For Company With Parents

[19:56] <Aline> This late in the year, Paris-2 could get… rather hellishly cold (in a rather Cocytusian vein of hellish), but yet… Aline had made her way through the streets, and up the stairs (The girl was in a bit of an 'elevators are for the weak' mood today) to reach this apartment. The one she used to call home, now nearly two years ago. But today… She had been invited there. So much had changed,
[19:56] <Aline> and it made her nervous to be here, but… She knocked anyway.
[20:02] <Lucien‘Blanc> "I’ll get it!"-
[20:04] <Lucien‘Blanc> The door opened, and Aline would find herself face to face… With her father. A man with pure-white, natural hair, just like his daughter, and a calm, gentle smile… The man was wheel-chair bound. The last Aline had heard, he would never walk again, but here he was, standing up- legs trembling furiously, and a splinter of pain in his eyes… The wheelchair wasn’t far away. But he was standing. "H-Hello, sweetheart."
[20:10] * Aline was very surprised, but… she smiled, perhaps with a bit of a worried look on her face. "H-hi!… you… you can walk now, that's… great! That's…" She nervously chuckled. "…Looking like it really hurts!" Aaand there was the requisite back-of-the-head scratch of social uncertainty. He was trying so hard!
[20:11] <Lucien‘Blanc> "H-Heheh." He shakily grabbed the wheelchair, and collapsed into it with a relieved sigh. "Doctors say I’ll be right as rain in two years time! Until then… Well. Come in, girl, come in!"-
[20:14] <Lucien‘Blanc> The apartment had been renovated since Aline’s last visit. New furniture had come in, clean and shiny and fashionable; the walls had been recoloured, bright orange and red with white bands.
[20:16] * Aline came in with a smile. "Well, that's better than never!…" She looked around, a bit surprised. "…You really changed up the whole place. It's impressive. Very red, too. And orange. Red orange. Primary colors close on the wh-" A small internal giggle. "Right."
[20:22] <Lucien‘Blanc> "I felt the place needed a change-up. Your mother took so little care of it…"
[20:25] * Aline frowned almost instinctively at that. "…Yeah, she… didn’t. I remember pretty well…" She stood awkwardly, only stirring more than a bit to take off the heavy coat she had been wearing, and hang it on, well, a coatrack. "She's… how is she doing these days? Or is it the same old?" Aline volunteered that sentence… almost cautiously.
[20:29] <Lucien‘Blanc> "… Well…" Dad seemed reluctant to answer. "… You’ll see, I guess."
[20:31] * Aline …gave him a rather uncomfortable stare at that. "O… kay…" And settled for just walking in a bit further.
[20:32] * Lucien‘Blanc wheeled himself over to the dinner table.-
[20:33] <Lucien`Blanc> [It was at this point that a particular woman emerged from the bedroom. Frail and thin, Celine Blanc… Looked a little different. Her clothes were newer. Her hair was kept. She didn’t look at Aline for a moment, and when she did it was only a glance. "A-Aline…"]
[20:35] * Aline seemed… more than a little surprised. After how far she had let herself go… "Hi, mom…" Words immediately punctuated by silence and anticipation.
[20:37] <Lucien‘Blanc> ["… You’re looking… Um, good." Said the woman. She seemed to be slightly apprehensive.]
[20:38] * Aline subconsciously brushed down her black, pleated dress with both hands. "Thanks. You are too, you know." She didn't quiiiite have the energy to do a little twirl or other 'showing myself off' gesture, though. Too awkward.
[20:40] <Lucien‘Blanc> "Give us a twirl, Aline!" Said Lucien cheerfully.
[20:42] * Aline blushed /profusely/! "Eep, you… you saw through my plot!" …It was hard to tell if it was purely a joke or also nerves. Probably both. But then, taking a deep breath, Aline did so, letting the abundant folds of the dress flip around a bit… Just in time for a brief dizzy one-foot-hop to restore her balance. "Ah~"
[20:45] <Lucien`Blanc> ["Ah…" Celine didn’t seem to know how to respond. "You… Remind me of one of the old movie stars."]
[20:49] * Aline made a mock-bow at that. "Interesting! Really I just got something a little formalish, is all. I really love that orange sundress but it's not remotely right for the weather, and the one I wore to that…" She shuddered, suddenly. Damnit, there go those memories again. "…That ball is /too/ fancy, I'd look sorta weird and intimidating."
[20:50] <Lucien‘Blanc> ["Oh, you went to a ball?" Said Celine, a touch of absentmindedness to her words. The woman sat down at the table, her hands fidgetty.]
[20:53] * Aline nodded haltingly, her hands rubbing together with her own fidgets. "Y-yeah. Early May. The day right before… you know, that. All of that. The 6th." But she did finally sit down.
[20:54] <Lucien`Blanc> ["O-Oh."-
[20:54] <Lucien`Blanc> "… Well! Anyway, Aline. How has, er, work been?" Asked Lucien. "I-I mean, there was that battle with the monsters… Again." The man’s enthusiasm was simply not enough to make up for the awkward, so he rapidly rolled over to the kitchen table, and returned with a plate of cold cuts. "Cold cuts!"
[20:59] * Aline took a few for herself, and began eating them. "Ah, thanks." She did certainly feel odd, though. But… but they're family. She can trust them, both to keep their word and to not really have that many connections with people the organization really doesn't want knowing stuff. "Well it's… How to put… It's something no other job can even come close to. It's… bizarre. Surreal.
[20:59] * Aline I know I've said a little bit here and there about the stuff - especially that whole hour explaining what the 'synchronization' was! But just… Moreso. Stranger every single month it seems." Aline sounded… well you'd expect glum. But there was this strange ring of distance or even otherworldliness to her voice.
[21:01] <Lucien‘Blanc> "Oh. Well." Lucien patted her on the shoulder encouragingly. "Even so, I’m sure you're doing us both proud. I always knew my girl was destined for great things."
[21:02] <Lucien‘Blanc> [Mama took a few cuts for herself and nibbled on them. She was surprisingly Shinji-like in her ability to use the environment as an excuse to not interact.]
[21:03] * Aline sighed. "I guess. It’s… It's like I want to say something more, but I'm scared, because it's… well, weird. That and I don't want to bring you down with it." Her gaze was shifty even as she piled on a bit more of the meat.
[21:07] <Lucien‘Blanc> "Ah…"-
[21:08] <Lucien`Blanc> ["…" Mama looked around, slightly nervously. She -did- seem more energetic… Even if it was all nervous energy. "… And school?"]
[21:10] * Aline was glad for the topic change. "Doing well - when we even /have/ school. Stupid terrorists attacking /right/ on the first day and setting it back again! But… well, it was never hard, mom. And I guess I’ve been even more curious than usual these past few months so it comes… easier."
[21:12] <Lucien‘Blanc> ["Terrorists…?"]
[21:13] * Lucien`Blanc bit his lip. Goddamnit, Celine.
[21:14] * Aline nodded, /trying/ to keep her composure. "Y-yeah. The… you know, the ones from early last year came again. Did a bunch of nasty stuff, it was bad." …Blatant copout alert!
[21:17] <Lucien`Blanc> ["… Oh." Celine frowned slightly. "… I remember now."]
[21:19] <Aline> "Yeah, sorry. Your memory’s probably a bit off. I…" Aline stared down at her plate. "…I don't want to make you feel so bad…"
[21:20] <Lucien‘Blanc> ["…" Celine stared at her plate.-
[21:20] <Lucien`Blanc> "… So! I heard a funny story recently." Said Dad hastily.
[21:21] * Aline quirked her head. "Oh?" You could just /tell/ that even /that/ topic change was welcome.
[21:22] <Lucien`Blanc> "I heard there’s a new sort of, uh…" He fiddled with his hands. "A cult forming in the United States. The Circle of the Eva."
[21:25] * Aline twitched. "…What." But she took a breath, and settled back down. "…Do they… /worship/ them? Or what."
[21:27] <Lucien‘Blanc> "Yeah! They pray to them and everything." Said Lucien. "Pretty funny, huh?"
[21:30] * CakeyCake (~ten.nozirev.soif.apalhp.871-301-2-801-loop|3tmretrac#ten.nozirev.soif.apalhp.871-301-2-801-loop|3tmretrac) has joined #NERVFrance
[21:31] * Aline blinked, and then blinked again, eyelids fluttering continuously. "I certainly know enough to know they’re not gods. But I guess if sufficiently advanced technology can pass for magic… same goes for souls and divinity." She took another bite, and started to mutter something that went like "You see, the nature of religion is…" But it was so quiet as to be nearly subvocal. And
[21:31] * Aline she was /beet-red/ when she realized what she had done.
[21:35] <Lucien‘Blanc> "…Hm? Oh, you want to do a bit of philosophy?"
[21:38] * Aline quirked one eye to the side, but… "Uh, no, I just… sorry, my mind has been wandering more. Er…" Then she pushed her fingers together for a moment, before grabbing a bit more food.
[21:38] <Lucien`Blanc> "Oh. Well, there’s my Aline. Always a bit of a daydreamer~"-
[21:39] <Lucien‘Blanc> ["… How’s… Your social life?"]
[21:41] * Aline …sort of blank-stared for a moment at that. "Uhhhhh… Well I'm in a few clubs at school, one of them's more of a… social gathering group, actually… Swim team likes me, they've finally gotten over the whole famous thing. Certainly been meeting some… very… interesting people at work." Ah, the unsubtly-hiding-something tone. Subconscious desperation to tell what you consciously
[21:41] * Aline are terrified to is so frustrating.
[21:43] <Lucien‘Blanc> ["And… Any boyfriends?" Asked Celine uncertainly.]
[21:46] * Aline stared even /more/ blankly. "…I… he… Well… he…" She knitted her hands together and was practically squeezing the life out of them. With themselves. Very ourobourosian. She paused a bit longer, then suddenly closed her eyes sharply. "His name is Shinji Ikari and he’s from Tokyo-2 and he's really nice if a bit shy and they made him a pilot too and when they were taking him
[21:47] * Aline back home he got kidnapped and I have to make sure he's still alive and the same person and I'm just waiting for the time where they force him to try to kill me and I'm dreading it because I want him back there okay?" …Instant breathcatch.
[21:47] <Lucien‘Blanc> "…"
[21:47] <Lucien`Blanc> ["…"]
[21:48] * Aline slumped downwards in her seat. "S-s-sorry I’m having trouble keeping everything quiet…"
[21:50] <Lucien‘Blanc> "I-I’m so sorry, Aline. I had no idea." Said Lucien, mortified.
[21:52] * Aline didn't move, but she mumbled (audibly) a reply. "No, I should be sorry. You're both trying to have a nice, happy, normal family dinner, and… I just… There's so much that isn't happy or normal anymore. I can still… be okay… but it's hard to think of all the stuff. And it's been so long since we've really honestly talked…"
[21:53] * Lucien‘Blanc took a hold of Aline’s hand and held it tightly. "Listen. I know… Things are rocky. And have been for a long time, but… We're your parents. We love you. We're here for you. Remember, you're my little beloved Aline… I used to hold you when you were just a baby and rock you to sleep." Said Lucien gently. "You were my miracle…"
[21:55] * Aline - almost as if in sympathy to the story - rocked back and forth in her chair. "Right… right… I know. More than ever I know. Love and the truth… that's what's keeping me going…" She paused a bit. "…Huh. I never really thought of it that way. Miracle?…"
[21:57] <Lucien‘Blanc> "You were my little girl." Said Lucien. "Of course you were my miracle. You were just so precious and adorable, and you were -mine-, and I just… Couldn’t believe I'd helped make something so lovely."-
[21:57] <Lucien‘Blanc> [Celine was staring off into space, a wistful look in her doe-like eye.]
[21:59] <Aline> "Ahhh… Right… Thanks. I… I’ve been forgetting that too long." Aline sat up a bit more, taking a deep breath. "And I've been so confused about other things that I've forgotten that whatever else I might be, I /am/ still your little girl…"
[22:00] <Lucien‘Blanc> "You’ll always be my little girl."
[22:00] * Aline smiled, just barely avoiding the threshhold of crying openlny, and… leaned into his arm, cradling her head there.
[22:02] * Lucien‘Blanc held Aline. He seemed… Happy. Just happy to have this moment.-
[22:02] <Lucien`Blanc> "… I… Admit, though. I am curious."
[22:03] * Aline didn’t push herself up, but did open her eyes. "…Curious?"
[22:04] <Lucien‘Blanc> "I know it might be a sore… A sore spot. But when a father hears his little girl has a boyfriend… Sorry."
[22:06] * Aline shook her head. "No, I was just holding it in. That’s… it's bad but it isn't the worst thing ever." Even her expression had a helpless acknowledgement that that sentence probably was not really comforting. "I can talk about it, now that we're… facing the idea."
[22:08] <Lucien‘Blanc> "Ah… Well. Ahem." Lucien cleared his throat. "So… He’s Japanese, huh?"
[22:10] <Aline> "Yeah, he is. I met him because he heard about me even before the big fame rush happened…" Aline blushed a little at that, but continued on. "…Since his mom was one of the original researchers for the Eva project, and his dad is in charge of Japan's NERV branch - so he sorta had… connections."
[22:11] <Lucien‘Blanc> "Oh, I see. That makes sense. I was -wondering- how the two of you met. You don’t see many Japanese boys in Paris!" Said Lucien. "Does he treat you ok?"
[22:13] * Aline knitted her hands together. "He's, current dilemma aside, totally harmless actually. It'd probably be better to ask how /I/ treat /him/. And I'd say pretty nicely, thank you." She actually managed to regain a smile.
[22:13] <Lucien‘Blanc> "Oh. Well that’s nice." Said Lucien. "I bet you think that harmlessness is cute, huh? Like a little kitten?"
[22:15] * Aline nodded again. "Y-y-yeah. Maybe too cute at times!" …No she was not going to explain the clothing-shopping incident. That is private!
[22:16] <Lucien‘Blanc> "It’s good that you've found someone. Even if you're fairly young…"
[22:19] <Aline> "Yeah. Almost feels like more of that destiny stuff." …Aline scratched her chin. "Actually way I heard about it from his mom it almost /sounded/ like destiny stuff. …I'm reading too much into it, maybe. My life's full of destiny anyway."
[22:19] <Lucien‘Blanc> "Destiny, huh?"
[22:23] * Aline took another bit of meat. Despite having reached for it fairly often now, she actually had been eating each one rather slowly. "Yeah. It’s… really weird when you hear your relationship status as being 'the one', while also hearing that your Eva unit was 'the one you were perfect for' and… so many other things." Spontaneously, Aline blushed heavily.
[22:23] <Lucien‘Blanc> "A-ha-…"-
[22:24] <Lucien`Blanc> ["The one…?" Celine blinked. "You two must be close…"]
[22:29] * Aline nodded quickly - and part of the motion was a brief headshake to /try/ to clear her thoughts. "…Y… yeah. Very. He’s… the only person outside of family that I… feel like I /need/. The whole love and truth keeping me going thing… Can't be like back that time - I mean the time r… right on the week before NERV called." She had clarified that for Celine, but… Aline was
[22:29] * Aline rather obviously referring to a (fortunately, aborted) suicide attempt at that point in time. Attempted self-hanging, didn't know how to tie a good knot. Finding her passed-out with a rope around her neck after falling off the chair, though… Aline could count herself lucky she managed to live that one down with dad.
[22:35] * Lucien‘Blanc paled. The memory was -clearly- distressing to him. How he’d worried. How… Sick he'd been, sick with worry, with… Self-loathing, too. Even with everything going on with Celine, he had blamed himself, his own failings…-
[22:37] <Lucien‘Blanc> ["Having someone like that is very comforting." Said Celine. "Are you going to marry him?"]
[22:38] <Aline> "Y-y-yes! That’s why I'm sure I'll save him. All this destiny stuff… I got to have a role in it too. I have to do it, because then we can be married and have a comfortable life on my retirement stipend while I figure out what to do for work next." Aline said that surprisingly firmly!
[22:39] <Lucien‘Blanc> "I… Hm. I admire your conviction, Aline…" Said Lucien uncertainly. "But just make sure you’re not rushing into anything hasty now…"
[22:42] * Aline sighed a little. "Honestly, I'm more afraid for him, than me. They're… probably going to send him in an Eva. They… they're… let's just say they're very disturbing and he /will/ fight. I have to try to keep him alive while fighting off one of those things. Compared to the other things… to some of the Angels… no, I'm hardly in danger at all."
[22:43] <Lucien‘Blanc> ["… it isn’t good to have to fight family." Said Celine quietly. "I want to meet him when he comes back…"]
[22:44] <Aline> "It's… it's screwed up. That's almost all I can really feel about it. But I'll try to bring him to you once he recovers." Aline bowed her head a little, but had this look of determination to match her speaking as though saving him was a foregone conclusion.
[22:47] <Lucien‘Blanc> "Still…" Lucien sighed a little. "You probably prefer this life to your old one, huh?"
[22:49] * Aline …took rather significant pause at that. She also looked a bit distracted, but managed to refocus. "It’s… hard to say. It's like I have a purpose now, and so many other things… but it's also… very painful. But…" She shrugged openly. "That's what you get for burning brightly."
[22:52] <Lucien‘Blanc> "… I’m proud of you."
[22:53] * Aline widened her eyes suddenly. "…Huh?"
[22:54] <Lucien‘Blanc> "Taking such a tremendous, painful burden on your shoulders… When you’re so young. I can tell already, just by looking at you, Aline." Said Lucien sadly. "That you've had to handle things no one else has ever had to handle."
[22:56] * Aline scratched the back of her head. "Y-y-yeah. I have. Some of them not even the other pilots ever had… might even be ever will. So much of it would make it sound likee I was insane if it weren't for… it all being true. So strange."
[22:58] <Lucien‘Blanc> "…" Lucien seemed a little abashed.-
[22:58] <Lucien`Blanc> ["Second Impact…"]
[23:01] * Aline …took a long pause at that. "I… It was pretty bad, wasn’t it. But… I've had my own… strange, different things. Human suffering, the wrath of the shattering earth… that was Second Impact, but I… Mom." Aline focused her eyes. "Mom, I've hurt too. Maybe… maybe if you know a little bit more about it, you… you might know that you're not alone in that. In feeling so sore
[23:01] * Aline from it."
[23:04] <Lucien‘Blanc> ["Lots of people suffered in Second Impact, though. I know that…"]
[23:04] * Lucien`Blanc was watching both of them closely.
[23:05] <Aline> "And lots of people aren’t your daughter." Aline said, plainly.
[23:06] <Lucien‘Blanc> ["That’s right." Said Celine, staring at Aline with ashamed eyes. "You are…"]
[23:12] * Aline stared out. "I… I know I can't just magically make everything better for you. But it's just… I've been through enough that you don't have to be afraid that I won't know. Dad was right, I've… handled things no one else has before. And I'm still here. I'm still holding on long enough to fight. It's maybe only been just one year, instead of more, but I'm trying - I could… try
[23:12] * Aline to see if I can't show you how to try again." Aline smiled an awkward half-smile at that.
[23:13] <Lucien‘Blanc> ["Try again…?" Celine looked down at her lap awkwardly, fiddling with a ham slice. "I…"]
[23:17] <Aline> "To be okay. I mean… You know I’m going to try to make you a grandmother. And I'm already famous… Don't even need to mention that I'm powerful. Your little daughter is, if in a scary, bizarre way, more successful than most could ever be. It's going to be hard, but I want you to… be happy, mom." Aline's eyes misted a little, but she held it in. "It's been so hard for me to just admit
[23:17] <Aline> it. Running away from the silence you always met me with, but I… just… I really do want you both to be happy again."
[23:17] <Lucien‘Blanc> "Er, uh. I don’t mean to interrupt, but can I ask you something?"
[23:19] * Aline turned her head. "…Ah? Oh… oh." Aline blushed a bit. "Sorry, I've been making so many impassioned speeches about inner strength. It's getting to be habit."
[23:21] <Lucien‘Blanc> "Well, it’s not that, sweetheart…" Her father stared at her. "… You haven't… Er, when you say 'make you a grandfather'… You- You don't have anything you want to say, do you?"
[23:22] * Aline twitched. "I-I-I mean in the future! Being pregnant at 15 while hopping into a cybernetic deathmachine to fight alien monsters would be the worst form of motherhood anyway! S-s-s-seriously!"
[23:23] <Lucien‘Blanc> "Ok, good." Said Lucien, sighing with relief… Before frowning again. "… Did the two of you-?"
[23:26] * Aline …progressed into the cold-sweat stage. "We used protection!… Come on, dad! I’m just happy /he/'s my first." …Uncharacteristicly grim expression, GO.
[23:27] <Lucien‘Blanc> "…" Lucien stared off to the side, into space. Some things a father should never hear.-
[23:27] <Lucien`Blanc> ["Aline…" Celine hadn’t heard a word of it. "Aline, I have been trying…"]
[23:30] * Aline frantically nodded. "Th-th-thanks mom, I… dad… I don't mean it that way, I… er… it… it's extremely hard to explain but I've uh… something else bad happened." Aline's face practically oozed mortification and depression.
[23:33] <Lucien‘Blanc> "What is it, sweetheart?"
[23:35] <Aline> "I… I’ll explain that with a… uh, question. Did either of you know or see what…" She whirled a finger around the table's surface. "What happened to people during the last Angel attack?"
[23:36] <Lucien‘Blanc> "Not really…"
[23:41] * Aline stopped her finger suddenly. "…Oh. A… mass of illusions. People seeing dark reflections of themselves, that sort of thing. But… that’s just what happened on the ground. Us pilots, it… it attended to personally. It was able to reach into the mind and… do things." She looked progressively more and more upset with each part of the story. "Mess with our nerves. Give us emotions
[23:41] * Aline we didn't have before. It…" Aline's head lowered completely and buried itself in her hands. "It did… sexual things to me with that. Twice. And then it… tried to force me to feel /loved/ and /belonging/. Do… can… can you get what I'm… implying? It… it didn't even comprehend human behavior so it didn't even mean it that way, but it /felt/ that way."
[23:46] <Lucien‘Blanc> A sharp intake of breath. "… The bastard." Muttered Lucien, reaching out and gripping Aline’s shoulder. "How dare it…"-
[23:47] <Lucien‘Blanc> ["…" Celine genuinely shivered.]
[23:50] * Aline shakily nodded. "So… so sorry, I… again, these kinds of things you have to know, even if they hurt. They’re not the mysteries of the universe or something like that, they're… they're me needing you… It hurts but I have to go on. And again it… it had no idea. I know because I can talk to them. And it makes it confusing but… it's… it's over. I already did what I had to
[23:50] * Aline do, I just… you can't go without knowing what you need to help me through."
[23:53] <Lucien‘Blanc> ["You need us…" Murmured Celine. She looked up at Aline. "We-we’re… Here. Your father is… I-I will try."]
[23:55] <Aline> "Yeah. I… I do. I really do. I can hold on a bit myself, but I don't even know what's coming next. So…" She stared out towards her mother, while leaning in towards her father. "I… …thank you. For caring."
[23:59] <Lucien‘Blanc> "Of course we care." Said Lucien, pulling his daughter into a tight, tight hug.
[00:01] * Aline hugged back with extreme enthusiasm, and /tried/ to wrap herself completely in it (literally and figuratively).
[00:02] * Lucien`Blanc was content with that. With his precious little girl…-
[00:02] <Lucien`Blanc> ["… We need to tell her now, Lucien."]
[00:04] * Aline spent quite a bit of time still in that hug… and it was only a minute or two after her mom said that that her eyes popped open with a start. "T-tell me… what?"
[00:05] <Lucien`Blanc> "… Something’s happened, Aline. With yourself and my mother. It's… A pretty big thing."
[00:06] * Aline blinked loudly. Really. She really did have an audible blink (a sort of 'pfip' sound). "…Wh… what is it?"
[00:07] <Lucien‘Blanc> [Celine mumbled.]
[00:09] * Aline was now staring, confused, wide-eyed, and… in complete suspense.
[00:09] <Lucien`Blanc> ["I-I don’t want to say it…"]
[00:10] <Aline> "It… isn't bad, is it? I mean. uh…" Aline wrung her hands together. "I can take it if it's bad, and if it's good that'd be great too."
[00:11] <Lucien‘Blanc> "Come on, Celine. You’re worrying her."-
[00:11] <Lucien‘Blanc> ["Mm…" Celine shuffled in her seat.-
[00:11] <Lucien`Blanc> ["Y-You’re g-going to get a sibling." She mumbled.]
[00:12] * Aline stared for another moment, then looked at her dad, then back to her mom, then… "Yesssssss."
[00:13] <Lucien‘Blanc> ["W-What?"]
[00:14] * Aline had this goofy smile, and she just held it. "What ’what'? Er, I mean… why so surprised?"
[00:14] <Lucien‘Blanc> ["W-We thought you’d be… W-weird about it."]
[00:18] * Aline leaned back, and then… waved her hand slightly. "Well… I've been lonely a lot to begin with, and that you two… were… able… to, you know…" A passing blush. "…Means you're a bit happier - and were very happy for a short wh-… Ooookay that's embarassing to talk about but you get the idea! It's just that I wouldn't mind having a kid brother or kid sister to share the
[00:18] * Aline not-disturbing parts of my old war stories with sometime."
[00:22] <Lucien‘Blanc> ["Mmm." Celine returned to meekly picking at her ham slice.-
[00:23] <Lucien`Blanc> "T… This has been a very frank conversation." Muttered Lucien. "Either way, we wanted to know… Well." Lucien coughed. "You’re happy with Sophie, right?"
[00:26] * Aline nodded. "Fairly, yeah. I do want to visit more often, though. Since she's sorta halfway to a roommate anyway, I… I guess I can think of it as growing up a bit more in other ways. But I can stop by for dinners and stuff like that, sure! I mean it's… just…" Aline sighed. "Just how my life's become. I still feel so /different/ from who I was before I left home."
[00:28] <Lucien‘Blanc> "I can tell." Said Lucien quietly. "But I would like you around more, Aline. Especially after your mother has her baby. Your mother’s not at a good age for kids, you know that."
[00:35] * Aline nodded rather squarely. "Yeah, I do. I can… even stay over to take care of the kid some. I can be weird but if there's one thing I've been seeing /everywhere/ lately, it's implications that I'd be a decent mother myself~"
[00:36] <Lucien‘Blanc> ["Oh?"]
[00:38] <Aline> "Yup! It’s… everywhere. People coming to me for comfort, in a sorta roundabout way, Shinji himself, even the less screwed-up Angels. Everywhere!" Aline practically beamed at that.
[00:38] <Lucien‘Blanc> "… Even the Angels? What?"
[00:40] * Aline smirked at that. "Knew you were gonna ask about that. They seem to… talk to me more than they do to the others. For each angry, or obliviously amoral and nasty one, there’s… ones that are just confused. One of them was scared and calling for its mother. Still going to end the world if it wasn't stopped, but they… They're more complicated than it seems."
[00:40] <Lucien‘Blanc> "… They speak to you?" Lucien glanced at Celine worriedly.
[00:44] <Aline> "Uh-huh. Not often, but uh… er… It’s confusing. It's… I…" Aline tapped her fingers together. "I take to calling it 'weird psychic stuff' because that's how it works. I know this sounds crazy but it… really does happen. I mean it! It's…" She sighed. "It's sad, in a way. I have to balance the people - human or Angel alike - that clearly /will/ unambiguously hurt me, with the ones
[00:44] <Aline> who have no choice… But I can't go without trying to heal people's hearts, even if they /are/ giant alien creatures bent on destruction. I… don't expect you to understand, just to know that it's… my way of feeling like I'm still a good person even when I'm doing what I have to do for humankind."
[00:47] <Lucien‘Blanc> "Ah… Well." Lucien seemed a little lost. "I don’t like the idea of them being… In your head, though."
[00:50] * Aline nodded. "It… can get bad, but it's… my way. I don't /ask/ for it if that's what you mean. I'm just more… 'interesting'. Somehow. I reeeeally don't know why. So I try to deal with it as I can." But then she bit her lip for a moment. "Sorry, that's probably a really bizarre thing to have to internalize. 'My daughter rides a giant warbeast into battle against alien monsters' is
[00:50] * Aline weird enough without adding 'and she talks to them in her head' to confuse things, I guess!"
[00:52] <Lucien‘Blanc> "I’m trying to internalise a lot of things right now." Murmured the shellshocked Blanc.
[00:59] <Aline> "Y…eaaaah. Sorry, It… really has been a long time. Even when I met you after the battle where you got that injury, a /lot/ has happened. But… I'll be there if you need me to reassure you that I'm not… … …something." Aline smiled softly. "Okay?"
[01:00] <Lucien‘Blanc> "… Alright." Said Dad. "I trust you. But now we need your help! We need to think of names." He said… It wasn’t just him changing the subject. He needed time to digest Aline's constant bombshells.
[01:04] * Aline smiled a bit more. "Right! I think I'll need some time for that one, actually… It's too early to tell if it's a girl or a boy yet, right?
[01:04] <Lucien‘Blanc> [Celine nodded. "Only two months in."]
[01:08] * Aline drummed a finger on the table for a second. "Mmm, right. I guess I’ll look up name lists and think of things to add in!"
[01:11] <Lucien`Blanc> "… Hmmm." Lucien rubbed his chin. "Well. Goodness knows we have plenty of time to talk about it. Aline? We were going to go out for dinner. Would you like to come?"
[01:13] <Aline> "Ooh! Sure~" The girl was practically bouncy at the idea~
[01:15] <Lucien`Blanc> "Alright!" Lucien chuckled. "You can help your mother until then."
[01:18] * Aline made a clearly-affirmative smile, and then wandered off to go get things for her mother and otherwise be helpful. Even putting away that one stray slice of ham.

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