She Said Ah This Again

[13:05] <Ikari‘Gendo> [Aline… Would find herself awaking in a white hospital-like room. Without windows. Ping. Ping. This all seemed strangely familiar…]
[13:07] * Aline actually made a point of it, this time. "…Ah. This again." IV. No windows. Doors. noisy medical equipment. She was going to have to get used to this.
[13:10] <Ikari`Gendo> [Silence…-
[13:10] <Ikari`Gendo> [The door opened.]
[13:14] * Aline sat up immediately, staring ahead intently. High percentage chance of it being Gendo. Possibly with security escort. Possibly not. Nonetheless, she waited quietly, more than a bit… uncomfortable-looking. Nervous. Scared.
[13:15] <Ikari`Gendo> [… No one. The door closed.]
[13:18] * Aline folded her arms, slowly coming down from that particular emotional state, though not completely. Her nervousness now compelled her to tip-tap her fingers against the nearby arm, and stare at the door intently.
[13:20] <Ikari`Gendo> [It opened.-
[13:20] * Ikari`Gendo emerged this time. "Oh. You’re awake."
[13:22] <Aline> "Y… Yes. I am. And as you can tell by my diction and inflection, /I/ am awake."
[13:25] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Indeed." Said Gendo. He dragged a chair over and sat down. "How are you feeling?"
[13:29] * Aline held her hand out, palm-down, and tilted it around a few times. "So-so. Physically, completely fine. None of the… wasting or other odd symptoms from the 00 incident. Emotionally…" Aline sighed heavily. "Even if we exclude the stress of the rest of the incident - the unveiling of MP-Rei, Isaiah’s reaction, /Sera's/ reaction, and such - there's still the profound guilt and
[13:29] * Aline self-hatred. Because I acted impulsively and risked far too much for something, while serious, that wasn't of equivalent exchange for the entire world. At least this… debacle happened on the other side of the world from Paris-2."
[13:34] <Ikari‘Gendo> "We are fortunate for that." Said Gendo. He clasped his hands together. "I want you to tell me, from the very beginning, when Dr. Ikari brought you into the chamber, what happened."
[13:53] * Aline nodded, a slight sense of relief - but also of concentration, almost grit - flashing by on her face. "The entry itself was uneventful. She had the main tube - MP-Rei’s - rise, and… the effect was disquieting to say the least. Her constant repeating of her pet-name for Isaiah didn't help. I questioned the project on a bioethics level, but only tentatively. Everyone else seemed to
[13:53] * Aline be outright disturbed and in shocked silence." She shook her head, but continued. "Scared and angered questioning and declarations. Then… I think because she just /kept/ saying that name, Isaiah must have lost control. He rushed Yui and put her into a chokehold, and for a few moments, held, while Sera continued to yell and Shinji remained… stammering out of obvious trauma. I could barely
[13:53] * Aline understand what to do, so I just politely told Rei to stop saying that. Too little, too late, I suppose." Aline obviously frowned. "Then, when Isaiah finally let his… episode pass, he released grip and collapsed. Sera, apparently, didn't like that fact, and rushed at Yui himself. I tried to tell him to back off, that what he was doing wouldn't change anything, he ranted about getting her
[13:53] * Aline to stop it and how it'd ruin things and… ugh, I'll just elaborate on what I thought about his arguments if asked. They're a goddamn mess." Obvious disgust. "But… When I saw he would do nothing resembling backing down, and seemed dangerously close to Yui, I intervened. Tried to pull him away - then, when that didn't seem to have an effect, I slapped him in the face. We began fighting,
[13:53] * Aline but he kept trying to get me out of the way rather than truly engage. I… I knew I wasn't strong enough to beat him in straight-up wrestling, so I thought I'd batter him into exhaustion instead. It was sort of working…" Disgust, turned into remorseful anger. "…Until he pulled that knife. I was convinced he was going to kill her right there. And I knew I couldn't handle a knife-fight
[13:53] * Aline unarmed; I'm pathetic in a /fist/ fight as-is. So… so… I asked for Voriel's aid. He had already been bothering me about the weakness of my body and so on and that he could assist on some level, but… Then it happened. I was able to harness his AT control, with my will. I knew what he was capable of, and knew it was… an ideal nonlethal takedown skillset. I wanted Sera to stop. I wanted
[13:54] * Aline nobody to die. I couldn't live with having Shinji hurt not only by having to cope with the trauma of that event, but add losing his mother to it. For precious few minutes, I threw everything I had at Sera. Trying to disrupt his senses, compel him to back off, plague his mind with hallucinations, to just /break/ his ability to keep fighting. And I had… almost done it. I did well enough
[13:54] * Aline that I was going to release the power, to push it back to the corner of my mind and return to 'human', as it were. But… but I didn't have the strength. I had managed to hold on for a long while, but the strain of stopping Sera took its toll, and I lost the mental struggle - I have no memory after that."
[14:06] <Ikari‘Gendo> "I see. So your intent was good, but your actions were…" Gendo frowned. "I can see -why- you would turn to the Angel’s power. But such an incredible risk…"
[14:13] <Aline> "I… know. And I've been at least somewhat thinking of the problems. I expect… for a lot more paranoia to be accorded to my existence. I can understand it, too. I will say this, though." Aline sighed heavily. "He only awakens that fully in two cases that I know of: If I beckon his power, or… if I am a literal instant away from death. I can and will work with you on planning the security
[14:13] <Aline> arrangements. But…" She shook her head again. "I acted impulsively, at least compared to how one should treat something with that steep a risk. I did the exact opposite of what I so revile Azariah Caine for - I hated how he almost seemed to wage war on love itself just for the sake of his vision for the planet's future. But I, that time… I gambled the planet's future for love itself.
[14:13] <Aline> It's… it's sobering, and it's something I'll avoid dearly, now knowing how weak my will actually is."
[14:14] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Hhn. Shinji is lucky to have you." Gendo didn’t seem to have much to add to that. "You're probably curious about what happened afterward."
[14:18] * Aline nodded firmly. "I can guess that Voriel attacked whomever he felt was the most dangerous target - probably Yanmei, since I had made that pact to have her stop me if something like that happened - and that she must have won in the end. So… what probably remains uncertain is what happened other than that."
[14:20] * Ikari‘Gendo nodded. "Indeed. Zhang confronted Voriel, and resisted him almost completely. The one instance he succeeded was when he tried to make her throttle herself, but this was broken by Gabriel-Wei’s intervention. Zhang then finished him off. You have her to thank for your exceptionally sore nose."
[14:23] * Aline shrugged her shoulders. "Eh. At least I only feel the aftermath. But… okay, that's good. Her willpower's stronger than mine, or she was more… lucky. I don't know which. But… what about Sera? I had only managed to make him throw away his knife and back off from Yui when I lost control - I figured with that done, me and Yanmei and Isaiah would've had a chance to pin him together.
[14:23] * Aline Obviously, he must have been stopped too. How?"
[14:28] <Ikari‘Gendo> "He had different priorities."
[14:30] * Aline narrowed her eyes. "…Something to do with the MP-pilots or Yui, no doubt." Her disdain was blatantly there. "Fucking idiot. One of his fellow pilots actively being possessed by the ghost of an Angel and he doesn’t even lift a finger to stop her and /save his goddamn species/."
[14:31] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Mm. He tried to kill the MP-Pilots, starting with MP-ROKU."
[14:32] * Aline twitched. "…After all his ranting about saving them from being pilots, he goes and…" Aline held her head. "…Please continue."
[14:35] <Ikari`Gendo> "They reacted poorly."
[14:36] * Aline blinked/
[14:36] <Aline> *. "Poorly… unprepared, or poorly… with hostility? Assuming the latter."
[14:38] <Ikari`Gendo> "MP-REI ordered them to take him down. She broke one of his ribs with a single kick and they then proceeded to disable him further." Gendo smirked just a little.
[14:40] * Aline actually… smirked back. "I can’t completely get over the slight disquiet about, but… I respect her for that."
[14:41] <Ikari‘Gendo> "He is ultimately lucky to be alive. The MP-Pilots were merciful. Dr. Ikari also managed to call them off."
[14:44] <Aline> "…Yeah… With that many… however many… He is intensely lucky." The smirk Aline wore, though, started to fade to a more neutral expression. "Since you might eventually guess anyway… I did notice something about them. Or, more precisely, Rei. While I still had control, the mere act of expanding the strengthened AT field gave me expanded awareness as well. I know that she is beyond
[14:44] <Aline> human capability in that respect."
[14:45] <Ikari`Gendo> "I was wondering if you would notice."
[14:51] * Aline let off a nervous chuckle. "I was already suspecting something unusual. The somewhat odd or even flat tone of speech, the way she looked. The… the red ey-" Aline suddenly stopped dead cold, as realization passed over her. Even her facial expression became a lot more… disturbed. "Er. The… Red eyes, too. While that might correspond to… er, albinism… given the situation I
[14:51] * Aline knew… Er… That… there was something unusual already. Then it just took being curious, and… looking."
[14:53] <Ikari`Gendo> "Ultimately, your suspicions here were proven correct." Said Gendo. "But don’t forget what I said before. It would be a poor showing if you accused every albino you met of being partially Angel."
[14:55] * Aline nodded. "Yes, the appearance… isn't enough to make that conclusion on. It takes other evidence, like the tone, or the fact that it's nonsensical to /grant/ albinism to someone who never had it, as part of simple genetic alteration for I assume superior performance as a pilot and in general. The tone itself could have been a sign of some more mundane thing, but… mmm. Trust that
[14:55] * Aline any other suspicions in any other cases, have more to them than just those two traits."
[14:59] * Ikari‘Gendo nodded slowly. "So then. We need to discuss a few things."
[15:01] * Aline laid her hand on the bed, exhaling heavily. "Of course. Go ahead."
[15:04] <Ikari`Gendo> "New security measures will come into effect. I’ve already discussed them with Fontaine. I'm also granting your fellow pilots- that aren't de Pteres- tasers and a set of tranquilisers carefully measured to your body."
[15:06] <Aline> "Right." She smiled slightly. "…I thank you intensely for not including him in that. I expected something like that, though. Because it /is/ necessary. I'd hate for them to be unprepared if something /stupid/ like an otherwise-fatal car accident caused a repeat of this incident."
[15:08] <Ikari‘Gendo> "We are hoping that if you are involved in a fatal car accident, they should outlive you by at least a few minutes, yes."
[15:10] * Aline nodded her head again. "Mm. Any other measures?… I am /imagining/ some other form of increased scrutiny, though hopefully not in an intrusive enough way to… disrupt things. I don’t mean to be rude, but causing stress leading to a mood disorder is… very much not a good idea here."
[15:14] <Ikari‘Gendo> "S2 agents will be briefed on the situation, above and beyond the added security. They’ve been given permission to take you down."
[15:18] <Aline> "Ah. Yes, that's… fine, then." Her smile was still there, but it was also still… weak. Gentle, yet strained. "This all sounds reasonable, and I am… aware, again, of how serious this problem of mine is." The smile wavered. "…And how annoying it is that I can't /do/ anything more about it, since now he's too 'lost' in my field."
[15:21] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Mm. Perhaps time will present a solution." Said Gendo. "Now to other matters, regarding the MP-Pilots."
[15:21] * Aline tilted her head. "…What about?"
[15:23] <Ikari`Gendo> "What do you think should be done with them?"
[15:31] * Aline scratched at her chin for a fair while, thinking about it. "Given that they’re already alive, just ceasing the project is pointless. They're… probably ideal pilots given their various traits, and that they will have purpose-built EVAs as well, so they probably should still pilot. But… I will suggest…" Aline closed her eyes, and her breathing slowed a touch. Some sort of
[15:31] * Aline emotional weight on this one. "That counselling, possibly even from a xenopsychological standpoint, might be necessary. I know from having Voriel in here for so long, and for having spoke to Samandiriel - or as he is referred to by the Angels, 'the Knight' - briefly before his own death… that Angels do /not/ have the same psychological makeup that humans do. Any hybridization done as part
[15:31] * Aline of the project may have had a profound effect on their personalities, even with the imprints, just because of the differing neural makeup. Trying to adapt to human society, or even human emotions and figurative behavior, might be /intensely/ difficult without specialized therapeutic care." A pause. "…Also might be good to think of appropriate names for them. Rei, can pass muster. Most of
[15:31] * Aline the other numbers…" Aline opened her eyes, and exhaled again. "Are not as believable. Even something as small as a name will be vital for assimilating into society successfully."
[15:33] <Ikari‘Gendo> "I see." Said Gendo. "An interesting reaction…"
[15:34] * Aline blinked in surprise at that. "Sera, I can imagine, would have spouted another rant. But… not even Yanmei reacted even close to such?"
[15:36] <Ikari`Gendo> "de Pteres…" Gendo waved his hand vaguely. "Zhang seemed conflicted within herself. Part of it was her trying to hide it from me, but I believe she thinks NERV is in the wrong for using the MP-Pilots like tools… But doesn’t actually believe them to be people herself. Ultimately, I think she is very hateful towards the project for the pain it caused to Gabriel-Wei."
[15:41] * Aline sighed. "It's like she's noble for protecting him, but she's… staking far, far too much of herself on it. I'm afraid one day, her urge to fight and hate anything that hurts him will be the end of her. But, mm, I understand. She didn't really accept the idea of my talking to Angels that well either. I actually hadn't trusted her to know about Voriel…" Aline lowered her head, her
[15:41] * Aline hair casting a slight shadow over her eyes - so totally for dramatic effect. "…until I found out someone else had already told her about that."
[15:42] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Indeed?"
[15:48] <Aline> "Sorry, this must sound conspiratorial, but… Yanmei is not one to be very comfortable with nonhuman intelligences, transhumanism, anything like that - that’s why I even mentioned that. But…" She looked back up, eyes adjusting slightly after one particularly long blink. "The circumstances of her knowledge of my and Voriel's relationship are… very anomalous. Have you ever heard of a-"
[15:48] <Aline> Aline made it a point to speak the name in Eastern order. "-Nagisa Kaworu?"
[15:50] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Yes."
[15:52] <Aline> "He’s why she knew, he told her. And unless you know something I don't… he doesn't have access to the top levels of NERV command - to match the fact that I told Commander Fontaine - nor has he been near Shinji to my knowledge - to reflect my having told him. So that fact has been bothering me for a while, now."
[15:55] <Ikari‘Gendo> "I see. And yet I am not surprised."
[15:57] * Aline seemed confused now. "That that’s why Yanmei knew and all the details involved… or that that bothered me?"
[15:58] <Ikari‘Gendo> "That he knew."
[16:01] * Aline put a finger to her lips, and held it there for a moment or two. "…Am I allowed to know why? You and I should both know that I’ve been steering the conversation towards this, but… I shouldn't come to the more… histrionic conclusion without information to back it up." The finger lowered, and she closed her eyes again. "Yet, the reasonable chance of it… might mean that it may
[16:01] * Aline not be /appropriate/ for me to ever get that information just by asking. A bit of a dilemma."
[16:03] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Simply put, Kaworu is a spy." Said Gendo. "A spy who works for the Human Instrumentality Committee’s American representative. He is an expert at electronic spying devices, as well as trailing and other more mundane methodology. I also believe he is acting as a spy for NERV in other… Areas, too."
[16:08] * Aline nodded, sighing. "That… well. That would explain the unusual knowledge, and why you'd know about him. Also his placement as part of the late Atticus Nelson's staff. I'm not going to be able to easily abandon my… strange feelings, simply because of his forcefully bizarre personality, but… This is a likely enough explanation to at least make me less bothered. Thank you."
[16:10] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Mm."
[16:15] * Aline drummed her fingers. "…Mmm. Sorry to impose. Was there… anything else you had to ask?"
[16:21] <Ikari`Gendo> "One more thing to tell you."
[16:23] * Aline looked highly undertain about that. "Ah?"
[16:24] <Ikari`Gendo> "Tasers and tranquilisers are all very good, but there is one other security detail that will be applied to you to ward off the danger Voriel implies."
[16:25] * Aline shifted from uncertainty, to actual dread. "W… What would that be?"
[16:28] <Ikari`Gendo> "The best way to counter an active AT Field is with another AT Field." Said Gendo. "You already know the MP-Pilots can manifest an AT Field. Furthermore, we’re still a long way away from completing units for them. Ergo, a MP-Pilot will be assigned to Paris-2 in order to assist in the suppression of the Tenth Angel, whilst simultaneously learning how to exist in society properly."
[16:35] * Aline nigh-immediately became more relieved. "If she doesn't bother Yanmei or /especially/ Sera that much, that'll be fine by me. I'm the one who insisted on help socializing them in the first place. And having actualy neutralization functionality as part of the defense… well. Deflecting tranquilizers with an AT field is /such/ a drag on the whole operation." A sort of… nigh-forced
[16:35] * Aline goofy smile.
[16:36] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Mm." Said Gendo. "I’m glad you approve."
[16:37] <Aline> "I'd hope so. It's going to be the only approval at the pilot level you're likely to get." Aline's voice leaked quite a bit of regret out.
[16:39] <Ikari‘Gendo> "I’m aware." Said Gendo, standing up. "This has been quite the fiasco."
[16:43] * Aline lolled her head downwards. "Yui not realizing the psychological effect of the project, Sera… being insane, and my impulsiveness endangering the world… And of course, Yanmei probably being even /more/ angry at anyone not Isaiah. Nothing went well - except maybe Tsubaki, just because she barely notices anything." A looooong sigh. "I can only hope that this freeing us from fate
[16:43] * Aline succeeds. And is worth it." …A pause. "…Ah. That reminds me. What language is that book in, again? My nerves kept me from asking last time."
[16:46] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Devanagari. The written script used for Sanskrit."
[16:47] <Aline> "…Aha. Thank you, that’ll make finding an intepreter easier. I assume I'll… find out when I'm allowed to leave, sooner or later? Security is security, but these rooms are so /mind-rending/ in their… simplicity."
[16:48] <Ikari‘Gendo> "They’re supposed to be." Said Gendo. "You should be able to leave within the hour."
[16:49] <Aline> "Alright then. Thanks for… well. For this being surprisingly gentle for being everything that was necessary."
[16:50] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Mm." Gendo headed for the door, opening it. "You will need to speak to Shinji at some point."
[16:52] * Aline started to lay back, but… "I expected to. He’s going to need a lot of things cleared up. I have to be realistic in my expectations, though - I don't know if /anyone/ who was in that room will fully understand all of the details necessary to resolve this in the way I hope it resolves."
[16:53] <Ikari‘Gendo> "Mm."
[16:54] * Aline laid back fully, closing her eyes. The back of her eyelids would be less boring. "Goodbye, then."
[16:54] <Ikari`Gendo> "’Bye." He headed out.
[17:02] * Aline took a deep breath, as she finally tried to relax. So much damage. So much stupid damage. Yanmei hating her future family. Sera going /totally off the deep end/. God-knows-how-many half-Angel Rei clones to attempt to teach humanity to. Yui to teach humanity to - for fuck's sake! …And there's still the 800-metaphorical-pound Angel in her head. Destiny: It sucks. Tremendously. Such
[17:02] * Aline were Aline's thoughts as she drifted into a weak, defeated little nap. This was too stressful on her.
[17:05] <Ikari‘Gendo> [Time passed…-
[17:05] <Ikari`Gendo> [Aline would wake up after hearing a knock on the door.]
[17:05] * Aline snapped up into wakefulness. "…Yes? It’s not like I can lock it for privacy."
[17:06] <Ikari‘Gendo> [The door opened.-
[17:06] <Nagisa`Kaworu> "I am aware, Aline Blanc." Said her guest. A grey-haired boy with red eyes…
[17:09] * Aline …stared. "Speak of… Hrm." She paused a bit, though, sitting up in her bed. "…By the way. It wasn’t hubris. It was terror and extremely poor decisions." Despite the somewhat harsh word choice, Aline's face and tone showed regret. "But I'm too far down this road to be able to claim anything but how badly I've screwed up."
[17:10] * Nagisa‘Kaworu swept into the room, ignored the chair. Sat down on an edge of the bed- he was facing away from Aline. "You could handle death. But the fear of them tearing apart your soul was too much."
[17:13] * Aline looked down at the bed, again sounding rather… wounded. "Everything I’ve seen points to that being the innermost essence of my self. I could believe that human souls return to the cycle of life and be reborn. But… I'm too weak to stand up to oblivion. If I didn't know it was pointless to say this, I'd say I was unfit to be given even just the responsibility of an Eva pilot, let
[17:13] * Aline alone of my burden."
[17:16] * Nagisa‘Kaworu smiled a little. It was catlike. "But you like piloting anyway."
[17:22] * Aline sighed. "That’s part of why it was pointless to say. I just worry that that simple like will kill everyone. I'm a risk of it. 00's a risk of it. I'm sure if I'm given a few more months, I'll pick up some /third/ way to end the world in my sleep. It's… not appropriate for someone so young to have to have that hanging over their head."
[17:26] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "Even worse, you know that you can’t even quit or leave without the guilt nagging at you." Said Kaworu. "You don't actually trust anyone else to handle 00 and the AT Field as well as you, and you know that without you the chance of an Angel winning is substantially increased."
[17:27] * Aline nodded. "I hardly trust anyone else to do anything now. People failing to understand human behavior and traumatizing their own son because of it, people going on stabbing rampages for poorly-thought-out ideals… It's wrong for me to feel so infinitely responsible for all of this, but it… pains me."
[17:31] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "You yourself of course realise that it doesn’t make sense to trust no one else, but feel you're too weak either… It makes the entire situation look very hopeless, don't you agree?"
[17:35] <Aline> "Y… Yeah. I know too well." Aline looked up at the ceiling, making a little 'mmm' humming noise for a second or two. "Stuck. Can't stop. Can't advance. It's… it's the same thing I feel every time despair comes knocking."
[17:39] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "You sound desperately tired."
[17:45] * Aline almost cracked a smile to make one of those gallows-humor-esque chuckles. But she just couldn’t bring herself to. "…Yes."
[17:51] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "Everything seems to be moving of its own volition, and no matter what you do or who you are you seem powerless. In fact all you seem to bo is make situations worse…"
[17:51] <Nagisa`Kaworu> «*do»
[17:55] * Aline nodded again, taking shallow breaths as she did. "Mmn. It… that is correct, I can’t deny it, but I can't… really come up with a response, either. Or I… I don't know. Peace crumbles when I dream of it. People just keep on wanting to hurt, to jockey for position, to have to take one thing or the other."
[18:06] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "It would be a lot easier if humanity were different."
[18:08] * Aline sighed. "But… would it be right? Would whatever might make my life easier, really be worth possibly ruining everyone else’s idea of what it is to be human? I'm different. It's harder for me to adapt - Should I really be the one to decide that it isn't me who should change, but all of humanity?"
[18:20] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "If not you, then whom?"
[18:35] * Aline stared off into space dejectedly. "…I can’t come up with an answer to that either." She drooped, now, and sniffed a few times. "Letting someone else make that choice… it would probably hurt me… as much as I'm afraid that I'd hurt someone else. Maybe more." She closed her eyes hard, sniffling a few more times. She had wanted to say something else, to comment about her feelings
[18:35] * Aline or what to do or how terrible everything around her was becoming, but she couldn't - Aline's lips just quivered silently.
[18:44] * Nagisa‘Kaworu shifted down the bed and pulled the rest of himself up so that he was lying next to Aline. He put an arm around her shoulders and squeezed.
[18:46] * Aline allowed herself to lean just the slightest bit into it. "…Sorry for just making this visit, whatever your purpose initially, all about moping around."
[18:53] <Nagisa`Kaworu> "What if this is my purpose?" He squeezed a little tighter.
[18:55] * Aline sat there, almost as if in a daze. "…Then… thank you. I should have, maybe, known better than to have been so scared and intimidated by you in the past."
[18:57] <Nagisa`Kaworu> "Albino prejudice is hardly a rarity." Said Kaworu pleasantly.
[18:59] * Aline narrowed her eyes, and absently grabbed a lock of her own (white) hair. "…Now you’re just messing with me." But, in spite of her /expression/, Aline's tone was light enough to make it clear that that was a joke.
[19:02] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> Kaworu simply smiled his catlike smile. "Why were you so scared?"
[19:11] <Aline> "Subtle things. Bold statements that… were only so because of how strange they were, yet fundamentally threatening somehow." Aline rolled her head back a little. "I haven’t forgotten that one line. Boredom… being a product of a blinded mind. It seems so simple, yet it… made me completely stop, simply because nobody would say something against the very emotions I was talking about, as
[19:11] <Aline> a… negative response? I don't even know. It was unplaceable. Unknown. And to achieve an unknown in /casual conversation/ powerful enough to evoke the instinctive fear of the unknown?" Head lowered back down, with a little 'hm~'-like sigh. "That's pretty impressive."
[19:15] * Nagisa‘Kaworu smiles. "I remember that."
[19:16] * Aline nodded gently. "You feel very different now, from how you felt then."
[19:19] <Nagisa`Kaworu> "Do you believe it’s possible to read yourself so poorly, that you can give other people the exact advice that you yourself need and never realise it?"
[19:20] * Aline didn't even have to process that. "Absolutely. Oneself is often beyond the same scrutiny others are… Even if you'd rather it not be like that."
[19:22] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "Good." Kaworu nodded. "When I told you that boredom was the product of a blinded mind, did you know what I meant?"
[19:23] * Aline now /did/ need time to think. "…At the time… probably not. In hindsight, I’m thinking it was some… sense that if one is aware of what they are to do, they wouldn't be bored because they'd be busied with what they had set out to do. Or something. I'm probably still getting it wrong."
[19:26] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "Close. Simply put, the world is so -full- of concepts that if you look at things from a properly analytical point of view, anything is interesting enough to want to study, and thus, boredom is the product of a mind that does not see."
[19:27] <Aline> "Ohhh…" Aline paused subtly. "…He’d never put it that eloquently, but Voriel, or… fuck, you know I never asked if he said his 'true' title… but he'd very emphatically understand that."
[19:30] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "Oh?"
[19:31] <Aline> "Ehe… Yeah, the only human emotion he can /readily/ understand, is curiosity. When we first sorted that out, he projected how curious he felt on me." Aline vaguely shivered. "…It made me feel insane, just because of the /exceeding volume/ of it."
[19:31] <Nagisa`Kaworu> "Oh, I see." Said Kaworu. "That makes sense…"
[19:35] * Aline leaned back slightly. "It’s been such a jarring cohabitation, I'm not sure if anyone would really understand without experiencing it. Interrupting during embarassing moments… giving me the need to explain basic human behavior in multiple areas - love was the most involved and satisfying to actually succeed in describing - Though…" She blushed slightly. "All of that probably
[19:35] * Aline makes me the foremost expert on Angelic psychology of all humanity."
[19:39] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "I suppose it does! How honoured you must feel."
[19:42] * Aline waved her hand in that same tilty so-so way. "It does, but it’s balanced by the fact that I'm understanding the thought process of beings that all of humanity is exhorted to kill - not even out of real hatred, but out of yet /another/ one of those stupid 'can only be one or the other' dilemmas, writ planetary in scale. And it doesn't even matter to them, because anything I know
[19:42] * Aline won't /really/ provide a tactical advantage. So it's just… Just…" Aline sighed again. "A gesture of harmony that escaped into a universe where it was forced into oblivion to make way for dischord."
[19:45] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "I wouldn’t say 'oblivion'."
[19:53] <Aline> "Mm. That's probably my depression talking." But she drummed her hands. "It'd take a miracle or an apocalypse for it to really happen, I feel."
[19:57] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "I think it’s simply a matter of time. Perhaps your gesture of harmony might make the world better for existing." He smiled. "But we're a little… Off-topic."
[20:03] <Aline> "Ah… right. I tend to do that." Aline gave her best sheepish look. Not that she was /trying/ to look more sheepish than just normal.
[20:06] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "You enjoy discussing things. You have a rather pronounced fondness for exposition. I am not -overly- surprised." Kaworu smiled. "Nevertheless. The advice I gave to you that day was advice that I had, in fact, forgotten. Or perhaps never followed." He said. "When Atticus died…"
[20:09] * Aline …instantly drooped. "…I… go on."
[20:14] <Nagisa`Kaworu> "… It hurt. To put it into context, before him I cared about very little. I did things because I was told to do them. Atticus… Made me care about something: him. I loved him very much. And when he died I realised that having -nothing- to love - or nothing to love me- was very painful."
[20:16] * Aline instinctively cringed. "I… can… imagine… I’ve never been completely without those, but I've… come close. That'd be… t-terrible."
[20:18] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "It is an unfillable void." Said Kaworu. "I confronted Zhang Yanmei about it…"
[20:22] * Aline tilted her head sharply. "…Wait, wh- …Oh. Oh, /right/." …back to a strong frown. "How did that go?"
[20:24] <Nagisa`Kaworu> "Attempting to crush her windpipe with my bare hands was not as mood-improving as I had been desperately hoping it would be." Said Kaworu disappointedly.
[20:30] * Aline thought back to the /incident/. "…I can’t say much for being on that side of things, but I assure you, it does not do much for the mood." …A pause. "Though in all seriousness, revenge in such an… ambiguous situation… mm. Doesn't end up helping. There's too much wrong about everything for you to feel like it's even meaning anything, I'd think."
20:35] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "Yes." Said Kaworu. "It was a meaningless, pointless gesture, I realised. I held her entire life in my hands and realised that it was infinitely interesting, full of… Thoughts and stories, beliefs… And endless incredibly complex system that I had no right to end. I couldn’t forgive her, but killing her would be wrong. I've started looking at the world in a different way. Like you, for example."
[20:37] <Aline> "I can already guess. I've… said some of how different you look to me now - that fear became understanding and comfort - but… what's the opposite like? How have I changed to you?"
[20:46] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "You used to be… A child." Said Kaworu. "A child who thought she was an adult in a world of adults. You were presumptious…" Kaworu smiled. "But now I see that I was wrong. You are so fragile… And aware of it, and you project an image to keep away the bumps and the smashes. I think you are extraordinarily beautiful."
[20:49] * Aline blushed so heavily. "I-I… thanks, again. It’s… hard to have to be these ways. Or I… a…" She even curled up a little. "I d-don't know what to say. Ah, I'm… I'm even worried about the thing with Shinji, but yet he… doesn't actually realize these things, yet… I… Ahhh." Wow, she was /deeply/ embarassed. "I feel like a second mother to him, sometimes, even. I think that's
[20:49] * Aline why that started in the first place. It makes this kind of… compliment very hard to… respond to."
[20:57] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "But do you want to respond?" Said Kaworu, his other arm reaching around to envelop Aline completely.
[21:01] * Aline shook and shuddered. "I-I-I-I don’t know. It'd be… it'd be cruel to him and I don't know if I should and it's the worst time and I'd feel guilty even though this… …Ah…" She was practically a puddle of embarassment as-is.
[21:07] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "You should trust me more." Said Kaworu, leaning forward and kissing Aline- deeply.
[21:11] * Aline nearly began to say something else, but… it was cut short very quickly by the kiss… Which at first she was just surprised at. Then… she… paused… Paused again, then (…very meekly) returned it.
[21:14] * Nagisa`Kaworu kissed her again, pulling her closer. "You understand," He said, breaking off for a second, "That what I am doing is very, very wrong."
[21:16] * Aline blushed hotly and shuddered. "Y-y-yes, it is. The… contradictions in my head… hurt." It was almost-breathlessly uttered at high speed, but she did manage to say it.
[21:17] <Nagisa`Kaworu> "You’re so much more beautiful than any morality that it hardly matters. But can you say the same in return?"
[21:21] * Aline shook again. "I-I-I don't know. I've… I'm… I don't have any… real knowledge of… of this it… it it confuses me and I feel… I feel so good about being understood for once without difficulty, yet I… don't want to be cruel, yet… by even treating this as a dilemma I'm still being hurtful…" Her face was practically twisting in on itself in grief and bewilderment. "If I
[21:21] * Aline choose Shinji, I hurt you when you've given me something I've never even known before, something wonderful. If I choose you, I hurt him by making him feel abandoned and alone after missing me and caring for me like he has." A tear welled up, but Aline quickly snapped the eye it came from shut. "An-an-and I don't know if anyone would accept me if I chose both."
[21:22] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "I would accept you." Purred Kaworu.
[21:24] * Aline nodded - as much as she could with intense jitters all around. "That’s… that's something. That… I only hope he would too. It's… the fear is there because it's… riddled with problems. I don't know his personality well enough to guess if… jealousy would be enough of a problem. I feel greedy…"
[21:29] * Nagisa‘Kaworu kissed her again, deeply. "You need to be happy if you ever want to make the world a better place. You’re desperately tired, and I can take that away. You're never going to be able to help Shinji any other way." He pulled her closer- their bodies were touching.
[21:32] * Aline kept shaking, but she… nodded, finally. Relented, finally. This might be nearly insane in any other mindset, but… In truth, she needed this. She needed to be understood, more than anything else. She pulled herself closer, as well.
[21:33] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> [… Time passed.-
[21:35] * Nagisa`Kaworu was smiling, his eyes closed. He might as well looked asleep.
[21:38] * Aline had a… strange smile of her own, as she laid there. Sure, she might allegedly be allowed to leave, but… In this moment, at the very least, she could be at peace. A small miracle, after what happened merely a few hours ago by her point of view (possibly a whole day ago or more, objectively). Better than an apocalypse, that’s for sure.
[21:40] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "Thank you."
[21:40] <Aline> "You’re welcome."
[21:42] * Nagisa‘Kaworu … Started to laugh.
[21:43] * Aline tilted her head curiously. "It was… just… a simple response?"
[21:46] <Nagisa`Kaworu> "I know. That’s not why I'm laughing."
[21:46] * Aline tilted even further. "Th… then why?" Nervousness invaded her mind.
[21:46] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "Because I’m happy."
[21:48] * Aline was wide-eyed, as if that was a great surprise. "Huh. I… I know laughter is… a happy thing but I… I've never actually heard someone… just… ah, do that when they became just inherently happy? It's hard to explain."
[21:48] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "Maybe it’s unique. Or maybe it's simply because I can't remember feeling so happy."
[21:51] <Aline> "Maybe! I'm… happy, even though I'm still very confused. I feel like I'm in a daze, actually. To actually be happy like this was worth, I feel, the cost of confusing my morality, but I'm… slow to adapt. I'm sure I'll be able to approach it all clear-headed soon enough though."
[21:51] <Nagisa‘Kaworu> "I hope so." Said Kaworu, reaching over to kiss Aline again. "… I really must be going, though."
[21:52] * Aline kissed back softly, then nodded. "I understand. I probably will have my own chance to get going, too."
[21:54] * Nagisa`Kaworu nodded slowly, pulled himself to his feet. "I’ll find you soon to give you my number. If you need me before then… I'll come. I'll know, in my own way."
[21:55] * Aline stared back, and… winked knowingly. "I can imagine you would."
[21:56] * Nagisa‘Kaworu tapped his nose twice. "You know me already. But don’t worry. There's still plenty of mystery for you to unpack over time." He winked in return- and then he headed for the door.
[21:58] <Aline> "Indeed~" …The merely satisfied smile became a bit more smirkish, even if moments of dark emotions still played out over it. She'd take that as… as… something.
[21:59] <Nagisa`Kaworu> "I love you~" He said, finally returning her wink, before he slipped out.

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