Makoto S Dilemma

[18:16] <Minaplo> [A quick, routine patrol of the Cote d'Argent, they'd been told. And mostly it was- just a rapid patrol along the southwest French coast in the #Dorian Lachapelle# at cruising speed.-
[18:21] <Minaplo> [A week and a half had passed since Raphael Guillory had been informed about the D-Titan Project and the various plans that had been set in motion to facilitate its use. They'd made a seemingly random, innocuous rendezvous with the - seemingly antiquated at this point - Evangelion Naval Carrier, the #Enterprise#, and done the customary trades of ice cream and other frivolities.-
[18:23] <Minaplo> [A few crewmembers had been transferred over as well, including members of the Tokyo-2 Operations crew. In fact, Raphael had been directed to one of these members today, to discuss something about tactics.-
[18:25] <Minaplo> [The battleship had observation decks, where one could sit and eat, drink or work and look out through huge windows on the vista. And today there was quite a vista- the sparkling Atlantic stretching as far as the eye could see, sparkling and shining in the midday sun.-
[18:26] <Minaplo> [Lieutenant Hyuga Makoto- or Makoto Hyuga in the Western style- sat at one of these tables, head bowed low over a laptop, which he clack-clack-clacked at, taking short, frequent breaks to sip from a mug of coffee.]#
[18:52] <Raphael> There's the faint clink and clatter of cutlery on china as Raphael slides into the seat opposite Makoto, setting down a plate sporting a rather huge club sandwich on his side of the table. With the D-Titan project leaving him more busy than ever, this meeting seemed to serve the dual purposes of briefing and lunch break for the officer. "Good afternoon, Lieutenant. I hope you don't mind if
[18:52] <Raphael> I eat while we talk…?"-
[18:53] <Raphael> Sharing a posting with Shinji Ikari seemed to have only made Raphael work harder to differentiate his look from the Pilot's, and even after six hours on shift every fold and crease of his uniform was somehow kept ruler-straight.-
[18:53] <Raphael> Still, he'd already encountered some awkward moments with some of the other Japanese crew members who were more familiar with Shinji himself, and he dearly hoped that this would not be another one of them…
[18:16] <Minaplo> [A quick, routine patrol of the Cote d'Argent, they'd been told. And mostly it was- just a rapid patrol along the southwest French coast in the #Dorian Lachapelle# at cruising speed.-
[18:21] <Minaplo> [A week and a half had passed since Raphael Guillory had been informed about the D-Titan Project and the various plans that had been set in motion to facilitate its use. They'd made a seemingly random, innocuous rendezvous with the - seemingly antiquated at this point - Evangelion Naval Carrier, the #Enterprise#, and done the customary trades of ice cream and other frivolities.-
[18:23] <Minaplo> [A few crewmembers had been transferred over as well, including members of the Tokyo-2 Operations crew. In fact, Raphael had been directed to one of these members today, to discuss something about tactics.-
[18:24] * SyntaxTerror (if.atsiakajaal-asile.1-02-451-19a|rreTxatnyS#if.atsiakajaal-asile.1-02-451-19a|rreTxatnyS) has joined #nervfrance
[18:25] <Minaplo> [The battleship had observation decks, where one could sit and eat, drink or work and look out through huge windows on the vista. And today there was quite a vista- the sparkling Atlantic stretching as far as the eye could see, sparkling and shining in the midday sun.-
[18:26] <Minaplo> [Lieutenant Hyuga Makoto- or Makoto Hyuga in the Western style- sat at one of these tables, head bowed low over a laptop, which he clack-clack-clacked at, taking short, frequent breaks to sip from a mug of coffee.]#
[18:52] <Raphael> There's the faint clink and clatter of cutlery on china as Raphael slides into the seat opposite Makoto, setting down a plate sporting a rather huge club sandwich on his side of the table. With the D-Titan project leaving him more busy than ever, this meeting seemed to serve the dual purposes of briefing and lunch break for the officer. "Good afternoon, Lieutenant. I hope you don't mind if
[18:52] <Raphael> I eat while we talk…?"-
[18:53] <Raphael> Sharing a posting with Shinji Ikari seemed to have only made Raphael work harder to differentiate his look from the Pilot's, and even after six hours on shift every fold and crease of his uniform was somehow kept ruler-straight.-
[18:53] <Raphael> Still, he'd already encountered some awkward moments with some of the other Japanese crew members who were more familiar with Shinji himself, and he dearly hoped that this would not be another one of them…
[15:26] <Minaplo> ["Captain Guillory, sir!" Hyuga gets to his feet and snaps off a professional salute and a broad, sunny smile. "Of course not, sir, you're probably working on a tight schedule as we all are…"]
[15:40] <Raphael> "I'm afraid so." He smiles, gesturing for Hyuga to sit. "Major Katsuragi said you had something to discuss…?"
[15:44] <Minaplo> [He sits. "That's right, sir. I've been tagged to handle some of your logistics, you know, liaison with the developers and all that. It's right up my alley, I'm used to the ol' cloak and dagger, ha ha." He gave a chuckle that was halfway between roguish and smooth, but between the clean-cut appearance, the glasses and the laptop it made him look just… Extremely nerdy.-
[15:44] <Minaplo> ["A-Ahem. Have you thought about your team, sir?"]
[16:18] <Raphael> "I've put forward Sergeants Favager and Herriot along with Chief Sergeant Monette for the pilot positions. They all have experience from when the Dreadnaughts were active in Paris, and I trust their capabilities in the field." Raphael says smoothly, the faint twitch of a smile betraying his amusement at the rapid change of topics even though he has no wish to make Hyuga linger at the scene
[16:18] <Raphael> of the accident.
[16:22] <Minaplo> [With a few deft keystrokes, Hyuga brought up the profiles of the three candidates- a picture, basic ability, so on and so forth. He studied the screen for a moment.-
[16:23] <Minaplo> ["What variants would you assign to each pilot, Sir? Off the cuff, that is."]
[16:29] * Raphael is in the middle of a mouthful of sandwich when the question arrives, and it takes a moment for him to be able to offer a response. "Variant A for Monette, B for Sergeant Favager and C for Sergeant Herriot, I believe."
[16:47] <Minaplo> ["And your own, sir?"]
[16:50] <Raphael> "Likely another A-Variant." He says after a moment of thought.
[17:01] <Minaplo> ["I see, sir." Tap tap tap. "Saving this as 'Formation R1'. Are the D-Titans up to your standards, sir?"]
[17:11] <Raphael> "Certainly." He grins. "The American engineers have done fine work. I suspect I'll miss the T-RIDEN-T's firepower in the field, but that's a loss I'm willing to accept."
[17:16] <Minaplo> ["They tried to emphasise flexibility and survivability this time, sir. There were a few concerns, mind, that they were just making Poor Man's Evangelions…"]
[17:25] <Raphael> "Mmm. No avoiding that, though, is there? The Evangelions are the pinnacle of the field right now, and there's not a lot we can do to top them." He shrugs. "If they do the job, I'm not concerned."
[17:26] <Minaplo> ["Agreed, sir." Hyuga coughed, shifted slightly, and leaned forward as though somehow this made the entire thing more 'safe'. "I was told to inform you about the capabilities of certain other 'rival' models as well, sir. Such as the E-Destroyer."]
[17:27] <Raphael> "A good idea. I've read what reports were made available to me, but I assume you have something more substantial?"
[17:28] <Minaplo> [Shifty eyes left. Shifty eyes right.-
[17:28] <Minaplo> ["You could say that, sir."]
[17:30] * Raphael squints, waiting for the man to continue. It takes a long, awkward pause for him to realize that Hyuga has no intention of doing so. "And…?"
[17:41] <Minaplo> ["Well. Ahem." He nudged the computer towards Raphael, bringing up a schematic. "The E-Destroyer is made with speed in mind. If there's any one area where the E-Destroyer clearly wins out when compared to other Superheavies, it's that. They're not up to scratch compared to, say, an Ayanami in an Eva, but they're definitely more flexible and graceful than you'd expect of a forty metre tall robot."]
[17:55] * Raphael nods slowly, frowning as he examines the plans. "What's this here?" He asks, tapping a marked area above the cockpit. "I don't recognize this from the schematics NERV received."
[17:57] <Minaplo> ["Well, that isn't surprising. From what we can see, the E-Destroyers are full of 'module ports'. Basically, each port can be equipped with a certain module, and it's all one-size-fits-all, a bit like an Omnimech from Battletech." Says Hyuga energetically, forgetting that Guillory probably wouldn't know what the hell that meant.-
[17:57] <Minaplo> ["So obviously they wouldn't want to advertise that, since it makes them look far less- adaptable- than they appear. The chest port here, for example, can be outfitted with a quark disruptor or a net snare system."]
[18:04] <Raphael> Indeed, Battletech had yet to feature in any of Raphael's lessons from Rei. Still, he knew enough to nod and smile. "Interesting. Similar enough to the D-Titans that I assume the US team were working from some of the prototypes."
[18:08] <Minaplo> ["The D-Titans and the E-Destroyers both trace back to the same Liberated Nations program, the Thruster Hero, which was… Well, an adaptable module-happy Superheavy. It was never finished, but yeah, it's not a coincidence that those traits carried through, sir." He tapped a few more keys and weapon designs came up.-
[18:11] <Minaplo> ["The most common weapon in their arsenal is the Pulse Rifle, sir. It's made for depleting AT Fields, but it's also wicked accurate. It's best to avoid being hit by one if you can- a well-aimed shot from a Pulse Rifle can put a D-Titan down if you're unlucky, sir. They have access to the usual arsenal, of course- bolters and positron rifles. They rely on their rifles and quarks to take down an Eva, sir…"-
[18:12] <Minaplo> ["… Which is problematic as they can deploy in groups of up to ten at a time." He admitted.]
[18:19] <Raphael> <Raphael> "… Mmm. Have they been seen deploying heavier weaponry?"
[18:21] <Idrilyn> ["They have, but not a very wide -spread-. Just a converted positron missile launcher."]
[18:23] * Raphael nods. "What about weaknesses? You mentioned their agility… does the armour suffer as a result?"
[18:27] <Idrilyn> ["They're not as tough as a D-Titan, no. The armour we use is nearly the same as their own, but their's is less reinforced- if you can penetrate the armour you have a good chance of causing permanent damage. The major weakness, sir? Arms. Their arms are barely half as durable as a D-Titan's. If you were arm-wrestling an E-Destroyer, sir, you'd be lucky -not- to rip off its arm."]
[18:30] <Raphael> "… So you're suggesting we arm wrestle to ensure victory, Lieutenant?" Raphael asks, utterly straight-faced.
[18:30] <Idrilyn> ["It -is- American-made, sir."]
[18:31] <Raphael> "I see."
[18:32] <Idrilyn> ["Considering Pilot Herriot's inclinations, sir-"-
[18:33] <Idrilyn> [Hyuga suddenly went still, his entire body becoming alert and tense. "Do you feel that?!"]
[18:34] <Raphael> "…" Raphael went similarly still, his eyes focused and alert as he strained to try and identify the threat.-
[18:35] <Raphael> "… No."
[18:35] <Idrilyn> [His eyes darted around nervously, as though he was expecting an attack. "You-"-
[18:36] <Idrilyn> [A voice cut through the air, a voice full of happy, musical joy and feminine exuberance. "PRINCE MA~KO~TO~ <3"-
[18:36] <Idrilyn> [Hyuga went statue-still, his facial expression caught between joy and despair.]
[18:40] <Raphael> "Oh /no/." Raphael murmured. He struggled to collect himself, meeting Hyuga's eyes as he began to clamber out of his seat. "Follow my lead, Lieutenant."-
[18:42] <Raphael> "Miss Chiisana!" Raphael calls, now on his feet and positioning himself between the oncoming Ayanami and her beloved. "So good to see you, ma'am. I'm afraid Pri-… /Lieutenant/ Hyuga was just on his way out, but I'd be happy to-"
[18:46] <Idrilyn> [Chiisana Himesama was swishing across the room, wearing a very elegant and very intimidating blue and white dress. She'd been declared fit to walk a few days ago, and had immediately capitalised on this by condemning her old hospital gown and wearing as many of her clothes as she could since. But now there was a fire in her eyes, a fire that both encapsulated the loving warmth of a cabin in a snowy, alpine forest #and# the blaze of devastation.-
[18:47] <Idrilyn> [But Raphael would see, now, what Hyuga had 'felt'. Chiisana had lost control of her 'aura', and it was making literally everyone in the room stare at her with adoring eyes. Raphael could smell it, actually smell it.-
[18:47] <Idrilyn> [It smelled of roses.-
[18:48] <Idrilyn> ["PRIIIIINCE~ MA~KO~TO~ <3!" She cried, cutting right through Raphael's brave but futile words. She had a white paper bag in her left hand, and this she swung gently as she… Swished towards them. She caught Raphael, a hand around his waist and on his arm, and #danced# him out of her way, pirouetting, before she trust-fell into a sitting position on Makoto's lap. "Hello~"-
[18:48] <Idrilyn> ["Uh."]
[18:56] <Raphael> "Uh…" Raphael agreed, now leaning against the table of another set of diners - neither of whom seemed too concerned by the imposition while Chiisana was still in view. He glances around the room and then back to Himesama and Hyuga, feeling the first flutters of panic.-
[18:56] <Raphael> "Miss Himesama, I think you might want to take a moment to collect yourself." He manages as calmly as he can, striding back towards his own table.
[18:58] <Minaplo> ["Oh, but I -am- collected, Monsieur Guillory! Very collected indeed!" She lifted the bag and held it to Makoto's chest, her fingers playing with his collar. "I made you cookies~"-
[18:58] <Minaplo> ["What… What -type- of cookies?" Asked Makoto, who was blushing so much, an Angel could see it from orbit.-
[18:59] <Minaplo> ["#Love# Cookies." She turned to Raphael. "Would you care for a Love Cookie, Guillory? Perhaps I can conjure a batch up for yourself to give to your ladylove, the dear Princess Katsuragi~"]
[19:02] <Raphael> "A very kind offer," He says, as gently as possible, "But what I'd really like is for you to take a moment to lower your field. I'm afraid it's attracting some undue attention." He says, gesturing towards the other diners. Outwardly calm or not, there's an air of fear and caution to his words and gestures, like a man defusing a bomb.
[19:04] <Minaplo> ["My-"-
[19:04] <Minaplo> [Chiisana took a second to peer around the room. She went very, very pink in the face, and a second later the scent of roses had faded.-
[19:04] <Minaplo> ["How humiliating." She murmured.-
[19:05] <Minaplo> [Apparently this sentiment was shared by most of the room, a good two thirds of which suddenly seemed to remember forgotten appointments and parted as quickly as they could without making it look like the room was on fire.]
[19:08] <Raphael> "Don't worry about it, ma'am." Raphael said, taking advantage of her momentary embarrassment to try and gently lead her off Makoto's lap and on to a seperate chair he seemed to have summoned from thin air. "It happens."
[19:09] <Minaplo> [This ran into something of a hitch at first; at some point, Makoto had been compelled to put his own arm around Chiisana's waist. His current state- that of mild helpless confusion- made this a speedbump at best, and a second later Chiisana was sitting in her own chair, -extra- primly to make up for the embarrassment.-
[19:10] <Minaplo> ["I- of course." She said in a dignified tone. "I am sure it happens to you all the time…"]
[19:14] * Raphael returns to his own chair, wincing as his desire to help is forced to struggle against his pride before he can summon up a response. "… O-of course, Miss Chiisana."
[19:16] <Minaplo> ["I thought so. It is simply the curse we must bear." Said Chiisana with what she thought was a stiff upper lip. She took a moment to take a deep breath and compose herself before turning back to Makoto, her cheeks pink, holding out the bag of cookies. "Please enjoy them, Prince Makoto~"-
[19:17] <Minaplo> ["Oh, er." He took them, still blushing madly. "T-Thank you! I didn't- actually know you were on the battleship." He opened the bag of cookies and took out what looked like a box.-
[19:18] <Minaplo> ["You didn't?" Chiisana folded her arms and huffed. "I asked Katsuragi to inform you…" She shot Raphael a look, as though he was somehow culpable.]
[19:20] * Raphael shuts his eyes, jaw working slowly. "I imagine this is her idea of a joke." He mutters.-
[19:21] <Raphael> "… Or she just forgot. One's as likely as the other."
[19:27] <Minaplo> ["She is duplicitous, that one." Said Chiisana sagely. "Do not be fooled by her beauty and sex appeal, Guillory. It hides the mind of ten thousand vipers."-
[19:28] <Raphael> "Uh…"
[19:29] <Minaplo> [Hyuga was sagely busying himself with the cookies, taking one out- it looked like a white chocolate cookie with a creamy red rose decoration on the top- and biting into it.-
[19:31] <Minaplo> ["Oh yes." Chiisana leaned towards Raphael, now. "She is a powerful ally, but she is an even greater enemy. You must know this." Her eyes narrowed. "Tread very carefully, Guillory. One moment of- ignominity- and you will be as a mouse in a cage, being swallowed whole."]
[19:37] <Raphael> "I'll… keep that in mind, Miss Chiisana." Raphael says slowly.
[19:39] <Minaplo> ["Hey, these are pretty good!" Said Hyuga, offering the box to Raphael.-
[19:39] <Minaplo> ["I made them myself!" Said Chiisana proudly. "If you're feeling generous, perhaps later you can repay me with a bowl of your love noodles, Prince Makoto~?"-
[19:40] <Minaplo> ["My- y-yes, of course."]
[19:41] <Raphael> "No need to be -too- generous with your love noodles, Lieutenant." Raphael says mildly - and apparently innocently - as he returns to working through the last of his sandwich.
[19:48] <Minaplo> ["Uh, well-"-
[19:49] <Minaplo> [Chiisana gave Raphael a very long look, before getting to her feet and swishing towards the two of them once more. "It can be like old times, Prince Makoto~, before I was sent abroad to fulfill my destiny. A nice, dark room, a bowl of hot, fresh noodles, and a stack of terrible movies that we took from your collection…"-
[19:49] <Minaplo> ["Hey now." Said Hyuga, suddenly gaining an ounce of strength. "They're not -all- terrible."-
[19:50] <Minaplo> ["They mostly are, my little Makoto-bunny." She replied gravely. "There is nothing #artistic# or #aesthetically significant# about Hercules in New York."]
[20:02] <Raphael> "Are you looking to be alone then?" Raphael asks, and though the question was directed at both of them he seemed to be mainly looking at Hyuga.
[20:03] <Minaplo|Out> ["Er-"-
[20:03] <Minaplo|Out> ["Oh, no, I couldn't." Said Chiisana, pecking Hyuga on the cheek. "You two are working! We can have our date later, Prince Makoto~ I should be going anyway. I mostly wanted to deliver the Love Cookies. You should have one, Guillory."]
[20:07] * Raphael hesitates for a moment - He's been exposed to Minerva Linden often enough to become nervous any time baked goods with "love" in the title are brought up - but eventually he reaches out to grab one of the cookies and take a first, wary bite.
[20:14] <Minaplo|Out> [The cookies taste good! There is creamy white chocolate there with a caramel fudge interior, and the rose tastes like strawberry.-
[20:15] <Minaplo|Out> [Chiisana, who had been watching intently, smiled, satisfied. "Good! I will see you both later. Sir Guillory- Prince Makoto~."]
[20:19] <Raphael> "Miss Chiisana." He replies, with as much of a bow as he can manage while still sitting down.
[20:19] <Minaplo|Out> ["S-See you later, Chii."-
[20:20] <Minaplo|Out> [Chiisana smiles, then exits scene left, trailing the odd dreamy look from a few innocent bystanders.-
[20:20] <Minaplo|Out> [… the moment she's gone, Hyuga folds his arms on the table and sinks his head into them. "Oh God, what am I doing?"]
[20:23] <Raphael> "I'm not entirely sure, Lieutenant." He says mildly, setting his plate aside and fixing the other man with a watchful look.
[20:25] <Minaplo|Out> ["This is such a mess. Arrrgh. How did this even happen to -me-?"]
[20:27] <Raphael> "As much as I'd prefer not to broach this particular topic, you might have to explain to me what's going on."
[20:28] <Minaplo|Out> [He lifted his head a little up. "W-Well, you saw… I mean, she's infatuated. With -me-!"]
[20:30] <Raphael> "Is it all her, though?" Raphael asks, managing to remove any hint of judgement from the question.
[20:33] <Minaplo|Out> ["Well." He coughed. "Well, it's a messy- that is- I mean, it's complicated. Half the time I barely even know what I'm doing around her because she- you know, that aura- and it takes her awhile to turn it down… And I mean- she should be looking at other people!"]
[20:37] <Raphael> "I think she's told me in the past that other people just don't meet her standards." He says, offering Hyuga a faint smile.
[20:39] <Minaplo|Out> [Hyuga blushes. "I- alright, but… Look." He sat up a little straighter. "There's no way I can take this in good faith, sir. It's just- a - thing. I was the one who first really befriended her and- and it's a bit like a duck imprinting on the first thing it sees, right?"]
[20:42] <Raphael> "Possibly." Raphael admits. "Probably, even. Listen, Lieutenant, have you actually tried to talk to her about this? I think you would be the only person that could hope to change her mind, if that's what you wanted."
[20:44] <Minaplo|Out> ["Well… I have sort of tried, but then two hours drifts by and my chance goes." He mumbles. "And- and I'm not sure if I do want that, but then I'm not sure if I should want that to not change and ugggggh."-
[20:45] <Minaplo|Out> ["If you don't mind me saying, it was a lot easier back when I could get away with pining for Major Katsuragi harmlessly…"]
[16:27] <Raphael> He did, in fact, mind Hyuga saying that, especially in a fashion that was near impossible to skate smoothly past. He could only take it head on.-
[16:27] <Raphael> "Erm. Yes." Raphael coughs. A brave, if slightly inept, attempt at biting the bullet. "… Yes."
[16:32] <@Minaplo> [Hyuga didn't seem to notice Raphael's discomfort. Or if he did, he didn't notice.-
[16:32] <@Minaplo> ["… Hey, I just remembered, you're probably way used to dealing with this sort of thing, huh?"]
[16:33] <Raphael> "What sort of thing is that?"
[16:34] <@Minaplo> ["You know… Being pursued by strong-willed girls."]
[16:36] * Raphael is now the one blushing, glancing away towards the glass viewing window to try and maintain the illusion of calm. "I-I'm not sure what you've heard about me, Lieutenant, but you really shouldn't listen to rumours-"
[16:46] <@Minaplo> ["C-C'mon! You could really help me out…"]
[16:47] <Raphael> "I just think you're overestimating my expertise here, Lieutenant." He says hurriedly.
[16:49] <@Minaplo> [Hyuga stares at Raphael with huge, sad eyes, full of colour and despair, within which was faint hope.]
[16:52] * Raphael keeps up an even stare for a few seconds longer before his shoulders slump. "Seriously, Mr. Hyuga…?" He mutters, squeezing his temples.
[16:53] <@Minaplo> ["Sir, look at it from my perspective. I am totally out of my depth here. Who can I ask for help…?"]
[16:55] <Raphael> "What about that other fellow from your bridge crew?"
[16:55] <@Minaplo> ["… What, Aoba?"]
[16:56] <Raphael> "Right! Right, Lieutenant Aobo."
[16:56] <Raphael> Aoba*
[16:57] <@Minaplo> ["Uh… I'm not entirely sure he's someone I should go to for help on strong-willed girls, sir. Or girls in general. Or relationships as a thing."]
[16:59] <Raphael> "…" Raphael is left silent as he scrambles for any other options.-
[17:00] <Raphael> "… Lieutenant Ibuki?" He suggests suddenly, hope in his voice. "She's always seemed very nice. And helpful!"
[17:04] <@Minaplo> [Hyuga covers his face with his hands. "Sir, no! I couldn't possibly- the Ayanamis ask her for advice all the time- I know Maya would just encourage it all even harder!"]
[17:15] <Raphael> Raphael just stares at him with mute frustration, eventually letting out a sharp sigh and leaning in over the table as he lowers his voice to a whisper.-
[17:15] <Raphael> "… Look, Lieutenant Hyuga, I didn't particularly want to bring this up, but you need to understand that I've been spending -months- trying to convince a girl to stop pursuing me with no success. I don't think I'm the Grand Master of romance that you seem to believe I am."-
[17:17] <Raphael> "… Never mind that I would rather -not- become embroiled in the love life of yet another of the Sisters." He admits.
[17:27] <@Minaplo> ["Right, sir. Sorry." Said Hyuga, slumping back in his chair. "I didn't mean to drag you into my love problems, or bring up your romance issues…"]
[17:41] <Raphael> Raphael seems to relax slightly as he's let off the hook, leaning back in his chair as Makoto does. Only now does he really take in the look on the other man's face - Downcast, lost and… worryingly familiar.-
[17:41] <Raphael> Indeed, he'd seen that look before. And had the situation really been so different then?-
[17:41] * Raphael groans, dragging a hand down his face. "… Forget it, Lieutenant. Perhaps I'm being…," He sighs, "Overly difficult. What do you need to know?"
[17:46] <@Minaplo> ["Well, first I need to know why you think Chii acts like this towards me…"]
[17:46] * Raphael blinks. "Because she's attracted to you."
[17:47] <@Minaplo> ["Well, I know that, but why?"]
[18:02] <Raphael> "… Why?" He repeats, looking faintly uncertain. "I can't really say, Mr. Hyuga. That's something you might need to ask her." He taps one fingernail restlessly against the edge of his plate.-
[18:02] <Raphael> "Does it matter?"
[18:44] <@Minaplo> ["It does to me, sir. Like I said earlier. It's one thing to accept the love of a lady, and she is at that, but when all this started she may as well have been a schoolgirl. Could you accept a schoolgirl's crush as love?"]
[18:49] <Raphael> "No." Raphael says quickly, glancing away. "… but think of it this way. You seem to consider her an adult now, yes?"
[18:51] <@Minaplo> ["Yeah…" He says cautiously.]
[18:52] <Raphael> "Is she capable of making her own decisions?"
[18:59] <@Minaplo> ["Y-Yeah, for sure…"]
[19:01] <Raphael> "So why doubt her now just because the decision happens to be whether or not to pursue you?"
[19:11] <@Minaplo> ["…" He mulls this slowly, staring down at his computer with narrow eyes. "I-I dunno. I just think of it as something she hasn't grown out of yet. Like it's some childish thing she's doing until she finds someone proper."]
[19:14] * Raphael smiles slightly. "You don't exactly have a surplus of self-confidence, do you, Lieutenant?"
[19:23] <@Minaplo> ["Er, well…" He rubbed the back of his neck bashfully. "It just seems weird…"]
[19:36] <Raphael> "In my experience, the people we care about tend to see us more clearly than we see ourselves. If Miss Chiisana sees you as worth her affection, perhaps you should simply trust those feelings are as legitimate as any others?" He suggests with a shrug.
[19:41] <@Minaplo> ["Y… You may be right." He admits slowly.]
[19:42] <Raphael> "… Of course, that still leaves the question of what to do with those feelings."
[19:43] <@Minaplo> ["Yeah, t-that's right…"]
[19:51] <Raphael> Raphael expression turns serious as he leans forward, fixing the Lieutenant with a gimlet-eyed stare. "Well, you need to be honest with me. What do you want to do?"
[19:55] <@Minaplo> ["I, er… I…" He seems to find it a little hard to match the eyes- like gimlets!- and so shies away a little. "I- I'm not even sure…"]
[19:59] <Raphael> "Well, you need to become sure." He says. "If you don't want to pursue this, then you owe it to her to tell her and let her move on."
[20:00] <Raphael> He seems entirely oblivious to the hypocrisy of this statement.
[20:07] <@Minaplo> ["That… That's easier said than done, but I'll try…"]
[20:58] * Raphael nods once, finally shifting his gaze away from Makoto to look out to sea. "I'm sure you will."
[21:00] <@Minaplo> ["Ah, that's all good advice, sir. With wisdom like that, I'm surprised you still have problems…!"]
[21:02] <Raphael> "As I said earlier, we see others more clearly than we see ourselves. That goes for our problems as well, I suppose."
[21:03] <@Minaplo> ["I think you might be right there, sir."]
[21:04] * Raphael looks back across the table. "So was there anything else you needed to discuss, Lieutenant?"
[21:07] <@Minaplo> ["Hmm. No, I think I'm good for now, sir. I'll be tabulating a few loadout suggestions for your crew for you to review, is that ok?"]
[21:10] * Raphael pushes back his chair and stands, absently straightening his uniform as he does so. "Feel free. You know how to reach me if you need anything more."
[21:11] <@Minaplo> ["Yes, sir."]
[21:13] * Raphael gives the Hyuga a final nod as he turns away and strides towards the exit, a faint frown on his face as he loses himself in thought.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License