Raphael S Displeasure

[15:05] <Raphael> Raphael sighed as he watched the water being slowly pumped from the airlock, leaning back in the pilot's seat of his D-Titan as he tried to tune out the good-natured bickering being played out between Marie and Blaise over the team channel.-
[15:05] <Raphael> The final shakedown run had tested everyone's patience, in the end. It had been a week of camping out on some unnamed, unmarked island in the middle of the ocean - little more than a sandbar with delusions of grandeur - as they ran test after test after test, from early in the morning until late in the evening, and all of it run under strict radio silence.-
[15:06] <Raphael> It was a necessary job, though, and by the time they'd finally broken camp earlier that day to set a course for the Battleship, the D-Titans had been pushed as close to their limits as they could be outside of combat.-
[15:06] <Raphael> With a final hiss and a gentle, bell-like tone played over the intercom, the airlock cycled open to allow the four mecha into the loading bay. With a small murmur of relief Raphael directed his robot forward, looking forward to the chance to rest…
[15:10] <Minaplo> [("Domino-01, you are clear to dock in Holding Bay 03.")-
[15:12] <Minaplo> [There was a truism in NERV that it took five minutes and a rail catapult to launch an Evangelion, and seven hours, six thousand people and nine cranes to put it back in.-
[15:14] <Minaplo> [This wasn't entirely true unless the Eva had gone down, but the fact remained that putting a giant robot back into its cage, regardless of whether it was an Eva, a D-Titan or something else took longer than it did to launch. All in all, it took fifteen minutes for Raphael's unit to dock, restraining harness bolts pinning its arms and feet to the wall and ground, and instant scaffolds springing up allowing for any repair crews to do their work, as well as for Raphael's AC Suit to disembark, and finally for Raphael himself to disembark from the AC Suit.-
[15:15] <Minaplo> [Thank God for small mercies, however. The hangar was directly adjacent to a row of showers, and fresh clothes were provided for him…]
[15:23] <Raphael> And after a few days of bathing in the ocean, Raphael didn't waste any time in taking advantage of both. As he stepped under the running water he wondered whether he was going soft - some years ago, a week away from running water wouldn't have made him bat an eyelid, but it seemed he was growing used to being stationed in a place with creature comforts.
[15:29] <Minaplo> [There was soap there as well, and some basic shampoo. They even provided a razor and shaving cream… Not that Raphael needed it.-
[15:31] <Minaplo> [Once Raphael had showered, however, there was only one thing left to do- get dressed. But he'd find that there was an obstacle.-
[15:31] <Minaplo> [Misato Katsuragi was sitting on his clothes, one leg over the other, smirking like a satisfied cat.]
#6[15:40] * Raphael stops in his tracks and stands up a little straighter, hands folding behind his back even as he begins to go a bit pink in the cheeks in some mix of surprise and reflexive embarrassment. The attempts at maintaining -some- degree of professionalism between them are forced in the extreme these days, but he can't quite bring himself to give them up altogether. "… Major."
[15:42] <Minaplo> ["Captain." She said sweetly. "It's good to see that you came back in one piece~. Have anything to report~?"]
[15:48] <Raphael> "Everything went as well as we expected." He says, managing not to squirm under her gaze. "It'll all be in my report, ma'am."
[15:56] <Minaplo> ["Excellent." Said Misato brightly. "I'll need to consider some reward for your consistent good service."]
[15:59] <Raphael> Colour is flaring across his cheeks by now. "… Just my clothes would be fine, Major."
[16:00] <Minaplo> ["If you say so~" Misato stood up, innocently picking up his clothes and holding them out to him with a grin.]
[16:04] * Raphael seems a little too keen to cover himself at this point, murmuring mutinously under his breath.
[16:08] <Minaplo> ["I missed you a little." She said warmly, watching him dress without a hint of shame. Misato gets her fanservice.]
[16:09] <Raphael> "Really? I couldn't tell."
[16:10] <Minaplo> ["Hm~" She beamed. "That's your fault. I could tell that you missed me just fine."]
[16:11] * Raphael 's only response is an incoherent splutter of embarrassment and horror.
[16:14] <Minaplo> [Misato grinned, leaning forward to peck his cheek. "Get dressed. I'll be outside."]
[16:17] * Raphael splutters something that could, in the right light, be taken for a "Ma'am". He waits to remove the shirt he's using to cover his face until she's left the room.
[16:20] <Minaplo> [Misato is, of course, waiting outside for when he emerges, looking quite content. "Let's get you settled back in, hm?"]
[16:23] * Raphael seems a little less flustered by now, seeming to draw a degree of composure from the freshly pressed uniform he's slipped into.-
[16:23] <Raphael> "Mmm." He mutters, giving her a sidelong glance. "Stop looking so pleased with yourself."
[16:25] <Minaplo> ["Hee hee." Misato grabs his arm, pulling him to her side, willing or no. "What if I'm just pleased with you~?"]
[16:29] <Raphael> "Pleased -at- me, perhaps." He says primly. giving her a disapproving look. "I swear, Major, sometimes I wonder whether you're just using me for my body."
[16:51] <Minaplo> ["I can't help that I'm a woman, you know." She gave him a sly look.-
[16:51] <Minaplo> ["So how were your giant robots? No problems?"]
[17:00] <Raphael> "Nothing serious. A few minor glitches that Technical will have resolved by the end of the week, but nothing that will delay us any further."-
[17:00] <Raphael> He glances at her from the corner of his eye. "What about things here? Have you and the girls been alright?"
[17:03] <Minaplo> ["Suzie's been good." Said Misato. "She's been doing a lot of physical therapy, as you might expect."-
[17:03] <Minaplo> ["Rei's…" Misato hesitated. "She could be better. She's in a rough spot right now. Let's get you settled in first before we talk about that, alright?"]#
#6[17:14] * Raphael turns his whole focus towards her now, a frown finding its way onto his face as he studies hers for some hint of what she could mean. To his dismay he can't find anything beyond formless worry. "… Alright." He says after a moment of thought.-
[17:14] <Raphael> "Alright." He says again, looking ahead again as he tries to force away his frown. "And what about you?"
[17:15] <Minaplo> ["I've been alright. Don't worry, they've kept me busy…"]#
[17:21] <Raphael> "Any word about the Twenty-Sixth?"
[17:21] <Minaplo> ["En route to Paris-2. Ezekiel's told us we have a week- that is, another four or five days- to prepare for it."]
[17:23] * Raphael 's expression is stony. "Do we have a plan?"
[17:24] <Minaplo> ["Of course we have a plan. No idea whether it'll work, but we're throwing everything we can into this one."]
[17:25] <Raphael> "Well I never doubted that, ma'am." He gives her a thin smile.
[17:49] <Minaplo> [She began to lead him down a rather familiar corridor, towards his own quarters. "Morale's pretty low, though. The crew's becoming restless."]
[17:54] <Raphael> "Not surprising. Two major losses back to back and a lot of time spent away from home. Nevermind the evacuations…"
[18:09] <Minaplo> [A door comes into sight- his own. Misato heads over and taps in the lock code. "Yeah. You haven't heard, of course, but a band of technicians cornered and attacked Ezekiel a few days ago. Broke some of his ribs, one of his legs…"]
[15:36] * Raphael lets out a dismayed sigh, frowning deeply. "… I shouldn't be surprised. He was always going to be a target." He mutters. "Why wasn't he under guard?"
[15:47] <Minaplo> ["He was, but the guards were separated by the mob, and felt that opening fire with bolters would've made things worse… Ultimately, that they were there at all is probably the reason that Ezekiel's not dead."]
[15:52] <Raphael> "Hell…" Raphael shakes his head, shouldering open the door. "Is there any sign there'll be some sort of retaliation from the Ambassador or his master?"
[15:53] <Minaplo> ["No, although we've court-martialed the technicians involved ourselves." Said Misato, stepping in after Raphael and heading for her minibar. "Drink?"]
[15:56] <Raphael> "Please." He murmurs, dropping a small pack of personal effects by the door as he flops backwards onto the bed, groaning with relief.
[15:57] <Minaplo> [Misato pulls out a shiny golden-glass bottle of Czech lager, undoing the cap and holding it out to Raphael. "I guess sleeping inside Raffy-2 for a few days gets old fast, huh?"]
[16:06] * Raphael props himself up on one elbow to accept the drink, sipping it slowly. "Mmm. It's not as bad as you might expect, but I'm happy to be home."
[16:09] <Minaplo> [Misato smiled, closing up the minibar and sitting on the bed herself, but up against the headrest and pillows. She had a bottle of iced coffee in her hand. "I'm happy you're home, too. It's turning out to be a crappy week."]
[16:16] * Raphael 's silent at that, kicking off his boots to move further back onto the bed and give the Major his full attention. "What's going on, Misato? You said something about Rei…?"
[16:24] <Minaplo> [Misato took a mouthful of her coffee, frowning to herself, her eyebrows knotting together, her smile vanishing.-
[16:25] <Minaplo> ["There's been other incidents on the Battleship too." Said Misato. "It was a day after the battle in Boston. Yanmei went to visit Rei, because… Rei was feeling down. You know how it goes. Especially with the big defeat in Boston."-
[16:28] <Minaplo> ["Yanmei tried to cheer her up and took her out to lunch in the dining hall, and they overheard a group of technicians talking shit about the pilots, about Rei and her sisters, and about Wellesley. Rei and Yanmei approached them to give them a piece of their mind, I'm guessing, but the technicians didn't let up, and they did -something- to set Rei off. She assaulted the technicians' ringleader. Yanmei sent her off to report to me, but Gosselin found her first, and by the time Gosselin arrived, the technicians had attacked Yanmei, and she'd just then convinced them to set down their arms. Long story short, Rei's now facing a court martial in a day and a half for assaulting a fellow member of NERV."]
[16:40] <Raphael> By the time she's finished, Raphael has fallen completely still. The months of effort he's put into letting his guard down, letting her see him as he is, seem to falter as a mask of calm slips back into place to hide whatever's going through his head. "That can't be right." He says flatly, staring at her.
[16:40] <Minaplo> ["I'm sorry." She said quietly, her voice small, not timid, but not overreaching.]
[16:41] <Raphael> "She wouldn't hurt /Blue/."
[16:45] <Minaplo> ["I know." Said Misato. "I don't know what to say. It never took more than two seconds."]
[16:47] <Raphael> He looks away towards the door, remaining quiet for a few tense seconds. "… Is he alive?"
[16:48] <Minaplo> ["Yes. Injured, but alive. He and his friends are being court martialled as well."]
[16:54] <Raphael> "Ok." He says. "Is she detained?"
[16:55] <Minaplo> ["Not entirely. She has to be in Yanmei's company at all times, so she's been staying with her and Isaiah since this went down. For obvious reasons, the Tribunal doesn't think overly highly of Rei having frequent contact with a ranking officer who might be part of the deliberation process, like Wellesley, so…"]
[17:06] <Raphael> "Ok." He repeats, with no change to his inflection. "… what did they /do/?"
[18:34] <Minaplo> ["You'd have to ask someone else for the details. All I've heard are that they insulted the pilots, Wellesley, a few others."]
[18:37] * Raphael is on his feet by now, pacing alongside the bed without looking at her. "… I'll talk to the Colonel. Whoever's controlling the court martial."
[18:39] <Minaplo> ["Operations doesn't control Internal Affairs. You'll need to speak to Hohenzollern about it." Said Misato, worry starting to creep into her eyes. "What are you going to do, Raphael? Are you going to try to stop the court martial?"]
[18:40] <Raphael> "Yes." He said, as though he didn't understand the question.
[18:41] <Minaplo> ["You can't."]
[18:44] * Raphael stops walking and turns to look at her. "Well I can damn well try. NERV wants to put those kids through every stress it can think of and then blame /them/ when they snap? Especially /Rei/ of all people. No."
[18:48] <Minaplo> ["She put him in the hospital, Raphael. She broke his arm, his leg. If this court martial is stopped, how do you think the technicians and the other angry crewmembers are going to respond?" Her voice wasn't calm, but it wasn't in hysterics. It was placating, plaintive.]
[19:02] * Raphael eyes her stubbornly for a moment longer before the calm masks crack just a little, enough to see a flash of anger as he looks down at the floor. "…"
[19:42] <Minaplo> ["… I know how you feel." Said Misato quietly. "But if you want to help Rei, the best thing to do is talk to her, tell her that she has your support. That'd mean a lot to her, because I know she's worried that people will think less of her for this."]
[19:47] <Raphael> It takes him a moment to look back up and respond, the anger gone from his expression again. "Of course." He says, his voice quieter now. "I would have anyway."-
[19:47] <Raphael> "… Don't think I'm angry at you." He adds a moment later.
[19:48] <Minaplo> ["I know." Misato smiles a little, holds her arm out to him.]
[19:56] * Raphael sighs and returns to sit on the edge of the bed, putting his arms around her. The gesture is stiffer and more tentative than she'd be used to, like it had been back at the start of their relationship.
[19:59] <Minaplo> [If she noticed, and she probably did, she didn't comment on it. She put her coffee aside and wrapped her arms around him as well, hugging him with all the trust of a child hugging a teddy bear.-
[19:59] <Minaplo> ["It'll be alright." Said Misato. "Rei's defense counsel are on fire with preparations. She'll be exonerated in no time."]
[20:01] <Raphael> "Defense counsel? NERV's provided lawyers?"
[20:03] <Minaplo> ["Sort of. Yanmei's taken charge of the defense, and she's got her team together. Blanc, Weiss, that cute Indian defector she arrived with…"]
[20:04] <Raphael> "…"
[20:06] <Minaplo> ["They're doing a really good job." Said Misato quickly. "That Indian fellow advised Yanmei during -her- trial in the Synfront, and Yanmei herself actually has plenty of legal training… Not that we trained her, but she seems to have picked it up from somewhere."]
[20:10] <Raphael> "… she "picked up" legal training."
[20:11] <Minaplo> ["I'm not exactly sure how it happened, but it's true. When Caine tried to arrest her at the Synfront, Yanmei even rattled off a list of potential charges."]
[20:12] * Raphael just sighs again. "… those kids."
[20:28] <Minaplo> ["Yeah…"-
[20:28] <Minaplo> [Misato tch'ed to herself. "This is probably the second pilot court martial I've been body to."]
[20:34] * Raphael manages to escape Misato's grasp long enough so that he can move back, getting a better look at her. He doesn't look happy, by any measure, but that worrying blankness is gone for the moment. "Oh?"
[20:35] <Minaplo> ["Shinji-kun got court martialled over that debacle in Guangzhou. What a shitty mess that was…" She looked weary all of a sudden.]
[20:39] <Raphael> "I remember." He says quietly. "… What did you do to deal with it, back then?"
[20:41] <Minaplo> ["I almost -didn't- deal with it. Sometimes I threw myself into planning for battles. I think I got drunk once. I tried to help Shinji a few times, but I was so mad…"]
[20:42] <Raphael> "At him?"
[20:46] <Minaplo> ["Yeah. I shouldn't have been, it's not like I can fault him for his reaction… But Tsubaki was in intensive care- I didn't know if she was going to live from day to day- and Command was putting the blame on me big time, and I barely escaped court martial myself for the fuckup. So I guess when it came down to it, I was mad at him."]
[20:55] * Raphael nods. "Do you still worry about it?"
[20:56] <Minaplo> ["Yeah. Mostly the battle itself, the aftermath… Events like that stick with you, long after the physical effects are gone. I think I was too harsh on him, though. I learned long ago that no one punishes Shinji more than Shinji does."]
[21:03] <Raphael> "… Yeah. I haven't had a great deal of interaction with him, but it certainly seems that way." He frowns, seeming to forget the irony of whose face he wore.
[21:04] <Minaplo> ["Yeah… Doctor Ikari told me he gets it from his father. I don't think I believed her."]
[21:21] <Raphael> "I don't know that I do either."
[21:23] <Minaplo> [Misato retrieved her iced coffee, taking another mouthful. "… Do you want me to come when you visit Rei?"]
[21:25] * Raphael considers that for a moment, frowning again, but ends up giving her a small nod. "I think I'd appreciate that."
[21:27] <Minaplo> ["Okay. Do you wanna stay here tonight? After you say hello to Suzie in medical, I mean."]
[21:32] <Raphael> "Yeah." He said. "Yeah, if you don't mind."
[21:34] <Minaplo> [Misato nodded. "Alright, then. I'll have dinner brought up tonight."]
[21:38] * Raphael manages to push back his tension just enough to smile. "… Thanks, Misato."

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