polls." Said Misato.]
[19:05] * Raphael sighed. "Any solid reason?"
[19:06] <Minaplo> ["Some newspapers got a leak, apparently." Said Rei with a frown. "Some stuff Lexie-chan said, or is supposed to have said. Stuff about how she doesn't want to be queen."-
[19:07] <Minaplo> ["And a few comments that, uh…" Misato lowered her voice. "Obviously reference the Drive, but in crazy language."]
[19:08] <Raphael> "What?!" Raphael asked, before he could think to lower his voice. "Where on Earth did they get that from?"
[19:09] <Minaplo> [Caitlin turned in surprise; a few rashers of bacon plunged to the ground, stopped only my Suzanne's reflexes; Suzanne had gone over to help as well.-
[19:09] <Minaplo> ["… Al was told that Lexie-chan blurted it out during those secret talks in Sweden." Muttered Rei.]
[19:11] * Raphael paused long enough to give Caitlin an apologetic look, gesturing that everything was fine. When he turned back to Rei he'd lowered his voice in turn. "She… why would she do that? She's never been that foolish."
[19:22] <Minaplo> ["She was just reunited with a sister she thought was dead." Said Rei gently. "I think many of us would do silly things in that situation."]
[19:25] * Raphael seemed to stumble a little bit at that, "… right. Of course." He glanced over his shoulder to where the girls continued to cook, and then examined his sweets in silence.
[19:27] <Minaplo> ["We all knew she could be a little vulnerable… What's done is done though." Said Misato. "What's Alphonse gonna do to retake the lead?"-
[19:28] <Minaplo> ["I'm not sure. He's gonna say that the comments are all rubbish, of course…" Said Rei.]
[19:41] <Raphael> "It's a hard thing to escape. If public support wasn't already behind Princess Catherine it might have been easy to dismiss it as too crazy to be true, but as it is…"
[19:42] <Minaplo> ["Yeah." Said Rei with a sigh. "What's worse is that the public has no idea of what Lexie-chan's like at all. We've lost our chance to set her story, so to speak."]
[19:42] <Raphael> "Mmm."
[19:44] <Minaplo> ["Al's also said that our info people haven't found anything worthwhile about White, either." Said Rei.]
[19:54] <Raphael> "Director Simon said as much. What do you think of him?"
[19:56] <Minaplo> ["He's smug." Said Rei with a huff.]
[19:59] <Raphael> "The debates suggested as much," he smiled.
[20:02] <Minaplo> ["Yeah." Said Rei, scowling. "He acts all the time like he's won it already, even though Al's much better at everything."]
[20:03] <Raphael> "I think that's called politics, sweetheart," he said mildly.
[20:05] <Minaplo> ["So?"]
[20:06] <Raphael> "Mmm. True."
[20:07] <Minaplo> ["I like Princess Catherine much better."]
[20:09] <Raphael> "Ah?"
[20:14] <Minaplo> ["She's nice!" Said Rei. "And not smug."]
[20:16] <Raphael> "Oh, than White. I thought you meant you liked her better than Princess Alexandrina."
[20:17] <Minaplo> ["Oh, no." Said Rei, shaking her head. "I don't know her well enough to tell."]
[20:19] * Raphael nodded. "Of course I've once seen Princess Catherine and White on the news, but I think most people would prefer her. How was she when you spoke?"
[20:19] <Minaplo> ["Friendly. Warm." Said Rei with a smile. "Cheerful, but not condescending."]
[14:38] * Raphael 's murmur of acknowledgement was muffled as he tried to stifle a yawn. "… So what brought you back? Here to see your grandfather, I imagine?"
[14:45] <Minaplo> ["Mm, that's part of it." Said Rei with a nod. "I've wanted the chance to catch up with him and grandma Chisato both for awhile. Things just keep getting in the way, you know?"-
[14:45] <Minaplo> ["But Al's also having to deal with some things too at the moment."]
[14:50] <Raphael> "Oh?"
[14:56] <Minaplo> [Rei sighed. "Family trouble. His mother disowned him."]
[15:02] <Raphael> "What? Why?"
[15:05] <Minaplo> ["It's because he gave up his title, right?" Said Misato. "Aristocracy's weird like that."-
[15:05] <Minaplo> ["No, actually. Although I don't know if it helped." Rei gave them both a wry smile. "It's because she doesn't approve of me."]
[15:16] * Raphael 's expression darkened, a lolly stopped halfway to his mouth. "Based on what?" he asked.
[15:28] <Minaplo> ["Race." Said Rei, and her voice became just ever so slightly rawer.]
[15:29] <Raphael> "Sweetheart…" he muttered, reaching out to take her hand.
[15:33] <Minaplo> [She took it and gave him a smile. "It's okay. It's her problem, not mine- Al was furious when he found out, but he admitted he'd always been afraid it'd happen. Some misplaced blame for the old war, he said."]
[15:46] <Raphael> He sighed and shook his head. "Misplaced is right…" he said darkly.-
[15:46] <Raphael> "Is Alphonse alright?"
[15:46] <Minaplo> ["Yeah. He's angry, and he's upset that I became upset, but he said he was kinda used to his mother's stuff and had pretty much given up on her anyway." Said Rei.-
[15:47] <Minaplo> ["Yeesh." Said Misato, her tone sympathetic. "Wunderkind's sitch is more crappy than I'd thought."]
[15:56] <Raphael> "Seems so."-
[15:56] <Raphael> "Well I'm glad you're home, then," he said after a thoughtful silence. He made an effort to smooth some of the anger out of his expression. "Will you have time for dinner with us tonight? It won't be Isaiah's, but I could make teriyaki noodles…"
[15:59] <Minaplo> [Rei blinked for a moment, then beamed. "Of course, Raffy." She said warmly; her grasp on his hand tightened for a moment.-
[16:02] <Minaplo> ["We sure do eat a lot more noodles than usual." Said Caitlin as she approached the table, placing a groaning plate of fatty fried bacon, soft eggs and pork sausages in front of Raphael along with a cup of black coffee.]
[16:06] * Raphael tried and failed to supress a wince as he picked up his utensils. "Well, I learned for Misato and Rei…"
[16:09] <Minaplo> ["Typical Frenchman." Said Misato airily. "Learns the food but not the language…"-
[16:09] <Minaplo> [Rei masked her giggle with a cough; Misato shot her a wink.]
[16:10] <Raphael> "Shinji got to you."
[16:12] <Minaplo> ["W-What ever do you mean?" Asked Misato in a tone that only the most optimistic could ever consider so much as innocent-adjacent.]
[16:14] <Raphael> "Ugh." He began to very moodily tear into a slice of bacon, sipping coffee between bites.
[16:15] <Minaplo> ["What happened?" Asked Suzanne, returning to the table with her own plate of bacon and sausages.]
[16:17] <Raphael> "Shinji Ikari thinks I've committed a mortal sin by not learning to speak Japanese in my endless free time."
[16:20] <Minaplo> ["Uh-huh. Hit the books, Raffy." She said solemnly.]
[16:21] <Raphael> "I will not cave to linguistic peer pressure, young lady."
[16:24] <Minaplo> ["Yeah you will."]
[16:24] <Raphael> "Nuh-uh."
[16:25] <Minaplo> ["You will!"-
[16:26] <Minaplo> ["You'll cave subtly and gradually, not even realising it." Said Misato cheerfully.]
[16:28] <Raphael> "Such a romantic."
[16:30] <Minaplo> ["We've already got you eating noodles, what other things could we do?" Said Misato.-
[16:30] <Minaplo> [Caitlin threw an arm around Raphael's neck. "Raffy?"]
[16:31] <Raphael> "You'll defend me won't you, Caity?
[16:32] <Minaplo> ["Of course." She said. "I'll sing Le Marseillaise at 'em until they stop."]
[16:32] <Raphael> "Such a sweetheart."
[16:33] <Minaplo> [Rei giggled. "Misa-bachan's making you Japanese, but Caity's making you adorablese."]
[16:35] * Raphael stopped sipping coffee long enough to poke his tongue out at her.
[16:43] <Minaplo> ["How was Shin-chan in Tokyo, by the way?" Asked Rei.]
[16:48] <Raphael> "He performed perfectly - so did San, for that matter - but it was a strain on him. I've tried to make sure he takes a few days to recover, but I doubt he'll listen."
[16:52] <Minaplo> ["Hmm. He had to, er…?"]
[16:56] <Raphael> "Twice."
[17:03] <Minaplo> [Rei and Misato winced.-
[17:03] <Minaplo> ["Twice what?" Asked Suzie.]
[17:05] <Raphael> "He had to take something that made him a bit sick," Raphael said, looking over to her. "To help us."
[17:08] <Minaplo> ["Oh."-
[17:08] <Minaplo> ["… That sounds kinda dumb."]
[17:10] <Raphael> "Maybe. It couldn't be helped, though."
[17:10] <Minaplo> ["Hrm."-
[17:10] <Minaplo> ["I'll go pay him a visit later." Said Rei. "Just to make sure he's taking it easy now."]
[17:11] <Raphael> "That'd be a big help," Raphael smiled. "I think he's had enough of listening to me for a while."
[17:12] <Minaplo> ["Maybe he'd listen more if you said it in Japanese…?" Said Rei sweetly.]
[17:13] <Raphael> "We may never know."
[17:14] <Minaplo> ["Hmph."-
[17:14] <Minaplo> ["Tell me about San, then."]
[17:22] <Raphael> "I'll let her tell you the details, but it was the happiest I've seen her," Raphael said. "She was confident and capable, and she even started to come out of her shell a bit. I think she's interested in doing that sort of work in a more permanent capacity."
[17:24] <Minaplo> ["Hm."-
[17:24] <Minaplo> [Rei frowned thoughtfully. "I can kind of picture that…"]
[17:28] * Raphael nodded. "I'm going to help her talk to Director Simon, so we'll see how things go."
[17:28] <Minaplo> ["Is she still gonna pilot?" asked Suzie.]
[17:30] <Raphael> "I don't know. I can't imagine they'll just let her Eva collect dust, but right now it's still waiting for repairs."
[17:32] <Minaplo> ["Ms. Ibuki was telling me that an Evangelion's really expensive." Said Caitlin.]
[17:37] <Raphael> "That's right. Most countries can't even afford one of them."
[17:43] <Minaplo> ["And the countries that can, well, they can usually have a whole army of hundreds of thousands for the cost of one." Said Misato. "They're serious moneysinks."]
[17:49] <Raphael> "And the last angel we fought destroyed almost all of them."
[17:51] <Minaplo> ["How many is all, sorry…?"]
[17:54] <Raphael> "Twenty-one in all," Raphael said, spearing another slice of sausage.
[17:54] <Minaplo> ["It used to be twenty-two, but the UN took one." Said Misato. "One of those with a French pilot."-
[17:54] <Minaplo> [Rei's expression clouded.]
[17:56] <Raphael> "Mmm," Raphael murmured, not quite knowing what to say to that.
[18:03] <Minaplo> ["Her name was Aline Blanc." Said Misato. "Hemingway can tell you all about her."-
[18:03] <Minaplo> ["Right." Said Caitlin, unconsciously placing a hand on the arm-mounted computer.]
[13:39] <Raphael> "In any case," Raphael said, summoning up forced confidence as he turned to Suzie and Caitlin, "What have you two been getting up to?"
[13:42] <Minaplo> ["Trouble." Said Suzie bluntly.]
[13:46] <Raphael> "Well yes, but what kind?" Raphael asked as he fetched the pot of coffee from the kitchen bench.
[13:46] <Minaplo> ["We've been hanging out with Sa… Sarasvati." Said Caitlin, stumbling slightly.]
[13:54] <Raphael> "Ah. Not the bad kind of trouble, then," he said, quickly refilling his own cup. "No Navah."-
[13:54] <Raphael> "How's Sarasvati at the moment?"
[13:55] <Minaplo> ["Lots of Navah." Said Suzie flippantly. "And Sara's cool. She's been… Wobbly?" To underscore the point, Suzie wobbled her hand in mid-air. "She's getting better though, but sometimes she just stops up and forgets what she's focusing on. She did that a lot awhile ago, but she only does it once a day now."]
[14:03] * Raphael nodded. "Surov told me she should be feeling better soon. I might make a visit to Technical tomorrow to say hello…"-
[14:04] <Raphael> He looked to Caitlin, "With those three for company I imagine there's been a lot to talk to Hemmingway about, mmm? Suzie's bad enough."
[14:06] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, a little." Said Caitlin. "Uh… I did have a question I didn't wanna run by Hemingway."]
[14:06] <Raphael> "Oh?"
[14:07] <Minaplo> ["Is it true that Sarasvati is a… Robot?"]
[14:13] <Raphael> "It is," Raphael said with a small nod. "I think she prefers to be called an android, though. Like in your old books?"
[14:14] <Minaplo> ["Oh…"-
[14:15] <Minaplo> ["They weren't pretty like she was though." Said Caitlin. "And she's also really friendly."]
[14:27] * Raphael smiled, hands wrapped around his mug. "One of the friendliest people on the ship, I think. Maybe Ms. Ibuki could topple her, but it'd be close."
[14:29] <Raphael> "… at least until Rei gets back permanently," he added.
[14:30] <Minaplo> [Rei beamed; Misato just snorted.-
[14:30] <Minaplo> ["Yeah…" Said Caitlin, who finally took a seat. "It's really weird, because her dad's a big grumpface."]
[14:36] <Raphael> "Apparently her other father is… uh, friendly," Raphael said carefully, "Not that I've met him personally. It seems like she might've picked that up from him."
[14:49] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, it's like me and Misato." Said Suzie with a tone of sagacity. "If it was just Raffy it'd be grumpin' up the whole ship…"]
[14:52] <Raphael> "I'll have you know some people appreciate my professional attitude, Suzie," Raphael said.-
[14:52] <Raphael> "… not on this ship, but some people do."
[14:54] <Minaplo> ["Like who?" Said Suzie.]
[14:58] <Raphael> "You wouldn't know them," he said primly, retreating to the safety of his coffee.
[15:03] <Minaplo> ["Oh, is this like the time you had a girlfriend in Switzerland?" Asked Caitlin innocently.-
[15:04] <Minaplo> [Misato's eyebrows rose; her mouth crinkled into a smirk.]
[15:08] <Raphael> "I said no such thing," Raphael said matter-of-factly, even as he stared at Caitlin with the look of furious betrayal unique to siblings.
[15:11] <Minaplo> ["Yes you did!" Protested Caitlin, her eyes widening. "You used to lock yourself up in your room and write her letters-"-
[15:13] <Minaplo> ["'I thought of you today.'" Said Suzie in a deep, solemn tone. "'I almost cracked a smile'"-
[15:13] <Minaplo> [Misato had clapped a hand over her mouth and closed her eyes; she began shaking silently.-
[15:15] <Minaplo> ["What was she like, Raffy?" Asked Rei warmly, oblivious to the true context.]
[15:20] <Raphael> Raphael took a moment to examine his mug, and quickly came to the conclusion that it was neither deep nor wide enough to drown himself in. "She was very nice. And…"-
[15:21] <Raphael> Come on, Raphael, you need at least a second adjective. "… Swiss."-
[15:21] <Raphael> … Got 'em.
[15:22] <Minaplo> [Pfffffffffffft. -ed]
[15:22] <Minaplo> ["You dated Henri?" Said Suzie with a cruel smirk.-
[15:23] <Minaplo> ["What was her name?" Asked Rei.]
[15:26] <Raphael> "… Naomi?" he hazarded.
[15:27] <Minaplo> [There was a short silence.-
[15:28] <Minaplo> ["You know." Said Misato lightly. "Not, y'know, suggesting anything… In particular. But you know Naomi's also a Japanese girl's name, right?"]
[15:29] * Raphael laid his head down on the table.
[15:32] <Minaplo> [Rei gently stroked the back of his head. "Poor Raffy. I think you overloaded him, Caity."-
[15:33] <Minaplo> ["Sorry, Raffy! It just kind of happened!" Said Caitlin, sounding only a little horrified.]
[15:34] * Raphael raised one finger, his voice muffled by the tabletop. "I'll be back with you in a moment."
[15:36] <Minaplo> ["…"-
[15:37] <Minaplo> ["If you die of shame, I'll eat your breakfast." Said Suzie seriously.]
[15:37] <Raphael> "You'll eat my breakfast anyway."
[15:38] <Minaplo> ["Maybe."-
[15:38] <Minaplo> ["I missed this family so much." Said Rei cheerfully.]
[15:38] <Raphael> "Mgh."
[15:39] <Minaplo> ["There is one good thing, Raffy." Said Suzie.]
[15:41] * Raphael raised his face just enough so that he could peer at her from beneath a tangle of unbrushed hair, his expression suggesting he found this supremely doubtful. "What?"
[15:41] <Minaplo> ["Lucas isn't here."]
[15:42] <Raphael> "A temporary reprieve at best."
[15:43] <Minaplo> ["We won't tell him about this." Said Caitlin.]
[15:45] * Raphael waved a hand, sitting back up. There was a red mark where his forehead had thumped against the table. "It's fine. It's not as though he hasn't heard the story."
[15:47] <Minaplo> ["I don't suppose he happened to have a girlfriend in Belgium somewhere?" Asked Misato.]
[15:52] <Raphael> "Unfortunately not."
[15:54] <Minaplo> ["But he has to have something embarrassing that little Caity knows…"]
[15:57] <Raphael> "… I will say no, if only because he has far more ammunition than I do," Raphael said.-
[15:57] <Raphael> "Besides, some of us know how to keep a secret," he said with a sideways glance at Caitlin.
[16:06] <Minaplo> [Caitlin flushed a deep red.-
[16:06] <Minaplo> [Meanwhile, Rei's mobile beeped; she took it out and read the message.]
[16:07] * Raphael reached out to ruffle Caitlin's hair, giving her a quick wink.
[16:16] <Minaplo> ["To be fair, though, we should try to tell some embarrassing Misato stories." Said Suzie.-
[16:16] <Minaplo> ["Hmph."]
[16:18] <Raphael> "That is a bit of a nuclear option for me, sweetheart."
[16:26] <Minaplo> ["That's why it's fun!"-
[16:26] <Minaplo> [Rei, meanwhile, looked up from her phone. "Misa-bachan, Raffy?"]
[16:29] <Raphael> "Mhmm?" Raphael asked, still busy smirking at Suzie.
[16:38] <Minaplo> ["After the election is over, Al and I are going out for dinner with Grandpa Yutada and Grandma Chisato. I'd like you guys to come along too."]
[16:44] * Raphael stopped, looking over to split his attention between her and Misato. He suddenly looked a little uneasy. "… if you'd like, Rei."
[16:49] <Minaplo> ["Sure, Rei." Said Misato.-
[16:49] <Minaplo> [Rei beamed. "Thanks."]
[13:20] <@Raphael> "What brought that on?" Raphael asked, returning to his breakfast… which had, he noticed, been heavily pillaged by Suzie when he wasn't looking.
[13:21] <Minaplo> ["Well, now that he's with us he's been asking to spend some time with me." Said Rei. "He's curious to meet Al, I mean who wouldn't be~? But I just thought it'd be a nice idea to bring you two along too. He's always spoken pretty highly about you, Misa-bachan, and he's grateful for you for rescuing him, Raffy…"-
[13:22] <Minaplo> [Misato arched a single eyebrow.]
[13:27] <@Raphael> "Mmm. Well, we'll see."
[13:28] <Minaplo> ["Grandma Chisato should be all healed up by then, too." Said Rei cheerfully. "I can't tell you how much I've been looking forward to everyone meeting her~"]
[13:31] <@Raphael> "We didn't exactly have a great deal of time to talk, but she seemed nice," Raphael nodded. "She got along very well with San."
[13:33] <Minaplo> ["Hehe."-
[13:35] <Minaplo> ["What's she like?" Said Suzie. "I bet she's this nice old gramma who always has a pocketful of sweets, and when you talk to her she goes on about May '68 all the time."-
[13:35] <Minaplo> ["Actually, she's as young as Misa-bachan." Said Rei.-
[13:36] <Minaplo> ["… Huh." Suzie scrutinised Misato suspiciously, as though expecting Misato to suddenly go grey at the roots.-
[13:36] <Minaplo> ["Cheers, Rei." Said Misato with a grin.]
[13:38] <@Raphael> "I've seen Misato at briefings," Raphael said innocently, not looking up. "She always has a few sweets."
[13:41] <Minaplo> ["All good briefings should have something to nibble on." Said Misato. "At least, things that aren't cold sausage."]
[13:43] <@Raphael> "I swear that damn cloak has a dirac cache built in…"
[13:44] <Minaplo> ["What's this about sausage?" Said Suzie.-
[13:44] <Minaplo> [Caitlin meanwhile was already asking Hemingway about dirac caches.]
[13:50] <@Raphael> This was not unusual, and the rest of the table barely even paid it any mind. "Prime Minister Rustami has a habit of keeping pockets full of deli meat. Nobody's really sure why."
[13:57] <Minaplo> ["Probably 'cuz he likes to eat it." Said Suzie.]
[13:59] <@Raphael> "The answer was staring me in the face all along," Raphael said blandly.
[14:00] <Minaplo> ["It's weird, though." Said Misato over Suzie's chortles. "I mean… smuggling food like that?"-
[14:01] <Minaplo> ["I did it at school." Said Suzie. "I'd keep an apple in my desk and take it out whenever I wanted."]
[14:10] <@Raphael> "She didn't eat it. She just wanted to look at an apple sometimes."
[14:11] <Minaplo> ["It was a nice apple. All red and shiny." Said Suzie happily. "Used to practice peggin' it at the teacher…"-
[14:11] <Minaplo> [Caitlin giggled.]
[14:12] <@Raphael> "Yes. That was a fun parent-teacher conference."
[14:26] <Minaplo> ["I had to go to a parent-teacher conference in Boston." Said Rei. "But, well… It was with Al instead of a real parent. It was kind of uncomfortable."]
[14:43] * @Raphael nodded solemnly. "I remember. I really thought about borrowing a VTOL to visit."
[14:44] <Minaplo> [Rei beamed. "That would've been away better."-
[14:44] <Minaplo> ["Yeah. means I coulda come with, too." Said Suzie firmly. "But I never get to go aaaaanywhere."]
[14:54] <@Raphael> "… Suzie, you're living on a giant, flying battleship that's visited most of Europe."
[14:56] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, but I don't get to go to all those places, just like… Over them."]
[14:57] <@Raphael> "Mmm. I guess that's true."-
[14:57] <@Raphael> "Where do you want to go?"
[14:58] <Minaplo> ["Spain."]
[14:59] <@Raphael> "Oh? Why Spain?"
[15:02] <Minaplo> ["It's supposed to be warm, right? The last place we went to was Switzerland, which is cold."]
[15:03] <@Raphael> "Balancing temperatures is a key part of tourism. You're a smart one, Suzie."
[15:03] <Minaplo> ["Yep." Said Suzie firmly.-
[15:04] <Minaplo> ["Ever been to Spain, Raffy?" Asked Caitlin.]
[15:08] <@Raphael> "A few times," he nodded. "After Impact hit, Spain saw a lot of French peacekeeping missions, so I spent a bit of time there. Not great circumstances for tourism, of course."
[15:08] <Minaplo> ["Oh." Said Caitlin. "That's sad."]
[15:11] * @Raphael offered a weak smile. "Sorry, sweetheart. Most of my excursions don't make for happy stories, I'm afraid," he said. "Barring Misato managing to get me to visit her, of course."
[15:12] <Minaplo> ["Oh! Well tell me that one then."]

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