Somehow I red FAR more sexual innuendo into the sentence “I have… ways… of securing a moment that is truly alone.” than I think I should have - unless that was intended.
Allright, general (first) impressions first! Instead of subdued attraction, this time I get full on "Drag him into the bedroom now!" vibes from Misato. At first I was a little disappointed, but then I remembered how Kaworu appears in canon, and, yeah, you pretty much nailed that unreasonable attractiveness he seems to emit. "So tender and soft it’s excruciating" describes it best. Adjectives like "gorgeous" and "angelic" are seldomely used in a dark, brooding fic like this, same goes for Misato gushing over his oh-so attractive features and the need
to touch him, so that counts as "purple prose" in my book - which isn't a negative. The shift in tone definitely makes the scene come alive with a different type of energy, and Misato getting lost in her graphic, hateful thoughts (or are those actual memories? Did she really attack him? I read the previous memory of ambulances around her house as a hint that her mother tried to commit suicide, the blood in the bathroom here as well, but now I am not so sure) paints a nice contrast to that towards the end.
Other than that, there is a lot in here. Love the subtle hint that everybody generates an AT-Field (false positives). Took me a moment to decipher, made it all the better when I got it. So much information here, from SEELE to how Instrumentality will play out (casually confirming that ALL life will be tanged, resulting in a completely barren earth with all the animals and plants and microbes only appearing at the ocean shore like the humans, thus damning any returness to death by starvation because it completely fucks over the ecosphere and rendering Shinji's choice meaningless), the nature of humanity as the 18th angel, the inevitability of human self-destructiveness ...
A very nice chapter, much to think about here. The plot thickens, quite literally, and the stakes become apparent. And now I am curious what Kaworu's plan is exactly.
(Or what the next chapter is called. Following Thanatos, there can only be Eros. Nothing that Misato would disapprove of, I am sure, once she gets over her ... misstep with Shinji. I am with her on the inevitability of Third Impact, by the way. Just because there is the drive to do something and we have the ability to do it does not mean it is a foregone conclusion. The cold war proved that pretty impressively, with earth not turning into a radiated hellhole like earth in Space Battleship Yamato, despite ample opportunity and many close calls. Then again, maybe that wasn't for the best, as I'd surely enjoy a ride on a WW2 battleship travelling through space.)Regarding the chapter notes:
Can't say right now how the split affects the chapters - remains to be seen if the chapter should be split in a way that they feel like truly seperate parts, or like a double-feature. In the latter case, letting this chapter end on Misato's last utterance (“Kaworu-kun… I’m— I’m so sorry.”) might work better.
Your second note describes pretty much what I felt when reading: The chapter feels a little ... uneven? Everything below describes my impressions when I read it the first time around, it does feel more natural on the second reading.
The first scene of Misato mulling over things on her mind could use some descriptions to make it feel a little more organic (instead of her recalling him looking over the lake to her noticing him staring in the direction of the lake - he seems to have the ability to look through solid objects anyways, which then prompts her thought that he is still drawn to the angels, for example).
One thing I stumbled over was the section from "He grins. “Already in effect.”"
to "Misato doesn ’t have a good response for that."
. Misato first feels a little trapped - so much so that she bumps her head; but then she asks a relatively specific question ("Could I open the door and step out without anything bad happening?"
) instead of a more simple "So, am I trapped?", and then she proceeds to ask him why he is so comfortable, when she seems pretty focused on herself at that moment.
Oh, and there is this sentence: "His bitterness is obvious, but he doesn’t seem to be targeting it at her specifically, at least. “‘Adam’s children’…? That’s what the other Angels were? Not including the first one, of course…”
", where it wasn't obvious at first reading that Misato is the speaker here. Lumping the first sentence together with the paragraph above would create a little more clarity.
Other than that, nothing really stuck out to me. The balance of feeling vs. exposition also seemed right: First Misato being enraptured by his (un)godly suaveness, getting earnest and matter-of-factly again when they were disussing extremely serious matters, then her getting lost in her thoughts at the end, a bridge from eros over reason to thanatos.
(Multilingual curiosity: “‘Kaworu’ is fine,” he says. “And you? Have you a preference?” < - that last part, "have you a preference", is that correct grammar? As it is the same in german: "Hast du eine Vorliebe?", and I always thought it would be "(Do) you have a preference?" Just curious if this is poetic freedom or just something people say that I'm not aware of. Or just Kaworu talking like he wants.)