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...

...it 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?”

“Huh?”

“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.”

“...Oh.”

“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.

“M-Misato…”

“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.

“Nothing.”

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.

“…Maaybe.”

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.

“WHAAAAT?!”
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.”

“…Initially.”

What?!

“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.

“W-Wha…t?”

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

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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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Re: An Insider's Look

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Postby Gryphon117 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:47 am

A bit of an early update, since I'm going to be having a hell of a time next week and don't think I'll have an opportunity to expand on this scene before Wednesday, so I thought that there was no point in waiting until then. This is roughly half of the scene I want to write, but I'm afraid the other half will need to wait until the next time I can afford some writing time. Sorry about that. :um:

Chapter 10-4  SPOILER: Show
It was dinner time when Asuka finally emerged from her private area of the apartment, to find a spread of delicious-looking food waiting on the living room’s table. Apology food, the Second Child surmised, quickly finding that the sight made the growls of her protesting stomach, being the only reason she had come out in the first place, almost unbearable to suffer.

“Oh, Princess!” Mari promptly exclaimed when she spotted her, tucking a slightly dirty apron into the washing machine. “You’re out!”

Rei also stopped setting up the table just enough to send a curious look the redhead’s way, the sudden attention of the two Pilots who had been just about to sit down and enjoy the day’s last meal making Asuka feel tempted to grab a snack from the fridge and retreat back into seclusion. Ultimately, though, that idea fell through when the much bigger temptation on sight compelled Asuka to take her seat at the table, much to Mari’s undisguised joy.

“Looks like someone’s hungry~,” the Fifth Child sang, walking over and sitting on the chair to Asuka’s right. A few moments later Rei joined the duo, completing the triangle at the table. “Right, we’re all set now! How’s that thing that you guys say at the table? ‘Thanks for the food’?”

Having already started picking at their food, none of the two other Pilots proved interested in responding to Mari’s question (much to the girl’s dismay), a state of affairs that carried over throughout the entire dinner in spite of the Fifth Child’s ill-received attempts to strike a conversation among the trio. Other, subtler communication did take place in its stead, however, as the Second Child furtively hunted for clues that would let her know about the evening’s happenings. Clues that Asuka, surprisingly enough, found when she looked at the First Child’s fingers, for a few of the girl’s fingertips were now covered in carefully-wrapped bandages.

Bandages which were clear on their message: Rei had been assisting with the cooking. And while it was also fairly clear that the bluenette had done no favours to her own hands while at it and that Mari had probably done the elephant’s share of the work, that small scrap of knowledge sent another, different message straight into Asuka’s mind.

‘They’re really trying to make this whole thing work, aren’t they…?’ the Second Child assumed, correctly guessing that the First and Fifth Children had stuck to the principles of their ‘training’ even in her own absence.

Which was already more than she, Asuka Langley-Sohryu, had done. And she had even told Misato that she would try and become a good leader for the Pilot corps a scant few hours ago, too! And yet, she had managed to fail miserably in the face of the very first hurdle that had been thrown her way.

‘How very you, Asuka.’

That last thought echoing within her mind for a short while, the Second Child snapped back into awareness when her fork struck an empty plate. Blinking, the redhead noticed that she had apparently managed to devour the entire serving while completely out of it, and was further surprised when Rei took the now empty plate and useless fork out of her hands and made her way towards the sink. Mari followed with a quip about ‘Bluebird leading the way’, grabbing a few handfuls of the dinnerware and picking a spot for herself next to Rei.

And Asuka watched them work, noticing before long that neither of the two girls had completely cleaned off the table. A few plates, glasses and knives remained behind, consisting of roughly a third of the original spread that the Second Child had seen on her arrival.

‘...Damn, I knew that Wondergirl couldn’t do subtle if her life depended on it, but I expected Glasses to be a bit better at it,’ Asuka thought with a sigh, narrowing her eyes at the defenceless dinnerware. ‘Still, there’s really no getting out of this one, is it? You don’t want to wear that stupid thing, and you also know that Misato will show no mercy, Asuka. Goes without saying that she’ll also be disappointed if you fail to see this through...’

A heavier, deeper sigh escaped her and, before she knew it, the Second Child had stood up and joined her peers at the sink, remaining plates and glasses in hand. Neither Mari nor Rei made any mention of her actions, however, the trio working as a well-oiled washing, drying and placing machine within a few seconds of Asuka joining them.

Before long all the washing up was finished and, while the Fifth Child had half-expected her redheaded teammate to storm out towards her private room the very moment the group had finished their first joint effort, Asuka surprised her by burying her head in her arms and resting against the table, instead. She remained as such for a few minutes, not moving in the slightest except for the steady rise and fall of her breathing, the other two Pilots sharing a brief look and joining her at the table at Mari’s behest.

“...Fine, I like the moron. And it makes as little sense to me as it does to anyone else in this stupid world,” Asuka suddenly admitted out of nowhere, to the mild shock of everyone present. “Are you going to get off my case about it now?”

“Huh. I didn’t actually expect you to go out and say it, Princess. Congratulations.”

“What’s the point in hiding it anymore? Misato knows, you know, even Wondergirl has figured it out and because someoneI could mention didn’t keep their mouth shut, half the base has probably put two and two together by now,” Asuka replied with a soft growl. “I can hear them laughing behind my back, already...”

“Come on, dramatic much? And I already apologised for that joke!” Mari protested with a slight roll of her eyes. “Do you always rake people over the coals this much, Princess?”

“Only those who deserve it."

“Which is basically anyone, I’d guess?” the Fifth Child lightly taunted back, satisfied when the redhead’s eyes narrowed in annoyance. “In any case, I’ll cut it with the jokes if you want, but since the topic has already come up I… sooort of want to talk about Shinji Ikari, now.”

“Why?” Rei’s inquisitive question came from the other side.

“Why not? I mean, come on,” Mari leaned over the table, putting a sweet smile and resting her head on her hands. “I’ve learned about the famous Third Child from word of mouth and some reports, but I’m curious as to what makes him such a big deal. How can I let go of the chance to speak about the man with the two people that he worked the closest with?”

“And what’s it to you what Shinji’s like?” Asuka grumped back, crossing her arms and leaning backwards against her chair the entire distance Mari had covered. The Fifth Child merely smiled wider.

“Call it gossip. After all, what girl wouldn’t be curious?” Mari then stood up from her seat and walked over towards Rei before throwing her arms around the bluenette from behind, much to the First Child’s surprise. “This unassuming young man managed to charm the spitfire Second Child, and even Ice Queen Ayanami warms up a little when she talks about him. I can tell!”

Curling into herself as much as she could as a defence against the unfamiliar, Rei tried her best to hide the reactions that confirmed each and every one of the Fifth Child’s words. Despite her efforts, though, the contrast between the soft blush on her cheeks and the girl’s pale skin was impossible to miss.

“...Please let go.”

“Ha ha, knew it!” Mari cheered as she completely disregarded her captive’s words and held on to her even tighter. “And I’ll let you go in a while. Maybe. Did you know that you’re very huggable, Bluebird?”

Rei’s response to the query was a nondescript moan and an acceptance of the fuzzy feelings the Fifth Child’s embrace undoubtedly brought out within her. Either that, or the blue haired girl had quickly and sensibly given up on her vain attempts at escape for the time. Either option was fine with Mari, really.

“...The hell are you doing, you pervert?”

Not so much with Asuka, judging by her disbelieving tone.

“Nuzzling against one of my two cute teammates?” the twin-tailed girl cheekily replied, continuing to do just that. “Or is the Princess jealous? I’ve got arms for two people, you know?”

“As if!” Asuka promptly shot back, pushing her seat backwards a step to hammer her point home. “Why don’t you leave the both of us alone and go cuddle up with Aida, instead?!”

“Aida?” Mari blinked, quickly putting a face to the name. “Oh, you mean the guy at the batting cages?”

“Yeah! The one that nearly had a heart attack when you kissed him on the cheek!” the Second Child jeered, jumping at the chance to get some of the attention off of Shinji, and by association, herself. “An idiot for an idiot, you’d make such a cute couple!”

“Hmm...” Mari went silent at the redhead’s taunting words, a thoughtful look coming to her face. “He might not be much to look at right now, but take off the dorky glasses and give him a few years and he’ll probably be above average. I wouldn’t mind him, actually.”

“...What.”

“Why not? It’s a possibility like any other. Or that’s what I would say if I didn’t have other, more important stuff to worry about, anyway,” Mari shrugged nonchalantly at Asuka’s deadpan stare, following that with a smile. “Maybe in another life?”
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 Nov 04, 2018 8:37 am

I bring another short update today, one that sadly doesn't quite manage to finish the current scene, either. This schoolyear isn't being generous on the out of work obligations so far, I'm afraid. Essentially, I've been hit with job training for my Wednesday afternoons these past two weeks and all through November, which kinda sucks because Wednesday is usually the day outside of weekends that I can devote to writing. This month is quite likely not going to be the best for updates because of that. And neither will the first half of December, due to evaluations and gradings. :uhh:

I'll try to show some signs of life, though, even if I'm barely having the time to sit down and think about how I want the dialogues and scenes to flow these days. Hopefully they won't suffer too much because of that, so look forward to it.

In any case, enjoy. Here's to the third time being the charm for this one scene. ^_^

Chapter 10-5  SPOILER: Show
“Why not? It’s a possibility like any other. Or that’s what I would say if I didn’t have other, more important stuff to worry about, anyway,” Mari shrugged nonchalantly at Asuka’s deadpan stare, following that with a smile. “Maybe in another life?

“And it’s not like you’re one to talk, Princess,” the twin-tailed girl continued, her lips curving even further into a smirk. “I mean, Sleeping Beauty has a bit of a girly thing going for him, but he’s kind of physically unremarkable outside of that, right now. Didn’t stop a certain someone from falling head over heels for him, though~”

“It’s not like that. I said that I had a stupid teenage crush on him, sure, but don’t go claiming anything more.”

“...And our Princess keeps on being stubborn. I really thought there was a glimmer of hope back there.” Mari sighed, before letting go of her blue-haired captive to sit back on her chair. She then focused the entirety of her attention on Asuka once again, hands supporting her head over the table as a teasing smile never left the Fifth Child’s face. “So, since you have admitted to liking the guy already, answer me this now: have you two kissed yet?”

“Bwha!?”

“Oooh~, that’s a ‘Yes’ if I ever saw one!” Mari giggled, pressing the offensive against the suddenly flustered redhead. “Tell me, tell me: do the Third Child’s well-known talents translate to anything else? How did it go?”

Expression akin to a deer’s caught in the headlights, Asuka sat frozen in her chair for a few, long seconds, the blush that had appeared in her cheeks at the sudden question quickly gaining in intensity and spreading around until it looked as if her red mane had grown to cover every last bit of her face. Just as swiftly, the Second Child tried to hide this development by hunkering down behind her arms and, for a moment, Mari thought that Asuka would just clamp down and go silent again.

But the Second Child surprised her by allowing a disappointed sigh that spoke volumes in and of itself to escape her fort, followed by an actual response to her query.

“...Terrible.”

“Ouch, that’s a shame,” Mari gently reassured the crestfallen redhead, resisting the urge to reach forward and pat her head. “But don’t let it get you down, take it as a learning experience for when he wakes up! You could even put your Princess Charming talents to the test until he does! I won’t tell anyone!”

“Will you ever shut up about that?” Asuka growled back, emerging just enough to glare at the annoying Fifth Child.

“Maybe when you gather up the courage to try a second time,” Mari grinned, then shifting her eyes towards Rei. “And how about you, Bluebird? What do you like about the famous Third Child?”

“Me...?” the bluenette replied with a puzzled look, inching just slightly backwards so as to ward off against the possibility of a second attempt on her personal space. A valiant strategy that was mercilessly countered when Mari began advancing forward so that she was always at arm’s reach, and one that Rei was forced to abandon when her own chair softly clacked against Asuka’s and the Second Child stared at her with a mixture of curiosity and irritation.

“I don’t see any other infinitely huggable blue-haired girls hanging around here, so yeah, I guess that’d be you,” Mari confirmed, throwing a Cheshire smile at her trapped prey. “Out with it!”

Squirming just the slightest bit at the situation she now found herself in, the First Child’s usual stoic expression faltered under the unexpected inquiry, eyes dancing here and there as the rosy tinge found its way to her cheeks for a second time in too few minutes. And to make matters even worse, the bluenette noticed out of the corner of her eye how Asuka took just a bit more interest into this new turn of the conversation, as well.

“I...” Rei hesitantly began, before her eyes suddenly hardened and she made to stand up... “I don’t see how that line of questioning has anything to do with our training.”

...At least, until a hand on her wrist stopped the bluenette from actually rising. When she turned to look, Rei found her crimson counterpart holding onto her, eyes narrowing in her direction.

“Oh no, you’re not weaselling your way out of this one, Wondergirl. I’m not going to be the only one being embarrassed today.”

“Nice catch, Princess!” Mari cheered from the other side, only to quickly find the same sky-blue orbs stabbing into her.

“Shut up, I’m not doing this for you.”

“That’s fine, that’s fine, I understand. It’s only common sense to want to know the conditions of the battlefield before diving in, isn’t it?” the Fifth Child waved away the enmity without a concern, grinning as she inched closer to the now resigned bluenette. “So, you were saying, Rei-chan?”

The First Child watched quietly as Asuka grumped at Makinami’s latest remark and let go of her wrist as it if had been on fire, before she rested her head on the table once again and made a fairly terrible show out of trying to appear completely uncaring towards the discussion. The bluenette then contemplated how best to answer the Fifth Child’s question, seeing as it had been made more than clear already that she wasn’t going to be evading a response.

It wasn’t long until Rei found one to her liking:

“I enjoy Ikari-kun’s warmth.”

“H-His ‘warmth’?!” Asuka promptly blew her cover, eliciting a surprised blink from the First Child. “What the heck’s that supposed-?!”

“Peace, Princess. I’m sure that’s not what she meant,” Mari swiftly and effortlessly cut the redhead off, before sending a teasing smile her way. “And even if it were... well, Sleeping Beauty’s still free to do whatever he wants for the time being, you know?”

Rei thought she heard something akin to grinding teeth come out of the Second Child before she turned away with a huff and went back to her previous position, although not bothering with trying to hide her interest this time around.

The Fifth Child then turned towards Rei once again.

“So you like being around him, I take it?”

“I enjoy his company, yes,” the bluenette replied with a nod of her head. “Ikari-kun has always been kind to me in the past.”

“Enough for you to want to be around him more often?” Mari pressed, smile growing ever wider.

“...Yes,” Rei admitted, before her expression turned a bit more serious. “But that is not something that will happen.”

“Why not?” Asuka harped from behind. “Just tell him to follow and he will, it’s not like that moron knows how to do anything else.”
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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Postby Gryphon117 » Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:36 am

Hiya, I'm back again, although not with the usual menu, I'm afraid. I've been struggling to come up with an end to the previous scene that was to my liking (there's something about young girls discussing boys that I can't wrap my head around, apparently) and, in case it wasn't obvious, my efforts haven't really paid off with anything I feel comfortable putting out. It's gotten to the point of being kind of frustrating, so rather than keep on bashing my head against the wall until one of the two sides breaks, I've decided to go do something else until the muses of witty dialogue and compelling self-discovery decide to come back from vacation.

This piece I bring today is a bit different. It follows a random Post-3I Good Ending kind of timeline in which everything ended up basically about as well as it could have, and it stars a young student doing her best to deal with any student's worst nightmare: homework. The archetypical 'write a short essay about your family' kind of homework that most of us have had to take care of at some point in our lives, too. That's the sort of feel I was aiming for with this and I think it came out mostly alright, but since there's still quite a bit of time until I'll consider posting this on FFN, I invite you guys to freely propose anything that you believe could serve to strengthen this unconventional narrative.

In any case, enjoy! ^_^

In Three Words, Part 1  SPOILER: Show
My Daddy, Shinji Ikari:

Some people say that my daddy ended the world.

I never really understood what they meant by ‘ending the world’, though. When I go outside I see the ground under my feet, buildings all over, and a blue sky above. I hear the sound of people talking, birds chirping and the occasional car driving along the road. How could any of that be possible if the world had ‘ended’?

I guess what they meant to say (and continue to, sometimes) was that there used to be a lot more people in the world before Daddy ‘screwed up’, and that there wasn’t a red line (accross) across the moon’s path, either. But that’s fine by me. I don’t like it when there is a lot of people, and I enjoy stargazing with Daddy and Mommy when a full moon’s out. Auntie Rei joins us when she’s around town, too, and that makes it even better! So, yeah, I think the bit of red on black and white looks pretty cool, but different strokes and all that, I guess.

But that doesn’t mean that those jerks are right. After all, they wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for Daddy. They should thank him for that!

…Or that’s what Mommy likes to say from time to time, anyway, whenever she spots Daddy looking a bit down for a while. I’m not sure why, but she must have a real good reason for saying it. She’s a genius, after all! And Mommy used to say it pretty often, too, with some people looking almost ashamed right after, which doesn’t really make a lot of sense if it was some sort of lie.

Oh, and I say ‘used to’ because these days Daddy doesn’t get people talking behind his back all that much anymore, but I remember a time when I was smaller and people whispered wherever we went. It didn’t matter if it was the market, the park, or even the school playground, almost nowhere was safe from the angry comments and angry faces of the townspeople. They would say that Daddy was ‘responsible’, that things were better before the ‘Impact’, or that he should have ‘grown some balls when it mattered’.

And every time that Mommy wasn’t around to glare those jerks into being quiet (and even some times when she was), Daddy would quietly call out to me, gather me in his arms and just leave without saying a word. Said that ‘They had a right to their opinion and that it wasn’t worth fighting over’ when I asked him why, leaving me with yet another thing that I didn’t get when I was a little girl with a very Mother-influenced sense of right and wrong.

Now I understand that Daddy simply didn’t want to make things worse for us by angering the townspeople, and I guess he was right since they did eventually sort of stop bringing up the ‘end of the world’ bit. I didn’t get to play too much with other children because of it, though, so that’s probably one of the big reasons why I don’t really like to be with other kids around my age all that much.

But that’s no big deal.

Of course, back in the day I would also do my part in cheering Daddy up whenever Mommy’s usual tactics failed to do the trick: I would help him with the house chores and with maintaining our small field of crops, I would talk him into playing some instrument or another for me, or make him a nice little something whenever we did Arts & Crafts at school. I remember how he lit up when I brought him a toy bunny I had thrown together using some clay and paint, and how I…



…But I’m getting sidetracked, this isn’t supposed to be about me. Sorry, Sensei.

I think a word that describes my Dad is ‘calm’. He never loses his temper and it’s hard to find him with anything other than a contented smile on his face. He likes to keep little noise around the house and the only person I’ve ever seen him argue with is Mommy, and even then he’s like a strong wind to Mommy’s stormy typhoon. Auntie Rei, too, acts very much in the same way Daddy does, but she somehow manages to always sound even calmer. I guess it’s something that runs in the family.

The funny thing is that Mommy once told me that Daddy used to get so angry that it even scared her, and my mom is no coward. And while I believe her, I look at Dad and can’t help but break out laughing whenever I try to picture him raising his voice above stern (chastice) scolding levels of volume. It just doesn’t suit him.

In any case, I think the above also shows in the way in which Daddy decides to carry on his life: while Mom wasted no time in climbing the social ladder until she became the mayor of our town, Daddy is just happy to stay back at home and hold the fort, taking care of all the things that need to be taken care of (like me!) so that everything can be ready when an usually exhausted Mommy gets back home late in the evening. Some other kids in my class have it the other way around, with their dads going out to work and their moms staying back. Some others have both their parents working, but even if a few of my so-called classmates (childish morons, really) claim that no true man should be doing ‘woman’ tasks like cleaning the house, I think this is the arrangement that works best for our family.

After all, and considering the sort of dinner she has cooked for the two of us in the rare occasions when Daddy has gone out for the night with his friends, I can declare with no room for error whatsoever that Mommy is just plain not suited for the household life. Both my mind and my stomach are far happier knowing that Mommy’s the more (ambitius) ambitious of the two, and that Daddy won’t ever create an omelette that comes out green.

So, yeah. Like I said, Daddy is the one that takes care of the household obligations (with some help on my part!) and he takes more than a bit of pride in his work: no spot of dust is suffered to exist and no piece of furniture, be it big or small, is allowed to stand out of its designated place. These two rules are of mandatory fulfilment in the Ikari-Sohryu household and any rule-breakers do so at their own peril, as some of our more... relaxed guests quickly found out in their very first visit.

...My prayers go to you, Katsuragi-san.

A second word to describe my Daddy would be ‘talented’, I think, at least as far as music goes. Mommy complains that the ‘Invincible Shinji’ was also annoyingly talented at their teenage jobs, but since they’ve never gone into too much detail with what it was that they did, I can’t really talk about that. I can sure say that I have yet to meet another self-taught person who can play as many musical instruments as my Daddy, though: he knows how to play the (traverse) transverse flute, the guitar, the piano, the violin and a few more instruments that he doesn’t bring out as often.

But what I didn’t know until three years ago was that Daddy also played the cello. I always knew that there was a well-maintained cello in the house, but since Daddy had never played it in front of me I had just assumed that it was another instrument that he wanted to learn at some point. From what Mommy told me, though, Daddy had asked to have that same cello repaired a long time ago, but she had never ever seen him play it since.

When I asked him why, Daddy only told me that thinking about playing the cello again made him sad, and then he had a small argument with Mommy in which she claimed that Daddy should just ‘get over it’ already, whatever that meant. The only thing I learned that day was that Daddy’s cello apparently had belonged to his Mother first, my Grandma that passed away before I was born, and that the way she died had something to do with Daddy not wanting to play the cello?

In any case, things sort of remained like that for a few more days, and I had almost completely forgotten about the cello in the first place when Makinami-sensei showed up out of nowhere, with auntie Rei and a shocking proposal in tow:

She wanted Daddy to play the cello in her jazz band, Marie’s Four, that same well-liked band that had been filling the town restaurant every Saturday evening for months. And I remember how Daddy repeated Makinami-sensei’s words to himself, looking white as a sheet, and then tried to duck back inside with a made up excuse only to find Mommy standing right behind him.

That last one shocked Daddy and me both, because I never knew Mommy could be so quiet. Mommy followed that by pushing Daddy back into the middle of the group and taking a place next to Makinami-sensei and auntie Rei, saying that it ‘couldn’t hurt to try’ since he had a lot of free time that he spent (practicing) practising random instruments on his own, anyway. It was a waste to keep it all to himself and the family, Mommy said.

Auntie Rei quickly agreed on that, too (which was weird, because Mommy and Auntie usually don’t agree on much), and it wasn’t long until us family women plus Makinami-sensei had cornered Daddy into agreeing to give the band a try, despite his obvious doubts.

I was a bit scared back then that we had forced Daddy into doing something that he didn’t like, but considering that Makinami-sensei’s band soon changed its name to Marie’s Five, I think it’s safe to say that Daddy enjoys it there. He’s been looking a lot happier since, too.

And actually, I think that’s the last word I want to describe Daddy with: ‘happy’. Happy to be alive and with Mommy, Auntie and me, in his own way. Happy to play with Marie’s Five and make other people happy, making use of the gift he has been given. Maybe he’s not the strongest Daddy in the world, or the smartest or the bravest, but he’s kind, he’s funny, and he’s a perfect match for Mommy’s more impulsive personality. Plus, he (almost) always has a special smile for me that he brings out whenever we play together, whenever we go out shopping, whenever he notices that I am the one who has something on her mind, or just whenever we just… plain spend time together.

And I don’t think I’d change any of that, not for anything in the entire world. You’re not perfect, but I love you anyway, Daddy.
Author of a few decent Eva stories, which can be found here.

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

Gryphon117
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Age: 30
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Re: An Insider's Look

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Postby Gryphon117 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:37 am

Second character snippet is done, with two more planned until I try my luck at tackling AIL once again. This time we have Asuka in the spotlight, so let me know what you guys think. ^_^

My Mommy, Asuka Langley-Sohryu  SPOILER: Show
I think the first word to describe my Mommy would be ‘demanding’. She doesn’t want me to be perfect at everything, but she gets mad when Daddy or me don’t try our hardest at something. No slacking off on what needs to be done, in short, which has been exactly her own way of handling things for the longest time, according to Daddy.

I think that’s fair now, but I used to hate it a few years back because schoolwork was so painfully easy and boring, with hours and more hours of being spoon-fed the most basic of explanations. I never failed a subject, but our old Sensei made a habit of taking off points from my grades for ‘passive (behavior) behaviour in class’, which Mommy always read as me ‘not trying my hardest’. And then, arguments between the two of us would ensue over the whole thing for at least three days, or until Daddy (or Auntie Rei if she was around at the time) thought it safe enough to get involved and defuse the situation.

Mommy’s temper is really something else and Daddy often jokes that, as far as that goes, I take after her a little more than he would like. It’s only fair, he says, to have the both of us loudly arguing when Daddy and Auntie are always so calm and collected. A balance must be kept.

And I used to get a bit mad at Daddy for that, but I eventually stopped when I noticed that it only made him laugh harder.

In any case, I love Mommy very much, but she can be a real pain when she wants to. And I guess I am, too, sometimes. Thankfully, the above has been a moot point ever since we got Makinami-sensei in our group, so it’s all good now.

Except for Geography. Geography can still burn down in a fire.

Speaking of Makinami-sensei, she and Mommy apparently go way back, and Sensei once told me in private that the ‘Princess’ (no clue where that comes from) has always been like that, all righteous fury and indignation one second and an ‘affectionate kitten’ the next. Sensei also joked that Mommy’s two sides had Daddy all sorts of confused back before they started dating, and that if I thought they were bad now, I should have seen their arguments/flirting back in the day. Makinami-sensei finished by saying that getting Mommy and Daddy together was easily ‘the hardest thing she had done in her life’.

And I would have liked to see that. Although I guess I do see it, now that I think about it, whenever Daddy and Mommy argue over something just to make up a few minutes later. They have their problems, but I think it’s obvious that they love each other (and me) very much.

Speaking of, I think the second word for Mommy would be ‘loving’. Makinami-sensei put it very well when she called her an ‘affectionate kitten’, because for half of the time when she’s not being grumpy Mommy is very touchy, always looking for an excuse or another to hug me or Daddy tightly. And I like that. Plus, whenever we’re alone and not fighting, Mommy always calls me ‘Her Little Dolly’.

And that name is a bit of a secret between us, I guess. Or at least, Mommy asked me not to tell Daddy or auntie Rei about it, saying they would worry if they knew. I didn’t understand back then why they would worry about it (and I still don’t), but I made sure to do as she said and keep our little secret to ourselves, anyway. Mommy probably has her reasons, after all, and it’s well-known that her mind can work in mysterious ways, sometimes. A flaw of being a genius, I’d bet.

Besides, it’s not like I don’t have another big secret I’m keeping with auntie Rei, anyway. I’m already a pro at this kind of stuff.

Mommy is also a pretty good singer, and I learned that during her thirtieth birthday celebrations. Since that year was also the year that Mommy had been elected for her second term as town Mayor, we decided to throw a small party for her at the Horaki family restaurant to (comemorate) commemorate both occasions. I remember Mommy complaining about making such a big deal out of it, but it wasn’t long before she got into the mood and began to have fun at the party with everyone else. The cooks under Horaki-san’s orders cooked us an amazing dinner feast and Marie’s Five gave Daddy the night off, but the event that really made the party happened when Marie basically trapped Mommy into going up onto the stage with her to sing a duet.

And go up she did, even if Mommy protested as much as she could before she fell to peer pressure. I remember her looking all sorts of embarrassed as every eye in the restaurant turned to her and the first notes of ‘Fly me to the Moon’ began to play...

...but Mommy did an amazing job of it.

She wasn’t as good as Marie, of course, but she wasn’t that far behind, either. And that surprised me because Mommy had never trained her voice before, as far as I knew. Maybe she did some karaoke during her regular girls’ nights out with Sensei, Auntie and Horaki-san?

In any case, everyone present, but especially Daddy, loved her singing. And since roughly nine months later my baby-brother Takao was born, I can guess without much room for error at what happened between Daddy and Mommy when we got back home that night and I went to sleep.



But I’m getting sidetracked. Again. Sorry, Sensei.

Back on topic, I think the last word I want to give to Mommy is ‘childish’, and I know that’s probably going to surprise you, Sensei. After all, how could the woman that’s respected and known as the ‘One-eyed Devil’ by a lot of men twice her size be a big child while she’s at home? The same woman that has the town hall in an iron grip, and that every single politician inside dares not cross?

Well, then I’ll tell you that that very same woman also needs some serious prodding by a kid less than half her age so that she’ll stand up from the couch and do her part of the house chores. Or that the ‘One-eyed Devil’ also likes to live up to her namesake by playing silly little pranks on those around her (mostly Daddy, but Auntie and me are also common mischief targets). Or that a free day on Sunday means that she won’t come out from her room until lunch is cooked and served, and sometimes she won’t even come out for lunch if she had a night out with her friends the previous day…

I could go on, but I think what I already said should be plenty. Mommy outside and Mommy at home are like two completely different people, and it really has to be seen to be believed. She usually tries to defend herself by saying that her position as Mayor and the sheer amount of ‘Goddamn Idiots’ that she has to listen to every day always leave her exhausted, and I believe her because I know it’s true, but since I also get tired from all the things I do every day and I never get any slack from her, I’ll say that it’s fair to nag her a little bit and try our hardest to make Mommy into a more responsible person while at home.

(Like that’s gonna ha-) I don’t think we’ll ever succeed at that, though.

Daddy usually compares Mommy to Katsuragi-san whenever she acts all lazy (which is often), and Mommy tends to respond by bristling like a cat and going on tirades about how they’re nothing alike. Tirades that might sound believable at first (Mommy is a politician, after all), but that lose most of their punch the first time that you see the both of them side by side after a day’s hard work.

It gets to the point that if Daddy ever thought of putting a wig on Katsuragi-san I don’t think I’d be able to tell them apart, honestly. Not as long as there wasn’t any alcohol involved, at least, because that’s the one thing that Katsuragi-san is still uncontested on.

But yeah, the two of them are basically one-to-one outside of that, not that Mommy will ever admit it. Fitting, considering that if I could put a fourth word in here, Mommy’s would 100% be ‘stubborn’. Just as bad as the biggest of mules.

But I still love you, Mommy. Even if you’re a pain in the ass sometimes and could be a better example back home, I also believe that you’re a perfect role-model to follow outside of Daddy’s castle. If I ever need to stop and think about how I’m going to handle my own future, I’ll make sure to remember the way in which you fought for yours in a time when no one knew where to go or do.

I’m so proud to be your daughter.



But no, no matter what Daddy says whenever we argue, I’m not as stubborn as you are. Am I right or am I right, Sensei?
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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