For Saying Goodbye

[16:36] <Ikari‘Shinji> [The morning of October 20th looms. It’s 9 AM- a bright, cloudless day.-
[16:40] * Ikari‘Shinji sits upon the concrete, upon the platform of a massive loading pad built into the hills and countryside near Paris-2. In the middle of the platform, a gargantuan hole had opened, mechanically pulled back to reveal a crate, painted blue, stamped with the NERV emblem and the words "EVANGELION UNIT 05". He was dressed in his NERV uniform, and stared listlessly up at his ’future'- the secret beast that was hidden away in that box.
[16:47] * Aline had not been there for a long while… and it was only now, wearing that orange sundress she bought on the Riviera (October be damned, it was important!), that she snuck up behind Shinji, leaning her hands on his shoulders. "Hi." Unfortunately, the mood just wasn't right for excessive cheer.
[16:51] <Ikari‘Shinji> "Huh?" Shinji looked up, startled a little- his blue eyes met hers, and his expression softened, although it was undoubtedly a sad one. "… Hi. You came, huh."
[16:53] <Aline> "Yeah, of course I would. I’m only hours or less away from the last time I'll see you for months on end. And…" Aline made a broad gesture at the crate with one arm. "…You've certainly got enough to worry about that a little comfort for a goodbye'd be good."
[17:02] * Ikari‘Shinji blinked slowly. He had a peculiar look in his eye- a look of resignation. "I’m really glad you came." He said quietly. "I was afraid… Maybe, that you wouldn't…"
[17:05] * Aline waved a hand slightly. "Maybe you should ask yourself what reason I'd have to actually not come? If it wasn't now, it'd be some other time before you were set to leave." But then her expression lowered. "I want to do everything I can to help."
[17:08] * Ikari‘Shinji reached up and gently stroked Aline’s cheek. "I was afraid you'd… be scared. By it." He cast a reluctant look over at the Eva's crate, before looking back up at Aline. "But you're braver than that…" Shinji closed his eyes for a moment. "I need you. Thank you…"
[17:11] * Aline nodded, staring up at the crate. "It's blinded by solid metal anyway…" Aline pulled closer to him. "I know. I know… Maybe… maybe you can reach her. Get her to calm it down. I'm not sure how possible that's going to be, but… I trust you."
[17:13] * Ikari‘Shinji momentarily embraced her hands, before patting the ground next to him. "I tried… Earlier. To do just that." He murmured.
[17:15] * Aline held on, and looked at him. "…It didn’t work, did it?"
[17:17] <Ikari‘Shinji> "I-I don’t know." He murmured. "It was really weird. Maybe you can explain it to me if I tell you what happened."
[17:18] * Aline clasped her hands together - with his still in them - and got a ghost of a smile. "I can try! I know more about communicating mentally than anyone else on Earth! What with how few ways to do that there are, I can say that honestly. I think."
[17:23] * Ikari‘Shinji shifted, placing his head on Aline’s lap with a sense of weariness. He stared up at her and the sky above. "It's odd. She… I know she feels very protective of me. It's overwhelming how… Angry and negative she feels against things that might hurt me… But I don't know if she… Really hates you anymore or not…"
[17:27] * Aline nodded. "She may have forgotten about that. With how angry she is, even if I had a chance I'd probably want to avoid trying to sync with her, because of my oversensitivity. But…" Aline slowly craned her head over to rest near the top of Shinji's. "Let her know that she's still nearly my sister-in-law, and that I'll protect you when I can, for your and her sake - but that I wouldn't
[17:27] * Aline want to take you /away/ from her either. The family should be together when possible." Aline nuzzled closer, after saying that.
[17:30] <Ikari‘Shinji> "I will." Murmured Shinji, running his hands through Aline’s hair- and, for a moment, marvelling at the very reality of that action. He stared at Aline with a sort of wonder in his eyes.
[17:38] * Aline stared back, albeit with a more gentle, nurturing look. "Just ask… again, I know a lot. If you have a question you think is okay to ask, go ahead and even email it to me. I know not everything /should/ be sent over that way, but I can help with the normal stuff even when you're in Tokyo-2." She leaned into the hands, as well. "I had to get introduced to all this the hard way. You
[17:38] * Aline don't have to be. I know I can't make this suddenly not have happened, but I'll at least do that much."
[17:41] <Ikari‘Shinji> "Thank you." he said again. "I promise I’ll do my best to ask. I don't want to go through this alone." He sighed, closing his eyes for a second, before opening them again. "I feel a little better now. Do you know why?"
[17:44] * Aline took a long breath, then… just stared expectantly. "I might have a few guesses, but I'd feel better hearing it from you."
[17:49] * Ikari‘Shinji smiled. "It’s because I'm part of a miracle. The miracle that we met and fell in love. Once upon a time- a time so recently- that idea was alien to me, the idea that I'd find love like this- someone who loved me- someone who I could hug and kiss and…" He blushed lightly. "That I'd one day be running my hands through someone's hair seemed like an impossibility. And now you're here, and- you're just so beautiful. I can't help but feel cheerful."
[17:55] * Aline blushed… reeeeeal deep. Bright, powerful red. "Th-thank… thank you. It almost feels hard to imagine that I can do so much good but… yet here it is. The proof." She reached over and ruffled his hair a bit. "The adorable little proof."
[18:03] * Ikari‘Shinji blushed. He leaned up, leaning on an arm as well as her shoulder- wrapping an arm around her neck- and kissed her. "You shouldn’t say such cute things."
[18:07] * Aline kissed back, nigh-reflexively, and almost protested back - playfully. "Aw, why not?"
[18:11] <Ikari‘Shinji> "When I’m about to leave? It just makes me want you even more… So cruel!" He tsked.
[18:14] * Aline made a little surprise-face, mouth open. "Ohhhhh, ooops~ We'll just have to find ways to make the distance a little easier on us, huh?"
[18:15] <Ikari‘Shinji> "Can’t you just teleport Japan next to France?" He asked jokingly.
[18:18] * Aline giggled. "I don't have that much power, though who knows? Maybe in a few years, assuming all goes well." Aline got that now-familiar goofy look. "In a way, I wouldn't be surprised if it /was/ possible somehow. Or something like it."
[18:18] <Ikari‘Shinji> "Hehehe. Well. Maybe that wouldn’t be such a good idea, even if you could. But…" He chuckled. "… We…" He blushed. "We're going to live together, aren't we?"
[18:23] <Aline> "Oh, definitely. I'm gonna keep us together as I can until the war is over, then when we 'retire' from piloting - or at least get our savings payment or whatever it is, we can honestly, truly, live together." Aline smiled broadly. "Then we'll have nice, full lives. Or more? I don't even know."
[18:24] <Ikari‘Shinji> "That sounds wonderful. But where would we live?"
[18:29] * Aline seemed honestly curious about that. "I guess that sorta depends on how everything ends, doesn’t it? I mean if I had a choice, I don't know, we could both live in Japan, or both in France or maybe even move to Germany or England or the US or… who knows? Whatever looks good, huh? I know I'd like a somewhat livelier town, though not /too/ lively!"
[18:30] <Ikari‘Shinji> "I’m sure people will come after it becomes safe." Said Shinji, leaning a little further to snuggle into Aline's neck. "And… Will we have children?" He asked, blushing.
[18:35] * Aline pulled closer. "Yeah. Or at least we'll try to. Doesn't need to be a lot, might even just be two… but we'd have so much to teach them, about monsters and magic and the mysteries of the universe…" Aline squeezed tight for a hug. "…and how in all of that, the biggest miracles were how we could go from being so hurt to so happy~"
[18:40] <Ikari‘Shinji> "Yet another thing in your list of miracles." He chuckled, squeezing her back. "And think of those lucky children. With the world’s greatest mother- a hero who saved the entire species…"
[18:46] <Aline> "Hopefully, their father could take some credit, too. I'll make sure that you'll be safe to do that." …Aline's expression was pretty warm, though her eyes seemed to reflect some… kind of additional aspect, somehow. "Mmm. And I guess in the end, she'll still be special in one way or another…"
[18:49] <Ikari‘Shinji> "Yeah…" He smiled. "I’ve made a decision."
[18:49] * Aline quirked her brow curiously. "Oh?"
[18:53] <Ikari‘Shinji> "After hearing all about the life we’ll live… About the life we're fighting to create… I've decided I'll put my heart and soul into this." He murmured. "this is a chance for me to fight and protect you, who I love, and the life I want… Our children, our home. So I'll take that chance with all the strength I have. And I'll keep you safe, too."
[18:57] * Aline smiled broadly. "We'll both protect each other. We'll come out alive because of it! I know that much."
[19:00] <Ikari‘Shinji> "Right." Said Shinji, returning her smile. "You’ll be alright, right? With out me here…"
[19:02] <Aline> "I'll be okay. I can still contact you, and I'll lean on command to give me /something/ to do to help you when I have spare time." Aline smirked softly, since she seemed pretty amused at what she was going to say. "Even if it's something as stupid as a training video, it'd still be me talking to you and helping you."
[19:04] <Ikari‘Shinji> "Hehehe. That sounds like a fun idea. I’m picturing…" He made a goofy grin. "You in this plugsuit, doing all these childish gestures, like a school video. 'Today we will learn the importance of EVA!'"
[19:08] * Aline giggled intensely, but then grinned. "Or it could be something like 'Angel communication - how does it work?' and stuff like that!" She raised a finger. "Which by the way is by weird psychic stuff. I can tell you how to handle that too~"
[19:12] <Ikari‘Shinji> "Weird psychic stuff? ’Mind your own business'?"
[19:14] <Aline> "Maybe~ Basically just be ready for it and then stay calm! That's all."
[19:15] <Ikari‘Shinji> "I think I can do that." He said cheerfully, before… Reluctantly breaking the embrace and standing up.
[19:18] * Aline stood up as well. "It’ll be alright."
[19:19] * Ikari‘Shinji nodded. "I have three hours before I have to go. I need to change out of this and into that plugsuit by then. They’re such a pain to put on…"
[19:20] * Aline scratched the back of her head. "Ohhh yeah, I can bet! It took me /months/ to get used to that!" But then… "Wait, why you gotta wear it for heading out?"
[19:28] <Ikari‘Shinji> "They’re going to keep me on alert for the trip." Said Shinji. "Just in case, I guess."
[19:29] <Aline> "Ohhhh." Aline nodded almost dumbly. "Be careful, and at least be ready, okay?"
[19:30] * Ikari`Shinji nodded. "I will be." He embraced her tight, nestling his head on her shoulder.
[19:36] * Aline returned the embrace rapidly, and warmly. That was all she needed to do.

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