For The Confession Of Love

[22:41] <Yanmei> [Days pass. Warm days of swimming, sandcastle building with little Rei, and frequent trips into town. This was a day for one such trip.-]
[22:43] * Yanmei leaned over to pay a cabbie and hopped from the back seat of the taxi, tossing a grin back at Isaiah. She was wary of the possibility of not getting one in return. Things had been like that between then for a few days now, troubling as it was. "Come on. We'll be late."
[22:44] * Isaiah had been staring out of the window, a dour look on his face. When Yanmei called to him he turned, frowning- scratching his left eyebrow for a moment, before he followed.
[22:50] * Yanmei started off at a fast clip. There was a tourist's map crumpled in her pocket, but she had checked it thoroughly enough to have an idea of where she was heading anyway. Finally, she stopped weaving through the crowd, halting at a colorfully-painted playhouse with a poster for Les Misérables displyed in a glass case next to the front door. A short line of people already stood in line for tickets. "Here we are! They're no Shakespeare troupe, but
[22:50] <Yanmei> but I hear the actors here are pretty good!"
[22:52] * Isaiah eyes the poster for a moment before he turned to Yanmei. He gave her a weak smile, and it was so obviously forced that he might as well not have smiled at all. "… A good choice."
[22:54] <Yanmei> "Thanks!" She unheld her own smile with practiced brightness, but inside she was a little stung. "I'll grab some tickets, okay? Unless you had a different show in mind…?"
[22:55] <Isaiah> "No. This'll do."
[22:57] <Yanmei> "All right, then. Wait here." She started off toward the line, but not without casting one last concealed look back at him for reactions.
[22:59] * Isaiah hadn't noticed Yanmei's hidden look. Thinking she wasn't looking, he quickly dropped his smile, frowning resentfully.
[23:03] <Yanmei> Why…? Wounded, frustrated, she continued on toward the line. Why was he so angry all the time? The wait was a short one, and before long, she had the opportunity to ask him outright as she strolled back toward him with tickets in hand. "Here."
[23:05] * Isaiah had quickly turned his bitter look into an emotionless look. He took a ticket. "Thank you."
[23:09] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei sighed. "You don't have to force yourself? If you don't want to see the show, just say so."
[23:11] * Isaiah glowered. "No." He snapped. "Let's go see the show."
[23:15] <Yanmei> "But you don't -want- to, right?" she pressed, folding her arms. "I wanted us to have fun today. That's why we're here…" She turned a glance to the playhouse again, wistfully.
[23:17] <Isaiah> "N-No, I…" He seemed equal parts angry and taken aback, but he quickly rallied. "Listen, can we please just… Go in?"
[23:19] <Yanmei> "Fine." She was no longer smiling at that point. Still, she turned to lead the way.
[23:20] * Isaiah followed in, glaring at her back.-
[23:21] <Isaiah> [The tension remained inside, too. Isaiah settled into his chair, his arms folded, and watched. He didn't try to speak to Yanmei, and any attempts by her to speak to him were met with monosyllabic replies. He never smiled.-
[23:21] <Isaiah> [Then, Yanmei would notice something odd.-
[23:22] <Isaiah> The play was entering its last part. People- who were enjoying the play, at least- were watching closely. But Isaiah was staring at his lap, where he held the ticket stub.-
[23:22] <Isaiah> There were tears in his eyes.
[23:26] * Yanmei stared out of the corner of her eye. She didn't say anything. She could only wonder… pretend to enjoy the play like anyone else. Why wasn't he telling her what was wrong? Had she done something without realizing it?
[23:29] <Isaiah> It continued on for a few more minutes… Until quite suddenly Isaiah tore himself from the seat, pushed past the people in the row- including Yanmei, tripping at one point- and then had run out of the theatre.
[23:31] <Yanmei> "What the-?!" her initial shock wore off quickly, and she scrambled out of her own chair, going after him at a slower, more careful pace. Where was he? The lobby? The streets outside? Where?!
[23:32] * Isaiah was out on the streets! Furthermore… He was on fours, shaking wildly.
[23:34] <Yanmei> "Isaiah?" She darted to him, crouched next to him. "What is it?! Tell me, please!"
[23:35] <Isaiah> "I-I-I c-can't…" He was sobbing, well and truly sobbing. "I-I can't l-l-live like this a-anymore."
[23:37] * Yanmei reached out. She wanted to pull him in and hug him, but she was afraid. He would pull away, and say something angry, and leave her there with a dumbfounded expression. She… let her hand rest on his shoulder. "What is it?" she said again softly. "Are you…?"
[23:40] * Isaiah continued to sob. But he didn't pull away when Yanmei touched his shoulder. "W-We n-need to g-go somewhere. S-Somewhere else."
[23:42] <Yanmei> Like where? But she tried to help him up. Pulled an arm around him as she did so. "Let's walk. I'm…I'm sure there's a cafe around here. Someplace quiet and private."
[23:47] * Isaiah allowed himself to be pulled up. He put an arm around Yanmei as well, shakily, and started to follow.-
[23:48] <Isaiah> [There was a cafe near by, of course. But there was also a secluded-looking park if she wanted it.]
[23:49] * Yanmei tried to see how crowded the cafe was by peeking through the windows first. The poor guy would probably not want to cause a huge scene…
[23:49] <Isaiah> [There were people in the cafe. Not a lot, but a few…]
[23:51] <Yanmei> "Hmph. We'll go over here instead." She turned for the park. Probably empty enough for him to let it all out without anyone else hearing. She picked a bench, and lowered herself - and Isaiah - onto it
[23:52] * Isaiah sat down. He was still inconsolable, but he managed to murmur through the tears. "I-I-I'm s-s-s…"
[23:55] * Yanmei rubbed his back and shoulder comfortingly, waiting for him to calm down and tell her things in his own time. "It's okay. Take as much time as you need. It's okay."
[23:56] <Isaiah> It took awhile, but eventually the tears started to slow, and he regained his voice. He coughed, wiping at his face with a handkerchief. "I… I'm sorry I-I've been so moody recently." He mumbled.
[23:58] <Yanmei> "It's all right. Everyone has times when they want to me left alone? I was… a little worried, though," she admitted quietly. "What happened, Isaiah?"
[23:59] <Isaiah> "It… It was you." Confessed Isaiah. "Y-You were why I was so upset…"
[00:01] <Yanmei> "But why?" She was careful not to sound too hurt. It was a little too hard to hide her dismay, however. So she had done something after all…
[00:02] <Isaiah> "D-Don't you remember?" Mumbled Isaiah. "It… It was the Qaphsiel fight. O-Or… No. It was the night before the fight. Do you remember that?"
[00:04] <Yanmei> "I slipped you into NERV. We went to the cafeteria, and then my temporary room to talk. You…" she trailed off. He'd kissed her. She had told him that she would see him again after the battle and that everythin would be okay.
[00:06] <Isaiah> "I kissed you." Isaiah said, his voice hoarse. "I was afraid. I was afraid that if I didn't do something… What if you died and I'd never…" Isaiah shook his head furiously.-
[00:07] <Isaiah> "I-I've been… Been waiting weeks. More than a month for you to say something. -Anything- at all about what happened. And… A-And all I got was just silence. I-I can't… I-I can't listen to the silence anymore."
[00:10] * Yanmei stared at him. All that time. She'd thought that with everything going on, he had simply… what, forgotten about it? "It's my fault," she muttered. "I can't believe… …"
[00:14] <Isaiah> "It…" Isaiah didn't say 'It is your fault'. He swallowed, and said something else. "Y-You should… Should have said something. T-These past few weeks… I-I see Shinji, a-and he's so happy w-with Aline, and t-they're so close, and a-all I can think about is 'why d-don't I have that'…?"
[00:20] <Yanmei> "I'm sorry." She swallowed back a lump in her throat. "I'm so sorry, Isaiah. Back then, I didn't know… I didn't know how! With the fight right on top of us, and you being so… I didn't want to hurt you, but I ended up doing it anyway."
[00:23] * Isaiah looked at Yanmei. Right in the eyes- his own were full of fear and worry. He was scared. Incredibly scared. "I… It doesn't matter now. I… I'll always forgive you." He whispered. "B-But please. P-Please just give me an answer."
[00:31] <Yanmei> "I want to just be friends." She kept looking back at him, worry and fear reflected in her eyes too. "I've… I've cried in front of you. I've been afraid with you. I don't have to close myself up the way I would with a boyfriend." Her voice softened and tapered off, breaking a little toward the end. "Please understand."
[00:33] * Isaiah shuddered. For a moment, the blow mixed in with his expectations, and for a moment, he was stunned. A minute passed… And he whispered something. "I… I understand…"-
[00:34] <Isaiah> "I understand." He stood up, trembling. "I understand." He took steps- shaky steps- forward. "I understand." He started to pace. "I understand." His hands were shaking fiercely and he gripped them together. "I… I-I don't understand. I don't understand at all! T-That doesn't make -any sense-…!"
[00:39] <Yanmei> "I'm sorry," she whispered. She was trying not to wince… or worse, actually. Her stomach clenched, as her expectations started to take shape. Here it came… and she probably deserved it.
[00:42] <Isaiah> "I-It…" Isaiah shook his head furiously. "Y-you said it yourself! I-I've seen you cry! I-I've seen you be afraid, and angry, and-and I-I've seen you dying." Said Isaiah. "I-I've heard you cry out for me in your nightmares. Y-You… Y-You've also seen me cry, and seen me angry and upset. We-we're both… Open with each other. Fully."-
[00:42] <Isaiah> "I-Isn't that what… Love is? I don't understand…"
[00:48] <Yanmei> "It's love. It's a different love," she said. Her hands clenched into fists that rested beside her on the bench. "Romance is… it's -different-. It's passing, less reliable. It's not how I feel."
[00:52] <Isaiah> "A… A different love." Murmured Isaiah. The tone was different. It wasn't… Questioning, anymore. It was a voice full of dread answers.-
[00:54] <Isaiah> "Oh, he's worthy enough to speak to me. He's worthy enough to see me when I'm crying. He's worthy enough to help me when I feel bad." Isaiah's voice was growing angry. "He's worthy enough to sneak into the Geofront. He's worthy enough to protect. He's worthy enough to save my life. But is he worthy of -me-? Is he worthy enough that I'd make him the prime person in my life?"-
[00:55] <Isaiah> "NO!" Isaiah screamed, a voice full of incandescent rage. "No, I'm never going to go that far with him! Why would I? He isn't worth it." Isaiah spat, his entire body trembling with rage. "04 was- 04 - 04 was -right-, wasn't he?"
[01:03] <Yanmei> "That's not it at all!" She was trying to stay calm and… was failing spectacularly, her panic now clear as day in her taunt face and bright eyes. "Please. I don't know how to make you…! …" Everything was crumbling right in front of her, but she couldn't even make him understand!-
[01:08] <Yanmei> "Hate -me-!" she blurted out, and tried to push away the sick feeling that filled her at it. "Dammit. Hate me for being an idiot and… and… inconsiderate! But you can't believe that because it's not true!"
[01:15] * Isaiah was, for a single, ephemeral moment- stunned, and it showed. But it passed all too quickly. "WHY?!" He screamed in fury. "Why, then?! Why is it that I'll -never- be the most important person in your life!?" There was an ache in his words. "Why?! Why won't I be the one you love above all!? Why, when you're that very person to me…?!"-
[01:16] <Isaiah> "What -is- it?! What is it that makes me so… Unwanted…?"
[01:16] <Isaiah> The last word was spoken… Not in a shout, but a pained, horrifying whisper.
[01:26] <Yanmei> "Unwanted?" She stared at him. "Is that what you think? Why haven't you been paying attention to what I've been saying?! Why do you think that being my boyfriend will make you the most important person in my life? Haven't you figured out that you're alreay 20 TIMES more important than any lover? Why don't you understand?!"
[01:32] <Isaiah> "I…" Isaiah stopped. Everything. For a single second he wasn't even breathing.-
[01:33] <Isaiah> "I-I don't- I-I didn't- I-" Panic, horror, fear, dismay- it all battled for control. In the end, the did the best he could do- he ran. Just simply -bolted-.
[01:35] <Yanmei> "No! S-stop!" She was off the bench, but he already had one hell of a head start. She scrambled after him.
[01:39] * Isaiah wasn't about to stop.-
[01:39] <Isaiah> Yanmei, on the other hand… She'd run, but in her current emotional state, her body wreaked havoc with her. Her leg seared with pain, and her lungs burned.
[01:44] <Yanmei> "N-no-" her coughing snipped the word short, and she had to stagger against a tree to keep herself from falling down. It hurt. God, it hurt. "St-stupid." Her eyes filled with tears. She would never catch him now. What if he never came back?
[01:49] <Yanmei> [She leaned there for a long time before she was able to resume the search, but by then he was long gone. A tired, miserable violet-haired pilot emerged on the other side of the park, swept the streets nearby as well as she could, limping slightly. The sky grew dusky and then dark. She grew exhausted. Until finally, defeated, she hailed a cab.]-
[01:52] <Yanmei> She struggled at the door of the resort, trying to muster a smile for show. In the end, she only managed a neutral expression and a quick pace as she beeline for her room, opened and closed the door behind her, and sank onto a bed. The lights were still off, but that was fine. She just… wanted to rest here, in the dark.]
[01:54] <Isaiah> [And so Yanmei would fall into a bed. Soft, restful…-
[01:55] <Isaiah> A sniffle. Right next to her. Unseen in her haste- a little shape- the shape of a boy- curled up in the same bed she was in.
[01:58] <Yanmei> "…I-Isaiah? Is that you?" She was stunned… stupid with exhaustion and surprise.
[02:01] <Isaiah> "Y-Yanmei…" Mumbled the boy. His tone was tired and miserable- and it was obvious that he'd been crying.
[02:04] <Yanmei> "You came back." Her own voice sounded shakey in the darkness. The was a pause as she swallowed a few times, trying to get it going again. "T-th-thank goodness. I d-didn't think you'd…"
[02:07] <Isaiah> "Y-Y-Yan…" Sniffle. "Y-Yan…!" Isaiah started to sob. "I-I…"
[02:11] <Yanmei> Quieter hitched breaths from her side of the bed. "It's m-my fault. It's all my fault!"
[02:14] <Isaiah> "N-No, Yanmei… It- it was me…" Isaiah rolled over, stared at her- the tears flowed. "I-It was my fault…"
[02:20] * Yanmei drew closer. It was embarrassing to be seen or… heard like this. But since it was Isaiah, it was okay. Did he forgive her, though? Her chest was heavy with the feeling of anxiety
[02:22] * Isaiah reached a hand out, desperately trying to find her's. "P-Please forgive me…"
[02:23] <Yanmei> Sensing movement, Yanmei reached out too. "Yes. Y-yes! Only if you forgive me too."
[02:25] * Isaiah grabbed her hand. Grabbed it tight. "O-Of course! A-Always, everything…"
[02:29] <Yanmei> Relief. She smiled through her tears, and squeezed his hand. He was still here!
[02:31] * Isaiah pulled. He wanted her close- close, because of how hard he had pushed her away. "Did-D-did you mean… W-what you said…?"
[02:33] <Yanmei> "Of course." She flushed a little. "N-no boyfriend can compare to you!"
[02:36] * Isaiah pulled her, hugged her- clung to her. He loved her so much- how could he have hurt her so much…? "N-No one… C-Could be better t-than you… Y-You're p-perfect…"
[02:39] <Yanmei> "I'm n-not." She laughed a little. "I-I'm not even close. But th-thank you."
[02:40] <Isaiah> "Y-you are." Isaiah was sobbing again.
[02:43] * Yanmei … just held him. Strange how happy she was just to be weeping along with him.
[02:46] <Isaiah> How this happiness had been born from such a terrible, angry event… Isaiah held her, too.-
[02:46] <Isaiah> "Y-Yanmei…?"
[02:46] <Yanmei> "Y-yes?"
[02:49] <Isaiah> "I… I-I c-can't… Ask you to b-be like… Like -that- w-with me anymore." He murmured. "B-But e-even if w-we're… N-Not l-lovers, like that… W-Will I s-still be a s-special person to you? W-Will you s-still love me…?"
[02:50] <Yanmei> "Always!" She clung harder, choking up. "A-always, Isaiah. I'll always love you."
[02:52] <Isaiah> What more could he ask for? He clung back. Tightly- together. Letting that absolute territory- their absolute territories- become a little less absolute.

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