Rei In Pain

[17:59] <Minaplo> [The combined nausea of moving so suddenly and the sharp agony of standing on her leg nearly finished her. She sagged against the far wall, her breathing suddenly sharp and shallow. She gritted her teeth, partly to stop herself from screaming. Rei found it hard to focus in such a state, but with force of effort she spread her AT Field and tried to lift herself. It worked- somewhat. It'd take some of the pain away but she'd still have to shamble out.-
[18:00] <Minaplo> ["Al… Alphonse." She began to move, agonisingly slowly. Towards the door. Vision was still blurry. She clumsily grabbed the handle and pushed it open, smacking it with her shoulder as she went. She groaned as the action sent sharp shooting pains through her side.-
[18:01] <Minaplo> ["Alphonse…!" Rei pushed forward. She had to make it out. She had to. He needed her… There were other people around, but she could barely hear them or see them like this. She edged forward. Her head was swimming, the room was spinning, but…-
[18:01] <Minaplo> ["Alphonse! Al-!"-
[18:02] <Minaplo> [… And so it was that Raphael Guillory's phone would begin to ring.]
[18:12] <@Raphael> In the wake of the Geofront attack, the main cafeteria seems to have been left even busier than usual as the cleanup and reconstruction efforts take place.-
[18:12] <@Raphael> Raphael sits on one side of a small table, working his way through a sandwich and smiling distantly as Suzie offers Misato a frenzied and elaborate rundown of her latest adventures at school.-
[18:13] <@Raphael> He offers them both an apologetic as his ringtone sounds, bringing the phone up to his ear.
[18:17] * @Raphael brings one hand up to block his other ear in an attempt to mute the hum of other voices in the dining hall. "Speaking."
[18:25] * @Raphael 's face goes still, seeming to lose all colour in the space of a heartbeat. "… I'll be right there. Keep your distance." He says tersely, snapping the phone shut and shoving it clumsily away into his pocket.-
[18:25] <@Raphael> There's no time to stop and explain; He's on his feet and running for the hall a moment later, weaving his way through the crowd as best he can.
[18:40] <Minaplo> ["H-Hey, where-?"-
[18:42] <Minaplo> [Once Raphael leaves the cafeteria behind the mass of people becomes far easier to navigate- only for it to swell once again as he enters the medical district.-
[18:43] <Minaplo> [He hears the commotion before he sees it- shouts of warning interspersed with… What can only be described as a wail.-
[18:44] <Minaplo> [It's a horrid sight. Rei is pulling herself along by the wall, her broken leg limping, her skin covered in a sheen of sweat. She looks feverish and there's a mad animal look in her eye. "Alphonse!" She screams, her slim body quivering with pain and nausea and fear. A nurse rushes forward to try to grab her- only to leap back with a yelp, as though he'd just been burned.]
[18:55] * @Raphael appears alongside the nurse, one hand on her shoulder as he motions her and the other onlookers back. Only when they've been given a bit of distance does he turn his attention to Rei, raising his hands with his palms facing out.-
[18:55] <@Raphael> "Rei?" He says gently, between her shouts. He's looking rather pale, but he seems determined to keep his expression calm. "Rei, it's me."
[19:40] <Minaplo> ["I need… Find… Alphonse." She gasped out. Her delirious eyes turn towards Raphael, but she doesn't stop. "Help…"]
[19:42] <@Raphael> "Alright, sweetheart. It's ok, we'll find him." He murmurs, moving a little closer. He offers her an arm, still not touching her just yet. "I need you to lean on me, Rei. You can't walk like that."
[19:45] <Minaplo> ["Need… Find…" Rei doesn't reach out for him, however, not yet- but she walks directly into a waiting chair, unseen by her. Her broken leg crashes directly into and she crumples, stricken by incredible pain. Rei cries in agony, even as she begins to pull herself by her arms towards the exit.]
[19:51] * @Raphael tries to lunge for her, but there's no way to catch her before she crashes to the floor. Looking striken he kneels down beside her and reaches out to slip an arm beneath her armpits to help her back to her feet, no longer paying any mind to the nurse's reaction from earlier. "Somebody find me a bed, please." He calls over his shoulder.
[19:53] <Minaplo> [For a split second Raphael's fingers burn as though someone had held a red-hot poker to the back of his fingernails. But before long the sensation vanishes. Rei herself is burning hot, clearly feverish to an absurdly unhealthy degree. She groans and wails as Raphael helps her up, her limbs starting to go limp. "Alphonse! Al-Al-Al…" She suddenly bows her head and begins to -sob-. It's a heartrending noise, full of grief and utter despair.]
[19:53] <Minaplo> [A pair of nurses rustle up a bed and are already hurtling towards them.]
[19:58] <@Raphael> "Shhh." He whispers, murmuring soothing words that do absolutely nothing to quiet her sobs. All he can do is hold her, practically holding enough of her weight to keep her off the floor, and right then he is blind to any heat.
[20:00] <Minaplo> [Her body quivers and shakes as she sobs, which only causes more spasms of pain.-
[20:01] <Minaplo> [The nurses arrive, a bed between them. They hold it out and move to steady both bed and Rei.]
[20:07] * @Raphael takes the lead in helping Rei onto the bed. He's as gentle as anyone could hope to be, knowing how much pain she was in, but he grits his teeth as they begin to help her injured leg up onto the mattress, trying to prepare himself…
[20:08] <Minaplo> [Rei lets out a gasp that cuts through her sobs as they shift it onto the mattress. It sounds as though she simply could not be in more pain…-
[20:08] <Minaplo> [She doesn't even have the strength to move anymore, not even feebly.]
[20:15] * @Raphael takes a step back, letting out a sharp, shaky breath as he massages his jaw with one hand. He glances at the nearest nurse, illusion of calm long gone. "C-can you… is there something you can give her? Please?"
[20:21] <Minaplo> [It's the nurse from earlier. "Uh…" He begins slowly, clearly a little shaken himself. "We should be able to settle her, yeah. Hey, Guillaume, go fetch me a supply of morphine from Stocks, along with a round of the type N Placatives. Come on, we should get her back to her room."]
[20:24] * @Raphael nods mutely and keeps pace with the bed as they retrace Rei's steps back to her room. Somewhere along the way he seems to have taken hold of her hand, although it was debatable whether the action was for her benefit or his.
[20:26] <Minaplo> [It isn't long before they're back at Rei's room. It isn't long before a doctor and several more nurses appear. The doctor places a hand on Raphael's shoulder. "Give us half an hour to clean her up and do what we need to do, alright?"]
[20:30] * @Raphael 's jaw works silently, as if struggling for a reason to reject the suggestion, but he manages to make himself nod. He gives Rei a long look, leaning in to mumble something beyond the medical team's hearing before forcing himself away.
[20:33] <Minaplo> [It's a very long half hour, no doubt. For Raphael, at least.-
[20:34] <Minaplo> [But eventually the doctor emerges from the room and heads to Raphael. "There. She's been washed, dressed, her bandages changed, and given something for the pain as well as a placative. Her fever's already dropping- she's still awake, although she's a bit incoherent as you might imagine."]
[20:46] * @Raphael nods. The half hour seems to have been enough for Raphael to calm the more extreme signals of his stress, but his usual mask of calm seems… quite tenuous right at that moment.-
[20:46] <@Raphael> "I understand, Doctor." He says, giving the doctor a wan smile. "Thank you for taking care of her."
[20:49] <Minaplo> ["Not a problem." She says. "I can't imagine what she's going through… Or what you are, on that note. My nurses are glad you came."]
[20:56] * @Raphael nods politely again, but seems to be at a loss for what more to say. He casts a glance towards the door. "Can I see her?"
[20:57] <Minaplo> ["Of course."]
[21:02] <@Raphael> It takes a few moments longer to exchange the appropriate pleasantries - Even shaken Raphael is polite to a fault - but soon enough Raphael says his goodbyes to the doctor, and only a moment or two after that he's gently pushing open the door to Rei's room.
[21:12] <Minaplo> [Rei looks, overall, much better. She's been washed free of the sweat, and whilst she looks utterly exhausted she seems practically restful. She blinks languidly, not moving, one hand feebly drawing the blanket up over herself.]
[21:16] * @Raphael stays quiet for the moment. It's easier to focus on helping her with the blanket, making sure she's comfortable. He gently brushes the hair away from her eyes. Only then does he slump down into the chair beside her bed.
[21:19] <Minaplo> ["Sorry, Raffy." She mumbles, looking deeply regretful.]
[21:23] <@Raphael> "It's fine, sweetheart." He says quietly. "I understand. We all do."
[21:27] <Minaplo> ["I miss him. I'm really scared, Raffy." She whispered. "I've never been so scared."]
[21:38] <@Raphael> "… I know." He says, leaning forward and finding her hand again. "I need you to trust me, Rei. I'm going to do everything in my power to bring him back safely. I understand how much it must hurt to wait here, but…" He swallows, shaking his head. "You're in no shape to be out there, right now. So trust me."
[21:40] <Minaplo> [Rei held his hand as tightly as she could. He could almost feel her terror through the touch. "… Please, Raffy." She mumbled, tears bubbling up in her already-puffy red eyes. "Please… Al…"]
[21:43] <@Raphael> "I know." He nods, swallowing again. "But you need to stay safe so you're ready when he gets back, alright?"
[21:48] <Minaplo> [She nods, slowly, either out of exhaustion or reluctance is unknown. "I tried to protect him…"]
[21:50] <@Raphael> "Of course you did." Raphael says. "Nobody would have fought harder."
[21:51] <Minaplo> ["But it wasn't enough." She said, the tears leaking down her cheeks. "Why…?"]
[21:53] * @Raphael looks down at the floor. "Because sometimes the odds are against you, and all you can do is fight as hard as you can for as long as you can."
[21:56] <Minaplo> ["… Al was hurt." She mumbled. "They shot him…"]
[22:03] <@Raphael> "Ban-Ban told me." He nods, looking back up. "And I know how scary that thought must be for you. What you need to remember is that these are people who are deeply aware of how foolish it is to anger NERV. They wouldn't draw that anger to kill an OD. The odds are very good that they need him, and that they will be very careful to keep him alive."
[22:03] <Minaplo> ["… Okay." She mumbled. "Like with Chiisana."]
[22:05] <@Raphael> "… Yes." He says, cursing himself for the moment of hesitation.
[22:06] <Minaplo> ["I'll try." She whispers. "But… But I don't like it knowing he's… He's in a dangerous place. They could still hurt him." She sniffles. "I want to hold him again. I want to kiss him again. It hurts a lot inside."]
[22:14] <@Raphael> "Soon." He says fiercely, putting his other hand on top of their joined ones. "President Linden is doing everything she can to help us. The moment we're ready I'll lead the rescue myself."
[22:16] <Minaplo> [Rei nodded slowly, looking marginally more reassured. Raphael would notice that she was shivering a little.]
[22:19] * @Raphael leans over to adjust her blankets, before resting the back of his hand against her forehead. "Are you cold?" He asks.
[22:20] <Minaplo> [Her skin feels a little clammy and cool now, far from the feverish heat she had been radiating not half an hour ago. She nodded mutely.]
[22:25] * @Raphael walks to the other side of the bed, fetching a jug of water and a plastic cup from the sideboard which he brings back and offers to her. "Can you hold this yourself? Your fever's not as bad as it was, but you'll need to keep your fluids up."
[22:27] <Minaplo> [Rei reaches out and takes the cup, sipping it a little. "Thank you, Raffy…"]
[22:29] * @Raphael smiles thinly. "No trouble at all."
[22:30] <Minaplo> ["Um… Is everyone ok? I don't know what's been happening…"]
[22:34] * @Raphael winces slightly, scratching at his neck as he returns to his chair. "… Are you sure want to hear about this right now, sweetheart?" He says gently. "The last few days have been unpleasant."
[22:34] <Minaplo> ["If anyone's hurt, then I have to know."]
[22:36] * @Raphael eyes her critically for a moment, shaking his head.
[22:36] <@Raphael> "Do you remember the Geofront being attacked?"
[22:36] <Minaplo> ["I… Don't think so." She said, frowning.]
[22:40] * @Raphael is silent for a moment. "We were breached by a heavy invasion force of Angelspawn and cultists. They were planning to detonate a positronic warhead, as I understand it." He sighs. "Losses were heavy for both sides, but we managed to hold long enough for reinforcements to arrive."
[22:44] <Minaplo> ["It's good that we held out." Said Rei quietly, nodding slowly. "A positronic warhead would've done a lot of damage, wouldn't it?"]
[22:45] <@Raphael> "It would have crippled the Geofront, certainly." He nods.
[22:45] <Minaplo> ["Losses…"]
[22:48] * @Raphael 's frown is slight but noticeable as he watches his hands. "Apparently while all this was occuring, Metatron had deployed Angelspawn hordes to sweep clean certain areas. The real focus was on the Synfront, and so the land battleship and the EVAs were deployed."-
[22:48] <@Raphael> "The battle was messy, to put it bluntly. It was only when the Synfront released its own EVA that Metatron retreated. Unfortunately said EVA immediately turned on our Pilots."
[22:49] <Minaplo> ["Huh? EVA-07…?"]
[22:49] * @Raphael shakes his head. "Something new. The Colonel wasn't aware it even existed."
[22:50] <Minaplo> ["A new Eva? And it went berserk?"]
[22:54] * @Raphael nods. "We only know it was powerful enough to destroy Yanmei and Isaiah's Evangelions with ease. Isaiah's was…" He shakes his head, looking up at Rei with tired eyes. "The plug was crushed. I'm sorry, but we don't know what state he's in now."-
[22:54] <@Raphael> "It likely would have continued on to destroy Aline and Tsubaki's units as well, had Aline not used a Dirac Breach to abandon it in the Sun."
[22:54] <@Raphael> «Yanmei, William and Isaiah's*»
[22:55] <Minaplo> [Rei's face immediately crumples. "Zaizai-?!"]
[22:59] * @Raphael nods faintly. "It's possible he could have survived it, but right now we just don't know."
[23:04] <Minaplo> ["Zaizai…" Rei's eyes were filling with tears again. "Meimei… Oh, R-Raffy…"]
[23:07] * @Raphael leans forward to squeeze Rei's shoulder. "The Colonel is trying to get the Synfront to release more information, so hopefully we'll know more soon."
[23:08] <Minaplo> [Rei nodded, her face far too tear-streaked. "Meimei, Zaizai, Al… Nnngh." She wiped at her eyes. "You'll do everything you can, right?"]
[23:09] * @Raphael nods gently. "Of course."
[23:10] <Minaplo> ["Are my sisters ok?"]
[23:12] <@Raphael> "Chiisana was injured during the fighting at the Geofront, but she's recovering. She's been checking on you while you were asleep." He tries to smile, but there's no real heart to it. "Everyone else is fine."
[23:13] <Minaplo> [Rei nodded slowly. "And Suzie and Eevi and Misa-bachan?"]
[23:17] <@Raphael> "Suzie's fine. Misato broke a few ribs and an arm, and Eevi…" His eyes roamed, looking for a tactful response. Guilt clouds his expression. "Her injuries were awful, but at the very least her Iron Guard modifications mean she'll recover."
[23:19] <Minaplo> [Rei winced. "It could've been worse, but I'm glad they're ok in the end."]
[23:20] * @Raphael nods. "It certainly could've been worse." He sighs.
[23:20] <Minaplo> ["Are you ok, Raffy?"]
[23:22] * @Raphael chuckles weakly. "Tired and worried, Rei, that's all. About you and everyone else." He says.-
[23:23] <@Raphael> "They could easily have been worse, but I don't think we're bad people for wishing the past few days had been better, hmm?"
[23:24] <Minaplo> ["No, Raffy. Not at all."-
[23:24] <Minaplo> [Rei raises her left hand into the air, where it hangs, seemingly for no reason.]
[23:25] * @Raphael eyes it speculatively, one eyebrow raised. Did he have a role to play in this? For now it was a mystery.
[23:26] <Minaplo> [Rei frowned, closing her eyes tightly. A second later there was a flash of rainbow light, and something fell out of the air. Rei scooped it up and held it to her chest tightly.-
[23:26] <Minaplo> [It was a small stuffed toy rendition of Alphonse in his dress uniform.]
[23:29] * @Raphael eyes the stuffed toy sadly for a moment before leaning over to bundle Rei up in a careful, wordless hug.
[23:32] <Minaplo> [Rei leaned into him, soaking up his warmth. She seemed so fragile, so delicate…]
[23:33] * @Raphael rested his head against hers for a moment, not quite willing to let her go. "Do you think you're able to get some sleep?"
[23:34] <Minaplo> ["I should be able to, Raffy…"]
[23:35] <@Raphael> "Would you prefer some time alone, or should I stay?"
[23:36] <Minaplo> ["Can you stay for a little while longer?"]
[23:38] <@Raphael> "Of course." He said gently and without hesitation.
[23:39] <Minaplo> [Rei snuggled against him, and she rested there for some time. Eventually he'd feel her body start to slacken as she fell asleep.]

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