For The Call Of Passion

[23:03] * Aline opened this afternoon much as she might do for a few other afternoons, lately. She had had some of those combat lessons from the tutor Dorian had hired, and… much like with her violin playing? It was only appropriate, Aline thought, to practice swordplay too! Damn heavy sword, but… She had enough room in the foyer/commons room/etc to just move and flow. Slash, thrust, it's all
[23:03] * Aline in the mind, after all!
[23:05] <Ikari‘Shinji> [Therefore, Aline probably wasn’t expecting a knock on the door! It was a rather gentle tap-tap-tap…]
[23:10] * Aline didn't notice the precisely-first knock (since she was in the middle of a shout… yes, it was a bit odd and sorta in a way geeky, but she was mixing Eastern-style kiais with her handling of a Western swordfighting style), but afterwards… "Oh! Ah, okay, hold on, let me get the door." She quickly headed over to the door, fiddled with the lock, and then opened it! …Shinji was
[23:10] * Aline greeted by a particularly sweaty Aline clad in a light yellow blouse with just about the shortest skirt she's worn yet… and leaning against the pommel of a really large sword. "Sh-Shinji, you're here in Paris-2?!"
[23:12] <Ikari‘Shinji> Shinji had been practicing for this. He really had. He was going to be relaxed and confident. A cool smile, swoop in and embrace…-
[23:13] <Ikari`Shinji> In reality, though, the moment the door opened Shinji’s little smile cracked. His eyes widened slightly at the sight of Aline- a blush crept across his face and within minutes, hours of resolve and practice pretty much broke. "U-Um. H-Hi." He held out his hand awkwardly. He was holding a bunch of flowers- deep red roses! "I-I got you these."
[23:16] * Aline reacted maaaybe a bit impulsively. How impulsively, you ask? Enough to lean forward against the sword (driving it slightly into the carpeted floor) and kiss him on the forehead. "Awwww, thank you~"
[23:17] * Ikari‘Shinji blushed, looked down at his feet- his eyes swinging up again to stare at Aline’s oversized sword. "A-Ah, this is your… Er, your Zwuh…Zwuhhthingy?"
[23:20] * Aline nodded swiftly. "Yup! Dorian's been having me practice with close-quarters-combat after I kept screwing up those bite attempts during our last mission… so I incorporated it into my practice!" But she lifted it, holding it in a blade-down, not-ready-to-cut-someone way… and headed over to the back wall to hang it back up on its stand. "Sorry that you had to come in right near the
[23:20] * Aline end of my practice… I probably look like a mess…"
[23:24] <Ikari‘Shinji> "Y-You look fine." Said Shinji, a mite more enthusiastically than intended. As Aline walked back towards the wall, his eyes strayed toward that skirt- before he quickly looked back up again, his already red face reddening. "H-How’ve you been?"-
[23:24] <Ikari‘Shinji> He didn’t cross the threshold yet.
[23:27] * Aline didn't notice him looking at it, but yet… her hand instinctively went down to shuffle the skirt around. Got a bit trapped in a leg for a second there. But she walked back. "Okay, for the most part! We did have another Angel, but thankfully it had been drawn out to sea by something, so we dealt with it there. You probably heard." …Briefest of flashbacks, followed by an awkward,
[23:27] * Aline but a bit (literally) pained look. "…I sorta went down early…"
[23:31] <Ikari‘Shinji> "A-Ah, yeah, I heard." Said Shinji sadly. "I hear it did a lot of damage to the fleet. But… Um. I’m glad you're alright, at least. And I think you did well, even if you went down early…"
[23:34] * Aline did, at this point, reach out to take the roses. "Thanks… I did do a lot of good things there, so I guess there's not too much to worry about. And some other things about that too, but… ah, that's probably something more private."
[23:35] <Ikari‘Shinji> "Ah… O-Of course. I won’t pry or anything…"
[23:38] * Aline blushed, but… Then leaned in just a bit to whisper.
[23:38] <Ikari‘Shinji> "… O-Oh. Oh! Right…" Shinji nodded, he knew the score. "P-Probably best kept quiet then…" He still wasn’t crossing the threshold yet.
[23:40] * Aline finally noticed that little detail, as she pulled back. "…You know, you can come in. It's not like you're a vampire and I have to invite you in or it's impossible…" A slight giggle.
[23:42] <Ikari‘Shinji> "Ah! Right!" Shinji carefully stepped across the threshold, quickly slipping out of his shoes and pushing them to one side as he did so. "S-Sorry, I just- I felt, it was better if you invited me in… So, this is your apartment?" Said Shinji quickly, diverting from the topic. Enough about his neuroses.
[23:43] * Aline slid over behind him, and closed and locked the door, before just as quickly sliding back in front of Shinji. "Yes, I live here. Sophie acts as a sorta roommate, but she’s out at work still~"
[23:44] <Ikari‘Shinji> "O-Oh, so it’s just you and me here?"
[23:46] * Aline closed her eyes, smiling brightly. "Yes, it is~"
[23:49] * Ikari‘Shinji reddened a little- having just ridded himself of the redness, too!- And looked around the room with seeming interest. "So- So I’m here. W-We should do something, right…? M-Maybe we could catch up!"
[23:58] * Aline did a little hand gesture, like a snap outwards with her index finger or such… but not only that, but she switched to (relatively fluent) Japanese! "I think catching up would be a great idea!" (It was worth noting that Aline's conversational style was cute-ish, informal, and rather feminine - 'atashi' self-pronoun and all.)
[00:00] <Ikari‘Shinji> "…" Shinji paused for a moment, then tilted his head in a moment of confusion. "Y-You just spoke Japanese…" He said- still in English, as if working on inertia.
[00:03] * Aline nodded succinctly, and then moved back to English… "Yeah, I studied it a lot over the past two weeks…" Then to Japanese again. "Because I think it’d be better to speak in your native language, since you don't know French yet. Also, I get to understand what Rei's saying~"
[00:07] <Ikari‘Shinji> "W-Wow…" Shinji gave a little chuckle. "You studied it for me, huh? And- And Rei, too, but to be fair most of her words are just teasing." He was speaking Japanese, too. "I… I’m really grateful, Aline. And a little proud, too."
[00:08] * Aline smiled widely. "Yes, yes… I did." She looked into his eyes for a moment. "Now, what was that about catching up, hm?"
[00:09] <Ikari‘Shinji> "Let’s do that." Said Shinji cheerfully, smiling. "Anything you have in mind? I didn't bring any movies with me."
[00:11] * Aline pondered that… "Oh, oh, I don't really stock up on all that many movies myself. Ah…" She thought a bit more, but then perked up. "Oh, I know. Why don't we work together on cooking something while we talk!… Unless you've eaten recently." Aline shot a brief glance at the hanging sword. "I did just work up a bit of a sweat."
[00:12] <Ikari‘Shinji> "I noticed." Shinji giggled a little. "But alright. I’m a little decent at cooking myself, so we could do that~!"
[00:15] <Aline> "Yeah!" …And like that, Aline tugged a bit at Shinji's hand, but then headed over into the kitchen. She diiid grab a vase to start filling with water, for the roses, first. "Mmm… What kind of dish did you think would be good?"
[00:18] <Ikari‘Shinji> "How about… Something spicy and hot?" Asked Shinji- allowing himself of course to be tugged away. "A curry, maybe? But not too hot. I like curry- Rei loves it, so I often must cook it for her- but I like it mild…"
[00:21] <Aline> "Ah, a curry’d be fine then. I think I have some decent ingredients in here… I know Sophie does even more cooking than I do, so…" Aline rummaged through the cupboards, now that the flower vase was well established on the main table. "Mmm, so… got a full spice rack, she must've been shopping again. That's good!" Aline was softly humming something, but as of yet it was rather incoherent,
[00:21] <Aline> not strong enough a melody to come off as anything in particular.
[00:22] <Ikari‘Shinji> "Good, good…" Shinji nodded. "Um… I can handle the start, if you would like to freshen up a little."
[00:34] * Aline nodded. "…Oh… oh! Wow, I totally forgot. I must’ve been too excited." …And like that, Aline /dashed/ off to the bathroom. She even spent a good few minutes in there. Hmmmmm. But, eventually, she'd come out again. It was clear that she washed up and had tried to dry her hair, but… was that perfume? Aline usually wore such understated scents that it was hard to tell, but now?
[00:34] * Aline It was somewhat obvious. Maybe she overdid it?… Smelled like lilies, if he knew what that smelled like. Sweeter bits too, so probably a bit vanilla-ey too.
[00:37] * Ikari‘Shinji gave Aline a welcoming smile- but once she was close enough for him to catch the scene, he blushed. "O-Oh. You smell nice… A-A sort of perfume?"
[00:39] * Aline nodded firmly. "Y-yeah… I don’t usually use ones this strong… er…" Blush blush~ "But I thought it was a special occasion, you know?"
[00:41] <Ikari‘Shinji> "Cooking?" Asked Shinji in a moment of inspired obliviousness.
[00:41] * Aline blinked… "You suddenly visiting, silly!"
[00:42] <Ikari`Shinji> "O-Oh!" Shinji blushed. "Right! Sorry, I…" A pause and a blush. "S-So, what spices should we use?"
[00:47] * Aline patted him on the shoulder. "Nono, it’s alright. But… let's see…" She got a few bottles. "It isn't much of a curry if it doesn't have some cumin, coriander… what's that last one…" She shrugged her shoulders. "Ah! Whatever. But maybe some ginger, a bit of garlic…" Aline proceeded to list a few other spices, or rather, plop them on the table without actually naming them.
[00:47] * Aline "Spices for having flavor rather than for being overly hot."
[00:49] <Ikari‘Shinji> "Right! And we should use some sort of rice base, and maybe chicken for the meat?" Asked Shinji- with genuine enthusiasm starting to creep into his quiet tone.
[00:52] * Aline grinned, grabbing a big box of white rice. "Yeah! I bought a whole lot of rice recently ’cause Marianne had given Sophie some of Yanmei's Chinese recipes, so I snuck in a bunch as a hint to make some of it… But this'll be a nice use for some of it too!… Oh, and I love chicken, we should have plenty~" …She sounded pretty excited about it.
[00:53] <Ikari‘Shinji> "I’ll start cutting the chicken, then!"
[00:56] * Aline meanwhile started to set up the rice cookery! A bit of water to soften it up, heat on the stove, a pan, some cooking oil…
[00:59] * Ikari‘Shinji found the chicken and started to cut cut cut away. The rhythmic chop-chopping would soon fill the air…-
[00:59] * Ikari`Shinji was distracted, however. That perfume was thick in the air and more than once, Shinji caught himself staring at Aline.
[01:02] * Aline smiled as she worked, and… knew she was being looked at, but didn’t seem to act too… surprised? Perturbed? She did look back a few times, smiling playfully, but got back to cooking. Making sure temperatures were right, that sorta thing.
[01:05] * Ikari‘Shinji would return the smiles with bashful ones of his own… But eventually, his distractedness would get the better of him. He looked up at the wrong moment and- "O-Ow!"
[01:09] * Aline suddenly jumped, and rushed in! "Oh oh oh are you okay?!"
[01:10] <Ikari`Shinji> "A-ah, I…" Shinji lifted his hand. There was a thin cut on the back of his right left index finger- it was bleeding, slightly. Shinji was staring at it.
[01:12] * Aline nodded slowly… "Oh my, you must have… that’s okay, I have bandages in my bathroom…" Luckily, the rice was at a point where it needed multiple minutes to simmer, she could get them safely. "M-m-make sure the rice doesn't boil over while I get them!" …And she ran off!
[01:14] <Ikari‘Shinji> "R-right…" Shinji stared at his cut. He’d ruined the moment, hadn't he? Stupid Shinji, stupid… Ugh. He made sure to keep an eye on the rice as he quietly moped, pouting slightly at the water.
[01:23] * Aline came back with a little self-adhering bandage and some disinfectant. "Alright, just a moment~" …A moment longer. For whatever reason, Aline just sort of stared at the wound. …Stared for a bit longer, even sorta bit her lip and shifted it around a little, then finally got to disinfecting and covering the wound. "There we go. It's okay, though… It happens. I know I've burnt
[01:23] * Aline myself on a cooking pot a few times."
[01:26] * Ikari‘Shinji winced at the disinfection- but soon after Aline applied the bandage, he tested his finger. The bandage mucked a teeny bit with its movement (the location ensured that any bandage would cover his knuckle), but it was mostly unnoticeable. "T-Thank you, Aline…"
[01:29] * Aline smiled a little. "You’re welcome… did you want to switch tasks, or are you about done with the chicken?"
[01:31] <Ikari‘Shinji> "O-Oh! I think I’m just about done." Shinji stared at his hand for a while- flexed it slightly- before turning back to the chicken. Chop chop chop.
[01:33] <Aline> "Ah! Alright then." …She needed to stir in some of the actual spices now, come to think of it. So Aline got out a nice big wooden stirring spoon and got to work on that…
[01:35] <Ikari‘Shinji> "I’m done with the chicken." Said Shinji, piling it together and leaving it for a moment. He walked over to Aline- peering over her shoulder. Close enough for her to feel his breath on her neck. "Mm, it should thicken fairly well…"
[01:37] * Aline shuddered instinctively at the very moment he loomed over her… "Ah… Y-y-yes. I think it would… I know I uh… put enough… in." Her stirring got a little… uh. Silly. Loopy? Somesuch.
[01:37] <Ikari‘Shinji> "Oh, can I show you something? If it’s ok…"
[01:38] * Aline suddenly slid the spoon to the far side of the pan it was in - soft enough not to send anything flying, though. She then turned to look at Shinji. She was kinda a bit red… not like an embarassed blush but more a constant thing. "Oh… oh, yeah, sure."
[01:40] <Ikari‘Shinji> "O-Oh, well, it was just going- I was just going to show you how my mother stirs- she, um, she showed me…" Shinji started to redden himself in reaction. What was going on here?
[01:44] * Aline staaared a bit more, and then nodded. "Oh, uh… sure. I guess she must know a special method then!"
[01:46] <Ikari`Shinji> "Um-" Shinji reaaaaached around Aline, leaning forward a little, and started to stir. … It was a rather graceful, curious sort of stir. It was fundamentally similar to Aline’s, yet differed in some subtle way.
[01:47] * Aline stared almost raptly at the pan… yet at the same time… she leaned back a little. Shinji… might've been able to tell that she was breathing a bit quickly, actually.
[01:51] <Ikari‘Shinji> Aline probably didn’t notice Shinji trembling slightly as well- his hand skipping once or twice with trepidation. "I-it's, um. S-She said it mixes love into it. W-Which is a little silly, but…" They were almost touching, with Aline leaning back like that.
[01:53] * Aline … went ahead and leaned back further! "It might be… but I think she might have a point there…"
[01:55] <Ikari‘Shinji> "D-Do you think so? I-is love a proper ingredient for a curry, do you think?" He put a shaky hand on her waist. "O-Or maybe all you need is care…?"
[01:57] * Aline was practically shivering now. "I think it’s a good ingredient for… uh… j-j-just about anything…"
[01:59] <Ikari‘Shinji> "T-The right amount, at least. T-Too much could spoil some things, right?" That hand slid onto her stomach. It was shaking just as much as Aline was shivering, so all in all it cancelled out.
[02:01] * Aline gasped in response to that, and… pushed over to her side a little, to get a bit closer. "…Possibly. You just have to wait for it to… spend enough time cooking first, right…?"
[02:02] <Ikari`Shinji> "T-Th-that’s right. I-it has to… To mature first." He was pulling her closer. "D-Do you think this c-curry is ready yet?"
[02:04] * Aline briefly added the literal element to that, and peered over at the curry. "…I… I think so." She paused, awkwardly, as her eyes shifted every which way. "The… curry in the pot's done too, I think…"
[02:06] <Ikari‘Shinji> "S-S-so it’s ready. W-What next…?"
[02:08] * Aline looked around even /more/ shiftily. "W-w-we could… add the chicken and then… after… uh, letting it simmer a bit longer…" Now she reeeeally blushed, and stared at Shinji a bit harder than before. "I think I have a few… er, sealable bowls… you know, for keeping it fresh in the fridge, if we… wanted to do something else before eating."
[02:10] <Ikari‘Shinji> "R-R-Right. A-And i-it w-would be irresponsible t-to let the c-curry spoil, wouldn’t it?"
[02:11] * Aline nodded once… twice… a whole lot. "Yeah!… yeah, it'd… no, can't very well do that."
[02:12] <Ikari‘Shinji> "R-Right." A pause. "W-Who should get the chicken?" Awkward.
[02:14] * Aline leaaned over towards the cutting board Shinji had been using - only enough to get it with her arms. "I-I-I can get it." If given the chance, she’d slowly slide the pieces into the pan with the knife left over.
[02:15] <Ikari‘Shinji> She was! Board in hand, she’d slide the pieces into the pan…
[02:18] * Aline did! Now just a few more minutes of cooking… just… (A glance at Shinji, as she carefully got rid of the knife) …A few more minutes…
[02:20] <Ikari‘Shinji> "N-Nearly ready…?"
[02:26] <Aline> "Yes!" Her tone was light, but yet… somehow frantic. Like she was desperately waiting for something. Though it was probably obvious what.
[02:28] <Ikari`Shinji> "Y-You’re… Ok, right…?"
[02:31] * Aline nodded ultra-fast. "Y-y-y-yes yes yes I'm okay I just have to get it done and and and…" She looked at the chicken. Stared. Staaaaared. "G-g-get me the bowls. They're in the top shelf, closest to the hall."
[02:33] <Ikari‘Shinji> "R-Right." Shinji… Let go, and rushed off to grab the bowls. It was but a momentary respite from the pounding in his blood as he returned. He felt a little light headed. "Bowls."
[02:33] <Aline> "Y-yeah. They’ll be plastic… with uh lids. Clear."
[02:34] * Ikari‘Shinji held them out to her! "H-Here."
[02:40] * Aline grabbed them! "Ah! Thanks." …And she went through the process of pouring the now-finished chicken curry into said bowls. She needed two of them to do it, but… She looked a little bit more relieved - moreso, when she turned off the oven. "Yeah. Th… thanks."
[02:41] <Ikari`Shinji> "T-That way w-we can have it later…"
[02:46] <Aline> "Right…" Aline went about putting the bowls in the fridge. "I can even let you bring part of it back to wherever you’re staying…" But once she did that? She turned around and leaned her back against that fridge, staring at Shinji with a sort of distant… longing look. "That was… nice… Good… start to the day."
[02:48] <Ikari‘Shinji> "Y-Y-Yeah." Murmured Shinji, crossing over to her- hesitatingly, almost. He was spending a lot of effort trying to keep the little nagging voices and alarms quiet. "W-We d-did well…" They were close again…
[02:52] <Aline> "I know…" Aline was blushing briiight red, and pushed a little bit backwards against the fridge - not to escape, but… to sort of move up and look him a bit straighter in the eye. Also maybe just out of a reflex to get a bit more attention.
[02:54] * Ikari`Shinji placed his hands on either side of her- one hand on her waist, the other on her shoulder. He was shaking, and she could see the deep panic in his eyes. he was like a gazelle trying to decide whether to fight or flee.
[02:59] * Aline tried not to act too predatory, but she could… feel that reaction somewhere within. And wanted to stop it. Of course, it didn’t hurt that, well… if the nervous shuffling of her bottom and the sliding of her hips and her hands desperately reaching forward to hug him… was any indication? What Aline wanted would be clear.
[03:01] * Ikari‘Shinji couldn’t escape now! He couldn't flee- so he fought. He enveloped her tight- pulled her close and kissed her.
[03:03] * Aline didn't even have to be told. She just returned it immediately!… In fact, she practically jumped on him in her enthusiasm! Must've been really anxious…
[03:05] * Ikari‘Shinji stumbled back- but his stumble managed to turn into a shuffling walk even as he took her with her. He broke the kiss just for a moment, and whispered- before starting to plant kisses on her neck. Frantic, panicky kisses.
[03:08] * Aline kissed back, moving closer to the mouth and face… then… held his hand tight. She… tugged a bit, and prepared to go off into the hallway. Towards… towards her room.
[03:09] * Ikari`Shinji followed. He followed this time, meekness in his actions as he let her lead on.
[03:11] * Aline knew this, but… was willing to… was okay… Okay, just… wanted this. The hall walk was very very brief, and once she lead him in, she turned to close the door, and then lock it. "J-just in case." Aline paused for a second, her own nerves starting to rise.
[03:12] <Ikari`Shinji> "I-I-I’m scared." Murmured Shinji, even as he held her tighter. "A-Are you…?"
[03:13] * Aline held on tighter, and… got closer to the bed - then sat on it gingerly. "A-a little. But… it'll be okay. I'm sure it will."
[03:13] <Ikari‘Shinji> "B-because we love each other, right?" Shinji had nowhere to go but forward.
[03:16] <Aline> "Yeah. That’s why… I know that's why." She smiled softly at him, even as she looked verrry nervous.
[03:18] * Ikari‘Shinji started to fumble with her clothes. He felt awkward- but there was genuine passion there, even beyond the fear and neurotic worry.
[03:19] * Aline actually guided his hands a little… while she eventually got to his clothing. She was smiling the whole time it was happening, and her heart was… it was beating so fast…
[03:25] <Ikari`Shinji> [… Time passed.-
[03:26] <Ikari`Shinji> [It was a miracle this had happened at all, considering the sheer boundaries- culture, space, time, psychology. Yet here they were, some time later- after the deed had been done. Quiet. A contemplative air sat on the room.]
[03:28] * Aline laid where she was, breathing deeply… She had nothing quite on her mind to say… but the warm look on her face suggested that it wasn’t out of fear or something bad like that.
[03:29] <Ikari‘Shinji> "… Thank you." Murmured Shinji quietly, after awhile.
[03:35] * Aline turned over to look at him… and smiled. "Thank… /you./ Both of us… I…" She breathed a deep, satisfied sigh. "It’s nice to be loved… and to be able to do that at the same time. Not… everybody can have both…"
[03:37] <Ikari‘Shinji> "…" Shinji embraced her- the sheets moving slightly as he did so. "Y-You deserve it more than anyone else…"
[03:42] * Aline held on tight as well. "…Even if I do…" Tears rolled down her eyes… tears of happiness… "You have to deserve it the same amount. We can… be tied for it." A small chuckle.
[03:44] <Ikari`Shinji> Aline wasn’t alone in shedding tears; her lover was just as sensitive as she was, it seemed. He nestled his head on her shoulder. "Hearing you say that makes me really believe it." He whispered. "I-It feels weird to think of myself like that."
[03:47] * Aline thought about that. The look of considering it was obvious on her face. "…Really?… Wow… I…" She pursed her lips. "I almost am reminded of how… how when before I started taking medications for my depression, it'd be like… I didn't want to even be anything. Like, that I wanted to just fade away. It still gets bad now and then, but… I'm glad that even that's a bit weaker
[03:47] * Aline because of you. Because…" Aline pushed up closer. "…If what you felt is anything like what I just said, then… It's better for you to feel weird, don't you think?"
[03:49] <Ikari‘Shinji> "Y-Yeah, you’re right." Murmured Shinji, his eyes starting to close. "W-We… We're alive, t-together, a-and that means we can… We can find heaven together if we want."
[03:50] <Aline> "Yeah… it does…" Aline laid back further… though her mind drifted to think of something else, first. Something that word made her think of…
[03:52] <Ikari‘Shinji> "…" Shinji was tired. He’d exhausted himself, physically and mentally- and now… "I love you." He mumbled as sleep started to take over.
[03:56] <Aline> "Love you… too…" Aline decided to let herself go too. She took longer to sleep, but… it came.

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