She Said I M Coming Here To Apologise

[13:07] <Elena‘Clement> [The friday morning. Two days after Yanmei was discharged from NERV’s hospital… -
[13:08] * Elena‘Clement sat at a lunch table, one hand in a lunchbox, taking out a sandwich and nibbling on it. The other was flicking through a book. She sat alone.
[13:10] <Yanmei> Something came to an abrupt rest on the table in front of her with a metallic -thunk-. It was an upright can of orange soda.
[13:15] <Elena`Clement> "Uh-?!" Elena jumped, startled. She stared at the can of soda, slowly lifting her gaze up to her unexpected guest.
[13:16] <Yanmei> Twin pigtails. Crisp uniform. She was sinking into the chair across from her, uninvited, her face carefully neutral.
[13:18] <Elena`Clement> "H… Hello, Zhang…" Said Elena guardedly.
[13:21] <Yanmei> "Clement." The soda sat there between them, cool and refreshing. After a few seconds, Yanmei reached for it again. "About my behavior earlier…"
[13:23] * Elena`Clement stared, as if afraid that if she made any sudden moves Yanmei might run off- or attack. "Ye-yes…?"
[13:25] <Yanmei> "I shouldn’t have provoked you to that extent. So… I'm coming here to apologise?"
[13:26] <Elena‘Clement> "Apologise…?" Her eyes widened. "Really…?"
[13:27] <Yanmei> "Yeah." Yanmei stared at her a moment, almost expectantly. This was the perfect time for a counterattack, after all.
[13:29] * Elena`Clement looked down at her book for a moment, quietly, before looking back up again.
[13:32] <Yanmei> Yanmei’s stare turned briefly confused. She shook her head and tried to continue. "If you forgive me or not is up to you? But I also wanted to say that I'm going to lay off from now on."
[13:35] <Elena‘Clement> "I don’t want to hate you, Zhang." Mumbled Elena. "I wanted to be like everyone else, you know. I wanted to be able to just stand back and admire you from afar, moreso even, because dad's told me about some of the things you suffered, but I couldn't, because you kept being so cruel to me. I kept telling myself, if she'd just leave me alone, it'd be alright…"
[13:38] <Yanmei> It felt like there was more coming. She stayed quiet.
[13:41] <Elena‘Clement> "So… Thank you. For apologising, and deciding to stop tormenting me."
[13:44] * Yanmei stared. Blinked. "… I don’t get it. You're not going to scream at me? Take revenge? I wouldn't fight back, you know. I… wouldn't have the right to."
[13:45] <Elena‘Clement> "I don’t want to. It'd be wrong to hurt you, even if you deserve it. So I'm sorry for hitting you the other day, too."
[13:47] <Yanmei> "You don't have to say sorry for that," Yanmei muttered, glancing down at her can. "And anyway, I slapped you pretty hard for it at the time."
[13:58] * Elena‘Clement fidgetted with her sandwich. "A-Anyway… I don’t want trouble, Zhang. I don't want to hurt you or anyone, and I don't want to go back to crying into a pillow, either."
[14:04] <Yanmei> "Yeah," Yanmei popped the tab on her drink. "It's probably better if I stay away. You and Isaiah are friends, so it's not like I'll interfere with that? But you won't see me in person outside of class, okay?"
[14:05] * Elena‘Clement nodded slowly. "Alright, Zhang." She held out a tentative hand for Yanmei to shake.
[14:06] * Yanmei reached across the table and grasped it. "Sorry," she said again, even though she had doubts about it making her feel that satisfied.
[14:07] <Elena`Clement> "It’s alright." She shook it. "Um…"
[14:08] <Yanmei> "What?"
[14:11] <Elena‘Clement> "Good luck, alright?"
[14:12] <Yanmei> "Heh." Yanmei started to rise. "Thanks. Same to you, okay?"
[14:14] <Elena`Clement> "Alright. Thank you, Zhang."
[14:20] <Yanmei> So with nothing left to resolve… Yanmei picked up her soda and began to walk away briskly. There was one lingering glance back, and then she made her way to the lunchroom doors.
[14:22] * Isaiah is nearby, of course, fetching something from his bag.
[14:23] * Yanmei waved at him! Drifted over with a small, distracted smile
[14:26] * Isaiah stands up straight, looking over. "How’d it go, sweetheart?"
[14:28] <Yanmei> "It went easily." A certain catch in her tone suggested that she found it a little hard to believe even still. "She forgave me. And I promised to stay away from her?"
[14:32] * Isaiah nods slowly, smiling a little. "And how do -you- feel?"
[14:34] <Yanmei> "…I don't know," she admitted, her smile fading a bit. "Like I should be saying I'm sorry to you too, maybe."
[14:37] <Isaiah> "Why's that?"
[14:39] <Yanmei> "Because it's also been tough on you?" She folded her arms - carefully so she wouldn't spill her drink. "…I can guess at some of the things you've been remembering."
[14:44] * Isaiah nods slowly. "I don't think you've ever been in that sort of situation yourself. People like Elena, and I… We're pretty fragile." He leaned against his locket, staring down at his feet. "I think, when we're the most vulnerable, when we're lonely or under a lot of pressure, we turn that inward, looking at ourselves and wondering what's wrong with us. We wonder why we're so unwanted, or so weak or pathetic, and then other people hurt us, and that only confirms our suspicions."
[14:50] <Yanmei> "You know you're important to me, right?" There was a certain sort of anxiety in her eyes. "And that you're worth something, with or without me?"
[14:55] <Isaiah> "Yes, of course." Isaiah looked up, smiling. "I do know that. But when you're utterly down in the dumps, it's hard to -feel- that. I'm a lot better now. But Elena doesn't really have anyone."
[14:57] <Yanmei> "She could have you, couldn't she?" Yanmei frowned a little. "Not in -that- way, of course. But you could support her?"
[14:59] * Isaiah nods slowly.
[15:00] <Isaiah> "I try my best to support her, it's true." He glanced away, smiling curiously. "But she could have you, too."
[15:02] <Yanmei> "Heh. I don't think that's the best idea after I said I wouldn't go near her again. She's probably better off with other people doing that? Friends that she's selected."
[15:03] * Isaiah beamed. "I should let her meet Rei."
[15:04] <Yanmei> "Rei does seem to get along with everyone," Yanmei chuckled. She leaned against a locker of her own and finally took a long drink. "Dr. Clement loves her a lot too."
[15:05] <Isaiah> "She's a very sweet young girl. I think it's impossible for anyone to dislike her." He gazed out into the distance. "Hey, I have a question."
[15:05] <Yanmei> "Yes?"
[15:05] <Isaiah> "Why did you choose me?"
[15:06] * Yanmei blinked at him, surprised? "Why?"
[15:09] <Isaiah> "Yeah. I mean, back then, before we met, I wasn't really a lot different from Elena. I was as miserable as she is, as vulnerable and open- why did you befriend me instead of tormenting me?"
[15:14] <Yanmei> "I thought… you were the one who picked me." Her brow furrowed a little. "I liked you. At first, I didn't care for you one way or the other, but you were a really gentle guy. Kind. You made me feel safe. And… you never gave yourself enough credit. Even now, you don't. You've gotten so much better, though."
[15:21] <Isaiah> "Hmmm~" He smirked, reaching over to caress the back of her neck. "Miss Zhang, are you trying to seduce me?"
[15:24] <Yanmei> "You were the one who asked!" She gave him a peck on the forehead, and then plafully made a little face at him. "Look at you, though, acting all smooth in the hallway between classes. You're going to earn a reputation~"
[15:26] <Isaiah> "A reputation, you say…?"
[15:28] <Yanmei> "Yup. Ladykiller Isaiah, they'll call you. You'll be more infamous than Group Captain Guillory."
[15:29] <Isaiah> "Oho. Should I give Misato a call?" He smirked.
[15:31] <Yanmei> "Very funny!" She felt, for a moment, relieved that the woman was far away in Tokyo, where she couldn't give him hugs and hang all over him. That stupid Misato…
[15:33] * Isaiah chuckled. "I couldn't resist~ But. I guess these are things I should save for the weekend, huh…"
[15:35] <Yanmei> "Yeah. Only a few more hours." Yanmei found a clock a little further down the hallway with her eyes. "We'll have to leave straight after, and grab our bags, and drop the baby off."
[15:36] <Isaiah> "You're looking forward to it a lot, huh?"
[15:36] <Yanmei> "It's always nice to get away from this city for a while." She grinned at him. "Plus, it's been a long time since I've been to a spa?"
[15:39] <Isaiah> "It would've been… That alpine retreat?"
[15:43] <Yanmei> "Yeah. But there was a lot that I didn't take advantage of? Mostly just messed around in the snow. And the bar. And those other fun places."
[15:44] <Isaiah> "We should go back there one day. Together, without NERV or anyone hanging around us."
[15:51] <Yanmei> "We should!" she said happily. "If you're not scared about the wolves roaming around~"
[15:52] <Isaiah> "Of course not. You're far scarier than a wolf." He said, grinning. He leaned in close. "Guess what I just remembered~"
[15:53] <Yanmei> "What's that?" she whispered back.
[15:53] <Isaiah> "We didn't use the spa at that love hotel either."
[15:56] <Yanmei> "They… had a spa? Wait, -what- sort of establishment are we going to this weekend?"
[15:57] * Isaiah cackled. "Oh, come -on-. You can't seriously be thinking I'd do that to you."
[15:59] <Yanmei> "Who knows? That Katsuragi is a terrible influence."
[16:02] <Isaiah> "Trust me. It's above the board." He says earnestly. "Hot, bubbly spa baths in the afternoon~ gourmet dinners. Cozy white linens and fluffy bathrobes~"
[16:06] <Yanmei> "Say no more!" She said cheerfully. "We still have some time left, and you'll get me really impatient!"
[16:13] <Isaiah> "Oh really?" A bell was ringing; the area would be swarming with gossipy students in a second. So Isaiah merely dived on the chance to tease Yanmei, moving in closer and smirking evilly. "And you can sleep in as long as you like, and the beds will be so warm, that we'll snuggle together for hours~ and at night, we can sit down in front of a roaring fireplace and relax~ I can give you all the massages you like, so you'll feel completely at ease…"
[16:17] <Yanmei> "Infamous ladykiller -and- a cad." Yanmei smirked back at him. "I'm a little impressed? So much for focusing on class today."
[16:19] <Isaiah> "Oh no." Isaiah looks shocked. "If you can't focus on school, I'll have to cancel~"
[16:23] <Yanmei> "Cancel plans to go to class, I hope~"
[16:23] <Isaiah> "Hah. You temptress. No skipping today! We have chemistry and Drama. Come on~"
[16:35] <Isaiah> [The rest of the day went by, but probably not fast enough for poor Yanmei, whose heads were filled with the delights Isaiah promised, no doubt. But before long, they'd be sitting in their apartment… Isaiah mostly ready, of course~ Waiting for someone.]
[16:42] <Isaiah> [Once Marianne had come home (to deliver Isaiah and Yanmei's pay, of course), they were off again, suitcases packed, a bubbly baby girl in Isaiah's arms. And then they were in a certain apartment building, heading towards a certain apartment- Yanmei would have to knock.]
[16:43] * Yanmei did, briefly setting down an overstuffed baby bag. "Hello? It's us!"
[16:45] <Isaiah> ["One moment!" The door opened, revealing Rei.-
[16:48] <Isaiah> [She had changed out of her school uniform into a yellow sweater and a long black skirt. But in her arms was cradled…-
[16:48] <Isaiah> [… A miniature Banshee. Ban-Ban, which Yanmei had seen a long time ago. It was a lot bigger now.-
[16:48] <Isaiah> ["Meimei~ Zaizai~ Lizzie-tan~" Rei cooed. "Hello!"]
[16:51] <Yanmei> Yanmei's face… was suddenly lacking a -lot- of color. She stepped back, in front of Isaiah and Elizabeth, as if subtley shielding them with her body. "R-Rei…?"
[16:51] * Isaiah stared long and hard at Ban-Ban, his eyes wide. "W-What the-"-
[16:52] <Isaiah> ["Please come in!" She walked back into the room. "Meimei, you've met Ban-Ban, right? The little one I found in the tunnels~"]
[16:53] * Yanmei lingered in the doorway, not just following yet. "I… remember. Um? You know we were hoping you would babysit, right?"
[16:54] <Isaiah> [Rei nodded. "I've been looking forward to it. I've even asked Raffy-kun if he'd let me stay over with him for the weekend."-
[16:54] <Isaiah> "You knew about this…?"
[16:57] <Yanmei> "Don't give me that look. I didn't think she'd…!" Yanmei caught hersef. Composure and diplomacy was what was needed for this situation. "Rei? Could we ask one more favor from you?"
[16:57] <Isaiah> ["What is it, Meimei?"]
[17:00] <Yanmei> "We ah… aren't too comfortable with the baby being around pets? Especially if they have energy claws and spit acid and aren't socialized to be around young children?" She stared at Ban-Ban. "Could you maybe do that pocket demension thing with it while Elizabeth's around?"
[17:01] <Isaiah> ["Huh? Oh…" She looked down at Ban-Ban, then back up at Yanmei. "Of course, Meimei. I wasn't going to have Ban-Ban around much. I was only having him out to feed him and teach him his lessons~"-
[17:01] * Isaiah was gaping a little.
[17:03] <Yanmei> "Oh good. Thank you, Rei." She glanced back at the baby, who was undoubtedly completely unaware of the danger in front of her.
[17:03] <Isaiah> ["Daadaa~" Elizabeth was staring at the fascinating purple thing. It was staring back.-
[17:03] <Isaiah> ["Meimei?" Asked Rei.]
[17:04] <Yanmei> "Yes, Rei?"
[17:04] <Isaiah> ["Would you like to listen to Ban-Ban say his own name?"]
[17:04] <Isaiah> "'Ban-Ban'…"
[17:04] <Yanmei> "W-what? Say…?"
[17:05] <Isaiah> ["I'm teaching it English! So one day he can grow up and live his own special life."]
[17:05] <Isaiah> [*him]
[17:06] <Yanmei> "Um." Now Yanmei was staring at the purple thing. "…it talks? In English?"
[17:06] <Isaiah> ["He tries. He isn't very good at it though. Come on, Ban-Ban. Say your name!"-
[17:06] <Isaiah> [Ban-Ban stared at her.-
[17:06] <Isaiah> ["'Baaaaan-baaaaaan'." Said Rei slowly.-
[17:07] <Isaiah> ["Bahn-bahn." Hissed the creature in what was barely recognisable as speech.-
[17:08] <Isaiah> ["Oh, good little Ban-Ban~" She kissed Ban-Ban on the top of the head, and the creature let out a pleased purr. As a treat, she gave it a strip of meat, which it devoured with a little too much gusto. "Would you like to hold him, Meimei?"]
[17:10] * Yanmei stared as the strip of meat messily vanished in a heartbeat. "Ah… maybe another time? But it's impressive. You and, ah… Ban-Ban must have studied very hard together to do that."
[17:11] <Isaiah> "Rei? Is… Is that… Is -it- safe?"-
[17:11] <Isaiah> ["We study every day! And yes, Zaizai. It hasn't hurt anyone in a whole two months!" She held up two fingers and giggled.]
[17:13] <Yanmei> "She said she wouldn't have him out. And the Group Captain will be with them too," Yanmei murmured to Isaiah in a low whisper.
[17:13] <Isaiah> "I… I guess. I trust you, Rei." Said Isaiah.-
[17:15] <Isaiah> [Rei nodded warmly. "Thank you, Zaizai." She focused, a rainbow-edged tear in reality opening up out of nowhere. "Go to sleep for a while, ok, Ban-Ban? I put Mr. Teddy-Weddy in there, and Cuddly 02. You'll have lots of fun." She dropped the banshee into the hole, and sealed it up.]
[17:17] * Yanmei heaved a little sigh of relief. It was gone! It…had a teddy bear? She blinked at the spot where ther rainbow tear had been. "A-anyway? You said you were going over to Guillory's house? Why don't we give you and Elizabeth a lift?"
[17:18] <Isaiah> ["Alright, Meimei!" She walked over to Isaiah and held her arms out to Lizzie. "Come to Auntie Reirei, Lizzie-Tan~"-
[17:19] * Isaiah seemed reluctant for a moment, but the gurgling Lizzie was grinning as Rei approached. He handed her over.-
[17:19] <Isaiah> ["Eee~ My Lizzie-Tan~" Rei nuzzled her, sending Elizabeth into a fit of giggles.]
[17:20] <Yanmei> Aww. After the horror of the last couple of minutes, that was actually kind of cute. She wondered if Isaiah was too nervous to be taking pictures now.
[17:23] * Isaiah had foolishly forgotten his camera. But he was smiling too. Ban-Ban was a horrifyingly ugly creature, but seeing the beautiful little Elizabeth giggling was enough to set him at ease. He glanced over at Yanmei.
[17:24] * Yanmei smiled back at him. "Let's… not tell Isabelle about this later, okay?" she whispered.
[17:24] <Isaiah> "Not a word." he promised solemnly.-
[17:25] <Isaiah> ["Alright. Let's go!" Rei was holding Lizzie firmly, and had fetched her bag.]

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