For Pining Over Rooftops

[17:57] <Sept> [Paris-2, afternoon of the 13th of November, 2015. A rooftop overlooking the glorious technically-ancient-but-actually-not stronghold of the Bastille.-]
[18:02] * Sept is standing by the railing, leaning over it dangerously far. There were people milling about at the castle's entrance, waiting to fill the voids in their lives with Culture, or just take their minds off the current state of affairs, to remember an era now long gone. Sera smiled a little at the sight and looked up. The sky was almost cloudless, and it was quite warm outside, at
[18:02] * Sept least considering the time of year.
[18:11] <@Freya‘Solheim> "There you are. I had a feeling you’d be here." Came a chipper voice. From a nearby entrance point came a certain blonde-haired Norwegian girl, wearing a pair of her old fatigues.
[18:17] <Sept> "Hello, Freya." The tone was plain. "No work today?"
[18:20] <@Freya‘Solheim> "Not today." She said cheerfully, heading over to him and lightly ruffling his hair. "How’s it going?"
[18:24] <Sept> "They're really coming back, aren't they? They remembered. Some of them." Sera continued to stare off into the space above his Paris. The wind played with his dark hair, to little effect. It's not like he ever tried to keep it particularly neat.
[18:28] <@Freya‘Solheim> "It takes a lot to keep people away from their homes permanently, I think." Said Freya lightly. "There’s a lot of soul in this city now."
[18:32] <Sept> "Mmh. I-it's doing alright. And that's good. Right? It means we've done everything right."
[18:36] <@Freya‘Solheim> "We’ve done pretty damn well, yeah." Said Freya cheerfully. "Did you know there are actually more people now than there were back before the attacks?"
[18:43] <Sept> "R-really? That's, that's good. They must be happy to be here, then. What about the school? Those numbers up, too?"
[18:44] <@Freya‘Solheim> "Ah…" Freya scratched her chin. "… Not really! But I think we just have to give it a bit more time. It’s nearly break, anyway…"
[18:50] <Sept> "Maybe that much is alright. The others don't like it and there's less judo, but… it's quiet. It's nice. I can have that, can't I? Just for myself?"
[18:51] <@Freya‘Solheim> "Of course you can, Sept." Said Freya fondly. "So long as you get an education, right? So you can support your dear Freya later in life~ Oh!" She tossed him a brown bag from out of her coat.
[18:55] * Sept turned his head toward the rustle, revealing his face. He looked tired, which might have seemed odd, considering he’d just spent a week resting. But this was Sept. He caught the bag, fumbling a little, and reached inside. "Thank you, Freya."
[18:55] <@Freya‘Solheim> [It was a pizza roll! Still hot.-
[18:56] <@Freya`Solheim> "Not a problem." Said Freya. "Hey, guess what I found?"
[18:59] * Sept dug into the pizza happily. "What did you find, Freya?"
[19:01] <@Freya`Solheim> "Do you remember old Etienne, who used to run that bar? Used to give us free food every so often."
[19:05] * Sept was cheered up noticeably by the memory. "Etienne! What about him?"
[19:06] <@Freya`Solheim> "Well, his bar was washed out by the blood from that stupid wooden angel." Said Freya. "But! He’s opening a new one."
[19:12] <Sept> "Ohh." Sept looked a little guilty at the first part. "That's good! I don't think I would've liked to put him out of business…" Eye contact with Freya. "Freya, could we… would you like to go see Etienne sometime? We could pay for our own food, and we could talk and it'd be fun!"
[19:14] <@Freya‘Solheim> "I’d love to!" Said Freya. "Actually, he told me to bring you along some time. He wants to show you the new place." A wink. "He said you'd really like it."
[19:15] <Sept> A genuine smile. "Yeah! That would be perfect!"
[19:16] <@Freya‘Solheim> "Awesome. I’ll take you tomorrow night, then!" Said Freya with a grin. "It has a theme and everything now."
[20:38] * Sept took another bite of his impromptu lunch and looked back at the Bastille, obscuring his face again. "On the other hand… maybe we shouldn't?"
[20:41] <@Freya‘Solheim> "Hm? Why not?"
[20:51] <Sept> "…we aren’t living that life anymore. Those people, the little alleys, the Bastille… They don't belong to us anymore. I'm an Evangelion pilot. I… gave that away to protect them for everyone else, didn't I?"
[20:56] <@Freya‘Solheim> "… Huh?" Freya blinked. "What? Just because you’re an Evangelion pilot doesn't mean you can't still have friends from your old life, Sept."
[21:05] <Sept> "But Elisha wouldn't want me to… I can't be weak."
[21:06] <@Freya‘Solheim> Sept gets a light punch in the arm for his troubles. "No one said you were weak, you silly boy. You aren’t going to make yourself strong by not having friends, you know. That's only going to make you weird and weak anyway."
[21:09] <Sept> "But I am already."
[21:13] <@Freya‘Solheim> "You are -not-."
[21:45] <Sept> "How am I not weak? How am I not weird? Those people are normal." Sera pointed to the Bastille. "You remember that? When you took me there? A normal person, a strong person, either one of those could’ve gone there and enjoyed the day, -could now- go there and we could enjoy a day of each other's company."
[21:49] * @Freya‘Solheim leaned on the railing, stared down at those people. "Where is this coming from, Sept…?"
[22:11] <Sept> "I… I don’t know. I want to continue piloting, but. I don't want to lose this, either. I… there's so much I don't understand, about Elisha and everyone, we're so lost in every battle… It's like I'm not really either. Like I'm being forgotten."
[22:14] * @Freya‘Solheim grabbed Sept’s hand. "Listen to me, Sept."
[22:16] * Sept turned to Freya, looking down. His face was still plain, just a little sad.
[22:20] <@Freya‘Solheim> "It’s natural to feel lost." She said. "Those people down there. Do you think they really know what's going on? Some of them probably don't even- no, most of them probably don't really know what to make of their own lives. Some of them- they're probably in a situation like you are in, too. Having to choose between two worlds…" She put a hand on Sept's face, tilted it up to look at her. "They might find the answer some day. They might not. But the only reason they have a chance to find out at all is because you're a very brave, very strong boy who is willing to risk everything to give everyone else a chance."
[22:27] <@Freya‘Solheim> "It’s natural to feel lost." She said. "Those people down there. Do you think they really know what's going on? Some of them probably don't even- no, most of them probably don't really know what to make of their own lives. Some of them- they're probably in a situation like you are in, too. Having to choose between two worlds…" She put a hand on Sept's face, tilted it up to look at her. "They might find the answer some day. They might not. But the only reason they have a chance to find out at all is because you're a very brave, very strong boy who is willing to risk everything to give everyone else a chance."
[22:33] <Sept> "Then… why haven't we found Viviane yet? Why can't I comfort Elisha and Ginevre? Why can't I be with Tsubaki and protect her before that… before -something- horrible happens?" Sera was looking at her with teary eyes.
[22:39] <@Freya‘Solheim> "That doesn’t make you weak, Sept." Said Freya. "Do you think being strong means being able to do anything? Do you think it makes you weak because you -can't- do everything? It doesn't, Sept! It really doesn't. Even the strongest of people have weaknesses, or failures. Do you think Elisha and Ginevre are strong?"
[22:54] <Sept> "O-of course they are! They've made it really far, and done important things they wanted to do!"
[22:54] <@Freya‘Solheim> "Then if they’re so strong, why can't they comfort themselves?"
[20:07] <Sept> "It's because they're apart! Th-they're not supposed to be, and it's not their fault, so I have to try because no one else seems to care! But I-I just don't know where to start I need their help to save Tsubaki but I need Viviane to help them and if we kill Silas he won't be there to make sure nothing happens to her…"
[20:12] <Freya‘Solheim> "Sept. Sept!" Said Freya, a note of frazzled panic entering her voice. "Calm down! I don’t understand. You need to explain this slower."
[20:17] * Sept blinked. "W-which part? They're still all gone, no matter how much I explain it. They're all gone, Freya." His face was still almost completely neutral, despite the hesitance in his voice.
[20:20] <Freya‘Solheim> "…" Freya faltered for a moment. "… Sept. They’re not."
[20:27] * Sept paused for a moment, mouth open, but quickly fell back to his previous line of thought. He jerked his hand free of Freya's. "No! It's not the same, you're lying! They won't just be here the next day like, like those!" The boy pointed a finger at the Bastille crowd without breaking eye contact.
[20:29] <Freya‘Solheim> "So what if they’re not, Sept?" Asked Freya, sternly. "That doesn't mean anything! So long as they come back one day- any day- it doesn't matter."
[20:35] <Sept> "But I need them -now- or they'll never be back! Tsubaki and Viviane… we're running out of time, Freya, we have to do something!"
[20:37] <Freya‘Solheim> "Sept. You have to believe me. They’ll be back. They will." Freya grabbed his shoulders. "Sept, Tsubaki isn't in any danger. And we will find Viviane. They won't hurt her."
[20:44] <Sept> "You don't understand! If we don't find Viviane before we have to face 05, Viviane will be next, Azariah will know she's a NeoSpartan and he'll do something horrible and Tsubaki, she'll, the giant, the Angel made of light, it'll kill her!" Sera breathed heavily, his eyes begging her to understand. The distress was beginning to filter through from his voice to his face, now.
[20:49] <Freya‘Solheim> "Sept, they’re- urgh." Freya rubbed her face. "Tsubaki will be fine. She -can- take care of herself, Sept. And whatever happens to Viviane- I'm sure we can help her. You can help her."
[20:51] <Sept> "Shinji was supposed to help her! She's not supposed to be alone! And that last battle, it was… I saw it in the dream. How can you know Aline's isn't true as well?"
[20:54] <Freya‘Solheim> "They were just mind tricks, Sept. It didn’t come true- it only appeared -because- you dreamed of it! It was preying on your mind!" Said Freya desperately. "I don't get it, Sept. What do you want to do?!"
[21:03] <Sept> "I want to..! I, I." … "I don't want to have to guess what everyone thinks and what'll happen next! I don't want to be with people who keep secrets and manipulate and lie! I want to be -safe- again!"
[21:06] * Freya‘Solheim faltered, once again. Her head hung low for a moment, her shoulders slumped, she sighed. "Yeah… I know." She tried to bring Sept into a gentle hug. "But… Sept. You can’t avoid those people. And if you want to be safe, you're going to have to earn it. The best you can do is try to focus on the people you -can- trust. Not everyone's a liar."
[21:12] * Sept left the hug one-sided for a few moments, but eventually returned the gesture. Quite tightly, in fact. "We avoided them just fine before…" he muttered. "Who can we trust, Freya? Everyone's always doubting everyone else…"
[21:13] <Freya‘Solheim> "Trust the ones you can’t live without." Said Freya quietly.
[21:21] <Sept> "The ones… alright. I'll d-do that." Sera stayed in the embrace in silence. "…Freya?"
[21:21] <Freya‘Solheim> "Yeah?"
[21:23] <Sept> "D-do you really think I’m not… weak?"
[21:24] <Freya‘Solheim> "Of course I think you’re not weak." Said Freya fondly. "You're the bravest person I know- and one of the strongest, too."
[21:29] <Sept> "Freya, I trust you. I trust you more than anyone else. C-could I ask you a favor?"
[21:29] <Freya‘Solheim> "Anything."
[21:33] <Sept> "I-I’m so tired of being strong. For everyone. Is it alright if I'm, when I'm with you, if I'm… not strong? Could you still trust me?"
[21:34] <Freya‘Solheim> "Of course." Said Freya earnestly. "You can be anything you feel like with me, Sept."
[21:42] * Sept leaned into the hug a bit more. "Thank you, Freya." The embrace was renewed and the girl was held onto like she was the only solid object in a sinking world. "Y-you’re snuggly…" were the last coherent words from Sera before he, slowly, started sobbing away into Freya's coat.
[21:44] <Freya‘Solheim> In some cases, she might very well have been exactly that: a solid object in a sinking world. She blushed slightly, but embraced Sept tightly, a concerned look on her face. Her poor, poor, tired Sept. "I’m here…"
[21:52] <Sept> Eventually, Sera's sobs would turn into a full wail, something Freya had not witnessed in a long time - he had never liked her seeing him crying, but he really did hate noise above all. Both of those dislikes overcome together was a rare occurrence indeed.-
[21:52] <Sept> On a rooftop in Paris-2, overlooking the Bastille, a boy was crying his heart out. But he wasn't alone.

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