For A Soak In The Springs

[20:40] <Ikari‘Yui> [It’s a cool and calm day in the Ouverture Resort. Most of the people at the resort are, of course, dispersed over a wide range of activities. Some are soaking in hot springs; others are skiing down the mountain side, and some of them are probably just lounging about. One such woman, however, is prowling around the resort, her eyes open for a certain white-haired girl.]
[20:45] * Aline ended up running into that very woman while in a quite modest black dress, simply moving about idly (considering -maybe- a time in the hot springs, but for now not doing much.) At first, though, she didn't quite notice she was being looked for, so Aline just waved a little.
[20:49] <Ikari‘Yui> "Aline!" Said Yui quickly, almost springing forward at the girl. "There you are. I was wondering where you’d gotten to."
[20:54] * Aline conversely almost leapt backwards at her advance. "I was just… just touring the place a bit more! It's a really big resort and I had been thinking of what to do…" But then, she regained a bit more composure. "What's the matter?"
[20:59] <Ikari‘Yui> "Oh. I just wanted to have a chat." Said Dr. Ikari cheerfully. "You’d be surprised how 'busy' I've been. I've been meaning to talk to you for awhile, but… Well." She smiled helplessly. "You were pretty engaged too~"
[21:00] * Aline slowly nodded… but then grinned. "Yes, quite~ Project G must be maintained in earnest, and I still have -normal- hanging out obligations." She winked, at that. "Want to leave the hall for a better spot, or no?"
[21:01] <Ikari‘Yui> "That sounds good. Have you visited the Hot Springs yet?"
[21:01] * Aline widened her eyes. "Oh, no, I’ve been thinking of it, though. Yanmei doesn't want to bother with them though… probably because of the burns."
[21:03] * Ikari‘Yui nodded quietly. "Ah… Of course. Poor girl. I imagine Asuka’s much the same."
[21:04] <Aline> "Yeah… It's a shame, but what can you do? At least they're alive and seem to be recovering." She started to step, though. "Shall we speak on the way, then?"
[21:07] <Ikari‘Yui> "Alright. Although I’m sure we can talk more there." She winked, and headed off with Aline.-
[21:07] <Ikari‘Yui> "So. Are you enjoying the vacation so far?"
[21:08] * Aline nodded firmly. "Yes! I got some snowboarding in, and have had a whole bunch of nice little dinners and such. No more orange soda and small sandwiches in the cafeteria all the time!… At least for now."
[21:09] * Ikari`Yui chuckles. "I always found the orange soda to be a good example of someone’s sense of humour. But I agree. After awhile it does get a bit bland." She smiled. "And how's my son…~?"
[21:11] <Aline> "Ah, he's been somewhat well. Still very awkward, but I /think/ I've been reaching him. It's… a bit troublesome to have to not flirt overmuch because it scares him." Aline said the last bit with a little pout.
[21:15] <Ikari‘Yui> "Aw. But he is… Well, reciprocating?"
[21:16] * Aline waved a hand side-to-side. "Some. He definitely -likes me- but the close contact seems to get him in some kind of anxiety mode. It’s easier when we're not surrounded by people, though…"
[21:16] <Ikari‘Yui> "…Oh~?"
[21:17] * Aline blushed… "Only a little bit! Like like he won’t suddenly get twitchy about a hug or something! That's it!" …Damnit, no -wonder- Shinji was so uncomfortable around her.
[21:20] * Ikari‘Yui beamed. The effect was intriguingly catlike. "Well, I’m sure he'll become a little more open over time. You'll just have to ease him into it, yes?"
[21:22] * Aline shook her head and nodded, making it look like she had caffeine jitters or something. "R-r-r-right. Ease. Right. Sounds good."
[21:24] * Ikari‘Yui chuckles. "Rei thinks it’s all very adorable." The hot springs' door was starting to come into sight.
[21:26] * Aline headed towards the door quickly, still blushing. "Rei… knows…?"
[21:28] <Ikari‘Yui> "Well. Not about your, aheh, hugs in private." Dr. Ikari winked. "I meant, the relationship. You being the ’one' and all that. She just sees it as being very cute. She teases Shinji a lot, but you'd find that she's surprisingly motherly to him in that sense."-
[21:29] <Ikari‘Yui> [The Hot Springs were… Well, exactly that. This section was female-only (of course), and was a wide, wide rock pool with steaming hot water rising off the surface. It was empty at the time, thankfully.]
[21:34] <Aline> "Ohhhhh. Right." She then looked about, suddenly uncertain. "…I’m…" She then resumed full blush intensity. "…Not clear on the etiquette about… you know…" She tugged at her dress.
[21:41] <Ikari‘Yui> "Well, you’re not supposed to wear it in the hot spring, if that's what you're wondering." She winked. She was clearly enjoying this.
[21:43] * Aline sweated, now. "I mean I mean is there like a towel or do I get a swimsuit or do I… uh… go in… naked?"
[21:44] * Ikari‘Yui chuckled. "This is what you do." She walked over to a set of changing booths, which lined one of the walls. "The process is simple." She walked inside… And emerged a few minutes later wearing a towel. "Just hang your clothes up there and take the towel with you."
[21:47] * Aline nodded again. "Right! I’ll do that then!" …And Aline -did- do that, walking over to a changing booth, and quickly (rather quickly) changing out of her whole outfit, and coming out with her own towel. Mind you, a towel she was shifting her hands around ever so often to cover parts she didn't know were covered or not (hint: they were. Mostly.)
[21:49] <Ikari‘Yui> "See? There you go. You’re a natural." Yui then walked over to the edge of the spring. "Now, watch closely. This is very technical."
[21:53] * Aline did so, though she -knew- it was getting more into silly territory. But she did follow in earnest!
[21:55] * Ikari‘Yui gave Aline an encouraging smile. Then, in a very graceful, ladylike maneuever, managed to slip from towel to hot spring in a smooth second, leaving most of her body under the hot water. "Ooh, wow. It’s been too long since I've enjoyed a hot spring."
[21:59] * Aline staaared, and it appeared Yui was not making that up - she really did mean it was pretty technical! But Aline… sorta mostly managed it. Read: She remained covered by the towel halfway in, before just ditching it entirely because she knew it'd be useless when wet. "Ah, you are right, it is comforting~"
[22:00] <Ikari‘Yui> "Mmm." She leaned back, soaking in the heat for awhile. "And even better… You can rest completely assured that you’re not being watched. No bugging here…"
[22:04] <Aline> "…There is that… so much that I've had to be tight-lipped about because of that. So much…" Aline shook her head. "It's frustrating, it really is. For a little while I was even jumping at shadows as if there was a Section 2 agent behind them at any moment! So this is a relief."
[22:05] <Ikari‘Yui> "Ah. That’s a shame!" Said Dr. Ikari, sitting up a little. Her face was quite serious. "For you to be so worried about that when you have so much to worry about… But…" She stared up at the roof now. "Hm. Aline, may I ask you a question?"
[22:06] * Aline briefly glanced up, but figured it was just randomly looking up. "Ah… yes, you can ask."
[22:09] <Ikari‘Yui> "What do you think about… Psychics? Do you believe in them?"
[22:12] * Aline staaared. Stared and stared and… reached up to take off her glasses and put them on the towel. Silly Aline! But then she… opened her mouth. Closed it. And then opened it again to speak. "Before the Evas, I would have passed it off as just fantasy. But… I know it’s being done through machine assistance, but syncing with an Eva unit feels pretty telepathic to me."
[22:13] * Aline then quickly raised her hand. "Also, while in 00 I can -throw trees with my mind-. That too."
[22:14] * Ikari‘Yui chuckles. "Yes. I thought you might consider that. And whilst the telepathy you experience with your Evangelion is very much mechanical… Well, I want you to consider that first point. Extend it out. Can you think of a reason why a person might develop ’psychic' powers?"
[22:15] * Aline shrugged her shoulders a bit absentmindedly. This seemed relatively obvious. "Something to do with a stronger AT field control or somesuch?"
[22:16] * Ikari‘Yui nodded. "Indeed. A hypothetical human ’psychic' would be someone who would have control over their AT Fields." Yui sighed contentedly and slipped a little lower into the water. "NERV did research into it."
[22:20] <Aline> "Ah… Now by the fact that I don't -recall- any psychics running around, they must have failed, right?" …Suddenly, a brief pang of horror gripped her. "…Did something horrible happen as a result?"
[22:24] * Ikari‘Yui gave Aline an amused look. "I wouldn’t say horrible. But… I should give you some context. NERV wasn't out to -invent- 'psychics' from -scratch-." Emphasis on 'scratch'.
[22:26] * Aline tilted her head a little, splashing slightly underwater. "…This is going to involve genetic samples of the whateverth Angel at the center of the Katsuragi expedition, isn't it?" Thank you, Tsubaki.
[22:29] * Ikari‘Yui quirked an eyebrow. "I’m a little curious as to why you might think that, or indeed, who told you about the Katsuragi Expedition." But she nevertheless smiled. "And no. It doesn't."
[22:32] * Aline breathed a sigh of relief. "Okay, good, that would have been horrifying. And… it came up during a discussion between pilots. I only thought so because you said not from scratch, and if there's one thing that knows how to control its AT field, it's an Angel."
[22:34] <Ikari‘Yui> "That’s right." Said Dr. Ikari, nodding. "Humans can't control their AT Fields… But rather, what I should say is that -normal- humans can't control it."
[22:38] * Aline folded her arms, which… actually didn't do anything due to being underwater. "Then what is needed to make an -abnormal- human?"
[22:38] <Ikari‘Yui> "An inherited gene." Dr. Ikari winked. "See? That wasn’t so hard, was it?"
[22:41] * Aline sort of… nodded. "That seems rather simple. Almost too simple, considering, again, that this was just the context."
[22:45] * Ikari‘Yui nodded. "Well. As that -is- the context, I’ll elaborate. See, the gene is rare. It can be considered to be possessed by maybe 1 in 200 million people. Maybe more, but it rarely manifests- just because a person -can- control their AT Field doesn't mean their control is worth much." Said Dr. Ikari. "But such an ability explains many traditional 'psychic' powers. Telekinesis… Telepathy-
[22:46] <Ikari‘Yui> "Which would just be entering another person’s AT Field with your own." Dr. Ikari shrugged. "In the early days, NERV… Well, Gehirn, really." Another shrug. "Considered the possibility that there might be a correlation between psychics and Eva control."
[22:49] * Aline breathed in and out slowly. So relaxing, the hot spring~ "Reasonable assumption to make, though unless there's something I don't know about the pilots, myself concluded, ultimately not outright true." But, her expression became a bit more… hard to put. Expectant? "So they looked for people with that gene, and tried to have them pilot Evas?"
[23:00] <Ikari‘Yui> "Yes. Finding people who had the gene was difficult. Possible, but difficult. But, once we did, we found a rather damning issue." Dr. Ikari smiled. "… The gene in the current genetic stock had actually changed from our records after Second Impact. A person born in the generations before Impact might have the ability- which is where we got our base research from- but anyone born after or around Impact could not.-
[23:00] <Ikari`Yui> "Including our entire piloting stock."
[23:02] * Aline raised a finger. "I assume you mean the psychic ability in those born after… or failing that, the ability for people with that gene to pilot in the generation after?"
[23:05] * Ikari`Yui nodded. "The ’psychic' ability was lost in those born after or around Second Impact. As you might have noted, all of the Evangelion pilots are very young- that is by necessity. So anyone who -could- use the 'psychic' ability was too old, and anyone young enough to pilot just did not have the ability."
[23:10] * Aline scratched her head a little. "…Is there any idea as to why this is? It seems as if… the Impact itself caused the change." She paused, then realizing something else. "…Why are you telling me about this? I appreciate learning new things, but you usually at least have a theme to the things you teach me…"
[23:17] * Ikari‘Yui chuckled. She started to wade out now into the pool’s deeper parts. "Because what we learned regarding the 'psychic' gene, we used in a lot of other things, too."
[23:18] * Aline followed along, since… well, follow the leader on this one~ "Ah? Like wha~t, huh?"
[23:20] <Ikari‘Yui> "Well. There was a project. A scientific endeavour designed to take one of those potential pilots- the one with the gene- and modify the gene so that they’d be able to use their AT Fields. We called it the A Project."
[23:22] * Aline nodded briefly. "That would be a logical conclusion, I suppose. …And how did -that- pan out?" She had an almost leading tone, but you could just feel her mentally cringing at whatever possible imagined terrible fates.
[23:28] <Ikari‘Yui> "The A Project failed." Said Dr. Ikari. "We just could not keep the gene active. We tried it on four people, and… It just would not work." She shrugged.
[23:30] * Aline shook her head a little at that. "…Was that all that happened? They came out… okay, other than that. Right?"
[23:34] * Ikari`Yui chuckles. "You tell me. Does Miss Fournier seem affected to you?"
[23:36] * Aline twitched. Then blinked. Then twitched again. Little waves were coming from where she was in the water. "Viviane?!… …That’s amazingly close… I… Well she's pretty quiet, but she seems like a normal person. More normal than her boyfriend…" Aline naaarrowed her eyes at that, more conspiratorily than annoyedly.
[23:40] * Ikari‘Yui chuckled. "Miss Fournier doesn’t even remember the A Project. She was too young, and it was not very important next to her training in the dunes and skies of Algeria."
[23:42] * Aline just bliiinked. "So she's one of them too? Asuka and Tsubaki and Alexandre and Viviane… Am I the only person who's been going to that school for more than just -this- year that has no secret military-education background?" Oh man did Aline look flustered and shocked. "I made that proviso because Sera and Yanmei are sorta special cases. And I just included Asuka and Tsubaki because
[23:42] * Aline I know they went to a training program too and just trying to keep things clear and and and…" …Aline was hyperventilating again.
[23:44] * Ikari‘Yui chuckled again, and reached over. With a grace and love only Ikari Yui could muster, she gently splashed her with water. "Calm down, Al-chan. You should understand by now that Saint Louis is a veritable dumping ground for old NERV projects."
[23:52] * Aline got her presence back a little, if only because of the sting of the slight heat against a part of her not submerged. "Ah… ah… right… (breathe)… I guess? I didn’t know that it was that big. It's…" Aline closed her eyes, trying to think. "It's… starting to bother me. I feel really… isolated now. I might be the only person among the friends I've known for a few years
[23:52] * Aline that's had a mostly normal life. Most of them are probably neospartans or almost-psychics or something! And and Yanmei has all her quasi-militaristic stuff of her own with her parents, and Sera's a street orphan!… Why do I have to be the only honest-to-god French schoolgirl like they were before Second Impact? And why would someone so -simple- be the specially-picked pilot of 00, the
[23:52] * Aline -prototype EVA-? It… it's really confusing me. I don't like not knowing so much… I don't like being surrounded by the unknown like this."
[23:55] <Ikari‘Yui> "…" Aline would suddenly find herself enveloped in a hug. A gentle hand would pat her on the head. "Let’s take this one at a time. We will discuss these things rationally, alright~?"
[23:55] * Aline …went ahead and hugged her back. "…Sorry… I'll try to calm down… Let's go ahead and do that one by one…"
[00:00] <Ikari‘Yui> "That’s a good girl." Said Dr. Ikari sweetly, letting Aline go. "Let's start from the top. Don't worry about your schoolfriends. To my memory, there are only five NeoSpartans in Saint Louis. And only one of them was an A-Project test."
[00:03] * Aline counted on her fingers, but decided not to vocalize her accounting of the names. "Alright, then… That's that, then. Good, I don't have to worry much about that."
[00:05] * Ikari‘Yui nodded. "Secondly. Do you remember, when you were five years old, you had to go to hospital? To have your appendix removed?"
[00:06] * Aline nodded vaguely. "…Oh, is that what that was? I just remember being in the hospital, really." She looked a little sheepish at that admission, but listened intently all the same.
[00:06] * Ikari`Yui snickered. "You don’t remember a nice lady doctor who promised you a big melted cheese chicken burger with bacon if you were good?"
[00:08] * Aline heeeadtilted. "…I remember someone promising me that, yeah. Dad said I was really into cheesy stuff then."
[00:09] * Ikari‘Yui smiled. "You were a very cute five year old." And then she winked.
[00:09] * Aline staaaaare. "What were… you doing there…?"
[00:10] <Ikari`Yui> "I’ll give you a hint. You weren't there to get your appendix removed. Not really." Dr. Ikari giggled. "You don't remember it, but you were one of our testees for the psychic gene."
[00:13] * Aline tapped the water around her. For some -bizarre- reason, maybe due to all the buildup, it was -less- shocking than the revelation about Viviane. "……Oh. And as… thought previously it… didn't work, did it. I mean, I… don't really think I've… …I mean there was that one thing… but that might've been because of the EVAs… er…" Okay, a /little/ less.
[00:17] * Ikari‘Yui blinked. "Well, no. It didn’t." She patted Aline on the head again. "We… Didn't realise it, but your gene… Wasn't exactly what we were looking for. To put it into perspective, if you had been born 30 years ago, you -still- would not have the 'psychic' ability." Said Dr. Ikari. "You have what we've dubbed 'AT-Gene E', which unlike 'AT-Gene A'-
[00:19] <Ikari‘Yui> "the ’psychic' gene, you can't control your AT Field. Instead, it's a more passive relationship. You're more 'sensitive' to people with an active AT-Gene A. What this means, essentially, is that whilst you're not a 'psychic'? You're more sensitive to an Evangelion than even other pilots."
[00:23] * Aline slowly nodded. "Oh. Then that's why I… I…" She drooped her eyes a little, a form of embarassment not quite as related to the kind that made her blush. "…When the Sixth Angel attacked Berlin-2, I… could… I heard Asuka. It was awful… But I guess now I know why. And why I'm in the role I'm in."
[00:24] * Ikari‘Yui put a gentle arm around Aline. For comfort. "It’s a role you do very well."
[00:28] <Aline> "Right… Thanks." It was definitely something said out of trying to slowly piece back together her feelings. "So I guess that's that. At least… at least I have a kinder Eva, then. I would… I would be an empty shell if I was to let 04 have its way with me, wouldn't I?"
[00:31] <Ikari‘Yui> "I wouldn’t worry about that. EVA-04 is -very- selective about who can synchronise with it. In fact, I believe it's the single most incompatible Evangelion currently operating. Which is why Yanmei is its pilot." Dr. Ikari smiled. "But, nevertheless, I feel that you're right. An overly aggressive, or even an overly emotional Eva would affect you deeply."
[00:34] * Aline twitched again at that, the shadow of her body moving around underwater. "…Like 03… Right. That would not… I wouldn't even know." She sighed. "At any rate, I guess I should throw out that idea to cross-compatibility test as a way of helping the other EVAs psychologically. If only because it won't be healthy."
[00:36] * Ikari‘Yui patted Aline sympathetically. "It seems unfortunate, but for the current pilots, at least, the problems of them and their EVA will continue to be personal struggles." A pause. "… Tsubaki’s been very talkative, hasn't she~?"
[00:39] * Aline shifted a little in the water - it was hard to tell exactly how. "What? It's not like she's said anything more 'dangerous' than I've heard from you."
[00:40] <Ikari‘Yui> "It was merely a statement, Aline. I wasn’t going to be angry, and I honestly do think it's good that she's talking." Said Dr. Ikari patiently.
[00:42] * Aline breathed another sigh of relief. "Sorry, you've been making those little… comments about my information outside of what you know I could have normally guessed from what you've said." She looked around. "…Though I guess I do have one piece of information you probably already know, but that I didn't hear from you or Tsubaki."
[00:43] <Ikari‘Yui> "Oh?"
[00:44] * Aline nodded. "I was told by 00… Sort of. Rather, it… he? She? I have no idea. But I was shown something. Do you perchance remember the incident at the end of the fight with the 5th Angel? Not that it was really that ’bad', but how I ascended to the maximum length of my umbilical and remained still for a few minutes?"
[00:45] <Ikari‘Yui> "Mm, I do remember… The tech teams found it to be very ’mecha'."
[00:47] * Aline bliiiinked. "Wait, what? If you mean… …er. Okay I can't continue until that's explained." This confusion, it was a far 'gentler' sort. "I know I've been trying to brush up on concepts from Japanese anime so I can keep up in pop-culture conversations with Shinji, but I don't quite see how that fits the 'mecha' genre's… ah, stereotypes."
[00:50] <Ikari‘Yui> "One of the tech division’s tasks is, of course, to maintain the A-Type equipment for the Evangelions. Apparently your ability to fly is… Somehow manifesting a traditional mecha ability without the equipment. Theoretically, your Eva can fly because that is what mecha -do-."
[00:55] * Aline nodded. "Ohhh, right. Sorry about the sidetrack. I can say it's a combination of basic force manipulation ala the projectile-firing… and slightly changing the… how to put… 'give' of gravity. But that's nothing I have the diplomas to define beyond that." She cleared her throat. "Anyway! I was shown… the design of Paris-2. It forming from early blueprints to completion. I saw
[00:55] * Aline the full design of the Geofront, how the cavern structure and the nature areas were planned and the construction of the primary structures inside…" A dramatic pause, as for a moment Aline sank such that her lips submerged - before quickly moving to a pose that kept her above water. Oops! "And I do mean the /full/ design. There was a chamber under the Geofront that isn't on the maps released
[00:55] * Aline to normal NERV staff. Given my instincts, I figured that it had to be something very significant for it to be omitted like that." She… almost tried to smile knowingly. But it ended up as more of a concerned half-smile. "Would you know anything about that?"
[00:58] * Ikari‘Yui pondered that, frowning slightly as she tried to think. "I wasn’t really on the design team, so I can't say. I can assume, however, that whatever 00 showed you might've been a theoretical plan? I -think-, early on, there were plans to make the Geofront larger, and add extra chambers of 'redundancy/contingency' levels below Central Dogma. But… It just cost too much."
[01:00] * Aline pondered. "…I wouldn't be surprised if it did actually exist, though. It seems a NERV-like thing to do." But a frown, that of a clear 'I tried to do something and didn't succeed' emotion. Information mission #X failed. "Well, at least I asked. Though… maybe something you /do/ know… Who would even know about the theoretical designs? You might know where I am going with this."
[01:02] * Ikari‘Yui chuckled. "Commander Fontaine would, of course. And I imagine the design team would know also…"
[01:03] * Aline was a bit heartened by the chuckle, enough to actually make that knowing smile she only attempted before. "And would Commander Fontaine have wanted to serve as an Evangelion personality template?~"
[01:04] * Ikari`Yui peered over at Aline. "Why don’t you ask her?" She grinned.
[01:06] * Aline stared in clear shock, and actually even horror. "Wh-… but… but she's in charge of the entire operation! I don't care if she does all these special favors for Sera, I… she… she represents the very reason I was looking over my shoulder for agents in shadows! H-h-how could I possibly… ask… (breathe!)… Aaah, I should calm down."
[01:09] * Ikari‘Yui let out a laugh. "But surely Aline, if you’re insinuating that Commander Fontaine is 00's template, then surely you know her well enough to judge if she'll eat you alive or not~"
[01:11] * Aline shook her head violently. Baaaad mental images. "Well… no. She's not an artist, or doesn't carry herself with the feeling of one so often. So unless there is something I don't know about her, it can't be her. I… I guess I won't know until later, if it's going to be like that. A pity, we already know 01's identity."
[01:16] <Ikari‘Yui> "Oh?"
[01:18] <Aline> "Yeah. Elisha Caine. I guess he must have been more enthusiastic about it that his wife?" Aline shrugged openly. "Sure likes Sera, though, so I guess that works for everyone involved, sans… strange… headbutting incidents."
[01:19] * Ikari`Yui seemed to oddly deflate at that. "Ah… Elisha…"
[01:21] * Aline reeeeally drooped. "…Er? So you actually… didn’t know that?… I'm sorry, he must have been a good colleague. To know that there's a copy of him still out there after his death must… sorry…"
[01:22] * Ikari‘Yui waves her hand. "Don’t… Worry about it. I knew about Elisha…" Dr. Ikari sighed a little. "More than a colleague. Elisha was my best friend."
[01:25] * Aline leeeeaned in. "I… see." She leaned backwards, yet again putting herself in danger of sinking before she could make minor corrections. "Look, it's okay. I know how that must be. If anyone's still angry or… doesn't… know, I… I won't tell them about that." Oh god this was so awkward.
[01:27] <Ikari‘Yui> "…?" Dr. Ikari turned to peer at Aline, confusedly. "What?"
[01:31] * Aline blushed, and looked left and right. "I’m sorry, I'm sorry! I… I heard something more than that. I mean, more than just… 'best friend'. I-I-I-I hope I didn't just assume… I thought it might have been before… …" …Damn the human need to breathe. Aline felt like being a submarine right now.
[01:35] <Ikari‘Yui> "Oh, I see." Said Dr. Ikari. She turned away for a moment, staring off into the distance. "I… I am not sure what to say to that. I…" She glanced at Aline. "Elisha was a very lovely man. He would have been a good husband to me, but he wasn’t Gendo. He wasn't -the one-."
[01:37] * Aline nodded deeply. "I know. And the feelings lingered… So that even after then… Right. I'm sorry. I'm a bit afraid of Gendo too, if only because he alone of your family I've never met. I thought he might have been jealous, even of an old love… I don't mean to presume…" Aline was trying hard to keep her emotions in check, though. "I guess I had it easy. I just became a pilot,
[01:37] * Aline met you, heard from your son, and that was it, that was all. No… painful memories left over."
[01:40] * Ikari‘Yui let out a little sigh. She tried to give Aline a warm smile. "Gendo has that affect on people, but he is really a very loving man. And besides… I cannot complain, despite my memories. I imagine Commander Fontaine has it very hard as well. They were extremely close, and very warm…" Dr. Ikari fell silent for a moment, pensively, staring at Aline… Before suddenly, she glowered.-
[01:40] <Ikari`Yui> "Wh- Shinji!"
[01:43] * Aline was /intensely confused/. "Wait what? I… is there something wrong with my relationship with him? A-a-am I going too slow? Should I try to help him cope with more… ah, contact?… Please…"
[01:43] <Ikari`Yui> "W-what? No-"-
[01:43] <Ikari`Yui> [All Aline could hear were the sounds of someone behind her profusely apologising -the words in a foreign language but the tone clearly obvious- the sound of someone slipping- then bolting.]
[01:44] * Aline turned around suddenly… to see nothing. But… she… "…He was there, wasn’t he."
[01:44] <Ikari‘Yui> "Yes. The saddest thing is that I don’t think it was intentional, either."
[01:46] * Aline resumed her regularly-scheduled confusion. "…I can guess but… shouldn't he… know that this is the womens' bath?"
[01:47] <Ikari‘Yui> "Yes. But sometimes… He gets a little absentminded. He was probably thinking about something and took a wrong turn." Dr. Ikari shook her head. "… It was either that or a bet with those Gosselin boys."
[01:49] <Aline> "…They’re up to their usual tricks. I heard them making some kind of bet about Sera with Yanmei when we were leaving. But to do that to Shinji… and I even mentioned the betting thing in one of our emails!… Though I guess he doesn't quite know… er…" She shrugged, but then smirked. "At least he has the figure for it, at any rate."
[01:50] <Ikari‘Yui> "Oh, that’s mean." Said Dr. Ikari playfully. But… At least this cleared the air of any awkwardness for now, right? "Oh… You might not know. But tomorrow is his birthday…~"
[01:52] * Aline giggled. "Don't worry, from me it's a compliment." Too much information? Maybe. "But… wow, really? I guess we'll have to try to something special! Though I don't think 'surprise snowboarding run' is it. Maybe a nice little party with some really excellent cake?"
[01:53] <Ikari‘Yui> "That could work. Something delicious and sweet." Said Dr. Ikari, floating back over near Aline. "He’s rather fond of white chocolate. I'm sure the resort could create something… But aren't you going to give him a special gift?"
[01:54] * Aline widened her eyes. "I'll think of something!… Uh, something and something. Uh… you know, like something special but also a little material thing, I guess I… but I didn't know so I didn't pack… oh well I'll think of it! The other one will be fine fine fine."
[02:01] <Ikari‘Yui> "Hmmhmm." Dr. Ikari smiled, and clapped her hands together twice. "I should’ve told you earlier. But… Ah." She started heading for the edge now, reaching out for her towel. "I think I might grab something to eat. Coming?"
[02:02] * Aline nodded, swimming over to grab her glasses, then her own towel. "Okay, sounds good~"

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