Saving Pilot Rei

[21:26] <@Isaiah> [Clank clank clank.-
[21:30] <@Isaiah> [Sergeant Hugues Monette reached the last rung on the ladder, and jumped off, his feet hitting the floor of the disabled NERV elevator- Boston Minifront entrance #4. "Clear. Let's get moving, soldiers!" His hand rested on the large sword hanging off of his belt.-
[21:32] <@Isaiah> [The ladder was occupied a for a good 20 metres up as soldiers began shuffling down. Before long, he was joined by three fellow soldiers. "Alright, let's get out into the main floor and set up a perimeter." The elevator doors themselves were opened all too easily, and the soldiers began to file out…-
[21:33] <@Isaiah> [The chamber centred around the elevator pylon was covered with blood.-
[21:33] <@Isaiah> [Soldiers- from their uniforms, LN troopers- lay scattered around. All of them were viciously mutilated. Some of them were missing limbs or chunks of torso.-
[21:33] <@Isaiah> ["Good Lord. W-what happened here?" Muttered one soldier in horror.-
[21:34] <@Isaiah> ["Nevermind that. Form that perimeter, on the double!"-
[21:34] <@Isaiah> ["Yes, Sergeant." They headed for the corners, guns at the ready. Before long, the rest of the soldiers had hit the ground and were covering the area.-
[21:36] <@Isaiah> ["…" Euphrasie's eyes widened in disgust and loathing. She crouched gingerly near one corpse. "… This isn't human."-
[21:36] <@Isaiah> ["What's t- oh." Macnair had just emerged.-
[21:41] <@Isaiah> ["Jeeeeeesus Christ." Macnair looked over at Pai. "Do Boston soldiers know something we don't?"-
[21:41] <@Isaiah> [Pai shrugged. "Don't ask me. I'm from Seattle."-
[21:41] <@Isaiah> [Thud. Thud thud. Gunfire- from the south.]
[23:13] <@Isaiah> ["Alright. We head towards that." Said Hugues. "Old military maxim, that. Let's go! You, you, and you, come with me. Rearguard, you, you and you."-
[23:14] <@Isaiah> [They headed towards the gunfire- cautiously. Guns at the ready…-
[23:15] <@Isaiah> ["You, Howard! Warwick! Front line!" Shouted Macnair.-
[23:18] <@Isaiah> ["Doors aren't locked. We'll take the e-"-
[23:19] <@Isaiah> [The door to their right opened. A hulking figure- that of an Iron Guard- stood framed within the doorway, barely fitting. It held a sword in its right hand- its helmet was open, leaving an eerily pale face staring at them…-
[23:19] <@Isaiah> ["Shit. Shit! Cyborgs! Open fire-!"]
[01:01] <@Isaiah> [A hail of masbolts and bolt shells coated the opening…-
[01:02] <@Isaiah> [And many visibly slowed as they came near that Iron Guard.-
[01:02] <@Isaiah> [An AT Field flickered in the air- and at this, there was a wave of dread that travelled throughout the group.-
[01:02] <@Isaiah> ["Oh-Oh god-" Henri muttered. Another soldier collapsed completely.-
[01:02] <@Isaiah> ["NO TIME FOR FEAR! KEEP FIRING!" Shouted Hugues.]
[02:50] <@Isaiah> ["Sergeant! Enemies to the rear!" Shouted Pai, who swapped out to his pistol.-
[02:53] <@Isaiah> ["Then we gotta act fast." Hugues lifted his sword. "I gotta make that rascal Isidor proud- hyah!" He charged- bringing the heavy blade against the Guard's head- which hit hard enough to stagger it, back into the doorway. "Henri, now!"-
[02:53] <@Isaiah> ["… Now? Now what?!"-
[02:53] <@Isaiah> ["CLOSE THE DOOR!"-
[02:53] <@Isaiah> ["O-Oh right-"-
[02:55] <@Isaiah> [Henri fiddled with the controls. The door slammed shut- or tried. It crushed the Iron Guard- who shoved it open…-
[02:55] <@Isaiah> [Slam! Again. It was driven to its knees- then, the final crush shattered its spine, and it slumped.-
[02:55] <@Isaiah> ["Right! Goo-"-
[02:57] <@Isaiah> [The room beyond was filled with Iron Guards…-
[02:57] <@Isaiah> [And a -creature-. A Banshee, slightly larger than Hugues remembered…-
[02:57] <@Isaiah> [It was flailing its claws masterfully, and it was wearing an infantryman's helmet. The clip was done and everything.-
[02:57] <@Isaiah> ["What the-?!"]
[02:58] <@Isaiah> [The Banshee was also, it had to be noted, wielding a pair of pistols in its human hands…]
[03:12] <Raphael> Clank clank clank.-
[03:13] <Raphael> Meanwhile, there's the sound of another figure emerging from the elevator shaft. It’s a young man wielding a beaten-looking pistol and wearing what’s quite recognizable as a NERV uniform despite the blood and soot stains that mar it.-
[03:14] <Raphael> Raphael takes a moment to glance at the damage being wrought upon the LN squad that attempted to strike at their rear, or at least the brief moments that are visible through the flames. But he doesn’t seem interested in staying long, and a moment later he’s marching towards the nearest UN soldier, his expression set.-
[03:14] <Raphael> A piece of shrapnel seems to have torn a wide gash across his side - the source of at least a good deal of the blood - but even that hasn’t done much to diminish the overwhelming -prettiness- of his latest transformation. -
[03:14] <Raphael> "Your sidearm please, ma’am." Raphael says curtly, extending his hand towards the maser at her hip.
[03:15] <@Isaiah> ["Uh…"-
[03:15] <@Isaiah> ["Y-Yes, sir. Right away." She hands him a maspistol. She's one of Pai's- his prettiness doesn't affect her.]
[04:10] <Raphael> Not that Raphael would mind, nor does he seem to be in the mood to notice. The moment it's in his hand he gives the soldier a nod and jogs off towards the sound of heavier fighting, snatching a rifle from one of the corpses as he goes.-
[04:12] <Raphael> … and it's not hard to spot the Iron Guard towering above the crowd, which proves to be to its detriment a moment later as Raphael fires a quick burst of maser fire into its armoured head as he appears alongside Euphrasie. "Sergeant."
[04:12] <@Isaiah> ["Captain-?! What are you doing here, sir?"]
[04:14] <Raphael> "Lost the Grendel in the fighting." Raphael says matter-of-factly, gesturing towards his side. "I take it we're facing another full squad of these things."
[04:14] <Raphael> «?*»
[04:15] <@Isaiah> ["Yes. One of them had an AT Field-"-
[04:15] <@Isaiah> [A grenade bursts against the wall, sailing harmlessly past the Guard. Raphael can see it sparring with Hugues…-
[04:15] <@Isaiah> [It raises its sword to bring down a blow, having gouged away the ablative covering, when…-
[04:16] <@Isaiah> [A pair of long, glistening, bloody claws -hurl- out of the door, slicing the arms of the Guard off at the torso, before ripping through the body itself. The Guard collapsed, bleeding to death- or incapacitation.-
[04:16] <@Isaiah> ["BAAAAAAAN!"]
[04:19] <Raphael> "…" Raphael's breath catches for a moment, and even he's not sure whether what he's feeling is more about hope or worry. "Why is he…? Nevermind." He's off again without another word, jogging towards the mass of bodies and trying to catch sight of any familiar figures beyond the door.
[04:24] <@Isaiah> [He can't- just Guard Corpses, and Ban-Ban.]
[04:27] * Raphael manages to keep the moment of panic at bay, but it takes -effort-. Far more than he's used to. "Sergeant Duval!" He calls, raising his voice above the din. "Get that next door open!"
[04:27] <@Isaiah> ["Uh, can do, sir!"]
[04:33] <@Isaiah> ["Look out." Shouts one of the soldiers- Pai's, it looks like. "One of them has… Some sort of giant heavy-machine-gun bolter."]
[15:36] <@Ayanami‘Rei> [This readily comes apparent a second later- that same soldier hurls himself to the ground as a hail of heavy bolter rounds strike the wall- one of them hitting Hugues hard. "Ugh-!"]
[16:29] <Raphael> "Damn…" Raphael murmurs, trying to find a clear shot through the crowd only to be hobbled by his new diminutive stature. "Keep pushing for the next door! Sergeant Beringer, see what you can do for Hugues. Sergeant Macnair, can you manage the rearguard?"
[16:33] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["Yeah, I oughta be able to-"-
[16:34] <@Ayanami`Rei> [CRACK! There’s the ear-rattling sound of an anti-armor grenade hitting its target, followed by the disgusting bloody squelch as Ban-Ban full on leaps upon the hapless Guard, ripping through the armor and pulling out chunks of meat and muscle.-
[16:35] <@Ayanami‘Rei> [A storm of fire rattles the surviving bolter Guard, with several shots from Macnair’s gun clearly leaving their mark. It retreats under covering fire from a bolter, slamming the door shut as the bolt shells bounce off Ban-Ban's AT Field.]
[17:01] <@Ayanami‘Rei> [The soldiers continued to push forward, however-
[17:01] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["Door’s locked, sir!"-
[17:01] <@Ayanami‘Rei> ["Henri, get it open!"-
[17:03] <@Ayanami`Rei> [The sound of a quiet beep. "Open!"-
[17:03] <@Ayanami`Rei> [The door slid open-
[17:05] * @Ayanami`Rei stood in the doorway, blood flowing from an open cut to the head and her stomach; her face was dark with grime and sweat, and her armored dress was showing signs o f heavy damage. In her right hand she held a longsword with a ruby pommel and a gilted hilt, circuitry flowing from the guard into the blade itself. She was panting, but she still brought the blade up to crash against her foe’s armour.-
[17:07] <@Ayanami‘Rei> [Her foe towered over her, taller than even an Iron Guard- its armour was readily more like that of an Evangelion’s than the bulky, heavy armour of the Cyborgs they'd just fought behind. Its helmeted eyes were shining white, staring down impassively on Rei- a pair of long, precise, practical swords were attached to its arms.]
[17:51] <Raphael> A blur of motion passes through the glut of soldiers clogging the door, the figure using its small frame to weave easily through the crowd. A moment later Raphael bursts from the doorway at a sprint, his maspistol already raised to send a bolt of energy sparking off the steel giant’s optics. "Hugues, move in to support now!"
[17:55] <@Ayanami‘Rei> [Euphrasie has just attended to Hugues’ wounds; a second later he's wordlessly complying, charging into the hallway to bring his sword down onto Rei's foe, doing but minimal damage.-
[17:56] <@Ayanami‘Rei> "-!" Rei briefly looks at him in surprise- and in that one moment of weakness, the Tactical Eva strikes, plunging its blade into her knee, ripping it free and taking the kneecap with it. "-A-aagh-" Rei lets out a short scream of pain, striking at it rapidly- but not enough to do any damage.
[18:11] * Raphael flinches at the sound, gritting his teeth as he slides the maspistol into his belt and turns to one of the soldiers lingering at the door. The heavy weapons officer was brandishing a grenade launcher, keeping it between him and the Tactical Eva like a shield.-
[18:11] <Raphael> "Soldier, I need your weapon." Raphael’s voice was quiet, harsh and seemed to allow absolutely no opposition.
[18:12] <@Ayanami‘Rei> ["Uh, a-alright-" he tosses it to Raphael hastily.]
[18:13] * Raphael catches the weapon easily and turns back towards the fight, taking only a moment to aim before sending a grenade spiralling over the fray and arcing towards the Tactical Eva’s face.
[18:14] <@Ayanami`Rei> [The anti-armor grenade lands…-
[18:15] <@Ayanami`Rei> [The grenade was capable of destroying a car. A tank it could disable if used right. Against an infantryman it was the most overkill of weapons- it’d completely rip him apart, leaving little more than shreds.-
[18:16] <@Ayanami‘Rei> [The grenade detonates the Tactical Eva’s head, the body staggering back, burning fragments of armour impaling themselves into the walls.-
[18:17] <@Ayanami‘Rei> [The body sways back and forth for a long second, before it falls to the side- but not before lifting its arm to impale the wall. It was disabled, for now- but it would not be so on its knees. It sagged, but remained standing- barely. Inert, no longer a danger.]
[18:18] <@Ayanami`Rei> It isn’t alone. Rei leans against the wall, keeping the shakes from the pain in check through force of will. She doesn't say anything- she just closes her eyes.
[18:20] * Raphael hands the grenade launcher back without so much as a word or a look and moves to support Rei from her wounded side. "Sergeant Beringer, I could use a hand." He calls, adjusting his arm around Rei's waist to offer better support. "Rei…"
[18:25] <@Ayanami‘Rei> ["Yes, sir."-
[18:26] <@Ayanami`Rei> Rei doesn’t have to open her eyes to know who it is. Through some… Sense, perhaps, she knows. "R-Raffy-kun." She murmurs. "Always coming to my rescue when I need it." She smiles painfully. "Please… Help me, Raffy-kun. There isn't time. I have to get to 09."
[18:33] <Raphael> "We will, Rei, but we have at least enough time for this. The Pilots were holding their own by the time I made it to the minifront." He glances over at Hugues. "Sergeant, I need you to go and check on Macnair. And ask Henri to try and get in touch with the Captain if he can."
[19:13] <@Ayanami‘Rei> ["Right." Hugues is off.-
[19:13] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["Sir." It’s Henri. "I have Captain Wellesley."]
[19:13] <Raphael> "Patch him through."
[19:13] <@Ayanami‘Rei> [Henri nodded.-
[19:14] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["Captain Guillory? What do you have for me?" Wellesley’s voice.]
[19:16] <Raphael> "Pilot Rei is with me now. She's wounded, but we're seeing to her. We're still finding solid resistance from LN troops, but I believe we can manage."-
[19:16] * Raphael shifts his weight, jamming the radio between his shoulder and head. "What's the situation topside, sir? I believe we can still get Rei to the cages…"
[19:19] <@Ayanami‘Rei> ["She’s safe? Thank God." There's clear relief in his voice, but he's quickly progressing past it.-
[19:20] <@Ayanami‘Rei> ["And don’t worry about that. The Second Regiment's forces have been devastated. Linden's been taken in. We're done topside. Linden's just sent through the order of surrender to the infantry now."]
[19:22] <Raphael> "… Noted, sir." Raphael says slowly, listening for the continued sounds of gunfire elsewhere in the complex. "But orders of surrender have proven to be less than effective on LN troops before."
[19:22] <@Ayanami‘Rei> ["Yes, I know. Linden’s assured me, however, that most of her infantry forces are not conditioned, and should surrender easily…"-
[19:23] <@Ayanami‘Rei> ["… Of course, the ones who -are- conditioned are Iron Guard. We’ll need you to mop them up."]
[19:24] <Raphael> "Yes sir, of course. I'll see to it now." Raphael says quickly. For a moment he goes silent, and it seems as though he's finished, but his expression shows a touch of hesitation. "… Have you found Tobias Linden yet, sir?"
[19:25] <@Ayanami‘Rei> ["Yes. He was found and gave himself up. Blanc requested that he be kept with his daughter, and that has been arranged."]
[19:28] <Raphael> "Ah. That’s probably for the best, sir. I doubt he'll give you much trouble." Raphael says, giving Rei a long look as Euphrasie begins tending to her wounds. "Alright, sir. If that's all…?"
[19:29] <@Ayanami‘Rei> ["That’s all for now. Over and out."]
[19:38] * Raphael manages to get the radio back into his belt and motions to two of the soldiers. He’s definitely calmer now, and the hint of furious energy that he’d shown since he’d emerged from the elevator is hidden away. "You two gentlemen are with me until we can get Pilot Rei back on her feet. The rest of you, move to engage the remnants of the Iron Guard. We'll be with you momentarily."
[19:39] <@Ayanami‘Rei> ["Yes, sir." The two soldiers head over to his side.-
[19:39] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["Alright, boys and girls." Hugues pats his sword. "Let’s get going!"-
[19:40] <@Ayanami‘Rei> [Meanwhile…-
[19:41] <@Ayanami`Rei> [Pai and Martins had a problem on their hands. A slowly advancing Iron Guard, this one wielding an AT Field- nearly every bullet or bolt they let loose bounced harmlessly off of it. Behind that hulk advanced a squad of heavily armed LN soldiers, armed with Masguns.-
[19:41] <@Ayanami`Rei> [One of the soldiers, a man in carapace armor wielding a bolt pistol, held a hand up to his ear. "…"-
[19:42] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["Alright, lads." He said quietly. "It appears that we have been done in on the topside. We have just been given the order to surrender."-
[19:42] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["Surrender? What’re we gonna do, sir?" Asked one of the soldiers.-
[19:43] <@Ayanami‘Rei> ["If the topside is lost, then there’s no hope here for us, lads…" He glanced over at the Guard. "Michael, did you hear me?"-
[19:43] <@Ayanami‘Rei> ["Yes." Said the Guard curtly. He was still advancing. "The order is irrelevant."-
[19:44] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["Like hell it is, boy." Muttered Captain Reginald. "There’s no point in fighting on any further."-
[19:44] <@Ayanami‘Rei> ["No point?" The Guard- Michael- turned, his face a mask of cold anger. "You would sacrifice our loyalty to our cause out of cowardice?"-
[19:45] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["It’s not cowardice, it's common sense. We're going to achieve not a jot and I would prefer I die doing something useful. Or at least entertaining." Muttered Reginald.-
[19:46] <@Ayanami‘Rei> ["Azariah Caine demands our loyalty, and we will give it to the last. To surrender is to betray him. I will not do it. I was a slave, and he freed me. I was on the brink of death, and he healed me. He is like a father to me- and one does not betray their father."-
[19:46] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["What kind of father asks their son to give their lives up pointlessly, Michael?"-
[19:49] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["…" Michael turns his face towards Reginald. There is a look in his eyes that suggests he knows what Reginald is saying, and wants to agree- but it is quickly snuffed out. He looks away.-
[19:51] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["We have fought long and hard together, Reginald, and I would count you amongst my friends. But I cannot agree with what you say. My place is here, to fight and die if need be. If you wish to surrender, that is your prerogative. I wish you the best."]
[20:40] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["Keep firing!" Cried Martins. "Bring it down-"-
[20:42] <@Ayanami`Rei> [But Michael wasn’t going to be brought down. He began to pick up speed as his AT Field fell and shifted around him. His steps became a jog, then a run, then he was hurtling through the air, bringing his sword up through her midsection, leaving a bloody gash and a wave of pain as it went. Martins collapsed.-
[20:42] <@Ayanami‘Rei> ["Sir!" Pai cried out down the hallway as he fiddled with his long mas. "Rampaging AT Field Guard! We need help!"]
[20:48] <Raphael> "Another one?" Raphael mutters, drawing his pistol and motioning one of the guards over to take Rei’s weight. "Soldiers, you two stay here while Sergeant Beringer sees to Pilot Rei. I'm going to go and help them."
[20:49] * @Ayanami‘Rei pushed herself up off the wall, holding a hand out to stop the advancing soldier. "I have to go help. I’m the only one who can neutralise that field."
[20:51] <Raphael> "You're injured, Rei. They dealt with the last one without your help. Just wait here." He's already moving away…
[20:52] <@Ayanami‘Rei> [Euphrasie stands up. "I’ve done as much as I can here, Rei-"-
[20:53] <@Ayanami‘Rei> But the words are barely out of Euphrasie’s mouth before Rei's hurling herself down the corridor, past him and the others, and out into the middle chamber, where her energy is turned towards neutralisation already.
[21:17] <Raphael> "… damnit, Rei." Raphael hisses, before racing after her with his weapon drawn. The absolute chaos that's consumed the central chamber almost makes him pause, but he falls into a firing stance next to Rei and waits for a shot. They'd discuss this later…
[21:23] <@Ayanami‘Rei> Another soldier is slain by Michael, and Rei reaches over, grabbing a bolter from one of Martins’ soldiers. "Please let me borrow this…"-
[21:25] <@Ayanami‘Rei> ["Forgive me, father." Cried Michael as his sword cut through the air. "I could not repay your kindness, or your gifts, except in this paltry way. Forgive your son for his weakness!" His voice was solid and full, like a firebrand preacher’s; but tears flowed from his eyes.]
[21:32] <@Ayanami‘Rei> [But Martins was sensate, now- her teeth gritted at the pain, she brought up her bolter, and squeezed the trigger.-
[21:34] <@Ayanami`Rei> [Bang! Bang! the first bolt threw Michael back, staggering on legs that were soon torn away as the devastating bolts found their targets. The suicidal Guard fell backwards.-
[21:36] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["… Do not forget me, father." He whispered. He closed his eyed. "Remember my name."-
[21:37] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["… You idiot, Michael." Murmured Reginald, his eyes averted. "… You idiot. That was no way to waste your life…"]
[22:13] <Raphael> "…" Raphael does not look away. His expression is typically unreadable but for the hint of sadness in his stare. They deserve to see this…
[22:15] <@Ayanami`Rei> "…" Rei watches the scene quietly. But before long she’s turning towards Raphael. "Where's Ban-Ban…?"
[22:19] * Raphael blinks at the sound of her voice, like someone being woken from a dream. "I… I don't know, Rei." Raphael says quietly, glancing back towards the hall. "The last time I saw him he was fighting with Sergeants Monette and Macnair…"
[22:21] <@Ayanami‘Rei> ["I saw him get taken down by a heavy bolter." Says Henri, over near the elevator.-
[22:21] <@Ayanami`Rei> "… T…?" Rei’s face goes still, and her eyes widen in horror.
[22:25] <Raphael> "…" Raphael's internal reaction to this is muted at best, but split-second look he shoots Henri over Rei's shoulder promises a great deal of pain for the Sergeant at some time in the near future. He takes a look down the eastern corridor, where the sounds of fighting are slowly beginning to wind down and sighs. "… Come on, Rei. Let's go and find him."
[22:26] <@Ayanami‘Rei> [Henri looks back, utterly unsure as to what he’s done wrong.-
[22:27] <@Ayanami‘Rei> "… Yes." Says Rei quietly, dropping the bolter to the side. She heads down the corridor- as fast as she can walk.
[22:34] * Raphael strides behind her, supporting her any time she slips or stumbles.
[22:36] <@Ayanami`Rei> Which becomes tricky once she passes the blood. The brutal corpses of the Iron Guard don’t bother her, but when she sees Ban-Ban- crawling feebly towards one of them, legs missing, arm missing, blood gushing out of his side- she gasps, and tries to run to him- only to slip herself, falling directly onto her kneecap-less knee. "Ban-Ban!" She gets out as she hisses in pain.
[22:44] <Raphael> Raphael is silent as he appears alongside her, helping the girl to her feet and using his own surer footing to get them both over to the wounded banshee. He feels a pang of what's almost certainly pity, but on top of that there was something that could almost be sadness. Even with all the disgust he held for the creature, it had done nothing but protect Rei. Surely that was worth something…?
[22:47] <@Ayanami‘Rei> "Ban-Ban." Murmurs Rei, and she sits down next to it awkwardly. She reaches out shakily to touch his helmeted head. "Y-You w-went and g-got a h-helmet l-like a good boy…" She sniffles, and a second later tears are pouring down her face, cutting paths through the grime.-
[22:48] <@Ayanami`Rei> ["Don’t… Cry. Reirei." His long tongue slides out of his face, and he licks at her cheeks. "It… Is…" he let out a hacking, coughing sound. "B-But a scratch."-
[22:49] <@Ayanami‘Rei> "S-Silly Ban-Ban." She sobbed, gathering him up in her arms. "T-This isn’t t-the time to be telling A-Alphonse's jokes. W-We'll get you to a place nice and gentle, alright? A-And you can heal up. I-I promise…"-
[22:49] <@Ayanami‘Rei> ["Al…right."]
[22:53] * Raphael crouches down next to the two of them, paying now mind to the gore as he lays a hand on Rei’s shoulder. "… You did well, Ban-Ban. Thank you for protecting her again."
[22:54] <@Ayanami‘Rei> ["Uncle Raffy… Is… proud. Ban-Ban very happy…"-
[22:55] * @Ayanami`Rei smiled, and closed her eyes, focusing her AT Field. Ban-Ban’s eyes shut, and he slumped- his chest continued to rise up and down, slowly.-
[22:55] <@Ayanami‘Rei> "I’ve put him into a healing sleep for now. Over time, his wounds will heal. But… Oh, Ban-Ban…"
[22:59] <Raphael> "I know…" Raphael says quietly. "We need to get you both to command. It's somewhere where you can see a proper doctor and he can rest."
[23:01] * @Ayanami‘Rei nodded slowly. She looked up into Raphael’s face. It wasn't the face she should've seen. Her brother's, seen through the lens of a girl who loved her brother with intense emotion… But this barely seemed to recognise. "Yes. You're right. Thank you, Raffy-kun."
[23:07] <Raphael> … and it's only then, as the adrenaline of the initial crash and everything that followed is replaced by the post-battle silence, that Raphael truly remembers that this was a shape she hadn't seen. It was almost funny considering all the time he had spent worrying over just that in the past few days. "… It's nothing." He murmurs, suddenly more than a little embarrassed.
[23:11] <@Ayanami‘Rei> "I might’ve died without your help." She smiled, then winced. "… L-Let's go, Raffy-kun."
[23:14] * Raphael smiles back, chancing a quick but fierce hug. "I'm just glad you're safe, Rei."-
[23:14] <Raphael> "I think you deserve some rest."

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