Yanmei S Gifts

[22:35] <Yanmei> The apartment was never completely silent, even when all of its occupants were asleep. Yanmei could make out Isaiah's steady breathing right next to her, and the low hum of the refrigerator elsewhere, and the heating unit that kept everyone all snug and warm. -
[22:38] <Yanmei> There was movement, too. Distant snores. Maybe next, she would hear Santa trying to break into the apartment? She regarded the darkened ceiling wryly. -
[22:41] <Yanmei> The timing -was- right. With things the way they were, however, she was sure that Santa would find himself range of an aimed combat shotgun before he completed his all-important task. Everyone was so jumpy around here. She was no exception herself, of course? -
[22:44] <Yanmei> Ikari was dead. His replacement was baffling. The Committee presumably had control over everyone more or less directly now. Travel plans for VIP NERV personnel in Paris were suspended. How could she not be jumpy? But for now, it was the travel plans that she really lamented. Poor Isabelle. She hoped she understood…
[22:48] <Minaplo> [Isaiah snuffled next to her in his sleep… It was the dead of winter and he was wearing the thinnest pyjamas in the house. Typical.-
[22:49] <Minaplo> [Yanmei's semi-silence would remain so for a while- a few minutes, perhaps- but then she'd start to hear something. A faint rattling sound outside in the living room.]
[22:53] <Yanmei> Living room… Something in her chest clenched. She sat up as quietly and slowly as she could, scrubbing at her eyes, and reached for something behind the headrest of the bed. By some miracle, she worked it free without making much noise, and casting one last glance at Isaiah, began to move quietly for the bedroom door. She peeked out into the darkness before she emerged. Was it safe?
[22:55] <Minaplo> [It… Was Lizzie, sitting by the christmas tree, her face screwed up in concentration as she shook a gift-wrapped present next to her right ear. At her side, Regulus was rolling on his back, trying to scratch some itch.]
[22:58] * Yanmei exhaled. The waistband of her pajamas was too flimsy to support the revolver she was carrying. She had to double back to the bed and slip it underneath before stepping out of the bedroom properly and making toward the tree with a stern expression. "Lizzie…"
[22:59] <Minaplo> ["Meep!" Lizzie jumped, clearly startled, nearly dropping the present before hastily shoving it back into its spot. "Not open! Not open! Lizzie good girl!"]
[23:01] <Yanmei> "A good girl would be in bed sleeping," she chided. She held out a hand to her. "Let's go. You'll be tired and grumpy tomorrow if you don't sleep."
[23:02] <Minaplo> [Lizzie pouted. "Don't like bed."]
[23:04] <Yanmei> "You need your rest." Yanmei was unwavering. "Do you want to sleep with Daddy?"
[23:08] <Minaplo> [Lizzie considered this, thoughtfully. She nodded. "Maamaa?"]
[23:08] <Yanmei> "Yes?"
[23:08] <Minaplo> ["Monster under bed…"]
[23:14] <Yanmei> "Ah?" Yanmei rubbed her eyes distractedly. What would Castillo say about this? Maybe something about excuses so that she didn't have to sleep alone? What had her own mother done at times like this… aside from… working late and not really dealing with the issue at all? A stab of loneliness. She took Lizzie's hand. "There's no such thing as-" -
[23:17] <Yanmei> She stopped herself. Yes, yes, there were such things as monsters. Only they tended to be several stories tall and didn't bother lurking under the beds of small children. "There's no such thing as a monster that I can't scare away," she covered smoothly. "Shall we go see?"
[23:29] <Minaplo> ["Ok, maamaa…"]
[23:36] <Yanmei> So Yanmei led the way back to Lizzie's room. It was oddly shaped and a little small - converted out of the apartment's only lavish walk-in closet some time ago when Lizzie had started outgrowing her crib. A perfect fit for a little girl like her, but in a few years… "What did this monster look like?" Yanmei crouched next to her little bed.
[23:36] <Minaplo> ["Like monster."]
[23:38] <Yanmei> "…got it." Yanmei held back a laugh at that, and peeked under the bed, ready to give a show. "Rar! You leave Lizzie alone, you dumb monster!!"
[23:43] <Minaplo> [… A white face stared back at her, a plain mask with gaping empty black eyes and a soulless slashed smile- it rushed towards her…]
[23:47] <Yanmei> And Yanmei jerked backward reflexively with a horrified yelp, squeezing her eyes shut, expecting to feel death - pure honest death, unlike anything suffered in an Evangelion.
[23:54] <Minaplo> [Lizzie let out a scream as well, jumping backwards…-
[23:54] <Minaplo> [… Seconds passed. Then a minute…-
[23:54] <Minaplo> ["Maamaa?" Asked Lizzie tentatively.-
[23:55] <Minaplo> [A second later, Yanmei would feel the warm sandpapery rough tongue of Regulus on her cheek.]
[23:56] <Yanmei> "Ah…?" She opened her eyes to stare down at the little cub, and then back over to the bed. Her heart was still pounding hard.
[23:56] <Minaplo> [Nothing.]
[00:03] <Yanmei> "…" She searched the room itself with just her eyes. Nothing was there? Just her and Lizzie and Reggie? Her face was a mask of confusion.
[00:05] <Minaplo> ["Maamaa? You ok?"-
[00:05] <Minaplo> [Lizzie stared at Yanmei with concern and fear. "Daadaa…"]
[00:13] * Yanmei stared back at her. Very slowly, she stood up. "I'm fine, Sweetie. I'm fine, see?" She threw another look around. What the hell had… well, whatever had happened, she'd screwed up. Now Lizzie was even more scared and worried than before.
[00:19] <Minaplo> [Lizzie reached for her hand, but Regulus was leaping around playfully, crouching as though about to spring at Yanmei, tail twitching with excitement.]
[00:24] * Yanmei frowned at him. Was that what had actually jumped out at her from beneath the bed? Crafty little… Yanmei took Lizzie's hand. "Now he's all wound up too, huh?" She tried to laugh it off. "I'm sorry, sweetie. Mama just had her eye playing tricks on her. There's nothing to be worried about."-
[00:28] <Yanmei> There would be no getting her into that bed tonight. She didn't even want to try it herself. Too tired and, well, flustered. Her heart was only just now starting to subside. "We'll both stay with Daddy tonight. In the morning, we'll sort this out, okay?"
[00:30] <Minaplo> ["Okay, maamaa."]
[00:35] <Yanmei> So Yanmei led the way out of the room, casting one last wary look at the bed, uncertain of whether to feel nervous or stupid. In either case, she was careful to shut the door after she and the kiddie and the lion cub were in the hallway. Off to her own bed, after that!
[00:39] <Minaplo> [Lizzie followed, Regulus at their feet.-
[00:40] <Minaplo> [Isaiah was still where he was- asleep, the room was unchanged…-
[00:41] <Minaplo> [Wait, there was a tiny little parcel on Yanmei's bedside table. That hadn't been there before, had it?]
[00:50] * Yanmei moved Lizzie onto the bed, right next to Isaiah, and then peered at the object curiously. "Huh." Anything suspicious?
[00:52] <Minaplo> [Well, it was a plain, small parcel. Nothing suspicious… Not christmassy though.]
[00:56] * Yanmei worked on trying to get Lizzie to sleep before touching it. She murmured stories to her until her eyelids drooped and soft snores came from her. Then she very slowly sat up and picked up the parcel, shaking it gently against her ear for a few moments before opening it.
[00:57] <Minaplo> [Inside…-
[00:57] <Minaplo> [was a flower, a blue one. It looked recently cut- a fragrance filled the air- but it also looked a little wilted. It'd probably die without water.-
[00:58] <Minaplo> [A card fell out. Just a thin piece of blank card- on it, a shape had not written, but burned- clumsily, perhaps- the words 'merry christmas' onto it.]
[01:03] <Yanmei> Vaguely puzzled and… rattled. She glanced to Isaiah. Not from him, probably. The card made her wonder… For a few more moments, she say there, not sure what to do or even what to think. Then, she quietly rose again, holding the nice-smelling flower, and went to the kitchen for a glass or something that she could use for a makeshift vase.
[01:03] <Yanmei> ^stayed there
[01:04] <Minaplo> [It wouldn't be hard, there were glasses on the sink…]
[01:08] <Yanmei> So she stole one, and quietly filled it with water, and placed the flower in it. It was a pretty little thing, on second glance, and hopefully the water would perk it back up again. Casting a wary glance in the general direction of the living room, she tiptoed back toward her room with the intent of shakily leaving it on that table again.
[13:04] <Minaplo> [Nothing would stop her, this time, and she would be able to climb back into bed with Lizzie and Isaiah, and hopefully sleep through to morning.]
[13:08] <Yanmei> Sleep… did not come so easily. She tossed and turned a bit, and tried to wait it out in the darkness. There were no monsters under the bed. There were no monsters looking into her bedroom from the window. There were no monsters at all. No monsters at all. No monsters…
[13:09] <Minaplo> […-
[13:10] <Minaplo> [And before she knew it, cobwebs were clogging up her mind and light- dim and sullen red, but clearly sunlight- was streaming through the blinds.]
[13:15] <Yanmei> "Mhmhh." Yanmei rose groggily. If it was morning, she'd have an excuse not to linger in bed. Breakfast would be good. A special breakfast, since there were so many people around. She staggered for the kitchen again - caught herself in a passing mirror, and then detoured briefly in the bathroom to splash her face and quickly comb through her hair, and then continued. What was on the menu today…?
[13:20] <Minaplo> [Isaiah had taken some meats- bacon and sausages- out of the freezer last night, as well as having bought some tomatoes, bananas, mushrooms and potatoes, just for today.]
[13:27] * Yanmei got to work, frying up this and that. She also put a pot of coffee on. Mainly for herself, but she'd made enough for several extra cups. By the time she'd finished on the sausages, she was sure that the light coming into the apartment was a lot stronger than it had been when she'd awoken.
[13:31] <Minaplo> [People were starting to move around, now, she could hear it. One of the first- no surprise as he was always up early- was Isaiah, emerging into the living room, rubbing his eyes sleepily. "G-Good morning." He mumbled, yawning.]
[13:56] <Yanmei> "Isaiah~! Good morning!" She tried to make her voice light and sing-songy. "How did you sleep?"
[13:57] <Minaplo> ["I slept ok. Found a little girl in our bed. What happened?" he wandered over to the kitchen, his hair fluffy and messy from sleep.]
[13:59] <Yanmei> He… really didn't wake up through any of that? "Monsters under the bed. Also, Christmas gift guessing games. It was quite a night for her."
[14:01] <Minaplo> ["Tsk. Adventurous little rascal. But you were there, huh? Did you have trouble sleeping?" Walking up behind her, putting his arms around her stomach.]
[14:02] <Yanmei> "Yeah. A little. Darn Christmas insomnia…"
[14:02] <Minaplo> ["What's up? Excited about Santa?" He asked teasingly.]
[14:04] <Yanmei> "Huh?!" Yanmei tossed her hair. "I'm not a little kid, like she is? Maybe I'm just still excited about you being here instead~"
[14:06] <Minaplo> ["Oh really? Is that so? Does boring little me excite you now~?"]
[14:09] <Yanmei> "What about this is news, exactly~?" The coffeemaker made a noise, and switched from a red light to a green light. Oh thank god… time for something that would wake her up. Besides kissing, that was~.
[14:12] <Minaplo> ["Oh, I dunno. But if, say, I thought I wasn't so exciting, I might try to excite you a little more than usual…"]
[14:15] <Yanmei> "Oh yeah?" She turned to give him a small kiss at that. "It feels like I've missed an opportunity~ Why do you have to be so exciting, Isaiah?"
[14:18] <Minaplo> ["Why do you have to be so excitable, hm?" He returned the kiss happily. "Such a mature and beautiful woman cooking breakfast on Christmas Day- I must be in heaven~"-
[14:18] <Minaplo> [Doors were starting to open now, and the faint sound of the shower being used reached Yanmei's ears.]
[14:24] <Yanmei> Damn. They were all waking up early! "We'll have to wait until later for more fun Christmas gifts," she grumbled.
[14:25] <Minaplo> ["Yeah." He frowned, but put a smile back on his face. "Can I help you cook?"]
[14:26] <Yanmei> "Be my guest." She went for the coffee. Black, for herself, of course. "Did you have any good dreams?"
[14:29] <Minaplo> [He started cutting up the tomatoes. "Nah. All I dreamed about was some kind of stormy day in Paris."]
[14:33] <Yanmei> "Stormy, huh?" She glanced at the nearest window, but didn't spot anything unusual about the weather.
[14:37] <Yanmei> Anything other than the dark, angry clouds bunching up in the sky. She blinked. "Huh. How did your subconscious guess that?"
[14:38] <Minaplo> ["Maybe it just felt something in the air. It's been a tense few days in Paris, you know."]
[14:40] <Yanmei> "They say that people are always stressed out around the holidays. But this year, it's worse than usual, yeah."
[14:43] <Minaplo> ["There were riots the other day…"]
[14:44] <Yanmei> "I saw. Poor Mazarin has his hands full. I wonder if he'll even get a chance to open the gift I sent him."
[14:52] <Minaplo> ["You sent him a gift?"]
[14:53] <Yanmei> "It was a distinguished thing I saw when I was shopping. A president can't have enough ties, after all."
[14:53] <Minaplo> ["A tie, huh… What did you get me?"
[14:54] <Minaplo> ]
[14:55] <Yanmei> "Maybe you should go see. It's just as distinguished."
[14:56] <Minaplo> ["Hm, maybe I will~"-
[14:56] <Minaplo> ["Morning!" Came the voice of Marianne.]
[14:59] <Yanmei> "Marianne~ Merry Christmas."
[15:00] <Minaplo> ["Merry Christmas, you two~ You're up early."]
[15:01] <Yanmei> "Who could sleep on a beautiful day like today?" The clouds outside rumbled ominously. Yanmei chose to ignore it. "Come grab something to eat."
[15:01] <Minaplo> ["Sure."-
[15:01] <Minaplo> ["Good morning!" Came William's cheerful voice. "Wow, everyone's up earlier than usual…"]
[15:03] <Yanmei> "Hello, William. Merry Christmas. Did you sleep okay?"
[15:03] <Minaplo> ["It was alright. How's everyone today?"]
[15:05] <Yanmei> "Well, I'm okay personally. Still trying to figure out what we should do beyond breakfast and gift exchanges, though? Any ideas?"
[15:06] <Minaplo> ["Play games."-
[15:07] <Minaplo> ["I'd hate to see what kind of games you'd play, William." Came another voice. Brother Joe emerged from the bathroom, wearing a fluffy white towel and little else. His hair was all over the place, and his body, Yanmei could now see, was muscular, toned and tanned, marked with scars. "I bet it'd be something like 'guess the bible passage'-"-
[15:07] <Minaplo> ["Brother Joseph, put some clothes on!"-
[15:07] <Minaplo> ["Gimme a second."]
[15:12] <Yanmei> "Oh my…" YAnmei cleared her throat and glanced away respectfully. "Ah. Would you care for some breakfast, Brother Joe?"
[15:15] <Minaplo> ["Of course. It's been awhile since I've had a properly delicious Christmas breakfast. Lemme get dressed."-
[15:15] <Minaplo> [Marianne had also looked away in embarrassment, but now she met Yanmei's eyes, trying hard not to giggle.]
[15:25] <Yanmei> Oh nooo… that laughter was practically contageous. Yanmei coughed delicately, trying hard to hide it. "Yes, right. We'll keep it warm for you, of course," she muttered. "So, ah, if it was a n-nicer day, I'd suggest going somewhere? Like to a theatre, or ice skating."
[15:25] <Minaplo> ["There aren't many places open on Christmas Day." Observed William.]
[15:27] <Yanmei> "While that's true, I'm sure there must be at least a few? Anyway, even if there were more, the city itself is too restless at the moment."
[15:27] <Minaplo> ["I dunno what's up with that." Murmured Marianne, staring out at the city. "It's like everything's on edge, even the weather."]
[15:33] <Yanmei> "You and Isaiah have lived here longer than anyone. Nothing like this has ever happened before?"
[15:39] <Minaplo> ["Only once, but that was directly after Malchediel." Said Marianne slowly.]
[15:41] <Yanmei> "Yeah. I remember that. But there were fewer spontaneous riots, and more abandonment. Plus they had a good reason to be angry."
[15:41] <Minaplo> ["Yeah. Nothing like this has ever happened before…"-
[15:42] <Minaplo> [Footsteps as Joe reemerged, now dressed up in his cassock. "I wouldn't expect something like this in Paris."]
[15:46] <Yanmei> "I know, right?" There was nothing worth giggling about when it came to the cassock. Grateful, Yanmei passed a plate of food over his direction promptly. "Maybe in other places? Like the ones the LN snapped up when it started growing. But even they had their reasons? It's like… how do we address what's making people upset when we don't know what thay're upset about?"
[15:50] <Minaplo> ["Good question."-
[15:50] <Minaplo> ["Maaamaa~" Came a voice from the bedroom door.]
[15:58] <Yanmei> "In here, Lizzie!" Yanmei called to her.
[23:36] <Minaplo> [And so she ran out, little feet pattering across the floor, an energetic Reggie behind her. "Daadaa~ Maamaa~"]
[23:38] <Yanmei> "Merry Christmas, Lizzie! Do you want some bacon?" It was as if the horrors from the previous night had never happened~
[23:40] <Minaplo> ["Bacon!"-
[23:40] <Minaplo> [A thud-thud as someone knocked at the door. "I'll get it!" Said William.-
[23:40] <Minaplo> [Lizzie, meanwhile, was at Yanmei's leg, clinging to it, staring up at her with a big grin and those adorable eyes.]
[23:43] * Yanmei peered down at her, her mouth quirked with amusement. "I know what you're after. Eat first, and then you can open presents." She arranged a small plate for the girl, and led her to an open spot at the table. "Colonel, did you invite someone over today?"
[23:45] <Minaplo> ["No, not today…"-
[23:45] <Minaplo> ["Er, it's for you, Yanmei." Said William, backing away from the door.-
[23:45] <Minaplo> [Commander Hohenzollern was standing in the doorway.]
[23:48] * Yanmei stared. She was extremely glad, all of a sudden, for taking the time to fix herself up beforehand. If one ignored the sophisticated silk pajamas that she was still wearing… "C-commander! To what do we owe this pleasure?"
[23:49] * Zack is now known as ZackAFK
[23:49] <Minaplo> ["It's Christmas." She said with a smile. "What's Christmas without presents?"]
[23:51] <Yanmei> "You brought gifts?" She tried to hide her surprise. She wasn't sure if she did it convincingly, especially after the beat or two that it took to find her bearings again. "Won't you please come in? Can I offer you some coffee? A meal?"
[23:52] <Minaplo> ["Oh, no, I shouldn't stay too long. I have to deliver something to de Pteres and Blanc as well…"]
[23:55] <Yanmei> "I see. What a busy morning! You're not using your day off to relax a bit?"
[23:57] <Minaplo> ["Maybe later, if I have time."]
Session Time: Sat Oct 06 00:00:00 2012
[00:01] * Yanmei nodded cheerfully. "I do hope you find it. Um. And that you're traveling safely today?" She peered past her briefly, expecting to see a hallway full of people in dark suits and sunglasses, and perhaps the occassional santa hat.
[00:03] <Minaplo> [Just an empty hallway.-
[00:04] <Minaplo> ["I daresay I'm being well-protected. But come, don't you want your gift?"]
[00:05] * Yanmei tilted her head slightly with curiosity and then nodded. "Yes, please."
[00:06] <Minaplo> [She reached into her jacket and pulled out an envelope, which she held out to Yanmei. "Go on."]
[00:07] <Yanmei> So Yanmei carefully opened it.
[00:10] <Yanmei> And her jaw dropped slightly. "How did you know?!"
[00:11] <Minaplo> ["A little birdie told me~"]
[00:13] <Yanmei> "Well, thank you very, very much! I suppose we'll be flying quickly enough to avoid detection?"
[00:16] <Minaplo> ["Oh, I've made sure to give you the necessary precautions."]
[00:19] <Yanmei> "I see. I'll trust you on it, then." She wouldn't be trying to get rid of her. Not yet. That made no sense. Yanmei extended a handshake toward her. "I'm not sure how to repay you for this…"
[00:19] <Minaplo> ["What, you didn't buy me a gift? Even after all those drinks!" She took the hand and grinned.]
[00:20] <Yanmei> "It's not like I was expecting you?" she pointed out with a little mock-pout. "Anyway, I'm sure I'll find some way."
[00:20] <Minaplo> ["I'll look forward to it~" Said Hannelore. "Have a good day!"]
[00:21] <Yanmei> "You too! Merry Christmas."
[00:21] * Raphael has quit IRC (Quit: Bye)
[00:23] <Minaplo> ["Goodbye, everyone~" And with that Hannelore closed the door and was gone.-
[00:23] <Minaplo> [The others had managed to fetch plates and food for themselves, but now they were watching Yanmei curiously. "What was it?" Asked Isaiah.]
[00:24] <Yanmei> "A letter." Yanmei was folding it and slipping it back inside the envelope. "One letting Elizabeth and myself go to Nairobi for three days in a special VTOL."
[00:24] <Minaplo> ["… What?" Marianne frowned. Isaiah's eyebrows shot up in surprise.]
[00:25] <Yanmei> "She said that she had taken care of security risks, so…" Yanmei beamed. "It looks like we're going to see Lizzie's other mama after all?"
[00:26] <Minaplo> [Marianne turned to her food, frowning silently, but Isaiah smiled. "It's good of her to arrange that for you."]
[00:28] <Yanmei> "I know, right~?" Yanmei resumed her cup of delicious, bitter coffee. "It'll be okay, Colonel. Really, it will."
[00:30] <Minaplo> ["… I don't like this. Chiisana was shot down like this…"]
[00:32] <Yanmei> "Which means they can take measures to prevent the same thing from happening twice."
[00:33] <Minaplo> [Marianne scowled and turned to her food.-
[00:34] <Minaplo> ["But this'll be good for Isabelle, right?" Asked Isaiah.]
[00:34] <Yanmei> "Yeah. She's probably missed Lizzie a ton."
[00:39] <Minaplo> [On the topic of Lizzie- the little girl, eating through her bacon, was also slipping some of her sausage to Reggie below, who was happily gobbling it up.]
[00:39] * Yanmei has quit IRC (Ping timeout)
[00:41] * Yanmei‘ frowned at that. Bad habit. But at least it wasn’t Fino. Yanmei had left a mini-fruitcake on the windowsill the previous evening in the hopes that it would appease him and keep him from eating tastier stuff.
[00:42] <Minaplo> [Naturally, the fruitcake had gone, and all that was left in its place was an eager-looking seagull, perched on the balcony. Watching. Staring.-
[00:43] <Minaplo> [But soon, between her own hunger and Reggie's, Lizzie's plate would be clean. "All gone, maamaa!"]
[[00:44] <Yanmei> "All right!" Yanmei had finished her own small meal as well. Clean plates all around! "Let's see what Santa brought, then?"
[00:46] * Yanmei‘ has quit IRC (Ping timeout)
[00:49] <Minaplo> ["Santa! Santa!" She slipped from her chair, positively bouncing in excitement. "Santa Santa~~~"]
[00:52] * Yanmei held back a giggle at that. Ah, to be young again… "Shall we?" she addressed the table at large.
[00:53] <Minaplo> ["Sure." Said William, looking over with a smile. When he wasn’t looking, Joe snatched half the bacon from his plate.-
[00:53] <Minaplo> [Marianne managed a smile of her own, breaking through her cloudy bad mood. "You're gonna like what I got the little girl~"-
[00:53] <Minaplo> [Isaiah simply grinned. "C'mon, let's go."]

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