I'm Taking Yanmei Back

[03:42] <Dorian> [The entry plug was broken, shattered. All around Yanmei, a wave of heat… EVA-04 was on fire, and the LCL was boiling. She could feel it. And the worst thing was, she couldn't even move her limbs. The pain… The pain had shortcircuited her nervous system. All she could do was hurt.]
[03:45] * Yanmei had stopped screaming, incredibly. She gasped, choking, crying. Like this… dying like this in front of everyone! 04… If only she could… It so hard to think beyond brittle fragments.
[03:48] <Dorian> [Her consciousness started to fade, a little. The pain was becoming less now. Time… Had no meaning here, in this half-life, this half-death… What thoughts went through her mind at this last moment?]
[03:52] <Yanmei> It was all NERV's doing. Some vague sense of that. Some seed of resentment left over from 04? If only… if only she'd stayed at home. She imagined her mother, but that led to another thing - Marianne. Her eyes closed against the flames, and she saw more faces from the bridge, from school, and Aline and poor clueless de Pteres too. All of them disappointed, pitying.-
[03:54] <Yanmei> Even with those expressions… would it have been so bad to see them all one last time?
[03:55] <Dorian> [She remembered… Faces swam in her mind. People who loved her. Who deeply, truly cherished her, no matter what…-
[03:55] <Dorian> [There were screams. Cries of pain, but they seemed so distant… Was the world ending?]
[03:57] * Yanmei tried to open her eyes. They felt heavy, and she was sure she couldn't see very well, but…
[03:58] <Dorian> [Pain there, too. The LCL was burning at her eyes… But…-
[03:58] <Dorian> [She felt weight. Something was pulling at her arms.]
[04:00] <Yanmei> Hurt. Was she moving herself? No. Someone…?
[04:02] <Dorian> ["G-gggg-ggggaaaaaagh!" Yanmei felt… The burning sensation receding. First her face, then her body…-
[04:03] <Dorian> [Suddenly, the burning sensation was gone. It was still warm, and hot, but… She was free of the LCL.]
[04:06] <Yanmei> It was hard to figure out what had happened. She was no longer in hell, somehow. She tried the most basic of basic things… breathing. It ended with her choking up warm, orange fluid and coughing desperately.
[04:06] <Dorian> [She felt arms below her, a hand on her face. "Cough it up, Yanyan. Get it out. You're ok. You're ok." Said a voice. A familiar voice.]
[04:10] * Yanmei did just that, momentarily dispensing with the vague sense that she should be ashamed to be seen like this because she was glad that she could cough at all. Someone she knew? She tried to see who, however puffy and bizarre-feeling her eyelids felt.
[04:11] <Dorian> [The person was wearing a uniform… The jumpsuit of NERV. But the person's face were a mix of blurs- yellowish, pale cream…-
[04:12] <Dorian> ["Yanyan… Can you hear me?" Murmured the voice. And as the person leaned down towards her, she'd see his eyes- deep and blue. Her saviour was someone who shouldn't be here at all- Isaiah Gabriel-Wei.]
[04:15] <Yanmei> "Nngh?" That wasn't… that wasn't supposed to be. He was supposed to be someplace else. Safe? Safe! Was she seeing things? Maybe that was it
[04:16] <Dorian> ["Shh. It's alright. It's alright." Isaiah was trying not to breathe- not in this place. EVA-04 was still aflame, and the heat was immense. "Stay still, alright? I'm going to get you out of here. I'm going to look after you." A moment of weightlessness.]
[04:18] <Yanmei> Isaiah Gabriel-Wei… looking after her. She didn't move. Honestly, she couldn't! But it brought a low, chuckle to her. She stopped suddenly, alarmed at how raspy it sounded
[04:21] <Dorian> ["Shh. Don't try to talk. Superheated air and that LCL in your lungs has probably cause some sort of pulmonary damage, maybe permanent… But it's ok. You're going to live." Holding her in both arms, he started to navigate the broken, burning hull of the Evangelion's body.-
[04:23] <Dorian> [She could see flickering tongues of light. Fire. They were growing closer, the air becoming warmer.]
[04:26] <Yanmei> "Pulmnry?" An unfamiliar word. She didn't actually care that much, but it was more bearable than staying quiet, doctor's orders or no.
[04:28] <Dorian> ["Your lungs. They're pretty vulnerable…" Isaiah's voice faded. There was a moment of intense heat- that burning sensation returned…-
[04:28] <Dorian> [Then finally, a wave of coolness. Cold, cold air stung at Yanmei's heated body.]
[04:33] <Yanmei> Cold! It took a moment to identify that sensation. It was as if she had been under waves of fire forever! She tried looking around again. Getting a sense of what was going on. "De Pteres," she remembered something with a frown. Aline, too. Before she had ended here, she was with them, fighting.
[04:34] <Dorian> ["The fight's still going on. 01 and 00 are still fighting… But… But I was watching you, Yanmei." Said Isaiah quietly. "I saw you fight. You- I'm so proud of you." That cold air continued. Now she could hear other voices…]
[04:37] <Yanmei> Proud? Of her? She tried to focus on him, but her eyes were having trouble again. They were watery somehow. He couldn't be. She hadn't done *anything*.
[04:38] <Dorian> [Other voices. "Nossir." Said Isaiah promptly. "I knew the risks, but someone had to go in there. The LCL was boiling at a lethal temperature- see my arms? They're scarred… Sir, you can discipline me later. Please, let me put her on the stretcher." He sounded… Different, like this. He sounded like a soldier, almost.]
[04:43] * Yanmei opened her eyes again, confused. Ah. More NERV people? But… Isaiah wasn't a part of NERV? What the hell?
[04:44] <Dorian> [Yanmei might vaguely recognise… NERV recovery. People who went out to save the pilots… Isaiah was with them?-
[04:44] <Dorian> ["… No, sir, I'm not a member of NERV. I'm just a friend- a friend who had the courage to do what you couldn't!" Shouted Isaiah, genuine anger in his voice. "I-I don't… I don't care…" Yanmei was lowered onto something… Soft.]
[04:46] <Yanmei> Soft. It made her feel safe. But… There was something else she was trying to listen to as well. She tried to raise her head. "Gotta talk to them." she mumbled. "Lemme… de Pteres and Aline…"
[04:47] <Dorian> ["Yanyan… It… I… No, that doesn't matter. C-Comguy! I need your headset!-
[04:47] <Dorian> [Yanmei would find something being pushed around her head. Something thin and wiry. "Speak, Yanyan. Let them know you're ok."]
[04:49] * Yanmei took a few breaths. It was really hard to breath, and just trying to do it the way she used to made her dizzy. She could talk to them, but what was she going to say with this fog around her head?-
[04:51] <Yanmei> She smiled, even though it hurt like hell, because this sort of announcement required it. People could tell that you were smiling even when they couldn't see you. -
[04:54] <Yanmei> "Ah, is this thing on?" She paused to catch her breath from just that. "I'm… cheering you two on from here. So." Another pause. "Please win! You can do it together!"
[04:57] <Dorian> [Isaiah closed his eyes. He… He wouldn't cry. He'd be strong. Slowly, he reached out and took Yanmei's hand with one of his own, holding it tight.]
[05:00] <Yanmei> Tired now. She let her other hand fall away from the headset.
[05:04] <Dorian> [Yanmei felt something cool placed on her chest. The pain she was feeling was starting to slip away. "Yanyan? Do you want to sleep…?"]
[05:05] <Yanmei> "'d be nice?" she was still smiling, although perhaps a little wryly now. That didn't seem to hurt so much anymore.
[05:06] <Dorian> [Her vision was starting to come into focus a little more. Enough to see the tears on Isaiah's cheeks.]
[05:07] <Yanmei> "Toldya. Stronger than you give… g-give yourself credit for."
[05:08] <Yanmei> She was lapsing from French to her native tongue now, without realizing it.
[05:16] <Dorian> ["I… I know." Said Isaiah, in Chinese. He gripped her hand ever tighter. "I'm stronger… Than I thought. I'm as strong as I wanted to be." Isaiah lowered his head, bowing it before Yanmei. "I'm strong enough to protect you."]
[05:24] * Yanmei beamed, and squeezed his hand back. She felt pride too, for him now, as it that which she had for herself had fled to someone else. At least that was one good thing to come out of today? She shut her eyes.
[05:25] <Dorian> [There… Was light. Energy. Yanmei could feel it, blowing back her hair, stray fabrics from her ruined Plugsuit, the sheets she lay on.]
[05:30] * Yanmei didn't open her eyes to stare up at it. She did know, however, that she could finally sleep peacefully. "Knew they could do it…"
[05:32] <Dorian> ["… We won." Slowly, Yanmei would feel herself moving, lifted into an ambulance. Something light and gentle covered her. "Sleep now, Zhinu. It's over, now."]
[05:41] <Yanmei> That earned another chuckle, tired as she was. That was… well, it didn't matter now. It was sweet. So she did drift off to sleep, as he bade her, dreaming of others' victories underneath the bright, starry sky.
[05:42] <Dorian> [And next to her, although she didn't realise it, Isaiah remained, his arms burned and scarred by the heat from the LCL. He would be disciplined. He'd committed an awful offense… But right now, he was too tired to care.-
[05:43] <Dorian> [He held his sigil over Yanmei for as long as he could. But before long, he slowly laid his head back, gave Yanmei's hand a final squeeze, and fell asleep.]

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