Eevi S Dinner

[13:56] <Raphael> Ding!-
[13:56] <Raphael> The sound carries down the hall as the elevator doors slide open, disgorging its latest set of passengers. Raphael leads the two girls out into the hall, helping Suzie along when she needed it and keeping Eevi in sight. He'd been unsure about bringing the latter along with then, but it was important to test how she would interact with Suzie, even if they did find another suitable carer.
[13:56] <Raphael> Still, he'd made sure that there was been plenty of discussion with Suzanne about what to expect…-
[13:57] <Raphael> "Are you two alright?" Raphael asks, leading the pair down the hall towards the familiar door that leads to Yanmei and Marianne's apartment.
[14:11] <AdEvaGM> ["Yeah, I'm ok." Says Suzanne, looking up with a smile at Raphael before flicking her gaze to Eevi.-
[14:11] <AdEvaGM> ["I am uninjured." Says Eevi tonelessly.]
[14:17] * Raphael 's nods slowly, feeling another brief pang of sadness at the response. Still, he returns Suzanne's smile and giving the girl a little squeeze on the shoulder as they arrive at the door. Raphael has his hand raised to knock when he catches a disapproving look from Suzie that makes him dutifully return his hands to his sides and leave the honours to her.
[14:19] <AdEvaGM> [Suzanne smirks. She reaches out and- rap rap rap!]
[14:23] <Yanmei> It's Zhang Yanmei who answers it, and in style, wearing a breezy black dress with a blue silk scarf and matching flat shoes. "Hi~ Welcome to Chateau Zhang-DeForest! How're you tw-three doing?" -
[14:24] <Yanmei> The little pale girl was a new and unexpected face. Still, she beamed pleasantly at her.
[14:25] <AdEvaGM> [She stared passively back.]
[14:29] <Raphael> "…" Raphael coughed gently "The young lady is Eevi Nieminen. I understand Dr. Castillo-Delgado has spoken to you about her already? Eevi, this is Zhang Yanmei. Would you like to say hello?"
[14:30] <AdEvaGM> [Suzanne watched the girl carefully.-
[14:30] <AdEvaGM> ["Hello."]
[14:33] <Yanmei> "Hi Eevi! It's good to meet you. Would you like a glass of soda?"
[14:34] <AdEvaGM> [The question seemed to cause a momentary crisis in the girl. She didn't respond, just stared, her eyes becoming glassy.-
[14:34] <AdEvaGM> ["… I don't know what that means."]
[14:35] <Yanmei> "It's a drink. It's really sweet and fizzy and cold. Wanna try?"
[14:35] <AdEvaGM> ["I don't know."]
[14:36] <Raphael> "Well, why don't we let you try it and you can decide whether you like it, hmm?" Raphael says gently.
[14:37] <AdEvaGM> ["I'm sure you'll like it." Says Suzanne enthusiastically.-
[14:38] <AdEvaGM> [Eevi didn't say anything else.]
[14:39] * Yanmei ushered everyone inside with a big arm sweep, still grinning determinedly. "Suzanne, do you have a preference? Grape or orange?"
[14:40] <AdEvaGM> ["Orange!"]
[14:41] <Yanmei> "Of course~ What about you, Group Captain?"
[14:43] * Raphael waits to make sure Eevi is safely inside before stepping through the door. "Just a glass of water if you don't mind, ma'am." Raphael says, before lowering his voice a little. "Apologies. I know it can be a bit of a shock to meet her."
[14:47] <Yanmei> "So far so good. Don't sweat it? I'll win her over yet." Yanmei winked at him. "Have you been having trouble yourself?"
[14:50] <Raphael> "Not problems, really. Her condition can be a little… troubling, but that's not her fault."
[14:54] <Yanmei> "Hmm." Yanmei gave the girl a clandestine glance. "…I can see that? But, maybe she'll grow a little tonight. It's her first time doing something like this."
[14:55] <Raphael> "Quite. She needs our help, and I don't intend to deny her that because of my own discomfort." Raphael says quietly.
[14:57] <AdEvaGM> ["Yanmei-? Is that Raphael?" Came a voice from the kitchen.]
[14:59] <Yanmei> "Yes, Colonel!" Yanmei called. She watched him intently for a moment, and then reached out to lightly pinch his cheek. "Hehe. Cheer up! We want you and Suzanne to have fun tonight too?" She turned for the kitchen fast. "Better go get those drinks!"
[15:02] * Raphael frowns a little at the pinch, but his cheeks react with a little flash of colour. "… Yes, ma'am." Raphael says flatly as Yanmei retreats. "And good evening, Colonel!"
[15:03] <AdEvaGM> ["Hello, Raphael!" Marianne emerges wearing her favourite white sweater and dark purple skirt. "Am I going to have to take your ID card again? That goes for you too, Yanmei."]
[15:05] <Raphael> "Again, ma'am? Surely I've managed enough informality for at least a month."
[15:06] <AdEvaGM> ["Absolutely not."]
[15:07] <Yanmei> "Informality? You have all the fun parties when I'm not around," Yanmei complained, glancing back and forth between the two.
[15:08] <AdEvaGM> ["Naturally." Marianne winks. "If you want to be invited to the cool kids club, you have to beat Asuka…"]
[15:09] * Raphael just sighs. "Respect for rank is important, Colonel." Raphael says, glancing over to Yanmei. "… You're fighting Pilot Langley-Soryu?"
[15:10] <Yanmei> "It's that contest I told you about. The promotion to head of the EVA pilots?"
[15:16] <Raphael> "Ah, of course!" Raphael says with a little blink. "Apologies. I had my own little encounter with her the other day, actually."
[15:17] <Yanmei> "Oh?"
[15:21] <Raphael> "While I was spending a little bit of time with Pilot Ikari the other day he told me that Misato had ordered him to observe Pilot Langley-Soryu’s training regimen in preparation for this Thunderdome business. This, as you can imagine, proved rather hazardous to his health, so he asked me if I would be able to come with him next time. It didn’t end particularly well. She’s remarkably
[15:21] <Raphael> fast when she needs to be."
[15:25] * Yanmei giggled. "Poor Ikari! She probably punched him hard! Did you two actually see anything?"
[15:29] <Raphael> "I didn't. But he had to take notes on her routine in the pool, unfortunately." Raphael says with an awkward chuckle. "When she caught sight of him… I've never seen anyone leap from the water like that. She hurled us both ito the pool, I'm afraid."
[15:33] <AdEvaGM> ["Well, that's what you get." Says Marianne with a smirk. "Death to spies!"]
[15:36] <Yanmei> "Hey, that's not nice! A person who doesn't know their enemy is doomed to lose a battle against them." Yanmei nodded sagely. "On the other hand? You're both lucky your heads are still attatched to yor bodies."
[15:38] <AdEvaGM> ["Indeed." Said Marianne with a grin. "She isn't the take-prisoners type."]
[15:39] <Raphael> "… Yes, I understand that now. I'd hoped to explain the situation to her, but she was quite busy beating up Pilot Ikari with his own hands."
[15:40] <AdEvaGM> [Marianne let out a giggle. "Nice."]
[15:41] <Yanmei> "Too bad for Ikari and his poor OD. All that trouble for nothing. We're totally going to win, aren't we, Marianne~?"
[15:41] <AdEvaGM> ["That depends." Marianne strokes her chin. "I might need to give you guys some -special- training…"]
[15:42] <Yanmei> "Eh? Like more paintball, surely…"
[15:42] <AdEvaGM> ["Something more hardcore…"]
[15:44] <Yanmei> "What could be more hardcore than fighting Gosselin in that game again?" Yanmei muttered.
[15:44] <AdEvaGM> ["I'm sure I'll come up with something. Do you have any ideas, Suzie?"-
[15:44] <AdEvaGM> ["They should, like, be dumped into an arena for a month and fight nothing but bears with samurai swords."]
[15:46] <Yanmei> "That probably makes up the events of the Thunderdome itself…"
[15:48] <Raphael> "… So do you mean that the bears have swords, or the pilots do?"
[15:48] <AdEvaGM> ["Both."]
[15:50] <Raphael> "Of course."
[15:50] <AdEvaGM> [There was the look of inspiration in Marianne's eyes…]
[15:51] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei watched her warily now. "…why don't I see about that soda now?" She made a hasty retreat toward the kitchen.
[15:54] * Raphael is watching Marianne too, one eyebrow raised and a faint smile on his lips. He waits until Yanmei has disappeared into the kitchen to speak again. "… You've really put Misato on the warpath with the Thunderdome idea, you know."
[15:54] <AdEvaGM> ["Yes, I know. It's fantastic."]
[15:55] <Raphael> "Fantastic, hmm?" Raphael says dubiously.
[15:56] <AdEvaGM> ["Of course!" Marianne beams. "I've been quietly feeding Alphonse information about her… Zeal. You should hear back from a worn-out Rei before long~"]
[15:58] * Raphael gives her a flat stare. "… So you're -trying- to wear out the pilots?"
[16:00] <AdEvaGM> ["Heeheehee." Marianne beams and sits down. "The beautiful thing about being me is that you realise that if you want to find out how pilots -really- fight you just get James to grab the MAGI's training regimen. When the time comes, my team will be the most well-rested, well-prepared, and the ones with the accurate information. Oh, and they won't be driven by overzealous ODs~"]
[16:04] <Raphael> "And you hide your manipulative streak so well most of the time, Colonel." Raphael says mildly.
[16:05] <AdEvaGM> ["Naturally. The enemy cannot fight if he does not know what he's fighting~"]
[16:10] <Yanmei> A Yanmei breezed back into the room, carrying glasses, which she deposited in the hands of each person who had asked for them. "Water, orange soda, and~" She paused in front of Eevi with two glasses, each filled only a little bit. "Here are some grape and orange samples you can try. Tell me if you like one over the other?"
[16:11] <Raphael> "Thank you, ma'am." Raphael says, smiling a little. He's watching the conversation with Eevi with a good deal of interest.
[16:13] <AdEvaGM> [Eevi stares up at Yanmei before looking over at the two glasses. "… I drink them?"]
[16:14] <Yanmei> "Yup! Try then one by one, and taste them slowly."
[16:16] <AdEvaGM> ["What am I looking for?"]
[16:17] <Yanmei> "Well, flavor? If you like either of them." She sounded a little lame in her own ears, but she ignored it.
[16:20] <AdEvaGM> [She stared at the glasses. "Which one do I try first?"]
[16:23] <Yanmei> "Whichever one you want. One's as good as the other at this point?"
[16:24] <AdEvaGM> ["What I do is I just go with whatever's closer to my writing hand." Says Suzanne.-
[16:26] <AdEvaGM> [Eevi turns and looks at Suzanne, her eyes large and unblinking- she turns back to the glasses and picks up the orange with her left hand. She drinks it- slowly-
[16:26] <AdEvaGM> [… And then repeats the action with the grape.]
[16:26] * Yanmei waited for the verdict, her eyes bright with hope.
[16:31] <AdEvaGM> ["…"]
[16:32] <Yanmei> "…"
[16:34] <AdEvaGM> ["So do you like the orange, or the grape?" Asked Suzanne eagerly, maybe a little impatiently.-
[16:34] <AdEvaGM> ["… I like them both."]
[16:35] <Yanmei> "Well. Would you like to have both with dinner tonight?"
[16:36] <AdEvaGM> ["Yes."]
[16:39] * Yanmei beamed. That was something, surely? Even if… it wasn't a decision, exactly. "I don't blame you. They're both pretty good? If - hypothetically - you could only have one glass, which one would you prefer?"
[16:40] <AdEvaGM> ["… Orange."]
[16:41] <Yanmei> "Yeah?" Beaming brighter! "We'll have to remember to stock up on the stuff the next time you two visit~"
[16:42] <AdEvaGM> [Marianne shoots Raphael a mildly curious look, quirking an eyebrow.]
[14:05] * Raphael catches the look and returns it with a very slight nod. He's smiling a little.
[14:13] <Yanmei> "We're having lobster bisque and some other stuff," Yanmei was saying cheerfully. "Have you ever had that before Eevi?"
[14:13] <AdEvaGM> ["No."-
[14:14] <AdEvaGM> ["Lobster bisque, huh." Suzanne frowns slightly as though she's mulling it over.]
[14:14] <Yanmei> "Hm? You're not a fan?"
[14:14] <AdEvaGM> ["Huh? No, I was just wondering what it was."]
[14:16] <Yanmei> "Oh, well, it's a type of creamy soup? Made from lobster."
[14:16] <Raphael> "I'm sure you'll enjoy it, Suzie. It's good to try new things from time to time, right?"
[14:19] <AdEvaGM> ["Hmm."-
[14:19] <AdEvaGM> ["Can I imagine I'm eating Ban-Ban instead?"]
[14:22] * Raphael 's expression slips a little, and the others around the table would catch a brief glimpse of amusement before he manages to adjust his expression to something appropriately disapproving. "… I really don't think Rei would appreciate that, Suzanne."
[14:22] <Yanmei> "Er… right…" Yanmei looked a litte uncomfortable. A little green, even.
[14:23] <AdEvaGM> ["Awww…"]
[14:23] <Raphael> "Manners, Suzie."
[14:24] <AdEvaGM> ["Heehee." Marianne giggles. "We can't let you eat Ban-Ban, but we can get you the next best thing. We have some angel cake in the pantry for later…"]
[14:26] <Yanmei> "Angel…" Yanmei looked a little greener.
[14:27] * Raphael eyes Yanmei for a moment and chuckles quietly. "Perhaps a change of topic is in order?"
[14:33] <AdEvaGM> ["Mmm, yes." Marianne leans over to Yanmei and smiles. "So how're your studies going?"]
[14:34] <Yanmei> "Flawlessly, of course~ You should be getting reports soon about how attentive and hard working I am."
[14:35] <AdEvaGM> ["Mmmhm." Says Marianne, smiling sweetly. "And when will those start coming in? You know, what with all the reports of your absences I'm getting."]
[14:39] * Raphael grins, taking a few sips from his water and watching the conversation curiously.
[14:41] <Yanmei> Urk. The creeping feeling of humilation. Yanmei hastily tossed her hair. "Um… soon? Those absences are exaggerated, by the way. I've been doing an assignment on the productivity of telecommunters in the workplace, so I've been doing a lot of work from home to see what it's like?"
[14:46] <AdEvaGM> ["Hmmm." Marianne eyed Yanmei speculatively, then shrugged. "Don't take it too far then, ok? Make sure you make time to go to school anyway…"-
[14:46] <AdEvaGM> ["You know, Rosalie misses you." Said Suzanne casually.]
[14:47] <Yanmei> "Yeah, I know she probably does." Yanmei looked a little guilty. "I'll go and see her more. My schedule's been kinda freed up lately?"
[14:48] <AdEvaGM> ["Oh? You finished your assignment?" Asked Marianne.]
[14:49] <Yanmei> "… well, I mean, I can swing by when I'm done with my work each day, that's all.."
[14:50] <AdEvaGM> ["Mmm."]
[14:50] <Yanmei> "I don't have anyone else to take care of, so…"
[14:52] * Raphael 's smile fades at that and he sets the glass back down. "… How are you managing with that, Yanmei?"
[14:54] <Yanmei> "It's… an adjustment," she said carefully, and cleared her throat, eyes darting back to the other guests perhaps a little too quickly. "How have you been in school, Suzanne? Learning any fun things?"
[14:58] <AdEvaGM> ["Oh, you know. Maths and stuff."]
[15:00] <Yanmei> "That doesn't sound fun," Yanmei remarked with a little smirk.
[15:01] <Raphael> "She's doing well with it, fun or not. Your spelling's coming along quite well too, right Suzie?"
[15:02] <AdEvaGM> ["Right! I can spell really good and everything."-
[15:02] <AdEvaGM> [She turned to Eevi. "Can you spell ok?"-
[15:02] <AdEvaGM> ["Perfectly…"]
[15:06] <Yanmei> "Oh really? Then… how to you spell 'beguilement'?" That would be a hard word for an eight year old, wouldn't it? She had no idea…
[15:10] <AdEvaGM> [Eevi promptly spelled it out.]
[15:10] <Yanmei> "Not bad! You're totally smart."
[15:11] <Raphael> "…" Both of Raphael's eyebrows quirk up, but he keeps sipping at his water. "That's very impressive, Eevi. Maybe you and Suzanne could practice together at some time?"
[15:15] <AdEvaGM> ["Alright."-
[15:15] <AdEvaGM> ["Hey, is she gonna go to school?" Asked Suzanne. "She's going to totally knock everyone over…"]
[15:17] * Raphael glances over at Marianne. "… Perhaps. There are a few things we need to arrange before we can think about that, though."
[15:18] <AdEvaGM> ["Oh?"]
[15:22] <Yanmei> "That's something her therapist has to approve, I bet."
[15:22] <AdEvaGM> ["Oh."]
[15:24] <Raphael> "Mmm. And we're still going through the process of finding her a more permanent home to try and make sure she's comfortable. But we don't think that will take too long."
[15:24] <AdEvaGM> ["Yeah?" Suzanne leaned forward. "Who's she gonna live with?"]
[15:25] <Raphael> "Dr. Castillo's still trying to make a decision about that." Raphael says.
[15:26] <AdEvaGM> ["Huhn. Why doesn't he just ask her?" Suzanne turns. "Hey Eevi, who do you wanna live with?"-
[15:26] <AdEvaGM> ["…?!"]
[15:28] * Raphael lays a hand on Suzie's shoulder. "It's a bit more complicated than that, hon. But don't worry, we'll make sure Eevi's happy before any decision gets made."
[15:29] <AdEvaGM> ["Hmmm." Suzanne looks up at him, puzzled, but accepting it.]
[15:32] <Yanmei> "You know, why don't we all grab a bite to eat? That's what we're all here for, after all."
[15:33] * Raphael nods quickly. "That sounds good to me. Do you need any help in the kitchen, ma'am?"
[15:34] <Yanmei> "If you'd like? It won't take long with two sets of hands. Back in a sec, Marianne, girls."
[15:37] * Raphael nods, setting down his glass and heading towards the kitchen. "Why don't you show Eevi some of your comic books while you're waiting, Suzie?" Raphael says.
[15:39] <AdEvaGM> ["They're called -manga-."]
[15:39] <Raphael> "If you say so, little one."
[15:41] <Yanmei> The slightest of frowns at that vaguely familiar word and slightly unpleasant association. Nevertheless, Yanmei was soon leading the way. -
[15:43] <Yanmei> There was more than a pot of bubbling soup on the stovetop as they entered the kitchen. There were plates already left out on the counter, and a loaf of thick, crusty bread. "Group Captain, would you mind getting the vegetables out? They're in the oven."
[15:44] <AdEvaGM> [Suzanne poked her tongue at Raphael before doing so, showing Eevi a particularly colourful book with a blue-haired magical girl on the front.]
[15:47] <Raphael> "Of course." Raphael nods, grabbing a set of oven mits from the counter to pull out the tray. "These look delicious, Yanmei. You and the Colonel really shouldn't have gone to so much trouble on our account."
[15:48] <AdEvaGM> ["We like to eat nice food too." Said Marianne, grinning.]
[15:52] <Yanmei> "That's right~" Yanmei beamed. "We eat this sort of thing a lot. We were pretty close to having rich roast beef today instead."
[15:53] * Raphael chuckles, already carrying the tray over to the sink. "I didn't know you were so fond of cooking, Pilot Zhang."
[15:55] <Yanmei> "It's one of my good points," Yanmei smirked. "How are you in the kitchen? I'd always assumed you were pretty decent."
[15:56] <AdEvaGM> ["He's gotten better." Says Suzanne.]
[15:57] <Raphael> "Excuse me, young lady, but I was a fine cook even before I met you." Raphael says with a small frown.
[15:58] <AdEvaGM> ["I never said you were bad, did I?"]
[15:58] <Raphael> "… Mmm."
[15:58] <AdEvaGM> ["But when we met, you didn't use the right ingredients."]
[15:59] <Yanmei> "Oh, really?" Yanmei was ladling soup into bowls and setting them aside.
[16:00] <Raphael> "Lack of bacon." Raphael says flatly.
[16:00] <AdEvaGM> ["Yep."]
[16:02] <Yanmei> "Hehehe. We didn't make any tonight, unfortuanately? But I could whip some up for dessert."
[16:04] <AdEvaGM> ["Yay!"]
[16:06] <Raphael> "Well, we'll see. We /have/ been trying to make sure you're eating a little healthier, right?"
[16:08] <AdEvaGM> [Suzanne stared flatly at Raphael.]
[16:09] * Raphael matches it easily, not giving her any ground. "Well, if it's going to be that way I suppose I won't need to tell you about the surprise I arranged…"
[16:09] <AdEvaGM> ["… Surprise?"]
[16:09] <Raphael> "Oh yes. A good one."
[16:13] <Yanmei> "Now I'm curious too…" Yanmei replaced the lid on the pot, and carried out the soup bowls out to the table before returning.
[16:14] <AdEvaGM> ["… Is it better than bacon?"]
[16:15] <Raphael> "Well, I'll let you decide. What have you been begging me to arrange for you ever since you met Pilot Akagi?"
[16:16] <AdEvaGM> ["…" She eyed him. "Sword training…"]
[16:16] <Raphael> "Sword training." Raphael agreed.
[16:18] <AdEvaGM> ["… Really?!"]
[16:18] <Yanmei> "Eh?" Yanmei's ears perked up - as did her eyebrows. "With who?"
[16:22] <Raphael> "Mmm. One of the officers at the base has agreed to teach you." Raphael said with a grin, obviously a little pleased with himself. He glances over to Yanmei. "Second Lieutenant Isidor Rurikovich. He's been assisting our Expiditionary Force squads at the Superheavy Regiment."
[16:22] <Raphael> «Expeditionary*»
[16:23] <AdEvaGM> ["Isadoor Ruwha?"]
[16:24] <Yanmei> Yanmei's face was full of question marks as well.
[16:26] <Raphael> "Isidor Rurikovich." Raphael repeats patiently. "You've heard us talking about the Liberated Nations and the war? Well he was working for them until he changed sides. He's a reasonable man, and probably the best teacher I could find you outside of one of Rei's sisters."
[16:33] <Yanmei> "Hm? A former LN soldier?" Yanmei frowned to herself a little.
[16:36] <AdEvaGM> ["Did he drive a robot?"]
[16:37] <Raphael> "Not that I know of."
[16:38] <AdEvaGM> ["Awww." But she brightened. "That's totally awesome, though!"]
[16:39] <Raphael> "Mhmm! I'll see if he has time to meet you this week, if you'd like."
[16:40] <AdEvaGM> ["Awesome!"]
[16:45] <Yanmei> "Here we are~" Yanmei brought out more plates. "Let's eat!" -
[16:48] <Yanmei> Dinner was delicious. Roasted vegetables, bread, and thick, delicious lobster bisque. Dessert came almost immediately after: vanilla ice cream and coffee. And a side of bacon.
[13:40] * Raphael 's plate is pushed to one side as while he works through his rather small helping of ice cream, the leaving his share of the bacon to Suzie (Although it's debatable how much of a choice he had in the matter). "That was lovely, Pilot Zhang."
[13:43] <Yanmei> "Thanks~ Marianne helped too though."
[13:44] <AdEvaGM> ["Well, I do enjoy lobster." Said Marianne. "It's not like I haven't had practice." She ran her hand fondly through Yanmei's hair.]
[13:45] <Raphael> "Ah. Pardon, Colonel." He says quickly, smiling gratefully to Marianne before glancing over to Suzie and Eevi. "What did you think of it, girls?"
[13:46] <AdEvaGM> ["It was great! Thumbs up!" Said Suzie happily.-
[13:46] <AdEvaGM> [Eevi didn't even look up.]
[13:49] <Yanmei> "Hehe. Next time, it will be your turn, Suzanne. You too, Group Captain~ What about you, Eevi, do you know how to cook things?"
[13:49] <AdEvaGM> [She looked up. "I do not."]
[13:50] <Yanmei> "Want to learn?"
[13:51] <AdEvaGM> ["…" She looked at Raphael and Suzie for guidance.]
[13:57] <Raphael> "It's always helpful to know a bit about cooking, ma'am." Raphael says with an encouraging smile. "And trying new things lets you find out what you like, just like the soda."
[13:58] <AdEvaGM> [Eevi was silent for a moment, then she turned back to Yanmei. "Yes."]
[14:01] * Raphael 's smile broadens a little, but he hides it by scooping up another spoonful of ice cream.
[14:01] <Yanmei> "Excellent! Then I'll loan you a cookbook. One with simple recipes." Yanmei rose from her chair. "And I'll help you make something else before you go? Whatever it is will use leftover bacon." She nodded to herself.
[14:01] <AdEvaGM> ["Yay!" Said Suzie, clapping her hands.-
[14:02] <AdEvaGM> [Eevi stood up and wordlessly crossed the table to Yanmei's side.]
[14:06] <Yanmei> "Now," she began, as she led the way, "you need to do two important things before you get started. The first is to adjust your clothes and hair so that they don't get messy or interefere with your movements. The second is to wash your hands. Want to know why?"
[14:07] <AdEvaGM> ["Bacteria?"]
[14:10] <Yanmei> "That's right~" Once in the kitchen, Yanmei helped to make the appropriate adjustments, whisking out two hair bands and a blue and white striped apron with an "I" embroidered on the front of it. -
[14:12] <Yanmei> Before long, Eevi would be standing in the too-big apron, her dark red hair pulled back into two short pigtails.
[14:14] * Raphael watches the two of them move about the kitchen from his seat at the table, drawing circles in his quickly melting dessert with his spoon. He glances over at Marianne and lowers his voice to a whisper. "She really has a way with children, doesn't she?"
[14:15] <AdEvaGM> [Marianne leans forward. "She didn't want to admit it once, but she really does. She's learned a lot from Lizzie…"]
[14:18] <Raphael> "So it seems. She's actually managing to get Eevi somewhat engaged…"
[14:20] <AdEvaGM> ["She knows how to bring people out of their shell. She did the same with Isaiah and Rei."]
[14:21] <Yanmei> "So," after the hand-washing was taken care of, she moved briskly along, pulling a carton of eggs from the fridge and a bowl from cabinet. "We're making a very simple omlet? They're basically made with egg, cheese, and some type of filling. That's what we're using the bacon for. I need you to crack and mix five more of these eggs."-
[14:23] <Yanmei> She demonstrated, cracking one of the eggs delicately against the edge of the bowl, and working the shell open, and then discarding the shell once its contents were in the bowl. "Think you can do it?"
[14:23] <AdEvaGM> ["Yes."]
[14:25] * Yanmei stepped aside, "Have at it, then~"
[14:25] <Raphael> "Mmm." He murmurs, nodding a little. "… What do you think of all this? I was concerned that caring for Eevi might be more than she was ready for when Dr. Castillo-Delgado brought it up."
[14:30] <AdEvaGM> [She repeated Yanmei's action precisely- cracking five eggs and mixing the yolk into the bowl, before tossing away the shell.-
[14:30] <AdEvaGM> ["… I'm not sure." Said Marianne. "In its own way, Yanmei might really benefit from having someone like this, especially with Lizzie… Well, you know."]
[14:34] <Yanmei> "Not bad~ You're seriously talented at this." Yanmei was pulling a spare pan from elsewhere now.
[14:34] <AdEvaGM> ["What do I do now?"]
[14:37] <Raphael> "Quite. Still, this would be asking a lot of her. Perhaps even moreso than Lizzie did."
[14:37] <AdEvaGM> ["I agree. We'll see what she thinks."]
[14:39] <Yanmei> "We're going to heat up this pan. We'll fry up just a little bacon, so you can see how it's done? Mainly, though, we'll be using what was left over from dinner." A small bottle of vegetable oil came out. "Here, I want you to pour this. Carefully."
[14:40] <AdEvaGM> [She took the bottle and began to carefully pour it out onto the pan, straight in the middle.]
[14:41] * Raphael looks over towards the kitchen again. "… Still, she's doing a very good job." Raphael says.
[14:42] <AdEvaGM> ["Should we talk to her about it, maybe?"]
[14:46] <Raphael> "I'd say so. She deserves to know all the details before she makes a decision."
[14:49] <Yanmei> "That should be enough. Now…" Before long, there was a strip of sizzling bacon, set aside to be added in with the rest of it. They poured the egg mixture, added the cheesy bacony filling, and fried it to perfection. Before long, there were three deliciouus omlettes resting on a large white plate. "You see? Simple, right? There's one more thing I should tell you, though?"
[14:50] <AdEvaGM> [Eevi stared up at her.]
[14:53] <Yanmei> "It's good to follow recipes at first, until you get the hang of it, but it's no fun eating the same thing over and over again. A lot of it is about experimenting! And with that in mind, you're bound to make some mess-ups." She looked at her with mock sternness. "Actually, I have an assignment for you."
[14:59] <AdEvaGM> ["What is it?"]
[15:00] <Yanmei> "First, I want you to get access to a kitchen. I'm sure I can help out with that? Secondly, I want you to think of something tasty that might make good omelette filling. Then, I want you to create an eat that omelette! We'll call it the Eevi special. Do this, and I'll teach you the art of making good pancakes too."
[15:01] <AdEvaGM> [Eevi blinked, just once- and nodded. "Yes."]
[15:04] <Yanmei> "Good! Let's take a rest in the dining room, then? I'll clean up and pack these away so that you can take them with you."
[15:05] <AdEvaGM> ["Yes."]
[15:11] <Yanmei> It was only a matter of time before they were all gathered in the dining room, Yanmei toteing a little vinyl lunchbag for Eevi and a book, boasting about how well she'd done. "She's practically a pro?"
[15:13] <Raphael> The two of them would re-enter the dining room to find Raphael in quiet conversation with Suzie, the girl speaking animatedly about the comic she had been showing Eevi earlier as Raphael did his best to follow along. He glances up as they reappear and happily seizes on the distraction. "That's good to hear! What did you think of it, Eevi?"
[15:14] <AdEvaGM> ["It was a simple task."]
[15:15] <Raphael> "I'm sure. But how did it taste?"
[15:19] <AdEvaGM> [The question seems to fill her with that same indecision and mild incomprehension as before. "… It tasted… Normal."]
[15:21] <Yanmei> "Ah…" Yanmei was trying to take that in stride. "Well, I liked it?"
[15:24] * Raphael just nods a little. "I'm sure you did a good job."
[15:26] <AdEvaGM> [Eevi looks up at Yanmei. "I did do well, yes?"]
[15:26] <Yanmei> "Of course~ You did great!"
[15:27] <AdEvaGM> ["You want me to master cooking?"]
[15:29] <Yanmei> "I think you can do it. But do you want to?"
[15:37] <AdEvaGM> [More of that indecision. "… I…"-
[15:37] <AdEvaGM> ["…" She stared at Yanmei a little helplessly. "Yes."]
[15:38] <Yanmei> "Yay!" Yanmei happily passed her the recipe book and leftover omelettes. "Study well then, okay? I can help you with that."
[15:39] <Raphael> "And you're more than welcome to use our kitchen if you need it." Raphael says. "… It's a little small, though."
[15:40] <AdEvaGM> ["That is fine." She took the recipe book and stared at it, as well as the omelettes.]
[15:42] <Yanmei> "Does this mean, you'll offer to be a taste-tester on the side, Group Captain~"
[15:43] * Raphael stares for a moment before breaking into a small smirk. "… If required."
[15:44] <AdEvaGM> [Eevi stared at the two of them, before placing the recipe book on the table. She opened the omelette container, and took one out- which she held out to Suzanne.-
[15:44] <AdEvaGM> ["…? Huh? For me?"-
[15:44] <AdEvaGM> [Eevi nodded once.-
[15:45] <AdEvaGM> ["Well, thanks!" She promptly took it.]
[15:47] * Yanmei grinned a little at that. A friendship forged through bacon dishes?
[15:50] <Raphael> Most of Raphael's surprise is hidden away behind his customary mask of calm, but the way his eyebrows inch up at the gesture is likely enough of a giveaway. He folds his hands and gives the two a genuine smile. "It seems Suzanne will also be part of the testing crew."
[15:52] <AdEvaGM> ["Ofhcorsh."-
[15:52] <AdEvaGM> [Marianne let out a small chuckle. "Hey, Raphael, why don't I go put Suzie and Eevi down in the car, yeah?"]
[15:55] * Raphael glances down at his watch and nods slowly. "Yes, I suppose we should get going. You don't mind, Colonel?"
[15:55] <AdEvaGM> ["Well, you might stay here and help Yanmei clean up for a bit, hm?"]
[15:56] <Raphael> "Mmm, certainly."
[15:57] <AdEvaGM> [Marianne grinned, and took Suzanne's chair. "Come along, Eevi dear~"-
[15:57] <AdEvaGM> ["Bye-bye, Yanmei~" Cooed Suzanne. Eevi stared at Yanmei as they left.]
[15:57] <Yanmei> "You'd better roll up your sleeves, then~" Yanmei smirked at Raffy. "Bye Suzie. Bye, Eevi!"
[16:00] * Raphael makes a small motion to indicate the rolling of his imaginary sleeves and heads towards the kitchen. "See you girls in a moment."
[16:03] * Yanmei began stacking used plates, once they were out the door, gesturing for Raphael to do the same. "It's a little unbecoming, since you're a guest? But let's hurry and get these to the sink."
[16:06] * Raphael chuckles. "I really don't mind helping. I'd feel worse leaving the entire job to you." He says, grabbing whatever cutlery, cups and plates Yanmei missed and making a neat stack. "So. What did you think of Miss Nieminen?"
[16:07] <Yanmei> "She's…" Yanmei had to backtrack and think. "I don't think I've met anyone quite like her before?"
[16:10] <Raphael> "… No, I doubt you would have." Raphael says slowly. "Still, you did remarkably well with her."
[16:12] <Yanmei> "You were remarkably patient yourself. It was as if you were treating her like a second Suzanne?"
[16:18] * Raphael waves his hand. "Patience just comes easily to me. It's not enough to bring her out of her shell on its own, though…" He smiles faintly.
[16:21] * Yanmei led the ay back to the kitchen and started settling things down. "Most of the time, I couldn't tell what she was thinking or feeling at all. It's… troubling," she admitted.
[16:21] <Yanmei> ^way back
[16:30] <Raphael> "How much did Doctor Castillo tell you about her situation?"
[16:37] <Yanmei> "I know that she was originally a Neospartan, and that the LN kidnapped her and did lots of terrible things to her. You and your men rescued her, and she's been staying at the hospital since then."
[16:47] * Raphael nods slowly. "That's right. What the LN did… well, it may be one of the worst cases of conditioning I've ever seen. The concept of freedom and personal choice is alien to her. And if that wasn't bad enough, she's had an AT Core grafted into her chest."
[16:55] * Yanmei winced rather visibly, but she collected herself, frowning at the sink. "Do you think she actually can recover and lead a normal life? I know that Delgado is hopeful, but what about you?"
[16:59] <Raphael> "… I'm undecided on the matter." Raphael says after a moment of silence, and after setting his own plates on the sink he begins busying himself around the kitchen. "They don't believe the Core can be removed, but they have a chance to undo the conditioning. It may just be a matter of years rather than weeks or months."-
[17:00] * Raphael stops and frowns before looking over at Yanmei. "The real problem right now is finding her a carer and a home. She has nobody else. That's why the Doctor asked for my help."
[17:08] <Yanmei> "I see…" Yanmei's eyes widened a bit. "So you've decided to take her on? Heh… so that's what you meant about offering her your kitchen to practice."
[13:18] <Raphael> "… It’s not quite like that." Raphael says, treading a little more carefully now. "The doctor did suggest I take her in, but in the short term at least I had to turn him down. Still, he wanted to hear my opinions on other potential carers. Among a handful of others, you and Marianne were mentioned."
[13:23] * Yanmei stopped working. "Me?" There was no way to force that to sink in, so she had to speak slowly, picking her words. "Marianne knows about this?"
[13:32] * Raphael nods, still packing away ingredients as though nothing had changed. "She does." He says. "This is hardly something anyone is going to expect of you, Yanmei, especially me. If tonight hadn't gone well it's likely we wouldn't have said any more on the matter, but after seeing you two interact the Colonel and I both felt you at least needed to be told."
[13:40] <Yanmei> "So it did go well, you think?" She glanced at the "I" apron a moment, almost sadly. "She's a good girl. She just has trouble figuring out what she likes and dislikes and how to be less obedient."
[13:46] <Raphael> "And you showed a good deal of talent for breaking through that. Even I struggle to do that with her some days. Whatever faults Suzie may possess, she doesn't lack for opinions…" He says, smiling a little. "So yes, I think it's fair to say that it went well."
[13:52] <Yanmei> "Heh. She probably thought I was annoying, asking all those questions," she chuckled. "But I was trying to get a sense of her, and trying to nudge her to get a sense of herself, too." She pushed leftover scraps from a plate into a garbage bin, and sighed. "I don't know about a full-time thing, though?"
[13:57] <Raphael> "Understandable. As I said to Doctor Castillo, I'm sure you've got more than enough on your plate without taking on yet another responsibility. However I also think you're mature enough to be the one to make that decision for yourself."
[14:02] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei took another plate. "I can't do it," she said quietly. "I can mentor her, and teach her things, but I can't be her mom."
[14:10] * Raphael finally looks over at that, watching her silently for a moment before finally nodding. "Understood, Pilot Zhang. I'll let the Doctor know. We still have plenty of candidates, so there's no need to worry about her."-
[14:11] <Raphael> "… Would you mind if I asked what your reasons were, though? Doctor Castillo is sure to ask, and I'm sure you'd prefer not to have this conversation twice."
[14:19] <Yanmei> "It's complicated," she mumbled. "She's not… she's not Lizzie. She's not an easygoing baby, and Isaiah isn't around to help and make sure she's okay, and he has to know what's going on if this arrangement is for keeps. She's been kidnapped before, and brutally hurt before, and if something like that were to happen to her again, I wouldn't know how to stop it. She needs someone to protect and support her, full time. That's
[14:20] <Yanmei> - That's what she needs…"
[14:25] * Raphael ‘s expression softens a little and he nods again, a little more firmly this time. "… You don’t need to feel guilty for any of that, Yanmei. Those are the right reasons to turn down something like this - For you and for Eevi." He says gently. "And for what it’s worth, I was forced to give many of the same reasons when I said no."
[14:28] * Yanmei nodded, but judging from the way she was tightly gripping that plate, she still wasn't too happy. "I just…" She shook her head, trying to snap herself out of it. "Sorry."
[14:30] <Raphael> "No need." He murmurs, turning his gaze away in order to give her a moment to herself. "It was probably cruel of us to ask, given everything else you’ve been dealing with."
[14:35] <Yanmei> "I wish it was different. After everything those stupid Caines did to her, not being able to help makes me sick."
[14:39] <Raphael> "Yanmei, she'll need more in her life than just one carer. She'll need friends, and mentors, and people who teach her how to cook. There'll still be plenty you can do to help, if that's what you want."
[14:45] <Yanmei> "You think so?" She blinked at him hopefully.
[14:46] * Raphael smiles. "Of course. It's what I intend to do, at least."
[14:49] <Yanmei> "Hm." She nodded again, and thoughtfully traded out her plate for another one, nearly finished now. "You're helping to look for a new mom or dad for her, right?"
[14:49] <Raphael> "Where I can, yes."
[14:53] <Yanmei> "Let me help too!"
[14:57] * Raphael blinks, before smiling a little wider. "… I'm sure the Doctor would be happy to have your assistance, Pilot Zhang. Do you happen to have any suggestions?"
[15:03] <Yanmei> "Hm. Most of my associates tend to be unstable weirdos? But there are a few that might be powerful enough to protect her if need be. I just have to figure out if they'd be unbiased…"
[15:09] <Raphael> "… Noted." Raphael says slowly. "Well, if you come up with anything I'm sure Doctor Castillo would be happy to hear about it. Until then, you're welcome to help us look through the rest of our options."
[15:10] <Yanmei> "Ah, that's right. You mentioned that there were other people being considered, right?"
[15:13] <Raphael> "A few. Most notably, President Mazarin has personally expressed interest."
[15:15] <Yanmei> "Has he?" Yanmei looked up suddenly, and… started to giggle. "I'm sure his daughter would -love- having to share him with a perfect stranger."
[15:16] * Raphael chuckles. "I'm sure. Still, you have had more experience with the President than any of us, so your opinion there would be appreciated."-
[15:18] <Raphael> "There have been other names thrown around, of course. Rei and Major Wellesley. Major Katsuragi…"
[15:18] <Yanmei> "What? -Misato- Katsuragi?"
[15:22] <Raphael> "The doctor asked about her, yes." Raphael says. "But I told him that Misato was not an option."
[15:24] * Yanmei heaved a sigh. It was possibly a relieved one. "But Rei, huh? And Captain Wellesley? If they take her, then we won't be able to talk with her as much…"
[15:29] * Raphael nods, glancing down. "I know. But still, if anyone could have an idea of what Eevi's dealing with, it would be Rei."
[15:32] <Yanmei> "Yeah. Yeah, that's true? But…" Yanmei frowned. "Well, it's probably best for her."
[15:37] * Raphael gives her a sympathetic smile. "It may be." Raphael says quietly. "But it's hardly set in stone, ma'am. Just one option of several."
[15:38] <Yanmei> "Right. Well, you'll let me know what they say, right? Does… Eevi know that this is going on?"
[15:41] <Raphael> "She knows we're trying to find her a home, but that's all right now. As soon as we're sure of our options I imagine we'll try and gauge her opinion, difficult as that will be."
[15:44] * Yanmei nodded her approval. "It's good that she not get wrapped up in the details for now. Later really is the best time to explain things."
[15:49] <Raphael> "Agreed." Raphael says with a smile before glancing down at his watch. "I should probably head downstairs, actually. I imagine the Colonel is wondering what's keeping me."
[15:49] <Yanmei> "Oh, that's right. Well… thanks for helping with the cleanup! You should stop by again sometime soon."
[15:54] <Raphael> "I'd enjoy that, ma'am. As would Suzie, I think." Raphael says, wiping his hands on a dishtowel. "And thank you for the help. I appreciate just how difficult it was."
[15:58] <Yanmei> "It's a decision that needed to be made? But thank you for thinking highly enough of me to include me in the candidates. Even that means a lot!" She smiled at him.
[16:04] * Raphael smiles back. "You're quite welcome." He says brightly, heading for the door. "I suppose I'll go and make sure that Suzie hasn't forced the Colonel into yet another discussion about robots. You have a pleasant evening, Yanmei."
[16:04] <Yanmei> "You too, group Captain!"

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License