Suzanne S Surgery

[16:28] <Minaplo> [Although the operation was scheduled for today, Surov and Kenzo had requested that Suzanne be brought in yesterday, and kept in the Medical wing, where a brief outline of the operation was given, and Suzanne given a bed.-
[16:36] <Minaplo> [She had been her usual plucky self, seemingly waving off any worries or discomforts, but now…-
[16:37] <Minaplo> [Now the surgery was only a few hours away, and the strain was starting to show. She became nervous, complained of stomachache, and grew worried if Raphael or Rei (who was, of course, there) left the room.-
[16:37] <Minaplo> ["It'll be ok, right?" She asked quietly, the fifth time she'd done so.]
[16:44] <Raphael> "Of course, little one. You've got some of the best doctors around looking after you." Raphael smiled at her from his seat alongside her bed. "Doctor Kenzo was the one who took such good care of Rei and Misato when they were hurt. You can trust him."
[16:50] <Minaplo> ["Okay." She smiled, nervously.-
[16:51] <Minaplo> ["Um, Raffy? You guys'll be there for me, right? To see me off and see me wake up?"]
[16:53] * Raphael leans over to give Suzie a quick kiss on the head. "I will. I've got a whole three days off to keep an eye on you. And I'm sure Rei won't be going too far either."
[17:28] <Minaplo> [Rei nodded. "I'll spend every second I can with you, Suzie."-
[17:29] <Minaplo> ["P-Pfft." Suzie smirked, a little bit of her old fire coming back. "You should spend more time with your Al-lly-chan-chan~"-
[17:30] <Minaplo> [Rei reddened a little, folding her arms. "H-hmph. You're a terrible patient. Maybe I will, and leave you all alone…"]
[17:36] <Raphael> "If we keep her here long enough, the Major will probably come looking for his little kitten." Raphael whispered conspiratorially.
[17:37] <Minaplo> ["Oooh~"-
[17:37] <Minaplo> ["You're both terrible." Rei huffed.]
[17:38] <Raphael> "You still love us." Raphael smirked.
[17:41] <Minaplo> ["Not as much as she wuvs Ally-chan~"-
[17:42] <Minaplo> [Rei blushed, giving them both an utterly disarmed dark look.-
[17:42] <Minaplo> ["But… Raffy. I- um, I have a favour." Murmured Suzanne, becoming a little nervous again.]
[17:43] <Raphael> "What do you need, sweetheart?"
[17:43] <Minaplo> ["Um… Is it ok if you bring Raffybot in…? T-To look after me too?"]
[17:47] <Raphael> "Raffy…?" There's only the slightest of - at first, somewhat confused - pauses, but understanding arrives rather quickly.-
[17:48] <Raphael> "… o-of course, Suzie." He says, keeping whatever he feels about this hidden under an even smile. "Whatever you want."
[17:49] <Minaplo> ["A-And Misato too?"]
[17:50] <Raphael> "She promised she'd be here before the surgery starts."
[17:51] <Minaplo> ["Good."-
[17:51] <Minaplo> ["T-that's only so you won't be too lonely." She mumbled.]
[17:52] <Raphael> "Of course. It's very nice of you to think of me."
[17:59] <Minaplo> [Suzanne smiled.-
[17:59] <Minaplo> ["How long until the start now?"]
[18:07] * Raphael makes a show of absently checking his watch, as if he had not been stealing glances at the clock hanging over Suzie's head for the past hour. "Hmm… can't be too long now. Twenty minutes, maybe. I imagine Doctor Kenzo will be here shortly."
[18:13] <Minaplo> ["Alright."-
[18:13] <Minaplo> [She took a deep breath- it was a little like a shudder. "It'll be ok, right?"-
[18:19] <Minaplo> [The minutes passed, Suzie slowly becoming more nervous, fidgeting and unable to properly read her manga.-
[18:24] <Minaplo> [And eventually, the door opened, and Doctor Kenzo entered. "Good evening, Miss Ayanami, Mister Guillory, Miss Sartre."]
[18:29] * Raphael gives the man a nod. "Doctor."-
[18:29] <Raphael> "We're ready to go, then?"
[18:34] <Minaplo> ["That's right."-
[18:34] <Minaplo> [Suzanne let out a tiny little breath.]
[18:34] * Raphael gives her hand a silent, gentle squeeze.
[18:37] <Minaplo> ["I'm scared." She admitted, averting her look.]
[18:39] <Raphael> "I know. And that's ok, remember?" He smiles. "We'll keep an eye on you."
[18:43] <Minaplo> ["O-okay."-
[18:43] <Minaplo> [They shifted her to her trolley, and began the slow-seeming push to the operating theatre. She began to let out small terrified murmurs as they went.]
[18:46] * Raphael doesn't let go of her hand as they begin the journey through the halls. "So." He says brightly. What's the first thing you're going to do when we have those legs of yours working again, little one?"
[18:46] <Raphael> "What's*
[18:52] <Minaplo> ["C-Climb." She said, slightly frantic in her tone. "C-Climb up t-trees…"]
[18:59] <Raphael> "Is that right?" He grins. He makes a thoughtful sound. "… You know, with robot legs you're well on your way to being a cyborg samurai pilot. That's just the sort of thing I'd expect to see in one of your mangas."
[19:04] <Minaplo> ["H-heheh. M-Maybe I should have them give me a cyborg arm, too."-
[19:09] <Minaplo> [Rei smiled, standing on the other side of the trolley. "Like James!"]
[19:12] <Raphael> "Do you want me to talk to Lieutenant Rurikovich and see if we can get you some more training when you've recovered?"
[19:50] <Minaplo> ["Uh-huh…"-
[19:50] <Minaplo> [Moving through a pair of doors, now. Down another section of hallway.-
[19:50] <Minaplo> [Stopping before a pair of closed doors…-
[19:51] <Minaplo> ["Alright, Suzie." Said Doctor Kenzo. "It's time to say goodbye for now."-
[19:51] <Minaplo> ["…" Suzie shook a little, clearly afraid. "R…"]
[20:05] <Raphael> The smile remains intact, but if one was to look closely they'd see that he seems distinctly unwilling to let go of Suzie's hand as he pulls her into a warm, comforting hug. "We'll be right here, Suzie. Everything's going to be ok."
[20:07] <Minaplo> [She clung to him as though scared of drowning, her little body trembling, the sound of something close to a sob bubbling up in her throat. "R-Raffy… D-Dad…"]
[20:15] <Raphael> She would feel a little tremor of surprise run through Raphael's body for a moment before his hug redoubled, seeming to swallow her up in safety and warmth and love.-
[20:15] <Raphael> "It's ok, sweetheart." He says gently, running a hand through her hair and letting her trembling subside. "It's ok."
[20:19] <Minaplo> ["O… Okay." She swallowed, trying, trying her hardest, to stop the shaking. "I-I'll… I'll see you, ok?"]
[20:20] <Raphael> "Of course you will. We'll all be here the moment you wake up."
[20:23] <Minaplo> [Rei took her hand, giving it a tight squeeze- and kissing Suzie on the top of the head. "I'll be over before you know it."-
[20:23] <Minaplo> ["I…" Suzanne took a deep breath, and although clearly, -obviously- not wanting to, she started to lay back in the bed, breathing deeply, slowly, keeping in control. "I love you, b-both of you…"]
[20:31] <Raphael> "I love you too, Suzie." He smiles, forcing himself to let her go and, with a great deal of effort, take a step back from the gurney. "Take good care of her, Doctor."
[20:34] <Minaplo> ["Don't you worry." Said Kenzo, smiling. "She's in good hands, trust me." He took the trolley and gently pushed it through the doors. "The best hands. You know, back in Tokyo, they call me 'The Doctor with the Magic Hands'." He said to Suzanne. "Isn't that a stupid nickname?"-
[20:34] <Minaplo> ["I-It is pretty dumb…"-
[20:34] <Minaplo> [The doors closed behind them.-
[20:34] <Minaplo> ["… Little Suzie's so brave." Murmured Rei.]
[20:38] <Raphael> "Yeah." He murmurs, hands clenching and unclenching slowly. "She is."
[20:44] <Minaplo> ["C'mon." She took Raphael's hand, gripping it tightly. "Let's go to the theatre."]
[20:50] * Raphael nods, his own grip just as tight as he follows Rei's lead down the hall in silence.
[20:59] <Minaplo> [Fortunately for Raphael, the people he called are already there- Mana's there, standing behind the Raffybot AC Suit, which is standing right up against the window, a giant mechanical paw placed against the glass. Misato herself is standing by the door, her face worried- which she quickly tries to hide as Raphael enters.]
[16:02] * Raphael has managed to bring his own worries under control in the few minutes it's taken them to reach the theatre - the small, tight smile he gives the Major is brilliantly, ruthlessly calm. "You made it."
[16:10] <Minaplo> ["Did you doubt me?" She asked, giving him an encouraging smile as she takes his hand, entwining her fingers with his. "I'm pretty fond of Suzie-chan too…"]
[16:18] <Raphael> "I know, I know." He lets out a breath, just the slightest hint of a a tremor in it. He draws himself up a little taller - for whatever that's worth with Shinji's stature - and dives deep into professionalism. "I knew you'd be here of course, Major."
[16:19] <Minaplo> ["For Suzanne's sake, naturally."]
[16:20] <Raphael> "Naturally."
[16:24] <Minaplo> [Misato beamed, and rested her head against Raphael's shoulder, leading him over to a seat.-
[16:24] <Minaplo> [Mana, to her credit, wasn't staring jealously, but she was giving Raphael a small smile instead.-
[16:25] <Minaplo> [Raphael could see the operating room. Suzanne, being transferred to the table, Kenzo still being supportive and encouraging; Surov, preparing several instruments, his mechadendrites tactfully hidden.]
[16:54] * Raphael returns the smile, but right now he's not present enough to consider how she must feel about the scene. All his attention is on the operating room below, and his hand is painfully tight around Misato's.
[17:32] <Minaplo> ["I… Uh, I brought you something to drink." Mumbled Misato next to him. "Y'know… At times like these, things can get tense, and your throat can get pretty dry. I-It's only chilled water…"-
[17:35] <Minaplo> [Surov had finished his preparations, and moved over to Suzanne to prepare the anaesthetic. Suzanne said something to him, her eyes darting to somewhere in his coat. Surov's expression remained mostly unchanged- only a single eyebrow rose, and he asked something. Suzie nodded. A single mechadendrite snaked out of Surov's coat, swaying back and forth like a charmed snake. Suzie stared at it.]
[17:39] <Raphael> "Right, thank you, Major." He says distantly, still watching the scene. "… Does he really -have- to use those damned things? He couldn't just stick to his hands for five minutes?"
[17:40] <Minaplo> ["Maybe." Murmurs Misato. "I-I dunno much, honestly…"-
[17:43] <Minaplo> [The mechandendrite sneaks out of view, and then curls slowly around Surov's other shoulder and reappears, before sliding away again and appearing by Surov's right hip. Suzanne eyes it whereever it appears, and smiles a little- bizarrely, this seems to be a very strange game of hide and seek. Surov keeps this distraction going as he takes Suzie's biometrics and configures the anaesthetic for her body.-
[17:46] <Minaplo> [Before long, the anaesthetic is ready, and Surov prepares the machine, and applies it. Suzanne lasts for about three seconds before she stills, her eyes closing. Surov turns to Kenzo, who nods- and the operation finally begins.]
[17:56] * Raphael swallows, not even the overwhelming confusion about that little game (?) lasting long. He lets out a small sigh. "Misato, there was… Y-you were saying something about water?"
[17:58] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, here you go." Said Misato, reaching into a handbag and taking out a bottle of water for Raphael.-
[17:59] <Minaplo> [Rei sits down as well, taking a deep breath. She looks mostly composed, but her eyes seem a bit downcast and her hands are slowly wringing each other.-
[17:59] <Minaplo> [Mana sits down, a little awkwardly. "Raffybot, you ok over there?"-
[18:00] <Minaplo> [The unit's voice modulator has been turned way down. "Raffy-2 must stand vigil."]
[18:05] <Raphael> "… Thank you, Raffy-2." Raphael says mildly, taking a long pull from the water bottle.-
[18:06] <Raphael> "And thank you for bringing him over, Mana. Suzie was very keen to have him around."
[18:07] <Minaplo> ["I thought she would be. She loves speaking with him." Said Mana with a smile.-
[18:08] <Minaplo> ["Although Raffy-2's body is titanium and surovite alloy, he, too, has a heart." Says the AC Suit, its voice slow and deep.-
[18:09] <Minaplo> [Rei smiles a little wider. "Lots of people care for Suzie, Raffy. We're all happy to watch over her."]
[18:17] <Raphael> "So it seems." Another gulp of water. Water is safe. Concentrating on water doesn't let him focus on Kenzo arranging the scalpels several feet below.
[18:23] <Minaplo> [The preparations proceed swiftly. There's only Surov, Kenzo and a single nurse in here…-
[18:25] <Minaplo> [Surov's mechadendrites are all in the open, now, all four of them, but he's also using his hands. He's monitoring her biometrics, preparing the implants, arranging his tools, preparing the surgical area…]
[18:42] <Minaplo> [The surgery itself took about four hours.-
[18:44] <Minaplo> [Raphael would have to admit, at least, that the mechadendrites were precise. Making the incision was easy- Kenzo could do that. But selectively identifying, precisely destroying, then grafting replacement muscles and nerves? Those steps alone took about three hours, and each second of it was excruciatingly precise. It was like- to use a Raphael-appropriate example- like the held breath of a sniper about to take his shot, stretched out.-
[18:47] <Minaplo> [The last forty-five minutes was focused on sealing the injury. Kenzo checking for any unexpected or accidental damage, concluding there was none, with which Surov concurred; Surov checking the status of the grafts one last time, and finding no problems; Surov peeling her skin back together, then Kenzo applying the biogel.-
[18:47] <Minaplo> [The breath was released.-
[18:47] <Minaplo> [Surov and Kenzo shook hands, and Kenzo gave Raphael and the others the thumbs-up.]
[16:58] <@Raphael> A sharply released breath from Raphael comes as a counterpoint to the more figurative one and he gives Kenzo a nod and a brilliant smile as he finds his feet - wincing fractionally at the sudden pins and needles in his legs. "She's ok." He mutters, more to himself than anyone else.
[17:05] <Minaplo> ["Better than ok." Said Misato, rising with Raphael. She wraps an arm around his waist. She was grinning too, and was breathing a little freer now.]
[17:10] <@Raphael> The change in Raphael would be similarly noticeable, especially to the one who'd spent nearly four hours holding his hand. A shocking amount of tension seems to have drained out of him with that one gesture from the doctor.-
[17:11] <@Raphael> "Should we be down in recovery?" He asks, eyeing the door, "She'll want us to be there…"
[17:20] <Minaplo> ["Yeah. Let's get down there for her."]
[17:24] * @Raphael nods once, glancing over to the others scattered around the booth. He could admit that he'd hardly been talkative over the past few hours, but right now the gratitude on his face - for all of them - is obvious. "You're all coming too, I hope? She'd want you to be there, and so do we."
[17:27] <Minaplo> [Rei nodded. "Of course, Raffy."-
[17:28] <Minaplo> [Mana smiled, patting Raffybot's arm. "I wouldn't miss it for the world. Isn't that right, Raffybot?"-
[17:29] <Minaplo> ["My vigil has ended." Rumbled the AC Suit. "Now comes glorious celebrations."]
[17:33] * @Raphael chuckles. "A good way of looking at it. Let's see if we can find our way down there, hmmm?"
[17:39] <Minaplo> [They walked down to the ground floor, and before long, Kenzo appeared to guide them back to Suzie's bedroom, where the girl was now, asleep still; Surov was there to meet them.-
[17:45] <Minaplo> ["I'm happy to say that the operation was a complete success." Said Kenzo, the man looking tired but happy. "No complications or problems. She'll need some routine physical therapy, but she should be able to walk and run within two to three weeks."]
[17:53] <@Raphael> "Three weeks…" Raphael repeats, shaking his head disbelievingly. The number had been quoted to him by plenty of sources leading up to the operation, but it still stunned him. "You seem to have done my family yet another huge service, Doctor Kenzo." He offers out his hand.
[17:54] <Minaplo> [Kenzo took the hand and shook it firmly, laughing humbly. "I'm just doing my job, Brigadier General."]
[17:58] <@Raphael> "All the same." He smiles… but of course, that was the easy part. Raphael turns, biting down on his pride, and holds out his hand to the other doctor. "My thanks to you as well, Surov. Sincerely."
[18:03] <Minaplo> [Surov stared at Raphael, and slowly reaches out to take Raphael's hand, shaking it. "You're welcome."]
[18:06] * @Raphael nods. The shake doesn't last long - neither one of them seems comfortable with it - and soon Raphael's hands are back in his pockets, and his eyes turned back towards Suzie. "Do you know how long it will take her to wake up?"
[18:09] <Minaplo> ["Probably an hour to two hours. It's a fairly intensive procedure." Said Kenzo. "So don't be alarmed if it takes a little longer."]
[18:12] <@Raphael> "Of course, of course." He nods. "… it's ok if we wait with her, though?"
[18:41] <Minaplo> ["Of course."]
[20:50] <Minaplo> [And so they waited.-
[20:53] <Minaplo> [Not just waited, of course. Mana ran off to find them drinks, Misato made small talk and kept by Raffy's side; whilst Rei seemed almost oddly jumpy and kept fretting and fussing over sleeping Suzie.-
[20:53] <Minaplo> [Raffybot took everything in stride, and was overall a calming influence.-
[21:07] <Minaplo> [But eventually, Suzanne's deeply sound sleep would start to thin- she'd let out a sleepy groan, roll over, and rub her eyes.]
[21:20] <@Raphael> … and soon enough, her eyes would settle on the figure who's already sitting by her side, lightly clasping her hand. Raphael's attention has never quite left her since they entered the room, even as he participated in the small talk with the others, but now she'd find him paying attention to nobody but her.-
[21:20] <@Raphael> "Good morning, little one."
[21:24] <Minaplo> ["Mmmnh…"-
[21:25] <Minaplo> [The room was quiet as well, everyone having suddenly turned to look at Suzanne. She reflexively squeezed Raphael's hand, still rubbing at her eyes with the other one. She yawned, and opened her eyes wide enough (squinting mostly) to look at Raphael.-
[21:25] <Minaplo> ["…Morning, Raffy." She mumbled, shaking her head. "M'bit fuzzy. Water?"]
[21:39] <@Raphael> "Of course." He murmurs, letting go of her hand long enough to pour a glass of water from the jug alongside her bed. He offers it to her, helping her hold it if she needed. "Don't drink it too quickly…"
[21:40] <Minaplo> [She took the glass, a little unsteadily, and drank it slowly, not sipping, but not gulping.-
[21:40] <Minaplo> ["T… The operation's over right? D-Did it go ok?" She suddenly blurted out, all at once, as though scared to stretch the sentence out.]
[21:44] <@Raphael> "Three weeks." Raphael says, giving her a broad grin. "That's how long Doctor Kenzo thinks it'll take you to be up and moving."
[21:52] <Minaplo> ["T… Three weeks?" She squeaked out, her voice small.-
[21:53] <Minaplo> [Her hands shook, and she took another glass of water, quickly. "I-I'm gonna… G-Gonna walk in three weeks?!"]
[21:53] <@Raphael> "That's what he says. Perhaps a bit more or a bit less, but he seemed very confident."
[21:56] <Minaplo> ["Three…"-
[21:57] <Minaplo> ["You'll be able to run around again, Suzie-chan." Said Rei, beaming. "And climb trees. I'll be with you to do it, too, if you want me to."-
[21:59] <Minaplo> ["Three weeks." Suzie breathed out, her eyes wide, as though scarcely able to believe it.-
[22:02] <Minaplo> [She ripped back her covers, and stared at her leg. The leg that had been damaged and useless ever since that Banshee had cut her beneath Paris-2…-
[22:03] <Minaplo> [She moved it, pulling it towards her a little. It was clumsy and awkward, but her leg moved, her knee bending. Suzie gasped.-
[22:03] <Minaplo> ["It… it…"-
[22:03] <Minaplo> [… And then Suzie started to cry. "I-it w-works…"]
[22:06] * @Raphael pulls her into a hug just in time to hide a tear or two of his own. More than anyone else, he understands how she feels right now. He's watched her struggle, fight, adapt and grow to try and live her life around a single wounded limb. He's watched the pain it caused her, even though she was too stubborn to complain. He understands.-
[22:07] <@Raphael> "It does." He murmurs.
[22:18] <Minaplo> [She threw herself into his embrace, sobbing uncontrollably, clutching at his shirt. Now that the road of recovery was in front of her, a road she could truly walk down…-
[22:18] <Minaplo> [Years of hiding and silencing the pain and anger and sadness began to break like a dam. Suzanne cried, because she didn't need to hide it anymore.-
[22:19] <Minaplo> [And she wasn't alone. Nor was Raphael. Rei was there too, to join the hug, as was Misato, ruffling the girl's hair, and Mana to put a hand on her shoulder- all whilst Raffy-2 watched on.]
[22:32] * @Raphael just holds her, allowing her to let go of all that hurt without complicating it with words; Suzanne doesn't need those, what she needs are the people around her, not related by blood but joined in a way that's become just as strong.-
[22:32] <@Raphael> Her family.

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