He Said So What Do I Grow Up Into

[13:44] <Aline> The mall. Aline knew the mall pretty well, in more ways than she may even have wanted to admit, but… She had a guest. A new friend, as it were, and… well, she had asked what he might like, and he answered! So time would see the two of them arriving in front of a game store! "Well, here it is…!"
[13:50] <@Nicholas‘> "Ah…!" Nicholas stared inside. It was a relatively quiet day (of course), so the store was only sparsely populated. "Thanks for bringing me here! I’ve wanted to come for ages…"
[13:55] * Aline smiled widely. "Now, just remember… if you got an allowance, that'd be good - I could possibly grab something, but I don't want to get anything too expensive, of course!" But… a glance over to him, as she started to lead him in. "Must not get a lot of time from your mom to go here, huh?"
[13:57] <@Nicholas‘> "Not really." Said Nicholas. "She works a lot. My big sister used to take me lots of times, but…"
[13:58] * Aline halfway seemed like she was bracing for something. "Oh? Well, that’s nice of her."
[14:00] <@Nicholas‘> "Yeah." Said Nicholas, looking up and smiling at Aline. "Um, I don’t have any allowance, but… I've been saving-"-
[14:01] <@Nicholas‘> He pulled his bag around, zipped it open and pulled out a plastic 00 head. There was a little cap in the bottom, and a coin slot in the back of the head.
[14:06] <Aline> "Ah, a bank, good there. We’ll see about it, then, huh? Come on." So, with a happy demeanor, she headed in~
[14:09] * @Nicholas‘ followed in! "We don’t have anything too special. Actually our stuff is pretty old."
[14:14] * Aline walked in as well, sort of hovering around the kid like… like a slightly-protective parent, though she made sure to give him some room, too. "Well, I happen to like some older games anyway, so I think I might know a few things that'll work with your stuff." A smile, though. "Didn't expect to see a young gamer around here, really~ I guess I just forgot that it's not just teenagers
[14:14] * Aline like me that play them."
[14:15] <@Nicholas‘> "You play too, huh?"
[14:20] <Aline> "Uh-huh." Aline confirmed, as she grabbed a few titles to peer at them with a new eye. Some from her library, some she read about. With the changes from 2I, the European market was actually better off than the American one now, so the selection was actually pretty darn good. "I’ve been trying to dig through a list of classics, and… heh, part of my Christmas gift was /particularly/
[14:20] <Aline> interesting. I have a boyfriend in Japan, so I've been learning the language… and now I get to play stuff we won't ever see released in France, 'cause I know what they're saying. So yes, I play~"
[14:25] <@Nicholas‘> "Huh." He peeeeeered up at some of the titles on tiptoes. He really was short. "Japan? That’s far away, right?"
[14:35] * Aline nodded, and pulled a few down to show him. "Oh yeah, but it's still a flight away. We talk a bit and stuff, and met all the way back after the first attack… sorta. I talked to him with emails for a while, actually."
[14:36] <@Nicholas‘> "Do you get lonely?"
[14:44] * Aline didn’t even hesitate to answer. "Oh, definitely. Then there was the time where he got kidnapped…"
[14:44] <@Nicholas‘> "K-Kidnapped…?!"
[14:48] * Aline realized that maybe, just maybe, she should be a bit more subtle. But… she did frown. "Yeah, see… NERV had made him a pilot a few months back, actually - so he works Tokyo-2’s defense - and I think some of the people fighting us thought that while he and his Eva were being shipped there'd be a good time to go after him. But we got him back, so that's good. But yeah, it… it
[14:48] * Aline hurt. I'm not afraid to say that I've gone through some bad stuff."
[14:54] <@Nicholas‘> "…" Nicholas frowned, staring at the games in front of him as he digested that. "It’s pretty scary being a pilot. With people you like being kidnapped and having to fight things…"
[14:58] <Aline> "Yeah. The exchange is that you get a chance to do really important things, and be…" Aline smiled, showing him a selection of action games (simpler ones, age-appropriate). "…Something impossible."
[14:59] * @Nicholas‘ peered at the action games, flipping through them one at a time. "Something impossible? Like a superhero?"
[15:10] <Aline> "Well…" Aline trailed off. "Sort of. You ever see anything about what 00 can do? What the Angels - y’know, the aliens - can do? Video on the news, or something like that?"
[15:12] <@Nicholas‘> "Um…" He scratched his head. "Some of them have laser beams? Or fly? Or teleport and stuff…"
[15:17] * Aline giggled. "Ehe, right. Now, keep that in mind… you ever hear the phrase, ’AT Field'?" …Being /so/ deep inside the truth, Aline didn't know what others knew.
[15:18] <@Nicholas‘> "Erm." He shrugged cluelessly.
[15:20] <Aline> "Ah, not surprised." As he picked out games, Aline would pare down the list. "It’s something special, it's new, kinda weird science. A lot of the really weird stuff they do… is based on it. Evas, too. It's… a thing that makes living beings stay themselves, like…" Then a wide grin. "Like a soul."
[15:22] <@Nicholas‘> "Like a soul?" The boy blinked, and frowned a little. "I-Isn’t that like… A special thing you have that you shouldn't sell to the devil?"
[15:26] * Aline continued to smile. "Sorta! They say that because that's the sort of thing that makes you, you. It's… even beyond your brain. It's hard to understand, some. But… We have them, you and me. The Angels have them - even the Evas do. It's just that, and I don't really know why, but those two kinds of things have more powerful ones. And apparently, when they're strong enough… they
[15:26] * Aline can start to change the world. That's how they fly, and shoot beams, and stuff. I've made 00 do things like making portals and making a shield that can stop an N2 mine with its AT Field. That's… that's the impossible stuff. It literally changes the rules. You could eventually do anything."
[15:31] <@Nicholas‘> "… Huh." He peered back up at Aline. "So it’s sort of like being god."
[15:34] * Aline smiled, almost goofily. "…It's not /that/ easy. But in a way… yes. I can see what I can do with that, and that makes me fight through all the scary stuff. Because they gave me the chance to be that."
[15:36] * @Nicholas‘ looked back towards the games. "Seems like a lot of trouble."
[15:38] <Aline> "Yeah, I guess it is." She pointed at one of the games. "…Oh, that one’s really good." But then, sighed. "I probably wouldn't have even thought of that kind of thing if it wasn't 'given' to me."
[15:39] <@Nicholas‘> "Huh?" He peered at the game, taking it from the pile. "Someone gave this to you?" It was about an ACTION SABRE CAT.
[15:41] * Aline blinked. "Oh, sorry, I was switching topics. I meant the whole god thing. I actually started one of the earlier games in that series myself~"
[15:45] <@Nicholas`> "Ohhh." The boy stared at the game, then started rifling through the games looking for an earlier one in the series. "Someone gave you god? I thought God was all around us and everything."
[15:46] * Aline frowned, realizing she had to… talk more clearly. "No, I mean how you said the AT Field powers were like being god. Sorry, I’m… not used to talking like this."
[15:47] <@Nicholas‘> "Oh!" He frowned, then nodded. "So someone gave you AT Fields."
[15:49] <Aline> "Yeah! By letting me pilot 00, I can use a stronger one - so I can do those things and learn about them. Since then, while I’ve been through a lot of scary things, again…" Aline pointed at the title she started that series with - actually, the first one - while she continued. "My life's been getting weirder and weirder in other ways too. The other pilots don't even have it the same
[15:49] <Aline> way…"
[15:52] <@Nicholas‘> "Ah, thanks." He grabbed it. "Weirder and weirder?" He looked up at her. "Have you been stalked?" There was a stern look on his face.
[15:55] * Aline tip-tapped a finger against her lip, thinking about that. "Oh, no. no. I mean like… all those weird ’magic'-like things, kind of like what I just finished talking about, happen to me more. The kinds of stuff you'd think came from a comic book, not real life. Did you know that I've 'talked' to some of the Angels?"
[16:03] <@Nicholas‘> "Yeah? Did you tell them to go away?"
[16:05] * Aline actually reached out and patted him on the head. "Not that easy. I actually tried to tell them to stop, at first. But they’re all so… well, strange. One was so angry and sad… another, doesn't really even know how people feel - he was a bit creepy that way. The third… eeesh, REALLY mad. Couldn't really even talk to him - kinda like a bully at school, even if they were a nice
[16:05] * Aline person to someone else, they're so busy being mean that you can't say a thing."
[16:08] <@Nicholas‘> "They’re… All strange." He looks down at the game in his hand. "They're all evil."
[16:09] <Aline> "That's the thing. They think we're evil too, you know."
[16:10] <@Nicholas‘> "But we’re not."
[16:10] <@Nicholas‘> "… Mostly…"
[16:11] * Aline nodded. "Yeah. That’s what I meant when I talked about all that war stuff. It's… terrible. People, some good, some bad… and they're stuck fighting each other. Because there's still evil people to stop, but it's too big for us to control."
[16:16] <@Nicholas‘> "…" Nicholas was still. "Why are there evil people? Why can’t we stop them?"
[16:20] * Aline shook her head. "They want things, just like us. They just either haven't learned that they need to think of other people's wants too, forget their lessons about that… or they don't care. Some of them even think they're doing good, because they don't know any better!" While she was in a ssort of lecture-mode, Aline was also a but upset-sounding. "But it's so hard because some of
[16:20] * Aline them are hard to tell apart from the good people, some of them aren't /all/ evil… and some of them are just too hard to get at right away."
[16:23] <@Nicholas‘> "So…" He frowned. "Does that mean we could be evil?"
[16:25] <Aline> "I don’t know. Usually… you look and see if people start thinking what you're doing is wrong. Not like just people who are mean and don't like you, but if… the whole world just stood up and said you were doing the wrong thing, then I might wonder." But she smiled. "I think we're still good, though. We have people who love us and mean it, so that means it's still alright."
[16:26] * @Nicholas‘ nodded. "Do you think that’s why the Angels are evil? Because they don't have anyone who love them?"
[16:28] <Aline> "…Maybe. There's not that many of them. They're… lonely. Sometimes you get really mad and sad when you're lonely, and…" Aline swallowed, trying to keep her face looking relatively emotionally-neutral. "…Sometimes you hurt yourself, cut away the parts that are good because of how bad you feel. That might've happened."
[16:32] <@Nicholas‘> "That’s…" He frowns at his feet, trying to process it all. "Like if a person who's really smart tries to pretend to be an idiot?"
[16:36] <Aline> "Yeah. Or like… I remember, when I was your age…" Aline /went back/. "A bunch of people used to call me names a lot. Thought because I had glasses and lived in one of the better apartments, that I was some snobby rich kid that didn't do anything right. There was a day when I actually told my dad that I thought I was a bad kid because I didn't know how to be like the other kids that
[16:36] <Aline> had it harder. He… he said that I shouldn't stop being myself, just because other people don't like that. I'll be a better person than they'll ever be if I remember that." A smile, as if to punctuate a sad tale with a happier ending. "That's what I meant."
[16:41] <@Nicholas‘> "Ohhhhh." He nodded. "My dad says the same thing. My big sis does too. They said, it isn’t good to lie to yourself, because you need to trust yourself before you can trust others…"
[16:41] <Aline> "Yeah!" She actually decided to ruffle his hair. She almost never did that.
[16:44] <@Nicholas‘> "Ah~" He peered up at her, blushing a little, but he was smiling. Which was good! "Hey, Aline?"
[16:45] * Aline looked down, to match. "Yeah, Nick?"
[16:49] * @Nicholas` took the 00 bank and uncorked it, shaking it up and down. The contents rained out into his hand- about 11 francs. The game cost about 15…
[16:51] * Aline quickly took out a 5-franc coin and put it in his palm. "Keep the change, okay? I get a pretty big allowance for being a pilot, so 5 francs won’t be missed. That'd be like, 100 shotgun shells, and I already have so many I don't know what to do with them!"… A sudden giggle. "Don't let your mom know you know how much shotgun shells go for, okay? She'd probably get mad at both of
[16:51] * Aline us~"
[17:03] <@Nicholas‘> "Hahaha, ok." He giggled, and stood up. "You’re really smart, Aline."
[17:05] <Aline> "Aww, thanks~" She made sure to come with him to the counter, though~
[17:07] <@Nicholas‘> A few minutes later, Nicholas was the owner of a new game~ The boy gave Aline a hug. "Thanks for helping."
[17:08] * Aline actually hugged him back, /strongly/ resisting the urge to pick him up. "You’re welcome! It's what I should do, and you're a nice kid."
[17:08] <@Nicholas‘> "Eee." He smiled up at her. "Aline? Is there anything you want?"
[17:26] * Aline seemed genuinely surprised at being asked that, actually. "Oh! I… uh… I don’t think so? I'm actually pretty set."
[17:27] <@Nicholas‘> "Nothing?" He blinked. "Not a new game? New clothes, toys? Bedsheets, or curtains or computers or books or anything?"
[17:28] <Aline> "I got /tons/ for christmas. …Fans. I already have this long list of things I want to catch up with, I haven’t even finished half of the games I got then!"
[17:30] <@Nicholas‘> "I could help you!"
[17:31] * Aline paused… and then giggled openly. "I bet you would! But nooo, I wanna experience them for myself! You can maybe borrow some after I’m done with them, though~"
[17:39] <@Nicholas‘> "Hahaha, ok." He giggled. "Aline, you don’t have any brothers or sisters, do you?"
[17:41] <Aline> "Oh! None at all. But my mom's actually going to have a baby in a few months~"
[17:42] <@Nicholas‘> "Yeah?" Wide eyes. "Boy or girl?!"
[17:42] * Aline had a surprised face. "They told me back when it was too early to tell, actually!"
[17:43] <@Nicholas`> "What do you hope it’ll be?"
[17:44] <Aline> "Mmm, probably a girl, that way I could teach her a bit more from my life - as you know, there's things boys should do that girls don't, and girls should do that boys don't~"
[17:45] <@Nicholas‘> "Girls are weird." Said Nicholas.
[17:52] * Aline smirked. "Says the boy~"
[17:53] <@Nicholas`> "What? They are!" Said Nicholas. "Girls and boys are totally different."
[17:54] * Aline wagged a finger. "Ah, but does that make them weird, or just different?"
[17:54] <@Nicholas`> "Different -and- weird."
[17:55] * Aline made a little pout. "I don’t think /you're/ weird."
[17:55] <@Nicholas‘> "Yeah, but you’re Aline."
[17:57] <Aline> "…What's that change?"
[17:58] <@Nicholas‘> "Well, you’re all grown up and cool and stuff."
[17:59] * Aline smiled a little. "But doesn't everyone grow up eventually? And… really? I'm only 16."
[17:59] <@Nicholas‘> "Well, yeah, but I’m only 6."
[18:01] <Aline> "That's truuue." Aline nodded at that. "I guess everything feels different to different people, right?"
[18:02] <@Nicholas‘> "Right." He nodded. "So what should boys do that girls don’t?"
[18:04] * Aline wrung her hands together a little. "Well, lots of girls get looked at funny if they're really into fighting-ey toys at about your age, and they're expected to not wear as much boy clothes like pants or things. So, playing with war toys and wearing pants or the like is a boy thing? Once people grow up they're allowed to do other things a bit more, though. But of course then they
[18:04] * Aline have to do /work/."
[18:05] <@Nicholas‘> "/Work/." Said Nicholas dubiously. "But if a girl wanted to play with fightingey toys or play war it’d be ok, right?"
[18:07] <Aline> "It should be! But lots of moms and dads want their girls to be, well. Girly. And boys, boyish. But if you're normal enough, the other 'side' would look pretty weird! Like I don't think you're that thrilled with those fancy baby dolls they sell?"
[18:08] <@Nicholas‘> "I’m a -little- curious to how they work, but only a little."
[18:09] * Aline nodded. "Uh-huh, I'm old enough to not really want them now, so I'm probably behind on that~" But a nod. "Yeah, that's one of the things. One person's normal could be another's weird!"
[18:12] <@Nicholas‘> "So… Girls think I’m weird." He narrowed his eyes. "I knew it."
[18:12] <Aline> "Probably only 6-year-old girls. There's a lot you learn about other people when you get older." Smile, smile.
[18:15] <@Nicholas‘> "Oh?"
[18:18] <Aline> "Yeah. A lot of it is just having more time to watch. And… people change when they grow up, a lot. I mean…" Aline counted out on her fingers. "Babies change a lot to get to how old you are, then people keep changing! Once they get about 20 or so, things change slower. Then ’round 40 or so they get oooollld. So right now, you've got lots of growing left to do, and so do those girls that
[18:18] <Aline> might think you're weird."
[18:20] <@Nicholas‘> "Huh…" He frowned in thought. "I -see-. So when they grow up they’ll be like you!"
[18:21] * Aline giggled at that, too. It was fun to explain this. "Well, not always. I, well I make sure to know lots of people. They might grow up to be like Yanmei, or might grow up to be like your big sis."
[18:23] <@Nicholas‘> "Huh…" He rubbed his chin. "So what do I grow up into?"
[18:25] * Aline smiled more. "Too early to tell~ You should try to be smart and good, though. Then you’ll find out what you /want/ to be, that way. Being smart's useful that way."
[18:26] <@Nicholas‘> "Haha, ok! So I’ll try to be like you."
[18:26] <Aline> "If that's what you want~"
[18:27] <@Nicholas‘> "Ok~" He turned to look at a different store. "Aline, is it ok if we get a milkshake?"
[18:31] * Aline …blinked, as if she was suddenly reminded of something strange. "…Yeah, sure. But not a big one for you, I wouldn’t want your mom to… get… mad." Such a weird, distant tone.
[18:33] * @Nicholas‘ blinked. "Everything ok? Don’t you like milkshakes? If you don't we can get a coke from Roman Pizza."
[18:33] * Aline shook her head. "You just reminded me of something weird, is all. I'm okay with a milkshake."
[18:33] <@Nicholas‘> "Hehehe, ok!"
[18:39] * Aline reached down to take his hand, as if she were a big sister escorting him to the milkshake place. But in the distance, she sometimes looked about weirdly. Eyes sometimes trailed to a jewelry store, or where she knew the public restrooms were. It didn’t look like paranoia. It felt more like… a sense of almost melancholic deja vu. Nobody else would understand, she thought. It was
[18:39] * Aline a memory that cherished someone normal people thought was evil…

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License