In The Silence Between Sentences

(14:23:36) Yanmei: [The date is March 10th, a busy Tuesday at Saint Louis's.-
(14:28:04) Yanmei: [For most members of class 10-C, lunch hour was fast approaching as the clock wound down on the day's mandatory History lesson. Finally, instructor Samuel Martin eyed the time, nodded, and then gave the word. Freedom! If only for 45 minutes. The students broke off into chattering clusters, some moving off for the cafeteria, others perferring to push their desks together and enjoy lunch right where they were.]
(14:32:40) * Sept made to exit the classroom with his belongings. It was slowly beginning to look less like a top-secret covert operation and more like a student going about his business… but only slowly.
(14:35:30) Yanmei: "De Pteres! Wait up!" A familiar voice behind him. It was Yanmei, her lunch in one hand, and an additional small parcel in the other. She flashed him a little grin. "Mind if I join you?"
(14:39:22) Sept: "Hello, Yanmei. I don't mind, but… where?"
(14:41:06) Yanmei: "Your choice?" She shrugged, casting a quick look around. "You don't usually eat with everyone else. Where do you normally go?"
(14:45:01) Sept: "Well, it was raining earlier, so the roof doesn't work… The Music Club classroom is usually empty, though. Should we eat there?"
(14:49:16) Yanmei: "Fine with me." She stepped into the hallway with him. "Does this mean that you're suddenly into music, de Pteres?"
(14:57:00) Sept: "Uh. I… guess. I never had much chance to listen to music and then they were playing some at the stand and it was… good. I'm sure you think it must be really simple for you and it's probably dumb to get excited about it." Then, as if relying on the chance the conversation might be tied to space, Sera started on their journey to the far, uncharted land where the club's classroom was.
(15:03:57) Yanmei: "Never had a chance?" Her smile turned slightly puzzled. "Ah, I think I know what you mean? It feels like I never get a lot of downtime these days either." She recalled the day before, the first time in a long time for playing hookey. It brought a pleasant, yearning feeling to her. "Before, I listened to a lot of rock. Old stuff. It was pretty good."
(15:09:53) Sept: "Rock, huh. I think I may have heard some of that. They had those open-air concerts in the summer… It just sounded like noise from further away, though. I mean, I'm sure it sounds better when you can listen to it!"
(15:14:44) Yanmei: "It is! Now that you have the opportunity to listen to a lot of different music, you should look into it? I'd let you listen to mine, but I don't have much of it with me anymore…"
(15:22:00) Sept: "Maybe they have some in their archives… I'll try it." He nodded seriously. "We should be almost there. What are you having today?"
(15:25:16) Yanmei: "Beef stew. Homemade." She rattled her lunch bag just a little, and examined Sept curiously. Such a skinny guy… "What about you? You're eating well? Are you all that great with cooking or does Freya make stuff for you?"
(15:35:35) Sept: "I don't go hungry or anything. I eat like I've always done. And… I've learned some simple dishes, but she is better at cooking than I am, so she mostly takes care of it." A pause, before Sept thought to be embarrassed about it. "Uh… here." Sera stopped at a door, listened for a few moments, and then carefully entered. Apparently satisfied, he motioned for Yanmei to join him, and started unpacking his meal on one of the desks. Some kind of fish, apparently… And a croissant.
(15:38:55) Yanmei: So she cooked for him too~ Yanmei made no effort to hide her smile. "Oh, yeah…" She dropped her second parcel on the desk next to the rest of his meal. "Hope you don't mind, but I got you something? Just felt like being nice, I guess." She settled down at another desk next to his. "I heard about what happened this weekend, so…"
(15:41:43) Sept: "Oh." … "I'm sorry, but… what exactly did you hear about it?"
(15:48:07) Yanmei: "Not much?" She unpacked her thermos and carefully unscrewed the top. "I went in for a scheduled sync test yesterday, but they told me that they were postponing it while they checked and replaced the EVAs restraints? Something about 01 getting loose?" She shook her head. "I heard you'd been hurt in the resulting accident. Dangerous, dangerous. I told you before that it was a bad idea to let your guard down around them."
(15:54:11) Sept: "But… it wasn't like that at all! It was just that, an accident! It, we were just. It was nothing like what you went through… So don't worry about me."
(16:04:31) Yanmei: "What I…?" she stared for a few beats with mixed confusion and uneasiness. What was that supposed to mean? She looked away, then. "You know, there have been incidents where 00 moved too, despite restraints. On its own. They said that it was a malfunction, but… Heh. Well, I'm glad you're okay, for the most part."
(16:14:22) Sept: "Yeah… It's good to be okay?" He eyed the partly forgotten parcel, pleading it to save him from the awkward. "It wasn't a malfunction." he added as an afterthought, in a barely audible voice.
(16:19:02) Yanmei: "I had a feeling…" her voice was low too. This was a school. Maybe the chances that they would be overheard by NERV agents would be lessened a little?-
(16:20:02) Yanmei: The parcel sat there, unmoving. There was a faint, delicious odor wafting from it.
(16:26:26) * Sept opened his mouth to explain the events further, but eventually decided against it. She had to know what he was talking about, after all. It was better not to dwell on it any more. He took the parcel, and carefully extricated its delicious cargo.
(16:30:37) Yanmei: Cookies! A wide variety of them! There were, curiously, a few red and white ones with frosting molded into the NERV logo. Yanmei was slowly getting started on her soup as well.
(16:37:37) Sept: Cookies… There was a feeling of unease in the air Sera couldn't quite put his finger on. Still, he couldn't sense any immediate danger here. "Thank you, Yanmei. I appreciate it." He set the cookies back down, before focusing his attention on lunch.-
(16:41:12) Sept: Some mouthfuls later… "Oh, Yanmei. I forgot to say… I'm sorry. About the Angel thing. With all the training and stuff, I should've been able to be there until the end of it."
(16:49:41) * Yanmei blinked at that, and then laughed a little. "I was going to say the same thing! I made a lot of mistakes during the fight too, and maybe if I hadn't, the battle would have been an easier one for everyone?" She smiled brightly. "It's a good thing Aline was around to clean up things in the end."
(16:59:34) Sept: "Y-yeah… It really was. And, I don't know what I would've done if Ginn- Ginevre hadn't showed up, I might have even run back…" … "Makes it almost feel like. You know. It's a family. Or something."
(17:07:09) * Yanmei watched him carefully, trying to glean something from his delivery, and a little twinge of fear rippled through her. Had she… guessed wrong about what happened back then? Se retained her smile. "Family? Maybe so? Ah… by 'Ginevre,' did you mean…?" she halfheartedly scrolled through a mental list of NERV personnel names.
(17:11:45) Sept: "…C-Commander Fontaine..?" The title sounded strange, foreign, coming from him.
(17:13:24) * Yanmei nearly choked on her soup. Nearly. Delicately, she wiped her mouth. "Commander Fontaine? She was at the battle site?"
(17:19:18) Sept: "Yeah… VTOL. They were in a hurry to leave once they picked me up-" He remembered the howl, and glanced at Yanmei. "-but she was there. Is that strange? I mean, Dorian was there..?"
(17:23:05) Yanmei: "Hmmm, it's a little unusual? But I'm sure she had a good reason. She's our commander, after all." She toyed with her soup. "Dorian was there because it's his job to be there. The Commander is different."
(17:29:25) Sept: "Oh, I… I think she said something like that, too. I didn't really ask her to explain it either, it happened pretty fast, and, like I said I guess it was just a relief to see someone.." Not one to worry about problems with the chain of command, he focused back on the food.
(17:36:28) Yanmei: "The Commander," Yanmei explained placidly, "has no need to interact with us personally. She has people like Dorian, and the Tactical Operators to do that for her." She smiled pleasantly. "It seems like she makes full use of them? I believe I've only exchanged words with her once or so."
(17:53:07) Sept: "Yeah… I guess you're right", he half-heartedly agreed, now getting started on the cookies. Delicious, untraitorous cookies. Maybe it was time for a change of topic. "So what clubs are you in, Yanmei?"
(17:56:19) Yanmei: "Drama. And fencing?" She goes along with it amicably. "What about you? Is music club it?"
(18:00:40) Sept: "Yeah. I wasn't really planning to, but… well, I told you that already. Track and field, and fencing. It's… something new, definitely."
(18:04:57) Yanmei: "T-track and field too? How wonderful!" Smile, smile. Her chest clenched a little, but thankfully it was a passing feeling. "I can't compete in that, but fencing is another matter. Maybe we should spar sometime? Ah… speaking of competition, who are you planning to vote for in the upcomming student council election? I know it's still a ways off, but it's good to think about those things early?"
(18:06:19) Sept: "I… haven't thought about it. I don't really know what would the best for the school… oh, weren't you running?"
(18:08:58) Yanmei: "That's right!" she winked at him, her smile shining brighter, her shoulders straightening for a more presidential feel. "'A vote for Yanmei is a vote for freedom!' Pretty good slogan, hm?"
(18:16:01) Sept: "Freedom is good. Maybe I'll vote for you, then", he chuckled. "Ah. Looks like we should be heading back." Sera started packing up his things, as well as carefully stashing the cookie box. You could never be too careful. "Oh, Yanmei. This was fun. Maybe… we'll do this again sometime?"
(18:17:45) Yanmei: "Absolutely," she beamed, and wiped down her thermos before screwing the cap back on and hefting it along with her. "Have a wonderful rest of the day, de Pteres. I'll see you later."
(18:22:47) Sept: "The same to you, Yanmei. See you."

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