Rei S Christmas

[23:28] * @Ayanami‘Rei and Alphonse left Misato’s apartment quickly, proceeding down the elevator and out onto the curb. The wind was cool and pleasant on Rei's face. She turned to look at Alphonse, smiling a little.-
[23:30] <@Ayanami‘Rei> [He turned to look at her as well, smiling sheepishly. "You really do look lovely, Rei." He said.-
[23:30] <@Ayanami`Rei> "Thank you, Al-chan." She replied quietly, looking down at her feet for a second.-
[23:31] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["The car should be here any moment now. I ordered it specifically for us."-
[00:03] <@Ayanami`Rei> [A few minutes later, a smart-looking black car pulled up in front of the couple, driven by a NERV officer- a personal favour to the Captain. Their valet for the night stepped out and opened the door for them, allowing Rei to enter first, then Alphonse.-
[00:03] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["You organised this, Al-chan?" Asked Rei, looking around the car wondrously.-
[00:04] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["I… I did. It’s nothing special."-
[00:04] <@Ayanami‘Rei> "I think it is. Thank you, Al-chan." She gave him a smile. "Tonight is already a special night."-
[00:13] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["…" He smiled at that, before they settled into a comfortable silence.-
[00:14] <@Ayanami`Rei> [The rest of the trip to the restaurant passed quietly, in that same comfortable atmosphere. Oddly, Alphonse felt his nerves receding, a little.-
[00:15] * @Ayanami`Rei kept glancing shyly towards Alphonse before looking back out the window. On the few occasions they caught each other’s glance, Rei blushed and said something about what she was looking at outside.-
[21:01] <@Ayanami‘Rei> [It wouldn’t be long before they arrived at their destination- their restaurant, sitting high upon a hill over the rest of the city. It was elegant and graceful, as odd as it may sound; its charm came from its gentle, relaxing atmosphere. A quartet played harmonious dinner music as people ordered and ate, and the lights were warm and inviting; stylish mirrors adorned the walls, giving the illusion of space and openness. Alphonse had planned the evening with the utmost care, so naturally there was a reservation- the waiters an attendants, fortunately, spoke English, saving Alphonse the trouble of using Rei as a translator. They were led to a balcony table; from this table they had a certain luxury of privacy, as well as a good view of the city skyline, especially the shining Tokyo Tower.-
[21:29] <@Ayanami‘Rei> "Oh…" Rei stared wide-eyed at the surroundings, soaking in the view of the glittering city. "It looks so beautiful, Al-chan." She turned to look at him, smiling gently. "I… Feel happy. Thank you."-
[21:29] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["…" Alphonse chuckled. "Don’t thank me yet! You haven't even tasted the food yet."-
[21:30] <@Ayanami‘Rei> "I’m sure it'll be wonderful."-
[21:34] <@Ayanami‘Rei> ["So am I." Said Alphonse. "It’d be an insult if it were anything less than perfect. And you know what I would be forced to do in such a situation."-
[21:34] <@Ayanami‘Rei> "What, Al-chan?"-
[21:35] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["Duel the head chef for the stain upon your honour, of course. Look at this place. It has a chandelier and everything. It’s perfect for a high stakes duel to the death! … Well, not really. But I might leave a sharp comment in their guestbook."-
[21:42] * @Ayanami‘Rei giggled. "Al-chan…" She looked out at the chandelier. "That sounds dangerous anyway, Al-chan. What if you fell?"-
[21:52] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["You’d catch me, wouldn't you, Rei?"-
[21:52] <@Ayanami‘Rei> "…" Rei’s face burned and she looked away. "Al-chan's being silly again."-
[21:58] <@Ayanami‘Rei> [Alphonse simply chuckled. "You would. I know you would."-
[22:05] <@Ayanami`Rei> "…" Rei’s face became a deeper shade of red.-
[22:24] <@Ayanami‘Rei> [Alphonse was feeling good. Relaxed- he was really having a lot of fun. Considering how he’d felt on the couch with Raphael, and how he'd felt the weeks before, he thought he'd be a nervous wreck, but… He was at ease. He felt happy and light and -free- in her company. It was strangely liberating.-
[22:50] <@Ayanami‘Rei> Rei felt happy when he was like this, too. Happy and… Warm. Usually. She certainly felt happy and warm right now, but she also felt something else in the pit of her stomach, a sort of jolting nervous anticipation that, no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t get to go away…-
[22:54] <@Ayanami‘Rei> [Before long, the waiters came, taking their orders and quickly bringing them their food. Luxuriously fluffy rice, grilled fish, two bowls of hot, filling soup, noodles, chicken… A mini-buffet for the two of them.-
[23:09] * @Ayanami`Rei hadn’t eaten for the entire day. That fact quickly made itself apparent, and she began tucking in with enthusiasm. A few samples was all she needed- the food really was great. "Are you liking it, Al-chan?"-
[23:20] <@Ayanami‘Rei> ["I am. The fish is superb. Have you had a chance to try some of the chicken?"-
[23:20] <@Ayanami`Rei> "Ah… I haven’t, Al-chan. They put the bowl at your end…"-
[23:28] <@Ayanami‘Rei> ["Oh, so they have. One second…" He picked up the bowl, choosing a piece of chicken with his chopsticks, which he held out to Rei.-
[23:29] <@Ayanami`Rei> "…?" She blinked at the chicken.-
[23:29] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["What’s the matter?"-
[23:41] <@Ayanami‘Rei> "It’s…" She paused. "Um, it's nothing." She said sheepishly, before leaning forward and taking the chicken straight from the chopsticks themselves.-
[23:43] <@Ayanami‘Rei> [Alphonse stared, blinking a little, before his own cheeks started to burn.-
[23:43] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["S-So, I wonder if Misato and Raphael are having a good night."-
[00:10] <@Ayanami`Rei> "I hope so." Said Rei. "Raffy-kun really should be having fun. So should Misa-bachan!"-
[00:10] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["I agree." Said Raphael. "He’s… He's a good man, isn't he? Raphael."-
[00:11] * @Ayanami‘Rei nodded enthusiastically. "He’s the best. He's brave and strong, but he's also very gentle and caring." Rei smiled. "I can trust him with a lot of things. He's a lot like a papa to me…"-
[00:18] <@Ayanami‘Rei> [Alphonse paused at that, a contemplative look on his face. "You’re right. He really is quite…" He frowned. "I hope I'll be as good a man one day."-
[00:26] <@Ayanami‘Rei> "Al-chan?"-
[00:26] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["Yes?"-
[00:26] <@Ayanami`Rei> "Do you want to be like Raffy-kun?"-
[00:39] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["… Yeah, I think I do." Said Alphonse.-
[00:43] * @Ayanami`Rei shook her head slowly. "Raffy-kun is a good person, but I don’t think you should want that, Al-chan."-
[00:43] <@Ayanami‘Rei> ["Whyever not?"-
[01:01] <@Ayanami`Rei> "Because you don’t need to be like Raffy-kun to be a good person, Al-chan. All you need to do to be a good person is to be like Al-chan. To be really smart, and clever. And to be really warm and…" She reddened bashfully. "Loving and faithful, and to make people happy just by existing."
[01:03] <@Ayanami‘Rei> [Alphonse’s eyes widened for a second, and suddenly all of those nerves and butterflies were back. He looked down at his rice mutely, feeling the heat rising in his cheeks. "…"-
[01:03] <@Ayanami‘Rei> "…"-
[01:03] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["…"-
[01:04] <@Ayanami`Rei> "S-So, I bought you a present."-
[01:04] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["Oh?" Alphonse looked up.-
[01:06] <@Ayanami`Rei> "Yeah." Rei chuckled, reaching into her bag and pulling out a parcel. She held it out to Alphonse.-
[01:06] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["Y-You didn’t have to get me anything."-
[01:12] <@Ayanami‘Rei> "I like buying you things, Al-chan." Said Rei happily. "Open it!"-
[01:12] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["Alright." He smiled, taking the parcel and unwrapping it.-
[01:14] <@Ayanami`Rei> [Two things. The largest and most notable was a book, its title in Japanese as well as English- a novel. The Tale of Genji.-
[01:14] <@Ayanami`Rei> [On top of the book sat a velvet jewelry box. Alphonse blinked at it curiously, before opening it- and letting out a little gasp.-
[01:20] <@Ayanami`Rei> [Inside was a shining silver locket, on a long chain, his name engraved on the back. "R-Rei…"-
[01:20] <@Ayanami`Rei> "I have one too." She said gently. "It’s so you can put pictures of the people you love in there, so you'll never be alone."-
[01:30] <@Ayanami‘Rei> ["…" He gave her a very tender smile. "It’s beautiful, Rei. Can you help me put it on?"-
[01:31] <@Ayanami‘Rei> "Of course!" She stood up, crossing to the other side of the table.-
[01:31] <@Ayanami`Rei> [He handed her the locket, and pulled his collar back.-
[01:34] * @Ayanami`Rei placed it around his neck, taking a second to fasten the clasp. "There you go, Al-chan."-
[01:35] <@Ayanami`Rei> [He peered down at it. "I think I already know who I’ll put in it. Thank you, Rei…"-
[01:35] <@Ayanami‘Rei> "I’m just glad you like it, Al-chan."-
[01:41] <@Ayanami‘Rei> [The rest of dinner passed well, with warm conversation and good food. Before long they were pushing their chairs in and paying the bill. (Alphonse paid, of course.)-
[01:50] <@Ayanami`Rei> "Dinner was great." Said Rei, her tone contented, warm. The air was nice and fragrant, the stars were out…-
[01:50] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["It really was." Said Alphonse quietly. He eyed her hand, tempted to reach out, take a hold of it…-
[01:55] <@Ayanami`Rei> [But as he did so, Rei simultaneously reached up to push a strand of hair back behind her ear.-
[02:05] <@Ayanami`Rei> [After that humiliating miss, he kept his hands to himself as he led them through the streets. They walked at a gentle, sedate pace, chatting… Enjoying the time.-
[02:09] <@Ayanami`Rei> [They came to a park. The park, in fact, Alphonse had been planning to take her. The christmas tree sat in the middle of the park, surrounded by smaller trees, bushes, and benches.-
[02:10] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["Would you like to sit for a little bit, Rei?"-
[02:10] <@Ayanami`Rei> "Alright, Al-chan!"-
[02:11] <@Ayanami`Rei> [They quickly found a bench for themselves and sat down. They were hardly alone- many other benches were occupied as well, one of them by a couple kissing quite energetically. Alphonse found himself becoming yet more nervous. Would she… Be expecting something like that? He didn’t know how this was going to go at all…-
[02:20] <@Ayanami‘Rei> "The sky is nice tonight." Said Rei. "And this tree… Does it light up?"-
[02:20] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["It will soonish, I think."-
[02:21] <@Ayanami`Rei> "It’s so big." Said Rei wondrously. "When it lights up, it's going to be beautiful…"-
[02:21] <@Ayanami‘Rei> ["Yeah. It really will…"-
[02:21] <@Ayanami`Rei> "…"-
[02:22] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["Y-Y’know." Alphonse had to tear his horrified eyes away from the kissing couple to look back at Rei. "There's a legend about christmas eve, you know."-
[02:22] <@Ayanami‘Rei> "A legend?"-
[02:24] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["T-They say… Um. That young lovers who share their first kiss on Christmas Eve…" He glanced away for a second, blushing. "Well, they say they’ll always be in love, you know. That they'll never be parted."-
[02:25] <@Ayanami‘Rei> "Really?" Rei’s eyes were wide. "That's a very romantic legend, Al-chan! I hope it comes true. F-For all those…"-
[02:27] <@Ayanami‘Rei> ["Y-Yeah."-
[02:27] <@Ayanami`Rei> "…"-
[02:29] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["… O-Oh, I should give you your present!"-
[02:32] <@Ayanami`Rei> "My present…?" Rei stared at him, as though the idea seemed outlandish.-
[02:36] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["Y-Yeah. I remember you eyeing something like it in Paris, so I figured I’d have some made just for you. Hold on." He fumbled around in his bag for a moment, taking out a box- and then he knelt down next to her.-
[02:37] <@Ayanami‘Rei> Just the act brought a flush to Rei’s cheeks. "A-Al-chan? What are you doing down there…?"-
[02:48] <@Ayanami‘Rei> ["O-One second." He gently took her right foot, and, lifting it up, began to slip off her shoe.-
[02:49] <@Ayanami`Rei> "A-Al-chan! My shoe!" Her face started burning. "I need those… I can’t walk around barefoot! I-It's embarrassing…"-
[02:54] <@Ayanami‘Rei> ["N-No, it’s alright. Just trust me." He repeated the process on the other shoe.-
[02:57] * @Ayanami‘Rei was blushing bright red. He took off her shoes… Just the idea of that was embarrassing. But…-
[02:57] <@Ayanami`Rei> She didn’t protest, because she wanted to see what he had planned- and because it felt… Nice.-
[03:05] <@Ayanami‘Rei> ["There we go." He carefully put her shoes to one side, then opened the box that held her present. Within were… Shoes. Very, very elegant shoes of soft pink, with a mild heel. A little ribbon sat on the heel. Gently, he slipped the new shoes onto Rei’s feet.-
[03:05] * @Ayanami‘Rei sat still, barely daring to breathe. It… It was romantic. Yes, that’s what it was- it was romantic, and the realisation made her incredibly excited. "Al-chan… T-They…"-
[03:12] <@Ayanami‘Rei> [Alphonse stood up, taking a step back. He smiled. "Merry Christmas, Rei."-
[03:14] <@Ayanami`Rei> "Oh…" She shuddered for a second, standing up to try out her new shoes. They fit her feet perfectly, and with the heel… They were exactly the same height. She stared at his face. His gentle face, his warm eyes…-
[03:16] <@Ayanami`Rei> [He swallowed. Nervous, jittery, he returned her gaze- looking into those red eyes… Unique, special eyes.-
[03:16] <@Ayanami`Rei> Rei wasn’t sure who moved first. But all she felt was his hand in hers. His hand felt warm…-
[03:17] <@Ayanami‘Rei> [Perhaps they moved at the same time. At first, they held hands, and then-
[03:17] <@Ayanami`Rei> They kissed. Gently, and quietly.-
[03:22] <@Ayanami`Rei> [They pulled back, just for a second. Just to catch the breaths that had vanished in an instant. "R-Rei?"-
[03:22] <@Ayanami`Rei> "Al-chan…?"-
[03:24] <@Ayanami`Rei> [He put his arms around her this time, pulling her in tightly, close- before kissing her again.-
[03:26] * @Ayanami`Rei … Let herself be swept away. She put her arms around him and sank into his arms.-
[03:26] <@Ayanami`Rei> [Neither of them noticed the tree lighting up, no matter how beautiful it was.-
[03:31] <@Ayanami`Rei> [After that, Alphonse attempted to finish off the itinerary, taking that walk on the coastline, his hand tightly in hers- but anywhere at all would’ve been fine. They barely paid attention to their surroundings. They looked up at the fireworks when they appeared, but they were so giddy, so wrapped up in their euphoria that the fireworks seemed little more than a colourful distraction.-
[03:37] <@Ayanami‘Rei> Eventually, their attentions would turn homeward, and sedately they walked home, not minding the long walk, happy just to soak in each other’s presence and let time pass by. When they did reach Misato's apartment, Rei unlocked the door and entered, Alphonse at her side. They didn't turn on the light. Pen-Pen was off somewhere- and so, they found themselves sitting on the couch, suddenly very tired indeed.-
[03:38] <@Ayanami‘Rei> ["I had… A lot of fun tonight."-
[03:40] <@Ayanami`Rei> "I… I did too, Al-chan." She rested her head against his shoulder, her legs tucked up on the couch. "Al-chan…?"-
[03:40] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["Yeah?"-
[03:40] <@Ayanami`Rei> "… I’m special to you, aren't I?"-
[03:41] <@Ayanami‘Rei> ["Yes, Rei. You’re the most special person in my life."-
[03:41] <@Ayanami‘Rei> "You… Are too."-
[03:41] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["…" One last kiss.-
[03:41] <@Ayanami`Rei> "Goodnight… Al-chan."-
[03:41] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["Goodnight, Rei…"-
[03:42] <@Ayanami`Rei> [Far away, in that park with the lonely christmas tree, Rei’s old shoes sat forgotten.]

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