In The Free Time Of A Pilot

(15:03:20) Alexandre: [-Continued from In the Sunlight. Date: 18th of February, 2015.-
(15:04:41) Alexandre: [Saint Louis was a Recessive Structure. By requirement, all of its buildings were solid, metal and concrete boxes with little room for deviation. Luckily enough, these boxy buildings had open, flat rooves that people could sit on or the like.-
(15:05:13) Alexandre: [It was upon one such roof that Alexandre had led Sept. It was completely empty, and the entire school could be seen.-
(15:05:26) * Alexandre held out a can of soft drink. "Here you go."
(15:05:45) * Alexandre had gotten it from a nearby vending machine. He had his own, of course.
(15:19:48) Sept: "Thank you, Alexandre." Sera takes the can, opens it, and sips. "You don't have to be here. You've got no obligation to me." The boy's tone was still tinged with fear-induced anger, but he had mostly calmed down, at least on the outside. Tie and shirt had suffered losses to their properness in an attempt to both ease his mind as well as air the body after exerting himself with the running.
(15:21:04) Alexandre: "Do you want me to be here, though?" Asked Alexandre, leaning on the railing with his arms folded. "Or would you rather I go?"
(15:26:56) Sept: "…I'd appreciate it if you stayed. I'm lost. I have no idea what I should be doing. I have no idea what I -am- doing."
(15:28:07) * Alexandre nods slowly. He'd stay then. "Like… You have no idea right now? Or, just in general?" He pauses. "… I guess your life's kinda changed a lot recently, right?"
(15:32:27) Sept: "I don't." Siiiip. "And it has."
(15:34:26) Alexandre: "Well. Er…" Alexandre frowned as he thought. "Here's a question, then. The saying goes 'No wind is good if you don't know where to take the ship', so… What do you -want- to do?"
(15:42:10) * Sept raised his head. This wasn't a question he'd been asked seriously more than a handful of times, nor one he had asked himself. "I don't know. It's not like I've ever needed to. I've been doing well enough until now… or so I thought."
(15:44:10) Alexandre: "You don't know? Hm…" Alexandre took a sip of his drink. Mmm. Orangey and tangy. "Alright, next question. When do you feel most at peace?"
(15:51:52) Sept: "Hm. Early mornings? Quiet, but bright. When there's no one else to worry about, just me, and the city. Or when they unveiled 01… I guess when I'm piloting, it reminds me of that, so… that too."
(15:57:01) Alexandre: "Hm." That didn't explain much at all! "Well… Uh, alright. Question: How do you feel about Eva?"
(16:05:11) Sept: Where were these questions going? "Everyone keeps asking me that. But… I really don't. Beyond what it feels like to breathe liquids and… you know, the business with Angels. There's nothing there for me to have feelings about."
(16:07:16) Alexandre: "Nothing?" Alexandre turns. "So… You'd be ok if 01 was taken away from you, then."
(16:09:21) Sept: "No! I don't- That's different."
(16:09:48) * Sept turns away slightly.
(16:10:07) Alexandre: "… Go on, Sera."
(16:17:48) Sept: "01's different. I have no feelings about people in general, but I wouldn't want to have Freya taken from me. Does that make sense?"
(16:21:49) * Alexandre had to take a moment to parse that. 'He named the eva 'Freya'?' "… Oh right! Right. I get what you mean." Alexandre nods. "So it's precious to you then, right?" Alexandre pauses, sipping at his drink. "Hm… Listen. Maybe it's just a phase. You probably weren't really expecting all the stuff on the side when you said you'd pilot.-
(16:23:31) Alexandre: "But maybe you'll get used to it. Hell, maybe it'll just sort of taper off after awhile. Once the honeymoon period's over and all that." He said, turning around and leaning back on the rail now. "But so long as you think holding on to the Eva is worth this bullshit, you'll stick through it."
(16:28:28) Sept: "Do I want it to be just a phase? I mean, if it is, haven't I been missing out on-" A handwave at the scenery. "-whatever is beyond 'this bullshit'? If I'm just not built for this, I can take it even if I didn't like it. But if it is just a matter of getting used to it…"
(16:36:08) Alexandre: "… Hmm. It'd be a big change for you though, I bet." Said Alexandre, smiling a little. "Maybe… Well. Maybe in that case, this is a thing of growth. Maybe the dear Eva is a sort of impetus for you. I mean, 'getting used to it'… Sounds like a goal, right?"
(16:44:24) Sept: "I just don't know. But it does look like I'll be sticking around long enough to find out." Sera drained the last of the drink, thinking back to everything it now reminded him of. Oranges would never be the same again… Just another part of his life gone forever.
(16:49:34) * Alexandre promptly reaches into his blazer and holds out another can for Sept. "Well. It doesn't have to be all tredipation and terror, either. You've got friends who can help you. Or, well." He reaches up to scratch his head. "I could help you, too. If you want."
(16:54:52) Sept: "Ah, well." Sera accepts the can with just a bit of hesitation. Already warm. Practically nothign to separate it from the taste of LCL. Final Destination. "I'll take it if you're offering. It's -your- time."
(16:55:48) Alexandre: "Time well spent. I hope."
(17:01:16) Sept: Speaking of which, time passes, and eventually the second can is drained as well. "So. What happens now?"
(17:02:57) Alexandre: "Well…" Alexandre looks down at his watch. "Well, it's about an hour until school finishes. Hey, have you picked your clubs yet? We can go do that now."
(17:11:49) Sept: "Clubs, huh." There had to be less people there than in classes. Seemed like an appropriate way to at least try and familiarise himself with this world. "And I assume most people would be done with it by now? Yeah, let's get it over with."
(17:12:36) Alexandre: "Yeah." … "Oh, oh right. Shit, I forgot to mention." Alexandre holds out a hand in a 'stop' gesture. "I figured out who the fuck's responsible for that lunacy earlier."
(17:14:47) Sept: "Hff, I'm sure it's just because of that conference. It happened, there's no way to change it now."
(17:16:24) Alexandre: "Man… That's a pretty mature attitude." Says Alexandre, a little surprised. "Well, you seemed to be wanting someone to blame… Man, you sober up pretty fast. Alright, let's hit it."
(17:25:50) * Sept disregarded the issue. Alexandre was just trying to comfort him with his theories, right?-
(17:26:16) Sept: Either way, it was hit.
(17:27:10) Alexandre: [The clubs area spread out before them! It was, however, rather empty and spread over a rather wide area. Most of the people had moved through at this point when Alexandre and Sept hit the scene.]
(17:27:16) Alexandre: "Where to first?"
(17:36:21) Sept: "Hm. Maybe start with something… familiar? Anything that might be related to my usual training..?"
(17:37:14) Alexandre: "Your usual training…? With the Eva?" He tapped his chin. "So something physical? Maybe track and field?"
(17:39:33) Sept: "That… sounds like a good start."
(17:40:35) * Alexandre nods, and leads Sera over to a stall, where a lithe, fit-looking older girl is standing. "We're here to inquire about your running." Says Alex.
(17:40:43) Alexandre: ["You mean the Track and Field Club?"]
(17:40:45) Alexandre: "Yes, that."
(17:42:23) Alexandre: [The girl eyes Alexandre for a moment, before turning to Sera. She recognises him- you can see it in her face- but she impressively manages to not mention it. "You interested in running, de Pteres? Getting that heart pumping and those legs moving?"]
(17:46:06) Sept: "Well. 'Interested' isn't the word I'd maybe use… I've been doing it for as long as I can remember, but never with other people. Maybe you've learned something I haven't?"
(17:50:29) Alexandre: ["Hm, so you want to learn techniques, maybe?" Asked the girl, pondering for a moment. Then, she looked Sept up and down in an appraising manner. "Well, if you want in, in any case, you're welcome to join." She takes out a sheet of paper and puts it down on the stall's table.]
(18:04:37) * Sept signs! His handwriting is, all things considered, surprisingly neat. "We'll see what you have." With that, he turns away. That was surprisingly easy! "Hm, maybe something more competitive next? Running is still pretty personal, there really aren't any opponents in those sports. What did you plan to take?"
(18:06:05) Alexandre: "Drama, Fencing, Chess. All of them carryovers from last year." Said Alexandre. He himself doesn't pay any attention to the Track and Field girl. "I might consider another one, but I don't think I have time."
(18:18:27) Sept: "Oh, fencing sounds good enough."-
(18:19:15) * Sept looks for the stall and heads toward it without waiting for any further reaction.
(18:20:46) Alexandre: [And they're off towards the Fencing stall! It's staffed by a tall, rather graceful-looking girl- who seems to take Sept's appearance with a wry smirk. "Another pilot? I must be popular today. Hello, de Pteres. Here to join fencing?" She gives a nod to Alexandre.]
(18:20:50) * Alexandre gives a nod back.
(18:30:23) Sept: "I think so! I've never really used anything longer than a knife, but I like to think I learn these things pretty fast. Is that alright with you?"
(18:31:37) Alexandre: ["That's fine, de Pteres. Newcomers are fine! You'll be sharing that title with Zhang Yanmei, too."]
(18:32:22) Alexandre: "… Yanmei's the pilot, huh? Well, I guess that's no surprise. Blanc's not the fencing type, I don't think." Said Alexandre quietly, peering down at the sheet. "… Gabriel-Wei? Really?"
(18:35:59) * Sept signs, with equal surprise at Isaiah's name. Hardly seemed the type.-
(18:36:54) Sept: "I look forward to working with you."
(18:37:54) Alexandre: ["Same to you, de Pteres. Show us your moves some time, yeah?"]
(18:38:23) Alexandre: "How come I don't get such an encouraging reply…?"
(18:38:48) Alexandre: ["You did, when I first recruited you. Two years running now has taught me how much of a bastard you are, Alex."]
(18:39:03) Alexandre: "… Fair enough." He smirks. The girl replies in kind. "Alright Sera, where to next?"
(18:43:05) Sept: "I don't think I should take any more physical stuff… Actually, I don't think I should tie up too much of my time with this stuff. Maybe these two'll do?"
(18:44:36) Alexandre: "Ehh. Two?" Alexandre shakes his head with a grin. "Nah, c'mon. You can do three!"
(18:51:11) * Sept raised an eyebrow. The strangest thing to be cheering someone on with. "But what is there left? I mean, look at these. Science, Computers, Roleplaying Games..? I'm just not suited for any of these."
(18:53:24) Alexandre: "Science… No, no. Not computers too. Now, Roleplaying Games… It's not that bad." Says Alexandre, wagging his finger. "Not your thing, obviously. Hm…" He started to walk along, leading Sept idly through the stalls. "You're good with your fingers, so maybe some sort of workshop class…? Eh, no. Hm…"
(18:54:38) Alexandre: [Some of the stalls were rather quiet. Some had even been replaced by vacant spots as people packed up. They walked by Archery, the Judo Club ("HEY DE PTERES! YOU MANLY ENOUGH FOR JUDO?") and the Music Club ("Learn to play like the greats with your friends! Please?")]
(19:13:42) * Sept was in the middle of passing by the Judo stall, when he suddenly stopped and sshhh'd Edgar into silence, and made sure to make a meaningful glare toward Alexandre to keep him silent. He listened for a while, before following the offending noise. Soon, he found himself at the Music Club stall, his eyes at level with a portable music player and speakers, playing some classic composition from the pre-Impact days. He crouched there, and -stared-.
(19:17:07) Alexandre: [("H-HEY! Hey, you don't- who do you- hey!")-
(19:17:26) * Alexandre merely quirks an eyebrow at Sept. Alexandre was cool enough to realise when silence was needed.-
(19:19:19) Alexandre: [The speakers were playing the melody, as Sept of course realised. A willowy, brown-haired girl- the one who had been hawking- seemed highly taken aback at an Eva pilot materialising out of nowhere. She blushed slightly. "It's, ah, Vivaldi's 'Winter'… From the Four Seasons."]
(19:30:49) Sept: Sera's eyes did not move, and it wasn't until the third movement ended that he actually acknowledged the girl's existence. "Oh. Hello. I'm Sera. I've… never heard anything like this. Is this you playing?"
(19:34:40) Alexandre: ["Oh… No. It's a recording from a full orchestra. Pre-Second Impact, I think. I -wish- I could play that well…" She paused. "… And I will, one day. But not yet. Erm, I'm Viviane, by the way. It's nice to meet you." She let out a quiet giggle.]
(19:41:35) Sept: "It's nice to meet you, Viviane." he said, standing up, but still casting glances at the speaker. "A… full orchestra. Huh." Sera's mind failed to grasp how a large group of people could produce a… -noise- so organised, so captivating.-
(19:42:56) Sept: "Do you, by any chance..? I mean, I don't play anything- yet, but I could learn or just… listen?"
(19:48:17) Alexandre: ["Oh, yes! I play the Cello! It's a pretty technical instrument, but it's fun. And… Oh. You mean, did you mean you wanted to join? Because that'd be lovely!" She said breathlessly. "Even if you don't play, we take beginners, so you're welcome to come along and learn…"]
(19:57:16) Sept: "Can I? I…" Sera ponders for a while, and then nods enthusiastically. "I'd love that."
(19:58:22) Alexandre: ["Alright!" Says Viviane cheerfully, pushing the signup sheet over. "Aline Blanc is with us, too."]
(19:58:40) * Alexandre peers over at Viviane. "You're doing fencing too, right?"
(19:58:45) Alexandre: [Viviane nods wordlessly.]
(20:06:31) * Sept signs -all of it-. "Satisfied now, Alexandre?" He asks with a grin.
(20:08:45) Alexandre: "Oh yes." Said Alex with an equal grin. "I think that's good work for today. Y'know, I dunno, I think music club might really suit you."
(20:08:53) Alexandre: ["I hope it does." Said Viviane, hopefully.]
(20:09:09) Alexandre: [… ("Sept!"-
(20:09:27) Alexandre: [Freya, in the distance, heading towards him! Her features were frantic.]
(20:12:33) * Sept lets Freya do the work, and stands calmly in wait for her. "Hello, Freya!" he calls out slightly before she reaches normalperson-conversation range
(20:12:42) * Sept .
(20:13:25) Alexandre: ["Sept! I-I've been looking all -over- for you! Where on God's Earth did you -get- to?!" She barely notices Alex, or Viviane.]
(20:13:44) Alexandre: [("Hey you there! Upperclasswoman, you man enough to Judo?!") ("Shhhh!")]
(20:18:34) Sept: "What's wrong, Freya?" He seems oblivious as to the reason of her franticness. "If you were looking for me, why didn't you check the roof?"
(20:18:47) Alexandre: ["I JUST CAME FROM THE ROOF!"]
(20:19:33) Sept: "Oh. Well, surely you found some clue and followed me here based on that?"
(20:20:30) Alexandre: [She stares at him agog. "No… I was on the way to student services… To put it over the PA!" She looks… Sad now, upset.]
(20:22:52) Sept: "To put what over the PA? You're not making any sense, Freya."
(20:23:34) Alexandre: ["Stupid!" She whines. "The last I saw you was during that stupid mob! I didn't know where you -were-!"]
(20:25:55) Sept: "…-ohhhh-. That." Sera rolls for Mood Distortion. His ratio plummets! "Thank you, and, I'm sorry. It's just the last I saw of -you- was with all of -them- and… you know."
(20:26:41) Alexandre: ["Well, it doesn't matter now…" Said Freya, putting a hand through her hair. "… Wait, have you been signing up for clubs?"]
(20:29:53) Sept: "I… have?"
(20:30:27) Alexandre: ["… Huh!" Freya blinks, then grins. "Sept, that's… That's really good! Which ones did you pick?"]
(20:32:50) Sept: "Fencing, R- Track and Field, and Music." Headtilt. "You?"
(20:35:12) Alexandre: ["Ooh. I picked Debate, Chess and Book club. I was thinking Roleplaying, but, I don't think I'd be much good at Roleplaying, do you?"]
(20:37:48) Sept: "I don't know. I think you'd be good at any of them, but that's just me…"
(20:38:52) Alexandre: ["Aw, you're so sweet." Said Freya. "But you ready to go home, huh?"]
(20:39:07) Alexandre: [Alexandre is simply watching with amusement. Viviane looks… Disappointed.]
(20:39:20) Alexandre: [Edgar has packed up his stall. He's going the hell home.]
(20:42:32) Alexandre: [He's soon greeted by the track and field girl, however, who helps him along with the stuff he's carrying, and apparently giving him encouraging words.]
(20:44:14) Sept: "Yeah. Let's head out. See you, Alexandre, Viviane."
(20:44:48) Alexandre: "'Bye. Hey! Hey, Sera. Why don't we swap numbers? Maybe you can give it to Viviane, too- she'll be helping you with Music after all."
(20:44:57) Alexandre: ["If… If that's okay, I mean, it'd be really nice…"]
(20:46:34) Sept: "Oh. Sure!" Somewhere, Isaiah mood +1.
(20:48:06) Alexandre: ["I'll see you around, Sera. Thank you again for joining." Said Viviane.]
(20:48:31) Alexandre: "Yeah, seeya. Maybe you can take us out for dinner sometime on that big fancy pilot allowance of yours."
(20:50:35) Sept: "I can? You might be overestimating NERV's Budget Division, but… we'll see!"

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