For The Desire To Swim

[14:09] <Yanmei> Shielding her eyes from the glaring sun, a young lady stepped out from the open door of a taxi and into the bustling hubbub of sorts. She tried to carry herself elegantly. She was wearing an elegant outfit, after all, a lacy white dress with matching sandals and sunglasses. "We're here~"
[14:14] * Asuka‘ bounded out of the taxi confidently. She wasn’t exactly… Elegant, in the traditional sense. But she was, nevertheless, Asuka- energetic, confident, and moving with an elegance all of her own. She was wearing a long yellow sundress- it fell to just below her knees. Her hair- shortened after the burns- was worn as long as she could, although it was barely longer than Yanmei's bobcut.
[14:22] <Yanmei> The streets around them were flooded with shops! Glossy windows displayed outfits and souvenirs for all ages and sizes, and open stalls flaunted accessories, local snacks, flowers, and even a few livestock as well. There were shouts everywhere, and somewhere amid the din, was the sound of an acoustic guitar playing a quick, plucky melody. -.
[14:24] <Yanmei> A little further off were some much taller buildings, perhaps the site of a some department stores or office buildings. Yanmei peered around, trying to get a sense of where they were without being swept away in the crowd t-shirt and short-wearing wearing tourist.
[14:27] <Asuka‘> "Eeeeee. This is exciting~" Said Asuka gleefully, stretching with her arms into the air, her body quivering with excitement. "So many people, so much noise~ You don’t see this in Paris-2, do you, Yanmei?"
[14:29] <Yanmei> "No way," she agreed. "Paris-2 keeps getting quieter and quieter. We don't have places like this either!"
[14:31] <Asuka‘> "You’re not charming enough for them to stay, I guess~" Said Asuka happily, bounding along. "Ooooooh, Yanmei!"
[14:33] <Yanmei> "Ehh?" She trailed closely. It would be easy to lose her in a crowd like this? "Find something already?"
[14:37] <Asuka‘> Asuka was pointing at a shop front! The store itself seemed to show only mannikins wearing long, pretty dresses- but Asuka was pointing at something else. A poster- the three Paris-2 Evangelions, in a dramatic pose, with an artistic sketch of the pilots above them. The words "SUPPORT YOUR PROTECTORS! PURCHASE AN EVA BOND TODAY" were written across the bottom.
[14:42] <Yanmei> "Huh." She hadn’t seen anything like this before! The Evas looked so deceptively heroic. And the pilot sketches… She grinned, stepped in front of the poster, and tried to mimic the smile and pose of her drawn counterpart. "…not the same without the pigtails, I suppose," she decided after a few moments, dropping it.
[14:43] <Asuka‘> "Eugh. One Yanmei is enough."
[14:46] <Yanmei> "What sort of thing is that to say?" she complained, and huffed. "You’re starting to sound like that jerk Fontaine more and more."
[14:50] <Asuka‘> "Hah." Asuka put an arm around Yanmei’s shoulders in a very… Casual way. "It's true, though. I wouldn't want to hang out with -that- Yanmei. Not the Yanmei these idiots see…"
[14:54] <Yanmei> "Yeah, but. It's not like we're completely separate?" She regarded the poster again thoughtfully. "The people see what they've been told to see by the media. And I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't intentionally helping to give life to that Yanmei too."
[14:55] <Asuka‘> "Huh." Asuka peeked around at the poster again. "That’s funny. For such an exhibitionist, that makes you sound like a pretty private person."
[14:58] <Yanmei> "It does?" She blinked. "And hey! Who said I was an exhibitionist? There's no way to avoid the spotlight in Paris-2, so… might as well have some fun? At least that's what I say."
[14:59] <Asuka‘> "Whaaaaaatever, Yanmei." Asuka snickered. "Ooh, look at that!" She was off- this time haphazardly dragging Yanmei with her.
[15:03] <Yanmei> Ack… now what?! So excitable. "Is it another poster of yours truly~?" She teased.
[15:04] <Asuka`> "No, idiot, look~" A pet shop- with animals sitting in the windows. Some mewling, some asleep. "Aaah~"
[15:08] * Yanmei was perhaps less moved by the sight of regular animals. Although some of them -were- kinda cute. She tapped on the glass in front of a sleeping white puppy, trying to wake it. "Heh heh. They make better pets that wolves would. Or tigers?" She sighed. "Some people are really weird."
[15:10] <Asuka`> "Wolves or tigers?" Asuka’s eyes lit up. "Where can you get those?"-
[15:10] <Asuka‘> [A little white puppy was stirred to wakefulness. It stared at Yanmei from a prone position, yawning widely.]
[15:12] <Yanmei> "Well, if Isaiah Gabriel-Wei has taught me anything, you get wolves when you’re on vacation in the Alpines. I dunno where the tiger's from, but apparently the head of Science at NERV France has one."
[15:14] <Asuka‘> "Huh? Gabriel-Wei has a wolf? That cissy…?" Asuka coloured. "I want one."
[15:18] <Yanmei> "Looks like you missed your chance~" She wagged a finger. "And you know, no one that has a wolf as a pet can properly be known as a sissy."
[15:20] * Asuka` folded her arms. "Hmph. It’s probably a baby wolf anyway." She started looking around for some kind of department store…
[15:25] * Yanmei snickered, peering around herself. "Well? It's probably in one of those big buildings over there." She pointed. It was a walkable distance, but it meant a fair amount of pushing through the crowds. "Hey, Askua? Is it true that you're probably moving to Hamburg? What's it like there?"
[15:30] <Asuka‘> Asuka started off! Boldly pushing through crowds with shoves if need be- no one was willing to mess with a girl with an eyepatch. "Hum, Hamburg? Well, it’s a big city. A lot busier than Paris-2. It's a city of a million people! And it's a big port city, so there are lots of ships and the cold ocean… It had to be rebuilt a lot after 2I, but it's still very… Old. German architecture is the best~" A 'Lecroft's'-
[15:30] <Asuka‘> Department store opened up in front of them.
[15:36] <Yanmei> "Hey, Paris-2 has some impressive building too. Like… the Louvre? And some other places or something?" Why was she even defending the place? On a subject she knew nothing about? She turned he attention to the store as well now. "Ahhh~ They’ll have what we need for sure! And some other things too~"
[15:37] <Asuka‘> "Other things?"
[15:44] <Yanmei> "High fashion on the French Riviera!" Yanmei placed her hands on her hips, standing boldly! "We can’t pass up this opportunity! I bet there'll be a small salon inside too where we can get our nails done, and more importantly, some consultants to give us advice on clothes and makeup and stuff. This will be perfect!"
[15:48] <Asuka‘> "Aah, I seee." Asuka circled Yanmei. "So that’s what Little Miss Madame wants, huh? Well, you can pay for mine as well!"
[15:49] <Yanmei> "Think again! I'm in danger of losing my salary next month."
[15:49] <Asuka‘> "What? Why?"
[15:50] <Yanmei> "That’s…" she coughed lightly. "I may have made a bet or two? But, anyway, I'm still waiting to see how it turns out."
[15:51] <Asuka‘> "A-haaaaaaa. Idiot Yanmei made a bet with the Gosselin boys, huh." Said Asuka, peering over her shoulder at her face. "Then tell you what. I’ll pay for everything, but you have to do something for me as well!"
[15:52] <Yanmei> "What's that?"
[15:53] * Asuka‘ smirks smugly. "You have to go swimming with me whenever I say, no excuses. And you have to come to my birthday. And buy me a big gift for it, too."
[15:57] <Yanmei> "You and swimming again," she eyed her curiously. "Why do you like it so much, anyway?"
[16:01] <Asuka`> "Hmph." Asuka puts her hands on her hips. "Isn’t it obvious? Swimming is something I love doing. You can't swim in the ocean at home and enjoy it. It's too cold. But here?" A head-toss. "Here, the water is nice and warm. You can swim in it, and play about in it, and you can relax on the hot sand afterwards~"
[16:06] <Yanmei> "Come to think of it, t's the same way in the rest of France too." Yanmei looked off thoughtfully. "There were some beaches back home, but I didn't get a chance to visit? Some of them were dangerous places. Lots of sharp rocks and concrete instead of sand, and they flooded a lot too." -
[16:08] <Yanmei> "But anyway. I'll swim with you, I guess. And I was planning to gift you for your birthday later anyway."
[16:08] <Asuka‘> "Good." Asuka linked an arm around Yanmei’s- 'coincidentally' pinning the girl into place- and started to march in, grinning.
[16:16] * Yanmei was starting to wonder if Asuka got a kick out of dragging her around physically. At least it wasn't a headlock, though! The swimwear department, according to the the store's directory, was close by indeed, with the outbreak of warm weather, there were all sorts of swim trunks and suits visible from the door!
[16:20] <Asuka‘> "Ah! See? My leadership is flawless again~" She headed over to peer at some of the suits. "Aw."
[16:22] * Yanmei …seemed a little down too. Some of them were really -nice- suits. Just not what they were searching for. But… what was that? Somewhat buried in an adjacent corner, only becoming visible as they approached, were actual wetsuits!
[16:24] * Asuka` was holding up a red-and-white striped bikini and staring at it longingly. Ah, for the days when she would wear this again…! She hadn’t noticed the wetsuits yet.
[16:27] <Yanmei> "Really cute, huh?" Yanmei stepped up next to her, examining it. Of course, had they both tried it on under different circumstances, she'd probably be the one to look better in it~ Maybe? She tried to size Asuka up a little.
[16:31] <Asuka‘> Asuka was actually fairly similar in build to Yanmei. She had that athletic, slim look- although she was also obviously younger and an inch shorter. "Yeah…" She held it out on Yanmei for a moment, smirked and put it back. "I’d look better in it, though." … Uncanny, that.
[16:33] <Yanmei> "If you say so?" There was an obvious patronizing tone to her voice - one that stated that she knew otherwise. "Let's try on the stuff we came here to buy! There seem to be fewer of them, but I bet we can find some nice ones."
[16:35] <Asuka‘> "Eh? You’ve seen 'em?"
[16:37] <Yanmei> "Just going on what I've spotted from here." She pointed to the wetsuit corner. "See?"
[16:37] <Asuka‘> "… Ah, I knew that!" Her head in the air, she beelined for them.
[16:39] * Yanmei smirked, but followed afterward. A lot of the wetsuits seemed to have a boring functional sort of look to them, in blacks and silvers. But there were coloreful ones as well! Yanmei rolled up her sleeves, and began to rummage through one of te racks.
[16:43] * Asuka` peered over Yanmei’s shoulder. "Whatcha gonna get?"
[16:45] <Yanmei> "Hm…" Yanmei pulled something out into the open, her eyes brightening. It was bright green, framed along the sides by a matching green and white floral pattern. The arms and legs were short, but not too short. "This is pretty eye-catching?"
[16:48] <Asuka‘> "Hmm." Asuka snatched at it~
[16:49] * Yanmei tried to pull it out of reach. "Ah ah ah~ You should find your own."
[16:50] <Asuka`> "What? Stupid! I don’t want it! I just want to feel it!"
[16:52] <Yanmei> "Huh? What for?" Frowning curiously, she lowered the garment back into reach.
[16:59] * Asuka‘ grabbed it, and felt the fabric. "Hm. Yeah, I see…" She bared an arm- a grisly burn scar running across the flesh- and gingerly rubbed the fabric across it. After awhile, she nodded. "Doesn’t feel too bad."
[17:01] * SyntaxTerror has joined #nervfrance
[17:03] <Yanmei> So that was why. Yanmei had assumed they would try them on to feel how they felt? "Find anything for yourself yet?"
[17:05] <Asuka‘> "Hmmmmm." Asuka let go of Yanmei’s green suit, and looked around… And around. Aha. She grinned, and grabbed something. "What do you think of -this-, Miss Popular?"-
[17:08] <Asuka‘> She held out a suit. The majority of it was red- the chest, inner thighs and calves were red, whilst the rest was a brighter red. A flame decor ran down the arms and the sides, too…
[17:10] <Yanmei> "Not bad~ All that red, though," she giggled. "It’s like you're trying to imitate Unit-02."
[17:11] <Asuka‘> "Eh?" Asuka frowned. "Red’s my favourite colour! It's the colour of bravery and confidence. Besides, it's the colour of my plugsuit, too."
[17:13] <Yanmei> "It is?" She examined the wetsuit more carefully now. "I wonder what qualities the color purple represent."
[17:16] <Asuka‘> "Purple? It’s the colour of nobility." Said Asuka, folding her arms together.
[17:16] <Yanmei> "Very nice ring to it." Yanmei beamed. "Well! Let's go ahead and try these on?"
[17:18] <Asuka‘> "Right!" And Asuka dashed off to the changing rooms~
[17:28] * Yanmei did the same! And emerged later, decked out in green and white, her scars invisible for now. Padding to a mirror, she examined herself with mixed feelings. "Not as bulky as a plugsuit, but… it’s a lot more snug?" She posed a few times, trying to decide how she felt.
[17:30] * Asuka‘ emerged a little after Yanmei did. The suit fit her well. In fact, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that it looked like it was made for her- she seemed to wear it like a second skin. She stared at Yanmei for a moment- then smirked. "Hah."
[17:31] <Yanmei> "What's with that expression?" She flipped her hair, returning to the mirror for another pose. "I think it looks good."
[17:34] <Asuka‘> "I look better." Said Asuka, heading over and comparing herself in the mirror.
[17:36] <Yanmei> "Yeah right!" Yanmei laughed. "Tell you what. When we get back, we’ll grab someone impartial to say who looks better."
[17:37] <Asuka‘> "Like who?"
[17:38] <Yanmei> "Like… hm. Why not de Pteres? He doesn’t have anything to lose or gain either way."
[17:38] <Asuka‘> "Not the Fifth Child." Snapped Asuka. "That’s not impartial at all!"
[17:42] <Yanmei> "Oh? Did you two have a fight or something?" she grinned. "Well, let's see. The Bunnies are out. Blanc is in a bad mood and shouldn't be bothered. Tsubaki is… …Tsubaki. Well, who does that leave? The Ikari kids?"
[17:44] <Asuka‘> "Pfft, no. We didn’t have a fight. It's just that he's a boy, and so it wouldn't be fair for you~" She folded her arms and smirked. "Ikari kids… No to that Shinji kid, but the little girl might be a good jud- wait, no." Frown! "She spends all her time with your pet boy, so that's not fair either!"
[17:46] <Yanmei> "He's not my 'pet boy'," Yanmei tsked. She frowned, thinking deeper. "Then… one of the scientists? Akagi, maybe."
[17:47] <Asuka‘> "Hm…" Asuka frowned. "We’ll do a panel. Get Dr. Akagi, Dr. Ikari and Freya."
[17:48] <Yanmei> "I can live with that?" She nodded firmly, and then flashed a brilliant grin. "Of course, it's already obvious what they'll say."
[17:49] <Asuka‘> "’Ah, Asuka~ You're the epitome of feminine beauty and grace as always~'"
[17:51] <Yanmei> "That's some imagination you have~" Yanmei reached out to pat her on the head.
[17:52] <Asuka‘> "Imagination!?" Asuka immediately moved to block Yanmei’s hand and put her into another headlock.
[17:58] <Yanmei> "Oof. Hey!" She managed to break free, though, with a sudden surprising wrench, backtracking toward her stall. "Not this time~ Now let's let's dressed and buy these things and see what else we can do this evening!"
[17:59] * Asuka‘ eyed Yanmei through narrow eyes as the girl evaded her unbeatable headlock… But shrugged. "You’re on, Yanmei~"

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