This Too Shall Pass 3 4 1

(14:48) * Yanmei sprawled across her bed, the tv blaring loudly in the background, her tablet discarded on a nearby nightstand and her uniform hanging neatly in her wardrobe. Isaiah and Lizzie were out for the next few hours, and so the room she shared with them was all hers for a change~ And what was one to do with this free time and space? Happily, she picked up one of her phones and began texting
(14:48) * Yanmei away, humming to herself.
(14:52) <Minaplo> [… There was an electronic trill as someone pressed the electronic doorbell.]
(14:54) <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei sighed loudly. With a grunt, she rolled herself off the bed, and trudged for the door, opening it only after tossing her hair and straightening up. "Yes~"
(14:56) <Minaplo> ["Hi, Meimei."-
(14:59) <Minaplo> [Rei and Marianne stood outside the door; Rei wore a pair of jeans and a red t-shirt, whilst Marianne wore a pale blue blouse with a long white skirt. Rei smiled.-
(14:59) <Minaplo> ["Is it okay if we come in?"]
(15:02) * Yanmei blinked and then beamed. She stood aside to let the pair in. "Like you even need to ask? What's up?"
(15:05) <Minaplo> [And so they did. Marianne gave Yanmei a small smile. "Hi."-
(15:05) <Minaplo> ["How're you today, Meimei?" Asked Rei.]
(15:09) <Yanmei> "Oh, you know. Just taking advantage of the lull in my paperwork. It's just Lupe and me today, and he's probably sleeping." She gestured towards his special room as she hurried to clear off some places for them to sit, around the bed and one or two extra chairs. The door to said room was closed firmly.
(15:16) <Minaplo> [Rei and Marianne took seats; a few seconds later Lupe crawled out from under the bed. He lazily paced over and lolled his head on Rei's lap; she happily began to stroke his neck.-
(15:16) <Minaplo> [Marianne… Eyed the wolf a little cautiously.-
(15:16) <Minaplo> ["So we're cutting into your relaxation time, huh?" Said Marianne.]
(15:19) * Yanmei stared at Lupe blankly for a second, somehow feeling tricked. "Pfft. I was just going to lie around and do nothing for a few hours? Talking's a lot more fun than that."
(15:20) <Minaplo> ["Oh! Oh, well…"-
(15:20) <Minaplo> [Marianne fidgeted slightly. "So… Uh, I see your cousin stayed behind after all, huh?"]
(15:21) <Yanmei> "Yeah…" That earned a small, suspicious frown. "He hasn't been hitting on you, has he? I can punch him for that if you want."
(15:25) <Minaplo> ["Uh… No, not yet." Said Marianne uncertainly. "Or maybe he has…? Anyway, he's running Blue's bar in Blue's absense, which is where I saw him…"-
(15:25) <Minaplo> ["Meimei would be totally okay with you dating her cousin, Marianne." Said Rei brightly, an innocent smile on her face. "Totally okay."]
(15:29) <Yanmei> "Huh…?" She peered at Rei a little longer, and then at Marianne with a curious gleam in her eye. "Should I start punching him for flirting with other girls, then?"
(15:34) <Minaplo> ["What? No. What?" Marianne frowned. "He's barely an adult!"]
(15:36) <Yanmei> "Oh?" Yanmei scrutinized her carefully, as if trying to uncover her true feelings.
(15:37) <Minaplo> ["… Geez, I thought you'd be horrified at the thought." Muttered Rei. "You're not gonna try and matchmake them, are you?"-
(15:38) <Minaplo> [Marianne flushed, pinching the bridge of her nose. "Geez is right."]
(15:48) <Yanmei> "Huh…? Why horrified? It's not like he's my mom or anything? Anyway, it'd be good for him to settle down with someone responsible, don't you think?"
(15:57) <Minaplo> ["W-Where's this coming from, anyway?" Said Marianne quickly. "I don't even know him! He just served me my meal… And you're talking about settling down?"]
(15:59) <Yanmei> "You mean there was no chemistry or sparks or stuff?"
(16:00) <Minaplo> ["Yanmei, we spoke for maybe thirty seconds." Said Marianne with a sigh. "Geez."]
(16:06) <Yanmei> "Oh." She slumped slightly, a faint pout forming. "What did you think of him, then? Like, platonically?"
(16:10) <Minaplo> ["Is this the usual meaning or your special meaning?" Asked Marianne.-
(16:10) <Minaplo> [Rei was giggling.]
(16:16) <Yanmei> "H-hmph! There's no 'special meaning'. Just, like…" She folded her arms, trying to hide how flustered she was as she tried to move on. "Was he nice?"
(16:17) <Minaplo> ["He was friendly and pleasant, yes."]
(16:19) <Yanmei> "Ok, good. It looks like Blue hasn't rubbed off on him -too- much."
(16:21) <Minaplo> ["Not yet at least." Said Marianne. "But man, the way you were going on, you'd think it was love at first sight…"-
(16:21) <Minaplo> ["Like Al and me~" Said Rei happily.-
(16:21) <Minaplo> ["Did Yanmei ever tell you about how she and Isaiah met?" Asked Marianne.-
(16:21) <Minaplo> ["Hm, I don't think so…"]
(16:29) * Yanmei winced, now a touch more flustered than before. "It's not like it was romantic? We were shoe shopping…"
(16:30) <Minaplo> ["Uh-huh." Rei said, her eyes wide.]
(16:33) <Yanmei> "He recognized me. Because I was a big celebrity even back then? He predicted my shoe size just by looking at me, and I might have teased him a little during that first meeting. Like, harmlessly."
(16:34) <Minaplo> ["Teased Zaizai…? You?"]
(16:37) <Yanmei> "Harmlessly!" Yanmei insisted. "I didn't know we'd end up in the same class at school. I thought he was just some nervous kid I'd never see again."
(16:37) <Minaplo> ["And instead you married him~"]
(16:38) <Yanmei> "Well yeah. Eventually? Life's funny that way…"
(16:42) <Minaplo> ["Hm~" Rei was beaming.-
(16:42) <Minaplo> ["A-Anyway." Marianne coughed. "Um…"]
(16:43) <Yanmei> "Hm? What's wrong, Marianne?"
(16:44) <Minaplo> ["… Sorry. I've… Hrm."]
(16:49) <Yanmei> "Hm~?" Yanmei scooted a little closer to her, head tilted curiously.
(14:45) <Minaplo> ["You've done really well for yourself." Said Marianne. She fidgeted fretfully with her hands. "You're with Isaiah, and you're taking care of little Lizzie, and you're running this… Everything, too."-
(14:51) <Minaplo> ["I'm really proud of you." Said Marianne with a little smile. "But… I'm also a little… Ugh. I feel worried. I'm used to having you as a part of my life, looking after you and living with me. I know it's not fair, and it's wrong of me to expect that forever. And I don't want you to feel bad for being successful or happy, you know…"-
(14:55) <Minaplo> ["But it hurts…" She said, her voice cracking. "It hurts, you know? I've grown used to being a kind of mother to you, but now your own mother's back in the picture so I don't even have that. I know I'm being selfish, but it feels like you don't need me anymore, and I'm lonely without you."]
(14:59) * ZackAFK is now known as Zack
(15:00) * Suzune (moc.rr.ser.yabapmat.551cfh1322356|enuzuS#moc.rr.ser.yabapmat.551cfh1322356|enuzuS) Quit (Connection reset by peer)
(15:01) <Yanmei> Yanmei's face fell, slowly, as she listened. By the end, she was the one who was fidgeting, her face red with shame. "M-Marianne. Listen? I didn't mean…"
(15:01) * Suzune (moc.rr.ser.yabapmat.551cfh1322356|enuzuS#moc.rr.ser.yabapmat.551cfh1322356|enuzuS) has joined #nervfrance
(15:07) <Minaplo> ["I know. I know you didn't, sweetie." Said Marianne; she hung her head.]
(15:09) <Yanmei> But it didn't seem to be enough to leave it at that. Yanmei balled her fists and stood up, marching right over to her chair. She held her arms out and moved in for a hug.
(15:13) <Minaplo> ["…"-
(15:13) <Minaplo> [Marianne wrapped her arms around Yanmei; she rested her head against Yanmei's shoulder. "S-Sorry…"]
(15:16) <Yanmei> "I should be apologizing?" she muttered, and shut her eyes. "I was so stupid…"
(15:19) <Minaplo> ["No no… Don't…"]
(15:22) <Yanmei> "It's true, though? I should've done something as soon as you were ready to come back to work. I just… wasn't thinking."
(15:23) <Minaplo> ["I should've said something earlier…"]
(15:27) <Yanmei> "What should we do? Should we all move into a new room together?"
(15:29) <Minaplo> ["I… I don't know." Muttered Marianne. "Maybe… But you guys need your privacy too…"]
(15:38) * Yanmei hesitated. Was it really a matter of privacy, or would seeing a little family unit day after day also make Marianne sad? She hadn't considered that. "We could, like. Try to get a really big place? One with rooms for each of us, so we could all get privacy whenever we want."
(15:47) <Minaplo> ["I… Does the battleship have places like that? Would Isaiah agree to it? I-I don't want to be an imposition…"]
(15:49) <Yanmei> "I'll ask him. And I don't know about the room, but I'll figure that out too. Honestly, it would be really great having you back, Marianne. Like old times…"
(15:50) <Minaplo> ["Y-You sure?"]
(15:51) <Yanmei> "Of course!"
(15:52) <Minaplo> [Marianne tugged Yanmei down onto her lap and into a tight, desperate snuggle. "You're such a sweetheart…"]
(15:59) <Yanmei> "Hehehe. You might want to save the thanks until after I confirm everything? For all I know, we'll have to convert a storage room for this plan." But she happily accepted said snuggles. "We'll need a proper place for Reggie and Lupe too."
(16:01) <Minaplo> [Lupe perked up for a second, then laid his head back down on Rei's lap.-
(16:02) <Minaplo> ["And Fino." Added Marianne.]
(16:03) <Yanmei> "And… Fino." Damn. "I thought he just did his thing outside on the deck most of the time?"
(16:03) <Minaplo> ["He visits me every night, so we'll have to find a window room for him…"]
(16:10) <Yanmei> "I'll do my best?" But she looked a little worried at that. Was there really a room that met all those criteria? And if she snagged it, would it stir up resentment among the rest of the crew?
(16:10) <Minaplo> ["Thanks, sweetie…" Said Marianne quietly. "I appreciate it."]
(16:19) * Yanmei shook her head, as if to say 'don't mention it'. "Heh. You're not the only one I've had to switch dorms around for. Did you know that William's out and about again?"
(16:20) <Minaplo> ["You mean Michael, Meimei." Said Rei.-
(16:20) <Minaplo> ["I did, yes. And I also heard about his namechange." Said Marianne.]
(16:21) <Yanmei> "Michael. Yeah. Apparently he's good friends with the Pope too. Listening to them talk is completely incomprehensible?"
(16:24) <Minaplo> ["Because it's in German?" Asked Marianne sweetly.]
(16:31) <Yanmei> "I'm not completely ignorant of German," Yanmei sniffed. "And no. They spoke English? But because of their history there were all sorts of connotations flying around that I didn't catch."
(16:32) * Zack is now known as ZackSleep
(16:33) <Minaplo> ["So you embarrassed yourself, eh?"]
(16:34) <Yanmei> "I came close? Fortunately, I was smooth enough to hide my confusion~"
(16:35) <Minaplo> ["Uh-huh."-
(16:35) <Minaplo> ["But you had to switch dorms around for him?"]
(16:37) <Yanmei> "Yeah. One that's just around the corner from where the Pope is. Hmph. And he said the room we gave to the dumb Pope was too opulant! Can you believe that?"
(16:38) <Minaplo> [Marianne laughed. Yanmei could feel the warm laughter on the back of her neck.-
(16:38) <Minaplo> ["Not your expectations of what a Pope should be like, huh?"]
(16:40) <Yanmei> "Absolutely not." Yanmei frowned. "He can just stay there and wallow in that finery until I get an official request to switch him to some other room."
(16:41) <Minaplo> ["I think it's good that he prefers less rich surroundings." Said Rei.]
(16:42) <Yanmei> "Why?"
(16:44) <Minaplo> ["Hm… I suppose it's like Cake, Meimei." Said Rei. "It gets hard to stomach if it's too rich, you know…"-
(16:45) <Minaplo> ["I think I prefer elegance to opulence." She said after a few more seconds of thought.]
(16:46) <Yanmei> "It's not like those two are mutually exclusive?"
(16:48) <Minaplo> ["No, I know. But often, people sometimes flash money around by going over the top and being really gaudy and tasteless, I think." Said Rei. "Look at Chii. She wears really luxurious dresses, but she makes sure to wear them well and maintain them. If she covered herself in gold rings and necklaces, she'd look really tacky, right?"]
(16:52) <Yanmei> "She'd look ridiculous," Yanmei conceded with a little smirk.
(16:53) <Minaplo> ["Exactly. Chii manages it, but not everyone does. Look at Silas and this battleship when we first got it. His idea of opulence was heroic statues, giant gilded playrooms, and nude paintings of me and my sisters…"]
(16:58) <Yanmei> "Point taken. Ugh." Yanmei shuddered.
[14:38] <Minaplo> ["You didn't put him in a room with any of those, did we?" Said Marianne suddenly. "I mean, I'm sure we got rid of all of them, but knowing this place there's probably a few still lying around…"]
[14:41] <Yanmei> "We were more careful that that?" Yanmei haughtily tossed her hair. "His room was carefully checked when we cleaned and prepped it for him. No artwork in sight."
[14:43] <Minaplo> ["Hmm. Well, still, we should probably ask him if he wants to be moved just in case."}
[14:47] <Yanmei> "Fiiiine." Yanmei huffed again. "Tomorrow, maybe."
[14:54] <Minaplo> ["Tomorrow." Said Marianne. "After all, we'll be busy today…"]
[15:01] <Yanmei> "That's true." Yamnei pulled back, flopping into her own seat. "Making plans for our own move-in, right?"
[15:01] <Minaplo> ["That's right. You're sure it's ok?"]
[15:02] <Yanmei> "Gotta clear it with Isaiah first, but I don't think it'll be much trouble?"
[15:04] <Minaplo> ["Zaizai won't mind." Said Rei happily. "He does anything Meimei asks~"]
[15:09] <Yanmei> "Heh. I can be pretty persuasive~" Yanmei boasted, straightening her lapels. "But… that's an exaggeration. He's probably good for this, though. We've all lived together before, after all~"
[15:10] <Minaplo> ["Hmm. Maybe Al and I should move in too~"]
[15:11] <Yanmei> "It'd be harder for you two to cuddle whenever you want. Are you sure you guys have that sort of restraint~?"
[15:12] <Minaplo> ["I could ask you the same question, Mrs. Zhang-Wei." Said Rei with a pout.]
[15:14] <Yanmei> "Hehe. We do, though? Even after the wedding. Isn't that right, Lupe?"
[15:16] <Minaplo> [Lupe eyed her for a second, letting out a deep huff.-
[15:18] <Minaplo> ["I don't believe you for a second, Meimei." Said Rei firmly.-
[15:18] <Minaplo> ["Besides, we have Eevi to think about too…"]
[15:27] <Yanmei> "Yeah, that's true. Can't leave her and her Armored Lion friend behind."
[15:28] <Minaplo> ["Hm…"-
[15:28] <Minaplo> [Marianne, meanwhile, scratched the back of her neck awkwardly. "So, uh… Were you up to anything, sweetheart? I know we're interrupting your free time, but I was wondering if there was anything you maybe wanted to do…?"]
[15:30] <Yanmei> "Sparring!" She hopped up happily. "Let's head to the gym. Marianne, you could be the referee."
[15:33] <Minaplo> ["Huh? Alright-"-
[15:33] <Minaplo> ["Hm, you want to spar with me, huh?" Said Rei brightly. She too stood up, Lupe moving out of the way- but the usually grumpy wolf nevertheless remained at her side, licking her hand. "Lupe can come and watch, too~"-
[15:33] <Minaplo> ["G-Great." Said Marianne.]
[15:34] <Yanmei> "Lupe stays here. Isaiah would freak out if he got lost on the ship?"
[15:37] <Minaplo> [Lupe growled.-
[15:37] <Minaplo> ["Aw, c'mon Meimei. Lupe needs walkies!" Said Rei with a frown.]
[15:39] * Yanmei sighed. "Fine. We'll take him for a long walk on the deck instead of sparring. Maybe we can fight later, once we get back."
[15:42] <Minaplo> ["We can spar on the deck!" Said Rei brightly.]
[15:46] <Yanmei> "Er. Let's just save it for later at the gym, ok?" She could all too clearly imagine being distracted by a certain dumb seagull at a critical moment. Or worse, Lupe. Or worse, gawking soldiers on duty.
[15:47] <Minaplo> ["Hm, okay…"]
[15:47] * Yanmei went for an oversized leash that was hanging by the door. "Let's go~"
[15:50] <Minaplo> ["Grrrrrr."]

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