Braver Than We Are

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Postby jcmoorehead » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:18 pm

Hi everyone,

Just thought I'd let you know about my latest Evangelion fic titled Braver Than We Are. For this one I've returned to writing for the original universe. It's set five years after End Of Evangelion in a world that has returned to some normalcy. I don't really want to give away too many details about this one but expect WAFF/Romance and some drama in there.

The idea for this one has actually been in my head for some time, it was there before I finished YM(N)RA but I wanted to wait until that was done before posting anything. I kinda started this one shortly after I finished YM(N)RA but work on it stalled as I wasn't 100% happy with it, I decided to make a few changes to how it was written last week and now I'm a lot happier with it. So hopefully you all enjoy it. ^_^

Table Of Contents:
Chapter 01 - Subterrenea
Chapter 02 - Both Sides Of The Story
Chapter 03 - Lost Boy
Chapter 04 - Mr Blue Sky?
Chapter 05 - You're Not Alone
Chapter 06 - Telephone Line
Chapter 07 - Any Kind Of Sign
Chapter 08 - A Story Never Told
Chapter 09 - Get At The Truth
Chapter 10 - Only When I Feel
Chapter 11 - Open Wide The Flood Gates
Chapter 12 - Sound Of Contact
Chapter 13 - Realization
Chapter 14 - Suitable Ground For The Blues
Last edited by jcmoorehead on Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:44 am, edited 11 times in total.

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Postby silvermoonlight » Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:40 am

Awesome! I'm so looking forward to reading this ^_^

SPOILER: Show
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Anywhere can be paradise as long as you have the will to live. After all, you are alive, so you will always have the chance to be happy.

My Eva fanfiction ff.net Fading In To The Stolen Light For download version please go to AO3

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Postby jcmoorehead » Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:22 am

Second chapter is finished I'm just holding off for a few days to post it so i can make progress on the third chapter. I always like to have at least half of the next chapter complete before I release on. I do however have two previews of this to post.

First we have an introduction to Asuka:
SPOILER: Show
August 15th
Cafe – Berlin – Early Morning

As I step out of the hot morning sun that shines overhead in Berlin and into the cool air-conditioned space that the café offers I reach up and take off my sunglasses. I look around and see a few people are here already. University students mostly come to study or recover from a night out drinking. Finally, I spot my target, a small and empty seat by the window, a perfect spot for me. I walk over and set my laptop down on the table, plug it into the wall socket and prepare to start my work.

I'm barely able to load up the document before I hear a loud voice from behind me call out my name, "Asuka! It's so nice to see you, your usual?"

I turn to look and call back with a grin, "Of course!"

I see the source of the voice get to work behind the counter. He's the owner of this café, a short, jolly rotund man with a bushy blonde moustache. I always thought he looked a bit out of place running a café like this. He looks more like he'd be at home as one of the Gauls from and Asterix and Obelix comic.

Yet here he is running a café like this, not only does he run it but he is very good at it. It's become quite a popular little place since it opened up about a year ago. I come here frequently to get on with my work.

In barely any time at all I find him stood behind me, setting my coffee down on the table.

I smile politely, "Thank you, is it only you wokring today?"

He shakes his head, "Sofia should be coming in shortly. So, what are you working on?"

I shrug, "Nothing overly important. I'm just trying to finish up a few edits for the book before I send it off to the publishers for review. It's still a bit of a rough draft but it seems they want to make the announcement early and get some previews made. They want to make sure they get the news out of the sequel whilst there is still some hype for the original."

"Oh! How exciting!" He booms, "Does that mean you'll be getting interviewed by the press?"

"No chance!" I exclaim and shake my head, "I'm not even bothered if the damn thing gets published. It was just because a friend opened their mouth to someone the first one got published, I just want to write them."

"You don't fancy even a small bit of the publicity from it?"

"Like I care about something like that!" I snort with laughter, "Why do you think I write under a pseudonym? I don't need to be noticed or popular, other people can do all that."

For a brief moment it seems as though his expression changes to one of disbelief or confusion but in a second he goes back to his smiling self. I suppose I can maybe forgive his confusion, after all it is perhaps strange that someone would go to the effort of working so hard on something like I did and when it's out there not wishing for any publicity but he doesn't know me. He doesn't know the real me anyway.

Maybe once upon a time I'd have welcomed the publicity and opportunity to be noticed. I'd have demanded the publicity and been on hand to sign copies and have my name be known. I'm no longer that person though. Now I just want peace and quiet and for people to leave me alone. I'm not that bratty kid who demanded to be seen and be the centre of attention. I no longer desire for people to praise me constantly and worship the ground I walk on.

I am no longer Asuka Langley Soryu, the brash Evangelion pilot. I'm Asuka Langley Soryu, I live in Berlin and I write teen fiction as a hobby. Somehow, I managed to be quite good at it, a part of me isn't surprised though. It's not as if I don't normally become good at things I turn my hand to.

Of course, to the owner of this café I'm just known as Asuka, a half Japanese, half German 19-year-old who has lived in the city all my life. He knows nothing of who I was, of who I used to be and nowadays no one knows that anymore. I made sure that no one would know if it when I left Japan. I asked for all my records to be replaced with fresh ones, nothing would tie me to what had happened anymore. I asked for all contact to be cut off and to be left alone by the UN or whatever it was NERV would become.

I'm not stupid though, I know that they're still out there watching me. I can sense their presence much in the same way that I could when I was younger. It's not Section 2 anymore but someone else but I know they're there. I was tempted at one point to contact them to tell them to stop and that they didn't need to watch over me but it'd just be more unnecessary hassle that I didn't need. Besides contacting them was a risk, if I contacted them the wrong person might say something and that would lead to people know where I was. So, I'll allow it for now, as long as they keep their distance and no promises get broken.

I'm about to go back to the document when I hear the owners voice again, "Will you be having lunch? Eggs are nice and fresh this morning."

My stomach rumbles at his offer, I skipped breakfast this mornign and it is coming up to lunch time. Maybe I should eat before I start work. I shoot him a smile, "Sound good, eggs it is then, scrambled and with bacon, sausage and toast I think."


Secondly an introduction to Shinji:
SPOILER: Show
Tokyo 2 – Afternoon
I'm sat nervously in the reception area of the building the UN has here in Tokyo-2. Laid carefully at my feet is my cello case and my eyes keep up a pattern of moving from the case to the clock on the wall and then at the receptionist as she does her work. It's been half an hour since I came in here and this pattern was started. All I want is for Misato to be finished with her meeting so that we can go home.

I don't like being outside any longer than is necessary, if I can help It I barely go outside at all. I'm I'm told to then I will but most of the time I always have to be accompanied by someone. Being outside on my own terrifies me. I'm scared that someone might recognize me, know about me and what I've done.

There is a part of me that is trying hard to reject that. It's there using Misato's words, or the words of my friends to tell me that no one is going to recognize me and even if they did I haven't done anything wrong. They tell me that no one knows any of the pilot's identities and the pilots are the ones who saved the world, especially me.

Yet those voices are so easily surprised by a louder one. It sounds like myself and it tells me that everyone I pass in the street secretly knows who I am and one day one of them is going to hurt me. It tells me that if they did hurt me that I deserve it. It tells me that when it does happen I'll have no one to blame but myself because I was really the one who nearly caused this world to end, I was the one responsible for the Third Impact and for ruining so many people's lives.

I shake my head slightly, no. I mustn't think that. It wasn't like that, I wasn't to blame. I know it. I know I wasn't to blame.

"Mr Ikari?"

I nearly jump out of my seat at the sudden sound of the receptionist's voice. I look up to see her looking at me with an amused look on her face. I start to blush thinking about what an idiot I must have looked like.

"Can I get you something whilst you wait?"

I shake my head, "N-No... No, thank you."

With those words the silence fills the room once more and I go back to my routine of looking from the clock to my cello case. I decide to leave the receptionist out of this now, still feeling like an idiot for jumping like that. In a way I'm thankful for that moment, it stopped the negative thoughts for a moment and now I can work on that.

I need to remember what I've been told. Just slow my breathing and go through it all calmly. I knew something like this might happen today but I just need to remember what I tell myself when I go to school or out to get groceries. This is just slightly different to those times, I'm out longer and in a different part of the city.

I glance back down at my cello case as I keep making an effort to calm myself down. It's been a long time since I've played the thing. The last time was that night so many years ago, a night that is still fresh in my memory for all the wrong reasons. It feels like that night was the beginning or end of something, nothing that followed it was good and it was all my fault. If only I had acted differently then maybe... No... I can't... not again.

I feel my hands clench into a fist, my nails dig into the flesh in frustration as I once again try to get rid of those negative thoughts. It's just so difficult to do that today, I thought it would be but I just didn't know how hard. Why am I remembering that night, it happened years ago and I did nothing wrong. She did nothing wrong we were all... different then. You're not that Shinji anymore and Asuka... well she's gone now so that doesn't matter.

I look up just in time to see the door under the clock open suddenly. I see two people enter the lobby in suits and for just a brief moment I see one of them look over at me with what seems to be a confused look on his face.

He recognizes me, doesn't he? That's why he's looking at me like that! Any moment now he's going to come over here and I'll be...

My fingers dig more into my hands and the pain briefly snaps me out of it. Of course, he doesn't recognize me. He's probably confused as to what a 19-year-old kid is doing in a UN building with a cello at his feet.

I know this, I know all of this. It makes sense and it's so logical but even with that I can't help but be terrified of them as they pass by me. I can't help but be sure I feel their eyes on me, piercing through me as if they know exactly who and what I am. I can feel time slow down as they go past me and I focus solely on the cello case. I feel sick and my leg starts to tremble slightly.

I hate this, I hate this so much. They're just ordinary people walking past. They aren't going to hurt me or recognize me. Yet it isn't until they finally pass through the entrance to the building and out onto the street that I can let go of the breath I've been holding, unclench my fist and start to try to calm down.

This is too much, I should have just gone straight home rather than come here. I thought I was being brave but I'm just hurting myself by doing this. Thankfully I don't have to wait too much longer before the door opens and Misato walks through.

"Shinji!"

She doesn't hide her surprise at seeing me sat there waiting for her. I know she'd have expected me to go straight home after the lesson, she of all people knows how hard on me it is to be out like this. I half smile at her and nod, "H-Hey Misato."

She rushes over to me looking apologetic, "I'm so sorry I'm late! The meeting ran longer than I expected, have you been here long?"

I stand up, "N-No... not too long anyway. Is everything alright?"

She smiles at me and nods her head, "Everything is fine! I'll tell you about it in the car, I imagine you'll want to just get home now. We'll order food tonight, is that okay?"

I give her a nod and we make our way out of the building towards the car park. A few moments later I'm loading my cello into the boot of her car, a white Mazda Cosmo which she got shortly after we returned from the Third Impact. It was something she got to replace her Alpine and if I'm being honest I much prefer this car.

As I get into the front passenger seat and put my seatbelt on I already begin to feel a lot calmer. Even more so now that Misato is here.

Misato gets into the driver's seat and gives me a sympathetic look. My nervous state clearly not going unnoticed by her, she places a calming hand on my leg and speaks, "I'm really proud of you Shinji, I know today won't have been easy for you."

I hate it when Misato says she's proud of me. I always feel that little sting of tears behind my eyes when she does so. They're just words I was so unused to hearing and that I never thought I'd hear from anyone and I know she means it. I don't know if I can really express how much hearing that means to me from her, even if it is for something as simple as leaving our apartment.

"It... was really hard Misato." I admit to her with a weak smile, "I kept on thinking that at any one moment he was going to realize who I was. I... I don't know if I can do this."

The car starts to move onto the street, she keeps her eyes focused on the road as she talks to me, "Well you've done it once Shinji and that is something. It's really up to you whether or not you want to do it again."

"Do you think I should?" I ask.

"That's not my decision Shinji, that's yours to make. Do you want to continue?" Her tone shifts to sound a bit more serious, I already know what she is going to say next, "I don't want you to be doing this for me or for anyone else. I don't want you to do it because I said it might be good for you. You have to do this for yourself, you know I'll be proud of you no matter what, you're like a... no you are my son Shinji and I love you and want you to be happy."

There is that phrase again and also the reminder that I am her son now. It's hard to blind away the emotion this time but I manage it. I take a moment to think about what she has said though. This is another thing I need to learn on top of not being afraid of everyone I encounter. I need to do things for myself.

"I think I'll continue." I finally say after about a minute of thought, "I did.... I really enjoyed the lesson despite being afraid."

"So, it went alright?"

I nod, "The teacher said I was a lot more advanced than he was expecting. He said that I didn't seem to have lost much of my ability over the years I haven't been playing. He could see where I was rusty and said it'll be a matter or practicing and going back over some of the things I've forgotten."

I look around to see an eager look in Misato’s eye, “Do you need anything? Books? New string? A new bow? Cleaning products? A stand?”

I laugh at her enthusiasm, “No I don’t need anything yet, I made sure it was all in good condition before I went to the lesson. My teacher let me know a website where I can buy sheet music too.”
“Well that’s good then!”

“Yeah it is! I just…” I trail off as I remember what happened towards the end of the lesson.

Misato of course notices what, “What?”

I try to shrug it off, “No… It’s nothing…”

“Oh no you don’t!” I cringe in my seat and look towards the window, “What is it Shinji?”

I let out a sigh, “Well it’s just… my teacher said that he would like to eventually get me on to playing with other people… Maybe even put on a performance one day.”

I turn to see her nod, “I see… and what did you say to him?”

“I kinda…” I shrink further down in my seat, “I said yes.”

“Even though you knew it might have been a problem for you?”

“I just…” I start but trail off and let out a sigh, “He seemed happy when he suggested it so I… I didn’t mention it might have been a problem for me.”

I shake my head as I return to looking out of the window. I know what she is thinking and it’s the same thing I’m thinking. For all the progress I might have made over the years I’m still that same old Shinji. I’m still just saying and going along with things just because it’ll make others happy with me.

“Is that something you would like to do?”

I hear her ask but I continue looking out of the window pretending I didn’t hear her. For doing that she prods me in the leg and asks again, “Shinji! Is that something you would like to do?”

All I can do this time is muster up a simple shrug, “I don’t know… I mean I do like playing and I want to continue but the idea of playing with others I just… I don’t think I’m ready for it yet. I don’t know… If I’ll ever be ready but I also… I don’t want him to be mad with me or disappointed.”

“Well you have to explain that to him Shinji. I’m sure he isn’t going to be mad or disappointed. I’m sure he’ll understand, it’s not an easy thing for anyone to do.” She replied, “I’m sure he’s just enthusiastic about his new student. Just… do what is right for you Shinji.”

I nod and look back out of the window, “I… I’ll try.”

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Postby silvermoonlight » Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:25 pm

Really awesome chapters ^_^

Nice to see these two getting along post impact.  SPOILER: Show
Image

Image
Oh and seeing him freak out was kind of funny :D
Anywhere can be paradise as long as you have the will to live. After all, you are alive, so you will always have the chance to be happy.

My Eva fanfiction ff.net Fading In To The Stolen Light For download version please go to AO3

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Postby jcmoorehead » Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:08 am

Just bumping this as chapter 3 has just been uploaded :)

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Postby C.T.1290 » Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:36 am

Been catching up on this story so far, doing pretty good. Spotted a few spelling and a bit of grammatical errors, but pretty good.

So Kaworu has come back from Instrumentality, and seems to have some problems of his own. But he's lucky to have some people there to help him on his way and to get him accustomed to his new life.

And the former EVA pilots seem be moving in with their lives, albeit separately. I know I've been particularly harsh on Asuka in a majority of my posts, however, I'm liking how you are handling her in your story so far. And she seems to be rather close to Kaworu, and protective even, something I thought would be unlikely at first, yet here it is. I wonder if she would do the same for Shinji. I'm also wondering who would win Asuka's heart between Shinji and Kaworu. I'll admit that I still have a bit of a hard time believing that Asuka would be capable of such kind gestures, and even express regret for her past actions. But then again, I'm just comparing her to her fourteen year old self, so who am I to judge?

And I like how Rei is more human in this story. Not to say that I didn't like her before(I like her in fact), but I like how she is now able to live her own life, free of Gendo's control and influence. So she and Asuka are finally friends now, huh? Not too surprising, considering how they are often advertised being together like BFFs, just something we thought could never happen in the series. But years have passed so anything could though.

And Shinji seemed to have taken it hard on Asuka's departure. I wonder what his reaction would be when he sees her again, and for how close she has gotten to Kaworu and when he seems him alive and well again. And how would Rei take it when she sees Kaworu again, and for the fact that Asuka has been spending time with him? And how would Asuka react upon seeing her old friends again?

Anyways, I'm looking forward to the future updates to see how this would all turn out. Keep up the good work!
"Who dares to summon the master of masters, the deliverer of darkness, the Shogun of sorrow, Aku!?"-Aku

"KONO DIO DA!"-Dio

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Postby Cybermat47 » Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:32 am

Looking forward to reading this ^_^
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Postby silvermoonlight » Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:57 pm

I've written my reviews in full but just wanted to add that I'm enjoying this take on post EOE its very different and interesting also its nice to see a very different pairing in play to the norm.

SPOILER: Show
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Anywhere can be paradise as long as you have the will to live. After all, you are alive, so you will always have the chance to be happy.

My Eva fanfiction ff.net Fading In To The Stolen Light For download version please go to AO3

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Postby jcmoorehead » Sun Dec 03, 2017 4:02 pm

@CT1290
Thank you so much for all the kind words! Yeah spelling/grammar is something I do try to catch but unfortunately a few do slip through from time to time. If I do catch them post release I will try to fix them up though.

Kaworu is a very interesting character to me because of the way people latch onto him. I really wanted to explore a Kaworu that comes back and how he would feel about returning. People always treat him as a pure being or just plain evil but I wanted to try to do something interesting. I thought about his grand speech at the end of the series about how death is his true freedom and how he didn't seem to fear it. I always felt that because he was an Angel and it was such a noble sacrifice he was happy about that.

If he came back though he has to fit into a world he doesn't know and one that he will be afraid of because he knows what he did and fears others will. I wanted to try to get that across. I also wanted to tap into his past a bit, who was he before the events of the series and how was he raised.

I always believe that in the series Asuka had a lot of potential for kindness and shows it at points but unfortunately after episode 15 it all goes downhill for everyone and we see each person taken to the darker places of their mindsets and not given an opportunity to get help or help each other. I feel like that goes for Shinji, Asuka, Misato, and even people like Rei and Ritsuko. They all face similar challenges and react to it vastly different, the things that stand out are Asuka saying during the Arael sequences that it isn't her and it just told me she didn't want to be like that.

I felt like post EoE she'd fear being like that again and distance herself from people where she could. She would also try to make the effort to be nicer, she can't remove all of her personality because it wouldn't be her. She is still driven, proud of what she does and works hard but she tries to remove the nastiness and ego. I really like the idea of her using that anger on other peoples behalf too, as seen in the latest chapter.

I'm enjoying writing Rei for this one, I've neglected her a lot in my past fics so it's nice to try to make the effort to delve into her mind a bit and develop her a bit more. I'm glad people think I'm doing a good job of it. ^_^

Rei's reaction to Asuka/Kaworu being friendly/close is somethign I have sketched out in my mind and I'm excited to write it. As I am the parts when the group finally meet once again. I just hope it's something others will find good as well.

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Postby Asukaner117 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:46 am

while i personally dislike Asuka/kaworu pairings, i look forward to seeing how you portray shinjis reaction to those two be a thing. will it hurt him? will he be jealous? will he be happy that they found happiness? could be a nice setup for some quality drama.
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Postby jcmoorehead » Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:45 am

View Original PostAsukaner117 wrote:while i personally dislike Asuka/kaworu pairings, i look forward to seeing how you portray shinjis reaction to those two be a thing. will it hurt him? will he be jealous? will he be happy that they found happiness? could be a nice setup for some quality drama.


I have noticed there is quite a lot of opposition to Asuka/Kaworu which i do understand. I did have one reviewer asking me to not do it because its the worst pairing. I don't want to reveal too much about the direction the fic is going but I will say that what I'm doing should be interesting and I should be ready to start dropping hints of the direction soon.

In any case thank you for sticking with it, I hope you do enjoy how it pans out and the drama involved. There is a lot that I have to resolve in it and some of that will start with the next chapter.

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Postby Asukaner117 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:03 am

yeah i saw that "review" and thought it was pretty ... dumb. this is your story and i hope you just do what you want to do. and it is easy to stick with a story when the writing is as captivating as yours, so no reason to thank me for reading it. while i was reading the last chapter i couldn't stop thinking about how the Shinji in your story would react. and i really like your version of Rei, that she is the tie that keeps everybody somehow connected. i think it makes sense that she is the one leading the way forward while the others are stuck in some kind of limbo after 3i
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Postby jcmoorehead » Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:25 am

View Original PostAsukaner117 wrote:yeah i saw that "review" and thought it was pretty ... dumb. this is your story and i hope you just do what you want to do. and it is easy to stick with a story when the writing is as captivating as yours, so no reason to thank me for reading it. while i was reading the last chapter i couldn't stop thinking about how the Shinji in your story would react. and i really like your version of Rei, that she is the tie that keeps everybody somehow connected. i think it makes sense that she is the one leading the way forward while the others are stuck in some kind of limbo after 3i


Thought I had already replied to this but turns out I haven't, sorry about that ^_^

Thank you so much for the words about Rei, truth is in the past I've always found it incredibly difficult to write for Rei so hearing someone say they like my version of her means a hell of a lot. Over the last two big stories I've wrote I have been making an attempt to give her more screen time and push myself with her writing so it's nice to see people like the job I'm doing so far.

---

Worth pointing out that the 5th chapter was released last night. Updates are going to be a bit spotty over the next couple of weeks. I'll try to maintain a chapter every two weeks but I'm moving into a new apartment next week so have stuff to do for that, afterwards I'm going back to my parents for Christmas and my Birthday.

Fifth chapter - https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12720814/5 ... han-We-Are

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Postby Asukaner117 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:12 am

A nice chapter. i would have hoped that Rei doesn't let Asuka off the hook so easily. She sees that Shinji still moans about her departure and that he is still hurt by not knowing anything about her at all. especially at the end of the chapter, which feels very sudden. i dont like it when scenes end in the middle of a dialogue. i was so ready for Rei to say something like "what Shinji really needs is a life sign from you, and deep inside you know that.", but nothing.

anyway, i am looking forward to the next chapter.
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Postby jcmoorehead » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:00 am

View Original PostAsukaner117 wrote:A nice chapter. i would have hoped that Rei doesn't let Asuka off the hook so easily. She sees that Shinji still moans about her departure and that he is still hurt by not knowing anything about her at all. especially at the end of the chapter, which feels very sudden. i dont like it when scenes end in the middle of a dialogue. i was so ready for Rei to say something like "what Shinji really needs is a life sign from you, and deep inside you know that.", but nothing.

anyway, i am looking forward to the next chapter.


That's understandable, my reasoning for ending it on that particular line really was to sort end it on that big moment with Asuka finally saying Shinji's name again for the first time in ages but I can definitely appreciate that people might think that Rei would have more to say.

My general feeling is that she would probably say she will look after him and they'd end the conversation not too long afterwards. I think with how heated the conversation was with Asuka revealing her friendship with Kaworu, Rei probably wouldn't want to push anything else on her just yet, she will however return to those thoughts because she wants Asuka back in their lives properly. Rei will also have to digest the stuff about Kaworu first though.

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Postby jcmoorehead » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:20 am

I keep on forgetting to update this threat but thought it'd be worth pointing out that I've updated the post up top with links to chapters 7 and 8. Chapter 8 was just released today, sorry it took a while but between Christmas, settling into a brand new flat, getting back to work and being ill I've not had as much time to write lately as I'd have liked.

Hope everyone who reads this likes it though :)

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Postby jcmoorehead » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:55 am

Hate to triple post but just realized I haven't updated the thread in a while. Updates have been coming somewhat regularly, about every 2 weeks or so. Now up to chapter 13. I know this doesn't really have many, if any at all, readers but I hope anyone who is checking this story out is enjoying it ^_^

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Postby silvermoonlight » Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:46 am

Really enjoying the story so far though I won't be giving spoilers I enjoyed the twists and turns. ^_^

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Postby jcmoorehead » Tue May 01, 2018 6:04 pm

Okay so now for something a little bit different that I've actually been meaning to do for some time and that is talk about the 'soundtrack' as such for this fic. As I've pointed out a few times each chapter here is named after a song/album, the fic itself is named after a song and music features quite heavily within the fic itself.

When I write I always try to feature music in some way, it's a really important thing in my life and I guess I just like to share that with others in some way. Sometimes it's quite blatant and sometimes a little bit more subtle. I just thought it might be fun to go through the chapters an explain the titles, references and so on for you all.

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Story Title: Braver Than We Are

So the title of the story itself comes from the Jim Steinman/Meat Loaf canon. Braver Than We Are is a song that has been floating around for some time, it was penned by Jim Steinman who is known for writing the Meat Loaf albums Bat Out Of Hell and Bat Out Of Hell 2, he is also responsible for Bonnie Tylers Holding Out For A Hero and Total Eclipse Of The Heart and people might also know him as the composer of the music for Tanz der Vampire/Dance Of The Vampires.

Braver Than We Are is also the name of the latest Meat Loaf album, a special album because it looks like it might be the guys last and also it's only the fourth to be all penned by Steinman. On this album the song Braver Than We Are actually goes by a new name of "Going All The Way Is Just The Start." In it you hear Meat duet with the two women he started his career with, the original woman lead on Bat Out Of Hell and the woman he toured with for that album. The song is a bit of a back and forth about how each person fears the other seeing the truth of who they are, and how they feel the other sees them as being this invincible person who soars and fears nothing.

I felt the song fit the characters of Eva so well, each one fears what they are and others finding out about it. The each see the other as beacons of strength.

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Chapter 01: Subterrenea

Subterrenea is an album by the British Neo-Prog band IQ. It tells a story of a man who has lived his life in seclusion/sensory deprivation and is one day set free from his prison. The name of the track in which he goes into the world is also called Subterrenea as well. I felt that this song/idea fit Kaworu quite well in this chapter. This is him emerging into the world from his prison, he knows nothing of the world and how to be human. He is experiencing things for the first time really.

Fortunately for Kaworu he has a slightly better end than the protagonist of the album. In the album the protagonist finds himself falling for someone, only for them to vanish. He finds out he is being watched/followed by the people who imprisoned him, he vows to find the person responsible and discovered there are many more like him out there. His journey concludes with him retreating back into his life of solitude after all his negative experiences, I suppose this would be the bad end of Braver.

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Kodama's MP3 Player

At the end of the chapter Kodama gives Kaworu an MP3 Player filled with music from the 60s onwards. Kodama wasn't necessarily fussy about what she gave him. She gave him a selection of music from Japanese history and western history. I know little about Japanese music but on the Western side that included a lot of artists over the decades, Elvis, Beatles, Beach Boys, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Abba, Bee Gees, Genesis, Meat Loaf, Rush, Michael Jackson, Prince, and so on and so forth.

Her aim was to give Kaworu a good look at what was popular in each decade and to help him find what he enjoyed from it. She tried to get a variety of genre/acts on there.

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Chapter 02: Both Sides Of The Story

Not really too much to explain with this chapter title. It's a Phil Collins song chosen because we're seeing what Asuka and Shinji are up to now in the present day.

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Chapter 03: Lost Boy

Going back to Meat Loaf, I always had it in my head that a good song for their relationship would be Lost Boys & Golden Girls. This chapter is primarily about Kaworu and feeds back into that, Kaworu is the Lost Boy in this scenario. There isn't really too much to say about that but..

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Firth Of Fifth

We see the sort of music Kaworu enjoys in this chapter, he likes prog rock. Of course he does, I'm writing this fic so I go with that I know. Asuka also likes it too, and we see the first little bits of bondiing between them here when Kaworu plays a bit of the song Firth Of Fifth for her. I chose this song because it has a beautiful pure piano introduction. Genesis have a lot of amazing keyboard parts in their tracks and they too can be beautiful but I think the intro to Firth Of Fifth stands head and shoulders above them.

[hr][/hr]

Chapter 04: Mr Blue Sky

The title of this chapter comes from the song of the same name by ELO, a lovely upbeat piece of music that stands in sharp contrast to how this chapter ends. There is a bit of optimism throughout the chapter, we see some laughter and smiling throughout it but of course we end it with Kaworu having been attacked. I picked the song because it was a contrast.

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Chapter 05: You're Not Alone

This is a song by a band called Anathema, their album Weather Systems stands as one of my favourites. The track mentioned here is from their Distant Satellites album. It's an interesting track with some electronic components too it. The reason I picked it is simple, it's a statement for the characters, they are not alone.

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Chapter 06: Telephone Line

This chapter title is another ELO song. The song title doesn't completely reflect the content of the chapter, but it does represent an important part of the chapter and that is Kaworu's phone call to Asuka.

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Chapter 07: Any Kind Of Sign

This chapter title comes from a lyric in the Meat Loaf song Did I Say That? The song itself is actually more about the break up/ending of a relationship whereas the chapter is more about the beginning of one. I sort of took the idea of Did I Say That to be more of a crossroads though, it could go one way or the other, Asuka could have done/said something she regrets and it ends, but she doesn't and we get the beginning of the relationship.

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Chapter 08: A Story Never Told

Now we go to one of my other favorite artists in Dream Theater, the lyric comes from the Scenes From A Memory album and the song Strange Deja Vu. Picked purely because I felt the lyric fit, no other reason. In this chapter we learn a bit more about when/how Asuka left Japan.

The song bears little relevance to the chapter really, the album it is from is a concept album about a man who undergoes regression therapy and discovers a past life in which he unravels the mysterious murder of a girl that has been haunting him.

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Chapter 09: Get At The Truth

We go back to Meat Loaf again, and another Jim Steinman penned song Left In The Dark, the protagonist in the song is talking to his lover who they know has done something wrong, and they just want the truth. It fits with the direction of the story here, we are starting to see the truth reveal itself, and Shinji now knows Rei has been lying and wants to learn the truth about Asuka.

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Chapter 10: Only When I Feel

Not too much to say, another Meat Loaf/Jim Steinman song. Chosen because it represented Shinji's mood during the chapter, he is hurt and in pain. He now has some of the truth and it stings because of the lies.

Regarding the song, this one was featured on the Braver Than We Are album but it has a longer history. Originally it was performed back in the mid 2000s and was supposed to be on the Bat Out Of Hell 3 album. It was performed as a lead in to If It Ain't Broke (Break It) but was absent from the album when it came out for some reason.

In this chapter we also get to see some of the artists Shinji will be performing tracks by. A little bit self indulgent but Shinji listening to and being familiar with the music will give him another link to Kaworu/Asuka. Utilizing these sorts of artists in orchestra isn't really a new thing though, plenty of albums exist with orchestral tributes to these artists and many bands have played with an orchestra. You will also see the joke about Meat Loaf being called Meat Loaf.

Meat Loaf was actually named Meat by his father due to the size of him as a child, Loaf was added later. In keeping with the themes of Evangelion, the story of Meat Loafs father is an interesting one. At his mothers funeral, Meat Loafs father actually tried to kill him. Chased him around the house with a knife in a drunken rage.

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Chapter 11: Open Wide The Flood Gates

We switch from Meat Loaf to Spocks Beard for this chapter title. I picked this one because the name fit with what has happened in the story. The truth is out and these characters are moving forward in their own ways. Asuka/Kaworu are in a relationship, Shinji is back in contact with Asuka and has learned the truth about Rei. It just seemed to fit.

The album itself is about a young albino man nicknamed 'Snow' (Not to be confused with the Canadian rapper of the same name, famous for his early 90s hit 'Informer') Snow discovers he has certain abilities to see into the heart of any individual he touches. The album is noted for being Neal Morses last album as a full time member of Spocks Beard. It's a double disc concept album, some amazing music on there.

We also get a bit more about what Shinji likes from the playlist here. Genesis, Meat Loaf and Procol Harum. Procol Harum were one of the first bands to really bring classical influence into rock music and step away from blues influence with Whiter Shade Of Pale. Whiter Shade is considered to be based off of Air by Bach, so again fits in with Evangelion in it's own little way.

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Chapter 12: Sound Of Contact

Sound Of Contact is the name of a band with one album to their name, the band does/feature Phil Collins son Simon on the drums and they released an album called Dimensionaut which is wonderful. Unfortunately they've broken up so a second album won't happen. Shame. I picked this as a title because this is Shinji and Kaworu making contact for the first time, it seemed apt.

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Chapter 13: Realization

Asuka, Rei, Shinji, Kaworu... They're all the same in many ways aren't they? Each of them makes similar mistakes but reacts differently to it and this is the chapter where Rei especially begins to realize this.

The name of this chapter comes from the Ayreon album The Human Equation, it's actually one of the last songs of the album. The album is about a man who is in a car accident and whilst comatose becomes lost within his own mind, he meets personified versions of his emotions who guide him through his life and his mistakes to see what led him to the unpleasant individual he is today. Amazing album, highly recommended and has a great cast.

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Chapter 14: Suitable Ground For The Blues

This chapter title is a King Crimson track, chosen because of the new Fuyutsuki delivers within the chapter. It's pretty much what it says it is, it's suitable grounds for them to be upset. I picked this truly because of name along but it isn't the only King Crimson reference in the chapter.

The song Kaworu is listening to is Epitaph by King Crimson from their first album. The song is sung by the late Greg Lake who would later go on to be part of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. It's a beautiful little ballad, from what is generally considered to be the first true prog rock album.

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So that is it for the first 14 chapters. When the fic is complete I'll go through and cover the other chapters but I just thought it might be interesting to do something like this. I mean it possibly wasn't, I don't know.


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