Raphael S Encouragement

[14:03] * Raphael was tense, that much was obvious to anyone who knew him. He walked with his hands in his pockets to hide the way his fists were clenched, and his shoulders were tight and squared. "… I don't know how to approach this."
[14:06] <Minaplo> ["Just keep calm. That's about the best advice I can give you." Said Misato gently, walking at his side.]
[14:10] <Raphael> "I… disapprove of what she did," Raphael said carefully, "But I don't know if I can tell her that right now. Besides, I'm not her father."
[14:12] <Minaplo> ["If I know Rei, I suspect she doesn't need anyone to tell her that what she did was wrong."]
[14:14] <Raphael> "No, I doubt she does." Raphael glanced up ahead, sighing slightly as he spotted the elevator that would lead them up onto the deck.
[14:19] <Minaplo> [The elevator was smooth and fast. Raphael might not even realise it was moving, and by the time he'd had the werewithal to check the doors had already opened to reveal the battleship's deck.-
[14:22] <Minaplo> [Above them, the sun shone through white clouds down on the Atlantic Ocean, the platinum-white metal deck looking incredibly clean in the light. It extended out for about a hundred metres, a solid metre-high barrier ran around the perimeter of the observation deck, made of silvery metal, a foot thick. Behind them, the Battleship's command tower loomed over the deck and ship all, small autocannons sharing space with a pair of massive positron cannon turrets.-
[14:24] <Minaplo> [At the far end of the deck were more autocannons as well as two more capital weapons- impact cannon turrets, each one bearing two cannons, the diameter of the barrel easily over three, four metres or more, capable of magnetically launching shells with force enough to level entire neighbourhoods.-
[14:27] <Minaplo> [In the shadow of these goliath weapons were raised platforms, all of them at least ten metres from the edge of the barrier, allowing people to sit down and still have a fiew. It was on one of these platforms that Raphael and Misato would see three people- Zhang Yanmei, and with her, sitting elegantly, wearing a white dress with a pink jacket and a wide-brimmed sunhat, was Rei, her arm around a little red-haired girl- Eevi, wearing her own white dress, with a small red jacket, and her own little sun hat.-
[14:28] <Minaplo> [Behind them, lolling lazily in the sun, was Felix the tiger, and perched on his back, flat like an animal rug, was Nene the cat.-
[14:28] <Minaplo> [A pleasant, cool wind blew across the deck, and it seemed so far that they hadn't noticed Raphael arrive.]
[14:36] * Raphael sighs again, but it only takes a second for him to hide whatever lack of confidence he's feeling, standing up straighter and stepping purposefully out of the elevator. The only hint of whatever he was struggling with was the split-second glance back to check that Misato was still with him as they approached the raised platform…
[14:36] <Minaplo> [And she is.]
[14:38] * Yanmei for her part, was dressed in dark slacks and a pink blouse. She was talking, her voice carrying in the breeze with a distinct lecturing tone. "…and that is why James Riel and Archibald don't get along." -
[14:41] <Yanmei> She paused then, glancing over her shoulder as the sound of footsteps grew louder, her eyes widening slightly. She stood up, brushing off her pants, and swiveled to meet the new arrivals, placing her hands on her her hips. "Well, well… I see we're not the only ones out for a walk today?"
[14:42] <Minaplo> [Rei looked over as Yanmei spoke, and saw Raphael and Misato approaching- her eyes widened, and a scared, stricken look crossed her face, before she looked away quickly.]
[14:53] <Raphael> "I've only just made it back from a training mission. It seemed like I should come and see how the girls were doing…" He said, giving the three of them a tight, but seemingly genuine smile as he arrived at their table, his eyes lingering on Rei for a moment with a hint of concern. He reaches out with one hand, absently giving Nene a pat from her position on Felix's back, seemingly
[14:53] <Raphael> unconcerned by the tiger itself.-
[14:54] <Raphael> "I hope we're not interrupting, though."
[14:54] <Minaplo> ["Catching up on the gossip, huh?" Asked Misato, eyeing Yanmei with a small smile.]
[14:59] * Yanmei also stared at Rei for a split second, before breaking out her own smirk and hairtoss. "Sure. If by 'gossip' you actually mean 'old news'?" -
[14:59] <Yanmei> "Anyway, welcome back, Captain. I thought it was odd that I hadn't seen you around lately…"
[15:02] <Raphael> "Mmm." He murmurs, hands still in his pockets. "… I would have been back earlier, if I'd been told."
[15:03] <Minaplo> [Rei glances at him, quickly and furtively, but she refuses to meet his gaze or look at him for anything longer than quick glances.]
[15:07] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei sank back down in her original spot. "They probably thought the training was too important to interrupt? Anyway, we're getting the situation under control, so…"
[15:16] <Raphael> "I'd respectfully disagree with them, but regardless." He turns his attention to Rei, taking a chair opposite the girl and giving Eevi a quick, fond smile as he sits. "Rei… sweetheart, look at me."
[15:19] <Minaplo> ["…" Rei looks up at him, slowly, hesitantly. "… Hi, Raffy." She says quietly, before turning away again, looking- well, ashamed.]
[15:27] <Raphael> "Misato's told me a bit about what happened, but she wasn't sure of the details and… well, I'd like to hear it from your perspective, if I'm honest. I know you're afraid and upset, but I'm here to try and help that, alright?" He says gently. He glances at Yanmei, trying to get a better read of the situation.
[15:30] * Yanmei offered him a small shrug. Her face was more serious now, the smiles slipping away. "Go on, Rei."
[15:37] <Minaplo> ["W-Well…" She didn't look up, her hands fidgetting in her lap. "It was after the battle, the day after, and I felt down, because we'd lost, and Al was busy. Meimei showed up, and took me out to the dining hall for lunch. W-We sat down to eat, and there were some people- technicians from Boston- near our table, and they were saying things." She looked at Yanmei, hoping silently for her to explain.]
[15:43] <Yanmei> "They were being total jerks? Saying untrue things about Wellesley and Rei's relationship. One of them ruined my shirt!"
[15:51] <Minaplo> ["They also said that we- the pilots- were useless."]
[15:52] <Yanmei> "And that we were pampered," Yanmei added, with a hint of frustration.
[15:54] * Raphael frowns sharply at that, but manages to default back to a more neutral expression a moment later. "Then they're fools. Nothing more, nothing less" He says frankly, shaking his head. "But… even considering that, Rei, you've dealt with fools before, even if I wish you hadn't. I've never once seen you lash out before. I know you've been having a hard time lately, but was there more
[15:54] * Raphael to it?"
[15:57] <Minaplo> ["I-I dunno." Said Rei, looking at her hands. "I was scared from the fight with Michael, about what might happen. I-I hadn't had a chance to cool down from that, and… I've felt stressed a lot recently, besieged. With what happened to Al, and me trying to rescue him, and then this battle."-
[15:59] <Minaplo> ["The things he was saying were things I'd heard before, but in the past I just shut my anger off, b-but this time it didn't work, and… He said I was Al's little bitch, but instead of shutting it all off I hit him with the chair…" She looked up at Yanmei again.]
[16:03] <Yanmei> "Just once. It hurt him pretty badly, though? Things got a little hectic after that, but she didn't chair anyone else. In fact, she got the heck out of there."
[16:04] <Minaplo> ["Twice." Mumbled Rei. "Once to hit him into the air, and again to hit him away."]
[16:05] <Yanmei> "Well, yeah. But it's not like you kept attacking him once he was on the ground and out cold."
[16:09] * Raphael 's eyes widen just slightly at Rei's description of the attack, unable to quite stop himself. "… That's something, certainly." He hedges, giving himself a moment to collect his thoughts. "I think anyone would be outraged at all that, Rei, especially when you were already under so much stress. Not that I'm condoning you hurting the man, but I /understand/…"-
[16:10] <Raphael> He sighs. "Is this the first time you've had trouble with your emotional suppression? Outside of your battle with Ahkraziel, I mean."
[16:10] <Minaplo> ["…"]
[16:11] <Minaplo> [She looks up at Yanmei again, in an almost pleading fashion.]
[16:13] <Yanmei> "You should know?" Yanmei muttered. "That stuff with the mafia…"
[16:16] * Raphael looks from Rei to Yanmei and back again. This time the frown isn't so quick to disappear. "… Right, of course. Forget I asked."
[16:18] <Minaplo> ["The hospital thing… C-Chasing Blue were big ones." Said Rei. "Sometimes it happens in a less, um. Dramatic way. Been crying a lot…"]
[16:21] <Yanmei> "Wellesley was pretty harsh to her after the brawl. She took it… badly?"
[16:22] <Minaplo> [Misato looked… Awkward at that. She glanced away.]
[16:23] <Raphael> "…" Raphael looks distinctly displeased by that, but continues on carefully. "… I'm sure he was under a lot of pressure. I can speak to him, if you need me to."
[16:25] <Minaplo> ["N-No, it's ok." Rei looked up, quickly. It had been easy to provoke her like that when Alphonse had been mentioned. "We sorted it out by ourselves."]
[16:28] * Raphael nods, managing to smile a little. "Well, I'm glad to hear that much. Is there anything I /can/ do? Misato says you've already got the case well underway, Yanmei."
[16:33] <Yanmei> "That's right?" Yanmei preened. "You should come to the trial. Moral support would always help."
[16:34] <Raphael> "That much is a given. I wouldn't make her do that without all the help I could offer."
[16:37] <Minaplo> [As if to underline the point, Eevi shifted over, wrapping her arms tightly around Rei's waist and resting her head against her chest, her eyes staring unblinkingly up at Raphael. They were almost… Challenging? Or something like that.-
[16:37] <Minaplo> ["Thank you." Said Rei, with a small smile- her emotion was in her eyes, which met Raphael's for the first time, properly, full of gratitude and relief.]
[16:40] * Raphael smiles back, tilting his head a little. "You thought I wouldn't?"
[16:41] <Minaplo> ["I-I dunno. I thought you'd be angry at me. Not willing to talk to me… Bad things like that."]
[16:42] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei shifted uncomfortably.
[16:45] <Raphael> me shakes his head slightly. "I may not approve of what you did, sweetheart, but I still love you."
[16:46] <Minaplo> [Eevi seemed to relax a little at that.-
[16:47] <Minaplo> [Rei smiled a little wider, and she brushed a hand across her cheek, clearing away a pre-emptive tear. "T-thank you. What I did was wrong, s-so you shouldn't approve…" Did she glance sideways at Yanmei as she said that? She was too quick, it was hard to tell.-
[16:48] <Minaplo> ["I need to learn to control my emotions -properly- from now on, but I'm glad I have the support of a lot of people, too."]
[12:59] <Idrilyn> [16:48] <Minaplo> ["I need to learn to control my emotions -properly- from now on, but I'm glad I have the support of a lot of people, too."]
[13:02] * Yanmei was quiet, neither willing to admit approval or disapproval after a remark like that one. Either way, it would spoil the mood…
[13:05] <Raphael> "We can help you work on that once all of this is done. If you want us to, that is." Raphael smiled, turning his attention to Yanmei. "… I can't thank you enough for all the help you've given Rei, Pilot Zhang."
[13:10] <Yanmei> "Heh. Well, I've hardly been alone on that? Isaiah, and Doctor Castillo and the rest of the rest of the defense team… without them I doubt I would have been able to help much at all?"
[13:12] <Raphael> "I doubt that." He chuckled. "Still, I'll be sure to thank the rest of the defense team as well."-
[13:13] <Raphael> "Idly, ma'am, Misato was mentioning that you've somehow acquired legal training?"
[13:15] <Yanmei> "…" -
[13:19] <Yanmei> "I wouldn't call it formal legal training? Just a few things I've picked up here and there."
[13:26] <Idrilyn> [Misato coughed self-consciously. Rei glanced at Yanmei, a little curiously…]
[13:28] <Raphael> "… I see." Raphael says slowly, similarly curious. "Well, it seems to be serving well enough right now."
[13:30] <Yanmei> "I've never had to use this stuff in court before?" she admitted. "But I have a firm grasp of the people I'll be dealing with, so I think we'll be fine? So far, it reminds me a little of Isaiah's pilot selection hearing."
[13:31] <Idrilyn> ["…" Rei shifted in her seat awkwardly.]
[13:32] <Raphael> "How's that?"
[13:37] <Yanmei> "Hm… it's a little hard to explain? I think it's the combination of all that red tape, the high stakes, and the importance of public presentation." She flashed a grin at Rei. "I'm referring to the first hearing, by the way? Don't worry, you'll be okay."
[13:39] <Idrilyn> [Rei nodded, seemingly mollified.]
[13:42] <Raphael> "Rei's lucky to have you around, then. I doubt I'd have nearly as much luck in these circumstances, no matter how hard I tried."
[13:43] <Idrilyn> ["There is -one- way." Said Rei with a knowing smile.]
[13:44] <Raphael> "Quiet, you." He replied with mock-seriousness.
[13:45] <Idrilyn> [Rei -grinned-. "'Oh -please-, honoured madames…'" She batted her eyelashes quickly, coyly.]
[13:45] * Yanmei couldn't hold back her snickering any longer. She clapped a hand over her mouth to muffle them.
[13:46] <Raphael> "You're not funny, young lady."
[13:54] <Idrilyn> [Misato was dissolving into laughter next to him.-
[13:54] <Idrilyn> [Rei smiled innocently. It was a shockingly honest smile…]
[13:57] <Raphael> "Hmph."
[13:59] <Yanmei> "Oh, this reminds me. You know who else will be at the trial~?"
[14:01] * Raphael didn't like the sound of that segue. "… Who?"
[14:02] <Yanmei> "President Linden. She's a key witness."
[14:04] <Idrilyn> [Misato's laughter abruptly died.]
[14:04] * Raphael manages the impressive feat of paling and going a little pink around the ears simultaneously, recalling last time they'd really encountered one another.-
[14:05] <Raphael> "Oh. I see. Fantastic." He said diplomatically.
[14:08] <Idrilyn> ["She promised to be a witness for me, but only if Al went to speak to her in person. He's been avoiding her." Said Rei.]
[14:09] <Yanmei> "Try not not to have too much contact with her until after they make a decision? We want her to at least look impartial to the judges~"
[14:11] <Raphael> "…" Raphael risked a glance at Misato out of the corner or his eye.
[14:12] <Idrilyn> [Misato's eyes were narrowed, focused, boring an invisible hole into Yanmei's forehead.]
[14:13] * Raphael shuddered. "… I'm, uh, glad that you're trying to have Alphonse mend fences, at least."
[14:15] <Idrilyn> ["Minnie-chan helped save his life, so the least he can do is be -nice-."]
[14:16] * Yanmei was smiling back sweetly at Misato, trying to duplicate Rei's innocent look from earlier.
[14:17] <Raphael> "… Quite." He said, watching Misato and Yanmei uneasily.
[14:21] <Idrilyn> [Misato not-subtly grabbed Raphael's arm, pinning it to her side.]
[14:25] * Raphael didn't move. They can't notice you if you don't move.
[14:27] * Yanmei reached out to pet the tiger, trying very hard to project an aura of calm obliviousness. "Anyway, we've been so caught up on things here that we haven't heard much about the outside until recently. Have… you all heard about the reassignments?"
[14:30] * Raphael frowns. He probably would have been more grateful for the change in topics had this one not seemed slightly ominous. "… I haven't, no." He tries to lean forward a little, but his arm is still pinned. "What happened?"
[14:31] <Yanmei> "The Geofront is under new command. They're making three new EVAs for it too? Our replacements."
[14:33] * Raphael 's eyes narrow. "Who's in charge? Not one of ours, certainly."
[14:36] <Yanmei> "Technically, it's still Hohenzollern? But she's…" Yanmei frowned and then shook her head. "The new OD they've placed there is the HIC's pick. Lord High Magistrate Hauptmann."
[14:42] <Raphael> "… Hauptmann?" He asks, a little surprised by the name. "I've heard of him. One of the more respected Commanders during the Impact Wars."
[14:43] <Yanmei> "He's one of Caine's underlings now. No… he probably always was. From what I've heard, he's incredibly loyal to the UN?"
[14:45] * Raphael sighs, nodding. "I'm not surprised, really - he certainly was back then. It's just a shame."
[14:47] <Yanmei> "They've moved a lot of ground troops in to occupy the place too."
[14:51] <Raphael> "Did we have anyone critical still stationed there?" Raphael asks, directing the question to Misato as much as Yanmei.
[14:53] <Idrilyn> ["Hmm… Clement? He's recouperating in Paris-2… Most of the critical personnel we made sure to pile onto the battleship, because we had a suspicion it might happen."-
[14:54] <Idrilyn> ["Simon's still in the Geofront." She said, suddenly, to herself. "That's not encouraging, she runs S2 across all six continents…"-
[14:57] <Idrilyn> ["That's about all I can think of. There's plenty of critical items in the Geofront, too, like everything in Terminal Dogma- Lilith, the Lance of Longinus. There's also Excalibur, and the Shards of Cassius, and whatever's in Surov's vault…"]
[14:59] <Raphael> "… Fantastic." Raphael murmurs.
[15:02] <Yanmei> "The city itself has been evacuated? So hopefully non-combatants were taken someplace else. That might include Clement, Riel, and various patients still in Medical." -
[15:04] <Yanmei> "Even without them, Caine has plenty of other things to play with in the meantime."
[15:06] <Raphael> "How much trouble are we in now that Caine has unrestricted access to Lilith?"
[15:07] <Idrilyn> ["Mm… There's nothing she can -do- to Lilith now that she hasn't already done." Said Misato. "She'd need the Soul. And as far as I remember, that's with Aline and Tsubaki, and Tsubaki's in hiding right now."]
[15:12] <Yanmei> "Doesn't that mean she'll at least start targeting Blanc more aggressively now?"
[15:12] <Raphael> "Most likely."
[15:14] <Idrilyn> ["She'll be targeting -all- of us, no doubt."-
[15:14] <Idrilyn> [Rei frowned, rubbing Eevi's shoulder absently.]
[15:15] * Yanmei scowled darkly out at where the ocean was for a few minutes.
[15:15] * Raphael sighs. "But we knew that was only a matter of time."
[15:22] <Idrilyn> ["You said three new Evas, Meimei?"]
[15:22] <Yanmei> "Yeah. But I don't know anything about them?"
[15:23] <Raphael> "Where'd you hear this from, ma'am?"
[15:26] <Yanmei> "Staff Sergeant Holmstrom, of that Varangian Squad. He's a backup witness for our case."
[15:27] <Idrilyn> ["Oh, he's the tall, brooding handsome one, right~?" Asked Misato chirpily.]
[15:28] * Raphael stares at her for a moment, glances down at the way she's still gripping his arm and then looks back again. He shakes his head.
[15:29] <Yanmei> "Something like that?" Yanmei was watching her too, warily.
[15:34] <Idrilyn> ["Hmm." Rei frowned to herself. "Lots of problems waiting for us after this, too…"]
[15:36] <Raphael> "But if we can get through it all…" He gives them a tight smile. "Only two more Angels remaining."
[15:37] <Idrilyn> ["Three." Said Eevi in a murmur.]
[15:38] * Raphael pauses at that, giving Eevi a thoughtful look before glancing to Misato.
[15:39] <Yanmei> "…three…?"
[15:40] <Idrilyn> ["Michael. Then Metatron." Said Eevi. "Last Angel is Mankind."]
[15:40] <Yanmei> "That's a weird way to put it?" Yanmei folded her arms and tilted her head. "But, sure. Fine."
[15:45] <Raphael> "… hmm." Raphael's quiet for a moment longer, finally putting a hand on Misato's arm. "Alright. We should let you girls get back to planning, I suppose."
[15:47] <Idrilyn> ["Thanks for everything, R-Raffy. Misa-bachan." Rei favoured them both with a bright smile.]
[15:47] <Yanmei> "Don't forget to come by for the actual trial, ok? Watch our victory~"
[15:50] <Raphael> "Of course." He smiles, getting to his feet and leaning over to squeeze Rei's hand. "You two both have my number if you need anything. I'm not going anywhere until this is all resolved."
[15:50] <Idrilyn> ["Alright, Raffy."]
[15:53] * Yanmei nodded, standing properly in order to see them off.
[15:57] * Raphael gives the trio another smile before turning to head for the elevator with Misato in tow.

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