Thine Be Like A Joy And Pleasure Peace Enjoyment Love And Pl

[16:12] <Raphael> Christmas morning in Tokyo-2…-
[16:13] <Raphael> The clock by the bed read 5:07. Dim morning light was already beginning to filter through the windowblinds, illuminating the scene within. The room that had been so carefully arranged the day before was now littered with clothes. The bed that had been so carefully made was now a mess of tangled sheets, all twisted around the two still figures lying against one another.-
[16:13] <Raphael> Raphael Guillory didn’t sleep much at the best of times, but the unfamiliar presence of a second tossing and turning body sleeping next to him hadn’t helped much. Neither had those niggling worries, already beginning to resurface.-
[16:13] <Raphael> Strung haphazardly over the end of the bed, his cartoon self watched from within its garish neckwear prison. Its big-eyed stare seemed almost disapproving. As he’d been doing for the past hour, Raphael stared right back.
[16:17] <Misato‘> [What would Suzanne think, if she could see him now? What would Rei think? What would -Marianne- think?-
[16:20] <Misato`> There was a groggy groan from the other side of the bed. The weight that dwelled, even vaguely, against his back started to shift as his bed partner woke.-
[16:20] <Misato`> [… Then, those twisted, tangled sheets were rapidly pulled off of him in a startling moment as said bed partner hit the floor with a thunk.]
[16:23] * Raphael jerks out of whatever daze of thought he’d been lost in, rolling over to face the edge of the bed. "… uh… Captain?"
[16:25] * Misato‘ was quite gone! She was on the floor in a cocoon made of the dislodged sheets, her face covered with her hands. "Mff."
[16:29] * Raphael sighs gently, flipping onto his back again to stare up at the ceiling. "… Like that, eh?"
[16:31] * Misato` sat up now. Her hair was quite the mess. She rubbed at her eyes wearily, and looked over at him.-
[16:31] <Misato`> She groaned.
[16:32] <Raphael> "… Yeah." Raphael says quietly.
[16:33] <Misato`> "I don’t think I drank -that- much." Says Misato sulkily.
[16:40] <Raphael> "I'm fairly sure I had more than you, at least."
[16:46] <Misato‘> "What were we thinking?"
[16:48] <Raphael> "I don’t think we were." He mutters, looking over at her. "… What happens now?"
[16:49] <Misato‘> "I’m going to have a bath." Said Misato with finality. "A long one. And then we are going to have breakfast."
[16:54] <Raphael> "…" He watches her quietly for a moment, and whether it's the hangover or the lack of sleep he's unable to hide the sudden conflicting emotions. Still, he manages to nod. "Of course, Captain." He says, easing himself up from the bed to begin the search for pants.
[16:56] * Misato‘ stands up, shooting Raphael a suspicious glance as she pulls those bedsheets tighter around herself. It’s essentially a futile gesture, but it makes her more comfortable.-
[16:57] <Misato‘> [Before long, he is alone in his room, the faint sound of rushing water audible.]
[17:05] * Raphael is still looking a little messy as exits his room a few minutes later - not much to be done about that without time for a bath of his own - but he’s found a clean pair of jeans and a neat polo shirt to at least look respectable. He pauses as he approaches the living room, stepping lightly to avoid waking the young couple he'd last seen on the couch…
[17:07] <Misato‘> [Rei and Alphonse were still on that couch, sleeping soundly, having shifted only a little.-
[17:08] <Misato`> [Of course, Raphael was not alone. Sitting on a chair in the kitchen, staring at him with almost accusing eyes, was Pen-Pen. Next to him was the plush penguin Raphael had given to Misato last night.]
[17:13] * Raphael only pauses for a moment, letting out a gentle sigh before continuing to the sink to fetch a glass of water. "I was trying to do something nice, Pen-Pen. As a friend."
[17:18] <Misato`> ["Wark." The penguin jumps off his chair and heads to his room, opening the door with one of his claws.-
[17:18] <Misato`> [Before long, Pen-Pen’s back, at Raphael's side, staring up at him. A box is held between his flippers, inexpertly wrapped in christmas paper. "Warrrk."]
[17:22] <Raphael> "…"-
[17:22] <Raphael> "This is for me?"
[17:23] <Misato‘> ["Wark!"]
[17:24] <Raphael> "… err." He takes it carefully, setting it down on the bench and setting about unwrapping it. "You really… uh, didn’t have to, Pen-Pen." Raphael says uncertainly.
[17:25] <Misato‘> [Pen-Pen just stares at him expectantly.-
[17:26] <Misato`> [It’s a six pack of beer in bottles.-
[17:26] <Misato‘> [But it’s -good- beer. The sort they serve in the fanciest of restaurants. It must've cost a fortune.]
[17:30] * Raphael 's eyes widen slightly, and he picks up one of the bottles to examine it under the light. "… this is -superb-, Pen-Pen. How did you manage to buy this?"
[17:30] <Misato‘> ["Wark."]
[17:30] <Raphael> "… Right, of course."-
[17:34] <Raphael> "Well…" There’s an awkward pause as he considers the amount of effort that must have gone into this. "I'm sorry to say, but I don't really have anything to give to you. I don't suppose I could compensate by offering you a drink?" He says, holding out one of the bottles even as he cracks one for himself.
[17:37] <Misato‘> ["Wark." The penguin takes the beer and expertly cracks the cap with one of its claws- which, Raphael probably realises now, are exceptionally sharp. Pen-Pen then busies himself by heading around the kitchen, putting eggs, sausages, rice and slices of fish on the kitchen counter. His token assistance in regards to breakfast preparation complete, he then returns to the table and begins on that beer.]
[17:49] <Raphael> The distraction of cooking winds up being a welcome break for his troubled mind. He knows the kitchen well enough by now to find what he needs, and a few minutes later the sausages and eggs were sizzling in one pan, with a pan grill set up for the fish. He’d even set the rice on to cook before joining Pen-Pen at the table.
[17:52] <Misato‘> ["Wark."-
[17:52] <Misato`> [There was a rustling sound from the living room…-
[17:53] <Misato`> [And a minute later, the sleepy face of Ayanami Rei peered out into the kitchen.]
[17:56] <Raphael> She would get a quick glimpse of Raphael staring blankly into his beer, eyes narrowed. It’s only after a moment that he notices her… and as he does his face slowly shifts into a warm smile. "Well hello, you." He says gently, gesturing towards one of the empty chairs. "Merry Christmas."
[17:58] <Misato‘> [Rei smiles in return, and despite her sleepy nature it’s a bright one. She sits down quickly. "Merry Christmas, Raffy-kun."]
[18:00] <Raphael> "Breakfast is almost ready." He notes, taking another sip from his beer. It really is quite good. "… So. Did you have a nice night?"
[18:01] <Misato‘> [Rei blushes, and a little giggle escapes her lips. "Yes…"]
[18:06] <Raphael> "Good." Raphael murmurs, giving her a little grin. "And he was a perfect gentleman, I hope?"
[18:12] <Misato`> [Her blush deepens. "Of course, Raffy-kun."]
[18:15] <Raphael> "Good." He says again, pulling himself up and giving her his broadest smile. "Or else there’d be trouble, hmm?" He checks over the food, and gives a slow nod. "These seem about ready. Rei, would you help me get a few plates?"
[18:16] <Misato‘> ["Of course, Raffy-kun!"-
[18:17] <Misato`> [Before long, the dishes would be prepared- plates, and an assortment of bowls, as well as glasses and a bottle of orange juice.-
[18:18] * Misato` would emerge a minute or so later, dressed in a black t-shirt and long jeans. "Morning~"
[18:31] * Raphael is busy pouring out two glasses of orange for he and Rei. At Misato’s appearance he grabs one for her as well, setting it in front of her plate as though it were any other day. "Good morning, Captain." He says, the picture of composure. "Merry Christmas."
[18:54] <Misato‘> "Merry Christmas to you too." She says, stepping over to grab the glass of juice. She gives Raphael a firm jab to the ribs.
[18:55] <Raphael> … and manages - by accident, of course - to catch him mid-sip. He lets out a splutter, trying not to choke. "Ghk."
[18:57] <Misato`> "Ah-" She blinks sheepishly before she starts patting him hard on the back. "There we go- are you ok?"
[19:01] <Raphael> "Fine, Captain." He says, his breathing back under control. "You just gave me a bit of a surprise."
[19:01] <Misato`> "You got some juice on you. Hold on." And she produces a napkin from somewhere, dabbing gently at the corners of his mouth and his chin.
[19:14] <Raphael> "Really, Misato, I’m fine." He says quickly, intensely aware of Rei's presence on the other side of the table.
[19:15] <Misato‘> [Rei watches innocently, taking a sip from her orange juice.-
[19:15] <Misato`> "There we go~" Misato brightens. "I was wondering when you were going to drop the ’Captain' stuff again-"-
[19:15] <Misato‘> "…" She shoots a glance at Rei, then hastily draws back. "Ahem. Breakfast almost ready?"
[19:17] <Raphael> "It should be." Raphael says, moving back towards the pans a little too hurriedly. "We just need to dish it up."
[19:19] <Misato`> "Good, good. So~" Misato slipped into her chair, staring at Rei. "So how did it go~?"-
[19:20] <Misato`> ["It went well." Said Rei. "We had a lot fo fun…"-
[19:20] <Misato`> "Did you kiss him~?"-
[19:20] <Misato`> ["…"-
[19:20] <Misato`> "Wellll~?"-
[19:20] <Misato`> ["Y-Yes…"]
[19:20] <Raphael> "Misato!"
[19:20] <Raphael> …
[19:20] <Raphael> "… you did?"
[19:21] <Misato`> [Rei’s cheeks are burning a fiery red as she studies her orange juice very carefully. "Yes…"]
[19:22] * Raphael does not comment any further, turning back to arranging the sausages on a plate to hide his smile.
[19:28] <Misato‘> [A minute or so later, Alphonse would finally enter the kitchen, looking groggy as well, his usually immaculate hair messy and untidy. "Good morning."-
[19:28] <Misato`> "Moooorning, Alli-chan~" Coos Misato.-
[19:28] <Misato`> ["… Hi." Alphonse nervously slips into a chair next to Rei. "G-good morning."-
[19:28] <Misato`> ["Morning, Al-chan."]
[19:32] * Raphael is carrying the pan grill across to the table to transfer the fish into a serving dish by then, finishing the preparations for breakfast. "Good morning, Captain." Raphael says. "Breakfast is ready, so…"
[19:35] <Misato`> ["Good, good." He nods enthusiastically. "I trust the two of you had a good time last night?"]
[19:36] <Raphael> He glances over with a raised eyebrow as he finds his own chair. "I think so. Misato?"
[19:37] <Raphael> «Over at Misato*»
[19:38] <Misato`> ["I had a load of fun." Says Misato cheerfully, giving Raphael a friendly wink. "Check out what this playboy got me." She picks up the penguin plush toy and shows it to Alphonse and Rei.-
[19:38] <Misato`> [Rei peers at it curiously, as does Alphonse. Rei’s the first to respond. "Aw, this is really sweet, Raffy-kun! <3"-
[19:38] <Misato‘> ["What did she give you, Sir Guillory?"]
[19:41] <Raphael> "A custom-made tie." Raphael says carefully, serving himself some rice and fish to get his breakfast underway. "It’s in my room, though, so I'll have to show you later."
[19:42] <Misato‘> [Rei suddenly beams, although she doesn’t say anything.-
[19:42] <Misato‘> ["Ah, of course." Says Alphonse.-
[19:42] <Misato`> "…" Misato coughs suddenly. "H-Hey, Raffy-kun, you’re going to pick up Suzie soon, huh?"
[19:43] <Raphael> "As soon as I'm done here."
[19:43] <Misato‘> "Then whilst you’re out, I'll clean your room up, ok?" She says cheerfully.
[19:45] <Raphael> "… Uh, yes." He says, looking almost sheepish for a moment as he digs away at his rice. "That'd be appreciated, Captain."
[19:45] <Misato‘> "Ahem."
[19:45] <Raphael> "Misato."
[19:46] <Misato`> ["Why don’t I help, Misa-bachan?" Asks Rei innocently.]
[19:48] <Raphael> "No need for that, Rei." Raphael says quickly. "Someone has to keep Captain Wellesley company, right?"
[19:49] <Misato‘> [Rei’s cheeks burn once again. "R-Right."-
[19:50] <Misato‘> "Thanks for the offer though, Reirei~" Says Misato, digging into her sausages.
[19:52] <Raphael> "Quite." Raphael agrees, giving Rei a wide smile before turning his concentration on to breakfast. Suzanne would be cross if she was left behind too long…
[19:53] <Misato`> [Breakfast is a fun affair- the food is quite good, and for once, Misato and Alphonse are behaving and actually getting along.-
[19:53] <Misato`> [Rei and Alphonse offer to clean up, which leaves Raphael quite free to borrow Misato’s car and pick up his precious Suzie.]
[19:56] <Raphael> Which is just what he does. The keys are secured in short order, and a few minutes later he's leaving the carpark and heading out into the unfamiliar roads of Tokyo-2. Thankfully he has a satnav and directions from Tsubaki to guide him…
[19:59] <Misato‘> [The house in question belongs to one Makoto Hyuga, Misato’s XO; this has been where Tsubaki's been sleeping whilst Ritsuko recouperates.-
[20:00] <Misato‘> [As Raphael pulls up to the house, he notices a table sitting out on the front lawn, with three young men sitting at it, drinking juice. In the middle is Makoto himself.-
[20:01] <Misato`> [To his left is a freckly teenage boy with light brown hair and glasses, wearing a white shirt and black trousers.-
[20:03] <Misato`> [To Makoto’s right is a tall boy in a tracksuit outfit; he has short spiky black hair and a stern face.]
[20:10] * Raphael pulls the car to a stop in the driveway, stepping out and waving to the three of them. "Hello gentlemen, hello First Lieutenant. Merry Christmas."
[20:10] <Misato‘> [The three boys drink their orange juice in unison before Hyuga stands up.-
[20:10] <Misato`> ["Group Captain Guillory!" He salutes. "Merry Christmas, sir!"-
[20:11] <Misato`> ["Waiiiit." The bespectacled boy leans forward. "Guillory? -The- Guillory? Dreadnought Pilot 01?"]
[20:12] <Raphael> "… uh. Yes, sir." Raphael says, his step faltering for a moment. The idea of anyone knowing his name is still a little startling.
[20:16] <Misato`> ["Yeahhhh!" The boy jumps energetically to his feet, and seems to cross the intervening distance between himself and Raphael instantaneously. "This is awesome! What’s it like? Can you tell me about the weapons? What's the energy output on the cannon? What's the cockpit look like?!"]
[20:28] * Raphael manages to stand his ground in the face of A Fan, but he does give Hyuga a worried look over the boy's head. "Proprietary positron weapons designed by the Thruster Team, just under 20mw in the last iteration, and rather plain respectively, sir." Raphael says quickly.
[20:28] <Misato‘> ["Fantastic! Hey, do you think you could-"-
[20:29] <Misato`> ["How’d your date go, sir?" Asks Hyuga enthusiastically, cutting right across the boy's babbling.]
[20:31] <Raphael> The change of topic doesn't seem to put him at ease. Nor does the enthusiasm that goes with it. "It was a pleasant evening, thank you. Suzie wasn't any trouble, I hope?"
[20:31] <Misato‘> ["Er…" Hyuga scratched the back of his neck. "There was a bit of a problem."]
[20:32] <Raphael> "… Is everything ok?"
[20:33] <Misato`> ["Er… Toji, Kensuke, I’m gonna take the Captain inside. Stay out here and don't break anything."-
[20:33] <Misato‘> [Hyuga led Raphael inside. It was clean, and a little more spacious than Misato’s apartment. "Er, I'm not really sure what happened, but around 10 PM she just started crying and calling for you. Tsuchin was able to calm her down, but I figured you'd want to know."]
[20:39] * Raphael frowns at that, folding both arms across his chest. "Mmm. That's not like her, but with the change of location… it was probably just a nightmare." He says thoughtfully, but he still sounds a bit doubtful. "Thank you for letting me know, though. I should probably go and check on her…"
[20:40] <Misato‘> ["Sure thing, sir. She’s just down the hall, to the left, in Tsuchin's room."-
[20:40] <Misato‘> [There’s a crash outside. Hyuga lets out a long suffering sigh.]
[20:45] * Raphael chuckles, giving Hyuga a pat on the shoulder. "You go deal with those boys and I'll sort out Suzie." He says, giving the XO a smile before he heads off down the hall.
[20:49] <Misato‘> ["Thanks, sir."-
[20:50] <Misato`> [Tsubaki’s room is a simple affair- a bed, a desk, a wardrobe. There's a laptop on the desk, and a collection of photos, all of the same dark-haired woman. Tsubaki and Suzie are sitting on the bed.-
[20:52] <Misato‘> ["Wow…" Suzanne’s voice. "Wow. Can I really have this? It's so…"-
[20:53] <Misato‘> ["Punching Angels is fine, but you’re not Shin-chan, so for now you will just have to stab them." Came Tsubaki's spacy voice.-
[20:54] <Misato‘> [Raphael would quickly realise that what Suzanne was admiring was a Japanese sword, still in its sheath- horrifically, a little piece of wrapping paper was still attached to the sheath itself. Suzanne was holding it.]
[21:02] <Raphael> "… That’s quite a gift, Pilot Akagi." Raphael says from the door. He looks at the sword uncertainly for a moment, but he says nothing more.
[21:02] <Misato‘> ["Yes, it is. Suzanne wanted it." Says Tsubaki, turning her eyes towards Raphael.-
[21:06] <Misato`> [Suzanne turns towards Raffy, her face lighting up. "Raffy! Raffy! Raffy!" The katana is dropped and she waves her arms at him energetically- if she could walk, she would’ve thrown herself at him already.]
[21:07] * Raphael grins in turn, saving Suzanne the trouble by crossing the room to sit alongside her on the little space still available on the bed. "Hey there, little one. Did you have a good time?"
[21:09] <Misato‘> [She pounces him, arms around his chest. "Yeah! I did! Tsuchin is so much fun~ Did you have fun with Misato, Raffy?"]
[21:12] <Raphael> "I did." Says Raphael gently, hugging her tightly in return. He’s definitely getting better at it. "Thank you again for taking such good care of her, Pilot Akagi. Suzie, did you say thank you?"
[21:13] <Misato‘> ["I did!" Suzie disengages a little to hug Tsubaki as well.-
[21:15] <Misato`> [Tsubaki is quick to embrace Suzanne in return. "Suzanne is very sweet. She is like a little French sister, which is why she’s going to be a very good pilot one day."-
[21:15] <Misato‘> ["See, Raffy~? Tsuchin thinks I’d make a good pilot~"]
[21:17] <Raphael> "A pilot knows a pilot, right?"
[21:19] <Misato‘> [Tsubaki nods seriously.-
[21:20] <Misato`> ["That’s right~ Raffy, can you put me in my chair?"]
[21:22] * Raphael nods. It only takes him a few seconds to grab her wheelchair from the end of the bed and gently lift her into the seat, a set of movements that's become routine in the past few months. "Are you already packed, Suzie? The others are waiting for us at home."
[21:24] <Misato‘> ["Yeah! Tsuchin helped pack everything up for me."-
[21:25] <Misato`> [Tsubaki reached over to the end of the bed, picking up the bag. She places it on Suzanne’s lap, before offering her the katana. "A samurai pilot must always keep their sword on hand." Advises Tsubaki solemnly. "Even by your bedside, or in milkshake cafes, or in the bath."-
[21:25] <Misato‘> ["Even in the bath?!"-
[21:25] <Misato`> ["Especially in the bath."]
[21:30] * Raphael stares at them both for a moment, then at the katana, before letting out a nervous chuckle. "Well, we’ll see about that. A samurai pilot should also be careful not to give away her identity to her enemies, right?"
[21:33] <Misato‘> [Tsubaki frowns seriously at this, as if it’s something she hadn't thought of before, before slowly shaking her head. "If a samurai pilot cannot take a bath or drink milkshakes for fear of being seen, then they are neither a samurai nor a pilot." She says, carefully missing the point entirely.]
[21:35] <Raphael> "… that's… that's true, Pilot Akagi." Raphael says, gently turning the wheelchair towards the door. "We should probably get home though, right Suzie? There is still plenty left to do today."
[21:36] <Misato‘> ["Right! Byebye, Tsuchin!"-
[21:36] <Misato`> ["Byebye, Suzanne."]
[21:41] <Raphael> And so after a trip back to the car and a hurried set of goodbyes to the three gentlemen on the lawn (Raphael having to think fast to defuse another round of Dreadnaught questions), Raphael and Suzie were on the road again, dodging Christmas traffic on the streets of Tokyo-2. Raphael was fairly quiet, keeping most of his concentration on the road for now.
[21:42] <Misato`> ["Did Reirei and Alphonse get home ok?"]
[21:43] <Raphael> "They did." Raphael says, turning onto the main road that ought to take them back to the apartment if the satnav was not lying to him. "Would you like to know the good news~?"
[21:44] <Misato`> ["Oooh, yes~"]
[21:44] <Raphael> "There was smooching." Raphael said seriously.
[21:46] <Misato`> ["Eeeeeeeeeeee!" Suzanne claps her hands in delight. "They smooched~ they smooched~ now they’re gonna get ma~rr~ied~"]
[21:46] <Raphael> "I think -that's- a long way off just yet." He says, glancing back at her in the rear-view mirror.
[21:47] <Misato‘> [Suzanne pouts.-
[21:48] <Misato`> ["Then…~ Raffy, was there smooching on -your- date too?" She asks, rallying magnificently.]
[21:49] <Raphael> "There was not." Raphael says. His eyes are back on the road now.
[21:50] <Misato`> [Suzanne pouts. "I bet there totally was. You lied to me about the first time you smooched her, after all!"]
[21:53] <Raphael> "You didn’t need to know, Suzie."
[21:58] <Misato‘> ["Uh-huh."]
[21:58] <Raphael> "Nuh-uh."
[21:59] <Misato`> [She retaliates by sticking her tongue out at him.]
[22:03] * Raphael lets out a loud burst of laughter and keeps on driving. It stays that way for a while, silent but for the low chatter of japanese talk-back radio, until Raphael reaches over and turns down the volume. "Mr. Hyuga was telling me you had a bit of a rough night, little one."
[22:05] <Misato`> ["Oh, er…" She coughs a little, looking half sad and half ashamed as she stares down at the katana. "Um… I-I had a nightmare about mum and dad." She mumbles.]
[22:09] <Raphael> "Oh, kiddo…" He says, giving her a sympathetic look. "You should have called me. I would have come and picked you up."
[22:11] <Misato`> [Suzanne shakes her head firmly. "I didn’t want to bother you. Besides, Tsuchin helped me out. She knows how it feels, too, so… So she told me stories and stuff…"]
[22:15] <Raphael> "And they helped?"
[22:16] <Misato‘> [Suzanne nods. "They really did. She sang to me a little, too, and then I just sort of conked out…"]
[22:21] <Raphael> "…" Silence at that. The dim noise of traffic passing by from beyond the windows. "I guess she was just the right person to have around, hmm?"
[22:22] <Misato`> ["She was, yeah." Says Suzie cheerfully. "But… Apart from that I had a lot of fun there with Tsuchin and Mr. Bunny. We stayed up late and had ice cream, and Mr. Bunny let us play some games. They’re both really nice people. Just like you, Raffy~"]
[22:26] <Raphael> "They certainly sound that way." He says, smiling gently back at her for a moment. "… Suzie, you know Hyuga's not -really- named Mr. Bunny, right?"
[22:27] <Misato‘> ["Yeah, I know, but it’s funnier to call him that, and he doesn't seem to mind~"]
[22:37] * Raphael laughs at that, giving her a brief nod. His gaze lingers on her smiling face for a moment longer than is really safe before flicking back into the road and finally making the turnoff into the apartment carpark, feeling that unfamiliar sense of happiness alive and well inside of him.

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