He Said Use Protection

[11:41] <Yanmei> During the half-hour break she had between firearms practice and melee practice, Yanmei made her way through an area of the Geofront that she rarely ventured to, and indeed had been outright avoiding since the pilots' adventures at Eden Base: The Science Division's turf. But today she had a somewhat decent reason and was searching for a particular office.-
[11:42] <Yanmei> Which she did indeed find after a few minutes of wandering and smiling politely at the people in white coats that she passed. She knocked.
[11:43] <William> ["Come in." Came a tired voice.]
[11:44] <Yanmei> So Yanmei swept into the room, an obnoxiously bright smile on her face. "Hello Dr. Gabriel~ It's been a while!"
[11:45] <William> [Dr. Gabriel stared at Yanmei impassively, reaching up to slowly rub the stubble on his chin. "It's you."]
[11:48] <Yanmei> "It's me, yes." She didn't take a seat. Instead, she leaned against the doorframe. "Designing any new weapons lately?"
[11:50] <William> [Dr. Gabriel gave her a deeply sour look. "Somewhat."]
[11:54] <Yanmei> "Well, I won't pry. It's probably nothing I'd understand anyway? I just came by to give you some updates. You and Isaiah don't talk much do you?"
[12:04] <William> ["Never." He grunted.]
[12:05] <Yanmei> "Then you haven't heard anything, have you? About the Libido Effect?"
[12:06] <William> ["The Libido Effect. No, I heard of that. Some AT true love ridiculousness. How unlucky for you."]
[12:11] <Yanmei> "It's not so ridiculous, Dr. Gabriel." Now it was Yanmei's turn to look a little sour, although she was better at toning it down than he was. "It's something that forced me to become more aware of his feelings than I was even before, whether I wanted to or not. And… it's forced me to make adaptations to someone knowing mine. It's… alien. But we're getting used to it."
[12:17] <William> ["I'm sure."]
[12:18] <Yanmei> "…" She paused, as if waiting for him to say something more.
[12:18] <William> ["What?"]
[12:20] <Yanmei> "… we're probably going to get married," she blurted out. "In five or six years. Give or take a few. I think this might actually be a little what marriage feels like already…"
[12:21] <William> [Dr. Gabriel froze. "… Marriage?"]
[12:25] <Yanmei> "We've talked about it? There are things we know about each other than no one else knows. Things we'd do for each other that no one else would. We're comfortable enough with each other that it seems like the natural next step." She was casually looking around the office. How weird it felt to be talking to this asshole about it.
[12:26] <William> ["…" Dr. Gabriel stares at her very hard for a moment before looking away, an odd look on his face. "Do you really love him that much, Zhang?"]
[12:28] <Yanmei> "I love him. I want to protect him."
[12:29] <William> ["Can I ask you why…?"]
[12:32] <Yanmei> "A reason? I guess it's because it's him."
[12:33] <William> ["What do you mean by that?"]
[12:35] <Yanmei> "It's hard to explain." She frowned. "Or rather, I'm not sure if there is a reason? I love him because I love him. He makes me happy."
[12:39] <William> ["…" Dr. Gabriel stared at the wall with a hard expression. "I guess if you can't put it into words, then you really do love him…" He tapped his fingers against his desk. "Congratulations. I'm sure you'll make a very good wife."]
[12:40] * Yanmei stared a moment, unsure if he was being genuine. "There's something else."
[12:46] <William> ["Oh? Are you pregnant?" He asked sarcastically.]
[12:46] <Yanmei> "… Well, close enough."
[12:48] <William> ["…" Dr. Gabriel stared.-
[12:49] <William> ["So I guess he made the same mistake I did seventeen years ago?"]
[12:50] <Yanmei> "Eh…? What mistake would that be?" Her brow furrowed slightly in confusion.
[12:51] <William> ["Not using protection." Dr. Gabriel has a cruel little smirk on his face- Yanmei can just tell he's patting himself on the back for that one.]
[12:56] * Yanmei scowled at him, and then tossed her hair. "Think adoption. Except not really? We're babysitting, but it may be for a while. And it turns out that -he- actually -has- a paternal instinct."
[12:57] <William> ["Indeed?"]
[13:00] <Yanmei> "It's his ambition to be a dad, you know. She's just a baby, but he's been spoiling this little girl like none other. He's even taken a leave from school for a while."
[13:04] <William> [Dr. Gabriel stared at Yanmei. "I see. Do you think he's a good father, then?"]
[13:05] <Yanmei> "Yes," she said simply. "But I was thinking you might care that your kid wasn't going to school and why? And that he might end up trying to raise her if this baby's mother doesn't recover?"
[13:06] <William> [Dr. Gabriel shrugged. "He's fled the nest. Found love, planning out his life. Pondering marriage and kids. He has a job. Not my problem."]
[13:10] <Yanmei> "…I see," she said. Another pause.
[13:11] <William> ["What?"]
[13:11] * Yanmei sighed. "Forget it. It's time for me to get going anyway?"
[13:16] <William> ["…" Dr. Gabriel sighed. "I should admit something. I was surprised when you said the two of you were considering marriage."]
[13:16] <Yanmei> "Were you?" Yanmmei blinked.
[13:19] <William> ["I honestly didn't expect the two of you would go that far. I didn't think he'd ever touch someone so deeply."]
[13:21] <Yanmei> "It surprised me too at first? I wasn't planning it. But… things happen. He's a good guy. More than that."
[13:21] <William> ["Oh?"]
[13:23] <Yanmei> "He saved my life. And… he's protected me in his own way every bit as hard as I've tried to protect him. He's actually pretty heroic!"
[13:26] <William> ["Pretty heroic. Yes." He frowns. "A lifetime of timidity, he meets you and he -changes-. For the better, even. You're a good influence on him, Zhang."-
[13:27] <William> [Dr. Gabriel looked away for a moment. "Better than I am, at any rate."]
[13:35] <Yanmei> "… if it's any consolation? I think your influence caused him to want to use a different style of parenting."
[13:36] <William> ["That's good. I've never been very good at being a father…"]
[13:38] <Yanmei> No kidding. But she said something else instead. "It's not like I wouldn't let you in if you wanted to drop by the apartment sometime. I do have manners."
[13:40] <William> ["I don't think that'd be a very good idea, honestly." Dr. Gabriel shook his head. "I can't… Connect with him. Not anymore. He'd be happier if I just stayed away."]
[13:44] * Yanmei sighed. "You're a hard guy to understand. Calling him an accident one minute, and then acting tragic about your relationship the next."
[13:47] <William> ["He's all I have left of the woman I love, but I know if he hadn't been born she might still be alive today."]
[13:49] <Yanmei> "That wasn't his fault. He was just a little kid…"
[13:51] <William> ["…" Dr. Gabriel waved his hand. "Zhang, I want you to make me a promise."]
[13:53] <Yanmei> A little guarded. "What is it?"
[13:54] <William> ["Be happy." Said Dr. Gabriel. "-Enjoy- the time you have together. Don't hold back when it comes to your love for him. He can be taken away from you at any time, so the time you have together is precious. If you're going to marry him, then you need to love him with everything in your soul."]
[13:58] <Yanmei> "Thank you for that. I intend to," she said. But now the idea of him being taken away was lodged in her brain firmly once again, and it didn't look as if it was leaving any time soon.
[14:00] <William> [Dr. Gabriel nodded slowly. "Good."]
[14:02] <Yanmei> "I don't… intend to let him be taken away anytime soon," she added grimly.
[14:03] <William> ["I know."]
[14:03] <William> ["Make sure…"-
[14:03] <William> ["You aren't taken from him, either."]
[14:06] <Yanmei> "DOn't underestimate me, Dr. Gabriel." Yanmei flashed a smile, backing off a bit toward the door again. "I'm not going anywhere either."
[14:07] <William> ["Good."]
[14:08] <Yanmei> "One last thing, Doctor?"
[14:08] <William> ["Mm?"]
[14:09] <Yanmei> "If my mother is still one of your work contacts, I'd appreciate her not finding out about these things until I tell her."
[14:09] <William> ["Afraid she'll say no?"]
[14:10] <Yanmei> Yanmei's eyebrow twitched a little bit. "D-don't be silly. It's just an intensely personal topic, that's all."
[14:11] <William> ["I won't tell. I hardly speak to her about anything but work." Dr. Gabriel sighed. "Pass a message on to Isaiah, will you?"]
[14:11] <Yanmei> "Sure."
[14:13] <William> ["'Use protection.'" Dr. Gabriel's glasses glinted maliciously.]
[14:13] <Yanmei> "…" … "Have a good day, Dr. Gabriel," Yanmei frowned.
[14:14] <William> ["'Bye."]
[14:16] <Yanmei> With that, and a last over-the-shoulder glance, she left him in his office.

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