Ghosts of Evangelion

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Gob Hobblin
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Postby Gob Hobblin » Sun Oct 19, 2014 6:25 pm

Chapter 4:

SPOILER: Show
Establishing the quibble I had in the last chapter, the consistency in the characters as you write them is quite good. Shinji is still quietly suffering, Asuka is...Asuka. It works well, and is a good continuation of what was established.

Moving on....

Shinji was fighting back tears. "I killed my friend, don't you understand? He's dead because of me, and so is Ayanami, and all of this --" he waved his arms to encompass the whole of the world "--is all because of me. I didn't do anything to help you or Misato, and even though I piloted everyone is dead because of me! It's all my fault!" He was really worked up now.
"You're really full of yourself, aren't you?" she said flatly.


Oh, goddamn it, Asuka....

This yoyo effect of human interaction...up one minute, down the next, furious, and then despairing. It's displayed well in this chapter. This is also a LOT more in tune with Asuka as she appeared in the visions in Instrumentality: spiteful, subdued, and pushing. She says precisely the right thing at the right moment to absolutely hurt Shinji.

And all at once, it was back. That rage she hadn't seen since Instrumentality began. She stuck out her chin in challenge. "Stupid Shinji. Going to finish the job this time?" she whispered, tone full of vicious mockery.
That did it. He instantly deflated, utterly defeated, and sank to the ground in misery.
She looked at him with a mixture of pity and disgust. "It isn't your fault," she said.


I love how, when she's trying to be helpful, she's just as mean as when she's intentionally trying to hurt him.

It would be interesting to see what she would do if Shinji did act on his anger: stand and take it? Fight back? It has me curious.

The next few paragraphs also have me curious: this is very perceptive of Asuka, despite her detachment. What happened to make her so observant? Memories from Instrumentality? Was she always like this, and because she has no barrier to put up, this is what we get? It's a fun little exchange, and a warped but very honest way of explaining that Shinji is not at fault for everything that happened.


"I don't know!" he cried. The anger drained out of him, and he shrugged. "She still did it because of me."
"Yeah, because she was stupid. Get over it already." Her eyes widened as she caught sight of something in his stash. "Ooh, tuna!" she said, grinning brightly. She opened the can and started eating. "Who is this Kaworu person, anyway?"


....God...damn it, Asuka....

This was just plain funny to me, the complete detachment Asuka has to the conversation and the momentary pleasure of finding tuna fish. Before addressing the fact she has no idea who is so important to Shinji that he's flagellating himself over killing this person.

"That's what he wanted?" she asked.
He nodded. "Yes."
"You're sure?" she asked. "That's what he said?"
"Yes!" he shouted.
"If that's so," she observed, a wry look on her face, "then why didn't he leave?"
He stared at her. ". . . what?"


Again, this cutting perceptiveness. Where does it come from? Asuka demonstrated a certain...lack of awareness throughout the series, mostly due to her own ego preventing her from being able to be...down to the earth. In light of my earlier questions, is this possibly what happens when she no longer has the need to impress? When her ego is completely subdued?

She rolled her eyes. "Shinji, you said it yourself. He was an angel! He showed up, made friends with you, and then held the fate of humanity over your head to make you kill him. How can you not see it? He wasn't your friend, he was there to destroy you."


There is a lot to debate in this statement, but one thing is for certain: this is VERY much something Asuka would say and genuinely believe. There's the enemy, drive towards the enemy...kill the enemy. It fits her character perfectly.

"You're wrong!" he shouted. He got to his feet. "They never gave you a choice," he went on. "They used you and they, they threw you away, like you said! But I had a choice! They all gave me a choice, and I chose wrong every time! No matter what you say, this is my fault!"

She looked at him silently for a few moments, leaning against the kitchen counter. "It was a false choice, Shinji," she said softly.

He gave her a sullen stare, then shuffled off to his room. Before he closed the door he said, "you don't understand anything."


At a certain point, simply because Asuka dominates this scene so much, it feels like she's beating up on Shinji. He's at such a low point that he's incapable of offering anything like a constructive counterargument to her, and her continued dissection of his suffering is the sort of thing that would have the exact OPPOSITE effect on someone who is hurting.

It would almost seem malicious if not for the above exchange: here, Shinji, rightly or wrongly, takes ownership of his mistakes. They are HIS mistakes, and he won't let anyone take them away from him. Whether he did, in fact, actually MAKE mistakes, or if he deserves blame for all of them or some of them, is irrelevant...this is very much him 'not running away.' He is owning his failure.

Asuka's simple reply is both on point and correct: many of his worst decisions were false choices. He had no good way out of them, and this is something he needs to know.

Which makes HIS reply all the better: she doesn't understand. It is a petulant reply, but it is a true one nonetheless. It's the only defense he has at that moment, but it's not incorrect. And this is where they both are at the moment....

Neither of them understands the other. This is the start of communication, the true beginning of their relationship (with the previous chapter being the foundation).
Though, Gob still might look good in a cocktail dress.
-Sorrow

Rei wanted to know what waffles tasted like.
-Literary Eagle

We have to remember what's important in life: friends, waffles, and work. Or waffles, friends, and work. But work has to come in third.
-Leslie Knope

Come read EVA Sessions! This place has it, too! There'll be pizza! Not really! There are other things, too! Not EVA Sessions! Did I mention the pizza!?

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Postby Bagheera » Tue Oct 21, 2014 5:21 am

This could probably stand a bit more attention, but I'm looking to move on to the fireworks with Kyoko and Shinji. Have a taste of Okinawa WAFFiness:

SPOILER: Show
August 22, 2021
Asuka awoke, slowly pulling herself out of a deep sleep. She frowned. She needed a shower, but didn't particularly feel like getting out of bed just yet. She looked over her shoulder; Shinji was still asleep, eyes closed and breathing softly. She yawned and turned over, opting to doze for a bit. After a while she sat up. The sheet fell to her waist, exposing her skin to the warm Okinawa air, and she looked around the room, taking it all in as if for the first time. She dragged her hands over her face and crossed her arms, shivering despite the heat.
She jumped when a hand touched her back. When she didn't complain about his touch Shinji ran his hand up and down her back, stroking her gently. She turned to him, staring at him intently. He held her gaze and stared back at her, his head cocked in curiosity. After a few moments she said, "take a shower with me." Her voice was soft, level.
Shinji nodded. "Sure," he replied.
She took his hand and led him to the bathroom, turning on the water when they entered. When the water temperature was to her liking she stepped inside. He stepped in after her, closing the door behind him. She turned to him and took him by the shoulders, leaning against him. He rested his hands on her hips, holding her lightly, and kissed her forehead. She mewled in irritation, shaking her head to throw him off. But she tightened her grip on his shoulders and held him close, so after a moment he took the hint. She settled down when he tightened his hold on her. And so they stood together, enjoying the feel of the water pouring over them. After awhile they washed each other, slowly and gently, without a hint of shame or embarrassment.
When they were finished they stepped out of the shower, wrapping towels around themselves before entering their room. Asuka stopped at the desk and picked up her hair brush, handing it to Shinji. He smiled at her and began to brush her hair with long, rhythmic strokes. She closed her eyes, sighing in pleasure as he tended to her. When he finished with her hair she stood, a hand on her hip, frowning in thought as she stared at the ground.
"What are you thinking about?" he asked.
She looked at him, distracted. "That suit," she said. "I think I'm going to wear it today."

Shinji and Asuka left their hotel room, meeting Takao and Nagara just outside. Takao noted the change in the Children's demeanor immediately. "I don't think I've ever seen you look so relaxed, Ms. Soryu," he said.
She shrugged. "No dreams last night, so I slept pretty well." She and Shinji headed down the hall toward the beach exit.
As they went on ahead Takao shot Nagara an inquiring look; she just shook her head in response, equally baffled by the girl's behavior. "I thought they'd be happier," he said.
"Maybe relaxed is the best they can hope for," she mused. "The colonel and Kaji aren't all that different, are they?"
"I suppose not," he agreed, nodding. "Ah well. Makes our job easier, at least."
They followed the kids to the beach, taking up post outside of the bathrooms while they changed.
When Asuka emerged from the bathroom Takao sucked in a breath, but had the sense to hold his tongue. Nagara couldn't blame him this time, though; Asuka looked pretty impressive in her bikini. "Wow," Nagara said, taken aback. "You look stunning."
Asuka's brows knit. "Oh, come on," she groused. "You sound like Dimwit, here." She jerked a thumb at Shinji as she said it.
He sighed and looked at their guardians, shrugging helplessly. "I keep telling you I'm not just being nice, Asuka."
She tossed her head. "Yeah, yeah. Whatever. Let's just hit the water." She turned and headed for the water, giving the group a generous glimpse of her backside as she did so.
Takao pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed heavily. "Is she for real?" he asked. "I mean, seriously."
Shinji shrugged again. "You see what I have to deal with," he said, his voice bland.
"I feel for ya, kid," Takao said. "God help ya."
Shinji sighed. "Thanks," he said, before trotting off to join his girlfriend in the water.

"Hey, Shinji," Asuka said, fixing her ponytail, "Get me some ice cream." They were sprawled on their towels on the sand, resting under the shade of an umbrella.
Shinji smirked at her. "As you wish, princess," he said, with a mocking bow.
She stuck out her chin. "Hmph."
Shinji laughed and trotted off.
Nagara turned toward her, cocking an eyebrow. "Some reason you can't get your own ice cream?"
Asuka scowled. "Shinji likes doing things for me," she pointed out. "It makes him feel useful."
Nagara chuckled. "I see," she said.
"Well, it's not like I'm a bitch about it," Asuka said, lying down again. "If he acted like it upset him I'd do it myself. But it doesn't; you saw him just now. This is just the way we both keep from getting mopey."
Nagara shrugged and let it go. "Fair enough," she said.
When Shinji returned, he presented Asuka her ice cream. "Some guys in there were talking about you," he said.
She made a face. "What'd they say?"
"It was pretty crude," he replied. "Mostly how they thought you were really attractive and how they wanted to . . . do things to you."
Her nose wrinkled in disgust. "Ewww!" She scowled. "That's disgusting."
"Yeah, it kinda was," he agreed. "But even so . . . "
"Tch. I don't want that kind of attention," she spat.
"I don't blame you," he said. "I'm just saying--"
"I know, I know," she said wearily. "Give it a rest already."
He shrugged and licked his ice cream.
Last edited by Bagheera on Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:55 am, edited 5 times in total.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

pwhodges
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Postby pwhodges » Tue Oct 21, 2014 5:27 am

Was that the version you meant to post? It's got none of the changes we discussed most recently...
"Being human, having your health; that's what's important." (from: Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi )
"As long as we're all living, and as long as we're all having fun, that should do it, right?" (from: The Eccentric Family )
Avatar: "It was yourself you ran away from" - episode 16. (details); Past avatars.
Can't wait for 3.0+1.0? - try Afterwards... my post-Q Evangelion fanfic (discussion)

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Postby Bagheera » Tue Oct 21, 2014 5:50 am

Dang it, knew I forgot something. Fixed.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby pwhodges » Tue Oct 21, 2014 5:52 am

Much better :wink:

I like this chapter.
"Being human, having your health; that's what's important." (from: Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi )
"As long as we're all living, and as long as we're all having fun, that should do it, right?" (from: The Eccentric Family )
Avatar: "It was yourself you ran away from" - episode 16. (details); Past avatars.
Can't wait for 3.0+1.0? - try Afterwards... my post-Q Evangelion fanfic (discussion)

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Postby Literary Eagle » Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:03 pm

Aww, what a nice scene! I especially love the idea of Shinji brushing Asuka's hair. :heart: Did her hair get wet in the shower, though? Because if her hair was wet, then using a wide-toothed comb would be better than a brush. Wet hair can get damaged by brushing. Anyway, the thought of Shinji looking after her hair was really sweet!

Just one little typo, so small that I almost missed it:

without a hint of shame or embarassment (should be "embarrassment")

I really enjoyed this scene! Keep up the awesome work, Bagheera!
The Happy Red Planet (my Evangelion fan fic)

Gob Hobblin
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Postby Gob Hobblin » Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:20 pm

Chapter 5 - September 9, 2018

I'ma have to date these things so I can keep track. You and your dates! The dates!!!

:derp:

Anyhoo.....

SPOILER: Show


In the feels. Right in the feels. This chapter is so well paced: it starts slow, simple, relaxed, and builds in tension throughout. It's not a Dan Brown-tension, though (the cheap kind, honestly), but a dull, thudding kind, that drives and builds and consumes.

At times, it plods, and that's perfect...the waiting game of not-knowing, of searching everywhere and everything. The combination of heightened anxiety matched with just...nothing. And how scary that nothing can be. It builds this dread, and bears it down, and it does so purely through pacing.

Of course, we know Asuka survives, so it kind of kills the dread of the outcome, but we still hate to see the characters themselves in this moment of fear.

It also shows you don't need to overhype things to make them panic ridden...that sometimes a characters panic can come from not having ANYTHING to do. Of having set the wheels in motion, and just...waiting. And how HARD that wait can be.

He had a message from Touji indicating his friend was psyched about starting up school the following day, and another from Misato with a link to a strange video on a media site involving an anime character making strange noises. It was a shot sequence, looped for over an hour. He frowned in annoyance and deleted it.


Was there any doubt who this came from? Misato has become everybody's mom. Oh, Lordy, the day has come.

Something interesting I noticed about the conversation following this: Shinji and Misato don't know what's happening with Asuka. The lack of details concerning her situation is surprising to me, and I understand that a lot of that is by design: Asuka has deliberately 'erased' herself from their lives for a time. On Shinji's part, I had to think about it, and remembered that, at Asuka's request, Misato was keeping certain things from Shinji. So that made sense.

The part with Misato, though...wouldn't a guardian keep closer tabs on her ward? This here may have actually been planned, or it may just be fridge brilliance...but it demonstrates how much Misato has to learn about this game. That she ASSUMED everything was hunky-dory and just let life take it's course. It makes the rest of this chapter more gratifying: the idea that somewhere in this lack of attention, Misato made a horrible mistake, and she has to make up for it NOW. RIGHT...FA-RIGGING...NOW.

Asuka knocked on his door about a half hour after Misato's call. Shinji answered, and found her dressed in proffessional attire: a blouse, skirt, and jacket. She had circles under her eyes and seemed somewhat harried, but nonetheless gave him a weak smile when she saw him. "Hey, stupid Shinji," she said. "Mind if I come in?"


In very few words, you've given us an image of an Asuka where everything is not at all right. There are definite cues in this situation that she is in a very bad way, from the expression to the words to the way she's dressed, the way she appears. This is a perfect example of show, don't tell, and should be pointed to when someone needs to know.

"Also, Nagisa was right. You're a good person, and you deserve to live a happy life. What happened after, with Third Impact -- that was Nerv. It was all about them and their shitty goals, all of it. None of it was your fault. I really, really want you to understand that."


Such a true statement, but the tone...the context. It's all wrong. It all feels left-handed, or upside-down. And a bit of a trigger...I've had conversations with people like this before. You capture the essence of it very well: the sense of, "Oh, wait...this person isn't trying to mend a bridge, they're trying to SETTLE ACCOUNTS."

Yeah, anybody else reading this, memorize the warning signs: Bagheera does a pretty good job of spelling them out here.

The next passage at first seemed out of sequence, because I didn't understand why Misato was trying to track down Asuka before Shinji called. Then I remembered that Asuka had already dropped off the grid, hence Misato's search. This was pretty much implied, but one throwaway line ("I better get to work on finding her,") established that as the case. That's fine (reading comprehension for the win!), but with something as big as this, it might help to bring more attention to that. I like that she's playing it off (let's not worry Shinji), but it can help with transitory scenes later on down the road. That's just a personal suggestion, though: I may be the only one who stumbled on that.

Misato looked in the closet for a blanket and wrapped it around the girl. "I'm going to take you out of here, alright? We'll go to my place for now. We can sort everything out in the morning."


:asuka_sad:

The feels...all of the feels...that I am feeling in my place that I feel things....

Damn it, Misato, you win all the points. Just...just take them all. Take the points and don't stop taking them!

:asuka_thumbsup:

There's a concept I remember learning through church (part of an educational packet my mom was working through) called Languages of Love. Basically, that we all, as people, have our own language in which we display love to each other, through acts, words, gestures, etc. It's not like simple love, or romantic love, however: it's that deep sort of fundamental love, how one person connects to and builds another.

"Are you hungry? It's pretty late, but I can make some soup or something really quick if you like."


In one sentence, you have sealed Shinji's characterization in one of the best ways possible. First thing he does after seeing Asuka (assuming that the last time he saw her was the LAST TIME) is offer to make her food. You hit on this later, but this is important to bring up here. This is his Language of Love: service. Service, with an especial focus on food (bringing warmth to others through food). I liked this, and it deserved to be highlighted.

Watching Asuka take charge of the moment, for better or worse, and firmly establishing where her area of comfort is (or, more accurately, acknowledging it) and SEIZING it has such a satisfaction about it, especially as it's not a very big moment. In fact, it's almost an afterthought. But this is the start. This is where she comes home (to where her home was all along), and stays.

And that final exchange (great touch with Shinji on the floor, and not in the bed with Asuka...the idea that space is needed, he has given her his own bed...it's just a nice touch). Well paced, well written, TOUCHING, and filled with nice little moments like this:

"You think too much," she said with a smirk.
He blinked. "What? I thought I was stupid."
"You are stupid," she said sagely. "You're stupid and you think too much."


There's a genuine affection within this exchange, and it shines through. It's a dull, painful moment, but a hopeful one. This was a strong chapter, and it really worked well. You should be proud of this one, Bagheera.
Though, Gob still might look good in a cocktail dress.
-Sorrow

Rei wanted to know what waffles tasted like.
-Literary Eagle

We have to remember what's important in life: friends, waffles, and work. Or waffles, friends, and work. But work has to come in third.
-Leslie Knope

Come read EVA Sessions! This place has it, too! There'll be pizza! Not really! There are other things, too! Not EVA Sessions! Did I mention the pizza!?

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Postby Bagheera » Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:08 am

LE: Typo fixed. And you're right re: wet hair, so just assume they used a comb instead! -o-;

Gob: :blush:

Also, dates are how I keep track! :lol:
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby xanderkh » Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:45 pm

^

Speaking of dates, how far in the future are you planning to go with this story? Like, what's the oldest date you have planned?

....Or is that a "spoiler" question? :tongue:
"You're na�ve, Cecil. Even knowing betrayal and despair, you would depend on the whims of others?" - Golbez
---------------------------------------
Sephiroth: "Do you miss the Light?"
Golbez: "Hmph...I merely have duties to fulfill."
Sephiroth: "Too close to the brightness, and you may get scorched."
Golbz:.............
Golbez: Your loss can strengthen you.

"NGE Shinji is broken, Manga Shinji is an asshole, Rebuild Shinji is an idiot. Which is best? Uh, can I get some other options? All of these really suck." -Bagheera

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Postby Gob Hobblin » Sun Oct 26, 2014 10:45 pm

Blurble-hurble, splort...murp.

...moving on....

Review for October 7, 2018:

SPOILER: Show


A short chapter, but a merry one...I liked the pacing of this one, and I liked watching the interaction between Asuka and Misato. One of the more painful aspects of the canon tv series is how Misato and Asuka did not have the close relationship one would expect the two of them to have (two very stubborn, intelligent women who probably have more shared experiences than meets the eye...though this could also explain why they were at such odds towards the end...).

That's one of things, however, that made this such a gratifying chapter: there was a certain catharsis to reading Misato and Asuka finally taking the steps to address the rift in their relationship (or, at least Misato is...). This was one of those moments where two characters reach a pivotal point in their relationship, and I enjoyed the way it was handled. I especially enjoyed seeing how much Misato has matured as a character: she has applied her talent for problem solving (seen when applied against the Angels) to her personal life, and it is marvelous.

The first exchange between the two of them sets the tone well: the barely contained, semi-cordial hostility of Asuka, and the perseverance of Misato. There's not much in particular about that one chunk to say, other than it started the chapter well.

To her credit, Misato did take her to a decent restaurant. Asuka ordered a swordfish steak out of principle; Misato winced at her charge's choice, then shrugged it off and ordered some sashimi for herself.


Asuka, really now....

The rest of the chapter, I'll have to be brief on (falling asleep), but there was two things about it I really liked: the first was the way Misato teased the answer out of Asuka as to what happened with Kotetsu. She pretty much knew what happened, but she wanted Asuka to tell her: to give Asuka the agency and power over the event by sharing it when she wanted to.

The second was offering Asuka an out: she didn't solve Asuka's aimlessness for her, but she pointed a suggestion to her and let the girl figure it out for herself.
Though, Gob still might look good in a cocktail dress.
-Sorrow

Rei wanted to know what waffles tasted like.
-Literary Eagle

We have to remember what's important in life: friends, waffles, and work. Or waffles, friends, and work. But work has to come in third.
-Leslie Knope

Come read EVA Sessions! This place has it, too! There'll be pizza! Not really! There are other things, too! Not EVA Sessions! Did I mention the pizza!?

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Postby Bagheera » Mon Nov 03, 2014 12:30 pm

Ah, in-laws. There's nothing quite like them, or so I hear. Here we have a story wherein Kyoko channels NemZ and Tines, and wherein Shinji gets to be just a little bit awesome. See what you think!

SPOILER: Show
June 26, 2024
Kyoko Soryu looked up as the door opened. "What do you want?" she hissed.
Misato Katsuragi stared back at her blandly. "We've been getting complaints--" she began.
"Like I care," Soryu spat. "Why are you keeping me here? Where is my daughter?"
"We're not keeping her from you," Katsuragi said. "It's just, your situation is complicated, and she--"
"Stop lying to me," Soryu interrupted. "I want to see her."
Misato laughed nervously. "I understand, but--"
"Now!" Soryu demanded.
Katsuragi sighed. "Very well," she said. "If that's what you want. But she--"
Soryu scowled. "I don't care about what you have to say," she groused. "Only her."
"Alright then," Misato said, resigned. "I'll call her."

When Asuka entered the room, her mother was pacing back and forth like a caged animal. Her head snapped toward her daughter as soon as she opened the door. "Asuka!" she exclaimed, hurrying over to her. "Finally! Why are they keeping me here? What's going on?"
Asuka took her mother by the arms, trying to calm her down. "It's fine, mama," she said. "Things are just a little complicated."
Kyoko scowled at her. "'Complicated' is a word people used to justify bad behavior," she muttered.
Asuka winced. "It's not like that," she said. "The doctors are worried about you. They know how bad things were for me when I came back, so they're being extra careful with you. And we're also trying to get your living situation sorted out--"
"What's to sort out?" Kyoko said, interrupting her. "I'm a grown woman, I can live perfectly well on my own."
Asuka gave her a weak smile. "Oh? How much have you slept since you returned?"
Kyoko stared at her. "Very little," she admitted. "Every time I close my eyes, those things, those loathsome beasts . . . "
"I know, mama," Asuka said. "It was the same for me. That's why we're trying to be careful."
Kyoko shrugged. "Fine, then. I'll stay with you if that's what you want. Or would that be too much of a burden?"
Asuka shook her head sharply. "No, of course not! I'd love to have you stay with me, I really would. It's just that, well . . . " she hedged.
Kyoko's eyes narrowed. "This is about a man, isn't it?"
Asuka flushed. "Um, kinda."
Kyoko crossed her arms. "Typical. Men are always like that, controlling peoples' lives." She rubbed a temple. "I don't even know why I think that, it's not like I remember anything. But I know it's true. Everyone else, all those other people confirmed it."
"He's not like that, mama," Asuka said. "He's really not."
Kyoko looked at her, chin in hand. "Then what's the issue?" she asked wearily.
"Well . . . " Asuka hesitated. Then she directed her voice to the open door. "Shinji? Could you come in here for a minute?"
Kyoko stared her in confusion, which turned to shock when Shinji entered the room. He smiled nervously at her. She turned back to Asuka. "Have you lost your mind?" She breathed, horrified. "Why would you take up with him, of all people?"
"Mama--" Asuka began.
"After what he did to you? To us? Why would you even entertain the idea--"
"Mama, please--" Asuka pleaded.
Kyoko turned to Shinji. "What have you done to her, you louse? She would never associate with you after what you did. What are you--"
Shinji licked his lips nervously. "Please, Mrs. Soryu, you're upsetting her, she--" He broke off when Asuka touched his arm.
Kyoko opened her mouth, a contemptuous reply on her lips, but a glance at Asuka brought her up short. She was trembling, visibly upset. Kyoko closed her mouth and waited.
Asuka closed her eyes, breathing deeply to calm herself. Then she opened her eyes and met her mother's gaze. "Please don't say things like that, mama. I know he's made a lot of mistakes," she said. Kyoko scoffed, but didn't reply. "But that was a long time ago. He's tried very hard to make amends since, and he's been very good to me. Please, just let me explain. Please, mama."
Kyoko glared at Shinji, then shook her head in disgust. "Fine," she muttered. "I guess I have no choice."

"You can't be serious," Kyoko said, aghast. "Me? Living under the same roof as him? That's insane."
"Mama--" Asuka began.
"Even if things are as you say, that doesn't change my feelings," Kyoko went on. "To me he's still . . . " she clenched her hands into fists, then let it go. "No. Impossible. I'd rather take my chances on my own."
Asuka's face fell. "I see," she mumbled.
Kyoko's head snapped up at the tone in her daughter's voice. "Wait," she said. "I didn't mean it like that." She hurried over to Asuka, and when she spoke there was an edge of panic in her voice. "You have to believe me, Asuka, I would never--"
Asuka smiled weakly. "I know, mama. It's fine. We'll . . . we'll figure something else out." She turned to Shinji. "Come on," she said. "Let's go. We'll talk to Misato, I guess. See what else we can do."
Shinji looked from one woman to the other and back again, chewing his lip in indecision. Finally, he clenched his fist and turned to Kyoko. "Mrs. Soryu," he said, "Please reconsider."
Asuka grit her teeth. "Shinji . . . " she warned, the tone of her voice unmistakable.
Shinji ignored her, continuing to address Kyoko. "This is very important to her," he went on. "She's missed you terribly these past few years, and she was so excited to have you back. I can't bear the thought that I'm getting in the way of that."
"Shinji, that's enough," Asuka growled.
Once again, Shinji ignored her. He got on his hands and knees, bowing low before Kyoko. "Please, Mrs. Soryu. Please give me the chance to prove you wrong!"
Kyoko looked at the man on the ground before her, then turned to Asuka, utterly baffled.
Asuka flushed and hid her face with her hands. "Shinjiii!" she whined.
Kyoko turned back to Shinji. "Get up, you fool. You're embarrassing yourself."
"A little embarrassment is nothing compared to what you've suffered!" he said. "For your daughter's sake and for mine, please reconsider!"
Kyoko frowned with distaste, then threw up her hands. "Fine, whatever you want. Just cease this ridiculous display this instant!"
Shinji stood, keeping his eyes on the floor as he moved to stand by Asuka. He snuck a glance at her, and winced at her disapproving frown.
Asuka turned to her mother, her expression hopeful. "Do you mean it, mama? You'll reconsider?"
Kyoko just waved a hand in exasperation. Then she turned to Shinji. "Your father was bad enough, but you're unbelievable. You really are an idiot," she stated flatly. Shinji blinked, while Asuka looked poleaxed. A moment later she suppressed a giggle. "What is it?" Kyoko asked, looking from one to the other. "What's so funny?"
Asuka gave her a strained smile and scratched her head. "It's nothing, mama. I'll explain later."
Kyoko was not amused. "Tch."

"Are you absolutely sure about this?" Misato asked. "I know you said she agreed, but even so . . . "
"No, I'm not certain at all," Asuka replied. "But what other options do we have? I don't want her living alone, and I'm not about to kick Shinji out of his own home. And besides," she went on, "I don't think I could deal with her on my own, anyway."
Misato bit her lip. "Things have been pretty rough for you since she came back, haven't they?"
Asuka laughed mirthlessly. "What gave it away?"
"The circles under your eyes, Shinji's nervousness, your jumpiness. It would be obvious even if I didn't know you as well as I do."
"Figures," Asuka said.
Misato stood and stretched. "Alright then. If this is what you want then so be it. I'll get your mother's discharge paperwork sorted out and you can take her home today."
Asuka nodded. "Okay. Thanks, Misato."
Misato smiled at her. "Sure. Just be careful, alright?"

Kyoko awoke with a start, breathing heavily. She blinked several times in confusion, looking around her in bewilderment until recognition set in. She lay back down and closed her eyes again. After a time she became aware of pressure in her bladder; she got up, slid open the bedroom door, and proceeded down the hall to the bathroom. When she was finished she came back, and spared a glance for the two sleeping figures in the apartment's living room. They lay in one another's arms, sleeping fitfully. As she watched Asuka murmured in distress; a nightmare, perhaps. Shinji responded by tightening his arms around her, holding her securely, which quieted her down. She nuzzled his chest and pressed close to him. The expression on her face was . . . not content, surely, but at least calm. Safe. Secure. Kyoko closed her eyes and sighed in resignation. "Why him, of all people?" she lamented. She shook her head and headed back into the bedroom and lay down, but sleep eluded her for the rest of the night.
Last edited by Bagheera on Mon Nov 03, 2014 3:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby pwhodges » Mon Nov 03, 2014 3:09 pm

"Baka"! I like how you lightened that moment. But it's good to have a reminder that even by this date still not everything is coming up roses.

s/thngs/things/
s/same room/same roof/
s/embarassment/embarrassment/
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Postby NemZ » Mon Nov 03, 2014 3:23 pm

"After what he did to you? To us? Why would you even entertain the idea--"


Uh... what is she referring to here? I know for her EoE was just a little while ago but I'm not at all certain what Kyoko would have actually known about the proceedings that involved him. I'm totally fine with someone thinking he was a worthless little snot back then but I'd like to know why.
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Postby Bagheera » Mon Nov 03, 2014 3:40 pm

"to you" refers to the obvious scene

"to us" refers to doing nothing while the MPEs tore them apart, which she knows about via Instrumentality. They'll need to talk about that at some point, obviously. She might also hold some resentment over the Arael incident and the fight with Kaworu, since he was absent from the one and a foe in the other (not quite rational, that, but then Kyoko isn't at the moment).

(Identified) typos fixed.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby MisterHalt » Mon Nov 03, 2014 5:46 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:She might also hold some resentment over the Arael incident and the fight with Kaworu, since he was absent from the one and a foe in the other (not quite rational, that, but then Kyoko isn't at the moment).


Oooh, that would make for some...interesting conversation topics. Having to ask your daughter's boyfriend why he couldn't get off his giant robot ass and help in one situation, and why his giant robot wrecked her giant robot. And of course, why he didn't get off his giant robot ass at the end (Kyoko wouldn't know about things like the Bakelike and Shinji's mindset at the time, would she?)
Strength is being able to crush a tomato. Dexterity is being able to dodge a tomato. Constitution is being able to eat a bad tomato. Intelligence is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put a tomato in a fruit salad. Charisma is being able to sell a tomato based fruit salad.

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Postby NemZ » Mon Nov 03, 2014 5:50 pm

The thing is, if she knows things because of instrumentality then she should also already know what the answers to those questions are, right? If not, why not?
Rest In Peace ~ 1978 - 2017
"I'd consider myself a realist, alright? but in philosophical terms I'm what's called a pessimist. It means I'm bad at parties." - Rust Cohle
"Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize that half of 'em are stupider than that." - George Carlin
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Postby Bagheera » Mon Nov 03, 2014 6:00 pm

View Original PostNemZ wrote:The thing is, if she knows things because of instrumentality then she should also already know what the answers to those questions are, right? If not, why not?


No, she knows all of those answers, and she finds them wanting (as you do, hence my comment re: her channeling you and Mr. Tines). Asuka knows it as well, which is why she's talking about what Shinji's done in the years since, which is stuff Kyoko doesn't know.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby xanderkh » Mon Nov 03, 2014 6:39 pm

^

If Kyoko could see Shinji in Instrumentality, does that mean she could see things from his point of view as well? And if she could, is she refusing to use that as an excuse because of Asuka? Makes sense cause she's Asuka's mother and all.
"You're na�ve, Cecil. Even knowing betrayal and despair, you would depend on the whims of others?" - Golbez
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Golbez: "Hmph...I merely have duties to fulfill."
Sephiroth: "Too close to the brightness, and you may get scorched."
Golbz:.............
Golbez: Your loss can strengthen you.

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Postby Bagheera » Mon Nov 03, 2014 6:48 pm

View Original Postxanderkh wrote:If Kyoko could see Shinji in Instrumentality, does that mean she could see things from his point of view as well? And if she could, is she refusing to use that as an excuse because of Asuka? Makes sense cause she's Asuka's mother and all.


She could see from his point of view, but she doesn't necessarily buy into it. Understanding does not automatically breed sympathy; Asuka gives him a break because they have a lot of shared trauma, but Kyoko's looking at things from a different perspective. She's essentially saying "yes, I get it, you had reasons, but that doesn't make it okay you stupid fuck."

Basically, she's a different voice, one who's not motivated by guilt or sympathy. She's been hurt, she knows she's been wronged, and her tolerance for people who hurt others -- particularly her kin -- is limited. That doesn't make her right, not by a long shot, but it does mean she won't be aping the same sentiments we've been seeing to date.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby Gob Hobblin » Mon Nov 03, 2014 7:43 pm

Review for March 12, 2016:

SPOILER: Show


...God...DAMN it, Asuka....

It's fascinating watching when a person hurts another person without meaning to. Especially in this chapter, which is still all about 'finding boundaries.' The little touches throughout definitely sell that point: Asuka accepting Shinji's touch, but telling him what was and what wasn't appreciated: her shrugging him off when she was done: him accepting it, 'learning' her 'language.'

Even the way he convinced her to eat. Jesus, it is hard to make a depressed person eat when they don't want to. Using the Apocalypse as a leverage point is not bad verbal jiu jitsu, young Shinji.

The next sequence was infuriating and hysterical in its implications, especially for those of us who have been on both sides of these conversations: Shinji so proud with his find, and Asuka automatically going into "How can I kick him with this?" It's just plain, thoughtless cruelty, but it's the kind that makes sense, given the stress of the characters and the frustration both of them have.

And Shinji's reaction is all part of that boundary determining process: Asuka has overstepped her boundaries, hurt him, and he's lashing out. To her credit, she's realized this, only too late to do anything about it. Shinji's reaction (storming off and returning the cello) is believable in this context.

The ending has that nice, poignant bittersweetness about it (more bitter than sweet). They've made up, but they're still raw, and hurting. It's a nice setup for what follows.
Though, Gob still might look good in a cocktail dress.
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