He Said You Can T Bear Everyone S Problems

[16:37] * Aline had ended up out of breath after that. And scared. Hyperventilating, at a few moments. After taking the elevator and ducking through halls and going up and down the stairs then taking the elevator /again/? Anyone would be out of breath. It was a sweaty, panicked Aline that ended up unlocking the door to their hotel room. And on top of that, not even saying anything until /after/
[16:37] * Aline she locked the door and engaged the little chain lock and actually even trudged into the main part of the hotel room to drag her suitcase in front of the door. Then, /then/, the girl finally exchanged a breathless "H-hi, Shinji."
[16:41] * Ikari‘Shinji was wearing a white collared shirt and black trousers; he was sitting on one of the couches. As Aline entered he stood up, smiling a little. "Hi…"
[16:44] * Aline breathed heavily, again, wiping her brow. "S-s-s-sorry for turning up in such a mess… Yanmei wanted to give us presents, but then she got really angry…" She did gesture at one of the two bags she brought. "I think I’m just being paranoid by now, but it got really scary…"
[16:46] * Ikari‘Shinji walked over to her, gently taking the bags and putting them aside… Before putting his arms around Aline and pulling her in close. "What happened?"
[16:49] * Aline clung tight as soon as he did that. "I… she… I did something stupid while talking to her. She had given me something nice and thoughtful, but she… spoke your name so angrily and gave you something pretty lame, and I got upset and asked her if it wasn’t just that she hated your family now, and then it got so much worse because then I blamed her for things and yelled and thought
[16:49] * Aline and… I don't even understand what I was doing anymore. It just happened and we talked and it became us cursing each other and… I almost thought she was going to kill me, but I think she was just storming out of the hotel…"
[16:53] <Ikari‘Shinji> "It’s alright." Said Shinji quietly. He stroked Aline's hair tenderly- like he always did. "I… I understand, alright? You're safe now." He tried to gently guide her towards the sofa. "I won't let anything bad happen…'
[16:55] * Aline nodded, slowly letting him guide her. "I should've stayed quiet. My… my willpower isn't strong enough. I couldn't keep my own self together. I couldn't keep myself from yelling at her. I've… probably hurt you already, I can't… Ugh. I thought being free and talking about things and stuff would have kept me happy. But it doesn't matter."
[16:57] * Ikari‘Shinji reached the sofa, sitting down and gently pulling Aline down with him. "It’s alright." He said quietly. "L-Listen. It's just… We've all been through a bit of a rough patch recently." He mumbled. "So… Little fights aren't surprising. You shouldn't feel so hopeless…"
[17:01] <Aline> "R-r-right. I'm sorry. I'm… sorry. I've been cruel and wrong… I… haven't… I you… er…" She was tripping all the /hell/ over her words. "I feel hopeless because I've been making everything worse since this first started. I'm afraid. I'm afraid of it."
[17:08] * Ikari‘Shinji held her, kissed her deeply. His blue eyes- the eyes of a boy who trusted and loved her wholly, without hesitation or pause- stared into hers. "It’s in your nature to want to help, Aline." He said gently. "That doesn't make you a bad person. Alright? You just… Please don't lose heart." He pleaded, looking away.
[17:19] * Aline stared back, but it wavered. Her eyes quivered and couldn't focus. "It d-d-does. I… I… I tried my best with your mother, with Yanmei, but… Shinji, I… can't keep hiding this. I did a terrible, horrible thing, and I did it feeling in a way that I doubt you would have. I'm weird too, and I…" She took a deep breath. "Wh-when I was recovering, Kaworu Nagisa came to the room,
[17:19] * Aline and we talked and then I… I don't know what happened, I felt… relieved that someone could understand me, too. You do, but I was weak-willed and pathetic and I… we did… those… kinds of things. I'm a terrible person. I love you and was so stupid that I thought I could just ignore how the world worked and take someone else's comfort and still love you like nothing was wrong. I… I
[17:19] * Aline just can't lie to you. I can't. You've been through enough. I'm hurting you. It'd hurt even more if I didn't, but it's still… so horrible." She was biting back her sadness, so rather than just belting out with sobs, Aline was shaking and teary-eyed and curling up into a ball. This was seriously weaker than what she was /actually feeling/.
[17:28] <Ikari‘Shinji> Shinji’s caring, loving face… Melted away. It was replaced with something else. Hurt. Deep, -deep- hurt. He tried to speak- nothing came out. He let go of her, stood up.-
[17:28] <Ikari‘Shinji> "W-w-w-" He swallowed. His frame started to tremble.
[17:33] * Aline almost instantly blurted out words. Where his couldn’t flow, hers were /too/ easy. Coherence was actually slightly sacrificed. "So… so stupid. I'm… an idiot. I didn't know how to act, I… easily swayed, weak, weak and stupid and the words were too much and then it happened so fast and I felt insane and I feel insane and I'm terrible and… please…" She buried her own face in
[17:33] * Aline the bed. "I don't know why! I don't know! I can't even comprehend it! I'm not even doing anything that makes sense any more! I'm not worthy of anything anymore… I'm killing the world, one friend at a time. Killing them all and I can't stop myself."
[17:42] <Ikari‘Shinji> "…" He stopped trembling. Slowly, his head lifted, staring at the wall. "… Weak." He said. "I’m… So weak. Nothing I do seems to change a thing." His words were quiet, but full of anger. "Weak, not good enough- I've heard it all. Even as a little boy I could see that my father didn't really care for me." He walked towards the kitchen. "And then… You came into my life, and I fell in love, and it was all so passive and one-sided. I just sat back and let it happen, too afraid that if I did anything it'd vanish, so even then I was too weak to seize it. You had to do everything."-
[17:47] <Ikari‘Shinji> "And then I-I was… I was too weak to fix myself." Murmured Shinji. "I needed to rely on you to make me even worth loving. And you know… It… it started to work. I felt myself becoming a little stronger, maybe." He stopped at the kitchen bench. His hands rested on a chair. "… Then -Rei-… Rei…" Shinji trembled a little, his hands quivering… "She died right in front of my eyes and I couldn’t do anything to stop it. My little sister- didn't… She didn't h-hurt anyone in the world, and I-I couldn't stop that injustice, b-because I was just… Shinji, just the weak child. And… A-And when father told me to pilot, even though I didn't want to, I said yes, because… B-because I felt maybe it wouldn't matter if I were weak, so long as I did what I was told. I knew I'd be able to rely on you."-
[17:52] <Ikari‘Shinji> "T-Then I got taken." His hands stopped trembling, clutching the chair so tightly his knuckles went white. "A-And I had things put into my head. Things that never left. Parts of someone else were put into me. A-And that person, he was strong, b-but he wasn’t… Anything like me, and I rejected him." Shinji was standing stock still now. "And then my mother… -Completely- betrays my sister's memory, and takes her body and turns it into a -weapon-. And… A-and tries to treat that weapon as her own daughter." His voice was ice cold, now. "And… Even then I couldn't hate her for it. Because she's my -mother-. And… And when that awful imbecilic waste of breath tried to hurt her… I wanted to kill him." Said Shinji angrily.-
[17:53] <Ikari‘Shinji> "Throughout it all you were the only person I could rely on!" Said Shinji furiously, his voice starting to rise. "You were the person I -knew- would be there at the very end of the day, but it seems I’m -still- too weak to protect you! I'm still too weak to make you happy, or give you the love you need! I'm never enough! I'm never, ever, -ever- enough." Shinji grabbed the chair, and with a single furious swing, swung it into the wall- hard enough to dent the plaster and shatter the legs.-
[17:53] <Ikari‘Shinji> "Well I’ve had -enough- of taking that sort of bullshit from this world."
[18:14] * Aline shook her head violently, shuddering in fear. "N-n-not you. Not even… that. I… was taken in with words. I let myself believe I could love two people because a second one pursued me and took advantage of the time when I was the most hurt and confused. But I… was wrong. You didn't fail at anything, Shinji. I did. I was going to come here, before that, and try to make everything
[18:14] * Aline better and then I failed you." She was… still really sad-sounding, though. "It doesn't matter if you don't believe me anymore, it's just that I… never stopped loving you or needing /your/ love. I was dizzy and confused and worried and shocked the whole time it happened. I… I'm…" She took heavy breaths again. "I'm not a good person. Even if I'm… just, even if I care and love and
[18:14] * Aline want the best, I'm still broken inside. I'm crazy enough to make Yanmei hate every good thing I say, just because I'm saying it and I can't understand her well enough to say it the way she'd understand. I'm messed up enough to be terrified about what'd happen to me when the alternative is holding back the truth about the end of the world. We're… not that different in how strong we are.
[18:14] * Aline You only looked so weak because you didn't get your reason to be strong until late. I only looked so strong because I got complacent and thought the worst was over. We're actually both so helpless, and yet so capable of no longer being that. I just… I just became weak in a way that hurt your trust. Even if you couldn't keep someone from /turning/ you into a monster back when they took
[18:14] * Aline you…" Aline's voice cracked as she got to this last sentence. "I'm the one that… let myself become one all on my own."
[18:22] <Ikari‘Shinji> "STOP BLAMING YOURSELF!" Roared Shinji. Tears started to pour from his eyes- but it didn’t stop him from rushing across the room. He grabbed Aline's shoulders and pinned her down against the sofa- hard, painfully so. "YOU ARE -ALWAYS- BLAMING YOURSELF! FOR EVERY THING THAT GOES WRONG! CAN'T YOU SEE HOW STUPID AND ARROGANT THAT IS?! EVERY TIME SOMETHING GOES WRONG YOU FEEL LIKE YOU SHOULD'VE PREVENTED IT! NOT EVERYTHING IS BECAUSE YOU FUCKED UP!" His eyes were simmering with anger.
[18:26] * Aline was /flat out shocked/! She opened her mouth to say something, but all that came out were a string of disjoint syllables. She didn't even resist. She didn't even move.
[18:35] * Ikari‘Shinji shifted his hands, putting them around her neck. "How -dare- you." He spat. "You… You’re smarter than me, and stronger than me, and your heart's bigger than mine, and your goals are grander, a-and… You're more -together- than I am, you know how I live and what I want…" His grip tightened. "You're better than me in every way, but you never ever let anyone else bear their burden. You are -always- trying to help people- how can you do that?! It's killing you, every-" his grip tightened more. "Time you -try-, but you keep doing it… You never let them bear the problems they should bare alone. T-That's… Not fair, Aline! It's not fair to yourself! You -can't- bear everyone's problems! Because this is what -happens-!"
[18:39] * Aline finally spoke. Finally gasped out words. Given the chokehold… that's what she /had/ to do to speak. "Wh…at… should I do… instead…" Despite the entire situation, despite how /amazingly/ fucked up everything was, she was… actually not panicking? Still crying. Still sounding in despair, but… not actually acting afraid.
[18:43] <Ikari‘Shinji> For a second it seemed as though the grip would tighten even further, and that he’d never let go…-
[18:47] <Ikari‘Shinji> But suddenly his hands came loose, and he collapsed to his knees, his head falling forth onto the couch, at Aline’s side. He -sobbed-, heavily and hard, his entire body shaking. His right hand drifted off the side of the couch, his left remained shaking and clammy on Aline's chest. "I-I don't know…" He gasped out. "B-But you… You c-can't -do- this. Y-You c-can't d-do it to me. I-I w-won't let you -rip- yourself apart." He choked a little on the tears. "S-Sometimes, p-people… Y-You can't help them u-unless they want it."
[18:56] * Aline instantly tried to get her breath back, in quick pained gasps. "I'll… h… have to remember… that. I didn't mean to… do that. All of that. I don't even know what to apologize for… D-doing that, the… the blaming for everything thing… was wrong, but if I… then that… God, this is confusing. I'll… I'll not do either of those things again, though. Th-that is, betraying
[18:56] * Aline you, or… taking on responsibility for everything. It'll be hard to do that second one, though. I'm going to need a lot of help. I don't even…" A long sigh. "I don't even know why I do it."
[18:59] <Ikari‘Shinji> "You should have -told- me."
[19:01] <Aline> "Y… yes." Aline bit her lip. She could no longer comprehend what to say beyond that.
[19:05] * Ikari`Shinji just… He was still crying, still in that painful position. "This -really- hurts." Mumbled Shinji. Nevertheless… A single hand reached up towards her neck and stroked it gently.
[19:06] * Aline culted up tight, and leaned into the stroke. "I know… even if I blame everything on myself… knowing that was why I felt so terrible. I… felt like an empty shell."
[19:08] * Aline took a huge, heavy breath. "Just the /idea/ of hurting you felt disturbing. Inhuman…"
[19:10] <Ikari`Shinji> "I-I didn’t like hurting you either." Said Shinji, almost guiltily. "… You love me, right?"
[19:15] * Aline nodded. "Yes. I never stopped loving you. I just… lost touch with what that even meant. It was stupid of me. Even if we just look at it… objectively, it was just… a bad idea all around to do that."
[19:18] * Ikari‘Shinji nodded shakily. "I… I want to be selfish for a second."
[19:19] * Aline stared off… whether at him, or empty space, it didn’t really matter. "Please do."
[19:19] * Aline was actually smiling when she said that, regardless of the distant stare, actually.
[19:20] <Ikari‘Shinji> "Please… Always… Remember this." He said. "Remember how much it hurt me… W-Whenever you think about someone else, or when they’re trying to seduce you, or whatever, even if they're a hundred times better than I am- it doesn't matter, because they don't -love you- like I do."
[19:24] * Aline took a moment… then nodded. "Yes. I will. Sometimes… sometimes the only way to fix a terrible mistake is to… feel how terrible it actually was, first-hand. This should be my lesson for that, since I'm so obsessed with… making the pain never happen to anyone, I became blind to it." A long, this time not that tortured, sigh. "I'll remember that as long as either of us lives.
[19:24] * Aline I know how much the… thing your mom did hurt, so I… Can I, in exchange, be weird for a second, and ask something befitting that being-weird?"
[19:25] <Ikari‘Shinji> "What is it?"
[19:28] <Aline> "If one of us dies, should we leave it at that? Respect the memory of the one that did? I have my own reason to agree with your feelings about Rei and the clones of her, but… I want to know how you feel about it when it’s not in front of you, terrifying you with how wrong it feels… but when it's in the future, about me, and yourself."
[19:30] <Ikari‘Shinji> "Are… A-Are you saying you want me to think… About cloning you?"
[19:33] * Aline shook her head. "I’m saying that I want you to think about whether you should. I… I've been thinking about it too, and… I want to know so that if, I don't know. If you die, and in my grief I consider doing that… I want to know if you'd actually want me to, or not to. Knowing that I'm honoring your wishes either way would make me happier. The thing with Rei just made me realize
[19:33] * Aline that she never asked for any of it, or even knew enough to know if she wanted to or not. Even these sort of things should have consent, you know? Especially with how much it can be… not actually the same person. Which is… almost too complex to get into, though I could try to explain my logic /there/."
[19:42] <Ikari‘Shinji> "I…" Shinji slowly pulled himself up onto the couch, put his arms around Aline and pulled her a little forward, so that she was essentially resting on his lap. "I don’t know. I…" He sighed. "The girl who lives in Rei's bedroom is not my little sister." Said Shinji. "F-For me, that… Is hard to deal with, because I synchronise with Rei every week. I will never be able to get used to that… So long as she's an Eva." He toyed with Aline's obi. "But… I'm wondering if it'd be any better in the long run if the girl in Gogouki and the girl in that room were one and the same. I… I don't know. I don't want to cheapen a person's… Life, their ambitions or how they lived because we can just bring them back. I-I guess that sounds kind of dumb…"
[19:57] * Aline rested quite soundly on the lap, actually~ "That's… actually entirely my reason. I just explain it with scientific points of view, in a way. At least, some of it." Aline cleared her throat. "To me, it's not even a subject of debate. The girl in that bedroom… is not and never will be your little sister, just from an objective, scientific perspective. We have proof that souls
[19:57] * Aline exist, after all. And Rei's soul… is in your Eva. The true essence of her, is in there." But… she laid back a bit further. "Your mother's grief, and the… things she does for her work, probably made her lose sight of the more emotional part of the problem. To alter a copy of a person's genetics and bring it to life… then to copy an imprint of that person's memories and personality
[19:57] * Aline onto that new body… Is to create something no longer continuous with them. It's an entirely new person who has to start life with the baggage of a prior one. It's… never going to be easy to accept anything that touches a change in what it means to be human - including what it means to die. And… we have good reason to have trouble doing that. It's messy, uncertain, challenges much of
[19:57] * Aline our beliefs, and even stands against the very way we live. In a… sick sense, becoming an Eva's soul feels more right than what those memories have become - because it's a strange, bizarre existence that is no longer humanlike, and after their first grave mistake, they realized it was better not to hurt the living by doing it." Aline had this weird half-frown, half-smile. "It's like some
[19:57] * Aline kind of artificial afterlife. It's disturbing, but we can make /sense/ of what it means to us because it's different. Bringing the dead back like that, thoguh? Doesn't make much sense at all." A short pause. "The deepest tragedy is that, because of your mother's pain, a new, artificial being must live her life surrounded by people she believes she knows, but doesn't. That she remembers
[19:57] * Aline because your little sister did, who won't even comprehend that a strange-looking teenager is claiming to be a 6-year-old girl they once knew. And that she becomes /defined/ by those memories - NERV could have had their pilots, and the girls could've had a life during and after that, filled with the pain of piloting, but the joys we managed to scrape out when we're not at work. Instead, she
[19:57] * Aline has to live up to be someone she isn't, and hated because everyone /knows/ it. An imprint doesn't count. Your meeting with 'Silas' should tell you that much."
[20:11] <Ikari‘Shinji> "…" Shinji bowed his head. And… Rather suddenly he was crying again.
[20:13] * Aline …suddenly twitched. "Oh… oh god what did I remind you of." …And she almost immediately tried to backwards-hug him.
[20:14] <Ikari`Shinji> "N-No, it…" Shinji looked away. "S-She doesn’t… Deserve to live like that. Aline… E-Even if… She feels weird and… She's not my sister, she still expects me to be a big brother to her. It's… It'd be cruel of me to be anything else, right?"
[20:16] * Aline shook her head. "It's… I should talk with her. We both should. Even if you're not literally her brother. She… she's been adopted by your mother, either way. I don't know how I'd even begin to explain it to her, but she needs to have some… idea of what it means to be herself. You shouldn't be /forced/ to be a big brother to her, but she at least needs the help."
[20:19] <Ikari‘Shinji> "Right." Said Shinji quietly, wiping his tears away with a sniffle- although they continued to come. "I… Huhm. I don’t really know what to decide, Aline…"
[20:27] * Aline closed her eyes, humming… just a single note. "Mmm… We should ask her, after we've told her the truth. I don't think… I don't think your mother wants to. It's going to hurt, but she needs to know, too, how painful it is for you to have to sit here, trying to decide on this. There's… something else. This else, I'm not sure what to do about yet, but it's probably twisting how
[20:27] * Aline she thinks, too." Aline sighed again, but her voice wasn't relieved. "When I still had control over those powers, I could sense AT Fields. This is important, because… Ayanami-chan had one. One stronger than a human would. She's… very likely a human-Angel hybrid. That… has to have effects I can't even begin to conceive of, on how she thinks."
[20:35] <Ikari‘Shinji> "A… A hybrid-?!"
[20:39] * Aline nodded. "…Yes. That’s my guess, because that field can't be explained by a situation like mine - the number of Angels that have ever lived in the world can be counted on our fingers and toes anyway. It's… again, much, so much of this is disturbing. It brings itself so close to humanity, that it threatens what we /are/. It's just worse because your sister is caught in the middle!
[20:39] * Aline I…" Aline shook her head. "I can think of the science behind it, a bit like Yui herself can. But I… think of the problems in it, just like anyone else can. It's just… not how we should do things."
[20:40] <Ikari‘Shinji> "Y… You’re right."
[20:42] <Aline> "Yeah. It's preachy, but it's… too much. Too fast. I… don't mean to be the one proclaiming right and wrong all the time. But… you did ask."
[20:43] <Ikari‘Shinji> "I did." Said Shinji quietly. "… That’s why I can't look my mother in the face anymore. I can… Understand her wanting a daughter- her daughter- back, but… But she -weaponised- my little sister."
[20:47] * Aline pursed her lips. "The trouble I have, is thinking of how to even begin to explain why this is wrong to her. Because she… she must have honestly believed it wasn't. None of it was. That the circumstances of this wouldn't bother anyone." But Aline clenched one of her hands tightly… before suddenly gripping Shinji's leg - no longer in the deathgrip the hand was going to perform on
[20:47] * Aline itself, but a far more needy cling. "But they did. They blew us apart."
[20:54] <Ikari‘Shinji> "…" Shinji reached out and… Hesitatingly, as a person might approach an overly hot pan, he tentatively took that hand in his own. He… Still hurt. He’d like to think he didn't, but the breach of trust would take awhile to heal. "… I don't want to feel sorry for her. But I do anyway."
[20:59] <Aline> "It's… natural. I'm always the one believe in giving those who aren't… normal people, a chance. After such a disturbing entry into your life, she doesn't really deserve anything from you, nor you, her. It's my whole wanting-to-help-everybody thing talking, but…" She weakly smiled, squeezing that hand. "…The least we can do is let her know what she's carrying. Then?… Then, if you
[20:59] <Aline> still feel wrong, you may be able to be done then. Your mother might eventually learn. Or she might not. Even if you have to get someone else to get you an apartment or something because you can't take it anymore, you'll have done the right thing."
[21:05] <Ikari‘Shinji> "Right…." Said Shinji quietly, nodding. "Mother…"
[21:08] * Aline looked down. "That’s going to be just as hard as this. If Yanmei or, god forbid, Sera, have talked to her, it'll be even harder."
[21:10] <Ikari‘Shinji> "… Listen." He looked down at her.
[21:17] * Aline stopped. "…Okay. Go ahead." She felt… pretty nervous again.
[21:20] <Ikari`Shinji> "I… Will try to speak to Yanmei soon." He said quietly. "We’ve… Always gotten on ok, so I think I can try to smooth things over there, alright?" He shakily stroked her hair, pushing her fringe back. "A-And I… I'll try to speak to Rei."
[21:23] <Aline> "Th… thanks. I'm more worried because she was… angry at her." Aline leaned into the stroke, again, but didn't do it too… insistently. She could feel his shakes. She knew his fear would be her punishment for a long while. "But… yeah. I'll… Er… yeah." She ended up left with a deep sense of emptiness again. Not because she couldn't live with herself - but because she was just now
[21:23] <Aline> starting to.
[21:26] <Ikari‘Shinji> "You should… Try to relax a little."
[21:28] * Aline took a deep breath. Then another. It was… almost ritualized enough to sound like a slow-motion version of a special breathing exercise. "You’re right. I… should. Ah… neither of us is going to feel better for a while, are we? We can at least try to relax…"
[21:35] <Ikari‘Shinji> "…" Shinji took his own deep breaths, matching Aline’s- before tucking his arms under Aline and standing up- holding her. He… Was stronger than he used to be.
[21:37] * Aline briefly twitched about in surprise, but then… just let out a little bewildered eep! "W-wow, this… this is what you've been learning to do?"
[21:40] <Ikari‘Shinji> "What? Pick you up…?"
[21:41] <Aline> "Yes!… Physical training?… Or did you…" Surprise faded, becoming more… …zen? "…Just learn you were close enough to being capable of that already?"
[21:49] <Ikari`Shinji> "… A-ah, it’s mostly just physical training." He started to walk, still carrying her rather securely.
[21:53] <Aline> "Oh, okay~" Aline did try to remain perfectly still, though! She knew from the time when dad tried to keep a dog that moving objects in one's grasp… tended to leave it quickly.
[22:00] * Ikari‘Shinji carefully carried her through the doorway, narrowly avoiding smacking her on the doorframe. The bedroom… A very pretty room, all told, but they’d hardly had time to pack.-
[22:00] * Ikari‘Shinji settled her onto the bed, quietly.
[22:06] * Aline smiled as she went down, blushing deeply… but then closing her eyes for what was akin to a long blink. When she opened them again, she stared up, still smiling, letting her eyes focus and refocus in great detail. There was the slightest glimmer of tears, still, but… somehow, Aline managed to emphasize her eyes enough that just how… expansive and watery they were became obvious.
[22:14] * Ikari`Shinji sat down next to her. "It’ll take us some time." he said quietly. He wasn't looking at her yet. "… I still love you. But… I'm scared. I know you are too, and I don't mean to scare you, but…"
[22:16] <Aline> "It's… okay." She laid a bit further back, stretching into the matress. "I was almost shocked we hadn't had something to have a big fight over. It sucks that it had to be so… serious, but it… I don't know. It almost makes this feel more real."
[22:17] <Ikari‘Shinji> "Real…?"
[22:19] <Aline> "Mm, like it’s… like we're not somehow perfect or unaware of the world or something like that. A darkness for the light to shine in and actually mean something. It's… almost silly. But it's almsot a relief to me to know that we can live through that."
[22:24] <Ikari‘Shinji> "Ah… Aheh. I see what you mean." Said Shinji, smiling a little. He swung up onto the bed. "… The yukata looks good on you, you know." He said sadly.
[22:27] <Aline> "Aw, thanks. I… I guess I just wanted to wear something different! I… actually realized that most of my Parisian wardrobe is meant for cold weather anyway." She curled her head a bit this way and that, then shifted on the bed. "Our homelands have the exact opposite eternal climates. That’s sort of… funny. Somehow."
[22:34] <Ikari‘Shinji> "It’d be nice if we could find a middle ground." Said Shinji. He rolled over, putting an arm around her… Pausing slightly as he did so. A strange sensation rushed through his veins as he did so. … It was hurt, not surprising. But it was so deeply angry that it made him feel… As though he were experiencing vertigo. Dizzying.
[22:35] * Aline leaned back… further. Almost squirming. "Yeah… Same story for everything…"
[22:37] * Ikari‘Shinji lay there, quietly. Holding her. "…" He reached up and gently stroked her hair, her ear… Her cheek. "Go to sleep for a little bit, ok?"
[22:42] * Aline nodded, shivering a little. "Okay…" She still smiled, but it remained weak all the same, like she knew the sheer /conflict/ raging inside, and she had trouble lying to herself about it.
[22:46] <Ikari`Shinji> "Is there anything I can do to help you sleep?"
[22:54] * Aline thought on that for only a short while, but then… "Knowing that you’re comfortable. I'm not being fluffy or self-sacrificing in that, I mean that I can feel your pain in your hands. If you can't… live with yourself by being that close physically yet, then… take your time. I need to, too, for my own reasons. I'm not sure if it shows up the same way."
[22:55] <Ikari‘Shinji> "Nnn…" Shinji trembled. "I-I want you close, but… You can sense that already, again. I… I’m afraid of hurting you if I pull away."
[22:59] * Aline shook her head slowly, very slowly. "The thing that would hurt me is feeling like I'm twisting the knife in, right now. Like ignoring you or not understanding your wishes. So… if we both say 'I feel terrible because of what I've done or what you've done and it's making this hurt', and then make the compromise of pulling only far enough that it doesn't /burn/? That'd… be right."
[23:02] <Ikari‘Shinji> "… Yeah. You’re right."
[23:05] <Aline> "Mmm. I hope I don't get too… offensive by trying to be that so often."
[23:08] <Ikari‘Shinji> "Mm… I don’t think so. I think it's just who you are."
[23:09] * Aline closed her eyes, trying desperately to slow her breathing… and absently reached over to put her glasses on the end table. "…I guess it is. Too much doubt over what I'm supposed to be, emotionally, I guess."
[23:14] <Ikari‘Shinji> "I… I guess that must be it." Said Shinji, rolling over a little.
[23:15] <Aline> "Yeah…" She let her voice trail off, and breathing slow even further. "…Goodnight, for whenever either of us succeeds at sleeping."
[23:19] <Ikari`Shinji> "…" Shinji reached over. "Goodnight."-
[23:20] <Ikari`Shinji> He kissed her- it was, for what it was worth, a loving, long kiss- before he quietly rolled back over.
[23:21] * Aline certainly returned the kiss, but then… then the silence. Sleep would actually be had in decent time, but this wasn’t fitful sleep. It was sleep brought on by exhaustion on every level imaginable. This is the life she has to lead…
[23:23] * Ikari‘Shinji … Did not find sleep for a very long time.-
[23:24] <Ikari`Shinji> But it wasn’t fitful tossing and turning. It was far colder. Far more methodical. Some part of Shinji's mind that had not been his a few moments ago… Was planning.-
[23:24] <Ikari`Shinji> It was logical and mechanical, and it was -powerful-. Slowly, and surely, it started to siphon away some of the anger and hurt and -blame- had for Aline…-
[23:24] <Ikari`Shinji> And focus it towards a new, far more deserving target.-
[23:24] <Ikari`Shinji> Nagisa Kaworu -had- to pay.

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