Ghosts of Evangelion

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Bagheera
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Postby Bagheera » Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:57 am

Arrogance, and shame. In short, because he's Gendo.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby Strypgia » Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:19 pm

And even after all that's happened, he's still so afraid of Shinji, others, and opening up at all... There's just no helping you, is there, Gendo? It makes you wonder at how Yui got to him at all, and just underlines how desperate he was to get her back...
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Postby xanderkh » Wed Jul 22, 2015 7:00 pm

I personally think that Gendo's inclusion in this fic thus far is a great addition to show not only how flawed and desperate Gendo was despite his seemingly unbreakable stoic calmness, but also showing the other possibility of Instrumentality: Failure.

Bagheera has gone a lot on record saying that while Instrumentality gives Shinji (as well as the rest of humanity) an insight on how to change for the better, that does not mean in any way that it's a guaranteed fix. In fact, even with such an insight, there's still the possibility of failure to thrive, and even relapsing back into your old behavior.

And to have Gendo, of all people, the man seemingly the most "adult" of the entire cast, returned from instrumentality completely unchanged and unable to open up even after such a catharsis shows that some people are just...beyond help I guess. But this way, despite all the pain that he went through and mistakes that he made, it ultimately shows that Shinji IKARI, was far stronger than his father could have ever been, by not only returning from Instrumentality as a better person (after some time of course), but even tried to reach out to the man that hurt him most of all his ENTIRE LIFE.....that is a strength unlike any other.

Well done Bags, well done. :)
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Postby pwhodges » Fri Jul 24, 2015 6:37 am

Revisions:

Shinji's question at the end. I can see why you changed "would it be unwelcome" to "would you forbid it", but I think it feels too strong when Gendou will no longer be in a position of authority. I'd suggest something like "would you accept it".

Removing Asuka from having an opinion about Yui is appropriate, I think, but I'm not happy with Kyoko's rationalisation. Do we have any reason to think that?
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Afterwards... my post-Q Evangelion fanfic (discussion)

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Postby Bagheera » Fri Jul 24, 2015 6:50 am

View Original Postpwhodges wrote:Shinji's question at the end. I can see why you changed "would it be unwelcome" to "would you forbid it", but I think it feels too strong when Gendou will no longer be in a position of authority. I'd suggest something like "would you accept it".


I can see your point. I'll have a think about it and come up with a suitable substitute; what you suggest here might be fine.

Removing Asuka from having an opinion about Yui is appropriate, I think, but I'm not happy with Kyoko's rationalisation. Do we have any reason to think that?


Asuka talked about it in an earlier chapter. It's mostly based on just how tidy things turned out in the end; the production Evas were all destroyed, the MPEs were all petrified, Lilith's dead (if not quite gone), the Adam embryo is gone, Unit 01 has departed for space . . . it all lines up awfully neatly, and for a woman who's a tad off anyway like Kyoko it's a logical conclusion (remember her overwhelming emphasis on motherhood, even after her soul was repaired).

The truth is likely a combination of all of the above -- monument to humanity, high concept SF, and basic mothering instincts. Or maybe Yui was batshit insane and it's all just rationalization, who knows?
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby Bagheera » Sun Aug 09, 2015 10:00 pm

So, new sequence of chapters. They're not tied to one date, but they're all thematically linked. I have no idea as to how I'll link to them in the OP. But, hopefully you like them:

SPOILER: Show
July 7, 2046
Asuka winced as she heard the same drum beats for the 43rd time in a row. "I've had enough of this," she said.
Shinji held out a hand, pleading for patience. "Asuka, wait--" he began.
"Shut up," she said. She strode into their storeroom, filled to the brim with musical equipment. She spied the girl behind her drums, and noted that her hands were covered with blood. She grabbed the girl's arm. "What's this?" she demanded.
Ryuko tugged at her hand. "It's not right yet," she said.
"Eh?" Asuka asked.
"The sound," Ryuko explained. "It's not right yet."
"I don't care," Asuka said. "You're done for the night."
"Mother, please--" the girl began.
"Please what? I said you're done. You can play games or something instead, but no more of this."
Ryuko mewled in frustration. "Mom, you're so annoying! It's not right--"
"You've finished composing it, yes?" Asuka said.
"Yes, but--" Ryuko began.
"Then you're done. All that's left now is practice, and you can do that tomorrow after your hands have recovered."
Ryuko fidgeted. "But--"
Asuka tightened her grip on the girl's arm. "But what?" she asked.
"Ow!" Ryuko wailed. "Mama, you're hurting me!"
Asuka's grip slackened, but only a bit. "You're hurting yourself, and I won't have it!"
"Let me go!" Ryuko wailed. She tugged at her arm, and Asuka released her. She rubbed her wrist, glaring at her mother. "You suck!" she said. She stomped off to her room, powering up her Dios console in a huff as her mother looked on.

July 8, 2046
Ryuko crossed the threshold to her home, closing the door behind her. "I'm home," she mumbled.
Asuka, standing before the kitchen counter, turned around, crossing her arms as she did so. She took in her daughter's appearance: helmet, elbow and knee pads, fresh scrapes on her forearms and legs, nothing too serious. "And where have you been?" she asked.
Ryuko removed her helmet, then started on the rest of her gear. "At the skate park."
Asuka quirked an eyebrow. "For ten hours?"
Ryuko shrugged.
"I would have thought you'd be practicing," Asuka said.
"Yeah, well . . . " the girl said.
"You seemed keen on it last night," Asuka noted. "What changed?"
Ryuko frowned. "I dunno. I guess I just wanted to think about it a bit."
Asuka tapped her chin. "And so you decided to skate for ten hours."
"So what?" Ryuko said, glaring at her mother. "What's wrong with that?"
Asuka held up a hand. "Nothing, nothing at all. It's just interesting, that's all."
Ryuko picked up her gear. "Whatever. I'm going to my room."
"No," Asuka said. She indicated a chair at the kitchen table. "Sit."
"Why?" the girl asked. "I didn't do anything--"
"You're not in trouble," Asuka said. "I just need to talk to you for a bit."
Ryuko glowered at her, but did as she was told.
Once the girl was seated Asuka crossed her arms again. "When you went to regionals last year . . . did you enjoy it?"
Ryuko blinked. "Huh?"
"Was the question unclear?" Asuka asked mildly.
"No, I just . . . " Ryuko shook herself. "I dunno. It was fine, I guess."
"Hmmm," Asuka said.
Ryuko frowned, thinking. "I liked playing on stage. It was fun to connect with people, to have them enjoy my music." Her expression darkened. "Except for that one judge. I can't believe he said that about me!"
Asuka waved a hand dismissively. "Never mind him, he's an idiot. What else?"
Ryuko sighed. "Apart from actually playing . . . I guess I didn't like it much. Everyone was stressed, and critical and stuff, and it wasn't very fun."
Asuka nodded. "Would you want to do it again?"
"Not really," Ryuko said, shaking her head. "I'd rather perform at a club, or at school or something. Some place where people aren't busy competing with each other, and are just there to have a good time."
"Is that all?" Asuka asked.
Ryuko cocked her head. "What do you mean?"
"Is that all you want?" Asuka pressed.
"I . . . " The girl fidgeted. "I guess so. I mean, yeah, that's all I want."
Asuka was silent for a moment. Then she said, "your father got a call a few days ago. It seems an instructor from a music conservatory in Kyoto saw your performance, and wants to invite you to his school. Your father agreed to meet with him. When I learned of this I called him an idiot, and informed him that I would be meeting with the man instead."
Ryuko gulped. "Why is that?" she asked.
"Because your father's soft when it comes to you," Asuka replied. "When he hears flowery words of praise he might give in and make decisions that aren't necessarily in your best interest. I don't have that problem." Her eyes narrowed. "But I'm not quite sure what your best interests are just yet, which is why I'm talking to you now."
Ryuko stared at the floor, recognizing the gravity of the situation. "Okay," she said.
"Do you love music?" her mother asked.
Ryuko nodded. "Of course!"
"Would you give up skateboarding for it? Or jujutsu?"
Ryuko frowned. "Why would I have to--"
"The conservatories don't care about how talented you are," her mother explained. "Whether you're mediocre or gifted, they will push you to your absolute limits to bring out your full potential. And in your case, that potential is considerable."
"What do you mean?" Ryuko asked.
"You are extraordinary, Ryuko," her mother said. "You do things casually that most people only master with a lifetime of experience. With the proper training you could become a true legend, someone who could change the way music is made and experienced around the world. But you would have to commit to it totally to make that happen; the casual way you're approaching it now won't get you anywhere."
"But I don't want to get anywhere!" Ryuko said. She folded her hands behind her neck, resting her elbows on the table. "I just want to play. That's all I want. I just want to play."
"You don't want fame?" her mother pressed, "or recognition? You could be the next Charlie Parker, you know."
Ryuko glanced up at her mother. "Charlie Parker practiced for 15 hours a day and died of a heroin overdose when he was in his 30s. I don't want that. I just want to make music. I just want to play."
Asuka was not yet convinced. "You could learn a lot at a music school, you know. They have all sorts of workshops for composing and improvisation and such, and you could meet people and make connections. It could be a great experience--"
"I don't want to go to a music school!" Ryuko yelled. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. When she opened them she said, "I make connections at school and at clubs. I learn from other people. I don't need a school for that, and I don't want to go somewhere that will make playing miserable for me. I don't care if I'm great; as long as I'm having fun that's good enough for me."
"Is that really what you want?" Asuka asked. "Are you certain? You'd be giving up an awful lot. This is a big deal, Ryuko. Think carefully before you answer."
Ryuko reeled at that. "That's unfair, mom. How am I supposed to answer that?"
Asuka shrugged. "The offer came, and I'm describing it to you as best I can. Yes, it's unfair, but it is what it is. What do you want to do?"
Ryuko closed her eyes, thinking hard. Then she opened them and met her mother's gaze. "I don't want to go to a music school," she said. "I'm not sure what I want to do with my life, but I'm certain I don't want that."
Asuka looked at her daughter for a long moment, then shrugged. "Fine," she said. "I'll tell the guy to fuck off, then."
Ryuko breathed a sigh of relief. "Thanks, mom." She scratched her cheek. "You know, I don't get you. Sometimes you're really cool like this, and others you're a total bitch. What's up with that?"
Asuka reared back in surprise, then glared at her daughter. "Be glad you get bits of nice on occasion," she grumbled. "Ask your father what it's like when I'm mean 24/7. You don't know how lucky you are."
Ryuko scrutinized her mother, her chin in her hand. "Sure I do," she said. "You love me more than anything, and you love dad just as much. But that doesn't stop you from treating us both like dogshit on occasion."
Asuka crossed her arms defensively. "Shut up, you idiot! I'm doing the best I can. I--"
"Bullshit!" Ryuko said. "'The best you can,' you say? Whatever. Today you were fine. I felt like you were an actual parent for a change, and that was nice. But last night? Fuck that noise. Back in the day I guess you could get away with it, since things were really rough for you back then. But now, not so much. We deserve better, father and I, and so do you!"
Asuka just stared at her daughter, her mouth hanging open. "You little brat," she whispered. "Not even your father talks to me that way."
"Tch," Ryuko spat. "He calls you out on your bullshit all the time. Misato does, too. I'm not an idiot, mom; I see what's going on around me. How the hell would I have the nerve to speak up otherwise?"
Asuka blinked and was silent for a moment, before she erupted into laughter. This went on for several seconds, after which she circled the table and wrapped an arm around her daughter's shoulders. "You stupid little brat!" she said, grinding a knuckle into Ryuko's head. "I'm glad to see you take after your father in ways other than musical talent!"
"Cut it out, mom!" Ryuko said, struggling against both the hug and the knuckle. "Jeez, you're embarrassing me!"
Asuka just laughed at the girl, holding her fast and kissing her cheek. "I'm proud of you, little girl. I truly am."
"You're missing the point!" Ryuko wailed, enduring the rough treatment as best she could. "Gah! Where is dad when I need him?"

July 9, 2046
Asuka looked up at the knock on her door. "Come in," she said.
A man entered, an older, pudgy sort, radiating an aura of entitlement. She quickly recognized him as an individual who was used to getting what he wanted. "Good afternoon, Ms. Soryu," he said.
"Hello," she replied, standing to greet him. She bowed before him, then said, "I made tea. Would you like some?"
"Yes, that would be lovely," he said. He sat, and she poured him some tea.
"You're here to discuss my daughter, yes?" she asked.
He took a sip of her tea, then nodded pleasantly. "Indeed. She is quite talented, as I'm sure you know, and it would be my privilege to give her a venue to express her abilities to the fullest. I think you'll find my conservatory has no equal in that regard."
Asuka nodded. "Well, obviously," she said, sitting down. "I'm not an idiot, after all. Your programs on foreign music trends and improvisation workshops are right up her alley. I said as much to Ryuko when I tried to convince her to attend your school."
"Ah," he said. "I take it she is reluctant, then?"
Asuka shrugged. "She's stubborn. I asked her directly last night, and she made her position very clear."
He frowned. "That is often the case with children," he said. "They need to be pushed to find the limits of their potential. Surely you realize this?"
She smiled thinly. "Mister Director, do you know who I am?"
He balked. "Of course, Lady Soryu. I think everyone does."
"Tch," she said. "Because of that rat Aida, no doubt."
He shrugged, a useless gesture.
"Do you know what I was doing when I was my daughter's age?" she asked.
He shifted uncomfortably. "You were fighting the Angels, on behalf of all of humanity," he said.
"No," she said, a wry grin playing about her lips, "not quite. On the day of Third Impact I was medically sedated, having tried to slit my wrists days prior. This because I had been drummed out of Nerv's service, having been deemed no longer useful by the powers that be."
He gulped. "I'm sorry, I didn't realize-"
"No," she said, "of course you wouldn't. But anyway, later that morning the love of my life used me as a masturbation aide." She met his gaze directly. "Like I said, I was sedated at the time, so it's not like I had a say in the matter. Later I woke up, only to find the JSSDF was pelting my Eva with depth charges, and then I had to fight and kill other people if I wanted to survive. After that I was torn to pieces by other Evas. Quite the morning, no?"
He looked around, unsure how to react.
"But it got worse from there," she said. "Later on that same love of my life strangled me to death."
He opened his mouth to speak and then snapped it shut, staring at her in confusion.
She shrugged. "What can I say?" she said. "It was a very bad day. But my point is, that day is the source of my fame. That is why you know my name. But for me, it is a day steeped in horror and misery, and I would not wish it upon my worst enemy. Do you understand what I am saying?"
He closed his eyes, releasing a breath. "With all due respect, Lady Soryu -- and I assure you, that respect is considerable -- I am not asking your daughter to endure anything close to the hardships you have experienced. I merely hope that my instructors can help her realize her full potential. That is worthwhile, is it not? Not just for the sake of music as an art form, but for her own sake as well?"
She shrugged. "If I thought it would make her happy in the long run I'd force her hand, but I'm not convinced it will. She seems happy enough to play at school and at local clubs and such, and she learns from other musicians; she has no interest in becoming an icon. I don't understand her mindset at all; I've always wanted fame and recognition, and the fact she doesn't seem to care about those things is really weird to me. But she knows what she wants, and it's obvious she has different goals in mind."
He ran a hand over his face. "Lady Soryu, please, I beg you to reconsider. This girl, this woman . . . her potential is staggering. A talent such as hers comes along but once in a generation! Letting her squander that talent would be a crime against humanity!"
Asuka frowned. "Do you think I'm an idiot?" she asked. "I already know all of that. But as I said, I am her mother. Her happiness is my top priority. If she doesn't want to be a legend she doesn't, and that's all there is to it. The decision is hers to make, not mine, and certainly not yours. If humanity loses out in the process, too damn bad."
The man sighed. "She will regret her decision." He looked her in the eye. "As will you."
She shrugged. "Maybe," she admitted. "But better that than making her life a living hell for no good reason."
He stood, turning to leave, then turned back to her. "Thank you for the tea," he said. "It was excellent."
She nodded, and he left her office. She pinched the bridge of her nose and let out a heavy sigh. "Oh, Ryuko," she said, "I hope you know what you're doing."
Last edited by Bagheera on Mon Aug 17, 2015 4:18 pm, edited 7 times in total.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby Ray » Sun Aug 09, 2015 10:33 pm

She's definitely Shinji 's kid, no doubt about that.
I’ll escape now from this world, from the world of Jean Valjean, Jean Valjean is nothing now! Another story must begin!

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Postby Bagheera » Mon Aug 10, 2015 8:27 pm

View Original PostRay wrote:She's definitely Shinji 's kid, no doubt about that.


Hmmm, interesting. What do you mean by that?
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby Literary Eagle » Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:51 pm

Interesting stuff! It was nice to see Asuka prioritizing Ryuko's feelings like that, and the part when Asuka made that music instructor squirm was really something, heh.

Just a couple of little typos:

I mean, yeah, that's all i want (The "i" needs to be capitalized)

your father got a call a few days ago (The "your" needs a capital Y)

Please keep up the good work, Bagheera!
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Postby Ray » Mon Aug 17, 2015 4:06 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:Hmmm, interesting. What do you mean by that?


It's hard to put into words. She's shy and unsure about her place in the world and where she wants to go with her life . . . part of it has to do with the way you write her. She just comes off as having part of Shinji in her through her speech and interactions with others. You captured her voice as Shinji's daughter while making her, her own character.
I’ll escape now from this world, from the world of Jean Valjean, Jean Valjean is nothing now! Another story must begin!

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Phew, I’m not tense anymore… now I’m just miserable.
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Postby Arcadia's legacy » Tue Sep 15, 2015 6:13 am

Not to sound impatient, but it's been nearly a month. No progress? (also, what happened to Gobs chapter reviews?)
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Postby pwhodges » Tue Sep 15, 2015 6:37 am

Don't worry - I was checking out the next installment only a couple of hours ago. It's something... different, again.
"Being human, having your health; that's what's important." (from: Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi )
"As long as we're all living, and as long as we're all having fun, that should do it, right?" (from: The Eccentric Family )
Avatar: How a recent moderation decision makes Shinji feel. (details); Past avatars.
Afterwards... my post-Q Evangelion fanfic (discussion)

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Postby Gob Hobblin » Tue Sep 15, 2015 5:53 pm

Real life. I intend to start reviewing again, soon, I've just been busy and finally got back to writing my own stuff.
Though, Gob still might look good in a cocktail dress.
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Postby Bagheera » Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:26 pm

Sorry for the long delay, folks. The most recent chapter is mostly done, but I'm not happy with the way it's structured at the moment. It will probably wind up being two chapters, and at present I'm dithering on the ending of one of those. On the one hand what I have in mind is a nice callback to the show, directly referencing many of its themes and storytelling devices. But on the other hand it directly invokes NGE metaphysics, which isn't really Ghosts' thing. Once I commit one way or the other I'll run the whole shebang past my beta readers and get it posted, likely sometime this week.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby Bagheera » Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:57 pm

. . . or, OTOH, I could get off my ass and sort things out tonight. Whee.

This one was tough to write. I might go back and add in some scenes, I don't know.

SPOILER: Show
December 16, 2080
Asuka opened her eyes, looking around her as the fog of sleep receded. She saw Misato, standing near the window. "Where's Shinji?" she asked.
Misato turned toward her, and smiled slightly. "I made him get something to eat," she said. "He'll be back soon."
Asuka nodded. "I see," she said.
"How are you holding up?" Misato asked.
Asuka shrugged.
Misato sighed. "Sorry," she said. "You should have had another twenty years, at least. You and Shinji both."
Asuka shook her head. "It's fine," she said, her voice weak. "Every day of my life has been an ordeal. It will be nice to get some rest."
Misato pursed her lips, stung by the younger woman's comment, but she held her tongue.
But Asuka turned to her, and smiled. "But you made it easier," she said. "You and stupid Shinji. I had fun with you. Things were hard, but I still had fun."
Misato returned her smile. "Thank you," she said. "That means a lot to me. I . . . " she paused, then shrugged. "Thank you."
Asuka paid her no mind. "Where's Shinji?" she asked. "I want to see him. I'm tired, and I . . . " She swallowed, then said, "I don't have much time left."
"It's fine," Misato said. "I'll find him. I'll get him for you right away."
Asuka nodded, and dozed off.

Shinji entered the hospital room, and found his wife lying in the bed before him. She looked gaunt and pale, a mere shadow of the woman who'd shared his life for all these years. She turned her head, her eyes meeting his. "Hey, stupid Shinji," she said. Her voice was weak, but filled with good humor. "How you doin'?"
She held up a hand, and he took it between his own. "I'm alright," he said. An obvious lie. "Ryuko's taking care of me."
"Good," she said, nodding. "That's good."
"Are you in any pain?" he asked. "The doctors authorized morphine--"
She shook her head. "No," she said. "I want my head clear for now. I don't mind a little pain."
He squeezed his eyes shut, nodding.
"Stupid Shinji," she whispered. "Why are you so upset? I had a good life."
His shoulders trembled, and he lowered his head to their clasped hands. "I know," he said. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry!"
"Idiot," she said, fondness in her voice. "You took care of me, just like you said you would. You gave me a wonderful daughter, and we both accomplished many things. You should be happy, not sad."
He nodded, tears streaming down his face. "I know," he said. "You're right. I should be grateful." His breath caught on a sob. "But I'm selfish," he said. "I want more. I want to be with you forever!" He lowered his head to her breast, his shoulders heaving.
"Stupid Shinji," she said. She idly stroked his hair, holding him close, comforting him as best she could. "My Shinji," she whispered. He sobbed at that, clutching her tightly while she continued to hold him. Soon, though, her strength ran out. Her fingers stilled their motion, and her breath slowed, then stopped. Shinji stayed with her for a long time after that, refusing to let her go.

Ryuko exited the room, continuing on down the hallway. As soon as the door closed, however, she put a hand on the wall, leaning on it for support.
"She's gone, then?" Kyoko asked.
Ryuko nodded.
"I see," Kyoko said.
Ryuko took a moment, composing herself. Then she said, "He won't leave her. She's gone, but he . . . he won't leave her."
Kyoko nodded. "Of course he won't," she said. "There's no way he could."
"I know, grandmother, but even so . . . " Ryuko said.
Kyoko waved her off. "It doesn't matter," she said. "We have other things to worry about."
Ryuko swallowed thickly. "I'll . . . I'll take care of the arrangements," she said. "It's my responsibility, as her daughter, so--"
"Don't be ridiculous," Kyoko said. Ryuko gave her a puzzled look, and Kyoko smiled at her. "Don't forget, I was her mother, and Katsuragi loved her as well. We'll do it together."
Ryuko nodded in gratitude. "Thank you, grandmother," she said.

December 19, 2080
Ryuko frowned, staring at her father. "C'mon, dad," she said. "I'm worried about you. You're barely eating, and--"
"Sorry," he said, smiling at her. He rocked back and forth in his chair. "I'm sorry. I don't mean to worry you. I'm okay, I promise."
She stared at her hands. "You say that, and yet . . . "
Shinji paid her no mind. "Amiko has a recital next weekend, doesn't she?"
She sighed, allowing him the distraction. "Yes," she said. "She's playing the piano."
"Good," he said. "That's good. I'm looking forward to it! I'm sure Asuka will . . . " He trailed off. His chair stopped its motion, and his eyes lost focus. He sank back in the chair as grief overtook him.
Ryuko watched him carefully. "Dad?" she asked.
Shinji didn't reply, only staring off into the distance.
Ryuko moved to his side, trying to comfort him. "Dad, it's okay. I'm here for you. You're . . . you're not alone, you know?"
Shinji stared at her, disconsolate. "But who will take care of her?" he asked. "She's . . . no one's looking after her now, and she . . . and . . . "
She wrapped her arms around him. "She's fine, dad," she said. "Mom's strong, okay? We took good care of her, so she can handle anything now. She'll be fine."
He clutched at her, burying his head in her breast. "Why did she have to leave?" he asked, sobbing. "There was so much left to do, so why did she have to leave?"
"It was her time, dad," she said, holding him tightly. "It was just her time to move on. And we . . . we have to move on without her."
Shinji said nothing to that, unable to imagine a world without his Asuka.

Ryuko started awake, then looked around her in confusion. Something wasn't right, but she couldn't put her finger on what it was just yet. She got up, leaving the couch and her blanket behind her, and made her way to her father's room. She turned on the light, and her breath caught in her throat. Her father was still, and a young boy and girl stood next to him, he on one side, she on the other. She recognized them instantly, long conversations with her parents springing instantly to mind.
"Wait!" she said. The boy smiled and cocked his head, oblivious to her distress. She turned to the girl. "My mother," she began. "What about my mother?"
The girl paused for a moment, then nodded. Ryuko blinked, and they were gone.
Last edited by Bagheera on Sat Oct 10, 2015 4:31 am, edited 3 times in total.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby Bagheera » Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:00 pm

And here we have part two. This was originally part of the previous chapter, but I split it off since it kinda became its own thing.

SPOILER: Show
December 20, 2080
Misato was in the rose garden when she arrived. She reached for a rose, preparing to cut it, then froze when she sensed the presence of someone else. She looked up. One look at Ryuko's face told her all she needed to know.
"He's gone," Ryuko said.
Misato stared at her hands, her eyes moistening despite herself. "Hmph," she muttered. "Just three days. I thought he'd last longer than that." Ryuko flinched, and Misato grimaced. "Sorry," she said.
Ryuko let it go. "Where's grandmother?" she asked.
Misato jerked her head in the direction of the house. "Out back, near the fish pond. She's been there since . . . well, you know."
"Yeah." Ryuko made her way around the house, spotting Kyoko immediately as she arrived at the space beyond. The older woman was feeding seed to a flock of songbirds, oblivious to her surroundings. "Grandmother?" Ryuko asked.
Kyoko glanced at the woman, then turned back to the birds before her. "You're turning into a bad omen," she said.
Ryuko flinched. "Sorry, grandmother," she said.
Kyoko waved her off. "He's gone, then?"
Ryuko nodded. "Yes."
"They always were too dependent on one another," Kyoko said.
"The doctors said it was heart failure. I guess--"
"Of course it was," Kyoko said, interrupting. "He couldn't bear to live without her, so what else could it be?"
Ryuko frowned, but let it go. She gave her grandmother an appraising look. "You really did care for him, didn't you?"
Kyoko just stared at her. "I knew him for more than fifty years," she said. "Of course I cared for him. He was a friend to me, and he always did right by Asuka. I'll miss him, in what few days I have left."
Several moments passed in tense silence before Misato appeared at the rear entry to the house. "Hey you two," she said, "stop moping and come inside. I have something to show you."
Kyoko and her granddaughter exchanged a puzzled look, then shrugged and did as Misato asked.

Kyoko sat in her chair, waiting patiently while Misato served her guests tea. She rubbed her hands, trying to massage away the arthritis that plagued them. Not for the first time she shot Misato a jealous look; the woman was seven years her senior, but looked and acted far younger. "Alright, Katsuragi," she said, "what's this about?"
Misato grinned at her. "I'm glad you asked!" she said. She made her way to a bookcase behind the couch and retrieved a large book. She placed it on the coffee table before Ryuko and indicated she should open it. Ryuko exchanged a glance with her grandmother, who just shrugged. Ryuko bit her lip, then opened the book.
It was a photo album. Page after page of pictures of Shinji and Asuka, beginning when the couple were in their teens. Ryuko flipped through several pages, then looked at Misato curiously. "You've had this all this time?" she asked.
Misato nodded. "It was just for them, you see," she said. "I wanted them to know the same thing I'm going to tell you now: they really did have a good life together. We always say those sorts of things, because they're expected, right? But even so, it's true. This here is proof."
Most of the photos were candid shots, at least in the beginning, seemingly taken without the couple's knowledge. Ryuko turned a page, and closed her eyes in dismay. "Misato, they're naked in this one."
"Tch," Kyoko muttered. "You always were a pervert, Katsuragi."
Misato chuckled. "Hey, it's not like you can see anything. Besides, they're cute."
"That's not the point!" Ryuko exclaimed.
Misato waved her off. "I know, I know. They got mad at me after that one, too, but they settled down when I explained the purpose of the book. They actually worked with me after that."
Ryuko frowned, unconvinced, but turned back to the book. Most of the pictures were somber, studies in human beings taking care of one another as best they could. Ryuko noticed that her mother was rarely smiling in any of them; most of the time her expression was haunted, or simply tired. There were exceptions, though; playing frisbee in Okinawa, a haughty smirk while dining out in Tokyo-2, a grin of triumph as she ground a knuckle into Shinji's head. Ryuko found a smile creeping onto her face despite her mood.
Ryuko came across a particular picture and smiled. It showed her and her parents, when she was about 13 years old. "I remember this," she said. "I had just played in middle school regionals for the violin. I remember mother said I did a good job." She frowned. "She doesn't look very sincere here, though. She looks bored."
Kyoko shrugged. "Well, of course," she said. "All you did was play a piece written by someone else. You did it your own way, which gave us a taste of what was to come, but that performance wasn't particularly noteworthy in and of itself."
Ryuko sighed. "Thanks, grandmother."
"It's hardly an insult," Kyoko said, staring at her. "It's just what parents do: we congratulate our children when they do something well, even if it's of no consequence to anyone else. That praise is meant as support, not a true recognition of achievement."
"I know, I know," Ryuko said patiently. "I have children and grandchildren of my own, I know how it works." She flipped to another photo, and chuckled. "Hey, look at this one. This is from when mom got an award for her work in medicine."
Kyoko made a face. "Oh, gods, she hated that. She thought it was so ridiculous."
"I know, right?" Ryuko said. "She kept saying 'But I'm not even a doctor! What the hell's wrong with them?' She was funny when she was indignant like that."
"It was all politics," Kyoko said, by way of agreement. "And it's unfortunate, because her work really was important. Just . . . not in the way they made it out to be."
Ryuko turned a page, and stopped. "It's dad," she said.
"Eh?" Kyoko asked.
"At the Beijing Restoration Ceremony. He looks . . . confused, actually," Ryuko said.
Misato grinned at her. "He didn't have a clue what was going on there. I kinda sprang it on him."
"Of course you did," Ryuko said, rolling her eyes.
Misato shrugged. "He would have weaseled out of it otherwise." Her expression turned fierce. "And that would have been a damn shame, because he deserved recognition for his hard work. It's because of him that China's still a country these days, and many tens of thousands of people have him to thank for both their living conditions and their livelihood."
"Wow," Ryuko said, "Just him?"
Misato nodded. "Yup. Beijing had an S2 engine, but it's because of him that that potential was extended to the many cities beyond. He tapped that potential and extended it to the whole of the country, and he basically did it single-handedly. it was a really big deal at the time, but he never really acknowledged it."
"Jeez," Ryuko said. "It's kind of depressing that they both accomplished so much and yet only defined their success by their treatment of one another. They both deserved better than that, I think."
"It couldn't be helped," Misato said. "They both suffered so much as kids that I don't think they knew any other way to live." She sobered a bit. "I guess that was my fault," she said, "but I never found a way to teach them otherwise. They just . . . " she shook her head. "They did the best they could, I guess, even if it hurt them."
Ryuko flipped to another page. "Heh," she said. "My finest moment."
"Eh?" Misato asked. Kyoko showed her the photo in question, taken shortly after Ryuko received the Tanabe Hisao prize for her musical accomplishments. Far from looking bored, in this picture Asuka had a maniacal grin on her face, holding her daughter in a headlock while she flashed the camera a V sign with her other hand. Shinji watched them both from off to the side, arms crossed, a bemused expression on his face.
"That's it," Kyoko said. She turned to Ryuko. "That's the difference between obligatory praise and true accomplishment. The first was obligation; when a child does something properly we're expected to encourage them, even though they haven't really accomplished a damn thing. But this," she said, pointing to the photo, "this was true pride. I've never seen her happier than she was on that day. Not once."
Ryuko flushed. "Grandmother, you're embarrassing me," she said.
"She was so . . . satisfied," Kyoko said, ignoring her granddaughter. "As though she knew that, by bringing you into the world, she had contributed to Japanese society in a way no one else could."
"She did that with her own work, though," Ryuko said. "Think of all the people who are alive today because of her . . . "
Kyoko waved a hand. "Pah," she said. "That was just building on the work of others. Mine, Yui Ikari's, Kozo Fuyutsuki's . . . there was nothing original about it, nothing unique. But the way she raised you, the way she encouraged you to defy convention and find your own path . . . nobody knew what to make of that. It's not something we Japanese do. But she didn't care, and here you are. She was so proud of you for that."
Ryuko frowned. "So I had to win an award for my mother's life to have any meaning?" she asked.
Kyoko waved her off. "Oh, she already knew, long before that," she said. "But that award was proof that everyone else did, too. It was confirmation." She gave Ryuko a thoughtful look. "Something changed in her that day. It was as though her burden was lessened, and she could finally relax in a way she couldn't before. It's hard to explain, really, but all I know for sure is that that was a very good day for her."
"I'm glad," Ryuko said. She continued to flip through the album, noting that the most recent photos were barely a week old. "All the way up to the end," she mused. She turned to Misato. "Thank you for this," she said. "I don't . . . it's easy to forget everything that happened, all the good times that they shared together. I'm glad you took care of them like this."
Misato smiled sadly. "It was the least I could do," she said. "After all, I was the source of their pain to start with."
Ryuko cringed. "Misato . . . " she began.
Misato silenced her with a wave of her hand. "Enough of that," she said. "Let's just remember our family for now, and think happy thoughts. Time enough for real life later on, eh?"
Ryuko nodded, letting Misato have her way. After all, it was as she said -- there would be time enough for real life later.
Last edited by Bagheera on Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

Arcadia's legacy
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Postby Arcadia's legacy » Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:59 am

If there was ever such a thing as perfection in an ending, then you Bag's have somehow transcended that and made something that i believe no-one else is capable of. And speaking for all your fans i say.........thank you
Never let the flame that is hope burn out, for despite the length of the night, the sunrise will always come

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Postby Bagheera » Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:38 pm

Glad you liked it! I revised the death scenes, as they seemed to be a bit lacking originally. Comments welcome, as always!

Next: Shinji comments on Kaworu, Asuka's first session with Dr. Okada, and Ryuko learns the power of a lighter and a can of hairspray.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby pwhodges » Thu Oct 01, 2015 12:20 am

I've never known a dying person be as lively as Asuka comes over in those initial scenes. While I can see you wanted to add their content, they seem out of proportion and too chatty now.
"Being human, having your health; that's what's important." (from: Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi )
"As long as we're all living, and as long as we're all having fun, that should do it, right?" (from: The Eccentric Family )
Avatar: How a recent moderation decision makes Shinji feel. (details); Past avatars.
Afterwards... my post-Q Evangelion fanfic (discussion)

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Postby Arcadia's legacy » Fri Oct 02, 2015 2:11 pm

Agreed. the extra dialogue takes more emotion than it gives
Never let the flame that is hope burn out, for despite the length of the night, the sunrise will always come


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