Komm Susser Tod 2 3 1

[15:25] <Minaplo> [It wouldn't take long for Rei to get ready, and so a few minutes later they were in the elevator, heading down to the ground level. It was obvious to Raphael's eye that, by her little, eager smile and the warm expression on her face that she was clearly having fun.-
[15:25] <Minaplo> ["Sho's been to Singapore too, you know, Raffy?"]
[15:36] <Raphael> Something about the way he stood… it was the old Raphael standing with her in the elevator right now, the one Rei had met at first. It showed in the tightness of his shoulders, the way he seemed /primed/ like a tightly wound spring. Even then, her enthusiasm was infectious enough for him to shoot her a little smile.-
[15:36] <Raphael> "She was stationed here during the war, wasn't she?"
[15:40] <Minaplo> ["Yeah. She sent me a bunch of pictures and even some clothes."-
[15:41] <Minaplo> [The elevator (since it wasn't a NERV one) reached its destination rather quickly. The doors opened, and Rei stepped out. "C'mon, Raffy. While we're here, we may even get you a new wardrobe~"]
[15:45] * Raphael plunges his hands into his pockets, slouching a little more than he typically would as he follows Rei out. "I'll be fine, Rei."
[15:49] <Minaplo> ["We'll see~"-#
[15:57] <Minaplo> [Ajit Darzi's tailor shop is well-lit and well-stocked. Silky dresses share window space with quality tuxedos, whilst the moment they walked through the door they'd find themselves face-to-face with racks of multi-coloured, patterned scarves of cashmere, damask and fine wool. The store is replete with fine-looking clothing on display- saris and cheongsams as well as simple t-shirts made for the heat, fashionable skirts and tops and belts of all lengths and types. Racks of materials sit against the walls as well.-
[15:59] <Minaplo> [Darzi himself is very much an advertisement for his clothes, wearing a handsome red dress shirt and black trousers. They fit his slightly disproporionate, pudgy form perfectly. He beamed warmly as Raphael and Rei entered, as though they were a pair of his oldest friends here to share a drink or two- in fact, there were even little stools built against his counter… "Hello, madame, sir." He says, his voice clean and silky and utterly devoid of the singlish Sera had been so ambushed by earlier.-
[16:00] <Minaplo> ["Hi!" Said Rei.]
[16:02] <Raphael> "Hello." Raphael says, taking up a position just behind Rei's shoulder as he takes in the shop.
[16:04] <Minaplo> ["Newly arrived in Singapore?" he asks, his eye moreso on Raphael here than Rei.]
[16:08] <Raphael> "We are." Raphael's attention switches back to the man, meeting his eyes. "We were just having a look around."#
[16:20] <Minaplo> ["Good, good." Said Ajit "Where abouts are you from? No, wait, don't tell me. I have an ear for accents." He leaned forward a little, thinking slightly, biting his bottom lip. "Quebecois Canadian? Yes, maybe your mother was Quebecois and your father was an Anglo."]
[16:22] * Raphael raises an eyebrow in feigned surprise. "Very impressive."
[16:23] <Minaplo> ["Aha! I knew it." He puffed up proudly.-
[16:23] <Minaplo> ["Oh, when we arrived, a helpful boy asked us to give you these." Said Rei, taking out the business cards and handing them to Ajit.-
[16:30] <Minaplo> [He took them, eyeing them curiously. His eyes widened slightly and he smiled. "Aha. He's done well, very well." He said, pocketing the cards. "I'll have to pay the boy his dues." He looked back up at Rei. "… You know, that is a lovely headscarf."-
[16:30] <Minaplo> ["Oh, thank you." Said Rei happily.-
[16:31] <Minaplo> ["Did you buy it locally? Because it looks just like some of my own. Here, I'll show you-" he walked around the counter, leading Rei off towards his most magnificent collection of headscarves.-
[16:31] <Minaplo> [Rei followed, of course, pleasantly curious.]
[16:33] * Raphael trails along behind with watchful eyes, as if working to balance out Rei's enthusiasm.
[16:35] <Minaplo> ["You see these ones? Orchids, a lovely local flower- ah, and with a lovely blue. Isn't this soft?" He held out one to Rei, who felt it, murmuring her agreement. "Here, why don't you try it on? There's a dressing room with mirror over there…"-
[16:37] <Minaplo> [Rei quickly headed off, scarf in hand, whilst Ajit turned back to Raphael. "Now you, my Canadian friend, why don't you take a seat? You're new here, you're probably asking yourself- where to go in this big busy city? You want to know where the -real- life is, not just the tourist traps. You want a local's knowledge."]
[16:41] <Raphael> "A local like you." Raphael surmises.
[16:42] <Minaplo> ["A local like me." Said Ajit with a grin. "And this is not just me being friendly, either. The city is a little unsettled right now."]
[16:43] <Raphael> "Is that right?" Raphael raises an eyebrow. "Why's that?"
[16:46] <Raphael> <RETCON>
[16:47] * Raphael nods. "Right. Those UN troops can't be far off now."
[16:51] <Minaplo> ["Quite right." Said Ajit. "And every day the papers report about the war in Europe, you know, talking about how the Germans are in Kiev, the Germans are in Minsk, the Germans are in Leningrad… It makes everyone feel on edge. Then you have the Chinese sending forces to the city, building up all the defenses, a Chinese warfleet about to arrive any day now… Who would want to be a part of that, eh?"-
[16:51] <Minaplo> ["But." The man leaned forward, smiling widely. "I'm not so scared, no. I know we'll be fine."]
[16:53] <Raphael> An eyebrow raised. "Oh yeah?"
[16:54] <Minaplo> ["They say the Eva Corps got destroyed in space." Said Ajit. "But I am not so sure. No, I think when the time comes, the Eva Corps will appear right in the nick of time, and drive the UN away. I have faith in our godly girls." He says, puffing up proudly as though he had personally helped them punch an Angel.]
[16:56] <Raphael> "A rare sort of optimism these days, if you don't mind me saying so."
[16:57] <Minaplo> ["Then that makes me the rare sort of optimist." Said Ajit, his eyes twinkling. "Speaking of rarity, there's something in your face that's familiar, yet I can't quite put my finger on what it is…"]#
#6[17:01] * Raphael smiles a little. "Badly dressed tourists all tend to blend together after a while in a town like this, I suspect."
[17:04] <Minaplo> ["Are you kidding? I have an eye for badly-dressed. It's the well-dressed that I don't care about." The man stared at Raphael for a second longer, then snaps his fingers. "Ah! That's it! Have you heard of Apollo Star? Eh? Big boy band head, did some modelling, all the young girls go wild for him. You look very much like him. It's uncanny. In fact…"-
[17:04] <Minaplo> [The man rushes around, grabs a scarf off one of the racks and throws it around Raphael's neck. "-Yes-."]#
[17:14] <Raphael> Raphael tugs at the scarf, but Ajit is still too busy fussing and adjusting the thing for him to actually remove it. "I don't… I've never heard of him, I'm sorry."
[17:18] <Minaplo> ["You will, soon." Said Ajit with a grin.-
[17:20] <Minaplo> [Rei emerged at this point, blue headscarf tied securely around her head and shoulders. "All done~" She said happily- before seeing what Raphael was (reluctantly) wearing. "Oh wow, that looks really good!"]
[17:21] <Raphael> "So I'm told." Raphael mutters, angling his head around Ajit to at least try and get a look at himself in the mirror.
[17:24] <Minaplo> [Well. He may not be an expert, but the scarf does look -attractive-. And its blend of light and dark grey doesn't stand out too much… It's also so very soft.]
[17:25] <Raphael> "… Mmm." He turns his attention to Rei. "Yours looks nice!"
[17:26] <Minaplo> [Rei blushes happily. "Doesn't it? I really like it~"-
[17:26] <Minaplo> ["You know, this gives me an idea…" Said Ajit.-
[17:31] <Minaplo> [Half an hour later, Ajit finally released them from his talons, Rei walking away having ended up with four headscarves, two tops, a skirt, two saris and a red cheongsam, whilst Ajit walked away with about 300 dollars and a greatly pleased look. The man did however send Raphael away with a (free of charge) set of detailed maps with little hand-written annotations, especially around the Niu Che Shui Chinatown and Little India.]
[17:36] * Raphael had quickly realized that he could not stop Rei spending a substantial amount of money, but he could at least stop her spending /all/ of it. 300 dollars was practically a bargain compared to what the salesman had tried, and the maps could certainly come in handy.-
[17:37] <Raphael> "You'll have to be careful with money for the rest of the trip." Raphael cautioned, glancing sideways at Rei.
[17:40] <Minaplo> ["Hm." Rei was frowning slightly as she got onto the elevator. "I spent kind of a lot." She admitted. "But all the clothes seemed so lovely. And they fit so well…" She shook her head.-
[17:40] <Minaplo> ["H-Hmph." She muttered. "I'll just need to try harder to not buy everything next time."]
[17:40] <Raphael> "That is a good place to start, yes."
[17:42] <Minaplo> [A minute later they were back in their room, Rei carefully putting her new clothes away before sitting down on her bed.-
[17:42] <Minaplo> ["I wonder how everyone back on the Dory is going…"]
[17:49] <Raphael> "Things are fine, I'm sure." Raphael says, not pausing a quick, obsessive sweep of the room. "We just need to worry about the mission for now. It's the best way we can help them."
[17:53] <Minaplo> ["Yeah." Said Rei quietly. "Still… First time I've been away from Al in awhile."]
[17:56] <Raphael> "… I guess so." Raphael says as he sets the curtains back in place. He wanders a little closer and eases himself down onto one of the beds. "Are you alright?"
[18:01] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, I think I'm ok." Said Rei with a quick smile. "I was just thinking about him. What he's up to, how his day has been, whether he's thinking of me right now. It's strange to think he's millions of kilometres away." She looks over at Raphael. "Do you do that sometimes, Raffy?"]
[18:17] <Raphael> "Of course." Raphael smiles, leaning back onto a stack of pillows. "It's a terribly normal thing to do, I think."
[18:25] <Minaplo> ["Hm." She smiled warmly at him for a minute or two. "Thinking about Misa-bachan or Suzie…"-
[18:26] <Minaplo> [She leaned back, looking up at the roof. "It's been hard to be on the Dory recently." She said. "There's so much- hurt, and pain…"]
[18:38] * Raphael sighs and nods. "I know. Working in a situation like that… even if you don't lose yourself in grief, it's nearly impossible for it not to wear you down. Still, you and your sisters have been doing such fantastic work…"
[18:44] <Minaplo> ["Did you hear about how Go's been coordinating the rescue efforts and everything?" Said Rei with pride.]
[18:50] * Raphael chuckles. "I did. I was working with her some of the time. She seemed… practically like a different person, actually."
[18:55] <Minaplo> ["A real go-getter, huh?"]
[18:56] <Raphael> "Ugh."
[18:57] <Minaplo> ["Al once said that to her as a compliment." Said Rei. "Totally innocently. It was so funny…"-
[18:59] <Minaplo> ["But I'm happy for her." Said Rei. "I'm happy for lots of my sisters… Have you had a chance to talk to Chii about Makoto-san?"]
[19:02] <Raphael> "I haven't had the time since the battle." Raphael says regretfully. "We spoke when I took Suzie down to Materials to help out, but we were both in a hurry. Have you heard anything?"
[19:02] <Minaplo> ["Not really. I spoke to Meimei, and she said Makoto-san's been pretty grumpy too…"]
[19:05] * Raphael 's expression darkens a little. "The man nearly walked to his own death during the battle. He probably would've if Chiisana and I hadn't arrived. Foolish."
[19:12] <Minaplo> ["Why do you think he did it?"]
[19:14] <Raphael> "I couldn't say."
[19:16] <Minaplo> ["But it's not like that time Al single-handedly escaped his kidnappers with firebombs, is it?"]
[19:18] <Raphael> "That was… overconfidence." Raphael said, choosing his words carefully. "Maybe desparation. This just seemed to be Captain Hyuga giving up."
[19:21] <Minaplo> ["It was awesome and brave." Corrected Rei. "But hm… It sounds like he was more upset about his fight with Chii than Chii was."]
[19:28] <Raphael> "Maybe. Or maybe just upset in a different way." Raphael said quietly.
[19:28] <Minaplo> ["What do you think they should do, Raffy?"]
[19:30] <Raphael> "I… don't know, to be honest." Raphael sighed. "It's a complicated situation. Did she talk to you about what happened in the first place?"
[19:30] <Minaplo> ["She told me some of it. She said that Makoto-san said that he didn't love her…"]
[19:33] <Raphael> "…" Another sigh.
[19:33] <Raphael> "von Brandt told her that it was her field that made Makoto reciprocate in the first place. And since she doesn't have much conscious control of it, there's a chance he could be correct." Raphael says. "I think that scares them both, and rightly so."
[19:34] <Minaplo> ["Hmmmm." Rei thought about it. "So you think maybe Makoto-san panicked."]
[19:34] <Raphael> "Potentially."
[19:35] <Minaplo> ["Oh, Chii." Sighed Rei. "This isn't the first time trouble's been caused because of her field…"]
[19:36] <Raphael> "The Prince of Dubai, you mean?" Raphael asks, remembering the story he'd been told the first time he met the Ayanami.
[19:38] <Minaplo> ["Yeah." Said Rei. "That was a big problem in the end…"]
[19:39] <Raphael> "I never heard how the story ended."#
[19:42] <Minaplo> ["Well, it ended with the Prince heartbroken." Said Rei. "And then he sort of went on a tantrum because he was so upset, and so he ruined this long-term courtship his dad had set up… Which then made that girl all upset, and angered that girl's father, and now the father won't have anything to do with the Prince's father, but that's bad, because the girl's father is the Prime Minister of Dubai…"]
[19:55] * Raphael groans. "My field might be difficult to live with, but at least I've never had a problem like that."#
[19:56] <Minaplo> ["Well luckily, Raffy, you've only ever run into one princess." Said Rei happily.]
[19:57] <Raphael> "Quite."
[19:58] <Minaplo> ["Hm." Rei sat up. "Raffy, you'll be at Meimei's wedding, right?"]
[19:58] * Raphael pushes himself up a little to get a better look at Rei across the room. "Of course, so long as she's happy to invite me."
[20:00] <Minaplo> ["I'll make sure of it." Said Rei firmly. "Meimei made me a bridesmaid, after all~"]
[20:01] <Raphael> "Oh, she did? That's wonderful, sweetheart!" Raphael gives her a proud look. "You're excited?"
[20:02] <Minaplo> ["Mmmhm! Chii said she'll lend me one of her dresses and everything." Said Rei, looking extremely happy at this fact. "Al's been chosen to be the best man, too!"]
[20:05] <Raphael> "Good for him." Raphael smiles… and then gives her a sly look. "At least you two will know what it takes when it comes time for your own."
[20:08] <Minaplo> [Rei pouted slightly, a tinge of red coming to her cheeks. "Hmph. We'll -double- know what it takes if you and Misa-bachan go first."]
[20:09] * Raphael rolls his eyes. "I wouldn't get your hopes up."
[20:10] <Minaplo> ["Why not?"]
[20:12] <Raphael> "We're comfortable as we are right now, that's all. It's not as though we need to be married to be happy." Raphael says, looking up at the ceiling.
[20:13] <Minaplo> […-
[20:14] <Minaplo> [Rei is, with startling speed and silence, suddenly standing by Raphael's bed, elbows on the surface, hands folded into a bridge on which her head rests, giving Raphael the biggest and most sincere beaming -grin- she can muster.]
[20:16] <Raphael> "Ghk!" The strange, alarmed noise comes from somewhere deep in his throat. "What…?"
[20:19] <Minaplo> ["What?" She asks, staring back at him innocently. "It's just you. You're so cute when you're talking about Misa-bachan…"]
[20:19] <Raphael> "Oh, stop it."
[20:21] <Minaplo> ["But you are. I'm just happy that you're happy~" Said Rei cheerfully. "No doubt thinking of Misa-bachan in her wedding dress, looking all beautiful…"]
[20:23] <Raphael> "Like I said, -if- marriage is on the cards it won't be soon." Raphael says stubbornly, his eyes back on the ceiling instead of that self-satisfied grin Rei was wearing.
[20:26] <Minaplo> ["Hmph."-
[20:27] <Minaplo> [She reaches up and throws her arms around him now, giving him a brief squeeze. "Alright, Raffy. Have it your way, but I warn you, you're in danger of running into a serious baby gap if you keep up this kind of attitude." She says warningly.]
[20:28] <Raphael> "Baby gap." Raphael repeats, giving her a bemused look as he returns the squeeze.
[20:30] <Minaplo> ["Yup. If this keeps up, when it's time for our big family photos, your babies are going to be little spots of black and brown in a sea of blue, blonde and violet."]
[20:31] <Raphael> "And what if you girls are enough trouble for us?" Raphael smirks as he pokes her in the side.
[20:36] <Minaplo> [She jumps, jabbing him in both sides in return. "We're -easy- compared to the trouble Misa-bachan is."]
[20:37] <Raphael> "… True enough."
[20:37] <Minaplo> ["Hah."-#
[20:38] <Minaplo> [She leans up and kisses him on the cheek before pulling away. "Ok, Raffy. I'm going to have a shower, and then I'm going to bed." She said. "You should sleep too- Apollo Star needs to be ready for his big day tomorrow…"]
[20:39] * Raphael makes a disgusted noise. "Don't you start. This was supposed to be a /disguise/."
[20:41] <Minaplo> ["Hee hee hee." Rei cackles all the way to the shower, stopping only to pull something out of a cache and throw it onto her bed- her personal plush toy of Alphonse. Then, she's gone, her laughter replaced by the sound of running water.]#

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