She Said I Have To Protect Myself From This Right

[07:57] <Marianne> [A little past 1 PM in Marianne's apartment. Yanmei… Had the day off, as most Pilots did when they weren't being tested. And school hadn't started yet, so she had time to herself.-
[07:58] <Marianne> [It was quiet in the apartment, and she was pretty much alone. Marianne was gone, and Isaiah had woken her that morning saying he'd been called into work. She hadn't seen either of them since last night.]
[08:03] * Yanmei was feeling oddly fidgety today. The TV was on, but she wasn't paying much attention. Instead, she was shadow boxing. With clubs.-
[08:06] <Yanmei> It had felt amazingly silly without a real sparring partner or a dummy to hit, like the ones they had at HQ. More importantly, not having something to actually hit wasn't doing much to bring down her restlessness… it only made the exercise feel pointless. But now she had at least fallen into a sort of rhythm, a light club in each hand swishing through the air until her arms ached and felt heavy.
[08:10] <Marianne> [There was a knock at the door.]
[08:15] <Yanmei> Deep breath. "Coming~" She detoured to slide the clubs beneath the couch so that they were out of sight, and then straightened her clothes - black plain tshirt and black shorts, now slightly dampened with sweat. She wrinkled her nose, sighed at the lack of opportunity to fix herself up a little better, and walked to the door, carefully checking the peephole first.
[08:17] <Marianne> [Yanmei would see a rather tired, worn-out looking Isaiah! Still in his field uniform.]
[08:19] <Yanmei> "!" Yamei promptly unlocked the door and threw it open. "Welcome back! Looks like you could use a break."
[08:20] <Marianne> ["Hi, Yanyan." He said, rubbing his face and quickly stumbling inside. "So many patients. So tired." He looked up at her. "You've been working out a bit?"]
[08:24] <Yanmei> "Yeah." His words made her feel a little guilty, though. Lots of people injured. There would be, after that fight. The windows of the apartment had their blinds and curtains tightly drawn, so that she wouldn't have a view of the destruction outside. "How's Clement doing? It's been a while since I've seen him." The door closed behind him when he entered.
[08:25] <Marianne> ["He's relying on me a little more these days, especially when we're busy, but he seems to be holding up alright. He says it still isn't as bad as Qaphsiel."]
[08:25] <Marianne> [Isaiah headed over to the couch, flopping down onto it tiredly.]
[08:28] <Yanmei> "Well, that's a relief, I guess. Need me to get anything for you?" The TV was turned on to some hokey pre-impact sitcom about an extended family living together under the same roof. The laugh track is a constant on and off, despite the jokes being horrendous.
[08:31] <Marianne> ["A drink, please. And…" He lay out on the couch. "Maybe a blanket. Or a place to hide."]
[08:31] * Oat has quit IRC (Quit: <Mina‘Haplo> ’T' is for Tao, who is Tsundere as hell :|)
[08:32] <Yanmei> "Hide?" She was on her wa back to the kitchen now with a slight frown.
[08:32] <Marianne> ["Guess who I saw today in the Geofront?"]
[08:35] <Yanmei> "Who? Did the UN send someone over to go nuts over the cost of the cleanup efforts?" Her voice drifted back from the other room.
[08:36] <Marianne> ["No. Apparently there's a big conference going on between Operations Directors here in Paris-2…"]
[08:37] <Yanmei> "Oper… wait. You don't mean…"
[08:38] <Marianne> [There was a knock at the door.]
[08:40] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei took a moment to decide whether or not to ignore it.
[08:40] <Marianne> [Knock knock!]
[08:41] <Yanmei> *sigh* She heading back to the living room to hand Isaiah his water, and then swung by the door again. "Who… is it?"
[08:42] * Marianne was standing there, a smile on her face. "Hi, Yanmei."-
[08:43] <Marianne> [… And a familiar-looking woman in a red jacket, skirt and black shirt. "Yanmei-kun~! It's been awhile!"]
[08:46] <Yanmei> "Hello Captain." She smiled back at her. She would not close the door again. Couldn't, because Marianne was there, and she'd get an earful of it later. She opened the door a little wider. "Won't you please come in?" Her voice, she hoped, was loud enough to give Isaiah ample warning to scurry for a more private room if he desired it.
[08:48] <Marianne> "Don't get too comfortable, Misato-san." Said Marianne, entering. "How're you, Yanyan?" She said, giving the girl a hug and quick peck on the cheek.-
[08:50] <Marianne> ["Thanks, Yanmei-san~" Said Misato. Unfortunately, Isaiah hadn't had enough time to move without being seen- leading to Misato sitting down next to him and giving -him- a hug and a peck too. "You're all better now, Isaiah-kun, huh? I bet Yanmei-san's glad~ <3" "Uh…" The red-faced boy stared back and simply nodded.]
[08:54] <Yanmei> She was doing it -again-. Yanmei was having trouble resisting the urge to march over and scold her, and she didn't even like doing those things. "I'm okay Marianne. Just a quiet day at home…"
[08:58] <Marianne> "That's good." Said Marianne. "You wanna go out somewhere?"
[09:02] <Yanmei> "Yeah?" She brightened up at that. "Give me ten minutes to get ready, OK?"
[09:03] <Marianne> "Sure. I'll look after those two for you."
[09:05] <Yanmei> "Thank you. God knows someone has to." She glanced at the living room one last time in diapproval, and fled for the bathroom. It would take, in fact, twenty minutes for her to emerge again, even with speeding through things for Isaiah's sake. Her t-shirt and shorts combo had been transformed into a black knit dress with thick leggings, and her usual coat and scarf. "All ready~-
[09:06] <Yanmei> "Where are we going today? The mall? Someplace to eat? A movie?"
[09:07] <Marianne> "Well, a lot of places are shut today. I thought we'd just have a drive out to the hills and have lunch with a friend."-
[09:07] <Marianne> ["Hey, I can stay here and look after Isaiah-kun!"]
[09:10] <Yanmei> "Isaiah needs rest. He's had a tough day!" God, stop clinging to him! This wasn't one of her love hotels.
[09:11] <Marianne> ["That's why I can-" "N-No, Misato-san, you should definitely go with them…"-
[09:11] <Marianne> "Come on, Misato-san. Stop teasing the poor boy. We don't want to leave Jeanne waiting too long."
[09:12] <Yanmei> "Er… Jeanne?" Yanmei blinked.
[09:13] <Marianne> "Jeanne Simon."-
[09:13] <Marianne> ["The head of security!" Misato pecked Isaiah and stood up, leaving the boy flustered and red on the couch.]
[09:15] <Yanmei> "Well, yeah, I know who Jeanne Simon is, but…" Suspicion now. "This isn't a friendly lunch 'just because,' is it."
[09:17] <Marianne> "A friendly lunch is involved!" Said Marianne sweetly. "… And maybe a discussion about security." She added.
[09:18] * Yanmei deliberated briefly on this. "Okay. Let's go."
[09:19] <Marianne> ["I'll work on grabbing dinner for you before you get home." Said Isaiah.]
[09:21] <Yanmei> "Only if you feel like it, okay? Don't wear yourself out." She hesitated. Between the bomb thing and Tokyo-2 and this talk about Jeanne Simon, there was… a lingering worry about leaving him here by himself now that it came down to it.
[09:22] <Marianne> ["I should be fine after a nap." Said Isaiah cheerfully. "You have a good time. Don't be out too long."]
[09:24] <Yanmei> "R-right." She lingered for a few more beats, and then with difficulty, forced herself to turn and follow Marianne's lead. "Stay safe, OK?"
[09:25] <Marianne> ["I will."-
[09:26] <Marianne> ["Are you -sure- you don't want me to stay with him?" Asked Misato to Yanmei with a grin.]
[09:29] <Yanmei> "If you did that, I'd have to make sure someone else was around to watch the both of you," Yanmei pointed out, and then tossed her hair.
[09:29] <Marianne> "Hah, she's right. Come on." Marianne stepped out. "See you, Isaiah."-
[09:29] <Marianne> ["T-The both of us? I didn't do anything…" Mumbled Isaiah.-
[09:30] <Marianne> [Misato headed out, grinning a little- although once she was actually out the door she became businesslike with stunning swiftness.]
[09:36] * Yanmei gave one last wave, and was sure to lock the door once the three of them were out of the apartment. "All right. Shall we?"
[09:37] * Marianne nodded. "I parked the car outside." Marianne was heading off for the elevator!
[09:38] * Yanmei followed of course! Although not without a few discreet glances at the buisinesslike Misato.
[09:39] <Marianne> [Misato had quite the game face on. Stern, mild frown- but she caught a glance and gave Yanmei a sudden wink and smile.]
[09:48] * Yanmei blinked back, unused to seeing such sternness on her face… and even less used to the quick back and forth. It was long before they were all seated in Marianne's car and on their way. It was a longer drive than anticipated, with detours around ruined blocks, and frequent pedestrian crossings. The distance itself was long too… beyond the borders of the city entirely, to tranquil hills with seemingly lifeless grass and trees. Eventually, they would make it to their destination.
[09:58] <Marianne> [Jeanne sat on a large cloth, a wicker basket in her hands. The sharp-eyed S2 Director seemed at odds with the clichéd scene. "Captains. Pilot Zhang." She nodded.]
[10:02] <Yanmei> "Director Simon," Yanmei nodded to her politely. A picnic when it was still this cold out… Well, there had to be a reason. She sat down on the cloth as well. "How have you been?"
[10:05] <Marianne> ["I'm more worried about you now. You doing ok?" She asked in a surprisingly gentle tone.]
[10:09] <Yanmei> "Well, I'm getting by." She flashed a confident smile and tried to rub the chill from her arms. "I've been more focused on school lately. The new year is starting up again pretty soon."
[10:10] <Marianne> ["Mm. Well, it's good to be focused." Said Jeanne. "The school's been reinforced with security, so you and your friends will be safe."-
[10:10] <Marianne> "I'd hope so." Said Marianne, sitting down.-
[10:11] <Marianne> [Misato sat, curiously dragging the wicker box over- or trying, but Jeanne smacked her hand away. "Ow." "S'what you get." Jeanne looked back over at Yanmei. "I was hoping we might be able to talk. Out here without any bugs."]
[10:16] * Yanmei smirked at Misato's punishment. So there weren't any bugs or cameras out here in the countryside. That was something to remember for later. "I see! I thought it might be something like that. In that case, you must be anticipating a sensitive work-related conversation, right?"
[10:19] <Marianne> ["That's right. And considering the circumstances of the situation, I can't rule out that the saboteur has infiltrated NERV itself. This is the only way I can ask these questions in a secure manner."]
[10:24] <Yanmei> "That makes sense." Yanmei gave a serene smile. "I actually have a few questions of my own."
[10:24] <Marianne> ["Then you should go first."]
[10:27] <Yanmei> "This might be something you could add to as well, Captain Misato. Are there any leads at all on who was responsible for the… bad situation that happened in that park in Tokyo-2?"
[10:30] <Marianne> ["Kirihara in Tokyo-2 doesn't have any suspects yet. She has worked out some interesting details though."]
[10:31] <Yanmei> "Oh?"
[10:32] <Marianne> ["The assassin didn't seem to want to risk harming you, for one."]
[10:35] <Yanmei> "… the shooter could have gotten me easily if they wanted to," she agreed thoughtfully. But thinking back to the exact circumstances was more painful than she had thought. "I was right next to him and just as unaware."
[10:37] <Marianne> ["That's right. And from the assassin's point of view, you were blocking most of his face. Which is why they went for the body shots."]
[10:38] <Yanmei> "I don't understand why he was even targetted," Yanmei muttered. "It's not like he's ever hurt anyone?"
[10:41] <Marianne> "He's always been a very nice boy." Said Marianne. "He makes you happy, right, Yanmei?"-
[10:42] <Marianne> ["… Mm. Blanc suggested that that may have been the point. To demoralise you by taking out someone close, but I honestly think if they wanted to hurt you they could just kill you."]
[10:50] <Yanmei> "Demoralize… what would something like that accomplish, anyway?" She was frowning a little now. "But there could be other reasons to kill him, not because of what he's done, but because of who he is. The wealthy heir to the Wei estate, a possible future pilot… it's true that he's influenced my actions as well, and maybe someone doesn't like that. I just can't think of anyone with both the motivation and the capability."
[10:53] <Marianne> ["Killing him would only transfer the inheritance of the Wei estate to the Chinese Government." Said Jeanne. "And if I were an assassin, I'd want to kill an active pilot over a potential. NERV's outlook is that this was a killing done for personal motivations, likely emotional."]
[10:56] <Yanmei> "Personal." Yanmei shook her head. "I can't think of anyone, though. He was bullied a lot before, but I can't see the people who did that going this far."
[10:58] <Marianne> ["Jealous lover?" Asked Jeanne.]
[11:00] <Yanmei> "Heh. I doubt it."
[11:01] <Marianne> ["Anyone he's offended." … "…" She suddenly looked at Misato.-
[11:02] <Marianne> ["… Could be a dangerous, clingy fan." Groaned Misato. "Like that one Beatle."]
[11:06] <Yanmei> "Someone random? May be. Although I don't get what insects have to do with it?" She closed her eyes momentarily. "The people I've met who are affectionate to me also tend to be affectionate to him. Or at least not really bothered with harming him. Section-2 doesn't have any insights on it? Maybe something I've missed?"
[11:08] <Marianne> "The Beatles were a band. One of their members was murdered by a fan." Chipped in Marianne.-
[11:11] <Marianne> ["Well, you -do- get some rather questionable fanmail sometimes. Not that you ever see it." Said Jeanne. "But we've kept tabs on the craziest. And Japan's gun laws are very restrictive." Jeanne shook her head.-
[11:11] <Marianne> ["Are you taking the right precautions, at least?"]
[11:15] <Yanmei> "You tell me. I've been carrying weapons, and I know that Isaiah often carries one too. Neither of us has been out much, aside from work."
[11:16] <Marianne> ["Well, we have extra security on you both." Said Jeanne. "But the best thing you two can do is look out for each other, try to travel together when appropriate. Vett people you don't know who try to speak to him, and if he goes out, make sure you know where, and when he'll be back."]
[11:20] <Yanmei> "Right. I guess that's all we can do now, right?"
[11:21] <Marianne> [Jeanne nodded.-
[11:21] <Marianne> ["Now. Shall we discuss the events that happened the other day?"]
[11:22] <Yanmei> "All right. You have questions?"
[11:22] <Marianne> ["I do."]
[11:23] <Yanmei> "I don't think I can provide much information, but…" she nodded, "please go ahead."
[11:24] <Marianne> ["Alright." Jeanne clasped her hands together. "Do you have anyone you know who'd want to kill you?"]
[11:28] <Yanmei> "No one who's made themselves known to me, personally. There -was- someone who hated me recently, but I've resolved that."
[11:29] <Marianne> ["Oh?"]
[11:30] <Yanmei> "A messy matter of the… the death of Atticus Nelson. The last time the person in question approached me, however, he seemed non-hostile."
[11:31] <Marianne> ["Please. Details, Yanmei. Is it ok if I call you Yanmei?"]
[11:35] <Yanmei> "Certainly. Nagisa Kaworu, the former secretary of Atticus Nelson, was very close to him. He did not take the news of his passing well. In fact, there was an altercation in a public cafe between the two of us over it. But… he broke down toward the end of that conversation, and I tried to help him after that."-
[11:36] <Yanmei> "He reappeared at the hospital after Isaiah was hurt, and he seemed concerned about the two of us. We talked for a while, he gave me some coping advice, and then he left."
[11:38] <Marianne> ["And you don't think it's possible he tried to kill Isaiah -and- sabotage your Evangelion?"]
[11:41] <Yanmei> "I'd prefer to think otherwise. Maybe it's foolish, but I believed him when he said that he didn't have a hand in the former. He said that he was tired of things like vengence. I believed him to be heartfelt about it."
[11:43] <Marianne> ["… Why?" Jeanne quirked an eyebrow.]
[11:51] * Yanmei kept up a firm sense of confidence. "Because he had his chance to attack and kill me without trouble already, and he passed on it. At that time, he was… actually crying. Those tears were real, heartfelt tears. I'm sure of it. Moreover," now she shifted uncomfortably, "he's always been rather direct when it comes to expressing his dislike for me and my friendship with Atticus and matters of revenge concerning it."-
[11:53] <Yanmei> "If he was going on the attack, I don't see why this should be any different. On the contrary, I have the feeling he would want me to know why it was happening and that it was my fault."
[11:54] <Marianne> ["I see." Said Jeanne. She tapped her fingers together.-
[11:54] <Marianne> ["Alright. I have a question."]
[11:54] <Yanmei> "Yes?"
[11:57] <Marianne> ["I want you to picture yourself and your Evangelion."]
[11:58] * Yanmei closed her eyes and tried just that. "All right."
[11:59] <Marianne> ["Now I want you to invent someone in your mind who would want you dead, or your Eva destroyed. And why."]
[12:00] <Yanmei> "All… right." That took a bit more thought, but after a while she nodded.
[12:01] <Marianne> ["What can you see?"]
[12:05] <Yanmei> "Someone who believes me to be dangerous, either in a political fashion or because of my piloting. Maybe someone who was hurt by one of 04's rampages, or an error on my part." She frowned. "Or someone who thinks they could be hurt later on."-
[12:08] <Yanmei> For a little while, she fell silent, but she broke that on her own. "If they'd wanted to be more effective, they would have placed the bomb in the entry plug."
[12:10] <Marianne> ["Indeed. In fact, placing it in the Evangelion's leg…" She shook her head.-
[12:11] <Marianne> "That's what baffles me." Said Marianne. "The Evangelion is too tough for that to do anything other than hobble her a little potentially during battle. If they wanted Yanmei dead, they could've just put the bomb in there and she would've died for sure." Marianne shuddered.-
[12:11] <Marianne> ["… There -is- an alternative reason." Said Misato.]
[12:12] <Yanmei> "What's that?" Yanmei had opened her eyes now, a little more troubled than before.
[12:15] <Marianne> ["Each attack both hurt and angered you." Said Misato. "Made you a little more worried, right? I remember you didn't leave Isaiah's hallway basically until you had to leave Tokyo-2. And if this bombing attack hasn't shaken you up, I'd be surprised, Yanmei-san. Am I right, though?"]
[12:17] <Yanmei> "…" She didn't like having to admit that aloud. "So you're saying that this is a psychological attack. Demoralization after all?"
[12:18] <Marianne> ["Nope." Said Misato. "The opposite. Why was Shinji-kun chosen to pilot EVA-05?"]
[12:19] <Yanmei> "Because he was close to Rei? He was a compatible match for her in that form too."
[12:20] <Marianne> ["That's right." Said Misato darkly. "Pilots who have a bond with their Evangelions tend to perform better. And…" Misato's eyes narrowed.-
[12:21] <Marianne> ["Whether that bond's formed between the love of siblings, or because an angry, hateful, paranoid pilot is piloting an angry, hateful EVA doesn't matter…"]
[12:24] * Yanmei stared at her. Her eyes had widened a little bit, and she had lost a bit of color… but now her eyes narrowed again. "But the people who would be most concerned with that… the people who would even know about the bonds between pilot and EVA, would be in the organization itself."
[12:25] <Marianne> ["That's right." Said Misato darkly.-
[12:26] <Marianne> ["Ginevre Fontaine -is- known for doing anything she can to make sure the 'greater good' ie pilot effectiveness- is achieved." Said Jeanne. "She also has access to your psychological records and has access to agents willing to do the deed in both cases. She wouldn't even need to tell me, and in fact, if she did, I'd be obligated not to inform you."]
[12:30] <Yanmei> "But you're bringing my attention to it now. Why is that?" Yanmei scowled, looking away toward the ruined city. "Why would she even… I know I've messed up a few times, but is my piloting really bad enough for her to resort to this? Or anyone, for that matter?"
[12:33] <Marianne> ["The truth is, Yanmei, I -don't- know the reason why anyone would do this, and honestly I'm annoyed at the fact that there are implications that it was an inside job. I'm a detective by nature. If Fontaine -did- do this, well." Jeanne shrugged. "I can't do a damn thing- wouldn't want to either- but I want to find out anyway, otherwise I'm not worth my job." Said Jeanne, folding her arms.
[12:33] <Marianne> Her eyes were fiery and focused.-
[12:34] <Marianne> ["I wouldn't say your piloting's bad." Said Misato. "I've seen the recordings and you can hold your own with Asuka, mostly. You shouldn't worry. But…" She rubbed her chin. "All the Pilots seemed to have formed bonds with their EVA units. Except you."]
[12:40] <Yanmei> "04 has a… difficult personality," she mumbled almost apologetically. "We've been making progress on that, but…" she shook her head, glancing down now at her hands, which were folded in her lap. "What should I do? I have to protect myself from this, right?"
[12:42] <Marianne> "W-Well, we don't know that this is the case." Said Marianne. She put an arm around Yanmei's shoulders and pulled her close. "It could be a Liberated Nations assassin."-
[12:44] <Marianne> ["My advice, Yanmei." Said Jeanne, "Is to keep yourself safe nevertheless. There's really not a lot you can do yourself."-
[12:44] <Marianne> ["I think it's pretty crazy to be hurting you so you can bond with 04." Said Misato. "Yanmei-san?"]
[12:45] <Yanmei> "Hm?" Her eyes weres still hard, angry… but she tried to soften them for Marianne and Misato's sake.
[12:51] <Marianne> ["Listen. You shouldn't have to feel pressured into doing anything you don't want to do, ok?" Said Misato gently, urgently. "You're a great pilot, one of the best! You don't need to bond with 04 anymore to be that, ok? What you're doing is more than excellent. Take it from me, ok~? <3" She winked, holding out a thumbs up.]
[12:58] <Yanmei> "Ah," she tried to hide her surprise with a hasty hair-toss. She wasn't sure that it worked. "I already know that? Thank you, though. It's a nice thing to say." She peered over at the wicker basket that Jeanne had brought, and sighed. "What a gloomy topic for a picnic, though…"
[12:59] <Marianne> "Hey, try to act a little humble." Teased Marianne.
[13:04] <Yanmei> "I'm just being confident?" Yanmei insisted. "Misato's the one who brought up my talent, so~"
[13:06] <Marianne> "Uh-huh~"-
[13:06] <Marianne> ["Anyway~" Misato reached for the wicker basket again, and was once again smacked away. "Ow. I know what we can talk about~"]
[13:08] <Yanmei> "Hm? And what's that? Your boyfriend~?" Smirk. "You never did describe what he was like, you know."
[13:11] <Marianne> ["…" Misato folded her arms. "He's not my boyfriend. He's a jerk." Said Misato dismissively. She leaned forward, reaching out to grab Yanmei's cranium. "And I -meant- to talk about -your- cute boyfriend, smarty pants!"]
[13:15] <Yanmei> "I don't think I actually have one, you see," she said smugly - though that was hard accomplish while being grabbed so. She tried to duck away.
[13:16] <Marianne> ["You and Isaiah- come on. Everyone knows you went to a love hotel in Tokyo-2~"-
[13:17] <Marianne> ["Say what?" Jeanne looked up sharply, which gave Misato enough time to promptly grab the wicker basket, open the flaps and grab a beer. Eight seconds later the can was empty.]
[13:18] <Yanmei> "That's because you tricked us! Don't listen to her, Marianne. You either." She eyed Jeanne.
[13:19] <Marianne> "Oh, I already knew." Said Marianne sweetly.-
[13:19] <Marianne> ["… You know, the two of you -were- being very… Lovey on Christmas Night." Said Jeanne.]
[13:20] <Yanmei> "That was friendship love! Friendship!"
[13:22] <Marianne> ["And was that a friendship kiss, too?" Jeanne reached over and pulled back her wicker basket.-
[13:22] <Marianne> "Oho."
[13:23] <Yanmei> "Of course. What else would it be?" Yanmei huffed. "You French citizens kiss people all the time. It's no different!"
[13:25] <Marianne> ["Not on the mouth~ Whilst holding hands." Said Jeanne. "hey, you're right, Marianne. Teasing her is -fun-. I should do it more often."-
[13:25] <Marianne> "I find it's a healthy stress relief~"
[13:26] <Yanmei> "N-no it's not! You should be teasing someone who deserves it!"
[13:27] <Marianne> ["Mmm? Like Marianne? Are you still eyeing Serafino?"-
[13:27] <Marianne> "I- what?"
[13:29] <Yanmei> Relief! A change in targets. Yanmei happily joined in with the rest of the vultures. "Oh, that's right! Why aren't you too dating yet? Really, Marianne, you know you want to."
[13:31] <Marianne> "I-" Marianne blushed. "He's- he's- urgh, I can't, I'm too nervous and busy all the time." Said Marianne. "… N-Not that I really care or anything, he's just some guy." She glowered at Yanmei.
[13:31] <Yanmei> "Just some guy you're nervous about~"
[13:32] <Marianne> "I am not nervous!"
[13:33] <Yanmei> "But you just said you were. It's completely romantic and sweet. Like a high-school crush."
[13:35] <Marianne> "It is -not- a high-school crush." Marianne's cheeks were flaming red. "Crushes like that never last, and if I were to enter a romantic relationship I-I'd try to aim for what you and Isaiah have~"-
[13:35] <Marianne> ["Oh, she's deflecting. Quick, counter it!"]
[13:37] <Yanmei> "Well, we're not romantic, but we -do- pretty much live together. If that's what you're going for, then… You might need a bigger apartment."
[13:38] <Marianne> "Or maybe I can just boot you two out."-
[13:38] <Marianne> ["Hey, Yanmei-san~?"]
[13:38] <Yanmei> "Hm?"
[13:39] <Marianne> ["Does that mean Isaiah-kun's unattached?" Another beer.]
[13:46] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei's expression went flat. "I know what you're thinking. And the answer is, 'no, you can't'."
[13:47] <Marianne> ["Hey. Hey! I never said anything like that." Said Misato. "I'm just saying you should be careful, Yanmei-san."]
[13:49] <Yanmei> "Of what?" she said primly. "If he wants to cuddle up against someone, I'm okay with it as long as he's okay with it."
[13:49] <Marianne> ["Yeah?" She grabbed a sandwich.-
[13:49] <Marianne> ["Hey, that's mine-"-
[13:50] <Marianne> ["You really sure you'd be ok with him finding someone else and leaving you behind?"]
[13:51] <Yanmei> "Huh?" Yanmei blinked. "He wouldn't just leave me behind… He's not like that."
[13:52] <Marianne> ["So you're saying, if he had to choose between you or his beloved in America, he'd pick you?"]
[13:53] <Yanmei> "It's not like he'd have to choose one over the other. We could co-exist." A beat. "Does he actually have a beloved in America?"
[13:56] <Marianne> ["Not that I know of, and I know a lot." Added Jeanne dryly, pulling her basket back and closing it.-
[13:58] <Marianne> [Misato nodded her head towards Jeanne. "I can tell you one thing, Yanmei? It's hard to try to coexist when your boyfriend's so close to another girl." A narrow look in her eye, a bit of the jovial tone deflating. "It's very torturous."]
[13:59] <Yanmei> "It's a good thing he's not my boyfriend, then. But… it sounds like you're getting serious now. Want to talk about it?"
[14:01] <Marianne> ["You weren't the girlfriend I was talking about there, Yanmei-san. I meant the other girl." Misato folded her arms. "And mmf. Kaji- that jerk-… He wasn't really known for his fidelity."]
[14:09] <Yanmei> "Ah, I see," she sounded a little sympathetic now. Poor Misato. No wonder she was mad at him all the time.
[14:12] <Marianne> ["Yeah." Misato unfolded her arms and looked at Yanmei. "You really… Think you could co-exist? And that the other girl wouldn't hate you or anything?"]
[14:12] <Yanmei> "Hmmm, hard to say. I know that I could put up with her, but I don't know if the other would be true. I guess it'd really depend on the person and how secure she felt."
[14:14] <Marianne> "Hmmm." Marianne shook her head. "That'll never happen. Not in any forseeable future."
[14:16] <Yanmei> "E-eh? You don't think so?"
[14:18] <Marianne> "Yanmei. The boy's been head over heels for you since the day he met you. I don't think he has it in his heart to try to love anyone else."
[14:20] <Yanmei> "Erm…*mutter mutter*" She couldn't exactly deny it. What she did do was reach for the basket so that she could pull out something to drink so that she could avoid answering.
[14:24] <Marianne> [Misato promptly snatched it from her hands, because like hell was Yanmei going to get away with that in front of the great Captain Katsuragi.-
[14:24] <Marianne> ["So he loves you but you don't love him back, Yanmei-san?" A cracked tab. "Whoooo."]
[14:26] <Yanmei> "Th-that was mine! And it's more complicated than that. I'm not even completely sure of…" she caught herself and frowned. "What are you making me discuss, anyway?"
[14:27] <Marianne> ["Just saying, it'd be a shame to break an innocent boy's heart~" Misato crunched the can up. "Besides, we can all help you if you have problems. We can talk you through it!"-
[14:27] <Marianne> ["Leave me out of this." Muttered Jeanne.]
[14:30] <Yanmei> "How considerate…" Yanmei muttered and made a second grab for the basket. "Because we're still sorting things out? It's a bit difficult to discuss. If there's a devleopment, I'll let you know."
[14:32] <Marianne> ["STOP TOUCHING MY BASKET!" Snapped Jeanne, slapping Yanmei's hand.]
[14:33] * Rynol has joined #NERVFrance
[14:33] <Yanmei> "!!!" Yanmei withdrew her hand quickly! Cue pitiful look. Aimed at Marianne, actually, the sympathetic one of the trio.
[14:34] <Marianne> "Don't be so harsh, Jeanne. Give the girl her orange juice."-
[14:35] <Marianne> ["Fine." Muttered Jeanne, plonking a bottle full of orange juice in front of Yanmei.-
[14:36] <Marianne> ["Maybe I should have a word with Isaiah-kun. See how he feels." Murmured Misato. "I'll never forgive you if you break his heart~ <3"]
[14:42] <Yanmei> Why was she always getting her in trouble? She tried to hold back a scowl at Misato. She wasn't sure she was completely successful. Sullenly, she took her juice.
[14:43] <Marianne> ["Now that we're acting like -adults-." Jeanne took boxes of sandwiches out…-
[14:45] <Marianne> [Time passed. The sandwiches were nice, and sure, Yanmei got in trouble, but the conversation soon turned to teasing Marianne and her hopeless crush on Serafino, which no doubt cheered Yanmei up immensely.-
[14:45] <Marianne> [But eventually the sky started to darken, and before long Yanmei would find herself back in the car, then- a long drive back into the city. She'd find herself dropped off by the front of the apartment block- Marianne having to take Misato home.-
[14:46] <Marianne> "See you in 2 hours or so, Yanyan!"
[14:49] <Yanmei> "Two hours? Ah, you're going back to work for a while?
[14:49] <Yanmei> "
[14:50] <Marianne> "Ah, yeah. Something like that." Said Marianne, looking a little down. "'OD party'."-
[14:50] <Marianne> ["Shut up, Misato." "I didn't say anything-" "Shhhhh."-
[14:50] <Marianne> "See you later, alright?"
[14:51] <Yanmei> "All right," she said cheerfully. Party, huh? What did ODs do during parties, she wondered… "Have a good time~"
[14:53] <Marianne> "'Bye!" And… Off.
[14:57] * Yanmei lingered there in front of the building, slowly turning over some of the more difficult parts of their conversation that day in her mind. Then, she turned, and putting on a fresh smile for Isaiah, ascended up to the apartment.
[14:58] <Marianne> [Isaiah was in the kitchen, seemingly fresh from a nap- something cooking on the stove. Yanmei would recognise the scent of her favourite chicken curry.]
[14:59] <Yanmei> "Hey! Feeling better?" She slipped up behind him, taking her time and making a bit of noise so that she wouldn't startle him.
[15:01] <Marianne> ["Yeah, a little. I was out for a -long- time." He said, smiling back at her. "Did you have fun with the girls?"]
[15:03] <Yanmei> "Yeah. I think this OD conference is really some kind of party." She gave him a quick hug and settled down at the table. "We can get a bit of peace before they turn up again."
[15:06] <Marianne> "A party, huh." He returned the hug and turned back to his cooking. "Well. It'll be good to have a bit of time to ourselves."
[15:10] <Yanmei> "Mmhm." So much to tell him. But he looked so peaceful too. Maybe after dinner.
[15:13] * Marianne quickly served the curry onto two plates, putting it down for himself and his companion. "Enjoy."

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