Komm Susser Tod 2 2 8

[14:32] <Yanmei> When the opportunity to leave the Bridge for a little while reared it's head, Yanmei took it eagerly, snatching up her tablet and leaving Alphonse in the captain's chair. -
[14:41] <Yanmei> -Technically-, she was doing the same thing she had just been doing up on top - checking the progress of other departments and work-teams and counting down the time until they would be able to leave Mars. It was better to see things in person, though. Mainly because it let her stretch her legs, but also because she could actually -see- everything. -
[14:43] <Yanmei> Her next stop, after the Logistics counter, was Materials. She peeked around the corner sneakily first, and then blinked, stepping into the room. There weren't quite as many people here as she had expected.
[14:50] <Minaplo> [There were a few, but they were being served and they were being served quickly. Chiisana was in charge here, processing orders and exchanging them for blankets, warm underlays, containers, extra clothes and all kinds of things.]
[14:54] * Yanmei patiently hung back, waiting for an opening at Chiisana's desk. In the meantime, she tried to get a feel of the overall mood of those waiting in line. How grim were they? Sad?
[15:00] <Minaplo> [The overall mood was… A little gloomy, but with that sense that maybe people believed things were improving. After all, all of this new gear was quite visible and accessable…]
[15:04] <Yanmei> And that cheered her a little too! She discreetly stepped up behind the last person in Chii's line, waiting until they had been served properly before approaching herself. "Morning~"
[15:17] <Minaplo> ["Chancellor. Good morning." Said Chiisana, smiling. "Are you here to be served?"]
[15:18] <Yanmei> "Just checking up on a few things? Your new stock, in particular."
[15:24] <Minaplo> ["You want an inventory?"]
[15:28] <Yanmei> "Nothing quite that detailed. It's not the end of the day yet, so your numbers will probably change soon anyway? But I'm trying to get a sense of if you're in danger of running out of the new stuff yet, as well as any more current shortages we urgently have to take care of."
[15:47] <Minaplo> ["We are fairly well-supplied regarding the new goods." Said Chiisana. "The supply ship you raided was meant for a much larger contingent. So far I'm capable of giving everyone five of everything new, and still have plenty left over. We are running short on some things, most pressingly, clothing. Whilst we have plenty of one-size-fits-all shirts, trousers and coats due to the supply ship, we lack, for example, clothes, shoes, socks and the like for children. We also lack baby clothes, and we also can't provide much in the way of women's underwear."]
[15:54] <Yanmei> "Babies…" Yanmei's brow furrowed as she thought about Frederic and Sophie. "If we do another raid, we'll have to target transports with those things on them. If we had a bunch of tailors around, maybe we could convert the adult sizes into, like, little robes or something."
[15:55] <Minaplo> ["There may be some tailors amongst the refugee population." Said Chiisana. "I would suggest Sho, but…" A black look crossed her face.]
[16:03] <Yanmei> "Sho…" Yanmei looked a little mournful herself. "We'll ask for volunteers. Maybe use the MAGI to find a simple template that they can reproduce easily." She typed a few things into her tablet.
[16:10] <Minaplo> ["What, just ask the MAGI to give us a design based on our own availability to resources?"]
[16:14] <Yanmei> "Yes. Why not?"
[16:22] <Minaplo> ["No, fair, it sounds like a good idea." She said.-
[16:22] <Minaplo> [… Then she leaned forward a little. "It's a shame that Sho isn't able to work." Said Chii slyly. "Or she could make you a wedding dress…"]
[16:25] * Yanmei looked up, and then back down at the tablet, trying to act all cool about it. "She might get a chance later? I'm considering holding a smaller ceremony in a few months. My relatives wouldn't be able to attend this one, so…"
[16:32] <Minaplo> ["Fair enough. I'd offer to lend you one of my own dresses, but…"]
[16:37] <Yanmei> "But…?" she cocked her head curiously at that. Chiisana's dresses -were- rather wedding-like.
[16:43] <Minaplo> ["Well, obviously they're tailored to my shape." Said Chiisana. "So they'd need to be re-fitted for you."]
[16:47] <Yanmei> "True. You're a little shorter than me now, aren't you~?"
[16:50] <Minaplo> ["In height if nothing else." Said Chiisana with a sweet smile.]
[16:52] <Yanmei> "H-hmph. Anyway," she folded her arms, "How are things holding up with you personally? Getting enough rest? Eating okay? Getting along with roommates?"
[09:04] <Minaplo> ["More or less." She said. "My rest is fine. I'm eating whale now, not MREs, so my diet's much better. I didn't realise whale tasted as good as it did." She said pleasantly. "And my roommates are fine. Go's a sweetheart, Tsubaki's lovable in her own odd way, and that Armin is dangerously likeable. De Pteres is a little argumentative and thorny, but Tsubaki keeps him down most of the time."]
06[09:06] * Yanmei put the pieces together with a faint, sly smile. "Is Armin with you guys as well?"
[09:07] <Minaplo> ["Yes, he is. Apparently he goes wherever de Pteres goes."]
01[09:11] <Yanmei> "Are he and Go… You know. Being romantic?"
[09:14] <Minaplo> ["… Define 'romantic'."]
01[09:17] <Yanmei> "Long, yearning stares at each other when they think no one's looking. Flirty subtext in their conversations. Making deliberate efforts to be alone together…"
[09:20] <Minaplo> ["I'm not sure if I've ever met a couple who really act like that, apart from you and Gabriel-Wei, of course." Mused Chii. "Rei is close, bless her heart, but she's a little too sincere to be properly flirtatous. Ah, well. She's improving. Otherwise, no, I can't say that I've observed such behaviour." Said Chii.-
[09:20] <Minaplo> ["I have observed some -other- interesting behaviour, of course…" She said slyly, leaning forward a little.]
01[09:22] <Yanmei> "Oh?" Yanmei leaned toward her as well. "Do tell~"
[09:23] <Minaplo> ["I will." Said Chii with a bright smile. "If… Properly motivated."]
01[09:23] <Yanmei> "Hmmm? What are you after?"
[09:24] <Minaplo> ["Well, I'm sure you have some interesting stories of your own, considering your roommates…?"]
01[09:29] <Yanmei> "That's all stuff you'd expect, though? Rei and Alphonse being snuggly, Asuka alternately snuggling and punching Fontaine, and Isaiah and me being professional."
[09:30] <Minaplo> ["'Professional'! I suppose you're going to have a professional wedding, too, hmm?"]
01[09:36] <Yanmei> "Professional -and- dignified." Yanmei tossed her hair. "Although we will be doing the kiss at the end because it's tradition and something the crew rarely sees."
[09:37] <Minaplo> ["Hmph. Let me tell you a secret." Said Chiisana.]
01[09:38] <Yanmei> "Hm?"
[09:39] <Minaplo> ["Let's have a thought experiment. You're looking to buy a horse. Not just any horse, but a mighty steed of war."]
01[09:41] <Yanmei> "O…kay?" She tried to think of circumstances that would require her to ride a horse into battle.
[09:47] <Minaplo> ["You have a choice of two horses. One is a quiet thoroughbred that has been completely broken in. It is completely reliable and obedient, and follows your orders exactly. The other… Is a mighty stallion, proud and powerful. It has been tamed, oh yes, and you can ride it into battle, but it is not as broken as the other. It has spirit. It thinks for itself a little. It runs a little
[09:47] <Minaplo> faster, hits a little harder…"-
[09:48] <Minaplo> ["Now you tell me, which do you go for? The thoroughbred or the stallion?"]
01[09:51] <Yanmei> "The stallion, of course!"
[09:56] <Minaplo> ["Exactly." Said Chiisana. "And it is the same with leaders, Yanmei. No one can love a statue, but a spirit of fire catches the eye and demands to be led." She held a fist up, smacking the back of it lightly into Yanmei's chest. "A statue is empty, but if you can have an arm of steel and eyes of fire, then empires will fall. It is easy to crush your own energy, but to present yourself as
[09:56] <Minaplo> mighty passion, controlled and directed, is to present yourself as powerful."]
01[09:58] <Yanmei> "So you're saying that less restraint and more open, full-blown makeout sessions will lead to people seeing me in a more leaderly light." She stroked her chin, contempating that.
[09:59] <Minaplo> ["Not… Exactly." Said Chiisana. "But picture this. The wedding ceremony. You're picturing this now?"]
01[10:00] <Yanmei> "Yes, yes."
[10:09] <Minaplo> ["You're walking down the aisle in your uniform, you're beautiful and tall and proud, dignified. The altar is there, your Isaiah is there, the celebrant is there, your maid of honour- me- is there by the side at the head of your bridesmaids, and we're all waiting, watching." Said Chiisana, her voice low, almost… seductive. "You go through the entire ceremony, keeping yourself collected
[10:09] <Minaplo> and calm, but when the time comes, you wrap your arms around Isaiah, feeling his warmth, his closeness… You pull him close and you show just a -little- of that inner passion. You give him a powerful, deep kiss, and the entire room begins to cheer…"]
06[10:18] * Yanmei nodded solemnly. "Yeah, I could see that reaction? Perfect way to get people in the celebrating spirit."
[10:22] <Minaplo> ["There. I thought you'd understand…"]
06[10:27] * Yanmei nodded again, just a tiny bit more awkwardly now. "About the… maid of honor thing…"
[10:28] <Minaplo> ["It's fine. I'll wear a fine dress." Said Chiisana. "But not so fine as to show up the bride…"]
01[10:37] <Yanmei> "Well, see… I would love for you to be a bridesmaid, but… ah… I was going to offer Amatore-DeForest the chance to be the maid of honor?"
[10:38] <Minaplo> [Chii's face fell.-
[10:40] <Minaplo> [But a second later she smiled. "Well, that would make sense. Pardon me. It was presumptuous of me to claim it without asking. I'd be honoured to be your bridesmaid." Said Chii. "Who else are you choosing for your bridesmaids?"]
01[10:42] <Yanmei> "Asuka, Rei, President Mazarin's little girl… there are a few more open spots too."
[10:43] <Minaplo> ["Hm." Chiisana smirked, a little smugly for a second.-
[10:43] <Minaplo> ["Now then. You wanted to know about a certain Go?"]
01[10:45] <Yanmei> "I did!"
[10:50] <Minaplo> ["Well, Go was quick to lay down the rules." Said Chiisana. "She said that the dorm was a girl's dorm, and so the boys had to be careful and respectful. Which is only fair, of course."]
01[10:51] <Yanmei> "Are they following her rules?"
[10:52] <Minaplo> ["Naturally." Said Chiisana. "They must knock before entering, for example, and they do. But it is interesting to see what happens when it's just Go and I, and she hears Armin knocking…"]
01[10:54] <Yanmei> "Oh~~~?"
[11:11] <Minaplo> ["She suddenly starts, glances around nervously, blushing, stops what she's doing and grabs a book to read that just so happens to cover her face…"]
06[11:14] * Yanmei snickered. "This is so great."
[11:17] <Minaplo> ["Then he comes in, and, if he's broken some tiny rule, she tells him about it and how important it is that he follow them, because this is a girl's room, so… And he accepts it gracefully and smiles at her, and I can see her becoming even more flustered." Said Chii with a smirk. "Then, what comes after is even more interesting…"]
01[11:20] <Yanmei> "Oh yeah?"
[11:25] <Minaplo> ["Some silent time will pass. She might sneak glances at him over her book. Sometimes she'll glance at him right when he's looking at her. Their eyes meet, then…" A pause, followed by a grin. "She hides behind her book with a squeak and a huff."]
01[11:31] <Yanmei> "That's very much like her," she smirked. "You wouldn't happen to be teasing her about all this, are you?"
[11:32] <Minaplo> ["Only a little~" Said Chii. "But it's so adorable, I can't help but sometimes pick her up and squeeze her as tightly as I can." She let out a contented sigh. "Little Go's growing up… Oh, you won't believe what -he- said yesterday."]
01[11:35] <Yanmei> "What? What?"
[11:36] <Minaplo> ["He comes in, and Go says that he didn't knock long enough, and he should since it's a girls' room. Armin bows, walks over, takes her hand, and, looking at both of us, says, 'I see not girls but blossoming women here'."]
01[11:45] <Yanmei> "…" -
01[11:46] <Yanmei> Yanmei tried to hold it in, but she soon found herself doubled over in laughter. "O-oh my god!"
[11:52] <Minaplo> ["It was ridiculous." Said Chiisana, starting to laugh herself. "But he sold it so well, his eyes shining with such sincerity, his voice so -rich- that all Go did was stare at him for a minute, going redder and redder, before pulling away, covering her face with her hands and squealing to the heavens."]
01[11:56] <Yanmei> "Oh god… Chiisana, one of these days you'll have to film those two."
[11:57] <Minaplo> ["I'll do no such thing." Said Chiisana piously. "But do you know what I will do?"]
01[11:58] <Yanmei> "What?"
[12:00] <Minaplo> ["I think I might see if I can have Armin and Go knock off a little early tomorrow." Said Chii. "Whilst I work a little later. That should give the two of them the privacy they need to discuss things for a few hours."]
01[12:05] <Yanmei> "A good call!" Yanmei nodded her approval. "Would it be overkill to pull some strings to get some mood lighting set up before they get home?"
[12:09] <Minaplo> ["Would scented candles suffice?"]
01[12:10] <Yanmei> "That would be perfect."
[12:12] <Minaplo> ["Excellent."]
[12:55] <CakeyCake> "Speaking of romance~~ And discussing things~~" She winked at her.
[12:56] <Minaplo> [Chiisana's expression became flat in quicktime.]
[12:57] <CakeyCake> "Huh. So you guys -are- still fighting…"
[13:01] <Minaplo> ["Whatever do you mean?"]
[13:05] <CakeyCake> "C'mon. Hyuga's been moping the entire time he's been stationed at the Bridge? We can't even tease him without him getting all grumpy."
[13:07] <Minaplo> ["It's not fighting." She said firmly. "He told me he didn't love me, then he went off and did something stupid during the battle. That's the end of it."]
[13:09] <CakeyCake> "You didn't talk at all after the battle? Like, for closure?"
[13:12] <Minaplo> ["We were busy after the battle." She said irritably. "I had hoped we might, after I saved his stupid hide from himself, but ever since he's been too busy or he's avoided me. He's even sent Ibuki along with his card to pick up his ration of materials."]
[13:14] <CakeyCake> "So, you're not actually opposed to talking through this? If he gave you the chance, I mean?"
[13:17] <Minaplo> ["What is there to talk about? Maybe he's right."]
[13:23] <CakeyCake> "Right about what, exactly?"
[13:25] <Minaplo> ["About- not seeing each other. Just cutting ties." She said, bitterness creeping into her voice.]
[13:30] <CakeyCake> "Oh please. He totally wants to? He's just being a dumb scared jerkface about it."
[13:31] <Minaplo> [Chiisana eyed Yanmei skeptically. "You weren't there. He was pretty emphatic about telling me he didn't love me."]
[13:37] <CakeyCake> "But if he didn't have any strong feelings over this, wouldn't he be acting more… normal?"
[13:39] <Minaplo> ["Don't ask me to explain how he thinks."]
[13:51] <CakeyCake> "Should I ask him, then?"
[13:51] <Minaplo> [Chiisana eyed her suspiciously. "He'll just be gruff at you, won't he?"]
[13:53] <CakeyCake> "He's already gruff at me. I'm used to it?"
[13:54] <Minaplo> ["Tch."]
[13:57] <CakeyCake> "Maybe I'll even get advice from Katsuragi or someone…"
[14:13] <Minaplo> ["W-What sort of advice?"]
[14:15] <CakeyCake> "She's worked with him a lot? And if she's anything like Marianne, most of that 'working' involved passing lots of paperwork and undesirable stuff onto him. So she knows how to talk him into things."
[14:18] <Minaplo> ["…"-
[14:18] <Minaplo> ["I-I suppose it would be nice to talk to him again." She mumbled.]
[14:18] * CakeyCake beamed. "See~? Just you wait. Big sis Yanmei will take care of everything?"
[14:20] <Minaplo> ["What's this 'big sis' nonsense?" Said Chii instantly, her moment of shyness vanishing.]
[14:29] <CakeyCake> "It's totally fitting?" Yanmei nodded knowingly to herself. "It's okay. Even if it's just between the two of us, that's totally how you feel about me, right~?"
[14:30] <Minaplo> ["You're confusing me with Rei." Said Chiisana, smirking.]
[14:32] <CakeyCake> "Hm? Well… I won't deny that Rei's like that," she mumbled.
[14:36] <Minaplo> ["Whereas I am the mature, beautiful princess that you admire." Said Chii happily.]
[14:39] <CakeyCake> "Please. I'm just as mature," Yanmei pointed out, tossing her hair.
[14:40] <Minaplo> [Chiisana's hair tossed itself.-
[14:41] <Minaplo> ["Actually. Thinking about this brings me back to how this… With Hyuga all started."]
[14:42] <CakeyCake> "Oh yeah?"
[14:43] <Minaplo> ["It started with a conversation with that damned von Brandt…"]
[14:44] <CakeyCake> "…" Yanmei's expression suddenly darkened, but she held her tongue, letting her go on.
[14:45] <Minaplo> ["I had intended to convince him to give up his secrets with my AT Field, but it didn't work. Instead, he…" She looked uncomfortable. "He seemed to infer all of these intimate things, like how I loved Hyuga and how… Erh, dangerous I was to him, in his words."]
[14:47] <CakeyCake> "He's pretty good at that. Making you doubt yourself?"
[14:48] <Minaplo> ["So it seems." She said wryly. "He… He told me that I was blinding myself to Hyuga's true feelings with my Field, which he compared to something a date rapist might use." She said smally.]
[14:52] * CakeyCake winced. "Well. What do you think?"
[14:57] <Minaplo> ["I… Well." She looked shamefaced. "It made me think. Like about the Prince of Dubai, and how much trouble I caused him without thinking about it."]
[15:00] <Yanmei> "Hmm." Yanmei's brow furrowed. "So how did you cope?"
[15:00] <Minaplo> ["Well, I sort of didn't. I went to Hyuga directly and asked me if he loved me, and he didn't seem to know how to react, so I asked him again and he all of a sudden said no."]
[15:03] <Yanmei> "O-oh."
[15:05] <Minaplo> ["Then I went to my room and began trashing things that reminded me of my 'princess' thing."]
[15:17] * Yanmei winced again. "But you loved your princess stuff…"
[15:19] <Minaplo> ["I didn't manage to ruin all of it." Said Chii. "Before Raphael found me. But still. I remember -hating- myself, hating this… Charade, almost, this fairy tale that I'd turned myself into."]
[15:19] <Yanmei> "And now…?"
[15:29] <Minaplo> ["I'm not so sure now."]
[15:36] <Yanmei> Yanmei suddenly saw Chiisana's outfit in a new light, glancing over it briefly. "I guess coming to terms with something like that takes a little time."
[15:45] <Minaplo> ["It's more that this is practical." Said Chii. "I still have most of my old outfits, and I still intend to wear them, because between you and me, I think I look utterly divine in them."]
[15:51] <Yanmei> "Agreed~" Yanmei smirked. "Queen of the ruffles. Makes me wonder what your own inevitable wedding dress will be like?"
[15:52] <Minaplo> ["Perhaps you should consider what Rei's will look like first." Said Chiisana.]
[15:54] <Yanmei> "Hers will be pink. Probably with sparkles?"
[15:55] <Minaplo> ["Rei Ayanami-Wellesley…" Chiisana smiled. "That'll be a day to remember."-
[15:57] <Minaplo> [There was a sudden, tiny tremor. Seconds later Yanmei would start to hear loud shouting and cries in the distance…]
[16:01] <Yanmei> "?!" Yanmei briefly touched the counter, and spun in the direction of the cries, her eyes narrowing. "Better go. I'll see you later, Chiisana."
[16:03] <Minaplo> ["Be careful!"]
[16:05] <Yanmei> "Always am~" Yanmei called over her shoulder, already jogging away.

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