He Said Cheeky Little Raffy Kun

[11:06] <Misato‘> [("They say it’s eight kilometres long-") ("Some places are experiencing a solar eclipse!") ("Millions dead already-") ("Where did it hit last?") ("I hear that the warnings to Urumqi came too late-")-
[11:08] * Misato‘ Katsuragi sat in the busy Geofront cafeteria, paying no heed to the chatter around her. Or trying not to, anyway. She couldn’t help but listen, sometimes, and her stomach clenched each time she heard a statistic for a story about the Angel in space.-
[11:08] <Misato‘> In front of her was a bowl of fat noodles in a teriyaki sauce, as well as reports, dossiers, and a PDA. It was these she was trying to study, although occasionally she’d lift her head and glower at someone at a different table.
[11:24] <Raphael> … it would probably be hard to hear the gentle grinding sound of a chair being dragged back over the general buzz of chatter that seemed to suffuse the cafeteria, but it was there. Harder to miss would be a large, man-shaped shadow sliding into Misato's peripheral vision as somebody took a seat across from her. "Good afternoon, Captain."
[11:34] <Misato‘> "…?" Misato looked up at Raphael, curious as to who it was, and when she realised it.. "Oh. Heh. Hello there, Captain Guillory~"
[11:39] * Raphael looks a little ragged. Much like Misato he’s been exceptionally busy since news of the angel had hit Tokyo-2, mostly working tomake sure the Superheavy units were up to spec. Of course, though there may be bags under his eyes his uniform is as perfect as ever. He doesn't seem to have any food with him, though. "Sorry to interrupt, Captain. I won't keep you for long, but I saw you
[11:39] * Raphael as I was passing through…"
[11:44] <Misato‘> "And you came over to say hello, huh?" She asked, a little smile on her face. Misato looked tired as well. She spent a few seconds slurping up some noodles before continuing. "You look pretty worn out, Raffy-kun~ Marianne keeping you busy, huh?"
[12:34] <Raphael> "Heh. In the career sense, if that’s what you mean." Raphael says with a small smile. He gives her a long look in the eye, almost seeming to stare right through her. "How're you coping, Misato?"
[12:38] <Misato‘> "It should be a crime to make such a beautiful woman work so hard~" Says Misato playfully. She meets Raffy’s gaze with a grin and a wink… That rapidly turns into a put-upon grimace. "It'd be a lot easier if it weren't for -him-." She nodded balefully in a certain direction.
[12:39] * Raphael frowns a little and follows her gaze to find…
[12:46] <Misato‘> [The boy Misato curses with her every breath- Captain Alphonse Wellesley, sitting at a table with the same folders and reading materials that she has- but with the company of Ayanami Rei and Ayanami Go. Rei was rather animated, almost mildly hyperactive, whilst Go was the opposite, quiet and unwilling to look anyone in the eye.-
[12:47] <Misato`> "Hmph. Look at that smug little playboy…"
[12:48] * Raphael eyes Rei closely for a few moments, a faint smile tugging at his lips, before letting out a little chuckle. "You didn’t take my advice to heart, then?"
[12:49] <Misato‘> "I tried. I really did." Said Misato, not quite looking Raphael in the eye. "But he’s just so- urrgh. He keeps talking over me in briefings and he wants to direct the ground team! That's my duty!"
[12:50] <Raphael> "Because you were assigned to it, or because you assumed it was?"
[12:50] <Misato‘> "Because I’m the superior OD, that's why!"
[12:51] * Raphael smirks. "Mature, Captain."
[12:54] <Misato‘> "Look at him." Muttered Misato. "I wonder how long he spends every morning on his hair? Preppy bastard."
[12:58] <Raphael> "Maybe you should ask him for tips?"
[13:00] <Misato`> "…" Misato shot Raffy a blackest of looks. "So it’s like that, huh?"
[13:01] <Raphael> "Like what?"
[13:01] <Misato‘> "So you’ve been recruited by the little bishounen Napoleon too…"
[13:08] * Raphael stares… and then lets out a loud roar of laughter, covering his face with one hand. It's the sort of laugh that sounds like it's releasing days of tension. "I don't have to be taking sides to think you're being ridiculous, Captain," he says brightly.
[13:09] <Misato‘> [Several faces look around at the loud laugh. ("Huh, is he laughing at Katsuragi?") ("I wouldn’t want to anger -that- tiger…") ("… Hey, what's he doing with Misato?")-
[13:10] * Misato‘ stares flatly at Raffy, slurping down some more noodles. "Hmph. I don’t want to talk about this with such an ungentlemanly lout anymore." She huffs.
[13:13] <Raphael> Thankfully for his peace of mind, the mutters go largely unnoticed by Raphael as he catches his breath. "You slurp those noodles pretty loudly for someone so concerned about politeness, Captain." He says, still smirking.
[13:14] <Misato‘> "Now you’re just being culturally insensitive." She mutters.
[13:17] * Raphael chuckles. "So apart from your little quarrel, how is the planning coming along?"
[13:18] <Misato‘> "It’s actually going really well. Why don't I run it all by you?"
[13:19] <Raphael> "If you don't mind, Captain."
[13:31] <Misato‘> "Well. Ramliel is in orbit protected by a Dirac Sea." She shoved a photograph at him of the massive rift in space- like something spreading wings. "We hit it with N2 Mines and everything and it didn’t do any damage at all. Furthermore-" She pointed at eight little dots floating around the central part. "The Angel's Dirac Sea is generated and kept up by these things here, these… 'Sentinels', we call them. They're also armed with pretty powerful positron cannons."
[13:34] * Raphael glances over the photograph with narrowed eyes, one finger tracing the outline of that winglike shape. "… so we need to remove the Sentinels before we can make an assault on the Angel itself."
[13:36] <Misato‘> "That’s right. Attacking the Sentinels from afar doesn't work either, as they're self-repairing, have their own powerful AT Fields, and have some wicked point defense systems. They shot down some of our weapon satellites." She pouts.
[13:37] <Raphael> "Hmm… so what's the plan?"
[13:43] <Misato‘> "Well." She pushed another picture towards him- it was an Evangelion, covered in a bulky-looking suit with thrusters attached. "NERV has four of these suits- E-Type Modules, we call them. They are capable of supporting an Eva in outer space. Now…" She tapped the Angel photo again. "The Angel has these Angelspawn it generates that it drops on cities, and they explode with a lot of force, so we’re going to keep three Evas- and your Dreads- on the ground to act as a defense. If it can drop bombers, it could drop fighters too." She said. "The other four will be launched into space to attack the Sentinels and finally the Angel itself. With the ground force -also- acting as long ranged artillery to shoot down a sentinel if it gets the chance."
[13:48] <Raphael> "Evas… in space." Raphael murmurs slowly, shaking his head. "As pleased as I am that we have something like that on hand, I do wonder if our employers ever step back and realize how ludicrous they look from a distance."
[13:50] * Misato‘ laughs. "You say that, but you realise we’re not using rockets to get them up there, right?"
[13:54] <Raphael> "… We're not?"
[13:55] <Misato‘> "Of course not! Akagi Tsubaki is going to rip open a hole in space itself and push them in."
[13:56] <Raphael> "Ah. That’s far less insane."
[13:57] <Misato‘> "It’s certainly faster!" Misato -beams-.
[14:00] * Raphael chuckles again, leaning his arms against the table. "Are you nervous?"
[14:02] * Misato‘ busies herself (and stalls for time) by slurping away at some more noodles. "… Yeah. I guess I am."
[14:06] <Raphael> "Mmm." Raphael murmurs, nodding slowly as he shifts his gaze over towards the kitchens. "I trust you, Captain, for what it’s worth. You and the rest of the command team. We'll get through this."
[14:15] <Misato‘> [The kitchens are crowded and overworked by the NERV employees. ("Huh? They’re out of teriyaki noodle already?") ("Eh, what's this? Some kind of squid dish?") ("No, I didn't ask for fried bratwurst…") ("Hey… You wan' some readin' 'terial? 50 yen…") ("Oh God, he's -still- talking to her. I bet they're…") ("Don't even say that. I refuse to lose to some playboy Frenchman-") ("Then you better move fast…") ("Give me back my girlfriend, you bastard!")-
[14:16] <Misato‘> "…" Misato stares at Raphael for a moment, before blinking and giving him a big warm grin. "Thanks, Raffy-kun. Just leave it to me, ok? I’ll make sure we kick this thing's butt, and bring everyone home safe at the same time."
[14:26] <Raphael> "That's righ-" He pauses for a moment to cast a glance around at the crowd. He was sure he heard something, but… eh. He dismisses it with a shrug and returns his gaze back to Misato, giving her a very hard to read look. "… I have a suggestion."
[14:27] <Misato‘> "Oh? Tactical advice~?"
[14:28] <Raphael> "… Moral support, perhaps."
[14:29] * Misato` quirks an eyebrow.
[14:36] <Raphael> "I was planning on going to dinner…" He pauses for a moment to think. "… Just a few days after this battle is due, in fact. Purely coincidental. Why don’t you join me?"
[14:40] <Misato`> "Huh…?" Misato stares at him, then abruptly looks away, a light blush on her cheeks which she hides by hurriedly slurping down some more noodles. Finally, she looks back up at him critically. "Cheeky little Raffy-kun…"
[14:43] * Raphael looks absolutely unperturbed and straight-faced. "It makes sense, Captain. I’m a man of my word, and if I've made a promise to meet you on a particular night you can be certain we'll come through all this just fine."
[14:47] <Misato‘> Her blush reddens just a little more at that, but she tries to laugh it off. "Alright. Alright, Sir Raffy-kun. On one condition."
[14:52] <Raphael> "Of course!" Raphael says lightly.
[14:54] <Misato`> "Ok, good. It’s settled." She says with a bright smile. "You'll come spend Christmas with me in Japan~"
[14:56] <Raphael> … and that's enough to break his perfect composure. He splutters, and he's only a mouthful of coffee away from a spit-take. "I… wait… I can't do that, Captain, I've got work and Suzanne and-"
[14:56] <Misato‘> "The man of his word is breaking his word. I guess he really -is- a playboy…"
[14:58] <Raphael> "… this is unfair, ma’am. I only wanted to have dinner with a colleague."
[14:59] <Misato‘> "Hmmhmm~" Misato beamed. "And now you get to keep lonely little Misa-chan company in Christmas. Besides, why don’t you bring Suzie-chan along?" She asks plainly. "And I'll ask Marianne to let you go for a week or so. See? Aren't I the best OD?"
[15:01] * Raphael lets out a put-upon sigh. "This won't exactly help fix all the rumours of us already being in bed together, Captain."
[15:04] <Misato‘> "You make that sound like a bad thing, Raffy-kun."
[15:05] <Raphael> "So you want us to be?" Raphael asks curiously.
[15:08] <Misato`> A kick under the table. "I wouldn’t say that, Raffy-kun. I just think it's stupid to reject such a lovely offer because of rumours."
[15:10] * Raphael lets out a mutter of pain as he takes the kick in the shin, frowning at his attacker across the table. "… point taken."
[15:11] <Misato‘> "Besides, everyone else is clearly jealous~"
[15:12] <Raphael> "Of your amazing new - wholly hypothetical - suitor? Likely."
[15:16] * Misato` gives Raffy a dark look before she finishes off the rest of her noodles. "-Anyway-." She says firmly. "I don’t think you'll entirely be alone in coming to Japan for Christmas. Rei probably will-" A look over at the girl, who was still deep in conversation with Alphonse, a little blush on her cheeks. Misato glowered at his shiny blonde head. "- be coming home for it, I think. Aline too, maybe. Or the other way 'round."
[13:58] * Raphael drums his fingers on the table, giving the OD a thoughtful look. "Well… alright," he says doubtfully. "As long as I can get cleared by the Captain I suppose there's no harm in it."
[14:03] * Misato‘ beams, giving Raphael a celebratory peace sign. "There. That wasn’t so hard to decide now, was it, Raffy-kun? Or…" She leans forward. "Did you have some other plans for Christmas~?"
[14:06] <Raphael> "Well, if you must know then there's a a young lady working on that Xeno Wars film that expressed some interest in taking me out on a date," Raphael says lightly.
[14:07] <Misato‘> "…!?" Misato almost coughs in shock before she narrows her eyes. "… Really. I knew I couldn’t trust you…"
[14:09] <Raphael> "That was a joke, Misato." Raphael says with a small smirk. "If you're so keen to tease others about their love lives, you should really be prepared to be teased in turn."
[14:09] <Misato‘> "It’s bad luck to tease a woman like me, Raffy-kun."
[14:10] <Raphael> "Is that so?"
[14:12] * Misato‘ leaned forward, giving him a smile that was half seductive and half plainly threatening. "We play with our food, Raffy-kun."
[14:14] * Raphael ’s smirk widens. "Your lack of table manners doesn't exactly shock me, Captain."
[14:16] <Misato‘> "Hmph. My table manners are fine~"
[14:30] <Raphael> "If you say so." Raphael agrees with a bit of a chuckle."So, are you really so bored that you need someone like me to keep you company for the holidays, Captain?"
[14:32] <Misato`> "Let’s just say that it's been awhile since I had a friend over for christmas."
[14:35] <Raphael> "Ah…" Raphael nods, shifting in his chair a little. "Well, in that case I'm happy to help, Misato. I don't know much about Japan, but I'm sure the two of us can find something to do, hmm?" He adds matter-of-factly.
[14:36] <Misato‘> "We could drink beer all week~"
[14:39] <Raphael> "Do recall how our last drinking session ended though, Captain."
[14:45] <Misato`> "With you being put in your place!"
[14:48] <Raphael> "I believe the drinking portion of the evening had concluded by that point."
[14:49] * Misato` reddens. "Right. B-Back when you decided to reveal your playboy nature."
[14:52] <Raphael> "Everyone keeps using that term. I’m not entirely sure they know what it means…" He says with a small sigh. "All things considered it wasn't -that- bad, was it? Poorly judged, perhaps, but…"
[14:54] <Misato‘> "It -was- poorly judged. Speaking of which. Did you -really- leave lipstick on poor Marianne’s mirror?"
[14:56] <Raphael> "… I regret many things from that night."
[14:59] <Misato‘> "Hahaha. I don’t, actually. I think that's kind of telling…"
[15:02] <Raphael> "Possibly," he says with a helpless grin. "So… are you feeling any better now, Captain?"
[15:03] <Misato‘> "Haha. I am a little, actually." She says, winking. "Thanks, Raffy-kun."
[15:11] * Raphael gives her a big smile in return and reaches over to pat her on the arm. "I do what I can, Misato… Just happy that I could help. Listen, if you need someone to talk to during all this…"
[15:12] <Misato`> "… You know, Pen-Pen will be jealous if you replace him as my confidante."
[15:13] <Raphael> "…" Raphael gives the woman a suspicious look at that, as a worrying idea finally occurs to him. "… you didn’t bring the penguin here with you, did you?"
[15:13] <Misato‘> "…!" Misato suddenly -beams-. She grabs Raphael’s arm in return. "He's in my office right now! You should say hi~"
[15:15] * Raphael stares at her in disbelief. "I… uh, maybe later, Captain. I'm sure you have plenty of work to do, right?"
[15:26] <Misato‘> "Come on~ You’re scared of Pen-Pen, huh?"#
[15:29] <Raphael> "… No, ma'am, I'm not." Raphael mutters flatly.
[15:30] <Misato‘> "Then… You should say ’hi' at some point." Says Misato with a smile- before glancing back at her work. "Unfortunately, you're right. I -do- have a lot of work. Stupid Angel…"
[15:31] <Raphael> "Well, there'll be plenty of time for things like that after the battle, right?" He says, giving her a soft smile.
[15:34] <Misato‘> "Hehe. Right~!" … "Don’t do anything stupid out there, Raffy-kun. That robot of yours is kinda tiny."
[15:36] * Raphael lets out a low, dismissive noise at that, leaning across the table a little. "I think you'll find I perform quite well, ma'am."
[15:38] <Misato‘> "I guess I’ll find out sooner or later, huh~?"
[15:39] <Raphael> "That's right." He says, giving her hand a quick squeeze before standing. "Well… You know where to find me, Captain."
[15:40] <Misato‘> "Have a good day, alright, Raffy-kun?"
[15:47] * Raphael gives her a brief nod before he turns on his heel and heads for the door, weaving carefully through the seemingly endless crowds that swarmed through the cafeteria. The minute his back was turned to Misato, though, his expression shifted to one of worried contemplation, and he’s lost to his own thoughts as he picks his way through the tables…
[15:49] <Misato‘> ["Hey there." Says a friendly voice at his shoulder.]
[15:55] * Raphael had -almost- made it. He’d beaten the crowds. He'd navigated the maze of tables. He was within sight of the door… and then a voice, carrying over the white noise babble of the rest of the cafeteria's patrons. So close. "Hmm?"
[15:58] <Misato‘> [It belonged to a man in a fashionably ruffled dress shirt and trousers. To describe him as roguish would be stereotypical; nevertheless he had a bit of stubble, and black hair pulled into a ponytail. As he approached he stubbed out his cigarette and tucked it away somewhere. Behind him was a man in a rather large, rough coat, one arm of which hung empty; the man’s hat was worn low over his eyes. As Raffy turned, the hatted man looked away, but the roguish one came closer. "Sure is crowded today, huh? Never know who you might bump into."]
[16:01] <Raphael> "…" Raphael takes this all in for a moment, trying to shift his expression back to its usual impassive state. "I suppose so. Pardon me, but… have we met?"
[16:06] <Misato‘> ["Oh, pardon me. We have a mutual friend." He offers his hand. "Kaji. Kaji Ryoji. I’m the UN Attache for Tokyo-2 Base." He smiles wryly. "Of course, everyone's here now, so…"]
[16:13] <Raphael> "Kaji…" He frowns slightly. The name rings a bell, in that distant sort of way, but it takes him a moment to dig up the source. "… ah. You'd be /the/ Kaji of "that bastard Kaji" fame, I imagine?" Raphael says without the slightest hint of rancour. He takes the man's hand and shakes it firmly.
[16:16] <Misato‘> ["Ah. That sounds about right." Says Kaji, his smile growing a little wider. "I’m glad to be so fondly remembered."]
[16:18] <Raphael> "There's no doubt you're remembered, certainly." Raphael says, a trace of amusement finding its way into his expression. "So, what can I do for you today, sir?"
[16:27] <Misato‘> ["I figured we could talk, Mr…"]
[16:28] <Raphael> "Guillory. Raphael Guillory."
[16:28] <Misato`> ["Ah. You’re the one with the robot built like a demented puppy."]
[16:29] <Raphael> "That's the one."
[16:33] <Misato‘> ["How’re you acclimatising to that? I imagine it'd be rather unfamiliar territory…"]
[16:39] * Raphael gives the man a wry smile for a moment, but then just shakes his head. "It took some getting used to, but all the test deployments have gone exceptionally well. The Thruster team have done their job well." That smile returns again as he gives Kaji a curious look. "But… I doubt you're here for pleasantries, correct?"
[16:43] <Misato‘> ["Well I admit, I did have a question to ask about some other unfamiliar territory you’re entering."]
[16:45] * Raphael makes a small, noncommittal noise at that, but he does motion for Kaji to continue.
[16:46] <Misato‘> ["Is dear Misato still as wild in bed as I remember?"]
[16:46] <Misato`> [If Raffy were to turn around and look at Misato at this point, he would notice, no matter how distant she was, she was currently staring at both him -and- Kaji with a look of alarm and danger.]
[16:51] * Raphael does not turn, but his danger sense is well-honed enough to feel her stare boring into him. His expression doesn’t shift, but there's a new hint of anger in his own stare. "… With all due respect, sir, you're already pushing your luck. In the interest of protecting your dignity I'm going to go now. Let's pretend this conversation never happened, hmm?"
[16:53] <Misato‘> [To Kaji’s credit, being beneath laser-beam stares is not exactly an unusual situation, and he laughs it off. "Ahahaha. Suit yourself. Just- a bit of advice."]
[16:54] <Raphael> Against his better judgement, Raphael pauses. "… if you must."
[16:55] <Misato`> ["The river between men and women is deeper than the ocean, and that goes double for wildcat over there. She barely knows herself, let alone anyone else." Kaji casually reaches back into his shirt and takes out his cigarette case. "Be careful."]
[17:01] <Raphael> "Ah. Suitably pseudophilosophical." Raphael murmurs, completing his turn and heading for the door. "Thank you for your advice, in any case. You have a nice day, Mr Ryoji."
[17:04] <Misato`> ["Same for you, Mr. Raphael." Says Kaji with a smile.]

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