An Insider's Look

Everything Evangelion Fanfiction related.

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sonichu
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Re: An Insider's Look

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Postby sonichu » Sun May 05, 2019 9:35 pm

Just letting you know I'm still reading this story and still enjoying it. Each chapter is great and I can't wait for the next one.

Gryphon117
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Re: An Insider's Look

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Postby Gryphon117 » Fri May 10, 2019 8:02 am

View Original Postsonichu wrote:Just letting you know I'm still reading this story and still enjoying it. Each chapter is great and I can't wait for the next one.


Thanks, that's great to know! I'm giving the finishing touches to another update that will very likely be going up next Sunday. I hope it will satisfy your cravings. ^_^
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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Re: An Insider's Look

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Postby Gryphon117 » Sun May 12, 2019 3:17 am

And here we are again with the end of the current chapter. I personally like how this ending turned out, but I'll let you guys be the judges of that. ^_^

But now, I'm going to need to focus on work again for a while, so the updates are going to be slowing down once more. Sorry about that, the better part of what I need to do be should be over by the end of June.

Enjoy!

Chapter 11-6  SPOILER: Show
“I… I’m not scared,” Ace then declared to her fallen opponent, in a voice that was as shaky as her extended fist. “And I’m not going anywhere.”

“Ace! What are you doing?!”

The Third Child immediately put himself between the two girls in order to bring an end to the fight, even if he knew full well that his best efforts would have meant absolutely nothing had Ace wanted to push past him. Fortunately for Shinji, however, the Pilot was content to stare at her counterpart with an expression that was steadily morphing into anger. She was so out of it, in fact, that the young man heavily suspected Ace hadn’t even noticed how he had stepped in her way.

A quick memory of how Ace had vaporized the knight decided to fly past his mind’s eye at just that moment, a reminder by his brain noting how she had not looked anywhere near as angry back then as she did now. It was almost funny how Ace always seemed to find some way to prove him wrong every single time that Shinji thought she had reached the ceiling of her anger levels.

But, although funny, that wasn’t really important at that moment in time. What was actually important was how he needed to fix that situation. And fast.

But before he could even begin to fathom how he was going to do so, the Third Child heard his assistant mumble weakly behind him. “…No. Stop, Shinji. Just let her be.”

And before Shinji could turn around completely for a second time, he noticed how he wasn’t in the control room anymore. He was instead back in his room at the farm, Asuka sitting on his bed as she forlornly stared at the wooden floor.

“Asuka!” the Third Child demanded. “Why did you-?!”

“Why did I bring us back?” the redhead finished for him, her voice barely rising over the dull hum of the rain outside. “What? Were you going to fight her, or something?”

It was then that Shinji noticed that Asuka’s glum disposition wasn’t the only thing that had changed about her. The girl was now wearing some more familiar clothes that he hadn’t seen on her yet, the short jeans and t-shirt combination that the real Asuka had worn around the apartment quite often in the past.

“N-No!” the young man replied, turning his attention from the clothing and back to the matter at hand. “But I wanted to speak with Ace, too!”

“Well, sorry for making that decision for you, but it wouldn’t have done us any good. We were already far too late to get through to her,” Asuka sighed deeply. “…And it was all my fault. I shouldn’t have said that.”

“But… But it sounded like you were-”

“Right?” the girl finished with a mirthless chuckle. “I was, but the fact that I was right is pointless. I should have said it in some other way, tried to calm her down before opening my big mouth, but I wasn’t thinking. I wasn’t thinking…” Asuka paused for a few seconds, eyes focused on a spot of the room that appeared to be infinitely far away. “…Just like I didn’t stop to think back then, when I believed I had it all figured out.”

Shinji stepped a bit closer to the bed’s edge but said nothing in return because, quite frankly, he didn’t know what to say. Words had never been the boy’s forte, especially during tense situations, and while he didn’t have to deal with the added difficulty of an Asuka that was primed to explode, it wasn’t like an Asuka that was going through a palpable crisis was really any better.

Luckily for him, Asuka continued talking on her own. Perhaps because she had figured out that words of comfort weren’t going to be forthcoming.

“Do you remember the last few Angels, Shinji? That was me in the Pilot’s seat, so to say. I think it showed,” the redhead explained, eyeing Shinji out of the corner of her eye. “That’s why no matter what we do, we can’t afford to lose Ace again. Asuka might not live through the experience a second time.

“And that’s what I was trying to tell her, too, right before she lost it,” Asuka continued. “She’s far too important, to Asuka and to all of us. Even if EVA were to become a secondary concern to her, Ace wouldn’t be ‘going anywhere’, as she put it.”

“H-How do you know that?”

“Because I’m still here,” Asuka replied, pointing a finger at herself. “I mean, compared to Ace, I’ve never been anywhere near as important to Asuka as she is, even at the best of times. But even at her lowest, when Asuka was cutting ties with everyone and just about ready to give up, I didn’t disappear. I was still important enough to warrant keeping around, my limited abilities and severed link with HQ notwithstanding.”

“Well... that’s good, right?” Shinji hesitated, wondering why Asuka was still looking so down if she had a solution to the problem. “We only need to tell Ace that her position is safe!”

“Sure, we can tell her. But we still need to convince her, too, and I just made that about a hundred times harder. Besides, you know how Ace is: it’s very likely that she will not take being second place with a smile, anyway.”

The sigh that came out of Asuka was long and drawn, and very descriptive of just how weary she was becoming of hitting her head against the wall. Her blue eyes then slowly refocused on the lines that were created by the small wooden floorboards.

“...But what if I’m really a moron like she says and I’m fixating far too much on this? What if I accused her of focusing too much on EVA and I’m no better? First it was Kaji and now it’s you. Maybe I should listen to Ace and wait until the war is over before putting even more pressure on Asuka. But what if it’s too late by then, and she gets into another downward spiral? Hnngggg…”

‘Think of something to say!’ Shinji panicked to himself in the meantime, watching the girl groan as she brought her hand to the bridge of her nose. ‘She needs help! She needs you to help her! So just say SOMETHING!’

But for as much as the Third Child beat himself up in the search of the right words to tell Asuka, his results were still completely lacking. He was afraid of making things worse, of saying the wrong thing and making Asuka angry at him or, even worse, making her even more depressed. Shinji found himself at a crossroads and refused to choose a path, instead staring at the signpost and trying to will it into making the choice for him.

“Hey, Shinji. Can I ask you something?”

Until his assistant made that decision for him again.

“Y-Yes.”

“Do you like Asuka?”

And while the young man had been a bit jumpy at how Asuka had intruded into his panicky thought process, Shinji was also a bit amused about how little the question she had posed had surprised him. A big part of him was surprised that it hadn’t come sooner after the big revelation of the day, honestly, but that, of course, still left the matter of answering it.

He did find Asuka attractive, that much was true. But he also found Ayanami attractive in a different way, or Misato, or what little he had seen of Makinami-san, or a lot of the girls he knew from school. That sort of attraction came with the territory of being a healthy teenage boy, but Shinji didn’t need a translator to know that Asuka wasn’t talking about that.

He really could have used a translator for figuring out what he thought of his roommate at that point in time, however.

“I...” the Third Child mumbled. “...I don’t know. Sorry.”

“You don’t know,” Asuka flatly replied, before another almost angry sigh escaped her. “Look Shinji, just tell me if you would have been fine with the whole thing had the kiss and everything after gone a bit more smoothly! It’s not rocket science!”

“And I said that I don’t know!” Shinji heatedly shot back. “Yes, maybe I would have been fine with it that day, but a lot of things have happened since then! A lot of things that have given me a much worse opinion of Asuka!”

“But you know why-!”

“Yes, I know!” the Third Child cut her off. “And that’s the problem! I’m starting to understand why all of that happened and it makes all of this A LOT MORE DIFFICULT!”

The sheer volume of Shinji’s proclamation made his words echo around the room and Asuka recoil back a little in fright, the sight bringing Shinji’s mind back to the time the red door had first appeared and how he had lashed out at Asuka back then for something that had not been her fault at all. The blame game was nowhere near as simple as it had been at that time, but seeing the same look on Asuka that he had seen that day was enough to knock almost all the anger out of Shinji, harder than any blow he had received while piloting the EVA.

“...Sorry. There I go, pushing without thinking again,” Asuka apologised with a strained smile, her eyes retreating back to the bottom of the room. “But we really make for a fine pair, don’t we? The infuriatingly wishy-washy guy and the unstoppable idiot girl. It’s almost like we’re part of some bad joke.”

And while Shinji narrowed his eyes a little bit at being called ‘wishy-washy’, he refrained from actually voicing his annoyance any further. Maybe because he knew that Asuka was right, and this entire mess could have been avoided one way or another if he’d just chosen to do something when he’d had the chance.

‘If only it was so easy...’

“So… no?” Asuka shakily continued before Shinji was fully done digesting her previous statement, and the tinge of fear in her voice was almost enough to break his heart.

“I don’t know. I just… don’t know,” Shinji replied, exhausted, as he gestured around him with his arms. “First I want to… No, I need to get out of here. Then… I can start thinking about what I want, and if I want to ask Asuka about what she wants.”

Asuka jumped up like a spring and seemed to want to say something in response but then stopped herself, thinking better of it. The crestfallen redhead then looked away and sighed once more, but this time it wasn’t a sigh of weariness or self-anger, but it rather sounded like one of acceptance.

“…Alright. That’s… alright,” Asuka spoke, clear and even. “Honestly, I can’t blame you if you wouldn’t go ahead with it. With all the terrible things you’ve had to go through because of our arguments, I really couldn’t hold it against you if you decide that keeping Asuka at arm’s length is the best thing for you. Hell, maybe Ace really is right and doing that will even be the best thing for her.” The redhead admitted with a light scoff. She then sat up straighter, looking like she was swallowing a lump in her throat before she sent a cautious and almost frightened look the Third Child’s way. “...But Shinji, whatever you choose, will you... still be Asuka’s friend? At least until she manages to find her footing? I know that we might not really deserve that at this point, but-”

“...I already said I would do that,” Shinji found himself responding, before he could even think of stopping himself. “And I still haven’t changed my mind.”

Finally, the words he had been looking for, and he hadn’t even tried to find them. And as a slightly surprised Third Child watched Asuka turn to look at him in overjoyed amazement, he briefly considered that, perhaps, acting on instinct rather than thought had been the key he had been missing all along.

Sporting that familiar bright smile that Shinji had missed so much, his assistant jumped off the bed and rushed towards him, wrapping her arms around the young man in a grateful, tight embrace.

“Thanks, Shinji,” Asuka spoke next to Shinji’s ear, sending ripples all over his body and freezing the young man up. “We’re really so lucky to have you.”

But pushing past the shock that had given him pause so many times before, the Third Child remembered his recent breakthrough, and it was so that he allowed his arms to do as they wished without stopping to think about it.

And that day, Shinji Ikari held Asuka Langley-Sohryu, too.
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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