A Neon Genesis Evangelion alternate universe fanfic
By Andrew yclept Aelfwine
The characters and situations of Neon Genesis Evangelion, Megatokyo, Ranma ? Harry Potter, and anything I may have missed are copyright their respective creators and publishers. They may not be used or reproduced commercially without permission. The use of these characters and situations is not to be construed as challenge to said copyright. They are merely borrowed for this work of non-commercial fanfiction, from which the author derives no financial benefit.
Warnings: Violence. Sexual references. Giant robots. Yours truly.
Mr. Largo the English teacher left halfway through class, muttering something about hordes of zombies in a cave of evil beneath the streets and needing his crossbow. At least this time he'd taken the door, rather than bounding out the window.
If they'd been faced with such an incident last year, her classmates might have panicked and run away themselvs. Now they simply put away their books and papers and and took advantage of the free time in whatever fashion pleased them: gossiping, reading, drawing their magical-princess alter egos waltzing with long-haired giant robot pilots. Did they take the teacher's departure so calmly because they'd at last become accustomed to his insanity? Because after two attacks by giant aliens they were no longer frightened of anything less? Or because they thought the safest place in the world was, by definition, wherever Ikari Shinji was?
Hikari pulled her gaze away from the elaborate sequence Mayuka was midway through inking. She's a good artist, but I didn't want to know that much about her fantasies. Her eyes scanned over Suzuhara and Aida, sharing a newspaper and chattering about the International Main Battle Tank Championship, and fell on Ikari, who had taken out a sheaf of paper, an inkstone, and a brush. Ayanami, beside him, pulled a battered paperback from her bag. It looked like a novel; the cover, in a style that managed to be simultaneously florid and photorealistic, depicted a woman in black tunic and trousers, sword and pistol at her belt, her hair tied in a long red braid, gesturing grandly before a crowd of adolescents in black robes. The title read: Harry Potter and the Genetically-Engineered Posthuman Professor From an Alternate Universe.
Outside, tires squealed and an engine roared. "Street racers?" someone said. "A police chase?" said someone else. A bit less than half of the class got up from their seats and ran over to the window. The rest continued to gaze dreamily at Ikari.
"Who is she? A new teacher?"
"Wow! She's hot!" Hikari glanced outside. A purple haired woman wearing a miniskirt and a military-styled jacket was locking the door of a battered blue subcompact car. Who was...? She turned towards the school, and Hikari recognised her. Captain Katsuragi.
"Don't bother," Suzuhara said. "She's Ikari's lady."
She's not, Hikari thought, however much she might wish to be. She should have corrected Suzuhara, in the interest of politeness and good discipline and not spreading gossip, but she hadn't the energy.
Hearing that, most of the rest got up and ran to the window. "Think she'd share?"
"An older woman! We never had a chance." Five or six of the girls and a couple of the boys, including the star of the basketball team, hid their faces in their hands.
"I wouldn't mind dating both of them," Mayuka murmured, her eyes half closed.
Ikari appeared oblivious, covering his paper with professional-grade calligraphy. Mayuka thinks he's writing love poems for a mysterious lady who lives in a castle and ignores him. Aida thinks he's composing a martial arts manual. Me, I think he's writing home. Which is, in a way, more intimidating than their hypotheses.
Ayanami's eyes remained on her book, but a small smile quirked her lips for a moment.
"So, Captain Katsuragi, you're young Ikari's parent?" The vice principal raised her eyebrow. Misato forced herself not to squeeze the arms of her chair too hard; it would only make her palms sweat more.
"Oh, no. We live together, that's all." Damn. Exactly what I didn't want to say. "That is... he's part of my command. We're billeted together. For military reasons."
"I see." The vice principal pursed her lips. Well, she thinks I'm a teenager-molesting pervert. So, is she disgusted, or jealous?
"Commander Ikari would have come, but you know how busy things are at NERV. I could only get away for an hour, myself. And that only because I'm taking Shinji and Miss Ayanami to the Geofront for another session in the combat simulator afterward."
"Hem hem. This is very irregular, Captain. Of course, Mr. Ikari is very irregular, himself."
"Surely you're not saying he's a discipline problem, ma'am."
"Mr. Ikari is a perfect, polite, well-behaved, courteous, self-disciplined young gentleman. His example inspires his fellow students to exhibit good citizenship and excell in their studies. Grades have gone up since his arrival in our community, discipline problems have declined, and truancy in his class has virtually ceased. His mere presence stops fights and prevents bullying.
"But you have to admit that it's... unusual to have a young man in a junior high school who, despite his birth certificate, appears to be nearer to twenty than fourteen. A young man who, for your... hem hem... military reasons is excused from wearing school uniform. A young man who attracts constant attention and highly flirtatious behaviour from our girls, as well as from those young... gentlemen so inclined, despite doing nothing to encourage this attention. Nothing overt, I should say."
She really did look like a toad. And the pink headband was ridiculous. Misato schooled her face to impassivity, forced herself not to giggle. Jealous, definitely.
"A parent-teacher conference? Truly?" Ritsuko snickered. "So, did they kick you out? Tell you the dirty-old-lady-teacher conferences are next week?"
"Damnit, Ritsuko! I am not a dirty old lady! I have done nothing irregular with Shinji. You've seen more of his skin than I have, Doctor Akagi."
Her friend's eyes were wide. "Misato, I'm sorry. I didn't mean..."
"I'm sorry as well, Ritsuko. I'm just... stressed." Misato let go her crumpled beer can, grateful it had been empty and none had spilled.
"It's stressful times. So... do you think this Jet-Alone thing will make our job easier? Or take it over?"
"Let's see... an all-mechanical giant robot with an on-board nuclear reactor. No crew, only a clumsy attempt at artificial intelligence. And there's no evidence that its weapons can pierce an AT field... No, I don't expect it will."
"Nice of them to lay out such a spread, all the same," Ritsuko said. "I'm looking forward to this test for more reasons than just watching the Jet-Alone Mech fail and prove in the sight of all the media just how necessary NERV are. Because, no matter what happens, there's champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries for afters."
They were leaving the school building when a VTOL came overhead. Hikari wondered if Mr. Largo had done something to attract the media again. Then she looked up, and realised the craft was military, not a brightly painted traffic 'rotor from one of the local radio stations.
Ikari had a cellphone out. She'd never seen him use such a thing before. It seemed out of character, like a samurai in full armour drinking coffee from a can. But there it was, pressed to his ear. And Ayanami was beside him.
The VTOL had tilted its rotors upward, was descending to the soccer pitch. Aida Kensuke looked delighted, as glowingly happy as Mayuka'd have been if Ikari had shown up at school wearing only a loincloth and brought her lunch besides.
"Ikari," someone shouted, "is it another Angel?"
"No," he said. "There's a giant robot running loose-not one of our Eva."
"What will you do?" Mayuka said.
"Stop it. Best you were all off the streets." He headed for the pitch, Ayanami beside him.
"Good luck!" Hikari called after them.
Damnation. She'd known this wasn't going to work. "Shin-chan, there's no way to get a helicopter close enough. Even you can't leap a hundred meters onto the back of a running giant robot."
"But I can position myself on the ground or in a building, catch hold of the leg, and climb up to the control room. And my chi is strong enough to resist the radiation levels. As, with respect, Captain, yours is not."
"I'll have a rad suit, Shin-chan. And don't call me 'Captain.'"
"That is not sufficient protection, Misato-san."
"Shin-chan, we need you to pilot Eva. Ayanami isn't back in fighting shape yet, the Fourth Child isn't ready... you're all we've got. I, on the other hand, am expendable."
"You are not expendable, Misato-san."
"You're the one who's always talking like the perfect soldier, Shin-chan. You know about military necessity. Damn it, you know full well I'm more expendable than you. Shinji, listen to me." No honourific. She'd known Kaji for six months, and slept with him once, before she used his name alone.
There was a long silence. "True. Very well. You will ride in the hand of my Eva, and I will place you on the robot. And if you die... I'll be very unhappy with you, Misato." No honourific.
"So will I. And don't worry, I'm not going to let myself die when I've not even had a chance to embarrass you in front of a girlfriend yet."
He smiled, slowly. "Very well. Let's saddle up."
"Wait a moment." She caught him in her arms and pulled him close. "I need a hug. And so do you."
Shinji forced his consciousness into the Eva. There was the usual odd sensation, as if someone else were there in the system as well, someone half-present, someone almost familiar. He drew himself away from the thought.
T-minus thirty seconds.
A small eternity. After which, he would be on the ground, running, catching up with the rogue machine and placing his friend on its back. Placing his friend in danger. He had sent friends into danger before, commanded friends in battle... but this wasn't battle. And this friend, for all her rank and uniform, was no warrior. She had never made the deadly bargain, never sworn to risk her blood and life defending family and friends.
But she had chosen. And he would do all within his power to ensure that this choice was not her last. The hug had allowed him to stimulate certain of her meridians... not, perhaps, the best ones for strengthening her body against radiation, but the ones most easily reached. Her speed and balance would be improved, not enough to throw her off her own movements, but enough to aid her clinging to the robot and making her way into the control room.
And for afterward, he had certain techniques of massage and acupuncture, and the recipe for a medical potion which, properly administered, might heal the body of anything less than an immediately fatal overdose of gamma rays. Treatments which had been developed by the Chinese Amazons in the middle years of the last century, when the old Soviet and American alliances were stockpiling fission and fusion bombs like rodents storing seeds for the winter.
As a boy of ten, Shinji had never understood why the Elder Kuh-lohn had required him to memorise such treatments; atomics had been replaced in the armouries by N2 explosives and nuclear power plants had become safe as windmills. Thank you, Elder, for your foresight and wisdom. And, if the laws of Heaven permit, watch over my friend, I pray you.
T minus one.
T time. And there was only action, and the moment.
It was over. She'd done it. Deactivated the Jet-Alone Mech, somehow. And taken a dose of radiation in the process. A fatal dose, she expected.
Shinji's face loomed in her vision. "Don't, Shin-chan, it's no use," she said, but he ignored her. Or perhaps she hadn't really said it, only tried.
He'd got her helmet off. She realised, dimly, irrelevantly, that a bead of LCL was clinging to his nose. Sickening stuff. She could smell it. But there was a scent of sweat, and
Shinji, that cut across the worst of the reek. If she had to die, there were worst scents to have in her nostrils at the end. His fingers were probing her face. There was a hint of pain, then warmth, or was it merely an absence of pain spreading through her body?
"What are you doing?" she said.
"Saving your life."
"Too late. I took too many rads."
"Nonsense." He'd opened up her collar. "Accupressure to stabilise you, a course of acupuncture, a few doses of medicinal herbs, and you'll be ready for anything. It shouldn't take more than a week."
"Ready for anything?"
"Well... almost anything. I've called in one of my uncles to be your sensei. Once you've studied with him for a few years, I expect you'll be ready for anything."
"My sensei? I don't need to learn martial arts. If I need anyone beaten up, I've got you to do it for me." Christ and the Amida Buddha out drinking beer, why had she said that?
He was grinning. Her face felt warm. Whatever his fingers were doing in the vicinity of her jawline felt almost obscenely good. Fourteen, she thought to herself. Fourteen. Even if he were the age he looks, he'd be a college student. You've not slept with a nineteen-year-old since you were nineteen yourself. It wasn't working.
"Misato," he said, "if you're going to make a habit of climbing giant robots, you're going to have to start practicing for it. Unless you'll promise to let me climb them for you from now on, I'll have to insist."
"That's insubord... insubordination." She could barely get the word out for giggling.
"Which is sometimes necessary. My old-I mean, a wise old top sergeant I once knew-once told me he'd never knock an officer down and sit on him unless said officer insisted on taking point in clearing an enemy fortress when there were troopers there who were harder to break, more experienced at clearing fortresses, and less skilled at mag... I mean, at dealing with the enemy's communications and information processing systems."
"Shinji," she whispered, and was absurdly pleased at how near he brought his face to hers, "I know there's something about your past, something you can't tell me. I'll trust that it's nothing that threatens NERV, or Tokyo-3, or... or yourself, until you feel able to tell me about it. But I have to ask, and I'm hoping you'll tell me, if only by saying yes or no... did you fight in a war somewhere? Or... somewhen?"
"Yes, Misato," he said, very softly.
"Thank you." She thought of something else. "Why haven't we been swarmed by reporters and UN troopers and all the other odds and sods?"
"I might have used a... technique."
"Magic, in other words."
"You could call it that."
"Excellent. I don't want to deal with Rits-chan just now. Especially if, as I suspect, this accupressure of yours has got to go lower down."
"I'm afraid it does."
"Fine by me. Although I should warn you... I've only got my knickers on under this suit."
His face reddened, but his voice was steady. "Mixed bathing is the custom of the Amazon Autonomous Region. It's nothing I've not seen before."
"Oh. I wish you'd told me that earlier. I hate having to wear clothes at home." He was blushing for true now. "Ha, I knew I'd get that reaction somehow. You're cute when you blush, Shin-chan."
"Thank you. And... you also, Mi-chan."
Something smelled good. Not quite familiar, but good. Almost good enough to make Misato ignore the pounding in her head and the nasty taste in her mouth. Shouldn't've gone out with the bridge crew last night. She was mostly recovered from her experiment in giant-robot-climbing, but the liquor still hit stronger than it ought to. She remembered stumbling out of a cab, propped up by Ritsuko and her sweet little shadow, Ibuki, and being half-carried to the door of the building, where Shinji, dressed in his exercise clothes, collected her. She hoped she'd not whispered anything embarrassing in his ear as he helped her upstairs to their flat.
Water. She wanted water. Both as a drink and as a shower. She hauled herself to her feet and headed for the door. There was something she needed to do. Clothes? No. We take those off in the bathroom, Misato. There's a man in the house. And he didn't sleep in your bed last night. Damn it.
Out into the hallway. The pleasant smell was coming from the kitchen. She was tempted to go straight to the table and sit down. Whatever-it-was smelt good enough to overpower the taste in her mouth, and she was remembering that she did, in fact, possess a stomach and that said stomach was quite empty.
No. First bathe, then eat. After all, that's Shinji cooking. And I want to look good for him. Never mind the fact that he probably thought a chainmail bikini, warpaint, and a slight misting of enemy blood was the height of female fashion. Or whatever it was that sword-swinging warrior women actually wore. He might even think I smell good right now. His eyes would open wide, and he'd move, and she'd know he was about to throw her to the floor and ravish her, and she'd want nothing better in all the world. But his gallant nature would overwhelm his burning flame of primal manhood, he'd stop himself in mid-leap, and then she'd ravish him on the kitchen table.
No. She stopped herself. We're soldiers, we can't just do that. He's under my command. And Commander Ikari would never wink and nod at fraternisation just because it meant his son was getting lucky.
Shower. She needed it. Down the hall with her, and into the bathroom. She turned the water on, let it get hot. The steam began to clear her head. She reached down to take the hem of her shirt and draw it over her head... and her fingers closed on empty air.
Damn. Last night had been so sweaty she'd wound up sleeping in only her knickers. Just as well I decided to bathe first. Her face grew hot at the thought of stumbling into the kitchen, half asleep and five-sixths naked, to find her pilot peacefully stirring a pot and contemplating Confucian ethics. Or whatever it was he thought about whilst he was cooking. She always thought about beer and men, which was probably why her cooking was barely edible, let alone palatable.
Granted, he'd seen as much of her body already. But that was medical. Not at all the same thing. And she'd lain on a massage table in the Geofront with a cloth over her for the follow-up treatments.
When she finally walked into the kitchen, properly dressed in a tee shirt tied up just below her breasts and a ragged pair of cut-off jeans she'd had since high school, her hair tied loosely back with a scrap of ribbon, she found Shinji at the table with a book, Pen-pen sitting beside him as if the penguin were reading over his shoulder, and a pot of bubbling something on the range. "Hey, good-looking, what's cooking?" she said, laying a hand on his shoulder.
"Congee. It's a recipe of my foster grandfather's."
Rice porridge for breakfast. Wasn't that taking the ancient Chinese thing a little too far? At least it's not cold pizza, black coffee, and flat beer. "Smells good. Is it ready?"
"Yes." He made to rise, and she gently pushed him down. Damn, his shoulder feels like iron bars wrapped in rawhide and rubber. Warm iron bars wrapped in rawhide and rubber, with a layer of soft glove-leather over the lot. "No, I'll get it. And yours as well, if you've not eaten yet."
"Would be completely proper. I'm the woman of the house. And you're the one who actually fights to defend, among others, me. Let me spoil you, for once, please?"
"As you wish."
She giggled and went to get two bowls and the small plate of pickles he'd laid out on the counter.
With food, three cups of tea, and a beer in her stomach, memories of yesterday at work began to return. Ritsuko had given her a new ID card for Rei; she'd meant to stop by the girl's apartment and deliver it when she went home to change before going out.
Which hadn't happened, of course, as Ritsuko, the stupid bint, had collared her two hours later and hauled her straightaway to the nearest bar. She ought to deliver it today. But... it's an easy walk, they've no school today, and Shinji should get to know his comrade. The two were polite to each other, of course, and worked well together in training, but... Shinji needs someone his own age. Someone who understands what his life is like, not one of those silly girls who think he's an anime hero and only needs a perky yet fetchingly vulnerable consort to make his life complete. And once he's safely attached, to Rei or, if that doesn't work out, to the Second Child, I can stop thinking about him, and start looking for a man my own age. Right?
"Shin-chan," she said sweetly, "would you do me a little favour?"
"I am at your command," he said. Had the little twinkle always been there in his eye, when he said things like that, and had she simply not known how to see it before she climbed the Jet-alone Mech?
"Ritsuko gave me Rei's new ID card yesterday, and you know I've got all this paperwork to catch up on, so... Could you take it by her place? If you're not busy?"
"I'll deliver it for you."
"You're sure it's no trouble? If it is, I could stop by tommorrow and drop it off."
"It would be no trouble at all."
He wished Misato wouldn't drink quite so much. It didn't affect her to half the degree one might expect-the resources of her physical and energy bodies must be quite profound-but the sight of someone so full of off-kilter courage and bright humour taking such quantities of toxin was saddening.
Especially when one thought of the eventual result of many more years of such self-poisoning. It would be a tragedy, on so many levels, to lose the keen mind that shone through her camouflage, or to ruin her lovely body. Which he would not think about in greater detail.
Well, Aunts Kasumi and Ukyou were scheduled to rotate back to Tokyo-3 University; with any luck at all they'd have settled their project in North America within a few weeks and returned home. Bringing Uncle Ranma with them, who would be teacher enough for anyone. Especially when he was splashed with cold water and became Aunt Ranma.
The neighbourhood was a remnant of the pre-Impact city that had somehow survived both the post-Impact bombings and the construction of Tokyo-3, a collection of four and five-story buildings interspersed with empty lots. Old rather than historic, a reminder of losses that society found it easier to ignore than to mourn, it had been left to quietly fall apart.
It bothered him that Miss Ayanami's flat was here. His fellow pilot was more than capable of terrifying into submission the amateur street thugs he'd noticed trying to hide as he passed, some of them actually wetting themselves at the sudden presence of a top-level predator, but she shouldn't have to live in the midst of such ugliness. If his father were worthier, Shinji would have spoken with him.
Then again, if Father were worthier, she wouldn't be living here in the first place. And you would never have come to be part of our family. Don't forget that, great-grandson said Elder Kuh-lon's voice in his head.
There was the place. A walk-up building, the sort that, in a different location, might be far more pleasant than his and Misato's, full of life and children and neighbours who knew each other's names, like a village of a dozen huts in the middle of a city. Here, however, it reeked of despair and utter loneliness. No wonder that Miss Ayanami was so silent, living all her life as if she were standing guard outside an imperial palace. More wonder that she'd retained any spirit at all.
He stepped through the door. The elevator was broken, and even had it been in repair he wouldn't have cared to subject himself to its stale and doubtless stinking confines. The lobby was littered, and stank of human wastes and spilt beverages scarcely more savoury.
The stairs were less dirty, as if whomever had befouled the lobby was afraid to climb them. Miss Ayanami's flat was two floors up. He knocked at the door.
The door was unlocked. Inside, the little apartment was desolate. Her voice had come from further inside. "Hello, Miss Ayanami," he said. "Captain Katsuragi sent me with your new identity card."
"Hello, Ikari." She wore nothing but a towel, draped over her shoulders. "Thank you for bringing my card." Her posture was innocent, her nudity less provocative than Misato's full dress. He felt as if somehow he'd managed to step into a village bathhouse with his clothes on.
"I'm sorry to have stopped by at an awkward time," he said.
"The Commander has said I should engage in more social interaction," she said. "I've just run a bath. Would you join me? The tub is sufficiently large, I think, and I have a second towel."
"If it's no bother," he said.
In the village, the bathhouse had two entrances and two changing rooms. The thought of undressing before her was as uncomfortable as the thought of being naked beside her in the water was not.
"Excuse me," she said, and turned back towards the bath. He undressed quickly, folded his clothes and set them on the kitchen table for lack of a better spot. A few minutes later, they were both scrubbed and rinsed and sitting in the tub. There was just enough room for them to stretch out their legs, side by side and facing each other.
"Thank you for inviting me," he said at last. "The public baths here are lonely, and our apartment has only a shower."
"Lonely," she said. "Aren't there other people there?"
"Few. And I don't know any of them." A sizeable minority of Tokyo-3's population were immigrants, and preferred to bathe at home; their customs seemed to have rubbed off on the rest. The men who did use the public baths tended to stay away from him. He suspected that they thought that he'd think they were propositioning him if they talked or came too close, and would do something violent in response.
"I've never been," she said, "but the ones in manga look interesting. Could I go with you, sometime?"
"I don't think there are any mixed baths here."
"Where men and women bathe together."
"Oh. I thought in public baths they only tried to sneak looks at each other."
"Not in the Amazon Autonomous Region. There's only one bathhouse in each village. The men and boys have one door, and one room to dress in, and the women and girls have another. It's not rude to look, but it is rude to look too much."
"In China. The Commander told me you had been trained to fight there."
"Yes." How much did she know? How much did his father know? He imagined telling her. Actually, I was kidnaped by an enemy of my foster family who wanted to use me as a weapon, was given a magical forced growth treatment and taken backwards and sideways in time, and spent three years fighting him after I escaped. That's why I'm not really the same age as you, despite us having been born a few months apart.
"I wish he had sent me, also." I can't decide if I'm glad you were spared that, or if it would've been better than whatever has been done to you. You'd have been a good comrade, I think, but so many of them didn't make it.
"My foster-mothers took me." She looked blank, as if it had never occurred to her that anything happened without the Commander's willing it. My father's willing it, he reminded himself. "One of them is from there."
"Je suis desolé, Gabrielle," Souryuu Asuka Langley said, "mais je n'ai pas la choix." All true, she thought, I haven't any choice, and I am sorry. So why do I feel as if I'm lying?
"I'll miss you. Very much."
"And I you." Gabrielle Delacour Potter's face brightened, which made Asuka feel rather more guilty. The other girl was sixteen, two years older than herself. Then why do I feel as if she's the younger one? I don't think it's my degree. They were the two youngest students in their college, probably the two youngest in the whole university. Asuka had graduated a year ago and started on her doctorate in physics, and Gabrielle, having begun two years ago, was the equivalent of a third year student in a four year undergraduate mathematics programme. "Maman and Mum and Luna and Dad will miss you, also."
"And I them." Gabrielle's parents were all on the faculty here in Heidelburg; three of them were English and the other was French. They'd married young, Asuka gathered, before it was actually legal, and had met whilst they were all still at school. She suspected Gabrielle thought that everyone met whomever they were going to marry before they were old enough to drive.
Not that Gabrielle's parents did drive, as near as Asuka could tell; they didn't own a car, and seldom even rode the bus. Professor Harry-her father, who wouldn't answer to Herr Doktor Potter outside of a classroom-and Professor Ginny-her "Mum"-sometimes mentioned flying as if they were, or had been, pilots, but they never talked about aircraft or any of the other things that all the other pilots she'd met wouldn't shut up about. Asuka wondered if they had bad memories of the wars of the Impact, or some conflict before. Gabrielle was apparently named for an aunt who'd died shortly before her birth, and, reading between the lines, Asuka suspected that death had come in combat.
Gabrielle seemed sometimes absurdly sophisticated-she was conversant with obscure points of history and literature, fluent in Latin and Welsh as well as the local German and her parents' English and French, a skilled fencer, and a competent player on the guitar and lute-but other times as ignorant as a child or a recent immigrant from some backward country like Kurdistan or the Duchy of Nevada.
They'd met when Asuka found her fumbling with a keycard at their dormitory's door, and Gabrielle had said it was the first time she'd used a key that wasn't notched metal. Her initial bewilderment with email and the Web tended to support her claim that she'd scarce used a computer. She said that her school in Scotland had never been electrified, let alone networked, which seemed an excess of anachronism even for an obscure boarding school that apparently drew the bulk of its clientele from amongst the children of old students.
Gabrielle said she'd left school after her third year because she was taking maths classes with the seventh years and leaving even the professors behind, and come here because she could easily have replaced the instructor at her Maman's old school in France. There was obviously some truth in that. Asuka was as good at maths as any physics student, rather more than some, but Gabrielle's mathematics were as far beyond her as hers were beyond those of the first year Japanese literature student who'd tried to flirt with her yesterday in the canteen.
Thankfully, Kaji-san had come by to rescue her after a few awkward minutes, before she'd had to resort to drastic measures. There was nothing like a handsome professor from the School of Strategic Sciences, his unshaven chin and loosely-tied hair contrasting with a beautifully tailored suit, to show a clumsy fresher that she was not impressed by his schoolboy Japanese. And it was far nicer to be remembered as the girl who left on the arm of an alpha male than as the girl who turned out to be under the age of consent.
Thinking of which... the age of consent was fourteen in Tokyo-3. That could be pleasant, couldn't it?