In The Day Of Being Unable To Bear To Do What You're Supposed To

[11:47] <Isaiah> [The date: The 9th of March. School day! All over Paris-2, students are starting to march off to school, which had the good 'fortune' to have to handle a sudden, if altogether slight influx of new students as people started moving back into Paris-2.-
[11:48] <Isaiah> [The gloomy, cloudy overcast days which had languished in the sky ever since the 4th were finally starting to dissipate. Sunlight was once again streaming en masse into Paris-2, bringing with it the first few hints of spring.]
[11:51] <Yanmei> On this particular spring day, a figure was lingering outside the Gabriel-Wei household, straightening her blazer and tie and trying on a radiant smile. When she was certain that she looked immaculate, she finally knocked.
[11:58] <Isaiah> ["Who's that so early?" Came an unfamiliar voice. Footsteps, then- the door opened, revealing a tall, blonde-haired man. He had a rather pale face, with blue eyes- he looked down at Yanmei. "… Oh. Pilot Zhang." Said the man quietly. "You must be here for Isaiah, I'm guessing?"-
[11:58] <Isaiah> Yanmei would be able to glimpse the boy a little, sitting at a dinner table with some toast- suddenly turn his head hastily toward the door with wide eyes.
[12:02] <Yanmei> "Yes sir. You must be Mr. Gabriel?" She offered him an innocent girl-next-door smile. "I apologize for interrupting your breakfast. It was such a nice day today that I thought we could walk to school together. I hope that's okay." She didn't ask how he knew her despite her not recalling seeing him before. Such occurances were getting to be a creepy fact of life.
[12:06] <Isaiah> [The man stared impassively at Yanmei for a moment, before stepping back. "Isaiah!" He yelled a little unnecessarily.-
[12:07] * Isaiah was already out of his seat! He of course was dressed in his uniform- blazer, tie, a little navy beret setting on his hair atop a fluffy bed of blonde. "G-good morning!" He said, waving a little with one hand and grabbing his bag with another. His cheeks were already red.
[12:10] <Yanmei> "Hello Isaiah. You don't have to rush on my account. You were eating, weren't you?"
[12:13] <Isaiah> "It's okay." Said Isaiah breathlessly. "I- I wasn't really eating much. How're you?"
[12:17] <Yanmei> "I'm great! You should see the weather out here. It even feels a little warmer than usual!" She turned another shining, sunny smile at Isaiah's father, and bobbed her head slightly. "Well, then… I suppose we'll be off. It was nice meeting you, sir." She extended a hand for a trust-filled parting shake.
[12:19] <Isaiah> ["Mmm." Mr. Gabriel extends his hand, reluctantly shaking Yanmei's back. "See you when you get home, boy. Take care of Pilot Zhang."-
[12:20] <Isaiah> "Huh?" Isaiah blinked. "Er, okay. See you later, then, dad." He turned to Yanmei, ready to go, his hand holding onto his bag strap like the ultimate schoolboy.
[12:22] <Yanmei> And she turned away herself, moseying down the walkway alongside him. "Are you sure you don't want to stop for something to eat along the way? We still have time?" She kept her ears open for the sound of the front door closing again.
[12:26] <Isaiah> "Um… Only if you do, I guess." Said Isaiah happily as he followed on.-
[12:26] <Isaiah> [Behind them, the sound of the door closing could be heard.]
[12:32] <Yanmei> "My treat, okay? Anyplace you want…" She lowered her voice a bit, still remaining cheerful. "And if there's anywhere you want to go afterward, school aside… well, that might be kinda fun too? Don't you think?"
[12:36] <Isaiah> "Well, there's this place nearby that does a really nice breakfast. Bacon, croissants- it's a really good start!" He said cheerfully, but this was almost immediately followed up with a curious, bemused look. "But… Afterward? I mean, it'd be fun, but I'm confused, Yanmei. We have school…?"
[12:41] <Yanmei> "Yeah, I know. That's what we're supposed to be doing, so we should go? But…" She looked away, feigning embarassment. "This isn't something I do very often? And I certainly don't want to get you in trouble, or force you to do something you don't want to. But today… well. Did you ever have one of those days when you couldn't bear to do what you were supposed to?"
[12:52] <Isaiah> "Er…" Isaiah rubbed his neck. "Yeah… I… Yeah, I think so." He peered. "You don't want to go?"
[13:01] <Yanmei> "It's childish of me, I know. I should go whether I want to or not. Later, I'll probably get found out an be scolded about it." She offered him a little smile. "I won't hold it against you if you tell on me, you know?"
[13:05] <Isaiah> "H-huh?" Isaiah frowned. "Why would I tell on you? We're friends." Said Isaiah. "An- and besides…" His face took on a firm expression. "I'll go where you go. So if you're not going, I'm not going either!"
[13:11] <Yanmei> She looked a little surprised at his resolve. "You're sure? I already know that I'll get in trouble for it? You might too."
[13:17] <Isaiah> "I-I know. But I think it'd be worth it…" He said, quickly reddening and looking down at his shoes for a moment.
[13:23] * Yanmei stared at him for a moment, and her smile slowly turned genuinely glad. The next couple of steps she took in thoughtful silence. Then, "Isaiah? The breakfast place you mentioned is close by, isn't it?"
[13:26] * Isaiah nods! His own expression becomes very warm as Yanmei smiles. "Yeah. It's called Chez Zoe. It should be about ten minutes away- do you want me to take you there?"
[13:30] <Yanmei> "Please." She retained her smile. He was an odd duck - she still sort of felt that way about him - but he hadn't turned her in and even wanted to come along even though they might find themselves in trouble later.-
[13:32] * Yanmei would have been satisfied with just breakfast and an acceptance of her apology for not going to school and not helping him with the drama club that day as promised. This was more than she had expected. And that was not a bad thing.
[13:35] <Isaiah> [Ten minutes passed! They left Isaiah's apartment building, and before long had found 'Chez Zoe'. A tidy, quiet little open cafe, currently serving breakfast. It had a very… Classy feel. But then again, this -was- Paris-2.
[13:35] <Isaiah> ]
[13:35] <Isaiah> "This is it!" Said Isaiah cheerfully.
[13:40] <Yanmei> "It's lovely," she remarked. "Let's take our time here and decide where to go next." She took the initiative, leading the way to an open table. "There are shops, and museums, and… hm. Have you ever been to the American Embassy before?"
[13:42] * Tao has quit IRC (Ping timeout)
[13:44] <Isaiah> "I haven't!" Said Isaiah, surprised at the mention. He followed Yanmei in, sitting down opposite to her. "Have… Have you?" He asked, his eyes wide.-
[13:45] <Isaiah> ["Good morning~" Said a waitress, heading over with a pad. "Welcome to Chez Zoe! I'm Lily, and I'lllllllloh wow." She stared at Yanmei. "Oh… Oh wow. Hello."]
[13:46] * ChanServ sets mode: +oa Mina‘Haplo Mina`Haplo
[13:46] <Yanmei> "Good morning!" Bright smile. "It’s lovely to meet you, Lily. Could I have some fruit and some tea, please?" She noted to herself to find a disguise as soon as humanly possible.
[13:47] <Yanmei> A nod to Isaiah. Silent suggestion to order something too.
[13:55] <Isaiah> "Er… I'll have the cheese and bacon croissant set, please, Ms. Lily." Said Isaiah, looking up at her.-
[13:56] <Isaiah> [The waitress seemed a little flabbergasted nevertheless at having a -pilot- at one of the tables. But nevertheless she scribbled it down in her notepad hurriedly. "W-wow. I'll make sure you get it right away!" Said Lily breathlessly, rushing off to the kitchen.]
[14:00] * Yanmei almost cringed inwardly. This was something else she should have expected. Two or three months ago, it wouldn't have mattered, but… panned the cafe with a little pleasant smile on her face, eyes out for others who might be paying attention, or even more importantly, people trying to blend in with black suits and sunglasses.
[14:03] <Isaiah> [There were, of course, no such people around. The cafe was honestly rather quiet, dotted with a couple here and there who didn't seem to pay attention to Yanmei or her companion.-
[14:08] * Isaiah had his hands open on the table idly, peering down at the menu- maybe looking for something to drink. He looked up at Yanmei. "Hey, Yanmei…?"
[14:09] <Yanmei> "Hm?"
[14:12] * Isaiah seemed to pause, almost reconsider. "You… You look…" He frowned, looking away towards a cute little flowery bush nearby. "Ah…"
[14:16] * Yanmei peered down at herself, even more conscious of the uniform that she was wearing. Still, she had a feeling that he was trying to say something different? "Yes?"
[14:17] <Isaiah> "You look g-good today. Did you…" He turned back to her now. "Did you end up getting some rest? I-I think you were pretty worn out when I left."
[14:21] <Yanmei> "I did. Although I wonder if it was enough? Today was supposed to be a busy day, with practice after that and work after that still." A little tremor of dread went through her at mentioning the latter, but she kept it off her face, at least. "I'm sorry if I wasn't a very thoughtful hostess yesterday. I don't think I was quite myself?"
[14:23] <Isaiah> "Ah, well… You felt a little… Off." Said Isaiah, a little guiltily. "I-I felt a little unwelcome, it's true. But it's alright!" He said, smiling bashfully. "You've been l-lovely today."
[14:27] <Yanmei> "Why thank you." She smiled back at him, "but that's still not much of an excuse, is it? I think I should find some way to apologise? Or at least make it up to you."
[14:30] <Isaiah> "Well. I think you've already apologised…" Said Isaiah, letting out a sort of nervous giggle.-
[14:31] <Isaiah> ["E-excuse me! Here we go!" Lily had returned, setting down a platter of fresh, fruit cut into pieces for Yanmei, alongside some tea (a bit of milk and sugar on the side in case she wanted any). She set down the croissants in front of Isaiah. "Management says everything is on the house, today. So please feel free to order some more."]
[14:31] * Isaiah had looked like he was going to continue! But he paused, giving Yanmei a chance.
[14:37] <Yanmei> Well… ah… Hadn't been expecting that! "Please tell the manager that I'm very grateful," she smiled. "I'm satisfied with just fruit, but… I would love to recommend this place to some friends."
[14:38] <Isaiah> ["Ah… Certainly. Certainly! I'll make sure she knows." The Waitress beamed, and hurried away.]
[14:41] <Yanmei> "Maybe I'll take Marianne here someday," she pondered aloud once she had left. "Or Blanc."
[14:44] <Isaiah> "It's a pretty good place." Said Isaiah cheerfully. "But… But yeah." Oh god, was the moment lost? "You don't have to feel like you need to make anything up to me, Yanmei! I'm happy just to have your company. I don't like to think you owe me anything."
[14:51] <Yanmei> "Well… if you're certain?" she looked at him a little regretfully, but soon relaxed again. "We have an entire day to enjoy each other's company, at least. Let's make the most of it!"
[14:52] * Isaiah nods! "Where do you want to go?"
[14:53] <Yanmei> "First, the mall! And then we could try to find the Embassy. I've never been there before, and don't even know where it is. We don't have to go inside, of course, but I thought it might be need to see where it is. And then… well, what do you want to do?"
[14:59] <Isaiah> "Well…!" Isaiah pondered. "Hm…" He really was trying to think.-
[15:01] <Isaiah> "What do I want to do… Well, maybe we could go see something, like a show? I'm not really sure…!"
[15:02] <Yanmei> "A show? Like a play? Homework for drama club?" she grinned. "Let's see what we can do. Maybe it will give us some ideas?"
[15:03] <Isaiah> "Hahaha. Yeah! But we shouldn't think of it like homework. It should be for fun." Said Isaiah, a bright smile on his face. The boy was usually so introverted and… Muted? Reserved, that his big smile was rather surprising. "Fun…~"
[15:06] <Yanmei> "All right." She raised her glass cheerfully to clink against his. "Let's have a toast, shall we? To fun and time off!"
[15:08] <Isaiah> "To fun!" Isaiah used the water glass he had to clink against Yanmei's, giggling as he did so.-
[15:17] <Yanmei> [After breakfast was the mall! Relatively listless, even with the recent depopulation of Paris, due to the time of day. They bounced from store to store, window-shopping at first, and than actually shopping.-]
[15:18] * Yanmei found her suitable disguise, stuffing her uniform into her school bag in favor for sunglasses and a surprisingly inexpensive black pantsuit. Giddy, she snuck glances at herself in the reflective surfaces they passed. What a find!
[15:23] * Isaiah had gotten into the 'mood' as well… Somehow managing to grab himself a pair of black trousers, along with a neat dress shirt, button-up black vest and matching coat (which he insisted wasn't his idea). He contributed to Yanmei by suggesting a pair of matching hats. (Fedoras, of course; if Yanmei's fashion sense was stuck in the 80s, Isaiah's was from the 20s, and another continent entirely.)
[15:30] <Yanmei> [The Embassy took a bit more time for them, mainly because they had to find it, first. Three trains transfers later on the Métropolitain-2, and a good hike past some impressive-looking gates properties, and the two found themselves standing before what looked like a storybook palace. The armed security milling around in front made it hard to get a closer look, however.-]
[15:32] * Yanmei rummaged through her bag for a camera as she stood with Isaiah, gawking from the other side of the street at the building. Still, she had a feeling she would be here again.
[15:36] * Isaiah had of course been at Yanmei's side, but he was looking at the Embassy in a different way. The size and… Grandeur? Of the building was very impressive, but Isaiah had found himself noting the building in an architectural sense. Apart from picking up on some less-than-obvious nooks and crannies, he also found himself appreciating the building's… Orderliness.
[15:39] <Yanmei> [Finally, a late afternoon show at small theatre in downtown Paris. A lighthearted variation of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, performed by an amateur group! Not the most earthshaking performances, but it was still an enjoyable time!]
[15:41] * Yanmei peeks at her watch every now and then during the final act. Running a bit late, so she would have to think of some sort of professional-sounding apology for Dorian later. She tried to relax and enjoy the show. She was certain Isaiah was!
[15:45] * Isaiah had been enjoying it greatly! He'd been laughing an awful lot all day, and although he wasn't quite grasping some of the subtler parts of Taming- the early transition from 'tramp in the street' to 'lord of the manor' baffled him a little- he nevertheless spent much of the evening laughing and smiling- at the show, and his wonderful friend.
[15:48] <Yanmei> [And so after the show, they joined the rest of the audience with trickling out into the streets. Time to part ways?]
[15:49] * Isaiah peered up at the sky as they started to trickle out of the theatre. It was darkening- currently a pinkish, dusky red. He turned to Yanmei. "It's… It's getting kinda late, isn't it…?" He said slowly, reluctantly.
[15:51] * Yanmei stretched amid the sparse crowd, grinning at Isaiah. Was it her imagination, or did he seem a bit bolder today? "That's true? It doesn't feel like we did that much, but maybe we did after all." She tilted her head a little and sighed. "Sure was fun, though."
[15:52] <Isaiah> "It was." Said Isaiah happily, holding his hands together. "Maybe you'd- er, you'd want to do it again sometime?"
[15:54] <Yanmei> "Absolutely," she said cheerily, pulling off her sunglasses so that she could see a bit better. "During weekends and holidays, if all else fails."
[15:55] <Isaiah> "I'm happy!" He said, giving her an absolutely radiant smile. "Today was a precious day."
[15:58] <Yanmei> God, that was infectious. She chuckled. "I'm glad. It's good to see you happy, Isaiah! It really was a precious day."
[16:00] * Isaiah blushed a little! But he kept on smiling. "I'm glad you think so too, Yanmei." He took a little shuffle-step forward. "I-I hope you don't get into too much trouble."
[16:02] <Yanmei> "Oh, don't you worry about me. I knew the risks? But your dad… if he finds out, let me talk to him and smooth things over, okay? It's only been a day, so I doubt the school would have contacted him." She frowned a little, trying to recall their policy on such things.
[16:03] <Isaiah> "Y-you would do that?!" Asked Isaiah, his eyes wide. The idea of someone… Talking to his dad, to- He covered his face with his hands. "Y-you're too nice to me…"
[16:05] <Yanmei> "It's the least I can do. I'm responsible for this trip, after all," she grinned at him. "You might want to duck in someplace and change clothes before going home, by the way. Just in case."
[16:06] <Isaiah> "… Oh, right." Isaiah had forgotten. "Yeah. That would be good." He nodded. "I-I guess we part ways here, then, right?"
[16:06] <Yanmei> "But not for long. I'll actually be in school tomorrow," she reminded him gently.
[16:08] <Isaiah> "Y-yeah, that's right. I guess I will be, too." He looked up at Yanmei, his face reddening as he held out his hand- horizontally. Not at all like a handshake. "I-I guess I'll see you tomorrow…"
[16:12] <Yanmei> "Yes." The sunglasses went back on, and… after some confusion with what he was trying to do, Yanmei just gave up and imitated him. Maybe it was some way of parting in one of the places he had lived in? "Have a good night!"
[16:14] <Isaiah> "A-Ah, yes, have a- wait, no…" Isaiah frowned, his face colouring with embarrassment. "I've- hang on." He turned his hand over- frowned a moment- then reached out, took Yanmei's and turned -hers- over. "I'm… I've seen this done but I really don't…" He took a hold of her hand and, lifting it a little, he bent down stiffly and clumsily planted a little kiss on her knuckle.
[16:18] <Yanmei> That was… er, surprising? She figured out how to respond quickly, though, recalling the play that they had just seen. She curtsied. "You're really into theatre, hm?" She said with amusement.
[16:20] <Isaiah> "Ye-no, er…" Isaiah reddened. ('Romantic Gestures website was useless…') "It- It's a gesture a gentleman gives to a lady, right? I-I know I got that part…" He looked away. "Er… Anyway, have a good night, Yanmei! T-Thank you again!" He said quickly.
[16:21] <Yanmei> "Of course!" She said brightly. "Have a good night!"
[16:22] * Isaiah waved, starting to head off at a very brisk pace. He waved for a little while over his shoulder, before turning- and heading on toward home, his hat low over his red face.
[16:26] * Yanmei on the other hand, heaved a big sigh, and checked her watch as Isaiah slipped out of sight. 20 minutes to make it to NERV. She would be cutting it very close. Again, a feeling of dread wrapped itself around her.-
[16:27] <Yanmei> "A day when you couldn't bear to do what you're supposed to do," she muttered under her breath. She started off in her own direction, practicing her smile along the way.

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