He Said Are You Sure You Re Not Psychic

(09:34:14) * W tapped slowly, rhythmically, on the table. He was staring rather intensely at the meager intelligence he'd been offered. After a few minutes, he moved them a few centimeters to the side - where he filed evidence that was no longer useful. W picked up his metal suitcase and limped over to the window. He sat down and clicked it open, looking at the contents sternly.
(09:42:32) Nagisa‘Kaworu: A pair of arms slid around W, brushing his neck as they went. Two pale hands before him, both of them holding a cup of hot chocolate- one was left on the floor for W. "What’s that you have there, Double-chan~?"
(09:48:42) W: The case shut with calm deliberation. The lower half of the case was covered by more of the very sturdy-looking metal, with a digital number pad on one side. Digital, by the looks of it. The inside of the upper half of the case betrayed a criss-crossing material running just underneath the exterior - a Faraday cage. "If you work hard enough, maybe you'll find out. But I'd rather you used that energy for the investigation. Let's be clear about something. Who exactly do you report to?"
(09:52:23) Nagisa‘Kaworu: "In what fashion?"
(09:54:10) W: "Who gets all the inside information of what you find out, who can tell you to kill me. That sort of thing." He took the cup, blew on it softly, and took a sip.
(09:55:42) Nagisa`Kaworu: "Commander Fontaine, naturally."
(10:03:02) W: "Right." A deeper gulp of the beverage. He stared out the window. "She’s ruling over a kingdom her husband left her. I thought monarchy was out of fashion already."
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(10:32:20) Nagisa‘Kaworu: "Heeheehee." Kaworu sat down, legs folded, smirking at W as he sipped his coffee. "If it’s a monarchy, why is Ikari next in line?"
(10:40:45) W: "The only heir isn't anywhere near of age. And haven't they all been in bed for ages, anyway? You can't cover up ideological inbreeding with just a name."
(10:42:18) Nagisa‘Kaworu: "Double-chan?"
(10:43:09) W: "What?" There was a certain impatience in his voice.
(10:44:31) Nagisa`Kaworu: "Isn’t it natural for people working in the same organisation founded from a common ideology to share that ideology?"
(10:47:25) W: "Of course. But this is way too neat. There hasn't been a single person with even slightly revolutionary ideas in command."
(10:49:53) Nagisa‘Kaworu: "Revolutionary in regards to the rest of the organisation?"
(10:56:07) * W threw his hands up in the air. "In regards to anything! This isn’t how power structures should work! It doesn't -make sense- by itself."
(10:56:35) Nagisa‘Kaworu: "You’ve lost poor little old me, Double-chan. Why don't you start from the beginning?"
(11:05:57) * W sighed. "The succession of people and ideas here is… weird. With any larger organisation, that's just to be expected. There's always smaller factions forming in these places. But there's a whole other dimension to everything here. And that no one else has bothered to map it all out or even mention it on record anywhere is annoying the hell out of me."
(11:08:16) Nagisa‘Kaworu: "Ah, but you know what the other dimension is?"
(11:12:56) W: "Not who runs it or who all are involved. But the nice thing about omnipresent sub-factions is that they’re omnipresent. So I don't really need to look into it, it'll just surface as I go along."
(11:22:28) Nagisa‘Kaworu: "Oh, I see." Said Nagisa in a tone that suggested his mind was blown. "But what if they find out you know, Double-chan?"
(11:25:01) W: "I wouldn’t be here if they weren't ready for it. They're probably just expecting the other riddle to be slightly easier to solve."
(11:32:09) * Nagisa‘Kaworu sipped his hot chocolate. "You sure can read them easily, Double-chan." He leaned over, centimetres from W’s nose. "Are you sure you're not psychic?"
(11:39:03) W: "-Speaking- of psychic." W shifted a few centimetres backward, so that he had just enough room to take a sip from his own cup. "What's the deal with the Zhang couple? Can we be sure they weren't doing that before it was documented?"
(11:43:31) Nagisa‘Kaworu: "You mean their Love Love Link?"
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(11:48:19) W: "Yeah. If it’s strictly a gene thing, they should've been capable of it without nonconsensual psychic intercourse. Considering your relationship with the pilots, do you think they were showing any signs of something like that before that?"
(11:55:12) Nagisa‘Kaworu: "Hmmm." Nagisa rubbed his chin. "Ah, I don’t think so. The Love Love Link requires an E-Gene and an A-Gene bearer to conceive a child together. Or at least we think so from our data, which is limited to exactly one couple who developed it in that way." He sipped his chocolate, mulling over it, before brightening. "On the other hand, we have lots of data about Blanc's AT Field, and it lacks
(11:55:13) Nagisa‘Kaworu: a Love Love Link with Shinji-kun. So I think the theory holds, so they couldn’t have formed such a bond." He winked. "I know you think the Zhang couple's claim to platonic love is ridiculous, but the truth of the matter is that I'm pretty sure it has been up until around that Love Love Link was formed."
(11:58:20) W: "Oh, it's possible that it is that. It's their motives I question. Do we have tapes of when he was shot?"
(11:58:53) Nagisa‘Kaworu: "We do. You question their motives, Double-chan?"
(12:09:17) W: "I’m saying the platonic nature isn't an end, but a means. At least that'd be marginally less boring for me. And Zhang's reaction to the sabotage is on tape?"
(12:09:46) Nagisa‘Kaworu: "Naturally, Double-chan."
(12:17:06) W: "Video of de Pteres’ walk on the town last wednesday?"
(12:17:46) Nagisa‘Kaworu: "I haven’t checked, but no doubt we should. Double-chan?"
(12:18:00) W: "Blanc's bedroom last night?"
(12:18:51) Nagisa‘Kaworu: "Of course."
(12:18:53) W: "Sweet. S2 knows its stuff."
(12:19:37) Nagisa`Kaworu: "Double-chaaaaan."
(12:23:02) W: "What?! I can hear you, I’m right here."
(12:24:42) * Nagisa‘Kaworu put his chocolate aside, leaning forward and shifting onto his hands and knees, crawling up to once again shove himself into W’s personal space. "What are you thinking, Double-chan? You're thinking something incredible, right? You're not just being a pervert?"
(12:31:00) * W did his best to stay still, unfettered in the face of deviance. "O-of course. You're handling that department just fine."
(12:32:56) Nagisa‘Kaworu: "Ah!" Kaworu looked indignant, and didn’t move from his position. "You're the one asking the questions, I'm supplying the answers, so that makes -you- the pervert. But come on! Why did you ask those questions? I'm really curious~"
(12:39:35) W: "Oh, I h-have to know how far S2 is prepared to go under normal conditions. I -think- this counts as normal. Just, you know… precautions."
(12:40:53) Nagisa‘Kaworu: "They go pretty far. -Especially- on Blanc." Said Kaworu. W would be introduced to the terrifying sensation of someone doing an insy-winsey-spider along his chest. "But when you say that the platonic thingy isn’t an ends…?"
(12:44:35) * W quickly got to his feet and looked the other way, slurping down the rest of his cocoa ponderously. "I don't know, I'll figure that out later. Something pedestrian like parental relationships, I'm sure."
(12:45:16) Nagisa‘Kaworu: "Huh…?" Kaworu was sitting back primly where he was, sipping his chocolate. "I don’t get it, Double-chan…"
(12:51:30) W: "Trying to prove something, or avoiding some trauma. Or whatever. I really don't care, as long as I know how they act with the relationship."
(12:52:30) Nagisa‘Kaworu: "Eh? It sounds like you don’t know about their relationship at all now, Double-chan!" Said Kaworu innocently, sipping his chocolate.
(12:59:27) W: "I'd have something by now if I didn't have to spend half my time figuring -you- out! Fontaine said you had connections, but so far I know you slept with Blanc, and that's it! Maybe you could give me a thorough explanation of your view on them, to start with?"
(13:04:20) Nagisa‘Kaworu: "On Zhang Couple?"
(13:05:39) W: "Yes. And what effect Tokyo, the sabotage and the Love Love Connection have had on them."
(13:06:07) Nagisa`Kaworu: "Oi, oi, not all at once, Double-chan! I should start at the beginning, no?"
(13:09:53) W: "Fine, whatever." W sat down on the chair by the desk and lay on the table, looking sideways at the boy. It was slightly awkward due to the headphones. "Start at the beginning, Nagisa."
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(13:18:25) Nagisa`Kaworu: "Ok, so, last year, there was a boy and a girl named Isaiah and Yanmei, ok?"
(13:19:46) W: "Sure. Both of them went to St Louis."
(13:22:00) Nagisa`Kaworu: "Right! Now, Yanmei is a pilot. A pretty popular girl with lots of charm. Isaiah is a brilliant boy who feels very lonely, living with his unloving father. They meet at school."
(13:23:48) W: "And what is it that happens then, Nagisa?" W asks the table.
(13:24:28) Nagisa`Kaworu: "Yanmei shows Isaiah a bit of kindness, and suddenly the friendless boy has a friend." Said Kaworu, draining the rest of his chocolate. "So then the two begin hanging out."
(13:26:40) W: "How long did it take for them to openly treat each other as girlfriend and boyfriend?"
(13:27:55) Nagisa`Kaworu: "Hey! You’re skipping the stoooooorrryyyyyyyyyyyyy, Double-chaaaaaaaaaaaan!'
(13:28:47) W: "I'm making relevant queries."
(13:30:13) Nagisa‘Kaworu: "If I tell you, you promise to listen to the rest of the story?"
(13:30:24) W: "I promise."
(13:30:38) * Nagisa`Kaworu beamed. "I’d say since March."
(13:34:26) W: "That'd be under a month after they met."
(13:35:33) Nagisa‘Kaworu: "No no no. -This- March."
(13:37:56) * W perked up a bit. "You wouldn’t consider pulling her out of a flaming wreckage in a battle zone an open relationship?"
(13:40:37) Nagisa‘Kaworu: "… Does that mean you’ll be my boyfriend if I were to pull you out of a flaming wreckage, Double-chan?" Asked Kaworu with the right sort of innocence in his tone to suggest mischief.
(13:43:12) W: "If I left that door open for you and acted innocent about it while heading out to engage in mortal combat, yes."
(13:49:31) Nagisa‘Kaworu: "Oh, Double-chan. I think you’re giving Yanmei-chan too much credit. I don't think she was really in any sort of coherent state of mind at the time. Either way, their romantic relationship didn't start there. When I first met them after Qaphsiel's attack, they seemed to be comfortably platonic. I suspect he'd become a sort of very close confidante at the time, since she didn't seem to have
(13:49:31) Nagisa‘Kaworu: any problem sharing a room with him. And I -know- for a fact that they weren’t romantic when I tried to steal Isaiah from her."
(13:50:08) W: "You tried what."
(13:54:30) Nagisa‘Kaworu: "I tried to steal Isaiah from her in the name of learning through justice~" Said Kaworu cheerfully. "I was rather stupid at the time. But… She didn’t react like a girlfriend. She was more like a very close friend who thought I was dangerous. I think she actually talked to him about me and asked what he wanted… And, well." Kaworu shook his head. "Isaiah didn't want to be my lover. I
(13:54:32) Nagisa‘Kaworu: always wondered if Yanmei would act differently if I were a random girl hitting on him…" A chuckle. "But then December came about, and something very interesting happened…"
(13:55:45) W: "The-" Cogs turned. "What happened in December, Nagisa?" He asked with a resigned tone.
(13:56:56) Nagisa`Kaworu: "Nothing happened. Except the Nothing happened in a Love Hotel. The Operations Director of Tokyo-2 misread their body language-" A polite chuckle- "And tried to send them to one. They weren’t there very long."
(13:58:14) W: "Easily explained away by fear of the other one's reaction. But that's pretty weak by itself. Go on."
(14:01:07) Nagisa‘Kaworu: "Well, you see, ah, you haven’t met Katsuragi Misato, have you?"
[17:33] <W> "No, I have not. I think her file…" W grabbed one of the papers on the desk, held it lazily in front of him. "And the aforementioned behavior are good enough, though. Was she ever considered a suspect?"
[17:34] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "She wasn’t. She had a solid alibi." Said Kaworu.
[17:35] <W> "And what was that?"
[17:39] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "She was attending a christmas party at the Tokyo Minifront."
[17:40] <W> "Alright. I suppose that’s good enough for now."
[17:41] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "But anyway~" Said Kaworu cheerfully. "Misato has a wonderful little habit."
[17:42] * W adjusted the music player idly. "What’s that?"
[17:43] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "She likes to tease people. So when she saw the Zhang couple, she decided to tease them both by flirting with the boy."
[17:48] <W> "Not entirely uncommon. Probably more than normal in these circumstances."
[17:51] * Nagisa`Kaworu smirked a little at something before continuing. "You’re totally right, Double-chan, but Yanmei reacted pretty jealously. Actually…" Kaworu dragged W's briefcase towards him and started knocking on it, holding it up to his ears. "Ever since Isaiah was shot and put into a coma in the St. Louis terror attack, she's been very protective of him. These days she's even more protective as well as super-jealous. Heehee."
[17:52] <W> "Oh? That's actually useful, Kaworu. I thought that was just de Pteres' thing."
[17:55] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "What, being protective?" Thunk thunk thunk.
[18:06] <W> "Yeah, that. And it’s not a piñata or a christmas present, it's a well-designed container with impact absorbers, and, if those fail, teeny tiny explosives."
[18:07] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "Oooh, really?" There’s the sound of a distant -crash- as a briefcase is hurled into a wall. "… Aw, it didn't explode…"
[18:14] <W> A flinch from W at the noise. "Anything else you had on your mind?"
[18:14] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "I’m curious about something, Double-chan."
[18:15] <W> "What's that, Nagisa?"
[18:17] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "You’ve seen all the pilots now, and listened to them talk about each other and themselves. What do -you- think about them?"
[18:28] <W> "What do I think..?" The restrained enmity in his voice disappeared for a moment. "They're strange specimens, every one of them. I can connect all of them to archetypes I've seen end up committing murders, or worse. With slightly mitigating circumstances at most. But the fact that they're -functioning- in this environment… There's something to say for them managing that."
[18:29] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "But is that sustainable, Double-chan?"
[18:35] <W> "I don’t see why not. This isn't really a field there's been a lot of studies on. It's really anybody's guess on which of them might snap first. Blanc has things crawling around in her mind, Zhang's trying to bite off much more than she could ever chew, and de Pteres manages to worry about both of those things like they were his own. Who knows? Sometimes people can handle things."
[18:36] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "Like you, Double-chan?"
[18:37] * W sat up straight, and frowned. "What do you mean? I’ve got nothing comparable to those three's problems."
[18:40] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "But Double-chan…" Kaworu fell backwards, sprawling out on the floor. "Aren’t you here worrying about other people's problems, too? Aren't you here, risking that you might be biting off more than you can chew, too?"
[18:49] <W> "I'm not here to be anyone's therapist or take a bullet for anyone. I'll bring out the truth, and then I get to go. The truth might be too much for some, but that's really not any problemof mine."
[19:29] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "Get to go where, Double-chan?"
[19:36] <W> "Where I want. It’s a pretty big case with a lot of unknowns to work with, so they said it'd be the last one I have to do for them."
[19:38] * Nagisa‘Kaworu laughed quietly. "And then what will you do, Double-chan?"
[19:40] <W> "Dunno." A pause as he inspected Kaworu’s expression carefully. "You know that "last case" means they'll probably kill me after I'm done, right?"
[19:48] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "Naturally, Double-chan. Which means you either have accepted your imminent demise…" Kaworu smiled gently. "Or you’re planning to somehow evade the ones who'd kill you. Which would explain why you want to figure out the 'omnipresent' sub-faction. You want to know all the pieces. But you know that if you want to live through this, you're biting off more than you can chew. It'd be less trouble if you simply laid back and died."
[19:51] <W> "Less trouble?" W grinned. "I think you're underestimating my love of mysteries, Kaworu."
[19:53] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "Then why don’t you love me yet?!'
[20:00] <W> "You're not a mystery, Kaworu, you're a deviant weirdo. There's a difference. Now, if you don't mind, I could check out those tapes. Go… go do something productive."
[20:05] * Nagisa‘Kaworu frowned, rolling over and getting to his feet. "That’s not a very nice thing to say." He said, heading over to W and tickling the hairs on the back of his neck. "Trust me when I say that it's more trouble to just die. The mystery will be solved sooner or later, and where will you be then?" A cute little chuckle, before Kaworu pirouetted around. "Well! Off to find those tapes~"
[20:10] <W> "Right. Good luck." Eventually, the door shut. The boy took out the player from his pocket. It was set to 90 bpm. Slightly above average. He took off his headphones, leaned on the table with his elbows, massaged his temples and wondered how much time he had.

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