Komm Susser Tod 2 5 3

[14:59] <@Minaplo> [The air was still and cold and unmoving- not like a frost but like a wasteland or a cold desert. Every lungful of chilly air caused a pain in the chest just at the sheer contrast between body heat and cold air.-
[15:01] <@Minaplo> [The light was dim- it had once been white and bright, but had been lowered to a dull yellow that left everything half-shadowy and warm-looking. It was a little hard to see past a few metres or so, but it was better than constant darkness.-
[15:03] <@Minaplo> [The white privacy curtain enveloped his little space. Around him were blankets, much thicker and in greater supply than was usual for hospitals.-
[15:04] <@Minaplo> [The sounds around him were mixed, from the short, high-pitched beeps of hospital machines and heart monitors to the low, barely-perceived hubbub of talking and footsteps that belonged to the world beyond the curtain.-
[15:06] <@Minaplo> [The aches and sensations of his own body were seemingly omnipresent although had no comparison to the brilliant, blinding agony that had caused them in the first place. The dulled senses had an almost soothing, seductively soporific effect, as though a lullaby.-
[15:08] <@Minaplo> [Out of that hubbub came footsteps, growing in sound. The curtain opened a little, a man- a Doctor, Tenma- peeking his head in. "Mr. Guillory?"]
[15:29] <Raphael> A voice…-
[15:29] <Raphael> Raphael stirred. His eyes had been open for some time - how long? Hard to say - but he had been drifting, thoughtless.-
[15:29] <Raphael> Now that he tried, he was quick to find that his eyes struggled to focus, to shift his vision into the realm beyond simple blurs of light and shade. Some distant part of him made an idle note of this - that he was drugged, hospitalised. It was difficult to pay it any more mind than that, though, and so the knowledge was quietly filed away for later analysis.-
[15:29] <Raphael> Still, the fuzzy vision gnawed at him enough to try bringing his hands to his face, to try and massage his eyes back into focus. Only one made it - his left arm felt as though there was a slab of unfeeling rubber below the elbow, where his forearm and hand were supposed to be.-
[15:29] <Raphael> Then came the pain, lancing past even the veil of numbness to his brain like a lightning bolt. He hissed, rolling to one side as if to escape it.
[15:35] <@Minaplo> ["Nurse!" Shouted Tenma, stepping properly into the room and over to Raphael's side. He gripped Raphael's shoulders, fighting to push him back onto his back. "It's alright, Mr. Guillory-"-
[15:36] <@Minaplo> ["Nurse is here! What is needed?"-
[15:37] <@Minaplo> ["Painkillers, get Clement-"-
[15:38] <@Minaplo> ["Right! Will ask."-
[15:38] <@Minaplo> [Tenma turned his attention back to Raphael. "Mr. Guillory, I know it's hard, but I'm going to need you to lie back."]
[15:43] <Raphael> The words filtered through, but, like his other senses, the going was slow. Raphael struggled (Weakly) for a moment longer before going onto his back with a low groan.
[15:51] <@Minaplo> [There were more footsteps. "Doctor, here-"-
[15:52] <@Minaplo> ["… This is it?"-
[15:53] <@Minaplo> ["Doctor Clement say 'deal with it', that is all."-
[15:54] <@Minaplo> ["Alright. Get on his other side." Tenma leaned over Raphael, holding a barely-visible bag of some fluid (biogel?) in his hand. "Hold still, Mr. Guillory. It'll be alright in a minute. Pull back the blankets-"-
[15:56] <@Minaplo> [The nurse did so, pulling them back to Raphael's feet. Over his chest and a part of his leg were some thick pads, the edges itching uncomfortably.-
[15:58] <@Minaplo> [Tenma held the bag over the pads, squeezing a little. Liquid oozed into the pads and began soaking in- the sensation was cold, like everything else, but it was the sort of cold that you got from sticking an arm full of sunburn into a pool of ice cold water.-
[16:00] <@Minaplo> [In fact, it was a distinctly shocking, highly uncomfortable sensation that made breathing a chore for a minute or so- before he felt the pain start to subside.]
[16:04] * Raphael spent the intervening moments with his jaw and working hand tightly clenched, marshalling the few woken parts of his brain to the task of staying still as ordered. It was a harder task that it should have been, even with the pain, but when relief finally came he allowed himself to let out a shaky breath.-
[16:07] <Raphael> It cleared his thoughts just enough to search through the blurs for the one that marked out Tenma. "Rei…?" He said, the word coming out slurred.
[16:08] <@Minaplo> ["She's fine, Mr. Guillory." Said Tenma. "Do you want to see her?"]
[16:26] * Raphael blinked once, and again a knot of tension seemed to slip out of him. Exhaustion replaced it. He managed to shake his head, darkness worming into the edges of his visions. "No, just… she's ok. Was worried."
[16:30] <@Minaplo> ["She's quite fine, yes. Injured, but she heals quickly." Said Tenma. "She was worried about you, and for good reason." Added Tenma darkly.]
[16:31] <Raphael> "Bad?" Raphael asked slowly.
[16:33] <@Minaplo> ["Nothing that can't be fixed with time and resources." Said Tenma. "But still… Bad, yes."]
[16:35] <Raphael> "Alright." Raphael murmured, numbing darkness taking the rest of his mind. It could be fixed, after all. It was a problem for later.-
[16:36] <Raphael> For now he slept.
[16:38] <@Minaplo> […-
[16:41] <@Minaplo> [This time, when the warm cocoon of sleep was pulled back, Raphael would find a new sensation in there, buried beneath the cold air and the sounds and the dull ache in his chest and arm and leg.-
[16:42] <@Minaplo> [This was also a pain, although a familiar one. A tight contraction in his stomach- hunger.]
[17:09] <Raphael> "Mgh."-
[17:09] <Raphael> This time his mind and his vision were both a little clearer - at least enough so to get a look at the room around him. He eyed the call button by his bed and dismissed it, instead craning his neck to either side - careful not to jostle his left side - as if he might spot a handy MRE by his bedside.
[17:15] <@Minaplo> [There was, in fact… Not by his bedside. He saw a small pile of the things sitting up against the wall, far out of reach.]
[17:22] <Raphael> "… Damn." He murmured. He let his head fall back onto his pillow, resolving to wait until the next time he could spot a passing nurse. No point in pulling someone away from their duties for some hunger…
[17:23] <@Minaplo> [And so Raphael would wait a good half hour before he'd get the chance.-
[17:24] <@Minaplo> [A curtain would pull back, a man would stick his head in- he looked a little familiar, and he was wearing medical gear. "… Oh, strong man is awake, huh?"]
[17:31] <Raphael> "Not much of a strong man." Raphael said, even as he tried to inject a little more strength into his voice.
[17:34] <@Minaplo> ["Oh no, man is strong and tough and big." Said the nurse, heading over to the bedside table. "So strong and tough and big, he say, he can punch out Solomon Prime with one hand tied behind back!"-
[17:34] <@Minaplo> ["You feel okay, big tough strong man?"]
[17:36] <Raphael> "I'm a little hungry," He admitted, wincing a little at the memory of the Solomon and the effort of talking. "Am I able to eat?"
[17:39] <@Minaplo> ["Yes." Said the nurse. "Whether you able to eat MRE is another matter, is awful." He walked around the bed, grabbing one from the pile. "Oh look, is Mexican Fajita."-
[17:39] * Raphael groaned.
[17:40] <@Minaplo> ["Very." He threw it over his shoulder and grabbed another. "Is Teriyaki Noodle. Better. Not going to make tough man vomit." He opened the package. "Do you want the crackers?"]
[17:41] <Raphael> "It's worth a try." He said, busy considering the logistics of sitting up.
[17:42] <@Minaplo> ["Need bed tilted?"]
[17:43] <Raphael> "That might be best." He admitted.
[17:45] <@Minaplo> [A minute of mechanical manipulation later, and Raphael would be sitting up. The contortion of his body caused him a little pain in his chest, but nothing compared to the hot dagger that it had been earlier.-
[17:46] <@Minaplo> [The nurse pulled a chair over, placing the little plastic eating tray on Raphel's lap, along with the packet of crackers and cheese.]
[17:54] <Raphael> "Thank you." Raphael says quietly, using his good hand to reach for a cracker. He knows to go slowly, even in his hunger - he barely does more than nibble.-
[17:54] <Raphael> "I don't think I know your name, I'm sorry."
[17:56] <@Minaplo> ["Ignatenko." Said Ignatenko. "Vasily Ignatenko. And you are Raphael Guillory."]
[17:58] <Raphael> "I am." Raphael said, giving the nurse a thin, tired smile.-
[17:59] <Raphael> "Have I been out for very long, Mr. Ignatenko?"
[17:59] <@Minaplo> [Ignatenko looked over at the pile of MREs and counted.-
[17:59] <@Minaplo> ["Three days."]
[18:02] * Raphael nods. He's quiet for a moment, starting on a second cracker. "Do you know if anyone else was hurt?"
[18:04] <@Minaplo> ["Sure, few people, none as bad as you. Ayanami took licking, but nothing too bad for her. Dicky bartender guy should have been way worse than was. VIPs were fine."]
[18:07] <Raphael> "The wonders of regeneration." Raphael says, sounding just a little jealous.
[18:10] <@Minaplo> ["Yes, is thing." Said Ignatenko, scratching his chin. "I remember once, as little boy, falling out of window. Pop! Leg snap, bone poking out of flesh, was very bad." He let out a sigh. "Would have liked to regenerate then. Oh, I should start heating your food instead of chit-chat about superhuman master race silliness."]
[18:13] * Raphael smiles just a little more genuinely this time, nodding.-
[18:18] <Raphael> "Still on Mars, judging from the cold." He mumbles, looking down at his arm hidden in a limb mitten.-
[18:19] <Raphael> "Did I lose the hand?" He asks. The question has an odd, perfunctory quality to it, whether due to the drugs or something else entirely.
[18:22] <@Minaplo> ["No, but it was close thing." Said Ignatenko. "When you try to fight Solomon Prime, she slash you with particle weapon." He held up his hand- fumbling slightly with the heating bag of the MRE- and ran a finger across it vertically, from in between his middle and ring finger down to the base of the palm. "Biogel save it in the short term, and more biogel and rehabilitation fix it in long term. So very lucky. Have seen other people not so lucky in my time. Ugly weapons."]
[18:30] <Raphael> "Yes." Raphael agrees. "Lucky all around, I think…"
[18:32] <@Minaplo> ["But now you home, and soon, we will be too, all gun-blazy and yeehaw."]
[18:35] <Raphael> "How soon?" Raphael asked, turning to regard Vasily with a little more life in his eyes. "Have they set the date?"
[18:35] <@Minaplo> ["Is two days after big wedding, so… In four days." Said Ignatenko.]
[18:37] <Raphael> "Wedding… Yanmei's?"
[18:40] <@Minaplo> ["Mmmhm. Is big thing." Said Ignatenko. "With ribbons and buffet. Whale buffet. Is… Not best, but is better than MRE buffet." Said Ignatenko. "Also, booze."]
[18:50] <Raphael> "She deserves it." Raphael said. "And it'll be good for morale."-
[18:51] <Raphael> "Four days, though… I won't be ready in four days." He glances at the nurse as if to confirm this.
[18:52] <@Minaplo> ["No, will not be."]
[18:53] <Raphael> "Mmm." He murmurs, frowning.
[18:55] <@Minaplo> ["Look on bright side."]
[18:58] * Raphael gave the nurse a quizzical look.
[19:02] <@Minaplo> ["Is good enough to test robot, yes? And to be honest, robot people very, very interested in testing robot with you."]
[19:04] <Raphael> "… Wonderful." Raphael said cooly, but against all odds this -did- seem to make him feel better.
[19:08] <@Minaplo> ["Food is done." Said Ignatenko, pulling the plate of limp, damp but hot teriyaki noodles out of its packet.]
[15:28] <Raphael> MREs were not the struggle for Raphael that they were for many of the crew, but even by those standards he was quick to dig in. The crackers seemed to have awoken his hunger enough that he may even have risked the feared Mexican Fajita if it had been required.-
[15:30] <Raphael> Still, his body was quick to remind him of the state he was in, and after a few hurried bites his stomach offered a loud, beleaugered gurgle, forcing his pace to slow considerably.
[15:32] <@Minaplo> ["Big strong man even try to eat like big strong man." Said Ignatenko wryly.]
[15:42] * Raphael paused long enough to give the man a sidelong glance, wincing a little as his chest shifts. "Your bedside manner isn't the best."
[15:46] <@Minaplo> ["Well excusing me." Said Ignatenko, folding his arms. "Perhaps you think Miss Beringer will be easier on you?" He gave Raphael a low, dark laugh.]
[15:47] <Raphael> "Mmm. True." He admitted.
[15:53] <Raphael> "Are Rei and Misato still in care?" He asked as he set aside his meal for a moment in an effort to let his stomach settle.
[15:55] <@Minaplo> ["No, we discharged them both. Katsuragi… Not perfectly healthy, but healthy enough, and we need space. And Ayanami, well, she is healing fast enough, and she was very restless."]
[15:59] * Raphael nodded slowly, but the movement alone seemed to be enough to make his vision blur. "Good…" He said distantly. "I was worried about Suzie being alone. She was having a hard time when I left."
[16:00] <@Minaplo> ["Oh, little girl in big robot, yes?"]
[16:05] <Raphael> "Oh. Oh, yes, excuse me." He said, frowning a little as he forces his attention back to Ignatenko.-
[16:05] <Raphael> "Suzanne. She's my daughter."
[16:06] <@Minaplo> ["Yes, I think I recognise name. She came to visit you. Did not cry. Did punch you in arm, though."]
[16:07] <Raphael> "That would be her."
[16:07] <@Minaplo> ["She had friends with her. They seemed to be taking care of her."]
[16:09] <Raphael> "Good. That's good." He nodded, satisfied. "She was with Surov's girls?"
[16:09] <@Minaplo> ["Yes. Also, Iron Guard. And Beringer boy."]
[16:10] * Raphael smiled a little at that. "Excellent."-
[16:12] <Raphael> And indeed, this seemed to buoy him enough to attempt another run at his rapidly cooling noodles. "Do you have a family, Vasily?"
[16:15] <@Minaplo> ["Of course! Am married with many children." He reached into his pocket, pulling out a well-worn wallet. So worn, in fact, that when he opened the leather clasp, the latch came with it.-
[16:16] <@Minaplo> [He held the wallet out open towards Raphael. Under his Fed ID (a NERV ID that someone had hastily pasted a UEF logo over) was a photograph of his family- or at least Raphael could assume it was. Ignatenko himself, next to a tall dark-haired woman, with seven children.]
[16:18] <Raphael> Seven. It had taken a handful of attempts to arrive at the number with a brain rather unwilling to accomodate the process, but there it was. He turned his gaze to Vasily again, his expression tired but faintly amused. "You're a busy man."
[16:23] <@Minaplo> [He beamed with pride and closed his wallet back up. "Very busy. Trust me, was very glad NERV paid well. You see, I myself have nine brothers and sisters."]
[16:30] <Raphael> "I would have thought that would make you learn your lesson."
[16:33] <@Minaplo> ["Hahaha. No no, is great." Said Ignatenko, laughing. "Noisy, crowded, but close."]
[16:37] * Raphael smiled. "I'm glad to hear it. Are they on the Liberty Bell? Your family, I mean."
[16:39] <@Minaplo> ["Lucky, yes."]
[16:40] * Raphael nodded slowly, taking a moment to scoop up the last of the noodles. "My brother and his wife are there too, actually. Lucky is too small a word."
[16:42] <@Minaplo> ["This is true."-
[16:42] <@Minaplo> ["Hmm. Perhaps we should have family get-together."]
[16:48] <Raphael> "Maybe." He agreed, struggling to bundle up the remains of the MRE with one hand - wincing every now and again as he moved to far or too fast - and setting the whole bundle aside. "Thank you for your help, Mr. Ignatenko."
[16:48] <@Minaplo> ["Is no problem." Said Ignatenko. "Need anything else?"]
[16:52] <Raphael> "I don't… no, I don't think so. Unless you're able to pass on word to General Katsuragi that I'm awake?"
[16:52] <@Minaplo> ["Will. Any other person you want to contact?"]
[16:53] <Raphael> "Misato will know who to call." He said, not quite managing to stifle a yawn. "I don't want to hold you up any more than I have to."
[16:57] <Raphael> <Admiral*>
[16:57] <@Minaplo> ["Understanding. Sleepytime, Mr. Guillory. Will see you later, yes?"}
[16:59] <Raphael> "Not getting rid of me for a while, it seems." Raphael said quietly, sparing a momentary glance towards his ruined hand.
[17:00] <@Minaplo> ["Better than getting rid of you early."]
[17:00] <Raphael> "True."
[17:01] <@Minaplo> [Ignatenko got to his feet, leaving Raphael with the remains of the MRE (energy drink powder (strawberry), and a coveted chocolate brownie). "Goodbye, Mr. Guillory."]
[17:05] <Raphael> The treats would certainly keep for now - with his stomach full again, Raphael's energy is very evidently fading fast. He raises his good hand in a weak gesture of farewell, and it wouldn't take long after the nurse had pulled the curtain shut for him to retreat back into the safety of sleep.
[17:03] <@Minaplo> […-
[17:04] <@Minaplo> ["… Like me?"-
[17:05] <@Minaplo> ["Hm… Probably~ But who knows, Suzie. It probably won't go that far."-
[17:05] <@Minaplo> ["Hmm…"-
[17:05] <@Minaplo> [Their voices, familiar, a little muffled, were starting to cut through the dim clingy fog in his head…]
[17:11] <Raphael> His eyelids twitched - slowly at first, before finally one eye opened, eventually followed by another. Still, the process of waking was a slow one, made confusing by the medication and the pain, and when he finally stirred it was with a start and a hiss of discomfort.
[17:15] <@Minaplo> [A hand on his shoulder. His vision swam for a second, but eventually it'd clarify. Dark hair done up in a tight bun, a thick jacket… Misato…?-
[17:15] <@Minaplo> ["Hey. It's okay…"]
[17:19] * Raphael found himself calming, at least a little. Part of it was the return of vision and the slower return of memory. Mostly it was her. "Mi-… Misato. H-hey."
[17:24] <@Minaplo> ["Having a nice nap?" She asked, but she was smiling.]
[17:30] * Raphael 's own smile quickly turned into a grimace as he struggled to sit up. "Have to… take them where I can."
[17:34] <@Minaplo> ["Sit back, I'll adjust the bed up."-
[17:35] <@Minaplo> [Sitting opposite Raphael, on his right hand side, was Suzie in her wheelchair. She rolled over, reaching out to the bed to stop her momentum. "Hi, Raffy."]
[17:38] * Raphael lays back and allows himself to be fussed over, catching sight of Suzie as the bed begins to lift. "Hey there, little one." He says gently, reaching out with his good hand to take one of hers.
[17:44] <@Minaplo> [She took his hand with both of her own, squeezing it tight. She smiled, a big wide warm smile.-
[17:44] <@Minaplo> ["You're the biggest dumb to ever dumb."]
[17:45] <Raphael> "I'll take that as a compliment."
[17:47] <@Minaplo> ["Humf." She balled his hand into a fist, and started bumping it against his own head. "This is you. Dumb." Bump. "Dumb."-
[17:47] <@Minaplo> ["Suzie has some strong feelings about your recent performance." Said Misato with a smirk. She reached over and kissed Raphael on the cheek quickly.]
[17:51] * Raphael seemed content letting Suzie do her worst, providing her worst was fairly gentle, and while not quite able to return the kiss before Misato retreated, he did offer her a loving look. "Believe me, she's not the only one with feelings. I think I will be having feelings for some time."
[17:54] <@Minaplo> ["Can I interpret that as an encouraging sign~?" She asked with a smirk.-
[17:54] <@Minaplo> [Suzie rolled her eyes. "Raffy, do you wanna eat?"]
[17:57] * Raphael mimicked the eye roll, but found it required a little more effort than it strictly should have. "Not right now, sweetheart. I think I ate a little while ago?" He glanced at Misato, seeking confirmation.
[18:01] <@Minaplo> ["The nurse said you ate about ten hours ago, you should be good. Besides, it's only whale stew."]
[18:04] <Raphael> "… Whale stew."
[18:05] <@Minaplo> ["We've been eating whale." Said Suzie. "It's better than those mrrr things, but…"-
[18:05] <@Minaplo> ["Yanmei found a giant whale in the Pacific." Said Misato. "A whale so big it could swallow an Eva whole. She killed it and brought it back to feed the ship."]
[18:07] * Raphael gave her a slow, tired blink. "Why was Yanmei in the Pacific?"
[18:07] <@Minaplo> ["Hunting the whale. Apparently there's been evidence of it around for awhile."]
[18:08] <Raphael> "At least you've all been keeping busy."
[18:13] <@Minaplo> ["As busy as we can be." Said Misato. "I'm well enough to do Ops duty now!"]
[18:04] * Raphael smiles.-
[18:04] <Raphael> "Fantastic. So doctors are happy?" He said as he brought his right hand up to his face to try and clean the uncomfortable, cottony feeling from the corners of his eyes.
[18:06] <@Minaplo> ["They're satisfied. Our doctors are never -happy-." Said Misato. "They're always like, 'blah blah radiation poisoning' and 'unacceptable risk' and other things I don't listen to."]
[18:08] * Raphael pulled his hand away just long enough to level a very rough approximation of a stern look her way. "You're lucky I know you're too smart for that."
[18:14] <@Minaplo> ["Well, you're lucky you're smart enough to know that I'm too smart for that~"-
[18:16] <@Minaplo> [Suzie was still holding onto Raphael's arm, the implicit threat of further dumb-bumps hanging over him like the sword of dumbocles. "When you getting out, Raffy?"]
[18:18] <Raphael> "I don't really know, sweetheart. I've only been awake for a little while, but… the nurse who saw me thinks I'll be here at least until we return to Earth." He said, looking a little sour on that last point.
[18:19] <@Minaplo> ["Better bed than dead." Said Misato. "Yeah, yeah, I know you can't wait to get back to the trenches, but things were cut rather close this time, eh?"]
[18:21] <Raphael> "Mmm. Maybe."
[18:31] <@Minaplo> ["Our battleplan's already done up. Trust us to carry it this time, alright?"]
[18:34] <Raphael> "…" Raphael let out a gentle sigh and nodded. "Of course."-
[18:36] <Raphael> He turned to Suzie, giving the girl a wide smile as he squeezed her forearm. "You think you could go and find me some of that stew, hon? Might be best if I at least try to eat."
[18:37] <@Minaplo> ["Uh-huh." Suzie bopped him one last time. "Be back real soon!"-
[18:37] <@Minaplo> [Then she was hurrying off on her wheelchair.]
[18:39] * Raphael waited until Suzie was well clear before he turned back to face Misato with a slightly sheepish look. "Sorry about all of this."
[18:40] <@Minaplo> [She patted him on the forehead, running her thumb along the bridge of his nose. "It's alright. I get it."]
[18:40] <Raphael> "You do, huh?"
[18:42] <@Minaplo> ["'Course."]
[18:45] <Raphael> "Thought you might be more annoyed with me." He admitted.
[18:46] <@Minaplo> ["Tell you a secret?"]
[18:47] <Raphael> "Sure."
[18:48] <@Minaplo> ["I was gonna be annoyed at you, but Rei promised me to let you get better first."]
[18:51] * Raphael let out a sudden chuckle, which rapidly transformed into coughing and wincing.
[18:56] <@Minaplo> ["Careful." She said, patting his back. "Can I make one suggestion?"]
[18:57] <Raphael> "O-of course," He said as the coughs finally began to subside.
[18:58] <@Minaplo> ["Next time, get radiation poisoning? THat way you can laugh at all the funny things you say without coughing up a lung."]
[19:04] * Raphael smiles weakly, leaning back into the bed with supreme care. "What's a little cellular damage compared to that, hmm?"
[19:07] <@Minaplo> ["Exactly."]
[19:11] * Raphael peered at down at his bedsheet for a moment, the first hint of a frown on his brow like the beginnings of a storm cloud. "… I'm going to request a demotion."
[19:12] <@Minaplo> ["… Why?"]
[19:13] <Raphael> "I was too soft on Rei, and it put Brown on our tail. It was a mission, and I didn't operate as a professional because I let my own feelings get in the way. I could've got us all killed."
[19:16] <@Minaplo> [Misato reached over to take his good hand with both her own. "Alright, so putting you and Rei together was a mistake. We'll try to avoid the same thing in the future. There's no need to throw the D-word around."-
[19:16] <@Minaplo> ["Besides, even if you went down that path, there's no way you could angle it without having blame fall on Rei as well."]
[19:19] * Raphael 's frown deepened. "… Maybe."
[19:22] <@Minaplo> ["Besides, it's John Brown." Said Misato. "You could've done better, sure, but I dunno if you coulda done that good."]
[19:29] <Raphael> "His cover wasn't -that- good." Raphael muttered defiantly.
[19:37] <Mianplo> [Misato reached over and smoothed down his hair soothingly. "No more talk of demotions. Just take the lessons to heart and move on."]
[19:38] * Raphael sighed quietly. "… alright, if you say so. For now, at least."
[19:40] <Mianplo> ["I do say so." She said, a little firmly. "Don't make me bring Rei in here to give you this talk. She'll be harsher than I am."]
[19:42] <Raphael> "First time for everything." He said, stifling a smirk - and not particularly well.
[19:45] <Mianplo> ["Wise guy. Between that and your demotion complex I'm starting to think you want punishment…"]
[19:47] <Raphael> "I'll be fine with what I have for now, thank you." He smiled, squeezing her hand a little.-
[19:48] <Raphael> "Would you mind telling me what happened in Singapore? I don't remember much after hitting the Prime."
[20:02] <Mianplo> ["Well, let's see what Blue told us. Joan took you down." Said Misato. "Then Rei and Sera had to hold off the Spectre and Joan. Apparently they made a good go of it, although they weren't really gaining any ground. Meanwhile, Blue was trying to take down Agatha whilst Liu Lin tried to handle Scholastica. Armin was left to handle Augustine."-
[20:03] <Mianplo> ["Apparently things were still pretty precarious when Ezekiel showed up."]
[20:05] <Raphael> "Did we recover the SEELE members? Brown?"
[20:05] <Mianplo> ["Yeah, all good."]
[20:06] <Raphael> "Hmm. Better than it could've been."
[14:42] <Minaplo> ["Speaking of SEELE members, I've got even better news for you."]
[14:46] * @Raphael raises an eyebrow, even as he sets his working hand to the task of prodding gently at the bandage on his chest, carefully tracing the edges of the wound with medicinally-detached curiosity. Every now and then it would prompt a tiny wince. "What's that?"
[14:51] <@Minaplo> ["Shinjjjjjj-Vercingetorix and his other agents made contact with other, more minor members of SEELE. Fuyutsuki- who they have running Tokyo-2 Base under 'heavy supervision'- somehow managed to lead him to Ikari Yutada- Yui's father and Shinji's grandpa."]
[14:55] * Raphael pauses his prodding, eyebrow lifting a little higher. "Surprising that Fuyutsuki could get around their security. Mr Ikari's gone to ground, I imagine?"
[14:57] <@Minaplo> ["Like only a SEELE rat can." Said Misato. "We'll be bringing him on board once we return to Earth."]
[14:58] <Raphael> "Does he get us much?"
[15:04] * Raphael (~ua.moc.tensutpo.wsn.lsd.912-79-13-112d|oaT#ua.moc.tensutpo.wsn.lsd.912-79-13-112d|oaT) Quit (Ping timeout)
[15:04] * Raphael (~ua.moc.tensutpo.wsn.lsd.912-79-13-112d|oaT#ua.moc.tensutpo.wsn.lsd.912-79-13-112d|oaT) has joined #Nervminis
[15:06] <@Minaplo> ["Contacts and influence in Japan, knowledge of other SEELE members, I hear he's great with kids…?"]
[15:07] <Raphael> "Yes, I imagine it runs in the family."
[15:11] <@Minaplo> ["Well, Rei seemed enthusiastic at least."]
[15:14] <Raphael> At that, Raphael did smile a little. "Not surprised. I'm pleased for her, at least."
[15:19] <@Minaplo> ["I knew you would be."-
[15:21] <@Minaplo> [Misato reached over to caress his forehead. "Considering you risked almost certain death for a very tough girl who doesn't really die when she's dead."]
[15:29] * Raphael gave her a look - a strange one, if you considered it head-on. To look at him, even talk to him, he seemed lucid and normal, but there was a… lack to his expression. A lack of the guardedness that so typically defined his demeanour. A sense of disconnectedness, whether from the medicine or the trauma.-
[15:29] <Raphael> "You think I should have just let them rebody her?"
[15:36] <@Minaplo> ["I'm not saying that." Said Misato. "What I'm saying is, if Rei was really in such mortal danger that her being rebodied might be necessary… How would rushing in like you did change that?"]
[15:39] <Raphael> "I thought I could stop it, and it turned out that I could. And if that was what it took to keep her her… it seemed fair. A fair trade." His voice was quiet.
[15:39] <@Minaplo> ["Rei wouldn't."]
[15:44] <Raphael> "Alphonse might."
[15:45] <@Minaplo> ["And what about me?"]
[15:46] <Raphael> "…"-
[15:46] <Raphael> Raphael stared down at his chest, chewing his lip.
[15:47] <@Minaplo> [Beads of tears were starting to form in Misato's eyes.-
[15:48] <@Minaplo> ["Hopeless." She said, smiling shakily, wiping at them quickly. "You and Makoto are as bad as each other. Both of you go crazy for blue-haired girls…"]
[15:51] * Raphael reached up to grab her hand, pulling her - with considerable care - to his shoulder. "… I'm sorry. It was- … I panicked."
[15:53] <@Minaplo> ["I didn't want to lose another person to her!" Mumbled Misato, before she started to sob into his shoulder.]
[15:59] * Raphael tried to hug her closer, but found it impossible to do so without the torn muscles in his chest screaming with pain. He could only hold her lightly, doing his best to console her with quiet words.
[16:03] <@Minaplo> [She sobbed wordlessly for a few minutes, soaking his shoulder and sleeve. Her left hand found his good right one and clutched it tightly, her fingers entwining with his and then steadfastly refusing to loosen.-
[16:05] <@Minaplo> [The nails on her left hand, once neatly manicured and clean, had been haphazardly, nervously chewed down to the quick.-
[16:06] <@Minaplo> [After the tears stopped, she clung to him as securely as she could in their awkward position, still not saying a word.-
[16:06] <@Minaplo> [Eventually, she managed to find the wits to take their entwined hand- and bop it against his temple. "Baka." She mumbled.-
[16:07] <@Minaplo> ["I'm- sorry. I didn't mean to put all this on you. To guilt you. I know you didn't really choose to…"]
[16:09] <Raphael> "No. I did, in a way." He said gently, soothed by the closeness whether it was awkwardly positioned or not. "You're right."
[16:13] <@Minaplo> ["W-Well in that case…"_
[16:13] <@Minaplo> ["I won't ask for a promise that you won't do it again." Said Misato. "I don't want to tie your arms back like that. But… But try?"]
[16:15] <Raphael> "I will." He said, stroking her hair as best he could.
[16:18] <@Minaplo> ["…"-
[16:18] <@Minaplo> ["I'll see if you can be transferred to a bigger bed." Said Misato, her voice shaky, if warm. "This is killing my back."]
[16:24] * Raphael let out another rough, hacking chuckle. "P-… perfect. I'm sure they've got nothing better to do than facilitate our spooning."
[16:25] <@Minaplo> ["Love aids the healing process."]
[16:26] <Raphael> "Your medical expertise at work again."
[16:27] <@Minaplo> [The curtain was suddenly pulled back, heralded by the sound of squeaky wheelchair wheels.-
[16:27] <@Minaplo> ["Uuuuuuugh!" Growled Suzie, even as Misato hurriedly pulled back. "He is so dumbbbbbbbbb."]
[16:30] <Raphael> … this time, at least, a vague sense of detachedness helped him switch gears as Misato seemed to teleport back to her seat. He smiled, but it could just as easily be directed at Suzie's annoyance. "Who's this?"
[16:30] <@Minaplo> ["Blue!" Said Suzie angrily. "Dumb fat Blue. I go and ask for three bowls of whale stew. And he says he'll try but the stoves aren't working properly, and if I could go get something to help? So I ask him, what do you need?"_
[16:31] <@Minaplo> ["He goes, I need elbow grease and headlight fluid!"-
[16:31] <@Minaplo> ["And I go, dumb! My mum and dad were soldiers, I've heard that before!"-
[16:33] <@Minaplo> ["So he goes, okay, we need to get a special part from Engineering, so I need to get a reckyfission form from Supply, a 1D10T form. Which is just 'idiot'." Said Suzie. "Like I can't speak Rosbif. He's the -real- idiot."-
[16:33] <@Minaplo> ["Oh my God." Muttered Misato.-
[16:35] <@Minaplo> ["So then he goes, okay, what sort of whale do you want? Do you want blue, or minkee, or free willy whale? And I'm not sure, and so I ask him which is best, and he says really loudly, 'I hear blue whale tastes super good'."-
[16:36] <@Minaplo> ["And like, fifteen metres away at one of the tables is Archie, who snaps around so fast I thought she was gonna hurt herself. She gets to her feet and storms over and begins shouting at both of us about how we shouldn't eat blue whales and how they're endangered and the biggest ever blah blah blah and how bad it is that the Japanese hunt whales in the Pacific."-
[16:36] <@Minaplo> ["And then next to her is that dumb-haired lackey of yours, Misato-"-
[16:36] <@Minaplo> ["Aoba?"-
[16:39] <@Minaplo> ["Whatever. And he's at a table with Maya, Bunny-man and Tsubaki. And Maya goes, 'We only hunt to study' at the same time Tsubaki goes 'whale is yummy', and then Archie is even angrier, and then she's shouting at them and Aoba's jumping up and down about souprin rights."-
[16:41] <@Minaplo> ["Then James- the weird shabby Ops guy with the robot arm? Comes by saying how it's totally crap that they only study because he has 'hacked files' from the Guvvernment about how the Japanese eat all the whales, and then Maya is crying and Bunny-man is trying to tell everyone to shut up and now Paris and Tokyo Ops aren't talking."]
[16:47] * Raphael processed this admirably well, all things considered, but trying to find a response was slightly more of an ordeal. He slowly turned to aim a bewildered look at Misato. "Was… do you think that was his attempt to help?"
[16:47] <@Minaplo> ["In his own destructive way, yes."-
[16:48] <@Minaplo> ["Hmph." Suzie frowned, her mouth flattening into a long thin line. She instead rapped her hand on the three bowls of whale stew sitting on a tray on her lap.]
[16:49] <Raphael> "Oh." Raphael murmurs, turning back to Suzie and - with some assistance - taking his bowl from the tray. "Uh. Thank you, sweetheart."
[16:54] <Raphael> He gives Misato a sidelong look. "… you might have to smooth things out."
[16:54] <@Minaplo> ["Yeah, no kidding." Sighed Misato. "I had no idea Archibald would snap so hard…"]
[16:55] <Raphael> "Mmm. Let's save that problem for later, though."

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