An Insider's Look

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Re: An Insider's Look

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Postby Gryphon117 » Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:15 am

I've been swamped with work this entire week, so there won't be an update today, folks. The scene itself is mostly done, but with some final touches here and there still remaining I'm quite probably going to be pushing the update until next Wednesday. From there on, I think I'm going to be trying to push subsequent updates into a ten day schedule, alternating between Wednesday and Sunday updates. Hopefully that will be something I'll be able to uphold.

Again, sorry for the inconvenience. Working full time and needing to be a responsible adult bites into my writing time quite a bit, unfortunately. :irked:
Author of a few decent Eva stories, which can be found here.

Currently working on a new project: An Insider's Look

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Re: An Insider's Look

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Postby Gryphon117 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:09 am

Update time, as promised. Next one will be going up on October 14th, should everything end up conforming to plan. ^_^

Now, if you'll excuse me, the brain demands a short nap. *crawls to the bed*

Chapter 10-2  SPOILER: Show
The rays of light that came from the hospital window made the young man laying within the room look at peace, almost as if he were taking a nap and about to wake up any second. A fairly large part of Asuka had been wishing for the latter to be the case, in fact, hoping that the way in which she had previously ejected Shinji from her thoughts could have ended up causing him to take up residence in his own body again, somehow. How his essence, soul, cognition or whatever was supposed to make the trip back by itself was something that Asuka had trouble imagining an answer to but, then again, even the weirdest of hypothesis weren’t that farfetched considering that she had already talked to her comatose roommate via thoughts.

And had been trying to do so again for the last twenty minutes, with no success.

“…I keep fucking up every chance I get, don’t I?” the redhead angrily muttered to herself.

“I’ll not mince words: that wasn’t a good showing, Asuka. I’ll also admit that the scenario I pitted against the three of you wasn’t at all fair, but I was expecting a much better performance than what I saw, anyway,” a familiar voice responded to her rhetorical question. “All that said, though, it’s not just a ‘you’ problem. I’m sure you already noticed?”

And Asuka blinked herself back to attention, having managed to forget that Misato was in the room with her, probably because the older woman had barely said a word ever since they had entered. She had been content to grab a chair for herself and stoically watch over Shinji’s sleeping form, instead.

And watch her too, apparently, considering that she had caught her self-deprecating mumbling. Granted, Misato had also completely misunderstood her meaning but, with a sigh, Asuka realised that her last line was still every bit as accurate when spoken in regards to her EVA career.

“…Yeah,” the redhead quietly replied after giving Misato’s question a second’s thought. “We were running around like headless chickens.”

“Yes, you were. And while I understood and agreed with what you yourself were trying to do during the fight, the fact remains that you never let your two teammates in on it.”

“…I know.”

“Then you should start thinking about trying to remedy that,” the Major softly, but meaningfully, chastised. “As it stands, you are now at the head of the Pilot corps, Asuka, in both capacity and training. Any future team cohesion efforts live or die with you.”

“So now I’m a model to follow?” the Second Child raised a suspicious eyebrow. “Is that what you mean?”

“All I’m saying is that it’s a leader’s duty to lead, be it by example or in some other manner.”

“I don’t recall you ever burdening Shinji with any of that,” Asuka scoffed, her gaze steeling slightly.

Misato recoiled back slightly and threw a surprised look at the redhead for a moment, her mouth starting to form the beginning of a reply before she cut herself short.

“...And you’re completely right,” the older woman accepted, wincing from the accusation. “I was... worried that he could crack under the pressure that would come from a strictly professional chain of command, I suppose. Although I can think of one other person who wouldn’t have taken nicely to such an approach, too.”

The Second Child crossed her arms and looked away from the Major’s meaningful look with another, softer scoff. Admittedly, Misato was completely correct as well on her latter reasoning, considering that Asuka had ended up getting angry over Shinji giving his opinion not that long ago, even when she had been making an active effort not to. Translating such a situation to a hypothetical in which Shinji was team leader and expected to be followed as such... wouldn’t have been pretty on Asuka’s side of things, to say the least.

“But that’s a moot point now,” Misato continued. “The fact remains that the Angels are getting more and more dangerous each time and that a laissez-faire approach to the organisation of the Pilot corps is not going to cut it anymore. We’ll need to adapt, and sooner rather than later,” her eyes travelled to the sleeping young man, her voice turning mournful. “…I don’t want any more of you to end up like Shinji-kun, or worse.”

Asuka felt a pang of jealousy strike her heart at the sight of the grief-stricken Misato, but she quickly and mercilessly squashed the sensation and forced it to the back of her mind. That was not the time to question what Misato’s expression would have been had the places of the two Children been reversed and, besides, her roommate had been undeniably happy to see that she was doing fine before, too.

For a measure of ‘fine’, anyway.

Asuka’s feeling of inadequacy then steadily transformed into one of sadness, watching her normally optimistic and happy guardian on the verge of breaking down in tears. But what made it worse, was knowing that she had words at hand that could make the older woman feel much better: she so badly wanted to tell Misato that Shinji was alive, and that he had somehow ended up taking residence within her mind. That they had been arguing back and forth just like a few weeks ago, and that the Third Child had apparently managed to grow something resembling a spine in the process, to boot (much to Asuka’s chagrin).

But the Second Child could not bring herself to speak, no matter how much she wanted to let Misato know, and her misgivings weren’t born out of a fear of being doubted, either. After all, and regardless of the few seconds of weird staring she would probably garner, if there were two people in the world right now that Asuka could trust to not immediately believe that she was crazy the very moment she finished explaining herself, those were probably Misato and Hikari.

But there was nothing Hikari could do in this situation, and approaching Misato for something like that came with one, small problem, Asuka realised with a sigh.

‘Awesome. The first time in your life that you even consider confiding in Misato, and you can’t do it because she has a microphone strapped to her neck. One that will likely get you kicked out of the EVA Program faster than you can say ‘Stupid Shinji’, at that.’

And when it came to choosing between her EVA and anything else, Asuka wasn’t at all surprised to find out what her immediate choice was.

There was a very distinct lack of pride in her decision, though.

“Chin up, Asuka” Misato suddenly spoke in a comforting tone, sensing the redhead’s distress but misunderstanding the reason, once again. “You’ll do better next time.”

“…Right. If an Angel attacks today there won’t be a next time,” the redhead rolled with the punches and grumbled back, earning herself a frown from Misato. “Humanity is doomed without Invincible Shinji-sama to save us.”

“You know that Shinji didn’t get most of his kills by himself, Asuka. Not whenever he was in control, anyway. But even then, it’s undeniable that without him we’re missing a big part of our punch.” The Major admitted with a sigh. But when she continued, a small and ill-meaning smile had made its way to her lips. “That’s why I’m going to be working the three of you really hard straight away, starting tonight.”

“…You’re not chaining us to the sims all night, are you?” Asuka warily questioned after a short pause.

“Of course not!” Misato replied back in a tone that was far from comforting. “That would be counterproductive!”

Reassurances aside, however, the Major’s expression was anything but encouraging.

“I know that smile,” Asuka lamented as she closed her eyes. “It’s going to be something embarrassing again, isn’t it?”

“Well... Preparations are underway, so you’ll find out soon enough~”

“...Gee, I can’t wait.”

Asuka rolled her eyes at Misato’s cryptic smirk, and, for a few minutes, both women fell into what could have been taken as a comfortable silence, each immersed into their own thoughts and only briefly breaking off from said reflections on the surprisingly frequent times in which their eyes met, more often than not over the sleeping body of the room’s main occupant. By the fourth time that such an exchange had happened, however, the up until then pleasant silence had turned into an awkward one, full of questions and admissions that neither of the two knew how to tackle. Funny, considering that they had shared the closest and most touching few seconds in all of their history not three hours ago.

‘For fuck’s sake… I keep putting my foot in my mouth, Wondergirl takes to giving life advice and now Misato of all people is acting awkward!’ Asuka inwardly moaned, narrowing her eyes at the sleeping Third Child. ‘Gott in Himmel, this is so annoying! And it’s all your fault, Stupid-’

“Oh! By the way,” Misato spoke all of a sudden, breaking the redhead out of her trance. “Did something happen between you and Rei?”


“You didn’t look at her once during the debriefing. And I know that your relationship isn’t stellar to begin with, but…” the older woman trailed off with a shrug. “I guess it looked worse than usual.”

Asuka blinked, not at all aware that she’d done something like that, although she stopped thinking it strange after a moment’s contemplation. After all, she had been plenty busy arguing with Shinji during the debriefing, far too much to put attention towards her immediate surroundings. Her subsequent fuckup hadn’t helped matters, either.

‘Not that the First wasn’t acting incredibly out of character before the mission, herself. Seriously, what was up with all the staring?’ Asuka thought to herself, mind going back to the moment in question and failing to keep a frown from appearing on her face. ‘…In any case, I guess that could be as good an excuse as any.’

“It’s nothing. Just that the First kept looking at me like I’d grown a second head before we climbed into our EVAs, for some reason,” Asuka explained offhandedly before focusing back on Shinji. “It was creepy and I guess it stuck, but it’s no big deal, really. Just Wondergirl being her typical, weird self.”

Misato considered the girl’s response for a few moments, before considering it possible enough with a mental shrug.

“I see. Then if it’s not Rei, what is it that’s got you thinking so hard?” the Major continued, before the tone of her voice shifted from the professional soldier Asuka rarely heard to the professional slob she heard all too often. “It’s not about what the new girl said, is it?”

“What she said?” Asuka echoed, raising an eyebrow.

“Makinami, I mean,” Misato smirked as she elaborated, reclining in her seat and turning her eyes towards the ceiling. “You know, the whole ‘Princess Charming’ deal? It sure felt like I’d missed something.”


“I’m just saying, there’s nothing wrong with it,” the unwinding woman continued, oblivious to Asuka’s reaction to her previous words. “It’s completely normal for a teenage boy and a teenage girl that spend a lot of time together for-”

“Misato,” the Second Child abruptly growled. “Shut up.”

And Misato Katsuragi found herself quickly complying with the request, sitting straight up just a moment later. Just as swiftly, the smile that had adorned her face also fell. There was a strange expression on Asuka’s face, far from the innocent embarrassment that she had been aiming for, like so many times before, something further amplified by the cold and strange edge that had been contained within the girl’s words.

Her quick wit now succeeding where it had just failed, Misato rapidly realised her folly: rather than easing the awkwardness with a harmless joke, she had only succeeded in making it even more miserable.

“…Sorry. Low hanging fruit, temptations and all that,” the older woman promptly apologised, looking entirely like she fully meant every single word. “I… probably shouldn’t have opened my big mouth. I mean, I know this is a touchy subject for you, and I still go and try to lighten the mood with it. What an idiot I am.”

“…Who said it was a touchy subject?” the Second Child glared back. “You’re making it sound as if I like the idiot.”

But rather than responding, Misato merely stared at her, long and deliberate. A look that lacked any sort of ill will whatsoever, but one that Asuka quickly found she couldn’t match, anyway.

“And that’s fine if you don’t,” her roommate ultimately replied, before her expression turned fairly serious. She also looked quite uncomfortable, all of a sudden. “But, in any case, and completely unrelated to that possibility, can I… give you a bit of advice, Asuka?”

The Second Child’s brow creased, quickly identifying that whatever she was going to say next, Misato definitely looked a fair bit hesitant about it. A fact that didn’t exactly put the redhead at ease, either.

‘So not just Wondergirl but now Misato, too? This is a week of firsts, isn’t it?’

“Alright,” Asuka allowed with a sigh, “What is it?”

“Never… deny your feelings,” Misato declared, the unexpected gravity behind her tone and message stunning the redhead into silence. “It might be scary, it might be daunting, but should you ever find yourself attracted to a special someone, just… don’t let opportunity pass you by, Asuka, now or in the future.

“Many a time it won’t work out. Some others it will work out only to break apart years later. And after many a failure you might find yourself regretting the fact that you even tried, but…”

Misato drew in a deep breath and closed her eyes, taking a moment to think of how to best put her meaning into words. A moment in which Asuka noticed the older woman’s hand travel to hover over her heart, apparently without her own notice.

“But I can assure you: whatever pain, whatever regret you might get out of reaching out to another, will be nothing compared to the regret that you will live with if you’re ever too afraid to take hold of what you hold dear until it is too late.”


The Second Child didn’t need even a fraction of her genius to know who Misato was referencing with her last line:

Kaji was dead. Asuka would never forget the day on which Shinji had let her know and what she had felt at that time, the overwhelming heartache that had appeared impossible to endure, back then.

But what the woman before her had suffered had been a thousand times worse, and continued to be, even. Watching Misato Katsuragi, NERV’s Head of Operations, barely manage to hold back tears was all the confirmation Asuka required to realise that.


“Promise me, Asuka: we will get through this war. And when we do, I want you to grab the reins of your life,” Misato continued, her eyes opening and giving way to twin pools of conviction. “No matter what that may mean to you, I want you and Shinji and Rei to be happy. No regrets allowed, alright?”

And it was so that the Second Child found herself at a loss for words, once more. However, the frustration that usually came in hand with the ever increasing frequency at which she was going mute took a backseat in deference of a deeper contemplation of what Misato had just said:

After all, what was ‘happiness’ supposed to mean for Asuka Langley-Sohryu? For most of her life, the answer to that question had been to pilot EVA, but was such a response something that Asuka could rely on until the day she died?

The redhead was a bit ashamed to realise that she had never given such a silly but important question any further thought than that. After all, the Second Child wasn’t naïve enough to believe that the war would last forever, and so did Misato appear to believe, as well. So when the last of the Angels was dead and there was no more need for a cripplingly expensive defence against them, what would become of the Evangelions, then?

What would become of their Pilots? Of the Second Child, when the world had no more need for such a person?

Asuka didn’t yet know the answer to that question, and she suspected that it would remain so for a long time to come. But, perhaps, it was time to start considering it.

“I…” the redhead swallowed, barely managing to choke out the words. “I’ll try to.”

“Thank you, Asuka,” Misato replied with a small smile, before her eyes travelled back to the sleeping Third Child. They shone a little bit more than usual, now. “…And yeah, I hope you’re ready for a lot of trying. He’s… not the brightest on matters of the heart, I think.”

“…Tell me about it.” Asuka grumbled before she could stop herself.

“What was that~?”

And the Second Child thus jumped slightly in her seat, having forgotten just how good Misato’s hearing could be when she was actually paying attention. Crossing her arms, the young woman looked away with a huff, her lips making a small pout.


To which the Major only smiled, wider and more heartily than she had done in a while.

“Well, look at us, being all serious. So serious, so serious! I think that’s about as much serious talk as I can stomach for today, don’t you agree?” Misato asked in between chuckles, seamlessly managing to transition back to her usual self. The older woman’s mirth was contagious, though, and Asuka was about to join in her laughing when Misato’s phone rang and she checked it in a hurry.

The knowing smirk that came upon the Major’s expression promptly took all traces of humour out of Asuka’s system.

“Heh, talk about timely! Preparations for the start of your training just completed!”

“Oh, joy of joys...” the redhead sighed, giving a last glance at the room’s sleeping occupant before standing up from her seat. “...Alright, let’s just get this over with.”

“Oh, come on, Asuka-chan!” Misato jokingly intoned, quickly moving beside her. “Aren’t you even the slightest bit curious about what it will entail?”

“Will you never call me that again if I ask you?”

The older of the two women replied to the redhead’s pointed stare with another teasing smile and a wink.


Her constant joking aside, though, it would have been clear as day to anyone with a pair of functioning eyes that Misato was putting on a brave face and barely succeeding at it. Asuka was one of such people.

She would happily take Misato’s horrible humour and teasing attempts over watching her mope, though.

‘Goddamn you, Stupid Shinji. If you don’t hurry up and wake up already, I swear I’ll practice lucid dreaming and find some way of putting you back where you belong myself.’

“…Fine. What’s your plan, Misato?”

And with the sigh of defeat that signified the Second Child’s agreement, Misato Katsuragi leant down to whisper in the ear of Asuka Langley-Sohryu.

Author of a few decent Eva stories, which can be found here.

Currently working on a new project: An Insider's Look

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Re: An Insider's Look

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Postby Gryphon117 » Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:55 am

Another Sunday means another update, and with this one we've broken 100k words of An insider's Look! Let's see if I can suceed at having things more or less wrapped up for our characters in another a hundred thousand, or so. :tongue:

But in the meantime, enjoy! ^_^

Chapter 10-3  SPOILER: Show
“Until the three of you learn to work as a unified team, you will be living together in the same apartment. You will sleep, train, eat, bathe and carry out all other elements of your daily routine together, and since there are no boys in the arrangement to be mindful of this time, there will be no exceptions to the above.” Misato complemented her ominous explanation to the three girls with a smirk and a gesture towards the redheaded pilot of Unit-02. “As some of you are aware of, Asuka is already familiar with parts of the regime. She’ll walk you through the hoops.”

Standing side by side in front of the entrance of what would soon become their new abode, the three active members of the Evangelion Pilot corps received their new orders with varied degrees of enthusiasm: on the far left, Mari Makinami kept her usual and nonchalant smile on her face, apparently not at all bothered by the words that reached her ears. Right beside her, Rei Ayanami maintained an unflappable expression throughout the entire explanation, only blinking twice in quick succession in what perhaps could have been taken as an uncharacteristic show of surprise.

Meanwhile, on the far right, the Second Child responded to the mention of her name with a very distinctive scalding glare that could have pierced through an AT-Field…

“…I hate you.”

…but that had little to no effect on Misato Katsuragi.

“There, there,” the older woman shooed Asuka’s words away before falling back on her military professionalism. “The inspiration for this initiative aimed to achieve a complete synchronisation in both thought and actions between two people, but we have no need to go that far in this iteration. As such, you’ll be happy to know that you won’t be required to wear matching outfits during your stay together…”

“Thank God.”



“Should the results of your cohabitation prove lacking, we will take whatever measures are considered appropriate to improve on them, sticking to tried and true methods first, like the ones used against the Seventh Angel,” Misato continued, her military discipline unfaltering even in the face of the now quickly paling Second Child. “After all, and while we don’t want to enforce any changes that would result in undue stress for the three of you, we also don’t want the next Angel to defeat you, either. You get one pick to figure out which one of those two options is more important.”

“B-B-But Misato! Don’t you remember those... things?!” the redhead quickly protested, loudly stomping her foot against the floor. “They were horrible! A nuclear attack against fashion! There has to be some sort of law against making anyone wear something that humiliating!”

“…The costumes were rather tasteless,” the First Child agreed with a hint of disapproval, much to the surprise of most present.

Not that the shock stopped Asuka from trying to make the most out of the unexpected situation.

“See?” the redhead quickly motioned towards Rei. “Even Wondergirl agrees with me!”

“Eh, I thought they were kinda cool.”

Three pairs of eyes promptly homed in on the one person who had spoken the last words, ranging from curious to outright aghast. To no one’s surprise, much less Asuka’s, Mari had been the last one to voice her opinion, although the Second Child wasn’t certain on what was more disappointing about the scene before her: the fact that Mari had just killed her momentum flat, or the fact that the Fifth Child truly seemed to find the... thing that Asuka had been forced to wear a few months ago appealing.

“…Wow, you’ve got some shit taste,” the redhead tiredly brought a hand to the bridge of her nose after a fair few seconds of silent contemplation. And a moment later, something occurred to her. “…Wait, how would you even know how they looked? You weren’t here for that!”

“I read the reports,” the twin-tailed girl explained with a shrug, sending a look the Major’s way. “There were a few pictures of you and the Third in matching outfits, there. I think you were playing Twister?”

And like a raging hurricane, Asuka immediately turned her livid attention towards her former roommate.

“You saved those?!”

“Yes, I did. That’s the sort of detail that goes into after-action reports, Asuka, and you’re fully aware of it,” the Major responded, not managing to resist the urge to roll her eyes. “You also know that no one without the proper clearance can get access to those files, so will you stop it with the overreactions, now?”

“…I don’t know,” the redhead angrily pouted, narrowing her eyes. “Do I get an actual choice, this time?”

“Not really. You’re doing this whether you like it or not, so you better get used to the idea,” Misato replied, parrying the Second Child’s heated gaze with a meaningful look of her own. “You should try hard and get along if you don’t want to end up wearing the worst case scenario.”

Misato then walked past the three girls and produced a single keycard, which she used to open the room’s door and push it open. Turning back around, the Major motioned to the First Child next and handed the keycard to her.

“I’m designating Rei as your apartment’s gatekeeper. She will hold the key and, like everything else, the three of you will share it whenever you need to leave your quarters. There are several other copies to be used in case of emergency, but the ones you should be aware of are with me, with Doctor Akagi, and with the Section-2 detachment that will be keeping guard outside your door.”

“And why does Wondergirl get to keep the key?” Asuka quickly protested.

“Because she’s the one I can completely trust not to bend the rules, at the moment,” Misato offhandedly shot the redhead down, entering the apartment and motioning for the three girls to follow. “But for now, let’s go inside. I’ll give you three a tour of the place and let you know where your personal possessions are.”

With a quiet nod, Rei pocketed the keycard within her uniform and followed the Major in, Mari going in second after taking a moment to send a bright smile Asuka’s way. A gesture that went largely ignored and that was answered with a glare that could have melted mountains.

One that proved just as ineffective as the first of its kind had been.

“‘It would be counterproductive’, my ass...” the Second Child quietly fumed as everyone else passed over the threshold, resignedly starting to put one foot in front of the other. “And just when I was getting used to the idea of living on my own, too…”

The tour itself was short and to the point, just a few minutes long before Major Katsuragi rushed off to handle some of her other obligations, which was a somewhat surprising achievement considering that the apartment could have easily been two or three times larger than the one Asuka had been using until then. It had all the necessary essentials, with a spacious and well-furnished living room, a fully functional kitchen and a big bathroom with a trio of side-by-side showers, set up similarly to those in the locker rooms.

It was in that last area of the apartment where Asuka noticed the First Child briefly stop the surreptitious glances that she had been throwing in her direction all day long, to look at the lined up showers with something that could have been taken as disappointment. Apparently, the bluenette was a fan of soaking in the bath.

Not that Asuka could call her out on that. The Second Child would also miss one of the only things she genuinely liked about Japan, herself.

The tour continued with their guide showing them to three separate and more private rooms that each Pilot could use to store their things, although Misato had been quick to remind them of how they would all be sleeping together in the living room. To hammer the point home, the rooms themselves were completely bereft of beds, making them look oddly desolate and leaving only a few futons to be carried to the main room when night-time came.

‘Goodbye, my dearest bed, how I’ll miss you,’ Asuka grimly thought at the prospect of sleeping on the floor again. ‘I can’t wait to use those stupid portable mats the Japanese like so much...’

A few reminders of conduct, obligations and incoming tests later, and Misato left the trio to their own devices for the rest of the day; hinting at, but not outright stating, that their special brand of training had already begun.

And so did the Second Child rue her situation for the umpteenth time that hour, stuck in permanent close proximity to two of the people she wanted to see the least, at the time.

“So… what now?” Makinami asked, when the three girls had spent a few seconds staring at the closed door without a word. “We’ve still got some time until dinner, so do you girls want to do something?”

Mari’s query was met with complete silence, Rei complementing the quietude with a blank look that clearly exemplified her intentions to be reactive, rather than lead the pack. Asuka, for her part, dove into her room with an irritated sigh and came out with the trusty Famicom a few moments later, before proceeding to plug it into the TV under the watchful eye of her two newly appointed roommates. Making short work of the setup, the redhead then looked into the bag of games and picked up Dragon Quest once again, fully intending to relieve a fair bit of pent up stress and frustration by annihilating the pixel armies of the evil Dragonlord with magic and sword both. Grabbing a cushion to sit on, Asuka reached for the power button when...

“Wait,” Mari suddenly interrupted, grabbing a controller for herself and fishing for a different game. “Gotta do this together, right?”

For a brief moment, Asuka considered answering Mari’s rhetorical question with a resounding ‘NO!’, but the impulse died in her mouth when the redhead felt Rei step closer to them both. The rules Misato had laid down were what they were, much to Asuka’s chagrin, and since she was going to have the goody-two-shoes of the First Child constantly looking over her shoulder, trying to waive them even a little was probably not going to be in the cards.

“…Fine. Whatever.” Asuka relented, moodily resting her chin on her hand and throwing the cartridge back in the bag with a fair bit more force than entirely necessary. “Just make sure it’s something good.”

“By your command! Let’s see here…” Mari redoubled her efforts after a brief and goofy military salute, digging through the plastic squares like a dog searching for a buried bone. In a similar manner, the twin-tailed girl was overly excited when she finally found something that caught her interest. “Oh! Double Dragon! Does that title sound cool or what?!”

“Who cares about the stupid title? Just plug the damn thing so we can start playing, already.”

“Yes, yes, I’m on it,” Mari replied in her ever-present good cheer, annoying the redhead some more. “Our Princess is so demanding…”

But true to her words, Mari inserted the cartridge and powered up the console in two fluid motions, grabbing another cushion for herself and offering a third one to the First Child. The bluenette accepted it with a grateful nod, although since the Famicom lacked the option to plug in a third controller, Rei opted for sitting a little bit further back from the other two, looking at the proceedings with an air of intrigue.

Without much fanfare, Asuka breezed through the game’s starting sequence with only a brief pause to select the two player mode, and a second one to raise an eyebrow at the game’s effort to designate the bad guys.

‘Did that guy just sucker punch her in the stomach…?’ the Second Child wondered, before a stray thought soured her mood when the two player characters made their appearance. ‘Oh well, gotta save the girl, I guess. Tch, talk about a game Invincible Shinji would feel right at home playing.’

A final thought that resonated with how simple Double Dragon’s entire premise was: beating the snot out of waves of enemies as the leading pair made their way through a dilapidated town. The fact that it was a cooperative effort made Asuka feel somewhat bitter about the fact that she wasn’t going to get a chance to vent her frustrations on Mari’s character, though, frustrations that only mounted when the Fifth Child took to humming in tune to the game’s repetitive (albeit surprisingly catchy) soundtrack. In any case, it wasn’t long before said grievances took a backseat to the Second Child’s competitive spirit burning brighter than she had initially intended to, her own controller never leaving her hands as Makinami and Wondergirl swapped the other one whenever one of the two bit the dust.

Nevertheless, and despite the clear superiority on display, Asuka’s bad mood was still apparent, with witty and disparaging remarks following each controller swap and a fair bit of unnecessary force being visited upon her own controller each and every time the redhead’s own actions weren’t rewarded with perfection, which ultimately prompted the three sided clash to come to a stop when Mari pressed the PAUSE button in her controller, turning to the redhead on her left with a serious look.

“Okay, Princess: what are you so angry about?”

Gripping the controller tighter, the Second Child scowled in the direction of the one who had dared to interrupt her fun. “What do you think?” she added, when her stare alone proved wanting to convey her message.

“You’re still hung up on that?” the Fifth Child sighed in response, gingerly placing her controller on the floor. “I mean, I’ll admit that maybe I did take the last joke during the synch-tests a bit too far. But even then, it’s just that: a joke. Whatever happened to learning to take those?”

“Your one ‘joke’ stops being funny when it’s always about trying to link me to that idiot!”

Asuka’s protest was punctuated by the second controller being hammered into the floor, the girl’s glaring evolving into a full-blown snarl. A reaction that merely garnered a raised eyebrow from her newly-appointed teammate, not at all fazed by the Second Child’s destructive tendencies.

Try to? I don’t have to try to. Here’s a bit of a newsflash, darling: if you were any more obvious about your crush, there would be neon signs advertising it all over town,” Mari shot back with a chuckle, shaking her head in amusement. A gesture that left her blind to the way the Second Child recoiled at her words. “Not that there’s anything at all wrong with that, you know? It’s perfectly human to be attracted to someone else. I mean, you even got the first confirmation about which side you-”

And it was so that Mari Makinami was caught off-guard, and barely managed to grab hold of the Beast’s hands before they arrived at whatever soft part of her body the Second Child had intended to crush.

“Oh, come on!” Mari groaned, struggling to keep the angered redhead at bay from the disadvantageous position she had earned for herself. “Are we seriously doing this [i]again[/i]?!”

“Whatever it takes for you to SHUT. YOUR. MOUTH!”

Pushing forward with each of her enraged words, Asuka managed to gain a little bit of ground before the struggle grinded into a deadlock once more, and the two girls remained like that, with neither side proving capable of overpowering the other for a few, long moments.

And from the side, Rei Ayanami watched quietly. To her credit, the First Child had not backed away even the slightest bit at the onset of hostilities, even more remarkable considering that the heated clash was taking place less than an arm’s length distance away from her.

“Why are you fighting?” the bluenette asked instead, her cool and logical demeanour as unbreakable as ever.

“Oh, nothing much!” the Fifth Child chirped back. “Just about how Princess here has the hots for Sleeping Beauty and can’t bring herself to admit it!”

“I… see?”

“Don’t just believe everything the stupid four-eyes says!” Asuka angrily protested, taking a split-second to glare in Rei’s direction.

“...I have heard that expression used by some of the female students at school, before. Judging by the context of their conversation, am I correct in assuming that they, and therefore, you, were speaking about a third person’s romantic prospects?”

“You got that one absolutely right, Bluebird!

“I see,” Rei nodded with barely discernible satisfaction, before turning towards the struggling redhead with a confused look. “Then why shouldn’t the Fifth Child’s words be trusted? They fall in line with my own observations.”

And just like that, with a few well placed words, the bloodlust in Asuka’s eyes faded and left way for disbelieving shock to take residence.


A reaction that was mirrored to a slightly lesser degree by the young woman that Asuka had just tried to assault.

“Okaay,” Mari blinked, taking advantage of the sudden lack of force against her hands and arms to rise back up to a more comfortable position. “I know that I talked about neon signs and all, but I didn’t really expect for you of all people to have caught on to this, Bluebird.”

“Why wouldn’t I?” Rei replied back, her eyelids milimetrically drawing together. “I am always aware of my surroundings.”

“Sorry, sorry, didn’t mean to be rude. Just caught me a bit off-guard, although I guess it makes sense for the quiet ones to be more attentive,” the twin-tailed girl apologised with a shrug, before she turned towards Asuka and tentatively let go of one of her hands. “...I fear you might have broken the Princess, though...

“Hello, Princess?” Mari called out, waving her free hand in front of the Second Child’s face. “Anybody home~?”

A hand that instinctively went to shield her own face when Asuka suddenly stood up without a word. The gesture soon proved pointless, however, because the Second Child apparently had had enough violence for the moment, deciding to cut a blazing trail out of the living room, instead. Mari and Rei, for their part, slowly moved to follow at a safe distance.

“Princess? Where are you going? You know you can’t just go away on your...” the Fifth Child began, quickly thinking of things she could say to calm the enraged redhead down. But her efforts quickly ceased when she noticed the door that Asuka had chosen to leave through. “Princess, wait!”

Shut up, I don’t want to hear it!” Asuka shouted back, opening the door and rushing inside without a care. “Forget about Misato’s stupid training! If either of you come in here, I swear I’ll make mincemeat out of you!”

“But Princess, that’s-!”

A myriad crashing sounds interrupted Mari’s words, the twin-tailed girl and the First Child beside her wincing (one far more noticeably than the other) at the unmistakable sound of valuable items breaking on hard contact with the floor.

“…a storage closet.” Mari belatedly finished when things finally seemed to settle down, opening one eye to inspect the aftermath.

Asuka’s usually pristine clothes were now soiled with dust, grime and a few spots of paint, and the same could have been said about her exposed skin and flaming hair. The Second Child’s face had not fared any better, either, or so it seemed from the parts of it that weren’t obscured by the girl’s bangs.

‘At least there wasn’t anything sharp or dangerous in there, apparently. Thank God,’ Mari thought with a mental sigh of relief.

“The people who worked on this place said that they didn’t have time to move all that stuff, and that they would get on with it tomorrow morning,” the Fifth Child explained, trying her hardest not to make direct eye contact with her new German roommate, lest the Beast awaken once again. “You... weren’t paying attention when the Major...?”

“Not. Another. Word.” The dirty redhead growled with pressed fists at her sides, heavy steps almost shaking the ground as she made her way out of her useless haven and towards the showers.

And the two other Children watched her go, Rei making a short attempt to follow Asuka before Mari caught her wrist with a very meaningful shake of her head. Understanding the Fifth Child’s appeal to common sense, the bluenette appeared to decide that the enforcement of rules could wait for one or two hours.

For their own safety, if nothing else.

“...Well, that went about as terribly as humanly possible,” Mari eventually grumbled once more when Asuka had disappeared from sight, throwing a small and somewhat weary smile in Rei’s direction. “So, which colour would you like your costume?”
Author of a few decent Eva stories, which can be found here.

Currently working on a new project: An Insider's Look

Posts: 12
Joined: Jun 01, 2018
Gender: Male

Re: An Insider's Look

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Postby sonichu » Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:12 pm

I really enjoyed this one. Seeing Shinji's reaction to the 3 other pilots living together should also be interesting once he finds out how to talk to Asuka again.

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