For The Lengthly Elevator Ride

[23:29] <Yanmei> [September 14th, 2015. Time trudged on, following the Covenant of Light incidents at St Louis and Paris-2's local malls. For Zhang Yanmei, it had passed especially slowly, having committed herself to bunkering down at NERV HQ, and the hospital itself for all intents and purposes. Today, she was returning from her only glimpse of fresh air in a while]-
[23:32] <Yanmei> Leaning against side of an elevator just past the surface checkpoint, she enjoyed one last glimpse of the sky as she waited for the doors to close.
[23:37] * Aline was outside, at present… She herself had been at HQ a whole lot today… and well, after a moment of grocery shopping, she thought of going back. Maybe she wanted to see Yanmei, or Isaiah… someone. But she was at any rate starting to feel a bit more socially-needy today. So it was perhaps to Yanmei's surprise that Aline nearly /dashed/ into the elevator, through the doors. "Whew.
[23:37] * Aline Would've had to wait 10 minutes or more if I didn't catch this one down."
[23:42] * Yanmei blinked at her a few times, and offered a polite smile. "Oh yeah… I know how that is." There was a certain restless feeling there, hidden beneath the surface. Was this going to be an awkward trip down? She couldn't tell yet.
[23:45] * Aline nodded. "Yeah…" She leaned against the opposite wall, fidgeting a little and even sometimes kicking at the wall - not hard, just… idly.
[23:49] <Yanmei> "…" It was a few minutes before she spoke again. She was frayed and tired. Tired of smiling. But she did so now anyway. "How have you been, Blanc?"
[23:53] * Aline shrugged her shoulders a little at that… "Well… It's been hit or miss. Okay day today… Got out of the hospital for the bullet wound I think 2 days ago - really fast turnaround, thankfully - and… well, you can imagine how Shinji feels." Oddly, Aline didn't seem that overly depressed, though a mention of Shinji did make her look… slightly distantly… down.
[23:54] * Tao has joined #NERVFrance
[23:59] <Yanmei> "I'm glad your leg is okay. They sent me home the day I arrived." She waggled her arm a little - bandages wrapped all the way to her elbow, peeking out from beneath the short sleeved blouse she was wearing. "But there's no real reason for me to stay at home? So here I am. Again." She watched the floor numbers tick by, one by one, mulling on the topic of the Ikaris. "You know…"
Session Time: Wed Jun 15 00:00:00 2011
[00:01] * Aline for her part had a bit less bandaging - just one big one covering the stitched hole. "…Ah. I suppose I can guess what that's like. So…" Aline tilted her head. "Know what?"
[00:03] <Yanmei> "The Ikaris. Shinji and the good doctor. I guess you could say that they're forgiving people."
[00:06] * Aline tilted her head the /other/ way. "…Ah? Forgiving? I guess you're going to have to explain that to me."
[00:12] <Yanmei> "Eh? You've thought about it, haven't you?" She blinked at her again, seemingly surprised. "De Pteres' friend was kidnapped. When we stumbled across Isaiah at the school, he had just been attacked. And then out of all the malls that those guys attacked, they picked one that the Ikaris were visiting." She adjusted her gaze elsewhere, skimming the doors of the elevator. "It wasn't enough to just come after the three pilots alone. You know what they were trying to do, right?"
[00:15] <Yanmei> ^trying to do, right?"
[00:17] * Aline nodded rather swiftly, actually. "It's obvious. They were trying to, if they failed capturing us, demoralize us. To break us by hurting those we loved… they probably also knew that we wouldn't go down as easily… as easily as I used to." She shook her head, and looked regretful at what she was referring to. "But they also underestimated my soul, not just my ability to… …to
[00:17] * Aline kill."
[00:23] <Yanmei> "Did they?" Yanmei continued her blank stare. "They didn't exactly go easy on us? I wonder how things would have gone had we been split up, or if we had been mixed up with a different project group instead of being placed with those three. And to be honest? I'd assumed that they were trying to manipulate us, not demoralize."-
[00:25] <Yanmei> "It's amazing how cooperative people can be if you have a loved one at your mercy." She thought of Isaiah, resting silently in his NERV hospital bed, and her shoulders sank a few degrees. "But I'm no expert on these guys and their motivations? And I don't know what's in your soul, either."
[00:28] * Aline nodded. "…Ah.. right. I forgot, trying to discourage resistance… right. But uh…" She shook her head. "That soul bit was just to say I wasn't about to be demoralized that easily. That them trying to make me stop fighting out of fear would just lead to me destroying them all the harder - because I know we'd be able to make it. Somehow, I knew."
[00:36] <Yanmei> "Interesting," she said, using the same cordial tones that she had started the conversation with earlier. "Even so, I guess… If the Ikaris were different people and if they recognized what had happened and felt the need to blame someone, they might not be so inclined to spend a lot of time with you. I guess that's why I thought they were forgiving? But I'm no expert on them either."
[00:41] * Aline …sort of stared at Yanmei a little, her eyes narrowing. "…You… do realize that it's not just about forgiveness. It's about being somewhat intelligent, right? You let your enemies win, when you shatter your bonds on account of tactics like hurting one's loved ones. They're a family tied deeply to the origins of NERV anyway. They probably know the risks to begin with." She shook
[00:41] * Aline her head, then smiled. "Yan-yan, you have to remember that there are still trusting people in this world."
[00:46] <Yanmei> "Logic and human relationships don't always mix, Blanc. That's something you should remember too." She smiled back. "And would you count yourself among one of the trusting, I wonder~? This was so obviously an inside job that it's a teeny bit sickening."
[00:50] * Aline actually… lost some of that smile again. Her expression became neutral again. "I don't feel like playing that sort of game. I'm a /good/ person. Trust or no trust, that'll remain the same. But…" She sighed. "There is some reason to believe that NERV, its relatives, forebears, what-have-you… may have divisive elements. It would make sense from what I've seen. The question
[00:50] * Aline becomes who, but I think I have a better picture of who to look at suspiciously and who not to."
[00:57] <Yanmei> "Oh?" She returned her eyes to the door. "With something as ethically complex as NERV, you're bound to have a few people around who disagree on how it should be run."
[01:04] * Aline didn't /smile/, but did seem less harsh again. "And more importantly… those elements could be anything from their own operation, to simply… hateful of its path. But again, I am pretty sure where such groups might root from, ideologically." She shook her head. "…NERV, or should I say the NERV that employs us and uses us for the war against the Angels… may well not be the one
[01:04] * Aline actually responsible for this. Nor that 'third front', if you recall." …Aline's voice was rather casual, even though she just mentioned that in a NERV elevator. "It's far too late for me to ask you to trust anyone here but your loved ones, I suppose, but I really think that I can… make this
[01:04] <Aline> *NERV, closer to 'our' side."
[01:14] <Yanmei> "I think you're overestimating how picky I can be?" Her smile sweetened. "There are a lot of people here who I have no choice but to trust regardless of what the circumstances are. A person can't fight an Angel alone. That's just the way it is."
[01:17] * Aline shrugged deeply. "But it's that you have no choice, you see. Tell me, then… Do you trust me? Even…" Aline frowned deeeeeply. "…Even though I'm sorry for how /crazy/ I was on that rooftop, it still makes me think… that the answer is either 'no', or 'I have no choice but to trust you'."
[01:23] <Yanmei> "Of course I trust you. We're in the same boat, after all." She folded her arms, voice catching an airy note or two. "It'd be hard not to with what the three of us have done so far, anyway."
[01:27] * Aline slowly… acknowledged that. Chewed it over, even. "…Alright. About the roof thing… will you, uh, next time… just tell me when I'm starting to say too much? Just tell me when I'm being overbearing about you? Or wrong? Isaiah said that being too direct like that hurts you, right?…"
[01:33] <Yanmei> "Direct?" Yanmei looked puzzled for a moment, catching something that may or may not have been consecending. She very nearly frowned as well. "I'm not entirely sure what you two have talked about? But I thought I did tell you when you were being wrong."
[01:36] * Aline frowned. "…He didn't actually say it that way, that's what I got it as. But… You did, but…" She shook her head deeply. "You told me in a way that made it sound like you believed I was stupid. A way that made me feel like you hated me! I'd… I'd much rather you just said that I was missing the point calmly, then… actually help me get the right answer. But you were so mad at
[01:36] * Aline my mistakes that you didn't…" The frown deepened, actually - it was pretty clear she just honestly meant this.
[01:40] <Yanmei> "So you'd rather I pretend not to be mad when I actually am?" That… made her seem tired somehow. More pretending.
[01:42] * Aline …hit her head against the elevator wall. "Gg, no, I mean I want you to try to actually not get as mad! To at least know that I'm just making a mistake! You pretend /so/ much anyway, it'd be beyond stupid for me to ask you to do that because you'll just feel worse! It's just… I can't know you if you hide the real you - even just the tiny bits that decide between whether I say
[01:42] * Aline something dumb or know what I'm doing - from me, is all…"
[01:50] <Yanmei> "I… think you're asking me to be more frank? But at the same time, you're asking me to play nicer. Is that basically the gist of what you're saying?"
[01:51] <Aline> "Yeah. Like… to try to be more patient with me? I'm going to be like that with you too, but I just… hoped maybe we could make an agreement about it is all."
[01:58] * Yanmei …just sighed. "'Be patient and nice. But be yourself, too.'" She only had herself to blame for Blanc not realizing how contradictory those two statements were. Whatever. "I don't know how much I can promise, but I'll try."
[02:01] * Aline actually picked up on that, if only because Yanmei's words made it clear. "…You must think that impossible. Just… just don't hate me, okay? I can live with you being pissed, I guess. Or…" She drooped. "I don't know. I can just leave you alone then."
[02:07] <Yanmei> "Blanc. Would you please relax for once? Just because you say questionable things sometimes doesn't mean that I hate you for it. How petty do you think I am?"
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[02:08] * Aline leaned back a bit more. "I have no idea. You're so busy hiding that from me anyway."
[02:13] <Yanmei> "What is it with you, anyway?" Yanmei eyed her. "Making strange demands about the way I act."
[02:16] * Aline shrugged her shoulders, but actually smiled a little… then widened the shrug into a full arms-out shrug. "What do you think it is? I'll tell you in a sec, but I'm just curious."
[02:18] <Yanmei> "Maybe you should just tell me? This is just getting confusing."
[02:27] * Aline pouted a bit at that. "Aww, okay. Basically… it's like…" She raised the first finger. "Step one: After things like me freaking out at stuff, Sera being unable to go through a press conference without going near-catatonic, and you being /clearly/ angry at what's going on around you - and really I don't blame you, I /was/ wrong for overstating it the way I did back then - …It
[02:27] * Aline was clear something had to be done. To at least help all of us accept things. And with Asuka breaking down after the fight with Qaphsiel, and Tsubaki being… …Tsubaki… I figured it was time to go ahead with something. So I made 'Project Gemeinschaft' I think after that sync test where I really started searching out clues about the EVA units." She smirked. "The name's just a silly
[02:27] * Aline reference to German just like NERV and GEHIRN and all of that. It was sort of mocking that slightly. But… the project is all about trying to figure out what makes us, all of us, hurt mentally, and try to fix it." Aline raised a second finger. "Step two: I started to put it in motion, and sorta did well I guess in some ways. Asuka seems to be feeling much better now, and I know I at least
[02:27] * Aline got Sera to get out and /do/ stuff during the vacation. So like… yay, things are working." She then frowned. "Step Three: …Tried to turn it onto you. But between not knowing as much about you… and you probably being insulted by the very idea of me trying under that circumstance, it well, failed. Then I got upset and lost control and it got even worse. So we're where we are today
[02:27] * Aline with…" Fourth finger! "Step Four: Trying to at least make some kind of truce. Or to let you know what I'm doing and then back off if you still feel insulted about me trying to help, or… something like that. And admitting my mistakes and trying to use the solution of actually understanding you and /not/ just trusting my judgement right away." Aline took a breath, because that sure took
[02:27] * Aline a while! "…So that's what it is."
[02:36] * Yanmei stared. She stared at her for a very long time. Then, she glared at the elevator's button panel and tapped a button that was closer to their current floor. "You're concerned. You're trying to help. Fine. I -get- that. But why are you so…?"
[02:37] * Aline stared back, starting to look unsure. "…So… so… /what/?"
[02:40] <Yanmei> "Why do you have to treat this like a project? Can't you just say 'let's be friends so we can help each other out'?"
[02:45] * Aline sighed. "Oh… oh god, right, Isaiah said something like that. I'm sorry…" She looked pretty mortified at forgetting that. "Because it's so hard to keep straight in my head otherwise. I… I can't just talk normally and think about it normally and expect everything to go fine. Then I ramble on and on or forget what I'm doing or ignore obvious feelings about everyone… I guess
[02:45] * Aline this makes you feel less human or something… Or like I think you're a thing instead of a friend… I'm… afraid that I won't have anything in common with you /but/ helping you out, too… So I feel like you'd just get bored of me if I didn't really really try to just help you no matter what." She looked at the elevator buttons sadly. "If you want to run away from the crazy girl, I don't
[02:45] * Aline blame you. I probably feel less human than what I'm doing makes you feel, anyway."
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[02:53] <Yanmei> "Thank you for remembering that I'm human," she said dryly. "I don't… want to be dissected, Blanc. Or 'helped' or any of that other stuff. I will accept your truce, though, and acknowledge that I've had my unsensitive moments on the rooftop too."
[02:59] * Aline …just leaned further. She didn't slump, at least. "Fine." She wasn't mortified anymore, but… well. She stared between the buttons and the indicator in the elevator, almost expectantly.
[03:00] * Minaplo|Out is now known as Mina‘Haplo
[03:05] <Yanmei> "I suppose I’m doing the same thing again?" She sighed. "I don't mean to be so dismissive of the things you take an interest in. Truth finding and helping people and all of that. Or rather… I take no pleasure in the fact that doing that causes pain for you. I'm sorry."
[03:13] * Aline looked at the floor. "…Right. It feels like now that I've even done this, though, I won't be allowed to be your friend, because I did something so terribly wrong. I'll… I'll shut up about it around you, then?… do something else, I guess? I just don't know what." She dragged her shoe a bit along the elevator floor. "If we weren't both pilots, but had some other reason to go to
[03:13] * Aline the same school, you probably would've ignored me. You want to be all popular and in charge of the school and I'm just… the strange girl into science who doesn't want those things. Those two kinds of people avoid each other most of the time."
[03:24] <Yanmei> "You think any of that matters?" She actually sounded a bit irritated. Those assumptions again. "Look. Just say it if you're that worried. 'let's be friends'. Not 'I want to fix you'. Not 'I want to understand what makes you tick.' If you can make the distinction between those, then I doubt we'll have a problem?"
[03:32] * Aline shuddered where she stood, looking at the floor indicator again. "I want to be friends. But I'm afraid of it… I'm afraid of you now. It sounds stupid. But that's what I feel now… Let's… try? Something. Y-y-you can still walk away if you want. I'll survive. It'll hurt b-but I'll survive…"
[03:43] <Yanmei> The doors opened with a chime, sliding back to reveal one of a million indistinctive hallways. "I can live with being scary." She stepped forward to block the doors from closing, but then pivoted and extended a handshake. "Let's be good friends, in any case. Do lunch sometime?"
[03:44] * Aline …extended hers back, and shook. Nervously. Very nervously. "…Okay. We can… set up a day and time… later, then."
[03:47] <Yanmei> "For someone who was going on earlier about inner strength and everything?" Yanmei smirked and winked, "You could stand to have some more confidence, Blanc." And with that she stepped backwards into the hallway, letting the doors slide shut between them.
[03:51] * Aline waited for the doors to close… then… sat down in the corner of the elevator, to cry. Not… sob loudly, just cry a little. She had to get it out of her system before she went to… to do something. Maybe she'd… go say hi to the EVAs or something insane like that. She muttered to the empty elevator. "You didn't even get why I said that… I cried for help and you didn't even get why…"

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