She Said, "Yanmei-San Is Totally Head Over Heels In Love With You~"

[13:06] <Isaiah> [A quiet Saturday- Isaiah is at his office deep in the Geofront, slowly poring over a book sitting on his desk. It's rather thick, and augmented by several medical journals nearby.-
[13:11] <Isaiah> [There's a knock at the door.-
[13:11] <Isaiah> "?" He glanced up, fully expecting to see Yanmei. "Come in!"-
[13:11] <Isaiah> [Lupe glanced up as well.-
[13:12] <Isaiah> [The door opened, revealing… No Yanmei at all. Someone else. Misato Katsuragi. "Hellooo, Isaiah-kun~ I've brought lunch!" A cold box was tucked under one arm.-
[13:17] <Isaiah> [The woman was all smiles and cheer as she swept in, gleefully placing the box on the desk. It was only a moment later that she realised that they weren't alone.-
[13:18] <Isaiah> ["… Is that a wolf?"]
[13:18] <Isaiah> "Some people keep penguins as pets, others keep apex predators. Dr. Riel has a tiger, you know."
[13:20] <Isaiah> [Misato stared at Lupe. She looked… Uncertain. "Is he tame?"-
[13:20] <Isaiah> [Lupe stared back.-
[13:22] <Isaiah> "No wolf is ever really tame, Misato-san." Said Isaiah cheerfully. "But he's friendly. He has a sore leg, so he's not very violent… But I didn't think you and Lupe would get along."-
[13:23] <Isaiah> ["… Huh? W-What makes you say that?"-
[13:25] <Isaiah> "Wolves and cougars are natural enemies, Misato-san."
[13:25] <Isaiah> ["…" She stared at him.-
[13:26] <Isaiah> ["Did you really just say that?" She leaned over the desk, grabbing his head. "So rude! What's gotten into you today? Where's the cute boy who blushes at the barest glimpse of cleavage? I want him back, he was fun." She pouted. "You're just mean."-
[13:27] <Isaiah> "Ow! Ow, let me go-"-
[13:27] <Isaiah> [She narrowed her eyes at him, and let him go, sitting down in her chair. "Hmph. Why are you in such a good mood anyway?"-
[13:32] * Isaiah smiled, trying to smoothen down his hair. "Here." He grabbed one of the journals and showed them to Misato.-
[13:33] <Isaiah> [She glanced at them. "What am I looking at?"-
[13:34] <Isaiah> "There's a team in Italy that's been working on advanced medical technology that can replace damaged body parts. From small synthetic muscle tissue right up to whole limbs. They've just had a major breakthrough."-
[13:35] <Isaiah> [Misato peered at the article curiously for a minute, then placed it back on the table. "That's good, but how does that affect you?"-
[13:35] <Isaiah> "Isn't… It obvious?"-
[13:36] <Isaiah> [Misato… blinked. She looked over at Lupe.-
[13:36] <Isaiah> "… No, I-I mean, you didn't know about Yanmei's injury?"-
[13:37] <Isaiah> ["… -Oh-."-
[13:37] <Isaiah> "Yeah." Said Isaiah with a chuckle. "In six or seven months, she'll be able to get something done about it permanently. She'll be good as new."-
[13:40] <Isaiah> ["Oh, so it's for Yanmei-san's sake, huh." Said Misato. "That's a pretty good coincidence. I wanted to speak about her today~"-
[13:40] <Isaiah> "Oh?"-
[13:40] <Isaiah> ["Of course. Your heart will never be mine so long as she lives, will it~?" She grinned a catlike grin, leaning forward to peer at him.-
[13:41] <Isaiah> "…" Isaiah screwed up his face, staring her in the eye, trying desperately not to blush. He failed. "Bluh."-
[13:45] <Isaiah> ["Hmhmhm~" She reached into her box, taking out a plate of sandwiches, placing them in front of him. She grabbed another for herself.-
[13:49] <Isaiah> "Thanks." He took a sandwich, nibbling at the corner. "So what did you want to talk about?"-
[13:49] <Isaiah> ["You and Yanmei-san have a very curious relationship."-
[13:49] <Isaiah> [Neither of them noticed that the door was a little ajar…]
[13:50] <Yanmei> On the other side of the door, a mysterious violet-haired figure seethed silently. 'Your heart will never be mine,' huh? So that was her game! Stupid Katsuragi… clenched ever-tighter in each hand was a cellophane-wrapped fried noodle sandwich bought from the cafeteria. But she ignored them for now.
[13:53] * Isaiah was quiet, peering at Misato curiously.-
[13:59] <Isaiah> ["I mean, it's sort of weird." She wolfed down a sandwich, Lupe watching hungrily. "Yanmei says the two of you are just friends, but that's not really the vibe I get~"-
[14:03] <Isaiah> "Well…" He nibbled on his sandwich thoughtfully. "I… I wouldn't describe us as just friends either. At least, not in the sense that we're two people who hang out every so often or talk or the like. We're… Closer." He ended lamely.-
[14:04] <Isaiah> ["I couldn't tell." Said Misato sarcastically. "She watched your bedside every day after the attack~ It was so cute. Normal friends probably don't do that too much, huh? So what -are- you two like?"-
[14:13] <Isaiah> "We're…" Isaiah shifted a little uncomfortably. "People who can trust each other with our lives and our souls implicitly. We know we'll never try to destroy each other, and any hurts we do inflict are outweighed by all the good we bring to each other's lives." He smiled. "We love each other. Just not in the way you expect."
[14:22] <Yanmei> A satisfied nod from the other side. Way to say it!
[14:30] <Isaiah> ["Like that, huh." Misato leans forward and smirks. "No kissing?"-
[14:30] <Isaiah> "A-A little, but nothing too big…"-
[14:30] <Isaiah> ["No touching?"-
[14:30] <Isaiah> "What? No…"-
[14:31] <Isaiah> ["Do you -want- there to be touching?"-
[14:31] <Isaiah> "T-That's none of your business, and really invasive-"-
[14:31] <Isaiah> ["No sleeping together or -anything-?"-
[14:31] <Isaiah> "Only platonically!"-
[14:32] <Isaiah> ["Blah." Misato frowned. "That's not fair."-
[14:33] <Isaiah> "W-what do you mean?"-
[14:37] <Isaiah> ["Well, it just doesn't seem like a very… Smart thing. Two people like yourself who are very close, but haven't tied the knot… Are you gonna spend the rest of your lives like that? What happens if one of you falls in love with someone else, what happens to the other person?"-
[14:37] <Isaiah> "Oh, er… This problem again…"
[14:38] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei stared at the hallway floor now, thinking.
[14:40] <Isaiah> ["'This problem again'? So you've had to think about it before."-
[14:40] <Isaiah> "Yeah… I-It sort of came up a long time ago. And we discussed it a little in the love hotel."-
[14:41] <Isaiah> ["Yeah? What did you come up with?"-
[14:42] <Isaiah> "W-We considered getting married after, er, 5 or so years." He said sheepishly.-
[14:45] <Isaiah> ["Married, huh." Misato frowned, leaning one arm against the desk. "Do you want to get married, Isaiah-kun?"-
[14:45] <Isaiah> "Yeah…"-
[14:46] <Isaiah> ["Family dreams too, stuff like that?"-
[14:46] <Isaiah> "T-That's right."-
[14:47] <Isaiah> ["So… You're not satisfied with the relationship right now?" Asked Misato.-
[14:47] <Isaiah> "N-No, I am. I really am. It's a wonderful relationship."-
[14:48] <Isaiah> ["Sure, but you wouldn't mind it going a step further, would you?"-
[14:48] <Isaiah> "W-Why are you so curious…?"-
[14:48] <Isaiah> ["Ah, you're being evasive, so that must mean you do!"-
[14:48] <Isaiah> "W-Well, I wouldn't be averse…" He mumbled.
[14:51] <Yanmei> A worried look crossed the eavesdropper's face… followed by a grimace. Damn it, what was she making him admit?
[15:14] <Isaiah> [Misato grinned. She almost certainly let out a 'ohohoho'. "You know, I think that's possible~ You're just unlucky, Isaiah-kun."-
[15:14] <Isaiah> "Hm? What do you mean?"-
[15:14] <Isaiah> ["Ohohoho." She couldn't resist this time. "Let's be honest, shall we~? Yanmei-san is totally head over heels in love with you~ <3"-
[15:14] * Isaiah eyed Misato cautiously.
[12:05] <Yanmei> Damn it…. what was she saying?! One of the sandwiches met a messy end in a clenched fist. Stop saying stuff when people aren't even around to say yay or nay, you cow!!
[12:12] <Isaiah> ["What, you don't believe me?" Asked Misato smugly. "I can tell, you know~"-
[12:13] <Isaiah> "How…?"-
[12:13] <Isaiah> ["Hohoho. A girl like that is really bad at hiding her jealousy, Isaiah-kun~ Haven't you ever noticed what she's like when you're being coddled by pretty women?"]
[12:17] <Yanmei> A silent scoff. Yanmei folded her arms, and looked away. Showed what -she- knew.
[12:18] <Isaiah> "Are… Are you sure?" Asked Isaiah a little timidly. "I thought she was just being protective."-
[12:21] <Isaiah> ["Pretty sure. Like I said, you're just unlucky, Isaiah-kun. It's obvious that she's in love with you and wants you for herself, but…~" She chewed down another sandwich. "She's probably scared. She might be afraid that romance will complicate things too much. Ooooor she's afraid you might grow tired of her and hurt her. She might've been hurt in the past, you know, and women like that tend not to be too quick to rush into another romance."-
[12:21] <Isaiah> [Lupe, still lying on the floor, lifted his head up, snuffling curiously.]
[12:24] * Yanmei pretended not to notice that she was dripping noodles and special sauce. She frowned deeply to herself.
[12:31] <Isaiah> "Scared?" Asked Isaiah. There was a strange note in his voice. "B-but… But I wouldn't hurt her, Misato-san." He said, sadly. "I want to make her happy and protect her. If she asked me to buy her flowers everyday I'd do it without a problem. She's the love of my life, Misato-san; I can't look at anyone else the same way. S-Surely she knows that, right?"
[12:34] <Yanmei> Why did he have to believe her so easily? Yanmei wilted a little bit, even if only for a moment. Now she was starting to feel bad… and she hadn't even done anything!
[12:42] <Isaiah> ["It's not your fault." Said Misato. "It's just something you have to deal with, you know, Isaiah-kun? A girl's heart is a fragile thing." She leaned forward. "But you -do- want her to feel the same way though, don't you?"-
[12:49] <Isaiah> "Well…" Isaiah stared down at his plate. "She's told me that I'm special to her, Misato-san. Really special- more than any lover. I dunno." He picked up a sandwich and started to dismantle it piece my piece. "This all seems like it's bringing up old problems we've dealt with. In truth, it would make me really happy if I were that special person to the exclusion to all else- if we were married, or had a family, it'd be like a dream come true. But it isn't my place to ask that, Misato-san." He finished dismantling his sandwich and worked on the next. "She shouldn't have to be with me like that because she feels it's her duty, or she's afraid of hurting me if she doesn't. She should choose it because she genuinely wants it, and that means the best I can do is wait and see."-
[12:49] <Isaiah> ["Eh… Really?" Asked Misato, a trace of disappointment in her voice. "Even if that means she chooses someone else and leaves you lonely?"-
[12:50] <Isaiah> "Yeah…"
[12:54] <Yanmei> "…" That was right. They had talked about this sort of thing before. Good old Isaiah…
[13:03] <Isaiah> ["…"-
[13:07] <Isaiah> [The sound of a crash as Misato slammed a fist against the desk. Lupe, who had been steadily stalking towards the door, jumped and turned around to stare at the angered Misato. "Don't be an idiot! Yanmei's happiness this, Yanmei's happiness that- you're a boy, aren't you? You need to be more active in getting what you want." She sighed, folding her arms. "If you keep thinking like that, you're going to end up an old, lonely man, and even worse, it doesn't matter if you make Yanmei happy because by then you'll be too bitter at her to enjoy even that."-
[13:07] <Isaiah> "W-W-What? That-that's not true-"-
[13:10] <Isaiah> ["It is! Love can't all be selfless promises, you know. Sometimes you have to be selfish for it to work at all. You're both idiots." Sighed Misato. "Yanmei's so stupid she doesn't realise what a catch she's landed, and you're too stupid to realise that trying to 'make her happy' like that is just going to ruin both of your hearts."]
[13:17] * Yanmei …sulked. Why was she here listening to this? She should just barge in and say something! But what could she possibly say to that? She just stood there instead, feeling dumb for letting herself slip into this situation in the first place.
[13:26] <Isaiah> "W-What do I do?"-
[13:30] <Isaiah> ["Talk to her. Seriously, what do you two do with all that time? Always dodging these problems…" She sighed, the hypocrisy of the statement flying over her head spectacularly. "You need to tell her what you just told me, except be more manly about it. Don't tell her things like 'But it's ok if you don't want to', because that just makes you look like she owns you and can do whatever she wants. You need to tell her that you're not willing to wait forever, and if she doesn't act… Well, there are plenty of others around."-
[13:30] <Isaiah> "B-but that's not true!" Said Isaiah sulkily. "Y-You don't understand our relationship at all…"
[13:34] <Yanmei> Did… it really look like she was trying to own him? The sandwich was finally getting to her. Slowly, she trid to dig in one of her pockets for a napkin or tissue or something.
[13:38] <Isaiah> ["You don't either. No one does." Said Misato loftily. "Let me ask you a question~"-
[13:38] <Isaiah> "… What?"-
[13:39] <Isaiah> ["Can you ever picture yourself with someone besides Yanmei?"-
[13:39] <Isaiah> "N-No, you know I can't…"-
[13:39] <Isaiah> ["What about her, do you think you can picture her with anyone else?"-
[13:40] <Isaiah> "I… I don't know, maybe? I'd have to ask her."-
[13:40] <Isaiah> ["Urgh." Misato frowned. "Listen to yourself. Can you honestly look me in the eye and say you can imagine Yanmei feeling stronger about anyone else?"-
[13:41] <Isaiah> "I-I… I-I don't… Think so…" He admitted. "B-But that's just a time thing, surely?"
[13:47] <Yanmei> Time? What did that mean, exactly? What point was she trying to make? Yanmei's head was beginning to spin.
[13:53] <Isaiah> ["A time thing? Well sure, if you give -anything- enough time you're going to find a different result. But here's the thing: you can't see anyone else but her in your future, and you have trouble seeing anyone else. You obviously make each other happy, you protect each other… The two of you are obviously in love. There's really no reason -not- to take your relationship to the ultimate level!"]
[13:56] <Yanmei> Memories of the love hotel. What the hell.
[14:01] <Isaiah> "…"-
[14:01] <Isaiah> [Misato stared at him.-
[14:01] <Isaiah> "You… You really think so?"-
[14:01] <Isaiah> [She grinned. "Uh-huh~"-
[14:02] <Isaiah> "… W-Well, I guess it's something to talk to her about. But." He looked up at Misato. "I'm not doing it like you said. I'll do it in my own way."
[14:05] * Yanmei let her shoulders slump a little, relieved. His own way. That, she could handle.
[14:11] <Isaiah> ["Fine~ I can still give you some tips though, Isaiah-kun~"-
[14:11] <Isaiah> [… At that moment, a grey-haired snout appeared in the gap between the door. Yanmei would find herself staring at a pair of yellow eyes.]
[14:13] <Yanmei> "…." Crap. Discovered. Good boy… she began to back away slowly, quietly…
[14:13] <Isaiah> [Lupe had his tongue hanging out. He started to nudge the door open, heading for Yanmei. His eyes were on her sandwich.]
[14:16] <Yanmei> ….diversion! Her intact sandwich instantly became unwrapped and and tossed in the hungry wolf's direction… while she turned tail and began to flee!
[14:18] <Isaiah> [Lupe immediately began to wolf it down.-
[14:19] <Isaiah> "Lupe? What are you-?"-
[14:19] <Isaiah> [Yanmei was allowed to flee…]
[14:20] <Yanmei> She ducked into the closest ladies room, to catch her breath. Th-that had been close! Eventually, she made her way to a sink, and stared at herself in the mirror intently.-
[14:22] <Yanmei> She didn't know what she had expected to find. The confusion in her head was reflected clearly enough on her face as well. She stared a few minutes longer, and then sighed, reaching for the faucet. The least she could do was wash off the evidence of her would-be lunch date.

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