Rei S Companion

[13:33] <@Minaplo> [The door slid open.-
[13:33] <@Minaplo> ["Rei? I'm home."-
[13:52] <@Minaplo> [Alphonse stepped through the apartment door. It was quiet, late; it must've been about 7 o'clock.-
[13:54] <@Minaplo> [Rei was lying in bed, wearing her bed-shirt. She rolled over to look at Alphonse, and gave him a smile. "Welcome home, Al…"-
[13:56] <@Minaplo> [He smiled, setting a briefcase down, taking off black gloves and tossing them onto the desk. He slipped out of his shoes and sat down on the bed, shimmying over to be next to her. "How was today, Kitten?"-
[14:00] <@Minaplo> [She placed her arms around him, resting her head on his chest. "It was alright. I haven't done too much today."-
[14:04] <@Minaplo> [This wasn't unexpected. The last few days had been like this. She'd had good days, she'd had bad days, but each day ultimately didn't see her leave their quarters- she didn't see anyone and talked to very few.-
[14:06] <@Minaplo> ["Where's Eevi?" Asked Alphonse.-
[14:17] <@Minaplo> ["I let her go out with Felix." Said Rei. "She said she was going to play with a friend."-
[14:34] <@Minaplo> ["Oh, I see." He gently wrapped his own arms around her, squeezing gently.-
[14:34] <@Minaplo> ["So… I stopped by Blue's Grill today." Said Al.-
[14:37] <@Minaplo> ["Yeah? How was it?"-
[14:37] <@Minaplo> ["Oh, I didn't stop to eat, but it seemed pretty busy. He… Er, he asked about you."-
[14:38] <@Minaplo> ["Oh?"-
[14:39] <@Minaplo> ["He wanted to know if you needed anything. He said for you, eating there was free."-
[14:39] <@Minaplo> ["That's sweet of him." Said Rei, smiling a little.-
[14:39] <@Minaplo> ["He said he'd still bill me, though." Muttered Al.-
[14:43] <@Minaplo> [Rei let out a little giggle-cough. "I-I see. I'll try to talk to him…"-
[14:44] <@Minaplo> ["Actually, I was thinking we could eat there for dinner tonight…?" Alphonse offered hopefully.-
[14:46] <@Minaplo> [Rei stopped for a moment, as though deciding, then settled back down. "Maybe not tonight, Al. Sorry."-
[14:56] <@Minaplo> ["That's alright." He said, smiling, despite his internal disappointment. He bent down, kissing her gently beneath her left ear.-
[14:56] <@Minaplo> ["You take as much time as you need, alright?"-
[15:09] <@Minaplo> [Rei nodded slowly, snuggling a little closer.-
[15:10] <@Minaplo> ["Al?"-
[15:10] <@Minaplo> ["Mmm?"-
[15:10] <@Minaplo> ["… You don't remember your papa, do you?"-
[15:37] <@Minaplo> ["No, I don't." Said Al quietly. "He died during Impact, a few months after I was born."-
[15:47] <@Minaplo> ["Mmm…"-
[15:47] <@Minaplo> ["Did your mother ever tell you what he was like, Al?"-
[15:47] <@Minaplo> ["Oh, god, yes." He muttered. "All the time. Apparently he was very handsome…"-
[15:48] <@Minaplo> ["Mmmhm…"-
[15:48] <@Minaplo> ["And he was about six foot three, and he had this incredible booming voice that could be heard from miles away…"-
[15:53] <@Minaplo> ["… Really?" Rei looked up at him, brow creasing.-
[15:54] <@Minaplo> ["Hard to believe, right? But no, really. Apparently he was a very hard, blunt fellow. Oh, he was very kind to my mother, but he liked to argue with others and once he got a head of steam up, that was it. It was victory or death for him."-
[15:56] <@Minaplo> [Rei began to giggle now. "Actually, that sounds a little more familiar…"-
[15:56] <@Minaplo> ["Hm? How?"-
[15:56] <@Minaplo> ["Oh, Al. You can be very proud and stubborn sometimes…"-
[15:56] <@Minaplo> ["Well…" He stared down at her. "Maybe?"-
[16:02] <@Minaplo> [She smiled back, then rested her head against his chest again. "… Do you have any pictures, Al?"-
[16:04] <@Minaplo> ["Not on me. My mother has them, and… Ah, I'd really rather not have to visit her. She can be a little…"-
[16:05] <@Minaplo> ["… Unpleasant, I remember." Said Rei, nodding. "But still… Maybe you should bring her onto the ship just in case."-
[16:05] <@Minaplo> ["I'm… Not sure that's wise, Kitten-"-
[16:06] <@Minaplo> ["Al. What if something happens to her? She might not be nice, but… I think you'd miss her if something happened to her." Her eyes became downcast, and she buried her head deeper into his chest.-
[16:07] <@Minaplo> [There was a dubious look in Alphonse's eye that very much suspected that that really would not be the case. Nevertheless, his expression softened, and he held Rei a little tighter. "… Alright. I'll bring her onto the ship."-
[16:07] <@Minaplo> ["Okay." She smiled. "And I can meet her!"-
[16:07] <@Minaplo> ["… Sure."-
[16:26] <@Minaplo> [They lay there like that for some ten, fifteen minutes, before Rei looked back up again. "Al?"-
[16:26] <@Minaplo> ["Mmm?"-
[16:31] <@Minaplo> ["…" Rei pulled herself up, gently cradling his face before kissing him.-
[16:32] <@Minaplo> [He returned the kiss, pulling her in closer, letting her lean against him.-
[16:32] <@Minaplo> ["… I'm scared." She murmured, pulling away for a second. "I'm scared that something's going to happen to you."-
[16:32] <@Minaplo> ["I know." He smiled a little, trying to be reassuring, knowing that it probably wouldn't work. "Trust me, Kitten, I've known that for awhile. Breaking into mansions…"-
[16:33] <@Minaplo> [She blushed a little, her eyes flicking downward, then back up. "… But please, please be careful, alright? I can… I can be replaced, but there's only one of you, Al."-
[16:39] <@Minaplo> ["H-Hey. Don't… Say that." He said, frowning. "Just because there's… Uh. Other bodies, that doesn't mean you're replaceable. I love… -you-, okay? I love Rei Ayanami, the person she is… That's permanent, regardless. I don't love the body."-
[16:42] <@Minaplo> ["Al…" She beamed, kissing him again- although she pulled away a few seconds later, looking a little sad. "But… My body, you don't like it?"-
[16:43] <@Minaplo> ["Er, what? No! Christ, no, I didn't mean-"-
[16:43] <@Minaplo> ["Oh. You're… You're teasing me. That's mean."-
[16:45] <@Minaplo> [She giggled, a little. "… Maybe."-
[16:45] <@Minaplo> ["You've been spending more time with Katsuragi than I thought."-
[16:49] <@Minaplo> ["Hm." She smiled, settling down again. "Thank you, though, Al. I appreciate… That."-
[16:49] <@Minaplo> ["I know."-
[16:50] <@Minaplo> ["… I'm going to be honest." Said Alphonse. "I had, still have, a lot of questions, a lot of doubts about the backup, the cloning thing."-
[16:54] <@Minaplo> [Rei stiffened a little, as though expecting something… Bad.-
[16:54] <@Minaplo> ["Yeah, I know you don't like to hear that, but I'll try to be brief."-
[16:54] <@Minaplo> [A nod.-
[16:57] <@Minaplo> ["I suppose… The first thing that comes to mind for me is… It might sound strange, but the idea of making death… Trivial." He said quietly. "It's an important thing. Something we all have to deal with, with others, and with ourselves. We all eventually die, go… Somewhere."-
[16:57] <@Minaplo> [Rei nodded again.-
[16:59] <@Minaplo> ["I suppose at its worst, the idea that death gives importance to life, you know… It makes a moment precious, and makes you strive for greater things, to achieve something before the inevitable."-
[16:59] <@Minaplo> [No response from Rei.-
[16:59] <@Minaplo> ["To me, it just seemed like an immature reaction. Something someone does to escape from the inevitable, you know what I mean?"-
[17:06] <@Minaplo> ["… Yeah, I think so." Said Rei slowly.-
[17:14] <@Minaplo> [Alphonse took a deep breath. "But I wonder. Humans… For millions of years we've tried to fight death, survive as long as we can. Being faster, stronger, smarter… Medicine, organisation, civilization. We've never stopped trying to extend that time, yet we've come to accept that death is a thing that happens. It's inevitable. But… What if I'm wrong? It's not as simple as that. If a clone shared only a person's thoughts, memories, characteristics… But not their soul, then maybe it'd be childish. Hubris, or something like that. Done to avoid losing a loved one."-
[17:15] <@Minaplo> ["But it's not, is it? Not now. If your body dies, your soul can be moved, and you'll still be you, won't you?" He asked.-
[17:15] <@Minaplo> [She nodded slowly, once.-
[17:17] <@Minaplo> ["Then I think that's what's important, despite my misgivings, that little instinctual kick-in-the-head that this isn't right." He pulled Rei a little closer. "Rei, you could be effectively immortal, growing old, then being transferred to a new body… You could life for thousands of years, and you know that right now, yet somehow I have the feeling you won't need death to convince you of life being precious or important or whatever. Will you?"-
[17:18] <@Minaplo> ["I… I don't know." Murmured Rei. "I hope not. Life should be important… I… I just don't know how to think about these things right now."-
[17:18] <@Minaplo> ["I know, I know." He said soothingly. "Sorry. I'm not trying to upset you. I just… I figured I wanted to explain a few things to you, to myself."-
[17:18] <@Minaplo> [She nodded.-
[17:19] <@Minaplo> [He was silent for a moment, then he reached up. A few seconds later, Rei would feel his hand gently pry open her fingers and place something on her palm. "Here."-
[17:19] <@Minaplo> ["…?" She held her hand up. A few strands of hair. "What?"-
[17:21] <@Minaplo> ["I don't really know how it works, and I don't know if it'll be enough, but tomorrow, or whenever you're ready, I want us to go to Surov and see about creating some copies of my own body to match your own, one to one."-
[17:21] <@Minaplo> ["What? Al!" She turned to look at him, confused. "But, why-?"-
[17:24] <@Minaplo> ["A dozen reasons." He said with a smile. "But these are the important ones. This… Is a part of your life, and it's something you have to deal with, so it's not something I'm going to ignore. In fact, I want to embrace it like you have. And I don't want you to be so scared anymore. I want to make sure that you know that I intend to be there for you, even if something terrible happens. You don't need to worry about outliving me- don't say that you haven't thought of it, I know better- so long as you're alive, Rei, I promise you I will be too, and I'll be there for you."-
[17:24] <@Minaplo> ["Al… This- this isn't a joke." She said seriously. She clutched his hands. "You have to think about this-"-
[17:24] <@Minaplo> ["I have, trust me."-
[17:24] <@Minaplo> ["But…"-
[17:29] <@Minaplo> ["Listen, Rei. If, a hundred years down the track, we decide that we'd rather grow old and die, then fine, that can be our choice to make. But otherwise, it can be our choice not to. And if anything, I think that you've earned the right to live a full, a really full life, with someone you love, come hell or high water. Let's take the time to embrace the choice we've been given here."-
[17:29] <@Minaplo> ["…"-
[17:30] <@Minaplo> [Rei sniffled, then began to shed a few tears, then just began to break down. The first real time she'd cried since that scene on the Promenade.-
[17:33] <@Minaplo> [Five, ten minutes- the number wasn't important- passed before Rei's tears stopped. Eyes red-rimmed, puffy, nose blocked, huddled up against Alphonse's side, a desperately needed pillar of strength in a time of great weakness.-
[17:33] <@Minaplo> ["Al?"-
[17:33] <@Minaplo> ["Mmm?"-
[17:33] <@Minaplo> ["… I think I want to go to the grill after all."-
[17:33] <@Minaplo> ["…" He smiled. "Alright. When do we want to get ready?"-
[17:33] <@Minaplo> ["Let's give it an hour, first." She said, closing her eyes for a moment.]

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