I'll get to editing the chapter above in a little bit. In the meantime. Here's another piece.
Remember what I said about not knowing how to write Military people? Well. . .
Aoba and Hyuga, the two 'stooges' that had been part of Wille since it's inception, were monitoring power outputs from the Wunders Core, Sumiere Nagara was smoking on bridge against protocol as she calculated the Wunders current location attempting to reestablish communication with the surviving satellites, and Midori Kitakamis voice yelled out as she pulled her cut hand out of the temporarily disassembled communications board for her work station.
But while morale was at an all time low, not everyone had fallen into a sullen mindset. Kohji, a kind looking older Japanese man walked across the bridge from his own station to help Midori with her apparent problem.
"Gah! Stupid-!" She said putting her cut fingertips to her mouth, as she crawled out from underneath the opened panel. "Where the hell's a freaking real mechanic when you freaking need one?" She slammed the side of the object of her frustration with the wirecutters she had accidentally sliced her fingertips with.
"Need some help, sprout?" Kohji said, looking down on the pink haired girl. Midori turned her head away in embarrassment as she reached for the pocket first aid kit she kept handy.
"Nothing you can help with. I can do it by myself, thank you very much." she said as she wrapped her fingers in medical tape. Kohji frowned upon her as she turned her head away.
"Never say that. What's the problem?"
Midori puffed a breath, blowing a strand of her sweat and grease covered hair upwards. She threw her palms up in frustration before venting about the source of her frustration. "Freakin' Holo display for the communications array went AWOL on me. I think its compatibility issues with the biometric circuitry. The battle during N4I must've bumped 'em loose. But I replaced the converter and it still wont show up onscreen!" She shrugged her shoulders. "I'm sorry, I'm better with software than I am with hardware. Hideki was supposed to be up here to help me an hour ago, but who knows where he is now."
"Knowing him, he's probably sulking in the junk heap like he always does in his off hours. anything else?"
"Other than this whole piece-of-shit situation were in? Urgh!" She tossed the wirecutter aside in frustration.
"Being angry isn't going to change anything." The older man said, crossing his arms like the seasoned soldier he was. She rolled her eyes, and nudged the older man aside as she walked towards the exit.
"Where do you think you're going, Sprout?" He said as she marched away.
"To get a real mechanic!" She shouted back over her shoulder.
The Flight Deck
The "real mechanic" wasn't sulking in the junk heap like the old man had said he was. In more specific terms it was a piece of a junk destined for the heap once it had been stripped of all salvagable parts.
"Colonel Misato Katsuragi is a goddamned idiot." Hideki said aloud to himself as he furiously puffed his cigarette. "There. I said it, and I'm not taking it back."
The flight deck of the Wunder was alive with activity. Several tankers had come in several hours earlier to refuel and maintain several VTOL and Military Choppers that had come back from the outskirts of the desert of red. Decontamination had begun in rather the same fashion, as they had begun to spray the areas the machines had landed on with white foam, to wash away the core material and atmospheric LCL that stuck to both the choppers and the deck. The whole area was filled with the noise of human beings, giving orders and carrying them out in a mechanized manner.
The only one who was not giving or carrying out an order was Hideki himself, a tall Japanese man with frizzy hair and a grimace on his face that clashed with his otherwise professional military appearance. He was leaning against a damaged VTOL while smoking a cigarette and intensely staring off into space, mulling the recent series of events over in his head, as various uniformed crewmembers scurried around him, barely giving him a second glance as they carried out their tasks.
"This is as much her fault as it is his. . ." he mumbled as he took another drag on the smoke.
Hideki Tama had never considered himself a particularly moral person, not even as a child, and even less so as an adult. Years of service on the losing side of a war had taught him that morals and personal qualms about such trivial things would serve only one purpose in the end. They would let an opponent get the best of you and inevitably kill you and the people on your team. He had always believed personal morals were to be forsaken for the sake of both your own self interest, and the interest of the group around you.
Which is why upon the 'retrieval' of Unit 01 from the Tesseract, and hearing the news of the unlikely return of Shinji "Impact Boy" Ikari from the depths of Unit 01's core, Hideki had been one of the first to propose killing it.
" 'It' not him, 'it'. BM-03 is the reason you've been living in this hell. Get that through your head Hideki." He told himself under his breath, as he furiously took another puff on his smoke. "It's the reason you're living in this hell. . . "
Hideki hadn't known the Captain personally for long, he mostly knew her by reputation. But from what he had heard and read about her, he always believed that the Colonel Katsuragi, the hero founder of Wille, the survivor of two (now three) impacts, had shared his belief. She had never hesitated to make the hard decisions, never hesitated to give an order, never hesitated to do what would keep humanity alive, she was both admired and loathed for her ability to make the hard decisions. There was a reason the crew all but worshipped the ground she walked upon.
He lost that belief and admiration for her when she failed to make a hard decision about twelve days ago. Commander Misato Katsuragi, letting her morals, her relationship with the reason for Near-Third Impact, get in the way of her doing what was clearly the responsible thing to do, the right thing to do. If she had killed it, Seele wouldn't have taken it, Fourth Impact wouldn't have nearly happened, Wille wouldn't be down two Eva Units, and he wouldn't have been stressed out to the point of smoking a stolen box of cigarettes.
"I didn't know you smoked Hideki." a voice from behind him caught him off guard, he jerked in suprise before turning around to see Midori walking out from behind the VTOL he was leaning on. Hideki rolled his eyes as he held out the pack of smokes in front of him, parading his crime to the young girl.
"Guilty as charged new kid." He chuckled sarcastically, as he took another drag on his smoke. Midori put her hands on her hips and pursed her lips into an expression of disapproval.
"Hideki. . . Please don't tell me you lifted those off Vice-Captain Akagi."
Hideki coughed several times as he stubbed his smoke out on the side of the machine and recomposed himself. He brushed off his green uniform and looked at the pack of smokes. He observed The Wille Logo plastered on it for a moment before turning back to face Midori with a mock expression.
"Are you going to report me?" He snorted another chuckle, before sighing into his usual sullen and bitter demeanor. His eyes narrowed into a semi serious look."I know how much of a goody two shoes you are Midori, of course you're going to." He rolled his eyes as he held the pack out to the pink haired girl in a semi-friendly gesture. "Want one? It's the real deal, not that synthetic stuff they grow in vats back at base. High ranking members of Wille get all the special priviliges."
"I'm underage I'll have you know. Furthermore, its no business of mine how you got those cigarettes. . .that's not why I'm here. I am here to ask, why weren't you at your post? I could've used your help fixing the consoles y'know."
"I had a lot to think about."
"You didn't report for mess hall or for your on-bridge shift, and you weren't in your quarters either. Are you alright?"
"Just peachy." Hideki said as he gave one last cough to dislodge the tobacco stuck in the back of his throat. The 'real' stuff was a lot harsher than the synthetics he was used to.
Hideki refused to respond further as he pocketed the smokes on his thigh pocket. He looked past the crowd of people on the deck moving around and maintaining the various machines of war on the ugly overglorified excuse for a ship. He glanced at the dark stain of LCL from where the two ruined Evas had been just a few days before. He then turned to stare intensely at the landscape of red, dotted with white stones and Ruins. He mentally compared it to a dead body riddled with Maggots as he continued to obsess over the whole thing in his mind.
This is all his fault. . . noone elses, the world will be better off once its done. He thought to himself. But am I honestly ready to go through with it?
"Hideki? Hideki?" She whistled for a moment and passed a hand in front of his face. He didn't register it. Midori rolled her eyes, turned, and prepared to walk away, .
"Fine if you wont be honest with me, I guess I'll have to report you to the Vice-Captain, she's gonna be pissed. Those smokes don't come cheap." She half-jokingly, half-seriously stated before taking her first few steps away.
Hideki reached into his pocket and crushed said pack of smokes in his hand attempting to suppress his deep-seated anger. Who do you think you are? He thought to himself as she began to walk away.
"You were here when she made the decision, remember?" Midori stopped in her tracks for a moment. "When we were all yelling for her to kill it. Why do you think she decided to keep it alive? "
Hideki couldn't see her facial expression, but he could tell from her body language, the way she stiffened, and how her fists clenched that she knew what. . .or rather who he was talking about. She took a deep breath and turned around slowly before speaking.
"It?" She said with a tone of fake questioning and real sarcasm in her voice, placing her hands on
her hips again.
Hideki sighed before continuing.
"BM-03. Shinji Goddamned Ikari."
Midori rolled her eyes and furrowed her brow, not unlike the way Hideki usually did. She crossed her arms over her chest, and leaned against the damaged VTOL in the same manner.
"I've heard plenty from everyone. I know all about that traitor." Her expression changed from its usual ditzyness to one of contempt. "We all lost someone that day. . ."
There was a moment of understood silence between them as they watched the crew work for several minutes.
"So who did you lose?" Hideki asked, breaking the silence, scratching his unshaven face for a moment. Midori shot him an offended look. But she let him continue. "Mom? Dad? Big Brother like Suzuhara?" His hand was still in his pocket as he spoke, as if he was clutching something important. Midori payed no attention to it, still too offended by his question to care.
"I was a baby when it happened." She stated matter of factly. "Even If I could remember, I sure as hell don't want to." She looked down at her boot clad feet for a moment, lost in her thoughts.
"Of course. You're too young to remember right?" Hideki said. "You grew up on the other side of the globe, right?"
"Why did you want him dead?" Midori said, narrowing her eyes further as she attempted to change the subject.
"I lost my big sister. . ." Hideki said with an echo of sadness in an otherwise bitter voice. He continued fiddling with the item in his pocket, as he spoke. Midoris eyes widened slightly in modest suprise as he continued, turning into a questioning expression as she listened. "I was. . .six, seven? You're lucky you can't remember. . . Me? I remember everything."
He took a deep breath before continuing.
"I always ran faster than all the other kids at my school. So I made it to the shelter first, but the doors shut before she could get in. . . I was shielded from the blast, there wasn't even a body left for her."
He put one of his hands over his face for a moment, hiding his face from Midori. "She told me to wait
for her. . . and I didn't."
"Geez, I'm sorry."
"Don't be." Hideki lowered his hand, before turning to look her in the eyes, a morose but hard look on his face. "If I wanted you to care I'd have told it in a different way. Everyone on this ship wants to rip that brat apart for what he did to someone they cared about, my complaints are just as valid as anyones. . ." He clenched his hand into a fist, feeling the knots of anger contort in his stomach. ". . .and not one of them has the balls to tell the Captain what a fucking hypocrite she is. Not even Akagi."
The cirrus clouds drifted through the red tinted sky like cotton on a bleeding wound. Hideki chuckled half heartedly again. "It's all one big joke. 'Ship of hope' my ass."
"Hideki are you even listening to yourself?" Midori stated hardening her expression as she spoke. She stomped one of her booted feet on the ground in a vain attempt to assert her authority. "Yeah, I want that asshole to pay for what he did. But blaming the Captain isn't going to change anything." Her expression softened slightly as she inhaled to control herself for a moment, taking in the obnoxious smell of the coagulated LCL. "None of us can question her authority. I'm the 'fresh meat', and even I know that."
Hideki didn't reply back at first. He continued to fiddle the item in his pocket, and stare with uncertainty into the distance. As if something far more important was on his mind. Midori became incredibly irritated with him, a vein of frustration began to pop out of the side of her head as he watched Hideki's expression becoming more grim.
"We should have killed it before it woke up." His voice became more cynical and caustic as as he continued. "Hell, the majority of us wanted it dead. But Katsuragi just had to compromise and slap a damn dog collar on it, just because it was her precious 'Shinji-kun' back from the dead." He emphasized the sarcasm on 'Shinji Kun' by doing a mock impression of Katsuragi, complete with an a fake comically high pitched feminine voice, and clasped together hands.
"Okay thats just uncalled for."
"No it ain't." Hideki grimaced in frustration. "Our Captain is a fucking sentimental idiot, and a goddamned hypocrite to boot, anyone else would have done the right thing. . ." He faced Midori and made a gesture with two fingers and his thumb, before pointing at his head. ". . . and put that animal down." He moved his thumb to emulate the trigger of a gun firing.
Midori swallowed nervously. Hideki was one of her few friends since she had joined Wille, he wouldn't do that. Right? He's just venting, she mentally told herself.
"Listen, I don't agree with what the commander did." She said. "But it was the best decision she could make . . . given the circumstances."
"Circumstances?" Midori balked back as he all but screamed it in her face. Other crewmembers would have heard him if the noise of a crane backing up to lift a recently repaired VTOL hadn't drowned out his rant. "How can you still defend her? After what happened? You saw what he did!" He pointed out into the red scab colored waste the Wunder was flying over as they spoke.
He calmed down as the machine lifted the VTOL back into the hangar bay
"You think anyone else in her place would have made such a dumbass decision?" He turned to lean over and face the pink haired girl, pointing a finger downwards towards her face as he vented his feelings on the situation, his face inches from her. He breathed heavily as she just blinked in astonishment, confused and just a little bit scared.
" 'Human life is expendable, as long as the mission is a success, and mankind as a whole survives.' Isn't that the Cap's motto?" His voice had lowered to a quieter but more agressive tone. He backed away from Midori, increasing the distance between them. "If thats the case, then why is he. . . The reason for all this bullshit. So much more important than the rest of us?"
He turned away from Midori a moment rubbing his face with his hand again.
Midori was still shocked at Hideki's outburst, usually her friend was far more composed, even in this type of situation. Passive Agressive? Yes. Not always agreeing with the Commander? Definitely. But he had never voiced anything before directly questioning Misato's Final decision, not even when she chose to let Ikari live.
Hideki walked a few steps away from her, to head over to the VTOLs damaged tail, and looked off into the distance again. Midori leaned closer to him and squinted her eyes to observe him for a moment, before putting her hand on his shoulder in a gesture of attempted empathy.
"Hideki, are you feeling alright?" She looked closer at her comrades face, before noticing that his eyes had dark rings under them. "Have you even slept this whole thing began?" She asked with genuine concern in her voice.
"Barely. How can anyone sleep knowing that . . . that thing is still alive?" He said, all the emotion drained from his voice as he returned from sarcasm to his usual demeanor of acidic bitterness.
Midori took her hand off his shoulder and rubbed the bridge of her nose, squinting her eyes shut as she sighed.
"Hideki, I'm the new kid, I can't speak for the Captain. But doesn't the Captains track record speak for itself? . . What about the fact she founded this whole thing?"
"This is now. . . She failed when it mattered most." Hideki sighed and rubbed his eyes, it was then he
realized how tired he really was. Yelling at Midori the bit of energy he had left out of him. He looked back at Midori, Her expression still an offended one, her arms crossed across her chest.
He sighed and put on a fake smirk. "I'm sorry alright? You didn't deserve that. . . I just needed to get this out of my system. I know I sound like a self righteous douche right now but. . ." He rubbed his eyes again and looked at the red colored landscape again. He licked his lips. Red like blood. He thought to himself. "I had to do it out here, or I'd do it in front of everyone else and-. Just. . ."
He rubbed his eyes, clearly tired. ". . .Tell Katsuragi that I'll be back at my post in O Three Hundred. If she needs a reason, just tell her . . . fatigue."
Midori wanted to tell him to get his ass in gear. But after observing what a horrendous mess he was. . .
". . .alright. She's gonna chew you out later, but I'll try and get Kohji to cover for you. Just try to get some sleep, will ya? Or maybe a cup of coffee if you can't swing that." he turned to walk away.
"Abayo, see you later."
"Uh. New kid. . ." Midori stopped and looked at him again for a moment. "Do me a favor will ya? Don't tell the Captain or The Doc what I said, okay?"
"If they don't know how you feel already, they won't hear about it from me. I'm a goody two shoes, but I'm no snitch." She waved at him as she left. "Get some sleep."
Hideki watched her walk away, putting on a fake half smile as she did. Her boots clacked on the tarmac as she nearly bumped into another engineer working on moving a damaged chopper to the hangar bay. She was yelled at by him momentarily before she quickly ran off the flight deck towards the large metal door leading back to the ships interior.
When she was out of view, he punched the side of the VTOL in frustration and anger, denting the aluminum. He pulled his fist out and rubbed his bruised knuckles for a moment.
Who does that girl think she is? Hideki thought to himself. She had been in Wille for less than a month. She's not a soldier, shes- Shes a consultant! A consultant with a rank! She had no right to tell him what to think of the commander.
He uncurled his bruised fist, reached into his pocket again and pulled something out, wrapped in cloth. This time it wasn't the smokes he had ripped off of Akagi.
Hideki carefully unwrapped it to get a better look at his other stolen prize. He pulled the cloth away to look at the weapons metal exterior and rubber grip, as he thought about what he was going to do. He'd had enough with the Captain's indecision. But should he really be the one to take matters into his own hands?
"Meh, why not?" He said soberly. "Everyones thinking it, someones going to do it eventually, it might as well be me."
He chuckled sarcastically again, as if he was laughing at some perverted joke only he found funny. Cigarettes weren't the only thing he had swiped from Akagis office. He looked around to make sure noone was looking before he clicked open the tiny revolver for a moment. It was a small revolver, it only had three shots, clearly originally intended for personal defense.
"Disappointing." He thought in a whisper. "But it'll have to do." Katsuragi didn't allow any of the engineers to carry sidearms. That was a privilege that only soldiers and high ranking members had. But he expected Akagi to have a sidearm with a little more kick to it in her locker.
"Akagi talks big shit, keeps the worlds tiniest gun. . . go figure." He muttered to himself as he clicked the revolver shut, and stuck it in his right thigh pocket next to the crushed pack of cigarettes. He wiped his face with the cloth and tossed it over the side of the flight deck before turning to leave it.
"I'm doing this for everyone." He told himself as he walked back towards the metallic entryway. The look on his face hard as iron. "Everybody wants it, I'm just the one giving it to them."
ELEVATOR TO THE CELLS:
"I wanted to believe you were right Big Brother." Sakura Suzuhara whispered to herself as she wheeled a cart of medical supplies down a corridor from the medical bay and into an elevator. She inserted her access key into the keypad and punched in the location she desired into the pad beneath the digital display.
"I wanted to believe you were right. I wanted to believe he would do the right thing. I wanted to believe he wouldn't pilot again, but after this?"
She gripped the metal cart tensely as the elevator began to move downwards to the bowels of the Wunder, to the brig. The part that had been remarked "Quarantine" on the computer displays in the elevator.
Pilot Shikinami is right brother. . . he is a brat. She thought to herself, as she looked down at the contents of the wheeled tray. He was willing to throw away everything you died for. . . just because he couldn't accept the reality of his actions. Why should we have to suffer just because he couldn't stand living alone? Why did you have to die because of him? Why did the captain have to assign me to him again? Why did I have to volunteer to be his medical officer in the first place? Why did he have to come back? Wouldn't it have been better if he had stayed in the Eva? He could have done that right?
All of these 'Why's' bounced around inside her head as the elevator continued to clack down on its gears. She was shaken from her thoughts when the metal freight style elevator arrived at its location. The doors opened with a digital 'ding!' of the indicator. She wheeled the cart, piled with bandages, gauze, and painkillers for her patient through the metal corridors of the Wunders brig.
She passed the Ayanami-Type, who was standing upright and at attention in her cell as if waiting for someone to give her an order. She wore nothing but a DSS Choker and a hospital gown. Sakura stopped to spare her a glance through the glass for a moment. They exchanged eye contact before Sakura turned her head away with a huff and continued to wheel the cart towards the end of the hall.
His cell had no less than three guards, all in full body armor in front of the metal door, that was understandable. But What Sakura saw in the cell through the bulletproof glass could only be described as overkill.
Shinji was entrapped in metal restraints from his neck to his ankles, in a mechanism that at first glance appeared to be made in the image of a medieval torture device. It held him upright on a pedestal, with metallic clamps restraining his arms to his torso and legs together like a mummy allowing little movement. He wore a straightjacket on top of a new hospital gown clearly visible through the restraints, his plugsuit having been removed earlier during decontamination, another humiliation the captain had put him through.
His bruised head and neck weren't restrained, oddly enough. His head leaned forward indifferently, displaying a new DSS choker locked around his neck, the red 'jewel' on it blinking red indicating it was set to kill its wearer if it got out of the detonators broadcast range. His otherwise bare feet were still clad in dirty day old bandages. His eyes were blearly and hollow, from tears, insomnia, bruising and the blood that trickled down from his forehead and into them.
The blood had been what the Captain had sent her down here to take care of obviously.
"Medical Officer Suzuhara, reporting for duty." She said to the guards as she wheeled her cart full of medical supplies past the window to the front of the door.
One of the guards, a heavy set bearded man, put his foot in front of her cart, jamming her wheel and obstructing her path. She nearly fell forward, barely keeping the contents of her tray from spilling all over the floor. She shot the guard a disgusted look before speaking.
"What are you doing? Let me pass!" She said with genuine frustration.
"Captains orders Medical Officer, noones allowed in to see Bio Mass Three without her 'explicit and direct' permission. Her words, not mine." He said with thinly veiled smirk of sarcasm.
"Well, I have the Captain and Vice-Captains 'explicit and direct' permission." Sakura said, matter of factly, as she pulled a bright red access key out of her shirt pocket and flashed it in front of the guards impudent face. "I'm the medic whos been assigned to Bio-Mass Three. From what I've heard he's in the need of serious medical attention after what he's been through."
She knew this guard was clearly giving her a hard time for being nice to 'Bio Mass Three' earlier, perhaps even for referring to him as a human being. A smug look on his face told her that as he spoke. "I'm sorry officer." The guard said, a slick grin of self satisfaction upon his face. "But I need the captains-"
"Let her in Soldier." Both Sakura and the guards jerked in suprise upon hearing the Captains cold and commanding voice coming in over the brigs PA. "Impudence will not be tolerated onboard my ship."
"Is- Is that an order Ma'am?" The 'impudent' guard asked, nerves making his voice sound a tone or two higher than he was comfortable with.
"Yes. Yes It is." The Captain said over the intercom to the both of them. "You've got fifteen minutes, Officer Suzuhara. Take care of him, clean his wounds. . . ." the voice on the comm paused for a moment. ". . . and say your goodbyes."
The guards parted, breaking ranks to allow Sakura to enter the room. She punched her access code into the keypad, it whirred open with a hiss as she wheeled the cart into the room. It closed and latched shut behind her. Once she was alone in the room with him, she wheeled her cart next to the platform and leaned in closer to get a better look at her patient.
She observed him for a minute, surveying his wounds. . . her first attention was to his face. The left side of his face was puffy and bruised, probably from an overzealous guard or. . . or Miss Shikinami, she thought to herself as she glanced down from him for a moment, grimacing in anger at this perceived cruelty, before she pulled a cloth wet with alcohol from her tray. This wasn't the first time she had seen a wounded man over the course of her several years in WILLE, but even with those years of experience under her belt. . . it was hard to look at the state he was in.
It was even harder to feel pity after what he had done. But she had a duty to fufill . . .So she put on a weak smile before looking him in the face with it.
"Hello again Mr. Ikari."
He didn't respond. If he did hear her, there was nothing to even indicate he even registered what she said. His mind was as broken as his face, he didn't even give her a glance to indicate he knew she was there.
"I can't take you out of the shackles just yet. . .but I'm going to do all I can with what I'm allowed to do. Do you understand?"
Still no response, he continued to stare at the floor, not even a nod or a single word. She sighed in resignation as she began by wiping the blood off his brow with the sterile cloth. She moved and repositioned his head to get a better look at the cuts and bruises on his face and forehead as she did.
She worked in silence for several minutes before trying to communicate with him again.
"Y'know, he defended you." She said, attempting to break the silence as she rubbed the cuts on his forehead with alcohol. "Big Brother I mean. . . Even when everyone else gave up on you, he defended you."
She wrapped the gash on his forehead with cotton padding and medical tape. There wasn't much she could do about the bruises on his face, he had a black eye and a swollen cheek, but nothing appeared to be broken. Some painkillers would have to do for that. She opened his mouth and popped one in, he swallowed it, but that's all he did.
She knelt down below him to clean the wounds upon his feet next. She put a pan of water underneath them as she carefully unwrapped the dirty bandages. When she removed one of them, what she saw nearly made her heave.
The skin on the bottom of his feet had been all but ripped off, sliced and scraped open by several days of trekking through the wasteland of the pit with Pilot Shikinami. The blood had coagulated and mixed with dirt and core material in the Red Desert, and was now inflamed with irritation and infection from being exposed to the elements.
She looked up at him pensively. "This may hurt a little bit Mr. Ikari."
She took a sponge out of the pan and began to firmly scrub the bottom of the first foot with it as blood, dirt, and core material ran off into the pan below. If he had been lucid, he likely would have at least winced at the pain. But in his state, he didn't even move.
"I wanted to believe him. . ." She started up the conversation again as she finished up on the left one before she squeezed out the sponge, wet it again, and began scrubbing the infection off of his other foot. "I wanted to believe my big brother was right about you. I wanted to believe you weren't the one who-" She stopped herself. . . No, not here, not now. She continued scrubbing the bottom of his foot, and once she got the last of the dirt and infection out she took some more guaze and tape off of her cart and began wrap both of them up.
"But after this?" She swallowed, trying to keep some of her emotion back as she talked when she looked up at him "Don't you have anything to say for yourself?" She stated with a little more bitterness as she finished putting bandages on his feet and stood upright to face him. He still didn't respond, not a hint of emotion seeping through his sullen and catatonic state. She clenched one of her fists, before passing her hand through her dark brown hair in frustration. His silence was getting them nowhere.
She was frustrated, she'd been frustrated at him ever since the briefing on the bridge. But she understood, his confusion and his anger at the Captain, she even understood why he had left with the Ayanami-Type. She had assumed the best of him. Surely he wouldn't pilot once he found out the truth about what he had done, right?
But her faith had been misplaced. That wasn't the way the world worked. That wasn't the way the world had worked for fourteen years, and she hated him and herself for daring to think it still did.
"Why did you get into the Eva?" She asked him, attempting to keep her voice quiet, formal, and even toned down as she spoke, but her fists clenched and her real feelings came out in volume the more she spoke. "I asked you not to. I begged you not to! But you still did! and now look what happened! I don't want to believe you did it of your own free will, but everyone keeps telling me otherwise!"
Her arms flailed as she spoke, her emotions getting the better of her.
"Just say something dammit, please! Say something to prove my Oni-Chan wasn't wrong!"
But he didn't say anything in response, not even a word. He didn't even bother to turn his head away from her general direction out of shame. There was no point in explaining himself to her. In his mind, he was guilty. He had betrayed the little bit of trust she placed in him, so what was the point? He didn't deserve any kindness, least of all from her.
Sakura sighed and turned away, rubbing her brow in frustration. Not feeling better at all after her outburst.
"Hey Suzuhara! You done makin' out with your boyfriend yet?" The same guard from earlier said, his gruff voice being amplified by the cells com. "We've got a job to do!"
"Gimme a break will ya?" She yelled at him rudely. Her accent came back up temporarily. She mentally slapped herself on the face for that once she realized what she had just said. "I mean- Sir, if you will give me one minute!" Reasserting her professional facade as she spoke.
She quickly looked over her work, the bandage wrapped around his head appeared to stop the bleeding, and the new bandages on his feet were a massive improvement over the strips of cheap cloth that had been there before. But when she saw his face, his eyes, the hollow shell left behind . . . she doubted anything could be done. She had only known him for a few hours when he had first come back, and she knew he didn't deserve. . . this. But she could only help with the physical, what happened next was out of her hands.
She picked up the pan and old bandages and put them in a biowaste bin on her wheeled tray, as she
prepared to leave.
"If it means anything. . . I- I don't want to blame you." She swallowed her emotions and her pride as she cleaned up. "I believe you were a good person once. . . and I don't believe brother was wrong about you, at least when he knew you." She readjusted her cap and brushed off her uniform as she spoke before turning the cart away from him and preparing to leave.
"So. . . I'll try and remember the person you were. . . and not what your father turned you into. . ."
She turned away, sulking for a moment before wheeling her cart to the metal door.
". . . For myself, and for Touji."
With those final words she inserted the code into the door to open it and left.