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Bagheera
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Postby Bagheera » Tue Jan 13, 2015 6:10 pm

It's . . . holy shit, I haven't posted anything in over a month. That's both depressing and unacceptable. You know what this story needs? Kensuke, that's what. Have some Kensuke.

SPOILER: Show
August 23, 2021
Shinji and Asuka made their way through the udon shop, looking for some trace of their friends in the midst of the hungry crowd. They found them in the shop's back room, chatting amiably while they waited. When Hikari saw them she smiled and waved them over.
The pair sat down, Shinji looking harried and Asuka some combination of frustrated and bored. Hikari looked them over with a hawkish gaze, scrutinizing them carefully as she looked for anything out of place. After a moment she smiled brightly and clapped her hands. "You did it!" she cheered. There was a triumphant note in her voice. "I'm so happy for you!"
Shinji shot Asuka an accusing look, and she responded with a shrug. "Don't look at me," she said, her voice caustic. "I didn't tell her anything."
Shinji sighed and gave Hikari a bland look. "How could you possibly know that?" he asked.
Hikari grinned. "It's so obvious!" she exclaimed. "Everything about you is the same, but different. You're more . . . relaxed, I guess? It's hard to describe."
"She means you're acting like a couple," Touji said, boredom in his voice.
Hikari nodded eagerly. "Yes, exactly!"
Asuka huffed. "Whatever."
Hikari, undaunted, turned to her husband. "Touji, why don't you and Shinji go check out the arcade while Asuka and I catch up?"
Touji frowned. "Hey," he asked, "what about lunch?"
Hikari scowled. "Touji, this is important."
"So's lunch," Touji said, growling. "A man's gotta eat, you know."
"Touji." It was a single word, but there was an element of menace in Hikari's voice that promised dire things if he argued the point.
Touji opened his mouth to complain, but ultimately thought better of it. "Fine," he grumbled. He turned to Shinji. "Let's go, bud. Girls gotta do what they gotta do."
Shinji frowned, and shot Asuka an inquiring look. She responded with an apathetic shrug, and he sighed. "Alright. If that's what you want, I guess it's fine. I guess we'll see you two later."
Hikari waved them off, then turned expectantly toward Asuka. She rested her chin on folded hands, and gave her friend a sunny smile. "Tell me everything!" she implored.

"Damn, man," Touji complained, turning into the arcade. "Why do they gotta do that?"
"Why are you asking me?" Shinji asked. "You're the one who's married, you tell me."
Touji just laughed. "I dunno, man," he said. "If I understood women, I'd be a rich man." He stopped short, taking in the sight of a familiar figure before him. "Whoa. Is that who I think it is?"
Shinji followed his gaze, and stared at the man before him. "Kensuke?" he asked.
Kensuke did not look well. His eyes were bloodshot, his motions while playing his game agitated and confused.
Touji walked up to him, a smile on his face. "Well, look who it is. How you doing, Ken-man?"
Kensuke looked up at him, his eyes wide. "T-Touji?" he stammered. He turned and saw Shinji, and began to panic. "Shinji!" he exclaimed. "I . . . I . . . " He looked around, searching for an exit.
Touji put a comforting hand on his shoulder. "Hey man, take it easy. We're cool, right?" He looked at Shinji, who nodded. "See?" he went on. "It's all good. Relax."
Kensuke fidgeted, then closed his eyes and took a deep breath. "S-sorry," he said. "I . . . " He shook his head. "Sorry," he repeated.
Touji squinted at him, then shook his head and clapped his friend on the back. "Hey man," he said, "why don't we grab a table and get some grub? Then we can catch up, hey?"

Shinji, Touji, and Kensuke entered the Udon shop and made their way to the back room. As they approached the girls' table Asuka caught sight of them. She took one look at Kensuke and rolled her eyes. "Well well well," she said, "it's the three stooges, together again. How's it going, rat face?"
Kensuke looked away from her, studying the ground intently. "F-fine, I guess," he mumbled.
"Have you graduated to toilet cams yet?" she asked, leering at him.
He scowled. "Hey! I haven't done anything like that since I was thirteen!"
"I see," she said, nodding. "Still sticking with locker rooms, then."
Touji scowled at her. "C'mon, Soryu, knock it off."
Asuka turned to Hikari. "Be careful, Hikari," she whispered. "You never know with this one."
Hikari gave her a nervous laugh. "Asuka, that's not very nice," she said.
Asuka shrugged, then turned back to Kensuke. "Why are you here, anyway?" she asked. "I thought you and your dad went to Hokkaido or something."
Kensuke flushed. "Erm, well . . . we did, for awhile. But he . . . he died in a fishing accident a couple of weeks ago, so I didn't really have anywhere else to go. I came back here to try to find work. Or . . . something. I still haven't quite worked it out."
"Oh," Asuka said. She adopted a bored expression, suddenly finding the walls very interesting.
Hikari smiled at Kensuke sympathetically. "That's awful, Kensuke. Is there anything we can do to help?"
Touji laughed. "Funny you should mention that, Hikari. Y'see . . . "

Asuka stared at the sidewalk as she walked, aware of Shinji at her side. They walked in silence for several blocks. Finally she said, "It's not like I try to be a bitch, you know."
"I know," he said.
She glanced at him sidelong. "I mean, he was a total perv back in middle school," she said.
"Yeah," he said.
She pouted. "What he did was pretty skeevy."
"Yeah," he said, nodding, "it was."
She shuffled along. "And it's not like I knew," she said. "I mean, if I had . . . "
"I know, Asuka," he said. "You'd never try to hurt him if you knew. Everyone knows that."
She scoffed at him. "No they don't. They all think I'm a heartless bitch. Even Hikari thought I went over the line."
"It's not like that," he said. "Hikari loves you. She'll always give you the benefit of the doubt, just like me." He wrapped an arm around her, pulling her close. "And Touji and Kensuke . . . it's complicated with them. But they don't hate you. I know they don't."
"Hmph," she said. "If you say so." She settled into his embrace, and they walked the rest of the way home in silence.

Shinji finished cleaning the kitchen, then smiled with sudden inspiration. "Hey, Asuka," he said, "I was thinking about practicing for a bit. Do you mind?"
Asuka looked up from her manga. "I don't care," she said. "Do as you like."
Shinji nodded, then headed toward his room to get his cello. He was distracted by a knock at the door. "Who could that be?" Shinji asked. He opened the door and found Touji standing on the other side.
"Heya, Shin-man," Touji said.
"Touji," Shinji said, surprised. "What--"
Touji smirked. "Gotta talk to Soryu for a minute," he said. He looked past Shinji at Asuka. "Well?" he asked. "You game?"
She shrugged.
Touji looked at Shinji. "Beat it, Shin-man. This is between me and the demon."
Shinji looked at Asuka, then at Touji, then back at Asuka. He sighed, and made his way toward the door. "Just don't kill each other," he said.
Asuka and Touji replied in unison. "No promises!" they said.

Asuka scowled at Touji as the door closed behind Shinji. "Alright, monkey boy," she said, "what is this all about?"
"It's Kensuke," he said. "You need to cut him some slack."
"Look, I'm sorry about his dad--" she began.
"It ain't that," he said, interrupting her.
"Eh?"
"It's just . . . " he scratched his head. "He's been through a lot."
She gave him an incredulous look.
He held up his hands, warding her off. "I don't mean it like that," he said. "But . . . " he frowned. "You know how people remember stuff from Instrumentality?"
She nodded.
"Well, he remembers the Fourth Division," he said.
Her eyes narrowed. "What are you talking about?" she asked.
"Just what I said," he said. "He remembers the Fourth Division. He remembers their invasion of Nerv, and he remembers their fight with you."
"That's impossible," she said. "People remember friends, family. Not . . . " She waved her hands. "Not huge groups of people!"
Touji shook his head. "It's different with him," he said. "Kensuke is . . . was, I guess . . . a hardcore military otaku. He absolutely worshipped them."
"Yeah," Asuka scoffed. "I'd expect that of a dweeb like him."
Touji frowned, but let the remark pass. "He also idolized the Eva pilots," he said. "Particularly you."
She blinked. "No way," she said. "He was stuck on Shinji and Ayanami--"
Touji shook his head. "Shinji was his buddy, and Rei was exotic. But you . . . you were from Germany. You were the very essence of cool to him."
Asuka shivered. "Ew!" she said. "Creepy much?"
"Hey, I ain't endorsing it. My point is . . . well, imagine how he felt when he saw the Fourth Division slaughtering civilians. Imagine how he felt when he saw them burning innocent people. Who even does that, man?" He laughed mirthlessly. "I thought no one used flamethrowers anymore, jeez."
Asuka shrugged. "How should I know?" she asked.
"But anyway," he went on, "imagine how he felt when he saw them fighting you. It was bad enough that they tried to kill Shinji, but you . . . They were his idols, and they were fighting someone he revered as a goddess. He had no way to deal with that."
"That's stupid!" she said. "Ugh!" She shuddered. After a time she sighed and said, "Okay, fine, he's had a rough time of it. What do you expect me to do about it?"
He laughed. "I don't expect ya to do anything, man," he said. "Just be aware, that's all. He ain't some perv out to get ya, he's just a fucked up kid like the rest of us. Just deal with that and don't poke at him, that's all I'm askin.'"
She crossed her arms and harrumphed.
"C'mon, Soryu," he said. "If you can get along with me . . . "
"You're different," she said. "You're a pilot."
He gritted his teeth. "Even so . . . "
Asuka dithered, then threw up her hands. "Fine, whatever," she said. "But he's your problem. If he says something stupid I won't be held responsible for what happens."
"Fine," Touji said, holding up his hands. "That's fine. That's a start, at least."

Touji closed the door behind him and leaned against it, letting out a deep sigh.
"How did it go?" Hikari asked.
Touji looked at her. She was in the kitchen, making tea. "Alright, I guess," he said. "Dealing with her is like dealing with a real demon -- I feel like she'll eat me alive if I lose focus for even an instant."
"Oh, come on," Hikari said, rolling her eyes. "She's not that bad."
"Not with you," he agreed. "Maybe not with Shinji. But for me, that's how it is." He sat at the table, gratefully accepting her tea.
"Well, at least she has some amount of respect for you now," she said.
"Is that what you call it?" he asked.
Hikari just laughed at him.


Poor bastard.

Up next: a little of this, a little of that. And within a week, not a month.
Last edited by Bagheera on Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:23 pm, edited 6 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 MisterHalt » Tue Jan 13, 2015 6:40 pm

Always good to see another chapter from you, Bagheera.

I like your idea of Instrumentality, that everyone remembers things differently. Makes it seem a lot more personal, instead of the "everyone remembers everything ever" I sometimes see.
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 pwhodges » Tue Jan 13, 2015 6:52 pm

Poor Kensuke! Instrumentality gave him the opportunity to see the world as a soldier, and that's what he saw...
"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)

Sicarius VI
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Postby Sicarius VI » Tue Jan 13, 2015 7:29 pm

If NGE did continue focusing on Kensuke as you have would've been a nice side plot as they show him finally understanding why it isn't great to pilot Eva, etc.

I've been waiting for a update, Ty Bags and look foward to new releases.
"I'm not going there to die, I'm going to find out if I'm really alive." - Spike Spiegel

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Postby xanderkh » Tue Jan 13, 2015 7:47 pm

^

That's what's good about this series, is that not always playing the "hero" can be a good or easy thing.

A good person can have heroic qualities, but still be a good person. But the new definition of a "hero" is one that selflessly sacrifices parts of themselves for the greater good of others, whether it be themselves, their innocence, or their morality. And while it is a noble cause, a lot of people just aren't cut out for that kind of deal when it sacrifices TOO much.

Still, I'm glad that Kensuke is back, so the entire gang is back. And I look forward to more of Kensuke. Hopefully he and Asuka can learn to be a bit civil now. If Touji can do it, so can he. XD

Welcome Back Bags. :)
"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 Literary Eagle » Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:28 am

Yay, a new chapter!

Poor Kensuke... I'm glad that Shinji and the others will be there for him now. I really liked what Shinji said about wanting to be friends again. Go Shinji!
The Happy Red Planet (my Evangelion fan fic)

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Postby Coldwire » Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:27 am

Yes, it's back!!! Been waiting for a long time for this update, it was depressing indeed. I'm glad it continues.
I could hide familiar in my pain
serve my sorrows in vain
or I could step right outside
and show you that I'm alive
I'll leave you behind...

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Postby Cosmo11 » Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:19 am

Great chapter!! Can't wait for the next

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Postby Bagheera » Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:51 pm

Kyoko's really fun to write.

SPOILER: Show
September 20, 2030
"Well?" she asked.
He fidgeted. "I don't know what you want me to say," he said.
She scowled. "Something other than that."
He made a nervous gesture with his hands. "But you already know everything," he said, frustrated. "You saw--"
"Yes," Kyoko interrupted, "I saw. Even in your own mind, you're a pathetic failure of a man. What of it?"
"Fine," he said, frowning. "If that's how you feel, you never have to deal with me again."
She threw up her hands. "You idiot!" she cried. "Is that what you think I want? Really?" She shook her head. "Unbelievable. That Ikari twerp is positively insightful compared to you."
The man's reply was interrupted by the arrival of another party. "Is there a problem here?" Misato asked, standing in the doorway.
Kyoko glared at her. "No," she hissed, "no problem. This is between me and my future husband. It doesn't concern you."
The man looked at Kyoko in shock, clearly unaware of her intentions. Misato looked taken aback for a moment, then collected herself and moved forward. "Leaving aside the fact that he's my father," she said, "the way you're berating him is unacceptable."
Kyoko's lip twitched. "But--"
"Ms. Soryu," Misato said, her voice full of steel, "we are all broken people. We have made mistakes. We have done terrible things. But we are trying to make amends, to heal our wounds and move forward." She smiled at the woman. "Be kind."
Kyoko's eyes narrowed. "I don't do kind," she growled.
Misato paused, giving the woman in front of her a hard stare. Then she murmured, "I know."
Kyoko's eyes went wide. She glared at Misato, trembling with rage. She spared the man, one Akira Katsuragi, a hateful glance, then stalked out of the room without another word.

"Oh dear GOD, I hate that woman," Kyoko said, pacing back and forth.
Asuka turned over a card and frowned, no closer to resolving her game. "Mother, please," she said, "calm down."
Kyoko scowled at her. "Easy for you to say," she groused. "That woman, she--"
"What did she say that was so terrible, anyway?" Asuka asked, interrupting her.
Kyoko crossed her arms and turned away with a huff. "Nothing specific," she said.
Asuka narrowed her eyes. "In other words, you're just mad because she's right."
Kyoko stiffened, then forced herself to relax. "Well, of course she's right," she huffed. "But that's hardly the point."
Asuka gave her mother a pointed stare, then sighed and stood up.
"Look, Asuka dear--" Kyoko began.
"Come on, mother." Asuka took her arm and headed for the door.
Kyoko stiffened, offering half-hearted resistance, but Asuka's grip was firm. "What?" she asked. "Where?"
"To Misato's place, of course," Asuka said.
Kyoko's eyes widened. "But--"
"You need to apologize."
"I do not!" Kyoko protested. "She--"
Asuka glared at her. "Now, mother." Her tone brooked no quarter for dissent.
Kyoko frowned, but offered no other reply.

Asuka knocked on Misato's door, Kyoko standing sullenly at her side. Presently the door opened, Misato on the other side, answering with a smile. "Heya Asuka," she chirped. "What's up?"
Asuka sighed, then pointed toward her mother. "My mother has something she wants to say," she mumbled.
Misato looked toward Kyoko expectantly.
Kyoko frowned, then said, "No, I don't."
Asuka elbowed her in the ribs. "Mama," she said, "c'mon."
Kyoko coughed. "Well," she said, "It's just that . . . "
Misato smirked. "Yes?" she asked.
Kyoko flushed. "Your father . . . " She paled. "That is, Mr. Katsuragi, he . . . " She faltered, and went silent.
Misato offered her a soft smile. "It's not like I don't understand," she said. "He's failed me a lot, too."
Kyoko fidgeted. "If only he were like Ikari," she said. "He's a waste, but at least he tries to make things better. Akira just . . . "
Asuka and Misato shared a glance.
"Oh my God," Asuka said.
Kyoko blinked at her. "What?" she asked. She looked at Misato, then back at Asuka. "What is it?"
"You admire him," Asuka said, pointing an accusing finger at her mother. "You admire Shinji!"
Kyoko crossed her arms. "Don't be ridiculous," she huffed.
Asuka put her hands on her hips, a goofy grin on her face. "You do! You so do!" She turned to Misato. "I'm right, aren't I?"
Misato nodded. "Sure sounds that way to me."
Kyoko flushed again. "I don't . . . " Then she sighed, giving up. "I don't admire him, exactly. But I do admire his . . . " she frowned, considering. " . . . persistence, I suppose." She tossed her head. "And what of it? It's an admirable trait, even in an obstinate brat like Ikari."
Asuka laughed, pumping a fist in the air in victory. "Woo hoo!" she cried. "Finally, finally, FINALLY!"
Kyoko gave her a bemused glance. "If I'd known my approval meant that much to you I would have offered it years ago."
Asuka grinned at her, absolutely giddy.
Misato smiled at the girl's display, then turned her attention back to Kyoko. "Mrs. Soryu," she said, "my father's been through a lot, and he has a lot to answer for. But even so, I truly believe he's a decent man at heart. Give him time."
Kyoko scowled at her. "I was fucking him when you were barely out of diapers, Katsuragi. I'm pretty sure I know his nature better than you do."
Misato blanched at that. "Mrs. Soryu, please . . . "

Shinji made his way to the incinerator, idly wondering why he was the one who always wound up making the trip. Along the way he spied Akira Katsuragi, sitting on a bench, looking utterly dejected. He dropped off his garbage, and on the way back stopped to consider the man. After dithering for awhile he clenched his hand in decision and approached the man. "Mr. Katsuragi?" he asked. "Are you alright?"
The man started, then looked up in surprise. "Oh!" he said. "Mr. Ikari, wasn't it?"
Shinji nodded.
Katsuragi smiled at him. "I knew your father. He . . . " he frowned, trailing off.
Shinji laughed. "It's okay, sir. You don't have to say anything."
Katsuragi nodded gratefully, then fell silent.
Shinji sat beside him. "Is something wrong sir?" he asked.
Katsuragi frowned, unsure as to how to proceed. Finally he said, "Let's just say I'm . . . not very good with women."
Shinji smiled sympathetically. "Mrs. Soryu is a . . . formidable woman," he observed.
Katsuragi gave a short laugh. "That's putting it mildly."
Shinji laughed again. "I have enough trouble with her as Asuka's mother. I can't imagine how hard it must be to deal with her directly."
Katsuragi frowned. "She's not a bad person," he said.
Shinji shook his head. "No," he admitted, "of course not. But the Soryu women admire strength," he went on. "If you're weak, they expect you to rise above it. And if you're strong, they expect you to push harder in order to excel. The one thing they hate is people who give up, who run away."
Katsuragi frowned, and Shinji laughed. "I'm the same way," he said. "I want nothing more than to run away, but I know I'll disappoint her if I do. So I don't. I keep trying, even if it hurts, because I know that will inspire her to do the same thing."
The other man stroked his chin. "Is that really worth it, though? That's a terrible burden to place upon yourself, and on her."
Shinji shrugged. "Maybe it wouldn't be for some people, but it is for us." He smiled at the elder Katsuragi. "I guess it's up to you to decide, in the end."
Katsuragi frowned again, deep in thought.

Katsuragi knocked on the door before him. It opened, and he found Kyoko on the other side. She said nothing to him, just stared at him sullenly while she waited for him to speak. "I would like to speak with you," he said. He gave her a nervous half-smile. "Perhaps over coffee?"
"Tch," she said. "Afraid to talk to me in private?"
He closed his eyes and sighed. "Kyoko, please."
She stared at him for a moment, then shook her head in disgust. "Fine," she said. She grabbed her coat and stepped outside.
The walk to the cafe was short, and they endured the trip in silence. When they arrived they bought their coffee and sat down in a booth. She stared at the walls, looking at nothing in particular, while he fidgeted. Finally, he mustered up the nerve he needed to speak. "I just don't understand," he said. "Why do you want to pursue this?"
She met his gaze. "Why wouldn't I?" she asked. "Your wife's no longer in the picture, so what's stopping us?"
He flinched at the mention of his wife, but let it pass. "You don't seem to have a high opinion of me."
She deflated a bit at that. "That's not true," she said.
"Everything you say to me indicates otherwise," he said.
She put her head in her hands. She was trembling now.
"And it's not like you don't have good reasons to feel as you do," he went on. "All of us have made mistakes, but none have been as costly as mine."
She looked up at him, puzzled. "What are you talking about?" she asked.
He shrugged. "I am the man who destroyed the world, if you'll recall. Second Impact and everything that came after were my doing. Why would you want anything to do with me after that?"
She shook her head in denial. "That's not your fault," she said. "You were duped."
He laughed. "Of course I was duped," he said. "Because I'm an idiot, as you say."
"That's not why you're an idiot," she said, deadpan. She massaged her temples and took a deep breath. "Look, you organized that expedition to find out what was out there. That was your only goal. You didn't know anything about the Dead Sea Scrolls, or the Seeds, or any of the rest of it. You simply wanted to learn, to understand. And that curiosity, that hunger for knowledge is one of the things I truly love about you. The fact that that curiosity was abused for malign ends is disgusting, but you're not responsible for any of that."
"I disagree. But that aside, how can you love anything about me?" he asked. "You said you don't remember anything before your daughter's birth."
"I don't," she admitted, "at least not directly. But I saw myself through your eyes, remember? That's enough to tell me how I felt back then, and how I will feel again once things settle down."
He looked at his coffee cup. "Even so . . . "
She sighed, then placed her palms flat on the table. "It's not just that," she began. "I don't have many options, Akira; I'm old, I'm foreign, I'm psychologically damaged, and I'm physically scarred." She frowned. "I'm as human as anyone, I don't want to be alone. But I can't afford to be choosy."
"So we should settle for one another? Is that what you're saying?" he asked.
She shook her head. "I don't see it that way. I just . . . " she trailed off, then shrugged.
He sighed, then ran a hand through his hair. He looked back at her, studying her profile as she leaned on the table with her chin in her hand. "Is that why you've been so hostile?" he asked. "You've taken stock of your situation, found it wanting, and now . . . "
He was kind enough to leave the implication unsaid, but she squirmed in her seat even so. "Maybe," she said, shrugging.
He stared at her, considering. "I'm not very good at this sort of thing. You know that better than most."
"Oh, yes," she scoffed, "like I'm some sort of expert." She shook her head. "But we do have a great deal in common. That hunger for knowledge, for one. Our research interests." Her gaze darkened. "Even our failures. That's more than most people have." She leaned forward, her eyes pleading with him. "I can't be kind, Akira, but I don't . . . I don't have to be cruel. I . . . "
He laid his hands over hers. "That's enough," he said. "I'm satisfied. That's enough."

Misato Katsuragi opened the door to her apartment, then made her way to her bedroom. Kaji sat at the desk, poring over paperwork, but she paid him no mind. Instead she flopped down on the futon, dragging the pillow over her head.
"Rough day?" Kaji asked.
Misato groaned. "My father is younger than I am, and he's marrying the mother of the girl I raised as my child."
"Oh my," Kaji murmured. "How incestuous."
"Shut up," Misato grumbled.
Kaji laughed. "That's pretty quick, though," he noted. "He's only been back for a week, and as I recall she doesn't remember anything about him."
Misato rolled over. "I have no idea what's going through that woman's mind," she said. "I thought Asuka was a handful, but her mother is insane."
"Does it bother you?" he asked.
She snorted. "Hell no," she said. "As long as it doesn't hurt us or the kids my dad can marry a turnip for all I care." She frowned. "It's gonna be weird having Asuka as a stepsister, though."
Kaji scratched his head. "Our family tree is getting awfully confusing," he said.
"'Getting?'" she asked. "Don't forget about poor Shinji and Rei!"
"Heh. Good point." He frowned. "But even so, this is . . . well . . . " He scratched his head again. "Hmmm."
"Don't remind me," she said. She smirked. "Heh. Asuka's gonna lose her mind. First I take her crush, then my dad takes her mother, and now she officially has to call me family." She sat up suddenly as inspiration struck. "Oh, man," she said, a devious smile playing about her lips. "This is gonna be fun."
"Now now," he said. "Don't forget, she's your adopted daughter."
"I know," Misato said, gleefully rubbing her hands together. "That just means I get to dig into her that much more."
Kaji winced. "You're a dangerous woman, Katsuragi."
Misato laughed, a low, sultry laugh. "And don't you forget it, mister."

Shinji was playing video games when Asuka found him. He was sitting cross-legged, his face a mask of concentration as he focused on trying to beat the game's current level. But that was of no consequence at the moment; Asuka was happy, and she was going to share her happiness with him -- whether he wanted it or not.
She made her way toward him, mischief in her eyes, and when she reached him she crawled into his lap.
Shinji let out a sound of annoyance. "Asuka, I'm trying to--" The rest of his protest was cut off, as Asuka had covered his mouth with hers and was kissing him deeply. He let the controller fall from his hand, the game instantly forgotten.
Asuka straddled him, twining her arms around his neck and pressing close. When she finally came up for air Asuka flashed him an impish grin, then hugged him warmly. In his confusion he could only think to respond accordingly, wrapping his arms around her back. She gave him another squeeze and drew back, smiling down at him.
He studied her, frowning thoughtfully. "You seem to be in a good mood," he observed.
She nodded. "Mmm-hmmm." She cupped his face with her hands and kissed him again.
Between kisses Shinji asked, "What brought this on?"
Asuka paused for breath and grinned again. "Mama said she admires you."
He scowled at her. "That doesn't sound likely."
She laughed. "I know, but she said it. Misato was there, she can vouch for me."
"That's . . . um . . . huh." He laughed sheepishly. "I don't know what to make of that."
She pressed close, hugging him again. "She was complaining about Misato's dad, and said she wished he was more like you." She closed her eyes. "I was so happy. I didn't know how much her approval mattered, but it does. It matters so much."
Shinji held her tightly. "That's wonderful, Asuka," he said. "I'm so happy for you." They drew back again, and he smiled when he saw the happiness in her eyes. "I love seeing you like this."
She flashed him a wicked grin. "You're gonna see a lot more of me in a few seconds, stupid Shinji," she said, pulling her shirt over her head and tossing it aside. Shinji's eyes widened in surprise, but he played along when she pushed him down to the floor and got to work.


Up next: It's Asuka's birthday! In 2018. I'm sure that will go well.
Last edited by Bagheera on Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:04 pm, edited 3 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 Sicarius VI » Tue Jan 20, 2015 6:04 pm

Well this is all quite interesting.

And Kyoto being like I fucked your dad when you were in diapers was oddly funny and disturbing all at the same time.

Noticed that the year is 2030, and while I should have already caught onto this, will this now be another section of your story? If I remember correctly you had 2016(which you completed?) then 2018 and the earlier 2020s so is now the 2030s gonna be apart of your story or is 2030 the farthest we are going?

Anyways nice job, always and happy to see this update, all thought I can't tell when you will be done with it as it is a lot like Cowboy Bebop in the sense of side stories until some tragic event(s) happen in the end.
"I'm not going there to die, I'm going to find out if I'm really alive." - Spike Spiegel

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Postby pwhodges » Tue Jan 20, 2015 6:04 pm

I like it. Interesting to see a more positive view of Kyoko. The relationship with Katsuragi surprised me, though - but why not, indeed?

A bit of a change of style, it seems to me - more dialogue and less description around it. This lead to long strings of "Asuka this ..." "Kyoko that ..." followed by what they said; you can see pairs of names alternating down the left side of the page, and - well, it reads well enough, but looks as though a bit of variety in arrangement of the sentences might help the eye.
"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 )
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Postby Bagheera » Tue Jan 20, 2015 6:10 pm

View Original Postpwhodges wrote:I like it. Interesting to see a more positive view of Kyoko. The relationship with Katsuragi surprised me, though - but why not, indeed?

A bit of a change of style, it seems to me - more dialogue and less description around it. This lead to long strings of "Asuka this ..." "Kyoko that ..." followed by what they said; you can see pairs of names alternating down the left side of the page, and - well, it reads well enough, but looks as though a bit of variety in arrangement of the sentences might help the eye.


It's an issue when I'm writing characters of the same gender in one scene, since I can't use pronouns to break things up. My earlier stuff was mostly Asuka/Shinji, so the bad habit wasn't as noticeable.

I changed the admiration bit a little; now Kyoko somewhat manages to retain her edge.

Sicarius: All the sections are open-ended. I'll keep writing until I run out of ideas, and until then they're all fair game. As for tragedies, those are mostly past; the only downer chapter I might do is one set in 2080. But that's more an idea I was tossing around than a chapter I was set on doing, so it will probably never see the light of day.
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 Jan 20, 2015 6:18 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:It's an issue when I'm writing characters of the same gender in one scene, since I can't use pronouns to break things up. My earlier stuff was mostly Asuka/Shinji, so the bad habit wasn't as noticeable.

The way that I tried to vary it was to change things around by putting the "So-and-so replied" or whatever in the middle or at the end of the reported speech some of the time.

I changed the admiration bit a little; now Kyoko somewhat manages to retain her edge.

Better (it answers what I said privately).
"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 Sailor Star Dust » Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:09 pm

Just popping in: Kyoko/Dr. Katsuragi was oldschool Reichu RP stuff, wasn't it? Nice to see that it lives on in some form! :mwahaha:
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Postby Literary Eagle » Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:44 am

My, what an unusual and very interesting family situation! I hope things work out okay for them. Speaking of family, I'm curious about the "nephew" or "adopted son" of Misato and Kaji mentioned in the September 13, 2030 chapter. I still think he might be Heishiro... Anyway, whoever he turns out to be, I'm sure it'll be an enjoyable chapter whenever you choose to get to it. :D

Also, I'm happy to see Kyoko admitting that she admires something about Shinji. Yay!
The Happy Red Planet (my Evangelion fan fic)

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Postby Cosmo11 » Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:17 am

That's going to be a screwed up family tree for sure. I really liked the interaction between Kyoko and Akira along with Shinji channeling Kaji to help Akira, it really shows just how much he's grown up.

Just one more thing. In the chapter where Kyoko returns, you mentioned that Shinji and Asuka were engaged. Are they married at this point or is it a long engagement?

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Postby Bagheera » Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:28 pm

SSD: Yup, that pairing (and Akira's name) was shamelessly ripped off of Reichu's work, though we handled the pairing very differently. My ideas regarding Yui were similarly inspired by Reichu's work, though again we took the same basic motivation for Yui in wildly different directions.

LE: Yes, that nephew/adopted son is Heishiro. I'll probably do a scene or two with him eventually, but it will be awhile (I think).

Cosmo: I'd honestly forgotten about the reference! -o-; The way I figure it, marriage isn't a high priority for these two. They've worked through soul-crushing angst and found a way to live with one another, so at this point marriage is just a formality. They'll probably get to it eventually, though, if for no other reason than that Misato (and probably Hikari) are itching to plan their wedding. Cue Shinji being wishy-washy and just going with the flow, Asuka being like "eh, whatever," and Kyoko not knowing what the hell she should think or do since Misato's stolen her role and she doesn't like Shinji anyway. Maybe that's why they're waiting? They want her to be involved and are waiting until she's ready? Who knows.
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 Cosmo11 » Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:21 pm

Fair enough.

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Postby Literary Eagle » Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:40 am

Ah, so the nephew/adopted son is indeed Kaji's brother, Heishiro! My goodness, this family situation truly is getting complicated. Very interesting developments! Please keep up the good work! :D
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Postby Bagheera » Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:57 pm

Further edits possibly forthcoming:

SPOILER: Show
December 4, 2018
Asuka awoke, screaming. She scrambled to the head of her bed, clawing at her eyes in frustration. But the memories remained, nestled deep in her mind where they would never stop tormenting her. She rolled out of bed and started slamming her head on the floor. After the third blow she felt hands around her.
"Asuka, stop!" Shinji yelled.
She shook him off, violently, and scrambled away from him. "Get away from me!" she yelled. She used the wall to pull herself to her feet, and fought off a wave of dizziness as she did so. "You didn't do a damn thing," she muttered. "You didn't even try. You . . . " she shook her head, then made her way out of her bedroom and toward the front door.
"Asuka!" Shinji called.
She ignored him.
"Asuka, wait!" he insisted.
She whirled on him, a sneer on her lips, but stopped in her tracks when she saw he was holding a pair of her shorts. She glared at him, then wordlessly snatched them from his hand and drew them on, making a deliberate effort to avoid looking at him all the while. She slipped her feet into a pair of sandals before heading outside.
She walked aimlessly, with no set goal in mind. Shinji followed, keeping a discreet distance, but never letting her out of his sight. Eventually she spun about. "What, are you my stalker now?" she demanded, staring daggers at him. "Stupid pervert!"
Shinji cringed, but didn't reply. For some reason that enraged Asuka, and with a growl she spun on her heels and stalked off. Every once in awhile she would stop, grabbing hold of a wall or a lamp post while she collected herself, before trudging onward. It wasn't long before she came upon a sturdy wall, which she proceeded to punch with all of her strength.
"Are you alright?" a voice asked.
Asuka stared at her. Then she looked at her hand, broken and bleeding. "No," she said, "I'm not."
The woman cringed. She was young, Asuka noted, barely over twenty. "I see," she said. "Should I call a doctor?"
Asuka shook her head. "No," she said. "I'm . . . no."
The woman twitched, uncertain. "Um . . . " she began.
Asuka's eyes narrowed. 'They ate me," she said.
The woman blinked at her in confusion. "They . . . what?"
"They ate me," Asuka said. She looked at the woman. "Isn't that insane?" she asked. "How can you remember being eaten? If they eat you, you're dead, right?"
The woman stared at her. "That . . . that must be difficult," she said.
Asuka nodded. "Yes," she said.
The woman said nothing.
Asuka laughed. "You believe me?" she asked.
The woman nodded. "Yes," she said. "I don't understand the particulars, but . . . yes, I believe you."
"Heh," Asuka said.
The woman looked at Shinji. "Who is he?" she asked.
"Hmmm?" Asuka asked. "Oh, him. No one," she said. She frowned. "A friend, I guess."
The woman looked at her. "You guess?"
Asuka shrugged. "It's complicated," she said.
The woman shrugged. "Well, as long as he won't bother you."
Asuka shook her head. "He won't," she said. "I'm sure of it."
The woman shrugged again, then went about her business.
After a time, Asuka asked, "Matsumoto Castle's near here, isn't it?"
The woman blinked, nonplussed. "Yes," she said, "it is. It's right up the road."
Asuka nodded. "Right, then."
The woman's frown deepened. "But the gates don't open until 8:30 a.m.," she noted.
Asuka waved her off. "That's fine," she said. "I'll wait."

Eventually, she came to the gates of Matsumoto castle. As promised they were closed, on account of the hour. Asuka sank to her knees before them, her shoulders slumped.
Shinji bit his lip, wondering. Then he approached her. He knelt beside her, staring at her, trying to understand. When she turned to look at him the hatred in her eyes was gone, leaving in its wake a mixture of pain and heartbreaking vulnerability. "I hate this," she whimpered.
"I know," he said. He put an arm around her.
She pulled away from him, pushing him back. "Don't," she said.
He frowned. "What do you want from me?" he asked.
She shook her head. "I don't know," she said. She shrugged, then said, "Sorry, I just . . . don't know."
He scratched his head. He sighed, then sat with her, trying to be patient.
She pulled back from him a few minutes later, sniffling and wiping her eyes with her forearm. He studied her for a few moments, then asked, "Are you ready to go back now?"
She shook her head. "Not really," she said.
He frowned.
She glared at him. "What?" she asked.
"I'm just worried you might have hurt yourself this morning," he said. "You were wobbling a bit when you were walking, you know."
She huffed at him. "Were you staring at me again?"
"It's not like that!" he protested.
"Oh really," she said, giving him a pointed stare.
His eyes widened. "I didn't mean . . . " he began. "I mean, I like looking at you, I just--"
She laughed at him. "Give it up, Third. You've already lost."
He sighed. "Fine," he said. "But either way we should probably get going."
She nodded. "Alright." She stood up, and would have fallen over again if Shinji hadn't caught her.
"Asuka!" he exclaimed. "Are you alright?"
"Yeah, I just . . . " She shook her head, trying to shake off the dizziness, then decided that was a bad idea. "Ow," she said. She looked at her hand, at her bloodied knuckles, and winced. "I, um . . . damn."
"You probably gave yourself a concussion," he said, worry in his voice. "Maybe we should go to the hospital . . . "
She pushed away from him, waving him off. "No! I'm fine, just . . . just take me home."
Shinji opened his mouth to argue with her, but she'd already started walking. He caught up to her, watching her nervously the whole way home.

When Asuka entered Misato's apartment, the latter turned and said, "Asuka, where have you been? We were--" She broke off when she saw the wound on Asuka's forehead, the blood on her face, her damaged hand. Her eyes widened in panic, and she yelped, "Oh my God, what happened to you?"
Asuka just shrugged, sitting in a chair at the kitchen table. Misato wasn't alone, she noted. Hikari and Touji were also there.
"She had a flashback," Shinji said. "A really bad one."
"Oh, geez," Misato said. She looked at Asuka. "Are you alright?" she asked.
Asuka shrugged again, while Shinji went to get the first aid kit and Hikari grabbed a towel from the kitchen to help Asuka clean up. Misato frowned, then looked at Shinji. "Is she alright?" she asked.
He nodded. "I think so. She might have a concussion, though."
Asuka scowled at him. "I'm sitting right here, you know."
Shinji laughed nervously. "Sorry, Asuka," he said. "But it's true; we're just looking out for you."
Asuka huffed, then turned to Hikari. "What are you doing here?" she asked.
Hikari gave her a nervous smile. "It's your birthday, Asuka," she said. "We were making preparations for a party."
Asuka blinked. "My birthday?" she asked.
Misato smiled at her. "I guess you haven't had cause to think about that for the past few years, huh?" She grinned. "But we remembered! Shinji insisted we do something for you, with presents and everything! So, here we are!"
"Shinji, huh?" Asuka stared at the man bandaging her fingers. "Sorry to wreck your plans," she murmured.
He shook his head. "It's fine," he said. "I'm just glad you're alright."
"Oh?" she asked. "Am I, now?"
Shinji flushed. "Well, um . . . "
Touji coughed, clearing his throat. "C'mon, Soryu, Shinji's trying really hard to make you happy. Cut him some slack."
"Hmmm?" Asuka murmured. She looked at Touji, then at Shinji. "Is that what you want?" she asked. "To make me happy?"
Shinji gave her a pointed stare. "You know it is," he said.
She cradled her injured hand, scowling at him as she said, "Stupid Shinji. It's not like I'm trying to be a bitch, here."
Shinji smiled at her. "Of course not," he said. "I know that."
Hikari clapped her hands together, smiling gleefully. "So cute!" she said. "You two are perfect together!"
Both of them turned to her and growled, "It's not like that!"

After Shinji bound Asuka's wounds, the party proceeded more-or-less as planned. But for Asuka, it was awkward.
Misato noticed, of course. "What's up, Asuka dear?" she asked.
Asuka frowned. "No one's ever thrown me a birthday party before," she said. "I've never known anyone who wanted to."
Misato cringed, but patted the girl's back encouragingly. "There's no mystery to it," she said. "We throw you a party because we love you, that's all." She smiled at Asuka. "All you have to do is accept it."
"But--" the girl began.
"Asuka," Shinji said, interrupting her, "stop being an idiot."
Misato chuckled at that, and Hikari laughed as well, while Asuka clenched her fists and glared at the boy. Misato hugged her, saying "C'mon, Asuka. Let us take care of you. You are not alone, y'know?"
Asuka stared at her bandaged hand for a moment, then looked at her friends. Finally she sighed, and said, "I demand cake."
"Whaaaaaat?" Misato asked, dismayed.
Asuka turned up her chin, defiant. "It's my birthday," she said. "I deserve cake."
Misato smirked, then nodded at Shinji. The boy made his way toward the kitchen, while Misato addressed her charge. "Good thing we prepared accordingly, then." Shinji produced a glorious cake, German chocolate no less, and laid it in front of Asuka. "Happy birthday, Asuka dear," Misato said.
Asuka stared at Misato, tears rolling down her cheeks.
"I wasn't kidding when I said you were loved, Asuka," Misato said. "We'll take care of you, no matter what."
Asuka just stared at her cake, Hikari and Shinji both smiling at her.
"Better cut it, kiddo," Misato said. "People are getting hungry."
Asuka nodded. "Right!" she said. She cut the cake, and the party proceeded as such things do.


This still needs polish. It's functional -- what's said and done works -- but it's conveyed clumsily. As noted above, further edits possibly forthcoming.
Last edited by Bagheera on Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:00 am, edited 3 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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