For A Filial Reunion

[20:36] <Sept> [Paris-2 Geofront. Somewhere in the complex, people were celebrating a girl's birthday. These people were not Tsubaki Akagi or Sera de Pteres.-]
[20:37] * Sept wielded his shield and little sword awkwardly. "These are probably soft enough for us to go all-out… You're sure you want to do this, Tsubaki?" She -had- been beaten by Aline… This could end pretty quickly.
[20:38] * Tsubaki was hefting an intimidatingly large two-handed training sword in her hands. "Yes, Nii-san~"
[20:40] * Sept adjusted his grip on the implements. "…okay. Count of three?"
[20:41] * Tsubaki nodded. "One~"
[20:42] * Sept swallowed, raising his shield slightly. That sword…. "Two."
[20:42] <Tsubaki> "Three-!"
[20:50] * Sept begins, with lightning reflexes, to flail uselessly with his dinky sword.
[20:53] * Tsubaki stepped aside, letting Sept lunge in closer- before swinging her sword with ruthless speed into an upswing, smashing it hard into Sept's left arm.
[20:59] <Sept> "O-ow..!" Sera stumbled backwards a few steps, almost dropping the shield. That was going to leave a bruise. He'd have to buy time to regain his balance. Sera launched a counteroffensive at the girl!
[21:07] * Tsubaki let out a squeak of pain as the sword connected hard with her right leg. Overextended as she was, she could only try to turn her half-tumble into a low swing right back at Sept!
[21:13] * Sept tried to reach down to block at least some of the blow with his shield, but it was just too unwieldy. The sword struck him again, and again he yelped, backing up a further couple of steps to regain his composure. Settling himself behind his shield more comfortably, Sera made a jab with his sword!
[21:15] <Tsubaki> More than a jab. It struck Tsubaki right in the chest, high enough to almost have been a neck blow, smacking into the narrow gap between Tsubaki's chest armour and her head armour. The girl let out a sharp cough of pain, stumbling over her feet and losing her balance, smacking into the ground.
[21:21] <Sept> "A-ah, Tsubaki! I'm sorry!" Sera dropped his gear and practically fell on the girl, unsure of what it was that he was trying to do. Eventually, he'd just offer her a hand to pull her up.
[21:24] * Tsubaki pulled her helmet off, rubbing a red mark on her neck. "You're rough, nii-san." She said appraisingly, taking his hand. "But fun~"
[21:26] * Sept blushed, but managed to pull the girl up alright. "U-uh. Thanks, Tsubaki. I, thanks."
[21:27] <Tsubaki> "Did I hurt you?"
[21:29] <Sept> "No. I mean, yes! I mean, you hit me pretty well but I'm alright. I mean." Sera scratched the back of his neck.
[21:31] <Tsubaki> "Yay~" Tsubaki hugged the boy, giving him a tight squeeze. "Now that means you won't forget~"
[21:33] * Sept responded with an equal hug. "I'd never forget!" he exclaimed, mock-insulted.
[21:34] <Tsubaki> "Never ever?"
[21:36] <Sept> Sera held the girl at arm's length and looked into those remarkable eyes. "Never!"
[21:37] <Tsubaki> The eyes were currently very wide, as if in awe. "You're a genius!"
[21:38] <Sept> "Wh-what? Then… are you one too?"
[21:38] <Tsubaki> "…?" Tsubaki blinked. "Am I?"
[21:39] <Sept> "You wouldn't forget, would you?"
[21:39] <Tsubaki> "I don't think so…"
[21:40] <Sept> "Then it's settled, isn't it?"
[21:41] <Tsubaki> "You're right…" Tsubaki said, blinking in surprise.
[21:43] <Sept> "Would the genius like a milkshake as a reward?"
[21:43] <Tsubaki> "Yes~"
[21:46] <Sept> "Alright!" Sera cleared away the now-scattered sparring gear and headed out, Tsubaki in tow.
[21:48] * Tsubaki followed on, discarding her own gear quickly. "Nii-san, 01 has a shield, right?"
[21:49] <Sept> "Yeah. He does. Or, well, we have to replace it a lot. But, yeah."
[21:49] <Tsubaki> "Is it useful?"
[21:53] <Sept> "Yeah. It helps me keep the others from getting hurt. Aline and Yanmei, they… probably couldn't handle as much as I could, and they usually figure out the Angels' tricks first, so… I just help keep them safe, mostly. I mean, we do that. Me and One."
[21:54] * Tsubaki nodded slowly. "Do you think One likes Four, even if Four is top heavy and mean?"
[21:56] <Sept> "…I don't know. I hope so. If they can get along, there's still something we can do, right?"
[22:03] <Tsubaki> "Right." Said Tsubaki, her expression thoughtful for a moment. "… I hope they're friends. Mother- I wanted gogouki to be there to keep her company…"
[22:05] <Sept> "I'm sure she'll be friends with 05! We'll get him back and you'll see for yourself!"
[22:08] * Tsubaki nodded firmly. "Nii-san, what are you going to do when you see gogouki again?"
[22:10] <Sept> "I'm not… all that sure, Tsubaki. But we'll definitely somehow stop him without hurting Shinji and get them both back to normal again and they can both be in Tokyo with you!"
[22:13] <Tsubaki> "Nii-san, what do you think of Shinji-kun?"
[22:16] <Sept> "I don't know. He liked, likes Aline a lot! So… I'm sure he'll do his best to keep everyone safe! And punch Angels -really- hard." Sera nodded sagely.
[22:17] <Tsubaki> "Yeah!" Said Tsubaki. "… Aline is ok, right?"
[22:19] <Sept> "I think so. She taught me all about how to have -fun-, I'm sure she's alright!" He paused. "What about… Gendo and Yui?"
[22:26] <Tsubaki> "Ikari Yui-sama is very upset. She wasn't even used to not having Rei-chan around and now she doesn't have Shinji-kun, so she's been spending all of her time on a special project." Said Tsubaki. "Ikari Gendo-sama is… Angry. He is usually not angry, like this…"
[22:28] <Sept> "He hasn't been angry at you, though, has he? You're good friends, right?"
[22:28] * Tsubaki shakes her head. "He hasn't been angry at me. He likes to talk to me."
[22:29] <Sept> "That's good! Ritsuko said you were getting along well."
[22:31] * Tsubaki nods slowly. "Yeah… Ikari Gendo-sama, he has a grumpy face. But he really isn't grumpy with me."
[22:32] <Sept> "What's he like? Besides his face."
[22:34] <Tsubaki> "Very smart. Quiet, too. He tends to stay in his office a lot."
[22:36] * Sept nodded. "He sounds nice." … "Did you know Ritsuko thought he might be my dad?"
[22:38] <Tsubaki> "Huuuh?" Tsubaki blinked in surprise, her mouth wide. "Why?"
[22:41] <Sept> "She… said it was the eyes. But I asked Ginevre about it, and she already knew who my parents were! They were from old Paris and they did a lot of amazing things! Ritsuko could've just asked her and saved us both the confusion! She was being a bit silly, don't you think?"
[22:46] <Tsubaki> "Your eyes…?" Tsubaki, not quite yet considering Sept's other comments, grabbed the boy's shoulders, spun him around and stared at his eyes intently.
[22:47] * Sept stared right back, looking away only a few times in discomfort.
[22:53] <Tsubaki> "… Can you grow a beard, nii-san?"
[22:54] <Sept> "Uh, I. I don't think a full beard would be that simple. Do you think I'd look like him with one?"
[22:55] <Tsubaki> "You have nice eyes. He has nice eyes too, but… They sort of look the same…" She tilted her head.
[22:57] <Sept> "But… lots of people probably have eyes that look the same?"
[22:58] <Tsubaki> "You're right…" Tsubaki blinked. "Onee-san can be silly sometimes."
[22:59] * Sept snickered. "Yeah. Sometimes people are silly."
[23:02] <Tsubaki> "Would you want him to be your dad?"
[23:07] * Sept thought about this. "I'm sure he'd be nice! But it'd be sad being so far apart most of the time." A pause, and a nod. "I think I'd rather have Elisha."
[23:07] <Tsubaki> "Yeah…?"
[23:09] <Sept> "I mean, we already see each other pretty often and he's really nice… It's not possible, but. It'd be nice."
[23:09] <Tsubaki> "What were your parents like?"
[23:16] <Sept> "I don't know a lot about them… but I know they loved the city, and they wanted to help their family, even if it meant danger to them. I'm sad I can't know them better, but… at least I can know they'd be proud to see me now!"
[18:22] <Tsubaki> "You must be a lot like them." Said Tsubaki with wide eyes. "Would they have liked me…?"
[18:24] * Sept made a thinking pose for a few moments. Then, his face lightened up. "Of course they would've! You're family!"
[18:26] <Tsubaki> "Oh! That's right!" Said Tsubaki. "All the pilots are family, right?"
[18:26] <Sept> "Of course!"
[18:26] <Tsubaki> "But… What if someone bad became a pilot, like Atticus…?"
[18:28] <Sept> "But he isn't a pilot, is he? So we don't have to worry about that."
[18:31] <Tsubaki> "Oh. B-But if he does, I'll speak to you about it."
[18:37] <Sept> "Yeah. And I'll look out for you, whatever happens. Is there anyone or anything else you're worried about?"
[18:38] <Tsubaki> "Kind of…"
[18:43] <Sept> "…you can tell me anything, Tsubaki." Finally, the two emerged from the endless corridorspace into the cafeteria, now mostly abandoned by the partygoers. "Maybe over a milkshake?"
[18:46] * Tsubaki nodded firmly, and let us hope that Milkshake Dispenser remains.
[18:52] * Sept hoped so as well. This would be so much easier with milkshakes. The machine had seen quite a lot of use in the celebrations. Luckily for the two, however, there still seemed to be a decent amount of ingredients left over - the NERV Livestock Division had probably had their budget raised for this. Moments later, Tsubaki and Sera would find a table left sufficiently untarnished by
[18:52] * Sept the party, and sat down with their shakes.
[18:54] * Tsubaki sat down, sipping on her shake with a mild, satisfied expression on her face.
[18:56] <Sept> "Tsubaki… what were you worried about?" Sera led the question to the table gently.
[19:00] <Tsubaki> "Huh?" Tsubaki stared… Then blinked. "Oh. There is someone at school."
1[19:42] <Tsubaki> "His name is Tokuro."
[19:42] <Sept> "Tokuro."
06[19:43] * Tsubaki nodded slowly. "Once, he was writing something and his pencil broke."
06[19:45] * Sept nodded. It really looked more like he was listening to a bedtime story more than caring for the problems of his friends.
01[19:46] <Tsubaki> "I don't think he's very happy, though…" Said Tsubaki sadly.
[19:47] <Sept> "What do you mean?"
01[19:47] <Tsubaki> "He never smiles, and his shoes keep getting stolen."
[19:51] <Sept> "Why? Are they good shoes?"
01[19:51] <Tsubaki> "Not really." Said Tsubaki sadly. "People used to do it to me once. It means they don't like you."
[19:53] <Sept> "Oh. I'm sorry. And he can't avoid them?"
01[19:54] <Tsubaki> "They do it during classes." Said Tsubaki. "I don't really know who, but they sneak into his shoe locker."
[19:58] <Sept> "Mmh." Sera pondered. "Some people are stupid idiots, aren't they?"
01[20:01] <Tsubaki> "They are." Said Tsubaki, helplessness in her tone. "But he isn't mean or stupid or anything. Tokuro is cute and harmless!"
[20:03] <Sept> "Yeah… I'm sorry, Tsubaki, I really don't know. Unless, when did they stop doing it to you? Was it when you became a pilot?"
06[20:04] * Tsubaki nodded. "When people realised I was a pilot they started putting things -into- my locker instead."
[20:04] <Sept> "O-oh? What kind of things?"
01[20:05] <Tsubaki> "Chocolates and candy!" Said Tsubaki happily, her face transforming at the mention. "And letters telling me how pretty I am and sometimes letters asking me to marry someone."
[20:06] <Sept> "Oh! Do you think if people saw you were Tokuro's friend, they'd tell him how pretty he was and stop stealing his shoes, too?"
01[20:09] <Tsubaki> "Maybe. Because then they might be afraid that 03 would step on them!" Said Tsubaki fiercely. "Which is dumb, though, because 03 doesn't step on people, only buildings. But how do I ask him to be my friend?"
06[20:11] * Sept tilted his head. "Maybe just… say it? Or give him a hug when he looks sad?"
01[20:13] <Tsubaki> Tsubaki considered this. "And buy him milkshakes?"
[20:15] <Sept> "Yeah, that's a good idea! I'm sure he'd be glad!"
06[20:15] * Tsubaki nodded enthusiastically. "And beat him up!"
[20:18] <Sept> "Uh, maybe not? You said he was harmless, maybe… maybe he doesn't like fighting like that?"
01[20:18] <Tsubaki> "Hm…" Tsubaki frowned. "Maybe you're right…"
[20:20] <Sept> "You could ask him if he wants to, of course? And if he does, teach him to fight? People couldn't pick on him as much then."
01[20:20] <Tsubaki> "Yeah… Fighting practice, and milkshakes! And hugs!"
[20:23] <Sept> "Yeah." Sera gave an encouraging nod, straightened up, and finally took a sip from his so-far-ignored milkshake.
01[20:24] <Tsubaki> "Hey, Nii-san?"
[20:26] <Sept> "Yeah, Tsubaki?"
01[20:27] <Tsubaki> "What do you want to do before you die?"
06[20:29] * Sept was taken aback by the question, and ended up trying to breathe in milkshake, couching for some time before managing an attempt at an answer. "Uh. Before I die, I. Um. I… don't want to die? Isn't that what we're trying to do, fighting the Angels, just surviving?"
06[20:30] * Tsubaki nodded slowly. "But you're going to die one day, though."
[20:31] <Sept> "I, I guess that's right, but, does it help to think about it like that, I mean I've done fine so far?"
1[20:32] <Tsubaki> "I don't know." Said Tsubaki, blinking in surprise. "But Tanaka-sensei at school says, because everyone dies we need to figure out what how to live first, which seems dumb but he explained it that it meant doing things."
[20:35] <Sept> "I think I know how to live…" Sera muttered, a bit insulted.
01[20:35] <Tsubaki> "I don't, though…"
[20:36] <Sept> "O-oh. But you're happy, aren't you?"
01[20:37] <Tsubaki> "I am, but Tanaka-sensei said I should be thinking about my career and marriage and things!"
[20:41] <Sept> "But Tanaka-sensei isn't you! You don't need to do what everyone who says they're above you tells you to do! I don't know about careers and marriages and stuff and I'm still happy and alive and you shouldn't have to worry about something dumb like that!"
01[20:45] <Tsubaki> "B-but it's still ok to want these things, right? But I can leave them to later?"
[00:59] <Sept> "You want to..? Oh. Oh, I mean. Of course it's alright, we just, right now it's not really possible so I'd rather not." Sera looked down a bit and continued in a much more neutral tone. "You can do whatever you want, Tsubaki, as long as you don't hurt the family or, or do bad things. Okay?"
01[01:05] <Tsubaki> "I wouldn't hurt the family…" Said Tsubaki, her tone suggesting that she felt as though she'd done something wrong, and Sept was now scolding her.
[01:09] <Sept> "No, I know you wouldn't! I just mean, other people shouldn't make you worry so much. We'll take care of each other, as a family, and that's that. And teachers or presidents or ambassadors should stay out of it. I mean, if they have good advice you can take it but i-if they talk nonsense then you don't need to listen!"
01[01:12] <Tsubaki> "O-Okay, nii-san…"
[01:18] <Sept> "Now, Tsubaki, there was something I wanted to ask you." He took hold of Tsubaki's hand gently on the table. "Something important, and maybe a little painful. But it's really important for the family."
01[01:18] <Tsubaki> "What is it, nii-san?"
[01:22] <Sept> "This was some months ago… Back when we were having our vacation. Tsubaki, do you remember having a dream… with Aline in it?"
06[01:26] * Tsubaki shrank away. "…"
06[01:27] * Sept leaned in a bit more, and gave her hand a comforting squeeze. "We need to talk about that dream, Tsubaki."
01[01:28] <Tsubaki> "I-It's nothing special…"
[01:33] <Sept> "Yes it is, Tsubaki. That dream was very special. Do you think you could talk about it, for me? For the family?"
01[01:36] <Tsubaki> "…" Tsubaki hung her head. "T-that dream… I-I've been having it ever since I was six years old…"
[01:39] <Sept> "Th-the same dream? I'm sorry… So, this was the first time Aline was there..?"
06[01:40] * Tsubaki nodded slowly.
[01:42] <Sept> "Did it, did it help at all? Or does the dream always…" Sera trailed off. Maybe he'd be better off not talking about that part. "Um. The other times. Was it always the same, the Angels? Did they ever talk to you?"
01[01:45] <Tsubaki> "They do… T-They call me usurper and hate me…"
[01:46] <Sept> "Why? Did they know you'd be a pilot, even back then?"
01[01:47] <Tsubaki> "N-No, I-I don't know, I just thought they were monsters…"
[01:50] <Sept> "A-alright. Do you have any idea, any at all, why you're having the dreams? Was there something that happened or changed when they started..?"
01[01:53] <Tsubaki> "I-It was after I began Neospartan training…"
[01:58] <Sept> "Right. Th-that's all I need to know. But, Tsubaki?"
01[02:00] <Tsubaki> "Yes…?"
[02:02] <Sept> "Promise me you'll tell me about these things. Even if it seems impossible, I'll always try to help you. And even if it -is- impossible, it always helps to talk. Okay?"
01[02:06] <Tsubaki> "Y-yes, Nii-san! I promise!"
[02:08] <Sept> "Alright. Would you like the rest of my milkshake, Tsubaki?"
01[02:09] <Tsubaki> "Don't you want it, Nii-san?"
[02:13] <Sept> "I'm fine. But you ran out, and I thought you'd like it more. No, you'd deserve it more. You did well today, Tsubaki." Sera gave her hand one more squeeze, then released it, leaned back and pushed his almost-untouched milkshake across the table to the girl.
01[02:15] <Tsubaki> "A-aww, thank you Nii-san." Said Tsubaki, a hint of red reaching her cheeks as she annexed Sept's milkshake.

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